The Isle of Wonders; or, The mysteries of the echoing cave

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The Isle of Wonders; or, The mysteries of the echoing cave

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Title:
The Isle of Wonders; or, The mysteries of the echoing cave
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Benedict, Basil
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Mystery fiction. ( gsafd )
Detectives -- Fiction -- United States ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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028875113 ( ALEPH )
07219828 ( OCLC )
B15-00017 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.17 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Brave and Bold

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serial

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LOrtGER _STORIES THAN CONTAlf'tED IN FlVE ,.ElllilT< ANY CENT LIBRARY PUBLISHED 'ii I l A glfFeR _EJ'tT COMP'91;TE STORY EVERY WEEK The boys w e n t at it with a will, the sharp reports of th
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BRAVEBOLD .fl D i f ferent Complete S to ry Every Week Juiud Wulily. By Subscription per year. Entered accordzn!{' to Ar:t of Qmg-ress n the year IQO.J, the Office of the L brarian of Cong-ress Waslung-ton, IJ. C.: STREET & SMITH, 238 Wz lliam St., N Y N o 22. NEW YORK, May 23, 1903. Price Five Cents. THE ISLE O F WONDERS ; OR Mysterie s of the Echoing Cave. By CAPTAIN BASIL BENEDICT .' CHAPTER I. PLOTTING MUTINY ON BOARD THE FORTUNA-THE EAVESDROPPll "Great Neptune! Tony Bri g ht, what's the matter? I should think you'd seen a ghost-or a whole legion of them, for that matter, from the looks of your face." "You're right, Frank," nodd e d Harry Halstead, who was seated by his side; ' he's as white as a sheet; and if it was only one ghost that frightened him, it must have been that of the 'Flying Dutchman' himself." "Or, it m a y be, if there were a number of them," put in Charley Curtiss, "that some shipmaster and his officers were murdered by the crew in this v ery--" "Good heavens! boys, hush!" exclaimed Tony Bright, in a low but excited tone, glancing anxiously behind him the while. "Not a word above a whisper, if you value your lives!" "Why, what is the matter, Tony?" asked Franklin Fleetwood, at once becoming serious. "Is there anything wrong for'ardany trouble in the forecastle?" ''Not quite so loud, Mr. Fleetwood, if you please. Yes, there's a great deal wrong. But if I stop here another moment I shall be suspected-if I am not already. See, the boat on the port quarter is swinging low on the davits. Jump in there-all three of you-when you can do so unobserved, and I will come to you in about an hour-when it is quite dark, and the starboard watch has gone below. Mind, now, don't one of you go into the cabin, or they'll say I sent you." Then, without waiting for a word in reply, Tony Bright hurried forward. The first-class ship, Fortuna, making the voyage from San Francisco to New South Wales and Victoria, had touche d at Honolulu, and now, headed southwest, or southwest by west, was in the immediate vicinity of Ann Ete Isle, that is to say, in latitude IO north, and longitude 88 west from Washington. Nearly due west lay the Marshall Islands, and beyond these the great archipelago known as the Caroline Islands. The ship's company consisted of the captai!i, three mates, and twenty-two men and boys before the mast, anC! to these must be added Chong Wing, the Chinese cook, or "doctor," as he was more generally called. The captain, who was also part owner, was Hiram Fleetwood, formerly of Boston, but now of San Francisco. The first mate was Samuel Sla t er, a man of for ty years of age, a thorough sailor, and a brave a nd loyal g entleman. The second mate was Bernard Botsford, only thirty-one years old, but who had seen more than fifteen years of service under Captain Fleetwood's own eye s and who was therefore to be trusted. Franklin Fleetwood, the captain's only son, in his eight eemh year, was the third mate of the Fortuna and it mi ght almost be said that the office had been created for him, for the ship had never had a third mate before. But Frank, as he was familiarly called was a good seaman. He had made several voyages with his father in the Fortuna; had spent some time in the Hawaiian and Samoan Islands; under stood all his duties as an officer thoroughly, and in many ways was a valuable man to have on board. Besides the officers and crew there were four passengers. These were Chester Curtiss, a wealthy importer of San Frair

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BRAVE AND B OLD. cisco, who w<1-s going to Australia on important business; Charley Cu r tiss hi s son, not y et Harry H<1-l& tead, the captain's nephew, about a year older th an {::har1ey, who was making the yoyagc m e rely for h ea lth a nd pl eas ure and Arty Arvine, a boy f less than t welve, who se father wa s Mr. Curti ss' age nt at Mel bourne, and who n ow und e r that ge ntl e m a n 's guardianship, was going out to join his pare nt s in the great continent. The crew, on the whole, was nothing more than ordinary. In the m a in, it was made up o f foreigners, m en fro m every clime und e r the sun, as is almost always the case in these de genera te d ays of our merch a nt-1narine. But th ere were a few a m ong th e numb e r who should receive passing n o tice a nd first of these was Dick Brown the b oats wain a pow erfu lly built man of forty-nine years, forty of which hlc the captain's cabin -"You se' nt for m e sir?" said Frank, add re!JSillg his fath e r in a tone. Y es, 111y boy." ;.,as th e answer ; I wanted to you a t1on. Mr, Slater. here, feels confident that there is mi sc hief ini among the m en. Have you seen a11ythjng durins-the: pat tw e11tyfonr ]10urs that woiild lenow that: b1:1t \vhat I want t9 get a.t is, whether there 1 s any danger of this feeling ripening into an overt ilL>l of mutiny."

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BRA VE AND BOLD 3 "Then, to be perfectly frank with you, I think there is great and immediate danger," replied Frank, gravely. "Yo u have good reason for thinking so, I take it ?" "Yes, sir, the b est r easo n in the world." "It i s as I feared," murmured Slater. "Let us hear what you hav e to say with regard to the matter," c ommande d the captain, and Mr. Curtiss drew his chair nearer. "All I can tell you at present," said Frank, "is merely this: About half an hour ago, while Harry, Charley and my self were seated on the quarter-deck, Tony Bright suddenly appeared be fore us, with a face as p ale as death i tself I at once demand e d to know what was the matter, and he intimated that the men were o n the eve o f open mutiny." "How did he know?" asked M r. Curtiss, quickly. "He must have overheard them laying their plans." "vVho are the rin gleaders?" "He only had time to name one--Silas Sanders." "Yes, I was sure he was at the bottom of the business," com mented the first ma te. "An evil-minded m a n. I wish he h a d never set foot aboard this ship ." "There's another quite as bad, I think," muse d the captain. "Do you mean Miguel Gonzalo?" asked Frank. "Yes,. that's the man." "Then I am sure you are right, for I believe that fellow would no more hesitatP to s h oot us all down in our tracks than as though we w e re so many dogs." "But there are others almos t a s bloodthirsty as h e," said the mate. "For instance, there's that little Italia n, Giuseppe Bassano. I believe it would a r eal pleasure to him to drive that ugly poniard of hi s through my heart." "Yes," assented the captain, "and there's that bi g H aytian ne g ro -Gabriel, as he calls himself. I don't. believe lte's got even so much as a shadow of a conscience." "You'r e ri g ht enough there, captain," said Slater. "There's n o th i n g in world to distinguish the creature from the brutes but the fact \hat h e can jabber a little in Spanish, and walk on two legs." "Bnt one moment gent l eme n said Mr. Curtiss, somewhat im p atiently "I want to ask Frank. h e re why it was he d i d not get more informatior. from that boy Tony, when he was about it?" "Because." answered Frank, "he was being watched by San ders, Jop so n, and somt others, and it wouldn't do to arous e their suspicions." "Ah I see; but didn't you arrange to meet him later?" "Yes, we are to climb into the boat on the port quarter, and he is to join us there." "In a n hour's time, and th e hom must be nearly up now." "Then go at o n ce my boy!" excla im e d the captain, promptly, "and r ejoin us here as soon as possible." At this moment Arty burst into the cabin. "Frankl" h e cri e d H arry and Charley want you to ..i:::ome on d eck immedia te ly. T h ey' r e waiting for you ." r "All right, little chap, they s h a ll not have long to wait." And leaving th e cabin. Frank sprang up the companionway He looked a b ou t him. There was no on e on the quarter-deck. It now quite dark. and he could not very well see what was going on forward He ad va nced cautiously as far as the c a b oose. The starboard watch had gone below, and the watch now on deck was huddler. in the lee of the main hatch and directly in front of the caboose. Frank could only catch a few words of their conversation, but he was concerned to know that it was all in condemnation of the office rs. and in praise of Sanders, J opson, Gonzalo, and the other r ingleaders. He made his way aft on t he p ort side, and when he had reached the boat paused; and after a hasty glance around, to m ake sure that he was n o t observed, climbed in. His two fri ends were already there, and he crouched d ow n by their side A few minu t e s l ate r they h eard a c autious foo tste p approach ing, and the next moment Tony ic.ined them "At last we are by ourselves," h e said in a tone of satisfactio n and relief; "and now I can say what I want to, without t he un comfortable feeling that some one is watching me, or list ening to every w ord." But h e was wrong; for, although he little dreamed it, there was a cunning s py at h 2n d Tony's Pvery mov ement h ad be e n jealously watched fro m the moment he had the boys on the quarter-deck; and now, crouching under boat w as the burly form of Silas Sanders, and his eager ears were drmking in every word that was uttered 1>ver bis head. CHAPTER II. THE OFFICERS AND PASSENGERS BESIEGED IN THE "vVell, Tony," said Frank, a ft e r t h e young sailor h ad fixed him self comfor tably in the bottom of the boat, "perhaps you can judge how anxious we are to h ea r w hat you h ave to say, when you think that we have b ee n waiting a whole h our for an explanation of the dark hints you gave us." "Yes, yes, I know," said Tony, quickly; "and just let m e tell yon that this same hour has seeme d like a perfect age to me as well as you." \ ,\/ell, what is it, Tony?" asked Ch a rl e y Curti ss, impatiently. "What black villainy has that scoundrel, Sibs Sanders been c oncocting?" "He is going to take the ship to-ni g ht." "To-night!" "Yes, at eigh t bells he and all those in the plot will take pos sessio n of the deck, kill the mate o n duty, and all who oppose them, then disguise the shi p as thoroughly as possible, a nd make for the Samoan I s land s." "The Samoan Islands! That wouldn't be a very safe p lace for a gang of mutineers if they were suspected." "He thinks differ ently. He would alter the ship's p ape rs of course, and then sell her to the Germans there-the great firm o f Goddefray & Co., you know-who hate the Americans, and so wouldn't be too inquisitive about the matter, for they are ready to do anything-go a ny l engt h to destroy our commerce in these waters." "\![ell, after they h ave dispo s ed of the s hip what then?" "Why, then Sanders and his men will retire to the i slan d of Savaii, where he says an army could not find and t ake th e m." "Savaii, that is one of the Samoan group," said Frank. "Yfs, the largest i sland of a ll, and contains some of the most wonderful caverns and underground galleries in the world." "I h ave heard as much; but let us get back to t he sbip, and the danger that threate n s us. Do the mutineers in tend to kill the officers and pa sse n gers in the cabin i n cold blood?" I am sorry to say it, Frank, but that is their d eli b erate intention." "Are you certain on this point?" '-"Qui te c ertain. They say that your father, yourself, and other two mates, and Mr. Curtiss, must die."

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4 BRA VE AND BOLD. "And my two friends here, and Arty?" "They will make them useful for a )Vhile, and then, for fear o i their tongue s will throw them O\'erb oa rd." God, this is terrible!" e x claimed Charley, in a faltering Y o ice. "Don't fr e t yet old b o y," said Frank, soothingly. "There is a Yi!St differenc e b e tween prop os ing to d o a thing and doing it, as J trus t th ese s coundrels will soon find out How many are in the plot, Tony?" "I' m a s hamed to tell you, sir." "But d o so, nev e rthele ss ." "Well, th e n all arc 111 it but the b o at s wain, the carpenter, and my m ess mate, T orn Tracy. " G o od for Tom! I knew we could c o unt on Brown and :tvlorgan." "But what shall we
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11BRA VE AND BOLD. s "Well, what do you propose?" asked Mr. Cu r tiss. "To put out the light, in the first place; then, while they can' t see us, we shall be able to get a glimpse of them in the faint moonlight. After that I propose to force this door which com with your stateroom, and there Arty, at least, will be comparative!:.' safr." "A good idea, Frank," exclaimed his father. "Douse the glim at once." This was easier said than done, for under the circumstances, no one cared to venture forward to do it But Frank presently accompli s hed his object by throwing his cap at the light, and thus extinguishing it This unexpected move caused some grun:ibling on the part of the besiegers, and one of them, who incautiously bent forward to peer into the gloom, received a pellet of lead in the shoulder, to remind him to b e m o re careful in his investigations After a time mutirteers seemed to have left th e skylight, and Frank and his friend s to o k advantage of their absence to open the door connect:ng the captain s cabin with Mr. Curtiss' 5tateroom. He next examined the fa s tenings of the outer door of: the stateroom, to make su r e that they were secure. While thus engaged, he heard a slight no i se at the cabin window. Wondering what it could mean, he approached, and peering through the thi c k and obscure glass, could see a shadow on the outside but nothing more. The slight noi s e was repeate d, and then a whispered voice reached him "Open! Open quickly!" and without an instant's hesitation he opened the window. CHAPTER III. TAKING '1'0 THE BOAT S-A STUPENDOUS S P ECTACLE AND AN AWFUL F.UE. "Ah! thanks Master Frank, cam e the voice from the outside, "I thought I c o uld get at you thi s way, and glad I am to see you." Bill !\!organ!'' exclaimed Frank, "you're alive, then?" "Yes thank God. But no thanks to the bloody fiends on deck, though.'' "Vv' cll come in, if you can get through the opening and tell us all about it "Oh, I can get throngh fast enough. I knew which deadlight to knock at, you understand and y ith some little difficulty the carpenter made his way into the s tateroom. By this time all had gatherPd around him, eager to hear what he had to say. "How it that you managed to escape the wretches?" asked Mr. Curtiss ''I'm here simply because they think I'm dead," was the answer. "'That brute Jepson knock<'d me down, and then ordered me to be thrown overboard. But he didn't s trike a square blow and I re covered consciou:;ness before I struck the water. I caught hold of a rope, and managed to hold on until I h ad regained strength enough to swim forward and grasp the main-chains, then I took b r eath, and hoisting myself up. contr i ved to reach the extremity of the cutwater Here J rested. aj1d kept my eyes about me." "Then," exclaimed the captain impatiently, "perhaps you can info r m us as to the fate of Botsford and Brown?" "For tu n ately I ca n.'! "Ar e t hey alive?" "They are alive." "Where are they?" "The mate is close at hand and the bo's n no t fa r off "One close at hand and the othe r not far off! Please explain." "Why, soon after I'd got fixed in my position, I saw all the men rushing aft. Then, by means of the bowsprit, I reached the forecastle, and so descended to the deck. "The first thing to attract my attention was Dick Brown, se curely lashed to the foremast, I cut his cords at once, then he pointed out the unconscious form of the second mate, lying near the main hatchway. "Dick sugges .teci that we try to save his life by concea l ing him in the boat swingmg from the stem davits. I promptly assented, and volunteer e d to reconnoiter "Cautiously I made my way aft, and found that all the me n were either in the cabin or ab o ut the skylight; even the n1an at the wheel had left his po s t in order to see what was going on, las hing the wheel meantim e so as not to throw the s hip out of her cours e "I ha s t e ned b ack, inform e d Dick of the situation and together we brought the unc o nscious mate back of the roundhouse, and lowered him into the stern-boat. Then, l eaving Dick on the watch, I climbed down to yonder \Vindow, and succeeded in attract ing your atte ntion." Well done, Bill! exclaimed Frank, approvingly. "And now let's ha s t e n to g e t those two brave men in here out of danger." "Take thi s k e y ," said the captain, hastily; "it will let you into the littl e private s to1eroom which is lighted by one of the stern window s You can easily accompli s h your object by means of that. And so they did, for ten minutes later the second mate was safe in Mr. Curtiss' berth, and Dick Brown was shaking hands wit h the c a ptain and all his other friends. ''For some rea so n or other," announced Dick, presently, "the villain s have alt e red the s hip 's course, and we're now headed dne west.'' "The y mu s t be making for one of the Mar s hall group, or poss ibly for th e Car o line T s land s beyond," s uggested Frank "No doubt you're right. sir," a sse nted Dick. I shouldn't wonder," s miled th e captain. Strange to : say, no more attention was p aid to the pri s oners in the cabin that night. The next day a few shots were fired through the skylight, and one or two atte mpts were made to force th e door s bu t n o se ri o u s damage was done. Then a wholP week p
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6 BP ... VE AND BOLD. one man had been washed overboard, and one of me wound e d men had died; so that, in all, they had lost four men Dy death, and there w e re still two seriously wounded. But Bill learned something more than this. He learned that the mutineers had concocted ;. diabolical scheme whereby to rid themselves of the pns oners in the cabin by one fatal blow. His cheeks blanched whil e he listened, and as speedily as possible he made his way back to the cabin and reported. There was a mom ent o.f painfol silence, and then, in a calm voice, th e captain asked: "Wher.. is this scheme to be carried out?" "To-morrow night." "Then we must venture forth and attack them to-night while they are unprepared." "No use, these doors are carefully guarded, and then the whole crew is now thoroughly armed. You must have forgotten those cases of rifles and boxes of cartridges stored forward. They h ave found them, and would make good use of them, too, if you stepped outside of this cabin." "Then what do you propose?" "] ust this: We mus t be somewhere in the neighborhoo d of the Ralick Islands, I take it, or perhaps even further west, and so in the very midst of a vast archip e lago of coral isles. Now, there are twelve of us, and my idea is to equip and provision two boats, put three men and three boys in each, and as soon as it is quite dark to-morrow night leave the ship "But can we provision two boafs ?" asked Mr. Curtiss. "Yes," nodded the captain ; "though they little suspect it, I have plethy of provisions here." "But the boats," said Frank. "I suppose we shall have little trouble in securing one, but how about the oth e r s?" "I'll look out for that," said Bill Morgan, confidently. "Then why not start to-night?" asked Mr. Curtiss, nervously. "After what you have told us, I shall not know a moment's peace of mind till we're well out of this ship." 'Tm only afraid we couldn't get so far away before daylight but what they'd find us." "If you'll manage to have one of the other boats under the stern in twenty minutes," said Frank, "we'll agree to have both thoroughly equipped and provisioned inside of an hour, so there need be no further fear on that head." "All right," exclaimed Bill, cheerfully, and he quickly disap peared through the cabin window. All hands now set to work lading the stern-boat, and indeed, the provisions, arms and complete outfits for both boats were piled into this, and whe n all were on board, the boat was lowered to the water, where Morgan was already waiting with the quarter boat. One after another the fugitives now climbed through the stern window, and descended by means of the davit ropes, Arty being passed down by Brown and received by Morgan. Then the boys, for convenience sake, while a portion of the outfits were being transferred, remained in the larger boat. The transferring was nearly completed and Tom Tracy had just sprung into the quarter-boat, to take Brown's place, who was just ready to jump into the other, wh e n a loud yell from the deck of the sh i p startled th e m all. "Cast off! cast off!" cried the captain and first mate in a breath, and the order was promptly obeyed on board both boats, and they quickly fell astern and were swallowed up in the darkness. But soon th e y saw the flash and h ep.rd the report of a dozen rifle shots, and the leaden pellets fell all around them. Then, as they listened, they heard the order given to bring the ship to, and soon another. order-to lower the boats. Frank had thought, if they had both boats handy, they could equip them and get away in an hour's time, but, in point of fact, it had taken three, and now, in another hour it would be day light. \Vith him in the la "rger boat there were four others-Harry Halstead, Charley Curtiss, Arty Arvine, and Tony Bright-five' in all. The rest were in the other boat. But the other boat was nowhere in sight, and Frank dare not hail it, for to do so would be to direct the mutineers, who had al ready manned and lowered a boat, to the spot where they were. "There is only one thing for us to do," said Frank, "and that is to keep the l boat headed in a westerly direction; that was the last order father gave, and we may hope, I think, to fall in with our friends in the morning." The morning came, and for an hour or two not a speck was to be seen on the surface of the broad ocean. But at length Tony's keen eyes made out a boat a long distance ahead. "It's our friends, thank God!" exclaimed Charley, excitedly. "Don't be too sure of that," said Topy, significantly; "for my belief is that the boat ahead of us contains the party we're most anxious to avoid." Another hour passed, and, strange to say, the party in the fore most boat seemed not to have noticed the boys behind them. "They think we're still ahead of them," Tony said. But at length they were discovered, and then the other boat instantly put about. A s teady though gentle breeze had sprung up, and it was suggested that the mast be stepped and the sail rigged. This was promptly done by Frank and Tony. The boat's course was then laid west by north, and she began moving through the water at a rapidly increasing rate. Whe n the wind first spra11g up the sky had become slightly with broken masses of clouds, of a peculiar and unusual appearance. From the most con s iderable of these masses, radiated as from a center, long lines, like pencils of light, running in straight, regularly diverging rays to the ocean . The other boat had quickly altered its course to intercept the boys. and now a lively chase commenced. It had been kept up for nearly half an hour, and the mutineers -for there was no longer any doubt about their character-were perceptibly drawing nearer, when Frank observed in the southwest a peculiarly shaped cloud, to which a dark column, extending downward to the sea, appeared to be attached. This column was quite narrow at the base, but enlarged as it rose, until just below the point of union with the cloud it spread outward like a Gothic pillar, diverging into arches as it meets the roof. Frank surveyed this wonderful spectacle for several minutes in silence; he too well understoo d its true character. It was also observed by the mutineers, and from their exclamations and gestures, they evidently viewed it with apprehension and dread. It was moving slowly forward, and now all the boys watched it with feelings in which alarm began to predominate over curiosity and interest. "It appears to be moving northwest before the wind," said Harry, at length; "if it ke e ps on its pre s ent course it will pass us by a safe distan c e "Yes, but how about the mutineers?" asked Charley. "Why, they have but to steer a little more to the north, and--" But at that moment the waterspout seemed to alter its course

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BRAVE AND BOLD. slightly a.nd move with increa11ed rapidity directly toward the other boat. Onward came, towering to the skies, and darkening the ocean with its tremendous bulk. The mutineers, with the exce ption of one man, threw them se lves down in the bottom of the boat in abject terror. It was, indeed, an appall' ng spectacle, and calculated ta shake the est heart, to see thaf vast ma ss of water, enough, as it seemed, to swaml'J the navies of the world, suspended sp st r a ngely over th em. \ The man who kept hi s place appeared to be urging the others to make some exertion, but in vain. At. la st, starting to his feet, and casting one shuddering look at the dark column, he clasped hiShands above hi s h ea d and plunged into the sea. Iri a m o ment h e came to the surface, and struck out vigorously for the other boat. The doomed mutineers were already within t11e influence of the waterspout, being drawn toward it with the violently-agitated waters about its base; a moment more and they were lost to s ig 1t in the circle of mis t and spray that enveloped the foot of tie column. Then a strong oscillation began ta be visible in body of the watersp out; it swayed heavily to and fro; the cloud at its apex seemed to stoo p and the whole mass broke and fell, with a no ise rhat might have been heard for miles. The sea far around was crushed into smoothness by the shock; immediately where the vast pillar had stood it l;>oiled like a caldron; then a succession o f waves white with foam, came circling outward from tho sppt, extending even to the boys' boat. The sailor swam faster than the boys and soon w as within a few feet of them. AU were gazing toward him, wondering who he might be, when Frank, reaching out his hand to help him in, saw the evil face of. Miguel Gonzalo! At that instant Arty uttered a cry of horror, and poi11ted be hind them. They turned. and beheld another tremendous water & 1w11t im p ending OYer them! CHAPTER IV. ATTACKED BY SAVAGES-THE llOAT AND ARTY GONE. That was an. awfol moment for the five boys in the boat. They at the new of danger as if fasc;inated . This last unlik e the first, was .a cylindrical column of about the same diameter throghoiit its entire length, exte11d ing in a straight and unbroken from t)le oc;ean to the he
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8 BRA VE AND BOLD. "Now, then shall we all get out?" ask e d Harry Halstea d, eagerly. I hardly think that would be wise," returned his cousin. "Two at least shoul d stay by the boat." "And who shall those two be? For my part I'm for the shore ." "And I want to go too," exclaimed Charley. 'Tm sure' my father is here som ewhere and I want to join him as quickly as possible." "Very well," said Tony, before Frank could speak, "I'll stay liy t h e boat and the little chap had better stay with me." "That, I think, is the best plan we could ad op t," said Frank, in a relieved tone. "And now, Harry and Charley, let's see which of us shall be the first to set foot o n dry land." "Be lay there!" exclaimed Tony, in a p e r em ptory tone. "You wouldn't be snch fools as to go ashore unarmed, would you?" "Right, Tony, quite right," returned Frank, stopping short, "and I should have had more sense. Boys, eac h of you take a v\Tinchester and a revolv e r. We a'on't know what kfnd of a re ception we shall meet with yonder." Both Harry and Cha rl ey armed themselves as they had been directed, and Frank, after. carefully selecting a rifle and brace of revolvers, sprang overboard, followed by the others, and together they made their way to the shore. They had hardly touch e d land when all three became conscious that they were being watched by several naked savages from the den s e undergrowth a short dis tance up the bank. "\Vhat shall we do Frank?" a s ked Harry. "It's evident enough they re not our friends or they wouldn't remain in hiding 1 "There is but one thing we can do," was the answer. "We must drive them from cover, for we can't pursue the object of our search with an enemy in our rear, and worse than that, be tween us and our boat." "You're right," exclaimed Charley. "Come on,'' and he started boldly up the bank. The next moment half a dozen spears fell amoiw them, one of which carried Charley's hat from his head. "Confound the wretches!" he grumbled, as he stooped to pick it up, "they've almost completely ruined my d1;rby, and the sun's too everlastingly hot for me to go uncovered." "Come on!" cried Frank; "we must be upon them before they a chance to attack u s again." And in another moment they were making their way into the undergrowth. A flight of arrows was the wekome they received, and Frank and Harry each found one stick ing in his coat. At that instant Cha ; ley caught sight of two or three natives, and, his blood being up, hr instantly rai se d his rifle and fired. With a yell one of the savages sprang into the air, and fell back upon the earth, dead. The others turned, and, being reinforced by five or six more, advanced upon the boys with heavy war clubs and other weapons. There was nothing for it but to fight in dead earnest, and the boys went at it with a will, the reports of their rifles fol lowing each other in rapid succession, while the i sla nd e rs kept up a yelling that fairly rivaled the noise made by the firearms. Soon the boys b e came aware that they had received reinforce ments, and looking around, found Tony hard at it pouring death and destruction into the rapidly-diminishing band of savages. Presently the fight was over, and the last of the foe had fled from the field. The boys now adva nced, and upon looking around, found no less than nine natives dead or wounded among the undergrowth. They pressed forward, and soon came to a \Yide open space, where a fire had been kindled and food cooked in an underground oven, after tge manner of the South Sea Islanders. On one side they discovered a spring and a little stream o f water, and not far from this a native boy bound securely to a stake. \ The prisoner was a fine-looking lad, not very dark-not so dark, even, as many Spaniards-and was apparently about fourte e n or fifteen years of age. I Frank advanced slowly, f e ll on one knee, and placing his hand und e r the prisoner's clyn, raised his head and gazed won de ri ngly into his face. "Tuataga !" he at length exclaimed, in accents of astonishment ; "how came you here-almost two thousand miles away from home?" "Ah, my good friend-dear Papalanji !" exclaimed the boy, with a look of pleasure; "I cannot tell you all now; but I was kidnaped by the e nemies of my people, those who are anxious to gain possession of our islands, and was l e ft by them upon one of the Marshal! group, where these wicked men found me and 11took me prison e r." While the c a ptive was making this brief explanation, Frank was busy severing his bonds, and as he assisted him to his feet, he said: "Boys, this is Tuataga, a prince of the Island of Savaii, the largest of the Samoan Islands. I met him at Upolu a year or more since, and at that time we became great friends." The boys ali sbook hands with the young chief, whe n Frank, after exchanging a few words with him in his native tongue, suddenly exclaimed: "Boys, we mus t hasten back to the boat, there is not a moment to be lost; I ought to have known better than to have neglected po o r little Arty so long." Without a word they all turned and hurried to the shore. They soon arrived at the spot where they had left the boat, but it was no longer there. Eagerly they rau up and down the shore, but rio trace of it could they find-the boat and their little companion, Arty, were gone. CHAPTER V. THE DEAD MAN'S HAND. There was a surprise waiting when they returned to the boat. Gonzalo was gon e Tony explained that he had tried to sail away with the boat Tony had fired on him, and the Spaniard hearing the others approaching, had fled to the woods, taking a Winchester rifle with him. It was at once decid e d that they should leave the island at once, and all embarked, including Tuataga. As the little craft was being got under headway, Tony kept a sharp lookout for Gonzalo, and at length spied him, standing on the highest point of the headland where he himself had been a while before. In his left hand the mutineer held a Winchester rifle, which he had stolen from the boat, and when he saw that he was observed, he raised it to his shoulder, but not being able to use his_ right arm he could not manage very well. Tony bent forward, and picking up his ow n rifle, prepared to take aim His movements were effective, for the next instant the Span iard had disappeared from view "Now for the passage and the open ocean beyond,'' exclaim ed Tony, in a tone of relief and satisfaction. "I don't know what our fate may be, but for my part, I am ready to risk anytl;:ting rather than to liv e within j. of that scoundre l."

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 "Or to die at his hands," added Harry, sententiously . "Ay, exactly; and without any chance to defend one's self. For he would steal upo n us like a thief in the night, and murder us in cold blood, like the coward he is." By this time they had reached the opening in the barrier reef, and with a littl e skillful managing, passed through and out upon the restless ocean. From Tuataga they had learned that there was a large and fertile i s land at no very great distance to the northwest. It was inhabited by friendly natives he had heard his captors say; and, moreover, several ships called there in the course of every year. It was unanimously agreed, then, as it lay directly in the course marked out for them, that they would try to find this island. All through the day the y sailed on, and nothing occurred to disturb the monotony of the voyage. During the night the wind continued fair, and animated by the hopes Tuataga' s statement Had given them, they kept a strict lookout, confident that they should reach land soon after daylight the next morning. But morning came and there was no land in sight, and the day passed and another night; and so five days and nights went by, and still no land no boat, nothing whatever appeared within their range of vision but sky arid water. On the sixth night the second watch-from a little after midnight to dawn-fell to Harry. As it beg a n to grow light, he al most feared to l ook toward the northwest, dreading the shock of a fresh disappointment. There see med to him to be something unusual in the atmos phere, that impeded, or rather confused and bewildered the sight; and when the sun rose he saw a high island covered with groves of tall palms, some two! miles dis ta nt. The elevated. shores and the green tops of the trees were plainly visible; but just at the point where land and water met, there was a kind of hazy indis tinctness in the \'iew. They were sailing directly from it, and Harry could not understand how they had passed so near as they must have done without seeing it. All were at a loss to this wonder-for the isl a nd ap peared to be in the course they had just sailed over. They finally concluded that a strong current was bearing the boat backward in spite of the sail, and they lG>-wered the sail. s'omc little time passed, during which they appeared to be steadily drawing nearer to the land. The shore itself they could not see with perfect distinctness, a fine, golden haze waved and quiv e red before it, half veiling it from sight, and imparting to it an uncertain, though bright and dazzling aspect. But this ap pearance was confined to the lower part of the land. The bold cliffs and high groves were clearly defined. "Ther e's something very strange about all this," murmure d Harry. "It has ah unea'thly look. I hope we're hot the subjects of some fearful illusion." \ Even as he spoke the bright haze which floated over the sea near the ation, about half a mile off, in order to get a better idea of what it really was. .Th e y reached the foot of the mountain, and crowding their way

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IO BRA VE AND BOLD. through the thick und ergrowth that grew about its base, b e gaft ascending its rugged s ide Suddenly Tony, who was some little distance ahead, with a startled cry, sank into the ground, and totally dis appeared from sight. Great heavens! what does this m ean?" e xciaimed Frank, starting forward o n a nm. "It's an en c h a nt e d i s l e mu t t e r e d Harry, as h e close l y foll o wed him They all r ea ch e d th e spo t w h e r e T on y h a d d isa ppe<)r e d a nd s o on heard him s h ou tin g for hel p in a v o i ce that ca m e fro m ben eath th e ir feet and whic h d i e d a way i n se pul ch ral whi s p e rs, as if b o rn e fr o m th e d istant walls o f some vas t s ubt e r ra n e an His cri es soo n see m e d like far-off yells o.f a go n y a nd h orror; and y e t wh e n they b e n t ove r tlrn c ha sm th ro u g h w h i c h h e had fall e n, th e y kn ew that h e w as a l mos t close a t h a nd. I Frank s t a rt e d up a nd looke d a b o ut h i m At a s h o r t dis t a n ce, o n e side o f the l owe r p art o f th e m o un tain s e em e d to h ave b ee n s p l it off, s h o wing the b a r e gran ite-like face of th e livin g ro ck. F o llow me ," b e ::ri e d and s t arle d for th a t particul a r s pot, the others follow ing 0clo se behi nd. They r e ach e d it at a p o i n t ab o ut o n a l evel with the floor of the cav e rn int o whi c h T o ny h a d plun ged. Prese n tly the y cam e to a plac e wh e r e a bro k e n m as s o f rocks seem e d to h ave s lid down fr o m th e h e i g ht s a b ov e "If we c a n mov e th ese, s aid Frank, in a tone of conviction, I am sure we c a n g e t a t him, and h e advanc e d to lay hold of the t o pmo s t ston e But he starte d b ac k an e x c l a mati on o f horror. A human hand-the h a nd of a dead mafl-reaching out fr o m the rocky wall, had struck him in the face CHAPTER VI. THE RING OF MYSTERY-THE BOYS DEC ID E UPON A F U T U RE HOME. Frank's horrifi e d e x clam a ti on quickly attrac te d the attention of the oth e r s w hen cat ch i n g s i ght of th e s ini s t e r looking object which had call e d i t forth, th e y e ch oe d hi s cry, and with rapid s te p s b ega n retreating fro m th e s p o t The d e ad hand w as outstre t c hed, a s if v a inly qpp e aling for aid. The fles h h a d dri e d up o n t h e b o nes, the skin being o f a dark brown hue; but instinctively young Fleetwood knew it to be the hand of a white man Still, it wa s not the hand alone that riveted his attention, but s o me t hing on one of t h e fingers-something that poured forth such a p e rfect flood of light as almost to dazzle his eyes; in short, a living fire. He drew nearer and exa min e d it clos ely. The object was a rare and curious stone, the mo s t p e culiar and the most beautiful that he had ever seen in all his life; and it w as so set in a ring as to represent the sun, the s J tting forming the rays. T he ring it s elf was compo se d of two sc aly s erpents, is s uing in op{J{)site directi o n s from a hum a n skull, and holding the s un' s rays in th e ir mou t hs. The e y es o f these se rp e nt s wer e emer a lds, ;!n d in th e soc k e t s o f th e s kull w e r e tw o rubies. Af t e r a m o m e n t's h es i t a t i o n Frank dre w the rin g fr o m th e un r es isti n g fing er and s l ipp e d it into hi s p o cket, then he turned 1:1ought full y a w ay. A r a l i ttl e dis t a nce he found fri e nds in a hi g h state of f ear a nd exc i te m e nt. E ve n H arry H a l s t e ad u s u a lly calm and brave en o u g h exhibite d s i g n s o f se ri o u s disq ui e tud e \ V h at-what was it, Fra nk?" ga s p e d Charl ey. "To think that it had the power to thrust itself right through the solid rock afid s t rike you so !" "But I think you are mi s taken, Charley," returned Frank, quietly. "The h a nd wa s there long before we visited the spot. It was there, no doubt, very soon after that mass of rocks fell and blocked up what I believe to ha v e been the only entrance to the. ca v e rn wh ere p oo r T o n y i s now impri s on ed." Ah!" exc laim e d H arry, quickly, "yo u b eliev e t h a t th e o wner o f t h at h a119 was i n t h e cave rn, and was just c oming ou t when h e wa s c ru s h e d t o d eat h?" "Or," s u ggeste d Artv, h e m ight h ave b ee n impri so n e d by the fallin g m ass a nd. a fte r w aitin g in v ain t o be d elive r e d by his fr ien d s o ut side. tri e d to w ork his own way o u t and di e d b e for e h e succee d e d "Very likely, m y l ittle m an, n od d e d F r a nk. "But col)1e, w e a re n eg l ect ing Tony; l et us r et urn a n d d o so m ething for him at once. A nd w ith one a cco rd they hastene d to the s pot where he had d isappea r e d fr o m th e surface o f the earth. The y crow d e d aroun d th e ope n i n g a nd Fra nk, s tooping d o wn, c alle d o ut : "Tony o ld boy, a r e yo u th e re?" Ay ay, c a p 'n, h e r e I am s ure e n o u g h! c a me b a ck the ans w e r I s upp os e y o u ca n t re ac h ff y h a nd if I stre tch it to y o u?" a s k e d F r a nk. "'Fraid n o t c ap n bu t I ll try. A nd h e did his b es t t o r ea ch the o u tst ret c hep hand, but without s u c cess "Let m e see what I ca n d o!" e xcl aime d Charley, crowding his w a y forw a rd. I b elie v e I ca n ge t to him." And h e did with a ven gea nce, and carried two or three of his c o mpani o n s w ith him ; for in pr ess ing too near the edge of the h o li;, the cnm;bling soil h a d giv e n w a y and the y all went head l o ng into the c a v ern b e l ow, l a nd i ng in a heap at Tony's feet. Arty and T u ataga, th e o nly on es left abo ve, r et ired from the trea ch e rou s b r ink with all th e p rn mptn ess suitable t o the. occa si o n, l ea ving th ose b e l ow in undi s put e d p o s se ssion of their new qu arte rs. The a p erture wa now of sufficient s i z e to admit light an cl air, th e bl ess in gs of which they stood mo s t in need, and, after r e coverin g a lit tle from the rude sh o c k th e y had r e cei v ed, they began to think of getting ant. I say Frank I excl a imed Charl e y "do you think we can climb out there?" You may try, all of you, if you like," was the reply; "but for my part, I should like to see s omelhing more of this stranli:e place." "This stra nge pla ce i" "Good heav e ns! did you hear that strange wbisper mocking you ? asked Charley, with trembling lip s Yes ind eed; what a wonderful echo "An echo, eh? I never heard an echo anything like that b e fore." 'Like that before I" Ch a rley b e g a n edging his w a y tow a rd th e Opening. Oh, Frank!" he burs t out suddenly; y o u are not g o ing to s t a y h e re I hope? Come, l e t us dig out while w e can. " Whil e w e can! "Yo u m a y all g o a n s w e r e d Fra nk in a l ow, c alm tone; "but I t ell you, for our future go od, I a m g o ing to h a ve a look a b out m e Pray wha t would y o u c all that thing over in the corne r th ere?" He p o in te d t o a large square object in a sor. t of recess of the imme n se c avern.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. II "It's a chest he said after drawing a little sea m a n s chest; most likely that of a n officer of some ship." "By Jove I" muttered Harry, "I hope it isn t a coffin "No-no, it' s just wh a t I said it was, an officer s chest-see ; and there are barrels, casks, boxes and packages I" In the meantime Arty and Tuataga had found that they could eas ily clamber down into the cavern, and they soon joined the oth e r b o ys within "My idea is this," said .,!'.rank, as the boys grouped themselv e s about him "If we d e cide to make this c a vern our fu t ure home and strongh o ld, as no doubt we shall, then the entrance should be c o ncealed as carefully as possible, and so thoroughly protected by barriers that the place can be succe s sfully def e nded. We can blast open an entrance here with gunpowder. I'm sure there' s plenty of it in tho s e casks. We can t fall into the cave every time we want to com e in." "But what kind of barriers would you raise about your new entrance?" asked Harry. .. "I think I c a n answ e r that question easy enough. Follow me." With a great deal of trouble they clamber e d out. And he led the m around a wide semicircle that inclosed the portion of the perpendicular wall in which the obstructed en trance was situated. He pointed out, and they readily trace d along the ground the partly decayed and partly sprouting remains of a palisade or stockad e f e nce, ov ergro wn with the luxuriant vegetation of the spot, and int e rlaced w ith shoots from the adjoining t i1icke t. In on e place they fou n d abundant evidence of a kitch e n garden, a nd further on-be yond the line of the palisad e in fact-an open space that might have b e en called the farm or plantation. The y expl o r e d the spot with all the diligence and animation of young mind s b ent on d'scovery and lured forward by a thousand beck o n i n g h o pes The y gathered fruit and jams, taro and plan tains, and a little later made a heart y meal, which all greatly enjoyed. On one side, and just within the inclosure, was a stream of pure water, issuing from a crevice in the mountainside, so that, as Tony said, if they settled there, they could have all the neces s i ties of life clo s e at hand. After much talking and due con s idera t ion, it was unanimously agreed, not only to make the spot their home, but to begin with out unnecessary delay to restore its defenses. But to do this the y must have tools-axes, hatchets, hammers, spades and crowbars, and they must also have plenty of spikes and nails On the morning of the next day Frank and Tony entered the cavern together through the hole in the roof, and began search ing for the gunpowder. They found it, and to their great delight and wonder, found several prepared blasting cartridges, and with these valuable but dangerous goods they reascended to the outer world. With the utmost care and nic ety one of the cartridges was fixed just underneath one of the largest blocks, and then exploded. The block, and those around it, were shattered into a thousand pieces. These, as rapidly as possible, were removed and thrown into the neighboring chasm and the entrance was cleared, and all that was found of the owner of the dead hand was buried out of sight nearby. The n, all together, the six boys entered the cavern. Then was light enough within now; for not only was the newly-cleared entranc e wide and high, but the hole in the roof was considerably enlarged, the remainder of the loose earth having fall e n in, and the sun's rays thereby finding easy access to the otherwise gloomy interior. As soon as the boys had bec o me a little accu s tomed to the plac e they l o ok e d eag erly ab o ut th e m, and w e re ut t erly astonished a t wh a t they b e h eld; in d e e d the sight wa s more extraordinary tha n anything th e y could have conceived of in a dream. The cavern wa s n o thing s hort of a colo s sal storehouse, filled with every article that could be tho ught of for the use of a far-distant and isola t ed set t lem e nt. B ales upo n bale s barre ls upon bari;els, ch e sts up o n ch es t s a rms of every description and in abundance, agri cultura l impl e ments, m ac hinery, marin e store s of all kinds, and materi a ls for shipbu i lding, t o ols and iron spikes, nail s knives, dome s tic and cul in a ry implements-ay, and trinkets, cloth ing and clo t h. s hoes a nd leather, books, writing m a terials, nautical in strume nts, m e di c ine chests. In fact, here seem e d to be depos ited many l a rge s hipl o ads of goods, intended for some great and important e nterpri se-scarcely that of occupying a small, romantic isl and in the mid s t of the Pacific Ocean. The silence, the glo o m, ending in blacke s t darkn e ss of the remote chambers of the cavern, the du s ty mold that thickly in vested the boxes and chests, and the damp, earthly odor of the place fairly chilled their blood, and fixed them like statues to the sp ot. They spoke but in whi s pers ; for, if a word wa s uttered a loud, a responsive word was r eturne d, wh i ch again and again rever berated and at last d i ed in holl o w echoes. They w e re more than half inclined to retreat, as at first, and leave everything as they h a d found it; and more than one pair of anxious eyes were turned longingly toward the newly-opened entrance. The y oung leader saw the state of things about him, and sud denly exclaimed : "See here, boys, no nonsense. Just give me your attention for a moment." They turned quicl{ly, and saw that his eye s were riveted on a particular ch e st in front of him-the one that had attracted his notice three days before, and which he had said was an officer's chest. CHAPTER VII. THE VALLEY OF DELIGHTS-A MYSTERIOUS VOICE. Advancing to the chest, Frank tried to raise the lid. It was closed fast, but the dust and mold that covered it came off plentifully on his hands. Nearby stood a tall cask on the top of which lay several tools. Frank seized a heayy hammer and thundered on the chest with all his might, but in vain. Tony moved forward to assist him, but stumbling over a small box, it fell apart, and a lot of spermaceti candles went rolling about the cavern floor. "Hello!" exclaim e d Tony, grabbing half a dozen of the can dles, and picking himself up, "here's a for an illumination. Let's see what's in yonder right away. d'ye say, boys?" They had matches and other means of striking a light, so that soon sev e ral of the candles were burning; and thoroughly armed, and with Frank at their head, they moved forward through the winding passage before them toward the part from whence the echoes came. As they went on the cavern increased rapidly in width and altitude, and the walls and roof appeared everywhere garnished with respendent spars. They had now entered a great chamber; but scarcely had they taken a dozen steps forward, when a scene suddenly burst upon them that fixed them motionless with amazement. As their voices had been multiplied before. so now their li.ithts

PAGE 13

, 12 BRA VE AND BOLD. were answered by ten thousand starry beams, glancing from afar, and from on high, in a vast cavity of the mountain, whose limits were totally invisible to their eyes; for the space between the radiant of light was darker than night itself Never were candles more effective or more needful. Three steps further, and the rocky floor would have failed them, and they must have plunged headl ong to an abyss, of whose profound depths they could form no idea until th ey cast in a fragment of the rock. They could not hold their breath during the time that the piece of stone was silently descending. At l engt h they heard it strike the rock, and, after a long interval, a di stant splashing sound announced the water that received it. They sent in another splinter of the rock, and, while they again held their breath in sile nce for the result, sounds of another kind murmured around the abyss, and were returned in faint whispers by the unseen boundaries of the cavern. One or two candles were dropped in by the s tartled boys, and these, descending to the d ep th s beneath, retained their sparks until they diminished to the tiniest stars of light, when they be came extinguished in the s ubterran ean water. The sounds they had heard appeared to be those of human voices, although the probabilities of such a circumstance as the presence of human beings in that particular spot seemed small indeed. They did not wait for a second proof of the matter, however, but scrambled back with all the speed at their command, re ceiving several falls, cuts and bruises by the way. Even Frank and Tony were affected by the panic, and hastened after their companions, though at a rapid rate. On reaching the outer cavern, Charley sugges ted that the sounds they haa heard were the voices of the persons whose stores they had broken in upon, or that some, at least, of the party were living, and might reclaim their goods and punish the plun derers. Harry thought there might be something in this, and proposed that they go outside and consider the matter. The others assenting, they adjourned to the cleared space in front of the entmnce, and throwing themselves upon the ground, in the shade of a spreading palm, and near the banks of a little strea m, discussed the affair of the cavern until one or two, at least, were wearied of the subject, and all began to think they were mistaken in the tacts. On hearing this acknowledgment from the others, Tony promptly proposed th
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 13 heads, from wl1ich he eyed them with a disdainful and truculent air. "There, at last. is the dread enemy who has frightened us so much," said Harry. "I honestly expect he will come down and s crape our acquaintance pre sently. He might give us some valu aple information if he only would." "Co me out of the wo ods! come out of the wood s !" screamed the parrot. "There's the adYic e you were looking for," laughed Frank, "and I shouldn't wonder if it would be a goccl p l an to follow it." "Lo ok out for squalls ahead! Ha, ha! l ook out for squalls!" yell e d the parrot, and apparently satisfied with this dis play of his accomplishments, he spread his wings and flew heavily across the beautifu l lake, alighting not far from the shore, where they could hear him occa s ionally uttering a shrill cry or a still shriller laugh By this time the runaways had returned, and all the boys together again. "Do you see where the parrot is now?" Tony pres e ntly inquired of !rank. "Yes, I see his green and yellow feathers among the foliage, but not very distinctly." Unles s I am greatly mistaken Tony went on, "there is a hou s e or building of s o me kind just beyond the woods on the other side of the lake where he has alighted On shifting their ground a little, they could all perceive be. tween tht' b o ughs of the trees something that did in fact look like a low wood e n dwelling, and after a moment's consultation, it was agreed that Frank and Tony should cross the stream-which could easily be clone just above the point where it poured into the lake-and recomioiter, while the rest awaited their report. By l e aping from stone to st o ne, and wading occasionally for short distances, they picked their way to the other side, and pres t'ntly disapp eared am ong the thick undergrowth. In about twenty min\1tes they returned to the shore and called for thf' others to come over, saying that they had discovered quite a house, which appe a red, however, to have been long deserted Harry took Arty upon his back, and they forded the rapids as the others had done. Following Frank and To. ny, they soon pa s sed through the woods and re a ched quite an op e n space, about halfway between the lake and the top of the ascent, in the midst of which was a fairs ized, one-story dwelling, surrounded by a rude fence of pointed stakes. Entering through a gate, hung upon large door hinges, they found themselves directly in front of the house. It appeared, for the most part, _to be built of timber which had once cowposed the sides and interior of a ship, and was put together with con-summate skill. \ The front yard, and what had been the garden, was full of rank weeds, and damp of lichen and moss hung from the eaves of the house and cover:!d its roof. The door, which was furnished with a heavy lock and brass knob was closed, but not fastened. After a moment' s hesitation, they opened it and entered a large square room, lighted by four windows which had evidently been taken from the upper parts of sash doors. These windows were well put into the sides uf the house, and fr o m the appearance of all the work, both within and without, Frank declar e d that it had be e n done by persons accustomed to th a t kind of labor-in other words, ship carpenters. A large table, made of a peculiar kind of wood, which Frank said was called toi in the Samoan group, and three or four chairs without backs, composed nearly all the furniture of this apart-ment. A rude shelf was fasten e d against the wall between two of the windows, 'upon which a number of earthenware dishes were arranged. A so mewhat small e r apartment was partitioned off with rough boards from the fir s t, with which it communicated by a dporway, to which a s hip s cabin door had been fitted. In this '!;econd room were s everal low bed s teads, ranged side by side, and a large oak che s t, bound with brass In one corn e r stood a small square writing table o,f s o me dark-colored wood, with severa l drawers. In another corner Harry discovered a rusty gridiron and sauce pan, a small iron pot, and a toasting-fork, upon which he pounced with the eagerness of a miser lighting upon hidden treasures, for nothing quite like them had been found in the cavern. The chest was nearly empty, but a s mall box, fixed in one end of it, contained a number of bottles, vials and drugs; in fact, was a perfect little medicine ch e st. And although they had found a larger and more complete assortment, Frank suggested that it would be well to take the best of care of the new "find," to this all readily agreed. They remained at the Cottage as Charley chri s tened the place, for some little time longer; but the spot had a gloomy and de serted air, and they unanimou s l y agreed that it was not nearly as pleasant as the one they had selected in front of the entrance to the great cavern. To thi s then, they now returned, and s hortly afterward paid a visit to th e, boat, when, having dispo s ed of a hearty supper, they retired to their old camping-ground, under the lowspreading tree, to pass the night. The next morning, by Frank's advice, they went at the work they had laid out for themselves with the determination to push it to completion as rapidly as pos s ible. They built a comfortable hous e closed up the aperture into which they h a d fallen and built a strong palisade, training vines so that they would grow over it and cover it. It was the third day after all their labor s were completed, and even a garden had been furnished with plants, and sowed with seed, and while Frank was seated just within the eaves of the new dwelling, preparing some fish-tackle fo r immediate use, that Tony came rushing through the open gateway, and seizing him by the arm, almost dragged him outside. "What is it, boy? What's the matte r 1Yith you ? asked Frank in astonishment, as soon as he could catch his breath. "I'viatter? Matter enough exclaimed Tony; "there's a ship just beyond the smaller island, and just within the coral reef. Come up and see it fo; yourself." "Ah, it has come at last!" murmured Frank, with a troubled look, as he began climbing the sides of the mountain, "and I really do not know whether I ought to be glad or so rry. vVell," he continued, as they drew near their destination, "we shall soon see." "What do you make of her?" asked Tony, after they had reached the point designated "The Lookout," and Frank had taken a long look at the stranger beyond the smaller island. "I don't know what to make of her," replied Frank, slowly; "but judging from certain signs, there must be some one abqard who i s pretty familiar with thi s island and its surroundings." "There's wh e re I agree with you, c a p'n," Tony, emphatic
PAGE 15

BRA VE AND BOLD. water, if for nothing else; and if they do, one of us must go there an d try t o g e t ne;ir enough t o lis ten to their conversation. From that their true character ca n easily be d ete rmined." "'I'll be th e one to go ," sa id Tony, prnmptly. "Well, we'll see abou t that lat er. Now we must go and get the bo ys together and tell the m of this un expecte d It did not tak e lon g to d escen d the mountainside, and when they h a d r e a c h e d the incl osnre th e y found a ll assembled there. The n ews Tony and F r ank h a d to tell produced a profound sensa t ion All in s ist e d upon going in the boat to the smaller i s land so th a t in case the peep!' o f the s hip proved friendly and willing to take them away, the y need not run th e risk of being left behind And as Frank knew '.! secluded spot on the le sse r island, when. the boat and all hands would be safe from observa ti on, he consented, and they prep are d to set out at once. Each one wa s arme d with a rifle, a revolver and a keen-edged knife, and t ak:ng the shortest cut, they h as tened to the canal wh e re their boat was mo o red. A quarter of an hour later they had landed on the smaller island in the secluded spot discov ered f,y Frank. It was soo n learned th at two b oats had left the ship, and landed at a point about a quarter of a mile below th e m in a little cove. Tony had discovered this, and also that they were going to a spring at s o m e distance fro m the cove for w ate r. Having communicated th ese facts to his companions, he hurried away aga in, in orde r to r each t he spring before the strangers, and so take up a goo d point for observation at his leisure. Mo re than half an hour p assed, and th e waiting boys, who had throw n the m se lve s up on the ground at the head of the narrow in let in which th e ir boat was s h elte red, were growing impatient. Frank was particularly re s tl ess, and was just saying for the twentieth time, "I don't see what keeps him," when Harry sprang to his feet with the exclamati on: "Hark, the re goes a rifle sho t," and b efo re he had finish e d sp eak ing, another and another rang out in quick succession, the s o und comin g, apparently, from the dense woods in the direction of the spring. "Can that be Tony, I wonder?" s aid Frank, anxiously. "If so, I am very much afraid he has got into serious trouble." At these words every boy was on his feet with his rifle clutched fier cely i n his hands. "Come!" excla ime d Frank, and th e y started for the woods to gethe r on a dead run. The next mom ent they were startled a quick, fierce shout, followed immedi ate ly by a long piercing and blood-curdling cry pro ceeding fr o m the same quarter from which the r eports of fir ea rms had been he ard, and before they had time t o conjecture the cause or m ea n i n g of the se fr ig htful sounds, Tony bounde
PAGE 16

: BRA VE AND BOLD 15 "There's no use mincing matters, my he suddenly cried, standing up in the stern; "we have knocked three or four on the head, and serv ed some others who didn't approve of the pro ceed ing in the same way, and now we're going to take the ship." "We know it, and intend to prevent you," cried Tony, panting with the violence of his exerti ons. "Unship your oars til l we you, and you shall not be hurt," Gonzalo in same breath; "pull another $troke, an d I wil.l you as I have a friend of yours, and he lie s at the spring with his throat s lit." Could this true-and if so. who was that friend? Tony was inclined to believe that it was true, and he more than hali suspected who the friend might be, but never a word did he say to his companions. who pulled stead ily onward with blanched faces, but firmly compressed lips. CHAPTER IX. THE FIGHT ON THE SHIP. The boys were now <'lose upon the point, and as Frank glanced from their pursuer s to the ship, he began to breathe more freely. They had gained upon them; but it was inch b y inch, and the goal was now. at hand. The boats of the mutineers, though pulling eight oars each, far clumsier thai) that of the b oys, and were more heavily loaded. They had almost held their own with them thus far. Bt1t ilo\V Gonz:.t!o sprang up once more in the bow of the fore most boat, and raised a rifle to his shoulder. A puff of smGJke arnse from the muzzle of the piece, and just as the sharp report reached l heir ears, Harry uttered a quick exclamation of pain, and let fall his oat. For a moment all was confusion and alarm; but Harry, who had seized his oar again almost instantly", declared that he was not hurt; that the bullet had merely g r azed his shou lder-and he attempted to recommence r owing. Befote, ho,;,ever, h e had pulled half a dozen strokes his right hand was covered with blood that streamed down from his arm. Tuatag!l now insisted on taking his oar, and Harry took the ) 'otmg islander's place at the helm. vVhile this change was being effected, the mutineers gained tipon them perceptibly. Every moment was precious. Gonzalo Litged his mm tG greater efforts. The
PAGE 17

ib BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER X. TONY AND THE BOYS MAKE SOME GOOD SHOTS. The boat had hardly received the first impulse from this new resolve, when the report of firearms was heard. "By Jove!" exclaimed Tony Bright, as he startcl:I to his feet, "the captain's down. and that fiend, Gonzalo, that I killed a moment ago, has shot him!" "Gonzalo must be a cat," muttered Charley; "for he seems to have as many as nine lives." "It looks like it, anyway," acquiesced Tony; "for although I tumbled him over with a piece of lead just now, he's alive again, as you can see for yourself, and the captain has disappeared." All gazed eagerly toward the ship, and the figure which th('y had taken for that of the captain was no longer to be distin guished among the combatants. Some person was now dragged to the side of the ship toward them, and thrown overboard; he sank after a feeble struggle; a triumphant shout followe1:1. and then two men were seen running up the rigging. "There go two poor fellows up to the foretop !" exclaimed Harry, pointing to the figures in the rigging; "they can only gain time at the be st; but it can't be that the mutineers will kill them in cold blood." ''Gonzalo is just the man to do it," answered Tony, emphat ically. "Those two fellows have stood by their captain, and that will seal th eir fate. Look! it is as I said." And all could see s ome one pointing what appeared to be a musket at one of the figures in the foretop. A parley seemed to follow, as the result of which, the nearer fugitive came down and surrendered himself. The other, for the time being, appeared to pass unnoticed. So rapid had events passed thus far, and so stunning was their effect, that it was some moments before the boys could collect their thoughts, or fully realize the desperate situation; and they sat silent and bewildered, gazing toward the ship. Harry was the first to break silence. "And now what's to be done?" he asked. "As to going any nearer, that, it seems to me, under the circumstances, is out of the question. 'l'he ship is now in the hands of the mutineers." "I don't know what we can do," said Charley, "except to pull ashore and conceal ourselves, and so stand some chance of escap-0 ing the vengeance of the rascals." "There' s one thing we can do!" exclaimed Tony, in a de'cided tone. "There are no better weapons in the world than these riAes, and I think we can make one or two of those bloody scoun drels understand that we know how to use them." "There!" he quickly added, as he brought his Wil'\chester to his shoulder, "see that villain running up the ratlines with his khife between his teeth. He wants to cut the throat of the poor devil in the forctop. Now, that's wrong, is it not?" "Of course," muttered Charley, mechanically. "Well, then, here goes to prevent the wrong." Crack! The boys eagerly watched the result of the shot. First they saw the knife drop from the mutineer's mouth, then lo o sening his hold on the ratlines, they saw the man fall back ward, and after striking on too of the gunwale, rebound, and fall into the sea, where he quickly disappeared from sight. "Oh, Tony, that was awful!" gasped Arty, in an awe-struck t one. "Yes," the y
PAGE 18

BRA VE AND BOLD. In fact, there was every indication on board the nearest ship of haste and eagerness to be gone. The men in the boats were sou11 on boa.rd again, and the boats themselves were hoisted to the davits. Then, while some of the men were at the capstan getting up the anchor, others were busy in the rigging, and sail after sail was rapidly spread to the breeze, so that by the time the anchor was at the bows, the ship began to move slowly through the water. "It is rapidly getting dark," said Charley, "and I think we had better put up the sail and steer for the stranger." 'Gracious!" exclaimed Tony; '"how the time hjlS passed." "Yes," said Frank; "and Charley is right, we must make for the stranger at once, for she may possibly tack before she sees us." !"rank and Tony proceeded to step the mast and rig the sail. Meantime, Tuataga got Harry's coat off, and examined and ban daged the wound in his shoulder, which had been bleeding pro fusely; he pronounced it to be but a trifling hurt. A breeze from the southeast had sprung up at sunset, and they now had a free wind to fill their sail, as they steered directly out to sea to meet the stranger, which was still at too great a distance to make it probable that they had been seen by her people. It was with feelings of anxiety and uneasiness that they saw the faint fading away with the suddenness usual in tropi cal latitudes and the darkness gathering rapidly a-round them. Already the east was wrapped in gloom, and only a faint streak of light along the western horizon marked the spot where the sun had so recently disappeared. "How suddenly the night has come upon us," said Frank, who had been peering through the dusk toward the approaching vessel, in anxious silence. ."Oh, for fifteen minutes more of daylight! I am afraid she is about to tack." This announcement filled all with dismay, and every eye was strained toward her with intense and painful interest. "Pick up your rifles!" exclaimed Tony, suddenly, "we must fire a volley. If we can't attract her attention in that way, there's 110 help for us." "I believe you're right, Tony," nodded Frank, approvingly. "Let us all fire together. Now, then-ready! fire!" and the five rifle shots rang out as one. Then again they peered through the growing darkness toward the distant vess.el. \ "What do you think, Frank; does she show any signs of having heard our signal?" asked Charley, anxiously. "I can't say that she does," was t h e reluctant reply; "but it's too soon to say for certain. We must wait a little." "Yes; and wait in vain," groaned young Curtiss. CHAPTER XI. LOST ON THE OPEN OCEAN-THE CANNIBAL ISLAND. Meanwhile, the breeze had freshened somewhat, and the boys had .rather more of it than they desired, as their boat was, after ;;;'l, but poorly fitted to navigate the open ocean in rough weather. Arty began to manifest some alarm, as they were tossed like a chip from wave to wave, and occasionally deluged with spray by a sea burstjng with a rude shock over their bow; and, as the wind continued to rise, experienced a sense of insecu rity and a feeling of helplessness such as they had hardly known before. Soon, as they sank into the trough of the sea, their horizon was contracted to the breadth of less than half a dozen yards, and they entirely lost sight of land and of both ships But it was evident that they were moving through the water with considerable velocity, and there was encquragement in that, for they felt confident that if the stranger should hold on her present cou rse but a little longer, they should be on board of her before their s afety would be seriously e ndangered by the increas ing breeze. If, howe ver, she wei:e really tacking, their situation would in deed be critical; this all saw, and fully understood. / A very few moments put an end to their suspense, by confirm ing Frank's opinion and their worst fears; the stranger lrad al tered her course ; her yards were braced around, and she was standing further out to sea. Still, however, there would have been a possibility of reaching her but for the failure of light, for she had not so far changed her course but that she would have to pass a point which the boys could probably gain before her. But now it was with difficulty, and only by means of the cloud of canvas she carried, that they could distinguish her through the momentarily deepening gloom; and with sinking hearts, after another ineffectual volley, they relinqui shed the last hope con necteci with her. Soon she entire ly vanished from their sight, and when they gazed anxiously around the narrow horizon that now bounded their vision. they could nowhere distinguish the land. But then, even in open day, the distance of a few miles would be sufficient to sink tl1e low shores o f the island; and now the night had so sudden l y overtaken them, it might be quite near, without their being able to distinguish it. They were even uncertain and divided in opinio n as to the di rection in which i L lay-so completely were they bewildered. The night was one of deep and utter gloom. There was no moon, and not a single star shed its feeble light over the wilder rless of agitateg waters upon which their frail boat was tossing. Heavy, low-hanging clouds covered the sky, but soon even these could no longer be distinguished; a cold, damp misf, dense and almost palpable to the touch, crept over the ocean, and en veloped them so closely that it was impossible to see clearly from one end of the boat to the other. The wind, however, instead of freshening, as they had feared, died gradually away. For this th e y had reason to be thankful; for though their situation that night seemed dismal enough, yet how much more fearful would it have been if the rage of the e l ements, and danger of immediate destruction had been added to the other circumstances of terror by' whic h they were surround ed. As it was, however, the sea having gone down, they supposed themselves to be in no great or pressing peril. Thougk miserably uncomfortable, and somewhat agitated and anxious, they yet con fidently expected that the iight of morning would show them the land again The terrible and exciting scenes through which they had so recently passed had completely exhausted them, and they were too much overwhelmed by the suddenness of their calamity, and the novel situation in which they found themselves, to be greatly di s posed to talk. Arty, with many a weary sigh, at length fell asleep with his head 011 young Fleetwood's breast, and cven Tony's usual spirits seemed now to have quite forsaken him. After the mast had been unstepped, and such preparations as their circumstances permitted were made for passing the night comfortably, Tony related all that he knew of what had taken place on shore, previous to the alarm which he had giwn. The account made Frank very grave and thoughtful indeed, and he was more anxious than ever for the morning to come, so that they might get back to land. It was quite late before they felt any disposition to sleep; but notwithstanding the excitement. and the discomforts of \heir situ ation, they began at length to experience the effects of th e fatigue and anxiety which they had undergone, and bestowing them-

PAGE 19

18 BRA VE AND BO Lb. selves a1 cgnvenimtly as possible about the boat, bad e each other "good-night," and one by o ne dropp e d asleep. The two or three hours immediately preceding dawn seemed ter ribly long. Just as the first gray light appeared in the east, Frank joined them. A cknse volume of vapor, which rested upon the water and contrib11ted to the obscurity in which they were enveloped, now gathe red slowly int o masses and floated upward, as the day ad vanced gradually clearing the prospect; and they kept looking out for the in the momentary expectation of seeing it loom up before them through the mist. But when, as the light increased and the fog rolled away, the boundaries of their vision rap idly enlarged, and still n o land could be seen, they began to feel seriously alarmed. A short period of intense and painful anxiety followed, during which they continued alternately gazing and waiting for more light and again st ra.ining their aching eyes in every direction, and still in vain. At last it became evident that they had, in some manner, drifted completely away from the island. The appalling conviction could no longer be resisted. There they were, lost and helpless on the open ocean, in their chip of a boat1 without provisions for a single day, o r ; t o speak more definitely, without a morsel of bread, or a drop of water, or even a compass to s!eer by. They felt downhearted enough, but the co nstvrnation of the other three b oys, when they awoke and realized the situation, was extreme. No two of the little company could agree as to the direction in which their island l ay. Frank, however. believing that they "ere already head ed t owa rd it, and further, !hat the ;veather would change for the worse before many hours, determined to continue on their present course, and acco rdin gly n o change was made. Soon the sto rm Frank had foreseen arose. and continued without intermi ssi0 n or abatement for the next twenty-four hours, and to avoid the danger o/ being swamped, they were obliged to run before it. The second night, at sm1set, the wind fell, and ih the morning the sea h ad become tolerably smooth, with o nly a moderate breeze blowing. But though the gale had ceased, the weathe r was still thick, and the sky so obscured by clouds that they cou ld not see the s un or even fix upon !he quarter of the heavens in which 1t stood. Thus eve n the means upon which the natives are wont to rely for directing their coorse upon their long voyages, wholly failed them. They did not get even a g limpse of the su n all t hat day; nor the next until late in the afternoon, when it cleared beautifully, and for the first time since the beginning of the storm, they were able to distinguish north from so uth and eas t from west. They found that they had got completely "turned a r ound," and were head ed due north, and they now put about and stee r ed in what they supposed to be the right direction. At dawn the next day they were surprised t.o find themsehes in sight of a strange island, which none of them remembered having seen b efo r e A remarkable-looking black rock, resembling a huge tombstone or monument, arose abruptly from the sea about half a mile from the shore. No one-not even Tuataga. at first-could form any conjecture in regard to the island in sight But presently the young Sa moan, in a tone of extreme excitement, exclaimed: "O.raluka !" Frank tuq1ed quickly, and gave the young islander a searching look. He kn ew that an island of that name-the subject of a thousand appalling stories, to which he had often incredulously listened-was said to lie somewhere in that latitude; but h e had never met ivit h any one who could give him any definite and satisfactory informatio n respecting it According to general report, its inhabitants were cannibals, and were in the habit of murdering and devouring all whQ were so unfortunate as to be cast t:pon their shores, or who had the hardi hood or temerity voluntarily to land upon them. It was also said that the island h ad nenr been visited by white m en; and, owing to the popular belief in regard to the ferocious and warlike characte r of its people, it is certain that the natives of the neighboring groups could not, as a general thing, be induced bv any coosideration to engage in a voyage haYing this reputed cannibal island for its destination. Among the other manelous reports concerning Oraluka, was one to the effect that its inhabitants we r e possessed of immense hoards of pearls and shell, of the value of which they were utterly ignorant. Tuataga said that one o f his captors had declared that, about a yea r since, he had embarki!d for Orabka with a party in a large canoe, tempted to incur the perils of the en tt>rpris e by the prospect of the enormous gains that might be realized in trading with the natives if a friendly intercours e could once be e:;ta b l'shcd with them They h ad succeeded in reaching the island, he said; but scarccl-y had they set ioot on shore \\"hcn they'\\'cre attacked by a party of the inhabitants. who issued s1;ddrnly from the forest, and, dis regarding all their friendly and gestures. fell upon them and killed the greater part of 1lie ir number, the rest making their escape with the greatest difficulty. Tony's curiosity and love of adventure were stimulated by what he heard, and he was eager to land at once. Frank. too, wa0 a1:xious to r each the shore, but ior a very dif ferent rtason. The); were all suffering horribly fr:om hunger and thirs t. and he no longer bear to s ee littlt Arty's agony. "Any fate is than thi s ," he said, and steered boldly for the island. Cl-IA PTER XII. THE OF T!IE CANNlllAL On approaching th e shore, th e boys found that a henvy surf broke upon it, bnt there was a good beach, and a landing could be effected without much difficulty. They accordingly took in their sail. and resorti:1g to the oars. made for what seemed to be a favorable spot. Soon after passing the black rock before alluded to, they ob served several. figures stealing along the sh o re in the covert of a row of mangroves, and apparently watching their movements. \\' hen they had reached the edge of the surf, and were preparing to dash through it these figures came rushing out of the thi cket, and with threatening gestures warned them away. This sta r tled the three younger boys a good deal, and they carnestiy begge
PAGE 20

BRA VE AND BOLD. their disposition might be a treacherous pretense, designed to lure them ashore, in order to plunder, kill and devour them; but Frank assured him that their Winchesters would be a sufficient protec tion, and prepared to force the boat through the surf. The p a rty of nativ es did not seem greatly to outnumber the boys, and were n o t particularly formidable in their appearance. They were, as well as Frank could judge at such a distance, of no more than the ordinary stature. \ il/it h the exception of the in dividual already referred to, in the gay tiputa, they wore nothing but the mare, and were armed with long spears. Neverthele.1, even Harry h esitate d to make any nearer approac h suspecting that more of the natives were lurki ng among the m a ngrov es, ready to sally out upon them at the proper moment, if they should venture to land. Frank, finding all attempts to overcome the reluctance o f the younger boys unavailing, t ook a few trinkets from Tony, and springing overboard, swa m through the surf to the shore. The native in the tiputa waited to receive him, continuing to wave the gree n branch and to make a mi cab l e signs. Frank advanced, and greeted him in the P oly nesian fashion, by rubbing faces. The two then walked together to the edge of the woods, where the others still r emained; and Frank, after distributing his trinkets, came down to the beach again, and b eck oned to the rest to come ashore. As soon as the boat was beached, and they were all fairly on land the nadves came forward somtwhat has tily from the edge of the woods, probab ly in expectation of receiving further pres ents; but the boys, mhtaking this sudden advance for a hostile m ove ment, laid hold of the boat, and would have put her in the water again, had not Frank an d Tony interfered with so much d ecis ion and vigo r that their fears began to take a new direction, and they came to sensible conclusion that they had better run the risk of being roasted alive and eaten by the cannibals, than incur the anger of their best friends. The leader of t h e party of natives now advanced, and throw ing himself into an oratorical attiwde, waved his hand gracefully, and made a little speech. thanking Frank for his gifts, and welcoming the young Papalanji to the island. The language which he spoke was but slightly different from the Samoan, and n e ither Frank nor Tuataga had any difficulty in understanding what he said. When he had finished, Frank mad an appropriate r ep ly, ac cording to the rules of Polynesian etique t te. He c o mm e nced by paying the young chief some florid compliments. lie then gave a graphic account of their involuntary voyage, d esc ribing the fight, and the storm which th ey had encountered, in such terms that their esca p e m ust have seemed little short of a miracle; an d concluded by stating the manner in which they had been driven from their course and finally reached the island. The n atives listened attentively, and signified their sense o f Frank's eloquence by frequent exclamations of "Maitai maitai !" -good! good !-and by nodding their heads emphatically at the of every sentence. As soon as the speechmaking was over, the natives, who seemed thus far quite friendly and. in o ffensive, came forward once more, and all went through the ceremony of rubbing faces with a great show of cordi a lity Frank and Tony rec eive d more than their due proportion of these civilities, though all the American boys were examined with the closest attention, and, from the r emarks of the natives, it was easy to see that most of them, at least, had never seen a white person before. The chief of the party was called Taimua. He was a young man with a handsome face, expressive of good nature and indo lence. Frank walked apart with him to make inquiries about food for the boys, and stores for the boat, in case it was thought best to try to return to their own island again. Meanwhile Tony, through Tuataga, made a few inquiries on his own account. After Taimua had concluded his conference with Frank, he led the boys to a large building the beach, which w&s completely overshadowed by aged tamanu frees. It s e e m e d from its s ize and peculiar st ructure t o bf' a deserted marac, or, pos s ibly, a maneaba. He then sent away two or three of his p eop le, who soon returned with several clusters of cocqanuts, and some banai;ias, and r oast pig for their r e fre shment. They were also supplied with plenty of fresh water for prPSent ust. Tne natives h ad come down to the shore, as the boys now learned, for the purpose of cutting mangrove roots, from which they m'!ke large and powerful bows, and the whole party soon lef\ them at the maneaba, and proceeded to the beach; in about an hour they saw them depart inl a nd, carrying bundl e s of these roots without taking any further notice of them. Some two or three hours la te r, a number of the natives they h ad seen in the morning again made their appearance, with sev eral large calabashes of water, and a quantity of taro and bread fruit, for the use of th e ir guests. A few minutes afterward Taimua himself emerged from the grove attended by quite a large party. H e entered the maneaba, and after little talk with Frank, turned abruptly to Tony, a nd saying that he must now return to the village, invited him to\.go with him to visit it. Tony appearing to h es itate, the chief pres se d the matter so earnestly, that his sus picions were aroused, and he peremptorily declin ed. Taimua's angry looks evinced his displeasure, and after walking about for some time in sullen silence, he at l e ngth made a similar reque s t of Frank, letting drop a t the same time an expression to the effect that one of them must go with him. Frank saw plainly that for some reason the young chief had set hi s h eart upon having either Tony or himself visit his -..illage, and he suspected that this was, in fact, the sole object of his return. He observed also that hi party was more numerous, and much better a rmed than it had be e n in the m orni ng and he had no doubt that rather than suffer himself to be baffled in his purpose, h e would resort to force to accomplish it. After a moment's reflection, therefore, he resolved to accept the invitation, for he had no wish for a hostile collision between the nati ves and his own party. On m aki ng his decision known to his friends, Tony promptly decl a re d that he would go too, and Tuataga asked for permission to accompany th em. This did not please Taimua, but he sullenly acquiesced in tqe arrangement. The chief was impatient (o set out at once, and Frank having given some directi ons to the three boys left behind, as to their conduct during his absence, they started, little dreamini how their. visit to the cannibal village was to terminate. CHAPTER XIII. TAIMUA'S VILLAGE-FRANK AND TONY RESOLVE TO SAVE: A UFE. A quarter of an hour's walk brought Taimua, and the party with him, to a flourishing breadfruit plantation, which they pa sse d through without seeing a single dwdling, or any indica tions of inhabitants. The plantation was bounded by a wild ravine, crossing which, they en tere d a den se and gloomy grove, composed almost entirely of the sacred mire, and one other kind of tree, the branchea

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20 BRA VE AND BOL D of which sprang horizontally from the trunk in a series of whorls, one above another, twisting around from left to right, and clothed with broad leaves of so dark a green as to seem almost black. Near the center of this grove, they came suddenly upon a large marai, built principally of loose sto nes, overgrown with moss and lichens. It was a spacious, uncovered inclosnre, the front of which con sisted of a strong bamboo fence, while the three remain ing sides were of stone. Within the inclosure, at one side, was a small building, probably the prie st's dwelling. and in the center arose a solid pyramidal structure, or> the terraced sides of which were rang e d the hid eous, mis shapen of several gigantic idols. In front of this, and between four rude heaps of broken coral, was a low platform, support e d by stakes, and r ese mbling the altars used for human sacrifices. during the reign of heathenism in many of the groups of Polynesia. Beneath this platform or a l tar, was a pile of human skulls; and suspended fr om the trees were other skulls, as well as the shells of enormous turtles and the skeletons o f fishes. A hideous-lo o king old man whom Frank, at l eas t, knew to be the priest, sat at the door of the small building within the in closure, and looking intently at the boys, made st range faces as they pas se d by. His skin was sallow, and most singularly speck led, probably from some cutaneous disease; he was perfectly bald, there not being a single hair either on his h ead or face-not even one where his eyebrows should have been; his eyes were small and glitter ing like those of a snake; his mouth was large and opened, dis closing a few scattered, yellow fangs, and in his countenance there was a mingled expression of cunning and cruelty that made one shudder. When the b oys were neare st to him in passing, he stru ck him self violently on th e breast, and cried out in a strong but dis sonant voice, pointing with his long, skeleton finger toward the young chief. "Taimua, son of Tuiatafu, rob not the servant of Oro of a priest's share!" The young chief looked exceedingly annoyed, and half angry, but the natives with him hurried on, without seeming to pay any attention to the words of the priest. "What did the lubber say?" inquired Tony of Frank, in a low tone. Fra1* explained. "The deuce I" growled Tony, "they're going to make a cannibal feast of us, and that speckied-faced ol d swab is speaking for his share in time I" "It looks very much like it, I confess," returned Frank, in a tone. "Well, they'll have a red-hot time getting me over the fire, you bet," said Tony, determin e dly. "Some of 'e m will go to the grass first, as sure as my name is Tony Bright." "We'll all three mak0 a good fight if it's necessary; that's a s ure thing," said Frank. "And you think it will be nece ssary? Frank looked around. The dark grove, the great idolatrou sl oo king marai with its heathen altar and monstrous images; the pile of skulls; the strange fruit hanging from the trees; the hideous old man and his strange words, all tended to suggest vague but most startling suspicloqs. But another glance at the open and friendly coun tenance! of the young chief and tho se with him somewhat re assured him, and he hastened to reply 0 "I am not quite sure yet, Tony; it may not be as bad as we think." Then, turning to Taimua, he said: "That is a strange-looking place we have just passed." "Strange!" returned the chief. "It is the Fare no Oro-the house of Oro. A great and solemn is to be celebrated there very soon." "A feast, eh?" said Frank, th o ughtfully "Yes, such a feast as this island has not seen for many years. Did you notice the b e neath the altar?" "Yes." "They cau se d you to wonder, no doubt?" "Yes, they certainly excited my curiosity." "They belonged to the prie sts who h ave officia t ed at the marai, a nd whose remains have be e n buried within t h e in closure; it i s a long-e stablis hed custom with us that their skulls shall finally be deposit e d beneath the altar." "But I saw many skulls hanging fr o m the trees?" said Frank, in a half inquiring tone. "Ah, that's different!" was the abrupt r eply. All this time they were hurrying forward. The dark woods was boun.ded by a charming valley, with a brook running through it, and th e boys were glad to escape from its gloomy shade int o th e cheerful light. They forded the shallow stream, which was so that every p ebble in its gravelly bed was visible, and found them selves at the foot of a long green slope. Before them, lying partly in the valley, and straggling halfway up 1 the ascent, was a pretty village. The neat and light-built na ti\'e dwellings dotted the side of the slope, or p eepe d out from among embowering trees along the b a nk s of the stream in the most picturesque manner. The thatching of the cottages, bleached to an almost snowy whitene ss, offered a pleasing contrast to the surrounding verdure. Troops of children were pursuing their spo rt in e1ery direction. Some were wading in the stream, or sailing tiny boats, others were swinging on ropes of sennet, suspended fr om branches of the trees, and a few were qui et ly sitting in the shade, making b o uquets and wreaths of wild flowers. No grown persons were to be seen, most of them, probably, being at that h our as l ee p in their houses. In pa ssing through the village, the n at ive escort clo sed arciund the boys in such a manner as to screen them fr om o bserva tio n and they reached the top of the slope without seeming to have attracted notice. Here Taimua di sm issed all his attendants except two, and they then struck into a fine avenue of w ell-grow n trees, running along the crest of the hill, and leading to a large native house of oval form, prettily situated upon a green knoll, and overshadowed by wide-branching breadfruit trees. This, Taimua informed the boys, was his dwelling. At a short distance from the hou se, beneath a fan p a lm was a group of young girls, so entirely absorbed in the congenial task of arranging one another's abundant tresses, and adorning them selves with flowers, that they did not observe the little party's 1pproach. Taimua pointed out the mo st attractive of these girls, and with an air of great complacency, informed his guests that she was his wife, Leiata As. they approached the pretty group, the girls looked up, and with littl e screams of consternation, made a s h ow of scampering off into the grove, but apparently thought better of it and concluded to stand their ground. At first they seemed actually afraid of Frank and Tony, pe ep-

PAGE 22

BRAVE AND BOLD. 2J ing cautiously at them over one another's shoulders from a saf distance. Presently, however, one, more enterprising than the rest, ventured so far as to reach out her hand and touch Tony. on the cheek, when, finding that no disastrous consequences immediately followed thi s act of temerity, they gradually laid aside their apprehen. ions, and pres sing around the two boys, soon became sufficiently familiar to try a variety of highly original and inte re sting eJtperiments upon their complexion and clothing. One of the girls after examining Tony's fair skin and light hair, gra,ely communicated to a companion lier conviction that the strangers had come from the moon. The other thought not, and attributrd their paleness to the influ ence of some fearful sickness; while a third, being of a skeptical and suspicious turn of mind, suddenly se ized Ton y by the wrist, and spitting on her palm, commenced scrubbing hi s hand with great vigor, to see if the color werr fast. The tight-fitting garments of the boys, t oo, seemed t o puzzle them exceedingly; they were at a lo ss to know whether they were a natural or an artifici;il covering, and when at la st they had l earned the truth by getting po ssessio n of Tony's coat, that modest youth was in momentary dread, as he informed Frank, lest the now awakened spirit of inve stiga tion and experiment should prompt their n e w friends to still more embarrassing extremes. This, however, proved to be a grou ndless apprehension, for their curiosity was pre sen tly diYerted by the appearance of an old woman, who summoned the whole party to dinner. Taimua leading the way, they proc ee ded toward the dwelling. It was surr<;>unded by a strong neat hedge of th e ti-plant, some three and a half feet high, with an ingeniou sly-contrived gate opposite the d oor. A path s: rewn with marine shells and fragments of white coral led from the gate to the door. The s pace within the inclosur e was chiefly devoted to the cultivation of yams and other ngetables, though Leiata informed her guests that s he had a flower garden, all her own, on the other side of the house. The dwelling itself was a mod e l of native architecture. It w as oval in shape, aud the sides were incl osed with handsome mats, with spaces Jeft for light and air. The roof was composed of a firm and durable thatch of pandanus leaves, strung upon small reeds, laid close together, and overlapping one another from the eaves to the ridge pole. On entering the house, they found a woman at one encl of the room pounding taro, or breadfruit, in a wooden mortar; another, apparently very old and infirm, was sitting upon a low stool near the wall, swaying her body slowly from side to side, and making a low, monotonous noise. Frank soon discove red, by a r emark which Taimua carelessly dropped, that this unhappy creatnre was to be destroyed by her own friend s o n account of her age and infirmities, according to a most horrible and unnatural, but hy far too prevalent custom. He quietly communicated what he had learned to Tony, and the two resolv e d to prevent th e revolting murder if it was in their power to do so. CHAPTER XIV. ON THE llRTNK OF THE GRAVE-THE MESSENGER. Meantime, the m ea l to which the party h a d been summoned, was sprea d under a m o n ster shade tree be s ide the house It con sisted of b a ked fish served up in banana leaves, roasted yams, poi-poi, a preparation of breadfruit, and an excellent kind of pudding, m ade of cocoanut pulp and taro. As 'the boys continued to dispose of these various viands, their respect for Leiata as a housekeeper increased enormously. Hardly had the meal finished when it was suggrsted lhat they should all go to a neighboring grove on the l;ianks of the stream, and they set out at on .ce. On reaching the place, they found quite a number of the nati ves, of all and both sexes, assembled; and though they soon b ega n to gather about the white strangers with inquisitive l ooks, t h e b oys were subjecte d t o much le:.s an no ya nce than might r easo nably have been expecte d under the circui;nstances. Tony, who posses ed an e n v i able faculty o adapting him self t o all sorts of peopl e and circumstances, was i J 1 a few moments as much a h ome among the villagers as if h e h ad lived for years in their midst. He gossiped wi th the old people, with a little a s sifitancc from Fra nk o r Tuat aga, romp e d with t he children, a11d chatted and frolicked with the pr e ttie st and mo st lively of the island beauties, t o the manifest disapprobation of several grim-looking young savages, who sta lk e d about in sullen dignity, watching these familiar pr cecdings o f thr good-looking strang e r with ri sing jeal ousy and indignation At length a bevy of laughing girls, in ord e r to increase the excitement, fell to pelting him. with buds and blossoms and pan danus cones, the last of which, in willing hands, are capable of d o ing d ecide d mischief Foremost among the assai ants were Leiata's companions of the morning, and even L eiata herse lf took a hand in the sport. While 1he fun was at its h eig ht, the old priest happ ene d to be m entio ned, an d Tony, comprehending whar was said, spoke slight ingly of Oro's mini ster, an d Tuataga, who was standing by, fool i shly translated th e remark. Almost at the same time, Frank, who was conversing with Taimua, thought it a good opportunity to plead for the life of the old woman whom he had seen in the chief's house, and who, in fact, was hi s grandmother. He told th e c.hief that it was a very bad religion that sanctioned, and even encouraged, the murder of the old and helple:;;s, and that a pri est who inculcated suc h practice s was himself not fit to Jive A young savage who was standing near, and who had taken mortal offense on account of th e attentions Tony had bestowed upon one of the fai r maidens, having overheard all that was said by the two boys. s uddenly drew a way from the crowd and disap p eared in the forest b eyo nd th e stream. A littl e later, and while th e m erriment was s till going on, a fre s h p a rty, of so m e ten or a d oze n men, crossed the stream and mingl ed with the others. "There's the old priest again I" su ddenly exclaimed one of the girls, in a vexed tone. "What can he be wanting here?" Frank looked around but could not see him. The newcomers did not appear to be in the sa me holiday humor as the throng around them ; they walked gravely about, without joining in the general mirth and gayety, and manifes ted none of the curiosity in regard to the st rangers that the others had ninced. The boys, however thought nothing of this at the time, sup po sing that they had been of the number of tho se whom they had seen in the morning by the seasho re, although they did not recog ni ze any of them. Presently, one and th en a nother of them disappeared in th.e directi o n of Taimua's hou se, and a littl e later an exclamation went up from the crowd, and Lciata came rushing towar.d her husband with a cry of grief. ''\;o,lhat is it, Leiata ?" he asked, hurriedly. "What troubles you?" ''Mamalava-they are takin g h er!" she sobbed

PAGE 23

22 BRA VE AND BOLD. "What I so soon ?" "Yes If' exclaimed a hard, stern voice behind them, "they are taking her now; and you, Taimua, son of Tuiatafu, must hold one end of the tappa that chokes out her life." Frank looked a round once more, and this time beh e ld the old priest of the marai. But how changed, since he la st saw him! Every sign of age and d ecrepitude had vanished; his mi s shap e n frame seemed dilated, and instinct with nervous energy; his face was pale with the intensity of his fury, and bis small eyes flashed fire. Tony, too, caught sight of the old man, and involuntarily shuddered When they looked again, a moment later, he was gone. Taimua, with a dark and frownin g brow, turned to those about him and said : "Come !" and. followed by his weeping wife, and the whole company, they proc ee d e
PAGE 24

, BRA VE AND BOLD. 23 CHAPTER XV. A ItACE FOR LIFE. Once inside the honsC', the savage chief explained that the priest had claimed one of them as a sacrifice and that it was intended that Tony was to be killed the following morning. ' I cannot save you if you stay," he explained through Tuataga, wh acted as interpreter, 'but if you wait qnietly here ill night fall you may make a rnsh for the boat when all is deserted." The boys agree d to thi s, and spent a long and dreary afternoon in the Samoan honse. The crowd dispe r se d gradually from the front of the house, and shortly after dark di! quiet as the grave. Taimna then o ffend 10 accompany rlwm to their boat; but Frank firmly declined the offer. on the ground that hi s presence might endanger him, anci in the l'XCitcd and determined m ood of the i slander. could be n o protection to them. They accordin!l.IY took a hnrric d lea1e of him and of Lciata, and stole forth into the night. They pas$ecl so me distance beyond the point where they had struck into the path in jhc morning, to avoid th e nci g hhorhood of the village, then tLlrning toward the shor e, descended into the valley until they reac hed the stream. At this p oi11l tl f rirnlct was deep and narrow, with a rapid current, but they had n o time to look for a ford. Cries and shouls on the hill above them, showed that they were pursued, and a confused clamor from the village indicated the existence of some unus ual commotion there. Tum-tums 11ere b eating ficn-ely. and the long. di s mal wail of the tuba conch resounded through the echoing arches of the f rest. The boys swam the stream as si len t l y as possible, each one holdin" hi weapons above his head in one hand to keep the ca rt ridges cl ry. As they climbed the further bank, ancl plunged into the forest of miros. they could h ea r the s pla shing of the water caused by persons Jording the stream a short distance below them, and opposite the 1 illage. In the same a multitude of candle-nut torches gleamed through the foliage, and revealed clnsky forms hurrying hither and thither. The trees growin g more thinly as they approached !he edge of the woods, let in the light, and between their trunks the boys caught a glimpse of the se a. Right oefore them was a thicket. tangled with fern, anrl scarcely twenty yards beyond it lay the beach, shining in the s t arl ight. As they turned a little aside to a,oid the thicket. a n appalling yell rang out fro m it, and more than a doze n dark figures started from their ambush, and sprang info the path before them. The, ol d p riest was a l their head. an d if e1er cruel murder was written upon a h tlman face it was ll'ritlen upon his. Frank's heart sank; he saw that a desperate struggle was meYitab l e, and h e dared not think what the end might be. Tony clubbing his rifle bounded into their 1er y midst. ''Forward, boys !" he cri ed, "it is our only h ope of escape, i f we want to get away without doing some p articularly bloody work.'' His movepienl:s were light as those, of a deer, and rapid as lightr!ing His first blow stretched the priest at hi s feet, and in another moment wo more of the sayages had fallen. T h e enemy gave wa.1 before him. scattering to the ri ght and left, as if a thunderbolt had suddenly dropped among them. Frank, to hi s great regret. \\'as forced to use his r e olver.. He di scharged them rapidly to the right and l eft, and with fatal effect, as wa witnesse d by the grbans that fo!Jo,Yed. The savages were confounded. and before they could r ecove r frdm their surpri se the three boys had burst through th eir ranks. As they r eac hed the shore, Tony looked around and missed F r ank-he was no longer with them. An exulting cry behind them at once explained his absence; at the same time they could hear him call out in a Yoice broken by pain and exhaust.ion : "Save yourse lve s I ban fall e n and am i njured; there are m o r e than a hundred sa1ages here, and you can do nothing f or n1ei'' vVithout a n i n stant, hesitation Tonv turned. and h e and Tuataga rus h e d b ac k into the mid>t of shouting enemies. Half a dozrn or more of the party which had been in pursuit of them, were jus t coming up The audacity' and desperation of their attack seemed to confound them, and three of their n11mber fell almost without a struggle benea h Tony's rapi d ahd resistless blows, while two more were sent to grass by Tuataga'1 nfle. Two men who were dragging Frank away, were compelle d to leave him at liberty in order to defend themselves At t!Jat moment ? sudden shout from the wate r raised by the other three boys, who had either heard the voices of their companions, or seen them when !h<:y came out upon lhe shore and then a rapid su ce. s i o n of riAe s hot$, incrca eel the panic d the enemy hy .causing th e m to suppo>c that Ton y and hi s companions "ere I admg back t h party to the fight, all armed with chain lightning and the thunderb o lt s of heaven. They ha s tily ga1 c way before them, and the boy had all Lurned once more and gained the beach before they recovere d from their surprise, and be ga n t o ;.;11;;pcct that they had been mistaken . The hoal wa s j1i,t outside the. where Harry and Charley, tired out an d unea>y over tltc r l ong wait, were keeping her steady w ilh their oars. Tony hailed t h em, anci pl111ip;c d into the water to swim out to t'.1em, cl se l y followed by Tuataga, and at a greater distance by qmk. The natives, stung with shame and rage at having their prisoner torn fro m them 111 the 'Very momenf of triumph wi f h s uch rccklc s boldness, and having overcome iJ1 a measure (heir fear at the sound o f firearms, swarmed down lo the beach and pursued the boy s into the water. They S<; med excitPd almost lo frenzy at.. the pro. pect of thei r escape. Some, standing 11po11 the shore, the boat wi(h showers of stun s.. by which Tuataga was slighlly and littJe Arly more severely \\'Ouncled. The. old prie. t, who had ,revived from the stunniug blow Tony had given him. was stanclmg on a block o[ co r al close to the water's edge directing the attack. No soo n e r had Tony bern h e lp e d into the boat than, throwin g down hi s 01Yn 1 et 1 1 capons: and snat c)1ing Charley's rifle from hi s hand. he took careful a1111 at the old reprobate' s headpiece and fired. The priest of Oro threw u11 hi s hands, and fell forward, face downward. into the waler. where t he next incoming wave caught him up. and threw him, lifel ess o n the .shore. Icantimc a sco re or more of the sav;;tges were swimming out after th e b oys, apparently with a firrn c;lcter 1ination to board the boat if possible. fn their inLense anger and j11,;t indignation, the boy s fired upon the foremost of with fatal effect, bu the others did not turn back until the little crew h a d hoisted !heir sail, and had begnn to draw steacl1 ly from th e l and. CHAPTER XVI. THE STR.\NGE lSLAND---A C RY. D11rin g the time Frank and h i s two companio n s had at the village. Harry, Charle y and Arty, with the a ssistance o f a few of the na!iyes. whom Taimua had left behind him for the purpose, had bee n industriously at work gathering supplies, and so no\v the boat was well laden ll'ith provis ion and water-"enough fo r a long voyage, as Tony remarked, i n a tone of great satisfaction. The w eathe r was ve ry fine; there was a good breezeblowing but nothi11g more than the boat could easi l y stand. Frank had gi1 en a good deal ol th ought to the ubject. and now announced that he wa s quite confident he could take them right back to their own isl a nd. "T!1 en do it, by all m eans!" e.-c laimed Tony quickly, "for if theres a spot on this earth where we ought to be iust about now. it's the island we han: a righ to call ours." 'For my part," said Charley. in a d iscontented to ne, "the spot where 1 'cl like to be i s Melbourne, in AustTalia." "\"/hat! without your fat h e r ?" exclaimed with a p eculiar expressio11 "\Vhyn o ; but then--" "What is iL you' r e clri,ing at, anyway?" a ske d Frank of Tony, Ill a low but ea rncsl 1 o ice. "You jus t land n s on the s m all i sland where l watched the mutineers and y 11'll u11derstand," was t h e eyasive ans11er. .

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0 r ... ( BRAVE AND BoLD. "Come--come, that .won't dq, Tony," said Frank, somewhat You want to know something more now, do you?" asked Tony, looking at him curiously. "I think it will be as w ell for me to be posted," returned Frank. "WeII, then, during my watch to-night you c a n keep awake with me, and I will tell you a thing or two that I hav e n't mentioned to any one yet, and, indeed, h ave hardly dared to think of myself." "Do you mean to say that what that consummate villain, Gon zalo, told us was reall1. the truth?" "There, Frank, don t ask any more questions now. Don't you see that the other boys are getting curious?" Frank looked up and saw that Charley and Harry were regarding them with eage r interest. He promptly put on an air of indifference, and began busying himself with laying the course of the boat. The next morning it might have been noticed that his usually grave face wore a still more serious expression than was its wont, but otherwise there were no outward signs of the effect Tony's communi cation had made upon him. Five or six days passed without any extraordinary incident, the hours creeping slowly by with the most distressing monotony. At length, on the morning of the seventh day, Tony, who was on the lookout in the bows, sang out cheerily : "Land ho!" And then the monotony changed to excitement. The boat's head was directed straight to the land, and after two hours it loomed up beautifully before them But all at once, as they were nearing the barrier reef, Tony uttered a dis mal cry of di sappoi ntment. "Why, what's the row now?" demanded Charl ey, sharply. "You were awfully anxious to get back to tliis isl a nd, and now you're here, you don't seem satisfied." "Yes, that's it, I'm here and not satisfied; for the trouble is, you see, we've struck the wrong island." "The wrong island I exclaimed Frank in a bewildered tone. "Are you snre of what you say, Tony?" "Only too sure,'' was the gloomy reply. "Just tell me, if you can, where our mountain is, and the lookout, and the big tree I showed you one day; and where is the opening in the reef which ou?,ht to be about yond e r and the little island, where--" 'There's the little island!" exclaimed Arty, eagerly; "right over there." "There's a little island, w be sure," said Tony, "but, unfortu nately, it is not the island. This one is much smaller than ours, and not half so pretty." "I see you're right, now, assented Arty, somewhat reluctantly. "But what shall we do? I'm awfully tired of staying so long in this boat Can't we go ashore and stay a little while?" Tony looked at Frank. "What do you say, cap'n ?" he asked. "I think the change might do us good." "I am sure of it; and then, you know, we could find some fresh food which would prove a grea t blessing." "You're right, and so we'll chance it, especially as I see no signs of human life." Tony presently pointed out an opening in the barrier reef, and soon having passed it, they landed on the shores of this unknown but beautiful island "Oh, Frank I" exclaimed Arty, as he gazed into the clear wateFs of a shallow stream that entered the lag oo n near where they had landed, "here are crawfish, oysters and plenty of other seafood. Let us catch some and build a fire, and enjoy a good hearty meal" "That's the talk, my boy," cried Harry, and he at once began gathering the materials for a fire. Frank was perfectly willing, and soon all the boys were busysome fishing others gathering oysters and crawfish, and one he!_ping Harry to build the fire. In a very short time a bountiful meal was ready, which alJ enjoyed to the utmost; th e n, aft Pr a short nap, Charley proposed that they should explore the island a little. l'o this also Frank consented, and they started off alonir the coast, having resolved, if possible, to make a complete circuit of the island Each boy was thoroughly armed and in addition, Frank carried a good, glass, which, after a careful search, had been found in the boa.t' a locker. After some little time they came to a shallow stream, bordered on the near side by a swampy stretch of land. How to cross it w\s the question, but one 1vhich Tony quickly answered. T h ere were vast numbers of sea turtles on the beach, and of these they took the liberty to make stepping-stones. They were so large that it took two or three boys to carry one, but after a time they had enough of them in a line where they wanted them, and then cuh sse d the swampy stretch and stream dry shod. They had the sati sfac tion, as they sat down on the opposife grassy bank for a moment's rest, to see the creatures extricate themselves nearly in the order, as to time, in which they had put them there. Proceeding onward along the shore, they came to a narrow pas sage of water, which, but that the stream ran inland, they might ha1e supposed was the mouth of a river. As they had no turtles here to help them out, they were compelled to skirt the stream toward the interior, until they found its The curre nt, which was a powerful one, disappeared, at length, in a fissure ()If living rock, at a point where overhanging foliage would h ave concealed entirely its further progress had it not been subterranean, which it was. At this point, they entered the woods, which reached down nearly to the water's edge, or nodded above the crags that formed the shore. The forest here consisted chiefly of enormous trees of a peculiar kind, whose boughs at certain seasons seemed as if dipped in blo od. There was something sublime in the occasional stillness of those ancient shndes. as in the roar of the tempe st that bends their sturdiest pillars to the earth. The leaves of this strange but majestic tree now scarce whispered to the pas sing breeze as they stood beneath it. They suppressed their very breath to listen, and cnn that whisp e r ceased. The grandeur o f the scene was enhanc e d by its und e fined extent on every s ide; for the eye was los t in the dusky di sta nce, where shade joined to shade, until eyery direct ray of light was excluded. Not one of them had ever, until n ow, witnessed forest scenery of the kind. They sat on the gnarled roots a while and scarcely spoke. But at length th ei r attention was attract'ed by a quick rustling in a n e ighboring thicket, and th ey just perceived two forms glide through a sligh t opening, and ascend a tree with the apparent celerity of flight and purs uit. For an instant they were hidden by the foliage, and then they appeared, a darkish couple, in the upper branches; but one of the m was much larger than the other. The y were monkeys, and the boys watched them gambol about for a mom e nt. "I am going to have a shot at them," cried Charley, diving into the bushes. A mom ent later they heard the crack of his rifle Then came a brutal yell and a scream that thrilled them to their very souls. CHAPTER XVII. TOM TRACY. IS DISCOVERED UNDER TRAGIC CIRCUMSTANCES. For one single instant the boys hesitated. Then they rushed through the thicket, while the two m o nkey-like creatures tumbled cras hing from branch to branch, until at length they lay gasping on the ground. The smaller one, in his death agony, spouted blood from his mouth and throat; the other, also bleeding lay with his face downward, moaning bitterly. The boys approached, and Fra k stooping down, turned him over. Then a simultaneous cry of astonishment and horror went up It was Tom Tracy! Some articles of clothing still coYered his body. but his thin, gaunt visage, nearly concealed by a thicket of matted h a ir, hi5 skin darkened by the sun, hi s uncu t nails, and wild looks, would scarcely have allowed the belief that here they beheld a form e r companion but for those same well-worn clothes, which all remembered, and a scar and other marks, too well known to Tony to leave room for any. doubt. The feelings of Charley Curtiss, on learning the result of his wanton thoughtlessness, can better be imagined than de sc ribed. He uttered a wild cry of horror when he saw what he had done, and flinging his rifle from him, w ou ld in hi s grief have taken flight, but for Frank Fleetwood, who stopped him.

PAGE 26

J BRAVE AND BOLD. "We all know you did not mean this," said he ; "but one thing I am sure you do mean, and that is-to help to dress his wound; and to nurse him if necessary." In an in stan t Charley was a t the poor sufferer's side, a ssisting Frank to the best of hi s ability. The wound was not mortal, but the sho t after passing clean through the monkey had struck Tracy just b elow the s houlder and was lodged just under t h e skin on the other side. Frank, who, as I think has already been exp lain ed, was somethin g of a surgeon, took hi s knife from his pocket and m ade a slight incision directly over the bullet; th e n gently pressing on eithe r side of the cut, he forced the pell et out. The next thing was to wash a!'d dress the wound; and Charley flew aw ay for t h e water, whi l e Frank and Tony prepared ban dages at the expense o f their p ocket handkerc hi efs and one of Harry's shirt sleeves. Soon Charley returned, and in a little while the wound was dressed in the best m anner the circumstances would permit. Then it was decid e d to remove the unconscious patient to the neighborhood of the boat, and make him as comfortable there as possible. Not h aving the nec essary tools with them for cutting poles and branches to form a litter for their o ld comrade, four of the boys kneeled and crossed arms while the other two, by almost sup erhuman efforts, lifted the inert form upon them. But the difficulty of thus proceeding through the thickest p art o f a trackless fo rest was very great, a nd eve n drea dful ; their fat i g ue of t e n compelled t h e m to halt, tllough their moaning charge st ill bled a nd kept g rowing weaker eve ry m o m e nt. They did their utmost, afte r h e h ad seeming l y come to hims elf, to get a word from him, but finding all their efforts useless, pro ceeded on their way a nearly silent p arty. Had chance, or their own knowledge of the direction necessary to take, bee n thei r only guide through the woods, they must, i n all probability; have wandered there until their patient h a d expired. Frank never went anyw h e re, either in the woods or upon the water, without a compass, in the use of which h e was. o f cou rse, an expert, and so there was ljttl e danger of their making mis takes in traver sinv the closest entanglements of the forest. They did not arrive at the point where they had left their boat much b efo r e evening They found everything just as th ey had left it, and so were fully satisfied that there were no natives on that side of the i sla n d, at l eas t. They quickly made up a bed of dried,grass and l eaves, under a glorious tree, by the of the limpid stream; and th e n Harry and Tony began to pr epa re food and warm drinks, while Frank and Charley once more bath ed and dressed the suffe r er's wou n ds. Nothing that brave and kind-hearte d boys could do was left und one. Having carefully attended to his wou nds they refreshed and supplied him in every possible way that their means would permi t, or their ing e nui ty devise. Oh, how Frank did regret the absence of the medicine chest! 'Ah!" he exclaimed. at least hundred times, "only to think of all the drugs and medicines we hav e stored away in the cave at home on ou r own island, and not even so much as a grain of quinine h ere!" But, from the very fir st, in s pit e of all drawbacks, it was plain to see that Tracy improved, though it was some days before h e was able to sit up much, and longer still before he began to look and act much like his former self, and when he did do so, it was qui.le difficult to get him to say anything about the recent pa st. At length however, he showed some disposition to talk, and Frank and Tony, seated b es ide him, were eage r li s teners. After finding that they were h ope l ess l y separate d from the boys, he said, the captain's boat had been headed in a westerly direc tion, and a strict lookout was kept for any isl an d on whic h they might have landed, as well as for the boat it self. Jn the course of their open-boat voyage they h a d t ou ched at no less th a n three islands, where they had hoped to l earn some thing of their lost companions, but every time they had been dis ap pointed. At length they h ad come to the beautiful spot where he had been di sc overed, and, as Mr. Curtiss and the sec ond mate were both quite ill it was decided that they s h ould r emai n there for some little time. The -place they selected for a camp was near the mouth of a. lo vely stream about four miles north of where they then were, and Tom, who was no mean cook was detailed to look after the culinary department. The other members of the party wer off every day, hunting, fishing and e xplo ring; ind eed Captain Fleetwood was b ent upon becoming familiar with every foot of their temporary home, as he was deeply impressed with t he idea that he should find the boys belonging to th e othe r boat somewhere on its shores, or at least some traces of them. At last it was d ecide d t hat the whole party should embark on board the boat, and that they should take two or three days if nec essa ry and circumnavigate the isla nd. When the tim e for d eparture came it was found that they must l eave Tom behind for a while to complete certain arrangements, and make all snug and secure at the camp, in case any intruders s h ould find the spot in their abse nce It was understood that after h e had completed his task Tom was to make a short cut across the country to a certain bay, about three and a h a lf miles di stant in a straight line, where the boat wa s expected to meet him at noon, it being fully nine miles to the same p oint by sea. Tom saw his sh ipm ates start off wit h a strange and unaccount able for e b oding at his heart, and som e two or three hours later, having completed his task, set out to join them. In due time he reached the little bay, but no boat was there, neither could he discover any signs of one having been there that day. He waited fully an hour, and then, growing impatient and somewhat al armed, determined to climb to the s ummit of a neighboring elevation, from whence he could command an rupted view of all that part of the island and the neighboring waters. The first thing to attract his attention, after gaining the summit of the hill, was a ship in the offing, and a l ongside of her he soon discovered two boats one of whic h he f elt sure was that of his companions. Both boats were fully manned, and while he stood there watch in g them they l eft t he ship's side and started for the shore, head ing directly for the bay he had just left. Tom was so intent upon watching the boats that it did not occur to him that they might be coming especially for him, and that if they did not find him o n the shore they would hardly know how to account for his absence. He continued to sta nd there--not a solitary and conspicuous obj cct in that elevated place, calculated to catch the eye1 for the point on whic h h/ stood was cover e d with trees and veraure, and so it would really have been a wonder if he had been discovered from the approaching boats. But unnoticed himself, he saw them enter the bay, and presently he caught sight of an object in the ship's boat that quickly fixed his attention, and soo n set him to laughing he artily. It wa s a monkey-a r estless an d mischievous animal, that was cutting up all sorts of monkey shines, to the great discomfort of more than one of the boat's crew. 1 At l e ngth, when tht boats were about twenty feet from the shore, the officer in command of the foremost, with a n impatien t oath, seized the little caricature of man and hurled it ov erboard. Any one who knows how a monkey dreads the water can easily understand h ow frightened the little b east was, and will not wonder at the yell of fear an d rage whic h it sent up At first it made a desperate attempt to regain the boat, but a threatening gesture from the officer frightened it off, and it struck out fran tically for the shore. On gaining dry land it stood erect for a moment, and shaking its little fist at the officer, sent up a yell of defiance, and quickly dis appeared in the w oo ds, amid a shout of laught e r from the men. At that moment the booming of a gun from the ship startled Tom, and looking off to the sea, he saw with alarm that a storm was r apidly coming up. The two boat crews saw it too, and instantly prepared to return to the ship. But fir s t they s houted at the t op of th eir voices, and fired their gu ns as a signal for Tom to join them. Unfortunately whe11 he started for the hilltop, in order not to be burdened with any unnecessary weight, he had hidden his rifle and ot her firearms near the very spot w here the boats were now waitin;r for him, so he could not return t heir signals. He shouted with all his might, as h e started down the hillside at full speed, but his voice w as heard, and the boats had put

PAGE 27

B RA VE A N D BOL D. off, and were outside of the lagoon, long before he reached the spot where they ha landed. Tom Tracy. shed bitter tears of rage and disappointment when he realized that )le had been left on the island alone, and he even felt that his shipmates had proved themselves hard-hearted in going off and leaving him there. But presently, not far from the spof. their boat had come ashore, he saw a piece of white paper, through which a stick had been thrust and then driven mto the ground, and upon securing this he found the followin;:; message to himself written upon it: "DEAR ToM: Return to our camp and prepare everything there for removal. Will come back for you when the storm is over. In haste. H. FLEETWOOD." Almost before he had finished reading this brief note the storm burst, and \vas so terrific that Tom was glad enough to seek the shelter of a shallow cave nearby. To his astonishmeHt, before he had hardly gained his place of refuge, the monkey had joined him, and by every means but words intimated that he was anxious for his friendship and pro tection, and from that moment to the hour of the animal's un timely death they had been almost inseparable companions. The storm lasted all that day and the next, and it was not until late on the morning of the third day that Tom and the Admiral, as he called the monkey, set out for the old camping grot1nd. In due time he arrived there. and there he had watched and waited, in a solitude worse thq.n de
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