Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 5 September – 4 October 1916

Venus in Tahiti: 5 September – 4 October 1916

By: Ardis E. Parshall - August 18, 2013

(Previous installment)

Tues. Sept 5, 1916.

Washed and cared for baby & sister. Doctor called. Martha Krausser came to see the baby. Tuai wove niaus to make an awning for the back porch by sister’s room, as it is on the sunny side of the house.

Wed. Sept. 6, 1916.

Washed & cared for patients. The princess sent a bouquet of roses to sister, & Madame [blank] one of the French official wives who lives around the corner brought the baby a little white satin & lace bonnet, and [blank], a young native girl brought it a little outing flannel dress.

Thurs. Sept 7.

Washed and ironed all day. Doctor called. Tepo & Teura came to see baby. Kawa came down from Apatalni on a small vessel & gave me a shell hei that his wife and [had] sent to me.

Fri. Sept 8.

Terai stayed with sister while I went to the dentist and I gave her a basket of bananas & a dollar to mend an old peue for me. I also gave her $8 to pay one months house rent to save them from being put out, as they were way behind on account of Tecopus long sickness. I bought a jar of boullion paste for sister. Mrs. Henry the Protestant ministers wife called to see the baby.

Sat. Sept 9, 1916.

Washed, cleaned house & cared for sister.

Sun. Sept 10, 1916.

Elder Compton conducted the meetings & I cared for baby & sister.

Mon. Sept 11.

Went to the dentist. Washed. Madame [blank] and her sister called.

Tues. Sept 12.

Washed and ironed all day. Wrote to Pres.

Wed. Sept 13.

Went to the dentist, called in to see Terai & Teura on the way home. Washed. Sister Compton left her bed and was feeling fine.

Thurs. Sept 1[4].

Went to dentist. Washed. Madame [blank] called again. We received a letter from Rua saying he has baptized three people at Tubuai.

Sat. Sept. 16.

Went to dentist. Washed & cleaned house. Sister bathed baby herself. Marie Hu & Rua called to see the baby. I received two letters from my husband and one from Elder Burbidge & took them down to read to Terai. They reported having baptized one man & one woman. In the evening Elder & Sister Compton the baby & I took a short walk down town. I commenced doing the cooking again.

Papeete Sun. Sept 17, 1916.

Sister and the baby were at meeting again. Tahuhu delivered the sermon. Terai visited with us after church until dark.

Mon. Sept. 18, 1916.

Went to the dentist & while I was gone Tecopu had come to tell me Terai was sick, so as soon as I returned I hurried down there. She was completely broken down from overwork & worry and had fainted several times during the morning. I did what I could for her and told her to stay in bed all day and rest. I also gave Tecopu her wild and unappreciative daughter a good lecture, telling her to be a little more considerate for her mother, and help her with the work and not cause her so much worry by her actions. She cried and said she would, but when I returned again in the evening she was sitting on the front porch playing cards with some man & hadn’t touched a large ironing that lay waiting to be finished. I took Terai a basket of food and four dollars & she just wept for joy.

Tues. Sept 19, 1916.

Sister Compton is bathing the baby herself now & can wait on herself so I have taken the kitchen again. Called to see Terai. Went to the dentist. Washed the babies clothes & wrote to Ern.

Papeete, Wed. Sept 20.

Washed and ironed, prepared the meals & went to the dentist.

Thurs. Sept 21.

At 5: am Ern & Elder Burbidge arrived unexpected[ly] from Hikueru. They were drenched through having lain since five o’clock the day before in the pouring rain. Pres. Rossiter had business to attend to in Papeete and Elder Burbidge’s teeth needed attention. He was loaded down with pearls & sekos for me, that the saints had sent down. Went to the dentist and called to see Terai, who gave me a pretty native fan. I also unpacked their wet trunks and spread the bedding, books & clothing out on the porch to dry.

Fri. Sept 22, 1916.

Wrote letters, prepared the meals & went to the dentist. An old lady [named] Taaa who called to the house crawled into the parlor on her hands and knees, saying that her feet were too dirty to walk on that beautiful thing, namely our beautiful red carpet with its bright floral design.

Sat. Sept 23.

Went to dentist. Cleaned the house, prepared meals & printed pictures.

Papeete Sun. Sept 24.

Pres. Rossiter blessed & named Bro & Sister Comptons baby. It was named Marama Matron Compton. After sacrament meeting we called to see Maeata, Mouphi, Moina & Makana.

Mon. Sept 25.

We washed and ironed. The S.S. “Moana” arrived bringing the mail from America.

Tues Sept. 26.

Went to the dentist. Prepared meals. Mrs Longomazino & Miss Drollett called in the afternoon with their baby.

Wed. Sept. 27.

Went to dentist. The American Consul & his wife Mr & Mrs Thos. B. Layton called and we served them with cocoanut ice cream & cake. In the evening we called to see Terai.

Thurs. Sept 28.

Went to the dentist. Helped with the mission paper.

Fri. Sept 29.

Went to the dentist, also shopping with Ern. Had our pictures taken at Bopps & finished packing our trunks. When I went to Terai’s she was making me a pretty hei to surprise me when I left. Wrote letters in the evening.

Sat Sept 30, 1916.

Got up at 5: am and wrote to Lute and Floss. Left at 10: am on the St. Francois for Hikueru, & neither of us were seasick, however I didn’t go down to our cabin, but slept on a bench on deck until 5: am next morning until it commenced to rain and I was forced to go in. During the night I rolled off on to the floor twice on account of the tossing of the ship.

Sun. Oct 1, 1916.

Fast Sunday; and having to go without food at sea our stomachs became a little upset. Arrived at Rairoa at 10: am & stayed just long enough to put off the mail. We also left the small machine boat of Mr. Bodin, which we had towed from Papeete. Arrived at Apataki at 6:30 pm but it was too dark to go into the pass, so we had to sail up and down the shore all night until morning.

Mon. Oct 2, 1916.

Landed at Apataki & Matiti one of our Saints rowed us from the wharf across a channel to the native village. There we met Kawa’s wife, from Takaroa, and she came running out to meet us and took a long hei from her own hat and put it on mine. We were taken Totuahini’s house, w[here] we bathed and his wife washed and ironed a middie for me. We returned to the ship for dinner and when Ern went to get his hat they had loaded it down with heis and just as we were going out of the door Pani slipped a gold ring set with a patois onto my finger, and said “This is a token of love, that you will never forget me, and always think of me whenever you look at this ring.” After dinner there was no one we could get to take us to shore, so we slid down the side of the ship on a rope, and stepped from one row boat to another, climbed up the side of a sailing vessel and ran down the jiggly gang plank [to] the other side of it to shore. Then we got a young native boy to row us across the channel again to the village, in a small canoe, hewn out of a log. He apparently wasn’t a[c]quainted with the channel and ran us onto some rocks and some native men had to come out and carry us to shore. At night we held a meeting and we had a fairly sized crowd, but just before meeting, a small sail boat caught on fire, and a good many of the people went over to see it. It came as close as it safely could to the steamer, and we extinguished it with our hose.

Tues. Oct 3, 1916.

Left Apataki at 3: am and arrived at Takaroa at noon, where we visited with a family of Saints until it was time for the steamer to leave.

Wed Oct 4, 1916.

We called at Anaa & Makeia stopping just long enough to put the mail off. Spent most of the day playing [with] Madame Bodine’s two little children, one of whom reminded me very much of my little sister Dorothy.

(To be continued)



  1. Should I know why she has to go to the dentist everyday? It seems a little much.

    Comment by Jeffery Johnson — August 18, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

  2. I can’t figure that out either, Jeff. She’s been there often enough to have each tooth treated three times, hasn’t she? No idea what is going on.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 19, 2013 @ 3:26 am

  3. Since it is often listed with other tasks, maybe she did some sort of cleaning or other work there.

    Comment by SilverRain — August 19, 2013 @ 5:36 am

  4. Another possible reason for the frequent trips to the dentist: could she have had some sort of dental infection or abscess or something like that and needed a dressing changed?

    Comment by Amy T — August 19, 2013 @ 8:38 am

  5. I suspect that the dentist wasn’t using any anesthetic–maybe there’s only so much excruciating pain you can take at one time.

    Comment by Mark B. — August 19, 2013 @ 10:01 am

  6. I assumed that the dentist was helping treat the growths she’s been suffering from in her mouth. I keep waiting for her to sail to America for her planned treatment!

    Comment by Alison — August 20, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

  7. Never thought of that, Alison. This sounds more likely than other suggestions. And when she mentioned packing trunks, I thought she was headed for San Francisco, not to Takaroa!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — August 20, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

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