The mysterious island

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Material Information

Title:
The mysterious island the modern Robinson Crusoe
Physical Description:
1 v. (various pagings) : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Perat
Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Scribner, Armstrong, and Company
Publisher:
Scribner, Armstrong, & Co.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Pets -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Ballooning -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Rescues -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailing -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1876   ( rbgenr )
Robinsonades -- 1876   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1876
Genre:
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Robinsonades   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
by Jules Verne ; translated from the French by W.H.G. Kingston ; 145 illustrations.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Perat.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002239225
notis - ALH9751
oclc - 41202864
System ID:
AA00009647:00001


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THE STRANGER.
Page 227.









THE


MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



THE MODERN ROBINSON CRUSOE.



By JULES VERNE,
AUTHOR OF "A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH," "FROM TIE EARTH
TO THE MCON," "THE FLOATING CITY," ETC.


TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY

W. H. G. KINGSTON.



Complete in ebree parts.

I. Dropped from the Clouds. II. Abandoned.
III. The Secret of the Island.



145 ILLUSTRATIONS.




NEW YORK:
SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG, & CO,
743-745 BROADWAY,
1876.










JULES VERNE'S WORKS.

THE AUTHORIZED EDITIONS.

From Messrs. J". Hetzel & Co.
PARIS, LE I" JUILLET, 1874,
18 Rue Jacob.
Messieurs. SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG & C"'
LIBRAIRES EDITEURS, 654 BROADWAY, NEW YORx, U. S.
En response a votre demand nous certifions par suite de not
traits avec MM. Sampson Low, Marston, Low & Searle, Editeurs,
188 Fleet St., Londres, dans lequels nous agissons comnne propridtaires
exclusifs des ceuvres de Jules Verne, nous avons autorists ces messieurs
a 1'exclusion de tous autres, a publier en Amerique les ouvrages suivant.
de cet auteur:
VINGT MILLE LIEUES SOUS LES MERS.
VENTURES DE TROIS RUSsEs ET DE TROIS ANGLAIS.
DE LA TERRE A LA LUNE.
AUTOUR DE LA LUNE.
PAYS DES FOURURES.
LE TOUR DU MONDE EN 80 JOURS.
UNE VILLE FLOTTANTE.
L'ILE MYSTERIEUSE.
Et que par suite de cette cession, MM. Sampson Low & C'" de
Londres, ont seul le droit d'autoriser la vente des cliches de ces
ouvrages dans les Etats Unis.
Veuillez agrder, Messieurs, nos salutations empressds,
J. HETZEL ET C"

From Sampson Low, Marston & Co.
188 FLEET STREET,
London, E. C., uly 3d, 1874.
Messrs. SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONG & CO.,
NEW YORK.
Dear Sirs: We hereby beg to certify, that, in accordance with
the rights ceded to us by MM. Hetzel & Co., we have sold to you
the translations and illustrations of the following works by Jules
Verne, viz.:
1. MERIDIANA; OR, ADVENTURES OF THREE RUSSIANS AND
THREE ENGLISHMEN.
2. FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON AND A TRIP ROUND IT.
3. A FLOATING CITY AND THE BLOCKADE RUNNERS.
4. THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
Yours, very truly,
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO.

THE JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH is published by
Scribner, Armstrong & Co., by direct arrangement with MM. Hetzel
k Co.















PUBLISHERS' NOTE.


THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND has by common con-
sent been pronounced the most successful and the
most absorbing of Jules Verne's works. In recogni-
tion of its wide popularity, the publishers herewith
offer to the youth of America in a single volume
the complete work which originally appeared in
three volumes. The work has been pronounced A
new Robinson Crusoe with all the modern improve-
ments." In the twelve hundred pages and one hun-
dred and forty-five illustrations of this volume, which
is reduced from its publication price of six dollars
to three dollars, there will be found a large fund of
amusement and instruction.










WORKS OF JULES VERNE.
PUBLISHED BY

SCRIBNER, ARMSTRONC, & CO.

THE COMPLETE A"D AUTHORIZED EDITIONS.


THE NEW ROBINSON CRUSOE.


JULES VERNE'S "MYSTERIOUS ISLAND."
Complete in three paits, viz.:
I. Dropped from the Clouds. II. Abandoned.
III. The Secret of the Island.
1232 Pages. 145 Illustrations. Boyal Crown 8vo, Cloth, $8.
In the Mysterious Island," Jules Verne offers to the lovers of the wonderful in literature
his most elaborate, attractive, and instructive work. The escape of the voyagers from Rich-
mond in their stolen balloon, and their wreck upon an island in the Indian Ocean, are inci-
dents in the career of Mr. Verne's heroes which have been made familiar to all readers of
magazine literature; but the elaborately ingenious methods by which they wrested from this
uninhabited island the means of subsistence, and the appliances through which they effected
their deliverance, exhibit a wonderfully accurate knowledge of the capabilities of science.
Briefly, the "Mysterious Island" is a new Robinson Crusoe, with all the modern improve-
ments.

FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON in 97 Hours and 2o
Minutes, and a Trip Around It. Eighty full-page illustrations,
beautifully bound in cloth, black and gilt. Price $3.00.
A JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH. Trans-
lated from the French of JULES VERNE. With fifty-two illustrations by
RIou. Complete edition, fifty-three illustrations, on super-calendered
paper, handsomely bound in cloth, black and gilt, beveled boards, $3.00.
STORIES OF ADVENTURE. Comprising "Meridiana," "The Ad-
ventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa,"
and "A Journey to the Centre of the Earth." One vol., I2mo, sixty-
eight full-page illustrations. Cloth, $1.50.
A FLOATING CITY, and THE BLOCKADE RUNNERS.
Translated from the French of JULES VERNE. One vol., z2mo, pro-
fusely illustrated. Cloth, $3.00.
Mt Sent, fost-paid, on receipt of price by the Publishers. .g:




















CONTENTS.



Part I.
DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


CHAPTER I.
PAGI
The storm of 1865-Voices in the air-A balloon carried away
by a whirlwind-Five passengers-What happened in the
car .

CHAPTER II.

An incident in the war of secession-The engineer Cyrus
Harding-Gideon Spilett-The negro Neb-Pencroft the
sailor-The ni-ht rendezvous-Departure in the storm II

CHAPTER III.

Five o'clock in the evening-The missing one-Neb's despair-
Search towards the north-The islet-A dreadful night-A
fog in the morning-Neb swims-Sight of land-Fording the
channel 26

CHAPTER IV.

Lithodomes-The river's mouth-The chimneys-Continued
researches-The forest of evergreens-Waiting for the ebb-
On the heights-The raft-Return to the shore. 38









viii CONTENTS


CHAPTER V.
Arranging the Chimneys-How to procure fire-A box of matches
-Search on the shore-Return of the reporter and Neb-A
single match-A roaring fire-The first supper, and night on
shore ....52

CHAPTER VI.
The inventory of the castaways-Nothing-Burnt linen-An expe-
dition to the forest-Flight of the jacamar-Traces of deer-
Couroucous-Grouse-A curious fishing-line 64

CHAPTER VII.
Neb has not yet returned-The reporter's reflections-Supper-A
threatening night-The tempest is frightful-They rush out
into the night-Struggle against the wind and rain-Eight
miles from the first encampment 77

CHAPTER VIII.
Is Cyrus Harding living ?-Neb's recital-Footprints-An unan-
swerable question-Cyrus Harding's first words--dentifying
the footsteps-Return to the Chimneys-Pencroft startled 91

CHAPTER IX.
Cyrus is here-Pencroft's attempts-Rubbing wood-Island or
continent-The engineer's projects-In what part of the Pacific
Ocean ?-In the midst of the forests-The stone pine-
Chasing a capybara-An auspicious smoke 105

CHAPTER X.
The engineer's invention-The question which engrosses the
thoughts of Cyrus Harding-Departure for the mountain-
Volcanic soil-Tragopans-Sheep-The first plateau-En-
campment for the night-The summit of the cone. 121









CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XI.
PAGE
At the summit of the cone-The interior of the crater-Sea all
round-No land in sight-A bird's-eye view of the coast-
Hydrography and orology-Is the island inhabited?-Christen-
ing the bays, gulfs, capes, rivers, &c.-Lincoln Island 135

CHAPTER XII.
Regulating the watches-Pencroft is satisfied-A suspicious smoke
-Course of Red Creek-The flora- of Lincoln Island-The
fauna-Mountain pheasants-Chasing kangaroos-An agouti
-Lake Grant-Return to the Chimneys 52

CHAPTER XIII.
What is found upon Top-Manufacturing bows and arrows-A
brick-field-A pottery-Different cooking utensils-The first
boiled meat-Wormwood-The Southern Cross-An impor-
tant astronomical observation 167

CHAPTER XIV.
Measuring the cliff-An application of the theorem of similar
triangles-Latitude of the island-Excursion to the north-
An oyster-bed-Plans for the future-The sun passing the
meridian-The longitude of Lincoln Island 184

CHAPTER XV.
It is decided to winter on the island-A metallic question-Ex-
ploring Safety Island-A seal hunt-Capture of an echidua-
A koala-What is called the Catalan method-Manufacturing
iron-How steel is obtained 198

CHAPTER XVI.
The question of a dwelling is again discussed-Pencroft's fancies
-Exploring to the north of the lake-The northern edge of
the plateau-Snakes-The extremity of the lake-Top's un-
easiness-Top swimming-A combat under the water-The
dugong. .... .









CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XVII.
PAGH
Visit to the lake-The indicating current-Cyrus Harding's pro-
jects-The fat of the dugong-Employing shistose pyrites-
Sulphate of iron-How glycerine is made-Soap-Saltpetre-
Sulphuric acid-Azotic acid-The new fall 224

CHAPTER XVIII.
Pencroft now doubts nothing-The outlet of the lake-A subter-
ranean descent-The way through the granite-Top disap-
pears-The central cavern-The lower well-Mystery-Using
the pickaxe-The return 239

CHAPTER XIX.
Cyrus Harding's project-The front of Granite House-The rope
ladder- Pencroft's dreams Aromatic herbs- A natural
warren-Water for the new dwelling-View from the windows
of Granite House 252

CHAPTER XX.
The rainy season-The question of clothes-A seal hunt-Manu-
facturing candles-Work in Granite House-The two bridges
-Return from a visit to the oyster-bed-What Herbert finds
in his pocket .266

CHAPTER XXI.
Some degrees below zero-Exploring the marshy part to the south-
east -The wolf-fox-View of the sea-A conversation on the
future of the Pacific Ocean-The incessant work of the coral
insects-What our globe will become-The chase-Tadorn's
fens .... ..278

CHAPTER XXII.
Traps-Foxes-Peccaries-The wind changes to the north-west-
Snow-storm- Basket-makers -The severest cold-Maple
sugar-The mysterious well-An exploration planned-The
leaden bullet .. 292




















CONTENTS.



part HE.
ABANDONED.


CHAPTER I.
PAGE
Conversation on the subject of the bullet-Construcston of a
canoe-Hunting-At the top of a kauri-Nothing to attest
the presence of man-Neb and Herbert's prize-Turning a
turtle-The turtle disappears- Cyrus Harding's explanation. I

CHAPTER II.
First trial of the canoe-A wreck on the coast-Towing-Flotsam
Point-Inventory of the case : tools, weapons, instruments,
clothes, books, utensils-What Pencroft misses-The Gospel
-A verse from the sacred book 15

CHAPTER III.
The start-The rising tide-Elms and different plants--The
jacamar-Aspect of the forest-Gigantic eucalypti-The
reason they are called "fever trees "-Troops of monkeys-A
water-fall-The night encampment 30

CHAPTER IV.
Journey to the coast-Troops of monkeys--A new river-The
reason the tide was not felt-A woody shore-Reptile promon-
tory-Herbert envies Gideon Spilett-Explosion of bamboos 45









xii CONTENTS.


CHAPTER V.
PAGH
Proposal to return by the southern shore-Configuration of the
coast-Searching for the supposed wreck-A wreck in the
air-Discovery of a small natural port-At midnight on the
banks of the Mercy-The canoe adrift 58

CHAPTER VI.
Pencroft's halloos-A night in the Chimneys-Herbert's arrows-
The captain's project-An unexpected explanation-What
has happened in Granite House-How a new servant enters
the service of the colonists .... 74

CHAPTER VII.
Plans-A bridge over the Mercy-Mode adopted for making an
island of Prospect Heights-The draw-bridge-Harvest-The
stream-The poultry-yard-A pigeon-house-The two onagas
-The cart-Excursion to Port Balloon .89

CHAPTER VIII.
Linen-Shoes of seal-leather-Manufacture of pyroxyle-Garden-
ing-Fishing Turtle-eggs-Improvement of Master Jup-
The corral-Musmon hunt-New animal and vegetable
possessions-Recollections of their native land 103

CHAPTER IX.
Bad weather-The hydraulic lift-Manufacture of glass-ware-The
bread-tree-Frequent visits to the corral-Increase of the
flock-The reporter's question-Exact position of Lincoln
Island-Pencroft's proposal .17

CHAPTER X.
Boat-building Secon1 crop of corn-Hunting koalas-A newplant,
more pleasant than useful-Whale in sight-A harpoon from
the vineyard-Cutting up the whale-Use for the bones-
End of the month of May-Pencroft has nothing left to wish
for ...........130









CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XI.
PAGE
Winter-Felling wood-The mill-Pencroft's fixed idea-The
bones-To what use an albatross may be put-Fuel for the
future-Top and Jup-Storms-Damage to the poultry-yard
-Excursion to the marsh-Cyrus Harding alone-Exploring
the well 143

CHAPTER XII.
The rigging of the vessel-An attack from foxes-Jup wounded-
Jup cured-Completion of the boat-Pencroft's triumph-The
Bonadventure's trial trip to the south of the island-An
unexpected document 60

CHAPTER XIII.
Departure decided upon-Conjectures-Preparations-The three
passengers-First night-Second night-Tabor Island-
Searching the shore-Searching the wood-No one-Animals
-Plants-A dwelling-Deserted 179

CHAPTER XIV.
The inventory-Night-A few letters-Continuation of the search
-Plants and animals- Herbert in great danger-On board-
The departure-Bad weather-A gleam of reason-Lost on
the sea-A timely light 194

CHAPTER XV.
The return-Discussion-Cyrus Harding and the stranger-Port
Balloon-The engineer's devotion-A touching incident-
Tears flow 210

CHAPTER XVI.
A mystery to be cleared up-The stranger's first words-Twelve
years on the islet-Avowal which escapes him-The disap-
pearance-Cyrus Harding's confidence-Construction of a
mill-The first bread-An act of devotion-Honest hands 224









xiv CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XVII.
PAGE
Still alone-The stranger's request-The farm established at the
corral-Twelve years ago-The boatswain's mate of the
Britannia"--Left on Tabor Island-Cyrus Harding's hand
-The mysterious document 12.I

CHAPTER XVIII.
Conversation-Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett-An idea of
the engineer's-The electric telegraph-The wires-The
battery-The alphabet-Fine season-Prosperity of the
colony-Photography-An appearance of snow-Two years
on Lincoln Island 257

CHAPTER XIX.
Recollections of their native land-Probable future-Project for
surveying the coasts of the island-Departure on the I6th of
April-Sea-view of Reptile End-The basaltic rocks of the
western coast-Bad weather-Night comes on-New incident 273

CHAPTER XX.
A night at sea-Shark Gulf-Confidences-Preparations for winter
-Forwardness of the bad season-Severe cold-Work in the
interior-In six months-A photographic negative-Unex-
pected incident. 288




















CONTENTS.



Vart Bffi.
THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND.


CHAPTER I.
PAGr
Lost or saved-Ayrton summoned-Important discussion-It is
not the Duncan"-Suspicious vessel-Precautions to be
taken-The ship approaches-A cannon-shot-The brig
anchors in sight of the island-Night comes on .

CHAPTER II.
Discussions-Presentiments-Ayrton's proposal-It is accepted-
Ayrton and Pencroft on Grant Islet-Convicts from Norfolk
Island-Ayrton's heroic attempt-His return-Six against
fifty .

CHAPTER III.
The mist rises-The engineer's preparations-Three posts-
Ayrton and Peacroft-The first boat-Two other boats-On
the islet-Six convicts land-The brig weighs anchor-The
"Speedy's" guns-A desperate situation-Unexpected catas-
trophe ... .. 33

CHAPTER IV.
The colonists on the beach-Ayrton and Pencroft work amid the
wreck-Conversation during breakfast-Pencroft's arguments









xvi CONTENTS.


PAGB
-Minute examination of the brig's hull-The powder-
magazine untouched-New riches-The last of the wreck-
A broken piece of cylinder 52

CHAPTER V.
The engineer's declaration-Pencroft's grand hypothesis-An
aerial battery-The four cannons-The surviving convicts-
Ayrton's hesitation-Cyrus Harding's generous sentiments-
Pencroft's regret .. 68

CHAPTER VI.
Expeditions planned-Ayrton at the corral-Visit to Port Balloon
-Pencroft's observations on board the Bonadventure"-
Despatch sent to the corral-No reply from Ayrton-Depar.
ture the next day-The reason why the wire did not work-
A report 82

CHAPTER VII.
The reporter and Pencroft in the corral-Herbert's wound-The
sailor's despair-Consultation between the reporter and the
engineer-Mode of treatment-Hope not abandoned-How is
Neb to be warned ?-A sure and faithful messenger-Neb's
reply .. 97

CHAPTER VIII.
The convicts in the neighbourhood of the corral-Provisional
establishment--Continuation of the treatment of Herbert-
Pencroft's first rejoicings-Conversation on past events-
What the future has in reserve-Cyrus Harding's ideas on
this subject Io1

CHAPTER IX.
No news of Neb-A proposal from Pencroft and the reporter,
which is not accepted-Several sorties by Gideon Spilett-A
rag of cloth-A message-Hasty departure-Arrival on the
plateau of Prospect Heights 117









CONTENTS.


CHAPTER X.
PAGK
Herbert carried to Granite House-Neb relates all that has hap-
pened-Harding's visit to the plateau-Ruin and devastation
-The colonists baffled by Herbert's illness-Willow bark-
A deadly fever-Top barks again 131

CHAPTER XI.
Inexplicable mystery-Herbert's convalescence-The parts of the
island to be explored-Preparations for departure-First day
-Night and second day-Kauries-A couple of Cassowaries
-Footprints in the forest-Arrival at Reptile Point 143

CHAPTER XII.
Exploration of the Serpentine Peninsula-Encampment at the
mouth of Falls River-Gideon Spilett and Pencroft recon-
noitre-Their return-Forward, all I-An open door-A
lighted window-By the light of the moon I 157

CHAPTER XIII.
Ayrton's story-Plans of his former accomplices-Their instal-
lation in the corral-The avenging justice of Lincoln Island
-The ".Bonadventure"-Researches around Mount Franklin
-The upper valleys-A subterranean volcano-Pencroft's
opinion-At the bottom of the crater-Return 72

CHAPTER XIV.
Three years have passed-The new vessel-What is agreed on-
Prosperity of the colony-The dockyard-Cold of the southern
hemisphere-Washing linen-Mount Franklin .189

CHAPTER XV.
The awakening of the volcano-The fine season-Continuation of
work-The evening of the 15th of October-A telegram-A
question-An answer-Departure for the corral-The notice
-The additional wire-The basalt coast-At high tide-At
low tide-The cavern-A dazzling light 204









CONTENTS.


CHAPTER XVI.
PAGE
Captain Nemo-His first words-The history of the recluse-His
adventures-His sentiments-His comrades-Submarine life
-Alone-The last refuge of the "Nautilus" in Lincoln Island
-The mysterious genius of the island 223

CHAPTER XVII.
Last moments of Captain Nemo-Wishes of the dying man-A
parting gift to his friends of a day-Captain Nemo's coffin-
Advice to the.colonists-The supreme moment-At the bottom
of the sea 238

CHAPTER XVIII.
Reflections of the colonists-Their labours of reconstruction re-
sumed-The ist of January, 1869-A cloud over the summit
of the volcano-First warnings of an eruption-Ayrton and
Cyrus Harding at the corral--Exploration of the Dakkar
Grotto-What Captain Nemo had confided to the engineer 251

CHAPTER XIX.
Cyrus Harding gives an account of his exploration-The con-
struction of the ship pushed forward-A last visit to the corral
-The battle between fire and water--All that remains of the
island-It is decided to launch the vessel-The night of the
8th of March 272

CHAPTER XX.
An isolated rock in the Pacific-The last refuge of the colonists
of Lincoln Island-Death their only prospect-Unexpected
succour-Why and how it arrives-A last kindness-An
island on terra firma-The tomb of Captain Prince Dakkar
Nemo 291


xviii


















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



D P art I.

DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


ENTRANCE TO GRANITE HOUSE
LAND AT LAST .
REPORTING UNDER FIRE .
A DARING PROPOSAL .
THE RENDEZVOUS .
WHERE IS THE ENGINEER?
NOT MUSSELS, BUT LITHODOMES
THE GRANITE CAVERN
ROCK-PIGEONS .
NEB'S DESPAIR .
A CHEERFUL FLAME SPRANG UP
IN THE FOREST .
FOWL-FISHING .
WATCHING THE STORM
IT MUST BE TOP .
DEAD OR ALIVE?.
BRING THE CAPTAIN'S LITTER !
THE RETURN WITH THE CAPTAIN
A FRUITLESS ATTEMPT


PAGE.
S Frontispiece
10
S14
S 20
23
S. 28
40
S 42
S* 49
57
S 61
68

.75
82
84
90
103
103
Io8


TOP ENGAGED IN A STRUGGLE WITH THE CAPYBARA
A WELCOME SIGHT .
PREPARING THE SUPPER .


. 118
120
. 122











LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN .
IT WAS THE MOUTH OF THE CRATER
SEA, SEA EVERYWHERE .
NAMING THE ISLAND .
TOWARDS TEN O'CLOCK THE LITTLE BAND DESCENDED
LAST DECLIVITIES OF MOUNT FRANKLIN
SMOKE! ..
BRICK-MAKING .
THE POTTERY .
THE SETTLERS TURNED WASHERWOMEN
CALCULATING THE HEIGHT OF THE CLIFF
AN INTERESTING SCIENTIFIC OPERATION


A SEAL HUNT .
PRIMITIVE BELLOWS .
A DISAGREEABLE RENCONTRE .
TOP'S STRANGE ADVENTURE .
HERE IS NITRO-GLYCERINE! .
PREPARING THE MINE .
AN EXCITING MOMENT .
EXPLORING THE CAVERN .
GRANITE HOUSE .
THE RABBIT WARREN
THERE WOULD NEVER BE ANY WANT OF WATER
ITE HOUSE .
LECTURE ON A GRAIN OF WHEAT
A WINTER EXPLORATION .


BEASTS WHICH ARE GOOD FOR NOTHING
THE CASCADE OF ICE. .
IT WAS A LEADEN BULLET .


S202
208
217
222
234
236
S237
S 243
248
262
AT GRAN-
S. 264


S 293
298
. 309


PAGB.
S128

132
S138
S146
THE

S155
156
S172
76
184
S187
S195
















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



part MH.
ABANDONED.

WAGS
Turning a turtle II
Flotsam and Jetsam .. 22
Unpacking the marvellous chest .. 24
Pencroft's superstition. 28
Is it tobacco ? .... 34
The halt for breakfast ...... 36
Denizens of the forest .. 47
The sea 50
At that moment a shot struck the jaguar between the eyes, and it
fell dead ... 56
" Now there's something to explain the bullet I" exclaimed Pencroft 66
A wreck in the air 68
There was no longer a ladder 73
The invaders of Granite House .. 80
Capturing the orang .. 86
Engaging the new servant 88
Building the bridge 94
Pencroft's scarecrows .... 96
The settlers' new shirts. 104
Jup passed most of his time in the kitchen, trying to imitate Neb Io9
Pencroft to the rescue 118
The glass-blowers 24
The verandah on the edge of Prospect Heights 27
The dockyard. 131









xxii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGN
A valuable prize .. 137
Pencroft has nothing left to wish for .. 142
The messenger ..... 149
Winter evenings in Granite House ... 150
He saw nothing suspicious .. 158
Top visiting the invalid .. 168
The trial trip .174
" Luff, Pencroft, luff !" .. .178
The departure .. 182
Nearing the island 186
A hut! .. 193
Herbert in danger .. 201
Alight! alight! 209
"'Poor fellow" murmured the engineer .. 213
The experiment. 222
"Who are you ?" he asked in a hollow voice 226
The stranger.. 227
"Now for a good wind" 236
He seized the jaguar's throat with one powerful hand 238
The stranger's story 246
"Here is my hand "laid the engineer .256
The engineer at work. .264
Jup sitting for his portrait 270
The snowy sheet rose and dispersed in the air 271
Another mystery 287
Returning from a sporting excursion 301
The photographic negative 303
















LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



Tart HE S.
THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND.


PAGL
Death of Captain Nemo .. Frontisiece.
A sail in sight .. 8
"The black flag !" he exclaimed. .. 12
Ayrton hoisting himself on to the cutwater 22
Ayrton boards the pirate 23
What are you doing here ?" ... 29
He leapt over the bulwarks into the sea 30
Ayrton and Pencroft waited till they were within range 39
The chimneys attacked .. 50
The brig, raised on a water-spout, split in two 51
That is what I have been, Pencroft" .. 55
In the hold of the pirate brig 62
"This cylinder is all that remains of a torpedo !" 67
Pencroft polishing the guns 76
At work on the plateau. 84
The telegraph-post thrown.down 94
Herbert shot ..... 96
Pencroft's alarm for Herbert .. 99
Pencroft watching over Herbert 104
Top despatched with a message to Neb. o8
Spilett and Top reconnoitring .. 122
Starting from the corral o 127
Herbert on the lift 132
Sulphate of quinine I .. 142
The convalescent. 140









xxiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


PAGR
The last to leave Granite House 15
On watch in the forest 153
Spilett and Pencroft approach the corral 164
Five corpses stretched on the bank 171
" Dead !" cried Ayrton 175
The cavern in the mountain 18
Searching for the genius of the island .. 183
They visited the gulf 187
Gideon Spilett wants a newspaper .200
Watching the summit of Mount Franklin 204
The colonists remained silently crouching in a deep hollow 217
Entering the mysterious cavern 219
Discovery of the "Nautilus" 221
First interview with the genius of the island 222
The great unknown relates his history 227
Last moments of Captain Nemo 246
Sinking of the "Nautilus" .250
Listening to the rumbling of the volcano 258
Cyrus Harding watching the eruption 266
The volcano wall in Dakkar Grotto 271
The colonists took shelter in the borders of Jacamar Wood 279
The torrent precipitated itself into Lake Grant 281
The explosion .290
The"Duncan" 294



















DROPPED


FROM THE CLOUDS.






































































ENTRANCE TO GRANITE HOUSE.


















DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.



CHAPTER I.

THE STORM OF 1865-VOICES IN THE AIR-A BALLOON
CARRIED AWAY BY A WHIRLWIND-FIVE PASSEN-
GERS-WHAT HAPPENED IN THE CAR

"ARE we rising again ?" "No. On the contrary." "Are
we descending?" "Worse than that, captain we are
falling!" "For Heaven's sake heave out the ballast I"
"There the last sack is empty!" "Does the balloon
rise?" "No!" "I hear a noise like the dashing of
waves The sea is below the car! It cannot be more
than 500 feet from us I" "Overboard with every weight
.... everythingI"
Such were the loud and startling words which resounded
through the air, above the vast watery desert of the Pacific,
about four o'clock in the evening of the 23rd of March,
1865.
Few can possibly have forgotten the terrible storm from


~ ~p~~et~r~s~x~a ~~p~








2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the north-east, in the middle of the equinox of that year.
The tempest raged without intermission from the 18th to
the 26th of March. Its ravages were terrible in America,
Europe, and Asia, covering a distance of eighteen hundred
miles and extending obliquely to the equator from the
thirty-fifth north parallel to the fortieth south parallel.
Towns were overthrown, forests uprooted, coasts devas-
tated by the mountains of water which were precipitated
on them, vessels cast on the shore, which the published
accounts numbered by hundreds, whole districts levelled
by waterspouts which destroyed everything they passed
over, several thousand people crushed on land or drowned
at sea ; such were the traces of its fury, left by this devas-
tating tempest. It surpassed in disasters those which
so frightfully ravaged Havannah and Guadaloupe, one on
the 25th of October, 18Io, the other on the 26th of July,
1825.
But while so many catastrophes were taking place on
land and at sea, a drama not less exciting was being
enacted in the agitated air.
In fact, a balloon, as a ball might be carried on the
summit of a waterspout, had been taken into the circling
movement of a column of air and had traversed space at.
the rate of ninety miles an hour, turning round and round
as if seized by some aerial maelstrom.
Beneath the lower point of the balloon, swung a car,








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


containing five passengers, scarcely visible in.the midst of
the thick vapour mingled with spray which hung over the
surface of the ocean.
Whence, it may be asked, had come that plaything of
the tempest? From what part of the world did it rise ?
It surely could not have started during the storm. But
the storm has raged five days already, and the first symp-
toms were manifested on the I8th. It cannot be doubted
that the balloon came from a great distance, for it could
not have travelled less than two thousand miles in twenty-
four hours.
At any rate the passengers, destitute of all marks bor
their guidance, could not have possessed the means of
reckoning the route traversed since their departure. It was
a remarkable fact that, although in the very midst of the
furious tempest, they did not suffer from it. They were
thrown about and whirled round and round without feeling
the rotation in the slightest degree, or being sensible that
they were removed from a horizontal position.
Their eyes could not pierce through the thick mist which
had gathered beneath the car. Dark vapour was all around
them. Such was the density of the atmosphere that they
could not be certain whether it was day or night. No
reflection o, light, no sound from inhabited land, no roaring
of the-ocean could have reached them, through the obscu-
rity, whilst suspended in those elevated zones. Their rapid








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


descent alone had informed them of the dangers which
they ran from the waves. However, the balloon, lightened
of heavy articles, such as ammunition, arms, and provisions,
had risen into the higher layers of the atmosphere, to a
height of 4500 feet. The voyagers, after having discovered
that the sea extended beneath them, and thinking the
dangers above less dreadful than those below, did not hesi-
tate to throw overboard even their most useful articles.
while they endeavoured to lose no more of that fluid, the
life of their enterprise, which sustained them above the
abyss.
The night passed in the midst of alarms which would
have been death to less energetic souls. Again the day
appeared and with it the tempest began to moderate.
From the beginning of that day, the 24th of March, it
showed symptoms of abating. At dawn, some of the
lighter clouds had risen into the more lofty regions of the
air. In a few hours the wind had changed from a hurricane
to a fresh breeze, that is to say, the rate of the transit of
the atmospheric layers was diminished by half. It was
still what sailors call "a close-reefed topsail breeze," but
the commotion in the elements had not the less conside-
rably diminished.
Towards eleven o'clock, the lower region of the air was
sensibly clearer. The atmosphere threw off that chilly
dampness which is felt after the passage of a great meteor








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


rhe storm did not seem to have gone further to the west.
It appeared to have exhausted itself. Could it have passed
away in electric sheets, as is sometimes the case with regard
to the typhoons of the Indian Ocean ?
But at the same time, it was also evident that the balloon
was again slowly descending with a regular movement. It
appeared as if it were, little by little, collapsing, and that its
case was lengthening and extending, passing from a sphe-
rical to an oval form. Towards mid-day the balloon was
hovering above the sea at a height of only 2000 feet. It
contained 50,000 cubic feet of gas, and, thanks to its capa-
city, it could maintain itself a long time in the air, although
it should reach a great altitude or might be thrown into a
horizontal position.
Perceiving their danger, the passengers cast away the last
articles which-still weighed down the car, the few provisions
they had kept, everything, even to their pocket-knives, and
one of them, having hoisted himself on to the circles which
united the cords of the net, tried to secure more firmly the
lower point of the balloon.
It was, however, evident to the voyagers that the gas
was failing, and that the balloon could no longer be
sustained in the higher regions. They must infallibly
perish I
There was not a continent, nor even an island. visible
beneath them. The watery expanse did not present a








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


single speck of land, not a solid surface upon which their
anchor cold hold.
It was the open sea, whose waves were still dashing with
tremendous violence It was the ocean, without any visi-
ble limits, even for those whose gaze, from their command-
ing position, extended over a radius of forty miles. The
vast liquid plain, lashed without mercy by the storm,
appeared as if covered with herds of furious chargers,
whose white and dishevelled crests were streaming in the
wind. No land was in sight, not a solitary ship could be
seen. It was necessary at any cost to arrest their down-
ward course, and to prevent the balloon from being engulfed
in the waves. The voyagers directed all their energies to
this urgent work. But, notwithstanding their efforts, the
balloon still fell, it was also suddenly overthrown, following
the direction of the wind, that is to say, from the north-
east to the south-west.
Frightful indeed was the situation of these unfortunate
men. They were evidently no longer masters of the
machine. All their attempts were useless. The case o,
the balloon collapsed more and more. The gas escaped
without any possibility of retaining it. Their descent was
visibly accelerated, and soon after mid-day the car hung
within 6oo feet of the ocean.
It was impossible to prevent the escape of gas, which
rushed through a large rent in the silk. By lightening the








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 7

car of all the articles which it contained, the passengers
had been able to prolong their suspension in .the air for a
few hours. But the inevitable catastrophe could only be
retarded, and if land did not appear before night, voyagers,
car, and balloon must to a certainty vanish beneath the
waves.
They now resorted to the only remaining expedient.
They were truly dauntless men, who knew how to look
death in the face. Not a single murmur escaped from
their lips. They were determined to struggle to.the last
minute, to do anything to retard their fall. The car was
only a sort of willow basket, unable to float, and there was
not the slightest possibility of maintaining it on the surface
of the sea.
Two-more hours passed and the balloon was, scarcely
400 feet above the water.
At that moment a loud voice, the voice of a man whose
heart was inaccessible to fear, was heard. To this voice
responded others not less determined. "Is everything
thrown out?" "No, here are still 2000 dollars in gold."
A heavy bag immediately plunged into the sea. "Does
the balloon rise ?" "A little, but it will not be long before
it falls again." "What still remains to be thrown out?"
"Nothing." "Yes! the car "Let us catch hold of the
net, and into the sea with the car."
This was, in fact, the last and only mode of lightening








8 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the balloon. The ropes which held the car were cut, and
the balloon, after its fall, mounted 2000 feet.
The five voyagers had hoisted themselves into the net,
and clung to the meshes, gazing at the abyss.
The delicate sensibility of balloons is well known. It is
sufficient to throw out the lightest article to produce a
difference in its vertical position. The apparatus in the
air is like a balance of mathematical precision. It can be
thus easily understood that when it is lightened of any
considerable weight its movement will be impetuous and
sudden. So it happened on this occasion. But after being
suspended for an instant aloft, the balloon began to
redescend, the gas escaping by the rent which it was
impossible to repair.
The men had done all that men could do. No human
efforts could save them now. They must trust to the
mercy of Him who rules the elements.
At four o'clock the 'balloon was only 5oo feet above the
surface of the water.
A loud barking was heard. A dog accompanied the
voyagers, and was held pressed close to. his master in the
meshes of the net.
"Top has seen something," cried one of the men. Then
immediately a loud voice shouted,-
"Land! land !" The balloon, which the wind still drove
towards the south-west, had since daybreak gone a con-








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


siderable distance, which might be reckoned by hundreds
of miles, and a tolerably high land had, in fact, appeared
in that direction. But this land was still thirty miles off.
It would not take less than an hour to get to it, and then
there was the chance of falling to leeward.
An hour! Might not the balloon before that be emptied
of all the fluid it yet retained ?
Such was the terrible question The voyagers could
distinctly see that solid spot which they must reach at any
cost. They were ignorant of what it was, whether an
island or a continent, for they did not know to what part
of the world the hurricane had driven them. But they
must reach this land, whether inhabited or desolate,
whether hospitable or not.
It was evident that the balloon could no longer support
itself! Several times already had the crests of the
enormous billows licked the bottom of the net, making it
still heavier, and the balloon only half rose, like a bird
with a wounded wing. Half an hour later the land was
not more than a mile off, but the balloon, exhausted,
flabby, hanging in great folds, had gas in its upper part
alone. The voyagers, clinging to the net, were still too
heavy for it, and soon, half plunged in the sea, they were
beaten by the furious waves. The balloon-case bulged out
again, and the wind, taking it, drove it along like a vessel
Might it not possibly thus reach the land?








10 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

But, when only two fathoms off, terrible cries resounded
from four pairs of lungs at once. The balloon, which had
appeared as if it would never again rise, suddenly made an
unexpected bound, after having been struck by a tre-
mendous sea. As if it had been at that instant relieved of
a new part of its weight, it mounted to a height of 15oo
feet, and there it met a current of wind, which instead of
taking it directly to the coast, carried it in a nearly parallel
direction.
At last, two minutes later, it reapproached obliquely, and
finally fell on a sandy beach, out of the reach of the waves.
The voyagers, aiding each other, managed to disengage
themselves from the meshes of the net. The balloon,
relieved from their weight, was taken by the wind, and like
a wounded bird which revives for an instant, disappeared
into space.
But the car had contained, five passengers, with a dog,
and the balloon only left four on the shore.
The missing person had evidently been swept off by the
sea, which had just struck the net, and it was owing to this
circumstance that the lightened balloon rose the last time,
and then soon after reached the land. Scarcely had the
four castaways set foot on firm ground, than they all,
thinking of the absent one, simultaneously exclaimed,
"Perhaps he will try to swim to land I Let us save him I
let us save him!"












































































LAND AT LAST.


Page to.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


CHAPTER II.

AN INCIDENT IN THE WAR OF SECESSION-THE EN-
GINEER CYRUS HARDING-GIDEON SPILETT-THE
NEGRO NEB-PENCROFT THE SAILOR-THE NIGHT
RENDEZVOUS-DEPARTURE IN TIE STORM.

THOSE whom the hurricane had just thrown on this coast
were neither aeronauts by profession nor amateurs. They
were prisoners of war whose boldness had induced them to
escape in this extraordinary manner.
A hundred times they had almost perished A hundred
times had they almost fallen from their torn balloon into
the depths of the ocean. But Heaven had reserved them
for a strange destiny, and after having, on the 20th of
March, escaped from Richmond, besieged by the troops of
General Ulysses Grant, they found themselves seven thou-
sand miles from the capital of Virginia, which was the
principal stronghold of the south, during the terrible war of
Secession. Their aerial voyage had lasted five days.








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


The curious circumstances which led to the escape of the
prisoners were as follows:-
That same year, in the month of February, 1865, in one
of the coups-de-main by which General Grant attempted,
though in vain, to possess himself of Richmond, several of
his officers fell into the power of the enemy and were
detained in the town. One of the most distinguished was
Captain Cyrus Harding. He was a native of Massachu-
setts, a first-class engineer, to whom the government had
confided, during the war, the direction of the railways,
which were so important at that time. A true Northerner,
thin, bony, lean, about forty-five years of age; his close-
cut hair and his beard, of which he only kept a thick
moustache, were already getting grey. He had one of
those finely-developed heads which appear made to be
struck on a medal, piercing eyes, a serious mouth, the
physiognomy of a clever man of the military school. He
was one of those engineers who began by handling the
hammer and pickaxe, like generals who first act as common
soldiers. Besides mental power, he also possessed great
manual dexterity. His muscles exhibited remarkable
proofs of tenacity. A man of action as well as a man of
thought, all he did was without effort to one of his vigorous
and sanguine temperament. Learned, clear-headed, and
practical, he fulfilled in all emergencies those three con-
ditions which united ought to insure human success,-








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


activity of mind and body, impetuous wishes, and powerful
will. He might have taken for his motto that of William
of Orange in the 17th century: "I can undertake and
persevere even without hope of success." Cyrus Harding
was courage personified. He had been in all the battles ot
that war. After having begun as a volunteer at Illinois,
under Ulysses Grant, he fought at Paduah, Belmont, Pitts-
burg Landing, at the siege of Corinth, Port Gibson, Black
River, Chatanoga, Wilderness, Potomac, everywhere and
valiantly, a soldier worthy of the general who said, "I
never count my dead I" And hundreds of times Captain
Harding had almost been among those who were not
counted by the terrible Grant; but in these combats where
he never spared himself, fortune favoured him till the
moment when he was wounded and taken prisoner on the
field of battle near Richmond. At the same time and on
the same day another important personage fell into the
hands of the Southerners. This was no other than Gideon
Spilett, a reporter for the New York Herald, who had been
ordered to follow the changes of the war in the midst of
the northern armies.
Gideon Spilett was one of that race of indomitable
English or American chroniclers, like Stanley and others,
who stop at nothing to obtain exact information, and
transmit it to their journal in the shortest possible time.
The newspapers of the Union, such as the New York








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


Herald, are formed of actual powers, and their reporters
are their representatives. Gideon Spilett ranked among
the first of those reporters: a man of great merit, energetic,
prompt and ready for anything, full of ideas, having
travelled over the whole world, soldier and artist, enthu-
siastic in council, resolute in action, caring neither for
trouble, fatigue, nor danger, when in pursuit of information,
for himself first, and then for his journal, a perfect treasury
of knowledge on all sorts of curious subjects, of the
unpublished, of the unknown, and of the impossible. He
was one of those intrepid observers who write under fire,
"reporting" amongst bullets, and to whom every danger
is welcome.
He also had been in all the battles, in the first rank,
revolver in one hand, note-book in the other; grape-shot
never made his pencil tremble. He did not fatigue the
wires with incessant telegrams, like those who speak when
they have nothing to say, but each of his notes, short,
decisive, and clear, threw light on some important point.
Besides, he was not wanting in humour. It was he who, after
the affair of the Black River, determined at any cost to
keep his place at the wicket of the telegraph office, and
after having announced to his journal the result o0 the battle,
telegraphed for two hours the first chapters of the Bible.
It cost the New York Herald two thousand dollars, but
the New York Herald published the first intelligence.






































































REPORTING UNDER FIRE.


Page 14.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


Gideon Spilett was tall. He was rather more than forty
years of age. Light whiskers bordering on red surrounded
his face. His eye was steady, lively, rapid in its changes.
It was the eye of a man accustomed to take in at a glance
all the details of a scene. Well built, he was inured to all
climates, like a bar of steel hardened in cold water.
For ten years Gideon Spilett had been the reporter of
the New York Herald, which he enriched by his letters and
drawings, for he was as skilful in the use of the pencil as of
the pen. When he was captured, he was in the act of
making a description and sketch of the battle. The last
words in his note-book were these: "A Southern rifleman
has just taken aim at me, but-" The Southerner riot-
withstanding missed Gideon Spilett, who, with his usual
fortune, came out of this affair without a scratch.
Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett, who did not know
each other except by reputation, had both been carried to
Richmond. The engineer's wounds rapidly healed, and it
was during his convalescence that he made acquaintance
with the reporter. The two men then learned to appreciate
each other. Soon their common aim had but one object,
that of escaping, rejoining Grant's army, and fighting
together in the ranks of the Federals.
The two Americans had from the first determined to
seize every chance; but although they were allowed to
wander at liberty in the town, Richmond was so strictly








r6 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

guarded, that escape appeared impossible. In the mean-
while Captain Harding was rejoined by a servant who was
devoted to him in life and in death. This intrepid fellow
was a negro born on the engineer's estate, of a slave father
and mother, but to whom Cyrus, who was an Abolitionist
from conviction and heart, had long since given his
freedom. The once slave, though free, would not leave his
master. He would have died for him. He was a man of
about thirty, vigorous, active, clever, intelligent, gentle,
and calm, sometimes naive, always merry, obliging, and
honest His name was Nebuchadnezzar, but he only
answered to the familiar abbreviation of Neb.
When Neb heard that his master had been made
prisoner, he left Massachusetts without hesitating an
instant, arrived before Richmond, and by dint of stratagem
and shrewdness, after having risked his life twenty times
over, managed to penetrate into the besieged town. The
pleasure of Harding on seeing his servant, and the joy of
Neb at finding his master, can scarcely be described.
But though Neb had been able to make his way into
Richmond, it was quite another thing to get out again, for
the Northern prisoners were very strictly watched. Some
extraordinary opportunity was needed to make the attempt
with any chance of success, and this opportunity not only
did not present itself, but was very difficult to find.
Meanwhile Grant continued his energetic operations.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


The victory of Petersburg had been very dearly bought.
His forces, united to those of Butler, had as yet been
unsuccessful before Richmond, and nothing gave the
prisoners any hope of a speedy deliverance.
The reporter, to whom his tedious captivity did not offer
a single incident worthy of note, could stand it no longer
His usually active mind was occupied with one sole
thought-how he might get out of Richmond at any cost.
Several times had he even made the attempt, but was
stopped by some insurmountable obstacle. However, the
siege continued; and if the prisoners were anxious to
escape and join Grant's army, certain of the besieged were
no less anxious to join the Southern forces. Amongst
them was one Jonathan Forster, a determined South-
erner. The truth was, that if the prisoners of the Seces-
sionists could not leave the town, neither could the
Secessionists themselves while the Northern army invested
it. The Governor of Richmond for a long time had
been unable to communicate with General Lee, and he
very much wished to make known to him the situation of
the town, so as to hasten the march of the army to their
relief. This Jonathan Forster accordingly conceived the
idea of rising in a balloon, so as to pass over the besieging
lines, and in that way reach the Secessionist camp.
The Governor authorized the attempt. A balloon was
manufactured and placed at the disposal of Forster, who








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


was to be accompanied by five other persons. They were
furnished with arms in case they might have to defend
themselves when they alighted, and provisions in the event
of their aerial voyage being prolonged.
The departure of the balloon was fixed for the I8th of
March. It should be effected during the night, with a
north-west wind of moderate force, and the aeronauts calcu-
lated that they would reach General Lee's camp in a few
hours.
But this north-west wind was not a simple breeze. From
the I8th it was evident that it was changing to a hurricane.
The tempest soon became such that Forster's departure'
was deferred, for it was impossible to risk the balloon
and those whom it carried in the midst of the furious
elements.
The balloon, inflated on the great square of Richmond,
was ready to depart on the first abatement of the wind,
and, as may be supposed, the impatience among the
besieged to see the storm moderate was very great.
The 18th, the 19th of March passed without any altera-
tion in the weather. There was even great difficulty in
keeping the balloon fastened to the ground, as the squalls
dashed it furiously about.
The night of the 19th passed, but the next morning the
storm blew with redoubled force. The departure of the
balloon was impossible.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


On that day the engineer, Cyrus Harding, was accosted
in one of the streets of Richmond by a person whom he did
not in the least know. This was a sailor named Pencroft,
a man of about thirty-five or forty years of age, strongly
built, very sunburnt, and possessed of a pair of bright
sparkling eyes and a remarkably good physiognomy.
Pencroft was an American from the North, who had sailed
all the ocean over, and who had gone through every
possible and almost impossible adventure that a being
with two feet and no wings could encounter. It is need-
less to say that he was a bold, dashing fellow, ready to
dare anything and was astonished at nothing. Pencroft
at the beginning of the year had gone to Richmond on
business, with a young boy of fifteen from New Jersey,
son of a former captain, an orphan, whom he loved as if he
had been his own child. Not having been able to leave
the town before the first operations of the siege, he found
himself shut up, to his great disgust; but, not accustomed
to succumb to difficulties, he resolved to escape by some
means or other. He knew the engineer-officer by reputa-
tion; he knew with what impatience that determined man
chafed under his restraint. On this day he did not,
therefore, hesitate to accost him, saying, without circum-
locution, Have you had enough of Richmond, captain ?"
The engineer looked fixedly at the man who spoke, and
who added, in a low voice,-
C2








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


Captain Harding, will you try to escape ?"
"When?" asked the engineer quickly, and it was
evident that this question was uttered without considera-
tion, for he had not yet examined the stranger who
addressed him. But after having with a penetrating eye
observed the open face of the sailor, he was convinced that
he had before him an honest man.
Who are you ?" he asked briefly.
Pencroft made himself known.
"Well," replied Harding, "and in what way do you
propose to escape ?"
"By that lazy balloon which is left there doing nothing,
and which looks to me as if it was waiting on purpose for
us-"
There was no necessity for the sailor to finish his
sentence. The engineer understood him at once. He
seized Pencroft by the arm, and dragged him to his house.
There the sailor developed his project, which was indeed
extremely simple. They risked nothing but their lives in
its execution. The hurricane was in all its violence, it is
true, but so clever and daring an engineer as Cyrus
Harding, knew perfectly well how to manage a balloon.
Had he himself been as well acquainted with the art of
sailing in the air as he was with the navigation of a ship,
Pencroft would not have hesitated to set out, of course
making his young friend Herbert with him; for, accustomed








































































A DARING PROPOSAL.
Pafg 20.








DROPPED FROM TIE CLOUDS.


to brave the fiercest tempests of the ocean, he was not to
be hindered on account of the hurricane.
Captain Harding had listened to the sailor without
saying a word, but his eyes shone with satisfaction. Here
was the long-sought-for opportunity,-he was not a man
to let it pass. The plan was feasible, though, it must be
confessed, dangerous in the extreme. In the night, in
spite of their guards, they might approach the balloon, slip
into the car, and then cut the cords which held it. There
was no doubt that they might be killed, but on the other
hand they might succeed, and without this storm!-
Without this storm the balloon would have started already,
and the looked-for opportunity would not have then
presented itself.
"I am not alone!" said Harding at last.
How many people do you wish to bring with you ?"
asked the sailor.
"Two; my friend Spilett, and my servant Neb."
"That will be three," replied Pencroft; "and with
Herbert and me five. But the balloon will hold six-"
"That will be enough, we will go," answered Harding
in a firm voice.
This "we" included Spilett, for the reporter, as his
friend well knew, was not a man to draw back, and when'
the project was communicated to him he approved of it
unreservedly. What astonished him was, that so simple








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


an idea had not occurred to him before. As to Neb,
he followed his master wherever his master wished
to go.
"This evening, then," said Pencroft, "we will all meet
out there."
"This evening, at ten o'clock," replied Captain Harding;
"and Heaven grant that the storm does not abate before
our departure."
Pencroft took leave of the two friends, and returned to
his lodging, where young Herbert Brown had remained.
The courageous boy knew of the sailor's plan, and it was
not without anxiety that he awaited the result of the
proposal being made to the engineer. Thus five deter-
mined persons were about to abandon themselves to the
mercy of the tempestuous elements
No! the storm did not abate, and neither Jonathan
Forster nor his companions dreamt of confronting it in that
frail car.
It would be a terrible journey. The engineer only feared
one thing, it was that the balloon, held to the ground and
dashed about by the wind, would be torn into shreds. For
several hours he roamed round the nearly-deserted square,
surveying the apparatus. Pencroft did the same on his side,
his hands ini his pockets, yawning now and then like a man
who did not know how to kill the time, but really dreading,
like his friend, either the escape or destruction of the balloon.






































































THE RENDEZVOUS.
Page 23.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


Evening arrived. The night was dark in the extreme.
Thick mists passed like clouds close to the ground. Rain
fell mingled with snow. It was very cold. A mist hung
over Richmond. It seemed as if the violent storm had
produced a truce between the besiegers and the besieged,
and that the cannon were silenced by the louder detona-
tions of the storm. The streets of the town were deserted.
It had not even appeared necessary in that horrible weather
to place a guard in the square, in the midst of which
plunged the balloon. Everything favoured the departure
of the prisoners, but what might possibly be the termina-
tion of the hazardous voyage they contemplated in the
midst of the furious elements ?-
"Dirty weather!" exclaimed Pencroft, fixing his hat
firmly on his head with a blow of his fist; "but pshaw, we
shall succeed all the same! "
At half-past nine, Harding and his companions glided
from different directions into the square, which the gas-
lamps, extinguished by the wind, had left in total obscurity.
Even the enormous balloon, almost beaten to the ground,
could not be seen. Independently of the sacks of ballast,
to which the cords of the net were fastened, the car was
held by a strong cable passed through a ring in the pave-
ment. The five prisoners met by the car. They had not
been perceived, and such was the darkness that they could
not even see each other.








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


Without speaking a word, Harding, Spilett, Neb, and
Herbert, took their places in the car, whilst Pencroft by the
engineer's order detached successively the bags of ballast.
It was the work of a few minutes only, and the sailor rejoined
his companions.
The balloon was then only held by the cable, and the
engineer had nothing to do but to give the word.
At that moment a dog sprang with a bound into the car.
It was Top, a favourite of the engineer. The faithful
creature, having broken his chain, had followed his master.
He, however, fearing that its additional weight might im-
pede their ascent, wished to send away the animal.
One more will make but little difference, poor beast !"
exclaimed Pencroft, heaving out two bags of sand, and as
he spoke letting go the cable; the balloon ascending in an
oblique direction, disappeared, after having dashed the car
against two chimneys, which it threw down as it swept by
them.
Then, indeed, the full rage of the hurricane was exhibited
to the voyagers. During the night the engineer could not
dream of descending, and when day broke, even a glimpse
of the earth below was intercepted by fog.
Five days had passed when a partial clearing allowed
them to see the wide extending ocean beneath their feet,
now lashed into the maddest fury by the gale.
Our readers will recollect what befell these five daring








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 25

individuals who set out on their hazardous expedition in the
balloon on the 20th of March. Five days afterwards four of
them were thrown on a desert coast, seven thousand miles
from their country I But one of their number was missing,
the man who was to be their guide, their leading spirit,
the engineer, Captain Harding! The instant they had
recovered their feet, they all hurried to the beach in the
hopes of rendering him assistance.'

I On the 5th of April Richmond fell into the hands of Grant; the
revolt of the Secessionists was suppressed, Lee retreated to the West,
and the cause of the Federals triumphed.








26 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


CHAPTER III.

FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE EVENING-THE MISSING ONE-
NEB'S DESPAIR-SEARCH TOWARDS THE NORTH-
THE ISLET-A DREADFUL NIGHT-A FOG IN THE
MORNING-NEB SWIMS-SIGHT OF LAND-FORDING
THE CHANNEL

THE engineer, the meshes of the net having given way,
had been carried off by a wave. His dog also had dis-
appeared. The faithful animal had voluntarily leaped out
to help his master. Forward," cried the reporter; and all
four, Spilett, Herbert, Pencroft, and Neb, forgetting their
fatigue, began their search. Poor Neb shed bitter tears,
giving way to despair at the thoughts of having lost the
only being he loved on earth.
Only two minutes had passed from the time when Cyrus
Harding disappeared to the moment when his companions
set foot on the ground. They had hopes therefore of arriving








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


in time to save him. Let us look for him I let us look for
him I" cried Neb. \
"Yes, Neb," replied Gideon Spilett, "and we will find
him too !"
"'Living, I trust!"
"Still living !"
"Can he swim ?" asked Pencroft.
SYes," replied Neb, and besides, Top is there."
The sailor, observing the heavy surf on the shore, shook
his head.
The engineer had disappeared to the north of the shore,
and nearly half a mile from the place where the castaways
had landed. The nearest point of the beach he could
reach was thus fully that distance off.
It was then nearly six o'clock. A thick fog made the
night very dark. The castaways proceeded towards,the
north of the land on which chance had thrown them, an
unknown region, the geographical situation of which they
could not even guess. They were walking upon a sandy
soil, mingled with stones, which appeared destitute of any
sort of vegetation. The ground, very unequal and rough,
was in some places perfectly riddled with holes, making
walking extremely painful. From these holes escaped
every minute great birds of clumsy flight, which flew in all
directions. Others, more active, rose in flocks and passed
in clouds over their heads. The sailor thought he








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


recognized gulls and cormorants, whose shrill cries rose
above the roaring of the sea.
From time to time the castaways stopped and shouted,
then listened for some response from the ocean, for they
thought that if the engineer had landed, and they had been
near to the place, they would have heard the barking of
the dog Top, even should Harding himself have been
unable to give any sign of existence. They stopped to
listen, but no sound arose above the roaring of the waves
and the dashing of the surf. The little band then continued
their march forward, searching into every hollow of the
shore.
After walking for twenty minutes, the four. castaways
were suddenly brought to a standstill by the sight
of foaming billows close to their feet. The solid ground
ended here. They found themselves at the extremity of a
sharp point on which the sea broke furiously.
"It is a promontory," said the sailor; "we must retrace
our steps, holding towards the right, and we shall thus gain
the mainland."
"But if he is there," said Neb, pointing to the ocean,
whose waves shone of a snowy white in the darkness.
"Well, let us call again," and all uniting their voices, they
gave a vigorous shout, but there came no reply. They
waited for a lull, then began again; still no reply.
The castaways accordingly returned, following the oppo-







































































WRIEK. IS THE ENGINEER?


Pafe 28.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


site side of the promontory, over a soil equally sandy and
rugged. However, Pencroft observed that the shore was
more equal, that the ground rose, and he declared that it
was joined by a long slope to a hill, whose massive front he
thought that he could see looming indistinctly through the
mist. The birds were less numerous on this part of the
shore; the sea was also less tumultuous, and they observed
that the agitation of the waves was diminished. The noise
of the surf was scarcely heard. This side of the promontory
evidently formed a semi-circular bay, which the sharp point
sheltered from the breakers of the open sea. But to
follow this direction was to go south, exactly opposite to
that part of the coast where Harding might have landed.
After a walk of a mile and a half, the shore presented no
curve which would permit them to return to the north.
This promontory, of which they had turned the point, must
be attached to the mainland. The castaways, although their
strength was nearly exhausted, still marched courageously
forward, hoping every moment to meet with a sudden angle
which would set them in the first direction. What was
their disappointment, when, after trudging nearly two
miles, having reached an elevated point composed ot
slippery rocks, they found themselves again stopped by the
sea.
"We are on an islet," said Pencroft," and we have sur-
veyed it from one extremity to the other."








30 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

The sailor was right; they had been thrown, not on
a continent, not even on an island, but on an islet which
was not more than two miles in length, with even a less
breadth.
Was this barren spot the desolate refuge of sea-birds,
strewn with stones and destitute of vegetation, attached to
a more important archipelago ? It was impossible to say.
When the voyagers from their car saw the land through
the mist, they had not been able to reconnoitre it sufficiently.
However, Pencroft, accustomed with his sailor eyes to pierce
through the gloom, was almost certain that he could clearly
distinguish in the west confused masses which indicated an
elevated coast. But they could not in the dark determine
whether it was a single island, or connected with others.
They could not leave it either, as the sea surrounded them;
they must therefore put off till the next day their search for
the engineer, from whom, alas! not a single cry had reached
them to show that he was still in existence.
"The silence of our friend proves nothing," said the
reporter. "Perhaps he has fainted or is wounded, and
unable to reply directly, so we will not despair."
The reporter then proposed to light a fire on a point of
the islet, which would serve as a signal to the engineer.
But they searched in vain for wood or dry brambles;
nothing but sand and stones were to be found. The grief
of Neb and his companions, who were all strongly attached








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


to the intrepid Harding, can be better pictured than de-
scribed. It was too evident that they were powerless to
help him. They must wait with what patience they could
for daylight. Either the engineer had been able to save
himself, and had already found a refuge on some point of
the coast, or he was lost for ever I The long and painful
hours passed by. The cold was intense. The castaways
suffered cruelly, but they scarcely perceived it. They did
not even think of taking a minute's rest. Forgetting every-
thing but their chief, hoping or wishing to hope on, they
continued to walk up and down on this sterile spot, always
returning to its northern point, where they could approach
nearest to the scene of the catastrophe. They listened,
they called, and then uniting their voices, they endeavoured
to raise even a louder shout than before, which would be
transmitted to a great distance. The wind had now fallen
almost to a calm, and the noise of the sea began also to
subside. One of Neb's shouts even appeared to produce
an echo. Herbert directed Pencroft's attention to it, add-
ing, "That proves that there is a coast to the west, at no
great distance." The sailor nodded; besides, his eyes
could not deceive him. If he had discovered land, however
indistinct it might appear, land was sure to be there. But
that distant echo was the only response produced by Neb's
shouts, while a heavy gloom hung over all the part east
of the island.








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


Meanwhile, the sky was clearing little by little. Towards
midnight the stars shone out, and if the engineer had been
there with his companions he would have remarked that
these stars did not belong to the Northern hemisphere.
The polar star was not visible, the constellations were not
those which they had been accustomed to see in the
United States; the Southern Cross glittered brightly in
the sky.
The night passed away. Towards five o'clock in the
morning of the 25th of March, the sky began to lighten;
the horizon still remained dark, but with daybreak a thick
mist rose from the sea, so that the eye could scarcely
penetrate beyond twenty feet or so from where they
stood. At length the fog gradually unrolled itself in great
heavily moving waves.
It was unfortunate, however, that the castaways could
distinguish nothing around them. Whilst the gaze of the
reporter and Neb were cast upon the ocean, the sailor and
Herbert looked eagerly for the coast in the west. But
not a speck of land was visible. "Never mind," said
Pencroft, "though I do not see the land, I feel it .
it is there there as sure as the fact that we are
no longer at Richmond." But the fog was not long in
rising. It was only a fine-weather mist. A hot sun soon
penetrated to the surface of the island. About half-past
six, three-quarters of an hour after sunrise, the mist became








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


more transparent. It grew thicker above, but cleared
away below. Soon the isle appeared as if it had descended
from a cloud, then the sea showed itself around them,
spreading far away towards the east, but bounded on the
west by an abrupt and precipitous coast.
Yes! the land was there. Their safety was at least
provisionally insured. The islet and the coast were
separated by a channel about half a mile in breadth, through
which rushed an extremely rapid current.
However, one of the castaways, following the impulse
of his heart, immediately threw himself into the current,
without consulting his companions, without saying a single
word. It was Neb. He was in haste to be on the other
side, and to climb towards the north. It had been im-
possible to hold him back. Pencroft called him in vain.
The reporter prepared to follow him, but Pencroft stopped
him. "Do you want to cross the channel?" he asked.
"Yes," replied Spilett. "All right!" said the seaman;
"wait a bit; Neb is well able to carry help to his master.
If we venture into the channel, we risk being carried into
the open sea by the current, which is running very strong;
but, if I'm not wrong, it' is ebbing. See, the tide is going
down over the sand. Let us have patience, and at low
water it is possible we may find a fordable passage." You
are right," replied the reporter, we will not separate more
than we can help."








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


During this time Neb was struggling vigorously against
the current. He was crossing in an oblique direction. His
black shoulders could be seen emerging at each stroke.
He was carried down very quickly, but he also made way
towards the shore. It took more than half an hour to
cross from the islet to the land, and he reached the shore
several hundred feet from the place which was opposite to
the point from which he had started.
Landing at the foot of a high wall of granite, he shook
himself vigorously; and then, setting off running, soon
disappeared behind a rocky point, which projected to
nearly the height of the northern extremity of the
islet.
Neb's companions had watched his daring attempt with
painful anxiety, and when he was out of sight, they fixed
their attention on the land where their hope of safety lay,
whilst eating some shell-fish with which the sand was
strewn. It was a wretched repast, but still it was better
than nothing. The opposite coast formed one vast bay,
terminating on the south by a very sharp point, which was
destitute of all vegetation, and was of a very wild aspect.
This point abutted on the shore in a grotesque outline of
high granite rocks. Towards the north, on the contrary,
the bay widened, and a more rounded coast appeared,
trending from the south-west to the north-east, and ter-
minating in a slender cape. The distance between these








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


two extremities, which made the bow of the bay, was
about eight miles. Half a mile from the shore rose the
islet, which somewhat resembled the carcase of a gigantic
whale. Its extreme breadth was not more than a quarter
of a mile.
Opposite the islet, the beach consisted first of sand,
covered with black stones, which were now appearing little
by little above the retreating tide. The second level was
separated by a perpendicular granite cliff, terminated at
the top by an unequal edge at a height of at least 300 feet.
It continued thus for a length of three miles, ending
suddenly on the right with a precipice which looked as if
cut by the hand of man. On the left, above the pro-
montory, this irregular and jagged cliff descended by a
long slope of conglomerate rocks till it mingled with the
ground of the southern point. On the upper plateau of
the coast not a tree appeared. It was a flat table-land
like that above Cape Town at the Cape of Good Hope,
but of reduced proportions; at least so it appeared seen
from the islet. However, verdure was not wanting to the
right beyond the precipice. They could easily distinguish
a confused mass of great trees, n which extended beyond the
limits of their view. This verdure relieved the eye, so
long wearied by the continued ranges of granite. Lastly,
beyond and above the plateau, in a north-westerly direction
and at a distance of at least seven miles, glittered a white
n 1








35 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

summit which reflected the sun's rays. It was that of a
lofty mountain, capped with snow.
The question could not at present be decided whether
this land formed an island, or whether it belonged to a
continent. But on beholding the convulsed masses heaped
up on the left, no geologist would have hesitated to give
them a volcanic origin, for they were unquestionably the
work of subterranean convulsions.
Gideon Spilett, Pencroft, and Herbert attentively exa-
mined this land, on which they might perhaps have to live
many long years; on which indeed they might even die,
should it be out of the usual track of vessels, as was too
likely to be the case.
"Well," asked Herbert, "what do you say, Pencroft ?"
"There is some good and some bad, as in everything,"
replied the sailor. "We shall see. But now the ebb is
evidently making. In three hours we will attempt the
passage, and once on the other side we will try to get out
of this scrape, and I hope may find the captain." Pencroft
was not wrong in his anticipations. Three hours later at
low tide, the greater part of the sand forming the bed of
the channel was uncovered. Between the islet and the
coast there only remained a narrow channel which would
no doubt be easy to cross.
About ten o'clock, Gideon Spilett and his companions
stripped themselves of their clothes, which they placed in








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 37

bundles on their heads, and then ventured into the water,
which was not more than five feet deep. Herbert, for
whom it was too deep, swam like a fish, and got through
capitally. All three arrived without difficulty on the
opposite shore. Quickly drying themselves in the sun,
they put on their clothes, which they had preserved from
contact with the water, and sat down to take counsel
together what to do next








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


CHAPTER IV.

LITHODOMES-THE RIVER'S MOUTH-THE CHIMNEYS-
CONTINUED RESEARCHES-THE FOREST OF EVER-
GREENS-WAITING FOR THE EBB-ON THE HEIGHTS
-THE RAFT-RETURN TO THE SHORE.

ALL at once the reporter sprang up, and telling the sailor
that he would rejoin them at that same place, he climbed
the cliff in the direction which the negro Neb had taken a
few hours before. Anxiety hastened his steps, for he
longed to obtain news of his friend, and he soon dis-
appeared round an angle of the cliff. Herbert wished to
accompany him.
"Stop here, my boy," said the sailor; "we have to
prepare an encampment, and to try and find rather better
grub than these shell-fish. Our friends will want some-
thing when they come back. There is work for every-
body."
"I am ready," replied Herbert.


38








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 39

"All right," said the sailor; "that will do. We must
set about it regularly. We are tired, cold, and hungry;
therefore we must have shelter, fire, and food. There is
wood in the forest, and eggs in nests; we have only to find
a house."
"Very well," returned Herbert, "I will look for a cave
amongst the rocks, and I shall be sure to discover some
hole into which we can creep."
"All right," said Pencroft; "go on, my boy."
They both walked to the foot of the enormous wall over
the beach, far from which the tide had now retreated; but
instead of going towards the north, they went southwards.
Pencroft had remarked, several hundred feet from the place
at which they landed, a narrow cutting, out of which he
thought a river or stream might issue. Now, on the one
hand it was important to settle themselves in the neigh-
bourhood of a good stream of water, and on the other
it was possible that the current had thrown Cyrus Harding
on the shore there.
The cliff, as has been said, rose to a height of three
hundred feet, but the mass was unbroken throughout, and
even at its base, scarcely washed by the sea, it did not offer
the smallest fissure which would serve as a dwelling. It
was a perpendicular wall of very hard granite, which even
the waves had not worn away. Towards the summit
fluttered myriads of sea-fowl, and especially those of the








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


web-footed species, with long, flat, pointed beaks-a cla-
morous tribe, bold in the presence of man, who probably
for the first time thus invaded their domains. Pencroft
recognized the skua and other gulls among them, the vora-
cious little sea-mew, which in great numbers nestled in the
crevices of the granite. A shot fired among this swarm
would have killed a great number, brtt to fire a shot a gun
was needed, and neither Pencroft nor Herbert had one; be-
sides this, gulls and sea-mews are scarcely eatable, and even
their eggs have a detestable taste. However, Herbert who
had gone forward a little more to the left, soon came upon
rocks covered with sea-weed, which, some hours later,
would be hidden by the high tide. On these rocks, in the
midst of slippery wrack, abounded bivalve shell-fish, not to
be despised by starving people. Herbert called Pencroft,
who ran up hastily.
"Whyl here are mussels?" cried the sailor; "these
will do instead of eggs I"
"They are not mussels," replied Herbert, who was atten-
tively examining the molluscs attached to the rocks;
"they are lithodomes."
"Are they good to eat?" asked Pencroft.
"Perfectly so."
"Then let us eat some lithodomes."
The sailor could rely upon Herbert; the young boy was
well up in natural history, and always had had quite a













H
KS) ~


NOT MUSSELS, BUT LITHODOMES.


Page 40.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


passion for the science. His father had encouraged him in
it, by letting him attend the lectures of the best professors
in Boston, who were very fond of the intelligent, industrious
lad. And this turn for natural history was, more than once
in the course of time, of great use, and he was not mistaken
in this instance.. These lithodomes were oblong shells,
suspended in clusters and adhering very tightly to the
rocks. They belong to that species of molluscous per-
forators which excavate holes in the hardest stones; their
shell is rounded at both ends, a feature which is not
remarked in the common mussel.
Pencroft and Herbert made a good meal of the litho-
domes, which were then half opened to the sun. They ate
them as oysters, and as they had a strong peppery taste,
they were palatable without condiments of any sort.
Their hunger was thus appeased for the time, but not
their thirst, which increased after eating these naturally-
spiced molluscs. They had then to find fresh water, and it
was not likely that it would be wanting in such a capri-
ciously uneven region. Pencroft and Herbert, after having
taken the precaution of collecting an ample supply of
lithodomes, with which they filled their pockets and hand-
kerchiefs, regained the foot of the cliff.
Two hundred paces farther they arrived at the cutting,
through which, as Pencroft had guessed, ran a stream of
water, whether fresh or not was to be ascertained. At this








42 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

place the wall appeared to have been separated by some
violent subterranean force. At its base was hollowed out
a little creek, the farthest part of which formed a tolerably
sharp angle. The watercourse at that part measured 1oo
feet in breadth, and its two banks on each side were
scarcely twenty feet high. The river became strong almost
directly between the two walls of granite, which began to
sink above the mouth; it then suddenly turned and dis-
appeared beneath a wood of stunted trees half a mile off.
Here is the water, and yonder is the wood we require!"
said Pencroft. "Well, Herbert, now we only want the
house."
The water of the river was limpid. The sailor ascer-
tained that at this time-that is to say, at low tide, when
the rising floods did not reach it-it was sweet. This
important point established, Herbert looked for some
cavity which would serve them as a retreat, but in vain;
everywhere the wall appeared smooth, plain, and per-
pendicular.
However, at the mouth of the watercourse and above the
reach of the high tide, the convulsions of nature had
formed, not a grotto, but a pile of enormous rocks, such as
are often met with in granite countries and which bear the
name of "Chimneys."
Pencroft and Herbert penetrated quite far in amongst
the rocks, by sandy passages in which light was not














































































THE GRANITE CAVERN.


Pags 42.


k








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


wanting, for it entered through the openings which were
left between the blocks, of which some were only sus-
tained by a miracle of equilibrium; but with the light
came also air-a regular corridor-gale-and with the wind
the sharp cold from the exterior. However, the sailor
thought that by stopping-up some of the openings with a
mixture of stones and sand, the Chimneys could be
rendered habitable. Their geometrical plan represented
the typographic sign "&," which signifies "et cetera"
abridged, but by isolating the upper mouth of the sign,
through which the south and west winds blew so strongly,
they could succeed in making the lower part of use.
"Here's our work," said Pencroft, "and if we ever see
Captain Harding again,. he will know how to make
something of this labyrinth."
"We shall see him again, Pencroft," cried Herbert, "and
when he returns he must find a tolerable dwelling here.
It will be so, if we can make a fireplace in the left passage
and keep an opening for the smoke."
"So we can, my boy," replied the sailor, "and these
Chimneys will serve our turn. Let us set to work, but first
come and get a store of fuel. I think some branches will
be very useful in stopping up these openings, through
which the wind shrieks like so many fiends."
Herbert and Pencroft left the Chimneys, and, turning
the angle, they began to climb the left bank of the river.








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


The current here was quite rapid, and drifted down some
dead wood. The rising tide-and it could already be
perceived-must drive it back with force to a considerable
distance. The sailor then thought that they could utilize
this ebb and flow for the transport of heavy objects.
After having walked for a quarter of an hour, the sailor
and the boy arrived at the angle which the river made in
turning towards the left. From this point its course was
pursued through a forest of magnificent trees. These trees
still retained their verdure, notwithstanding the. advanced
season, for they belonged to the family of "coniferae,"
which is spread over all the regions of the globe, from
northern climates to the tropics. The young naturalist
recognized especially the "deodara," which are very
numerous in the Himalayan zone, and which spread
around them a most agreeable odour. Between these
beautiful trees sprang up clusters of firs, whose opaque
open parasol boughs spread wide around. Among the
long grass, Pencroft felt that his feet were crushing dry
branches which crackled like fireworks.
"Well, my boy," said he to Herbert, "if I don't know
the name of these trees, at any rate I reckon that we may
call them 'burning wood,' and just now that's the chief
thing we want."
"Let us get a supply," replied Herbert, who immediately
set to work.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


The collection was easily made. It was not even neces-
sary to lop the trees, for enormous quantities of dead wood
were lying at their feet; but if fuel was not wanting, the
means of transporting it was not yet found. The wood,
being very dry, would burn rapidly; it was therefore
necessary to carry to the Chimneys a considerable quantity,
and the loads of two men would not be sufficient. Herbert
remarked this.
"Well, my boy," replied the sailor, "there must be some
way of carrying this wood; there is always a way of doing
everything. If we had a cart or a boat, it would be easy
enough."
"But we have the river," said Herbert.
"Right," replied Pencroft; "the river will be to us like
a road which carries of itself, and rafts have not been
invented for nothing."
Only," observed Herbert, at this moment our road is
going the wrong way, for the tide is rising!"
"We shall be all right if we wait till it ebbs," replied
the sailor, "and then we will trust it to carry our fuel to
the Chimneys. Let us get the raft ready."
The sailor, followed by Herbert, directed his steps
towards the river. They both carried, each in proportion
to his strength, a load of wood bound in faggots. They
found on the bank also a great quantity of dead branches
in the midst of grass, among which the foot of man had








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


probably never before trod. Pencroft began directly to
make his raft. In a kind of little bay, created by a point
of the shore which broke the current, the sailor and the lad
placed some good-sized pieces of wood, which they had
fastened together with dry creepers. A raft was thus
formed, on which they stacked all they had collected,
sufficient, indeed, to have loaded at least twenty men. In
an hour the work was finished, and the raft, moored to the
bank, awaited the turning of the tide.
There were still several hours to be occupied, and with
one consent Pencroft and Herbert resolved to gain the
upper plateau, so as to have a more extended view of the
surrounding country.
Exactly two hundred feet behind the angle formed by
the river, the wall, terminated by a fall of rocks, died away
in a gentle slope to the edge of the forest. It was a
natural staircase. Herbert and the sailor began their
ascent; thanks to the vigour of their muscles they reached
the summit in a few minutes, and proceeded to the point
above the mouth of the river.
On attaining it, their first look was cast upon the ocean
which not long before they had traversed in such a terrible
condition. They observed, with emotion, all that part to
the north of the coast on which the catastrophe had taken
place. It was there that Cyrus Harding had disappeared.
They looked to see if some portion of their balloon, to








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 47

which a man might possibly cling, yet existed. Nothing!
The sea was but one vast watery desert. As to the coast,
it was solitary also. Neither the reporter nor Neb could
be anywhere seen. But it was possible that at this time
they were both too far away to be perceived.
"Something tells me," cried Herbert, "that a man as
energetic as Captain Harding would not let himself be
drowned like other people. He must have reached some
point of the shore; don't you think so, Pencroft ?"
The sailor shook his head sadly. He little expected
ever to see Cyrus Harding again; but wishing to leave
some hope to Herbert: "Doubtless, doubtless," said he;
"our engineer is a man who would get out of a scrape to
which any one else would yield."
In the meantime he examined the coast with great
attention. Stretched out below them was the sandy shore,
bounded on the right of the river's mouth by lines of
breakers. The rocks which were visible appeared like
amphibious monsters reposing in the surf. Beyond the
reef, the sea sparkled beneath the sun's rays. To the
south a sharp point closed the horizon, and it could not be
seen if the land was prolonged in that direction, or if it ran
south-east and south-west, which would have made this
coast a very long peninsula. At the northern extremity
of the bay the outline of the shore was continued to a
great distance in a wider curve. There the shore was low,








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


flat, without cliffs, and with great banks of sand, which the
tide left uncovered. Pencroft and Herbert then returned
towards the west. Their attention was first arrested by
the snow-topped mountain which rose at a distance of six
or seven miles. From its first declivities to within two
miles of the coast were spread vast masses of wood,
relieved by large green patches, caused by the presence of
evergreen trees. Then, from the edge of this forest to the
shore extended a plain, scattered irregularly with groups
of trees. Here and there on the left sparkled through
glades the waters of the little river; they could trace its
winding course back towards the spurs of the mountain,
among which it seemed to spring. At the point where the
sailor had left his raft of wood, it began to run between
the two high granite walls; but if on the left bank the wall
remained clear and abrupt, on the right bank, on the
contrary, it sank gradually, the massive sides changed to
isolated rocks, the rocks to stones, the stones to shingle,
running to the extremity of the point.
"Are we on an island?" murmured the sailor.
"At any rate, it seems to be big enough," replied
the lad.
"An island, ever so big, is an island all the same I" said
Pencroft.
But this important question could not yet be answered.
A more perfect survey will be required to settle the point.




















































ROCK-PIGEONS.


4
FA


Page 49.


'. ~-
; ~
i,








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


As to the land itself, island or continent, it appeared
fertile, agreeable in its aspect, and varied in its pro-
ductions.
"This is satisfactory," observed Pencroft; "and in our
misfortune, we must thank Providence for it."
"God be praised!" responded Herbert, whose pious
heart was full of gratitude to the Author of all things.
Pencroft and Herbert examined for some time the
country on which they had been cast; but it was difficult
to guess after so hasty an inspection what the future had
in store for them.
They then returned, following the southern crest of the
granite platform, bordered by a long fringe of jagged
rocks, of the most whimsical shapes. Some hundreds of
birds lived there nestled in the holes of the stone;
Herbert, jumping over the rocks, startled a whole flock of
these winged creatures.
Oh I" cried he, those are not gulls nor sea-mews!"
What are they then?" asked Pencroft.
Upon my word, one would say they were pigeons!"
"Just so, but these are wild or rock pigeons. I recognize
them by the double band of black on the wing, by the
white tail, and by their slate-coloured plumage. But if
the rock-pigeon is good to eat, its eggs must be excellent,
and we will soon see how many they may have left in
their nests I"








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


"We will not give them time to hatch, unless it is in the
shape of an omelette!" replied Pencroft merrily.
"But what will you make your omelette in?" asked
Herbert; "in your hat ?"
"Well!" replied the sailor, "I am not quite conjuror
enough for that; we must come down to eggs in the
shell, my boy, and I will undertake to despatch the
hardest!"
Pencroft and Herbert attentively examined the cavities
in the granite, and they really found eggs in some of the
hollows. A few dozen being collected, were packed in the
sailor's handkerchief, ard as the time when the tide would
be full was approaching, Pencroft and Herbert began to
redescend towards the watercourse. When they arrived
there, it was an hour after mid-day. The tide had already
turned. They must now avail themselves of the ebb to
take the wood to the mouth. Pencroft did not intend to
let the raft go away in the current without guidance, neither
did he mean to embark on it himself to steer it. But a
sailor is never at a loss when there is a question of cables
or ropes, and Pencroft rapidly twisted a cord, a few fathoms
long, made of dry creepers. This vegetable cable was
fastened to the after-part of the raft, and the sailor held
it in his hand while Herbert, pushing off the raft with
a long pole, kept it in the current. This succeeded capi-
tally. The enormous load of wood drifted down with the








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 51

current. The bank was very equal; there was no fear
that the raft would run aground, and before two o'clock
they arrived at the river's mouth, a few paces from the
Chimneys.








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


CHAPTER V.

ARRANGING THE CHIMNEYS-HOW TO PROCURE FIRE-
A BOX OF MATCHES-SEARCH ON THE SHORE-
RETURN OF THE REPORTER AND NEB-A SINGLE
MATCH-A ROARING FIRE-THE FIRST SUPPER, AND
NIGHT ON SHORE.

PENCROFT'S first care, after unloading the raft, was to
render the cave habitable by stopping up all the holes which
made it draughty. Sand, stones, twisted branches, wet
clay, closed up the galleries open to the south winds. One
narrow and winding opening at the side was kept, to lead
out the smoke and to make the fire draw. The cave was
thus divided into three or four rooms, if such dark dens
with which a donkey would scarcely have been contented de-
served the name. But they were dry, and there was space to
stand upright, at least in the principal room, which occupied
the centre. The. floor was covered with fine sand, ad.tlaking
all in all they were well pleased with it for want of a better.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


"Perhaps," said Herbert, while he and Pencroft were
working, "our companions have found a superior place to
ours."
"Very likely," replied the seaman; "but, as we don't
know, we must work all the same. Better to have two
strings to one's bow than no string at all !"
"Oh! exclaimed Herbert, "how jolly it w-ill be if they
were to find Captain Harding and were to bring him back
with them!"
"Yes, indeed!" said Pencroft, "that was a man of the
right sort."
"Was!" exclaimed Herbert, "do you despair of ever
seeing him again ?"
"God forbid!" replied the sailor. Their work was soon
done, and Pencroft declared himself very well satisfied.
"Now," said he, "our friends can come back when they
like. They-will find a good enough shelter."
They now had only to make a fireplace and to prepare
the supper-an easy task. Large flat stones were placed
on the ground at the opening of the narrow passage which
had been kept. This, if the smoke did not take the heat
out with it, would be enough to maintain an equal tem-
perature inside. Their wood was stowed away in one of
the rooms, and the sailor laid in the fireplace some logs
and brushwood. The seaman was busy with this, when
Herbert asked him if he had any matches.








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


"Certainly," replied Pencroft, "and I may say happily,
for without matches or tinder we should be in a fix."
Still we might get fire as the savages do," replied Her-
bert, by rubbing two bits of drystick one against the other."
"All right; try, my boy, and let's see if you can do any-
thing besides exercising your arms."
"Well, it's a very simple proceeding, and much used in
the islands of the Pacific."
"I don't deny it," replied Pencroft, "but the savages
must know how to do it or employ a peculiar wood, for
more than once I have tried to get fire in that way, but I
could never manage it. I must say I prefer matches. By-
the-bye, where are my matches?"
Pencroft searched in his waistcoat for the box, which
was always there, for he was a confirmed smoker. He
could not find it; he rummaged the pockets of his trousers,
but, to his horror, he could nowhere discover the box.
"Here's a go!" said he, looking at Herbert. "The box
must have fallen out of my pocket and got lost! Surely,
Herbert, you must have something-a tinder-box-any-
thing that can possibly make fire I"
"No, I haven't, Pencroft."
The sailor rushed out, followed by the boy. On the sand,
among the rocks, near the river's bank, they both searched
carefully, but in vain. The box was of copper, and there-
fore would have been easily seen.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


"Pencroft," asked Herbert, didn't you throw it out of
the car?"
"I knew better than that," replied the sailor; "but such
a small article could easily disappear in the tumbling about
we have gone through. I would rather even have lost my
pipe! Confound the box I Where can it be ?"
"Look here, the tide is going down," said Herbert;
"let's run to the place where we landed."
It was scarcely probable that they would find the box,
which the waves had rolled about among the pebbles, at
high tide, but it was as well to try. Herbert and Pencroft
walked rapidly to the point where they had landed the
day before, about two hundred feet from the cave. They
hunted there, amongst the shingle, in the clefts of the
rocks, but found nothing. If the box had fallen at this
place it must have been swept away by the waves. As the
sea went down, they searched every little crevice with no
result. It was a grave loss in their circumstances, and for
the time irreparable. Pencroft could not hide his vexation;
he looked very anxious, but said not a word. Herbert
tried to console him by observing, that if they had found
the matches, they would, very likely, have been wetted by
the sea and useless.
"No, my boy," replied the sailor; "they were in a
copper box which shut very tightly; and now what are we
to do?"








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


We shall certainly find some way of making a fire," said
Herbert. "Captain Harding or Mr. Spilett will not be
without them."
"Yes," replied Pencroft; "but in the meantime we are
without fire, and our companions will find but a sorry repast
on their return."
"But," said Herbert quickly, "do you think it possible
that they have no tinder or matches?"
"I doubt it," replied the sailor, shaking his head, "for
neither Neb nor Captain Harding smoke, and I believe that
Mr. Spilett would rather keep his note-book than his
match-box."
Herbert did not reply. The loss of the box was certainly
to be regretted, but the boy was still sure of procuring fire
in some way or other. Pencroft, more experienced, did
not think so, although he was not a man to trouble himself
about a small or great grievance. At any rate, there was
only one thing to be done-to await the return of Neb and
the reporter; but they must give up the feast of hard eggs
which they had meant to prepare, and a meal of raw flesh
was not an agreeable prospect either for themselves or for
the others.
Before returning to the cave, the sailor and Herbert, in
the event of fire being positively unattainable, collected
some more shell-fish, and then silently retraced their steps
to their dwelling.






































































NEB'S DESPAIR.
Page 57.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 57

Pencroft, his eyes fixed on the ground, still looked for
his box. He even climbed up the left bank of the river
from its mouth to the angle where the raft had been moored.
He returned-to the plateau, went over it in every direction,
searched amongst the high grass on the border of the forest,
all in vain.
It was five in the evening when he and Herbert re-entered
the cave. It is useless to say that the darkest corners of
the passages were ransacked before they were obliged to
give it up in despair. Towards six o'clock, when the sun
was disappearing behind the high lands of the west, Her-
bert, who was walking up and down on the strand, signalized
the return of Neb and Spilett.
They were returning alone I .. The boy's heart sank;
the sailor had not been deceived in his forebodings; the
engineer, Cyrus Harding, had not been found I
The reporter, on his: arrival, sat down on a rock, without
saying anything. Exhausted with fatigue, dying of hunger,
he had not strength to utter a word.
As to Neb, his red eyes showed how he had cried, and
the tears which he could not restrain told too clearly that
he had lost all hope.
The reporter recounted all that they had done in their
attempt to recover Cyrus Harding. He and Neb had
surveyed the coast for a distance of eight miles, and con-
sequently much beyond the place where the balloon had








THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.


fallen the last time but one, a fall which was followed by
the disappearance of the engineer and the dog Top. The
shore was solitary; not a vestige of a mark. Not even a
pebble recently displaced; not a trace on the sand; not a
human footstep on all that part of the beach. It was clear
that that portion of the shore had never been visited by a
human being. The sea was as deserted as the land, and
it was there, a few hundred feet from the coast, that the
engineer must have found a tomb.
As Spilett ended his account, Neb jumped up, exclaim-
ing in a voice which showed how hope struggled within
him, No he is not dead I he can't be dead It might
happen to any one else, but never to him! He could
get out of anything!" Then his strength forsaking him,
"Oh! I can do no more!" he murmured.
"Neb," said Herbert, running to him, "we will find him!
God will give him back to us! But in the meantime you
are hungry, and you must eat something."
So saying, he offered the poor negro a few handfuls of
shell-fish, which was indeed wretched and insufficient food.
Neb had not eaten anything for several hours, but he
refused them. He could not, would not live without his
master.
As to Gideon Spilett, he devoured the shell-fish, then he
laid himself down on the sand, at the foot of a rock. He was
very weak, but calm. Herbert went up to him, and taking








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS.


his hand, Sir," said he, "we have found a shelter which
will be better than lying here. Night is advancing. Come
and rest! To-morrow we will search farther."
The reporter got up, and guided by the boy went
towards the cave. On the way, Pencroft asked him in the
most natural tone, if by chance he happened to have a
match or two.
The reporter stopped, felt in his pockets, but finding
nothing said, I had some, but I must have thrown them
away."
The seaman then put the same question to Neb and
received the same answer.
Confound it I" exclaimed the sailor.
The reporter heard him and seizing his arm, Have you
no matches ?" he asked.
"Not one, and no fire in consequence ?"
"Ah cried Neb, "if my master was here, he would
know what to do "
The four castaways remained motionless, looking uneasily
at each other. Herbert was the first to break the silence
by saying, Mr. Spilett, you are a smoker and always have
matches about you; perhaps you haven't looked well, try
again, a single match will be enough I"
The reporter hunted again in the pockets of his trousers;
waistcoat, and great-coat, and at last to Pencroft's great joy,
not less to his extreme surprise, he felt a tiny piece of wood








60 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

entangled in the lining of his waistcoat. He seized it with
his fingers through the stuff, but he could not get it out.
If this was a match and a single one, it was of great import-
aince not to rub off the phosphorus.
"Will you let me try?" said the boy, and very cleverly,
without breaking it, he managed to draw out the wretched
yet precious little bit of wood which was of such great
importance to these poor men. It was unused.
"Hurrah!" cried Pencroft; "it is as good as having a
whole cargo!" He took the match, and, followed by his
companions, entered the cave.
This small piece of wood, of which so many in an
inhabited country are wasted with indifference and are of
no value, must here be used with the greatest caution.
The sailor first made sure that it was quite dry; that
done, "We must have some paper," said he.
"Here," replied Spilett, after some hesitation tearing a
leaf out of his note-book.
Pencroft took the piece of paper which the reporter held
out to him, and knelt down before the fireplace. Some
handfuls of grass, leaves, and dry moss were placed under
the faggots and disposed in such a way that the air could
easily circulate, and the dry wood would rapidly catch fire.
Pencroft then twisted the piece of paper into the shape
of a cone, as smokers do in a high wind, and poked it in
amongst the moss. Taking a small, rough stone, he wiped










































































A CHEERFUL FLAME SPRANG UP.
Pa 6 i.








DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. 61

it carefully, and with a beating heart, holding his breath, he
gently rubbed the match. The first attempt did not
produce any effect. Pencroft had not struck hard enough,
fearing to rub off the phosphorus.
"No, I can't do it," said he, "my hand trembles, the
match has missed fire; I cannot, I will not!" and rising, he
told Herbert to take his place.
Certainly the boy had never in all his life been so
nervous. Prometheus going to steal the fire from heaven
could not have been more anxious. He did not hesitate,
however, but struck the match directly.
A little spluttering was heard and a tiny blue flame
sprang up, making a choking smoke. Herbert quietly
turned the match so as to. augment the flame, and then
slipped it into the paper cone, which in a few seconds too
caught fire, and then the moss.
A minute later the dry wood crackled and a cheerful
flame, assisted by the vigorous blowing of the sailor, sprang
up in the midst of the darkness.
"At last!" cried Pencroft, getting up; "I was never so
nervous before in all my life!"
The flat stones made a capital fireplace. The smoke
went quite easily out at the narrow passage, the chimney
drew, and an agreeable warmth was not long in being felt.
They must now take great care not to let the fire go out,
and always to keep some embers alight. It only needed








62 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

care and attention, as they had plenty of wood and could
renew their store at any time.
Pencroft's first thought was to use the fire by preparing
a more nourishing supper than a dish of shell-fish. Two
dozen eggs were brought by Herbert. The reporter lean-
ing up in a corner, watched these preparations without
saying anything. A threefold thought weighed on his
mind. Was Cyrus still alive ? If he was alive, where was
he? If he had survived from his fall, how was it that he
had not found some means of making known his existence?
As to Neb, he was roaming about the shore. He was like
a body without a soul.
Pencroft knew fifty ways of cooking eggs, but this time
he had no choice, and was obliged to content himself with
roasting them under the hot cinders. In a few minutes the
cooking was done, and the seaman invited the reporter to
take his share of the supper. Such was the first repast of
the castaways on this unknown coast. The hafd eggs
were excellent, and as eggs contain everything indis.
pensable to man's nourishment, these poor people thought
themselves well off, and were much strengthened by them.
Oh! if only one of them had not been missing at this
meal! If the five prisoners who escaped from Richmond
had been all there, under the piled-up rocks, before this
clear, crackling fire on the dry sand, what thanksgivings
must they have rendered to Heaven! But the most




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