As peace was now declared in Tahiti, there was no obstacle to my making a journey through the whole island. I had obtained a fortnight’s leave of absence from the captain, and was desirous of devoting this time to a trip. I imagined that I should have been able to join one or other of the officers, who are often obliged to journey through the island on affairs connected with the government. To my great surprise I found, however, that they had all some extraordinary reason why it was impossible for me to accompany them at that particular time. I was at a loss to account for this incivility, until one of the officers themselves told me the answer to the riddle, which was this: every gentleman always travelled with his mistress.
Papeiti, Tahiti, 1847
Source: Ida Pfeiffer, Anon, trans., A Woman’s Journey Round the World: from Vienna to Brazil, Chili, Tahiti, China, Hindostan, Persia and Asia Minor, London: Peter, Duff & Co., 1852