_ ___~ __ __ I~l___C___________~l(II_
The Baldwin Library
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LONDON, EDINBURGH & NEW YORK
A Boy's Adventures in the Forests of Brazil
1Robert IDRicbael J3aIlanitne
Author of The Dog Crusoe and his Master," ",The Young Fur-Traders,"
The Gorilla Hunters," Ungava,
The Coral Island,"
T. NELSON A.-ND SONS
MY DEAR YOUNG READERS, in presenting this book to
you I have only to repeat what I have said in the
prefaces of my former works-namely, that all the
important points and anecdotes are true; only the
minor and unimportant ones being mingled with
fiction. With this single remark, I commit my work
to your hands, and wish you a pleasant ramble, in
spirit, through the romantic forests of Brazil.
R. M. BALLANTYNE.
The hero and his only relative............................................................9
In disgrace. ......... .................. ...... ........ .... ........ .....................14
The great fight .... ............. .......... ................. ..... ................. 18
A lesson to all stockiug-knitters-IMartin's prospects begin to open up......30
Martin, bezng willing to go to sea, goes to sea against his will................37
The voyage-A pirate, chase, wreck, and escape................................47
Martin and Barney get lost in a great forest, where they see strange and
terrible things ................ ..... .... ... ........ .. ...... ..............54
An enchanting land-An uncomfortable bed, and a queer break fast-M1any
surprises and a few frights, together with a notable discovery ............62
The hermit............................ ........ .......................... .75
An enemy in the night-The vampire bat-The hermit discourses on
strange, and curious, and interesting things .............................. 81
T he herm it's story............... .0.... ... ................... .... .. ......... 90
A hunting expedition, in which are seen stones that can run, and cows that
require no food-Besides a desperate encounter with a jaguar, and
other strange things........................................ ....... .... 10
Martin and Barney continue their travels, and see strange things-Among
others, they see living jewels-They go to see a festa-They fight and run
aw ay................... ... ... ... .............. .. .............. 123
Cogitations and canoeing on the Amazon-Barney's exploit with an alliga-
tor-Stubborn facts-Rcmarkable mode of sleeping.......................137
The great anaconda's dinner-Barney gets a fright--Turtles' eggs-A satis-
factory blow out "-Senhor Antonio's plantation-Preparations for a
great hunt.......... .......... .......... ............... .. ...... ... ......... ..150
An alligator hunt-Remarkable explosions-The rainy season ushered in by
an awful resurrection.......................................162
The Oeapo-Interruptions-Grampus and Marmoset-Canoeing in the
woods-A night on a floating island.........................................176
The sad and momentous era referred to at the close of the chapter preceding
the last......................... ......................186
Worse and worse-Everything seems to go wrong together. ................ 195
Martin reflects much, and forms a firm resolve-The Indian village ......204
Savage feasts and ornaments-Martin grows desperate, and makes a bold
attempt to escape ...... .. ...............................213
The escape-Alone in the -iF between a jaguar and an alli-
gator-Martin encounters strange and terrible creatures...... ........224
Martin meets vith friends, and visits the diamond mines ..................236
The diamond mines-More and more astonishing !.............................242
New scenes and pleasant travelling,................... .......... .. ..............205
The return ................... ....... ....... .. .......... .... .. ..... ........276
The old garret ... .......... ..... ................. .... ..... ... ........283
Conclusion..... .......................... ........................ ......... ....289
The hero and his only relative.
M ARTIN RATTLER was a very bad boy. At
least his aunt, Mrs. Dorothy Grumbit, said
so; and certainly she ought to have known, if any-
body should, for Martin lived with her, and was, as
she herself expressed it, "the bane of her existence,
the very torment of her life." No doubt of it what-
ever, according to Aunt Dorothy Grumbit's showing,
Martin Rattler was "a remarkably bad boy."
It is a curious fact, however, that although most
of the people in the village of Ashford seemed to
agree with Mrs. Grumbit in her opinion of Martin,
there were very few of them who did not smile
cheerfully on the child when they met him, and say,
" Good-day, lad," as heartily as if they thought him
the best boy in the place. No one seemed to bear
Martin Rattler ill-will, notwithstanding his alleged
badness. Men laughed when they said he was a bad
boy, as if they did not quite believe their own asser-
tion. The vicar, an old white-headed man, with a
kind, hearty countenance, said that the child was full
of mischief-full of mischief; but he would improve
as he grew older, he was quite certain of that. And
the vicar was a good judge, for he had five boys of his
own, besides three other boys, the sons of a distant
relative, who boarded with him; and he had lived
forty years in a parish 11 i... in.'g with boys, and he
was particularly fond of boys in general. Not so the
doctor, a pursy little man with a terrific frown, who
hated boys, especially little ones, with a very power-
ful hatred. The doctor said that Martin was a scamp.
And yet Martin had not the appearance of a
scamp. He had fat rosy cheeks, a round rosy mouth,
a straight, delicately-formed nose, a firm, massive
chin, and a broad forehead. But the latter was
seldom visible, owing to the thickly-clustering fair
curls that overhung it. When asleep, Martin's face
was the perfection of gentle innocence. But the
instant he opened his dark-brown eyes, a thousand
dimples and wrinkles played over his visage, chiefly
at the corners of his mouth and round his eyes, as
if the spirit of fun and the spirit of mischief had
got entire possession of the boy, and were determined
to make the most of him. When deeply interested
in anything, Martin was as grave and serious as a
Aunt Dorothy Grumbit had a turned-up nose--
a very much turned-up nose; so much so, indeed,
that it presented a front view of the nostrils! It
was an aggravating nose, too, for the old lady's
spectacles refused to rest on any part of it except
the extreme point. Mrs. Grumbit invariably placed
them on the right part of her. nose, and they as
invariably slid down the curved slope until they
were brought up by the little hillock at the end.
There they condescended to repose in peace.
Mrs. Grumbit was mild, and gentle, and little,
and thin, and old-perhaps seventy-five; but no
one knew her age for certain, not even herself. She
wore an old-fashioned, high-crowned cap, and a gown
of bed-curtain chintz, with flowers on it the size of
a saucer. It was a curious gown, and very cheap,
for Mrs. Grumbit was poor. No one knew the
extent of her poverty any more than they did her
age; but she herself knew it, and felt it deeply-
never so deeply, perhaps, as when her orphan nephew
Martin grew old enough to be put to school and she
had not wherewithal to send him. But love is quick-
witted and resolute. A residence of six years in
Germany had taught her to knit stockings at a rate
that cannot be described, neither conceived unless seen.
She knitted two dozen pairs. The vicar took one
dozen, the doctor took the other. The fact soon
became known. Shops were not numerous in the
village in those days, and the wares they supplied
were only second-rate. Orders came pouring in;
Mrs. Grumbit's knitting-wires clicked, and her little
old hands wagged with incomprehensible rapidity and
unflagging regularity; and Martin Rattler was sent
While occupied with her knitting she sat in a high-
backed chair in a very small deep window, through
which the sun streamed nearly the whole day, and
out of which there was the most charming imaginable
view of the gardens and orchards of the villagers,
with a little dancing brook in the midst, and the
green fields of the farmers beyond, studded with sheep
and cattle and knolls of woodland, and bounded in
the far distance by the bright blue sea. It was a
lovely scene, such an one as causes the eye to brighten
and the heart to melt as we gaze upon it and think,
perchance, of its Creator.
Yes, it was a scene worth looking at; but Mrs,
Grumbit never looked at it, for the simple reason that
MARTIN RATTLER. 13
she could not have seen it if she had. Half way
across her own little parlour was the extent of her
natural vision. By the aid of spectacles and a steady,
concentrated effort she could see the fireplace at the
other end of the room, and the portrait of her deceased
husband, who had been a sea-captain, and the white
kitten that usually sat on the rug before the fire. To
be sure she saw them very indistinctly. The picture
was a hazy blue patch, which was the captain's coat;
with a white patch down the middle of it, which was
his waistcoat; and a yellow ball on the top of it,
which was his head. It was rather an indistinct and
generalized view, no doubt, but she saw it, and that
was a great comfort.
F IRE was the cause of Martin's getting into dis-
grace at school for the first time; and this is
how it happened.
Go and poke the fire, Martin Rattler," said the
schoolmaster, and put on a bit of coal; and see that
you don't send the sparks flying about the floor."
Martin sprang with alacrity to obey, for he was
standing up with the class at the time, and was glad
of the temporary relaxation. He stirred the fire with
great care, and put on several pieces of coal very
slowly, and rearranged them two or three times,
after which he stirred the fire a little more, and
examined it carefully to see that it was all right.
But he did not seem quite satisfied, and was proceeding
to readjust the coals when Bob Croaker, one of the
big boys, who was a bullying, ill-tempered fellow, and
had a spite against Martin, called out,-
Please, sir, Rattler's playing' at the fire."
: Come back to your place, sir !" cried the master
Martin returned in haste, and resumed his position
in the class. As he did so he observed that his fore-
finger was covered with soot. Immediately a smile
of glee overspread his features, and while the master
was busy with one of the boys, he drew his black
finger gently down the forehead and nose of the boy
next to him.
"What part of the earth was peopled by the
descendants of Ham ? cried the master, pointing to
Shem," shrieked a small boy near the foot of the
"Silence!" thundered the master, with a frown
that caused the small boy to quake down to the
points of his toes.
"Asia," answered dux.
Next ? "
"Next, next, next ? Hallo! John Ward," cried
the master, starting up in anger from his seat, what
do you mean by that, sir ?"
What, sir ?" said John Ward, tremulously, while
a suppressed titter ran round the class.
Your face, sir Who blacked your face, eh ? "
I-I-don't know," said the boy, drawing his
sleeve across his face, which had the effect of covering
it with sooty streaks.
An uncontrollable shout of laughter burst from the
whole school, which was instantly followed by a
silence so awful and profound that a pin might have
been heard to fall.
Martin Rattler, you did that I know you did;
I see the marks on your fingers. Come here, sir
Now tell me, did you do it ? "
Martin Rattler never told falsehoods. His old
aunt had laboured to impress upon him from infancy
that to lie was to commit a sin which is abhorred by
God and scorned by man, and her teaching had not
been in vain. The child would have suffered any
punishment rather than have told a deliberate lie.
He looked straight in the master's face, and said,
"Yes, sir, I did it."
Very well, go to your seat, and remain in school
during the play-hour."
With a heavy heart Martin obeyed, and soon after
the school was dismissed.
"I say, Rattler," whispered Bob Croaker, as he
passed, I'm going to teach your white kitten to swim
just now. Won't you come and see it ?"
The malicious laugh with which the boy accom-
panied this remark convinced Martin that he intended
to put his threat in execution. For a moment he
thought of rushing out after him to protect his pet
kitten; but a glance at the stern brow of the master,
as he sat at his desk reading, restrained him, so, crush-
ing down his feelings of mingled fear and anger, he
endeavoured to while away the time by watching the
boys as they played in the fields before the windows
of the school
The great fight.
ARTIN !" said the schoolmaster, in a severe
tone, looking up from the book with which
he was engaged, don't look out at the window, sir;
turn your back to it."
"Please, sir, I can't help it," replied the boy,
trembling with eagerness as he stared across the
Turn your back on it, I say!" reiterated the
master in a loud tone, at the same time striking the
desk violently with his cane.
0 sir, let me out! There's Bob Croaker with
my kitten. He's going to drown it. I know he is-
he said he would; and if he does, aunty will die, for
she loves it next to me. And I must save it; and-
and if you don't let me out-you'll be a murderer !"
At this concluding burst, Martin sprang forward
and stood before his master with clinched fists and
a face blazing with excitement. The schoolmaster's
gaze of astonishment gradually gave place to a dark
frown strangely mingled with a smile, and, when the
boy concluded, he said quietly, You may go."
No second bidding was needed. The door flew
open with a bang, and the gravel of the playground,
spurned right and left, dashed against the window
panes as Martin flew across it. The paling that
fenced it off from the fields below was low, but too
high for a jump. Never a boy in all the school had
crossed that paling at a spring without laying his
hands upon it, but Martin did. We do not mean to
say that he did anything superhuman; but he rushed
at it like a charge of cavalry, sprang from the ground
like a deer, kicked away the top bar, tumbled com-
pletely over, landed on his head, and rolled down the
slope on the other side as fast as he could have run
It would have required sharper eyes than yours
or mine to have observed how Martin got on his legs
again; but he did it in a twinkling, and was half
across the field almost before you could wink, and
panting on the heels of Bob Croaker. Bob saw him
coming, and instantly started off at a hard run, fol-
lowed by the whole school. A few minutes brought
them to the banks of the stream, where Bob Croaker
halted, and, turning round, held the white kitten up
by the nape of the neck.
Oh, spare it! spare it, Bob !-don't do it-please
don't, don't do it!" gasped Martin, as he strove in
vain to run faster.
"There you go !" shouted Bob, with a coarse laugh,
sending the kitten high into the air, whence it fell
with a loud splash into the water.
It was a dreadful shock to feline nerves, no doubt,
but that white kitten was no ordinary animal. Its
little heart beat bravely when it rose to the surface,
and before its young master came up it had regained
the bank. But, alas! what a change It went into
the stream a fat, round, comfortable ball of eider-
down; it came out-a scraggy blotch of white paint,
with its black eyes glaring like two great glass beads!
No sooner did it crawl out of the water than Bob
Croaker seized it, and whirled it round his head, amid
suppressed cries of Shame!" intending to throw it
in again; but at that instant Martin Rattler seized
Bob by the collar of his coat with both hands, and
letting himself drop suddenly, dragged the cruel boy to
the ground, while the kitten crept humbly away and
hid itself in a thick tuft of grass.
A moment sufficed to enable Bob Croaker, who
was nearly twice Martin's weight, to free himself
from the grasp of his panting antagonist, whom he
threw on his back, and doubled his fist, intending to
strike Martin on the face; but a general rush of the
boys prevented this.
Shame, shame fair play !" cried several; "don't
hit him when he's down I"
"Then let him rise up and come on cried Bob
fiercely, as he sprang up and released Martin.
"Ay, that's fair. Now then, Martin, remember
Strike men of your own size!" cried several of
the bigger boys, as they interposed to prevent Martin
from rushing into the unequal contest.
So I will," cried Bob Croaker, glaring round with
passion. Come on, any of you that likes. I don't
care a button for the biggest of you."
No one accepted this challenge, for Bob was the
oldest and the strongest boy in the school, although,
as is usually the case with bullies, by no means the
Seeing that no one intended to fight with him, and
that a crowd of boys strove to hold Martin Rattler
back, while they assured him that he had not the
smallest chance in the world, Bob turned towards the
kitten, which was quietly and busily employed in
licking itself dry, and said, "Now, Martin, you
coward, I'll give it another swim for your impu-
"Stop, stop!" cried Martin earnestly. "Bob
Croaker, I would rather do anything than fight. I
would give you everything I have to save my kitten;
but if you won't spare it unless I fight, I'll do it.
If you throw it in before you fight me, you're the
greatest coward that ever walked. Just give me
five minutes to breathe, and a drink of water, and
I'll fight you as long as I can stand."
Bob looked at his little foe in surprise. Well,
that's fair. I'm your man; but if you don't lick
me, I'll drown the kitten, that's all." Having said
this, he quietly divested himself of his jacket and
neckcloth, while several boys assisted Martin to do
the same, and brought him a draught of water in the
crown of one of their caps. In five minutes all was
ready, and the two boys stood face to face and foot
to foot, with their fists doubled, and revolving, and
a ring of boys around them.
Just at this critical moment the kitten, having
found the process of licking itself dry more fatiguing
than it had expected, gave vent to a faint mew of
distress. It was all that was wanting to set Martin's
indignant heart into a blaze of inexpressible fury.
Bob Croaker's visage instantly received a shower of
sharp, stinging blows, that had the double effect of
taking that youth by surprise and throwing him
down upon the greensward. But Martin could not
hope to do this a second time. Bob now knew the
vigour of his assailant, and braced himself warily to
the combat, commencing operations by giving Martin
a tremendous blow on the point of his nose, and an-
other on the chest. These had the effect of tempering
Martin's rage with a salutary degree of caution, and
of eliciting from the spectators sundry cries of warn-
ing on the one hand, and admiration on the other,
while the young champions revolved warily round
each other, and panted vehemently.
The battle that was fought that day was one of
a thousand. It created as great a sensation in the
village school as did the battle of Waterloo in En-
gland. It was a notable fight, such as had not taken
place within the memory of the oldest boy in the
village, and from which, in after years, events of
juvenile history were dated- especially pugilistic
events, of which, when a good one came off, it used
to be said that "such a battle had not taken place
since the year of the Great F'.,:i." Bob Croaker
was a noted fighter. Martin Rattler was, up to this
date, an untried hero. Although fond of rough play
and boisterous mischief, he had an unconquerable
aversion to earnest fighting, and very rarely indeed
returned home with a black eye-much to the satis-
faction of Aunt Dorothy Grumbit, who objected to all
fighting from principle, and frequently asserted, in
gentle tones, that there should be no soldiers or
sailors (fighting sailors, she meant) at all, but that
people ought all to settle everything the best way
they could without fighting, and live peaceably with
one another, as the Bible told them to do. They
would be far happier and better off, she was sure of
that; and if everybody was of her way of thinking,
there would be neither swords, nor guns, nor pistols,
nor squibs, nor anything else at all! Dear old lady T
It would indeed be a blessing if her principles could
be carried out in this warring and jarring world.
But as this is rather difficult, what we ought to be
careful about is, that we never fight except in a good
cause and with a clear conscience.
It was well for Martin Rattler, on that great day,
that the formation of the ground favoured him. The
spot on which the fight took place was uneven, and
covered with little hillocks and hollows, over which
Bob Croaker stumbled and into which he fell-being
a clumsy boy on his legs-and did himself consider-
able damage; while Martin, who was firmly knit and
active as a kitten, scarcely ever fell, or, if he did,
sprang up again like an indiarubber ball. Fair play
was embedded deep in the centre of Martin's heart,
so that he scorned to hit his adversary when he was
down or in the act of rising; but the thought of the
fate that awaited the white kitten if he were con-
quered acted like lightning in his veins, and scarcely
had Bob time to double his fists after a fall, when he
was knocked back again into the hollow out of which
he had risen. There were no rounds in this fight-
no pausing to recover breath. Martin's anger rose
with every blow, whether given or received; and
although he was knocked down flat four or five times,
he rose again, and, without a second's delay, rushed
headlong at his enemy. Feeling that he was too
little and light to make much impression on Bob
Croaker by means of mere blows, he endeavoured as
much as possible to throw his weight against him at
each assault; but Bob stood his ground well, and
after a time seemed even to be recovering strength
Suddenly he made a rush at Martin, and, dealing
him a successful blow on the forehead, knocked him
down; at the same time he himself tripped over a
mole-hill and fell upon his face. Both were on their
legs in an instant. Martin grew desperate. The
white kitten swimming for its life seemed to rise
before him, and new energy was infused into his
frame, He retreated a step or two, and then darted
forward like an arrow from a bow. Uttering a loud
cry, he sprang completely in the air and plunged-
head and fists together, as if he were taking a dive--
into Bob Croaker's bosom! The effect was tremen-
dous. Bob went down like a shock of grain before
the sickle; and having, in their prolonged movements,
approached close to the brink of the stream, both he
and Martin went with a sounding splash into the
deep pool and disappeared. It was but for a moment,
however. Martin's head emerged first, with eyes and
mouth distended to the utmost. Instantly, on finding
bottom, he turned to deal his opponent another blow;
but it was not needed. When Bob Croaker's head
rose to the surface there was no motion in the features,
and the eyes were closed. The intended blow was
changed into a friendly grasp, and exerting himself
to the utmost, Martin .1,.,._...1 his insensible school-
fellow to the bank, where, in a few minutes, he
recovered sufficiently to declare in a sulky tone that
he would fight no more.
"Bob Croaker," said Martin, holding out his hand,
" I'm sorry we've had to fight. I wouldn't have done
it but to save my kitten. You compelled me to do
it, you know that. Come, let's be friends again."
Bob made no reply, but slowly and with some
difficulty put on his vest and jacket.
I'm sure," continued Martin, "there's no reason
in bearing me ill-will. I've done nothing unfair, and
I'm very sorry we've had to fight. Won't you shake
hands ? "
Bob was silent.
Come, come, Bob!" cried several of the bigger
boys, "don't be sulky, man; shake hands and be
friends. Martin has licked you this time, and
you'll lick him next time, no doubt, and that's all
"Arrah, then, ye're out there entirely. Bob
Croaker'll niver lick Martin Rattler, though he wos
to live to the age of the great M'Thuselah," said a
deep-toned voice close to the spot where the fight had
All eyes were instantly turned in the direction
whence it proceeded, and the boys now became aware,
for the first time, that the combat had been witnessed
by a sailor, who, with a smile of approval beaming on
his good-humoured countenance, sat under the shade of
a neighboring tree smoking a pipe of that excessive
shortness and blackness that seems to be peculiarly
beloved by Irishmen in the humbler ranks of life.
The man was very tall and broad-shouldered, and
carried himself with a free-and-easy swagger, as he
rose and approached the group of boys.
"He'll niver bate ye, Martin, avic, as long as
there's two timbers of ye houldin' together." The
seaman patted Martin on the head as he spoke; and,
turning to Bob Croaker, continued: "Ye ought to be
proud, ye spalpeen, o' bein' wopped by sich a young
hero as this. Come here and shake hands with him;
d'ye hear ? Troth, an' it's besmearin' ye with too
much honour that same. There, that'll do. Don't say
ye're sorry now, for it's lies ye'd be tellin' if ye did.
Come along, Martin, an' I'll convarse with ye as ye
go home. Ye'll be a man yet, as sure as my name is
Martin took the white kitten in his arms and
thrust its wet little body into his equally wet bosom,
where the warmth began soon to exercise a soothing
influence on the kitten's depressed spirits, so that, ere
long, it began to purr. He then walked with the
sailor towards the village, with his face black and
blue, and swelled and covered with blood, while
Bob Croaker and his companions returned to the
The distance to Martin's residence was not great,
but it was sufficient to enable the voluble Irishman
to recount a series of the most wonderful adventures
and stories of foreign lands that set Martin's heart on
fire with desire to go to sea-a desire which was by
no means new to him, and which recurred violently
every time he paid a visit to the small sea-port of
Bilton, which lay about five miles to the southward
of his native village. Moreover, Barney suggested
that it was time Martin should be doing for himself
(he was now ten years old), and said that if he would
join his ship he could get him a berth, for he was
much in want of an active lad to help him with the
coppers. But Martin Rattler sighed deeply, and said
that, although his heart was set upon going to sea, he
did not see how it was to be managed, for his aunt
would not let him go.
Before they separated, however, it was arranged
that Martin should pay the sailor's ship a visit, when
he would hear a good deal more about foreign lands;
and that, in the meantime, he should make another
attempt to induce Aunt Dorothy Grumbit to give her
consent to his going to sea.
A lesson to all stockim -knolitters-Miartim's prospects bcgn to open up.
N the small sea-port of Bilton, before mentioned,
there dwelt an old and wealthy merchant and
ship-owner, who devoted a small portion of his time
to business, and a very large portion of it to what
is usually termed doing good." This old gentleman
was short, and stout, and rosy, and bald, and active,
and sharp as a needle.
In the short time that Mr. Arthur Jollyboy devoted
to business, he accomplished as much as most men do
in the course of a long day. There was not a be-
nevolent society in the town of which Arthur Jolly-
boy, Esquire, of the Old Hulk (as he styled his
cottage), was not a member, director, secretary, and
treasurer, all in one, and all at once! If it had been
possible for man to be ubiquitous, Mr. Jollyboy would
have been so naturally, or, if not naturally, he would
have made himself so by force of will. Yet he made
no talk about it. His step was quiet, though quick;
and his voice was gentle, though rapid; and he
was chiefly famous for talking little and *1...:',
Some time after the opening of our tale, Mr. Jolly-
boy had received information of Mrs. Grumbit's stock-
ing movement. That same afternoon he put on his
broad-brimmed white hat, and walking out to the
village in which she lived, called upon the vicar, who
was a particular and intimate friend of his. Having
ascertained from the vicar that Mrs. Grumbit would
not accept of charity, he said abruptly,-
And why not-is she too proud ?"
"By no means," replied the vicar. "She says
that she would think shame to take money from
friends as long as she can work, because every penny
that she would thus get would be so much less to go
to the helpless poor, of whom, she says, with much
truth, there are enough and to spare. And I quite
agree with her as regards her principle; but it does
not apply fully to her, for she cannot work so as to
procure a sufficient livelihood without injury to her
Is she clever ?" inquired Mr. Jollyboy.
Why, no, not particularly. In fact, she does not
often exert her reasoning faculties, except in the com-
monplace matters of ordinary and everyday routine."
Then she's cleverer than most people," said Mr.
Jollyboy, shortly. Is she obstinate ?"
No, not in the least," returned the vicar with a
Ah, well, good-bye, good-bye; that's all I want
Mr. Jollyboy rose, and hurrying through the vil-
lage tapped at the cottage door, and was soon closeted
with Mrs. Dorothy Grumbit. In the course of half-
an-hour, Mr. Jollyboy drew from Mrs. Grumbit as
much about her private affairs as he could, without
appearing rude. But he found the old lady very
close and sensitive on that point. Not so, however,
when he got her upon the subject of her nephew.
She had enough, and more than enough, to say about
him. It is true she began by remarking sadly that
he was a very bad boy; but as she continued to
talk about him, she somehow or other gave her
visitor the impression that he was a very good boy !
They had a wonderfully long and confidential talk
about Martin, during which Mr. Jollyboy struck Mrs.
Grumbit nearly dumb with horror by stating pos-
itively that he would do for the boy-he would
send him to sea! Then, seeing that he had hit the
wrongest possible nail on the head, he said that he
would make the lad a clerk in his office, where he
would be sure to rise to a place of trust; whereat
Mrs. Grumbit danced, if we may so speak, into her-
self for joy.
And now, ma'am, about these stockings. I want
two thousand pairs as soon as I can get them !"
Sir ?" said Mrs. Grumbit.
Of course, not for my own use, ma'am; nor for
the use of my family, for I have no family, and if I
had, that would be an unnecessarily large supply.
The fact is, Mrs. Grumbit, I am a merchant, and I
send very large supplies of home-made articles to
foreign lands, and two thousand pairs of socks are a
mere driblet. Of course I do not expect you to
make them all for me, but I wish you to make as
many pairs as you can."
I shall be very happy-" began Mrs. Grumbit.
But, Mrs. Grumbit, there is a peculiar formation
which I require in my socks that will give you extra
trouble, I fear ; but I must have it, whatever the
additional expense may be. What is your charge
for the pair you are now making ?"
Three shillings," said Mrs. Grumbit.
Ah very good. Now, take up the wires, if you
please, ma'am, and do what I tell you. Now, drop
that stitch-good; and take up this one-capital;
and pull this one across that way-so; and that
one across this way-exactly. Now, what is the
The result was a complicated knot; and Mrs.
Grumbit, after staring a few seconds at the old
gentleman in surprise, said so, and begged to know
what use it was of.
Oh, never mind, never mind. We merchants
have strange fancies, and foreigners have curious
tastes now and then. Please to make all my socks
with a hitch like that in them all round, just above
the ankle. It will form an ornamental ring. I'm
sorry to put you to the trouble, but of course I pay
extra for fancy-work. Will six shillings a pair do
for these ?"
My dear sir," said Mrs. Grumbit, it is no ad-
Well, well, never mind," said Mr. Jollyboy.
"Two thousand pairs, remember, as soon as pos-
sible close knitted, plain stitch, rather coarse
worsted; and don't forget the hitch, Mrs. Grumbit,
don't forget the hitch."
Ah reader, there are many Mrs. Grumbits in
this world requiring hitches to be made in their
At this moment the door burst open. Mrs. Doro-
thy Grumbit uttered a piercing scream, Mr. Jollyboy
dropped his spectacles and sat down on his hat, and
Martin Rattler stood before them with the white
kitten in his arms.
For a few seconds there was a dead silence, while
an expression of puzzled disappointment passed over
Mr. Jollyboy's ruddy countenance. At last he said,--
Is this, madam, the nephew who, you told me a
little ago, is not addicted to fighting ?"
Yes," answered the old lady faintly, and cover-
ing her eyes with her hands, that is Martin."
If my aunt told you that, sir, she told you the
truth," said Martin, setting down the blood-stained
white kitten, which forthwith began to stretch its
limbs and lick itself dry. I don't ever fight if I
can help it, but I couldn't help it to-day."
With a great deal of energy, and a revival of
much of his former indignation when he spoke of
the kitten's sufferings, Martin recounted all the cir-
cumstances of the fight; during the recital of which
Mrs. Dorothy Grumbit took his hand in hers and
patted it, gazing the while into his swelled visage,
and weeping plentifully, but very silently. When
he had finished, Mr. Jollyboy shook hands with him,
and said he was a trump, at the same time recom-
mending him to go and wash his face. Then he
whispered a few words in Mrs. Grumbit's ear, which
36 MARTIN RATTLER.
seemed to give that excellent lady much pleasure;
after which he endeavoured to straighten his crushed
hat, in which attempt he failed; took his leave, and
promised to call again very soon, and went back to
the Old Hulk-chuckling.
Martin, being willing to go to sea, goes to sea against his will.
FOUR years rolled away, casting chequered light
and shadow over the little village of Ashford
in their silent passage-whitening the forelocks of
the aged, and strengthening the muscles of the young.
Death, too, touched a hearth here and there, and
carried desolation to a home; for four years cannot
wing their flight without enforcing on us the lesson
-which we are so often taught, and yet take so
long to learn-that this is not our rest, that here
we have no abiding city. Did we but ponder this
lesson more frequently and earnestly, instead of mak-
ing us sad, it would nerve our hearts and hands to
fight and work more diligently-to work in the cause
of our Redeemer-the only cause that is worth the
life-long energy of immortal beings-the great cause
that includes all others; and it would teach us to
remember that our little day of opportunity will soon
be spent, and that the night is at hand in which no
man can work.
Four years rolled away, and during this time Mar-
tin, having failed to obtain his aunt's consent to his
going to sea, continued at school, doing his best to
curb the roving spirit that strove within him. Mar-
tin was not particularly bright at the dead languages;
to the rules of grammar he entertained a rooted aver-
sion; and at history he was inclined to yawn, except
when it happened to touch upon the names and deeds
of such men as Vasco di Gama and Columbus. But
in geography he was perfect; and in arithmetic and
book-keeping he was quite a proficient, to the delight
of Mrs. Dorothy Grumbit, whose household books he
summed up, and to the satisfaction of his fast friend,
Mr. Arthur Jollyboy, whose ledgers he was-in that
old gentleman's secret resolves-destined to keep.
Martin was now fourteen, broad and strong, and
tall for his age. He was the idol of the school-
dashing, daring, reckless, and good-natured. There
was almost nothing that he would not attempt, and
there were very few things that he could not do.
He never fought, however-from principle; and his
strength and size often saved him from the necessity.
But he often prevented other boys from -1]ti,!_, ex-
cept when he thought there was good reason for it;
then he stood by and saw fair play. There was a
strange mixture of philosophical gravity, too, in Mar-
tin. As he grew older he became more enthusiastic
and less boisterous.
Bob Croaker was still at the school, and was, from
prudential motives, a fast friend of Martin. But he
bore him a secret grudge, for he could not forget the
One day Bob took Martin by the arm and said,
"I say, Rattler, come with me to Bilton and have
some fun among the shipping.'
"Well, I don't mind if I do," said Martin. I'm
just in the mood for a ramble, and I'm not expected
home till bed-time."
In little more than an hour the two boys were
wandering about the dockyards of the sea-port town,
and deeply engaged in examining the complicated
rigging of the ships. While thus occupied, the clank-
ing of a windlass and the merry, Yo heave ho !
and away she goes," of the sailors, attracted their
"Hallo! there goes the F't -*., bound for the
South Seas," cried Bob Croaker; come, let's see
her start. I say, Martin, isn't your friend, Barney
O'Flannagan, on board ?"
Yes, he is. He tries to get me to go out every
voyage, and I wish I could. Come quickly; I want
to say good-bye to him before he starts."
"Why don't you run away, Rattler ?" inquired
Bob, as they hurried round the docks to where the
vessel was warping out.
Because I don't need to. My aunt has given
me leave to go if I like; but she says it would break
her heart if I do, and I would rather be screwed
down to a desk for ever than do that, Bob Croaker."
The vessel, upon the deck of which the two boys
now leaped, was a large, heavy-built barque. Her
sails were hanging loose, and the captain was giving
orders to the men, who had their attention divided
between their duties on board and their mothers,
wives, and sisters, who still lingered to take a last
"Now, then, those who don't want to go to sea
had better go ashore," roared the captain.
There was an immediate rush to the side.
I say, Martin," whispered Barney, as he hurried
past, "jump down below forward; you can go out o'
the harbour mouth with us, and get ashore in one o'
the shore-boats alongside. They'll not cast off till
we're well out. I want to speak to you-"
Man the fore-top-sail halyards," shouted the first
"Ay, ay, sir-r-r!" and the men sprang to obey.
Just then the ship touched on the bar at the mouth
of the harbour, and in another moment she was
There, now, she's hard and fast !" roared the cap-
tain, as he stormed about the deck in a paroxysm of
rage. But man's rage could avail nothing. They
had missed the passage by a few feet, and now they
had to wait the fall and rise again of the tide ere
they could hope to get off.
In the confusion that followed, Bob Croaker sug-
gested that Martin and he should take one of the
punts, or small boats, which hovered round the vessel,
and put out to sea, where they might spend the day
pleasantly in rowing and fishing.
Capital !" exclaimed Martin. Let's go at once.
Yonder's a little fellow who will let us have his punt
for a few pence. I know him.-Hallo, Tom !"
Ay, ay," squeaked a boy, who was so small that
he could scarcely lift the oar, light though it was,
with which he sculled his punt cleverly along.
"Shove alongside, like a good fellow ; we want
your boat for a little to row out a bit."
It's a-blowin' too hard," squeaked the small boy,
as he ranged alongside. "I'm afeard you'll be
Nonsense !" cried Bob Croaker, grasping the rope
which the boy threw to him. "Jump on board,
younker; we don't want you to help us, and you're
too heavy for ballast. Slip down the side, Martin,
and get in while I hold on to the rope. All right ?
Now I'll follow. Here, shrimp, hold the rope till I'm
in, and then cast off. Look alive !"
As Bob spoke, he handed the rope to the little
boy, but in doing so let it accidentally slip out of
Catch hold o' the main chains, Martin-quick !"
But Martin was too late. The current that swept
out of the harbour whirled the light punt away from
the ship's side and carried it out seaward. Martin
instantly sprang to the oar, and turned the boat's
head round. He was a stout and expert rower, and
would soon have regained the ship; but the wind
increased at the moment, and blew in a squall off
shore, which carried him farther out despite his ut-
most efforts. Seeing that all further attempts were
useless, Martin stood up and waved his hand to Bob
Croaker, shouting as he did so, Never mind, Bob,
I'll make for the South Point. Run round and meet
me, and we'll row back together."
The South Point was a low cape of land which
stretched a considerable distance out to sea, about
three miles to the southward of Bilton harbour. It
formed a large bay, across which, in ordinary weather,
a small boat might be rowed in safety. Martin Rat-
tler was well known at the sea-port as a strong and
fearless boy, so that no apprehension was entertained
for his safety by those who saw him blown away.
Bob Croaker immediately started for the Point on
foot, a distance of about four miles by land; and the
crew of the F' i. .'. were so busied with their stranded
vessel that they took no notice of the doings of
But the weather now became more and more stormy.
Thick clouds gathered on the horizon. The wind
began to blow with steady violence, and shifted a
couple of points to the southward, so that Martin
found it impossible to keep straight for the Point.
Still he worked perseveringly at his single oar, and
sculled rapidly over the sea; but as he approached
the Point, he soon perceived that no effort of which
he was capable could enable him to gain it. But
Martin's heart was stout. He strove with all the
energy of hope until the Point was passed; and then,
turning the head of his little boat towards it, he
strove with all the energy of despair, until he fell
down exhausted. The wind and tide swept him
rapidly out to sea, and when his terrified comrade
reached the Point, the little boat was but a speck on
the seaward horizon.
Well was it then for Martin Rattler that a friendly
heart beat for him on board the 7F',. j i. Bob Croaker
carried the news to the town, but no one was found
daring enough to risk his life out in a boat on that
stormy evening. The little punt had been long out
of sight ere the news reached them, and the wind
had increased to a gale. But Barney O'Flannagan
questioned Bob Croaker closely, and took particular
note of the point of the compass at which Martin
had disappeared; and when the F', fJ at length got
under way, he climbed to the fore-top cross-trees, and
stood there scanning the horizon with an anxious
It was getting dark, and a feeling of despair began
to creep over the seaman's heart as he gazed round
the wide expanse of water, on which nothing was to
be seen except the white foam that crested the rising
Starboard, hard !" he shouted suddenly.
Starboard it is !" replied the man at the wheel,
with prompt obedience.
In another moment Barney slid down the back-
stay and stood on the deck, while the ship rounded
to, and narrowly missed striking a small boat that
floated keel up on the water. There was no cry
from the boat; and it might have been passed as a
mere wreck, had not the lynx-eye of Barney noticed
a dark object clinging to it.
Lower away a boat, lads," cried the Irishman,
springing overboard, and the words had scarcely
passed his lips when the water closed over his head.
The I'.". d. was hove to. a boat was lowered and
rowed towards Barney, whose strong voice guided his
shipmates towards him. In less than a quarter of an
hour the bold sailor and his young friend Martin
Rattler were safe on board, and the ship's head was
again turned out to sea.
It was full half-an-hour before Martin was re-
stored to consciousness in the forecastle, to which his
deliverer had conveyed him.
Musha, lad, but ye're booked for the blue weather
now, an' no mistake !' said Barney, looking with an
expression of deep sympathy at the poor boy, who
sat staring before him quite speechless. The cap-
ting '11 not let ye out o' this ship till ye git to the
Gould Coast, or some sich place. He couldn't turn
back av he wanted iver so much but he doesn't
want to, for he needs a smart lad like you, an' he'll
keep you now, for sartin."
Barney sat down by Martin's side and stroked his
fair curls, as he sought in his own quaint fashion to
console him. But in vain. Martin grew quite des-
operate as he thought of the misery into which poor
Aunt Dorothy Grumbit would be plunged, on learning
that he had been swept out to sea in a little boat,
and drowned, as she would naturally suppose. In
his frenzy he entreated and implored the captain to
send him back in the boat, and even threatened to
knock out his brains with a handspike if he did not;
but the captain smiled, and told him that it was his
own fault. He had no business to be putting to sea
in a small boat in rough weather; and he might be
thankful he wasn't drowned. He wouldn't turn back
now for fifty pounds twice told.
At length Martin became convinced that all hope
of returning home was gone. He went quietly be-
low, threw himself into one of the sailors' berths,
turned his face to the wall, and wept long and
Th6e oyage--A pirate, chase, wreck, and escape.
T IME reconciles a man to almost anything. In
the course of time Martin Rattler became re-
conciled to his fate, and went about the ordinary
duties of a cabin-boy on board the '..j.'j just as if
he had been appointed to that office in the ordinary
way-with the consent of the owners and by the
advice of his friends. The captain, Skinflint by
name, and as surly an old fellow as ever walked a
quarter-deck, agreed to pay him wages if he behaved
well." The steward, under whose immediate authority
he was placed, turned out to be a hearty, good-
natured young fellow, and was very kind to him.
But Martin's great friend was Barney O'Flannagan,
the cook, with whom he spent many an hour in the
night watches, talking over plans, and prospects, and
retrospects, and foreign lands.
As Martin had no clothes except those on his back,
which fortunately happened to be new and good,
Barney gave him a couple of blue striped shirts, and
made him a jacket, pantaloons, and slippers of canvas;
and, what was of much greater importance, taught
him how to make and mend the same for him-
Ye see, Martin, lad," he said, while thus employed
one day, many weeks after leaving port, it's a great
thing, entirely, to be able to help yerself. For my
part, I niver travel without my work-box in my
Your work-box i said Martin, laughing.
Jist so. An' it consists of wan sailmaker's
needle, a ball o' twine, and a clasp-knife. Set me
down with these before a roll o' canvas and I'll
make ye a'most anything."
You seem to have a turn for everything, Barney,"
said Martin. How came you to be a cook ? "
That's more nor I can tell ye, lad. As far as I
remember, I began with murphies, when I was two
foot high, in my father's cabin in would Ireland. But
that was on my own account entirely, and not as a
purfession; and a sorrowful time I had of it, too. for
I was for iver burnin' my fingers promiskiously, and
falling' into the fire very day more or less-"
Stand by to hoist top-gallant-sails !" shouted the
captain. How's her head ? "
"South and by east, sir," answered the man at the
"Keep her away two points. Look alive, lads.
Hand me the glass, Martin."
The ship was close hauled when these abrupt
orders were given, battling in the teeth of a stiff
breeze, off the coast of South America. About this
time several piratical vessels had succeeded in cutting
off a number of merchantmen near the coast of Brazil.
They had not only taken the valuable parts of their
cargoes, but had murdered the crews under circum-
stances of great cruelty. The ships trading to these
regions were, consequently, exceedingly careful to
avoid all suspicious craft as much as possible. It
was, therefore, with some anxiety that the men
watched the captain's face as he examined the strange
sail through the telescope.
"A Spanish schooner," muttered the captain, as he
shut up the glass with a bang. "I won't trust her.
Up with the royals and rig out stun'-sails, Mr. Wilson,
(to the mate). Let her fall away, keep her head nor'-
west, d'ye hear ?"
"Ay, ay, sir."
"Let go the lee braces and square the yards.
Look sharp, now, lads. If that blackguard gets hold
of us, ye'll have to walk the plank, every man of ye."
In a few minutes the ship's course was completely
altered; a cloud of canvas spread out from the yards,
and the F:,. ~ bounded on her course like a fresh
race-horse. But it soon became evident that the heavy
barque was no match for the schooner, which crowded
sail and bore down at a rate that bade fair to over-
haul them in a few hours. The chase continued till
evening, when suddenly the look-out at the mast-
head shouted, Land, ho "
Where away ? cried the captain.
Right ahead," sang out the man.
I'll run her ashore sooner than be taken," mut-
tered the captain, with an angry scowl at the schooner,
which was now almost within range on the weather
quarter, with the dreaded black flag flying at her
peak. In a few minutes breakers were described
D'ye see anything like a passage ? shouted the
Yes, sir; two points on the weather bow."
At this moment a white cloud burst from the
schooner's bow, and a shot, evidently from a heavy
gun, came ricochetting over the sea. It was well
aimed, for it cut right through the barque's main-
mast, just below the yard, and brought the main-top-
mast, with all the yards, sails, and gearing above it,
down upon the deck. The weight of the wreck, also,
carried away the fore-top-mast, and in a single instant
the F'l!. was completely disabled.
Lower away the boats," cried the captain. Look
alive, now; we'll give them the slip yet. It'll be
dark in two minutes."
The captain was right. In tropical regions there is
little or no twilight. Night succeeds day almost instan-
taneously. Before the boats were lowered and the men
embarked it was becoming quite dark. The schooner
observed the movement, however, and, as she did not
dare to venture through the reef in the dark, her boats
were also lowered, and the chase was recommended.
The reef was passed in safety, and now a hard
struggle took place, for the shore was still far distant.
As it chanced to be cloudy weather, the darkness
became intense, and progress could only be guessed at
by the sound of the oars; but these soon told too
plainly that the boats of the schooner were overtaking
those of the barque.
"Pull with a will, lads," cried the captain; "we
can't be more than half-a-mile from shore; give way,
Surely, captain, we can fight them; we've most of
us got pistols and cutlasses," said one of the men in a
Fight them cried the captain; "they're four
times our number, and every man armed to the teeth.
If ye don't fancy walking the plank or dancing on
nothing at the yard-arm, ye'd better pull away and
hold your jaw."
By this time they could just see the schooner's boats
in the dim light, about half musket range astern.
Back you' oars," shouted a stern voice in broken
English, or I blow you out de water in one oder
This order was enforced by a musket shot, which
whizzed over the boat within an inch of the captain's
head. The men ceased rowing, and the boats of the
pirate ranged close up.
Now then, Martin," whispered Barney O'Flannagan,
who sat at the bow oar, I'm goin' to swim ashore;
jist you slip arter me as quiet as ye can."
But the sharks suggested Martin.
Bad luck to them," said Barney as he slipped
over the side; "they're welcome to me. I'll take my
chance. They'll find me mortial tough, anyhow. Come
along, lad, look sharp "
Without a moment's hesitation Martin slid over the
gunwale into the sea, and, just as the pirate boats
grappled with those of the barque, he and Barney
found themselves gliding as silently as otters towards
the shore. So quietly had the manceuvre been ac-
complished, that the men in their own boat were
ignorant of their absence. In a few minutes they
were beyond the chance of detection.
Keep close to me, lad," whispered the Irishman.
If we separate in the darkness, we'll niver forgather
again. Catch should o' my shoulder if ye get blowed,
and splutter as much as ye like. They can't hear us
now, and it'll help to frighten the sharks."
"All right," replied Martin; I can swim like a
cork in such warm water as this. Just go a little
slower and I'll do famously."
Thus encouraging each other, and keeping close
together, lest they should get separated in the thick
darkness of the night, the two friends struck out
bravely for the shore.
Martin and Barney get lost in a great forest, where they see strange and
ON gaining the beach, the first thing that Barney
did, after shaking himself like a huge New-
foundland dog, was to ascertain that his pistol and
cutlass were safe; for, although the former could be
of no use in its present condition, still, as he saga-
ciously remarked, it was a good thing to have, for
they might chance to git powder wan day or other,
and the flint would make fire, anyhow." Fortunately
the weather was extremely warm; so they were
enabled to take off and wring their clothes without
much inconvenience, except that in a short time a
few adventurous mosquitoes -probably sea-faring
ones-came down out of the woods and attacked their
bare bodies so vigorously that they were fain to hurry
on their clothes again before they were quite dry.
The clouds began to clear away soon after they
landed, and the brilliant light of the southern con-
stellations revealed to them dimly the appearance of
the coast. It was a low sandy beach skirting the sea
and extending back for about a quarter of a mile in
the form of a grassy plain, dotted here and there with
scrubby underwood. Beyond this was a dark line of
forest. The light was not sufficient to enable them
to ascertain the appearance of the interior. Barney
and Martin now cast about in their minds how they
were to spend the night.
Ye see," said the Irishman, it's of no use goin'
to look for houses, because there's maybe none at all
on this coast; an' there's no sayin' but we may fall
in with savages-for them parts swarms with them;
so we'd better go into the woods an'-"
Barney was interrupted here by a low howl, which
proceeded from the woods referred to, and was most
unlike any cry they had ever heard before.
Och, but I'll think better of it. P'r'aps it'll be
as well not to go into the woods, but to camp where
I think so too," said Martin, searching about for
small twigs and drift-wood with which to make a
fire. There is no saying what sort of wild beasts
may be in the forest, so we had better wait till day-
A fire was quickly lighted by means of the pistol-
flint and a little dry grass, which, when well bruised
and put into the pan, caught a spark after one or two
attempts, and was soon blown into a flame. But no
wood large enough to keep the fire burning for any
length of time could be found; so Barney said he
would go up to the forest and fetch some. I'll lave
my shoes and socks, Martin, to dry at the fire. See
ye don't let them burn."
Traversing the meadow with hasty strides, the bold
sailor quickly reached the edge of the forest, where
he began to lop off several dead branches from the
trees with his cutlass. While thus engaged the howl
which had formerly startled him was repeated. Av
I only knowed what ye was," muttered Barney in a
serious tone, it would be some sort o' comfort."
A loud cry of a different kind here interrupted his
soliloquy, and soon after the first cry was repeated
louder than before.
Clinching his teeth and knitting his brows the per-
plexed Irishman resumed his work with a desperate
resolve not to be again interrupted. But he had
miscalculated the strength of his nerves. Albeit as
brave a man as ever stepped, when his enemy was
before him, Barney was, nevertheless, strongly imbued
with superstitious feelings; and the conflict between
his physical courage and his mental cowardice pro-
duced a species of wild exasperation, which, he often
asserted, was very hard to bear. Scarcely had he
resumed his work when a bat of enormous size
brushed past his nose so noiselessly that it seemed
more like a phantom than a reality. Barney had
never seen anything of the sort before, and a cold
perspiration broke out upon him when he fancied it
might be a ghost. Again the bat swept past close to
Musha, but I'll kill ye, ghost or no ghost," he
ejaculated, gazing all round into the gloomy depths
of the woods with his cutlass uplifted. Instead of
flying again in front of him, as he had expected, the
bat flew with a whirring noise past his ear. Down
came the cutlass with a sudden thwack, cutting deep
into the trunk of a small tree, which trembled under
the shock, and sent a shower of ripe nuts of a large
size down upon the sailor's head. Startled as he was,
he sprang backward with a wild cry; then, half
ashamed of his groundless fears, he collected the
wood he had cut, threw it hastily on his shoulder,
and went with a quick step out of the woods. In
doing so he put his foot upon the head of a small
snake, which wriggled up round his ankle and leg.
If there was anything on earth that Barney abhorred
and dreaded it was a snake. No sooner did he feel
its cold form writhing under his foot, than he uttered
a tremendous yell of terror, dropped his bundle of
sticks, and fled precipitately to the beach, where he
did not halt till he found himself knee-deep in the sea.
Och, Martin, boy," gasped the affrighted sailor,
"it's my belafe that all the evil spirits on arth live in
yonder wood; indeed I do."
Nonsense, Barney," said Martin, laughing; "there
are no such things as ghosts; at any rate I'm resolved
to face them, for if we don't get some sticks the fire
will go out and leave us very comfortless. Come;
I'll go up with you."
Put on yer shoes then, avic, for the sarpints are
no ghosts, anyhow, and I'm tould they're pisonous
They soon found the bundle of dry sticks that
Barney had thrown down, and returning with it to
the beach, they speedily kindled a roaring fire, which
made them feel quite cheerful. True, they had noth-
ing to eat; but having had a good dinner on board
the barque late that afternoon, they were not much
in want of food. While they sat thus on the sand of
the sea-shore, spreading their hands before the blaze
and talking over their strange position, a low rumbling
of distant thunder was heard. Barney's countenance
What's the matter, Barney ? inquired Martin, as
he observed his companion gaze anxiously up at the
Och, it's coming sure enough."
And what though it does come? returned Martin;
"we can creep under one of these thick bushes till the
shower is past."
"Did ye iver see a thunder-storm in the tropics? "
No, never," replied Martin.
Then, if ye don't want to feel and see it both at
wance, come with me as quick as iver ye can."
Barney started up as he spoke, stuck his cutlass
and pistol into his belt, and set off towards the woods
at a sharp run, followed closely by his wondering
Their haste was by no means unnecessary. Great
black clouds rushed up towards the zenith from all
points of the compass, and, just as they reached the
woods, darkness so thick that it might almost be felt
overspread the scene. Then there was a flash of
lightning so vivid that it seemed as if a bright day
had been created and extinguished in a moment,
leaving the darkness ten times more oppressive. It
was followed instantaneously by a crash and a pro-
longed rattle, that sounded as if a universe of solid
worlds were rushing into contact overhead and burst-
ing into atoms. The flash was so far useful to the
fugitives that it enabled them to observe a many-
stemmed tree with dense and heavy foliage, under
which they darted. They were just in time, and had
scarcely seated themselves among its branches when
the rain came down in a way not only that Martin
had never seen, but that he had never conceived of
before. It fell, as it were, in broad heavy sheets, and
its sound was a loud, continuous roar.
The wind soon after burst upon the forest and
added to the hideous shriek of elements. The trees
bent before it; the rain was whirled and dashed
about in water-spouts; and huge limbs were rent
from some of the larger trees with a crash like
thunder, and swept far away into the forest. The
very earth trembled and seemed terrified at the dread-
ful conflict going on above. It seemed to the two
friends as if the end of the world were come; and
they could do nothing but cower among the branches
of the tree and watch the storm in silence, while
they felt, in a way they had never before experienced,
how utterly helpless they were and unable to foresee
or avert the many dangers by which they were
surrounded, and how absolutely dependent they were
on God for protection.
For several hours the storm continued. Then it
ceased as suddenly as it had begun, and the bright
stars again shone down upon the peaceful scene.
When it was over, Martin and his comrade de-
scended the tree and endeavoured to find their way
back to the beach. But this was no easy matter.
The haste with which they had run into the woods,
and the confusion of the storm, had made them un-
certain in which direction it lay; and the more they
tried to get out, the deeper they penetrated into the
forest. At length, wearied with fruitless wandering
and stumbling about in the dark, they resolved to
spend the night where they were. Coming to a place
which was more open than usual, and where they
could see a portion of the starry sky overhead, they
sat down on a dry spot under the shelter of a spread-
ing tree, and, leaning their backs against the trunk,
very soon fell sound asleep.
An enchanting land-An uncomfortable bed, and a queer breakfast-Many
surprises and a few frights, together with ca notable discovery.
" 'VE woked in paradise!"
S Such was the exclamation that aroused Martin
Rattler on the morning after his landing on the coast
of South America. It was uttered by Barney O'Flan-
nagan, who lay at full length on his back, his head
propped up by a root of the tree under which they
had slept, and his eyes staring right before him with
an expression of concentrated amazement. When
Martin opened his eyes, he too was struck dumb with
surprise. And well might they gaze with astonish-
ment; for the last ray of departing daylight on the
night before had flickered over the open sea, and now
the first gleam of returning sunshine revealed to them
the magnificent forests of Brazil.
Yes, well might they gaze and gaze again in
boundless admiration; for the tropical sun shone down
on a scene of dazzling and luxuriant vegetation, so
resplendent that it seemed to them the realization of
a fairy tale. Plants and shrubs and flowers were
there of the most curious and brilliant description,
and of which they neither knew the uses nor the
names. Majestic trees were there with foliage of
every shape and size and hue-some with stems twenty
feet in circumference, others more slender in form,
straight and tall, and some twisted in a bunch to-
gether and rising upwards like fluted pillars; a few
had buttresses, or natural planks, several feet broad,
ranged all round their trunks, as if to support them;
while many bent gracefully beneath the load of their
clustering fruit and heavy foliage. Orange-trees with
their ripe fruit shone in the sunbeams like gold.
Stately palms rose above the surrounding trees and
waved their feathery plumes in the air, and bananas
with broad enormous leaves rustled in the breeze and
cast a cool shadow on the ground.
Well might they gaze in great surprise, for all
these curious and beautiful trees were surrounded by
and entwined in the embrace of luxuriant and re-
markable climbing-plants. The parasitic vanilla with
its star-like blossoms crept up their trunks and along
their branches, where it hung in graceful festoons, or
drooped back again almost to the ground. So rich
and numerous were these creepers that in many cases
they killed the strong giants whom they embraced
so lovingly. Some of them hung from the tree-tops
like stays from the masts of a ship, and many of them
mingled their brilliant flowers so closely with the
leaves that the climbing-plants and their supporters
could not be distinguished from each other, and it
seemed as though the trees themselves had become
gigantic flowering shrubs.
Birds, too, were there in myriads-and such birds!
Their feathers were green and gold and scarlet and
yellow and blue-fresh and bright and brilliant as
the sky beneath which they were nurtured. The great
toucan, with a beak nearly as big as his body, flew
clumsily from stem to stem. The tiny, delicate
humming-birds, scarce larger than bees, fluttered from
flower to flower and spray to spray like points of
brilliant green. But they were irritable, passionate
little creatures, these lovely things, and quarrelled
with each other and fought like very wasps! Enor-
mous butterflies, with wings of deep metallic blue,
shot past or hovered in the air like gleams of light;
and green paroquets swooped from tree to tree, and
chattered joyfully over their morning meal.
Well might they gaze with wonder, and smile too
with extreme merriment, for monkeys stared at them
from between the leaves with expressions of undis-
guised amazement, and bounded away shrieking and
chattering in consternation, swinging from branch to
branch with incredible speed, and not scrupling to use
each other's tails to swing by when occasion offered.
Some were big and red and ugly-as ugly as you can
possibly imagine, with blue faces and fiercely grinning
teeth; others were delicately formed, and sad of
countenance, as if they were for ever bewailing the
loss of near and dear relations, and could by no means
come at consolation; and some were small and pretty,
with faces no bigger than a halfpenny. As a general
rule, it seemed to Barney, the smaller the monkey the
longer the tail.
Yes, well might they gaze and gaze again in sur-
prise and in excessive admiration; and well might
Barney O'Flannagan-under the circumstances, with
such sights and sounds around him, and the delight-
ful odours of myrtle trees and orange blossoms and
the Cape jessamine stealing up his nostrils-deem
himself the tenant of another world, and evince his
conviction of the fact in that memorable expression-
" I've woked in paradise !"
But Barney began to find "paradise not quite so
comfortable as it ought to be; for when he tried to
get up he found his bones pained and stiff from sleep-
ing in damp clothes, and, moreover, his face was very
much swelled, owing to the myriads of mosquitoes
which had supped of it during the night.
"Arrah, then, won't ye be done ?" he cried angrily,
giving his face a slap that killed at least two or three
hundred of his tormentors. But thousands more
attacked him instantly, and he soon found out-what
every one finds out sooner or later in hot climates-
that patience is one of the best remedies for mosquito
bites. He also discovered shortly afterwards that
smoke is not a bad remedy, in connection with
"What are we to have for breakfast, Barney ?"
inquired Martin, as he rose and yawned and stretched
Help yersilf to what ye plase," said Barney, with
a polite bow, waving his hand round him, as if the
forest were his private property and Martin Rattler
his honoured guest.
"Well, I vote for oranges," said Martin, going to-
wards a tree which was laden with ripe fruit.
"An' I'll try plums, by way of variety," added his
In a few minutes several kinds of fruit and nuts
were gathered and spread at the foot of the tree under
which they had reposed. Then Barney proceeded to
kindle a fire; not that he had anything to cook, but he
said it looked sociable-like, and the smoke would keep
off the flies. The operation, however, was by no
means easy. Everything had been soaked by the rain
of the previous night, and a bit of dry grass could
scarcely be found. At length he procured a little,
and by rubbing it in the damp gunpowder which he
had extracted from his pistol, and drying it in the sun,
he formed a sort of tinder that caught fire after much
Some of the fruits they found to be good, others
bad. The good they ate, the bad they threw away.
After their frugal fare they felt much refreshed, and
then began to talk of what they should do.
"We can't live here with parrots and monkeys,
you know," said Martin; "we must try to find a
village or town of some sort, or get to the coast, and
then we shall perhaps meet with a ship."
"True, lad," replied Barney, knitting his brows
and looking extremely sagacious; the fact is, since
neither of us knows nothing about anything, or the
way to any place, my advice is to walk straight
forward till we come to something."
So think I," replied Martin; therefore the sooner
we set off the better."
Having no luggage to pack and no arrangements of
any kind to make, the two friends rose from their
primitive breakfast-table, and walked away straight
before them into the forest.
All that day they travelled patiently forward, con-
versing pleasantly about the various and wonderful
trees and flowers and animals they met with by the
way; but no signs were discovered that indicated the
presence of man. Towards evening, however, they
fell upon a track or footpath, which discovery rejoiced
them much; and here, before proceeding farther, they
sat down to eat a little more fruit-which indeed they
had done several times during the day. They walked
nearly thirty miles that day without seeing a human
being; but they met with many strange and beautiful
birds and beasts, some of which were of so fierce an
aspect that they would have been very glad to have
had guns to defend themselves with. Fortunately,
however, all the animals seemed to be much more
afraid of them than they were of the animals, so they
travelled in safety. Several times during the course
of the day they saw snakes and serpents, which glided
away into the jungle on their approach, and could not
be overtaken, although Barney made repeated darts
at them, intending to attack them with his cutlass,
which assaults always proved fruitless.
Once they were charged by a herd of peccaries-
a species of pig or wild hog--from which they escaped
by jumping actively to one side; but the peccaries
turned and rushed at them again, and it was only
by springing up the branches of a neighboring tree
that they escaped their fury. These peccaries are
the fiercest and most dauntless animals in the forests
of Brazil. They do not know what fear is; they will
rush in the face of anything; and, unlike all other
animals, are quite indifferent to the report of fire-arms.
Their bodies are covered with long bristles, resembling
very much the quills of the porcupine.
As the evening drew on, the birds and beasts and
the innumerable insects, that had kept up a per-
petual noise during the day, retired to rest; and then
the nocturnal animals began to creep out of their
holes and go about. Huge vampire-bats, one of
which had given Barney such a fright the night
before, flew silently past them, and the wild howling
commenced again. They now discovered that one of
the most dismal of the howls proceeded from a species
of monkey, at which discovery Martin laughed very
much, and rallied his companion on being so easily
frightened; but Barney gladly joined in the laugh
against himself, for, to say truth, he felt quite relieved
and light-hearted at discovering that his ghosts were
converted into bats and monkeys !
There was one roar, however, which, when they
heard it ever and anon, gave them considerable un-
"D'ye think there's lions in them parts ?" inquired
Barney, glancing with an expression of regret at his
empty pistol, and laying his hand on the hilt of his
"I think not," replied Martin, in a low tone of
voice. "I have read in my school geography that
there are tigers of some sort-jaguars or ounces, I
think they are called-but there are no-"
Martin's speech was cut short by a terrific roar
which rang through the woods, and the next instant
a magnificent jaguar, or South American tiger,
bounded on to the track a few yards in advance,
and, wheeling round, glared fiercely at the travellers.
It seemed, in the uncertain light, as if his eyes were
two balls of living fire. Though not so large as the
royal Bengal tiger of India, this animal was never-
theless of immense size, and had a very ferocious
aspect. His roar was so sudden and awful, and his
appearance so unexpected, that the blood was sent
thrilling back into the hearts of the travellers, who
stood rooted to, the spot, absolutely unable to move.
This was the first large animal of the cat kind that
either of them had seen in all the terrible majesty of
its wild condition; and, for the first time, Martin and
his friend felt that awful sensation of dread that will
assail even the bravest heart when a new species of
imminent danger is suddenly presented. It is said
that no animal can withstand the steady gaze of a
human eye, and many travellers in wild countries
have proved this to be a fact. On the present
occasion our adventurers stared long and steadily at
the wild creature before them, from a mingled feeling
of surprise and horror. In a few seconds the jaguar
showed signs of being disconcerted. It turned its
head from side to side slightly, and dropped its eyes,
as if to avoid their gaze. Then turning slowly and
stealthily round, it sprang with a magnificent bound
into the jungle and disappeared.
Both Martin and Barney heaved a deep sigh of
What a mercy it did not attack us!" said the
former, wiping the cold perspiration from his forehead.
We should have had no chance against such a terrible
beast with a cutlass, I fear."
True, boy, true," replied his friend gravely; "it
would have been little better than a penknife in the
ribs o' sich a cratur. I niver thought that it was in
the power o' man or baste to put me in sich a fright;
but the longer we live we learn, boy."
Barney's disposition to make light of everything
was thoroughly subdued by this incident, and, he felt
none of his usual inclination to regard all that he saw
in the Brazilian forests with a comical eye. The
danger they had escaped was too real and terrible,
and their almost unarmed condition too serious, to be
lightly esteemed. For the next hour or two he con-
tinued to walk by Martin's side either in total silence
or in earnest, grave conversation; but by degrees these
feelings wore off, and his buoyant spirits gradually
The country over which they had passed during
the day was of a mingled character. At one time
they traversed a portion of dark forest, heavy and
choked up with the dense and gigantic foliage peculiar
to those countries that lie near to the equator; then
they emerged from this upon what to their eyes
seemed most beautiful scenery-mingled plain and
woodland-where the excessive brilliancy and beauty
of the tropical vegetation was brought to perfection by
exposure to the light of the blue sky and the warm
rays of the sun. In such lovely spots they travelled
more slowly and rested more frequently, enjoying to
the full the sight of the gaily-coloured birds and
insects that fluttered busily around them, and the
delicious perfume of the flowers that decked the
ground and clambered up the trees. At other times
they came to plains, or cacnpos, as they are termed,
where there were no trees at all, and few shrubs, and
where the grass was burned brown and dry by the
sun. Over such they hurried as quickly as they
could; and fortunately, where they chanced to travel,
such places were neither numerous nor extensive,
although in some districts of Brazil there are campos
hundreds of miles in extent.
A small stream meandered through the forest, and
enabled them to refresh themselves frequently, which
was very fortunate; for the heat, especially towards
noon, became extremely intense, and they could not
have existed without water. So great, indeed, was
the heat about mid-day that, by mutual consent, they
resolved to seek the cool shade of a spreading tree,
and try to sleep if possible. At this time they learned,
to their surprise, that all animated nature did likewise,
and sought repose at noon. God had implanted in
the breast of every bird and insect in that mighty
forest an instinct which taught it to rest and find re-
freshment during the excessive heat of mid-day; so
that, during the space of two or three hours, not a
thing with life was seen, and not a sound was heard.
Even the troublesome mosquitoes, so active at all
other times, day and night, were silent now. The
change was very great and striking, and difficult for
those who have not observed it to comprehend. All
the forenoon, screams, and cries, and croaks, and
grunts, and whistles ring out through the woods in-
cessantly; while, if you listen attentively, you hear
the low, deep, and never-ending buzz and hum of
millions upon millions of insects, that dance in the air
and creep on every leaf and blade upon the ground.
About noon all this is hushed. The hot rays of the
sun beat perpendicularly down upon what seems a
vast untenanted solitude, and not a single chirp breaks
the death-like stillness of the great forest, with the
solitary exception of the metallic note of the uruponga,
or bell-bird, which seems to mount guard when all the
rest of the world has gone to sleep. As the afternoon
approaches they all wake up, refreshed by their siesta,
active and lively as fairies, and ready for another
spell of work and another deep-toned noisy chorus.
The country through which our adventurers tra-
velled, as evening approached, became gradually more
hilly, and their march consequently more toilsome.
They were just about to give up all thought of
proceeding farther that night when, on reaching the
summit of a little hill, they beheld a bright red light
shining at a considerable distance in the valley beyond.
With light steps and hearts full of hope they descended
the hill and hastened towards it.
IT was now quite dark, and the whole country
seemed alive with fire-flies. These beautiful
little insects sat upon the trees and bushes, spangling
them as with living diamonds, and flew about in the
air like little wandering stars. Barney had seen
them before, in the West Indies; but Martin had only
heard of them, and his delight and amazement at
their extreme brilliancy were very great. Although
he was naturally anxious to reach the light in the
valley, in the hope that it might prove to proceed
from some cottage, he could not refrain from stopping
once or twice to catch these lovely creatures; and
when he succeeded in doing so, and placed one on the
palm of his hand, the light emitted from it was more
brilliant than that of a small taper, and much more
beautiful, for it was of a bluish colour, and very in-
tense-more like the light reflected from a jewel than
a flame of fire. He could have read a book by means
of it quite easily
In half-an-hour they drew near to the light, which
they found proceeded from the window of a small
cottage or hut.
"Whist, Martin," whispered Barney, as they ap-
proached the hut on tiptoe; there may be savages
into it, an' there's no sayin' what sort o' craturs
they are in them parts."
When about fifty yards distant, they could see
through the open window into the room where the
light burned; and what they beheld there was well
calculated to fill them with surprise. On a rude
wooden chair, at a rough unpainted table, a man was
seated, with his head resting on his hand and his
eyes fixed intently on a book. Owing to the dis-
tance, and the few leaves and branches that inter-
vened between them and the hut, they could not
observe him very distinctly. But it was evident that
he was a large and strong man, a little past the prime
of life. The hair of his head and beard was black
and bushy, and streaked with silver-gray. His face
was massive, and of a dark olive complexion, with an
expression of sadness on it, strangely mingled with
stern gravity. His broad shoulders-and, indeed, his
whole person-were enveloped in the coarse folds of
a long gown or robe, gathered in at the waist with a
broad band of leather.
The room in which he sat-or rather the hut, for
there was but one room in it-was destitute of all
furniture, except that already mentioned, besides one
or two roughly-formed stools; but the walls were
completely covered with strange-looking implements
and trophies of the chase; and in a corner lay a con-
fused pile of books, some of which were, from their
appearance, extremely ancient. All this the benighted
wanderers observed as they continued to approach
cautiously on tiptoe. So cautious did they become as
they drew near and came within the light of the
lamp, that Barney at length attempted to step over
his own shadow for fear of making a noise, and in
doing so tripped and fell with considerable noise
through a hedge of prickly shrubs that encircled the
strange man's dwelling.
The hermit-for such he appeared to be-be-
trayed no symptom of surprise or fear at the sud-
den sound, but rising quietly though quickly from
his seat, took down a musket that hung on the
wall, and stepping to the open door demanded
sternly, in the Portuguese language, "Who goes
"Arrah, then, if ye'd help a fellow-cratur to rise,
instead o' talking' gibberish like that, it would be more
to yer credit !" exclaimed the Irishman, as he scram-
bled to his feet and presented himself, along with
Martin, at the hermit's door.
A peculiar smile lighted up the man's features as
he retreated into the hut, and invited the strangers
Come in," said he, in good English, although with
a slightly foreign accent. "I am most happy to see
you. You are English. I know the voice and the
language very well. Lived among them once, but
long time past now-very long. Have not seen one
of you for many years."
With many such speeches and much expression of
good-will the hospitable hermit invited Martin and
his companion to sit down at his rude table, on which
he quickly spread several plates of ripe and dried
fruits, a few cakes, and a jar of excellent honey, with
a stone bottle of cool water. When they were busily
engaged with these viands, he began to make in-
quiries as to where his visitors had come from.
We've cored from the sae," replied Barney, as he
devoted himself to a magnificent pine-apple. Och,
but yer victuals is mighty good, Mister-what's yer
name ?--'ticklerly to them that's a'most starving. "
"The fact is," said Martin, "our ship has been
taken by pirates, and we two swam ashore and lost
ourselves in the woods; and now we have stumbled
upon your dwelling, friend, which is a great com-
"Hoigh, an' that's true," sighed Barney, as he
finished the last slice of the pine-apple.
They now explained to their entertainer all the
circumstances attending the capture of the 1.', rj ,
and their subsequent adventures and vicissitudes in
the forest; all of which Barney detailed in a most
graphic manner, and to all of which their new friend
listened with grave attention and unbroken silence.
When they had concluded, he said,-
"Very good. You have seen much in very short
time. Perhaps you shall see more by-and-by. For the
present you will go to rest, for you must be fatigued.
I will think to-night-to-morrow I will speakc"
"An' if I may make so bould," said Barney, glanc-
ing with a somewhat rueful expression round the
hard earthen floor of the hut, "whereabouts may I
take the liberty o' sleeping' ?"
The hermit replied by going to a corner, whence,
from beneath a heap of rubbish, he dragged two
hammocks, curiously wrought in a sort of light
network. These he slung across the hut, at one
end, from wall to wall, and throwing a sheet or
coverlet into each, he turned with a smile to his
80 MARTIN RATTLER.
Behold your beds I wish you a very good sleep
So saying, this strange individual sat down at the
table, and was soon as deeply engaged with his large
book as if he had suffered no interruption; while
Martin and Barney, having gazed gravely and ab-
stractedly at him for five minutes, turned and smiled
to each other, jumped into their hammocks, and were
soon buried in deep slumber.
An enemy in the night--The vampire bat-The hermit discourses on
strange, and curious, and interesting things.
N EXT morning Martin Rattler awoke with a
feeling of lightness in his head and a sensa-
tion of extreme weakness pervading his entire frame.
Turning his head round to the right he observed that
a third hammock was slung across the farther end of
the hut, which was, no doubt, that in which the
hermit had passed the night. But it was empty now.
Martin did not require to turn his head to the other
side to see if Barney O'Flannagan was there, for that
worthy individual made his presence known, for a
distance of at least sixty yards all round the outside
of the hut, by means of his nose, which he was in the
habit of using as a trumpet when asleep. It was as
well that Martin did not require to look round, for
he found, to his surprise, that he had scarcely strength
to do so. While he was wondering in a dreamy sort
of manner what could be the matter with him, the
hermit entered the hut bearing a small deer upon his
shoulders. Resting his gun in a corner of the room,
he advanced to Martin's hammock.
"My boy !" he exclaimed in surprise, "what is
wrong with you ?"
I'm sure I don't know," said Martin faintly. I
think there is something wet about my feet."
Turning up the sheet, he found that Martin's feet
were covered with blood! For a few seconds the
hermit growled forth a number of apparently very
pithy sentences in Portuguese, in a deep guttural
voice, which awakened Barney with a start. Spring-
ing from his hammock with a bound like a tiger, he
exclaimed, "Och! ye blackguard, would ye murther
the boy before me very nose ?" and seizing the hermit
in his powerful grasp, he would infallibly have hurled
him, big though he was, through his own doorway, had
not Martin cried out, "Stop, stop, Barney It's all
right; he's done nothing," on hearing which the Irish-
man loosened his hold, and turned towards his friend.
What's the matter, honey ?" said Barney in a
soothing tone of voice, as a mother might address her
The hermit, whose composure had not been in the
slightest degree disturbed, here said,-
The poor child has been sucked by a vampire bat."
Ochone!" groaned Barney, sitting down on the
table, and looking at his host with a face of
Yes, these are the worst animals in Brazil for
sucking the blood of men and cattle. I find it quite
impossible to keep my mules alive, they are so
"They have killed two cows which I tried to keep
here, and one young horse-a foal you call him, I
think; and now I have no cattle !.,:'iiir_, they are
Barney groaned again, and the hermit went on to
enumerate the wicked deeds of the vampire bats, while
he applied poultices of certain herbs to Martin's toe,
in order to check the bleeding, and then bandaged it
up; after which he sat down to relate to his visitors
the manner in which the bat carries on its bloody
operations. He explained, first of all, that the vam-
pire bats are so large and ferocious that they often
kill horses and cattle by sucking their blood out. Of
course they cannot do this at one meal, but they
attack the poor animals again and again, and the
blood continues to flow from the wounds they make
long afterwards, so that the creatures attacked soon
grow weak and die. They attack men, too, as Martin
knew to his cost; and they usually fix upon the toes
and other extremities. So gentle are they in their
operations, that sleepers frequently do not feel the
puncture which they make, it is supposed, with the
sharp-hooked nail of their thumb; and the uncon-
scious victim knows nothing of the enemy who has
been draining his blood until he awakens, faint and
exhausted, in the morning.
Moreover, the hermit told them that these vampire
bats have very sharp, carnivorous teeth, besides a
tongue which is furnished with the curious organs
by which they suck the life-blood of their victims;
that they have a peculiar, leaf-like, overhanging lip;
and that he had a stuffed specimen of a bat that
measured no less than two feet across the expanded
wings, from tip to tip.
"Och, the blood-thirsty spalpeen!" exclaimed
Barney, as he rose and crossed the room to examine
the bat in question, which was nailed against the
wall. Bad luck to them; they've ruined Martin
Oh no," remarked the hermit with a smile. It
will do the boy much good the loss of the blood,
much good, and he will not be sick at all to-
I'm glad to hear you say so," said.Martin; "for
it would be a great bore to be obliged to lie here
when I've so many things to see. In fact I feel
better already, and if you will be so kind as to give
me a little breakfast I shall be quite well."
While Martin was speaking, the obliging hermit-
who, by the way, was now habited in a loose, short
hunting-coat of brown cotton-spread a plentiful re-
past upon his table, to which, having assisted Martin
to get out of his hammock, they all proceeded to do
ample justice; for the travellers were very hungry
after the fatigue of the previous day, and as for the
hermit, he looked like a man whose appetite was
always sharp set, and whose food agreed with him.
They had cold meat of several kinds, and a hot
steak of venison just killed that morning, which the
hermit cooked while his guests were engaged with
the other viands. There was also excellent coffee,
and superb cream, besides cakes made of a species of
coarse flour or meal, fruits of various kinds, and very
"Arrah! ye've the hoith o' livin' here!" cried
Barney, smacking his lips as he held out his plate for
another supply of a species of meat which resembled
chicken in tenderness and flavour. What sort o'
bird or baste may that be, now, av I may ask ye,
Mister-what's yer name ?"
My name is Carlos," replied the hermit gravely;
"and this is the flesh of the armadillo."
"Arma-what-o ?" inquired Barney.
"Armadillo," repeated the hermit. He is very
good to eat, but very difficult to catch. He digs
down so fast we cannot catch him, and must smoke
him out of his hole."
"Have you many cows ?" inquired Martin, as he
replenished his cup with coffee.
"Cows ?" echoed the hermit; "I have got no
Where do you get such capital cream, then ?"
asked Martin in surprise.
The hermit smiled. "Ah, my friends, that cream
has come from a very curious cow. It is from a cow
that grows in the ground."
Grows !" ejaculated his guests.
Yes, he grows. I will show him to you one
The hermit's broad shoulders shook with a quiet
internal laugh. "I will explain a little of that you
behold on my table. The coffee I get from the trees.
There are plenty of them here. Much money is made
in Brazil by the export of coffee-very much. The
cakes are made from the mandioca root, which I grow
near my house. The root is dried and ground into
flour, which, under the general name farina, is used
all over the country. It is almost the only food
used by the Indians and Negroes."
"Then there are Injins and Niggers here, are
there ?" inquired Barney.
"Yes, a great many. Most of the Negroes are
slaves; some of the Indians too; and the people who
are descended from the Portuguese who came and
took the country long ago, they are the masters.-
Well, the honey I get in holes in the trees. There
are different kinds of honey here; some of it is sour
honey. And the fruits and roots, the plantains, and
bananas, and yams, and cocoa-nuts, and oranges, and
plums, all grow in the forest, and much more besides,
which you will see for yourselves if you stay long
It's a quare country, entirely," remarked Barney,
as he wiped his mouth and heaved a sigh of content-
ment. Then, drawing his hand over his chin, he
looked earnestly in the hermit's face, and, with a
peculiar twinkle in his eye, said,-
"I s'pose ye couldn't favour me with the lind of a
raazor, could ye ?"
"No, my friend; I never use that foolish weapon."
"Ah, well, as there's only monkeys and jaguars,
and sich like to see me, it don't much signify; but
my mustaches is gitin' mighty long, for I've been two
weeks already without a shave."
Martin laughed heartily at the grave, anxious ex-
pression of his comrade's face. Never mind, Barney,"
he said, "a beard and moustache will improve you
vastly. Besides, they will be a great protection
against mosquitoes; for you are such a hairy monster,
that when they grow nothing of your face will be
exposed except your eyes and cheek-bones. And
now," continued Martin, climbing into his hammock
again and addressing the hermit, "since you won't
allow me to go out a-hunting to-day, I would like
very much if you would tell me something more
about this strange country."
"An' maybe," suggested Barney modestly, ye won't
object to tell us something about yersilf-how you
came for to live in this quare, solitary kind of a
The hermit looked gravely from one to the other,
and stroked his beard. Drawing his rude chair to-
wards the door of the hut, he folded his arms, and
crossed his legs, and gazed dreamily forth upon the
rich landscape. Then, glancing again at his guests,
he said slowly, Yes, I will do what you ask-I will
tell you my story."
"An' if I might make so bould as to inquire," said
Barney, with a deprecatory smile, while he drew a
short black pipe from his pocket, "have ye got sich
a thing as baccyy in them parts ?"
The hermit rose, and going to a small box which
stood in a corner, returned with a quantity of cut
tobacco in one hand, and a cigar not far short of a
foot long in the other! In a few seconds the cigar
was going in full force, like a factory chimney; and
the short black pipe glowed like a miniature furnace,
while its owner seated himself on a low stool, crossed
his arms on his breast, leaned his back against the
door-post, and smiled, as only an Irishman can smile
under such circumstances. The smoke soon formed
a thick cloud, which effectually drove the mosquitoes
out of the hut, and through which Martin, lying in
his hammock, gazed out upon the sunlit orange and
coffee trees, and tall palms with their rich festoons of
creeping plants, and sweet-scented flowers, that clam-
bered over and round the hut and peeped in at the
open door and windows, while he listened to the
hermit, who continued for at least ten minutes to
murmur slowly, between the puffs of his cigar, "Yes,
I will do it-I will tell you my story."
The hermit's story.
Y ancestors," began the hermit, were among
I the first to land upon Brazil, after the
country was taken possession of in the name of the
King of Portugal, in the year 1500. In the first
year of the century, Vincent Yanez Pingon, a com-
panion of the famed Columbus, discovered Brazil; and
in the next year, Pedro Alvarez Cabral, a Portuguese
commander, took possession of it in the name of the
King of Portugal. In 1503, Americus Vespucius dis-
covered the Bay of All Saints, and took home a cargo
of Brazil-wood, monkeys, and parrots; but no per-
manent settlement was effected upon the shores of the
new continent, and the rich treasures of this great
country remained for some years longer buried and
unknown to man, for the wild Indians who lived here
knew not their value.
"It was on a dark and stormy night in the year
1510. A group of swarthy and naked savages en-
circled a small fire on the edge of the forest on the
east coast of Brazil. The spot where their watchfire
was kindled is now covered by the flourishing city of
Bahia. At that time it was a wilderness. Before
them stretched the noble bay which is now termed
Bahia de Todos Santos-All Saints' Bay.
"The savages talked earnestly and with excited
looks as they stood upon the shore, for the memory
of the wondrous ships of the white men that had
visited them a few years before was deeply engraven
on their minds; and now, in the midst of the howling
storm, another ship was seen approaching their land.
It was a small vessel, shattered and tempest-tossed,
that drove into the Bahia de Todos Santos on that
stormy night. Long had it battled with the waves of
the Atlantic, and the brave hearts that manned it had
remained stanch to duty and strong in hope, remem-
bering the recent glorious example of Columbus. But
the storm was fierce and the bark was frail. The
top-masts were broken and the sails rent; and worst
of all, just as land hove in sight and cheered the
drooping spirits of the crew, a tremendous wave
dashed upon the ship's stern and carried away the
As they drove helplessly before the gale towards
the shore, the naked savages crowded down upon the
beach and gazed in awe and astonishment at the mys-
terious ship. A few of them had seen the vessels of
Americus Vespucius and Cabral. The rumour of the
white men and their floating castles had been wafted
far and wide along the coast and into the interior of
Brazil, and with breathless wonder the natives had
listened to the strange account. But now the vision
was before them in reality. On came the floating
castle, the white foam dashing from her bows, and the
torn sails and ropes flying from her masts, as she
surged over the billows and loomed through the
"It was a grand sight to see that ship dashing
straight towards the shore at fearful speed; and those
who looked on seemed to be impressed with a vague
feeling that she had power to spring upon the strand
and continue her swift career through the forest, as
she had hitherto cleft her passage through the sea.
As she approached, the savages shrank back in fear.
Suddenly her frame trembled with a mighty shock.
A terrible cry was borne to land by the gale, and all
her masts went overboard. A huge wave lifted the
vessel on its crest and flung her farther on the shore,
where she remained firmly fixed, while the waves
dashed in foam around her and soon began to break
her up. Ere this happened, however,.a rope was
thrown ashore, and fastened to a rock by the natives.
By means of this the crew were saved. But it would
have been well for these bold navigators of Portugal
if they had perished in the stormy sea, for they were
spared by the ocean only to be murdered by the wild
savages on whose shore they had been cast.
"All were slain save one-Diego Alvarez Carreo,
the captain of the ship. Before grasping the rope by
which he reached the shore, he thrust several cartridges
into his bosom and caught up a loaded musket. Wrap-
ping the lock in several folds of cloth to keep it dry,
he slid along the rope and gained the beach in safety.
Here he was seized by the natives, and would no
doubt have been barbarously slain with his unfortu-
nate companions, but being a very powerful man he
dashed aside the foremost, and breaking through their
ranks, rushed towards the wood. The fleet savages,
however, overtook him in an instant, and were about
to seize him when a young Indian woman interposed
between them and their victim. This girl was the
chief's daughter, and respect for her rank induced
them to hesitate for a moment; but in another instant
the Portuguese captain was surrounded. In the scuffle
that ensued his musket exploded, but fortunately
wounded no one. Instantly the horrified savages fled
in all directions, leaving Carreo alone !
"The captain was quick-witted. He knew that
among hundreds of savages it was madness to attempt
either to fight or to fly, and the happy effect of the
musket explosion induced him to adopt another course
of action. He drew himself up proudly to his full
height, and beckoned the savages to return. This
they did, casting many glances of fear at the dreaded
musket. Going up to one who, from his bearing and
ornaments, seemed to be a chief, Carreo laid his mus-
ket on the sand, and, stepping over it so that he left
it behind him, held out his hand frankly to the chief.
The savage looked at him in surprise, and -iiIi.:i .i the
captain to take his hand and pat it; after which he
began to examine the stranger's dress with much
curiosity. Seeing that their chief was friendly to the
white man, the other savages hurried him to the
camp-fire, where he soon stripped off his wet clothes
and ate the food which they put before him. Thus
Diego Carreo was spared.
Next day, the Indians lined the beach and collected
the stores of the wrecked vessel. While thus em-
ployed, Carreo shot a gull with his musket, which so
astonished the natives that they regarded him with
fear and respect amounting almost to veneration. A
considerable quantity of powder and shot was saved
from the wreck, so that the captain was enabled to
keep his ascendency over the ignorant natives; and
at length he became a man of great importance in the
tribe, and married the daughter of the chief. He
went by the name of Caramtbru-' the man of fire.'
This man founded the city of Bahia.
The coasts of Brazil began soon after this to be
settled in various places by the Portuguese, who,
however, were much annoyed by the Spaniards, who
claimed a share in the rich prize. The Dutch and
English also formed settlements, but the Portuguese
still retained possession of the country, and continued
to prosper. Meanwhile Diego Caramuru, 'the man of
fire,' had a son who in course of time became a pros-
perous settler; and as his sons grew up he trained
them to become cultivators of the soil and traders in
the valuable products of the New World. He took
a piece of ground, far removed from the spot where
his father had been cast ashore, and a short distance
in the interior of the country. Here the eldest sons
of the family dwelt, laboured, and died, for many
"In the year 1808 Portugal was invaded by
Napoleon Buonaparte, and the sovereign of that king-
dom, John VI., fled to Brazil, accompanied by his
court and a large body of emigrants. The king was
warmly received by the Brazilians, and immediately
set about improving the condition of the country.
He threw open its ports to all nations, freed the land
from all marks of colonial dependence, established
newspapers, made the press free, and did everything
to promote education and industry. But although
much was done, the good was greatly hindered, especi-
ally in the inland districts, by the vice, ignorance, and
stupidity of many of the Roman Catholic priests, who
totally neglected their duties-which, indeed, they
were incompetent to perform-and in many in-
stances were no better than miscreants in disguise,
teaching the people vice instead of virtue.
Foremost among the priests who opposed advance-
ment was a descendant of the 'man of fire.' Padre
Caramuru dwelt for some years with an English mer-
chant in the capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro. The
padre was not an immoral man, but he was a fiery
bigot, and fiercely opposed everything that tended to
advance the education of the people. This he did,
firmly believing that education was dangerous to the
lower orders. His church taught him, too, that the
Bible was a dangerous book, and whenever a copy
fell into his hands he immediately destroyed it.
During the disturbances that took place after the
time of King John's departure for Portugal, and just
before Brazil became an independent state under his
son, the Emperor Don Pedro I., Padre Caramuru lost
a beloved and only brother. He was quite a youth,
and had joined the army only a few months previ-
ously at the desire of his elder brother the padre, who
was so overwhelmed by the blow that he ceased to
take an active part in church or political affairs, and
buried himself in a retired part of his native valley.
Here he sought relief and comfort in the study of
the beauties of nature by which he was surrounded,
but found none. Then he turned his mind to the
doctrines of his church, and took pleasure in verifying
them from the Bible. But as he proceeded he found,
to his great surprise, that these doctrines were, many
of them, not to be found there; nay, further, that
some of them were absolutely contradicted by the
Word of God.
Padre Caramuru had been in the habit of com-
manding his people not to listen to the Bible when
any one offered to read it; but in the Bible itself he
found these words, Search the Scriptures.' He had
been in the habit of praying to the Virgin Mary, and
1 -_- her to intercede with God for him ; but in the
Bible he found these words: 'There is one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.' These
things perplexed him much. But while he was thus
searching, as it yere, for silver, the ignorant padre found