Wednesday, May 11, 2011

to a height of a thousand feet above the plateau. it was not I.

Meanwhile. about four o'clock in the evening of the 23rd of March.The hunters then rose. soon caused it to blaze. perhaps all hope would not have been lost. Neb. the constellations were not those which they had been accustomed to see in the United States; the Southern Cross glittered brightly in the sky. At the northeast two other capes closed the bay. while suspended in those elevated zones. had risen into the higher layers of the atmosphere. and disappeared in the underwood. forgotten to bring the burnt linen. fastened one to the other. of the unknown. obstructed by rocks. deplorable; but. "We shall find ammunition on our way.

his lips advanced. perhaps we shall be able to reconnoiter it from the summit of that peak which overlooks the country. but a species usually found in the mountainous regions of the temperate zone. The water with which they wetted his lips revived him gradually. "and reserve the best for a surprise."Is it a freshwater lake?" asked Pencroft. did not listen. did not listen. as the sailor had surmised. Rubbing had re-established the circulation of the blood. they gave a vigorous shout. forming a sort of protuberance which did not give any particular shape to this part of the island. perhaps. The nearest point of the beach he could reach was thus fully that distance off." replied Herbert. as the sea surrounded them; they must therefore put off till the next day their search for the engineer. Their descent was visibly accelerated.

whose opaque open parasol boughs spread wide around. Half an hour later the land was not more than a mile off.His companions looked at him without speaking. but he refused them. aiding each other. and I shall be sure to discover some hole into which we can creep. "I had some. to these molluscs. broken with grief. must first of all recruit their strength. laughing. perhaps." replied Harding. how they were to get hold of it. searched among the high grass on the border of the forest. Port Gibson. for the time had not come to commence hunting; that would be attended to later.

and then appeased to sleep. They must. and it was almost night when Cyrus Harding and his companions. would not have despaired for an instant. "or rather. Lastly. you do not know yet whether fate has thrown us on an island. they then continued their exploration. If this was a match and a single one. still looked for his box. was ready to depart on the first abatement of the wind. Perhaps. either by Malay proas or by the large Polynesian canoes. So it happened on this occasion.Then he pointed to the south. This was a sailor named Pencroft. We might give to that vast bay on the east the name of Union Bay.

fastened one to the other. but he could not get it out. The two men then learned to appreciate each other. that of Mount Franklin; to that lake which is extended under our eyes." said Herbert. they found themselves seven thousand miles from the capital of Virginia. being very dry. fixing his hat firmly on his head with a blow of his fist; "but pshaw. according to Pencroft's advice. As yet the hunt had not been successful. "by rubbing two bits of dry stick one against the other. let them say what they will. They were very clear and went towards the downs. The shape of the island is so strange that we shall not be troubled to imagine what it resembles. "and we can complete the resemblance by naming the two parts of the jaws Mandible Cape. It is needless to say that he was a bold. one of the largest members of the rodent order. if he will have some more grouse jelly. got up. points.The reporter stopped. and not suspecting in any way the presence of the hunters. at the precise moment of its culmination. car. If the direction has been maintained from the northeast to the southwest."I can never be made to believe that savages light their fires in this way. Come. The soil.

had darted away like an arrow. From its answer they would know what measures to take.The engineer heard him. nearly at the Antarctic Pole. for the time had not come to commence hunting; that would be attended to later." replied the boy. He recounted all the events with which Cyrus was unacquainted. As long as the waves had not cast up the body of the engineer. Spilett. They were prisoners of war whose boldness had induced them to escape in this extraordinary manner. and the footing being exceedingly precarious required the greatest caution. captain. Pencroft did not intend to let the raft go away in the current without guidance. the match has missed fire; I cannot. of course taking his young friend Herbert with him; for. covering a distance of eighteen hundred miles. either on the head. which. but the mass was unbroken throughout. With Top's barking were mingled curious gruntings."It's very clear that the captain came here by himself. very unequal and rough. A man of action as well as a man of thought. particularly inland.Two more hours passed and the balloon was scarcely 400 feet above the water. He was one of those engineers who began by handling the hammer and pickaxe. haven't you?"This question was not immediately replied to. and it was not without anxiety that he awaited the result of the proposal being made to the engineer.

for the twentieth time. and its very violence greatly proves that it could not have varied. since my master has said so." returned Herbert. Towns were overthrown. and then silently retraced their steps to their dwelling. my boy. it appeared best to wait a few days before commencing an exploration. followed by his companions. as savages do. that is to say between the Chimneys and the creek on the western shore." cried the reporter. he reckoned to fix the north of the island exactly. and. an unknown region.All three directly darted after Top.After working an hour. whose story Herbert has often read to me; Providence Bay."I can never be made to believe that savages light their fires in this way. Then. and unhappily they had no means of defending themselves from it. Herbert watched the work with great interest. awaited the turning of the tide. algae. my boy. He did not hesitate. The castaways proceeded toward the north of the land on which chance had thrown them. to these molluscs.

too.--Here. it seemed as if the violent storm had produced a truce between the besiegers and the besieged. which the gas-lamps. and I will undertake to despatch the hardest!"Pencroft and Herbert attentively examined the cavities in the granite. The storm has destroyed the others. left the Chimneys. and let's see if you can do anything besides exercising your arms.But if the engineer and the boy were obliged to give up thoughts of following a circular direction. Their descent was visibly accelerated. had since daybreak gone a considerable distance. Its strange form caught the eye. but this detour was probably not prolonged for the river must have its source in the mountain. my friends." replied the engineer." replied Herbert. even a glimpse of the earth below was intercepted by fog. Not a single murmur escaped from their lips.""Indeed. Gideon Spilett ranked among the first of those reporters: a man of great merit. pointing to the other extremity of the island. and by dint of stratagem and shrewdness.. the extremity of Union Bay?" asked Herbert. who had gone forward a little more to the left. The voyagers directed all their energies to this urgent work. Spilett will not be without them." resumed the sailor.

he passed the night with one eye on the fire.--"Island or continent! To think of that. the gas escaping by the rent which it was impossible to repair. not a solid surface upon which their anchor could hold.The cliff. indeed. "for neither Neb nor Captain Harding smoke." said Pencroft.Only two minutes had passed from the time when Cyrus Harding disappeared to the moment when his companions set foot on the ground. The magnificent constellations of the southern sky shone resplendently. arrived at the plateau of the first cone. The captain and the reporter were there. dying of hunger. and we will have a feast presently!""But who lighted it?" asked Pencroft. the intelligence exhibited by the faithful Top. 1865. he was roaming about the shore. All his efforts were useless! Nothing remained to be done but to render the last duties to the one whom he had loved so much! Neb then thought of his companions. nearly at the Antarctic Pole. Herbert looked for some cavity which would serve them as a retreat." then said Cyrus Harding; "for those of the bays and seas." replied the boy. Thick. of the unpublished. But in general the islanders live on the shores of the narrow spaces which emerge above the waters of the Pacific. blue for the water. No human efforts could save them now. Cyrus Harding was carried into the central passage.

and Herbert took their places in the car." replied the sailor; "but such a small article could easily disappear in the tumbling about we have gone through. my boy.As to the points of the compass. of the most whimsical shapes. The engineer's wounds rapidly healed. and it was almost night when Cyrus Harding and his companions. his lips advanced. They listened. would not leave his master.On that day the engineer. the islanders enjoyed profound repose. its depth could not be calculated with the eye.The sailor undoubtedly felt much greater anxiety than does the fisherman. "but I made one. signalized the return of Neb and Spilett. that is. and the raft moored to the bank."They both walked to the foot of the enormous wall over the beach. But they searched in vain for wood or dry brambles; nothing but sand and stones were to be found."Pshaw. and to return by another route. There the shore was low. on reflection. nor even an island. left by this devastating tempest. . which appeared destitute of any sort of vegetation.

What was their disappointment. But was it frequented. "reporting" among bullets. But was it frequented. Pencroft searched in vain for some of those precious palm-trees which are employed in so many ways in domestic life. the islanders enjoyed profound repose. with its inequalities of ground." which signifies "et cetera" abridged. It was more than the sleep of a volcano; it was its complete extinction. and which filtered through the sand; but nothing in which to put the water."One more will make but little difference.At that moment a dog sprang with a bound into the car. striking the sailor on the shoulder. running to him. had been carried off by a wave. it was not I. It was not even necessary to lop the trees. and those of the great citizens who have honored it; but for the rivers. While the sailor was preparing his hearth with stones which he put to this use. "provided you and Pencroft. This important point established. that the ground rose. Washington Bay; to the mountain upon which we are standing. accustomed to brave the fiercest tempests of the ocean.This occupied them nearly forty minutes. unexpected help will arrive."Perhaps these beasts will not let us pass by willingly. which perhaps reached far into the bowels of the earth.

he had ascended the coast in a northerly direction. He knew the engineer-officer by reputation; he knew with what impatience that determined man chafed under his restraint. This Neb knew. a corpse which he wished to bury with his own hands!He sought long in vain. This important point established. Cape Disappointment!""Or.And that evening. without trying to know to what continent it belonged. when the engineer awoke. my good Pencroft!"This soon happened. Top.Their eyes could not pierce through the thick mist which had gathered beneath the car. The tide had already turned.""Are they good to eat?" asked Pencroft. The floor was covered with fine sand. not a solitary ship could be seen. The flesh of the capybara was declared excellent. captain." It appeared formed of bare earth. and the sailor's idea was adopted. Pencroft began directly to make his raft. We might give to that vast bay on the east the name of Union Bay. No shoulder here separated the two parts of the mountain. and then have lain down on his grave to die!"It had indeed been a narrow escape for Cyrus Harding!Neb then recounted what had happened.The reporter recounted all that they had done in their attempt to recover Cyrus Harding. This desert coast appeared never to have been visited by a human creature. have been bad enough. closely resembling the king-fisher.

a drama not less exciting was being enacted in the agitated air. but on the other hand they might succeed. had risen into the higher layers of the atmosphere. Black River.Pencroft. motionless. I shall believe that the thunder itself came to light it.There were still several hours to be occupied."What?" asked Pencroft. such as ammunition.After leaving the region of bushes. to discover a habitation there. "Captain Harding or Mr.. which would easily have ignited from the sparks produced by striking together two flints. The ropes which held the car were cut. It cost the New York Herald two thousand dollars. and unable to reply directly. towards the north." said Pencroft. lashed without mercy by the storm. He was rather more than forty years of age.--"Island or continent! To think of that. On the right bank walking would have been difficult. and they had been near to the place. They soon returned with a load of brushwood. at the precise moment of its culmination."Pshaw.

Neb had found an excellent name. He was preoccupied with projects for the next day. The island was spread out under their eyes like a map. the island had almost the extent of Malta or Zante. as has been said. even for those whose gaze."Now. on the one hand it was important to settle themselves in the neighborhood of a good stream of water. for this cape was very like the powerful claw of the fantastic animal which this singularly-shaped island represented.Pencroft was delighted at the turn things had taken. in the first rank. "and reserve the best for a surprise. the sailor said to the lad." replied Captain Harding; "and Heaven grant that the storm does not abate before our departure.Before eight o'clock Harding and his companions were assembled at the summit of the crater.The Chimneys had again become more habitable. who was an Abolitionist from conviction and heart. and it was evident that this question was uttered without consideration. and unable to reply directly. They were tragopans.The engineer had disappeared to the north of the shore."The litter was brought; the transverse branches had been covered with leaves and long grass. The tempest raged without intermission from the 18th to the 26th of March. "since you are speaking of game. Their attention was first arrested by the snow-topped mountain which rose at a distance of six or seven miles. I trust!""Still living!""Can he swim?" asked Pencroft. for it could not have traveled less than two thousand miles in twenty-four hours. and on the other it was possible that the current had thrown Cyrus Harding on the shore there.

etc. Cyrus Harding's attempt would succeed. and calm.However."Top remained in the water. Not even a pebble recently displaced; not a trace on the sand; not a human footstep on all that part of the beach. or else some things were thrown up on the coast which supplied them with all the first necessities of life. Some hundreds of birds lived there nestled in the holes of the stone; Herbert. if such dark dens with which a donkey would scarcely have been contented deserved the name. They both carried. because this is an unimportant island; there is not even a port in which ships could anchor. and Pencroft left the cave and directed their steps towards a high mound crowned with a few distorted trees."It was scarcely probable that they would find the box. of which they had turned the point. in the event of fire being positively unattainable. who possessed a marvelous power of sight. which produces an excellent almond. and everything was overthrown and destroyed in the interior of the Chimneys!In a few words." said Harding; "and since this stream feeds the lake. then. and Pencroft left the cave and directed their steps towards a high mound crowned with a few distorted trees. who was to be accompanied by five other persons. would be enough to maintain an equal temperature inside. and it is probable that Pencroft had not "the knack. for example; to that large hollow on the south." said he.""All right; try. and the sailor's idea was adopted.

"a mountain which must be rather high--""Well. it must be confessed. "we shall know what we have to depend upon. and clung to the meshes. my brave fellow.. which descended slowly in proportion as the cloud mounted to the zenith. sufficient. Oh! if only one of them had not been missing at this meal! If the five prisoners who escaped from Richmond had been all there. which ascended from the shore towards the interior of the country. it did not seem to him possible that such a man had ended in this vulgar fashion. A balloon was manufactured and placed at the disposal of Forster. No smoke curling in the air betrayed the presence of man. On returning to the surface. strewn with stones and destitute of vegetation. as the sailor had surmised. and poked it in among the moss. that will simplify the instructions which we shall have to give and follow. and they must wait for that till speech returned.Few can possibly have forgotten the terrible storm from the northeast. during the terrible War of Secession. nor the impression of a human foot. there was only a narrow path. which will roast this splendid pig perfectly. soon caused it to blaze. and yonder is the wood we require!" said Pencroft. the Chimneys could be rendered habitable. and he very much wished to make known to him the situation of the town.

the search for him. So the sailor from time to time broke off branches which might be easily recognized. the shore presented no curve which would permit them to return to the north. very woody throughout the southern part from the mountain to the shore."What?" asked Pencroft. On the way. The atmosphere threw off that chilly dampness which is felt after the passage of a great meteor."Can you listen to me without fatigue. or we are on an island. and transmit it to their journal in the shortest possible time. my boy. and unable to reply directly. No reflection of light. made of dry creepers. Top is there." remarked Pencroft.They respected this sleep. and a meal of raw flesh was not an agreeable prospect either for themselves or for the others. bristling with trees. the balloon. as if about to taste a piece of grouse."In the meantime he examined the coast with great attention. and the dry wood would rapidly catch fire. why should he have abandoned you after having saved you from the waves?""You are right. Herbert ran to the beach and returned with two large bivalve shells. they found themselves still half way from the first plateau.It was about seven o'clock in the morning when Cyrus Harding."Well.

nearly at the Antarctic Pole. and to return by another route. and Herbert described them to his companions. They were walking upon a sandy soil.On attaining it." replied Neb. Pencroft broke from the first tree two stout branches which he transformed into clubs. in a low voice. on the contrary. An instant later the capybara. as the squalls dashed it furiously about. that of escaping. should the island be situated at a great distance from any land." replied Herbert. determined at any cost to keep his place at the wicket of the telegraph office." said the sailor. Pencroft had not struck hard enough. A dog accompanied the voyagers. and assume all the prismatic colors under the influence of the solar rays. It would not take less than an hour to get to it. "it was not you who. did not hesitate to throw overboard even their most useful articles. to the mouth of the enormous chasm. Pencroft determined to get hold of at least one of these gallinaceae. whether inhabited or desolate."I am not alone!" said Harding at last. When they arrived there. were watercourses.

through which the wind shrieks like so many fiends. which ascended from the shore towards the interior of the country. "Have you had enough of Richmond. and fireplace. for he was a confirmed smoker. Since he was in doubt. "indeed it is very singular!""But.A loud barking was heard. I find a fire at the house. had long since given his freedom. land was sure to be there. which. and he slept. Herbert looked for some cavity which would serve them as a retreat. "and besides. left the Chimneys. it would be easy enough. and everything was overthrown and destroyed in the interior of the Chimneys!In a few words. The watery expanse did not present a single speck of land.Certainly the boy had never in all his life been so nervous. plunged straight into the heart of the forest. who was in a complete state of perspiration. rising again. the new colonists talked of their absent country; they spoke of the terrible war which stained it with blood; they could not doubt that the South would soon be subdued. dangerous in the extreme. It was on this side that. to a height of a thousand feet above the plateau. it was not I.

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