The Ten Travellers
by Jean de
CHAPMAN AND HALL, LTD.
BOOKS WRITTEN AND
ILLUSTRATED BY THE
Dolorine et les Ombres
Le Style de Leys
La Sculpture Anversoise
La Dialectique du Dessin
The Closed Door
Le Bourg (shortly)
The City Curious
Illustrated by the Author
Christmas Tales of Flanders
Beasts and Men
PRINTED IN ENGLAND AT THE WESTMINSTER FRKSS. LONDON W.
I HEARD this fantastic story for the first time on a
summer evening, and I wish to share at once
the pleasure that it gave me with others, of all
ages and of all tastes. I must confess, though, that
when I had once begun re-telling it, I thought more
of the pleasure that it was giving myself than of the
pleasure that it would give to others. But we all know
that the joy we take in contemplating any work of
art must be measured by the joy that went to the
artist's creation of it. And certainly the Weird Islands
has given me long weeks of genuine happiness. I
wish I could have it with others ; I wish others could
have been there to help me while I worked, and while
my friend improvised on his violin tunes as curious
as Stravinsky's, and while my little green parrakeets
nibbled at my brushes.
In re- telling these adventures, I did not adopt the
form of a novel, because in that shape it would have
taken six volumes to describe Weird Islands, and
because I was able to employ another means of
description drawing, which can show immediately
people and objects in a way that it would take several
pages to describe. Until to-day no one has attempted
to combine these two mediums in a precise and
absolute manner. This is not a book in which the
drawings repeat and illustrate what the text has told.
Here, the author, when it seemed more suitable for
the story, has described characters and objects by a
drawing ; reserving writing to convey impressions,
sentiments, anger, melancholy, sadness, surprise and
joy or the impatience of the people concerned. And
thus the adventures and scenes are told by the draw-
ings as much as by the text. Each is the complement of
the other. That is the real character of these stories.
Weird Islands was never conceived without the
I know that this method would not suit a novel,
where the main interest lies in the development of
character and incident. But it is as natural as it is
amusing in a story where the scenes are constantly
changing, and where the interest is found particu-
larly in what the queer people, at every step, meet in
the way of unexpected creatures and objects, fabu-
lous islands, conciliating and wicked monsters, and
creatures who are comic or poetical. I had to show
the ten travellers whose voyage had been recounted
to me, to show their costumes, their faces, their
weapons, and their musical instruments. And so I
drew ten faithful portraits (since psychology was
not concerned, nor symbolism, nor allegory, nor
philosophy). When one of the people met a
strange animal, or the Silent Island, or the Island of
Long Women, or cannibals, or the building Cyclops,
I have made drawings of these things and these
creatures instead of giving a long description of
It is a legitimate method. Can we not imagine
/Esop telling his fables with drawings as well as
words ; Apuleius tracing on his tablets images of
his metamorphoses ; Maundeville recounting his
voyages with manuscripts covered with sketches.
The interest invoked by such a book is not easily
exhausted. It is not necessary to read it again to
derive pleasure from it. It is enough to turn the
pages ; the images impress themselves on the mem-
ory. Weird Islands is not, of course, perfect of
its kind, perfect that is in comparison with what it
might be, with that ideal book which would be like
a familiar room, full of souvenirs, curious and strange
and tender. Souvenirs and portraits that one could
look at and touch at leisure ; souvenirs and portraits
that, touched or looked upon, would evoke memories
of emotions, pleasures and curiosities ; souvenirs
and portraits which each time one saw them would
reveal their mystery a little more.
STORY OF THE CARPENTER'S SAW. THE
CARPENTER MEETS THE MUSICIANS
IN THE PARK. DESCRIPTION OF THE
CARPENTER'S COSTUME. PETER WITH
THE VOICE OF A FLY. PURCHASE OF
A SAW. THE CARPENTER'S BLUE HAT
ONE evening the Carpenter went out to take
a walk in the streets of London. He walked
in the direction of the Green Park in the hope
of finding some moths for his collection. Just as he
was approaching the Park railings he saw a little red
light, which went out as he looked at it. This inter-
ested the Carpenter so much that he at once hurried
SOME MOTHS FOR HIS COLLECTION
.}.;.!/: ;..:'; -through. -an opening in the railings, and saw, sitting
on some chairs and seats under the trees, several
most curious looking people.
Though it was a dark evening he could see that
one of them was very big and wore a mask ; this
was Bing. Another had a perfectly white face that
looked as though it was covered with flour ; he had
thick, black eyebrows and a little round patch of red
on each cheek ; this was Peter. Their costumes were
superb, sprinkled with stars and shining patterns so
that you could see them easily in the dark.
The Carpenter's costume was very simple. He
wore wide yellow trousers and a little black velvet
waistcoat over a rose-coloured shirt. He also wore a
very high blue hat. He was rather shy at approaching
this brilliant group of people, but they all greeted
him very kindly, and made him sit down beside them.
" We are discussing the final arrangements for
the voyage of the Blue Boat," said Peter, whose voice
was very little and thin like the voice of a fly.
" So they are going for a voyage in a Blue Boat,"
thought the Carpenter to himself. " I think I should
like to go with them. I might find some butterflies
and moths for my collection."
" What is your instrument ? " Peter asked him.
Peter himself carried a yellow oblong box with a
long handle joined to it by tightly drawn strings,
which sang when you touched them.
" I will bring it when we start," answered the
Carpenter politely, having quickly decided to join
the young men on their voyage.
A girl young and pretty, who had been standing
near by, now came and sat down by the Carpenter.
She also was beautifully dressed in radiant colours,
and she, too, carried a box, but tier's was shaped like
A GIRL YOUNG AND PRETTY
the half of a pear, with a long tail. This box had
wires stretched across it, which made agitated little
sounds when they were touched. She called it a
mandoline. She had also a red leather case, which
contained Peter's toilet requisites, white flour, red
paint and some charcoal for his eyebrows.
She was very fond of Peter, and liked to see him
' Don't you think our Peter is very pretty ? " she
whispered to the Carpenter. " But don't forget that
he's my friend as well as yours."
This made everyone think that the Carpenter was
a friend of Peter's, and Peter himself, who was very
forgetful, immediately thought so too. So that was
all right, and, after some more very pleasant con-
versation, they joined hands and danced in a ring
round the biggest tree for luck. Then they said
goodbye to each other, after making an appoint-
ment to meet on Greenwich Pier the day after
Next day, as soon as the big shops were open, the
Carpenter went shopping in a warm brown cloak.
He went into one of the biggest shops and asked
for an instrument. They pushed him very politely
into a lift, and when he stepped out on the next floor
he found himself surrounded by thousands of curious
objects made of wood and steel and iron. For instance
there were long rounded pieces of wood with a flat
piece of iron at one end of them.
1 That is a spade, Sir," said the shop assistant, in
a very decided voice, as he showed one to the
Carpenter. The Carpenter did not like the look of
the spades, so he said :
" I will look round for myself, thank you," and
GAVE OUT A GRAVE, CONCENTRATED NOTE
moved away. He walked round and round the de-
partment and looked at everything. He had never
seen anything like these instruments, and he found
he knew only one kind by name. These were little
sharp-pointed things, flattened at one end, and he
knew that they were called nails. He had seen them
dotted about on people's walls to hang pictures on,
but how could one make music with them as Peter
did with his yellow box, or Peter's friend with her
great pear ? That was the puzzle.
THEATRICAL COSTUME SHOP
As the Carpenter's eye wandered round and round
the counters, he discovered a lovely thing, a long
thin blade with a lace edge, which, when struck,
gave out a grave, concentrated note.
Its clean shining surface fascinated the Carpenter,
though he did not know what it was called. He made
it ring again and again by tapping it with his ringers.
All this time several shop assistants were watch-
ing him, and giggling under their breath at his blue
hat and the ends of his yellow trousers, which were
all that showed under his big cloak. The Carpenter
did not see them. Nothing influenced him except his
dreams of butterflies, and now, with the prospect of
a voyage before him, these delightful dreams grew
and grew so that he saw the world filled with the
radiant colours of butterflies' wings.
The reason his hat was so high was because he
had bought it at a theatrical costume shop in Long
Acre. And it was blue because that was the colour
of his favourite butterfly. And what better reason
could you have ?
As he did not stop tapping the lace-edged saw to
make it sing, an assistant with a malicious eye came
up and told him the price of it.
" It is i6s. 6d." he said.
So the Carpenter paid the money at the desk.
THE FOLDING AEROPLANE. THE MEETING
AT GREENWICH PIER. A COLLECT-
ION OF INSECTS. THE FOLDING AERO-
PLANE HAS TWO SEATS. MELINDA
TAKES THE CARPENTER'S ARM
next day the Carpenter arrived at the pier
and found nearly all the other travellers there,
already, waiting to start. It was very early so
that the departure of the Blue Boat should not be
seen by too many people.
They were all dressed in brightly coloured costumes
as they had been when the Carpenter first met them,
and he saw that each one of them carried an instru-
ment, for they were all musicians. Bing was there,
wearing a mask, with his castanets tucked into his
belt. He pointed curiously at the saw, and asked :
' Why, what have you got there ? "
The Carpenter did not know what it was called,
but he tapped the saw and made it sing. It sounded
like a gong, clear and hard.
Everyone looked at Peter and the Friend to see
what they thought of it. But these two were busy
measuring each other's hands. They had just come
to the conclusion that the Friend had
a shorter hand than Peter, and that
he, curiously enough, had a longer
hand than the Friend. They were
funny futile people with bird-like
The Carpenter stood smiling and
making his saw sound like a gong.
' Quite so," said Flute, who was
always very wise and solemn, "we can
see what that is, but what about your
boxes ? Do they contain provisions ? "
' They contain the finest part of my collection,"
said the Carpenter, proudly.
He opened the boxes and they all crowded round,
exclaiming in admiration at the round heads and
slender hairy legs and rainbow coloured wings of
the Carpenter's splendid butterflies.
THE FRIEND HAD
A SHORTER HAND
" Carpenter," said Peter, [this name was given to
him then], " what is that great box you have on your
back, which looks as though you were carrying one
of the walls of your house about with you ? "
The Carpenter, quite surprised at the question,
answered that it was his folding aeroplane, for he
was an expert and original aviator.
IT WAS HIS FOLDING AEROPLANE
At this news the whole party danced for joy. They
already possessed a Submarine, called the " Shark,"
and a dirigible called the " Lemon of Gold," but
they had never dreamed of having an aeroplane as
Even Flute, although he had acquired a great deal
of philosophy while bending over his melancholy
clarionet, looked excited. But the only sign he gave
of his pleasure was to nod his head in the eighty-
year-old way, though really he was only eighteen and
had not even got a moustache !
The Friend advised Melinda, who carried a little
drum and lyre in her hands, to make friends with the
Carpenter, as she was so fond of clouds. But Melinda
was a selfish girl, so she only said to him :
' Is there room in your aeroplane for two people
to sit in comfort ? '
" Yes, of course there is," replied the Carpenter,
so kindly that Melinda smiled and slipped her hand
under his arm, and thought to herself that he was
almost as nice as one of his own butterflies.
THE BLUE BOAT AT THE QUAY. THE BOAT-
MAN TIES PLANKS ON HIS FEET. HE
FALLS INTO THE WATER. EACH OF THE
MUSICIANS PLAYS HIS FAVOURITE
PIECE ALL TOGETHER. THE POLICE
BOAT IS UPSET. THE MUSICIANS DO
NOT HEAR THE SIGNALS. THEY THINK
THE VOYAGE IS MAD AND DISORDERLY
AT that moment the Boatman arrived in a great
state of terror. He carried a lacquer box under
his arm, and wore a leather helmet in case of
rain. He had never been so near the water before,
and had no idea that it would look so dangerous.
But he smiled as bravely as he could and, sitting on
a drum, which belonged to one of the travellers, he
began to tie two large wide planks securely on to his
1 The sea," he observed, " has a bad habit of
rocking. I shall feel much steadier like this, and if I
fall in the planks will float."
READ BOOKS ON PRACTICAL NAVIGATION
This thought comforted him a little, and he ven-
tured along the gangway to get into the boat. But
the gangway must have been very slippery for
quite suddenly he stumbled and fell into the
river. The rest of the company rushed forward to
rescue him, but nothing was to be seen except two
shining planks on the surface of the water. How-
ever, they fished him out at last with the aid of a large
crochet hook. He was in a pitiable plight, but secretly
he thought that the accident might serve him in good
stead, if he could stay in bed for a while and read
books on practical navigation.
But, meanwhile the travellers were anxious to be
off. They had settled themselves in their places on
the boat. Peter sat on the bridge with Melinda and
the Friend, the Drummer, the Carpenter, and Bing
were on the deck, with Flute, who leaned against
the mast to play his clarionet. Sun-and-Moon, who
wore a dress covered with the sun, moon and stars,
sat on the top of the funnel and played on the bag-
The submarine, called the " Shark," was steered
by its owner and captain, who was called Cod be-
cause he was dressed in a fish costume. The dirigible,
called the Lemon of Gold, which they had brought
with them to float over their heads and rescue them
in case of accident, had a crew of four men dressed
in black and white uniforms, and a captain who
never wore a hat so as to have his head clear for
giving orders. Everyone was ready to start, and the
musicians had begun to tune up their instruments.
They forced the Boatman aboard, and made him
hoist the sails. His attempt to do so was so grotesque
that the few spectators who were out early enough
to see were enchanted with pleasure at the sight.
But really there was nothing to laugh about. The
moment the Blue Boat lifted anchor a violent wind
caught the sails and sent her speeding on an uncon-
trolled and dangerous course towards the open sea.
The Shark followed like a little fish following a big
one, and the Lemon of Gold was tossed hither and
thither by the wind.
The musicians, who had not been able to persuade
their conductor to accompany them, were all playing
different tunes, and the mixture of music was alarm-
A crowd began to gather on the river bank ; most
of the people were laughing, but some, more kind-
hearted, were much concerned. The Blue Boat was
evidently going to be wrecked, and people would be
drowned. Some of them hurried away to telephone
for the Police, and presently a band of policemen
arrived in a motor boat.
But the course of the Blue Boat was so extraordin-
ary that it was dangerous to approach her. First she
swerved to the right and then to the left, and then
she stopped short and pirouetted round and round
and round. The wind laughed wildly at the amusing
game it was playing with this boat so nicely painted
blue, and carrying such frivolous company. Very
soon the Police-boat came too close, and bumped
itself so violently against the Blue Boat that it was
overturned, and all the policemen fell into the water.
Their legs and arms could be seen waving and kick-
ing, and then their heads, looking like little black
dots bobbing up and down as they swam towards
The Blue Boat coursed onward through the water
with the speed of an express train, and, as the sea
came in sight, she went faster and faster. The music-
ians were playing all the time, leaning forward with
WAVING AND KICKING
the boat as people do on horseback, heedless of the
cries that reached them from all the boats they passed
in their mad career. Sirens giving the alarm did not
trouble them, nor yet the signals that were made to
them, nor the flags that were hoisted to warn them.
The people on other boats tried to attract their
attention by wireless telegraphy. But what was wire-
less telegraphy to a Blue Boat flying delightedly
through the water at an unheard of speed ?
But presently, as the sea began to stretch wider
and wider before the eyes of the voyagers, it became
gradually silent and deserted, until at last the Blue
Boat was all alone in the midst of the sea, far away
" This is beautiful," said Bing, and stopped waving
his castanets as he spoke.
" How I love the sea ! " cried the Friend, shouting
to make her voice heard above
the noise of the wind and the
1 It is a dream," sang Mel-
inda, rattling on her little
1 No, it is a cavalry charge,"
shouted the Drummer, beat-
ing his big drum.
' It is the crescendo," said
Peter, but his fly-like voice
was lost in the wind.
1 It is as rapid as Life it-
self," said Flute in a sad, deep
voice through the miserable
strains of his favourite funeral
" We have wings," cried the
Carpenter, fingering his aero-
" We shall go all round the
World, only rather too quick-
ly," said Sun-and-Moon, who
wrote poetry, and whose fav-
ourite instrument was the bag-
Everyone agreed with him
that the course of the boat
was too rapid ; they called to
the Boatman to reduce the
THE BLUE BOAT : THE BLUE BOAT STARTS
WITH THE MUSICIANS AND THE BOAT-
MAN ON BOARD. THE BOATMAN HIDES
HIMSELF IN A BARREL OF ORANGES.
FEARING A STORM, THEY CUT THE
RIGGING AND THE SAILS BLOW AWAY.
THE CARPENTER LEARNS THE NAME
OF THE INSTRUMENT HE HAS BOUGHT
Boatman was sitting near the rudder
looking extremely unhappy. He opened his
lacquer box and examined the instruments it
contained, with a puzzled
expression. Then he took off
his leather helmet, for he
was hot with perplexity, and
his forehead was covered with
big drops of perspiration.
There were big drops on his
cheeks as well, for he was
crying with pity for the
people who had embarked
on the Blue Boat, and most
of all for himself.
rni_ /r LACQUER Box
I he musicians on the
Bridge had stopped playing at last. There was no
more sound from the flutes or the violins, or even so
much as a whisper from the bag-pipes. But the wind
and waves grew louder and louder as they tossed and
buffeted the Blue Boat and the submarine and the
dirigible called the Lemon of Gold.
THE AEROPLANE, THE SUBMARINE,
THE BLUE BOAT AMD THE AIRSHIP.
The Boatman 's face was sadder than a sparrow's
in a shower as he shut the red lacquer box and said :
THE BLUE BOAT
' It seems to me that there is going to be a storm.
Look at those clouds like big black buffaloes ! "
' I suppose we shall be wrecked," said the Car-
penter, prudently slipping his big saw into the right
hand pocket of his yellow trousers.
" Without a doubt," agreed the Drummer, cover-
ing up his drum with a large shawl.
" Without any doubt at all, at all," sighed Peter
in his little thin voice, thinner than the voice of a fly,
and he began to wrap up his violin in his sweater.
All four were as properly depressed as respectable
people should be when they are waiting for a storm
to come and wreck them.
But the Boatman was not only depressed, he was
dreadfully scared, and he had had sufficient experi-
ence to know that when
people are really scared
the best thing for them
to do is to hide. So,
without saying a word,
he went and hid himself
very carefully in a barrel
of oranges at the bottom
of the boat. He emptied
out the oranges and
crept inside. Then, feel-
ing greatly reassured, he
smoked a cigarette, and
soon afterwards fell into
a peaceful sleep.
Melinda, Bing, Flute,
the Friend, and Sun-
and-Moon followed his
example. They hid them-
There were now only THE BOATMAN
three people left on the Bridge : the Carpenter, the
Drummer, and Peter. They were too proud to hide,
but their noses grew longer, which was a sign of
their uneasiness. Peter, whose nose was quite short
in the ordinary way, took it between his finger and
thumb and pulled it longer still in his confusion.
* We must anchor the boat," said the Carpenter,
who had some common sense, though perhaps not
very much. So they lifted up the Blue Boat's anchor
and threw it with all their might into the green sea.
The boat stopped moving, but the sails flapped and
the mast creaked.
1 The sails will have to be lowered," said the
Carpenter ; the others stared at him in surprise and
admiration at his cleverness. " And perhaps the
mast will have to be cut down as well," he added.
Peter and the Drummer were speechless with ad-
The knots in the ropes that held up the sails were
a recent extraordinary invention of the Boatman's,
and no one could unfasten them. So the three took
their knives and ran hither and thither among the
ropes, cutting the knots one after the other until the
largest sail was cut adrift and flew up into the air like
a great white gull.
The " Shark " also was in great danger.
The wind blew in violent gusts, sometimes stop-
ping for a few seconds, only to start again more vio-
lently than ever. There was still a tiny sail at the
very top of the mast, and when the wind beat against
it the boat leaned right over the turbulent water, so
that the three voyagers had to cling tightly to the
brass rings fastened to the deck to prevent them-
selves from falling overboard.
Then there came a memorable scene. As no one was
brave enough to climb the mast and release the unfor-
tunate little sail, it was decided to cut the mast down.
" Give me your saw," said the Drummer to the
" My what ? " said the Carpenter, who did not
" Your saw ! Give it me quick to cut down the
mast," said Peter, pulling it out of the Carpenter's
pocket. Although he was pleased to know the name
of his beautiful new instrument, the Carpenter pro-
tested angrily, thinking that they meant to do it
" My saw ! No, you shan't have it," he cried in
great anxiety. But the others took no notice of him
and began to saw through the mast.
The Carpenter stamped with despair.
" Oh, my saw, my beautiful saw ! " he cried with
tears in his eyes, " they are spoiling my beautiful saw ! "
When the mast was cut right through it flew away
with the little sail, not like a sea-gull but like an
immense white dragon-fly.
ENGINE TROUBLE. THE AEROPLANE RISES
FROM THE BRIDGE OF THE BLUE
BOAT. THE FAREWELLS. FLUTE LOOKS
AT THE REFLECTION OF THE AERO-
PLANE IN HIS LITTLE MIRROR. THE
CARPENTER'S SAW HANGS FROM THE
AEROPLANE. THE SUBMARINE IS
UNABLE TO CLOSE
WHILE they were watching the mast flying
away with the little sail, Bing came running
up to say that the Lemon of Gold had
disappeared. It must have got into difficulties with
the wind and been swept away, perhaps wrecked.
" Now there is no one to rescue us and we shall be
drowned," said Flute dolefully. But none of the
others were really troubled.
" I expect they have gone off to have some adven-
tures on their own," said Peter placidly.
" I'm sorry they've gone though," said Flute
dreamily. " It was nice to watch the Lemon of Gold
winding its way in and out of the clouds."
So there was the adventurous Blue Boat stranded
in the middle of the stormy sea, without mast or sails
or even a captain to steer it, and only Cod's sub-
marine left to keep it company.
" We ought to have brought a motor boat in case
of emergencies, as I suggested," complained Flute.
" Motor boats smell horrid, and besides they are
not romantic," said Peter.
" That doesn't matter so long as they are useful,"
said Flute. But Peter took no notice. He only lifted
his black eyebrows and bunched up his mouth into
a round O, as he caressed it with the bow of his violin.
The Friend began to part his thick hair with an
ivory comb which she took out of her leather case.
" Flute is quite right," pouted Melinda. " A motor
boat would have saved us from the danger we are
" We might make one," suggested the Drummer,
twisting his moustaches into corkscrews as he spoke.
" We could take the motor from the Carpenter's
" Never ! " said the Carpenter. His saw was safe
back in his pocket, but he was quite determined that
no one should be allowed to borrow any of his pos-
They began to feel hungry, and as they could
never think of more than one thing at a time, they
forgot their danger and brought out some pepper-
mints and chocolate biscuits for lunch.
They regretted that the Lemon of
Gold should have disappeared just
when it was so lovely to watch, wind-
ing its way among the clouds. And
indeed the dirigible had vanished with
its elegant crew of four men in black
and white uniforms, and its Captain,
hatless, so as to have his head freer
for giving orders. But the Lemon of
Gold was to be seen again, and later
you will read the authentic account
of its reappearance. The look of the
bridge cleared of all incumbrances
gave Melinda a wonderful idea : " Dear
Carpenter, " she said, " do let us go on a
scouting expedition in your aeroplane
and see if we can discover land or some other boat
to rescue us. The deck is clear enough to fly off
" There 's no need of that," said the Carpenter
proudly. "My aeroplane can rise from anything,
a narrow roof, a mantelpiece, or even the point
of a needle, if it could hold itself there a single in-
stant." He brought the aeroplane out of its box and
unfolded it. Fortunately the writer of this book
possesses a drawing of the aeroplane, so there is no
need to describe it in detail. It is only necessary to
tell you that the pair of wings that you see at the sides
of the little boat turn on their own axle, and when
the pilot sets these wings in motion the machine
mounts perpendicularly like a balloon or a lift.
The travellers were lost in admiration. The aero-
plane was painted with the colours of butterflies
wings, and its shape was that of a lovely insect.
"It is alive ! " said Bing, drawing back a little.
The machine began to vibrate as though it was
humming a tune to itself. Several of the travellers
withdrew into their cabins with anxious expressions.
But Melinda was not in the least frightened.
"It is lovely ! " she said. " Dear Carpenter, let
us go at once." As she spoke she climbed into the
second seat of the aeroplane, and began to play softly
on her silver-stringed lyre.
Seeing that the aeroplane was quite harmless,
everyone came on deck again, and Cod, watching
from his Submarine, wished that he had brought an
The Carpenter would not leave without his collect-
ion of butterflies and his saw, which he fastened to
his belt by a cord so that he would know at once if
anyone tried to steal it. Melinda took with her her
lyre, her little drum, and a looking-glass, for she
was extremely vain.
Everyone helped to load the aeroplane with pro-
visions : two boxes of chocolate biscuits, two buns,
a few shrimps, a tomato, and some cherries, two
bottles of fresh water, and one of cider. Then the
Carpenter made the wings of the aeroplane turn
with terrific rapidity, and, after a touching farewell,
allowed it to rise up into the air like a pretty basket
of flowers being drawn up to Heaven by a string.
Sun-and-Moon recited a poem of farewell, and
Bing stood bowing stiffly like a marionette, the
Drummer beat out a doleful song on his drum, the
Friend waved her pocket handkerchief, while Peter
shouted encouragement to the voyagers, though his
voice was much too tiny to carry so far.
Flute stood apart and predicted disaster. At the
same time he pretended to be quite indifferent ; so
he stood with his back to the
rest as though he was not
watching the flight of the aero-
plane. But as a matter of fact
he could see all that was
happening behind him, by look-
ing in a hand glass which he
wore on a cord hung round his
neck. He always used this glass
when he was very curious, and
wanted to pretend that he did
not care for anything except
LOOKING IN A HAND GLASS philosophy.
When the machine was fairly high up in the
air the front propeller began to turn, and the
aeroplane set off in an oblique line. Then the
side wings stopped turning. The course became
horizontal, and the aeroplane
began to circle round the
boat in circles that grew
larger and larger.
" What is that bright spot
that follows the aeroplane
wherever it goes ? ' the
Friend asked Peter. But Peter
was feeling rather upset by
the wind, so he only said,
without looking :
" I see nothing."
The Friend made a face at
him and asked the Drummer,
who said :
" It is the Carpenter's saw
shining against the black
"It is a good thing it is
tied to a cord or it would be
lost," said Flute, shaking his
" Perhaps he will think one
of us has stolen it from him,"
said Peter remorsefully.
" Oh, no, he will feel it
hanging from his pocket," DRUMMER
said the Friend consolingly, kissing him on the tip
of his nose.
The aeroplane was gradually disappearing from
view. Even Cod, who had been following its flight in
his submarine, had to return at last to the Blue Boat.
He did not dare to go very far away, because he had
no provisions except a box of preserved fruit, which
he was unable to open.
He had no initiative, but
he floated very prettily on
the water in his submarine,
though he could not make it
dive as he had forgotten to
bring the cover that kept the
And now, reader, I am
puzzled to know what to tell
you next. The Lemon of
Gold is lost and wandering
somewhere in the sky, the
Blue Boat is stranded in an
unknown part of the ocean,
Melinda and the Carpenter
have just disappeared in an
aeroplane. I know the story
of all their separate adven-
THE LEMON OF GOLD tures, but which am I to tell
you first ?
I think perhaps it had better be the story of what
Melinda and the Carpenter discovered.
THE CARPENTER AND MELINDA. WHAT
THE CARPENTER AND MELINDA
SAW. THEY SEE A LITTLE GREEN
ISLAND. MELINDA COAXES THE
CARPENTER BY THE PROMISE OF
MARVELLOUS INSECTS. BUT PERHAPS
THERE ARE SAVAGE BEASTS. THE
CARPENTER FISHES UP A COCK OF
GILDED WOOD WITH HIS SAW. THEY
DISCOVER A FIRE ON THE SEA. THE
COCK FALLS INTO THE SEA OR ON AN
ISLAND. MELINDA AND THE CARPEN-
TER SULK. THE AEROPLANE LANDS
ON SOME PALM TREES IN A PERFUMED
ISLAND. THE SINGING BIRDS
"M BELINDA was delighted when the Blue Boat
\ /I disappeared from view, and they were alone
in the vast sky.
" This is a real voyage," she said.
" No," said the Carpenter in the serious tones of
a real explorer, " this is a scouting expedition, noth-
" But we have provisions on board," said Melinda ;
" the Blue Boat is at anchor and cannot move away.
Why should it only be a scouting expedition ? '
" Because if we are away too long our friends on
the Blue Boat may get hungry and thirsty. Then we
should be conscience-stricken."
" They have cakes and chocolates and plenty of
mixed sweets." The Carpenter took off his hat,
folded it up, and sat upon it. Bareheaded he looked
even more honest and sincere than usual, and when
he said " I promise you a real voyage later on,"
Melinda knew that he would keep his promise.
" THIS is A REAL VOYAGE "
" Oh, very well," she said, " but you might at least
slow down so that we can see the surrounding coun-
try." The Carpenter looked at her with a frightened
expression, thinking that she must have gone sud-
denly crazy, and wondering if her's was a dangerous
case or simply sad.
1 There is no surrounding country," he said gently.
" We are in the midst of a sea appallingly desolate."
Melinda put her hand on his shoulder and
" Look there ! " she said.
The Carpenter looked down, and saw in
the middle of the desolate ocean a round
green spot no bigger than a grain of dust
in a sunbeam.
" That must be a wonderful place,
judging by its shape," she said, searching
her mind for arguments to persuade the
Carpenter to descend. But the Carpenter
wanted to go back at once to the Blue
Boat to tell their friends what he and
Melinda had discovered. By straining their
eyes they could see several more round green spots
not far from the first. They evidently formed a
group of islands.
" Dear Carpenter, let us go down a little closer,
so that we can see what sort of islands they are,"
pleaded Melinda. The Carpenter consented to de-
scend a little, and Melinda grew more and more
" Oh, look ! " she cried, " I am sure I can see tall
trees. They are really marvellous islands."
" We will guide the Blue Boat this way," replied
the Carpenter, beginning to turn the
aeroplane. " I only hope we shall be
able to find it again safely."
" Some of the trees are as yellow
as gold, and some are as green as
apples ! ' " LOOK THERE 1 "
We will visit them with our friends," said the
Carpenter, and turned
the aeroplane com-
" No doubt they are
swarming with insects."
The front propeller
of the aeroplane stopped
" There are sure to be
rare and beautiful but-
The aeroplane turned
right round again and
descended with the
downward flight of a
swan. Melinda smiled
to herself at her victory.
The islands grew
larger every minute.
The largest was circular
in shape and the coast
line was girdled with
palm trees growing to-
gether so thickly that
their branches inter-
laced and made a green
covering which hid
whatever might have
been living on the
INSECTS earth below.
" Oh, yes," repeated Melinda, " there are certain^
to be lovely insects." And then she added as another
thought occurred to her, " and perhaps wild beasts
and fierce men as well ! '
The Carpenter turned sharply
in his seat with a startled face.
He had never for a moment
supposed that there might be
wild beasts or fierce men on the
islands they were about to visit.
He was so upset at the sudden
thought that he would have to
protect Melinda from all these
dangers that he left the aeroplane
to take care of itself, and it took
a wild plunge towards the earth
without his being aware of it,
shaving in its flight a tall steeple
which had a golden cock on the
top of it. The Carpenter's saw,
which all this time had been
hanging below the aeroplane,
struck against the steeple and
fixed itself into the cock like a
knife in a loaf of bread. The aeroplane rebounded
so violently at the shock that it rose into the air
again at a giddy speed, and the cock was torn
away from the steeple and remained hanging on the
saw. It was made of gilded wood and very heavy, so
that it pulled at the cord attached to the Carpenter's
belt. He discovered his miraculous catch and showed
it to Melinda, and they were both
so exultant that they forgot their
fright at the erratic behaviour of
the aeroplane. The Carpenter be-
gan to pull the cord up very care-
fully in case the cock should fall
off. But at this critical moment in
his life, as he was about to draw a
golden cock out of the air like a
fish, Melinda interrupted him by
pulling at his arm and directing
his attention towards a red and
purple flame that was glowing
brightly out at sea. The Carpenter
looked at it in astonishment, and
Melinda could see a reflection of
the flame in each of his round
eyes, in each eye a little picture of
" What can that fire be and
where is it burning ? " she said.
" I do not know what sea this
is, so I cannot tell you what land it can be where
that fire is burning/' replied the Carpenter.
* But perhaps it isn't a fire, perhaps it is a con-
1 That's it perhaps," said the Carpenter.
" Or it may be it is not on land at all, it might be
a boat burning, or it might even be a volcano in
eruption ! " said Melinda in a frightened voice.
" Or it might be just a gentleman burning some
His MIRACULOUS CATCH
or a baker
said the Carpenter, trying to chase the
troubling idea of a'conflagration, or still
worse, of a red and purple volcano,
from Melinda's mind. But Melinda did
not like being treated as if she was a
baby and likely to be frightened of giants
and wild beasts or volcanos or fires, or
anything else for the matter of that.
"Or perhaps it is only a useless col-
lection of insects being burned," she
said to revenge herself.
The Carpenter stopped looking at
the fire, and turned round to make sure
that his collection was still safe. And
then he remembered his wonderful new
catch. But alas, there was nothing now
at the end of the cord. The cock had
fallen off, either into the sea or into the
larger of the two islands over which the
aeroplane was now hovering.
The Carpenter grew pink with vexa-
tion. He would have cried,
but he knew that Melinda was
such a tease she would never
stop laughing at him.
Melinda herself was sulk-
VOLCANO IN ERUPTION 39
PINK WITH VEXATION
The Carpenter decided to sulk,
too, for at least as long as she
did. So for the next five minutes
they sulked, looking at each other
every few seconds to see if a smile
were possible. But both their
faces remained grave, and five
minutes seemed a very much
longer time than usual. They
were both perplexed ; they wanted
to stop sulking, but they were
too proud. Meanwhile the aero-
plane, left to itself, drifted gently
over one of the islands until it
reposed delicately on the tops of the palm trees.
It was like a dream to sit on the topmost branches
of a forest, where the green branches stretched away
on either side as far as the eye could see, and hundreds
of hidden birds were singing at the close of day.
It was now dusk, and the sky, where it touched the
sea, was swept with pale colours, rose and green,
primrose and violet. Melinda
leant to vards the Carpenter,
and they kissed each other and
forgot their sulking.
The air was filled with the
scent of flowers and vanilla
trees. Melinda and the Car-
penter felt as though they were
in Paradise. The sweet voices
t)f the birds gave them a feeling
MELINDA HERSELF WAS
of safety, nevertheless they spoke
in low voices, partly for fear that
there might be less kindly crea-
tures hidden beneath the trees, but
still more because everything was so
beautiful that they did not want to
talk loudly. The sky was now a deep
violet and night was falling fast.
" We cannot venture under the
trees before day," said Melinda.
' There are sometimes serpents under
trees on islands."
They both shuddered.
" There will be plenty of time to-morrow. We
had better dine now," said the Carpenter.
So they had supper. It was a charming meal, small,
dainty, and varied. They drank cider to make them
sleep. For cider is a very strong drink. But there
are few people so unpoetic as to be able to sleep on
a bed of tree tops, when the birds that have sung all
day give place to the birds of night, still more lovely
THE CONCERT : A MUSIC LESSON. A
WORLD OF BIRDS. THE BIG PELICAN
AND THE PEACOCK. THE BIRDS WITH-
OUT HATS OR ARMS.
SO as they did not want to sleep, Melinda gave
the Carpenter his first music lesson, and he
accompanied the pieces she played on her lyre
by taps on his saw. The silver strings of the lyre
trembled under Melinda 's fingers like roses when a
warm breeze is passing, and every now and then the
Carpenter struck his saw like a gong.
Suddenly the foliage of the palm tree stirred as
though a wind had swept it, and the branches bent
under the weight of thousands of splendid birds,
who had stopped their own singing and come to
listen to the music of the lyre and gong.
More birds came every minute. They rose to the
tree tops like bubbles rising to the surface of the
water, until it was no longer a forest of palm trees
but a forest of birds, a thousand shapes and colours.
Every beak was turned towards the musicians as they
listened, and their delight knew no bounds.
Melinda and the Carpenter were somewhat dis-
tracted by their radiant audience. They went on
playing, however, and tried to remember as they
played what was the correct behaviour for a young
lady and gentleman sitting in an aeroplane on the
crest of a forest and suddenly surrounded by birds
come to listen to their music.
They need not have troubled themselves for there
was no ceremony. As soon as the concert was over
the birds disappeared very quickly, as though fear-
ing to be questioned. But, of course, they did not go
His FIRST Music LESSON
until they had applauded the music, with their beaks
as they had no hands. Their applause sounded like
thousands of hailstones falling on a glass roof. Then
they vanished, and the murmur of the sea was the
only sound that could be heard.
At last Melinda said in a
low voice : " This must be
the Island of Birds."
' And it seems as though
there are only birds living
here," said the Carpenter
in a tone of relief. " Birds,"
he added, " are well known
to naturalists as perfectly
" I should like their opin-
ion on my music," said
Melinda dreamily. The Car-
penter could not help
thinking that it had been
partly his music, but he
remembered how depressing it had been to sulk and
decided to be amiable.
* Shall I ask that big Pelican, whose head was
almost human. He was extremely enthusiastic by
the look of him," he suggested gently.
1 The peacock looked more intelligent," said
* But surely peacocks are not very musical ? '
" Oh, Carpenter, you did not see how he admired
me ! " said Melinda.
" I will question the peacock," said the Carpenter,
4 and ask him if he does not think you are the prettiest
of all the pretty girls in the world."
' But suppose he has never seen any other girls ? '
said Melinda a little anxiously.
THEY APPLAUDED THE Music
" He will say you are as beautiful as a peacock,
said the Carpenter.
BIG PELICAN, WHOSE HEAD WAS ALMOST HUMAN
Melinda looked at him attentively, but the Car-
penter turned his face away so that it was hidden by
the shadow of the leaves.
" But how do you know that the birds can speak at
all ? " she said, fearing that perhaps she would never
know the peacock's opinion.
The Carpenter came near to her and whispered :
' Quite close to me just now I saw a bird with
great round eyes and a crest say to another with a
long neck. * She is
like Tuta.' He said
nothing more and
his tone was indiff-
erent, and the other
replied in the same
uninterested voice :
1 He is like Tuty.' "
' There's no
doubt they can
speak then," said
Melinda. " So you
can ask the peacock
whether he admires
me. But it's a pity
they have no
" That's quite
natural," said the
1 I dare say, but
how can they say, ' how do you do ? ' if they can't
shake hands," said Melinda, defying the Carpenter
to answer the question.
' They have no hats," replied the Carpenter
ANOTHER WITH A LONG NECK
ZOOLOGY OF THE PARROT : THE PARROT
FIEND GETS ANGRY. HE PROVES THAT
HE IS NOT A BIRD. HE DIVIDES ALL
LIVING BEINGS INTO TWO CLASSES.
THEY HEAR ABOUT TUTY AND TUTA.
""W" "W" T*ELL, anyway, we are going to make the
%/%/ acquaintance of birds who can talk," said
T T Melinda. " But why have they all gone
away ? " Suddenly close beside her she heard a very
unamiable laugh. Then a voice said :
" You won't hear them talk, vain young woman ;
they will not come near you." It was not a loud
voice, but it was very hard and arrogant. It reminded
the Carpenter of the harsh noise the saw had made
when it cut off the mast of the Blue Boat. He was
nearly as frightened as Melinda, and they held hands
tight to reassure each other.
" I expect it is only a tiny animal," said the Car-
penter under his breath.
"It is you who are the animal," said the voice
angrily. They held their breath and did not stir. The
moon rose above the tree tops at that moment,
touching the leaves with silver, and lighting up the
pictures of butterflies on the aeroplane.
" So these animals like insects," said the saw-like
voice again. The Carpenter's hand held Melinda's
a little tighter. They neither of them said a word,
but they were both thinking: " Perhaps it is a ser-
pent," and their hearts beat loudly.
But presently, as the moonlight grew stronger,
they saw that it was not a serpent but a parrot with
black and white feathers and two little black horns.
He looked less frightening than his voice, but his
wicked little black eyes were full of malice.
" I came to give you some
advice," said the Parrot
Fiend, for it was he.
"Why, Melinda, he
speaks quite well."
" Well, you can speak,
can't you," said the Parrot
Fiend, "You speak a good
deal too loud. Speak lower.
That's my first advice to
" I am afraid you are
not a truthful bird." said
Melinda mockingly. " You
said that I should not hear
birds speak, and you are speaking to us yourself."
Her fears had left her when she saw that the parrot
was quite small, and she was too frivolous to see that
this was a serious situation. " You're a nice fraud to
come giving people advice ! '
" Sir ! " said the Parrot, with surprising and dig-
nified politeness, " will you please beg this lady not
to insult me."
Melinda burst out laughing, and the Carpenter,
very much embarrassed, began to fidget with his hat,
first taking it off and then putting it on and then
taking it off again and rolling it about in his hands.
THE PARROT FIEND
The Parrot Fiend did not wait for him to say any-
thing, but went on.
" In the first place I am not an ordinary Parrot,
and in the second, no one in his senses would con-
fuse parrots with birds. Birds are animals like horses,
monkeys, tortoises and
" Then where do you
class the insects ? " said
Melinda, much amused
at the Parrot's grating
voice, which, as he grew
more and more angry,
became as shrill as the
high notes of an organ.
" Do you count them as
animals or as parrots ? "
"As animals, " replied
the Parrot Fiend more
politely, for he liked the serious turn the conver-
sation seemed to be taking.
" For my part," said the Carpenter, " I don't
agree with you at all."
" You must classify infallibly," began the Parrot,
but Melinda interrupted him. " What does that
mean ? " she asked.
" It means that you must classify as I do of course."
said the Parrot irritably. " There is only one really
reliable, natural and scientific way," he went on.
'* Creatures must be divided into two groups, the
superior, that is to say parrots, who eat pure grain,
ALL KINDS OF JUMBLES
uncrushed with all the aroma of creation in it, and
the inferior, composed of animals who eat all sorts
of food that has been ground, handled and mixed,
with every artificial device, like the cakes made by
TUTA AND TUTY WERE WRECKED ON THE ISLAND
Tuta and the bread made by Tuty, all kinds of
jumbles, such as puddings, blancmange, jam and
]" But the lovely insects nourish themselves on
flowers," said the Carpenter.
" The inferior or animal class," continued the
Parrot severely, " is divided again into two, Large
and Small. It is quite unnecessary to trouble about
the smaller kind, they are so soon eaten up them-
selves by the birds and other animals. And that is
exactly what I am complaining about ! J shouted
the Parrot Fiend, suddenly forgetting his zoological
discourse. " Since those two animals, Tuta and Tuty
were wrecked on the Island. . . . 3
" What sort of animals, large or small ? " inter-
rupted Melinda eagerly.
" Large, like you," said the Parrot Fiend, and
went on. " Since they have come here everything
has gone wrong. They make all kinds of dishes of
sugar and flour for the birds, who have grown so
lazy that they won't give themselves the trouble to
catch insects. The Round Island. ..."
1 The Round Island," whispered the Carpenter to
Melinda. " Make a note of that."
THE PARROT'S ADVICE. THE ROUND
ISLAND OR THE ISLAND OF THE CUBIC
BIRDS. THE CRUEL BALIGOORS AND
COOMASIS. THE CARPENTER AND
MELINDA LEARN OF THE EXISTENCE
OF THE BLACK CAVALIER. THE
"^T^HE Round Island," continued the Parrot,
glaring at the interruption, is full of noisy
JL and voracious insects. Every day, owing to
the indolence of the birds, there are more of them.
In the afternoon, just when the Parrots want to sleep,
they wake up and dance in the heat of the sun, making
such an insupportable din that sleep becomes im-
possible. At all other times of the day the birds
gossip so loudly that I am obliged to take my family
away to a secret cave to be able to speak of serious
things at all. In the forest one cannot hear himself
" So you don't like the birds ? " said Melinda.
" They prevent me from sleeping," said the Parrot.
, " And you don't like the insects,"
said the Carpenter.
" They prevent me from sleeping,"
said the Parrot, while two little flames
of anger shone at the end of his horns.
" Then why do you stay on this
island ? '
" It's my island," said the Parrot
crossly. " The others are only in-
" You might emigrate to the other
island that I have seen quite close to
The Parrot sidled away along the
branch and appeared terrified.
" The Island of the Baligoors and
Coomasis ! " he gasped.
" What sort of island is that ? " asked Melinda and
the Carpenter, both together.
" The Island of the Baligoors and the Coomasis!"
repeated the Parrot, forgetting all his arrogance in
his terror. " The Baligoors and Coomasis strangle,
FLAMES OF ANGER
To THROW STONES AT THEM
THE ARROWS RETURN TO THEIR
OWNERS WITH THEIR PREY
hang, and behead everything that is not Baligoor or
Coomasi ! '
1 Do they ever come over here ? " inquired the
Carpenter in some alarm.
4 Oh, no, they cannot fly," said the Parrot with
' But have they no boats ? " said the Carpenter,
feeling far from reassured, and beginning to examine
the propeller of his aeroplane.
The Parrot ignored the mention of boats, as he did
not know what they were.
' But mightn't they swim across to this island ? '
persisted the Carpenter.
' Their paws are too short," returned the Parrot
quite gaily. " Sometimes," he went on, " the birds
fly over their island to throw stones at them, ruby
stones, emerald stones, little gold nuggets and other
dust. But they take care to fly very high because the
Baligoors have murderous bows and arrows, and the
arrows return to their owners with their prey if they
so much as touch it, and even if they miss return
just the same so that they can be used again next
' Alas, poor Parrot ! " said Melinda, quite touched.
1 Then you are condemned to live here always."
" Oh, yes," said the Parrot, " but I should not
mind if only someone would take away Tuta and
Tuty, who prevent the birds from doing their duty
and catching the insects. Perhaps that machine of
yours might carry four persons ? " he added, with a
" Is that the advice you came to give us, charm-
ing Parrot ? " asked the Carpenter.
"No, that was just a little counsel by the way,"
said the Parrot. I came to warn you of the Black
Cavalier, who haunts this island. The birds think
that it was sent by the Golden God
that they worship, but personally
I think it must be something to
do with those Baligoors." Here the
Parrot scowled. " Anyhow, it is
very dangerous, and will probably
attack you suddenly, and attempt
to kill you. In any case it won't
allow you to take away Tuta and
Tuty, or even see them if it can
'" Can it hear us now, do you
think ? " asked Melinda in a fright-
" Possibly," replied the Parrot,
" but it wouldn't be able to under-
stand you if it did."
"Is it big? "asked Melinda again.
' I don't know."
" Then you have never seen it ? "
said the Carpenter.
" No," said the Parrot humbly,"
because when it begins to purr all
the birds, and even the parrots,
hide themselves and shut their
eyes." SHUT THEIR EYES
* It purrs, then ? " said the Carpenter.
" Oh, yes, indeed, louder even than that insect of
yours," said the Parrot, pointing to the aeroplane.
It was nearly dawn. The moon had vanished and
faint streaks of light were appearing in the east.
" I must be going," said the Parrot Fiend, condes-
cendingly. " Your conversation has been more or less
interesting, and I have quite enjoyed our little chat. I
shall be grateful if you will remove Tuta and Tuty,
and in return I will give you this magic diamond.
You can discover its uses for yourselves. Farewell,
and beware of the Black Cavalier!" So saying, the
Parrot Fiend disappeared among the leaves.
THE BLACK CAVALIER: MELINDA AND
THE CARPENTER EXPLORE THE
ISLAND. THE CARPENTER DISCOVERS
AN INSECT. MELINDA PLUCKS SOME
FRUIT, BUT IS PREVENTED BY THE
BIRDS. THE CARPENTER WISHES TO
SAW OFF THE HORSE'S HOOFS. HE
DECIDES TO ATTACK THE BLACK
CAVALIER BY AIR.
IT was day. The sea was lightly veiled in rose
and golden mists. The dew made the leaves of
the palm tree look as though they were made of
silver. The dew had silvered the aeroplane as well,
and the Carpenter wiped it with a large silk hand-
kerchief, and then folded it up and put it back into
its box so that no harm should come to it while they
explored the island. Melinda had climbed into the
centre of the tree while he was doing this, and was
startled by a sudden cry. She turned round to see
what was the matter, and saw the Carpenter stand-
ing on a branch just above her, holding in his hand a
small box at which he was staring in speechless
" What have you found ? " asked Melinda curiously .
" I haven't found anything," gasped the Car-
penter, " but I don't know what has happened to
my aeroplane ! " He held up the funny little box as
he spoke. " This is all there is left ! " His voice was
so full of tears that he could hardly speak. " I just
touched it by accident with that diamond the Parrot
gave us, and it shrank and shrank and shrank and
now we shall never be able to get away from this
island, for who could sit in an aeroplane that size,
much less make it fly ? '
They both burst into tears of despair.
" Oh, that horrible Parrot," sobbed Melinda ; " I
knew he meant us some harm." In her rage she picked
up the diamond meaning to throw it far away into
the depths of the forest, but it somehow slipped out
of her hand and fell on to the tiny box which the
Carpenter had laid on one of the leaves of the palm
tree. Instantly the box began to grow. It grew and
grew and grew, until it was exactly the same size as
it had been before, and then it stopped. Melinda and
the Carpenter stared at one another with round eyes.
" I'm sorry I said the Parrot Fiend was horrible,"
said Melinda remorsefully.
' He has given us a wonderful present," said the
Carpenter. " Now I need never carry my aeroplane
about on my back. I can always make it small enough
to put in my pocket." He made the aeroplane small
again as he spoke, and slipped it into his pocket.
INTO THE FOREST BELOW
" Let me carry the diamond," said Melinda. " I'll
take great care of it." So the Carpenter handed her
the diamond, and they packed up the rest of their
belongings and clambered down the tree trunk into
the forest below. It was like coming into a wide
green palace. The tree trunks were shining green and
yellow pillars. One or two birds were walking to and
fro, taking an early morning stroll. The travellers
kept themselves well hidden, and looked about them
The birds were mostly cubic in shape, though
some were rounder than others. Their feet were like
forks, with two prongs. Their heads were more
ordinary, but many of them had human noses and
mouths instead of beaks. Whatever the Parrot might
say, he was much more like an ordinary bird than
But, though very strange, the birds were not, in
any way alarming, and their harmless behaviour and
the peaceful morning made the travellers feel much
The Carpenter poked about in the soft green moss,
which covered the ground, and found that it was
swarming with curious insects. A great many were
new to him, and one particularly puzzled him. It
was very small and black, and not in the least like
any insect he had ever seen before. It was amusing
itself by running up and down the stems, and over
the flowers of a small plant, as though in search of
Melinda watched the Carpenter condescendingly
as he bent over his interesting discovery. She did
not mind the delay in their journey round the island,
as she thought that the capture of a tiny insect could
not possibly detain them long. She was sitting close
to a tall, slender plant, bearing fine red fruit, which
looked so inviting that she at once started to pick it.
But no sooner was her hand stretched out to do so
than a bird pounced down on
her with a loud cry, and
pinched her ear with its beak,
and shook her roughly with its
wings. Then it let her go, and
picked all the fruit and stowed
it away in its body, which was
a square-shaped box, after which
it left her by the bare tree,
robbed of its bright fruit, shoot-
ing ferocious side glances at her
as it went.
' We are discovered ! " cried
Melinda piteously. But the Car-
penter was too much occupied
to pay any attention to her.
At the very moment, indeed,
when the fierce bird had at-
tacked Melinda, the Carpenter's
fingers had closed over the
little insect he so much desired
to capture. At first it felt quite
soft under his fingers, but then
suddenly it became hard, and
he was so much surprised at
this that he let it slip away.
PICKED ALL THE FRUIT
It vanished for a moment, and when he caught
sight of it again it had become larger. It looked like
a little black triangle which had a large white eye with
a black pupil. As it ran hither and thither to
escape the Carpenter's fingers it grew larger and
its appearance became more and more extraordinary.
Its legs had grown longer, and it now appeared to
have two heads. Suddenly it stopped running and
stung the Carpenter with a kind of spear it was hold-
ing, and then ran away again. The Carpenter ran
after it in hot pursuit, followed by Melinda, who did
not dare to leave him.
The strange creature went on growing and as it
grew it became evident that this was the Black
Cavalier itself. The Carpenter hesitated, and Melinda
tried to hold him back. They stood close together while
the Black Cavalier, still growing rapidly, began to purr.
The Carpenter quickly took the diamond from
Melinda, and managed to touch the Black Cavalier
with it, but the magic was not strong enough to have
any effect on so terrible a creature. Already it had
grown as high as the Carpenter's blue hat, but the
sting did not grow at all and remained quite short.
The Black Cavalier was busy stinging the Car-
penter's hat, thinking it to be a live thing, and soon
itjhad to bend down to reach the hat with its short
sting, and soon it was too tall to touch the Carpenter
at all, and soon it was taller than the tallest of the
palm trees, and still it grew. 67
HlS SAW PASSED THROUGH THE HOOF WITHOUT LEAVING A TRACE
The Carpenter tried to cut through the hoofs of
its horse, but his saw passed through the hoof with-
out leaving a trace.
" No doubt I can kill it higher up," said the Car-
penter, looking upwards. He could only see the
Cavalier's legs, the rest of it was now far out of sight
above the palm trees.
" If only you could overcome it," said Melinda,
"we should be masters of the island." The Carpenter
went on sawing the hoof of the Cavalier without any
result ; it was always unmarked where the saw had
THE BLACK CAVALIER CASTS HIS SHADOW
OVER THE ISLANDS : THE CAVALIER
SHOOTS UP AND SWELLS. THE AERO-
PLANE MOUNTS TOWARDS HIS HEAD.
THE CAVALIER'S EYE IS LIKE A BIG
WINDOW. THE CAVALIER MELTS LIKE
A SNOW MAN.
IT was not difficult to discover the Black Cavalier.
He had stretched up at least a hundred yards
above the level of the forest, and his snorting and
purring filled the air like a thunderstorm. At times
it would stop purring to look round with its great
white eye. During one of these pauses it heard the
aeroplane rising towards it, and began to wave its
ridiculous little sting. It had become so immense
that it blotted out part of the sky, and darkened the
chain of islands with its shadow.
DARKENED THE CHAIN OF
ISLANDS WITH ITS SHADOW
The aeroplane rose straight upward, aiming for
the Cavalier's eye. As it approached the Cavalier
opened its great mouth and swallowed the aeroplane,
SWALLOWED THE AEROPLANE
which flew out of its ear a moment later unharmed.
The sting was hardly large enough to be seen, but
the Carpenter's saw was just as useless. Then the
Carpenter thought of a plan. The Cavalier's eye was
bigger than a captive balloon, and its black pupil was
like a great round window. The Carpenter gave
Melinda one of the bags of sand, which he had brought
for ballast, and told her to empty it when he said
Then came a fight memorable in the histories of
cavaliers and aeroplanes. The Carpenter tried to
steer the aeroplane into the pupil of the Cavalier's
eye, and the Cavalier turned its head hither and
thither, and bent its tower-like neck this way and that
to keep its eye safe from harm, trying at the same
time to crush and swallow the aeroplane once and
for all. But its hour had come. It lost sight of the
aeroplane for a moment, and the Carpenter, seizing
his opportunity, dived into its
eye like an eagle entering its
1 Hop ! ' he cried, and,
quick as thought, Melinda
emptied the bag of sand. As
soon as the sand touched its
eye, the Black Cavalier crump-
led up and melted away like a
snow man. In a few seconds
it was no taller than the palm
trees, then it was as small as
the plants below in the forest,
and then it was so small that
it disappeared under the grass
and was nothing but a tiny black
insect just as it had been when
the Carpenter discovered it. MELTED AWAY LIKE A SNOW MAN
The aeroplane returned to earth once more, but
this time with more assurance. It dropped down on
to the island again perpendicularly, like a heavy
TUTY AND TUTA : THE CARPENTER AND
MELINDA DISCOVER THE DWELLING-
PLACE OF TUTY AND TUTA. CURIOUS
CONVERSATION OF THESE TWO
PEOPLE. THE ROPE DANCER. THE
TWO WOODEN MONSTERS. THE BIRDS
PURSUE THE TWO TRAVELLERS.
MELINDA and the Carpenter jumped out
when it reached the ground, and sat down to
rest among the scented flowers and ferns
under the trees. The birds were singing sweetly
somewhere out of sight. The travellers felt very
happy, and pleased that they had conquered the
Black Cavalier. They were hungry, as you may
imagine, and ate an enormous breakfast of buns
and cherries and chocolate biscuits. When they had
finished, the Carpenter ardently desired to chase
the brightly coloured butterflies that were flying
about, and even settling on the cherry he was eating,
but he saw that Melinda was in a great hurry to go
on and find Tuta and Tuty, and he was too polite to
ask her to wait.
There was a rustling sound in the leaves near by,
and the head of the Parrot Fiend appeared. He
evidently had not yet heard of the defeat of the Black
Cavalier, for he still looked scared, and without say-
ing a word he pointed to a stone balustrade that
stood near by, unnoticed by the travellers, and once
again disappeared. They immediately jumped up
and leant over it and saw beneath them two radiant
and beautiful people.
ALL THEIR POSSESSIONS
Evidently they were Tuta and Tuty. Their dwell-
ing was open to the sky, for it never rained on the
Round Island, and from above you could see all
their possessions, small chairs and tables, and deli-
cate crockery, everything necessary to a well-set-up
establishment. It was round in shape like a circus,
and carpeted with flowers and moss. There was a
flower garden, a kitchen garden, an orchard, a stable,
and a mill, busily grinding corn.
" That is where they grind the flour for the cakes
they give to the birds," said Melinda. While they
stood looking down at the neat and prosperous house-
hold beneath them, they saw some cubic and spherical
birds busily employed with a cage at the other end
of the balustrade. Some of them were stretching a
BIRDS BUSILY EMPLOYED WITH A CAGE
cord from one end of the circus to the other. When
this was done they opened the cage, and out jumped
a lovely red squirrel, dressed as a rope-dancer. He
sprang on to the silver cord, light as a feather, and
began to dance with great agility. He leapt into the
air and turned three or four somersaults before he
touched the cord again, and performed a thousand
more graceful tricks.
Melinda and the Carpenter applauded so loudly
that they attracted the attention of the two little
people for whom the entertainment had been organ-
ised. They looked up and stared at the travellers,
but they did not seem at all surprised to see them.
Melinda and the Carpenter made signs that they would
like to talk to them, but all the answer they got was
the following disheartening conversation :
" Those are humans," said Tuta.
" Yes," said Tuty.
" Have you been introduced to the young girl ? "
" No, Mrs. Tuta."
" Have you been intro-
duced to the young man ? "
" No, Mr. Tuty."
So, as it seemed that
none of them had been
introduced, Tuta and
Tuty showed no further
interest in the travellers,
and did not even deign
to look upwards again.
They were not in the
least curious, indeed
they could not imagine
anything outside their
own home. They were ^^ AND TuTA
not adventurous like the voyagers in the Blue Boat,
and it is difficult to conjecture how they ever got
wrecked on an island at all.
THE LION WAS SHOWING HIS TEETH, BUT THE CHIMERA HAD LONGER CLAWS
The squirrel was still dancing on the rope, but
suddenly he missed his footing and fell to the ground.
Luckily there was a soft carpet of moss beneath, so
that he could not have been badly hurt.
Melinda gave a little shriek, and pinched the Car-
penter's arm, for the squirrel had fallen at the very
feet of a big, yellow lion with red jaws, and a
ferocious looking Chimera. The Lion was
showing his teeth, but the Chimera had longer
claws, and they both looked very alarming.
They had evidently been posted there by the
birds to prevent Tuta and Tuty from
leaving the island if they wanted to
do so, although they did not seem to
want to do anything of the sort. The
dancer lay quite still as though he had
fainted, and the monsters
did not move either. The
birds who had brought
the cage had settled
down to a game of
knuckle-bones, and no-
ticed nothing wrong.
At last one of them
looked round at the
travellers, and saw by
the expression on their
faces that something had
happened. They got up
and saw the dancing
squirrel lying quite Still FIGURE-HEADS OF WRECKED SHIPS
on the moss. Then one of them waved his claw in a
signal to someone at the other side of the circus and
a surprising thing happened. The two monsters began
to move backwards through an open doorway just
THEY WERE FOLLOWED BY A CLOUD
behind them. As they moved they made loud rumbling
and creaking sounds as though something wooden
were being dragged over stones ; then the door closed
behind them with a clang.
" Those two monsters are made of wood, they
are only figure-heads of wrecked ships," cried the
Carpenter, and he and Melinda burst out laughing.
In an instant they were followed by a cloud of cubic
and spherical birds, whose wings darkened the air
so that they could not see where they were going.
Thousands of claws threatened them, and thousands
of clacking beaks deafened them with a tremendous
uproar. They were pushed down a flight of stone
steps, and through a narrow passage, where they
passed the wooden monsters who had been dragged
away from their post of guarding Tuta and Tuty.
OF CUBIC AND SPHERICAL BlRDS
The Carpenter managed to draw a wooden nail out
of the Chimera as he passed, and kept it ever after-
wards in memory of the Round Island.
They ran along the passage as fast as they could,
trying to get away from the birds, and find the aero-
plane, which they had carelessly left lying on the
grass by the side of the balustrade. At last they
reached the end of the passage and found that they
had outdistanced the birds and emerged on the
beach. The birds were still making a fearful din, but
the sound seemed to be in the distance, and suddenly
it stopped and there was silence, a mysterious silence,
almost worse than the noise.
The Carpenter had been scratched on the cheek
and on the forehead, and Melinda bound up his face
with his silk handkerchief. It was the same one he had
used to wipe the dew off the aeroplane, and it was
still wet, but she had nothing else.
' I think we will leave this Island of Cubic Birds
as soon as may be," said the Carpenter, ruefully,
feeling his head.
" Where shall we go ? " asked Melinda, eager for
"We have enough provisions for two days," said the
Carpenter thoughtfully, "and we can add fruit to that."
' You will pick it," said Melinda, remembering
how she had been attacked by the bird who had
caught her picking fruit.
" Certainly," replied the Carpenter. " And thus
supplied," he went on, " we can go and look for the
Blue Boat and our companions."
THE BOATMAN IS FOUND AGAIN : THEY
DECIDE TO LEAVE THE ISLAND. THEY
SEE A BROWN SPHERE DANCING ON
THE PLAIN. THE BOATMAN COMES OUT
OF HIS BARREL.
WHILE they stood on the sea-shore making
plans, their attention was attracted to a
curious, round, brown thing, which seemed
to have been stranded by the waves on some rocks
a little way out to sea. Melinda saw it first.
" Look, there, on the rocks ! " she cried, pointing
it out to the Carpenter. As she spoke the rising tide
shifted the strange object from its resting place, and
set it bobbing up and down on the water.
" It is coming towards us," said the Carpenter,
and indeed it was bobbing closer and closer as the
waves crept up the beach. At
last they could see that it was
a helmet covering a head, and
the head emerged from a cask,
and the head was the head of
the Boatman !
The cask came nearer and
nearer until it floated ashore.
The Boatman stared at them
but did not speak, then he
laughed very happily with his
mouth wide open like a baby,
and held out his hands full of
little star fish.
" At last ! " he said when
he had done laughing.
" Dear Boatman ! ' said
Melinda and the Carpenter, ' how glad we are to
see you. As there is a third place in our aeroplane
you may hope to escape death from privation."
The Boatman was so overcome that he could only
" At last, at last ! "
" Hadn't you better come out of that barrel ? '
said the Carpenter, gently, but firmly. And as he
IT FLOATED ASHORE
seemed to be stuck fast they pulled him out, head
first. He stood on his head for a moment to recover him-
self, and then embraced his friends with tears of joy.
" Dear friends," he said, " I have been waiting
here for you. I saw your indescribably valiant fight
with the Black Cavalier. A parrot with a malicious
eye told me that you were frivolous and impudent,
and that the cubic birds would drive you to the coast
at your first nonsensical mistake."
"How nice it is that we have found each other,"
said Melinda. She and the Boatman began to play
with the star fish he had found. But the Carpenter
was looking thoughtful.
" Boatman, where is your boat ? " he asked rather
" I'll tell you all about it," said the Boatman, and
he sat up on his heels and told them his story.
THE FATE OF THE WRECK AND COD : THE
BOATMAN'S STORY. THE FIRE ON THE
BOAT. THE BARREL FLOATS ON THE
SEA. COD AND FLUTE FLEE ON THE
SUBMARINE.BING AND SUN-AND-MOON
ON CASKS, PETER, THE FRIEND, AND
DRUM SEEK REFUGE ON THE WRECK.
PROCESSION OF THE CASTAWAYS.
" Ik JIT Y lacquer box," began the Boatman, "must
I %/ 1 have been out of order, as the storm which
A. T JLit foretold, never appeared. And yet the
clouds looked so black I thought they would break
over our heads. The wind blew the smoke of my
cigarette so violently upwards
that the sparks whirled about
in the air, and it must have
been one of those sparks that
set fire to the Blue Boat.
" Fire ! " cried the listeners,
both together. " Was the
Blue Boat burnt ? "
" Most of it was," replied
the Boatman. " It must have
been badly made, for as soon
as the middle part was burnt
the rest of it fell to pieces."
" And you left it to burn,
and lay in your barrel with-
out moving hand or foot to
try and stop it, you detestable
creature ? ' cried Melinda,
breathless with anger.
" Well, you see, I didn't
know quite what was hap-
pening. I thought that the
cries on deck were on account
of the storm, and I thought
the red glow of the flames
"Alas! "said Melinda. "So
you did not move. You did
nothing ? "
" No," said the Boatman
SET FIRE TO THE BLUE BOAT
' Then how were you saved ? '
' When the boat fell to pieces I stuck fast in the
barrel, and floated safely away on the water, which
by that time was fairly calm."
" Is that all ? " cried the Car-
penter, as the Boatman did not
go on. " Don't you know what
happened to the others ? '
" No," said the Boatman
calmly, " that is not all. I was
so upset that I was obliged to
smoke one cigarette after an-
other to calm myself."
" But our friends the music-
ians, the pride and joy of
Fairyland, what has become of
them ? " cried Melinda, dancing
" Cheer up ! " said the Boat-
man, seating himself on a wet
rock. " They are all safe as far
as I know ! Keep quiet, and I
will tell you all about it. Cod
was quite unhurt in his sub-
marine, but he could only
rescue one person, so he fished
out Flute, who climbed into
his place with supreme indiffer-
ence. Then Cod sailed round
about the wreckage and helped
FLUTE the rest to arrange for themselves
as best they could. Half of the Blue Boat was still
untouched by the fire, so Peter, the Friend, and the
Drummer, settled themselves on that. The rest of the
boat was still burning. Bing and Sun-and-Moon
followed my example and found a couple of barrels,
which they tied together with a long waist belt so that
they could keep each other company.
" Why, of course ! " said the Carpenter suddenly ;
" that was what we saw burning out at sea ! '
1 Then it wasn't a volcano after all," said Melinda.
' It was therefore necessary," continued the Boat-
man, taking no notice of the interruption, " to get
away as quickly as possible. Peter arranged that the
half-boat should be towed by Cod in the submarine,
so Cod threw him a rope, and Peter, in his turn, threw
one to Bing and Sun-and-Moon, who threw one to
me. And so we started off in a long procession to
THE WHALES : THEY ARE ATTRACTED BY
THE NASAL SOUND OF THE CLARIONET.
THE WHALES LAUGH. THE WATER-
FALLS. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHERE
THE OTHER CASTAWAYS ARE.
OW that is what I call a real adventure!"
cried Melinda, clapping her hands. "Oh,
how I wish I had been there too."
" Wait a bit," said the Boatman. "As we floated
away, Flute began to play a favourite funeral march
of his and the squeaky notes of his clarionet attracted
FLUTE BEGAN TO PLAY
COD, THE CAPTAIN
PETER, THE FIDDLER
THE FRIEND AND DRUM
SUN-AND-MOON AND BING
THE BOATMAN AND THE WHALES
a family of whales. It was a very nice family, but it
came too close. We were surrounded by mountains
of shining black flesh. There were vast numbers of
them, a whole dynasty I should think.
WAVE THEIR TAILS ABOUT
" Flute stopped playing in alarm, but the whales
had already caught sight of us all strung out in a row
behind the Shark, and they were tremendously
amused at what they saw. Unfortunately their peals
of laughter made them wave their tails about, so that
the water round us was churned into enormous
spouts and cataracts of water, and we were tossed
up and down, one moment high in the air and the
next in the depths of the sea. The ropes came untied,
everything was in confusion, and we were all dis-
persed in different directions, each one followed by
a playful whale, who amused himself by rolling us
over and over in the water.
I don't know when the other whales got tired of
the game. The one who was innocently sporting with
my barrel did not tire of it till evening, when he
abandoned me on those rocks, from which I was able
to watch you fighting and vanquishing the Black
" Is that all you know ? " asked the Carpenter.
" That's all," said the Boatman.
They sat silently on the beach for a little while,
each wondering what had happened to their friends.
THE GOLDEN COCK: THOUSANDS OF
BIRDS WORSHIP THEIR GOD. THE
BOATMAN FIRES HIS PISTOL. HE TAKES
A SOUVENIR OF HIS FIRST SHIPWRECK
THE Carpenter gave the Boatman a whole bun
to assuage his hunger, and then suggested
that they should explore the sea to find their
comrades. But first they would have to find the aero-
plane, so they plunged once more into the forest of
There was still no sound from the birds ; the
island was completely silent, but they went crouching
for fear that some of the birds might be watching
for them. They walked like this a long distance
through the silent forest, until at last they came to
an open space, and then they knew : ,why everything
THEY WALKED LIKE THIS
had been so quiet. All the cubic and spherical birds
were there, crowded together, bowing towards the
ground in an attitude of worship. They were ranged
in circles round a brilliant golden object ; they were
worshipping their Golden God, who had at last come
to the island to visit them.
All of a sudden the Carpenter touched Melinda's
arm, and said in an excited whisper :
" Don't you see ? It's the beautiful wooden cock
I nearly caught with my saw ! '
And it was indeed the same wooden cock that his
saw had cut from a steeple, and which had afterwards
fallen on the Island of Birds.
The Boatman had to have all this explained to
him, and immediately wanted to possess the Golden
Cock as a souvenir of his first wreck, or rather, though
he would not have confessed it, of his first voyage.
In the midst of the silence that reigned over the
island, he placed a cap in his pistol, and fired into
the air. The birds rose from the ground with flutter-
ing wings in a great commotion, thinking that the
god had made the noise to proclaim its anger. They
flew high up into the blue sky with terrified cries
circling round and round the island, but not daring
The Boatman did not lose a moment in seizing
the Golden Cock, while the others looked round
for the aeroplane. They discovered it lying under
some ferns, and hastily unfolded it and mounted to
their places. The aeroplane rose slowly owing to the
additional weight of the Boatman, and the Carpenter
was afraid they would not get very far.
They flew out over the sea for a little way to escape
discovery by the birds, and then looked anxiously at
the earth below. They saw that the archipelago con-
tained at least five or six islands, and the Carpenter
proposed that they should visit each in turn to try
and discover their friends, and find out which of the
islands were habitable and which were not.
" Let us begin with the one we are flying over
now," said Melinda.
FIRED INTO THE AIR
The others agreed and the aeroplane descended
as light as a feather on the island next to the Island
of Cubic Birds.
COD HUNG : AGONY OF THE TRAVELLERS.
UNFORTUNATE COD ! THEY DISCOVER
sun was shining brightly as they alighted
on the next island, and the earth glittered as
though it had been sprinkled with diamond
dust. The trees that fringed the beach were covered
with red and purple flowers, and the sand was as
yellow as gold.
But though the island was so beautiful, they felt
anxious and depressed as though something was
wrong, or just going to be wrong. They did not tell
each other what a gloomy effect the island was having
on them, but set out at once to explore, for their
stock of provisions was running low, and it was very
necessary to find some more food. The trees looked
as though they might bear fruit, so they walked away
from the sea towards the forest. Presently they found
themselves on the bank of a wide river, which cut
the island into halves, so that they were standing on
a little island and looking across the river at a bigger
* We might as well cross over," said the Carpenter,
beginning to unfold the aeroplane again as he spoke.
But the Boatman was staring across the water with a
" What is the matter ? " asked the others. The
Boatman pointed, and they saw the body of Cod,
COD, HANGING ON A BRANCH
hanging on a branch of a dead tree on the other side
of the river.
" Unfortunate Cod ! " they cried, wringing their
hands with grief at the sight. Suddenly Melinda
caught sight of some curious beings, more or less
YOU CAN SEE THEY HAVE POINTED HEADS
human in appearance, lying asleep under the trees
quite close to them.
" What horrid looking things ! " she cried. " They
are armed with bows and arrows."
" And knives ! " said the Boatman, getting behind
a rock. Then the Carpenter began to tremble with
fear, and said in a desperate way :
" We are on the Island of Baligoors and Coomasis.
I recognise them by the description the Parrot gave
us on the Island of Birds. You can see they have
pointed heads and sloping shoulders just as he
" Unfortunate us ! ' cried Melinda, remember-
ing the terrible things the Parrot had told them
about the Baligoors and Coomasis.
* We cannot use the aeroplane to cross the river,"
said the Carpenter. " The noise of the engine might
awaken these creatures, and then they would attack
* We must wade across," said the Boatman, so
he took off his shoes with the planks to find out the
depth of the water. But it was much too deep to
wade, and there were no rocks or stones to give foot-
" Oh, unfortunate Cod ! " they cried. " What
shall we do ? '
THE PIGWING : AN AMBASSADOR. THE
ANIMALS OF THE ISLAND. THE BALI-
GOORS SLEEP IN THE DAYTIME.
WHILE they sat mournfully by the river bank,
wondering what to do, a Pigwin'g came and
sat on a branch above their heads. A Pigwing
is a kind of guinea pig with long wings that roll up
like the spring of a watch when the animal is not
flying. The Carpenter looked with interest at this
creature, which he was inclined to regard as an in-
sect. It was certainly rather larger than the ordinary
run of insects, but his travels had taught the Car-
penter to expect unusual things on a voyage.
The Pigwing sat looking at them for a few moments,
out of the corner of his eye. He was the ambassador
sent out by the animals, who lived on the island, to
assure the strangers of their readiness to be friendly
and helpful if help were needed. He seemed satisfied
at last with his observations, and came down to a
lower branch, bowing and stretching out his arms
' Have you any bows and arrows, Sirs and
Madam ? "he asked.
" No, Mr. Pigwing," they replied.
The Pigwing lifted his left arm above his head.
At this signal a host of animals appeared from all
sides, some from the trees, some from the river, and
some from holes in the rocks and burrows in the
Melinda drew a little closer to the other two, but the
animals looked so friendly that she was not really afraid.
' Have you any knives ? " asked the Pigwing.
' Only these, Mr. Pigwing," said the Boatman
and the Carpenter showing him their pocket-knives,
which were not very large. After a few minutes'
reflection, the Pigwing lifted his other arm. All the
animals began to move towards them, and did not
stop until the Pigwing lowered his arm. They were
now quite close, but none of them spoke. Even the
Pigwing was silent.
* Can we do anything for you, my dear friends ? '
inquired the Carpenter politely.
" Thank you, no. We like looking at you," replied
the Pigwing. A big giraffe with a horn spoke.
" You are very like the Baligoors and Coomasis,"
he said, " except that you are not asleep, and can
even see by daylight,"
A BIG GIRAFFE WITH A HORN SPOKE
THEY ARE ASLEEP, REPLIED
THE PlGWING, SMILING
" They look less cruel than the Baligoors," said
a small tortoise with long paws. " Except the little
one there, " he added, pointing at Melinda, who was
so vexed that she asked the Boatman for his pistol.
' Don't quarrel with them whatever you do,"
said the Carpenter in a prudent whisper, and the
Boatman nodded his head in agreement. " They are
kind and friendly, whereas the Baligoors are certain
to attack us if they see us."
Melinda saw that he was right, and tried to forget
that she had been insulted.
* But aren't you afraid of being so close to these
cruel creatures," the Carpenter asked, pointing to
the Baligoors, asleep under the trees.
1 They are asleep," replied the Pigwing, smiling.
" But if they wake up ? "
1 They cannot wake up unless someone goes and
shakes them, and even then they could not see till
nightfall. They have red eyes ! " he added, as though
that explained everything.
BUILDING A BRIDGE. THE GIRAFFE AND
THE TORTOISE SPEAK. ALL THE AN-
IMALS HELP TO BUILD THE BRIDGE.
COD'S DRESS IS TAKEN DOWN FROM
THE TREE. COD DRESSED IN A GREAT
CLOAK. NEWS OF FLUTE. HOW COD
WHEN the Carpenter heard this he at once
began scheming to free the animals from
their cruel enemies, as he had freed the
birds from the Black Cavalier. He told his plans to
the Pigwing, whose wings uncurled with horror.
" But there are more than a thousand of them ! "
he cried when he had strength to speak, " and they
are all as strong as lions and ten times as fero-
cious ! '
" Oh, poor Cod, unfortunate Cod ! " they cried.
" The fish is your friend?*' asked the Giraffe,
pointing to Cod.
" Yes, yes, our dear friend, Cod ! '
" Alas for your poor friend ! " said the Tortoise.
" They will eat him for their supper this evening ! '
" No ! " they cried all at once. " We will at least
give him a burial worthy of the Captain of the Shark."
But they had yet to cross the river, and the Pig-
wing feared that the noise of the aeroplane might
waken even the Baligoors.
" But, cheer up," he said, " we will make a bridge.
We have still some hours before they wake."
Then all the larger animals waded into the river,
carrying rocks and stones, which they placed in a
line from bank to bank. Then they stood on the
rocks while the smaller animals handed them clay
and gravel and branches and strips of seaweed to fill
up the gaps and make the bridge firm and steady.
The birds flew across with mud and grasses in their
beaks, and the Tortoise tied the smaller rocks to-
gether with bindweed. Last of all, the Beaver arrived
with branches, which were laid across the bridge
from one side to the other. Then it was finished, and,
in much less time than it takes to tell they had all
MAKE THE BRIDGE
FIRM AND STEADY
run across to the foot of the tree where Cod was
The Boatman took the planks from his feet and
climbed the tree, and cut the cord that held Cod's
THE BEAVER ARRIVED
And now, what do you think ? It was not Cod at
all. It was only his fish costume, stuffed full of grass
and leaves, like a fish in a glass case. The travellers
did not know whether to laugh or to cry.
" They have probably eaten him already," said a
little black elephant with hedgehog spines.
" But what is this ? " said the Boatman, who had
been examining the fish costume. He showed them
a small piece of paper which he had found in Cod's
pocket. They read :
IF SOME CHARITABLE
SOUL READS THIS, HE
WILL FIND THE UN-
OF THIS COSTUME IN
THE GROTTO ON
THE SMALL ISLAND.
RED PINE: '
7 T (Signed) ' ||
COD, Captain of Shark
CUT THE CORD THAT HELD COD'S BODY
The Boatman hastily tied the planks on to his feet
again, and they all ran back over the bridge to the
small island, and searched for the red pine. When
they found it, the Carpenter crept underneath it to
the grotto, while the others waited
outside. At last he came out again
with Cod, who was wrapped up in
the Carpenter's brown cloak.
" What has happened to Flute ? "
asked Melinda, when they had all
recovered from the excitement of
WRAPPED UP IN THE
" He has found a country, which
gives him complete satisfaction," re-
"It evidently didn't satisfy you,"
remarked the Carpenter, " or you
wouldn't have come away."
" I will tell you all about it," said
Cod. " Some hours ago," he began,
" a sudden night fell over all the
islands. I could see the cause. You were righting in
the air with a vast, black cavalier, whose shadow
was thrown across the sea. I immediately boarded
the Shark again, leaving Flute behind on the island,
where we had taken refuge from the storm, and
steered in all haste towards the point where your
battle was raging. It was so dark that I could hardly
see where I was going, and when I came to the shore
of this island I thought it was the one over which
you were fighting, so I jumped ashore. Twelve men
THEIR RED BYES SHONE LIKE FIRE
with red eyes caught me and dragged me near to
the spot where you found me. They were very fer-
ocious, and their red eyes shone like fire. They cut
the collar of my costume with a large knife, taking
no notice of my struggles and cries, and then drew
me out of it, growling like bears all the time. They
must have thought it was my real skin, for their own
were covered with scales and feathers. Then they
began to flourish their knives and I thought that my
end had come. But just at that moment you con-
quered the Black Cavalier, and the light shone once
more. The red-eyed creatures seemed to be suddenly
powerless. They staggered away with their hands to
their eyes, and left me free to do as I pleased. So it
was you who saved my life, dear Carpenter," he
ended, embracing the Carpenter with tears of gratitude.
THE ISLAND OF SILENCE OR FLUTE'S
ISLAND. TOWARDS THE ISLAND. FIRST
ENCOUNTER ON THE ISLAND. THE
CARPENTER, MELINDA, COD, AND THE
BOATMAN LEAVE THE ISLAND OF
BIRDS. A COOMASI IS DROWNED. BAD
COD then had to tell them all about Flute.
" Flute is an odd creature," he began.
"No, not odd, he is only a philosopher,"
said Melinda, who did not know what " philosopher"
" At this moment," Cod went on, "he is sitting
under a tree, reading old picture-books or playing
on his clarionet to charm the serpents."
" Serpents ? " cried Melinda a little anxiously.
" Quite harmless," said Cod reassuringly.
" But what does he live on ? " asked the Carpenter,
who was occasionally practical.
" The birds bring him bread and fruit, and the
storks bring him water," replied Cod.
" Let us go at once ! " cried all three together.
" We have never been so hungry in all our lives ! '
They made ready to leave the Island of Baligoors
at once. But first of all they took leave of the kindly
animals, who had done so much to help them in their
troubles. The Carpenter promised to come back
some day with an army and free the island from
Baligoors and Coomasis. In the meantime dusk was
falling, and it was dangerous to stay. The animals
began to say good-bye one after another, and went
off to their homes, for very soon the Baligoors would
Cod launched the Shark, and he and the Boatman
got into it, while the others took flight in the aero-
plane. And then they set out in the cool of the even-
ing to find Flute's island. The sea was calm and blue,
and the day was not yet over, but before they had
gone far, they felt again the strange uneasiness that
had come over them when they landed on the island.
Suddenly they knew that something horrible was
near them, and the Boatman, turning round, saw a
hideous Coomasi, crouched ready to spring on the
tail of the Shark. He gave a loud cry, and the Coomasi
kaped upon him in a flash, and they fell together
into the sea. Happily, the planks the Boatman had
tied to his feet caught in the sides of the Submarine
THEY FELL TOGETHER INTO THE SEA
and held him safely above the water, while the Coo-
masi fell right in and did not reappear for some
Then the Boatman showed great presence of mind.
While the Carpenter was
pulling him back into the
boat he handed him his
pistol. Unfortunately the
ammunition had got wet,
but as it happened, there
was no need of any
weapon. The Coomasi
could not swim ; his arms
were too short, and, after
coming to the surface
once more, he disap-
peared for good. The
travellers continued on their way rejoicing, but as
the twilight deepened, the sky grew cloudy, and the
sea went black. The Boatman had lost his lacquer
box, but they needed nothing to tell them that
there was going to be a storm.
COMING TO THE SURFACE ONCE MORE
THE STORM. THE AEROPLANE IS PUT
ABOARD THE SUBMARINE. THE
TRAVELLERS CATCH HOLD OF THE
AEROPLANE. THEY PREPARE TO DIE.
MELINDA FAINTS, THE WIND HOWLS.
EVERYONE knows how a storm comes up.
The clouds gathered fast and thick, the wind
blew gustily, and the sea was black and threat-
ening. The Carpenter alighted on the submarine
and folded the aeroplane into its box. Then he touched
the box with the magic diamond to make it grow
small enough to put in his pocket, but instead of
growing smaller it grew bigger and bigger until it
nearly covered the submarine.
" The diamond has gone mad," said the Car-
penter, unhappily. " What are we to do ? "
" I know," said Cod, with unusual sense for him,
" if we sit one on each corner we shall keep it bal-
anced. I should never have got all of you into the
submarine. I think your diamond has a great deal of
He was quite right. When they had taken their
places, one at each corner of the box, the submarine
steadied itself on the waves, and the wind did not
catch them, especially as when it blew very fiercely
they crouched down over their knees as Chinese
people do when they pray. But the storm grew so
violently that presently all their ingenuity went for
nothing. For the waves threw the submarine and the
box and the four passengers into the air and the
wind dashed them down into the sea again. They
all clung to one another and the box and the sides of
the submarine, thinking that the end was near.
Sometimes the box was tilted to one side so that they
looked like fish displayed on a slab in a fishmonger's
shop, and then it would right itself only just in time
to save them from drowning.
" Whoever survives this " shouted Melinda,
trying to make herself heard above the storm.
" No one will survive this ! " shouted the Car-
penter, dismally in reply.
" Let us tie ourselves to the box," suggested the
THREW THE Box A^JD THE FOUR PASSENGERS INTO THE AIR
Boatman, who liked tying himself on to things almost
as much as he liked tying them on to himself. So,
with great difficulty, they all managed to tie them-
selves on to the corners of the box. The Boatman
unfastened one of his planks and used the string to
tie himself on with ; the Carpenter used the cord
that he had brought for his saw ; Melinda used her
little silk sash ; and Cod, who had nothing in the
world except the Carpenter's brown cloak, had to
content himself with holding on tightly to a ring on
In spite of the wind it was very hot.
" Perhaps it is the end of the
world ! " said Melinda.
It seemed as though she was
right ; at a moment when the
Shark was almost overturned
by the force of the wind, an
immense wave hurled itself right
over them, and rilled the Sub-
marine with water, for Cod, as
you may remember, had left the
lid, which covered the opening,
at home. The Shark immedi-
ately sank beneath the waves,
and Melinda fainted. The Boat-
man wept because he could not
hide himself as he generally did
in time of danger. The Carpen-
ter held his collection of butter-
flies up above his head so that
His COLLECTION OF BUTTERFLIES
UP ABOVE HIS HEAD
it should not be caught by the angry waves. Cod,
who had no initiative, just waited to see what would
happen. The box was still floating somehow or
other, and looked very like the four of diamonds
from a pack of cards with its four passengers
clinging one to each corner. It was a strange voyage.
Melinda, having recovered, felt sure that it was
nothing but a dream, but it was queerer than any
dream she had ever had before. The thunder growled
like a bad-tempered ogre, the wind screamed and
moaned, red and yellow lightning made jagged open-
ings in the black clouds, and the rain poured down
on the sea. Meanwhile the box still floated and the
wind and the waves played catch with it.
LAND ! ! AN IMMENSE WAVE WASHES THE
RAFT ON TO THE ISLAND. THEY SPEND
THE NIGHT ON A HILL. NO WIND AND
ALWAYS SUN. THE SILENT ONES
UNDER THEIR TREES. THEY HAVE
FLAT HOUSES AND NO KITCHENS.
THEY LIVE ON FRUIT AND NUTS.
BUT Fortune had not deserted them. Suddenly
Cod placed his hands round his mouth to
make his voice carry further, and shouted :
"I see land. I think it must be the Island of
Silence ! "
" Is it far ? " shouted the others, but their voices
were drowned in a whirlpool of water and spray.
When the wave had passed, the lightning gave them
a brief glimpse of the land Cod had pointed out.
But it was still far distant, and the box was being
tossed about like a cork, up into the air and down
again into the sea. A huge wave came, huger than
any that had come before, and lifted them right out
THEY WERE ON FLUTE'S ISLAND
of the water. They dropped like a stone, and there
was a shock, which knocked the breath out of their
bodies. Instead of falling back into the sea they had
been thrown on to dry land.
They were on Flute's Island, the Island of Silence.
They cried for joy, but no one could have distin-
guished the tears from the sea water running down
The Carpenter, fearing that they might be swept
away from land as suddenly as they had been thrown
on to it, prudently suggested that they should not
unfasten themselves from the box until they had
walked further inland. In this way three of them
still fastened to the box, while Cod held up the
fourth corner, they climbed to the summit of a little
hill. The storm was still at its height, and showed no
signs of abating, and they were tired and hungry
and wet to the skin. Melinda lay down under a rock
and went to sleep : the Carpenter put one of his
precious boxes under her head for a pillow, and
covered her with his large silk handkerchief.
Then he and the other two lay down and slept.
As they slept the storm, not touching this hill, gradu-
ally died down over the sea.
This storm marked the end
of the second day of their
The next morning they
woke up, feeling brave and
strong again, and set out at
once to explore the island.
First of all they stood on
the little hill for a while to
spy out the land. They
could see no traces of the
AND WENT TO SLEEP
AT THE RIGHT SIDE OF EACH OF THE MEN SAT A ROW OF SONS
1 Wind is unknown here," said Cod, who knew
the place. " The sun shines all the time just enough
to keep the inhabitants pleasantly warm."
The whole of the island seemed to be covered with
palm trees, set at equal distances from one another.
In the circle of shade under each tree sat a silent and
motionless human being ; the men had great bushy
masses of hair standing out round their heads, the
women wore their hair falling over their shoulders,
so that it almost entirely covered them. Each of them
had a large open book, which they were either read-
ing or pretending to read. At the right side of each
of the men sat a row of sons, placed according to
size, the biggest being nearest to his father. At the
right side of each of the women was a row of daugh-
ters, arranged in the same way. The children sat
thus till the hour for recreation, their elders never
moved at all during the daytime.
" Are there no houses ? " asked Melinda.
Cod pointed out some broad, flat buildings, rather
like cucumber frames.
" They only use their houses for sleeping in," he
said, " so it would be useless to build them higher."
" Then are their kitchens underground ? '
" They do not need kitchens. They live on fruit
and nuts, especially nuts."
HOW THE SILENT ONES LIVE. A BIRD
SINGS IN THE SKY. THEY ARE FED BY
THE GALIPODES. STORKS BRING
THEM FRESH WATER. THE YOUNG
SILENT ONES CATCH FLIES. THE
TRULY WONDERFUL PEACOCK. PUN-
ISHMENT OF VARIOUS FAULTS.
^\HE island was so quiet that it seemed to be
listening to a single bird singing somewhere
in the sky, the only sound to listen to. The
travellers had noticed already that the palm trees,
which sheltered the Silent Beings, were planted at
regular intervals like the trees in a nursery garden,
and now they saw that a notice board was fastened
to each one, inscribed with some pretty and serious
name, such as Jack Robinson, 103 Palm Tree Walk,
Island of Silence.
Not one of the Silent Beings turned their heads
to look at the strangers as they passed by ; indeed
they seemed unaware of their presence. It need
hardly be said that Melinda was extremely offended
at this inattention towards her.
The bird, who had been singing, grew tired and
flew to earth, and another took his place. They
noticed that the new bird had flown out of a thick
wood in the middle of the island. Cod told them that
some of the trees there were bread-fruit trees, and
some bore nuts, and that one at least bore the fruit
of Eternity, which the very oldest and wisest of the
Silent Ones were sometimes allowed to eat, but no
one else. Cod also showed them little fountains
standing here and there, whose clear water sparkled
like diamond rings.
They saw tall storks standing near the fountains,
filling great pitchers, which they then fastened on
" Those are the distributors of water ! " said Cod.
He spoke in a whisper, so as not to offend the people,
who worshipped silence.
" Why is each pitcher fitted with pipes and a tap ?"
asked Melinda, who was sometimes very observant.
" You will see," said Cod. The stork nearest them
unfastened a tray, which had been hanging from his
belt, and placed on it tall drinking glasses, which
had been fixed to the sides of the pitcher. Then he
filled them with water from the tap at the end of the
pipe, which was passed over his shoulder from the
pitcher on his back. He then walked from tree to
tree, placing fresh water in the cupboards, which
stood in front of each of the Silent Beings. These
THOSE ARE THE DISTRIBUTORS OF WATER
cupboards were made of palm leaves, and looked
rather like green lanterns. They held all the things
that their owners wanted to preserve from the dust
As the travellers followed the storks back again to
the drinking fountains
they met the Galipodes.
The Galipodes were very
clean and white like
polished ivory, and they
wore little hats made of
pastry. Their arms were
so short that they could
not reach their beaks, and
so could not touch the
provisions they were
carrying wrapped deli-
cately in palm leaves.
The travellers stood
near by one of the palm
trees and watched one of
the Galipodes come and
place a fine red and yellow
apple in the green cup-
board. They saw that he
wore a label round his
neck, bearing the same
name and address as the
one on the notice-board
^^ of the Silent Being he
LITTLE HATS MADE OF PASTRY was serving.
" Each one has a Galipode to serve him and his
family," said Cod. " And there is one stork for every
" That is very obliging and useful of the birds on
this island," interposed the Boatman.
" In return," Cod went on, " the young Silent
Beings, who have only taken half vows, spend some
of their time in making traps for the animals, who
harm the birds. The Silent Beings and the birds
simply exchange services, and there is great sym-
pathy between them. The young birds are punished
for small faults by being set to catch flies for the
Silent Beings ; the young Silent Beings on their side
expiate their faults by carrying the train of the Presi-
dent of the Birds. But, of course, if they are very
bad, they are sent away to the Country of Marion-
The President of the Birds was naturally a large
peacock. He happened to be crossing the island at
that very moment in a most majestic fashion. He was
an exceptional bird, even for a peacock, and it seemed
impossible that he could be as intelligent as he was
" We will ask this peacock if he thinks you are
pretty," said the Carpenter to Melinda, remember-
ing her vanity on the Island of Cubic Birds. But
his joke came to nothing, for Cod hastily reminded
him that no questions were allowed on the Island of
Silence. He added that it would be better if they
talked less even among themselves.
" Tell me, all the same," said the Carpenter, " why
LITTLE HORN OF LEAVES WHICH COVERS THEIR FACES
it is that the children who carry
the Peacock's train wear that little
horn of leaves which covers their
faces ? '
" Their punishment is a purely
personal matter," replied Cod, "so
there is no need for other people
to see them and make them feel
The Boatman thought to himself
that this would be an excellent way
of hiding. One would only need
larger leaves and more of them.
AN EXCELLENT WAY
BREAKFAST. THE TRAVELLERS FIND
FLUTE AGAIN. THEY BREAKFAST
SITTING FACING THE SEA. MELINDA
WANTS TO SPEAK TO A SILENT ONE.
^\HE travellers had not breakfasted, and were
almost overcome with hunger and weariness,
but so great was their curiosity that they
walked on and on until they came to the last Silent
Being of all.
' Oh ! " cried Melinda.
* Goodness gracious ! " exclaimed the Carpenter.
* How in the world ? " began the Boatman.
They all stopped short, open-mouthed with sur-
prise, before the last of the Silent Beings.
" You may well be surprised ! " said Cod, for it
was Flute !
He could see who they were,
but he did not make the slightest
movement to greet them, and
Cod would not let them ap-
proach him. All three began
asking so many questions that
he could not answer them all.
" He has taken the whole vow.
He must not move or speak,"
he explained when, at last, he
could hear himself speak.
" Then we have lost one of
our friends ! ' cried Melinda,
and fainted away. But this was
partly because she was so
Cod told them that they could
not sit under any of the trees
without taking at least half a
vow of silence, but if they sat in
a row on the beach, facing the sea, the birds would
consider them as guests, and serve them with break-
fast. S^ they revived Melinda with a palm leaf full
of water, and all went and sat in a row on the sea-
Melinda was longing to speak to one of the Silent
Beings. Silence always made her feel so nervous that
she wanted to scream. She was therefore greatly
relieved when it was suddenly broken by the crow-
ing of a cock, which made such a shrill sound in the
midst of the stillness that it seemed as though the
IT WAS FLUTE
sky was being rent asunder. Then a cuckoo sang
his two monotonous notes six times.
At this double signal from the cuckoo and the cock,
the Silent Beings moved at last and opened their
green cupboards for the food the storks and the
Galipodes had placed there. The kindly creatures
then brought food and drink for the strangers on the
sea-shore. It was a pretty sight for the seagulls play-
ing on the rocks to see four people sitting in a row,
looking out over the water, eating red and yellow
fruit, and drinking fresh water out of high cups.
THE PURSUIT. MELINDA DISCOVERS TWO
SILENT ONES WHO SPEAK. PURSUIT
IN THE VALLEY. THE SILENT ONE
ENTREATS MELINDA. MELINDA USES
HER LITTLE ELECTRIC TORCH. THE
SILENT ONE AND MELINDA GO
THROUGH A CUPBOARD. A MARION-
ETTE'S CORPSE. A PROCESSION.
"^T^HEN do they really never speak ? " asked
Melinda, for the hundredth time, though Cod
A had assured her a hundred times that they
" If they did," he said, " they would have to go
away to the Country of Marionettes, where the
people are only agitated dolls, who fill their lives
with music and vain sounds."
" That must be much more amusing than it is
here ; at any rate, if there is music," replied Melinda,
but suddenly she stopped speaking for, just behind
the hill where they were sitting, she saw two young
Silent Beings talking together in whispers.
" I can speak to those two anyway," she thought
to herself. " They will have no excuse for not answer-
ing me." She got up and walked away from her com-
panions without being noticed. At first she went
slowly, as though she was only taking a stroll with
no particular object, but when she came to a curve
in the hill, which hid her, she began to run, and ran
as hard as she could towards the two Silent Beings.
One of them took to his heels the moment he caught
sight of her, and immediately disappeared, so that
Melinda never knew what became of him. The other
one ran in the opposite direction across a clear space,
and Melinda did not think twice, but followed him
as fast as her feet would carry her.
The Silent Being took care to run through thickets
and crevices in the hills, so that no one else should
see him and find out that he had broken his vow. He
jumped over streams and pushed through bushes
and brambles, Melinda in hot pursuit, until they
reached a deep valley, which appeared to mark the
boundary of the Silent Country, for here the birds
were singing. The young Silent Being was beginning
to slacken his speed ; he was now only a few paces
in front of Melinda. Once or twice he even threw
himself on his knees and looked back towards her
with imploring eyes, stretching out his hands in a
gesture of supplication. But each time, as Melinda
did not stop running, he jumped up again, and ran
on as before.
" Even if he is discovered," thought Melinda,
" he will only have to carry the Peacock's train for a
few days with a little horn of leaves on his head.
There's nothing to make such a fuss about."
She did not know that, a much graver fate awaited
the Silent Being at the end of the valley. But he
knew only too well, and every now and then he tried
wildly to escape by climbing up the steep rocks that
shut them in. But all his efforts were in vain, and at
last the valley ended in a dark tunnel.
There was nothing to guide Melinda but the sound
ONCE OR TWICE HE EVEN
of his footsteps in front of her, but she went on,
though she was beginning to be frightened. For a
few minutes she heard the footsteps ahead of her ;
then they stopped, and the tunnel was absolutely
silent. Melinda ran on, hoping to find the end of it,
but having nothing now to guide her she continually
knocked her head against the slimy walls, for the
tunnel ran in twists and curves. Then, to her great
joy, she remembered that the Carpenter had given
her a new electric torch to take care of. She pulled
it out of her pocket, and held it in her outstretched
hand, so that its rays lit up the darkness, which
surrounded her. Just in front of her she was surprised
to see a large cupboard, the door of which was closed.
She opened it, and saw the terrified face of the young
Silent Being, blinking under the rays of the electric
Melinda tried to catch hold of him, but he escaped
her by stepping backwards, and when she jumped
into the cupboard to follow him she found that he
had disappeared, and while she searched the dark
THREW HIMSELF ON HIS KNEES
corners of the cupboard for him the floor suddenly
began to sink, carrying her down with it.
She found herself in a meadow starred with white
daisies. She turned to shut the cupboard door, but
there was no cupboard, no trace of a cupboard. She
might have thought that she had been dreaming but
for the young Silent Being, who was lying at her
feet. She bent over him, and found that he was a
Silent Being no longer ; he was now only a little
marionette in a faint. His face was still quite drawn
with terror. Melinda tried to revive him, but she
had never been taught how to revive a fainting
She shook him. Played on her lyre. Beat on her
drum ; but still he did not move, so she gave it up
at last in despair, and looked round her for help.
The country she found herself in was more beauti-
ful and less simple than the one she had left. It was
all nicely painted and varnished, and the sun was
shining brightly on the green trees and fields, and
the red roofs of little houses in the distance. She
longed to explore it, but she could not go away and
leave the unconscious Marionette, so she stayed in
the meadow and sat for a long time holding his head
on her lap.
She was beginning to wonder if the country was
inhabited at all when she heard sounds coming
towards her, confused noises of bells and drums,
deep whistles, and shrill cries that made her think
of a Punch and Judy show.
; ., I ;
MARIONETTE IN A FAINT
THE ISLAND OF THE MARIONETTES. THE
DEAF AND DUMB MARIONETTES.
LOUD NOISES. THE EXTREMELY
SOLEMN HORSEMEN. MELINDA WISHES
TO WRITE : THREE MARIONETTES
PREVENT HER. MELINDA IS FURIOUS.
TWO MARIONETTES PICK UP THE
sounds grew louder and louder, and
presently a procession appeared in sight.
Some of the persons in this procession were
on horseback, some on foot ; all were gaily dressed
and wore high-pointed, broad-brimmed hats. In
some ways they re-
sembled the Silent
Beings, for the two
countries were very
closely connected, and
it was the privilege of
all good Marionettes
to acquire voices and
become Silent Beings
themselves. That is to
say that they became
able to speak, and no
longer wanted to do so,
instead of being dumb
and longing for a voice
as they did when they
The Marionettes consoled themselves for being
dumb by making tremendous noises with bells,
whistles, trumpets, and drums, which they played
THEY DID NOT WANT HER TO WRITE
upon with shrill cries and clattering gestures. The
more serious ones rode on wooden horses or geese,
or simply on sticks, which had the head of a horse,
lion, or goose at one end, and a little wheel at the
other to run along the ground. These cavaliers were
all extremely dignified and majestic.
Melinda tried to attract their attention by whist-
ling through her fingers, but not a head in the pro-
cession turned at the sound. It was evident that they
could not hear any more than they could speak.
They might, however, be able to read, so she took a
little piece of paper and a pencil out of her pocket
and began to write on it, using the head of the
fainting Marionette as a writing table.
The Marionettes, at that moment, caught sight of
her, and three of them left the procession and came
running towards her, solemnly waving their arms.
It seemed as though they did not want her to write,
and when she tried to go on, making signs that she
would show them what she had written, one of the
three dolls snatched the paper out of her hand, and
tore it into tiny pieces. Tears of anger and fright
came into Melinda's eyes ; she began to wish that
she had not run away from reasonable, every-day
people. She turned to look again for the passage on the
hill by which she had come, but the hill was smooth
and bare, and there was no trace of an opening.
There was no escape that way ; she could only
resolve to explore the country round in the hope of
discovering some way of getting back to the Boat-
man and the Carpenter, who would be in a terrible
state of anxiety at her disappearance.
Before setting out she decided to mark the place
where the tunnel had been in case it appeared again,
so she took another piece of paper and attached it to
a branch close at hand. Instantly a Marionette rushed
up as before, snatched the paper and tore it up into
tiny pieces. Melinda stamped her foot with rage,
and tried to hit the impertinent little things, but
they dodged and twisted so quickly that there was
no catching them, laughing all the time with their
THEY DODGED AND TWISTED so QUICKLY
big mouths wide open. She did once succeed in
snatching one of their hats off, but the Marionette who
had lost it only laughed louder still, and took another
hat out of one of his pockets. She stopped at last and
sat down and cried like a little girl lost in a wood.
She would not have despaired so much if she had
known that Peter and the Friend and the Drummer
were watching a theatrical performance quite near by.
While she was still crying, two more Marionettes
came up carrying a long, narrow, cardboard box.
One of them had a bell without a clapper, which he
Two MORE MARIONETTES CAME UP
swung to and fro. When they came closer, Melinda
saw that the box was covered with drawings and
signs, which she thought must mean " Repairs and
Decorations." There was a drawing of a hammer
knocking in a nail and another of a brush painting
an eyebrow on a mask with black paint. She was not
mistaken. The two Marionettes opened the box and
took out two or three dolls tied together like a bundle
of asparagus. Then they picked up the Marionette,
who had once been a Silent Being, and tied him in
with the others and put them all back in the box and
shut the lid. They then picked it up and ran off with
it, staring at Melinda as they went, but not as though
they were surprised to see her.
A PLAY. MELINDA FINDS THE FRIEND,
PETER, AND DRUM. THEATRE IN A
PIT. ACTORS UNDER UMBRELLAS. THEY
ACT BLUE-BEARD. MELINDA ADVISES
THEM TO USE GLASS UMBRELLAS.
A FEW minutes later one of them came back,
and to Melinda's joyful surprise he was lead-
ing the Friend by the hand. Melinda stopped
crying and laughed for joy, but though the Friend
embraced her very affectionately she did not say a
word. She had grown accustomed to living in the
country of dumb show and only speaking in the
evenings when she was alone with Peter and the
She led Melinda to a high wall close by and through
a little door, which closed to behind them and Melinda
found herself in a great round hall, which had no
ceiling. Two rows of chairs were placed all the way
round it, and just beyond the chairs the floor was
sunk to a depth of about ten feet, so that the people
sitting in the chairs had to bend down to see what
was happening below.
In the midst of a profound silence Melinda was
MELINDA STOPPED CRYING AND LAUGHED FOR JOY
shown to a seat near to Peter and the Drummer, who
were both in the audience. Peter saluted her gravely,
and took no further notice of her. He seemed quite
absorbed in what was going on beneath him. The
Drummer bowed and smiled, but he made a sign
that she must not make any dis-
turbance by talking.
Melinda leant over in her chair and
saw that a play was being acted ; the
actors looked like people in the street
seen from a first floor window, their
heads seemed enormous and their
bodies very small. But it was quite
easy to follow the action of the play
by their gestures and by their bright
clothes, and Melinda did not take
HE SEEMED QUITE ABSORBED l ong to guess fatf fl^y WC re acting
the play of " Bluebeard and His Seven Wives." The
Marionettes sitting near her were moved to tears by
the performance, and this as well as a light shower,
which had begun to fall, made it necessary for the
actors to put up umbrellas. Soon the tops of the
umbrellas were all that could be seen from above,
and the umbrellas were so large that the actors them-
selves could hardly see one another.
Each umbrella had a round spot of colour painted
on it, and all the colours were different.
' That is an invention of Peter's," whispered the
Friend in Melinda's ear. She was quite as proud of
the invention as Peter himself, and Peter was as in-
terested in the play as if he had been the author.
* What invention ? " asked Melinda.
! The umbrellas, of course."
'* But one can see nothing," said Melinda, im-
* But Peter was careful to put a colour-sign on
every umbrella," continued the Friend with an
admiring look at Peter.
" But what do the colour-signs mean ? ' asked
Melinda, whispering so as not to disturb the others,
whose attention was rivetted on the play.
" You need only look there," replied the Friend,
and pointed to a row of figures painted on the wall
of the sunken stage. These drawings represented
the characters in the play, Bluebeard, the seven
wives, Sister Anne, and the two brothers. Under
each figure was painted a round spot of colour, and
Melinda saw that these colour-signs corresponded
with the ones on the umbrellas, so that the audience
could tell which actor was
playing under each umbrella.
Although the performance
was certainly very original,
Melinda found it too vague
to please her. She leant across
to Peter and remarked :
" You might, at least, have
had the umbrellas made of
glass so that one could see
Peter's face lit up, and he
shook Melinda warmly by
44 It is a magnificent sug-
gestion ! " he said," and I shall
certainly make use of it."
This was the second time PLAYING UNDER EACH UMBRELLA
ALL THAT COULD BE
SEEN FROM ABOVE
HURRIEDLY PICKED IT UP
that Melinda had assisted in
an important undertaking.
The first time was when
she had proposed a visit to
the terrible Island of Bali-
goors, where they had found
and rescued Cod.
At this moment a large
object fell at Drummer's
feet, who hurriedly picked
it up and hid it under his
clothes. They had all seen
that it was a Marionette's
head, but said no word, as
they did not know how far
it might not be criminal to
have the head of a Marion-
ette in one's pocket.
THE MARIONETTES' FIRE. THEY SPEAK
OF THE BALIGOORS. WHY MELINDA
COULD NOT WRITE. THE SAILORS
FEED THEIR FIRE WITH SLEEPING
WHEN the performance was over, the
travellers left the hall in the midst of a
crowd of Marionettes, but as soon as
possible they managed to walk away together and
congratulate each other on being together again.
Melinda told them how Flute had found a coun-
try which was entirely to his satisfaction.
" And the Captain ? " asked the Drummer.
11 Who do you mean ? " said Melinda.
" The master of the Blueboat, who floated away
in a barrel, of course," said the Drummer.
" He is with Flute and Cod and the Carpenter in
the Island of Silence," replied Melinda. " The Car-
penter, too, is well, and so is Cod except that the
Baligoors stole his pretty fish costume and he has
nothing to wear except a warm, brown cloak ! '
" Who are the Baligoors," asked everyone at once,
and so Melinda had to tell them the story the reader
has already been told in the preceding chapters of
this truthful history. None of them had seen any-
thing of the fight between the Carpenter and the
" At that time we must have been on the Island
of Long Women," said the Drummer, and then it
was Melinda's turn to ask questions.
" Bing and Sun-and-Moon are still there," said
the Friend in a disgusted voice. Melinda felt a little
ashamed of not having asked for news of them be-
fore, but as it seemed to be a sore subject for the
others she did not ask for more information, but
simply said " Ah ! " and changed the subject.
" The Marionettes on this Island," she began
rather angrily, " have no manners at all. Twice when
I wanted to write they snatched away the paper and
tore it into tiny pieces."
" That is not surprising," said Peter, laughing at
her cross little voice. " Anything written makes
them remember a terrible tragedy that was the end
A POST ON THE
of some of their comrades, and they
regard all writing as a danger. We have
to hide our notebooks and pencils, and
even hide ourselves when we want to
write our diaries."
Peter said " our diaries," but, as a
matter of fact, he was the only one who
troubled to take notes on his journey.
" Do you know anything about the
tragedy ? " asked Melinda.
" I know more or less what happened, "
said Peter. " One of the Marionettes on
horseback told me about it by signs,
and I understood pretty well. One day,
a long time ago, the Marionettes found
a shipwrecked mariner, cast up by the
sea on the shore of their Island. They
treated him with great kindness and
consideration, fed him well, and gave
him a nice suit of Marionette clothes.
After a while, however, he wanted to
return to his own country, so he set up
a post on the beach with a piece of
white paper pinned on to it for a signal.
Soon afterwards the signal was noticed
by a passing ship, which landed on the
Island and carried him away. But before
he went he wrote a message on the
paper, the first writing the Marionettes
had ever seen, very likely nothing more
than a message of gratitude and farewell.
" One night, a little
while afterwards, an
old Marionette, fish-
ing on the rocks by
moonlight, saw a
party of men land
their boat on the
beach near to where
the paper was still
fluttering on the post.
It seems that the
strange men went up
to it and read it, and
saw that the man who
wrote it had been
rescued. Then they
started to make a fire,
and as there was not
much wood to be
found, they picked up some Marionettes who were
peacefully sleeping under some trees close by, and
tossed them into the flames to make the fire burn
more brightly. They were only stupid sailor-men,
and could not imagine that a Marionette might have
feelings. They thought the Marionettes were only
cast-off toys, and they built the fire high up, making
it sparkle and crackle, while they sat round it, laugh-
ing and talking.
' And now nothing will convince the Marionettes
that the castaway had not left a written order for
those men to burn their brothers and sisters, for it
was directly after reading the paper that they
committed the dreadful crime of throwing noble
Marionettes into the fire."
ALL THE TRAVELLERS RE-UNITE. THE
CARPENTER WITH THE AEROPLANE
FINDS MELINDA. THEY RETURN TO
THE ISLAND OF SILENCE. FLUTE BE-
GINS THE CONCERT. THE VIOLIN
ACCOMPANIED BY THE MANDOLINE.
THE SEA MURMURS ALONE IN THE
"^ ^HEN, of course, I can understand their
terror at seeing me write," said Melinda.
JL " But they might have seen that I wasn't a
bit like those stupid, cruel sailors."
' But we are not judged very kindly on these
Islands, dear Melinda," said a voice at her elbow.
She looked round, and saw that it was the Carpenter,
who had come to look for her in his aeroplane. " Re-
member what the Tortoise with the long paws said
about you on the Island of the Baligoors," went on
the Carpenter in a winning voice.
Melinda shook her two fists at him for reminding
her of the tortoise, who had said in such a shameless
way that she was the only one of them who looked
as cruel as the Baligoors. She was very pleased to see
the Carpenter again, however, and the others greeted
him like a long-lost brother, for although they had
only known him for a very short time, and his
journey with them had been almost an accident, they
had all become quite attached to him, because he was
so gentle and good-tempered.
TORTOISE WITH THE LONG PAWS
They wanted to show Melinda and the Carpenter
all the wonderful things that could be seen in the
country of Marionettes, but the Carpenter, who was
growing wiser and wiser with experience, insisted
that they should hurry back to the Island of Silence
while the daylight lasted. So he and Melinda flew
off in the aeroplane. The other three embarked in
their half-boat, which they had learnt to manage
very cleverly, and steered it towards the spot where
they saw the aeroplane descend.
It was a lovely night when they all arrived on the
Island of Silence. They sat in a row on the beach
facing the sea, and supped together on bread and
fruit, and watched the stars overhead.
There were now eight of them together again,
because they sat so near Flute that he became one of
the party, and could hear their conversation. In spite
of his vows, he must have felt a great curiosity about
his friends' adventures . They were too tired to talk very
much, however, but just sat quietly, listening to the
sound of the waves, and the nightingale that was singing.
Presently Flute began to play on his sad clarionet,
for his vows did not forbid music. The nightingale
at once stopped her song and flew away to bed.
Flute's tune was very melancholy, so Melinda
began to beat a gay dance on her
little drum as a protest, and the
Drummer followed suit. Then every-
one began to play, and as you may
remember they had not brought their
conductor with them, everyone played
a different tune. They were very clever
musicians. The Carpenter, whose
knowledge of music was confined to
the one lesson Melinda had given him
in the palm tree on the Round Island,
could not pretend to understand their
music, so he said nothing for fear of
appearing ignorant. The only part he
really liked was the sweet song Peter
played on his violin, accompanied by
THEIR CONDUCTOR the Friend on her weeping mandoline.
By the time the concert was ended the moon had
risen, and the moonlight threw delicate green and
PETER PLAYED ON HIS VIOLIN
silver reflections on the bright costumes of the
musicians. Even Cod looked beautiful for Melinda
had fastened a little garland of flowers on the warm,
brown cloak, which was all he had to wear.
They spent the rest of the night recounting to each
other all their separate adventures. Peter began, his
voice whispering through the air like a breeze.
THE ISLAND OF LONG WOMEN. BING AND
SUN-AND-MOON. THEY MEET TWO
OF THE TRAVELLERS AGAIN. THE
LENGTH OF THESE TWO. FIVE CAST-
AWAYS LAND ON THE ISLAND OF LONG
WOMEN. DESCRIPTION OF THE WOMEN
AND MEN OF THE ISLAND
ONE of you will have forgotten the flock of
whales, whose gambols separated us, as we
set out from the wreck of the Blue Boat,"
he began. " When the whale, who was playing with
our half -boat grew tired of his game, we found our-
selves quite close to an island. The sea was calm by
then, and we were drifting gently towards the land,
when we suddenly became aware that our friends,
Bing and Sun-and-Moon, were getting into diffi-
culties. The whale, who had been following them,
was still playing delightedly with their two barrels
joined by a rope. She was a very gentle creature like
all whales, and had done them no harm so far, but all
of a sudden she took it into her head to dive under
the rope, so that when she came up again she lifted
the barrels clean out of the water, one on each side
of her back, like a donkey carrying baskets. The
LIKE A DONKEY CARRYING BASKETS
whale seemed quite unconscious of her burden, and
they did not dare to cry out, for fear she should be
frightened and dive under the water with them, but
when they happened to pass close by our boat, Bing
began playing very softly on his castanets, and Sun-
and-Moon on his bag-pipes. We did not particularly
want to attract the whale's attention, so the Drummer
stood up, and, taking out his knife, made a dumb
show of cutting a rope with it. Sun-and-Moon, who
is simply a lunatic, could think of nothing but the
splendid adventure of riding in a barrel on the back
of a whale, and, as he told us afterwards, he was
comparing his immediate impressions with those of
his childhood when he had ridden on an elephant
at the Zoo. He must have decided that his present
experience was the more wonderful of the two, for
nothing could distract him, and he had wisely con-
fided his destinies to Bing, who was more practical.
Bing understood the Drummer's signs at once,
and cut the rope that held the two barrels together,
so that they slipped down the sides of the whale into
the water. The whale noticed nothing, and swam
steadily away, her mind occupied, no doubt, with
pleasant memories. We hastened to rescue Bing and
Sun-and-Moon. I was never so struck by the extra-
ordinary length of our two friends, as when they
came out of their barrels ; they seemed endless, like
There were now five of us on the half-boat, and
we only just managed to keep our balance. Fortun-
ately the current was driving us steadily towards the
THE EXTRAORDINARY LENGTH OF OUR Two FRIENDS
land, and very soon we felt the keel scraping over
sand. We jumped out and pulled the boat to shore.
We were immediately surrounded by a crowd of
strange people, who were evidently the inhabitants
of the Island. They seemed pleasant people, and
were not bad-looking, though very thin, except that
the women had enormous feet.
The women were, in fact, altogether gigantic,
taller even than Bing and Sun-and-Moon. They
wore huge earrings, half hidden by their hair, which
was very thick and quite straight and reached down
to their knees. Their wide belts were ornamented to
match their earrings. Their noses turned up a little
at the end, and their mouths were too large, but they
had long, graceful necks and pretty dimples, and their
hands were long and shapely.
They wore short, simple dresses and sandals
mounted on wooden clogs, it is difficult to guess
why, unless it was to make them look still taller.
They were gentle creatures, except when they
thought fit to lose their tempers, but they were alto-
gether a great deal too big ; and the worst of it was
that the men were unusually small, much smaller
than I am. They, too, were very gentle, and they had
nice little round heads, neatly finished with a little
square beard and a moustache as small and round as
a farthing. They had small feet, and their costume
consisted of a very wide sash and a round hat and
neat little shoes. When they went for walks with the
ladies they made themselves taller by hoisting them-
selves on stilts.
HOISTING THEMSELVES ON STILTS
" The Island itself was very lovely . . ."
" Horrible you mean ! " interrupted the Friend.
" Very well, then, I will tell my story without
comment," said Peter. " The others will be able to
judge afterwards what sort of Island it was."
"You know perfectly well that it was horrible,"
the Friend persisted. She had begun to brush Peter 's
clothes with a little ivory brush as she spoke.
" Oh, do let me go on ! " said Peter.
" Well, then, try to be truthful," snapped the
TWO MARRIAGES. A BANQUET. THE TWO
BETROTHED LONG GIRLS. THE FRIEND
IS ANGRY. DELEGATION OF PATRI-
ARCHS AND AMBASSADORS. THE CHAR-
IOTS. BING AND SUN-AND-MOON
""\ 7 rRY we ^' tnen " continued Peter, "every-
\/ one on the Island seemed pleased to see us.
T It was obvious that the Long Women were
most attracted by Sun-and-Moon, who is thin and
long, and Bing, who is long and stout. They did not
have to bend their heads very much to talk to them,
and they had to bend right down to talk to their own
" They welcomed us with great hospitality and a
gorgeous banquet was held in our honour. Two little
men stood, one on each side of the Friend to serve
her. They stood because if they had been seated they
would have been too small.
Four Long Women served
the rest of us out of silver
dishes. One of them, a pretty
girl with bright eyes, seemed
to have fallen in love with
Bing. The poor dear had
evidently noticed that her
feet were much larger than
his, for she had put on a
long skirt and taken off her
clogs, to try and hide them.
It was touching to see how
much she admired Bing for
being so stout and tall. As I
have said, she was quite
pretty. . . ."
" Pretty ! No ! " inter-
rupted the Friend again.
" Not even if she had tied
back her carroty hair, and
not allowed it to fly about
all over the place ! "
went on in his gentle fly-like
voice, " was no less admired.
A dark girl only a head or
so taller than himself, began
to worship him as soon as
she set eyes on him. When
he played on the bag-pipes
after the banquet she fainted right away, so intense
was her admiration.
" Another of them stationed herself beside the
Drummer, but he began to beat on his drum with all
his might, and made such a horrible noise that he
scared her away, and made everyone else extremely
uncomfortable . ' '
" It was the only way to get rid of her,"
said the Drummer. " She looked like an
enormous skinny doll."
" She was quite pretty you must admit, "
" A great monkey ! " said the Drummer,
" I myself " Peter began again.
" Be quiet ! " cried the Friend. " You
had another silly doll to look after you.
She was all pink, except her flaxen hair.
A stupid, nonsensical puppet ! '
" Perhaps you will go on with the story,
dear Friend," said Peter indulgently. But
the Friend shook her head and kissed him
on the forehead, while she stroked his hair.
She had a heart of gold, and she was very
' You may have guessed what happened, "
Peter went on, " according to the custom
of the Island of Long Women, next day
Bing and Sun-and-Moon were ceremon-
AN ENORMOUS iousl y sought in marriage.
SKINNY DOLL " A delegation arrived at the door of the
house which had been lent us. They came in big low
chariots, very comfortably arranged, with books and
elegant provisions, chess boards, and even billiard
tables. You see the delegation had to wait for a reply
from Bing and Sun-and-Moon, and according to the
custom of the country they were given two days to
consider it. The two girls came as well, both on the
same chariot, magnificently dressed and covered
" When the foremost chariot drew up at our door
a hundred little dancers immediately jumped out of
it and began to perform a marvellous and compli-
cated ballet, to the accompaniment of music played
by a hundred musicians, who came in the second
" When this was over, more chariots arrived with
people carrying symbolic banners. These people
formed themselves into two ranks, between which
the oldest and wisest men in the country came for-
ward to meet us. The old men made signs, which
we could not understand, and then bowed low in
salutation and remained bent almost double as
though they were playing honey pots. It was quite
painful to watch them, for they refused absolutely
to get up. Presently some of the younger men came
and held them up, or they would have fallen over."
Everyone looked at Bing and Sun-and-Moon,
who thought they were to reply at once to the pro-
posals that had been made to them, so they both
said " Yes ! We will," as loudly as they could. But
still the old men did not get up, and someone
THE FOREMOST CHARIOT
DREW UP AT OUR DOOR
explained to them that they must approach and kneel
on the ground so that they could look into the faces
of the old men, and state their names and positions.
BOWED Low IN SALUTATION
Bing was first.
" I am Bing," he said. " I generally live in London.
I play on the castanets, and sometimes wear a mask.
I was wrecked in the Blue Boat and that is how I
find myself on this Island."
Then it was the turn of Sun-and-Moon.
* I am Sun-and-Moon," he announced. " I am
the most eminent poet and player on the bagpipes
DANCING AND Music STARTED AGAIN
in London, and I have many more titles besides, I
was wrecked in the Blue Boat with Bing, and that is
how I find myself on this Island."
Then they were asked to decide before the sun
set on the following day, whether or no they would
accept the two girls in marriage. The old men stood
up again and gave them each a sheet of purple silk,
fringed with gold, on which they were to write their
BLEW LOUDLY ON THEIR SILVER TRUMPETS
answer. Then the dancing and music started again,
and the old men retired to their chariots, leaving
two heralds, dressed in green, with silver trumpets,
standing at the door of our house. The chariots
stayed near by, and the people in them were as
comfortable as though they had been at home. It
was like a big camp, with a crowd of holiday-makers.
Bing and Sun-and-Moon asked us for our advice,
but the Friend and I refused to have anything to do
in the matter. You see, we knew quite well that
nothing we could say would prevent them from
marrying the pretty Long Women.
We were right ; they wrote " Yes ! ' in large
letters on the purple silk, and signed their names,
though they knew that their consent would prevent
them from ever leaving the Island again.
When the green heralds saw their answer, they
blew loudly on their silver trumpets and everyone
rejoiced. The two girls shed tears of happiness. The
Friend and the Drummer were invited to the wed-
ding festivities with great ceremony. I myself was
asked to stay in the house a little while longer.
PETER REFUSES. MORE CEREMONIES. THE
FAIR GIRL TEARS HER HAIR. PETER
REFUSES AND WARNS HIS FRIENDS.
THEY LEAVE THE ISLAND AND THE
EFORE long I knew the reason for this cur-
demand. Scarcely was one set of chariots
of sight than another procession arrived
at the door, and the whole ceremony started again.
This time it was I who received a proposal of mar-
* It appeared that a very pretty girl with golden
hair had fallen in love with me ! '
The Friend flushed angrily at the memory of this
incident, but she did not interrupt, so Peter smiled
and went on.
TEARING HER GOLDEN HAIR
" 1 was given the custom-
ary two days for reflection,
but it did not take me long
to decide. I did not want to
marry a strange woman, and
live for the rest of my life in
a country so different from
my own, so I lost no time
in finding out how I could
politely refuse the offer. I
discovered that the custom
was simple enough ; a native
of the country could refuse
if he liked, but the only alter-
native for a stranger was to
leave the Island altogether.
" It took me so long to
discover what I ought to do
that the girl grew impatient
and sent a messenger for my
answer, regardless of all
social rules. I sent him back
with my polite excuses,
saying that, as I had an
engagement to sing in an
opera, and she could not
leave the Island, it would be
impossible for us to marry.
" When she heard this she
became furious with anger,
and stood up in her chariot
screaming and tearing her golden hair and flinging
away her flowers and jewels. The sight of her
temper made me fearful for the safety of Bing
and Sun-and-Moon, but they are bigger than most
people, so I dare say they will be able to take care
" I managed to send a message to the other two,
and they escaped from the wedding festivities as
soon as they could. The Friend came, holding a pear
in one hand, and seven pretty fans in the other. Then
we took flight as quickly as possible, for it seemed
unsafe to stay longer on an Island where the women
indulged in such sudden fits of rage.
" We found some pieces of wood for oars, and
launched our half-boat successfully in a river not
far from the sea. Fountains were beginning to play,
and fireworks were being lit in honour of the wedding
as we rowed hurriedly down the river. There was
also a torchlight procession, but as it was still
broad daylight, the torches had not been lit. Here
is one of the flowers the girl threw at me in her
He held out a big red flower for them to see.
"After some tossing at sea," he went on, "we
succeeded in landing on the Island where you found
us. I had counted on reforming the theatre there,"
he added thoughtfully, " but now I think it would
be more interesting to produce the effects I have
discovered here at a good theatre in London."
THE CASTAWAYS THINK OF THE FUTURE.
THEY RECOGNIZE THE ISLANDS. AN
ISLAND WITHOUT A SINGLE TREE.
INTELLIGENT MEN. THEY SET OUT
FOR ANOTHER ISLAND.
IN spite of their frivolity, the time had come when
the travellers had to stop and think about the
future. Their uncertain situation would not have
troubled them at all if they had been sure that a good big
boat was coming to take them back to London in time
for the opera season. As things were, however, there
did not seem to be any way for them to return home.
The petrol in the aeroplane was getting so low that
there was barely enough left for a short stroll in the
air round the Islands ; certainly not enough for the
long voyage back to London. And the Carpenter
was wise enough to refuse to make use of what there
was except for real and urgent reasons.
There was nothing to prevent them from staying
on the Island of Silence. It was very quiet and pleas-
ant and an ideal place for concerts, but somehow
they could not decide to stay in the same place for
the rest of their lives, and when the night was over
and dawn began to appear in the sky, they were still
sitting in a row on the shore, gazing expectantly at
As the sun rose and the light grew stronger, they
could see the other Islands dotted about on the
water, some near, some far away, some that they
knew by sight, and some they did not recognise.
One of them had caught the first rays of the sun,
and stood out more distinctly than the rest. It was
especially noticeable, too, on account of its queer
shape. It was almost as high as it was broad, and as
A GOOD BIG BOAT
the daylight grew they saw that it was bare and rocky
and that its outline formed a series of right angles.
There did not seem to be a single tree.
At times like this the vows of the Silent Beings
became very inconvenient. If only they could have
spoken they could have explained all that the trav-
ellers wanted to know about the strange Island. It
was still more unfortunate that the Boatman had
lost his lacquer box, for it had contained a telescope,
which would have been very useful just then.
" It looks as though it had been built up with
blocks all the same size, like the ones they sell in
BUILT UP WITH BLOCKS
toy-shops," said the Drummer, who had good eye-
" It may be a mirage," suggested Cod, sleepily.
Cod was so lazy that he was never quite awake what-
" If it is a mirage it will soon disappear," said
" I agree with the Drummer that it looks as though
someone built it," said the Carpenter. " And if so,"
he added, " there must be civilised people on it.
Everyone nodded agreement except Cod, who had
gone to sleep again.
" Then we had better try and get there," said the
Carpenter. " If it is civilised we shall be able to find
out where we are, and what is the best way to get
back to London." It was astonishing how wise and
courageous the Carpenter had become, since he had
set out to buy an instrument in a shop. Travelling
develops the reason ; all of them, including even
Cod, were more serious and prudent than when
they had taken their mad departure in the Blue
" Then you will not refuse, dear Carpenter, to go
over there in your aeroplane, and find out if the
people will receive us with hospitality ? ' pleaded
Peter in his soft little voice.
" It looks so far, I am afraid I have not enough
petrol to go there and back again," faltered the
" Well let us all go without being announced,"
said everyone at once. And that is what they did.
THE BUILDER'S ISLAND. THE WRECK AND
THE AEROPLANE LEAVE THE ISLAND
OF LONG WOMEN. FLUTE HAS REFUSED
TO ACCOMPANY HIS FRIENDS. DES-
CRIPTION OF THE BUILDER'S ISLAND.
THE CYCLOPS. THEY GO UP A STAIR-
CASE, AND MELINDA ASCENDS IN A
BASKET. THE AEROPLANE IS DRAWN
UP TO THE TOP OF THE ISLAND.
loaded the half-boat with all their pos-
sessions, and begged some fruit and a pitcher
of water from the birds as provisions in case
the strange Island was not civilised after all. The
aeroplane was folded up and packed with the other
things, as it was only to be used in case of emergency.
Melinda had unfortunately lost the magic diamond
in the dark tunnel, which had led her to the country
of Marionettes, so the Carpenter could not make the
aeroplane small enough to go in his pocket.
Before starting they begged Flute earnestly to
come with them, but he obstinately refused to listen
to their pleading and advice. He merely nodded his
head twice and then shook it, which meant :
' I shall live here for the rest of my days," and no
doubt he is living there still.
So they had to launch the half -boat without him,
and they rowed so hard with the branches they had
cut for oars that presently they were quite close to
the tall Island. It was a very strange place. In all their
travels they had never seen anything like it before.
The whole Island was one enormous town, and
the houses had been built one on top of another, until
some of them were so high in the air that they looked
as though they would topple over into the sea. The
building must have gone on for hundreds of years,
so that when all the space on the ground had been
used up the builders had gone on building upwards
towards the sky, laying the foundations of new houses
on the roofs of the old ones. The lower houses seemed
to be quite empty, like shells left on the beach when
the fishes that lived inside them are dead. Only the
upper houses were inhabited, as though the builders
lost interest in what was completed and only wanted
to go on and build more.
At first the voyagers could see no sign of life at all,
but presently they saw people leaning out of the
upper windows and over unfinished walls. They
were strange-looking creatures, for they had only
one eye, which was placed in the middle of their
' We are not safe after all," said Melinda tear-
fully. " Even the Baligoors had two eyes in their
heads like other reasonable people."
:< All the same, they must be very intelligent and
civilised to have built all these houses," Peter re-
Meanwhile more and more of the Cyclops, as the
one-eyed builders were called, appeared at the
windows of their houses to gaze at the new-comers.
It was quite uncomfortable to be stared at by so
many people with only one eye, and there seemed to
be no way of explaining why they had come or ask-
ing for help. But presently a little door opened near
to the spot where the boat was lying, and one of the
TO GAZE AT THE NEW- COMERS
Cyclops appeared in the door- way. Just behind him
they could see the beginning of a stair inside a high
tower, which seemed to lead to the top of the whole
construction. There were many of these towers, and
evidently each contained a staircase, but this was
not the only way of reaching the upper houses, for
at the same moment that the little door was opened
they saw a basket being let down by a crane from
above. The basket was lowered until it was close to
the boat, and then the Cyclops invited the travellers
to ascend, either by the basket or the staircase, as it
pleased them. Melinda, who loved travelling by air,
chose the basket. She stepped into it, and immedi-
ately it was pulled up to the summit. At the same
time the Drummer, the Boatman and Cod, and
Peter and the Friend began mounting the staircase
one after the other at the heels of the Cyclop, who
turned round at every turn of the stairs to make sure
that they were really following. He seemed quite
feverish with surprise and excitement. Peter sus-
pected treachery, and indeed none of them felt at
their ease about the future.
The Carpenter, who had stayed behind to fasten
the boat, signed to the Cyclops above that he wanted
to send up the box which held the aeroplane, for he
did not think it would be safe to leave it behind.
The Cyclops seemed to understand his signs, for
they sent down multitudes of cords with which he
fastened the box as securely as he could. It was at
once drawn upwards, and the basket, which had
carried Melinda, was let down again for the Car-
IT WAS AT ONCE DRAWN UPWARDS
THE POWER OF MUSIC. THE TRAVELLERS
ARE COLDLY RECEIVED. THEY PLAY
SOME MUSIC. THE CYCLOPS ARE
CHARMED. THEY EXAMINE THE IN-
STRUMENTS. PETER PLAYS THE
VIOLIN. A STRANGE NOISE IS HEARD
AROUND THEM. THE NOISE STOPS
THEY found themselves on a sort of terrace at
the very summit of the houses. They were
surrounded by a crowd of Cyclops, who gazed
at them silently, their one-eyes bright with interest.
The Cyclops seemed to find it amusing and grotesque
that the strangers had two eyes in their faces in-
stead of one, but their brightly coloured clothes
evidently excited envy and admiration. Presently the
Cyclops began to ask them questions, who they were,
where they had come from, and what adventures
they had had on the way. But the travellers felt
much too tired and shy to answer questions, and
Melinda and the Friend were praying for the dark-
ness to come quickly : they felt so embarrassed and
frightened at being gazed at by a crowd of people
with only one eye. Curiosity in two eyes is quite an
ordinary thing !
The Cyclops were crowding very near ; they
seemed to be on guard. There was a long and trying
* Shall we have some music ? '
' That might, perhaps, distract their immoderate
curiosity," said Peter, and as he had not yet spoken
his shrill little voice came as a new surprise to the
The musicians tuned up their instruments and
began to play. The Cyclops were immediately pros-
trated with surprise and fear. They bowed their
heads, and no one moved or spoke. If one of them
had lifted his head a little you could have seen that
his eye was full of terror and veneration.
The musicians, feeling more at ease, produced
some wonderful music. They played on for a long
time in the gathering dusk that deepened to a moon-
When at last they stopped, the Cyclops picked
themselves up and crouched round them once more.
The charm exercised on them by the music was
broken. They came and asked to inspect the musical
instruments, and took them very carefully in their
hands. The Carpenter 's saw pleased them most ;
wood was unknown to them, and they had never
seen such a thing before. Their buildings were made
partly of iron and partly of enormous bricks, so big
and heavy that it took two men to carry them.
Melinda's little drum, and the Drummer's big one,
seemed to the Cyclops very mysterious arrange-
ments, and as for Melinda's lyre, Peter's violin, and
the Friend's mandoline, they scarcely dared to touch
them at all. The Boatman's pipe, and Cod's little
flute, escaped notice, but they touched the musicians'
garments with curious fingers, and looked hard at
their two eyes. And all this time the Cyclops said
nothing at all friendly or sympathetic. ,
Far away in the distance below them they could
hear the sea peacefully murmuring, but the night
was very dark and the crowd of Cyclops came closer
MELINDA'S LITTLE DRUM AND THE DRUMMER'S BIG ONE
and closer. There must have been more than a thou-
sand of them.
Peter had a bright idea.
He drew several high notes from his violin, and
the Cyclops immediately
drew away to allow room
for prostrating them-
selves. It was too dark to
see how far they were,
but their voices sounded
far away in the distance.
The other musicians
followed Peter's exam-
ple, and went on playing
and playing, as this
seemed the only way of
keeping the indiscreet
and unamiable creatures
at a distance.
It is terrible to think
of their piteous plight,
unable to take a mo-
ment's rest, and with no refreshment of any kind.
Whenever they played softly they heard strange
noises going on around them ; there could not have
been more noise if the tower of Babel were being
built again in a single night. It was clear that the
Cyclops were trying to deaden the sound of the music
by the noise of their work, but it would have taken
much more noise than that to drown the music the
musicians were playing.
It was so dark that they could not guess what it
was that the Cyclops were building, but it seemed
to them that the mysterious noises were growing
upwards all round them.
THE CYCLOPS IMMEDIATELY DREW AWAY
THE CYCLOPS WERE BUILDING
" It seems to me that the sky is lighter," said
Peter, as they paused for a moment to rest.
" The dawn is appearing," said the Boatman.
" The noise seems to have stopped," said the
Drummer. They were just able to see each other
through the dispersing darkness.
PRISONERS ! THEY ARE SURROUNDED
BY A HIGH WALL. THEY MUST
DIE OF HUNGER OR LIVE LIKE
BEARS IN A PIT. THEY HEAR AN
ENGINE. THE "LEMON OF GOLD"
REAPPEARS. IT DRAWS THE PRISONERS
FROM THE PIT. THEY REACH KENS-
IT was true ; the noise had changed to a com-
plete silence. It must have been because the
Cyclops had gone to rest, and were in a deep
sleep after their great efforts.
* I feel caged like a prisoner," said Peter, in a
melancholy voice to Cod, who was sitting next to
" I feel dreadfully home-sick," said the Friend,
and Melinda was nearly crying.
" Whatever happens we must get away from these
heartless creatures," said the Drummer. ' They
seem to have the same sort of curiosity about us as
collectors have for the insects they catch."
" I like insects," said the Carpenter rather crossly.
* I collect them myself."
"But look ! " cried the Boatman, in a voice full of
disagreeable surprise. " Look ! There is only a small
circle of sky above us ! '
They looked and saw that there was only a small
round disc of pale blue above their heads. The open
IN A DEEP SLEEP
sky, which had been all round them the night be-
fore, had gone. This was in no way surprising, for
they were now surrounded by an immense wall,
which the Cyclops had built round them in the
night. A thousand of them had worked all night long
in couples carrying their enormous bricks to make a
cage for the seven musicians. That was why there
had been so much noise in the night, and why the
Cyclops were sleeping off their fatigue now their
work was done. The musicians were out of reach of
the world, at the bottom of a sort of well.
" They will starve us to death," said the Boatman,
" No, they will keep us alive by throwing down buns
to us, as though we were brown bears at the Zoo."
" They want us for their pleasure. Our music has
enchanted them ; they will keep us alive to give
them concerts," said the Drummer.
" They have made themselves comfortable seats
at the top of the wall so that they can listen to us at
their ease," said Cod, pointing upwards.
The sun rose higher in the sky, and soon it was
broad day, but there was still no sound from the
Cyclops. None of the musicians, not even the Boat-
man, had the heart to cry.
Not a sound. . . .
Yes yes a long way off in some far corner of
the sky they seemed to hear a light, murmuring buzz.
They all stood up and listened hard, holding their
breath. The buzzing approached.
" It is an aeroplane," said Melinda, who now knew
all about aeroplanes. The Carpenter unfolded his
own, and looked to see how much petrol he had left.
Meanwhile the buzzing became a humming, and the
humming grew louder and louder.
" It must be the motor of the Lemon of Gold,"
cried the Carpenter, and he started the propellers
of his aeroplane.
THE AEROPLANE ROSE
It rose perpendicularly.
The musicians watched anxiously to see what
would happen ; their eyes were fastened to the
round disc of sky above their heads. Suddenly the
Lemon of Gold appeared, high up, a little dark
point against a cloud. They could see that it was
descending to meet the Carpenter's aeroplane, which
was mounting upwards. Then the two machines
met, and both flew down together towards the hole
where the poor musicians were imprisoned.
There was not a moment to be lost, for what would
happen if, in spite of their fatigue, the Cyclops woke
up and discovered their flight ?
But nothing disastrous happened. They made their
preparations and gathered together their belongings
and behaved altogether as civilised people generally do
when they are being rescued from a well in which
they have been imprisoned by a thousand Cyclops.
They climbed into the compartments of the Lemon
of Gold by means of cords, which the airship let
down to them. Then they arranged themselves as
well as they could in company with the crew of four
men in black and white uniforms, and the Captain,
who still wore no hat.
The Captain was looking at his map as they rose
in the air, and paid no attention to the derisive
salutes the musicians were making to the Cyclops,
who had woken in fury to find their victims escaped.
But the Captain was never talkative. When they
asked where he had been he said simply, without
removing the field glasses from his eyes :
" When I lost sight of you I was reminded of a
cousin of mine in Greenland. So I went to pay a visit
to my cousin." And when the musicians tried
WITHOUT REMOVING THE FIELD GLASSES FROM HIS EYES
eagerly to tell him all about their adventures, he
told them gravely that he did not care for frivolous
Still he was a good Captain for all his lack of
poetry, and he brought them back without any
mistake or hesitation to the middle of Kensington
There was a great sensation. The papers were full
of it the next day.
CONCLUSION. THE MUSICIANS MEET
AGAIN THE DAY AFTER. THEY SHOW
EACH OTHER THEIR SOUVENIRS OF
following evening the Musicians met to-
gether again in the Green Park. Not one of
them had spoken of their travels to a living
soul. It all seemed so like a dream that they could
hardly believe it had really happened until they were
all together again and could ask one another ques-
tions. They knew then that it could not have been a
dream, for how was it possible to suppose that they
had all dreamed the same thing at the same time ?
And besides, a dream would not have accounted for
the absence of their friends, Bing and Sun-and-
There were other indubitable proofs of the reality
of their strange voyage. Each one had brought some-
thing back from the Weird Islands they had visited,
little things of no special value, but which sufficed
to prove the truth of their story.
The Boatman held out the starfish he had picked
up near the coast of the Island of Cubic Birds, while
he floated about in his barrel, smoking cigarettes.
The Carpenter held on his knees the famous gilded
cock, who had once played the part of a Golden God
to those same geometrical birds. He had also the
wooden nail, which he had torn from the Chimera.
The Drummer, after a moment's hesitation, un-
wrapped the head of a Marionette, which he had
taken from the shop where the Marionettes did their
" Repairs and Decorations."
Peter produced the flower, which the Long Woman
had thrown at him in her temper. The Friend had
the seven little fans, which she had carried off in her
flight from the wedding festivities of Bing and Sun-
Melinda was wearing the cap, which she had
snatched from the head of the Marionette, who had
torn up the paper she wanted to write on.
THE CARPENTER AND THE
THE DRUMMER AND THE HEAD
OF THE MARIONETTE
PETER PRODUCED THE FLOWER
THE FRIEND HAD THE SEVEN
MELINDA WEARING THE CAP
Cod had to admit that he had brought nothing
back with him from his travels. But the Carpenter
at once drew out of his pocket the paper on which
Cod had written a message, when the Baligoors were
on the point of skinning him. This he handed to
Cod to reassure him that he had not been dreaming.
I must, however, tell you that a girl to whom I told
this tale said, when I had finished, that though she
quite believed that the musicians had not dreamt
their adventures, there was no proof that I myself
had not dreamt the whole story from start to finish.
To that I replied that the Musicians had invited
me to accompany them on their next journey, and I
promised to tell her the story of all that happened to
me when I returned, and I shall bring back some
proof of my adventures to make her believe me.
I myself should be quite convinced of the truth of
all this if I had,/ for instance, the head of a Marion-
ette in my pocket.
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