Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

11 August 2006

Sandwich Islands: Story Three

Back at the house, Rose went about the task of cleaning the corn and heating large buckets of water for the tub in the bathhouse.
Her oldest brother, tall and handsome, walked in as she was busily working. “Hello Manuel”, she smiled, “Did you milk the cow and goat?”
“”Its done and the milk is already in the spring house. How was your day, Rose?” Manuel asked.
Although Rose was only 14 years old, everyone loved her and confided in her. They loved her smile, her quiet ways, her interest in people and her sense of humor and the great stories she told. Her oldest brother Manuel, who was 21 especially loved her and confided in her often.
“Oh Manuel, I’ve had a busy day and an interesting one too! At dinner I’ll tell you all about it. But right now I want to know how you and Felicianna are doing?”
“Felicianna is as beautiful and good as ever. I love her more and more each day. We plan to be married this summer at the new church of the Holy Ghost, which was built in Kula last year. Her parents are pleased that we will be married there, since her father donated some of the wood and helped build the church. So did our family donate and help with the building. It seems right and fitting to be married there.
Manuel sat down at the kitchen table and watched Rose as she took the large pan of dough that had tripled in size. He loved to watch her hands as she deftly kneaded, twisted and formed new shapes for the waiting greased pans. Then she covered them again with warmed towels and dusted off her hands to wait for the final rising before the bread could be baked.
Manuel said, “Mr. Peck and Mr. Baldwin signed me up for a 3 year contract at their sugar plantation in Kulanui. I will get to be an overseer and I’ll make $12 a month. Since I’m getting married in June, I get a free house with a wood burning stove in Camp B. If I was still a bachelor, I’d have had to sleep in a large dormitory with the other single men. Having my own place will be much nicer.”
Rose’s face glowed with happiness as she said, “That’s great Manuel, I’m so happy for you and Feliciana. I know she’s a wonderful person and will be a good wife to you.”
Manuel smiled happily and said, “Thanks Rose, I’ll name my first girl after you.”


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