Citation
The Island home, or, The Young cast-aways

Material Information

Title:
The Island home, or, The Young cast-aways
Portion of title:
Island home
Portion of title:
The Young cast-aways
Portion of title:
The Young castaways
Creator:
Romaunt, Christopher ( Editor )
Adeney ( Engraver )
Jackson, Mason, 1819-1903 ( Engraver )
Slader, S. V ( Engraver )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher, Stereotyper )
Place of Publication:
London
Edinburgh
Publisher:
T. Nelson and Sons
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xvi, 333 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill. ; 17 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Castaways -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Shipwrecks -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Polynesia ( lcsh )
Robinsonades -- 1852 ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1852 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1852
Genre:
Robinsonades ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Some plates signed: M. Jackson, Adeney and Slader.
Funding:
Brittle Books Program
Statement of Responsibility:
edited by Christopher Romaunt.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
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:
026598568 ( ALEPH )
45060601 ( OCLC )
ALG2707 ( NOTIS )

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THE DESERT ISLAND BREAKFAST,
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attracted my attention, on opening my eyes, was a busy group, consisung Of Max
Kiulo, and Charlie, gathered around a fire at a little distance.-—Page 129,






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ISLAND HOME;

THE YOUNG CAST-AWAYS.

EDITED BY

CHRISTOPHER ROMAUNT, ESQ.

*« And conjured up

My boyhood’s earliest dreams of isles that lie

In farthest depths of ocean; girt with all

Of natural wealth and splendour—jewelled isles,
Boundless in unimaginable spoils,

That earth is stranger to.”

LONDON:
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
AND EDINBURGH.

MDCCCLIL.







TO MY FRIEND,

THE AUTHOR OF “CRUMBS FROM THE LAND 0’ CAKES.”

My Drak Sir,

Long ago, when to both of us the future seemed infinitely
wider, and richer in pleasant possibilities, than it now does, I
promised, or threatened, that I would one day “ write a book,”
and dedicate it to you.

Whether, in the humble capacity of ‘‘ Editor ” of the work of
another, I have properly any business to ‘** dedicate ” it at all, is
a question which I am not sufficiently familiar with the code of
literary etiquette to decide: but I will venture in the present
instance to ‘‘ take the responsibility,” even at the risk of being
called to account for it by ‘‘the islanders,” should they even-
tually “ turn up.”

Permit me, therefore, as a slight memento of the many
pleasant associations of ‘‘auld langsyne” in which we have
shared, and as the only fulfilment of a boyish pledge, that it
will probably ever be in my power to offer, affectionately to
inscribe to you this little volume.

CHRISTOPHER ROMAUNT.



EDITOR’S PREFACE.

Tue history of this little book, so far as it is known
to me, is briefly as follows: —

During a visit to my old friend Captain Nathaniel
Tarbox, at the country residence on the shores of
Long Island Sound, to which, as a sort of “ sailor’s
snug harbour,” he has retired, after some thirty-
five years of a seafaring life, Master Decatur,
my friend’s only son, one day exhibited to me a
miniature ship, which he said his father had picked
up at sea on his last voyage. He also casually
mentioned the circumstance of a roll of manuscript
having been found in the little vessel.

Upon my evincing some interest in the matter,
and making inquiry for the manuscript, it was,
after diligent research, discovered in a box of old
papers in the garret. It consisted of a number of
loose sheets of fine French letter-paper, several of
which were badly torn, and others soiled and dis-
coloured. A faded green ribbon with which they
had been fastened together was broken, and they
had become entirely disarranged. The manuscript
was not paged, nor the sheets numbered, and the
work of ascertaining and restoring their proper



vi EDITOR’S PREFACE.

order, required both time and patience for its
accomplishment.

In the course of this task I discovered that some
leaves of the first part of the manuscript were
missing, and the only information which I could
glean respecting their probable fate, favoured the
opinion, that they had either been put in requisition
as kite-tail, or served some other equally inglorious
purpose.

Upon endeavouring to ascertain the particulars of
the time and place of the discovery of the little
waif, I found that the log-book of the voyage on
which it had been picked up was lost, and that the
captain had no very certain or definite recollection as
to the circumstances most essential to be known.

According to his best impression, it was about
the middle of June 1841, and while sailing some-
where in the neighbourhood of the Kingsmill
Islands, that the little ship had been discovered.
He was at the time upon a trading voyage, and
engaged in endeavouring to procure among the
islands a cargo of sandalwood and béche de mer for
the Canton market.

Upon opening the hatches of the tiny ship, which
were carefully secured, and rendered water-proof
by a thick coating of some resinous gum, a roll of
paper was found to constitute her entire cargo. On
examination, it proved to be a closely-written manu-
script, in a crabbed, and indeed almost illegible



EDITOR'S PREFACE. Vii

hand, well calculated to discourage any very ex-
tended investigation of its contents; at all events,
the curiosity of Master Decatur and his friends had
not been sufficiently powerful to overcome the diffi-
culty ; and when the facts first came to my know-
ledge, as above related, not one of them could give
me any account of the subject-matter of the manu-
script. It contained, as I found, what purported to
be a “ narrative of the adventures” of six lads, who,
after getting strangely enough adrift in a small
boat, and being several days at sea in imminent
danger of starvation, finally, in the nick of time,
happened upon a “ desert island,” where, after the
fashion of Robinson Crusoe and other shipwrecked
worthies, they appear to have led quite a romantic
and holiday sort of life.

The narrative purports to have been written by
one of the youthful adventurers for the amusement
of himself and companions, from the materials fur-
nished by a rude and meagre journal, kept during
the early period of their residence on the island,
upon fragments of the leaves of some tropical tree
adapted to that purpose.

It would seem that the “ islanders,” pleased per-
haps with the notion of becoming the heroes of a
tale, but probably rather in the spirit of sportive
mimicry than of serious ambition, determined to cut
up their narrative into chapters, stick a fragment of
rhyme at the commencement of each, after the most



viil EDITOR'S PREFACE.

approved fashion, and, repudiating altogether the
modest form of a journal, to give it the garb and
aspect of “a regular desert-island story.”

When finally reduced to its present shape, it was, ©
in accordance with the romantic suggestion of one of
the young Crusoes, securely deposited in the hold
the little craft, which was then launched forth upm
the deep, to convey to the world the story of the
islanders. Such appears to have been their inten-
tion with regard to it, from the latter part of the
manuscript itself; and its subsequent discovery,
under the circumstances stated, proves that the
design was put into execution.

At the termination of my visit, upon requesting
permission to take the manuscript home with me
to examine at my leisure, the captain at once relin-
quished all his right to it in my favour, expressing
some surprise that I should take such an interest
in the matter.

I subsequently read the narrative, in six winter
evening sittings, to my children and a few of their
playmates. ‘They were all greatly delighted with
it, and by their enthusiasm on the subject, diffused
among their juvenile acquaintance so vehement a
curiosity concerning “the new desert-island story,”
that I at length determined to publish it, as well
for the gratification of the young people, as for the
purpose of advertising the relatives and friends cf
the castaways, if any such should still survive, of



EDITOR'S PREFACE. ix

the strange and deplorable fate that has befallen
them ;* in order, as several of the little folks have
suggested, that suitable measures may be taken to
secure their restoration to their homes and country,
and the government perhaps be induced to fit out
aiy exploring expedition for the discovery of the
island, and the relief of the young exiles,

he style and general character of the narrative
are, in the main, such as one might reasonably
expect ; its supposed author, and the circumstances
under which it purports to have been written,
being taken into consideration. I say purports,
because it has been suggested in some quarters that
the whole thing might be nothing more than a
harmless hoax, perpetrated by some scribbling
middy, who, after writing the story as an agreeable
pastime for his vacant hours, had set it adrift in the

27 Se ree ce ROD



LE LS OTS at

* Upon a loose half-sheet of the manuscript I have found the
following memorandum of the names and former places of resi-
dence of these unfortunate young persons, probably designe
for the information of their friends. Having received no answer
to the letters of inquiry which I thought it my duty to for-
ward to these addresses (such of them, at least, as are visited
by the mail), I publish the memorandum, in the hope that it
may thus reach the eyes of the interested parties :—

JOHN Browne, of Glasgow, Scotland ;

ARTHUR HAMILTON, of Papieti, Tahiti;

WILLIAM Morton, of Hillsdale, New York;

Max ADELER, of Hardscrabble, Columbia County, New York;
RicHARD ARCHER, of Norwich, Connecticut ;

CHARLIE LIVINGSTON, of Milford, Mass. ;

his
E1uLo0, Prince of Tewa, X South Sea.
mark



x EDITOR'S PREFACE.

manner in which it was found, as the most eligible
mode of disposing of it—of which supposition I have
only to remark, that it is entirely gratuitous, and
unsupported by a particle of proof.

The very faults of the narrative confirm its
genuineness, by their consistency with its supposed
origin and authorship. It is unequal, and evidently
the work of an unpractised hand; a boyish tone of
feeling and a boyish sentimentality often charac-
terize it. There is also a great superfluity of detail;
the sayings, as well as the doings of the young
adventurers, are frequently recorded with a tedious
minuteness. This disposition to dwell upon minutie,
to attach importance to things comparatively trivial,
is a characteristic of the youthful mind, and marks
that period of freshness, joyousness, and inexperience,
when everything is new, and possesses the power to
surprise and to interest.

But as the faults to which I have alluded, and
others which it would be easy to enumerate, escaped
the criticism of the juvenile auditory to which the
story was first submitted, and as some of those
faults, and in particular the prolixity and fulness of
detail of which I have spoken, seemed, in their esti-
mation, to add to its interest, I have been unwilling
to take any liberties with it, and have finally con-
cluded to send the manuscript to the printer in all
its original integrity.

Tue Epiror.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IL
THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

Climbing for “‘Glory”—Max in a Cocoa-Palm—A Tropical Scene—
How People are “ Cast Away "—Charlie’s Views of Desert-Island
Life, eee eee eoe ece eos eee eee

CHAPTER II.
THE ALARM.

The Fugitive—A Hazardous Attempt—A Race with the Mutineers—
The Wounded Rower—The Coral Ledge, eee oes oes

CHAPTER III.
THE CONFLICT.

‘One more Effort!”—A Brief Warning—The Struggle and its results4
—The Strange Sail—Darkness—The Open Sea, eee

CHAPTER IV.
AT SEA.

A Night of Gloom—Morton's Narrative—Frazer and the Mutineers—
Visionary Terrors—The First Morning—An Alarming Discovery,

CHAPTER V.
THE CONSULTATION.

The Last Doubt Resolved—Out of Sight of Land—Slender Resources
—What's to be done?—A ‘‘ Holiday Adventure!”—A Guess at our
Position, ... oes eee oes see eee

15

22

sl



xii CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VI.
THE CALM.

The Second Watch—A Narrow Escape—An Evil Omen—The Spectre
Fish—The Sky and the Ocean—A Breakfast Lost—The Commence-

ment of Suffering, ... eee oes eee eee eee

CHAPTER VII.
A CHANGE.

Threatening Indications—A Welcome Peril—The Albacore and their
Prey—aA Strange Repast—A Tropical Thunder-Storm, ...

CHAPTER VIII.
TOKENS OF LAND.

Sunset on the Southern Ocean—The Perfect Sphere—‘‘ Must we
Perish ?”—The Mysterious Sound—The Distant Conflagration,

CHAPTER IX.
DARK WATERS.

A Bitter Disappointment—The Little Sufferer--Fever and Delirium
—The Midnight Bath—A Strange Peril, eee see

CHAPTER X.
A SAIL.

Sea Creatures—A Mournful Change—The Cachelot and his Assail-
ants—The Combat—New Acquaintances, eee oes tee

CHAPTER XI.
A CATASTROPHE.

The Little Islander—A Stupendous Spectacle—The Whirling Pillars
—We Lose our New Friends,... eee eee eee

47

51

59

67



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XII.
OUR ISLAND HOME.

The “ Aveia"—The Illusion of the Golden Haze—The Barrier Reef—
A Wall of Breakers—A Struggle for Life—The Islet of Cocoa-
Palms, eee eee ee6 eee eee eee eee

CHAPTER XIII.
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

The Evils of Inaction—Arthur’s Remedy—Eiulo—Exhilarating Influ-
ences—Pearl-Shell Beach—The Feathered Colony—An Invasion
Repelled, eee ose eee ete eee eee eee

CHAPTER XIV.
CASTLE HILL

The Noonday Halt—A Charming Resting-Place—Charlie Instructs
us how Desert-Islanders are wont to make a Fire—Heathen Skill
versus Civilization and the Story-Books, ees eee eee

CHAPTER XV.
CAMPING OUT.

Exemplary Birds—A “Desperate Engagement”—-Charlie discovers
‘an Oyster-Tree""—Vagrants, or Kings ?—A Night in the Wvods
-—A Sleeping Prescription, ... ees soe eee vee

CHAPTER XVI.
DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS.

A Desert-Island Breakfast—Coming Out Strong under Discouraging
Circumstances—Romance and Reality—Consoling Precedents—
The Prince and Princess, one eee eee ase oes

CHAPTER XVII.
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

A Voice in the Woods—" Vive Napoleon ?”—How Desert-Islanders
“do their Washing "—Arthur “Calculates our Longitude "—Ro-
gerogee—The ‘“ Wild Frenchman’s” Hat, ... ove eee

Page

8%

98

110

118

129

186



xiv CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XVIII
ABOUT TEWA.

A Dull Chapter—But Necessary—Future Acquaintances—Wakatta
and Atollo—The Siesta Disturbed—A Gentle Hint -Max as an
Architect, ... ese ose ese

CHAPTER XIX.
THE CORAL REEF.

An Expedition by Water—An Affectionate Pair—Charlie and the
Chama—An Ambuscade for Land-Crabs—Amateur Pearl-Diving—
A Shark Blockade—Culinary Genius, eee

CHAPTER XX.
ARTHUR’S STORY.

An Evening at Palm Islet—Story-Telling—Browne on ‘The Knightly
Character”—Rokoa—A Voyage to the Cannibal Island of Angatan,

CHAPTER XXI.
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

The Miro Grove—The Marae—The Old Priest—Mowno at Home—A

Happy Savage—Cannibal Young Ladies—Olla and her Friends—
A Cannibal Dinner, ...

CHAPTER XXII.
AN EXPLOSION.

“Lai-Evi"—A Flowery Warfare—The Cannibals Appreciate Music
and Eloquence—But take Offence at the New Theology, , eee

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE FLIGHT.

The Priest's Spies, and Olla’s Stratagem—Rokoa’s Expedition—The
Hasty Departure—The Pursuit—The Priest's Ambush, ... ose

-

L£9

161

172

184

199



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIV.
HOUSE-BUILDING.

Dawn on the Lagoon—Charlie’s Plan of Making a Fortune—The
**Sea-Attorney’—The “ Shark Exterminator’’—Max “ Carries the
War into Africa”—Our House Begun—Mermaid’s Cove, eee

CHAPTER XXV.
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

Our House Completed—Echo-Vale and Lake Laicomo—A Democrat
in the Woods—Harry Clay and General Jackson—Charlie’s “ Wild
Frenchman” Discovered at Last, ose eee eee ase

CHAPTER XXAVL
THE REMOVAL.

Preparations for the Rainy Season—Our House put to the Test—
Going into Winter-Quecters—Laying in Supplies—Monsieur Paul
—Max Baffled—The Patriarch of the Lake, _.... oes ees

CHAPTER XXVII.
WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

Our In-Door Resources—Amusements and Occupations—Chess and
Fencing—tThe Rival Story-Tellers—The “South Sea Lyceum,” ...

CHAPTER XXVIII. .
THE SEPARATION.

Our Seclusion Invaded—Spring in the Tropics—The Excursion—The
Islet in the Stream—The Grove-Tree—Lost Companions, ose

CHAPTER XXIX.
THE SEARCH.

The Charm Fading—Home, sweet Home!—We Seek the Missing
Ones—A Startling Discovery—The Footprints and the Trail—The
Canoe upon the Shore, eee ose eee ose ees

xV

228

238

249

256

265

274



xvi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXX.
THE RENCONTRE.

The Two Parties of Natives—The Pursuers and Pursued—We are
Discovered—The Consultation and Decision—An Exciting Moment
-—Fencing Lessons put in Practice—The Principles of the Broad-
sword Exercise Misapplied, ... ees ose ose see

CHAPTER XXXL
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

The Return to the Islet-—Perplexity and Doubt—Morton’s Determi-
nation— The Search Renewed— The Captives—Atollo and the
Tewans, eee see ove eco eee eco eee

CHAPTER XXKXIL
THE SINGLE COMBAT.

Preparations for an Attack—The Islet Fortified—A Demand and
Refusal—The Battle of Banian Islet-—A Timely Reinforcement—-
The Two Champions, ove oes eee eee oes

CHAPTER XXXIII,
THE MIGRATION.

An Invitation to Tewa—Max’'s Flattering Opinion of Wakatta—In-
ducements to Colonize—Preparations to Depart—The Manuscript
and the Messenger-Ship, cee see eee vee eee

Page

283

294

306

825



THE ISLAND HOME.

CHAPTER I.

THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

MAX IN A COCOA-PALM—CHARLIE’S VIEWS OF DESERT-
ISLAND LIFE.

““O give us some bright little isle of our own,
In the blue summer ocean, fur off and alone.”

——_

._ * * * * As we wandered along the
shore (taking care to keep in sight of Mr. Frazer, under
whose convoy, in virtue of his double-barrelled fowling-
piece, we considered ourselves), we came to a low and
narrow point, running out a little way into the sea, the
extremity of which was adorned by a stately group of
cocoanut-trees.

The spot seemed ill adapted to support vegetation of
so nagnificent 4 growth, and nothing less hardy than the
cocoa-palm could have derived nourishment from such a
soil. Several of these fine trees stood almost at the
water’s edge, springing from a bed of sand, mingled with
‘black basaltic pebbles, and coarse fragments of shells and
coral, where their roots were washed by every rising tide:
yet their appearance was thrifty and flourishing, and they
were thickly covered with close-packed bunches of tassel-

A



2 THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

like, straw-coloured blossoms, and loaded with fruit in
various stages of growth.

Charlie cast a wistful glance at the compact clusters of
nuts, nestling beneath the graceful tufts of long leaves
that crowned each straight and tapering trunk ; but he
had so recently learned from experience the hopelessness
of undertaking to climb a cocoanut-tree, that he was not
at present disposed to renew the attempt. Max, however,
who greatly valued himself upon his agility, and professed
to be able to do anything that could be done in the way
of climbing, manifested an intention to hazard his reputa-
tion by making the doubtful experiment. After looking
carefully around, he selected for the attempt a young
tree near the shore, growing at a considerable inclination
from the perpendicular; and clasping it firmly, he slowly
commenced climbing, or rather creeping, along the slant-
ing trunk, while Charlie watched the operation from below
with an interest as intense as if the fate of empires de-
pended upon the result. .

Max, who evidently considered his character at stake,
and who climbed for “glory” rather than for cocoanuts,
proceeded with caution and perseverance. Once he
partly lost his hold, and swung round to the under side
of the trunk, but by a resolute and vigorous effort he
promptly recovered his position, and finally succeeded in
establishing himself quite comfortably among the enor-
mous leaves that drooped from the top of the tree. Here
he seemed disposed to rest for a while, after his arduous
and triumphant exertions, and he sat looking compla-
cently down upon us from his elevated position, without
making any attempt to secure the fruit, which hung within
his reach in abundant clusters.

“Hurra for Harry Clay!’ cried Charlie, capering
about, and clapping his hands with glee, as soon as this
much-desired consummation was attained. “Now, Max,
pitch down the nuts !”













MAX IN A COCOA PALM.

After enjoying the impatience caused by the tantalizing deliberation of his own
movements, Max detached two entire clusters of nuts from the tree, which furnished
us an abundant supply.—Page 3



THE TROPICAL ISLAND. 3.

-“Hurra for Harry Clay indeed!” growled Max, puf-
fing and panting from his recent efforts ; “it seems to me
that it would be much more proper and becoming, under ~
the circumstances, to hurra for Max Adeler. Harry Clay
couldn’t begin to climb this tree, and I doubt if he can
help you to these cocoanuts.”

Charlie was but shouting his favourite war-cry, in cele-
bration of your success,” said Arthur: “ though he huzzaed
for Harry Clay, his exultation was called forth by your
triumph; therefore, hasten to let him participate in its
fruits.”

“He rejoices in the victory,’ answered Max, “only
because he anticipates a share in the spoils. But do you
suppose that I climbed this tree, animated by the vulgar
desire of sucking cocoanuts? No; I wished to show you
how difficulties apparently insurmountable vanish beiore
skill and perseverance.”

After having teased Charlie sufficiently, and enjoyed
the impatience caused by the tantalizing deliberation of
his own movements, Max detached two entire clusters
of nuts from the tree, which furnished us an abundant
supply.

’ Selecting a pleasant spot beside the beach, we sat down
to discuss the cocoanuts at our Icisure, which occupied us
some little time. Upon looking round after we had fin-
ished, we discovered that our convoy had disappeared, and
Charlie, whose imagination was continually haunted by
visionary savages and cannibals, manifested considerable
uneasiness upon finding that we were alone.

As the sun was already low in the west, and we- sup-
posed that the party engaged in getting wood had in
all probability finished their work, we concluded to re-
turn, and to wait for Mr. Frazer and the rest of the
shore party at the boats, if we should not find them al-
ready there.

As we skirted the bordcr of the grove on our roturn,



4 THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

Charlie every now and then cast an uneasy glance to-
wards its darkening recesses, as though expecting to see
gome wild animal or a yelling troop of tattooed islanders
rush out upon us. The forest commenced about two
hundred yards from the beach, from which there was a
gradual ascent, and was composed of a greater variety
of trees than I had observed on the other islands of a
similar size at which we had previously landed. Arthur
called our attention to a singular and picturesque group
of tournefortias, in the midst of which, like a patriarch
surrounded by his family, stood one of uncommon size,
and covered with a species ot fern, which gave it a strik-
ing and remarkable appearance. The group covered a
little knoll, that crowned a piece of rising ground, ad-
vanced a short distance beyond the edge of the forest.
It was a favourable spot for a survey of the scene around
us. The sun, now hastening to his setting, was tinging
all the western ocean with a rich vermilion glow. The
smooth white beach before us, upon which the long-roll-
ing waves broke in even succession, retired in a graceful
curve to the right, and was broken on the left by the
wooded point already mentioned. |

As you looked inland, the undulating surface of the
island, rising gradually from the shore, and covered with
the wild and luxuriant vegetation of the tropics, delighted
the eye by its beauty and variety. The noble bread-fruit-
tree, its arching branches clothed with its peculiarly rich
and glossy foliage; the elegantly-shaped casuarina, the
luxuriant pandanus, and the palms, with their stately
trunks, and green crests of nodding leaves, imparted to
the scene a character of Oriental beauty.

“Why do they call so lovely a spot as this a desert
island, I wonder?” exclaimed Charlie, after gazing around
him a few moments in silence.

“Did you ever hear of a desert island that wasn’t a
lovely spot?” answered Max. “Why, your regular desert

wo”



THE TROPICAL ISLAND. 5

island should combine the richest productions of the tem-
perate, torrid, and frigid zones—a choice selection of the
fruits, flowers, vegetables, and animals of Europe, Asia,
and Africa. This would by no means come up to the
average standard. I doubt if you could find upon it so
much as a goat or a poll-parrot, much less an ‘ 6nager,’ a
buffalo, or a boa-constrictor, some of which at least are
indispensable to a desert island of any respectability.”

“Why, then, do they call such delightful places desert
islands ?” repeated Charlie. “I always thought a desert
was a, barren wilderness, where there was nothing to be
scen but sand, and rocks, and Arabs.”

“TI believe they are more properly called desolate
islands,” said Arthur ; “and that seems proper enough ;
for even this island, with all its beauty, is supposed to be
uninhabited, and it would be a very lonely and desolate
home. Would you like to live here, Charlie, like Robin-
son Crusoe, or the Swiss family ?”

“Not all alone, like Robinson Crusoe. O no! that
would be horrible; but I think we might all of us to-
gether live here beautifully a little while, if we had plenty
of provisions, and plenty of arms to defend ourselves
against the savages; and then, of course, we should want a
house to live in too.”

“ Nonsense,” said Max, “what should we want of pro-
visions !—the sea is full of fish, and the forest of birds;
the trees are loaded with fruit; there are oysters and
other shell-fish in the bays; and no doubt there are vari-
ous roots, good for food, to be had by digging for them.
As to a house, we might sleep very comfortably, in such
weather as this, under these tournefortias, and never so
much as think of taking cold; or we could soon build a
serviceable hut, which would be proof against sun and
rain, of the trunks and boughs of trees, with a thatch of
palm-leaves fora roof. Then, in regard to arms, of course,
if it should be our fate to set up for desert islanders, we



6 THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

should be well supplied in that line. I never heard of any
one, from Robinson Crusoe down, being cast away on a
desert island without a good store of guns, pistols, cut-
lasses, &c. &c. Such a thing would be contrary to all pre-
cedent, and is not for a moment to be dreamed of.”

“ But we haven’t any arms,” said Charlie, “ except those
old rusty cutlasses that Spot put into the yawl, and if we
should be cast away, or left here, for instance, where should
we get them from ?”

“O, but we’re not cast away yet,” replied Max. “This
is the way the thing always happens. When people are
cast away, it is in a ship of course.”

“Why, yes; I suppose so,” said Charlie, rather doubt-
fully.

“ Well—the ship is always abundantly supplied with
everything necessary to a desert-island life ; she is driven
ashore ; the castaways—the future desert islanders—by
dint of wonderful good fortune, get safely to land; the
rest of course are all drowned, and so disposed of: then,
in due time, the ship goes to pieces, and everything need-
ful is washed ashore, and secured by the islanders. That’s
the regular course of things—isn’t it, Arthur ?”

“ Yes, I believe it is, according to the story-books, which
are the standard sources of information on the subject.”

“ Or sometimes,” pursued Max, “the ship gets comfort-
ably wedged in between two convenient rocks (which
seem to have been designed for that special purpose), so
that the castaways can go out to it on a raft, or float of
some kind, and carry off everything they want—and singu-
larly enough, although the vessel is always on the point of
going to pieces, that catastrophe never takes place until
everything which can be of any use is secured.”

“Do you suppose, Arthur,” inquired Charlie, “ that
there are many uninhabited islands that have never been
discovered ?”

“There are belicved to be a great many of them,”



THE TROPICAL ISLAND. 7

answered Arthur, “ and it is supposed that new ones dre
constantly being formed by the labours of the coral insect.
A bare ledge of coral first appears just at the surface ; it
arrests floating substances, weeds, trees, &c. ; soon the sea-
birds begin to resort there; by the decay of vegetable and
animal matter a thin soil gradually covers the foundation
of coral; a cocoanut is drifted upon it by the winds, or
the currents of the sea; it takes root, springs up; its fruit
ripens, and falls, and in a few years the whole new-formed
island is covered with waving groves.”

“Mr. Frazer says he has no doubt that these seas
swarm with such islands, and that many of them have
never. been discovered,” said Max ; “ besides, here’s poetry
for it :—

‘*O many are the beauteous isles
Unseen by human eye,
That sleeping 'mid the ocean smiles,
In happy silence lie.
The ship may pass them in the night,

Nor the sailors know what lovely sight
Is sleeping on the main ;”

but this poetical testimony will make Arthur doubt the
fact altogether.”

“ Not exactly,” answered Arthur, “though I am free to
admit, that without Mr. Frazer’s opinion to back it, your
poetical testimony would not go very far with me.”

“Hark! there go Mr. Frazer’s two barrels,” cried Max,
as two reports in quick succession were heard, coming
apparently from the grove in the direction of the spring ;
“he has probably come across a couple of ‘rare speci-
mens,’ to be added to his stuffed collection.”



.8 THE ALARM.

CHAPTER II.

THE ALARM.

THE MOTINEERS—THE RACE FOR LIFE—THE CORAL
LEDGE.

** Now bend the straining rowers to their oars;
Fast the light shallops leave the lessening sl:ores ;
No rival crews in emulous sport contend,

But life and death upon the event depend.”

THE next moment we were startled by a quick, fierce
shout, followed immediately by a long, piercing, and dis-
tressful cry, proceeding from the same quarter from which
the reports of firearms had been heard; and before we
had time to conjecture the cause or meaning of these
frightful sounds, Morton bounded like a deer from the
grove, about a hundred yards from the spot where we
were standing, and ran swiftly towards us, crying out—
“To the boats! for your lives to the boats!”

Our first thought was, that the party at the spring had
been attacked and massacred by the natives. Arthur
seized Charlie by one hand, and motioned to me to take
the other, which I did, and without stopping to demand
any explanations, we started at a rapid pace in the direc-
tion of the yawl, Max taking the lead—Arthur and myself
dragging Charlie between us coming next, and Morton a
few paces behind us bringing up the rear. It took but
a few moments to enable us to reach the spot where the
yawl lay, hauled up, upon the beach. There was no one
in her, or in sight, except Browne, who was comfortavly



THE ALARM. 9

stretched out near the boat sound asleep, with an open
book lying beside him.

Morton aroused the sleeper by a violent shake. “ Now
then,” cried he, “let us get the boat into the water; the
tide is down, and the yawl is heavy ; we shall want all the
strength we can muster.”

By a united effort we got the yawl to the edge of the surf.

Browne, though not yet thoroughly awake, could not
but observe our pale faces and excited appearance, and
gazing from one to another in a bewildered manner, he
asked what was the matter; but no one made any answer.
Morton lifted Charlie into the boat, and asked the rest of
us to get in, except Arthur, saying that they two would
push her through the surf.

“ Hold !” cried Arthur, “let us not be too fast; some of
the others may escape the savages, and they will naturally
run this way—we must not leave them to be murdered.”

“There are no savages in the case,” answered Morton,
“and there is no time to be lost; the men have killed the
first officer, and Mr. Frazer too, I fear; and they will take
the ship, and commit more murders, unless we can get
there before them, to warn those on board.”

This was more horrible than anything that we had anti-
cipated ; but we had no time to dwell upon it: the sound
of oars rattling in their row-locks was heard from beyond
the point. |

“There are the mutineers!” cried Morton; “ but I think
that we have the advantage oi them ; they must pull round
yonder point, which will make at least a quarter of a mile’s
difference in the distance to the ship.”

“There is no use in trying to get to the ship before
them,” said Max; “the longboat pulls eight oars, and
there are men enough to fill her.”

“There is use in trying; it would be shameful not to
try; if they pull most oars, ours is the lightest boat,”
answered Morton with vehemence.



19 THE ALARM.

“It is out of the question,” said Crowne ; “see; is there
any hope that we can succeed?” and he pointed to the
bow of the longboat just appearing from behind the point.

“QO, but this is not right! Browne! Max! in the name
of all that is honourable let us make the attempt,” urged
Morton, laying a hand in an imploring manner on the arm
of each. “Shall we let them take the ship and murder
our friends, without an effort to warn them of their
danger? You, Arthur, are for making the attempt I know.
This delay is wrong: the time is precious.”

“Yes, let us try it,” said Arthur, glancing rapidly from
the longboat to the ship; “if we fail, no harm is done,
except that we incur the anger of the mutineers. I for
one am willing to take the risk.”

Max sprang into the boat, and scized an oar without
another word.

“You know well that I am willing to share any danger
with the rest, and that it was not the danger that made
me hesitate,” said Browne, laying his hand on Morton’s
shoulder, and looking earnestly into his face; and then,
in his usual deliberate manner, he followed Max’s ex-
ample.

Morton, Arthur, and myself, now pushed the boat into
the surf, and sprang in. At Arthur’s request, I took the
rudder ; he and Morton seized the two remaining oars,
and the four commenced pulling with a degree of coolness
and vigour that would not have disgraced older and more
practised oarsmen. As I saw the manner in which they
bent to their work, and the progress we were making, I
began to think our chance of reaching the ship before the
crew of the longboat by no means desperate.

Morton, in spite of his slender figure and youthful ap-
pearance, which his fresh, ruddy complexion, blue eyes,
and brown curling locks rendered almost effeminate, pos-
sessed extraordinary strength and indomitable energy.

Lrowne, though his rather heavy frame and breadth of



THE ALARM. Il

shoulders gave him the appearance of greater strength
than he actually possessed, was undoubtedly capable,
when aroused, of more powerful temporary exertion than
any other of our number; though, in point of activity and
endurance, he would scarcely equal Morton or Arthur.
Max, too, was vigorous and active, and when stimulated
by danger or emulation, was capable of powerful effort.
Arthur, though of slight and delicate frame, was compact
and well knit, and his coolness, judgment, and resolution,
enabled him to dispose of his strength to the best advan-
tage. All were animated by that high and generous
spirit which is of greater value in an emergency than any
amount of mere physical strength ; a spirit which often
stimulates the feeble to efforts as surprising to him who
puts them forth as to those who witness them.

Browne had the bow-oar, and putting his whole force
into every stroke, was pulling like a giant. Morton, who
was on the same side, handled his oar with less excitement
and effort, but with greater precision and equal efficiency.
It was plain that these two were pulling Max and Arthur
round, and turning the boat from her course; and as I
had not yet succeeded in shipping the rudder, which was
rendered difficult by the rising and falling of the boat,
and the sudden impulse she received from every stroke, I
requested Browne and Morton to pull more gently. Just as
I had succeeded in getting the rudder hung, the crew of
the longboat seemed to have first observed us. They had
cleared the point to the southward, and we were perhaps
a hundred yards nearer the long point, beyond which we
could see the masts of the ship, and on doubling which
we should be almost within hail of her. The latter point
was probably a little mére than half a mile distant from
us, and towards the head of it both boats were steering.
The longboat was pulling eight oars, and Luerson, who
had had the difficulty with the first officer at the Kings-
inill Islands, was at the helm. As soon as he observed us,



12 THE ALARM.

he appeared to speak to the crew of his boat, and they
commenced pulling with greater vigour than before. He
then hailed us—

* Holloa, lads! where’s Frazer? Are you going to leave
him on the island ?”

We pulled on in silence.

“ He is looking for you now somewhere along shore ;

‘he left us, just below the point, to find you; you had
better pull back and bring him off.”

“ All a trick,” said Morton; “don’t waste any breath
with them ;” and we bent to the oars with new energy.

“The young scamps mean to give the alarm,” I could
hear Luerson mutter with an oath, as he surveyed for a
moment the interval between the two boats, and then the
distance to the point.

“There’s no use of mincing matters, my lads,” he cried,
standing up in the stern; “we have knocked the first
officer on the head, and served some of those who didn’t
approve of the proceeding in the same way ; and now we
are going to take the ship.”

“We know it, and intend to prevent you,” cried Morton,
panting with the violence of his exertions.

“Unship your oars till we pass you, and you shall not
be hurt,” pursued Luerson in the same breath; “pull
another stroke at them, and I will serve you like your
friend Frazer, and he lies dead at the spring.”

The ruffian’s design in this savage threat was doubtless
to terrify us into submission; or at least so to appal and
agitate us, as to make our exertions more confused and
feeble. In this last calculation he may have been partially
correct, for the threat was fearful, and the danger immi-
nent: the harsh deep tones of his voice, with the feroci-
ous determination of his manner, sent a thrill of horror to
every heart. More than this he could not effect; there
was not a craven spirit among our number.

“Steadily !” said Arthur in a low, collected tone;



THE ALARM. 13.

“less than five minutes will bring us within hail. of the
ship.”

But the minutes seemed hours, amid such tremendous
exertions and such intense anxiety. “ The sweat streamed
from the faces of the rowers ; they gasped and panted for
breath ; the swollen veins stood out on their foreheads.

“ Perhaps,” cried Luerson, after a pause, “ perhaps there
is some one in that boat who desires to save his life; who-
ever drops his oar shall not be harmed; the rest die.”

A scornful laugh from Morton was the only answer to
this tempting offer.

Luerson now stooped for a moment, and seemed to
be groping for something in the bottom of the boat.
When he rose, it was with a musket or fowlingpiece in
his hands, which he cocked, and coming forward to the
bow, levelled towards us.

“Once more,” he cried, “and once for all, drop your
oars, or I fire among you.”

“J don’t believe it is loaded,” said Arthur, “or he would
have used it sooner.”

“TJ think it is Frazer’s gun,” said Morton, “and he fired
both barrels before they murdered him ; there has been
no time to reload it.”

The evcnt showed the truth of these suspicions ; for
upon seeing that his threat produced no effect, Luerson
resumed his seat in the bows, the helm having been given
to one of the men not at the oars.

We were now close upon the point, and as I glanced
from our pursuers to the ship, I began to breathe more
freely. They had gained upon us; but it was inch by
inch, and the goal was now at hand. The longboat,
though pulling eight oars, and those of greater length
than ours, was a clumsier boat than the yawl, and at pre-
sent heavily loaded: we had almost held our own with
them thus far.

But now Luerson sprang up once more in the bow of



14 THE ALARM.

the longboat, and presented towards us the weapon with
which he had a moment before threatened us; and this
time it was no idle menace. A puff of smoke rose from
the muzzle of the piece, and just as the sharp report
reached our ears, Browne uttered a quick exclamation of
pain, and let fall his oar.

For a moment all was confusion and alarm; but
Browne, who had seized his oar again almost instantly,
declared that he was not hurt; that the ball had merely
razed the skin of his arm; and he attempted to recom-
mence rowing: before, however, he had pulled half-a-
dozen strokes, his right hand was covered with the blood
which streamed down his arm.

I now insisted on taking his oar; and he took my place
at the helm.

While this change was being effected, our pursuers
gained upon us perceptibly. Every moment was precious.
Luerson urged his men to greater efforts; the turning
point of the struggle was now at hand, and the excitement
became terrible.

“Steer close in; it will save something in distance,”
gasped Morton, almost choking for breath.

“ Not too close,” panted Arthur; “don’t get us
aground.”

“There is no danger of that,” answered Morton, “it is
deep off the point.”

Almost as he spoke, a sharp grating sound was heard ~
beneath the bottom of the boat, and our progress was
arrested with a suddenness that threw Max and myself
from our seats. We were upon a ledge of coral, which at.
a time of less excitement we could scarcely have failed to
have observed and avoided, from the manner in which the
sea broke upon it.

A shout of mingled exultation and derision, as they
witnessed this disaster, greeted us from the longboat,
which was ploughing through the water but a little way





THE MUTINEERS,

A put? of smoke rose from the muzzle of the piece, and just as the sharp report
reached our ears, Browne uttered a quick exclamation of pain, and let fall his oar.—
Page 14.



TIIE CONFLICT. 15

behind us, and some twenty yards further out from the
shore.

«It is all up,” said Morton bitterly, dropping his oar.

“Back water! Her stern still swings free,” cried Arthur ;
“the next swell will lift her clear.”

We got as far aft as possible, to lighten the bows; a
huge wave broke upon the ledge, and drenched us with
spray ; but the yaw] still grated upon the coral.

- Luerson probably deemed himself secure of a more con-
venient opportunity, at no distant period, to wreak his
vengeance upon us: at anyrate there was no time for it
now ; he merely menaced us with his clenched fist as they
swept by. Almost at the same moment a great sea came
rolling smoothly in, and as our oars dipped to back water,
we floated free ; then a few vigorous strokes carried us to
a safe distance from the treacherous shoal.

CHAPTER III.

THE CONFLICT.

A FINAL EFFORT—A BRIEF WARNING—THE STRANGE SAI.

Hermann. Brother, though we should fail, the attempt were noble.
AMAND. We'll make the essay: here is my hand upon it.

“ONE more effort!’ cried Arthur, as the mutineers dis-
appeared behind the point; “we are not yet too late to
give them a warning, though it will be but a short one.”
Again we bent to the oars, and in a moment we too had
doubled the point, and were in the wake of the longboat.
The ship lay directly before us, and within long hailing
distance.



16 THE CONFLICT.

“Now, comrades, let us shout together, and try to make
them understand their danger,” said Browne, standing up
in the stern.

“A dozen strokes more,” said Arthur, “and we can do
it with more certain success.”

Luerson merely glanced back at us as he once more
heard the dash of our oars; but he took no farther notice
of us: the crisis was too close at hand.

On board the ship all seemed quiet. Some of the men
were gathered together on the starboard bow, apparently
engaged in fishing; they did not seem to notice the ap-
proach of the boats.

“Now, then!” cried Arthur, at length unshipping his
oar and springing to his feet, “ one united effort to attract
their attention—all together—now, then!” and we sent
up a cry that echoed wildly across the water, and startled
the idlers congregated at the bows, who came running to
the side of the vessel nearest us.

“We have got their attention; now hail them,” said
Arthur, turning to Browne, who had a deep, powerful
voice; “tell them not to let the longboat board them.”

Browne put his hands to his mouth, and in tones that
could have been distinctly heard twice the distance,
shouted—

“Look out for the longboat—don’t let them board you
—the men have killed the first officer, and want to take
the ship!” From the stir and confusion that followed, it
was clear that the warning was understood.

But the mutineers were now scarcely twenty yards from
the vessel, towards which they were ploughing their way
with unabated speed. The next moment they were under
her bows; just as their oars flew into the air, we could
hear a deep voice from the deck sternly ordering them to
“keep off,” and I thought that I could distinguish Captain
Erskine standing near the bowsprit.

_ The mutineers gave no heed to the order; several of



THE CONFLICT. 17

them sprang into the chains, and Luerson among the rest,
A fierce though unequal struggle at once commenced.
The captain, armed with a weapon which he wielded in
both hands, and which I took to be a capstan-bar, struck
right and left among the boarders as they attempted to
gain the deck, and at least one of them fell back with a
heavy plunge into the water. But the captain seemed to
be almost unsupported ; and the mutineers had nearly all
reached the deck, and were pressing upon him.

“Oh but this is a cruel sight!” said Browne, turning
away with a shudder. “Comrades, can we do nothing
more ?”

Morton, who had been groping beneath the sail in the
bottom of the boat, now dragged forth the cutlasses which
Spot had insisted on placing there when he went ashore.

“Here are arms!” he exclaimed, “we are not such
boys, but that we can take a part in what is going on—let
us pull to the ship !”

“What say you?” cried Arthur, glancing inquiringly
from one to another, “ we can’t perhaps do much, but shall
we sit here and see Mr. Erskine murdered, without trying
to help him?” Oo

“Friends, let us to the ship!” cried Browne with deep
emotion; “I am ready.”

“And I!” gasped Max, pate with excitement; “we can
but be killed.”

Can we hope to turn the scale of this unequal strife?
shall we do more than arrive at the scene of conflict in
time to experience the vengeance of the victorious muti-
neers ?—such were the thoughts that flew hurriedly through
my mind. I was entirely unaccustomed to scenes of vio-
lence and bloodshed, and my head swam, and my heart
sickened, as I gazed at the confused conflict raging on the
vessel’s deck, and heard the shouts and cries of the com-
batants. Yet I felt an inward recoil against the baseness
of sitting an idle spectator of such a struggle. A glance

B |



18. THE CONFLICT.

at the lion-hearted Erskine still maintaining the unequal
fight was an appeal to every noble and generous feeling :
it nerved me for the attempt, and though I trembled as I
grasped an oar, it was with excitement and eagerness, not
with fear.

The yawl had hardly received the first impulse in the
direction of the ship, when the report of firearms was
heard.

“Merciful heavens!” cried Morton, “the captain is
down! that fiend Luerson has shot him !”

The figure which I had taken for that of Mr. Erskine
was no longer to be distinguished among the combatants ;
some person was now dragged to the side of the ship to-
wards us, and thrown overboard; he sunk after a feeble
struggle ; a triumphant shout followed, and then two men
were seen running up the rigging.

“There goes poor Spot up to the foretop,” said Max,
pointing to one of the figures in the rigging; “he can only
gain time at the best; but it can’t be that they'll kill him
in cold blood.”

“Luerson is just the man to do it,” answered Morton;
“the faithful fellow has stood by the captain, and that
will seal his fate. Look! it is as I said,” and I could see
some one pointing what was doubtless Mr. Frazer’s fowl-
ingpiece at the figure in the foretop. A parley seemed
to follow ; as the result of which, the fugitive came down
and surrendered himself. The struggle now appeared to
be over, and quiet was once more restored.

So rapidly had these events passed, and so stunning was
their effect, that it was some moments before we could
collect our thoughts, or fully realize our situation ; and
we sat, silent and bewildered, gazing towards the ship.

Max was the first to break silence: “And now what’s
to be done?” he said; “as to going aboard, that is of course
out of the question: the ship is no longer our home.”

“T don’t know what we can do,” said Morton, “except



THE CONFLICT. 19

to pull ashore, and stand the chance of being taken off by
some vessel before we starve.”

“Here is something better,” cried Max eagerly, pointing
out to sea ; and looking in the direction indicated, we saw
a large ship with all her sails set steering directly for us,
or so nearly so, as to make it apparent that if she held on
her present course, she must pass very near to us. Had
we not been entirely engrossed by what was taking place
immediately around us, we could not have failed to have
seen her sooner, as she must have been in sight a con-
siderable time.

“They have already seen her on board,” said Morton,
“and that accounts tor their great hurry in getting up
anchor ; they don’t feel like being neighbourly, just now,
with strange vessels.”

In fact there was every indication on board of our own
ship of haste, and eagerness to be gone. While some of
the men were at the capstan getting up the anchor, others
were busy in the rigging, and sail after sail was rapidly
spread to the breeze, so that by the time the anchor was
at the bows, the ship began to move slowly through the
water.

“They don’t seem to consider us of much account any-
way,” said Max, “they are going without so much as saying
—good-by.”

“They may know more of the stranger than we do,”
said Arthur; “they have glasses on board: if she should
be an American man-of-war, their hurry is easily ex-
plained.”

“T can’t help believing that they see or suspect more in
regard to her than appears to us,” said Morton, “or they
would not fail to make an attempt to recover the yawi.”

“It is rapidly getting dark,” said Arthur, “and I think
we had better put up the sail, and steer for the stranger.” °

“Right,” said Morton, “for she may possibly tack be-
fore she sees us.”



4

QW TUE CONFLICT.

Morton and myself proceeded to step the mast, and rig
the sail; meantime Arthur got Browne’s coat off, and
examined and bandaged the wound on his arm, which
had been bleeding all the while profusely: he pronounced
it to be but a trifling hurt. A breeze from the south-east
had sprung up at sunset, and we now had a free wind to
fill our sail, as we steered directly out to sea to meet the
stranger, which was still at too great a distance to make
it probable that we had been seen by her people.

It was with a feeling of anxiety and uneasiness that I
saw the faint twiLight fading away with the suddenness
usual in those latitudes, and the darkness gathering
rapidly round us. Already the east was wrapped in
gloom, and only a faint streak of light along the western
horizon marked the spot where the sun had so recently
disappeared. .

“How suddenly the night has come upon us,” said
Arthur, who had been peering through the dusk towards
the approaching vessel in anxious silence. “O for twenty
minutes more of daylight! I fear that she is about tack-
ing.”

This announcement filled us all with dismay, and every
eye was strained towards her with intense and painful
interest.

Meantime the breeze had freshened somewhat, and we
now had rather more of it than we desired, as our little
boat was but poorly fitted to navigate the open ocean in
rough weather. Charlie began to manifest some alarm,
as we were tossed like a chip from wave to wave, and
occasionally deluged with spray by a sea bursting with a
rude shock over our bow. I had not even in the violent
storm of the preceding week experienced such a sense of
insecurity, such a feeling of helplessness, as now, when
’ the actual danger was comparatively slight. The waves
seemed tenfold larger and more threatening than when
viewed from the deck of a large vessel. As we sunk into



THE CONFLICT. 21

‘the trough of the sea, our horizon was contracted to the
breadth of half-a-dozen yards, and we entirely lost sight
of the land and of both ships.

But it was evident that we were moving through the
water with considerable velocity, and there was encour-
agement in that, for we felt confident that if the stranger
should hold on her present course but a little longer, we
should be on board of her before our safety would be
seriously endangered by the increasing breeze.

If, however, she were really tacking, out situation would
indeed be critical. A very few moments put a period to
our suspense, by confirming Arthur’s opinion and our
worst fears: the stranger had altered her course; her
yards were braced round, and she was standing further
out to sea. Still, however, there would have been a pos-
sibility of reaching her, but for the failure of light, for she
had not so far changed her course but that she would have
to pass a point which we could probably gain before her.
But now it was with difficulty, and only by means of the
cloud of canvass she carried, that we could distinguish her
through the momently deepening gloom ; and with sink-
ing hearts we relinquished the last hopes connected with
her. Soon she entirely vanished from our sight, and when
we gazed anxiously around the narrow horizon that now

bounded our vision, we could nowhere distinguish the
dand.



22 AT SEA.

CHAPTER IV. .

AT SEA!

A NIGHT OF GLOUOM—MORTON’S NARRATIVE—VISIONARY
TERRORS—AN ALARMING DISCOVERY.

‘“‘O’er the deep! o’er the deep!
Where the whale, and the shark, and the sword-fish sleep.’””

EvEN in open day the distance of a few miles would be
sufficient to sink the low shores of the island; and now
that night had so suddenly overtaken us, it might be quite
near without our being able to distinguish it.

We were even uncertain, and divided in opinion, as to
the direction in which it lay—so completely were we be-
wildered. The night was one of deep and utter gloom.
There was no moon; and not a smgle star shed its feeble
light over the wilderness of agitated waters upon which
our little boat was tossing. Heavy, low-hanging clouds
covered the sky; but soon even these could no longer
be distinguished; a cold damp mist, dense, and almost
palpable to the touch, crept over the ocean, and enveloped
us so closely, that it was impossible to see clearly from
one end of the yaw! to the other.

The wind, however, instead of freshening, as we had
feared, died gradually away. For this we had reason to
be thankful; for though our situation that night seemed
dismal enough, yet how much more fearful would it have
been if the rage of the elements, and danger of immediate
destruction, had been added to the other circumstances of
terror by which we were surrounded !



AT SEA. 23°

As it was, however, the sea having gone down, we sup-
posed ourselves to be in no great or pressing peril. Though
miserably uncomfortable, and somewhat agitated and anxi-
ous, we yet confidently expected that the light of morning
would show us the land again.

The terrible and exciting scenes through which we had
so recently passed had completely exhausted us, and we
were too much overwhelmed by the suddenness of our
calamity, and the novel situation in which we now found
ourselves, to be greatly disposed to talk. Charlie sobbed
himself asleep in Arthur’s arms; and even Max’s usual:
spirits seemed now to have quite forsaken him. After
the mast had been unstepped, and such preparations a»
our circumstances permitted were made for passing the
night comfortably, Morton related all that he knew of
what had taken place on shore previous to the alarm
which he had given.

I repeat the narrative as nearly as possible in his own
words, not perhaps altogether as he related it on that
night, for the circumstances were not then favourable
to a full and orderly account, but partly as I afterwards,
in various conversations, gathered the particulars trom
him:

“You recollect,” said he, “that we separated at the
boats ; Mr. Frazer and the rest of you going along the
shore towards the point, leaving Browne declaiming
Byron’s address to the Ocean from the top of a coral
block, with myself and the breakers for an audience.
Shortly afterwards I strolled off towards the interior, and
left Browne lying on the sand with his pocket Shakspeare,
where we found him when we reached the boats. I kept
on inland until the forest became so dense, and was so
overgrown with tangled vines and creeping plants, that I
could penetrate no farther in that direction. In endea-
vouring to return, I got bewildered, and at length fairly
lost, having no clear notion as to the direction of the



24 AT SEA.

beach. The groves were so thick and dark as to shut out
the light almost entirely ; and I could not get a glimpse
of the sun so as to fix the points of the compass. At last
‘I came to an opening, large enough to let in the light, and
show which way the shadows fell. Knowing that we had
landed on the west side of the island, I could now select
my course without hesitation. It was getting late in the
afternoon, and I walked as fast as the nature of the ground
‘would allow, until I unexpectedly found myself at the
edge of the grove, east of the spring where the men were
at work filling the breakers. The moment I came in sight
of them, I perceived that something unusual was taking
place. The first officer and Luerson were standing oppo-
site each other, and the men, pausing from their work,
were looking on. As I inferred, Mr. Nichol had given
some order, which Luerson had refused to obey. Both
looked excited, but no words passed between them after I
reached the place. There was a pause of nearly a minute,
when Mr. Nichol advanced, as if to lay hands on Luerson,
and the latter struck him a blow with his cooper’s mallet,
which he held in his hand, and knocked him down. Before
he had time to rise, Ato&, the Sandwich Islander, sprang
upon him, and stabbed him twice with his belt-knife. All
this passed so rapidly, that no one had a chance to inter-
fere”

“ Hark !” said Browne, interrupting the narration, “ what
noise is that? It sounds like the breaking of the surf upon
the shore.”

But the rest of us could distinguish no sound except the
washing of the waves against the boat. The eye was of
no assistance in deciding whether we were near the shore
or not, as it was impossible to penetrate the murky dark-
ness @ yard in any direction.

“We must be vigilant,” said Arthur, “the land cannot
be far off, and we may be drifted upon it before morning.”

After listening for some moments in anxious silence, we





_AT SEA. 25

became satisfied that Browne had been mistaken, and
Morton proceeded:

“ Just as Ato& sprang upon Mr. Nichol and stabbed him,
Mr. Knight, who was the first to recover his presence of
mind, seized the murderer, and wrenched the knife from
his hand, at the same time calling on the men to secure
Tjwuerson; but no one stirred to do so. A part seemed
confused and undecided ; while others appeared to me to
have been fully prepared for what had taken place. One
man stepped forward near Luerson, and declared in a
brutal and excited manner that ‘Nichol was a bloody
tyrant, and had got what he deserved, and that no man
could blame Luerson for taking his revenge, after being
treated as he had been.’ For a moment all was clamour
and confusion; then Luerson approached Mr. Knight in a
threatening manner, and bade him loose Atoa, instead of
which, he held his prisoner firmly with one hand, and
warding Luerson off with the other, called on the men to
stand by their officers. Just at this moment Mr. Frazer,
with his gun on his shoulder, came out of the grove from
the side towards the shore, and to him Mr. Knight eagerly
appealed for assistance in securing the murderers of Mr.
Nichol. Pointing from the bleeding corpse at his feet to
Luerson, he said, ‘There is the ringleader—shoot him
through the head at once, and that will finish the matter
—otherwise we shall all be murdered. Fire, I will answer
for the act!’

Frazer seemed to comprehend the situation of things
at aglance. With great presence of mind he stepped
back a pace, and bringing his gun to his shoulder, called
on Luerson to throw down his weapon and surrender him-
self, declaring that he would shoot the first man who lifted
a hand to assist him. His manner was such as to leave no
doubt of his sincerity or his resolution. The men had
no firearms, and were staggered by the suddenness of
the thing; they stood hesitating and undecided. Mr.



26 | AT SEA.

Knight seized this as a favourable moment, and advanced
upon Luerson with the intention of securing him; and the
Islander was thus left free. At this moment I observed
the man who had denounced Mr. Nichol, and justified
Luerson, stealing round behind Frazer. I called out to
him at the top of my voice to warn him; but he did not
seem to hear. I looked for something which might serve
me for a weapon; but there was nothing, not so much as
a broken bough within reach, and in another instant the
whole thing was over. As Knight grappled with Luerson,
he dropped the knife which he had wrested from Atoé4,
his intention evidently being to secure, and not to kill
him.
Ato& immediately leaped forward and seized the knife,
and had his arm already raised to stab Mr. Knight in the
back, when Frazer shot him dead. At almost the same
instant .Luerson struck Mr. Knight a tremendous blow on
the head with his mallet, which felled him to the earth,
stunned and lifeless. He next rushed upon Frazer, who
had fairly covered him with the muzzle of his piece, and
would inevitably have shot him, but just as he pulled the
trigger, the man whom I had seen creeping round behind
him sprang upon him, and deranged his aim; two or three
of the others, who had stood looking on, taking no part in
the affair, now interposed, and by their assistance Frazer
was overpowered and secured. Whether they murdered
him or not, as Luerson afterwards declared, I do not know.
As soon as the struggle was over, the man who had
seconded Luerson so actively throughout (the tall dark
man, who goes by the name of ‘the boatswain’) shouted
out, ‘ Now, then, for the ship !
' €Yes, for the ship! cried Luerson; ‘though this has
not come about just as was arranged, and has been hurried
on sooner than we expected, it is as well so as anyway,
and must be followed up. There’s no one aboard but the
captain and four or five men and boys, all told: the lands-



AT SEA. 27

men are all ashore, scattered over the island. We can
take her without risk—and then for a merry life at the
islands !’

This revealed the designs of the mutineers, and I de-
termined to anticipate them if possible. As I started for
the beach, I was observed, and they hailed me; but with-
out paying any attention to their shouts, I ran as fast at
least as I ever ran before, until I came out of the forest,
near where you were standing.”

From the words of Luerson which Morton had heard, it
was clear that the mutiny had not been a sudden and
unpremeditated act; and we had no doubt that it had
grown out of the difficulties at the Kingsmills between
him and the unfortunate Mr. Nichol.

It was quite late before we felt any disposition to sleep ;
but notwithstanding the excitement, and the discomforts
of our situation, we began at length to experience the
effects of the fatigue and anxiety which we had under-
gone, and bestowing ourselves as conveniently as possible
about the boat, which furnished but slender accommoda-
tions for such a number, we bade each other the accustomed
“ good-night,” and one by one dropped asleep.

Knowing that we could not be far from land, and aware
of our liability to be drifted ashore during the night, it
had been decided to maintain a watch. Arthur, Morton,
and I, had agreed to divide the time between us as accu-
rately as possible, and to relieve one another in turn. The
first watch fell to Arthur, the last to me, and after exact-
ing a promise from Morton that he would not fail to
awaken me when it was fairly my turn, I lay down upon
the ceiling planks: close against the side of the boat,
between which and Browne, who was next me, there was
barely room to squeeze myself.

‘It was a dreary night. The air was damp, and even
chilly. The weltering of the waves upon the outside of
the thin plank against which my head was pressed, made



28 AT SEA.

a dismal kind of music, and suggested vividly how frail
was the only barrier that separated us from the wide dark
waste of waters below and around.

The heavy, dirge-like swell of the ocean, though sooth-
ing, in the regularity and monotony of its sluggish motion,
sounded inexpressibly mournful.

The gloom of the night, and the tragic scenes of the day,
seemed to give character to my dreams, for they were
dark and hideous, and so terribly vivid, that I several
times awoke strangely agitated.

At one time I saw Luerson, with a countenance of super-
natural malignity, and the expression of a fiend, murder-
ing poor Frazer. At another our boat seemed drawn by
some irresistible but unseen power to the verge of a
yawning abyss, and began to descend between green-
glancing walls of water, to vast depths where undescribed
sea-monsters, never seen upon the surface, glided about
in an obscurity that increased their hideousness. Suddenly
the feeble light that streamed down into the gulf through
the green translucent sea seemed to be cut off; the liquid
walls closed above our heads; and we were whirled away
with the sound of rushing waters, and in utter darkness.

All this was vague and confused, and consisted of the
usual “stuff that dreams are made of.” What followed
was wonderfully vivid and real: everything was as dis-
tinct as a picture, and it has left an indelible impression
upon my mind; there was something about it far more
awful than all the half-defined shapes and images of terror
that preceded it.

I seemed to be all alone in our little boat in the midst
of the sea. It was night—and what a night! not a breath
of wind rippled the glassy waters. There was no moon,
but the sky was cloudless, and the stars were out in
solemn and mysterious beauty. Everything seemed pre-
ternaturally still, and I felt oppressed by a strange sense
of loneliness: I looked round in vain for some familiar



AT SEA. 29

object, the sight of which might afford me relief. But far,
far as the eye could reach, to the last verge of the horizon,
where the gleaming sapphire vault closed down upon the
sea, stretched one wide, desolate, unbroken expanse. I
seemed to be isolated and cut off from all living things ;

* Alone—alone, all, all alone!
Alone on a wide, wide sea;
So lonely ‘twas, that God himself
Scarce seeméd there to be;”

and there was something in this feeling, and in the uni-
versal, death-like silence, that was unutterably awful.
Then the scene changed once more. We were again on
board the ship, and in the power of the enraged mutineers,
about to suffer whatever their vengeance might impel
them to inflict. Poor Spot was swinging, a livid corpse,
at one of the yard-arms. Browne was bound to the main-
mast, while Luerson and his fiendish crew were exhaust-
ing their ingenuity in torturing him. The peculiar expres-
sion of his mild, open countenance, distorted by pain, went
to my heart, and the sound of that familiar and friendly
voice, now hoarse and broken, and quivering with agony,
thrilled me with horror. As he besought his tormentors
to kill him at once, I thought that I kneeled to Luerson,
and seconded the entreaty—the greatest favour that could
be hoped from him. The rest of us were doomed to walk
the plank. Morton was stern and silent; Max pale and
sorrowful; his arm was round my neck, and he murmured.
that life was sweet, and that it was a hard and terrible
thing to die—to die so! Arthur, calm and collected,
cheered and encouraged us; and his face seemed like the
face of an angel, as he spoke sweetly and solemnly of the
goodness and the love of God, and bade us put our whole
trust and hope in Christ our Saviour. His earnest words
and serene look soothed and strengthened us: we also
became calm and almost resigned. There was no abject



30 AT SEA.

fear, no useless cries or supplications to our foes for
mercy; but the solemn sense of the awfulness of death was
mingled with a sweet and sustaining faith in God, and
Christ, and immortality. Hand in hand, like brothers, we
were preparing to take the fearful plunge—when I started
and awoke.

Even the recollection of our real situation was insuffi-
cient to impair the deep sense of relief which I experienced.
My first impulse was to thank God that these were but
dreams; and if I liad obeyed the next, I should have em-
braced heartily each of my slumbering companions, for in
the first confusion of thought and feeling, my emotions
were very much what they would naturally have been
had the scenes of visionary terror in which we seemed to
have just participated together been real.

Morton was at his post, and I spoke to him, scarcely
knowing or caring what I said. All I wanted was to hear
his voice, to revive the sense of companionship, and so
escape the painful impressions which even yet clung to me.

He said that he had just commenced his watch, Arthur
having called him but a few moments before. The night
was still louring and overcast, but there was less wind
and sea than when I first lay down. I proposed to relieve
him at once, but he felt no greater inclination to sleep
than myself, and we watched together until morning.
The two or three hours immediately before dawn seemed
terribly long. Just as the first gray light appeared in the
east Arthur joined us. A dense volume of vapour which
rested upon the water, and contributed to the obscurity in
which we were enveloped, now gathered slowly into
masses, and floated upward as the day advanced, gradually
clearing the prospect; and we kept looking out for the
island, in the momentary expectation of seeing it loom up
before us through the mist. But when, as the light in-
creased, and the fog rolled away, the boundaries of our
vision rapidly enlarged, and still no land could be seen,



THE CONSULTATION. 31

we began to feel seriously alarmed. A short period of
intense and painful anxiety followed, during which we ©
continued alternately gazing, and waiting for more light,
and again straining our aching eyes in every direction,
and still in vain.

At last it became evident that we had in some manner
drifted completely away from the island. The appalling
conviction could no longer be resisted. There we were,
lost and helpless on the open ocean, in our chip of a boat,
without provisions for a single day, or, to speak moré
definitely, without a morsel of bread or a drop of water.

CHAPTER V.

THE CONSULTATION.

OUT OF SIGHT OF LAND—SLENDER RESOURCES—WHAT’S TO
BE DONE?



‘“‘ How rapidly, how rapidly we ride along the sea! °
The morning is all sunshine, the wind is blowing free ;
The billows are all sparkling, and bounding in the light,
Like creatures in whose sunny veins the blood is running bright.”

——<—<———

Morton alone still refused to relinquish the hope that by
broad daylight we should yet be able to make out the
island. He persisted in pronouncing it wholly incredible
that we had made during the night a distance sufficient
to sink the land, which was but three or four miles off at
the utmost, when we were overtaken by darkness; he
could not understand, he said, how such a thing was
possible.

Arthur accounted for it by supposing 5 that we had got



32 TIIE CONSULTATION.

into the track of one of the ocean-currents that exist in
those seas, especially among the islands, many of which
run at the rate of from two to three miles an hour.

This seemed the more probable from the fact, that we
were to the west of the island when we lost sight of it,
and that the great equatorial current which traverses the
Pacific and Indian oceans has a prevailing westerly course,
though among the more extensive groups and clusters of
islands it is so often deflected hither and thither by the
obstacles which it encounters, or turned upon itself, in
eddies and counter-currents, that no certain calculations
can be made respecting it. Morton, however, did not
consider this supposition sufficient to explain the difficulty.

“TI should judge,” said he, “that in a clear day such an
island might be seen fifteen or twenty miles, and we can-
not have drifted so great a distance.”

“It might perhaps be seen,” said Arthur, “as far as
that from the mast-head of a ship, or even from her deck,
but not from a small boat hardly raised above the surface
of the water. At our present level, eight or ten miles
would be enough to sink it completely.”

At length, when it was broad day, and, from the appear-
ance of the eastern sky, the sun was just about to rise,
Morton stepped the mast and climbed to the top, in the
hope that from that additional elevation, slight as it was,
he might catch a glimpse of land. There was by this time
light enough, as he admitted, to see anything that could
be seen at all; and after making a deliberate survey of our
whole horizon, he was fully convinced that we had drifted
completely away from the island. “I give it up,” he said,
as he slid down the mast; “we are at sea, beyond all
question.”

Presently Max awoke. He cast a quick, surprised look
around, and at first seemed greatly shocked. He speedily
recovered himself, however, and after another and closer
scrutiny of the horizon, thought that he detected an ap-



THE CONSULTATION. 33

pearance like that of land in the south. For a moment
there was again the flutter of excited hope, as every eye
was turned eagerly in that direction ; but it soon subsided.
A brief examination satisfied us all that what we saw
was but a low bank of clouds lying against the sky.

“This really begins to look serious,” said Max; “what
are we to do?”

“It strikes me,” replied Morton, “that we are pretty
much relieved from the necessity of considering that
question ; our only part for the present seems to be a
passive one.”

“TI can’t fully persuade myself that this is real,” said
Max; “it half seems like an ugly dream, from which we
should awake by-and-by, and draw a long breath at the
relief of finding it no more than a dream.”

“We are miserably provisioned for a sea-voyage,” said
Morton ; “but I believe the breaker is half full of water ;
without that, we should indeed be badly off.”

“There is not a drop in it,” said Arthur, shaking his
head, and he lifted the breaker, and shook it lightly: it
was quite empty.

He now proceeded to force open the locker, in the hope
of finding there something that might be serviceable to us;
but its entire contents consisted of a coil of fine rope,
some pieces of rope-yarn, an empty quart-bottle, and an
old and battered hatchet-head.

Meanwhile Browne, without a trace of anxiety upon his
upturned countenance, and Charlie, who was nestled close
beside him, continued to sleep soundly, in happy uncon-
sciousness of our alarming situation.

“ Nothing ever interferes with the soundness of Browne’s
sleep, or the vigour of his appetite,” said Max, contem-
plating his placid slumbers with admiration. “I should
be puzzled to decide whether sleeping, eating, or dra-
matic recitation, is his forte ; it certainly lies between the
three.”

Cc



oa THE CONSULTATION.

“Poor fellow!” said Morton, “from present appear-
ances, and the state of our supplies, he will have to
take it all out in sleeping for some time to come, as it is
to be presumed he’ll hardly feel like spouting.”

“One would think that what happened yesterday, and
the condition of things as we left them last night, would
be enough to disturb one’s nerves somewhat; yet you
see how little it affects him—and I now predict that the
first thing he will say on opening his eyes will be about
the means of breaking his long fast.”

“TI don’t understand how you can go on in that strain,
Max,” said Arthur, looking up in a surprised manner, and
shaking his head disapprovingly.

“Why, I was merely endeavouring to do my share to-
wards keeping our spirits up; but I suppose any spirits
‘got up’ under the present circumstances must be some-
what forced, and as my motives don’t seem to be properly
appreciated, I will renounce the unprofitable attempt.”

-The sun rose in a clear sky, and gave promise of a hot
day. There was, however, a cool and refreshing breeze,
that scattered the spray from the foaming ridges of the
waves, and occasionally showered us, not unpleasantly,
with the fine liquid particles. A sea breaking over our
bow, dashed a bucketful of water into Browne’s face,
and abruptly disturbed his slumbers.

“Qood-morning, comrades!” said he, sitting up, and
looking about him with a perplexed and bewildered air.
“But how is this? Ah! I recollect it all now. So, then,
we are really out of sight of land ?”

“There is no longer any doubt of that,” said Arthur,
“and it is now time for us to decide what we shall do—
our chance of falling in with a ship will be quite as good,
and that of reaching land will of course be much better,
if, instead of drifting like a log upon the water, we put up
our sail, and steer in almost any direction ; though I think
there is a choice.”



THE CONSULTATION. 35

“ Of course there is a choice,” said Morton ; “ the island
cannot be at any great distance ; and the probability of
_ our being able to find it again is so much greater than
that of making any other land, that we ought to steer in
the direction in which we have good reason to think it
lies—that is, to the east.”

“The wind for the last twelve hours has been pretty
nearly south,” observed Arthur, “and has probably had
some effect upon our position ; we had better, therefore,
steer a little south of east, which with this breeze will be
easy sailing.”

To this all assented, and the sail was hoisted, and the
boat’s head put in the direction agreed upon, each of us,
except Charlie, sailing and steering her in turn. There
was quite as much wind as our little craft could sail with
to advantage, and without danger. As it filled her bit of
canvass, she careered before it, leaping and plunging from
wave to wave in a manner that sometimes seemed peril-
ous. The bright sky above us, the blue sea gleaming in
the light of the morning, over which we sped ; the dry,
clear atmosphere (now that the sun was up, and the mist
dissipated), the fresh breeze, without which we must have
suffered intensely from the heat, together with our rapid
and bounding motion, had an exhilarating effect, in spite
of the gloomy anticipations that suggested themselves.

“ After all,” said Max, “why need we take such a dismal
view of the matter? We have a fine staunch little boat, a
good breeze, and islands all around us. Besides, we are
in the very track of the béche de mer and sandalwood
traders. It would be strange, indeed, if we should fail to
meet some of them soon. In fact, if it were not for think-
ing of poor Frazer, and of the horrible events of yesterday
(which, to be sure, are enough to make one sad), I should
be disposed to look upon the whole affair as a sort of
holiday adventure—something to tell of when we get
home, and to talk over pleasantly together twenty years
hence.”



36 THE CONSULTATION.

“If we had a breaker of water and a keg of biscuit,”
said Morton, “and could then be assured of fair weather
for a week, I might be able to take that view of it; as it
is, I confess that to me it has anything but the aspect of
a holiday adventure.”

When Charlie awoke, Arthur endeavoured to soothe his
alarm, by explaining to him that we had strong hopes of
being able to reach the island again, and mentioning the
various circumstances which rendered such a hope reason-
able. The little fellow did not, however, seem to be as
much troubled as might have been expected. He either
reposed implicit confidence in the resources or the for-
tunes of his companions, or else did not at all realize the
perils to which we were exposed. But this could not last
long. |

That which I knew Arthur had been painfully antici-
pating came at last. Charlie, who had been asking Mor-
ton a multitude of questions as to the events of the previ-
ous day, suddenly said that he was very thirsty, and asked,
in the most unsuspecting manner, for a drink of water.
When he learned that the breaker was empty, and that
we had not so much as a drop of water with us, some
notion of our actual situation seemed to dawn upon him,
and he became all at once grave and silent.

Hour after hour dragged slowly on, until the sun was
in the zenith, with no change for the better in our affairs.
It was now clear that we must give up the hope of reach-
ing the island which we had left, for it was certain that
we had sailed farther since morning than the boat could
possibly have been drifted during the night by the wind
or the current, or both combined. Our calculations at the
outset must therefore have been erroneous, and we had
not been sailing in the right direction. If so, it was too
late to correct the mistake; we could not regain our
starting-point, in order to steer from it another course.
We now held a second consultation.



THE CONSULTATION. 37

Although we had but a general notion of our geogra-
phical position, we knew that we were in the neighbour-
hood of scattered groups of low coral islands. From the
Kingsmills we were to have sailed directly for Canton, and
Max, Morton, and myself, would before now in all proba-
bility have commenced our employment in the American
factory there, but for Captain Erskine’s sudden resolution
to take the responsibility of returning to the Samoan
Group, with the double object of rescuing the crew of the
wrecked bark, and completing his cargo, which, accord-
ing to the information received from the master of the
whaler, there would be no difficulty in doing. From
Upolu we had steered a north-westerly course, and it was
on the fourth or fifth day after leaving it that we had
reached the island where the mutiny took place, and which
Mr. Erskine claimed as a discovery of his own. Its lati-
tude and longitude had of course been calculated, but none
of us learned the result, or at anyrate remembered it.
We knew only that we were at no great distance from the
Kingsmills, and probably to the south-west of them.

Arthur was confident, from conversations had with Mr.
Frazer, and from the impressions left on his mind by his
last examination of the charts, that an extensive cluster ox
low islands, scattered over several degrees of latitude, lay
just to the south-east of us.

It was accordingly determined to continue our present
course as long as the wind should permit, which there was
reason to fear might be but a short time, as easterly winds
are the prevailing ones within the tropics as near the
line as we supposed ourselves to be.



38 | THE CALM.

CHAPTER VI.

THE CALM.

THE SECOND WATCH—AN EVIL OMEN—THE WHITE SHARK—
A BREAKFAST LOST.

** All in a hot and copper sky
The bloody sun at noon
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the moon.”

—

DuRina the remainder of the day the wind continued fair,
and we held on our course, steering by the sun, and keep-
ing a vigilant look-out in every direction. But the night
set in, and we had yet seen no appearance of land, no
speck in the distance which could be mistaken for a sail,
not even a wandering sea-bird or a school of flying-fish—
nothing to break the dead monotony of the briny waste
we were traversing. As I sat at the helm, taking my turn
in sailing the boat, and watched the sun go down, and
saw the darkness gathering over the sea, a feeling nearly
akin to despair took possession of me. In vain I strove
to take an encouraging and hopeful view of our circum-
stances. The time within which relief must come in order
to be effectual was so short, that I could not help feeling
that the probabilities were strongly against us. I could
not shut my eyes to the fact, that dangers, imminent and
real, such as we had read and talked of, without ever half
realizing, or dreaming that they would one day fall to our
own lot, now pressed upon us, and threatened us close at
hand. I knew that those fearful tales of shipwreck and
starvation were only too true—that men, lost at sea like



THE CALM. 39.

ourselves, had pined day after day, without a morsel of
food or a drop of water, until they had escaped, in stupor
or delirium, all consciousness of suffering. And worse
even than this—too horrible to be thought or spoken of—
I knew something of the dreadful and disgusting expe-
dients to prolong life which have sometimes been resorted
to by famishing wretches. I had read how the pangs of
hunger, and the still fiercer torments of thirst, had seemed
to work a dire change even in kind and generous natures,
making men wolfish, so that they slew and fed upon each
other. Now all that was most revolting and inhuman in
what I had heard or read of such things rose vividly before
me, and I shuddered at the growing probability that expe-
riences like these might be reserved for us. “ Why not
for us,’ I thought, “as well as for the many others the
records of whose terrible fate I have perused with scarcely
more emotion than would be excited by a tale of imagi-
nary suffering, and the still greater number whose story
has never been recorded. We have already been con-
ducted many steps on this fearful path, and no laws of
nature will be stayed, no ordinary rules of God’s dealing
violated, on our behalf. No inevitable necessity requires
the complexion of our future to correspond and harmonize
with that of our past lives. This feeling, which seems to
assure me that such things cannot happen to us, is but one
of the cheats and illusions of a shrinking and self-pitying
spirit. All the memories that cluster about a happy child-
hood, all the sweet associations of home and kindred,
afford no guaranty against the new and bitter experiences
which seem about to open upon us.”

Such were the thoughts that began to disquiet my own
mind. As to my companions, Morton seemed less anxious
and excited than any of the others. During the evening
he speculated in a cool, matter-of-fact manner, upon our
chances of reaching an island, or meeting a ship, before
being reduced to the last extremity. He spoke of the



40 THE CALM.

number of traders that frequent the islands for tortoise-
shell, mother-of pearl, sandalwood, béche de mer, &c.; the
whalers that come in pursuit of the cachelot, or sperm
whale; the vessels that resort there for fruit, or supplies
of wood and water; the vast number of islands scattered
through these seas; from all which he finally concluded
that the chances were largely in ourfavour. If, however,
we should fail of immediate relief in this shape, he thought
it probable that we should have opportunites of catching
fish, or sea-birds, and so prolonging life for many days.
He talked the whole matter over in such a calm, sober,
unexcited manner, furnishing facts and reasons for every
opinion, that I felt some confidence in his conclusions.
Browne, though quite composed and self-possessed, had,
from the moment when he discovered that we were out of
sight of land, taken the most serious view of our situation.
He seemed to have made up his mind for the worst, and
was abstracted, and indisposed to converse. I knew that
the anxiety which Arthur evinced was not mainly on his
own account. It did not withdraw his attention from
what was passing, or diminish his interest in it. Far from
being gloomy or abstracted, he was active and watchful,
and spoke with heartiness and cheerfulness. His mental
disquietude only appeared in a certain softness and tremor
of his voice ; especially when speaking to Charlie, who,
as the night drew on, asked him over and over again, at
short intervals, “Don’t you think, Arthur, that we shall
cortainly find land to-morrow?” This was truly distress-
ing.
_ As to Max, his feelings rose and fell capriciously, and
without any apparent cause; he was sanguine or depressed,
not from a consideration of all our circumstances, and a
favourable or unfavourable conclusion drawn therefrom,
but according as this view or that, for the moment, im-
pressed his mind. He rendered no reasons for his hopes
or his fears. At one moment you would judge, from his



THE CALM. - 41

manner and conversation, that we were indeed out upon
some “holiday excursion,” with no serious danger impend-
ing over us; the next, without anything to account for
the change, he would appear miserably depressed and
wretched.

Soon after sunset the moon rose—pale and dim at first,
but shining out with a clearer and brighter radiance as
the darkness increased. The wind held steadily from the
same quarter, and it was determined to continue through
the night the arrangement for taking charge of the sailing
of the boat in turn. Browne and Max insisted on sharing
between themselves the watch for the entire night, saying
that they had taken no part in that of the one previous,
and that it would be useless to divide the twelve hours of
darkness into more than two watches. This was finally
agreed upon, the wind being so moderate, that the same
person could steer the yawl and manage the sail without
difficulty.

Before lying down, I reque Max, who took the first
turn, to awake me at the same time with Browne, a part
of whose watch I intended to share. I fell asleep, looking
up at the moon and the light clouds sailing across the sky,
and listening to the motion of the water beneath the boat.
At first I slumbered lightly, without losing a sort of
dreamy consciousness, so that I heard Max humming over
to himself fragments of tunes and odd verses of old songs,
and even knew when he shifted his position in the stern
from one side to the other. At length I must have fallen
into a deep sleep: I do not know how long it had lasted
(it seemed to me but a short time), when I was aroused
by an exclamation from Max, as I at first supposed ; but on
sitting up, I saw that Browne was at the helm, while Max
was sleeping at my side. On perceiving that I was awake,
Browne, from whom the exclamation had proceeded,
pointed to something in the water just astern. Following
the direction of his finger with my eye, I saw, just beneath



42 THE CALM.

the surface, a large ghastly-looking white shark, gliding
stealthily along, and apparently following the boat.
Browne said that he had first noticed it about half an
hour before, since which time it had steadily followed us,
occasionally making a leisurely circuit round the boat,
and then dropping astern again. A moment ago, having
fallen into a doze at the helm, and awaking with a start,
he found himself leaning over the gunwale, and the shark
just at his elbow. This had startled him, and caused the
sudden exclamation by which I had been aroused. I
shuddered at his narrow escape, and I acknowledge that
the sight of this hideous and formidable creature, stealing
along in our wake, and manifesting an intention to keep
us company, caused me some uneasy sensations. He
swam with his dorsal fin almost at the surface, and his
broad nose scarcely three feet from the rudder. His
colour rendered him distinctly visible.

“ What a spectre of a fish it is,” said Browne, “with his
pallid, corpse-like skin, and noiseless motion; he has no
resemblance to any of the rest of his kind that I have ever
seen. You know what the sailors would say if they
should see him dogging us in this way; Old Crosstrees
or Spot would shake their heads ominously, and set us
down as a doomed company.”

“Aside from any such superstitious notions, he is an
unpleasant and dangerous neighbour, and we must be
circumspect while he is prowling about.”

“Tt certainly won’t do to doze at the helm,” resumed
Browne: “I consider that I have just now had a really
narrow escape. I was leaning quite over the gunwale; a
lurch of the boat would have thrown me overboard, and
then there would have been no chance for me.”

There would not, in fact, have been the shadow of a
chance.

“Even as it was,” resumed he, “if this hideous-looking
monster had been as active and vigilant as some of his



THE CALM. 43

tribe, it would have fared badly with me. I have heard
of their seizing persons standing on the shore, where the
water was deep enough to let them swim close in; and
Spot tells of a messmate of his, on one of his voyages in a
whaler, who was carried off while standing entirely out
of water on the carcase of a whale, which he was assisting
in cutting up, as it lay alongside the ship. The shark
threw himself upon the carcase, five or six yards from
where the man was busy, worked himself slowly along
the slippery surface until within reach of his victim,
knocked him off into the water, and then sliding off him-
self, seized and devoured him.”

Picking my way carefully among the sleepers, who
covered the bottom of the yawl, I sat down beside Browne
in the stern, intending to share the remainder of his watch.
It was now long past midnight ; fragments of light clouds
were scattered over the sky, frequently obscuring the
moon; and the few stars that were visible twinkled faintly
with a cold and distant light. The Southern Cross, by
far the most brilliant constellation of that hemisphere,
was conspicuous among the clusters of feebler luminaries.
Well has it been called “the glory of the southern skies.”
Near the zenith, and second only to the Cross in brilliancy,
appeared the Northern Crown, consisting of seven large
stars, so disposed as to form the outline of two-thirds of
an oval. Of the familiar constellations of the northern
hemisphere, scarcely one was visible except Orion and the
Pleiades.

At length the moon descended behind a bank of silvery
clouds piled up along the horizon. The partial obscurity
that ensued only added to the grandeur of the midnight
scene, as we sat gazing silently abroad upon the confused
mass of swelling waters stretching away into the gloom.
But if the scene was grand, it was also desolate: we two
were perhaps the only human beings, for many hundreds
of miles, who looked forth upon it. Our companiona



44 THE CALM.

were wrapped in unconsciousness, and their deep and —
regular breathing attested the soundness of their slumbers.
As the. light failed more and more, and the shadows
deepened, the sea began to assume a beautiful and striking
appearance, gleaming in places with a bluish lambent
light, and exhibiting, where the water was most agitated,
large luminous patches. Thin waves of flame curled over
our bow, and whenever a sea broke upon it, it seemed as
though the boat was plunging through surges of fire. A
long brilliant line, thickly strewn on each side with little
globules, of the colour of burning coals, marked our wake.

But the shark, which still followed close behind our
keel, presented by far the most singular and striking
spectacle. He seemed to be surrounded by a luminous
medium; and his nose, his dorsal and side fins, and his
tail, each had attached to them slender jets of phosphoric
fire. Towards morning this brilliant appearance began to
fade, and soon vanished altogether. By this time I found
it difficult to keep my eyes open longer, and leaving
Browne to finish his watch alone, I resumed my place on
the ceiling planks, and in spite of the hardness of my bed,
which caused every bone in my body to ache, soon slept
soundly. When J again awoke it was long after sunrise, and
we were lying completely becalmed. A school of large
fish were pursuing their gambols at a short distance, and
Browne was rowing cautiously toward them, while Arthur
and Morton stood prepared to attack them with their
cutlasses as soon as we should get within striking dis-
tance. We had got almost among them, and were just
beginning to congratulate ourselves upon their apparent
indifference to our approach, when they all at once scat-
tered in every direction, with manifest signs of terror.
The cause of this sudden movement was not long con-
cealed: a brace of sharks rose in their very midst; one
was visible but for a moment, as he rolled over to seize
his prey; the other, less successful in securing a victim,



THE CALM. 45.

shot past us like an arrow in pursuit of a large division of
the fugitives. Soon after, both of them were seen playing
around the boat. They belonged to the species known as
the tiger shark, and bore no resemblance to our ghastly
visitor of the preceding evening. By the consternation
which their sudden appearance had produced among the.
lesser fishes, they had in all probability robbed us of our
breakfast. Morton, with his characteristic enterprise, sug-
gested an attack upon one of them by way of reprisals;
but before any measures for that purpose could be taken,
they disappeared, leaving us with no other resource than
to await our fate with such patience and resignation as
we could command. The wind having entirely failed,
there was nothing that we could do to change our situa-
tion—absolutely nothing. This forced inaction, with no
occupation for mind or body, no object of effort, con-
tributed to enhance whatever was painful in our condition.
by leaving us to brood over it. The dead calm which had
fallen upon the sea seemed all that was necessary to com-
plete our misery. We were all stiff and sore, from the
exceedingly uncomfortable sleeping accommodations of the
last two nights; but this was a comparatively trifling evil.
Charlie had a severe cold, and his eyes were inflamed and
bloodshot; he exhibited also strong symptoms of fever.
He was nevertheless silent and uncomplaining, and came
and sat down quietly by the side of Arthur in the stern.
As the day advanced, the heat became dreadful. We
had not suffered much from it the day before, on account
of the fresh breeze which had prevailed; but now not a
breath of air was stirring, and the glassy sea reflected back
upon us the scorching rays of the sun with increased in-
tensity. Towards noon it exceeded anything I had ever
experienced. The whole arch of the heavens glowed with
a hot and coppery glare. It seemed as though, instead of
one sun, there were ten thousand, covering all the sky,
and blending their rays into a broad canopy of fire. The



46 THE CALM.

air was like that of an oven: the water had no coolness,
no refreshing quality; it was tepid and stagnant: no
living thing was to be seen near the surface, for life could
not be sustained there; and the fishes, great and small,
kept themselves in the cooler depths far below. Almost
stifled by the heat, we began to experience the first real
and extreme suffering that most of us had ever known.
At Arthur’s suggestion we disengaged the now useless
sail from the mast, and contrived a kind of awning, by
fastening two of the oars upright in the boat, with the
mast extending between them, throwing the sail over the
latter, and securing the ends to the gunwales. This,
although it could not protect us from the sultry and
suffocating air, warded off the blistering beams of the sun,
and during the greater part of the day we lay crouched
beneath it, a miserable company, one or another of us
crawling out occasionally to take a survey. Towards the
close of the afternoon my sufferings from thirst grew
absolutely intolerable, and amounted to torment. My
blood became fevered; my brain seemed on fire; my
shrunk and shrivelled tongue was like a dry stick in my
mouth. The countenances of my companions, their blood-
shot eyes, and cracked and swollen lips, showed what they
were undergoing. Charlie lay in the bottom of the boat,
with his eyes shut, enduring all with as much fortitude as
the rest of us, except that now and then a half-suppressed
moan escaped him.

It was quite clear that relief, in order to be of any avail,
must be speedy. :



A CHANGE. 4)

CHAPTER VII.

A CHANGE.

A WELCOME PERIL—THE ALBACORE AND THEIR PREY—A
TROPICAL THUNDER-STORM.







“Eternal Providence, exceeding thought,
Where none appears, can make itself a way.”

WHILE lying crouched under the sail, almost gasping for
breath, near the middle, as I suppose, of that terrible after-
noon, I all at once became sensible of a perceptible cool-
ing of the atmosphere, and a sudden decrease of light.
Looking out to discover the cause of this change, I per-
ceived that the sky was overcast, and that a light unsteady
breeze from the north-west had sprung up. Knowing
that within the tropics, and near the line, winds from that
quarter frequently precede a storm, and that great ex-
tremes of heat are often succeeded by violent gales, I
observed with apprehension dark masses of clouds gather-
ing in the north. It would not require a tempest to
insure our destruction ; for our little craft could not live
& moment even in such a gale as would be attended by
no danger to a staunch ship with plenty of sea-room.

The temperature had fallen many degrees, though the
wind was still moderate and unsteady, ranging from west
to north-east. The sun was completely obscured, so that
the awning was no longer needed, and we pulled it down,
in order the more fully to enjoy the breeze, and the deli-
cious coolness of the darkened atmosphere, to the grate-
fulness of which not even our awakening apprehensions
could render us insensible.

While observing the strange appearance of the sky, and



48 A CHANGE.

the preparations for a storm which seemed to be going on
in the north and west, Morton espied a troop of flying-fish
a hundred yards or so to windward. Fluttering feebly a
short distance in the air, they would drop into the sea, soon
emerging, however, for a fresh flight; thus, alternately
swimming and flying, they were steadily approaching ;
and from their rapid and confused motions, it was evident
that they were hard pressed by some of the numerous and
greedy persecutors of their helpless race, from whom
they were struggling to escape. Presently a glittering
albacore shot from the water, close in the track of the
fugitives, descending again in the graceful curve peculiar
to his active and beautiful, but rapacious tribe. Another
and another followed, their golden scales flashing in the
light, as they leaped clear of the water, sometimes two or
three together. We hastily made ready to attack both
pursuers and pursued the instant they should come within
reach. The course of the chase brought them directly
towards us, until the hunted fishes fell in a glittering
shower, so near, that I feared they might pass under the
boat before rising again; but they came to the surface
close beside us, and as they fluttered into the air, we
knocked down six or seven of them, and caught a number
more that dropped into the boat. Morton and Max,
ambitious of larger game, devoted their attention to the
albacore, and slashed and thrust furiously at such as
came within reach of their cutlasses ; which many of them
did. Some darted under the boat, instead of sheering
round it; and one enormous fellow, miscalculating, in his
haste, our draught of water, must have scraped all the
fins off his back against the keel as he performed this
manceuvre, for the shock of the contact caused the yawl
to tremble from stem to stern. But such was the marvel-
lous celerity of their movements, that though they came
within easy striking distance, all the hostile demonstra-
‘tions of Max and Morton proved futile.



A CHANGE. 49

_ The flying-fish which. had: been taken:were divided and
apportioned with scrupulous exactness, and devoured with
very little ceremony. The only dressmg or preparation
bestowed upon them consisted simply in stripping off the
long shining pectoral fins or wings (they serve as both),
without. paying much attention to such trifling matters as
scales, bones, and the lesser fins. Max, indeed, began to
nibble rather fastidiously at.first at this raw food, which a
minute before had been so full of life and activity; but
his. appetite improved as he preceeded, and he at last so
far got the better of his scruples,.as to leave nothing of
his share except the tails, and very little even of those.
Hunger, in fact, made this repast, which would have been
revolting under ordinary circumstances, not: only accept-
able, but positively delicious.

Meantime the dark mass of clouds in the-north had ex-
tended itself, and drawn nearer to us. Another tempest
seemed to-be gathering in the west, while in the south a
violent thunder-storm appeared to be actually raging: the
lightning in that quarter was vivid and almost incessant,
but we could hear no thunder, the. storm being still at a
considerable distance.

Immediately. around us all was-yet: comparatively calm,
but the heavy clouds, gathering on three sides, seemed
gradually converging towards a common centre; a short,
abrupt, cross.sea began to form, and the water assumed a
glistening inky hue. There was something peculiar and
striking in the appearance of the clouds surrounding us ;
they seemed to rest upon the surface of the ocean, and
towered upward like a dark wall to the skies. Their upper
extremities were torn and irregular, and long narrow
fragments, like giant arms, streamed out from the main
body, and extended. over us, as if beckoning each other to
a nearer approach, and threatening to unite their gloomy
array overhead;.and shut out the light of day. As they
drew nearer to one enother, the lightning began to dart.

D



50 A CHANGE,

from cloud to cloud, while the most terrific peals of thun-
der that I have ever heard rolled and reverberated on
every side. We appeared to be surrounded by storms,
some of which were very near, for the deep crash of this
thunder followed close upon the vivid lightnings that
flashed in the south and west. Still, the narrow space of
sky directly overhead was clear, and the war of elements
which was raging all around did not extend to our imme-
diate neighbourhood. Against the dark sides of the cloudy
pavilion that encompassed us, the sharp, zig-zag lines of
lightning, as they ran from the sky to the ocean, shone
out with a blinding glare. A single half-hour had sufficed
to change everything about us. The brazen burning sky
was transformed into a cold, clear expanse, of a bluish-
black. The sea, no longer stagnant and glassy, was fretted
by short inky waves, with creamy crests, that gave it
altogether a new aspect. The air was now fresh and cool,
and the wind rising and falling fitfully, at one moment
scarcely lifted our hair or stirred our garments, and the
next tore off the entire crests of waves, and scattered them
over us in a shower of spray. For nearly an hour we
remained apprehensive that the wind might increase to a
gale. At the end of that time it came gradually round to
the south-east, growing steady, but by no means violent,
and the storms moved off in a westerly direction. One
heavy cloud, as it slowly passed over towards that quarter,
discharged a grateful shower of rain. We hastily spread
the sail and some of our garments, to gather the precious
drops. The shower lasted only a few minutes, but during
that time it rained briskly. I never shall forget my sen-
sations as I stood with face upturned, while the big drops,
more delicious than ambrosia, came pelting down. It was
far better and more strengthening than food, or any medi-
cine or cordial could have been, and seemed to infuse fresh
life into us all. When it was over, we wrung out from
the saturated canvass, and from our clothing, water enough



TOKENS OF LAND. 61)

to mitigate for the time, though by no means to satisfy,
the raging thirst from which we had suffered so intenscly.

Arthur had at first taken out of the locker the large
bottle which had been fuund there, in the hope of being
able to hoard up a small supply for the future ; but there
was not a drop of surplus for such a purpose, and he was
obliged to put it back again empty as befcre.

CHAPTER VIII.

TOKENS OF LAND.

THE CENTRE OF THE SPHERE—THE MYSTERIOUS 80OUND—
THE CONFLAGRATION.

“Thou glorious sea! before ine gleaming,
Oft wilt thou float in sunset pride,
And often shall I hear in dreaming
Thy resonance at evening tide!”





Ar sunset, every trace of the storms by which we had
been so recently encompassed had vanished: the sky, ex-
cept along the western horizon, was without a cloud: not
a breath of wind ruffled the sea, and we lay once more
completely becalmed.

This was our third night at sea; though to me, at least,
it seemed that many days had passed since the mutiny
and the immediately succeeding occurrences. It is a night
which I shall not soon forget ; the impression of its almost
unearthly beauty is still fresh and vivid, and haunts me
like a vision of fairyland. At this moment, if I but close
my eyes, the whole scene rises before me with the distinct-



52 TOKENS OF LAND.

ness of a picture; though one would naturally suppose
that persons situated as we then were could scarcely have
been in a state of mind congenial to the reception of such
impressions.

The transition from early twilight to the darkness of
night was beautiful beyond description. The array of —
clouds in the west just after sunset, their forms, arrange-
ment, and colours, with the manner in which they blended
and melted into one another, composed a spectacle of the
magnificence of which neither language nor the art of the
painter can convey any adequate idea. Along the edge of
the horizon stretched a broad tract of the deepest crimson,
reflecting far upon the waters a light that gave them the
appearance of an ocean of blood. Above this was a band
of vivid flame colour ; then one of a clear translucent green,
perfectly peculiar, unlike that of any leaf or gem, and of
surpassing delicacy and beauty. This gradually melted,
through many fine gradations, into a sca of liquid amber,
so soft and golden, that the first large stars of evening
floating in its ¢ransparent depths could scarcely be dis-
tinguished, as they twinkled mildly amid the flood of
kindred radiance. A narrow streak of pearly blue bounded
this amber sea with its islands of light, and divided it
from the deeper blue of the wide vault above. During
the earlier part of this glorious display the eastern sky, as
if in rivalry of the splendour of the opposite quarter of
the heavens, was spanned by two concentric rainbows,
describing complete semicircles, with their bases resting
upon the sea. In the smaller and interior bow all the
colours were beautifully distinct ; in the outer and larger
one they were less brilliant, and arranged in an order the
reverse of that which is usual, the violet being the lowest
instead of the red. The rainbows vanished with the sun,
and soon afterwards the fiery glow in the west began to
fade. But the scene only changed its character without
losing any of its beauty. So smooth was the sea on that



TOKENS OF LAND. 53

night, that the whole dome of the sky, with every sailing
cloud-flake, and every star, was perfectly reflected in it.
Until the moon rose, the line where the sky joined the
ocean was indistinctly definedyand the two were so blended
together, that we actually seemed suspended in the eentre
of a vast sphere; the heavens, instead of ‘terminating at
the horizon, extended, spangled with stars,‘on every side
—below as well as above and around. The illusion was
wonderfully perfect: you almost held your breath as you
glanced downward, and could hardly refrain from starting
nervously, so strong and bewildering was the appearance
of hanging poised in empty space.

Charlie, who had been sitting for a long time with his
hands supporting his head, and ‘his elbows resting upon
Arthur’s knee, gazing out upon theocean,;suddenly looked
up into his face, and said—

“ Arthur, I want you to tell me truly—do ‘you still be-
lieve that we shall be saved—do you hope so now, as you
did yesterday, or do you think that we must perish ?”

“Do you suppose that I would try to deceive you,
Charlie,” said Arthur, “that you ask me-so earnestly to
tell you truly?’

“No, but I feared you would not ‘perhaps tell me the
worst, thinking that I could not bear it: and I suspected
to-night that you spoke more cheerfully than you felt, on
my account. But Iam not afraid, dear Arthur, to know
the truth, and do not hide it from me! I will try to bear
patiently, with you and with the rest, whatever comes
upon us.”

“TI would not deceive you about such a matter, Charlie.
I should not think it right, though you are so young. But
I can know nothing certainly. We are in the hands of
God. I have told you all the reasons we have to hope;
we have the same reasons still. Only a few hours ago,
the sea supplied us with food, and the clouds with drink :
why may we not hope for future supplics according to our



54 TOKENS OF LAND.

need? I think we yet have more reason to hope than to
despair.”

“Did you ever know or hear of such a thing,” inquired
Charlie after a pause, “as a company of boys like us starv-
ing at sea ?”

“JT do not remember that I have, under circumstances at
all similar to ours,” answered Arthur.

“It is too dreadful to believe! Is not God our Father in
heaven? He will not surely let us perish so miserably.”

“ Yes, Charlie,” said Arthur gently, but earnestly, “God
is our heavenly Father; but we must not make our belicf
in his love and goodness a ground of confidence that any
suffering, however terrible, shall not befall us. The young
suffer and die as well as the old; the good as well as the
bad. Not only the strong martyrs, who triumphed while
they were tortured, but feeble old men, and little children,
have been torn in pieces by wild beasts, or burned alive,
or cast down precipices. And these things, that seem so
very hard to us, God has permitted. Yet he is good, and
loves and cares for us as a father. This we must belicve,
and hold fast to, in spite of everything that in our ignor-
ance may seem to contradict it. If we feel as we ought,
and as by his grace we may, we shall be able to trust all
to him with sweet resignation.”

“But is it not very hard, dcar Arthur, to be left to die
so?—and God can save us sc easily, if he will.”

Arthur was deeply affected: the tears filled his eyes as
he took Charlie upon his knee, and tried to explain to him
how wrong and selfish it would be to make our belief in
the goodness of God depend upon our rescue and preser-
vation. It was a difficult task, perhaps an untimely one,
as Max hinted. But Charlie gradually sobbed away his
excitement, and became soothed and calm.

“Well,” said he after a while, drawing a long breath,
and wiping away his tears, “I know one thing: whatever
inay happen, we will be kind and true to one another to



TOKENS OF LAND. 55

the last, and never think of such inhuman things as I have
read of shipwrecked people doing when nearly dead with
hunger, though we all starve together.”

“Come to me, Charlie,” cried Browne with a faltering
voice, “I must kiss you for those words. Yes, we will
perish, if we must, like brothers, not sullenly, as if none
had ever suffered evil before us. Weak and gentle spirits
have borne without repining sufferings as great as threaten
us. Often has my mother told me the story of sweet
Margery Wilson, drowned in the Solway water in the days
of the bloody Claverhouse, because she met with her
friends and kindred to worship God after their manner—
and never could I listen to it without tears. Ah, what a
spirit was there! She was but eighteen, and she could
have saved her life by saying a few words. Life was as
sweet to her as it is to us: she, too, had a home and
friends and kindred, whom it must have been hard for the
poor young thing to lcave so suddenly and awfully. And
yet she refused to speak those words—she chose to die
rather. They took her out upon the sand where the tide
was rising fast, and bound her to astake. Soon the water
came up to her face. She saw it go over the head of a
poor old woman whom they had tied farther out than her-
self; she saw her death struggles; she heard her gasp for
breath, as she choked and strangled in the yellow waves.
Ah! she must have had courage from the Lord, or that
sight would have made her young heart fail. Once more,
and for the last time, the king’s officer asked her to make
the promise never to attend a conventicle again. He
urged it, for he pitied her youth and innocence. Her
friends and neighbours begged her to save her life. *O
speak, dear Margaret !’ they cried, ‘and make the promise ;
it can’t be wrong. Do it for our sakes, dear Margaret,
and they will let you go!’ But she would not save her
life by doing what she had been taught to think was
wrong; and while the swirling waves of the Solway were



56 TOKENS OF LAND.

rising fast around ‘her, she prayed to God, and kept sing-
ing fragments of psalms, till the water choked her voice—
and so she perished. But, O friends, to know that such
things have been, that spirits gentle and brave as this have
lived, makes it easier to suffer courageously.”

“ Horrible !” exclaimed Max ; “I seem to see all that you
have so graphically told. But how stern and cruel the
teachers who would:‘sacrifice human life rather than abate
their own sullen obstinacy, even in ‘trifles, who could en-
courage this innocent but misguided girl in her refusal to
save her life by the harmless ‘promise to attend a church
instead of a conventicle.”

Just as Browne was commencing an eager and indignant
reply to Max's rash reflections upon the strictness of cove-
nanting teachings,’'we were suddenly startled by a deep
and solemn ‘sound, which seemed to come from a distance.
While we listened intently, it was several times repeated
at short intervals of about ffteen seconds, each time more
distinctly than before. It resembled somewhat the deepest
tones of a powerful organ heard for an instant, and then
abruptly stopped. Nothing was to be seen in the direc-
tion from which it seemed to proceed but the sea glitter-
ing in the moonlight. Is it to be wondered at if we
listened with feelings tinged with superstitious awe to
that strange sound, heard under such circumstances, and
at such an hour? Charlie nestled closer to Arthur’s side,
and I thought that the faces of my companions grew
‘ visibly pale. Even Arthur looked perplexed and disturbed.

« “What can that be?” said Morton, after a few minutcs
of almost breathless silence, during which we had listened
in vain for its repetition.

“It is certainly very strange,” said Arthur. “I never
heard anything at sea at all like it but once, and it is im-
possible that this can be what I then heard: but hark !”
And again the same deep pealing sound was repeated
several times, at shorter intervals, but more faintly than



TOKENS OF LAND. 57

before: after continuing for a few minutes, it ceased
again.

“What was the sound which you speak of as resembling
this?” asked Morton, when all was silent once more.

It was the cry of a kind of penguin found at the Falk-
land Islands; when :heard on shore, it is harsh and loud;
but a short distance.at sea, and in the night, it has a peal-
ing, solemn sound, like that which we have just heard.”

“Jt must come from land in the neighbourhood,” said
Morton; “we can probably hear farther on such a night
as this than we can distinguish land.”

“Yes, sounds on the water, in calm still nights, when
there is no wind, can be heard at great distances,” said
Arthur. “It is said that the ‘All’s well! of the British
sentinel at Gibraltar is sometimes heard across the strait
on the African shore, a distance of thirteen miles. I have
seen at the Society Islands native drums made of large
hollow logs, which might perhaps, at a distance, sound
like what we heard a moment ago. A Wesleyan mission-
ary there once told me of a great drum that he saw at the
Tonga Islands, called the ‘Tonga Toki,’ which sounded
like an immense gong, and could be heard from seven to
ten miles.”

“Why, I thought that this sounded like a ‘gong,” said
Charlie ; “perhaps we are near some island now ; but what
could they be drumming for so late in the night?”

“There would be nothing very unusual about that,”
said Arthur. “The Areoi Societies, which are a kind ot
native Freemasons, and are extended over most of the
larger inhabited islands in this part of the Pacific, some-
times-hold their great celebrations, like the pow-wows and
war-dances of our American Indians, in the night-time.
At the Fejee Islands they have a strange ceremony called
‘Tambo Nalanga,’ which they celebrate at night with the
beating of drums, the blowing of conchs, and a number of
savage and cruel rites. Something or other of the sanic



58 TOKENS OF LAND.

is observed at most of the islands, though under different
names, and with slight variations.”

While speculating in this way, and endeavouring to
account for the noise which had startled us so much, we
all at once became aware of an increasing light in the
south, the “Cross,” now half-way between the horizon
and the zenith, enabling us to fix the po:nts of the com-
pass. As we gazed in that direction, the sky became
strongly illuminated by a red glare, and an immense
column of flame and smoke was seen shooting up in the
distance. Nothing but the expanse of the ocean, splendidly
illuminated, and glowing like a sea of fire, could be dis-
cerned by this light. Whether it was caused by a burning
ship, at such a distance that nothing but the light of her
conflagration was visible, or by a fire on some distant
island, we could not determine. It was in the same
quarter from which the sound had seemed to come.

Arthur was now of the opinion that we werc in the neigh-
bourhood of an inhabited island or group, and that the light
proceeded from the burning béche-de-mer house of some
successful trader, who had set fire to it (as is their custom
at the end of a prosperous season), to prevent it from fall-
ing into the hands of others in the same business.

We all grasped eagerly at this idea, for the probability
that we were not only in the neighbourhood of land, but of
a place where we should mect with Europeans, and have an
opportunity of getting home, or perhaps to the places of
our respective destination, was full of encouragement. In
a very short time the conflagration was over, and a dark
column of smoke, which marked the spot where it had
raged, was lifted slowly into the air. We heard no more
of the mysterious sound. None of the explanations sug-
gested were so perfectly satisfactory as to remove entirely
the unpleasant impression which it had produced. Before
lying down in our accustomed places, we made our usual
arrangements as to the watch—unnecessary. as it seemed,
curing the calm.



DARK WATERS. 59

CHAPTER IX.

>

DARK WATERS.

SUFFERING AND DELIRIUM—THE MIDNIGHT BATH—A
STRANGE PERIL.,

‘“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere—
But not a drop to drink.”





SEVERAL times in the course of the night I was awakened
by confused noises, like the blowing of porpoises or the
spouting of whales; but the sky had become overcast, and
it had grown so dark, that on getting up, and looking
about, I could see nothing of the creatures producing
these sounds. My slumbers were broken and uneasy, and
in the morning I found myself suffering from a dull heavy
pain in the head, accompanied by a slight nausea, and a
general fecling ot languor and weakness. Even to get
upon my fect required something of an effort, which I
made, impelled rather by a dim, confused sense of duty,
than by any spontaneous impulse or inclination: had I
consulted inclination alone, I believe I should have re-
mained passive, and Jet things take their course.

The occurrences of the last night had given rise to some
faint expectation that by daylight we should discover land
in sight to the southward, where we had seen the great
light. But nothing was visible in that or any other
quarter. Possessed by some hope of this kind, Arthur
had been up searching the horizon since the first streak of



60 DARK WATERS.

day in the east. He showed me a large green branch
which he had picked up as it floated near us. By the
elegantly scolloped leaves, of a dark and glossy green, it
was easily recognized as a branch of the bread-fruit-tree ;
and from their bright, fresh colour, and the whiteness of
the wood, where it had joined the trunk, it must have been
torn off quite recently. The calm still continued. Immense
schools of black-fish or porpoises, or some similar species,
could be seen about half a mile distant passing westward,
in an apparently endless line. The temporary beneficial
effect of yesterday’s scanty supply of food and drink had
passed away entirely, and all seemed to feel in a greater
or less degree the bodily pain and weakness, and the lassi-
tude and indisposition to any kind of effort, by which I
was affected. To such an extent was this the case, that
when Arthur proposed that we should row towards the
school of fish in sight, and try to take some of them, the
strongest disinclination to make any such attempt was
evinced, and it was only after much argument and persua-
sion, and by direct personal appeals to us individually,
that he overcame this strange torpor, and induced us to
take to the oars.

On getting near enough to the objects of our pursuit
to distinguish them plainly, we were sorry to find that they
were porpoises instead of black-fish, as we had at first
supposed; the former being shy and timid, and much more
difficult to approach than the latter; and so they proved
at present. Still we persevered for a while; the hope of
obtaining food having been once excited, we were almost
as reluctant to abandon the attempt as we had been at
first to commence it. But after half an hour’s severe
labour at the oars, we were obliged to give it up as quite
hopeless, and soon afterward the last of the long column
passed beyond pursuit, leaving us completely disheartened
and worn out. The sail was again arranged so as to shel-
ter us as much as possible from the sun, and Arthur com-



DARK WATERS. 61

menced distributing the leaves and twigs of the bread-fruit
branch, suggesting that some slight refreshment might
perhaps be derived from chewing them. But they retained
a saline taste, from having been in the sea-water, and no
one proceeded far with the experiment. Morton cut some
small strips of leather from his boots, and began to chew
them. He fancied that they afforded some nourishment,
and recommended the rest of us to make a similar trial ;
which I believe we all did. Max almost immediately re-
jected with disgust the first morsel which he put into his
mouth, saying that he must “starve a little longer before
he could relish that.” At noon the heat was more intense,
if possible, than it had been the day before. Charlie was
now in a high fever, accompanied by symptoms of an
alarming character. It was distressing to witness his suf-
ferings, and feel utterly unable to do anything for him.
Yet there was nothing that we could do: food and drink
were the only medicines he needed, and these we could
not give him. Towards the close of the afternoon he
became delirious, and began to cry out violently and in-
cessantly for water. His voice seemed to have changed,
and could now scarcely be recognized. There was some-
thing very strange and horrible in the regular, unceasing
cries which he uttered, and which sounded at times almost
like the howlings of a brute. Arthur had made a sort of
bed for him, to which each of us contributed such articles
of clothing as could be spared. It was now necessary to
watch him every moment, and frequently to use force to
keep him from getting overboard. At one time, having
got to the side of the boat, before he could be prevented,
he commenced dipping up the sea-water with. his hand,
and would have drunkit, had he not been forc’bly restrained.
After this had lasted nearly two hours, he suddenly ceased
his struggles and violent cries, and began to beg piteously
for “a drink of water.” This he continued for a consider-
able time, repeatedly asking Arthur to tcll him. why he



62 DARK WATERS.

could not have “just a little,” since there was “such a
plenty of it.”

It is impossible to describe the horrible and sickening
effect of all this upon us, in the state of utter physical
prostration to which we had been gradually reduced.
Browne and Arthur watched over Charlie with all the care
and patient unwearying kindness that a mother could have
shown; and they would not permit the rest of us to relieve
them for a moment, or to share any part of their charge,
painful and distressing as it was. Twice, when it became
necessary to hold the little sufferer fast, to prevent him
from getting over the gunwale, he spat fiercely in Arthur’s
face, struggling and crying out with frightful vehemence.
But Browne’s face seemed to soothe and control him, and
when Charlie spoke to him, it was gently, and in the lan-
guage of entreaty. Towards night he became more quiet,
and at last sunk into a kind of lethargy, breathing deeply
and heavily, but neither speaking nor moving, except to
turn from one side to the other, which he did at nearly
regular intervals.

This change relieved us from the necessity of constantly
watching and restraining him; but Arthur viewed it as an
unfavourable and alarming symptom; he seemed now more
completely depressed than I had ever before seen him,
and to be overcome at last by gricf, anxiety, and the lfor-
rors of our situation.

The heat did not abate in the least with the going down
of the sun; but the night, though very close and sultry,
was calm and beautiful like the last. Soon after the moon
rose, Max and Morton undressed, and bathed themselves
in the sea. The smooth moonlit water looked so cool
and inviting, that the rest of us soon followed their ex-
ample, notwithstanding the danger from sharks. We were
all good swimmers, but no one ventured far from the boat
except Morton. I found that a few strokes quite exhausted
me, and I was obliged to turn and cling to the gunwale.



DARK WATERS. 63

In fact, so great was the loss of strength which we had all
suffered, that we came near perishing in a very singular
and almost incredible manner. After having been in the
water a sufficient time, as I thought, I discovered, on try-
ing to get into the boat again, that I was utterly unable to
do so, through sheer weakness. At the same time I ob-
served Max making a similar attempt nearer the stern,
with no better success. We were all in the water except
Charlie; any difficulty in getting into the boat again had
not been dreamed of; but I began now to feel seriously
alarmed. My feet were drawn forcibly under the boat’s
bottom, and even to maintain my hold of the gunwale as
we rose and sunk with the swell, required an exhausting
effort, which I knew I could not long continue. Arthur
was swimming near the stern, holding on to the end of a
rope, which he had cast over before coming in. By great
exertion I raised myself so far as to be able to look over
the gunwale, when I saw Browne in the same positicn
directly opposite me.

“ Can’t you get into the boat?” I asked.

“Really I don’t think I can,” said he, speexing like a
person exhausted.

“T can’t,” added Max faintly; “it is as much as I can
do to maintain my hold.” At this moment a voice was
heard calling out apparently from a distance, “ Hilloa !
where are you? Hilloa!” It was hoarse, strained, and
distressed. Almost immediately the cry was repcated
much nearer at hand, as it seemed ; and then a third time,
faint, and distant as at first. I was horror-stricken; the
cry sounded strange and fearful, and I did not recog-
nize the voice. Then it occurred to me that it must
be Morton, who had swam out farther than the rest, and
losing sight of the boat for a moment in the swell of the
sea, had become bewildered and alarmed. This might
easily happen: if but the length of a wave distant, we
should be invisible to him, unless both should chance to



64 DARK WATERS. |

rise on the swell at the same time. The moon, too, had
just passed behind a dark mass of cloud, and the sea lay
in partial obscurity. I now heard Browne and Arthur
shouting, in order, as I supposed, to guide Morton by the
sound of their voices. I, too, called out as loudly as I was
able. For a moment all was still again. Then I heard
some one say “There he is!” and a dark speck appeared
on the crest of a wave a little to the right. At this moment
the moon shone out brightly, and I saw that it was Morton,
swimming toward us. He reached the boat panting and
out of breath, and catching hold near me with an almost
convulsive effort, remained some minutes without being
able to speak a word. Arthur, who had observed Max’s
struggles to get into the yawl, naw swam round to where
Morton and I were hanging on, and taking hold also, his
additional weight depressed the gunwale nearly to the
water’s edge, when he got his knee over it; and at last, by
a sudden effort, rolled into the boat. He then helped me
to get in, and we two the rest.

Morton said that after swimming but a short distance
from the boat, as he supposed, he found himself getting
tired and very weak, and on turning, greatly to his sur-
prise, could see nothing of us. In reality, however, there
was nothing surprising in this, his face being on a level
with the surface, and the boat, with neither sail nor mast
up, being much less in height than the long smooth swells.
Percciving how great was his danger, and becoming some-
what alarmed, he had called out in the manner described :
when he heard us shouting in return, he was actually
swimming away from us, and it was only by following the
direction of our voices that he had at last reached the boat.

That night we kept no regular watch as we had hitherto
done, or at least we made no arrangement for that pur-
pose, though one or another of us was awake most of the
time watching Charlie, who continued, however, in the
same deep lethargic slumber.



. DARK WATERS. 65

For my par, it was a long time before I could sleep at
all. There was something in the fate that threatened us
more appalling than the terrors.of death. The impres-
sions produced by the ravings, and cries, and struggles of
our poor little fellow-sufferer were yet fresh, and they
could not be effaced. All in vain I strove to control the
workings of my morbidly-excited imagination—I could
not shut out the fearful thoughts and anticipations which
the occurrences. of the day so: naturally and obviously
suggested. The lapse of twenty-four hours might find us
all reduced to the same helpless state, deprived of con-
sciousness and reason. Qne after another must succumb
to the fever, and become delirious, until he who should last
fall its victim should find himself alone in the midst of his
stricken and raving companions—alone retaining reason,
no longer to be accounted a blessing, since it could only
serve to make him sensible to all the accumulated horrors
of his situation. I shuddered as I contemplated the possi-
bility that I might be that most wretched one, the last of
all to sink and perish. At.length I began to imagine that
my mind was actually beginning to fail, and that I was
becoming delirious. At first it was but a fearful suspicion.
Soon, however, it took such strong possession of me, that
I was compelled to relinquish all thought of sleep. Sitt ng
up, I saw that Arthur was awake, and by the side of
Charlie. His face was upturned, and his hands clasped,
as if in prayer. I could see his lips move, and even the
tears trickling from beneath his closed eyelids, for the
moonlight fell full upon his countenance. He did not
observe me, and after a few moments he lay down again
without speaking, and soon appeared to slumber like the
rest.

Pressing my hands to my head, I leaned over the stern,
my face almost touching the water. A current of cooler
air was stirring close to the surface, as if it were the
breathing of the sea, for there was no wind. How preter-

E



66 . DARK WATERS.

naturally still everything seemed—what an intensity of
silence! How softly the pale moonlight rested upon the
water! A grand and solemn repose wrapped the heavens
and the ocean—no sound beneath all that vast blue dome
—no motion but the heaving of: the long sluggish swell.
Gradually I became calmer; the excitement and pertur-
bation of my mind began to subside, and at length I felt
as though I could sleep. As I resumed my place by the
side of Browne, he moved, as if about to awake, and mur-
mured indistinctly some broken sentences. From the
words that escaped him, he was dreaming of that far-off
home which he was to behold no more. In fancy he was
wandering again by the banks of the Clyde, the scene of
many a schoolboy ramble. But it seemed as though the
shadow of present realities darkened even his dreams, and
he beheld these familiar haunts no longer in the joyous
light of early days. “ How strange it looks!” he muttered
slowly ; “how dark the river is—how deep and dark !—it
seems to me it was not so then, Robert.” Truly, companion
in suffering, this is no falsely-coloured dream of thine, for
we have all come at last into deep and dark waters.



‘A SAIL. 67

CHAPTER X.

A SAIL.

THE CACHELOT AND HIS ASSAILANTS—-THE COMBAT—
NEW ACQUAINTANCES.

“Strange creatures round us sweep;
Strange things come up to look at us,
The monsters of the deep.”



THE first thought that flashed through my mind with
returning consciousness in the morning, was, “This is the
last day for hope; unless relief comes to-day in some
shape, we must perish.” I was the first awake, and glancing
at the faces of my companions lying about in the bottom
of the boat, I could not help shuddering. They had a
strange and unnatural look—a miserable expression of
pain and weakness. All that was familiar and pleasant to
look upon had vanished from those sharpened and haggard
features. Their closed eyes seemed singularly sunken;
and their matted hair, sunburnt skin, and soiled clothing,
added something of wildness to the misery of their
appearance.

Browne, who had slept beside me, was breathing hard,
and started every now and then, as if in pain. Charlie
slumbered so peacefully, and breathed so gently, that for
a moment I was alarmed, and doubted whether he was
breathing at all, until I stooped down and watched him
closely. There were still no indications of a breeze. A
school of whales was visible about a quarter of a mile to
the westward, spouting and pursuing their unwieldy sport;



468 A SAIL.

but I took no interest in the sight, and leaning over the
gunwale, commenced bathing my head and eyes with the
sea-water. While thus engaged, I was startled by seeing
an enormous cachelot suddenly break the water within
fifteen yards of the boat. Its head, which composed
nearly a third of its entire bulk, seemed a mountain of
flesh. A couple of small calves followed it, and came
swimming playfully round us. Fora minute or two the
cachelot floated quietly at the surface where it had first
appeared, throwing a slender jet of water, together with
a large volume of spray and vapour, into the air; then
rolling over upon its side, it began to lash the sea with its
broad and powerful tail, every stroke of which produced
a sound like the report of a cannon. This roused the
sleepers abruptly, and just as they sprang up, and began
to look around in astonishment for the cause of so start-
ling a commotion, the creature cast its misshapen head
downwards, and throwing its immense flukes high into
the air, disappeared. We watched anxiously to see where
it would rise, conscious of the perils of such a neighbour-
hood, and that even a playful movement, a random sweep
of the tail, while pursuing its gigantic pastime, would be
sufficient to destroy us. It came to the surface at about
the same distance as before, but on the opposite side of
the boat, throwing itself half out of the water as it rose:
again it commenced lashing the sea violently, as if in the
mere wanton display of its terrible strength, until far
around the water was one wide sheet of foam. The calves
still gambolled near us, chasing each other about and under
the yawl, and we might easily have killed one of them,
had we not been deterred by the almost certain conse-
quences of arousing the fury of the old whale. Meantime
the entire school seemed to be edging down towards us. —
There was not a breath of air, and we had no means of
getting out of the way of the danger to which we should
be exposed if among them, except by taking to the oars;



A SAIL. 69

and this nothing short of the most pressing and imme-
diate peril could induce us todo. But our attention was
soon withdrawn from the herd to the singular and alarming
movements of the individual near us. Rushing along the
surface for short distances, it threw itself several times
half clear of the water, turning ‘after each of these leaps,
as abruptly as its unwieldy bulk would permit, and running
a tilt with equal violence in the opposite direction. Once,
it passed so near us, that I think I could have touched it
with an oar, and we saw distinctly its small dull eye, and
the loose, wrinkled folds of skin, about its tremendous
jaws. For a minute afterwards the boat rolled danger-
ously in the swell caused by the swift passage of so vast
an object. Suddenly, after one of these abrupt turns, the
monster headed directly towards us, and came rushing
onward with fearful velocity, either not noticing us at all,
or else mistaking the boat for some sea-creature, with
which it designed to measure its strength. There was no
time for any effort to avoid the danger; and even had
there been, we were too much paralyzed by its imminence
to make such an effort. The whale was scarcely twelve
yards off—certainly not twenty. Behind it stretched a
foaming wake, straight as an arrow. Its vast mountainous
head ploughed up the waves like a ship’s cutwater, piling -
high the foam and spray before it. To miss us was nowa
sheer impossibility, and no earthly power could arrest the
creature’s career. Instant destruction appeared inevitable.
I grew dizzy, and my head began to swim, while the
thought flashed confusedly through my mind, that Infinite
Wisdom had decreed that we must die, and this manner of
perishing had been chosen in mercy, to spare us the pro-
longed horrors of starvation. What a multitude of inco-
herent thoughts and recollections crowded upon my mind
in that moment of time! A thousand little incidents of my
past life, disconnected and trivial—a shadowy throng of
familiar scenes and faces surged up before. me, vividly as



70 A SAIL.

objects revealed for an instant by the glare of the light-
ning in the gloom of a stormy night. Closing my eyes, I
silently commended my soul to God, and was endeavour-
ing to compose myself for the dreadful event, when Morton
sprang to his feet, and called hurriedly upon us to shout
together. All seemed to catch his intention at once, and
to perceive in it a gleam of hope; and standing up, we
raised our voices in a hoarse cry, that sounded strange and
startling even to ourselves. Instantly, as it seemed, the
whale dove almost perpendicularly downwards, but so
great was its momentum, that its fluked tail cut the air
within an oar’s length of the boat as it disappeared.

Whether the shout we had uttered caused the sudden
plunge to which we owed our preservation it is impossi-
ble to decide. Notwithstanding its bulk and power, the
cachelot is said to be a timid creature, except when injured
or enraged, and great caution has to be exercised by
whalers in approaching them. Suddenly recollecting this,
the thought of undertaking to scare the formidable monster
had suggested itself to Morton, and he had acted upon it
in sheer desperation, impelled by the same instinct that
causes a drowning man to catch even at a straw.

But however obtained, our reprieve from danger was
only momentary. The whale came to the surface at no
great distance, and once more headed towards us. If
frightened for an instant, it had quickly recovered from
the panic, and now there was no mistaking the creature’s
purpose: it came on, exhibiting every mark of rage, and
with jaws literally wide open. We felt that no device or
effort of our own could be of any avail. We might as
well hope to resist a tempest or an earthquake, or the
shock of a falling mountain, as that immense mass of
matter, instinct with life and power, and apparently ani-
mated by brute fury.

Every hope had vanished, and I think that we were all
in a great measure resigned to death, and fully expecting



A SAIL. 71

it, when there came (as it seemed to us, by actual miracle)
a most wonderful interposition.

A dark bulky mass (in the utter bewilderment of the
moment we noted nothing distinctly of its appearance)
shot perpendicularly from the sea twenty feet into the air,
and fell with a tremendous concussion directly upon the
whale’s back. It must have been several tons in weight,
and the blow inflicted was crushing. For a moment the
whale seemed paralyzed by the shock, and its vast frame
quivered with agony; but recovering quickly, it rushed
with open jaws upon its strange assailant, which imme-
diately dove, and both vanished. Very soon the whale
came to the surface again; and now we became the wit-
nesses of one of those singular and tremendous spectacles
of which the vast solitudes of the tropical seas are doubt-
less often the theatre, but which human eyes have rarely
beheld.

The cachelot seemed to be attacked by two powerful
confederates, acting in concert. The one assailed it from
below, and continually drove it to the surface, while the
other—the dark bulky object—repeated its singular attacks
in precisely the same manner as at first, whenever any
part of the gigantic frame of the whale was exposed, never
once missing its mark, and inflicting blows which one
would think singly sufficient to destroy any living creature.
At times the conflict was carried on so near us as to en-
danger our safety, and we could see all of the combatants
with the utmost distinctness, though not at the same time.
The first glimpse which we caught of the second antago-
nist of the whale, as it rose through the water to the attack,
enabled us at once to identify it as that most fierce and
formidable creature—the Pacific sword-fish.

The other, as I now had an opportunity to observe, was
a fish of full one third the length of the whale itself, and
of enormous bulk in proportion; it was covered with a
dark rough skin, in appearance not unlike that of an alli-



72 A SAIL.

gator. The cachelot rushed upon its foes alternately,
and the one thus singled out invariably fled, until the
other had an opportunity to come to its assistance; the
‘sword-fish swimming around in a wide circle at the top of
the water when pursued, and the other diving when chased
in its turn. If the whale followed the sword-fish to the
surface, it was sure to receive a stunning blow from its
leaping enemy; if it pursued the latter below, the sword-
fish there attacked it fearlessly, and, as it appeared, suc-
cessfully, forcing it quickly back to the top of the water.
Presently the battle began to recede from us, the whale
evidently making towards the school, which was at no
great distance, and strange as the sight was, we watched
it with but a languid interest, as soon as our safety
appeared to be no longer involved. The whale must have
been badly hurt, for the water which it threw up on com-
ing to the surface and spouting, was tinged with blood.
After this I saw no more of the sword-fish and his asso-
ciate ; they had probably abandoned the attack.* As-nearly
as I can recollect, we did not, either during the progress
of the fight, or after it was over, exchange a single word
on the subject, so dumb and apathetic had we become.
After a while, the school of whales appeared to be moving



* This fish story has several rather astonishing features—at least to an
inexperienced landsman. The sword-fish and thresher are said to seek
and attack the right whale together; but my friend, Captain Tarbox,
whom I have consulted on the subject, says he has never heard of their
interfering with the cachelot, or sperm-whale, which would, he thinks, be
very likely to make mince-meat of them both, should they be guilty of
such temerity: the right whale uses no other weapon than his powertul
tail; whereas the cachelot goes at an adversary with open jaws. Upon
my inquiring whether threshers ‘of several tons’ weight,” and jumping
“twenty feet into the air,’’ were common, the captain seemed piqued at
my implied scepticism as to marine monsters, and briefly made answer
that there were more strange creatures in the sea than were dreamed of
in my philosophy, and that ‘‘many an old sailor could give more real in-
formation on the subject than all the natural history books and bookish
men in the world.”—Fop.

















A SAIL.

{ think, however, that it must have been in the afternoon of the same day that
Morton came to me, as I lay in the bottom of the boat, and aroused me, iaying, iu a
huarse and painful whisper, that there was a vessel in sight.—Page 73.



A SAIL. 73

off, and in half an hour more we lost sight of them alto-
gether.

All this while Charlie had continued to sleep soundly,
and his slumbers seemed more natural and refreshing than
before. When at length he awoke, the delirium had
ceased, and he was calm and gentle, but so weak, that he
could not sit up without being supported. After the dis-
appearance of the whales, several hours passed, during
which we lay under our awning, without a word being
spoken by any one. Throughout this day the sea seemed
to be alive with fish ; myriads of them were to be seen in
every direction; troops of agile and graceful dolphins ;
revolving black-fish chased by ravenous sharks; leaping
albacore, dazzling the eye with the flash of their golden
scales as they shot into the air for a moment; porpoises,
bonito, flying-fish, and a hundred unknown kinds which I
had never seen or heard of. At one time we were sur-
rounljed by an immense shoal of small fishes about the
size of mackerel, so densly crowded together, that their
backs presented an almost solid surface, on which it seemed
as if one might walk dry-shod. None, however, came
actually within our reach, and we made no effort to
approach them.

From the time of our wonderful escape from being
destroyed by the whale, until the occurrence which I am
about to relate, I remember nothing distinctly—all seems
vague and dream-like. I could not say with confidence,
from my own knowledge, whether the interval consisted
of several days or of only a few feverish and half-delirious
hours, nor whether the sights and sounds of which I have
a confused recollection were real or imaginary. I think,
however, that it must have been in the afternoon of the
same day (Arthur is confident that it was) that Morton
came to me, as I lay in the bottom of the boat, in a state
of utter desperation and self-abandonment, and aroused
me, saying, in a hoarse and painful whisper, that there was



74 A SAIL.

a vessel in sight. Even this announcement hardly sufficed
to overcome the stupor into which I had sunk, and it
was with a reluctant effort, and a feeling akin to annoy-
ance at being disturbed, that I sat up and looked around
me. My eyes were so much inflamed that I could see
nothing distinctly.

The first thing that I observed was, that the calm was
at an end. A breeze had sprung up, and was blowing
gently, but pretty steadily, from the south. The surface
of the sea was slightly ruffled, and its dead stagnant aspect
had given place to one of breezy freshness. In this change
there was something reviving and strengthening. Far to
the south, where Morton pointed out the vessel which he
had discovered, I could just distinguish a white speck upon
the water, which seemed more like the crest of a wave
than anything else. Morton had already called Arthur's
attention to it, and he was watching it intently. Gradually
it became more distinct, and in half an hour I too could
make it out plainly to be a small sailing vessel of some
description. As she was coming directly down before the
wind, there seemed to be no need of doing anything to
attract her attention. I now hastened to reanimate Max
and Browne, by communicating to them the intelligence
that relief was probably at hand. In three quarters of an
hour more the strange sail was near enough to enable us
to see that she was a large double canoe, such as is used
by some of the islanders of the South Pacific in their trad-
ing voyages. It had two masts, with large triangular
mat-sails, and appeared to contain six or seven persons
only, whom we supposed to be natives of some neighbour-
ing island. As soon as they were within speaking dis-
tance, one of them, to our great astonishment, hailed us
in French. Arthur undertook to answer in the same
language, when the other, probably perceiving that the
French was not his native tongue, spoke to us in tolerable
English, but with a strong French accent. It was easy to



A SAIL. 75

perceive, now that our attention was particularly called to
him, that the spokesman was a European. Though almost
naked like the rest, and, elaborately tattooed upon the
chest and shoulders, his light hair and beard, and florid
though sunburnt skin, sufficiently distinguished him from
them. Of course the first thing with us was to make
known our wants, and to ask for food, and, above all, for
water. As soon as they could bring the canoe near
enough, the Frenchman, watching his opportunity, reached
out to us a large gourd containing water, of which we
drank plentifully, passing it round several times. Arthur
hastened to pour a little into Charlie’s mouth, and the
effect was astonishing: he seemed to revive almost in-
stantaneously, and sitting up, he seized the gourd himself,
and drank eagerly as long as Arthur would let him. The
Frenchman next tossed us something wrapped in banana
leaves, a thick, dark-coloured paste of some kind. It was
enough that it was an article of food, and we devoured it,
without pausing for any very close examination; though
its appearance was by no means inviting, and it had a
crude and slightly acid taste. He threw us also several
thin hard cakes similar in taste and colour to the other
substance. Both were probably preparations of the bread-
fruit, the latter being dried and hardened in the sun, or
by fire. Ravenously hungry as we were, these supplies
were divided and apportioned with the most scrupulous
exactness. Qn finding that the natives were well supplied
with water, having several large gourds full, we passed
the calabash round again, until we had drained it dry,
when they gave us another gourd. Meanwhile, though
we were too busy to look about us much, the canoe’s
people watched us very narrowly, and in such a manner
as to make me feel uneasy and doubtful as to their inten-
tions, notwithstanding their kindness thus far. As soon
as the first cravings of hunger and thirst were satisfied, I
began to return their scrutiny, and I now observed that



76 A SAIL.

they differed in many respects from the Tahitians, and
from all the other Polynesian tribes of which I knew any-
thing. Their complexion was a clear olive; their faces
oval, with regular features; their hair straight and black;
their eyes large; and the general expression of their coun-
tenances simple and pleasing, though there were several
keen, crafty-looking faces among them. All were tattooed
more or less profusely, the chests of some resembling
checker-boards, and others being ornamented with rosettes,
and representations of various natural objects, as birds,
fishes, trees, &c. Their only clothing consisted of the
maro, a strip of tappa, or native cloth, tied round the loins.
A wave happening to throw the boats nearly together,
one of the natives caught hold of our gunwale at the
stern, and another at the bow, and thus kept the canoe
alongside.

They now began to cast searching glances at us and at
everything in the yawl. I observed the Frenchman in-
tently eyeing the handle of one of the cutlasses, which pro-
truded from beneath a fold of canvass. He inquired
eagerly whether we had any firearms, and seemed greatly
disappointed to find that we had not. He next asked for
tobacco with no better success, which apparently surprised
him very much, for he shrugged his shoulders and raised
his thick eyebrows with a doubtful and incredulous look.
At this moment the gilt buttons upon Max’s jacket seemed
to strike the fancy of one of our new friends, and excited
his cupidity to such a degree, that after fixing upon them
a long and admiring gaze, he suddenly reached over, and
made a snatch at them. He got hold of one, and in trying
to pull it off, came very near jerking Max overboard.
Morton, who was sitting next to Max, interfered, and
caught the man by the arm with a look and manner that
made me fear he might do something imprudent. The
savage, who was an athletic fellow, obstinately maintained
his hold of Max’s jacket, and casting a ferocious glance at



‘A SAIL, 7

Morton, snatched up a short thick paddle, and brandished
it over his head, as if about to strike. Arthur appealed to
the Frenchman to interpose; but before he could do so,
one of the natives, a handsome boy, who was seated cross-
legged upon a platform between the masts, spoke to the
man in a raised voice, and with an air of authority, where-
upon, to my surprise, he immediately dropped the paddle,
and sullenly desisted from his attempt. This lad, who
seemed to be so promptly obeyed, did not look to be
more than thirteen or fourteen years of age. His voice
was soft and girlish; he had a remarkably open and pleas-
ing countenance, and surveyed us with an air of friendly
interest, very different from the sinister and greedy looks
of several of the others, including the Frenchman himself.
In answer to the questions of the latter, Arthur told him
that we were Americans, and related very briefly how we
had come into our present situation. He then informed
us in turn that he had been cast away, some six years
before, in a French bark engaged in the tortoiseshell
traffic, upon an uninhabited island, about forty miles from
the one where he and those with him now lived. After
remaining there for more than a year, he and his com-
panions, having reason to believe that they were in the
neighbourhood of a group occasionally visited by trading
vessels, had set out in search of it in a small boat. Their
belief as to the existence and situation of these islands
proved to be well-founded ; they had finally succeeded in
reaching them, had been hospitably received and treated
by the natives, among whom they had acquired consider-
able influence, but had as yet had no opportunity of re-
turning home. |

They were now, he said, on their return from a trading
voyage to a neighbouring island, where they had just dis-
posed of a cargo of mats and tappa, in exchange for baskets
of native manufacture and sharks’ teeth. Having been
becalmed all the preceding day and night, they feared



78 A SAIL.

that they had drifted out of their course, since otherwise,
they ought, after making full allowance for the calm, to
have already reached their own island. He finished by
assuring us that we might calculate with confidence upon
enjoying perfect security and kind treatment among these
people.

The conference being concluded, he directed us to put
up our sail, and steer after the canoe; adding, that he ex-
pected to reach the group before midnight, if the wind
held fair. He spoke with the air of one delivering a
command, and evidently considered us entirely under his
control. But of course we felt no disposition to object to
what he directed. The fact, that the natives had treated
him and his companions so well, was an encouragement to
us, as affording some proof of their friendly and peaceful
character, and we supposed that he could have no possible
motive for using his influence to our prejudice. Even had
there been any other course for us to choose to escape
perishing, we were in no condition to make any effectual
opposition to the will of our new acquaintances.



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THE DESERT ISLAND BREAKFAST,
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ISLAND HOME;

THE YOUNG CAST-AWAYS.

EDITED BY

CHRISTOPHER ROMAUNT, ESQ.

*« And conjured up

My boyhood’s earliest dreams of isles that lie

In farthest depths of ocean; girt with all

Of natural wealth and splendour—jewelled isles,
Boundless in unimaginable spoils,

That earth is stranger to.”

LONDON:
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
AND EDINBURGH.

MDCCCLIL.




TO MY FRIEND,

THE AUTHOR OF “CRUMBS FROM THE LAND 0’ CAKES.”

My Drak Sir,

Long ago, when to both of us the future seemed infinitely
wider, and richer in pleasant possibilities, than it now does, I
promised, or threatened, that I would one day “ write a book,”
and dedicate it to you.

Whether, in the humble capacity of ‘‘ Editor ” of the work of
another, I have properly any business to ‘** dedicate ” it at all, is
a question which I am not sufficiently familiar with the code of
literary etiquette to decide: but I will venture in the present
instance to ‘‘ take the responsibility,” even at the risk of being
called to account for it by ‘‘the islanders,” should they even-
tually “ turn up.”

Permit me, therefore, as a slight memento of the many
pleasant associations of ‘‘auld langsyne” in which we have
shared, and as the only fulfilment of a boyish pledge, that it
will probably ever be in my power to offer, affectionately to
inscribe to you this little volume.

CHRISTOPHER ROMAUNT.
EDITOR’S PREFACE.

Tue history of this little book, so far as it is known
to me, is briefly as follows: —

During a visit to my old friend Captain Nathaniel
Tarbox, at the country residence on the shores of
Long Island Sound, to which, as a sort of “ sailor’s
snug harbour,” he has retired, after some thirty-
five years of a seafaring life, Master Decatur,
my friend’s only son, one day exhibited to me a
miniature ship, which he said his father had picked
up at sea on his last voyage. He also casually
mentioned the circumstance of a roll of manuscript
having been found in the little vessel.

Upon my evincing some interest in the matter,
and making inquiry for the manuscript, it was,
after diligent research, discovered in a box of old
papers in the garret. It consisted of a number of
loose sheets of fine French letter-paper, several of
which were badly torn, and others soiled and dis-
coloured. A faded green ribbon with which they
had been fastened together was broken, and they
had become entirely disarranged. The manuscript
was not paged, nor the sheets numbered, and the
work of ascertaining and restoring their proper
vi EDITOR’S PREFACE.

order, required both time and patience for its
accomplishment.

In the course of this task I discovered that some
leaves of the first part of the manuscript were
missing, and the only information which I could
glean respecting their probable fate, favoured the
opinion, that they had either been put in requisition
as kite-tail, or served some other equally inglorious
purpose.

Upon endeavouring to ascertain the particulars of
the time and place of the discovery of the little
waif, I found that the log-book of the voyage on
which it had been picked up was lost, and that the
captain had no very certain or definite recollection as
to the circumstances most essential to be known.

According to his best impression, it was about
the middle of June 1841, and while sailing some-
where in the neighbourhood of the Kingsmill
Islands, that the little ship had been discovered.
He was at the time upon a trading voyage, and
engaged in endeavouring to procure among the
islands a cargo of sandalwood and béche de mer for
the Canton market.

Upon opening the hatches of the tiny ship, which
were carefully secured, and rendered water-proof
by a thick coating of some resinous gum, a roll of
paper was found to constitute her entire cargo. On
examination, it proved to be a closely-written manu-
script, in a crabbed, and indeed almost illegible
EDITOR'S PREFACE. Vii

hand, well calculated to discourage any very ex-
tended investigation of its contents; at all events,
the curiosity of Master Decatur and his friends had
not been sufficiently powerful to overcome the diffi-
culty ; and when the facts first came to my know-
ledge, as above related, not one of them could give
me any account of the subject-matter of the manu-
script. It contained, as I found, what purported to
be a “ narrative of the adventures” of six lads, who,
after getting strangely enough adrift in a small
boat, and being several days at sea in imminent
danger of starvation, finally, in the nick of time,
happened upon a “ desert island,” where, after the
fashion of Robinson Crusoe and other shipwrecked
worthies, they appear to have led quite a romantic
and holiday sort of life.

The narrative purports to have been written by
one of the youthful adventurers for the amusement
of himself and companions, from the materials fur-
nished by a rude and meagre journal, kept during
the early period of their residence on the island,
upon fragments of the leaves of some tropical tree
adapted to that purpose.

It would seem that the “ islanders,” pleased per-
haps with the notion of becoming the heroes of a
tale, but probably rather in the spirit of sportive
mimicry than of serious ambition, determined to cut
up their narrative into chapters, stick a fragment of
rhyme at the commencement of each, after the most
viil EDITOR'S PREFACE.

approved fashion, and, repudiating altogether the
modest form of a journal, to give it the garb and
aspect of “a regular desert-island story.”

When finally reduced to its present shape, it was, ©
in accordance with the romantic suggestion of one of
the young Crusoes, securely deposited in the hold
the little craft, which was then launched forth upm
the deep, to convey to the world the story of the
islanders. Such appears to have been their inten-
tion with regard to it, from the latter part of the
manuscript itself; and its subsequent discovery,
under the circumstances stated, proves that the
design was put into execution.

At the termination of my visit, upon requesting
permission to take the manuscript home with me
to examine at my leisure, the captain at once relin-
quished all his right to it in my favour, expressing
some surprise that I should take such an interest
in the matter.

I subsequently read the narrative, in six winter
evening sittings, to my children and a few of their
playmates. ‘They were all greatly delighted with
it, and by their enthusiasm on the subject, diffused
among their juvenile acquaintance so vehement a
curiosity concerning “the new desert-island story,”
that I at length determined to publish it, as well
for the gratification of the young people, as for the
purpose of advertising the relatives and friends cf
the castaways, if any such should still survive, of
EDITOR'S PREFACE. ix

the strange and deplorable fate that has befallen
them ;* in order, as several of the little folks have
suggested, that suitable measures may be taken to
secure their restoration to their homes and country,
and the government perhaps be induced to fit out
aiy exploring expedition for the discovery of the
island, and the relief of the young exiles,

he style and general character of the narrative
are, in the main, such as one might reasonably
expect ; its supposed author, and the circumstances
under which it purports to have been written,
being taken into consideration. I say purports,
because it has been suggested in some quarters that
the whole thing might be nothing more than a
harmless hoax, perpetrated by some scribbling
middy, who, after writing the story as an agreeable
pastime for his vacant hours, had set it adrift in the

27 Se ree ce ROD



LE LS OTS at

* Upon a loose half-sheet of the manuscript I have found the
following memorandum of the names and former places of resi-
dence of these unfortunate young persons, probably designe
for the information of their friends. Having received no answer
to the letters of inquiry which I thought it my duty to for-
ward to these addresses (such of them, at least, as are visited
by the mail), I publish the memorandum, in the hope that it
may thus reach the eyes of the interested parties :—

JOHN Browne, of Glasgow, Scotland ;

ARTHUR HAMILTON, of Papieti, Tahiti;

WILLIAM Morton, of Hillsdale, New York;

Max ADELER, of Hardscrabble, Columbia County, New York;
RicHARD ARCHER, of Norwich, Connecticut ;

CHARLIE LIVINGSTON, of Milford, Mass. ;

his
E1uLo0, Prince of Tewa, X South Sea.
mark
x EDITOR'S PREFACE.

manner in which it was found, as the most eligible
mode of disposing of it—of which supposition I have
only to remark, that it is entirely gratuitous, and
unsupported by a particle of proof.

The very faults of the narrative confirm its
genuineness, by their consistency with its supposed
origin and authorship. It is unequal, and evidently
the work of an unpractised hand; a boyish tone of
feeling and a boyish sentimentality often charac-
terize it. There is also a great superfluity of detail;
the sayings, as well as the doings of the young
adventurers, are frequently recorded with a tedious
minuteness. This disposition to dwell upon minutie,
to attach importance to things comparatively trivial,
is a characteristic of the youthful mind, and marks
that period of freshness, joyousness, and inexperience,
when everything is new, and possesses the power to
surprise and to interest.

But as the faults to which I have alluded, and
others which it would be easy to enumerate, escaped
the criticism of the juvenile auditory to which the
story was first submitted, and as some of those
faults, and in particular the prolixity and fulness of
detail of which I have spoken, seemed, in their esti-
mation, to add to its interest, I have been unwilling
to take any liberties with it, and have finally con-
cluded to send the manuscript to the printer in all
its original integrity.

Tue Epiror.
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IL
THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

Climbing for “‘Glory”—Max in a Cocoa-Palm—A Tropical Scene—
How People are “ Cast Away "—Charlie’s Views of Desert-Island
Life, eee eee eoe ece eos eee eee

CHAPTER II.
THE ALARM.

The Fugitive—A Hazardous Attempt—A Race with the Mutineers—
The Wounded Rower—The Coral Ledge, eee oes oes

CHAPTER III.
THE CONFLICT.

‘One more Effort!”—A Brief Warning—The Struggle and its results4
—The Strange Sail—Darkness—The Open Sea, eee

CHAPTER IV.
AT SEA.

A Night of Gloom—Morton's Narrative—Frazer and the Mutineers—
Visionary Terrors—The First Morning—An Alarming Discovery,

CHAPTER V.
THE CONSULTATION.

The Last Doubt Resolved—Out of Sight of Land—Slender Resources
—What's to be done?—A ‘‘ Holiday Adventure!”—A Guess at our
Position, ... oes eee oes see eee

15

22

sl
xii CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VI.
THE CALM.

The Second Watch—A Narrow Escape—An Evil Omen—The Spectre
Fish—The Sky and the Ocean—A Breakfast Lost—The Commence-

ment of Suffering, ... eee oes eee eee eee

CHAPTER VII.
A CHANGE.

Threatening Indications—A Welcome Peril—The Albacore and their
Prey—aA Strange Repast—A Tropical Thunder-Storm, ...

CHAPTER VIII.
TOKENS OF LAND.

Sunset on the Southern Ocean—The Perfect Sphere—‘‘ Must we
Perish ?”—The Mysterious Sound—The Distant Conflagration,

CHAPTER IX.
DARK WATERS.

A Bitter Disappointment—The Little Sufferer--Fever and Delirium
—The Midnight Bath—A Strange Peril, eee see

CHAPTER X.
A SAIL.

Sea Creatures—A Mournful Change—The Cachelot and his Assail-
ants—The Combat—New Acquaintances, eee oes tee

CHAPTER XI.
A CATASTROPHE.

The Little Islander—A Stupendous Spectacle—The Whirling Pillars
—We Lose our New Friends,... eee eee eee

47

51

59

67
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XII.
OUR ISLAND HOME.

The “ Aveia"—The Illusion of the Golden Haze—The Barrier Reef—
A Wall of Breakers—A Struggle for Life—The Islet of Cocoa-
Palms, eee eee ee6 eee eee eee eee

CHAPTER XIII.
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

The Evils of Inaction—Arthur’s Remedy—Eiulo—Exhilarating Influ-
ences—Pearl-Shell Beach—The Feathered Colony—An Invasion
Repelled, eee ose eee ete eee eee eee

CHAPTER XIV.
CASTLE HILL

The Noonday Halt—A Charming Resting-Place—Charlie Instructs
us how Desert-Islanders are wont to make a Fire—Heathen Skill
versus Civilization and the Story-Books, ees eee eee

CHAPTER XV.
CAMPING OUT.

Exemplary Birds—A “Desperate Engagement”—-Charlie discovers
‘an Oyster-Tree""—Vagrants, or Kings ?—A Night in the Wvods
-—A Sleeping Prescription, ... ees soe eee vee

CHAPTER XVI.
DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS.

A Desert-Island Breakfast—Coming Out Strong under Discouraging
Circumstances—Romance and Reality—Consoling Precedents—
The Prince and Princess, one eee eee ase oes

CHAPTER XVII.
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

A Voice in the Woods—" Vive Napoleon ?”—How Desert-Islanders
“do their Washing "—Arthur “Calculates our Longitude "—Ro-
gerogee—The ‘“ Wild Frenchman’s” Hat, ... ove eee

Page

8%

98

110

118

129

186
xiv CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XVIII
ABOUT TEWA.

A Dull Chapter—But Necessary—Future Acquaintances—Wakatta
and Atollo—The Siesta Disturbed—A Gentle Hint -Max as an
Architect, ... ese ose ese

CHAPTER XIX.
THE CORAL REEF.

An Expedition by Water—An Affectionate Pair—Charlie and the
Chama—An Ambuscade for Land-Crabs—Amateur Pearl-Diving—
A Shark Blockade—Culinary Genius, eee

CHAPTER XX.
ARTHUR’S STORY.

An Evening at Palm Islet—Story-Telling—Browne on ‘The Knightly
Character”—Rokoa—A Voyage to the Cannibal Island of Angatan,

CHAPTER XXI.
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

The Miro Grove—The Marae—The Old Priest—Mowno at Home—A

Happy Savage—Cannibal Young Ladies—Olla and her Friends—
A Cannibal Dinner, ...

CHAPTER XXII.
AN EXPLOSION.

“Lai-Evi"—A Flowery Warfare—The Cannibals Appreciate Music
and Eloquence—But take Offence at the New Theology, , eee

CHAPTER XXIII.
THE FLIGHT.

The Priest's Spies, and Olla’s Stratagem—Rokoa’s Expedition—The
Hasty Departure—The Pursuit—The Priest's Ambush, ... ose

-

L£9

161

172

184

199
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIV.
HOUSE-BUILDING.

Dawn on the Lagoon—Charlie’s Plan of Making a Fortune—The
**Sea-Attorney’—The “ Shark Exterminator’’—Max “ Carries the
War into Africa”—Our House Begun—Mermaid’s Cove, eee

CHAPTER XXV.
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

Our House Completed—Echo-Vale and Lake Laicomo—A Democrat
in the Woods—Harry Clay and General Jackson—Charlie’s “ Wild
Frenchman” Discovered at Last, ose eee eee ase

CHAPTER XXAVL
THE REMOVAL.

Preparations for the Rainy Season—Our House put to the Test—
Going into Winter-Quecters—Laying in Supplies—Monsieur Paul
—Max Baffled—The Patriarch of the Lake, _.... oes ees

CHAPTER XXVII.
WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

Our In-Door Resources—Amusements and Occupations—Chess and
Fencing—tThe Rival Story-Tellers—The “South Sea Lyceum,” ...

CHAPTER XXVIII. .
THE SEPARATION.

Our Seclusion Invaded—Spring in the Tropics—The Excursion—The
Islet in the Stream—The Grove-Tree—Lost Companions, ose

CHAPTER XXIX.
THE SEARCH.

The Charm Fading—Home, sweet Home!—We Seek the Missing
Ones—A Startling Discovery—The Footprints and the Trail—The
Canoe upon the Shore, eee ose eee ose ees

xV

228

238

249

256

265

274
xvi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXX.
THE RENCONTRE.

The Two Parties of Natives—The Pursuers and Pursued—We are
Discovered—The Consultation and Decision—An Exciting Moment
-—Fencing Lessons put in Practice—The Principles of the Broad-
sword Exercise Misapplied, ... ees ose ose see

CHAPTER XXXL
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

The Return to the Islet-—Perplexity and Doubt—Morton’s Determi-
nation— The Search Renewed— The Captives—Atollo and the
Tewans, eee see ove eco eee eco eee

CHAPTER XXKXIL
THE SINGLE COMBAT.

Preparations for an Attack—The Islet Fortified—A Demand and
Refusal—The Battle of Banian Islet-—A Timely Reinforcement—-
The Two Champions, ove oes eee eee oes

CHAPTER XXXIII,
THE MIGRATION.

An Invitation to Tewa—Max’'s Flattering Opinion of Wakatta—In-
ducements to Colonize—Preparations to Depart—The Manuscript
and the Messenger-Ship, cee see eee vee eee

Page

283

294

306

825
THE ISLAND HOME.

CHAPTER I.

THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

MAX IN A COCOA-PALM—CHARLIE’S VIEWS OF DESERT-
ISLAND LIFE.

““O give us some bright little isle of our own,
In the blue summer ocean, fur off and alone.”

——_

._ * * * * As we wandered along the
shore (taking care to keep in sight of Mr. Frazer, under
whose convoy, in virtue of his double-barrelled fowling-
piece, we considered ourselves), we came to a low and
narrow point, running out a little way into the sea, the
extremity of which was adorned by a stately group of
cocoanut-trees.

The spot seemed ill adapted to support vegetation of
so nagnificent 4 growth, and nothing less hardy than the
cocoa-palm could have derived nourishment from such a
soil. Several of these fine trees stood almost at the
water’s edge, springing from a bed of sand, mingled with
‘black basaltic pebbles, and coarse fragments of shells and
coral, where their roots were washed by every rising tide:
yet their appearance was thrifty and flourishing, and they
were thickly covered with close-packed bunches of tassel-

A
2 THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

like, straw-coloured blossoms, and loaded with fruit in
various stages of growth.

Charlie cast a wistful glance at the compact clusters of
nuts, nestling beneath the graceful tufts of long leaves
that crowned each straight and tapering trunk ; but he
had so recently learned from experience the hopelessness
of undertaking to climb a cocoanut-tree, that he was not
at present disposed to renew the attempt. Max, however,
who greatly valued himself upon his agility, and professed
to be able to do anything that could be done in the way
of climbing, manifested an intention to hazard his reputa-
tion by making the doubtful experiment. After looking
carefully around, he selected for the attempt a young
tree near the shore, growing at a considerable inclination
from the perpendicular; and clasping it firmly, he slowly
commenced climbing, or rather creeping, along the slant-
ing trunk, while Charlie watched the operation from below
with an interest as intense as if the fate of empires de-
pended upon the result. .

Max, who evidently considered his character at stake,
and who climbed for “glory” rather than for cocoanuts,
proceeded with caution and perseverance. Once he
partly lost his hold, and swung round to the under side
of the trunk, but by a resolute and vigorous effort he
promptly recovered his position, and finally succeeded in
establishing himself quite comfortably among the enor-
mous leaves that drooped from the top of the tree. Here
he seemed disposed to rest for a while, after his arduous
and triumphant exertions, and he sat looking compla-
cently down upon us from his elevated position, without
making any attempt to secure the fruit, which hung within
his reach in abundant clusters.

“Hurra for Harry Clay!’ cried Charlie, capering
about, and clapping his hands with glee, as soon as this
much-desired consummation was attained. “Now, Max,
pitch down the nuts !”










MAX IN A COCOA PALM.

After enjoying the impatience caused by the tantalizing deliberation of his own
movements, Max detached two entire clusters of nuts from the tree, which furnished
us an abundant supply.—Page 3
THE TROPICAL ISLAND. 3.

-“Hurra for Harry Clay indeed!” growled Max, puf-
fing and panting from his recent efforts ; “it seems to me
that it would be much more proper and becoming, under ~
the circumstances, to hurra for Max Adeler. Harry Clay
couldn’t begin to climb this tree, and I doubt if he can
help you to these cocoanuts.”

Charlie was but shouting his favourite war-cry, in cele-
bration of your success,” said Arthur: “ though he huzzaed
for Harry Clay, his exultation was called forth by your
triumph; therefore, hasten to let him participate in its
fruits.”

“He rejoices in the victory,’ answered Max, “only
because he anticipates a share in the spoils. But do you
suppose that I climbed this tree, animated by the vulgar
desire of sucking cocoanuts? No; I wished to show you
how difficulties apparently insurmountable vanish beiore
skill and perseverance.”

After having teased Charlie sufficiently, and enjoyed
the impatience caused by the tantalizing deliberation of
his own movements, Max detached two entire clusters
of nuts from the tree, which furnished us an abundant
supply.

’ Selecting a pleasant spot beside the beach, we sat down
to discuss the cocoanuts at our Icisure, which occupied us
some little time. Upon looking round after we had fin-
ished, we discovered that our convoy had disappeared, and
Charlie, whose imagination was continually haunted by
visionary savages and cannibals, manifested considerable
uneasiness upon finding that we were alone.

As the sun was already low in the west, and we- sup-
posed that the party engaged in getting wood had in
all probability finished their work, we concluded to re-
turn, and to wait for Mr. Frazer and the rest of the
shore party at the boats, if we should not find them al-
ready there.

As we skirted the bordcr of the grove on our roturn,
4 THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

Charlie every now and then cast an uneasy glance to-
wards its darkening recesses, as though expecting to see
gome wild animal or a yelling troop of tattooed islanders
rush out upon us. The forest commenced about two
hundred yards from the beach, from which there was a
gradual ascent, and was composed of a greater variety
of trees than I had observed on the other islands of a
similar size at which we had previously landed. Arthur
called our attention to a singular and picturesque group
of tournefortias, in the midst of which, like a patriarch
surrounded by his family, stood one of uncommon size,
and covered with a species ot fern, which gave it a strik-
ing and remarkable appearance. The group covered a
little knoll, that crowned a piece of rising ground, ad-
vanced a short distance beyond the edge of the forest.
It was a favourable spot for a survey of the scene around
us. The sun, now hastening to his setting, was tinging
all the western ocean with a rich vermilion glow. The
smooth white beach before us, upon which the long-roll-
ing waves broke in even succession, retired in a graceful
curve to the right, and was broken on the left by the
wooded point already mentioned. |

As you looked inland, the undulating surface of the
island, rising gradually from the shore, and covered with
the wild and luxuriant vegetation of the tropics, delighted
the eye by its beauty and variety. The noble bread-fruit-
tree, its arching branches clothed with its peculiarly rich
and glossy foliage; the elegantly-shaped casuarina, the
luxuriant pandanus, and the palms, with their stately
trunks, and green crests of nodding leaves, imparted to
the scene a character of Oriental beauty.

“Why do they call so lovely a spot as this a desert
island, I wonder?” exclaimed Charlie, after gazing around
him a few moments in silence.

“Did you ever hear of a desert island that wasn’t a
lovely spot?” answered Max. “Why, your regular desert

wo”
THE TROPICAL ISLAND. 5

island should combine the richest productions of the tem-
perate, torrid, and frigid zones—a choice selection of the
fruits, flowers, vegetables, and animals of Europe, Asia,
and Africa. This would by no means come up to the
average standard. I doubt if you could find upon it so
much as a goat or a poll-parrot, much less an ‘ 6nager,’ a
buffalo, or a boa-constrictor, some of which at least are
indispensable to a desert island of any respectability.”

“Why, then, do they call such delightful places desert
islands ?” repeated Charlie. “I always thought a desert
was a, barren wilderness, where there was nothing to be
scen but sand, and rocks, and Arabs.”

“TI believe they are more properly called desolate
islands,” said Arthur ; “and that seems proper enough ;
for even this island, with all its beauty, is supposed to be
uninhabited, and it would be a very lonely and desolate
home. Would you like to live here, Charlie, like Robin-
son Crusoe, or the Swiss family ?”

“Not all alone, like Robinson Crusoe. O no! that
would be horrible; but I think we might all of us to-
gether live here beautifully a little while, if we had plenty
of provisions, and plenty of arms to defend ourselves
against the savages; and then, of course, we should want a
house to live in too.”

“ Nonsense,” said Max, “what should we want of pro-
visions !—the sea is full of fish, and the forest of birds;
the trees are loaded with fruit; there are oysters and
other shell-fish in the bays; and no doubt there are vari-
ous roots, good for food, to be had by digging for them.
As to a house, we might sleep very comfortably, in such
weather as this, under these tournefortias, and never so
much as think of taking cold; or we could soon build a
serviceable hut, which would be proof against sun and
rain, of the trunks and boughs of trees, with a thatch of
palm-leaves fora roof. Then, in regard to arms, of course,
if it should be our fate to set up for desert islanders, we
6 THE TROPICAL ISLAND.

should be well supplied in that line. I never heard of any
one, from Robinson Crusoe down, being cast away on a
desert island without a good store of guns, pistols, cut-
lasses, &c. &c. Such a thing would be contrary to all pre-
cedent, and is not for a moment to be dreamed of.”

“ But we haven’t any arms,” said Charlie, “ except those
old rusty cutlasses that Spot put into the yawl, and if we
should be cast away, or left here, for instance, where should
we get them from ?”

“O, but we’re not cast away yet,” replied Max. “This
is the way the thing always happens. When people are
cast away, it is in a ship of course.”

“Why, yes; I suppose so,” said Charlie, rather doubt-
fully.

“ Well—the ship is always abundantly supplied with
everything necessary to a desert-island life ; she is driven
ashore ; the castaways—the future desert islanders—by
dint of wonderful good fortune, get safely to land; the
rest of course are all drowned, and so disposed of: then,
in due time, the ship goes to pieces, and everything need-
ful is washed ashore, and secured by the islanders. That’s
the regular course of things—isn’t it, Arthur ?”

“ Yes, I believe it is, according to the story-books, which
are the standard sources of information on the subject.”

“ Or sometimes,” pursued Max, “the ship gets comfort-
ably wedged in between two convenient rocks (which
seem to have been designed for that special purpose), so
that the castaways can go out to it on a raft, or float of
some kind, and carry off everything they want—and singu-
larly enough, although the vessel is always on the point of
going to pieces, that catastrophe never takes place until
everything which can be of any use is secured.”

“Do you suppose, Arthur,” inquired Charlie, “ that
there are many uninhabited islands that have never been
discovered ?”

“There are belicved to be a great many of them,”
THE TROPICAL ISLAND. 7

answered Arthur, “ and it is supposed that new ones dre
constantly being formed by the labours of the coral insect.
A bare ledge of coral first appears just at the surface ; it
arrests floating substances, weeds, trees, &c. ; soon the sea-
birds begin to resort there; by the decay of vegetable and
animal matter a thin soil gradually covers the foundation
of coral; a cocoanut is drifted upon it by the winds, or
the currents of the sea; it takes root, springs up; its fruit
ripens, and falls, and in a few years the whole new-formed
island is covered with waving groves.”

“Mr. Frazer says he has no doubt that these seas
swarm with such islands, and that many of them have
never. been discovered,” said Max ; “ besides, here’s poetry
for it :—

‘*O many are the beauteous isles
Unseen by human eye,
That sleeping 'mid the ocean smiles,
In happy silence lie.
The ship may pass them in the night,

Nor the sailors know what lovely sight
Is sleeping on the main ;”

but this poetical testimony will make Arthur doubt the
fact altogether.”

“ Not exactly,” answered Arthur, “though I am free to
admit, that without Mr. Frazer’s opinion to back it, your
poetical testimony would not go very far with me.”

“Hark! there go Mr. Frazer’s two barrels,” cried Max,
as two reports in quick succession were heard, coming
apparently from the grove in the direction of the spring ;
“he has probably come across a couple of ‘rare speci-
mens,’ to be added to his stuffed collection.”
.8 THE ALARM.

CHAPTER II.

THE ALARM.

THE MOTINEERS—THE RACE FOR LIFE—THE CORAL
LEDGE.

** Now bend the straining rowers to their oars;
Fast the light shallops leave the lessening sl:ores ;
No rival crews in emulous sport contend,

But life and death upon the event depend.”

THE next moment we were startled by a quick, fierce
shout, followed immediately by a long, piercing, and dis-
tressful cry, proceeding from the same quarter from which
the reports of firearms had been heard; and before we
had time to conjecture the cause or meaning of these
frightful sounds, Morton bounded like a deer from the
grove, about a hundred yards from the spot where we
were standing, and ran swiftly towards us, crying out—
“To the boats! for your lives to the boats!”

Our first thought was, that the party at the spring had
been attacked and massacred by the natives. Arthur
seized Charlie by one hand, and motioned to me to take
the other, which I did, and without stopping to demand
any explanations, we started at a rapid pace in the direc-
tion of the yawl, Max taking the lead—Arthur and myself
dragging Charlie between us coming next, and Morton a
few paces behind us bringing up the rear. It took but
a few moments to enable us to reach the spot where the
yawl lay, hauled up, upon the beach. There was no one
in her, or in sight, except Browne, who was comfortavly
THE ALARM. 9

stretched out near the boat sound asleep, with an open
book lying beside him.

Morton aroused the sleeper by a violent shake. “ Now
then,” cried he, “let us get the boat into the water; the
tide is down, and the yawl is heavy ; we shall want all the
strength we can muster.”

By a united effort we got the yawl to the edge of the surf.

Browne, though not yet thoroughly awake, could not
but observe our pale faces and excited appearance, and
gazing from one to another in a bewildered manner, he
asked what was the matter; but no one made any answer.
Morton lifted Charlie into the boat, and asked the rest of
us to get in, except Arthur, saying that they two would
push her through the surf.

“ Hold !” cried Arthur, “let us not be too fast; some of
the others may escape the savages, and they will naturally
run this way—we must not leave them to be murdered.”

“There are no savages in the case,” answered Morton,
“and there is no time to be lost; the men have killed the
first officer, and Mr. Frazer too, I fear; and they will take
the ship, and commit more murders, unless we can get
there before them, to warn those on board.”

This was more horrible than anything that we had anti-
cipated ; but we had no time to dwell upon it: the sound
of oars rattling in their row-locks was heard from beyond
the point. |

“There are the mutineers!” cried Morton; “ but I think
that we have the advantage oi them ; they must pull round
yonder point, which will make at least a quarter of a mile’s
difference in the distance to the ship.”

“There is no use in trying to get to the ship before
them,” said Max; “the longboat pulls eight oars, and
there are men enough to fill her.”

“There is use in trying; it would be shameful not to
try; if they pull most oars, ours is the lightest boat,”
answered Morton with vehemence.
19 THE ALARM.

“It is out of the question,” said Crowne ; “see; is there
any hope that we can succeed?” and he pointed to the
bow of the longboat just appearing from behind the point.

“QO, but this is not right! Browne! Max! in the name
of all that is honourable let us make the attempt,” urged
Morton, laying a hand in an imploring manner on the arm
of each. “Shall we let them take the ship and murder
our friends, without an effort to warn them of their
danger? You, Arthur, are for making the attempt I know.
This delay is wrong: the time is precious.”

“Yes, let us try it,” said Arthur, glancing rapidly from
the longboat to the ship; “if we fail, no harm is done,
except that we incur the anger of the mutineers. I for
one am willing to take the risk.”

Max sprang into the boat, and scized an oar without
another word.

“You know well that I am willing to share any danger
with the rest, and that it was not the danger that made
me hesitate,” said Browne, laying his hand on Morton’s
shoulder, and looking earnestly into his face; and then,
in his usual deliberate manner, he followed Max’s ex-
ample.

Morton, Arthur, and myself, now pushed the boat into
the surf, and sprang in. At Arthur’s request, I took the
rudder ; he and Morton seized the two remaining oars,
and the four commenced pulling with a degree of coolness
and vigour that would not have disgraced older and more
practised oarsmen. As I saw the manner in which they
bent to their work, and the progress we were making, I
began to think our chance of reaching the ship before the
crew of the longboat by no means desperate.

Morton, in spite of his slender figure and youthful ap-
pearance, which his fresh, ruddy complexion, blue eyes,
and brown curling locks rendered almost effeminate, pos-
sessed extraordinary strength and indomitable energy.

Lrowne, though his rather heavy frame and breadth of
THE ALARM. Il

shoulders gave him the appearance of greater strength
than he actually possessed, was undoubtedly capable,
when aroused, of more powerful temporary exertion than
any other of our number; though, in point of activity and
endurance, he would scarcely equal Morton or Arthur.
Max, too, was vigorous and active, and when stimulated
by danger or emulation, was capable of powerful effort.
Arthur, though of slight and delicate frame, was compact
and well knit, and his coolness, judgment, and resolution,
enabled him to dispose of his strength to the best advan-
tage. All were animated by that high and generous
spirit which is of greater value in an emergency than any
amount of mere physical strength ; a spirit which often
stimulates the feeble to efforts as surprising to him who
puts them forth as to those who witness them.

Browne had the bow-oar, and putting his whole force
into every stroke, was pulling like a giant. Morton, who
was on the same side, handled his oar with less excitement
and effort, but with greater precision and equal efficiency.
It was plain that these two were pulling Max and Arthur
round, and turning the boat from her course; and as I
had not yet succeeded in shipping the rudder, which was
rendered difficult by the rising and falling of the boat,
and the sudden impulse she received from every stroke, I
requested Browne and Morton to pull more gently. Just as
I had succeeded in getting the rudder hung, the crew of
the longboat seemed to have first observed us. They had
cleared the point to the southward, and we were perhaps
a hundred yards nearer the long point, beyond which we
could see the masts of the ship, and on doubling which
we should be almost within hail of her. The latter point
was probably a little mére than half a mile distant from
us, and towards the head of it both boats were steering.
The longboat was pulling eight oars, and Luerson, who
had had the difficulty with the first officer at the Kings-
inill Islands, was at the helm. As soon as he observed us,
12 THE ALARM.

he appeared to speak to the crew of his boat, and they
commenced pulling with greater vigour than before. He
then hailed us—

* Holloa, lads! where’s Frazer? Are you going to leave
him on the island ?”

We pulled on in silence.

“ He is looking for you now somewhere along shore ;

‘he left us, just below the point, to find you; you had
better pull back and bring him off.”

“ All a trick,” said Morton; “don’t waste any breath
with them ;” and we bent to the oars with new energy.

“The young scamps mean to give the alarm,” I could
hear Luerson mutter with an oath, as he surveyed for a
moment the interval between the two boats, and then the
distance to the point.

“There’s no use of mincing matters, my lads,” he cried,
standing up in the stern; “we have knocked the first
officer on the head, and served some of those who didn’t
approve of the proceeding in the same way ; and now we
are going to take the ship.”

“We know it, and intend to prevent you,” cried Morton,
panting with the violence of his exertions.

“Unship your oars till we pass you, and you shall not
be hurt,” pursued Luerson in the same breath; “pull
another stroke at them, and I will serve you like your
friend Frazer, and he lies dead at the spring.”

The ruffian’s design in this savage threat was doubtless
to terrify us into submission; or at least so to appal and
agitate us, as to make our exertions more confused and
feeble. In this last calculation he may have been partially
correct, for the threat was fearful, and the danger immi-
nent: the harsh deep tones of his voice, with the feroci-
ous determination of his manner, sent a thrill of horror to
every heart. More than this he could not effect; there
was not a craven spirit among our number.

“Steadily !” said Arthur in a low, collected tone;
THE ALARM. 13.

“less than five minutes will bring us within hail. of the
ship.”

But the minutes seemed hours, amid such tremendous
exertions and such intense anxiety. “ The sweat streamed
from the faces of the rowers ; they gasped and panted for
breath ; the swollen veins stood out on their foreheads.

“ Perhaps,” cried Luerson, after a pause, “ perhaps there
is some one in that boat who desires to save his life; who-
ever drops his oar shall not be harmed; the rest die.”

A scornful laugh from Morton was the only answer to
this tempting offer.

Luerson now stooped for a moment, and seemed to
be groping for something in the bottom of the boat.
When he rose, it was with a musket or fowlingpiece in
his hands, which he cocked, and coming forward to the
bow, levelled towards us.

“Once more,” he cried, “and once for all, drop your
oars, or I fire among you.”

“J don’t believe it is loaded,” said Arthur, “or he would
have used it sooner.”

“TJ think it is Frazer’s gun,” said Morton, “and he fired
both barrels before they murdered him ; there has been
no time to reload it.”

The evcnt showed the truth of these suspicions ; for
upon seeing that his threat produced no effect, Luerson
resumed his seat in the bows, the helm having been given
to one of the men not at the oars.

We were now close upon the point, and as I glanced
from our pursuers to the ship, I began to breathe more
freely. They had gained upon us; but it was inch by
inch, and the goal was now at hand. The longboat,
though pulling eight oars, and those of greater length
than ours, was a clumsier boat than the yawl, and at pre-
sent heavily loaded: we had almost held our own with
them thus far.

But now Luerson sprang up once more in the bow of
14 THE ALARM.

the longboat, and presented towards us the weapon with
which he had a moment before threatened us; and this
time it was no idle menace. A puff of smoke rose from
the muzzle of the piece, and just as the sharp report
reached our ears, Browne uttered a quick exclamation of
pain, and let fall his oar.

For a moment all was confusion and alarm; but
Browne, who had seized his oar again almost instantly,
declared that he was not hurt; that the ball had merely
razed the skin of his arm; and he attempted to recom-
mence rowing: before, however, he had pulled half-a-
dozen strokes, his right hand was covered with the blood
which streamed down his arm.

I now insisted on taking his oar; and he took my place
at the helm.

While this change was being effected, our pursuers
gained upon us perceptibly. Every moment was precious.
Luerson urged his men to greater efforts; the turning
point of the struggle was now at hand, and the excitement
became terrible.

“Steer close in; it will save something in distance,”
gasped Morton, almost choking for breath.

“ Not too close,” panted Arthur; “don’t get us
aground.”

“There is no danger of that,” answered Morton, “it is
deep off the point.”

Almost as he spoke, a sharp grating sound was heard ~
beneath the bottom of the boat, and our progress was
arrested with a suddenness that threw Max and myself
from our seats. We were upon a ledge of coral, which at.
a time of less excitement we could scarcely have failed to
have observed and avoided, from the manner in which the
sea broke upon it.

A shout of mingled exultation and derision, as they
witnessed this disaster, greeted us from the longboat,
which was ploughing through the water but a little way


THE MUTINEERS,

A put? of smoke rose from the muzzle of the piece, and just as the sharp report
reached our ears, Browne uttered a quick exclamation of pain, and let fall his oar.—
Page 14.
TIIE CONFLICT. 15

behind us, and some twenty yards further out from the
shore.

«It is all up,” said Morton bitterly, dropping his oar.

“Back water! Her stern still swings free,” cried Arthur ;
“the next swell will lift her clear.”

We got as far aft as possible, to lighten the bows; a
huge wave broke upon the ledge, and drenched us with
spray ; but the yaw] still grated upon the coral.

- Luerson probably deemed himself secure of a more con-
venient opportunity, at no distant period, to wreak his
vengeance upon us: at anyrate there was no time for it
now ; he merely menaced us with his clenched fist as they
swept by. Almost at the same moment a great sea came
rolling smoothly in, and as our oars dipped to back water,
we floated free ; then a few vigorous strokes carried us to
a safe distance from the treacherous shoal.

CHAPTER III.

THE CONFLICT.

A FINAL EFFORT—A BRIEF WARNING—THE STRANGE SAI.

Hermann. Brother, though we should fail, the attempt were noble.
AMAND. We'll make the essay: here is my hand upon it.

“ONE more effort!’ cried Arthur, as the mutineers dis-
appeared behind the point; “we are not yet too late to
give them a warning, though it will be but a short one.”
Again we bent to the oars, and in a moment we too had
doubled the point, and were in the wake of the longboat.
The ship lay directly before us, and within long hailing
distance.
16 THE CONFLICT.

“Now, comrades, let us shout together, and try to make
them understand their danger,” said Browne, standing up
in the stern.

“A dozen strokes more,” said Arthur, “and we can do
it with more certain success.”

Luerson merely glanced back at us as he once more
heard the dash of our oars; but he took no farther notice
of us: the crisis was too close at hand.

On board the ship all seemed quiet. Some of the men
were gathered together on the starboard bow, apparently
engaged in fishing; they did not seem to notice the ap-
proach of the boats.

“Now, then!” cried Arthur, at length unshipping his
oar and springing to his feet, “ one united effort to attract
their attention—all together—now, then!” and we sent
up a cry that echoed wildly across the water, and startled
the idlers congregated at the bows, who came running to
the side of the vessel nearest us.

“We have got their attention; now hail them,” said
Arthur, turning to Browne, who had a deep, powerful
voice; “tell them not to let the longboat board them.”

Browne put his hands to his mouth, and in tones that
could have been distinctly heard twice the distance,
shouted—

“Look out for the longboat—don’t let them board you
—the men have killed the first officer, and want to take
the ship!” From the stir and confusion that followed, it
was clear that the warning was understood.

But the mutineers were now scarcely twenty yards from
the vessel, towards which they were ploughing their way
with unabated speed. The next moment they were under
her bows; just as their oars flew into the air, we could
hear a deep voice from the deck sternly ordering them to
“keep off,” and I thought that I could distinguish Captain
Erskine standing near the bowsprit.

_ The mutineers gave no heed to the order; several of
THE CONFLICT. 17

them sprang into the chains, and Luerson among the rest,
A fierce though unequal struggle at once commenced.
The captain, armed with a weapon which he wielded in
both hands, and which I took to be a capstan-bar, struck
right and left among the boarders as they attempted to
gain the deck, and at least one of them fell back with a
heavy plunge into the water. But the captain seemed to
be almost unsupported ; and the mutineers had nearly all
reached the deck, and were pressing upon him.

“Oh but this is a cruel sight!” said Browne, turning
away with a shudder. “Comrades, can we do nothing
more ?”

Morton, who had been groping beneath the sail in the
bottom of the boat, now dragged forth the cutlasses which
Spot had insisted on placing there when he went ashore.

“Here are arms!” he exclaimed, “we are not such
boys, but that we can take a part in what is going on—let
us pull to the ship !”

“What say you?” cried Arthur, glancing inquiringly
from one to another, “ we can’t perhaps do much, but shall
we sit here and see Mr. Erskine murdered, without trying
to help him?” Oo

“Friends, let us to the ship!” cried Browne with deep
emotion; “I am ready.”

“And I!” gasped Max, pate with excitement; “we can
but be killed.”

Can we hope to turn the scale of this unequal strife?
shall we do more than arrive at the scene of conflict in
time to experience the vengeance of the victorious muti-
neers ?—such were the thoughts that flew hurriedly through
my mind. I was entirely unaccustomed to scenes of vio-
lence and bloodshed, and my head swam, and my heart
sickened, as I gazed at the confused conflict raging on the
vessel’s deck, and heard the shouts and cries of the com-
batants. Yet I felt an inward recoil against the baseness
of sitting an idle spectator of such a struggle. A glance

B |
18. THE CONFLICT.

at the lion-hearted Erskine still maintaining the unequal
fight was an appeal to every noble and generous feeling :
it nerved me for the attempt, and though I trembled as I
grasped an oar, it was with excitement and eagerness, not
with fear.

The yawl had hardly received the first impulse in the
direction of the ship, when the report of firearms was
heard.

“Merciful heavens!” cried Morton, “the captain is
down! that fiend Luerson has shot him !”

The figure which I had taken for that of Mr. Erskine
was no longer to be distinguished among the combatants ;
some person was now dragged to the side of the ship to-
wards us, and thrown overboard; he sunk after a feeble
struggle ; a triumphant shout followed, and then two men
were seen running up the rigging.

“There goes poor Spot up to the foretop,” said Max,
pointing to one of the figures in the rigging; “he can only
gain time at the best; but it can’t be that they'll kill him
in cold blood.”

“Luerson is just the man to do it,” answered Morton;
“the faithful fellow has stood by the captain, and that
will seal his fate. Look! it is as I said,” and I could see
some one pointing what was doubtless Mr. Frazer’s fowl-
ingpiece at the figure in the foretop. A parley seemed
to follow ; as the result of which, the fugitive came down
and surrendered himself. The struggle now appeared to
be over, and quiet was once more restored.

So rapidly had these events passed, and so stunning was
their effect, that it was some moments before we could
collect our thoughts, or fully realize our situation ; and
we sat, silent and bewildered, gazing towards the ship.

Max was the first to break silence: “And now what’s
to be done?” he said; “as to going aboard, that is of course
out of the question: the ship is no longer our home.”

“T don’t know what we can do,” said Morton, “except
THE CONFLICT. 19

to pull ashore, and stand the chance of being taken off by
some vessel before we starve.”

“Here is something better,” cried Max eagerly, pointing
out to sea ; and looking in the direction indicated, we saw
a large ship with all her sails set steering directly for us,
or so nearly so, as to make it apparent that if she held on
her present course, she must pass very near to us. Had
we not been entirely engrossed by what was taking place
immediately around us, we could not have failed to have
seen her sooner, as she must have been in sight a con-
siderable time.

“They have already seen her on board,” said Morton,
“and that accounts tor their great hurry in getting up
anchor ; they don’t feel like being neighbourly, just now,
with strange vessels.”

In fact there was every indication on board of our own
ship of haste, and eagerness to be gone. While some of
the men were at the capstan getting up the anchor, others
were busy in the rigging, and sail after sail was rapidly
spread to the breeze, so that by the time the anchor was
at the bows, the ship began to move slowly through the
water.

“They don’t seem to consider us of much account any-
way,” said Max, “they are going without so much as saying
—good-by.”

“They may know more of the stranger than we do,”
said Arthur; “they have glasses on board: if she should
be an American man-of-war, their hurry is easily ex-
plained.”

“T can’t help believing that they see or suspect more in
regard to her than appears to us,” said Morton, “or they
would not fail to make an attempt to recover the yawi.”

“It is rapidly getting dark,” said Arthur, “and I think
we had better put up the sail, and steer for the stranger.” °

“Right,” said Morton, “for she may possibly tack be-
fore she sees us.”
4

QW TUE CONFLICT.

Morton and myself proceeded to step the mast, and rig
the sail; meantime Arthur got Browne’s coat off, and
examined and bandaged the wound on his arm, which
had been bleeding all the while profusely: he pronounced
it to be but a trifling hurt. A breeze from the south-east
had sprung up at sunset, and we now had a free wind to
fill our sail, as we steered directly out to sea to meet the
stranger, which was still at too great a distance to make
it probable that we had been seen by her people.

It was with a feeling of anxiety and uneasiness that I
saw the faint twiLight fading away with the suddenness
usual in those latitudes, and the darkness gathering
rapidly round us. Already the east was wrapped in
gloom, and only a faint streak of light along the western
horizon marked the spot where the sun had so recently
disappeared. .

“How suddenly the night has come upon us,” said
Arthur, who had been peering through the dusk towards
the approaching vessel in anxious silence. “O for twenty
minutes more of daylight! I fear that she is about tack-
ing.”

This announcement filled us all with dismay, and every
eye was strained towards her with intense and painful
interest.

Meantime the breeze had freshened somewhat, and we
now had rather more of it than we desired, as our little
boat was but poorly fitted to navigate the open ocean in
rough weather. Charlie began to manifest some alarm,
as we were tossed like a chip from wave to wave, and
occasionally deluged with spray by a sea bursting with a
rude shock over our bow. I had not even in the violent
storm of the preceding week experienced such a sense of
insecurity, such a feeling of helplessness, as now, when
’ the actual danger was comparatively slight. The waves
seemed tenfold larger and more threatening than when
viewed from the deck of a large vessel. As we sunk into
THE CONFLICT. 21

‘the trough of the sea, our horizon was contracted to the
breadth of half-a-dozen yards, and we entirely lost sight
of the land and of both ships.

But it was evident that we were moving through the
water with considerable velocity, and there was encour-
agement in that, for we felt confident that if the stranger
should hold on her present course but a little longer, we
should be on board of her before our safety would be
seriously endangered by the increasing breeze.

If, however, she were really tacking, out situation would
indeed be critical. A very few moments put a period to
our suspense, by confirming Arthur’s opinion and our
worst fears: the stranger had altered her course; her
yards were braced round, and she was standing further
out to sea. Still, however, there would have been a pos-
sibility of reaching her, but for the failure of light, for she
had not so far changed her course but that she would have
to pass a point which we could probably gain before her.
But now it was with difficulty, and only by means of the
cloud of canvass she carried, that we could distinguish her
through the momently deepening gloom ; and with sink-
ing hearts we relinquished the last hopes connected with
her. Soon she entirely vanished from our sight, and when
we gazed anxiously around the narrow horizon that now

bounded our vision, we could nowhere distinguish the
dand.
22 AT SEA.

CHAPTER IV. .

AT SEA!

A NIGHT OF GLOUOM—MORTON’S NARRATIVE—VISIONARY
TERRORS—AN ALARMING DISCOVERY.

‘“‘O’er the deep! o’er the deep!
Where the whale, and the shark, and the sword-fish sleep.’””

EvEN in open day the distance of a few miles would be
sufficient to sink the low shores of the island; and now
that night had so suddenly overtaken us, it might be quite
near without our being able to distinguish it.

We were even uncertain, and divided in opinion, as to
the direction in which it lay—so completely were we be-
wildered. The night was one of deep and utter gloom.
There was no moon; and not a smgle star shed its feeble
light over the wilderness of agitated waters upon which
our little boat was tossing. Heavy, low-hanging clouds
covered the sky; but soon even these could no longer
be distinguished; a cold damp mist, dense, and almost
palpable to the touch, crept over the ocean, and enveloped
us so closely, that it was impossible to see clearly from
one end of the yaw! to the other.

The wind, however, instead of freshening, as we had
feared, died gradually away. For this we had reason to
be thankful; for though our situation that night seemed
dismal enough, yet how much more fearful would it have
been if the rage of the elements, and danger of immediate
destruction, had been added to the other circumstances of
terror by which we were surrounded !
AT SEA. 23°

As it was, however, the sea having gone down, we sup-
posed ourselves to be in no great or pressing peril. Though
miserably uncomfortable, and somewhat agitated and anxi-
ous, we yet confidently expected that the light of morning
would show us the land again.

The terrible and exciting scenes through which we had
so recently passed had completely exhausted us, and we
were too much overwhelmed by the suddenness of our
calamity, and the novel situation in which we now found
ourselves, to be greatly disposed to talk. Charlie sobbed
himself asleep in Arthur’s arms; and even Max’s usual:
spirits seemed now to have quite forsaken him. After
the mast had been unstepped, and such preparations a»
our circumstances permitted were made for passing the
night comfortably, Morton related all that he knew of
what had taken place on shore previous to the alarm
which he had given.

I repeat the narrative as nearly as possible in his own
words, not perhaps altogether as he related it on that
night, for the circumstances were not then favourable
to a full and orderly account, but partly as I afterwards,
in various conversations, gathered the particulars trom
him:

“You recollect,” said he, “that we separated at the
boats ; Mr. Frazer and the rest of you going along the
shore towards the point, leaving Browne declaiming
Byron’s address to the Ocean from the top of a coral
block, with myself and the breakers for an audience.
Shortly afterwards I strolled off towards the interior, and
left Browne lying on the sand with his pocket Shakspeare,
where we found him when we reached the boats. I kept
on inland until the forest became so dense, and was so
overgrown with tangled vines and creeping plants, that I
could penetrate no farther in that direction. In endea-
vouring to return, I got bewildered, and at length fairly
lost, having no clear notion as to the direction of the
24 AT SEA.

beach. The groves were so thick and dark as to shut out
the light almost entirely ; and I could not get a glimpse
of the sun so as to fix the points of the compass. At last
‘I came to an opening, large enough to let in the light, and
show which way the shadows fell. Knowing that we had
landed on the west side of the island, I could now select
my course without hesitation. It was getting late in the
afternoon, and I walked as fast as the nature of the ground
‘would allow, until I unexpectedly found myself at the
edge of the grove, east of the spring where the men were
at work filling the breakers. The moment I came in sight
of them, I perceived that something unusual was taking
place. The first officer and Luerson were standing oppo-
site each other, and the men, pausing from their work,
were looking on. As I inferred, Mr. Nichol had given
some order, which Luerson had refused to obey. Both
looked excited, but no words passed between them after I
reached the place. There was a pause of nearly a minute,
when Mr. Nichol advanced, as if to lay hands on Luerson,
and the latter struck him a blow with his cooper’s mallet,
which he held in his hand, and knocked him down. Before
he had time to rise, Ato&, the Sandwich Islander, sprang
upon him, and stabbed him twice with his belt-knife. All
this passed so rapidly, that no one had a chance to inter-
fere”

“ Hark !” said Browne, interrupting the narration, “ what
noise is that? It sounds like the breaking of the surf upon
the shore.”

But the rest of us could distinguish no sound except the
washing of the waves against the boat. The eye was of
no assistance in deciding whether we were near the shore
or not, as it was impossible to penetrate the murky dark-
ness @ yard in any direction.

“We must be vigilant,” said Arthur, “the land cannot
be far off, and we may be drifted upon it before morning.”

After listening for some moments in anxious silence, we


_AT SEA. 25

became satisfied that Browne had been mistaken, and
Morton proceeded:

“ Just as Ato& sprang upon Mr. Nichol and stabbed him,
Mr. Knight, who was the first to recover his presence of
mind, seized the murderer, and wrenched the knife from
his hand, at the same time calling on the men to secure
Tjwuerson; but no one stirred to do so. A part seemed
confused and undecided ; while others appeared to me to
have been fully prepared for what had taken place. One
man stepped forward near Luerson, and declared in a
brutal and excited manner that ‘Nichol was a bloody
tyrant, and had got what he deserved, and that no man
could blame Luerson for taking his revenge, after being
treated as he had been.’ For a moment all was clamour
and confusion; then Luerson approached Mr. Knight in a
threatening manner, and bade him loose Atoa, instead of
which, he held his prisoner firmly with one hand, and
warding Luerson off with the other, called on the men to
stand by their officers. Just at this moment Mr. Frazer,
with his gun on his shoulder, came out of the grove from
the side towards the shore, and to him Mr. Knight eagerly
appealed for assistance in securing the murderers of Mr.
Nichol. Pointing from the bleeding corpse at his feet to
Luerson, he said, ‘There is the ringleader—shoot him
through the head at once, and that will finish the matter
—otherwise we shall all be murdered. Fire, I will answer
for the act!’

Frazer seemed to comprehend the situation of things
at aglance. With great presence of mind he stepped
back a pace, and bringing his gun to his shoulder, called
on Luerson to throw down his weapon and surrender him-
self, declaring that he would shoot the first man who lifted
a hand to assist him. His manner was such as to leave no
doubt of his sincerity or his resolution. The men had
no firearms, and were staggered by the suddenness of
the thing; they stood hesitating and undecided. Mr.
26 | AT SEA.

Knight seized this as a favourable moment, and advanced
upon Luerson with the intention of securing him; and the
Islander was thus left free. At this moment I observed
the man who had denounced Mr. Nichol, and justified
Luerson, stealing round behind Frazer. I called out to
him at the top of my voice to warn him; but he did not
seem to hear. I looked for something which might serve
me for a weapon; but there was nothing, not so much as
a broken bough within reach, and in another instant the
whole thing was over. As Knight grappled with Luerson,
he dropped the knife which he had wrested from Atoé4,
his intention evidently being to secure, and not to kill
him.
Ato& immediately leaped forward and seized the knife,
and had his arm already raised to stab Mr. Knight in the
back, when Frazer shot him dead. At almost the same
instant .Luerson struck Mr. Knight a tremendous blow on
the head with his mallet, which felled him to the earth,
stunned and lifeless. He next rushed upon Frazer, who
had fairly covered him with the muzzle of his piece, and
would inevitably have shot him, but just as he pulled the
trigger, the man whom I had seen creeping round behind
him sprang upon him, and deranged his aim; two or three
of the others, who had stood looking on, taking no part in
the affair, now interposed, and by their assistance Frazer
was overpowered and secured. Whether they murdered
him or not, as Luerson afterwards declared, I do not know.
As soon as the struggle was over, the man who had
seconded Luerson so actively throughout (the tall dark
man, who goes by the name of ‘the boatswain’) shouted
out, ‘ Now, then, for the ship !
' €Yes, for the ship! cried Luerson; ‘though this has
not come about just as was arranged, and has been hurried
on sooner than we expected, it is as well so as anyway,
and must be followed up. There’s no one aboard but the
captain and four or five men and boys, all told: the lands-
AT SEA. 27

men are all ashore, scattered over the island. We can
take her without risk—and then for a merry life at the
islands !’

This revealed the designs of the mutineers, and I de-
termined to anticipate them if possible. As I started for
the beach, I was observed, and they hailed me; but with-
out paying any attention to their shouts, I ran as fast at
least as I ever ran before, until I came out of the forest,
near where you were standing.”

From the words of Luerson which Morton had heard, it
was clear that the mutiny had not been a sudden and
unpremeditated act; and we had no doubt that it had
grown out of the difficulties at the Kingsmills between
him and the unfortunate Mr. Nichol.

It was quite late before we felt any disposition to sleep ;
but notwithstanding the excitement, and the discomforts
of our situation, we began at length to experience the
effects of the fatigue and anxiety which we had under-
gone, and bestowing ourselves as conveniently as possible
about the boat, which furnished but slender accommoda-
tions for such a number, we bade each other the accustomed
“ good-night,” and one by one dropped asleep.

Knowing that we could not be far from land, and aware
of our liability to be drifted ashore during the night, it
had been decided to maintain a watch. Arthur, Morton,
and I, had agreed to divide the time between us as accu-
rately as possible, and to relieve one another in turn. The
first watch fell to Arthur, the last to me, and after exact-
ing a promise from Morton that he would not fail to
awaken me when it was fairly my turn, I lay down upon
the ceiling planks: close against the side of the boat,
between which and Browne, who was next me, there was
barely room to squeeze myself.

‘It was a dreary night. The air was damp, and even
chilly. The weltering of the waves upon the outside of
the thin plank against which my head was pressed, made
28 AT SEA.

a dismal kind of music, and suggested vividly how frail
was the only barrier that separated us from the wide dark
waste of waters below and around.

The heavy, dirge-like swell of the ocean, though sooth-
ing, in the regularity and monotony of its sluggish motion,
sounded inexpressibly mournful.

The gloom of the night, and the tragic scenes of the day,
seemed to give character to my dreams, for they were
dark and hideous, and so terribly vivid, that I several
times awoke strangely agitated.

At one time I saw Luerson, with a countenance of super-
natural malignity, and the expression of a fiend, murder-
ing poor Frazer. At another our boat seemed drawn by
some irresistible but unseen power to the verge of a
yawning abyss, and began to descend between green-
glancing walls of water, to vast depths where undescribed
sea-monsters, never seen upon the surface, glided about
in an obscurity that increased their hideousness. Suddenly
the feeble light that streamed down into the gulf through
the green translucent sea seemed to be cut off; the liquid
walls closed above our heads; and we were whirled away
with the sound of rushing waters, and in utter darkness.

All this was vague and confused, and consisted of the
usual “stuff that dreams are made of.” What followed
was wonderfully vivid and real: everything was as dis-
tinct as a picture, and it has left an indelible impression
upon my mind; there was something about it far more
awful than all the half-defined shapes and images of terror
that preceded it.

I seemed to be all alone in our little boat in the midst
of the sea. It was night—and what a night! not a breath
of wind rippled the glassy waters. There was no moon,
but the sky was cloudless, and the stars were out in
solemn and mysterious beauty. Everything seemed pre-
ternaturally still, and I felt oppressed by a strange sense
of loneliness: I looked round in vain for some familiar
AT SEA. 29

object, the sight of which might afford me relief. But far,
far as the eye could reach, to the last verge of the horizon,
where the gleaming sapphire vault closed down upon the
sea, stretched one wide, desolate, unbroken expanse. I
seemed to be isolated and cut off from all living things ;

* Alone—alone, all, all alone!
Alone on a wide, wide sea;
So lonely ‘twas, that God himself
Scarce seeméd there to be;”

and there was something in this feeling, and in the uni-
versal, death-like silence, that was unutterably awful.
Then the scene changed once more. We were again on
board the ship, and in the power of the enraged mutineers,
about to suffer whatever their vengeance might impel
them to inflict. Poor Spot was swinging, a livid corpse,
at one of the yard-arms. Browne was bound to the main-
mast, while Luerson and his fiendish crew were exhaust-
ing their ingenuity in torturing him. The peculiar expres-
sion of his mild, open countenance, distorted by pain, went
to my heart, and the sound of that familiar and friendly
voice, now hoarse and broken, and quivering with agony,
thrilled me with horror. As he besought his tormentors
to kill him at once, I thought that I kneeled to Luerson,
and seconded the entreaty—the greatest favour that could
be hoped from him. The rest of us were doomed to walk
the plank. Morton was stern and silent; Max pale and
sorrowful; his arm was round my neck, and he murmured.
that life was sweet, and that it was a hard and terrible
thing to die—to die so! Arthur, calm and collected,
cheered and encouraged us; and his face seemed like the
face of an angel, as he spoke sweetly and solemnly of the
goodness and the love of God, and bade us put our whole
trust and hope in Christ our Saviour. His earnest words
and serene look soothed and strengthened us: we also
became calm and almost resigned. There was no abject
30 AT SEA.

fear, no useless cries or supplications to our foes for
mercy; but the solemn sense of the awfulness of death was
mingled with a sweet and sustaining faith in God, and
Christ, and immortality. Hand in hand, like brothers, we
were preparing to take the fearful plunge—when I started
and awoke.

Even the recollection of our real situation was insuffi-
cient to impair the deep sense of relief which I experienced.
My first impulse was to thank God that these were but
dreams; and if I liad obeyed the next, I should have em-
braced heartily each of my slumbering companions, for in
the first confusion of thought and feeling, my emotions
were very much what they would naturally have been
had the scenes of visionary terror in which we seemed to
have just participated together been real.

Morton was at his post, and I spoke to him, scarcely
knowing or caring what I said. All I wanted was to hear
his voice, to revive the sense of companionship, and so
escape the painful impressions which even yet clung to me.

He said that he had just commenced his watch, Arthur
having called him but a few moments before. The night
was still louring and overcast, but there was less wind
and sea than when I first lay down. I proposed to relieve
him at once, but he felt no greater inclination to sleep
than myself, and we watched together until morning.
The two or three hours immediately before dawn seemed
terribly long. Just as the first gray light appeared in the
east Arthur joined us. A dense volume of vapour which
rested upon the water, and contributed to the obscurity in
which we were enveloped, now gathered slowly into
masses, and floated upward as the day advanced, gradually
clearing the prospect; and we kept looking out for the
island, in the momentary expectation of seeing it loom up
before us through the mist. But when, as the light in-
creased, and the fog rolled away, the boundaries of our
vision rapidly enlarged, and still no land could be seen,
THE CONSULTATION. 31

we began to feel seriously alarmed. A short period of
intense and painful anxiety followed, during which we ©
continued alternately gazing, and waiting for more light,
and again straining our aching eyes in every direction,
and still in vain.

At last it became evident that we had in some manner
drifted completely away from the island. The appalling
conviction could no longer be resisted. There we were,
lost and helpless on the open ocean, in our chip of a boat,
without provisions for a single day, or, to speak moré
definitely, without a morsel of bread or a drop of water.

CHAPTER V.

THE CONSULTATION.

OUT OF SIGHT OF LAND—SLENDER RESOURCES—WHAT’S TO
BE DONE?



‘“‘ How rapidly, how rapidly we ride along the sea! °
The morning is all sunshine, the wind is blowing free ;
The billows are all sparkling, and bounding in the light,
Like creatures in whose sunny veins the blood is running bright.”

——<—<———

Morton alone still refused to relinquish the hope that by
broad daylight we should yet be able to make out the
island. He persisted in pronouncing it wholly incredible
that we had made during the night a distance sufficient
to sink the land, which was but three or four miles off at
the utmost, when we were overtaken by darkness; he
could not understand, he said, how such a thing was
possible.

Arthur accounted for it by supposing 5 that we had got
32 TIIE CONSULTATION.

into the track of one of the ocean-currents that exist in
those seas, especially among the islands, many of which
run at the rate of from two to three miles an hour.

This seemed the more probable from the fact, that we
were to the west of the island when we lost sight of it,
and that the great equatorial current which traverses the
Pacific and Indian oceans has a prevailing westerly course,
though among the more extensive groups and clusters of
islands it is so often deflected hither and thither by the
obstacles which it encounters, or turned upon itself, in
eddies and counter-currents, that no certain calculations
can be made respecting it. Morton, however, did not
consider this supposition sufficient to explain the difficulty.

“TI should judge,” said he, “that in a clear day such an
island might be seen fifteen or twenty miles, and we can-
not have drifted so great a distance.”

“It might perhaps be seen,” said Arthur, “as far as
that from the mast-head of a ship, or even from her deck,
but not from a small boat hardly raised above the surface
of the water. At our present level, eight or ten miles
would be enough to sink it completely.”

At length, when it was broad day, and, from the appear-
ance of the eastern sky, the sun was just about to rise,
Morton stepped the mast and climbed to the top, in the
hope that from that additional elevation, slight as it was,
he might catch a glimpse of land. There was by this time
light enough, as he admitted, to see anything that could
be seen at all; and after making a deliberate survey of our
whole horizon, he was fully convinced that we had drifted
completely away from the island. “I give it up,” he said,
as he slid down the mast; “we are at sea, beyond all
question.”

Presently Max awoke. He cast a quick, surprised look
around, and at first seemed greatly shocked. He speedily
recovered himself, however, and after another and closer
scrutiny of the horizon, thought that he detected an ap-
THE CONSULTATION. 33

pearance like that of land in the south. For a moment
there was again the flutter of excited hope, as every eye
was turned eagerly in that direction ; but it soon subsided.
A brief examination satisfied us all that what we saw
was but a low bank of clouds lying against the sky.

“This really begins to look serious,” said Max; “what
are we to do?”

“It strikes me,” replied Morton, “that we are pretty
much relieved from the necessity of considering that
question ; our only part for the present seems to be a
passive one.”

“TI can’t fully persuade myself that this is real,” said
Max; “it half seems like an ugly dream, from which we
should awake by-and-by, and draw a long breath at the
relief of finding it no more than a dream.”

“We are miserably provisioned for a sea-voyage,” said
Morton ; “but I believe the breaker is half full of water ;
without that, we should indeed be badly off.”

“There is not a drop in it,” said Arthur, shaking his
head, and he lifted the breaker, and shook it lightly: it
was quite empty.

He now proceeded to force open the locker, in the hope
of finding there something that might be serviceable to us;
but its entire contents consisted of a coil of fine rope,
some pieces of rope-yarn, an empty quart-bottle, and an
old and battered hatchet-head.

Meanwhile Browne, without a trace of anxiety upon his
upturned countenance, and Charlie, who was nestled close
beside him, continued to sleep soundly, in happy uncon-
sciousness of our alarming situation.

“ Nothing ever interferes with the soundness of Browne’s
sleep, or the vigour of his appetite,” said Max, contem-
plating his placid slumbers with admiration. “I should
be puzzled to decide whether sleeping, eating, or dra-
matic recitation, is his forte ; it certainly lies between the
three.”

Cc
oa THE CONSULTATION.

“Poor fellow!” said Morton, “from present appear-
ances, and the state of our supplies, he will have to
take it all out in sleeping for some time to come, as it is
to be presumed he’ll hardly feel like spouting.”

“One would think that what happened yesterday, and
the condition of things as we left them last night, would
be enough to disturb one’s nerves somewhat; yet you
see how little it affects him—and I now predict that the
first thing he will say on opening his eyes will be about
the means of breaking his long fast.”

“TI don’t understand how you can go on in that strain,
Max,” said Arthur, looking up in a surprised manner, and
shaking his head disapprovingly.

“Why, I was merely endeavouring to do my share to-
wards keeping our spirits up; but I suppose any spirits
‘got up’ under the present circumstances must be some-
what forced, and as my motives don’t seem to be properly
appreciated, I will renounce the unprofitable attempt.”

-The sun rose in a clear sky, and gave promise of a hot
day. There was, however, a cool and refreshing breeze,
that scattered the spray from the foaming ridges of the
waves, and occasionally showered us, not unpleasantly,
with the fine liquid particles. A sea breaking over our
bow, dashed a bucketful of water into Browne’s face,
and abruptly disturbed his slumbers.

“Qood-morning, comrades!” said he, sitting up, and
looking about him with a perplexed and bewildered air.
“But how is this? Ah! I recollect it all now. So, then,
we are really out of sight of land ?”

“There is no longer any doubt of that,” said Arthur,
“and it is now time for us to decide what we shall do—
our chance of falling in with a ship will be quite as good,
and that of reaching land will of course be much better,
if, instead of drifting like a log upon the water, we put up
our sail, and steer in almost any direction ; though I think
there is a choice.”
THE CONSULTATION. 35

“ Of course there is a choice,” said Morton ; “ the island
cannot be at any great distance ; and the probability of
_ our being able to find it again is so much greater than
that of making any other land, that we ought to steer in
the direction in which we have good reason to think it
lies—that is, to the east.”

“The wind for the last twelve hours has been pretty
nearly south,” observed Arthur, “and has probably had
some effect upon our position ; we had better, therefore,
steer a little south of east, which with this breeze will be
easy sailing.”

To this all assented, and the sail was hoisted, and the
boat’s head put in the direction agreed upon, each of us,
except Charlie, sailing and steering her in turn. There
was quite as much wind as our little craft could sail with
to advantage, and without danger. As it filled her bit of
canvass, she careered before it, leaping and plunging from
wave to wave in a manner that sometimes seemed peril-
ous. The bright sky above us, the blue sea gleaming in
the light of the morning, over which we sped ; the dry,
clear atmosphere (now that the sun was up, and the mist
dissipated), the fresh breeze, without which we must have
suffered intensely from the heat, together with our rapid
and bounding motion, had an exhilarating effect, in spite
of the gloomy anticipations that suggested themselves.

“ After all,” said Max, “why need we take such a dismal
view of the matter? We have a fine staunch little boat, a
good breeze, and islands all around us. Besides, we are
in the very track of the béche de mer and sandalwood
traders. It would be strange, indeed, if we should fail to
meet some of them soon. In fact, if it were not for think-
ing of poor Frazer, and of the horrible events of yesterday
(which, to be sure, are enough to make one sad), I should
be disposed to look upon the whole affair as a sort of
holiday adventure—something to tell of when we get
home, and to talk over pleasantly together twenty years
hence.”
36 THE CONSULTATION.

“If we had a breaker of water and a keg of biscuit,”
said Morton, “and could then be assured of fair weather
for a week, I might be able to take that view of it; as it
is, I confess that to me it has anything but the aspect of
a holiday adventure.”

When Charlie awoke, Arthur endeavoured to soothe his
alarm, by explaining to him that we had strong hopes of
being able to reach the island again, and mentioning the
various circumstances which rendered such a hope reason-
able. The little fellow did not, however, seem to be as
much troubled as might have been expected. He either
reposed implicit confidence in the resources or the for-
tunes of his companions, or else did not at all realize the
perils to which we were exposed. But this could not last
long. |

That which I knew Arthur had been painfully antici-
pating came at last. Charlie, who had been asking Mor-
ton a multitude of questions as to the events of the previ-
ous day, suddenly said that he was very thirsty, and asked,
in the most unsuspecting manner, for a drink of water.
When he learned that the breaker was empty, and that
we had not so much as a drop of water with us, some
notion of our actual situation seemed to dawn upon him,
and he became all at once grave and silent.

Hour after hour dragged slowly on, until the sun was
in the zenith, with no change for the better in our affairs.
It was now clear that we must give up the hope of reach-
ing the island which we had left, for it was certain that
we had sailed farther since morning than the boat could
possibly have been drifted during the night by the wind
or the current, or both combined. Our calculations at the
outset must therefore have been erroneous, and we had
not been sailing in the right direction. If so, it was too
late to correct the mistake; we could not regain our
starting-point, in order to steer from it another course.
We now held a second consultation.
THE CONSULTATION. 37

Although we had but a general notion of our geogra-
phical position, we knew that we were in the neighbour-
hood of scattered groups of low coral islands. From the
Kingsmills we were to have sailed directly for Canton, and
Max, Morton, and myself, would before now in all proba-
bility have commenced our employment in the American
factory there, but for Captain Erskine’s sudden resolution
to take the responsibility of returning to the Samoan
Group, with the double object of rescuing the crew of the
wrecked bark, and completing his cargo, which, accord-
ing to the information received from the master of the
whaler, there would be no difficulty in doing. From
Upolu we had steered a north-westerly course, and it was
on the fourth or fifth day after leaving it that we had
reached the island where the mutiny took place, and which
Mr. Erskine claimed as a discovery of his own. Its lati-
tude and longitude had of course been calculated, but none
of us learned the result, or at anyrate remembered it.
We knew only that we were at no great distance from the
Kingsmills, and probably to the south-west of them.

Arthur was confident, from conversations had with Mr.
Frazer, and from the impressions left on his mind by his
last examination of the charts, that an extensive cluster ox
low islands, scattered over several degrees of latitude, lay
just to the south-east of us.

It was accordingly determined to continue our present
course as long as the wind should permit, which there was
reason to fear might be but a short time, as easterly winds
are the prevailing ones within the tropics as near the
line as we supposed ourselves to be.
38 | THE CALM.

CHAPTER VI.

THE CALM.

THE SECOND WATCH—AN EVIL OMEN—THE WHITE SHARK—
A BREAKFAST LOST.

** All in a hot and copper sky
The bloody sun at noon
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the moon.”

—

DuRina the remainder of the day the wind continued fair,
and we held on our course, steering by the sun, and keep-
ing a vigilant look-out in every direction. But the night
set in, and we had yet seen no appearance of land, no
speck in the distance which could be mistaken for a sail,
not even a wandering sea-bird or a school of flying-fish—
nothing to break the dead monotony of the briny waste
we were traversing. As I sat at the helm, taking my turn
in sailing the boat, and watched the sun go down, and
saw the darkness gathering over the sea, a feeling nearly
akin to despair took possession of me. In vain I strove
to take an encouraging and hopeful view of our circum-
stances. The time within which relief must come in order
to be effectual was so short, that I could not help feeling
that the probabilities were strongly against us. I could
not shut my eyes to the fact, that dangers, imminent and
real, such as we had read and talked of, without ever half
realizing, or dreaming that they would one day fall to our
own lot, now pressed upon us, and threatened us close at
hand. I knew that those fearful tales of shipwreck and
starvation were only too true—that men, lost at sea like
THE CALM. 39.

ourselves, had pined day after day, without a morsel of
food or a drop of water, until they had escaped, in stupor
or delirium, all consciousness of suffering. And worse
even than this—too horrible to be thought or spoken of—
I knew something of the dreadful and disgusting expe-
dients to prolong life which have sometimes been resorted
to by famishing wretches. I had read how the pangs of
hunger, and the still fiercer torments of thirst, had seemed
to work a dire change even in kind and generous natures,
making men wolfish, so that they slew and fed upon each
other. Now all that was most revolting and inhuman in
what I had heard or read of such things rose vividly before
me, and I shuddered at the growing probability that expe-
riences like these might be reserved for us. “ Why not
for us,’ I thought, “as well as for the many others the
records of whose terrible fate I have perused with scarcely
more emotion than would be excited by a tale of imagi-
nary suffering, and the still greater number whose story
has never been recorded. We have already been con-
ducted many steps on this fearful path, and no laws of
nature will be stayed, no ordinary rules of God’s dealing
violated, on our behalf. No inevitable necessity requires
the complexion of our future to correspond and harmonize
with that of our past lives. This feeling, which seems to
assure me that such things cannot happen to us, is but one
of the cheats and illusions of a shrinking and self-pitying
spirit. All the memories that cluster about a happy child-
hood, all the sweet associations of home and kindred,
afford no guaranty against the new and bitter experiences
which seem about to open upon us.”

Such were the thoughts that began to disquiet my own
mind. As to my companions, Morton seemed less anxious
and excited than any of the others. During the evening
he speculated in a cool, matter-of-fact manner, upon our
chances of reaching an island, or meeting a ship, before
being reduced to the last extremity. He spoke of the
40 THE CALM.

number of traders that frequent the islands for tortoise-
shell, mother-of pearl, sandalwood, béche de mer, &c.; the
whalers that come in pursuit of the cachelot, or sperm
whale; the vessels that resort there for fruit, or supplies
of wood and water; the vast number of islands scattered
through these seas; from all which he finally concluded
that the chances were largely in ourfavour. If, however,
we should fail of immediate relief in this shape, he thought
it probable that we should have opportunites of catching
fish, or sea-birds, and so prolonging life for many days.
He talked the whole matter over in such a calm, sober,
unexcited manner, furnishing facts and reasons for every
opinion, that I felt some confidence in his conclusions.
Browne, though quite composed and self-possessed, had,
from the moment when he discovered that we were out of
sight of land, taken the most serious view of our situation.
He seemed to have made up his mind for the worst, and
was abstracted, and indisposed to converse. I knew that
the anxiety which Arthur evinced was not mainly on his
own account. It did not withdraw his attention from
what was passing, or diminish his interest in it. Far from
being gloomy or abstracted, he was active and watchful,
and spoke with heartiness and cheerfulness. His mental
disquietude only appeared in a certain softness and tremor
of his voice ; especially when speaking to Charlie, who,
as the night drew on, asked him over and over again, at
short intervals, “Don’t you think, Arthur, that we shall
cortainly find land to-morrow?” This was truly distress-
ing.
_ As to Max, his feelings rose and fell capriciously, and
without any apparent cause; he was sanguine or depressed,
not from a consideration of all our circumstances, and a
favourable or unfavourable conclusion drawn therefrom,
but according as this view or that, for the moment, im-
pressed his mind. He rendered no reasons for his hopes
or his fears. At one moment you would judge, from his
THE CALM. - 41

manner and conversation, that we were indeed out upon
some “holiday excursion,” with no serious danger impend-
ing over us; the next, without anything to account for
the change, he would appear miserably depressed and
wretched.

Soon after sunset the moon rose—pale and dim at first,
but shining out with a clearer and brighter radiance as
the darkness increased. The wind held steadily from the
same quarter, and it was determined to continue through
the night the arrangement for taking charge of the sailing
of the boat in turn. Browne and Max insisted on sharing
between themselves the watch for the entire night, saying
that they had taken no part in that of the one previous,
and that it would be useless to divide the twelve hours of
darkness into more than two watches. This was finally
agreed upon, the wind being so moderate, that the same
person could steer the yawl and manage the sail without
difficulty.

Before lying down, I reque Max, who took the first
turn, to awake me at the same time with Browne, a part
of whose watch I intended to share. I fell asleep, looking
up at the moon and the light clouds sailing across the sky,
and listening to the motion of the water beneath the boat.
At first I slumbered lightly, without losing a sort of
dreamy consciousness, so that I heard Max humming over
to himself fragments of tunes and odd verses of old songs,
and even knew when he shifted his position in the stern
from one side to the other. At length I must have fallen
into a deep sleep: I do not know how long it had lasted
(it seemed to me but a short time), when I was aroused
by an exclamation from Max, as I at first supposed ; but on
sitting up, I saw that Browne was at the helm, while Max
was sleeping at my side. On perceiving that I was awake,
Browne, from whom the exclamation had proceeded,
pointed to something in the water just astern. Following
the direction of his finger with my eye, I saw, just beneath
42 THE CALM.

the surface, a large ghastly-looking white shark, gliding
stealthily along, and apparently following the boat.
Browne said that he had first noticed it about half an
hour before, since which time it had steadily followed us,
occasionally making a leisurely circuit round the boat,
and then dropping astern again. A moment ago, having
fallen into a doze at the helm, and awaking with a start,
he found himself leaning over the gunwale, and the shark
just at his elbow. This had startled him, and caused the
sudden exclamation by which I had been aroused. I
shuddered at his narrow escape, and I acknowledge that
the sight of this hideous and formidable creature, stealing
along in our wake, and manifesting an intention to keep
us company, caused me some uneasy sensations. He
swam with his dorsal fin almost at the surface, and his
broad nose scarcely three feet from the rudder. His
colour rendered him distinctly visible.

“ What a spectre of a fish it is,” said Browne, “with his
pallid, corpse-like skin, and noiseless motion; he has no
resemblance to any of the rest of his kind that I have ever
seen. You know what the sailors would say if they
should see him dogging us in this way; Old Crosstrees
or Spot would shake their heads ominously, and set us
down as a doomed company.”

“Aside from any such superstitious notions, he is an
unpleasant and dangerous neighbour, and we must be
circumspect while he is prowling about.”

“Tt certainly won’t do to doze at the helm,” resumed
Browne: “I consider that I have just now had a really
narrow escape. I was leaning quite over the gunwale; a
lurch of the boat would have thrown me overboard, and
then there would have been no chance for me.”

There would not, in fact, have been the shadow of a
chance.

“Even as it was,” resumed he, “if this hideous-looking
monster had been as active and vigilant as some of his
THE CALM. 43

tribe, it would have fared badly with me. I have heard
of their seizing persons standing on the shore, where the
water was deep enough to let them swim close in; and
Spot tells of a messmate of his, on one of his voyages in a
whaler, who was carried off while standing entirely out
of water on the carcase of a whale, which he was assisting
in cutting up, as it lay alongside the ship. The shark
threw himself upon the carcase, five or six yards from
where the man was busy, worked himself slowly along
the slippery surface until within reach of his victim,
knocked him off into the water, and then sliding off him-
self, seized and devoured him.”

Picking my way carefully among the sleepers, who
covered the bottom of the yawl, I sat down beside Browne
in the stern, intending to share the remainder of his watch.
It was now long past midnight ; fragments of light clouds
were scattered over the sky, frequently obscuring the
moon; and the few stars that were visible twinkled faintly
with a cold and distant light. The Southern Cross, by
far the most brilliant constellation of that hemisphere,
was conspicuous among the clusters of feebler luminaries.
Well has it been called “the glory of the southern skies.”
Near the zenith, and second only to the Cross in brilliancy,
appeared the Northern Crown, consisting of seven large
stars, so disposed as to form the outline of two-thirds of
an oval. Of the familiar constellations of the northern
hemisphere, scarcely one was visible except Orion and the
Pleiades.

At length the moon descended behind a bank of silvery
clouds piled up along the horizon. The partial obscurity
that ensued only added to the grandeur of the midnight
scene, as we sat gazing silently abroad upon the confused
mass of swelling waters stretching away into the gloom.
But if the scene was grand, it was also desolate: we two
were perhaps the only human beings, for many hundreds
of miles, who looked forth upon it. Our companiona
44 THE CALM.

were wrapped in unconsciousness, and their deep and —
regular breathing attested the soundness of their slumbers.
As the. light failed more and more, and the shadows
deepened, the sea began to assume a beautiful and striking
appearance, gleaming in places with a bluish lambent
light, and exhibiting, where the water was most agitated,
large luminous patches. Thin waves of flame curled over
our bow, and whenever a sea broke upon it, it seemed as
though the boat was plunging through surges of fire. A
long brilliant line, thickly strewn on each side with little
globules, of the colour of burning coals, marked our wake.

But the shark, which still followed close behind our
keel, presented by far the most singular and striking
spectacle. He seemed to be surrounded by a luminous
medium; and his nose, his dorsal and side fins, and his
tail, each had attached to them slender jets of phosphoric
fire. Towards morning this brilliant appearance began to
fade, and soon vanished altogether. By this time I found
it difficult to keep my eyes open longer, and leaving
Browne to finish his watch alone, I resumed my place on
the ceiling planks, and in spite of the hardness of my bed,
which caused every bone in my body to ache, soon slept
soundly. When J again awoke it was long after sunrise, and
we were lying completely becalmed. A school of large
fish were pursuing their gambols at a short distance, and
Browne was rowing cautiously toward them, while Arthur
and Morton stood prepared to attack them with their
cutlasses as soon as we should get within striking dis-
tance. We had got almost among them, and were just
beginning to congratulate ourselves upon their apparent
indifference to our approach, when they all at once scat-
tered in every direction, with manifest signs of terror.
The cause of this sudden movement was not long con-
cealed: a brace of sharks rose in their very midst; one
was visible but for a moment, as he rolled over to seize
his prey; the other, less successful in securing a victim,
THE CALM. 45.

shot past us like an arrow in pursuit of a large division of
the fugitives. Soon after, both of them were seen playing
around the boat. They belonged to the species known as
the tiger shark, and bore no resemblance to our ghastly
visitor of the preceding evening. By the consternation
which their sudden appearance had produced among the.
lesser fishes, they had in all probability robbed us of our
breakfast. Morton, with his characteristic enterprise, sug-
gested an attack upon one of them by way of reprisals;
but before any measures for that purpose could be taken,
they disappeared, leaving us with no other resource than
to await our fate with such patience and resignation as
we could command. The wind having entirely failed,
there was nothing that we could do to change our situa-
tion—absolutely nothing. This forced inaction, with no
occupation for mind or body, no object of effort, con-
tributed to enhance whatever was painful in our condition.
by leaving us to brood over it. The dead calm which had
fallen upon the sea seemed all that was necessary to com-
plete our misery. We were all stiff and sore, from the
exceedingly uncomfortable sleeping accommodations of the
last two nights; but this was a comparatively trifling evil.
Charlie had a severe cold, and his eyes were inflamed and
bloodshot; he exhibited also strong symptoms of fever.
He was nevertheless silent and uncomplaining, and came
and sat down quietly by the side of Arthur in the stern.
As the day advanced, the heat became dreadful. We
had not suffered much from it the day before, on account
of the fresh breeze which had prevailed; but now not a
breath of air was stirring, and the glassy sea reflected back
upon us the scorching rays of the sun with increased in-
tensity. Towards noon it exceeded anything I had ever
experienced. The whole arch of the heavens glowed with
a hot and coppery glare. It seemed as though, instead of
one sun, there were ten thousand, covering all the sky,
and blending their rays into a broad canopy of fire. The
46 THE CALM.

air was like that of an oven: the water had no coolness,
no refreshing quality; it was tepid and stagnant: no
living thing was to be seen near the surface, for life could
not be sustained there; and the fishes, great and small,
kept themselves in the cooler depths far below. Almost
stifled by the heat, we began to experience the first real
and extreme suffering that most of us had ever known.
At Arthur’s suggestion we disengaged the now useless
sail from the mast, and contrived a kind of awning, by
fastening two of the oars upright in the boat, with the
mast extending between them, throwing the sail over the
latter, and securing the ends to the gunwales. This,
although it could not protect us from the sultry and
suffocating air, warded off the blistering beams of the sun,
and during the greater part of the day we lay crouched
beneath it, a miserable company, one or another of us
crawling out occasionally to take a survey. Towards the
close of the afternoon my sufferings from thirst grew
absolutely intolerable, and amounted to torment. My
blood became fevered; my brain seemed on fire; my
shrunk and shrivelled tongue was like a dry stick in my
mouth. The countenances of my companions, their blood-
shot eyes, and cracked and swollen lips, showed what they
were undergoing. Charlie lay in the bottom of the boat,
with his eyes shut, enduring all with as much fortitude as
the rest of us, except that now and then a half-suppressed
moan escaped him.

It was quite clear that relief, in order to be of any avail,
must be speedy. :
A CHANGE. 4)

CHAPTER VII.

A CHANGE.

A WELCOME PERIL—THE ALBACORE AND THEIR PREY—A
TROPICAL THUNDER-STORM.







“Eternal Providence, exceeding thought,
Where none appears, can make itself a way.”

WHILE lying crouched under the sail, almost gasping for
breath, near the middle, as I suppose, of that terrible after-
noon, I all at once became sensible of a perceptible cool-
ing of the atmosphere, and a sudden decrease of light.
Looking out to discover the cause of this change, I per-
ceived that the sky was overcast, and that a light unsteady
breeze from the north-west had sprung up. Knowing
that within the tropics, and near the line, winds from that
quarter frequently precede a storm, and that great ex-
tremes of heat are often succeeded by violent gales, I
observed with apprehension dark masses of clouds gather-
ing in the north. It would not require a tempest to
insure our destruction ; for our little craft could not live
& moment even in such a gale as would be attended by
no danger to a staunch ship with plenty of sea-room.

The temperature had fallen many degrees, though the
wind was still moderate and unsteady, ranging from west
to north-east. The sun was completely obscured, so that
the awning was no longer needed, and we pulled it down,
in order the more fully to enjoy the breeze, and the deli-
cious coolness of the darkened atmosphere, to the grate-
fulness of which not even our awakening apprehensions
could render us insensible.

While observing the strange appearance of the sky, and
48 A CHANGE.

the preparations for a storm which seemed to be going on
in the north and west, Morton espied a troop of flying-fish
a hundred yards or so to windward. Fluttering feebly a
short distance in the air, they would drop into the sea, soon
emerging, however, for a fresh flight; thus, alternately
swimming and flying, they were steadily approaching ;
and from their rapid and confused motions, it was evident
that they were hard pressed by some of the numerous and
greedy persecutors of their helpless race, from whom
they were struggling to escape. Presently a glittering
albacore shot from the water, close in the track of the
fugitives, descending again in the graceful curve peculiar
to his active and beautiful, but rapacious tribe. Another
and another followed, their golden scales flashing in the
light, as they leaped clear of the water, sometimes two or
three together. We hastily made ready to attack both
pursuers and pursued the instant they should come within
reach. The course of the chase brought them directly
towards us, until the hunted fishes fell in a glittering
shower, so near, that I feared they might pass under the
boat before rising again; but they came to the surface
close beside us, and as they fluttered into the air, we
knocked down six or seven of them, and caught a number
more that dropped into the boat. Morton and Max,
ambitious of larger game, devoted their attention to the
albacore, and slashed and thrust furiously at such as
came within reach of their cutlasses ; which many of them
did. Some darted under the boat, instead of sheering
round it; and one enormous fellow, miscalculating, in his
haste, our draught of water, must have scraped all the
fins off his back against the keel as he performed this
manceuvre, for the shock of the contact caused the yawl
to tremble from stem to stern. But such was the marvel-
lous celerity of their movements, that though they came
within easy striking distance, all the hostile demonstra-
‘tions of Max and Morton proved futile.
A CHANGE. 49

_ The flying-fish which. had: been taken:were divided and
apportioned with scrupulous exactness, and devoured with
very little ceremony. The only dressmg or preparation
bestowed upon them consisted simply in stripping off the
long shining pectoral fins or wings (they serve as both),
without. paying much attention to such trifling matters as
scales, bones, and the lesser fins. Max, indeed, began to
nibble rather fastidiously at.first at this raw food, which a
minute before had been so full of life and activity; but
his. appetite improved as he preceeded, and he at last so
far got the better of his scruples,.as to leave nothing of
his share except the tails, and very little even of those.
Hunger, in fact, made this repast, which would have been
revolting under ordinary circumstances, not: only accept-
able, but positively delicious.

Meantime the dark mass of clouds in the-north had ex-
tended itself, and drawn nearer to us. Another tempest
seemed to-be gathering in the west, while in the south a
violent thunder-storm appeared to be actually raging: the
lightning in that quarter was vivid and almost incessant,
but we could hear no thunder, the. storm being still at a
considerable distance.

Immediately. around us all was-yet: comparatively calm,
but the heavy clouds, gathering on three sides, seemed
gradually converging towards a common centre; a short,
abrupt, cross.sea began to form, and the water assumed a
glistening inky hue. There was something peculiar and
striking in the appearance of the clouds surrounding us ;
they seemed to rest upon the surface of the ocean, and
towered upward like a dark wall to the skies. Their upper
extremities were torn and irregular, and long narrow
fragments, like giant arms, streamed out from the main
body, and extended. over us, as if beckoning each other to
a nearer approach, and threatening to unite their gloomy
array overhead;.and shut out the light of day. As they
drew nearer to one enother, the lightning began to dart.

D
50 A CHANGE,

from cloud to cloud, while the most terrific peals of thun-
der that I have ever heard rolled and reverberated on
every side. We appeared to be surrounded by storms,
some of which were very near, for the deep crash of this
thunder followed close upon the vivid lightnings that
flashed in the south and west. Still, the narrow space of
sky directly overhead was clear, and the war of elements
which was raging all around did not extend to our imme-
diate neighbourhood. Against the dark sides of the cloudy
pavilion that encompassed us, the sharp, zig-zag lines of
lightning, as they ran from the sky to the ocean, shone
out with a blinding glare. A single half-hour had sufficed
to change everything about us. The brazen burning sky
was transformed into a cold, clear expanse, of a bluish-
black. The sea, no longer stagnant and glassy, was fretted
by short inky waves, with creamy crests, that gave it
altogether a new aspect. The air was now fresh and cool,
and the wind rising and falling fitfully, at one moment
scarcely lifted our hair or stirred our garments, and the
next tore off the entire crests of waves, and scattered them
over us in a shower of spray. For nearly an hour we
remained apprehensive that the wind might increase to a
gale. At the end of that time it came gradually round to
the south-east, growing steady, but by no means violent,
and the storms moved off in a westerly direction. One
heavy cloud, as it slowly passed over towards that quarter,
discharged a grateful shower of rain. We hastily spread
the sail and some of our garments, to gather the precious
drops. The shower lasted only a few minutes, but during
that time it rained briskly. I never shall forget my sen-
sations as I stood with face upturned, while the big drops,
more delicious than ambrosia, came pelting down. It was
far better and more strengthening than food, or any medi-
cine or cordial could have been, and seemed to infuse fresh
life into us all. When it was over, we wrung out from
the saturated canvass, and from our clothing, water enough
TOKENS OF LAND. 61)

to mitigate for the time, though by no means to satisfy,
the raging thirst from which we had suffered so intenscly.

Arthur had at first taken out of the locker the large
bottle which had been fuund there, in the hope of being
able to hoard up a small supply for the future ; but there
was not a drop of surplus for such a purpose, and he was
obliged to put it back again empty as befcre.

CHAPTER VIII.

TOKENS OF LAND.

THE CENTRE OF THE SPHERE—THE MYSTERIOUS 80OUND—
THE CONFLAGRATION.

“Thou glorious sea! before ine gleaming,
Oft wilt thou float in sunset pride,
And often shall I hear in dreaming
Thy resonance at evening tide!”





Ar sunset, every trace of the storms by which we had
been so recently encompassed had vanished: the sky, ex-
cept along the western horizon, was without a cloud: not
a breath of wind ruffled the sea, and we lay once more
completely becalmed.

This was our third night at sea; though to me, at least,
it seemed that many days had passed since the mutiny
and the immediately succeeding occurrences. It is a night
which I shall not soon forget ; the impression of its almost
unearthly beauty is still fresh and vivid, and haunts me
like a vision of fairyland. At this moment, if I but close
my eyes, the whole scene rises before me with the distinct-
52 TOKENS OF LAND.

ness of a picture; though one would naturally suppose
that persons situated as we then were could scarcely have
been in a state of mind congenial to the reception of such
impressions.

The transition from early twilight to the darkness of
night was beautiful beyond description. The array of —
clouds in the west just after sunset, their forms, arrange-
ment, and colours, with the manner in which they blended
and melted into one another, composed a spectacle of the
magnificence of which neither language nor the art of the
painter can convey any adequate idea. Along the edge of
the horizon stretched a broad tract of the deepest crimson,
reflecting far upon the waters a light that gave them the
appearance of an ocean of blood. Above this was a band
of vivid flame colour ; then one of a clear translucent green,
perfectly peculiar, unlike that of any leaf or gem, and of
surpassing delicacy and beauty. This gradually melted,
through many fine gradations, into a sca of liquid amber,
so soft and golden, that the first large stars of evening
floating in its ¢ransparent depths could scarcely be dis-
tinguished, as they twinkled mildly amid the flood of
kindred radiance. A narrow streak of pearly blue bounded
this amber sea with its islands of light, and divided it
from the deeper blue of the wide vault above. During
the earlier part of this glorious display the eastern sky, as
if in rivalry of the splendour of the opposite quarter of
the heavens, was spanned by two concentric rainbows,
describing complete semicircles, with their bases resting
upon the sea. In the smaller and interior bow all the
colours were beautifully distinct ; in the outer and larger
one they were less brilliant, and arranged in an order the
reverse of that which is usual, the violet being the lowest
instead of the red. The rainbows vanished with the sun,
and soon afterwards the fiery glow in the west began to
fade. But the scene only changed its character without
losing any of its beauty. So smooth was the sea on that
TOKENS OF LAND. 53

night, that the whole dome of the sky, with every sailing
cloud-flake, and every star, was perfectly reflected in it.
Until the moon rose, the line where the sky joined the
ocean was indistinctly definedyand the two were so blended
together, that we actually seemed suspended in the eentre
of a vast sphere; the heavens, instead of ‘terminating at
the horizon, extended, spangled with stars,‘on every side
—below as well as above and around. The illusion was
wonderfully perfect: you almost held your breath as you
glanced downward, and could hardly refrain from starting
nervously, so strong and bewildering was the appearance
of hanging poised in empty space.

Charlie, who had been sitting for a long time with his
hands supporting his head, and ‘his elbows resting upon
Arthur’s knee, gazing out upon theocean,;suddenly looked
up into his face, and said—

“ Arthur, I want you to tell me truly—do ‘you still be-
lieve that we shall be saved—do you hope so now, as you
did yesterday, or do you think that we must perish ?”

“Do you suppose that I would try to deceive you,
Charlie,” said Arthur, “that you ask me-so earnestly to
tell you truly?’

“No, but I feared you would not ‘perhaps tell me the
worst, thinking that I could not bear it: and I suspected
to-night that you spoke more cheerfully than you felt, on
my account. But Iam not afraid, dear Arthur, to know
the truth, and do not hide it from me! I will try to bear
patiently, with you and with the rest, whatever comes
upon us.”

“TI would not deceive you about such a matter, Charlie.
I should not think it right, though you are so young. But
I can know nothing certainly. We are in the hands of
God. I have told you all the reasons we have to hope;
we have the same reasons still. Only a few hours ago,
the sea supplied us with food, and the clouds with drink :
why may we not hope for future supplics according to our
54 TOKENS OF LAND.

need? I think we yet have more reason to hope than to
despair.”

“Did you ever know or hear of such a thing,” inquired
Charlie after a pause, “as a company of boys like us starv-
ing at sea ?”

“JT do not remember that I have, under circumstances at
all similar to ours,” answered Arthur.

“It is too dreadful to believe! Is not God our Father in
heaven? He will not surely let us perish so miserably.”

“ Yes, Charlie,” said Arthur gently, but earnestly, “God
is our heavenly Father; but we must not make our belicf
in his love and goodness a ground of confidence that any
suffering, however terrible, shall not befall us. The young
suffer and die as well as the old; the good as well as the
bad. Not only the strong martyrs, who triumphed while
they were tortured, but feeble old men, and little children,
have been torn in pieces by wild beasts, or burned alive,
or cast down precipices. And these things, that seem so
very hard to us, God has permitted. Yet he is good, and
loves and cares for us as a father. This we must belicve,
and hold fast to, in spite of everything that in our ignor-
ance may seem to contradict it. If we feel as we ought,
and as by his grace we may, we shall be able to trust all
to him with sweet resignation.”

“But is it not very hard, dcar Arthur, to be left to die
so?—and God can save us sc easily, if he will.”

Arthur was deeply affected: the tears filled his eyes as
he took Charlie upon his knee, and tried to explain to him
how wrong and selfish it would be to make our belief in
the goodness of God depend upon our rescue and preser-
vation. It was a difficult task, perhaps an untimely one,
as Max hinted. But Charlie gradually sobbed away his
excitement, and became soothed and calm.

“Well,” said he after a while, drawing a long breath,
and wiping away his tears, “I know one thing: whatever
inay happen, we will be kind and true to one another to
TOKENS OF LAND. 55

the last, and never think of such inhuman things as I have
read of shipwrecked people doing when nearly dead with
hunger, though we all starve together.”

“Come to me, Charlie,” cried Browne with a faltering
voice, “I must kiss you for those words. Yes, we will
perish, if we must, like brothers, not sullenly, as if none
had ever suffered evil before us. Weak and gentle spirits
have borne without repining sufferings as great as threaten
us. Often has my mother told me the story of sweet
Margery Wilson, drowned in the Solway water in the days
of the bloody Claverhouse, because she met with her
friends and kindred to worship God after their manner—
and never could I listen to it without tears. Ah, what a
spirit was there! She was but eighteen, and she could
have saved her life by saying a few words. Life was as
sweet to her as it is to us: she, too, had a home and
friends and kindred, whom it must have been hard for the
poor young thing to lcave so suddenly and awfully. And
yet she refused to speak those words—she chose to die
rather. They took her out upon the sand where the tide
was rising fast, and bound her to astake. Soon the water
came up to her face. She saw it go over the head of a
poor old woman whom they had tied farther out than her-
self; she saw her death struggles; she heard her gasp for
breath, as she choked and strangled in the yellow waves.
Ah! she must have had courage from the Lord, or that
sight would have made her young heart fail. Once more,
and for the last time, the king’s officer asked her to make
the promise never to attend a conventicle again. He
urged it, for he pitied her youth and innocence. Her
friends and neighbours begged her to save her life. *O
speak, dear Margaret !’ they cried, ‘and make the promise ;
it can’t be wrong. Do it for our sakes, dear Margaret,
and they will let you go!’ But she would not save her
life by doing what she had been taught to think was
wrong; and while the swirling waves of the Solway were
56 TOKENS OF LAND.

rising fast around ‘her, she prayed to God, and kept sing-
ing fragments of psalms, till the water choked her voice—
and so she perished. But, O friends, to know that such
things have been, that spirits gentle and brave as this have
lived, makes it easier to suffer courageously.”

“ Horrible !” exclaimed Max ; “I seem to see all that you
have so graphically told. But how stern and cruel the
teachers who would:‘sacrifice human life rather than abate
their own sullen obstinacy, even in ‘trifles, who could en-
courage this innocent but misguided girl in her refusal to
save her life by the harmless ‘promise to attend a church
instead of a conventicle.”

Just as Browne was commencing an eager and indignant
reply to Max's rash reflections upon the strictness of cove-
nanting teachings,’'we were suddenly startled by a deep
and solemn ‘sound, which seemed to come from a distance.
While we listened intently, it was several times repeated
at short intervals of about ffteen seconds, each time more
distinctly than before. It resembled somewhat the deepest
tones of a powerful organ heard for an instant, and then
abruptly stopped. Nothing was to be seen in the direc-
tion from which it seemed to proceed but the sea glitter-
ing in the moonlight. Is it to be wondered at if we
listened with feelings tinged with superstitious awe to
that strange sound, heard under such circumstances, and
at such an hour? Charlie nestled closer to Arthur’s side,
and I thought that the faces of my companions grew
‘ visibly pale. Even Arthur looked perplexed and disturbed.

« “What can that be?” said Morton, after a few minutcs
of almost breathless silence, during which we had listened
in vain for its repetition.

“It is certainly very strange,” said Arthur. “I never
heard anything at sea at all like it but once, and it is im-
possible that this can be what I then heard: but hark !”
And again the same deep pealing sound was repeated
several times, at shorter intervals, but more faintly than
TOKENS OF LAND. 57

before: after continuing for a few minutes, it ceased
again.

“What was the sound which you speak of as resembling
this?” asked Morton, when all was silent once more.

It was the cry of a kind of penguin found at the Falk-
land Islands; when :heard on shore, it is harsh and loud;
but a short distance.at sea, and in the night, it has a peal-
ing, solemn sound, like that which we have just heard.”

“Jt must come from land in the neighbourhood,” said
Morton; “we can probably hear farther on such a night
as this than we can distinguish land.”

“Yes, sounds on the water, in calm still nights, when
there is no wind, can be heard at great distances,” said
Arthur. “It is said that the ‘All’s well! of the British
sentinel at Gibraltar is sometimes heard across the strait
on the African shore, a distance of thirteen miles. I have
seen at the Society Islands native drums made of large
hollow logs, which might perhaps, at a distance, sound
like what we heard a moment ago. A Wesleyan mission-
ary there once told me of a great drum that he saw at the
Tonga Islands, called the ‘Tonga Toki,’ which sounded
like an immense gong, and could be heard from seven to
ten miles.”

“Why, I thought that this sounded like a ‘gong,” said
Charlie ; “perhaps we are near some island now ; but what
could they be drumming for so late in the night?”

“There would be nothing very unusual about that,”
said Arthur. “The Areoi Societies, which are a kind ot
native Freemasons, and are extended over most of the
larger inhabited islands in this part of the Pacific, some-
times-hold their great celebrations, like the pow-wows and
war-dances of our American Indians, in the night-time.
At the Fejee Islands they have a strange ceremony called
‘Tambo Nalanga,’ which they celebrate at night with the
beating of drums, the blowing of conchs, and a number of
savage and cruel rites. Something or other of the sanic
58 TOKENS OF LAND.

is observed at most of the islands, though under different
names, and with slight variations.”

While speculating in this way, and endeavouring to
account for the noise which had startled us so much, we
all at once became aware of an increasing light in the
south, the “Cross,” now half-way between the horizon
and the zenith, enabling us to fix the po:nts of the com-
pass. As we gazed in that direction, the sky became
strongly illuminated by a red glare, and an immense
column of flame and smoke was seen shooting up in the
distance. Nothing but the expanse of the ocean, splendidly
illuminated, and glowing like a sea of fire, could be dis-
cerned by this light. Whether it was caused by a burning
ship, at such a distance that nothing but the light of her
conflagration was visible, or by a fire on some distant
island, we could not determine. It was in the same
quarter from which the sound had seemed to come.

Arthur was now of the opinion that we werc in the neigh-
bourhood of an inhabited island or group, and that the light
proceeded from the burning béche-de-mer house of some
successful trader, who had set fire to it (as is their custom
at the end of a prosperous season), to prevent it from fall-
ing into the hands of others in the same business.

We all grasped eagerly at this idea, for the probability
that we were not only in the neighbourhood of land, but of
a place where we should mect with Europeans, and have an
opportunity of getting home, or perhaps to the places of
our respective destination, was full of encouragement. In
a very short time the conflagration was over, and a dark
column of smoke, which marked the spot where it had
raged, was lifted slowly into the air. We heard no more
of the mysterious sound. None of the explanations sug-
gested were so perfectly satisfactory as to remove entirely
the unpleasant impression which it had produced. Before
lying down in our accustomed places, we made our usual
arrangements as to the watch—unnecessary. as it seemed,
curing the calm.
DARK WATERS. 59

CHAPTER IX.

>

DARK WATERS.

SUFFERING AND DELIRIUM—THE MIDNIGHT BATH—A
STRANGE PERIL.,

‘“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere—
But not a drop to drink.”





SEVERAL times in the course of the night I was awakened
by confused noises, like the blowing of porpoises or the
spouting of whales; but the sky had become overcast, and
it had grown so dark, that on getting up, and looking
about, I could see nothing of the creatures producing
these sounds. My slumbers were broken and uneasy, and
in the morning I found myself suffering from a dull heavy
pain in the head, accompanied by a slight nausea, and a
general fecling ot languor and weakness. Even to get
upon my fect required something of an effort, which I
made, impelled rather by a dim, confused sense of duty,
than by any spontaneous impulse or inclination: had I
consulted inclination alone, I believe I should have re-
mained passive, and Jet things take their course.

The occurrences of the last night had given rise to some
faint expectation that by daylight we should discover land
in sight to the southward, where we had seen the great
light. But nothing was visible in that or any other
quarter. Possessed by some hope of this kind, Arthur
had been up searching the horizon since the first streak of
60 DARK WATERS.

day in the east. He showed me a large green branch
which he had picked up as it floated near us. By the
elegantly scolloped leaves, of a dark and glossy green, it
was easily recognized as a branch of the bread-fruit-tree ;
and from their bright, fresh colour, and the whiteness of
the wood, where it had joined the trunk, it must have been
torn off quite recently. The calm still continued. Immense
schools of black-fish or porpoises, or some similar species,
could be seen about half a mile distant passing westward,
in an apparently endless line. The temporary beneficial
effect of yesterday’s scanty supply of food and drink had
passed away entirely, and all seemed to feel in a greater
or less degree the bodily pain and weakness, and the lassi-
tude and indisposition to any kind of effort, by which I
was affected. To such an extent was this the case, that
when Arthur proposed that we should row towards the
school of fish in sight, and try to take some of them, the
strongest disinclination to make any such attempt was
evinced, and it was only after much argument and persua-
sion, and by direct personal appeals to us individually,
that he overcame this strange torpor, and induced us to
take to the oars.

On getting near enough to the objects of our pursuit
to distinguish them plainly, we were sorry to find that they
were porpoises instead of black-fish, as we had at first
supposed; the former being shy and timid, and much more
difficult to approach than the latter; and so they proved
at present. Still we persevered for a while; the hope of
obtaining food having been once excited, we were almost
as reluctant to abandon the attempt as we had been at
first to commence it. But after half an hour’s severe
labour at the oars, we were obliged to give it up as quite
hopeless, and soon afterward the last of the long column
passed beyond pursuit, leaving us completely disheartened
and worn out. The sail was again arranged so as to shel-
ter us as much as possible from the sun, and Arthur com-
DARK WATERS. 61

menced distributing the leaves and twigs of the bread-fruit
branch, suggesting that some slight refreshment might
perhaps be derived from chewing them. But they retained
a saline taste, from having been in the sea-water, and no
one proceeded far with the experiment. Morton cut some
small strips of leather from his boots, and began to chew
them. He fancied that they afforded some nourishment,
and recommended the rest of us to make a similar trial ;
which I believe we all did. Max almost immediately re-
jected with disgust the first morsel which he put into his
mouth, saying that he must “starve a little longer before
he could relish that.” At noon the heat was more intense,
if possible, than it had been the day before. Charlie was
now in a high fever, accompanied by symptoms of an
alarming character. It was distressing to witness his suf-
ferings, and feel utterly unable to do anything for him.
Yet there was nothing that we could do: food and drink
were the only medicines he needed, and these we could
not give him. Towards the close of the afternoon he
became delirious, and began to cry out violently and in-
cessantly for water. His voice seemed to have changed,
and could now scarcely be recognized. There was some-
thing very strange and horrible in the regular, unceasing
cries which he uttered, and which sounded at times almost
like the howlings of a brute. Arthur had made a sort of
bed for him, to which each of us contributed such articles
of clothing as could be spared. It was now necessary to
watch him every moment, and frequently to use force to
keep him from getting overboard. At one time, having
got to the side of the boat, before he could be prevented,
he commenced dipping up the sea-water with. his hand,
and would have drunkit, had he not been forc’bly restrained.
After this had lasted nearly two hours, he suddenly ceased
his struggles and violent cries, and began to beg piteously
for “a drink of water.” This he continued for a consider-
able time, repeatedly asking Arthur to tcll him. why he
62 DARK WATERS.

could not have “just a little,” since there was “such a
plenty of it.”

It is impossible to describe the horrible and sickening
effect of all this upon us, in the state of utter physical
prostration to which we had been gradually reduced.
Browne and Arthur watched over Charlie with all the care
and patient unwearying kindness that a mother could have
shown; and they would not permit the rest of us to relieve
them for a moment, or to share any part of their charge,
painful and distressing as it was. Twice, when it became
necessary to hold the little sufferer fast, to prevent him
from getting over the gunwale, he spat fiercely in Arthur’s
face, struggling and crying out with frightful vehemence.
But Browne’s face seemed to soothe and control him, and
when Charlie spoke to him, it was gently, and in the lan-
guage of entreaty. Towards night he became more quiet,
and at last sunk into a kind of lethargy, breathing deeply
and heavily, but neither speaking nor moving, except to
turn from one side to the other, which he did at nearly
regular intervals.

This change relieved us from the necessity of constantly
watching and restraining him; but Arthur viewed it as an
unfavourable and alarming symptom; he seemed now more
completely depressed than I had ever before seen him,
and to be overcome at last by gricf, anxiety, and the lfor-
rors of our situation.

The heat did not abate in the least with the going down
of the sun; but the night, though very close and sultry,
was calm and beautiful like the last. Soon after the moon
rose, Max and Morton undressed, and bathed themselves
in the sea. The smooth moonlit water looked so cool
and inviting, that the rest of us soon followed their ex-
ample, notwithstanding the danger from sharks. We were
all good swimmers, but no one ventured far from the boat
except Morton. I found that a few strokes quite exhausted
me, and I was obliged to turn and cling to the gunwale.
DARK WATERS. 63

In fact, so great was the loss of strength which we had all
suffered, that we came near perishing in a very singular
and almost incredible manner. After having been in the
water a sufficient time, as I thought, I discovered, on try-
ing to get into the boat again, that I was utterly unable to
do so, through sheer weakness. At the same time I ob-
served Max making a similar attempt nearer the stern,
with no better success. We were all in the water except
Charlie; any difficulty in getting into the boat again had
not been dreamed of; but I began now to feel seriously
alarmed. My feet were drawn forcibly under the boat’s
bottom, and even to maintain my hold of the gunwale as
we rose and sunk with the swell, required an exhausting
effort, which I knew I could not long continue. Arthur
was swimming near the stern, holding on to the end of a
rope, which he had cast over before coming in. By great
exertion I raised myself so far as to be able to look over
the gunwale, when I saw Browne in the same positicn
directly opposite me.

“ Can’t you get into the boat?” I asked.

“Really I don’t think I can,” said he, speexing like a
person exhausted.

“T can’t,” added Max faintly; “it is as much as I can
do to maintain my hold.” At this moment a voice was
heard calling out apparently from a distance, “ Hilloa !
where are you? Hilloa!” It was hoarse, strained, and
distressed. Almost immediately the cry was repcated
much nearer at hand, as it seemed ; and then a third time,
faint, and distant as at first. I was horror-stricken; the
cry sounded strange and fearful, and I did not recog-
nize the voice. Then it occurred to me that it must
be Morton, who had swam out farther than the rest, and
losing sight of the boat for a moment in the swell of the
sea, had become bewildered and alarmed. This might
easily happen: if but the length of a wave distant, we
should be invisible to him, unless both should chance to
64 DARK WATERS. |

rise on the swell at the same time. The moon, too, had
just passed behind a dark mass of cloud, and the sea lay
in partial obscurity. I now heard Browne and Arthur
shouting, in order, as I supposed, to guide Morton by the
sound of their voices. I, too, called out as loudly as I was
able. For a moment all was still again. Then I heard
some one say “There he is!” and a dark speck appeared
on the crest of a wave a little to the right. At this moment
the moon shone out brightly, and I saw that it was Morton,
swimming toward us. He reached the boat panting and
out of breath, and catching hold near me with an almost
convulsive effort, remained some minutes without being
able to speak a word. Arthur, who had observed Max’s
struggles to get into the yawl, naw swam round to where
Morton and I were hanging on, and taking hold also, his
additional weight depressed the gunwale nearly to the
water’s edge, when he got his knee over it; and at last, by
a sudden effort, rolled into the boat. He then helped me
to get in, and we two the rest.

Morton said that after swimming but a short distance
from the boat, as he supposed, he found himself getting
tired and very weak, and on turning, greatly to his sur-
prise, could see nothing of us. In reality, however, there
was nothing surprising in this, his face being on a level
with the surface, and the boat, with neither sail nor mast
up, being much less in height than the long smooth swells.
Percciving how great was his danger, and becoming some-
what alarmed, he had called out in the manner described :
when he heard us shouting in return, he was actually
swimming away from us, and it was only by following the
direction of our voices that he had at last reached the boat.

That night we kept no regular watch as we had hitherto
done, or at least we made no arrangement for that pur-
pose, though one or another of us was awake most of the
time watching Charlie, who continued, however, in the
same deep lethargic slumber.
. DARK WATERS. 65

For my par, it was a long time before I could sleep at
all. There was something in the fate that threatened us
more appalling than the terrors.of death. The impres-
sions produced by the ravings, and cries, and struggles of
our poor little fellow-sufferer were yet fresh, and they
could not be effaced. All in vain I strove to control the
workings of my morbidly-excited imagination—I could
not shut out the fearful thoughts and anticipations which
the occurrences. of the day so: naturally and obviously
suggested. The lapse of twenty-four hours might find us
all reduced to the same helpless state, deprived of con-
sciousness and reason. Qne after another must succumb
to the fever, and become delirious, until he who should last
fall its victim should find himself alone in the midst of his
stricken and raving companions—alone retaining reason,
no longer to be accounted a blessing, since it could only
serve to make him sensible to all the accumulated horrors
of his situation. I shuddered as I contemplated the possi-
bility that I might be that most wretched one, the last of
all to sink and perish. At.length I began to imagine that
my mind was actually beginning to fail, and that I was
becoming delirious. At first it was but a fearful suspicion.
Soon, however, it took such strong possession of me, that
I was compelled to relinquish all thought of sleep. Sitt ng
up, I saw that Arthur was awake, and by the side of
Charlie. His face was upturned, and his hands clasped,
as if in prayer. I could see his lips move, and even the
tears trickling from beneath his closed eyelids, for the
moonlight fell full upon his countenance. He did not
observe me, and after a few moments he lay down again
without speaking, and soon appeared to slumber like the
rest.

Pressing my hands to my head, I leaned over the stern,
my face almost touching the water. A current of cooler
air was stirring close to the surface, as if it were the
breathing of the sea, for there was no wind. How preter-

E
66 . DARK WATERS.

naturally still everything seemed—what an intensity of
silence! How softly the pale moonlight rested upon the
water! A grand and solemn repose wrapped the heavens
and the ocean—no sound beneath all that vast blue dome
—no motion but the heaving of: the long sluggish swell.
Gradually I became calmer; the excitement and pertur-
bation of my mind began to subside, and at length I felt
as though I could sleep. As I resumed my place by the
side of Browne, he moved, as if about to awake, and mur-
mured indistinctly some broken sentences. From the
words that escaped him, he was dreaming of that far-off
home which he was to behold no more. In fancy he was
wandering again by the banks of the Clyde, the scene of
many a schoolboy ramble. But it seemed as though the
shadow of present realities darkened even his dreams, and
he beheld these familiar haunts no longer in the joyous
light of early days. “ How strange it looks!” he muttered
slowly ; “how dark the river is—how deep and dark !—it
seems to me it was not so then, Robert.” Truly, companion
in suffering, this is no falsely-coloured dream of thine, for
we have all come at last into deep and dark waters.
‘A SAIL. 67

CHAPTER X.

A SAIL.

THE CACHELOT AND HIS ASSAILANTS—-THE COMBAT—
NEW ACQUAINTANCES.

“Strange creatures round us sweep;
Strange things come up to look at us,
The monsters of the deep.”



THE first thought that flashed through my mind with
returning consciousness in the morning, was, “This is the
last day for hope; unless relief comes to-day in some
shape, we must perish.” I was the first awake, and glancing
at the faces of my companions lying about in the bottom
of the boat, I could not help shuddering. They had a
strange and unnatural look—a miserable expression of
pain and weakness. All that was familiar and pleasant to
look upon had vanished from those sharpened and haggard
features. Their closed eyes seemed singularly sunken;
and their matted hair, sunburnt skin, and soiled clothing,
added something of wildness to the misery of their
appearance.

Browne, who had slept beside me, was breathing hard,
and started every now and then, as if in pain. Charlie
slumbered so peacefully, and breathed so gently, that for
a moment I was alarmed, and doubted whether he was
breathing at all, until I stooped down and watched him
closely. There were still no indications of a breeze. A
school of whales was visible about a quarter of a mile to
the westward, spouting and pursuing their unwieldy sport;
468 A SAIL.

but I took no interest in the sight, and leaning over the
gunwale, commenced bathing my head and eyes with the
sea-water. While thus engaged, I was startled by seeing
an enormous cachelot suddenly break the water within
fifteen yards of the boat. Its head, which composed
nearly a third of its entire bulk, seemed a mountain of
flesh. A couple of small calves followed it, and came
swimming playfully round us. Fora minute or two the
cachelot floated quietly at the surface where it had first
appeared, throwing a slender jet of water, together with
a large volume of spray and vapour, into the air; then
rolling over upon its side, it began to lash the sea with its
broad and powerful tail, every stroke of which produced
a sound like the report of a cannon. This roused the
sleepers abruptly, and just as they sprang up, and began
to look around in astonishment for the cause of so start-
ling a commotion, the creature cast its misshapen head
downwards, and throwing its immense flukes high into
the air, disappeared. We watched anxiously to see where
it would rise, conscious of the perils of such a neighbour-
hood, and that even a playful movement, a random sweep
of the tail, while pursuing its gigantic pastime, would be
sufficient to destroy us. It came to the surface at about
the same distance as before, but on the opposite side of
the boat, throwing itself half out of the water as it rose:
again it commenced lashing the sea violently, as if in the
mere wanton display of its terrible strength, until far
around the water was one wide sheet of foam. The calves
still gambolled near us, chasing each other about and under
the yawl, and we might easily have killed one of them,
had we not been deterred by the almost certain conse-
quences of arousing the fury of the old whale. Meantime
the entire school seemed to be edging down towards us. —
There was not a breath of air, and we had no means of
getting out of the way of the danger to which we should
be exposed if among them, except by taking to the oars;
A SAIL. 69

and this nothing short of the most pressing and imme-
diate peril could induce us todo. But our attention was
soon withdrawn from the herd to the singular and alarming
movements of the individual near us. Rushing along the
surface for short distances, it threw itself several times
half clear of the water, turning ‘after each of these leaps,
as abruptly as its unwieldy bulk would permit, and running
a tilt with equal violence in the opposite direction. Once,
it passed so near us, that I think I could have touched it
with an oar, and we saw distinctly its small dull eye, and
the loose, wrinkled folds of skin, about its tremendous
jaws. For a minute afterwards the boat rolled danger-
ously in the swell caused by the swift passage of so vast
an object. Suddenly, after one of these abrupt turns, the
monster headed directly towards us, and came rushing
onward with fearful velocity, either not noticing us at all,
or else mistaking the boat for some sea-creature, with
which it designed to measure its strength. There was no
time for any effort to avoid the danger; and even had
there been, we were too much paralyzed by its imminence
to make such an effort. The whale was scarcely twelve
yards off—certainly not twenty. Behind it stretched a
foaming wake, straight as an arrow. Its vast mountainous
head ploughed up the waves like a ship’s cutwater, piling -
high the foam and spray before it. To miss us was nowa
sheer impossibility, and no earthly power could arrest the
creature’s career. Instant destruction appeared inevitable.
I grew dizzy, and my head began to swim, while the
thought flashed confusedly through my mind, that Infinite
Wisdom had decreed that we must die, and this manner of
perishing had been chosen in mercy, to spare us the pro-
longed horrors of starvation. What a multitude of inco-
herent thoughts and recollections crowded upon my mind
in that moment of time! A thousand little incidents of my
past life, disconnected and trivial—a shadowy throng of
familiar scenes and faces surged up before. me, vividly as
70 A SAIL.

objects revealed for an instant by the glare of the light-
ning in the gloom of a stormy night. Closing my eyes, I
silently commended my soul to God, and was endeavour-
ing to compose myself for the dreadful event, when Morton
sprang to his feet, and called hurriedly upon us to shout
together. All seemed to catch his intention at once, and
to perceive in it a gleam of hope; and standing up, we
raised our voices in a hoarse cry, that sounded strange and
startling even to ourselves. Instantly, as it seemed, the
whale dove almost perpendicularly downwards, but so
great was its momentum, that its fluked tail cut the air
within an oar’s length of the boat as it disappeared.

Whether the shout we had uttered caused the sudden
plunge to which we owed our preservation it is impossi-
ble to decide. Notwithstanding its bulk and power, the
cachelot is said to be a timid creature, except when injured
or enraged, and great caution has to be exercised by
whalers in approaching them. Suddenly recollecting this,
the thought of undertaking to scare the formidable monster
had suggested itself to Morton, and he had acted upon it
in sheer desperation, impelled by the same instinct that
causes a drowning man to catch even at a straw.

But however obtained, our reprieve from danger was
only momentary. The whale came to the surface at no
great distance, and once more headed towards us. If
frightened for an instant, it had quickly recovered from
the panic, and now there was no mistaking the creature’s
purpose: it came on, exhibiting every mark of rage, and
with jaws literally wide open. We felt that no device or
effort of our own could be of any avail. We might as
well hope to resist a tempest or an earthquake, or the
shock of a falling mountain, as that immense mass of
matter, instinct with life and power, and apparently ani-
mated by brute fury.

Every hope had vanished, and I think that we were all
in a great measure resigned to death, and fully expecting
A SAIL. 71

it, when there came (as it seemed to us, by actual miracle)
a most wonderful interposition.

A dark bulky mass (in the utter bewilderment of the
moment we noted nothing distinctly of its appearance)
shot perpendicularly from the sea twenty feet into the air,
and fell with a tremendous concussion directly upon the
whale’s back. It must have been several tons in weight,
and the blow inflicted was crushing. For a moment the
whale seemed paralyzed by the shock, and its vast frame
quivered with agony; but recovering quickly, it rushed
with open jaws upon its strange assailant, which imme-
diately dove, and both vanished. Very soon the whale
came to the surface again; and now we became the wit-
nesses of one of those singular and tremendous spectacles
of which the vast solitudes of the tropical seas are doubt-
less often the theatre, but which human eyes have rarely
beheld.

The cachelot seemed to be attacked by two powerful
confederates, acting in concert. The one assailed it from
below, and continually drove it to the surface, while the
other—the dark bulky object—repeated its singular attacks
in precisely the same manner as at first, whenever any
part of the gigantic frame of the whale was exposed, never
once missing its mark, and inflicting blows which one
would think singly sufficient to destroy any living creature.
At times the conflict was carried on so near us as to en-
danger our safety, and we could see all of the combatants
with the utmost distinctness, though not at the same time.
The first glimpse which we caught of the second antago-
nist of the whale, as it rose through the water to the attack,
enabled us at once to identify it as that most fierce and
formidable creature—the Pacific sword-fish.

The other, as I now had an opportunity to observe, was
a fish of full one third the length of the whale itself, and
of enormous bulk in proportion; it was covered with a
dark rough skin, in appearance not unlike that of an alli-
72 A SAIL.

gator. The cachelot rushed upon its foes alternately,
and the one thus singled out invariably fled, until the
other had an opportunity to come to its assistance; the
‘sword-fish swimming around in a wide circle at the top of
the water when pursued, and the other diving when chased
in its turn. If the whale followed the sword-fish to the
surface, it was sure to receive a stunning blow from its
leaping enemy; if it pursued the latter below, the sword-
fish there attacked it fearlessly, and, as it appeared, suc-
cessfully, forcing it quickly back to the top of the water.
Presently the battle began to recede from us, the whale
evidently making towards the school, which was at no
great distance, and strange as the sight was, we watched
it with but a languid interest, as soon as our safety
appeared to be no longer involved. The whale must have
been badly hurt, for the water which it threw up on com-
ing to the surface and spouting, was tinged with blood.
After this I saw no more of the sword-fish and his asso-
ciate ; they had probably abandoned the attack.* As-nearly
as I can recollect, we did not, either during the progress
of the fight, or after it was over, exchange a single word
on the subject, so dumb and apathetic had we become.
After a while, the school of whales appeared to be moving



* This fish story has several rather astonishing features—at least to an
inexperienced landsman. The sword-fish and thresher are said to seek
and attack the right whale together; but my friend, Captain Tarbox,
whom I have consulted on the subject, says he has never heard of their
interfering with the cachelot, or sperm-whale, which would, he thinks, be
very likely to make mince-meat of them both, should they be guilty of
such temerity: the right whale uses no other weapon than his powertul
tail; whereas the cachelot goes at an adversary with open jaws. Upon
my inquiring whether threshers ‘of several tons’ weight,” and jumping
“twenty feet into the air,’’ were common, the captain seemed piqued at
my implied scepticism as to marine monsters, and briefly made answer
that there were more strange creatures in the sea than were dreamed of
in my philosophy, and that ‘‘many an old sailor could give more real in-
formation on the subject than all the natural history books and bookish
men in the world.”—Fop.














A SAIL.

{ think, however, that it must have been in the afternoon of the same day that
Morton came to me, as I lay in the bottom of the boat, and aroused me, iaying, iu a
huarse and painful whisper, that there was a vessel in sight.—Page 73.
A SAIL. 73

off, and in half an hour more we lost sight of them alto-
gether.

All this while Charlie had continued to sleep soundly,
and his slumbers seemed more natural and refreshing than
before. When at length he awoke, the delirium had
ceased, and he was calm and gentle, but so weak, that he
could not sit up without being supported. After the dis-
appearance of the whales, several hours passed, during
which we lay under our awning, without a word being
spoken by any one. Throughout this day the sea seemed
to be alive with fish ; myriads of them were to be seen in
every direction; troops of agile and graceful dolphins ;
revolving black-fish chased by ravenous sharks; leaping
albacore, dazzling the eye with the flash of their golden
scales as they shot into the air for a moment; porpoises,
bonito, flying-fish, and a hundred unknown kinds which I
had never seen or heard of. At one time we were sur-
rounljed by an immense shoal of small fishes about the
size of mackerel, so densly crowded together, that their
backs presented an almost solid surface, on which it seemed
as if one might walk dry-shod. None, however, came
actually within our reach, and we made no effort to
approach them.

From the time of our wonderful escape from being
destroyed by the whale, until the occurrence which I am
about to relate, I remember nothing distinctly—all seems
vague and dream-like. I could not say with confidence,
from my own knowledge, whether the interval consisted
of several days or of only a few feverish and half-delirious
hours, nor whether the sights and sounds of which I have
a confused recollection were real or imaginary. I think,
however, that it must have been in the afternoon of the
same day (Arthur is confident that it was) that Morton
came to me, as I lay in the bottom of the boat, in a state
of utter desperation and self-abandonment, and aroused
me, saying, in a hoarse and painful whisper, that there was
74 A SAIL.

a vessel in sight. Even this announcement hardly sufficed
to overcome the stupor into which I had sunk, and it
was with a reluctant effort, and a feeling akin to annoy-
ance at being disturbed, that I sat up and looked around
me. My eyes were so much inflamed that I could see
nothing distinctly.

The first thing that I observed was, that the calm was
at an end. A breeze had sprung up, and was blowing
gently, but pretty steadily, from the south. The surface
of the sea was slightly ruffled, and its dead stagnant aspect
had given place to one of breezy freshness. In this change
there was something reviving and strengthening. Far to
the south, where Morton pointed out the vessel which he
had discovered, I could just distinguish a white speck upon
the water, which seemed more like the crest of a wave
than anything else. Morton had already called Arthur's
attention to it, and he was watching it intently. Gradually
it became more distinct, and in half an hour I too could
make it out plainly to be a small sailing vessel of some
description. As she was coming directly down before the
wind, there seemed to be no need of doing anything to
attract her attention. I now hastened to reanimate Max
and Browne, by communicating to them the intelligence
that relief was probably at hand. In three quarters of an
hour more the strange sail was near enough to enable us
to see that she was a large double canoe, such as is used
by some of the islanders of the South Pacific in their trad-
ing voyages. It had two masts, with large triangular
mat-sails, and appeared to contain six or seven persons
only, whom we supposed to be natives of some neighbour-
ing island. As soon as they were within speaking dis-
tance, one of them, to our great astonishment, hailed us
in French. Arthur undertook to answer in the same
language, when the other, probably perceiving that the
French was not his native tongue, spoke to us in tolerable
English, but with a strong French accent. It was easy to
A SAIL. 75

perceive, now that our attention was particularly called to
him, that the spokesman was a European. Though almost
naked like the rest, and, elaborately tattooed upon the
chest and shoulders, his light hair and beard, and florid
though sunburnt skin, sufficiently distinguished him from
them. Of course the first thing with us was to make
known our wants, and to ask for food, and, above all, for
water. As soon as they could bring the canoe near
enough, the Frenchman, watching his opportunity, reached
out to us a large gourd containing water, of which we
drank plentifully, passing it round several times. Arthur
hastened to pour a little into Charlie’s mouth, and the
effect was astonishing: he seemed to revive almost in-
stantaneously, and sitting up, he seized the gourd himself,
and drank eagerly as long as Arthur would let him. The
Frenchman next tossed us something wrapped in banana
leaves, a thick, dark-coloured paste of some kind. It was
enough that it was an article of food, and we devoured it,
without pausing for any very close examination; though
its appearance was by no means inviting, and it had a
crude and slightly acid taste. He threw us also several
thin hard cakes similar in taste and colour to the other
substance. Both were probably preparations of the bread-
fruit, the latter being dried and hardened in the sun, or
by fire. Ravenously hungry as we were, these supplies
were divided and apportioned with the most scrupulous
exactness. Qn finding that the natives were well supplied
with water, having several large gourds full, we passed
the calabash round again, until we had drained it dry,
when they gave us another gourd. Meanwhile, though
we were too busy to look about us much, the canoe’s
people watched us very narrowly, and in such a manner
as to make me feel uneasy and doubtful as to their inten-
tions, notwithstanding their kindness thus far. As soon
as the first cravings of hunger and thirst were satisfied, I
began to return their scrutiny, and I now observed that
76 A SAIL.

they differed in many respects from the Tahitians, and
from all the other Polynesian tribes of which I knew any-
thing. Their complexion was a clear olive; their faces
oval, with regular features; their hair straight and black;
their eyes large; and the general expression of their coun-
tenances simple and pleasing, though there were several
keen, crafty-looking faces among them. All were tattooed
more or less profusely, the chests of some resembling
checker-boards, and others being ornamented with rosettes,
and representations of various natural objects, as birds,
fishes, trees, &c. Their only clothing consisted of the
maro, a strip of tappa, or native cloth, tied round the loins.
A wave happening to throw the boats nearly together,
one of the natives caught hold of our gunwale at the
stern, and another at the bow, and thus kept the canoe
alongside.

They now began to cast searching glances at us and at
everything in the yawl. I observed the Frenchman in-
tently eyeing the handle of one of the cutlasses, which pro-
truded from beneath a fold of canvass. He inquired
eagerly whether we had any firearms, and seemed greatly
disappointed to find that we had not. He next asked for
tobacco with no better success, which apparently surprised
him very much, for he shrugged his shoulders and raised
his thick eyebrows with a doubtful and incredulous look.
At this moment the gilt buttons upon Max’s jacket seemed
to strike the fancy of one of our new friends, and excited
his cupidity to such a degree, that after fixing upon them
a long and admiring gaze, he suddenly reached over, and
made a snatch at them. He got hold of one, and in trying
to pull it off, came very near jerking Max overboard.
Morton, who was sitting next to Max, interfered, and
caught the man by the arm with a look and manner that
made me fear he might do something imprudent. The
savage, who was an athletic fellow, obstinately maintained
his hold of Max’s jacket, and casting a ferocious glance at
‘A SAIL, 7

Morton, snatched up a short thick paddle, and brandished
it over his head, as if about to strike. Arthur appealed to
the Frenchman to interpose; but before he could do so,
one of the natives, a handsome boy, who was seated cross-
legged upon a platform between the masts, spoke to the
man in a raised voice, and with an air of authority, where-
upon, to my surprise, he immediately dropped the paddle,
and sullenly desisted from his attempt. This lad, who
seemed to be so promptly obeyed, did not look to be
more than thirteen or fourteen years of age. His voice
was soft and girlish; he had a remarkably open and pleas-
ing countenance, and surveyed us with an air of friendly
interest, very different from the sinister and greedy looks
of several of the others, including the Frenchman himself.
In answer to the questions of the latter, Arthur told him
that we were Americans, and related very briefly how we
had come into our present situation. He then informed
us in turn that he had been cast away, some six years
before, in a French bark engaged in the tortoiseshell
traffic, upon an uninhabited island, about forty miles from
the one where he and those with him now lived. After
remaining there for more than a year, he and his com-
panions, having reason to believe that they were in the
neighbourhood of a group occasionally visited by trading
vessels, had set out in search of it in a small boat. Their
belief as to the existence and situation of these islands
proved to be well-founded ; they had finally succeeded in
reaching them, had been hospitably received and treated
by the natives, among whom they had acquired consider-
able influence, but had as yet had no opportunity of re-
turning home. |

They were now, he said, on their return from a trading
voyage to a neighbouring island, where they had just dis-
posed of a cargo of mats and tappa, in exchange for baskets
of native manufacture and sharks’ teeth. Having been
becalmed all the preceding day and night, they feared
78 A SAIL.

that they had drifted out of their course, since otherwise,
they ought, after making full allowance for the calm, to
have already reached their own island. He finished by
assuring us that we might calculate with confidence upon
enjoying perfect security and kind treatment among these
people.

The conference being concluded, he directed us to put
up our sail, and steer after the canoe; adding, that he ex-
pected to reach the group before midnight, if the wind
held fair. He spoke with the air of one delivering a
command, and evidently considered us entirely under his
control. But of course we felt no disposition to object to
what he directed. The fact, that the natives had treated
him and his companions so well, was an encouragement to
us, as affording some proof of their friendly and peaceful
character, and we supposed that he could have no possible
motive for using his influence to our prejudice. Even had
there been any other course for us to choose to escape
perishing, we were in no condition to make any effectual
opposition to the will of our new acquaintances.
A CATASTROPHE. 79

CHAPTER XI.

A CATASTROPHE.

THE WHIRLING COLUMNS—A STUPENDOUS SPECTACLE-——WE
LOSE OUR NEW FRIENDS.

* Still round and round the fluid vortex flies,
Scattering dun night and horror through the skies,
The swift volution and the enormous train
Let sages versed in Nature’s lore explain;

The horrid apparition still draws nigh,
And white with foam the whirling surges fly.”

THE breeze was now steady, though gentle, and Max and
Morton set to work rigging the sail, which for the last
two days had served as an awning.

During our mutual inquiries and explanations, the
Frenchman had kept the canoe close alongside of us; he
now braced round the yard of his triangular sail, which
had been shaking in the wind, and began to draw ahead.
The young native who had interfered so effectually in
Max’s behalf, observing the eagerness with which we had
devoured the doughy mass of pounded bread-fruit, tossed
another cake of the same substance into the boat as we
separated, which, when distributed, afforded a morsel or
two to each of us. I had particularly observed this boy
on the first approach of the canoe, from the circumstance
of his occupying a small raised platform, or dais, of wicker-
work covered with mats.

As our sail had been entirely disengaged from the mast
and gaff, it was quite a piece of work to rig it again for
service, and by the time this was effected, the canoe was
80 A CATASTROPHE.

some distance ahead of us: though she was far better
adapted than the yawl for sailing with a light breeze, yet
we nearly held our own with her after once getting fairly
under way.

When the wind first sprang up, the sky had become
slightly overcast with broken masses of clouds of a pecu-
liar and unusual appearance. From the most considerable
of these masses radiated, as from a centre, long lines, like
pencils of light, running in straight, regularly diverging
rays to the ocean.

We had been sailing in the wake of the canoe perhaps
half an hour, when I observed in the south-west a singu-
larly-shaped cloud, to which a dark column extending
downward to the sea appeared to be attached. This
column was quite narrow at the base, but enlarged as it
rose, until, just below the point of union with the cloud,
it spread outward like a gothic pillar, diverging into arches
as it meets the roof. I surveyed this strange spectacle
for several minutes, before its true character occurred to
me. It was already observed by those in the canoe, and
from their exclamations and gestures, they evidently
viewed it with apprehension and dread.

It was moving slowly towards us, and we also watched
with feelings in which alarm began to predominate over
curiosity and interest, the majestic approach of this vast
body of water (as we now perceived it to be), held by some
secret power, suspended between heaven and earth.

“It appears to be moving north before the wind,” said
Arthur at length; “if it keeps on its present course, it
will pass by at a safe distance on our left.”

This seemed probable; but we felt disposed to give it
a still wider berth, and shifting the sail, we steered in a
north-easterly direction. Scarcely had our sail filled on
the new tack, when a cry of terror again drew attention to
the canoe, and the natives were seen pointing to another
waterspout, moving slowly round from the east to the
A CATASTROPHE, 81

north, and threatening to intercept us in the course we
were pursuing. This, unlike the first, was a cylindrical
column of water, of about the same diameter throughout
its entire length, extending in a straight and unbroken
line from the ocean to the heavens. Its upper extremity
was lost amid a mass of clouds, in which I fancied I could
perceive the effects of the gradual diffusion of the water
drawn from the sea, as it wound its way upward with a
rapid spiral motion, and poured into that elevated reser-
voir. As the process went on, the cloud grew darker, and
seemed to stoop with its accumulating weight of waters.

Our position was fast becoming embarrassing and
dangerous. We had changed our course to avoid the first
waterspout, and now we were confronted by another still
nearer at hand.

For a moment all was confusion, indecision, and dismay.

“Quick! Round with her head, and let her go right
before the wind !” shouted Max hurriedly.

“That would be running directly into the danger,” cried
Morton ; “ they are both moving north, and approaching
each other.”

“Then let us pull down the sail, until they are at a safe
distance.”

“TI would rather keep her under headway,” said Arthur;
“or how could we escape if one of them should move
down upon us?’

“What can we do then?’ exclaimed Max; “we can’t
sail in the teeth of the wind.”

“I am for going about to the left again, and steering as
near the wind as possible,” said Arthur; “the one on that
side is farthest north.”

This was the course which the natives had already
adopted, and they were now steering nearly south-west.
We immediately followed their example, and the fore and
aft rig of the yawl enabled us to sail nearer the wind than
they could do. ,

F
gS A CATASTROPHE.

In a few moments the funnel-shaped waterspout which
we had first seen had passed off northward, and was at .
such a distance as to remove all apprehensions on account
of it. Not so, however, with the second; for hardly had
we tacked again, when, notwithstanding that we were to
windward of it, it began to move rapidly towards us.

Its course was not direct and uniform, but it veered now
to the right, and now to the left, rendering it difficult for
us to decide which way to steer in order to avoid it.

Arthur sat at the helm, pale, but quite calm and col-
lected, his eyes steadfastly fixed on the advancing column,
while Charlie crouched at his side, holding fast one of his
hands in both his own. Morton held the sheet, and stood
ready to shift the sail as the emergency might require.

Onward it came, towering to the skies, and darkening .
the ocean with its impending bulk. Soon we could per-
ceive the powerful agitation of the water far around its
base, and within the vortex of its influence. A dense cloud
of spray, thrown off in its rapid revolutions, enveloped its
lower extremity. The rushing sound of the water, as it
was drawn upward, was also distinctly audible. And now
it seemed to take a straight course for the canoe. The
natives, with the exception of the boy, threw themselves
down in the bottom of the boat in abject terror; it was
indeed an appalling spectacle, and calculated to shake the
stoutest heart, to see that vast mass of water, enough, as
it seemed, to swamp the navies of the world, suspended so
strangely over them.

The Frenchman appeared to be endeavouring to get the
natives to make some exertion, but in vain. He and the
boy then seized a couple of paddles, and made a frantic
effort to escape the threatened danger: but the whirling
pillar was almost upon them, and it seemed as though they
. were devoted to certain destruction. The Frenchman now
threw down his paddle, and sat with his hands folded on
Jus breast, awaiting his fate. The boy, after speaking
A CATASTROPHE. 83:

carnestly to his companion, who merely shook his head,
stood up in the prow of the canoe, and casting one shud-
dering look at the dark column, he joined his hands above
his head, and plunged into the sea. In a moment he came
to the surface, and struck out vigorously towards us.

The canoe seemed already within the influence of the
waterspout, and was drawn towards it with the violently
agitated waters around its base. The Frenchman, unable
longer to endure the awful sight, bowed his head upon
his hands; another moment, ‘and he was lost to sight in
the circle of mist and spray that enveloped the foot of the
column; then a strong oscillation began to be visible in
the body of the waterspout ; it swayed heavily to and fro;
the cloud at its apex seemed to stoop, and the whole mass
broke and fell with a noise that might have been heard
for miles. The sea far around was crushed into smooth-
ness by the shock; immediately where the vast pillar had
stood it boiled like a caldron; then a succession of waves,
white with foam, came circling outward from the spot,
extending even to us.

The native boy, who swam faster than we sailed, was
already within forty or fifty yards of us, and we put about
and steered for him: in a moment he was alongside, and
Arthur, reaching out his hand, helped him into the
boat.

The sea had now resumed its usual appearance, and
every trace of the waterspout was gone, so that it was im-
possible to fix the spot where it had broken. Not a vestige
of the canoe or of her ill-fated company was anywhere to
be seen. We sailed backward and forward in the neigh-
bourhood of the place, carefully scrutinizing the surface
in every direction, and traversing several times the spot,
as nearly as we could determine it, where the canoe had
last been seen: but our search was fruitless: the long -
billows swelled and subsided with their wonted regularity,
and their rir pled summits glittered as brightly in the sun-
84 OUR ISLAND HOME.

shine as ever, but they revealed no trace of those whom
they had so suddenly and remorselessly engulfed.

The waterspout which had first been seen had disap-
peared, and a few heavy clouds in the zenith alone re-
mained as evidences of the terrific phenomenon which we
had just witnessed.

CHAPTER XII.

OUR ISLAND HOME.

THE ILLUSION OF THE GOLDEN HAZE—THE WALL OF

BREAKERS—A STRUGGLE FOR LIFE—THE ISLET OF
PALMS.





* Keel never ploughed that lonely sea,
That isle no human eye hath viewed;
Around it still, in tumult rude,

The surges everlastingly

Burst on the coral.girded shore

With mighty bound and ceaseless roar:
A fresh unsullied work of God,

By human footstep yet untrod.”

THE native lad now seemcd to be quite overwhelmed with
grief. He had made no manifestations of it while we were
endeavouring to discover some trace of his companions,
but when at length we relinquished the attempt, and it
became certain that they had all perished, he uttered a
low wailing cry, full of distress and anguish, and laying
his head upon his hands, sobbed bitterly.

The Frenchman had told us that the island lay to the
northward, and we now put the head of the boat in
that direction, steering by the sun, which was just setting.

When the first violence of the boy’s grief had somewhat
OUR ISLAND HOME. | 5

abated, Arthur spoke to him gently, in the dialect of the
Society Islands. He listened attentively, turning his large
eyes upon Arthur’s face with an expression of mingled
timidity and interest, and replied in a low musical voice.
They seemed to understand one another, and talked
together for some time. The language spoken by the boy
differed so little, as Arthur told us, from that of the
Tahitians, that he easily gathered the meaning of what he
said. Upon being questioned as to the distance of the
island, and the course which we must steer in order to
reach it, he pointed to a bright star just beginning to be
visible in the north-east.

It is customary with the South-sea Islanders, before
setting out on their long voyages, in which it is necessary
to venture out of sight of land, to select some star by
which to regulate their course in the night-time; this
they call the “aveia,” or guiding-star of the voyage. They
are thus enabled to sail from island to island, and from
group to group, between which all intercourse would
otherwise be impossible without a compass. The star now
pointed out to us had been fixed upon by the companions
of the little Islander, at the commencement of their ill-
fated voyage, as marking the direction of the home which
they were destined never to regain. Among other things,
we learned from the boy that his native island, which we
were now endeavouring to reach, was the largest of a
group of three, over all of which his father’s authority, as
chief or king, extended ; that there were six whites living
among them, who had arrived there many years before,
with the one who had just perished, and had come from
an uninhabited island to the southward, upon which they
had been wrecked.

During the night the wind continued fair, and, animated
by the hopes to which the statements of the little native
had given rise, we renewed our watch, which had lately
been discontinued, and sailed steadily northward, cherish-
86 OUR ISLAND HOME.

ing a strong confidence that we should reach land before
morning.

The second watch—from a little after midnight to dawn
—fell tome. As it began to grow light, I almost feared
to look northward, dreading the shock of a fresh disap-
pointment, that must consign us again to the benumbing
apathy from which we had yesterday rallied.

There seemed to me to be something unusual in the
atmosphere that impeded, or rather confused and bewil-
dered, the sight ; and when the sun rose, I had not made
out anything like land. It was not mist or fog, for the air
was dry, and there were already indications of a fiercely
hot day, though it was yet fresh and cool. The sky above
us, too, was perfectly clear, all the clouds seeming to have
slid down to the horizon, along which a white army of
them was marshalled, in rounded fleecy masses, like Alpine
peaks towering one above another, or shining icebergs,
pale and cold as those that drift in Arctic seas.

One by one my companions awoke, to learn the failure,
thus far, of all the sanguine expectations of the preced-
ing evening. The native boy could suggest no reason
why we had not reached the island, and when questioned
on the subject, and told that we had steered all through
the night by the “aveia,” he merely shook his head with
a bewildered and hopeless look. Max, on perceiving that
we were still out of sight of land, threw himself down
again in the bottom of the boat without speaking a word,
where he remained with his eyes closed, as if sleeping.

Arthur, after some further conversation with the little
Islander, came to the conclusion that, in steering due
north, we had not made sufficient allowance for the strong
current setting westward ; and he proposed that we should
now sail directly east, to which no objection was made,
most of us having at last come to feel that it could matter
little what course we thenceforth steered. He accordingly
took the direction of things into his own hands: the wind,
OUR ISLAND HOME. By

which had moderated, was still from the west, and he put
the boat before it, and lashed the helm. The peculiar
appearance of the atmosphere still continued. During
the morning a number of tropic birds flew by us, the first
that we had seen since our separation from the ship.
About noon two noddies alighted on the gaff, and the
little native climbed the mast after them ; but though they
are generally so tame, or so stupid, as to permit themselves
to be approached and taken with the hand, these flew away
before he could seize them. We hailed the appearance
of these birds as a favourable omen, neither species being
often seen at any considerable distance from land. It
was, I suppose, about an hour after this, that, happening
to look back, I saw what appeared to be a high island
covered with tall groves of palms, some two miles distant.
The elevated shores, and the green tops of the trees, were
plainly visible ; but just at the point where land and water
met, there was a kind of hazy indistinctness in the view.
We were sailing directly from it, and I could not under-
stand how we had passed as near as we must have done
without observing it. Browne, catching sight of it almost
at the same time with myself, uttered an exclamation that
quickly aroused the attention of the rest, and we all stood
for a moment gazing half incredulously upon the land
which seemed to have started up so suddenly out of the
sea, in the very track which we had just passed over.

Arthur alone appeared to be but little moved ; he looked
long and intently, without uttering a word.

“This is singular—very singular!” said Morton. “It
seems as though we must have sailed over the very spot
where it lies.”

“Unless I am mistaken,” said Arthur, “we have been
going backward for some time past. We must be in a very
powerful current, which is carrying us in a direction con-
trary to that in which we are heading. The wind is so
light, that this is not impossible.”
88 OUR ISLAND HOME.

“T believe you are right,” said Morton; “I can account
for it in no other way.”

“ We had better then pull down the sail, and take the
benefit of the full force of the current,” resumed Arthur.
This was accordingly done, and the mast unstepped.

A short time passed, during which we appeared to be
steadily drawing nearer to the land. The shore itself,
where it emerged from the ocean, we could not see with
perfect distinctness. A fine golden haze, like a visible
atmosphere, waved and quivered before it, half veiling it
from sight, and imparting to it an uncertain, though bright
and dazzling aspect. But this appearance was confined to
the lower part of the land; the bold shores and high
groves were clearly defined.

“JT trust we are not the subjects of some fearful illu-
sion,” said Browne, breaking a long silence, during which all
eyes had been rivetted upon the island ; “ but there is some-
thing very strange about all this—it has an unearthly look.”

As he spoke, the bright haze which floated over the sea,
near the surface, began to extend itself upward, and to
grow denser and more impervious to the sight : the wooded
shores became indistinct and dim, and seemed gradually
receding in the distance, until the whole island, with its
bold heights and waving groves, dissolved and melted
away like a beautiful vision.

“ What is this!” exclaimed Browne in a voice of horror.
“T should think, if I believed such things permitted, that
evil spirits had power here on the lonely sea, and were
sporting with our misery.”

“It is a mirage,” said Arthur quietly, “as I suspected
from the first. But, courage! though what we have seen
was an optical illusion, there must be a real island in the
distance beyond, of which this was the elevated and re-
fracted image. It cannot, I think, be more than thirty or
forty miles off, and the current is sweeping us stcadily
towards it.”
OUR ISLAND HOME. 89

“I suppose, then,” said Morton, “that we can do nothing
better than to trust ourselves entirely to this current,
which must, in fact, be a pretty powerful one—at least as
rapid as the Gulf Stream.”

“We can do nothing better until the wind changes,”
replied Arthur, cheerfully; “at present, I am disposed
to think we are doing very well, and fast approaching
land.”

But there was no change of the wind, and we continued
hour after hour apparently making no progress, but in
reality, as we believed, drifting steadily westward. All
through the day we maintained a vigilant watch, lest by
any possibility we should miss sight of the island which
Arthur was so confident we were approaching. Late in
the afternoon we saw a flock of ganncts, and some sooty
tern; the gannets passing so near, that we could hear the
motion of their long twisted wings. Later still, a number
of small reef-birds passed overhcad: all were flying west-
ward. This confirmed Arthur in his belief of the proxi-
mity of land. “See,” said he, “ these little reef-birds are
bound in the same direction with the others, and with our-
selves ; you may depend upon it that the sea-fowl we have
seen are hastening homeward to their nests on some not
far distant shore.”

So fully did I share this confidence, that I commenced
a calculation as to the time at which we might expect to
reach land. Assuming it to have been thirty miles distant
at the time when we had seen its spectrum, by means of
the refraction, arising from a peculiar state of the atmo-
sphere, and estimating the rate of the current at three
miles an hour, I came to the conclusion that we could
not even come in sight of it until late at night ; and it was
therefore without any strong feeling of disappointment
that I saw the day fast drawing to a close, and nothing
but sky and ocean yet visible.

The sun had already set, but the long tract of crimson
90 OUR ISLAND HOME.

and flame-coloured clouds that glowed in the horizon
where he had disappeared, still reflected light enough to
render it easy to distinguish objects in that quarter, when
I was startled by a cry of joyful surprise from the native
boy, who, shading his eyes with his hands, was looking
intently westward. After a long and earnest gaze, he
spoke eagerly to Arthur, who told us that the boy thought
he saw his native island. Looking in the same direction,
I could make out nothing. Arthur and Browne spoke of
a brilliantly white line, narrow, but well-defined against
the horizon, as being all that they could see. Morton,
who was very keen-sighted, thought that he distinguished
some dark object beyond the low white band seen by the
others. As the light gradually failed, we lost sight of this
appearance. It was some hours before the rising of the
moon, which we awaited with anxiety. She was now at
her full, and when at length she came up out of the sea,
her disc, broad and red like a beamless sun, seemed to
rest, dilated to preternatural size, upon the edge of the
last wave that swelled against the horizon. As she
ascended the sky, she shed over the ocean a flood of
silvery light, less glaring, but almost as bright, as that of
day. The wonderful brilliancy of the moon and stars
within the tropics is one of the first things noted by the
voyager. It may be owing to the great clearness and
transparency of the atmosphere: but whatever the cause,
their light is much more powerful than in higher lati-
tudes, and they seem actually nearer, and of greater
magnitude.

We now looked eagerly westward again: the snow-
white line, of which the others had spoken, was by this
time distinctly visible to me also, and beyond it, too plainly
relieved against the clear blue of the sky to admit of doubt
or illusion, were the high outlines of a tropical island,
clothed with verdure to its summit.

Again the little Islander shouted joyously, and clasped
OUR ISLAND HOME. 91

his hands, while the tears streamed down his olive
cheeks.

He recognized his native island, the smallest and most
easterly of the three, of which his father was the chief.
We should soon come in sight of the remaining two, he
said, which were lower, and lay to the north and south of
it. He explained that the appearance, like a low white
line running along the base of the island, was caused by
the surf bursting upon a coral-reef about a mile from the
shore.

_ Here then, at last, was the land which we had at one
_ time despaired of ever beholding again, and now we were
well assured that it was no airy phantasm ; yet, strange as
it may seem, our feelings were not those of unmingled joy.

A thousand vague apprehensions and surmises of evil
began to suggest themselves as we approached this un-
known shore, inhabited by savages, and under the domi-
nion ofa savage. We doubted not that we might depend
upon the good-will and friendly offices of the little native,
but we felt, at the same time, that the influence of one so
young might prove insufficient for our protection.

We were in some measure acquainted with the savage
customs, the dark and cruel rites, that prevailed among |
the Polynesian races generally, and had often listened
with horror to the recital of what Arthur and his uncle
had themselves seen of their bloody superstitions and
abominable practices. As I looked into the faces of my
companions, it was easy to perceive that they were pos-
sessed by anxious and gloomy thoughts.

Meanwhile the current continued to sweep us steadily
onward towards the shore, the outlines of which became
every moment more distinct. Occasionally a cloud drifted
athwart the moon, and cast a soft shade upon the sea,
obscuring the view for a time; but when it had passed,
the land seemed to have drawn perceptibly nearer during
the interval. At length, when the night was far advanced,
92 OUR ISLAND HOME.

and the island was right before us, at the distance of
scarcely a mile, the native lad, who had been gazing wist-
fully towards it for the last half-hour, uttered a plaintive
cry of disappointment. He had looked long and anxiously
for the appearance of the two remaining islands of his
father’s group, but in vain; and now he yielded reluc-
tantly to the conviction, that he had been deceived by the
white line of surf, similar to that which bounded on one
side his native island, and that he had never before seen
the one which we were approaching. This discovery was
a relief to me, and removed a weight of apprehension
from my mind. The thought of being cast upon a desert
and uninhabited shore seemed less dreadful than that of
falling into the power of a tribe of savage islanders, even
under circumstances which would probably secure us a
friendly reception.

But now a strange and unforeseen difficulty presented
itself. Between us and the island stretched a barrier reef,
running north and south, and curving westward, and ap-
pearing, as far as we could see, completely to surround it.
Along the whole line of this reef the sea was breaking
with such violence as to render all approach dangerous ;
neither could we espy any break or opening in it through
which to reach the shore. Towards this foaming barrier
the current was rapidly bearing us, and we were too feeble
to struggle long against its force. To permit ourselves to
be carried upon the reef would be certain destruction, and
our only hope of safety seemed to lie in discovering some
inlet through it. Our true situation flashed upon me all
at once; I had not before thought of the impossibility of
receding. Glancing at Arthur, I caught his eye, and saw
that he comprehended the full extent of the danger. “We
are near enough to see any break in the reef,” said he;
“let us now take to the oars, and coast along it in search
of one.”

This was accordingly done. But it was not until we had
OUR ISLAND HOME. 93

pulled along the shore for some time, and found that in
spite of our endeavours to preserve our distance from it,
we were steadily forced nearer, that the rest seemed aware
of the imminence of the danger.

“The current is carrying us among the breakers,”
exclaimed Morton, at length; “though we are heading
rather away from the shore, we are getting closer every
moment.” This appalling fact was now apparent to all.

“The wind seems to have died away,” said Browne; “at
anyrate there is not enough of it 2o help us: we must put
about, and pull out of the reach of this surf, or we are
lost.”

“ How long do you suppose we can continue that?” said
Arthur. “No; our only hope is in finding an entrance
through the reef, and that speedily.”

We now steered a little further away, and strained at
the oars, as those who struggle for life. Occasionally,
when lifted on the crest of a wave, we caught a transicnt
glimpse of a smooth expanse of water beyond the foam-
ing line of surf, and extending from the inner edge of the
reef to the shore of the island. The tall tops of the palms
bordering the beach seemed scarcely a stone’s-throw dis-
tant, and you could fancy that, but for the roar of the
breakers, you might hear the rustling of their long, droop-
ing leaves; but it only added to the horror of our situa-
tion to see that safe and peaceful haven so near, yct so
inaccessible.

In some places the reef rose quite out of the watcr; in
others it was, in nautical phrase, “all awash ;’ but nowhere _
could we attempt a landing with safety. All the while,
too, it was evident that, in spite of our desperate exertions,
we were being driven nearer and nearer the breakers.
This kind of work had continued almost an hour, when
our strength began to fail.

“There appears to be no use in this, comradcs,” said
Browne, at last; “had we not bettcr just let her go upon
94 OUR ISLAND HOME.

the reef, and take our chance of being able to get to the
shore?’ .

“O no!” exclaimed Arthur, earnestly, “that is too —
desperate.”

“ We shall be so completely exhausted that we shan’t
be able to make an effort for our lives, when at last we
are carried into the surf,’ answered Browne; “and we
must come to that sooner or later.”

“T hope not—there is reason to hope not,” rejoined
Arthur ; “ but if so, we may as well be exhausted as fresh ;
no strength will be of any avail ; we shall be crushed and
mangled upon the rocks; or if, by any possibility, some of
us should reach the shore, what is to become of our poor
sick Charlie ?”’ .

“T will look after him,” said Browne; “I will pledge |
myself that he shan’t be lost, unless I am too.”

“ Let us hold out a few moments yet,” implored Arthur ;
“T will take your oar; you are the only one who has not
been relieved.”

“No,” said Browne, “you had better keep the he!m;
I can stand it a while longer,‘and I will pull until we
are swept upon the reef, if you all think that the best
plan.”

It was barely possible that, if we should now act as
Browne proposed, we might be carried clear off the reef
into the lagoon beyond, for we were opposite a sunken
patch, upon which there was more water than at other
places. Failing of this, the boat would inevitably be
dashed to pieces; but still, if not bruised and disabled
among the rocks, or carried back by the return waves, we
might be able to reach the smooth water inside the reef,
when it would be easy to swim ashore.

But to most of us the attempt seemed too desperate to
be thought of, except as a last resort, and we preferred to
toil at the oars as long as our strength should last, in the
hope of discovering an inlet. Arthur, on whose skill and
OUR ISLAND HOME. 95

judgment we all relied, steered still farther out, and for a
while we seemed to make head against the swell and the
current.

For fully half an hour longer we kept up. this severe
struggle, that admitted not of an instant’s pause or respite.
But then our progress became almost imperceptible, and
every stroke was made more feebly and laboriously than
the last. I could hardly hold the oar in my stiffened
fingers. Still, no break was to be seen in the long line of
surf which seemed to hem in the island, extending like a
white wall, of uniform height, far as the eye could rcach
on either hand. I had read of islands, like that of Eimeo,
completely encircled by coral-reefs, with but a single
gateway by which they were accessible. What if this
were such an one, and the only entrance miles from the
spot where we were toiling for our lives! The conviction
that we must risk the chance of success in an attempt to
land upon some ledge of the reef, was forcing itself
upon all our minds, when Max, trembling with eagerness,
pointed to what appeared to be an opening through the
surf, nearly opposite us; there was a narrow space where
the long waves, as they rolled towards the shore, did not
seem to encounter the obstacle over which they broke
with such violence on both sides of it, and the swell of
the ocean met the placid waters of the lagoon without
any intervening barrier. Through this gap the shore of
the island could be seen down to the water’s edge.

Arthur hastily made a bundle of the mast and gaff, and
placing it within Charlie’s reach, told him to cling to it
in case of accident. Then calling upon us to pull steadily,
he steered directly for the inlet. As we neared it, the
noise of the surf became almost deafening: the huge
rollers, as they thundered against the perpendicular wall
of coral, rising abruptly from the depths of the sea, sent
up a column of foam and spray twelve or fifteen feet into
the air. When just within the entrance, the spectacle
96 OUR ISLAND HOME.

was grand and appalling. But the danzer, real or appa-
rent, was soon over: with a firm hand, and steady eye,
Arthur guided the boat along the centre of the narrow
pass, and in a moment we had glided from the scene of
fierce commotion without the reef into one of perfect
tranquillity and repose. A dozen strokes seemed to have
placed us in a new world. Involuntarily we rested on
our oars, and gazed around us in silence.

From the inner edge of the reef to the broad white
beach of the island, a space of perhaps half a mile, spread
the clear expanse of the lagoon, smooth and unruffled as
the surface of an inland lake. Half-way between the recf
and the shore were two fairy islets, the one scarcely a
foot above the water, and covered with a green mantle of
low shrubs; the other, larger and higher, and adorned by
a group of graceful young cocoanuts.

The island itself was higher and bolder in its outlines
than is usual with those of coral formation, which are
cencrally very low, and without any diversity of surface.
Dense groves clothed that portion of it opposite to us
nearly to the beach, giving it at that hour a somewhat
gloomy and forbidding aspect.

As we surveyed this lovely, but silent and desolate
landscape, the doubts and apprehensions which we had
before experienced began once more to suggest them-
selves; but they were dissipated by the cheerful voice of
Arthur calling upon us to pull for the shore. He steered
for the laiger of the two islets, and when, as the boat
grated upon the coral tops beside it, we threw down the
oars, the strength which had hitherto sustained us seemed
suddenly to fail, and we could scarcely crawl ashore.
The last scene of effort and danger had taxed our powers
to the uttermost, and now they gave way. I was so feeble,
that I could hardly avoid sinking helplessly upon the sand.
With one impulse we kneeled down and returned thanks
to Him who had preserved us through all the strange
OUR ISEAND HOME. 97

vicissitudes of the last few days. We next began to look
round in search of such means of refreshment as the spot
might afford.

The cocoa-palms upon the islet, though far from having
attained their full growth (few of them exceeding twelve
feet in height), bore abundantly, and we easily procured
as much of the fruit as we needed. Tearing off the outer
husk, and punching a hole through the shell, which in the
young nut is so soft that this can be done with the finger,
we drank off the refreshing liquor with which it is filled ;
then breaking it open, the half-formed, jelly-like kernel
furnished a species of food most nutritious and agreeable,
and probably the best adapted to our half-famished condi-
tion.

Hunger and thirst being appeased, our next care was
to make some arrangement for passing the night more
comfortably than could be done in the boat. Selecting a
clear space in the centre of the group of young cocoa-
nuts, we proceeded to make a rude tent, by fixing two of
the oars upright in the ground, tying the mast across
their tops, and throwing the sail over it, the ends being
then fastened to the ground at aconvenient distance on
each side.

Finding that the bare ground would make a rather hard
couch, though far less so than we had lately been accus-
tomed to, Morton proposed that we should bring a load
of leaves from the neighbouring shore to spread upon it.
He and I accordingly rowed over to the mainland, and
collected in the grove near the beach a boat-load of the
clean dry foliage of the pandanus and hibiscus, which
made excellent elastic beds. Charlie watched our depar-
ture as though he considered this an exceedingly rash
and adventurous enterprise, and he seemed greatly re-
lieved at our safe return. It was now past midnight, and
after hauling the boat well up on the shore, we lay down
side by side, and were very soon asleep.

G
98 THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

CHAPTER XIII.

THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

EIULO—PEARL-SHELL BEACH—A WARLIKE COLONY—AN
INVASION REPELLED.

“ They linger there while weeks and months go by,
And hold their hope, though weeks and months are past; '
And still at morning round the farthest sky,
And still at eve, their eager glance is cast,
If there they may behold the far-off mast
Arise, for which they have not ceased to pray.”

For a number of days we remained upon the islet where
we had first landed, seldom visiting even the adjacent
shore. During this time we subsisted upon cocoanuts
and asmall species of shell-fish resembling mussels, which
we obtained in abundance from the ledges of the neigh-
bouring reef, and which the little native told us were used
as a common article of food among his own people. We
had reason to feel grateful that while we were as feeble
and incapable of exertion as we found ourselves for some
days, food could be so readily procured. It was also
fortunate that during this period the weather continued
remarkably fine and mild, with no perceptible variations
of temperature; for I have little doubt that in the
reduced and exhausted condition in which we then were,
and being without any effectual shelter, two or three days
of bad weather would have cost some of us our lives.
The nights were dry and mild, and no dew seemed to fall
upon the islet: thanks to this genial weather, and to
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION, 99

abundance of nourishing food, we began rapidly to recover
strength.

Some time passed before we thought of making anv
attempt to penetrate or explore the island. We were
naturally very reluctant to admit even to ourselves the
probability that our stay upon it was to be of any long
duration, and we did not therefore feel as much interest
in its character and resources as we should otherwise
have done. All our thoughts and hopes ran in one
channel. We looked for the coming of a ship to rescue
us from our dreary position; and every morning and
evening at least, and generally many times a day, some
one of us climbed into the tuft of an inclining palm, to
take a careful survey of that portion of the ocean which
could be seen from our side of the island. The thought
of acting in any respect as though the lonely spot where
we now found ourselves was destined to be our perma-
nent abode, was in fact too painful and repugnant to our
feelings to be willingly entertained; we were content,
therefore, to provide for our daily wants as they arose,
without anticipating or preparing for the future.

A few days passed in this unvaried and monotonous
routine seemed in reality a long period; recent occur-
rences began to assume the vagueness of things that had
happened years ago. I remember particularly, that in
looking back.at the dreadful scenes of the mutiny, and
our subsequent sufferings at sea, the whole seemed unreal,
and more like a horrible dream than an actual part of our
past experience.

We soon found that this inert and aimless mode of liv-
ing, this state of passive expectation, while awaiting the
occurrence of an event which we could do nothing to
procure or hasten, was a most miserable one. Though
our physical strength was in a great measure recruited,
there was no increase of cheerfulness. Except when en-
gaged in procuring food, or making our daily surveys of
100 THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

the ocean (which was all our occupation), we were dis-
_ pirited and listless.

Arthur perceived the evil of this state of things, and set
himself to devising a remedy.

We had been at the island about two weeks, when he
proposed one morning that we should go over to the
mainland and commence a search for water, making an
excursion a little way into the interior, if it should prove
necessary.

Max objected to: this, saying that we had no need of
water, since we could, without doubt, obtain cocoanut
milk as long as we should be obliged to remain upon the
island, and that by going into the interior, out of sight
of the ocean, we might lose an opportunity of being
rescued.

To this Arthur replied, that: the exclusive use of cocoa-
nut milk was considered very unwholesome, and was sup-
posed to be the cause of certain dropsical complaints com-
mon among the natives of many of the Pacific islands;
that, besides, it was by no: means certain that a supply ot
it could be obtained throughout the year. He finally sug-
gested the possibility that our stay on the island might
be longer than we anticipated, in which case its resources,
and the means of subsistence which it afforded, would be
matters of great interest to. us. In regard to the danger
which Max seemed chiefly to fear, he said that we should
seldom altogether lose sight of the ocean, but might, on
the contrary, obtain a wider view of it from other parts of
the island. I warmly seconded Arthur’s proposal, for I
perceived the probable beneficial effects of effort or occu-
pation of almost any kind. Morton also was decidedly in
favour of it ; and Charlie, who had recovered strength and
spirits wonderfully within the last few days, was quite
enthusiastic for the excursion. He calculated confidently
upon our discovering a creek of fresh water, full of fishes
and lobsters, and cited the history of the Swiss Family
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION. 101

Robinson in support of the reasonableness of these expcc-
tations; declaring that for his part he could not see why
we might not count upon equal good fortune with them.
Browne seemed indifferent about the matter. The little
native (whose name, upon Arthur’s authority, I shall
write “Eiulo,” though “Iooloo” comes nearer to the
sound, as he himself pronounced it) shared in Charlie’s
delight in prospect of the expedition: indeed the two
had already become the best friends in the world, not-
withstanding the difficulty of communicating with one
another, and seemed to harmonize in everything. The
excursion was accordingly determined upon, and this
being so, there was nothing to prevent our setting out at
once.

Morton proposed that, instead of undertaking to pene-
trate into the interior, we should keep along the shore to
the northward, as by that means some idea might be
gained of the extent of the island; and since any consider-
able spring or stream must find its way to the sea, we
should also be more likely to discover water than by pur-
suing the other course. Along the southern shore the
land was lower and less uneven than in the opposite
direction, and held forth a slighter prospect of springs
or streams. The difficulty of holding a straight course
through the forest, where we should be. without any
means of ascertaining the points of the compass, was a
consideration of great weight, and Morton’s plan was at
last adopted, as being upon the whole the best.

The sun was not more than half an hour high, when we
pushed off from the shore of the islet, and rowed over
towards the mainland. The morning was fine and clear,
and either the fresh, bracing sea-air, or the stir and excite-
ment of setting out upon our expedition, had an exhilar-
ating influence, for we gradually became quite cheerful,
and even animated; and the faces of my companions
began to brighten up with more of the old familiar ex-
pression than I had seen there for many a day.
102 THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

The merest breath of a breeze just stirred the crisp
leaves of the palms upon the neighbouring shore; the
tiny wavelets rippled softly upon the snowy, shell-span-
gled beach, or out in the lagoon danced and sparkled in
the sunlight ; still farther out, and just beyond the barrier
that fenced in this quiet and secluded scene from the open
ocean, we could see the huge blue rollers with their foam-
ing crests surging high into the air; and the heavy boom-
ing of the surf, as it thundered upon the reef, might be
heard for miles around amid the prevailing silence. Be-
yond this, again, stretched away to the horizon the blue
swelling arch of the ocean—a clear, deep, intense blue,
contrasting beautifully with the paler blue of the sky,
against which it was relieved, and with the emerald ex-
panse of the lagoon.

Browne gazed about him with more interest than I had
yet seen him manifest in anything since we had reached
the island. He inhaled the fresh morning air with the
appearance of actual relish and enjoyment, and at last, to
my surprise (for Max had accused him, not without some
reason, of having been the most lugubrious of our party),
he began to sing to a brisk and cheerful tune—

“0, happy days of hope and rest
Shall dawn on sorrow's dreary night,
Though grief may be an evening guest,
Yet joy shall come with morning light! —

The light of smiles shall beam again
From lids that now o’erflow with tears,
And weary hours of woe and pain,
Are earnests of serener ycars.”

“Well,” said he, as he finished his song, “this may be
a desert island, but I will defy any one to gainsay that
the morning is delicious, and the scene a right lovely
one.”

“TI am glad you begin to wake up to it,” said Morton ;
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION. 108

“it looks very much as it has done at this hour for ten
days past.”

“No, no,” protested Browne, “this bright clear atmo-
sphere makes a very great difference in the appearance of
things: we have had no such morning as this.”

“I wish you could manage to enjoy it,’ said Max,
“without missing every other stroke, and digging me so
unmercifully in the back with your oar-handle; if you
can’t, I must ask you to change seats with me, and let me
take the bow-oar.”

“ How natural and refreshing that sounds!” cried Mor-
ton, laughing; “it is a sure token that prospects are
brightening, and serious dangers are over, when we find
ourselves again in a condition to scold about triflés.”

“Tt isn’t such a trifle to be thumped and mauled with
the butt of an oar, as I have been all the while Browne
was singing, and rhapsodizing, and going into ecstacies
about the beauty of the morning; which is just such
another as we have had ever since we have been here;
all the difference being in his feelings, which happen to
be a shade or two less doleful than usual, and so cause
things to look brighter.”

“Perhaps you would have me believe,” answered Browne,
“that the sun will invariably shine when I chance to be
in good spirits, and that a thunder-storm would be the
natural consequence of my having a fit of the blues.”

“TI should be sorry if that were the case,” replied Max,
“as we should then be sure to have a large average of bad
weather.”

“This excursion reminds me of our school-days,” said
Arthur; “it almost seems as though we were once more
starting oft together on one of our Saturday rambles, as
we have so often done on fine summer and autumn morn-
ings at home.”

“T think I shall never forget those forays through the
woods,” said Morton, “over hill and hollow, in search of
104 THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

nuts, or berries, or wild-grapes, or meadow plums—the
fishing and swimming in summer—the snow-balling, and
sliding, and skating in winter! What an innocent and
happy set of urchins we were then!’

“Really,” said Max, laughing, “to hear you, one would
suppose that we were now a conclave of venerable gray-
haired sages, scarcely able to remember the time when
we were children, and so full of wisdom and experience,
that we had long ago ceased to be ‘innocent and happy.’ ”’

“Without professing to be so wise or experienced as
to be very unhappy on that account,” returned Morton,
“T suppose I may say that I am old enough, and suffi-
ciently changed since those days, to feel, as I now look back
upon them with a sigh, their peculiar happiness, so unlike
anything that after-life affords.”

“ How singular it is,’ said Browne, “that you four, who
were playmates when children, should have happened to
keep together so long.”

“ And still find ourselv+s together on an island in the
Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from home,” added
Arthur.

“After quitting school,” continued Browne, “I never
met with any of my comrades there. Of all the mates
with whom I used on the Saturday half-holidays to go
gathering hips and haws, or angling in the Clyde, I have
not since come in contact with one.”

“It don’t seem at all like Saturday to me,” said Charlie,
who for some minutes past had appeared to have some-
thing on his mind as to the expediency of communicating
which he was undecided. “I was afraid that it was Sun-
day, everything is so still; but I hope it is not, for Arthur
would not think it right to start upon an exploring expe-
dition on Sunday, and so it would be put off.”

“Truly,” said Browne, “that is extremely flattering to
the rest of us. Do you think we are all heathens except
Arthur? I, for one, have no notion of becoming a savage
‘THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION. 105

because I am on a desert island. I shali go for maintain-
ing the decencies of Christianity and civilization.”

“Does any one know what day it really is?’ inquired
Morton.

Max said he believed ‘it was Monday. Arthur thought
it was Wednesday, and added, that he had memoranda
from which he had no doubt he could fix the day with
certainty.

“It was on Friday,” said Max, “that the mutiny took
place, and that we got to sea in the boat.”

“Yes,” said Arthur, “and it was on Wednesday night,
I think, five days afterwards, that we landed here.”

“Five days!” cried Max. “Do you mean to say that
we were but five days at sea before reaching the island ?”

“TI think that is all,” replied Arthur, “though the time
certainly seems much longer. Then, if my calculation is
correct, we have been here just two weeks to-day, so that
this is Wednesday.”

While this conversation was going on, we reached the
shore. Charlie scrambled eagerly to the bow, anxious to
be the first to land, and he attained this object of his am-
bition by jumping into the water nearly up to his waist
before the boat was fairly, beached. Then, after gazing
around him a moment with exclamations of wonder and
admiration, he suddenly commenced running up and down
the wide, firm beach, gathering shells with as much zeal
and earnestness as though he was spending a holiday by
the seaside at home, and could tie up these pretty curio-
sities in his handkerchief, and run back with them in five
minutes to his father’s house. There was certainly some
ground for Charlie’s admiration. Just at the spot where
he had landed, the shore was thickly strewn, in a manner
which I had never before seen equalled, with varieties of
the most curious and beautiful shells. They were of all
sizes, and of every conceivable shape and colour. The
surfaces of some were smooth and highly polished ; others
106 THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

were scolloped, or fluted, or marked with wave-like undu-
lations. There were little rice and cowry shells; mottled
tiger shells; spider shells, with their long sharp spikes ;
immense conchs, rough, and covered with great knobs on
the outside, but smooth and rose-lipped within, and of
many delicate hues. There were some that resembled
gigantic snail shells, and others shaped like the cornu-
copias used to hold sugar-plums for children. One species,
the most remarkable of all, was composed of a substance
resembling mother-of-pearl, exquisitely beautiful, but very
fragile, breaking easily if you but set foot on one of them:
they were changeable in colour, being of a dazzling white,
a pearly blue, or a delicate pale green, as viewed in differ-
ent lights. Scattered here and there among these deserted
tenements of various kinds of shell-fish, were the beautiful
exuvie and skeletons of star-fish and sea-eggs, while in
the shallow water numerous living specimens could be
seen moving lazily about. Among these last I noticed a
couple of sea-porcupines, bristling with their long fine
flexible quills, and an enormous conch crawling along the
bottom with his house on his back, the locomotive power
being entirely out of sight.

Charlie seemed for the moment to have forgotten every-
thing else in the contemplation of these treasures ; and it
was not until Arthur reminded him that there was no one
to remove or appropriate them, and that he could get as
many as he wanted at any time, that he desisted from his
work, and reluctantly consented to postpone making a
collection for the present.

Having drawn the boat high up on the beach, and armed
ourselves with a cutlass apiece (Charlie taking possession
of the longest one of the lot), we commenced our march
along the shore to the right without further delay.

We had by this time scarcely a remaining doubt that
the island was uninhabited. No palm-thatched huts occu-
pied the open spaces, or crowned the little eminences that
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION. 107

diversified its windward side; no wreaths of smoke could
Le seen rising above the tops of the groves; no canoes,
full of tattooed savages, glided over the still waters within
the reef; and no merry troops of bathers pursued their
sports in the surf. There was nothing to impart life and
animation to the scene but the varied evolutions of the
myriads of sea-fowl, continually swooping and screaming
around us. With this exception, a silence like that of the
first Sabbath brooded over the island, which appeared as
fresh, and as free from every trace of the presence of man,
as if it had newly sprung into existence.

With the continued absence of every indication of in-
habitants, our feeling of security had increased to such an
extent, that even Charlie ventured sometimes to straggle
behind, or to run on before, and occasionally made a hasty
incursion into the borders of the grove, though he took
care never to be far out of sight or hearing of the main
body. Soon after starting, we doubled a projecting pro-
montory, and lost sight of the boat and the islet. The
reef bent round to the north, preserving nearly a uniform
distance from the shore, and was without any break or
opening.

The forest in most places extended nearly to the beach,
and was composed chiefly of hibiscus, pandanus, and cocoa-
nut-trees, with here and there a large pisonia, close to the
lagoon. One gigantic specimen of this last species, which
we stopped a moment to admire, could not have been less
than twenty feet in girth. Max, Morton, Arthur, and my-
self, could not quite span it, taking hold of hands, and
Charlie had to join the ring to make it complete. For
several hours we continued our journey pretty steadily,
encountering no living thing except tern, gannets, and
other sea-birds, and one troop of gaudy little paroquets
glittering in green and orange and crimson. These paro-
quets were the only land-birds we saw during the day.
Max pronounced them “frights,’ because of their large
108 THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

hooked bills and harsh discordant cries. They certainly
gave Charlie a terrible “fright,” and indeed startled us all
a little, by suddenly taking wing with loud, hoarse screams,
from a hibiscus, beneath which we were resting, without
having observed that they were perched over our heads.
When it was near noon, and we had travelled, as we
supposed, making allowance for delays and deviations,
some six or eight miles, the character of the shore sud-
denly changed. The white shelving beach, and the dense
groves meeting it near the water, now disappeared, and
were succeeded by an open strip of land bordering the
lagoon, strewed with huge irregular fragments of coral
rock, and seamed with gullies. The line of the forest here
receded some distance from the shore, leaving a broad
rounded point embracing a large area of low and barren
ground, covered thinly with a growth of stunted shrubs,
and a few straggling, solitary-looking trees. The lagoon
was at this point quite shallow, and low rocks and coral
patches appeared above the surface at short distances
apart nearly to the centre of the channel. The reef
opposite was entirely under water, and its position was
indicated only by a line of breakers. A large portion of
the point, comprising several acres, was covered with the
rude nests of various aquatic birds. Many of these nests
were occupied even at that hour, and the birds seemed in
nowise alarmed or even disturbed by our approach.
When we came very close to any of them, they would sur-
vey us with an air half angry and half inquisitive, stretch-
ing out their long necks, and screwing their heads from
side to side, so as to obtain a view of us first with one eye
and then with the other; this seeming to be considered
indispensable to a complete and satisfactory understanding
of our character and intentions. After a thorough scrutiny,
they would resume their former appearance of stupid in-
difference, as though we were creatures altogether too
unimportant to merit further notice. They all, without
THE EXPLORING EXPEDITION. 109

exception, seemed perfectly tame and fearless, and quite
ready to resent any infringement upon their rights.

Charlie, while inspecting too closely the nest of one of
them, curiously constructed of long stiff reeds, resembling
rods of steel, suddenly received, as a rebuke for his im-
pertinence, a blow from the wing of the offended owner,
which laid him sprawling upon his back.

Notwithstanding this severe lesson, the gentle and ami-
able aspect of a large white bird so far reassured him,
that he ventured to make some friendly advances, where-
upon he got so severely pecked, that he at once gave up
all further attempts at familiarity with any of them. This
harsh treatment, in fact, so disgusted Charlie with the
whole race of sea-birds, and so impaired his faith in their
innocent and inoffensive looks, that he declared he would
never have anything more to do with them, “since that
beautiful white bird had bitten him so savagely, when he
only offered to stroke its neck.”

Some of these birds were very large and strong: in
several of the unoccupied nests I saw eggs as large as
those of the duck : they were of different colours, some of
them prettily speckled or mottled, but most were of an
ash colour, or a whitish-brown. Eiulo pointed out two
kinds which he said were highly prized for food, and
which, as we afterwards found, were in fact nearly equal
to the eggs of the domestic duck.

The heat had by this time become exceedingly uncom-
fortable, and we concluded to halt, until it should abate a
little, at. the first convenient and pleasant spot. Leaving
the shore, which, besides being unsheltered from the sun,
was so rugged with crevices and gullies, and great irregu-
lar blocks of coral, as to be almost. impassable, we entered
the borders of the wood, and took a short cut across the
point. Charlie, in imitation of the desert islanders of the
story-books, desired to give appropriate names to all the
interesting or remarkable localities with. which we became
110 ' CASTLE HILL.

acquainted. He had already christened the little island
on which we had first landed “ Palm Islet,” and the spot
upon the opposite shore, abounding in brilliant shells, had
from that circumstance received the impromptu name of
“ Pearl-shell Beach.” He now proposed to call the point
“Cape Desolation,” from its waste and forbidding aspect; _
but finally fixed upon “Sea-bird’s Point,” as being more
appropriate, the birds having, in fact, taken possession of
nearly its entire area, which, judging from the warlike.
spirit they had displayed, they were likely to hold against
all comers. Having crossed the point, and reached the
lagoon again, we found that the shore resumed its former
character. The forest again extended nearly to the beach,
but it was more open, and not so thickly wooded as before,
and the trees were of a finer growth, and in much greater
variety, many of them being of kinds unknown to any of
us. We had not proceeded far, after regaining the beach,
when we espied just such a resting-place as we were in

" gearch of.

CHAPTER XIV.

CASTLE HILL

THE NOONDAY HALT—A CHARMING RESTING-PLACE —
HEATHEN SKILL VERSUS CIVILIZATION AND THE STORY-
BOOKS.

‘* Beneath the tropic rays,
Where not a shadow breaks the boundless blaze,
Earth from her lap perennial verdure pours,
Ambrosial fruits and amaranthine flowers."’

e
A LITTLE way before us rose a smooth and gentle acclivity,
crowned by a clump of majestic trees, which promised to
CASTLE HILL. 111

afford a deeper and more grateful shade than any other
spot in sight, and we accordingly made towards it. On a
nearer approach, it proved to be more elevated than had
at first appeared, and in order to reach the top, we’ were
obliged to scale a long series of natural terraces, almost
as regular as though they had been the work of art. From
this spot there was a fine view of the shore, the lagoon,
and the ocean, to the north and west. The trees that
covered the level space at the summit of the ascent were
varieties of a much larger growth than those generally
found on the low alluvial strip of land bordering the
lagoon. Conspicuous among them were the majestic
candlenut, with its white leaves and orange-coloured blos-
soms; the inocarpus, a kind of tropical chestnut; and,
most magnificent and imposing of all, a stately tree, re-
sembling the magnolia in its foliage and manner of growth,
and thickly covered with large white flowers edged with a
delicate pink. The ground was level as a parlour floor,
and free from brushwood or undergrowth of any kind,
except a few long-leaved, fragrant ferns, and in places a
thick carpet of flowering vines and creepers. The trees
were stationed at such distances apart as to compose a fine
open grove, and yet close enough to unite in one rich mass
of foliage overhead, impenetrable to the rays of the sun,
and creating a sombre and almost gloomy shade even
during the fiercest glare of noonday. In one spot a num-
ber of gigantic trees were grouped nearly in a circle.
Their dense tops formed a leafy dome, through which not
the smallest patch of sky was visible. Around their huge,
but shapely stems, which one might Took upon as forming
the pillars of a natural temple, a number of flowering
parasites twined in luxuriant wreaths, and hung in festoons
from the lower branches. A considerable space around
the boles of some of these trees was completely covered
by an elegant species of creeping plant, with fine cut foli-
age of a delicate pea-green, and large clusters of scarlet
112 CASTLE HILL.

blossoms, about which swarms of brilliantly-coloured in-
sects of the butterfly tribe were hovering.

“Here we may actually, and not figuratively, indulge
in the luxury of ‘reposing on the beds of flowers,’” said
Max, throwing himself down at the foot of a towering
candlenut, amid a soft mass of this vegetable carpeting.
All were sufficiently tired, by the long march of the morn-
ing, to appreciate the luxury, and our entire company was
soon stretched upon the ground in attitudes in which
comfort rather than grace was consulted.

“What do you think of this, Charlie?” said Max; “it.
strikes me as being quite romantic, and like the story--
books—almost up to the Arabian Nights. If the history
of our adventures should ever be written (and why
shouldn’t it be?) here’s material for a flowery passage.
Just see how this would sound, for instance :—‘And now-
our little band of toilworn castaways (that’s us), weary
and faint with their wanderings through the desert (that’s
Cape Desolation, or Sea-bird’s Point, or whatever Charlie
in his wisdom shall conclude to call it), arrived at.a little
oasis (this is it), a green spot in the wilderness, blooming
like the bowers of Paradise, where, stretched at ease, upon
beds of bright and odoriferous flowers, they reposed from.
the fatigues of their journey.’ There, that sentence, I
flatter myself, is equal in harmony and efféct tothe open-
ing one in the history of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia—
there’s my idea of the style in which our adventures should
be recorded.”

As we had taken no refreshment since setting out in
the morning, we now began to feel the need of it. At the
edge of the eminence, on the southern side, grew several
large cocoanut-trees, fully three feet in diameter at the
base, and rising to the height of seventy or eighty feet at
the very least. Eiulo was the only one of our number
who would have dreamed of undertaking to climb any
of them. He, however, after finding a young purau, and
CASTLE HILL. 118

providing himself with a strip of the bark, fastened the
ends about his ankles, and then firmly clasping the trunk
of one of the trees with his hands and feet alternately, the
latter being as wide apart as the ligature would permit,
he vaulted rapidly and easily upward, and soon gained the
dizzy height where the nuts grew. Once fairly perched
in the tuft of the tree among the stems of the enormous
leaves, where he looked scarcely larger than a monkey,
he quickly supplied us with as many cocoanuts as we could
put to present use. Loading ourselves with the fruit, we
returned to our first resting-place, and after piling the nuts
in a heap, reclined around it after the manner of the
ancients at their banquets while we enjoyed our repast.
Though all these nuts were gathered from the same tree,
and in fact from the same cluster, some of them contained
nothing but liquid, the kernel not having yet begun to
form, and in these the milk was most abundant and deli-
cious: in others a soft, jelly-like, transparent pulp, delicate
and well-flavoured, had commenced forming on the inner
shéll: in others, again, this pulp had become thicker and
firmer, and more like the kernel of the imported nut, the
milk having diminished in quantity, and lost in a great
measure its agreeable taste.

Charlie, after having tried all the different varieties
with the zeal of an epicure, declared that he was begin-
ning to get sick of cocoanuts: he wondered whether we
should have to live entirely on cocoanuts and shell-fish,
and whether there was not some bread-fruit on the
island.

“If there is,” said Browne, “it will be of no use to us,
unless we can find means to make a fire, and cook it.”

“ Make a fire!” cried Charlie, “ that’s easy enough—all
we've got to do is just to get two dried sticks, and rub
them together briskly for a few minutes. None of the
shipwrecked people I ever read of had any trouble about
that.”

H
114 CASTLE HILL.

“ How lucky we are,” cried Max gravely, “in having
some one with us who has read all about all the desert
islanders that have ever lived, and can tell us just what to
do in an emergency! Please get a couple of those dry
sticks which you speak of, Charlie, and show us how un-
fortunate castaways in our condition are accustomed to
kindle a fire.”

Without seeming, in the simplicity of his heart, to sus-
pect for a moment the perfect good faith and sincerity of
Max’s compliment, Charlie commenced casting about for
some sticks or pieces of wood with which to make the ex-
periment. He soon found a fallen branch of the inocar-
pus, well baked by the sun, and which had long lost every
particle of moisture. Breaking it into two pieces, he be-
gan to rub them together with great zeal, and apparently
with perfect faith in the result: gradually he increased
his exertions, manifesting a commendable perseverance,
until the bark began to fly, and the perspiration to stream
down his face ; but still there was no fire, nor any sign of it.

Meantime Max encouraged him to proceed.

“ Keep it agoing, Charlie!” he cried; “if you stop for
half a second, you lose all your labour; only persevere,
and you're sure to succeed; none of the shipwrecked
people you ever read of had any trouble about it, you
know.”

But Charlie concluded that the sticks could not be of
the right kind, and, notwithstanding Max’s exhortations,
he at last gave up the attempt.

Morton, however, not discouraged by this unfortunate
result, nor by Max’s disposition to make fun of the expe-
riment, expressed a belief that the thing could be done,
and after preparing the sticks by cutting away one of the
rounded sides of each, he went to work with an earnest
ness and deliberation that caused us to augur favourably Ot
his success. After nearly ten minutes’ powerful and in-
cessant friction, the sticks began to smoke, and Charlie,
CASTLE HILL. 115

tossing his cap into the air, gave an’ exulting “hurra for
Harry Clay!”

But his rejoicing proved premature, for though the
wood fairly smoked, that was the utmost that could be
attained, and Morton was obliged to desist, without hav-
ing produced a flame.

Eiulo had been watching these proceedings with great
interest, and he now intimated by signs that he would
make atrial. Taking the sticks, he cut one of them to a
point with Arthur’s knife, and made a small groove along
the flat surface of the other, which he then placed with
one end upon the ground, and the other against his breast,
the grooved side being upwards. Placing the point of the
first stick in the groove, he commenced moving it up and
down along the second, pressing them hard together. The
motion was at first slow and regular, but increased con-
stantly in rapidity. By-and-by the wood began to smoke
again, and then Eiulo continued the operation with greater
vigour than ever. At length a fine dust, which had col-
lected at the lower extremity of the groove, actually took
fire. Arthur quickly inserted the edge of a sun-dried cocoa-
nut leaf in the tiny flame, and it was instantly in a blaze.

“Bravo!” shouted Max; “that’s what I consider a de-
cided triumph of heathenism over civilization and the
story-books.”

Morton now seized the sticks again, and imitating
Eiulo’s method of proceeding, succeeded in kindling them,
though it took him a considerable time to do it. Thus it
was satisfactorily established by actual experiment that
we could obtain a fire whenever we should want one.

‘ The question was now raised, whether we should con-
tinue our exploration farther that day, or remain where
we were until the following morning ; and as the heat was
still very oppressive, and we were ‘sufficiently tired al-
ready, the latter course was unanimously determined
upon. Lo
116 CASTLE HILL.

Charlie liked the spot which we occupied so well, that
he proposed “building a hut” upon it, and making it our
head-quarters as long as we should have to stay on the
island. It was certainly a pleasant site; and commanding
as it did a wide view of the ocean, vessels could be descried
at a greater distance, and signalled with a surer prospect
.of attracting notice, than from any other locality yet
known to us. From the wooded summit the land de-
scended on every sidec—towards the shore in a series of
terraces—towards the interior in one smooth and con-
tinuous slope, after which it again rose in a succession of
densely-wooded eminences, irregular and picturesque in
their outlines, and each higher than the last as you pro-
ceeded inland; the farthest of them towering up in strong
relief against the south-eastern sky. The various shades
of the masses of different kinds of foliage with which these
heights were clothed, from that of the pale-leaved candle-
nut, to the sombre green of the bread-fruit groves, contri-
buted greatly to the pleasing effect of the landscape. On
the right, as you looked toward the ocean, lay the flat
tract occupied by the sea-fowl, and which Charlie had
named after them. At nearly an equal distance on the
left the line of the beach was broken by what appeared to
be a small grove, or clump of trees, detached from the
main forest, and planted directly on the line of the
shore. |

As we had concluded to suspend our explorations until
the next day, every one was left to his own resources for
the remainder of the afternoon. Charlie having set Mor-
ton at work to make him a bow “to shoot birds with,”
began to occupy himself in the very important task of
finding an appropriate name for the height, which he
finally concluded to call “Castle Hill,” from its regular
shape and bold steep outlines. Max extended himself on
his back in the coolest nook he could find, and spreading
hia handkerchief over his face, to protect it from the
Â¥

CASTLE HILL. 117

gaudy but troublesome winged insects which haunted the
spot, forbade any one to disturb him, on pain of his high
displeasure. Arthur, taking Eiulo with him, proceeded
upon a botanizing tour about the neighbourhood, in the
hope of making some discovery that might prove useful to
us. For my own part, happening to think of the question
which had been started in the morning as to the day of
the week, I began to make a retrospect of all that had
taken place since the fearful night of the mutiny, and to
endeavour to fix the order of subsequent events, so as to
arrive at the number of days we had been at sea, and upon
the island. In the course of these calculations, and while
Browne and myself were discussing the matter, he sug-
gested the want of pencil and paper. I found that the
last leaf had been torn from my pocket-book, and the rest
were in an equally destitute condition. In this strait, I
remembered having heard Arthur describe the manner in
which the native children had been taught to write in the
missionary schools at Eimeo, the only materials used
being plantain leaves and a pointed stick. I mentioned
this to Browne, and we forthwith proceeded to experi-
ment with different kinds of leaves, until at last we found
a large heart-shaped one, which answered our purpose
admirably; it was white, and soft as velvet on the under
side, and marks made upon it with the rounded point of a
small stick were perfectly distinct, showing a dark green
colour upon a white ground.

Late in the afternoon, Arthur and Eiulo returned from
their tour of examination, having made, as Arthur inti-
mated, some discoveries, of which in due time we should
all reap the benefit. Morton having found a tough and
elastic kind of wood, had shaped a tolerable bow for
Charlie, but when. it came to providing a string, the re-
sources of both failed. The difficulty being made known
to Eiulo, he volunteered to supply what was wanted, and
went with Charlie and Morton into the adjoining forest
118 CAMPING OUT.

to look for a certain kind of bark, from which to make the
required cord.

“There,” said Arthur, when we were left alone together,
“how capitally this excursion has worked. How differ- |
ently things seem from what they did yesterday, when
we were at the islet perfectly stagnant, and stupid. One
would not take us for the same people. Only let -us
always have something to do, something to interest and
busy ourselves about, and we need not be very miserable,
even on a desert island.”

CHAPTER XV.

CAMPING OUT.

A DESPERATE ENGAGEMENT—CHARLIE DISCOVERS AN “ OYS-
‘TER-TREE”—VAGRANTS, OR KINGS!—A SLEEPING PRE-
SCRIPTION.

‘Travellers ne’er did lie,
Though fools at home condemn them: If in Naples
I should report this now, would they believe me?”

ABOUT sunset we went down to the beach to bathe. The
trees along the shore were occupied by immense crowds
of exemplary sea-fowl, whose regular and primitive habits
of life had sent, them to roost at this early hour. Not-
withstanding their webbed teet, they managed to perch ©
securely among the branches, many of which were so
heavily freighted, that they bent almost to the ground
beneath their load. |
Finding a spot where the beach shelved off gradually
into deep water, with a smooth, firm bottom, free from
CAMPING OUT. 119

shells and corallines, we had a refreshing swim. A fter-
wards, strolling along the shore by myself, I found a
large fish, beautifully marked with alternate black and
yellow bands, in a shallow, fenced off from the lagoon at
low water by a coral ridge. The too-eager pursuit of
some of the smalley tribe of fishes had probably beguiled
him into this trap, where he had been left by the tide, to
fall a victim, as I confidently reckoned, to his own
rapacity. All escape into deep water seemed to be pretty
effectually cut off, and I looked upon him as already the
captive of my bow and spear; but fearing lest some of
the others should come up to share the glory of securing
so splendid a prize, I forthwith set about effecting his
actual capture. Rolling my trousers above my knees, I
waded into the water to drive him ashore; but I soon
found that my task was not going to prove by any means
as easy as I had anticipated. My intended victim was
exceedingly vigorous and active, and as ferocious as a
pike. He obstinately refused to be driven at all, and
struggled and floundered as desperately as if he already
had a vivid presentiment of the frying-pan, snapping
viciously at my fingers whenever I undertook to lay hold.
of him. To add to the aggravating features of the case,
he seemed to bristle all over with an inordinate and un-
reasonable quantity of sharp-pointed fins and spines, which
must have been designed by nature as weapons of defence,
since there were certainly more of them than any fish
could use to advantage for swimming purposes. I began
to suspect that I had caught a Tartar; but I had now
gone too far to back out with credit: my self-respect
wouldn’t admit of the thought. So, taking a short breath-
ing spell, I again advanced to the attack, somewhat en-
couraged by perceiving that my scaly antagonist seemed
exhausted and distressed by his recent exertions. His
mouth was wide open, and his gills quivered; but I was
rather uncertain whether to regard this as a hostile
120 CAMPING OUT.

demonstration or a sign of pain and fatigue. However,
at it we went; and after getting my hands badly cut by
some of the aforesaid bristling spines and fins, besides
being drenched with water, and plastered all over with
wet sand, which he splashed about in the struggle, I suc-
ceeded in seizing him firmly by the tail, and throwing
him high and dry upon the beach. I then scooped out a
hollow in the sand a little above the tide-mark, and filling
it with water, pushed him into it, thus securing him for
the present.

Max, Morton, and Browne, who had been practising
climbing cocoanut-trees at the edge of the wood, with
very indifferent success, had witnessed from a distance
the latter part of the “engagement,” as Max facetiously
called it, and they now came up to learn the particulars,
and to inquire “ whether it was a shark or a young whale
that I had been having such a terrible time with.” While
they were admiring my captive, and jocosely condoling
with me on the hard usage which I had received, the
voice of Charlie (who, accompanied by Eiulo, had ven-
tured to stroll off in the direction of the point) was heard,
raised to its highest pitch, as he shouted for us to “come
and see something strange.” But it seemed that his
impatience would not permit him to await the result of
his summons, for the next moment he came running
towards us in a state of great excitement, and all out of
breath, crying out that he had “ found a tree covered with
oysters,” and he had no doubt there were “lots more of
them.”

“A tree covered with what?” inquired Browne du-
biously. |

With oysters—with fine large oysters,” cried Charlie ;
“just come and see for yourselves.”

“ Wonderful island! productive soil!” exclaimed Max,
in mock admiration. “If oysters will take root, and grow
here, I suppose pretty much anything will. I believe I
CAMPING OUT. 123

will plant my boots to-morrow: they may do for seed,
and are good for nothing else any longer. Don’t you
begin to think this must be an enchanted island, Charlie !”

“QO, you may make fun of it if you please; but it’s
true: and if you'll come with me, I’ll show you the
trees.”

“Well,” said Browne, “I am ready for almost anything
in the way of the marvellous, since having seen a solid
and substantial-looking island turn into a vapour, and
vanish away before my very eyes. I shall be careful:
about doubting anything until I get back to some Chris-
tian country, where things go on regularly. For the
present, I am in a state of mind to believe in pheenixes
and unic rms—and why not in oyster-trees? Who knows
but we have happened upon a second Prospero’s isle?
Lead on, Charlie, and bring us to this wonderful tree.”
And Charlie started off, accordingly, followed by Browne
and Morton.

In a moment the latter was heard calling out, “I say,
Max, do you understand conchology ?”

“Yes, enough to tell a bivalve when I see one: should
like to have a ‘dozen fried’ before me now.”

“Ifa ‘dozen raw’ will answer, just step this way, and
we'll accommodate you equal to Florence.”

On hastening to the spot, all scepticism as to the
“oysters growing on trees” was speedily removed. A
row of mangroves lined the shore for some distance, each
elevated upon its white pile of protruding and _ inter-
twisted roots. Attached to the branches of these trees,
which overhung the water, and drooped into it at high
tide, were abundance of fair-sized oysters. Looking down
into the water beneath the mangroves, I perceived the
certain indications of an extensive and well-stocked
oyster-bed. ‘The bottom was thickly covered with them,
in every stage of growth; multitudes being scarcely
larger than a sixpence. I could also see through the
122 CAMPING OUT.

shallow water an immense number of little white specks,
like drops of.spermaceti, scattered about among them.
It was evident that here was an abundant and unfailing
supply of these delicious shell-fish.

Browne broke off from one of the trees a large branch,
having half-a-dozen oysters attached to it, with which he
hastened to confront the unbelieving Max, and flourishing
it in his face, demanded to know if he was “ convinced
now.” Although constrained to admit that they looked
very like oysters, Max seemed to consider the evidence of
more than one of the senses necessary to afford satisfac-
tory proof of so extraordinary a phenomenon, and accord-
ingly proceeded to see how they tasted. |

After opening one of the largest (using his cutlass as
an oyster-knife), and making the experiment with due
deliberation, he announced himself perfectly satisfied.

By the time we had all sufficiently tasted the quality of
the “ bivalves” (which were really very good, and well-
flavoured, notwithstanding the unusuai position in which
they were discovered), it had become quite dark. Though
the evening was fine, there was not much light, the moon
and stars glimmering faintly through a soft purple haze,
which, as I had observed since we had been on the island,
generally seemed to fill the atmosphere for a short time
after sunset, and at a later hour entirely disappeared.
As we strolled back towards the foot cf “Castle Hill,”
Charlie suddenly looked up, and inquired, as if the
thought had just occurred to him, where we were going
to sleep.

“That’s a pretty question to ask,” said Browne, laugh-
ing; “it implies that we are common vagrants.”

“So we are, strictly speaking,” answered Max ; “ we have
no regular means of living, and no fixed place of abode,
and that, I believe, makes us common vagrants, according
to Webster.”

“T should think our means of living were ‘regular’
CAMPING OUT. 123

enough to rescue us from the definition,” replied Morton:
“having been thus far, cocoanuts and mussels every day,
and all day long, nothing but cocoanuts and mussels. I
-am glad that there is now some prospect of a little more
irregularity in future.”

“ As to our having no fixed habitation or place of abode,”
said Browne, “that does not arise from poverty, or lack of
land—‘ the isle is all before us where to choose ’—and we
are now on a tour of observation through our extensive
domains, in order to decide upon the finest spot for our
head-quarters. Meantime, for a night or two, we shall
have to be satistied with ‘a tent in the greenwood, a home
in the grove;’ in other words, we shall have to ‘camp
out,’ as the most renowned hunters and soldiers have fre-
quently done before us. I’m sure there’s no vagrancy in
that.”

“Why,” cried Charlie, forgetting for the moment his
anxiety on the score of our quarters for the night, “we
are ho more vagrants than Robinson Crusve was.

‘We are monarchs of all we survey,
And our realm there is none to dispute,’

as he says of himself; so that we are much more like
kings than vagrants.”

“And the sea-birds and fishes,” said Max, “are to be
considered as our subjects, I presume, since we have no
man Friday, and no goats or poll-parrots to reign over.”

“ Yes,” said Charlie, “I suppose so; there are enough of
them too.”

“And some very disloyal, rebellious, and stiff-necked
ones among them,” added Max, “who ought to be dealt
with as traitors forthwith: that sturdy feathered rebel, for
instance, who, not regarding tlie inviolability of the royal
person, no longer ago than this morning laid one of our
royal majesties sprawling upon his royal back.”

“And that other scaly traitor,” added Browne, “who
124 CAMPING OUT.

perversely refused to come out of the water to be cooked,
in accordance with the royal will, and who nearly bit off
the sacred thumb of one of our majesties in resisting the
royal authority.”

“Well, Charlie,” said Max, “if we are not actually
kings, we at anyrate have some royal blood upon the
island. Not to speak of myself, who am descended direct
from ‘ Kaiser Maximilian,’ here is Eiulo, who is a real
prince, his father being king of the Cannibal Islands, or
some other islands in these seas.”

“T wish you wouldn’t speak so of Eiulo’s father,” said
Charlie, warmly ; “he is not a cannibal, and I believe he
is a very good man. I think his islands are near here, and
if we should one day get there, he would treat us kindly,
and let us go home whenever we should have an oppor-
tunity.”

“ Hillca!” cried Max ; “ what has put all that into your
head? What do you know about Eiulo’s father, or his
islands, or where they are?”

This sudden outburst of Charlie’s surprised us all, with
perhaps the exception of Arthur, and we listened with
some interest as he replied to Max’s volley of questions.

“O,I have talked with Eiulo about it,” he answered,
“mostly by signs; and he has made me understand that
he believes his home is not far distant—off in that direc-
tion (pointing north), and that ships sometimes stop there ;
and so I have been thinking that if we could only find the
way there, we should have some prospect of getting home
at last.”

Upon this we became silent and thoughtful; nothing
further was said, until Charlie recurred to the question
which he had started a few moments before, and again
asked where we proposed to pass the night.

“Not in those gloomy woods, I hope,” said he, “ where
it is so lonely, and the wind and the trees make such
strange noises. I would rather sleep down here upon the
CAMPING OUT. 125

shore: this nice dry white sand, up where the water never
comes, will make a very good bed.”

Thus far we had passed every night upon the islet, to
which we had now become familiarized and accustomed.
Its small extent, and separation from the mainland, gave
it an air of security which made us feel more at our ease
there at night than we could among the sombre and un-
explored forests of the larger island, about which we as
yet knew so little. Charlie’s timidity was not therefore
unnatural. Indeed, unless I am mistaken, none of us was,
on this first night of our exploration, entirely free from a
vague spirit of insecurity, and of liability to some un-
known danger.

“That will hardly do, Charlie,” said Browne, in answer
to his suggestion about taking up our quarters for the
night upon the shore; “a heap of dry pandanus leaves
will make a much more comfortable bed than the hard
sand. Thus I propose to arrange it:—we will go up to
the top of the hill where we rested to-day, and lodge
there; our beds of leaves shall be all in a circle, and
Charlie’s shall be in the middle; and then he won’t feel
lonesome or afraid for all the uncanny noises of the wind
and the trees; knowing that he has good friends and true
all around him, and particularly one stout John Browne,
who is worth all the rest together, being a fair match for
anything in this part of the South Seas!” and by way of
raising Charlie’s spirits, and inspiring him with the greater
confidence in the prowess of his protector, he flourished
his cutlass, and went scientifically through the broadsword
exercise, slashing and carving away at his imavinary an-
tagonist with a fierceness and vigour wonderful to behold.
Having lopped off an indefinite quantity of airy heads and
limbs, he finished by reciting, with a bold and warlike
air—

** Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled!
Scots wham Bruce has aften led!” eo.
126 CAMPING OUT.

This demonstratiou seemed to produce the desired
effect, and Charlie soon became reassured, and quite
reconciled to “camping out” in the woods.

The evening was so fine, and a gentle breeze setting
in from the ocean was so cool and grateful, after the ex-
cessive heat of the day, that we continued for some time
loitering along the shore. The sea was highly phospho-
rescent ; that is, during the earlier part of the evening,
and before the mist or haze before spoken of cleared up.
The tiny wavelets, as they rippled upon the beach. in rapid
succession, sparkled with phosphoric fire, and out in the
lagoon, wherever a coral patch rose to the surface, or
the water was disturbed by any floating object, it gave
forth a clear and brilliant light, and was studded’ by
myriads of fiery dots and spangles.

At length Charlie began to complain of weariness, and
we scaled the terrace hill, and gathering a large quantity
of clean and well-dried leaves, arranged our beds, as
Browne had suggested, beneath the group of noble trees
where we had taken our siesta at noon.

The novelty of our situation long proved with me an
effectual antidote to fatigue and drowsiness, and I lay
looking up at the moon glimmering through the foliage
of the trees an hour after the rest seemed to be asleep.

Just as I was at last sinking into unconsciousness,
Charlie, sitting up among the leaves in which he was
half-buried, inquired softly, “ Max, are you awake?” I
spoke to him to let him know that he was not alone.

“I can’t get asleep,” said he; “everything looks so
beautiful, and so strange. It seems to me I never saw the
moon and the stars so big and so bright.”

“You must keep your eyes shut, and not look at the
moon, if you want to get asleep.”

“But the trees keep rustling so, just as if they were
whispering softly to one another ; and then the sound of
the waves on the reef is so sad and mournful, that it sets
CAMPING OUT. 127

me to thinking all sorts of strange things. I wonder
whether there are any wild animals on the island?” I
assured him that it was quite improbable, and that no
dangerous animals of any kind were ever found on the
islands of the Pacific. This, however, did not seem to
satisfy him entirely, and I began to suspect that his mind
was running on the jackals, tiger-cats, and hyenas, of the
Swiss Family Robinson. A question or two which he pre-
sently asked showed that I had guessed correctly, and I
hastened to meet the difficulty by reminding him that
“ their island (if indeed it was an island at all, and not a
part of the mainland) was situated near the coast of New
Holland, from which animals might pass over to it by
swimming.”

“ Why, I thought,” said Charlie, “that there were no
wild animals in New Holland except kangaroos and
opossums. My book of beasts, birds, and fishes says so.”

This was a fact in natural history which I was not pre-
pared to gainsay, especially when backed by so redoubt-
able an authority as “the book of beasts, birds, and fishes.”’
For a moment I was taken all aback ; but being loth to
give up my little companion a prey to imaginary jackals,
tiger-cats, and hyenas, I rallied again, resolved upon one
more desperate effort for his deliverance.

“Well,” said I, “the fact is, we don’t know exactly
where the Swiss Family Robinson’s island really was—
it is altogether uncertain. It may have been near Java,
or Ceylon, or the coast of India, in which case all those
Asiatic beasts could easily have got there—that i is, if the
two places were close enough together. Now we know
that we are somewhere in the middle of the Pacific, a vast
distance from any continent, or any of the great Indian
islands, so that large animals here are out of the question,
unless they have taken a swim of a thousand miles or so.”

This seemed to be pretty decisive, and I think it settled
the jackals, tiger-cats, and hyenas effectually, for Charlie
128 CAMPING OUT.

said no more on the subject, except to remark that even
if they could swim that distance, they would stand a bad
chance with the sharks and other sea-monsters; to which
I added, as a final clincher, that in any event, they would
be sure to starve on the voyage, unless they should bring
a large supply of provisions along with them.

“Well,” said he, after a minute’s silence, “I am not
afraid of anything; but somehow or other I feel very
wide awake to-night, and not in the least sleepy.’

“Shut your eyes,” said I, “and think of a great wheel,
whirling round and round with a regular and even mo-
tion, and never stopping until you have counted it go
round a hundred times.”

Charlie laughed softly to himself, as though pleased
with this device, and was quite still for a minute or two;
then he spoke again.

“Jt has gone round a hundred times, but towards the
end it got agoing dreadfully fast; it would go fast, in
spite of all I could do.”

“ Never mind the wheel, then,” said I, “ but think of the
huge lazy swells in a calm, rising and falling, rising and
falling, as they did when we lay rocking 1 in the boat all
those long days and nights out on the sea.”

“ Well, I'll try—but I don’t believe it will be of any
use.”

“Don’t look at the moon, and don’t speak to me again,
unless for something very particular—and now good-
night.”

“ Good-night ;” and he nestled down among his leaves
again. In a very few minutes the deep and regular
breathing of the little patient proved the efficacy of my
sleeping prescription, and announced that his troubles for
that night were over.
DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS., 129

CHAPTER XVI.

DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS.

A DESERT-ISLAND BREAKFAST—PERSUASIVE REASONING—
ROMANCE AND REALITY—THE PRINCE AND PRINCESS.

‘“* Now my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Mayjnot long custom make this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court ?
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The season’s difference, nor the Icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind.”

THE next morning “the islanders,” or some of them at
least, were stirring early ; and the first thing that attracted.
my attention, on opening my eyes, was a busy group, con-
sisting of Max, Hiulo, and Charlie, gathered around a fire
at a little distance, and engaged in some apparently very
interesting operation. A savoury smell at the same time
saluted my olfactory organs, and on approaching the
scene of action, to investigate the matter more closely, I
found my finny prize of the preceding evening undergoing
a somewhat primitive style of cookery, of which Max
appeared to be the chief director and superintendent. A
number of large oysters were also roasting in the embers,
and from these last proceeded the grateful and appetizing
odour referred to.

“ Good-morning !” cried Max, “ you see we have break-
fast nearly ready, and a breakfast too that will be a posi-
tive luxury after so long a course of cocoanut diet. How
Browne will exult at the sight of it! how his eyes will

I
130 DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS,

open !—to say nothing of his mouth—and don’t we deserve
a vote of thanks for our early labours for the general
good!”

Morton and Browne at this moment emerged from their
respective heaps of leaves, and after rather more than the
usual amount of yawning, and stretching of limbs, came
towards the fire.

“Fee, faw, fo, fum,” cried Morton, snuffing the agree-
able smell of the cookery in progress ; “I trust we’re not
too late for breakfast, and that there is something more
than the savour of good victuals left.”

“You are in good time,” said Charlie, bustling about
the fire with an air of official dignity ; “the first bell hasn’t
rung yet.”

“But why has Shakspeare such a long face,” said Max ;
“has camping out caused a reminiscence of rheumatism?”

“Bad dreams, horrible dreams!’’ answered Browne,
shaking his head solemnly, “which came of lying staring
at the moon last night, until I fell asleep’—then throw-
ing himself into an attitude, he commenced declaiming,
with a tragic air—

“O, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
That as I am a Christian, faithful man,
I would not pass another such a night
Though ‘twere to buy a world of happy days,
So full of dismal terror was the time.”

“Bravo !” cried Max, applauding furiously; “I like to
see that; it’s what I call coming out strong under dis-
couraging circumstances. Here are we, six forlorn cast-
aways, on a desert island, somewhere (no one knows
where) in the Pacific Ocean; and instead of moping, and
sulking, and bemoaning our hard fate, we wake up of a
fine morning, quite bright and cheerful, and one of the six
(or seven, more correctly speaking) goes to work spouting
DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS. 151

Shakspeare, carrying us back to. old times, and making us
feel (as Morton would say) like “ happy schoolboys again.”

“ What’s all this?’ cried Arthur, coming forward with
a puzzled air; “what is Max making a speech about?
Has he taken the stump as a candidate for the presidency
of the island ?”

“He needn’t do that,” said Browne ; “ we’re not going to
have any presidents, or other republican trumpery here ;
I have formally taken possession of the island in the name
of little Vic, and it is therefore a colony of Great Britain.
I shall apply at the first convenient opportunity for letters
patent, making me colonial governor.”

“Tory, monarchist !” cried Max ; “ recant at once, or you
shan’t taste a mouthful of my breakfast.”

“Do you think I'll sell my loyalty for a mess of pot-
tage? No, I’m fora well-regulated monarchy—hurra for
little Vic!”

“Down with the bloody Britisher!” cried Charlie,
entering into the spirit of the scene, and tugging at
Browne’s coat-tails ; “make him hurra for Harry Clay, or
else don’t give him any of our oysters !”

“You're surely not going back to the principles of the
dark ages—you won’t attack the right of private judg-
ment, and persecute for opinion’s sake.”

“The right of private judgment indeed!” answered Max
with great contempt. “I hold that no person can have a
right, on any pretence whatever, to entertain erroneous
Opinions on important subjects affecting the welfare of
mankind. If aman does entertain such opinions, it is the
duty of those who know better to convince him of his
error by the most effectual arguments at their command.
It is therefore my duty to open your eyes to the blessings
of liberal institutions. I have here (pointing towards the
incipient breakfast) the most powerful means to assist and
quicken your perception of the truth. Shall J not use
those means?”
132 DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS.

“The line of argument which you indicate is exceedingly
forcible (how delightfully those oysters smell !), I really
think I begin to perceive some of the advantages of ‘re-
publicanism already.”

“ With the right of private judgment, properly under-
stood,” resumed Max, “I should be reluctant to interfere.
You will, I presume, enjoy the exercise of so precious a
privilege, even with a cocoanut breakfast, which you can
probably obtain, by requesting Prince Eiulo to scale one
of yonder tufted trees.”

“ How clear the matter becomes with a little reflec-
tion,” observed Browne (“this camping out in the open
air gives one a famous appetite) ; in fact your reasoning
is almost irresistible (that fish looks particularly nice) ;
and really I begin to think I can safely: profess myself &
good republican—until after breakfast at anyrate.”

Max’s culinary operations being at last completed,
Charlie placed a huge shell to his lips, and sounded a long
blast by way of announcement that breakfast was ready.
The fish was served up in a fresh palm-leaf, and Charlie
declared with much complacency that not all the crockery-
stores in New York could furnish a platter of such royal
dimensions. The leaves of the hibiscus served admirably
for plates; for knives and forks we used the strong stalks,
or central fibres, of cocoanut leaflets, which, with fingers
in reserve for an emergency, answered at least as well as
the chopsticks of the Chinese. Upon the whole, it cannot
be denied that our table-service, simple as it was, had its
advantages: it involved no necessity for any washing of
dishes, no anxiety on the score of broken crockery, and we
could indulge in the extravagance of a new dinner-set
every day, or even at every meal, for that matter, if so
disposed.

The fish proved most excellent, resembling the striped
bass in flavour and appearance: as to the oysters, they
were ur animously voted equal to Shrewsbury’s.
DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS. 133

“Ah!” sighed Max, “if we had now but a cup of
coffee, and a hot roll, those inestimable blessings of civili-
zation, we could almost forget that we are on a desert
island.”

“Wait until the bread-fruit ripens,” said Arthur, “and
we shall have a tolerably fair substitute for your ‘hot
rolls.’ Eiulo will show us the most approved mode of
preparing it, and we shall find it nearly equal to the
wheaten loaf.”

“ All that Max seems to think about is the eating,” said
Browne, swallowing the last remaining oyster; “but I
begin to feel troubled about another matter: see, I am
getting fairly out at the elbows, and neither ‘ coffee and
rolls,’ nor roast-beef and plum-pudding in indefinite quan-
tities, would afford me any satisfaction, compared to the
possession of a supply of clothing, or even a few changes
of linen: in fact, comrades, what are we to do? There is
danger that we shall all become savages. I begin to feel
a loss of self-respect already.”

“We shall have to go into the manufacturing business,
I suppose,” said Arthur. “I have often watched the
whole process of making tappa, or native cloth, from the
bark of the paper mulberry ; it is quite simple, and I have
no doubt we can succeed in it. I have talked with Eiulo
on the subject, and find that he understands the process
thoroughly.”

“ But are there any paper mulberries on the island?’
inquired Morton.

“J have not seen any,” answered Arthur. “If there are
none, the bark of the bread-fruit-tree will answer nearly
as well: the cloth made from it is as strong and durable,
though not so fine.”

“For the present, and before we go into home manu-
factures,” said Max, “I advise Shakspeare, in order to
avoid the loss of his remaining self-respect, in consequence
of wearing foul linen, to betake himself to the beach, wash
134 DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS.

his garments, and take a bath until they dry in the sun,
which is the course I intend to pursue myself.”

“ And what are we going to do for shoes, I wonder?’
said Charlie; “mine are badly cracked and torn, and
nearly worn out: we shall all have to go barefoot?” and
he looked aghast at the thought.

“We must kill a shark by-and-by,” said Arthur, “ when
we have nothing more pressing to do; and we can make
leggins or moccasins from the skin.”

“How these things kill the romance and poetry of
desert-island life!’ said Max; “there’s no romance about
being out at the elbows, or being obliged to wear dirty
linen ”

“ Or in doing one’s own washing in salt water, and sitting
naked while one’s clothes are drying,” interposed Browne
pathetically.

“Or in having your toes poke out at the end of your
boots,’ added Morton, advancing his right foot in illustra-
tion.

“No, these are all stern realities,” said Max ; “ cases not
provided for in the story-books; how is it, Charlie, are
there any precedents going to show how desert-islanders
do their washing and mending?”

“T think they generally saved heaps of clothes from the
wreck,’ answered Charlie gravely. “Robinson Crusoe
brought off several chests, containing ever so many sailors’
clothes of all sorts; whether there were any shoes or not,
I don’t remember: the Swiss Family Robinson also ob-
tained an abundance of such things from the wreck of
their ship befure it sunk. Philip Quarll made garments
for himself from the skins of animals.”

“But what are we todo? We haven’t any wreck from
which to supply ourselves with chests of clothing, with
arms and ammunition, and stores of ship-biscuit and salt
provisions. We're worse off, it seems, than any of our
predecessors. And since we are not supplied with the


DOMESTIC EMBARRASSMENTS, ' 185.

requisite capital and stock in trade for desert-islanders, it
is reasonable to infer that we are not destined to a Robin-
son Crusoe life, so that we may confidently expect to be
taken off by some ship in a short time.”

' As we were finishing our breakfast, a couple of tiny,
fairylike tern came flying round us. They were very
tame, and hovered smoothly over our heads, at the dis-
tance of sometimes but a few feet. Their plumage was
snowy-white, and as they glided quietly around, peering
curiously into our faces, you could almost fancy that there
was the gleam of intelligence in their large eyes.

“QO what beautiful little birds!’ cried Charlie in great
delight : “I wish I had some crumbs of bread for them.”

. “Who knows, Charlie,” suggested Max, “but these
strange little birds, as they seem to be, are no birds, after
all, but an unfortunate prince and princess, who, having
incurred the resentment of some potent enchanter, have
been transformed by his magical arts into their present
shape, and banished to some desert island; and have now
come to us for sympathy and assistance. See what a
mournful expression there is in their mild dark eyes!’
Charlie was pleased with the conceit, and the little tern
were always afterwards known as the prince and princess.
They frequently came hovering around us in the most
friendly and fearless manner when we were in that part
of the island.
136 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

CHAPTER XVII.

THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

A VOICE IN THE WOODS—VIVE NAPOLEON !—CALCULATING
THE LONGITUDE—THE “ WILD FRENCHMAN’S” HAT.

STEPHANO. Hark! what sound is that?
CaLiBANn. Art thou afeard, master ?

StkpHano. No, monster, not I.

CaLiBan, Be not afraid: the isle is full of noises.

Our failure to discover fresh water, or any indications of
its during yesterday’s expedition, increased the anxiety
which we felt on the subject, and we determined to devote
the day to a continuation of the search.

The base of Castle Hill was skirted on the left, and
divided from the neighbouring forest, by a deep gully,
that had much the appearance of a dried-up water-course,
and was probably a channel by which, in the rainy season,
the water from the higher ground was conveyed to the
sea. From the hill we could trace the course of the
ravine, until it struck the beach, near the point where the
small grove before spoken of seemed to spring up out of
the lagoon. Our last evening’s ramble along the shore
had extended nearly to this spot, and to avoid going over
the same ground a second time, we struck into the ravine,
and followed its course as it descended towards the
beach.

Charlie every now and then, without any apparent
object, unless to evince his entire superiority to any feel-
ing of timidity, separated himself from the rest, and dis-
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. 137

appeared for a time in the forest, generally returning with
a “specimen” of some new plant or flower, or an account
of some strange bird or curious tree which he had seen.
From one of these adventurous excursions he came rush-
ing back, closely followed by Eiulo, both looking a good
deal frightened, and as soon as he had recovered breath
sufficiently to be able to speak, he earnestly affirmed that
he had heard a man call out to him in the wood. His
statement was strange enough; he had found a twining
plant, with a flower like a morning-glory, and called loudly
for Eiulo, who was a little way off, to come and see if it
was the patara vine. The root of this plant is a valuable
and nutritious esculent, and Arthur had described the leaf
and flower to us, in order that we might recognize it if
met with. Immediately a harsh voice issued from a
neighbouring thicket, uttering some words which he did
not distinctly understand, but they were in French, and
were something about Napoleon.

“In French !—and about Napoleon!” cried Arthur in
amazement. “Are you quite sure, Charlie, that you heard
any words at all—anything more than a strange noise of
some kind?”

But Charlie was positive—he had heard the “ Napoleon”
as plainly as he ever heard anything. There were only a
few words—not more than two or three—but they were
spoken very distinctly, and quite loud, as if the person
were cheering: he could not be mistaken.

“ Only two or three words,” pursued Arthur; “would
you know them again if you should hear them repeated ?”’

“ Yes, I think I should.”

“Was it ‘ Vive Napoleon !’ that yon heard ?”

“Those are the very words!” cried Charlie ; “they were
spoken as plainly as you speak them, but in a rougher
voice.”

“Did you see anything—did you look towards the
thicket?”
138 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

“TI saw something stir, but could not tell what it was.
The voice was harsh and angry, and I was frightened, and
ran away as fast asI could. I thought perhaps it was a
wild man—some one who had been shipwrecked here -
many years ago, and lived alone in the woods until he
had grown wild or mad.”

Charlie was so positive in this singular story, that for a
moment we hardly knew what to think of it. Eiulo, too,
had heard the voice—the same harsh voice that Charlie
described as issuing from the thicket. But the notion of
any person amusing himself by shouting “Vive Napo-—
leon!” in the forests of a solitary island in the Pacific
seemed so preposterous, that we could not help coming
to the conclusion that some sudden noise in the wood had
seemed to Charlie’s excited imagination like a human
voice; though why he should fancy that it uttered those
particular words—the words of a strange language—was _
a puzzle which we could not solve. We, however, turned ©
into the forest, and Charlie pointed out the spot where he
was standing when he heard the voice. There were the
vines, with flowers like morning-glories; and there was
the thicket, whence, as he alleged, the sound had pro-
ceeded. We shouted aloud several times, but there was
no response, except from a large bird that rose heavily
into the air, uttering a discordant scream; and we were
satisfied that it was this, or some similar sound, that had
startled Charlie; in which conviction we dismissed the
matter from our minds.

The flowering vine proved to be the patara which
Arthur had been so anxious to discover, and on digging
it up, two roots resembling large potatoes were found
attached to the stalk. Quite a number of these plants
were scattered about the neighbourhood; enough, as
Arthur said, to make a tolerable potato patch.

All this time Max was missing, having been some little
distance in advance of the rest when Charlie had raised
»

THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. 139

hig strange alarm. When we got back into the ravine, he
was not in sight, but we had hardly resumed our progress
towards the shore, when we heard him calling out that’
he had found water. At this announcement, our orderly
march broke at once into a hasty scramble. Browne
alone maintained his dignity, and came on at his usual
elephantine pace, probably suspecting that the pretended
discovery was a hoax. Morton and I raced along the
hollow “neck and neck,” till we suddenly reached a point
where there was an abrupt descent to the level of the
shore. We were under too much headway to be able to
stop, and jumping together down the steep bank, we
narrowly missed alighting upon Max, as he lay extended
on the ground, scooping up water with his hand from the
basin of a small pool. I came down close beside him,
while Morton sprang fairly over his head, and alighted
with a great splash in the centre of the pool. I had
barely time to roll out of the way, when the others,
with the exception of Browne, came tumling in their
turn over the bank, which took them as much by sur-
prise as it had us. Morton’s lamentable figure, as he
stood motionless in the midst of the pool, drenched
with water, and with a great patch of black mud plas-
tered over one eye, together with Max’s look of con-
sternation at his own narrow escape, were irresistibly
ludicrous, and provoked a laugh, in which, after a moment,
they both heartily joined.

“Very obliging of you, Morton,” said Max, recovering
his self-possession: “I wanted to see how deep it was,
and you are a good-enough measuring-stick ; just stand
still a minute if you please.”

“You have reason to feel obliged to me,” answered
Morton, extricating himself from the mud; “it was on
your account solely that I got into this pickle. I had to
choose between breaking your neck, as you lay right in
my way, or jumping into this hole, and not having much
140 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

time to deliberate, it isn’t surprising if I came to a foolish
conclusion.”

- “Jt would be less unfeeling,” replied Max, “as well as
more strictly according to the facts of the case, to say
a hasty conclusion, which might be understood literally,
and would then be literally correct.”

The water, which we found to be good, though slightly
brackish, was contained in a narrow pit, situated in the
centre of a circular hollow or basin. It was not more than
half full, but its sides showed a fresh and distinct water-
mark more than a foot above the present level. At the
edge of the basin a solitary palm shot upward its straight
shaft to the height of nearly a hundred feet, the long
fringed leaves drooping from the top like a bunch of
gigantic ostrich plumes, and overshadowing the well. It
seemed difficult to account for this supply of fresh water
in sO unpromising a spot, and so near the seashore. I was
at first inclined to think it nothing more than a reservoir
of standing water left by the last rains, which had filled
not only the pit, but also the surrounding basin. The
former being deep and narrow, evaporation would be very
gradual, which might, I supposed, account for the small
quantity still remaining.

“That can hardly be,” said Arthur, when I suggested
this explanation ; “the spot is wholly unsheltered from
the sun, except at noon, by this screen of palm-leaves, and
if the entire hollow were filled with water this morning,
there would not be a drop of moisture left in three days,
unless the supply were renewed. Besides, the water is
too fresh and sweet to have stood since the last rains.”

“Tshould judge,” said Morton, “thai this spot is but
little above the level of the lagoon, and if the bottom of
the well here is below that level at ebb-tide, this supply
of fresh water can be easily accounted tor.”

“ The rise and fall of the tide here doés not seem to be
more than eighteen inches or two fect,’ said Max, “and
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. 141

as to the depth of the pit, or well, as you call it, you
ought to be able to speak with confidence, having so re-
cently been to the bottom of it.”

« There are wells on the low islands of the West In-
dies,” said Morton, “which communicate with the sea,
and rise and fall with the tide, the sea-water penetrating
through the sand, and being distilled in its passage ; and
I think this is one of the same kind. Here is a recent
water-mark, more than a foot above the present level.
If Iam right, we shall find that the tide is now low.”

Arthur thrust a stick into the side of the well to mark
the height of the water, while Charlie rushed furiously
down to the beach, and in a moment came posting back
with the announcement that the tide was low.

“Very well, so far,” said Arthur; “it only remains to
be seen whether, when the tide has risen, there will be
any corresponding rise here.”

“ And meantime,” suggested Browne, “let us refresh
ourselves witha bath before the sun gets higher ; and we
can also take the opportunity to give our under-garments
the benefit of an ablution, as Max has proposed.”

No one can fully appreciate the luxury of sea-bathing
who has not enjoyed it within the tropics.

The calm, transparent water, with the firm white beach
and bottom, looked so deliciously cool and inviting, that
the suggestion was adopted as soon as made; and the
expedition with which the preliminaries were got through
with, reminded me of those eager races to “the pond” on
the letting out of the village school at home of a hot
summer afternoon, in which several of our present com-
pany had often been competitors for the honour of being
“the first one in.” Arthur warned us to beware of sharks,
and to keep a vigilant look-out for “back-fins,” and our
dread of those prowling and rapacious monsters was a
great drawback to the enjoyment of our bath. In all the
teats and dextcrities of the swimmer’s art Eiulo far out-
142 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

did the rest of us, moving through the water with the
ease, rapidity, and gracefulness of a fish. After one or
two trials with him in swimming under water, and diving
for shells, even Max yielded the palm, declaring that he
was ready to match himself against any land animal, but
should for the future decline entering into a contest of
that kind with amphibious creatures.

Eiulo thought that this swimming in smooth water was
but indifferent sport, and began to talk to Arthur with
great animation, in his native tongue, about the pleasures
of “faahee,”’ or surf-bathing, and the exquisite fun of
dodging the “manos,” or sharks, among the rollers.
Presently he struck out into the lagoon, and before we
could guess his intention, he swam over to the reef, and
picking his way across it, plunged fearlessly among the
breakers on the outside. He stayed, however, but a short
time, and came back, saying that the “manos” were alto-
gether too thick out there, and that a huge blue one had
come near seizing him in the surf, before he could catch
a roller so as to land safely upon the reef. When blamed
by Arthur for his rashness, he laughed, and promised that
he would not incur the risk again. From his frightened
looks when he got back, I guessed that he had not found
“ dodging the mano” such exquisite fun as he had antici-
pated.

Max presently desisted from swimming, in order, as he
said, to “do his washing,” consoling himself for the hard-
ship of being obliged to do laundress’ work with the re-
flection, that the necessity for such a task would soon
cease, as our clothes, being in constant use, without the
benefit of a change, could not last long. Browne and I
followed this example, and having spread our garments in
the sun to dry, resumed our aquatic sports in the mean-
time. Arthur dressed himself, and, accompanied by Eiulo,
left us, saying that he would rejoin us in an hour at the
hill. The two proceeded a short distance along the shore
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. 143

to the right, and then turned into the forest, to search, as
we supposed, for plants or roots capable of being turned
to useful account.
_ By the time our clothes were sufficiently dry to be put
on, the tide had risen considerably, and on repairing to
the well, we found the water several inches above Arthur’s
mark, thus confirming Morton’s theory in regard to it.
Though we should have been better pleased to have dis-
covered a spring, yet there was no reason to doubt that
here was an ample and permanent supply of fresh water.
As it was now getting towards noon, and the day was
excessively hot, we returned to Castle Hill, to enjoy the
grateful shade of its cool dark groves, and the breeze
which was sure to play about its summit if air was stirring
anywhere. Max sought out a leafy bower of ferns and
creepers near the foot of the great candlenut-tree, where
he stretched himself out, and went to sleep. Charlie got
his bow and arrows, and began to practise archery, by
shooting at the large and gaudy insects hovering around
the blossoms of the vines, and when, probably by accident,
he carried away the wing of one of them at the distance
of some six or seven yards, he boasted loudly of the ex-
ploit, and intimated that in case of a brush with any can-
nibals, his bow might be relied on to do some execution.
Getting tired at length of his crusade against the butter-
flies, he expressed a wish to try his skill upon some larger
game, but as nothing in the shape of a jackal or tiger-cat
was obliging enough to make its appearance, he put aside
his weapons with a sigh, and lying down near Max, was
soon asleep. There was a drowsy influence in the pro-
found quiet and subdued light of the spot, to which I
should soon have yielded but for Browne, who began to
talk of Scottish scenes and legends with sufficient interest
to keep Morton and myself awake. It seemed strange
enough to lie there in that tropical forest, listening to an
enthusiastic description of the rugged sublimity of the
144 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

Trosachs, the romantic beauty of Loch Vennaher, Loch
Katrine, and Loch Achray, or of the lovely vale of Kelso,
bosomed in green woods, with its placid streams, smooth
lawns, and hazel-fringed dells.

About noon, Arthur and Eiulo made their appearance,
emerging trom the grove to the south-east of the hill, laden
with roots, plants, strips of bark, &c. They had been
looking for the auti, or paper mulberry, but without
success. Arthur had discovered a large and beautiful
species of sweet-scented fern, with a tuberous root, shaped
like a sweet potato, which he said was baked and eaten
by the Society Islanders: he brought with him several
entire sj ecimen3, root andall. The leaves were fragrant,
and clegantiy shaped, and the roots were of a mottled
brown and yellow. Eiulo carried in his hand an unripe
bread-fiuit—a splendid pea-green globe, nearly as big as
his head. They had discovered a noble grove of this most
valuable tree at no great distance from the hill, but the
fiuit was not yet perfectly ripe. Charlie, who had awaked
at the return of the absentees, was greatly delighted at
these discoveries, and began to lament that he had not
accompanied Arthur. He inquired very particularly as to
the direction of the bread-fruit grove, as if cherishing the
design of setting out at once to visit it; but Brown letting
something drop about the voice in the woods, Charlie
changed the subject, and saying that it must be nearly
dinner-time, proposed to make a fire, and bake the fern-
roots, so as to test their quality. Upon hearing this, Max,
whose slumbers had also been disturbed, raised his head
for a moment, and exclaimed so vehemently against the
very mention of a fire, when we were already dissolving
with heat, that nothing further was said about it.

“And now,” said Arthur, after having given a full
account of his discoveries, and answered all Charlie’s
questions, “I believe it is just noon, and, while I think of
it, I will try to ascertain our longitude.”

wl
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. 145

“ Ascertain our longitude!” exclaimed Browne; “pray
how do you propose to do that without instruments?” _

“TI know the longitude of the Kingsmill islands,” an-
swered Arthur, “and if I can find our distance east or west
of them, of course I have the longitude of this island.”

“But there’s the difficulty; how can you ascertain even
whether we are to the east or to the west of them ?”

“Tn the first place, then, I have Kingsmill island time ;
my watch was last set.one day while we were there, just
after Mr. Frazer had taken an observation.”

“Do you mean to say,” inquired I with some interest,
“that you have regularly wound up your watch every day
since then, without once forgetting or neglecting it, dur-
ing all that has since occurred ?”’

“TI did regularly, every night before sleeping : and dur-
ing all the time that we were at sea in the boat, hardly a
day passed that I did not note down some memoranda in
my pocket-book.”

“That, now, is positively diabolical,” exclaimed Max
from his covert among the creepers, where he was com-
pletely invisible, except his heels, which were kicking in
the air. “I wouldn’t have believed, Arthur, that you
were such a methodical, cold-blooded creature! I sup-
pose now, that if I had tumbled overboard during that
hideous time, and been gulped down by a shark, or if
Shakspeare had starved to death, you would have made
a regular memorandum of the event, in business-like style,
and wound up your watch as usual. I think I see the
entry in your pocket-book thus: ‘1839, June 3d—Mem.
Max Adeler fell overboard this day, and was devoured by
a shark—an amiable and interesting youth, though too
much given to levity, and not prepared, I fear, for so un-
expected a summons. June 5th—Mem. My worthy and
estimable friend, John Browne, late of Glasgow, Scotland,
died this day from lack of necessary food. Threw him
overboard. What startling monitions of the uncer tainty
of life!”

K
146 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

“ Peace, Kaiser Maximilian, peace!” cried Browne, “and
let the professor proceed to fix our longitude.”

“The first thing,” resumed Arthur, “is to plant a straight
stick upright in the ground; when it casts no shadow east
or west, it is twelve o’clock here. My watch will then
show what time it is at the Kingsmills: if it shows an
earlier hour there, we must be east of them; if a later
hour, then we are west of them.”’

“I think I understand that,” said Charlie; “the next
thing is to tell how far east or west we are.”

“That is quite easy. There are, you know, three hun-
dred and sixty degrees of longitude: the sun passes
through them all—that is, round the globe in twenty-four
hours. Then, of course, in one hour it passes through
fifteen degrees, and through one degree in four minutes ;
so that for every four minutes’ difference of time, there
will be a difference of longitude of one degree—that is,
near the equator, about seventy miles.”

“It must be very near noon now,” said Charlie, running
out into a patch of sunshine, where a small opening in the
grove let in the light. “See! I have hardly any shadow
at all.”

Arthur planted a stick in the ground, and as soon as the
shadow marked the hour of noon, looked at his watch, by
which it was eighteen minutes after twelve.

“It would seem from this,’ said he, “that we are four
degrees and a half, or over three hundred miles, west of
the Kingsmills: it also appears that we are very near the
line, but a. little south of it, for the shadow inclines a little
southward.”

“It is all nonsense,” cried Max, sitting up in the grass,
“to pretend to ascertain where we are in any such way as
this. If your watch (which you know is a miserable time-
keeper) has lost or gained but twenty minutes since we
left the Kingsmills, which is now nearly two months, then
what becomes of your learned calculations about the dif-
ference of time, and of the longitude and all that?’
THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY. 147

Arthur laughed, and admitted that this grave impeach-
ment of the character of his chronometer was not entirely
without foundation, and that, in consequence, the strict
accuracy of the results arrived at could not be relied on.

“The only thing that we can be at all certain about in
regard to our position,” said Max, “is, that we are south
ot the line.”

'¢ How can that be?’ inquired Browne ; “the Pole-star
is visible from here, or at anyrate we saw it on the second
or third night we were at sea in the boat.”

“A part of the Great Bear can be seen,” answered
Arthur, “but not the north star, I think. I looked for it
last night, and though I could see all the stars of the
Dipper, the pointers were near the horizon, and the Pole-
star below it. But even if visible, it would be no evidence
that we are north of the equator, for I believe it can be
seen from the fourth or fifth degree of south latitude.”

“See now,” said Browne, “what a pretty neighbour-
hood you are getting us into with your wise calculations !
If we are south of the line, and far west of the Kingsmills,
we must be somewhere near the Bidera Sea, and the Men-
dana Archipelago, about which the young sailor Roby,
who was always boasting of having sailed with the famous
Captain Morell, used to tell us such wonderful stories.”

“It is good ground,” replied Arthur, “for one who
wants to exercise a traveller’s privilege, and recount mar-
vels and prodigies without fear of contradiction. Those
seas are full of large islands, some of them as large as the
whole of Great Britain, with countless numbers of smaller
ones, and remain to this day almost unexplored. In facet,
little more is now ascertained in regard to them than was
known two hundred and fifty years ago, soon after their
discovery by the Spanish navigator Mendana; so that a
man who pretends, as Roby does, to have gone over the
ground himself, may tell pretty much what stories he
pleases, without danger of any onc being able to convict
him of inaccuracy.”
148 THE PROGRESS OF DISCOVERY.

“What!” exclaimed Charlie, opening his eyes to their
utmost extent, “do you suppose we are near those islands
Jack Roby tells about, where the natives chew betel and
lime out of a carbo-gourd, and sacrifice men to their idols,
and tear out and devour the hearts of their enemies?”

“ And where King Rogerogee lived,” added Max; “you
remember him, Charlie; the giant seven feet and a half
high, who wore a paradise plume on his head, and a girdle
of the claws and beaks of birds around his waist! Why,
this may be the very island of Podee over which he
reigned, and we ought not to be greatly surprised to see
him look in upon us at any moment with his paradise
plume waving among the tops of the trees, and his spear
eighteen feet long in his hand.”

“Don’t let Rogerogee disturb your dreams, Charlie,”
said Arthur; “if there is any such place as the island of
Podee, which I very much doubt, it is, according to Roby’s
own account, but a few leagues to the east of Papua, and
some twelve or thirteen hundred miles at least west of us.”

Max now got up, and after stretching himself, and
giving three or four great yawns, came towards the spot
where the rest of us were sitting ; but after taking a few
steps, he suddenly stopped, uttering an exclamation of
surprise, and looking down at something in the grass at
his feet. He then kicked a dark object out of a tall bunch
of fern towards us. It was an old beaver hat, crushed flat,
and covered with mildew and dirt. Rebinson Crusoe was
not more startled by the footprint in the sand, than were
we at the sight of this unequivocal trace of civilized man.
Arthur picked it up, and restoring it partially to its proper
shape, examined the inside. On the lining of the crown
appeared, in gilt letters—

PIERRE BAUDIN,

CHAPELIER,
RUE RICHELIEU, No. 20.
A PARIS
ABOUT TEWA. 149

“Here, then,” said Max, “is an end of the notion that
we are the first inhabitants of this island; it is clear that
others have been, if they are not now, uponit. Perhaps,
Charlie, this is the hat of the man you heard talking
French in the woods this morning.”

“ At anyrate,” said Arthur, after a moment of thought-.
ful silence, “ this must be the place where the Frenchman
who perished in the waterspout, and his companions, were
cast away, and from which they afterwards reached Eiulo’s
island in a small boat. The well yonder is probably their
work, and we may perhaps find other evidences of their
stay here when we come to explore the island more
thoroughly.”

CHAPTER XVIII.

ABOUT TEWA.

A DULL CHAPTER, BUT NECESSARY—WAKATTA AND ATOLLO
—A GENTLE HINT—MAX AS AN ARCHITECT.

“In the forest hollow roaring,
Hark! I hear a deepening sound,
Clouds rise thick with heavy lowering;
See! the horizon blackens round.”

It must not be inferred, from the occasional bursts of
holiday humour in which we indulged, that we had be-
come reconciled to our exile, and were now ready to sub-
side into a state of indolent contentment, satisfied with
security from present danger, and the abundant means of
subsistence which we had discovered.
150 ABOUT TEWA.

Not even a tropical paradise, with its warm, glowing
sky, and balmy atmosphere, its “ambrosial fruits and
amaranthine flowers,” could charm us into oblivion of
home, and those who made it dear, or diminish the bitter-
ness of the thought of being cut off for ever from human
intercourse, and of having all our plans of life deranged
and frustrated. Though we did not brood continually
over our unfortunate situation, we were far from being
insensible to it. The loveliest island that ever reposed in
undiscovered beauty upon the bosom of the “ blue summer
ocean,” though rich in all things necessary to supply
every material want, must still have seemed to us but as
n gilded and luxurious prison, from which we should
never cease to sigh for an escape.

Arthur’s conclusion, mentioned at the end of the last
chapter, seemed in itself so probable, and was confirmed
by so many circumstances, that it was readily adopted by
us all; and believing that the party, of whose presence at
one time upon the island the hat was an evidence, had left
it years ago, the occurrence no longer appeared to possess
any importance, and we dismissed it altogether from our
thoughts.

Eiulo, when questioned on the subject of the white men
living among his own people, repeated substantially his
former statement, that they came from an island lying
south of his father’s, and distant from it less than a day’s
sail. It seemed, also, that before the arrival of the whites,
an island lying in the direction from which they had come
had been known to some at least of the natives, and visited
by them. In the course of the conversations which he
had with Arthur, at various times, about his father’s
people and their affairs, Eiulo had often spoken of an old
warrior, Wakatta by name, famous for his courage and
great personal strength, of which he related many remark-
able instances. Through two generations he had been
the most devoted and valued fricnd of the family of his
ABOUT TEWA. 151]

chief, and upon his wisdom, sagacity, and prowess, Eiulo’s
father and grandfather had relied in many an emergency,
and seldom in vain. Formerly, the three islands were
independent of each other, and were ruled by separate
chiefs, who sometimes engaged in sanguinary wars emong
themselves, in most of which Wakatta had played a pro-
minent part.

A great many moons ago, as Eiulo expressed it, the
chiefs of the two smaller islands had united their forces
against his grandfather, who was then chief of Tewa, the
third and largest. To this enterprise they had been incited.
by Atollo, an uncle of Eiulo, and younger brother of the
present chief, his father. This man was possessed of great
ability, and his reputation as a warrior was second only to
that of Wakatta, who was many years his senior, so that:
among those of his own age he was considered without an.
equal. But though eminent for talent and courage, he
seemed to be entirely destitute of principle or feeling ; and
impelled, as was supposed, by a spirit of unscrupulous
ambition (for no other motive could be assigned), this
unnatural son plotted against the lives of his own father
and elder brother. His designs being discovered, and
fully exposed, he fled to one of the neighbouring islands,
and sought the protection of its chief, his father’s most
formidable and inveterate enemy. Afterwards, by his
address and energy, he succeeded in bringing about a
league between the chiefs of the two smaller islands, for
the purpose of an attack against Tewa by their combined
forces. The enterprise was planned with the greatest
secrecy, and executed with equal skill and daring. At
midnight the allies set sail in a fleet of war canoes, and
two hours before dawn they had disembarked at Tewa,
marched to the principal village where the chief resided,
and made all their dispositions for the attack, which was
so totally unexpected, that it was crowned with complete
success. Scarcely ary resistance was made; the principal
152 ABOUT TEWA.

Tewan warriors were slain in their beds, or taken prisoners,
and Eiulo’s father and grandfather, with Wakatta, only
saved their lives by fleeing to the mountains. Knowing
that the strictest search would be made for them, and
that, if taken, instant death would be their doom, they
stole forth from their lurking-place by night, repaired to
the beach, and taking a large canoe which they discovered
there, set sail in her, steering boldly southward, in search
of a considerable island which was believed to lie in that
direction. Soon after sunrise they came in sight of land,
but on approaching it, they found that the surf was burst-
ing with great fury upon a barrier reef stretching between
them and the shore, and it was not until they had coasted
along it for many hours, that they succeeded in effecting
a landing. Eiulo had heard both his father and Wakatta
speak of the island as a singularly beautiful spot, nearly
a3 large as Tewa, and abounding in bread-fruit and cocoa-
nut trees. Here the fugitives remained for several months,
until, becoming wearied of their solitary life, and possessed
by an irresistible longing to revisit their homes, they came
to the determination to venture back, and learn the state
of things there, at every hazard. They accordingly set
sail one day at noon, in order that they might reach their
destination under cover of night, in which they succeeded.

Seeking a temporary place of concealment in the woods,
they seized favourable opportunities to discover them-
selves to some friends on whom they could rely. They
learned that the victorious allies had been guilty of the
most intolerable cruelty towards the people of Tewa;
many of the prisoners had been slain as sacrifices to the
gods, and many more had been made slaves. Atollo had
established himself as chief at the conquered island, and
had gathered about him a band of the most ferocious and
desperate men, who practised every species of cruclty and
oppression upon the inhabitants. The latter, driven to
the utmost verge of endurance, were now ready to incur
ABOUT TEWA. 153

any risk in an attempt to deliver themselves from a yoke
so galling. They needed only a leader, and the experience
and prowess of Wakatta, together with the presence of
their ancient and rightful chief and his son, inspired them
with confidence and courage. Gathering a small but
resolute band of warriors, they awaited the favourable
moment to strike a decisive blow, and then, emulating the
secrecy and suddenness of Atollo’s recent enterprise, they.
sallied forth at night from their rendezvous in the forest,
and fell upon him and hisadherents. Wakatta was unable
to restrain the ferocity of his followers, excited by the
insults and injuries they had suffered, and they killed on
the spot all who fell into their hands, pausing to make no
prisoners. Atollo, after fighting like a tiger, though almost
alone, succeeded in making his escape with a few of his
attendants. The victors promptly carried the war into
the neighbouring islands, both of which were completely
subdued, and afterwards remained under the sway of
Eiulo’s grandfather until his death, when the present
chief succeeded. Atollo, after resisting as long as there
remained the slightest prospect of success, had sought
refuge among the recesses of the mountains, where he
still lurked with a few outlaw followers as desperate as
himself. His father had forbidden any search for him,
or any efforts for his capture to be made, and such was
the dread inspired by his desperate courage, ferocity, and
cunning, and such the superstitious terror with which he
was generally regarded, that few felt any inclination to
transgress this command, or to meddle in anyway with
him or his followers; and he was consequently left un-
molested in his favourite haunts among the wild and
almost inaccessible precipices of the interior. In seasons
of scarcity, his father had even caused supplies of food
to be placed where they would be likely to fall in his way.
Kiulo always shuddered when he spoke of this man. Once,
when accompanied by a young playmate and an attendant,
154 ABOUT TEWA.

he had strayed a long way into the wood in search of wild-
flowers, and had, without being aware of it, approached
the region frequented by the outlaws, a spear had sud-
denly been hurled at him from an adjacent thicket, with
so deadly a purpose, that it whistled past within a few
inches of his side. As they fled in alarm, and were clam-
bering hastily down a steep descent, a mass of rock was
disengaged from the verge of an overhanging precipice,
and came near crushing them all. Looking back in their
flight, they saw a wild figure, which the attendant recog-
nized at once as that of Eiulo’s uncle, stooping at the edge
of the cliff, in the act of loosening another large stone.
Notwithstanding this murderous attempt, the present chief
of Tewa continued to pursue the same forbearing course
which his father had adopted, and Atollo was still per-
mitted to remain unmolesttd among his mountain fast-
nesses.

Eiulo, even before the discovery of the hat, had believed
that we were upon the same island which his father had
visited, as above related, and from which the whites had
afterwards come. He was confident that by sailing north-
ward, with a fair wind, we should reach Tewa in less than
aday. Though generally cheerful, and overflowing with
boyish spirits, there were times when it was apparent that
he pined for his home; and though he never directly
urged it, he earnestly wished to have us make the attempt
to reach his father’s island in the yawl.

At length I began to suspect, from the constant and
minute inquiries which Arthur made in relation to Tewa
and its people, their usages, habits, &c., that he was think-
ing seriously of some such attempt. He directed his in-
quiries particularly to the point, whether the island was
ever visited by ships. Eiulo remembered hearing his
father speak of big canoes without any outriggers, and
whose masts were as high as a cocoanut-tree, having passed
in sight of the island. He had heard, too, that a long
ABOUT TEWA. 155

while ago one of these great vessels had got aground upon
a reef between Tewa and the adjacent island, and that the
natives had gone off to her in their canoes, and some of
them had ventured on board at the invitation of the
strangers. Old Wakatta was one of these, and he had
received a wonderful present from the white chief, which
he had often exhibited to Einlo, and which, from his de-
scription of it, appeared to be neither more nor less than
asmall looking-glass. The great canoe had, by throwing
overboard a part of her cargo, got off from the reef at
the rising of the tide, and resumed her voyage. It was
pretty evident that the arrival of a European vessel at the
islands was an event of very rare occurrence, and in all
probability the result of mere accident. Except that he
steadily pursued inquiries of this kind, Arthur said nothing
to show that he entertained the thought of such an under-
taking as I suspected him to be revolving. Browne and
Morton both had exaggerated notions of the cruelty and
treachery of the “heathen natives,” as the former called
them; and would, I had no doubt, be strongly averse to
any step calculated to place us in their power, unless it
should also in some way increase our prospects of ulti-
mately getting home.

For several days after the occurrences narrated in the
last chapter, we remained at Castle Hill, making little
excursions daily in various directions. Having now dis-
covered a supply of fresh water, and abundant means of
subsistence, it seemed as though there was at present
nothing further for us to do except to assist Arthur as far
as we could in his preparations for manufacturing tappa.
The weather was so genial (except during the middle of
the day, when the heat was frequently intolerable), that
we felt no want of any other shelter than such as the
grove afforded us. Generally towards evening a refresh-
ing breeze set in from the sea, and lasted several hours.
We experienced no bad effects trom sleeping in the open
156 ABOUT TEWA.

air, and, far from finding it a hardship, we soon came to
consider it everyway more pleasant than to be cribbed
and cabined within four close walls. There was some-
thing delightful in dropping off into dreamland, listening
to the whispering of the leaves above you, and catching
glimpses through them of a sky so deliciously blue, and
stars so wonderfully bright. It seemed as though in this
favoured spot the fable of a perpetual summer was to be
realized, and the whole circle of the year was to be crowned
with the same freshness and verdure and beauty, the same
profusion of fruits and flowers, which we had thus far
enjoyed. But such expectations, if any of us were beguiled
into entertaining them, were destined to be rudely dissi-
pated. One hot afternoon we were startled from a drowsy
siesta in the grove by a peal of thunder, such as is rarely
heard in temperate climates, and on springing up, and
looking about us, we beheld above and around us certain
indications which it would have been far more interesting
and agreeable to contemplate from beneath the shelter of
a snug and comfortable dwelling. The wind moaned
through the bending tree-tops, the face of the heavens
was black as night, and the waters of the lagoon and of
the ocean had darkened to a steely blue beneath their
frown. Before we had fairly shaken off our drowsiness,
another abrupt peal of thunder burst overhead, with a
suddenness that seemed to jar the very clouds, and shake
the water out of them, for the rain began all at once to
come down violently in big drops, that rattled like hail-
stones upon the crisp leaves of the forest. The thunder
appeared to have completed its office in giving the signal
for the clouds to discharge their contents, and we heard
it no more. For a time, the dense foliage of the large
tree under which we gathered completely sheltered us;
but soon the moisture began to drip slowly from the lower
leaves, and occasionally fell in sudden showers, as the
branches were shaken by the wind.
ABOUT TEWA. 157

At length the ground became thoroughly saturated,
shallow puddles formed in every little hollow or depres-
sion, and there was the prospect of a most miserable night
if the storm should continue. Happily this did not prove
to be the case; in about an hour after we had been aroused
by the first thunder-peal, the clouds dispersed almost as
suddenly as they had gathered, the sun shone forth
brightly, the trees and the grass sparkled with rain-drops
lustrous as diamonds, and the whole landscape smiled in
fresher beauty than ever.

This little occurrence, however, served as a seasonable
hint to recall to our minds the importance of contriving
some kind of a dwelling to afford us shelter in bad weather,
and we resolved to lose no time in setting about it.
Accordingly, the day following that of the thunder-
shower, as soon as we had returned from the beach, after
taking our regular morning swim, Arthur called a council,
to deliberate and determine upon the matter of house- —
building. The first thing was to fix upon a site: the only
objection to the level space at the top of the hill was its
elevated position, exposing it to the full force of the
violent winds which prevail at certain periods of the
tropical year. But on that side from which the strongest
winds blow, the spot was protected by still higher land
towards the interior, and the fine trees, of various kinds
and sizes (some of them evidently the growth of many
years), among which could be seen no prostrate trunks,
showed, as we thought, that nothing was to be feared
from that source.

We therefore selected a smooth open space near the
edge of the terrace, commanding a view of the sea through
a vista of noble trees. Max insisted that inasmuch as,
with our limited architectural resources, we could not
make our house of more than one storey, we ought to
build in “cottage style,” and make up for deficiency in
height by spreading over a large surface. He then pro-
158 ABOUT TEWA.

ceeded to mark out a ground-plan, upon a scale that
would have been shockingly extravagant, had we been in
a part of the world where the price of building-lots was
to be taken into consideration. A parallelogram nearly
forty feet long by twenty-five in width, the narrower side
fronting the sea, was the plan of the main building. This
was to be flanked by two wings, each some sixteen feet
square, which would serve to strengthen and support the
principal structure. “Upon this model,’ Max compla-
cently observed, “he intended one of these days to build
his country-seat near Mount Merino, on the Hudson:
meantime we were welcome to the benefit of the idea.”

“Really we’re greatly obliged to you, Max,” said
Browne, “for helping us so generously through with the
most difficult part of the business. All that we now want
in order to finish it at once, is merely a few loads of joist,
plank, pine-boards, shingles, and window-sash; a supply
of nails, a set of carpenters’ tools, and a couple of car-
penters to use them.”

“ Of course,” rejoined Max, “ we shall want a supply of
building materials, tools, &c., and I am expecting them
along daily. We have now been here several weeks, and
it is quite time, in the natural and regular course of things,
and according to the uniform experience of people situated
as we are, for a ship heavily laden (say in our case) with
lumber and hardware to be driven upon our shores in the
midst of a terrible storm (yesterday, when it began to
thunder, I thought it was at hand). The ship will come
driving upon the reef—the crew will take to the boats;
but no boat can live in such a sea, and notwithstanding
our humane and daring efforts to assist them, all perish
among the breakers—that is to say, all except the car-
penter—whom I rescue, by plunging into the raging
flood, and dragging him ashore by the hair, just as he is
about sinking for the third time.”

“ Nobly done,” said Browne ; “ but couldn’t you at the
ABOUT TEW.\. 159

same time manage to save a drowning washerwoman ?
She would be as great an acquisition as the carpenter, in
my mind.”

“ At length,” resumed Max, “the storm abates—the sea
becomes smooth—we go out in the yawl to the stranded
vessel, where she lies upon a coral patch, and bring off,
in two boat-loads, the carpenter’s chest, a keg of gun-
powder, a blunderbuss, seven muskets, fourteen pairs of
pistols, and a bag of doubloons (think of that, Charlie!)
That very night the wind rises again: the surf breaks the
wreck to pieces, and washes the fragments ashore, and in
the morning the sea is strewn far and wide with floating
spars, and bales, and barrels; and the reef is covered for
miles with ‘joist, plank, pine-boards, shingles, window-
sash,’ and whatever other trifling conveniences are requi-
site for building my cottage. This is what Charlie and I
confidently calculate upon.”*

“In the meantime,” said Arthur, “in case, by any
unfortunate accident, your ship should fail to arrive in
time to enable us to get the cottage up before the rains
set in, I propose that we commence a less ambitious struc-
ture ;” and he began to trace upon the ground with a
pointed stick the oval outline of what he called “a Tahi-



* The disposition here and elsewhere manifested by Master Adeler to
be savagely witty at the expense of “the story-books,”” on the score of
their frequent inconsistencies, and the fortunate accidents, wonderful coin-
cidences, and hairbreadth escapes with which they abound, strikes me es
being somewhat ungracious under the circumstances.

One would think that after the long series of all sorts of unheard-of
perils from mutineers, sharks, tempests, whales, waterspouts, and what
not, through which himself and his fellow-adventurers had passed,
without damage to life or limb, he might reasonably have been more
indulgent toward the seeming extravagances of professed works of fiction.

In fact, the ‘“‘narrative” of our young friends, the Islanders, though
strictly true in every particular (as we are bound in common justice to
believe, until their veracity is impeached), might itself, with some show
of plausibility, be made the subject of precisely the same style of invidious
and ill-natured remark.—Ep.
160 ABOUT TEWA.

tian faré.’ But even for my faré,” he added, “we shall
need the means of cutting down a number of good-sized
trees.”

“ Of which we are entirely destitute,” said Max with an
air of triumph; “and I don’t see but that we shall have to
wait for my ship after all.”

“Not so,” answered Arthur, “for I think that two or
three of the cutlasses may be converted into tolerable
saws, with which, by dint of a little patience, we can get
out as many posts and rafters as will be requisite for the
frame of our building, though I admit it will be tedious
work.”

Charlie heaved a profound sigh at the prospect of the
difficulties that lay in the way of his pet.project of house-
building, and wished that “that old magician who built
the castle with a thousand windows for Aladdin, in a single
night, would only be clever enough to lend us his assist-
ance.” But upon second thoughts, he concluded that
there would be “no fun” in having our house ready-made
for us, and magnanimously declared that if he had the
wonderful lamp in his hands that minute, with full power
to summon up the obedient genius, and set him to work,
he would not do it.

“T hope you would make him supply us with a few good
axes, Charlie, at least,” said Browne.

But Charlie was disposed to be very self-denying and
high-minded; he did not think he ought to do it; we
should take a great deal more pleasure in our house if
we made it ourselves, without any magical assistance of
any kind.

“ Now that you mention axes,” said Morton, “it occurs
to me that there is an old hatchet-head among the rubbish
in the locker of the yawl, and though it is a good deal
battered and worn, it could be fitted with a handle, and
made useful.”

“We all now remembered having seen it, though no
THE CORAL REEF. 161

one had before thought of it. Arthur suggested that we
should make an excursion to Palm Islet as soon as the
heat of the day was over, and the sea-breeze had set in,
for the purpose of getting the hatchet, and bringing the
boat round to the side of the island where we intended to
fix our residence, as we might have occasion for its use.
“We can get there before dark,” said he, “and pass the
night once more at our old quarters on the little island ;
then we can row back in the fresh of the morning before
sunrise, and be ready to commence our building in
earnest.”

CHAPTER XIX.

THE CORAL REEF,

CHARLIE AND THE CHAMA—AMATEUR PEARI-DIVING—
A SHARK BLOCKADE—CULINARY GENIUS.

“ Down in the depths of the lonely sea
I work at my mystic masonry ;
I've crusted the plants of the deep with stone,
And given them colouring not their own;
And now o’er the ocean-fields they spread
Their fan-like branches of white and red:
Oh! who can fashion a work like me,
The mason of God, in the boundless sea.”

LaTE in the afternoon, when the slanting beams of the

sun began to lose their fierceness, and the heat was tem-

pered by the breeze setting in from the ocean, we descended

to the beach, and set out for the eastern side of the island,

in accordance with Arthur’s suggestion mentioned at the
L
162 THE CORAL REEP.

close of the last chapter. As we made our way across
Sea-bird’s Point, the clamorous cries of the gannets, raising
their harsh voices to the highest pitch, in angry remon-
strance against this invasion of their domain, were almost
deafening. They might well be alarmed for the safety of
their nests—or rather of their eggs, which they lay upon
the bare ground, without any attempt at a nest—for they
_strewed the whole point so thickly, that it was no easy
matter to pick one’s way without treading upon them at
every alternate step. In nearly every tree were to be
seen the rude nests of the frigate-bird, built of afew coarse
sticks; and numbers of the birds themselves, with their
singular blood-red pouches inflated to the utmost extent,
were flying in from the sea. The large sooty tern, the
graceful tropic bird, and the spruce, fierce-looking man-of-
war’s hawk, with his crimson bill and black flashing eye,
flew familiarly around us, frequently coming so near, that
we could easily have knocked them down with our cut-
lasses, had we been inclined to abuse so wantonly the
confidence which they seemed to repose in us.

When half-way across the point, I came suddenly upon
a magnificent male tropic bird, sitting in his nest behind
a tussock of tall reedy grass. He did not offer to quit
his post even when the others approached very near,
and paused to admire him; being apparently engaged,
in the absence of his mate, in attending to certain domestic
duties generally supposed to belong more appropriately
to her. He was somewhat larger than a pigeon, and was
a very beautiful bird, though not so brilliantly-coloured
as several other species of sea-fowl. His plumage, soft
and lustrous as satin, was of a delicate pearly grey, except
the long middle feathers of the tail, which were of a pale
red, and projected full a foot and a half beyond the rest.
He manifested not the slightest fear, even when Charlie
stooped and stroked his glossy coat. Just as we Icft the
spot, the partner of this exemplary bird arrived, and
THE CORAL REEF. 163

hastened to relieve him from duty, giving him notice to
quit by two or three quick, impatient chirps, and a playful
peck upon the head, whereupon he resigned his place,
into which the other immediately settled with a soft, com-
placent, cooing note, as expressive of perfect content as
the purring of a well-fed tabby, stretched cosily upon the
hearth-rug before a cheerful winter evening fire. This
transfer was effected so quickly, that Charlie was baffled
in an ill-bred attempt which he made to pry into the
domestic concerns of the affectionate pair, and he could
not get even a transient giimpse of the contents of the
nest.

Without permitting ourselves to be tempted into any
further deviation or delay, we kept steadily along the
beach, until we arrived, a little before sunset, at the spot
where the yawl lay, drawn up on the sand, opposite the
islet.

Max declared that after our long march, we ought to
have a supper consisting of something more substantial
than cocoanuts, and proposed that we should pull over to
the reef, and procure some shell-fish ; which proposition
meeting with gencral approval, we got the boat into the
water, and in five minutes reached the inside of the ledge,
and landed upon it at a point about a quarter of a mile
from the opening through which we had first entered the
lagoon. In this place it was some fifteen or twenty yards
in width, and consisted of a seamed and broken flat of
dead coral, elevated but slightly above the level of the
sea. Though there was no wind, and had been none
during the day, the mighty billows of the open ocean
caine rolling in upon the outer edge of the reef with their
accustomed violence. The action of the trade-winds is,
upon the whole, so steady and uniform, that when it does
cease for short periods, its effects continue, and upon the
windward side of thcse coral-belted islands there are
breakers that never cease to rage, even in the calmest
164 THE CORAL REEF.

weather. No sight could be more grand and imposing
than that of these enormous waves encountering the reef.
One of them would sometimes extend along it a mile, or a
mile and a half, in an unbroken line. As it sweeps onward,
with a slow and majestic movement, towering up like a
dark-blue mountain, it seems as if nothing could resist its
power, and you almost tremble lest the solid barrier upon
which you stand should be hurled from its foundations.
It meets the curving line of the reef with a tremendous
concussion, and thus suddenly arrested by the parapet of
coral, reared from the depths of the sea, it rises at once,
throughout its entire length, to the height of twelve or
fifteen feet perpendicularly, and stands for a moment as if
congealed in its progress; then breaking with a hollow
roar, it falls in a deluge of foam and spray, filling all the
seams and crevices, and marking their course in lines of
white upon the dark ground of the ledge. Not the least
striking feature of the spectacle was the multitude of
fishes, of all shapes, colours, and sizes, that could be seen
suspended in the face of this liquid wall the very moment
before it fell. How they escaped being thrown upon the
reef seemed inexplicable, but they darted hither and
thither at the very edge of the roller with the greatest
apparent ease and security, and almost invariably turned
seaward just in time to save themselves. Occasionally,
however, some careless or unskilful individual, not sufh-
ciently versed in this perilous kind of navigation, suffered
shipwreck, and was left gasping and floundering upon the
coral.

While thus engaged in watching the bursting of the
waves upon the reef, I suddenly heard Charlie at a little
distance calling out lustily for help, and hastening to the
spot, I found him in one of the yawning crevices of the
coral rock up to his neck in water, and struggling violently
to get out, in which he seemed to meet with opposition
from some object in the hole
THE CORAL REEF. 165

“Something has got me by the feet,” he cried, as soon
as he saw me; “it is an enormous oyster, or a shell-fish of
some kind, and it pinches dreadfully.”

I looked down into the water, and saw what, in fact,
seemed to be a gigantic shell-fish griping both his legs:
it retained its hold so tenaciously, that I found I could
not extricate him, and when Arthur came up, as he did in
a moment, it was as much as we could both do to lift him
and his singular captor, which still clung obstinately to
him, out of the crevice. We were then obliged to pry
open the shells with our cutlasses before we could release
him.

Arthur pronounced this extraordinary shell-fish to be a
specimen of the “chama gigas.” The shells were nearly
three feet in length, and curiously marked and clouded.
Charlie had slipped from the slimy edge of the chasm,
and happened to fall fairly into the expanded jaws of the
chama, which had instantly closed upon him. If the
water had been deeper, the consequences might have
been serious, as there are instances of persons being
drowned by having their feet caught in the vice-like gripe
of this formidable bivalve.

Not far from the scene of Charlie’s mishap was a green
spot upon the reef, where a group of young trees seemed
to spring up out of the bare coral. On approaching the
place, we found that a litile island, about the size of
Palm Islet, was there in process of formation. Notwith-
standing the exposed and barren character of the locality,
and the scantiness of the soil, which was not anywhere a
foot in depth, it was covered with a thrifty vegetation,
among which were several well-grown palms, a group
of young casuarinas, and some ferns and tournefortias.
Nor was this embryo islet destitute of inhabitants. The
trees were at this hour filled with aquatic birds, and I
observed among them one remarkable species, long-bodied,
‘and slender, like swallows, with red bills and feet, white
166 THE CORAL REEF,

breast, and slate-coloured wings; these, instead of perch-
ing, like the rest of their feathered associates, upon the
trees, nestled in the concavity of the long palm-leaves,
far enough from the stem to be rocked gently by the un-
dulating motion of the leaf, which a breath of wind, or
the slightest stirring of the birds in these swinging nests,
was sufficient to produce. But by far the most numerous
and singular portion of the population of the islet con-
sisted of a species of large land-crab, inhabiting burrows
hollowed out beneath the roots of the trees. Great num-
bers of them appeared to be bathing or sporting in the
shallow water on the lagoon side of the islet, but at sight
of us they scrambled off to their burrows with a degree of
agility that could hardly have been expected from such
clumsy-looking creatures. Owing partly to this unlooked-
for rapidity of locomotion, and partly to a natural shyness
and hesitation which we felt about handling them rashly
(their pincer-like jaws, with half-a-dozen pairs of which
each individual seemed to be provided, having a rather
formidable appearance), they escaped before we could
capture even a specimen. Charlie forthwith posted him-
self in ambush among a bunch of fern, and riveting his
eyes upon one of the burrows at the foot of a young
cocoanut-tree, waited impatiently for the crabs to venture
forth once more. In afew moments a patriarchal-looking
old fellow emerged cautiously from the hole, and was
presently followed by several more. Charlie prudently
delayed any hostile movement until they should get far
enough from their place of security to enable him to cut
off their retreat; and in the meantime I was greatly
amused and interested in observing the ingenious method
in which the patriarch commenced operating upon a
cocoanut which had fallen to the ground near his den.
Managing his complicated apparatus of claws with sur-
prising dexterity, he seized the nut, and stripped off the
outer husk in a twinkling; then setting it up on end, he
THE CORAL REEF. 167

began to hammer away at the orifices through which the
stalk and root of the future tree make their way when
the nut germinates. Having at length removed the filling-
up of these orifices, he inserted a claw, and actually split
the strong inner shell, dividing it neatly into halves. At
this stage of the procecdings, half-a-dozen greedy neigh-
bours, who had been looking on, without offering a help-
ing claw, shuffled nimbly forward to share the spoil, and
it was curious to see how quickly they cleaned out the
shell, leaving not a particle of the kernel. Charlie seized
this as a favourable moment for a sally, and rushed forth
cutlass in hand, having adopted the discreet resolution of
disabling them by lopping off those formidable claws
before coming to close quarters. The sally, however,
was premature, and proved entirely unsuccessful, for the
crabs backed and sidled into their burrows with such ex-
pedition, that the last of them disappeared before their
assailant could get within reach. Leaving Charlie to
renew his ambuscade, if so disposed, I proceeded along the
reef, and found Max and Browne bathing for the second
time that day. They had discovered a charming place
for the purpose, where a kind of oval basin was formed by
the lagoon setting into the inside of the reef. The water
was deep and clear, so that there was no danger of wound-
ing the feet by means of shells or corals. Max had dis-
covered what he supposed to be an enormous pearl-oyster
attached to a wall of coral, at the depth of five or six
fathoms, and they were diving for it alternately. Both
succeeded in reaching it, but it adhered so firmly to the
rock by its strong beard, that neither of the amateur pearl-
divers could tear it off, and getting soon exhausted and
out of breath, they abandoned the attempt.

The submarine scenery of the lagoon was in this spot
unusually varied and beautiful, and the basin formined a
bath fit for the Nereids themselves. ‘Numbers of different
kinds of shell-fish were attached to the coral branches, or
168 THE CORAL REEF.

wedged into their interstices. Others were feeding, and
reflected the brightest colours with every motion. Purple.
mullet, variegated rock-fish, and small ray-fish, were dart-
ing about near the bottom. Another species of mullet,
of a splendid changeable blue and green, seemed to be
feeding upon the little polypes protruding from the coral
tops. Shells, sea-plants, corals, and fishes, and the slight-
est movement of the latter, even to the vibration of a
tiny fin, or the gentle opening of the gills in respiration,
could be seen with perfect distinctness in this transparent
medium. But what chiefly attracted attention was the gay
tints, and curious shapes, of the innumerable zoophytes,
or “flower animals,” springing up from the sides and
bottom of the basin, and unfolding their living leaves
above the limestone trunks or stems which encased them.
Blue, red, pink, orange, purple, and green, were among
their colours, and the variety of patterns seemed abso-
lutely endless: they mimicked in their manner of growth
the foliage of trees, the spreading antlers of the stag,
globes, columns, stars, feathery plumes, trailing vines,
and all the wildest and most graceful forms of terrestrial
vegetation. Nothing was wanting to complete this sub-
marine shrubbery, even to the minutest details; there
were mosses, and ferns, and lichens, and spreading shrubs,
and branching trees ; bunches of slender thread-like stems,
swaying gently with the motion of the water, might (except
for their pale, purplish tint) pass for rushes, or tussocks of
reedy grass ; and it required no effort of the imagination
to see fancifully-shaped wild-flowers in the numerous
varieties of actiniz, or sea anemones, many of which bore
the closest resemblance to woodpinks, asters, and carna-
tions. The imitations of these flowers were in some cases
wonderfully perfect, even to their delicate petals, which
were represented by the slender fringe-like tentacles of
the living polype protruding from its cell. Besides these
counterparts of land vegetation, there were waving sea-fans,
THE CORAL REEF. 169

solid masses of sponge coral, clubs of Hercules, madre-
pores, like elegantly-formed vases filled with flowers,
dome-like groups of astrea, studded with green and
purple spangles, and a thousand other shapes so fantastic
and peculiar, that they can be likened to no other objects
in nature.

Charlie having got tired of lying in wait for the crabs,
came to watch the swimmers, and search for shells. In
the course of frequent beach excursions with Mr. Frazer,
he had picked up the names and chief distinguishing
characteristics of the principal genera of marine shells, in
consequence of which he had at length come to regard
himself as quite a conchologist, and was ambitious of
making a “collection,” like other naturalists; in which
design Arthur encouraged and assisted him.

Joining me, where I was lying upon a flat ledge, peer-
ing down into the basin, he presently espied a Triton’s
trumpet, more than a foot in length, in some five fathoms
of water, and pointing it out to Max, he begged him to
dive for it, earnestly assuring him that he had never seen
so fine a specimen of the “Murex Tritonica.” But the
latter very decidedly declined sacrificing his breath in the
cause of science, declaring that he had completely ex-
hausted himself by his exertions in pearl-diving.

Eiulo coming up at the moment with a number of shell-
fish which he had obtained, Charlie appealed to him for
aid, and not in vain, for as soon as the much-coveted shell
was pointed out to him, he threw off his wrapper, and
plunging into the water, almost instantly returned with
it. Max now showed him the supposed pearl-oyster, and
challenged him to make an attempt to bring it up. Eiulo
laughed, and nodded his acceptance of the challenge.
After pausing a moment to take breath, he dove perpen-
dicularly downward, reaching the shell easily with a few
strokes, and made one or two vigorous but ineffectual
jerks at it; then, just as I thought him about to give it
170 THE CORAL REEF.

up, and ascend again, he grasped it with both hands,
brought his feet under him, and bracing himself firmly
against the wall of coral, he wrenched it off, and bore the
prize in triumph to the surface. It proved to be a pearl-
oyster, as Max had supposed, and on being opened, was
found to contain eleven seed-pearls. Eiulo presented the
shell and its contents to Charlie, who seemed to value
the former quite as much as the latter, and presently ran
off in search of Arthur, to inquire whether it should pro-
perly be classed with the “yenus ostrea,” or the “genus
mytilus.”

After watching the swimmers a little longer, I strolled
along the reef in the direction which Charlie had taken
in pursuit of Arthur, stopping occasionally to watch the
bursting of a wave of uncommon magnitude, or to ex-
amine some of the interesting objects that were strewn
with such profusion in every direction, and which ren-
dered that barren ledge so choice a spot for the studies of
the naturalist. Some ten or fifteen minutes had been
thus employed, and it was beginning to grow dark, so
that Arthur and Charlie, whom I had not yet overtaken,
could be but just distinguished, like two specks in the dis-
tance, when I heard the powerful voice of Browne, raised
in a loud and prolonged halloo. Pausing to listen, I soon
heard the cry repeated, in a manner that showed, as I
thought, that something unusual had taken place. Hasten-
ing back, I found that Max and Browne had swum off to
a coral knoll in the lagoon a stone’s-throw from the reef,
and dared not venture back, being closely blockaded by a
large fish swimming about near the spot, which they sup-
posed to be a shark. They called loudly for me to come
after them in the boat, and to lose no time about it, as
there was water enough on the knoll to enable a shark, if
tolerably enterprising, to reach them where they stood.
Though it was rapidly getting dark, there was still suffi-
cient light to enable me to distinguish an enormous fish
THE CORAL REEF. . 171

of some kind cruising back and forth, with the relugarity
of a sentinel on duty, between the reef and the shallow
where Max and Browne were standing up to their knees
in water. The case appeared to admit of no delay, and
jumping into the boat, I pulled over the coral patch with
all possible speed, passing the fish close enough to see
that it was in fact a large shark, and he proved also to be
an exceedingly fierce and ravenous one. It almost seemed
as though he understood my errand, for he followed, or
rather attended me closely, keeping so near the bow of
the boat, that it was with great difficulty and some danger,
that I at Iength got the blockaded swimmers aboard.
When this was effected, his disappointment and conse-
quent bad temper were quite apparent: he swam round
and round the boat in the most disturbed and agitated
Inanner as we returned, making a variety of savage de-
monstrations, and finally going so far as to snap spitefully
at the oars, which he did not discontinue, until Browne
had two or three times rapped him smartly over the nose.
After landing in safety, Max pelted him with shells and
pieces of coral rock, until he finally swam off.

Meantime Arthur and Charlie had returned from their
wandering along the reef; the latter had come across
another colony of crabs, and had succeeded in capturing
three of them, or rather two and a half, for having, as he
fondly imagined, disabled one enormous fellow by hack-
ing him in two with his cutlass, the one half had scram-
bled into the hole while Charlie was securing the other.

We now placed the chama shells, the crabs, and other
shell-fish, together with Charlie’s specimens, to which he
had added a splendid madrepore vase, in the boat, and
as soon as the swimmers were dressed, we pulled over to
Palm Islet. Here we arranged a tent in the same manner
as we had done on the memorable night when we first
reached these shores. Max then kindled a fire, and pre-
pared to cook our supper. The shell-fish were easily
172 ARTHUR’S STORY.

managed, by placing them upon the embers, but the crabs,
which it was necessary to boil, and which were of the sizo
of small lobsters, presented a more difficult case. Max’s
culinary genius, however, stimulated by a keen appetite,
eventually triumphed over every obstacle. He procured
a number of stones, which he heated in the fire; then
filling one of the deep and rounded chama shells with
water, he proceeded to drop the heated stones into it,
using a couple of sticks as a pair of tongs. This process
he continued until the water boiled, when he remorse-
lessly plunged the unhappy crabs therein, and from time
to time dropped in more of the heated stones, until the
cookery was complete.

CHAPTER XX.

ARTHUR’S STORY.

LROWNE ON “THE KNIGHTLY CHARACTER’—ROKOA—THE |
CANNIBAL ISLAND OF ANGATAN.



‘This is no Grecian fable of fountains running wine,
Of hags with snaky tresses, and sailors turned to swiue:
On yonder teeming island, under the noonday sun,
In sight of many people, these strange dark deeds were donc.”

Havine made a hearty and satisfactory supper, and con-
cluded the meal with a draught of cocoanut milk, we sat
down, like the patriarchs of old,“in the door of our tent,”
facing the sea, to enjoy the freshness of the evening
breeze.
ARTHUR’S STORY. 173

Charlie, after having settled it to his own entire satis-
faction, that the shell in which his pearls had been found
was properly a mussel, and not an oyster, and having
also, by Arthur’s help, resolved his doubts and difficulties
touching divers other knotty points in conchology, suc-
cessively raised and canvassed the grave and edifying
questions :—whether there actually were such creatures
as mermaids—whether sea-serpents were indigenous to
the neighbourhood of Cape Cod and Massachusetts Bay—
whether the narratives of ancient and modern voyagers,
in regard to krakens, and gigantic polypes, with feelers or
arms as long as a ship’s mainmast, had any foundation in
fact, or were to be looked upon as sheer fabrications—
and, finally, whether the hideous and revolting practice of
cannibalism really prevailed among the inhabitants of
certain groups of islands in the Pacific.”

“This puts me in mind, Arthur,” said Charlie, suddenly,
while the last-mentioned subject was under, discussion,
“of a promise you made during the voyage, to tell me a
story about a cannibai island upon which you were once
cast, and the adventures you met with there. This is a
good time to tell it: it is quite early, and the night so
beautiful, that it would be a shame to think of going to
bed for two or three hours yet; for my part, I feel as
though I could sit here’all night without getting sleepy.”

“A happy thought, Charlie,” said Browne; “it will be
the pleasantest possible way of passing the evening;
therefore, Arthur, let us have the story.”

“O yes, the story! let us have the cannibal story by all
means !’’ cried Max; “this is just the hour and the place



* For the most conclusive evidence of the existence of this pnnatural
and abominable practice, even as late as the year 1840, gee Wilkes’ Ex-
ploring Expedition, vol. iii. p. 153 (duodecimo edition), where a circum-
stantial account of a cannibal feast is given, as witnessed by Messrs. Lythe
and Hunt, missionaries at Somu Somu, on the island of Vuna, one of tho
Feejees.—Ep.
174 ARTHUR’S STORY.

to tell it with effect. The dash of the surf upon the reef,
the whispering of the night-wind in the tree-tops, the tall
black groves on the shore yonder, and the water lying
blacker still in their shadow, will all harmonize admirably
with the subject.”

“T believe I did promise Charlie an account of an unin-
tentional visit I once made to a place known as ‘ the can-
nibal island of Angatan,’ and I have no objection to redeem
my pledge now, if desired. I wish you to take notice,
however, at the outset, in order to avoid raising false
expectations, that I do not promise you a ‘cannibal story’
—how much my narrative deserves such a title, will ap-
pear when you have heard it.”

The call for the story being quite eager and unanimous,
Arthur settled himself into a comfortable position, and
after giving one or two of those preliminary ahems com-
mon to the whole fraternity of story-tellers from time im-
memorial, he proceeded as follows :—

ARTHUR’S STORY

OF THE CANNIBAL ISLAND OF ANGATAN.

“ About a year and a half ago, and just before the time
when I was to sail for the United States to complete my
preparation for the seminary, I was induced to embark
upon a voyage to the Palliser islands, planned by a young
chief of Eimeo, named Rokoa, and a Mr. Barton, an Ame-
rican trader residing at the island. The object of the
young chief in this expedition was to ascertain the fate of
an elder brother who had sailed for Anaa, or Chain Island,
several months before, with the intention of returning
immediately, but who had never since been heard from:
that of Mr. Barton was to engage anumber of Hao-divers
for a pearl-fishing voyage contemplated by him in con-
ARTILUR’S STORY. 175

nection with another foreign trader. He did not himself
embark with us; but his son,a young man two or three
years my senior, accompanied us instead, to make the
necessary arrangements for engaging the divers, and also
to purchase any mother-of-pearl, pearls, and tortoiseshell,
which the natives might have to dispose of at such places
as we should visit. With a view to the latter purpose, he
was provided with a supply of trinkets and cheap goods
of various kinds, such as are used in this species of traffic.
At the Society Islands, the natives had learned the fair
value of their commodities, and would no longer exchango
even their yams, bread-fruit, and cocoanuts, for beads,
spangles, and fragments of looking-glasses ; but among the
smaller groups, lying farther to the eastward, where the
intercourse with Europeans was comparatively infrequent,
these and similar articles were still in great demand, the
simple islanders readily giving rich shells, and valuable
pearls, in barter for them. I accompanied the expedition
at the request of Rokoa, and with scarcely any other object
than to gratify him; though I was made the bearer of
letters, and some trifling presents, to a Tahitian native
missionary, who had recently gone to Hao to labour there.
Thad long known both Rokoa and his brother, now sup-
posed to be lost. The former was a remarkable and in-
teresting character. He had accompanied my uncle and
myself on a voyage to Hawaii, and visited with us the
great volcano of Kilauea, on that island, said to be by far
the grandest and most wonderful in the world, not ex-
cepting Vesuvius itself. In making the descent into the
crater, and while endeavouring to reach what is called the
Black Ledge, he saved my life at the imminent hazarg of
his own. It was upon that voyage that I first became
acquainted with him. We afterwards travelled together
through the most wild and inaccessible parts of the in-
tcrior of Tahiti and Eimco; and in the course of this
intimacy I discovered much in him to esteem and admire.
176 ARTHUR'S STORY.

There was in his character such a union of gentleness and
courage, such childlike openness of disposition, and such
romantic fidelity to what he considered the obligations of
friendship, as reminds me of young Edmund in Charlie’s
favourite story of Aslauga’s Knight. With a chivalrous
daring, that could face the most appalling danger without
a tremor, was united an almost feminine delicacy of cha-
racter, truly remarkable in a savage.”

“That,” said Browne, “is the true ideal of the knightly
character—courage which nothing can daunt, but with-
out roughness or ferocity even in the hour of mortal
combat. The valour of the knight is a high sentiment of
honour, devotion, loyalty; it is calm, gentle, beautiful, and
is thus distinguished from the mere animal courage of
the ruffian, which is brutal, fierce, and cruel.”

“ T think I shall like Rokoa,” said Charlie, rubbing his
hands together in token of satisfaction; “and I guess
this is going to be an interesting story. There will be
some fighting in it, I expect.”

“Of course there will be plenty of fighting,” said Max ;
“ or else what is the meaning of this preliminary flourish
of trumpets about Rokoa’s chivalrous courage and all
that?”

“TI once more give fair and timely notice, in order to
prevent disappointment, that I am merely relating a sober
narrative of facts, and not improvising one of Max’s florid
romances about Sooloo pirates, Spanish bandits, Italian
bravos, or the robbers of the Hartz Mountains.”

“Or enchanted castles, captive princesses, valiant
knights, fire-breathing dragons, and diabolical old magi-
cians,” added Browne, “which formed the staple of a
nigfly edifying tale with which I overheard him enter-
taining Charlie the other afternoon at Castle Hill, as we
were taking our siesta in the shade.”

« And a capital story it was too,” said Charlie; “but go
on, Arthur, please.”
ARTHUR’S STORY. 177

“Well, everything being arranged for our voyage, we
set sail in a large ‘vaa motu, or single canoe, furnished
with a great outrigger, and manned by a crew of nine
natives. Our cargo consisted of Barton’s stock of goods
for trading with the islanders, and a quantity of stained
tappa, fine mats, sharks’ teeth, &c., which Rokoa had laid
in for purposes of his own.

The commencement of the voyage was pleasant and
auspicious. We set out in the morning with a fine westerly
breeze, which is of rare occurrence in that latitude, and
early in the afternoon we passed the high island of Meetia,
just in sight to the southward, showing that we had made
at least seventy miles in about nine hours. The wind
continued steady and fair, and the next day at sunset we
reached Anaa. Here we remained only long enough to
enable Rokoa to obtain all the information to be had that
promised to throw any light upon the fate of his brother.
_ All that could be learned was, that a canoe from Tahiti
' had touched here several months since, and after obtain-
ing a supply of water, had immediately sailed for Motu-
tunga, or Adventure Island, but from the description
given us of the canoe, and of the number and appearance
of her company, there was little reason to believe that
this was the party with which Rokoa’s brother had em-
barked. Barton being anxious to improve the favourable
breeze, which still continued to blow with unwonted
steadiness from such a quarter, we resumed our voyage,
and steered eastward for Hao, on the day after our arrival
at Anaa.

That night the weather suddenly changed, and a storm
arose, the wind blowing strongly from the south-west.
Our crew became alarmed, and a part of them began to
clamour to return to Anaa, which we might have done, by
three or four hours incessant paddling in the teeth of the
gale. Rokoa, however, believed that the weather would
change again in the morning, and determined to continue

M
178 ARTHUR’S STORY.

on our course; we accordingly ran before the wind with
barely sufficient sail to keep the canoe steady, and enable
us to steer her. The storm continued, without intermis-
sion or abatement, for the next twenty-four hours, con-
trary to Rokoa’s prediction ; and to avoid the danger of
being swamped, we were obliged still to keep running
before it. The second night, at sunset, the wind fell, and
in the morning the sea had become tolerably smooth, with
only a moderate breeze blowing. But though the gale
had ceased, the weather was still thick, and the sky so
obscured by clouds, that we could not see the sun, or even
fix upon the quarter of the heavens in which he stood.
Thus those means upon which the natives are wont to
rely for directing their course upon their long voyages
wholly failed us. The canoe was furnished with a small
ship’s compass, a present to Rokoa from the missionaries ;
but this had been broken by one of our crew being thrown
violently upon it during the storm, while Barton was
consulting it. We did not get even a glimpse of the sun
all that day, nor the next, until late in the afternoon,
when it cleared beautifully, and for the first time since
the loss of the compass, we were able to distinguish north
from south, and east from west. We found that we had
got completely ‘turned round,’ as the phrase is, and were
heading due north ; and we now put about, and steered in
what we supposed to be the right direction. At dawn the
next day, we were surprised to find ourselves in sight of a
strange island, which none of us remembered having seen
before. A remarkable-looking black rock, resembling the
hull of a large man-of-war, rose abruptly from the water
about half a mile from the shore. |
Rokoa, who had sailed a great deal among the islands
east of Tahiti, and had visited most of them, could form
no conjecture in regard to the one now insight. Presently
some of our crew began to whisper mysteriously together,
and the word was passed from one to another that this
ARTHUR’S STORY. 179

was no other than the ill-famed island of Angatan. I knew
that an island of that name, the subject of a thousand bug-
bear stories, to which I had often incredulously listened,
was said to lie somewhere to the north of Hao; but I had
never met with any one who could give me any definite
and satisfactory information respecting it.

According to general report, its inhabitants were can-
nibals, and were in the habit of murdering and devouring
all who were so unfortunate as to be cast upon their
shores, or who had the hardihood or temerity voluntarily
to land upon them. It was also said that the island had
never been visited by white men ; and owing to the popu-
lar belief in regard to the ferocious and warlike character
of its people, it is certain that the natives of the neigh-
bouring groups could not, as a general thing, be induced
by any consideration to engage in a voyage having this
reputed cannibal island for its destination; voyages of this
kind having been sometimes contemplated, but never to
my knowledge actually undertaken.

Among the other marvellous reports concerning An-
gatan, was one, to the effect that its inhabitants were
possessed of immense hoards of pearls and shell, of the
value of which they were utterly ignorant.

One of our crew, a garrulous Hao-man, and an inveter-
ate boaster, declared that about a year since he had em-
barked for Angatan with a party of Chain Islanders, in a
large double canoe, being tempted to incur the perils of
the enterprise by the prospect of the enormous gains that
might be realized in trading with the natives, if a friendly
intercourse could once be opened with them. They had
succeeded in reaching the island; but scarcely had they
set foot upon the shore, when they were attacked by a
party of the inhabitants, who issued suddenly from the
forest, and disregarding all their friendly signs and ges-
tures, fell upon them, and killed the greater part of their
number, the rest making thcir escape with difficulty, and
180 ARTHUR’S STORY.

sulely through the courage, presence of mind, and extra-
ordinary exertions of the narrator, without which they
must all infallibly have perished. He described the
islanders as fierce, wild-looking men, of gigantic stature,
armed with long spears, and heavy clubs set with sharks’
teeth, and wearing little or no clothing; yet, strange to
tell, around the necks of these almost naked savages were
strings of the richest pearls instead of the common orna-
ments of ovula-shells.

Our veracious Hao-man most solemnly asseverated
the entire and literal truth of all these particulars, and
declared that the island before us was the veritable can-
nibal Angatan, the singular black rock enabling him, as
he said, to identify it beyond all doubt. To this story I
was myself disposed to accord about the same degree of
credit as to the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor; but it
was easy to perceive that our crew, far from being so
sceptical, were firm and unhesitating believers in Anga-
tan, its man-eating giants, its treasures of pearl, and the
whole catalogue of marvels current respecting it.

I was the less inclined to repose any confidence in the
man’s declarations, because all the best accounts located
Angatan far to the north of Hao and Amanu, while we
had reason to believe that we were now to the south-west
of them.

Barton’s curiosity and love of adventure were stimu-
lated by what he had heard ; perhaps, also, the hints which
had been dropped respecting rich shell and costly pearls
were not without their due share of influence, and he de-
clared himself desirous of taking a closer look at this
‘terra incognita,’ respecting which such marvellous tales
were current. Rokoa, too, no sooner heard the first
whispered conjecture of the identity of the place before
us with Angatan, than he resolved to land, notwithstand-
ing the evident reluctance of the crew, and the open re-
monstrances and warnings of Sinbad. I suspected, I
ARTHUR’S STORY. 181

scarcely know why, that he cherished a vague hope of
being able to gain here some clue to the fate of his miss-
ing brother. On approaching the shore, we found that
a heavy surf broke upon it, but there was a good beach,
and a landing could be effected without much difficulty.
We accordingly took in our sail, and resorting to the
paddles, made for what seemed to be a favourable spot.
Soon after passing the black rock before alluded to, I
observed several figures stealing along the shore in the
covert of a row of mangrove bushes, and apparently
watching our movements. When we had reached the
edge of the surf, and were preparing to dash through it,
they came out of the thicket, and with threatening ges-
tures warned us away. This created such a panic among
our crew, that they could not be prevailed upon to paddle
nearer. Rokoa stood up in the bow, and made such signs
and gestures as are used to indicate peaceful and friendly
intentions, while Barton displayed some of his most at-
tractive-looking trinkets. The people on shore now
seemed to confer together, and in a few moments one oi
their number, who, from his stained tiputa of yellow and
crimson, appeared to be a chief, or person of consequence, |
came down to the water’s edge, waving a green bough, and
beckoning us to land. Our Sinbad pronounced this sudden
apparent change in their disposition towards us to be a
treacherous pretence, designed to lure us ashore, in order
that they might plunder, kill, and devour us; but as he
did not explain why, if such was their object, they should
in the first place have menaced us as they had done, we
gave little heed to his warnings. The party of natives
did not seem greatly to outnumber us, and were not par-
ticularly formidable in their appearance. They were, as
well as we could judge at such a distance, of no more
than the ordinary stature. With the exception of the in-
dividual already referred to in the gay tiputa, they wore
nothing but the maro, and were armed with long spears.
182 ARTHUR’S STORY.

Nevertheless, our crew still refused to make any nearer .
approach, suspecting that more of the natives were lurk-
ing among the mangroves, ready to sally out upon us at
the proper moment if we should venture to land.

“ Rokoa, finding all attempts to overcome the cowardice
of our men unavailing, took a few trinkets in his hand,
and springing overboard, swam through the surf to the
shore. The personage in the tiputa waited to receive
him, continuing to wave the green branch, and to make
amicable signs. Rokoa advanced, and greeted him in the
Tahitian fashion by rubbing faces. The two then walked
together to the skirts of the wood, where the others still
kept themselves, and Rokoa, after distributing his trin-
kets, came down to the beach again, and beckoned us to
come ashore, supposing that our crew might by this time
be so far reassured as to venture it. Sinbad was about to
remonstrate again, when Barton drew a pocket-pistol,
with a pair of which he was provided, and threatened to
shoot him, unless he kept quiet. This effectually silenced
the croakings of the Hao-man, for the time at least, and
we finally induced some of the others to take to the
paddles, and push through the surf to the spot where
Rokoa awaited us. As soon as the canoe was beached,
and we were all fairly ashore, the natives came forward
somewhat hastily from the skirt of the wood, probably in
the expectation of receiving further presents; but our
men, mistaking this sudden advance for a hostile move-
ment, laid hold of the canoe, and would have put her into
the water again, had not Rokoa, armed with a heavy
paddle, and backed by Barton with his pistols, interfered
with so much decision and vigour, that their fears began
to take a new direction, and they came to the sensible
conclusion that they had better run the risk of being
roasted and eaten by the cannibals, than encounter the
far more immediate danger of having their heads broken
by the club of their chief, or their bodies bored through
by the pistol-balls of the young Papalangi.
ARTHUR'S STORY. 183

On the other hand, the leader of the party of natives
spoke to them, and restrained their impatience: then ad-
vancing before the rest, he waved his hand, and throwing
himself into an oratorical attitude, made a little speech,
thanking Rokoa for his gifts, and welcoming us to the
island. The language which he spoke was a dialect oi.
the Tahitian, differing from it so slightly, that I had no
difficulty in understanding what he said.

When he had finished, Rokoa made an appropriate
reply, according to the rules of Polynesian etiquette.
He commenced by paying our gaudily-attired'friend some
florid compliments. He then gave a graphic account of
our voyage, describing the storm which we had encoun-
tered in such terms, that our escape must have seemed
little short of a miracle ; and concluded by stating the
manner in which we had been driven from our course and
finally reached the island. The natives listened atten-
tively, and signified their sense of Rokoa’s eloquence by
frequent exclamations of ‘ maitai! maitai!’ (good! good !),
and by nodding their heads emphatically at the end of
every sentence.”
184 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

CHAPTER XXI.

THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

THE MARAE AND THE PRIEST—-MOWNO AT HOME—CANNIBAL
YOUNG LADIES—OLLA AND HER FRIENDS.

‘“ And there with awful rites. the hoary priest,
Beside that moss-grown heathen altar stood,
His dusky form in magic cincture dressed,
And made the offering to his hideous god.”

“So, then,” said Browne, interrupting Arthur’s narrative,
“these two parties of savages, instead of going to work,
knocking each other’s brains out, as one might naturally
have expected, actually commenced entertaining one an-
other with set speeches, very much like the mayor and
aldermen of a city corporation receiving a deputation of
visitors !””

“There is,” replied Arthur, “an almost childish fond-
ness of form and ceremony among all the Polynesian
tribes, as is seen at their high-feasts and festivals, their
games, and religious rites. The chiefs and priests are in
the habit of making little orations, upon a variety of occa-
sions, when this is expected of them. Formerly, there
existed in the Society Islands a class of persons called
Rautis, or orators of battle, whose exclusive business it
was to exhort the people in time of war, and on the eve
of an engagement. Even during the heat of conflict, they
mingled with the combatants, and strove to animate and
inflame their courage by recounting the exploits of their
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 185

ancestors, and urging every motive calculated to excite
desperate valour and contempt of death. Some very re-
markable instances of the powerful effect produced by the
eloquence of these rautis are recorded, showing that they
constituted a by no means useless or ineffective part of a
native army. The islanders almost universally have a
taste for oratory, by which they are easily affected, and
they hold those who excel in it in high estimation.”

“It would appear, then,” said Browne, “that they are
not such utter heathens after all. I should never have
given them credit for so much taste and sensibility.”

“You see, Browne,” said Max, “what advantages you
will enjoy over the rest of us when we get to Eiulo’s
island, as Charlie is confident we are destined to do one
of these days. You shall then astonish the simple in-
habitants with Pitt’s reply to Walpole, or ‘Now is the
winter of our discontent,’ and gain advancement in the
state by your oratorical gifts. Who knows but you may
rise to be prime-minister, or chief rauti, to his majesty the
king ?”

“Pray, let Arthur proceed with the story,” said Mor-
ton, laughing ; “I see that Charlie is beginning to grow
impatient: he probably thinks it high time for the can-
nibals to be introduced, and the fighting to commence.”

“Well,” resumed Arthur, “as soon as the speech-making
was over, “the natives, who seemed thus far quite friendly
and inoffensive, came forward once more, and we all went
through the ceremony of rubbing faces, with a great show
of cordiality, though it was easy to perceive that our party
were still under the influence of secret fears and mis-
givings.

Barton and I received more than our due proportion
of these civilities, and from the wondering exclamations
of our new acquaintances, as they examined the articles
which composed our dress, and their remarks to one
another upon our complexidn, I inferred that some of
186 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

them at least had never seen a white person before.
Barton, in particular, attracted a large share of their at-
tention, owing, probably, to a complexion rather florid,
and uncommonly fair, notwithstanding a two-years’ resi-
dence within the tropics, which, together with his light
hair and blue eyes, afforded a striking contrast to the
tawny skins and long black elf-locks of the natives.

The chief of the party, who had acted as spokesman,
was called Mowno. He was a young man, with a hand-
some, boyish face, expressive of good-nature and indo-
lence. Rokoa walked apart with him to make inquiries,
as I had no doubt, connected with the subject of his
brother’s fate. Meanwhile Barton produced a piece of
tortoiseshell and some pearls, which he exhibited to the
natives, asking whether they had any articles of the kind ;
but after carelessly looking at them, they shook their
heads, and inquired what such things were good for;
whereupon Barton, casting an annihilating glance at the
disconcerted Sinbad, significantly demanded of him what
had become of those necklaces of pearls worn by the
natives of Angatan, and whether these simple, inoffensive
people, were the gigantic cannibals about whom he had
manufactured such enormous lies.

After Mowno had concluded his conference with
Rokoa, he led us to a large building near the beach, in a
very ruinous and decayed state, and completely over-
shadowed by aged tamanu-trees. It seemed, from its size
and peculiar structure, to be a deserted marae, or native
temple. He then sent away two of his people, who soon
returned with several clusters of cocoanuts, and some
bananas, for our refreshment. On learning that the sup-
ply of water which we had taken in for our voyage was
nearly exhausted, he informed us that there was no spring
or stream nearer than his village, which was some two
miles inland, and promised to have a supply sent us dur-
ing the day. They had come down to the shore, as we
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 187

now learned, for the purpose of cutting mangrove roots,
from which they make large and powerful bows, and the
whole party soon left us at the marae, and proceeded to
the beach. In about an hour we saw them depart inland,
carrying faggots of these roots, without taking any
further notice of us.

It had fallen calm soon after sunrise, so that we could
not for the present have resumed our voyage, had we
been so inclined.

About an hour before noon, a number of the natives
whom we had seen in the morning again made their ap-
pearance with several large calabashes of water, and a
quantity of taro and bread-fruit for our use. Rokoa
distributed among them some trifling presents, which they
hastily concealed among the folds of their maros. A few
moments afterwards, Mowno himself emerged from the
grove, attended by the remainder of the party we had
seen in the morning. There was now a further distribu-
tion of presents, when I perceived the reason why the
first-comers had so hastily concealed the trifles which had
been given them. All presents, no matter on whom be-
stowed, seemed to be regarded as the especial perquisites
of the chief, and a youth, who acted as Mowno’s personal
attendant, presently went round among the others col-
lecting and taking possession of everything which he had
seen them receive. This was submitted to without re-
monstrance, and apparently as a matter of course, though
by no means cheerfully.

Soon after this somewhat autocratic proceeding, Mowno
turned abruptly to Barton, and saying that he must now
return to the village, invited him to go with him to visit
it. Barton appearing to hesitate, the chief pressed the
matter so earnestly, that his suspicions were aroused, and
he peremptorily declined. Mowno’s angry looks evinced
his displeasure, and after walking about for a quarter of
an hour in sullen silence, with very much the demeanour
188 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

of a spoiled child thwarted in his whim, he at length made
a similar request of me, letting drop at the same time
some expression to the effect that one of us must go with
him. Fortunately Rokoa, whose high spirit would have
taken instant offence at the least semblance of a threat,
did not hear this. I saw plainly that, for some reason,
the young chief had set his heart upon having either Bar-
ton or myself visit his village, and I suspected that this
was, in fact, the sole object of his return. I observed
also that his party was somewhat more numerous, and
much better armed, than it had been in the morning, and
I had no doubt that, rather than suffer himself to be
baffled in his purpose, he would resort to force to accom-
plish it.

After a moment’s reflection, I was pretty well satis-
fied that I had nothing to fear from acceding to his re-
quest, believing, as I did, that I understood the motive of
it. I thought, too, that a refusal would in all probability
lead to an instant hostile collision between the natives
and ourselves, and I finally resolved to accept, or, more
accurately speaking, to yield to, the invitation. Having
come to this conclusion, I told Mowno that I would go
with him, upon the condition that I should return before
night, to which he readily assented, showing extreme
satisfaction at having finally succeeded in his wishes. I
gave no credit to the alleged cannibal propensities of the
islanders, and was inclined, from what I had already seen,
to think much more favourably of them than the event
justified. I supposed that the curiosity of the people of
the village had been excited by the reports of those who
had seen us in the morning respecting the pale-faced
strangers, and that Mowno’s only object in insisting as he
did on having Barton or myself go with him, was to gratify
some aged chief, who was too infirm to come down to the
shore to see us, or did not want to take the trouble of
doing so.” :
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 189

“Well, was you right in your conjecture?” inquired
Browne.

“Yes, partially at least; there was, I think, no un-
friendly motive as far as Mowno was concerned. What
designs others of the natives may have entertained I will
not at present undertake to say. But instead of some
superannuated chief, it was the curiosity of Mowno’s
young wife that was to be gratified. On hearing his
account of the white strangers, she had despatched him
forthwith back to the shore to bring them to the village ;
which commission, it seemed, he was resolved faithfully
to execute, at every hazard.”

“Really,” said Browne, “civilization must have made
some considerable progress in Angatan, if the savages
there make such docile and complaisant husbands.”

“This was not an ordinary case,” replicd Arthur; “in
the first place, Mowno was an uncommonly good-natured
sort of a savage; then he had a very pretty, persuasive
little wife, and he had not yet been long enough married,
to have entirely merged the zeal and devotion of the lover
in the easy indifference and staid authority of the husband ;
but this is anticipating.

When I informed Rokoa of the young chief’s invita-
tion, and my acceptance of it, he refused to consent to my
going, except upon the condition that he should accom-
pany me, and share whatever danger might attend the
step. Mowno acquiesced in this arrangement, though I
thought he did not seem to be altogether pleased with it.
Barton, also, on learning that Rokoa and myself had con-
cluded to go to the village, resolved to accompany us.
Mowno was impatient to have us set out at once, and
Rokoa having given some directions to the crew as to
their conduct during our absence, we hastily made our
preparations, and in a few moments after the matter had
been decided upon, the whole party left the shore and
entered the forest. A quarter of an hour’s walk brought
190 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

us to a flourishing bread-fruit plantation, which we passed
through without seeing a single dwelling, or any indica-
tions of inhabitants. This was bounded by a wild ravine,
crossing which, we entered a dense and gloomy grove,
composed almost entirely of the sacred miro, and one
other kind of tree, the branches of which sprang horizon-
tally from the trunk in a series of whorls, one above an-
other, twisting round from left to right, and clothed with
broad leaves of so dark a green as to scem almost black.
Near the centre of this grove we came suddenly upon a
large marae, built principally of loose stones, overgrown
with moss and lichens. It was a spacious, uncovered en-
closure, the front of which consisted of a strong bamboo
fence, while the three remaining sides were of stone.
Within the enclosure, at one side, was a small building,
probably the priest’s dwelling, and in the centre arose a
solid pyramidal structure, on the terraced sides of which
were ranged the misshapen figures of several gigantic
idols. In front of this, and between four rude tumili of
broken coral, was a low platform, supported by stakes,
and resembling the altars used for human sacrifices during
the ancient reign of heathenism in Tahiti. Beneath this
platform or altar was a pile of human skulls; and sus-
pended from the trees were the shells of enormous turtles
and the skeletons of fishes. A hideous-looking old man,
whom I supposed to be the priest, sat in the door of the
small building within the enclosure, and looking intently
at me, made strange faces as we passed by. His skin was
sallow, and singularly speckled, probably from some
cutaneous disease; he had no eyebrows, and his eyes
were small and glittering like those of a snake; in his
countenance there was a mingled expression of cunning
and cruelty, that made me shudder. When we were
nearest to him in passing, he struck himself violently on
the breast, and cried out in a strong but dissonant voice,
pointing with his long skeleton fingers towards the young
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 191

chief :—* Mowno, son of Maloa, rob not the servant of
Oro of a priest’s share!’ so at least I understood the
words which he uttered; but the natives hurried on,
without seeming to pay any attention to him.

“That would have frightened me mortally,” interrupted
Charlie. “I should have thought that they were going
to make a cannibal feast of me, and that the wicked old
priest was speaking for his share.”

“Well, I confess that some notion of the sort flashed
across my mind for a moment. The dark grove, the
great idolatrous-looking marae, with its heathen altar,
and monstrous images, the pile of skulls, the hideous old
man and his strange words, all tended to suggest vague
but startling suspicions. But another glance at the open
and friendly countenances of our guides reassured me.
In answer to a question in regard to the building which
we had just passed, Mowno said, with a natural and indif-
ferent air, that it was the house of Oro, where a great
solemnity was soon to be celebrated ; and although I did
not allude to the skulls, he added that they were a part
of the remains of the priests who had been buried within
the enclosure, and which were now, in accordance with
an established custom, placed beneath the altar. The
dark wood was bounded by a charming valley, with a
brook running through it, and I was glad to escape from
its gloomy shade into the cheerful light. We forded the
shallow stream, which was so clear, that every pebble in
its gravelly bed was visible, and found ourselves at the
foot of a long green slope. Before us, lying partly in the
valley, and straggling half-way up the ascent, was a pretty
village. The neat and light-built native dwellings dotted
the side of the slope, or peeped out from among embower-
ing trees along the banks of the brook in the most pic-
turesque manner. The thatching of the cottages, bleached
to an almost snowy whiteness, offered a pleasing contrast
to the surrounding verdure. Troops of children were
192 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

pursuing their sports in every direction. Some were
wading in the stream, sailing tiny boats, or actively spat-
tering one another with water, a recreation which they
could enjoy without any fear of that damage to clothing
which would have rendered it objectionable in more
highly-civilized communities. Others, again (many of
them scarcely old enough to walk, as one would suppose),
were swimming about in the deeper places like amphibi-
ous creatures. Some were swinging on ropes of sennit,
suspended from the branches of the trees, and a few were
quietly sitting in the shade making bouquets and wreaths
of wild-flowers. Among them all there was not a single
deformed or sickly-looking child. I did not observe any
grown persons, most of them probably being at that hour
asleep in their houses. In passing through the village,
our escort closed around us in such a manner as to screen
us from observation, and we reached the top of the slope
without seeming to have attracted notice. Here Mowno
dismissed all his attendants except two, and we then
struck into a fine avenue of well-grown trees running
along the crest of the hill, and leading to a large native
house of oval form, prettily situated upon a green knoll,
and overshadowed by wide-branching bread-fruit-trees.
This, Mowno informed us, was his dwelling. At a short
distance from the house, beneath a fan-palm, was a group
of young girls, so entirely absorbed in the congenial task
of arranging one another’s abundant tresses, and adorning
themselves with flowers, that they did not observe our
approach. Mowno seemed intent upon some playful sur-
prise, and laughing softly to himself like a pleased child,
he motioned us to hide ourselves in a thicket of young
casuarinas. From our ambush he pointed out to us one
of the group beneath the palm, having several white buds
of the fragrant gardinia in her hair, and a garland of the
rosa cinensis about her neck: when satisfied that he had
drawn our attention to the right person, he gave us to
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 193

understand, with an air of great complacency, that she
was ‘Olla,’ his wife. While thus engaged, we were sud-
denly discovered, being betrayed by Mowno’s gaudy
tiputa, seen through the foliage by the quick eye of his
better half, who immediately sprang up with a clear,
ringing laugh, scattering a lapful of flowers upon the
ground, and came running like a. fawn towards him; the
rest of us still keeping concealed. She was very pretty,
graceful as a bird in every movement, and had a singularly
pleasing expression of countenance..

On witnessing the greeting which she bestowed upon
Mowno, Barton. whispered me that he ought to consider
himself a happy savage, and, to do him justice, he seemed
to be of the same opinion himself. She commenced talk-
ing at once with wonderful vivacity, pouring forth a con-
tinuous torrent. of words, with little gushes of laughter
interspersed here and there by way of punctuation, and
making no longer or more frequent pauses than were
absolutely necessary for the purpose of taking breath.
Notwithstanding her amazing volubility, I could under-
stand enough of. what she said to perceive that she was
inquiring after ‘ the pale-faced youths,’ and presently she
appeared to be scolding her husband in a pretty lively
strain for having failed to bring them with him according
to his promise. It was amusing to witness Mowno’s ludi-
crous struggles to look grave while he. made feigned
excuses and explanations.of our absence. His demeanour
resembled more that of a boy, whose head has been turned
by becoming for the first time the actual and uncontrolled
owner of a watch or a fowlingpiece, than of a stern warrior
or savage chief. He could not, with all his efforts, main-
tain sufficient gravity and self-possession to carry out the
jest, poor as it was, which he had undertaken, but kept
glancing towards our hiding-place, and finally burst into
a boisterous explosion of laughter; when Olla, peeping
into the thicket, caught sight of us, and instantly darted

N
194 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

away with a pretty half-scream, and rejoined her com-
panions. Mowno now beckoned us forth, and we ap-
proached the group, whereupon they made a show of
scampering off into the grove, but apparently thought
better of it, and concluded to stand theirground. At first
they seemed actually afraid of Barton and myself, peeping
cautiously at us over one another’s shoulders from a safe
distance. Presently one, more enterprising than the rest,
ventured so far as to reach out her hand, and touch Bar-
ton on the cheek, when, finding that no disastrous conse-
quences immediately followed this act of temerity, they
gradually laid aside their apprehensions, and pressing
around us, soon became sufficiently familiar to try a
variety of highly original and interesting experiments
upon our complexion and clothing. These, though some-
what annoying, were accompanied by questions and ob-
servations so irresistibly ludicrous, that we soon found it
entirely out of the question to preserve any sort of gravity,
and as the whole troop always joined in our laughter with-
out stopping to understand its cause, or instantly led off
of themselves, upon the slightest provocation, the woods
resounded with peals of merriment.

One of these damsels, after examining Barton’s fair
skin, and flowing yellow locks, gravely communicated to
a companion her conviction that we had come from the
moon. A second stoutly maintained our earthly origin,
and attributed our paleness to the influence of some
strange sickness; while a third, being of a sceptical and
suspicious turn of mind, suddenly seized Barton by the
wrist, and spitting upon the skirt of her pareu, commenced
scrubbing his hand with great vigour, to see whether the
colours were fast. Our tight-fitting garments, too, seemed
to puzzle them exceedingly, and we were listeners to
an animated debate upon the question, whether they
were a natural or an artificial covering; the young lady
who upheld the theory of our lunar origin inclining
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 195

strongly to the opinion, that, like the feathery coat of
birds, our clothing was a part of ourselves. But the
sagacity and penetration of the one who had endeavoured
to wash the paint from Barton’s hand, soon enabled her to
discover the unsoundness of this doctrine, and, in order
the more triumphantly to refute it, she insisted upon pull-
ing off my jacket, and trying it on herself. Finding that
nothing less would satisfy her, I resigned the garment,
when, having succeeded, with some assistance, in getting
into it, and buttoning it up as far as was practicable,
she snatched Barton’s cap to complete her costume, and
commenced parading up and down the avenue, the admi-
ration and envy of her companions. I fully expected that
Barton’s coat would next be put in requisition, and he
whispered me that he stood in momentary dread lest the
now awakened spirit of investigation and experiment
should prompt our new friends to still more embarrassing
extremes.

This, however, proved to be a groundless apprehension,
for their curiosity was presently diverted into a new chan-
nel by Olla, who suddenly demanded to know my name.
I accordingly repeated it, and she endeavoured several
times to pronounce it after me, but without success. The
‘th’ seemed to constitute an insuperable difficulty, which,
however, she finally evaded, by softening ‘Arthur’ into
‘Artua,’ and this, singularly enough, was what Rokoa had
always been in the habit of calling me. He and Barton
were now called upon for their names, and, in return, we
were favoured with the liquid and vowelly appellatives by
which our ingenuous and communicative acquaintances
were respectively designated. Barton assumed the alias
of Tom, which was straightway metamorphosed into
‘Tomma.’

While this exchange of names was going on, an old
woman came from the house and delivered some message
to Olla, which, from the repetition of the words, * poé,
196 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

poé” I conjectured to be a summons to dinner. Mowno
leading the way, we now proceeded towards the dwelling.
It was surrounded by a strong, but neat hedge of the ti-
plant, some three and ahalf feet high, with an ingeniously-
contrived wicker-gate opposite the door. A path strewn
with marine shells and fragments of white coral led from
the gate to the door. The space within the enclosure was
chiefly devoted to the cultivation of yams and other vege-
tables, but Olla showed me a little plat of ground near the
house which she said: was her-own garden. IJt was taste-
fully arranged, and carefully kept, and x considerable
variety of flowers, all of which she had herself transplanted
from the woods, were there in full bloom. Most conspicu-
ous among them was the native jasmine, and a species of
woodpink, both of which were fragrant. The building
itself was a model of a native dwelling, and since we are
to-morrow to try our own skill in house-building, I will
endeavour to describe it. It was of an oval shape; the
sides were enclosed with handsome mats, with spaces left
for the admission of light and air. The roof was composed
of a firm and durable thatch of pandanus leaves, strung
upon small reeds, laid closely together, and overlapping
one another from the eaves to the ridge-pole.

From the inside, the appearance was the neatest and
prettiest imaginable, the whiteness of the straight and
slender rafters of peeled hibiscus contrasting well with
the ceiling of shining brown leaves which they sustained.
The furniture of the house consisted of a number of large
sleeping-mats, five or six carved wooden stools, and two
narrow tables, or rather shelves, of wicker-work, fastened
against the wall at opposite sides of the room. Upon one
of these were arranged a number of calabashes, carved
wooden dishes, cocoanut drinking-cups, and other domestic
utensils. Upon the other was a native drum, several clubs
and spears, a long vivo, or native flute, and a hideous-
looking wooden image with four arms, and a bunch of red
THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE. 197

feathers fastened to ‘what was doubtless meant for its
head. The rafters were ornamented with braided and
coloured cords wound round them, the ends of which
hung down several fect, and-:sustained a number of wea-
pons and various other articles suspended by them.

At the farther end of the room a woman was pounding
taro, or bread-fruit, in a wooden mortar; another, appa-
rently very old and infirm, was sitting upon a low stool
near the wall, swaying her body‘slowly from side to side,
and making a low, monotonous ‘noise. I observed that
Olla frequently looked towards the ‘latter with a mourn-
ful expression of ceuntenance. When we first entered the
house, she went and sat down by her side, and talked
with her in a low tone, and when she turned away, her
eyes were full of tears. The old woman did not evince
any corresponding emotion, but muttered something feebly
and indistinctly, as if replying to what Olla had said, of
which I could distinguish the words, ‘It is best, child ;
Malola is very old; she is sick anf weak; she cannot
work ; it is time she should be buried out of the way.’ I
instantly suspected that this unhappy creature was to be
destroyed by her own friends, on account of her age and
infirmities, according to a most horrible and unnatural,
but too prevalent custom. I had once been present at a
scene of this kind, without the slightest possibility of suc-
cessful interference, when a native woman had been
strangled, her own son pulling at one end of the tappa
which encircled his mother’s neck. In that case the
victim, instead of submitting quietly and willingly to her
fate (as is most usual), suddenly lost her courage at the
moment of reaching the grave, beside which she was to
be strangled, and opposed a frantic and desperate resist-
ance to her murderers. Her heart-rending cries; her fear-
ful struggles ; and, more than all, the horrid indifference
and cruelty of her executioners, have left upon my mind
an indelible impression. I now resolved, that if my sus-
198 THE CANNIBAL VILLAGE.

picions proved just, I would make an earnest effort to
prevent the repetition of so inhuman a deed; and, from
what I had already seen of the mild disposition of Mowno,
I was inclined to believe that there was great hope of suc-
cess in such an endeavour.

Rokoa, on hearing the conversation above-mentioned,
had given me a significant glance, which sufficiently ex-
plained to me how he understood it. A very few moments
sufficed to confirm my worst suspicions: I learned that
the aged female who had spoken of herself as Malola was
Mowno’s aunt, and that she was, with her own full con-
sent and approval, to be destroyed in,a few days. From
the manner in which Olla alluded to it, while I inferred
that such acts were by no means uncommon among these
people, I at the same time clearly perceived that custom
and education had not stifled or perverted, in her gentle
nature at least, the ordinary feelings and impulses of
humanity, and that she anticipated the deed with terror
and loathing. I determined to watch for an opportunity
to converse with Mowno, and discover, if possible, whether
the cruel insensibility implied in countenancing such a
practice could really be concealed beneath so smooth and
pleasing an aspect.

Meanwhile the meal to which we had been summoned
was spread under the shade of trees beside the house. It
consisted of baked fish, served up in banana leaves, roasted
yams, poé-poé, a preparation of bread-fiuit, and an excel-
lent kind of pudding made of cocoanut pulp and taro. It
was easy to perceive that Olla, with all her playfulness
and girlish vivacity, was a notable housekeeper.”

“Let me interrupt you a moment to ask a single ques-
tion,” said Max. “Did you get the recipe for making that
pudding from Mrs. Mowno !—if so, please impart the same
for the general good, and I will try my hand at it the first
convenient opportunity.”

“Heathen !’’ exclaimed Browne; “can you think of
nothing but gormandizing? Pray, Arthur, proceed.”
AN EXPLOSION. 199

“ And bring on those cannibals forthwith,” added Mor-
ton; “for unless you do so, Charlie will despair entirely
of any fighting, and go to sleep.”

CHAPTER XXII.

AN EXPLOSION.

THE CANNIBALS APPRECIATR MUSIC AND ELOQUENCE, BUT
TAKE OFFENCE AT THE NEW THEOLOGY.

“Then tumult rose, fler® rage, and wild affright.”



“In the afternoon,” resumed Arthur, “we went with our
host and hostess, and our companions at dinner, to a
prove on the banks of the stream—a place of general re-
sort for the villagers during the latter part of every fine
-day. The younger people met there to pursue a variety
of sports and athletic exercises, and the older to gossip
and look on. We had intended to return to the boat as
soon as the repast was over, and it would have been well
had we done so; but our new friends insisted so strenu-
ously upon our accompanying them to the grove, that we
yielded at last to their playful importunities so far as
to consent to make a brief pause there on our way. We
had gone but a short distance from the house, when a
bird, of about the size of a robin, flew down from a tree
beneath which we were passing, and after circling several
times around Olla’s head, alighted on her finger, which
she held out for it to perch upon. It was a young wood- |
pigeon which she had found in the grove when a callow
half-fledged thing, the old bird having been captured or
200 AN EXPLOSION.

killed by some juvenile depredators. Taking pity on its
orphan state, Olla had adopted and made a pet of it: it
was now perfectly tame, and would come readily at her
call of * Lai-evi’ (little captive), the name she had given
it, attending her so closely, as to be seldom during the
day-beyond the sound of her voice. 7

On reaching the grove, we found quite a number of
the natives, of all ages and of both sexes, assembled, and
though they soon began to gather about us with inquisi-
tive looks, we were subjected to much less annoyance than
might reasonably have been expected under the circum-
stances. We were neither crowded, nor jostled, nor even
offensively stared at, the very children appearing to possess"
an innate delicacy and sense of propriety (though it may
have been timidity), which made them try to gratify their
curiosity covertly, seizing those opportunities to peep at
us when they thought they were themselves unobserved.

Barton, who possessed an enviable faculty of adapting
himself to all sorts of people and circumstances, was in
a few moments as much at home among the villagers as
if he had lived for years in their midst. He gossiped
with the old people, romped with the children, and chattcd
and frolicked with the prettiest and most lively of the
dusky maidens, to the manifest disapprobation of several
prim-looking young savages, who stalked about in sullen
dignity, watching these familiar proccedings of the hand-
some stranger with rising jealousy and indignation.

At length a bevy of laughing girls, in punishment for
some impertinence with which they charged him, fell to
pelting him with jasmine buds and pandanus cones, the
latter of which, in mischievous hands, are capable of be-
coming rather formidable missiles. Foremost among the
assailants were our fair acquaintances of the morning, and
even Olla, forgetting her matronly station and dignity,
joined zealously in the flowery warfare ; which was main-
tained with such spirit, that Barton was at length obliged
AN EXPLOSION. 201

to beg for quarter, promising at the same time to ‘make
some music’ for them, as a condition of the suspension cf
hostilities. This proposition, as soon as it was understood,
seemed to afford the most extravagant delight ; the shower
of missiles ceased at once, and Barton was immediately
surrounded by as attentive and breathlessly-expectant an
audience as artist could desire. Taking his stand upon a
moss-covered fragment of rock, he drew an enormous
Jew’s-harp from his pocket, and handed it to me, gravely
requesting me to ‘accompany’ him upon it while he sang.
Then, after clearing his throat with quite a professional
air, he commenced ‘ Hail, Columbia,’ and as he had a full,
clear voice, and sang with great spirit, the performance
was listened to with every mark of enjoyment, and was
succeeded by rapturous applause.

He next gave a solo on the Jew’s-harp to the air of
Yankee Doodle, with brilliant and original variations,
which likewise met with a flattering reception. But by
far the greatest sensation was produced by Auld Lang-
syne, which we sang together as a grand finale. The
natives really seemed to feel the sentiment of the music,
although Barton turned it into a burlesque by such an
exaggerated pathos of tone, expression, and gesture, that
Thad much difficulty in getting through my part of the
performance without laughing; but my vexation at being
surprised into taking a part in such a piece of buffoonery
greatly helped me in resisting my sense of the ludicrous.
At the end of every verse, Barton grasped my hand in the
most demonstrative manner, and commenced shaking it
vigorously, looking me all the while solemnly in the face,
and shaking away through the entire chorus, thereby pro-
ducing a number of quavers, which, though not set down
in the music, greatly added to its pathetic character.
After the last chorus, he spread open his arms, rushed
forward, and gave me a stageembrace. This performance,
including the pantomime, must have been of a very mov-
202 AN EXPLOSION.

ing character, for when we had finished, I actually saw
tears in the eyes of several of our audience. This evi-
dence of the gentle and unsophisticated character of these
simple people affected me almost as much as our music
had moved them, and I could not help thinking to how
much better account such amiable impressibility was cap-
able of being turned.

Having thus performed his promise, Barton now in-
sisted that we ought to be entertained in our turn with
some music, and after a little persuasion, three young
girls sang, or rather chanted, several plaintive but some-
what monotonous airs. Their voices, though neither
strong nor clear, were soft and melodious, like the cooing
of their native wood-pigeons. In vain we asked for some-
thing livelier and more spirited, Barton humming the
tune of Yankee Doodle, to make them the better under-
stand what we wanted. All their melodies seemed to be
of a slow and measured character, and those specimens
which we heard embraced a comparatively narrow range
of notes.

Just as the native girls finished singing, we were joined
by a fresh party of eight or ten men, who came across the
brook, and mingled with the others. I heard Barton say
to Rokoa, ‘There is the old priest again,’ but on looking
around, I could not see him. The new-comers did not
appear to be in the same holiday humour as the throng
around us; they walked gravely about, without joining in .
the general mirth and gaiety,and manifesting none of the
curiosity in regard to ourselves which the others had
evinced. I, however, thought nothing of this at the time,
supposing that they had been of the number of those
whom we had seen in the morning by the sea-shore, al-
though I did not recognize any of them.

Presently, Ollaand her companions commenced begging
us for more music. One young lady in particular, (the
same who had pronounced us to be inhabitants of the
AN EXPLOSION, 203

moon), pressed Barton with unceasing importunities,
mingled with threats of a renewal of hostilities in case of
non-compliance. Finding all attempts at excuse or eva-
sion utterly unavailing, he suddenly snatched a wreath of
yellow candlenut blossoms from the head of his tormen-
tress, crowned himself therewith, and springing upon the
top of the rock, assumed an oratorical attitude, and waved
his hand, as if about to harangue the people. Then,
while I was wondering what was to come next, he fixed
his eye sternly upon a sinister-looking man of middle-age,
with the head-dress of an inferior chief, who was standing
directly in front of him, and began to declaim in Latin
with great vehemence—‘ Quousque tandem abutere Cati-
lina, patientia nostra?’ &c., which the audience seemed
at first to consider highly interesting and entertaining.
As he proceeded, delivering the sounding sentences, ‘ore
rotundo,’ and emphasizing each thundering polysyllable
with a fierce gesture of his clenched fist, I observed that
the individual before mentioned, whom the orator seemed
to have chosen to represent Catiline, and who, without
understanding Latin, could very well perceive that there
was something menacing and vituperative in the language
addressed to him, began to look at first puzzled, and then
incensed. He stole two or three hurried and uncertain
glances at those behind and immediately around him, as
if to assure himself whether this torrent of denunciation
was not in fact directed against some other person; but
when all doubt on this point seemed to have been re-
Jolved by the unequivocal demonstrations of the orator,
nis rigid features assumed an expression of such anger
and ferocity, that I began to fear some violent outbreak
of passion, and made several attempts, by signs and ges-
tures, to indicate to Barton the danger of pursuing so
thoughtless and imprudent a pleasantry. But he either
did not perceive my meaning, or else felt rather flattered
than alarmed by the effect which his elocution seemed to
204 AN EXPLOSION.

produce upon Catiline, for he continued to pour out upon
him the torrent of his oratory for several minutes longer,
and it was not until his memury began evidently to fail
him, that he concluded with a last emphatic invettive,
accompanied by a sufficiently ‘significant pantomime to
convey some notion of its meaning, and bowing to his
audience, leaped from the rostrum.

This performance seemed to afford even greater plea-
sure to the male part of the assembly (with a few excep-
tions) than the previous musical entertainment had done,
and they testified their approbation by emphatic nods and
shouts of applause.

I now thought it time to terminate our visit, and return
to the boat, and was about to speak to Rokoa on the sub-
ject, when Barton seized me by the arm, and pushed me
towards the platform of rock.

‘Now, Arthur, it is your turn,’ said he; ‘ you perceive
what an effect my eloquence has produced on old Catiline
there: give him a lecture upon the sinfulness of indulging
the vindictive passions, and exhort him to repentance.’

The younger people pressed about me, and, instigated
and aided by Barton, they fairly forced me upon the rocky
platform. Though by no means pleased at being obliged
to take a part in a farce so little to my taste, and for
which I possessed none of Barton’s talent, I saw plainly
that the shortest and least troublesome way was to com-
ply with their wishes, and I accordingly endeavoured to
recall some fragment of prose or verse which might serve
the present purpose. Supposing that English would be
quite as intelligible and acceptable to them as Barton’s
Latin, I was just about to declaim those noble opening
lines of Comus—

‘ Before the starry threshold of Jove's Court,’ &c.,

which used to be a favourite of mine at school, when sud-
denly another impulse seized me.
AN EXPLOSION. 205

As I glanced around upon the circle of smiling upturned
countenances, I was struck by the docile and childlike.
expression of many of them. I thought of the sad and
benighted condition. of this simple people, without the
knowledge of God, or the hope of immortality, given up,
as it seemed, a helpless prey to the darkest and most
cruel superstitions. I thought of the moss-grown marae
in the dark wood, with. its hideous. idols, its piles of hu-
man bones, and its hoary priest—fit minister of such a
religion. I remembered the aged woman at Mowno’s
house, and the frightful. doom in reserve for her. I felt
that perhaps to such impressible spirits even a passing
word, unskilfully and feebly spoken, might, by God’s
blessing, do good; and yielding to the impulse of the mo-
ment, instead of declaiming the verses trom Comus, I
began to speak to them in their own language of those
great truths, the most momentaus tor civilized or savage
man to know, and the most deeply interesting to every
thoughtful mind, of whatever degree of culture—truths
so simple, that even these untutored children of nature
could receive, and be made happy by them.

In the plainest and simplest language I could command,
and striving to adapt myself to their habits of thought,
and to use those forms of expression most familiar to
them, I announced the great doctrine of the existence
of one God, the sole Creator of the world, and the lov-
ing Father of all his creatures; I spoke of his power
and his goodness, and told them that though invisible to
our eyes, as the wind which stirred the tops of the palm-
trees above them, he was ever near each one of us, hear-
ing our words, seeing our actions, reading our thoughts,
and caring for us continually.

I endeavoured to illustrate these attributes of God by
references and illusions to the daily aspects of nature
around them, and to ideas and notions with which their
mode of life, and the system of superstition in which they
206 AN EXPLOSION.

had been trained, rendered them familiar. My especial
aim was to lead them unconsciously, as it were, and with-
out making any direct attack upon their religion, to con-
trast the benignant character of Him who has permitted
us to call him ‘our Father in heaven,’ with that of the
malignant beings they had been taught to worship.

I next spoke of death, and of a future life, and assured
them that the friends whom they had buried, and they
themselves, and all who had ever lived, should awake as
from a brief sleep, and live again forever. But when I
proceeded to declare that most awful and mysterious doc-
trine of our religion, and spoke of the worm that dieth
not, and the fire that is not quenched, of eternal happiness
and unending woe, I could see, by the earnestness of their
attention, and the expression of their countenances, how
powerfully they were impressed.

I cannot remember all that I said, or the language I
used, but I endeavoured to set before them, in a shape
adapted to their comprehension, the simple elements of
the Christian scheme—the great doctrines of God and im-
mortality, of human sinfulness and accountability, and of
salvation through Jesus Christ. But, encouraged by the
attention and apparent interest of the silent and listening
circle, in the glow of the moment I went beyond this pre-
scribed limit, and from these vast general truths, I began
at last to speak of particular acts and practices. As I
thought once more of the marae in the forest, and of the
unhappy Malola, I told the people that our Father beyond
the sky could alone hear their prayers, and should alone
be worshipped; that he desired no sacrifices of living
things; that he was offended and displeased with all
cruelty and bloodshed, and that the offering of human
sacrifices, and the killing of aged persons, were crimes
which he detested, and would be sure to punish; that he
had expressly commanded children to love and honour
their parents, and that it was their duty, the older, the
AN EXPLOSION. 207

more infirm and helpless they became, the more faithfully
to cherish and protect them. In speaking on this subject,
I grew earnest and excited, and probably my voice and
manner too strongly expressed the abhorrence I felt for
such monstrous and unnatural crimes.

At this point Barton, who had for some time been look-
ing on in astonishment at the serious turn which the
matter had so unexpectedly taken, interrupted me with
the whispered caution—

‘Be careful, Arthur! I fear, from the black looks of
one of your clerical fathers here, that you are giving
offence to the cloth, and trenching upon perilous ground.’

But the warning came too late. Just as I glanced
round in search of the threatening looks to which Barton
alluded, a frightful figure sprang up on the outer edge of
the circle of listeners directly in front of me, and with
cries of rage, forced its way towards the spot where I
stood. I recognized at once the old priest of the marae ;
but how changed since I last saw him! Every sign of
age and decrepitude had vanished: his misshapen frame
seemed dilated, and instinct with nervous energy : his face
was pale with the intensity of his fury, and his small eyes
flashed fire.

‘Perish, reviler of Oro and his priests!’ he cried, and
hurled at me a barbed spear, with so true an aim, that if
I had not stooped as it left his hand, it would have struck
my face. Whizzing over my head, it pierced the tough
bark of a bread-fruit-tree ten yards behind me, where it
stood quivering. Instantly catching a club from the hands
of a bystander, he rushed forward to renew the attack.
He had reached the foot of the rock where I stood, when
‘Rokoa, with a bound, placed himself between us, and
though without any weapon, motioned him back with a
gesture so commanding, and an air at once so quiet and
so fearless, that the priest paused. But it was for an in-
stant only; then, without uttering a word, he aimed a
208 AN EXPLOSION.

blow at Rokoa’s head. The latter caught it in his open
palm, wrenched the weapon from him, and adroitly foiling
a furious attempt which he made to grapple with him, once
more stood upon the defensive with:an unruffled aspect,
and not the slightest appearance of excitement in his
manner.

The baffled priest, livid with rage, looked round for
another weapon. Half-a-dozen of the men who had arrived
upon the ground with him uttered awild yell, and pressed
forward with brandished clubs and spears. Barton and I
placed ourselves by Rokoa’s side, the former handing me
one of his pistols. All was tumult and. confusion. The
outbreak had been so sudden and unexpected, and what I
have just related had passed so rapidly, that the bystanders
had not yet recovered from the first shock of astonishment
and terror. Of the women, some shrieked, and fled from
the spot, others threw themselves between us and the
armed natives, or invoked the interference of their bro-
thers and friends for. our protection. Only afew even of
the men seemed to participate in the feeling of hostility
against us.

But however inferior in number, the party of our foes
far surpassed that of our friends in resolution and energy.
Foremost among. them were the priest, and the hard-fea-
tured chief who had been so deeply incensed by what he
regarded as the wanton insults offered him by Barton. A
number of the young men also, whose anger and jealousy
had been aroused by his sudden popularity, and the atten-
tion which had been paid us, sided zealously with the
priest and his party, and joined in the clamour against us.

Meanwhile Mowno, at Olla’s entreaty, strove to calm
the tumult, and to pacify the leader and instigator of it;
but his authority was fiercely spurned, and our good-
natured protector quailed before the fury of the vindictive
old man. As yet, however, our enemies, conscious that
the sympathies of a large number of the bystanders were

>
AN EXPLOSION. 209

with us, had offered us no. actual. violence, confining them-
selves to menacing cries and gestures, by which they
seemed to be striving to work themselves up to the requi-
site pitch of excitement. This was likely to be speedily
attained under the influence of the fierce exhortations and
contagious fury of the priest. Some of the young men,
in fact, now commenced a sort of covert attack, by throw-
ing stones and fragments of wood at us from the outskirts
of the crowd, and Barton was struck violently on the
mouth by one of these missiles, by which his lip was badly
cut. In the midst of all the excitement and tumult, Rokoa
stood with the outward appearance at. least of perfect
composure. Neither the ravings of the priest, nor the
menacing attitude of ‘Catiline,’ nor the brandished wea-
pons of their followers, deprived him of his coolness and
presence of mind. He steadily confronted them with an
unblenching eye, grasping the club of which he had pos-
sessed himself, in readiness to meet the attack, which he
at the same time did nothing, by look or gesture, to pro-
voke. His calm intrepidity, while it seemed temporarily
to restrain our enemies, served also to reassure and steady
Barton and myself; and endeavouring to emulate his
self-possession, we stood ready to act as circumstances
should indicate, looking to him for the example.”

Here Arthur paused, as if about to suspend his narrative.
Charlie, who was now broad awake, and listening eagerly,
waited patiently a few moments, expecting him to recom-
mence. Finding, however, that he did not do so, he at
length asked him to “go on.”

“It is getting quite late,” answered Arthur; “see, those
three bright stars which were high in the heavens when
we first sat down here, are now on the very edge of the
horizon, about to sink behind the ocean. As we expect
to be up and on our way to Castle Hill before sunrise to-
morrow, I think we should now go to rest.”

“If we do,” replied Charlie;“I am sure I shall net be

Oo
210 THE FLIGHT,

able to sleep; I shall be thinking of that terrible old
priest, and trying to guess how you escaped at last.”

“I judge,” said Browne, “that you are pretty nearly at
the end of your adventures in Angatan, so pray let us
have the remainder now.”

“Do so,” added Morton, “and set Charlie’s mind at rest,
or he will be dreaming of cannibals and cannibal priests
all night, and disturbing us by crying out in his sleep.”

“TI think it is quite likely,” said Charlie, shaking his
head in a threatening manner. “I fecl just now very
much as if I should.” .

“Since that is the case,” said Arthur, “I suppose I must
‘go on’ in self-defence ; and as I believe that twenty
minutes will suffice for what remains, I will finish it.”

CHAPTER XXIII.

THE FLIGHT.

TE VEA !—THE VICTIM FOR SACRIFICE—THE ESCAPE AND
PURSUIT—THE PRIEST’S AMBUSH.

“For life, for life, their flight they ply,
And shriek, and shout, und battle-cry,
And weapons waving to the sky,

Are maddening in their rear."

“While the party hostile to us thus stood hesitating, but
to all appearance rapidly approaching a point where all
hesitation would cease, Olla, with tears streaming down
her cheeks, besought us to fly to her husband’s house,
where, she secmed to imagine, we should necessarily be
THE FLIGHT. 211

safe from violence. But though no one yet laid hands on
us, we were surrounded on all sides, and could not, with
any certainty, distinguish friends from foes; and the first
movement on our part to escape would probably be the
signal for an instant and general attack by the priest and
his followers. We thought, therefore, that our best hope
of safety lay in maintaining a firm but quiet attitude, until
Mowno, and those disposed to protect us, could make their
influence felt in our behalf. They, however, confined
their efforts to feeble expostulations and entreaties ; and
perhaps it was unreasonable to expect them to engage in
a deadly conflict with their own neighbours, relatives, and
personal friends, in the defence of mere strangers like
ourselves. They could not even restrain the younger and
more violent portion of the rabble from carrying on the
species of desultory warfare from which Barton had
already suffered ; on the contrary, the stones and other
missiles, thrown by persons on the outskirts of the crowd,
fell continually thicker and faster. At length Rokoa re-
ceived a staggering blow on the back of the head froma
clod of earth, thrown by some one who had stolen round
behind the rock for that purpose, and who immediately
afterwards disappeared in the throng.

‘How much longer are we to endure this?’ cried Barton.
‘Must we stand here and suffer ourselves to be murdered
by these cowardly attacks? Let us shoot a couple of
them, and make a rush for the shore.’

But a moment’s reflection was enough to show the
utter hopelessness of such an attempt. However much
the natives might be astounded for an instant by the dis-
charge of firearms, all fear and hesitation would vanish
upon our taking to flight. Our backs once turned, would
be the mark for a score of ready spears ; and, except per-
haps for Rokoa, whose speed was extraordinary, there
would be scarcely the possibility for escape. Still, it was
evident that the audacity of our enemies was steadily in-
912 THE FLIGIT.

creasing, though their attacks were as yet covert and in-
direct, and as I knew that Rokoa would not hesitate to
retaliate upon the first open assailant, in which case we
should be massacred upon the spot, we might soon be
compelled to adopt even so desperate a suggestion, as the
only alternative of instant death.

At this critical moment I noticed a sudden movement
of surprise or alarm on the outskirts of the crowd. A
group directly in front of us,no longer giving us their
exclusive attention, began to whisper among themselves,
glancing and pointing towards the rising ground in our
rear, while a half-suppressed and shuddering exclamation
of ‘Te Vea! Te Vea!’ was heard among the people.
Turning round, and looking where all eyes were now
directed, I saw a tall native, with a peculiar head-dress of
feathers, and a small basket of cocoanut leaflets in his
hand, running rapidly towards us. His appearance seemed
to awaken in those around us emotions of terror or aver-
sion, strong enough to swallow up every other feeling,
for no sooner was he perceived, than all thought of pro-
secuting further the present quarrel appeared to be aban-
doned. The priest alone evinced none of the general un-
easiness or dread, but, on the contrary, a gleam of exulta-
tion lighted up his hard and discoloured countenance.
The people made way to the right and left as the new-
comer drew near, and a number of them slunk away into
the forest, or to their homes. The stranger proceeded
directly towards Mowno, and taking a small parcel
wrapped in leaves from the basket which he carried,
delivered it to him: then, without pausing an instant, or
uttering a word, he passed on, taking his way at a rapid
pace straight through the village. Mowno received the
parcel with a reluctant and gloomy air, though it seemed
to consist of nothing but a rough stone, wrapped in the
leaves of the sacred miro. For several minutes he stood
holding it in his hand, like one deprived of consciousness.
THE FLIGHT. 213

Several of those who appeared ‘tobe the principal persons
present, among whom were Catiline and ‘the priest, now
approached him, and they began to hold:a whispered con-
sultation, in the course of which the priest frequently
pointed towards Rokoa, as though speaking of him.
Mowno seemed to be resisting some proposal urged by
the others, and spoke in a more decisive and resolute
manner than [had thought him capable of assuming.
The discussion, whatever was its subject, soon became
warm and angry: the voices of Catiline and the priest
were raised, and even threatening. Every moment I ex-
pected to see Mowno relinquish his opposition; but he
remained: firm, and at last, with the air of one resolved to
put an end to further debate, he said—

‘No, it shall not be either of the strangers; it shall be
Terano: he is an evil man, and it will be well when he is
gone. Then speaking to two of those who stood near
him, he said, ‘Go quickly to Terano’s house,:before he
sees the messenger, and hides -himself in the mountains ;’
whereupon they seized their spears, and immediately ‘set
off in the direction of the village.

Olla now renewed her entreaties for us to leave the
spot, and go with her to the house; and Mowno, by a
quick gesture, meant to be seen only by us, indicated his
wish to the same effect. Rokoa nodded to me to comply,
and we followed Olla as she bounded lightly through the
grove, no one offering to oppose our departure. But the
priest’s restless eye was upon us, and had we set off in
the direction of the shore, we should not have ‘been per-
mitted to escape without an attempt on.his ‘part to pre-
vent it. As it was, he appeared to give some-direction to
those about him, and four or five young men folldWwed us
at a distance, keeping us in sight, and taking care that
they were always in such a position as to enable them to
intercept us in any attempt to recross the brook. After
having dogged us to Mowno’s house, and seen us enter,
214 THE FLIGHT.

they withdrew into the forest out of sight, where they
probably remained on the watch. Rokoa now proceeded
to select from Mowno’s store of weapons a club of more
formidable weight and size than that which he had wrested
from the priest, and requested Barton and myself to follow
his example.

‘We must try to get to the shore,’ he said; ‘there are
at present none to hinder us but the young men who
followed us hither.’

‘But that demon of a priest, and the rest of his crew,
are not far off,’ said Barton, ‘and they will be sure to
waylay us. For the present we are safe here; and per-
haps Mowno will be able to get us back to our boat with-
out danger.’

Rokoa shook his head. ‘There are others here,’ he
said, ‘more powerful than Mowno, and who are our
enemies: we must rely upon ourselves.’

Olla watched us anxiously during this conversation ;
and now, as if she understood its subject at least, she said,
with an expression of intelligence and cordial friendliness
in her fine eyes, ‘Listen to me: the words of the priest
are more powerful with the great chicf than the words of
Mowno: to-night the priest will go to the great chief, and
before he returns, you must fly ; but not now, for you are
watched by the young men ; you must wait until night—
until the moon is behind the grove.’

This seemed to me a wiser course than to undertake at
present to fight our way to the boat; but Rokoa remained
of his former opinion; he apprehended an attack upon
our party at the shore during our absence, by which we
might be cut off from all means of leaving the island.
This cértainly was a weighty consideration, and one that
had not occurred to me. We were still hesitating, and
uncertain what course to pursue, when Mowno came in,
looking much troubled, and carrying in his hand the mys-
terious package, the object and meaning of which I forgot
to explain.
THE FLIGHT, 215

A stone folded in the leaves of the miro, sent by the
king, or paramount chief, to the subordinate chiefs of dis-
tricts or villages, is the customary method of notifying to
the latter that they are expected to furnish a human vic-
tim for some approaching sacrifice. The principal occa-
sions upon which these are required, are at the building
of national maraes, at the commencement of a war, or in
cases of the serious illness of a superior chief. The num-
ber of victims sacrificed is proportioned to the magnitude
of the occasion ; as many as a score have sometimes been
offered to propitiate the gods during the severe sickness
of a powerful chief. The priests signify to the chief the
number required ; the latter then sends out his runner or
messenger (te vea), who delivers to each of the subordi-
nate chiefs one of these packages for each victim to be
furnished from his immediate district. The odious duty
of designating the individuals to be taken then devolves
upon the subordinate, and having decided upon this, he
sends a number of armed men to secure the destined vic-
tims before they secrete themselves or flee into the woods,
as those who have any reason to fear being selected gene-
rally do at the first appearance of the dreaded messenger,
or even as soon as it is publicly known that an occasion
is at hand for which human sacrifices will be required.
When secured, the doomed persons are most commonly
killed on the spot by the chief’s men, and the bodies
wrapped’in cocoanut leaves, and carried to the temple.
Sometimes, however, they are preserved alive, and slain
by the priests themselves at the altar.

Upon the arrival of the messenger, as already related,
with a requisition for one victim from the village, the
majority of Mowno’s advisers had insisted upon selecting
Rokoa for that purpose, and thus avoiding the necessity
of sacrificing one of their own people. The priest had
gone further still, and proposed to seize upon us all, and
send Barton and myself to the two neighbouring villages,
216 THE FLIGHT.

to be furnished by them as their quota of victims. To
these counsels Mowno had opposed a determined resist-
ance, and he had finally sent his followers to despatch an
old man named Terano, whose death would be considered
a general benefit, as he was a notorious and inveterate
thief and drunkard, who, when not stupified with ava, was
constantly engaged in desperate broils or wanton depre-
dations upon the property of his neighbours. It seemed,
however, that the old man had taken the alarm, and fied ;
several of Mowno’s followers were now in pursuit of him,
and unless they should succeed in taking him before morn-
ing, another person would have to be designated, as it was
required to furnish the victims at the great marae by
noon of the following day.

I sickened with disgust as I listened to details like these.
Never before had I so fully realized the darkness and the
horrors of heathenism—all the more striking in the pre-
sent instance, because of the many pleasing and amiable
natural qualities of the people who groped amid such
darkness, and were a prey to such horrors.

Mowno also recommended us to postpone any attempt
at flight until a late hour of the night. He said that he
had seen a number of men lurking in the woods near the
stream, and that the priest and others had remained in the
grove after he had left, probably with the intention of
joining them in watching the house.

Olla now went out into the garden, where she walked
about, looking up among the branches of the trees, and
calling out ‘ Lai-evi!’ as if in search of her tame wood-
pigeon. After going round the garden, she passed out of
the gate, and wandered away in the direction of the
brook, still looking among the trees, and repeating at in-
tervals her call of ‘ Lai-evi?’

By-and-by she returned, and though without her little
favourite, she had accomplished her real object, and ascer-
tained the number and position of the spics. She had
THE FLIGHT. 217

seen seven of them skulking in the wood along the brook,
and watching the house. They seemed anxious to avoid
observation, and she could not, without awaking suspicion,
get more than transient-glimpses of them, so that possibly
there might be others whom she had not seen.

Rokoa questioned her as to the space along the bank of
the stream occupied by these men, and the distance from
one another at which they were stationed. Then, after a
moment’s reflection, he turned to Mowno, and asked whe-
ther he was confident of being able to protect us while in
his house ; to which the latter replied, with much earnest-
* ness, that he both could and would do so.

‘Wait here, then,’ said Rokoa, addressing Barton and
myself; ‘I will return before the moon sets,’ and without
affording us an opportunity to inquire what he designed
to do, he passed through the door, and bounded into the
forest, in the direct’on opposite to tl.at where the spies of
the priest were lurking.

‘Is it possible,’ said Barton, ‘that he intends to desert
us?’

‘You should know him better,’ I answered; ‘unless I
am mistaken, he is about to risk his life in an attempt to
communicate with our crew, in order to put them on their
guard against a surprise, and to render our escape the
more easy. If he lives, he will return, to incur a second
time with us the very dangers to which this attempt ex-
poses him.’

Knowing as I did Rokoa’s great activity, coolness, and
presence of mind, I was sanguine that he would succeed
in eluding the vigilance of our enemies, and accomplish-
ing his purpose.

Soon after his departure, Olla set out for our evening
meal a light repast of bananas, baked bread-fruit, and
vi-apples fresh from the garden. But neither Barton
nor I could eat anything: our thoughts were with Rokoa
upon his perilous adventure. When the food had been
218 THE FLIGHT.

removed, Mowno suggested that we should all go out into
the enclosure, and walk a few times round the house, in
order that those who were on the watch might be satisfied
that we were still there. This we accordingly did, and
continued strolling through the garden until it became
quite dark. Rokoa had now been gone nearly an hour,
and Barton began to grow restless and troubled. Mowno,
stationing himself at the end of the walk leading from the
house, leaned upon the gate in a listening attitude. As I
sat in the wide doorway, beneath the vi-apple-trees planted
on either side of the entrance, watching the bright con-
. stellation of the Cross, just visible above the outline of
the grove in the southern horizon, Olla began to question
me concerning what I had told the people in the after-
noon, of God, and a future life, and the doctrines of Chris-
tianity. I was at once touched and astonished to perceive
the deep interest she took in the subject, and the readi-
ness with which she received these truths, as something
she had needed and longed for. She seemed to feel how
much better and more consoling they were than the super-
stitions in which she had been educated.

I was amazed to find that this young heathen woman,
growing up in the midst of pagan darkness, was neverthe-
less possessed of deep and strong religious feclings, which
could not be satisfied with the traditions of her people.
As I gazed at her ingenuous countenance, full of earnest-
ness and sensibility, while she endeavoured to express the
vague thoughts on these subjects which had at times
floated through her mind, I could scarcely believe that
this was the same gay and careless being whose life had
seemed to meas natural, as unconscious, and as joyous, as
that of a bird or a flower. She said, that often when alone
in some secluded spot in the depth of the wood, while all
around was so hushed and peaceful, she had suddenly
burst into tears, feeling that what she had been taught of
the gods could not be true, and that if Oro was indeed the
THE FLIGHT. 219

creator of so beautiful a world—if he had made the smiling
groves, the bright flowers, and the multitude of happy
living things, he must be a good being, who could not
delight in the cruelties practised in his name. Often,
when a mere girl, thoughts like these had visited her,
wandering by the sea-shore at twilight, or looking up
through the foliage of waving cocoanut groves at the
starry skies, when nature herself, by her harmony and
beauty, had seemed to proclaim that God was a being of
light and love, in whom was no darkness at all.

Presently Mowno joined us, and I talked with him in
regard to the intended burial of the aged woman, his aunt, —
and endeavoured to make him see the act in its true light.
But, with all his natural amiability, such was the effect of
custom and education, that he seemed perfectly insensible
on the subject. He observed, in a cool, matter-of-fact
manner, that when people got very old, and could not
work, they were of no use to others or themselves—that
it was then time for them to die, and much best that they
should do so at once; and that if they did not, then their
friends ought to bury them. As to Malola, his aunt, he
said that she was quite willing to be buried, and had, in
fact, suggested it herself, that she was often very sick, and
in great pain, so that she had no pleasure in living any
longer : he added, as another grave and weighty conside-
ration, that she had lost most of her teeth, and could not
chew her food, unless it was prepared differently from
that of the rest of the family, which caused Olla much
trouble.

Finding that argument and expostulation had not the
slightest effect upon him, I changed my tactics, and sud-
denly demanded whether he would be willing to hate
Olla buried, when she began to get old and infirm. This
seemed at first to startle him. He glanced uneasily at his
little wife, as if it had never before occurred to him that
she could grow old. Then, after staring at me a moment
220 THE FLIGHT.

in a half-angry manner, as though offended at my ‘having
suggested:so disagreeable an idea, he seemed -all at once
to recover himself, remarking quickly, that he should be
old then too, and that they could both be buried together.
This consolatory reflection seemed completely ‘to neu-
tralize the effect of my last attack,and Mowno’s counte-
nance resumed its habitual expression -of calm and some-
what stolid placidity.

Baffled, but not discouraged, I next strove, by drawing
an imaginary picture of Olla and himself in their old age,
surrounded by their grown-up children, to show how
happy and beautiful the relation between the child and
the aged parent might be. I summoned up all my rheto-
rical powers, and sketched what I conceived to be a per-
fect model of an affectionate and dutiful Angatanese son.
After clothing him with all the virtues and accomplish-
ments of the savage character, I proceeded to endue him
with that filial affection, whose beauty and power it was
my chief object to illustrate. I represented him as loving
his father and mother all the more tenderly on account of
the infirmities of age now stealing over them. Upon the
arm of this affectionate son the white-haired Mowno sup-
ported himself, when at morning and evening he went
forth to take his accustomed walk in the grove. He it
was who brought home daily to his aged mother the
ripest fruits and the freshest flowers. His smiling and
happy countenance was the light of their dwelling ; his
cheerful voice its sweetest ‘music. I-was proceeding thus,
in quite an affecting strain, as it seemed to me (though I
must in honesty confess that Mowno appeared to be less
moved by it than myself, and somewhat cooled my enthu-
sfasm by giving a great yawn in the midst of one of the
most touching passages), when Olla, who had been listen-
ing with moistened eyes, gently stole her arm around her
husband’s neck, and murmured a few words in his ear.
Whether it was my pathetic eloquence, or Olla’s caress,
THE FLIGIIT.. 221

that melted his hitherto obdurate heart, I will not pretend
to say, but it is certain that’he now yielded the point, and
promised that Malola should be permitted to live— At
least,’ he added, after a moment’s reflection, ‘ as-long as
she can see and walk about.’

Several times, since it had grown dark, I had heard
sounds like the distant beating of drums, mingled occa-
sionally with the long and sorrowful note of the buecinum-
shell, or native trumpet. Twice also, while Mowno was
standing at his gate, messengers had arrived, apparently
in haste, and after briefly conferring with him, had posted
off again. When I remarked upon these sounds, Mowno
said that they came from the marae, where preparations
for the approaching ceremony were going forward; but
to me they seemed to proceed from several different.points
at various distances from us.

I now began to fecl painfully anxious at Rokoa’s pro-
tracted absence. It was nearly midnight, and there had
been ample time for one less active than he to go to the
shore and return. The terrible apprehension, that, in
spite of all the resources of his skill and courage, he had
fallen into the hands of some of the parties of natives
which seemed to be scattered about in the forest, gained
every moment a stronger hold upon my. mind.

‘ He has either been taken, or else he finds that he can-
not rejoin us, without too great risk,’ said Barton, break-
ing a long silence, and speaking of that which each knew
the other to be thinking about; ‘we must start for the
shore ourselves, if he does not come soon.’

‘Hark!’ whispered Olla ; ‘some one is approaching from
the wood.’ Her quick ear had detected stealthy steps
crossing the avenue. The next moment some one bounded
lightly over the hedge at the side of the house, where the
shadow of the bread-fruit-trecs fell darkest. Mowno
started, and seemed agitated, and for an instant a sus-
picion that he had betrayed, and was about to give us up,
222 THE FLIGHT.

flashed through my mind. But the figure which came
forward into the light was that of Rokoa, and I felt pained
at the wrong which my momentary doubts had done our
inert but well-meaning host. Rokoa breathed quick and
short. Without speaking, he pointed to the moon now on
the edge of the western horizon of forest, to intimate that
he was punctual to the time set for his return.

The sounds which I had before heard were now borne
more plainly than ever to our ears upon the night-breeze.
As soon as Rokoa recovered his breath, he said that we
had not a moment to lose, but must commence our flight at
once. He had passed an armed party of more than twenty
men coming in the direction of the house, with the pur-
pose, as he supposed, of demanding that we should be
given up to them. Mowno seemed more displeased than
alarmed at this intelligence, and earnestly repeated that
no harm should befall us while beneath his roof, if he had
to lay down his life in our defence. But Rokoa urged
our immediate departure, before the arrival of the party
which he had seen. Mowno then offered to accompany
and guide us to our boat, which Rokoa firmly declined, on
the ground that his presence might endanger him, and, in
the excited and determined mood of our enemies, could be
no protection to us.

We accordingly took a hurried leave of him and Olla.
*‘Good-by, Artua,’ said the latter, ‘Olla will not forget
what you have told her of our great Father in the sky;
she will ask him for a new heart, that she, too, may go,
when she dies, to the Christian heaven ;’ and she pointed
upward, while a happy smile lighted up her intelligent,
and, for the moment, serious countenance.

We sprang over the hedge, and Rokoa leading the way,
proceeded swiftly but silently down the avenue. We
passed some distance beyond the point where we had
struck into it in the morning, to avoid the neighbourhood
of the village, then turning towards the shore, descended
THE FLIGHT. 293

into the valley, until we reached the stream. At this
point it was deep and narrow, with a rapid current, but
we had no time to look for a ford. Cries and shouts on
the hill above us showed that we were pursued, and a
confused clamour from the village indicated the exist-
ence of some unusual commotion there. Tum-tums were
beating fiercely, and the long dismal wail of the tuba-
conch resounded through the echoing arches of the fo-
rest. We swam the stream as silently as possible, Barton
holding his pistols above his head in one hand, to keep
the charges dry. As we climbed the further bank, and
plunged into the wood of miros, we could hear the splash-
ing of the water caused by persons fording the brook a
short distance below us, and opposite the village. In the
same direction a multitude of candlenut torches gleamed
through the foliage, and revealed dusky forms hurrying
hither and thither. We pushed on through the wood at
the top of our speed, until suddenly the outlines of the
marae, illuminated by the glare ot a large bonfire, loomed
up before us. A score of half-naked men were dancing
around the fire in front of the enclosure with the wildest
and most extravagant contortions of body. Seen by the
fitful and wavering light, their painted countenances
scarcely looked like those of human beings, and the grim
immoveable idols upon their pedestals seemed vaster and
more hideous than ever.

As we turned and plunged into the grove again, resum-
ing our flight in @ somewhat altered direction, an eager
shout announced that we had been seen. But this cry
proceeded not from the group in front of the marae, who
were wholly absorbed in their savage orgies, but from a
straggling party of pursuers from the village, to whom the
light of the bonfire had betrayed us. The chase was now
no longer random or uncertain ; they came on like hounds
in full view of the game, uttering yells that caused the
blood to curdle in my veins. My strength began to fail,
224 THE FLIGHT.

and I felt a horrible spell creeping over me, like that
which often in dreams deprives us of the power to flee
some appalling danger. Rokoa restrained his superior
speed, and kept beside Barton and myself. ‘Courage,
Artua!’ he said; ‘we are near the shore;’ and he offered
me his hand to assist me, but I would not take #.. Not-
withstanding our utmost exertions, our pursuers gained
upon us. I was very nearly exhausted when we reached
the ravine which divided the miro-grove from the bread-
fruit plantation, and as we struggled up its steep side,
Barton panted and gasped so painfully for breath, that I
dreaded each moment to see him fall to the ground inca-
pable of proceeding further. But we knew that our lives
were at stake, and forced ourselves to exertions which
nature could not long support; still, the cries of our pur-
suers, the sound of their footsteps, and the crashing of
branches in their path, drew continually nearer.

At last we had nearly traversed the breadth of the plan-
tation, and the welcome sound of the waves breaking upon
the beach greeted our ears. Safety now seemed within
our reach, and we summoned all our remaining energies
for a final effort. The trees, growing more thinly as we
approached the skirt of the wood, let in the light, and
between their trunks I caught a glimpse of the sea. Right
before us was a thicket, tangled with fern, and scarcely
twenty yards beyond it lay the beach shining in the star-
light. As we turned a little aside to avoid the thicket, an
appalling yell rang out from it, and half-a-dozen dark
figures started from their ambush, and sprang into the
path before us. The old priest was at their head: my
heart sank, and I gave up all as lost. Rokoa, swinging up
his ponderous club, bounded into their midst. ‘Onward !’
cried he; ‘it is our only hope of escape.’ His movements
were light as those of a bird, and rapid as lightning. His
first blow stretched the priest at his feet. The savages
gave way before him, scattering to the right and left, as it
THE FLIGHT. 225

a thunderbolt had fallen among them. Barton discharged
both his pistols at once, and with fatal effect, as was wit-
nessed by the groans that followed. Before they could
rally or recover themselves, we had burst through their
midst. As we reached the shore, I looked round, and
missed Barton—he was no longer beside me. An exult-
ing cry behind us at once explained his absence: at the
same time we could hear him call out in a voice broken
by exhaustion, ‘Save yourselves, you can do nothing for
me!’ Without an instant’s hesitation, Rokoa turned, and
we rushed back into the midst of our shouting enemies,
Three or four of the party which had been in pursuit of: |
us were just coming up. The audacity and desperation of
our attack seemed to confound them, and two of their
number fell almost without a struggle beneath Rokoa’s
rapid and resistless blows. Two more of them, who were
dragging Barton away, were compelled to leave him at
liberty, in order to defend themselves. At that moment a
sudden shout from the water raised by our crew, who had
either heard our voices, or seen us when we came out
upon the shore, increased their panic, by causing them to
suppose that we were leading back our whole party to
the fight. They hastily gave way before us, and we had
all turned once more, and gained the beach before they
recovered from their surprise and perceived their mistake.

Our boat was just outside the surf, where the crew were
keeping her steady with their paddles. We hailed them,
and plunged in the water to swim out to them. The
natives, stung with shame and rage at having their prisoner
torn from them in the very moment of triumph with such
reckless boldness, swarmed down to the beach, and pur-
sued us into the water. They seemed excited almost to
frenzy at the prospect of our escape. Some, standing upon
the shore, assailed the canoe with showers of stones, by
which several of our men were wounded. Others swam
out after us, as if about to endeavour to board the vessel,

P
226 THE FLIGHT.

and did not turn back until we had hoisted our sail, and
began to withdraw steadily from the land.

And thus ends the story of the Cannibal Island of
Angatan.”

“Ts that all!” inquired Charlie, looking somewhat dis-
appointed.

“Yes, that is all,” answered Arthur; “it comes as near
to being a cannibal story as anything I know. I did not
see any one actually roasted and eaten, but if the savages
had caught us, I suspect there would have been more to
tell, and probably no one here to tell it.”

“ But,” persisted Charlie, “the story don’t end there.
You haven’t told us about the rest of the voyage, and
whether Rokoa found his brother at last.”

“Q, that don’t properly belong to this story. According
to all artistical rules, I ought to end precisely where I
have, in order to preserve the unities)s But some other
time, if you wish, I will tell you all about it.”

“Pray don’t talk of artistical rules,” exclaimed Max,
“ after showing yourself such an egregious bungler! You
had there all the elements of a capital story, and you have
just spoiled them.”

“¢ How prove you that, in the great heap of your know-
ledge?’”’ cried Browne; “‘come now, unmuzzle your
wisdom,’ and specify the blunders of which he has been
guilty. I say, with Touchstone, ‘instance briefly, shep-
herd ; come, instance.’ ”

“ Why, in the first place, there was a miserly spirit of
economy in regard to his men. He should have invested
the narrative with a tragic interest, by killing Rokoa and
Barton at least; being the narrator, he couldn’t kill him-
self conveniently ; but he might, with good effect, have
been ‘dangerously wounded.’”

“But suppose,” said Arthur, “that I wanted Rokoa to
figure in a future story, and so couldn’t afford to kill him
just yet?”
THE FLIGHT. 227

«“ A miserable apology! It evinces a lamentable poverty
of imagination to make one character serve for two dis-
tinct tales.”

“ Well, a further instance, ‘gentle shepherd,’” cried
Browne ; “‘a more sounder instance.’ ”

“Then, again,” resumed Max, with an oracular air, “ it
was a capital error to make Olla a married woman; what
business, I should like to know, can a married woman have
in a story? She belongs properly to the dull prosaic
region of common life—not to the fairyland of romance.
Now the charm of sentiment is as necessary to a perfect
tale as the interest of adventure or the excitement of con-
flict, and had Olla been single, there would have been the
elements of something beautifully sentimental.”

“Enough!” cried Browne; “if you have not ‘lamed
me with reasons,’ you have at least overwhelmed me with
words. There now! I believe I am unconsciously catch-
ing the trick of your long-winded sing-song sentences. It
must be contagious.”

“ Well,” said Arthur, “I give over the ‘materials’ to
Max, with full permission to work them up into a romance
after his own fashion, introducing as much slaughter and
sentiment as he shall judge requisite for the best effect,
and when completed, it shall be inserted by way of episode
in our narrative.” *

* Upon consulting the charts, I find an island called ‘* Ahangatan” (of
which Angatan is perhaps a contraction) laid down on some of them
about one hundred and fifty miles north of Hao. On others, the same
island is called Ahangatoff The United States Exploring Expedition
visited Hao, and most of the neighbouring islands, but I have not been
able to discover any mention of Angatan in the published records of the
expedition.— Ep.
228 HOUSE-BUILLDING.

CHAPTER XXIV.

HOUSE-BUILDING.

DAWN ON THE LAGOON—~THE “ SEA-ATTORNEY ” — THE
“SHARK EXTERMINATOR ”’—MAX “CARRIES THE WAR
INTO AFRICA.”

** Another hour must pass ere day grows bright,
And ere the little birds begin discourse
In quick low voices, ere the streaming light
Pours on their nests, just sprung from day's fresh source.”

AFTER the late hours we had kept on the last evening,
most of us would willingly have prolonged our slumbers
beyond the time previously fixed for setting out upon our
return to Castle Hill. But before it was fairly light,
Arthur was up, with an unseasonable and provoking
alacrity, calling loudly upon us to bestir ourselves.

In vain Browne apostrophized him in moving strains as
“the rude disturber of his pillow,” remonstrated against
such unmerciful punctuality, and petitioned for another
nap ; in vain Max protested that we were not New York
shop-boys, obliged to rise at daylight to make fires, and
open and sweep out stores, but free and independent desert
islanders, who had escaped from the bondage of civilized
life, and the shackles of slavish routine, and who need not
get up until noon, unless of our own good pleasure.
Arthur was inexorable, and finding that further sleep was
out of the question, we yielded at last to his despotic per-
tinacity, and groped our way into the boat, yawning des-
perately, and not more than half awake.
HOUSE-BUILDING. 299.

The sea-fowl had not yet begun to stir in their nests
when we pushed out into the lagoon, and commenced
pulling homeward—as we had now almost come to regard
it—holding a course midway between the reef and the
shore. A few moments’ exercise at the oars sufficed to
dispel our drowsiness, and to reconcile us somewhat to
the early start which we had so reluctantly taken.

The faint gray light revealed the sleeping landscape,
invested with the delicious freshness and repose of the
earliest dawn in summer. The shores of the island, with
their dense masses of verdure, were so perfectly mirrored
in the lagoon, that the peculiar characteristics of the dif-
ferent kinds of foliage could be distinguished in their
reflections. The drooping plumes of the palms, the lance-
shaped pandanus leaves, and the delicate, filmy foliage of
the casuarina, were all accurately imaged there ; the in-
verted shore below, with its fringe of trees and shrubbery,
looking scarcely less substantial and real than its counter-
part above. But as the light increased, these reflections
lost their softness and the clearness of their outlines.
The gradually brightening dawn cast new and rapidly
changing lights and shades upon the waters and the shores;
and the latter, which, as we moved onward, we beheld
every moment from a new point of view, charmed the eye
with a perpetual variety. In some places they were
abrupt and bold, in others smoothly rounded or gently
sloping. Now we were opposite a jutting promontory,
which, crowned with verdure, and overgrown with pen-
dulous and creeping plants, pushed out over the narrow
alluvial belt of shore to the water’s edge; now shooting
past it, we caught a sudden and transient glimpse of some
cool valley opening down to the lagoon, and stretching
away inland through vistas of fine trees.

Charlie expressed a fervent wish that he was a painter,
in order that we might sail round the island, take sketches
of the scenery, and then paint a panorama embracing all]
230 HOUSE-BUILDING.

the best views, by exhibiting which at twenty-five cents a
head, we should all make our fortunes upon getting home.
He appeared to have some doubts, however, whether that
particular time of day could be painted, even by the most
accomplished artist. The lagoon channel wound through
fields of branching coral-trees of luxuriant growth, among
which numbers of large fish were moving sluggishly about,
as if they had got up too early, and were more than half
inclined to indulge in another nap. As we passed over a
sort of bar, where there was not more than a fathom and
a half of water, we espicd an immense green turtle at the
bottom, quietly pursuing his way across our track, and
though by no means a beautiful creature, looking infinitely
happier and more lively than the dull-eyed wretches of
his race which I have seen lying on their backs at the
doors of the New York restaurants, ready to be converted
into soup and steaks. Charlie mourned over the imprac-
ticability of making any attempt at his capture, and heaved
a sigh which seemed to come from the bottom of his heart,
as the unsightly reptile disappeared among the mazes of
the submarine shrubbery. The hardship of the case seemed
to be greatly aggravated in his eyes, as he contrasted it
with the better fortune of Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss
Family, the former of whom, as he reminded us, caught
“any quantity of turtles” on the beach of his island, with
no other trouble than that of turning them over upon their
backs; while the latter, having surprised an enormous
fellow taking an afternoon nap on the surface of the water,
treacherously harpooned him in his sleep, and then, steer-
ing him as easily as one would drive a well-broken nag,
compelled him to tow themselves and their pinnaco
ashore.

A somewhat startling incident put an end to these in-
teresting reminiscences. Charlie was leaning over the
gunwale, and with his face almost touching the surface,
and his hands playing in the water, was peering down into
HOUSE-BUILDING. 231

the lagoon, probably on the look-out for another turtle,
when a large shark, coming, as it seemed, from beneath
the boat, rose suddenly, but quietly, and made a snatch at
him. Charlie saw the monster barely in time ; for just as
he sprang up with a cry of affright, and fell backwards
into the boat, the shark’s shovel-nose shot four feet above
water at our stern, his jaws snapping together as he disap-
peared again, with a sound like the springing of a powerful
steel-trap. Though baffled in his first attack, the voracious
fish continued to follow us, watching closely an opportu-
nity for a more successful attempt. He was a large brown
shark, of the species known to sailors as the “sea-attorney,”
which designation, together with his formidable reputa-
tion for keenness, vigilance, and enterprise, shows the
estimation in which the members of the ancient and honour-
able profession of the law are held by the honest sons of
Neptune. Max professed to recognize him as our acquaint-
ance of the previous evening, by whom himself and Browne
had been for a time kept in a state of blockade: our pre-
sent visitor certainly evinced the same uncommon fierce-
ness and audacity which had astonished us in the individual
referred to. He was a trim, round-bodied, compact fellow,
with a wonderful display of vigour, and even of grace, in
his movements; but though not without a certain kind of
beauty, I do not wish to be understood as saying that his
personal appearance was upon the whole prepossessing.
On the contrary, his expression, if I may venture to use
the term (and he certainly had a good deal of expression),
was, if not decidedly bad, at the least, exceedingly sinister.
His flattened head, and long leather-like snout, together
with a pair of projecting goggle eyes, so situated as to
command a view both in front and rear, and which he
kept turning restlessly on every side, contributed greatly
to enhance hisforbidding aspect. Every moment he seemed
to grow fiercer and bolder, and at length he actually
laid hold of our keel next the rudder, and fairly shook
232 HOUSE-BUILDING.

the boat from stem to stern. To our great relief he soon
desisted from this, for such was his bulk and strength,
that we hardly knew what he might not effect in his furi-
ous efforts. His next move was to make a sudden dash
at Max’s oar, which had probably given him offence by
coming too near his nose, and which he jerked from his
hands.

Max seemed to regard this last exploit as a personal
affront, and loudly declared that “this was going alto-
gether too far, and that he should not stand it any longer.”
He accordingly proceeded with great energy to lash his
cutlass to the handle of one of the remaining oars with
some twine which he found in the locker, threatening all
sorts of terrible things against the unsuspecting object of
his wrath. Meanwhile Morton succeeded in fishing up the
lost oar, which the vigilance and activity of our attentive
escort rendered a somewhat dangerous undertaking ; when
recovered, the marks of six rows of formidable teeth were
found deeply indented upon its blade.

Max having completed his novel weapon, Browne, who
had been engaged in an unprofitable attempt to strike the
shark across the eyes with his cutlass, inquired “ what
he was going to do with that clumsy contrivance ?”’

“That clumsy contrivance, as you rashly term it,” re-
plied Max with dignity, “is designed as a shark extermi-
nator, with which I intend forthwith to pay my respects
to this audacious sea-bully. We have stood on the defen-
sive quite long enough, and I am now about to carry the
war into Africa.”

He accordingly jumped upon the middle seat of the
yawl, where, in spite of all attempts at dissuasion, he stood
watching a favourable opportunity fora thrust. This was
soon presented. All unconscious of the unfriendly designs
cherished against him, the shark came propelling himself
carelessly alongside, and directly under Max’s nose, with
his back fin quite above water. The temptation was not
HOUSE-BUILDING. 233

to be resisted. Max braced himself as firmly as possible
in his position. Arthur expostulated, and begged him at
least to get down and stand in the boat. Morton exhorted
him to caution. But he only answered by a waive of the
hand and agrim smile; then requesting Brown to lay fast
hold of his waistband, to assist him in preserving the centre
of gravity, he raised his weapon in both hands, and giving
it a preliminary flourish, brought it down with his full
force, aiming at the broadest part of the fish’s back, just
forward of the dorsal fin. But the weapon was too dull,
or the blow too feeble, to pierce the tough hide of the
“sea-attorney,” for it glanced smoothly off, and Max,
losing his balance, went headlong into the sea. Browne,
in a hasty effort to save him, came near going over also,
while the boat careened until the water poured in over
the gunwale, and for a moment there was imminent danger
of capsizing. Max came to the surface almost paralyzed
with fright, and clutched convulsively at the side of the
boat; when we drew him on board unharmed, but pale
and shivering, as he well might be, after so extraordinary —
an escape. The shark had disappeared, and was now
nowhere to seen. Not being accustomed to Max’s system
of “ carrying the war into Africa,” so sudden and headlong
an attack in his own element had probably somewhat dis-
concerted him. Max made a great effort to assume an air
of composure. “ Well!” said he, looking coolly around,
“the enemy has, I perccive, beaten a retreat. I daresay
he was quite as much frightened as I was, and that is
saying a good deal.”

“But what has become of that patent shark-extermi-
nator?” observed Browne; “I don’t see it anywhere:
has the enemy carried it off as a trophy of victory, as
conquering knights take possession of the arms of their
vanquished adversaries ?”

“It is much more likely,” replied Max with disdain,
“that he has carried it off stuck fast in his carcase.”
234 HOUSE-BUILDING.

But neither supposition proved to be correct, for we
presently picked up the “ exterminator” floating near us.
Charlie narrowly examined the blade, and was much disap-
pointed at not finding “any blood on it.”

Max now took an oar to steady his nerves by rowing,
for notwithstanding his assumed composure and forced
pleasantry, they had evidently been a good deal shaken
by his recent narrow escape.

By the time we came in sight of Sea-bird’s Point, the
increasing light, and the rosy glow in the “dappled east,”
heralded the rising of the sun, and announced that the
heat and glare of the tropical day were on the point
of succeeding the mild freshness of “incense-breathing
morn.” Nor were other tokens wanting that the reign of
night was over. A strange confusion of indistinct and
broken. sounds, issuing from myriads of nests and perches
all along the beach, showed that the various tribes of
sea-fowl were beginning to bestir themselves. slumbcrous, half-smothecred sounds from scattered nests
preluded the general concert, and then the notes were
taken up, and repeated by the entire feathered population
for miles along the shore, until the clamour seemed like
that of ten thousand awakening barnyards. And now the
scene began to be enlivened by immense multitudes of
birds rising in the air, and hovering in clouds over the
lagoon. Some wheeled around us in their spiral flight ;
others skimmed the water like swallows, dipping with
marvellous promptness after any ill-starred fish that ven-
tured near the surface ; others, again, rose high into the air,
from whence, by their incredible keenness of sight, they
seemed readily to discern their prey, when, poising them-
selves an instant on expanded wings, they would pounce
perpendicularly downward, and disappearing entirely in
the water for an instant, emerge, clutching securely a
struggling victim. But in carrying on this warfare upon
the finny inhabitants of the lagoon, the feathered spoilers
HOUSE-BUILDING. 235

were not perfectly united and harmonious, and fierce
domestic content‘ons occasionally interrupted and diver-
sified their proceedings. A number of unprincipled man-
of-war hawks, who preferred gaining their livelihood by
robbing their neighbours and associates, to relying upon
their own honest industry, would sail lazily around on
wide-spread pinions, watching, with the air of unconcerned
spectators, the methodical toil of the plodding gannets.
But the instant that one of the latter rose from a success-
ful plunge with a plump captive writhing in his grasp, all
appearance of indifference would vanish, and some dark-
plumaged pirate of the lagoon, pouncing down like light-
ning upon his unwarlike neighbour, would ruthlessly
despoil him of his hard-earned prize. One of these
piratical gentry suffered before our eyes a fate worthy of
his rapacity. A gannet had seized upon a fish much
larger than his strength enabled him to manage, and was
struggling in vain to lift it into the air, when a hawk
darted upon them, and striking his talons into the fish, put
the gannet to flight. But the greedy victor had greatly
miscalculated the strength of his intended prey. A des-
perate conflict, sometimes under water, and sometimes
just at the surface, ensued. The hawk struggled gallantly,
but in vain, and was at length drawn under by his pon-
derous antagonist to rise no more.

We landed a short distance beyond Charlie’s row of
“oyster-trees,’ and by the time we had climbed the hill,
the sun had risen, though not yet visible above the wooded
heights which sheltered us to the eastward.:

We were so intent upon our house-building project,
that, contenting ourselves with aself-denying breakfast of
cocoanuts, we at once set zealously to work in ¢arrying
it out.

Arthur directed, superintended, and laid out the work
in detail. Morton having fitted a handle to the hatchet-
head, and laboriously sharpened it upon a rough stone,
236 HOUSE-BUILDING.

undertook to supply materials as fast as called for. While
he cut down trees of the kind and size required by Ar-
thur, Max trimmed off the branches with his cutlass, and
prepared them for use. Charlie and Eiulo dragged them
to the site of the building, where Browne and I assisted
Arthur in setting the posts into the ground, and putting
together the frame of the house. Of course our destitu-
tion of proper tools and implements rendered all this ex-
ceedingly laborious, and but for Arthur’s perseverance
and ingenuity, we should more than once have given up
in despair. Instead of spades, we were obliged to use
sharp bivalve shells from the shore, in digging places for
the upright posts of the building, and as it was necessary
that these should be set quite deep, in order to give it
firmness and stability, the toil was severe. Max, who
came up occasionally to see how the work was progress-
ing, and to offer suggestions and criticisms (more espe-
cially the latter), on finding us upon our knees patiently
grubbing up the earth with our shells, flaticringly com-
pared us to so many hedgehogs excavating their burrows.

Nevertheless, we persevered ; and before night, we had
nearly completed the frame of our building, with the ex-
ception of the ridge-pole, the rafters, and cross-pieces.

The posts at the sides stood six feet out of the ground,
and were stationed about three feet apart. The centre
posts, to support the ridge-pole, were nine feet high, and
made from the trunks of well-grown trees some six inches
in diameter. This certainly was a good day’s work under
the circumstances; at anyrate we were quite unanimous
in considering it so; and towards twilight we went down
to the beach for our evening bath in an exceedingly com-
placent and self-satisfied state of mind, Max enlarging
upon the pleasures of industry, and professing to be in the
present enjoyment of those feelings—

“ Which follow arduous duty well performed.”
HOUSE-BUILDING. 237

Instead of repairing to our usual bathing-place, we pro-
ceeded along the beach to the north-west, until we reached
the clump of trees at the edge of the water already men-
tioned as being visible from Castle Hill. As we approached
the spot, we found that what had appeared at a distance
to be but a single group of trees, was, in fact, a small
grove extending along the shore, and fringing a little
cove of nearly elliptical form, which at this point set into
the land. The narrow shelving beach rivalled the white-
ness of a fresh snow-drift. The trees were mostly cocoa-
palms; indeed scarcely any others could flourish in such
a spot; and there were no shrubs or undergrowth of any
kind. The cove was perhaps a hundred paces long, and
half as wide in the widest part, contracting to less than
fifty feet where it communicated with the lagoon. The
water was clear, the bottom smooth and regularly formed,
and the greatest depth was only eight or ten feet. Max,
after viewing the cove with the eye of a connoisseur, pro-
nounced it a noble spot for bathing purposes, and fully
equal to the basin on the reef in every respect, except in
depth and facilities for diving.

The impression of his morning’s adventure, however,
was still fresh, and he hinted at the possibility that some
shark of elegant tastes, and possessing an eye for the
beautiful, might be in the habit of frequenting the cove.
Arthur volunteered to keep watch at the narrow entrance
while the rest of us were bathing, in order to give timely
notice of the approach of the dreaded enemy; but on
walking out to the cdge of the lagoon, we found that this
precaution would be unnecessary. A bar, consisting of a
coral patch very near the surface, stretched across the
mouth of the cove, rendering it almost impossible for a
- shark to enter.

Charlie named the spot “The Mcrmaid’s Cove;” but
this possessive designation was merely complimentary, for
so far were we from renouncing the cove in favour of the
238 THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

mermaids, that from the day on which we discovered it,
it became one of our favourite and regular resorts.

CHAPTER XXV.

THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

A DEMOCRAT IN THE WOODS—ECHO-VALE AND LAKE LAICOMO
—THE “* WILD FRENCHMAN” DISCOVERED AT LAST.

“A few firm stakes they planted in the ground,
Circling a narrow space, but large enow,
These strongly interknit they closed around
With basket-work of many a pliant bough.
The roof was like the sides; the door was low,
And rude the hut, and trimmed with little care,
For little heart had they to dress it now:
Yet was the humble structure fresh and fair,
And soon the inmates found that peace might sojourn there.”

Ir took us an entire week to complete the frame of our
building, and this alone involved an amount and variety
of labour which few of us had anticipated when we com-
menced it. One day was consumed in selecting, felling,
and trimming a tree tall and straight enough to serve as
a ridge-pole. We next had to get out some thirty rafters
of hibiscus to support the roof. Then, as we had no nails
(Max’s ship with the hardware not having yet arrived),
we were obliged to adopt the means used by the Poly-
nesian builders for fastening the rafters to the ridge-pole
and cross-pieces, which consists of tying them firmly in
their places with sennit. To supply the place of sennit,
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE. 239

we manufactured a quantity of cord from twisted hibiscus
bark, which answered the purpose very well.

At length the skeleton of the house was completed.
Twenty-seven strong posts (including the three tall centre
ones), deeply planted in the ground, supported the string
pieces and the ridge-pole. Fifteen slender rafters, regu-
larly placed at small intervals, descended from the ridge-
pole to the eaves on either side, and the whole was firmly
bound together with tough and durable withes of our own
manufacture.

The thatching occupied another week, and but for
Eiulo’s skill and dexterity, we should never have accom-
plished this nice and difficult operation except after a very
bungling and imperfect fashion. Arthur understood very
well how it should be done, but his knowledge was theo-
retical rather than practical, while Eiulo had acquired
considerable skill in the art, by building and thatching
miniature houses in the woods, an amusement which he
and his young playmates had often practised at home.
The only thing now remaining to be done was to make a
number of coarse mats, with which to enclose the sides of
the house—as far as in such a climate it is desirable to
enclose them—together with an additional supply, ready
to be put up in bad weather on fastenings constructed for
the purpose. But for this there seemed to be no imme-
diate necessity. The sides of the building were low, and
the eaves extended two fect beyond them, and as we had
an excellent roof above us, we considered ourselves toler-
ably prepared even for rainy weather. However, we com-
menced manufacturing mats, in which, with the instruction
and example of Arthur and Eiulo, we were tolerably suc-
cessful ; but we proceeded with this very much at our
leisure. One or two brief showers, like that which had
exerted so sudden an influence in hastening the commence-
ment of our building scheme, afforded us the most satis-
factory evidence of the good qualities of our roof, which
240 THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

did not admit a drop of rain. But at the same time we
became aware of another defect in our house asa dwelling
in wet weather. We had no floor but the bare earth, and
though Arthur had so levelled it, and protected it by a
little trench and embankment, that no water from the
adjacent grounds could reach us, except by the gradual
process of saturation, still it was very damp after a severe
rain. To remedy this, Arthur talked from time to time
of making a floor of cement, which would dry to the hard-
ness of stone, and through which the moisture fiom the
ground could not penetrate. When asked where lime
was to be obtained with which to make his cement, he
assumed an air of mystery, and merely said that there
would be no difficulty on that score. One day, after we
had got a large supply of mats completed, and ready for
use, he again recurred to the subject of improving our
floor, and explained that he intended to prepare his mortar
or cement from sand and lime, the latter of which was to
be procured by burning coral rock in a pit. He prevailed
upon Morton, Prowne, and myself, to set about digging a
“lime-pit” in the gully beside Castle Hill, while he took
Eiulo and Charlie with him in the boat, to go in search of
a quantity of the sponge-shaped coral, which, he said,
was the best adapted to his purpose.

Max pronounced the whole project a humbug, and
refusing to have anything to do with it, equipped himself
with club and cutlass, and started off on a solitary excur-
sion towards the south-easterly part of the island, which
we had not yet explored. He returned in the afternoon
with a glowing account of the discoveries he had made,
among which were a beautiful pond of fresh water, a
stream flowing into it, and a waterfall.

In two days we completed a lime-pit of proper dimen-
sions. Arthur and his assistants had in the same time
collected and brought to the spot a sufficient quantity of
coral rock; we then covered the bottom of the pit with
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE. 241

. fuel, and Igid the coral, previously broken into small
pieces, upon it. The pile was next kindled, and when the
fuel was consumed, we found that the coral had yielded a
supply of excellent lime, fine, and beautifully white. With-
out going into further details, it is enough to say that the
rest. of Arthur’s plan was carried out with the same suc-
cess. The cement was made, and a thick layer of it spread
over the floor of the house, as evenly and smoothly as
could well be done, with no better trowels than gigantic
oyster-shells. In three days it was hard as marble, and
our house was how as complete as we ceuld make it. It
had cost us a great deal of severe toil ; we had found the
construction of it no such holiday employment as we had
imagined ; but it was the fruit of our own ingenuity and
perseverance, the work of our own hands, and we regarded
it with much complacency. Charlie impartially compared
it with the dwellings of I don’t know how many other
desert islanders, and found it. superior in some point to
each and all of them.

Being now in a state of complete preparation, as we
flattered ourselves, for all sorts of weather, we began to
feel as though a regular out-and-out storm would be rather
@ luxury than otherwise. These bright skies and sunny
days were very well in their way, but it wasn’t in antici-
pation of them that we had been planning and working
for a month or more. There was no use at all for our
model-house in such fine weather; indeed, while it con-
tinued, our old lodgings under the green forest leaves and
the starlight were far preferable. It took full half-a-dozen
of our sleeping-mats (and we had but three apiece), laid
upon the stony floor of our dwelling, to make a couch
half as soft as those heaps of leaves which we used to pile
up beneath the trees for our beds, and which we could
not now introduce into the house, for fear of “making a
litter.” The prudent citizen—who, having, at the threat-
ened approach of winter, laid in a bountiful provision of

Q
242 THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

wood and coal, put up his hall stoves and his double win-
dows, now feels quite ready, in the strength of anthracite
and hickory, to snap his fingers in the face of Jack Frost,
and bid him do his worst—is not more impatient to have
the thermometer fall to the neighbourhood of zero, in
order that he may realize the comforts he has paid for,
than were we for the advent of such a storm as would
enable us to say to one another, “ Ah! is it not fortunate
that we have a roof over our heads? What should we do
now, if we had not made timely preparation ?”

Well, at last we had our wish. A shower came up one
day in the afternoon, which did not cease in half an hour,
as the previous ones had done. On the contrary, when
darkness came on, the rain still continued falling steadily,
with no sign of abatement. Charlie was in ecstacies.
This was evidently no night for camping out; it was a
night to justify all our expenditure of labour in planning
and perfecting our dwelling. We hung up every extra
mat, and fastened them securely with the store of wooden
pegs and pins prepared for that purpose. To be sure we
were in complete darkness, but then we were perfectly
snug and comfortable; and what a luxury to lie sheltered
from the storm, and listen to the pattering of the rain
upon the roof, and the dismal sound of the water dripping
from the eaves !

The second morning after this rain-storm, which had
so pleasantly tested the qualities of our dwelling, we
started, under Max’s guidance, to make an excursion to
that part of the island to the south-east of Castle Hill of
which he had given so glowing an.account. After half an
hour's toilsome march over uneven ground, we entered 4

vrove, which, to Charlie’s great exultation, was composed
almost entirely of bread-fruit-trees. They grew with
much regularity, at almost equal distances, so as to form
broad straight avenues, overarched by a canopy of spread-
ing branches and dark glossy leaves. Vistas of shapely
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE. +243

diamond-chequered trunks stretched away in every direc-
tion in long and shady perspective. Among the dense
masses of foliage hung a profusion of large globes, of a
light-delicate green, or a golden yellow, the splendid fruit
of this noblest and most stately tree of the tropics. The
ripe and the unripe fiuit hung side by side from the same
branches, and Charlie could hardly be persuaded to post-
pone gathering a supply of it until our return. Our
- course had been upon the whole rather an ascending one,
so that this grove must have occupied an elevated situa-
tion. The ground over which it extended was nearly
level, with slight wave-like undulations. As we ap-
proached its eastern limit, Max told us to prepare our-
selves for the most charming spectacle that we had ever
beheld. He walked on before with the air of a cicerone
_when about to exhibit a chef-d’ceuvre, and stood waiting
and beckoning for us at the border of the grove. On join-
ing him, we found that‘he'had scarcely exaggerated in his
descriptions of the spot.

We stood at the top of a smooth and gradual descent.
Before us lay a secluded valley, from which the land rose
on every side to about the elevation of the grove behind
us. In some places it ascended in gentle slopes, in others
by abrupt acclivities. In the bosom of the valley spread
a little lake of oval form, fringed in some places with
shrubbery, while in others groups of casuarinas extended
their long drooping boughs in graceful arches over the
water. After pausing a moment, we descended to the
margin of the pond, which was so limpid, that we could
distinguish every pebble at the bottom. At the upper
or northern end, and near the point at which we had
come out of the grove, a small stream precipitated itself
some fifteen feet down a rocky declivity, and fell into a
circular basin a few yards in diameter. Overflowing this
basin, it found its way into the lake by another descent
of a few feet. Around the basin, and on both sides of the
244 TRE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

waterfall, were several curious columns of basalt, and
irregular picturesque piles of basaltic rock. The plash
of the water, falling into the rocky basin, was the only
sound that broke the Sabbath-like silence that pervaded
the valley. There was, or seemed to be, something un-
real and dream-like about the scene, that made us pause
where we stood in silence, as though the whole were an
illusion, which a word or a motion would dispel.

“ How beautiful!” exclaimed Browne at last, and a soft
clear echo, like the voice of the tutelary spirit of the
valley, answered, “ Beautiful !”

“ Hark !” cried Charlie ; “whata charming echo. Listen
again,” and he shouted, “Hurra for Harry Clay !”

“For Harry Clay!” softly responded the echo, and
almost in the same breath a harsh voice, apparently close
at hand, and which was evidently not an echo, cried out,
“Oora for Shackson !” tf

We started, and gazed around us, and at each other,
in astonishment, but could see nothing from which this
strange exclamation could proceed.

“That,” said Charlie, in a trembling whisper, and seiz-
ing Browne’s hand, “that is the voice of the wild French-
man I heard in the woods near Castle Hill. It said,
‘Hurra for Jackson,’ didn’t it?”

“Yes,” answered Max gravely; “who knows but the
cannibals here are all good democrats? You had better
be careful, Charlie, how you hurra for Harry Clay in the
woods; a hungry democratic cannibal would think a
plump little Whig boy like you a great treat.” Max’s
manner made me suspect that he possessed some clue to
the mystery, which the rest of us lacked.

“T don’t care,” answered Charlie stoutly, while the ap-
prehensive glances which he cast around on every side
hardly agreed with his valiant words; “I shall hurra for
Harry Clay in spite of all the savages on the island.”

“Oora for Shackson! Oora for Shackson! Oora for
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE. 245

Sheneral Shackson !” yelled the same voice more fiercely
than before.

Max burst into a fit of laughter, when, following the
direction of his eye, we looked up, and espied an enor-
mous parrot perched upon a purau branch directly over
our heads, from which he eyed us with a disdainful and
truculent air.

“There’s your wild Frenchman at last, Charlie,” said
Max; “I expect he'll call-us to account presently for our
treatment of his hat.”

“Don’t give up de sheep?” screamed the parrot.

“Come,” said Max, “what’s the use of trying to talk
English: it’s quite plain you’re a Parly-vous.”

“Vive l’Empereur! Vive Napoleon!” shrieked the
parrot.

“No doubt you can give us a song, monsieur,” pursued
Max; “favour as with ‘ Polly put the kettle on,’ s’il vous
plait.”

The bird twisted his head round, as though giving
earnest attention to what was said; then, after a moment,
which, from his wise look, seemed to be occupied in pro-
foundly considering the reasonableness of the request, he
burst forth with—

** Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivée!”

shrieking out the two lines as though they composed a
single word. Apparently satisfied with this display of his
accomplishments, he spread his wings, and flew heavily
across the lake, alighting not far from the shore, whence
we could hear him occasionally uttering a shrill cry.

“Do you see where the parrot is now?” inquired Mor-
ton of me a moment afterwards.

“Yes, I see his green feathers among the foliage, but
not very distinctly.”

“Unless I am much mistaken,” pursued he, “there is a
246 THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

shed or building of some kind among the trees on the
other side of the lake, where he has alighted.”

On shifting our ground a little, we could all perceive
between the boughs of the trees something that did in
fact look like a low wooden building, and after a mo-
ment’s consultation, it was agreed that Morton and Max
should cross the stream (which could easily be done where
it poured into the lake), and reconnoitre, while the rest
awaited their report.

By leaping from stone to stone, and wading occasionally
for short distances, they picked their way to the other
side, and presently disappeared among the casuarinas. In
about fifteen minutes they returned to the shore, and
called for us to come over, saying. that they had discovered
a building, which appeared, however, to have been long
deserted. Browne took Charlie upon his back, and we
forded the rapids as the others had done.

Following Max and Morton, we soon reached a kind of
landing-place half-way between the lake and the top of
the ascent, in the centre of which was a low wooden build-
ing, surrounded by a rude fence of pointed stakes. Enter-
ing through a gate, hung upon leathern hinges, we found
ourselves in front of the hut. It appeared to be built of
timber which had once composed part of a ship, and was
put together with considerable skill. The yard was full
of rank weeds, and damp masses of lichen and moss hung
from the eaves of the house, and covered its roof. The
door, which was furnished with a lock and brass handle,
was closed, but not fastened: we opened it, and entered a
large square room, lighted by four windows, two of which
had evidently been taken from the stern of a vessel; the
remaining two seemed to have once constituted the upper
parts of sash-doors. These windows were well put into
the sides of the house, and from the appearance of all the
work about the room, I inferred that it had been done by
persons accustomed to that kind of Jabour. A® pine table,
THE CABIN BY THE LAKE. 247

which had lost half of one leg, and two chairs without
backs, composed the entire furniture of this apartment.
A rude shelf was fastened against the wall between two
of the windows, upon which a number of earthenware
dishes were arranged. A smaller apartment was parti-
tioned off with rough boards from the first, with which it
communicated by a simple opening or doorway, without
any door.

In this second room were several low wooden frames,
probably designed as bedsteads, ranged side by side, and
a large chest, stained or painted blue. In one corner
stood a small square writing-table of some dark-coloured
wood, with several drawers. In another corner Max dis-
covered a rusty gridiron and saucepan, a small iron pot
and a toasting-fork, upon which he pounced with the
eagerness of a miser lighting upon hidden treasures. The
chest was empty, but a small box or till, fixed in one end
of it, contained a number of phials, a cork-screw, a tin
cannister, and a French Bible, upon the last of which
Arthur seized with as much avidity as Max had evinced
in appropriating the cooking utensils. Charlie pulled
open the drawers of the little writing-table, and found a
bunch of quills, a spool of green ribbon, a file of invoices
and bills of lading, a bottle of ink, and about half a ream
of letter-paper, which he declared was just what was
wanted for the purpose of writing “our story.”

The place had a gloomy and deserted air, and we una-
nimously agreed that neither the dwelling nor its loca-
tion was nearly as pleasant as our own at Castle Hill.

There were several articles which we wished to carry
away with us, but we concluded to postpone this until a
future visit. Max, however, having once laid hold of the
gridiron, seemed extremely loath to part with it again, and
finally yielding to the irresistible fascination which it
evidently had for him, he threw it over his shoulder as
we started on our return, and brought it away with him.
248 THE CABIN BY THE LAKE.

Having been fastidiously purified by repeated scourings
and ablutions, it proved very useful in preparing our
meals, of which fresh fish frequently formed the principal
part.

In the evening, as we sat at the terraced top of Castle
Hill, Charlie took seriously in hand the important busi-
ness of finding appropriate names for the discoveries of
the day.

The valley beyond the grove of bread-fruit he concluded
to call “Echo Vale.” For the lake itself quite a variety
of names was suggested, none of which, however, seemed
to be entirely satisfactory. After puzzling over the sub-
ject a long while without any result, and working himself
into quite a nervous and excited state, a happy thought
seemed all at once to suggest itself, and turning to Arthur,
he eagerly demanded what was “the most beautiful lake
in all the world?”

“Loch Katrine, to be sure,” said Browne; “some would
say Loch Lomond, but that is the second.”

“Lake George!” cried Max decisively.

“Lake Como, in Switzerland, is said to be, by the tourists
and the poets,” answered Arthur, to whom the question
had been more particularly addressed.

The last name seemed to please Charlie exceedingly,
and after repeating it several times with approbation, he
inquired of Arthur “ what it was that Olla, in the canni-
bal story, called her pet wood-pigeon?”’

“ Lai-evi,” answered Arthur.

“And you said that meant Little Captive,” pursued
Charlie, with great animation; “and the ‘Lai’ means
‘little,’ I suppose?’

“Yes, ‘ Lai’ is the diminutive.”

“Well, then, I have it at last! Our lake, though so
small, is ——”

“Quite a Como for its size,” interrupted Max, “ and so
it shall be called ——”
TUE REMOVAL. 249

“Lake Laicomo!” cried Charlie exultingly.

I am thus particular in mentioning these names, chiefly
for the benefit of all persons engaged in the preparation
of new editions of the school geographies and atlases;
and I take this opportunity, at Charlie’s especial request,
to call their attention to the matter, in order that our
island and its geographical divisions may be accurately
laid down and described in future works of the kind re-
ferred to.

CHAPTER XXVI.

THE REMOVAL

PREPARATIONS FOR THE RAINY SEASON-——-GOING INTO WIN-
TER QUARTERS—* MONSIEUR PAUL’ —THE PATRIARCH OF
THE LAKE.

‘*Now Winter comes to rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad, with all his gloomy train
Of vapours, clouds, and storms.”

WE had now been several months upon the island, and
notwithstanding our constant watchfulness, we had not,
during all this time, seen a single sail. Of the vast multi-
tudes of vessels that track the ocean in every direction,
not one had visited the solitary sea that lay within the
boundaries of our horizon; or if any had crossed the
verge of the wide circle, her coming and departure had
been alike unobserved by us.

And now, by a variety of indications, it was manifest
that the winter of the tropical year was at hand. Tho
steady casterly breezes, which, with occasional variations
250 THE REMOVAL.

of south-easterly, had hitherto prevailed, were succeeded
by violent and fickle winds, blowing sometimes from a
dozen different and opposite points of the compass in the
course of twenty-four hours. The brief and sudden
showers which we had had at intervals for some time past
gradually became more heavy and frequent. At length,
one calm sultry day, about noon, a storm, accompanied by
thunder and lightning, came up, with so little previous
notice, that although Arthur and myself were at the time
scarcely two hundred yards from the house, we were
thoroughly drenched before we could reach it. And this
proved to be no mere thunder-shower, such as we had al-
ready been two or three times surprised by. Scarcely
had we got under sheltcr, when the air grew so dark, that
it would really have been difficult to see one’s way through
the grove. I had never before witnessed anything like
this, and I began to fear that we were going to be visited
by one of those terrible hurricanes which sometimes de-
vastate tropical countrics. The wind soon commenced
blowing with such violence, that the largest and sturdiest
of the old trecs that surrounded our house bent and
swayed before its fury. Their tops lashed each other
overhead, and filled the air with clouds of leaves, whirled
away upon the tempest. Large boughs were twisted off
like twigs, and strewed the ground in every direction.
The creaking and groaning of the trees, the loud flapping
of the palm-leaves, like that of a sail loose in the wind,
the howling and shrieking of the gale, as it burst in quick,
fierce gusts through the forest, with the almost total dark-
ness that enveloped us, were truly appalling.

The strength of our dwelling was now put to a severer
test than its builders had ever anticipated, and it yielded
to the force of the wind, so that at times the side-posts
stood at an angle of torty-five degrees with the floor; had
they been of any material less tough and pliant than the
hibiscus, they must have snapped off in an instant. It was
THE REMOVAL. 251

well, too, that they had been deeply and firmly planted in
the ground, or the whole fabric would have been lifted
bodily into the air, and swept away like a withered leaf.
As it was, though wrenched and twisted woefully, it stood
firm, The thatch, of which Arthur was so proud, and
which had hitherto been storm-proof, now opened in
many places, and a dozen little streams began to pour in
upon us.

Before night, the sound of running waters without was
like that of a great spring freshet. Cataracts were leap-
ing on every side from the edges of the height, and a
raging and turbid torrent filled the gully that separated
the forest from Castle Hill.

The tempest continued for nearly forty-eight hours.
By the time it was over, we had quite come to the conclu-
sion that if this was to be regarded as a foretaste and spe-
cimen of what we had to expect during the rainy season,
it would never do to think of remaining in our present
habitation. Considering this as a timely warning, we re-
solved, after a formal consultation, to put the deserted
cabin by the lake forthwith into tenantable condition, so
as to be ready to take up our winter-quarters there if we
should find it expedient to do so.

On the first fine day we commenced carrying this reso-
lution into effect, knowing that we had now but little time
to Jose. The cabin had originally been built substantially,
and with a good deal of skill, and it had suffered but little
from decay. We had, in fact, nothing to do in the way of
repairing it except to rehang the door, which was loose,
and partially unhinged, and to mend the roof, which
leaked in one or two places. We then cleared the yard
from the rank weeds by which it was overgrown, aired
the house thoroughly, by setting door and windows wide
open for a day or two, and swept out both apartments
with cocoanut brooms.

We next, under Arthur’s direction, commenced laying
252 THE REMOVAL.

in a stock of provisions. Abundance of ripe bread-fruit
could now be procured. We gathered a considerable
quantity, which Arthur and Eiulo baked and pounded,
and prepared by burying it underground, wrapped in
leaves, in such a manner that it would keep, as they said,
for several months. We also piled up in one corner of
the small room a great heap of cocoanuts, with the husks
on, in which way they can be preserved fresh a long
while. A bushel of candlenuts, and about the same
quantity of taro and patara roots, completed our winter
supplies.

Charlie was much dissatisfied with the poverty of these
preparations for the rainy season. He thought we ought
to have laid in a large stock of salted or smoked fish, be-
sides catching a score or two of turtle,.and depositing
them safely upon their backs in some convenient place,
ready to be converted into soup at any moment by the
magic of Max’s culinary art.

Arthur thought that we need not anticipate a season of
continuous storms or steady rains—that though the pre-
vailing weather for some months would be tempestuous,
there would nevertheless be some fine days in nearly
every week, during which we could venture forth.

Another storm, as violent as the last, fully decided us
to make the contemplated removal to the cabin, and that
without farther delay. Charlie transported thither his
entire collection of shells, corals, &c., which had now
grown to be quite extensive. Arthur carried over an
armful of specimens of plants and flowers, which had long
been accumulating, for an “herbarium.” Max, however,
averred that they were a part of the materials for a
treatise on “The Botany of Polynesia,’ which Arthur
cherished the ambitious design of composing, and which
was to be published with coloured plates simultaneously
with the history of our adventures. In order that he, too,
might have some in-door occupation during the antici-
THE REMOVAL. 253

pated bad weather, Max provided himself with a huge
log, hacked and sawed with great labour from a bread-
fruit-tree blown down in the last gale, out. ef which he
declared it to be his purpose to build a miniature ship,
destined to convey the aforesaid history, together with
Arthur’s botanical treatise, to America.

The day fixed for our final migration to “Lake Lai-
como” at length arrived, and taking a farewell for “the
season” of our deserted tenement at Castle Hill, we set
out for the cabin, to spend our first night there. It was
not without some feelings of regret that we left a spot
now become so familiar, to bury themselves in the woods
out of sight of the sea. It seemed almost like going again
into exile. Charlie, in particular, felt greatly humiliated
at being obliged to abandon the house which had eost us
so much toil, to take refuge in one constructed by others.
He seemed to look upon this as a kind of tacit admission
of our own utter incapacity to provide for ourselves in
that respect. |

On arriving at the cabin, we were somewhat surprised
to see our democratic friend the parrot perched over the
door, as if waiting to welcome us to our new quarters.
He appeared to be in no degree disturbed at our ap-
proach, but greeting us with one or two boisterous “Vive
Napoleons!” maintained his position until we had passed
into the house, when he flew in also, and alighting on the
shelf against the wall, seemed to feel as much at home as
any one. Charlie sagely suggested that he knew that the
rainy season was coming on, and was anxions to establish
himself in comfortable quarters until it was over. Pos-
sibly this supposition did our visitor injustice, by ascrib-
ing to him motives more selfish and interested than those
by which he was really actuated. It is more charitable
to believe that, having been once accustomed to human
companionship, and being weary of his solitary life in the
woods, where his vocal accomplishments were wasted on
254 THE REMOVAL.

the desert air, he now sought our society, as being more
-congenial to his tastcs and education than that of the
feathered denizens of the forest. Be this, however, as it
may, “Monsieur Paul” (as he called himself) from that
time took up his abode with us, and though he would
sometimes disappear for days together, he was sure to
come back at last, when, if he.found the door and windows
closed (as sometimes happened), he -would scream, and
hurra for “Sheneral Shackson,” until he gained admit-
tance. One circumstance, which, I am sorry to say,
throws some shade of suspicion upon¢he pure disintcr-
estedness of his motives, is, that he generally went off
at the commencement of fine weather, and returned a
little before a storm. This was so uniformly the case,
that Max used to prophesy the character of the weather
by his movements, and often, when to our eyes there was
not the slightest indication of a change, he would say,
“There comes Monsieur—look out fora storm presently”
—and it was rarely that he proved mistaken in such pre-
dictions.

The second day after our removal there was a gale, in
which great trees were blown down or torn up by the
roots. Though shaken by the force of the wind, the cabin
was too firmly built to permit any apprehension of its
being overthrown; and there were no trees of large size
near it by the fall of which it could be endangered. But
we should scarcely have felt safe in our former dwelling.

We now improved every pleasant day to the utmost, in
completing our preparation for the period of heavy rains,
which Arthur declared to be close at hand. Brown and
Morton made a fish-pond by building a dam of loose
stones across the rapids below the fall, just where the
stream entered the lake. It was soon well-stocked, with-
out any trouble on our part, with fish resembling roach
and perch, numbers of which were carried over the fall,

-and prevented by the dam from escaping into the lake.
THE REMOVAL. 255

We also collected a large quantity of bread-fruit bark,
and of the fibrous netting which binds the stalk of the
cocoa-nut leaf to the trunk, to be worked up in various
ways. This singular fabric, which in texture somewhat
resembles coarse cotton cloth, is often obtained from the
larger trees in strips two or three feet wide. It is strong
and durable, and is used by the natives for making bags,
and for other similar purposes. Garments, too, are some-
times made from it, though for that purpose tappa is
preferred. While the leaves are young and tender, this
remarkable substance is white and transparent, quite
flexible, and altogether a delicate and beautiful fabric,
but not sufficiently strong to be put to any useful pur-
pose. As it becomes older and tougher, it assumes a
yellow colour, and loses much of its flexibility and beauty.
A quantity of hibiscus bark was also collected, to be uscd
in the manufacture of cord for fishing-lines, nets, &c.
While the rest of us were actively engaged, under
Arthur’s direction, in accumulating a stock of these
materials, Max devoted all his energies to the task of
capturing an enormous eel which ivequented the upper
end of the lake. But he exhausted all his ingenuity in
this endeavour without success. The monster had a
' secure retreat among the submerged roots of an old
buttress-tree, beneath an overhanging bank, from which
Max daily lured him forth by throwing crumbs into the
water ; but after devouring the food that was thrown to
him, he would immediately return to his stronghold
under the bank. Max was at great pains to manufacture
a fish-hook out of a part of a cork-screw found in the till
of the blue chest, by means of which he confidently ex-
pected to bring matters to a speedy and satisfactory issue
between himself and his wary antagonist. But the latter
would met touch the bait that concealed the hook.
Driven to desperation by this unexpected discomfiture,
Max next made sundry attempts to spear and “ harpoon?
256 WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

him, alt of which signally failed, so that at the end of the
brief interval of fine weather, this patriarch of the lake,
whose wisdom seemed to be proportioned to his vener-
able age and gigantic size, remained proof against all the
arts and machinations of his chagrined: and. exasperated
enemy.

CHAPTER XXVII.

WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

AMUSEMENTS AND OCCUPATIONS—STORY-TELLING——THE
SOUTH-SEA LYCEUM.

‘“‘ When the winter nights grow long,
And the winds without blow cold,
We sit in a ring round the warm wood fire,
And listen to stories old.”

HAVING now brought my story down to the period of our

getting into winter-quarters at Lake Laicomo (where,
during the last few weeks, the foregoing portion of this
narrative has been written), I shall change my tenses, for
the present chapter at least, while I sketch the occupa-
tions and amusements by which we endeavour to fill up
the time of our imprisonment.

The rainy season is now nearly over, and we have got
through it much more comfortably and pleasantly than
we anticipated. The few fine days during which we
finished our preparations for it, as mentioned jg the last
chapter, were succeeded, in accordance with Arthur’s
prediction, by more than a week of steady rain, and for
WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME. 257

several weeks there was not a day without rain. During
this time, of course, we were thrown entirely upon our
in-door resources, and, thanks to the forethought which
had provided an abundant store of materials, upon which
the ingenuity or industry of each of us could be variously
exercised, we have thus far managed to keep pretty busy.

We have twisted a great store of cord for fishing-lines,
nets, and other purposes, from the supply of hibiscus-bark
previously laid in. We have also manufactured more
than a dozen pairs of serviceable moccasins, with no other
materials than cocoanut cotton and bread-fruit bark.
Browne has made a chess-board, and rudely but elabo-
rately carved a complete set of men, of gigantic size, in
which he has evinced much skill and ingenuity, and a vast
deal of perseverance. The castles are mounted upon the
backs of elephants, which Charlie innocently mistook for
cnormous swine with two tails apiece. The knights are
provided with shields bearing St. Andrew’s cross and the
thistle for a device, and would have been arrayed, without
doubt, in kilt and tartan, had it been possible. The
bishops wear grotesque-looking cocked hats, intended for
mitres, and their countenances are so singularly truculent
and unprepossessing, that Max accuses the artist of having
in this petty way evinced “his Scottish and Presbyterian
spite against Episcopacy.”

Morton has, among other things, made a couple of nets,
and a mortar and pestle for pounding bread-fruit and
taro.

Max’s time and attention have been chiefly devoted to
the manufacture of a variety of warlike weapons, among
which are four or five formidable bludgeons, which he
styles “ Feejee war-clubs,’ made from the hard and pon-
derous wood of the casuarina. He has also worked a
good deal at intervals upon the huge log out of which the
“ Messenger ship” is to be constructed.

Arthur has been more usefully employed in contriving

R
258 WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

two frames or stands, designed as candlesticks for holding
the native substitute for candles, which substitute consists
simply of a cocoanut stalk, some eighteen inches long,
strung with candle-nuts. These nuts are of about the size
of a horse-chestnut, and contain a considerable quantity of
oil: they are the fruit of one of the largest and most mag-
nificent trees of our island. One nut will burn from five
to ten minutes, according to its size, and if they are pressed
closely together upon the stalk, the flame communicates
readily from one to another, affording a tolerably clear
and steady light until the entire string is consumed.

To supply the place of Charlie’s jacket and trousers,
which are completely worn out, Arthur has made from
two or three large strips of cocoanut cotton, a garment
resembling the South American “ poncho,” being a loose
wrapper, with a circular aperture through which the head
of the wearer is to be thrust. It is by no means an ele-
gant article of apparel, and Charlie was at first inclined
to look upon it with disfavour. But upon being informed
that it was in all respects, except the material of which it
was made, like the “tiputa” formerly worn by the Tahi-
tian chiefs and men of note, he became fully reconciled to
it.

These (which I mention merely as a sample of our in-
dustrial labours) and similar tasks, furnish us occupation
during the day. As soon as it gets dark, we set out the
broken-legged table in the middle of the room, and light-
ing three or four skewers of candle-nuts, amuse or employ
ourselves in a variety of ways. Browne and Morton fre-
quently sit down to a game of chess, or seizing a couple
of Max’s “Feejee war-clubs,” practise the broadsword
exercise, in which Browne, who has some skill in fencing,
occasionally gives the rest of us lessons.

Arthur has opened an evening-school, in which he
teaches Eiulo reading and writing, and gives Charlie in-
struction in botany and conchology, using his “herba-
WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME. 259°

rium,” and Charlie’s collection of shells, for the purpose
of illustration. He also writes a good deal, and asks
Kiulo many questions respecting the customs, ceremonies,
and traditions of Tewa. Occasionally, during such con-
versations, when he makes a note of something new or
striking, Max laughs, and says that, in addition to the
great work on the botany of Polynesia, Arthur designs to
enlighten the world with a learned treatise on the “ Tra-
ditions and Superstitions of the South-Sea Islanders.”

Charlie either re-arranges his “collection,” or plays
jack-straws with Eiulo, or devotes himself to the educa-
tion of the parrot, with whose political principles, I am
sorrow to say, he has been tampering so successfully, that
that fickle-minded bird now hurras for “Harry Clay’’
about as frequently as for “ Sheneral Shackson.”

As for me, I have hitherto amused myself during the
evenings in writing up “the narrative,” and occasionally
readirg portions of it aloud, claiming, however, the pri-
vilege of skipping such passages as I think proper. It
having been solemnly resolved that the “history of our
adventures” must be written in the form of a “regular
desert-island story,” to use Charlie’s expression, and
divided into chapters, Max insists that the commencement
of each chapter should be furnished with a poetical motto,
and offers, in the capacity of a dictionary of quotations, to
furnish scraps of rhyme for that purpose to order, in any
quantity required, and at the shortest notice, upon merely
being informed of the sentiment with which the motto is
desired to harmonize. |

After hearing the narrative thus far, with the exception
of such portions as I have thought proper to omit, Max
expresses strong distrust of my fairness and impartiality
asa historian. He accuses me, in particular, of having
done him injustice by omitting some of his most remark-
able exploits, as well as many brilliant sayings upon a
great varicty of subjects. He declares that I do not un-
260 WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

derstand and appreciate him—that I am incapable of
doing so—and that I have unjustly, though perhaps un-
intentionally, represented him as a trifling, light-minded
sort of person. I have therefore felt bound to record this
protest of the injured party, but having just read it to
him, he pronounces it unsatisfactory, and an aggravation
of the original wrong.

Sometimes, as a variation of our evening amusements,
we put out the lights, and sit and tell stories in the dark.
Browne’s memory is stored with an unfailing supply of
marvellous tales and legends, founded upon Scottish his-
tory and tradition, or the habits and superstitions of the
people: some relate to wraiths, warnings, second sight,
&c.; some illustrate the prowess of Scottish heroes and
worthies, from Bruce and Wallace wight, down to Johnny
Armstrong and Rob Roy Macgregor; others, again, are
wild and tragical tales of covenanting times, or of the
sufferings endured, and the dangers encountered, by his
countrymen for their religious faith, from the time of the
murder of “holy Patrick Hamilton, the first Scottish
martyr,” to the forays of prelatical moss-troopers and the
butcheries of the “bloody Claverhouse” in later days.

The chief point of all Browne’s narratives, however
various their subjects, is to illustrate the superiority of
Scotland, and everything Scottish, from martyrs to men-
dicants, and from heroes to highwaymen, over all the
rest of the world in general, and the sister kingdom in
particular. I was greatly amused by one of his stories,
which related how a Scottish border-robber outwitted
and plundered an English professional brother. In his
patriotic resolution to uphold the superiority of his coun-
try in all respects, Browne was not even willing to allow
that the pilferers and marauders south of the Tweed cvuld
at all compare in address and audacity with those who
enjoyed the advantage of having been bred to the north
of it.
WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME. 261

Max, too, was (at least in Charlie’s estimation) a fa-
mous story-teller, almost equal, in fact, to Schezerade of
the Thousand-and-One Nights. His stories, however, were
of an entirely different character from those of Browne.
They had no savour of historic or traditionary truth—no
relation to actual life—and in this consisted their great
charm. Their subject-matter was the wonderful exploits
‘ of bold knights-errant sallying forth, attended by their
trusty esquires, in search of high adventures; their
chivalrous encounters with other knights in mortal
quarrel, or for the honours of the tourney; their in-
credible feats of strength and valour in the rescue of cap-
tive maidens, wandering princesses, and distressed damsels,
from all sorts of unheard-of perils, and in the redress of all
manner of grievances, by whomsoever suffered. In his
more romantic flights he described exploits yet more
perilous than these—conflicts with giants and ogres—the
storming and demolishing of enchanted castles, defended
by scaly griffins and fire-breathing dragons, backed by the
potent spells and incantations of some hostile magician.
To such narratives Charlie would willingly listen by the
hour. Any trifling anachronisms or inconsistencies, which
sometimes occurred, never troubled him in the least. If
some of Max’s knights, equipped with sword and shield,
and sheathed in mail, were also expert at firearms, and
handled a rifle or a revolver like a Kentuckian, Charlie
respected and admired them all the more on account of
these varied accomplishments, and never troubled the
narrator with any vexatious demand for explanations.

At first Max had been greatly piqued at the slight inter-
est which Charlie seemed to feel in the fate of his heroes.
The fact was, that he had become so familiar with that
department of literature, and was so accustomed to see the
hero come safely out of the most horrible and unheard-
of dangers, that he regarded it as quite a matter of course,
and there was now no such thing as alarming him for his
262 WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

safety. It was to no purpose that Max surrounded his
heroes with fierce and numerous foes; Charlie took it
quite coolly, expecting him to cut his way out as a hero
should. It was in vain to cover him with wounds—a
hero’s wounds are never mortal. Cast him away upon an
iron-bound coast in the midst of a hurricane—Charlie
knew that one would escape: drown a hero ! who ever
heard of such a thing? Max at length resented this in-
difference by suddenly becoming quite tragical, and
actually despatching two or three heroes with very little
ceremony. The first of these unfortunate gentlemen
perished, if I remember correctly, by “a tremendous
back-stroke of a two-handed, double-edged sword, that
severed his head from his body.” At this sentence, which
seemed pretty decisive, Charlic was somewhat staggered,
but immediately recovering himself, he bade Max “go
on,” expecting, I verily believe, that it would turn out
that the head was not, in fact, quite cut off, or that if it
was, it would, like that of the physician Dubin in the
Arabian Nights, be again set upon the shoulders, and life
restored by the healing virtue of some potent medica-
ment. Great was his astonishment and consternation on
being made at last to comprehend that the hero was
actually dead; which fact he did not, however, appear
fully to realize, until Max, to put the matter beyond
doubt, buried him with great funereal pomp and ceremony,
and erected over his remains a splendid monument, with
an inscription recording his exploits and his valour. This
method of proceeding Max judiciously followed up, by
giving a tragical termination to his romances, often
enough to keep Charlie reminded that his heroes at any-
rate were mortal.

In addition to these resources for our evenings, we
have the semi-weekly meetings of “The South-Sea Ly-
ceum,”’ which was organized soon after the commence-
ment of the rainy season, and of which Arthur is the pre-.
WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME. 203

sident, having been twice unanimously elected to that
dignified and responsible office. Recitations or declama-
tions, essays, and debates upon questions previously se-
lected, constitute the regular exercises at these meetings.
Browne possesses quite a talent for dramatic recitation,
and he has Shakspeare almost by heart, which circum-
stances, early on the voyage out, earned for him the
nickname of “Shaks.” At nearly every session of the
“Lyceum” he is either among the regular appointees for
a@ recitation, or is called out by acclamation for a volun-
tary one. Max shines chiefly in debate, in which he is
always ready to take either side of any question. Indeed
he sometimes speaks on both sides of the same question,
and displays his ingenuity by refuting his own arguments.

These meetings have thus far been exceedingly plea-
sant, and on many a night, when the driving rain was
beating upon roof and window, and the wind was howling
dismally around our solitary cabin, all has seemed bright
and cheerful within as Max and Morton carried on a
spirited debate, or Browne declaimed Woolsey’s soliloquy,
or “To be, or not to be, that is the question.””*

After the first protracted rain was over, there were fre-



* I copy from the minutes the following list of the ‘ literary exercises"
at the last regular meeting of the ‘“‘ Lyceum :"—

1. Recitation (by Charlie), Lines supposed ‘to have been written by
Alexander Selkirk, ‘I am monarch of all I survey,” &c.

2. Recitation (by Browne), Clarence’s Dream.

3. Essay (by the President), on the traditions of a Deluge, to be found
among the Polynesian tribes.

4. Essay (by myself), The theory of the formation and structure of
Coral Islands, :

5. Debate. Question: Is childhood the happiest period of human life ?
Affirmative maintained by Max, negative by Morton.

6. Summing up of the arguments by the President, and decision by him
in the negative.

7, Reading of the Polynesian Intelligencer by the Editor. (Max.)

8. Recitation (by Eiulo), A Tewan war-song in the original.
264 WINTER EVENINGS AT HOME.

quent intervals of fine weather, which lasted sometimes
several days. But we found, on going forth, that a change
had taken place in the condition of things, which rendered
any long excursion, even during these intervals, entirely
out of the question.

Considerable streams poured down from the higher
ground toward the interior, and traversed the island at
short distances, presenting formidable barriers to all tra-
velling. The ground was everywhere so miry, that it
was difficult to avoid sinking above the ankles at every
step.

As the season advanced, it became still worse, and at
length we confined ourselves almost entirely to the house.
Lately, however, there has been a very perceptible im-
provement ; the rains have become lighter, and less fre-
quent, and the season is evidently drawing towards its
close. We are already discussing our plans for the sum-
mer, and have resolved upon a thorough exploration of
the island as soon as the fine weather has been long
enough established to remove the effects of the heavy
rains.
TOE SEPARATION. 265

CHAPTER XXVIII.

THE SEPARATION.

OUR SECLUSION INVADED—SPRING IN THE TROPICS—THE
EXCURSION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.

** Reviving Nature bounds as from her birth:
The sun is in the heavens, and life on earth;
Flowers in the valley, splendour in the beam,
Health in the breeze, and freshness in the stream."

I RESUME my narrative under circumstances widely dif-
ferent from those in which the preceding chapter was
written. The events of the last few days have completely
changed the aspect of affairs in our little world. The
peace, the seclusion, the security, with which in our
minds it had hitherto been invested, exist no longer. Our
quiet life, so free from vicissitudes and alarms, as to seem
almost monotonous, has been rudely broken into, and in
a few days we are to take a step which cannot fail to
be attended with consequences momentous to us; but
whether fraught with good or evil, it is impossible to
foresee. This, however, is anticipating the regular course .
of events.

It is scarcely credible how short a time after the cessa-
tion of the rains sufficed to remove every trace of their
effects. Three or four days of sunshine seemed to restore
things to nearly the condition in which we found them on
first reaching the island.

It is true the vegetation now had a fresher look than
before, and slender brooks still murmured through ravines
266 THE SEPARATION.

usually dry; the lake, too, formerly so limpid, was some-
what discoloured by the turbid streams running into it
from the surrounding heights; but the standing pools of
water had evaporated, and the ground had in most places
become once more firm and dry.

As soon as the weather was fairly established, we made
several excursions in various directions, though not to
any considerable distance. On visiting Castle Hill, we
found nothing left of our house there except the founda-
tion, the entire framework having been swept away by
the wind. A large cardlenut-tree just before the door
had been struck by lightning, and the blasted and black-
ened trunk sadly marred the beauty of the spot.

Arthur had selected a favourable location on the mar-
yin of the lake near the fish-pond for a taro and patara
patch, and we spent several days in ransacking the neigh-
bouring woods for roots with which to stock it. Yams
we had not yet succeeded in finding, though they are in-
digenous in most of the South Sea islands, and we had
made diligent search for them in the localities where they
are usually found.

One fine morning, soon after the cessation of the rains,
Arthur proposed an expedition into the interior, following
the course of the stream upward towards its source. In
addition to the general object of exploration, he had in
view the discovery of the much-coveted vegetable last
mentioned, there being one large variety of it which is
found growing wild among the mountains, or upon the
sides of the hills of the interior. All received the sug-
gestion with cordial approval, being particularly pleased
with the proposed route along the banks of the brook.
Charlie, exulting in his recovered liberty, after the long
imprisonment of the winter, and anticipating all sorts of
wonderful discoveries in the vegetable, floral, and orni-
thological departments, at once enlisted Eiulo and himself
as members of the party of exploration.
THE SEPARATION. 267

As we were about to enter a region with the resources
of which, in the way of provisions, we knew nothing, we
considered it a measure of wise precaution to fortify our-
selves against the fatigues of the journey by a hearty
breakfast of broiled fish and roasted taro. This important
duty having been conscientiously attended to, our re-
maining preparations occupied but little time, and we set
out at an early hour.

Charlie, equipped with his longest bow, and an abun-
dant stock of arrows in readiness for the appearance of
anything in the shape of a jackal or a tiger-cat, marched
valiantly in advance, while Eiulo, in the capacity of
armour-bearer, or trusty esquire, followed, carrying his
cutlass. Next, carefully surveying the ground we passed
over, came Arthur, with a bag upon his arm, and a basket
of cocoanut leaflets in his hand, ready for the reception of
the yams when found, and of all sorts of roots, plants,
and botanical specimens that might be discovered in the
meantime.

Max was armed to the teeth, as though in preparation
for a pitched battle. By his side,in a belt of hibiscus
bark, was stuck his cutlass. In one hand he carried a
“spear,” and in the other one of his “ Feejee war-clubs.”
Morton and myself were provided with a cutlass apiece ;
and Browne, without having encumbered himself even
to that extent, strolled leisurely along with his hands in
his pockets, whistling “ blue-bonnets over the border.”

It was now the spring of the tropical year. The de-
ciduous trees were renewing their verdure, and were
covered with young shoots and bursting leaf-buds. Even
the evergreens—though they change but little throughout
the year, and the old leaves and the new, the blossoms
and the ripe fruit, may be seen upon the same tree at
almost every season—looked brighter and fresher than
before the rains. The earth was carpeted with beautiful
grasses, mingled with tufts of moss and bunches of fern.
268 THE SEPARATION.

Blue and white flowers were scattered about almost as
profusely as the “pinkster-blossoms” in April in the
woods at home; and in sheltered places, the modest cape-
jessamine was beginning to unfold its fragrant leaves. A
delightful freshness filled the air, and there was as yet, at
this early hour, nothing to remind us that we were be-
neath the fervent skies of the burning zone.

Rejoicing and exhilarated at finding himself in the
woods once more, Charlie ran furiously hither and thither,
closely attended by Eiulo, gathering wild-flowers, ferns,
and mosses; chasing bugs, beetles, and butterflies ; and
letting fly his arrows at every unfortunate member of the
feathered community that came within the range of his
archery. In every thicket, and almost at every step, he
came upon something to call forth the most boisterous
exclamations of surprise or delight. He was manifestly
in the state of mind declared by the poet to be so emi-
nently happy and desirable—



“To all exhilarating influences
Of earth and heaven alive!"

Scarcely a moment passed that he did not come running
all aglow and out of breath to Arthur, with eager ques-
tions about something or other which he had just seen,
and then dash off again into the forest, without waiting
for a reply, where fresh explosions of admiration or won-
der would soon announce new, and, if possible, still more
astounding discoveries.

The shores of the stream were picturesque and varied.
For the first half mile from our starting-point it wound
between smooth grassy banks, adorned with scattered
clumps of trees. It then entered a dense wood, where
its channel was a rugged ravine, enclosed between steep
rocks of black basalt. Here the scraggy, ill-conditioned
trees were crowded together, and overgrown with gigantic
creepers. The branches, reaching across from the oppo-
THE SEPARATION. 269

site shores, were interlaced and matted into thick masses,
almost excluding the light of day. Max here displayed
his agility by laying hold of a long bough which extended
from bank to bank, and walking “hand over hand”
across the stream that flowed darkly and sluggishly some
twelve or fifteen feet below.

We were an hour at the least in toiling through this
tangled wood, though it did not extend more than half a
mile. After leaving it behind us, frequent rapids showed
that we were steadily ascending as we proceeded. Birds
such as we had not before seen on the island, and which
reminded me of some of my old acquaintances of the New
England woods, perched upon the trees, or flew familiarly
around us. One or two of the woodpecker tribe looked
wonderfully natural and home-like, as they sat indus-
triously drumming upon hollow logs. Another, a small
brown bird, with modest plumage, surprised and de-
lighted me by a clear, full whistle, that sounded not
unlike that of our own robin redbreast. We also saw
numbers of a species of pigeon with black bills, slate-
coloured bodies, and a ruff of white feathers about the
neck. One of these Charlie brought down with his bow,
besides wounding very seriously (as he alleged) a con-
siderable number of others. The woodpeckers and
whistlers enjoyed a temporary immunity from his for-
midable shafts, reluctantly granted them at my interces-
sion in their behalf, on the score of old associations.

About an hour before noon we reached a spot where
the stream was divided by a rocky islet, around which it
spread out like a small lake. A grove of a very peculiar
appearance, and seeming to consist of a single tree, shel-
tered and overspread the entire spot.

Here we concluded to halt, beginning by this time to
feel quite tired, and inclined to rest. The water was
shallow at this point, and Max, wading over to the little
island, presently called upon us to follow him, if we wished
270 THE SEPARATION.

to behold “a veritable banian-tree.”” Whether a banian
or not (Arthur pronounced it a species of barren fig), it
was certainly a wonderful specimen of vegetation. The
main trunk, springing up in the centre of the islet, was
nearly three feet in diameter. At the height of some
fifteen feet from the ground, large branches extended
horizontally in every direction. From these branches, at
regular intervals, pendulous, vine-like shoots sprouted
and grew downwards, until they reached the ground,
where they took root, and gradually increasing in size,
formed new trunks or pillars, to support a further exten-
sion of the branches. This process of growth had gone
on until the tree had overrun the entire island, resembling
a flat roof of green branches resting upon rows of columns.
Some of the perpendicular shoots had not yet reached the
ground, others had just taken root, and were slender and
flexible, while many of the older ones rivalled the parent
stem in size, and could not easily be distinguished from it.

While we rested here, a pair of the little brown song-
sters alighted among the branches of the “ banian,” and
entertained us with a vocal performance, in which they
took up the strain alternately, responding to each other,
and occasionally uniting in a chorus.

Max now declared himself savagely hungry, and com-
menced exploring the neighbourhood in search of some-
thing eatable. But no fruit-bearing trees were to be found,
and he returned from his foraging expedition protesting
that the country was a perfect desert, and declaring that
he, for one, would not proceed a step farther until he took
up the line of march forhome. We were all of the opinion
that we had done enough for one day, and it was agreed
that, after resting ourselves a short time, we should com-
mence our return.

Meantime Arthur caught sight of some trees upon &
ridge of land a short distance further up the stream whose
foliage resembled, as he thought, that of the “auti,” or
_ THE SEPARATION. 271

cloth plant. Saying that he would return in a few mo-
ments, he walked along the west bank of the brook in the
direction of the ridge, followed by Charlie and Eiulo, who
seemed as animated and unwearied as ever. Presently
they turned a bend in the stream, and we lost sight of
them. For lack of more interesting occupation, I began
to count the stems of the grove-tree. There were seven-
teen, of large size, and a great number of smaller ones.
Max discovered a deep pool at the lower end of the islet,
in which were a number of fish, marked like yellow perch:
and as he had a fishing-line of Eiulo’s manufacture in his
pocket, he amused himself by angling, using wood-beetles
for bait. Morton and Browne hunted up four flat stones,
and commenced pitching quoits.

After half an hour passed in these various ways, we be-
gan to wonder at Arthur’s long delay, and to grow im-
patient for his return. I had counted every stem of the
banian-fig, great and small. Max had become quite dis-
gusted with angling for fish, which were too wary or too
well-fed to favour him with even a nibble. Browne, after
being beaten for five successive games, had very naturally
lost his interest in the sport, and tossed his quoits into
the brook.

Another half hour passed, and still the absentees failed
to make their appearance. Max now professed to be suf-
fering from the pangs of hunger, and longed for the sight
even of the much-abused cocoanut-tree. At last, our
patience being utterly exhausted, we resolved to go in
search of Arthur and his suite, whose protracted absence
greatly surprised us.

On reaching the point or bend behind which they had
disappeared, we hallooed loudly, but there was no answer.
As we proceeded, the ground became very rough and
broken, and the bed of the brook was full of loose rocks.
A little further on, the noise of a waterfall was heard, and
after one or two more turns, we reached a spot where the
272 THE SEPARATION.

stream leaped down a precipice some twenty feet. Our
further progress in the direction we were pursuing was
barred by a wall of rock; an active and fearless climber
might, it is true, have scaled it by the aid of the stunted
shrubs and jutting crags upon its face, but we knew that
Arthur, accompanied by Eiulo and Charlie, could not
have passed on by any such route.

Proceeding to the left, along the foot of the precipice,
and pausing at short intervals to repeat our halloos, we
at last reached a wide fissure in the rock, by scrambling
through which we gained the higher level. This was in
all probability a part of the ridge which Arthur had seen
from the islet. We now returned along the brow of the
precipice until we came to the waterfall, where we
shouted again, but still without getting any answer. To
push the search further in this direction seemed useless,
for it was morally certain that Arthur would not have
continued beyond this point up the stream; the under-
standing with which he had left us forbade any such sup-
position.

We began now to feel alarmed, and to fear that some
accident had befallen them, though of what nature we
were at a loss to conjecture. Morton suggested the pos-
sibility that they had taken the opposite bank of the
brook, and that while we were looking for them, they
might have returned to the islet. This seemed not impro-
bable, and striving hard to convince ourselves that it
must be so, we regained the lower level by the same pass
through which we had ascended, and hastened along the
base of the height, and down the shore of the stream, till
we reached the islet again. But our companions were
not there. Still, they might have returned during our
absence, and, supposing that we had started homeward,
proceeded after us. We were greatly perplexed what
course to pursue. If we delayed our return much longer,
we should not be able to reach the cabin before night set
THE SEPARATION. 273

in: the wilderness around seemed to contain nothing that
could serve as food, and we should have to fast as long as
we remained init. Then, too, our waiting longer could be
of no benefit to the others, even if they had not yet re-
turned to the islet. Upon finding us gone, they would
know at once that we had set out for home, and there was
no possibility of their mistaking their way thither.

We concluded, accordingly, to return without further
delay. Browne cut a stout stick, and planted it in the
sand at the margin of the brook, arranging a number of
large pebbles at its foot, in the form of a hand, with the
index finger pointing homeward. We then set out at a
brisk pace, with some hope, but little actual expectation,
of overtaking our companions on the way.

We soon reached the thick wood with its matted under-
growth, and the old and knotted vines twining like enor-
mous reptiles around the trunks of the trees ; and so slow
was our progress through it, that when we emerged into
the open country, it was nearly sunset. The remaining
distance was more rapidly accomplished. As we drew
nigh to the cabin, I began to look anxiously for the ap-
pearance of the missing ones. Each moment I expected
to see Charlie rushing towards us with a laughing boast of
having “beaten us home.” But no one came forth to
meet us, and I thought that the valley had never before
looked so lonely.

It was not, however, entirely deserted. The parrot was
perched in solitary state upon the eaves of the cabin, and
as we opened the gate, he flapped his wings, and croaked
forth in dismal tones a sentence which Charlie, little
dreaming of its present application, had been at much
pains to teach him :—“ Poor Paul’s lonesome!”’ he cried ;
“they’re all gone—all gone!”
274 THE SEARCH.

CHAPTER XXIX.

THE SEARCH.

HOME, SWEET HOME—MAX ON MOONLIGHT—FOLLOWING A
TRAIL—THE CONCEALED CANOE.

“ Where’er thon wanderest, canst thou hope to go
Where skies are brighter, or the earth more fair?
Dost thou not love these aye-blue streams that flow,
These spicy forests, and this golden air?

O yes! I love these woods, these streams so clear,
Yet from this fairy region I would roam,

Again to see my native hills—thrice dear!
And seek that country, of all countries, Home.”

Max hasténed to collect fuel, and kindle a fire, in order
to prepare some food. Assuming, as usual, the entire
superintendence and control of the culinary department,
and everything connected therewith, he set Browne to
work washing and scraping taro-roots, despatched me
after a fresh supply of fuel, and sent Morton with the
hand-net down to the fish-pond to take out a couple of
fish for a broil. But while thus freely assigning tasks to
the rest of us, with the composed -air of one accustomed
to the exercise of unquestioned authority, he by no means
shrunk from his own fair share of the work; and having
got the fire burning cleverly by the time that Morton re-
turned with the fish, he rolled up his sleeves, and with an
air of heroic fortitude commenced the necessary but some-
what unpleasant process of cleaning them.

Night had now set in, but the sky being perfectly clear,
THE SEARCH. 278 .

and the moon at her full, it was scarcely darker than at
carly twilight.

Max seemed to prolong his culinary operations to the
utmost, either from pure love of the employment, or with
the still lingering hope that our companions might yet
arrive in time to partake of our supper.

At last, however, it became apparent that the cookery
could not, without serious detriment, be longer protracted.
The bursting skin of the taro revealed the rich mealy in-
terior, and eloquently proclaimed its readiness to be
eaten. The fish were done to a turn, and filled the cabin
with a savoury odour, doubly grateful to our nostrils after
a twelve-hours’ fast. Max declared with a sigh that
another moment upon the gridiron would ruin them, and
he was reluctantly compelled to serve up the repast with-
out further delay, when, notwithstanding our growing
anxiety on account of Arthur’s absence, we made a hearty
meal. After feeding Monsieur Paul, and setting by some
food in readiness for our companions when they should
arrive, as we still hoped they would do in the course of
the evening, we went out to a spot above the cascade
where Morton and Browne had arranged some rude frag-
ments of basalt, so as to form a semicircle of seats, which,
if less comfortable than well-cushioned arm-chairs would
have been, might at anyrate be considered in decidedly
better “rural taste,’ and in more harmonious keeping
with the character of the surrounding scene.

From this point we could trace the windings of the
brook for some distance in one direction, while below us,
in the opposite one, spread the moonlit lake, reflecting in
its mirror-like surface the dark masses of foliage that
fringed its shores. It was one of those tranquil, dreamy
nights, known nowhere in such perfection as in tropical
countries. A subtle fragrance of fresh buds and blossoms
filled the air. The light streamed in a silvery flood upon
the tufted tops of the groves; while in the solemn shade
276 THE SEARCH.

beneath the serried trunks reared themselves in long
ranks, like the gray columns of some Gothic ruin.

As we sat listening to the murmur of the waterfall, the
rustling of the trees, and the distant and muffled booming
of the surf, I fell into a dreamy reverie, which was at
length dissipated by Browne’s voice—

“Can anything be more beautiful than this scene at
this moment?” exclaimed he; “and yet I do not know
when I have experienced such a weariness of it all—such
an intense longing for home, as I feel to-night.”

“TJ shall begin to believe in mesmeric sympathy,” said
Morton: “I was myself just thinking of home. Home,
sweet home!” and he heaved a long-drawn sigh.

Yes; the charm and illusion of our island-life had long
faded. We were tired of tropical luxuriance and eternal
summer. Glowing skies, and landscapes like a picture,
had almost ceased to gratify even the eye. I longed for
a glimpse of a rugged New England hill once more. A
gnarled New England oak, though stripped by wintry
winds of every leaf, would be a sight more grateful to me
than all those endless groves of waving palms.

“T cannot believe,’ resumed Browne, “that we are
destined to waste our days in this lonely spot, elysium as
it is of external beauty. We have faculties and desires
which can find no scope here, and which are perishing for
lack of exercise. Still, it is possible. But it is a dreary,
dreary thought. I can now feel the pathos of the words
of the ancient mariner on coming in sight of his native
land :—

“0, dream of joy! is this indeed
The lighthouse top I see?

Is this the hill? ts this the kirk—
ds this MINE OWN COUNTREE ?

We drifted o'er the harbour bar,
And I with sobs did pray,

O let me be awake, my God!

OR LET ME SLEEP ALWaY!”
THE SEARCH. O77

Browne recited the lines with a power and feeling that
affected even the matter-of-fact Morton! Max hastened
to show that he was above being so easily moved.

“ All this comes,” cried he, “of lying here under the
trees in the moonlight. Moonlight certainly has a ten-
dency to make people melancholy and sentimental ; it also
. makes them do foolish things. The most absurd and un-
reasonable notions I ever entertained came into my head
by moonlight, and wouldn’t go away. Only twenty-five
minutes ago, we were quite a rational, practical set of
persons, eating our supper (a well-cooked supper, too,
though I say it myself) with a keen appetite, like Chris-
tians. And now we have fallen to sighing and quoting
poetry, and Browne waxes quite pathetic at the touching
thought of getting a glimpse once more of the smoky
chimneys of Glasgow! Finally, I have nearly caught the
infection myself, and unless I escape out of the moonlight
presently, I daresay I also shall become quite lackadaisical,
and commence a poetical apostrophe to my native village
of Hardscrabble—or rather to plump little Susan Somers,
my first love, at the “madam’s” school, who affected my
weak mind and susceptible heart to that extent, that in
her bewildering presence my tongue clave to the roof of
my mouth, while I grew red in the face like a perplexed
turkey gobbler. But what can have become of Arthur
and the rest?) Unless something had happened to them,
they must have returned before now.”

A little before midnight we retired to the cabin to sleep,
having first agreed that in the morning three of us should
proceed up the stream again, to make a thorough search
for our companions, the fourth remaining behind until
near noon, when, if the absentees had not yet returned,
he should set out to join the others at the islet below the
falls, which we fixed upon as the rendezvous.

In the morning lots were drawn to determine which of
us should remain at the cabin, and that duty fell to Mor-
2%8 THE SEARCH.

ton. The rest of us, having armed ourselves, and pre-
pared a supply of taro and bread-fruit, sufficient, as we
supposed, for several days, set out soon after sunrise. Our
progress was much more rapid than it had been when we
first went over the ground, as we now had a definite object
in view, and pressed steadily forward, without allowing
anything to interrupt or delay us. In an hour and a half
after starting we came in sight of the islet. Opposite it
was the stake which Browne had planted in the sand, just
as we had left it. We pushed on up the stream to the
cascade, and crossing to the right bank, we began to skirt
the base of the rocky wall on that side, looking carefully
around for some traces of our companions.

We had proceeded in this way about one hundred yards
from the brook, when I picked up one of Charlie’s arrows
in a tuft of fern. This was conclusive evidence that we
were upon the right track. A little farther on was a piece
of marshy ground, and here we made a startling discovery.
In the soft soil several footprints could be plainly dis-
tinguished. Some were coarse, shapeless impressions,
precisely such as would be made by the rude moccasins
worn by Arthur and Charlie. Others were the prints
of naked feet, and some of these were of far too large a
size to be made by either of the three. This discovery
affected us for the moment like an electric shock, and we
stood looking at one another without speaking, and
scarcely breathing, while the very beating of our hearts
might be heard.

Browne was the first to recover himself, when he com-
menced a close examination of all the tracks. The piece
of ground upon which they could be traced extended
some thirty yards, and after a careful scrutiny of the
whole of it, we became convinced that at least four per-
sons, besides our three companions, had recently passed
over it. All the tracks were not in the same direction,
and from finding those of precisely the same size lying in
THE SEARCH. 279

opposite directions, we inferred that some of these persons
at least had passed and repassed the spot.

The most distressing surmises as to the cause of the
disappearance of our companions now began to suggest
themselves. We were so astounded by this decisive evi-
dence of the presence of strangers upon the island, that
we scarcely knew what to do next, but at last concluded
to return to the islet and await Morton’s arrival, being
anxious to avoid the risk of any further division of our
numbers. We accordingly retraced our way thither:
supposing that Morton would have set out before we
could reach the cabin, and that we might pass each other
on the way without knowing it, if we should proceed
down the stream to meet him, we remained quietly at the
islet, keeping a vigilant and somewhat nervous look-out
on every side.

He arrived about noon, having started rather sooner
than had been agreed upon. On being informed of the
tracks which had been discovered, he said that we ought
at once to trace them as far as we were able. “We must
not rest,” said he, “until we know something more of
this, even if we have to traverse every inch of ground on
the island.”

Browne was inclined to infer, from the footprints, that
the interior and the eastern part of the island, of which
we as yet knew nothing, were inhabited, and that our
companions had fallen into the hands of the natives.

“ Let us, in the first place, find, if possible, where they
are. We can then judge what is to be done, if indeed we
can do anything,” said Morton: “ and now for the place
where the tracks you speak of are to be seen.”

Grasping our weapons, which were no longer to be re-
garded as a useless encumbrance, we once more proceeded
up the brook, and soon reached the piece of low ground
before-mentioned. We again narrowly inspected the
tracks: Morton measured them with a twig, and con:
280 THE SEARCH.

cluded, as we had previously done, that these were the
footprints of at least seven persons—there being that
number of clearly different sizes. Three of these were
without doubt the tracks of Arthur, Charlie, and Eiulo.
The impressions made by the moccasins of the two former
Jed only in one direction (from the stream), while those
of the naked feet (or of some of them) were in two oppo-
site directions. Following these tracks eastward along
the rocky ridge, we soon came to firm dry ground, where
footsteps could no longer be traced. But, by a minute
scrutiny, we were still able to detect slight but decisive
indications of the course of the party whose trail we were
endeavouring to follow.

In one place a bunch of spreading ferns had been trod-
den down, and the long graceful fronds bruised and broken :
in another, a cluster of crushed wild-flowers betrayed a
recent footstep. A little further on, we came to a wide
meadow-like expanse, where the grass and weeds grew
rank and tall, and through this the path of a considerable
party could be readily traced. Gradually becoming ac-
customed to this species of minute investigation as we
continued carefully to practise it, we soon grew so expert
and skilful, that things very slight in themselves, and
which would ordinarily have altogether escaped notice,
sufficed to guide and direct us.

The path trodden through the meadow led to the foot
of an ascent, up which we followed the trail slowly and
with difficulty, the soil being hard, and the vegetation
scanty. On gaining the top, we found that we had reached
the eastern or south-eastern extremity of the island, and
the sea spread before us almost at our feet. The trail Icd
directly towards the edge of a steep bank, just above the
shore, near which we lost it altogether. Morton leaped
down the bank some ten or twelve feet, while the rest of
us were looking round for easier and more gradual means
of descent. Finding a stunted tree springing from the
THE SBRARCH. 281

lower ground close against the bluff, I leaped among its
spreading branches, and climbed down its trunk to the
shore, where I found Morton searching for some traces of
the party which we had tracked almost to the edge of the
height.

In a moment we were joined by Max and Browne, who
had clambered down the face of the bank by the assistance
of the shrubs and bushes growing upon it.

“It is useless,” said Browne, “ to look here for the trail
we have lost. If they descended to the shore, it must
have been in some place where Charlie and Eiulo could
have got down.”

“The track seemed to lead directly to the sea,” said
Morton, “and you must consider that a party of savages
would not find much of an obstacle in such a bank as this,
and would scarcely be as careful as ourselves of the safety
of Charlie and Eiulo. In fact, I suppose they would hand
or drop them down such a height without scruple or cere-
mony. What I now begin to fear is, that our unfortunate
companions have fallen into the hands of a party of savages
landing here for some transient purpose, and have been
carried off by them.”

At this moment an exclamation from Max, who had
walked a little way along the beach, announced some dis-
covery, and turning round, we saw him beckoning to us.

“What is that?’ said he, when we had joined him,
stooping down, and pointing towards a clump of stunted
trees growing in an angle or indentation, where the bluff
fell back for a short distance from the shore; “is it not a
canoe drawn up under the trees?’

It was not casy to distinguish the object clearly, on
account of the thickness of the foliage. After waiting a
moment, and looking carefully about, being satisfied that
there was no one in the vicinity, we approached the spot.
Max was not mistaken ; a large canoe, capable of holding
fifteen or twenty persons, was lying among the bushes,
282 THE SEARCH.

where it had evidently been placed for concealment. In
the bottom were a number of carved paddles, a mast wound
about with a mat-sail, several calabashes containing water,
and some cocoanuts.

Having hastily noted these particulars, we withdrew to
a short distance behind a rock detached from the bank,
and surrounded by a dense growth of tangled shrubbery,
to hold a consultation.

From the position in which we found the canoe, with no,
dwelling near that we could see, and from the circum-
stance of its containing water and provisions, we inferred
that it did not belong to persons inhabiting the island, or
this portion of it at anyrate. There was at least a proba-
bility of its belonging to the party which we had tracked
so nearly to the spot, and that they were now somewhere
in the neighbourhood.

“This canoe must be destroyed,” said Morton, after a
moment of silence, “and we had better set about it at
once.”

This proposition seemed a bold and a somewhat strange
one. Browne demanded the object of such a proceeding.

“Unless we do this,’ answered Morton, “ our compa-
nions, if they are still alive, and in the power of the
savages, may be carried away from the island before our
eyes, and separated from us for ever. As long as they aro
here, within our reach, there is hope of our being able to
rescue them ; if not by force, then by some device or stra-
tagem. At the worst, we only run some unnecessary risk
by what I propose. Could we ever forgive ourselves if
Arthur should be carried off through our having omitted °
a precaution calculated to prevent it?”

Morton’s decision and earnestness prevailed ; while he
undertook the work of destroying the canoe, Max, Browne,
and I, stationed ourselves at different points around the
spot, so as to give timely notice of the approach of any
person. He devoted himself to his task with such vigour,
THE RENCONTRE. 283.

that in a very few moments he had completely broken up
the bottom of the canoe, by repeated blows of a stone as
heavy as he could lift in both hands. Not content with
this, he disengaged the outrigger, and threw it, together
with the mast and sail, into the sea.

CHAPTER XXX.

THE RENCONTRE.

THE TWO LEADERS—AN UNEXPECTED MEETING—THE
COUNCIL OF WAR—AND WHAT FOLLOWED.



**Now screw your courage to the sticking point.”

“With many a stiff thwack, many a bang,
Hard crab-tree and old iron rang ;
While none who saw them could divine
To which side conquest would incline.”

I wap climbed to the top of the bank as my look-out sta-
tion, while the work of demolishing the canoe was going
forward, and on perceiving that Morton had pretty effec-
tually accomplished his task, I was about to descend again,
when, taking a final sweeping glance to the north and
east, I observed several figures moving rapidly along the
beach, at a point somewhat less than a quarter of a mile
distant, of which my position commanded a view, and com-
ing towards us. In consequence of the indented character
of the shore, and the height of the bank bordering it for
some distance, they passed out of sight almost instantly.
Without losing a moment, I sprang down to the shore
to communicate what I had seen. Max, who had bcen
284 THE RENCONTRE.

posted upon the beach to keep a look-out northward, ran
up at the same time, having also caught sight of the per-
sons approaching us as they came round a projecting point.

We now looked hurriedly around for some place of con-
cealment, and Morten pointed out a cluster of shrubs and
rank weeds upon the verge of the bluff just above us,
from which, without any risk of being seen ourselves, we
could command a view of the shore and those passing
along it. There was but little time for deliberation or
choice, and hastily summoning Browne from his post,
where he was still on the watch, we scaled the almost
perpendicular face of the height with an ease and celerity
which would have been impossible under circumstances
of less excitement.

In the spot which Morton had designated, tall grass and
flaunting weeds fringed the edge of the bluff, and we
threw ourselves down among them, and awaited with
almost suspended breath the approach of the persons I
had seen.

We were scarcely settled in our hiding-place, when a
tawny, half-naked figure, swinging a short club in one
hand, rushed into view. Another and another followed,
until I had counted seven of them. They were well-made,
athletic men, of a fine olive colour, with long straight
hair falling over their shoulders, The maro was their
only clothing, and they carried spears and clubs of some
dark-grained wood.

Among them was one striking figure. It was that of
an old man, of large and powerful frame, and a marked
and resolute countenance, the expression of which re-
minded me of an old lion which I had seen in some itine-
rant menagerie years ago. His massive head was covered
with a tangled mass of iron-gray hair, that streamed like
a mane over his broad shoulders. The club which he
carried might have served Hercules himself ; it certainly
would have severely tasked the strength of an ordinary
THE RENCONTRE. 285

man to wield it. I observed that all of them seemed to
breathe quickly, as though they had been running, or
exerting themselves violently in some way; and the old
man, who came last, looked backward once or twice as
they came opposite us, in a way that caused me to suppose
that they were pursued. The one who had first come in
sight went towards the spot where the canoe was con-
cealed, and upon seeing its condition, uttered an excla-
mation of surprise, that quickly brought the others around
him, when they all commenced gesticulating and talking
in a low key, looking cautiously about every moment, as
though apprehensive that the perpetrators of the mischief
might still be lurking near.

The old man, however, neither talked nor gesticulated,
but stooping down, he examined the canoe narrowly, as
if to ascertain the precise extent of the injury done, and
whether it admitted of any remedy. When he had com-
pleted his inspection, he arose, and shaking his head
sorrowfully, uttered some expression, which, accompanied
as it was by a threatening gesture with his ponderous
club, sounded much like an emphatic imprecation. Mor-
ton, who was crouching close beside me, peering cautiously
through the tufts of grass at what was going on below,
gave a nervous start, as though the consciousness of the
leading part he had taken in the mischief so recently
wrought made him consider himself the special object of
the old giant’s fury. One of them having gone back a
little way along the beach, as if to reconnoitre, now
returned in haste, and made some announcement, upon
hearing which the old man waved his hand, and the others
immediately started off upon a full run along the shore
towards the south-west; he then followed them at a
somewhat less hurried pace.

“They are certainly pursued, judging from their
actions,” whispered Morton; “let us keep quiet, and see
what comes next.”
286 THE RENCONTRE.

But a few minutes had passed, when half-a-dozen sav-
ages, resembling in their appearance and equipments
those we had just seen, came in sight, running at full
speed, but with the air of pursuers rather than of fugi-
tives. Straggling bands of two or three each followed at
short intervals, all probably belonging to the same party,
but scattered in the heat of the chase. Altogether, there
must have been as many as fifteen or twenty of them. A
tall, wild-looking savage, large-framed, but gaunt as a
greyhound, and with a kind of fierce energy in all his
movements, seemed to be the leader of the pursuing
party. When just below us on the beach, he turned and
gave some order to a portion of his followers, speaking
with great rapidity, and pointing towards the bluff; after
which he darted off again along the shore at a speed that
seemed really marvellous. Those to whom he had spoken
immediately began, as if in obedience to the order just
given, to climb the bank not a dozen yards from the spot
where we were lying.

The object of this movement undoubtedly was, to anti-
cipate and frustrate any attempt on the part of the fugi-
tives to escape by quitting the shore and making towards
the interior. The party thus detached had probably
been directed to continue the chase, keeping to the higher
ground. If so, they would pass quite near our place of
concealment, and there was some danger of our being dis-
covered, to avoid which, we crouched close to the ground,
and remained perfectly silent and motionless. The point
where the savages were attempting to ascend was steep
and difficult, and several of them, apparently to disen-
cumber themselves for the effort of climbing, threw their
clubs and spears before them to the top. One of these
weapons, a short, heavy club, fell near me, and fearing
that the owner might come to seek it, I hastily cast it to
a conspicuous place, free from vegetation, a little distance
from the bank, and nearer the spot where they were
THE RENCONTRE. 287

scaling it. But the savage had probably noticed where it
first fell, for the next moment some one came running
directly towards the place, ayd just as I was expecting to
see him stumble into the midst of us,a deep guttural
exclamation announced that we were discovered. Any
further attempt at concealment was clearly idle, and we
sprang up at once; the man was within three yards of us;
he seemed quite as much startled as ourselves at so sudden
a rencontre, and after standing for a minute looking at us,
he turned and ran off to his fellows.

“They will be back directly in a body,” said Browne,
“and we must decide quickly what we are to do—whether
to trust ourselves in their power, or to make such resist-
ance as we can, if they undertake to meddle with us.”

“JI doubt if it would be safe to trust them,” said Mor-
ton ; “at anyrate I don’t like the idea of risking it. There
are but five or six of them; the rest are far enough off
by this time.”

“T wish Arthur were here,’ said Browne anxiously ;
“he understands them and their ways, and could tell us
what we ought to do. I don’t know what the probability
is of their injuring us if we throw aside our armg, and
submit ourselves to them, and therefore I am loath to take
the responsibility of deciding the matter.”

Meantime the savages appeared to be also holding a
consultation. They stood at a short distance talking
rapidly, and pointing towards us. At length they began
to approach the spot where we stood, but slowly, and
with some apparent hesitation.

“Well,” said Browne, “we must come to a decision
quickly.”

“TJ distrust them entirely,” exclaimed Morton; “I am
for acting on the defensive.”

“ And I also,” said Max; “I have no faith ; in them: but
perhaps they won’t stop to interfere with us after all.”

“Very well, then,” said Browne; “we will fight if we
288 THE RENCONTRE.

must. But let us stand strictly on the defensive, and
offer them no provocation.”

I could not help regarding this determination as un-
wise: but it was the mind of the majority; and the
present was no time for divided or uncertain counsels. [
therefore kept my thoughts to myself, and grasping my
cutlass, prepared for what was to follow.

Browne and Max were armed with the “ Feejee war-
clubs” of the latter’s manufacture: they were long heavy
bludgeons of the wood of the casuarina, rather too pon-
derous to be wielded with one hand by a person of ordi-
nary strength. Morton and I were provided with cut-
lasses, which we had preferred as being lighter, and more
convenient to carry.

The savages were armed with spears and short clubs,
the former of which they presented towards us as they
advanced.

I confess that my heart began to thump against my
breast with unwonted and unpleasant rapidity and
violence. I daresay it was the same with my compa-
nions; but externally we were perfectly composed and
steady.

“There are just five of them,” said Browne; “two
antagonists for me, and one a piece for the rest of you.
If any one interferes with my two, I shall consider it a
personal affront.”

“ Confound those long spears!’ exclaimed Max, with a
disturbed air; “they have a mighty uncomfortable look,
with those fish-bone barbs at the end of them.”

The still more “uncomfortable” thought that those
fish-bone barbs were perhaps poisoned, suggested itself
to me, but I considered it expedient to say nothing on the
subject at the present juncture.

“Pshaw!” cried Browne, “the long spears are easily
managed, if you will only remember my fencing-lessons,
and keep your nerves steady. It is the simplest thing in
THE RENCONTRE. 289

the world to put aside a thrust from such a weapon:
depend upon it those short clubs will prove much more
dangerous.”

The savages, having now had a sufficient opportunity
to note our equipments, and our youthful appearance,
quickly lost all hesitation, and came confidently forward,
until they stood facing us, at the distance of but ten or
twelve feet. Then seeing that we maintained a defensive
attitude, they paused, and one of them, stepping a little
before the rest, spoke to us in a loud and authoritative
voice, at the same time motioning us to throw aside our
weapons.

“Can’t you muster a few words of their heathen talk,
Archer?” said Browne; “perhaps if we could only under-
stand one another, we should find there is no occasion
for us to quarrel. It seems so irrational to run the risk
of having our brains knocked out, if it can be avoided.”

I shook my head: the few phrases which I had picked
up from Arthur and Eiulo could be of no use for the
present purpose, even if they should be understood.

The spokesman, a sinewy, hard-favoured savage, whose
native ugliness was enhanced by two scars that seamed
his broad squat face, repeated the words he had before
uttered in a higher key, and with a still more’ imperative
air, accompanying what he said with gestures which
sufficiently explained what he required.

“If I understand you, my friend,” said Browne, appear-
ing to forget, in the excitement of the moment, that what
he was saying would be utterly unintelligible to the per-
son he addressed—“ if I understand you, your demand ig
unreasonable. Throw away your own weapons first ; you’re
the more numerous party :” and he imitated the gestures
which the other had made use of.

The savage shook his head impatiently, and keeping hig
eyes steadfastly‘fixed upon Browne, he began to speak in
a quict tone. But I saw that, though looking at Browne,

T
290 TIIE RENCONTRE.

his words were addressed to his companions, who gra-
dually spread themselves out in front of us, and without
making any openly hostile demonstrations, handled their
weapons in what seemed to me a suspicious manner.

“Be on your guard,” said I, speaking in my ordinary
tone, and without looking round. “I am sure they are
meditating sudden mischief.”

Scarcely were the words uttered, when, with the quick-
ness of lightning, the spokesman hurled his club at Browne,
narrowly missing his head, then bringing his spear into a
horizontal position, he made a thrust full at his chest with
his whole force.

He, however, was on his guard, and knocking aside
the point of his spear, he swung round his long club,
and before the other could draw back, brought it down
with such effect upon his right shoulder, that his arm fell
powerless to his side, and the spear dropped from his
grasp. Browne promptly set his foot upon it, and the
owner, astonished and mortified, rather than intimidated
at his repulse, shrunk back without any attempt to
regain it. °

This attack was so sudden, and so soon foiled—being
but a blow aimed, parried, and returned in a single breath
—that no one on either side had an opportunity to inter-
fere or join in it. The other savages now uttered a yell,
and were about to rush upon us: but the leader, as he
appeared to be, motioned them back, and they drew off
toa short distance. If we were for a moment inclined
to hope that we should now be left unmolested, we soon
learned the groundlessness of such an expectation. The
discomfited savage, instead of being discouraged by the
rough treatment he had received, was only rendered
more dangerous and resolute by it; and he prepared to
renew the attack at once, having taken from one of his
companions a club somewhat heavier and longer than
his own.
THE RENCONTRE. 291

“T wish,” said Max, drawing a long breath as he eyed
these ominous proceedings, “ that we had a few oi Colt’s
revolvers, to keep these fellows at a respectable distance :
I confess I don’t like the notion of coming to such close
quarters with them as they seem to contemplate.”

“A genuine Yankee wish!” answered Browne, grasp-
ing his club with both hands, and planting himself firmly,
to receive the expected onset; “to make it completely
in character, you have only to wish, in addition, for a
mud breastwork, or a few cotton bags, between us and
our friends yonder.”

“Which I do with all my heart!” responded Max,
fervently.

“Let Kaiser Maximilian represent the high Dutch on —
this occasion,” said Morton, edging himself forward
abreast of Browne, who had stationed himself a trifle in
advance of the rest of us; “he has no claim to speak for
the Yankees except the mere accident of birth. Archer
and I will uphold the honour of the stars and stripes
without either revolvers or cotton bags.”

“Fair-play!” cried Max, pushing Browne aside; “I
won’t have you for a breastwork at anyrate, however
much I may desire one of turf or cotton bales.” And we
arranged ourselves side by side.

“Really,” said Morton, with a faint apology for a smile,
“it appears that we have to do with tacticians—they are
going to outflank us.” This remark was caused by our
antagonists separating themselves; the leader advancing
directly towards us, while the others approached, two on
the right, and two on the left.

“Well,” said Browne, “we shall have to form a hol-
low square, officers in the centre, as the Highlanders
did at Waterloo, and then I shall claim the privilege
of my rank.”

But our pleasantry was, as may easily be imagined,
rather forced. Our adversaries were now evidently bent
292 THE RENCONTRE.

upon mischief, and thoroughly in earnest. We were none
of us veterans, and notwithstanding an assumption of
‘coolness, overstrained and unnatural under the circum-
stances, our breath came thick and painfully with the
intense excitement of the moment.

Ata signal from their scarred leader, the savages rushed
upon us together. I can give no very clear account of
the confused struggle that ensued, as I was not at the
time in a state of mind favourable to calm and accurate
observation. A few blows and thrusts were exchanged;
at first cautiously, and at as great a distance as our
weapons would reach; then more rapidly and fiercely,
until we became all mingled together, and soon each of
us was too fully occupied in defending himself to be able
to pay much attention to anything else. At the com-
mencement of the attack I was standing next to Browne,
who, being evidently singled out by his former opponent,
advanced a step or two to meet him. He skilfully
parried several downright blows from the heavy club of
the latter, who in his turn dodged a swinging stroke
which Browne aimed at his head, and instantly closed
with him. The next moment they went whirling past me
towards the edge of the bank, locked together in a
desperate grapple, which was the last that I saw of them.
I was assailed at the outset by an active and athletic
savage, armed with a short club. He was exceedingly
anxious to close, which I quite naturally was as desirous
to prevent, knowing that I should stand no chance in
such a struggle against his superior weight and strength.
While I was doing my best to keep him off with my
cutlass, and he was eagerly watching an opportunity to
come to closer quarters, Morton, locked in the grasp of a
brawny antagonist, came driving directly between us,
where they fell together, and lay rolling and struggling
upon the ground at our feet. My opponent, abandoning
me for a moment, was in the act of aiming a blow at
THE RENCONTRE. 293

Morton’s head, when I sprang forward and cut him across
the forehead with my cutlass. The blood instantly. fol-
lowed the stroke, and gushing in torrents over his face,
seemed to blind him: he struck three or four random
blows in the air, then reeled, and fell heavily to the
ground. Throwing a hasty glance around, I perceived
Max among some bushes at a little distance defending
himself with difficulty against a savage, who attacked him
eagerly with one of those long spears, towards which he
entertained such an aversion. Browne was nowhere to
be seen. Morton and his strong antagonist were still
grappling on the ground; but the latter had gained the
advantage, and was now endeavouring, while he held
Morton under him, to reach a club lying near, with which
to put an end to the struggle. Another of the enemy
was sitting a few steps off, apparently disabled with the
blood streaming from a wound in the neck. I hastened
to Morton’s assistance, whereupon his opponent, seeing
my approach, sprang up and seized the club which he had
been reaching after. But Morton gained his feet almost
as soon as the other, and instantly grappled with him
again. At this moment I heard Max’s voice, in a tone of
eager warning, calling “ Look out, Archer!” and turning,
I saw the savage I supposed to be disabled, with uplifted
arm, in the very act of bringing down his club upon my
head. I have a confused recollection of instinctively
putting up my cutlass, in accordance with Browne’s
instructions, for meeting the “seventh” stroke in the
broadsword exercise. I have since become convinced, by
reflection (to say nothing of experience), that the prin-
ciples of the broadsword exercise, however admirable in
themselves, cannot be applied, without some modification,
when iron-wood clubs, with huge knobs of several pounds’
weight at the ends of them, are substituted for claymores.
However, I had no time then to make the proper distinc-
tions, and as, instead of dodging the blow, I endeavoured
294 RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

to parry it, my guard was beaten down—and that is all that
I can relate of the conflict from my own knowledge and
personal observation.

CHAPTER XXXI.

RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

THE SEARCH RENEWED—THE CAPTIVES—ATOLLO AND THE
TEWANS.

“Trembling, they start and glance behind
At every common forest-sound—
The whispering trees, the moaning wind,
The dead leaves falling to the ground;
As on with stealthy steps they go,
Each thicket seems to hide the foe.”



From the moment when, startled by Max’s warning cry, I
turned and saw the uplifted club of the savage suspended
over my head, all is blank in my memory, until, opening
my cyes with a feeling of severe pain, and no distinct con-
sciousness where I was, I found Browne and Max bending
over me, my head being supported upon the knee of the
former.

“Well, how do you feel?” inquired he.

I stared at him a minute or two without answering, not
understanding very clearly what was the matter with me,
though having at the same time a vague impression that
all was not quite right. Gradually I collected my ideas,
and at length, when Browne repeated his question the
third time, I had formed a pretty correct theory as to the
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. 295

cause of my present supine attitude, and the unpleasant
sensations which I experienced.

“JT feel rather queer about the head and shoulders,” I
said, in answer to his inquiry: “I must have got a pretty
severe blow, I suppose ?”’

“Yes,” said Max, whose uneasy look ill agreed with his
words and manner; “see what it is to be blessed witha
tough cranium ; such a whack would have crushed mine
like an egg-shell; but it has only enlarged your bump of
reverence a little.”

“Nothing serious has happened then—no one is badly
hurt,” said I, trying to look around ; but the attempt gave
my neck so severe a wrench, and caused such extreme
pain, that I desisted.

“No one has received any worse injury than yourself,”
answered Browne—“at least none of us.”

“ And the savages, what has become of them?”

“We have nothing to apprehend from them at present,
I think; they have been gone but a short time, and Mor-
ton is in the tree yonder keeping watch for their return.
Do you feel now as if you can stand up and walk?”

“Certainly I can: with the exception of the pain in my
head, and a stiffness about the neck and shoulders, I am
all right, I believe.” And in order to convince Browne,
who seemed somewhat sceptical on the point, notwith-
standing my assurances, I got up and walked about—
carrying my head somewhat rigidly, I daresay, for it gave
me a severe twinge at every movement.

“Well,” said he, “since that is the case, I think the
wisest thing we can do is to leave this neighbourhood at
once.”

While Max went to summon Morton from his post of
observation, Browne gave me a br‘ef and hurried account
of what had occurred after I had been felled as related.

He and the leader of the savages, whom I had last seen
struggling upon the brink of the height, had gone over it
296 RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

together ; the latter, falling underneath, had been severely
bruised, while Browne himself received but little injury.

Leaving his adversary groaning, and, as he supposed,
mortally hurt by the fall, he had climbed again to the
higher ground, and reached it at a very critical moment.

Morton was struggling at disadvantage with the same
formidable antagonist from whom he had before been for
a moment in such imminent danger ; and Max was dodging
about among the bushes, sorely pressed by another of the
enemy with one of those long spears against which he
entertained so violent a prejudice. I had just been dis-
posed of in the manner above hinted at by the savage who
had been wounded in the neck by Morton at the very
commencement of the affray, and he was now at liberty
to turn his attention either to Max or Morton, each of
whom was already hard bestead.

Browne immediately fell upon my conqueror, almost as
unexpectedly as the latter had attacked me, and by a sud-
den blow stretched him senseless upon the ground. He
next relieved Morton, by disabling his adversary. The
two then hastened to Max’s succour, but the savage who
was engaged with him did not deem it prudent to await
the approach of this reinforcement, and made off into the
forest. They then gathered up all the weapons of the
enemy, permitting Morton’s recent antagonist to limp off
without molestation. The man whom I had wounded was
by this time sitting up, wiping the blood from his face and
eyes; the other also manifested signs of returning con-
sciousness; but having been deprived of their clubs and
spears, no danger was apprehended from them. My three
companions had then carried me to the spot where we
now were, from whence they had witnessed the departure
of the rest of our foes. Even the man whom Browne had
left dying on the shore, as he supposed, had managed to
crawl off at last.

As soon as Max and Morton returned, we set out at
' RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. 297

once, weary as we were, for the islet in the brook, without
any very definite notion as to what was to be done next.
The prudence of removing from our present neighbour-
hood was obvious, but we were still too much discomposed
and excited by what had just taken place, to have been
able to decide upon any further step, even had not the
momentary apprehension of the return of the savages in
greater numbers rendered everything like calm delibera-
tion entirely out of the question.

We took the precaution to choose our path over the
hardest and dryest ground, in order to afford the savages
the fewest possible facilities for tracing our course. By
the time we reached the islet, we were completely worn
out by the fatigue and excitement of the day: we must
have walked at least twelve miles since morning.

After partaking sparingly of the food which we had so
fortunately brought with us, accompanied by copious
draughts of water from the brook, we began to feel some-
what refreshed. Still, we were greatly disheartened by
the gloomy and distressing circumstances in which we
found ourselves so suddenly involved; the great uncer-
tainty as to the fate of our companions, and the danger
that threatened our own lives from the vindictive pursuit
of a numerous body of savages. All our energy and
courage seemed for the present at least to be completely
broken. Browne lay down upon a couch of dry fern
beneath the many-pillared Aoa. He looked pale and ill—
more so, I thought, than the mere effects of excitement
and over-exertion could account for.

Morton soon revived the question of what was now to
be done.

“I suppose we must remain here for the present at
least,” said Browne, “and defend ourselves, if attacked, as
well as we can.”

Max suggested Palm Islet as a place of greater security,
and one where we should run less risk of discovery.
298 RECONNOITRING BY NIGIUT.

«“ And meantime,” said Morton, “are we to give up all
attempt to find Arthur and the rest?’’

“TI hardly know what we can do,” answered Browne
with a perplexed and discouraged air; “ we have no clue
to guide us in a fresh search. If these savages inhabit the
island—or if they remain here—we cannot hope to escape
them long, after what has taken place; we must fall into
their hands sooner or later, and if they have captured our
companions, I am willing for my part that it should be so.
I doubt if we acted wisely in resisting them at all; but it
is now too late to think of that.”

We continued to talk the matter over for some time,
but without coming to any definite resolution, and at
length Browne dropped asleep while we were still discuss-
ing it.

As it began to grow dark, Max became disturbed and
excited. He was possessed by a vague conviction, for
which he was unable to account, that our lost companions
were in some imminent peril, from which it was in our
power to rescue them. He was anxious to do something,
and yet seemed uncertain what to propose. Morton was
equally desirous of making a further effort to discover our
lost fricnds; he was also quite clear and explicit in his
notion of what ought to be done. His theory appeared
to be, that they had fallen into the hands of the natives,
whose encampment, or place of abode (temporary or
otherwise), was on the north-eastern side of the island.
He further supposed that some feud or quarrel having
arisen among themselves, the worsted party had fled
along the beach as we had witnessed, pursued by their
victorious enemies—that in the meantime their captives
had been left (perhaps unguarded) at the encampment, or
landing-place of the natives. Morton was as minute and
detailed in stating this hypothetical case as if he had either
actually seen or dreamed the whole. He proposed that
as soon as the moon rose, some of us should set off for the
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. 299

shore, and proceed along the beach, in the direction from
which we had seen the natives come, by pursuing which
course, he was confident we should be able to learn some-
thing respecting our companions. This he wished to
undertake alone, saying that one person could prosecute
the search as well as four, and with much less risk of
discovery: if successful in ascertaining anything definite,
he should, he said, immediately return and apprise the
rest of us. Max eagerly embraced this suggestion, and
wished to decide by lot which of us should carry it into
execution, insisting that otherwise he would either set off
at once by himself, or accompany Morton.

At length Browne awoke; he said that he had derived
much benefit from his two-hours’ sleep, and was now ready
for any necessary exertion.

He also approved of Morton’s plan, but objected to his
going alone, and was at first in favour of setting out all
together. At last it was settled that the search should be
undertaken by two of us, the other two awaiting the result
at the islet. Browne then prepared four twigs for the
purpose of deciding the matter by lot, it being agreed that
the one drawing the longest should have the choice of
going or remaining, and should also select his companion.
On comparing lots after we had drawn, mine proved to be
longest ; and having decided upon going, I felt bound to
name Morton as my associate, since he had been the first
to suggest, and the most earnest in urging, the adventure.

An hour after dark the moon rose, and soon lighted the
forest sufficiently to enable us to see our way through it.
We then armed ourselves with a cutlass apiece, and taking
leave of Max and Brown, proceeded up the brook to the
fall, where we crossed it, and following the rocky ridge
which ran at right angles with it, we endeavoured to hold
as nearly as possible the course we had taken in the
morning. After leaving the stream, a good part of our
way was through the open country, where there was
300 RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

nothing to prevent us from seeing or being seen at a con-
siderable distance in the bright moonlight. But the only
alternatives were, either to creep on our hands and knees
the whole distance from the edge of the forest to the
shore, and so avail ourselves of such concealment as the
rank grass and weeds afforded—or to push boldly and
rapidly forward, at the risk of being seen: we preferred
the latter, and soon got over this dangerous ground, run-
uing part of the time in the most exposed places. On
reaching the bluff over the beach, we lay down among
the bushes a few moments to recover our breath, and
reconnoitre, before taking a fresh start. All was per-
fectly silent around us, and no living thing could be seen.
When sufficiently rested, we proceeded cautiously along
the edge of the height, where we could command a view
both of the beach below and of the open country inland.
The bluff extended abouta quarter of a mile, when it
gradually sunk to the level of the beach, and was suc-
ceeded by a low, flat shore, lined with large trees. We
had gone but alittle way along it after this change, when
we came quite unexpectedly upon an inlet, or salt-water
creek, setting in to the land, and bordered so thickly with
mangroves, that we narrowly escaped going headlong into
it, while endeavouring to force our way through the
bushes to continue our course along the beach.

It was some twenty yards wide; but I could not see
how far inland it ran, on account of the immense trees
that overhung it on every side, springing up in great
numbers just behind the low border of mangroves.
Holding fast by one of these bushes, I was leaning for-
ward over the water, looking hard into the gloom, to
gain, if possible, some notion of the extent of the inlet
and the distance round it, when Morton grasped my arm
suddenly—

“ What is that under the trees on the opposite shore?”
whispered he; “is it not a boat?”
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. 301

Looking in the direction in which he pointed, I could
distinguish some object on the opposite side of the inlet,
that might, from its size and shape, be a boat of some
kind, as he supposed, and continuing to gaze steadily, I
made out quite plainly against the dark masses of foliage
on the further shore what appeared to be a white mast.
A profound silence reigned all around us, and while I was
still peering into the heavy shadow of the trees, I heard
a sound which resembled a deep and long-drawn sigh,
followed by an exclamation, as of a person in bodily pain.

“ We must get round to the other sde,” whispered
Morton, “and see what this means.”

We backed out of the mangroves with the ‘utmost
caution, and inch by inch: when we had got to such a
distance as to render this extreme circumspection .no
longer necessary, we commenced a wide circuit around
the inlet, which proved to be only a small cove, or inden-
tation in the shore, extending less than a hundred yards
inland. In approaching it again on the opposite side, we
resumed all our former stealthiness of movement, feeling
that our lives in all probability depended upon our caution.

When at last we had got, as we supposed, quite near
the place where we had seen the boat, we proceeded by
creeping on our hands and knees through the bushes for
short distances, and then rising and looking about, to
ascertain our position.

It was so dark, and the undergrowth was so dense—the
moonlight scarcely penetrating the thick foliage—that
nothing could be distinguished at the distance even of a
few yards, and there was some danger that we might come
suddenly, and before we were aware, upon those whom
we supposed to be already so nearus. While thus blindly
groping our way towards the edge of the inlet, I heard a
voice almost beside me, which said—

“Will they never come back? Are they going to leave
us here to starve ?”
$02 RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT.

The voice was that of Charlie’s beyond the possibility
of mistake. Turning in the direction from which it pro-
ceeded, I saw a little to the right three figures upon the
ground at the foot of a large casuarina. Another voice,
as familiar, almost immediately answered—

“T only fear that they will return too soon: have
patience! in a little while I shall have gnawed through
this rope, and then I do not despair of being able to get
my hands free also.”

This was enough to show how matters stood.

_ Are you alone?” said I ina low voice, but loud enough
to be heard by those beneath the casuarina.

“There was an exclamation of joyful surprise from
Charlie; then Arthur answered, “If that is you, Archer,
come and help us, for we are tied hand and foot. You
have nothing to fear; our captors have left us quite
alone.”

We now came forward without further hesitation.
They were all bound fast, their hands being tied behind
them, in addition to which, each was fastened to the tree by
a rope of sennit. It would be difficult to say which party
seemed most rejoiced at this sudden meeting. As soon as
they were liberated, we embraced one another with tears
of joy.

“Let us leave this place as fast as possible,” said Arthur,
as soon as he became a little composed ; “I expect the
return of the natives every moment—and we have more
to dread from them than you can guess. But I find Iam
so stiff, after lying bound here all day, that I can hardly
walk. Now, Charlie, take my hand, and try to get along.
How is it with you, Eiulo? do you feel able to travel
fast ?”

The latter appeared to understand the drift of the ques-
tion, and answered by frisking and jumping about in
exultation at his recovered liberty.

Instead of returning by the way by which we had come
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. 303

along the shore, we pushed on in a straight line in the
supposed direction of the islet, in order to avoid the risk
of meeting the natives. After toiling for an hour througn
the woods, we emerged into the open country to the east
of the rocky ridge that traversed the course of the stream.
During this time we had been too fully occupied in pick-
ing our way with the necessary caution, besides the con-
stant apprehension of suddenly encountering the natives,
to ask for any explanations. But now we began to feel
somewhat reassured, and as we hastened on towards
the islet, Arthur very briefly informed us that they had
yesterday been suddenly surprised by a party of six
natives soon after leaving us at the islet, and hurried off
to the shore: that they had been left by their captors this
morning, secured as we had found them, and had remained
in that condition until released by us. He added that he
had more to communicate by-and-by.

The joy of Browne and Max at our return, accompanied
by the lost ones, may be imagined, but it can scarcely be
described. In fact Iam obliged to confess that we were
such children as to enact quite “a scene” at this unex-
pected meeting. Heartfelt and sincere were the thanks-
givings we that night rendered to Him who had kept us
in perfect safety, and reunited us, after a separation made
so distressing by our uncertainty as to each other’s fate.

After Arthur, Eiulo, and Charlie had appeased their
hunger with the scanty remains of our supply of provi-
sions, the two latter lay down upon a bed of ferns beneath
the Aoa, and were soon sleeping as soundly and peace-
fully as though all our troubles and dangers were now at
anend. How easily they put in practice the philosophy
that vexes itself not about the future! Exercising the
happy privilege of childhood, they cast upon others, in
whom they placed implicit confidence, the responsibility
of thinking and planning for them—free from all care
and anxiety themselves.
304 RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. -

Arthur now gave us a more detailed account of what
had occurred since our separation.

“Do you remember,” said he, when he had finished,
“hearing Eiulo, in talking of affairs at Tewa, make men-
tion of a person named Atollo?”’

“ Atollo?” said Browne; “was not that the name of an
uncle of his whom he made out to be a strange, unnatural
sort of monster even for a heathen, and who concocted a
plot for the murder of his own father and brother, and
afterwards attempted to kill Eiulo by rolling rocks down
a precipice after him in the woods ?”

“The same,” answered Arthur. “I hardly supposed
that you would have remembered it, as no one but my-
self seemed to take much interest in Eiulo’s reminiscences
of Tewa, the rest of you being obliged to get them at
second-hand through me as interpreter. Well, thet
Atollo has reached this island in some way with a band
of followers; it was by them that we were captured
yesterday; it is from his power that we have just
escaped.”

“ What is this Atollo like?’ inquired Browne. “Is he
a tall, large-framed man, but gaunt and spare as a half-
starved hound?”

“ Yes, with sharp features, and a wild, restless eye.”

“Why, then,” continued Browne, turning to me, “it
was he who was at the head of the second party of natives
that we saw this morning by the shore.”

We now gave Arthur an account of our rencontre with
the savages; but no particular mention was made of the
destruction of the canoe, or of the lion-like old man who
seemed to be the leader of those who fled.

“ And little Eiulo’s dread of this strange uncle of his,”
said Browne, “is then so great, that he preferred running
away to us again to remaining with his own people?”

“ Incredible as it may seem,” answered Arthur, “I am
convinced that his fears are not without foundation, and
RECONNOITRING BY NIGHT. 305

I even believe that this man intended to take his life, and
would have done so, had we not escaped.”

_ “Incredible indeed!” exclaimed Browne; “and what
could be the motive for so atrocious a crime?”

“I know of none that seems sufficient to account for it
fully, and I am therefore almost forced to regard the man
as a monomaniac.”

Arthur thought that Atollo had probably made some
further desperate attempt against his brother at Tewa,
and having failed in it, had fled hither with a part of his

followers, among whom some quarrel had since arisen, in
the prosecution of which they had been engaged when we
witnessed the flight and pursuit along the shore. This,
however, was mere conjecture: they had talked but little
in his presence, and he had not been able to learn any-
thing from the conversation which he had overheard as
to the cause of their coming hither. Eiulo had been
questioned minutely by them, and from him they had
ascertained that there were four more of us upon the
island.

Morton inquired of Arthur whether he apprehended
that any serious effort would be made by the savages to
find us, and what kind of treatment we should probably
receive in case we should fall into their power.

“That search will be made for us,” answered the latter,
“T have not the slightest doubt; and I do not think that
we can look for any mercy if we fall into their hands,
since to-day’s affray and escape.”

“This feud among themselves,” said Browne, “may
keep them so busy, as to afford no leisure for troubling
themselves about us. I have some hope that they will
use those ugly-looking clubs upon one another to such
purpose as to rid us of them altogether.”

“That old giant,” said Max, “ who ran away with such
an awkward air, as if he wasn’t at all used to it, will cer-
tainly do some mischief if they once come to blows.”

U
306 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

“ Ay,’ pursued Browne, “though he didn’t look quite
so wicked and like a warlock as the gaunt, wild-eyed
heathen that led the chase, I will warrant him his full
match in fair and equal fight man to man.”

“ Well,” said Arthur, who, during the latter part of this
conversation, had been apparently engaged in serious and
perplexed thought, “for to-night, at least, we are in no
danger. Let us now take our necessary rest, and to-mor-
row we shall be fresher and better prepared to decide
upon the course of action to be adopted.”

CHAPTER XXXII.

THE SINGLE COMBAT.

PREPARATIONS FOR DEFENCE—A DEMAND AND REFUSAL—
THE TWO CHAMPIONS.

“On many a bloody field before—
Man of the dark and evil heart!
We've met—pledged enemies of yore;
But now we meet no more to part—
Till to my gracious liege and lord,
By thee of broad domains bereft,
From thy red hand and plotting brain,
No fear of future wrong is left.”

THE sense of surrounding danger with which we lay down
that night upon our beds of fern beneath the Aoa, con-
tinued to press darkly upon our minds even in sleep, and
awoke us at an early hour to confront anew the perplexi-
ties and terrors of our situation.

Arthur, in whose better understanding of the habits and
character of the savages we confided, far from affording
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 307

us any additional encouragement, spoke in a manner cal-
culated to overthrow the very hopes upon which we had
been resting.

We had supposed that they could have no motive but
the desire of revenge for seeking or molesting us, and
as none of their number had been killed, or in all proba-
bility even dangerously injured in the rencontre with us,
we trusted that this motive would not prove strong enough
to incite them to any earnest or long-continued search.
But Arthur hinted at another object, more controlling in
the mind of their strange leader than any desire to prose-
cute a petty revenge, which would impel him to seek for
and pursue us, for the purpose of getting Eiulo again into
his power. This enmity—so fixed and implacable—
against a mere child, seemed incredible, even after all that
had been said or suggested in explanation of it; and
the explanations themselves were far-fetched, and almost
destitute of plausibility.

And how could we hope to escape a pursuit so deter-
mined and persevering as Arthur anticipated? Whither
could we flee for safety? To think of successful resistance
to Atollo and his band, if discovered by them, seemed idle.
Max suggested Palm Islet as the most secure retreat with
which we were acquainted. But Arthur now broached a
more startling plan. “Nowhere upon this island,’ said
he, “can we longer consider ourselves secure. The only
step that holds out any prospect of safety is to leave it in
the yawl, and sail for Tewa.”

“Is there any certainty,” said Browne, “that we can
find it? Do we even know positively where, or in what
direction from this place it is; and shall we not incur the
risk of getting lost again at sea?”

“T would rather take that risk,” said Max, “than re-
main here, within reach of these savages—anything is
preferable to falling into their power.”

“TI confess,” said Arthur, “that we know nothing cer-
308 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

tainly in regard to the distance, or even the direction, of
Tewa, but I think we have good reason to believe that it
lies about forty or fifty miles to the northward.”

We could not, however, bring ourselves thus suddenly
to adopt a resolution so momentous, and it was at last
tacitly decided to continue for the present at least at the
islet.

“If we are to remain here,’’ said Arthur, on perceiving
that there was no disposition to act immediately upon
any of the suggestions which had been made, “let us
make such preparation as we can to defend ourselves, if it
shall be necessary.”

This surprised us all: it seemed worse than useless to
think of forcible resistance to a party as numerous as that
of Atollo; coming from Arthur, such a suggestion was to
me doubly surprising.

“T see,” said he, “that the notion of attempting to de-
fend ourselves, if discovered, seems to you a desperate
one—but I believe it to be our only course—we can ex-
pect no mercy from Atollo.”

“Surely,” said Morton, “they can have no sufficient
motive for murdering us in cold blood. But fresh from
another conflict with them, we could not perhaps look for
forbearance, if in their power. Against us they cannot
now, it seems to me, cherish any feelings so vindictive
as you imply.”

“ And suppose it to be so? Suppose that they merely
aim at Eiulo’s life, without wishing to molest us?”

“TI don’t fear that I shall be misunderstood if I speak
plainly,’ answered Morton, after a pause. “It seems,
from what you have intimated, that for some reason they
wish to get Eiulo into their hands; they are his own |
people, and their leader is his own uncle; have we any -
right to refuse him to them?”

“Why, Morton!” interposed Browne, warmly, “what
cold-blooded doctrine is this?”
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 309

“Have patience a minute, and hear me out. I cannot
bring myself to believe that they actually intend him
harm ; I think there must be some mistake or misappre-
hension in regard to this alleged design against his life,
utterly improbable as it is in itself.”

“But Arthur understands all that far better than you
or I,” interrupted Browne once more, “and it is clear that
the poor child stands in mortal dread of this man.”

“I was going to add,” resumed Morton, “that even if
this danger does exist, it is entirely out of our power to
afford him protection against it: we should merely throw
away our lives in a desperate and unprofitable attempt.
It may seem unfeeling to talk of giving him up; but will
not these people be far more likely to act with cruelty
both towards him and us, after being excited and enraged
by a fruitless opposition? I have spoken frankly: but
whatever is soberly determined upon, however unwise in
my view, I will abide by.”

“T admit,” answered Arthur, “that there is little pros-
pect of success in a conflict with them: but I regard our
fate as certain if we submit, and we can but be slain in
resisting. I am so fully satisfied of Atollo’s designs in
respect to him, that I should feel, in giving him up, as if
I were an accessary to his murder.”

“Let us rather defend ourselves to the very last ex-
tremity,” said Browne earnestly, “if we are so unfortunate
as to be found.”

“Tf,” said Max, with an excited air—*if I really believed
they would kill Eiulo, I should say never give him up,
whatever the consequences may be; and I do think this
Atollo must be an incarnate fiend. I don’t believe it will
make any difference in their treatment of us whether we
resist or not.”

“O no,” cried Charlie, who had been listening eagerly
to this conversation, while Eiulo stood looking wistfully
on, as if he knew that it concerned him. “O no! don’t
310 TUE SINGLE COMBAT.

give him up to that wicked man. I would fight myself, if
I had my bow and arrows, but they took them away from
me: can’t we hide ourselves in the banian-tree !—they
never will think of looking for us there ?”

“That is not a bad suggestion,” said Morton ; “and if we
should be discovered, it is a strong place to defend. We
can move easily and quickly about on that strong hori-
zontal framework of branches, and it will be a hazardous
undertaking to climb those straight smooth trunks in our
faces.”

It seemed, in fact, as if a party stationed upon the roof
(as it might be termed) of this singular tree would occupy
@ vantage-ground from which it would require strong odds
to dislodge them, and the assailants, unless provided with
firearms, or missile weapons, would labour under almost
insurmountable difficulties.

Arthur discovered a place where it was easy to climb
quickly into the tree, and requested us all to note it par-
ticularly, in order that we might effect a retreat without
loss of time, if it should become necessary. Charlie and
Kiulo were to take refuge there at the first alarm.

Browne proceeded to cut a number of bludgeons from
stout saplings, which he then deposited in different places
among the branches, ready to be used in defending our-
selves if pursued thither. Max collected a quantity of
large stones, and fragments of rock, along the shore, and
from the bed of the brook, and wrapping them in parcels
of leaves, he hoisted them into the roof of the grove-tree,
and secured them there.

Morton surveyed these preparations with a grave smile,
and none of us, I think, placed much reliance on their
efficacy. We trusted that there would be no occasion to
resort to them.

The supply of provisions which we had brought with us
was exhausted, but the painful suspense and constant
apprehension incident to our present circumstances, long
THE SINGLE COMBAT. $11

prevented any thought of hunger. It was not until the
day had passed without any alarm, and it was beginning
to grow dark, that we experienced any inclination to eat.
Arthur and I then went in search of food, but could obtain
none, except a quantity of pandanus cones which we
gathered from a group of trees near the waterfall. The
kernels of these were the only food that any of us tasted
that day.

At night, it was deemed best to keep a watch, in order
to guard against any surprise. As we made our arrange-
ments for this purpose, my thoughts reverted to the time
of our sufferings at sea in the boat. But in our present
position, sought and pursued by malignant human beings,
bent upon taking our lives, and who might at that moment
be prowling near, there was something more fearful than
any peril from the elements, or even the dread of starva-
tion itself.

But the night passed without disturbance or alarm of
any kind, and in the morning we began to indulge the
hope that Arthur had overrated the strength of the feel-
ings by which Atollo was actuated, and to shake off in
some degree the profound depression of the preceding
evening.

With the abatement of our fears and the partial return
of tranquillity of mind, we became more sensible to the
demands of hunger. Max and Morton ventured a little
way into the adjoining forest in search of birds, and re-
turned in less than half an hour with about a dozen
pigeons, which they had knocked down with sticks and
stones. Arthur had in the meantime caught quite a string
of the yellow fish which had so perseveringly rejected all
Max’s overtures a couple of days since. Morton then
kindled a fire to cook our food, though we felt some hesi-
tation about this, being aware that the smoke might be-
tray us to the savages, if they should happen to be at the
time in the neighbourhood. But Max declared that fall-
312 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

ing into their hands was a fate preferable to starvation,
and that rather than eat raw fish and birds, he would
incur the risk of discovery by means of the fire. In the
absence of cooking utensils, we hastily scooped out a
Polynesian oven, and covered the bottom with a layer of
heated stones, upon which the food, carefully wrapped in
deaves, was deposited: another layer of hot stones was
placed on the top, and the whole then covered with fresh
leaves and earth. This is the method adopted by the
natives for baking bread-fruit and fish, and, with the
exception of the trouble and delay involved, it is equal to
anything that civilized ingenuity has devised for similar
purposes, from the old-fashioned Dutch oven to the most
recent style of “improved kitchen ranges” with which I
am acquainted. The heat being equally diffused through-
out the entire mass, and prevented from escaping by the
wrapping of leaves and earth, the subject operated upon,
whether fish, fowl, or vegetable, is thoroughly and uni-
formly cooked.

Max had just opened the oven, and was busily engaged
in taking out and distributing the contents, while the rest
of us were gathered in a group around the spot, when
Eiulo suddenly uttered a shrill cry, and springing up,
stood gazing towards the west side of the brook, as if
paralyzed by terror.

Looking up, we saw two natives standing at the edge of
the wood quietly watching us. One of them I at once
recognized as the lithe and active leader whom I had seen
upon the shore in swift pursuit of the fugitives.

Our first impulse was to spring at once into the Aoa,
according to the understanding to which we had partially
come as to what we were to doif discovered. But asecond
glance showed that there were but two enemies in sight,
and as Arthur, to whom we looked for an example, gave
no signal for such a retreat, we hastily snatched up our
weapons, and placed ourselves beside him,
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 313

Atollo’s quick eye—for it was he—ran from one to an-
other of us, until it rested upon Eiulo, when, coming down
to the margin of the brook, he pronounced his name in a
low, clear voice, and beckoned him with his hand to come
over to him.

Pale and trembling, like a bird under the charm of the
serpent, Efulo made two or three uncertain steps towards
him, as if about mechanically to obey the summons: then,
as Charlie seized the skirt of his wrapper, and called out
to him “ not to mind that wicked man,” he paused, and
looked round upon us with a glance half-appealing, half-
inquiring, which said more plainly than words—* Must I
go ?—Can you protect me—and will you?”

Arthur now stepped before him, and addressed some
words to Atollo in his own language, the purport of which
I could only guess.

The other listened attentively, without evincing any
surprise, and then made answer, speaking rapidly, and by
jerks, as it were, and scanning us all the while with the
eye of a hawk.

When he had finished, Arthur turned to us. “ This
man requires us,” he said, “to give up Eiulo to him; he
claims him as his brother’s son, and says that he wishes
to convey him home to Tewa. He promises to leave us
unmolested if we comply, and threatens us with death if
we refuse: you see it concerns us all—what do you say ?”

Arthur was very pale. He looked towards Morton, who
said nothing, but stood leaning against one of the pillars
of the Aoa, with his eyes steadfastly bent upon the ground.

“ Ask Eiulo,” said Browne, “ if this man is his uncle.”

The question was accordingly put, and the trembling
boy answered hesitatingly, that he did not know—but he
believed that he was.

“Ask him,” pursued Browne, “if he is willing to go
with him.”

Arthur put the question formally, and Eiulo, grasping
314 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

his arm, while Charlie still held fast by his skirt, answered
with a shudder that he was afraid to go with him.

““ Ask him why he is afraid,”’ continued Browne.

The answer was, that he believed his uncle would kill
him.

These questions were put loud enough to be easily heard
by Atollo, and Arthur deliberately repeated tHe answers
first in Tahitian, and then in English.

“Well,” said Browne, “I am now quite ready with an
answer, as far as I am concerned. I never will consent to
give up the poor boy to be murdered. He is old enough
to choose for himself, and I think it would be right to re-
sist the claim even of a father, under such circumstances.”

“Ts that to be our answer?” said Arthur, looking round.

It was a bold stand to take, situated as we were, and
we felt it to be so; but it seemed a hard and cruel thing
to yield up our little companion to the tender mercies of
his unnatural relative. Though there were pale cheeks
and unsteady hands among us, as we signified our concur-
rence in this refusal (which we all did except Morton, who
remained silent), yet we experienced a strange sense of
relief when it was done, and we stood committed to the
result.

Arthur now motioned Charlie and Eiulo to climb into
the tree, then turning to Atollo, he said that as the boy
preferred remaining with us, we were resolved to protect
him to the extent of our ability.

By this time we had somewhat regained our self-posses-
sion, and stood grasping our weapons, though not antici-
pating any immediate attack. Much to my surprise, Atollo
had, during the conference, manifested neither anger nor
impatience. When Arthur announced our refusal to com-
ply with his demand, he merely noticed with a smile our
belligerent attitude, and advanced into the brook as if
about to come over to the islet, swinging a long curving
weapon carelessly by his side, and followed by the other
savage.
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 315

Browne, holding his club in his left hand, and a heavy
stone in his right, stood beside me, breathing hard through
his set teeth.

“The foolish heathen !”’ exclaimed he; “does he expect
to subdue us by his looks, that he comes on in this
fashion?”

It did, in fact, seem as though he supposed that we would
not dare to commence an attack upon him, for he con-
tinued to advance, eyeing us steadily. Just as he gained
the middle of the brook, three or four more savages came
out of the forest, and one of them ran towards him, with
an exclamation which caused him to turn at once, and on
hearing what the other eagerly uttered, with gestures
indicating some intelligence of an urgent and exciting
character, he walked back to the edge of the wood, and
joined the group gathered there.

A moment afterwards, Atollo, attended by the messen-
ger, as he appeared to be, plunged into the forest, first
giving to the others, who remained upon the shore, some
direction, which, from the accompanying gesture, appeared
to have reference to ourselves.

Charlie and Eiulo had already climbed into the Aoa,
whither we stood ready to follow at a moment’s notice.
The group of savages opposite us seemed to have no other
object in view than to prevent our escape, for they did
not offer to molest us. Soon after Atollo disappeared,
two more of his party came out of the wood, and I imme-
diately recognized one of them, who walked stiffly, and
with difficulty, seeming but just able to drag himself
about, as the scarred savage with whom Browne had had
so desperate a struggle. We now thought it prudent to
effect our retreat into the tree without further loss of time,
but at the first movement which we made for that purpose,
the natives set up a shout, and dashed into the water to-
wards us, probably thinking that we were about to try to
cscape by getting to the further shore.
516 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

They pressed us so closely, that we had not a moment
to spare, and had barely climbed beyond their reach, when
they sprang after us. One active fellow caught Browne
(who was somewhat behind the rest) by the foot, and en-
deavoured to drag him from the trunk he was climbing,
in which he would probably have succeeded, had not Max
let fall a leaf-basket of stones directly upon his head, which
stretched him groaning upon the ground, with the blood
gushing from his mouth and nose.

At this moment Atollo himself, with the rest of his
party, joined our besiegers below, and at a signal from
him, the greater part of them immediately commenced
scaling the tree at different points. Our assailants num-
bered not more than thirteen or fourteen, including
Browne’s former foe, who did not seem to be in a condi-
tion to climb, and the man recently wounded, who was
still lying upon the ground apparently lifeless. We felt
that we were now irrevocably committed to a struggle of
life and death, and we were fully determined to fight man-
fully, and to the very last. We stationed ourselves at
nearly equal distances among the branches, armed with
the bludgeons previously placed there, so as to be able to
hasten to any point assailed, and to assist one another as
occasion should require. The savages yelled and screeched
hideously, with the hope of intimidating us, but without
any effect, and we kept watching them quietly, and meet-
ing them so promptly at every point, that they were uni-
formly obliged to quit their hold, and drop to the ground,
before they could effect a lodgment among the branches.
Occasionally we addressed a word of encouragement to
one another, or uttered an exclamation of triumph at the
discomfiture of some assailant more than ordinarily fierce
and resolute. But with this exception, we were as quiet
as if industriously engaged in some ordinary occupation.
This lasted for full fifteen minutes, without our enemies
having gained the slightest advantage. Atollo himself
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 317

had not thus far taken any part in the attack, except to
direct the others.

At length he fixed his eye upon Browne, who, stepping
about in the top of the tree with an agility that I should
not have expected from him, and wielding a tremendous
club, had been signally successful in repelling our assail-
ants. After watching him a moment, he suddenly com-
menced climbing a large stem-near him, with the marvel-
lous rapidity that characterized all his movements. Browne
had just tumbled one of the savages to the ground how!l-
ing with pain, from a crushing blow upon the wrist, and
he now hastened to meet this more formidable foe. But
he was too late to prevent him from getting into the tree,
and he had already gained a footing upon the horizontal
branches when Browne reached the spot. Atollo was
without any weapon, and this was a disadvantage that
might have rendered all his strength and address unavail-
ing, had not the foliage and the lesser branches of the
tree interfered with the swing of the long and heavy
weapon of his adversary, and the footing been too inse-
cure to permit it to be used with fall effect. As Browne
steadicd himself, and drew back for a sweeping blow,
Atollo shook the boughs upon which he stood so violently,
as greatly to break the force of the stroke, which he re-
ceived upon his arm, and rushing upon him before he
could recover his weapon, he wrested it from his grasp,
and hurled him to the ground, where he was iustantly
seized and secured by those below.

While Atollo, armed with Browne’s club, advanced
upon Max and Arthur, who were nearest him, several of
his followers, taking advantage of the diversion thus
effected, succeeded in ascending also, and in a few moments
they were making their way towards us from all sides.
Leaving them to complete what he had so well begun,
Atollo hastened towards the spot where Charlie and Eiulo
were endeavouring to conceal themselves among the
318 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

foliage. Though now outnumbered, and hopeless of suc-
cess, we continued a desperate resistance. The ferocity
of our adversaries was excited to the highest pitch. There
was scarcely one of them who had not received some
injury in the attack sufficiently severe to exasperate,
without disabling him. We had used our clubs with such
vigour and resolution in opposing their attempts at climb-
ing, that every second man at least had a crushed hand or
a bruised head, and all had received more or less hard
blows. Smarting with pain, and exulting in the prospect
of speedy and ample revenge, they pressed upon us with
-yells and cries, that showed that there was no mercy for
us if taken. But even at that trying moment our courage
did not fail or falter. We stood together near the centre
of the tree, where the branches were strong, and the
footing firm. Only a part of our assailants had weapons,
and perceiving the utter desperation with which we fought,
they drew back a little distance until clubs could be passed
up from below, and thus afforded us a momentary respite.
But we well knew that it was only momentary, and that,
in their present state of mind, these men would despatch
us with as little scruple as they would mischievous wild
beasts hunted and brought to bay.

“Nothing now remains,’ said Morton, “but to die
courageously: we have done everything else that we
could do.”

“It does appear to have come to that at last,’ said
Arthur: “if I did unwisely in advising resistance, and
perilling your lives as well as my own, I now ask your
forgiveness ; on my own account I do not regret it.”

“There is nothing to forgive,’ answered Morton ; “you
did what you believed was right, and if I counselled other-
wise, you will do me the justice to believe that it was
because I differed with you in judgment, and not because
I shrunk from the consequences.”

“TI never did you the injustice to think otherwise,”
answered Arthur.
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 319

“If our friends could but know what has hecome of
us,” said Max, brushing away a tear, “and how we died
here, fighting manfully to the last, I should feel more
entirely resigned; but I cannot bear to think that our fate
will never be known.”

“ Here they come once more,” said Arthur, as the
savages, having now obtained their weapons, advanced
to finish their work; “and now may God have mercy
upon us!”

We all joined devoutly in Arthur’s prayer, for we be-
lieved that death was at hand. We then grasped our
weapons, and stood ready for the attack.

At this instant a long and joyous cry from Eiulo reached
our ears. For several minutes he had been eluding the
pursuit of Atollo with a wonderful agility, partly the effect
of frantic dread. Just when it seemed as though he could
no longer escape, he suddenly uttered this cry, repeating
the words “ Wakatta! Wakatta !”—then springing to the
ground, he ran towards the brook, but was intercepted
and seized by one of the savages below.

There was an immediate answer to Eiulo’s cry in one
of the deepest and most powerful voices I had ever heard,
and which seemed to come from the west shore of the
stream. Looking in that direction, I saw and recognized
at once the lion-like old man who had fled along the beach
pursued by Atollo and his party. Several men, apparently
his followers, stood around him. He now bounded across
the stream towards the spot where Eiulo was still strug-
gling with his captor, and calling loudly for help.

Atollo instantly sprang to the ground, and flew to the
spot; then, with a shrill call, he summoned his men about
him. Eiulo’s outcry, and the answer which had been made
to it, seemed to have produced a startling effect upon
Atollo and his party. For the moment we appeared to
be entirely torgotten.

“This must be Wakatta,” said Arthur eagerly ; “it can
320 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

be no other. There is hope yet.” With a rapid sign for
us to follow, he glided down the nearest trunk, and darting
past Atollo’s party, he succeeded, in the midst of the con-
fusion, in reaching the old man and his band, who stood
upon the shore of the islet. Morton and I wera equally
successful. Max, who came last, was observed, and an
effort made to intercept him. But dodging one savage,
and bursting from the grasp of another, who seized him
by the arm as he was running at full speed, he also joined
us, and we ranged ourselves beside Wakatta and his men.
Brown, Eiulo, and Charlie, were prisoners.

It now seemed as though the conflict was about to be
renewed upon more equal terms. Our new and unex-
pected allies numbered seven, including their venerable
leader. On the other hand, our adversaries were but
twelve, and of these, several showed evident traces of the
severe usage they had recently reccived, and were hardly
in a condition for a fresh struggle.

There was a pause of some minutes, during which the
two parties stood confronting each other with hostile but
hesitating looks. Wakatta then addressed a few words to
Atollo, in the course of which he several times repeated
Eiulo’s name, pointing towards him at the same time, and
appear:ng to demand that he should be released.

The reply was an unhesitating and decided refusal, as
I easily gathered from the look and manner that accom-
panied it.

Wakatta instantly swung up his club, uttering a deep
guttural exclamation, which seemed to be the signal for
attack, for his people raised their weapons, and advanced,
as if about to rush upon the others. We had in the
meantime provided ourselves with clubs, a number of
which were scattered about upon the ground, and we pre-
pared to assist the party with whom we had become 80
strangely associated.

But at a word and gesture from Atollo, Wakatta lowercd
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 321

his weapon again, and the men on both sides paused in
their hostile demonstrations, while their leaders once more
engaged in conference.

Atollo now seemed to make some proposition to Wa-
katta, which was eagerly accepted by the latter. Each
then spoke briefly to his followers, who uttered cries of
the wildest excitement, and suddenly became silent again.
The two next crossed together to the opposite shore, and
while we stood gazing in a bewildered manner at these
proceedings, and wondering what could be their meaning,
the natives also crossed the brook, and formed a wide circle
around their chiefs on an open grassy space at the edge
of the forest. We still kept with Wakatta’s party, who
arranged themselves in a semicircle behind him.

“What does this mean?” inquired Morton of Arthur;
“it looks as though they were about to engage in single
combat.”

“That is, in fact, their purpose,” answered Arthur.

“And will that settle the difficulty between these hostile
parties?” said Morton ; “will there not be a general fight
after all, whichever leader is victor?”

“I rather think not,” answered Arthur; “the party
whose champion falls will be too: much discouraged to
renew the fight—they will probably run at once.”

“Then our situation will be no better than before, in
case the old warrior should prove unfortunate. Can’t
you speak to his followers, and get them to stand ready
to attack their enemies if their chief falls.

“Twill try what I can do,” answered Arthur, “and let
us be ready to act with them.”

Meantime the two principal parties had completed their
preparations for the deadly personal combat in which
they were about to engage. Atollo took from one of his
followers a long-handled curving weapon, the inner side
of which was lined with a row of sharks’ teeth, and then
placed himself in the middle of the open space, first carc-

x
322 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

fully kicking out of the way a number of fallen branches
which strewed the ground. His manner was confident,
and clearly bespoke an anticipated triumph.

Wakatta was armed with the massive club, set with
spikes of iron-wood, which he carried when I first saw
him upon the shore. He advanced deliberately towards
his adversary, until they stood face to face, and within
easy reach of one another’s weapons.

The men on both sides remained perfectly quiet, eyeing
every movement of their respective champions with the
intensest interest. In the breathless silence that pre-
vailed, the gentle murmur of the brook sliding over its
pebbly bed, and even the dropping of a withered leaf,
could be heard distinctly.

Glancing over to the islet, I saw that Browne, although
his hands appeared to be bound behind him, had rolled
himself to the edge of the brook, from which he was
watching what was going forward.

Each of the two combatants regarded the other with the
air of a man conscious that he was about to meet a for-
midable adversary; but in Atollo’s evil eye there gleamed
an assured and almost exulting confidence, that increased
my anxiety for his aged opponent; his manner, neverthe-
less, was cautious and wary, and he did not suffer the
slightest movement of Wakatta to escape him.

They stood opposite each other, neither seeming to be
willing to commence the conflict, until Wakatta, with an
impatient gesture, warned his adversary to defend himself,
and then swinging up his ponderous club in both hands,
aimed a blow at him, which the other avoided by spring-
ing lightly backwards.

And now the fight commenced in earnest. Atollo made
no attempt to guard or parry the blows levelled at him—
which would indeed have been idle—but with astonishing
agility and quickness of eye he sprang aside, or leaped
back, always in time to save himself. He kept moving


THE SINGLE COMBAT,

And now the fight commenced in earnest. Atollo made no attempt to guard on
parry the blows levelled at him, but with astonishing agility and quickness of eye ie
sprang aside, or leaped back, always in time to save himself.--Page o22
THE SINGLE COMBAT. 323

around the old man, provoking his attacks by feints and
half-blows, but making no serious attack himself. There
was acool, calculating expression upon his sharp and cruel
countenance, and he did not appear to be half so earnest
or excited as his antagonist. I saw plainly that the wily
savage was endeavouring to provoke the other to some
careless or imprudent movement, of which he stood ready
to take instant and fatal advantage.

At length some such opportunity as he was waiting for
was afforded him. The old warrior, growing impatient of
this indecisive manceuvring, began to press his adversary
harder, and to follow him up with an apparent determina-
tion to bring matters to a speedy issue. Atollo retreated
before him, until he was driven to the edge of the brook,
where he paused, as if resolved to make a stand. Wakatta
now seemed to think that he had brought his foe to bay,
and whirling round his club, he delivered a sweeping blow
full at his head with such fury, that when Atollo avoided
it by dropping upon one knee, the momentum of the pon-
derous weapon swung its owner half round, and before
he had time to recover himself, his watchful adversary,
springing lightly up, brought down his keen-edged weapon
full upon his gray head, inflicting a ghastly wound.

And now Atollo’s whole demeanour changed: the time
for caution and coolness was past; the moment far de-
stroying his disabled foe had come. While his followers
set up an exulting yell, he darted forward to follow up his
advantage: the triumphant ferocity of his look is not to
be described. Wakatta was yet staggering from the effect -
of the blow upon his head, when he received a second,
which slightly gashed his left shoulder, and glancing from
it, laid open his cheek. But, to my astonishment, the
strong old man, cruelly wounded as he was, seemed to be
neither disabled nor dismayed. The keen-edged but light
weapon of Atollo was better calculated to inflict painful
wounds than mortal injuries. Either blow, had it been
324 THE SINGLE COMBAT.

from a weapon like that of Wakatta, would have termi-
nated the combat.

Before Atollo could follow up his success by a third and
decisive stroke, the old warrior had recovered himself, and
though bleeding profusely, he looked more formidable
than ever. He at once resumed the offensive, and with
such vigour, that the other, with all his surprising acti-
vity, now found it difficult to elude his rapid but steady
attacks. He was now thoroughly aroused. Atollo seemed
gradually to become confused and distressed, as he was
closely followed around the eircle without an instant’s
respite being allowed him. At last he was forced into the
stream, where he made a desperate stand, with the mani-
fest determination to conquer or perish there. But Wa-
katta rushed headlong upon him, and holding his club in
his right hand, he received upon his left arm, without any
attempt to avoid it, a blow which Atollo aimed at his
head: at the same instant he closed, and succeeded in
seizing his adversary by the wrist. Once in the old man’s
grasp, he was a mere child, and in spite of his tremendous
efforts, his other hand was soon mastered, and he was
thrown to the ground. It wasa horrible scene that fol-
lowed. I wished that the life of the vanquished man could
have been spared. But his excited foe had no thought of
mercy, and shortening his club, he held him fast with one
hand, and despatched him at a single blow with the other.
THE MIGRATION. 325

CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE MIGRATION.

A TEWAN M.D.—EXCHANGE OF CIVILITIES—MAX’S FAREWELL
BREAKFAST—A GLANCE AT THE FUTURE.

‘We go from the shores where those blue billows roll,
But that isle, and those waters, shall live in my soul."

As the victor rose to his feet, his followers uttered a fierce
yell, and precipitated themselves upon the opposite party,
who instantly dispersed and fled.

Wakatta cast a half-remorseful glance at the corpse of
his adversary, and raising his powerful voice, recalled his
men from the pursuit. Then wading into the brook, he
began to wash the gore from his head and face: one of his
people, who, from his official air of bustling alacrity, must
have been a professional character, or at least an amateur
surgeon, examined the wounds, and dexterously applied
an improvised poultice of chewed leaves to his gashed
face, using broad strips of bark for bandages.

Meantime Arthur hastened over to the islet, and released
our companions from the ligatures of tappa which con-
fined their limbs. Eiulo was no sooner freed, than he ran
eagerly to Wakatta, who took him in his arms, and em-
braced him tenderly. After a rapid interchange of ques-
tions and replies, during which they both shed tears, they
seemed to be speaking of ourselves, Eiulo looking fre-
quently towards us, and talking with great animation and
earnestness. They then approached the place where we
326 THE MIGRATION.

were standing, and Wakatta spoke a few words, pointing
alternately from Eiulo to us. Arthur made some reply,
whereupon the old warrior went to him, and bending
down his gigantic frame, gave him a cordial hug; his
fresh-bandaged wounds probably caused him to dispense
with the usual ceremony of rubbing faces.

“T expect it will be our turn next,” said Max with a
grimace; “if so, observe how readily I shall adapt myself
to savage etiquette, and imitate my example.”

It proved as he anticipated, for Wakatta, who must have
received a highly flattering account of us from Eiulo, was
not satisfied until he had bestowed upon each one of us,
Charlie included, similar tokens of his regard, Max rush-
ing forward with an air of “ empressement,” and taking
the initiative, as he had promised. The “surgeon,” who
seemed to think that some friendly notice might also be
expected from him, in virtue of his official character, now
advanced with a patronizing air, and in his turn paid us
the same civilities, not omitting the rubbing of faces, as
his chief had done. Another one of our “allies,” as Max
called them, a huge, good-natured-looking savage, picked
up Charlie very much as one would a lap-dog or a pet-
kitten, and began to chuck him under the chin, and stroke
his hair and cheeks, greatly to the annoyance of the object
of these flattering attentions, who felt his dignity sadly
compromised by such treatment.

As soon as these friendly advances were over, Arthur
entered into a conversation with Wakatta, which, from the
earnest expression of the countenance of the latter, ap-
peared to relate to something of great interest. Presently
he spoke to his men, who seized their weapons with an
air of alacrity, as if preparing for some distant expedition;
and Arthur, turning to us, said that we must set out in a
body for the inlet where we had seen the canoe of the
other party, as it was thought of the utmost importance
to secure it if possible. We started at once at a rapid
THE MIGRATION. 327

rate, Wakatta leading the way with tremendous strides,
and the big, good-natured fellow, taking Charlie upon his
back, in spite of his protestations that he could run him-
self quite as fast as was necessary. But on reaching the
inlet, we found that the other party had been too quick
for us; they were already through the surf, and under
sail, coasting along towards the opening in the reef oppo-
site Palm Islet, probably with the intention of returning
to Tewa.

It is now eight days since the events last narrated took
place. On the day succeeding, we buried Atollo on the
shore opposite Banian Islet, together with one of his fol-
lowers who had also been killed or mortally wounded in
the conflict with us. Two others of them, who were too
badly hurt to accompany the hasty flight to the inlet, are
still living in the woods, Wakatta having strictly forbidden
his people to injure them.

I ought here to explain the circumstances, as Arthur
learned them from Wakatta, which brought the natives to
our island. A civil war had recently broken out in Tewa,
growing out of the plots ot the Frenchmen resident there,
and some discontented chiefs who made common cause
with them. One of the foreigners, connected by marriage
with the family of a powerful chief, had been subjected, by
the authority of Eiulo’s father, to a summary and severe
punishment for an outrage of which he had been clearly
convicted. This was the immediate cause of the outbreak.
Atollo and his followers had issued from their fastnesses,
and joined the insurgents ; a severe and bloody battle had
been fought, in which they were completely successful,
taking the chief himself prisoner, and dispersing his ad-
herents.

Wakatta, attended by the six followers now with him,
was at this time absent upon an excursion to a distant
part of the island, and the first intelligence which he
328 THE MIGRATION.

received of what had taken place was accompanied by the
notice that Atollo, with a formidable band, was then in
eager search of him. Knowing well the relentless hatred
borne him by that strange and desperate man, and that
Tewa could furnish no lurking-place where he would be
long secure from his indefatigable pursuit, he had hastily
embarked for the island where he had once before taken
refuge under somewhat similar circumstances. Hither his
implacable foe had pursued him. This statement will suf-
ficiently explain what has been already related.

All our plans are yet uncertain. Wakatta meditates a
secret return to Tewa, confident that, by his presence there,
now that the formidable Atollo is no more, he can restore
his chief to liberty and to his hereditary rights, if he yet
survives.

An experiment has been made with the yawl, in order
to ascertain whether she can safely convey our entire
party, savage and civilized, in case we should conclude to
leave the island. The result showed that it would scarcely
be prudent for so great a number to embark in her upon
a voyage to Tewa, and Wakatta and his people have now
commenced building a canoe, which is to be of sufficient
size to carry twenty persons.

Browne’s prejudices against the “heathen savages”
have been greatly softened by what he has seen of these
natives, and he says that “if the rest of them are equally
well-behaved, one might manage to get along with them
quite comfortably.” Max has taken a great fancy to
Wakatta, whom he emphatically pronounces “a trump,”
a “regular brick,” besides bestowing upon him a variety
of other elegant and original designations of the like com-
plimentary character. This may be owing in part to the
fact, that the old warrior has promised him a “ faré,” a
bread-fruit plantation, and eventually a pretty grand-
daughter of his own for a wife, if he will accompany him
to Tewa, and settle there.
THE MIGRATION. 329

As the preparations of our allies advance towards com-
pletion, we are more and more reconciled to the thought
of embarking with them. Charlie has already commenced
packing his shells and “specimens” for removal. Max
has ascertained, greatly to his relief—for he had some
doubts on the subject—that the gridiron and other cooking
utensils can be stowed safely in the locker of the yawl,
and he anticipates much benevolent gratification in intro-
ducing these civilized “institutions” among the barbarians
of Tewa.

The intestine feuds which still rage there, and the pro-
bability that “our side” will find themselves in the
minority, furnish the chief grounds of objection to the
step contemplated. But we would cheerfully incur al-
most any danger that promises to increase our prospect
of ultimately reaching home.

There is some talk of a preliminary reconnoitring ex-
pedition by Wakatta and two or three of his people, for
the purpose of getting some definite information as to the
present position of affairs at Tewa before setting out for
it ina body. Max yesterday finished his miniature ship,
and exhorted me to “wind up” our history forthwith,
with a Homeric description of the great battle at the
islet, and our heroic defence of the banian-tree. He
declares it to be his intention to enclose the manuscript
in the hold of the vessel, and launch her when half-way
to Tewa, in the assured confidence that the winds and
waves will waft it to its destination, or, to use his own
phrase—“ that we shall yet be heard of in Hardscrabble.”

Five days ago the canoe was completed, and on the
succeeding afternoon Wakatta, accompanied by “the
doctor,” and two other of his people, sailed for Tewa, for
the purpose of endeavouring to learn whether it would
be prudent for us to venture thither at present.

We havé been living of late at the cabin, and our
330 THE MIGRATION.

“allies” have made an encampment by the lake within a
hundred paces of us. The state of feverish expectation
naturally produced by our present circumstances prevents
anything like regular occupation. We do nothing all the
day but wander restlessly about among the old haunts
which were our favourites in the peaceful time of our
early sojourn here. Max has endeavoured to relieve the
tedium, and get up an interest of some sort, by renewing
his attempts against the great eel. But the patriarch is
as wary, and his stronghold beneath the roots of the but-
tress-tree as impregnable, as ever, and all efforts to his
prejudice, whether by force or stratagem, still prove un-
availing. To escape in some measure the humiliation
of so mortifying a defeat, Max now affects to be convinced
that his vencrable antagonist is no eel after all, but an
old water-snake, inheriting his full share of the ancient
wisdom of the serpent, and by whom it is consequently
no disgrace for any mortal man to be outwitted.

For several days past we have even neglected prepar-
ing any regular meals, satisfying our hunger as it arose
with whatever could be most readily procured.

Max pronounces this last “an alarming indication of
the state of utter demoralization towards which we are
hastening, and, in fact, the commencement of a relapse
into barbarism.” “ One of the chief points of difference,”
he says, “between civilized and savage man is, that the
former eats at stated and regular intervals, as a matter
of social duty, whereas the latter only eats when he is
hungry !”

Two days later. Wakatta has returned from his expe-
dition, full of hope and confidence, and actually looking
ten years younger than when I first saw him. He says
that the position of affairs at Tewa is most promising.
The recently victorious rebels have fallen into fierce con-
tentions among themselves, and a large faction of them,
with the leaders of which he has entered into communi-
THE MIGRATION, 331

cation, is willing to unite with him against the others,
upon being assured of indemnity for past offences. Eiulo’s
father still lives, and has already gathered the nucleus of
a force capable of retrieving his fortunes.

All is now finally determined upon, and we only wait
for a favourable breeze to bid adieu to these shores.

The morning of Wakatta’s return also witnessed an-
other event of nearly equal importance. I allude to a
great farewell breakfast given by Max in celebration of
our approaching departure, as well as for the purpose of
stemming the current of the demoralizing influence above
alluded to. The “founder of the feast,” together with
Kiulo and Charlie, was up preparing it with his own
hospitable hands a full hour before the rest of us were
awake.

It consisted of all the delicacies and luxuries that our
island can afford: there were roasted oysters fiesh from
the shore, and poached eggs fresh from the nest (Max
had despatched one of the natives to Sea-birds’ Point
after them before daylight); then there were fish nicely
broiled, and mealy taro, and baked bread-fruit, hot from
a subterranean Polynesian oven.

In the enjoyment of this generous fare our drooping
spirits rose, and Max, as was his wont, became discursive.

“ What a humiliating reflection,’ exclaimed he, “that
we should have permitted ourselves to be so disturbed
and fluttered by the prospect of a slight change in our
affairs! Why should we distrust our destiny, or shrink
from our mission? Why these nervous apprehensions,
and these unreasonable doubts !—(Hear ! hear !)

‘There is a Providence that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them how we will.’

Let us accept, then, the belief which all things tend to
confirm, that a glorious future awaits us in our new
sphere of action at Tewa !”’—(Sensation.)
302 THE MIGRATION.

‘“ Ah!” sighed Browne, after a momentary pause, “Tewa
may be a fine place—but I doubt if they have any such
oysters as these there.” The action accompanying these
words must have given Eiulo a clue to their purport, for
he hastened eagerly to protest, through Arthur as inter-

preter, that the oysters at Tewa were much larger and

fatter ; he added, that since we liked them so much, he
would have them all “tabooed ” as soon as we arrived, so
that “common people” wouldn’t dare for their lives to
touch one.

“J used to regard the ‘taboo,’” said Browne, “as an
arbitrary and oppressive heathen custom. But how igno-
rant and prejudiced we sometimes are in regard to foreign
institutions! We must be very careful, when we get
there, about introducing rash innovations upon the settled
order of things.”

“We will establish an enlightened system of common
schools,” said Max, “to begin with, and Arthur shall also
open a Sunday-school.”

“ And in the course of time we will found a college, in
which Browne shall be professor of Elocution and Ora-
tory,” said Morton.

“ And you,” resumed Max, “shall have a commission as
Major-General in the Republican army of Tewa, which
you shall instruct in modern tactics, and lead to victory
against the rebels and the Frenchmen !”—(Immense sen-
sation.)

“In the Royal army, if you please,” interrupted Browne,
“ Republicanism is one of those crude and pestilent inno-
vations which I shall set my face against !—(groans and
hisses.) How dare any one breathe so treasonable a sug-
gestion in the presence of thé heir-apparent to the throne?
—(Hear! hear! and sensation.) Major-General Morton,
I call upon you to attach him for a traitor!”

“ And I,” cried Charlie, “what shall I do?’

“Why,” answered Max, “you shall rejoice the hearts
THE MIGRATION. 333

of the Tewan juveniles by introducing among them the
precious lore of the story-books. The rising generation
shall no longer remain in heathen ignorance of Cinderella,
and Jack of the Bean Stalk, and his still more illustrious
cousin the Giant-Killer! The sufferings of Sinbad, the
voyages of Gulliver, the achievements of Munchausen,
and the adventures of Crusoe, shall yet become to them
familiar as household words !”

“ And Archer’s mission shall be no less dignified and
useful,”’ resumed Browne: “he shall keep the records of
the monarchy, and become the faithful historian of the
happy, prosperous, and glorious reign of EIULO THE
First ?”

THE END.

EDINBURGH : PRINTED BY T. NELSON AND SONS.

a