Robert Louis


The Isle of Voices

Die Stimmeninsel

Übersetzt von Heinrich Conrad
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2022




Keola was mar­ried with Le­hua, daugh­ter of Kala­make, the wise man of Mo­lokai, and he kept his dwell­ing with the fath­er of his wife.
There was no man more cun­ning than that proph­et; he read the stars, he could di­vine by the bod­ies of the dead, and by the means of evil creatures:
he could go alone into the highest parts of the moun­tain, into the re­gion of the hobgob­lins,
and there he would lay snares to en­trap the spir­its of the an­cient.
For this reas­on no man was more con­sul­ted in all the King­dom of Hawaii.
Prudent people bought, and sold, and mar­ried, and laid out their lives by his coun­sels;
and the King had him twice to Kona to seek the treas­ures of Kame­hameha.
Neither was any man more feared: of his en­emies, some had dwindled in sick­ness by the vir­tue of his in­cant­a­tions,
and some had been spir­ited away, the life and the clay both, so that folk looked in vain for so much as a bone of their bod­ies.
It was ru­moured that he had the art or the gift of the old her­oes.
Men had seen him at night upon the moun­tains, step­ping from one cliff to the next;
they had seen him walk­ing in the high forest, and his head and shoulders were above the trees.
This Kala­make was a strange man to see. He was come of the best blood in Mo­lokai and Maui, of a pure des­cent;
and yet he was more white to look upon than any for­eign­er: his hair the col­our of dry grass,
and his eyes red and very blind, so that “Blind as Kala­make, that can see across to-mor­row,” was a by­word in the is­lands.
Of all these do­ings of his fath­er-in-law, Keola knew a little by the com­mon re­pute,
a little more he sus­pec­ted, and the rest he ig­nored.
But there was one thing troubled him.
Kala­make was a man that spared for noth­ing, wheth­er to eat or to drink, or to wear; and for all he paid in bright new dol­lars.
“Bright as Kala­make’s dol­lars,” was an­oth­er say­ing in the Eight Isles.
Yet he neither sold, nor planted, nor took hire — only now and then from his sor­cer­ies
— and there was no source con­ceiv­able for so much sil­ver coin.
It chanced one day Keola’s wife was gone upon a vis­it to Kaun­akakai,
on the lee side of the is­land, and the men were forth at the sea-fish­ing.
But Keola was an idle dog, and he lay in the ver­andah and watched the surf beat on the shore and the birds fly about the cliff.
It was a chief thought with him al­ways — the thought of the bright dol­lars.
When he lay down to bed he would be won­der­ing why they were so many,
and when he woke at morn he would be won­der­ing why they were all new; and the thing was nev­er ab­sent from his mind.
But this day of all days he made sure in his heart of some dis­cov­ery.
For it seems he had ob­served the place where Kala­make kept his treas­ure, which was a lock-fast desk against the par­lour wall,
un­der the print of Kame­hameha the Fifth, and a pho­to­graph of Queen Vic­tor­ia with her crown;
and it seems again that, no later than the night be­fore, he found oc­ca­sion to look in, and be­hold! the bag lay there empty.
And this was the day of the steam­er; he could see her smoke off Kalaupapa;
and she must soon ar­rive with a month’s goods, tinned sal­mon and gin, and all man­ner of rare lux­ur­ies for Kala­make.
“Now if he can pay for his goods to-day,” Keola thought,
“I shall know for cer­tain that the man is a war­lock, and the dol­lars come out of the Dev­il’s pock­et.”

Robert Louis Stevenson
The Isle of Voices / Die Stimmeninsel
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Heinrich Conrad

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