"My story," she began, "will not be long. I might make it in two words,— _yo_ave lost me, and you have found me_. I have every reason to thank Heaven fo_ circumstance, which has proved to me how dear I am to you, and has given m_he happiness of gaining a friend and two dear daughters. Can one complain o_n event which has produced such consequences, even though it was attende_ith some violence? But I ought to do the savages justice,—this violence wa_s gentle as it could be. I need only tell you Parabéry was there, to convinc_ou I was well treated, and it was solely the sorrow of being parted from yo_hat affected my health. I shall be well now, and as soon as Jack can walk, _hall be ready to embark for our happy island. I will now tell you how I wa_rought away.
"When you and our three sons left, to make the tour of the island, I was ver_omfortable; you had told me you might return late, or probably not till nex_ay, and when the evening passed away without seeing you, I was not uneasy.
Francis was constantly with me; we went together to water the garden, an_ested in the Grotto Ernestine; then I returned to the house, took my wheel,
and placed myself in my favourite colonnade, where I should be the first t_ee your return. Francis, seeing me at work, asked if he might go as far a_he bridge to meet you; to which I readily consented. He set out, and I wa_itting, thinking of the pleasure I should have in seeing you again, an_earing you relate your voyage, when I saw Francis running, crying out,
'Mamma! mamma! there is a canoe on the sea; I know it is ours; it is full o_en, perhaps savages.'
"'Silly little fellow!' said I, 'it is your father and brothers; if they ar_n the canoe, there can be no doubt of it. Your father told me he would brin_t, and they would return by water; I had forgotten this when I let you go.
Now you can go and meet them on the shore; give me your arm, and I will g_oo,' and we set off very joyfully to meet our captors. I soon, alas! saw m_rror; it was, indeed, our canoe, but, instead of my dear ones, there were i_t six half-naked savages, with terrible countenances, who landed an_urrounded us. My blood froze with fright, and if I had wished to flee, I wa_nable. I fell on the shore, nearly insensible; still, I heard the cries of m_ear Francis, who clung to me, and held me with all his strength; at last m_enses quite failed me, and I only recovered to find myself lying at th_ottom of the canoe. My son, weeping over me, was trying to recover me,
assisted by one of the savages, of less repulsive appearance than hi_ompanions, and who seemed the chief; this was Parabéry. He made me swallow _ew drops of a detestable fermented liquor, which, however, restored me. _elt, as I recovered, the extent of my disaster, and your grief, my dears,
when you should find me missing. I should have been wholly disconsolate, bu_hat Francis was left to me, and he was continually praying me to live for hi_ake. I received some comfort from a vague notion that as this was our canoe,
the savages had already carried you off, and were taking us to you.
"I was confirmed in this hope, when I saw that the savages, instead of makin_o sea, continued to coast the island, till they came to the Great Bay. I ha_hen no doubt but that we should meet with you; but this hope was soo_estroyed. Two or three more of the savages were waiting there on the shore;
they spoke to their friends in the canoe; and I understood from thei_estures, that they were saying they could not find anybody there. I hav_ince learnt from Canda, that part of them landed at the Great Bay, wit_nstructions to search that side of the island for inhabitants, whilst th_est proceeded with the canoe to examine the other side, and had succeeded bu_oo well. The night came on, and they were anxious to return, which,
doubtless, prevented them pillaging our house. I believe, moreover, that non_f them could have reached Tent House, defended by our strong palisade, an_idden by the rocks amidst which it is built; and the other party, finding u_n the shore, would not penetrate further.
"When all had entered the canoe, they pushed off, by the light of the stars,
into the open sea. I think I must have sunk under my sorrow, but for Francis,
and, I must confess it, my dear dog Flora, who had never left me. Francis tol_e, that she had tried to defend me, and flew at the savages; but one of the_ook my apron, tore it, and tied it over her mouth like a muzzle, bound he_egs, and then threw her into the canoe, where the poor creature lay at m_eet, moaning piteously. She arrived with us in this island, but I have no_een her since; I have often inquired of Parabéry, but he could not tell m_hat had become of her."
"But I know," said Fritz, "and have seen her. We brought Turk with us, and th_avages had carried Flora to that desert part of the island, from whence Jac_as carried off; so the two dogs met. When I had the misfortune to wound Jack,
I quite forgot them; they were rambling off, in chase of kangaroos; we lef_hem, and no doubt they are there still. But we must not abandon the poo_easts; if my father will permit me, I will go and seek them in Parabéry'_anoe."
As we were obliged to wait a few days for Jack's recovery, I consented, o_ondition that Parabéry accompanied them, and the next day was fixed for th_xpedition. Ernest begged to be of the party, that he might see the beautifu_rees and flowers they had described. I then requested the narration might b_ontinued, which had been interrupted by this episode of the two dogs. Franci_esumed it where his mother had left off.
"We had a favourable passage—the sea was calm, and the boat went so smoothly,
that both mamma and I went to sleep. You must have come a much longer roun_han necessary, papa, as your voyage lasted three days, and we arrived her_he day after our departure. Mamma was then awake, and wept constantly,
believing she should never more see you or my brothers. Parabéry seemed ver_orry for her, and tried to console her; at last, he addressed to her two o_hree words of German, pointing to heaven. His words were very plain—
_Almighty God, good_ ; and then _black friend_ , and _white lady_ ; addin_he words _Canda, bear_ , and _Minou-minou_. We did not understand what h_eant; but he seemed so pleased at speaking these words, that we could not bu_e pleased too; and to hear him name God in German gave us confidence, thoug_e could, not comprehend where or how he had learnt the words. 'Perhaps,' sai_amma, 'he has seen your papa and brothers,' I thought so too; still, i_ppeared strange that, in so short a time, he could acquire and remember thes_ords. However it might be, mamma was delighted to have him near her, an_aught him to pronounce the words _father, mother_ , and _son_ , which di_ot seem strange to him, and he soon knew them. She pointed to me and t_erself, as she pronounced the words, and he readily comprehended them, an_aid to us, with bursts of laughter, showing his large ivory teeth, _Canda,
mother; Minou-minou, son; Parabéry, father; white lady, mother_. Mamma though_e referred to her, but it was to Madame Emily. He tried to pronounce thi_ame and two others, but could not succeed; at last, he said, _girls, girls_
, and almost convinced us he must know some Europeans, which was a grea_omfort to us.
"When I saw mamma more composed, I took out my flageolet to amuse her, an_layed the air to Ernest's verses. This made her weep again very much, and sh_egged me to desist; the savages, however, wished me to continue, and I di_ot know whom to obey. I changed the air, playing the merriest I knew. The_ere in ecstasies; they took me in their arms one after the other, saying,
_Bara-ourou, Bara-ourou_. I repeated the word after them, and they were stil_ore delighted. But mamma was so uneasy to see me in their arms, that I brok_rom them, and returned to her.
"At last we landed. They carried mamma, who was too weak to walk. About _undred yards from the shore, we saw a large building of wood and reeds,
before which there was a crowd of savages. One who was very tall came t_eceive us. He was dressed in a short tunic, much ornamented, and wore _ecklace of pierced shells. He was a little disfigured by a white bone passe_hrough his nostrils. But you saw him, papa, when he wanted to adopt me; i_as Bara-ourou, the king of the island. I was presented to him, and he wa_leased with me, touched the end of my nose with his, and admired my hair ver_uch. My conductors ordered me to play on the flageolet. I played some livel_erman airs, which made them dance and leap, till the king fell down wit_atigue, and made a sign for me to desist. He then spoke for some time to th_avages, who stood in a circle round him. He looked at mamma, who was seate_n a corner, near her protector Parabéry. He called the latter, who oblige_amma to rise, and presented her to the king. Bara-ourou looked only at th_ed and yellow India handkerchief which she wore on her head; he took it off,
very unceremoniously, and put it on his own head, saying, _miti_ , whic_eans beautiful. He then made us re-embark in the canoe with him, amusin_imself with me and my flageolet, which he attempted to play by blowing i_hrough his nose, but did not succeed. After turning round a point whic_eemed to divide the island into two, we landed on a sandy beach. Parabéry an_nother savage proceeded into the interior, carrying my mother, and w_ollowed. We arrived at a hut similar to the king's, but not so large. Ther_e were received by Mr. Willis, whom we judged to be the _black friend_ , an_rom that time we had no more fears. He took us under his protection, firs_peaking to the king and to Parabéry in their own language. He then addresse_amma in German, mixed with a few English words, which we understood ver_ell. He knew nothing of you and my brothers; but, from what mamma told him,
he promised to have you sought for, and brought as soon as possible to th_sland. In the mean time, he offered to lead us to a friend who would tak_are of us, and nurse poor mamma, who looked very ill. She was obliged to b_arried to the grotto; but, after that, her cares were over, and her pleasur_ithout alloy; for the _black friend_ had promised to seek you. The _whit_ady_ received us like old friends, and Sophia and Matilda took me at firs_or their own brother, and still love me as if I was. We only wished for yo_ll. Madame Mimi made mamma lie down on the bear-skin, and prepared her _leasant beverage from the milk of the cocoa-nut. Sophia and Matilda took m_o gather strawberries, and figs, and beautiful flowers; and we caught fish i_he brook, between two osier hurdles. We amused ourselves very well wit_inou-minou, while Canda and Madame Emily amused mamma.
"The king came the next day to see his little favourite; he wished me to g_ith him to another part of the island, where he often went to hunt; but _ould not leave mamma and my new friends. I was wrong, papa; for you wer_here, and my brothers; it was there Jack was wounded and brought away. _ight have prevented all that, and you would then have returned to us. Ho_orry I have been for my obstinacy! It was I, more than Fritz, who was th_ause of his being wounded.
"Bara-ourou returned in the evening to the grotto; and think, papa, of ou_urprise, our delight, and our distress, when he brought us poor Jack, wounde_nd in great pain, but still all joy at finding us again! The king told Mr.
Willis he was sure Jack was my brother, and he made us a present of him,
adding, that he gave him in exchange for mamma's handkerchief. Mamma thanke_im earnestly, and placed Jack beside her. From him she learned all you ha_one to discover us. He informed Mr. Willis where he had left you, and h_romised to seek and bring you to us. He then examined the wound, which Jac_ished him to think he had himself caused with Fritz's gun; but this was no_robable, as the ball had entered behind, and lodged in the shoulder. Mr.
Willis extracted it with some difficulty, and poor Jack suffered a good deal;
but all is now going on well. What a large party we shall be, papa, when w_re all settled in our island; Sophia and Matilda, Minou-Minou, Canda,
Parabéry, you, papa, and two mammas, and Mr. Willis!"
My wife smiled as the little orator concluded. Mr. Willis then dressed Jack'_ound, and thought he might be removed in five or six days.
"Now, my dear Jack," said I, "it is your turn to relate your history. You_rother left off where you were entertaining the savages with you_uffooneries; and certainly they were never better introduced. But how di_hey suddenly think of carrying you away?"
"Parabéry told me," said Jack, "that they were struck with my resemblance t_rancis as soon as I took my flageolet. After I had played a minute or two,
the savage who wore mamma's handkerchief, whom I now know to be the king,
interrupted me by crying out and clapping his hands. He spoke earnestly to th_thers, pointing to my face, and to my flageolet, which he had taken; h_ooked also at my jacket of blue cotton, which one of them had tied round hi_houlders like a mantle; and doubtless he then gave orders for me to b_arried to the canoe. They seized upon me; I screamed like a madman, kicke_hem and scratched them; but what could I do against seven or eight grea_avages? They tied my legs together, and my hands behind me, and carried m_ike a parcel. I could then do nothing but cry out for Fritz; and the knigh_f the gun came rather too soon. In attempting to defend me, some way o_ther, off went his gun, and the ball took up its abode in my shoulder. I ca_ssure you an unpleasant visitor is that same ball; but here he is, th_coundrel! Father Willis pulled him out by the same door as that by which h_ent in; and since his departure, all goes on well.
"Now for my story. When poor Fritz saw that I was wounded, he fell down as i_e had been shot at the same time. The savages, thinking he was dead, too_way his gun, and carried me into the canoe. I was in despair more for th_eath of my brother than from my wound, which I almost forgot, and was wishin_hey would throw me into the sea, when I saw Fritz running at full speed t_he shore; but we pushed off, and I could only call out some words o_onsolation. The savages were very kind to me, and one of them held me u_eated on the out-rigger; they washed my wound with sea-water, sucked it, tor_y pocket-handkerchief to make a bandage, and as soon as we landed, squeeze_he juice of some herb into it. We sailed very quickly, and passed the plac_here we had landed in the morning. I knew it again, and could see Ernes_tanding on a sand-bank; he was watching us, and I held out my arms to him. _hought I also saw you, papa, and heard you call; but the savages yelled, an_hough I cried with all my strength, it was in vain. I little thought the_ere taking me to mamma. As soon as we had disembarked, they brought me t_his grotto; and I thought I must have died of surprise and joy when I was me_y mamma and Francis, and then by Sophia, Matilda, mamma Emily, and Mr.
Willis, who is a second father to me. This is the end of my story. And a ver_retty end it is, that brings us all together. What matters it to have had _ittle vexation for all this pleasure? I owe it all to you, Fritz; if you ha_et me sink to the bottom of the sea, instead of dragging me out by the hair,
I should not have been here so happy as I am; I am obliged to the gun, too;
thanks to it, I was the first to reach mamma, and see our new friends."
The next day, Fritz and Ernest set out on their expedition with Parabéry, i_is canoe, to seek our two valued dogs. The good islander carried his canoe o_is back to the shore. I saw them set off, but not without some dread, in suc_ frail bark, into which the water leaked through every seam. But my boy_ould swim well; and the kind, skilful, and bold Parabéry undertook to answe_or their safety. I therefore recommended them to God, and returned to th_rotto, to tranquillize my wife's fears. Jack was inconsolable that he coul_ot form one of the party; but Sophia scolded him for wishing to leave them,
to go upon the sea, which had swallowed up poor Alfred.
In the evening we had the pleasure of seeing our brave dogs enter the grotto.
They leaped on us in a way that terrified the poor little girls at first, wh_ook them for bears; but they were soon reconciled to them when they saw the_awn round us, lick our hands, and pass from one to the other to be caressed.
My sons had had no difficulty in finding them; they had run to them at th_irst call, and seemed delighted to see their masters again.
The poor animals had subsisted on the remains of the kangaroos, but apparentl_ad met with no fresh water, for they seemed dying with thirst, and rushed t_he brook as soon as they discovered it, and returned again and again. The_hey followed us to the hut of the good missionary, who had been engaged al_ay in visiting the dwellings of the natives, and teaching them the truths o_eligion. I had accompanied him, but, from ignorance of the language, coul_ot aid him. I was, however, delighted with the simple and earnest manner i_hich he spoke, and the eagerness with which they heard him. He finished by _rayer, kneeling, and they all imitated him, lifting up their hands and eye_o heaven. He told me he was trying to make them celebrate the Sunday. H_ssembled them in his tent, which he wished to make a temple for the worshi_f the true God. He intended to consecrate it for this purpose, and to live i_he grotto, after our departure.
"The day arrived at last. Jack's shoulder was nearly healed, and my wife,
along with her happiness, recovered her strength. The pinnace had been so wel_uarded by Parabéry and his friends that it suffered no injury. I distribute_mong the islanders everything I had that could please them, and made Parabér_nvite them to come and see us in our island, requesting we might live o_riendly terms. Mr. Willis wished much to see it, and to complete ou_appiness he promised to accompany and spend some days with us; and Parabér_aid he would take him back when he wished it.
We embarked, then, after taking leave of Bara-ourou, who was very liberal i_is presents, giving us, besides fruits of every kind, a whole hog roasted,
which was excellent.
We were fourteen in number; sixteen, reckoning the two dogs. The missionar_ccompanied us, and a young islander, whom Parabéry had procured to be hi_ervant, as he was too old and too much occupied with his mission to attend t_is own wants. This youth was of a good disposition and much attached to him.
Parabéry took him to assist in rowing when he returned.
Emily could not but feel rather affected at leaving the grotto, where she ha_assed four tranquil, if not happy years, fulfilling the duties of a mother.
Neither could she avoid a painful sensation when she once more saw the se_hat had been so fatal to her husband and son; she could scarcely subdue th_ear she had of trusting all she had left to that treacherous element. Sh_eld her daughters in her arms, and prayed for the protection of Heaven. Mr.
Willis and I spoke to her of the goodness of God, and pointed out to her th_almness of the water, the security of the pinnace, and the favourable stat_f the wind. My wife described to her our establishment, and promised her _ar more beautiful grotto than the one she had left, and at last she becam_ore reconciled.
After seven or eight hours' voyage, we arrived at Cape Disappointment, and w_greed the bay should henceforth be called the Bay of the Happy Return.
The distance to Tent House from hence was much too great for the ladies an_hildren to go on foot. My intention was to take them by water to the othe_nd of the island near our house; but my elder sons had begged to be landed a_he bay, to seek their live stock, and take them home. I left them there wit_arabéry; Jack recommended his buffalo to them, and Francis his bull, and al_ere found. We coasted the island, arrived at Safety Bay, and were soon a_ent House, where we found all, as we had left it, in good condition.
Notwithstanding the description my wife had given them, our new guests foun_ur establishment far beyond their expectation. With what delight Jack an_rancis ran up and down the colonnade with their young friends! What storie_hey had to tell of all the surprises they had prepared for their mother! The_howed them _Fritzia, Jackia_ , the _Franciade_ , and gave their friend_ater from their beautiful fountain. Absence seemed to have improve_verything; and I must confess I had some difficulty to refrain fro_emonstrating my joy as wildly as my children. Minou-minou, Parabéry, an_anda, were lost in admiration, calling out continually, _miti_! beautiful!
My "wife was busied in arranging a temporary lodging for our guests. The work-
room was given up to Mr. Willis; my wife and Madame Emily had our apartment,
the two little girls being with them, to whom the hammocks of the elder boy_ere appropriated. Canda, who knew nothing about beds, was wonderfully,
comfortable on the carpet. Fritz, Ernest, and the two natives, stowe_hemselves wherever they wished, in the colonnade, or in the kitchen; all wa_like to them. I slept on moss and cotton in Mr. Willis's room, with my tw_ounger sons. Every one was content, waiting till our ulterior arrangement_ere completed.