Adrift in the Pacific
ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
' Briant and the negro rushed forward '
IN THE PACIFIC
' TBI CUPPOt OP THE CLOUDS," " THB VANISHED DIAMOND," RC.
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO.. LTD
KADI A5D PMJOTD Df GR11T BBIfUH BY
The Storm ....... 7
The First Day Ashore
The View from the Cape ,
A Spell of Rain •
Across the Lake .
The New Chief .
The Separation .
The Enemy in Sight .
Diamond Cut Diamond ,
The Fortune of War <
Afloat Once More
Home . . . ,
ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC.
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
8 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
backwards by the shock, but they recovered themselves
" 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.
10 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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."
THE STORM II
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.
la ADfctFT IN THE PACIFIC
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 "
THE STORM 13
" 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, —
" 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.
14 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
THE STORM 15
would assuredly sweep away the companions and
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
l6 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
l8 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
CAST ADRIFT 19
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
20 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
CAST ADRIFT 21
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
It was a dark night. The land-breeze was strong,
and the tide running out, and away went the schooner
22 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
CAST ADRIFT 23
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
24 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
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 FIRST DAY ASHORE
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
26 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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;
THE FIRST DAY ASHORE 2J
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.
28 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE FIRST DAY ASHORE 29
" 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
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-
30 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE FIRST DAY ASHORE 31
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
32 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
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
THE FIRST DAY ASHORE 33
" 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
THE VIEW FROM THE CAPE
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
" 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
" 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 ? "
THB VIEW FROM THE CAPS 35
" 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
36 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
" 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
THE VIEW FROM THE CAPE 37
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
38 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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 VIEW FROM THE CAPE 39
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
40 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
THE VIEW FROM THE CAPE 41
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
42 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE VIEW FROM THE CAPE 43
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.
A SPELL OF RAIN
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— "
A SPELL OF RAIN 45
" 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
" 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 "
46 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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
A SPELL OF RAIN 47
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
48 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
A SPELL OF RAIN 49
" 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
The mass was a turtle of huge size, one of those enor-
30 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
" 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.
A SPELL OF RAIN 51
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 ? "
" No ! No I Briant, for he's dead."
" Good 1 " said Service, " but you daren't eat him ! "
" Can you eat him ? "
" 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
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
5* ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
" 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
A SPELL OF RAIN 53
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
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,
THE RAFT 55
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
56 ADRIFT IN THE PACIEIC
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
" 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
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.
58 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE RAFT 59
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.
1>Q ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
" To-morrow," said Gordon, " we will begin to build
" 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
THE RAFT 6l
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."
ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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,
THE RAFT 63
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.
64 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE RAFT 65
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
' 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
66 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
The work of enlarging the cave could thus be con-
veniently begun, and a start was made on the 27th of
68 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THS COLONY 69
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
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
70 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
" 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
THE COLONY 71
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
It was nine o'clock at night. Thick darkness en*
veloped the cliff and the lake. The search had to be
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
When Briant came back he said, —
7* ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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
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
THE COLONY 73
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
74 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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 COLONY 75
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.
76 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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
THB COLONY 77
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-
78 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
80 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
their young companions, it would be their duty to be
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
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
WINTER QUARTERS 8l
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
82 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
WINTER QUARTERS 83
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
" 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
84 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
WINTER QUARTERS 85
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."
86 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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
WINTER QUARTERS 87
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/ "
" 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
88 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
along so easily that before twelve o'clock it had made
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.
" 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
WINTER QUARTERS 89
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
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
90 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
WINTER QUARTERS 91
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.
BRAVO, BAXTER I
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 "
BRAVO, BAXTER! 93
" 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
"He hasn't done much with them as yet," said
Donagan who did not think much of any weapon of
the chase except firearms
94 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" And what could we do with the birds ? " asked
" Birds or quadrupeds, Baxter, I don't think much of
" 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
BRAVO, BAXTER! 95
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
96 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
BRAVO, BAXTER I 97
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
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
98 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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*
BRAVO, BAXTER ! 99
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-
Suddenly, moving spots of light appeared some
twenty yards away. Instantly there was the report of
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
100 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
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
BRAVO, BAXTER ! IOI
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
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
ACROSS THE LAKE
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
ACROSS THE LAKE 103
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 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
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,
104 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
ACROSS THE LAKE 105
" 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
106 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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,"
" 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
ACROSS THE LAKE I(>7
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
108 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
ACROSS THB LAKE 109
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 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
110 ADRIFT IN 1HS PACIFIC
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
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
" 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
" 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."
ACROSS THE LAKB III
" 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
112 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
ACROSS THE LAKE II3
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."
TI4 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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
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.
THE NEW CHIEF
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.
Il6 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
THE NEW CHIEF II7
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
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,
!l8 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
THE NSW CHIEF 119
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.
120 ADRIFT IN THB PACIFIC
" 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
" 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."
THE NEW CHIEF 121
" 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. .
122 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
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
THE NEW CHIEF 123
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
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
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
THE SEPARATION 125
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
" 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
126 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
to put an end to all this by resigning in your favour,
or perhaps in Donagan's. That would cut short all
" 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
THE SEPARATION 127
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
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
128 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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 ?
THE SEPARATION 129
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
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
130 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
" Having done that," said he, " we can spend th*
day in getting down to the sea, which is under six miles
" 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
THE SEPARATION I3I
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
THE INVASION 133
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
" 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.
134 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE INVASION 135
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 —
Briant recognized Donagan's voice. It was Donagan,
in fact, and his companions were asleep in camp near
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
I36 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE INVASION I37
" 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
ALL TOGETHER 139
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
140 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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,
ALL TOGETHER 141
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."
T42 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
ALL TOGETHER I43
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
144 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE ENEMY IN SIGHT
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
I46 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE ENEMY IN SIGHT I47
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
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
ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE ENEMY IN SIGHT I49
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
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.
X50 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
" 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
THE ENEMY IN SlGHt 151
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
152 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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, —
There was a man in danger of his life undoubtedly.
" Help ! " repeated the voice, this time but a few
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.
DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND
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
154 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND 155
" 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.
I56 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND 157
By the light of the lantern, hung from the roof, he
saw Rock and Forbes leave their bed and creep towards
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
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
" 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.
THE .FORTUNE OF WAR
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
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 ? "
THE FORTUNE OF WAR 159
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.
" 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 ? "
" 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 ? "
" 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
160 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
THE FORTUNE OF WAR l6l
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.
162 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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.
THE FORTUNE OF WAR 163
" 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
164 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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 FORTUNE OF WAR 165
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
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
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.
AFLOAT ONCE MORE
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
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-
AFLOAT ONCE MORE 167
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,
l68 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
AFLOAT ONCE MORE 169
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
170 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
AFLOAr ONCE MORE 171
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-
I72 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
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
AFLOAT ONCE MORE 173
of tinamous. Needless to say that after that he was
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
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
I76 ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
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
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
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.
100 SOUTHWARK ST. LONDON
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.
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
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
G. GIBBARD JACKSON
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.
THE AIR PIRATES OF THE CONGO. Two boys, their
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.
G • GIBBARD JACKSON
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.
THE QUEST OF THE OSPREY. The story of the hunt for
a mine of fabulous value. Any amount of excitement and danger
PIRATES 'GAINST THEIR WILL. A terribly thrilling pirate
yarn, of fights, raiding parties, treasure, torture and great pluck.
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
MYSTERY OF CRANSTON SCHOOL. The first XI cricket
pitch at Cranston was dug up at night, and It produced a super
mystery that took the amateur detectives all their time to solve.
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
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
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.
R . A . H . GOODYEAR
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.
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.
THE FELLOWS OF TEN TREES SCHOOL. Nearly every-
body resented " Jig " being a member of the School. But in the
end his pluck won film the respect of masters and boys alike.
R . A. H • GOODYEAR
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.
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.
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.
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.
AT THE SIGN OF THE WOLF'S HEAD. Here Is a bold
buccaneering yarn of the Spanish Main that will thrill you the whole
time. It is a great tale of fights, adventures, treachery and secret
G. FORSYTH GRANT
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.
G • FORSYTH GRANT
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.
HE HERO OF CRAMPTON SCHOOL. Two chums stick
to each other during a rough time at school. A great yarn which
all boys enjoy.
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
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.
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.
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.
GEORGE C U P P L E S
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.
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.
H . ELRINGTON
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
JACK ARCHER. A midshipman In the Crimean War has the most
thrilling adventures both at sea and on land, and covers himself
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
J. PERCY GROVES
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
THE ADVENTURES OP JIMMY BROWN. Jimmy writes his
own diary— all about his own scrapes and adventures. Ripping fun,
R . M . BALLANTYNE
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.
G . MANVILLE FENN
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
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
BINDO OF AVONSIDE. Packed with thrilling adventures.
sport, school-life, and every phase of Scouting— camping, tracking,
hiking and patrol-work.
R . L • BELLAMY
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.
THE ADVENTURES OF SCOUT GREY. Scout Grey was a
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.
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.
KIT H I G S O N
THAT SURPRISING BOY, SPINKS. A super yarn of |apes
and fun galore, and all sorts of adyentures. Spinks does some most
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
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.
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
UNDER THE SEA TO THE NORTH POLE. A thrilling
story of adventure In the Arctic regions, with hardships galore
met with pluck and endurance.
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.
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.
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.
F . CARLTON-WISEMAN
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
A BOY ALL OVER. Fred and Bob, two school chums, have a
great many escapades and usually come out on top.
D . M • CALLOW
TOBY IN THE SOUTH SEAS. Twin brothers, with their
family, live on a South Seas Island ; they have some grand adventures
and ripping fun.
HARRY COLLINGWOOD AND
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.
W . BOURNE COOKE
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.
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. The
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
THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND. A mysterious tale of an
unseen person who guards a band of castaways. An extremely
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.
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS. Phlneas Fogg,
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.
THE CLIPPER OF THE CLOUDS. The most wonderful aero-
plane that ever flew, the story of Its world-wide* voyage Is one
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.
FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON AND A TRIP ROUND
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. .
EIGHT HUNDRED LEAGUES ON THE AMAZON, Not
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.
A FLOATING CITY ft THE BLOCKADE RUNNERS. The
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.
TRIBULATIONS OP A CHINAMAN. A Chinaman writes an
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.
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.
THE LIGHTHOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD.
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.
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
BURBANK THE NORTHERNER. Bur bank, through his
enemy's machinations, gets Into some very tight corners ; a
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 :
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.
THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND
ADRIFT IN THE PACIFIC
THE CLIPPER OF THE CLOUDS
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.
ONE THOUSAND MILES IN THE ROB ROY CANOE.
This Is the log of a thrilling cruise in a small canoe, over many of
the rivers of Europe. A grand adventure.
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.
IN THE CRADLE OF THE NORTH WIND. This sto™ of
the sea and a hunt for a missing ship in the ice-bound regions of the
north is well worth reading.
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.
W . CLARK RUSSELL
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.
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
MUTINY ON BOARD THE "LEANDER." This book is
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
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.
ARTHUR L. KNIGHT
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.
BROTHER MIDDIES AND SLAVERS AHOY. The adven-
tures of two young " middies " who seem to have a genius for foiling
In and out of adventures.
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.
A N D R £ LAURIE
THE CRYSTAL CITY UNDER THE SEA. T7m Crystal Oty
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
ASCOTT R . HOPE
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
THE TRUANT FROM SCHOOL. A boy runs away from
school and finds Just how exciting life among Red Indians really is.
ASCOTT R . HOPE
THE BANDITS OF THE BOSPHORUS. It was great fun
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.
WALTER C. RHOADES
OUR FELLOWS AT ST. MARK'S. Scrapes and adventures
galore, and thrilling cricket and football matches. Well worth reading.
SAM NOBLE, A . B .
'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.
G NOR WAY
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 !
W . A. ROGERS
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.
A NIGHT IN A SNOWSTORM. A collection of very fine
stories for boys, they tre exciting, Interesting and well written.
MAUDE M . BUTLER
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.
A. L . HAYDON
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.
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.
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*
There is also a I/- net edition of this book.
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.
THE BOYS OF WILLOUGHBY SCHOOL. A story of
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 GOLD DIGGERS. A young man leaves England and " tries
his luck " in Australia. After hard times he returns to England
and his people.
L . E . TIDDEMAN
THE ADVENTURES OF JACK CHARRINGTON. The little
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.
F . E . WEATHERLY
THE HEAD BOY OF WILTON SCHOOL. The son of a
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
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
LOUISA M . ALCOTT
LITTLE WOMEN. The greatest story for girls ever written, it
concerns four sisters whose amusing scrapes and experiences are
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
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
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.
AUNT JO'S SCRAP-BAG AND SHAWL-STRAPS. The
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.
LOUISA M . ALCOTT
There are also 2/- net editions of :
LITTLE WOMEN WEDDED
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.
R . D . BLACKMORE
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.
MARY LOUISE PARKER
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.
MARY LOUISE PARKER
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
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
MOLL1E OF ST. MILDRED'S. Mollle and Chris became great
chums and were very successful on the sports field. A great story
THE GIRLS OF ST. HILDA'S. The new captain finds her Job
very difficult, but In the end, with great pluck she wins through.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
TO THE FRAY— ST. AGATHA'S ! A ripping yarn of school
life. Great descriptions of sport and games, and many adventures.
THE GIRLS OF SMOKY HILL RANCH. Three girts, great
chums, live on a ranch. They have great fun and terrifically thrilling
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.
SIBYL B . OWSLEY
DULCIE CAPTAINS THE SCHOOL. A girt who was not
at all happy when she was made captain, but she set her teeth and
came through with flying colours.
A. E. SEYMOUR
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.
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. The moving story about the slaves
In America, it is a tale that cannot be forgotten.
MABEL L . TYRRELL
THE FORTUNES OF THE BRAITHWAITS. A folly family
take great Interest in their new neighbours and get a large number
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."
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.
THE HOUSE OF DOUG. The adventures of a lively, rollicking
family who Inherit a lovely old mansion— complete with a ghost 1
MRS. HERBERT MARTIN
THE LONELIEST GIRL IN THE SCHOOL. The story of
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."
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.
ENID LEIGH HUNT
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.
M . D E WITT
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.
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.
GLADWYN. Gladwvn, heiress to a worthless estate, goes to London
and finds success and happiness. A very interesting tale for girls.
LUCIE E. JACKSON
THE BADGE OF THE SCARLET POPPY. Five happy, but
motherless children form a League of Right against Wrong. They
champion the cause of a poor widow, and make a success of the
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.
A. D. T. WHITNEY
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
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.
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.
HERO'S STORY. A ripping tale of a very brave and clever dog
and his schoolboy master.
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
MAUDE M . BUTLER
BOB'S HEROINE. A pleasing story of a little Invalid girl whom
everyone loves. She Is very kind to two ragged, unhappy children.
L . E . TIDDEMAN
THE PRIZE ESSAY. A fine tale for children. Tom and Patience
manage to pack a terrific amount of fun and Incident into their
E. M . WATERWORTH
AND JENNIE CHAPPELL
LITTLE LADY PRIM. A very molly-coddled little girl has tome
very surprising adventures, and changes her Ideas altogether I
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.
J. AND W. GRIMM
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.
ALICE F. JACKSON
FAIRY TALES AND TRUE. A collection of short and delightful
stories, which will appeal to all small children.
TWILIGHT STORIES FROM THE NORTH. A book of
charming fairy tales as told by the peasants among the mountains
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
Cr. 8vo. Well bound. Attractive 3-colour jacket. Bulk full 1 in.
8 HALF-TONE ILLUSTRATIONS FROM SCENES
OF THE FILM
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.
G. GIBBARD JACKSON
THE WORLD'S AEROPLANES AND AIRSHIPS. The author
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.
THE CONQUEST OF THE ATLANTIC BY AIR. The con-
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.
THE ROMANCE OF A MODERN AIRWAY. The story of
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.
MAJOR C. C. TURNER
;. s F
THE OLD FLYING DAYS. Spontaneously written, this Is a
book that every boy will treasure, and read over and over again.
W. H . BOULTON
THE PAGEANT OF TRANSPORT THROUGH THE AGES.
The author has succeeded in giving ui a book of absorbing general
G . GIBBARD JACKSON
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."
TRIUMPHS AND WONDERS OF MODERN ENGINEERING.
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
THE ROMANCE OF WATER POWER. It Is the aim of
this book to tell of Water Power in plain terms and simple pictures*
without distressing the lay reader with scientific or technical matter.
W . J. PASSINGHAM
ROMANCE OF LONDON'S UNDERGROUND. Besides the
intensely absorbing chapters devoted to the history of this gigantic
enterprise, there is a clear description of the underground to-day.
WILFRID L . RANDELL
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
FRANK C. BOWEN
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.
F . REID CORSON
THE ATLANTIC FERRY IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
The romance of the giant ships which sail across the Atlantic Ocean,
an ideal book for the ship-lover.
CAPTAIN E. G. DIGGLE, R.D. R.N.R.
THE ROMANCE OF A MODERN LINER. A wonderfully
fine book which tells of the life of a great liner from the time it
is planned till it goes to sea.
G . GIBBARD JACKSON
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
CHARLES E. LEE
THE BLUE RIBAND. In this volume Is a readable narrative
srsonalities and vessels
great shipping route.
CAPTAIN W. R. WHALL
THE ROMANCE OF NAVIGATION. Rear-Admiral Evans in
his foreword says :— " ' The Romance of Navigation ' is of absorbing
Interest from cover to cover, besides promising to be a standard
REAR-ADMIRAL SIR S. EARDLEY-WILMOT
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.
MABEL KITTY GIBBARD
HOBBIES FOR GIRLS. To the firl In search of "something
to do " are explained a large number of original and fascinating
PASTIMES, HOBBIES AND SPORTS FOR GIRLS. Many
excellent games, sports and hobbies are included In this book.
G . GIBBARD JACKSON
PASTIMES, HOBBIES AND SPORTS FOR BOYS. This
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.
FREDERICK J. PRESCOTT, M.Sc.
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.
F. MARTIN DUNCAN, F.R.M.S., F.Z.S.
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.
H . J. SHEPSTONE
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.
H . AND L . COURT
THE ROMANCE OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE. In this book
the authors have set out to tell people in an attractive manner more
about the wonderful Empire.
G . GIBBARD JACKSON
THE ROMANCE OF EXPLORATION. There can be few
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
W . H . BOULTON
THE ROMANCE OF ARCHEOLOGY. During the past
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.
THE ROMANCE OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM. The British
Museum is one of the greatest treasure houses in the World. An
CHARLES R . BEARD
THE ROMANCE OF TREASURE TROVE. A book on the
ever popular subject of. buried treasure, and the strange rites
connected with It in ancient times.
MARGARET A. MURRAY, F.S.A.
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.
ALAN W . SHORTER
EVERYDAY LIFE IN ANCIENT EGYPT. A popular and vivid
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 .
THE ROMANCE OF LIFE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD
" 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
PEEPSHOW OF THE PORT OF LONDON. An absorbing
book on a subject which everybody finds Interesting. It Is very
LURE AND LORE OF LONDON'S RIVER. The author has
given us an Intimate and vivid study of old rather Thames, which,
with the splendid illustrations, makes a book that will be Interesting
POPULAR ENTERTAINMENTS THROUGH THE AGES.
A thoroughly interesting book on a subject that Is sure to capture
THE ROMANCE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE. Whitehall is full
of romance, and this book cannot fail to interest boys and girls.
Foreword by Viscount Snowden.
F . J. MACLEAN
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.
COL. R. J. BLACKHAM, D.S.O.
LONDON'S LIVERY COMPANIES. The City Companies of
London are the most remarkable relics of the Middle Ages which
THE STORY OF THE TEMPLE, GRAY'S AND LINCOLN'S
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.
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.
A. GOWANS WHYTE AND
ROBERT L. HADFIELD
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.
(RUPERT OF THE 'DAILY EXPRESS")
BY MARY TOURTEL
PICTURES AND VERSES ON EVERY PAGE
LIST OF TITLES
1. RUPERT AND THE ENCHANTED PRINCESS
2. RUPERT AND THE BLACK DWARF
3. RUPERT AND HIS PET MONKEY
4. RUPERT AND HIS FRIEND MARGOT
5. RUPERT IN THE WOOD OF MYSTERY
6. FURTHER ADVENTURES OF RUPERT AND HIS PET MONKEY
7. RUPERT AND THE THREE ROBBERS
8. RUPERT, THE KNIGHT AND THE LADY
9. RUPERT AND THE CIRCUS CLOWN
10. RUPERT AND THE MAGIC HAT
11. RUPERT AND THE UTTLE PRINCE
12. RUPERT AND KING PIPPIN
13. RUPERT AND THE WILFUL PRINCESS
14. RUPERT'S MYSTERIOUS FUGHT
15. RUPERT IN TROUBLE AGAIN
16. RUPERT AND THE WOODEN SOLDIER
17. RUPERT AND THE OLD MAN OF THE SEA
18. RUPERT AT HAWTHORN FARM
19. RUPERT AND THE MAGIC WHISTLE
20. RUPERT GETS STOLEN
21. RUPERT AND THE WONDERFUL BOOTS
22. RUPERT AND THE CHRISTMAS TREE FAIRIES
23. RUPERT AND HIS PET MONKEY AGAIN
24. RUPERT AND THE ROBBER WOLF
I 25. RUPERT'S LATEST ADVENTURE
26. RUPERT AND PRINCE HUMPTY DUMFTY
27. RUPERT'S HOLIDAY ADVENTURE
28. RUPERT'S CHRISTMAS TREE
29. RUPERT. THE WITCH AND TABITHA
30. RUPERT GOES HIKING
31. RUPERT AND WILLY WISPE
32. RUPERT. MARGOT AND THE BANDITS
33. RUPERT AND THE MAGIC TOY MAN
34. RUPERT AND BILL KEEP SHOP
35. RUPERT AND ALGERNON
36. RUPERT AND BEPPO AGAIN
37. RUPERT AND DAPPLE
38. RUPERT AND BILL'S AEROPLANE ADVENTURE
39. RUPERT AND THE MAGICIAN'S UMBRELLA
40. RUPERT AND BILL AND THE PIRATES
41. RUPERT AT THE SEASIDE
42. RUPERT GETS CAPTURED
43. RUPERT. THE MANIKIN AND THE BLACK KNIGHT
44. RUPERT AND THE GREEDY PRINCESS
45. RUPERT AND BILL'S SEASIDE HOUDAY
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.
W . H . BOULTON
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF RAILWAYS
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF EMPIRE RAILWAYS
MABEL KITTY GIBBARD
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF GIRLS' INDOOR GAMES AND
G . GIBBARD JACKSON
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF ACHIEVEMENTS
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF INVENTIONS
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF THE ARMY AND AIR FORCE
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF ANIMALS
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF THE NAVY
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF MOTORS
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF STEAMSHIPS
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF LOCOMOTIVES
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF AEROPLANES
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF ENGINEERING
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF BOYS' INDOOR GAMES AND
THE SPLENDID BOOK OF STAMPS
THE BEGINNER'S BOOK OF STAMP COLLECTING
SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO., LTD.
Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process.
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide
Treatment Date: Nov. 2005
A WORLD LEADER IN PAPER PRESERVATION
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