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´╗┐Title: Jarwin and Cuffy
Author: Ballantyne, R. M. (Robert Michael), 1825-1894
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Jarwin and Cuffy" ***

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JARWIN AND CUFFY, BY R.M. BALLANTYNE.



CHAPTER ONE.

ADRIFT ON THE OCEAN.

On a certain morning, not very long ago, the sun, according to his
ancient and admirable custom, rose at a very early hour, and casting his
bright beams far and wide over the Pacific, lighted up the yellow sands
and the verdant hills of one of the loveliest of the islands of that
mighty sea.

It was early morning, as we have said, and there was plenty of life--
animal as well as vegetable--to be seen on land and sea, and in the
warm, hazy atmosphere.  But there were no indications of man's presence
in that beautiful scene.  The air was perfectly calm, yet the gentle
swell of the ocean terminated in great waves, which came rolling in like
walls of glass, and fell on the coral-reef like rushing snow-wreaths
with a roar as loud as thunder.

Thousands of sea-birds screamed and circled in the sky.  Fish leaped
high out of their native element into the air, as if they wished to
catch the gulls, while the gulls, seemingly smitten with a similar
desire, dived into the water as if they wished to catch the fish.  It
might have been observed, however, that while the fish never succeeded
in catching the gulls, the latter very frequently caught the fish, and,
without taking the trouble to kill them, bolted them down alive.

Cocoanut-palms cast the shadows of their long stems and graceful tops
upon the beach, while, farther inland, a dense forest of tropical
plants--bread-fruit trees, bananas, etcetera--rose up the
mountain-sides.  Here and there open patches might be seen, that looked
like fields and lawns, but there were no cottages or villas.  Droves of
pigs rambled about the valleys and on the hill-sides, but they were wild
pigs.  No man tended them.  The bread-fruits, the cocoanuts, the
bananas, the plantains, the plums, all were beautiful and fit for food,
but no man owned them or used them, for, like many other spots in that
sea of coral isles and savage men, the island was uninhabited.

In all the wide expanse of ocean that surrounded that island, there was
nothing visible save one small, solitary speck on the far-off horizon.
It might have been mistaken for a seagull, but it was in reality a
raft--a mass of spars and planks rudely bound together with ropes.  A
boat's mast rose from the centre of it, on which hung a rag of sail, and
a small red flag drooped motionless from its summit.  There were a few
casks on the highest part of the raft, but no living soul was visible.
Nevertheless, it was not without tenants.  In a hollow between two of
the spars, under the shadow of one of the casks, lay the form of a man.
The canvas trousers, cotton shirt, blue jacket, and open necktie,
bespoke him a sailor, but it seemed as though there were nothing left
save the dead body of the unfortunate tar, so pale and thin and ghastly
were his features.  A terrier dog lay beside him, so shrunken that it
looked like a mere scrap of door-matting.  Both man and dog were
apparently dead, but they were not so in reality, for, after lying about
an hour quite motionless, the man slowly opened his eyes.

Ah, reader, it would have touched your heart to have seen those eyes!
They were so deep set, as if in dark caverns, and so unnaturally large.
They gazed round in a vacant way for a few moments, until they fell on
the dog.  Then a gleam of fire shot through them, and their owner raised
his large, gaunt, wasted frame on one elbow, while he gazed with a look
of eagerness, which was perfectly awful, at his dumb companion.

"Not dead _yet_!" he said, drawing a long sigh.

There was a strange, incongruous mixture of satisfaction and discontent
in the remark, which was muttered in a faint whisper.

Another gleam shot through the large eyes.  It was not a pleasant look.
Slowly, and as if with difficulty, the man drew a clasp-knife from his
pocket, and opened it.  As he did so, his brows lowered and his teeth
became clenched.  It was quite plain what he meant to do.  As he held
the open knife over the dog's head, he muttered, "Am I to die for the
sake of a _dog_!"

Either the terrier's slumbers had come to an end naturally, at a
fortunate moment, or the master's voice had awakened it, for it opened
its eyes, raised its head, and looked up in the sailor's face.  The hand
with the knife drooped a little.  The dog rose and licked it.  Hunger
had done its work on the poor creature, for it could hardly stand, yet
it managed to look in its master's face with that grave, simple gaze of
self-forgetting love, which appears to be peculiar to the canine race.
The savage glare of the seaman's eyes vanished.  He dropped the knife.

"Thanks, Cuffy; thanks for stoppin' me.  It would have been _murder_!
No, no, my doggie, you and I shall die together."

His voice sank into a murmur, partly from weakness and partly from the
ideas suggested by his concluding words.

"Die together!" he repeated, "surely it ain't come to that _yet_.  Wot,
John Jarwin, you're not goin' to give in like that, are you? to haul
down your colours on a fine day with a clear sky like this overhead?
Come, cheer up, lad; you're young and can hold out a good while yet.
Hey, old dog, wot say _you_?"

The dog made a motion that would, in ordinary circumstances, have
resulted in the wagging of its tail, but the tail was powerless to
respond.

At that moment a gull flew towards the raft; Jarwin watched it eagerly
as it approached.  "Ah," he muttered, clasping his bony hand as tightly
over his heart as his strength would allow and addressing the gull, "if
I only had hold of _you_, I'd tear you limb from limb, and drink your
blood!"

He watched the bird intently as it flew straight over him.  Leaning
back, he continued slowly to follow its flight, until his head rested on
the block of wood which had served him for a pillow.  The support felt
agreeable, he forgot the gull, closed his eyes, and sank with a deep
sigh into a slumber that strongly resembled death.

Presently he awoke with a start, and, once more raising himself, gazed
round upon the sea.  No ship was to be seen.  How often he had gazed
round the watery circle with the same anxious look only to meet with
disappointment!  The hills of the coral island were visible like a blue
cloud on the horizon, but Jarwin's eyes were too dim and worn out to
observe them.

"Come," he exclaimed, suddenly, scrambling to his feet, "rouse up,
Cuffy; you an' I ain't a-goin' to die without a good fight for life.
Come along, my hearty; we'll have another glass of grog--Adam's grog it
is, but it has been good grog to you an' me, doggie--an' then we shall
have another inspection o' the locker; mayhap there's the half of a
crumb left."

The comparatively cheery tone in which the sailor said this seemed to
invigorate the dog, for it rose and actually succeeded in wriggling its
tail as it staggered after its master--indubitable sign of hope and love
not yet subdued!

Jarwin went to a cask which still contained a small quantity of fresh
water.  Three weeks before the point at which we take up his story, a
storm had left him and his dog the sole survivors on the raft of the
crew of a barque which had sprung a leak, and gone to the bottom.  His
provision at the time was a very small quantity of biscuit and a cask of
fresh water.  Several days before this the last biscuit had been
consumed but the water had not yet failed.  Hitherto John Jarwin had
husbanded his provisions, but now, feeling desperate, he drank deeply of
the few remaining drops of that liquid which, at the time, was almost as
vital to him as his life-blood.  He gave a full draught also to the
little dog.

"Share and share alike, doggie," he said, patting its head, as it
eagerly lapped up the water; "but there's no wittles, Cuffy, an' ye
don't care for baccy, or ye should be heartily welcome to a quid."

So saying, the sailor supplied his own cheek with a small piece of his
favourite weed, and stood up on the highest part of the raft to survey
the surrounding prospect.  He did so without much hope, for "hope
deferred" had at last made his heart sick.  Suddenly his wandering gaze
became fixed and intense.  He shaded his eyes with one hand, and
steadied himself against the mast with the other.  There could be no
doubt of it!  "Land ho!" he shouted, with a degree of strength that
surprised himself, and even drew from Cuffy the ghost of a bark.  On the
strength of the discovery Jarwin and his dumb friend immediately treated
themselves to another glass of Adam's grog.

But poor Jarwin had his patience further tried.  Hours passed away, and
still the island seemed as far off as ever.  Night drew on, and it
gradually faded from his view.  But he had unquestionably seen land; so,
with this to comfort him, the starving tar lay down beside his dog to
spend another night--as he had already spent many days and nights--a
castaway on the wide ocean.

Morning dawned, and the sailor rose with difficulty.  He had forgotten,
for a moment, the discovery of land on the previous night, but it was
brought suddenly to his remembrance by the roar of breakers near at
hand.  Turning in the direction whence the sound came, he beheld an
island quite close to him, with heavy "rollers" breaking furiously on
the encircling ring of the coral-reef.  The still water between the reef
and the shore, which was about a quarter of a mile wide, reflected every
tree and crag of the island, as if in a mirror.  It was a grand, a
glorious sight, and caused Jarwin's heart to swell with emotions that he
had never felt before; but his attention was quickly turned to a danger
which was imminent, and which seemed to threaten the total destruction
of his raft, and the loss of his life.

A very slight breeze--a mere zephyr--which had carried him during the
night towards the island, was now bearing him straight, though slowly,
down on the reef, where, if he had once got involved in the breakers,
the raft must certainly have been dashed to pieces; and he knew full
well, that in his weak condition, he was utterly incapable of contending
with such a surf.

Being a man of promptitude, his first act, on making this discovery, was
to lower the sail.  This was, fortunately, done in time; had he kept it
up a few minutes longer, he must inevitably have passed the only opening
in the reef that existed on that side of the island.  This opening was
not more than fifty yards wide.  To the right and left of it the
breakers on the reef extended, in lines of seething foam.  Already the
raft was rolling in the commotion caused by these breakers, as it
drifted towards the opening.

Jarwin was by no means devoid of courage.  Many a time, in days gone by,
when his good ship was tossing on the stormy sea, or scudding under bare
poles, had he stood on the deck with unshaken confidence and a calm
heart, but now he was face to face with the seaman's most dreaded
enemy--"breakers ahead!"--nay, worse, breakers around him everywhere,
save at that one narrow passage, which appeared so small, and so
involved in the general turmoil, as to afford scarcely an element of
hope.  For the first time in his life Jarwin's heart sank within him--at
least so he said in after years while talking of the event--but we
suspect that John was underrating himself.  At all events, he showed no
symptoms of fear as he sat there calmly awaiting his fate.

As the raft approached the reef, each successive roller lifted it up and
dropped it behind more violently, until at last the top of one of the
glittering green walls broke just as it passed under the end of the raft
nearest the shore.  Jarwin now knew that the next billow would seal his
fate.

There was a wide space between each of those mighty waves.  He looked
out to sea, and beheld the swell rising and taking form, and increasing
in speed as it came on.  Calmly divesting himself of his coat and boots,
he sat down beside his dog, and awaited the event.  At that moment he
observed, with intense gratitude to the Almighty, that the raft was
drifting so straight towards the middle of the channel in the reef, that
there seemed every probability of being carried through it; but the hope
thus raised was somewhat chilled by the feeling of weakness which
pervaded his frame.

"Now, Cuffy," said he, patting the terrier gently, "rouse up, my doggie;
we must make a brave struggle for life.  It's neck or nothing this time.
If we touch that reef in passing, Cuff, you an' I shall be food for the
sharks to-night, an' it's my opinion that the shark as gits us won't
have much occasion to boast of his supper."

The sailor ceased speaking abruptly.  As he looked back at the
approaching roller he felt solemnised and somewhat alarmed, for it
appeared so perpendicular and so high from his low position, that it
seemed as if it would fall on and overwhelm the raft.  There was,
indeed, some danger of this.  Glancing along its length, Jarwin saw that
here and there the edge was lipping over, while in one place, not far
off, the thunder of its fall had already begun.  Another moment, and it
appeared to hang over his head; the raft was violently lifted at the
stern, caught up, and whirled onward at railway speed, like a cork in
the midst of a boiling cauldron of foam.  The roar was deafening.  The
tumultuous heaving almost overturned it several times.  Jarwin held on
firmly to the mast with his right arm, and grasped the terrier with his
left hand, for the poor creature had not strength to resist such furious
motion.  It all passed with bewildering speed.  It seemed as if, in one
instant, the raft was hurled through the narrows, and launched into the
calm harbour within.  An eddy, at the inner side of the opening, swept
it round, and fixed the end of one of the largest spars of which it was
composed on the beach.

There were fifty yards or so of sandy coral-reef between the beach
outside, that faced the sea, and the beach inside, which faced the land;
yet how great the difference!  The one beach, buffeted for ever, day and
night, by the breakers--in calm by the grand successive rollers that, as
it were, symbolised the ocean's latent power--in storm by the mad deluge
of billows which displayed that power in all its terrible grandeur.  The
other beach, a smooth, sloping circlet of fair white sand, laved only by
the ripples of the lagoon, or by its tiny wavelets, when a gale chanced
to sweep over it from the land.

Jarwin soon gained this latter beach with Cuffy in his arms, and sat
down to rest, for his strength had been so much reduced that the mere
excitement of passing through the reef had almost exhausted him.  Cuffy,
however, seemed to derive new life from the touch of earth again, for it
ran about in a staggering drunken sort of way; wagged its tail at the
root,--without, however, being able to influence the point,--and made
numerous futile efforts to bark.

In the midst of its weakly gambols the terrier chanced to discover a
dead fish on the sands.  Instantly it darted forward and began to devour
it with great voracity.

"Halo!  Cuffy," shouted Jarwin, who observed him; "ho! hold on, you
rascal! share and share alike, you know.  Here, fetch it here!"

Cuffy had learned the first great principle of a good and useful life--
whether of man or beast--namely, prompt obedience.  That meek but jovial
little dog, on receiving this order, restrained its appetite, lifted the
fish in its longing jaws, and, carrying it to his master, humbly laid it
at his feet.  He was rewarded with a hearty pat on the head, and a full
half of the coveted fish--for Jarwin appeared to regard the
"share-and-share-alike" principle as a point of honour between them.

The fish was not good, neither was it large, and of course it was raw,
besides being somewhat decayed; nevertheless, both man and dog ate it,
bones and all, with quiet satisfaction.  Nay, reader, do not shudder!
If you were reduced to similar straits, you would certainly enjoy, with
equal gusto, a similar meal, supposing that you had the good fortune to
get it.  Small though it was, it sufficed to appease the appetite of the
two friends, and to give them a feeling of strength which they had not
experienced for many a day.

Under the influence of this feeling, Jarwin remarked to Cuffy, that "a
man could eat a-most anything when hard put to it," and that "it wos now
high time to think about goin' ashore."

To which Cuffy replied with a bark, which one might imagine should come
from a dog in the last stage of whooping-cough, and with a wag of his
tail--not merely at the root thereof, but a distinct wag--that extended
obviously along its entire length to the extreme point.  Jarwin observed
the successful effort, laughed feebly, and said, "Brayvo, Cuffy," with
evident delight; for it reminded him of the days when that little shred
of a door-mat, in the might of its vigour, was wont to wag its tail so
violently as to convulse its whole body, insomuch that it was difficult
to decide whether the tail wagged the body, or the body the tail!

But, although Jarwin made light of his sufferings, his gaunt, wasted
frame would have been a sad sight to any pitiful spectator, as with
weary aspect and unsteady gait he moved about on the sandy ridge in
search of more food, or gazed with longing eyes on the richly-wooded
island.

For it must be remembered that our castaway had not landed on the island
itself, but on that narrow ring of coral-reef which almost encircled it,
and from which it was separated by the lagoon, or enclosed portion of
the sea, which was, as we have said, about a quarter of a mile wide.

John Jarwin would have thought little of swimming over that narrow belt
of smooth water in ordinary circumstances, but now he felt that his
strength was not equal to such a feat.  Moreover, he knew that there
were sharks in these waters, so he dismissed the idea of swimming, and
cast about in his mind how he should manage to get across.  With Jarwin,
action soon followed thought.  He resolved to form a small raft out of
portions of the large one.  Fortunately his clasp-knife had been
attached, as seamen frequently have it, to his waist-belt, when he
forsook his ship.  This was the only implement that he possessed, but it
was invaluable.  With it he managed to cut the thick ropes that he could
not have untied, and, in the course of two hours--for he laboured with
extreme difficulty--a few broken planks and spars were lashed together.
Embarking on this frail vessel with his dog, he pushed off, and using a
piece of plank for an oar, sculled himself over the lagoon.

It was touching, even to himself, to observe the slowness of his
progress.  All the strength that remained in him was barely sufficient
to move the raft.  But the lagoon was as still as a mill-pond.  Looking
down into its clear depths, he could see the rich gardens of coral and
sea-weed, among which fish, of varied and brilliant colours, sported
many fathoms below.  The air, too, was perfectly calm.

Very slowly he left the reef astern; the middle of the lagoon was
gained; then, gradually, he neared the island-shore, but oh! it was a
long, weary pull, although the space was so short, and, to add to the
poor man's misery, the fish which he had eaten caused him intolerable
thirst.  But he reached the shore at last.

The first thing that greeted his eye as he landed was the sparkle of a
clear spring at the foot of some cocoanut-trees.  He staggered eagerly
towards it, and fell down beside a hollow in the rock, like a large cup
or bowl, which had been scooped out by it.

Who shall presume to describe the feelings of that shipwrecked sailor as
he and his dog drank from the same cup at that sparkling crystal
fountain?  Delicious odours of lime and citron trees, and well-nigh
forgotten herbage, filled his nostrils, and the twitter of birds
thrilled his ears, seeming to bid him welcome to the land, as he sank
down on the soft grass, and raised his eyes in thanksgiving to heaven.
An irresistible tendency to sleep then seized him.

"If there's a heaven upon earth, I'm in it now," he murmured, as he laid
down his head and closed his eyes.

Cuffy, nestling into his breast, placed his chin on his neck, and heaved
a deep, contented sigh.  This was the last sound the sailor recognised,
as he sank into profound repose.



CHAPTER TWO.

ISLAND LIFE.

There are few of the minor sweets of life more agreeable than to awake
refreshed, and to become gradually impressed with the conviction that
you are a perfectly free agent,--that you may rise when you choose, or
lie still if you please, or do what you like, without let or hindrance.

So thought our hero, John Jarwin, when he awoke, on the same spot where
he had thrown himself down, after several hours of life-giving slumber.
He was still weak, but his weakness did not now oppress him.  The slight
meal, the long draught, and the deep sleep, had restored enough of
vigour to his naturally robust frame to enable him, while lying on his
back, to enjoy his existence once more.  He was, on first awaking, in
that happy condition of mind and body in which the former does not care
to think and the latter does not wish to move--yet both are pleased to
be largely conscious of their own identity.

That he had not moved an inch since he lay down, became somewhat
apparent to Jarwin from the fact that Cuffy's chin still rested
immovable on his neck, but his mind was too indolent to pursue the
thought.  He had not the most remote idea as to where he was, but he
cared nothing for that.  He was in absolute ignorance of the time of
day, but he cared, if possible, still less for that.  Food, he knew, was
necessary to his existence, but the thought gave him no anxiety.  In
short, John and his dog were in a state of quiescent felicity, and would
probably have remained so for some hours to come, had not the setting
sun shone forth at that moment with a farewell gleam so intense, that it
appeared to set the world of clouds overhead on fire, converting them
into hills and dales, and towering domes and walls and battlements of
molten glass and gold.  Even to the wearied seaman's sleepy vision the
splendour of the scene became so fascinating, that he shook off his
lethargy, and raised himself on one elbow.

"Why, Cuffy!" he exclaimed, to the yawning dog, "seems to me that the
heavens is a-fire!  Hope it won't come on dirty weather before you an' I
get up somethin' in the shape o' a hut.  That minds me, doggie," he
added, glancing slowly round him, "that we must look after prokoorin' of
our supper.  I do believe we've bin an' slep away a whole day!  Well,
well, it don't much matter, seein' that we hain't got no dooty for to
do--no trick at the wheel, no greasin' the masts--wust of all, no
splicin' the main brace, and no grub."

This latter remark appeared to reach the understanding of the dog, for
it uttered a melancholy howl as it gazed into its master's eyes.

"Ah, Cuffy!" continued the sailor with a sigh, "you've good reason to
yowl, for the half of a rotten fish ain't enough for a dog o' your
appetite.  Come, let's see if we can't find somethin' more to our
tastes."

Saying this the man rose, stretched himself, yawned, looked helplessly
round for a few seconds, and then, with a cheery "Hallo!  Cuff, come
along, my hearty," went down to the beach in quest of food.

In this search he was not unsuccessful, for the beach abounded with
shell-fish of various kinds; but Jarwin ate sparingly of these, having
been impressed, in former years, by some stories which he had heard of
shipwrecked sailors having been poisoned by shell-fish.  For the same
reason he administered a moderate supply to Cuffy, telling him that "it
warn't safe wittles, an' that if they was to be pisoned, it was as well
to be pisoned in moderation."  The dog, however, did not appear to agree
with its master on this point, for it went picking up little tit-bits
here and there, and selfishly ignoring the "share-and-share-alike"
compact, until it became stuffed alarmingly, and could scarcely follow
its master back to the fountain.

Arrived there, the two slaked their thirst together, and then Jarwin sat
down to enjoy a pipe, and Cuffy lay down to suffer the well-merited
reward of gluttony.

We have said that Jarwin sat down to enjoy a pipe, but he did _not_
enjoy it that night, for he discovered that the much-loved little
implement, which he had cherished tenderly while on the raft, was broken
to atoms in his coat-pocket!  In his eagerness to drink on first
landing, he had thrown himself down on it, and now smoking was an
impossibility, at least for that night.  He reflected, however, that it
would not be difficult to make a wooden pipe, and that cigarettes might
perhaps be made by means of leaves, or bark, while his tobacco lasted;
so he consoled himself in the meantime with hopeful anticipations, and a
quid.  Being still weak and weary, he lay down again beside the
fountain, and almost immediately fell into a sleep, which was not at all
disturbed by the starts and groans and frequent yelps of Cuffy, whose
sufferings could scarcely have been more severe if he had supped on
turtle-soup and venison, washed down with port and claret.

Thus did those castaways spend the first night on their island.

It must not be supposed, however, that we are going to trace thus
minutely every step and sensation in the career of our unfortunate
friends.  We have too much to tell that is important to devote our
"valuable space" to everyday incidents.  Nevertheless, as it is
important that our readers should understand our hero thoroughly, and
the circumstances in which we find him, it is necessary that we should
draw attention to some incidents--trifling in themselves, but important
in their effects--which occurred to John Jarwin soon after his landing
on the island.

The first of these incidents was, that John one day slipped his foot on
a tangle-covered rock, and fell into the sea.  A small matter this, you
will say, to a man who could swim, and in a climate so warm that a dip,
with or without clothes, was a positive luxury.  Most true; and had the
wetting been all, Jarwin would have had nothing to annoy him; for at the
time the accident occurred he had been a week on the island, had managed
to pull and crack many cocoa-nuts, and had found various excellent
wild-fruits, so that his strength, as well as Cuffy's, had been much
restored.  In fact, when Jarwin's head emerged from the brine, after his
tumble, he gave vent to a shout of laughter, and continued to indulge in
hilarious demonstrations all the time he was wringing the water out of
his garments, while the terrier barked wildly round him.

But suddenly, in the very midst of a laugh, he became grave and pale,--
so pale, that a more obtuse creature than Cuffy might have deemed him
ill.  While his mouth and eyes slowly opened wider and wider, his hands
slapped his pockets, first his trousers, then his vest, then his coat,
after which they fell like pistol-shots on his thighs, and he exclaimed,
in a voice of horror--"Gone!"

Ay, there could be no doubt about it; every particle of his tobacco was
gone!  It had never been much, only three or four plugs; but it was
strong, and he had calculated that, what with careful husbanding, and
mixing it with other herbs, it would last him for a considerable length
of time.

In a state bordering on frenzy, the sailor rushed back to the rock from
which he had fallen.  The "baccy" was not there.  He glanced right and
left--no sign of it floating on the sea.  In he went, head foremost,
like a determined suicide; down, down to the bottom, for he was an
expert diver, and rioted among the coral groves, and horrified the fish,
until he well-nigh burst, and rose to the surface with a groan and
splutter that might have roused envy in a porpoise.  Then down he went
again, while Cuffy stood on the shore regarding him with mute amazement.

Never did pearl-diver grope for the treasures of the deep with more
eager intensity than did John Jarwin search for that lost tobacco.  He
remained under water until he became purple in the face, and, coming to
the surface after each dive, stayed only long enough to recharge his
lungs with air.  How deeply he regretted at that time the fact that
man's life depended on so frequent and regular a supply of atmospheric
air!  How enviously he glanced at the fish which, with open eyes and
mouths, appeared to regard him with inexpressible astonishment--as well
they might!  At last Jarwin's powers of endurance began to give way, and
he was compelled to return to the shore, to the great relief of Cuffy,
which miserable dog, if it had possessed the smallest amount of
reasoning power, must have deemed its master hopelessly insane.

"But why so much ado about a piece of tobacco?" we hear some lady-reader
or non-smoker exclaim.

Just because our hero was, and had been since his childhood, an
inveterate smoker.  Of course we cannot prove our opinion to be correct,
but we are inclined to believe that if all the smoke that had issued
from Jarwin's lips, from the period of his commencing down to that
terrible day when he lost his last plug, could have been collected in
one vast cloud, it would have been sufficient to have kept a factory
chimney going for a month or six weeks.  The poor man knew his weakness.
He had several times tried to get rid of the habit which had enslaved
him, and, by failing, had come to know the tyrannical power of his
master.  He had once been compelled by circumstances to forego his
favourite indulgence for three entire days, and retained so vivid a
recollection of his sufferings that he made up his mind never more to
strive for freedom, but to enjoy his pipe as long as he lived--to swim
with the current, in fact, and take it easy.  It was of no use that
several men, who objected to smoking from principle, and had themselves
gone through the struggle and come off victorious, pointed out that if
he went on at his present rate, it would cut short his life.  Jarwin
didn't believe _that_.  He _felt_ well and hearty, and said that he "was
too tough, by a long way, to be floored by baccy; besides, if his life
was to be short, he saw no reason why it should not be a pleasant one."
It was vain for these disagreeable men of principle to urge that when
his health began to give way he would not find life very pleasant, and
then "baccy" would fail to relieve him.  Stuff and nonsense?  Did not
Jarwin know that hundreds of thousands of _old_ men enjoyed their pipes
to the very last.  He also knew that a great many men had filled early
graves owing to the use of tobacco, but he chose to shut his eyes to
this fact--moreover, although a great truth, it was a difficult truth to
prove.

It was of still less use that those tiresome men of principle
demonstrated that the money spent in tobacco would, if accumulated, form
a snug little fortune to retire upon in his old age.  John only laughed
at this.  "Wot did he want with a fortin in his old age," he would say;
"he would rather work to the last for his three B's--his bread and beer
and baccy--an' die in harness.  A man couldn't get on like a man without
them three B's, and he wosn't goin' for to deprive hisself of none of
'em, not he; besides, his opponents were bad argifiers," he was wont to
say, with a chuckle, "for if, as they said, baccy would be the means of
cuttin' his life short, why then, he wouldn't never come to old age to
use his fortin, even if he _should_ manage to save it off his baccy."

This last argument always brought Jarwin off with flying colours--no
wonder, for it was unanswerable; and thus he came to love his beer and
baccy so much that he became thoroughly enslaved to both.

His brief residence on the south-sea island had taught him, by painful
experience, that he _was_ capable of existing without at least two of
his three B's--bread and beer.  He had suffered somewhat from the change
of diet; and now that his third B was thus suddenly, unexpectedly, and
hopelessly wrenched from him, he sat himself down on the beach beside
Cuffy, and gazed out to sea in absolute despair.

We must guard the reader at this point from supposing that John Jarwin
had ever been what is called an intemperate man.  He was one of those
honest, straightforward tars who do their duty like men, and who,
although extremely fond of their pipe and their glass of grog, never
lower themselves below the level of the brutes by getting drunk.  At the
same time, we feel constrained to add that Jarwin acted entirely from
impulse and kindly feeling.  He had little to do with principle, and did
not draw towards those who professed to be thus guided.  He was wont to
say that they "was troublesome fellers, always shovin' in their oars
when they weren't wanted to, an' settin' themselves up for better than
everybody else."  Had one of those troublesome fellows presented John
Jarwin with a pound of tobacco in his forlorn circumstances, at that
time he would probably have slapped him on the shoulder, and called him
one of the best fellows under the sun!

"Cuffy, my friend," exclaimed Jarwin at last, with an explosive sigh,
"all the baccy's gone, so we'll have to smoke sea-weed for the futur'."
The terrier said "Bow-wow" to this, cocked its ears, and looked earnest,
as if waiting for more.

"Come along," exclaimed the man, overturning his dog as he leaped up,
"we'll go home and have summat to eat."

Jarwin had erected a rude hut, composed of boughs and turf, near the
fountain where he had first landed.  It was the home to which he
referred.  At first he had devoted himself entirely to the erection of
this shelter, and to collecting various roots and fruits and shell-fish
for food, intending to delay the examination of the island until his
strength should be sufficiently restored to enable him to scale the
heights without more than ordinary fatigue.  He had been so far
recruited as to have fixed for his expedition the day following that on
which he sustained his irreparable loss.

Entering his hut he proceeded to kindle a fire by means of a small
burning-glass, with which, in happier times, he had been wont to light
his pipe.  Very soon he had several roots, resembling small potatoes,
baking in the hot ashes.  With these, a handful of plums, a dozen of
oyster-like fish, of which there were plenty on the shore, and a draught
of clear cold water, he made a hearty repast, Cuffy coming in for a
large share of it, as a matter of course.  Then he turned all his
pockets inside out, and examined them as carefully as if diamonds lurked
in the seams.  No, not a speck of tobacco was to be found!  He smelt
them.  The odour was undoubtedly strong--very strong.  On the strength
of it he shut his eyes, and endeavoured to think that he was smoking;
but it was a weak substitute for the pipe, and not at all satisfying.
Thereafter he sallied forth and wandered about the sea-shore in a
miserable condition, and went to bed that night--as he remarked to his
dog--in the blues.

Reader, it is not possible to give you an adequate conception of the
sensations and sufferings of John Jarwin on that first night of his
bereaved condition.  He dreamed continuously of tobacco.  Now he was
pacing the deck of his old ship with a splendid pipe of cut Cavendish
between his lips.  Anon he was smoking a meerschaum the size of a
hogshead, with a stem equal to the length and thickness of the
main-topmast of a seventy-four; but somehow the meerschaum wouldn't
draw, whereupon John, in a passion, pronounced it worthy of its name,
and hove it overboard, when it was instantly transformed into a shark
with a cutty pipe in its mouth.  To console himself our hero endeavoured
to thrust into his mouth a quid of negro-head, which, however, suddenly
grew as big as the cabin-skylight, and became as tough as gutta-percha,
so that it was utterly impossible to bite off a piece; and, stranger
still, when the poor sailor had by struggling got it in, it dwindled
down into a point so small that he could not feel it in his mouth at
all.  On reaching this, the vanishing-point, Jarwin awoke to a
consciousness of the dread reality of his destitute condition.  Turning
on his other side with a deep groan, he fell asleep again, to dream of
tobacco in some new and tantalising form until sunrise, when he awoke
unrefreshed.  Leaping up, he cast off his clothes, rushed down the
beach, and plunged into sea, by way of relieving his feelings.

During the day John Jarwin brooded much over his dreams, for his mind
was of a reflective turn, and Cuffy looked often inquiringly into his
face.  That sympathetic doggie would evidently have besought him to pour
his sorrows into his cocked ears if he could have spoken; but--alas! for
people who are cast away on desert islands--the gift of speech has been
denied to dogs.

Besides being moody, Jarwin was uncommonly taciturn that day.  He did
not tell Cuffy the result of his cogitations, so that we cannot say
anything further about them.  All that we are certainly sure of is, that
he was profoundly miserable that day--that he postponed his intended
expedition to the top of the neighbouring hill--that he walked about the
beach slowly, with his chin on his breast and his hands in his pockets--
that he made various unsuccessful attempts to smoke dried leaves, and
bark, and wild-flowers, mixing with those substances shreds of his
trousers' pockets, in order that they might have at least the flavour of
tobacco--that he became more and more restive as the day wore on, became
more submissive in the evening, paid a few apologetic attentions to
Cuffy at supper-time, and, finally, went to bed in a better frame of
mind, though still craving painfully for the weed which had enslaved
him.  That night his dreams were still of tobacco!  No lover was ever
assailed more violently with dreams of his absent mistress than was John
Jarwin with longings for his adorable pipe.  But there was no hope for
him--the beloved one was effectually and permanently gone; so, like a
sensible man, he awoke next morning with a stern resolve to submit to
his fate with a good grace.

In pursuance of this resolution he began the day with a cold bath, in
which Cuffy joined him.  Then he breakfasted on chestnuts, plums,
citrons, oysters, and shrimps, the former of which abounded in the
woods, the latter on the shore.  Jarwin caught the shrimps in a net,
extemporised out of his pocket-handkerchief.  While engaged with his
morning meal, he was earnestly watched by several green paroquets with
blue heads and crimson breasts; and during pauses in the meal he
observed flocks of brightly-coloured doves and wood-pigeons, besides
many other kinds of birds, the names of which he did not know, as well
as water-hens, plover, and wild ducks.

"Lost your appetite this morning, Cuff?" said Jarwin, offering his
companion a citron, which he decidedly refused.  "Ah!" he continued,
patting the dog's sides, "I see how it is; you've had breakfast already
this morning; bin at it when I was a-sleepin'.  For shame, Cuffy!--you
should have waited for me; an' you've bin an' over-ate yourself again,
you greedy dog!"

This was evidently the case.  The guilty creature, forgetful of its past
experiences, had again gorged itself with dead fish, which it had found
on the beach, and looked miserable.

"Well, never mind, doggie," said Jarwin, finishing his meal, and rising.
"I'll give you a little exercise to-day for the good of your health.
We shan't go sulking as we did yesterday; so, come along."

The sailor left his bower as he spoke, and set off at a round pace with
his hands in his pockets, and a thick stick under his arm, whistling as
he went, while Cuffy followed lovingly at his heels.



CHAPTER THREE.

COMMUNINGS OF MAN AND BEAST.

It would appear to be almost an essential element in life that man
should indulge in speech.  Of course we cannot prove this, seeing that
we have never been cast alone on a desert island (although we _have_
been next thing to it), and cannot positively conclude what would have
been the consequences to our castaway if he had rigidly refrained from
speech.  All that we can ground an opinion on is the fact that John
Jarwin talked as much and as earnestly to his dog as if he knew that
that sagacious creature understood every word he uttered.  Indeed, he
got into such a habit of doing this, that it is very probable he might
have come to believe that Cuffy really did understand, though he was not
gifted with the power to reply.  If it be true that Jarwin came to this
state of credulity, certain it is that Cuffy was deeply to blame in the
matter, because the way in which that ridiculous hypocrite sat before
his master, and looked up in his face with his lustrous, intelligent
eyes, and cocked his ears, and wagged his tail, and smiled, might have
deceived a much less superstitious man than a British tar.

We have said that Cuffy smiled, advisedly.  Some people might object to
the word, and say that he only "snickered," or made faces.  That, we
hold, is a controvertible question.  Cuffy's facial contortions looked
like smiling.  They came very often inappropriately, and during parts of
Jarwin's discourse when no smile should have been called forth; but if
that be sufficient to prove that Cuffy was not smiling, then, on the
same ground, we hold that a large proportion of those ebullitions which
convulse the human countenance are not smiles but unmeaning grins.  Be
this as it may, Cuffy smiled, snickered, or grinned amazingly, during
the long discourses that were delivered to him by his master, and indeed
looked so wonderfully human in his knowingness, that it only required a
speaking tongue and a shaved face to constitute him an unanswerable
proof of the truth of the Darwinian theory of the origin of the human
species.

"Cuffy," said Jarwin, panting, as he reached the summit of his island,
and sat down on its pinnacle rock, "that's a splendid view, ain't it?"

To any one save a cynic or a misanthrope, Cuffy replied with eye and
tail, "It is magnificent."

"But you're not looking at it," objected Jarwin, "you're looking
straight up in my face; so how can you tell what it's like, doggie?"

"I see it all," replied Cuffy with a grin; "all reflected in the depths
of your two loving eyes."

Of course Jarwin lost this pretty speech in consequence of its being a
mute reply, but he appeared to have some intuitive perception of it, for
he stooped down and patted the dog's head affectionately.

After this there was a prolonged silence, during which the sailor gazed
wistfully round the horizon.  The scene was indeed one of surpassing
beauty and grandeur.  The island on which he had been cast was one of
those small coral gems which deck the breast of the Pacific.  It could
not have been more than nine or ten miles in circumference, yet within
this area there lay a miniature world.  The mountain-top on which the
seaman sat was probably eight or nine hundred feet above the level of
the sea, and commanded a view of the whole island.  On one side lay
three lesser hills, covered to their summits with indescribably rich
verdure, amongst which rose conspicuous the tall stems and graceful
foliage of many cocoanut-palms.  Fruit-trees of various kinds glistened
in the sunshine, and flowering shrubs in abundance lent additional
splendour to the scene.  On the other side of the mountain a small lake
glittered like a jewel among the trees; and there numerous flocks of
wild-fowl disported themselves in peaceful security.  From the farther
extremity of the lake flowed a rivulet, which, from the mountain-top,
resembled a silver thread winding its way through miniature valleys,
until lost in the light yellow sand of the sea-shore.  On this beach
there was not even a ripple, because of the deep calm which prevailed
but on the ring or coral-reef, which completely encircled the island,
those great "rollers"--which appear never to go down even in calm--fell
from time to time with a long, solemn roar, and left an outer ring of
milk-white foam.  The blue lagoon between the reef and the island varied
from a few yards to a quarter of a mile in breadth, and its quiet waters
were like a sheet of glass, save where they were ruffled now and then by
the diving of a sea-gull or the fin of a shark.  Birds of many kinds
filled the grove with sweet sounds, and tended largely to dispel that
feeling of intense loneliness which had been creeping that day over our
seaman's spirit.

"Come, my doggie," said Jarwin, patting his dumb companion's head, "if
you and I are to dwell here for long, we've got a most splendid estate
to look after.  I only hope we won't find South Sea niggers in
possession before us, for they're not hospitable, Cuffy, they ain't
hospitable, bein' given, so I'm told, to prefer human flesh to most
other kinds o' wittles."

He looked anxiously round in all directions at this point, as if the
ideas suggested by his words were not particularly agreeable.

"No," he resumed, after a short survey, "it don't seem as if there was
any of 'em here.  Anyhow I can't see none, and most parts of the island
are visible from this here mast-head."

Again the seaman became silent as he repeated his survey of the island;
his hands, meanwhile, searching slowly, as if by instinct, round his
pockets, and into their most minute recesses, if haply they might find
an atom of tobacco.  Both hands and eyes, however, failed in their
search; so, turning once more towards his dog, Jarwin sat down and
addressed it thus:--

"Cuff, my doggie, don't wink in that idiotical way, you hanimated bundle
of oakum! and don't wag yer tail so hard, else you'll shake it off some
fine day!  Well, Cuff, here you an' I are fixed--`it may be for years,
an' it may be for ever'--as the old song says; so it behoves you and me
to hold a consultation as to wot's the best to be done for to make the
most of our sukumstances.  Ah, doggie!" he continued in a low tone,
looking pensively towards the horizon, "it's little that my dear wife
(your missus and mine, Cuff) knows that her John has fallen heir to
sitch an estate; become, so to speak, `monarch of all he surveys.'  O
Molly, Molly, if you was only here, wot a paradise it would be!  Eden
over again; Adam an' Eve, without a'most no difference, barrin' the
clo'se, by the way, for if I ain't mistaken, Adam didn't wear a straw
hat and a blue jacket, with pumps and canvas ducks.  Leastwise, I've
never heard that he did; an' I'm quite sure that Eve didn't go to church
on Sundays in a gown wi' sleeves like two legs o' mutton, an' a bonnet
like a coal-scuttle.  By the way, I don't think they owned a doggie
neither."

------------------------------------------------------------------------

At this point the terrier, who had gradually quieted down during the
above soliloquy, gave a responsive wag of its tail, and looked up with a
smile--a plain, obvious, unquestionable smile, which its master believed
in most thoroughly.

"Ah, you needn't grin like that, Cuff," replied Jarwin, "it's quite
certain that Adam and Eve had no doggie.  No doubt they had plenty of
wild 'uns--them as they giv'd names to--but they hadn't a good little
tame 'un like you, Cuff; no, nor nobody else, for you're the best dog in
the world--if you'd only keep yer spanker-boom quiet; but you'll shake
it off, you will, if you go on like that.  There, lie down, an' let's
get on with our consultation.  Well, as I was sayin' when you
interrupted me, wot a happy life we could live here if we'd only got the
old girl with us!  I'd be king, you know, Cuff, and she'd be queen, and
we'd make you prime minister--you're prime favourite already, you know.
There now, if you don't clap a stopper on that ere spanker-boom, I'll
have to lash it down.  Well, to proceed: we'd build a hut--or a palace--
of turf an' sticks, with a bunk alongside for you; an w'en our clo'se
began for to wear out, we'd make pants and jackets and petticoats of
cocoanut-fibre; for you must know I've often see'd mats made o' that
stuff, an' splendid wear there's in it too, though it would be rather
rough for the skin at first; but we'd get used to that in coorse o'
time.  Only fancy Mrs Jarwin in a cocoanut-fibre petticoat with a
palm-leaf hat, or somethink o' that sort!  An', after all, it wouldn't
be half so rediklous as some o' the canvas she's used to spread on
Sundays."

Jarwin evidently thought his ideas somewhat ridiculous, for he paused at
this point and chuckled, while Cuffy sprang up and barked responsively.

While they were thus engaged, a gleam of white appeared on the horizon.

"Sail ho!" shouted the sailor in the loud, full tones with which he was
wont to announce such an appearance from the mast-head in days gone by.

Oh, how earnestly he strained his eyes in the direction of that little
speck!  It might have been a sail; just as likely it was the wing of a
sea-gull or an albatross.  Whatever it was, it grew gradually less until
it sank out of view on the distant horizon.  With it sank poor Jarwin's
newly-raised hopes.  Still he continued to gaze intently, in the hope
that it might reappear; but it did not.  With a heavy sigh the sailor
rose at length, wakened Cuffy, who had gone to sleep, and descended the
mountain.

This look-out on the summit of the island now became the regular place
of resort for Jarwin and his dumb, but invaluable companion.  And so
absorbed did the castaway become, in his contemplation of the horizon,
and in his expectation of the heaving in sight of another sail, that he
soon came to spend most of his time there.  He barely gave himself time
to cook and eat his breakfast before setting out for the spot, and
frequently he remained there the livelong day, having carried up enough
of provision to satisfy his hunger.

At first, while there, he employed himself in the erection of a rude
flag-staff, and thus kept himself busy and reasonably cheerful.  He cut
the pole with some difficulty, his clasp-knife being but a poor
substitute for an axe; then he bored a hole at the top to reave the
halliards through.  These latter he easily made by plaiting together
threads of cocoanut-fibre, which were both tough and long.  When ready,
he set up and fixed the staff, and hoisted thereon several huge leaves
of the palm-tree, which, in their natural size and shape, formed
excellent flags.

When, however, all this was done, he was reduced to a state of idleness,
and his mind began to dwell morbidly on the idea of being left to spend
the rest of his days on the island.  His converse with Cuffy became so
sad that the spirits of that sagacious and sympathetic dog were visibly
affected.  He did, indeed, continue to lick his master's hand lovingly,
and to creep close to his side on all occasions; but he ceased to wag
his expressive tail with the violence that used to characterise that
appendage in other days, and became less demonstrative in his conduct.
All this, coupled with constant exposure in all sorts of weather--
although Jarwin was not easily affected by a breeze or a wet jacket--
began at last to undermine the health of the stout seaman.  He became
somewhat gaunt and hollow-cheeked, and his beard and moustache, which of
course he could not shave, and which, for a long time, presented the
appearance of stubble, added to the lugubriosity of his aspect.

As a climax to his distress, he one day lost his dog!  When it went off,
or where it went to, he could not tell, but, on rousing up one morning
and putting out his hand almost mechanically to give it the accustomed
pat of salutation, he found that it was gone.

A thrill of alarm passed through his frame on making this discovery,
and, leaping up, he began to shout its name.  But no answering bark was
heard.  Again and again he shouted, but in vain.  Without taking time to
put on his coat, he ran to the top of the nearest eminence, and again
shouted loud and long.  Still no answer.

A feeling of desperate anxiety now took possession of the man.  The bare
idea of being left in utter loneliness drove him almost distracted.  For
some time he ran hither and thither, calling passionately to his dog,
until he became quite exhausted; then he sat down on a rock, and
endeavoured to calm his spirit and consider what he should do.
Indulging in his tendency to think aloud, he said--

"Come now, John, don't go for to make a downright fool of yerself.
Cuffy has only taken a longer walk than usual.  He'll be home to
breakfast; but you may as well look a bit longer, there's no sayin' wot
may have happened.  He may have felled over a precepiece or sprain'd his
leg.  Don't you give way to despair anyhow, John Jarwin, but nail yer
colours to the mast, and never say die."

Somewhat calmed by these encouraging exhortations, the sailor rose up
and resumed his search in a more methodical way.  Going down to the sea,
he walked thence up to the edge of the bush, gazing with the utmost
intensity at the ground all the way, in the hope of discovering Cuffy's
fresh footsteps; but none were to be seen.

"Come," said he, "it's clear that you haven't gone to the s'uth'ard o'
yer home; now, we'll have a look to the nor'ard."

Here he was more successful.  The prints of Cuffy's small paws were
discovered on the wet sand bearing northward along shore.  Jarwin
followed them up eagerly, but, coming to a place where the sand was hard
and dry, and covered with thin grass, he lost them.  Turning back to
where they were distinct, he recommenced the search.  No red Indian, in
pursuit of friend or foe, ever followed up a trail with more intense
eagerness than poor Jarwin followed the track of his lost companion.  He
even began to develop, in quite a surprising way, some of the deep
sagacity of the savage; for he came, before that day was over, not only
to distinguish the prints of Cuffy's paws on pretty hard sand, where the
impressions were very faint, but even on rough ground, where there were
no distinct marks at all--only such indications as were afforded by the
pressure of a dead leaf into soft ground, or the breaking of a fallen
twig!

Nevertheless, despite his care, anxiety, and diligence, Jarwin failed to
find his dog.  He roamed all that day until his limbs were weary, and
shouted till his voice was hoarse, but only echoes answered him.  At
last he sat down, overcome with fatigue and grief.

It had rained heavily during the latter part of the day and soaked him
to the skin, but he heeded it not.  Towards evening the weather cleared
up little, but the sun descended to the horizon in a mass of black
clouds, which were gilded with [a] strange lurid light that presaged a
storm; while sea-birds flew overhead and shrieked in wild excitement, as
if they were alarmed at the prospect before them.  But Jarwin observed
and cared for none of these things.  He buried his face in his hands,
and sat for some time perfectly motionless.

While seated thus, a cold shiver passed through his frame once or twice,
and he felt unusually faint.

"Humph!" said he, the second time this occurred, "strange sort o'
feelin'.  Never felt it before.  No doubt it's in consikince o' goin'
without wittles all day.  Well, well," he added, with a deep long-drawn
sigh, "who'd have thought I'd lose 'ee, Cuff, in this fashion.  It's
foolish, no doubt, to take on like this, but I can't help it somehow.  I
don't believe I could feel much worse if I had lost my old 'ooman.  It's
kurious, but I feels awful lonesome without 'ee, my doggie."

He was interrupted by the shivering again, and was about to rise, when a
long low wail struck on his ear.  He listened intently.  No statue ever
sat more motionless on its pedestal than did Jarwin during the next
three minutes.

Again the wail rose, faint and low at first, then swelling out into a
prolonged loud cry, which, strange to say, seemed to be both distant and
near.

John Jarwin was not altogether free from superstition.  His heart beat
hard under the influence of a mingled feeling of hope and fear; but when
he heard the cry the third time, he dismissed his fears, and, leaping
up, hurried forward in the direction whence the sound appeared to come.
The bushes were thick and difficult to penetrate, but he persevered on
hearing a repetition of the wail, and was thus led into a part of the
island which he had not formerly visited.

Presently he came to something that appeared not unlike an old track;
but, although the sun had not quite set, the place was so shut in by
tangled bushes and trees that he could see nothing distinctly.  Suddenly
he put his right foot on a mass of twigs, which gave way under his
weight, and he made a frantic effort to recover himself.  Next moment,
he fell headlong into a deep hole or pit at the bottom of which he lay
stunned for some time.  Recovering, he found that no bones were broken,
and after considerable difficulty, succeeded in scrambling out of the
hole.  Just as he did so, the wail was again raised; but it sounded so
strange, and so unlike any sound that Cuffy could produce, that he was
tempted to give up the search--all the more that his recent fall had so
shaken his exhausted frame that he could scarcely walk.

While he stood irresolute, the wail was repeated, and, this time, there
was a melancholy sort of "bow-wow" mingled with it, that sent the blood
careering through his veins like wildfire.  Fatigue and hunger were
forgotten.  Shouting the name of his dog, he bounded forward, and would
infallibly have plunged head-foremost into another pit, at the bottom of
which Cuffy lay, had not that wise creature uttered a sudden bark of
joy, which checked his master on the very brink.

"Hallo!  _Cuff_, is that you, my doggie?"

"Bow, wow, _wow_!" exclaimed Cuffy in tones which there could be no
mistaking, although the broken twigs and herbage which covered the mouth
of the pit muffled them a good deal, and accounted for the strangeness
of the creature's howls when heard at a distance.

"Why, where ever have 'ee got yourself into?" said Jarwin, going down on
his knees and groping carefully about the opening of the pit.  "I do
believe you've bin an' got into a trap o' some sort.  The savages must
have been here before us, doggie, and made more than one of 'em, for
I've just comed out o' one myself.  Hallo! _there_, I'm into another!"
he exclaimed as the treacherous bank gave way, and he slipped in
headlong, with a dire crash, almost smothering Cuffy in his fall.

Fortunately, no damage, beyond a few scratches, resulted either to dog
or man, and in a few minutes more both stood upon firm ground.

It would be vain, reader to attempt to give you in detail all that John
Jarwin said and did on that great occasion, as he sat there on the
ground caressing his dog as if it had been his own child.  We leave it
to your imagination!

When he had expended the first burst of feeling, he got up, and was
about to retrace his steps, when he observed some bones lying near him.
On examination, these proved to be the skeleton of a man.  At first
Jarwin thought it must be that of a native; but he was startled to find
among the dust on which the skeleton lay several brass buttons with
anchors on them.  That he stood beside the remains of a brother seaman,
who had probably been cast on that island, as he himself had been,
seemed very evident, and the thought filled him with strange depressing
emotions.  As it was by that time too dark to make further
investigations, he left the place, intending to return next day; and,
going as cautiously as possible out of the wood, returned to his abode,
where he kindled a fire, gave Cuffy some food, and prepared some for
himself; but before he had tasted that food another of the shivering
fits seized him.  A strange feeling of being very ill, and a peculiar
wandering of his mind, induced him to throw himself on his couch.  The
prolonged strain to which body and mind had been subjected had proved
too much for him, and before morning he was stricken with a raging
fever.



CHAPTER FOUR.

HOPES AND FEARS AND STERN RESOLVES LEAD TO VIGOROUS ACTION.

For several days the sailor lay tossing in helpless misery in his bower,
without food or fire.  Indeed he could not have eaten even if food had
been offered him, and as to fire, there was heat enough in his veins,
poor fellow! to more than counterbalance the want of that.

During part of the time he became delirious, and raved about home and
sea-life and old companions in a way that evidently quite alarmed Cuffy,
for that sagacious terrier approached his master with caution, with his
tail between his legs, and a pitiful, earnest gaze, that was quite
touching.  This was partly owing to the fact that Jarwin had several
times patted him with such painful violence as to astonish and render
him doubtful of the affection displayed by such caresses.  Jarwin also
recurred at these times to his tobacco and beer, and apparently suffered
a good deal from dreams about those luxuries.  In his ravings he often
told Cuffy to fill a pipe for him, and advised him to look sharp about
it, and he frequently reproached some of his old comrades for not
passing the beer.  Fortunately the fountain was close at hand, and he
often slaked his burning thirst at it.  He also thought frequently of
the skeleton in the thicket, and sometimes raved with an expression of
horror about being left to die alone on a desert island.

By degrees the fever reached its climax, and then left him almost dead.
For a whole day and night he lay so absolutely helpless that it cost him
an effort to open his eyes, and he looked so ill that the poor dog began
to whine piteously over him, but the day after that a sensation of
hunger induced him to make an effort to rouse up.  He tried to raise his
head--it felt as if made of lead.

"Hallo!  Cuffy, somethin' wrong I suspect!"

It was the first time for many days that Jarwin had spoken in his
natural tones.  The effect on the dog was instantaneous and powerful.
It sprang up, and wagged its expressive tail with something of the
energy of former times; licked the sick man's face and hands; whined and
barked intelligently; ran away in little bursts, as if it had resolved
to undertake a journey off-hand, but came back in a few seconds, and in
many other ways indicated its intense delight at finding that Jarwin was
"himself again."

But alas!  Jarwin was not quite himself yet, and Cuffy, after his first
ebullition, sat looking in surprise at the invalid, as he strove to turn
on his side, and reach out his heavy hand and skinny arm towards a few
scraps of the last meal he had cooked before being struck down.  Cuffy,
after eating the portion of that meal that suited his taste, had left
the remnants there as being unworthy of notice, and catered for himself
among the dead fish cast up on the beach.  Although lying within a yard
of his couch, Jarwin had the greatest difficulty in reaching the food;
and when he did at length succeed in grasping it, he fell back on his
couch, and lay for a long time as if dead.  Soon, however, he recovered,
and, with a feeling of gratitude such as he had never before
experienced, began to gnaw the hard morsels.

"I'm in a bad way, Cuff," he said, after satisfying the first cravings
of hunger.

Cuffy gave a responsive wag with his tail, and cocked his ears for more.

"Hows'ever, seems to me that I've got the turn; let's be thankful for
_that_, my doggie.  Wonder how long I've bin ill.  Months mayhap.  Don't
think I could have come to be sitch a skeleton in a short time.  Ha!
that minds me o' the skeleton in the wood.  Have 'ee seed it, Cuff,
since I found 'ee there?  Well, I must eat and drink too, if I would
keep the skin on _my_ skeleton.  Wish you had hands, doggie, for I'm
greatly in need o' help just now.  But you're a comfort, anyhow, even
though you hain't got no hands.  I should have died without you, my
doggie--you cheer me up, d'ee see, and when it's nigh low water with a
man, it don't take much to make him slip his cable.  The want of a kind
look at this here time, Cuffy, would have sent me adrift, I do believe."

It must not be supposed that all this was spoken fluently.  It came
slowly, by fits and starts, with a long pause at the end of each
sentence, and with many a sigh between, expressive of extreme weakness.

"I wish I had a drink, Cuffy," said the invalid after a long pause,
turning a longing look towards the spring, which welled up pleasantly
close to the opening of the hut.  "Ay, that's all very well in its way,
but bow-wowin' an' waggin' yer tail won't fetch me a can o' water.
Hows'ever, it's o' no manner o' use wishin'.  `Never say die.'  Here
goes."

So saying, he began slowly and painfully, but with unyielding
perseverance, to push, and draw, and hitch himself, while lying at full
length, towards the spring, which he reached at last so exhausted, that
he had barely put his lips to it and swallowed a mouthful, when his head
dropped, and he almost fainted.  He was within an ace of being drowned,
but with a violent effort he drew his face out of the spring, and lay
there in a half unconscious condition for some time, with the clear cool
water playing about his temples.  Reviving in a little time, he took
another sip, and then crawled back to his couch.  Immediately he fell
into a profound slumber, from which Cuffy strove in vain to awaken him;
therefore, like a sagacious dog, he lay down at his master's side and
joined him in repose.

From that hour Jarwin began to mend rapidly.  In a few days he was able
to walk about with the aid of a stick.  In a few weeks he felt somewhat
like his former self, and soon after that, he was able to ascend to the
top of the island, and resume his watch for a passing sail.  But the
first few hours of his watch beside the old flagstaff convinced him that
his hopes would, in all probability, be doomed to disappointment, and
that he would soon fall back into a state of apathy, from which he might
perhaps be unable to rouse himself, in which case his fate would
certainly be that of the poor sailor whose remains he had that day
buried in the pit near to which they had been discovered.  He resolved,
therefore, to give up watching altogether, and to devote all his
energies in future to devising some plan of escape from the island, but
when he bent his mind to this task he felt a deep sinking of the heart,
for he had no implements wherewith to construct a boat or canoe.

Suddenly it occurred to him, for the first time in his life, that he
ought, in this extremity, to pray to God for help.  He was, as we have
said, a straightforward man, prompt to act as well as ready to conceive.
He fell on his knees at once, humbly confessed his sin in depending so
entirely on himself in time past, and earnestly asked help and guidance
for the future.  His prayer was not long--neither was the publican's--
but it was effectual.  He arose with feelings of strong resolution and
confidence, which appeared to himself quite unaccountable, for he had
not, as yet, conceived any new idea or method as to escaping from the
island.  Instead of setting his mind to work, as he had intended, he
could not help dwelling on the fact that he had never before
deliberately asked help from his Maker, and this raised a train of
self-condemnatory thoughts which occupied him the remainder of that day.
At night he prayed again before laying down to rest.

Next morning he rose like a giant refreshed, and, after a plunge in the
sea and a hearty breakfast, set out with Cuffy for a meditative walk.

Great were the thoughts that swelled the seaman's broad chest during
that walk, and numerous, as well as wild and quaint, were the plans of
escape which he conceived and found it necessary to abandon.

"It's harder work to think it out than I had expected, Cuffy," he said,
sitting down on a cliff that overlooked the sea, and thinking aloud.
"If you and I could only swim twenty miles or so at a stretch, I'd risk
it; but, as nothin' short o' that would be likely to be of sarvice, we
must give it up.  Then, if I could only cut down trees with my shoe, and
saw planks with my jacket, we might make a boat; but I can't do that,
and we haven't no nails--except our toe-nails, which ain't the right
shape or strong enough; so we must give that up too.  It's true that we
might burn a canoe out of a solid tree, but who's to cut down the solid
tree for us, doggie?  I'm sure if the waggin' of a tail could do it you
wouldn't be long about it!  Why on earth can't 'ee keep it still for a
bit?  Well, then, as we can't swim or fly, and haven't a boat or canoe,
or the means o' makin' em, what's the next thing to be done?"

Apparently neither man nor dog could return an answer to that question,
for they both sat for a very long time in profound silence, staring at
the sea.

After some time Jarwin suddenly exclaimed, "I'll do it!"

Cuffy, startled by the energy with which it was said, jumped up and
said, "That's right!"--or something very like it--with his eyes.

"Yes, Cuffy, I'll make a raft, and you and I shall get on it, some day,
with a fair wind, and make for the island that we think we've seen so
often on the horizon."

He alluded here to a faint blue line which, on unusually fine and clear
days, he had distinguished on the horizon to the southward, and which,
from its always appearing on the same spot, he believed to be land of
some sort, although it looked nothing more than a low-lying cloud.

"So that's settled," continued Jarwin, getting up and walking smartly
back to his hut with the air of a man who has a purpose in view.  "We
shall make use of the old raft, as far as it'll go.  Luckily the sail is
left, as you and I know, Cuff, for it has been our blanket for many a
day, and when all's ready we shall go huntin', you and I, till we've got
together a stock of provisions, and then--up anchor and away!  We can
only be drownded once, you know, and it's better that than stopping here
to die o' the blues.  What think 'ee o' that, my doggie?"

Whatever the doggie thought of the idea, there can be no question what
he thought of the cheery vigorous tones of his master's voice, for he
gambolled wildly round, barked with vociferous delight, and wagged his
"spanker boom" to such an extent that Jarwin warned him to have a care
lest it should be carried away, an' go slap overboard.

In pursuance of the designs thus expressed, the sailor began the
construction of a raft without delay, and worked at it diligently the
remainder of that day.  He found, on examination, that a considerable
portion of the old raft yet remained stranded on the beach, though all
the smaller spars of which it had been composed had been used for
firewood.  With great difficulty he rolled these logs one by one into
the sea, and, getting astride of each, pushed them by means of a pole
towards a point of rocks, or natural jetty, alongside of which the water
was deep.  Here he fastened them together by means of a piece of rope--
one of the old fastenings which remained to him, the others having been
used in the construction of the hut.  The raft thus formed was, however,
much too small to weather a gale or float in a rough sea.  In whatever
way he placed the spars the structure was too narrow for safety.
Seeing, therefore, that it was absolutely necessary to obtain more logs,
he set brain and hands to work without delay.

Many years before, he had seen an ancient stone hatchet in a museum, the
head of which was fastened to the haft by means of a powerful thong of
untanned hide.  He resolved to make a hatchet of this sort.  Long did he
search the beach for a suitable stone, but in vain.  At last he found
one pretty nearly the proper shape, which he chipped and ground into the
rude form of an axe.  It had no eye for the handle.  To have made a hole
in it would have weakened the stone too much.  He therefore cut a groove
in the side of the handle, placed the head of the stone into it, and
completed the fastening by tying it firmly with the tough fibrous roots
of a tree.  It was strongly and neatly made, though clumsy in
appearance, but, do what he would, he could not put a sufficiently fine
edge on it, and although it chipped pretty well when applied to the
outside of a tree, it made very slow progress indeed as the cut
deepened, and the work became so toilsome at last that he almost gave it
up in despair.  Suddenly it occurred to him that fire might be made use
of to facilitate the work.  Selecting a tall cocoanut-tree, he piled dry
wood all round the foot of it.  Before setting it on fire he dipped a
quantity of cocoanut fibre in the sea and tied a thick belt of this
round the tree just above the pile, so as to protect the upper parts of
the spar from the flames as much and as long as possible.  This done, he
kindled the pile.  A steady breeze fanned the flame into an intense
fire, which ere long dried up the belt of fibre and finally consumed it.
The fire was pretty well burnt out by that time, however, so that the
upper part of the stem had been effectually preserved.  Removing the
ashes, he was rejoiced to find that the foot of the tree had been so
deeply burned that several inches of it were reduced to charcoal, which
his stone hatchet readily cut away, and the operation was so successful
that it only required a second fire to enable him to fell the tree.

This done, he measured it off in lengths.  Under each point of
measurement he piled up dry wood--which consisted merely of broken
branches--with belts of wet fibre on each side of these piles.  Then,
applying a light to the fires he reduced the parts to charcoal as
before, and completed the work with the hatchet.  Thus, in the course of
a single day, he felled a tall tree and cut it up into six lengths,
which he rolled down to the sea and floated off to the end of the jetty.

Next day Jarwin rose with the sun, and began to make twine of twisted
cocoanut fibre--of which there was great abundance to be had everywhere.
When a sufficient quantity had been made he plaited the twine into
cords, and the cords into stout ropes, which, although not so neat as
regular ropes, were, nevertheless, sufficiently pliable and very strong.
Several days were spent over this somewhat tedious process; and we may
mention here, that in all these operations the busy seaman was greatly
assisted by his dog, who stuck close to him all the time, encouraging
him with looks and wags of approbation.

After the ropes were made, the raft was put together and firmly lashed.
There was a mast and yard in the centre of it, and also a hollow, formed
by the omission of a log, which was just large enough to permit of the
man and his dog lying down.  This hollow, slight though it was,
afterwards proved of the utmost service.

It is needless to recount all the details of the building and
provisioning of this raft.  Suffice it to say that, about three weeks
after the idea of it had been conceived, it was completed and ready for
sea.

During his residence on the island, although it had only extended over a
few months, Jarwin had become very expert in the use of a sharp-pointed
pole, or javelin, with which he had become quite an adept in spearing
fish.  He had also become such a dead-shot with a stone that when he
managed to get within thirty yards of a bird, he was almost certain to
hit it.  Thus he was enabled to procure fish and fowl as much as he
required and as the woods abounded with cocoa-nuts, plums, and other
wild fruits, besides many edible roots, he had no lack of good fare.
Now that he was about to "go to sea," he bethought him of drying some of
the fruits as well as curing some fish and birds.  This he did by
degrees, while engaged on the raft, so that when all was ready he had a
store of provisions sufficient to last him several weeks.  In order to
stow all this he removed another log from the middle of the raft, and,
having deposited the food in the hollow--carefully wrapped in cocoanut
leaves and made into compact bundles--he covered it over by laying a
layer of large leaves above it and lashing a small spar on the top of
them to keep them down.  The cask with which he had landed from the
original raft, and which he had preserved with great care, not knowing
how soon he might be in circumstances to require it, served to hold
fresh water.

On a fine morning about sunrise, Jarwin embarked with his little dog and
bade farewell to the coral island, and although he had not dwelt very
long there, he felt, to his own surprise, much regret at quitting it.

A fresh breeze was blowing in the direction of the island--or the
supposed island--he wished to reach.  This was important, because, in
such a craft, it was impossible to sail in any way except before the
wind.  Still, by means of a rude oar or paddle, he could modify its
direction so as to steer clear of the passage through the reef and get
out to sea.

Once outside, he squared the sail and ran right before the breeze.  Of
course such a weighty craft went very slowly through the water, but the
wind was pretty strong, and to Jarwin, who had been for a comparatively
long time unaccustomed to moving on the water, the speed seemed fast
enough.  As the island went astern, and the raft lifted and fell gently
on the long swell of the ocean, the seaman's heart beat with a peculiar
joy to which it had long been a stranger, and he thanked God fervently
for having so soon answered his prayer.

For a long time he sat reclining in the hollow of the raft, resting his
hand lightly on the steering oar and gazing in silence at the gradually
fading woods of his late home.  The dog, as if it were aware that a
great change was being effected in their destiny, lay also perfectly
still--and apparently contemplative--at his master's feet; resting his
chin on a log and gazing at the receding land.  It was evident, however,
that _his_ thoughts were not absent or wandering, for, on the slightest
motion made by his master, his dark eyes turned towards him, his ears
slightly rose, and his tail gave the faintest possible indication of an
intention to wag.

"Well, Cuffy," said Jarwin at last, rousing himself with a sigh, "wot
are 'ee thinking of?"

The dog instantly rose, made affectionate demonstrations, and whined.

"Ah, you may well say that, Cuff," replied the man; "I know you ain't
easy in yer mind, and there's some reason in that, too, for we're off on
a raither uncertain viage, in a somewhat unseaworthy craft.  Howsever,
cheer up, doggie.  Whoever turns up, you and I shall sink or swim
together."

Just then the sail flapped.

"Hallo!  Cuff," exclaimed Jarwin, with a look of anxiety, "the wind's
going to shift."

This was true.  The wind did shift, and in a few minutes had veered so
much round that the raft was carried away from the blue line on the
horizon, which Jarwin had so fondly hoped would turn out to be an
inhabited island.  It blew lightly, however, and when the sun went down,
had completely died away.  In these circumstances Jarwin and his dog
supped together, and then lay down to rest, full of sanguine hope.

They were awakened during the night by a violent squall, which, however,
did no further damage than wash a little spray over them, for Jarwin had
taken the precaution to lower and make fast the sail.  He now turned his
attention to preparing the raft for rough weather.  This consisted in
simply drawing over the hollow--in which he, his dog, and his provisions
lay--a piece of canvas that he had cut off the sail, which was
unnecessarily large.  It served as a tarpaulin, and effectually shielded
them from ordinary sprays, but when the breeze freshened to a gale, and
green seas swept over the _raft_, it leaked so badly, that Jarwin's
cabin became a salt-water bath, and his provisions by degrees were
soaked.

At first he did not mind this much, for the air and water were
sufficiently warm, but after being wet for several hours he began feel
chilled.  As for poor Cuffy, his trembling body bore testimony to the
state of his feelings; nevertheless he did not complain, being a dog of
high spirit and endurance.  In these circumstances the seaman hailed the
rising sun with great joy, even although it rose in the midst of lurid
murky clouds, and very soon hid its face altogether behind them, as if
it had made up its mind that the state of things below was so bad as to
be not worth shining upon.

All that day and night the gale continued, and they were driven before
it.  The waves rushed so continuously and furiously over the raft, that
it was with the utmost difficulty Jarwin could retain his position on
it.  Indeed it would have been impossible for him to have done so, if he
had not taken the precaution of making the hollow in the centre, into
which he could crouch, and thus avoid the full force of the seas.  Next
day the wind abated a little, but the sea still rolled "mountains high."
In order to break their force a little, he ventured to show a little
corner of the sail.  Small though it was, it almost carried away the
slender mast, and drove the raft along at a wonderfully rapid rate.

At last the gale went down, and, finally, it became a dead calm, leaving
the raft like a cork heaving on the mighty swell of the Pacific Ocean.
Weary and worn--almost dead with watching and exposure--John Jarwin lay
down and slept, but his slumber was uneasy and unrefreshing.  Sunrise
awoke him, and he sat up with a feeling of deep thankfulness, as he
basked once more in its warm rays and observed that the sky above him
was bright blue.  But other feelings mingled with these when he gazed
round on the wide waste of water, which still heaved its swelling though
now unruffled breast, as if panting after its recent burst of fury.

"Ho!  Cuffy--what's that?  Not a sail, eh?" exclaimed Jarwin, suddenly
starting up, while his languid eyes kindled with excitement.

He was right.  After a long, earnest, anxious gaze, he came to the
conclusion that it _was_ a sail which shone, white and conspicuous, like
a speck or a snow-flake on the horizon.



CHAPTER FIVE.

JARWIN AND CUFFY FALL INTO BAD COMPANY.

Immediately on discovering the sail, Jarwin hoisted a small canvas flag,
which he had prepared for the purpose, to the mast-head, and then sat
down to watch with indescribable earnestness the motions of the vessel.
There was great cause for anxiety he well knew, because his raft was a
mere speck on the great waste of waters which might easily be overlooked
even by a vessel passing at a comparatively short distance, and if the
vessel's course should happen to lie across that of the raft, there was
every probability she would only be visible for a short time and then
pass away like a ray of hope dying out.

After gazing in perfect silence for half-an-hour, Jarwin heaved a deep
sigh and said--

"She steers this way, Cuffy."

Cuffy acknowledged the remark with a little whine and a very slight wag
of his tail.  It was evident that his spirits had sunk to a low ebb, and
that he was not prepared to derive comfort from every trifling
circumstance.

"Come, we'll have a bit of summat to eat, my doggie," said the sailor,
reaching forward his hand to the provision bundle.

Thoroughly understanding and appreciating this remark, Cuffy roused
himself and looked on with profound interest, while his master cut up a
dried fish.  Having received a large share of it, he forgot everything
else, and devoted all his powers, physical and mental, to the business
in hand.  Although Jarwin also applied himself to the food with the
devotion of a man whose appetite is sharp, and whose strength needs
recruiting, he was very far indeed from forgetting other things.  He
kept his eyes the whole time on the approaching sail, and once or twice
became so absorbed and so anxious lest the vessel should change her
course, that he remained with his mouth half open, and with the
unconsumed morsel reposing therein for a minute or more at a time.

But the vessel did not change her course.  On she came; a fine large
schooner with raking masts, and so trim and neat in her rig that she
resembled a pleasure-yacht.  As she drew near, Jarwin rose, and holding
on to the mast, waved a piece of canvas, while Cuffy, who felt that
there was now really good ground for rejoicing, wagged his tail and
barked in an imbecile fashion, as if he didn't exactly know whether to
laugh or cry.

"We're all safe now, doggie," exclaimed Jarwin, as the schooner came
cutting through the water before a light breeze, leaving a slight track
of foam in her wake.

When within about two or three hundred yards of the raft, the castaway
could see that a figure leant on the vessel's side and brought a
telescope to bear on him.  With a feeling of irrepressible gladness he
laughed and waved his hand.

"Ay, ay, take a good squint," he shouted, "an' then lower a boat--eh!--"

He stopped abruptly, for at that moment the figure turned towards the
steersman; the schooner's head fell away, presenting her stern to the
raft, and began to leave her behind.

The truth flashed upon Jarwin like a thunderbolt.  It was clear that the
commander of the strange vessel had no intention of relieving him.  In
the first burst of mingled despair and indignation, the seaman uttered a
bass roar of defiance that might have done credit to the lungs of a
small carronade, and at the same time shook his fist at the retiring
schooner.

The effect of this was as sudden as it was unexpected.  To his surprise
he observed that the schooner's head was immediately thrown up into the
wind, and all her sails shook for a few moments, then, filling out
again, the vessel bent gracefully over on the other tack.  With
returning joy the castaway saw her run straight towards him.  In a few
minutes she was alongside, and her topsails were backed.

"Look out! catch hold!" cried a gruff voice, as a sailor sent a coil of
rope whirling over the raft.  Jarwin caught it, took a turn round the
mast, and held on.

In a minute the raft was alongside.  Weak though he was, Jarwin retained
enough of his sailor-like activity to enable him to seize a rope and
swing himself on board with Cuffy in his arms.

He found himself on the pure white deck of a craft which was so well
appointed and so well kept, that his first impressions were revived--
namely, that she was a pleasure-yacht.  He knew that she was not a
vessel of war, because, besides the absence of many little things that
mark such a vessel, the few men on deck were not clothed like
man-of-war's-men, and there was no sign of guns, with the exception of
one little brass carronade, which was probably used as a signal-gun.

A tall stout man, in plain costume, which was neither quite that of a
seaman nor a landsman, stood with his arms crossed on his broad chest
near the man at the wheel.  To him, judging him to be the captain or
owner of the vessel, Jarwin went up, and, pulling his forelock by way of
salutation, said--

"Why, sir, I thought 'ee was a-goin' to leave me!"

"So I was," answered the captain, drily.  "Hold on to the raft," he
added, turning to the man who had thrown the rope to Jarwin.

"Well, sir," said the latter in some surprise, "in course I don't know
why you wos a-goin' to leave a feller-creetur to his fate, but I'm glad
you didn't go for to do it, 'cos it wouldn't have bin Christian-like.
But I'm bound for to thank 'ee, sir, all the same for havin' saved me--
and Cuffy."

"Don't be too free with your thanks, my good man," returned the captain,
"for you're not saved, as you call it, yet."

"Not saved yet?" repeated Jarwin.

"No.  Whether I save you or not depends on your keeping a civil tongue
in your head, and on your answers to my questions."

The captain interlarded his speech with many oaths, which, of course, we
omit.  This, coupled with his rude manners, induced Jarwin to suspect
that the vessel was not a pleasure-yacht after all, so he wisely held
his peace.

"Where do you belong to?" demanded the captain.

"To Yarmouth, sir."

"What ship did you sail in, what has come of her, and how came you to be
cast adrift?"

"I sailed in the _Nancy_, sir, from Plymouth, with a miscellaneous cargo
for China.  She sprung a leak in a gale, and we was 'bliged to make a
raft, the boats bein' all stove in or washed away.  It was barely ready
when the ship went down starn foremost.  Durin' the gale all my mates
were washed off the raft or died of exposure; only me and my dog left."

"How long ago was that?" asked the captain.

"Couldn't rightly say, sir, I've lost count o' time, but it's more than
a year gone by anyhow."

"That's a lie," said the captain, with an oath.

"No, 'taint, sir," replied Jarwin, reddening, "it's a truth.  I was nigh
starved on that raft, but was cast on an island where I've bin till a
few days ago ever since, when I put to sea on the raft that now lays
a-starn there."

For a few seconds the captain made no rejoinder, but a glance at the
raft seemed to satisfy him of the truth of what was said.  At length he
said abruptly--

"What's your name?"

"John Jarwin, sir."

"Well, John Jarwin, I'll save you on one condition, which is, that you
become one of my crew, and agree to do my bidding and ask no questions.
What say you?"

Jarwin hesitated.

"Haul up the raft and let this man get aboard of it," said the captain,
coolly but sternly, to the seaman who held the rope.

"You've no occasion to be so sharp, sir," said John, remonstratively.
"If you wos to tell me to cut my own throat, you know, I could scarce be
expected for to do it without puttin' a few questions as to the reason
why.  You're a trader, I suppose?"

"Yes, I'm a trader," replied the captain, "but I don't choose to be
questioned by you.  All you've got to do is to agree to my proposal or
to walk over the side.  To tell you the truth, when I saw you first
through the glass, you looked such a starved wretch that I thought you'd
be of no use to me, and if it hadn't been for the yell you gave, that
showed there was something in you still, I'd have left you to sink or
swim.  So you see what sort of man you've got to deal with.  I'm
short-handed, but not so short as to engage an unwilling man, or a man
who wouldn't be ready for any sort of dirty work.  You may take your
choice."

"Well, sir," replied Jarwin, "I've no objection to take service with
'ee.  As the sayin' goes, `beggars mustn't be choosers.'  I ain't above
doin' dirty work, if required."

John Jarwin, in the simplicity of his heart, imagined that the captain
was in need of a man who could and would turn his hand to any sort of
work, whether nautical or otherwise, on board ship or ashore, which was
his idea of "dirty work;" but the captain appeared to understand him in
a different sense, for he smiled in a grim fashion, nodded his head,
and, turning to the seaman before mentioned, bade him cut the raft
adrift.  The man obeyed, and in a few minutes it was out of sight
astern.

"Now, Jarwin, go below," said the captain; "Isaacs will introduce you to
your messmates."

Isaacs, who had just cut away the raft, was a short, thick-set man, with
a dark, expressionless face.  He went forward without saying a word, and
introduced Jarwin to the men as a "new 'and."

"And a green un, I s'pose; give us your flipper, lad," said one of the
crew, holding out his hand.

Jarwin shook it, took off his cap and sat down, while his new friends
began, as they expressed it, to pump him.  Having no objection to be
pumped, he had soon related the whole of his recent history.  In the
course of the narrative he discovered that his new associates were an
unusually rough set.  Their language was interspersed with frightful
oaths, and their references to the captain showed that his power over
them was certainly not founded on goodwill or affection.  Jarwin also
discovered that the freeness of his communication was not reciprocated
by his new mates, for when he made inquiries as to the nature of the
trade in which they were engaged, some of the men merely replied with
uproarious laughter, chaff, or curses, while others made jocular
allusions to sandal-wood trading, slaving, etcetera.

"I shouldn't wonder now," said one, "if you was to think we was
pirates."

Jarwin smiled as he replied, "Well, I don't exactly think _that_, but
I'm bound for to say the schooner _has_ got such a rakish look that it
wouldn't seem unnatural like if you _were_ to hoist a black flag at the
peak.  An' you'll excuse me, shipmets, if I say that yer lingo ain't
just so polished as it might be."

"And pray who are _you_, that comes here to lecture us about our lingo?"
cried one of the men fiercely, starting up and confronting Jarwin with
clenched fists.

"Why, mate," replied Jarwin, quietly folding back the cuffs of his coat,
and putting himself in an attitude of defence, "I ain't nobody in
partikler, not the Lord Chancellor o' England, anyhow still less the
Archbishop of Canterbury.  I'm only plain Jack Jarwin, seaman, but if
you or any other man thinks--"

"Come, come," cried one of the men in a tone of authority, starting
forward and thrusting Jarwin's assailant violently aside, "none o' that
sort o' thing here.  Keep your fists for the niggers, Bill, we're all
brothers here, you know; an affectionate family, so to speak!"

There was a general laugh at this.  Bill retired sulkily, and Jarwin sat
down to a plate of hot "lob-scouse," which proved to be very good, and
of which he stood much in need.

For several days our hero was left very much to himself.  The schooner
sped on her voyage with a fair wind, and the men were employed in light
work, or idled about the deck.  No one interfered with Jarwin, but at
the same time no one became communicative.  The captain was a very
silent man, and it was evident that the crew stood much in awe of him.
Of course Jarwin's suspicions as to the nature of the craft were
increased by all this, and from some remarks which he overheard two or
three days after his coming on board, he felt convinced that he had
fallen into bad company.  Before a week had passed, this became so
evident that he made up his mind to leave the vessel at the very first
opportunity.

One day he went boldly to the captain and demanded to know the nature of
the trade in which the schooner was employed and their present
destination.  He was told that that was no business of his, that he had
better go forward and mind his duty without more ado, else he should be
pitched overboard.  The captain used such forcible language when he said
this, and seemed so thoroughly in earnest, that Jarwin felt no longer
any doubt as to his true character.

"I'll tell you what it is, my lad," said the captain, "my schooner is a
trader or a man-of-war according to circumstances, and I'm a free man,
going where I choose and doing what I please.  I treat my men well when
they do their duty; when they don't I make 'em walk the plank.  No doubt
you know what that means.  If you don't we shall soon teach you.  Take
to-night to think over it.  To-morrow morning I'll have a question or
two to ask you.  There--go!"

Jarwin bowed submissively and retired.

That night the moon shone full and clear on the wide ocean's breast, and
Jarwin stood at the bow of the schooner, looking sadly over the side,
and patting his little dog gently on the head.

"Cuffy, you and me's in a fix, I suspect," he murmured in a low tone;
"but cheer up, doggie, a way to escape will turn up no doubt."

He had scarcely uttered the words when his eye fell on the distant
outline of land on the lee bow.  He started, and gazed with fixed
intensity for some minutes, under the impression that it might perhaps
be a fog-bank lighted by the moon, but in a short time it became so
distinct that there could be no doubt it was land.  He pointed it out to
the watch on deck, one of whom said carelessly that he had seen it for
some time, and that there were plenty more islands of the same sort in
these seas.

Jarwin walked aft and stood near the lee gangway contemplating the
island in silence for some time.  A small oar lay at his feet.  Suddenly
he conceived the daring idea of seizing this, plunging overboard and
attempting to swim to land.  He was a splendid swimmer, and although the
island appeared to be more than two miles distant, he did not fear
failure.  A moment's reflection, however, convinced him that the men on
deck would certainly hear the plunge, heave the ship to, and lower a
boat, in which case he should be immediately overtaken.  Still, being
resolved to escape at all hazards, he determined to make the venture.
Fastening a rope to a belaying pin, he tied the oar to it and lowered it
over the side until it trailed in the water, he then lifted Cuffy, who
was almost always near him, on to the side of the vessel, with a whisper
to keep still.  The watch paced the weather side of the deck conversing
in low tones.  The steersman could, from his position, see both
gangways, and although the light was not strong enough to reveal what
Jarwin was about, it was too strong to admit of his going bodily over
the side without being observed.  He, therefore, walked slowly to the
head of the vessel, where he threw over the end of a small rope.  By
means of this, when the watch were well aft, he slid noiselessly into
the sea, hanging on by one hand and supporting Cuffy with the other.
Once fairly in the water he let go, the side of the vessel rubbed
swiftly past him, and he all but missed grasping the oar which trailed
at the gangway.  By this he held on for a few seconds to untie the rope.
He had just succeeded and was about to let go, when, unfortunately, the
handle of the oar chanced to hit the end of Cuffy's nose a severe blow.
The poor dog, therefore, gave vent to a loud yell of pain.  Instantly
Jarwin allowed himself to sink and held his breath as long as he
possibly could, while Cuffy whined and swam on the surface.

Meanwhile the men on deck ran to the side.  "Hallo!" cried one, "it's
Jarwin's little dog gone overboard."

"Let it go," cried another with a laugh; "it's a useless brute and eats
a power o' grub."

"I say, wot a splashin' it do kick up," he added as the little dog was
left astern making vain efforts to clamber on the oar.  "Why, lads,
there's somethin' else floatin' beside it, uncommon like a seal.  Are
'ee sure, Bill, that Jarwin hasn't gone overboard along with his dog?"

"Why no," replied Bill; "I seed him go forward a little ago; besides it
ain't likely he'd go over without givin' a shout."

"I dun know that," said the other; "he might have hit his head again'
somethin' in tumblin' over."

By this time the objects in question were almost out of sight astern.
In a few minutes more a dark cloud covered the moon and effectually shut
them out from view.

Just then the Captain came on deck, and asked what was wrong.

"Fools!" he exclaimed, in a voice of thunder, on being told, "lower the
gig.  Look sharp!  Don't you see the land, you idiots?  The man's away
as well as the dog."

In a few seconds the topsails were backed and the boat lowered, manned,
and pushed off.

But Jarwin heard and saw nothing of all this.  He was now far astern,
for the vessel had been going rapidly through the water.

On coming to the surface after his dive he caught hold of Cuffy, and,
with a cheering word or two, placed him on his back, telling him to hold
on by his paws the best way he could.  Then grasping the end of the oar,
and pointing the blade land-wards, he struck out vigorously with his
legs.

It was a long and weary swim, but as his life depended on it, the seaman
persevered.  When he felt his strength giving way, he raised not only
his heart but his voice in prayer to God, and felt restored each time
that he did so.  Just as he neared the shore, the sound of oars broke on
his ears, and presently he heard the well-known voice of the Captain
ordering the men to pull hard.  Fortunately it was by this time very
dark.  He landed without being discerned.  The surf was heavy, but he
was expert in rough water, went in on the top of a billow, and was
safely launched on a soft sandy beach, almost at the same moment with
the boat.  The latter was, however, at a considerable distance from him.
He crept cautiously up the shore until he gained a thicket, and then,
rising, he plunged into the woods and ran straight before him until he
was exhausted, carrying the little dog in his arms.  Many a fall and
bruise did the poor fellow receive in his progress, but the fear of
being retaken by the pirates--for such he felt convinced they were--lent
him wings.  The Captain and his men made a long search, but finally gave
it up, and, returning to the boat, pushed off.  Jarwin never saw them
again.

He and Cuffy lay where they had fallen, and slept, wet though they were,
till the sun was high.  They were still sleeping when a native chief of
the island, happening to pass along the beach, discerned Jarwin's
footsteps and traced him out.  This chief was an immensely large
powerful man, armed with a heavy club.  He awoke the sailor with a kick,
and spoke in a language which he did not understand.  His gestures,
however, said plainly enough, "Get up and come along with me," so Jarwin
thought it best to obey.  Of course whatever Jarwin thought, Cuffy was
of precisely the same opinion.  They therefore quietly got up and
followed the big chief to his village, where they were received by a
large concourse of savages with much excitement and curiosity.



CHAPTER SIX.

OUR HERO BECOMES A FAVOURITE, AND ENTERTAINS HOPES OF ESCAPE.

The sufferings which Jarwin with his little dog had hitherto undergone
were as nothing compared to those which he endured for some months after
being taken prisoner by the savages.  At first he gave himself up for
lost, feeling assured that ere long he would be sacrificed in the temple
of one of their idols, and then baked in an oven and consumed as food,
according to the horrible practice of the South-Sea Islanders.  Indeed
he began to be much astonished that, as day after day passed, there was
no sign of any intention to treat him in this way, although several
times the natives took him out of the hut in which he was imprisoned,
and, placing him in the centre of a circle, held excited and sometimes
angry discussions over him.

It was not till months afterwards, when he had acquired a slight
knowledge of their language, that he came to understand why he was
spared at this time.  It appeared that four shipwrecked sailors, who had
been cast on a neighbouring island, had been killed, baked, and eaten,
according to usage, by the chief and his friends.  Immediately
afterwards, those who had partaken of this dreadful food had been seized
with severe illness, and one or two had died.  This fact had been known
for some time to Jarwin's captors, and the discussions above referred to
had been engaged in with reference to the question whether it was likely
that the flesh of the white man who had been thrown on their island
would be likely to disagree with their stomachs!  It was agreed that
this was highly probable, and thus the seaman's life was spared; but he
was sometimes tempted to wish that it had not been spared, for his
master, the Big Chief, was a very hard man; he put him to the most
toilsome labour, and treated him with every sort of indignity.
Moreover, he was compelled to be a witness of practices so revolting and
cruel, that he often put the question to himself whether it was possible
for devils to display greater wickedness and depravity than these
people.

Jarwin was frequently tempted to resent the treatment he received, but,
fortunately, he was prudent enough to bear it submissively, for it is
certain that if he had rebelled he would have been slain on the spot.
Moreover, he set himself to carry out his favourite maxim--namely, that
it was wise in all circumstances to make the best of everything.  He
laboured, therefore, with such goodwill, that he softened the breast of
the Big Chief, who gradually became more amiable, and even indulgent to
him.  Thus he came to know experimentally the wisdom of that Scripture,
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

John Jarwin possessed a remarkably fine sonorous bass voice, which, in
former days, had been a source of great delight to his messmates.
Although strong and deep, it was very sweet and tender in its tones, and
eminently suited for pathetic and sentimental songs.  Indeed Jarwin's
nature was so earnest, that although he had a great deal of quiet humour
about him, and could enjoy comic songs very much, he never himself sang
anything humorous.  Now, it chanced that the Big Chief had a good ear
for music, and soon became so fond of the songs which his slave was wont
to hum when at work, that he used to make him sit down beside him
frequently and sing for hours at a time!  Fortunately, Jarwin's lungs
were powerful, and his voice being full-toned and loud, he was able to
sing as much as his master desired without much exertion.  He gave him
his whole budget which was pretty extensive--including melodies of the
"Black-eyed Susan" and "Ben Bolt" stamp.  When these had been sung over
and over again, he took to the Psalms and Paraphrases--many of which he
knew by heart, and, finally, he had recourse to extempore composition,
which he found much easier than he had expected--the tones flowing
naturally and the words being gibberish!  Thus he became a sort of David
to this remarkable Saul.  By degrees, as he learnt the native tongue, he
held long conversations with the Big Chief, and told him about his own
land and countrymen and religion.  In regard to the last the Chief was
very inquisitive, and informed his slave that white men had been for
some time in that region, trying to teach their religion to the men of
an island which, though invisible from his island, was not very far
distant.  Jarwin said little about this, but from that time he began to
hope that, through the missionaries, he might be able to make his escape
ere long.

During all this time poor Cuffy experienced a variety of vicissitudes,
and made several narrow escapes.  At first he had been caught and was on
the point of being killed and roasted, when he wriggled out of his
captor's grasp and made off to the mountains, terrorstruck!  Here he
dwelt for some weeks in profound melancholy.  Being unable to stand
separation from his master any longer, he ventured to return to the
village, but was immediately hunted out of it, and once again fled in
horror to the hills.  Jarwin was not allowed to quit the village alone,
he therefore never saw his little dog, and at length came to the
conclusion that it had been killed.  When, however, he had ingratiated
himself with his master, he was allowed more freedom, and one day,
having wandered a considerable distance into the mountains, he came
suddenly and unexpectedly upon Cuffy.  Having experienced nothing from
man of late but the most violent and cruel treatment, Cuffy no sooner
beheld, as he supposed, one of his enemies, than, without giving him a
second glance, he sprang up, put his ears back, his tail between his
legs, and, uttering a terrible yell, fled "on the wings of terror!"  But
Jarwin put two fingers in his mouth and gave a peculiarly shrill
whistle, which brought the dog to a sudden stop.  He looked back with
ears cocked.  Again Jarwin whistled.  Instantly Cuffy turned and ran at
him with a series of mingled yells, whines, and barks, that gave but a
faint idea of his tumultuous feelings.  It would scarcely be too much to
say that he almost ate his master up.  He became like an india-rubber
ball gone mad!  He bounded round him to such an extent that Jarwin found
it very difficult to get hold of or pat him.  It is impossible to do
justice to such a meeting.  We draw a veil over it, only remarking that
the sailor took his old favourite back to the village, and, after much
entreaty and a good deal of persuasive song, was permitted to keep him.

About ten months after this event, war broke out between the Big Chief
and a neighbouring tribe of natives, who were a very quarrelsome and
vindictive set.  The tribe with whom Jarwin dwelt would gladly have
lived at peace, but the other tribe was stronger in numbers and thirsted
for conquest--a consequence of strength which is by no means confined to
savages!

When war was formally declared, the Big Chief told Jarwin to prepare
himself for battle.  At first our hero had some qualms of conscience
about it, but on reflecting that on the part of the tribe to which he
belonged it was a war of self-defence, his conscience was pacified.

The Big Chief ordered him to throw away his now ragged garments, smear
his whole body over with oil and red earth, paint black spots on his
cheeks, and a white streak down his nose, and put on warrior's costume.
In vain Jarwin begged and protested and sang.  The Big Chief's blood was
up, and his commands must be obeyed, therefore Jarwin did as he was bid;
went out to battle in this remarkable costume--if we may so style it--
and proved himself such a prodigy of valour that his prowess went far to
turn the tide of victory wherever he appeared during the fight.  But we
pass over all this.  Suffice it to say, that the pugnacious tribe was
severely chastised and reduced to a state of quiet--for the time at
least.

One day, not long after the cessation of the war, a canoe arrived with
several natives, all of whom wore clothing of a much more civilised
description than is usually seen among South-Sea savages.  They had a
long, earnest talk with the natives, but Jarwin was not allowed to hear
it, or to show himself.  Next day they went away.  For some time after
that Big Chief was very thoughtful, but silent, and Jarwin could not
induce him to become confidential until he had sung all his melodies and
all his psalms several times over, and had indulged in extempore melody
and gibberish until his brain and throat were alike exhausted.  The Big
Chief gave way at last, however, and told him that his late visitors
were Christians, who, with two native teachers, had been sent from a
distant island by a white chief named Williams, to try and persuade him
and his people to burn their idols.

"And are 'ee goin' to do it?" asked Jarwin.

"No," replied the Chief, "but I am going to Raratonga to see Cookee
Williams."

Of course they conversed in the native tongue, but as this would be
unintelligible to the reader, we translate.  It may also be remarked
here that "Cookee" signified a white man, and is a word derived from the
visit of that great navigator Captain Cook to these islands, by the
natives of which he was ultimately murdered.

Jarwin had heard, while in England, of the missionary Williams.  On
learning that he was among the islands, his heart beat high, and he
begged earnestly that he might be allowed to go with the chief and his
party to Raratonga, but his wily master would not consent "You will run
away!" he said.

"No, I won't," said Jarwin, earnestly.  Big Chief shook his head.  "They
will take you from me," he said, "when they find out who you are."

"I'll not let 'em," replied Jarwin, with pathetic sincerity, and then
began to sing in such a touching strain, that his master lay back on his
couch and rolled his large eyes in rapture.

"You shall go, Jowin," (that was the best he could make of the name),
"if you will make me a promise."

"Name it, old boy," said Jarwin.

"That you will go dressed like one of my young men, and never open your
lips to speak a word, no more than if you were dumb, whether the Cookees
speak to you or not."

Jarwin hesitated, but reflecting that there was no chance of his seeing
the missionary at all if he did not give this promise, he consented.

A week after that all the preparations were made, and four large canoes,
full of well-armed men, set out for Raratonga.

At the time we write of, the island of Raratonga had been recently
discovered by the missionary Williams.  The success of the labours of
that devoted man and his native teachers, is one of the most marvellous
chapters in the history of the isles of the Pacific.  At Raratonga, God
seemed to have prepared the way for the introduction of the Gospel in a
wonderful manner, for although the native teachers who first went ashore
there were roughly handled, they were enabled, nevertheless, to
persevere, and in not much more than a single year, the Gospel wrought a
change in the feelings and habits of the people, which was little short
of miraculous.  Within that brief period they had given up and burnt all
their idols, had ceased to practise their bloody and horrible rites, and
had embraced Christianity--giving full proof of their sincerity by
submitting to a code of laws founded on Scripture, by agreeing to
abandon polygamy, by building a large place of worship, and by leading
comparatively virtuous and peaceful lives.  And all this was begun and
carried on for a considerable time, not by the European missionaries but
by two of the devoted native teachers, who had previously embraced
Christianity.

The extent of the change thus wrought in the Raratongans in so short a
time by the Gospel, may be estimated by a glance at the difficulties
with which the missionaries had to contend.  In writing of the ancient
usages of the people, Mr Williams, [See Williams' most interesting
work, entitled "A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South-Sea
Islands"], tells us that one of their customs was an unnatural practice
called _Kukumi anga_.  As soon as a son reached manhood, he would fight
and wrestle with his father for the mastery, and if he obtained it,
would take forcible possession of the farm belonging to his parent, whom
he drove in a state of destitution from his home.  Another custom was
equally unnatural and inhuman.  When a woman lost her husband, the
relatives of the latter, instead of paying visits of kindness to the
fatherless and widow in their affliction, would seize every article of
value belonging to the deceased, turn the disconsolate mother and her
children away, and possess themselves of the house, food, and land.  But
they had another custom which caused still greater difficulties to the
missionaries.  It was called "land-eating"--in other words, the getting
possession of each other's lands unjustly, and these, once obtained,
were held with the greatest possible tenacity, for land was exceedingly
valuable at Raratonga, and on no subject were the contentions of the
people more frequent or fierce.

From this it will be seen that the Raratongans were apparently a most
unpromising soil in which to plant the "good seed," for there is
scarcely another race of people on earth so depraved and unnatural as
they seem to have been.  Nevertheless, God's blessed Word overcame these
deep-rooted prejudices, and put an end to these and many other horrible
practices in little more than a year.

After this glorious work had been accomplished, the energetic
missionary--who ultimately laid down his life in one of these islands
[_The Island of Erramanga_] for the sake of Jesus Christ--resolved to go
himself in search of other islands in which to plant the Gospel, and to
send out native teachers with the same end in view.  The record of their
labours reads more like a romance than a reality, but we cannot afford
to diverge longer from the course of our narrative.  It was one of these
searching parties of native teachers that had visited the Big Chief's
island as already described, and it was their glowing words and
representations that had induced him to undertake this voyage to
Raratonga.

Big Chief of course occupied the largest of the four canoes, and our
friend Jarwin sat on a seat in front of him--painted and decorated like
a native warrior, and wielding a paddle like the rest.  Of course Cuffy
had been left behind.

Poor Jarwin had, during his captivity, undergone the process of being
tatooed from head to foot.  It had taken several months to accomplish
and had cost him inexpressible torture, owing to the innumerable
punctures made by the comb-like instrument with which it was done on the
inflamed muscles of his body.  By dint of earnest entreaty and much
song, he had prevailed on Big Chief to leave his face and hands
untouched.  It is doubtful if he would have succeeded in this, despite
the witching power of his melodious voice, had he not at the same time
offered to paint his own face in imitation of tatooing, and accomplished
the feat to such perfection that his delighted master insisted on having
his own painted forthwith in the same style.

During a pause in their progress, while the paddlers were resting, Big
Chief made his captive sit near him.

"You tell me that Cookee-men" (by which he meant white men) "never lie,
never deceive."

"I shud lie an' deceive myself, if I said so," replied Jarwin, bluntly.

"What did you tell me, then?" asked the Chief, with a frown.

"I told you that _Christian_ men don't lie or deceive--leastwise they
don't do it with a will."

"Are _you_ a Christian man, Jowin?"

"I am," replied the sailor promptly.  Then with a somewhat perplexed
air, "Anyhow I _hope_ I am, an' I try to act as sitch."

"Good, I will soon prove it.  You will be near the Cookee-men of
Raratonga to-morrow.  You will have chance to go with them and leave me;
but if you do, or if you speak one word of Cookee-tongue--you are _not_
Christian.  Moreover, I will batter your skull with my club, till it is
like the soft pulp of the bread-fruit."

"You're a cute fellar, as the Yankees say," remarked Jarwin, with a
slight smile.  This being said in English, the Chief took no notice of
it, but glanced at his slave suspiciously.

"Big Chief," said Jarwin, after a short silence, "even before I was a
Christian, I had been taught by my mother to be ashamed of telling a
lie, so you've no occasion for to doubt me.  But it's a hard thing to
stand by a countryman, specially in my pecooliar circumstances, an' not
let him know that you can speak to him.  May I not be allowed to palaver
a bit with 'em?  I wont ask 'em to take me from you."

"No," said the Chief sternly.  "You came with me promising that you
would not even speak to the Cookee-men."

"Well, Big Chief," replied Jarwin, energetically, "you shall see that a
British seaman can stick to his promise.  I'll be true to you.  Honour
bright.  I'll not give 'em a word of the English lingo if they was to
try to tear it out o' me wi' red hot pincers.  I'll content myself wi'
lookin' at 'em and listenin' to 'em.  It'll be a comfort to hear my
mother-tongue, anyhow."

"Good," replied the Chief, "I trust you."

The interval of rest coming to an end at this point, the conversation
ceased and the paddles were resumed.

It was a magnificent day.  The great Pacific was in that condition of
perfect repose which its name suggests.  Not a breath of air ruffled the
wide sheet of water, which lay spread out like a vast circular
looking-glass to reflect the sky, and it did reflect the sky with such
perfect fidelity, that the clouds and cloudlets in the deep were exact
counterparts of those that floated in the air, while the four canoes,
resting on their own reflections, seemed to be suspended in the centre
of a crystal world, which was dazzlingly lit up by two resplendent suns.

This condition of calm lasted the whole of that day and night, and the
heat was very great; nevertheless the warriors--of whom there were from
forty to fifty in each canoe--did not cease to paddle for an instant,
save when the short spells of rest came round, and when, twice during
the day, they stopped to eat a hasty meal.

When the sun set they still continued to paddle onwards, the only
difference being that instead of passing over a sea of crystal, they
appeared to traverse an ocean of amber and burnished gold.  All night
they continued their labours.  About daybreak the Chief permitted them
to enjoy a somewhat longer period of rest, during which most of them,
without lying down, indulged in a short but refreshing nap.  Resuming
the paddles, they proceeded until sunrise, when their hearts were
gladdened by the sight of the blue hills of Raratonga on the bright
horizon.

"Now we shall soon be at the end of our voyage," said the Chief, as he
pointed to the distant hills, and glanced at Jarwin as he might at a
prize which he was much afraid of losing.  "Remember the promise, you
Christian.  Don't be a deceiver, you `Breetish tar!'" (He quoted Jarwin
here.)

"Honour bright!" replied our hero.

The savage gazed earnestly into the sailor's bright eyes, and appeared
to think that if his honour was as bright as they were, there was not
much cause to fear.  At all events he looked pleased, nodded his head,
and said "Good," with considerable emphasis.

By this time the hills of Raratonga were beginning to look less like
blue clouds and more like real mountains; gradually as the canoes drew
nearer, the markings on them became more and more defined, until at last
everything was distinctly visible--rocky eminences and luxuriant
valleys, through which flowed streams and rivulets that glittered
brightly in the light of the ascending sun, and almost constrained
Jarwin to shout with delight, for he gazed upon a scene more lovely by
far than anything that he had yet beheld in the Southern Seas.



CHAPTER SEVEN.

OUR HERO IS EXPOSED TO STIRRING INFLUENCES AND TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES.

When the four canoes drew near to the island, immense numbers of natives
were seen to assemble on the beach, so that Big Chief deemed it
advisable to advance with caution.  Presently a solitary figure, either
dressed or painted black, advanced in front of the others and waved a
white flag.  This seemed to increase the Chief's anxiety, for he ordered
the men to cease paddling.

Jarwin, whose heart had leaped with delight when he saw the dark figure
and the white flag, immediately turned round and said--

"You needn't be afraid, old boy; that's the missionary, I'll be bound,
in his black toggery, an' a white flag means `peace' among Cookee men."

On hearing this, the Chief gave the order to advance, and Jarwin,
seizing a piece of native cloth that lay near him, waved it round his
head.

"Stop that, you Breetish tar!" growled Big Chief, seizing a huge club,
which bristled with shark's teeth, and shaking it at the seaman, while
his own teeth were displayed in a threatening grin.

"All right, old codger," replied the British tar, with a submissive
look; "honour bright, honour bright," he added several times, in a low
tone, as if to keep himself in mind of his promise.

We have already said that our hero and his master talked in the native
tongue, which the former had acquired with wonderful facility, but such
familiar expressions as "old boy," "old codger," etcetera, were
necessarily uttered in English.  Fortunately for Jarwin, who was by
nature free-and-easy, the savage chief imagined these to be terms of
respect, and was, consequently, rather pleased to hear them.  Similarly,
Big Chief said "Breetish tar" and "Christian" in English, as he had
learned them from his captive.  When master and slave began to grow fond
of each other--as we have seen that they soon did, their manly natures
being congenial--they used these expressions more frequently: Jarwin
meaning to express facetious goodwill, but his master desiring to
express kindly regard, except when he was roused to anger, in which case
he did not, however, use them contemptuously, but as expressive of
earnest solemnity.

On landing, Big Chief and his warriors were received by the Reverend Mr
Williams and his native teachers--of whom there were two men and two
women--with every demonstration of kindness, and were informed that the
island of Raratonga had cast away and burned its idols, and now
worshipped the true God, who had sent His Son Jesus Christ to save the
world from sin.

"I know that," replied Big Chief to the teacher who interpreted;
"converts, like yourself, came to my island not long ago, and told me
all about it.  Now I have come to see and hear.  A wise man will know
and understand before he acts."

Big Chief was then conducted to the presence of the king of that part of
the island, who stood, surrounded by his chief men, under a grove of
Temanu trees.  The king, whose name was Makea, was a handsome man, in
the prime of life, about six feet high, and very massive and muscular.
He had a noble appearance and commanding aspect, and, though not so tall
as Big Chief, was, obviously, a man of superior power in every way.  His
complexion was light, and his body most beautifully tatooed and slightly
coloured with a preparation of tumeric and ginger, which gave it a light
orange tinge, and, in the estimation of the Raratongans, added much to
the beauty of his appearance.

The two chiefs advanced frankly to each other, and amiably rubbed noses
together--the South Sea method of salutation!  Then a long palaver
ensued, in which Big Chief explained the object of his visit, namely, to
hear about the new religion, and to witness its effects with his own
eyes.  The missionary gladly gave him a full account of all he desired
to know, and earnestly urged him to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and to throw away his idols.

Big Chief and his men listened with earnest attention and intense
gravity, and, after the palaver was over, retired to consult together in
private.

During all this time poor Jarwin's heart had been greatly stirred.
Being tatooed, and nearly naked, as well as painted like the rest of his
comrades, of course no one took particular notice of him, which
depressed him greatly, for he felt an intense desire to seize the
missionary by the hand, and claim him as a countryman.  Indeed this
feeling was so strong upon him on first hearing Mr Williams's English
tone of voice--although the missionary spoke only in the native tongue--
that he could scarcely restrain himself, and had to mutter "honour
bright" several times, in order, as it were, to hold himself in check.
"Honour bright" became his moral rein, or curb, on that trying occasion.
But when, in the course of the palaver, Mrs Williams, who had
accompanied her husband on this dangerous expedition, came forward and
addressed a few words to the missionary in English, he involuntarily
sprang forward with an exclamation of delight at hearing once more the
old familiar tongue.  He glanced, however, at Big Chief, and checked
himself.  There was a stern expression on the brow of the savage, but
his eyes remained fixed on the ground, and his form and face were
immovable, as though he heard and saw nothing.

"Honour bright," whispered Jarwin, as he turned about and retired among
his comrades.

Fortunately his sudden action had only attracted the attention of a few
of those who were nearest to him, and no notice was taken of it.

When Big Chief retired with his men for consultation, he called Jarwin
aside.

"Jarwin," he said, with unusual gravity, "you must not hear our
palaver."

"Why not, old feller?"

"It is your business to obey, not to question," replied Big Chief,
sternly.  "Go--when I want you I will find you.  You may go and _look_
at the Cookee missionary, but, remember, I have your promise."

"Honour bright," replied Jarwin with a sigh.

"The promise of a Breetish tar?"

"Surely," replied Jarwin.

"Of a _Christian_?" said Big Chief, with emphasis.

"Aye, that's the idee; but it's a hard case, old boy, to advise a poor
feller to go into the very jaws o' temptation.  I would rather 'ee had
ordered me to keep away from 'em.  Howsever, here goes!"

Muttering these words to himself, he left his savage friends to hold
their palaver, and went straight into the "jaws of temptation," by
walking towards the cottage of the missionary.  It was a neat wooden
erection, built and plastered by the natives.  Jarwin hung about the
door; sometimes he even ventured to peep in at the windows, in his
intense desire to see and hear the long-lost forms and tones of his
native land; and, as the natives generally were much addicted to such
indications of curiosity, his doing so attracted no unusual attention.

While he was standing near the door, Mrs Williams unexpectedly came
out.  Jarwin, feeling ashamed to appear in so _very_ light a costume
before a lady, turned smartly round and walked away.  Then, reflecting
that he was quite as decently clothed as the other natives about, he
turned again and slowly retraced his steps, pretending to be interested
in picking stones and plants from the ground.

The missionary's wife looked at him for a moment with no greater
interest than she would have bestowed on any other native, and then
gazed towards the sea-shore, as if she expected some one.  Presently Mr
Williams approached.

"Well, have you been successful?" she asked.

"Yes, it has been all arranged satisfactorily, so I shall begin at
once," replied Mr Williams.  "The only thing that gives me anxiety is
the bellows."

Poor Jarwin drew nearer and nearer.  His heart was again stirred in a
way that it had not been for many a day, and he had to pull the rein
pretty tightly; in fact, it required all his Christianity and
British-tar-hood to prevent him from revealing himself, and claiming
protection at that moment.

As he raised himself, and gazed with intense interest at the speakers,
the missionary's attention became fixed on him, and he beckoned him to
approach.

"I think you are one of the strangers who have just arrived, are you
not?"

This was spoken in the language of Raratonga, which was so similar to
that which he had already acquired, that he opened his mouth to reply,
"Yes, your honour," or "Your reverence," in English.  But it suddenly
occurred to him that he must translate this into the native tongue if
his secret was to be preserved.  While he was turning over in his mind
the best words to use for this purpose he reflected that the
imperfection of his knowledge, even the mere tone of his voice, would
probably betray him; he therefore remained dumb, with his mouth open.

The missionary smiled slightly, and repeated his question.

Jarwin, in great perplexity, still remained dumb.  Suddenly an idea
flashed across his mind.  He pointed to his mouth, wagged his tongue,
and shook his head.

"Ah! you are dumb, my poor man," said the missionary, with a look of
pity.

"Or tabooed," suggested the lady; "his tongue may have been tabooed."

There was some reason and probability in this, for the extraordinary
custom of tabooing, by which various things are supposed to be rendered
sacred, and therefore not to be used or touched, is extended by the
South Sea Islanders to various parts of their bodies, as for instance,
the hands; in which case the person so tabooed must, for a time, be fed
by others, as he dare not use his hands.

Jarwin, being aware of the custom, was so tickled by the idea of his
tongue being tabooed, that he burst into an uncontrollable fit of
laughter, to the intense amazement of his questioners.  While in the
midst of this laugh, he became horrified by the thought that _that_ of
itself would be sufficient to betray him, so he cleverly remedied the
evil, and gave vent to his feelings by tapering the laugh off into a
hideous yell, and rushed frantically from the spot.

"Strange," observed the missionary, gazing after the fugitive mariner,
"how like that was to an English laugh!"

"More like the cry of a South Sea maniac, I think," said Mrs Williams,
re-entering the house, followed by her husband.

The matter which the missionary said had been arranged so
satisfactorily, and was to be begun at once, was neither more nor less
than the building of a ship, in which to traverse the great
island-studded breast of the Pacific.

In case some one, accustomed to think of the ponderous vessels which are
built constantly in this land with such speed and facility, should be
inclined to regard the building of a ship a small matter, we shall point
out a few of the difficulties with which the missionary had to contend
in this projected work.

In the first place, he was on what is sometimes styled a "savage
island"--an island that lay far out of the usual track of ships, that
had only been discovered a little more than a year at that time, and was
inhabited by a blood-thirsty, savage, cruel, and ignorant race of human
beings, who had renounced idolatry and embraced Christianity only a few
months before.  They knew no more of ship-building than the celebrated
man in the moon, and their methods of building canoes were quite
inapplicable to vessels of large capacity.  Besides this, Mr Williams
was the only white man on the island, and he had no suitable implements
for shipbuilding, except axes and augurs, and a few of the smaller of
the carpenter's tools.  In the building of a vessel, timbers and planks
are indispensable, but he had no pit-saw wherewith to cut these.  It is
necessary to fasten planks and timbers together, but he had no nails to
do this.  Heavy iron forgings were required for some parts of the
structure, but, although he possessed iron, he had no smith's anvil, or
hammer, or tongs, or bellows, wherewith to forge it.  In these
circumstances he commenced one of the greatest pieces of work ever
undertaken by man--greatest, not only because of the mechanical
difficulties overcome, but because of the influence for good that the
ship, when completed, had upon the natives of the Southern Seas, as well
as its reflex influence in exciting admiration, emulation, and
enthusiasm in other lands.

The first difficulty was the bellows.  Nothing could be done without
these and the forge.  There were four goats on the island.  Three of
these were sacrificed; their skins were cut up, and, along with two
boards, converted into a pair of smith's bellows in four days.

No one can imagine the intense interest with which John Jarwin looked on
while the persevering but inexperienced missionary laboured at this
work, and tremendous was the struggle which he had to keep his hands
idle and his tongue quiet; for he was a mechanical genius, and could
have given the missionary many a useful hint, but did not dare to do so
lest his knowledge, or voice, or aptitude for such work, or all these
put together, should betray him.  He was, therefore, fain to content
himself with looking on, or performing a few trifling acts in the way of
lifting, carrying, and hewing with the axe.

His friends frequently came to look on, as the work progressed, and he
could not help fancying that they regarded him with looks of peculiar
interest.  This perplexed him, but, supposing that it must result from
suspicion of his integrity, he took no notice of it, save that he became
more resolute than ever in reference to "honour bright!"  Big Chief also
came to look on and wonder, but, although he kept a sharp eye on his
slave, he did not seem to desire intercourse with him.

When the bellows were finished, it was found that they did not work
properly.  The upper box did not fill well, and, when tried, they were
not satisfied with blowing wind out, but insisted on drawing fire in!
They were, in short, a failure!  Deep were the ponderings of the
missionary as to how this was to be remedied, and small was the light
thrown on the subject by the various encyclopaedias and other books
which he possessed; but the question was somewhat abruptly settled for
him by the rats.  These creatures devoured all the leather of the
bellows in a single night, and left nothing but the bare boards!

Rats were an absolute plague at that time at Raratonga.  Mr Williams
tells us, in his interesting "Narrative," that he and his family never
sat down to a meal without having two or more persons stationed to keep
them off the table.  When kneeling at family prayer, they would run over
them in all directions, and it was found difficult to keep them out of
the beds.  On one occasion, when the servant was making one of the beds,
she uttered a scream, and, on rushing into the room, Mr Williams found
that four rats had crept under the pillow and made themselves snug
there.  They paid for their impudence, however, with their lives.  On
another occasion, a pair of English shoes, which had not been put in the
usual place of safety, were totally devoured in a night, and the same
fate befell the covering of a hair-trunk.  No wonder, then, that they
did not spare the bellows!

Poor Jarwin sorrowed over this loss fully as much as did the missionary,
but he was forced to conceal his grief.

Still bent on discovering some method of "raising the wind," Mr
Williams appealed to his inventive powers.  He considered that if a pump
threw water, there was no reason why it should not throw wind.
Impressed with this belief, he set to work and made a box about eighteen
or twenty inches square and four feet high, with a valve in the bottom
to let air in, a hole in the front to let it out, and a sort of piston
to force it through the hole.  By means of a long lever the piston could
be raised, and by heavy weights it was pushed down.  Of course
considerable power was required to raise the piston and its weights, but
there was a superabundance of power, for thousands of wondering natives
were ready and eager to do whatever they were bid.  They could have
pumped the bellows had they been the size of a house!  They worked
admirably in some respects, but had the same fault as the first pair,
namely, a tendency to suck in the fire!  This, however, was corrected by
means of a valve at the back of the pipe which communicated with the
fire.  Another fault lay in the length of interval between the blasts.
This was remedied by making another box of the same kind, and working
the two alternately, so that when one was blowing the fire, the other
was, as it were, taking breath.  Thus a continuous blast was obtained,
while eight or ten grinning and delighted natives worked the levers.

The great difficulty being thus overcome, the work progressed rapidly.
A large hard stone served for an anvil, and a small stone, perforated,
with a handle affixed to it, did duty for a hammer.  A pair of
carpenter's pincers served for tongs, and charcoal, made from the
cocoanut and other trees, did duty for coals.  In order to obtain
planks, the missionary split trees in half with wedges and then the
natives thinned them down with adzes extemporised by fitting crooked
handles to ordinary hatchets.  When a bent or twisted plank was
required, having no apparatus for steaming it, he bent a piece of bamboo
to the required shape, and sent natives to scour the woods in search of
a suitable crooked tree.  Thus planks suited to his purpose were
obtained.  Instead of fastening the planks to the timbers of the ship
with iron nails, large wooden pins, or "trenails," were used, and driven
into augur holes, and thus the fabric was held together.  Instead of
oakum, cocoanut husk was used, and native cloth and dried banana stumps
to caulk the seams, and make them watertight.  The bark of a certain
tree was spun into twine and rope by a rope-machine made for the
purpose, and a still more complex machine, namely, a turning-lathe, was
constructed for the purpose of turning the block sheaves; while sails
were made out of native mats, quilted to give them sufficient strength
to resist the wind.

By these means was completed, in about three months, a decked vessel of
from seventy to eighty tons burden--about sixty feet long by eighteen
broad.  She was finally launched and named _The Messenger of Peace_.
And, truly, a messenger of peace and glad tidings did she afterwards
prove to be on many occasions among the islands of the Southern Seas.

But our hero, John Jarwin, was not allowed to remain to see this happy
consummation.  He only looked on and assisted at the commencement of the
work.

Many and many a time did he, during that trying period, argue with
himself as to the propriety of his conduct in thus refusing the means of
escape when it was thrown in his way, and there was not wanting, now and
then, a suggestion from somewhere--he knew not where, but certainly it
was not from outside of him--that perhaps the opportunity had been
_providentially_ thrown in his way.  But Jarwin resisted these
suggestions.  He looked _up_, and reflected that he was there under a
solemn promise; that, but for his promise, he should not have been there
at all, and that, therefore, it was his peculiar duty at that particular
time to whisper to himself continually--"honour bright!"

One morning Big Chief roused Jarwin with his toe, and said--

"Get up.  We go home now."

"What say 'ee, old man?"

"Get ready.  We go to-day.  I have seen and heard enough."

Big Chief was very stern, so that Jarwin thought it wise to hold his
tongue and obey.

There was a long animated palaver between the chief, the missionary, and
the king, but Jarwin had been carefully prevented from hearing it by his
master, who ordered him to keep by the canoes, which were launched and
ready.  Once again he was assailed by an intense desire to escape, and
this sudden approach of the time that was perchance to fix his fate for
life rendered him almost desperate--but he still looked up, and "honour
bright" carried the day.  He remained dumb to the last, and did not even
allow himself the small comfort of waving a piece of native cloth to the
missionary, as he and his captors paddled from the Raratonga shore.



CHAPTER EIGHT.

DESPAIR IS FOLLOWED BY SURPRISES AND DELIVERANCE.

At first John Jarwin could not quite realise his true position after
leaving Raratonga.  The excitement consequent on the whole affair
remained for some time on his mind, causing him to feel as if it were a
dream, and it was not until he had fairly landed again on Big Chief's
island, and returned to his own little hut there, and had met with
Cuffy--whose demonstrations of intense delight cannot by any possibility
be described--that he came fully to understand the value of the
opportunity which he had let slip through his fingers.

Poor Jarwin! words fail to convey a correct idea of the depth of his
despair, for now he saw clearly, as he thought, that perpetual slavery
was his doom.  Under the influence of the feelings that overwhelmed him
he became savage.

"Cuff," said he, on the afternoon of the day of his return, "it's all up
with you and me, old chap."

The tone in which this was uttered was so stern that the terrier drooped
its ears, lowered its tail, and looked up with an expression that was
equivalent to "Don't kick me, _please_ don't!"

Jarwin smiled a grim yet a pitiful smile as he looked at the dog.

"Yes, it's all up with us," he continued; "we shall live and die in
slavery; wot a fool I was not to cut and run when I had the chance!"

The remembrance of "honour bright" flashed upon him here, but he was
still savage, and therefore doggedly shut his eyes to it.

At this point a message was brought to him from Big Chief requesting his
attendance in the royal hut.  Jarwin turned angrily on the messenger and
bid him begone in a voice of thunder, at the same time intimating, by a
motion of his foot, that if he did not obey smartly, he would quicken
his motions for him.  The messenger vanished, and Jarwin sat down beside
Cuffy--who looked excessively humble--and vented his feelings thus--

"I can't stand it no longer Cuff.  I _won't_ stand it!  I'm goin' to
bust up, I am; so look out for squalls."

A feeling of uncertainty as to the best method of "busting up" induced
him to clutch his hair with both hands, and snort.  It must not be
supposed that our hero gave way to such rebellious feelings with
impunity.  On the contrary, his conscience pricked him to such an extent
that it felt like an internal pin-cushion or hedgehog.  While he was
still holding fast to his locks in meditative uncertainty, three natives
appeared at the entrance of his hut, and announced that they had been
sent by Big Chief to take him to the royal hut by force, in case he
should refuse to go peaceably.

Uttering a shout of defiance, the exasperated man sprang up and rushed
at the natives, who, much too wise to await the onset, fled in three
different directions.  Instead of pursuing any of them, Jarwin went
straight to his master's hut, where he found him seated on a couch of
native cloth.  Striding up to him he clenched his fist, and holding it
up in a threatening manner, exclaimed--

"Now look 'ee here, Big Chief--which it would be big thief if 'ee had
yer right name--I ain't goin' to stand this sort o' thing no longer.  I
kep' my word to you all the time we wos at Raratonga, but now I'll keep
it no longer.  I'll do my best to cut the cable and make sail the wery
first chance I gits--so I give 'ee fair warnin'."

Big Chief made no reply for some moments, but opened his eyes with such
an intense expression of unaffected amazement, that Jarwin's wrath
abated, in spite of his careful nursing of it to keep it warm.

"Jowin," he exclaimed at length, "you Christian Breetish tar, have your
dibbil got into you?"

This question effectually routed Jarwin's anger.  He knew that the
savage, to whom he had spoken at various times on the subject of satanic
influence, was perfectly sincere in his inquiry, as well as in his
astonishment.  Moreover, he himself felt surprised that Big Chief, who
was noted for his readiness to resent insult, should have submitted to
his angry tones and looks and threatening manner without the slightest
evidence of indignation.  The two men therefore stood looking at each
other in silent surprise for a few moments.

"Big Chief," said Jarwin at last, bringing his right fist down heavily
into his left palm, by way of emphasis, "there's no dibbil, as you call
him, got possession o' me.  My own spirit is dibbil enough, I find, to
account for all that I've said and done--an' a great deal more.  But it
_has_ bin hard on me to see the door open, as it were, an' not take
adwantage of it.  Howsever, it's all over now, an' I ax yer parding.
I'll not mutiny again.  You've been a kind feller to me, old chap--
though you _are_ a savage--an' I ain't on-grateful; as long as I'm your
slave I'll do my duty--`honour bright;' at the same time I think it fair
an' above board to let you know that I'll make my escape from you when I
git the chance.  I'm bound for to sarve you while I eat your wittles,
but I am free to go if I can manage it.  There--you may roast me alive
an' eat me, if you like, but you can't say, after this, that I'm sailin'
under false colours."

During this speech a variety of expressions affected the countenance of
Big Chief, but that of melancholy predominated.

"Jowin," he said, slowly, "I like you."

"You're a good-hearted old buffer," said Jarwin, grasping the Chief's
hand, and squeezing it; "to say the truth, I'm wery fond o' yourself,
but it's nat'ral that I should like my freedom better."

Big Chief pondered this for some time, and shook his head slowly, as if
the result of his meditation was not satisfactory.

"Jowin," he resumed, after a pause, "sing me a song."

"Well, you _are_ a queer codger," said Jarwin, laughing in spite of
himself; "if ever there was a man as didn't feel up to singin', that's
me at this moment.  Howsomedever, I 'spose it must be done.  Wot'll you
'ave?  `Ben Bolt,' `Black-eyed Susan,' `The Jolly Young Waterman,' `Jim
Crow,' `There is a Happy Land,' or the `Old Hundred,' eh?  Only say the
word, an' I'll turn on the steam."

Big Chief made no reply.  As he appeared to be lost in meditation,
Jarwin sat down, and in a species of desperation, began to bellow with
all the strength of his lungs one of those nautical ditties with which
seamen are wont to enliven the movements of the windlass or the capstan.
He changed the tune several times, and at length slid gradually into a
more gentle and melodious vein of song, while Big Chief listened with
evident pleasure.  Still there was perceptible to Jarwin a dash of
sadness in his master's countenance which he had never seen before.
Wondering at this, and changing his tunes to suit his own varying moods,
he gradually came to plaintive songs, and then to psalms and hymns.

At last Big Chief seemed satisfied, and bade his slave good-night.

"He's a wonderful c'racter," remarked Jarwin to Cuffy, as he lay down to
rest that night, "a most onaccountable sort o' man.  There's sumthin'
workin' in 'is 'ead; tho' wot it may be is more nor I can tell.  P'raps
he's agoin' to spiflicate me, in consikence o' my impidence.  If so,
Cuff, whatever will became o' you, my poor little doggie!"

Cuffy nestled very close to his master's side at this point, and whined
in a pitiful tone, as if he really understood the purport of his
remarks.  In five minutes more he was giving vent to occasional mild
little whines and half barks, indicating that he was in the land of
dreams, and Jarwin's nose was creating sounds which told that its owner
had reached that blessed asylum of the weary--oblivion.

Next day our sailor awakened to the consciousness of the fact that the
sun was shining brightly, that paroquets were chattering gaily, that
Cuffy was still sleeping soundly, and that the subjects of Big Chief
were making an unusual uproar outside.

Starting up, and pulling on a pair of remarkably ancient canvas
trousers, which his master had graciously permitted him to retain and
wear, Jarwin looked out at the door of his hut and became aware of the
fact that the whole tribe was assembled in the spot where national
"palavers" were wont to be held.  The "House" appeared to be engaged at
the time in the discussion of some exceedingly knotty question--a sort
of national education bill, or church endowment scheme--for there was
great excitement, much gesticulation, and very loud talk, accompanied
with not a little angry demonstration on the part of the disputants.

"Hallo! wot's up?" inquired Jarwin of a stout savage who stood at his
door armed with a club, on the head of which human teeth formed a
conspicuous ornament.

"Palaver," replied the savage.

"It's easy to hear and see that," replied Jarwin, "but wot is it all
about?"

The savage vouchsafed no farther reply, but continued to march up and
down in front of the hut.

Jarwin, therefore, essayed to quit his abode, but was stopped by the
taciturn savage, who said that he must consider himself a prisoner until
the palaver had come to an end.  He was therefore fain to content
himself with standing at his door and watching the gesticulations of the
members of council.

Big Chief was there of course, and appeared to take a prominent part in
the proceedings.  But there were other chiefs of the tribe whose
opinions had much weight, though they were inferior to him in position.
At last they appeared to agree, and finally, with a loud shout, the
whole band rushed off in the direction of the temple where their idols
were kept.

Jarwin's guard had manifested intense excitement during the closing
scene, and when this last act took place he threw down his club, forsook
his post, and followed his comrades.  Of course Jarwin availed himself
of the opportunity, and went to see what was being done.

To his great surprise he found that the temple was being dismantled,
while the idols were carried down to the palaver-ground, if we may so
call it, and thrown into a heap there with marks of indignity and
contempt.

Knowing, as he did, the superstitious reverence with which the natives
regarded their idols, Jarwin beheld this state of things with intense
amazement, and he looked on with increasing interest, hoping, ere long,
to discover some clue to the mystery, but his hopes were disappointed,
for Big Chief caught sight of him and sternly ordered him back to his
hut, where another guard was placed over him.  This guard was more
strict than the previous one had been.  He would not allow his prisoner
even to look on at what was taking place.

Under the circumstances, there was therefore nothing for it but to fall
back on philosophic meditation and converse with Cuffy.  These were
rather poor resources, however, to a man who was surrounded by a tribe
of excited savages.  Despite his natural courage and coolness, Jarwin
felt, as he said himself, "raither oncomfortable."

Towards the afternoon things became a little more quiet, still no notice
was taken of our hero save that his meals were sent to him from the
Chief's hut.  He wondered at this greatly, for nothing of the kind had
ever happened before, and he began to entertain vague suspicions that
such treatment might possibly be the prelude to evil of some kind
befalling him.  He questioned his guard several times, but that
functionary told him that Big Chief had bidden him refuse to hold
converse with him on any subject whatever.

Being, as the reader knows, a practical, matter-of-fact sort of man, our
hero at last resigned himself to his fate, whatever that might be, and
beguiled the time by making many shrewd remarks and observations to
Cuffy.  When the afternoon meal was brought to him, he heaved a deep
sigh, and apparently, with that effort flung off all his anxieties.

"Come along, Cuff," he said in a hearty voice, sitting down to dinner,
"let's grub together an' be thankful for small mercies, anyhow.  Wotever
turns up, you and I shall go halves and stick by one another to the
last.  Not that I have any doubts of Big Chief, Cuffy; you mustn't
suppose that; but then, you see, he ain't the only chief in the island,
and if all the rest was to go agin him, _he_ couldn't do much to save
us."

The dog of course replied in its usual facetious manner with eyes and
tail, and sat down with its ears cocked and its head turned expectantly
on one side, while the sailor removed the palm-leaf covering of the
basket which contained the provisions sent to him.

"Wot have we here, Cuffy?" he said soliloquising and looking earnestly
in; "let me see; bit of baked pig--good, Cuff, good; that's the stuff to
make us fat.  Wot next?  Roast fish--that's not bad, Cuff--not bad,
though hardly equal to the pig.  Here we have a leaf full of plantains
and another of yams,--excellent grub that, my doggie, nothing could be
better.  What's this?  Cocoanut full of its own milk--the best o' drink;
`it cheers'--as the old song, or the old poet says--`but it don't
inebriate;' that wos said in regard to tea, you know, but it holds good
in respect of cocoanut milk, and it's far better than grog, Cuffy; far
better, though you can't know nothin' about that, but you may take my
word for it; happy is the man as drinks nothin' stronger than cocoanut
milk or tea.  Hallo! wot's this--plums?  Why, doggie, they're oncommon
good to us to-day.  I wonder wot's up.  I say--" Jarwin paused as he
drew the last dish out of the prolific basket, and looked earnestly at
his dog while he laid it down, "I say, what if they should have taken it
into their heads to fatten us up before killin' us?  That's not a wery
agreeable notion, is it, eh?"

Apparently Cuffy was of the same opinion, for he did not wag even the
point of his tail, and there was something dubious in the glance of his
eye as he waited for more.

"Well, well, it ain't no use surmisin'," observed the seaman, with
another sigh, "wot we've got for to do just now is to eat our wittles
an' hope for the best.  Here you are, Cuff--catch!"

Throwing a lump of baked pig to his dog, the worthy man fell to with a
keen appetite, and gave himself no further anxiety as to the probable or
possible events of the future.

Dinner concluded, he would fain have gone out for a ramble on the
shore--as he had been wont to do in time past--but his gaoler forbade
him to quit the hut.  He was therefore about to console himself with a
siesta, when an unexpected order came from Big Chief, requiring his
immediate attendance in the royal hut.  Jarwin at once obeyed the
mandate, and in a few minutes stood before his master, who was seated on
a raised couch, enjoying a cup of cocoanut milk.

"I have send for you," began Big Chief with solemnity, "to have a
palaver.  Sit down, you Breetish tar."

"All right, old chap," replied Jarwin, seating himself on a stool
opposite to his master.  "Wot is it to be about?"

"Jowin," rejoined Big Chief, with deepening gravity, "you's bin well
treated here."

Big Chief spoke in broken English now, having picked it up with amazing
facility from his white slave.

"Well, y-e-es, I'm free to confess that I _has_ bin well treated--
barrin' the fact that my liberty's bin took away; besides which, some of
your black rascals ain't quite so civil as they might be, but on the
whole, I've been well treated; anyhow I never received nothin' but
kindness from _you_, old codger."

He extended his hand frankly, and Big Chief, who had been taught the
meaning of our English method of salutation, grasped it warmly and shook
it with such vigour that he would certainly have discomposed Jarwin had
that "Breetish tar" been a less powerful man.  He performed this
ceremony with the utmost sadness, however, and continued to shake his
head in such a melancholy way that his white slave began to feel quite
anxious about him.

"Hallo! old feller, you ain't bin took bad, have 'ee?"

Big Chief made no reply, but continued to shake his head slowly; then,
as if a sudden idea had occurred to him, he rose, and, grasping Jarwin
by his whiskers with both hands, rubbed noses with him, after which he
resumed his seat on the couch.

"Just so," observed our hero with a smile, "you shake hands with me
English fashion--I rub noses with you South-Sea fashion.  Give an' take;
all right, old codger--`may our friendship last for ever,' as the old
song puts it.  But wot about this here palaver you spoke of?  It warn't
merely to rub our beaks together that you sent for me, I fancy.  Is it a
song you wants, or a hymn?  Only say the word, and I'm your man."

"I s'pose," said Big Chief, using, of course, Jarwin's sea phraseology,
only still farther broken, "you'd up ankar an' make sail most quick if
you could, eh?"

"Well, although I _has_ a likin' for you, old man," replied the sailor,
"I can't but feel a sort o' preference, d'ee see, for my own wife an'
child'n.  There_fore_ I _would_ cut my cable, if I had the chance."

"Kite right, kite right," replied Big Chief, with a deep sigh, "you say
it am nat'ral.  Good, good, so 'tis.  Now, Jowin," continued the savage
chief, with intense earnestness, "you's free to go when you pleases."

"Oh, gammon!" replied Jarwin, with an unbelieving grin.

"Wot _is_ gammon?" demanded Big Chief, with a somewhat disappointed
look.

"Well, it don't matter what it means--it's nothin' or nonsense, if you
like--but wot do _you_ mean, old man, `that's the rub,' as Hamblet, or
some such c'racter, said to his father-in-law; you ain't in airnest, are
you?"

"Jowin," answered the Chief, with immovable gravity, "I not onderstan'
you.  Wot you mean by airnest?"  He did not wait for a reply, however,
but seizing Jarwin by the wrist, and looking into his eyes with an
expression of child-like earnestness that effectually solemnised his
white slave, continued, "Lissen, onderstan' me.  I is a Christian.  My
broder chiefs an' I have watch you many days.  You have always do wot is
right, no matter wot trouble follers to you.  You do this for love of
your God, your Saviour, so you tells me.  Good, I do not need much
palaver.  Wen de sun shines it am hot; wen not shine am cold.  Wot more?
Cookee missionary have _say_ the truth.  My slave have _prove_ the
truth.  I love you, Jowin.  I love your God.  I keep you if possible,
but Christian must not have slave.  Go--you is free."

"You don't mean _that_, old man?" cried Jarwin, starting up with
flashing eyes and seizing his master's hand.

"You is free!" repeated Big Chief.

We need not relate all that honest John Jarwin said and did after that.
Let it suffice to record his closing remarks that night to Cuffy.

"Cuff," said he, patting the shaggy head of his humble friend, "many a
strange thing crops up in this here koorious world, but it never did
occur to my mind before, that while a larned man like a missionary might
_state_ the truth, the likes o' me should have the chance an' the power
to _prove_ it.  That's a wery koorious fact, so you an' I shall go to
sleep on it, my doggie--good-night."



CHAPTER NINE.

THE LAST.

That Jarwin's deliverance from slavery was not a dream, but a blessed
reality, was proved to him next day beyond all doubt by the singular
proceedings of Big Chief and his tribe.  Such of the native idols as had
not been burned on the previous day were brought out, collected into a
heap, and publicly burned, after which the whole tribe assembled on the
palavering ground, and Big Chief made a long, earnest, and animated
speech, in which he related all that he had seen of his white slave's
conduct at the island of Raratonga, and stated how that conduct had
proved to him, more conclusively than anything else he had heard or
seen, that the religion of the white missionaries was true.

While this was being spoken, many sage reflections were passing through
Jarwin's mind, and a feeling of solemn thankfulness filled him when he
remembered how narrowly he had escaped doing inconceivable damage by
giving way to temptation and breaking his word.  He could not avoid
perceiving that, if he had not been preserved in a course of rectitude
all through his terrible trial, at a time when he thought that no one
was thinking about him, not only would Big Chief and his nation have
probably remained in heathen superstition, and continued to practise all
the horrid and bloody rites which that superstition involved, but his
own condition of slavery would, in all probability, have been continued
and rendered permanent; for Big Chief and his men were numerous and
powerful enough to have held their own against the Raratongans, while,
at the same time, it was probable that he would have lost his master's
regard, as he would certainly have lost his respect.

He could not help reflecting, also, how much the cause of Christianity
must often suffer in consequence of the conduct of many seamen, calling
themselves Christians, who visit the South-Sea Islands, and lead
dissolute, abandoned lives while there.  Some of these, he knew, brought
this discredit on the name of Jesus thoughtlessly, and would, perhaps,
be solemnised and sorry if they knew the terrible results of their
conduct; while others, he also knew, cared nothing for Christianity, or
for anything in the world except the gratification of their own selfish
desires.

While he was yet pondering these things, Big Chief advanced towards him,
and, taking him by the hand, led him into the centre of the concourse.
To his great surprise and confusion the tall chief said--

"Now, Jowin will palaver to you.  He is one Breetish tar--one Christian.
He can tell us what we shall do."

Saying this, Big Chief sat down, and left Jarwin standing in the midst
scratching his head, and looking with extreme perplexity at the vast sea
of black faces and glittering eyes which were directed towards him.

"W'y, you know, old man, it ain't fair of you, this ain't," he said,
addressing himself to Big Chief; "you've took me all aback, like a white
squall.  How d'ee s'pose that _I_ can tell 'ee wot to do?  I ain't a
parson--no, not even a clerk, or a parish beadle!"

To this Big Chief vouchsafed no further reply than--"Palaver, you
Breetish tar!"

"Wery good," exclaimed Jarwin, turning round, and looking full at his
audience, while a bright smile lit up his sunburnt countenance, as if a
sudden idea had occurred to him, "I'll do my best to palaver.  Here
goes, then, for a yarn."

Jarwin spoke, of course, in the native tongue, which we translate into
his own language.

"Big Chief, small chiefs, and niggers in general," he began, with a wave
of his right hand, "you've called on me for a speech.  Good.  I'm your
man, I'm a `Breetish tar,' as your great chief says truly--that's a
fact; an' I'm a Christian--I _hope_.  God knows, I've sometimes my own
doubts as to that same; but the doubts ain't with reference to the
Almighty; they're chiefly as regards myself.  Howsever, to come to the
point, you've gone and burnt your idols--"

"Ho!" exclaimed the whole assembly, with a degree of energy that made a
deep impression on the sailor--just as one might be impressed when he
has been permitted to become the happy medium of achieving some great
end which he had never dreamed of being privileged to accomplish.

"Well, then," continued Jarwin, "_that_ is a good thing, anyhow; for
it's a disgrace to human natur', not to speak o' common-sense an' other
things, to worship stocks an' stones, w'en the Bible _distinctly_ tolls
'ee not to do it.  You've done right in that matter; an' glad am I to
hear from Big Chief that you intend, after this, to foller _the truth_.
Old man, an' niggers," cried Jarwin, warming up, "to my mind, the
highest thing that a man can dewot his-self to is, the follerin' out an'
fallin' in with _the truth_.  Just s'pose that chemists, an' ingineers,
an' doctors was to foller lies!  W'y, wot would come of it?  Confoosion
wus confounded.  In coorse, therefore, they carefully _tries_ to foller
wots _true_--though I'm bound for to say they _do_ git off the track now
an' then.  Well, if it's so with such like, it's much more so with
religion.  Wot then?  W'y, stand by your colours, through thick an'
thin.  Hold on to the Bible!  That's the watchword.  That's your
sheet-anchor--though you haven't seed one yet.  It's good holdin' ground
is the Bible--it's the _only_ holdin' ground.  `How does I know that?'
says you.  Well, it ain't easy for me to give you an off-hand answer to
that, any more than it is to give you an off-hand answer to a
complicated question in the rule o' three.  A parson could do it, no
doubt, but the likes o' me can only show a sort o' reflected light like
the moon; nevertheless, we may show a true light--though reflected.
Chiefs an' niggers, there's asses in every generation (young asses
chiefly) as thinks they've found out somethin' noo in regard to the
Bible, an' then runs it down.  An' them fellers grow old, an' sticks to
their opinions; an' they think themselves wise, an' other people thinks
'em wise 'cause they're old, as if oldness made 'em wise!  W'y are they
asses?  W'y, because they formed their opinions _early_ in life, in
opposition to men wot has studied these matters all through their lives.
Havin' hoisted their colours, they nails 'em to the mast; an' there
they are!  They never goes at the investigation o' the subject as a man
investigates mathematics, or navigation, or logarithms; so they're like
a ship at sea without a chart.  Niggers, no man can claim to be wise
unless he can `render a reason.'  He _may_ be, p'raps, but he can't
_claim_ to be.  _I_ believe the Bible's true because o' two facts.  Fust
of all, men of the highest intellec' have found it true, an tried it,
an' practised its teachin's, an' rested their souls on it.  In the
second place, as the parsons say, _I_ have tried it, an' found it true
as fur as I've gone.  I've sailed accordin to the chart, an' have struck
on no rocks or shoals as yet.  I've bin wery near it; but, thank God, I
wasn't allowed to take the wrong course altogether, though I've got to
confess that I wanted to, many a time.  Now, wot does all this here come
to?" demanded Jarwin, gazing round on his audience, who were intensely
interested, though they did not understand much of what he said, "wot
_does_ it come to?  W'y that, havin' wisely given up yer idols, an'
taken to the true God, the next best thing you can do is to go off at
once to Raratonga, an' git the best adwice you can from those wot are
trained for to give it.  I can't say no fairer than that, for, as to
askin' adwice on religious matters from the likes o' me, w'y the thing's
parfitly ridiklous!"

Jarwin sat down amid a murmur of applause.  In a few minutes an old
chief rose to reply.  His words were to the effect that, although there
was much in their white brother's speech beyond their understanding--
which was not to be wondered at, considering that he was so learned, and
they so ignorant--there was one part of it which he thoroughly agreed
with, namely, that a party should be sent to Raratonga to inform the
Cookee missionaries as to what had taken place, to ask advice, and to
beg one of the Cookees to come and live permanently on their island, and
teach them the Christian religion.  Another chief followed with words
and sentiments to much the same effect.  Then Big Chief gave orders that
the canoes for the deputation should be got ready without delay, and the
meeting broke up with loud shouts and other pleasant demonstrations.

Matters having been thus satisfactorily arranged, Jarwin returned to his
hut with a grateful heart, to meditate on the happy turn that had taken
place in his prospects.  Finding the hut not quite congenial to his
frame of mind, and observing that the day was unusually fine, he
resolved to ramble in the cool shades of a neighbouring wood.

"Come, Cuff, my doggie, you an' I shall go for a walk this fine day;
we've much to think about an' talk over, d'ee see, which is best done in
solitary places."

Need we say that Cuffy responded with intense enthusiasm to this
invitation, and that his "spanker boom" became violently demonstrative
as he followed his master into the wood.

Jarwin still wore, as we have said, his old canvas trousers, which had
been patched and re-patched to such an extent with native cloth, that
very little of the original fabric was visible.  The same may be said of
his old flannel shirt, to which he clung with affectionate regard long
after it had ceased to be capable of clinging to him without patchwork
strengthening.  The remnants of his straw hat, also, had been carefully
kept together, so that, with the exception of the paint on his face,
which Big Chief insisted on his wearing, and the huge South-Sea club
which he carried habitually for protection, he was still a fair specimen
of a British tar.

Paroquets were chattering happily; rills were trickling down the
hillsides; fruit and flower trees perfumed the air, and everything
looked bright and beautiful--in pleasant accordance with the state of
Jarwin's feelings--while the two friends wandered away through the woods
in dreamy enjoyment of the past and present, and with hopeful
anticipations in regard to the future.  Jarwin said something to this
effect to Cuffy, and put it to him seriously to admit the truth of what
he said, which that wise dog did at once--if there be any truth in the
old saying that "silence is consent."

After wandering for several hours, they came out of the wood at a part
of the coast which lay several miles distant from Big Chief's village.
Here, to his surprise and alarm, he discovered two war-canoes in the act
of running on the beach.  He drew back at once, and endeavoured to
conceal himself, for he knew too well that this was a party from a
distant island, the principal chief of which had threatened more than
once to make an attack on Big Chief and his tribe.  But Jarwin had been
observed, and was immediately pursued and his retreat cut off by
hundreds of yelling savages.  Seeing this, he ran down to the beach,
and, taking up a position on a narrow spit of sand, flourished his
ponderous club and stood at bay.  Cuffy placed himself close behind his
master, and, glaring between his legs at the approaching savages,
displayed all his teeth and snarled fiercely.  One, who appeared to be a
chief, ran straight at our hero, brandishing a club similar to his own.
Jarwin had become by that time well practised in the use of his weapon;
he evaded the blow dealt at him, and fetched the savage such a whack on
the small of his back as he passed him, that he fell flat on the sand
and lay there.  Cuffy rushed at him and seized him by the throat, an act
which induced another savage to launch a javelin at the dog.  It grazed
his back, cut it partly open, and sent him yelling into the woods.
Meanwhile, Jarwin was surrounded, and, although he felled three or four
of his assailants, was quickly overpowered by numbers, gagged, lashed
tight to a pole, so that he could not move, and laid in the bottom of
one of the war-canoes.

Even when in this sad plight the sturdy seaman did not lose heart, for
he knew well that Cuffy being wounded and driven from his master's side,
would run straight home to his master's hut, and that Big Chief would at
once suspect, from the nature of the wound and the circumstance of the
dog being alone, that it was necessary for him and his men-of-war to
take the field; Jarwin, therefore, felt very hopeful that he should be
speedily rescued.  But such hopes were quickly dispelled when, after a
noisy dispute on the beach, the savages, who owned the canoe in which he
lay, suddenly re-embarked and pushed off to sea, leaving the other canoe
and its crew on the beach.

Hour after hour passed, but the canoe-men did did not relax their
efforts.  Straight out to sea they went, and when the sun set, Big
Chief's island had already sunk beneath the horizon.

Now, indeed, a species of wild despair filled the breast of the poor
captive.  To be thus seized, and doomed in all probability to perpetual
bondage, when the cup of regained liberty had only just touched his
lips, was very hard to bear.  When he first fully realised his
situation, he struggled fiercely to burst his bonds, but the men who had
tied him knew how to do their work.  He struggled vainly until he was
exhausted.  Then, looking up into the starry sky, his mind became
gradually composed, and he had recourse to prayer.  Slumber ere long
sealed his eyes, setting him free in imagination, and he did not again
waken until daylight was beginning to appear.

All that day he lay in the same position, without water or food, cramped
by the cords that bound him, and almost driven mad by the heat of an
unclouded sun.  Still, onward went the canoe--propelled by men who
appeared to require no rest.  Night came again, and Jarwin--by that time
nearly exhausted--fell into a troubled slumber.  From this he was
suddenly aroused by loud wild cries and shouts, as of men engaged in
deadly conflict, and he became aware of the fact that the canoe in which
he lay was attacked, for the warriors had thrown down their paddles and
seized their clubs, and their feet trod now on his chest, now on his
face, as they staggered to and fro.  In a few minutes several dead and
wounded men fell on him; then he became unconscious.

When John Jarwin's powers of observation returned, he found himself
lying on his back in a neat little bed, with white cotton curtains, in a
small, comfortably-furnished room, that reminded him powerfully of home!
Cuffy lay on the counterpane, sound asleep, with his chin on his
master's breast.  At the bedside, with her back to him, sat a female,
dressed in European clothes, and busy sewing.

"Surely it ain't bin all a long dream!" whispered Jarwin to himself.

Cuffy cocked his ears and head, and turned a furtive glance on his
master's face, while his "spanker boom" rose with the evident intention
to wag, if circumstances rendered it advisable; but circumstances had of
late been rather perplexing to Cuffy.  At the same time the female
turned quickly round and revealed a brown, though pleasant, face.
Simultaneously, a gigantic figure arose at his side and bent over him.

"You's bedder?" said the gigantic figure.

"Hallo!  Big Chief!  Wot's up, old feller?" exclaimed Jarwin.

"Hold you's tongue!" said Big Chief, sternly.  "Go way," he added, to
the female, who, with an acquiescent smile, left the room.

"Well, this _is_ queer; an' I feels queer.  Queery--wots the meanin' of
it?" asked Jarwin.

"You's bin bad, Jowin," answered Big Chief, gravely, "wery bad.  Dead
a-most.  Now, you's goin' to be bedder.  Doctor say that--"

"Doctor!" exclaimed Jarwin in surprise, "_what_ doctor?"

"Doctor of ship.  Hims come ebbery day for to see you."

"Ship!" cried Jarwin, springing up in his bed and glaring at Big Chief
in wonder.

"Lie down, you Christian Breetish tar," said the Chief, sternly, at the
same time laying his large hand on the sailor's chest with a degree of
force that rendered resistance useless.  "Hold you's tongue an' listen.
Doctor say you not for speak.  Me tell you all about it.

"Fust place," continued Big Chief, "you's bin bad, konsikince of de
blackguard's havin' jump on you's face an' stummick.  But we give 'em
awful lickin', Jowin--oh! smash um down right and left; got you out de
canoe--dead, I think, but no, not jus' so.  Bring you here--Raratonga.
De Cookee missionary an' his wife not here; away in ship you sees im
make.  Native teecher here.  Dat teecher's wife bin nurse you an' go
away jus' now.  Ship comes here for trade, bound for England.  Ams got
doctor.  Doctor come see you, shake ums head; looks long time; say he
put you `all right.'  Four week since dat.  Now, you's hall right?"

The last words he uttered with much anxiety depicted on his countenance,
for he had been so often deceived of late by Jarwin having occasional
lucid intervals in the midst of his delirium, that his faith in him had
been shaken.

"All right!" exclaimed Jarwin, "aye, right as a trivet.  Bound for
England, did 'ee say--the ship?"

Big Chief nodded and looked very sad.  "You go home?" he asked, softly.

Jarwin was deeply touched, he seized the big man's hand, and, not being
strong, failed to restrain a tear or two.  Big Chief, being _very_
strong--in feelings as well as in frame--burst into tears.  Cuffy, being
utterly incapable of making head or tail of it, gave vent to a
prolonged, dismal howl, which changed to a bark and whine of
satisfaction when his master laughed, patted him, and advised him not to
be so free in the use of his "spanker boom!"

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Four weeks later, and Jarwin, with Cuffy by his side, stood, "himself
again," on the quarterdeck of the _Nancy_ of Hull, while the "Yo, heave
ho!" of the sailors rang an accompaniment to the clatter of the windlass
as they weighed anchor, Big Chief held his hand and wept, and rubbed
noses with him--to such an extent that the cabin boy said it was a
perfect miracle that they had a scrap of nose left on their faces--and
would not be consoled by the assurance that he, Jarwin, would certainly
make another voyage to the South Seas, if he should be spared to do so,
and occasion offered, for the express purpose of paying him a visit.  At
last he tore himself away, got into his canoe, and remained gazing in
speechless sorrow after the homeward-bound vessel as she shook out her
topsails to the breeze.

Despite his efforts, poor Jarwin was so visibly affected at parting from
his kind old master, that the steward of the ship, a sympathetic man,
was induced to offer him a glass of grog and a pipe.  He accepted both,
mechanically, still gazing with earnest looks at the fast-receding
canoe.

Presently he raised the glass to his lips, and his nose became aware of
the long-forgotten odour!  The current of his thoughts was violently
changed.  He looked intently at the glass and then at the pipe.

"Drink," said the sympathetic steward, "and take a whiff.  It'll do you
good."

"Drink! whiff!" exclaimed Jarwin, while a dark frown gathered on his
brow.  "There, old Father Neptune," he cried, tossing the glass and pipe
overboard, "_you_ drink and whiff, if you choose; John Jarwin has done
wi' drinkin' an' whiffin' for ever!  Thanks to _you_, all the same, an'
no offence meant," he added in a gentler tone, turning to the astonished
steward, and patting him on the shoulder, "but if you had suffered all
that I have suffered through bein' a slave to the glass and the pipe--
when I _thought_ I was no slave, mark you, an' would have larfed any one
to scorn who'd said I wos--if you'd see'd me groanin', an yearnin', an'
dreamin' of baccy an' grog, as I _have_ done w'en I couldn't get neither
of 'em for love or money--you wouldn't wonder that I ain't goin' to be
such a born fool as to go an' sell myself over again!"

Turning quickly towards the shore, as if regretting that he should, for
a moment, have appeared to forget his old friend, he pulled out his
handkerchief and waved it over the side.  Big Chief replied
energetically with a scrap of native cloth--not having got the length of
handkerchiefs at that time.

"Look at 'im, Cuff" exclaimed Jarwin, placing his dog on the bulwarks of
the ship, "look at him, Cuff, and wag your `spanker boom' to him, too--
ay, that's right--for he's as kind-hearted a nigger as ever owned a
Breetish tar for a slave."

He said no more, but continued to wave his handkerchief at intervals
until the canoe seemed a mere speck on the horizon, and, after it was
gone, he and his little dog continued to gaze sadly at the island, as it
grew fainter and fainter, until it sank at last into the great bosom of
the Pacific Ocean.

The next land seen by Jarwin and Cuffy was--the white cliffs of Old
England!





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