Citation
The mysterious island

Material Information

Title:
The mysterious island
Uniform Title:
Ile mysterieuse
Cover title:
Abandoned
Creator:
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Férat, Jules Descartes, b. 1829
Barbant, Charles
Sampson Low, Marston & Company
Gilbert & Rivington
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Limited
Manufacturer:
Gilbert and Rivington
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
New and cheaper ed.
Physical Description:
viii, 304, 1 p., 50 leaves of plates : ill. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Ballooning -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Rescues -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Sailing -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Pets -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Robinsonades -- 1895 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1895 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre:
Robinsonades ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Date of publication based on binding indicating publication in the 1890's.
General Note:
Illustrations engraved by Ch. Barbant after Ferat.
General Note:
Publisher's advertisements follow text.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jules Verne ; translated from the French by W.H.G. Kingston.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026760212 ( ALEPH )
ALG9646 ( NOTIS )
73703829 ( OCLC )

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of Florida
Jules Verne

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Gankel?






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Turning a turtle.



THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

(PART II)

ABANDONED

BY
JULES VERNE

AUTHOR OF ‘TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA,” “AROUND
THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS,” ‘‘THE FUR COUNTRY,” ETC. ETC,

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY

W. H. G. KINGSTON

NEW AND CHEAPER EDITION

. Tonvan
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY

Limited
St. Dunstin’s Youse

Ferrer Lang, Fieger Street, E.C,






CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Conversation on the subject of the bullet—Construction 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 .

CHAPTER II.

First trial of the canoe—A wreck on the coast—Towing—Flotsam
Point—Inventory of the case: tools, weapons, instruments,
clothes, books, utensilsS—What Pencroft misses--The Gospel
—A verse from the sacred book . . eo 6 46

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 . . . e °

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 .

PAGE

15

30

45



lv CONTENTS.



CHAPTER V.

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 . . . oo. ss

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 . : . eee ee

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 . . . .

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 . .

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 . a eee . a “Se .

CHAPTER X.

Boat-building—Second crop of corn—Hunting koalas—A new plant,
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—FPencroft has nothing left to wish
for . . . . . . . . . :

PAGE

58

74

. 89

» 103

117

+ 130



‘CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XI.

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 ae Harding alone—Exploring
the well . oo Pes . = ae - 8

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 . . 7 . ° zoe

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 . . 6© «© 6 .

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 . ek V8 . e ° °

CHAPTER XV.

The return—Discussion—Cyrus Harding and the stranger—Port
Balloon—The engineer’s devotion—A touching incident—
Tears flow : : ae Pie . . . . ° .

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

PAGE

» 143

. 160

179

+ 194

210

. 224



vi 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 . . . ° . ° .

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 . . . we ° . °

CHAPTER XIX.

Recollections of their native land—Probable future—Project for
surveying the coasts of the island—Departure on the 16th of
April—Sea-view of Reptile End—The basaltic rocks of the
western coast—Bad weather—Night comes’on—New incident

CHAPTER XxX.

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-
pectedincident . .

241

. 257

273

288



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGH
Turning aturtle . e ° ' ‘ . - 0 ' - It
Flotsam and Jetsam sr. . . . > . . . 22
Unpacking the marvellous chest . : . . ° . 24
Pencroft’s superstition . 7 7 . . . . . - 28
Is it tobacco? . . . . . . . . . - 34
The halt for breakfast . . . . . 7 . : - 36
Denizens of the forest . .« . . . . . . . «7
The sea ! . . rs 50
At that moment a shot stitick the j jaguar i between the — and it
fell dead . . . : . - 56
“ Now there’s something to explain the bullet ! » exclaimed Pencroft 66
A wreck in the air . a . . . : . . . 68
There was no longer a ladder ! ro, . . . . . - 73
The invaders of Granite House .. . . . . . . 80
Capturing the orang. . . 7 . . . . . 86
Engaging the new servant . . . . . . . . 88
Building the bridge . . . . ° . . . - 94
Pencroft’s scarecrows. . 8 : . 7 . . - 96
The settlers’ new shirts . . . . : . . 104
Jup passed most of his time in the kitchen, trying to imitate Neb 109
Pencroft to the rescue. : . . . : . » - « 118
The glass-blowers . . . . . . 124
The verandah on the edge of Prospect Heights . . . . 127

The dockyard. . 7 . . . . . . . - 131



vili LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

3 PAGH
A valuable prize. . . . . . . . » 137
Pencroft has nothing left to wish for. . . « » .« 142

The messenger . ne . . : . : . . 149
Winter evenings in Granite House . . . . . + 150

He saw nothing suspicious . . 7 8 er) - 158
Top visiting the invalid . . . (*> « . . - 168
The trial trip . . . 7 7 . 7 . . : - 174

“Luff, Pencroft, luff!” . . 2. 6 ee we «CB
The departure . . . . . . . 7 . . 182
Nearing theisland.. . . . . 7 . . . . 186
A hut! . . . . . 7 ° . - 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 1 voice . : . . 226
The stranger. 27 ewe ee 287
“ Now for a good wind” : : . . - 236
He seized the jaguar’s throat with one powerful aid . . - 238
The stranger’s story . 7 . : . : . . - 246
“ Here is my hand” said the engineer . a . . . 256
Theengineer atwork . . . . .« «© «© + .« . 264
Jup sitting for his portrait . . . . ° + 270
The snowy sheet rose and dispersed in the air. . . - 271
Another mystery .. . . . . oe . - 287
Returning from a sporting excursion . . . . . + 301
The photographic negative . . ° ¢ e . e + 303



Ohe Mysterious Ssland
THE ABANDONED.



CHAPTER I.

CONVERSATION ON THE SUBJECT OF THE BULLET—CON-
STRUCTION 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 HARD-
ING’S EXPLANATION.

IT was now exactly seven months since the balloon
voyagers had been thrown on Lincoln Island. During that
time, notwithstanding the researches they had made, no
human being had been discovered. No smoke even had
betrayed the presence of man on the surface of the island.
No vestiges of his handiwork showed that either at an early
or at a late period had man lived there. Not only did it
now appear to be uninhabited by any but themselves, but
the colonists were compelled to believe that it never had
been inhabited. ‘And now, all this scaffolding of reasonings



2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

fell before a simple ball of metal, found in the body of an
inoffensive rodent! In fact, this bullet must have issued
from a fire-arm, and who but a human being could have
used such a weapon?

When Pencroft had placed the bullet on the table, his
companions looked at it with intense astonishment. All
the consequences likely to result from this incident, not-
withstanding its apparent insignificance, immediately took
possession of their minds. The sudden apparition of a
supernatural being could not have startled them more
completely.

Cyrus Harding did not hesitate to give utterance to the
suggestions which this fact, at once surprising and unex-
pected, could not fail to raise in his mind. He took the
bullet, turned it over and over, rolled it between his finger
and thumb ; then, turning to Pencroft, he asked,—

“ Are you sure that the peccary wounded by this bullet
was not more than three months old?”

“Not more, captain,” replied Pencroft. “It was still
sucking its mother when I found it in the trap.”

“Well,” said the engineer, ‘‘that proves that within three
months a gun-shot was fired in Lincoln Island.”

“ And that a bullet,” added Gideon Spilett, “wounded,
though not mortally, this little animal.” .

“That is unquestionable,’ said Cyrus Harding, “and
these are the deductions which must be drawn from this



THE ABANDONED. 3

incident :.that the island was inhabited before our atrival,
or that men have landed here within three months. Did
these men arrive here voluntarily or involuntarily, by
disembarking on the shore or by being wrecked? This
point can only be cleared up later. As*to what they were,
Europeans or Malays, enemies or friends of our race, we
cannot possibly guess; and if they still inhabit the island,
or if they have left it, we know not. But these questions
are of too much importance to be allowed to remain long
unsettled.”

“No! a hundred times no! a thousand times no!” cried
the sailor, springing up from the table. “There are no
other men than ourselves on Lincoln Island! By my
faith! - The island isn’t large, and if it had been inhabited,
we should have seen some of the inhabitants long before
this!”

“Tn fact, the contrary would be very astonishing,” said
Herbert.

“But it would be much more astonishing, I should
think,” observed the reporter, “ that this peccary should have
been born with a bullet in its inside!”

“At least,” said Neb seriously, “if Pencroft has not
had—”

“Look here, Neb,” burst out Pencroft. “Do you think
T could have a bullet in my jaw for five or six months
without finding it out? Where could it be hidden?” he



4 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

asked, opening his mouth to show the two-and-thirty teeth
with which it was furnished. “Look well, Neb, and if you
find one hollow tooth in this set, I will let you pull out
half a dozen!”

“Neb’s supposition is certainly inadmissible,” replied
Harding, who, notwithstanding the gravity of his thoughts,
could not restrain a smile. “It is certain that a gun has
been fired in the island, within three months at most. But
I am inclined to think that the people who landed on this
coast were only here a very short time ago, or that they
just touched here ; for if, when we surveyed the island from
the summit of Mount Franklin, it had been inhabited, we
should have seen them or we should have been seen our-
selves. It is therefore probable that within only a few
weeks castaways have been thtown by a storm on some
part of the coast. However that may be, it is of
consequence to us to have this point settled.”

“T think that we should act with caution,” said the
reporter.

“Such is my advice,” replied Cyrus Harding, “for it is
to be feared that Malay pirates have landed on the island!”

“ Captain,” asked the sailor, “would it not be a good
plan, before setting out, to build a canoe in which we could
either ascend the river, or, if we liked, coast round the
island? It will not do to be unprovided.”

“Your idea is good, Pencroft,” replisd the engineer,



THE ABANDONED. 5
“but we cannot wait for that. It would take at least a
month to-build a boat.”

“Yes, a real boat,” replied the sailor; “but we do not
want one for a sea voyage, and in five days at the most, I
will undertake to construct a canoe fit to navigate the
Mercy.”

“ Five days,” cried Neb, “to build a boat?”

“Ves, Neb; a boat in the Indian fashion.”

“ Of wood?” asked the negro, looking still unconvinced.

“Of wood,” replied Pencroft, “or rather of bark. I
repeat, captain, that in five days the work will be
finished !”

“Tn five days, then, be it,” replied the engineer,

“But till that time we must be very watchful,” said
Herbert. .

“Very watchful indeed, my friends,” replied Harding ;
“and I beg you to confine your hunting excursions to the
neighbourhood of Granite House.” ,

The dinner ended less gaily than Pencroft had hoped.

So, then, the island was, or had been, inhabited by others
than the settlers. Proved as it was by the incident of the
bullet, it was hereafter an unquestionable fact, and such a
discovery could not but cause great uneasiness amongst
the colonists.

Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett, before sleeping,

conversed long about the matter. They asked themselves
'B



6 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

if by chance this incident might not have some connexion
with the inexplicable way in which the engineer had been
saved, and the other peculiar circumstances which had
struck them at different times. However, Cyrus Harding,
after having discussed the pros and cons of the question,
ended by saying,—

“In short, would you like to know my opinion, my dear
Spilett ?”

“Yes, Cyrus.”

“Well, then, it is this: however minutely we explore
the island, we shall find nothing.”

The next day Pencroft set to work. He did not mean
to build a boat with boards and planking, but simply a
flat-bottomed canoe, which would be well suited for
navigating the Mercy—above all, for approaching its
source, where the water would naturally be shallow.
Pieces of bark, fastened one to the other, would form a
light boat ; and in case of natural obstacles, which would
render a portage necessary, it would be easily carried,
Pencroft intended to secure the pieces of bark by means of
nails, to insure the canoe being water-tight.

It was first necessary to select the trees which would
afford a strong and supple bark for the work. Now the
last storm had brought down a number of large birch-trees,
the bark of which would be perfectly suited for their
purpose. Some of these trees lay on the ground, and they



THE ABANDONED. 7

had only to be barked, which was the most difficult thing
of all, owing to the imperfect tools which the settlers
possessed. However, they overcame all difficulties.

Whilst the sailor, seconded by the engineer, thus
occupied himself without losing an hour, Gideon Spilett
and Herbert were not idle. They were made purveyors to
the colony. The reporter could not but admire the boy,
who had acquired great skill in handling the bow and
spear. Herbert also showed great courage and much of
that presence of mind which may justly be called “the
reasoning of bravery.” These two companions of the
chase, remembering Cyrus Harding’s recommendations, did
not go beyond a radius of two miles round Granite House;
but the borders of the forest furnished a sufficient tribute of
agoutis, capybaras, kangaroos, peccaries, &c.; and if the
result from the traps was less than during the cold, still the
warren yielded its accustomed quota, which might have fed
all the colony in Lincoln Island.

Often during these excursions, Herbert talked with
Gideon Spilett on the incident of the bullet, and the
deductions which the engineer drew from it, and one day—
it was the 26th of October—he said,—

“But, Mr. Spilett, do you not think it very extraordinary
that, if any castaways have landed on the island, they have
not yet shown themselves near Granite House ?”

“Very astonishing if they are still here,” replied the



8 : THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



reporter, “but not astonishing at all if they are here no
longer!” .

“So you think that these people have already quitted the
island?” returned Herbert.

' “It is more than probable, my boy; for if their stay was
prolonged, and above all, if they were still here, some
accident would have at last betrayed their presence.”

“But if they were able to go away,” observed the lad,
“they could not have been castaways.”

“No, Herbert; or, at least, they were what might be
called provisional castaways. It is very possible that a
storm may have driven them to the island without destroy-
ing their vessel, and that, the storm over, they went away
again.”

“I must acknowledge one thing,” said Herbert, “it is
that Captain Harding appears rather to fear than desire the
presence of human beings on our island.”

“In short,” responded the reporter, “ there are only
Malays who frequent these seas, and those fellows are
ruffians which it is best to avoid.”

“It is not impossible, Mr. Spilett,’ said Herbert, “that
some day or other we may find traces of their landing.”

“I do not say no, my boy. A deserted camp, the ashes
of a fire, would put us on the track, and this is what we will
look for in our next expedition.”

The day on which the hunters spoke thus, they were in a



THE ABANDONED, 9



part of the forest near the Mercy, remarkable for its beau-
tiful trees, There, among others, rose, to a height of nearly
200 feet above the ground, some of those superb conifere,
to which, in New Zealand, the natives give the name of
Kauris.

“TI have an idea, Mr. Spilett,” said Herbert. “If I were
to climb to the top of one of these kauris, I could survey
the country for an immense distance round.”

“The idea is good,” replied the reporter; “but could you
climb to the top of those giants ?”

“T can at least try,” replied Herbert.

The light and active boy then sprang on the first
branches, ‘the arrangement of which made the ascent of
the kauri easy, and in a few minutes he arrived at the
summit, which emerged from the immense plain of verdure.

From this elevated situation his gaze extended over all
the southern portion of the island, from Claw Cape on the
south-east, to Reptile End on the south-west. To the
north-west rose Mount Franklin, which concealed a great
part of the horizon.

But Herbert, from the height of his observatory, could
examine all the yet unknown portion of the island which
might have given shelter to the strangers whose presence
they suspected.

The lad looked attentively. There was nothing in sight
on the sea, not a sail, neither on the horizon nor near the



10 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
island. However, as the bank of trees hid the shore, it
was possible that a vessel, especially if deprived of her
masts, might lie close to the land and thus be invisible to
Herbert.

Neither in the forests of the Far West was anything to
be seen. The wood. formed an impenetrable screen, mea-
suring several square miles, without a break-or an opening.
It was impossible even to follow the course of the Mercy,
or to ascertain in what part of the mountain it took its
source. Perhaps other creeks also ran towards the west,
but they could not be seen.

But at last, if all indication of an encampment escaped
Herbert’s sight, could he not even catch a glimpse of
smoke, the faintest trace of which would be easily discernible
in the pure atmosphere ? ,

For an instant Herbert thought he could perceive a
slight smoke in the west, but a more attentive examination
showed that he was mistaken. He strained his eyes in
every direction, and his sight was excellent. No, decidedly
there was nothing there. ; :

Herbert descended to the foot of the kauri, and the two
sportsmen returned to Granite House. There Cyrus Hard-
ing listened to the lad’s account, shook his head and said
nothing. It was very evident that no decided opinion
could be pronounced on this question until after a complete
exploration of the island.



THE ABANDONED. TI

Two. days after—the 28th of October-—another incident
occurred, for which an explanation was again required.

Whilst strolling along the shore about two miles from
Granite House, Herbert and Neb were fortunate enough to
capture a magnificent specimen of the order of chelonia.
It was a turtle of the species Midas, the edible green turtle,
so called from the colour both of its shell and fat.

Herbert caught sight of this turtle as it was crawling
among the rocks to reach the sea.

“Help, Neb, help!” he cried.

Neb ran up.

“What a fine animal!” said Neb; “but how are we to
catch it?”

“Nothing is easier, Neb,” replied Herbert. “We have
only to turn the turtle on its back, and it cannot possibly
get away. Take your spear and do as I do.”

The reptile, aware of danger, had retired between its cara-
pace and plastron. They no longer saw its head or feet,
and it was motionless as a rock.

Herbert and Neb then drove their sticks underneath the
animal, and by their united efforts managed without
difficulty to turn it on its back. The turtle, which was three
feet in length, would have weighed at least four hundred
pounds.

“Capital!” cried Neb; “this is something which will
rejoice friend Pencroft’s heart.”



12 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

In fact, the heart of friend Pencroft could not fail to be
rejoiced, for the flesh of the turtle, which feeds on wrack-
grass, is extremely savoury. At this moment the creature’s
head could be seen, which was small, flat, but widened
behind by the large temporal fossee hidden under the
long roof.

“And now, what shall we do with our prize?” said Neb,
“We can't drag it to Granite House!”

“Leave it here, since it cannot turn over,” replied Her-
bert, “and we will come back with the cart to fetch it.”

“That is the best plan.”

However, for greater precaution, Herbert took the
trouble, which Neb deemed superfluous, to wedge up the
animal with great stones; after which the two hunters
returned to Granite House, following the beach, which the
tide had left uncovered. Herbert, wishing to surprise
Pencroft, said nothing about the “superb specimen of a
chelonian” which they had turned over on the sand ; but,
two hours later, he and Neb returned with the cart to the
place where they had left it. The “ superb specimen of a
chelonian” was no longer there!

Neb and Herbert stared at each other first; then they
stared about them. It was just at this spot that the turtle
had been left. The lad even found the stones which he
had used, and therefore he was certain of not being
mistaken,



THE ABANDONED. 13



“Well!” said Neb, “these beasts can turn themselves
over, then?”

“Tt appears so,” replied Herbert, who could not under-
stand it at all, and was gazing at the stones scattered on
the sand.

“Well, Pencroft will be disgusted!”

“And Captain Harding will perhaps be very per-
plexed how to explain this disappearance,” thought
Herbert. .

“Look here,” said Neb, who wished to hide his ill-luck,
“we won't speak about it.”

“On the contrary, Neb, we must speak about it,” replied
Herbert.

And the two, taking the cart, which there was now no use
for, returned to Granite House.

Arrived at the dockyard, where the engineer and the
sailor were working together, Herbert recounted what had
happened.

“Oh! the stupids!” cried the sailor, “to have let at least
fifty meals escape!”

“But, Pencroft,” replied Neb, “it wasn’t our fault that the
beast got away ; as I tell you, we had turned it over on its
back!” /

“Then you didn’t turn it over enough!” returned the
obstinate sailor.

“Not enough!” cried Herbert,



14 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

And he told how he had taken care to wedge up the
turtle with stones.

“It is a miracle, then!” replied Pencroft.

“T thought, captain,” said Herbert, “that turtles, once
placed on their backs, could not regain their feet, especially
when they are of a large size?”

“ That is true, my boy,” replied Cyrus Harding.

“ Then how did it manage?”

“At what distance from the sea did you leave this
turtle?” asked the engineer, who, having suspended his
work, was reflecting on this incident.

“ Fifteen feet at the most,” replied Herbcrt,

“ And the tide was:low at the time?”

“Yes, captain.”

“Well,” replied the engineer, “what the turtle could not
do on the sand it might have been able to do in the water.
It turned over when the tide overtook it, and then quietly
returned to the deep sea.”

“Oh! what stupids we were!” cried Neb.

“That is precisely what I had the honour of telling you
before!” returned the sailor. :

Cyrus Harding had given this explanation, which, no
doubt, was admissible. But was he himself convinced of
the accuracy of this explanation? It cannot be said that
he was. ‘



THE ABANDONED. 15

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.

ON the oth of October the bark canoe was entirely finished.
Pencroft had kept his promise, and a light boat, the shell
of which was joined together by the flexible twigs of the
crejimba, had been constructed in five days. A seat in the
stern, a second seat in the middle to preserve the equili-
brium, a third seat in the bows, rowlocks for the two oars,
a scull to steer with, completed the little craft, which
was twelve feet long, and did not weigh more than 200
pounds.

The operation of launching it was extremely simple.
The canoe was carried to the beach and laid on the sand
before Granite House, and the rising tide floated it. Pen-
croft, who leapt in directly, manceuvred it with the scull



16 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

and declared it to be just the thing for the purpose to
which they wished to put it.

“Hurrah!” cried the sailor, who did not disdain to cele-
brate thus his own triumph. ‘With this we could go
round—”

“The world ?” asked Gideon Spilett.

“No, the island. Some stones for ballast, a mast and a
sail, which the captain will make for us some day, and we
shall go splendidly! Well, captain—and you, Mr. Spilett;
and you, Herbert; and you, Neb—aren’t you coming to
try our new vessel? Come along! we must-see if it will
carry all five of us!” :

This was certainly a trial which ought to be made. Pen-
croft soon brought the canoe to the shore by a narrow
passage among the rocks, and it was agreed that they
should make a trial of the boat that day by following the
shore as far as the first’ point at which the rocks of the
south ended.

As they embarked, Neb cried,—

“ But your boat leaks rather, Pencroft.”

“That's nothing, Neb,” replied the sailor; “the wood
will get seasoned. In two days there won’t be a single
leak, and our boat will have no more water in her than
there is in the stomach of a drunkard. Jump in!”

They were soon all seated, and Pencroft shoved off.
The weather was magnificent, the sea as calm as ii its



THE ABANDONED. 17
waters were contained within the narrow limits of a lake.
Thus the boat could proceed with as much security as if it
was ascending the tranquil current of the Mercy.

Neb took one of the oars, Herbert the other, and Pen-
croft remained in the stern in order to use the scull.

The sailor first crossed the channel, and steered close to
the southern point of the islet. A light breeze blew from
the south. No roughness was found either in the channel
or the green sea. A long swell, which the canoe scarcely
felt, as it was heavily laden, rolled regularly over the surface
of the water. They pulled out about half a mile distant
from the shore, that they might have a good view of Mount
Franklin.

Pencroft afterwards returned towards the mouth of the
river. The boat then skirted the shore, which, extending
to the extreme point, hid all Tadorn’s Fens.

This point, of which the distance was increased by the
irregularity of the coast, was nearly three miles from the
Mercy. The settlers resolved to go to its extremity, and
only go beyond it as much as was necessary to take a
rapid survey of the coast as far as Claw Cape.

The canoe followed the windings of the shore, avoiding
the rocks which fringed it, and which the rising tide began
to cover. The cliff gradually sloped away from the mouth
of the river tothe point. This was formed of granite rocks,
capriciously distributed, very different from the cliff at



18 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Prospect Heights, and of an extremely wild aspect. It
might have been said that an immense cartload of rocks
had been emptied out there. There was no vegetation on
this sharp promontory, which projected two miles from the
forest, and it thus represented a giant’s arm stretched out
from a leafy sleeve. .

The canoe, impelled by the two oars, advanced without
difficulty. Gideon Spilett, pencil in one hand and note-
book in the other, sketched the coast in bold strokes.
Neb, Herbert, and Pencroft chatted, whilst examining this
part of their domain, which was new to them, and, in
proportion as the canoe proceeded towards the south, the
two Mandible Capes appeared to move, and surround
Union Bay more closely.

As to Cyrus Harding, he did not speak; he simply
gazed, and by the mistrust which his look expressed, it
appeared that he was examining some strange country.

In the meanwhile, after a voyage of three quarters of an
hour, the canoe reached the extremity of the point, and
Pencroft was preparing to return, when Herbert, rising,
pointed to a black object, saying,—

“What do I see down there on the beach ?”

All eyes turned towards the point indicated.

“Why,” said the reporter, “there is something. It looks
like part of a wreck half buried in the sand.”

“ Ah!” cried Pencroft, “I see what it is!”



THE ABANDONED. 19

“What ?” asked Neb.

“Barrels, barrels, which perhaps are full,” replied the
sailor.

“Pull to the shore, Pencroft!” said Cyrus.

A few strokes of the oar brought the canoe into a litte
creek, and its passengers leapt on shore.

Pencroft was not mistaken. Two barrels were there, half
buried in the sand, but still firmly attached to a large
chest, which, sustained by them, had floated to the moment
when it stranded on the beach.

“There has been a wreck, then, in some part of the
island,” said Herbert.

“Evidently,” replied Spilett.

“But what’s in this chest?” cried Pencroft, with very
natural impatience. “What's in this chest? It is shut up,
and nothing to open it with! Well, perhaps a stone—”

And the sailor, raising a heavy block, was about to break
in one of the sides of the chest, when the engineer arrested
his hand.

“Pencroft,” said he, “can you restrain your impatience
for one hour only 2”

“But, captain, just think! Perhaps there is everything
we want in there!”

“We shall find that out, Pencroft,” replied the engineer ;
“but trust to me, and do not break the chest, which may be
useful to us. We must convey it to Granite House, where



20 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

we can open it easily, and without breaking it. It is quite
prepared for a voyage; and, since it has floated here, it
may just as well float to the mouth of the river.”

“You are right, captain, and I was wrong, as usual,”
replied the sailor.

The engineer's advice was good. In fact, the canoe pro-
bably would not have been able to contain the articles
possibly enclosed in the chest, which doubtless was heavy,
since two empty barrels were required to buoy it up. It
was, therefore, much better to tow it to the beach at
Granite House..

And now, whence had this chest come? That was the
important question. Cyrus Harding and his companions
looked attentively around them, and examined the shore
for several hundred steps. No other articles or pieces
of wreck could be found. Herbert and Neb climbed
a high rock to survey the sea, but there was nothing
in sight—neither a dismasted vessel nor a ship under
sail. .

However, there was no doubt that there had been a
wreck. Perhaps this incident was connected with that of
the bullet? Perhaps strangers had landed on another part
of the island? Perhaps they were still there? But the
thought which came naturally to the settlers was, that
these strangers could not be Malay pirates, for the chest
was evidently of American or European make.



THE ABANDONED. 21

All the party returned to the chest, which was of an
unusually large size. It was made of oak wood, very
carefully closed and covered with a thick hide, which was
secured by copper nails. The two great barrels, her-
metically sealed, but which sounded hollow and empty, were
fastened to its sides by strong ropes, knotted with a skill
which Pencroft directly pronounced sailors alone could
exhibit. It appeared to be in a perfect state of preserva-
tion, which was explained by the fact that it had stranded
on a sandy beach, and not among rocks. They had no
doubt whatever, on examining it carefully, that it had not
been long in the water, and that its arrival on this coast was
recent. The water did not appear to have penetrated to
the inside, and the articles which it contained were no
doubt uninjured.

It was evident that this chest had been thrown over-
board from some dismasted vessel driven towards the
island, and that, in the hope that it would reach the land,
where they might afterwards find it, the passengers had
taken the precaution to buoy it up by means of this
floating apparatus.

“We will tow this chest to Granite House,” said the
engineer, “where we can make an inventory of its con-
tents ; then, if we discover any of the survivors from the
supposed wreck, we can return it to those to whom it

belongs. If we find no one—”
Cc



22 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“We will keep it for ourselves!” cried Pencroft. “ But
what in the world can there be in it ?”

The sea was already approaching the chest, and the high
tide would evidently float it. One of the ropes which
fastened the barrels was partly unlashed and used as a
cable to unite the floating apparatus with the canoe.
Pencroft and Neb then dug away the sand with their oars,
so as to facilitate the moving of the chest, towing which
the boat soon began to double the point, to which the
name of Flotsam Point was given.

The chest was heavy, and the barrels were scarcely
sufficient to keep it above water. The sailor also feared
every instant that it would get loose and sink to the
bottom of the sea. But happily his fears were not
realized, and an hour and a half after they set out—
all that time had been taken up in going a distance
of three miles—the boat touched the beach below Granite
House. .

Canoe and chest were then hauled up on the sand ; and
as the tide was then going out, they were soon left high
and dry. Neb, hurrying home, brought back some tools
with which to open the chest in such a way that it might
be injured as little as possible, and they proceeded to its
inventory. Pencroft did not try to hide that he was
greatly excited.

The sailor began by detaching the two barrels, which,













































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































\
Ww













Flotsam and jetsam,



THE ABANDONED. 23



being in good condition, would of course be of use. Then
the locks were forced. with a cold chisel and hammer,
and the lid thrown back. A second casing of: zinc lined
the interior of the chest, which had been evidently arranged
that the articles which it enclosed might under any cir-
cumstances be sheltered from damp. .

“Oh!” cried Neb, “suppose it’s jam!”

“T hope not,” replied the reporter,

» said the sailor in a low

“Tf only there was—
voice.

“What?” asked Neb, who overheard him.

“Nothing !”

The covering of zinc was torn off and thrown back over
the sides of the chest, and by degrees numerous articles
of very varied character were produced and strewn about
on the sand. At each new object Pencroft uttered fresh
nurrahs, Herbert clapped his hands, and Neb danced—
like a nigger. There were books which made Herbert
wild with joy, and cooking utensils which Neb covered
with kisses !

In short, the colonists had reason to be extremely satis-
fied, for this chest contained tools, weapons, instruments,
clothes, books ; and this is the exact list of them as stated
in Gideon Spilett’s note-book :—

Tools :—3 knives with several blades, 2 woodmen’s axes,
2 carpenter’s hatchets, 3 planes, 2 adzes, 1 twibil or mat-



24 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

tock, 6 chisels, 2 files, 3 hammers, 3 gimlets, 2 augers,
10 bags of nails and screws, 3 saws of different sizes,
2 boxes of needles,

Weapons:—2 flint-lock guns, 2 for percussion caps,
2 breech-loader carbines, 5 boarding cutlasses, 4 sabres,
2 barrels of powder, each containing twenty-five pounds ;
12 boxes of percussion caps, ;

Instruments :—1 sextant, 1 double opera-glass, 1 tele-
scope, I box of mathematical instruments, I mariner’s
compass, 1 Fahrenheit thermometer, 1 aneroid barometer,
1 box containing a photographic apparatus, object-glass,
plates, chemicals, &c.

Clothes :—2 dozen shirts of a peculiar material resem-
bling wool, but evidently of a vegetable origin; 3 dozen
stockings of the same material.

Utensils:—1 iron pot, 6 copper saucepans, 3 iron dishes,
Io metal plates, 2 kettles, 1 portable stove, 6 table-
knives, ;

Books :—1 Bible, 1 atlas, 1 dictionary of the different
Polynesian idioms, 1 dictionary of natural science, in six
volumes ; 3 reams of white paper, 2 books with blank
pages.

“Tt must be allowed,” said the reporter, after the inven-
tory had been made, “that the owner of this chest was a
practical man! Tools, weapons, instruments, clothes, uten-
sils, books—nothing is wanting! It might really be said





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Unpacking the marvellous chest,



THE ABANDONED. 25

that he expected to be wrecked, and had prepared for it
beforehand.”

“Nothing is wanting, indeed,” murmured Cyrus Harding
thoughtfully.

“ And for a certainty,” added Herbert, “the vessel which
carried this chest and its owner was not a Malay pirate!”

“Unless,” said Pencroft, “the owner had been taken
prisoner by pirates—”

“That is not admissible,” replied the reporter. “It is
more probable that an American or European vessel has
been driven into this quarter, and that her passengers,
wishing to save necessaries at least, prepared this chest and
threw it overboard.”

“Ts that your opinion, captain?” asked Herbert.

“Yes, my boy,” replied the engineer, “that: may have
been the case. It is possible that at the moment, or in
expectation of a wreck, they collected into this chest dif-
ferent articles of the greatest use in hopes of finding it
again on the coast—”

“Even the photographic box!” exclaimed the sailor
incredulously.

“Asto that apparatus,” replied Harding, “I do not quite
see the use of it; and a more complete supply of clothes
or more abundant ammunition would have been more
valuable to us as well as to any other castaways!”

“But isn’t there any mark or direction on these instru-



26 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

ments, tools, or books, which would tell us something
about them ?” asked Gideon Spilett.

That might be ascertained. Each article was carefully
examined, especially the books, instruments and weapons.
Neither the weapons nor the instruments, contrary to the
usual custom, bore the name of the maker; they were,
besides, in a perfect state, and did not appear to. have
been used. The same peculiarity marked the tools and
utensils ; all were new, which proved that the articles had
not been taken by chance and thrown into the chest, but,
on the contrary, that the choice of the things had been
well considered and arranged with care. This was also
indicated by the second case of metal which had preserved
them from damp, ’and which could not have been soldered
in a moment of haste. ,

As to the dictionaries of natural science and Polynesian
idioms, both were English ; but they neither bore the name
of the publisher nor the date of publication.

The same with the Bible printed in English, in quarto,
remarkable in a typographical point of view, and which
appeared to have been often used.

The atlas was a magnificent work, comprising maps of
every country in the world, and several planispheres
arranged upon Mercator’s projection, and of which the
nomenclature was in French—but which also bore neither
date nor name of publisher.



THE ABANDONED. 27



There was nothing, therefore, on these different articles
by which they could be traced, and nothing consequently
of a nature to show the nationality of the vessel which must
have recently passed these shores.

But, wherever the chest might have come from, it
was a treasure to the settlers on Lincoln Island. Till
then, by making use of the productions of nature, they
had created everything for themselves, and, thanks to
their intelligence, they had managed without difficulty.
But did it not appear as if Providence had wished
to reward them by sending them these productions of
human industry? Their thanks rose unanimously to
Heaven.

However, one of them was not quite satisfied: it was
Pencroft. It appeared that the chest did not contain
something which he evidently held in great esteem, for in
proportion as they approached the bottom of the box, his
hurrahs diminished in heartiness, and, the inventory finished,
he was heard to mutter these words :—

“That's all very fine, but you can see that there is
nothing for me in that box!”

This led Neb to say,—

“Why, friend Pencroft, what more do you cere

“Half a pound of tobacco,” replied Pencroft seriously,
“and nothing would have been wanting to complete my

happiness !”



28 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

No one could help laughing at this speech of the
sailor’s.

But the result of this discovery of the chest was, that
it was now more than ever necessary to explore the island
thoroughly. It was therefore agreed that the next morning
at break of day they should set out, by ascending the
Mercy so as to reach the western shore. If any castaways
had landed on the coast, it was to be feared they were
without resources, and it was therefore the more necessary
to carry help to them without delay. :

During the day the different articles were carried to
Granite House, where they were methodically arranged in
the great hall.

This day—the 29th of October—happened to be a
Sunday, and, before going to bed, Herbert asked the
engineer if he would not read them something from the
Gospel.

“Willingly,” replied Cyrus Harding.

He took the sacred volume, and was about to open it,
when Pencroft stopped him, saying,—

“Captain, I am superstitious. Open at random and
read the first verse which your eye falls upon. We will
see if it applies to our situation.”

Cyrus Harding smiled at the sailor’s idea, and, yielding
to his wish, he opened exactly at a place where the leaves
were separated by a marker.





Pencroft’s superstition.



THE ABANDONED. 29
Immediately his eyes were attracted by a cross which,
made with a pencil, was placed against the eighth verse of
the seventh chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew. He
read the verse, which was this :-—
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that
seeketh findeth.”



30 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



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.

THE next day, the 30th of October, all was ready for the
proposed exploring expedition, which recent events had
rendered so necessary. In fact, things had so come
about that the settlers in Lincoln Island no longer
needed help for themselves, but were even able to carry it
to others.

It was therefore agreed that they should ascend the
Mercy as far as the river was navigable. A great part of
the distance would thus be traversed without fatigue, and
the explorers could transport their provisions and arms
to an advanced point in the west of the island.

It was necessary to think not only of the things which
they should take with them, but also of those which they



THE ABANDONED. 31



might have by chance to bring back to Granite House. If
there had been a wreck on the coast, as was supposed,
there would be many things cast up, which would be
lawfully their prizes. In the event of this, the cart would
have been of more use than the light canoe, but it was
heavy and clumsy to drag, and therefore more difficult to
use; this led Pencroft to express his regret that the chest
had not contained, besides “his half-pound of tobacco,” a
pair of strong New Jersey horses, which would have been
very useful to the colony!

The provisions, which Neb had already packed up, con-
sisted of a store of meat and of several gallons of beer,
that is to say enough to sustain them for three days, the
time which Harding assigned for the expedition. They
hoped besides to supply themselves on the road, and Neb
took care not to forget the portable stove.

The only tools the settlers took were the two wood-
men’s axes, which they could use to cut a path through the
thick forests, as also the instruments, the telescope and
pocket-compass.

For weapons they selected the two flint-lock guns, which
were likely to be more useful to them than the percussion
fowling-pieces, the first only requiring flints which could. be
easily replaced, and the latter needing fulminating caps, a
frequent use of which would soon exhaust their limited

stock. However, they took also one of the carbines and
D



32 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

some cartridges. As to the powder, of which there was
about fifty pounds in the barrel, a small supply of it had
to be taken, but the engineer hoped to manufacture an
explosive substance which would allow them to husband it.
To the fire-arms were added the five cutlasses well sheathed
in leather, and, thus supplied, the settlers could venture into
the vast forest with some chance of success,

It is useless to add that Pencroft, Herbert, and Neb,
thus armed, were at the summit of their happiness,
although Cyrus Harding made them promise not to fire a
shot unless it was necessary.

At six in the morning the canoe put off from the shore ;
all had embarked, including Top, and they este to
the mouth of the Mercy.

The tide had begun to come up half an hour before.
For several hours, therefore, there would be a current,
which it was well to profit by, for later the ebb would
make it difficult to ascend the river. The tide was already
strong, for in three days the moon would be full, and it
was enough to keep the boat in the centre of the current,
where it floated swiftly along between the high banks with-
out its being necessary to increase its speed by the aid of
the oars. In a few minutes the explorers arrived at the
angle formed by the Mercy, and exactly at the place
where, seven months before, Pencroft had made his first
raft of wood.



THE ABANDONED. 33



After this sudden angle the river widened and flowed
under the shade of great evergreen firs.

The aspect of the banks was magnificent. Cyrus Harding
and his companions could not but admire the lovely effects
so easily produced by nature with water and trees. As
they advanced the forest element diminished. On the
right bank of the river grew magnificent specimens of the
ulmacez tribe, the precious elm, so valuable to builders,
and which withstands well the action of water. Then
there were numerous groups belonging to the same family,
amongst others one in particular, the fruit of which pro-
duces a very useful oil, Further on, Herbert remarked
the lardizabala, a twining shrub which, when bruised in
water, furnishes excellent cordage ; and two or three
ebony treés of a beautiful black, crossed with capricious
veins.

From time to time, in certain places where the landing
was easy, the canoe was stopped, when Gideon Spilett,
Herbert, and Pencroft, their guns in their hands, and
preceded by Top, jumped on shore. Without expecting
game, some useful plant might be met with, and the young
naturalist was delighted with discovering a sort of wild
spinage, belonging to the order of chenopodiacez, and
numerous specimens of cruciferae, belonging to the cabbage
tribe, which it would certainly be possible to cultivate by
transplanting. There were cresses, horse-radish, turnips,



34 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
and lastly, little branching hairy stalks, scarcely more than
three feet high, which produced brownish grains.

“Do you know what this plant is?” asked Herbert of
the sailor. -

“Tobacco!” cried Pencroft, who evidently had never
seen his favourite plant except in the bowl of his pipe.

“No, Pencroft,” replied Herbert ; “this is not tobacco, it
is mustard.”

“Mustard be hanged!” returned the sailor; “ but if by
chance you happen to come across a tobacco-plant, my
boy, pray don’t scorn that!”

“We shall find it some day!” said Gideon Spilett.

“Well!” exclaimed Pencroft, “when that day comes, I
do not know what more will be wanting in our island!”

These different plants, which had been carefully rooted
up, were carried to the canoe, where Cyrus Harding had
remained buried in thought.

The reporter, Herbert, and Pencroft in this manner
frequently disembarked, sometimes on the right bank,
sometimes on the left bank of the Mercy.

The latter was less abrupt, but the former more wooded.
The engineer ascertained by consulting his pocket compass
that the direction of the river from the first turn was
obviously south-west and north-east, and nearly straight
for a length of about three miles, But it was to be sup-
posed that this direction changed beyond that point, and





Is it tobacco ?



THE ABANDONED. 35



that the Mercy continued to the north-west, towards the
spurs of Mount Franklin, among which the river rose.

During one of these excursions, Gideon Spilett managed
to get hold of two couples of living gallinacee. They were
birds with long, thin beaks, lengthened necks, short wings,
and without any appearance of a tail. Herbert rightly
gave them the name of tinamons, and it was resolved that
they should be the first tenants of their future poultry-
yard.

But till then the guns had not spoken, and the first
report which awoke the echoes of the forest of the Far
West was provoked by the appearance of a beautiful bird,
resembling the kingfisher.

“TI recognize him!” cried Pencroft, and it seemed as if
his gun went off by itself.

“What do you recognize?” asked the reporter.

“The bird which escaped us on our first excursion, and
from which we gave the name to that part of the forest.”

“ A jacamar !” cried Herbert.

It was indeed a jacamar, of which the plumage shines
with a metallic lustre. A shot brought it to the ground,
and Top carried. it to the canoe. At the same time half a
dozen lories were brought down. The lory is of the size of
a pigeon, the plumage dashed with green, part of the wings
crimson, and its crest bordered with white. To the young
boy belonged the honour of this shot, and he was proud



36 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,
enough of it. Lories are better food than the jacamar, the
flesh of which is rather tough, but it was difficult to
persuade Pencroft that he had not killed the king of
eatable birds. It was ten o’clock in the morning when the
canoe reached a second angle of the Mercy, nearly five
miles from its mouth. Here a halt was made for, breakfast
under the shade of some splendid trees. The river still
measured from sixty to seventy feet in breadth, and its bed
from five to six feet in depth. The engineer had observed
that it was increased by numerous affluents, but they were
unnavigable, being simply little streams. As to the forest,
including Jacamar Wood, as well as the forests of the Far
West, it extended as far as the eye could reach. Inno
place, either in the depths of the forest or under the trees
on the banks of the Mercy, was the presence of man
revealed. The explorers could not discover one suspicious
trace. It was evident that the woodman’s axe had never
touched these trees, that the pioneer’s knife had never
severed the creepers hanging from one trunk to another in
the midst of tangled brushwood and long grass. If cast-
aways had landed on the island, they could not have yet
quitted the shore, and it was not in the woods that the
survivors of the supposed shipwreck should be sought.
The engineer therefore manifested some impatience to
reach the western coast of Lincoln Island, which was at
least five miles distant according to his estimation.





The halt for breakfast.



THE ABANDONED. 37



The voyage was continued, and as the Mercy appeared
to flow not towards the shore, but rather towards Mount
Franklin, it was decided that they should use the boat as
long as there was enough water under its keel to float it.
It was both fatigue spared and time gained, for they would
have been obliged to cut a path through the thick wood
with their axes. But soon the flow completely failed them,
either the tide was going down, and it was about the hour,
or it could no longer be felt at this distance from the mouth
of the Mercy. They had therefore to make use of the
oars, Herbert and Neb each took one, and Pencroft took
the scull. The forest soon became less dense, the trees
grew further apart and often quite isolated. But the
further they were from each other the more magnificent
they appeared, profiting, as they did, by the free, pure air
which circulated around them.

What splendid specimens of the Flora of this latitude!
Certainly their presence would have been enough for a
botanist to name without hesitation the parallel which
traversed Lincoln Island.

“Eucalypti!” cried Herbert.

They were, in fact, those splendid trees, the giants of
the extra-tropical zone, the congeners of the Australian
and New Zealand eucalyptus, both situated under the
same latitude as Lincoln Island. Some rose to a height of
two hundred feet. Their trunks at the base measured



38 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

twenty feet in circumference, and their bark was covered
by a network of furrows containing a red, sweet-smelling
gum. Nothing is more wonderful or more singular than
those enormous specimens of the order of the myrtacez,
with their leaves placed vertically and not horizontally, so
that an edge and not a surface looks upwards, the effect
being that the sun’s rays penetrate more freely among the
trees.

The ground at the foot of the eucalypti was carpeted
with grass, and from the bushes escaped flights of little
birds, which glittered in the sunlight like winged rubies.

“ These are something like trees!” cried Neb; “but are
they good for anything ?”

“Pooh!” replied Pencroft. “Of course there are vege-
table giants as well as human giants, and they are no good,
except to show themselves at fairs !”

“TI think that you are mistaken, Pencroft,” replied
Gideon Spilett, “and that the wood of the eucalyptus
has begun to be very advantageously employed in cabinet-
making.”

“And I may add,” said Herbert, “that the eucalyptus
belongs to a family which comprises many useful members ;
the guava-tree, from whose fruit guava jelly is made; the
clove-tree, which produces the spice; the pomegranate-
tree, which bears pomegranates ; the Eugeacia Cauliflora,
the fruit of which is used in making a tolerable wine; the



THE ABANDONED. 39
Ugui myrtle, which contains an excellent alcoholic liquor ;
the Caryophyllus myrtle, of which the bark forms an
esteemed cinnamon; the Eugenia Pimenta, from whence
comes Jamaica pepper; the common myrtle, from whose
buds and berries spice is sometimes made; the Eucalyptus
manifera, which yields a sweet sort of manna; the Guinea
Eucalyptus, the sap of which is transformed into beer by
fermentation ; in short, all those trees known under the
name of gum-trees or iron-bark trees in Australia, belong
to this family of the myrtacez, which contains forty-six
genera and thirteen hundred species!”

The lad was allowed to run on, and he delivered his little
botanical lecture with great animation. Cyrus Harding
listened smiling, and Pencroft with an indescribable feeling
of pride.

“Very good, Herbert,” replied Pencroft, “but I could
swear that all those useful specimens you have just told us
about are none of them giants like these!”

“That is true, Pencroft.”

“That supports what I said,” returned the sailor,
“namely, that these giants are good for nothing!”

“There you are wrong, Pencroft,” said the engineer ;
“these gigantic eucalypti, which shelter us, are good for
something.”

“ And what is that ?”

“To render the countries which they inhabit healthy.



40 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Do you know what they are called in Australia and New
Zealand 2?”

“No, captain.”

“They are called ‘fever trees,’”

“ Because they give fevers ?”

“No, because they prevent them !”

“Good. I must note that,” said the reporter.

“Note it then, my dear Spilett; for it appears proved
that the presence of the eucalyptus is enough to neutralize
miasmas. This natural antidote has been tried in certain
countries in the middle of Europe and the north of Africa,
where the soil was absolutely unhealthy, and the sanitary
condition of the inhabitants has been gradually ameliorated.
No more intermittent fevers prevail in the regions now
covered with forests of the myrtacee. This fact is now
beyond doubt, and it is a happy circumstance for us
settlers in Lincoln Island.”

“Ah! what an island! What a blessed island!” cried
Pencroft. I tell you, it wants nothing—unless it is—”

“That will come, Pencroft, that will be found,” replied
the engineer ; “but now we must continue our voyage and
push on as far as the river will carry our boat!”

The exploration was therefore continued for another
two miles in the midst of country covered with eucalypti,
which predominated in the woods of this portion of the
island. The space which they occupied extended as far as



THE ABANDONED. 41

the eye could reach on each side of the Mercy, which
wound along between high green banks. The bed was
often obstructed by long weeds, and even by pointed rocks,
which rendered the navigation very difficult. The action
of the oars was prevented, and Pencroft was obliged to
push with a pole. They found also that the water was
becoming shallower and shallower, and that the canoe
must soon stop. The sun was already sinking towards
the horizon, and the trees threw long shadows on the
ground. Cyrus Harding, seeing that he could not hope
to reach the western coast of the island in one journey,
resolved to camp at the place where any further naviga-
tion was prevented by want of water. He calculated that
they were still five or six miles from the coast, and this
distance was too great for them to attempt traversing
during the night in the midst of unknown woods.

The boat was pushed on through the forest, which
gradually became thicker again, and appeared also to
have more inhabitants; for if the eyes of the sailor did
not deceive him, he thought he saw bands of monkeys
springing among the trees. Sometimes even two or three
of these animals stopped at a little distance from the
canoe and gazed at the settlers without manifesting any
terror, as if, seeing men. for the first time, they had not yet
learned to fear them. .It would have been easy to bring
down one of these quadrumani with a gunshot, and Pen-



42 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

croft was greatly tempted to fire, but Harding opposed so
useless a massacre. This was prudent, for the monkeys,
or apes rather, appearing to be very powerful and extremely
active, it was useless to provoke an unnecessary aggression,
and the creatures might, ignorant of the power of the ex-
plorers’ fire-arms, have attacked them. It is true that the
sailor considered the monkeys from a purely alimentary
point of view, for those animals which are herbivorous make
very excellent game; but since they had an abundant supply
of provisions, it was a pity to waste their ammunition.

Towards four o’clock, the navigation of the Mercy became
exceedingly difficult, for its course was obstructed by
aquatic plants and rocks, The banks rose higher and
higher, and already they were approaching the spurs of
Mount Franklin. The source could not be far off, since it
was fed by the water from the southern slopes of the
mountain.

“In a quarter of an hour,” said the sailor, “we shall be
obliged to stop, captain.”

“Very well, we will stop, Pencroft, and we will make
our encampment for the night.”

“At what distance are we from Granite House ?” asked
Herbert.

“ About seven miles,” replied the engineer, “taking into
calculation, however, the détours of the river, which has
carried us to the north-west.”



THE ABANDONED. : 43

“ Shall we go on?” asked the reporter.

“Yes, as long as we can,” replied Cyrus Harding, “To-
morrow, at break of day, we will leave the canoe, and in
two hours I hope we shall cross the distance which separates
us from the coast, and then we shall have the whole day in
which to explore the shore.”

“Go-ahead!” replied Pencroft.

But soon the boat grated on the stony bottom of the
river, which was now not more than twenty feet in breadth.
The trees met like a bower overhead, and caused a half-
darkness. They also heard the noise of a waterfall, which
showed that a few hundred feet up the river there was a
natural barrier.

Presently, after a sudden turn of the river, a cascade
appeared through the trees. The canoe again touched the
bottom, and in a few minutes it was moored to a trunk
near the right bank.

It was nearly five o’clock. The last rays of the sun
gleamed through the thick foliage and glanced on the
little waterfall, making the spray sparkle with all the
colours of the rainbow. Beyond that, the Mercy was lost
in the brushwood, where it was fed from some hidden
source. The different streams which flowed into it
increased it to a regular river further down, but here it
was simply a shallow, limpid brook.

It was agreed to camp here, as the place was charming.

E



44. THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.»

The colonists disembarked, and a fire was soon lighted
under a clump of trees, among the branches of which
Cyrus Harding and -his .companions — could, if it was
necessary,.take refuge for the night... .

Supper was quickly. devoured, for they were very shane
and then there was only sleeping to think of. But, as
roarings of rather a suspicious nature: had been heard
during the evening,.a good fire was.made up for the night,
so, aS to- protect. the sleepers with .its crackling flames.
Neb and..Pencroft. also watched by turns, and did not
spare, fuel. They thought they saw the dark forms of
some wild. animals prowling round the-camp among the
bushes, but the night passed without incident, and the
next day, the 31st of October, at five o’clock in the
morning, all were on foot, ready for a start.



THE ABANDONED. 45

CHAPTER IV.

JOURNEY TO THE COAST—TROOPS OF MONKEYS-—A NEW

RIVER—THE REASON THE TIDE WAS NOT FELT—A

. WOODY SHORE—REPTILE PROMONTORY—HERBERT
ENVIES GIDEON SPILETT—EXPLOSION OF BAMBOOS.,

IT was six o’clock in the morning.when the settlers, after
a hasty breakfast, set out to reach by the shortest way
the western coast of the island. And how long would it
take to do this? Cyrus Harding had said two hours, but
of course that depended on the nature of the obstacles
they might meet with. As it was probable that they would
have to cut a path through the grass, shrubs, and creepers,
they marched axe in hand, and with guns also ready,
wisely taking warning from the cries of the wild beasts
heard in the night.

The exact position of the encampment could be deter-
mined by the bearing of Mount Franklin, and as the
volcano arose in the north at a distance of less than three
miles, they had only to go straight towards the south.



4c THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. |



west to reach the western coast. They set out, having
first carefully secured the canoe. Pencroft and Neb
carried sufficient provisions for the little band for at least
two days. It would not thus be necessary to hunt. The
engineer advised his companions to refrain from firing,
that their presence might not be betrayed to any one near
the shore. The first hatchet blows were given among the
brushwood in the midst of some mastick-trees, a little
above the cascade; and his compass in his hand, Cyrus
Harding led the way. |

The forest here was composed for the most part of trees
which had already been met with near the lake and on
Prospect Heights. ‘There were deodars, Douglas firs, casu-
arinas, gum-trees, eucalypti, hibiscus, cedars, and other
trees, generally of a moderate size, for their number
prevented their growth.

Since their departure, the adiee had descended the
slopes which constituted the mountain system of the island,
on to a dry soil, but the luxuriant vegetation of which
indicated it to be watered either by some subterranean
marsh or by some’ stream. However, Cyrus Harding did
not remember to have seen, at the time of his excursion to
the crater, any other watercourses but the Red Creek and
the Mercy.

During the first part of their excursion, they saw nume-
reus troops of monkeys who exhibited great astonishment







Denizens of the forest.



THE ABANDONED. 47



at the sight of men, whose appearance was so new to them.
Gideon Spilett jokingly asked whether these active and
merry quadrupeds did not consider him and his companions
as degenerate brothers.

And certainly, pedestrians, hindered at ene step by
bushes, caught by creepers, barred by trunks of trees, did
not shine beside those supple animals, who, bounding from
branch to’ branch, were hindered by nothing on their
course. The monkeys were numerous, but happily they
did not manifest any hostile disposition.

Several pigs, agoutis, kangaroos, and other rodents were
seen, also two or three kaolas, at which Pencroft longed
to have a shot.

“But,” said he, “you may jump and play just now; we
shall have one or two words to say to you on our way
back !”

At half-past nine the way was suddenly found to be
barred by an unknown stream, from thirty to forty feet
broad, whose rapid current dashed foaming over the nume-
rous rocks which interrupted its course.. This creek was
deep and clear, but it was absolutely unnavigable.

“We are cut off!” cried Neb.

“No,” replied Herbert, “it is only a stream, and we can
easily swim over.”

“What would be the use of that ?” returned Harding.
“This creek evidently runs to the sea. Let us remain



48 ; THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND



on this side and follow the bank, and I shall be much
astonished if it does not lead us very quickly to the coast.
Forward!”

“One minute,” said the reporter. “The name of this
creek, my friends? Do not let us leave our geography
incomplete.” —

“All right!” said Pencroft.

“ Name it, my boy,” said the engineer, addressing the lad.

“Will it not be better to wait until we have explored it
to its mouth?” answered Herbert.

“Very well,” replied Cyrus Harding. “Let us follow it
as fast as we can without stopping.”

“Still another minute!” said Pencroft.

“ What’s the matter?” asked the reporter.

“Though hunting is forbidden, fishing is allowed, I
suppose,” said the sailor.

“We have no time to lose,” replied the engineer.

“Oh! five minutes!” replied Pencroft, “I only ask for
five minutes to use in the interest of our breakfast!”

And Pencroft, lying down on the bank, plunged his
arm into the water, and soon pulled up several dozen of fine
crayfish from among the stones.

“These will be good!” cried Neb, going to the sailor’s
aid.

“As I said, there is everything in this island, except
tobacco!” muttered Pencroft with a sigh.



THE ABANDONED. 49

The fishing did not take five minutes, for the crayfish
were swarming in the creek, A bag was filled with the
crustaceze, whose shells were of a cobalt blue. The settlers
then pushed on.

They advanced more rapidly and easily ‘Aisne the bank
of the river than in the forest. From time to time they
came upon the traces of animals of a large size who had
come to quench their thirst at the stream, but none were
actually seen, and it was evidently not in this part of the
forest that the peccary had received the bullet which had
cost Pencroft a grinder.

In the meanwhile, considering the fapid ei current, Hard-
ing was led to suppose that he and his companions were
much farther from the western coast than they had at first
supposed. In fact, at this hour, the rising tide would have
turned back the current of the creek, if its mouth had only
been a few miles distant. Now, this effect was not pro-
duced, and the water pursued its natural course. The
engineer was much astonished at this, and frequently
consulted his compass, to assure himself that some turn of
the river was not leading them again into the Far West.

However, the creek gradually widened and its waters
became less tumultuous. The trees on the right bank
were as close together as on the left bank, and it was
impossible to distinguish anything beyond them ; but these
masses of wood were evidently uninhabited, for Top did not



50 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



bark, and the intelligent animal would not have failed to
signal the presence of any stranger in the neighbourhood.

At half-past ten, to the great surprise of Cyrus Harding,
Herbert, who was a little in front, suddenly stopped and
exclaimed,—

“The sea!”

In a few minutes more, the whole western shore of the
island lay extended before the eyes of the settlers.

But what a contrast between this and the eastern coast,
upon which chance had first thrown them. No granite
cliff, no rocks, not even a sandy beach. The forest reached
the shore, and the tall trees bending over the water were
beaten by the waves. It was not such a shore as is usually
formed by nature, either by extending a vast carpet of
sand, or by grouping masses of rock, but a beautiful border
consisting of the. most splendid trees. The bank was
raised a little above the level of the sea, and on this
luxuriant soil supported by a granite base, the fine forest
trees seemed to be as firmly planted as in the interior of
the island. .

The.colonists were then on the shore of an unimportant
little harbour, which would scarcely have contained even
two or three fishing-boats. It served as a neck to the new
creek, of which the curious thing was that its waters, instead
of joining the sea by a gentle slope, fell from a height of
more than forty feet, which explained why the rising tide







The sea !



THE ABANDONED. SI

was not felt up the stream. In fact, the tides of the Pacific,
even at their maximum of elevation, could never reach the
level of the river,-and, doubtless, millions of years would
pass before the water would have worn away the granite
and hollowed a practicable mouth.

It was settled that the name of Falls River should be
given to this stream. Beyond, towards the north, the
forest border was prolonged for a space of nearly two
miles; then the trees became scarcer, and beyond that
again the picturesque heights described a nearly straight
line, which ran north and south. On the contrary, all the
part of the shore between Falls River and Reptile End was
a mass of wood, magnificent trees, some straight, others
bent, so that the long sea-swell bathed their roots. Now,
it was this coast, that is, all the Serpentine peninsula, that
was to be explored, for this part of the shore offered a
refuge to castaways, which the other wild and barren side
must have refused. =

The weather was fine and clear, and from the height of a
hillock on which Neb and Pencroft had arranged breakfast,
a wide view was obtained. There was, however, not ‘a sail
in sight; nothing could be seen along the shore as far as
the eye could reach. But the engineer would take nothing
for granted until he had explored the coast to the very
extremity of the Serpentine peninsula.

Breakfast was soon despatched, and at half-past eleven



52 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the captain gave the signal for departure. Instead of
proceeding over the summit of a cliff or along a sandy
beach, the settlers were obliged to remain under cover of
the trees so that they might continue on the shore.

The distance which separated Falls River from Reptile
End was about twelve miles. It would have taken the
settlers four hours to do this, on a clear ground and without
hurrying themselves; but. as it was they needed double
the time, for what with. trees to go round, bushes to cut
down, and creepers to chop away, they were impeded at
every step, these obstacles greatly lengthening their
journey. i tu

There was, however, nothing to show that a Mibweace
had taken place recently. It is true that, as Gideon
Spilett observed, any remains of it might have. drifted; out
to sea, and they must not take it. for granted that because
they could, find no traces of it, a ship had. ee
away on the coast. wo Darby Gas

The _reporter’s argument was just, and_ besides, the
incident of the bullet proved that a shot. must have been
fired in Lincoln Island within three months, ; .
__It was already five o’clock, and there were still two miles
between the settlers and the extremity of the Serpentine
peninsula. It .was evident that after having reached Reptile
End, Harding and his companions would not have; time to
return before.dark to their.encampment. near. the source of



THE ABANDONED. 53

the Mercy. It would therefore be necessary to pass the
night on the promontory... But they had no lack of
provisions, which was lucky, for there were no animals on
the shore, though birds, on the contrary, abounded—
jacamars, couroucoos, tragopans, grouse, lories, parrots,
cockatoos, pheasants, pigeons, and a hundred others.
There was not a tree without a nest, and not a nest which
was not full of flapping wings.

Towards seven o’clock the weary explorers arrived at
Reptile End. Here the seaside forest ended, and the shore
resumed the customary appearance of a coast, with rocks,
reefs, and sands. It was possible that something might be
found here; but darkness came on, and the further explora-
tion had to be put off to the next day.

Pencroft and Herbert hastened on to find a suitable
place for their camp. Amongst the last trees of the forest
of the Far West, the boy found several thick clumps of
bamboos.. _ oe

“Good,” said he; “ this is a valuable discovery.”

“Valuable?” returned Pencroft.

“Certainly,” replied Herbert. “I may say, Pencroft,
that the bark of the bamboo, cut into flexible laths, is used
for making baskets ; that this bark, mashed into a paste, is
used for the manufacture of Chinese paper ; that the stalks
furnish, according to their size, canes and pipes, and are
used for conducting water; that large bamboos make



54 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

excellent material for building, being light and strong, and
being never attacked by insects. I will add that by sawing
the bamboo in two at the joint, keeping for the bottom the
part of the transverse film which forms the joint, useful cups
are obtained, which are much in use among the Chinese.
No! you don’t care for that. But—”

“But what?”

“But I can tell you, if you are ignorant of it, that in
India these bamboos are eaten like asparagus.”

“Asparagus thirty feet high!” exclaimed the sailor.
“And are they good ?”

“Excellent,” replied Herbert. “Only it is not the stems
of thirty feet high which are eaten, but the young shoots.”

“ Perfect, my boy, perfect!” replied Pencroft.

“JT will also add that the pith of the young stalks,
preserved in vinegar, makes a good pickle.”

“ Better and better, Herbert!”

-“ And lastly, that the bamboos exude a sweet liquor

which can be made into a very agreeable drink.”

“Ts that all?” asked the sailor.

“That is all!”

“ And they don’t happen to do for smoking ?”

“No, my poor Pencroft.”

Herbert and the sailor had not to look long fora place in
which to pass the night. The rocks, which must have been
violently beaten by the sea under the influence of the winds



THE ABANDONED. B85

of the south-west, presented many cavities in which shelter
could be found against the night air. But just as they
were about to enter one of these caves a loud roaring
arrested them.

“Back!” cried Pencroft. “Our guns are only loaded
with small shot, and beasts which can roar as loud as that
would care no more for it than for grains of salt!” And
the sailor, seizing Herbert by the arm, dragged him behind
a rock, just as a magnificent animal showed itself at the
entrance of the cavern.

It was a jaguar of a size at least equal to its Asiatic
congeners, that is to say, it measured five feet from the
extremity of its head to the beginning of its tail. The
yellow colour of its hair was relieved by streaks and regular
oblong spots of black, which contrasted with the white of
its chest. Herbert recognized it as the ferocious rival of
the tiger, as formidable as the puma, which is the rival of
the largest wolf! .

The jaguar advanced and gazed around him with blazing
eyes, his hair bristling as if this was not the first time he
had scented men.

At this moment the reporter appeared round a rock, and
Herbert, thinking that he had not seen the jaguar, was
about to rush towards him, when Gideon Spilett signed to
him to remain where he was. This was not his first tiger,

and advancing to within ten feet of the animal he remained
F



56 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

motionless, his gun to his shoulder, without moving a
muscle. The jaguar collected itself for a spring, but at
that moment a shot struck it in the eyes, and it fell dead.

Herbert and Pencroft rushed towards the jaguar. Neb
and Harding also ran up, and they remained for some
instants contemplating the animal as it lay stretched on
the ground, thinking that’ its magnificent skin would be a
great ornament to the hall at Granite House.

“Oh,. Mr. Spilett, how I admire and envy you!” cried
Herbert, in a fit of very natural enthusiasm.

“Well, my boy,” replied the reporter, “you could have
done the same.”

“1! with such coolness !—”

“Tmagine to yourself, Herbert, that the jaguar is only a
hare, and you would fire as quietly as possible.”

“That is,” rejoined Pencroft, “ that it is not more dan-
gerous than a hare!”

“ And now,” said Gideon Spilett, “since the jaguar has
left its abode, I do not see, my friends, why we should not
take possession of it for the night.”

“ But others may come,” said Pencroft.

“It will be enough to light a fire at the entrance of the
cavern,” said the reporter, “and no wild beasts will dare to
cross the threshold.”

“Into the jaguars house, then!” replied the sailor,
dragging after him the body of the animal.













































































































































































































































At that moment a shot struck the jaguar between the eyes, and it fell dead,



THE ABANDONED. 5?

Whilst Neb skinned the jaguar, his companions collected
an abundant supply of dry wood from the ‘forest, which
they heaped up at the cave.

Cyrus Harding, seeing the clump of bamboos, cut a
quantity, which he mingled with the other fuel.

This done, they entered the grotto, of which the floor
was strewn with bones, the guns were carefully loaded, in
case of a sudden attack, they had supper, and then just
before they lay down to rest, the heap of wood piled at the
entrance was set fire to. Immediately, a regular explosion,
or rather, a series of reports, broke the silence! The noise
was caused by the bamboos, which, as the flames reached
them, exploded like fireworks. The noise was enough to
terrify even the boldest of wild beasts.

It was not the engineer who had invented this way of
causing loud explosions, for, according to Marco Polo, the
Tartars have employed it for many centuries to drive away
from their encarmpments the formidable wild beasts of
Central Asia.



58 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

nny



CHAPTER V.

PROPOSAL TO RETURN BY THE SOUTHERN SHORE— CON-
FIGURATION OF THE COAST—-SEARCHING FOR THE
SUPPOSED WRECK—A WRECK IN THE AIR—DIS-
COVERY OF A SMALL NATURAL PORT—AT MIDNIGHT
ON THE BANKS OF THE MERCY—THE CANOE ADRIFT,

CYRUS HARDING and his companions slept like innocent
marmots in the cave which the jaguar had so politely left
at their disposal.

At sunrise all were on the shore at the extremity of
the promontory, and their gaze was directed towards the
horizon, of which two-thirds of the circumference were
visible. For the last time the engineer could ascertain that.
not a sail nor the wreck of a ship was on the sea, and even
‘with the telescope nothing suspicious could be discovered.

There was nothing either on the shore, at least, in the
straight line of three miles which formed the south side of
the promontory, for beyond that, rising ground hid the rest
of the coast, and even from the extremity of the Serpentine

peninsula Cape Claw could not be seen.

\



THE ABANDONED. - 59

The southern coast of the island still remained to be
explored. Now should they undertake it immediately,
and devote this day to it?

This was not included in their first plan. In fact, when
the boat was abandoned at the sources of the Mercy, it
had been agreed that after having surveyed the west coast,
they should go back to it, and return to Granite House by
the Mercy. Harding then thought that the western coast
would have offered refuge, either to a ship in distress, or to
a vessel in her regular course; but now, as he saw that this
coast presented no good anchorage, he wished to seek on
the south what they had not been able to find on the
west.

Gideon Spilett proposed to continue the exploration,
that the question of the supposed wreck might be com-
pletely settled, and he asked at what distance Claw Cape
might be from the extremity of the peninsula.

“ About thirty miles,” replied the engineer, “if we take
into consideration the curvings of the coast.”

Thirty miles!” returned Spilett. “That would be a
long day’s march. Nevertheless, I think that we should
return.to Granite House by the south coast.”

“But,” observed Herbert, “from Claw Cape to Granite
House there must be at least another ten miles.”

“Make it forty miles in all,” replied the engineer; “and
do not hesitate to do it. At least we should survey the



60 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. -.

unknown shore, and then we shall not have to begin the
exploration again.”

“Very good,” said Pencroft. “But the boat ?”

“The boat has remained by itself for one day at the
sources of the Mercy,” replied Gideon Spilett; “it may
just as well stay there two days! As yet, we have had no
reason to think that the island is infested by thieves!”

“Yet,” said the sailor, “when I remember the history of
the turtle, I am far from: confident of that.”

“The turtle! the turtle!” replied the reporter. “ Don’t
you know that the sea turned it over?”

“Who knows ?” murmured the engineer.

“But—” said Neb.

Neb had evidently something to say, for he opened his
mouth to speak and yet said nothing.

“What do you want to say, Neb ?” asked the engineer.

“Tf we return by the shore to Claw Cape,” replied Neb,
“after having doubled the Cape, we shall be stopped—”

“By the Mercy! of course,” replied Herbert, “and we
shall have neither bridge nor boat by which to cross.”

“But, captain,” added Pencroft, “with a few floating
trunks we shall have no difficulty in crossing the river.”

“Never mind,” said Spilett, “it will be useful to con-
struct a bridge if we wish to have an easy access to the Far
West!”

“A bridge!” cried Pencroft. “Well, is not the captain



THE ABANDONED. 61





the best engineer in his profession? He will make us a
bridge when we want one. As to transporting you this
evening to the other side of the Mercy, and that without
wetting one thread of your clothes, I will take care of that.
We have provisions for another day, and besides we can
get plenty of game. Forward!”

The reporter’s proposal, so strongly seconded by the
sailor, received general approbation, for each wished to
have their doubts set at rest, and by returning by Claw
Cape the exploration would be ended. But there was not
an hour to lose, for forty miles was a long march, and they
could not hope to reach Granite House before night.

At six o’clock in the morning the little band set out.
Asa precaution the guns were loaded with ball, and Top,
who led the van, received orders to beat about the edge of
the forest.

From the extremity of the promontory which formed
the tail of the peninsula the coast was rounded for a
distance of five miles, which was rapidly passed over,
without even the most minute investigations bringing to
light the least trace of any old or recent landings; no
debris, no mark of an encampment, no cinders of a fire, nor
even a footprint !

From the point of the peninsula on which the settlers
now were their gaze could extend along the south-west.
Twenty-five miles off the coast terminated in the Claw



62 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Cape, which loomed dimly through the morning mists, and
which, by the phenomenon of the mirage, appeared as if
suspended between land and water.

Between the place occupied by the colonists and the
other side of the immense bay, the shore was composed,
first, of a tract of low land, bordered in the background by
trees; then the shore became more irregular, projecting
sharp points into the sea, and finally ended in the black
rocks which, accumulated in picturesque disorder, formed
Claw Cape. .

Such was the development of this -part of the island,
which the settlers took in at a glance, whilst stopping for
an instant.

“If a vessel ran in here,” said Pencroft, “she would
certainly be lost. Sandbanks and reefs everywhere! Bad
quarters!”

“But at least something would be left of the ship,”
observed the reporter.

“There might be pieces of wood on the rocks, but
nothing on the sands,” replied the sailor.

“Why ?”

“Because the sands are still more dangerous than the
rocks, for they swallow up everything that is thrown on
them. Ina few days the hull of a ship of several hundred
tons would disappear entirely in there!”

«So, Pencroft,” asked the engineer, “if a ship has been



THE ABANDONED. 63
wrecked on these banks, is it not astonishing that there is
now no trace of her remaining ?”

“No, captain, with the aid of time and tempest. How-
ever, it would be surprising, even in this case, that some of.
the masts or spars should not have been thrown on the
beach, out of reach of the waves.”

“Let us go on with our search, then,” returned Cyrus
Harding.

At one o'clock the colonists arrived at the other side of
Washington Bay, they having now gone a distance of
twenty miles.

They then halted for breakfast.

Here began the irregular coast, covered with lines of
rocks and sandbanks. The long sea-swell could be seen
breaking over the rocks in the bay, forming a foamy’
fringe. From this point to Claw Cape the beach was very
narrow between the edge of the forest and the reefs.

Walking was now more difficult, on account of the
numerous rocks which encumbered the beach. The granite
cliff also gradually increased in height, and only the green
tops of the trees which crowned it could be seen.

After half an hour’s rest, the settlers resumed their
journey, and not a spot among the rocks was left un-
examined. Pencroft and Neb even rushed into the surf
whenever any object attracted their attention. But they
found nothing, some curious formations of the rocks having



64 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

deceived them. They ascertained, however, that eatable
shell-fish abounded there, but these could not be of any
great advantage to them until some easy means of commu-
nication had been established between the two banks of
the Mercy, and until the means of transport had been
perfected.

Nothing therefore which threw any light on the supposed
wreck could be found on this shore, yet an object of any
importance, such as the hull of a ship, would have been
seen directly, or any of her masts and spars would have
been washed on shore, just as the chest had been, which
was found twenty miles from here. But there was
nothing.

Towards three o’clock Harding and his companions
arrived at a snug little creek. It formed quite a natural
harbour, invisible from the sea, and was entered by a
narrow channel.

At the back of this creek some violent convulsion had
torn up the rocky border, and a cutting, by a gentle slope,
gave access to an upper plateau, which might be situated
at least ten miles from Claw Cape, and consequently four
miles in a straight line from Prospect Heights. Gideon
Spilett proposed to his companions that they should make
a halt here. They agreed readily, for their walk had
sharpened their appetites ; and although it was not their
usual dinner-hour, no one refused to strengthen himself



THE ABANDONED. 65

with a piece of venison. This luncheon would sustain them
till their supper, which they intended to take at Granite
House. In a few minutes the settlers, seated under a
clump of fine sea-pines, were devouring the provisions
which Neb produced from his bag.

This spot was raised from fifty to sixty feet above the
level of the sea. The view was very extensive, but beyond
the cape it ended in Union Bay. Neither the islet nor
Prospect Heights were visible, and could not be from
thence, for the rising ground and the curtain of trees
closed the northern horizon.

It is useless to add that notwithstanding the wide
extent of sea which the explorers could survey, and
though the engineer swept the horizon with his glass, no
vessel could be found.

The shore was of course examined with the same care
from the edge of the water to the cliff, and nothing could
be discovered even with the aid of the instrument.

“Well,” said Gideon Spilett, “it seems we must make
up our minds to console ourselves with thinking that no
one will come to dispute with us the possession of Lincoln
Island !”

“But the bullet,” cried Herbert. “That was not
imaginary, I suppose !”

“Hang it, no!” exclaimed Pencroft, thinking of his
absent tooth. .



66 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Then what conclusion may be drawn?” asked. the
reporter.

“This,” replied the engineer, “that three months or
more-ago, a vessel, either voluntarily or not, came here.”

“What! then you admit, Cyrus, that she was swallowed
up without leaving any trace ?” cried the reporter.

“No, my. dear Spilett; but you see that if it is certain
that a human being set foot on the island, it appears no
less certain that he has now left it.”

“ Then, if I understand you right, captain,” said Herbert,
“the vessel has left again ?”

« Evidently.”

“And we have lost an opportunity to get back to our
country ?” said Neb.

“I fear so.”

“Very well, since the opportunity is lost, let us go on;
it can’t be helped,” said Pencroft, who felt home-sickness
for Granite House.

But just as they were rising, Top was heard loudly
barking ; and the dog issued from the wood, holding in his
mouth a rag soiled with mud.

Neb seized it. It was a piece of strong cloth!

Top still barked, and by his going and coming, seemed
to invite his master to follow him into the forest.

“Now there’s something to explain the bullet!” ex-
claimed Pencroft.



exclaimed Pencrolt.

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THE ABANDONED. 67



“ A castaway !” replied Herbert.

“Wounded, perhaps!” said Neb.

“Or dead!” added the reporter.

All ran after the dog, among the tall pines on the
border of the forest. Harding and his companions made
ready their fire-arms, in case of an emergency. /

They advanced some way into the wood, but to their
‘great disappointment, they as yet saw no signs of any
human being having passed that way. Shrubs and
creepers were uninjured, and they had even to cut them
away with the axe, as they had done in the deepest
recesses of the forest. It was difficult to fancy that any
human creature had ever passed. there, but yet Top went
backwards and forwards, not like a dog who searches at
random, but like a being endowed with a mind, who is
following up an idea. .

In about seven or eight minutes Top stopped in a glade
surrounded with tall trees. The settlers gazed around
them, but saw nothing, neither under the bushes nor
among the trees. 7

“What is the matter, Top?” said Cyrus Harding.

Top barked louder, bounding about at the foot of a
gigantic pine. All at once Pencroft shouted,—

“ Ho, splendid! capital!”

“What is it?” asked Spilett.

“We have been looking for a wreck at sea or on land!”
G



68 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Well?”

“Well; and here we've found one in the air!”



And the sailor pointed to a great white rag, caught in
the top of the pine, a fallen scrap of which the dog had
brought to them.

“ But that is not a wreck!” cried Gideon Spilett.

“T beg your pardon!” returned Pencroft.

“Why? is it—?”

“Tt is all that remains of our airy boat, of our balloon,
which has been caught up aloft there, at the top of that
tree!”

Pencroft was not mistaken, and he gave vent to his
feelings in a tremendous hurrah, adding,—

“There is good cloth! There is what will furnish us
with linen for years. There is what will make us hand-
kerchiefs and shirts!’ Ha, ha, Mr. Spilett, what do you say
to an island where shirts grow on the trees ?”

It was certainly a lucky circumstance for the settlers in
Lincoln Island that the balloon, after having made its
last bound into the air, had fallen on the island and thus
given them the opportunity of finding it again, whether
they kept the case under its present form, or whether they
wished to attempt another escape by it, or whether they
usefully employed the several hundred yards of cotton,
which was of fine quality. Pencroft’s joy was therefore
shared by all.







A wreck in the air.



THE ABANDONED. 69

But it was necessary to bring down the remains of the
balloon from the tree, to place it in security, and this was
no slight task. Neb, Herbert, and the sailor, climbing to
the summit of the tree, used all their skill to disengage
the now reduced balloon.

The operation lasted two hours, and then not only the
case, with its valve, its springs, its brasswork, lay on the
ground, but the net, that is to say a considerable quantity
of ropes and cordage, and the circle and the anchor. The
case, except for the fracture, was in good condition, only
the lower portion being torn.

It was a fortune which had fallen from the sky.

“All the same, captain,” said the sailor; “if we ever
decide to leave the island, it won’t be in a balloon, will it?
These air-boats won’t go where we want them to go, and
we have had some experience in that way! Look here, we
will build a craft of some twenty tons, and then we can
make a main-sail, a fore-sail, and a jib out of that cloth.
As to the rest of it, that will help to dress us.”

“We shall see, Pencroft,” replied Cyrus Harding ; “we
shall see.”

“In the meantime, we must put it in a safe place,”
said Neb.

They certainly could not think of carrying this load of
cloth, ropes, and cordage, to Granite House, for the weight
of it was very considerable, and whilst waiting for a suitable



70 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

vehicle in which to convey it, it was of importance that
this treasure should not be left longer exposed to the
mercies of the first storm. The settlers uniting their
efforts, managed to drag it as far as the shore, where
they discovered a large rocky cavity, which owing to its
position could not be visited either by the wind or rain.

“We needed a locker, and now we have one,” said
Pencroft ; “but as we cannot lock it up, it will be pru-
dent to hide the opening. I don’t mean from two-legged
thieves, but from those with four paws!”

At six o'clock, all was stowed away, and after having
given the creek the very suitable name of “ Port Balloon,”
the settlers pursued their way along Claw Cape. Pen-
croft and the engineer talked of the different projects
which it was agreed to put into execution with the briefest
possible delay. It was necessary first of all to throw a
bridge over the Mercy, so as to establish an easy com-
munication with the south of the island; then the cart
must be taken to bring back the balloon, for the canoe
alone could not carry it, then they would build a decked
boat, and Pencroft would rig it as a cutter, and they would
be able to undertake voyages of circumnavigation round
the island, &c.

In the meanwhile night came on, and it was already
dark when the settlers reached Flotsam Point, the place
where they had discovered the precious chest.



THE ABANDONED. 71



The distance between Flotsam Point and Granite
House was another four miles, and it was midnight when,
after having followed the shore to the mouth of the
Mercy, the settlers arrived at the first angle formed by
the Mercy. :

There the river was eighty feet in breadth, which was
awkward to cross, but as Pencroft had taken upon himself
to conquer this difficulty, he was compelled to do it. The
settlers certainly had reason to be pretty tired. The
journey had been long, and the task of getting down the
balloon had not rested either their arms or legs. They
were anxious ro reach Granite House to eat and sleep, and
if the bridge had been constructed, ina quarter of an hour
they would have been at home.

The night was very dark. Pencroft prepared to keep
his promise by constructing a sort of raft, on which to
make the passage of the Mercy. He and Neb,armed with
axes, chose two trees near the water, and began to attack
them at the base.

Cyrus Harding and Spilett, seated on the bank, waited
vill their companions were ready for their help, whilst
‘Herbert roamed about, though without going to any
distance. All at once, the lad, who had strolled by the
river, came running back, and, pointing up the Mercy,
exclaimed,—

“ What is floating there ?”



72 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Pencroft stopped working, and seeing an indistinct object
moving through the gloom,— |

“A canoe!” cried he.

All approached, and saw to their extreme surprise, a boat
floating down the current.

“Boat ahoy!” shouted the sailor, without thinking that
perhaps it would be best to keep silence.

No reply. The boat still drifted onwards, and it was not
more than twelve feet off, when the sailor exclaimed,—

“But it is our own boat! she has broken her moorings,
and floated down the current. I must say she has arrived
very opportunely.”

“Our boat?” murmured the engineer.

Pencroft was right. It was indeed the canoe, of which
the rope had undoubtedly broken, and which had come
alone from the sources of the Mercy. It was very impor-
tant to seize it before the rapid current should have swept
it away out of the mouth of the river, but Neb and Pencroft
cleverly managed this by means of a long pole.

The canoe touched the shore. The engineer leapt in
first, and found, on examining the rope, that it had been
really worn through by rubbing against the rocks.

“Well,” said the reporter to him, in a low voice ; “ this
is a strange thing.”

“ Strange indeed!” returned Cyrus Harding.

Strange or not, it was very fortunate. Herbert, the













































There was no longer a ladder !



THE ABANDONED. 73

reporter, Neb, and Pencroft, embarked in turn. There
was no doubt about the rope having been worn through,
but the astonishing part of the affair was, that the boat
should have arrived just at the moment when the settlers
were there to seize it on its way, for a quarter of an hour
earlier or later it would have been lost in the sea.

If they had been living in the time of genii, this inci-
dent would have given them the right to think that the
island was haunted by some supernatural being, who used
his power in the service of the castaways!

A few strokes of the oar brought the settlers to the
mouth of the Mercy. The canoe was hauled up on the
beach near the Chimneys, and all proceeded towards the
ladder of Granite House.

But at that moment, Top barked angrily, and Neb,-who
was looking for the first steps, uttered a cry.

There was no longer a ladder j



74 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



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.

CyRuUS HARDING stood still, without saying a word. His
companions searched in the darkness on the wall, in case
the wind should have moved the ladder, and on the ground,
thinking that it might have fallen down. .... But the
ladder had quite disappeared. As to ascertaining if a
squall had blown it on to the landing-place, half way up,
that was impossible in the dark.

“Tf it is a joke,” cried Pencroft, ‘‘it isa very stupid one;
to come home and find no staircase to go up to your room
by; for weary men, there is nothing to laugh at that I
can see.”

Neb could do nothing but cry out “Oh! oh! oh!”



THE ABANDONED, 75

“TI begin to think that very curious things happen in
Lincoln Island!” said Pencroft.

“Curious?” replied Gideon Spilett, “not at all Pencroft,
nothing can be more natural. Some one has come during
our absence, taken possession of our dwelling and drawn
up the ladder.”

“Some one,” cried the sailor. “But who?”

“Who but the hunter who fired the bullet?” replied the
reporter.

“Well, if there is any one up there,” replied Pencroft,
who began to lose patience, “I will give them a hail, and
they must answer.”

And in a stentorian voice the sailor gave a prolonged
“ Halloo!” which was echoed again and again from the
cliff and rocks.

The settlers listened and they thought they heard a sort
ot chuckling laugh, of which they could not guess the
origin. But no voice replied to Pencroft, who in vain
repeated his vigorous shouts.

There was something indeed in this to astonish the most
apathetic of men, and the settlers were not men of that
description. In their situation every incident had its
importance, and, certainly, during the seven months which
they had spent on the island, they had not before met with
anything of so surprising a character.

Be that as it may, forgetting their fatigue in the singu-



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Gankel?
ABANDONED


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Turning a turtle.
THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

(PART II)

ABANDONED

BY
JULES VERNE

AUTHOR OF ‘TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA,” “AROUND
THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS,” ‘‘THE FUR COUNTRY,” ETC. ETC,

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH BY

W. H. G. KINGSTON

NEW AND CHEAPER EDITION

. Tonvan
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & COMPANY

Limited
St. Dunstin’s Youse

Ferrer Lang, Fieger Street, E.C,
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Conversation on the subject of the bullet—Construction 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 .

CHAPTER II.

First trial of the canoe—A wreck on the coast—Towing—Flotsam
Point—Inventory of the case: tools, weapons, instruments,
clothes, books, utensilsS—What Pencroft misses--The Gospel
—A verse from the sacred book . . eo 6 46

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 . . . e °

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 .

PAGE

15

30

45
lv CONTENTS.



CHAPTER V.

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 . . . oo. ss

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 . : . eee ee

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 . . . .

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 . .

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 . a eee . a “Se .

CHAPTER X.

Boat-building—Second crop of corn—Hunting koalas—A new plant,
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—FPencroft has nothing left to wish
for . . . . . . . . . :

PAGE

58

74

. 89

» 103

117

+ 130
‘CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XI.

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 ae Harding alone—Exploring
the well . oo Pes . = ae - 8

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 . . 7 . ° zoe

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 . . 6© «© 6 .

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 . ek V8 . e ° °

CHAPTER XV.

The return—Discussion—Cyrus Harding and the stranger—Port
Balloon—The engineer’s devotion—A touching incident—
Tears flow : : ae Pie . . . . ° .

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

PAGE

» 143

. 160

179

+ 194

210

. 224
vi 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 . . . ° . ° .

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 . . . we ° . °

CHAPTER XIX.

Recollections of their native land—Probable future—Project for
surveying the coasts of the island—Departure on the 16th of
April—Sea-view of Reptile End—The basaltic rocks of the
western coast—Bad weather—Night comes’on—New incident

CHAPTER XxX.

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-
pectedincident . .

241

. 257

273

288
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



PAGH
Turning aturtle . e ° ' ‘ . - 0 ' - It
Flotsam and Jetsam sr. . . . > . . . 22
Unpacking the marvellous chest . : . . ° . 24
Pencroft’s superstition . 7 7 . . . . . - 28
Is it tobacco? . . . . . . . . . - 34
The halt for breakfast . . . . . 7 . : - 36
Denizens of the forest . .« . . . . . . . «7
The sea ! . . rs 50
At that moment a shot stitick the j jaguar i between the — and it
fell dead . . . : . - 56
“ Now there’s something to explain the bullet ! » exclaimed Pencroft 66
A wreck in the air . a . . . : . . . 68
There was no longer a ladder ! ro, . . . . . - 73
The invaders of Granite House .. . . . . . . 80
Capturing the orang. . . 7 . . . . . 86
Engaging the new servant . . . . . . . . 88
Building the bridge . . . . ° . . . - 94
Pencroft’s scarecrows. . 8 : . 7 . . - 96
The settlers’ new shirts . . . . : . . 104
Jup passed most of his time in the kitchen, trying to imitate Neb 109
Pencroft to the rescue. : . . . : . » - « 118
The glass-blowers . . . . . . 124
The verandah on the edge of Prospect Heights . . . . 127

The dockyard. . 7 . . . . . . . - 131
vili LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

3 PAGH
A valuable prize. . . . . . . . » 137
Pencroft has nothing left to wish for. . . « » .« 142

The messenger . ne . . : . : . . 149
Winter evenings in Granite House . . . . . + 150

He saw nothing suspicious . . 7 8 er) - 158
Top visiting the invalid . . . (*> « . . - 168
The trial trip . . . 7 7 . 7 . . : - 174

“Luff, Pencroft, luff!” . . 2. 6 ee we «CB
The departure . . . . . . . 7 . . 182
Nearing theisland.. . . . . 7 . . . . 186
A hut! . . . . . 7 ° . - 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 1 voice . : . . 226
The stranger. 27 ewe ee 287
“ Now for a good wind” : : . . - 236
He seized the jaguar’s throat with one powerful aid . . - 238
The stranger’s story . 7 . : . : . . - 246
“ Here is my hand” said the engineer . a . . . 256
Theengineer atwork . . . . .« «© «© + .« . 264
Jup sitting for his portrait . . . . ° + 270
The snowy sheet rose and dispersed in the air. . . - 271
Another mystery .. . . . . oe . - 287
Returning from a sporting excursion . . . . . + 301
The photographic negative . . ° ¢ e . e + 303
Ohe Mysterious Ssland
THE ABANDONED.



CHAPTER I.

CONVERSATION ON THE SUBJECT OF THE BULLET—CON-
STRUCTION 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 HARD-
ING’S EXPLANATION.

IT was now exactly seven months since the balloon
voyagers had been thrown on Lincoln Island. During that
time, notwithstanding the researches they had made, no
human being had been discovered. No smoke even had
betrayed the presence of man on the surface of the island.
No vestiges of his handiwork showed that either at an early
or at a late period had man lived there. Not only did it
now appear to be uninhabited by any but themselves, but
the colonists were compelled to believe that it never had
been inhabited. ‘And now, all this scaffolding of reasonings
2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

fell before a simple ball of metal, found in the body of an
inoffensive rodent! In fact, this bullet must have issued
from a fire-arm, and who but a human being could have
used such a weapon?

When Pencroft had placed the bullet on the table, his
companions looked at it with intense astonishment. All
the consequences likely to result from this incident, not-
withstanding its apparent insignificance, immediately took
possession of their minds. The sudden apparition of a
supernatural being could not have startled them more
completely.

Cyrus Harding did not hesitate to give utterance to the
suggestions which this fact, at once surprising and unex-
pected, could not fail to raise in his mind. He took the
bullet, turned it over and over, rolled it between his finger
and thumb ; then, turning to Pencroft, he asked,—

“ Are you sure that the peccary wounded by this bullet
was not more than three months old?”

“Not more, captain,” replied Pencroft. “It was still
sucking its mother when I found it in the trap.”

“Well,” said the engineer, ‘‘that proves that within three
months a gun-shot was fired in Lincoln Island.”

“ And that a bullet,” added Gideon Spilett, “wounded,
though not mortally, this little animal.” .

“That is unquestionable,’ said Cyrus Harding, “and
these are the deductions which must be drawn from this
THE ABANDONED. 3

incident :.that the island was inhabited before our atrival,
or that men have landed here within three months. Did
these men arrive here voluntarily or involuntarily, by
disembarking on the shore or by being wrecked? This
point can only be cleared up later. As*to what they were,
Europeans or Malays, enemies or friends of our race, we
cannot possibly guess; and if they still inhabit the island,
or if they have left it, we know not. But these questions
are of too much importance to be allowed to remain long
unsettled.”

“No! a hundred times no! a thousand times no!” cried
the sailor, springing up from the table. “There are no
other men than ourselves on Lincoln Island! By my
faith! - The island isn’t large, and if it had been inhabited,
we should have seen some of the inhabitants long before
this!”

“Tn fact, the contrary would be very astonishing,” said
Herbert.

“But it would be much more astonishing, I should
think,” observed the reporter, “ that this peccary should have
been born with a bullet in its inside!”

“At least,” said Neb seriously, “if Pencroft has not
had—”

“Look here, Neb,” burst out Pencroft. “Do you think
T could have a bullet in my jaw for five or six months
without finding it out? Where could it be hidden?” he
4 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

asked, opening his mouth to show the two-and-thirty teeth
with which it was furnished. “Look well, Neb, and if you
find one hollow tooth in this set, I will let you pull out
half a dozen!”

“Neb’s supposition is certainly inadmissible,” replied
Harding, who, notwithstanding the gravity of his thoughts,
could not restrain a smile. “It is certain that a gun has
been fired in the island, within three months at most. But
I am inclined to think that the people who landed on this
coast were only here a very short time ago, or that they
just touched here ; for if, when we surveyed the island from
the summit of Mount Franklin, it had been inhabited, we
should have seen them or we should have been seen our-
selves. It is therefore probable that within only a few
weeks castaways have been thtown by a storm on some
part of the coast. However that may be, it is of
consequence to us to have this point settled.”

“T think that we should act with caution,” said the
reporter.

“Such is my advice,” replied Cyrus Harding, “for it is
to be feared that Malay pirates have landed on the island!”

“ Captain,” asked the sailor, “would it not be a good
plan, before setting out, to build a canoe in which we could
either ascend the river, or, if we liked, coast round the
island? It will not do to be unprovided.”

“Your idea is good, Pencroft,” replisd the engineer,
THE ABANDONED. 5
“but we cannot wait for that. It would take at least a
month to-build a boat.”

“Yes, a real boat,” replied the sailor; “but we do not
want one for a sea voyage, and in five days at the most, I
will undertake to construct a canoe fit to navigate the
Mercy.”

“ Five days,” cried Neb, “to build a boat?”

“Ves, Neb; a boat in the Indian fashion.”

“ Of wood?” asked the negro, looking still unconvinced.

“Of wood,” replied Pencroft, “or rather of bark. I
repeat, captain, that in five days the work will be
finished !”

“Tn five days, then, be it,” replied the engineer,

“But till that time we must be very watchful,” said
Herbert. .

“Very watchful indeed, my friends,” replied Harding ;
“and I beg you to confine your hunting excursions to the
neighbourhood of Granite House.” ,

The dinner ended less gaily than Pencroft had hoped.

So, then, the island was, or had been, inhabited by others
than the settlers. Proved as it was by the incident of the
bullet, it was hereafter an unquestionable fact, and such a
discovery could not but cause great uneasiness amongst
the colonists.

Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett, before sleeping,

conversed long about the matter. They asked themselves
'B
6 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

if by chance this incident might not have some connexion
with the inexplicable way in which the engineer had been
saved, and the other peculiar circumstances which had
struck them at different times. However, Cyrus Harding,
after having discussed the pros and cons of the question,
ended by saying,—

“In short, would you like to know my opinion, my dear
Spilett ?”

“Yes, Cyrus.”

“Well, then, it is this: however minutely we explore
the island, we shall find nothing.”

The next day Pencroft set to work. He did not mean
to build a boat with boards and planking, but simply a
flat-bottomed canoe, which would be well suited for
navigating the Mercy—above all, for approaching its
source, where the water would naturally be shallow.
Pieces of bark, fastened one to the other, would form a
light boat ; and in case of natural obstacles, which would
render a portage necessary, it would be easily carried,
Pencroft intended to secure the pieces of bark by means of
nails, to insure the canoe being water-tight.

It was first necessary to select the trees which would
afford a strong and supple bark for the work. Now the
last storm had brought down a number of large birch-trees,
the bark of which would be perfectly suited for their
purpose. Some of these trees lay on the ground, and they
THE ABANDONED. 7

had only to be barked, which was the most difficult thing
of all, owing to the imperfect tools which the settlers
possessed. However, they overcame all difficulties.

Whilst the sailor, seconded by the engineer, thus
occupied himself without losing an hour, Gideon Spilett
and Herbert were not idle. They were made purveyors to
the colony. The reporter could not but admire the boy,
who had acquired great skill in handling the bow and
spear. Herbert also showed great courage and much of
that presence of mind which may justly be called “the
reasoning of bravery.” These two companions of the
chase, remembering Cyrus Harding’s recommendations, did
not go beyond a radius of two miles round Granite House;
but the borders of the forest furnished a sufficient tribute of
agoutis, capybaras, kangaroos, peccaries, &c.; and if the
result from the traps was less than during the cold, still the
warren yielded its accustomed quota, which might have fed
all the colony in Lincoln Island.

Often during these excursions, Herbert talked with
Gideon Spilett on the incident of the bullet, and the
deductions which the engineer drew from it, and one day—
it was the 26th of October—he said,—

“But, Mr. Spilett, do you not think it very extraordinary
that, if any castaways have landed on the island, they have
not yet shown themselves near Granite House ?”

“Very astonishing if they are still here,” replied the
8 : THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



reporter, “but not astonishing at all if they are here no
longer!” .

“So you think that these people have already quitted the
island?” returned Herbert.

' “It is more than probable, my boy; for if their stay was
prolonged, and above all, if they were still here, some
accident would have at last betrayed their presence.”

“But if they were able to go away,” observed the lad,
“they could not have been castaways.”

“No, Herbert; or, at least, they were what might be
called provisional castaways. It is very possible that a
storm may have driven them to the island without destroy-
ing their vessel, and that, the storm over, they went away
again.”

“I must acknowledge one thing,” said Herbert, “it is
that Captain Harding appears rather to fear than desire the
presence of human beings on our island.”

“In short,” responded the reporter, “ there are only
Malays who frequent these seas, and those fellows are
ruffians which it is best to avoid.”

“It is not impossible, Mr. Spilett,’ said Herbert, “that
some day or other we may find traces of their landing.”

“I do not say no, my boy. A deserted camp, the ashes
of a fire, would put us on the track, and this is what we will
look for in our next expedition.”

The day on which the hunters spoke thus, they were in a
THE ABANDONED, 9



part of the forest near the Mercy, remarkable for its beau-
tiful trees, There, among others, rose, to a height of nearly
200 feet above the ground, some of those superb conifere,
to which, in New Zealand, the natives give the name of
Kauris.

“TI have an idea, Mr. Spilett,” said Herbert. “If I were
to climb to the top of one of these kauris, I could survey
the country for an immense distance round.”

“The idea is good,” replied the reporter; “but could you
climb to the top of those giants ?”

“T can at least try,” replied Herbert.

The light and active boy then sprang on the first
branches, ‘the arrangement of which made the ascent of
the kauri easy, and in a few minutes he arrived at the
summit, which emerged from the immense plain of verdure.

From this elevated situation his gaze extended over all
the southern portion of the island, from Claw Cape on the
south-east, to Reptile End on the south-west. To the
north-west rose Mount Franklin, which concealed a great
part of the horizon.

But Herbert, from the height of his observatory, could
examine all the yet unknown portion of the island which
might have given shelter to the strangers whose presence
they suspected.

The lad looked attentively. There was nothing in sight
on the sea, not a sail, neither on the horizon nor near the
10 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
island. However, as the bank of trees hid the shore, it
was possible that a vessel, especially if deprived of her
masts, might lie close to the land and thus be invisible to
Herbert.

Neither in the forests of the Far West was anything to
be seen. The wood. formed an impenetrable screen, mea-
suring several square miles, without a break-or an opening.
It was impossible even to follow the course of the Mercy,
or to ascertain in what part of the mountain it took its
source. Perhaps other creeks also ran towards the west,
but they could not be seen.

But at last, if all indication of an encampment escaped
Herbert’s sight, could he not even catch a glimpse of
smoke, the faintest trace of which would be easily discernible
in the pure atmosphere ? ,

For an instant Herbert thought he could perceive a
slight smoke in the west, but a more attentive examination
showed that he was mistaken. He strained his eyes in
every direction, and his sight was excellent. No, decidedly
there was nothing there. ; :

Herbert descended to the foot of the kauri, and the two
sportsmen returned to Granite House. There Cyrus Hard-
ing listened to the lad’s account, shook his head and said
nothing. It was very evident that no decided opinion
could be pronounced on this question until after a complete
exploration of the island.
THE ABANDONED. TI

Two. days after—the 28th of October-—another incident
occurred, for which an explanation was again required.

Whilst strolling along the shore about two miles from
Granite House, Herbert and Neb were fortunate enough to
capture a magnificent specimen of the order of chelonia.
It was a turtle of the species Midas, the edible green turtle,
so called from the colour both of its shell and fat.

Herbert caught sight of this turtle as it was crawling
among the rocks to reach the sea.

“Help, Neb, help!” he cried.

Neb ran up.

“What a fine animal!” said Neb; “but how are we to
catch it?”

“Nothing is easier, Neb,” replied Herbert. “We have
only to turn the turtle on its back, and it cannot possibly
get away. Take your spear and do as I do.”

The reptile, aware of danger, had retired between its cara-
pace and plastron. They no longer saw its head or feet,
and it was motionless as a rock.

Herbert and Neb then drove their sticks underneath the
animal, and by their united efforts managed without
difficulty to turn it on its back. The turtle, which was three
feet in length, would have weighed at least four hundred
pounds.

“Capital!” cried Neb; “this is something which will
rejoice friend Pencroft’s heart.”
12 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

In fact, the heart of friend Pencroft could not fail to be
rejoiced, for the flesh of the turtle, which feeds on wrack-
grass, is extremely savoury. At this moment the creature’s
head could be seen, which was small, flat, but widened
behind by the large temporal fossee hidden under the
long roof.

“And now, what shall we do with our prize?” said Neb,
“We can't drag it to Granite House!”

“Leave it here, since it cannot turn over,” replied Her-
bert, “and we will come back with the cart to fetch it.”

“That is the best plan.”

However, for greater precaution, Herbert took the
trouble, which Neb deemed superfluous, to wedge up the
animal with great stones; after which the two hunters
returned to Granite House, following the beach, which the
tide had left uncovered. Herbert, wishing to surprise
Pencroft, said nothing about the “superb specimen of a
chelonian” which they had turned over on the sand ; but,
two hours later, he and Neb returned with the cart to the
place where they had left it. The “ superb specimen of a
chelonian” was no longer there!

Neb and Herbert stared at each other first; then they
stared about them. It was just at this spot that the turtle
had been left. The lad even found the stones which he
had used, and therefore he was certain of not being
mistaken,
THE ABANDONED. 13



“Well!” said Neb, “these beasts can turn themselves
over, then?”

“Tt appears so,” replied Herbert, who could not under-
stand it at all, and was gazing at the stones scattered on
the sand.

“Well, Pencroft will be disgusted!”

“And Captain Harding will perhaps be very per-
plexed how to explain this disappearance,” thought
Herbert. .

“Look here,” said Neb, who wished to hide his ill-luck,
“we won't speak about it.”

“On the contrary, Neb, we must speak about it,” replied
Herbert.

And the two, taking the cart, which there was now no use
for, returned to Granite House.

Arrived at the dockyard, where the engineer and the
sailor were working together, Herbert recounted what had
happened.

“Oh! the stupids!” cried the sailor, “to have let at least
fifty meals escape!”

“But, Pencroft,” replied Neb, “it wasn’t our fault that the
beast got away ; as I tell you, we had turned it over on its
back!” /

“Then you didn’t turn it over enough!” returned the
obstinate sailor.

“Not enough!” cried Herbert,
14 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

And he told how he had taken care to wedge up the
turtle with stones.

“It is a miracle, then!” replied Pencroft.

“T thought, captain,” said Herbert, “that turtles, once
placed on their backs, could not regain their feet, especially
when they are of a large size?”

“ That is true, my boy,” replied Cyrus Harding.

“ Then how did it manage?”

“At what distance from the sea did you leave this
turtle?” asked the engineer, who, having suspended his
work, was reflecting on this incident.

“ Fifteen feet at the most,” replied Herbcrt,

“ And the tide was:low at the time?”

“Yes, captain.”

“Well,” replied the engineer, “what the turtle could not
do on the sand it might have been able to do in the water.
It turned over when the tide overtook it, and then quietly
returned to the deep sea.”

“Oh! what stupids we were!” cried Neb.

“That is precisely what I had the honour of telling you
before!” returned the sailor. :

Cyrus Harding had given this explanation, which, no
doubt, was admissible. But was he himself convinced of
the accuracy of this explanation? It cannot be said that
he was. ‘
THE ABANDONED. 15

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.

ON the oth of October the bark canoe was entirely finished.
Pencroft had kept his promise, and a light boat, the shell
of which was joined together by the flexible twigs of the
crejimba, had been constructed in five days. A seat in the
stern, a second seat in the middle to preserve the equili-
brium, a third seat in the bows, rowlocks for the two oars,
a scull to steer with, completed the little craft, which
was twelve feet long, and did not weigh more than 200
pounds.

The operation of launching it was extremely simple.
The canoe was carried to the beach and laid on the sand
before Granite House, and the rising tide floated it. Pen-
croft, who leapt in directly, manceuvred it with the scull
16 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

and declared it to be just the thing for the purpose to
which they wished to put it.

“Hurrah!” cried the sailor, who did not disdain to cele-
brate thus his own triumph. ‘With this we could go
round—”

“The world ?” asked Gideon Spilett.

“No, the island. Some stones for ballast, a mast and a
sail, which the captain will make for us some day, and we
shall go splendidly! Well, captain—and you, Mr. Spilett;
and you, Herbert; and you, Neb—aren’t you coming to
try our new vessel? Come along! we must-see if it will
carry all five of us!” :

This was certainly a trial which ought to be made. Pen-
croft soon brought the canoe to the shore by a narrow
passage among the rocks, and it was agreed that they
should make a trial of the boat that day by following the
shore as far as the first’ point at which the rocks of the
south ended.

As they embarked, Neb cried,—

“ But your boat leaks rather, Pencroft.”

“That's nothing, Neb,” replied the sailor; “the wood
will get seasoned. In two days there won’t be a single
leak, and our boat will have no more water in her than
there is in the stomach of a drunkard. Jump in!”

They were soon all seated, and Pencroft shoved off.
The weather was magnificent, the sea as calm as ii its
THE ABANDONED. 17
waters were contained within the narrow limits of a lake.
Thus the boat could proceed with as much security as if it
was ascending the tranquil current of the Mercy.

Neb took one of the oars, Herbert the other, and Pen-
croft remained in the stern in order to use the scull.

The sailor first crossed the channel, and steered close to
the southern point of the islet. A light breeze blew from
the south. No roughness was found either in the channel
or the green sea. A long swell, which the canoe scarcely
felt, as it was heavily laden, rolled regularly over the surface
of the water. They pulled out about half a mile distant
from the shore, that they might have a good view of Mount
Franklin.

Pencroft afterwards returned towards the mouth of the
river. The boat then skirted the shore, which, extending
to the extreme point, hid all Tadorn’s Fens.

This point, of which the distance was increased by the
irregularity of the coast, was nearly three miles from the
Mercy. The settlers resolved to go to its extremity, and
only go beyond it as much as was necessary to take a
rapid survey of the coast as far as Claw Cape.

The canoe followed the windings of the shore, avoiding
the rocks which fringed it, and which the rising tide began
to cover. The cliff gradually sloped away from the mouth
of the river tothe point. This was formed of granite rocks,
capriciously distributed, very different from the cliff at
18 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Prospect Heights, and of an extremely wild aspect. It
might have been said that an immense cartload of rocks
had been emptied out there. There was no vegetation on
this sharp promontory, which projected two miles from the
forest, and it thus represented a giant’s arm stretched out
from a leafy sleeve. .

The canoe, impelled by the two oars, advanced without
difficulty. Gideon Spilett, pencil in one hand and note-
book in the other, sketched the coast in bold strokes.
Neb, Herbert, and Pencroft chatted, whilst examining this
part of their domain, which was new to them, and, in
proportion as the canoe proceeded towards the south, the
two Mandible Capes appeared to move, and surround
Union Bay more closely.

As to Cyrus Harding, he did not speak; he simply
gazed, and by the mistrust which his look expressed, it
appeared that he was examining some strange country.

In the meanwhile, after a voyage of three quarters of an
hour, the canoe reached the extremity of the point, and
Pencroft was preparing to return, when Herbert, rising,
pointed to a black object, saying,—

“What do I see down there on the beach ?”

All eyes turned towards the point indicated.

“Why,” said the reporter, “there is something. It looks
like part of a wreck half buried in the sand.”

“ Ah!” cried Pencroft, “I see what it is!”
THE ABANDONED. 19

“What ?” asked Neb.

“Barrels, barrels, which perhaps are full,” replied the
sailor.

“Pull to the shore, Pencroft!” said Cyrus.

A few strokes of the oar brought the canoe into a litte
creek, and its passengers leapt on shore.

Pencroft was not mistaken. Two barrels were there, half
buried in the sand, but still firmly attached to a large
chest, which, sustained by them, had floated to the moment
when it stranded on the beach.

“There has been a wreck, then, in some part of the
island,” said Herbert.

“Evidently,” replied Spilett.

“But what’s in this chest?” cried Pencroft, with very
natural impatience. “What's in this chest? It is shut up,
and nothing to open it with! Well, perhaps a stone—”

And the sailor, raising a heavy block, was about to break
in one of the sides of the chest, when the engineer arrested
his hand.

“Pencroft,” said he, “can you restrain your impatience
for one hour only 2”

“But, captain, just think! Perhaps there is everything
we want in there!”

“We shall find that out, Pencroft,” replied the engineer ;
“but trust to me, and do not break the chest, which may be
useful to us. We must convey it to Granite House, where
20 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

we can open it easily, and without breaking it. It is quite
prepared for a voyage; and, since it has floated here, it
may just as well float to the mouth of the river.”

“You are right, captain, and I was wrong, as usual,”
replied the sailor.

The engineer's advice was good. In fact, the canoe pro-
bably would not have been able to contain the articles
possibly enclosed in the chest, which doubtless was heavy,
since two empty barrels were required to buoy it up. It
was, therefore, much better to tow it to the beach at
Granite House..

And now, whence had this chest come? That was the
important question. Cyrus Harding and his companions
looked attentively around them, and examined the shore
for several hundred steps. No other articles or pieces
of wreck could be found. Herbert and Neb climbed
a high rock to survey the sea, but there was nothing
in sight—neither a dismasted vessel nor a ship under
sail. .

However, there was no doubt that there had been a
wreck. Perhaps this incident was connected with that of
the bullet? Perhaps strangers had landed on another part
of the island? Perhaps they were still there? But the
thought which came naturally to the settlers was, that
these strangers could not be Malay pirates, for the chest
was evidently of American or European make.
THE ABANDONED. 21

All the party returned to the chest, which was of an
unusually large size. It was made of oak wood, very
carefully closed and covered with a thick hide, which was
secured by copper nails. The two great barrels, her-
metically sealed, but which sounded hollow and empty, were
fastened to its sides by strong ropes, knotted with a skill
which Pencroft directly pronounced sailors alone could
exhibit. It appeared to be in a perfect state of preserva-
tion, which was explained by the fact that it had stranded
on a sandy beach, and not among rocks. They had no
doubt whatever, on examining it carefully, that it had not
been long in the water, and that its arrival on this coast was
recent. The water did not appear to have penetrated to
the inside, and the articles which it contained were no
doubt uninjured.

It was evident that this chest had been thrown over-
board from some dismasted vessel driven towards the
island, and that, in the hope that it would reach the land,
where they might afterwards find it, the passengers had
taken the precaution to buoy it up by means of this
floating apparatus.

“We will tow this chest to Granite House,” said the
engineer, “where we can make an inventory of its con-
tents ; then, if we discover any of the survivors from the
supposed wreck, we can return it to those to whom it

belongs. If we find no one—”
Cc
22 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“We will keep it for ourselves!” cried Pencroft. “ But
what in the world can there be in it ?”

The sea was already approaching the chest, and the high
tide would evidently float it. One of the ropes which
fastened the barrels was partly unlashed and used as a
cable to unite the floating apparatus with the canoe.
Pencroft and Neb then dug away the sand with their oars,
so as to facilitate the moving of the chest, towing which
the boat soon began to double the point, to which the
name of Flotsam Point was given.

The chest was heavy, and the barrels were scarcely
sufficient to keep it above water. The sailor also feared
every instant that it would get loose and sink to the
bottom of the sea. But happily his fears were not
realized, and an hour and a half after they set out—
all that time had been taken up in going a distance
of three miles—the boat touched the beach below Granite
House. .

Canoe and chest were then hauled up on the sand ; and
as the tide was then going out, they were soon left high
and dry. Neb, hurrying home, brought back some tools
with which to open the chest in such a way that it might
be injured as little as possible, and they proceeded to its
inventory. Pencroft did not try to hide that he was
greatly excited.

The sailor began by detaching the two barrels, which,










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































\
Ww













Flotsam and jetsam,
THE ABANDONED. 23



being in good condition, would of course be of use. Then
the locks were forced. with a cold chisel and hammer,
and the lid thrown back. A second casing of: zinc lined
the interior of the chest, which had been evidently arranged
that the articles which it enclosed might under any cir-
cumstances be sheltered from damp. .

“Oh!” cried Neb, “suppose it’s jam!”

“T hope not,” replied the reporter,

» said the sailor in a low

“Tf only there was—
voice.

“What?” asked Neb, who overheard him.

“Nothing !”

The covering of zinc was torn off and thrown back over
the sides of the chest, and by degrees numerous articles
of very varied character were produced and strewn about
on the sand. At each new object Pencroft uttered fresh
nurrahs, Herbert clapped his hands, and Neb danced—
like a nigger. There were books which made Herbert
wild with joy, and cooking utensils which Neb covered
with kisses !

In short, the colonists had reason to be extremely satis-
fied, for this chest contained tools, weapons, instruments,
clothes, books ; and this is the exact list of them as stated
in Gideon Spilett’s note-book :—

Tools :—3 knives with several blades, 2 woodmen’s axes,
2 carpenter’s hatchets, 3 planes, 2 adzes, 1 twibil or mat-
24 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

tock, 6 chisels, 2 files, 3 hammers, 3 gimlets, 2 augers,
10 bags of nails and screws, 3 saws of different sizes,
2 boxes of needles,

Weapons:—2 flint-lock guns, 2 for percussion caps,
2 breech-loader carbines, 5 boarding cutlasses, 4 sabres,
2 barrels of powder, each containing twenty-five pounds ;
12 boxes of percussion caps, ;

Instruments :—1 sextant, 1 double opera-glass, 1 tele-
scope, I box of mathematical instruments, I mariner’s
compass, 1 Fahrenheit thermometer, 1 aneroid barometer,
1 box containing a photographic apparatus, object-glass,
plates, chemicals, &c.

Clothes :—2 dozen shirts of a peculiar material resem-
bling wool, but evidently of a vegetable origin; 3 dozen
stockings of the same material.

Utensils:—1 iron pot, 6 copper saucepans, 3 iron dishes,
Io metal plates, 2 kettles, 1 portable stove, 6 table-
knives, ;

Books :—1 Bible, 1 atlas, 1 dictionary of the different
Polynesian idioms, 1 dictionary of natural science, in six
volumes ; 3 reams of white paper, 2 books with blank
pages.

“Tt must be allowed,” said the reporter, after the inven-
tory had been made, “that the owner of this chest was a
practical man! Tools, weapons, instruments, clothes, uten-
sils, books—nothing is wanting! It might really be said


































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Unpacking the marvellous chest,
THE ABANDONED. 25

that he expected to be wrecked, and had prepared for it
beforehand.”

“Nothing is wanting, indeed,” murmured Cyrus Harding
thoughtfully.

“ And for a certainty,” added Herbert, “the vessel which
carried this chest and its owner was not a Malay pirate!”

“Unless,” said Pencroft, “the owner had been taken
prisoner by pirates—”

“That is not admissible,” replied the reporter. “It is
more probable that an American or European vessel has
been driven into this quarter, and that her passengers,
wishing to save necessaries at least, prepared this chest and
threw it overboard.”

“Ts that your opinion, captain?” asked Herbert.

“Yes, my boy,” replied the engineer, “that: may have
been the case. It is possible that at the moment, or in
expectation of a wreck, they collected into this chest dif-
ferent articles of the greatest use in hopes of finding it
again on the coast—”

“Even the photographic box!” exclaimed the sailor
incredulously.

“Asto that apparatus,” replied Harding, “I do not quite
see the use of it; and a more complete supply of clothes
or more abundant ammunition would have been more
valuable to us as well as to any other castaways!”

“But isn’t there any mark or direction on these instru-
26 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

ments, tools, or books, which would tell us something
about them ?” asked Gideon Spilett.

That might be ascertained. Each article was carefully
examined, especially the books, instruments and weapons.
Neither the weapons nor the instruments, contrary to the
usual custom, bore the name of the maker; they were,
besides, in a perfect state, and did not appear to. have
been used. The same peculiarity marked the tools and
utensils ; all were new, which proved that the articles had
not been taken by chance and thrown into the chest, but,
on the contrary, that the choice of the things had been
well considered and arranged with care. This was also
indicated by the second case of metal which had preserved
them from damp, ’and which could not have been soldered
in a moment of haste. ,

As to the dictionaries of natural science and Polynesian
idioms, both were English ; but they neither bore the name
of the publisher nor the date of publication.

The same with the Bible printed in English, in quarto,
remarkable in a typographical point of view, and which
appeared to have been often used.

The atlas was a magnificent work, comprising maps of
every country in the world, and several planispheres
arranged upon Mercator’s projection, and of which the
nomenclature was in French—but which also bore neither
date nor name of publisher.
THE ABANDONED. 27



There was nothing, therefore, on these different articles
by which they could be traced, and nothing consequently
of a nature to show the nationality of the vessel which must
have recently passed these shores.

But, wherever the chest might have come from, it
was a treasure to the settlers on Lincoln Island. Till
then, by making use of the productions of nature, they
had created everything for themselves, and, thanks to
their intelligence, they had managed without difficulty.
But did it not appear as if Providence had wished
to reward them by sending them these productions of
human industry? Their thanks rose unanimously to
Heaven.

However, one of them was not quite satisfied: it was
Pencroft. It appeared that the chest did not contain
something which he evidently held in great esteem, for in
proportion as they approached the bottom of the box, his
hurrahs diminished in heartiness, and, the inventory finished,
he was heard to mutter these words :—

“That's all very fine, but you can see that there is
nothing for me in that box!”

This led Neb to say,—

“Why, friend Pencroft, what more do you cere

“Half a pound of tobacco,” replied Pencroft seriously,
“and nothing would have been wanting to complete my

happiness !”
28 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

No one could help laughing at this speech of the
sailor’s.

But the result of this discovery of the chest was, that
it was now more than ever necessary to explore the island
thoroughly. It was therefore agreed that the next morning
at break of day they should set out, by ascending the
Mercy so as to reach the western shore. If any castaways
had landed on the coast, it was to be feared they were
without resources, and it was therefore the more necessary
to carry help to them without delay. :

During the day the different articles were carried to
Granite House, where they were methodically arranged in
the great hall.

This day—the 29th of October—happened to be a
Sunday, and, before going to bed, Herbert asked the
engineer if he would not read them something from the
Gospel.

“Willingly,” replied Cyrus Harding.

He took the sacred volume, and was about to open it,
when Pencroft stopped him, saying,—

“Captain, I am superstitious. Open at random and
read the first verse which your eye falls upon. We will
see if it applies to our situation.”

Cyrus Harding smiled at the sailor’s idea, and, yielding
to his wish, he opened exactly at a place where the leaves
were separated by a marker.


Pencroft’s superstition.
THE ABANDONED. 29
Immediately his eyes were attracted by a cross which,
made with a pencil, was placed against the eighth verse of
the seventh chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew. He
read the verse, which was this :-—
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that
seeketh findeth.”
30 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



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.

THE next day, the 30th of October, all was ready for the
proposed exploring expedition, which recent events had
rendered so necessary. In fact, things had so come
about that the settlers in Lincoln Island no longer
needed help for themselves, but were even able to carry it
to others.

It was therefore agreed that they should ascend the
Mercy as far as the river was navigable. A great part of
the distance would thus be traversed without fatigue, and
the explorers could transport their provisions and arms
to an advanced point in the west of the island.

It was necessary to think not only of the things which
they should take with them, but also of those which they
THE ABANDONED. 31



might have by chance to bring back to Granite House. If
there had been a wreck on the coast, as was supposed,
there would be many things cast up, which would be
lawfully their prizes. In the event of this, the cart would
have been of more use than the light canoe, but it was
heavy and clumsy to drag, and therefore more difficult to
use; this led Pencroft to express his regret that the chest
had not contained, besides “his half-pound of tobacco,” a
pair of strong New Jersey horses, which would have been
very useful to the colony!

The provisions, which Neb had already packed up, con-
sisted of a store of meat and of several gallons of beer,
that is to say enough to sustain them for three days, the
time which Harding assigned for the expedition. They
hoped besides to supply themselves on the road, and Neb
took care not to forget the portable stove.

The only tools the settlers took were the two wood-
men’s axes, which they could use to cut a path through the
thick forests, as also the instruments, the telescope and
pocket-compass.

For weapons they selected the two flint-lock guns, which
were likely to be more useful to them than the percussion
fowling-pieces, the first only requiring flints which could. be
easily replaced, and the latter needing fulminating caps, a
frequent use of which would soon exhaust their limited

stock. However, they took also one of the carbines and
D
32 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

some cartridges. As to the powder, of which there was
about fifty pounds in the barrel, a small supply of it had
to be taken, but the engineer hoped to manufacture an
explosive substance which would allow them to husband it.
To the fire-arms were added the five cutlasses well sheathed
in leather, and, thus supplied, the settlers could venture into
the vast forest with some chance of success,

It is useless to add that Pencroft, Herbert, and Neb,
thus armed, were at the summit of their happiness,
although Cyrus Harding made them promise not to fire a
shot unless it was necessary.

At six in the morning the canoe put off from the shore ;
all had embarked, including Top, and they este to
the mouth of the Mercy.

The tide had begun to come up half an hour before.
For several hours, therefore, there would be a current,
which it was well to profit by, for later the ebb would
make it difficult to ascend the river. The tide was already
strong, for in three days the moon would be full, and it
was enough to keep the boat in the centre of the current,
where it floated swiftly along between the high banks with-
out its being necessary to increase its speed by the aid of
the oars. In a few minutes the explorers arrived at the
angle formed by the Mercy, and exactly at the place
where, seven months before, Pencroft had made his first
raft of wood.
THE ABANDONED. 33



After this sudden angle the river widened and flowed
under the shade of great evergreen firs.

The aspect of the banks was magnificent. Cyrus Harding
and his companions could not but admire the lovely effects
so easily produced by nature with water and trees. As
they advanced the forest element diminished. On the
right bank of the river grew magnificent specimens of the
ulmacez tribe, the precious elm, so valuable to builders,
and which withstands well the action of water. Then
there were numerous groups belonging to the same family,
amongst others one in particular, the fruit of which pro-
duces a very useful oil, Further on, Herbert remarked
the lardizabala, a twining shrub which, when bruised in
water, furnishes excellent cordage ; and two or three
ebony treés of a beautiful black, crossed with capricious
veins.

From time to time, in certain places where the landing
was easy, the canoe was stopped, when Gideon Spilett,
Herbert, and Pencroft, their guns in their hands, and
preceded by Top, jumped on shore. Without expecting
game, some useful plant might be met with, and the young
naturalist was delighted with discovering a sort of wild
spinage, belonging to the order of chenopodiacez, and
numerous specimens of cruciferae, belonging to the cabbage
tribe, which it would certainly be possible to cultivate by
transplanting. There were cresses, horse-radish, turnips,
34 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
and lastly, little branching hairy stalks, scarcely more than
three feet high, which produced brownish grains.

“Do you know what this plant is?” asked Herbert of
the sailor. -

“Tobacco!” cried Pencroft, who evidently had never
seen his favourite plant except in the bowl of his pipe.

“No, Pencroft,” replied Herbert ; “this is not tobacco, it
is mustard.”

“Mustard be hanged!” returned the sailor; “ but if by
chance you happen to come across a tobacco-plant, my
boy, pray don’t scorn that!”

“We shall find it some day!” said Gideon Spilett.

“Well!” exclaimed Pencroft, “when that day comes, I
do not know what more will be wanting in our island!”

These different plants, which had been carefully rooted
up, were carried to the canoe, where Cyrus Harding had
remained buried in thought.

The reporter, Herbert, and Pencroft in this manner
frequently disembarked, sometimes on the right bank,
sometimes on the left bank of the Mercy.

The latter was less abrupt, but the former more wooded.
The engineer ascertained by consulting his pocket compass
that the direction of the river from the first turn was
obviously south-west and north-east, and nearly straight
for a length of about three miles, But it was to be sup-
posed that this direction changed beyond that point, and


Is it tobacco ?
THE ABANDONED. 35



that the Mercy continued to the north-west, towards the
spurs of Mount Franklin, among which the river rose.

During one of these excursions, Gideon Spilett managed
to get hold of two couples of living gallinacee. They were
birds with long, thin beaks, lengthened necks, short wings,
and without any appearance of a tail. Herbert rightly
gave them the name of tinamons, and it was resolved that
they should be the first tenants of their future poultry-
yard.

But till then the guns had not spoken, and the first
report which awoke the echoes of the forest of the Far
West was provoked by the appearance of a beautiful bird,
resembling the kingfisher.

“TI recognize him!” cried Pencroft, and it seemed as if
his gun went off by itself.

“What do you recognize?” asked the reporter.

“The bird which escaped us on our first excursion, and
from which we gave the name to that part of the forest.”

“ A jacamar !” cried Herbert.

It was indeed a jacamar, of which the plumage shines
with a metallic lustre. A shot brought it to the ground,
and Top carried. it to the canoe. At the same time half a
dozen lories were brought down. The lory is of the size of
a pigeon, the plumage dashed with green, part of the wings
crimson, and its crest bordered with white. To the young
boy belonged the honour of this shot, and he was proud
36 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,
enough of it. Lories are better food than the jacamar, the
flesh of which is rather tough, but it was difficult to
persuade Pencroft that he had not killed the king of
eatable birds. It was ten o’clock in the morning when the
canoe reached a second angle of the Mercy, nearly five
miles from its mouth. Here a halt was made for, breakfast
under the shade of some splendid trees. The river still
measured from sixty to seventy feet in breadth, and its bed
from five to six feet in depth. The engineer had observed
that it was increased by numerous affluents, but they were
unnavigable, being simply little streams. As to the forest,
including Jacamar Wood, as well as the forests of the Far
West, it extended as far as the eye could reach. Inno
place, either in the depths of the forest or under the trees
on the banks of the Mercy, was the presence of man
revealed. The explorers could not discover one suspicious
trace. It was evident that the woodman’s axe had never
touched these trees, that the pioneer’s knife had never
severed the creepers hanging from one trunk to another in
the midst of tangled brushwood and long grass. If cast-
aways had landed on the island, they could not have yet
quitted the shore, and it was not in the woods that the
survivors of the supposed shipwreck should be sought.
The engineer therefore manifested some impatience to
reach the western coast of Lincoln Island, which was at
least five miles distant according to his estimation.


The halt for breakfast.
THE ABANDONED. 37



The voyage was continued, and as the Mercy appeared
to flow not towards the shore, but rather towards Mount
Franklin, it was decided that they should use the boat as
long as there was enough water under its keel to float it.
It was both fatigue spared and time gained, for they would
have been obliged to cut a path through the thick wood
with their axes. But soon the flow completely failed them,
either the tide was going down, and it was about the hour,
or it could no longer be felt at this distance from the mouth
of the Mercy. They had therefore to make use of the
oars, Herbert and Neb each took one, and Pencroft took
the scull. The forest soon became less dense, the trees
grew further apart and often quite isolated. But the
further they were from each other the more magnificent
they appeared, profiting, as they did, by the free, pure air
which circulated around them.

What splendid specimens of the Flora of this latitude!
Certainly their presence would have been enough for a
botanist to name without hesitation the parallel which
traversed Lincoln Island.

“Eucalypti!” cried Herbert.

They were, in fact, those splendid trees, the giants of
the extra-tropical zone, the congeners of the Australian
and New Zealand eucalyptus, both situated under the
same latitude as Lincoln Island. Some rose to a height of
two hundred feet. Their trunks at the base measured
38 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

twenty feet in circumference, and their bark was covered
by a network of furrows containing a red, sweet-smelling
gum. Nothing is more wonderful or more singular than
those enormous specimens of the order of the myrtacez,
with their leaves placed vertically and not horizontally, so
that an edge and not a surface looks upwards, the effect
being that the sun’s rays penetrate more freely among the
trees.

The ground at the foot of the eucalypti was carpeted
with grass, and from the bushes escaped flights of little
birds, which glittered in the sunlight like winged rubies.

“ These are something like trees!” cried Neb; “but are
they good for anything ?”

“Pooh!” replied Pencroft. “Of course there are vege-
table giants as well as human giants, and they are no good,
except to show themselves at fairs !”

“TI think that you are mistaken, Pencroft,” replied
Gideon Spilett, “and that the wood of the eucalyptus
has begun to be very advantageously employed in cabinet-
making.”

“And I may add,” said Herbert, “that the eucalyptus
belongs to a family which comprises many useful members ;
the guava-tree, from whose fruit guava jelly is made; the
clove-tree, which produces the spice; the pomegranate-
tree, which bears pomegranates ; the Eugeacia Cauliflora,
the fruit of which is used in making a tolerable wine; the
THE ABANDONED. 39
Ugui myrtle, which contains an excellent alcoholic liquor ;
the Caryophyllus myrtle, of which the bark forms an
esteemed cinnamon; the Eugenia Pimenta, from whence
comes Jamaica pepper; the common myrtle, from whose
buds and berries spice is sometimes made; the Eucalyptus
manifera, which yields a sweet sort of manna; the Guinea
Eucalyptus, the sap of which is transformed into beer by
fermentation ; in short, all those trees known under the
name of gum-trees or iron-bark trees in Australia, belong
to this family of the myrtacez, which contains forty-six
genera and thirteen hundred species!”

The lad was allowed to run on, and he delivered his little
botanical lecture with great animation. Cyrus Harding
listened smiling, and Pencroft with an indescribable feeling
of pride.

“Very good, Herbert,” replied Pencroft, “but I could
swear that all those useful specimens you have just told us
about are none of them giants like these!”

“That is true, Pencroft.”

“That supports what I said,” returned the sailor,
“namely, that these giants are good for nothing!”

“There you are wrong, Pencroft,” said the engineer ;
“these gigantic eucalypti, which shelter us, are good for
something.”

“ And what is that ?”

“To render the countries which they inhabit healthy.
40 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Do you know what they are called in Australia and New
Zealand 2?”

“No, captain.”

“They are called ‘fever trees,’”

“ Because they give fevers ?”

“No, because they prevent them !”

“Good. I must note that,” said the reporter.

“Note it then, my dear Spilett; for it appears proved
that the presence of the eucalyptus is enough to neutralize
miasmas. This natural antidote has been tried in certain
countries in the middle of Europe and the north of Africa,
where the soil was absolutely unhealthy, and the sanitary
condition of the inhabitants has been gradually ameliorated.
No more intermittent fevers prevail in the regions now
covered with forests of the myrtacee. This fact is now
beyond doubt, and it is a happy circumstance for us
settlers in Lincoln Island.”

“Ah! what an island! What a blessed island!” cried
Pencroft. I tell you, it wants nothing—unless it is—”

“That will come, Pencroft, that will be found,” replied
the engineer ; “but now we must continue our voyage and
push on as far as the river will carry our boat!”

The exploration was therefore continued for another
two miles in the midst of country covered with eucalypti,
which predominated in the woods of this portion of the
island. The space which they occupied extended as far as
THE ABANDONED. 41

the eye could reach on each side of the Mercy, which
wound along between high green banks. The bed was
often obstructed by long weeds, and even by pointed rocks,
which rendered the navigation very difficult. The action
of the oars was prevented, and Pencroft was obliged to
push with a pole. They found also that the water was
becoming shallower and shallower, and that the canoe
must soon stop. The sun was already sinking towards
the horizon, and the trees threw long shadows on the
ground. Cyrus Harding, seeing that he could not hope
to reach the western coast of the island in one journey,
resolved to camp at the place where any further naviga-
tion was prevented by want of water. He calculated that
they were still five or six miles from the coast, and this
distance was too great for them to attempt traversing
during the night in the midst of unknown woods.

The boat was pushed on through the forest, which
gradually became thicker again, and appeared also to
have more inhabitants; for if the eyes of the sailor did
not deceive him, he thought he saw bands of monkeys
springing among the trees. Sometimes even two or three
of these animals stopped at a little distance from the
canoe and gazed at the settlers without manifesting any
terror, as if, seeing men. for the first time, they had not yet
learned to fear them. .It would have been easy to bring
down one of these quadrumani with a gunshot, and Pen-
42 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

croft was greatly tempted to fire, but Harding opposed so
useless a massacre. This was prudent, for the monkeys,
or apes rather, appearing to be very powerful and extremely
active, it was useless to provoke an unnecessary aggression,
and the creatures might, ignorant of the power of the ex-
plorers’ fire-arms, have attacked them. It is true that the
sailor considered the monkeys from a purely alimentary
point of view, for those animals which are herbivorous make
very excellent game; but since they had an abundant supply
of provisions, it was a pity to waste their ammunition.

Towards four o’clock, the navigation of the Mercy became
exceedingly difficult, for its course was obstructed by
aquatic plants and rocks, The banks rose higher and
higher, and already they were approaching the spurs of
Mount Franklin. The source could not be far off, since it
was fed by the water from the southern slopes of the
mountain.

“In a quarter of an hour,” said the sailor, “we shall be
obliged to stop, captain.”

“Very well, we will stop, Pencroft, and we will make
our encampment for the night.”

“At what distance are we from Granite House ?” asked
Herbert.

“ About seven miles,” replied the engineer, “taking into
calculation, however, the détours of the river, which has
carried us to the north-west.”
THE ABANDONED. : 43

“ Shall we go on?” asked the reporter.

“Yes, as long as we can,” replied Cyrus Harding, “To-
morrow, at break of day, we will leave the canoe, and in
two hours I hope we shall cross the distance which separates
us from the coast, and then we shall have the whole day in
which to explore the shore.”

“Go-ahead!” replied Pencroft.

But soon the boat grated on the stony bottom of the
river, which was now not more than twenty feet in breadth.
The trees met like a bower overhead, and caused a half-
darkness. They also heard the noise of a waterfall, which
showed that a few hundred feet up the river there was a
natural barrier.

Presently, after a sudden turn of the river, a cascade
appeared through the trees. The canoe again touched the
bottom, and in a few minutes it was moored to a trunk
near the right bank.

It was nearly five o’clock. The last rays of the sun
gleamed through the thick foliage and glanced on the
little waterfall, making the spray sparkle with all the
colours of the rainbow. Beyond that, the Mercy was lost
in the brushwood, where it was fed from some hidden
source. The different streams which flowed into it
increased it to a regular river further down, but here it
was simply a shallow, limpid brook.

It was agreed to camp here, as the place was charming.

E
44. THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.»

The colonists disembarked, and a fire was soon lighted
under a clump of trees, among the branches of which
Cyrus Harding and -his .companions — could, if it was
necessary,.take refuge for the night... .

Supper was quickly. devoured, for they were very shane
and then there was only sleeping to think of. But, as
roarings of rather a suspicious nature: had been heard
during the evening,.a good fire was.made up for the night,
so, aS to- protect. the sleepers with .its crackling flames.
Neb and..Pencroft. also watched by turns, and did not
spare, fuel. They thought they saw the dark forms of
some wild. animals prowling round the-camp among the
bushes, but the night passed without incident, and the
next day, the 31st of October, at five o’clock in the
morning, all were on foot, ready for a start.
THE ABANDONED. 45

CHAPTER IV.

JOURNEY TO THE COAST—TROOPS OF MONKEYS-—A NEW

RIVER—THE REASON THE TIDE WAS NOT FELT—A

. WOODY SHORE—REPTILE PROMONTORY—HERBERT
ENVIES GIDEON SPILETT—EXPLOSION OF BAMBOOS.,

IT was six o’clock in the morning.when the settlers, after
a hasty breakfast, set out to reach by the shortest way
the western coast of the island. And how long would it
take to do this? Cyrus Harding had said two hours, but
of course that depended on the nature of the obstacles
they might meet with. As it was probable that they would
have to cut a path through the grass, shrubs, and creepers,
they marched axe in hand, and with guns also ready,
wisely taking warning from the cries of the wild beasts
heard in the night.

The exact position of the encampment could be deter-
mined by the bearing of Mount Franklin, and as the
volcano arose in the north at a distance of less than three
miles, they had only to go straight towards the south.
4c THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. |



west to reach the western coast. They set out, having
first carefully secured the canoe. Pencroft and Neb
carried sufficient provisions for the little band for at least
two days. It would not thus be necessary to hunt. The
engineer advised his companions to refrain from firing,
that their presence might not be betrayed to any one near
the shore. The first hatchet blows were given among the
brushwood in the midst of some mastick-trees, a little
above the cascade; and his compass in his hand, Cyrus
Harding led the way. |

The forest here was composed for the most part of trees
which had already been met with near the lake and on
Prospect Heights. ‘There were deodars, Douglas firs, casu-
arinas, gum-trees, eucalypti, hibiscus, cedars, and other
trees, generally of a moderate size, for their number
prevented their growth.

Since their departure, the adiee had descended the
slopes which constituted the mountain system of the island,
on to a dry soil, but the luxuriant vegetation of which
indicated it to be watered either by some subterranean
marsh or by some’ stream. However, Cyrus Harding did
not remember to have seen, at the time of his excursion to
the crater, any other watercourses but the Red Creek and
the Mercy.

During the first part of their excursion, they saw nume-
reus troops of monkeys who exhibited great astonishment




Denizens of the forest.
THE ABANDONED. 47



at the sight of men, whose appearance was so new to them.
Gideon Spilett jokingly asked whether these active and
merry quadrupeds did not consider him and his companions
as degenerate brothers.

And certainly, pedestrians, hindered at ene step by
bushes, caught by creepers, barred by trunks of trees, did
not shine beside those supple animals, who, bounding from
branch to’ branch, were hindered by nothing on their
course. The monkeys were numerous, but happily they
did not manifest any hostile disposition.

Several pigs, agoutis, kangaroos, and other rodents were
seen, also two or three kaolas, at which Pencroft longed
to have a shot.

“But,” said he, “you may jump and play just now; we
shall have one or two words to say to you on our way
back !”

At half-past nine the way was suddenly found to be
barred by an unknown stream, from thirty to forty feet
broad, whose rapid current dashed foaming over the nume-
rous rocks which interrupted its course.. This creek was
deep and clear, but it was absolutely unnavigable.

“We are cut off!” cried Neb.

“No,” replied Herbert, “it is only a stream, and we can
easily swim over.”

“What would be the use of that ?” returned Harding.
“This creek evidently runs to the sea. Let us remain
48 ; THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND



on this side and follow the bank, and I shall be much
astonished if it does not lead us very quickly to the coast.
Forward!”

“One minute,” said the reporter. “The name of this
creek, my friends? Do not let us leave our geography
incomplete.” —

“All right!” said Pencroft.

“ Name it, my boy,” said the engineer, addressing the lad.

“Will it not be better to wait until we have explored it
to its mouth?” answered Herbert.

“Very well,” replied Cyrus Harding. “Let us follow it
as fast as we can without stopping.”

“Still another minute!” said Pencroft.

“ What’s the matter?” asked the reporter.

“Though hunting is forbidden, fishing is allowed, I
suppose,” said the sailor.

“We have no time to lose,” replied the engineer.

“Oh! five minutes!” replied Pencroft, “I only ask for
five minutes to use in the interest of our breakfast!”

And Pencroft, lying down on the bank, plunged his
arm into the water, and soon pulled up several dozen of fine
crayfish from among the stones.

“These will be good!” cried Neb, going to the sailor’s
aid.

“As I said, there is everything in this island, except
tobacco!” muttered Pencroft with a sigh.
THE ABANDONED. 49

The fishing did not take five minutes, for the crayfish
were swarming in the creek, A bag was filled with the
crustaceze, whose shells were of a cobalt blue. The settlers
then pushed on.

They advanced more rapidly and easily ‘Aisne the bank
of the river than in the forest. From time to time they
came upon the traces of animals of a large size who had
come to quench their thirst at the stream, but none were
actually seen, and it was evidently not in this part of the
forest that the peccary had received the bullet which had
cost Pencroft a grinder.

In the meanwhile, considering the fapid ei current, Hard-
ing was led to suppose that he and his companions were
much farther from the western coast than they had at first
supposed. In fact, at this hour, the rising tide would have
turned back the current of the creek, if its mouth had only
been a few miles distant. Now, this effect was not pro-
duced, and the water pursued its natural course. The
engineer was much astonished at this, and frequently
consulted his compass, to assure himself that some turn of
the river was not leading them again into the Far West.

However, the creek gradually widened and its waters
became less tumultuous. The trees on the right bank
were as close together as on the left bank, and it was
impossible to distinguish anything beyond them ; but these
masses of wood were evidently uninhabited, for Top did not
50 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



bark, and the intelligent animal would not have failed to
signal the presence of any stranger in the neighbourhood.

At half-past ten, to the great surprise of Cyrus Harding,
Herbert, who was a little in front, suddenly stopped and
exclaimed,—

“The sea!”

In a few minutes more, the whole western shore of the
island lay extended before the eyes of the settlers.

But what a contrast between this and the eastern coast,
upon which chance had first thrown them. No granite
cliff, no rocks, not even a sandy beach. The forest reached
the shore, and the tall trees bending over the water were
beaten by the waves. It was not such a shore as is usually
formed by nature, either by extending a vast carpet of
sand, or by grouping masses of rock, but a beautiful border
consisting of the. most splendid trees. The bank was
raised a little above the level of the sea, and on this
luxuriant soil supported by a granite base, the fine forest
trees seemed to be as firmly planted as in the interior of
the island. .

The.colonists were then on the shore of an unimportant
little harbour, which would scarcely have contained even
two or three fishing-boats. It served as a neck to the new
creek, of which the curious thing was that its waters, instead
of joining the sea by a gentle slope, fell from a height of
more than forty feet, which explained why the rising tide




The sea !
THE ABANDONED. SI

was not felt up the stream. In fact, the tides of the Pacific,
even at their maximum of elevation, could never reach the
level of the river,-and, doubtless, millions of years would
pass before the water would have worn away the granite
and hollowed a practicable mouth.

It was settled that the name of Falls River should be
given to this stream. Beyond, towards the north, the
forest border was prolonged for a space of nearly two
miles; then the trees became scarcer, and beyond that
again the picturesque heights described a nearly straight
line, which ran north and south. On the contrary, all the
part of the shore between Falls River and Reptile End was
a mass of wood, magnificent trees, some straight, others
bent, so that the long sea-swell bathed their roots. Now,
it was this coast, that is, all the Serpentine peninsula, that
was to be explored, for this part of the shore offered a
refuge to castaways, which the other wild and barren side
must have refused. =

The weather was fine and clear, and from the height of a
hillock on which Neb and Pencroft had arranged breakfast,
a wide view was obtained. There was, however, not ‘a sail
in sight; nothing could be seen along the shore as far as
the eye could reach. But the engineer would take nothing
for granted until he had explored the coast to the very
extremity of the Serpentine peninsula.

Breakfast was soon despatched, and at half-past eleven
52 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the captain gave the signal for departure. Instead of
proceeding over the summit of a cliff or along a sandy
beach, the settlers were obliged to remain under cover of
the trees so that they might continue on the shore.

The distance which separated Falls River from Reptile
End was about twelve miles. It would have taken the
settlers four hours to do this, on a clear ground and without
hurrying themselves; but. as it was they needed double
the time, for what with. trees to go round, bushes to cut
down, and creepers to chop away, they were impeded at
every step, these obstacles greatly lengthening their
journey. i tu

There was, however, nothing to show that a Mibweace
had taken place recently. It is true that, as Gideon
Spilett observed, any remains of it might have. drifted; out
to sea, and they must not take it. for granted that because
they could, find no traces of it, a ship had. ee
away on the coast. wo Darby Gas

The _reporter’s argument was just, and_ besides, the
incident of the bullet proved that a shot. must have been
fired in Lincoln Island within three months, ; .
__It was already five o’clock, and there were still two miles
between the settlers and the extremity of the Serpentine
peninsula. It .was evident that after having reached Reptile
End, Harding and his companions would not have; time to
return before.dark to their.encampment. near. the source of
THE ABANDONED. 53

the Mercy. It would therefore be necessary to pass the
night on the promontory... But they had no lack of
provisions, which was lucky, for there were no animals on
the shore, though birds, on the contrary, abounded—
jacamars, couroucoos, tragopans, grouse, lories, parrots,
cockatoos, pheasants, pigeons, and a hundred others.
There was not a tree without a nest, and not a nest which
was not full of flapping wings.

Towards seven o’clock the weary explorers arrived at
Reptile End. Here the seaside forest ended, and the shore
resumed the customary appearance of a coast, with rocks,
reefs, and sands. It was possible that something might be
found here; but darkness came on, and the further explora-
tion had to be put off to the next day.

Pencroft and Herbert hastened on to find a suitable
place for their camp. Amongst the last trees of the forest
of the Far West, the boy found several thick clumps of
bamboos.. _ oe

“Good,” said he; “ this is a valuable discovery.”

“Valuable?” returned Pencroft.

“Certainly,” replied Herbert. “I may say, Pencroft,
that the bark of the bamboo, cut into flexible laths, is used
for making baskets ; that this bark, mashed into a paste, is
used for the manufacture of Chinese paper ; that the stalks
furnish, according to their size, canes and pipes, and are
used for conducting water; that large bamboos make
54 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

excellent material for building, being light and strong, and
being never attacked by insects. I will add that by sawing
the bamboo in two at the joint, keeping for the bottom the
part of the transverse film which forms the joint, useful cups
are obtained, which are much in use among the Chinese.
No! you don’t care for that. But—”

“But what?”

“But I can tell you, if you are ignorant of it, that in
India these bamboos are eaten like asparagus.”

“Asparagus thirty feet high!” exclaimed the sailor.
“And are they good ?”

“Excellent,” replied Herbert. “Only it is not the stems
of thirty feet high which are eaten, but the young shoots.”

“ Perfect, my boy, perfect!” replied Pencroft.

“JT will also add that the pith of the young stalks,
preserved in vinegar, makes a good pickle.”

“ Better and better, Herbert!”

-“ And lastly, that the bamboos exude a sweet liquor

which can be made into a very agreeable drink.”

“Ts that all?” asked the sailor.

“That is all!”

“ And they don’t happen to do for smoking ?”

“No, my poor Pencroft.”

Herbert and the sailor had not to look long fora place in
which to pass the night. The rocks, which must have been
violently beaten by the sea under the influence of the winds
THE ABANDONED. B85

of the south-west, presented many cavities in which shelter
could be found against the night air. But just as they
were about to enter one of these caves a loud roaring
arrested them.

“Back!” cried Pencroft. “Our guns are only loaded
with small shot, and beasts which can roar as loud as that
would care no more for it than for grains of salt!” And
the sailor, seizing Herbert by the arm, dragged him behind
a rock, just as a magnificent animal showed itself at the
entrance of the cavern.

It was a jaguar of a size at least equal to its Asiatic
congeners, that is to say, it measured five feet from the
extremity of its head to the beginning of its tail. The
yellow colour of its hair was relieved by streaks and regular
oblong spots of black, which contrasted with the white of
its chest. Herbert recognized it as the ferocious rival of
the tiger, as formidable as the puma, which is the rival of
the largest wolf! .

The jaguar advanced and gazed around him with blazing
eyes, his hair bristling as if this was not the first time he
had scented men.

At this moment the reporter appeared round a rock, and
Herbert, thinking that he had not seen the jaguar, was
about to rush towards him, when Gideon Spilett signed to
him to remain where he was. This was not his first tiger,

and advancing to within ten feet of the animal he remained
F
56 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND

motionless, his gun to his shoulder, without moving a
muscle. The jaguar collected itself for a spring, but at
that moment a shot struck it in the eyes, and it fell dead.

Herbert and Pencroft rushed towards the jaguar. Neb
and Harding also ran up, and they remained for some
instants contemplating the animal as it lay stretched on
the ground, thinking that’ its magnificent skin would be a
great ornament to the hall at Granite House.

“Oh,. Mr. Spilett, how I admire and envy you!” cried
Herbert, in a fit of very natural enthusiasm.

“Well, my boy,” replied the reporter, “you could have
done the same.”

“1! with such coolness !—”

“Tmagine to yourself, Herbert, that the jaguar is only a
hare, and you would fire as quietly as possible.”

“That is,” rejoined Pencroft, “ that it is not more dan-
gerous than a hare!”

“ And now,” said Gideon Spilett, “since the jaguar has
left its abode, I do not see, my friends, why we should not
take possession of it for the night.”

“ But others may come,” said Pencroft.

“It will be enough to light a fire at the entrance of the
cavern,” said the reporter, “and no wild beasts will dare to
cross the threshold.”

“Into the jaguars house, then!” replied the sailor,
dragging after him the body of the animal.










































































































































































































































At that moment a shot struck the jaguar between the eyes, and it fell dead,
THE ABANDONED. 5?

Whilst Neb skinned the jaguar, his companions collected
an abundant supply of dry wood from the ‘forest, which
they heaped up at the cave.

Cyrus Harding, seeing the clump of bamboos, cut a
quantity, which he mingled with the other fuel.

This done, they entered the grotto, of which the floor
was strewn with bones, the guns were carefully loaded, in
case of a sudden attack, they had supper, and then just
before they lay down to rest, the heap of wood piled at the
entrance was set fire to. Immediately, a regular explosion,
or rather, a series of reports, broke the silence! The noise
was caused by the bamboos, which, as the flames reached
them, exploded like fireworks. The noise was enough to
terrify even the boldest of wild beasts.

It was not the engineer who had invented this way of
causing loud explosions, for, according to Marco Polo, the
Tartars have employed it for many centuries to drive away
from their encarmpments the formidable wild beasts of
Central Asia.
58 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

nny



CHAPTER V.

PROPOSAL TO RETURN BY THE SOUTHERN SHORE— CON-
FIGURATION OF THE COAST—-SEARCHING FOR THE
SUPPOSED WRECK—A WRECK IN THE AIR—DIS-
COVERY OF A SMALL NATURAL PORT—AT MIDNIGHT
ON THE BANKS OF THE MERCY—THE CANOE ADRIFT,

CYRUS HARDING and his companions slept like innocent
marmots in the cave which the jaguar had so politely left
at their disposal.

At sunrise all were on the shore at the extremity of
the promontory, and their gaze was directed towards the
horizon, of which two-thirds of the circumference were
visible. For the last time the engineer could ascertain that.
not a sail nor the wreck of a ship was on the sea, and even
‘with the telescope nothing suspicious could be discovered.

There was nothing either on the shore, at least, in the
straight line of three miles which formed the south side of
the promontory, for beyond that, rising ground hid the rest
of the coast, and even from the extremity of the Serpentine

peninsula Cape Claw could not be seen.

\
THE ABANDONED. - 59

The southern coast of the island still remained to be
explored. Now should they undertake it immediately,
and devote this day to it?

This was not included in their first plan. In fact, when
the boat was abandoned at the sources of the Mercy, it
had been agreed that after having surveyed the west coast,
they should go back to it, and return to Granite House by
the Mercy. Harding then thought that the western coast
would have offered refuge, either to a ship in distress, or to
a vessel in her regular course; but now, as he saw that this
coast presented no good anchorage, he wished to seek on
the south what they had not been able to find on the
west.

Gideon Spilett proposed to continue the exploration,
that the question of the supposed wreck might be com-
pletely settled, and he asked at what distance Claw Cape
might be from the extremity of the peninsula.

“ About thirty miles,” replied the engineer, “if we take
into consideration the curvings of the coast.”

Thirty miles!” returned Spilett. “That would be a
long day’s march. Nevertheless, I think that we should
return.to Granite House by the south coast.”

“But,” observed Herbert, “from Claw Cape to Granite
House there must be at least another ten miles.”

“Make it forty miles in all,” replied the engineer; “and
do not hesitate to do it. At least we should survey the
60 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. -.

unknown shore, and then we shall not have to begin the
exploration again.”

“Very good,” said Pencroft. “But the boat ?”

“The boat has remained by itself for one day at the
sources of the Mercy,” replied Gideon Spilett; “it may
just as well stay there two days! As yet, we have had no
reason to think that the island is infested by thieves!”

“Yet,” said the sailor, “when I remember the history of
the turtle, I am far from: confident of that.”

“The turtle! the turtle!” replied the reporter. “ Don’t
you know that the sea turned it over?”

“Who knows ?” murmured the engineer.

“But—” said Neb.

Neb had evidently something to say, for he opened his
mouth to speak and yet said nothing.

“What do you want to say, Neb ?” asked the engineer.

“Tf we return by the shore to Claw Cape,” replied Neb,
“after having doubled the Cape, we shall be stopped—”

“By the Mercy! of course,” replied Herbert, “and we
shall have neither bridge nor boat by which to cross.”

“But, captain,” added Pencroft, “with a few floating
trunks we shall have no difficulty in crossing the river.”

“Never mind,” said Spilett, “it will be useful to con-
struct a bridge if we wish to have an easy access to the Far
West!”

“A bridge!” cried Pencroft. “Well, is not the captain
THE ABANDONED. 61





the best engineer in his profession? He will make us a
bridge when we want one. As to transporting you this
evening to the other side of the Mercy, and that without
wetting one thread of your clothes, I will take care of that.
We have provisions for another day, and besides we can
get plenty of game. Forward!”

The reporter’s proposal, so strongly seconded by the
sailor, received general approbation, for each wished to
have their doubts set at rest, and by returning by Claw
Cape the exploration would be ended. But there was not
an hour to lose, for forty miles was a long march, and they
could not hope to reach Granite House before night.

At six o’clock in the morning the little band set out.
Asa precaution the guns were loaded with ball, and Top,
who led the van, received orders to beat about the edge of
the forest.

From the extremity of the promontory which formed
the tail of the peninsula the coast was rounded for a
distance of five miles, which was rapidly passed over,
without even the most minute investigations bringing to
light the least trace of any old or recent landings; no
debris, no mark of an encampment, no cinders of a fire, nor
even a footprint !

From the point of the peninsula on which the settlers
now were their gaze could extend along the south-west.
Twenty-five miles off the coast terminated in the Claw
62 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Cape, which loomed dimly through the morning mists, and
which, by the phenomenon of the mirage, appeared as if
suspended between land and water.

Between the place occupied by the colonists and the
other side of the immense bay, the shore was composed,
first, of a tract of low land, bordered in the background by
trees; then the shore became more irregular, projecting
sharp points into the sea, and finally ended in the black
rocks which, accumulated in picturesque disorder, formed
Claw Cape. .

Such was the development of this -part of the island,
which the settlers took in at a glance, whilst stopping for
an instant.

“If a vessel ran in here,” said Pencroft, “she would
certainly be lost. Sandbanks and reefs everywhere! Bad
quarters!”

“But at least something would be left of the ship,”
observed the reporter.

“There might be pieces of wood on the rocks, but
nothing on the sands,” replied the sailor.

“Why ?”

“Because the sands are still more dangerous than the
rocks, for they swallow up everything that is thrown on
them. Ina few days the hull of a ship of several hundred
tons would disappear entirely in there!”

«So, Pencroft,” asked the engineer, “if a ship has been
THE ABANDONED. 63
wrecked on these banks, is it not astonishing that there is
now no trace of her remaining ?”

“No, captain, with the aid of time and tempest. How-
ever, it would be surprising, even in this case, that some of.
the masts or spars should not have been thrown on the
beach, out of reach of the waves.”

“Let us go on with our search, then,” returned Cyrus
Harding.

At one o'clock the colonists arrived at the other side of
Washington Bay, they having now gone a distance of
twenty miles.

They then halted for breakfast.

Here began the irregular coast, covered with lines of
rocks and sandbanks. The long sea-swell could be seen
breaking over the rocks in the bay, forming a foamy’
fringe. From this point to Claw Cape the beach was very
narrow between the edge of the forest and the reefs.

Walking was now more difficult, on account of the
numerous rocks which encumbered the beach. The granite
cliff also gradually increased in height, and only the green
tops of the trees which crowned it could be seen.

After half an hour’s rest, the settlers resumed their
journey, and not a spot among the rocks was left un-
examined. Pencroft and Neb even rushed into the surf
whenever any object attracted their attention. But they
found nothing, some curious formations of the rocks having
64 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

deceived them. They ascertained, however, that eatable
shell-fish abounded there, but these could not be of any
great advantage to them until some easy means of commu-
nication had been established between the two banks of
the Mercy, and until the means of transport had been
perfected.

Nothing therefore which threw any light on the supposed
wreck could be found on this shore, yet an object of any
importance, such as the hull of a ship, would have been
seen directly, or any of her masts and spars would have
been washed on shore, just as the chest had been, which
was found twenty miles from here. But there was
nothing.

Towards three o’clock Harding and his companions
arrived at a snug little creek. It formed quite a natural
harbour, invisible from the sea, and was entered by a
narrow channel.

At the back of this creek some violent convulsion had
torn up the rocky border, and a cutting, by a gentle slope,
gave access to an upper plateau, which might be situated
at least ten miles from Claw Cape, and consequently four
miles in a straight line from Prospect Heights. Gideon
Spilett proposed to his companions that they should make
a halt here. They agreed readily, for their walk had
sharpened their appetites ; and although it was not their
usual dinner-hour, no one refused to strengthen himself
THE ABANDONED. 65

with a piece of venison. This luncheon would sustain them
till their supper, which they intended to take at Granite
House. In a few minutes the settlers, seated under a
clump of fine sea-pines, were devouring the provisions
which Neb produced from his bag.

This spot was raised from fifty to sixty feet above the
level of the sea. The view was very extensive, but beyond
the cape it ended in Union Bay. Neither the islet nor
Prospect Heights were visible, and could not be from
thence, for the rising ground and the curtain of trees
closed the northern horizon.

It is useless to add that notwithstanding the wide
extent of sea which the explorers could survey, and
though the engineer swept the horizon with his glass, no
vessel could be found.

The shore was of course examined with the same care
from the edge of the water to the cliff, and nothing could
be discovered even with the aid of the instrument.

“Well,” said Gideon Spilett, “it seems we must make
up our minds to console ourselves with thinking that no
one will come to dispute with us the possession of Lincoln
Island !”

“But the bullet,” cried Herbert. “That was not
imaginary, I suppose !”

“Hang it, no!” exclaimed Pencroft, thinking of his
absent tooth. .
66 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Then what conclusion may be drawn?” asked. the
reporter.

“This,” replied the engineer, “that three months or
more-ago, a vessel, either voluntarily or not, came here.”

“What! then you admit, Cyrus, that she was swallowed
up without leaving any trace ?” cried the reporter.

“No, my. dear Spilett; but you see that if it is certain
that a human being set foot on the island, it appears no
less certain that he has now left it.”

“ Then, if I understand you right, captain,” said Herbert,
“the vessel has left again ?”

« Evidently.”

“And we have lost an opportunity to get back to our
country ?” said Neb.

“I fear so.”

“Very well, since the opportunity is lost, let us go on;
it can’t be helped,” said Pencroft, who felt home-sickness
for Granite House.

But just as they were rising, Top was heard loudly
barking ; and the dog issued from the wood, holding in his
mouth a rag soiled with mud.

Neb seized it. It was a piece of strong cloth!

Top still barked, and by his going and coming, seemed
to invite his master to follow him into the forest.

“Now there’s something to explain the bullet!” ex-
claimed Pencroft.
exclaimed Pencrolt.

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THE ABANDONED. 67



“ A castaway !” replied Herbert.

“Wounded, perhaps!” said Neb.

“Or dead!” added the reporter.

All ran after the dog, among the tall pines on the
border of the forest. Harding and his companions made
ready their fire-arms, in case of an emergency. /

They advanced some way into the wood, but to their
‘great disappointment, they as yet saw no signs of any
human being having passed that way. Shrubs and
creepers were uninjured, and they had even to cut them
away with the axe, as they had done in the deepest
recesses of the forest. It was difficult to fancy that any
human creature had ever passed. there, but yet Top went
backwards and forwards, not like a dog who searches at
random, but like a being endowed with a mind, who is
following up an idea. .

In about seven or eight minutes Top stopped in a glade
surrounded with tall trees. The settlers gazed around
them, but saw nothing, neither under the bushes nor
among the trees. 7

“What is the matter, Top?” said Cyrus Harding.

Top barked louder, bounding about at the foot of a
gigantic pine. All at once Pencroft shouted,—

“ Ho, splendid! capital!”

“What is it?” asked Spilett.

“We have been looking for a wreck at sea or on land!”
G
68 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Well?”

“Well; and here we've found one in the air!”



And the sailor pointed to a great white rag, caught in
the top of the pine, a fallen scrap of which the dog had
brought to them.

“ But that is not a wreck!” cried Gideon Spilett.

“T beg your pardon!” returned Pencroft.

“Why? is it—?”

“Tt is all that remains of our airy boat, of our balloon,
which has been caught up aloft there, at the top of that
tree!”

Pencroft was not mistaken, and he gave vent to his
feelings in a tremendous hurrah, adding,—

“There is good cloth! There is what will furnish us
with linen for years. There is what will make us hand-
kerchiefs and shirts!’ Ha, ha, Mr. Spilett, what do you say
to an island where shirts grow on the trees ?”

It was certainly a lucky circumstance for the settlers in
Lincoln Island that the balloon, after having made its
last bound into the air, had fallen on the island and thus
given them the opportunity of finding it again, whether
they kept the case under its present form, or whether they
wished to attempt another escape by it, or whether they
usefully employed the several hundred yards of cotton,
which was of fine quality. Pencroft’s joy was therefore
shared by all.




A wreck in the air.
THE ABANDONED. 69

But it was necessary to bring down the remains of the
balloon from the tree, to place it in security, and this was
no slight task. Neb, Herbert, and the sailor, climbing to
the summit of the tree, used all their skill to disengage
the now reduced balloon.

The operation lasted two hours, and then not only the
case, with its valve, its springs, its brasswork, lay on the
ground, but the net, that is to say a considerable quantity
of ropes and cordage, and the circle and the anchor. The
case, except for the fracture, was in good condition, only
the lower portion being torn.

It was a fortune which had fallen from the sky.

“All the same, captain,” said the sailor; “if we ever
decide to leave the island, it won’t be in a balloon, will it?
These air-boats won’t go where we want them to go, and
we have had some experience in that way! Look here, we
will build a craft of some twenty tons, and then we can
make a main-sail, a fore-sail, and a jib out of that cloth.
As to the rest of it, that will help to dress us.”

“We shall see, Pencroft,” replied Cyrus Harding ; “we
shall see.”

“In the meantime, we must put it in a safe place,”
said Neb.

They certainly could not think of carrying this load of
cloth, ropes, and cordage, to Granite House, for the weight
of it was very considerable, and whilst waiting for a suitable
70 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

vehicle in which to convey it, it was of importance that
this treasure should not be left longer exposed to the
mercies of the first storm. The settlers uniting their
efforts, managed to drag it as far as the shore, where
they discovered a large rocky cavity, which owing to its
position could not be visited either by the wind or rain.

“We needed a locker, and now we have one,” said
Pencroft ; “but as we cannot lock it up, it will be pru-
dent to hide the opening. I don’t mean from two-legged
thieves, but from those with four paws!”

At six o'clock, all was stowed away, and after having
given the creek the very suitable name of “ Port Balloon,”
the settlers pursued their way along Claw Cape. Pen-
croft and the engineer talked of the different projects
which it was agreed to put into execution with the briefest
possible delay. It was necessary first of all to throw a
bridge over the Mercy, so as to establish an easy com-
munication with the south of the island; then the cart
must be taken to bring back the balloon, for the canoe
alone could not carry it, then they would build a decked
boat, and Pencroft would rig it as a cutter, and they would
be able to undertake voyages of circumnavigation round
the island, &c.

In the meanwhile night came on, and it was already
dark when the settlers reached Flotsam Point, the place
where they had discovered the precious chest.
THE ABANDONED. 71



The distance between Flotsam Point and Granite
House was another four miles, and it was midnight when,
after having followed the shore to the mouth of the
Mercy, the settlers arrived at the first angle formed by
the Mercy. :

There the river was eighty feet in breadth, which was
awkward to cross, but as Pencroft had taken upon himself
to conquer this difficulty, he was compelled to do it. The
settlers certainly had reason to be pretty tired. The
journey had been long, and the task of getting down the
balloon had not rested either their arms or legs. They
were anxious ro reach Granite House to eat and sleep, and
if the bridge had been constructed, ina quarter of an hour
they would have been at home.

The night was very dark. Pencroft prepared to keep
his promise by constructing a sort of raft, on which to
make the passage of the Mercy. He and Neb,armed with
axes, chose two trees near the water, and began to attack
them at the base.

Cyrus Harding and Spilett, seated on the bank, waited
vill their companions were ready for their help, whilst
‘Herbert roamed about, though without going to any
distance. All at once, the lad, who had strolled by the
river, came running back, and, pointing up the Mercy,
exclaimed,—

“ What is floating there ?”
72 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Pencroft stopped working, and seeing an indistinct object
moving through the gloom,— |

“A canoe!” cried he.

All approached, and saw to their extreme surprise, a boat
floating down the current.

“Boat ahoy!” shouted the sailor, without thinking that
perhaps it would be best to keep silence.

No reply. The boat still drifted onwards, and it was not
more than twelve feet off, when the sailor exclaimed,—

“But it is our own boat! she has broken her moorings,
and floated down the current. I must say she has arrived
very opportunely.”

“Our boat?” murmured the engineer.

Pencroft was right. It was indeed the canoe, of which
the rope had undoubtedly broken, and which had come
alone from the sources of the Mercy. It was very impor-
tant to seize it before the rapid current should have swept
it away out of the mouth of the river, but Neb and Pencroft
cleverly managed this by means of a long pole.

The canoe touched the shore. The engineer leapt in
first, and found, on examining the rope, that it had been
really worn through by rubbing against the rocks.

“Well,” said the reporter to him, in a low voice ; “ this
is a strange thing.”

“ Strange indeed!” returned Cyrus Harding.

Strange or not, it was very fortunate. Herbert, the










































There was no longer a ladder !
THE ABANDONED. 73

reporter, Neb, and Pencroft, embarked in turn. There
was no doubt about the rope having been worn through,
but the astonishing part of the affair was, that the boat
should have arrived just at the moment when the settlers
were there to seize it on its way, for a quarter of an hour
earlier or later it would have been lost in the sea.

If they had been living in the time of genii, this inci-
dent would have given them the right to think that the
island was haunted by some supernatural being, who used
his power in the service of the castaways!

A few strokes of the oar brought the settlers to the
mouth of the Mercy. The canoe was hauled up on the
beach near the Chimneys, and all proceeded towards the
ladder of Granite House.

But at that moment, Top barked angrily, and Neb,-who
was looking for the first steps, uttered a cry.

There was no longer a ladder j
74 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



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.

CyRuUS HARDING stood still, without saying a word. His
companions searched in the darkness on the wall, in case
the wind should have moved the ladder, and on the ground,
thinking that it might have fallen down. .... But the
ladder had quite disappeared. As to ascertaining if a
squall had blown it on to the landing-place, half way up,
that was impossible in the dark.

“Tf it is a joke,” cried Pencroft, ‘‘it isa very stupid one;
to come home and find no staircase to go up to your room
by; for weary men, there is nothing to laugh at that I
can see.”

Neb could do nothing but cry out “Oh! oh! oh!”
THE ABANDONED, 75

“TI begin to think that very curious things happen in
Lincoln Island!” said Pencroft.

“Curious?” replied Gideon Spilett, “not at all Pencroft,
nothing can be more natural. Some one has come during
our absence, taken possession of our dwelling and drawn
up the ladder.”

“Some one,” cried the sailor. “But who?”

“Who but the hunter who fired the bullet?” replied the
reporter.

“Well, if there is any one up there,” replied Pencroft,
who began to lose patience, “I will give them a hail, and
they must answer.”

And in a stentorian voice the sailor gave a prolonged
“ Halloo!” which was echoed again and again from the
cliff and rocks.

The settlers listened and they thought they heard a sort
ot chuckling laugh, of which they could not guess the
origin. But no voice replied to Pencroft, who in vain
repeated his vigorous shouts.

There was something indeed in this to astonish the most
apathetic of men, and the settlers were not men of that
description. In their situation every incident had its
importance, and, certainly, during the seven months which
they had spent on the island, they had not before met with
anything of so surprising a character.

Be that as it may, forgetting their fatigue in the singu-
76 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



larity of the event, they remained below Granite House,
not knowing what to think, not knowing what to do, ques-
tioning each other without any hope of a satisfactory reply,
every one starting some supposition each more unlikely
than the last. Neb bewailed himself, much disappointed
at not being able to get into his kitchen, for the provisions
which they had had on their expedition were exhausted,
and they had no means of renewing them.

“ My friends,” at last said Cyrus Harding, “ there is only
one thing to be done at present, wait for day, and then act
according to circumstances. But let us go to the Chimneys.
There we shall be under shelter, and if we cannot eat, we
can at least sleep.”

“ But who is it that has played us this cool trick?” again
asked Pencroft, unable to make up his mind to retire from
the spot.

Whoever it was, the only thing practicable was to do as
the engineer proposed, to go to the Chimneys and there
wait forday. In the meanwhile Top was ordered to mount
guard below the windows of Granite House, and when
Top received an order he obeyed it without any questioning.
The brave dog therefore remained at the foot of the cliff
whilst his master with his companions sought a refuge
among the rocks,

To say that the settlers, notwithstanding their fatigue,
slept well on the sandy floor of the Chimneys would not
THE ABANDONED. 77



be true. It was not only that they were extremely anxious
to find out the cause of what had happened, whether it
was the result of an accident which would be discovered at
the return of day, or whether on the contrary it was the
work of a human being; but they also had very uncom-
fortable beds. That could not be helped, however, for in
some way or other at that moment their dwelling was
occupied, and they could not possibly enter it.

Now Granite House was more than their dwelling, it was
their warehouse. There were all the stores belonging to
the colony, weapons, instruments, tools, ammunition, pro-
visions, &c. To think that all that might be pillaged and
that the settlers would have all their work to do over again,
fresh weapons and tools to make, was a serious matter.
Their uneasiness led one or other of them also to go out
every few minutes to see if Top was keeping good watch,
Cyrus Harding alone waited with his habitual patience,
although his strong mind was exasperated at being con-
fronted with such an inexplicable fact, and he was provoked
at himself for allowing a feeling to which he could not give
a name, to gain an influence over him. Gideon Spilett
shared his feelings in this respect, and the two conversed
together in whispers of the inexplicable circumstance which
baffled even their intelligence and experience.

“Tt is a joke,” said Pencroft ; “it is a trick some one has
played us. Well, I don’t like such jokes, and the joker
78 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



had better look out for himself, if he falls into my hands,
T can tell him.”

As soon as the first gleam of light appeared in the east,
the colonists, suitably armed, repaired to the beach under
Granite House. The rising sun now shone on the cliff and
they could see the windows, the shutters of which were
closed, through the curtains of foliage.

All here was in order ; but a cry escaped the colonists
when they saw that the door, which they had closed on
their departure, was now wide open.

Some one had entered Granite House—there could be
no more doubt about that.

The upper ladder, which generally hung from the door to
the landing, was in its place, but the lower ladder was drawn
up and raised to the threshold. It was evident that the
intruders had wished to guard themselves against a surprise.

Pencroft hailed again.

No reply.

“The beggars,” exclaimed the sailor. ‘“ There they are
sleeping quietly as if they were in their own house. Hallo
there, you pirates, brigands, robbers, sons of John Bull!”

When Pencroft, being a Yankee, treated any one to the
epithet of “son of John Bull,” he considered he had reached
the last limits of insult.

The sun had now completely risen, and the whole facade
of Granite House became illuminated by his rays ; but in
THE ABANDONED. 79

the interior as well as on the exterior all was quiet and
calm.

The settlers asked if Granite House was inhabited or
not, and yet the position of the ladder was sufficient to
show that it was; it was also certain that the inhabitants,
whoever they might be, had not been able to escape. But
‘how were they to be got at?

Herbert then thought of fastening a cord to an arrow, and
shooting the arrow so that it should pass between the first
rounds of the ladder which hung from the threshold. By
means of the cord they would then be able to draw down
the ladder to the ground, and so re-establish the communi-
cation between the beach and Granite House. There was
evidently nothing else to be done, and, with a little skill,
this method might succeed. Very fortunately bows and
arrows had been left at the Chimneys, where they also
found a quantity of light hibiscus cord. Pencroft fastened
this to a well-feathered arrow. Then Herbert fixing it
to his bow, took a careful aim for the lower part of the
‘ladder.

Cyrus Harding, Gideon Spilett, Pencroft, and Neb
drew back, so as to see if anything appeared at the win-
dows. The reporter lifted his gun to his shoulder and
covered the door.

The bow was bent, the arrow flew, taking the cord with
it, and passed between the two last rounds,
80 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

The operation had succeeded.

Herbert immediately seized the end of the cord, but, at
that moment when he gave it a pull to bring down the
ladder, an arm, thrust suddenly out between the wall and
the door, grasped it and dragged it inside Granite House.

“The rascals!” shouted the sailor. “If a ball can do
anything for you, you shall not have long to wait for it.”

“ But who was it?” asked Neb.

“Who was it? Didn’t you see?”

“No.”

- “It was a monkey, a sapago, an orang-outang, a baboon,
a gorilla, a sagoin. Our dwelling has been invaded by
monkeys, who climbed up the ladder during our absence.”

And, at this moment, as if to bear witness to the truth
of the sailor's words, two or three quadrumana showed
themselves at the windows, from which they had pushed
back the shutters, and saluted the real proprietors of the
place with a thousand hideous grimaces.

“JT knew that it was only a joke,” cried Pencroft;
“but one of the jokers shall pay the penalty for the
rest.”

So saying, the sailor, raising his piece, took a rapid aim
at one of the monkeys and fired. All disappeared, except
one who fell mortally wounded on the beach.. This monkey,
which was of a large size, evidently belonged to the first
order of the quadrumana. Whether this was a chimpan-












































































































































































































































































wu









Hi



















The invaders of Granite House.


THE ABANDONED. 81



zee, an orang-outang, or a gorilla, he took rank among the
anthropoid apes, who are so called from their resemblance
to the human race. However, Herbert declared it to be an
orang-outang.

“What a magnificent beast!” cried Neb.

“Magnificent, if you like,” replied Pencroft; “but still
I do not see how we are to get into our house.”

“Herbert is a good marksman,” said the reporter, “and
his bow is here. He can try again.”

“Why, these apes are so cunning,”

returned Pencroft ;
“they won’t show themselves again at the windows and so
we can’t kill them; and when I think of the mischief they
may do in the rooms and storehouse—”

“Have patience,” replied Harding; “these creatures
cannot keep us long at bay.”

“T shall not be sure of that till I see them down here,”
replied the sailor. “And now, captain, do you know how
many dozens of these fellows are up there ?”

It was difficult to reply to Pencroft, and as for the young
boy making another attempt, that was not easy; for the
lower part of the ladder had been drawn again into the
door, and when another pull was given, the line broke and
the ladder remained firm. The case was really perplexing.
Pencroft stormed. There was a comic side to the situation,
but he did not think it funny at all. It was certain that
the settlers would end by reinstating themselves in their
82 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

domicile and driving out the intruders, but when and how?
this is what they were not able to say.

Two hours passed, during which the apes took care not
to show themselves, but they were still there, and three or
four times a nose or a paw was poked out at the door or
windows, and was immediately saluted by a gun-shot.

“Let us hide ourselves,” at last said the engineer.
“Perhaps the apes will think we have gone quite away
and will show themselves again. Let Spilett and Herbert
conceal themselves behind those rocks and fire on all that
may appear.”

The engineer’s orders were obeyed, and whilst the re-
porter. and the lad, the best marksmen in the colony,
posted themselves in a good position, but out of the
monkeys’ sight, Neb, Pencroft, and Cyrus climbed the
plateau and entered the forest in order to kill some game,
for it was now time for breakfast and they had no provi-
sions remaining.

In half an hour the hunters returned with a few rock
pigeons, which they roasted as well as they could. Not
an ape had appeared. Gideon Spilett and Herbert went
to take their share of the breakfast, leaving Top to watch
under the windows. They then, having eaten, returned to
their post.

Two hours later, their situation was in no degree im-
proved. The quadrumana gave no sign of existence, and
THE ABANDONED. 83

it might have been supposed that they had disappeared ;
but what seemed more probable was that, terrified by the
death of one of their companions, and frightened by the
noise of the fire-arms, they had retreated to the back part
of the house or probably even into the store-room. And
when they thought of the valuables which this store-room
contained, the patience so much recommended by the en-
gineer, fast changed into great irritation, and there certainly
was room for it.

“Decidedly it is too bad,” said the reporter; “and
the worst of it is, there is no way of putting an end
to it.”

“But we must drive these vagabonds out somehow,”
cried the sailor. ‘“ We could soon get the better of them,
even if there are twenty of the rascals ; but for that, we must
meet them hand to hand. Come now, is there no way of
getting at them?”

“Let us try to enter Granite House by the old opening
at the lake,” replied the engineer.

“Oh!” shouted the sailor, “ and I never thought of
that.” ,

This was in reality the only way by which to penetrate
into Granite House so as to fight with and drive out the
intruders. The opening was, it is true, closed up with a wall
of cemented stones, which it would be necessary to sacrifice,
but that could easily be rebuilt. Fortunately, Cyrus Harding
84 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

had not as yet effected his project of hiding this opening
by raising the waters of the lake, for the operation would
then have taken some time.

It was already past twelve o’clock, when the colonists,
well armed and provided with picks and spades, left the
Chimneys, passed beneath the windows of Granite House,
after telling Top to remain at his post, and began to
ascend the left bank of the Mercy, so as to reach Pros-
pect Heights.

But they had not made fifty steps in this direction, when
they heard the dog barking furiously.

And all rushed down the bank again.

Arrived at the turning, they saw that the situation had
changed.

In fact, the apes, seized with a sudden panic, from some
unknown cause, were trying to escape. Two or three ran
and clambered from one window to another with the agility
of acrobats, They were not even trying to replace the
ladder, by which it would have been easy to descend ; per-
haps in their terror they had forgotten this way of escape.
The colonists, now being able to take aim without difficulty,
fired. Some, wounded or killed, fell back into the rooms,
uttering piercing cries. The rest, throwing themselves out,
were dashed to pieces in their fall, and in a few minutes, so
far as they knew, there was not a living quadrumana in
Granite House, -
THE ABANDONED. 85

At this moment the ladder was seen to slip over the
threshold, then unroll and fall to the ground.

“Hullo!” cried the sailor, “this is queer!”

“Very strange!” murmured the engineer, leaping first up
the ladder.

“Take care, captain!” cried Pencroft, “perhaps there are
still some of these rascals. -

“We shall soon see,” replied the engineer, without stop-
ping however.

All his companions followed him, and in a minute
they had arrived at the threshold. They searched
everywhere. There was no one in the rooms nor in
the storehouse, which had been respected by the band of
quadrumana,

“Well now, and the ladder,” cried the sailor; “who can
the gentleman have been who sent us that down?”

But at that moment a cry was heard, and a great orang,
who had hidden himself in the passage, rushed into the
room, pursued by Neb.

“ Ah, the robber!” cried Pencroft.

And hatchet in hand, he was about to cleave the head of
the animal, when Cyrus Harding seized his arm, saying,—

“ Spare him, Pencroft.”

“Pardon this rascal ?”

“Yes! it was he who threw us the ladder!”

And the engineer said this in such a peculiar voice
86 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
that it was difficult to know whether he spoke seriously
or not.

Nevertheless, they threw themselves on the orang, who
defended himself gallantly, but was soon overpowered and
bound.

“There!” said Pencroft. “And what shall we make of
him, now we've got him?”

“A servant!” replied Herbert.

The lad was not joking in saying this, for he knew how
this intelligent race could be turned to account.

The settlers then approached the ape and gazed at it
attentively. He belonged to the family of anthropoid apes,
of which the facial angle is not much inferior to that of the
Australians and Hottentots. It was an orang-outang, and
as such, had neither the ferocity of the gorilla, nor the
stupidity of the baboon. It is to this family of the anthro-
poid apes that so many characteristics belong which prove
them to be possessed of an almost human intelligence.
Employed in houses, they can wait at table, sweep rooms,
brush clothes, clean boots, handle a knife, fork, and spoon
properly, and even drink wine, . . . doing everything
as well as the best servant that ever walked upon two legs.
Buffon possessed one of these apes, who served him for a
long time as a faithful and zealous servant.

The one which had been seized in the hall of Granite
House was a great fellow, six feet high, with an admirably




Capturing the orang.
THE ABANDONED. 87



proportioned frame, a broad chest, head of a moderate size,
the facial angle reaching sixty-five degrees, round skull,
projecting nose, skin covered with soft glossy hair, in short,
a fine specimen of the anthropoids. His eyes, rather smaller
than human eyes, sparkled with intelligence; his white
teeth glittered under his moustache, and he wore a little
curly brown beard.

“A handsome fellow!” said Pencroft ; “if we only knew
his language, we could talk to him.”

“But, master,” said Neb, “are you serious? Are we going
to take him as a servant ?”

“Ves, Neb,” replied the engineer, smiling. “But you
must not be jealous.”

“And I hope he will make an excellent servant,”
added Herbert. “He appears young, and will be easy
to educate, and we shall not be obliged to use force
to subdue him, nor draw his teeth, as is sometimes done.
He will soon grow fond of his masters if they are kind
to him.”

“ And they will be,” replied Pencroft, who had forgotten
all his rancour against “the jokers.”

Then, approaching the orang,—

“Well, old boy!” he asked, “how are you?”

The orang replied by a little grunt which did not show
any anger.

“You wish to join the colony ?” again asked the sailor
88 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“You are going to enter the service of Captain Cyrus
Harding ?”

Another respondent grunt was uttered by the ape.

“And you will be satisfied with no other wages than your
food ?”

Third affirmative grunt.

“This conversation is slightly monotonous,” observed
Gideon Spilett.

“So much the better,” replied Pencroft ; “the best ser-
vants are those who talk the least. And then, no wages,
do you hear my boy? We will give you no wages at first,
but we will double them afterwards if we are pleased with
you.”

Thus the colony was increased by a new member. As to
his name the sailor begged that in memory of another ape
which he had known, he might be called Jupiter, and Jup
for short.

And so, without more ceremony, Master Jup was installed
in Granite House. .
d

Ly \\

;



|

"





























Engaging the new servant.
THE ABANDONED. | 89



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 ONA-
GAS—THE CART—EXCURSION TO PORT BALLOON.

THE settlers in Lincoln Island had now regained their
dwelling, without having been obliged to reach it by the old
opening, and were therefore spared the trouble of mason’s
work. It was certainly lucky, that at the moment they
were about to set out to do so, the apes had been seized
with that terror, no less sudden than inexplicable, which
had driven them out of Granite House. Had the animals
discovered that they were about to be attacked from
another direction? This was the only explanation of their
sudden retreat.

During the day the bodies of the apes were carried into
the wood, where they were buried ; then the'settlers busied
themselves in repairing the disorder caused by the intru-

I
90 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



ders, disorder but not damage, for although they had turned
everything in the rooms topsy-turvy, yet they had broken
nothing. Neb relighted his stove, and the stores in the
larder furnished a substantial repast, to which all did ample
justice.

Jup was not forgotten, and he ate with relish some stone
pine almonds and rhizome reets, with which he was abun-
dantly supplied. Pencroft had unfastened his arms, but
judged it best to have his legs tied until they were more
sure of his submission. °

Then, before retiring to rest, Harding and his companions
seated round their table, discussed those plans, the execu-
tion of which was most pressing. The most important and
most urgent was the establishment of a bridge over the
Mercy, so as to form a communication with the southern
part of the island and Granite House; then the making of
an enclosure for the musmons or other woolly animals
which they wished to capture.

These two projects would help to solve the difficulty as
to their clothing, which was now serious. The bridge
would render easy the transport of the balloon case, which
would furnish them with linen, and the inhabitants of the
enclosure would yield wool which would supply them with
winter clothes.

As to the enclosure, it was Cyrus Harding’s intention to
establish it at the sources of the Red Creek, where the

wee \
THE ABANDONED. gt

ruminants would find fresh and abundant pasture. The
road between Prospect Heights and the sources of the
stream was already partly beaten, and with a better cart
than the first, the material could be easily conveyed to the
spot, especially if they could manage to capture some
animals to draw it.

But though there might be no inconvenience in the
enclosure being so far from Granite House, it would not be
the same with the poultry-yard, to which Neb called the
attention of the colonists. It was indeed necessary that the
birds should be close within reach of the cook, and no place
appeared more favourable for the establishment of the said
poultry-yard than that portion of the banks of the lake
which was close to tne old opening.

Water-birds would prosper there as well as others, and
the couple of tinamous taken in their last excursion would
be the first to be domesticated.

The next day, the 3rd of November, the new works were
begun by the construction of the bridge, and all hands
were required for this important task. Saws, hatchets, and
hammers were shouldered by the scttlers, who, now trans-
formed into carpenters, descended to the shore.

There Pencroft observed,—

“ Suppose, that during our absence, Master Jup takes it
into his head to draw up the ladder which he so politely
returned to us yesterday ?”
92 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Let us tie its lower end down firmly,” replied Cyrus
Harding.

This was done by means of two stakes securely fixea
in the sand. Then the settlers, ascending the left bank
of the Mercy, soon arrived at the angle formed by the
river. ,

There they halted, in. order to ascertain if the bridge
could be thrown across. The place appeared suitable.

In fact, from this spot, to Port Balloon, discovered the
day before on the southern coast, there was only a distance
of three miles and a half, and from the bridge to the Port,
it would be easy to make a good cart-road which would
render the communication between Granite House and the
south of the island extremely easy.

Cyrus Harding now imparted to his companions a scheme
for completely isolating Prospect Heights so asto shelter it
from the attacks both of quadrupeds and quadrumana. In
this way, Granite House, the Chimneys, the poultry-yard,
and all the upper part of the plateau which was to be used
for cultivation, would be protected against the depredations
of animals, Nothing could be easier than to execute this
project, and this is how the engineer intended to set to
work,

The plateau was already defended on three sides by
watercourses, either artificial or natural. On the north-
west, by the shores of Lake Grant, from the entrance of the
THE ABANDONED. 93

passage to the breach made in the banks of the lake for the
escape of the water.

On the north, from this breach to the sea, by the new
watercourse which had hollowed out a bed for itself across
the plateau and shore, above and below the fall, and it
would be enough to dig the bed of this creek a little deeper
to make it impracticable for animals, on all the eastern
border by the sea itself, from the mouth of the aforesaid
creek to the mouth of the Mercy.

Lastly, on the south, from the mouth to the turn of the
Mercy where the bridge was to be established.

The western border of the plateau now remained between
the turn of the river and the southern angle of the lake, a
distance of about a mile, which was open to all comers,
But nothing could be easier than to dig a broad deep ditch,
which could be filled from the lake, and the overflow of
which would throw itself by a rapid fall into the bed of the
Mercy. The level of the lake would, no doubt, be some.
what lowered by this fresh discharge of its waters, but
Cyrus Harding had ascertained that the volume of water in
the Red Creek was considerable enough to allow of the
execution of this project..

“So then,” added the engineer, “ Prospect Heights will
become a regular island, being surrounded with water on
all sides, and only communicating with the rest of our
domain by the bridge which we are about to throw across
94 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the Mercy, the two little bridges already established above
and below the fall; and, lastly, two other little bridges
which must be constructed, one over the canal which I
propose to dig, the other across to the left bank of the
Mercy. Now, if these bridges can be raised at will,
Prospect Heights will be guarded from any surprise.”

The bridge was the most urgent work. Trees were
selected, cut down, stripped of their branches, and cut into
beams, joists, and planks. The end of the bridge which
rested on the right bank of the Mercy was to be firm, but
the other end on the left bank was to be moveable, so that
it might be raised by means of a counterpoise, as some
canal bridges are managed.

This was certainly a considerable work, and though it
was skilfully conducted, it took some time, for the Mercy
at this place was eighty feet wide. It was therefore neces-
sary to fix piles in the bed of the river so as to sustain the
floor of the bridge and establish a pile-driver to act on the
tops of these piles, which would thus form two arches and
allow the bridge to support heavy loads. .

Happily there was no want of tools with which to shape
the wood, nor of iron-work to make it firm, nor of the inge-
nuity of a man who had a marvellous knowledge of the
work, nor lastly, the zeal of his companions, who in seven
months had necessarily acquired great skill in the use of
their tools ; and it must be said that not the least skilful








































































Building the bridge.
THE ABANDONED. 95
was Gideon Spilett, who in dexterity almost equalled the
sailor himself. “Who would ever have expected so much
from a newspaper man!” thought Pencroft.

The construction of the Mercy bridge lasted three weeks
of regular hard work. They even breakfasted on the scene
of their labours, and the weather being magnificent, they
only returned to Granite House to sleep.

During this period it may be stated that Master Jup
grew more accustomed to his new masters, whose move-
ments he always watched with very inquisitive eyes.
However, as a precautionary measure, Pencroft did not
as yet allow him complete liberty, rightly wishing to wait
until the limits of the plateau should be settled by the
projected works. Top and Jup were good friends and
played willingly together, but Jup did everything solemnly.

On the 20th of November the bridge was finished. - The
moveable part, balanced by the counterpoise, swung easily,
and only a slight effort was needed to raise it ; between its
hinge and the last cross-bar on which it rested when closed,
there existed a space of twenty feet, which was sufficiently
wide to prevent any animals from crossing.

The settlers now began to talk of fetching the balloon-
case, which they were anxious to place in perfect security ;
but to bring it, it would be necessary to take a cart to Port
Balloon, and consequently, necessary to beat a road through
the dense forests of the Far West, This would take some
96 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

time. Also, Neb and Pencroft having gone to ‘examine
into the state of things at Port Balloon, and reported that
the stock of cloth would suffer no damage in the grotto
where. it was stored, it was decided that the work at Pros-
pect Heights should not be discontinued.

“That,” observed Pencroft, “will enable us to establish
our poultry-yard under better conditions, since we need
have no fear of visits from foxes nor the attacks of other
beasts.”

“Then,” added Neb, “we can clear the plateau, and
transplant wild plants to it.”

“And prepare our second corn-field!” cried the sailor
with a triumphant air. |

In fact, the first corn-field sown with a single grain had
prospered admirably, thanks to Pencroft’s care. It had
produced the ten ears foretold by the engineer, and each
ear containing eighty grains, the colony found itself in
possession of eight hundred grains, in six months, which
promised a double harvest each year.

These eight hundred grains, except fifty, which were
prudently reserved, were to be sown in a new field, but with
no less care than was bestowed on the single grain.

The field was prepared, then surrounded with a strong
palisade, high and pointed, which quadrupeds would have
found difficulty in leaping. As to birds, some scare-
crows, due to Pencroft’s ingenious brain, were enough to




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Pencroft’s scarecrows,
THE ABANDONED. 97

frighten them. The seven hundred and fifty grains depo-
sited in very regular furrows, were then left for nature to do
the rest.

On the 21st of November, Cyrus Harding began to plan
the canal which was to close the plateau on the west, from
the south angle of Lake Grant to the angle of the Mercy.
There was there two or three feet of vegetable earth, and
below that granite. It was therefore necessary to manu-
facture some more nitro-glycerine, and the nitro-glycerine
did its accustomed work. In less than a fortnight a ditch,
twelve feet wide and six deep, was dug out in the hard
ground of the plateau. A new trench was made by the
same means in the rocky border of the lake, forming a
small stream, to which they gave the name of Creek
Glycerine, and which was thus an affluent of the Mercy.
As the engineer had predicted, the level of the lake was
lowered, though very slightly. To complete the enclosure
the bed of the stream on the beach was considerably
enlarged, and the sand supported by means of stakes.

By the end of the first fortnight of December these
works were finished, and Prospect Heights—that is to say,
a sort of irregular pentagon, having a perimeter of nearly
four miles, surrounded by a liquid belt—was completely
protected from depredators of every description.

During the month of December, the heat was very great
In spite of it, however, the settlers continued their work,
98 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

and as they were anxious to possess a poultry-yard they
forthwith commenced it.

It is useless to say that since the enclosing of the plateau
had been completed, Master Jup had been set at liberty.
He did not leave his masters, and evinced no wish to
escape. He was a gentle animal, though very powerful
and wonderfully active. He was already taught to make
himself useful by drawing loads of wood and carting away
the stones which were extracted from the bed of Creek
Glycerine.

The poultry-yard occupied an area of two hundred square
yards, on the south-eastern bank of the lake, It was
surrounded by a palisade, and in it were constructed
various shelters for the birds which were to populate it.
These were simply built of branches and divided into
compartments, made ready for the expected guests,

The first were the two tinamous, which were not long in
having a number of young ones; they had for companions
half a dozen ducks, accustomed to the borders of the lake.
Some belonged to the Chinese species, of which the wings
open like a fan, and which by the brilliancy of their
plumage rival the golden pheasants. A few days after-
wards, Herbert snared a couple of gallinacez, with spread-
ing tails composed of long feathers, magnificent alectors,
which soon became tame. As to pelicans, _ kingfishers,
water-hens, they came of themselves to the shores of the
TIE ABANDONED. 69



poultry-yard, and this little community, after some dis-
putes, cooing, screaming, clucking, ended by settling down
peacefully, and increased in encouraging proportion for the
future use of the colony.

Cyrus Harding, wishing to complete his performance,
established a pigeon-house in a corner of the poultry-yard.
‘Fhere he lodged a dozen of those pigeons which frequented
the rocks of the plateau. These birds soon became accus-
tomed to returning every evening to their new dwelling,
and showed more disposition to domesticate themselves
than their congeners, the wood-pigeons.

Lastly, the time had come for turning the balloon-case
to use, by cutting it up to make shirts and other articles ;
for as to keeping it in its present form, and risking them-
selves in a balloon filled with gas, above a sea of the limits
of which they had no idea, it was not to be thought of.

It was necessary to bring the case to Granite House, and
the colonists employed themselves in rendering their heavy
cart lighter and more manageable. But though they had
a vehicle, the moving power was yet to be found.

But did there not exist in the island some animal which
might supply the place of the horse, ass, or ox? That was
the question.

“Certainly,” said Pencroft, “a beast of burden would be
very useful to us until the captain has made a steam cart,
or even an engine, for some day we shall have a railroad
100 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

from Granite House to Port Balloon, with a branch line to
Mount Franklin !”

One day, the 23rd of December, Neb and Top were
heard shouting and barking, each apparently trying who
could make the most noise. The settlers, who were busy
at the Chimneys, ran, fearing some vexatious incident.

What did they see? Two fine animals of a large size,
who had imprudently ventured on the plateau, when the
bridges were open. One would have said they were horses,
or at least donkeys, male and female, of a fine shape, dove-
coloured, the legs and tail white, striped with black on the
head and neck. They advanced quietly without showing
any uneasiness, and gazed at the men, in whom they could
not as yet recognize their future masters.

“These are onagas!” cried Herbert, “animals something
between the zebra and the conaga!”

“Why not donkeys?” asked Neb.

“Because they have not long ears, and their shape is
more graceful !”

“Donkeys or horses,” interrupted Pencroft, “they are
‘moving powers,’ as the captain would say, and as such
must be captured !”

The sailor, without frightening the animals, crept
through the grass to the bridge over Creek Glycerine,
lowered it, and the onagas were prisoners.

Now, should they seize them with violence and master
THE ABANDONED. Io!

them by force? No. It was decided that for a few days
they should be allowed to roam freely about the plateau,
where there was an abundance of grass, and the engineer
immediately began to prepare a stable near the poultry-
yard, in which the onagas might find food, with a good
litter, and shelter during the night.

This done, the movements of the two magnificent
creatures were left entirely free, and the settlers avoided
even approaching them so as to terrify them. Several
times, however, the onagas appeared to wish to leave the
plateau, too confined for animals accustomed to the plains
and forests. They were then seen following the water-
barrier which everywhere presented itself before them,
uttering short neighs, then galloping through the grass,
and becoming calmer, they would remain entire hours
gazing at the woods, from which they were cut off for
ever !

' In the meantime harness of vegetable fibre had been
manufactured, and some days after the capture of the
onagas, not only the cart was ready, but a straight road, or
rather a cutting, had been made through the forests of the
Far West, from the angle of the Mercy to Port Balloon,
The cart might then be driven there, and towards the end
of December they tried the onagas for the first time.

Pencroft had already coaxed the animals to come and

eat out of his hand, and they allowed him to approach
K
102 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

without making any difficulty, but once harnessed they
reared and could with difficulty be held in. However, it
was not long before they submitted to this new service,
for the onaga, being less refractory than the zebra, is
frequently put in harness in the mountainous regions of
Southern Africa, and it has even been acclimatized in
Europe, under zones of a relative coolness.

-On this day all the colony, except Pencroft who walked
at the animals’ heads, mounted the cart, and. set out on
the road to Port Balloon.

Of course they were jolted over the somewhat rough
1oad, but the vehicle arrived without any accident, and
was soon loaded with the case and rigging of the balloon.

At eight o’clock that. evening the cart, after passing over
the Mercy bridge, descended the left bank of the river, and
stopped on the beach. The onagas being unharnessed, were
thence led to their stable, and Pencroft before going to
sleep gave vent to'his feelings in a deep sigh of satisfaction
that awoke all the echoes of Granite House.
THE ABANDONED. 103



CHAPTER VIII.

LINEN—SHOES OF SEAL-LEATHER—MANUFACTURE OF
PYROXYLE—GARDENING—FISHING—-TURTLE-EGGS—
IMPROVEMENT OF MASTER JUP— THE CORRAL—
MUSMON HUNT—NEW ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE
POSSESSIONS—RECOLLECTIONS OF THEIR NATIVE
LAND. ,

THE first week of January was devoted to the manufac-
ture of the linen garments required by the colony. The
needles found in the box were used by sturdy if not
delicate fingers, and we may be sure that what was sewn
was sewn firmly. .

There was no lack of thread, thanks to Cyrus Peeing
idea of re-employing that which had been already used in
the covering of the balloon. This with admirable patience
was all unpicked by Gideon Spilett and Herbert, for
Pencroft had been obliged to give this work up, as it
irritated him beyond measure; but he had no equal in the
104 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

sewing part of the business. Indeed, everybody knows
that sailors have a remarkable aptitude for tailoring.

The cloth of which the balloon-case was made was
then cleaned by means of soda and potash, obtained by
the incineration of plants, in such a way that the cotton,
having got rid of the varnish, resumed its natural softness
and elasticity; then, exposed to the action of the atmos-
phere, it soon became perfectly white. Some dozen shirts
and socks—the latter not knitted of course, but made of
cotton-—-were thus manufactured. What a comfort it was
to the settlers to clothe themselves again in clean linen,
which was doubtless rather rough, but they were not
troubled about that! and then to go to sleep between
sheets, which made the couches at Granite House into
quite comfortable beds !

It was about this time also that they made boots of seal-
leather, which were greatly needed to replace the shoes
and boots brought from America. We may be sure that
these new shoes were large enough and never pinched the
teet of the wearers.

With the beginning of the year 1866 the heat was very
great, but the hunting in the forests did not stand still.
Agouties, peccaries, capybaras, kangaroos, game of all sorts,
actually swarmed there, and Spilett and Herbert were too
good marksmen ever to throw away their shot uselessly.

Cyrus Harding still recommended them to husband the


5























The settiers’ new shirts.
THE ABANDONED. i 105



ammunition, and he took measures to replace the powder and
shot which had been found in the box, and which he wished
to reserve for the future. How did he know where chance
might one day cast his companions and himself in the event
of their leaving their domain? They should, then, prepare
for the unknown future by husbanding their ammunition
and by substituting for it some easily renewable substance,

To replace lead, of which Harding had found no traces
in the island, he employed granulated iron, which was easy
to manufacture. These bullets, not having the weight of
leaden bullets, were made larger, and each charge con-
tained less, but the skill of the sportsmen made up this
deficiency. As to powder, Cyrus Harding would have
been able to make that also, for he had at. his disposal
saltpetre, sulphur, and coal; but this preparation requires
extreme care, and without special tools it is difficult to
produce it of a good quality. Harding preferred, there-
fore, to manufacture pyroxyle, that is to say gun-cotton,
a substance in which cotton is not indispensable, as the
elementary tissue of vegetables may be used, and this is
found in an almost pure state, not only in cotton, but in
the textile fibres of hemp and flax, in paper, the pith of
the elder, &c. Now, the elder abounded in the island
towards the mouth of Red Creek, and the colonists had
already made coffee of the berries of these shrubs, which
belong to the family of the caprifoliacez.
106 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



The only thing to be collected, therefore, was elder-pith,
for as to the other substance necessary for the manufacture
of pyroxyle, it was only fuming azotic acid. Now, Harding
having sulphuric acid at his disposal, had already been
easily able to produce azotic acid by attacking the salt-
petre with which nature supplied him. He accordingly
resolved to manufacture and employ pyroxyle, although it
has some inconveniences, that is to say, a great inequality
of effect, an excessive inflammability, since it takes fire at
one hundred and seventy degrees instead of two hundred
and forty, and lastly, an instantaneous deflagration which
might damage the fire-arms. On the other hand, the
advantages of pyroxyle consist in this, that it is not
injured by damp, that it does not make the gun-barrels
dirty, and that its force is four times that of ordinary
powder.

To make pyroxyle, the cotton must be immersed in the
fuming azotic acid for a quarter of an hour, then washed
in cold water and dried. Nothing could be more simple.

Cyrus Harding had only at his disposal the ordinary
azotic acid and not the fuming or monohydrate azotic
acid, that is to say, acid which emits white vapours when
it comes in contact with damp air; but by substituting for
the latter ordinary azotic acid, mixed, in the proportion of
from three to five volumes of concentrated sulphuric acid,
the engineer obtained the same result. The sportsmen of
THE ABANDONED. 107
the island therefore soon had a perfectly prepared sub-
stance, which, employed discreetly, produced admirable
results.

About this time the settlers cleared three acres of the
plateau, and the rest was preserved in a wild state, for the
benefit of the onagas. Several excursions were made into
the Jacamar woods and forests of the Far West, and they
brought back from thence a large collection of wild vege-
tables, spinage, cress, radishes, and turnips, which careful
culture would soon improve, and which would temper the
regimen on which the settlers had till then subsisted.
Supplies of wood and coal were also carted. Each excur-
sion was at the same time a means of improving the roads,
which gradually became smoother under the wheels of the
cart.

The rabbit-warren still continued to supply the larder
of Granite House. As fortunately it was situated on the
other side of Creek Glycerine, its inhabitants could not
reach the plateau nor ravage the newly-made plantation.
The oyster-bed among the rocks was frequently renewed,
and furnished éxcellent molluscs. Besides that, the fishing,
either in the lake or the Mercy, was very profitable, for
Pencroft had made some lines,’ armed with iron hooks,
with which they frequently caught fine trout, and a species
of fish whose silvery sides were speckled with yellow, and
which were also extremely savoury. Master Neb, who
108 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

was skilled in the culinary art, knew how to vary agreeably
the bill of fare. Bread alone was wanting at the table of
the settlers, and as has been said, they felt this privation
greatly. /

The settlers hunted too the turtles which frequented the
shores of Cape Mandible. At this place the beach was
covered with little mounds, concealing perfectly spherical
turtles’ eggs, with white hard shells, the albumen of which
does not coagulate as that of birds’ eggs. They were
hatched by the sun, and their number was naturally con-
siderable, as each turtle can lay annually two hundred and
fifty. . .

“A regular egg-field,’ observed Gideon Spilett, “and
we have nothing to do but to pick them up.”

‘But not being contented with simply the produce, they
made chase after the producers, the result of which was
that they were able to bring back to Granite House a
dozen of these chelonians, which were really valuable in an
alimentary point of view. The turtle soup, flavoured with
aromatic herbs, often gained well-merited praises for its
preparer, Neb.

We must here mention another fortunate circumstance
by which new stores for the winter were laid in.. Shoals of
salmon entered the Mercy, and ascended the country for
several miles. It was the time at which the females, going
to find suitable places in which to spawn, precede the males






Jup passed most of his time in the kitchen, trying to imitate Neb.
THE ABANDONED. 109

and make a great noise through the fresh water. A thou-
sand of these fish, which measured about two feet and a
half in length, came up the river, and a large quantity
were retained by fixing dams across the stream. More
than a hundred were thus taken, which were salted and
stored for the time when winter, freezing up the streams,
would render fishing impracticable. By this time the
intelligent Jup was raised to the duty of valet. He had
been dressed in a jacket, white linen breeches, and an
apron, the pockets of which were his delight. The clever
orang had been marvellously trained by Neb, and any one
would have said that the negro and the ape understood
each other when they talked together. Jup had besides a
real affection for Neb, and Neb returned it. When his
services were not required, either for carrying wood or for
climbing to the top of some tree, Jup passed the greatest
part of his time in the kitchen, where he endeavoured to
imitate Neb in all that he saw him do. The black showed
the greatest patience and even extreme zeal in instructing
his pupil, and the pupil exhibited remarkable intelligence
in profiting by the lessons he received from his master.
Judge then of the pleasure Master Jup gave to the
inhabitants of Granite House when, without their having
had any idea of it, he appeared one day, napkin on his
arm, ready to wait at table. Quick, attentive, he acquitted
himself perfectly, changing the plates, bringing dishes,
IIo ‘THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

pouring out water, all with a gravity which gave intense
amusement to the settlers, and which enraptured Pencroft.

“Jup, some soup!”

“Jup, a little agouti!”

“Jup, a plate!”

“Jup! Good Jup! Honest Jup!”

Nothing was heard but that, and Jup without ever being
disconcerted, replied to every one, watched for everything,
and he shook his head in a knowing way when Pencroft,
referring to his joke of the first day, said to him,—.

“ Decidedly, Jup, your wages must be doubled.”

It is useless to say that the orang was now thoroughly
domesticated at Granite House, and that he often accom-
panied his masters to the forest without showing any wish
to leave them. It was most amusing to see him walking
with a stick which Pencroft had given him, and which he
carried on his shoulder like a gun. If they wished to
gather some fruit from the summit. of a tree, how quickly
he climbed for it. If the wheel of the cart stuck in the
mud, with what energy did Jup with a single heave of his
shoulder put it right again.

“What a jolly fellow he is!” cried Pencroft often. “If
he was as mischievous as he is good, there would be nc
doing anything with him!”

It was towards the end of January the colonists began
their labours in the centre of the island. It had been
THE ABANDONED. : lil

decided that a corral should be established near the sources
of the Red Creek, at the foot of Mount Franklin, destined
to contain the ruminants, whose presence would have been
troublesome at Granite House, and especially for the
musmons, who were to supply the wool for the settlers’
winter garments.

Each morning, the colony, sometimes entire, but more
often represented only by Harding, Herbert, and Pencroft,
proceeded to the sources of the Creek, a distance of not
more than five miles, by the newly beaten road to which
the name of Corral Road had been given.

There a site was chosen, at the back of the southern
ridge of the mountain. It was a meadow land, dotted
here and there with clumps of trees, and watered by a little
stream, which sprung from the slopes which closed it in
onone side, The grass was fresh, and it was not too much
shaded by the trees which grew about it. This meadow
was to be surrounded by a palisade, high enough to
prevent even the most agile animals from leaping over.
This enclosure would be large enough to contain a hun-
dred musmons and wild goats, with all the young ones
they might produce.

The perimeter of the corral was then traced by the
engineer, and they would then have proceeded to fell the
trees necessary for the construction of the palisade, but as
the opening up of the road had already necessitated the
112 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



sacrifice of a considerable number, those were brought and
supplied a hundred stakes, which were firmly fixed in the
ground.

At the front part of the palisade a large entrance was
reserved, and closed with strong folding-doors.

The construction of this corral did not take less than three
weeks, for besides the palisade, Cyrus Harding built large
sheds, in which the animals could take shelter. These
buildings had also to be made very strong, for musmons
are powerful animals, and their first fury was to be feared.
The stakes, sharpened at their upper end and hardened
by fire, had been fixed by means of cross-bars, and at
regular distances props assured the solidity of the whole.

The corral finished, a raid had to be made on the
pastures frequented by the ruminants. This was done on
the 7th of February, on a beautiful summer’s day, and
every one took part in it. The onagas, already well
trained, were ridden by Spilett and Herbert, and were
of great use.

The manceuvre consisted simply in surrounding the
musmons and goats, and gradually narrowing the circle
around them. Cyrus Harding, Pencroft, Neb, and Jup,
posted themselves in different parts of the wood, whilst
the two cavaliers and Top galloped in a radius of halfa
mile round the corral.

The musmons were very numerous in this part of the
THE ABANDONED. 113

island. These fine animals were as large as deer; their
horns were stronger than those of the ram, and their grey-
coloured fleece was mixed with long hair.

_ This hunting day was very fatiguing. Such going and
coming, and running and riding and shouting! Of a
hundred musmons which had been surrounded, more than
two-thirds escaped, but at last, thirty of these animals and
ten wild goats were gradually driven back towards the
corral, the open door of which appearing to offer a means
of escape, they rushed in and were prisoners.

In short, the result was satisfactory, and the settlers had
no reason to complain. There was no doubt that the
flock would prosper, and that at no distant time not only
wool but hides would be abundant.

That evening the hunters returned to Granite House
quite exhausted. However, notwithstanding their fatigue,
they returned the next day to visit the corral. The
prisoners had been trying to overthrow the palisade, but
of course had not succeeded, and were not long in becoming
more tranquil.

During the month of February, no event of any import-
ance occurred. The daily labours were pursued methodi-
cally, and, as well as improving the roads to the corral and
to Port Balloon, a third was commenced, which, starting
from the enclosure, proceeded towards the western coast,

The yet unknown portion of Lincoln Island was that of
L
II4 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the wood-covered Serpentine Peninsula, which sheltered
the wild beasts, from which Gideon Spilett was so anxious
to clear their domain.

‘Before the cold season should appear the most assidu-
ous care was given to the cultivation of the wild plants
which had ‘been transplanted from the forest to Prospect
Heights. Herbert never returned from an excursion
without bringing home some useful vegetable. One day,
it was some specimens of the chicory tribe, the seeds of
which by pressure yield an excellent oil; another, it was
some common sorrel, whose anti-scorbutic qualities were
not to be despised; then, some of those precious tubers,
which have at all times been cultivated in South America,
potatoes, of which more than two hundred species are
now known. The kitchen garden, now well stocked and
carefully defended from the birds, was divided into small
beds, where grew lettuces, kidney potatoes, sorrel, turnips,
radishes, and other crucifere. The soil on the plateau
was particularly fertile, and it was hoped that the harvests
would be abundant.

They had also a variety of different beverages, and so
long as they did not demand wine, the most hard to please
would have had no reasonto complain. To the Oswego tea,
and the fermented liquor extracted from the roots of the
dragonnier, Harding had added a regular beer, made from
the young shoots of the spruce-fir, which, after having been
THE ABANDONED. ris

boiled and fermented, made that agreeable drink, called
by the Anglo-Americans spring-beer. ©

Towards the end of the summer, the poultry-yard was pos-
sessed of a couple of fine bustards, which belonged to the
houbara species, characterized by a sort of feathery mantle ;
a dozen shovellers, whose upper mandible was prolonged
on each side by a membraneous appendage; and also some
magnificent cocks, similar to the Mozambique cocks, the
comb, caruncle, and epidermis being black. So far,
everything had succeeded, thanks to the activity of these
courageous and intelligent men. Nature did much for
them, doubtless; but faithful to the great precept, they
made a right use of what a bountiful Providence gave
them.

After the heat of these warm summer days, in the
evening when their work was finished and the sea breeze
began to blow, they liked to sit on the edge of Prospect
Heights, in a sort of verandah, covered with creepers, which
Neb had made with his own hands. There they talked,
they instructed each other, they made plans, and the rough
good-humour of the sailor always amused this little world,
in which the most perfect harmony had never ceased to
reign.

They often spoke of their country, of their dear and
great America, What was the result of the War of
Secession? It could not have been greatly prolonged,
116 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Richmond had doubtless soon fallen into the hands of
General Grant. The taking of the capital of the Con-
federates must have been the last action of this terrible
struggle. Now the North had triumphed in the good
cause, how welcome would have been a newspaper to the
exiles in Lincoln Island! For eleven months all commu-
nication between them and the rest of their fellow-creatures
had been interrupted, and in a short time the 24th of
March would arrive, the anniversary of the day on which
the balloon had thrown them on this unknown coast.
They were then mere castaways, not even knowing how
they should preserve their miserable lives from the fury of
the elements! And now, thanks to the knowledge of their
captain, and their own intelligence, they were regular
colonists, furnished with arms, tools, and instruments ;
they had been able-to turn to their profit the animals,
plants, and minerals of the island, that is to say, the three
kingdoms of Nature.

Yes; they often talked of all these things and formed
still more plans for the future.

As to Cyrus Harding he was for the most part silent,
and listened to his companions more often than he spoke
to them. Sometimes he smiled at Herbert’s ideas or
Pencroft’s nonsense, but always and everywhere he pon-
dered over those inexplicable facts, that strange enigma,
of which the secret still escaped him !
THE ABANDONED. : 17

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,

THE weather changed during the first week of March.
There had been a full moon at the commencement of the
month, and the heat was still excessive. The atmosphere
was felt to be full of electricity, and a period of some
length of tempestuous weather was to be feared.

Indeed, on the 2nd, peals of thunder were heard, the
wind blew from the east, and hail rattled against the facade
of Granite House like volleys of grape-shot. The door
and windows were immediately closed, or everything in
the rooms would have been drenched. On seeing these
hailstones, some of which were the size of a pigeon’s egg,
Pencroft’s first thought was that his corn-field was in serious
danger.
118 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

He directly rushed to his field, where little green heads
were already appearing, and, by means of a great cloth, he
managed to protect his crop.

This bad weather lasted a week, during which time the
thunder rolled without cessation in the depths of the sky.

The colonists, not having any pressing work out of
doors, profited by the bad weather to work at the interior
of Granite House, the arrangement of which was becoming
more complete from day to day. The engineer made a
turning-lathe, with which he turned several articles both
for the toilet and the kitchen, particularly buttons, the
want of which was greatly felt. A gun-rack had been
made for the fire-arms, which were kept with extreme
care, and neither tables nor cupboards were left incomplete.
They sawed, they planed, they filed, they turned; and
during the whole of this bad season, nothing was heard
but the grinding of tools or the humming of the turning-
lathe which responded to the growling of the thunder.

Master Jup had not been forgotten, and he occupied a
room at the back, near the store-room, a sort of cabin
with a cot always full of good litter, which: perfectly suited
his taste.

“With good old Jup there is never any quarrelling,”
often repeated Pencroft, “never any improper reply!
What a servant, Neb, what a servant !”

Of course Jup was now well used to service. He




















Pencroft to the rescue.
THE ABANDONED. 119
brushed their clothes, he turned the spit, he waited at
table, he swept the rooms, he gathered wood, and -he
performed another admirable piece of service which
delighted Pencroft—he never went to sleep without first
coming to tuck up the worthy sailor in his bed.

As to the health of the members of the colony, bipeds
or bimana, quadrumana or quadrupeds, it left nothing to
be desired. With their life in the open air, on this salu-
brious soil, under-that temperate zone, working both with
head and hands, they could not suppose that illness would
ever attack them.

All were indeed wonderfully well. Herbert had already
grown two inches in the year. His figure was forming
and becoming more manly, and he promised to be an
accomplished man, physically as well as morally. Besides
he improved himself during the leisure hours which manual
occupations left to him; he read the books found in the
case; and after the practical lessons which were taught by
the very necessity of their position, he found in the engineer
for science, and the reporter for languages, masters who
were delighted to complete his education.

The tempest ended about the 9th of March, but the sky
remained covered with clouds during the whole of this last
summer month, The atmosphere, violently agitated by
the electric commotions, could not recover its former purity,
and there was almost invariably rain and fog, except for
120 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

three or four fine days on which several excursions were
made. About this time the female onaga gave birth toa
young one which belonged to the same sex as its mother,
and which throve capitally. In the corral, the flock of
musmons had also increased, and several lambs already
bleated in the sheds, to the great delight of Neb and
Herbert, who had each their favourite among these new-
comers. An attempt was also made for the domestication
of the peccaries, which succeeded well. A sty was con-
structed near the poultry-yard, and soon contained several
young ones in the way to become civilized, that is to say,
to become fat under Neb’s care. Master Jup, entrusted
with carrying them their daily nourishment, leavings from
the kitchen, &c., acquitted himself conscientiously of his
task. He sometimes amused himself at the expense of his
little pensioners by tweaking their tails; but this was
mischief, and not wickedness, for these little twisted tails
amused him like a plaything, and his instinct was that of a
child. One day in this month of March, Pencroft, talking
to the engineer, reminded Cyrus Harding of a promise
which the latter had not as yet had time to fulfil.

“You once spoke of an apparatus which would take the
place of the long ladders at Granite House, captain,” said
he; “won't you make it some day?”

“Nothing will be easier; but is this a really useful
thing?”
THE ABANDONED. I2I

“Certainly, captain. After we have given ourselves
necessaries, let us think a little of luxury. For us it may
be luxury, if you like, but for things it is necessary. It
isn’t very convenient to climb up a long ladder when one is
heavily loaded.”

Well, Pencroft, we will try to please you,” replied
Cyrus Harding.

“But you have no machine at your disposal,”

“We will make one.”

“A steam machine ?”

“No, a water machine.”

And, indeed, to work his apparatus there was already a
natural force at the disposal of the engineer which could be
used without great difficulty. For this, it was enough to
augment the flow of the little stream which supplied the
interior of Granite House with water. The opening among
the stones and grass was then increased, thus producing a
strong fall at the bottom of the passage, the overflow from
which escaped by the inner well. Below this fall the
engineer fixed a cylinder with paddles, which was joined
on the exterior with a strong cable rolled on a wheel,
supporting a basket. In this way, by means of a long rope
reaching to the ground, which enabled them to regulate the
motive power, they could rise in the basket to the door of
Granite House.

It was on the 17th of March that the lift acted for the
122 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



first time, and gave universal satisfaction, Henceforward
all the loads, wood, coal, provisions, and even the settlers
themselves, were hoisted by this simple system, which
replaced the primitive ladder, and, as may be supposed, no
one thought of regretting the change. Top particularly
was enchanted with this improvement, for he had not, and
never could have possessed Master Jup’s skill in climbing
ladders, and often it was on Neb’s back, or even on that of
the orang that he had been obliged to make the ascent to
Granite House. About this time, too, Cyrus Harding
attempted to manufacture glass, and he at first put the old
pottery-kiln to this new use. There were some difficulties
to be encountered ; but, after several fruitless attempts, he
succeeded in setting up a glass manufactory, which Gideon
Spilett and Herbert, his usual assistants, did not leave for
several days. As to the substances used in the composi-
tion of glass, they are simply sand, chalk, and soda, either
carbonate or sulphate. Now the beach supplied sand,
lime supplied chalk, sea-weeds supplied soda, pyrites sup-
plied sulphuric acid, and the ground supplied coal to heat
the kiln to the wished-for temperature. Cyrus Harding
thus soon had everything ready for setting to work.

The tool, the manufacture of which presented the most
difficulty, was the pipe of the glass-maker, an iron tube, five
or six feet long, which collects on one end the material in
a state of fusion. But by means of a long, thin piece of
THE ABANDONED. 123

iron rolled up like the barrel of a gun, Pencroft succeeded
in making a tube soon ready for use.

On the 28th of March the tube was heated. A hundred
parts of sand, thirty-five of chalk, forty of sulphate of soda,
mixed with two or three parts of powdered coal, composed
the substance, which was placed in crucibles. When the
high temperature of the oven had reduced it to a liquid, or
rather a pasty state, Cyrus Harding collected with the tube
a quantity of the paste: he turned it about on a metal
plate, previously arranged, so as to give it a form suitable
for blowing, then he passed the tube to Herbert, telling him
to blow at the other extremity.

And Herbert, swelling out his cheeks, blew so much and
so well into the tube—taking care to twirl it round at the
same time—that his breath dilated the glassy mass. Other
quantities of the substance in a state of fusion were added
to the first, and in a short time the result was a bubble
which measured a foot in diameter. Harding then took
the tube out of Herbert’s hands, and, giving to it a pendu-
lous motion, he ended by lengthening the malleable bubble
so as to give it a cylindro-conic shape.

The blowing operation had given a cylinder of glass
terminated by two hemispheric caps, which were easily
detached by means of a sharp iron dipped in cold water ;
then, by the same proceeding, this cylinder was cut length-
ways, and after having been rendered malleable by a second
124 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,
heating, it was extended on a plate and spread out with a
wooden roller.

The first pane was thus manufactured, and they had only
to perform this operation fifty times to have fifty panes.
The windows at Granite House were soon furnished with
panes; not very white, perhaps, but still sufficiently trans-
parent.

As to bottles and tumblers, that was only play. They
were satisfied with them, besides, just as they came from the
end of the tube. Pencroft had asked to be allowed to
“blow” in his turn, and it was great fun for him; but he
blew so hard that his productions took the most ridiculous
shapes, which he admired immensely.

Cyrus Harding and Herbert, whilst hunting one day, had
entered the forest of the Far West, on the left bank of the
Mercy, and, as usual, the lad was asking a thousand ques-
tions of the engineer, who answered them heartily. Now,
as Harding was not a sportsman, and as, on the other side,
Herbert was talking chemistry and natural philosophy,
numbers of kangaroos, capybaras, and agouties came within
range, which, however, escaped the lad’s gun; the conse-
quence was that the day was already advanced, and the
two hunters were in danger of having made a useless
excursion, when Herbert, stopping, and ae a cry of
joy, exclaimed,—

“Oh, Captain Harding, do you see that tree?” and he








The glass-blowers.
THE ABANDONED. 125

pointed to a shrub, rather than a tree, for it was composed
of a single stem, covered with a scaly bark, which bore
leaves streaked with little parallel veins. .

“And what is this tree which resembles a little palm?”
asked Harding.

“Tt is a ‘cycas revoluta,’ of which I have a picture in our
dictionary of Natural History!” said Herbert.

“But I can’t see any fruit on this shrub!” observed his
companion.

“No, captain,” replied Herbert ; “but its stem contains a
flour with which nature has provided us all ready ground.”

“Tt is, then, the bread-tree ?”

“Yes, the bread-tree.”

“Well, my boy,” replied the engineer, “this is a valuable
discovery, since our wheat harvest is not yet ripe; I hope
that you are not mistaken!”

Herbert was not mistaken: he broke the stem of a cycas,
which was composed of a glandulous tissue, containing a
quantity of floury pith, traversed with woody fibre, sepa-
rated by rings of the same substance, arranged concen-
trically. With this fecula. was mingled a mucilaginous
juice of disagreeable flavour, but which it would be easy to
get rid of by pressure. This cellular substance was regular
flour of a superior quality, extremely nourishing ; its expor-
tation was formerly forbidden by the Japanese laws.

Cyrus Harding and Herbert, after having examined that
M :
126 ' THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



part of the Far West where the cycas grew, took their
bearings, and returned to Granite House, where they made
known their discovery.

The next day the settlers went to collect some, and
returned to Granite House with an ample supply of cycas
stems. The engineer constructed a press, with which to
extract the mucilaginous\juice mingled with the fecula, and
he obtained a large quantity of flour, which Neb soon
transformed into cakes and puddings. This was not quite
real wheaten bread, but it was very like it.

Now, too, the onaga, the goats, and the sheep in the
corral furnished daily the milk necessary to the colony.
The cart, or rather a sort of light carriole which had
replaced it, made frequent journeys to the corral, and when
it was Pencroft’s turn to go he took Jup, and let him drive,
and Jup, cracking his whip, acquitted himself with his
customary intelligence.

Everything prospered, as well in the corral as in
Granite House, and certainly the settlers, if it had not been
that they were so far from their native land, had no reason
to complain. They were so well suited to this life, and
were, besides, so accustomed to the island, that they could
not have left its hospitable soil without regret!

And yet so deeply is the love of his country implanted
in the heart of man, that if a ship had unexpectedly come
in sight of the island, the colonists would have made

eee ad


































































































































































































































































































































The verandah on the edge of Prospect Heigits.
THE ABANDONED. 127



signals, would have attracted her attention, and would
have departed !

It was the 1st of April, a Sunday, Easter Day, which
Harding and his companions sanctified by rest and prayer.
The day was fine, such as an October day in the northern
hemisphere might be,

All, towards the evening after dinner, were seated under
the verandah on the edge of Prospect Heights, and they
were watching the darkness creeping up from the horizon.
Some cups of the infusion of elder-berries, which took the
place of coffee, had been served by Neb. They were
speaking of the island and of its isolated situation in the
Pacific, which led Gideon Spilett to say,—

“ My dear Cyrus, have you ever, since you possessed the
sextant found in the case, again taken the position of our
island?”

“No,” replied the engineer.

“ But it would perhaps be a good thing to do it with this
instrument, which is more perfect than that which you
before used.”

“What is the good?” said Pencroft. “The island is
quite comfortable where it is!”

“Well, who knows,” returned the reporter, “who knows
but that we may be much nearer inhabited land than we
think ?”

“We shall know to-morrow,” replied Cyrus Harding,
128 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



“and if it had not been for the occupations which left me
no leisure, we should have known it already.”

“Good!” said Pencroft. “The captain is too good an
observer to be mistaken, and, if it has not moved from its
place, the island is just where he put it.”

“We shall see.”

On the next day, therefore, by means of the sextant, the
engineer made the necessary observations to verify the
position which he had already obtained, and this. was the
result of his operation. His first observation had given
him for the situation of Lincoln Island,—

In west longitude: from 150° to 155°$

In south latitude: from 30° to 35°

The second gave exactly:

In longitude: 150° 30,

In south latitude: 34° 57’.
So then, notwithstanding the imperfection of his apparatus,
Cyrus Harding had operated with so much skill that his
error did not exceed five degrees.

“Now,” said Gideon Spilett, “since we possess an atlas
as well as a sextant, let us see, my dear Cyrus, the exact
position which Lincoln Island occupies in the Pacific.”

Herbert fetched the atlas, and the map of the Pacific
was opened, and the engineer, compass in hand, prepared
to determine their position.

Suddenly the compasses stopped, and he exclaimed,—
THE ABANDONED. - 129

“But an island exists in this part of the Pacific
already !”

“ An island ?” cried Pencroft.

“ Tabor Island.”

“ An important island ?”

“No, an islet lost in the Pacific, and which perhaps has
never been visited.”

“ Well, we will visit it,” said Pencroft.

“We?” -

“Yes, captain. We will build a decked boat, and I will
undertake to steer her. At what distance are we from this
Tabor Island ?”

“ About a hundred and fifty miles to the north-east,”
replied Harding.

““«A hundred and fifty miles! And what’s that?” re-
turned Pencroft. “In forty-eight hours, with a good wind,
we should sight it!”

And, on this reply, it was decided that a vessel should
be constructed in time to be launched towards the month
of next October, on the return of the fine season,
130 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

rr

CHAPTER X.

BOAT-BUILDING==SECOND CROP OF CORN — HUNTING
KOALAS—-A NEW PLANT, 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.

WHEN Pencroft had once got a plan into his head, he had
no peace till it was executed. Now he wished to visit
Tabor Island, and as a boat of a certain size was necessary
for this voyage, he determined to build one.

What wood should be employed? Elm or fir, both of
which abounded in the island? They decided for the fir, as
being easy to work, but which stands water as well as the elm.

These details settled, it was agreed that since the fine
season would not return before six months, Cyrus Harding
and Pencroft should work alone at the boat. Gideon
Spilett and Herbert were to continue to hunt, and neither
Neb nor Master Jup his assistant were to leave the do-
mestic duties which had devolved upon them.




























































































































The dockyard.
THE ABANDONED. 131

Directly the trees were chosen, they were felled, stripped
of their branches, and sawn into planks as well as sawyers
would have been able to do it. A week after, in the
recess between the Chimneys and the cliff, a dockyard
was prepared, and a keel five-and-thirty feet long, furnished
with a stern-post at the. stern and a stem at the bows, lay
along the sand.

Cyrus Harding was not working in the dark at this new
trade. He knew as much about ship-building as about
nearly everything else, and he had at first drawn the model
of his ship on paper. Besides, he was ably seconded by
Pencroft, who, having worked for several years in a dock-
yard at Brooklyn, knew the practical part of the trade. It
was not until after careful calculation and deep thought
that the timbers were laid on the keel.

Pencroft, as may be believed, was all eagerness to carry
out his new enterprise, and would not leave his work for an
instant.

A single thing had the honour of drawing him, but for
one day only, from his dockyard. This was the second
wheat-harvest, which was gathered in on the 15th of April.
It was as much a success as the first, and yielded the
number of grains which had been predicted.

“Five bushels, captain,” said Pencroft, after having
scrupulously measured his treasure.

“Five bushels,” replied the engineer; “and a hundred
132 THE MYSTERIOUS. ISLAND.

and thirty thousand grains a bushel will make six hundred
and fifty thousand grains.”

“Well, we will sow them all this time” said the sailor,
“except a little in reserve.”

“Yes, Pencroft, and if the next crop gives a propor-
tionate yield, we shall have four thousand bushels.”

“And shall we eat bread?”

“We shall eat bread.”

“But we must have a mill.”

“We will make one.”

The third corn-field was very much larger than the two
first, and the soil, prepared with extreme care, received the
precious seed. That done, Pencroft returned to his work.

During this time Spilett and Herbert hunted in the
neighbourhood, and they ventured deep into the still
unknown parts of the Far West, their guns loaded with
ball, ready for any dangerous emergency. It was a vast
thicket of magnificent trees, crowded together as if pressed
for room. The exploration of these dense masses of
wood was difficult in the extreme, and the reporter never
ventured there without the pocket-compass, for the sun
scarcely pierced through the thick foliage, and it would
have been very difficult for them to retrace their way. It
naturally happened that game was more rare ‘in. those
situations where there was hardly sufficient room to move;
two or three large herbivorous animals were however killed
THE ABANDONED. 133



during the last fortnight of April. These were koalas,
specimens of which the settlers had already seen to the
north of the lake, and which stupidly allowed themselves
to be killed among the thick branches of the trees in
which they took refuge. Their skins were brought back
to Granite House, and there, by the help of sulphuric acid,
they were subjected to a sort of tanning process which
rendered them capable of being used.

On the 30th of April, the two sportsmen were in the
depth of the Far West, when the reporter, preceding Her-
bert a few paces, arrived in a sort of clearing, into which
the trees more sparsely scattered had permitted a few
rays to penetrate. Gideon Spilett was at first surprised
at the odour which exhaled from certain plants with
straight stalks, round and branchy, bearing grape-like
clusters of flowers and very small berries. The reporter
broke off one or two of these stalks and returned to the
lad, to whom he said,—

“What can this be, Herbert ?”

“Well, Mr. Spilett,” said Herbert, “this is a treasure
which will secure you Pencroft’s gratitude for ever.”

“Ts it tobacco ?”

“Yes, and though it may not be of the first quality, it is
none the less tobacco!”

“Oh, good old Pencroft! Won’thebe pleased? But we
must not let him smoke it all, he must give us our share,”
134 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND ©



“Ah! an idea occurs to me, Mr. Spilett,” replied Her-
bert. “Don’t let us say anything to Pencroft yet ; we will
prepare these leaves, and one fine day we will present him
with a pipe already filled!”

. “Allright, Herbert, and on that day our worthy com-
panion will have nothing left to wish for in this world.”

The reporter arid the lad secured a good store of the
precious plant, and then returned to Granite House, where
they smuggled it in with as much precaution as if Pen-
croft had been the most vigilant and severe of custom-
house officers. ;

Cyrus Harding and Neb were taken into confidence, and
the sailor suspected nothing during the whole time, neces-
sarily somewhat long, which was required in order to dry
the small leaves, chop them up, and subject them to a cer-
tain torrefaction on hot stones. This took two months ; but
all these manipulations were successfully carried on unknown
to Pencroft, for, occupied with the construction of his boat,
he only returned to Granite House at the hour of rest.

For some days they had observed an enormous animal
two or three miles out in the open sea swimming around
Lincoln Island. This was a whale of the largest size, which
apparently belonged to the southern species, called the
“Cape Whale.”

“What a lucky chance it would be if we could capture
it!” cried the sailor. “Ah! if we only Wad a proper boat
THE ABANDONED. 135



and a good harpoon, I would say, ‘ After the beast,’ for he
would be well worth the trouble of catching og

“Well, Pencroft,” observed Harding, “I should much
like to watch you handling a harpoon. It would be very
interesting.”

“T am astonished,” said the reporter, “to see a whale in
this comparatively high latitude.”

“Why so, Mr. Spilett?” replied Herbert. “We are
exactly in that part of the Pacific which English and
American whalemen call the whale-field, and it is here,
between New Zealand and South America, that the whales
of the southern hemisphere are met with in the greatest
numbers.” ;

And Pencroft returned to his work, not without uttering
a sigh of regret, for every sailor is a born fisherman, and if
the pleasure of fishing is in exact proportion to the size of
the animal, one can judge how a whaler feels in sight of a.
whale. And if this had only been for pleasure! But they
could not help feeling how valuable such a prize would
have been to the colony, for the oil, the fat, and the bones
would have been put to many uses,

Now it happened that this whale appeared to have no
wish to leave the waters of the island. Therefore, whether
from the windows of Granite House, or from Prospect
Heights, Herbert and Gideon Spilett, when they were not
hunting, or Neb unless presiding over his fires, never left
136 a THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

the telescope, but watched all the animal’s movements.
The cetacean, having entered far into Union Bay, made
rapid furrows across it from Mandible Cape to Claw Cape,
propelled by its enormously powerful flukes, on which it
supported itself, and making its way through the water at
the rate little short of twelve knots an hour. Sometimes
also it approached so near to the island that it could be
clearly distinguished. It was the southern whale, which is
completely black, the head being more depressed than that
of the northern whale.

They could also see it throwing up from its air-holes to a

great height, a cloud of vapour, or of water, for, strange as
it may appear, naturalists and whalers are not agreed on
this subject. Is it air or is it water which is thus driven
out? It is generally admitted to be vapour, which, con-
densing suddenly by contact with the cold air, falls again
as rain. :
However, the presence of this mammifer preoccupied the
colonists. It irritated Pencroft especially, as he could think
of nothing else while at work. He ended by longing for
it, like a child for a thing which it has been denied. At
night he talked about it in his sleep, and certainly if he
had had the means of attacking it, if the sloop had been in
a fit state to put to sea, he would not have hesitated to set
out in pursuit.

But what the colonists could not do for themselves,




































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































A valuable prize,
THE ABANDONED. 137

chance did for them, and on the 3rd of May, shouts from
Neb, who had stationed himself at the kitchen window,
announced that the whale was stranded on the beach of the
island,

Herbert and Gideon Spilett, who were just cbout to set
out hunting, left their guns, Pencroft threw down his axe,
and Harding and Neb joining their companions, all rushed
towards the scene of action.

The stranding had taken place on the beach of Flotsam
Point, three miles from Granite House, and at high tide. It
was therefore probable that the cetacean would not be able
to extricate itself easily ; at any rate it was best to hasten,
so as to cut off its, retreat if necessary. They ran with pick-
axes and iron-tipped poles in their hands, passed over the
Mercy bridge, descended the right bank of the river, along
the beach, and in less than twenty minutes the settlers were
close to the enormous animal, above which flocks of birds
already hovered.

“ What a monster!” cried Neb.

And the exclamation was natural, for it was a southern
whale, eighty feet long, a giant of the species, probably
not weighing less thah a hundred and fifty thousand
pounds!

In the meanwhile, the monster thus stranded did not
move, nor attempt by struggling to regain the water whilst
the tide was still high.
138 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. |

It was dead, and a harpoon was sticking out of its left
side.

“ There are whalers in these quarters, then ?” said Gideon
Spilett directly.

“Oh, Mr. Spilett, that doesn’t prove anything!” replied
Pencroft. ‘Whales have been known to go thousands of
miles with a harpoon in the side, and this one might even
have been struck in the north of the Atlantic and come to
die in the south of the Pacific, and it would be nothing
astonishing.”

Pencroft, having torn the harpoon from the animal’s side,
read this inscription on it :—

“MARIA STELLA,’
“ VINEYARD.”

“A vessel from the Vineyard! A ship from my coun-
try!” he cried. “The ‘Maria Stella!’ A fine whaler, ’pon
my word ; I know her well! Oh, my friends, a vessel from
the Vineyard !—a whaler from the Vineyard !””!

And the sailor brandishing the harpoon, repeated, not
without emotion, the name which he loved so well—the
name of his birthplace.

But as it could not be expected that the “ Maria Stella”
would come to reclaim the animal harpooned by her, they
resolved to begin cutting it up before decomposition

1 A port in the State of New York.
THE ABANDONED. 139
should commence. The birds, who had watched this rich
prey for several days, had determined to take possession of
it without further delay, and it was necessary to drive them
off by firing at them repeatedly.

The whale was a female, anda large quantity of milk was
taken from it, which, according to the opinion of the natu-
ralist Duffenbach, might pass for cow’s milk, and, indeed, it
differs from it neither in taste, colour, nor density.

Pencroft had formerly served on board a whaling-ship,
and he could methodically direct the operation of cutting up
—a sufficiently disagreeable operation lasting three days,
but from which the settlers did not flinch, not even Gideon
Spilett, who, as the sailor said, would end by making a
“real good castaway.”

The blubber, cut in parallel slices of two feet and a half
in thickness, then divided into pieces which might weigh
about a thousand pounds each, was melted down in large
earthen pots brought to the spot, for they did not wish to
taint the environs of Granite House, and in this fusion it lost
nearly a third of its weight.

But there was an immense quantity of it; the tongue
alone yielded six thousands pounds of oil, and the lower lip
four thousand. Then, besides the fat, which would insure
for a long time a store of stearine and glycerine, there were
still the bones, for which a use could doubtless be found,
although there were neither umbrellas nor stays used at
140 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Granite House. The upper part of the mouth of the
cetacean was, indeed, provided on both sides with eight
hundred horny blades, very elastic, of a fibrous texture,
and fringed at the edge like great combs, of which the
teeth, six feet long, served to retain the thousands of ani-
malcule, little fish, and molluscs, on which the whale fed.

The operation finished, to the great satisfaction of the
operators, the remains of the animal were left to the birds,
who would soon make every vestige of it disappear, and
their usual daily occupations were resumed by the inmates
of Granite House. >

However, before returning to the dockyard, Cyrus
Harding conceived the idea of fabricating certain machines,
which greatly excited the curiosity of his companioas.
He took a dozen of the whale’s bones, cut them into six
equal parts, and sharpened their ends.

“This machine is not my own invention, and it is
frequently employed by the Aleutian hunters in Russian
America. You see these bones, my friends; well, when it
freezes, I will bend them, and then wet them with water till
they are entirely covered with ice, which will keep them bent,
and I will strew them on the snow, having previously covered
them with fat. Now, what will happen if a hungry animal
swallows one of these baits? Why, the heat of his stomach
will melt the ice, and the bone, springing straight, will
pierce him with its sharp points.”
THE ABANDONED. ; 141

“Well! I do call that ingenious!” said Pencroft.

“And it will spare the powder and shot,” rejoined Cyrus
Harding.

“ That will be better than traps!” added Neb.

In the meanwhile the boat-building progressed, and
towards the end of the month half the planking was com-
pleted. It could already be seen that her shape was excel-
lent, and that she would sail well.

Pencroft worked with unparalleled ardour, and only a
sturdy frame could have borne such fatigue ; but his com-
panions were preparing in secret a reward for his labours,
and on the 31st of May he was to meet with one of the
greatest joys of his life.

On that day, after dinner, just as he was about to leave
the table, Pencroft felt a hand on his shoulder.

It was the hand of Gideon Spilett, who said,—

“One moment, Master Pencroft, you mustn’t sneak off
like that! You've forgotten your dessert.”

“Thank you, Mr. Spilett,’ replied the sailor, “I am
going back to my work.” ,

“Well, a cup of coffee, my friend ?”

“Nothing more.”

“A pipe, then?”

Pencroft jumped up, and his great good-natured face
grew pale when he saw the reporter presenting him with a
ready-filled pipe, and Herbert with a glowing coal.
142 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

The sailor endeavoured to speak, but could not get out
a word; so, seizing the pipe, he carried it to his lips, then
applying the coal, he drew five or six great whiffs. A
fragrant blue cloud soon arose, and from its depths a voice
was heard repeating excitedly,—

“Tobacco ! real tobacco!”

“Yes, Pencroft,” returned Cyrus Harding, “and very
good tobacco too!”

“©, divine Providence! sacred Author of all things!”
cried the sailor. “Nothing more is now wanting to our
island.”

And Pencroft smoked, and smoked, and smoked.

“And who made this discovery?” he asked at length.
“You, Herbert, no doubt ?”

“No, Pencroft, it was Mr. Spilett.”

“Mr. Spilett !” exclaimed the sailor, seizing the reporter,
and clasping him to his breast with such a squeeze that he
had never felt anything like it before. .

“ Oh, Pencroft,” said Spilett, recovering his breath at last,
“a truce for one moment. You must share your gratitude
with Herbert, who recognized the plant, with Cyrus, who
prepared it, and with Neb, who took a great deal of trouble
to keep our secret.”

“Well, my friends, I will repay you some day,” replied
the sailor. “Now we are friends for life.”


























Pencroft has nothing left to wish for,
THE ABANDONED. 143

CHAPTER XI.

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.

WINTER arrived with the month of June, which is the
December of the northern zones, and the great business
was the making of warm and solid clothing.

The musmons in the corral had been: stripped of their
wool, and this precious textile material was now to be
transformed into stuff.

Of course Cyrus Harding, having at his disposal neither
carders, combers, polishers, stretchers, twisters, mule-jenny,
nor self-acting machine to spin the wool, nor loom to
weave it, was obliged to proceed in a simpler way, so as to
do without spinning and weaving. And indeed he pro-
posed to make use of the property which the filaments
144 | THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

of wool possess when subjected to a powerful pressure of
mixing together, and of manufacturing by this simple process
the material called felt. This felt could then be obtained
by a simple operation which, if it diminished the flexibility of
the stuff, increased its power of retaining heat in proportion.
Now the wool furnished by the musmons was composed of
very short hairs, and was in a good condition to be felted.

The engineer, aided by his companions, including Pen-
croft, who was once more obliged to leave his boat, com-
menced the preliminary operations, the object of which
was to rid the wool of that fat and oily substance with
which it is impregnated, and which is called grease. This.
cleaning was done in vats filled with water, which was
maintained at the temperature of seventy degrees, and in
which the wool was soaked for four-and-twenty hours ; it
was then thoroughly washed in baths of soda, and, when
sufficiently dried by pressure, it was in a state to be com-
pressed, that is to say, to produce a solid material, rough,
no doubt, and such as would have no value in a manu-
facturing centre of Europe or America, but which would
be highly esteemed in the Lincoln Island markets.

This sort of material must have been known from the
most ancient times, and, in fact, the first woollen stuffs
were manufactured by the process which Harding was now
about to employ. Where Harding’s engineering qualifi-
cations now came into play was in the construction of the
THE ABANDONED. 145

machine for pressing the wool; for he knew how to turn
ingeniously to profit the mechanical force, hitherto unused,
which the waterfall on the beach possessed to move a
fulling-mill,

Nothing could be more rudimentary. The wool was
placed in troughs, and upon it fell in turns heavy wooden
mallets ; such was the machine in question, and such it had
been for centuries until the time when the mallets were
replaced by cylinders of compression, and the material was
no longer subjected to beating, but to regular rolling.

The operation, ably directed by Cyrus Harding, was a
complete success. The wool, previously impregnated with
a solution of soap, intended on the one hand to facilitate
the interlacing, the compression, and the softening of the
wool, and on the other to prevent its diminution by the
beating, issued from the mill in the shape of thick felt
cloth. The roughnesses with which the staple of wool is
naturally filled were so thoroughly entangled and inter-
laced together that a material was formed equally suitable
either for garments or bedclothes. It was certainly neither
merino, muslin, cashmere, rep, satin, alpaca, cloth, nor
flannel. It was “Lincolnian felt,’ and Lincoln Island
possessed yet another manufacture. The colonists had
now warm garments and thick bedclothes, and they could
without fear await the approach of the winter of 1866-67,

The severe cold began to be felt about the 2oth of June,
146 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

and, to his great regret, Pencroft was obliged to suspend
his boat-building, which he hoped to finish in time for next
spring.

The sailor’s great idea was to make a voyage of dis-
covery to Tabor Island, although Harding could not
approve of a voyage simply for curiosity’s sake, for there
was evidently nothing to be found on this desert and
almost arid rock. A voyage of a hundred and fifty miles
in a comparatively small vessel, over unknown seas, could
not but cause him some anxiety. Suppose that their
vessel, once out at sea, should be unable to reach Tabor
Island, and could not return to Lincoln Island, what would
become of her in the midst of the Pacific, so fruitful of
disasters ?

Harding often talked over this project with Pencroft,
and he found him strangely bent upon undertaking this
voyage, for which determination he himself could give no
sufficient reason.

“Now,” said the engineer one day to him, “I must
observe, my friend, that after having said so much, in
praise of Lincoln Island, after having spoken so often of
the sorrow you would feel if you were obliged to forsake
it, you are the first to wish to leave it.”

“Only to leave it for a few days,” replied Pencroft,
“only for a few days, captain. Time to go and come
back, and see what that islet is like!”
THE ABANDONED. 147

“ But it is not nearly as good as Lincoln Island.”

“T know that beforehand.”

“ Then why venture there ?”

“To know what is going on in Tabor Island.”

“But nothing is going on there; nothing could happen
there.”

“Who knows ?”

“And if you are caught in a hurricane ?”

“There is no fear of that in the fine season,” replied
Pencroft.. “But, captain, as we must provide against
everything, I shall ask your permission to take Herbert
only with me on this voyage.”

“Pencroft,” replied the engineer, placing his hand on
the sailor’s shoulder, “if any misfortune happens to you, or
to this lad, whom chance has made our child, do you think
we could ever cease to blame ourselves ?”

“ Captain Harding,” replied Pencroft, with unshaken con-
fidence, “we shall not cause you that sorrow. Besides, we
will speak further of this voyage, when: the time comes to
make it. And I fancy, when you have seen our tight-
rigged little craft, when you have observed how she behaves
at sea, when we sail round our island, for we will do so
together—I fancy, I say, that you will no longer hesitate to
let me go. I don’t conceal from you that your boat will be
a masterpiece.”

“Say ‘our’ boat, at least, Pencroft,” replied the engineer,
148 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND..

disarmed for the moment. The conversation ended thus, to
be resumed later on, without convincing either the sailor or
the engineer.

The first snow fell towards the end of the month of June.
The corral had previously been largely supplied with stores,
so that daily visits to it were not requisite; but it was
decided that more than a week should never be allowed to
pass without some one going to it. .

Traps were again set, and the machines manufactured by
Harding were tried. The bent whalebones, imprisoned in
a case of ice, and covered with a thick outer layer of fat,
were placed on the border of the forest at a spot where
animals usually passed on their way to the lake.

To the engineer’s great satisfaction, this invention, copied
from the Aleutian fishermen, succeeded perfectly. A dozen
foxes, a few wild boars, and even a jaguar, were taken in this
way, the animals being found dead, their stomachs pierced
by the unbent bones,

An incident must here be related, not only as interesting
in itself, but because it was the first attempt made by the
colonists to communicate with the rest of mankind.

Gideon Spilett had already several times pondered
whether to throw into the sea a letter enclosed in a bottle,
which currents might perhaps carry to an inhabited coast,
or to confide it to pigeons.

But how could it be seriously hoped that either pigeons










The messenger,
THE ABANDONED, 149

or bottles could cross the distance of twelve hundred miles
which separated the island from any inhabited land? It
would have been pure folly.

But on the 30th of June the capture was effected, not
without difficulty, of an albatross, which a shot from Her-
bert’s gun had slightly wounded in the foot. It was a
magnificent bird, measuring ten feet from wing to wing, and
which could traverse seas as wide as the Pacific.

Herbert would have liked to keep this superb bird, as its
wound would soon heal, and he thought he could tame it ;
but Spilett explained to him that they should not neglect
this opportunity of attempting to communicate by this
messenger with the lands of the Pacific ; for if the albatross
had come from some inhabited region, there was no doubt
but that it would return there so soon as it was set free.

Perhaps in his heart Gideon Spilett, in whom the jour-
nalist sometimes came to the surface, was not sorry to have
the opportunity of sending forth to take its chance an
exciting article relating the adventures of the settlers in
Lincoln Island. What a success for the authorized reporter
of the New York Herald, and for the number which should
contain the article, if it should ever reach the address of its
editor, the Honourable John Benett!

Gideon Spilett then wrote out a concise account, which
was placed in a strong waterproof bag, with an earnest
request to whoever might find it to forward it to the office
150 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

of the Mew York Herald. This little bag was fastened to
the neck of the albatross, and not to its foot, for these birds
are in the habit of resting on the surface of the sea; then
liberty was given to this swift courier of the air, and it was
not without some emotion that the colonists watched it
disappear in the misty west.

“Where is he going to?” asked Pencroft.

“Towards New Zealand,” replied Herbert.

“A good voyage to you,” shouted the sailor, who himself
did not expect any great result from this mode of corre-
spondence. .

With the winter, work had been pesumeds in the interior
of Granite House, mending clothes and different occupa-
tions, amongst others making the sails for their vessel, which
were cut from the inexhaustible balloon-case.

During the month of July the cold was intense, but there
was no lack of either wood or coal. Cyrus Harding had
established a second fire-place in the dining-room, and there
the long winter evenings were spent. Talking whilst they
worked, reading when the hands remained idle, the time
passed with profit to all.

It was real enjoyment to the settlers when in their room,
well lighted with candles, well warmed with coal, after a
good dinner, elder-berry coffee smoking in the cups, the
pipes giving forth an odoriferous smoke, they could hear the
storm howling without. Their comfort would have been
















Winter evenings in Granite House,
THE ABANDONED. igi



complete, if complete comfort could ever exist for those who
are far from their fellow-creatures, and without any means
of communication with them. They often talked of their
country, of the friends whom they had left, of the grandeur
of the American Republic, whose influence could not but
increase ; and Cyrus Harding, who had been much mixed
up with the affairs of the Union, greatly interested his
auditors by his recitals, his views, and his prognostics, _

It chanced one day that Spilett was led to say,—

“But now, my dear Cyrus, all this industrial and com-
mercial movement to which you predict a. continual
advance, does it not run the danger of being sooner or
later completely stopped ?”

“Stopped! And by what?”

“By the want of coal, which may justly: be called the
most precious of minerals.”

“Yes, the most precious indeed,” replied the engineer;
“and it would seem that nature wished to prove that it
was so by making the diamond, which is simply pure
carbon crystallized.”

“You don’t mean to say, captain,” interrupted Pencroft,
“that we burn diamonds in our stoves in the shape of
coal?”

“No, my friend,” replied.Harding.

“ However,” resumed Gideon Spilett, “you do not deny
that some day the coal will be entirely consumed ?”
152 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Oh! the veins of coal are still considerable, and the
hundred thousand miners who annually extract from them
a hundred millions of hundredweights have not nearly
exhausted them.” : ,

“With the increasing consumption of coal,” replied
Gideon Spilett, “it can be foreseen that the hundred
thousand workmen will soon become two hundred thousand,
and that the rate of extraction will be doubled.”

“Doubtless; but after‘the European mines, which will
be soon worked more thoroughly with new machines, the
American and Australian mines will for a long time yet
provide for the consumption in trade.”

“For how long a time?” asked the reporter.

“For at least two hundred and fifty or three hundred
years.”

“That is reassuring for us, but a bad look out for our
great grandchildren!” observed Pencroft.

“ They will discover something else,” said Herbert.

“Tt is to be hoped so,” answered Spilett, “for without
coal there would be no machinery, and without machinery
there would be no railways, no steamers, no manufactories,
nothing of that which is indispensable to modern civiliza-
tion!”

“But what will they find?” asked Pencroft. “Can you
guess, captain?”

“Nearly, my friend.”
THE ABANDONED. 153

“And what will they burn instead of coal?”

“Water,” replied Harding.

“Water!” cried Pencroft, “water as fuel for steamers
and engines! water to heat water!”

“Yes, but water decomposed into its primitive elements,”
replied Cyrus Harding, “and decomposed doubtless, by
electricity, which will then have become a powerful and
manageable force, for all great discoveries, by some in-
explicable law, appear to agree and become complete at
the same time. Yes, my friends, I believe that water will
one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen
which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an
inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of
which coal is not capable. Some day the coal-rooms of
steamers and the tenders of locomotives will, instead of
coal, be stored with these two condensed gases, which will
burn in the furnaces with enormous calorific power. There
is, therefore, nothing to fear. As long as the earth is
inhabited it will supply the wants of its inhabitants,
and there will be no want of either light or heat as
long as the productions of the vegetable, mineral or
animal kingdoms do not fail us. I believe, then, that
when the deposits of coal are exhausted, we shall heat
and warm ourselves with water. Water will be the coal
of the future.”

“T should like to see that,” observed the sailor,
154 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“You were born too soon, Pencroft,” returned Neb, who
only took part in the discussion by these words.

However, it was not Neb’s speech which interrupted the
conversation, but Top’s barking, which broke out again
with that strange intonation which had before perplexed
the engineer. At the same time Top began to run round
the mouth of the well, which opened at the extremity of
the interior passage.

“What can Top be barking in that way for?” asked
Pencroft.

“ And Jup be growling like that ?” added Herbert.

In fact the orang, joining the dog, gave unequivocal
signs of agitation, and, singular to say, the two animals
appeared more uneasy than angry.

“It is evident,” said Gideon Spilett, “that this well is in
direct communication with the sea, and that some marine
animal comes from time to time to breathe at the bottom.”

“That's evident,” replied the sailor, “and there can be
no other explanation to give. Quiet there, Top!” added
Pencroft, turning to the dog, “and you, Jup, be off to your
room !”

The ape and the dog were silent. Jup went off to bed,
but Top remained in the room, and continued to utter low
growls at intervals during the rest of the evening. There
was no further talk on the subject, but the incident, how-
ever, clouded the brow of the engineer.
‘THE ABANDONED. £56



During the remainder of the month of July there was
alternate rain and frost. The temperature was not so low
as during the preceding winter, and its maximum did not
exceed eight degrees Fahrenheit. But although this
winter was less cold, it was more troubled by storms and
squalls; the sea besides often endangered the safety of
the Chimneys. . At times it almost seemed as if an under-
current raised these monstrous billows which thundered
against the wall of Granite House.

When the settlers, leaning from their windows, gazed on
the huge watery masses breaking beneath their eyes, they
could not but admire the magnificent spectacle of the ocean
in its impotent fury.- The waves rebounded in dazzling
foam, the beach entirely disappearing under the raging
flood, and the cliff appearing to emerge from the sea itself,
the spray rising to a height of more than a hundred
feet.

During these storms it was difficult and even dangerous
to venture out, owing to the frequently falling trees;
however, the colonists never allowed a week to pass without
having paid a visit to the corral. Happily this enclosure,
sheltered by the south-eastern spur of Mount Franklin, did
not greatly suffer from the violence of the hurricanes,
which spared its trees, sheds, and palisades; but the
poultry-yard on Prospect Heights, being directly exposed
to the gusts of wind from the east, suffered considerable
156 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

damage. The pigeon-house was twice unroofed and the
paling blown down. All this required to be re-made more
solidly than before, for, as may be clearly seen, Lincoln
Island was situated in one of the most dangerous parts of
the Pacific. It really appeared as if it formed the central
point of vast cyclones, which beat it perpetually as the
whip does the top, only here it was the top which was
motionless and the whip which moved. During the first
week of the month of August the weather became more
moderate, and the atmosphere recovered the calm which
it appeared to have lost for ever. With the calm the cold
again became intense, and the thermometer fell to lent
degrees Fahrenheit, below zero.

On the 3rd of August an excursion which had been
talked of for several days was made into the south-eastern
part of the island, towards Tadorn Marsh. The hunters
were tempted by the aquatic game which took up their
winter-quarters there. Wild duck, snipe, teal, and grebe,
abounded there, and it was agreed that a day should be
devoted to an expedition against these birds.

Not only Gideon Spilett and Herbert, but Pencroft and
Neb also took part in this excursion. Cyrus Harding
alone, alleging some work as an excuse, did not join them,
but remained at Granite House,

The hunters proceeded in the direction of Port Balloon,
in order to reach the marsh, after having promised to be
THE ABANDONED,

v—
tn
“I

back by the evening. Top and Jup accompanied them.
As soon as they had passed over the Mercy Bridge, the
engineer raised it and returned, intending to put into
execution a project for the performance of which he
wished to be alone.

Now this project was to minutely explore the interior
well, the mouth of which was on a level with the passage
of Granite House, and which communicated with the sea,
since it formerly supplied a way to the waters of the
lake.

Why did Top so often run round this opening? Why
did he utter such strange barks when a sort of uneasiness
seemed to draw him towards this well? Why did Jup join
Top in a sort of common anxiety? MHad this well
branches besides the communication with the sea? Did
it spread towards other parts of the island? This is
what Cyrus Harding wished to know. He had resolved,
therefore, to attempt the exploration of the well during
the absence of his companions, and an opportunity for
doing so had now presented itself.

It was easy to descend to the bottom of the well by
employing the rope-ladder which had not been used since
the establishment of the lift. The engineer drew the
ladder to the hole, the diameter of which measured nearly
six feet, and allowed it to unroll itself after having securely
fastened its upper extremity: Then, having lighted a
158 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



lantern, taken a revolver, and placed a cutlass in his belt,
he began the descent. .

The sides were everywhere entire; but points of rock
jutted out here and there, and by means of these points
it would have been quite possible for an active creature to
climb to the mouth of the well.

The engineer remarked this; but although he carefully
examined these. points by the light of his lantern, he
could find no impression, no fracture which could give
any reason to suppose that they had either recently or
at any former time been used as a staircase. Cyrus
Harding descended deeper, throwing the light of his lantern
on all sides.

He saw nothing suspicious.

’ When the engineer had reached the last rounds he came
upon the water, which was then perfectly calm. Neither
at its level nor in any other part of the well, did any
passage open which could lead to the interior of the cliff.
The wall which Harding struck with the hilt of his cutlass
sounded solid. It was compact granite, through which
no living being could force a way. To arrive at the
bottom of the well and then climb up to its mouth it was
necessary to pass through the channel under the rocky
sub-soil of the beach, which placed it in communication
with the sea, and this was only possible for marine animals,
As to the question of knowing where this channel ended,
Wes

Ura



ee

icious,

ing susp

He saw noth
THE ABANDONED. 159



at what point of the shore, and at what depth Beneath the
water, it could not be answered.

Then Cyrus Harding, having ended his survey, re-as-
cended, drew up the ladder, covered the mouth of the well,
and returned thoughtfully to the dining-room, saying to
himself,—

“TI have seen nothing, and yet there # something
there!”
160 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



CHAPTER XII.

THE RIGGING OF THE VESSEL—AN ATTACK FROM FOXES
JUP WOUNDED—JUP CURED—COMPLETION OF THE
BOAT—PENCROFT’S TRIUMPH—THE “BONADVEN-
TURE’S” TRIAL TRIP TO THE SOUTH OF THE ISLAND
—AN UNEXPECTED DOCUMENT.

In the evening the hunters returned, having enjoyed good
sport, and being literally loaded with game ; indeed, they
had as much as four men could possibly carry. Top wore a
necklace of teal and Jup wreaths of snipe round his body.

“Here, master,” cried Neb; “here’s something to
employ our time! Preserved and made into pies we shall
have a welcome store! But I must have some one to help
me. I count on you, Pencroft.”

“No, Neb,” replied the sailor; “I have the rigging of
the vessel to finish and to look after, and you will have to
do without me.”

“ And you, Mr. Herbert ?”
THE ABANDONED. 161

“TI must go to the corral to-morrow, Neb,” replied the
lad.

“It will be you then, Mr. Spilett, who will help me?”

“To oblige you, Neb, I will,” replied the reporter ; “ but
I warn you that if you disclose your receipts to me, I shall
publish them.”

“Whenever you like, Mr. Spilett,” replied Neb; “ when-
ever you like.”

And so the next day Gideon Spilett became Neb’s
assistant and was installed in his culinary laboratory. The
engineer had previously made known to him the result of
the exploration which he had made the day before, and
on this point the reporter shared Harding’s opinion, that
although he had found nothing, a secret still remained to
be discovered!”

The frost continued for another week, and the settlers
did not leave Granite House unless to look after the
poultry-yard. The dwelling was filled with appetising
odours, which were emitted from the learned manipulation
of Neb and the reporter. But all the results of the chase
were not made into preserved provisions ; and as the game
kept perfectly in the intense cold, wild duck and other
fowl were eaten fresh, and declared superior to all other
aquatic birds in the known world.

During this week Pencroft, aided by Herbert, who
handled the sail-maker’s needle with much skill, worked
162 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

with such energy that the sails of the vessel were finished.
There was no want of cordage. Thanks to the rigging
which had been recovered with the case of the balloon,
the ropes and.cables from the net were all of good quality,
and the sailor turned them all to account. To the sails
were attached strong bolt ropes, and there still remained
enough from which to make the halliards, shrouds, and
sheets, &c. The blocks were manufactured by Cyrus
Harding under Pencroft’s directions by means of the
turning-lathe. It therefore happened that the rigging was.
entirely prepared before the vessel was finished. -Pencroft
also manufactured a flag, that flag so dear to every true
American, containing the stars and stripes of their glorious
Union. The colours for it were supplied from certain
plants used in dyeing, and which were very abundant in
the island ; only to the thirty-seven stars, representing the
thirty-seven States of the Union, which shine on the
American flag, the sailor added a thirty-eighth, the star of
“the State of Lincoln,” for he considered his island as
already united to the great republic. “And,” said he, “it
is so already in heart, if not in deed!”

In the meantime, the flag was hoisted at the central
window of Granite House, and the settlers saluted it with
three cheers,

The cold season was now almost at an end, and it
appeared as if this second winter was to pass without any
THE ABANDONED. — 163

unusual occurrence, when on the night of the rith August,
the plateau of Prospect Heights was menaced with
complete destruction.

After a busy day the colonists were sleeping soundly,
when towards four o'clock in the morning they were
suddenly awakened by Top’s barking.

The dog was not this time barking near the mouth of
the well, but at the threshold of the door, at which he was
scratching as if he wished to burst it open. Jup was also
uttering piercing cries.

“Hallo, Top!” cried Neb, who was the first awake.
But the dog continued to bark more furiously than ever.

“What’s the matter now?” asked Harding.

And all dressing in haste rushed to the windows, which
they opened.

Beneath their eyes was spread-a sheet of snow which
looked grey in the dim light. The settlers could see
nothing, but they heard a singular yelping noise away in
the darkness. It was evident that the beach had been
invaded by a number of animals which could not be seen,

“ What are they?” cried Pencroft.

“Wolves, jaguars, or apes?” replied Neb.

“ They have nearly reached the plateau,” said the reporter.

“ And our poultry-yard,” exclaimed Herbert, “and ‘our
garden!”

* Where can they have crossed?” asked Pencroft.
164 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

“They must have crossed the bridge on the shore,”
replied the engineer, “which one of us must have forgotten
to close.”

“True,” said Spilett, “I remember to have left it
open.”

“A fine job you have made of it, Mr. Spilett,” cried the
sailor.

“What is done cannot be undone,” replied Cyrus Hard-
ing. “We must consult what it will now be best to do.”

Such were the questions and answers which were rapidly
exchanged between Harding and his companions. It was
certain that the bridge had been crossed, that the shore had
been invaded by animals, and that whatever they might be
they could by ascending the left bank of the Mercy reach
Prospect Heights. They must therefore be advanced
against quickly and fought with if necessary.

“But what are these beasts ?” was asked a second time,
as the yelpings were again heard more loudly than before.
These yelps made Herbert start, and he remembered to
have already heard them during his first visit to the
sources of the Red Creek.

“ They are culpeux foxes!” he exclaimed.

“ Forward!” shouted the sailor.

And all arming themselves with hatchets, carbines, and
revolvers, threw themselves into the lift and soon set foot
on the shore,
THE ABANDONED. " 165

Culpeux are dangerous animals when in great numbers
and irritated by hunger, nevertheless the colonists did not
hesitate to throw themselves into the midst of the troop,
and their first shots vividly lighting up the darkness made
their assailants draw back.

The chief thing was to hinder these plunderers from
reaching the plateau, for the garden and the poultry-yard
would then have been at their mercy, and immense, perhaps
irreparable mischief, would inevitably be the result, espe-
cially with regard to the corn-field. But as the invasion
of the plateau could only be made by the left bank of the
Mercy, it was sufficient to oppose the culpeux on the
narrow bank between the river and the cliff of granite.

This was plain to all, and, by Cyrus Harding’s orders,
they reached the spot indicated by him, while the culpeux
rushed fiercely through the gloom. Harding, Gideon,
Spilett, Herbert, Pencroft and Neb, posted themselves in
impregnable line. Top, his formidable jaws open, preceded
the colonists, and he was followed by Jup, armed with
knotty cudgel, which he brandished like a club. -

The night was extremely dark, it was only by the flashes
from the revolvers as each person fired that they could see
their assailants, who were at least a hundred in number,
and whose eyes were glowing like hot coals.

“ They must not pass!” shouted Pencroft.

“They shall not pass!” returned the engineer.
166 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

But if they did not pass it was not for want of having
attempted it. Those in the rear pushed on the foremost
assailants, and it was an incessant struggle with revolvers
and hatchets. Several culpeux already lay dead on the
ground, but their number did not appear to diminish, and
it might have been supposed that reinforcements were
continually arriving over the bridge.

The colonists were soon obliged to fight at close quarters,
not without receiving some wounds, though happily very
slight ones. Herbert had, with a shot from his revolver,
rescued Neb, on whose back a culpeux had sprung like a
tiger cat. Top fought with actual fury, flying at the
throats of the foxes and strangling them instantaneously.
Jup wielded his weapon valiantly,-and it was in vain that
they endeavoured to keep him in the rear. Endowed
doubtless with sight which enabled him to pierce the
obscurity, he was always in the thick of the fight, uttering
from time to time a sharp hissing sound, which was with
him the sign of great rejoicing.

At one moment he advanced so far, that by the light
from a revolver he was seen surrounded by five or six
large culpeux, with whom he was coping with great
coolness.

However the struggle was ended at last, and victory
was on the side of the settlers, but not until they had
fought for two long hours! The first signs of the approach
THE ABANDONED. 167
of day doubtless determined the retreat of their assailants,
who scampered away towards the North, passing over the
bridge, which Neb ran immediately to raise. When day
had sufficiently lighted up the field of battle, the settlers
counted as many as fifty dead bodies scattered about on
the shore.

“And Jup!” cried Pencroft, “where is Jup?” Jup had
disappeared. His friend Neb called him, and for the first
time Jup did not reply to his friend’s call.

Every one set out in search of Jup, trembling lest he
should be found amongst the slain; they cleared the place
of the bodies which stained the snow with their blood, Jup
was found in the midst of a heap of culpeux, whose
broken jaws and crushed bodies showed that they had to
do with the terrible club of the intrepid animal.

Poor Jup still held in his hand the stump of his broken
cudgel, but deprived of his weapon he had been over-
powered by numbers, and his chest was covered with severe
wounds,

“ He is living,” cried Neb, who was bending over him.

“ And we will save him,” replied the sailor. “We will
nurse him as if he was one of ourselves.”

It appeared as if Jup understood, for he leant his head
on Pencroft’s shoulder as if to thank him. The sailor was
wounded himself, but his wound was insignificant, as were
those of his: companions; for thanks to their fire-arms
168 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

they had been almost always able to keep their assailants
at a distance. It was therefore only the orang whose
condition was serious.

Jup, carried by Neb and, Pencroft, was placed in the
lift, and only a slight moan now and then escaped his
lips. He was gently drawn up to Granite House. There
he was laid on a mattress taken from one of the beds, and
his wounds were bathed with the greatest care. It did not
appear that any vital part had been reached, but Jup was
very weak from loss of blood, and a high fever soon set
in after his wounds had been dressed. He was laid down,
strict diet was imposed, “just like a real person,” as
Neb said, and they made him swallow several cups of a
cooling drink, for which the ingredients were supplied from
the vegetable medicine chest of Granite House. Jup was
at first restless, but his breathing gradually became more
regular, and he was left sleeping quietly From time to
time Top, walking on tip-toe, as one might say, came to
visit his friend, and seemed to approve of all the care that
had been taken of him: One of Jup’s hands hung over
the side of his bed, and Top licked it with a sympathizing
air.

They employed the day in interring the dead, who were
dragged to the forest of the Far West, and there buried
deep.

This attack, which might have had such serious con-










, Top visiting the invalid.
THE ABANDONED, 169
sequences, was a lesson to the settlers, who from this time
never went to bed until one of their number had made
sure that all the bridges were raised, and that no invasion
was possible.

However Jup, after having given them serious anxiety
for several days, began to recover. His constitution
brought him through, the fever gradually subsided, and
Gideon Spilett, who was a bit of a doctor, pronounced him
quite out of danger. On the 16th of August, Jup began
to eat. Neb made him nice little sweet dishes, which the
invalid discussed with great relish, for if he had a pet
failing it was that of being somewhat of a gourmand,
and Neb had never done anything to cure him of this
fault.

“What would you have?” said he to Gideon Spilett, who
sometimes expostulated with him for spoiling the ape.
“Poor Jup has no other pleasure than that of the palate,
and I am only too glad to be able to reward his services in
this way!”

Ten days after having taken to his bed, on the 21st of
August, Master Jup arose. His wounds were healed, and
it was evident that he would not be long in regaining his
usual strength and agility. Like all convalescents, he was
tremendously hungry, and the reporter allowed him to eat
as much as he liked, for he trusted to that instinct, which is
too often wanting in reasoning beings, to keep the orang
170 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

from any excess, Neb was delighted to see his pupil’s
appetite returning.

“Eat away my Jup,” said he, “and don’t spare anything;
you have shed your blood for us, and it is the least I can
do to make you strong again!”

On the 25th of August Neb’s voice was heard calling to
his companions.

“Captain, Mr. Spilett, Mr. Herbert, Pencroft, come!
come!”

The colonists, who were together in the dining-room, rose
at Neb’s call, who was then in Jup’s room.

“What’s the matter?” asked the reporter.
~ “Look,” replied Neb with a shout of laughter. And
what did they see? Master Jup smoking calmly and
seriously, sitting cross-legged like a Turk at the entrance
to Granite House!

“My pipe,” cried Pencroft. “He has taken my pipe!
Hallo, my honest Jup, I make you a present of it!
Smoke away, old boy, smoke away !”

And Jup gravely puffed out clouds of smoke which
seemed to give him great satisfaction. Harding did not
appear to be much astonished at this incident, and he cited
several examples of tame apes, to whom the use of tobacco
had become quite familiar.

But from this day Master Jup had a pipe of his own,
the sailor’s ex-pipe, which was hung in his room near his
THE ABANDONED. i71
store of tobacco. He filled it himself, lighted it with a
glowing coal, and appeared to be the happiest of quadru-
mana. It may readily be understood that this similarity
of tastes of Jup and Pencroft served to tighten the bonds
of friendship which already existed between the honest ape
and the worthy sailor.

“Perhaps he is really a man,” said Pencroft sometimes
to Neb. “Should you be surprised to hear him beginning
to speak to us some day ?”

“My word, no,” replied Neb. “What astonishes me is
that he hasn’t spoken to us before, for now he wants
nothing but speech !”

“It would amuse me all the same,” resumed the sailor,
“if some fine day he said to. me, ‘Suppose we change
pipes, Pencroft.’ ”

“Yes,” replied Neb, “what a pity he was born dumb!”

With the month of September the winter ended, and the
works were again eagerly commenced. The building of
the vessel advanced rapidly, she was already completely
decked over, and all the inside parts of the hull were firmly
united with ribs bent by means of steam, which answered
all the purposes of a mould.

As there was no want of wood, Pencroft proposed to the
engineer to give a double lining to the hull, so as to com-
pletely insure the strength of the vessel.

Harding, not knowino what the future might have in
172 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

store for them, approved the sailor’s idea of making the
craft as strong as possible. The interior and deck of the
vessel was entirely finished towards the 15th of September.
For calking the seams they made oakum of dry seaweed,
which was hammered in between the planks; then these
seams were covered with boiling tar, which was obtained in
great abundance from the pines in the forest.

The management of the vessel was very simple. She
had from the first been ballasted with heavy blocks of
granite walled up, in a bed of lime, twelve thousand pounds
of which they stowed away.

A deck was placed over this ballast, and the interior was
divided into two cabins; two benches extended along
them and served also as lockers. The foot of the mast
supported the partition which separated the two cabins,
which were reached by two hatchways let into the deck.

Pencroft had no trouble in finding a tree suitable for the
mast. He chose a straight young fir, with no knots, and
which he had only to square at the step, and round off at
the top. The ironwork of the mast, the rudder and the
hull, had been roughly but strongly forged at the Chimneys.
Lastly, yards, masts, boom, spars, oars, &c., were all
finished by the first week in October, and it was agreed
that a trial trip should be taken round the island, so as
to ascertain how the vessel would behave at sea, and how

far they might depend upon her.
THE ABANDONED. : 173



During all this time the necessary works had not been
neglected. The corral was enlarged, for the flock of
musmons and goats had been increased by a number of
young ones, who had to be housed and fed. The colonists
had paid visits also to the oyster bed, the warren, the coal
and iron mines, and to the till then unexplored districts
of the Far West forest, which abounded in game. Certain
indigenous plants were discovered, and those fit for imme-
diate use, contributed to vary the vegetable stores of
Granite House.

They were a species of ficoide, some similar to those of
the Cape, with eatable fleshy leaves, others bearing seeds
containing a sort of flour.

On the roth of October the vessel was launched. Pen-
croft was radiant with joy, the operation was perfectly
successful; the boat completely rigged, having been pushed
on rollers to the water's edge, was floated by the rising
tide, amidst the cheers of the colonists, particularly of
Pencroft, who showed no modesty on this occasion.
Besides his importance was to last beyond the finishing
of the vessel, since, after having built her, he was to com-
mand her. The grade of captain was bestowed upon him
with the approbation of all. To satisfy Captain Pencroft,
it was now necessary to give a name to the vessel, and,
after many propositions had been discussed, the votes

were all in favour of the “ Bonadventure.” As soon as the
Q
174 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



“Bonadventure” had been lifted by the rising tide, it was
seen that she lay evenly in the water, and would be easily
navigated. However the trial trip was to be made that
very day, by an excursion off the coast. The weather was
fine, the breeze fresh, and the sea smooth, especially
towards the south coast, for the wind was blowing from
the north-west.

“ All hands on board,” shouted Pencroft; but breakfast
was first necessary, and it was thought best to take pro-
visions on board, in the event of their excursion being
prolonged until the evening.

Cyrus Harding was equally anxious to try the vessel,
the model of which had originated with him, although on
the sailor’s advice he had altered some parts of it, but he
did not share Pencroft’s confidence in her, and as the latter
had not again spoken of the voyage to Tabor Island,
Harding hoped he had given it up. He would have indeed
great reluctance in letting two or three of his companions
venture so far in so small a boat, which was not of more
than fifteen tons’ burden.

At half-past ten everybody was on board, even Top and
Jup, and Herbert weighed the anchor, which was fast in
the sand near the mouth of the Mercy. The sail was hoisted,
the Lincolnian flag floated from the mast-head, and the
“Bonadventure,” steered by Pencroft, stood out to sea.

The wind blowing out of. Union Bay she ran before it,








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The trial trip.
THE ABANDONED. 175
and thus showed her owners, much to their satisfaction,
that she possessed a remarkably fast pair of heels, accord-
ing to Pencroft’s mode of speaking. After having doubled
Flotsam Point and Claw Cape, the captain kept her close
hauled, so as to sail along the southern coast of the island,
when it was found she sailed admirably within five points
of the wind. All hands were enchanted, they had a good
vessel, which, in case of need, would be of great service to
them, and with fine weather and a fresh breeze the voyage
promised to be charming.

Pencroft now stood off the shore, three or four miles
across from Port Balloon. The island then appeared in all
its extent and under a new aspect, with the varied panorama
of its shore from Claw Cape to Reptile End, the forests
in which dark firs contrasted with the young foliage of
other trees and overlooked the whole, and Mount Franklin
whose lofty head was still whitened with snow.

“ How beautiful it is!” cried Herbert.

“Yes, our island is beautiful and good,” replied Pencroft.
“T love it as I loved my poor mother. It received us poor
and destitute, and now what is wanting to us five fellows
who fell on it from the sky.”

“ Nothing,” replied Neb ; “nothing, captain.”

And the two brave men gave three tremendous cheers
in honour of their island!

During all this time Gideon Spilett, leaning against the
176 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

mast, sketched the panorama which was developed before
his eyes.
Cyrus Harding gazed on it in silence.

“Well, Captain Harding,” asked Pencroft, “what do you
think of our vessel ?”

“She appears to behave well,” replied the engineer.

“Good! And do you think now that she could. under-
take a voyage of some extent ?”

“ What voyage, Pencroft ?”

“Oneto Tabor Island, for instance.”

“My friend,” replied Harding, “I think that in any
pressing emergency we need not hesitate to trust ourselves
to the “ Bonadventure” even for a longer voyage; but you
know I should see you set off to Tabor Island with great
uneasiness, since nothing obliges you to go there.”

* One likes to know one’s neighbours,” returned the sailor,
who was obstinate in his idea. “Tabor Island is our
neighbour, and the only one! Politeness requires us to go
at least to pay a visit.”

“ By Jove,” said Spilett ; “our friend Pencroft has become
very particular about the proprieties all at once!”

“Tam not particular about anything at all,” retorted the
sailor; who was rather vexed by the engineer’s opposition,
but who did not wish to cause him anxiety.

“Consider, Pencroft,” resumed Harding, “you cannot
go alone to Tabor Island.”
THE ABANDONED. 197

“One companion will be enough for me.”

“Even so,” replied the engineer, “you will risk de-
priving the colony of Lincoln Island of two settlers out
of five.”

“ Out of six,” answered Pencroft ; “you forget Jup.”

“Out of seven,” added Neb; “Top is quite worth
another.” , .

“ There is no risk at all in it, captain,” replied Pencroft.

“ That is possible, Pencroft ; but I repeat it is to expose
ourselves uselessly.”

The obstinate sailor did not reply, and let the conversa-
tion drop, quite determined to resume it again. But he
did not suspect that an incident would come to his aid and
change into an act of humanity that which was at first only
a doubtful whim.

After standing off the shore the “ Bonadventure” again
approached it in the direction of Fort Balloon. It was impor-
tant to ascertain the channels between the sandbanks and
reefs, that buoys might be laid down, since this little creek
was to be the harbour.

They were not more than half a mile from the coast, and
it was necessary to tack to beat against the wind. The
“ Bonadventure ” was then going at a very moderate rate,
as the breeze, partly intercepted by the high land, scarcely
swelled her sails, and the sea, smooth as glass, was only
rippled now and then by passing gusts,
178 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Herbert had stationed himself in the bows that he might
indicate the course to be followed among the channels,
when all at once he shouted,—

“Luff, Pencroft, luff!” -

‘“What’s the matter,” replied the sailor ; “a rock?”

“ No—wait,” said Herbert; “I don’t quite see. Luff
again—right—now.”

So saying, Herbert leaning over the side, plunged his
arm into the water and pulled it out, exclaiming,—

“ A bottle !” |

He held in his hand a corked bottle which he had just
seized a few cables’ length from the shore.

Cyrus Harding took the bottle. Without uttering a
single word he drew the cork, and took from it a damp
paper, on which were written these words :—

“Castaway.... Tabor Island: 153° W. long,, i!
S. lat.










ff, Pencroft, luff}?

“Lu
THE ABANDONED. 179



CHAPTER XIII.

DEPARTURE DECIDED UPON—CONJECTURES—PREPARA-
TIONS—THE THREE PASSENGERS—FIRST NIGHT—
SECOND NIGHT—TABOR ISLAND—SEARCIHING THE
SHORE—SEARCHING THE WOOD—-NO ONE—ANIMALS
—PLANTS—A DWELLING—DESERTED.

“A CASTAWAY!” exclaimed Pencroft; “left on this
Tabor Island not two hundred miles from us! Ah, Captain
Harding, you won’t now oppose my going.”

“No, Pencroft,” replied Cyrus Harding ; “and you shall
set out as soon as possible.” .

“To-morrow ?”

© To-morrow !”

The engineer still held in his hand the paper which he
had taken from the bottle. He contemplated it for some
instants, then resumed,—

“From this document, my friends, from the way in which
it is worded, we may conclude this: first, that the castaway
on Tabor Island is a man possessing a considerable know-
180 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

ledge of navigation, since he gives ‘the latitude and longi-
tude of the island exactly as we ourselves found it, and to
a second of approximation; secondly, that he is either
English or American, as the document is written in the
English language.”

“That is perfectly logical,” answered Spilett; “and the
presence of this castaway explains the arrival of the case
on the shores of our island. There must have been a
wreck, since there is a castaway. As to the latter, whoever
he may be, it is lucky for him that Pencroft thought of
building this boat and of trying her this very day, for a day
later and this bottle might have been broken on the rocks.”

“Indeed,” said Herbert, “it is a fortunate chance that
the “ Bonadventure” passed exactly where the bottle was
still floating !”

“ Does not this appear strange to you?” asked Harding
of Pencroft. :

“It appears fortunate, that’s all,” answered the sailor.
“Do you see anything extraordinary in it, captain. The
bottle must go somewhere, and why not here as well as
anywhere else?”

“Perhaps you are right, Pencroft,” replied the engineeer ;
“and yet—” ay 1

“But,” observed Herbert, “ there’s nothing to prove that
this bottle has been floating long in the sea.”

“Nothing,” replied Gideon Spilett; “and the document
THE ABANDONED, 181

appears evcn to have been recently written. What do you
think about it, Cyrus?”

“Tt is difficult to say, and besides we shall soon know,”
replied Harding.

During this conversation Pencroft had not remained in-
active. He had put the vessel about, and the “ Bonadven-
ture,” all sails set, was running rapidly towards Claw Cape.

Every one was thinking of the castaway on Tabor
Island. Should they be in time to save him? This was a
great event in the life of the colonists! They themselves
were but castaways, but it was to be feared that another
might not have been so fortunate, and their duty was to go
to his succour.

Claw Cape was doubled, and about four o’clock the
“ Bonadventure” dropped her anchor at the mouth of the
Mercy.

That same evening the arrangements for the new expedi-
tion were made. It appeared best that Pencroft and Her-
bert, who knew how to work the vessel, should undertake
the voyage alone. By setting out the next day, the 1oth
of October, they would arrive on the 13th, for with the
present wind it would not take more than forty-eight hours
to make this passage of a hundred and fifty miles. One
day in the island, three or four to return, they might hope
therefore that on the 17th they would again reach Lincoln
Island. The weather was fine, the barometer was rising
182 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



the wind appeared settled, everything then was in favour
of these brave men whom an act of humanity was taking
far from their island.

Thus it had been agreed that Cyrus Harding, Neb, and
Gideon Spilett, should remain at Granite House, but an
objection was raised, and Spilett, who had not forgotten his
business as reporter to the Mew York Herald, having
declared that he would go by swimming rather than lose
such an opportunity, he was admitted to take a part in the
voyage.

The evening was occupied in transporting on board the
“ Bonadventure”’ articles of bedding, utensils, arms, ammu-
nition, a compass, provisions for a week, and this business
being rapidly accomplished the colonists ascended to
Granite House. :

The next day, at five o’clock in the morning, the farewells
were said, not without some emotion on both sides, and
Pencroft setting sail made towards Claw Cape, which had
to be doubled in order to proceed to the south-west.

The “Bonadventure” was already a quarter of a mile
from the coast, when the passengers perceived on the
heights of Granite House two men waving their farewells ;
they were Cyrus Harding and Neb.

“Our friends,” exclaimed Spilett, “this is our first
separation for fifteen months.”

Pencroft, the reporter and Herbert, waved in return, and
































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The departure.
THE ABANDONED. 183

Granite House soon disappeared behind the high rocks of
the Cape.

During the first part of the day the “Bonadventure”
was still in sight of the southern coast of Lincoln Island,
which soon appeared just like a green basket, with Mount
Franklin rising from the centre. The heights, diminished
by distance, did not present an appearance likely to tempt
vessels to touch there. Reptile End was passed in about
an hour, though at a distance of about ten miles,

At this distance it was no longer possible to distinguish
anything of the Western Coast, which stretched away to
the ridges of Mount Franklin, and three hours after the
last of Lincoln Island sank below the horizon.

The “ Bonadventure” behaved capitally. Bounding over
the waves she proceeded rapidly on her course. Pencroft
had hoisted the foresail, and steering by the compass
followed a rectilinear direction. From time to time
Herbert relieved him at the helm, and the lad’s hand was
so firm that the sailor had not a point to find fault with.

Gideon Spilett chatted sometimes with one, sometimes
with the other, if wanted he lent a hand with the ropes,
and Captain Pencroft was perfectly satisfied with his crew.

In the evening the crescent moon, which would not be in
its first quarter until the 16th, appeared in the twilight and
soon set again. The night was dark but starry, and the

next day again promised to be fine.
R
184 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Pencroft prudently lowered the foresail, not wishing to
be caught by a sudden gust while carrying too much
canvas ; it was perhaps an unnecessary precaution on such
a calm night, but Pencroft was a prudent sailor and cannot
be blamed for it.

The reporter slept part of the night. Pencroft and
-Herbert took turns for a spell of two hours each at the
helm. The sailor trusted Herbert as he would himself,
and his confidence was justified by the coolness and judg-
ment of the lad. Pencroft gave him his directions as a
commander to his steersman, and Herbert never allowed
the “Bonadventure” to swerve even a point. The night
passed quietly, as did the day of the 12th of October.
A south-easterly direction was strictly maintained, unless
the “Bonadventure” fell in with some unknown current
she would come exactly within sight of Tabor Island.

As to the sea over which the vessel was then sailing, it
was absolutely deserted. Now and then a great albatross
or frigate bird passed within gun-shot, and Gideon Spilett
wondered if it was to one of them that he had confided
his last letter addressed to the Mew York Herald.
These birds were the only beings that appeared to
frequent this part of the ocean between Tabor and Lincoln
Islands.

“And yet,” observed Herbert, “this is the time that
whalers usually proceed towards the southern part of the
THE ABANDONED. 185

Pacific. Indeed I do not think there could be a more
deserted sea than this.”

“Tt is not quite so deserted as all that,” replied Pencroft.

“What do you mean,” asked the reporter.

“We are on it. Do you take our vessel for a wreck and
us for porpoises ?”

And Pencroft laughed at his joke.

By the evening, according to calculation, it was thought
that the “Bonadventure” had accomplished a distance of
a hundred and twenty miles since her departure from
Lincoln Island, that is to say in thirty-six hours, -which
would give her a speed of between three and four knots
an hour. The breeze was very slight and might soon drop
altogether. However it was hoped that the next morning
by break of day, if the calculation had been correct and
the course true, they would sight Tabor Island.

Neither Gideon Spilett, Herbert, nor Pencroft slept that
night. In the expectation of the next day they could not
but feel some emotion. There was so much uncertainty in
their enterprise! Were they near Tabor Island? Was the
island still inhabited by the castaway to whose succour
they had come. Who was this man? Would not his
presence disturb the little colony till then so united?
Besides, would he be content to exchange his prison for
another? All these questions, which would no doubt be
answered the next day, kept them in suspense, and at the
186 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
dawn of day they all fixed their gaze on the western
horizon.

“Land!” shouted Pencroft at about six o’clock in the
morning.

And it was impossible that Pencroft should be mistaken,
it was evident that land was there. Imagine the joy of the
little crew of the “Bonadventure.” In a few hours they
would land on the beach of the island!

The low coast of Tabor Island, scarcely emerging from
the sea, was not more than fifteen miles distant.

The head of the “ Bonadventure,” which was a little to
the south of the island, was set directly towards it, and as
the sun mounted in the east, his rays fell upon one or two
headlands.

“This is a much less important isle than Lincoln
Island,” observed Herbert, “and is probably due like ours
to some submarine convulsion.”

At eleven o’clock the “ Bonadventure” was not more than
two miles off, and Pencroft, whilst looking for a suitable
place at which to land, proceeded very cautiously through
the unknown waters. The whole of the island could now
be surveyed, and on it could be seen groups of gum and
other large trees, of the same: species as those growing on
Lincoln Island. But the astonishing thing was that no
smoke arose to show that the island was inhabited, not a
signal appeared on any point of the shore whatever !
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Nearing the island,
THE ABANDONED. 187

And yet the document was clear enough; there was a
castaway, and this castaway should have been on the
watch.

In the meanwhile the “ Bonadventure ” entered the wind-
ing channels among the reefs, and Pencroft observed every
turn with extreme care. He had put Herbert at the helm,
posting himself in the bows, inspecting the water, whilst he
held the halliard in his hand, ready to lower the sail at a
moment’s notice. Gideon Spilett with his glass eagerly
scanned the shore, though without perceiving anything.

However at about twelve o’clock the keel of the “ Bon-
adventure” grated on the bottom. The anchor was let go,
the sails furled, and the crew of the little vessel landed.

And there was no reason to doubt that this was Tabor
Island, since according to the most recent charts there was
no island in this part of the Pacific between New Zealand
and the American Coast.

The vessel was securely moored, so that there should be
no danger of her being carried away by the receding tide ;
then Pencroft and his companions, well armed, ascended
the shore, so as to gain an elevation of about two hundred
and fifty or three hundred feet which rose at a distance oi
half a mile.

“From the summit of that hill,” said Spilett, “we can no
doubt obtain a complete view of the island, which will
greatly facilitate our search.”
188 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“So as to do here,” replied Herbert, “that which
Captain Harding did the very first thing on Lincoln
Island, by climbing Mount Franklin.”

“ Exactly so,” answered the reporter; “and it is the best
plan of proceeding.”

Whilst thus talking the explorers had advanced along a
clearing which terminated at the foot of the hill. Flocks
of rock-pigeons and sea-swallows, similar to those of
Lincoln Island, fluttered around them. Under the woods
which skirted the glade on the left they could hear the
bushes rustling and see the grass waving, which indicated
the presence of timid animals, but still nothing to show
that the island was inhabited.

Arrived at the foot of the hill, Pencroft, Spilett, and
Herbert climbed it in a few minutes, and gazed anxiously
round the horizon.

They were on an islet which did not measure more than
six miles in circumference, its shape not much bordered by
capes or promontories, bays or creeks, being a lengthened
oval. All around, the lonely sea extended to the limits of
the horizon. No land nor even a sail was in sight.

This woody islet did not offer the varied aspects of
Lincoln Island, arid and wild in one part, but fertile and
rich in the other. On the contrary this was a uniform
mass of verdure, out of which rose two or three hills of no
great height. Obliquely to the oval of the island ran a
THE ABANDONED. 189

stream through a wide meadow falling into the sea on the
west by a narrow mouth.

“ The domain is limited,” said Herbert.

“Yes,” rejoined Pencroft. “It would have been too
small for us.”

“And moreover,” said the reporter, “it appears to be
uninhabited.”

“Indeed,” answered Herbert, “nothing here betrays
the presence of man.”

“Let us go down,” said Pencroft, “and search.”

The sailor and his two companions returned to the shore,
to the place where they had left the “ Bonadventure.”

They had decided to make the tour of the island on
foot, before exploring the interior, so that not a spot should
escape their investigations. The beach was easy to follow,
and only in some places was their way barred by large
rocks, which, however, they easily passed round. The
explorers proceeded towards the south, disturbing numerous
flocks of sea-birds and herds of seals, which threw them-
selves into the sea as soon as they saw the strangers at a

distance.
“Those beasts yonder,” observed the reporter, “do not

see men for the first time. They fear them, therefore they
must know them.”

An hour after their departure they arrived on the
southern point of the islet, terminated by a sharp cape, and
190 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,



proceeded towards the north along the western coast,
equally formed by sand and rocks, the a a bordered
with thick woods.

There was not a trace of an habitation in any part, not
the print of a human foot on the shore of the island, which
after four hours’ walking had been gone completely round.

It was to say the least very extraordinary, and they
were compelled to believe that Tabor Island was not or
was no longer inhabited. Perhaps, after all, the document
was already several months or several years old, and it
was possible in this case, either that the castaway had been
enabled to return to his country, or that he had died of
misery. ;

Pencroft, Spilett, and Herbert, forming more or less
probable conjectures, dined rapidly on board the “ Bonad-
venture ” so as to be able to continue their excursion until
nightfall. This was done at five o’clock in the evening, at
which hour they entered the wood.

Numerous animals fled at their approach, being princi-
pally, one might say, only goats and pigs, which it was
easy to see belonged to European species.

Doubtless some whaler had landed them on the island,
where they had rapidly increased. Herbert resolved to
catch one or two living, and take them back to Lincoln
Island.

It was no longer doubtful that men at some period or
THE ABANDONED. IQI

other had visited this islet, and this became still more
evident when paths appeared trodden through the forest,
felled trees, and everywhere traces of the. hand of man;
but the trees were becoming rotten, and had been felled
many years ago; the marks of the axe were velveted with
moss, and the grass grew long and thick on the paths, so
that it was difficult to find them.

“But,” observed Gideon Spilett, “this not only proves
that men have landed on the island, but also that they
lived on it for some time. Now, who were these men?
How many of them remain?”

“The document,” said Herbert, “ only spoke of one cast-
away.”

“Well, if he is still on the island,” replied Pencroft, “it
is impossible but that we shall find him.”

The exploration was continued. The sailor and his
companions naturally followed the route which cut diago-
nally across the island, and they were thus obliged to follow
the stream which flowed towards the sea.

If the animals of European origin, if works due to a
human hand, showed incontestably that men had already
visited the island, several specimens of the vegetable
kingdom did not prove it less. In some places, in the
midst of clearings, it was evident that the ‘soil had been
planted with culinary plants, at probably the same distant
period.
192 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

What, then, was Herbert’s joy, when he recognized
potatoes, chicory, sorrel, carrots, cabbages, and turnips,
of which it was sufficient to collect the seed to enrich the
soil of Lincoln Island.

“Capital, jolly!” exclaimed Pencroft. “That will suit
Neb as well as us. Even if we do not find the castaway,
at least our voyage will not have been useless, and God
will have rewarded us.”

“Doubtless,” replied Gideon Spilett; “ but to see the state
in which we find these plantations, it is to be feared that
the island has not been inhabited for some time.”

“Indeed,” answered Herbert, “an inhabitant, whoever
he was, could not have neglected such an important
culture!”

“Yes,” said Pencroft, “the castaway has gone.”

“We must suppose so.”

“Tt must then be admitted that the document has
already a distant date?”

“ Evidently.”

“And that the bottle only arrived at Lincoln Island
after having floated in the sea a long time.”

“Why not,” returned Pencroft. “But night is coming
on,” added he, “and I think that it will be best to give up
the search for the present.”

“Let us go on board, and to morrow we will begin
again,” said the reporter.







THE ABANDONED. 193

This was the wisest course, and it was about to be
followed when Herbert, pointing to a confused mass among
the trees, exclaimed,—

“A hut!”

All three immediately ran towards the dwelling. In
the twilight it was just possible to see that it was built of
planks and covered with a thick tarpaulin.

The half-closed door was pushed open by Pencroft, who
entered with a rapid step,

The hut was empty]
194 ‘HE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,



CHAPTER XIV.

THE INVENTORY—NIGHT—A FEW LETTERS—CONTINUA-
TION OF THE SEARCH—PLANTS AND ANIMALS—
HERBERT IN GREAT DANGER—ON BOARD—THE DE-
PARTURE—BAD WEATHER—A GLEAM OF REASON—
LOST ON THE SEA—A TIMELY LIGHT.

PENCROFT, Herbert, and Gideon Spilett, remained silent
in the midst of the darkness.

Pencroft shouted loudly.

No reply was made.

The sailor then struck a-light and set fire to a twig.
This lighted for a minute a small room, which appeared
perfectly empty. At the back was a rude fireplace, with
a few cold cinders, supporting an armful of dry wood.
Pencrost threw the blazing twig on it, the wood cracked
and gave forth a bright light.

The sailor and his two companions then perceived a
disordered bed, of which the damp and yellow coverlets
proved that it had not been used for a long time. In the
_ ‘THE ABANDONED. » 108
corner of the fireplace were two kettles, covered with rust,
and an overthrown pot. A cupboard, with a few mouldy
sailor’s clothes ; on the table a tin plate and a Bible, eaten
away by damp; in a corner a few tools, a spade, pick-
axe, two fowling-pieces, one of which was broken; on a
plank, forming a shelf, stood a barrel of powder, still
untouched, a barrel of shot, and several boxes of caps,
all thickly covered with dust, accumulated, perhaps, by
many long years.

“ There is no one here,” said the reporter,

“No one,” replied Pencroft.

“Tt is a long time since this room has been inhabited,”
observed Herbert.

“Ves, a very long time!” answered the reporter.

“Mr. Spilett,” then said Pencroft, “instead of returning
on board, I think that it would be well to pass the night
in this hut.”

“You are right, Pencroft,” answered Gideon Spilett, “and
if its owner returns, well! perhaps he will not be sorry to
find the place taken possession of.”

“He will not return,” said the sailor, shaking his head.

“You think that he has quitted the island?” asked the
reporter.

“Tf he had quitted the island he would have taken away
his weapons and his tools,” replied Pencroft. “You

know the value which castaways set on such articles as
S
196 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

these, the last remains of a wreck? No! no!” repeated
the sailor, in a tone of conviction, “no, he has not left
the island! If he had escaped in a boat made by
himself, he would still less have left these indispen-
sable and necessary articles. No! he is on the island!”

“ Living ?” asked Herbert.

“Living or dead. But if he is dead, I suppose he has
not buried himself, and so we shall at least find his
remains!”

It was then agreed that the night should be passed in
the deserted dwelling, and a store of wood found in a
corner was sufficient to warm it. The door closed, Pencroft,
Herbert, and Spilett remained there, seated on a bench,
talking little but wondering. much. They were in a frame
of mind to imagine anything or expect anything. They
listened eagerly. for sounds outside. The door might have
opened suddenly, and a man presented himself to them
without their being in the least surprised, notwithstanding
all that the hut revealed of abandonment, and they had
their hands ready to press the hands of this man, this
castaway, this unknown friend, for whom friends were
waiting. .

But no voice was heard, the door did not open. The
hours thus passed away.

How long the night appeared to the sailor and his com-
panions! Herbert alone slept for two hours, for at his age
THE ABANDONED. 197

sleep is a necessity. They were all three anxious to con-
tinue their exploration of the day before, and to search
the most secret recesses of the islet! The inferences
deduced by Pencroft were-perfectly reasonable, and it was
nearly certain that, as the hut was deserted, and the tools,
utensils, and weapons were ‘still there, the owner had
succumbed. It was agreed, therefore, that they should
search for his remains, and give them at least Christian
burial.

‘Day dawned ; Pencroft and his companions immediately
proceeded to survey the dwe-ling. It had certainly been
built in a favourable situation, at the back of a little hill,
sheltered by five or six magnificent gum-trees. . Before its
front and through the trees the axe had prepared a wide
clearing, which allowed the view to extend to the sea.
Beyond a lawn, surrounded by a wooden fence falling to
pieces, was the shore, on the left of which was the mouth
of the stream.

The hut had been built of planks, and it was easy to see
that these planks had been obtained from the hull or deck
ofa ship. It was probable that a disabled vessel had been
cast on the coast of the island, that one at least of the crew
had been saved, and that by means of the wreck this man,
having tools at his disposal, had built the dwelling.

And this became still more evident when Gideon Spilett,
after having walked round the hut, saw on a plank, probably
198 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.
one of those which had formed the armour of the wrecked
vessel, these letters already half effaced:

“ Br—tan—a.”

‘‘ Britannia,” exclaimed Pencroft,-whom the reporter had
called; “it isa common name for ships, and I could not
say if she was English or American!”

“Tt matters very little, Pencroft!”

“Very little indeed,” answered the sailor; “and we will
save the survivor of her crew if he is still living, to whatever
country he may belong. But before beginning our search
again let us go on board the ‘ Bonadventure.’”

A sort of uneasiness had seized Pencroft upon the subject
of his vessel. Should the island be inhabited after all, and
should some one have taken possession of her? But he
shrugged his shoulders at such an unreasonable supposition.
At any rate the sailor was not sorry to go to breakfast on
board. The road already trodden was not long, scarcely a
mile. They set out on their walk, gazing into the wood and
thickets through which goats and pigs fled in hundreds.

Twenty minutes after leaving the hut Pencroft and his
companions reached the western coast of the island, and
saw the “ Bonadventure” held fast by her anchor, which was
buried deep in the sand.

Pencroft could not restrain a sigh of satisfaction. After
all this vessel was his child, and it is the right of fathers to
be often uneasy when there is no occasion for it.
THE ABANDONED. 199



They returned on board, breakfasted, so that it should
not be necessary to dine until very late; then the repast
Leing ended, the exploration was continued and conducted
with the most minute care. Indeed, it was very probable
that the only inhabitant of the island had perished. It
was therefore more for the traces of a dead than of
a living man that Pencroft and his companions searched.
But their searches were vain, and during the half of that
day they sought to no purpose among the thickets of trees
which covered the islet.. There was then scarcely any doubt
that, if the castaway was dead, no trace of his body now
remained, but that some wild beast had probably devoured
it to the last bone.

“We will set off to-morrow at daybreak,” said Pencroft
to his two companions, as about two o’clock they were
resting for a few minutes under the shade of a clump of
firs.

“T should think that we might without scruple take the
utensils which belonged to the castaway,” added Herbert.

“Tthink so too,” returned Gideon Spilett ; “and these
arms-and tools will make up the stores of Granite House.
The supply of powder and shot is also most important.”

“Yes,” replied Pencroft; “but we must not forget to
capture a couple or two of those pigs, of which Lincoln
Island is destitute—”

“Nor to gather those seeds,” added Herbert, “which
200 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND:

will give us all the vegetables of the Old and the New
Worlds.”

“Then: perhaps it would be best,” said the reporter, “to
remain a day longer on Tabor Island, so as to collect all
that may be useful to us.”

“No, Mr. Spilett,” answered Pencroft, “I will ask you to
set off to-morrow at daybreak. The wind seems to me to
be likely to shift to the west, and after having had a fair
wind for coming we shall have a fair wind for going back.”

“Then do not let us lose time,” said Herbert, rising.

“ We won't waste time,” returned Pencroft. ‘You, Her-
bert, go and gather the seeds, which you know better than
we do. Whilst you do that, Mr. Spilett and I will go and
have a pig hunt, and even without Top I hope we shall
manage to catch a few!” .

Herbert accordingly took the path which led towards
the cultivated part of the islet, whilst the sailor and the
reporter entered the forest.

Many specimens of the porcine race fled before them, and
these animals, which were singularly active, did not appear
to be in a humour to allow themselves to be approached.

However, after an hours chase, the hunters had just
managed to get hold of a couple lying in a thicket, when
cries were heard resounding from the north part of the
island. With the cries were mingled terrible yells, in
which there was nothing human.






Herbert in danger.
THE ABANDONED. 201

Pencroft and Gideon Spilett were at. once on their feet,
and the pigs by this movement began to run away, at the
moment when the sailor was getting ready the rope to bind
them.

“That’s Herbert’s voice,” said the reporter.

“Run!” exclaimed Pencroft.

And the sailor and Spilett immediately ran at full speed
towards the spot from whence the cries proceeded.

They did well to hasten, for at a turn of the path near a
clearing they saw the lad thrown on the ground and in the
grasp of a savage being, apparently a gigantic ape, who
was about to do him some great harm.

To rush on this monster, throw him on the ground in his
turn, snatch Herbert from him, then bind him securely,
was the work of a minute for Pencroft and Gideon Spilett.
The sailor was of Herculean strength, the reporter also
very powerful, and in spite of the monster's resistance he
was firmly tied so that he could not even move,

“You are not hurt, Herbert,” asked Spilett.

“No, no!”

“Oh, if this ape had wounded him!” exclaimed
Pencroft.

“ But he is not an ape,” answered Herbert.

At these words Pencroft and Gideon Spilett looked at
the singular being who lay on the ground. Indeed it
was not an ape, it was a human being, a man. But what
202 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. -

aman! A savage in all the horrible acceptation of the
word, and so much the more frightful that he seemed fallen
to the lowest degree of brutishness!

Shaggy hair, untrimmed beard descending to the chest,
the body almost naked except a rag round the waist, wild
eyes, enormous hands with immensely long nails, skin the
colour of mahogany, feet as hard as if made of horn,—
such was the miserable creature who yet had a claim
to be called a man. But it might justly be asked if there
were yet a soul in this body, or if the brute instinct alone
survived in it!

“ Are you quite sure that this is a man, or that he has
ever been one?” said Pencroft to the reporter.

“ Alas! there is no doubt about it,” replied Spilett.

“Then this must be the castaway ?” asked Herbert.

“Yes,” replied Gideon Spilett, “but the unfortunate man
has no longer anything human about him!”

The reporter spoke the truth. It was evident that if the
castaway had ever been a civilized being, solitude had
made him a savage, or worse, perhaps a regular man of the
woods. MHoarse sounds issued from his throat between his
teeth, which were sharp as the teeth of a wild beast made
to tear raw flesh.

Memory must have deserted him long before, and for a
long time also he had forgotten how to use his gun and
tools, and he no longer knew how to make a fire! It could
THE ABANDONED. 203



be seen that he was active and powerful, but the physical
qualities had been developed in him to the injury of the
moral qualities. Gideon Spilett spoke to him. He did not
appear to understand or even to hear. And yet on
looking into his eyes, the reporter thought he could see
that all reason was not extinguished in him. However,
the prisoner did not struggle, nor even attempt to break
his bonds. Was he overwhelmed by the presence of men
whose fellow he had once been? Had he found in some
corner of his brain a fleeting remembrance which recalled
him to humanity? If free, would he attempt to fly, or
would he remain? They could not tell, but they did not
make the experiment; and after gazing attentively at the
miserable creature,—

“Whoever he may be,” remarked Gideon Spilett ;
“whoever he may have been, and whatever he may
become, it is our duty to take him with us to Lincoln
Island.”

“Yes, yes!” replied Herbert; “and perhaps with care
we may arouse in him some gleam of intelligence.”

“The soul does not die,” said the reporter ; “and it would
be a great satisfaction to rescue one of God’s creatures from
brutishness.”

Pencroft shook his head doubtfully.

“We must try at any rate,” returned the reporter ;
“humanity commands us.” .
204 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,



It was indeed their duty as Christians and civilized
beings. All three felt this, and they well knew that Cyrus
Harding would approve of their acting thus.

“Shall we leave him bound?” asked the sailor.

“Perhaps he would walk if his feet were unfastened,”
said Herbert.

“Let us try,” replied Pencroft.

The cords which shackled the prisoner’s feet were cut
off, but his arms remained securely fastened. He got up
by himself and did not manifest any desire to run away.
His hard eyes darted a piercing glance at the three men,
who walked near him, but nothing denoted that he
recollected being their fellow, or at least having been so.
A continual hissing sound issued from his lips, his aspect
was wild, but he did not attempt to resist.

By the reporter’s advice the unfortunate man was taken
to the hut. Perhaps the sight of the things that belonged
to him would make some impression on him! Perhaps a
spark would be sufficient to revive his obscured intellect, to
rekindle his dulled soul. The dwelling was not far off. In
a few minutes they arrived there, but the prisoner remem-
bered nothing, and it appeared that he had lost conscious-
ness of everything.

What could they think of the degree of brutishness into
which this miserable being had fallen, unless that his
imprisonment on the islet dated from a very distant period
| THE ABANDONED. 205
and after having arrived there a rational being solitude had
reduced him to this condition.

The reporter then thought that perhaps the sight of fire
would have some effect on him, and in a moment one of
those beautiful flames, that attract even animals, blazed up
on the hearth. The sight of the flame seemed at first to
fix the attention of the unhappy object, but soon he turned
away and the look of intelligence faded. Evidently there
was nothing to be done, for the time at least, but to take
him on board the “ Bonadventure.” This was done, and he
remained there in Pencroft’s charge.

Herbert and Spilett returned to finish their work ; and
some hours after they came back to the shore, carrying the
utensils and guns, a store of vegetables, of seeds, some
game, and two couple of pigs.

All was embarked, and the “ Bonadventure ” was ready
to weigh anchor and sail with the morning tide.

The prisoner had been placed in the fore cabin, where he
remained quiet, silent, apparently deaf and dumb.

Pencroft offered him something to eat, but he pushed
away the cooked meat that was presented to him and which
doubtless did not suit him. But on the sailor showing him
one of the ducks which Herbert had killed, he pounced on
it like a wild beast, and devoured it greedily.

“You think that he will recover his senses?” asked
Pencroft. “It is not impossible that our care will have an
206 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



effect upon him, for it is solitude that has made him what
he is, and from this time forward he will be no longer
alone.”

“The poor man must no doubt have been in this state
for a long time,” said Herbert.

“ Perhaps,” answered Gideon Spilett. '

“ About what age is he?” asked the lad.

“It is difficult to say,” replied the reporter; “for it is
impossible to see his features under the thick beard which
covers his face; but he is no longer young, and I suppose
he might be about fifty.”

“Have you noticed, Mr. Spilett, how deeply sunk his
eyes are?” asked Herbert.

“Yes, Herbert; but I must add that they are more
human than one could expect from his appearance.” _

“ However, we shall see,” replied Pencroft; “and I am
anxious to know what opinion Captain Harding will have
of our savage. We went to look for a human creature, and
we are bringing back a monster! After all we did what
we could.” :

The night passed, and whether the prisoner slept or not
could not be known; but at any rate, although he had been
unbound, he did not move. He was like a wild animal,
which appears stunned at first by its capture, and becomes
wild again afterwards.

At daybreak the next morning, the 15th of October, the
THE ABANDONED. 207



change of weather predicted by Pencroft occurred. The
wind having shifted to the north-west favoured the return
of the “ Bonadventure,” but at the same time it freshened,
which would render navigation more difficult.

At five o'clock in the morning the anchor was
weighed. Pencroft took a reef in the mainsail, and steered
towards the north-east, so as to sail straight for Lincoln
Island. ;

The first day of the voyage was not marked by any
incident. The prisoner remained quiet in the fore-cabin,
and as he had been a sailor it appeared that the motion of
the vessel might produce on him a salutary reaction. Did
some recollection of his former calling return to him?
However that might be he remained tranquil, astonished
rather than depressed.

The next day the wind increased, blowing more from the
north, consequently in a less favourable direction for the
“ Bonadventure.” Pencroft was soon obliged to sail close-
hauled, and without saying anything about it he began to
be uneasy at the state of the sea, which frequently broke
over the bows. Certainly, if the wind did not moderate, it
would take a longer time to reach Lincoln Island than it
had taken to make Tabor Island.

Indeed, on the morning of the 17th, the “ Bonadventure
had been forty-eight hours at sea, and nothing showed that
she was near the island. It was impossible, besides, to
208 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

estimate the distance traversed, or to trust to the reckoning
for the direction, as the speed had been very irregular.

Twenty-four hours after there was yet no land in sight.
The wind was right ahead and the sea very heavy. The
sails were close-reefed, and they tacked frequently. On
the 18th, a wave swept completely over the “ Bonadven-
ture ;” and if the crew had not taken the precaution of
lashing themselves to the deck, they would have been
carried away.

On this occasion Pencroft and his companions, who were
occupied with loosing themselves, received unexpected
aid from the prisoner, who emerged from the hatchway as
if his sailor’s instinct had suddenly returned, broke a piece
out of the bulwarks with a spar so as to let the water which
filled the deck escape. Then the vessel being clear, he
descended to his cabin without having uttered a word. Pen-
croft, Gideon Spilett, and Herbert, greatly astonished, let
him proceed.

Their situation was truly serious, and the sailor had
reason to fear that he was lost on the wide sea without
any possibility of recovering his course.

The night was-dark and cold. However, about eleven
o’clock, the wind fell, the sea went down, and the speed of
the vessel, as she laboured less, greatly increased.

Neither Pencroft, Spilett, nor Herbert thought of taking
an hour’s sleep. They kept a sharp look-out, for either




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































*°A light! a light !”
THE ABANDONED. : 209



Lincoln Island could not be far distant and would be
sighted at daybreak, or the “ Bonadventure,” carried away
by currents, had drifted so much that it would be impossible
to rectify her course. Pencroft, uneasy to the last degree,
yet did not despair, for he had a gallant heart, and grasp-
ing the tiller he anxiously endeavoured to pierce the dark-
ness which surrounded them.

About two o’clock in the morning he started forward,—

“A light! a light!” he shouted.

Indeed, a bright light appeared twenty miles ‘to the
north-east. Lincoln Island was there, and this fire, evi-
dently lighted by Cyrus Harding, showed them the course
to be followed. Pencroft, who was bearing too much to
the north, altered his course and steered towards the fire,
which burned brightly above the horizon like a star of the
first magnitude,
210 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. ~



CHAPTER XV.

THE RETURN—DISCUSSION—CYRUS HARDING AND THE
STRANGER— PORT BALLOON—THE ENGINEER'S DE-
VOTION—A TOUCHING INCIDENT—TEARS FLOW.

THE next day, the 20th of October, at seven o'clock in the
morning, after a voyage of four days, the “ Bonadventure ”
gently glided up to the beach at the mouth of the
Mercy.

Cyrus Harding and Neb, who had become very uneasy
at the bad weather and the prolonged absence of their com-
panions, had climbed at daybreak to the plateau of Pros-
pect Heights, and they had at last caught sight of the vessel
which had been so long in returning.

”

“God be praised! there ad are!” exclaimed Cyrus
Harding.

As to Neb in his joy, he began to dance, to twirl round,
clapping his hands and shouting, “Oh! my master!” A
more touching pantomime than the finest discourse.

The engineer’s first idea, on counting the people on the
THE ABANDONED. 211

deck of the “ Bonadventure,” was that Pencroft had not
found the castaway of Tabor Island, or at any rate that the
unfortunate man had refused to leave his island and change
one prison for another.

Indeed Pencroft, Gideon Spilett, and Herbert were alone
on the deck of the “Bonadventure.”

The moment the vessel touched, the engineer and Neb
were waiting on the beach, and before the passengers had
time to leap on to the sand, Harding said: “ We have been
very uneasy at, your delay, my friends! Did you meet
with any accident ?” * ,

“No,” replied Gideon Spilett; “on the contrary, every-
thing went wonderfully well. We will tell you all
about it.”

“ However,” returned the engineer, “ your search has been
unsuccessful, since you are only three just as you went!”

“Excuse me, captain,” replied the sailor, “we are four.”

“You have found the castaway ?”

“Yes,”

“And you have brought him ?”

“Yes.”

“Living 2?”

“Yes,”

“Where is he? Who is he?”

“He is,” replied the reporter, “or rather he was, a man!
There, Cyrus, that is all we can tell you!”
P 2
212 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

The engineer was then informed of all that had passed
during the voyage, and under what conditions the search
had been conducted ; how the only dwelling in the island
had long been abandoned; how at last a castaway had
been captured, who appeared no longer to belong to the
human species.

“And that’s just the. point,” added Pencroft, “I don’t
know if we have done right to bring him here.”

“Certainly you have, Pencroft,” replied the engineer
quickly. .

“But the wretched creature has no sense!”

“That is possible at present,” replied Cyrus Harding ;
“but only a few months ago the wretched creature was a
man like you and me. And who knows what will become
of the survivor of us after a long solitude on this island ?
It isa great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it
must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy
reason, since you have found this poor creature in such a
state!”

“But, captain,” asked Herbert, “what leads you to think
that the brutishness of the unfortunate man began only a
few months back ?”

“Because the document we found had been recently
written,” answered the engineer, “and the castaway alone
can have written it.”

“ Always supposing,” observed Gideon Spilett, “that it


































mn





































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































* Poor fellow,” murmured the engineer,
THE ABANDONED. 213





had not been written by a companion of this man, since
dead.” /

“That is impossible, my dear Spilett.”

“Why so?” asked the reporter.

“Because the document would then have spoken of two
castaways,” replied Harding, “and it mentioned only one.”

Herbert then in a few words related the incidents of the
voyage, and dwelt on the curious fact of the sort of passing
gleam in the prisoner’s mind, when for an instant in the
height of the storm he had become a sailor.

“Well, Herbert,” replied the engineer, “you are right to
attach great importance to this fact. The unfortunate man
cannot be incurable, and despair has made him what he is ;
but here he will find his fellow-men, and since there is still
a soul in him, this soul we shall save!”

The castaway of Tabor Island, to the great pity of the
engineer and the great astonishment of Neb, was then
brought from the cabin which he occupied in the fore part
of the “ Bonadventure ;’ when once on land he manifested
a wish to run away.

But Cyrus Harding approaching, placed his hand on his
shoulder with a gesture full of authority, and looked at him
with infinite tenderness, Immediately the unhappy man,
submitting to a superior will, gradually became calm, his
eyes fell, his head bent, and he made no more resistance.

“ Poor fellow!” murmured the engineer,
214 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

Cyrus Harding had attentively observed him. To judge
by his appearance this miserable being had no longer any-
thing human about him, and yet Harding, as had the
reporter already, observed in his look an indefinable trace
of intelligence.

It was decided that the castaway, or rather the stranger,
as he was thenceforth termed by his companions, should
live in one of the rooms of Granite House, from which,
however, he could not escape. He was led there without
difficulty ; and with careful attention, it might, perhaps, be
hoped that some day he would be a companion to the
settlers in Lincoln Island.

Cyrus Harding, during breakfast, which Neb had
hastened to prepare, as the reporter, Herbert, and Pencroft
were dying of hunger, heard in detail all the incidents
which had marked the voyage of exploration to the islet.
He agreed with his friends on this point, that the stranger
must be either English or American, the name Britannia
leading them to suppose this, and, besides, through the
bushy beard, and under the shaggy, matted hair, the engi-
neer thought he could recognize the characteristic features
of the Anglo-Saxon.

“But, by-the-bye,” said Gideon Spilett, addressing Her-
bert, “you never told us how you met this savage, and we
know nothing, except that you would have been strangled,
if we had not happened to come up in time to help you!”
THE ABANDONED. 215

“Upon my word,” answered Herbert, “it is rather diffi-
cult to say how it happened. I was, I think, occupied in
collecting my plants, when I heard a noise like an avalanche
falling from a very tall tree. I scarcely had time to look
round. This unfortunate man, who was without doubt
concealed in a tree, rushed upon me in less time than
I take to tell you about it, and unless Mr. Spilett and
Pencroft—”

“My boy!” said Cyrus Harding, “you ran a great
danger, but, perhaps, without that, the poor creature would
have still hidden himself from your search, and we should
not have had a new companion.”

“You hope, then, Cyrus, to succeed in reforming the
man ?” asked the reporter.

“Yes,” replied the engineer.

Breakfast over, Harding and his companions left Granite
House and ‘returned to the beach. They there occupied
themselves in unloading the “Bonadventure,” and the engi-
neer, having examined the arms and tools, saw nothing
which could help them to establish the identity of the
stranger.

The capture of pigs, made on the islet, was looked
upon as being very profitable to Lincoln Island, and the
animals were led to the sty, where they soon became
at home.

The two barrels, containing the powder and shot, as well
216 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,





as the box of caps, were very welcome. It was agreed to
establish a small powder-magazine, either outside Granite
House or in the Upper Cavern, where there would be
no fear of explosion. However, the use of pyroxyle
was to be continued, for this substance giving excellent
results, there was no reason for substituting ordinary
powder.

When the unloading of the vessel-was finished,—

“ Captain,” said Pencroft, “T think it would be prudent
to put our “ Bonadventure ” in a safe place.

“Ts she not safe at the mouth of the Mercy ?” asked
Cyrus Harding. <

“No, captain,” replied the sailor. “ Half of the time
she is stranded on the sand, and that works her. She is
a famous craft, you see, and she behaved admirably during
the squall which struck us on our return.”

“Could she not float in the river?”

“No doubt, captain, she could; but there is no shelter
there, and in the east winds, I think that the “ Bonadven-
ture” would suffer much from the surf.”

“Well, where would you put her, Pencroft ?”

“Tn Port Balloon,” replied the sailor. “That little creek,
shut in by rocks, seems to me to be just the harbour we
want.”

“Ts it not rather far?”

“Pooh! it is not more than three miles from Granite
THE ABANDONED. 217

House, and we have a fine straight road to take us
there!”

“Do it then, Pencroft, and take your ‘Bonadventure’
there,” replied the engineer, “and yet I would rather have
her under our more immediate protection. When we have
time, we must make a little harbour for her.”

“Famous!” exclaimed Pencroft. “A harbour with a
lighthouse, a. pier, and a dock! Ah! really with you,
captain, everything becomes easy.”

“Yes, my brave Pencroft,” answered the engineer, “but
on condition, however, that you help me, fof you do as
much as three men in‘all our work.”

Herbert and the sailor then re-embarked on board the
“Bonadventure,” the anchor was weighed, the sail hoisted,
and the wind drove her rapidly towards Claw Cape. Two
hours after, she was reposing on the tranquil waters of
Port Balloon.

During the first days passed by the stranger in Granite
House, had he already given them reason to think that his
savage nature was becoming tamed? Did a brighter light
burn in the depths of that obscured mind? In short, was
the soul returning to the body ?

Yes, to a certainty, and to such a degree, that Cyrus
Harding and the reporter wondered if the reason of the
unfortunate man had ever been totally extinguished. At
first, accustomed to the open air, to the unrestrained liberty
218 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

which he had enjoyed on Tabor Island, the stranger
manifested a sullen fury, and it was feared that he might
throw himself on to the beach, out of one of the windows
of Granite House. But gradually he became calmer, and
more freedom was allowed to his movements.

They had reason to hope, and to hope much. Already,
forgetting his carniverous instincts, the stranger accepted
a less bestial nourishment than that on which he fed on
the islet, and cooked meat did not produce in him the
same sentiment of repulsion which he had showed on
board the “ Bonadventure.” Cyrus Harding had profited
by a moment when he was sleeping, to cut his hair and
matted beard, which formed a sort of mane, and gave him
such a savage aspect. He had also been clothed. more
suitably, after having got rid of the rag which covered
him. The result was that, thanks to these attentions, the
stranger resumed a more human appearance, and it even
seemed as if his eyes had become milder. Certainly, when
formerly lighted up by intelligence, this man’s face must
have had a sort of beauty.

Every day, Harding imposed on himself the task of
passing some hours inhiscompany. He came and worked
near him, and occupied himself in different things, so as to
fix his attention. A spark, indeed, would be sufficient to
re-illumine that soul, a recollection crossing that brain to
recall reason. That had been seen, during the storm, on
THE ABANDONED. 219

2



board the “ Bonadventure!” The engineer did not neglect
either to speak aloud, so as to penetrate at the same time
by the organs of hearing and sight the depths of that
torpid intelligence. Sometimes one of his companions,
sometimes another, sometimes all joined him. They spoke
most often of things belonging to the navy, which must
interest a sailor.

At times, the stranger gave some slight attention to
what was said, and the settlers were soon convinced that
he partly understood them. Sometimes the expression of
his countenance was deeply sorrowful, a proof that he
suffered mentally, for his face could not be mistaken; but
he did not speak, although at different times, however,
they almost thought that words were about to issue
from his lips. At all events, the poor creature was quite
quiet and sad!

But was not his calm only apparent? Was not his
sadness only the result of his seclusion? Nothing could
yet be ascertained. Seeing only certain objects and in a
limited space, always in contact with the colonists, to whom
he would soon become accustomed, having no desires to
satisfy, better fed, better clothed, it was natural that his
physical nature should gradually improve ; but was he pene-
trated with the sense of a new life? or rather, to employ
a word, which would be exactly applicable to him, was he
not becoming tamed, like an animal in company with his
220 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

master? This was an important question, which Cyrus
Harding was anxious to answer, and yet he did not wish
to treat his invalid roughly! would he ever be a con-
valescent ?

How the engineer observed him every moment! How
he was on the watch for his soul, if one may use the
expression! How he was ready to grasp it! The settlers
followed with. real sympathy all the phases of the cure
undertaken by Harding. They aided him also in this
work of humanity, and all, except perhaps the in-
credulous Pencroft, soon shared both his hope and _ his
faith.

The calm of the stranger was deep, as has been said,
and he even showed a sort of attachment for the engineer,
whose influence he evidently felt. Cyrus Harding resolved
then to try him, by transporting him to another scene, from
that ocean which formerly his eyes had been accustomed
to contemplate, to the border of the forest, which might
perhaps recall those where so many years of his life had
been passed!

“But,” said Gideon Spilett, “can we hope that he. will
not escape, if once set at liberty?”

“The experiment must be tried,” replied the engineer.

“Well!” said Pencroft. ‘“ When that fellow is outside,
and feels the fresh air, he will be off as fast as his legs can
carry him !”
THE ABANDONED. 221



“T do not think so,” returned Harding

“Let us try,” said Spilett.

“We will try,” replied the engineer.

This was on the 30th of October, and consequently the
castaway of Tabor Island had been a prisoner in Granite
House for nine days. It was warm, and a bright sun
darted his rays on the island. Cyrus Harding and Pencroft
went to the room occupied by the stranger, who was found
lying near the window and gazing at the sky.

“Come, my friend,” said the engineer to him.

The stranger rose immediately. His eyes were fixed on
Cyrus Harding, and he followed him, whilst the sailor
marched behind them, little confident as to the result of
the experiment.

Arrived at the door, Harding and Pencroft made him
take his place in the lift, whilst Neb, Herbert, and Gideon
Spilett waited for them before Granite House. The lift
descended, and in a few moments all were united on the
beach.

The settlers went a short distance from the stranger, so
as to leave him at liberty.

He then made a few steps towards the sea, and his look
brightened with extreme animation, but he did not make
the slightest attempt to escape. He was gazing at the
little waves, which broken by the islet rippled on the

sand.
U
222 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



“This is only the sea,” observed Gideon Spilett,.“ and
possibly it does not inspire him with any wish to
escape |”

“Yes,” replied Harding, “we must take him to the
plateau, on the border of the forest. There the experi-
ment will be more conclusive.” .

“ Besides, he could not run away,” said Neb, “since the
bridge is raised.”

“Oh!” said Pencroft, “ that isn’t a man to be troubled by
a stream like Creek Glycerine! He could cross it directly,
at a single bound !”

“We shall soon see,” Harding contented himself with
replying, his eyes not quitting those of his patient.

The latter was then led towards the mouth of the Mercy,
and all climbing the left bank of the river, reached Pros-
pect Heights.

Arrived at the spot on which grew the first beautiful
trees of the forest, their foliage slightly agitated by the
breeze, the stranger appeared greedily to drink in the
penetrating odour which filled the atmosphere, and a long
sigh escaped from his chest.

The settlers kept behind him, ready to seize him if he
made any movement to escape!

And, indeed, the poor creature was on the point of
springing into the creek which separated him from the
forest, and his legs were bent for an instant as if for a










The experiment,
THE ABANDONED. 223
spring, but almost iramediately he stepped back, half sank
down, and a large tear fell from his eyes.

“Ah!” exclaimed Cyrus Harding, “you have become a
man again, for you can weep |”
224 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



CHAPTER XVI.

A MYSTERY TO BE CLEARED UP—THE STRANGER’S FIRST
WORDS—TWELVE YEARS ON THE ISLET—AVOWAL
-WHICH ESCAPES HIM—THE DISAPPEARANCE— CYRUS
HARDING'S CONFIDENCE—CONSTRUCTION OF A MILL
—THE FIRST BREAD—AN ACT OF ._ DEVOTION —
HONEST HANDS.

Yes! the unfortunate man had wept! Some recollection
doubtless had flashed across his brain, and to use Cyrus
Harding’s expression, by those tears he was once more a
man.

~ The colonists left him for some time on the plateau, and
withdrew themselves to a short distance, so that he might
feel himself free ; but he did not think of profiting by this
liberty, and Harding soon brought him back to Granite
House. Two days after this occurrence, the stranger
appeared to wish gradually to mingle with their common
life. He evidently heard and understood, but no less
evidently was he strangely determined not to speak to the
THE ABANDONED. 225



colonists ; for one evening, Pencroft, listening at the door
of his room, heard these words escape from his lips :—
. “No! here! I! never!” 7

The sailor reported these words to his companions.

“There is some painful mystery there!” said Harding.

The stranger had begun to use the labouring tools, and
he worked in the garden. When he stopped in his work,
as was often the case, he remained retired within himself;
but on the engineer’s recommendation, they respected the
reserve which he apparently wished to keep. If one of
the settlers approached him, he drew back, and his chest
heaved with sobs, as if overburthened !

Was it remorse that overwhelmed him thus? They
were compelled to believe so, and Gideon Spilett could not
help one day making this observation,—

“Tf he does not speak it is because he has, I fear, things
too serious to be told!”

They must be patient and wait.

A few days later, on the 3rd of November, the stranger,
working on the plateau, had stopped, letting his spade drop
to the ground, and Harding who was observing him from a
little distance, saw that tears were again flowing from his
eyes. A sort of irresistible pity led him towards the unfor-
tunate man, and he touched his arm lightly.

“My friend!” said he.

The stranger tried to avoid his look, and Cyrus Harding
226 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. ©
having endeavoured to take his hand, he drew back
quickly.

“My friend,” said Harding in a firmer voice, “look at
me, I wish it!”

The stranger looked at the engineer, and seemed to be
under his power, as a subject under the influence of a
mesmerist. He wished to run away. But then his counte-
nance suddenly underwent a transformation. His eyes
flashed. Words struggled to escape from his lips. He
could no longer contain himself! . .. At last he folded his
arms; then, in a hollow voice,—

“Who are you?” he asked Cyrus Harding.

“Castaways,” like you, replied the engineer, whose
emotion was deep. “We have brought you here, among
your fellow-men.”

7 My fellow-men! . . I have none!”

“You are in the midst of friends.”

“Friends !—for me! friends!” exclaimed the stranger,
hiding his face in his hands. “No—never—leave me!
leave me!”

Then he rushed to the side of the plateau which
overlooked the sea, and remained there a long time
motionless.

Harding rejoined his companions and related to them
what had just happened.

“Yes! there is some mystery in that man’s life,” said




























































































































































































































































































































































¢ Who are you?’’ he asked in a hollow voice.




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The stranger,
THE ABANDONED. . 227





Gideon Spilett, “and it appears as if he had only re-entered
society by the path of remorse.”

“T don’t know what sort of a man we have brought
here,” said the sailor. “ He has secrets—”

“Which we will respect,” interrupted Cyrus Harding
quickly. “If he has committed any. crime, he has most
fearfully expiated it, and in our eyes he is absolved.”

For two hours the stranger remained alone on the shore,
evidently under the influence of recollections which recalled
all his past life—a melancholy life doubtless—and the
colonists, without losing sight of him, did not attempt to
disturb his solitude. However, after two hours, appearing
to have formed a resolution, he came to find Cyrus Hard-
ing. His eyes were red with the tears he had shed, but he
wept no longer. His countenance expressed deep humility.
He appeared anxious, timorous, ashamed, and his eyes were
constantly fixed on the ground.

“Sir,” said he to Harding, “your companions and you,
are you English ?”

“No,” answered the engineer, “we are Americans.”

“Ah!” said the stranger, and he murmured, “I prefer
that!”

“And you, my friend?” asked the engineer.

“English,” replied he hastily.

And as if these few words had been difficult to say, he
retreated to the beach, where he walked up and down
228 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

between the cascade and the mouth of the Mercy, in a
state of extreme agitation.

Then, passing one moment close to Herbert, he stopped,
and in a stifled voice,—

“What month?” he asked.

“December,” replied Herbert.

“What year?”

“1866.” .

“ Twelve years ! twelvé years!” he exclaimed.

Then he left him abruptly.

Herbert reported to the colonists the questions and
answers which had been made.

“ This unfortunate man,” observed Gideon Spilett, “was
no longer acquainted with either months or years!”

“Yes!” added Herbert, “and he had been twelve years
already on the islet when we found him there!”

“Twelve years!” rejoined Harding. “Ah! twelve years
of solitude, after a wicked life, perhaps, may well impair a
man’s reason!”

“I am induced to think,” said Pencroft, “that this
man was not wrecked on Tabor Island, but that in conse-
quence of some crime he was left there.”

“You must be right, Pencroft,” replied the reporter,
“and if it is so it is not impossible that those who left him
on the island may return to fetch him some day!”
~ “ And they will no longer find him,” said Herbert.
THE ABANDONED, 229

“But then,” added Pencroft, “they must return,
and—”

“ My friends,” said Cyrus Harding, “do not let us discuss
this question until we know more about it. I believe that
the unhappy man has suffered, that he has severely expiated
his faults, whatever they may have been, and that the wish
to unburden himself stifles him. Do not let us press him
to tell us his history! He will tell it to us doubtless, and
when we know it, we shall see what course it will be best to
follow. He alone besides can tell us, if he has more than
a hope, a certainty, of returning some day to his country,
but I doubt it!”

“And why?” asked the reporter.

“Because that, in the event of his being sure of being
delivered at a certain'time, he would have waited the hour
of his deliverance and would not have thrown this document
into the sea. No, it is more probable that he was con-
demned to die on that islet, and that he never expected ta
see his fellow-creatures again!”

“But,” observed the sailor, “there is one thing which I
cannot explain.”

“ What is it?”

“Tf this man had been left for twelve years on Tabor
Island, one may well suppose that he had been several years
already in the wild state in which we found him!”

“ That is probable,” replied Cyrus Harding.
230 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



“Tt must then be many years since he wrote that docu-
ment!”

“No doubt, and yet the document appears to have been
recently written!”

“Besides, how do you know that the bottle which
enclosed the document: may not have taken several years
to come from Tabor Island to Lincoln Island?”

“ That is not absolutely impossible,” replied the reporter.

“Might it not have been a long time already on the coast
of the island?”

“No,” answered Pencroft, “fos it was still floating. We
could not even suppose that after it had stayed for any
length of time on the shore, it would have been swept off by
the sea, for the south coast is all rocks, and it would
certainly have been smashed to pieces there!”

“That is true,” rejoined Cyrus Harding thoughtfully.

“ And then,” continued the sailor, “if the document was
several years old, if it had been shut up in that bottle for
several years, it would have been injured by damp. Now,
there is nothing of the kind, and it was found in a perfect
state of preservation.”

The sailor’s reasoning was very just, and pointed out an
incomprehensible fact, for the document appeared to have
been recently written, when the colonists found it in the
bottle. Moreover, it gave the latitude and longitude of
Tabor Island correctly, which implied that its author had a
THE ABANDONED. 231

=



more complete knowledge of hydrography than could be
expected of a common sailor.

“There is in this, again, something unaccountable,” said
the engineer; “but we will not urge our companion to
speak. When he likes, my friends, then we shall be ready
to hear him!” .

During the following days the stranger did not speak a
word, and did not once leave the precincts of the plateau.
He worked away, without losing a moment, without taking
a minute’s rest, but always in a retired place. At meal
times he never came to Granite House, although invited
several times to do so, but contented himself with eating a
few raw vegetables. At nightfall he did not return to the
room assigned to him, but remained under some clump of
trees, or when the weather was bad crouched in some cleft
of the rocks. Thus he lived in the same manner as when
he had no other shelter than the forests of Tabor Island,
and as all persuasion to induce him to improve his life was
in vain, the colonists waited patiently. And the time was
near, when, as it seemed, almost involuntarily urged by
his conscience, a terrible confession escaped him.

On the roth of November, about eight o’clock in the
evening, as night was coming on, the stranger appeared
unexpectedly before the settlers, who were assembled under
the verandah. His eyes burned strangely, and he had

quite resumed the wild aspect of his worst days,
x
232 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



Cyrus Harding and his companions were astounded on
seeing that, overcome by some terrible emotion, his teeth
chattered like those of a person in a fever. What was the
matter with him? Was the sight of his fellow-creatures
insupportable to him? Was he weary of this return to a
civilized mode of existence? Was he pining for his former
savage life? It appeared so, as soon he was heard to
express himself in these incoherent sentences :—

“Why am I here?.... By what right have you
dragged me from my islet? .... Do you think there
could be any tie between you and me?.... Do you

know who I am—what I have done—why I was there
—alone? And who told you that I was not abandoned
there—that I was not condemned to die there? .... Do
you know my past? .... How do you know that I have
not stolen, murdered—that I am not a _ wretch—an
accursed being—only fit to live like a wild beast far from
all—speak—do you know it ?”

The colonists listened without interrupting the miserable
creature, from whom these broken confessions escaped, as
it were, in spite of himself. Harding wishing to calm him,
approached him, but he hastily drew back.

“No! no!” he exclaimed; “one word only—am I
free ?”

“You are free,’ answered the engineer.

“ Farewell then!” he cried, and fled like a madman.
‘THE ABANDONED. 233

Neb, Pencroft, and Herbert ran also towards the edge of
the wood—but they returned alone.

“We must let him alone!” said Cyrus Harding.

“ He will never come back!” exclaimed Pencroft.

“He will come back,” replied the engineer.

Many days passed ; but Harding—was it a sort of pre-
sentiment ?—persisted in the fixed idea that sooner or
later the unhappy man would return.

“Tt is the last revolt of his wild nature,” said he, “ which
remorse has touched, and which renewed solitude will
terrify.”

In the meanwhile, works of all sorts were continued, as
well on Prospect Heights as at the corral, where Harding
intended to build a farm. It is unnecessary to say that
the seeds collected by Herbert on Tabor Island had been
carefully sown. The plateau thus formed one immense
kitchen-garden, well laid out and carefully tended, so that
the arms of the settlers were never in want of work. There
was always something to be done. As the esculents
increased in number, it became necessary to enlarge the
simple beds, which threatened to grow into regular fields and
replace the meadows. But grass abounded in other parts
of the island, and there was no fear of the onagers being
obliged to go on short allowance. It was well worth
while, besides, to turn Prospect Heights into a kitchen-
garden, defended by its deep belt of creeks, and to remove
234 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

them to the meadows, which had no need. of protection
against the depredations of quadrumana and quadrupeds.

On the 15th of November, the third harvest was gathered
in. How wonderfully had the field increased in extent,
since eighteen months ago, when the first grain of wheat was
sown! ‘The second crop of six hundred thousand grains
produced this time four thousand bushels, or five hundred
millions of grains ! ;

The colony was rich in corn, for ten bushels alone
were sufficient for sowing every year to produce an ample
crop for the food both of men and beasts. The harvest was
completed, and the last fortnight of the month of November
was devoted to the work of converting it into food for man.
In fact, they had corn, but not flour, and the establish-
ment of a mill was necessary. Cyrus Harding could have
utilized the second fall which flowed into the Mercy to
establish his motive power, the first being already occupied
with moving the felting mill; but after some consultation,
it was decided that a simple windmill should be built on
Prospect Heights. The building of this presented no moré
difficulty than the building of the former, and it was more-
over certain that there would be no want of wind on the
plateau, exposed as it was to the sea breezes.

“Not to mention,” said Pencroft, “that the windmill will
be more lively and will have a good effect in the land-

scape!”
THE ABANDONED. 235

They set to work by choosing timber for the frame and
machinery of the mill. Some large stones, found at the
north of the lake, could be easily transformed into mill-
stones ; and as to the sails, the inexhaustible case of the
balloon furnished the necessary material.

Cyrus Harding made his model, and the site of the
mill was chosen a little to the right of the poultry-yard,
near the shore of the lake. The frame was to rest ona
pivot supported with strong timbers, so that it could turn
with all the machinery it contained according as the wind
required it. The work advanced rapidly. Neb and Pencroft
had become very skilful carpenters, and had nothing to do
but to copy the models provided by the engineer.

Soon a sort of cylindrical box, in shape like a pepper-
pot, with a pointed roof, rose on the spot chosen. The
four frames which formed the sails had been firmly fixed in
the centre beam, so as to form a certain angle with it, and
secured with iron clamps. As to the different parts of the
internal mechanism, the box destined to contain the two
millstones, the fixed stone and the moving stone, the
hopper, a sort of large square trough, wide at ‘the top,
narrow at the bottom, which would allow the grain to fall
on the stones, the oscillating spout intended to regulate the
passing of the grain, and lastly the bolting machine, which
by the operation of sifting, separates the bran from the
flour, were made without difficulty. The tools were good,
236 THE ~MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,



and the work not difficult, for in reality, the machinery of
a mill is very simple. This was only a question of time.

Every one had worked at the construction of the mill,
and on the Ist of December it was finished. As usual,
Pencroft was delighted with his work, and had no doubt
that the apparatus was perfect.

“Now for a good wind,” said he, “and we ‘shall grind
our first harvest splendidly !”

“A good wind, certainly,” answered the engineer, “but
not too much, Pencroft.”

“Pooh! our mill would only go the faster !”

“There is no need for it to go sovery fast,” replied Cyrus
Harding. “ It is known by experience that the greatest
quantity of work is performed by a mill when the number
of turns made by the sails in a minute is six times the
number of feet traversed by the wind in a second. A
moderate breeze, which passes over twenty-four feet to the
second, will give sixteen turns to the sails during a minute,
and there is no need of more.”

“Exactly!” cried Herbert ; “a-fine breeze is blowing
from the north-east, which will soon do our business for
us.”

There was no reason for delaying the inauguration of the
mill, for the settlers were eager to taste the first piece of
bread in Lincoln Island. On this morning two or three
bushels of wheat were ground, and the next day at break-


















































































































































































































































































































































‘* Now for a good wind,”
THE ABANDONED. 237
fast a magnificent loaf, a little heavy perhaps, although
raised with yeast, appeared on the table at Granite House
Every one munched away at it with a pleasure which may
be easily understood.

In the meanwhile, the stranger had not reappeared.
Several times Gideon Spilett and Herbert searched the
forest in the neighbourhood of Granite House, without
meeting or finding any trace of him. They became
seriously uneasy at this prolonged absence. Certainly,
the former savage of Tabor Island could not be perplexed
how to live in the forest, abounding in game, but was it
not to be feared that he had resumed his habits, and that
this freedom would revive in him his wild instincts?
However, Harding, by a sort of presentiment, doubtless,
always persisted in saying that the fugitive would return.

“Yes, he will return!” he repeated with a confidence
which his companions could not share. “When this
unfortunate man was on Tabor Island, he knew himself to
be alone! Here, he knows that fellow-men are awaiting
him! Since he has partially spoken of his past life, the
poor penitent will return to tell the whole, and from that
day he will belong to us!” ;

The event justified Cyrus Harding’s predictions. On
the 3rd of December, Herbert had left the plateau to go
and fish on the southern bank of the lake. He was
unarmed, and till then had never taken any precautions
238 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



for defence, as dangerous animals had not shown themselves
on that part of the island.

Meanwhile, Pencroft and Neb were working in the
poultry-yard, whilst Harding and the reporter were
occupied at the Chimneys in making soda, the store of
soap being exhausted.

Suddenly cries resounded,—

“Help! help!”

Cyrus Harding and the reporter, being at too great a
distance, had not been able to hear the shouts. Pencroft
and Neb, leaving the poultry-yard in all haste, rushed
towards the lake.

But before them, the stranger, whose presence at this place
no one had suspected, crossed Creek Glycerine, which
separated the plateau from the forest, and bounded up the
opposite bank,

Herbert was there face to face with a fierce jaguar,
similar to the one which had been killed on Reptile End.
Suddenly surprised, he was standing with his back against
a tree, whilst the animal gathering itself together was
about to spring.

But the stranger, with no other weapon than a knife,
rushed on the formidable animal, who turned to meet this
new adversary. .

The struggle was short. The stranger possessed immense
strength and activity. He seized the jaguar’s throat with


























He seized the jaguar’s throat with one powerful hand
THE ABANDONED. 239

one powerful hand, holding it as in a vice, without heeding
the beast’s claws which tore his flesh, and with the other he
plunged his knife into its heart.

The jaguar fell. The stranger kicked away the body, and
was about to fly at the moment when the settlers arrived
on the field of battle; but Herbert, clinging to him, cried,—

“No, no! you shall not go!”

Harding advanced towards the stranger, who frowned
when he saw him approaching. The blood flowed from his
shoulder under his torn shirt, but he took no notice of it.

‘My friend,” said Cyrus Harding, “we have just con-
tracted a debt of gratitude to you. To save our boy you
have risked your life!” .

“My life!” murmured the stranger. “What is that
worth? Less than nothing!”

“You are wounded ?”

“It is no matter.”

“Will you give me your hand?”

And as Herbert endeavoured to seize the hand which
had just saved him, the stranger folded his arms, his chest
heaved, his look darkened, and he appeared to wish to
escape ; but making a violent effort over himself, and in an
abrupt tone,—

“Who are you?” he asked; “and what do you claim to
be to me?”

It was the colonists’ history which he thus demanded,
240 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



and for the first time. Perhaps this history recounted, he
would tell his own.

In a few words Harding related all that had happened
since their departure from Richmond ; how they had man-
aged, and what resources they now had at their disposal.

The stranger listened with extreme attention.

Then the engineer told who they all were, Gideon Spilett,
Herbert, Pencroft, Neb, himself; and he added, that the
greatest happiness they had felt since their arrival in Lin-
coln Island was on the return of the vessel from Tabor
Island, when they had been able to include amongst them
a new companion.

At these words the stranger’s face flushed, his head sunk
on his breast, and confusion was depicted on his counte-
nance.

“And now that you know us,” added Cyrus Harding,
* will you give us your hand ?”

“No,” replied the stranger in a hoarse voice; “no! You
are honest men, you! And I—”
THE ABANDONED. 241



CHAPTER XVII

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.

THESE last words justified the colonists’ presentiment.
There had been some mournful past, perhaps expiated in
the sight of men, but from which his conscience had not
yet absolved him. At any rate the guilty man felt remorse,
he repented, and his new friends would have cordially
pressed the hand which they sought; but he did not feel
himself worthy to extend it to honest men! However,
after the scene with the jaguar, he did not return to the
forest, and from that day did not go beyond the enclosure
of Granite House.

What was the mystery of his life? ‘Would the stranger
one day speak of it? Time alone could show. At any
242 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

rate, it was agreed that his secret should never be asked
from him, and that they would live with him as if they
suspected nothing.

For some days their life continued as before. Cyrus

Harding and Gideon Spilett worked together, sometimes
chemists, sometimes experimentalists. The reporter never
left the engineer except to hunt with Herbert, for it would
not have been prudent to allow the lad to ramble alone in
the forest; and it was very necessary to be on their guard.
As to Neb and Pencroft, one day at the stables and poul-
try-yard, another at the corral, without reckoning work in
Granite House, they were never in want of employment.
_ The stranger worked alone, and he had resumed his
usual life, never appearing at-meals, sleeping under the
trees in the plateau, never mingling with his companions,
It really seemed as if the society of those who had saved
him was insupportable to him!

“ But then,” observed Pencroft, “why did he entreat the
help of his fellow-creatures? Why did he throw that paper
into the sea ?”

“ He will tell us why,” invariably replied Cyrus Harding.

“When ?”

“Perhaps sooner than you think, Pencroft.”

And, indeed, the day of confession was near.

On the 10th of December, a week after his return to
Granite House, Harding saw the stranger approaching,
THE ABANDONED. 243



who, in a calm voice and humble tone, said to him: “Sir, I
have a request to make you.” :

“Speak,” answered the engineer; “but first let me ask
you a question.”

At these words the stranger reddened, and was on the
point of withdrawing. Cyrus Harding understood what was
passing in the mind of the guilty man, who doubtless
feared that the engineer would interrogate him on his past
life. :

Harding held him back.

“Comrade,” said he, “we are not only your companions
but your friends. I wish you to believe that, and now I will
listen to you.”

The stranger pressed his hand over his eyes. He was
seized with a sort of trembling, and remained a few moments
without being able to articulate a word.

“ Sir,” said he at last, “I have come to beg you to grant
me a favour.”

“ What is it?”

“You have, four or five miles from here, a corral for your
domesticated animals. These animals need to be taken care
of. Will you allow me to live there with them ?”

Cyrus Harding gazed at the unfortunate man for a few
moments with a feeling of deep commiseration ; then,—

“My friend,” said he, “the corral has only stables hardly

fit for animals.”
Y
244. THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



“Tt will be good enough for me, sir.”

““ My friend,” answered Harding, “we will not constrain
you in anything. You wish to live at the corral, so be it.
You will, however, be always welcome at Granite House.
But since you wish to live at the corral we will make the
necessary arrangements for your being comfortably esta-
blished there.”

“Never mind that, I shall do very well.”

“My friend,” answered Harding, who always intentionally
made use of this cordial appellation, “ you must let us judge
what it will be best to do in this respect.”

“Thank you, sir,” replied the stranger as he withdrew.

The engineer then made known to his companions the
proposal which had been made to him, and it was agreed
that they should build a wooden house at the corral, which
they would make as comfortable as possible.

That very day the colonists repaired to the corral with
the necessary tools, and a week had not passed before the
house was ready to receive its tenant. It was built about
twenty feet from the sheds, and from there it was easy to
overlook the flock of sheep, which then numbered more than
eighty. Some furniture, a bed, table, bench, cupboard, and
chest, were manufactured, and a gun, ammunition, and tools
were carried to the corral. ae

The stranger, however, had seen nothing of his new dwell-
ing, and he had allowed the settlers to work there without
THE ABANDONED. 245

him, whilst he occupied himself on the plateau, wishing,
doubtless, to put the finishing stroke to his work. Indeed,
thanks to him, all the ground was dug up and ready to be
sowed when the time came.

It was on the 20th of December that all the arrangements
at the corral were completed. The engineer announced to
the stranger that his dwelling was ready to receive him,
and the latter replied that he would go and sleep there that
very evening.

On this evening the colonists were gathered in the
dining-room of Granite House. It was then eight o'clock,
the hour at which their companion was to leave them.
Not wishing to trouble him by their presence, and thus
imposing on him the necessity of saying farewells which
might perhaps be painful to him, they had left him alone,
and ascended to Granite House.

Now, they had been talking in the room for a few
minutes, when a light knock was heard at the door.
Almost immediately the stranger entered, and without
any preamble,—

“Gentlemen,” said he, “before I leave you, it is right
that you should know my history. I will tell it
you.”

These simple words profoundly impressed Cyrus Hard-
ing and his companions,

The engineer rose,
246 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“We ask you nothing, my friend,” said he; “it is your
right to be silent.”

“Tt is my duty to speak.”

“ Sit down, then.”

“No, I will stand.”

“We are ready to hear you,” replied Harding.

The stranger remained standing in a corner of the room,
a little in the shade. He was bareheaded, his arms folded
across his chest, and it was in this posture that in a hoarse
voice, speaking like some one who obliges himself to speak,
he gave the following recital, which his auditors did not
once interrupt :—

“On the 20th of December, 1854, a steam-yacht, belong-
ing to a Scotch nobleman, Lord Glenarvan, anchored off
Cape Bermouilli, on the western coast of Australia, in the
thirty-seventh parallel. On board this yacht were Lord
Glenarvan and his wife, a major in the English army, a
French geographer, a young girl, and a young boy. These
two last were the children of Captain Grant, whose ship,
the ‘Britannia’ had been lost, crew and cargo, a year
before. The ‘Duncan’ was commanded by Captain John
Mangles, and manned by a crew of fifteen men.

“This is the reason the yacht at this time lay off the
coast of Australia. Six months before, a bottle, enclosing
a document written in English, German, and French, had
been found in the Irish Sea, and picked up by the ‘ Duncan,’
will) M

|
a.







The stranger’s story.
THE ABANDONED. 247

This document stated in substance that there still existed
three survivors from the wreck of the ‘ Britannia,’ that these
survivors were Captain Grant and two of his men, and that
they had found refuge on some land, of which the docu-
ment gave the latitude, but of which the longitude, effaced
by the sea, was no longer legible.

“This latitude was 37° 11’ south; therefore, the longi-
tude being unknown, if they followed the thirty-seventh
parallel over continents and seas, they would be certain to
reach the spot inhabited by Captain Grant and his two
companions. The English Admiralty having hesitated to
undertake this search, Lord Glenarvan resolved to attempt
everything to find the captain. He communicated with
Mary and Robert Grant, who joined him. The ‘Duncan’
yacht was equipped for the distant voyage, in which the
nobleman’s family and the captain’s children wished to
take part; and the ‘ Duncan,’ leaving Glasgow, proceeded
towards the Atlantic, passed through the Straits of Magel-
lan, and ascended the Pacific as far as Patagonia, where,
according to a previous interpretation of the document,
they supposed that Captain Grant was a prisoner among
the Indians.

“The ‘Duncan’ disembarked her passengers on the
western coast of Patagonia, and sailed to pick them up
again on the eastern coast at Cape Corrientes. Lord
Glenarvan traversed Patagonia, following the thirty-seventh
248 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND. -

parallel, and having found no trace of the captain, he re-
embarked on the 13th of November, so as to pursue his
search through the Ocean.

“After having unsuccessfully visited the islands of
Tristan d’Acunha and Amsterdam, situated in her course,
the ‘Duncan,’ as I have said, arrived at Cape Bermouilli,
on the Australian coast, on the 2oth of December, 1854.

“Tt was Lord Glenarvan’s intention to traverse Australia
as he had traversed America, and he disembarked. A few
miles from the coast was established a farm, belonging to
an Irishman, who offered hospitality to the travellers.
Lord Glenarvan made known to the Irishman the cause
which had brought him to these parts, and asked if he
knew whether a three-masted English vessel, the ‘ Britannia,’
had been lost less than two years before on the west coast
of Australia. -

“The Irishman had never heard of this wreck ; but, to
the great surprise of the bystanders, one of his servants
came forward and said,—

“«My lord, praise and thank God! If Captain Grant is
still living, he is living on the Australian shores,’

“¢Who are you?’ asked Lord Glenarvan.

««A Scotchman like yourself, my lord,’ replied the
man; ‘I am one of Captain Grant’s crew—one of the
castaways of the “ Britannia.” ’

“This man was called Ayrton. He was, in fact, the
THE ABANDONED. 249

boatswain’s mate of the ‘ Britannia,’ as his papers showed.
But, separated from Captain Grant at the moment when
the ship struck upon the rocks, he had till then believed
that the captain with all his crew had perished, and that
he, Ayrton, was the sole survivor of the ‘ Britannia.’

“<“Only,’ added he, ‘it was not on the west coast, but on
the east coast of Australia that the vessel was lost; and if
Captain Grant is still living, as his document indicates, he
is a prisoner among the natives, and it is on the other
coast that he must be looked for,’

“This man spoke in a frank voice and with a confident
look ; his words could not be doubted. The Irishman, in
whose service he had been for more than a year, answered
for his trustworthiness. Lord Glenarvan, therefore, be-
lieved in the fidelity of this man, and, by his advice, resolved
to cross Australia, following the thirty-seventh parallel.
Lord Glenarvan, his wife, the two children, the major, the
Frenchman, Captain Mangles, and a few sailors composed
the little band under the command of Ayrton, whilst the
‘Duncan,’ under charge of the mate, Tom Austin, pro-
ceeded to Melbourne, there to await Lord Glenarvan’s
instructions.

“They set out on the 23rd of December, 1854.

“Tt is time to say that Ayrton was a traitor. He was,
indeed, the boatswain’s mate of the ‘ Britannia ;’ but, after
some dispute with his captain, he had endeavoured to
250 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

incite the crew to mutiny and seize the ship, and Captain
Grant had landed him, on the 8th of April, 1852, on the
west coast of Australia, and then, sailed, leaving him there,
as was only just.

“Therefore this wretched man knew nothing of the
wreck of the ‘Britannia;’ he had just heard of it from
Glenarvan’s account. Since his abandonment, he had
become, under the name of Ben Joyce, the leader of the
escaped convicts; and if he boldly maintained that the
wreck had taken place on the east coast, and led Lord
Glenarvan to proceed in that direction, it was that he
hoped to separate him from his ship, seize the ‘Duncan,’
and make the yacht a pirate in the Pacific.”

Here the stranger stopped for a moment. His voice
trembled, but he continued,—

“ The expedition set out and proceeded across Australia.
It was inevitably unfortunate, since Ayrton, or Ben Joyce,
as he may be called, guided it, sometimes preceded, some-
times followed by his band of convicts, who had been told
what they had to do.

“ Meanwhile, the ‘Duncan’ had been sent to Melbourne
for repairs. It was necessary, then, to get Lord Clenarvar
to order her to leave Melbourne and go to the east coast
of Australia, where it would be easy to seize her. After
having led the expedition near enough to the coast, in the
midst of vast forests with no resources, Ayrton obtained a
THE ABANDONED. 251



letter, which he was charged to carry to the mate of the
‘Duncan’—a letter which ordered the yacht to repair
immediately to the east coast, to Twofold Bay, that is to
say a few days’ journey from the place where the expe-
dition had stopped. It was there that Ayrton had agreed
to meet his accomplices, and two days after gaining pos-
session of the letter, he arrived at Melbourne.

“So far the villain had succeeded in his wicked design.
He would be able to take the ‘Duncan’ into Twofold Bay,
where it would be easy for the convicts to seize her, and
her crew massacred, Ben Joyce would become master of
the seas... . But it pleased God to prevent the accom-
plishment of these terrible projects.

“ Ayrton, arrived at Melbourne, delivered the letter to the
mate, Tom Austin, who read it and immediately set sail ;
but judge of Ayrton’s rage and disappointment, when the
next day he found that the mate was taking the vessel,
not to the east coast of Australia, to Twofold Bay, but to
the east coast of New Zealand. He wished to stop him,
but Austin showed him the letter! . . . . And indeed, by
a providential error of the French geographer, who had
written the letter, the east coast of New Zealand was men-
tioned as the place of destination.

“ All Ayrton’s plans were frustrated! He became out-
rageous. They put him in irons. He was then taken
to the coast of New Zealand, not knowing what would
252 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

become of his accomplices, or what would become of Lord
Glenarvan. ;

“The ‘Duncan’ cruised about on this coast until the 3rd
of March. On that day Ayrton heard the report of guns,
The guns of the ‘Duncan’ were being fired, and soon
Lord Glenarvan and his companions came on board,

“This is what had happened.

“After a thousand hardships, a thousand dangers, Lord
Glenarvan had accomplished his journey, and arrived on the
east coast of Australia, at Twofold Bay. ‘No “Duncan!”’
He telegraphed to Melbourne. They answered, ‘“ Duncan”
sailed on the 18th instant. Destination unknown,’

“Lord Glenarvan could only arrive at one conclusion ;
that his honest yacht had fallen into the hands of Ben
Joyce, and had become a pirate vessel !

“ However, Lord Glenarvan would not give up. He was
a bold and generous man. He embarked in a merchant
vessel, sailed to the west coast of New Zealand, traversed
it along the thirty-seventh parallel, without finding any
trace of Captain Grant; but on the other side, to his
great surprise, and by the will of Heaven, he found the
‘Duncan,’ under command of the mate, who had been
waiting for him for five weeks!

“ This was on the 3rd of March, 1855. Lord Glenarvan
was now on board the ‘Duncan,’ but Ayrton was there also.
He appeared before the nobleman, who wished to extract
THE ABANDONED. . 253

from him all that the villain knew about Captain Grant.
Ayrton refused to speak. Lord Glenarvan then told him,
that at the first port they put into, he would be delivered
up to the English authorities. Ayrton remained mute.

“ The ‘Duncan’ continued her voyage along the thirty-
seventh parallel. In the meanwhile, Lady Glenarvan
undertook to vanquish the resistance of the ruffian.

“At last, her influence prevailed, and Ayrton, in exchange
for what he could tell, proposed that Lord Glenarvan should
leave him on some island in the Pacific, instead of giving
him up to the English authorities. Lord Glenarvan,
resolving to do anything to obtain information about
Captain Grant, consented.

“Ayrton then related all his life, and it was certain
that he knew nothing from the day on which Captain
Grant had landed him on the Australian coast.

“Nevertheless, Lord Glenarvan kept the promise which
he had given: The ‘Duncan’ continued her voyage and
arrived at Tabor Island. It was there that Ayrton was to
be landed, and it was there also that, by a veritable
miracle, they found Captain Grant and two men, exactly
on the thirty-seventh parallel.

“The convict, then, went to take their place on this
desert islet, and at the moment he left the yacht these
words were pronounced by Lord Glenarvan :—

“*Here, Ayrton, you will be far from any land, and
254 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

without any possible communication with your fellow-
creatures. You cannot escape from this islet on which the
‘Duncan’ leaves you. You will be alone, under the eye of
a God who reads the depths of the heart; but you will
be neither lost nor forgotten, as was Captain Grant.
Unworthy as you are to be remembered by men, men
will remember you. I know where you are, Ayrton, and
I know where to find you. I will never forget it!’

“ And the ‘Duncan,’ making sail, soon disappeared. This
was on the 18th of March, 1855.’

“Ayrton was alone, but he had no want of either
ammunition, weapons, tools, or seeds.

“At his, the convict’s disposal, was the house built by
honest Captain Grant. He had only to live and expiate
in solitude the crimes which he had committed.

“Gentlemen, he repented, he was ashamed of his crimes
and was very miserable!. He said to himself, that if men
came some day to take him from that islet, he must be
worthy to return amongst them! How he suffered, that
wretched man! How he laboured to recover himself by
work! How he prayed to be reformed by prayer! For

1 The events which have just been briefly related are taken from a
work which some of our readers have no doubt read, and which is
entitled “Captain Grant’s Children.” They will remark on this
occasion, as well as later, some discrepancy in the dates ; but later
again, they will understand why the real dates were not at first given. |
THE ABANDONED. 255

two years, three years, this went on; but Ayrton, humbled
by solitude, always looking for some ship to appear on
the horizon, asking himself if the time of expiation would
soon be complete, suffered as none other ever suffered !
Oh! how dreadful was this solitude, to a heart tormented
by remorse !

“ But doubtless Heaven had not sufficiently punishea
this unhappy man, for he felt that he was gradually
becoming a savage! He felt that brutishness was eradu-
ally gaining on him! |

“He could not say if it was after two or three years of
solitude; but at last he became the miserable creature you
found!

“T have no need to tell you, gentlemen, that Ayrton,
Ben Joyce, and I, are the same.”

Cyrus Harding and his companions rose at the end of
this account. It is impossible to say how much they were
moved! What misery, grief, and despair lay revealed
before them! .

“ Ayrton,” said Harding, rising, “you have been a great
criminal, but Heaven must certainly think that you
have expiated your crimes! That has been proved by
your having been brought again among your fellow-
creatures. Ayrton you are forgiven! And now you will
be our companion?”

Ayrton drew back,
256 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Here is my hand!” said the engineer.

Ayrton grasped the hand which Harding extended to
him, and great tears fell from his eyes.

“Will you live with us?” asked Cyrus Harding.

“Captain Harding, leave me some time longer,” replied
Ayrton, “leave mealone in the hut in the corral!”

“ As you like, Ayrton,” answered Cyrus Harding. Ayr-
ton was going to withdraw, when the engineer addressed
one more question to him :-—

“ One word more, my friend. Since it was your intention
to live alone, why did you throw into the sea the document
which put us on your track ?”

“A document?” repeated Ayrton, who did not appear
to know what he meant. .

“Ves, the document which we found enclosed ina bottle,
giving us the exact position of Tabor Island!”

Ayrton passed his hand over his brow, then after having
thought, “I never threw any document into the sea!” he
answered.

“ Never,” exclaimed Pencroft.

“Never!” — ,

‘And Ayrton, bowing, reached the door and departed,










‘* Flere is my hand,” said the engineer, Z
THE ABANDONED. 257
ec ee aE cP eae

CHAPTER XVIII.

CONVERSATION—CYRUS HARDING AND GIDEON SPILETT
—AN IDEA OF THE ENGINEER’'S—THE ELECTRIC
TELEGRAPH—THE WIRES—THE BATTERY—THE AL-
PHABET—-FINE SEASON—PROSPERITY OF THE COLONY
—PHOTOGRAPHY—AN APPEARANCE OF SNOW—TWO
YEARS IN LINCOLN ISLAND. -

“POOR man!” said Herbert, who had rushed to the door,
but returned, having seen Ayrton slide down the rope oi
the lift and disappear in the darkness.

“ He will come back,” said Cyrus Harding.

“Come now, captain,” exclaimed Pencroft, “what does
that mean? What! wasn’t it Ayrton who threw that
bottle into the sea? Who was it then?”

Certainly, if ever a question was necessary to be made,
it was that one!

“Tt was he,” answered Neb, “only the unhappy man was
half mad.”
258 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Ves!” said Herbert, “and he was no longer conscious
of what he was doing.”

“Tt can only be explained in that way, my friends,”
replied Harding quickly, “and I understand now how
Ayrton was able to’ point out exactly the situation of
Tabor Island, since the events which had preceded his
being left on the Island, had made it known to him.”

’ “ However,” observed Pencroft, “if he was not yet a
brute when he wrote that document, and if he threw it
into the sea seven or eight years ago, how is it that the
paper has not been injured by damp?”

“ That proves,” answered Cyrus Harding, “that Ayrton
was deprived of intelligence at a more recent time than he
thinks.”

“Of course it must be so,” replied Pencroft, “ without
that the fact would be unaccountable.”

“Unaccountable indeed,’ answered the engineer, who
did not appear desirous to prolong the conversation.

“But has Ayrton told the truth?” asked the sailor.

“Yes,” replied the reporter. “The story which he has
told is true in every point. I remember quite well the
account in the newspapers of the yacht expedition under-
taken by Lord Glenarvon, and its result.”

“ Ayrton has told the truth,” added Harding. “Do not
doubt it, Pencroft, for it was painful to him. People tell
the truth when they accuse themselves like that!”
THE ABANDONED, 259





The next day—the 21st of December—the colonists
descended to the beach, and having climbed the plateau
they found nothing of Ayrton. He had reached his house
in the corral during the night, and the settlers judged it
best not to agitate him-by their presence. Time would
doubtless perform what sympathy had been unable to
accomplish.

Herbert, Pencroft, and Neb resumed their ordinary occu-
pations. On this day the same work brought Harding and
the reporter to the workshop at the Chimneys.

“Do you know, my dear Cyrus,” said Gideon Spilett,
“that the explanation you gave yesterday on the subject
of the bottle has not satisfied me at all! How cau it be
supposed that the unfortunate man was able to write that
document and throw the bottle into the sea without having
the slightest recollection of it?”

“Nor was it he who threw it in, my dear Spilett.”

“You think then . . .”

“T think nothing, I know nothing!” interrupted Cyrus
Harding. “I am content to rank this incident among
those which I have not been able to explain to this
day!”

“Indeed, Cyrus,” said Spilett, “these things are in-
credible! Your rescue, the case stranded on the sand,
Top’s adventure, and lastly this bottle... Shall we never
have the answer to these enigmas?” |
260 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“Yes!” replied the engineer quickly, “yes, even if I
have to penetrate into the bowels of this island!”

“Chance will perhaps give us the key to this mystery 1”

“Chance! Spilett! I do not believe in chance, any
more than I believe in mysteries in this world. There is
a reason for everything unaccountable which has happened
here, and that reason I shall discover. But in the mean
time we must work and observe.”

The month of January arrived. The year 1867 com-
menced. The summer occupations were assiduously con-
tinued. During the days which followed, Herbert and
Spilett having gone in the direction of the corral, ascer-
tained that Ayrton had taken possession of the habitation
which had been prepared for him. He busied himself with
the numerous flock confided to his care, and spared his
companions the trouble of coming every two or three days
to visit the corral. Nevertheless, in order not to leave
Ayrton in solitude for too long a time, the settlers often
paid him a visit. ;

It was not unimportant either, in consequence of some
suspicions entertained by the engineer and Gideon Spilett,
that this part of the island should be subject to a surveil-
lance of some sort, and that Ayrton, if any incident
occurred unexpectedly, should not neglect to inform the
inhabitants of Granite House of it.

Nevertheless it might happen that something would
THE ABANDONED. 261



occur which it would be necessary to bring rapidly to the
engineer’s knowledge. Independently of facts bearing
on the mystery of Lincoln Island, many others might
happen, which would call for the prompt interference of
the colonists,—such as the sighting of a vessel, a wreck
on the western coast, the possible arrival of pirates, &c.

Therefore Cyrus Harding resolved to put the corral in
instantaneous communication with Granite House.

It was on the 1oth of January that he made known his
project to his companions.

“Why! how are you going to manage that, captain?”
asked Pencroft. “Do you by chance happen to think of
establishing a telegraph?”

sf Exactly so,” answered the engineer,

“Electric?” cried Herbert.

“Electric,” replied Cyrus Harding. “We have all the
necessary materials for making a battery, and the most
difficult thing will be to stretch the wires, but by means of
a draw-plate I think we shall manage it.”

“Well, after that,’ returned the sailor, “I shall never
despair of seeing ourselves some day rolling along on a
railway!”

They then set to work, beginning with the most difficult
thing, for, if they failed in that, it would be useless to
manufacture the battery and other accessories.

The iron of Lincoln Island, as has been said, was of
262 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

2

excellent quality, and consequently very fit for being
drawn out. Harding commenced by manufacturing a
draw-plate, that is to say, a plate of steel, pierced with
conical holes of different sizes, which would successively
bring the wire to the wished-for tenacity. This piece of
steel, after having been tempered, was fixed in as firm a
way as possible in a solid framework planted in the ground,
only a few feet from the great fall, the motive power of
which the engineer intended to utilize. In fact, as the
fulling-mill was there, although not then in use, its
beam moved with extreme power would serve to stretch
out the wire by rolling it round itself. It was a delicate
operation, and required much care. The iron, prepared
previously in long thin rods, the ends of which were sharp-
ened with the file, having been introduced into the largest
hole of the draw-plate, was drawn out by the beam which
wound it round itself, to a length of twenty-five or thirty
feet, then unrolled, and the same operation was performed
successively through the holes of a less size. Finally, the
engineer obtained wires from forty to fifty feet long, which
could be easily fastened together and stretched over the
distance of five miles, which separated the corral from the
bounds of Granite House.

It did not take more than a few days to perform this
work, and indeed as soon as the machine had been com-
menced, Cyrus Harding left his companions to follow the
THE ABANDONED. 263



trade of wire-drawers, and occupied himself with manufac-
turing his battery.

It was necessary to obtain a battery with a constant
current. It is known that the elements of modern batteries
are generally composed of retort coal, zinc, and copper.
Copper was absolutely wanting to the engineer, who,
notwithstanding all his researches, had never been able to
find any trace of it in Lincoln Island, and was there-
fore obliged to do without it. Retort coal, that is to say,
the hard graphyte which is found in the retorts of gas
manufactories, after the coal has been dehydrogenised,
could have been obtained, but it would have been necessary
to establish a special apparatus, involving great labour.
As to zinc, it may be remembered that the case found at
Flotsam Point was lined with this metal, which could not
be better utilized than for this purpose.

Cyrus Harding, after mature consideration, decided to
manufacture ‘a very simple battery, resembling as nearly
as possible that invented by Becquerel in 1820, and in
which zinc only is employed. The other substances, azotic
acid and potash, were all at his disposal.

-+ The way in which the battery was composed was as
follows, and the results were to be attained by the reaction
of acid and potash on each other. A number of glass
bottles were made and filled with azotic acid. The engineer
corked them by means of a stopper through which passed
264 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



a glass tube, bored at .its lower extremity, and intended to
be plunged into the acid by means of a clay stopper secured
by a rag. Into this tube, through its upper extremity,
he poured a solution of potash, previously obtained by
burning and reducing to ashes various plants, and in this
way the acid and potash could act on each other through
the clay.

Cyrus Harding then took two slips of zinc, one of which
was plunged into azotic acid, the other into a solution of
potash. A current was immediately produced, which was
transmitted from the slip of zinc in the bottle to that in the
tube, and the two slips having been connected by a metallic
wire the slip in the tube became the positive pole, and that
in the bottle the negative pole of the apparatus. Each
bottle, therefore, produced as many currents as united
would be sufficient to produce all the phenomena of
the electric telegraph. Such was the ingenious and
very simple apparatus constructed by Cyrus Harding,
an apparatus which would allow them to establish a
telegraphic communication between Granite House and
the corral.

On the 6th of February was commenced the planting
along the road to the corral, of posts, furnished with glass
insulators, and intended to support the wire. A few days
after, the wire was extended, ready to produce the electric
current at a rate of twenty thousand miles a second,










The engineer at work,
THE ABANDONED. 265



Two batteries had been manufactured, one for Granite
House, the other for the corral; for if it was necessary the
corral should be able to communicate with Granite House,
it might also be useful that Granite House should be able
to communicate with the corral.

As to the receiver and manipulator, they were very
simple. At the two stations the wire was wound round a
magnet, that is to say, round a piece of soft iron surrounded
with a wire. The communication was thus established
between the two poles; the current, starting from the
positive pole, traversed the wire, passed through the
magnet which was temporarily magnetized, and returned
through the earth to the negative pole. If the current was
interrupted the magnet immediately became unmagnetized.
It was sufficient to place a plate of soft iron before the
magnet, which, attracted during the passage of the current,
would fall back when the current was interrupted. This
movement of the plate thus obtained, Harding could easily
fasten to it a needle arranged on a dial, bearing the letters
of the alphabet, and in this way communicate from one
station to the other.

All was completely arranged by the 12th of February.
On this day, Harding, having sent the current through the
wire, asked if all was going on well at the corral, and
received in a few momentsa satisfactory reply from Ayrton.
Pencroft was wild with joy, and every morning and evening
266 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

he sent a telegram to the corral, which always received an
answer. :

This mode of communication presented two very real
advantages; firstly, because it enabled them to ascer-
tain that Ayrton was at the corral; and secondly, that he
was thus not left completely isolated. Besides, Cyrus
Harding never allowed a week to pass without going to see
him, and Ayrton came from time to time to Granite House,
where he always found a cordial welcome.

The fine season passed away in the midst of the usual
work. The resources of the colony, particularly in vege-
tables and corn, increased from day to day, and the plants
brought from Tabor Island had succeeded perfectly.

The plateau of Prospect Heights presented anencouraging
aspect. The fourth harvest had been admirable, and it
may be supposed that no one thought of counting whether
the four hundred thousand millions of grains duly appeared
in the crop. However, Pencroft had thought of doing so,
but Cyrus Harding having told him that even if he managed
to count three hundred grains a minute, or nine thousand
an hour, it would take him nearly five thousand five
hundred years to finish his task, the honest sailor considered
it best to give up the idea.

The weather was splendid, the temperature very warm in
the day time; but in the evening the sea-breezes tempered
the heat of the atmosphere and procured cool nights for the
THE ABANDONED. 267

inhabitants of Granite House. There were, however, a few
storms, which, although they were not ‘of long duration,
swept over Lincoln Island with extraordinary fury. The
lightning blazed and the thunder continued to roll for some
hours.

At this period the little colony was extremely prosperous,

The tenants of the poultry-yard swarmed, and they lived
on the surplus, but it became necessary to reduce the popu-
lation to a more moderate number. The pigs had already
produced young, and it may be understood that their care
for these animals absorbed a great part of Neb and
Pencroft’s time. The onagas, who had two pretty colts,
were most often mounted by Gideon Spilett and Herbert,
who had become an excellent rider under the reporter’s
instruction, and they also harnessed them to the cart either
for carrying wood and coal to Granite House, or different
mineral productions required by the engineer.

Several expeditions were made about this time into the
depths of the Far West Forests. The explorers could
venture there without having anything to fear from
the heat, for the sun’s rays scarcely penetrated through
the thick foliage spreading above their heads. They
thus visited all the left bank of the Mercy, along which
ran the road from the corral to the mouth of Falls

River.
But in these excursions the settlers took care to be wel)
268 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.





armed, for they frequently met with savage wild boars,
with which they often had a tussle. They also, during
this season, made fierce war against the jaguars. Gideon
Spilett had vowed a special hatred against them, and his
pupil Herbert seconded him well. Armed as they were,
they no longer feared to meet one of those beasts.
Herbert’s courage was superb, and the reporter's sang froid
astonishing. Already twenty magnificent skins ornamented
the dining-room of Granite House, and if this continued,
the jaguar race would soon be extinct in the island, the
object aimed at by the hunters.

The engineer sometimes took part in the expeditions
made to the unknown parts of the island, which he
surveyed with great attention. It was for other traces than
those of animals that he searched the thickest of the vast
forest, but nothing suspicious ever appeared. Neither Top
nor Jup, who accompanied him, ever betrayed by their
behaviour that there was anything strange there, and yet
more than once again the dog barked at the mouth of the
well, which the engineer had before explored without
result,

At this time Gideon Spilett, aided by Herbert, took
several views of the most picturesque parts of the island,
by means of the photographic apparatus found in the
cases, and of which they had not as yet made any

use,
THE ABANDONED. 269

This apparatus, provided with a powerful object-glass,
was very complete. Substances necessary for the photo-
graphic reproduction, collodion for preparing the glass
plate, nitrate of silver to render it sensitive, hyposulphate
of soda to fix the prints obtained, chloride of ammonium
in which to soak the paper destined to give the positive
proof, acetate of soda and chloride of gold in which to
immerse the paper, nothing was wanting. Even the papers
were there, all prepared, and before laying in the printing-
frame upon the negatives, it was sufficient to soak them for
a few minutes in the solution of nitrate of silver.

The reporter and his assistant became in a short time
very skilful operators, and they obtained fine views of the
country, such as the island, taken from Prospect Heights
with Mount Franklin in the distance, the mouth of the
Mercy, so picturesquely framed in high rocks, the glade and
the corral, with the spurs of the mountain in the back-
ground, the curious development of Claw Cape, Flotsam
Point, &c.

Nor did the photographers forget to take the por-
traits of all the imhabitants of the island, leaving out
no one,

“Tt multiplies us,” said Pencroft.

And the sailor was enchanted to see his own countenance,
faithfully reproduced, ornamenting the walls of Granite

House, and he stopped as willingly before this exhibition
Aa
270. THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

as he would have done before the richest shop-windows in
Broadway. :

But it must be acknowledged that the most successful
portrait was incontestably that of Master Jup. Master Jup
had sat with a gravity not ta be described, and his portrait
was lifelike !

“He looks as if he was just going to grin!” exclaimed
Pencroft.

And if Master Jup had not been satisfied, he would have
been very difficult to please ; but he was quite contented,
and contemplated his own countenance with a sentimental
air which expressed some small amount of conceit.

The summer heat ended with the month of March. The
weather was sometimes rainy, but still warm. The month
of March, which corresponds to the September of northern
latitudes, was not so fine as might have been hoped.
Perhaps it announced an early and rigorous winter.

It might have been supposed one morning—the 21st—
that the first snow had already made its appearance. In
fact Herbert, looking early from one of the windows of
Granite House, exclaimed,— .

“Hallo! the islet is covered with snow!”

“ Snow at this time?” answered the reporter, joining the
boy.

Their companions were soon beside them, but could
only ascertain one thing, that not only the islet, but all the


































































































































































































Jup sitting for his portrait,








































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































The snowy sheet arose and dispersed in the air.
THE ABANDONED. 271
beach below Granite House, was covered with one uniform
sheet of white.

“Tt must be snow!” said Pencroft.

“Or rather it’s very like it!” replied Neb.

“But. the thermometer marks fifty-eight degrees!”
observed Gideon Spilett.

Cyrus Harding gazed at the sheet of white without
saying anything, for he really did not know how to ex-
plain this phenomenon, at this time of year and in sucha
temperature.

“By Jove!” exclaimed Pencroft; “all our plants will
be frozen?”

And the sailor was about to descend, when he was
preceded by the nimble Jup, who slid down to the sand.

But the orang had not touched the ground, when the
snowy sheet arose and dispersed in the air in such
innumerable flakes that the light of the sun was obscured
for some minutes.

“ Birds!” cried Herbert.

They were indeed swarms of sea-virds, with dazzling
white plumage. They had perched by thousands on the
islet and on the shore, and they disappeared in the distance,
leaving the colonists amazed as if they had been present at
some transformation scene, in which summer succeeded
winter at the touch of a fairy’s wand. Unfortunately the
change had been so sudden, that neither the reporter nor
272 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



the lad had been able to bring down one of these birds, of
which they could not recognize the species.

A few days after came the 26th of March, the day on
which, two years before, the castaways from the air had
been thrown upon Lincoln Island, .
THE ABANDONED. 273



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.

Two years already! and for two years the colonists had
had no communication with their fellow-creatures! They
were without news from the civilized world, lost on this
island, as completely as if they had been on the most
minute star of the celestial hemisphere ! .

What was now happening in their country? The
picture of their native land was always before their eyes,
the land torn by civil war at the time they left it, and
which the Southern rebellion was perhaps still staining
with blood! It was a great sorrow to them, and they
often talked together of these things, without ever
274 C THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



doubting however that the cause of the North must
triumph, for the honour of the American Confederation.

During these two years not a vessel had passed in sight
of the island; or, at least, not a sail had been seen. It
was evident that Lincoln Island was out of the usual track,
and also that it was unknown,—as was besides proved by
the maps,—for though there was no port, vessels might
have visited it for the purpose of renewing their store of
water. But the surrounding ocean was deserted as far as
the eye could reach, and the colonists must rely on them-
selves for regaining their native land.

However, one chance of rescue existed, and this chance
was discussed one day in the first week of April, when
the colonists were gathered together in the dining-room of
Granite House.

They had been talking of America, of their native
country, which they had so little hope of ever seeing
again.

“ Decidedly we have only one way,” said Spilett, “one
single way for leaving Lincoln Island, and that is, to build
a vessel large enough to sail several hundred miles. It
appears to me, that when one has built a boat it is just as
easy to build a ship!”

“ And in which we might go to the Pomatous,” added
Herbert, “just as easily as we went to Tabor Island.”

“T do not say no,” replied Pencroft, who had always the
THE ABANDONED. 275



casting vote in maritime questions; “I do not say no,
although it is not exactly the same thing to make a long
as a short voyage! If our little craft had been caught in
any heavy gale of wind during the voyage to Tabor Island,
we should have known that land was at no great distance
either way ; but twelve hundred miles is a pretty long way,
and the nearest land is at least that distance!”

“Would you not, in that case, Pencroft, attempt the
adventure ?” asked the reporter. °

“TJ will attempt anything that is desired, Mr. Spilett,”
answered the sailor, “and you know well that Iam nota
man to flinch!”

“Remember, besides, that we number another sailor
amongst us now,” remarked Neb, —

“ Who is that ?” asked Pencroft.

“ Ayrton.”

“That is true,” replied Herbert.

“Tf he will consent to come,” said Pencroft.

“Nonsense!” returned the reporter; “do you think that
if Lord Glenarvan’s yacht had appeared at Tabor Island,
whilst he was still living there, Ayrton would have refused
to depart?” .

“You forget, my friends,’ then said Cyrus Harding,
“that Ayrton was not in possession of his reason during
the last years of his stay there. But that is not the
question. The point is to know it we may count among
276 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

our chances of being rescued, the return of the Scotch
vessel. Now, Lord Glenarvan promised Ayrton that he
would return to take him off from Tabor Island when he
considered that his crimes were expiated, and I believe
that he will return.”

“Yes,” said the reporter, “and I will add that he will
return soon, for it is twelve years since Ayrton was
abandoned.” ,

“Well!” answered Pencroft, “I agree with you that the
nobleman will return, and soon too. But where will he
touch? At Tabor Island, and not at Lincoln Island.”

“That is the more certain,” replied Herbert, “as Lincoln
Island is not even marked on the map.”

“ Therefore, my friends,” said the engineer, “we ought
to take the necessary precautions for making our presence,
and that of Ayrton on Lincoln Island known at Tabor
Island.” -

“Certainly,” answered the reporter, “and nothing is
easier than to place in the hut, which was Captain Grant’s
and Ayrton’s dwelling, a notice which Lord Glenarvan and
his crew cannot help finding, giving the position of our
island.” , ,

“It is a pity,” remarked the sailor, “that we forgot. to
take that precaution on our first visit to Tabor Island.”

“And why should we have done it?” asked Herbert.
“ At that time we did not know Ayrton’s history; we did
THE ABANDONED. 277



not know that any one was likely to come some day to
fetch him; and when we did know his history, the season
was too advanced to allow us to return then to Tabor
Island.” |

“Yes,” replied Harding, “it was too late, and we must
put off the voyage until next spring.”

’ “But suppose the Scotch yacht comes before that,” said
Pencroft. .

“ That is not probable,” replied the engineer, “ for Lord
Glenarvan would not choose the winter season to venture
into these seas. Either he has already returned to Tabor
Island, since Ayrton has been with us, that is to say, during
the last five months and has left again ; or he will not come
till later, and it will be time enough in the first fine October
days to go to Tabor Island, and leave a notice there.”

“We must allow,” said Neb, “that it will be very unfor-
tunate if the ‘Duncan’ has returned to these parts only a
few months ago!”

“T hope that it is not so,” replied Cyrus Harding, “and
that Heaven has not deprived us of the best chance which
remains to us.”

“T think,” observed the reporter, “that at any rate we
shall know what we have to depend on when we have béen
to Tabor Island, for if the yacht has returned there, they
will necessarily have left some traces of their visit.”

“ That is evident,” answered the engineer. “So then, my
278 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND,

friends, since we have this chance of returning to our
country, we must wait patiently, and if it is taken from us
we shall see what will be best to do.”

“ At any rate,” remarked Pencroft, “it is well understood
that if we do leave Lincoln Island in some way or another,
it will not be because we were uncomfortable there!”

“No, Pencroft,” replied the engineer, “it will be because
we are far from all that a man holds dearest in this world,
his family, his friends, his native land!”

Matters being thus decided, the building of a vessel large
enough to sail either to the Archipelagos in the north, or to
New Zealand in the west, was no longer talked of, and they
busied themselves in their accustomed occupations, with a
view to wintering a third time in Granite House.

However, it was agreed that before the stormy weather
came on, their little vessel should be employed in making a
voyage round the island. A complete survey of the coast
had not yet been made, and the colonists had but an
imperfect idea of the shore to the west and north, from the
mouth of Falls’ River to the Mandible Capes, as well as of
the narrow bay between them, which opened like a shark's
jaws.

The plan of this excursion was proposed by Pencroft,
and Cyrus Harding fully.acquiesced in it, for he himself
wished to see this part of his domain. .

The weather was variable, but the barometer did not
THE ABANDONED. 279
fluctuate by sudden movements, and they could therefore
count on tolerable weather. However, during the first
week of April, after a sudden barometrical fall, a renewed
rise was marked by a heavy gale of wind, lasting five or six
days ; then the needle of the instrument remained stationary
at a height of twenty-nine inches and nine-tenths, and the
weather appeared propitious for an excursion.

The departure was fixed for the 16th of April, and the
“ Bonadventure,” anchored in Port Balloon, was provisioned
for a voyage which might be of some duration.

Cyrus Harding informed Ayrton of the projected expe-
dition, and proposed that he should take part in it; but
Ayrton preferring to remain on shore, it was decided that
he should come to Granite House during the absence of his
companions. Master Jup was ordered to keep him com-
pany, and made no remonstrance.

On the morning of the 16th of April all the colonists,
including Top, embarked. A fine breeze blew from the
south-west, and the “ Bonadventure” tacked on leaving
Port Balloon so as to reach Reptile End. Of the ninety
miles which the perimeter of the island measured, twenty
included the south coast between the port and the promon-
tory. The wind being right ahead it was necessary to hug
the shore.

It took the whole day to reach the promontory, for the
vessel on leaving port had only two hours of the ebb tide,
280 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

and had therefore to make way for six hours against the
flood. It was nightfall before the promontory was doubled.

The sailor then proposed to the engineer that they should
continue sailing slowly with two reefs in the sail. But
Harding preferred to anchor a few cable-lengths from the
shore, so as to survey that part of the coast during the day.
It was agreed also that as they were anxious for a minute
exploration of the coast they should not sail during the
night, but would always, when the weather permitted it, be
at anchor near the shore. .

The night was passed under the promontory, and the
wind having fallen, nothing disturbed the silence. The
passengers, with the exception of the sailor, scarcely slept as
well on board the “Bonadventure” as they would have
done in their rooms at Granite House, but they did sleep
however. Pencroft set sail at break of day, and by going
on the larboard tack they could keep close to the shore.

The colonists knew this beautiful wooded coast, since
they had already explored it on foot, and get it again
excited their admiration. They coasted along as close in
as possible, so as to notice everything, avoiding always the
trunks of trees which floated here and there. Several
times also they anchored, and Gideon Spilett took photo-
graphs of the superb scenery.

About noon the “Bonadventure” arrived at the mouth
of Falls’ River. Beyond, on the left bank, a few scattered
THE ABANDONED, 281



trees appeared, and three miles further even these dwindled
into solitary groups among the western spurs of the moun-
tain, whose arid ridge sloped down to the shore.

What a contrast between the northern and southern part
of the coast! In proportion as one was woody and fertile
so was the other rugged and barren! It might have been
designated as one of those iron coasts, as they are called in
some countries, and its wild confusion appeared to indicate
that a sudden crystallization had been produced in thé
yet liquid basalt of some distant geological sea. These
stupendous masseswould haveterrified the settlers if they had
been cast at first on this part of the island! They had not
been able to perceive the sinister aspect of this shore from
the summit of Mount Franklin, for they overlooked it from
too great a height, but viewed from the sea it presented a
wild appearance which could not perhaps be equalled in any
corner of the globe.

The “Bonadventure” sailed along this coast for the
distance of half a mile. It was easy to see that it was com-
posed of blocks of all sizes, from twenty to three hundred
feet in height, and of all shapes, round like towers, prismatic
like steeples, pyramidal like obelisks, conical like factory
chimneys. An iceberg of the Polar seas could not have
been more capricious in its terrible sublimity! Here,
bridges were thrown from one rock to another; there,

arches like those of a wave, into the depths of which the
Bb
282 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

eye could not penetrate; in one place, large vaulted exca-
vations presented a monumental aspect; in another, a
crowd of columns, spires, and arches, such as no Gothic
cathedral ever possessed. Every caprice of nature, still
more varied than those of the imagination, appeared on
this grand coast, which extended over a length of eight or
nine miles,

Cyrus Harding and his companions gazed, with a feeling
of surprise bordering on stupefaction. But, although they
remained silent, Top, not being troubled with feelings of
this sort, uttered barks which were repeated by the thousand
echoes of the basaltic cliff. The engineer even observed
that these barks had something strange in them, like those
which the dog had uttered at the mouth of the well in
Granite House.

“Let us go close in,” said he. .

And the “Bonadventure” sailed as near as possible to the
rocky shore. Perhaps some cave, which it would be advis-
able to explore, existed there? But Harding saw nothing,
not a cavern, not a cleft which could serve as a retreat to
any being whatever, for the foot of the cliff was washed
by the surf. Soon Top’s barks ceased, and the vessel
continued her course at a few cables-lengths from the
coast. —

In the north-west part of the island the shore became
again flat and sandy. A few trees here and there rose
THE ABANDONED. 283
above a low, marshy ground, which the colonists had
already surveyed; and in violent contrast to the other
desert shore, life was again manifested by the presence of
myriads of water-fowl. That evening the “Bonadventure”’
anchored in a small bay to the north of the island, near
the land, such was’ the depth of water there. The night
passed quietly, for the breeze died away with the last
light of day, and only rose again with the first streaks of
dawn.

As it was easy to land, the usual hunters of the colony,
that is to say, Herbert and Gideon Spilett, went for a
ramble of two hours or so, and returned with several
strings of wild duck and snipe. Top had done wonders,
and not a bird had been lost, thanks to his zeal and
cleverness.

At eight o’clock in the morning the “Bonadventure” set
sail, and ran rapidly towards North Mandible Cape, for
the wind was right astern and freshening rapidly.

“ However,” observed Pencroft, “I should not be sur-
prised if a gale came up from the west. Yesterday
the sun set in a very red-looking horizon, and now,
this morning, those mares-tails don’t forebode anything
good.”

These mares-tails are cirrus clouds, scattered in the
zenith, their height from the sea being less than five
thousand feet. They look like light pieces of cotton wool,
284 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



and their presence usually announces some sudden change
in the weather.

“Well,” said Harding, “let us carry as much sail as
possible, and run for shelter into Shark Gulf. I think that
the ‘Bonadventure’ will be safe there.”

“Perfectly,” replied Pencroft, “and besides, the north
coast is merely sand, very uninteresting to look at.”

“T shall not be sorry,” resumed the engineer, “to pass
not only to-night but to-morrow in that bay, which is
worth being carefully explored.”

“T think that we shall be obliged to do so, whether
we like it or not,” answered Pencroft, “for the sky looks
very threatening towards the west. Dirty weather is
coming on!”

“At any rate we have a favourable wind for reaching
Cape Mandible,” observed the reporter.

“A very fine wind,” replied the sailor; “but we must
tack to enter the gulf, and I should like to see my way
clear in these unknown quarters.”

“Quarters which appear to be filled with rocks,” added
Herbert, “if we judge by what we saw on the south coast
of Shark Gulf.”

“ Pencroft,” said Cyrus Harding, “do as you think best,
we will leave it to you.”

“Don’t make your mind uneasy, captain,” replied the
sailor, “ Ishall not expose myself needlessly! I would
THE ABANDONED. 285



rather a knife were run into my ribs than a sharp rock into
those of my ‘ Bonadventure!’”

That which Pencroft called ribs was the part of. his
vessel under water, and he valued it more than his own
skin. os

“What o'clock is it?” asked Pencroft.

“Ten o'clock,” replied Gideon Spilett.

“And what distance is it to the Cape, captain?”

“ About fifteen miles,” replied the engineer.

“That’s a matter of two:hours and a half,” said the
sailor, “and we shall be off the Cape between twelve and
one o'clock. Unluckily, the tide will be turning at that
moment, and will be ebbing out of the gulf. I am afraid
that it will be very difficult to get in, having both wind
and tide against us.”

« And the more so that it isa full moon to-day,” remarked
Herbert, “and these April tides are very strong.”

“Well, Pencroft,” asked Cyrus Harding, “can you not
anchor off the Cape?”

“Anchor near land, with bad weather coming on!”
exclaimed the sailor. “What are you thinking of, captain?
We should run aground to a certainty!”

“What will you do then?”

“T shall try to keep in the offing until the flood, that is
to say, till about seven in the evening, and if there is still
light enough I will try to enter the gulf; if not, we must
286 | THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



stand off and on during the night, and we will enter to-
morrow at sunrise.”

“As I told you, Pencroft, we will leave it to you,”
answered Harding.

“Ah!” said Pencroft, “if there was only a light-
house on the coast, it would be much more convenient
for sailors.”

“Yes,” replied Herbert, “and this time we shall have
no obliging engineer to light a fire to guide us into
port!”

“Why, indeed, my dear Cyrus,” said Spilett, “we have
never thanked you for it; but frankly, without that fire
we should never have been able to reach —”

“A fire?” asked Harding, much astonished at the re-
porter’s words. be
“We mean, captain,” answered Pencroft, “that on
board the ‘Bonadventure’ we were very anxious during
the few hours before our return, and we should have
passed to windward of the island, if it had not been for
the precaution you took of lighting a fire in the night of
the roth of October, on Prospect Heights.”

“Yes, yes! That was a lucky idea of mine!” replied
the engineer.

“And this time,” continued the sailor, “unless the idea
occurs to Ayrton, there will be no one to do us that little
service!” .




















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































LH a
nnn Mie AMM

HA So ‘Hh gL

Hy i Nia
i} Ha ATA
i HH ty Ht KANN
, Aa cnt
HH f

fi HAH



Another mystery,


THE ABANDONED. 287

“No! no one!” answered Cyrus Harding.

A few minutes after, finding himself alone in the bows
of the vessel with the reporter, the engineer bent down
and whispered,— .

“If there is one thing certain in this world, Spilett, it is
that I never lighted any fire during the night of the 19th
of October, neither on Prospect Heights nor on any other
part of the island!”
288 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

CHAPTER XX.

A NIGHT AT SEA—SHUARK GULF—CONFIDENCES—PREPA-
RATIONS FOR WINTER—FORWARDNESS OF TIIE BAD
SEASON—SEVERE COLD—WORK IN THE INTERIOR—
IN SIX MONTIHS—A PHOTOGRAPHIC NEGATIVE—UN-
EXPECTED INCIDENT.

TINGS happened as Pencroft had predicted, he being
seldom mistaken in his prognostications. The wind rose,
and from a fresh breeze it soon increased toa regular gale;
that is to say, it acquired a speed of from forty to forty-
five miles an hour, before which a ship in the open sea
would have run under close-reefed topsails. Now, as it
was nearly six o’clock when the “ Bonadventure” reached
the gulf, and as at that moment the tide turned, it was
impossible to enter. They were therefore compelled to
stand off, for even if he had wished to do so, Pencroft
could not have gained the mouth of the Mercy. Hoisting
the jib to the mainmast by way of a storm-sail, he hove to,
putting the head of the vessel towards the land.
THE ABANDONED. 265

Fortunately, although the wind was strong the sea, being
sheltered by the land, did not run very high. They had
then little to fear from the waves, which always endanger
small craft. The “Bonadventure” would doubtlessly not
have capsized, for she was well ballasted; but enormous
masses of water falling on the deck, might injure her, if
her timbers could not sustain them. Pencroft, as a good
sailor, was prepared for anything. Certainly, he had great
confidence in his vessel, but nevertheless he awaited the
return of day with some anxiety.

During the night, Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett
had no opportunity for talking together, and yet the words
pronounced in the reporter’s ear by the engineer, were well
worth being discussed, together with the mysterious in-
fluence which appeared to reign over Lincoln Island.
Gideon Spilett did not cease from pondering over this new
and inexplicable incident,—the appearance of a fire on the
coast of the island. The fire had actually been seen! His
companions, Herbert and Pencroft, had seen it with him!
The fire had served to signalize the position of the island
during that dark night, and they had not doubted that it
was lighted by the engineer’s hand ; and here was Cyrus
Harding expressly declaring that he had never done any
thing of the sort! Spilett resolved to recur to this incident
as soon as the “Bonadventure” returned, and to urge
Cyrus Harding to acquaint their companions with these
2ac THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

strange facts. Perhaps it would be decided to make in
common a complete investigation of every part of Lincoln
Island.

However that might be, on this evening no fire was
lighted on these yet unknown shores, which formed the
entrance to the gulf, and the little vessel stood off during
the night.

When the first streaks of dawn appeared in the western
horizon, the wind, which had slightly fallen, shifted two points,
and enabled Pencroft to enter the narrow gulf with greater
ease. Towards seven o'clock in the morning, the “Bon-
adventure,” weathering the North Mandible Cape, entered
the strait and glided on to the waters, so strangely enclosed
in the frame of lava.

“Well,” said Pencroft, “this bay would make admirable
roads, in which a whole fleet could lie at their ease!”

“What is especially curious,” observed Harding, “ is that
the-gulf has been formed by two rivers of lava, thrown out
by the volcano, and accumulated by successive eruptions,
The result is that the gulf is completely sheltered on all
sides, and I believe that even in the stormiest weather, the
sea here must be as calm as a lake.”

“No doubt,” returned the sailor, “since the wind has
only that narrow entrance between the two capes to get in
by ; and besides, the north cape protects that of the south
in a way which would make the entrance of gusts very
THE ABANDONED. 201
difficult. I declare our “Bonadventure” could stay here
from one end of the year to the other, without even
dragging at her anchor!”

“Tt is rather large for her !” observed the reporter.

“Well! Mr. Spilett,” replied the sailor, “I agree that
it is too large for the ‘Bonadventure;’ but if the fleets
of the Union were in want of a harbour in the Pacific,
I don’t think they would ever find a better place than
this!” -

“We are in the shark’s mouth,” remarked Neb, alluding
to the form of the gulf.

“Right into its mouth, my honest Neb

”
!

replied
Herbert ; “but you are not afraid that it will shut upon
us, are you?”

“No, Mr. Herbert,” answered Neb; “and yet this gulf
here doesn’t please me much! It has a wicked look!”

“Hallo!” cried Pencroft, “here is Neb turning up his
nose at my gulf, just as I was thinking of presenting it to
America!”

“But, at any rate, is the water deep enough?” asked
the engineer, “for a depth sufficient for the keel of the
‘Bonadventure,’ would not be enough for those of our
iron-clads.”

“That is easily found out,” replied Pencroft.

And the sailor sounded with a long cord, which served
him as a lead-line, and to which was fastened a lump of

U2
2902 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

iron. This cord measured nearly fifty fathoms, and its
entire length was unrolled without finding any bottom

“ There,” exclaimed Pencroft, “our iron-clads can come
here after all! They would not run aground!”

“Indeed,” said Gideon Spilett, “this gulf is a regular
abyss ; but, taking-into consideration the volcanic origin of
the island, it is not astonishing that the sea should offer
similar depressions,”

“One would say too,” observed Herbert, “that these
cliffs were perfectly perpendicular; and I believe that at
their foot, even with a line five or six times longer, Pencroft
would not find the bottom.”

“That is all very well,” then said the reporter; “but I
must point out to Pencroft that his harbour is wanting in
one very important respect!”

And what is that, Mr. Spilett ?”

“ An opening, a cutting of some sort, to give access to
the interior of the island. I do not see a spot on which we
could land.” .

And, in fact, the steep lava cliffs did not afford a single
place suitable for landing. They formed an insuperable
barrier, recalling, but with more wildness, the fiords of
Norway. The “ Bonadventure,” coasting as close as possible
along the cliffs, did not discover even a projection which
would alléw the passengers to leave the deck.

Pencroft consoled himself by saying that with the help
THE ABANDONED. . 293
of a mine they could soon open out the cliff when that was
necessary, and then, as there was evidently nothing to be
done in the gulf, he steered his vessel towards the strait
and passed out at about two o’clock in the afternoon.

“Ah!” said Neb, uttering a sigh of satisfaction.

‘One might really say that the honest negro did not
feel at his ease in those enormous jaws.

The distance from Mandible Cape to the mouth of the

Mercy was not more than eight miles. The head of the
“Bonadventure” was put towards Granite House, and
a fair wind filling her sails, she ran rapidly along the
coast. :
To the enormous lava rocks succeeded soon those
capricious sand dunes, among which the engineer had beer
so singularly recovered, and which sea-birds frequented
in thousands.

About four o’clock, Pencroft, leaving the point of the
islet on his left, entered the channel which separated it from
the coast, and at five o’clock the anchor of the “ Bonad-
venture” was buried in the sand at the mouth of the
Mercy. .

The colonists had been absent three days from their
dwelling. Ayrton was waiting for them on the beach, and
Jup came joyously to meet them, giving vent to deep
grunts of satisfaction.

A complete exploration of the coast of the island had
204 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

now been made, and no suspicious appearances had been
observed. If any mysterious being resided on it, it could
only be under cover of the impenetrable forest of the
Serpentine Peninsula, to which the colonists had not yet
directed their investigations,

Gideon Spilett discussed these things with the engineer,
and it was agreed that they should: direct the attention of
their companions to the strange character of certain inci-
dents which had occurred on the island, and of which the
last was the most unaccountable.

However, Harding, returning to the fact of a fire having
been kindled on the shore by an unknown hand, could not
refrain from repeating for the twentieth time to the
reporter,—

“But are you quite sure of having seen it? Was it
not a partial eruption of the volcano, or perhaps some
meteor ?”

“No, Cyrus,” answered the reporter; “it was certainly a
fire lighted by the hand of man. Besides, question Pencroft
and Herbert. They saw it as I saw it myself, and they
will confirm my words.”

In consequence therefore, a few days after, on the 25th
of April, in the evening, when the settlers were all collected
on Prospect Heights, Cyrus Harding began by saying,—

“My friends, I think it my duty to call your attention to
certain incidents which have occurred in the island, on the
THE ABANDONED, 295



subject of which I shall be happy to have your advice.
These incidents are, so to speak, supernatural—”

“ Supernatural!” exclaimed the sailor, emitting a volume
of smoke from his mouth. “Can it be possible that our
island is supernatural ? ”

“No, Pencroft, but mysterious, most certainly,” replied
the engineer; “unless you can explain that which Spilett
and I have until now failed to understand.”

“Speak away, captain,” answered the sailor.

“Well, have you understood,” then said the engineer,
“how was it that after falling into the sea, I was found
a quarter of a mile into the interior of the island, and
that, without my having any consciousness of my removal
there?” .

“Unless, being unconscions—” said Pencroft.

“That is not admissible,” replied the engineer. “But
to continue. Have you understood how Top was able to
discover your retreat five miles from the cave in which I
was lying?”

“The dog’s instinct—” observed Herbert.

“Singular instinct!” returned the reporter; “since
notwithstanding the storm of rain and wind which was
raging during that night, Top arrived at the Chimneys, dry
and without a speck of mud!”

“Let us continue,” resumed the engineer. “Have you

understood how our dog was so strangely thrown up out
Cc
296 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

of the waters of the lake, after his struggle with the
dugong?”

“No! I confess, not at all,” replied Pencroft ; “and the
wound which the dugong had in its side, a wound which
seemed to have been made with a sharp instrument; that
can’t be understood either.”

“Let us continue again,” said Harding. “Have you
understood, my friends, how that bullet got into the body
of the young peccary ; how that case happened to be so
fortunately stranded, without there being any trace of a
wreck ; how that bottle containing the document presented
itself so opportunely, during our first sea-excursion ; how
our. canoe, having broken its moorings, floated down the
current of the,Mercy and rejoined us precisely at the very
moment we needed it ; how after the ape invasion the ladder
was so obligingly thrown down from Granite House ; and
lastly, how the document, which Ayrton asserts was never
written by him, fell into our hands?”

As Cyrus Harding thus enumerated, without forgetting
one, the singular incidents which had occurred in the
island, Herbert, Neb, and Pencroft stared at each other,
not knowing what to reply, for this succession of incidents,
grouped thus for the first time, could not but excite their
surprise to the highest degree.

“Pon my word,” said Pencroft at. last, “you are right,
saptain, and it is difficult to explain all these things !”
THE ABANDONED. 297

“Well, my friends,” resumed ‘the engineer, “a last fact
has just been added to these, and it is no less incompre-
hensible than the others!”

“What is it, captain?” asked Herbert quickly.

“When you were returning from Tabor Island, Pen-
croft,” continued the engineer, “you said that a fire
appeared on Lincoln Island?”

“ Certainly,” answered the sailor.

“And you are quite certain of having seen this
fire?”

“ As sure as I see you now.”

“You also, Herbert ?”

“Why, captain,” cried Herbert, “that fire was blazing
like a star of the first magnitude!”

“ But was it not a star?” urged the engineer.

“No,” replied Pencroft, “for the sky was covered with
thick clouds, and at any rate a star would not have been
so low on the horizon. But Mr. Spilett saw it as well as
we, and he will confirm our words.”

‘I will add,” said the reporter, “that the fire was very
bright, and that it shot up like a sheet of lightning.”

“Yes, yes! exactly,” added Herbert, “and it was
certainly placed on the heights of Granite House.”

“Well, my friends,” replied Cyrus Harding, “ during the
night of the roth of October, neither Neb nor I lighted
any fire on the coast.”
2098 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

“You did not!” exclaimed Pencroft, in the height of
his astonishment, not being able to finish his sentence.

“We did not leave Granite House,” answered Cyrus
Harding ; “and if a fire appeared on the coast, it was
lighted by another hand than ours !”

Pencroft, Herbert, and Neb were stupefied. No illusion
could be possible; and a fire had actually met their eyes
during the night of the 19th of October.

Yes! they were obliged to acknowledge it, a mystery
existed! An inexplicable influence, evidently favourable
to the colonists, but very irritating to their curiosity, was
executed always in the nick of time on Lincoln Island.
Could there be some being hidden in its profoundest
recesses? It was necessary at any cost to ascertain this.

Harding also reminded his companions of the singular be-
haviour of Top and Jup when they prowled round the mouth
of the well, which placed Granite House in communication
with the sea, and he told them that he had explored the well,
without discovering anything suspicious. The final resolve
taken, in consequenceof this conversation, by all the members
of the colony, was that as soon as the fine season returned
they would thoroughly search the whole of the island.

But from that day, Pencroft appeared to be anxious.
He felt as if the island which he had made his own per-
sonal property, belonged to him entirely no longer, and
that he shared it with another master, to whom, whether
THE ABANDONED. 209



willing or not, he felt subject. Neb and he often talked
of those unaccountable things, and both, their natures
inclining them to the marvellous, were not far from
believing that Lincoln Island was under the dominion of
some supernatural power.

In the meanwhile, the bad weather came with the month
of May, the November of the northern zones. It appeared
that the winter would be severe and forward, The pre-
parations for the winter season were therefore commenced
without delay.

Nevertheless, the colonists were well prepared to meet
the winter, however hard it might be. They had plenty of
felt clothing, and the musmons, very numerous by this
time, had furnished an abundance of the wool necessary
for the manufacture of this warm material.

It is unnecessary to say that Ayrton had been provided
with this comfortable clothing. Cyrus Harding proposed
that he should come to spend the bad season with them in
Granite House, where he would be better lodged than at
the corral, and Ayrton promised to do so, as soon as the
last work at the corral was finished. He did this towards
the middle of April. From that time Ayrton shared the
common life, and made himself useful on all occasions ;
but still humble and sad, he never took part in the
pleasures of his companions.

For the greater part of this, the third winter which the
Brew

300 ‘THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.

settlers passed in Lincoln Island, they were confined to
Granite House. There were, many violent storms and
frightful tempests, which appeared to shake the rocks to
their very foundations. Immense waves threatened to
overwhelm the island, and certainly any vessel anchored
near the shore would have been dashed to pieces. Twice,
during one of these hurricanes, the Mercy swelled to such
a degree as to give reason to fear that the bridges would
be swept away, and it was necessary to strengthen those
on the shore, which disappeared under the foaming waters,
when the sea beat against the beach.

It may well be supposed that such storms, comparable
to water-spouts in which were mingled rain and snow,
would cause great havoc on the plateau of Prospect
Heights. “The mill and the poultry-yard particularly
suffered. The colonists were often obliged to make imme-
diate repairs, without which the safety of the birds would
have been seriously threatened.

During the worst weather, several jaguars and troops of
quadrumana ventured to the edge of the plateau, and it
was always to be feared that the most active and audacious
would, urged by hunger, manage to cross the stream,
which besides, when frozen, offered them an easy passage.
Plantations and domestic animals would then have been
infallibly destroyed, without a constant watch, and it was
often necessary to make use of the guns to keep those
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ing excursion.

Returning from a sport
THE ABANDONED. 301

dangerous visitors at a respectful distance. Occupation was
not wanting to the colonists, for without reckoning their
out-door cares, they had always a thousand plans for the
fitting up of Granite House.

They had also some fine sporting excursions, which were
made during the frost in the vast Tadorn marsh. Gideon
Spilett and Herbert, aided by Jup and Top, did not miss a
shot in the midst of the myriads of wild-duck, snipe, teal,
and others. The access to these hunting-grounds was
easy; besides, whether they reached them by the road to
Port Balloon, after having passed the Mercy Bridge, or by
turning the rocks from Flotsam Point, the hunters were
never distant from Granite House more than two or three
miles.

Thus passed the four winter months, which were really
rigorous, that is to say, June, July, August, and September
But, in short, Granite House did not suffer much from the
inclemency of the weather, and it was the same with the
corral, which, less exposed than the plateau, and sheltered
partly by Mount Franklin, only received the remains of
the hurricanes, already broken by the forests and the high
rocks of the shore. The damages there were consequently
of small importance, and the activity and skill of Ayrton
promptly repaired them, when some time in October he
returned to pass a few days in the corral.

During this winter, no fresh inexplicable incident
302 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.



occutred. Nothing strange happened, although Pencroft
and Neb were on the watch for the most insignificant facts
to which they attached any mysterious cause. Top and
Jup themselves no longer growled round the well or gave
any signs of uneasiness. It appeared, therefore, as if the
series of supernatural incidents was interrupted, although
they often talked of them during the evenings in Granite
House, and they remained thoroughly resolved that the
island should be searched, even in those parts the most
difficult to explore. But an event of the highest impor-
tance, and of which the consequences might be terrible,
momentarily diverted from their projects Cyrus Harding
and his companions.

It was the month of October. The fine season was
swiftly returning. Nature was reviving; and among the
evergreen foliage of the coniferee which formed the border
of the wood, already appeared the young leaves of the
banksias, deodars, and other trees.

It may be remembered that Gideon Spilett and Herbert
had, at different times, taken photographic views of Lincoln
Island.

Now, on the 17th of this month of October, towards
three o'clock in the afternoon, Herbert, enticed by the
charms of the sky, thought of reproducing Union Bay,
which was opposite to Prospect Heights, from Cape
Mandible to Claw Cape.
a
dl



a

| I Hl











The photcgraphic negative,
THE ABANDONED. 303

- The horizon was beautifully clear, and the sea, undulating
under a soft breeze, was as calm as the waters of a lake,
sparkling here and there under the sun’s rays.

The apparatus had been placed at one of the windows of
the dining-room at Granite House, and consequently over-
looked the shore and the bay. Herbert proceeded as he
was accustomed to do, and the negative obtained, he went
away to fix it by means of the chemicals deposited in a
dark nook of Granite House.

Returning to the bright light, and examining it well,
Herbert perceived on his negative an almost imperceptible
little spot on the sea horizon. He endeavoured to make
it disappear by reiterated washing, but could not accom-
plish it. .

“It is a flaw in the glass,” he thought.

And then he had the curiosity to examine this flaw with
a strong magnifier which he unscrewed from one of the
telescopes.

But he had scarcely looked at it, when te uttered a cry,
and the glass almost fell from his hands,

Immediately running to the room in which Cyrus
Harding then was, he extended the negative and magnifier
towards the engineer, pointing out the little spot.

Harding examined it; then seizing his telescope he
rushed to the window.

The telescope, after having slowly swept the horizon, at
304 . THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND.”



last stopped on the looked-for spot, and Cyrus Harding
lowering it, pronounced one word only,—
“ A vessel!”

And in fact a vessel was in sight, off Lincoln Island!

END OF THE SECOND PART.

GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, LD., ST. JOHN’S HOUSE, CLERKENWELL ROAD, LONDON.
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