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Chapter 57

  • "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.