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

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## Material Information

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
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

## Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Mystery fiction. ( gsafd )
Detectives -- Fiction -- United States ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

## Notes

Original Version:
Volume 1, Number 22

## Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028875113 ( ALEPH )
07219828 ( OCLC )
B15-00017 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.17 ( USFLDC Handle )

## USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of South Florida
Dime Novel Collection
Brave and Bold

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serial

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PAGE 1

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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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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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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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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, 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. 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
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: 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 PAGE 21 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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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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