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Adrift in the Pacific 

Jules Verne 


£ /'/ 


6-1 » 



' Briant and the negro rushed forward ' 




. BY 




V) * 





The Storm ....... 7 

Cast Adrift 

, 17 

The First Day Ashore 

> 25 

The View from the Cape , 

■ 34 

A Spell of Rain • 

> 44 

The Raft 

• 1 


The Colony 


Winter Quarters 


Bravo, Baxter 

, 92 

Across the Lake . 


The New Chief . 


The Separation . 


The Invasion 


All Together 


The Enemy in Sight . 


Diamond Cut Diamond , 


The Fortune of War < 


Afloat Once More 

, 166 

Home . . . , 

> m 




Ir was the 9th of March, i860, and eleven o'clock at 
night. The sea and sky were as one, and the eye could 
pierce but a few fathoms into the gloom. Through 
the raging sea, over which the waves broke with a livid 
light, a little ship was driving under almost bare poles. 

She was a schooner of a hundred tons. Her name 
was the Sleuth, but you would have sought it in vain 
on her stern, for an accident of some sort had torn it 

In this latitude, at the beginning of March, the 
nights are short. The day would dawn about five 
o'clock. But would the dangers that threatened the 
schooner grow less when the sun illumined the sky ? 
Was not the frail vessel at the mercy of the waves ? 
Undoubtedly ; and only the calming of the billows and 
the lulling of the gale could save her from that most 
awful of shipwrecks — foundering in the open sea far 
from any coast on which the survivors might find safety. 

In the stern of the schooner were three boys, one 
about fourteen, the two others about thirteen years of 
age ; these, with a young negro some twelve years old, 
were at the wheel, and with their united strength 
strove to check the lurches which threatened every 
instant to throw the vessel broadside on. It was a 
difficult task, for the wheel seemed as though it would 
turn in spite of all they could do, and hurl them against 
the bulwarks. Just before midnight such a wave 
came thundering against the stern that it was a wonder 
the rudder was not unshipped. The boys were thrown 


backwards by the shock, but they recovered themselves 
almost immediately. 

" Does she still steer ? " asked one of them. 

" Yes, Gordon," answered Briant, who had coolly 
resumed his place. " Hold on tight, Donagan," he 
continued, "and don't be afraid. There are others be- 
sides ourselves to look after. You are not hurt Moko ? " 

" No, Massa Briant," answered the boy. " But we 
must keep the yacht before the wind, or we shall be 

At this moment the door of the companion leading 
to the saloon was thrown open. Two little heads 
appeared above the level of the deck, and with them 
came up the genial face of a dog, who saluted with a 
loud, "Whough! whough!" 

" Briant ! Briant ! " shouted one of the youngsters 
"What is the matter?" 

" Nothing, Iverson, nothing ! " returned Briant. 
" Get down again with Dole, and look sharp I " 

" We are awfully frightened down here," said the 
other boy, who was a little younger. 

" All of you ? " asked Donagan. 

" Yes ; all of us ! " said Dole. 

" Well, get back again," said Briant. " Shut up ; 
get under the clothes ; shut your eyes ; and nothing 
will hurt you. There is no danger ! " 

" Look out," said Moko. " Here's another wave ! " 

A violent blow shook the yacht's stern. This time 
fortunately the wave did not come on board, for if the 
water had swept down the companion, the yacht would 
have been swamped. 

" Get back, will you ? " shouted Gordon. " Go 
down ; or I'll come after you ! " 

" Look here," said Briant, rather more gently. 
" Go down, you young *uns." 

The two heads disappeared, and at the same moment 
another boy appeared in the doorway. 

" Do you want us, Briant ? " 

" No, Baxter," said Briant. " Let you and Cross and 

fH£ StORM 9 

Webb and Service and Wilcox stop with the little 
ones ! We four can manage." 

Baxter shut the door from within. 

" Yes, all of us/' Dole had said. 

But were there only little boys on board this schooner 
thus driven before the storm ? Yes, only boys ! And 
how many were there ? Fifteen, counting Gordon, 
Briant, Donagan, and the negro. How came they to 
be there ? That you shall know shortly. 

Was there not a man on the yacht ? Not a captain 
to look after it ? Not a sailor to give a hand in its 
management ? Not a helmsman to steer in such a 
storm ? No 1 Not one ! 

And more than that — there was not a person on 
board who knew the schooner's position on the ocean. 
And what ocean? The largest of all, the Pacific, 
which stretches for 6000 miles from Australia and New 
Zealand to the coast of South America. 

What, then, had happened ? Had the schooner's 
crew disappeared in some catastrophe ? Had the 
Malay pirates carried them off and left on board only 
this batch of boys from fourteen downwards ? A 
yacht of a hundred tons ought to have a captain, a 
mate, and five or six men, and of these all that had been 
left was the nigger boy 1 

Where did the schooner come from? From what 
Australian port or Oceanic archipelago did she hail ? 
How long had she been at sea? Whither was she 
bound ? The boys would probably have been able to 
answer these questions had they been asked them by 
any captain speaking the schooner on her course ; 
but there was no vessel in sight, neither steamer nor 
sailing-ship, and had there been one, she would have 
had quite enough to do to look after herself, without 
giving assistance to this yacht that the sea was throwing 
about like a raft. 

Briant and his friends did their utmost to keep the 
schooner straight ahead. 

" What is to be done ? " asked Donagan. 


" All we can to save ourselves, Heaven helping us," 
answered Briant, although even the most energetic 
man might have despaired under such circumstances, 
for the storm was increasing in violence. 

The gale blew in thunderclaps, as the sailors say, and 
the expression was only too true. The schooner had 
lost her mainmast, gone about four feet above the 
partners, so that no trysail could be set under which 
she might have been more easily steered. The foremast 
still held, but the shrouds had stretched, and every 
minute it threatened to crash on to the deck. The fore- 
staysail had been split to ribbons, and kept up a con- 
stant cracking, as if a rifle were being fired. The only 
sail that remained sound was the foresail, and this 
seemed as though it would go every moment, for the 
boys had not been strong enough to manage the last 
reef. If it were to go, the schooner could not be kept 
before the wind, the waves would board her over the 
quarter, and she would go down. 

Not an island had been sighted ; and there could be 
no continent yet awhile to the eastward. To run 
ashore was a terrible thing to do, but the boys did not 
fear its terrors so much as those of this interminable 
sea. A lee shore, with its shoals, its breakers, the 
terrible waves roaring on to it, and beaten into surf by 
the rocks, might, they thought, prove safe enough to 
them ; at least it would be firm ground, and not this 
raging ocean, which any minute might open under their 
feet. And so they looked ahead for some light to which 
they could steer. 

But there was no light in that thick darkness ! 

Suddenly, about one o'clock, a fearful crash was 
heard above the roaring of the storm. 

" There goes the foremast ! " said Donagan. 

" No," said Moko ; " it is the foresail blown out of 
the bolt ropes ! " 

" We must clear it," said Briant. " You remain at 
the wheel, Gordon, with Donagan ; and Moko, come 
and help me." 


B riant was not quite ignorant of things nautical. On 
his voyage out from Europe he had crossed the North 
Atlantic and Pacific, and had learnt a little seamanship, 
. and that was why his companions, who knew none 
whatever, had left the schooner in his and Moko's 

Briant and the negro rushed forward. At all costs 
the foresail must be cut adrift, for it had caught and 
was bellying out in such a way that the schooner was 
in danger of capsizing, and if that happened she could 
never be righted, unless the mast were cut away and 
the wire shrouds broken, and how could the boys 
manage that ? 

Briant and Moko set to work with remarkable judg- 
ment. Their object was to keep as much sail on the 
schooner as possible, so as to steer her before the wind 
as long as the storm lasted. They slacked off the 
halliards and let the sail down to within four or five 
feet of the deck, and they cut off the torn strips with 
their knives, secured the lower corners, and made all 
snug. Twenty times, at least, were they in danger of 
being swept away by the waves. 

Under her very small spread of canvas the schooner 
could still be kept on her course, and though the wind 
had so little to take hold of, she was driven along at 
the speed of a torpedo-boat. The faster she went the 
better. Her safety depended on her going faster than 
the waves, so that none could follow and board her. 

Briant and Moko were making their way back to the 
wheel when the door of the companion again opened. 
A boy's head again appeared. This time it was Jack, 
Briant's brother, and three years his junior. 

" What do you want, Jack ? " asked his brother. 

" Come here ! Come here 1 " said Jack. " There's 
water in the saloon." 

Briant rushed down the companion-stairs. The 
saloon was confusedly lighted by a lamp, which the 
rolling swung backwards and forwards. Its light 
revealed a dozen boys .lounging on the couches around. 


The youngest — there were some as young as eight- 
were huddling against each other in fear. 

" There is no danger," said Briant, wishing to give 
them confidence. " We are all right. Don't be afraid." 

Then holding a lighted lantern to the floor, he saw 
that some water was washing from side to side. 

Whence came this water ? Did it come from a leak ? 
That must be ascertained at once. 

Forward of the saloon was the day-saloon, then the 
dining-saloon, and then the crew's quarters. 

Briant went through these in order, and found that 
the water had been taken in from the seas dashing over 
the bows, down the fore-companion, which had not 
been quite closed, and that it had been run aft by the 
pitching of the ship. There was thus no danger on this 

Briant stopped to cheer up his companions as he 
went back through the saloon, and then returned to his 
place at the helm. The schooner was very strongly 
built, and had only just been re-coppered, so that she 
might withstand the waves for some time. 

It was then about one o'clock. The darkness was 
darker than ever, and the dark clouds still gathered ; 
and more furiously than ever raged the storm. The 
yacht seemed to be rushing through a liquid mass that 
flowed above, beneath, and around her. The shrill 
cry of the petrel was heard in the air. Did its appear- 
ance mean that land was near ? No ; for it is often 
met with hundreds of miles at sea. And, in truth 
these birds of the storm found themselves powerless 
to struggle against the aerial current, and by it were 
borne along Mke the schooner. 

An hour later there was another report from the bow. 
What remained of the foresail had been split to ribbons 
and the strips flew off into space like huge seagulls. 

" We have no sail left 1 " exclaimed Donagan ; 
* and it is impossible for us to set another." 

" Well, it doesn't matter," said Briant. " We shall 
not get along so fast, that is all 1 " 


" What an answer 1 " replied Donagan. " If that is 
your style of seamanship— " 

" Look out for the wave astern ! " said Moko. 
" Lash yourselves, or you'll be swept overboard — " 

The boy had not finished the sentence when several 
tons of water came with a leap over the tafirail. B riant, 
Donagan, and Gordon were hurled against the com- 
panion, to which they managed to cling. But the 
negro had disappeared in the wave which had swept 
the deck from stern to bow, carrying away the binnacle, 
a lot of spare spars, and the three boats which were 
swinging to the davits inboard. The deck was cleared 
at one blow, but the water almost instantly flowed off, 
and the yacht was saved from sinking beneath the 

" Moko 1 Moko ! " shouted B riant, as soon as he could 

" See if he's gone overboard," said Donagan. 

" No," said Gordon, leaning out to leeward. " No, 
I don't see him, and I don't hear him." 

" We must save him ! Throw him a buoy ! Throw 
him a rope ! " said Briant. 

And in a voice that rang clearly out in a few seconds 
of calm, he shouted again, — 

"Moko! Moko!" 

" Here ! Help ! " replied the negro. 

" He is not in the sea," said Gordon. " His voice 
comes from the bow." 

" I'll save him," said Briant. 

And he crept forward along the heaving, slippery deck, 
avoiding as best he might the blocks swinging from 
the ropes that were all adrift. The boy's voice was 
heard again, and then all was silent. By great effort 
Briant reached the fore-companion. 

He shouted. There was no response. 

Had Moko been swept away into the sea since he 
uttered his last cry ? If so, he must be far astern now 
for the waves could not carry him along as fast as the 
schooner was going. And then he was lost. 


No 1 A feeble cry reached B riant, who hurried to 
the windlass in the frame of which the foot of the 
bowsprit was fitted. There he found the negro stuck 
in the very angle of the bow. A halliard was tighten- 
ing every instant round his neck. He had been saved 
by it when the wave was carrying him away. Was he 
now to be strangled by it ? 

Briant opened his knife, and, with some difficulty, 
managed to cut the rope. Moko was then dragged aft, 
and as soon as he had recovered strength enough to 
speak, " Thanks, Massa Briant," he said, and imme- 
diately resumed his place at the wheel, where the four 
did their utmost to keep the yacht safe from the enor- 
mous waves that now ran behind them, for the waves 
now ran faster than the yacht, and could easily board 
her as they passed. But what could be done ? It was 
impossible to set the least scrap of sail. 

In the southern hemisphere the month of March 
corresponds to that of September in the northern, and 
the nights are shorter than the days. About four 
o'clock the horizon would grow grey in the east, whither 
the schooner was being borne. With daybreak the 
storm might lull. Perhaps land might be in sight, and 
the fate of the schooner's passengers be settled in a few 
minutes ! 

About half-past four a diffused light began to appear 
overhead. Unfortunately the mist limited the range of 
view to less than a quarter of a mile. The clouds 
swept by with terrible rapidity. The storm had lost 
nothing of its fury ; and but a short distance off the 
sea was hidden by the veil of spray from the raging 
waves. The schooner at one moment mounting the 
wave-crest, at the next hurled into the trough, would 
have been shattered to pieces again and again had she 
touched the ground. 

The four boys looked out at the chaos of wild water ; 
they felt that if the calm was long in coming their 
situation would be desperate. It was impossible that 
the schooner could float for another day, for the waves 


would assuredly sweep away the companions and 
swamp her. 

But suddenly there came a cry from Moko of " Land, 
Land ! " 

Through a rift in the mist the boy thought he had 
seen the outline of a coast to the eastward. Was he 
mistaken ? Nothing is more difficult than to recognize 
the faint outlines of land, which are so easily confounded 
with those of the clouds. 

" Land ! " exclaimed B riant. 

" Yes," replied Moko. " Land ! to the eastward." 
And he pointed towards a part of the horizon now 
hidden by a mass of vapours. 

" Are you sure ? " asked Donagan. 

" Yes I— Yes !— Certain ! " said Moko. " If the mist 
opens again you look — there — a little to the right of the 
foremast — Look 1 look I " 

The mist began to open and rise from the sea. A few 
moments more and the ocean reappeared for several 
miles in front of the yacht. 

" Yes ! Land ! It is really land ! " shouted Briant. 

" And land that is very low," added Gordon, who had 
just caught sight of the indicated coast. 

There was now no room for doubt. A land— con- 
tinent, or island— lay some five or six miles ahead 
along a large segment of the horizon. In the direction 
she was going, and which the storm would not allow 
her to deviate from, the schooner would be driven on 
it in less than an hour. That she would be smashed, 
particularly if breakers stopped her before she reached 
the shore, there was every reason to fear. But the 
boys did not give that a thought. In this land, 
which had offered itself so unexpectedly to their sight, 
they saw, they could only see, a means of safety. 

And now the wind blew with still greater strength, 
the schooner, carried along like a feather, was hurled 
towards the coast, which stood out like a line of ink on 
the Whitish waste of sky. In the background was a 
cliff, from a hundred and fifty to two hundred feet 


high ; in the foreground was a yellowish beach ending 
towards the right in a rounded mass which seemed to 
belong to a forest further inland. 

Ah ! If the schooner could reach the sandy beach 
without meeting with a line of reefs, if the mouth of a 
river would only offer a refuge, her passengers might 
perhaps escape safe and sound t 

Leaving Donagan, Gordon, and Moko, at the helm, 
Briant went forward and examined the land which he 
was nearing so rapidly. But in vain did he look for 
some place in which the yacht could be run ashore 
without risk. There was the mouth of no river or 
stream not even a sandbank, on which they could run 
her aground ; but there was a line of breakers with the 
black heads of rock rising amid the undulations of the 
surge, where at the first shock the schooner would be 
wrenched to pieces. 

It occurred to Briant that it would be better for all 
his friends to be on deck when the crash came, and 
opening the companion-door he shouted down, — 

" Come on deck, every one of you 1 " 

Immediately out jumped the dog, and then the 
eleven boys one after the other, the smallest at the 
sight of the mighty waves around them beginning to 
yell with terror. 

It was a little before six in the morning when the 
schooner reached the first line of breakers. 

" Hold on, all of you ! " shouted Briant, stripping off 
half his clothes, so as to be ready to help those whom the 
sujdf swept away, for the vessel would certainly strike. 

Suddenly there came a shock. The schooner had 
grounded under the stern. But the hull was not 
damaged, and no water rushed in. A second wave 
took her fifty feet further, just skimming the rocks 
that ran above the water level in quite a thousand 
places. Then she heeled over to port and remained 
motionless, surrounded by the boiling surf. 

She was not in the open sea, but she was a quarter of 
a mile from the beach. 



At the time of our story, Charman's boarding-school 
was one of the largest in Auckland, New Zealand. It 
boasted about a hundred pupils belonging to the best 
families in the colony, and the course of study and the 
management were the same as in high-class schools at 

The archipelago of New Zealand has two principal 
islands, the North Island and the Middle Island, 
separated by Cook Strait. It lies between the thirty- 
fourth and forty-fifth parallels of south latitude — a 
position equivalent to that part of the northern hemis- 
phere occupied by France and Northern Africa. The 
North Island is much cut into at its southern end, and 
forms an irregular trapezium prolonged at its north- 
western angle and terminated by the North Cape and 
Cape Van Diemen. Just where the curve begins, and 
where the peninsula is only a few miles across, the town 
of Auckland is situated. Its position is similar to that 
of Corinth in Greece, and to that fact is due its name 
of the Corinth of the South. It has two harbours, 
one on the west, one on the east, the latter on Hauraki 
Gulf being rather shallow, so that long piers have had 
to be built into it where the smaller vessels can unload. 
One of these piers is Commercial Pier at the foot of 
Queen Street ; and about half way up Queen Street 
was Charman's school. 

On the 15th of February, 1880, in the afternoon a 
crowd of boys and their relatives came out of the school- 
house into Queen Street, merry and happy as birds just 
escaped from their cage. It was the beginning of the 
holidays. Two months of independence ; two months 

B 17 


of liberty ! And for some of the boys there was the 
prospect of a sea voyage which had been talked about 
in school for months. How the others envied those who 
, were to go on this cruise in which New Zealand was to be 
circumnavigated 1 The schooner had been chartered 
by the boys' friends, and fitted out for a voyage of 
six weeks. She belonged to the father of one of the 
boys, Mr. William H. Garnett, an old merchant captain 
in whom every confidence was felt. A subscription 
had been raised among the parents to cover the ex- 
penses; and great was the joy of the young folks, 
who would have found it difficult to spend their holidays 

1 The fortunate boys came from all of the first forms of 
the school, and as we have seen, were of all ages from 
eight to fourteen. With the exception of the Briants 
who were French, and Gordon who was an American, 
they were all English. 

Donagan and Cross were the sons of rich landholders, 
who occupy the highest social rank in New Zealand. 
They were cousins ; both were a little over thirteen and 
both were in the fifth form. Donagan was somewhat 
of a dandy, and was undoubtedly the most prominent 
pupil in the school. He was clever and hardworking, 
and by his fondness for study and his desire to excel, 
he easily maintained his position. A certain aristo- 
cratic arrogance had gained him the nickname of Lord 
Donagan, and his imperious character led him to strive 
to command wherever he was placed. Hence between 
him and Briant there had sprung up this rivalry which 
had become keener than ever since circumstances had 
increased Briant's influence over his companions. 
Cross was a very ordinary sort of boy, distinguished by 
a constant admiration for everything his cousin said or 

Baxter was also a fifth-form boy. He was thirteen 
years of age, a cool, thoughtful, ingenious fellow, who 
could do almost anything with his hands. He was the 
son of a merchant who was not particularly well off. 


Webb and Wilcox, who were both about twelve and 
a half, were in the fourth form. They were not particu- 
larly bright, and were rather inclined to be quarrelsome. 
On one thing they prided themselves ; that was their 
intimate knowledge of faggism in all its branches. 
Every information on the fag, and how to treat him, 
was to be obtained gratis from Messrs. Webb and 
Wilcox. Their fathers were wealthy men, and held 
high rank among the magistracy of the colony. 

Garnett and Service were in the third form. They 
were both twelve years old. One was the son of a 
retired merchant captain, the other's father was a 
well-to-do colonist living on the North Shore, on the 
upper coast of Waitemata Harbour. The families 
were very intimate, and Service and Garnett were 
almost inseparable. They were good-hearted boys, 
not over fond of work, and if they had been given the 
key of the fields, they would not have let it rest idle 
in their pockets. Garnett had an over-mastering 
passion — he loved an accordion I And he took it 
with him on board the yacht, to occupy his spare time 
in a way befitting a sailor's son. Service was the school 
wag, the liveliest and noisiest of the lot, a devourer of 
traveller's tales, and a worshipper of Robinson Crusoe 
and the Swiss Family Robinson, which he knew by 

Among the boys were two of nine years old. The 
first of these was Jenkins, the son of the secretary of the 
New Zealand Royal Society ; the other was Iverson, 
whose father was the minister of the church of St. Paul. 
Jenkins was in the third form, Iverson in the second ; 
but both were good boys. Dole and Costar were each a 
year younger than Iverson, and were the sons of military 
officers at Onehunga, six miles from Auckland, in 
Manukau Harbour. They were both little fellows. 
Dole was very obstinate, and Costar very greedy. 
Both were in the first form, and both knew how to read 
and write, and that is all we need say about them. 

Of the three we have left to the last, Gordon, the 


American, was about fourteen, and, in his somewhat 
angular build, already betrayed his Yankee origin. 
Slightly awkward, and a little heavy, he was far and 
away, the steadiest boy in the fifth form ; and although 
there was nothing very brilliant about him, he had a 
clear head and a strong fund of common sense. His 
tastes ran in a serious direction, and he was of an obser- 
vant character and cool temperament. He was metho- 
dic even to the slightest detail, classifying his ideas in 
his head as he arranged the things in his desk, where 
everything was classified, docketed, and entered in its 
special note-book. His companions liked him, and 
recognized his good qualities. He was a native of 
Boston, but having neither father nor mother, he had 
been taken care of by his guardian, a consular agent 
who had made his fortune and settled in New Zealand. 
For some years he had lived in one of those pretty 
villas scattered on the heights near the village of 'Mount 
St. John. 

Briant and his brother were the sons of a French 
engineer, who, for two years and a half, had been em- 
ployed in charge of the works for draining a marsh in 
the centre of the North Island. Briant wa* thirteen, 
an intelligent lad with no particular liking for hard 
work, and figuring with undesirable frequency at the 
wrong end of the fifth form. When he made up his 
mind, however, he speedily rose in the class, thanks 
to his facility of assimilation aud his remarkable 
memory. He was bold, enterprising, active, quick at 
repartee, and good-natured. He was generally liked, 
and when the schooner was in difficulties his companions 
with a few exceptions, did as he told them, principally, 
as we know, from his having gained some nautical 
knowledge on his way out from Europe. 

His young brother, Jack, was the funny boy of the 
third form, who would have been the school jester had 
it not been for Service. He spent his time chiefly in 
inventing new modes of mischief for the benefit of his 
schoolfellows, and being consequently in frequent hot 


water ; but for some reason his conduct on the yacht 
differed very much from what it had been at school 

Such were the schoolboys whom the storm had cast 
ashore in the Pacific. During the cruise round New 
Zealand the schooner was to be commanded by Gar- 
nett's father, who was one of the best yatchsmen in 
Australasia. Many times had the schooner appeared 
on the coast of Australia from the southernmost cape of 
Tasmania to Torres Straits, and even in the seas of the 
Moluccas and the Philippines, which are so dangerous 
to vessels of greater tonnage. But she was a well- 
built boat, handy, weatherly, and fit to keep the sea 
in all weathers. 

The crew consisted of the mate, six sailors, a cook, and 
a boy, Moko, the young negro of twelve, whose family 
had been in the service of a well-known colonist for 
many years. And we ought to mention Fan, a dog of 
American extraction, which belonged to Gordon, and 
never left her master. 

The day of departure had been fixed for the 15th of 
February. The yacht lay moored at the end of Com- 
mercial Pier. The crew was not on board when on 
the evening of the 14th, the young passengers embarked. 
Captain Garnett was not expected till the last moment, 
and the mate and the boy received Gordon and his 
companions, the men having gone ashore to take a 
parting glass. When the yacht had been cleared of 
visitors, and the boys had all gone to bed, so as to be 
ready early in the morning for the start, it occurred to 
the mate that he would go up into the town and look 
for his men, leaving Moko in charge. And Moko was 
too tired to keep awake. 

What happened immediately the mate left was a 
mystery, but, accidentally or purposely, the moorings 
of the yacht got cast off without any one on board being 
the wiser. 

It was a dark night. The land-breeze was strong, 
and the tide running out, and away went the schooner 
to sea 


When Moko awoke he found the yacht adrift ! 

His shouts brought up Gordon, Briant, Donagan, 
and a few of the others from below, but nothing could 
they do. They called lor help in vain. None of the 
harbour lights were visible. The yacht was right out 
in the gulf three miles from land. 

At the suggestion of Briant and Moko, the boys 
tried to get sail on the yacht so as to beat back into the 
harbour. But the sail was too heavy for them to set 
properly, and the result was that the yacht, instead of 
keeping her head up, dropped dead away to leeward. 
Cape Colville was doubled, and the strait between 
Great Barrier Island and the mainland run through, 
and soon the schooner was off to the eastward, many 
miles from New Zealand. 

It was a serious position. There could be no help 
from the land. If a vessel were to come in search, 
several hours must elapse before she could catch them, 
even supposing that she could find them in the darkness. 
And even when day came, how could she descry so small 
a craft on the high sea ? If the wind did not change, 
all hope of returning to land must be given up. There 
remained only the chance of being spoken by some 
vessel on her way to a New Zealand port. And to 
meet this, Moko hastened to hoist a lantern at the fore- 
mast head. And then all that could be done was to 
wait for daylight. 

Many of the smaller boys were still asleep, and it was 
thought best not to wake them. 

Several attempts were made to bring the schooner 
up in the wind, but all were useless. Her head fell off 
immediately, and away she went drifting to the east- 

Suddenly a light was sighted two or three miles off. 
It was a white masthead light, showing a steamer under 
way. Soon the side-lights, red and green, rose above 
the water, and the fact of their being seen together 
showed that the steamer was steering straight for the 


The boys shouted in vain. The wash of the waves, 
the roar of the steam blowing off, and the moan of the 
rising wind united to drown their voices. But if they 
could not hear the cries, the look-outs might see the 
light at the schooner's foremast ? It was a last chance, 
and unfortunately in one of the yacht's jerky pitches, 
the halliard broke and the lantern fell into the sea, 
and there was nothing to show the presence of the 
schooner, which the steamer was steering straight 
down upon at the rate of twelve knots an hour. 

In a few seconds she had struck the yacht, and would 
have sunk her, had she not taken her on the slant close 
to the stern ; as it was she carried away only a bit of 
the name board. 

The shock had been so feeble that the steamer kept 
on, leaving the schooner to the mercy of the approach- 
ing storm. It is often the case, unfortunately, that 
captains do not trouble about stopping to help a vessel 
they have run into. But in this case some excuse 
could be made, for those on board the steamer felt 
nothing of the collision, and saw nothing of the yacht 
in the darkness. 

Drifting before the wind, the boys might well think 
they were lost. When day came the wide horizon was 
deserted. In the Pacific, ships bound from Australia 
to America, or from America to Australia, take a more 
northerly or more southerly route than that taken by 
the yacht. Not one was sighted, and although the 
wind moderated occasionally, yet it never ceased 
blowing from the westward. 

How long this drifting was to last, neithet Briant 
nor his comrades knew. In vain they tried to get the 
schooner back into New Zealand waters. It was under 
these conditions that Briant, displaying energy superior 
to his age, began to exercise an influence over his com- 
panions, to which even Donagan submitted. Although 
with Moko's help he could not succeed in getting the 
yacht to the westward, he could, and did, manage to 
keep her navigable. He did not spare himself. He 


watched night and day. He swept the horizon for any 
chance of safety. And he threw overboard several 
bottles containing an account of what had happened 
to the schooner ; it was a slender chance, doubtle^, 
but he did not care to neglect it. r 

A few hours after the yacht left Hauraki Gulf, the 
storm arose, and for two weeks it raged with unusual 
impetuosity. Assaulted by enormous waves, and 
escaping a hundred times from being overwhelmed by 
the mountains of water, the yacht had gone ashore 
on an unknown land in the Pacific. 

What was to be the fate of these shipwrecked school- 
boys ? From what side was help to come to them if 
they could not help themselves ? 

Their families had only too good reason to suppose 
that they had been swallowed up. When it was found 
that the yacht had disappeared the alarm was given. 
We need not dwell on the consternation produced by 
the news. 

Without losing an instant, the harbour-master sent 
out two small steamers in search, with orders to explore 
the gulf and some miles beyond it. All that night, 
though the sea grew rough, the little steamers sought 
in vain; and when day came and they returned to 
Auckland, it was to deprive the unfortunate relatives 
of every hope. They had not found the schooner, but 
they had found the wreckage knocked away in collision 
by the Quito — a collision of which those on board the 
Quito knew nothing. 

And in this wreckage were three or four letters of the 
schooner's name. 

It seemed certain that the yacht had met with disas- 
ter, and gone down with all on board within a dozen 
miles of New Zealand. 



The shore was deserted, as Briant had discovered when 
he was on the foremast crosstrees. For an hour the 
schooner lay on her bed of sand, and no native was 
seen. There was no sign of house or hut either under 
the trees, in front of the cliff, or on the banks of the 
rivulet, now full with the waters of the rising tide. 
There was not even the print of a human foot on the 
beach, which the tide had bordered with a long line of 
seaweed. At the mouth of the river there was no 
fishing-boat to be seen, and no smoke arose in the air 
along the whole curve of the bay between the northern 
and southern capes. 

The first idea that occurred to Briant and Gordon was 
to get through the trees and ascend the cliffs behind. 

" We are on land, that is something ! " said Gordon ; 
" but what is this land which seems uninhabited ? " 

" The important thing is that it is not uninhabitable, 1 ' 
answered Briant. " We have food and ammunition 
for some time. We want a shelter of some sort, and 
we must find one — at least for the youngsters." 

" Yes. Right you are ! " 

"As to finding out where we are," said Briant, 
"there will be time enough for that when we have 
nothing else to do. If it is a continent, we may perhaps 
be rescued. If it is an island ! an uninhabited island — 
well we shall see ! Come Gordon, let us be off on our 
voyage of discovery." 

They soon reached the edge of the trees, which ran 
off on the slant from the cliff to the right bank of the 
stream, three or four hundred yards above its mouth. 

In the wood there was no sign of the passage of man, 
not a track, not a footpath. Old trunks, f^Jlen through 



old age, lay on the ground, and the boys sank to their 
knees in the carpet of dead leaves. But the birds flew 
away in alarm as if they had learnt that man was their 
enemy, and it was therefore likely that if the island was 
not inhabited, it was occasionally visited by the natives 
of a neighbouring territory. 

In ten minutes the boys were through the wood, 
which grew thicker where the rocks at the back rose 
like a wall for a hundred and eighty feet. Was there 
in this wall any break or hollow which would afford 
them a refuge ? A cave sheltered from the winds of 
the sea by the curtain of trees, and beyond the reach 
of the sea even in storms would be the very place for 
the boys to take up as their quarters until a careful 
exploration enabled them to move further inland. 

Unluckily the wall was as bare of irregularity as the 
curtain of a fortification. There was no cave, nor was 
there any place where the cliff could be climbed. To 
reach the interior the shore would have to be followed 
till the cliff ended. 

For half an hour Briant and his companion kept on 
to the southward along the foot of the cliff, and then 
they reached the right bank of the stream, which came 
meandering in from the east. On the right bank they 
stood under the shade of the lofty trees ; but the left 
bank bordered a country of very different aspect; 
flat and verdureless, it looked like a wide marsh extend- 
ing to the southern horizon. Disappointed in their 
hope of reaching the top of the cliff where they might 
have had a view of many miles over the country, the 
boys returned to the wreck. 

Donagan and a few others were strolling among the 
rocks, while Jenkins, Iverson, Dole and Costar were 
amusing themselves by collecting shellfish. The ex- 
plorers reported the result of their journey. Until a 
more distant expedition could be undertaken, it seemed 
best not to abandon the wreck, which, although stovej 
in below and heeling considerably, would do very wel^ 
as a temporary dwelling-place. The deck had been half; 


torn iip forward, but the saloons yielded ample shelter 
against a storm. The galley had not been damaged at 
all, to the very great satisfaction of the smaller boys. 
It was lucky for them that the things had not had to 
be carried from the wreck to the shore. If the schooner 
had remained in her first position on the reef, it is 
difficult to see how the many useful articles could have 
been saved. The sea would soon have broken up the 
wreck, and provisions, weapons, clothes, bedding, and 
cooking traps would have been scattered in confusion 
on the beach. Fortunately the schooner had been 
swept on to the sand, in such a state, it is true, that 
she would never float again, but still habitable, at least 
for a time. Before she became useless as a dwelling 
the boys might hope to find some town or village, or, 
if the island was a desert one, some cave in the rocks 
which they might make their home. 

That very day they set to work to make the schooner 
comfortable. .A rope-ladder on the starboard side 
gave easy access to the beach. Moko who as a cabin- 
boy knew something of cooking, took charge of the 
galley, and, helped by Service, proceeded to cook a 
meal which, thanks to excellent appetite, gave general 
satisfaction ; and even Jenkins, Iverson, Dole and Cos- 
tar became quite lively. Jack alone continued miser- 
able ; his character seemed to have quite changed ; 
but to all his companions said to him on the subject 
he gave evasive replies. 

Thoroughly tired out after so many days and nights 
of danger, the need of a good sound sleep was apparent 
to all. The youngsters were the first to find their way 
to the saloon, and the others soon followed. Briant, 
Gordon and Donagan took it in turns to keep watch. 
Might not some wild beasts put in an appearance? 
Or even a band of natives, who would be more formid- 
able ? But neither came. The night passed without 
an alarm of any kind ; and when the sun rose the boys 
joined in prayer to God for their deliverance from peril, 
and started on such work ^s was necessary. 


The first thing was to make a list of the provisions, 
and then of the weapons, instruments, utensils, clothes, 
tools, etc. The food question was serious, for it seemed 
they were in a desert land. They would have to trust 
to fishing and shooting, if anything remained to be 
shot. Donagan, who was a capital shot, had seen 
nothing yet but the birds on the reef and beach. But 
to be reduced to feeding on sea-birds was not a pleasant 
prospect, and it was desirable to know how long the 
schooner's provisions would last if managed with care. 

If was found that except the biscuits, of which there 
was a large store, the preserves, hams, meat biscuits — 
made of flour, minced pork, and spice — corned beef, 
salt beef, and sea stores generally, could not last longer 
than two months, so that from the very first they must 
have recourse to the productions of the country, and 
keep the provisions in case they had to journey some 
hundreds of miles to reach a port on the coast or a 
town in the interior. 

" Suppose some of these things have been damaged ?" 
asked Baxter. " If the sea-water got into the hold — " 

" That we shall see when we open the cases that look 
as though they had been knocked about," said Gordon. 
" If we were to cook them up again, they might do." 

" I'll look after that," said Moko. 

" The sooner the better," said B riant, " for the first day 
or two we shall have to live entirely on these things." 

" And why shouldn't we start to-day ? " asked Wil- 
cox, " and see if we cannot find some more eggs among 
those rocks to the northward ? " 

" Yes ! that's it ! " said De*e. 

" And why shouldn't we go fishing ? " asked Webb 
" Are there not any fishing-lines on board ? Who'll 
go fishing ? " 

" I will ! I will ! " said the youngsters. 

" All right," said Briant. " But no playing about ; 
we only give the lines to those who mean business." 

" Don't get excited," said Iverson. " We will be as 
steady as—" 


" But look here," said Gordon; " we must first make 
a list of what there is on board. We have other things 
to think of besides what there is to eat." 

" You can go and get a few oysters for lunch," said 

" Ah! that I'll do," said Gordon. " Off you go in 
twos and threes; and, Moko, you go with them." 

The negro could be trusted. He was willing, clever, 
and plucky, and would probably be of great use. He 
was particularly attached to Briant, who did not 
conceal his liking for him. 

" Come on! " said Jenkins. 

" Are you not going with them, Jack? " asked Briant. 

Jack replied in the negative. 

Jenkins, Dole, Costar, and Iverson then went off in 
charge of Moko, and scrambled up on to the reef which 
the sea had just left dry. In the cracks and crannies 
they might perchance come across many mollusks, 
mussels, clams, and even oysters, which, either raw or 
cooked, would form a welcome reinforcement. Away 
they went running and jumping, and evidently looking 
on the expedition as one of pleasure rather than work; 
at their age they remembered little of the trials they 
had passed through, and thought less of the dangers 
to come. 

As soon as they had gone the elder boys began their 
search on the yacht. Donagan, Cross, Wilcox, and 
Webb devoted themselves to the weapons, ammunition, 
clothes, bedding, tools, and utensils, while Briant, 
Garnett, Baxter, and Service took stock of the drink- 
ables. As each article was called out Gordon entered 
it in his note-book. 

It was found that the yacht had a complete set of 
spare sails and rigging of all sorts, cordage, cables, 
hawsers, &c, and if she could have been got afloat 
again could have been completely refitted. But these 
best quality sails and new cordage would never again 
be used on the sea; they would come in useful in other 
ways. A few fishing appliances, hand-lines, and deep- 


sea-lines figured in the inventory, and very valuable 
they would be, for fish was abundant. 

The list of weapons in the note-book gave eight 
central-fire fowling-pieces, a long-range duck-gun, 
and twelve revolvers; for ammunition there were 300 
cartridges for the breech-loaders, two barrels of gun- 
powder, each of twenty-five pounds, and a large 
quantity of lead, small shot and bullets. This ammuni- 
tion, intended to be used on the New Zealand coast at 
the places the yacht put in at, would come in more 
useful for the general security. The store-room also 
contained a few rockets for night signalling, and thirty 
cartridges and projectiles for the two small cannons 
on board, which it was hoped would not have to be 
used in repulsing a native attack. 

The cooking utensils, and such like, were enough, 
even if the stay was to be a lengthy one. Though a 
good deal of the crockery had been smashed when the 
yacht ran ashore on the reef, yet enough remained at 
the service of the table. And these things were not 
absolutely necessary. There were more valuable things, 
such as garments of flannel, cloth, cotton, and linen in 
sufficient quantity to give a change for each change of 
climate. And if the land was in the same latitude as 
Auckland, which was likely, as the vessel had run 
before a westerly wind all the time, the boys might 
expect a hot summer and very cold winter. Fortun- 
ately there were on board a whole heap of clothes ready 
for an excursion of many weeks. In the seamen's 
chests there were trousers, linen frocks, waterproof 
coats, and thick jerseys, that could be made to fit big 
or little, and enable them to defy the rigours of the 
winter. If circumstances obliged them to abandon the 
schooner, each could take away with him a complete 
set of bedding, for the bunks were well supplied with 
mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, and quilts, and 
with care these things would last a long time. 

A long time I That might mean for ever. In Gor- 
don's note-book there was also a list of the instruments 


on board; two aneroid barometers, a spirit ther- 
mometer, two chronometers, several copper speaking- 
trumpets, three telescopes of short and long range, a 
binnacle compass, and two smaller ones, a storm-glass 
indicating the approach of tempestuous weather, 
several British ensigns and jacks, and a set of signalling 
flags. And there was also a Halkett boat — a little 
india-rubber canoe which folds up like a bag, and is 
large enough to take a person across a river or lake. 

There were plenty of tools in the carpenter's chest, 
bags of nails, turrels, screws, and iron nuts and bands 
of all sorts for repairing the yacht. Thread and needles 
were not wanting, for the mothers had prepared for 
frequent mendings. There was no risk of being de- 
prived of fire, for without reckoning matches there 
were enough tinder-boxes and tinder to last for a long 

There were some large scale charts, but only for the 
coast of New Zealand, and consequently useless for 
the part where they had been wrecked ; but luckily 
Gordon had brought with him a general atlas, and the 
yacht's library included several good works of travel 
and manuals of science, to say nothing of " Robinson 
Crusoe," and the " Swiss Family Robinson," which 
Service had saved from the wreck as did Camoens his 
" Lusiad." And of course Garnett had taken good 
care that his famous accordion had come off safe and 
sound. When the reading materials had been disposed 
of, the writing materials were noted down. There 
were pens and pencils, and ink and paper, and an al- 
manack far 1880, which was at once handed over to 
Baxter for him to cancel each day as it elapsed. 

" It was on the 10th of March," said he, " that we 
came ashore. Well, out goes the 10th of March and 
all the days before it." 

In the strong box of the yacht there was from 150/. 
in gold, which might come in useful if the boys reached 
some port from which they could get home. 

Gordon took careful stock of the casks stowed in the 


hold. Many of them, containing spirits, ale, or wine, 
had been stove while the yacht was being dashed about 
on the reef. But there were still a hundred gallons of 
claret and sherry, fifty gallons of gin, brandy, and 
whisky, and forty hogsheads of ale, besides thirty bottles 
of different liqueurs in straw envelopes which had not 
been broken. 

So that for some time at least, the fifteen survivors 
of the schooner were in no fear of starvation. It 
remained to be seen if the country would yield anything 
to allow of their provisions being economized. If it 
was an island on which the storm had thrown them, 
they could hardly hope to get away from it, unless a 
ship were to appear and make out their signals. To 
repair the yacht and make good the damage to the hull, 
would be a task beyond their power, and require tools 
they did not possess. To build a new boat out of the 
ruins of the old one did not enter their minds ; and as 
they knew nothing of navigation, how were they to 
cross the Pacific to get back to New Zealand? In 
the schooner's boats, they might have got away, 
perhaps ; but the boats had gone, except the yawl, 
and that at the outside was only fit for sailing along 
the coast. 

About noon, the youngsters, headed by Moko, 
returned. They had after a time quieted down and 
set seriously to work, and they had brought back a 
good store of shellfish, which the cabin-boy undertook 
to get ready. As to eggs, there ought to be a great 
quantity, for Moko had noted the presence of innumer- 
able rock pigeons of an edible kind nestling on the 
higher ledges of the cliff. 

" That is all right," said Briant. " One of these 
mornings we will go out after them, and get a 

" We are sure to do that," said Moko. " Three or 
four shots will give us pigeons by the dozen. It will 
be easy to get to the nests if we let ourselves down with a 


" Agreed I " said Gordon. " Suppose, Donagan, you 
go to-morrow ? " 

" That will suit me very well," said Donagan. 
" Webb, Cross, and Wilcox, will you come too ? " 

" Rather ! " said they ; only too well pleased at the 
idea of blazing away into such a bird crowd. 

"But don't kill too many pigeons," said Briant. 
" We know now where to find them when we want 
them. Don't waste powder and shot — " 

" All right ! " said Donagan, who did not like advice 
— particularly from Briant. " It is not the first time 
we have had a gun." 

An hour afterwards Moko announced that dinner 
was ready, and the boys hurried up the ladder on to 
the schooner and took their seats in the dining saloon. 
Owing to the yacht heeling over so much, the table 
sloped considerably; but that made little difference 
to those accustomed to the rolling of the ship. The 
shellfish, particularly the mussels, were declared to be 
excellent, although their seasoning left something to be 
desired ; but at that age hunger is the best sauce. A 
biscuit and piece of corned beef and fresh water from 
the stream, taken when the tide was at the lowest so 
as to avoid its being brackish, made an acceptable 

The afternoon was spent in arranging the things 
that had been entered on the list; Jenkins and his 
companions going off to fish in the river and having 
fair sport among the finny crowd that swarmed about 
its mouth. After supper all were glad to get to bed, 
except Baxter and Wilcox, whose turn it was to keep 



Was it an island, or a continent? That was the 
question constantly occupying the minds of Briant, 
Gordon, and Donagan, who by their character and 
intelligence were the chiefs of this little world. Think- 
ing of the future when the youngsters only thought of 
the present, they often talked together on the subject. 
Whether it was insular or continental, the land was 
evidently not in the tropics. That could be seen by 
the vegetation — oaks, beeches, birches, alders, pines, 
and firs of different sorts, and several of the myrtaceae 
and saxifragaceae which are neither shrubs nor trees. 
It seemed as though the country must be nearer the 
southern pole than New Zealand, and if so, a severe 
winter might be anticipated. Already a thick carpet 
of dead leaves covered the ground in the wood near 
the cliff ; the pines and firs alone retaining their f oliage. 

" That is why," said Gordon, " the morning after the 
wreck I thought it best not to look out for a permanent 
settlement hereabouts/' 

" That is what I think," said Donagan. " If we 
wait for the bad season, it will be too late to get to 
some inhabited part, for we may have to go hundreds 
of miles." 

" But we are only in the first half of March," said 

" Well," said Donagan. " The fine weather may 
last till the end of April, and in six weeks we might get 
well on the road — " 

" If there is a road ! " 

" And why shouldn't there be ? " 

" Quite so," said Gordon. " But if there is, do you 
know where it leads ? " 



" I know one thing/' said Donagan. " It will be 
absurd not to have left the schooner before the cold 
and rainy season, and to do that, we need not see only 
difficulties at each step." 

" Better see them than start off like fools across a 
country we know nothing about." 

" It is easy to call people fools when they don't 
think the same as you do." 

Donagan's observation might have soon led to a 
quarrel had not Gordon intervened. 

" There is no good in arguing. Let us understand 
each other. Donagan is right in saying that if we are 
near an inhabited country, we should get there without 
delay. But Briant says, is it possible we are near to 
such a country? and there is no harm in that." 

" But Gordon," said Donagan, " if you go to the 
north, or the south, or the east, you must get to the 
people in time." 

" Yes, if we are on a continent," said Briant, " and 
not on an island, perhaps a desert island." 

" That is why we ought to find out," said Gordon. 
" To leave the schooner before we know whether there 
is or is not a sea to the east of us — " 

" It is the schooner that will leave us," said Donagan. 
" She cannot last out the winter storms on this beach." 

" Agreed," said Gordon, " but before we venture into 
the interior we must know where we are going." 

" I'll go out and reconnoitre," said Briant. 

" So will I," said Donagan. 

" We'll all go," said Gordon, " but we don't want to 
drag the youngsters with us, and two or three of us 
will be enough." 

" It is a pity," said Briant, " that there is no high hill 
from which we could have a good view. The land lies 
low, and even from the offing I saw no elevation. The 
highest ground seems to be this cliff. Beyond it I 
suppose there are forests, and plains, and marshes, 
through which the stream runs." 

" We ought to have a look over the country before 


trying to get round the cliff where Briant and I failed 
to find the cave." 

" Well, we'll try the north," said Briant " If we 
can get up the cape at the far end, we might see a long 
way round." 

" That cape," said Gordon, " is 250 or 300 feet high, 
and ought to look right over the cliff." 

"Til go," said Briant. 

The bay ended in a huge pile of rocks, like a hill 
rising into a peak on the side nearest the sea. Along 
the curve of the beach it was seven or eight miles away 
but in a bee line, as the Americans say, it was probably 
not more than five, and Gordon had not over-estimated 
the height of the hill at 300 feet from the sea-level. 

Was this sufficiently high for a good view over the 
country ? Would not the landscape be shut in by high 
ground to the eastward? But at least it would be 
seen if the coast-line continued towards the north or 

And so it was decided that the exploration should be 
made, and that the wreck should not be abandoned 
until it had been discovered whether the boys had been 
cast on an island or a continent, which could only be 
the American continent. But no start could be made 
for the next five days, owing to the weather having 
become misty and rainy ; and until the wind freshened 
to blow the fog away, the view would not be worth the 

The days were not lost. They were spent in work. 
Briant made it his duty to look after the younger boys, 
as if to watch over them with paternal affection was a 
want of his nature. Thanks to his constant care, they 
were as well looked after as circumstances permitted. 
The weather was getting colder, and he made them put 
on warmer clothes from the stores found in the seamen's 
chests, and this gave a good deal of tailoring work, in 
which the scissors were more in request than the needle* 
and Moko greatly distinguished himself. Costar, Dole, 
Jenkins, and Iverson were elegantly attired in trousers 


and jerseys much too roomy for them, but reduced to a 
proper length of arm and leg. The others were not 
idle. Under Garnett or Baxter, they were off among 
the rocks at low tide, gathering mollusks, or fishing 
with lines and nets at the mouth of the stream, amusing 
themselves to the advantage of all. Busy in a way 
that pleased them, they hardly thought of the position 
in which they were placed, and they did not know how 
serious it was. When they thought of their parents 
and friends, as they often did, they were sorrowful 
enough ; but the idea that they would never see them 
again never occurred to them. 

Gordon and Briant seldom left the wreck. Service 
was with them a good deal, and was always good-tem- 
pered and useful. He liked Briant, and had never 
joined Donagan's party, and Briant was not insensible 
to his loyalty. 

" This is first rate," said Service. " The schooner 
must have been dropped gently on the beach by some 
good fairy ! There was no such luck as this with 
Robinson Crusoe nor the Swiss family." 

Young Jack grew stranger in his manner every day. 
Although he helped his brother in many ways, yet he 
rarely replied to a question, and turned away his eyes 
whenever he was looked at in the face. Briant was 
seriously uneasy at all this. Being his senior by some 
four years, he had always had a good deal of influence 
over him, and ever since they had come on board the 
schooner he had noticed that Jack seemed like a boy 
afflicted with remorse. Had he done anything that he 
dared not tell his brother? Several times Briant 
noticed that his eyes were red from crying. Was Jack 
going to be seriously ill ? If so, how could they look 
after him ? Here was trouble in store ! And so 
Briant asked his brother quietly what ailed him. 

" There's nothing the matter with me," answered 
Jack. And that was all he could get from him. 

During the nth and 15th of March, Donagan, Wilcox, 
Webb, and Cros? went shooting rock pigeons. They 


always kept together, and it was obvious that they 
wished to form a clique apart from the rest. Gordon 
felt anxious about this ; he saw that trouble must come 
of it, and when an opportunity offered he spoke about 
it, and tried to make the discontented ones understand 
how necessary union was for the good of the community. 
But Donagan replied to his advances so coldly that he 
thought it unreasonable to insist ; though he did not 
despair of destroying the germs of dissension which 
might have deplorable results, for events might tend 
to bring about an understanding where advice failed. 

While the excursion to the north of the bay was 
stopped by the misty weather, Donagan and his Mends 
had plenty of sport. He was really an excellent shot, 
and he was very proud of his skill, and despised such 
contrivances as traps, nets, and snares, in which Wilcox 
delighted. Webb was a good hand with the gun, but 
did not pretend to equal Donagan. Cross had very 
little of the sacred fire, and contented himself with 
praising his cousin's prowess. Fan, the dog, distin- 
guished herself highly, and made no hesitation in 
jumping into the waves in retrieving the somewhat 
miscellaneous victims of the guns. Moko refused to 
have anything to do with the cormorants, gulls, 
seamews, and grebes, but there were quite enough rock 
pigeons as well as geese and ducks to serve his purpose. 
The geese were of the bernicle kind, and from the 
direction they took when the report of the gun scared 
them away, it was supposed that they lived in the 
interior of the country. 

Donagan shot a few of those oyster-catchers which 
live on limpets, cockles, and mussels. In fact, there 
was plenty of choice, although Moko found it no easy 
matter to get rid of the oily taste, and did not always 
succeed to the general satisfaction. But, as Gordon 
said, the boys need not be too particular, for the most 
must be made of the provisions on board. 

On the 15th of March the weather appeared favour* 
able for the excursion to the cape, which was to solve 


the problem as to island or continent. During the 
night the sky cleared up the mist which the calm of the 
preceding days had accumulated. A land-breeze swept 
it away in a few hours. The sun's bright rays gilded 
the crest of the cliff. It looked as if in the afternoon 
the eastern horizon would be clearly visible ; and that 
was the horizon on which their hopes depended. If 
the line of water continued along it, the land must be 
an island, and the only hope of rescue was from a ship. 

The idea of this visit to the end of the bay, first 
occurred, it will be remembered, to Briant, and he had 
resolved to go off alone. He would gladly have been 
accompanied by Gordon, but he did not feel justified in 
leaving his companions without any one to look after 

On the evening of the 15th, finding the barometer 
remained steady, he told Gordon he would be off at 
dawn next morning. Ten or eleven miles, there and 
back, was nothing to a healthy lad who did not mind 
fatigue. The day would be enough for the journey, 
and he would be sure to get back before night. 

Briant was off at daybreak without the others know* 
ing he had gone. His weapons were only a stick and a 
revolver, so as to be prepared for any wild beast that 
came along, although Donagan had not come across 
any in his shooting expeditions. With these he also 
took one of the schooner's telescopes — a splendid instru- 
ment of great range and clearness of vision. In a bag 
hung to his belt he took a little biscuit and salt meat, 
and a flask of brandy, so as to be prepared in case any 
adventure delayed his return. 

Walking at a good pace, he followed the trend of the 
coast along the inner line of reefs, his road marked by a 
border of seaweed still wet with the retiring tide. In 
an hour he had passed the extreme point reached by 
Donagan in his foray after the rock pigeons. The 
birds had nothing to fear from him now. His object 
was to push on and reach the foot of the cape as soon 
as possible. The sky was clear of cloud, and if the mist 


came back in the afternoon, his journey might be 

During the first hour he kept on as fast as he could 
walk, and got over half his journey. If no obstacle 
hindered him, he expected to reach the promontory by 
eight o'clock. But as the cliff ran nearer to the reefs, 
the beach became more difficult to traverse. The 
strip of land grew so narrow that instead of the firm 
elastic path near the stream, he had to take to the slip- 
pery rocks, and make his way over viscous seaweed, 
and round deep pools and over loose pebbles, on which 
there was no safe footing. It was tiring walking, and 
took two full hours more than he expected. 

" I must get to the cape before high water," said he 
to himself. " The beach is covered by the tide, and 
the sea runs up to the foot of the cliff. If I am obliged 
to go back at all or to take refuge on some rock, I shall 
get there too late. I must get on at all cost before the 
tide runs up." 

And the brave boy, trying to forget the fatigue which 
began to creep over his limbs, struck out across what 
seemed the shortest way. Many times he had to take 
off his boots and stockings, and wade the pools, and 
now and then, with all his strength and activity, he 
could not avoid a fall. 

It was here, as we have said that the aquatic birds 
were in greatest number. There were literally swarms 
of pigeons, oyster-catchers, and wild ducks. A few 
couples of seals were swimming among the breakers, 
but they showed no fear, and never attempted to dive. 
As they were not afraid, it looked as though many years 
had elapsed since men had come in chase of them. 
Thinking further of the seals, Briant concluded that 
the coast must be in a higher latitude than he had 
imagined, and that it must be some distance south of 
New Zealand. The yacht must have drifted to the 
south-west on her way across the Pacific. And this 
conjecture was confirmed when Briant reached the foot 
of the promontory, and found a flock of penguins. 


These birds only haunt the antarctic ocean. They were 
strutting about in dozens, flapping their tiny wings, 
which they use for swimming instead of flying. 

It was then ten o'clock. Exhausted and hungry, 
Briant thought it best to have something to eat before 
attempting the ascent of the promontory, which raised 
its crest some 300 feet above the sea. And he sat down 
on a rock out of reach of the rising tide, which had 
begun to gain on the outer ridge of reefs. An hour 
later he would not have been able to pass along the 
foot of the cliff without running the danger of imprison- 
ment by the flood. But there was nothing to be anxious 
about now, and in the afternoon the ebb would leave 
the passage dry. 

While the food satisfied his hunger, the halt gave rest 
to his limbs, and he began to give the rein to his thoughts 
on matters in general. Alone, and far from his com- 
panions, he coolly reviewed the situation, resolving 
to do his best for the good of all. Then he thought of 
his brother Jack, whose health caused him much anxiety. 
It seemed to him that Jack must have done something 
serious — probably before his departure — and he decided 
to question him so closely that he would have to con- 
fess. For one hour Briant sat and thought, and rested 
himself. Then he shut up his bag, threw it over his 
shoulder, and began to climb the rocks. 

The cape ended in a narrow ridge, and its geology 
was remarkable. It was a mass of metamorphic rock 
quite detached from the cliff, and differing from it 
completely in structure ; the cliff being composed of 
calcareous stratifications similar to those of La Manche 
in the west of Europe. 

Briant noticed that a narrow gorge cut the promon- 
tory off from the cliff, and that the breach extended 
northwards out of sight. But the promontory, being 
at least 100 feet higher than the neighbouring heights, 
would afford an extensive view. 

The ascent was not easy. He had to climb from one 
rock to another, the rocks being often so large that he 


could barely reach up them. But as he belonged to 
that order of boys we classify as climbers, and brought 
all his gifts into play, he eventually reached the top. 
With his glass at his eye he first looked to the east. 
The country was flat as far as he could see. The cliff 
was the greatest elevation, and the ground gently 
sloped towards the interior. In the distance were a 
few hillocks hardly worth mentioning. There was 
much forest land, and under the yellow foliage rose 
many streams that ran towards the coast. The surface 
was level up to the horizon, which might be a dozen 
miles away. It did not look as though the sea was 

To the north Briant could make out the beach run- 
ning straight away for seven or eight miles ; beyond 
another cape, and a stretch of sand that looked like a 
huge desert. To the south was a wide marsh. Briant 
had surveyed the whole sweep of the westerly horizon. 
Was he on an island or a continent ? He could not 
say. If it was an island, it was a large one. That was 
all he could discover. 

Then he looked to the westward. The sea was shin- 
ing under the oblique rays of the sun, which was slowly 
sinking in the heavens. 

Suddenly he brought his glass to his eye, and looked 
away into the offing. 
" Ships ! " he exclaimed. " Ships going past ! " 
Three black spots appeared on the circle of gleaming 
waters about fifteen miles away. 

Great was his excitement. Was he the sport of an 
illusion ? Were they vessels he saw ? 

He lowered the glass, and cleaned the eyepiece, 
which had clouded with his breath. He looked again. 
The three points looked like ships with nothing 
visible but their hulls. There was no sign of their 
masts, and no smoke to show that they were under way. 
And then the thought occurred to him, that they 
were too far off for his signals to be seen ; and as it 
was likely that his companions had not seen these 


ships, the best thing he could do was to get back to 
the wreck and light a big fire on the beach. And then — 
when the sun went down — . 

As he thought he kept his eye on the three black 
spots. One thing was certain ; they did not move. 

Again he looked through the glass, and for some 
minutes he kept them in the field of his objective. 
And then he saw that they were three small islands 
that the schooner must have passed close* by when 
they were hidden in the mist. 

It was two o'clock. The tide began to retire, leaving 
the line of reefs bare at the foot of the cliff. Briant, 
thinking it was time to return to the wreck, prepared 
to descend the hill. 

But once again he looked to the eastward. In the 
more oblique position of the sun he might see something 
that had hitherto escaped him. And he did not regret 
doing so; for beyond the border of forest he could 
now see a bluish line, which stretched from north to 
south for many miles, with its two ends lost behind 
the confused mass of trees. 

" What is that ? " he asked himself. 

And again he looked. 

"The sea! Yesi The sea!" 

And the glass almost dropped from his hands. 

It was the sea to the eastward, there could be no 
doubt ! It was not a continent on which he had been 
cast, but an island. An island in the immensity of the 
Pacific, which it would be impossible to leave I 

And then all the perils that begirt him presented them- 
selves to his mind as in a vision. His heart almost 
ceased to beat. But struggling against the involuntary 
weakness, he resolved to do his best to the last, however 
threatening the future might be. 

A quarter of an hour afterwards he had regained the 
beach, and by the same way as he had come in the 
morning he returned to the wreck. He reached it 
about five o'clock, and found his comrades impatiently 
awaiting his return. 



In the evening after supper Briant told the bigger 
boys the result of his exploration. Briefly it was as 
follows : to the east, beyond the forest zone, he had 
distinctly seen a line of water extending from north to 
south. That this was the horizon of the sea appeared 
indubitable. Hence it was on an island and not on a 
continent that the yacht had been wrecked. 

Gordon and the others received the information with 
considerable excitement. What ! They were on an 
island and deprived of every means of leaving it ! 
Their scheme of finding a road to the eastward would 
have to be abandoned ! They would have to wait 
till a ship came in sight I Could it be true that this 
was their only chance of rescue ? 

" But was not Briant mistaken ? " asked Donagan. 

" Did you not mistake a bank of clouds for the 
sea ? " asked Cross. 

" No," answered Briant. "lam certain I made no 
mistake. What I saw was a line of water, and it 
formed the horizon." 

" How far off was it ? " asked Wilcox. 

" About six miles from the cape." 

" And beyond that," asked Webb, " were there no 
mountains, no elevated ground ? " 

" No I Nothing but the sky." 

Briant was so positive that it was not reasonable to 
retain the least doubt in the matter. 

But Donagan, as was always the case when he argued 
with Briant, continued obstinate. 

" And I repeat that Briant has made a mistake. 
And until we have seen it with our own eyes— " 



" Which we shall do," said Gordon, " for we must 
know the truth about it." 

" And I say we have not a day to lose," said Baxter, 
" if we are to leave this place before the bad weather, 
supposing we are on a continent." 

" We will go to-morrow, if the weather permits," 
said Gordon. " We will start on an expedition that 
may last some days. I say weather permitting, for 
to plunge into the forest in bad weather would be 
madness " 

" Agreed, Gordon," answered Briant. " And when 
we reach the other side of the island " 

" If it is an island ? " interrupted Donagan. 

" But it is one ! " replied Briant impatiently. " I 
have made no mistake. I distinctly saw the sea in the 
east. It pleases Donagan to contradict me as usual — " 

" And you are not infallible, Briant ! " 

" No, I am not ! But this time I am I I will go my- 
self to this sea, and if Donagan likes to come with me — " 

" Certainly I will go." 

" And so will we,' ' said three or four of the bigger boys. 

" Good ! " said Gordon. " But don't get excited, 
my dear young friends. If we are only boys, we may 
as well act like men. Our position is serious, and any 
imprudence may make it worse. We must not all 
go into this forest. The youngters cannot come with 
us, and we cannot leave them all on the wreck. Dona- 
gan and Briant may go, and two others may go with 

" I'll go ! " said Wilcox. 

" So will I 1 " said Service. 

" Very well," said Gordon. " Four is quite enough 
If you are too long coming back we can send a few 
others to your assistance, while the rest remain with the 
schooner. Don't forget that this is our camp, our 
house, our home, and we can only leave it when we are 
sure that we are on a continent. 

" We are on an island," said Briant. " For the last 
time I say so I " 


" That we shall see ! " replied Donagan. 

Gordon's sensible advice had had its effect in calming 
the discord. Obviously — and Briant saw it clearly 
enough— it was advisable to push through the central 
forest and reach the line of water. If it was a sea to 
the eastward, there might be other islands separated 
from them by a channel they might cross ; and if they 
were on an island of an archipelago, surely it was 
better to know it before taking any steps on which 
their safety might depend. It was certain that there 
was no land to the west right away to New Zealand. 
The only chance of reaching an inhabited country was 
by journeying towards the sun-rising. 

But it would not be wise to attempt such an expedi- 
tion except in fine weather. As Gordon had just said, 
it would not do to act like children, but like men. In 
the circumstances in which they were placed, with the 
future so threatening, if the intelligence of these boys 
did not develop quickly, if the levity and inconsistency 
natural at their age carried them away, or if disunion 
was allowed amongst them, the position of things would 
become critical. And it was for this reason that 
Gordon resolved to do everything to maintain order 
amongst his comrades. 

However eager Donagan and Briant might be to 
start, a change of the weather obliged them to wait. A 
cold rain had fallen since the morning. The falling of 
the barometer indicated a period of squally weather, of 
which it was impossible to predict the duration. It 
would have been too risky to venture out under such 

But was this to be regretted ? Assuredly not. That 
all were in a hurry to know if the sea surrounded them, 
may be imagined. But even if they were sure of being 
on a continent, were they likely to venture into a 
country they knew nothing about, and that when the 
rainy season was coining on ? Suppose the journey 
was to extend to hundreds of miles, could they bear 
the fatigues ? Would even the strongest among them 


reach the end ? No ! to carry out such an expedition 
with success, it must be put off till the days were long, 
and the inclemency of winter overpast. And so they 
would have to content themselves with spending the 
rainy season at the wreck. 

Gordon had meanwhile been trying to find out in 
what part of the ocean they had been wrecked. His 
atlas contained a series of maps of the Pacific. In 
tracing the course from Auckland to the American coast 
he found that the nearest islands passed to the north 
were the Society Islands, Easter Island, and the island 
of Juan Fernandez, on which Selkirk — a real Crusoe — 
had passed so much of his life. To the south there 
was not an island up to the boundary of the Antarctic 
Ocean. To the east there were only the Archipelagoes 
of the Chiloe Islands and Madre de Dios, along the 
coast of Patagonia, and lower down were those about 
the Straits of Magellan and Tierra del Fuego, which are 
lashed by the terrible sea round Cape Horn. 

If the schooner had been cast on one of these un- 
inhabited islands off the Patagonian pampas, there 
would be hundreds of miles to be traversed to reach 
Chili or the Argentine Republic. And the boys would 
have to act with great circumspection if they were not 
to perish miserably in crossing the unknown. 

So thought Gordon. Briant and Baxter looked at the 
matter in the same way. And doubtless Donagan and 
the others would, in the end, agree with them. 

The scheme of exploring the eastern coast was not 
given up, but during the next fortnight it was impossible 
to put it into execution. The weather was abominable, 
nothing but rain from morning to night, and violent 
squalls. The way through the forest would have been 
impracticable ; and the expedition had to be postponed, 
notwithstanding the keen desire to unravel the mystery 
of continent or island. 

During these stormy days the boys remained at the 
wreck, but they were not idle. They were constantly 
at work making good the damage done to the yacht 


by the inclement weather, for owing to the wet the 
planks began to give, and the deck ceased to be water- 
tight. In places the rain would come in through the 
joints where the caulking had been torn away, and this 
had to be made good without delay. Repairs were 
also needed to stop not only the water-ways, but the 
air-ways opened in the hull. Gordon would have used 
some of the spare sails for the purpose, but he could 
not bring himself to sacrifice the thick canvas which 
might come in so usefully for tents, and so he did the 
best he could with tarpaulins. 

Besides this, there was the urgent question of finding 
a better shelter. Even if they did go eastward, they 
could not move for five or six months, and the schooner 
would not last as long as that, and if they had to aban- 
don her in the rainy season, where were they to find a 
refuge ? The cliff, on its western face, had not the 
slightest indentation that could be utilized. It was 
on the other side, where it was sheltered from the wind 
from the sea, that search must be made, and, if neces- 
sary, a house built large enough to hold them all. 

Meanwhile the cargo was done up into bales and 
packages all duly numbered and entered in Gordon's 
pocket-book, so that when it became necessary they 
could be quickly carried away under the trees. 

Whenever the weather was fine for a few hours, 
Donagan, Wilcox, and Webb went off after the pigeons, 
which Moko more or less successfully cooked in different 
ways. Garnett, Service, Cross, and the youngsters, 
including Jack, when his brother insisted on it, went 
away fishing. Among the shoals of fishes that haunted 
the weeds on the reef were many specimens of the* 
genus notothenia, and hake of large size, and in and 
out among the thongs of the huge fucoids, some of 
which were four hundred feet long, was a prodigious 
quantity of small fish that could be caught by the hand. 

It was a treat to hear the exclamations of the youth- 
ful fishers as they drew their nets or lines to the edge 
of the reef. 


" I have got a lot ? I have a splendid lot 1 " exclaimed 
Jenkins. " Oh ! they are big ones I " 

"So are mine I Mine are bigger than yours!" 
exclaimed Iverson, calling on Dole to help him. 

" They'll get away ! " said Costar, as he ran up to 

" Hold on i Hold on ! " said Garnett, going from one 
to the other. " Get in your net quickly." 

" But I can't ! I can't I " said Costar, as the net was 
dragging him in. 

And then with a united effort the nets were got in on 
the sand. It was time, for in the clear water there was 
a number of hyxines, or ferocious lampreys, who would 
have made short work of the fish caught in the meshes ; 
and although many were lost in this way, enough were 
saved to furnish the table. A good deal of hake was 
caught, and was found to be excellent, eaten either 
fresh or salted. The fish at the mouth of the river 
were chiefly galaxias, a kind of gudgeon, which Moko 
found he could cook best fried. 

On the 27th of March a more important capture 
afforded a somewhat amusing adventure. 

When the rain left off in the afternoon, the youngsters 
started off to fish in the river. 

Suddenly there were loud shouts from them — shouts 
of joy, it is true — but shouts for help. 
. Gordon, Briant, Service, and Moko, who were busy 
on board the schooner, dropped their work, ran off to 
help, and soon cleared the five or six hundred yards 
that separated them from the stream. 

" Come along I " shouted Jenkins. 

" Come and see Costar and his charger ! " said Iverson. 

" Quick, Briant, quick, or he'll get away ! " shouted 

" Let me get down ! Let me get down ! I am afraid/' 
said Costar, gesticulating in despair. 

" Gee up ! " said Dole, who was with Costar on some 
moving mass. 

The mass was a turtle of huge size, one of those enor- 



mous chelonians that are usually met with floating on 
the surface of the sea. This time it had been surprised 
on the beach, and was seeking to regain its natural 

In vain the boys, who had slipped a string round its 
neck, were trying to keep the animal back. He kept 
moving off with irresistible strength, dragging the whole 
band behind him. For a lark Jenkins had perched 
Costar on the back, with Dole astride behind him ; 
and the youngster began to scream with fright as the 
turtle slowly neared the water. * 

" Hold on ! Hold on, Costar ! " said Gordon. 

" Take care your horse doesn't get the bit between 
his teeth 1 " shouted Service. 

Briant could not help laughing; for there was no 
danger. As soon as Dole let go, Costar had only to 
slip off to be safe. 

But it was advisable to catch the animal ; and if 
Briant and the others united their efforts to those of 
the little ones, they might stop him ; and they must 
put a stopper on his progress before he reached the 
water, where he would be safe. 

The revolvers Gordon and Briant had brought with 
them from the schooner were useless, for the shell of 
a turtle is bullet-proof ; and if they attacked him with 
the axe, he would draw in his head and paddles and 
be unassailable. 

" There is only one way," said Gordon ; " we must 
turn him over 1 " 

"And how?" said Service. "He must weigh at 
least three hundredweight, and we can never — " 

" Get some spars ! Get some spars I " said Briant. 
And followed by Moko, he ran off to the schooner. 

The turtle was now not more than thirty yards from 
the sea. Gordon soon had Costar and Dole off its 
back, and then seizing the string, they all pulled as 
hard as they could, without in the least stopping the 
advance of the animal, which could have dragged all 
Charman's school behind it. 


Luckily, Briant and Moko returned before the turtle 
reached the sea. 

Two spars were then run underneath it, and with a 
great effort he was pitched over on his back. Then he 
was a prisoner, for he could not turn over on to his feet. 
And just as he was drawing in his head, Briant gave 
him such a crack with the hatchet, that he died almost 

" Well, Costar, are you still afraid of this big brute ? " 
asked Briant. 

" No ! No I Briant, for he's dead." 

" Good 1 " said Service, " but you daren't eat him ! " 

" Can you eat him ? " 

" Certainly." 

" Then I'll eat him, if he's good," said Costar, licking 
his lips at the thought. 

" It is good stuff," said Moko, who was quite within 
the truth in saying that turtle meat was quite a 

As they could not think of carrying away the turtle 
as a whole, they had to cut it up where it was. This 
was not very pleasant, but the boys had begun to get 
used to the occasionally disagreeable necessities of 
Crusoe life. The most difficult thing was to break into 
the carapace, for its metallic hardness turned the edge 
of the axe. They succeeded at last in driving in a cold 
chisel between the plates. Then the meat, cut away in 
pieces, was carried to the schooner. And that day the 
boys had an opportunity of convincing themselves that 
turtle soup was exquisite, to say nothing of the grilled 
flesh which Service had unfortunately let burn a little 
over too fierce a fire. Even Fan showed in her way that 
the rest of the animal was not to be despised by the 
canine race. 

The turtle yielded over fifty pounds of meat — a 
great saving to the stores of the yacht. 

In this way the month of March ended. During 
the three weeks since the wreck all the boys had done 
their best preparing for a long stay on this part of the 


coast. Before the winter set in there remained to 
be settled this important question of continent or 

On the ist of April the weather gave signs of changing. 
The barometer slowly rose, and the wind began to 
moderate. There were unmistakable symptoms of 
an approaching calm of perhaps longish duration. 

The bigger boys discussed the matter, and began to 
prepare for an expedition, the importance of which was 
obvious to all. 

" I don't think there'll be anything to stop us to- 
morrow," said Donagan. 

" Nothing, I hope/' said Briant. " We ought to be 
ready to get away early." 

" I understand," said Gordon, " that the line of 
water you saw in the east was six or seven miles from 
the cape." 

" Yes," said Briant, " but as the bay is a deep curve, 
it is possible that the sea may be much nearer here." 

" Then," continued Gordon, " you will not be away 
more than twenty-four hours ? " 

" That is, if we can go due east. But can we find a 
way through the forest when we have got round this 

" Oh ! that won't stop us ! " said Donagan. 

" Perhaps not," said Briant, " but there may be 
other obstacles — a watercourse, a marsh, who knows ? 
It will be best, I think, to take rations for some days — " 

" And ammunition," added Wilcox. 

" Quite so," said Briant, " and let it be understood 
that if we are not back in two days you need not be 

" I shall be anxious if you are away more than half a 
day," said Gordon. "But that is not the question. 
As the expedition has been decided on, let it proceed. 
You have not only to reach this eastern sea, but to 
reconnoitre the country behind the cliff. This side we 
have found no cave, and when we leave the schooner 
we shall have to carry the things where they'll fce 


sheltered from the sea breeze. To spend the rainy 
season on this beach seems to me impracticable/' 

" You are right, Gordon/' answered Briant, " and 
we'll look out for some place where we can instal our- 

" At least, until we have found that we cannot get 
out of this pretended island," said Donagan, returning 
to his idea. 

" That is understood," said Gordon, " although the 
season is already rather advanced. At any rate, we'll 
act for the best. So to-morrow you start ! " 

Preparations were soon finished. Four days' provi- 
sions were stowed in bags to be carried over the shoul- 
ders, four guns, four revolvers, two boarding-axes, a 
pocket compass, a powerful telescope, and the usual 
pocket utensils, matches and tinder-box seemed enough 
for a short expedition that was not without its dangers. 
Briant and Donagan, and Service and Wilcox, who were 
to go with them, were cautioned to be careful not to 
push forward without extreme circumspection, and 
never to separate. 

Gordon could not help feeling that he would have been 
of use to keep Briant and Donagan together. But it 
appeared to him the better plan to remain at the wreck, 
so as to watch the younger boys. So he took Briant 
apart, and made him promise to avoid any subject that 
might cause a quarrel or disagreement. 

The hopes of the weather were realized. Before 
nightfall the last clouds had vanished in the west. 
The line of sky and sea met in a clear horizon. The 
magnificent constellations of the southern hemisphere 
sparkled in the firmament, the Southern Cross conspi- 
cuously pointing to the Antarctic Pole. 

On the eve of their separation Gordon and his com- 
rades were sad at heart. And as their eyes sought the 
tky, there came to them the thought of the fathers and 
mothers and friends and country that they might never 
see again. 



Briant, Donagan and Service went out on a long exploring expedi- 
tion and discovered that someone had lived and died on the Island 
before their coming, for they found the ruined ajoupa or hut in which 
he had lived, rough tools he had made, a bolas for hunting and a map 
which showed the place to be a large island with a goodly river, 
lake and dense forests. Finally, they came across his skeleton and 
buried it. From the papers of the unfortunate man they learned 
that he was a French sailor, Fran$ois Baudoin, and that he had 
been cast upon the island more than fifty years before the time when 
they had met with a like fate. Full of these tidings they returned 
to the wreck and the rest of their party. 

The reception the explorers met with can be imagined. 
Gordon, Cross, Baxter, Garnett and Webb, clasped 
them in their arms, while the little ones threw their 
arms around their necks and shouted for joy. Fan 
took part in the rejoicing, and barked as loudly as the 
youngsters cheered. It seemed so long since Briant 
and his companions had gone away. 

" Were they lost ? Had they fallen among savages ? 
Had they been attacked by cannibals ? " Such were 
the questions those who remained behind had asked 

But Briant, Donagan, Wilcox, and Service had come 
back again to tell them the story of their expedition. 
As, however, they were very tired after their long day's 
work, the story was postponed till the morning. 

" We are on an island 1 " 

That was all Briant said, and that was enough to 
reveal the troubles in store for them, although Gordon re- 
ceived the news without betraying much discouragement. 

" Good 1 I'll wait," he seemed to say to himself, 
" and not trouble myself about it till it comes." 

Next morning — the 5th of April — Gordon, Briant, 



Donagan, Baxter, Cross, Wilcox, Service, Webb, 
Garaett, and also Moko, whose advice was always 
valuable, gathered together in the bow of the yacht, 
while the others were still asleep. In turns B riant and 
Donagan told their comrades all that had happened. 
They told them how a causeway across a stream, and 
the remains of an ajoupa had led them to believe that 
the country was inhabited. They explained how the 
wide sheet of water they had at first taken for the sea 
was nothing but a lake ; how fresh traces they had come 
upon led them to the cave, near where the stream flowed 
out of the lake ; how the bones of Francois Baudoin 
had been discovered ; and how the map made by him 
showed that it was an island on which the schooner 
had been wrecked. 

The story was told in full, neither B riant nor Donagan 
omitting the smallest detail ; and now all who looked 
at the map understood only too well that help could 
come to them but from the sea. 

However, if the future presented itself in the gloomiest 
colours, and the boys could only place their hope in 
God, there was one who felt much less alarmed than the 
others, and that was Gordon. The young American 
had no relatives in New Zealand. And to his practical, 
methodical, organizing mind, there was nothing so 
very difficult in the task of founding a colony. He saw 
the chance that offered for the exercise of his natural 
gift, and he did not hesitate to keep up the spirits of 
his comrades by promising them a fairly good time if 
they would only help him. 

And in the first place, as the island was of considerable 
size, it seemed impossible that it was not marked on the 
map of the Pacific near the American coast. They 
turned to the atlas, but no island of importance could 
they find outside the Archipelagoes which include the 
Fuegian or Magellanic Islands, and those of Desolation, 
Queen Adelaide, Clarence, etc., etc. If it had been in 
one of these Archipelagoes, and only separated from the 
continent by narrow channels, Baudoin would certainly 


have shown it on his map, and this he had not done. 
It must be a lonely island, and probably more to the 
north or the south than these Archipelagoes. But 
without the necessary elements or instruments it was 
impossible to fix its position in the Pacific. 

All that could be done at present was to take up their 
quarters and make themselves comfortable before the 
wet season had made it impossible to move. 

" The best thing to do/' said Briant, " is to move into 
the cave near the lake. It would make a capital place 
to live in." 

" Is it large enough to hold the lot of us ? " asked 

" No," answered Donagan, " but I think we could 
make it larger by digging out another cave from it* 
We have tools — " 

" Let us try it first as it is," said Gordon, " and if it 
is too small we can — " 

" And let us get there as soon as we can," interrupted 

The matter was urgent. As Gordon had said, the 
schooner became less habitable every day. The late 
rains and the hot sun had opened up the cracks in the 
hull and deck considerably. The torn sails allowed the 
wind and water to find their way inside. The sand on 
which it rested had been undermined, and it had slanted 
further over and sunk deeper into the sand. If a 
storm were to come, there was every chance of the 
wreck going to pieces in a few hours. The sooner the 
boys cleared out the better, and it would be well for 
them to take the hull to pieces methodically, so as to 
secure all that would be useful, such as beams, planks, 
iron, copper, with a view of properly fitting up " French 
Den," as the cave had been called in memory of the 
shipwrecked Frenchman. 

" And in the meantime where shall we live ? " asked 

" In a tent," answered Gordon. " In a tent under 
the trees by the river-side," 


" That is the best thing," said Briant, " and let us 
begin without losing an hour." 

The demolition of the yacht, the unloading of the 
material and provisions, the construction of a raft for 
the transport of the cargo, would take at least a month 
of hard work, and before leaving the bay it would be 
the first week of May, which corresponds to the first 
week in November in the northern hemisphere, that is 
to say, the beginning of winter. 

Gordon had chosen the bank of the river as the site 
of the tent because the transport was to take place by 
water. No other way was more direct or convenient. 
To carry all that remained of the yacht through the 
forest or along the bank of the river, would have been 
almost impossible; but by taking advantage of the 
tide, a raft could be got up the river without much 

In its upper course, as Briant had discovered, the 
stream contained no obstacle in the way of falls, rapids, 
or bars. An expedition to reconnoitre its lower course 
from the swamp to the mouth was made in the yawl ; 
and Briant and Moko assured themselves that the river 
was navigable in that part as well. There was thus an 
unbroken line of communication between the bay and 
French Den. 

The days that followed were employed in arranging 
the camp at the side of the river. The lower branches 
of two beeches were united by long spars with the 
branches of a third, and were used to hold up the yacht's 
spare mainsail, which fell down on each side to the 
ground. Into this tent, which was firmly stayed and 
strutted, they transported the bedding and furniture, 
the weapons and ammunition, and the bales of provi- 
sions. As the raft was to be built of the timbers of 
the yacht, they had to wait till they had demolished 
the wreck before they began to build it. 

There was nothing to complain of in the weather, 
which continued dry. When there was a wind, it came 
from the land, and the work went on uninterruptedly. 


By the 15th of April there only remained on the 
schooner such things as were too heavy to move until 
she had broken up — among them the pigs of lead used 
for ballast, the water-tanks in the hold, the windlass, 
and the galley, which were too heavy to be taken away 
without apparatus. The spars and rigging, shrouds, 
and stays of iron, chains, anchors, ropes, hawsers, 
lines, yarns, and such things, of which there was a 
great quantity on the yacht, were gradually removed 
to the ground near the tent. 

Busy as they were with this work, the wants of each 
day were not neglected. Donagan, Webb, and Wilcox 
devoted a few hours to shooting the rock pigeons and 
the birds frequenting the marsh. The youngsters went 
searching for mollusks when the tide left the reef bare. 
It was pleasant to see Jenkins, I verson, Dole, and Costar 
hunting about in the pools like a lot of ducklings, 
and sometimes getting their legs wet so as to be 
scolded by the severe Gordon, and excused by 
the gentler Briant. Jack also went out with the 
youngsters, but he never joined in their shouts of 

Things went on satisfactorily and methodically, 
thanks to Gordon, whose sound common sense was 
seldom at fault. Evidently Donagan gave in to him 
when he would not give into Briant or any one else. 
And harmony reigned in the little world. 

But there was need of despatch. The second fort- 
night of April was less fine. The mean temperature 
sensibly fell, and many times during the early morning 
the thermometer fell below freezing. The winter was 
coming, and with it would appear its retinue of hail and 
snow, and storm. 

The young and the old began to clothe themselves 
more warmly, to put on the thick jerseys and jackets. 
To find them was easy enough, for they were down all 
in Gordon's note-book, arranged in qualities and sizes. 
The youngest boys were Briant' s especial care. He saw 
that they had not cold feet, and that they did not dawdle 


in the cold air when they were out for a swim ; at the 
least cold in their heads he made them sleep near the 
fire, which he kept in night and day ; and often he 
kept Dole and Costar in the tent, while Moko gave 
them gruel and physic from the schooner's medicine- 

When the schooner had been emptied of all it con- 
tained, the hull, which had broken apart in many 
places, was attacked. The sheets of copper sheathing 
were taken off very carefully. Then the pincers and 
crowbars, and hammers were brought into play to rip 
off the planks which the nails and trenails fastened to 
the frame. This was a troublesome task for inexperi- 
enced hands and not very vigorous arms. And the 
breaking up went on very slowly until on the 25th 
of April a storm came to help. 

During the night, although they were already in the 
cold season, a thunderstorm occurred. The lightning 
played across the sky, and the rolling of the thunder 
lasted from midnight to sunrise, to the great terror of 
the little ones. It did not rain fortunately, but twice 
or thrice it was necessary to support the tent against 
the fury of the wind. Owing to its being fixed to the 
trees it remained undamaged ; not so the yacht, 
which lay directly exposed to the gusts from the offing 
and the full force of the waves. 

The breaking up was complete. The planks were 
torn off, the frame broken up, the keel smashed, and 
the whole thing reduced to wreckage. And there was 
nothing to complain of in the way it was done, for the 
waves as they retired carried off but a small portion of 
the wreck which for the most part was kept back by the 
reef. The ironwork was easily picked up out of the 
sand, and all the boys set to work during the next day 
or so to collect it. The beams, planks, water-tanks, 
and other things which had not been swept away, lay 
scattered on the beach, and all that had to be done was 
to transport them to the right bank of the stream a few 
yards from the tent. 


It was a heavy job, but in time it was done, though 
not without a good deal of fatigue. It was curious to 
see the boys all hanging on to a heavy piece of wood, 
hauling it along and encouraging each other with many 
a shout. The heavier timbers were rolled on bits of 
round wood and levered along by spars. The most 
difficult things to move were the windlass, the galley 
stove, and the iron tanks, which were of considerable 
weight. If the boys had only had some practical man 
to guide them t If Briant had had his father, Garnett 
his, the engineer and the captain would have saved them 
from many mistakes they committed, and would again 
commit. Baxter, who was very intelligent in mechani- 
cal matters, displayed much cleverness and seal; 
it was on his advice, with the agreement of Moko, that 
tackles were fixed to piles driven into the sand, and 
thereby tenfold strength given to the boys, so as to 
enable them to finish their task. 

In short, on the evening of the 28th, all that remained 
of the schooner had been taken to the place of embarka- 
tion ; and without doubt, the worst of the enterprise 
was over, for the river was to take the material up to 
French Den. 

" To-morrow," said Gordon, " we will begin to build 
the raft." 

" Yes," said Baxter ; " and to save any trouble in 
launching it, I propose to build it in the river." 

" That will not be easy," said Donagan. 

" Never mind," answered Gordon, " we will try. If 
it gives us more trouble to get together, it will not 
trouble us to get it afloat." 

There could be no doubt this was the best way; 
and next morning they began the framework of the 
raft, which was to be sufficiently large to receive a 
heavy and crowded cargo. 

The beams from the schooner, the keel broken in 
two pieces, the foremast, what remained of the main- 
mast broken three feet above the deck, the rails, and 
the mid-ship beam, the bowsprit, the fore-yard, the 


main-boom and the gaff, had been taken to a part of 
the river beach which the water only covered at high 
tide. The boys waited till the tide rose, and then the 
wood was brought out into the stream. There the 
largest pieces were placed side by side, and bound 
together, with the others placed crossways. 

In this way a solid framework was obtained, measur- 
ing about thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide. All 
day long the boys worked hard at the raft, and by night- 
fall the framework was complete. Briant then took 
care to moor it to the trees on the bank, so that the 
rising tide could not carry it up stream, or the ebb take 
it out to sea. Then every one, thoroughly tired out 
after such a hard day, sat down to supper with a for- 
midable appetite, and slept soundly till the morning. 

At dawn they again set to work. A platform had 
now to be built on the framework. The deck planks 
and streaks of the schooner's hull now came into use. 
Nails driven in with heavy hammer-strokes, and ropes 
passed over and under, fastened everything firmly 

Working at the hardest, this took three days, al- 
though there was not an hour to lose. A little ice had 
already appeared on the surface of the pools among the 
reefs and along the edge of the stream. The shelter of 
the tent became insufficient in spite of the fire. Sleep- 
ing close to each other, covered with the thickest wraps, 
Gordon and his companions found it difficult to put 
up with the cold. Hence the necessity of pushing on 
with the work for taking up their quarters in the cave, 
where they hoped to defy the winter, which in these 
latitudes is very severe. 

The deck had been fixed on as firmly as possible, so 
that it should not be displaced on the voyage ; for that 
meant the swallowing up of the cargo in the bed of the 
stream ; and to save such a disaster it was better to 
delay the departure for a day. 

" However," said Briant, " we must not delay our 
departure beyond the 6th of May." 



" WKy not ? " asked Gordon. 

" Because the day after to-morrow is new moon, and 
the tides will be higher for a few days after that. The 
higher they are, the easier we shall get up the river. 
Just think what a fix we shall be in if we have to tow 
this heavy raft or pole it up 1 We could never dp it 
against the current ! " 

" You are right/' said Gordon. " We must be off in 
three days at the latest." 

And all agreed to take no rest until the work was 

On the 3rd of May they began to load the raft, being 
careful to trim it so as to keep it level. Every one was 
occupied in this work according to his strength. Jen- 
kins, Iverson, Dole, and Costar took charge of the 
lighter things, the tools, and instruments, and laid 
them on the deck, where Briant and Baxter stored 
them under Gordon's directions. The bigger boys 
busied themselves about the heavier things, such as 
the stove, the water-tanks, the windlass, the iron-work, 
the sheathing, &c, the rest of the timbers of the 
schooner, the ribs, the planking, the deck-rails, etc. 
In the same way were brought on board the bales of 
provisions, the casks of wine, ale, and spirits, not for- 
getting several sacks of salt that had been found among 
the rocks. To assist in the loading, Baxter had erected 
two spars which were kept in position by means of 
four stays. To the end of this crab was fastened a 
tackle working round one of the yacht's launches, so 
that the things could be lifted off the ground and laid 
on the deck gently and quietly. 

All went on with so much care that in the afternoon 
of the 5th of May everything was in its place on board, 
and nothing remained but to cast off the raft's moorings. 
That would be done next morning about eight o'clock, 
when the tide began to rise at the mouth of the stream. 

The boys doubtless imagined that their task being 
over they were to spend the rest of the day in taking 
things easy. They were destined to be disappointed, 


for Gordon made a proposal which gave them something 
else to do. 

" My comrades," he said, " we are now going away 
from this bay, and will no more be able to look out 
over the sea, and if any ship comes in sight of the island, 
we shall not be able to signal to her. It will therefore 
be best, I think to rig tip a mast on the cliff, and hoist 
one of our flags and keep it flying. That will probably 
be enough to attract the attention of any ship that may 
pass within sight of it. 1 ' 

The idea having been adopted, the schooner's 
topmast, which had not been used in the raft, was 
dragged to the foot of the cliff where the slope by the 
river-bank was not too great, and it required a good deal 
of effort to get it up the rugged slope of the ridge. 
Success came at last, however, and the mast was firmly 
fixed in the ground. Then with a halliard Baxter 
hoisted the British flag, and the same moment Donagan 
saluted it by firing his gun. 

"Hallo!" said Gordon to Briant. "There is 
Donagan taking possession of the island in the name of 
Great Britain ! " 

" I shall be much astonished if it doesn't belong to 
Great Britain already," said Briant. 

Gordon's reply was a grimace, and by his always 
speaking of it as " his island " it seemed as though he 
had claimed it for the United States. 

Next morning at sunrise all were astir. The tent 
was taken down and the bedding carried on board the 
raft, with the sail put over it to protect it from the 
weather, which, however, promised to be favourable 
enough, although a change in the direction of the wind 
had brought a good deal of mist in from the sea. 

By seven o'clock everything was ready. The raft 
had been so loaded that it gave accommodation for 
the company for two or three days, and Moko had 
cooked enough food to last, so that a fire would not be 

At half-past eight the boys all gathered on the raft. 


The bigger ones, armed with poles and spars, took up 
their places ready to steer it, for a rudder would have 
been no use in going with the stream. 

A little before nine o'clock the tide began to make 
itself felt, and the framework began to creak and groan. 

" Attention ! " shouted Briant. 

" Ready ! " said Baxter. 

These were at the ropes which moored the raft fore 
and aft by the river-bank. 

" We are all ready ! " said Donagan, who with Wilcox 
was in the front of the raft. 

Soon the raft was afloat. 

" Cast off ! " said Briant. 

Away went the ropes and the heavily-loaded mass 
began to drift up stream, towing the yawl astern. 

Every one was pleased when the raft began to move. 
If the boys had built a sea-going ship they could not 
have been more satisfied with themselves I And 
their little sentiment of vanity may be forgiven them ! 

The right bank of the river was bordered with trees, 
and higher than the left, which ran along by the marsh. 
Briant, Baxter, Donagan, Wilcox, and Moko used 
every effort to keep the raft away from the banks, for 
it would never do to run aground, but at the same 
time they did not cross the stream, for the tide was 
stronger along the right bank, and the height of the 
bank gave better holding to their poles. 

Two hours after their departure they had floated 
about a mile. They had not grounded once or run 
ashore. But according to Briant' s estimate the river 
was quite six miles long, and as they could not hope 
to advance more than two miles with each tide, it 
would take them several tides to reach their destination. 

In fact, about eleven o'clock, the ebb began to declare 
itself, and the boys had to bestir themselves to get the 
raft moored so that it did not drift back to the sea. 

Evidently the raft would make a fresh start in the 
evneing, but to venture with it then would be dangerous. 

" I think it would be unwise," said Gordon. " We 


would expose the raft to the chances of collision or 
grounding, and the shock might smash it up. I think 
we had better wait till to-morrow, and go on with the 
day tide." 

' The proposal was too sensible not to meet with gene- 
ral approval. They might have to wait twenty-four 
hours, but the delay was preferable to risking the safety 
of the valuable cargo. 

Half a day and the whole of the night were thus 
passed in this place. 

Donagan and his sporting friends, accompanied by 
Fan, were soon ashore on the river-bank. 

Gordon advised them not to get far away, and they 
adopted his advice ; and as they brought back two 
brace of fat bustards and a string of tinamous, their 
vanity was satisfied. Moko took charge of the game, 
to keep it for the first meal — breakfast, dinner, or 
supper — after reaching French Den. 

During the day Donagan had seen no trace of the 
ancient or recent presence of man in the forest. He had, 
however, seen some tall birds running off, which he had 
failed to recognize. 

During the night Baxter, Webb, and Cross were on 
the look-out, ready if necessary to double the hawsers, 
or give them a little slack when the tide turned. All 
went well. Next morning at a quarter to ten, the tide 
had risen high enough for the navigation to be resumed. 
The night had been cold, so was the day. The sooner 
the raft reached its destination the better. What would 
the boys do if the river froze, or if an iceberg came down 
from lie lake to enter the bay ? Here was something 
to think about, something they did not cease to worry 
over till they reached French Den. 

But it was impossible to go quicker than the flood- 
tide, impossible to go against the stream when the tide 
failed, impossible to advance more than a mile in an 
hour and a half. They reached the half of their journey. 
About one o'clock in the afternoon a halt was made at 
the opening of the swamp which Briant had had to go 



round In returning to the wreck. Advantage was 
taken of the halt to explore the part adjoining the 
river. For a mile and a half Moko, Donagan, and 
Wilcox in the yawl rowed away to the north, and 
stopped only when the water became too shallow. The 
swamp was a part of the marsh, which extended along 
the left bank. It seemed very rich in water-fowl, 
and Donagan was able to shoot a few snipe to add to 
the bustards and tinamous in the larder on board. 

The night was very still and cold, with a quiet biting 
breeze that almost died away as it crossed the river- 
valley. Ice was formed in the stream, but only in 
thin flakes, which broke or melted at the least shock. 
In spite of every effort to keep warm, no one was 
comfortable on the raft. Among the youngsters, 
Jenkins and Iverson were in a very bad humour, and 
complained bitterly at having had to leave the schooner; 
and Briant had to take them in hand and talk them to 

At length, in the afternoon of the next day, with the 
aid of the tide, which lasted till half-past three in the 
afternoon, the raft arrived in sight of the lake, and was 
run aground in front of the entrance to French Den. 



The boys had often looked along the cliffs in the hope 
of finding another cave. If they had discovered one, 
they would have used it as a general store for what had 
now to be left out in the open. But the search had 
been in vain, and they had had to return to the scheme of 
enlarging their dwelling-place by digging into the walls. 

There was no difficulty in doing tins in the soft lime- 
stone, and the work would give them something to do 
during the winter, and could be finished by the return 
of the fine season. 

There was no need to take to blasting. The tools 
they had were sufficient for them to cut the hole for 
the chimney of the stove to be run out of, and Baxter 
had already been able, with some difficulty it is true, 
to enlarge the opening into the cave, so as to fit it 
with one of the doors from the schooner ; and right 
and left of the door two holes had been cut in the wall, 
admitting light and air. 

The bad weather had set in a week ago. Violent 
storms had swept across the island, but the cave had 
not had to face them owing to its lying north and 
south. The rain and snow passed away over the crest 
of the cliff. The sportsmen had to leave the game alone 
in the vicinity of the lake, and the wild ducks, snipe, 
lapwing, rail, coot, and white pigeon remained undis- 
turbed. The lake and the river had not yet been 
frozen, but it only required a quiet night when the first 
dry cold would succeed the storm for them to be covered 
with ice. 

The work of enlarging the cave could thus be con- 
veniently begun, and a start was made on the 27th of 



The right wall was first attacked. 

" If we dig on the slant," said Briant, " we may come 
out by the lake-side, and so get a second entrance. 
That would give us a better look-out, and if the bad 
weather kept us in on one side, we might get out on the 

This would in every way be an advantage, and there 
seemed to be no reason why the plan should not succeed. 

Only forty or fifty feet separated the cave from the 
eastern face, and a gallery could easily be driven in the 
right direction, by compass, care being taken to avoid 
a fall or founder. Baxter's plan was to begin with a 
narrow tunnel, and then enlarge it till it was of the 
required size. The two rooms of the cave could then 
be united by a passage, which could be closed at both 
ends, and one or two galleries driven right and left of 
it to give additional room. The plan was evidently a 
good one, it allowed of the rock being dug into with 
care, so that any sudden inrush of water could be 
satisfactorily dealt with, and the digging stopped if 

For three days, from the 27th to the 30th May, the 
work went on favourably. The soft limestone could be 
cut with a knife ; woodwork had to be used to support 
the roof of the gallery, but that was easily managed. 
The rubbish was taken outside, so as not to litter the 
floor of the cave. There was not room enough for all 
hands to work at once, so the boys took it in turns. 
When the rain and snow ceased, Gordon and the elder 
boys took the raft to pieces, so that the deck and frame 
could be used up in another way. And they overhauled 
the things stowed away against the cliff which the tar- 
paulins did not cover satisfactorily. 

The work of boring advanced gradually, not without 
many a stoppage to sound and make sure that progress 
was safe. Four or five feet had been dug out, when, 
in the afternoon of the 30th, something very unexpected 

Briant, on his knees in the hole, like a hewer in a 


coal-mine, thought he heard a slight noise in the interior 
of the rock. 

He stopped his picking and listened. Again the 
sound reached his ear. 

To get out of the hole, and tell Gordon and Baxter, 
who were standing at the entrance, was the work of an 

" It is an illusion/ 1 said Gordon. " You imagined 
you heard it." 

" Take my place, then put your ear to the wall and 

Gordon got into the hole, and stayed there a few 

! " You are right," said he, " I hear a sort of distant 
growling." 4 

Baxter went in, and confirmed this. 

" What can it be ? " he asked. 

" I cannot think," said Gordon, " We must tell 
Donagan and the others." 

" Not the youngsters," said Briant, " it would give 
them a scare." 

But as they all came in to dinner at the moment, the 
secret could not be kept. 

Donagan, Wilcox, Webb, and Garnett, one after the 
other, went into the cavity and listened. But the 
sound had ceased, probably, for they heard nothing, 
and concluded that their comrades had been mistaken. 

Mistake or no mistake, it was resolved to continue 
the work, and as soon as the meal was over, the digging 
recommenced. During the afternoon no noise was 
heard, but about nine o'clock in the evening the growling 
was distinctly heard through the rock. 

Fan ran into the hole, and immediately came out 
again with unmistakable signs of anger, her coat 
bristling, her lips showing her teeth, and barking 
loudly, as if in reply to the growling in the rock. 

And then the alarm, mingled with surprise, that the 
smaller boys had hitherto felt, gave place to fear. 
In vain Briant tried to soothe Dole, Costar, and even 


Jenkins and Iverson, until he at last got them to bed 
and to sleep. 

Gordon and the others continued to discuss this 
strange affair. Every now and then the growling would 
be heard, and Fan would reply to it with a loud bark. 
Fatigue at last overcame them, and they went to bed, 
leaving Briant and Moko to watch ; and till daylight 
silence reigned in French Den. 

All were up early next morning. Baxter and 
Donagan crawled to the end of the hole. No sound 
could be heard. The dog ran to and fro without 
showing any uneasiness, and made no attempt to dash 
herself against the wall as she had done the night before. 

" Let us work/' said Briant. 

" Yes," replied Baxter. " There will always be 
time to leave off if we hear any noise." 

" Is it not possible," said Donagan, " that the growl- 
ing was simply a spring in the rock ! " 

" Then we should hear it now," said Wilcox, " and 
we don't." 

" That is so," said Gordon. " I think it more likely 
to have come from the wind in some crack leading down 
from the top of the cliff." 

" Let us go up on the top and see," said Service. 

This was agreed to. 

About fifty yards away there was a winding path 
to the summit of the hill. In a few minutes Baxter 
and two or three others were walking up it over French 
Den. Their journey was useless. The ridge was 
clothed with short close herbage, and had no opening 
by which a current of air or a stream of water could find 
its way in. And when the boys got down again they 
knew no more than the youngsters. 

The work of digging the hole was continued to the 
end of the day. There was none of the noise of the 
evening before, but Baxter examined the wall, and 
found that it sounded hollow. Was the tunnel going 
to end in a cave ? Was it in this cave that the mysteri- 
ous sound had arisen ? As may be imagined, the boys 


worked hard and the day was one of the most tiring 
they had yet experienced. Nevertheless it would have 
passed without adventure, had not Gordon noticed 
that the dog had disappeared. 

Generally, at meal-times, Fan was to be found near 
her master's seat, but now her place was empty. 

They called Fan. Fan did not answer. Gordon 
went to the door. He called her again. Complete 

Donagan and Wilcox went out, one along the bank 
of the stream, the other along the shore of the lake — 
but they found no trace of the dog. 

In vain was the search extended for a few hundred 
yards round French Den. Fan was not to be found. 

It was evident that the dog was not within call, for 
if she had been, she would have answered. Had she 
strayed away ? That was unlikely. Had she perished 
in the jaws of some wild beast ? That was possible, 
and it was the best explanation of her disappearance 
that offered. 

It was nine o'clock at night. Thick darkness en* 
veloped the cliff and the lake. The search had to be 
given up. 

The boys went back to the cave. They were uneasy, 
and not only uneasy, but grieved to think that the dog 
had vanished, perhaps for ever. 

Some stretched themselves on their beds, others sat 
round the table, not thinking of sleep. It seemed that 
they were more alone than ever, more forsaken, more 
removed from the country and their friends. 

Suddenly in the silence the noise broke out afresh. 
This time there was a long howl, and a cry of pain 
lasting for nearly a minute. 

" It is from over there, over there, that it comes I '• 
exclaimed Briant, rushing to the tunnel. 

They all rose as if waiting for a ghost. Terror had 
seized upon the little ones, who hid themselves under 
their bed-clothes. 

When Briant came back he said, — 


" There must be a cavern beyond, the entrance to 
which is at the foot of the cliff." 

" And in which it is probable that animals take shel- 
ter during the night/' added Gordon. 

" That is it," said Donagan. " And to-morrow we 
must try and find it." 

At this moment a bark was heard, and then a howling. 
The sound came from the interior of the rock. 

" Can Fan be there ? " asked Wilcox, " and fighting 
with some animal ? " 

Briant went back into the tunnel and listened with 
his ear against the wall. But there was nothing more. 
Whether Fan was there or not, it was evident that there 
must be a second opening which ought to communicate 
with the exterior, probably by some gap in the thicket 
of brushwood. 

The night passed without either barking or howling 
being again heard. 

Next morning the search was begun at break of day, 
but with no more result than the day before. Fan, 
sought for and shouted for all over the neighbourhood, 
did not come back. 

Briant and Baxter took turns at the digging. Pick- 
axe and shovel were kept constantly at work. During 
the morning the tunnel was made two feet longer. 
From time to time the boys stopped to listen, but 
nothing could they hear. 

After dinner the digging began again. Care was 
taken in case a blow of the pickaxe knocked through 
the wall and gave passage to an animal. The younger 
boys were taken out to the bank of the river. Gun in 
hand, Donagan, Wilcox, and Webb stood ready for 
anything that might happen. 

About two o'clock Briant suddenly exclaimed. His 
pickaxe had gone through the limestone, which had 
fallen in and left a good-sized hole. 

Immediately he returned to his comrades, who could 
only think — 

But before they had time to open their mouths, an 


animal rushed down the tunnel and leapt into the cave. 

It was Fan I 

Yes, Fan, whose first action was to rush to a bowl of 
water, and drink greedily. Then she wagged her tail, 
without showing the least anger, and began to jump 
about in front of Gordon. Evidently there was no 

Briant then took a lantern and entered the tunnel. 
Gordon, Donagan, Wilcox, Baxter, and Moko followed 
him. Soon they were through the hole and in the 
middle of the gloomy cavern, to which no light from 
the outside came. 

It was a second cave, with the same height and width 
as French Den, but longer, and the floor was covered 
with fine sand for an area of about fifty square yards. 

As the cavity seemed to have no communication 
with the oiitside, it was to be feared that the air was 
not fit to breathe. But as the lamp in the lantern 
burnt clearly, there must be some opening to admit the 
air. If not, how could Fan have got in ? 

Wilcox suddenly kicked his foot against a body — 
which, feeling with his hand, he found to be cold and 

Briant approached with the light. 

" It is the corpse of a jackal," said Baxter. 

" Yes I A jackal that our brave Fan has killed/ 1 said 

" And that explains our difficulty," said Gordon. 

But if one or many jackals had made this their haunt, 
how had they got in? The entrance could not be 

Briant then returned into French Den, and came out 
and ran along the cliff by the side of the lake. As he 
ran he shouted, and the boys in the cave replied. In 
this way he found a narrow entrance among the bushes, 
and level with the ground, through which the jackal 
had found admission. But since Fan had followed him 
a fall had taken place and shut up the opening. This 
was soon found out, and everything was explained, the 


howling of the jackal and the barking of the dog who 
for twenty-four hours had found it impossible to get 

Great was the satisfaction at these things. Not only 
was Fan returned to her young masters, but labour 
was spared them. Here, " ready-made," as Dole said, 
was a large cave which Baudoin had never suspected. 
By making the opening larger, they would get a second 
door towards the lake that would be of great convent 
ence to them. And naturally the boys, as they stood 
in the new cave, indulged in a round of cheers, in which 
Fan joined with a joyous bark. 

Vigorously they set to work to make the tunnel a 
practicable gangway ; to the second excavation they 
gave the name of the " hall/' and its size justified them in 
doing so. It would do for the dormitory and work- 
room, while the first cave would serve as kitchen ; 
but as they intended to make it a general magazine, 
Gordon proposed to call it the store-room, and this 
was adopted. 

Soon they set to work to shift the beds and arrange 
them t>n the sand of the hall, where there was plenty 
of room for them. Then the furniture of the schooner, 
the couches, arm-chairs, tables, cupboards, etc., and — 
what was very important — the stoves from the yacht's 
day and night saloons were put in position. At the 
same time the entrance on the lake side was cleared 
out and enlarged so as to fit one of the schooner's doors 
— a job which cost Baxter a good deal of trouble. On 
each side of the door two new openings were made so 
as to give light, until the evening, when a lamp hung 
from the centre lighted the cave. 

To do all this took a fortnight, and it was not finished 
any too soon. The weather had begun to change. It 
was not as yet very cold ; but the storms had become so 
violent that out-door excursions were not to be thought 

In fact, such was the force of the wind that the waters 
of the lake were lashed into waves as if it were a sea. 


The waves broke angrily on the beach, and assuredly a 
fishing-boat would have sought to cross it in vain. 
The yawl had been dragged ashore, to save its being 
washed away. At times the waters of the stream were 
held back by the wind, and overflowed the banks. 
Fortunately neither the store-room nor the hall was 
directly exposed to the fury of the gale, which blew 
from the west ; and the stoves and cooking-apparatus 
worked admirably, being fed with dry wood, of which 
ample provision had been gathered. 

It was a great triumph to get everything saved from 
the schooner under cover. The weather could not now 
damage the provisions. Gordon and his comrades, 
now imprisoned for the winter, had time to make them- 
selves comfortable. They had enlarged the passage 
and dug out two deep side-chambers, one of which 
closed with a door, and was reserved for the ammuni- 
tion, so as to avoid any danger of an explosion. 

Although the gunners could not get away from the 
neighbourhood of French Den, yet there were enough 
birds close handy which filled Moko's larder, although 
he did not always manage to cook them so as*to get 
rid of their marshy taste. 

When things were fairly in order Gordon proposed 
drawing up a programme to which all would have to 
submit when it had been approved by all. How long 
was their stay to be on this island ? When they came to 
leave it, would it not be a satisfaction to think that the 
time had not been wasted. With the books from the 
schooner's library the bigger boys could increase their 
knowledge at the same time as they taught the younger 
ones. An excellent task, which would usefully and 
agreeably occupy the long hours of winter! 

However, before the programme was finished, another 
measure was adopted, under the following circumstances. 

On the night of June ioth, after supper, all were in 
the hall, seated round the stove, when conversation 
turned on the chance that offered to give names to 
the chief portions of the island. 


" That would be very useful," said Briant. 

" Yes, let's have names/' said Iverson, " and let us 
have nice names." 

"Let us do the same as has been done by other 
Crusoes, real or imaginary," said Webb. 

"And in reality/' said Gordon, "we are nothing 
more than — " 

" A Crusoe school ! " interrupted Service. 

" Besides," continued Gordon, " with names given 
to the bay, the stream, the forests, the lake, the cliff, 
the marshes and capes, we shall find it easier to speak of 

" We have Schooner Bay, on which the yacht was 
wrecked," said Donagan, " and I think we might as 
well keep to the name we are used to." 

" Right you are," said Cross. 

" And in the same way we'll keep the name of French 
Den for our cave, in memory of poor Baudoin whose 
place we have taken." 

There was no objection to this proposal, even from 
Donagan, although the suggestion came from Briant. 

" And now," said Wilcox, " what shall we call the 
river which flows into Schooner Bay ? " 

"Zealand River," said Baxter, "the name will 
remind us of our country/' 

" Agreed ! Agreed 1 " Carried unanimously. 

" And the lake ? " asked Garnett. 

" As you gave the name of Zealand to the river in 
memory of your country," said Donagan, " you might 
as well call the lake Family Lake, in memory of your 

This was also agreed to ; and in the same way the 
name of Auckland Hill was given to the cliff. The cape 
at the end whence Briant thought he had seen the sea 
to the eastward was called False Point. 

The other names adopted one after the other, were : 
Trap Woods, for the part of the forest where the trap 
had been found ; Bog Wood, for the other part between 
Schooner Bay and the cliff ; South Moor, for the marsh 


covering the whole of the south of the island ; Dike 
Creek, for the brook in which they had found the cause- 
way ; Wreck Coast, for the coast on which the yacht 
had come ashore ; Game Terrace, for the space between 
the banks of the river and lake where the games on the 
programme were to take place. 

The other parts of the island were named as they were 
discovered, and the names bore reference to what had 
happened there at the time of their discovery. It, 
however, seemed advisable to give names to the princi- 
pal capes marked on Baudoin's map, so that in the 
north of the island there was a North Cape, and in the 
south of the island there was a South Cape, and it was 
agreed to give the three western capes the names of 
the nations represented in the colony, which meant a 
British Cape, an American Cape, and a French Cape. 

We said colony! Yes! The boys were no longer 
the castaways of the schooner ; they were the colonists 
of an island — 

But of what island? The island wanted naming 
in its turn — 

" Here ! Here ! I know what to call it I " said 

" You know, do you ? " said Donagan. 

" You are getting on, little Costar ! " said Garnett, 

" Of course you'll call it Baby Island ? " said Service. 

" Come, don't chaff him," said Briant, " let us hear 
what he has to say." 

The little fellow did not speak. 

" Speak up, Costar," said Briant, "lam sure your 
idea is a good one. What is it ? " 

" Well," said Costar, " as we all come from Charman' s 
School, we ought to call it Charman Island ! " 

Than this they could not do better, and the name was 
received with general applause — which made Costar 
look quite important. 

Charman Island ! Really the name had the true 
ring about it, and would not disgrace any atlas ! 

The ceremony being at an end — to the general satis- 


faction — the time had come to go to bed, when Briant 
begged to be allowed to speak. 

" My friends/' he said, " now that we have named our 
island, is it not fitting that we should choose a chief ts 
rule it ? " 

" A chief ? " asked Donagan. 

" Yes. It seems to me that things would go better/ ' 
continued Briant, " if one of us had authority over the 
others ! What is done in every other country ought 
we not to do in Charman Island ? " 

" Yes ! A chief ! Let us have a chief ! " said the 
little and the big together. 

" Let us have a chief," said Donagan, " but on con- 
dition that it is only for some stated time — a year, for 
example — " 

" And who can be re-elected/* added Briant. 

" Agreed 1 Who is it to be ? " asked Donagan in an 
anxious tone. 

And it seemed that the jealous lad had only one fear, 
that in spite of him the choice of his companions would 
fall on Briant. He was wrong. 

" Who is it to be ? " replied Briant. " Why, the 
wisest of us to be sure, our friend Gordon ! " 

" Yes ! Yes ! Hurrah for Gordon ! " 

Gordon would at first have refused the honour they 
would have bestowed on him, saying that he was better 
fitted to organize than to command. But he foresaw 
the trouble that the passions of these young people 
might lead to in the future, and it appeared to him that 
his authority might not be without its value. 

And that is how Gordon was proclaimed chief of the 
little colony of Charman Island. 



The winter season had definitely set in on Charman 
Island at the beginning of May. How long would it 
last ? Five months or less if the latitude was the same 
as that of New Zealand. And therefore Gordon pre- 
pared for the rigours of a long winter. 

The young American made careful note of his meteo- 
rological observations. He found that as the winter 
did not begin until May, that is two months before 
July, which answers to January in the northern hemis- 
phere, it would probably last for two months afterwards, 
or about the middle of September, when the storms 
prevalent about the time of the equinox would follow 
on to prolong it. Consequently the young colonists 
might be kept at French Den till the early days of 
October before they were able to make a long excursion 
either across or round Charman Island. He had thus 
to draw up a programme of daily work such as would 
be the best for the life in the cave. 

And in the first place he decided to have nothing to 
do with faggism such as they had been used to at 
Charman' s School. His whole effort was directed to 
accustoming the boys to the idea that they were almost 
men, and had to act as such. There were to be no fags 
at French Den, that is to say the younger boys were not 
to be the servants of the elders. 

The library of French Den contained only a few books 
of science and travel, so that the bigger boys could 
only pursue their studies to a limited extent. But the 
difficulties of life, the constant struggle to supply their 
wants would teach them to regard life seriously, and as 
they were naturally designed to be the educators of 



their young companions, it would be their duty to be 
their teachers. 

In order not to overburden the youngsters with work 
too great for their age, every opportunity would be 
taken of exercising their bodies as well as their minds. 
When the weather permitted they would be allowed 
out, in suitable clothes of course, to run and enjoy them- 
selves in the fresh air, or work at such labour as their 
strength allowed them. In short, the plan was drawn 
up on the four main principles which form the basis of 
English education : — 
" If you are frightened at a thing, do it." 
" Never lose a chance of doing your very best." 
"Never fear fatigue, for nothing you can do is 
" A healthy body means a healthy mind." 
And this is what was agreed upon after discussion at 
a general meeting of the boys. 

For two hours every morning, and two hours every 
evening, all would work in the hall. Taking it in turns, 
Briant, Donagan, Cross, and Baxter, of the fifth form, 
and Wilcox and Webb of the fourth, would hold classes 
for their schoolfellows of the third, second, and first 
forms. They would teach them mathematics, geo- 
graphy, history, adding to the knowledge they had 
gained at school by that obtained from the books in 
the library. This would prevent their forgetting what 
they already knew. Twice a week, on Sunday and 
Thursday, there would be a debate on some subject of 
science, or history, or actual event, in which all would 
take part. 

Gordon, as chief of the colony, would see that the 
programme was carried out. 

To begin with, an arrangement was made regarding 
time. They had the yacht's almanac, but each day 
had to be regularly run through, and they had watches, 
but it was necessary for them to be regularly wound up 
and adjusted so as to keep exact time. Two of the 
bigger boys were entrusted with this duty. Wilcox 


had charge of the watches. Baxter had charge of the 
almanac. And to Webb fell the duty of daily recording 
the readings of the barometer and thermometer. 

The next thing done was to start a log of all that 
happened during their stay on Charman Island. Bax- 
ter volunteered for this, and thanks to him the " Journal 
of French Den " was written up with minute exactitude. 

A work of no less importance, and which could be no 
longer delayed, was the washing of the linen, for which 
there was no scarcity of soap ; and this was lucky con- 
sidering the mess into which the youngsters got when 
they played on the terrace or fished in the stream. In 
vain Gordon cautioned them, and growled at them, and 
threatened to punish them : dirty they would get in 
spite of all he could do. There was no doubt as to 
who would do the washing. Moko knew all about it ; 
but as he could not manage it all, the bigger boys had 
to assist him, under his directions. 

The day after this programme had been agreed upon 
was Sunday, and the way in which that day is kept in 
England and America is well known. In the morning 
the young colonists went out for a walk along the banks 
of Family Lake. But as it was extremely cold the boys, 
after an outing of a couple of hours, were glad to get 
back to their warm hall and a hot dinner in the store- 
room, carefully prepared by the clever master cook of 
French Den. In the evening there was a concert, in 
which Garnett's accordion took the place of orchestra, 
and the singing, more or less out of tune, was of the 
true Anglo-Saxon type. The only boy with a really 
musical voice was Jack, but in his present humour he 
would take no part in his companions' occupations, and 
refused to sing when they asked him. 

The day, which had begun with a short address by 
" the Reverend Gordon/' as Service called him, ended 
with a few minutes' prayer in the hall : and by ten 
o'clock all the boys were asleep under the protection of 
Fan, to whom they could trust in the event of any 
suspicious approach. 



During June the cold gradually increased. Webb 
reported that the barometer was steady at just above 
twenty-seven inches, and the thermometer was from 
eighteen to twenty degrees below freezing. As soon 
as the wind, which blew from the south, shifted towards 
the west the temperature rose a little, and the surround- 
ings of French Den were covered with a deep snow. 
The snow was not unwelcome, as it afforded an oppor- 
tunity for a grand snowballing match, in which a 
few of the boys suffered severely, notably Jack, who 
stood looking on. A ball thrown furiously by Cross 
missed its mark and hit him hard enough to make him 

" I did not do it on purpose," said Cross, with the 
usual excuse of the clumsy. 

" Perhaps not," said Briant, who had noticed his 
brother's cry, " but you shouldn't throw so hard." 

" Well, why did he get in the way ? " asked Cross. 
" Why isn't he playing ? " 

" What a fuss about a little bruise," said Donagan. 

" Perhaps it is not very serious," answered Briant, 
seeing that Donagan wished to interfere in the matter ; 
" but I'll ask Cross not to do it again." 

" How can he manage that ? " asked Donagan 
j eeringly, " if he didn't do it on purpose ? " 

" I don't know what business it is of yours, Dona- 
gan," said Briant ; " it only concerns Cross and me — " 

" And it concerns me too, Briant, if that is the tone 
you take," said Donagan. 

" As you please — and when you please," replied 
Briant, crossing his arms. 

" Let us have it now, then," said Donagan. 

At this moment Gordon came up, just in time to 
prevent the quarrel ending in a fight. 

He decided that Donagan was in the wrong. And 
Donagan had to submit, and much to his disgust went 
back to French Den. But it was to be feared that some 
other incident would soon bring the rivals to blows. 

The snow continued to fall for two days. To amuse 


the little ones Service and Garnett made a large snow 
man, with a big head, and an enormous nose. And it 
may as well be tonf essed that although during the day 
Dole and Costar were brave enough to pelt the man with 
snowballs, yet at night, when the darkness had made the 
figure look larger, they could not look at it without 
being frightened. 

" Oh ! the cowards ! " said Iverson and Jenkins, 
who pretended to be very brave, although they were no 
less terrified than their young companions. 

At the end of June their amusements had to be 
given up. The snow, piled up to three or four feet in 
thickness, rendered it almost impossible to get out. 
To venture more than a few hundred yards from French 
Den was to run the risk of being unable to return. 

The young colonists were thus kept in for a fortnight 
— until the 9th of July. The work did not suffer ; on 
the contrary, the daily programme was strictly adhered 
to. The discussions took place on the proper days. 
In them all took delight, and it is not surprising that 
Donagan, with his ease of speech and advanced educa- 
tion, held the first place. But why was he so vain of 
it ? His vanity spoilt all his brilliant qualities. 

Although the hours of recreation had to be passed in 
the hall, the general health did not suffer, thanks to 
the ventilation obtained by means of the passage. 
The question of health was an important one. If one 
of the boys was to fall ill how could they give him the 
needful attention ? Fortunately they escaped with a 
few colds and sore throats, which rest and warm drinks 
soon got rid of.. 

There was another question to be solved. In 
practice the water had been got from the stream at low 
tide when the brackishness had disappeared. But 
when the surface of the stream was frozen over this 
would not be possible. Gordon consulted with Baxter, 
his " engineer in ordinary/' as to what was best to be 
done. Baxter, after consideration, proposed to run a 
pipe a few feet below the bank so that the water in 


it would not freeze on its way to the store-room. This 
would have been a difficult job if Baxter had not had 
at his disposal the leaden pipes of the yacht ; and so, 
after many attempts, the water was at last laid on into 
the interior of the store-room. For lighting there 
was still enough oil for the lanterns, but after the 
winter it would be necessary to make candles out of 
the fat which Moko carefully preserved. 

The feeding of the little colony was another subject of 
more trouble during this time, for neither the shooters 
nor the fishermen could furnish their usual tribute. A 
few animals, driven by hunger, came prowling about 
Game Terrace ; but these were the jackals that Dona- 
gan and Cross scared away with the report of a gun. 
One day they came in a troop — there were about twenty 
of them — and the doors of the hall and store-room had 
to be closed against them. An invasion of beasts made 
fierce by hunger was a formidable affair. However, 
Fan gave the alarm in time, and they did not force their 
way into French Den. 

Under these unfortunate conditions Moko was 
obliged to attack the provisions from the yacht, which 
it had been agreed to make last as long as possible. 
Gordon never gave his permission willingly for them 
to be used, and it was with disgust he saw his column 
of expenses lengthening while that of his receipts 
remained stationary. However, as there was a large 
stock of ducks and bustards which had been sealed 
in casks after being half cooked, Moko was able to make 
use of them, in addition to a certain quantity of salmon 
preserved in brine. But it should not be forgotten 
that French Den had fifteen mouths to satisfy, and 
these with appetities of from eight tp fourteen years 

Nevertheless, during this winter, there was not an 
entire want of fresh meat. Wilcox, who was quite an 
expert in trapping, kept several " figure of 4 " traps 
going on the river-bank with success, and with the aid 
of his companions he rigged up a few vertical nets on 


high sticks, in the meshes of which the birds flying 
across the stream from South Moors were often caught ; 
and although most of them got away, yet occasionally 
enough were taken to form a welcome addition to the 
day's two meals. 

On the 9th of July, when Briant went out first thing 
in the morning, he found that the wind had suddenly 
got back to the south. 

The cold had become so keen that Briant at once 
went into the hall, and told Gordon of the change of 

" That is what I feared," said Gordon, " and I shall 
not be surprised if we have to put up with several 
months of very severe winter." 

" That would show," said Briant, " that the yacht 
drifted much farther to the south than we supposed." 

" Doubtless," said Gordon ; " but our atlas has no 
island like this on the boundary of the Antarctic 
Ocean ! " 

" Really I do not know where we shall go if we 
manage to leave Charman Island." 

" Leave our island ! " exclaimed Gordon. " Are 
you always thinking of that ? " 

" Always ! " said Briant " If we could build a boat 
that would be seaworthy, I should not hesitate to go on 
a voyage of discovery." 

" All right ! " said Gordon. " But there is no hurry. 
Wait a little till we have got our colony into order." 

" Eh ! " said Briant. " You forget we have left 
behind us our fathers and mothers." 

" Of course— of course — " said Gordon. " But we 
are not so badly off here I We are getting on, and I 
am beginning to ask myself what it is we have not got." 

" Many things, Gordon," said Briant, not caring to 
prolong the conversation on this subject. " For 
instance, we are running short of fuel." 

" Oh ! all the forests in the island are not yet burnt." 

" No. But we ought to replenish our stock of wood, 
for it is nearly at an end." 


" We'll see about that to-day. What does the ther- 
mometer register ? " 

The thermometer in the store-room showed only 
41 , although the stove was doing its best. But when 
the instrument had been taken outside, and exposed 
against the outer wall, it went down to zero. 

This cold was intense, and it would certainly increase 
if the weather remained clear and dry for a few weeks. 
Already, notwithstanding the roaring of the stoves in 
the hall, and the cooking-range, the temperature went 
down in the interior of French Den. 

About nine o'clock, after breakfast, it was decided 
to be off to Trap Woods, and bring in a stock of 

When the atmosphere is calm the lowest temperature 
can be supported. It is during the bitter wind that 
hands and face are frost-bitten, and life is in danger. 
Fortunately, on this day the wind was extremely 
feeble, and the sky without a cloud, as if the air was 
frozen. In place of the soft snow into which the night 
before the legs would sink, the surface was now as hard 
as iron, and to avoid falling the boys had to walk as 
carefully as if they were on Family Lake or Zealand 
River, which were now entirely frozen over. With a 
few pairs of snow-shoes, such as are used by the natives 
of polar regions, or even with a sledge drawn by dogs 
or reindeer, the lake could have been explored from 
north to south in a few hours. 

But no such long expedition was intended to-day. 
To go to the neighbouring forest to replenish the 
stock of fuel, that was the immediate necessity; 
and to bring a sufficient quantity to the cave 
would be arduous work, if it had to J>e transported 
in the arms or on the back. But Moko had an 
idea which he proceeded to put into execution. 
The big table in the store-room, strongly built, and 
measuring twelve feet in length by four in breadth, 
would that not do for a sledge if the legs were turned 
uppermost? Why, certainly, and that is what was 


done ; and with four of the bigger boys dragging it 
by cords attached to its legs, the departure was made 
to Trap Woods. 

The little ones, with red noses and healthy cheeks, 
frisked along in front, and Fan set them the example. 
Occasionally they caught hold of the table, not without 
disputes and running fights, but all in fun, and at the 
risk only of a fall, which could do them no harm. 
Their shouts resounded with extraordinary clearness 
in the cold, dry atmosphere. And, in truth, it was 
quite refreshing to see all the little colony in good 
humour and good health. 

Everything was white as far as the eye could see 
between Auckland Hill and Family Lake. The trees, 
with their rimy branches loaded with glittering crystals, 
rose near and far in masses, as in a faery garden. Over 
the surface of the lake the birds flew in flocks. Dona- 
gan and Cross had not forgotten to bring their guns 
with them — a wise precaution, for footprints were 
noticed that must have been made by other wild animals 
than jackals, cougars, and jaguars. 

" Perhaps they are the wild cats they call ' pajeros/ " 
said Gordon. 

" Oh ! " said Costar, shrugging his shoulders, " if 
they are only cats — " 

" And tigers are only cats," said Jenkins. 

" Is it true, Service," asked Costar, " that these 
cats are dangerous ? " 

" Quite true," said Service. " And they scrag little 
boys as easily as they do mice." 

And the answer made Costar rather uneasy. 

The half-mile between French Den and Trap Woods 
was soon accomplished, and the young wood-cutters 
got to work. The axe was only laid to such trees as 
were of a certain size; these were stripped of their 
smaller branches, so as to yield not only faggots which 
would blaze away in a moment, but good-sized blocks 
that would come in useful for the stoves and range. 
Then the table-sledge was heavily loaded, but it slipped 


along so easily that before twelve o'clock it had made 
two journeys. 

After a meal the work went on till four o'clock, when 
the day began to close in. It was tiring work, and, as 
there was no need to carry anything to excess, Gordon 
called the boys off, intending to return in the morning. 
And when Gordon ordered they had to obey. 

Besides, as soon as they returned to French Den, 
they could employ themselves in sawing the blocks, 
splitting them, and stowing them away, and that would 
occupy them till it was time to go to bed. 

For six days this wood-cutting went on without a 
break, and enough fuel was collected to last for many 
weeks. Of course, all this wood could not be stowed in 
the store-room ; but there was no reason why the 
greater part should not remain in safety against the cliff 
near the door. 

The 15th of July, according to the almanac, was St. 
Swithin's Day. 

" Then," said Briant, " as it rains to-day, are we 
going to have forty days' rain ? " 

But the rain did not continue, the wind returned to 
the south-east, and it became so cold that Gordon would 
not allow any of the little ones to set foot out of doors. 

In the first week in August the thermometer sank 
to 14 below zero, and the breath of those who for a 
moment exposed themselves to the air condensed into 
snow. The hand could not touch a piece of metal 
without a sharp pain as of burning. Care had to be 
taken to keep the temperature indoors sufficiently high. 

A most painf ul fortnight followed. All suffered, more 
or less, from the want of exercise. Briant could not 
see without feeling anxious the pale looks of the little 
ones, whose colour had quite disappeared. However, 
thanks to the hot drinks, which were always procurable, 
with the exception of a feMf colds, the young people 
escaped without much damagfe. 

On the 16th of August the air underwent a change, as 
the wind shifted into the west, and the thermometer 


rose to io°, a temperature that was supportable if the 
atmosphere was calm. 

Donagan, Briant, Service, Wilcox, and Baxter 
decided to make an excursion to Schooner Bay. By 
starting early they could get back before night. 

They wanted to replace the flag, of which only a few 
rags could remain after the storms of winter. And, at 
Briant 1 s suggestion, they could fix to the signal-mast a 
plate indicating the position of French Den, in case any 
sailors landed on the coast after seeing the flag. 

Gordon gave his assent to the expedition, although he 
laid stress on the necessity of their getting back before 
night, and the boys started early on the 19th, before it 
was daylight. The sky was clear, and the moon lighted 
up the landscape with the pale rays of its last quarter. 
Six miles to the bay was not much of a distance for the 
well-rested legs. 

The distance was soon covered. The swamp of 
Bog Wood being frozen over, there was no need to go 
round it, and by nine o'clock Donagan and his comrades 
had reached the beach. 

" There is a flock of birds," said Wilcox. And he 
pointed to the reef where thousands of birds, like large 
ducks, with their beaks elongated like a mussel-shell, 
were giving vent to a cry as piercing as disagreeable. 

" You would say they were little soldiers, whose 
general was reviewing them," said Service. 

" They are only penguins," answered Baxter, " and 
they are not worth a shot." 

These stupid birds, holding themselves almost up- 
right, owing to their feet being placed so far back, did 
not attempt to move, and could have been knocked 
down with a stick. Donagan might, perhaps, have 
indulged in useless carnage ; but Briant, having had 
the wisdom to say nothing, the penguins were left 
alone. But if the birds were of no use, there were other 
animals whose fat would do for lighting French Den 
during the next winter. These were the seals, of the 
horn seal species, who were taking their ease on the 


reef, which was then covered with a thick bed of ice. 
But to kill any the boys would have to cut off their 
retreat, as when Briant and his comrades approached 
they took to flight with many extraordinary antics, 
and disappeared in the sea. Evidently an expedition 
for the capture of these animals would have to be 
organized later on. 

After having lunched on the few provisions they had 
brought with them, the boys set to work to examine the 
whole stretch of the bay. 

One long white sheet extended from Zealand River to 
False Point. Except the penguins and sea-birds, such 
as petrels and gulls, it seemed as though the other birds 
had abandoned the beach for the interior in search of 

Two or three feet of snow lay on the beach, and all 
that remained of the schooner had been hidden by it. 
The lines of seaweed on the near side of the breakers 
showed that Schooner Bay had not been invaded by 
the high tides of the equinox. 

The sea was still deserted, as far as could be seen, 
up to the very limit of the horizon that Briant had not 
looked upon for three long months. And beyond, 
hundreds of miles away, was this New Zealand that he 
did not despair of seeing again. 

Baxter busied himself in hoisting the new flag which 
he had brought with him, and nailing to the flagstaff 
the plate giving the position of French Den at six miles 
up the course of the stream. Then, about one o'clock 
in the afternoon, they started homewards. 

On the way Donagan shot a brace of pintail and lap- 
wing which were skimming over the river; and to- 
wards four o'clock, as dusk was coming on, they reached 
the cave. Gordon was told of all that had passed, and 
agreed that the seals should be attacked as soon as the 
weather permitted. 

In fact, the winter was nearly over. During the 
last week of August and the first week of September, 
the sea-breeze blew. A series of squalls brought on a 


great increase of temperature. The snow began to 
melt, the surface of the lake began to break up with a 
deafening noise. The bergs that did not melt in the 
lake were swept into the river, and, piled one on the 
other, formed a barrier that did not clear away till the 
10th of September. 

And so the winter had passed. Owing to the pre- 
cautions that had been taken, the little colony had not 
suffered much. All had kept in good health, and the 
studies having been attended to, Gordon had had hardly 
one complaint to deal with. 

One day, however, he had had to chastise Dole, 
whose conduct required punishment. 

Several times the obstinate boy had refined to do 
what he was told, and Gordon had reprimanded him, 
but he took no notice of his observations. And in the 
end Gordon sentenced him to be flogged. 

And so Dole received a birching at the hands of 
Wilcox, who had been selected by lot for the post of 
public executioner. And the example had its effect, 
in preventing any further disobedience. 

On September the ioth six months had gone by since 
the schooner was lost on the reefs of Charman Island. 



Two hundred yards from the creek there was a hill 
about fifty feet high, which formed an observatory, from 
which Gordon and his comrades might have an extended 
view of the country. And as soon as the sun rose they 
climbed this hill. 

The glasses were immediately pointed to the north. 
If the sandy desert stretched away, as the map showed, 
it was impossible to ascertain its boundary line for the 
horizon of sea would be about twelve miles to the 
northward, and more than seven to the eastward. 
There seemed to be no good in going further north. 

" Then," asked Cross, " what are we to do ? " 

" Go back," said Gordon. 

" Not before breakfast," said Service. 

" Get the cloth laid," said Webb. 

" If we are going back," said Donagan, " could we not 
go another way ? " 

" We will try to do so," said Gordon. 

" It seems to me," said Donagan, " that we should 
complete our exploration if we went along the other 
bank of the lake." 

" That would be rather long," said Gordon. " Ac- 
cording to the map that must be from thirty to forty 
miles, and it would take four or five days supposing we 
met with nothing to stop us I At French Den they 
would be in a state of great anxiety for us." 

" But," said Donagan, " sooner or later it will be 
necessary to explore that part." 

" Certainly," said Gordon ; " and I intend to have 
an expedition over there." 

" But," said Cross, " Donagan is right in not wanting 
to go back the same way " 



" Quite so," said Gordon, " and I propose to follow 
the lake shore to Stop River, and then to strike off for 
the cliff, and skirt it on our way to the caves." 

" And why go down the river ? " asked Wilcox. 

" Why, indeed ? " said Donagan. " Why not make 
a short cut across the sand to the first trees in Trap 
Woods, which are not more than three or four miles 
to the south-west ? " 

"Because we must cross Stop River," answered 
Gordon. " We know we can get across where we 
crossed yesterday ; but farther down we might find a 
torrent that would give trouble. If we enter the forest 
on the left bank of the river, we must be all right." 

" Always cautious, Gordon 1 " exclaimed Donagan, 
with just a touch of irony. 

" You never can be too cautious ! " said Gordon. 

And then they all slipped down the hill, regained their 
camp, ate a little biscuit and cold venison, rolled up 
their blankets, and started back on the road they had 
come along the night before. 

The sky was magnificent. A light breeze barely 
ruffled the surface of the lake. There was every sign of 
a fine day. If the weather would only keep fine for 
thirty-six hours Gordon would be satisfied, for he 
counted on reaching French Den the next evening. 

By eleven o'clock the boys were back at Stop River. 
Nothing had occurred on the way except that Donagan 
had shot two splendid tufted bustards, with a plumage 
of black mixed with red above and white below, which 
put him in as good a humour as Service, who was 
always ready to pluck, draw, and roast any bird 

This was the fate of the bustards an hour later, when 
the boys had crossed the river in the Halkett boat. 

" Now we are under the trees," said Gordon, " and I 
hope Baxter will have a chance of using the lasso or 
the bolas." 

"He hasn't done much with them as yet," said 
Donagan who did not think much of any weapon of 
the chase except firearms 


" And what could we do with the birds ? " asked 

" Birds or quadrupeds, Baxter, I don't think much of 
your chance." 

" Nor I," added Cross, always ready to support his 

" You might as well wait until he has tried them 
before you condemn them/' said Gordon. "lam sine 
he will do something good. When our ammunition 
gives out, the lasso and the bolas will not fail us." 

" But the birds will," said Donagan. 

" We will see," said Gordon, " and now let us lunch." 

But the preparations took some time, as Service 
wanted his bustard cooked to a turn. The one bird 
was enough for the meal ; it was a good-sized one, and 
these bustards weigh about thirty pounds, and measure 
nearly three feet from beak to tail, being among the 
largest specimens of the gallinaceous tribe. This one 
was eaten to the last mouthful, and even to the last 
bone, for Fan, to whom the carcase fell, left as little 
as her masters. 

Lunch being over, the boys started off inter the 
unknown part of Trap Woods traversed by Stop River 
on its way to the ocean. The map showed that it 
curved towards the north-west to get round the cliff, 
and that its mouth was beyond False Point; and, 
therefore, Gordon resolved to leave the river, which 
would take him in the opposite direction to French 
Den, his object being to take the shortest road to 
Auckland Hill, and then strike northwards along its 

Compass in hand Gordon led the way to the west. 
The trees, wider apart than in the more southerly 
district, offered no obstacle, and the ground was fairly 
clear of bushes and underwood. 

Among the birches and beeches little clearings 
opened now and then into which the sun-rays penetra- 
ted. Wild flowers mingled their fresh colours with the 
green of the foliage and the carpet of grass. In places, 
superb senecios bore their blooms on stems two or 


three feet high, and Service, Wilcox, and Webb gathered 
some of the flowers and stuck them in their coats. 

Then it was that a discovery of great use was made 
by Gordon, whose botanical knowledge was often to be 
of use to the little colony. His attention was attracted 
by a very bushy shrub, with poorly developed leaves, 
and spiny branches, bearing a reddish fruit about the 
size of a pea. 

" That is the trulca, if I am not mistaken," said he. 
" It is a fruit much used by the Indians." 
• " If it is eatable," said Service, " let us eat it, for 
it costs nothing." 

And before Gordon could stop him Service began to 
crack some of the fruit between his teeth. He made a 
horrible grimace, and his comrades roared with laughter, 
while he spit out the abundant salivation caused by the 
acidity on the papillae of his tongue. 

" You told me it was eatable ! " he exclaimed. 

" I did not say it was eatable," replied Gordon. 
" The Indians use the fruit for making a drink they 
obtain by fermentation. The liquor will be of great 
value to us when our brandy has all gone, that is, if 
we mind what we are doing with it, for it soon gets into 
the head. Fill a bag with the trulcas, and we'U experi- 
ment with them at French Den." 

The fruit was not easy to gather from among the 
thousands of thorns, but by beating the branches Baxter 
and Webb knocked enough on the ground to make a 
bagful, and then the journey was resumed. 

Further on, the pods on another shrub were also 
gathered. They were the pods of the algarrobe, 
another South American native, which also by fermen- 
tation yield a. strong liquor. This time Service ab- 
stained from trying them, and he did well, for although 
the algarrobe seems sweet at first, yet the mouth is 
soon affected with extreme dryness. 

In the afternoon, a quarter of a mile before they 
reached the slope of Auckland Hill, the boys made 
another discovery of quite as much importance. The 
aspect of the forest had changed. In more sheltered 


position the vegetation was more richly developed. 
Sixty or eighty feet from the ground the trees spread 
their huge branches, amid which innumerable song- 
birds chattered. One of the finest of the trees was the 
antarctic beech, which keeps its tender green foliage 
all the year round. Not quite so high, but still magnifi- 
cent, rose clumps of " winters," with bark the flavour 
of cinnamon. 

Near these Gordon recognized the " pernettia," the 
tea-tree of the whortleberry family, met with in high 

" That will take the place of our tea," said Gordon. 
•' Take a few handsful of the leaves, and later on we 
will come back and gather enough for the winter." 

It was four o'clock before Auckland Hill was reached 
near its northern end. Although it did not seem to be 
as high here as at French Den, yet it was impossible to 
ascend it owing to its almost perpendicular slope. 
This was, however, of no consequence, as it was intended 
to follow its base all the way to Zealand River. 

Two miles farther on the boys heard the murmur of a 
torrent which foamed through a narrow gorge in the 
cliff, and which was easily forded. 

" This ought to be the stream," said Donagan, 
" that we discovered on our first expedition." 

" That in which was the causeway ? " asked Gordon. 

" Yes," said Donagan, " and which we called Dike 

" Well, let us camp on its right bank," said Gordon. 
" It is just five o'clock, and if we are to pass another 
night in the open air, we might as well do it here under 
the shelter of these big trees. To-morrow, I hope we 
shall sleep on our beds in the hall." 

Service busied himself preparing the second bustard 
for dinner. It was to be roasted like the other one ; 
but it is not fair to find fault with Service on account 
of the sameness of his bill of fare. 

While dinner was being got ready, Gordon and Baxter 
strolled off into the wood, one in search of new plants, 
the other with the intention of using his lasso or 


bolas — if it was only to put an end to the jokes of 

They had gone about a hundred yards into the thicket 
when Gordon, calling Baxter by a gesture, pointed to a 
group of animals playing about on the grass. 

" Goats ? " asked Baxter, in a whisper. 

" Yes, or rather animals that look like goats," said 
Gordon. " Try and get one — " 

" Alive ? " 

" Yes, alive ; it is lucky Donagan isn't with us. He 
would have shot one before now, and put the others to 
flight ! Let us get nearer quietly, and don't let them 
see us." 

Ther^were six of these goats, and they had not yet 
taken alarm. One of them, a mother probably, 
suspecting some danger, was sniffing the air and looking 
about, ready to clear off with the herd. 

Suddenly a whistling was heard, the bolas came 
spinning from the hand of Baxter, who was not twenty 
yards away from the group. Well aimed and thrown, 
it wound round one of the goats, while the others 
disappeared in the thicket. Gordon and Baxter ran 
towards the goat which was vainly trying to escape 
from the bolas. She was seized so that it was im- 
possible for her to get away, and two kids, that instinct 
had kept near the mother, were also taken prisoners. 

" Hurrah I " exclaimed Baxter. " Hurrah ! Are 
they goats ? " 

" No," answered Gordon, " I think they are vicug- 

" And will they give milk ? " 

" Oh, yes." 

" Then hurrah for the vicugnas." 

Gordon was right. Although the vicugnas resemble 
goats, their paws are longer, their fleece is short and fine 
as silk, their head is small and has no horns. They 
chiefly inhabit the pampas of America, and even the 
country round the Straits of Magellan. 

We can easily imagine how Gordon and Baxter were 
welcomed when they returned to the camp, one leading 



the vicugna by the cord of the bolas, the other carrying 
a kid under each arm. As their mother was still 
nourishing them, it was probable that the youngsters 
could be brought up without difficulty. They might 
become a herd that would become very useful to the 
colony. Donagan doubtless regretted the splendid shot 
he had missed ; but when the game had to be taken alive, 
he had to admit that the bolas was better than the gun. 

The boys dined or rather supped in high spirits. The 
vicugna, tied to a tree, did not refuse to feed, while the 
kids gambolled round her. 

The night, however, was not so quiet as the one spent 
in Sandy Desert. This part of the forest was visited 
by animals more formidable than jackals, and their 
cries were recognizable as being a combination of howl- 
ing and barking at the same time. About three o'clock 
in the morning, there was an alarm due to the growling 
close by. 

Donagan, on guard near the fire with his gun in 
hand, did not think it worth while to wake his comrades, 
but the growling became so violent as of itself to wake 

" What is the matter ? " asked Wilcox. 

" There are some wild beasts prowling round," said 

" Probably jaguars or cougars ! " said Gordon. 

" One is as bad as the other." 

" Not quite, Donagan, the cougar is not so dangerous 
as the jaguar; but in a pack they are dangerous 

" We are ready for them," said Donagan. And he 
put himself on the defensive, while his comrades got 
out their revolvers. 

" Don't shoot until you can't miss," said Gordon, 
4t I think the fire will keep them off." 

" They are close by," said Cross. 

And tie pack was near enough to judge by the fury 
of Fan, whom Gordon had some difficulty in holding 
back. But it was impossible to distinguish any form 
in the deep darkness of the forest* 


Evidently the creatures were accustomed to come and 
drink at night in this place. Finding their haunt 
occupied they showed their displeasure by their fright- 
ful growls. 

Suddenly, moving spots of light appeared some 
twenty yards away. Instantly there was the report of 
a gun. 

Donagan had fired, and a storm of growls replied. 
His comrades, revolver in hand, were ready to shoot 
if the wild beasts rushed at the camp. 

Baxter, seizing a burning brand, hurled it straight 
at the glittering eyes ; and instantly the growling 
stopped, and the animals, one of whom should have 
been hit by Donagan, were lost in the depths of Trap 

" They have moved off," said Cross. 

" Good luck to them," said Service. 

" Will they come back ? " asked Cross. 

" That is not likely," said Gordon ; " but we will 
watch till daylight." 

Some wood was thrown on the fire which was kept 
blazing till the day broke. The camp was struck, 
and the boys ran off into the thicket to see if one of the 
animals had not been killed. 

They found the ground stained with a large patch of 
blood. The brute had been able to get away, and it 
would have been easy to recover it if Fan had been 
sent in search, but Gordon did not think it worth while 
to go further into the forest. The question arose as 
to whether they were jaguars or cougars or something 
as dangerous, but, after all, the important point was 
that the boys were all safe and sound. 

At six o'clock they were off again. There was no 
time to lose if they were to cover during the day the 
nine miles between them and French Den. 

Service and Webb took care of the young vicugnas, 
while the mother was quite satisfied to follow Baxter 
who led her with the string. 

There was not much variety in the road. On the left 
was a curtain of trees, sometimes in masses, sometimes 


in scattered clumps. To the right ran the rocky 
wall, striped here and there with pebble bands in the 
limestone, and rising higher and higher as the travellers 
went southwards. 

At eleven o'clock the first halt was made for lunch ; 
and this time, so as to lose no time, the provisions in the 
bags were attacked. After the fresh start was made 
progress was more rapid, and nothing occurred to stop 
it, until about three o'clock in the afternoon the report 
of a gun echoed among the trees. 

Donagan, Cross, and Webb, accompanied by Fan, 
were a hundred yards in advance, and their comrades 
could not see them, when they heard the shout of 
" Look out I " 

Suddenly an animal of large size came rushing through 
the thicket. Baxter whirling his lasso over his head 
took a flying shot. The noose fell over the neck of the 
animal, but so powerful was it that Baxter would have 
been dragged away if Gordon, Wilcox and Service had 
not hung on to the end of the line, and whipped it 
round the trunk of a tree. 

No sooner had they done so than Webb and Cross 
appeared from under the trees, followed by Donagan, 
who exclaimed in a tone of ill-temper, " Confound the 
beast 1 How could I have missed it ? " 

" Baxter didn't miss it," said Service, " and here we 
have it, all alive oh I " 

"What does it matter? tasked Donagan. "You'll 
have to kill it." 

" Kill it I " said Goidon. " Not at all I It is our 
beast of burden I " 

"What, this thing ? " exclaimed Service. 

" It is a guanaco," said Gordon, " and guanaoos 
figure largely in the studs of South America." 

Useful or not useful, Donagan was very sorry he had 
not shot it. But he said nothing, and went up to 
examine it. 

Although the guanaco is classed with the camels, 
it in no way resembles those animals at first glance. 
Its slender neck, elegant head, long, rather lanky 


limbs— denoting great activity — and yellow coat spotted 
with white, made it in no way inferior to the best 
horses of American descent. It could certainly be 
used for riding if they could tame it and break it in as 
was easily done in the Argentine. It was very timid 
and made no attempt at escape. As soon as Baxter 
had loosened the slip-knot, it was easy to lead it with 
the lasso which served the purpose of a halter. 

The expedition to the north of Family Lake had been 
a profitable one for the colony. The guanaco, the 
vicugna and her two kids, the discovery of the tea- 
tree, of the trulcas and the algarrobe, ensured a hearty 
welcome to Gordon, and even more to Baxter, who had 
none of Donagan's vanity and was not at all conceited 
over his success. 

Gordon was delighted to find that the bolas and lasso 
could be really useful. Donagan was a capital shot, 
but his skill required an expenditure of powder and lead 
which the colony could ill spare, and Gordon deter- 
mined to encourage his comrades in practising with 
these weapons of the chase of which the Indians make 
such profitable use. 

The map showed that four miles still separated the 
boys from French Den, and the word was given to 
hurry on. It was not envy which forbade Service 
from bestriding the guanaco and riding home in state, 
but Gordon thought it was better to wait until the 
creature was broken in. 

" I don't think he'll kick much," said he, " but if 
he won't let you ride him, he might consent to draw 
the cart." 

About six o'clock they arrived in sight of French Den. 

Young Costar, amusing himself on the terrace, 
announced the approach of the expedition ; and Briant 
and the others ran out to welcome Gordon with cheers 



It was nearly ten months since the boys had been 
wrecked, and thrown on this island eighteen hundred 
leagues away from New Zealand. During this time, as 
we have seen, their position had gradually improved ; 
and it seemed as though now they were at least secure 
of the necessaries of life. 

But still they were abandoned on an unknown island ! 
Would the help from without — the only help they could 
hope for— come before the end of the hot season? 
Would the colony have to endure a second antarctic 
winter. Hitherto there had been no illness. All, 
young and old, had been as well as possible. Owing 
to Gordon's care — and not without an occasional 
grumble at his strictness — no imprudence, no excess 
had been committed. But if the present was pros- 
perous enough, the future could only be viewed with 

Briant's constant thought was to get away from 
Charman Island. But with the only boat they 
possessed, the yawl, how could they venture on a voyage 
that would be a long one even if the island did not belong 
to one of the Pacific Archipelagoes ? Even if two or 
three of the boldest of the boys ventured in search of 
land to the eastward, how few were the chances that 
they would reach it I Could they build a boai large 
enough to carry them ? Certainly not I That would 
be beyond their strength, for Briant's only idea of a 
boat was one that would carry them all. 

All they could do was to wait, and work to make 
themselves comfortable at French Den. And, if not 
this summer, when they had almost enough to do to 


prepare for the winter, at least next, they could finish 
the exploration of their island. 

Resolutely they set to work. Experience had taught 
them how cold the winter could be. For weeks, for 
months even, bad weather might oblige them to remain 
in the hall, and they must above all things be prepared 
against cold and hunger, the two enemies they had most 
to fear. 

To fight the cold in French Den was only a question of 
fuel ; and the autumn, short as it might be, could not 
close until Gordon had enough wood in store to keep 
the stoves going night and day. But ought not some- 
thing to be done for the domestic animals in the en- 
closure and poultry yard? To shelter them in the 
store-room would not be very pleasant, and would 
certainly be unwise from a health point of view. Hence 
the need of making the shed more habitable, and of 
heating it by means of a fire-place which could always 
keep the air at a fair temperature. And during the 
first months of the new year Baxter, Briant, Service, 
and Moko were busily employed in this matter. 

In the equally important task of provisioning the 
Den for the long winter, Donagan and his companions 
found quite enough to do. Every day they visited the 
traps, snares, and nets. Whatever was caught, and 
was not required for daily use, went to swell the reserves 
of salted or smoked meat, which Moko was preparing 
with much care. 

But an exploring expedition was urgently called 
for ; not to explore the whole of the unknown terri- 
tories of Charman Island, but those only to the east of 
Family Lake. Did these consist of forest, marsh, or 
sand-hills ? Had they any new resources which might 
be used? 

One day Briant had a talk with Gordon on the subject 
tieating it from a new point of view. 

" Although Baudoin's map may be fairly correct, 
said he, " it is desirable that we should explore the 
eastern side for ourselves. We have good glasses, 


which Baudoin did not have, and who knows if we might 
not see land that he could not ? His map makes Char- 
man Island a solitary one, and it may not be so." 

" Always the same idea/' said Gordon ; " and you 
are miserable at not getting away ! " 

" Yes, and at heart, I am sure you feel the same as I 
do. Ought we not to do all we can to get home again 
as soon as possible ? " 

" Well," said Gordon, " we will organize an expedi- 
" An expedition in which we can all take part ? " 
u No. It seems to me that six or seven of us — " 
° That would be too many. If they are so numerous 
they would only be able to get round the lake at the 
north or south, and who knows what difficulties they 
might meet with." 
" What then do you propose ? " 
" I propose to cross the lake in the yawl, and, to do 
that, only two or three need go." 
" And who will have charge of the yawl ? " 
" Moko," said B riant. " He knows how to manage a 
boat, and I understand a little about it. With the 
sail, if the wind is fair, and with the two oars, if it is 
against us, we might easily manage the five or six miles 
across the lake and reach the watercourse, which, 
according to the map, runs through the eastern forest ; 
and we could go down that to its mouth." 

" Agreed. I approve of your idea. But who will 
go with Moko ? " 

" I will, for I did not take part in the expedition to 
the north of the lake. It is my turn to be of use." 

" To be of use 1 " said Gordon. " Have you not 
been of great use ? Have you not done more than any 
of the others ? " 

" Well, we have all done our duty," said Briant. 
" So it is agreed then ? " 

" Yes, it is agreed. But who is to go with you ? I 
should not propose Donagan, for you do not get on well 


" Oh 1 I would agree to that, willingly/' said Brian! 
" Donagan is not a bad-hearted fellow. He is brave, 
he is clever, and were it not for his envious character 
he would be a capital companion. Besides, he will 
gradually reform when he sees that I really do not wish 
to push myself forward before anyone ; and we shall 
end, I am sure, in being the best friends in the world. 
But I was thinking of quite another travelling- 
companion — " 

"Who is that?" 

" My brother Jack," said Briant. " I get more and 
more anxious about him. Evidently he has done 
something wrong which he will not tell us. Perhaps 
if he finds himself alone with me on this expedition — " 

"That is so, Briant Take Jack and begin your 
preparations at once." 

" They will not take long," answered Briant. " We 
shall not be away more than two or three days." 

When the others heard the news of the projected 
expedition, Donagan was very vexed at not being 
allowed to take part in it, and went to Gordon, who 
explained that only three boys were wanted to do what 
was to be done, that the idea was Briant's, whose 
business it was to see it through, etc. 

When Moko heard that he was going to change his 
employment as master-cook for that of master-mariner, 
he made no secret of his joy. To go with Briant was 
an additional pleasure. The new cook would naturally 
be Service, who revelled in the idea that he would 
be able to roast and stew as he liked without any 
one to overlook him. And Jack seemed not at all 
unhappy at having to leave French Den for a day or 
two with his brother. 

The yawl was got ready. She was rigged with a 
little lateen sail, which Moko bent and furled. Two 
guns, three revolvers, ammunition in sufficient quantity, 
three travelling wraps, provisions, waterproof capes 
in case of rain, two oars with a pair to spare ; such was 
the outfit required for the short trip — without forgetting 


the copy which had been made of Baudoin's map, 
in which the new names were written as they were 

On the 4th of February, about eight o'clock in the 
morning, Briant, Jack, and Moko bade goodbye to 
their comrades, and embarked. It was a splendid 
morning with a light wind from the south-west. The 
sail was set, and Moko took the helm, leaving Briant 
to look after the sheet. The surface of the lake was 
rippled by the breeze, and this the yawl felt more as 
she got further out ; and in half an hour Gordon and 
the others from the terrace could see only a black spot, 
which soon disappeared. 

Moko was seated aft, Briant more forward, and Jack 
at the foot of the mast. For an hour the high ridge of 
Auckland Hill remained above the horizon. But the 
opposite shore of the lake had not yet risen into view 
although it could not be far off. Unfortunately, as 
often happens when the sun gains in power, the wind 
showed a tendency to die away, and about noon it 

" It is a pity," said Briant, " that the breeze has 

" It would have been worse if it had headed us," 
said Moko. 

" You are a philosopher," said Briant. 

" I don't know what you understand by that," said 
the cabin boy ; " but I certainly make the best of what 

" Well, that is philosophy." 

" Then hooray for philosophy, and let us take to the 
oars. We must reach the shore before night if we can ; 
and if we can't — we can't, that's all." 

" That's it, Moko. I'll take an oar, you take another, 
and Jack takes the helm." 

" And if Master Jack steers well we shall make good 

" Tell me what to do," said Jack, " and I'll do my 


Moko took in the sail which had even ceased to flap, 
for the wind had quite gone. The boys then had a 
morsel to eat, and then, with Moko forward and Jack 
at the tiller, the boat began to move to the north-east, 
the course being steered by compass. She was then 
in the centre of the large sheet of water, and just as if 
she were out at sea, the surface was bounded by the 
line of sky. Jack kept an anxious look-out for the 
shore opposite French Den. 

About three o'clock, Moko, taking the glasses, an- 
nounced that he saw signs of land. A little later, 
Briant agreed that he was not mistaken. At four 
o'clock the tops of trees showed themselves rising from 
a low, fiat shore, which Briant had been unable to 
detect from False Point. So the only heights on Char- 
man Island were those of Auckland Hill. 

The boat was still from two miles and a half to three 
miles away from the eastern shore, Briant and Moko 
rowing steadily on, and getting very tired owing to the 
great heat. The surface of the lake was like a mirror. 
Every now and then the bottom could be seen twelve 
or fifteen feet down covered with water plants, among 
which myriads of fish were swimming. 

It was nearly six o'clock when the yawl neared the 
shore at the foot of a bank, above which spread 
the clustering branches of green oaks and sea-pines. 
The bank was too high for the boys to land, and 
they had to coast along for half a mile or so to the 

" There is the river marked on the map," said Briant, 
pointing to an opening in the bank, through which 
flowed the waters of the lake. 

" Well," said Moko, " I think we ought to give it a 

" All right," said Briant, " let us call it East River, 
as it flows to the east." 

" That will do," said Moko. " And now we have 
only to get into the stream and drift down it." 

" We will do that to-morrow, Moko. We had better 


camp here. We can start at dawn to-morrow and 
explore both banks of the river." 

" Shall we go ashore ? " asked Jack. 

"Oh, yes/' said Briant, "and camp under the 

The boys took the boat into a little creek and scram- 
bled out on to the bank. They moored the yawl to a 
stump, and took out of her the arms and provisions. 
A good fire of dry wood was lighted at the foot of a 
large green oak, and they had a meal of biscuit and cold 
meat, and were not at all sorry to get to sleep. 

" Come, wake up ; let us be moving," said Briant, 
who was the first to awake at six o'clock next morning. 
And in a few minutes all three were back in the boat and 
out in the stream. 

The current was rather strong — the tide had turned 
about half an hour before — and the oars were not 
needed. Briant and Jack were in the bow of the yawl, 
while Moko, with one of the oars out astern, kept the 
boat in mid-stream. 

" It is likely," said Moko, " that we shall get down to 
the sea in one tide if East River is only six miles long, 
as the current is much stronger than in Zealand River." 

" Let us hope so," said Briant. " When we come 
back we may have to take two or three tides." 

" That may be," said Moko, " and if you like we can 
start with the next tide." 

" Yes," said Briant, " as soon as we have seen that 
there is no land to the eastward." 

The yawl drifted along at a rate, Moko estimated, of 
about a mile an hour. According to the compass East 
River ran in an almost straight course to the east- 
north-east. It was more shut in than Zealand River, 
and it was not so wide, being only about thirty feet 
across. Briant's only fear was that there might be 
some rapids or whirlpools in its course, but there would 
be time enough to prepare for any obstacle. 

The boys were in a forest, in which the vegetation 
was very thick, the trees being similar to those in Trap 


Woods, with this difference, that green-oaks, cork-oaks 
pines and firs were in the majority. 

Among others— although his knowledge of botany 
was much less than Gordon's— Briant recognized a 
certain tree which he had seen in New Zealand. The 
branches of this tree spread out in umbrella-shape 
quite sixty feet above the ground, and bore conical 
fruits three or four inches long, pointed at the end, and 
covered with glittering scales. 

" That is a stone pine/' said Briant. 

" If so," said Moko, " let us stop for a minute or two. 
It will be worth while." 

A movement of the oar steered the yawl into the left 
bank. Briant and Jack jumped out. A few minutes 
afterwards they came back with an armful of the 
fruits, each of which contained a kernel of oval form, 
coated with a thin skin, and tasting like a hazel-nut. 
It was a valuable find — as Gordon told Briant on 
his return— on account of the oil that the fruits 

It was important to discover if the forest had as 
many animals as those on the other side of the lake, and 
Briant kept his eyes open. He saw a lot of nandus 
in full flight, and a herd of vicugnas, and even a couple 
of guanacos ran past with incredible swiftness ; and 
as to the birds, Donagan ought to have been there for 
a shot or two. But Briant resisted the temptation to 
waste his powder, as the yawl was amply provisioned. 

Towards eleven o'clock the trees began to open out. 
Here and there little gaps and glades were noticed. 
The breeze was more and more salt, indicating the 
nearness of the sea. A few minutes later, beyond a 
clump of green oaks, a bluish line appeared. It was 
the horizon. 

The yawl still drifted down with the tide, but more 
slowly now than at first. The ebb was hardly notice- 
able now, and East River had become nearly fifty feet 

They reached the rocks by the sea-shore; Moko 


steered the boat into the left bank, and then, carrying 
the grapnel to land, he stuck it firmly into the ground. 

Here was quite a different state of affairs to that on 
the other side of the island. It was a deep bay, but 
instead of the wide, sandy beach and line of reefs and 
lofty cliffs as on Wreck Coast, there was a mass of rocks, 
among which, as Briant soon found, there were at least 
a score of caves. 

This side of the island was consequently well fitted for 
habitation, and if the schooner had come ashore here, 
and it had been possible to float her afterwards, she 
could have been taken into the little harbour at the 
mouth of the river, where, even at low tide, there was 
always water. 

Briant looked away out to sea, to the far horizon 
stretching for some fifteen miles from point to point 
of two sandy cliffs. The long bay, or gulf rather, was 
deserted — as it doubtless always was. Not a ship was 
in sight. On land or sea there was no sign of man. 
Moko, accustomed to recognize the vague lines of 
distant hills, moulded and marked with clouds, could 
discover nothing with his glasses. 

Charman Island seemed to be as lonely in the east 
as it was in the west. And that was why Baudoin's 
map showed no land in that direction. And Briant 
contented himself with naming the gap in the coast 
Deception Bay. 

" Come," said he, " it is not from this side we shall 
start when we go back." 

" I think we had better have something to eat/' said 

" Right," said Briant, " but be quick. When can 
we get back up the river ? " 

" If you want to go by this tide, you ought to start 
at once." 

" That is impossible. I must have a good look round 
the horizon from some high point." 

" Then we shall have to wait for the next tide, and 
that means ten o'clock to-night." 


" Are you afraid to travel during the night ? " asked 

" No/' said Moko, " and there would be no danger, 
for we shall have the moon. Besides the course of the 
river is so straight that we can steer the boat with an 
oar all right. And if the stream meets us we can row 
up, or if it is too strong we can run ashore and wait 
till it is day." 

" Then let it be so," said Briant, " and now we have 
twelve hours before us, let us make the most of them to 
complete an exploration." 

And the time was spent in visiting this part of the 
coast where the trees came down to the very edge of the 
rocks. The birds were as numerous as at French Den, 
and Briant was able to shoot a few tinamous for supper. 

The main feature of the coast was the heaped-up 
granite masses that made the place a sort of field of 
Karnak, where the arrangement owed nothing to the 
hand of man. 

In the space of half a mile Briant found a dozen halls 
and store-rooms that would have sufficed for the wants 
of the little colony. 

He was naturally led to inquire why Baudoin had not 
taken up his quarters on this side of the island. There 
was no doubt he had visited it, for the main lines of the 
coast were accurately shown on the map. That he had 
left no trace behind him was probably because he had 
fixed his home at French Den, before he had explored 
this eastern territory, and finding the shore more 
exposed to the storms from the sea, had thought it 
best to remain where he was. 

At two o'clock the time appeared favourable for a 
careful examination of the offing. Briant, Jack, and 
Moko set to work to scale an enormous rock which in 
outline somewhat resembled a bear. The block was 
about a hundred feet away from the little harbour, 
and it was not without difficulty that they clambered 
to its top. 

When there, they looked back over the island. To 


the west lay Family Lake, screened by a thick mass of 
verdure ; to the south the country was seamed with 
yellow sandhills bordered by blackish firs as in the dry 
plains of the north ; to the north the outline of the bay 
ended in a low cliff which formed the limit of an 
immense sandy plain stretching beyond. In short, 
Charman Island was only fertile in its central portions, 
where the sweet waters of the lake spread life around 
as they flowed off to the sea. 

Briant then turned his glasses to the east, where the 
horizon was now as clear as could be. Any land within 
seven or eight miles would certainly have been notice- 

There was nothing in that direction, nothing but the 
sea and the unbroken line of sky. 

For an hour Briant, Jack, and Moko continued to 
look around them, and they were about to descend to 
the beach again when Moko suddenly stretched out his 
hand to the north-east, and asked, — 

" What is that ? " 

Briant brought his glasses to bear on the spot indi- 

A little above the horizon was a whitish stain that the 
eye might have taken for a cloud, had not the sky been 
quite clear at the time. Briant kept it in the field of 
his glasses for a long time, and announced that it 
remained stationary, and its form did not alter. 

" I do not know what that can be," he said, " unless 
it is a mountain, and a mountain would not look like 

A few minutes afterwards the sun had sunk more to 
the west, and the spot had disappeared. Was it some 
high peak, or a light reflected from the waters, as Jack 
and Moko suggested ? 

Soon all three were back at the mouth of East River 
where the yawl was moored. Jack collected some dry 
wood from under the trees, and then he lighted the fire 
while Moko cooked the roast tinamous. 

At seven o'clock Jack and Briant were walking along 


the beach, waiting for the tide to turn, and Moko had 
gone off up the river-bank in search of a stone pine from 
which he thought he would like a few fruits. 

When he returned to the mouth of the river night 
had begun to close in. Away out at sea the waves were 
still lighted by the last rays of the sun, but the shore 
was plunged in semi-darkness. 

When Moko reached the boat, Briant and his brother 
had not returned. As they could not be far off, he was 
in no way anxious about them. 

But he was surprised to hear a violent sobbing, and 
then the sound of a loud voice. He could not be 
deceived ; it was Briant's. 

Were the brothers in any danger ? Moko did not 
hesitate to run off at once along the beach and round 
the rocks which shut in the little harbour. 

Suddenly he saw something which made him halt. 

Jack was on his knees before Briant ! He seemed to 
be pleading with him to be begging for pardon ! And 
his were the sobs Moko had heard. 

The cabin-boy would have run back, but it was too 
late. He had heard and understood ! He knew now 
what Jack had done, and what he had just confessed, 
and why Briant was exclaiming, — 

" You stupid boy ! It was you — you who did it ! 
You are the cause ! " 

" Forgive me ! forgive me ! " 

" That is why you keep apart from the rest I That is 
why you are afraid of them ! May they never know I 
No ! Not a word — not a word — to any one ! " 

Moko would have given much not to have known the 
secret. But to pretend not to know it now he was face 
to face with Briant would never do. And a few minutes 
afterwards, when he found him alone by the boat, he 
said to him, — 

" I overheard — " 

" What ! " said Briant, " you know that it was 
Jack ? " 

" Yes, and you must forgive him." 


" But will the others forgive him ? " 

" Perhaps/' said Moko. " In any case, better they 
should know nothing, I'D keep silence, you may 

" Ah ! Poor Moko ! " said Briant, clasping him by 
the hand. 

For two hours up to the time of embarking, Briant 
did not say a word to Jack, who remained sitting at 
the foot of a rock close by, and evidently nearly broken- 
hearted now that he had made his confession. 

About ten o'clock the flood-tide began to make itself 
felt, and Briant, Jack, and Moko took their seats in the 
boat. As soon as the grapnel was taken up she began 
to move with the current. 

The moon had risen shortly after sunset, and gave 
good light till half-past midnight. When the ebb set 
in, the oars were got out, and after an hour's pulling 
not a mile up stream was gained. 

Briant then prepared to anchor until daybreak, 
when the tide would flow again, and this was done. 
At six o'clock the voyage was resumed, and at nine 
o'clock the yawl was back in Family Lake. There 
Moko re-hoisted the sail, and with a fair beam wind 
steered straight for French Den. 

About six o'clock in the evening, after a pleasant 
voyage, during which neither Briant nor Jack hardly 
spoke a word, the yawl was hailed by Garnett, who 
was out fishing on the bank ; and a few minutes later 
she ran alongside, where Gordon gave her passengers 
a hearty welcome. 



Briant thought it best to say nothing of what had 
passed between him and his brother, even to Gordon. 
But the story of his trip he told to all as they sat round 
him that evening. 

He described the eastern coast of Charman Island all 
round Deception Bay ; he told them how East River ran 
through the forest, and how rich the forest was in trees 
of all kinds. He stated that better quarters could be 
f ound on the east than on the west, if it ever became 
necessary to abandon French Den. As to the sea, 
there was no land in sight, but he mentioned the strange 
white patch above the horizon which he could not 
explain. Probably it was merely a column of vapour, 
and would be explained when the next visit occurred 
to Deception Bay. In short, it was only too certain 
that Charman Island had no land near it, and doubtless 
many hundred miles divided it from the continent or 
the nearest archipelagoes. 

The boys had therefore to resume their struggle for 
existence, awaiting some help from without, for it 
seemed unlikely that they would ever be able to do 
anything of themselves towards a rescue. They set to 
work vigorously preparing for the winter. Briant 
worked harder than ever ; and it was noticed that he 
had become quieter, and that like his brother he rather 
kept himself away from the rest. Gordon, in taking 
note of this change in his character, observed that 
Briant was always seeking to put Jack to the front on 
every occasion in which pluck had to be shown or danger 
run, and that Jack eagerly accepted such tasks. But 
as Briant had said nothing to him, and gave him no 
opportunity of asking, Gordon remained silent, although 
he suspected that an explanation had taken place be- 
tween the brothers. 



The month of February was passed in various ways. 
Wilcox had found the salmon swimming up the river to 
the fresh waters of Family Lake, and many were caught 
in nets stretched from bank to bank. To preserve 
them required a large quantity of salt, and to get this a 
great many journeys were needed to Schooner Bay, 
where Baxter and Briant had established a small salt- 
marsh — a square pool in which the sea-water was 
evaporated by the sun and deposited the salt. 

In the first fortnight of March three or four of the 
young colonists went off to explore a part of the marshy 
district of South Moors which lay across Zealand River. 
This expedition was Donagan' s idea, and at his sugges- 
tion Baxter made several pairs of stilts out of the light 
spars. As the marsh was in places covered with a 
shallow sheet of water, these stilts allowed their wearers 
to stride along dry footed. 

In the morning of April 17th, Donagan, Webb, and 
Wilcox crossed the river and landed on the left bank. 
They carried their guns slung over their shoulders, and 
Donagan had a duck-gun with him, from the arsenal 
of French Den, which he thought he would have a 
favourable opportunity to use. 

As soon as the three reached the bank they put on 
their stilts and set out for the higher part of the marsh, 
which was dry even at high tide. Fan accompanied 
them. She did not want stilts, as she did not mind 
wetting her feet in crossing the pools. 

Donagan, Wilcox, and Webb went about a mile in a 
south-westerly direction before they reached the dry 
ground, and they then took off their stilts, so as to be 
at their ease in pursuit of the game which swarmed over 
the wide extent of moor: — snipe, pintail, wild duck, 
rail, plover, teal, and thousands of scoters, worth more 
for their down than their flesh, but very fine eating 
when properly cooked. Donagan and his comrades 
could shoot at hundreds of these birds without wasting a 
single shot ; and they were not unreasonable, and con- 
tented themselves with a few dozen birds which Fan 
retrieved in fine style from the pools of the marsh. 


Donagan was strongly tempted to bring down a few 
other things which could not well figure on the Den 
table, notwithstanding all the cabin-boy's ability. 
Among these was a few waders, and some herons 
decked with brilliant white plumes. To shoot them 
would have been mere waste of powder, and Donagan 
refrained from molesting them, but he could not resist 
temptation when he saw a flock of flamingoes with 
wings the colour of fire, and flesh as good as that of the 
partridge. The favourite haunt of these birds is 
among brackish waters, and here they were all in array, 
guarded by sentinels giving a sort of trumpet-call 
when they signalled danger. At the sight of these 
magnificent specimens Donagan yielded without more 
ado, and Wilcox and Webb were no wiser, and off they 
started in pursuit — and in vain. They forgot that if 
they had approached without being seen and fired at 
their ease, the flamingoes would have been stupefied 
by the reports, and not had sense enough to run away. 

In vain the three boys tried to get near these superb 
birds, which measure more than four feet from beak 
to tail. The alarm had been given, and the flock disap- 
peared in the south unhurt, although even the duck- 
gun was brought into action against them. Neverthe- 
less the three sportsmen returned with bags quite heavy 
enough to give no cause for regret that they had visited 
South Moors. 

Gordon had no intention of waiting for the winter 
before French Den was prepared for it. There was a 
store of food to be got in, so that there should be 
enough for the enclosure as well as the cave. Many 
were the trips made to Bog Woods for this purpose. The 
chariot drawn by the two guanacos made several journeys 
daily for a fortnight. The winter might last more than 
the six months, and yet there would be enough wood 
and seal oil to give fire and light all through it. 

These labours did not interfere with the scheme of 
instruction that had been drawn up. The bigger boys 
took it in turns to teach the little ones. Donagan 
continued to show off a little — as was natural to Urn, 


but it did not gain him any friends. In two months 
Gordon's term of office would be over, and he reckoned 
on succeeding him as chief of the colony. He per* 
suaded himself that the position was his as a matter of 
right. Was it not unjust that he had not been elected 
at the first ? Wilcox, Cross, and Webb unfortunately 
encouraged him in these ideas, and began to canvass 
for him, having no doubt of his success. 

But Donagan, all the same, did not command a 
majority of the votes ; nor did Gordon, who saw clearly 
all that was going on, make any attempt to obtain a 
continuance of office. He felt that the severity he had 
had to show during his year of office would not gain him 
any votes. His practical good sense had not made him 
popular, and this unpopularity Donagan hoped to turn 
to good account. When the election came on there 
would probably be a somewhat interesting contest. 

What the youngsters chiefly complained of was 
Gordon's care in the matter of sweetmeats. And in 
addition to this, there was his scolding them for not 
taking proper care of their clothes when they came back 
to French Den with rags on their backs and holes in 
their shoes — which required constant repairs, and made 
the question of foot gear a very serious one. And then 
for every lost button, what reprimands, and sometimes 
what punishments I 

And then Briant would intercede sometimes for 
Jenkins, sometimes for Dole, — and in that way lay his 
road to popularity. Then the youngsters knew that 
the two cooks, Service and Moko, were devoted to 
Briant, and if ever he became chief of Charman Island, 
they saw a savoury future in which there would be a 
never-ending course of jam tarts and dainty bits ! 

What is the world coming to ? In this very colony 
we have but a type of society in general. In what did 
these children differ from full-grown men ? 

Briant took little interest in these things. He 
worked away steadily, and keeping his brother fully 
employed, both of them the first and last at work as 
if they had some special duty to fulfil. 


But the days were not entirely devoted to school 
work. There were hours of recreation set down in the 
programme. One of the conditions of remaining in 
health was that exercises should be practised in which 
old and young took part. The boys climbed trees, 
getting up to the lower boughs by means of a rope 
wound round the trunk. They jumped with and with- 
out the pole. They swam in the lake, and those who 
could not swim were soon taught to do so. They ran 
races and swam races for prizes. They practised with 
the bolas and the lasso. They played cricket and 
rounders and quoits, and with regard to the last, a 
dispute occurred which had very serious conse- 

It was on the 25th of April, in the afternoon. Eight 
of the boys were playing, four on a side ; Donagan, 
Webb, Wilcox and Cross, against Briant, Baxter, 
Garnett, and Service. 

On the level strip on the terrace the two " pins " 
had been driven into the ground about fifty feet apart, 
and it was, of course, the object of the players to throw 
their quoits on to them, or as near them as possible. 
The players were greatly excited, particularly as Dona- 
gan was opposed to Briant. Two games had been 
played. Briant's side had won the first with seven 
points ; Donagan' s had won the second with six. And 
now they were playing the conqueror, and there were 
only two quoits to throw. 

" Now, Donagan I It is your turn," said Webb. 
" Aim straight. It is our last chance." 
" Don't get excited," replied Donagan. 
And with one foot in front of the other he stood, the 
right hand holding the quoit, the body bent forward, 
and in such a position as to give him the best chance 
of a good throw. His whole soul was in the game, his 
teeth were clenched, his cheeks were pale, his eyes 
glowed beneath the knitted brows. After a careful 
look, he threw the quoit straight and true — a long, low 
throw that only just missed ringing the pin, and struck 
it just at the side. 


" It's a pity you missed/' said Cross, " but it's the 
best throw yet." 

" And the game is ours," added Wilcox, " unless 
Briant manages to drop on to the pin. Look out ! " 

Briant took up his position, moving the quoit back- 
wards and forwards once or twice, and aimed so well 
that, rising high in curve, it dropped right on to the pin. 
" A ringer 1 " shouted Service triumphantly. " That 
makes us seven, and it is our game." 

" No I " said Donagan, stepping forward, " the game 
is not yours." 

" Why not ? " asked Baxter. 
" Because Briant cheated." 
" Cheated ! " said Briant. 

"Yes! Cheated 1" said Donagan. "Briant was 
over the mark. He stepped in two feet." 
" That he didn't," said Service. 
" No, I didn't," said Briant. " And even if I did, 
it was a mistake, and I will not stand Donagan calling 
me a cheat I " 

" Indeed ! You won't stand it I " said Donagan. 
" No, I will not ! " replied Briant, getting very angry. 
" And first I'll prove that my feet were on the line." 
" You can't 1 " said Webb and Cross. 
" Well," said Briant, " there are my footmarks on the 
sand ! And as Donagan must have known that, I tell 
him he's a liar ! " 

" A liar, ami?" said Donagan, stepping quietly 
towards him, jacket off, shirt sleeves tucked up, all 
ready and anxious for a fight. 

Briant had recovered his temper, and stood quietly 
watching him as if he were ashamed to be the first to 
fight one of his comrades, and set an evil example to 
the colony. 

" You were wrong to insult me, Donagan," he said 
" and you are wrong now to challenge me." 

" Indeed I " said Donagan, in a tone of the profound- 
est contempt. " It is always wrong to challenge those 
who are afraid to defend themselves." 
"I! afraid!'' 


" Yes. You axe a coward, and you know it I" 

Again Briant forgot himself for a moment, and, 
clenching his fists, squared up to Donagan ; but just 
then Gordon, who had been fetched by Dole, stepped 
into the ring. 

" Briant ! Donagan ! " he said. 

" He called me a liar," said Donagan. 

" He called me a cheat and a coward," said Briant. 

" Donagan," said Gordon, " I know what sort of a 
fellow Briant is 1 He is not the cause of this quarrel I 
It was you that began it." 

" Indeed I " said Donagan. " And I know what sort 
of a fellow you are ! Always ready to take sides against 

" Yes, when you deserve it ! " said Gordon. 

" All right," said Donagan. " But whether I began 
it or Briant began it, if Briant refuses to fight, he is a 

" And you, Donagan," said Gordon, " are a mischie- 
vous, bad-tempered fellow, for ever setting a bad 
example to the others. Placed as we are here, is it 
right that one should always be trying to cause disunion 
amongst us ? Surely we ought all to work together." 

" Briant," said Donagan, " thank Gordon for his 
sermon ; and now come on." 

" Not in the least," said Gordon. "I am chief of 
the colony, and I am not going to stand this sort of 
thing ! Briant, go into the store-room. And you, 
Donagan, go where you like, but don't come back till 
you have sense enough to see that in blaming you I 
only did my duty ! " 

" Three cheers for Gordon," said the boys, all except 
Webb, Wilcox, and Cross, " and three cheers for 
Briant ! " 

The only thing to be done was to obey. Briant went 
into the hall, and in the evening when Donagan returned 
it was evident that he was content for the time to say no 
more about the matter. But all the same he cherished 
a fierce rancour within him, and had no intention of 
forgetting the lesson which Gordon had given him. . 


But nothing further was said, and the work of pre- 
paring for the winter went on in peace. During the 
first week in May the cold was keen enough for Gordon 
to give orders for the stoves to be lighted up in the cave, 
and kept going night and day ; and soon afterwards it 
became necessary to warm the shed of the enclosure, 
which duty fell to Garnett and Service. 

At the same time the birds began to depart in 
flocks. Whither did they go ? Evidently to the 
northern countries of the Pacific, or the American 
continent, where the climate was milder than that of 
Charman Island. 

Among these birds the chief were the swallows, 
those marvellous migrants flying such enormous dis- 
tances. In his constant endeavour to avail himself o* 
every means to leave the island, it occurred to Briant 
to use these birds as messengers. Nothing was easier 
than to catch a few dozens of these birds, for they had 
built inside the store-room, and to their necks was 
tied a little linen bag, containing a letter announcing 
the wreck on Charman Island, with a request for the 
news to be sent on at once to Auckland. Then the 
swallows were released, and with much emotion the 
boys saw them depart. It was a very slender chance 
of safety, but it was a chance, and Briant was quite 
right in not neglecting it. 

The snow came on the 25th of May, a few days earlier 
than the preceding year. Was the winter to be earlier 
and severer than before? It was to be feared so. 
Luckily warmth, light, and food were assured for many 
months. The winter clothing had been given out a 
few weeks before ; and Gordon's health measures were 
strictly enforced. 

Dining this time French Den became the scene of an 
agitation which caused a good deal of excitement among 
the youngsters. The year for which Gordon had been 
elected Chief of Charman Island expired on the 10th 6i 
June. And in consequence of this there began a series 
of conferences and consultations, that much agitated 
this little world. Gordon, as we have said, was quite 


indifferent to what was going on ; and Briant, being of 
French descent, considered that his own chance was 
hopeless in a colony where English were in a majority. 
But Donagan was very anxious about the election, and 
with his more than ordinary cleverness, and his courage 
that nobody doubted, he would have had an excellent 
chance of election had he not been so haughty, domineer- 
ing and envious. He had made up his mind to be 
Gordon's successor, although his vanity prevented him 
from canvassing for votes, and he pretended to be quite 
unconcerned in the matter. But what he did not do 
openly, his friends did for him in secret, and Wilcox, 
Webb, and Cross were untiring in their efforts at per- 
suading the little ones. 
The ioth of June arrived. 

In the afternoon the election took place. Each 
boy had to write on a slip of paper the name of the 
candidate for whom he intended to vote. The majority 
of votes would decide the election. As the colony had 
only fourteen members — for Moko as a negro did not 
vote — eight votes would carry the election. 

At two o'clock Gordon opened the poll, and the voting 
was conducted with great gravity as beseemed such a 
serious ceremony. When the votes were counted, the 
following was the result : — 

Briant ... 8 

Donagan ... 3 
Gordon 1 

Neither Gordon nor Donagan had voted, and Briant 
had voted for Gordon. 

When the poll was declared, Donagan could not 
restrain his deep irritation and disgust. 

Briant was surprised at receiving the majority of 
votes, and was on the point of declining to serve, but 
his eyes happened to rest on Jack, and an idea occurred 
to him, so that he said,-r- 

" I thank you, my friends, and I accept the position 
you have offered me." 

And at sunset Briant began his year of office as Chief 
of Charman Island. 



It was the ioth of October. The influence of the warm 
season was making itself felt. Beneath the trees, 
clothed in their fresh verdure, the ground had resumed 
the garb of spring. A pleasant breeze rippled the 
surface of the water, now lighted by the last rays of 
the sun which lingered on the vast plain of South 
Moors. A narrow beach of sand formed the border of 
the moor. Flocks of birds with much noise flew over- 
head on their way to rest for the night in the shadow of 
the woods or the crevices of the cliff. A few groups 
of evergreen trees, pines, green oaks, and a few acres 
of firs alone broke the monotonous barrenness of this 
part of Charman Island. 

A fire was burning at the foot of a pine-tree, and its 
fragrant smoke was drifting over the marsh. A couple 
of ducks were cooking over the fire. Supper over, 
the four boys had nothing to do but to wrap themselves 
up in their rugs, and, while one watched, three of them 
could sleep. 

They were Donagan, Cross, Webb, and Wilcox. And 
the circumstances under which they had separated 
from their companions were these. 

During the later months of the second winter, the 
relations between Donagan and Briant had become more 
strained than ever. It will not have been forgotten 
with what envy Donagan had seen the election of his 

More jealous and irritable than ever, it was with the 
greatest difficulty he submitted to the orders of the 
new chief of Charman Island. That he did not resist 
openly was because the majority would no* support 



him ; but on many occasions he had showed such ill- 
will that Briant had found it his duty to remonstrate 
with him. Since a skating party, when his dis- 
obedience had been so flagrant, his insubordination had 
gone on increasing, and the time had come when 
Briant would be obliged to punish him. 

Gordon was very uneasy at this state of things, and 
had made Briant promise that he would restrain 
himself. But the latter felt that his patience was at 
an end, and that for the common interest in the preser- 
vation of order an example had become necessary. In 
vain Gordon had tried to bring back Donagan to a 
sense of his position. If he had had any influence over 
him in the past, he now found it had entirely disappear- 
ed. Donagan would not forgive him for having so 
often sided with his rival, and his efforts for peace 
being in vain, he saw with regret the troubles that were 

From this state of things it resulted that the harmony 
so necessary to the peace of French Den was destroyed. 
Life in common became very uncomfortable. Except 
at meal-times Donagan and his three friends lived apart* 
When bad weather kept them indoors they would 
gather together in a corner of the hall, and there hold 
whispered conversations. 

" Most certainly," said Briant to Gordon one day, 
" those three are plotting something." 

" Not against you, Briant," said Gordon. " Dona- 
gan dare not try to take your place. We are all on 
your side, and he knows it." 

" Perhaps they are thinking of separating from us ? " 

" That is more likely, and I do not see that we have 
the right to prevent them." 

" But to go and set up—" 

" They may not be going to do so." 

" But they are ! I saw Wilcox making a copy of 
Baudoin's map, and — " 

" Did Wilcox do that ? " 

" Yes ; and really I think it would be better for me 


to put an end to all this by resigning in your favour, 
or perhaps in Donagan's. That would cut short all 
this rivalry." 

" No, Briant," said Gordon decidedly, " you would 
fail in your duty towards those who have elected 

Amid these discussions the winter came to an end. 
With the first days of October the cold definitely dis- 
appeared, and the surface of the lake and river became 
free from ice. And on the evening of the 9th of the 
month Donagan announced the resolve of himself and 
Webb, Cross, and Wilcox to leave French Den. 

" You wish to abandon us ? " said Gordon. 

" To abandon you ? No, Gordon ! " said Donagan. 
" Only Cross, Wilcox, Webb, and I have agreed to move 
to another part of the island." 

" And for what reason ? " asked Baxter. 

" Simply because we want to live as we please, and I 
tell you frankly because it does not suit us to take 
orders from Briant." 

" What have you to complain of about me ? " said 

" Nothing— except your being at our head," said 
Donagan. " We had a Yankee as chief of the colony — 
now it is a French fellow who is in command ! Next 
time I suppose we shall have a nigger fellow, Moko for 
instance — " 

" Do you mean that ? " asked Gordon. 

" I do," said Donagan, " and neither I nor my friends 
care to serve under any but one of our own race." 

" Very well," said Briant, " Wilcox, Webb, Cross, 
and you, Donagan, are quite at liberty to go, and take 
away your share of the things." 

" We never supposed otherwise, Briant ; and to- 
morrow we will clear out of French Den." 

" And may you never have cause to repent of your 
determination," said Gordon, who saw that reasoning 
would be in vain. 

Donagan's plan was as follows. When Briant had 


told the story of his expedition across the lake he had 
stated that the little colony could take up their quarters 
on the eastern side of the island under very favourable 
conditions. Among the rocks on the shore were many 
caves, the river yielded fresh water in abundance. 
The forest extended to the beach, there was game 
furred and feathered in abundance, and life would be 
as easy there as at French Den, and much easier than 
at Schooner Bay. Besides, the distance between 
French Den and the coast was only a dozen miles, of 
which six were across the lake and six down the East 
River, so that in case of necessity communication was 
not difficult. 

But it was not by water that Donagan proposed to 
reach Deception Bay. His plan was to coast along 
Family Lake to its southern point, and then follow the 
bank to East River, exploring a country up to then 
unknown. This was a longish journey — fifteen or 
sixteen miles — but he and his friends would treat the 
trip as a sporting expedition and get some shooting as 
they went. Donagan had thus no need of the yawl, 
and contented himself with the Halkett boat, which 
would suffice for the passage of East River and any 
other stream she might meet with. 

As this expedition had for its object only the explora- 
tion of Deception Bay, with a view of selecting a per- 
manent dwelling, Donagan took no more baggage with 
him than he could help. Two guns, four revolvers, 
two axes, sufficient ammunition, a few fishing lines, 
some travelling-rugs, one of the pocket compasses, 
the indiarubber boat, and a few preserves, formed the 

The expedition was expected to last about a week, 
and when they had selected their future home, Donagan 
and his friends would return to French Den and take 
away on the chariot their share of the articles saved 
from the wreck of the schooner. If Gordon or any of 
the rest came to visit them, they would be glad to see 
them, but to continue to live at French Den under the 


present state of things, they had no intention of doing, 
and nothing could shake their determination to set up 
a little colony of their own. 

At sunrise the four took leave of their comrades, 
who were very sorry to see them go, and, maybe, 
Donagan and his friends were not unmoved. 

They were taken across Zealand River in the yawl by 
Moko, and then leisurely walked off along the shore of 
Family Lake by the edge of the wide-stretching South 

A few birds were killed as they went along by the 
side of the marsh, but Donagan, knowing he must be 
careful of his ammunition, contented himself with only 
shooting enough for the day's rations. That day the 
boys accomplished between five and six miles, and 
about five o'clock in the evening, arriving at the end of 
the lake, they camped for the night. 

The night was cold, but the fire kept them comfortable 
and all four were awake at the dawn. The southern 
extremity of Family Lake was an acute angle formed by 
two high banks, the right ofie of which ran due north. 
On the east the country was still marshy, but the ground 
was a few feet above the level of the lake, so that it 
was not flooded. Here and there a few knolls dotted 
with undersized trees broke the sameness of the green 
expanse. As the country consisted chiefly of sandhills 
Donagan gave it the name of Dune Lands ; and not 
wishing to plunge too far into the unknown, he decided 
to keep to the lake shore, and leave further exploration 
for a future time. 

" If," said he, " the map is right, we shall find East 
River about seven miles from here, and we can easily 
do that before night." 

" Why not strike off to the north-east, so as to get to 
the mouth of the river direct ? " asked Wilcox, 

" That would save us a third of the way," said Webb. 

" So it would," said Donagan, " but why should we 
venture across this marshy country, which we do not 
know, and run the risk of having to come back here ? 


If we keep along the shore of the lake, there is much 
less chance of our meeting with an obstacle." 

" And then," added Cross, " it is important that we 
should explore the course of East River." 

" Evidently," said Donagan, " for the stream gives 
us direct communication between the coast and Family 
Lake. Besides, as we go down it, we can explore the 
forest on either side." 

This point being decided, they set off at a good pace. 
There was a narrow path some three or four feet above 
the level of the lake, and along it ran the line of sand- 
hills. As the sun rose, it became evident that in a few 
miles the scenery would change. And, in fact, about 
eleven o'clock they stopped for lunch by a little creek 
under the shade of some huge beech-trees, whence, as 
far as the eye could reach towards the east, rose a 
confused mass of verdure to mark the horizon. 

An agouti, shot by Wilcox during the morning, 
served for the meal, and was fairly well cooked by Cross, 
who was the Moko of the expedition. The meal over, 
Donagan and his friends were afoot again. The forest, 
which bordered the lake, consisted of similar trees to 
those in Trap Woods, but the evergreen varieties were 
in greater number. There were many more pines, 
spruces, and green oaks than birches or beeches, and 
all were of superb dimensions. To his great satis- 
faction, Donagan found that the fauna was quite as 
varied as that of the rest of the island. Guanacos and 
vicugnas were frequently seen, and a flock of nandus 
was observed satisfying their thirst. Hares, maras, 
tucutucos, peccaries, and feathered game abounded in 
the thickets. 

About six o'clock a halt was made. The bank was 
cut through by a stream which ran out of the lake. 
This ought to have been, and was, East River. It was 
easily recognized, as Donagan found the traces of the 
fire on the spot where Briant had encamped during 
his expedition with Jack and Moko. To camp in the 
same place, light a fire on the ashes, and sleep under the 


same trees appeared the best thing to do, and that is 
what was done. 

Eight months before, when Briant had stopped at 
the same place, he little thought that four of his com- 
panions would come here in their turn, with the inten- 
tion of living by themselves in this part of Charman 
Island. And perhaps Cross, Wilcox, and Webb, when 
they found themselves far from their comfortable beds 
in French Den, felt more regret at being there. But 
their fate was now bound up with Donagan' s and 
Donagan was too vain to acknowledge his mistakes, too 
obstinate to abandon his plans, and too jealous to give 
in to a rival. 

Next morning Donagan proposed to cross the river 
at once. 

" Having done that," said he, " we can spend th* 
day in getting down to the sea, which is under six miles 
from here." 

" Yes," said Cross. " And it was on the left bank 
that Moko found the pine cones, and we can gather 
our food as we go." 

The indiarubber boat was then unpacked, and as 
soon as it was in the water Donagan worked it across 
to the opposite bank, towing a line behind as he did so. 
With a few strokes of the paddle he was soon across the 
forty feet of the river's width. Then, by pulling at 
the line, Wilcox, Webb, and Cross got the boat bade 
while Donagan let out a line from his side, and so in 
four trips all were on the left bank of the river. 

That done, Wilcox folded up the boat as if it were a 
travelling-bag, and put it on his back. It would, of 
course, have been less fatiguing to have floated down 
East River in the yawl, as Briant, Jack and Moko had 
done, but the indiarubber boat could only take one 
passenger at a time, and the river voyage was not to 
be thought of. 

It was not easy travelling. The forest was so dense, 
the ground bristled with thick patches of underwood, 
and was strewn with branches broken off in the recent 


storms, and many were the swamps and quagmires 
round which the travellers had to go. Donagan found 
no traces of Baudoin's passage through the forest, such 
as existed in Trap Woods, but there could be no doubt 
he had been there, for the map indicated exactly the 
course of the river right down to the bay. 

At noon a halt was made for luncheon, under the 
pine-trees, where Cross gathered a quantity of the 
fruit, on which they regaled themselves. Then, for 
the next two miles, the boys had to make their way 
through clumps of underwood, where, occasionally, 
they had to cut a path with their axes, so as not to 
stray too far from the river. On account of the delay 
this caused, it was not till seven o'clock that they got 
out of the forest. Night was coming on, and Donagan 
could make out nothing of the coast-line. All he could 
see was the long line of foam as he listened to the 
murmur of the sea rolling on to the beach. 

It was decided to camp where they were, in the open. 
A few grouse were cooked for supper, and the fire that 
had been lighted was kept in during the night. It was 
Donagan' s turn to watch. Wilcox, Cross, and Webb 
stretched themselves under the branches of a large 
parasol pine and, tired out by the long day's work, 
were immediately asleep. 

Donagan had great difficulty in keeping awake. He 
succeeded, however ; but when the time came for him 
to be relieved by one of his companions they were all 
so sound asleep that he could not make up his mind to 
wake any of them. The forest was so quiet that they 
were as safe as if they were at French Den. And so, 
having thrown a few handfuls of wood on the fire, 
Donagan lay down at the foot of the tree, and closed 
his eyes, to open them when the sun was up, lighting a 
wide horizon of sea. 



The next day, on the beach, Donagan and his party found an 
upturned ship's boat, evidently newly-driven ashore, but could 
discover no trace of survivors. Three days later, Briant, Gordon 
and Jack came across a woman half-dead from fatigue and hunger 
not very far from French Den. She was Kate Ready, servant to a 
family that had sailed from San Francisco on a merchant ship, the 
Severn. When she was able to speak she told them that nine days 
out of port the majority of the crew, headed by a scoundrel, Walston, 
had mutinied, seized the ship, killed the captain, the loyal sailors 
and the few passengers, sparing only Kate and Mr. Evans, the first- 
mate, whom they forced at the muzzle of a revolver to navigate the 
ship. Fire, however, broke out, the ship was abandoned, and finally 
the long boat was driven ashore on the island. Kate had escaped, 
leaving Mr. Evans still a prisoner. The mutineers were striving to 
repair the boat in order to get away. 

Such was Kate's story — and a very serious state of 
affairs was revealed by it. On Charman Island, where 
the young colonists had hitherto lived in complete 
security, there had landed now seven men capable of 
any crime. If they discovered French Den, would 
they hesitate to attack it ? No. They had too real 
an interest in seizing its stores, taking away its provi- 
sions, weapons, and particularly its tools, without 
which it would be impossible for them to repair then- 
boat so as to fit her for sea. And what resistance could 
Briant and his comrades offer when the eldest was only 
fifteen, and the youngest scarcely ten years old ? 
Was this not an alarming state of things ? If Walston 
remained on the island, there could be no doubt he 
would attack them. The interest with which Kate 
was listened to can be easily imagined. 

Only one thing Briant thought of— that Donagan, 
Wilcox, Webb, and Cross were now in great peril. 
How could they be on their guard if they did not know 



of the presence of the survivors of the Severn in the 
very part of the island they were then exploring? 
The report of a gun fired by one of them would be 
enough to reveal their presence to Walston ? And 
then the four would fall into the hands of the scoundrel, 
who would give them no mercy. 

" We must go to their assistance/' said Briant ; 
" and let them know before to-morrow." 

" And bring them back to French Den," added 
Gordon. " More than ever it is necessary for us to be 
united, so as to concert measures against an attack." 

" Yes," said Briant ; " and as it is necessary they 
should come back, they will come back! I will go 
after them." 

"You, Briant!" 

" Yes, I, Gordon ! " 

" And how ? " 

" I'll go in the yawl with Moko. In a few hours we 
can cross the lake and go down East River, as we did 
before. There is every chance we shall find Donagan 
at its mouth." 

" When will you go ? " 

" This evening," said Briant, " as soon as the darkness 
allows us to get across without being seen." 

" May I go with you ? " asked Jack. 

" No," said Briant. " It is imperative that we all 
come back in the boat, and we shall not have room for 


" That is agreed, then ? " asked Gordon. 

" That is agreed." 

It was in fact the best thing to do, not only for the 
sake of Donagan and his companions, but also for the 
rest. Four boys more, and those not the weakest of 
the party, was a reinforcement not to be despised. 
And there was not an hour to lose if they were all to 
be back at French Den within twenty-four hours. 

Until evening came the boys remained in the hall, 
where Kate heard the story of their adventures. She 
no longer thought of herself, but of those around her. 


If they were to remain on Charman Island she would 
be their devoted servant, — she would take care of them 
like a mother. And already to the little ones, Dole 
and Costar, she had given the endearing name of 
" papooses," applied to babies in the western states of 

Service, in the spirit of his favourite romances, had 
already proposed to call her Mrs. Friday, for it was on a 
Friday that Kate had arrived at French Den. And he 
had added, when he made the suggestion, — 

" These scoundrels are like Crusoe's savages. There 
is always a time when the savages arrive, just as the 
time comes when they are beaten." 

At eight o'clock the preparations for departure were 
complete. Moko, whom no danger could frighten, was 
delighted at having to accompany Briant. The two 
embarked, taking with them a few provisions and a 
revolver and cutlass each. After bidding farewell to 
their comrades, who did not see them depart without a 
feeling of sorrow, they were soon off out of sight in the 
shadow on Family Lake. When the sun set a gentle 
breeze had sprung up from the north, which, if it 
lasted, would suit the yawl both outwards and home- 

The night was dark — a fortunate thing for Briant, 
who did not wish to be seen. Setting their course by 
the compass, they could reach the opposite shore, and 
then work up it or down it until they came to the 
mouth of the river. 

Briant and Moko kept a good look-out ahead when 
they feared they should see some fire which would 
proclaim the presence of Walston and his companions, 
for Donagan was almost sure to be camped on the sea- 

In two hours the six miles had been sailed. The 
breeze had freshened, but the yawl was none the worse 
for it. She made the landfall close to where she had 
done so the first time, and about half a mile from where 
the stream ran out This half-mile took some time to 


accomplish, for the wind was dead ahead, and the oars 
had to be used. Everything seemed quiet under the 
trees ; not a yelp or a growl was heard in the forest, 
and not the sign of a fire was seen under the black 
masses of foliage. 

About half-past ten Briant, who was in the stern of 
the boat, touched Moko's arm. A few hundred feet 
away from East River a half-extinguished fire shed its 
expiring light through the darkness. Who was camped 
there ? Walston or Donagan ? It was necessary to 
know before entering the stream. 

" Put me ashore/' said Briant, 

" Shall I not come with you ? " asked the negro in a 

" No ! It is better I should go alone, there is less 
chance of my being seen." 

The yawl ran alongside the bank, and Briant jumped 
ashore, after telling Moko to wait for him. He had his 
cutlass in his hand, and in his belt was the revolver, 
which he had resolved not to use except in the last 
extremity. He climbed the bank and glided under the 

Suddenly he stopped. About twenty yards away, in 
the half-light of the fire, he saw a shadow crouching in 
the grass. Immediately a formidable grunt was heard, 
and a dark mass leapt in front of him. 

It was a jaguar of large size. Immediately there was 
a shout of — 

"Help! Help!" 

Briant recognized Donagan's voice. It was Donagan, 
in fact, and his companions were asleep in camp near 
the river. 

Knocked over by the jaguar, Donagan was struggling, 
unable to use his gun. 

Wilcox, awakened by the shout, jumped up, and 
brought his gun to the shoulder, ready to fire. 

" Don't fire ! Don't fire ! " cried Briant. And before 
Wilcox could see him, he had sprung at the wild beast, 
which turned against him and left Donagan free to 


get up. Luckily, Briant was able to step aside, and give 
it a thrust with his cutlass. The jaguar was mortally 
wounded and rolled on to the ground, as Webb and 
Cross rushed to Donagan's assistance. 

But the victory might have cost Briant dear, for his 
shoulder was ripped by the animal's claws, and began 
to bleed profusely. 

" How did you come here ? " exclaimed Wilcox. 

" That you will know soon ! " said Briant. " But 
come with me ! Come ! " 

" Not till I have thanked you, Briant ! " said Dona- 
gan. " You have saved my life ! " 

" I only did what you would have done in my place," 
replied Briant ; " but don't say any more about that. 
Come with me ! " 

Briant' s wound, however, was noticed. Although it 
was not a serious one, it had to be bound up tightly with 
a handkerchief, and while Wilcox was doing this Dona- 
gan was told what had taken place. 

And so these men who had come by the boat were 
alive ! They were wandering about the island ! They 
were scoundrels stained with murder ! A woman had 
been wrecked with them in the boat ; and this woman 
was now at French Den ! There was now no safety on 
Charman Island ! That was why Briant had told 
Wilcox not to fire at the jaguar for fear the report would 
be heard, and that was why Briant had trusted only to 
the cutlass ! 

" Ah, Briant, you are a better fellow than Iaml" 
said Donagan with deep emotion. 

" No, Donagan," said Briant ; " but now I hold 
your hand I will not let it go till you have promised 
to come back with me." 

" Yes, I must come," said Donagan. " You can 
trust me. Henceforth I shall be the first to obey 
orders I To-morrow — at daybreak we will be off." 

" No," said Briant, " we must start at once, without 
the risk of being seen." 

" And how ? " asked Cross 


" Moko is here in the yawl. We were going down the 
river when I saw the light of your fire." 

" And you came just in time to save me," said 

" And to bring you back to French Den ! " 

A few minutes afterwards Briant and his companions 
had taken their places in the yawl, and as she was 
rather small for six, she had to be carefully managed. 

But the wind was favourable, and Moko handled her 
so well that the voyage was accomplished without 

Great was the joy of Gordon and the rest when they 
landed about four o'clock in the morning. Although 
danger threatened, the boys were all united at French 
Den to meet it. 



The colony was again complete, and peace reigned at 
French Den — peace that was to be untroubled for the 
future. The separation of two or three days had borne 
its fruit. More than once already Donagan, without 
saying anything to his comrades, had been led to think 
how stupid had been his obstinacy ; and Wilcox, Cross, 
and Webb, had had similar thoughts. After what 
Briant had done, Donagan' s better nature had triumph- 
ed, and the change was to be lasting. 

But French Den was in serious danger. It was 
exposed to the attack of seven well-armed scoun- 
drels ; obviously, Walston's best course was to leave 
the island as soon as he could ; but if he came to suspect 
the existence of a little colony well provided with all 
that he wanted, he would not refrain from an attack 
in which he had almost every chance of success. The 
boys would be obliged to be most careful not to go far 
from Zealand River or the lake so long as he was in the 

Donagan was asked if he had seen any trace of the 
sailors on his journey back. 

" No," said he. " But when we went back we did 
not go the same way as at first/' 

" But we are sure that Walston went off to the east- 
ward," said Gordon. 

" Agreed," answered Donagan, " but he went along 
the shore, while we came through Beech Forest. If 
you look at the map you will see there is a very bold 
curve just above Deception Bay, and there is a good 
stretch of country there where the men could take 
refuge without going too far away from their boat 



But perhaps Kate can tell us whereabouts Charman 
Island is ? " 

Kate had already been asked by Gordon and Briant, 
and could tell them nothing. After the burning of 
the Severn, Mr. Evans had laid the course of the boat 
straight for the American continent, and consequently 
Charman Island could not be very far away from it. 
But the name of the island on which he had been cast, 
he had never mentioned during the storm. The 
numerous archipelagoes on the coast must be within a 
short distance, and there were very good reasons for 
Walston to try and reach them, and in the meantime 
to stay on the eastern shore. If he could only get his 
boat into a seaworthy state, he would not have much 
trouble in reaching the South American coast. 

" Unless," said Briant, " he comes to the mouth of 
East River, and finding there traces of your camp, 
Donagan, resolves to search further inland." 

" But what traces ? " replied Donagan. " A few 
cinders t what would that tell him ? that the island is 
inhabited 1 and if so, the scoundrels would only think 
of hiding themselves." 

" Exactly," said Briant. " Until they discovered 
that the population of the island consisted of a parcel 
of boys. We must do nothing to let him know who 
we are! And that reminds me, Donagan, did you 
fire your gun on your journey back to Deception 

" No ; and that is rather strange," said Donagan, 
smiling. " For I am rather inclined to burn too much 
powder. When we left the shore we had a good supply 
of game, and no shooting took place to reveal our 
presence. Last night Wilcox was going to fire at the 
jaguar, but luckily you arrived in time and saved my 
life at the risk of your own." 

" You need say no more about that, Donagan," 
said Briant. " But don't let us have another gun fired ; 
let us keep away from Trap Woods, and let us live on 
our reserves." 


We need only just mention that since his arrival at 
French Den Briant had had everything necessary done 
to his wound, and that it had healed in a few days. 
There remained a certain amount of discomfort in the 
arm, but that soon disappeared. 

October was near its end, and Walston had not been 
seen in the neighbourhood of Zealand River. Had he 
repaired his boat and left the island ? It was not 
impossible. He had an axe> — as Kate remembered — 
and could make use of those large knives which sailors 
always have in their pockets ; and wood there was in 
abundance near Severn Reefs. But in ignorance of 
what he had done, the every-day life at French Den 
had been entirely changed. There were no more distant 
excursions, except once when Baxter and Donagan went 
off to the crest of Auckland Hill and lowered the flag- 

From this elevated point Donagan examined through 
his glass all the masses of verdure to the eastward. 
And although he could see right away to the sea, not a 
trace of smoke rose to indicate that Walston and his 
companions were encamped on the island. Neither 
in that direction nor in the direction of Schooner Bay 
did Donagan see anything suspicious. 

Now that all expeditions were forbidden and the 
guns lay idle, the sportsmen of the colony had to give 
up their favourite amusement. Fortunately the nets 
and snares set about French Den, yielded game in 
sufficient quantity, and the tinamous and ostriches in 
the poultry-yard had multiplied so much that Service 
and Garnett were obliged to sacrifice a good many of 
them. As they had gathered a lai^e crop of the leaves 
of the tea-tree, and a good deal of the maple syrup that 
changes so easily into sugar, there was no necessity to 
go to Dike Creek to renew the stock of provisions. And 
even if the winter came before the boys recovered their 
liberty, they were sufficiently provided with oil for 
their lamps, and with preserved provisions for their 
larder. All they had to do was to get some more wood, 


and bring it in from Bog Woods along the bank of the 

It was at this time that a new discovery was made, 
adding to the comfort of French Den. It was not made 
by Gordon, although he was a good botanist, but to 
Kate the whole credit belonged. On the edge of Bog 
Woods there were a certain number of trees, measuring 
from fifty to sixty feet high. If the axe had spared 
them, it was because their wood was very stringy, and 
promised to be but poor fuel for the fires in the hall and 
enclosure. The leaves were of oblong form, alternating 
with knots on the branches and terminated by a leathery 

The first time Kate saw one of these trees — it was 
the 25th of October — she exclaimed, — 
" Oh I why there's a cow-tree ! " 
Dole and Costar, who were with her, burst into a 
shout of laughter. 
" What is a cow-tree ? " asked one. 
" Do the cows eat it ? " asked the other. 
" No, papooses, no," said Kate. " It is so called 
because it yields milk." 

When she returned to French Den, Kate told Gordon 
of her discovery. Gordon at once called Service, and 
with him and Kate went to Bog Woods. After examin- 
ing the tree Gordon thought it might be one of those 
milk trees of which there are so many in the forests of 
North America, and he was not mistaken. 

It was a valuable discovery. All that was needful 
was to make an incision in the bark, and a milky sap 
would flow, having the taste and properties of the milk 
of the cow. If left to stand, it would form excellent 
cheese, and at the same time it would yield very 
pure wax, not unlike beeswax, of which capital candles 
could be made. 

" Well," said Service, " if it is a cow-tree or a tree- 
cow, we may as well milk it." 

And unknown to himself he used the very same ex- 
pression as the Indians, for they " milk the tree." 


Gordon made a gash in the bark of the tree, and out 
flowed the sap ; and Kate caught two good pints of it 
in a cup she had brought with her. 

It is a whitish liquor, appetising enough to look at, 
and comprising the same elements as cow's milk. At 
the same time it is more nourishing, thicker, and has a 
more agreeable savour. The cup was empty in a 
minute at French Den, and Costar smeared his mouth 
all round as if he were a young cat. At the thought of 
all he could do with this new substance, Moko did not 
conceal his satisfaction. He would have no trouble 
to go and get his vegetable milk. 

In short — and we need hardly repeat it — Charman 
Island would supply the wants of a large colony. The 
boys could certainly five there for a long time ; and the 
arrival of Kate amongst them to look after them like a 
mother, and she quite inspired them with maternal 
affection, had done much to make their existence more 

Why had the former security been troubled ? What 
discoveries B riant and his comrades would have made 
in those unknown parts of the east which they now had 
to consider as closed to them ! Would they ever be 
able to resume their excursions, having nothing to 
fear but wild beasts, far less dangerous than the wild 
beasts in human form, against whom they had to be on 
their guard night and day ? 

November had begun, and there was still no trace of 
suspicious characters round French Den. Briant even 
doubted if the survivors of the Severn were still on the 
island. But had not Donagan seen with his own eyes 
that the boat was in a bad way, with her broken mast, 
tattered sails, and shattered side? It is true — and 
Mr. Evans would know this— if Charman Island had 
been near a continent or archipelago, the boat might 
have been sufficiently put to rights and gone to sea. 
It was possible for Walston to have left the island. Had 
he done so ? That would have to be discovered before 
the usual round of life was resumed. 


Often Briant had thought of exploring the district on 
the east of Family Lake. Donagan, Baxter, and 
Wilcox would have been only too glad to go with him. 
But to run the risk of falling into Walston' s power, and 
thereby discover to him how little formidable were the 
adversaries with whom he had to do, would have had 
the most serious consequences. And so Gordon, whose 
advice was always listened to, persuaded Briant not 
to venture into Beech Forest. 

Kate then made a proposition, which would avoid 
this danger of discovery. One evening, when all the 
boys were united in the hall, she asked Briant if he 
would allow her to leave them in the morning. 

" Leave us, Kate ! " said Briant. 

" Yes I You cannot remain much longer in this 
uncertainty as to whether Walston is still on the island, 
and I volunteer to go to the place where the storm left 
me, and find out if the boat is still there. If it is 
there, Walston has not gone away ; if it is not there 
you need have no further fear of him." 

" That," said Donagan, " is what Briant and Baxter 
and Wilcox and I proposed to do ourselves." 

" True, Mr. Donagan," said Kate. " But what is 
dangerous for you has no danger for me." 

" But Kate," said Gordon, " if you fall into Walston's 

" Well," interrupted Kate, " I shall be where I was 
before I ran away. That is all ! " 

" And if this rascal makes away with you, as he very 
likely will ? " asked Briant. 

" I escaped before, and why should I not escape 
again, particularly as I now know the road to French 
Den ? And if I could get away with Mr. Evans — af ter 
telling him all about you — think what a help he would 
be to you ! " 

" If Evans had a chance of escape," said Donagan, 
" would he not have gone already ? Is there not every 
reason for his trying to save himself ? " 

" Donagan is right," said Gordon. " Evans knows 


Walston's secret, and Walston would have no hesitation 
in killing him as soon as he had no need of his help to 
guide the boat to the continent. If Evans has not 
slipped away from his companions by now, it is because 
he is too well guarded." 

" Or that he has already paid with his life for an 
attempt to escape," said Donagan. " And so, Kate, 
unless you wish to be recaptured — " 

" Do you think I would not do all I could to avoid 
being caught ? " 

" Of course you would," said Briant. " But we will 
never let you run the risk. No I We must seek out 
some less dangerous way of discovering if Walston is 
still on Charman Island." 

Kate's proposal having been rejected, there was no 
more to do than keep a good look-out. Evidently if 
Walston was able to leave the island he would do so 
before the wet season began, so as to reach some country 
where he and his companions would be welcomed, as 
all shipwrecked folks are welcomed, no matter whence 
they may come. 

If Walston was in the island he seemed to have no in- 
tention of exploring the interior. Frequently, on the 
dark nights, Briant, Donagan, and Moko had crossed 
the lake in the yawl, and never had they seen a fire, 
either on the opposite bank, or beneath the trees down 
East River. 



Walston had now been a fortnight on the island, and 
if he had not repaired his boat, it was because he had 
not the took to do so. 

" That must be the reason," said Donagan ; " for 
the boat was not damaged very much. If our schooner 
had not suffered more, we should have had her sea- 
worthy in much less time." 

But although Walston had not gone, it was not likely 
that he intended to settle on Charman Island. Had lie 
done so, he would have made several excursions into 
the interior, and French Den would certainly have been 
visited by him. 

Then Briant told the others what he had seen regard- 
ing the land, which could not be very far off to the 

" You have not forgotten," he said, " that when we 
went to East River I noticed a white patch a little 
above the horizon, which I could not at all understand." 

" Wilcox and I saw nothing like it," said Donagan, 
" although we did our best — " 

" Moko saw it as distinctly as I did," said Briant. 

" Well, that may be," said Donagan. " But what 
makes you think we are near a continent, or a group of 
islands ? " 

" Just this," said Briant. " Yesterday, while I was 
looking at the horizon in that direction, I saw a light a 
long way beyond our island, which could only come from 
a volcano in eruption, and I supposed that there must 
be some land not far off. Now, the sailors of the 
Severn must know that, and they would do all they 
could to get there." 

" That is true enough," interrupted Baxter. " They 

K 145 


won't get much by stopping here. Evidently the only 
reason they have not relieved us of their presence is 
that they have not been able to get their boat made 

Briant's news was of the greatest importance to the 
little colony. It showed for certain that Charman 
Island was not isolated in the Pacific as they had 
thought. But the fact that Walston had taken up his 
quarters at East River seriously complicated matters. 
He had left the place where he had come ashore, and 
come a dozen miles nearer the camp. He had only to 
ascend the river to reach the lake ; and he had only to 
skirt the southern shore of the lake to discover French 

To provide against this, Briant had to take every 
precaution. Henceforth the boys were allowed out 
only when absolutely necessary. Baxter hid the 
fence of the enclosure with a curtain of brushwood, 
and in the same way he concealed the entrances of the 
hall and store-room. No one was allowed to show 
himself in the open between the lake and Auckland 

And added to these difficulties there were now other 
causes of anxiety. Costar was ill of a fever, and in 
danger of his life. Gordon had to prescribe for him 
from the schooner's medicine-chest, not without some 
nervousness that he might make a mistake ! Luckily, 
Kate was quite a mother to the poor, sick boy. She 
watched over him with a painstaking affection, and 
nursed him night and day. Thanks chiefly to her, the 
fever left him, and he soon afterwards quite recovered. 
During the first fortnight of November there were 
frequent showers, but on the 17th the barometer rose 
and steadied, and the warm season set in for good. 
Trees and shrubs and all the vegetation were soon 
covered with leaves and flowers. The customary 
visitors of South Moors returned in great numbers. 
Donagan was miserable at not being able to go out 
shooting across the marshes, and poor Wilcox was none 
the less so at not being able to spread his nets. And 


not only did the birds swarm on the island, but others 
were taken in the snares near French Den. 

During these long, idle days, many were the hours 
now passed in the hall. Baxter, who had charge of the 
log, found not an incident to relate. And in less than 
four months the third winter would begin for the 
colonists of Charman Island t 

The boys noticed with deep anxiety, how discourage- 
ment was seizing upon the most energetic — with the 
exception of Gordon who was always deep in the 
details of management. 

Even B riant at times despaired, although he did his 
best to hide it. He tried to encourage his comrades to 
continue their studies, to resume their debates, and their 
readings aloud. He reminded them constantly of 
their country and their friends, averring that one day 
they would go back. He did all he could to keep up 
their spirits, but with little success, and his great fear 
was that despair would overwhelm them. 

Nothing of the sort I Events of the greatest import- 
ance were at hand which soon gave them quite sufficient 

It was on the 21st of November, about two o'clock in 
the afternoon, when Donagan was fishing in the lake, 
that his attention was attracted by the discordant 
cries of a score of birds hovering over the left bank of 
the stream. If the birds were not crows — which they 
somewhat resembled — they evidently belonged to the 
same species. 

Donagan would have taken little notice of their 
cries had not their behaviour been strange. 

They were describing large circles, diminishing in 
radius as they neared the ground, until in a compact 
group they swooped down. 

Then the noise became greater than ever, but in 
vain Donagan tried to catch a glimpse of the birds 
among the thick bushes in which they had disappeared. 

The thought occurred to him that the carcase of some 
animal must be there. Curious to know what was the 
matter, he returned to French Den and asked Moko to 



take him over in the boat to the other side of Zealand 

They pushed off and in ten minutes had slipped in 
among the vegetation on the bank. At once the birds 
took to flight, protesting by their screams at being dis- 
turbed at their meal. 

There lay the body of a young guanaco that had 
evidently been dead for only a few hours, inasmuch 
as it was not quite cold. 

Donagan and Moko not caring to burden their larder 
with the remains of the birds' dinner, were about to 
leave it when it occurred to them to ask why the 
guanaco had come to die on the skirt of the marsh, so 
far from the eastern forest which its fellows so seldom 

Donagan examined the body. There was a wound in 
the flank, a wound which could not have been given by 
the tooth of a jaguar, or any other beast of prey. 

" This guanaco was shot I " said Donagan. 

" And here is the proof t " said the cabin-boy, picking 
out a bullet from the wound with the point of his knife. 

The bullet was more of the size carried by a ship's 
rifle than by such a gun as sportsmen use. It must 
therefore have been fired by Walston or one of his 

Donagan and Moko, leaving the carcase to the birds, 
returned to French Den to consult with their com- 

That the guanaco had been shot by one of the 
Severn men was evident, for neither Donagan nor any 
one else had fired a gun for more than a month. But 
it was important to know when and whore the guanaco 
had received the bullet. 

Taking everything into consideration, it appeared 
the wound must have been given not more than five 
or six hours before— that being the lapse of time 
necessary for the animal to cross the Down Lands so 
as to reach the river. Consequently, one of Walston's 
men must that morning have been at the south point 
of Family Lake, and the party must have crossed East 


River, and be getting nearer and nearer to French 

Thus the position was getting more serious, although 
danger was not yet upon them. In the south of the 
island lay this vast plain, cut up by streams, patched 
with swamps, dotted with sandhills, where there was 
not enough game to furnish the party with their daily 
meals. It was unlikely that Walston, as yet, had 
ventured to cross it ; no report of firearms had been 
heard, and there was reason to hope that the position 
of French Den had not yet been discovered. 

Nevertheless, means of defence had to be enforced 
with renewed vigour. If there was any chance of 
repulsing an attack, it lay in the colonists not being 
caught by surprise outside the cave. 

Three days afterwards a more significant event 
happened to increase their fears, and show that their 
safety was more endangered than ever. 

On the 24th, about nine o'clock in the morning, 
B riant and Gordon had gone out across Zealand River, 
to see if they could throw up a sort of entrenchment 
across the narrow footpath which ran between the 
lake and the marsh. Behind this entrenchment it 
would be easy for Donagan, the best shot of the party, 
to lie in ambush if Wabton's advance was discovered 
in time. 

They had gone about three hundred yards from the 
river, when Briant stepped on something which broke 
under his foot. He took no notice of this, thinking it 
was one of the thousands of shells rolled up by the 
spring tides when they covered the plain. But Gordon, 
who was walking behind him, stopped and exclaimed, — 

" Look here, Briant, look here ! " 

" What's the matter ? " 

Gordon stooped and picked up what had been broken 

"Look!" he said. 

" That is not a shell," said Briant. " That is—" 


Gordon held in his hand a black pipe with the stem 
broken off at the bowl. 


" As none of us smoke/' said he, " this pipe must 
have been lost — " 

" By one of the men, unless it belonged to the French- 
man who was here before us." 

No ! The pipe had not belonged to Baudoin, who 
had died twenty years before. It had been dropped 
very recently, as the fragments of tobacco inside it 
clearly showed. A few days before, perhaps a few 
hours before, one of Walston's companions or perhaps 
Walston himself had been on this side of the lake. 

Gordon and Briant returned at once to the cave. 
There Kate stated that she had seen this very pipe in 
Walston* s possession. 

There was now no doubt that the pirates had got 
round the south of the lake. Perhaps during the night 
they had reached the bank of Zealand River. And if 
French Den had been discovered, if Walston knew about 
the colony, would he not have thought that the tools, 
instruments, ammunition, and stores he was so much 
in need of were here to be had, and that seven active 
men would easily get the better of fifteen boys— especi- 
ally if he could take them by surprise? Anyhow, 
there was no longer room to doubt that his party was 
now close to them. 

Under such alarming circumstances, Briant agreed 
with his comrades that a more active watch should be 
arranged. During the day an outpost was stationed on 
Auckland Hill, so as to command the approaches from 
all sides. During the night two of the bigger boys 
mounted guard at the entrances to the cave. The 
doors were strengthened with supports, and in a moment 
it was rendered possible to barricade them with the 
large stones that were heaped up inside the cave In 
the narrow windows driven through the rock, the two 
little cannons were kept ready. One defended the 
Zealand River side, the other the side towards the lake. 
Guns and revolvers were so disposed as to be ready for 
use at the least alarm. 

It was now the 27th of November. For two days the 


heat had been stifling. Huge clouds passed heavily 
over the island, and distant thundering announced the 
approach of a storm. In the evening Briant and his 
companions had retired earlier than usual into the hall, 
after taking the precaution, as had been their custom 
the last few nights, of hauling the boat into the store- 
room. The doors were shut, and the only thing to be 
done now was to wait for bed-time, and kneel in prayer 
and think of home. 

About half-past nine the storm was in full fury. 
The cave was lighted up by the vivid flashes, and the 
hill seemed to shake with the rolling thunder peals. 
It was one of those storms without wind or rain, which 
are the most terrible of all, for the motionless clouds 
discharge their electricity over the one spot, and often a 
whole night will go by and the storm be unexhausted. 

Costar, Dole, Iverson, and Jenkins hid in their beds 
and jumped at every dreadful outburst that showed 
how near the lightning was to them. But they had 
nothing to fear in that cave. The flashes might strike 
twenty times, a hundred times, the crest of the hill. 
It could not penetrate the thick walls of French Den. 
From time to time Briant, Donagan, or Baxter went 
and held the door ajar and returned immediately half- 
blinded by the flashes. The heavens seemed on fire, 
and the lake one huge sheet of flame. 

From ten o'clock to eleven o'clock there was not a 
moment's peace between the lightning and the thunder. 
It was not till near midnight that the storm began to 
slacken. Longer and longer intervals separated the 
thunderclaps, whose violence diminished as they grew 
more and more distant. Then the wind rose and drove 
away the clouds that hung so near the earth, and the 
rain feD in torrents. 

Then the youngsters began to be less afraid. Two or 
three heads hidden beneath the bed-clothes came into 
view, although it was time for all to be asleep. Briant 
and the others, having taken the usual precautions, 
Were going to bed, when Fan gave unmistakable signs 


of uneasiness. She jumped up and ran to the door 
and gave a long continuous growl. 

" Has Fan scented anything ? " asked Donagan, 
trying to quiet the dog. 

" When that intelligent animal went on like this 
before," said Baxter, " she made no mistake." 

" Before we go to bed," said Gordon, " we must find 
out what it all means." 

" Quite so," said Briant, " but let nobody go out, 
and let us be ready to defend ourselves." 

Each took his gun and revolver. Then Donagan 
stepped towards the door of the hall, and Moko towards 
the door of the store-room. They listened at the 
threshold, but not a sound did they hear outside, 
although Fan continued to growl and began to bark 
loudly. This was most unfortunate, and Gordon tried 
in vain to keep her quiet. 

Suddenly there was the report of a gun. There 
could be no mistaking it for a thunder-clap. And the 
gun must have been fired within two hundred yards of 
French Den. 

Donagan, Baxter, Wilcox, and Cross picked up their 
rifles and stood ready at the doors to open fire on who- 
ever approached. The others had begun to heap up 
the stones and form the barricade, when a voice outside 
was heard shouting, — 

"Help! Help!" 

There was a man in danger of his life undoubtedly. 

" Help ! " repeated the voice, this time but a few 
yards away. 

Kate was listening near the door. 

" It is him ! " she said. 

" Him ? " exclaimed Briant. 

" Open the door ! Open the door ! " said Kate. 
The door was opened, and a man dripping with water 
rushed in amongst them. It was Evans of the Severn. 



The first thing Evans did was to take stock of the force 
and material under his command. Store-room and 
hall seemed to him to be well adapted for defence. 
One commanded the river, the other the lake. The 
loopholes allowed of the defenders firing from cover. 
With their eight guns the besieged could keep their 
assailants at a distance, and with the two little cannons, 
they could rain bullets on them if they came closer. 
Revolvers, axes, cutlasses, were there for all to use if it 
came to a hahd-to-hand fight. 

Inside the defenders were strong ; outside they were 
weak. There were but six biggish boys against seven 
active men, accustomed to the use of arms, and desper- 
ate enough not to shrink from murder. 

" You consider them desperate scoundrels ? " asked 

" Yes," said Evans, " very desperate." 

" Except one, who is not quite as bad as the rest," 
said Kate. " That's Forbes, who saved my life." 

" Forbes F" said Evans. "Well, whether he was 
led away by evil counsel, or by fear of his mates, he 
none the less took part in the massacre. It was he 
and Rock who came after me. He it was who shot at 
me as if I was a wild beast. Wasn't he the one who was 
so glad I was at the bottom of the river ? Eh, Kate ? 
I don't think he is any better than the others. He 
spared you because he knew you could be of use to 
them, and he won't be behind when the attack comes." 

Nevertheless, several days went by. Nothing suspi- 
cious had been reported from the guard on Auckland 
Hill, and this much to Evans's surprise. Knowing 
Walston's plans, and the importance to him of not 



wasting time, he wondered why nothing had been done 
between the 27th and 30th of November. Then the . 
idea occurred to him that Walston was endeavouring 
to get into French Den by strategy, and' not by force. 
" While we are in the cave," said he to Briant, 
" Walston would have to force his way in through one 
of the doors, unless somebody opened them for him I 
He will try to get in by some dodge — " 
" How ? " asked Gordon. 

" This way, perhaps. You see there are only Kate 
and I who could denounce him as the chief of a gang of 
robbers seeking to capture your colony, and he fancies 
Kate died at the wreck. As for me, I am drowned in 
the river, you know. He does not know you know 
anything — not even that he is on the island. If he 
was to come as if he had been wrecked, he may think 
you would receive him ; and once he got into the cave, 
he could let in his companions, when resistance would be 

" Well," said Briant, " if Walston, or any of them, 
came asking shelter, we would shoot — " 
" Or take our hats off ? Which ? " asked Gordon. 
" That might be better," said the sailor. 
" Diamond cut diamond, eh ? Let us talk it over." 
Next morning passed without adventure. Evans, 
with Donagan and Baxter, went out for half a mile, 
as far as Trap Woods, keeping well under the trees, at 
the base of Auckland Hill. They saw nothing unusual, 
and Fan, who accompanied them, gave no alarm. 

But in the evening, just before sunset, Webb and 
Cross came in hurriedly from their post on the hill, 
and announced the approach of two men along the south 
side of the lake on the other side of Zealand River. 

Kate and Evans, not wishing to be observed, at 
once hurried into the store-room, and, looking through 
the loopholes soon caught sight of Rock and Forbes. 

" Evidently," said the sailor, " they are going to try 
treachery. They are coming as shipwrecked sailors—" 
" What shall we do ? " asked Briant. 


" Take them in ! " said Evans. 

" Welcome those scoundrels ? " said Briant. " I 
never can — " 

" I can," said Gordon. 

"Well, then, do so!" said Evans. "But don't 
let them have a suspicion of our presence. Kate and I 
will appear when it is time." 

Evans and Kate retired into the cupboard in the 
passage between the rooms. 

A few minutes afterwards Gordon, Briant, Donagan, 
and Baxter ran out on to the river-bank. The two men, 
now close to the other side pretended immense surprise 
when they saw them. And Gordon looked even more 

" Who are you ? " he asked. 

" We have been wrecked on the south of this island 
in the boat of the ship Severn.* 9 

" Are you English ? " 

" No, Americans." 

" Where are your companions ? " 

" All lost. We alone escaped the wreck, and we are 
almost done up. Who are you, please ? " 

"The colonists of Charman Island." 

" Perhaps the colonists, then, will take pity on us, 
and help us, for we have got nothing — " 

" All who are wrecked have a right to be helped," 
said Gordon. " You are welcome." 

At a sign from him Moko entered the yawl, which 
was moored close by, and in a few strokes of the oar 
the two men were across the river. 

Doubtless Walston had no choice, but it must be 
confessed that Rock's face was not one to inspire confi- 
dence, even with boys. He did his best to look like an 
honest man, but what could he do with his narrow fore- 
head, his head so big behind, and his remarkable lower 
jaw? Forbes — in whom, according to Kate, every 
feeling of humanity was not yet dead — was a much 
better-looking fellow, which was probably the reason 
that Walston had sent him. 


They played their parts well. When a more direct 
question than usual proved embarrassing, they pleaded 
that they were quite tired out, and begged that they 
might take a rest, and even pass the night at French 
Den. As they entered the cave Gordon watched them 
throw a searching look around, and noticed their sur- 
prise at the means of defence, particularly at the little 
cannon. It is probable that the boys would have been 
unable to keep up the little drama, had the men not 
asked to be allowed to lie down, and postpone the story 
of their adventures until the morning. 

" A bed of leaves will do for us," said Rock, " but 
as we don't wish to be in your way, if you have another 
room — " 

" Yes," said Gordon, " we have one we use as a 
kitchen, and you can stay there till to-morrow." 

Rock and his companion passed into the store-room, 
which they examined with a searching glance, and noted 
that the door opened on to the river. 

In a corner they laid themselves down. They were 
not alone, for Moko slept there, but they did not think 
much of him, as they had made up their minds to twist 
his neck if they found him sleeping with only one eye. 
At the hour agreed they could open the store-room 
door, and Walston, who was prowling about the neigh- 
bourhood, would soon be master of French Den. 

About nine o'clock, when Rock and Forbes were 
seemingly sound asleep, Moko entered and threw him- 
self down on the bed, ready to give the alarm. Briant 
and the others remained in the hall ; the door of the 
passage was shut, and Evans and Kate came to them 
out of their hiding-place. Things had gone exactly 
as the sailor had foreseen, and he had no doubt that 
Walston was close at hand, waiting the signal to break in. 

" We must be on our guard," said he. 

Two hours passed, and Moko was asking himself if 
Rock and Forbes had not postponed their scheme for 
another night, when his attention was attracted by a 
slight noise in the coiner of the cave. 


By the light of the lantern, hung from the roof, he 
saw Rock and Forbes leave their bed and creep towards 
the door. 

The door was buttressed by a heap of heavy stones, 
a regular barricade which it would not be easy to clear 

The two men began to lift away the stones, which 
they laid one by one against the wall. In a few minutes 
the door was dear, and all they had to do was to take 
down the bar. 

But as soon as Rock lifted the bar and opened the 
door, a hand was placed on his shoulder. He turned 
and recognized Evans. 

" Evans I " he gasped. " Evans here ! " 

" Come along boys!" shouted Evans. 

Instantly Briant and his companions rushed in. 
Forbes, seized by the four strongest, was thrown down 
and secured. 

Rock, with a rapid movement, shook himself clear 
of Evans, wounding him slightly with his knife, and fled 
through the open door. He had not gone ten yards 
before there was a shot. It was Evans who had fired. 
To all appearance the fugitive was unhurt, as no cry 
was heard. 

" Missed him!" said the sailor. " But there's the 
other. We can settle one of them/' 

And cutlass in hand he stepped up to Forbes. 

" Mercy! Mercy! " said the wretch, whom the boys 
were holding down on the ground. 

" Yes! Mercy, Evans! said Kate, throwing herself 
in front of him. " Spare him, for he spared me." 

"Be it so!" said Evans. "I consent, Kate—at 
least for the present." 

And Forbes was bound and placed in one of the 
cavities in the passage. 

Then the door of the store-room was shut and barri- 
caded, and the boys remained on the alert till daybreak. 



At daylight Evans, Briant, Donagan, and Gordon went 
out of the cave, keeping careful watch around them. 
As the sun rose the morning mists condensed, and the 
lake appeared rippled by a gentle breeze from the east- 

All was quiet round French Den, by the side of 
Zealand River as well as by Trap Woods. In the en- 
closure the domestic animals moved about as usual, 
and the dog gave no sign. 

Evans looked on the ground for footprints, and he 
found many, particularly near French Den. They 
crossed each other in many directions, and showed that 
during the night Walston and his mates must have 
reached the river bank, and waited till the cave door 
was opened for them. 

There was no trace of blood on the sand — a proof 
that Rock had not even been wounded. 

But one question remained unanswered. Had Wal- 
ston come by the south of the lake or by the north ? 
If the latter were the case, Rock must have fled towards 
Trap Woods. 

As it was important to clear this up, it was decided 
to question Forbes. Would gratitude to Kate, who had 
saved his life, awaken any feeling of humanity within 
him ? Would he forget that he had begged hospitality 
from those whom he intended to betray ? 

Evans went back into the cave, opened the door of the 
cupboard where Forbes was confined, undid his band- 
ages, and brought him into the hall. 

"Forbes," said Evans, "your stratagem has not 
succeeded. It is important that I should know what 
are Walston's plans as far as you know. Will you 
answer ? " 



Forbes bowed his head and lowered his eyes, not 
daring to look at Evans or Kate or the boys before whom 
he stood. And he was silent. 

Kate spoke. 

" Forbes/' said she, " you once showed a little pity 
in preventing your mates from killing me during the 
mutiny on the ship. Will you do nothing to save the 
children from a more frightful massacre ? " 

Forbes did not reply. 

" Forbes/' said Kate, " they have given you your life 
when you deserved to die ! All humanity is not dead 
within you I After doing so much evil, why not do a 
little good ? " 

A half-stifled sigh came from Forbes. 

" What can I do ? " he asked, almost in a whisper. 

" You can tell us/' said Evans, " what was to have 
happened last night, what is to happen now. Was 
Walston waiting outside till one of the doors was 
opened ? " 

" Yes/' said Forbes. 

" And these children who welcomed you were to be 
murdered ? " 

Forbes bowed his head again. 

" Which way did the others come here f " asked 

" From the north of the lake," answered Forbes. 

" While Rock and you came from the south ? " 

" Yes." 

" Have they been in the west of the island yet } fl 

" Not yet." 

" Where are they now ? " 

" I don't know." 

" You can tell us no more ? " 

" No." 

" But you think Walston will come back ? " 

" I do." 

Evidently Walston had been alarmed by the shot, 
and seeing that the stratagem had failed, had judged 
it best to clear off till a more favourable occasion. 

Evans despaired of getting any more information 


from Forbes, and led him back to the cupboard, and 
locked him in. 

Matters were now serious enough. Where was Wal- 
ston ? Was he camped in the thickets of Trap Woods ? 
It was necessary to know, and Evans decided to seek 
in that direction, although the attempt might be 

It was nearly noon when Moko took the prisoner 
some food. Forbes hardly touched it, so depressed did 
he seem to be. What was passing in his mind ? Had 
his conscience made him a prey to remorse ? 

After dinner Evans told the boys of his intention to go 
out towards Trap Woods with a view of finding out if 
the pirates were still near French Den. The proposition 
having been accepted without discussion, arrangements 
were made to run the least danger. 

Walston and his companions were now only six since 
Forbes's capture, while the little colony numbered 
fifteen without counting Kate and Evans. But from 
the seventeen in all, there had to be taken the younger 
ones, who could take no direct part in the fight. It was 
decided, therefore, that while Iverson, Jenkins, and 
Dole remained in the cave, with Kate, Moko, and Jack, 
in charge of Baxter, the bigger boys, B riant, Gordon, 
Donagan, Cross, Service, Webb, Wilcox, and Garnett 
should accompany Evans. Eight boys to six men did 
not appear to be a fair match, but each of them was 
armed with a gun and a revolver, while Walston only 
had the five guns saved from the ship ; so that a long- 
range fight might give them a chance, particularly as 
Donagan, Wilcox, and Cross were much better shots 
than the American seamen. Besides, they had plenty 
of ammunition, while Walston was reduced to a few 

It was two o'clock when Evans and his troop set out. 
Baxter, Jack, Moko, Kate, and the little ones immedi- 
ately returned to the cave and shut, but did not barri- 
cade, both doors, in case the scouting party had to 
run for shelter. There was nothing to fear on the 
southern side or even on the western, for to come that 


way Walston would have to go to Schooner Bay before 
coming up the valley of Zealand River, and that would 
have taken too much time. Besides, after Forbes' s 
answer that they had come down the shore of the lake, 
and knew nothing of the western district, Evans had 
no fear of an attack in the rear. 

The boys advanced cautiously along the base of 
Auckland Hill. Beyond the enclosure the underwood 
and groups of trees enabled them to reach the forest 
without exposing themselves too much. 

Evans went in front — after having to repress the 
ardour of Donagan, who always wanted to be first. 
When they had passed the little mound where reposed 
the remains of the Frenchman, they struck off so as to 
reach the shore of the lake. 

Fan, whom Gordon did his utmost to hold back, 
seemed to be searching for something, cocked her ears, 
sniffed with her nose on the ground, and had apparently 
struck a trail. 

''Wait!" said Briant. 

" Yes/' said Gordon. " It is a man's trail. Look 
at the dog's behaviour." 

" Slip along under the bushes," said Evans ; " and 
you, Donagan, who are such a good shot, if you get one 
of the beggars within range, don't miss him." 

A few seconds afterwards they had reached the first 
group of trees. There, just on the skirt of the forest, 
were the traces of a recent camp — twigs half burnt, 
ashes still warm. 

" Here's where Walston passed last night," said 

" And perhaps he was here a short time ago. I 
think we had better get back," said Evans. 

He had hardly finished when there was the report of a 
gun to the right of him. A bullet pinged past Briant's 
ear and lodged in a tree. Almost immediately there 
was another report, followed by a cry of agony not fifty 
yards away, and something fell heavily among the bushes. 

Donagan had fired as soon as he saw the smoke from 
the first gun. 



The dog rushed to the front, and Donagan in his 
excitement dashed after him. 

" Forward I " shouted Evans. " We mustn't leave 
him to fight them single-handed ! " 

A moment afterwards they had rejoined Donagan and 
stood round a corpse in the grass. 

" That's Pike ! " said Evans. " The scoundrel is 
stone dead. He's one to you Donagan." 

" The others cannot be far off 1 " said Cross. 

" No, my boy, but keep under cover I Down with 
you ! Down ! " 

There was a third bang, this time from the left. 
Service, who had not ducked quickly enough, had his 
forehead grazed by the bullet. 

" You are hit I " said Gordon, rushing towards him. 

" It's nothing ! It's nothing ! " said Service. " It 
is only a scratch ! " 

It was necessary for the boys to keep together. 
Pike lay dead between them and Walston and the four 
men, who were probably posted behind the trees, and 
Evans and the others, crouching in the bushes, formed 
a compact group ready for an attack from any side. 

Suddenly Garnett exclaimed, — 

" Where is Briant ? " 

" I don't see him," said Wilcox. 

Briant had disappeared. Fan began to bark loudly 
and it seemed as though the boy was struggling with 
one of the pirates. 

" Briant I Briant ! " shouted Donagan. 

And away the boys all ran after the dog. Evans 
could not keep them back. They ran from tree to tree, 

" Look out, Mr. Evans ! " shouted Cross, throwing 
himself flat on the ground. 

Instinctively the sailor stooped, as a bullet pinged 
past a few inches above him. 

Rising instantly, he saw one of Walston' s men running 
off. It was Rock, whom he had missed the night before. 

" There's one for you, Rock ! " he shouted. Quickly 
he aimed and fired, and Rock disappeared as suddenly 
as if the earth had opened under his feet. 


" Missed again, I suppose ! " said Evans. 
All this took place in a few seconds. Immediately 
afterwards Donagan's voice was heard. 
" Hold on, Briant ! Hold on ! " he shouted. 
Evans and the others dashed towards him, and found 
Briant struggling with Cope, who had thrown him 
down, and was going to run him through with his cutlass 
when Donagan jumped to the rescue just in time to 
turn the thrust into his own body and fall without 
uttering a sound. 

Cope, seeing Evans, Garnett, and Webb attempting to 
cut off his retreat, fled away to the north, receiving a 
straggling volley as he did so. He disappeared, and Fan 
returned, without having reached him. 

Briant rose from the ground, and lifted Donagan's 
head, and tried to revive him. Evans and the others 
came round, after quickly loading their guns. 

Donagan had been stabbed full in the chest, and 
seemingly, mortally. His eyes were shut, his face was 
as white as wax, and he made no movement, not even 
when Briant called to him. 

Evans stooped, opened the boy's waistcoat, and tore 
open the shirt, which was wet with blood. There was a 
thin bleeding gash near the fourth rib, on the left side. 
Had the cutlass touched the heart ? No, for Donagan 
still breathed. But it was to be feared that the lung 
had been pierced, for the breathing was extremely 

" We must take him back to the cave ! " said Gordon. 
" That's the only place where we can look after him." 
" And save him I " said Briant. " Oh, my poor 
friend ! It was for me that you risked your life ! " 

There seemed to be an end to the battle, and Evans 
gave orders for Donagan to be taken at once to French 
Den. Apparently Walston had seen things going badly 
with him, and had retreated into the woods. But, 
strange to say— and this made Evans anxious— neither 
Walston, nor Brandt, nor Cook had been seen, and 
these were the most formidable of the gang. 

Donagan's state required that he should be carried 


without being jolted, and Service and Wilcox made a 
litter of boughs, on which they laid him, still uncon- 
scious. Then four of his companions gently bore it, 
while the others walked on either side with guns loaded, 
and revolvers in hand. 

They made straight for Auckland Hill. Better that 
than following the path along the lake. Nothing 
happened to interfere with them. Sometimes Donagan 
would give such a painful sigh that Gordon would 
signal a halt, in order to listen to the respiration, and a 
moment afterwards they would resume their progress. 

Three-quarters of an hour had gone, and they were 
close to French Den, although the door was hidden by a 
shoulder of the cliff . 

Suddenly there was a shout from Zealand River, and 
Fan sprang off towards it. 

French Den was being attacked by Walston and his 
two companions. While Rock, Cope, and Pike lay in 
ambush in Trap Woods, Walston, Brandt, and Cook 
had climbed Auckland Hill, up the dry bed of the 
torrent that fed Dike Creek. Rapidly running along 
the ridge, they had descended the gorge opening on to 
the river near the store-room, and then, with a rush, had 
forced the door, which had not been barricaded. 

Would Evans come up soon enough ? 

His plan was formed instantly. Leaving Cross, 
Webb, and Garnett to guard Donagan, who could not 
be left alone, he, with Gordon, Briant, Service, and 
Wilcox took the shortest cut to the cave. 

In a few strides they could see the terrace, where a 
sight met their eyes that almost drove them to despair. 
Walston was coming out of the door, dragging one of 
the boys towards the stream. 

It was Jack. And in vain Kate strove to tear him 
from Walston. 

A moment afterwards Brandt appeared, clutching 
young Costar, and bearing him off in the same direction. 

Baxter threw himself upon Brandt, who, with a blow, 
knocked him to the ground. 


The other boys were not to be seen. Had they been 
already dealt with in the cave ? 

Walston and Brandt ran quickly towards the river. 
And there was Cook waiting for them with the yawl, 
that he had dragged out of the store-room. 

Once on the left bank, they would be out of reach. 
Before their retreat could be cut off they would have 
got back to Bear Rock with Jack and Costar as hostages 
in their hands. 

Evans, Briant, Gordon, Cross, and Wilcox raced up, 
hoping to reach the bank before Walston's men crossed 
the river. To fire at such a distance was to risk hitting 
the prisoners. 

But Fan was quicker than the boys. Bounding on in 
front, she sprang full at Brandt's throat, and gripped 
it like a vice. To free himself from the dog Brandt 
had to drop the boy, while Walston got Jack almost to 
the water's edge. 

Suddenly a man rushed from the hall. 

It was Forbes. 

Would he join his old companions now he had forced 
the door of lis prison ? Walston thought so. 

" Here Forbes ! Here ! " he shouted. 

Evans stopped, and was going to fire, when he saw 
Forbes dash on to Walston, who, taken by surprise, 
had to drop Jack and defend himself, and instantly 
thrust his cutlass into his antagonist. 

Forbes fell at his feet. Walston snatched at Jack, 
who drew his revolver, and shot him point blank in 
the throat. Brandt reached the boat, and Walston 
had but just strength enough to follow; and Cook 
pushed the boat off, when there was a loud report, and 
a volley of shot rattled into the boat, and into the water 
all round. 

It was the cannon, which Moko had fired through the 

With the exception of the two scoundrels who had 
disappeared in Trap Woods, Charman Island was 
delivered from the mutineers. 



And now a new era began for the colonists of Charman 

Up to now they had had to struggle for their existence, 
now they were to work for their deliverance. 

After the excitement caused by the incidents of the 
strife, a very natural reaction set in. 

They were, as it were, overwhelmed with their success. 
The danger was over, and it appeared greater than it 
had ever been — much greater, in fact, than it was. 
After the first engagement in Trap Woods, their chances 
had considerably improved. But without Forbes's 
intervention, Walston, Cook, and Brandt would have 
escaped. Moko would not have dared to fire his gun 
and risk killing Costar and Jack. 

What would then have happened ? At what price 
would Walston have given back his prisoners ? 

When Briant and his comrades coolly reviewed the 
situation, a sort of terror seized hold of them. It did 
not last long, for until the fate of Rock and Cope was 
settled, life on Charman Island could not be considered 
absolutely safe. 

The heroes of the battle were congratulated as they 
deserved to be. Moko for his shot with the cannon, 
Jack for his coolness with the revolver. Fan received 
her fair share of caresses and a stock of marrowbones, 
with which MoLo regaled her for having so cleverly 
pinned that rascal, Brandt. 

After Moko's shower of grape, Briant had returned 
to the litter. A few minutes afterwards, Donagan had 
been laid in the hall without having recovered conscious- 



ness, while Forbes was laid on the floor of the 
store-room. All through the night Kate, Gordon, 
Briant, Wilcox, and Mr. Evans watched over the 

That Donagan had been seriously hurt was only too 
evident. But as he respired regularly, it looked as 
though the lung had not been touched. To dress the 
wound, Kate had used certain leaves such as are used 
in Western America, which she found growing on some 
of the bushes at the river-side. They were leaves of 
the alder-tree which rubbed and made into compresses, 
are very good for checking internal bleeding, in which 
the chief danger consisted. But with Forbes it was 
different ; Walston had wounded him in the stomach. 
He knew the thrust was mortal, and when he returned 
to consciousness, and saw Kate bending over him, he 
had murmured, — 

" Thank you, Kate ! Thanks ! It is useless ! I 
am done for I " 
And the tears welled into his eyes. 
" Hope, Forbes ! " said Evans. " You have atoned 
for your crimes. You will live." 

No ! the unfortunate man was to die. In spite of all 
that was done, he grew hourly w6rse, and about four 
o'clock his spirit passed away. 

They buried him in the morning near Baudoin, and 
two crosses now mark the two graves. 

But the presence of Rock and Cope was dangerous ; 
security could not be complete until they were unable 
to do injury. And Evans decided to have done with 
them before starting for Bear Rock. With Gordon, 
Briant, Baxter, and Wilcox, he went off that very day, 
fully armed, and accompanied by Fan, to whose instinct 
they trusted to recover the trail. 

The search was neither difficult, nor long, nor dan- 
gerous. There was nothing to fear from Walston's 
mates. Cope was found dead a few yards from where 
he had received the volley in his back. Pike was found 
where he had been shot at the beginning of the battle, 


and the mystery of Rock's disappearance was soon 
solved by his being found in one of Wilcox's 
traps, which soon served for the grave of all three 

When Evans returned with the news that the colony 
had now nothing to fear, the joy would have been com? 
plete, had not Donagan been so grievously wounded. 
But none could help hoping. 

In the morning there was a discussion as to future 
plans. It was evident that the first thing to be done 
was to take possession of the boat. That necessitated 
a voyage and even a sojourn at Bear Rock where the 
repairs would have to be made to get her seaworthy. 
And it was agreed that Evans, Briant, and Baxter, 
should cross by way of the lake and East River, which 
was at once the safest and shortest way. 

The yawl had been recovered in one of the backwaters 
of the river. The men had fallen out of her and been 
carried away out to sea, and she had been almost unhurt 
by Moko's volley which had passed just over her. She 
was brought back to French Den and loaded with tools 
and provisions, and with a favourable wind, she was 
off on the 6th of December in Evans's charge. 

She was soon across the lake, and before half-past 
eleven, Briant pointed out the creek by which the river 
entered. Running down with the tide, she was soon 
down the river, and on the sand near Bear Rock they 
found the Severn boat high and dry. 

After a careful examination, Evans reported as 
follows : — 

" We have the needful tools, but we want timber for 
the ribs and planking. Now at French Den, you have 
the remains of the schooner which would work in ad- 
mirably. And if we could get the boat round to Zea- 
land River — " 

" Which I am afraid is impossible," said Briant. 

" I don't think so," continued Evans. " If the boat 
can be got from Severn Shore to Bear Rock, why can't 
it be got from Bear Rock to Zealand River ? We could 


do the work there so much more easily, and from French 
Den we could go down to Schooner Bay, and then start 
for the voyage home." 

If the plan could be carried out, nothing could be 
better. And it was decided to make the attempt next 
morning's tide, the boat being towed up by the yawl. 
And at once Evans set to work to plug the leaks with 
pieces of tow that he had brought with him from French 
Den, which occupied him tiJDL somewhat late in the 

The night passed quietly enough in the cavern where 
Donagan and his companions had camped on their 
first visit to Deception Bay. 

Next morning the boat was got afloat, and the yawl 
went ahead to tow her along. Hard work it was, and 
when the ebb made itself felt, the work was harder, and 
it was not till five o'clock that evening that they got 
her into the lake. 

Evans did not think it prudent to cross that night, 
and so he pitched his camp on the shore under a big 
beech-tree, where all slept soundly till the morning. 

Then " Aboard I " was the word, and the sail was set, 
and with the heavy boat behind her, away went the 
yawl for French Den. The boat was full of water to 
the thwarts, and if she had sunk, would have dragged 
down the yawl with her, so that Evans stood ready all 
the time to cut the tow rope. But, fortunately, all 
went well, and at five o'clock the boat and her tug 
were in Zealand River, moored off the pier. 

While the boys had been away, Donagan had become 
a little better, and was now able to return the pressure 
of the hand that Briant gave him. His breathing came 
more easily, and evidently the lung was safe. Although 
he was kept on a low diet, his strength began to return, 
and under Kate's leaf compresses, which she renewed 
every two hours, the wound began to close. Probably 
his mending would take some time, but he had sufficient 
strength to make his recovery almost a certainty. 

The work was begun in earnest next morning. A 


long pull, and a strong pull, was required to begin with 
to get the boat ashore. 

Evans, who was as good a carpenter as he was a 
sailor, could appreciate Baxter's slrilL There was no 
scarcity of materials or tools. With the remains of the 
schooner's hull, they could replace the broken ribs 
and gaping strakes, and old tow steeped in pine sap 
served to caulk every leak and make her thoroughly 

The boat, or sloop as we might as well call her, had a 
half-deck forward, which secured a shelter against the 
weather that was likely, however, to give little trouble 
in this second half of the summer. The passengers 
could stay on this deck or below it as they pleased. 
The top-mast of the schooner did for the main-mast, 
and Kate, under Evans's directions, managed to cut a 
lug main-sail out of the spare fore-sail, besides a lug 
mizzen and a good-sized fore-sail. Under this lug 
rig the boat would be well balanced and very weatherly. 
The work took thirty days, and was not over before the 
8th of January. In the meantime, Christmas had been 
kept with a certain ceremony, as also had New Year's 
Day of 1862, the last the colonists hoped to see on 
Charman Island. 

Donagan had now sufficiently recovered for him to 
be taken out of doors, although he was still very weak. 
The fresh air and more substantial food visibly improved 
him ; and his comrades had no intention of going away 
before he was able to endure a voyage of some weeks 
without fear of a relapse. 

The usual daily round had been resumed at French 
Den, although the lessons were rather neglected, for 
did not the youngsters consider they were entitled to a 
holiday ? And so Wilcox and Cross and Webb went 
out again on their sporting excursions over South Moors 
and through the thickets of Trap Woods. Now they 
scorned traps and snares, and in spite of the advice of 
Gordon, who was always careful of ammunition, they 
blazed away to their hearts' content, and Moko's larder 


became stocked with fresh venison, which came in 
handy for preserving for the voyage. 

If Donagan had been able to resume his functions as 
hunter-in-chief to the colony, with what ardour would 
he have gone at all this furred and feather game, now 
that he no longer had to be sparing of his powder and 
shot I A bitter disappointment it was to him not to 
be able to join his comrades. But he had to be resigned 
to it, and commit no imprudence. 

During the last days of January, Evans began to 
stow his cargo. Briant and the others would have liked 
to take with them all that remained of the schooner ; 
but that was impossible, and they had to make a choice. 

In the first place, Gordon brought on board the 
money that was on the yacht, and which they might 
find useful in getting them back home. Moko required 
enough provisions for seventeen people, not only for a 
short passage of three weeks, but in case they were com- 
pelled by some accident to land on one of the islands of 
the achipelago before reaching Punta Arena, Port 
Gallant, or Port Tamar. Then what was left of the 
ammunition was stowed away in the lockers, as were the 
guns and revolvers. And eveii Donagan asked that the 
two little cannon should not be left behind. 

Briant took care that there was taken a good assort- 
ment of clothes, most of the books in the library, the 
principal cooking-utensils — among them one of the 
stoves from the store-room — and the instruments 
needful for navigation, the chronometers, glasses, 
compasses, log, lanterns, and of course the Halkett 
boat. Wilcox chose among his nets and lines those 
that would be of most use for fishing on the voyage. 

The fresh water, taken from Zealand River, was put 
into a dozen small barrels Gordon arranged along the 
carline in the boat's hold. And the spirits and liqueurs 
were not forgotten, nor were those made from the 
trulcas and the algarrobes. 

On the 3rd of February all the cargo was in its place, 
and it only remained to fix the date of sailing, if Dona- 


gan was strong enough to stand the voyage. The brave 
fellow answered for himself that he was. His wound 
had closed, and his appetite had returned, and all he 
had to do was not to eat too much. Assisted by Briant 
and Kate, he now took a walk on the terrace every day, 
" Let us be off/' he said, " let us be off. I long to be 
on the way home. The sea will soon set me up." 
The departure was fixed for the 5th of February. 
The evening before, Gordon set at liberty all the 
domestic animals. The guanacos, vicugnas, ostriches, 
and all cleared off at full speed of their legs and wings, 
without even a " Thank you ! " for the kindness that 
had been showered upon them. 

" The ungrateful beggars ! " said Garnett, " after 
all that we have done for them ! " 

"It's the way of the world ! " said Service, so solemn- 
ly that there was a general shout of laughter. 

In the morning the boys embarked in the sloop with 
the yawl in tow. Donagan was laid aft near Evans, 
who took charge of the tiller. In the bow Briant and 
Moko looked after the sails, although they trusted to 
the current to take them down the river. 
The others, including Fan, were where fancy led them. 
The moorings were cast off, and the sweeps struck 
the water. 

Three cheers saluted the hospitable cave which for so 
many months had afforded the boys a shelter, and it was 
not without emotion that they saw Auckland Hill 
disappear behind the trees. 

In descending the river, the sloop went no faster than 
the current, which was very rapid. At noon, when 
close to the swamp in Bpg Woods, Evans anchored, for 
in that part of the course the river was shallow, and it 
was better to wait for the tide than run the risk of 

During the halt the passengers indulged in a hearty 
meal, after which Cross and Wilcox went off snipe- 
shooting on the skirt of South Moors. From the stem 
of the sloop Donagan managed to bring down a brace 


of tinamous. Needless to say that after that he was 
quite well. 

It was very late when the boat reached the river 
mouth ; and as the darkness made the steering difficult 
through the reefs, Evans, cautious seaman as he was, 
thought he had better wait till daybreak. 

The night was quiet enough. The wind dropped, 
and when the sea-birds had got back to their holes in 
the rocks, absolute silence reigned on Schooner Bay. 

In the morning the land-breeze blew, and the sea was 
calm to the very extreme point of South Moors. At 
day-break Evans made sail, and the sloop headed out 
of Zealand River. Every look was turned on Auckland 
Hill and the rocks of Schooner Bay, which disappeared 
as American Cape was rounded ; and a cannon-shot 
was fired as the red ensign was run up to the mizen. 

Eight hours later the sloop entered the channel 
bordered by the shore of Cambridge Island, doubled 
South Cape, and followed the coast of Queen Adelaide 
Island, as the last point of Charman Island disappeared 
on the horizon. 



We need not give the log of the sloop's passage through 
the waterways of the Magellanic Archipelago. It was 
marked by no adventure of importance. The weather 
remained fine throughout, and in these channels of six 
or seven miles across the sea is never very rough. 

The course was deserted, and this was rather a matter 
for congratulation, as the natives of the islands are not 
always in a hospitable humour. Once or twice dining 
the night fires were noticed well inland, but nobody 
appeared on the beach. 

On the nth of February the sloop, which had been 
favoured with a fair wind all the time, entered the 
Straits of Magellan down Smyth Channel, between the 
west coast of Queen Adelaide Island and the heights of 
King William Land. To the right rose the peak of 
St. Anne. To the left, at the bottom of Beaufort Bay, 
were the ends of some of the glaciers that Briant had 
seen from Hanover Island. 

All went well on board. The sea air just suited Dona- 
gan, who now felt quite equal to landing again if neces- 
sary, and resuming the Crusoe life. 

During the 12th of February the sloop arrived in 
sight of Tamar Island, where the haven or creek held 
at the time no occupant. Without stopping, Evans 
doubled Tamar Cape and headed south-east into the 

On one side the long Land of Desolation developed its 
fiat and arid shores, showing no trace of the rich vegeta- 
tion of Charman Island. On the other was the indented 
Crocker Peninsula along which Evans intended to 


HOME 175 

coast so as to get round Cape Froward, and run up the 
coast of the Brunswick Peninsula to Punta Arena. 

It was not necessary for him to go so far. 

In the morning of the 13th, Service, who was on the 
look-out in the bow, reported — 

" Smoke on the starboard bow 1 " 

" The smoke of a fisherman's fire ? " asked Gordon. 

" No," said Evans, " that is a steamer's smoke." 

In that direction the land was too far off f qr the smoke 
from the camp to be seen. 

Immediately B riant climbed to the mast-head. 

" A ship ! a ship ! " he shouted. 

The ship was soon in sight from the deck. It was a 
steamer of about eight hundred tons, approaching at 
the rate of eleven knots an hour. 

There were cheers from the sloop, and some of the 
guns were fired. She was sighted, and ten minutes 
afterwards she was alongside the Grafton, bound to 

Captain Long, of the Grafton, was immediately told 
of the wreck of the schooner, the news of which had been 
very widely spread in England and Amercia, and at 
once took the sloop's passengers on board. He even 
offered to take them on direct to Auckland, which would 
not be very far out of his road, for the Grafton's destina- 
tion was Melbourne, in the south of Australia. 

The voyage was a quick one, and on the 25th of 
February the steamer cast anchor in Auckland Harbour. 

Within a few days two years had elapsed since the 
fifteen pupils from Charman's School had been cast 
adrift in the Pacific. 

We need not dwell on the joy of the families to whom 
the boys came back. Of all who had been carried away 
that long eighteen hundred leagues from New Zealand, 
not one was missing. When the news spread that the 
Grafton was in the harbour with the boys on board, the 
whole town turned out to welcome them. 

And how every one longed to hear in detail all that 
had passed on Charman Island ! And curiosity was 


soon gratified. Donagan gave a few lectures on the 
subject, and the lectures were a great success ; and 
Donagan was very proud indeed of their success. Then 
the log which had been kept by Baxter — almost hour 
by hour, we might say — had been printed, and hundreds 
of copies were sold. And the newspapers " reviewed " 
the journal so as to give all that was interesting in it 
with the least trouble to themselves ; and, in short, 
the whole of Australasia became interested in the story 
of the strange adventure. And Gordon's prudence, 
Briant's unselfishness, Donagan' s courage, and the true 
manliness of all became the themes of general admira- 

Kate and Evans had, of course, a grand reception. 
A public subscription was started, and a ship was 
bought and named the Char man, of which Evans was 
to be owner and captain, on condition that Auckland 
remained her head-quarters. And when she returned 
from her voyages, Evans always met with the warmest 
of welcomes from his friends the boys. 

What was to be done with Kate ? The Briants, the 
Garnetts, the Wilcoxes, and many of the others wanted 
to secure her services for life. Finally she decided on 
entering the service of Donagan' s family, for it was his 
life that had been saved by her care. 

And now to conclude. Never before had schoolboys 
passed their holidays in such a way. But — as all 
boys ought to know — with method and zeal and courage 
there is no position, however dangerous, from which 
there may not be an escape. Our heroes had passed 
through a severe apprenticeship ; their characters had 
been strengthened by bitter experience ; the little ones 
Had become big, and the big ones had become almost 
men during the two years they were Adrift in the 





The modern boy and his sister crave for reading that is modern, 
exciting and amusing. They want something that wHI satisfy 
their imagination and make them say* " Gee, I wish I'd been 
there I " In this list there is a wonderfully wide choice of 
adventure and school stories, and for the boy— or girl, who 
prefers fact to fiction there is the famous " Romance " Series 
and the equally excellent " Splendid " Series. The younger 
children have not been forgotten, for there are charming 
Rupert Stories, and a number of fine Fairy Books. 



2/6 net 

THE AIR TREASURE HUNT. Major Maxwell Moody In his giant 
flying boat flies to South America to find the Inca's treasure, but 
he comes up against a gang of villains who are only defeated by the 
pluck of a boy pilot in the expedition. 

THE AIR CIRCUS. The Air Circus is an air show whose Job is to 
prove that British planes are the best. There Is a gang of spies from 
another country who stop at nothing to wreck the Circus, but 
chiefly owing to a young crack pilot the Circus wins through. 

PLAYING FOR THE SCHOOL. Brookwood School was In a 
bad way, but the new games master and a new boy, Monty Carlin, 
revolutionise the school In a way that is full of thrills and fun. 


2/6 net 

SIX TOUGH FELLOWS. A foreign boy arrives at Altonbury and 
causes a terrific feud between the fourth and Fifth. Suddenly he 
is kidnapped, rescued — and kidnapped again, and the book ends in 
a grand adventure when his chums find him and the mystery is 
cleared up. 

SUPER TERM, YOU CHAPS I into Altonbury bursts the human 
bombshell, Bob Martin. He Is such a nuisance that everybody sits 
on him ; left alone he gets into serious trouble and causes his 
brother's friends some hectic adventures. 

WIN THROUGH, ALTONBURY I After Sports Day at Alton- 
bury five boys decide to spend the summer hols. In a motor launch 
voyaging round the coast. They find thrills galore and ripping fun 
as well. 


2/6 net 

THE AIR GOLD HUNTERS. A thrilling tale of a search for 
gold by air in Papua. Adventures and thrills all the way through I 

BAFFLING THE AIR BANDITS. A young airman and his chum 
invent a new type of plane, but a gang of spies try to get the designs. 
An exciting and mysterious story. 

father and two others set out in a seaplane up the Congo to find 
a huge treasure of rubies, but they meet the Air Pirates and get 
into some terrific adventures before they find the rubies. 



2/6 net 

AIR SPIES OF THE NORTH SEA. A splendid story of 
foreign spies in seaplanes outwitted by some schoolboys, whose 
adventures are really thrilling. 

FIGHTING SKYBIRDS. An aerial quest for the treasure of a 
lost civilization on the Amazon. It sounds exciting but the adventures 
In the book will far surpass all expectation. 

SPEED BOAT SPIES. The boys of Cams School are much excited 
by the visits of a ghost and a mysterious speedboat. How a few of 
them clear up the mystery Is very exciting reading. 

SCHOOLBOY SPEED-KINGS. Several boys from a school 
near Brookiands are involved in the activities of a gang of car- 
thieves. They bring these to justice but not before going through 
many thrilling adventures in racing cars. 

FLYING SMUGGLERS. Some boys of Swanbury School discover 
that there are flying smugglers working In the neighbourhood. 
They try to defeat them, buthave a y^ry lively time before they win. 

SCHOOLBOY SLEUTHS. Why does the Headmaster go to 
the deserted tin mine at night? Six boys at Clandon School try 
to find out, and their adventures make exciting reading. 

2/- net 

THE QUEST OF THE OSPREY. The story of the hunt for 
a mine of fabulous value. Any amount of excitement and danger 
and adventure. 

PIRATES 'GAINST THEIR WILL. A terribly thrilling pirate 
yarn, of fights, raiding parties, treasure, torture and great pluck. 


2/6 net 

THE SECRET SERVICE OF THE AIR. Two boys |oln their 
form-master, who Is really a British Secret Service Agent, in defeating 
the terrible " Q " plan. Their adventures. In the air or not, are 

pitch at Cranston was dug up at night, and It produced a super 
mystery that took the amateur detectives all their time to solve. 

2/- net 

UNDER RING WOOD'S RULE. Jackson Wrexham decides 
that he does not like Ringwood School, but his chums, with some 
thrilling scrapes, change his views I 


2/6 net 

THE CRIMSON CATERPILLAR. How t French boy and an 
English boy crossed the Sahara in the wonderful car with a load 
of salt and came to the City Beneath the Sand. Full of super 


2/6 net 

JERRY SMASHES THROUGH. Jerry was known as a slacker at 
Dawnecombe, but when he leaves he snows what he is worth and 
comes back to Dawnecombe to get mixed up in an adventure more 
exciting than those he had already had. A super-thrilling tale. 

THREE STOUT FELLOWS AND ME. This book tells of the 
lively time four chums had at school. Scrapes, thrilling adventures 
and games of rugger and cricket— not a dry moment. 


2/6 net 

TUDORVALE COLOURS. Tudorvale's sports captain Is keenly 
intent on creating a new record when he loses his two chief Colours. 
The struggle results in matches of terrific excitement, and with a 
mystery and a school feud makes the year full of thrills. 

2/- net 

THE HARDY BROCKDALE BOYS. Brockdale looks down on 

a nearby school of delicate boys, but a series of sensational adventures 

bring the two schools together on level terms. 
SOMETHING LIKE A CHUM. A boy from a ship-wreck Joins 

the school. Adventure follows adventure, and the boys have a 

really lively time. 
ALL OUT FOR THE SCHOOL. Much fun Is caused by the 

arrival at Wolverton School of twin masters, who add zest to the 

life of the school. There is much fun In this tale and some stirring 

accounts of Soccer matches. 
STRICKLAND OP THE SIXTH. Hanenhall School has fallen 

on bad days. But " Strick," the captain, determines to make things 

hum. How he does it is a very Interesting story. 
BOYS OP THE MYSTERY SCHOOL. A story full of thrills 

and containing a particularly intriguing mystery. Fine descriptions 

of football and cricket games. A very good story for boys. 

body resented " Jig " being a member of the School. But in the 

end his pluck won film the respect of masters and boys alike. 


1/6 net 

THE SPORTING FIFTH AT RIPLEY'S. A rattling schoolboy 
story, with some delightful youngsters, the Inevitable mischief- 
maker, and fine descriptions of battles on the playing fields. 


2/6 net 

BOYS OF THE AIR PATROL. The thrilling adventures of 
two chums who, while ranching In Canada, are able to assist the 
Canadian Air Patrol In round ing-up a gang of bandits. 

MUSKUM PETE. A stirring story of the lone scouts who blazed 
the western trail a century ago. It is a tale of Injun cunning defeated, 
of fights, and desperate adventures. 

2/- net 

THE LOST EXPEDITION. Two boys go with a party to search 
for an expedition lost in the wilds of the Amazonian forests. They 
have thrilling adventures and narrow escapes galore, but all ends 

MASTER VALENTINE BUCKET. A ripping yarn of (apes and 
scrapes at school with Valentine Bucket. It will keep you laughing 
all the time. 

1/6 net 

THE LION'S WHELP AT SCHOOL. Tony Whelpton is up 
to every kind of prank, his " spoofs " are super. The book Is cram- 
full of mischief and fun. 


2/6 net 

buccaneering yarn of the Spanish Main that will thrill you the whole 
time. It is a great tale of fights, adventures, treachery and secret 


1/6 net 

BURKE'S CHUM. Th« tdventuret of Burke and Ms chum, 
Perclval, told in t. lively manner. The story Is full of adventurous 
doings and thrilling exploits. 



THE BERESFORD BOYS. Wil mot Is accused of breaking school 
rules, and has a very rotten time, but eventually he proves his 

THE BOYS OF PENROHN. Two brothers enter school 
under a cloud of sorrow, which is Intensified for Atholl by happenings 
to his brother. Soon, however, the facts come to light and we 
leave Atholl happy and popular. 

I/- net 

to each other during a rough time at school. A great yarn which 
all boys enjoy. 



2/- net 

THE CRUISE OF THE "FLYING-FISH." The amazing flying- 
boat-submarine was stolen, and Its owners have the most extra- 
ordinary adventures before It Is recovered. 

THE WRECK OF THE "ANDROMEDA." A thrilling story 
of a shipwrecked party who land on a wonderful Island where many 
strange things happen to them. 

IN SEARCH OF EL DORADO. Wilfred Earleand Dick Caven- 
dish set out to try and discover the treasure city of El Dorado. 
They have the most thrilling adventures, and make the most 
surprising discoveries. 

UNDER A FOREIGN FLAG. The story of Paul Swinburne, a 
snotty who is unjustly dismissed the Service. He loins the navy 
of another country and proves his Innocence. A fine racy yarn. 

1/6 net 
HE VOYAGE OF THE "AURORA." Young Captain George 
Leicester bought the Aurora and set out for Jamaica. He had any 
number of breath-taking adventures before he got there. 

UNDER THE METEOR FLAG. Ralph, the hero, is one of the 
most dashing midshipmen who ever breathed. His adventures on 
secret service are super-thrilling reading. 


2/- net 

THREE CHUMS. The three Inseparables were disgruntled because 
they had been moved from the cock house to a new house, and 
determined to slack both in work and fames. But the new term 
found them Inwardly rather ashamed of themselves. 




2/- net 

THE GREEN HAND. Starting as a very green hand, he soon 
became as smart as paint. Later, when sailing as a passenger, he 
takes command In an emergency, and returns home in charge of 
a prize captured by himself. 


2/- net 

THE NEW HOUSEMASTER. Who was he? The boys didn't 
know, nor the headmaster, nor the police. But the gang of coiners 
knew, and used the boarding school to cover their operations. 


2/- net 

THE OUTSIDE HOUSE. The house outside the school gates 
was altogether rotten, but Harry Vereker brings a new spirit into 
It, and the " outside house " makes good. A ripping yarn of pluck 
and adventure at school. 

G A H E N T Y 

2/- net 

JACK ARCHER. A midshipman In the Crimean War has the most 
thrilling adventures both at sea and on land, and covers himself 
with glory. 

1/6 net 

WINNING HIS SPURS. The story of an English lad who won 
his spurs after many wonderful deeds and hairbreadth escapes 
during the Crusades. Not dry history, but a series of grand 

THE CORNET OF HORSE. Adventure and pluck In the gallant 
days of old, a ripping story of a young officer In Marlborough's 
famous army. 


2/- net 

CHARMOUTH GRANGE. Philip Ruddock tried his best to 
do away with the young heir. But young Ronald Cathcart, with 
tremendous pluck, came into his own after many hair-raising 


W L A L D E N 

I/- net 

own diary— all about his own scrapes and adventures. Ripping fun, 


2/- net 

THE YOUNG FUR TRADERS. The ripping story of Canada 
in the days of the Indian braves. Super-thrilling— It's a great yarn I 

MARTIN RATTLER. Hair-raising adventures In Brazil and at sea. 
A glorious yarn for boys. 


2/- net 

OFF TO THE WILDS. Two boys go on a shooting expedition 
into the wilds of South Africa. Terrific adventures and fine fun. 

FIRE ISLAND. The adventures of a cheery ship's crew among 
Papuan savages. Cast high and dry by a tidal wave upon the shore 
of a volcanic Island, they find it a veritable hunter's paradise. Tons 
of adventure. 

1/6 net 

THE BLACK BAR. Two great chums are midshipmen In the 

stirring days of the slave traders. They get into every sort of tight 

corner and have adventures galore. 

THE SILVER CAflON. A splendid yarn of adventure and thrills 
on the Mexican plains, and of the Silver Cafton which contained 
fabulous wealth. 



2/6 net 

BINDO OF AVONSIDE. Packed with thrilling adventures. 

sport, school-life, and every phase of Scouting— camping, tracking, 

hiking and patrol-work. 



2/- net 

SCOUT GREY : DETECTIVE. There is t baffling mystery about 
Barnett Farm that nobody can unravel. But Scout Grey is not easily 
scared, and stays on to solve the mystery. 

scout of the first water. He was also a clever amateur detective ; 
and his pluck and ingenuity in unmasking " wrong-'uns," will 
delight all boys. 


2/- net 

BEN HUR. The world-famed tale'of the early Christians. The action 
is powerful and vivid and holds one's attention to the last word. 


2/- net 

THAT SURPRISING BOY, SPINKS. A super yarn of |apes 

and fun galore, and all sorts of adyentures. Spinks does some most 

surprising things. 


2/- net 

TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL-DAYS. The greatest school story 
ever written* every boy will enjoy It to the last page. 

J G R O W E 

2/- net 

ROUND THE WORLD WITH DRAKE. A story of Sir Francis 
Drake's voyage round the world In the Goldtn Hind, of fights with 
Spaniards, of treasure and of great adventure. 


2/- net 

TOM CRINGLE'S LOG. In Jamaica and the West Indies with a 
man whose chief Interest In life seems to be to find something 
thrilling to do— end he always does I 



2/- net 


story of adventure In the Arctic regions, with hardships galore 

met with pluck and endurance. 


2/- net 

MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY. One of the greatest boys' stories 
of the sea ever written. The middy's adventures will In turn make 
you roar with laughter and tense with excitement. 


2/- net 

THE MYSTERY TRAIL. On an expedition, Ronald Leslie Is 
captured by black men. To his amazement he finds that he has 
been kidnapped by order of a white man, who Is a kind of king in 
the wild country. 

BOB BLAIR— PLAINSMAN. A super yarn of a feud In Australia. 
Bob Blair's struggle with a bushranger's gang is cramfull of thrills. 

1/6 net 

THE HEROIC I M POSTER. Henry Borden was an Importer ; 
but how could he help it ; so much happiness for other people 
depended on It. Full of intrigue and danger and tight corners. 


1/6 net 

ONE EXCITING TERM. And a truly thrilling term It was, with 
enough excitement to last most boys a lifetime. Boy Scouts (and 
all other boys, too) will revel in this story of mystery and pluck 
and adventure. 


2/- net 

A BOY ALL OVER. Fred and Bob, two school chums, have a 
great many escapades and usually come out on top. 


2/- net 

TOBY IN THE SOUTH SEAS. Twin brothers, with their 

family, live on a South Seas Island ; they have some grand adventures 

and ripping fun. 



2/- net 

IN THE POWER OF THE ENEMY. During a Zulu revolt 
Hugh's little brother is stolen. The wildest, most hair-raising 
adventures happen to both brothers. 


2/- net 

THE ,GREY WIZARD. A thrilling pirate story, with a kidnapped 
boy, a secret concerning hidden treasure, a truly poisonous villain, 
treachery, pluck, and a happy ending. 


2/- net 


masterpiece of all submarines, Its voyages and the astounding adven- 
tures of Its crew make one of the most fascinating stories ever 

DROPPED FROM THE CLOUDS. Five men escaping by 
balloon from an American city In war-time, are carried out to sea 
by a hurricane. After the most acute perils they are cast upon an 
island for from land. 

THE ABANDONED. This Is the story of the mysterious island 

rn which the castaways were " Dropped from the Clouds " and 
the story of a neighbouring island that proved even more of 
a mystery. 

THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND. A mysterious tale of an 
unseen person who guards a band of castaways. An extremely 
exciting book. 

ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC Just the book for boys ! A party 
of schoolboys suddenly find themselves wrecked on a lonely island. 
Every type of adventure. 

for a wager, attempts to so round the earth In eighty days. It Is a 
case of whirlwind travel for aeroplanes were not then invented. 

[11 J 


2/- net 

THE CLIPPER OF THE CLOUDS. The most wonderful aero- 
plane that ever flew, the story of Its world-wide* voyage Is one 
continuous thrill. 

THE CRYPTOGRAM. This was the secret document, written In 
a difficult cypher, which proclaimed the Innocence of Joam Dacosta, 
a man condemned to death. It makes an enthralling story. 

THE MASTER OF THE WORLD, He considers that the 
wonderful flying machine he has invented gives him complete control 
of all nations. But he meets John Stock 1 

THE FUR COUNTRY, Perils and excitement In the Arctic Circle, 
every boy will enjoy this thrilling book. 


IT. An American determined to visit the moon, so he made an 
enormous gun and a huge projectile— and tried. 

GODFREY MORGAN. Godfrey Morgan Is weary of luxury. His 
fond uncle allows him to go off on a voyage with his tutor. The two 
are thrown upon an Island, and have much adventure. . 


merely a description of a |ourney down the most wonderful river 
in the world, but the story of a brave gentleman wrongfully accused 
of a crime. 


Blockade Runners tells how a young skipper ran a cargo to the 
American ports during the Civil War. A story of tense excitement. 

FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON, In a balloon, the Inventor, 
his faithful servant, and a friend, cross Africa from East to West. 
Many adventures come to the intrepid voyagers. 

order to his friend to kill him. He then changes his mind and wants 
to live, but friend and paper have both disappeared. 

DICK SANDS. The responsibility of bringing a tailing ship safely 
to port devolves upon Dick Sands, a boy of fifteen, many adventures 
and hair-breadth escapes befell him. 



2/- net 

THE END OF NANA SAHIB. A party of men travel many 
miles In a wonderful moving house, drawn by a marvellous steam 
elephant. Their many adventures and the end of the fiend of the 
Indian Mutiny are very exciting. 

THE FLIGHT TO FRANCE. An Interesting story of a party 
of charming French people who are forced to flee from Germany 
when war is declared between the two countries. 

HECTOR SERVADAC A most astonishing story of the collision 
between a comet and the earth, full of adventure and excitement, 
and Incidentally, full of Information concerning certain heavenly 

THEIR ISLAND HOME. Jules Verne had such an admiration 
for the famous book, Tht Swiss Family Robinson, that he himself 
wrote a sequel. It is quite as Interesting as the book that Inspired It. 

THE CASTAWAYS OF THE FLAG. The final adventures of 
The Swiss Family Robinson. They are shipwrecked. After many 
privations and adventures they get a very pleasant surprise. 

THE MYSTERY OF THE FRANKLYN. A mysterious tale of 
a sea captain who went to sea — and disappeared. A Jolly good yarn. 


Three men are in charge of a lighthouse on a lonely Island at the 
southern extremity of South America. A band of pirates have a 
lair near-by and most exciting happenings take place. 

MICHAEL STROGOFF. A terrific romance of Czarlst Russia. 
Michael Strogoff is a courier who has a very Important message to 
carry across Russia. The book Is powerfully thrilling. 

1/6 net 

FLOATING ISLAND. An artificial Island Is made, and under Its 
own power, it travels to many parts of the world. The marvellous 
adventures of Its Inhabitants make an exciting tale. 

WINTER AMID THE ICE. A most thrilling book for boys, 
dangers and perils of every kind In the Arctic Circle. 

THE VANISHED DIAMOND. A fine story of the adventures 
of a young engineer who attempted to make a diamond. There 
was a diamond and it vanished ; but how ? Read the story. 

TIGERS AND TRAITORS. A thrilling story of a strange caravan 
that penetrates the great forests of India. Thrills and adventures 
In plenty. 



I/- net 

BURBANK THE NORTHERNER. Bur bank, through his 

enemy's machinations, gets Into some very tight corners ; a 

thrilling tale. 
TEXAR THE SOUTHERNER. Texar is decidedly an ugly 

customer. During the American Civil War he does his best to ruin 

the man he hates. 
THE CHILD OF THE CAVERN. The story of the most 

extraordinary adventures in a mine of fabulous wealth. 

Also I/- editions of : 






1/6 net 

LIFE ON THE OCEAN. The thrilling account of twenty years 
at sea told very vividly. Fights and mutiny, cannibals and pirates, 
all have their share in making a ytry exciting and interesting book. 


1/6 net 


This Is the log of a thrilling cruise in a small canoe, over many of 
the rivers of Europe. A grand adventure. 


1/6 net 

ON THE TRACK. A boy finds strange papers, and a history of 
treasure gold, telling how his grandfather, many years before, 
left England for South America, and found moving adventures and 
many hard knocks. 

I/- net 


the sea and a hunt for a missing ship in the ice-bound regions of the 

north is well worth reading. 



1/6 net 

THE SECRET OF THE SANDHILLS. A most exciting story 

of hidden treasure. It tells of treachery, intrigue, wild adventure, 

and final downfall of the villain-in-chief. 


2/6 net 

THE WRECK OF THE "GROSVENOR." Recognised as one 
of the greatest sea tales ever written. The unforgettable story of 
the hair-raising adventures on board with the mutineers In power. 

THE FROZEN PIRATE. A strange, eerie story of a frozen 
eighteenth century pirate who comes to life. Something altogether 
original in sea yarns. 

THE SEA QUEEN. An adventurous voyage in a sailing ship, 
with a mutiny, ship on fire and a terrific storm. 


1/6 net 

FROM LABRADOR TO MEXICO. This story takes us into 

many lands, among all kinds of interesting and strange people. The 

young man had anything but a dull time T 


1/6 net 

packed with thrills of all kinds. Fire, shipwreck, savages, pirates, 
slavery, and final escape all tend to make breathless interest for 

C . J . H Y N E 

1/6 net 

SANDY CARMICHAEL. Sandy is a ragged little urchin, who 
travels far, has many adventures, and so impresses the savages he 
finds himself among, that they decide to make him king. 



1/6 net 

IN JUNGLE AND KRAAL. The adventures of two young 
midshipmen in the Jungles of Ceylon. An expedition into the 
jungle is planned, end, after many adventures they assist in capturing 
alive a herd of elephants. 

I/- net 

tures of two young " middies " who seem to have a genius for foiling 
In and out of adventures. 


1/6 net 

CAPTAIN JACK O'HARA, R.N. A rollicking story of a sailor 
who has many adventures, who takes all kinds of risks, and Is afraid 
of nothing and no one but the heroine. But he succeeds there too. 


1/6 net 

undar the See Is a fantastic tale of a young midshipman, who, washed 
overboard In a storm, finds himself In a wonderful glass city under 
the sea. 


2/- net 

THE BOYS OFWHITMINSTER. This book recounts the 
adventures and misadventures of as lively a bunch of schoolboys 
as you could wish to meet. 

REDSKINS AND SETTLERS. Yarns of life In the Wild West. 
Many thrilling adventures are recorded in graphic style. In the times 
of Buffalo Bill, and Kit Carson, the times of fierce fighting with 
Red Indians. 

THE TRUANT FROM SCHOOL. A boy runs away from 
school and finds Just how exciting life among Red Indians really is. 



I/- net 

pretending to be bandits, but they found that amateur bandits 
sometimes get Into trouble themseives. 

THE VULTURE'S NEST. The hero Is a very plucky lad whose 
exciting experiences In the Alps will appeal to all adventure-loving 

" DUMPS." Tom Richardson was a ragged, bare-footed little Scot, 
and a delightfully interesting character he was. His pluck and 
endurance during a very trying time at school make excellent 

SANDY'S SECRET. A canny Scots boy fondly imagines he has 
discovered a thrilling secret which involves his own quiet school- 
master with a pirate. 


1/6 net 

OUR FELLOWS AT ST. MARK'S. Scrapes and adventures 
galore, and thrilling cricket and football matches. Well worth reading. 


1/6 net 

'TWEEN DECK IN THE 'SEVENTIES. A great yarn of life 
in the navy when Sam Noble was young. It is a thrilling book which 
all boys enjoy. 


1/6 net 

RALPH DEN HAM'S ADVENTURES. Ralph goes to Burma 
and has a great number of thrilling adventures In the sinister Jungle. 
This is a book to make one's pulses beat ! 


1/6 net 

DANNY'S PARTNER. A story about a one-legged man and an 
orphan boy. It tells of their travelling with a wagon-team out to 
the wilds, and final happiness and success. 



I/- net 

A NIGHT IN A SNOWSTORM. A collection of very fine 
stories for boys, they tre exciting, Interesting and well written. 


I/- net 

MIDNIGHT PLUCK* Two young boys have a very mischievous 
turn of mind. They go too far one day, however, and decide upon 
their own punishment. It requires more pluck than they imagined, 
but all ends well. 


2/- net 

UP-SCHOOL AT MONKSHALL. Fred Fulton is sent to a 
fine public school by a " friend " of his father's on condition that 
he does exactly what he Is told to do. Later he finds he must choose 
between betraying his father or his chum. 


2/- net 

A SON OF THE SCHOOL. A splendid yarn which will thrill 
all boys. There are fine accounts of cricket and football matches 
and more than a spice of adventure. 


2/- net 

THE SERPENT CHARMER. A splendid story of India. An 
Indian prince treats a white man and his children very cruelly, but 
there is an old snake charmer who helps them, after many adventures* 
to escape. 

There is also a I/- net edition of this book. 



I/- net 

A GOAT-BOY BARONET. An original story of a young boy, 
who though in reality a baronet, earns money for a time by driving 
a goat carriage in the seaside town where he and his sisters live. 


I/- net 

camping-out experiences as well as school life. A little French 
master is ragged a good deal by the boys, but turns up trumps In 
the end. 


I/- net 

THE GOLD DIGGERS. A young man leaves England and " tries 
his luck " in Australia. After hard times he returns to England 
and his people. 


I/- net 

son of a soldier dances in the streets of Boulogne because he believes 
his father is beggared. He makes friends with a delightful little 
" lame girl. 


I/- net 


sailor has a bad time. He is wrongfully accused of cheating, and 
his innocence Is not proved until his miseries have led him to run 

I/- net 

REPORTED MISSING. A boy leaving school very suddenly, 
does his best to support his widowed mother and sister, and to 
clear his father's good name. He succeeds wry ably, as the story tells. 

HARVEY SINCLAIR. Harvey Sinclair is as successful In business 
as he was at school, and Is the means of bringing a wrong-doer to 



2/6 net 

LITTLE WOMEN. The greatest story for girls ever written, it 

concerns four sisters whose amusing scrapes and experiences are 

vividly described. 
LITTLE WOMEN WEDDED. This Is a continuation of the 

lives of " Little Women," though soon we see " Little Women " 

changed Into " Good Wives." This part of their lives is very vividly 

and pleasantly written. 
LITTLE MEN. Jo, with her husband, sets up a school for poor 

boys, who get Into the most glorious scrapes and make the took 

very amusing. 

JO f S BOYS. This delightful book shows the "Little Men" 
when they grow up. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer they are success- 
ful and happy. It is a very entertaining tale. 

UNDER THE LILACS. Ben and his dog run away from a circus 
and live with Bob and Betty. Ben Is very adventurous, and his 
scrapes are related with all Miss Alcott's humour and sympathy. 

EIGHT COUSINS. A little girl, Rose, goes to live with her aunts 
and seven boy cousins. Her guardian. Uncle Max, Is a breezy sea 
captain, and they have some ripping times together. 

ROSE IN BLOOM. The further story of Rose. The charming 
bud of a girl blooms out into a beautiful and lovable maiden. A 
very charming tale. 

JACK AND JILL. A vivid portrayal of the home and school 
life of Jack and Jill, and their friends In a New England village. 
Jack and Jill have a gloriously happy time doing all manner of 
interesting things. 

AN OLD-FASHIONED GIRL. A delightful study of a healthy 
country girl, who goes to stay with rich friends. Everybody learns 
to love her for her charm and unselfishness, and she proves to be 
a very helpful person. 


Scrap-Bag contains a number of pretty stories, and Shawl-Straps 
is a delightful account of the run through Europe of a party of 
charming American girls. 

SILVER PITCHERS. Eight stories In Miss Alcott's best vein ; 
|olly girls and equally )olly boys, full of life and spirits and delightful 
to spend an evening with. 



There are also 2/- net editions of : 



I/- net 

LULU'S LIBRARY. A collection of delightful fairy stories told 
in Miss Alcott's charming way. 

AUNT JO'S SCRAP-BAG. As the title suggests, the book is 
full of the most delightful scraps, told in Aunt Jo's lovable style. 


2/6 net 

LORNA DOONE. The famous story of stirring deeds on Exmoor 
In the time of the Doones, with huge John Ridd as hero. 

There is also a I/- net edition of this book. 


2/6 net 

CAPTAIN, PRO. TEM. This story Is the racy account of the 
" Temporary Captain's " efforts to straighten things out at Kentnor 
Manor School where slacking was the order of the day. 

A JOLLY TRIO. Jean and Jane were close chums, so they were 
rather dubious when they heard that the daughter of a friend of 
Jane's mother was coming to the same school. But they need not 
have worried, for Joy was charming and full of life, and soon there 
were three fast friends instead of two, who had glorious times 
together, and were mixed up in a mystery that fairly thrilled them. 

MADCAP JILL AT SCHOOL. When Jill went to Northdean 
Manor School the old place was certainly woken up. All sorts of 
adventures, scrapes and thrilling matches. 

ONE THRILLING TERM. Dean Court was terribly slack, but 
Judith Holmes changes things with a vengeance 1 A story that 
all girls will enjoy. 

THE QUEER NEW GIRL. A ripping story of sport and life 
at a girls' school. The scrapes and adventures which the girls fall 
Into make a very good story. 



2/- net 

THE MYSTERY OF THE NEW GIRL. This b • "different" 
school story, and Its readers will be kept guessing until the end 
before they find out the mysterious new girl's secret. 

"MISS SPITFIRE" AT SCHOOL. The story of her life at 

Rolsham Manor School and how she overcomes her unpopularity 

will appeal to all girls. This book Is packed with excitement, fun 

and sport. 
GOOD CHUMS ALL. A ripping story of girls at school, with 

plenty of sport, fun and adventures. 
PAT OF THE FIFTH. A fine story of schoolgirl life. Pat and 

her friends manage to foil Into every conceivable kind of scrape 

and adventure. 
MOLL1E OF ST. MILDRED'S. Mollle and Chris became great 

chums and were very successful on the sports field. A great story 

for girls. 
THE GIRLS OF ST. HILDA'S. The new captain finds her Job 

very difficult, but In the end, with great pluck she wins through. 

I/6 net 

DIANA AND PA M— CHUMS. Diana Templeton found Pam 
Weybrldge just the chum she had been hoping to find. They were 
a gay-hearted pair of inseparables, and girls win much enjoy reading 
about their doings. 


2/6 net 

TWO GIRLS ON THE AIR TRAIL. Pam and Betty are the 
proud owners of a high-speed amphibian aeroplane, and when their 
inventor father Is kidnapped by spies they have some adventures 
that are simply one thrill after another. 

PEGGY t PARACHUTIST. Peggy Is an expert parachutist and 
goes with her father, a famous airman, on a record flight to India. 
She has adventures that will thrill every girl who reads them. 


2/6 net 

THRILLS FOR THE LOWER FIFTH. There is a feud In the 
Lower Vth between Kitty Meredith and Gwenllian Thomas, and 
It Is played out in practical Jokes and ran ! And Kitty got mixed 
up in a mystery that gave her the thrill of tier life. 



2/6 net 

TROUBLE IN THE FOURTH. Lawley College was the scene 

of some thrilling scrapes when Benny Watts and her cousin, Elizabeth, 

struggled for the leadership of IVa. 

2/- net 

THE REBEL OF THE FIFTH. To be a boarder at one of the 

(oiliest girls' schools In England and then to find yourself a day-girl 

was enough to make an angel rebel and Phillipa was no angel ! 
FIFTH FORM RIVALS. The fifth form at Otters Pool College 

is the scene of a thrilling rivalry for the leadership of the school 

between Penelope Holland and Doria Smith. 
THE FOURTH FORM. Mona Rhodes begins her life at school 

by hating and quarrelling with her popular cousin, Allison, but 

Nonle Shields, the merry madcap of the Fourth Form, becomes 

her Inseparable chum. 

1/6 net 

WELL PLAYED SCOTTS. A fine story dealing with the struggle 
Micky Quellan and Audrey Harvard had to pull Scotts back to its 
old position of Cock House of Beverley College. 


2/6 net 

PLAY UP I PINE HOUSE. Several slackers were in the new 
Pine House at " Joey's," but Dawn Kemis alters their ideas very 
much. The book Is full of sport and adventures — In and out of 

2/- net 

FEUD IN THE FIFTH. Tower House School had had some 
exciting terms, but the year that Myra Maybanks first made her 
appearance beat them all ! 

A REBEL AT ROWANS. Veronica Grayson— Ronnie, for short 
—took a dislike to the Rowans at first sight. She made herself 
thoroughly unpopular with the girls and mistresses by her defiance. 

SYLVIA SWAYS THE SCHOOL. Pauline, the leader of the 
old girls, decides that the new girls must be made to obey the 
tradition of " Jo's " and kept in a secondary position In the school. 
But she did not know Sylvia Dare! 

PRUNELLA PLAYS THE GAME. Prunella was no ordinary 
new girl, and she caused some very startling shocks, but she played 
the game and all voted her a " good sport." 



2/- net 

NICKY, NEW GIRL. Diamond Kenley was jealous of her sister 

Nicky. The story describes the rivalry between them and is chock 

full of excitement and sport. 

1/6 net 

WELL PLAYED, JULIANA I Juliana thoroughly enjoyed her 
first term at school— her chief friend was a scholarship girl. In the 
end an exciting secret was discovered that brought them much 

CHRIS IN COMMAND. Two sisters, Keith and Rosalie Renford, 
are forced, owing to lack of money, to leave an expensive school 
and to go to a day school. There is plenty of sport and excitement 
in this fine story of life at a girls' school. 


2/6 net 

LEADER OF THE REBELS. Carol and Jeryl cause Monica Merton, 
head girl of St. Monica's, a lot of trouble by their naughtiness, and 
when Jeryl is involved in a mystery this story becomes one that all 
girls will enjoy to the end. 

THE WORST FIFTH ON RECORD. The new junior mistress 
at St. Cecilia's had a very hard time, for her young sister Philippa 
was a pupil and in a very bad set, but she wins through in the end. 
A really original school story that is very enjoyable. 

MONICA OF ST. MONICA'S. St. Monica's School used to 
be one of the best in the South of England, but itfhad fallen upon 
evil days. Monica soon Inspired the old school with a new spirit. 

AN IMPERFECT PREFECT. Monica, a very mischievous girl, 
is made a prefect. Her failures are redeemed by her good deeds 
and love of the school. A well-written school-girl story, packed 
with adventures. 


2/6 net 

ANN'S DIFFICULT TERM. When Wandham Hifl was amal- 
gamated with Wandham High School, Ann, who would have been 
captain at " The Hill," decided to take no part In games or school 
life at " The High." A very good school tale with plenty of sport. 

FORM IV DOES ITS BIT. Is one of the jolllest girls* stories 
ever written. Games, work, and all the round of school life are 
presented as they really are. The girls are one of the sportiest sets 
you could imagine. 



2/6 net 

TO THE FRAY— ST. AGATHA'S ! A ripping yarn of school 
life. Great descriptions of sport and games, and many adventures. 


2/6 net 

THE GIRLS OF SMOKY HILL RANCH. Three girts, great 

chums, live on a ranch. They have great fun and terrifically thrilling 



1/6 net 

THE PRIORY LEAGUE. The old school Is in danger of being 
sold because there is no money for repairs. There is an old legend 
that there Is some hidden treasure. Several of the girls determine 
to find It. 

FIVE OF THE FOURTH. A very merry little quartette were 
determined that no one should share their companionship. But 
Peggy Lawson, a shy new girl, intrudes, with the result that they 
have more fun and adventures than ever. 


2/- net 


at all happy when she was made captain, but she set her teeth and 

came through with flying colours. 


2/- net 

A SCHOOLGIRL'S SECRET. She had promised not to reveal 
a secret, and had to endure a good deal. But she had some good 
staunch friends who stuck to her through thick and thin. 


2/- net 

UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. The moving story about the slaves 
In America, it is a tale that cannot be forgotten. 



1/6 net 

take great Interest in their new neighbours and get a large number 
of thrills. 

VICTORIA'S FIRST TERM. Victoria begins her school life all 
wrong, and makes enemies of nearly all the girls. But she ends 
by being called " a real sport." 


1/6 net 

CAROL OF HOLLYDENE SCHOOL. A dellfhtfu! school 
story, full of pranks and games and high spirits. There Is also a 
mystery which sets tongues wagging against Carol, but all ends well. 


2/- net 

THE HOUSE OF DOUG. The adventures of a lively, rollicking 
family who Inherit a lovely old mansion— complete with a ghost 1 


1/6 net 

the Princess Ottilia, who comes from abroad to live at an English 
school. Shy and reserved by nature she soon becomes " the loneliest 
girl In the school." 


1/6 net 

CICELY FROME. A captain's daughter finds that her father is 

missing, she goes to Ceylon and after many thrilling adventures the 

mystery is cleared up. 


1/6 net 

HAZEL HURST. The story of a folly, good-natured family who 
have all kinds of adventures and fun. A book to delight all girls. 

THE ADVENT OF ARTHUR. Joyce Dayrell and her brother, 
Jocelyn, live with relations who are unsympathetic They decide 
to go away and fend for themselves, but life is often hard and 
dreary — until " Arthur " comes. 



1/6 net 

AN ONLY SISTER* The four children of a French gentleman, 
on his death had a desperate struggle to live. But fortune smiled 
on them at last. 


2/- net 

AILSA'S CHUM. Life proceeds happily and evenly in the 
Brereton household until a strange baby is thrust upon the family. 
Soon after, complications begin, and a fine story Is unravelled. 

1/6 net 

GLADWYN. Gladwvn, heiress to a worthless estate, goes to London 
and finds success and happiness. A very interesting tale for girls. 


I/- net 

motherless children form a League of Right against Wrong. They 
champion the cause of a poor widow, and make a success of the 
League, too. 

TOMBOY DAISY. Daisy was a harum-scarum, but though she 
gets into any amount of scrapes, she Is a very good sort. 

THE THORNES OF THURSTON. A fine story that all girls 
will enjoy, the eldest of an unruly family has to restore order in 
the home, and eventually she succeeds. 


1/6 net 

A HEART OF GOLD. Home life in a New England country 
place ; quiet, Puritan folk, living out their lives in traditional manner. 
The main characters are two girls, one a pessimist and the other 
an optimist. 

OTHER GIRLS. Sylvle Argenter made the discovery that girls 
belonging to other circles, had hearts, too. When adversity came 
to herself, she faced it bravely, and in the end had her reward. 

WE GIRLS. A cheery crowd of girls who found plenty of fun In life, 
and were happier still when a paper turned up whicn ensured that 
they need not leave their home. 



I/- net 

RUTH SEYTON. A book for older children. Ruth's delicacy 
prevents her from helping her struggling family materially, but 
ner sweet ways help and comfort all who know her. 

THREE SCHOOL FRIENDS. Three girls of very different 
character and circumstances become friends at school, and after- 
wards enjoy a jolly Christmas holiday. 


I/- net 

HERO'S STORY. A ripping tale of a very brave and clever dog 
and his schoolboy master. 


I/- net 

TWYFORD HALL. A very well written story of the slums, giving 
a good picture of poor children without being too sordid. Little 
Rosa and her grandfather are terribly poor, but all ends happily 
for Rosa. 


I/- net 

BOB'S HEROINE. A pleasing story of a little Invalid girl whom 
everyone loves. She Is very kind to two ragged, unhappy children. 


I/- net 

THE PRIZE ESSAY. A fine tale for children. Tom and Patience 
manage to pack a terrific amount of fun and Incident into their 
young lives. 



I/- net 

LITTLE LADY PRIM. A very molly-coddled little girl has tome 
very surprising adventures, and changes her Ideas altogether I 


1/- net 


HANS ANDERSEN'S FAIRY TALES. The Immortal tale* of 
the famous Danish writer, of which children will never tire. 


NOWHERE AND ELSEWHERE. A gorgeously amusing book 
for children. The adventures of the little boy who shoots off to 
Nowhere will fascinate them. 

THE IMP IN THE PICKLE JAR. One of the few modern 
stories which have caught the charm of the real fairy spirit. It Is 
truly imaginative and attractively told. 


ALICE IN WONDERLAND. The best book ever written for 
children, and once read never forgotten. The characters live vividly 
In every chHd's mind. 


FAIRY TALES. A good and cheap edition of these almost un- 
rivalled fairy tales, such as tvtry child loves. Their old world charm 
and vivid fancy appeal to young people of all ages. 


FAIRY TALES AND TRUE. A collection of short and delightful 
stories, which will appeal to all small children. 

charming fairy tales as told by the peasants among the mountains 
of Norway. 


r^icy book/ 

1/- net 

ASHIE-PATTLE. Merry, good-tempered and quick-witted, the 
luck of the fairies was always with Ashie-Pattle. 

CANDLETIME TALES. This b a collection of delightful fairy 
tales gathered from Norway and Ceylon j they are unusual and 
ywj charmingly told. 

BOYS' OWN BOOK OF FAIRY TALES. Here are boys' own 
special heroes, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, and Aladdin and 
his wonderful lamp. 

GIRLS' OWN BOOK OF FAIRY TALES. Every child loves 
the story of Cinderella and little Tom Thumb, and Is never tired 
of hearing how Jack built his house, and Mother Hubbard treated 
her dog. 


1/- net 


Cr. 8vo. Well bound. Attractive 3-colour jacket. Bulk full 1 in. 


This edition of Miss Alcott's famous book, which has recently been 
filmed, is sure to attract great interest and large sales by its attractive 
appearance and very cheap price. 

The best beloved, the most glorious of the romances from the classic 
volumes of Louisa M. Alcott. The story tells of Jo, who with her 
husband sets up a school for poor boys, who get into the most 
glorious scrapes and make the book very amusing. 



This famous series contains titles on every subject that is interesting 
to boys and girls, and each book is written by an expert on his subject. 
The distinguishing feature of the series is the lavish use of illustrations ; 
nearly every volume has 100 half-tone plates and many have colour 
plates in addition. 

3/6 net 


has endeavoured to give some of the remarkable achievements of 
the airmen of the world, with particulars of the machines upon 
which those achievements were made. 


PARACHUTING. The book makes exciting reading. This book 
will be of interest for the record it gives of remarkable accidents. 
More thrilling than any film. 

quest of the North Atlantic by air In the past ten years has been 
one of the most exciting periods in the history of flying. 


London's great airport — Croydon Aerodrome, a wonderful book 
for air-minded boys. 


THE AIRSHIP. An extremely comprehensive work on the llghter- 
than-air craft, its development as well as present day types. 


;. s F 

msu re 

THE OLD FLYING DAYS. Spontaneously written, this Is a 
book that every boy will treasure, and read over and over again. 




The author has succeeded in giving ui a book of absorbing general 


BRITISH LOCOMOTIVES. There are few boys who can resist 
the appeal of machinery In mass as represented by the railway 
engine. A wealth of Information regarding "Iron monsters." 


Every phase of modern engineering is shown ; it is a book that 
boys will revel In. 

BRITISH RAILWAYS. The history of our railways makes a fine 
tale of grit and determination to overcome almost Insurmountable 

FROM POST BOY TO AIR MAIL. The story of the Post 
Office is not well-known, but it Is extremely Interesting and well 
worth reading. 



this book to tell of Water Power in plain terms and simple pictures* 
without distressing the lay reader with scientific or technical matter. 


intensely absorbing chapters devoted to the history of this gigantic 
enterprise, there is a clear description of the underground to-day. 


THE ROMANCE OF ELECTRICITY. Electricity Is one of the 
greatest powers In modern life, and the author sees the great 
fascination of the " story " behind power stations and transmission 


Ships and the Sea 


SHIPS WE SEE. A book of unfailing interest in which are shown 
every type of ship and its work. Every boy will delight in this book. 

A CENTURY OF ATLANTIC TRAVEL. A fascinating history 
of one of the most interesting shipping routes In the world. 



The romance of the giant ships which sail across the Atlantic Ocean, 
an ideal book for the ship-lover. 


fine book which tells of the life of a great liner from the time it 
is planned till it goes to sea. 


THE BOOK OF THE SHIP. The author deals with the clippers 
and the great days of sail ; the coming of steam, and the develop- 
ment of warships and merchant ships, great and small. 

THE ROMANCE OF THE SUBMARINE. It is a picturesquely 
written and keenly interesting account of the history of the 

covering the events, personalities and vessels which make up a 
century s history of the j 


THE BLUE RIBAND. In this volume Is a readable narrative 
srsonalities and vessels 
great shipping route. 


his foreword says :— " ' The Romance of Navigation ' is of absorbing 
Interest from cover to cover, besides promising to be a standard 


OUR NAVY FOR 1,000 YEARS. The stirring story of the 
British Navy, an epic of courage and adventure that makes a fine 
book for all boys. 




300 THINGS A BRIGHT BOY CAN DO. AH boys will find 
a great deal to capture their interest In these almost innumerable 
games and hobbies. 


HOBBIES FOR GIRLS. To the firl In search of "something 
to do " are explained a large number of original and fascinating 

excellent games, sports and hobbies are included In this book. 


book is for the boy who is keen on outdoor games and is very 
helpful and useful. 

HOBBIES FOR BOYS. The thirty-seven chapters In this book 
cover a tremendous amount of ground, and the boy who cannot 
find something worth while In these pages wilt be a rarity. 


301 THINGS A BRIGHT GIRL CAN DO. An extraordinarily 
good book. No girl can fall to find something In It to take her 



THE BOOK OF THE MICROSCOPE. A fine book which 
opens a vast field to the enthusiast and gives a great deal of useful 
help to the beginner. 

THE ROMANCE OF THE HEAVENS. In this volume an 
attempt has been made to deal with the romantic side, to explain 
tome of the mysteries and to foster an interest in the celestial bodies. 




MODERN CHEMISTRY. In this book the reader who wishes to 
know something of the more Interesting and important discoveries 
and applications of modern chemistry is taken behind the scenes 
and shown how the/ were made. 



CLOSE-UPS FROM NATURE. Mr. Martin Duncan, F.Z.S., the 
well-known naturalist, gives many remarkable Intimate pictures of 
animal, marine and insect life. 


WILD BEASTS TO-DAY. This is a natural history work of 
unusual type, for its describes animals in captivity, wild animal 
forms, and reservations. 


THE ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS. The " Zoo M holds a fascina- 
tion for nearly everyone. This book gives graphic descriptions of 
its inhabitants and their lives. 

Other Lands 


the authors have set out to tell people in an attractive manner more 
about the wonderful Empire. 


more romantic subjects than exploration, and in this volume the 
author tells the story of the great explorers and the miracles of 


The Ancient World 


hundred years a New World has been discovered, or rather, an 
Old World has been resurrected from the dust of ages. The whole 
romance Is told here. 

Museum is one of the greatest treasure houses in the World. An 
enchanting book. 


ever popular subject of. buried treasure, and the strange rites 
connected with It in ancient times. 


EGYPTIAN TEMPLES. A fairly detailed, yet easily understood, 
account of some of the temples of Egypt written by a well-known 

H . J. PEAKE, M . A . 

EARLY STEPS IN HUMAN PROGRESS. This well-illustrated 
book traces primitive man's attempts to make life easier down to 
the Bronze and Iron ages. 


account of Egyptian life in the times of the Pharaohs. You really 
live in those times while reading the book. 

F . A. WRIGHT, M . A . 


" An attractive up-to-date survey of ancient history ... a book 
which Is full of passages so Illuminating must not be passed over • • • 
most stimulating."—" Times Literary Supplement." 



THE ROMANCE OF LONDON. Written in a pleasant vein 
this book opens a large field of interest to those who are attracted 
by the great capital. 



A HISTORY OF LONDON. ".This beautifully Illustrated, well- 
written and well-documented book Is a notable addition to the 
history of the Metropolis/'— " City Prose." 

A . G . L I N N E Y 

book on a subject which everybody finds Interesting. It Is very 
well illustrated. 

given us an Intimate and vivid study of old rather Thames, which, 
with the splendid illustrations, makes a book that will be Interesting 
to all. 




A thoroughly interesting book on a subject that Is sure to capture 
everyone's imagination. 

of romance, and this book cannot fail to interest boys and girls. 
Foreword by Viscount Snowden. 


THE HUMAN SIDE OF INSURANCE. The fascinating story 
of the progress of insurance from Its Infancy to the present day, 
and the strange human dramas that it causes. 


6/- net 


London are the most remarkable relics of the Middle Ages which 
survive to-day. 

INN. This book is more than a mere description of the Courts, 
for It gives a picture of the men who live in them. 



STAMP COLLECTING. The author of this new book, who has 
had thirty years' experience as collector, dealer and lecturer, here 
elves us the story of the postage-stamp and the romance of the 
hobby of which It Is the object. 





L . 

H A D F 1 E L D 

SUBMARINE CARLES. In Submarine Cabin the whole story of 
the Intensely interesting and dramatic work of cable laying and 
repairing is told. 


DEEP-SEA SALVAGE. Here are told stories of thank struggle* 
to raise sunken vessels and lost submarines and to wrest sunken 
gold from the sea. A thrilling book on a thrilling subject. 




1/- net 


















































2/6 net 

A popular series of books especially written for the mechanically 
minded boy and girl, which gives tnem just what they want — non- 
technical books about modern engineering achievements. 













Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: Nov. 2005 



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Cranberry Township, PA 16066