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Title: Captured by Apes - or, How Philip Garland Became King of Apeland
Author: Prentice, Harry
Language: English
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[Illustration: The front of the house gave way under the shower of stones
thrown at Philip by the monkeys.—(See page 191.)]



                            CAPTURED BY APES;


                    HOW PHILIP GARLAND BECAME KING OF
                                APELAND.

                           BY HARRY PRENTICE.

      Author of “The Slate-Picker,” “Captured by Zulus,” etc., etc.

                              ILLUSTRATED.

                             [Illustration]

                                NEW YORK
                          A. L. BURT, PUBLISHER,

                     COPYRIGHT 1892, BY A. L. BURT.



THE KING OF APELAND.


Transcriber’s Note: This table of contents has been added as a
convenience for the reader.

    CHAPTER I.          THE DEALER IN ANIMALS
    CHAPTER II.         MAGOG’S REVENGE
    CHAPTER III.        A TERRIBLE NIGHT
    CHAPTER IV.         THE WRECK
    CHAPTER V.          ASHORE
    CHAPTER VI.         DISAGREEABLE NEIGHBORS
    CHAPTER VII.        A SINGULAR DISAPPEARANCE
    CHAPTER VIII.       A PERILOUS PREDICAMENT
    CHAPTER IX.         A TERRIBLE FIGHT
    CHAPTER X.          A REMARKABLE GATHERING
    CHAPTER XI.         AN ODD VILLAGE
    CHAPTER XII.        THE TREASURE-CAVE
    CHAPTER XIII.       TREASURE-GATHERING
    CHAPTER XIV.        THE BABOON TASK-MASTER
    CHAPTER XV.         A MONKEY-FEAST
    CHAPTER XVI.        AN APISH ORGY
    CHAPTER XVII.       INCONVENIENT MEMORIES
    CHAPTER XVIII.      FROM THE FRYING-PAN TO THE FIRE
    CHAPTER XIX.        BESIEGED
    CHAPTER XX.         CAPTAIN SEAWORTH’S JOURNAL
    CHAPTER XXI.        A HAPPY DISCOVERY
    CHAPTER XXII.       SOLVING THE MYSTERY
    CHAPTER XXIII.      THE BEGINNING OF HOSTILITIES
    CHAPTER XXIV.       A METAMORPHOSIS
    CHAPTER XXV.        THE NEW KING
    CHAPTER XXVI.       A KINGLY GRAVE-DIGGER
    CHAPTER XXVII.      A SERIOUS ACCIDENT
    CHAPTER XXVIII.     A ROYAL INVALID
    CHAPTER XXIX.       EXCESSIVE AFFECTION
    CHAPTER XXX.        THE RETREAT
    CHAPTER XXXI.       THE RETURN OF THE COLONISTS
    CHAPTER XXXII.      A BOATSWAIN’S FATE
    CHAPTER XXXIII.     A PITCHED BATTLE
    CHAPTER XXXIV.      APISH STRATEGY
    CHAPTER XXXV.       THE RETREAT
    CHAPTER XXXVI.      A DISAPPOINTMENT



CHAPTER I.

THE DEALER IN ANIMALS.


Several years ago, or, to speak more accurately, in 1871, Philip Garland,
a young man of not more than seventeen years, succeeded his father in the
business of buying, selling and training wild animals, making a specialty
of those belonging to the monkey kingdom.

Garland, senior, was well and favorably known throughout the country by
proprietors of museums, circuses, and collectors generally, and his son
found himself the fortunate possessor of an unblemished reputation and an
extensive establishment, together with a large capital of ready money,
but not a relative to whom he could turn for relaxation from the cares of
business.

Philip and his father had led lonely lives, so far as intercourse with
other members of the human family was concerned. As a matter of fact they
were well acquainted with their regular customers; but these came only
in the hours devoted to business, tarried no longer than was absolutely
necessary, and probably cared not one whit how these merchants passed
their leisure time.

Perhaps this comparative isolation was the cause of Philip’s devoting
himself with such assiduity to his profession, if such it may be termed.
From his childhood the senior Garland had instilled into his son’s mind
the rudiments of natural history, and having the rare faculty of so
presenting dry subjects as to make them interesting, he had so thoroughly
enlisted the boy’s attention and sympathies that when Master Philip
found himself at the head of the establishment he was one of the most
enthusiastic students.

Unlike his father, he was a naturalist in the full sense of the word, and
devoted himself more particularly to noting the peculiarities and habits
of four-handed mammals, otherwise known as the monkey tribe.

In two months after the elder Garland died Philip’s collection was
composed principally of apes, he having so reduced the stock by forced
sales that nearly every other species of animal, as well as the entire
lot of birds, had given way to the tribe in whose habits he was so deeply
interested.

As a matter of course, any variety of the monkey-kind are more valuable
when their talents for imitation have been developed by the aid of
education, and the new head of the house of Garland & Co. made a point of
instructing his live articles of merchandise in the most thorough manner.

During every hour of the day, when not engaged with customers, Philip
taught the apes to throw somersaults, jump through hoops, dance, play
the tambourine, and a variety of similar accomplishments. He also had
several so highly educated as to march at the word of command, present
arms, fire a musket, fence, or salute in true military fashion.

Quite naturally this reduction of stock to a single and not very rare
species of animal caused a corresponding falling off in the number
of customers. But for this Philip cared little. His bank account was
sufficiently large to admit of his conducting the business after his own
peculiar fashion, regardless of whether the balance at the end of the
year was in his favor or not; and as the sales were limited so did his
stock increase, until, at the time when an old friend of his father’s,
Captain Seaworth, master of the good ship Reynard, called in company with
his first and second officers at what was now little more than a monkey
emporium, to give the young man good advice, he was greatly amused at the
proficiency to which these long-tailed animals had been brought.

Among the large collection were four which attracted the most attention;
and, as may be supposed, these were the ones upon whom Philip had spent
the greater portion of his time in teaching. Two were enormous baboons,
strong as giants, and of corresponding ferocity. When their instruction
was begun they would oftentimes seize the iron rods which were used in
the way of discipline, bending them like straws; and more than once had
their teacher battled for his life when these pupils escaped from the
stoutly-barred cage. Finally, however, both had been partially subdued
through fear, not love, until, with many a grimace and angry gesture,
they would obey in a surly manner the orders given.

That these brutes knew exactly what their teacher desired of them was
shown even when they refused to do his bidding. Both were well aware when
the hour for study had come, and from their movements one would have said
they were discussing the question as to whether it was best to learn
anything on this particular day or hold out against the master at the
expense of a severe flogging.

Philip often said that there was no animal in his collection who
understood the human voice better than these same ferocious brutes, and
their disobedience was only proof of their vicious natures.

“Those fellows know enough to put me through the same course of
instruction, provided they held the iron rod and had the opportunity,”
Philip often said to his assistants; and at such remarks the larger of
the baboons actually wrinkled his face into what was very like a smile,
as if thinking of the glorious time he could have in turning the tables
on his not very gentle teacher.

This interesting couple had not inaptly been christened Goliah and Magog.

The other notable members of the collection were quite the opposite, both
in disposition and appearance. They were a male and female chimpanzee,
young, and not absolutely ill-favored, if one should compare them with
the monkey type of beauty. Both were tractable, obeyed every command as
readily as the best-behaved children, and regarded their master with an
affection which seemed almost human.

Philip had named the male Ben Bolt and the female Sweet Alice, because
the regard which each apparently entertained for the other was quite as
fervent, in their monkey way, as is supposed to have been that of the
lovers mentioned in the song.

These two appeared to be perfectly contented in the Garland
establishment. They were not only docile, but seemingly delighted at
being able to show their proficiency when Philip taught them new tricks,
and the female in particular obeyed the slightest word as readily as any
human being could have done. Yet these tractable pupils, who never needed
the discipline of the iron rod, had more than their share of trouble
in the fact that Goliah was most desperately smitten with Sweet Alice,
and would at every opportunity display this fact in a very disagreeable
manner.

In his own peculiar fashion it could plainly be seen, even by a casual
observer, that this monkey-love was something terrible in its intensity.
Whenever, as frequently happened, the two favorite animals were allowed
the liberty of the museum, this huge baboon would give proof of the most
violent rage toward Ben Bolt, and on more than one occasion had Philip’s
iron rod been the only thing which saved the chimpanzee from Goliah’s
hideous jealousy. He would shake the bars of his cage in an excess of
anger if Ben came near him, and make the most frantic efforts to seize
his rival; but thus far the lovers had escaped any serious injury.

Captain Seaworth, actuated by a desire to assist the son of his old
friend, decided to purchase, for his amusement during the long voyage
he was about to undertake, one of the baboons, and to this end selected
Goliah, much to the pleasure of Philip.

His officers, following the example of their commander, also made
overtures for the purchase of Ben Bolt and Sweet Alice, together with
four other less intelligent but well-mannered apes of the collection.

For some time Philip was undecided whether to part with the two
chimpanzees, whom he looked upon more as pets than articles of
merchandise; but yielding to persuasion and promises that they should not
only be cared for tenderly, but kept far from the ill-favored Goliah, he
finally consented.

It seemed as if the chimpanzees understood that they were about to
be separated from their kind master, and in every way by which it is
possible for brutes to show grief they displayed it, until the animal
dealer was forced to leave his establishment during the transfer.

Of Captain Seaworth’s intended voyage Philip already knew, as did that
portion of the public who make a practice of reading all the daily
newspapers.

Under the auspices of a corporation made up of coffee merchants in New
York and its vicinity, the Reynard was bound for one of the many islands
of the Malay Archipelago, there to found a colony for the purpose of
raising coffee on a gigantic scale. The captain’s orders were to consult
with the agents of the corporation at Batavia, who would make a selection
of some land near Borneo which could be leased or purchased, there
landing the laborers, and directing their movements until the enterprise
should be well begun. After that, Captain Seaworth would proceed in
accordance with such instructions as might be received from home.

Thus it was a long voyage that these dumb members of Philip’s
establishment were to take, and it is little wonder that he feared for
the safety of Ben Bolt and Sweet Alice while on shipboard with the
ferocious and mighty Goliah.

If the young merchant had had the slightest idea of the wicked cunning
in the breast of the huge baboon, it is safe to say he would never have
consented to sell him to a friend such as Captain Seaworth; and, also,
could he have known how much suffering this same animal would cause him
in the future, Goliah’s career might have been ended very suddenly by a
pistol-ball. Then the reasons for the writing of this story could hardly
have existed.

“Treat the animals well, but let them know you are the master,” Philip
said to the captain on the day the latter made his final visit to
the establishment. “They have considerably more intelligence than is
generally credited to them, and I oftentimes imagine they understand
very much of ones conversation.”

Philip really believed that this species of animal comprehended many
words; and it was destined that his experience in the future, although
covering but a short space of time, should eclipse all he had thus far
learned from books or by observation.



CHAPTER II.

MAGOG’S REVENGE.


Within an hour from the time Captain Seaworth and his officers had taken
their purchases to the ship, it was apparent to every employe of Garland
& Co.’s establishment that the baboon, Magog, was in a towering rage.

Had he been able to speak he could not have indicated more plainly his
anger at being thus separated from his old companion; and after that time
it was dangerous for either Philip or the attendants to approach within
reach of the cage.

His fury increased with time, until the most venturesome of museum
proprietors would have hesitated to receive the huge brute as a gift, for
a wounded tiger could not have been more intractable.

Many times before six months had elapsed did Philip contemplate killing
the ferocious captive; but on every occasion when he had almost decided
so to do, the hope that he might succeed in taming him prevented the
commission of the deed.

It was seven months from the day the Reynard left port when Philip
made his last attempt at subduing Magog. On this afternoon he allowed
the ferocious ape to come out into the exercise-hall of the animals’
quarters, and before the lesson was well begun a number of old customers
arrived, causing the merchant to return the captive hurriedly to his
cage. In his desire to make haste the usual precautions were neglected,
and Magog’s eyes twinkled with satisfaction as he noted the insecure
fastenings of his prison.

During the remainder of that day he was unusually quiet, and the keepers
wondered not a little as to the cause of his remarkable docility, for
there was hardly an hour since Goliah had been taken away during which he
did not make the most frantic efforts to escape.

When Philip conducted his customers through this particular portion of
the establishment Magog was sitting contentedly in one corner of his
cage, and the merchant said, in a tone of pride:

“There is a baboon that has given me more trouble than all the rest of
the collection; but I am fast subduing him, and soon we shall have no
more tractable performer than he. Three months from now I will show you
this fellow transformed into the most agile and willing acrobat.”

Again Magog’s eyes twinkled, as if he understood the remark and was
content to bide his time until the plan of revenge which, perhaps, had
been maturing in his mind so long, should be ready for execution.

The wily ape had not long to wait. On that very night, when the
attendants vacated the large hall, which was lined on every side with
cages, they left one gas-jet burning, according to custom, and firmly
barred the door on the outside. This was the opportunity Magog desired.

The bolt of his cage was so insecurely fastened as to be very easily
slipped back; and as if he understood that the slightest unusual sound
might betray his purpose, he stole softly into the hall, looked about him
in every direction until satisfied he was the only one free, and then
turned on the gas, as he had often seen Philip’s employes do.

A wisp of straw from his own cage served the same purpose as a torch such
as was generally used for lighting the other jets, and in a few moments
he had the place brilliantly illuminated, but not in such a thorough
manner as satisfied him.

More straw was at hand. He pulled armfuls from every cage, heaping it
high, until his own was nearly filled, and then, with a savage cry of
what might well have been mistaken for pleasure, applied the torch to
this inflammable material.

In a few moments the entire room was in flames, and the vengeful baboon,
leaping from one point to another regardless of his own injuries, was
scattering fire here and there, until any effort at saving Garland &
Co.’s establishment would have been useless.

When the morning sun arose Philip found himself without employment. All
of the monkey tribe upon whom he had devoted so much time and attention
were now as thoroughly roasted as any African epicure could have
desired; and among these possibly savory bodies reposed that of Magog,
whose revenge had culminated in his own death.

Philip was still young. He had plenty of money at his command, and there
was but one desire in his heart, viz.: to rebuild and restock an animal
emporium which should far excel the one destroyed.

But this could not be done by remaining in New York.

Thus far he had been the largest dealer in animals in the country,
and the combined stock of all the others put together would not have
sufficed to form such a collection as the one just burned; therefore it
was necessary he should search among the jungles and in the forests for
the various specimens of that tribe toward whom all his studies had been
directed.

When one has almost unlimited means at his command, to desire is to
accomplish, providing energy is not wanting, and Philip Garland lost no
time in carrying out what had now become his sole aim in life.

The bark Swallow, four hundred tons burden, was advertised for charter,
and with her owners the young merchant made a bargain for the exclusive
use of the craft during a period of three years.

Then came the labor of preparing cages, putting in stores, fitting the
hold for the reception of the strange passengers whom it was proposed to
bring back, and otherwise making the many arrangements necessary for such
a cruise.

In due course of time all this was performed, and eight months from the
day the Reynard left port with the choicest portion of Garland & Co.’s
collection on board the Swallow was towed down to Sandy Hook. From there,
spreading her white wings, she sped away toward the Malay Archipelago,
from whence she was to proceed, in case a sufficient number of animals
and birds were not procured there, to the southernmost point of Africa,
on her return home.

Of the voyage out it is hardly necessary to speak. The first stop was at
the Ascension Islands for water, and then, passing on within sight of St.
Helena, they made the Cape of Good Hope.

It had not been Philip’s intention to take on any animals at this point
until his return; but the agent of a Hamburg firm had just come down to
the coast with a rare lot, which he offered at prices so exceedingly
low as to make it an object to keep them on shipboard during the entire
voyage.

The collection was made up of a black two-horned rhinoceros, three lions,
two panthers, and three serpents.

The agent had expected to find the firm’s ship in port; but through some
misunderstanding or disaster she was not there, and it became necessary
for him to dispose of the stock at any price rather than remain an
indefinite length of time for the vessel, which might never come.

Philip soon effected a trade upon such a basis that if he should save
either of the animals until his return home the venture would be a paying
one, and the transfer of these unwilling and unwieldy passengers was at
once begun.

The rhinoceros was confined in a pen of wood and iron just abaft the
foremast, where he had very little room to spare, and immediately after
coming on board the huge brute appeared as docile and contented as could
have been desired.

In fact, the entire collection had been brought from the shore without
the slightest difficulty, and after a stay of only two days the Swallow
set sail, making an offing about sunset.

When darkness settled down over the waste of waters the new passengers
began to make their presence known, and from that time until morning no
one on board could have entertained the slightest doubt as to the nature
of this partial cargo, for the howls, roars, yelps and screams would have
drowned the shrieking of the wildest tempest.



CHAPTER III.

A TERRIBLE NIGHT.


With the setting of the sun the wind came in fitful gusts, betokening a
storm, if not a hurricane.

During the first few hours of darkness the rhinoceros did not join in
the concert begun by the other animals; but as the wind increased in
violence, and the sea became more choppy, causing the bark to reel and
stagger under the heavy blows, the deck-passengers became decidedly
uneasy. When the lions were not roaring, or the panthers screaming, the
thick-skinned captive would utter a loud “woof,” and make such an attack
on his cage that the watch on deck were ready to leap into the rigging at
the first sign that he was succeeding in his efforts.

Each animal had been captured singly, and all were full-grown and
dangerous. The near presence of the men, the sight of each other, and the
violent motions of the bark, alarmed every one. Even the serpents were
wide awake and vengeful; but the rhinoceros was furious with rage. He
raked his great horn back and forth across the bars of the pen whenever
any one went near him, and in a dozen ways gave evidence of his strength.

Most probably the unusual motion made every member of the collection
seasick, and as the malady increased so did their rage. Philip knew
that during the first forty-eight hours the danger would be greatest,
and he kept a watchful eye upon the noisy passengers. After they had
gotten their “sea-legs” on, as sailors express it, there would be no more
possibility of trouble than under the same circumstances ashore, and to
get them safely through this period of probation was now his only care.

About a quarter of an hour before midnight, when all the watch on deck
save the man at the wheel were forward, the rhinoceros leaned heavily
against the side of his cage just as the bark buried her bow in a green
wave, which, curling over the forecastle, swept every movable thing aft.
Immediately following this came a great crash, startling the already
frightened crew.

The mighty plunge of the vessel, together with the weight of the animal
on the bars of the cage, had crushed them like pipe-stems, and the huge
monster emerged from the ruins fully prepared for mischief.

A more dangerous and vindictive creature than a black rhinoceros cannot
be found. He is in the sulks nearly all the time, and while under such
influence or humor will charge an elephant or a lion without fear of the
result. The first thing which comes in sight is attacked, and he never
cools down so long as there is anything on which to wreak his vengeance.

It was as if the tossing of the vessel served to excite his anger
still more, and he made desperate lunges here and there at the nearest
inanimate objects, sometimes being thrown from his feet as the bark rose
or fell; and, again, splintering into fragments such lighter articles
as the hen-coops, the captain’s gig, which was stowed on deck, and the
crates containing fresh vegetables taken on board at Cape Town.

At the first intimation of this danger, which was more imminent than the
threatening elements, the sailors leaped into the rigging, and for ten
minutes the monster had the deck nearly to himself.

After having fallen several times the old fellow looked about, as if
studying how he could soonest recover his sea-legs, and when that brief
time of apparent thoughtfulness had passed he was as steady as a sailor.
The rise and fall of the bark, abrupt and sharp as it was, caused him to
slide to and fro, but he never lost his equilibrium.

After thus regaining control of his unwieldy body, the first thing which
attracted his attention was the cage containing the serpents. With one
mighty rush he tossed it in the air, and as it came down the three
hissing occupants glided in different directions, one climbing over the
cage containing the panthers, the second going on to the bowsprit, and
the third darting into the forecastle out of sight.

The lions and panthers immediately raised a terrible din, which, with the
roaring of the gale, made the confusion most deafening. The big beast
cleared his horn of the fragments of the cage hanging to it, and then
struck that containing the panther.

These animals were liberated in an instant. One ran aft into the
long-boat, which hung on the davits, crouching under the thwarts; and the
other, cowed for the moment, but ready for mischief, retreated to the
lee-scuppers.

Without so much as glancing at the panthers, the rhinoceros dashed at the
pen of the lions, smashing it into kindlings.

The largest of the three captives sprang upon his adversary’s back as
he shook himself free from the fragments, and perhaps his sharp claws
inflicted some injury, but not enough to check the fury of the beast, who
chased the second one aft to the quarter-deck.

The third lion disappeared in the forecastle; and never was a watch
below awakened more quickly or more thoroughly than were those who came
tumbling up, half-dressed, terrified, and not knowing in which direction
safety might be found.

No ship’s crew ever were in a stranger situation. It was high time sail
should be shortened, the mate in charge having delayed this work until
both watches should be on deck; and with these enraged animals virtually
in possession, the bravest sailor would hardly have dared to leave the
rigging.

The helmsman remained at his post of duty despite the fact that the
panther was in the long-boat behind him, and it was his shrieks that
called Philip, the captain and second officer from the cabin.

Hardly did they emerge from the companion-way when the lion which had
attacked the rhinoceros came bounding aft, and the three men fled below
again, the helmsman following them and closing the hatch behind him.

To leave this place of refuge immediately meant death, while by remaining
in it destruction seemed equally certain. Yet, strange to say, the
gallant vessel sped before the wind as if a steady hand guided her
movements; and five minutes later, Philip, accustomed from infancy to
such animals, had burst his way out through the deck-window of the cabin.

As a matter of course there were plenty of heavy guns and ammunition on
board; and with a Manton rifle and explosive shells, he sheltered himself
behind the foremast, where he immediately opened fire on the nearest
brute.

While he was making every effort to draw the rhinoceros toward him, in
order to get a fairer mark, the lion on the quarter-deck leaped into the
long-boat upon the panther. In the merest fraction of time the two were
bounding over the thwarts and tumbling about in the wildest fashion, the
boat rocking to and fro as if it would upset, the screams and roars of
the struggling beasts drowning all the other horrible noises.

This fight attracted the attention of the rhinoceros, causing him,
despite Philip’s endeavors, to make his way aft, where he came across the
lion who was skulking in the scuppers. To drive the king of beasts back
toward the wheel was not difficult for the huge monster, who was now so
blinded by rage that he made a direct dash at the cabin-door.

No wood ever grew that could withstand such an assault, and as the
rhinoceros forced his way into the saloon the captain and second mate
took refuge in the steward’s pantry, where they were even closer
prisoners than before.

Straight on the charge was continued!

The dining-table was overturned, the chairs swept from their fastenings
like so many things of straw, and as the after-end of the cabin was
reached the bark rose to a huge wave. As a matter of course this gave an
additional impetus to the enormous animal, and with a crash he plunged
directly through the bulk-head, which formed what might be termed a
deck-lazaret, where he was held fast by the heavy timbers despite his
furious struggles. This gave the imprisoned ones in the pantry an
opportunity to escape, and they reached the deck just as Philip, running
to the wheel, opened fire on the animals in the boat.

One discharge of the weapon point-blank at the beasts, who had grappled
and were rearing up from the thwarts, together with the rocking of the
frail craft, caused the combatants to topple over the rail, and two of
the disagreeable passengers were stricken from the list.

At this moment one of the crew shouted that a panther, a lion and two
of the serpents were in the forecastle; and for the captain and second
officer to imprison them by closing the hatch was but the work of a
moment.

That the rhinoceros could do little or no damage while in his present
position Philip understood from what he had been told, and he turned his
attention to the remaining lion, crouching near the water-butt, while the
carpenter attacked the snake, who was making his way up the mainmast.

This last passenger was disposed of in short order, but not until he had
been chopped into many pieces; and during such carving Philip succeeded
in implanting a lucky shot directly in the heart of the lion, which
effectually ended this portion of the struggle.

The crew paid no further attention to the other animals, but bent all
their energies to saving the gallant craft which had, unattended, borne
them on so bravely in the face of the gale. With nearly every member
of both watches in the rigging the work of shortening sail was quickly
performed; and, as the bark rode more easily over the mountainous seas,
Philip and the captain went below to still the struggle of their unwieldy
cabin passenger.

It required a dozen shots from the heavy rifle before the huge and
helpless brute gave up his life. The work of removing the body could
not be attended to during the hours of darkness, neither was it deemed
advisable to make any effort at cleaning the forecastle. It would be “all
hands on deck” till morning; but that was a minor consideration in view
of the fact that they had escaped so many dangers.

After barricading the forecastle hatch with chain-cables and other heavy
articles which would resist any pressure from within, the crew spent
the remainder of the night listening to the sounds of conflict. They
could hear the hiss of the serpents, the screams of the panther, and the
growling of the lion until nearly morning, when all became silent. The
animals were either dead or had concluded to suspend hostilities for
awhile.



CHAPTER IV.

THE WRECK.


With the rising sun the wind abated, and when it was sufficiently light
all hands set about the task of cleaning ship.

To remove the huge animal from the cabin it was necessary to literally
chop him in such pieces as could be readily handled, and two hours
elapsed before the last fragment had been thrown overboard to the
following sharks.

Then all hands, save the man at the wheel, armed with cutlasses, rifles
and capstan-bars, gathered around the forecastle hatch as it was pushed
back.

A terrible stench arose, but no sound was heard. After five minutes
Philip descended the ladder with a revolver in each hand; but no enemy
confronted him. There had been a general battle, during which the beasts
were mangled and torn in the most horrible manner, while the serpents
were literally cut in pieces.

Not until twenty-four hours had passed was the bark free from odor,
blood, and other evidences of the conflict; and during the week which
followed the carpenter and his assistants had quite as much as they could
do to repair the injury done the cabin.

Philip’s venture had not proven a paying one; but in view of what might
have happened he was only too well pleased to be rid of his dangerous
merchandise. As he thought of this, the first speculation since Magog
destroyed the establishment, and reflected upon the result of it, there
came into his mind a fear that it might be the beginning of a series of
misfortunes.

Of course such superstitious fears were more than childish, and he
struggled manfully but unsuccessfully to put them far from him.

That which had just occurred, however, was but a foretaste of what might
be expected when there was a full cargo of animals on board; and in the
forecastle the sailors discussed the possible fate of all hands during
the homeward voyage.

“I’ve been in ships what was becalmed week in an’ week out for two
months, with never a cat to throw overboard,” old Tom Bixbee said, as
the watch below were reviewing the events of the past few hours, “but I
never struck on anything like this craft. Talk of havin’ a drownded man
as shipmate! Why, that’s nothin’ compared to what’s goin’ to happen on
this’ ere barkey when she turns her nose toward home. If there’s ever a
chance of showin’ my heels to the Swallow in this ’ere benighted place
we’re bound for after more jest like sich as we had last night, you’ll
see precious little of me!”

And Tom’s opinion was very much the same as that entertained by every
member of the crew.

As the bark continued on with favoring winds through the Indian Ocean,
never a day passed but that some one of the sailors had a particularly
harrowing tale to tell of ghost-infested ships, and the conclusion to
each would invariably be:

“But they couldn’t hold a candle to a craft like this what’s goin’ to
take on board sich a crowd as we left Cape Town with.”

Sailors on a long voyage have plenty of opportunity for strengthening
their strong belief in the supernatural, and in this case the reasons
for misgivings were so real that it is little wonder all hands, from
the boatswain to the cook, were in a state very nearly bordering on
insubordination when the Swallow entered the Straits of Sunda, bearing to
the westward on a course to the Celebes.

Perhaps it was because of this mutinous condition of the men that the
bark was not kept true to the needle, or, again, it may have been that
the captain was at fault in his navigation. At all events, on the morning
of the fourth day after leaving the straits, while sailing over a
mirror-like sea and under cloudless skies, the Swallow brought up with a
terrific crash against a sunken reef.

In an instant all was confusion. Orders were not obeyed as promptly as
should have been the case, because the sailors had settled in their minds
that this was an incident to be expected during such a cruise, and for
several moments the bark pounded and thumped upon the rock until, without
the aid of her crew, she slipped off into deep water again.

As a matter of course, the first thing after this hidden danger had
apparently been passed in safety was to sound the well, and to the
dismay of Philip, if not of the insubordinate crew, it was learned that
the bark was leaking.

The damage done was something even more serious than the starting of a
timber, as could be told from the fact that in half an hour the depth of
water in the hold had increased from four to nine inches.

At that rate it was only a question of a few hours before the vessel
would founder; but it was possible the injury might be so far repaired as
to admit of her reaching some island on which she could be beached, and
the men were stationed at the pumps while the carpenter and first mate
went into the hold.

Tom Bixbee boldly announced that in his opinion the best thing they
could do would be to “save their own precious selves, an’ leave the old
barkey to sink if she wanted to;” and this advice might possibly have
been followed, owing to the frame of mind in which the crew were, if the
officers and Philip had not assumed such a determined front.

Almost at the point of revolvers were the men forced to labor at the
pumps; and as if this disaster was not enough to dishearten Philip, the
elements began to play their part in wrecking the craft which had come so
far for such a strange cargo.

In two hours the breeze from the south had increased to a gale. The
sea suddenly rose very high, and with all the light canvas stowed, the
sinking vessel was headed toward the coast of Borneo under storm-sails
only. There was little hope in the minds of the most sanguine that she
could float much longer; but yet the only chance of safety was in making
land.

Some time previous the carpenter had made his report privately to the
captain; but the crew understood very well from the expression of his
face how imminent was the danger which threatened.

The damage was so near the keel that it could not be gotten at without
removing the ballast, a task which was impossible of execution owing to
the rapidity with which the bark was settling.

“She would be at the bottom before we could so much as come at the leak,”
the first mate said; and it was owing to his report that the Swallow had
been headed for the coast.

The wind increased hourly, and in addition to the water which came
through the shattered hull, large quantities were taken over the rail.

About three o’clock in the afternoon a heavy sea washed away the port
bulwarks fore and aft, completely flooding the decks, forecastle and
cabin. The port quarter-boat was crushed like an egg-shell, leaving a few
splintered fragments hanging in the davits, swinging to and fro in what
the crew fancied was an ominously suggestive manner.

Then the sailors mutinied in downright earnest. With Tom Bixbee as the
spokesman they declared it was useless labor to attempt to sail what
was hardly more than a wreck, and that their lives were imperiled by
remaining longer on board.

“The only chance we’ve got of saving a single soul is by sticking to the
bark!” the captain shouted. “We are hardly fifty miles from the coast,
and she can be kept afloat long enough to make that distance with this
wind.”

Again by a liberal display of weapons the men were forced to return to
the pumps; but at sunset the water had gained upon them so steadily that
the doomed craft began to settle and roll heavily in the cross-seas.

At this moment, when even the captain was disheartened, the starboard
pump choked, and with only the port one serviceable it was no longer
reasonable to think of keeping her afloat.

As the captain and Philip, both of whom had been on deck continuously
since the hidden reef was struck, turned to go into the cabin for the
purpose of saving such valuables as could readily be taken away, the men
became like demons.

There were only two serviceable boats remaining since the gig had been
destroyed by the rhinoceros and the port quarter-boat carried away in
the wreck of the bulwarks, therefore the possibilities of taking off the
entire crew seemed limited.

Fully aware of this fact, the men took advantage of the captain’s
temporary absence to abandon the ship, without regard to supplies of food
and water, and despite the threats of the other officers.

The long-boat was stove in the launching, owing to the absence of
discipline, and the starboard quarter-boat nearly swamped as she was
dropped heavily by the unreasoning men.

When the captain came on deck the crew had taken to the boat, already
half-filled with water, and were some distance from the sinking bark.

It would have been useless to force them to return, even if such a thing
was possible, for the little craft could not approach the foundering bark
in the teeth of the gale without being stove to pieces, and the four
officers and Philip stood gazing at the rapidly retreating boat with
despair written on every feature of their countenances.

This was the culmination of disasters, and from it there appeared to be
no way of escape.

They could do but little toward providing for their own safety. It was
simply a question of whether the wreck would float until some friendly
craft could be sighted; and this was answered within two hours from the
time the crew abandoned her.

While the five despairing men were busily engaged constructing a raft of
such materials as could be hastily gathered from the wave-swept deck, the
Swallow gave a mighty lurch to port; then rising on her stern-post, as if
endeavoring to escape from the doom which was now so close at hand, she
settled to starboard with such rapidity that those on board had not even
time to throw over the timbers they had partially lashed together.

Fortunately, so far as Philip Garland was concerned, he had been hurled
beyond the whirlpool caused by the foundering vessel, and as he struck
out, instinctively rather than because of hope, his hands came in
contact with the fragments of the quarter-boat.

Dazed by the shock and blinded with the driving spray, he grasped with
the clutch of a dying man the frail timbers, and heeded not the black
clouds which opened to belch forth fire and peals of thunder.

The shrieking wind tossed the wreckage upon the angry, white-crested
waves which gleamed like the fangs of some devouring monster, and the
rain descended in torrents.



CHAPTER V.

ASHORE.


When Philip Garland again fully realized his situation he could hear,
above the roar of distant thunder, a continuous rumbling noise. Although
never having traveled on the sea very much, he understood that this dull
booming was caused by the surf, and he thought that the supreme moment
had come.

Then he heard a deafening crash, from what cause he knew not. It
was as if a violent blow had been delivered full upon his head, and
consciousness again deserted him.

On opening his eyes it seemed as though he had been awakened from a
profound sleep. The sun beamed down from a blue, cloudless sky. He raised
himself and saw the ocean at his feet, but it was as placid as a lake.

He was lying on the wet beach, hardly three feet from where the waves
were rippling over the sand with a musical murmur, which afforded a vivid
contrast to their wild shrieking of the previous night.

Looking around on every hand, not a vessel, boat or human face was to be
seen. He was alone, so far as could be told from his limited range of
vision, upon an uninhabited island.

The ill-fortune which began with the destruction of his establishment by
Magog had surely spent itself in thus throwing him upon this tiny speck
of land on the vast ocean, where, if any one should come, it would most
likely be those more implacable than the elements.

Philip knew, through books and from conversations with the captain of the
Swallow, that since passing through the Straits of Sunda they were in the
immediate vicinity of pirates from Sooloo or Magindinao.

Even the less warlike natives of the Archipelago were to be feared, for
he remembered at this moment better than ever before the writings of an
old traveler, who says:

    The inhabitants of these islands exceed every other people in
    cruelty. They regard killing a man as a mere jest; nor is there
    any punishment allotted for such a deed. If any one purchases
    a new sword and wishes to try it, he will thrust it into the
    breast of the first person he meets. The passers-by examine
    the wound, and praise the skill of him who inflicted it if he
    thrust in the weapon direct.

In this particular portion of the sea, where Philip had every reason to
suppose he was, the pirates have literally paralyzed trading on the water.

    Every year these scourges of the Archipelago wander in one
    direction or another, rendezvousing on some uninhabited island,
    carrying devastation to all the small settlements around,
    robbing, destroying, or taking captive every one they meet.
    Their long, well-manned proas escape from the pursuit of
    sailing vessels by pulling away right in the wind’s-eye; and
    the warning smoke of a steamer generally enables them to hide
    in some shallow bay, narrow river, or forest-covered inlet
    until the danger is past.

Even while the Swallow was at Batavia information had been received from
Banda to the effect that the pirates were in the vicinity with a fleet of
fifteen proas, attacking and destroying the villages, and carrying away
women and children as slaves. Men they seldom or never hold as prisoners.
The thrust of a knife or a blow on the head with the butt of a musket
serves to rid them of a troublesome captive.

Two days before the wreck the Swallow spoke a proa which had been
attacked forty-eight hours previous. Three of the crew escaped in their
small-boat and hid in the jungle of a neighboring island, while the
pirates killed the remainder and plundered the vessel.

These men reported the force as numbering sixteen large war-boats, and
the only blow struck by the traders in their own defence was when the
fleet set sail, leaving a prize-crew of three on the dismantled proa. The
captain, driven to desperation by his loss, swam off from the shore armed
only with his parang, or long knife, and coming upon them unawares made a
furious attack, killing one and wounding the others mortally.

Knowing all this, it is not to be wondered at that Philip was filled
with dismay on finding himself alone upon an inhospitable shore.

One does not willingly submit to the embrace of death, however, and
before resigning himself to what now seemed the inevitable he resolved to
make a last effort for life.

With this purpose in view he started toward the interior, but after
traveling a few moments his legs refused to obey his will.

The exhaustion caused by the previous night’s exposure and the intense
heat so far prostrated him that he fell half-fainting at the foot of a
palm-tree, whose cool and refreshing shade served to revive him so far
that in a short time he closed his eyes.

When he awoke the sun was low in the heavens. He must have slept fully
eight hours.

His limbs were yet weary, and his eyes heavy from the profound sleep. In
order to dissipate the lethargy which hung over him he arose to his feet,
walking rapidly forward.

Suddenly from the thicket directly in front of him he heard what sounded
very like a human voice crying “Wawk, wawk, wawk!”

This was so nearly a command in his own language that Philip ran forward
eagerly, fancying for the moment that he was about to see a white man,
when the whirring of wings and a quick passage of gorgeous plumage
against the dark green foliage told he had made the acquaintance for the
first time of a great Bird-of-Paradise, which is to be found only in this
portion of the world.

It was a large male, radiant in all the brilliant plumage which renders
its skin such a valuable article of merchandise. The wings and tail were
of a rich dark brown, the breast a deep violet, and the head and neck
of a delicate yellow, the feathers being so short and close set as to
resemble velvet. The lower part of the eyes was a vivid green, while the
back and feet were pale blue.

The two middle feathers of the tail were what gave a striking appearance
to this winged beauty. They were nearly a yard long, the extreme ends
curving into a complete circle.

Never before had Philip seen even the skin of one of these rare birds,
and forgetting all his troubles, he watched its flight in mute admiration.

It was to be his good fortune, while in this wretched condition of both
body and mind, to see what few except the natives of the Archipelago have
ever had the pleasure of witnessing-a party of feathered dancers all clad
in the same gorgeous plumage as the one he had just startled.

Pushing forward softly among the foliage to catch one more glimpse of
those curling orange feathers, he saw a dozen or twenty full-plumaged
males on a stout limb, raising and dropping their wings, stretching their
necks, and vibrating their delicately-tinted coats as if really engaged
in some species of terpsichorean festivities, while now and then they
darted from branch to branch until it appeared that the entire tree was
filled with waving plumes.

It is at such a time as this that the bird-hunter secures his richest
prizes, and with comparative ease.

When the Malays find a tree which the birds have fixed upon as their
dancing-place, a little shelter of palm leaves is built near the trunk
among the branches, and in it before daylight the hunter hides himself,
armed with a bow and several arrows which terminate in a rough knob. At
the foot of the tree another hunter is concealed. When the dance has
begun the native above shoots his blunt arrow with such force as to stun
the bird, who is secured and killed by the one on the ground without its
plumage being injured by a drop of blood. The others pay no attention
to this sudden disappearance of their companion, and the slaughter is
continued until the greater number of the birds are slain.

Philip gazed at this rare and beautiful sight nearly a quarter of an
hour, and then, as if suddenly remembering his own necessities, he pushed
forward once more among the matted and tangled underbrush.

Before twenty yards had been traversed the glimpse of a moving object
among the trees caused him to utter a cry of joy. He had seen that which
bore close resemblance to a human form, and quite naturally he believed
it to be some inhabitant of the island.

Running at full speed, urged to put forth every effort by the belief that
he would soon find aid, food and shelter, no inconsiderable distance was
traversed during the next ten minutes. To his most intense surprise,
however, he failed to see again this figure which had so raised hope, or
even to discover in what direction it fled.

Disheartened, and fancying his eyes had deceived him, he continued to
make his way forward; but not with the same energy as before. He became
like one who toils without hope of a happy conclusion to the labor.

Courage revived again however when, on emerging from the thicket of palms
through which he had been making his way to a more open portion of the
forest, the same figure stood revealed to view.

Philip now watched with the utmost attention, and was surprised at the
wonderful celerity of the stranger’s movements. He disappeared and then
appeared again, passing from one point to another much more rapidly than
any person could have run, and in many ways gave such evidence of fear
that the shipwrecked young man advanced yet more boldly.

Upon arriving at the place where the supposed native had last been seen,
Philip was startled, almost frightened, as the object of his search
suddenly descended from the top of a tree at his very feet.

It was an ape!

With one bound the animal mounted the tree again, then leaped down, and
finally placed himself immediately in Philip’s path, as if to prevent him
from proceeding.

One trained as Philip Garland had been could feel but little fear of
such an animal. He broke a branch from the nearest tree, and raising it
with a threatening gesture stepped forward.

This movement aroused the animal to anger. He retreated a few steps,
uttering loud, shrill cries, which were evidently intended as signals
to his companions in the vicinity; and, as a result, troop upon troop
of apes came from every side through the openings in the forest. They
were of all colors and sizes, and clambered up the trees, ran along
the branches like squirrels, or, taking a stand about the stranger,
threatened him with their glances and gestures as they uttered hissing
cries, or gnashed their teeth with such a deafening noise that the
traveler grew positively bewildered.

Better than any one else did Philip understand the vicious nature of
these animals when gathered in such numbers, and he knew full well that
to save his life retreat was necessary.

This thought came too late, however. On every side were closely-packed
ranks of apes, some of whom appeared to be as strong as gorillas, and the
first movement toward escape might be the signal for his death.

Philip had in his pocket a small revolver, placed there during the
mutiny on the Swallow; but of what avail would it be to kill five of his
adversaries when they could be numbered by hundreds, and had hemmed him
in so closely?

An attempt at flight would be as foolhardy as any effort toward
intimidation. The only course which could be pursued with the slightest
chance of success was to remain silent and motionless.

With one hand inside the breast of his coat, clutching the weapon he was
resolved to use only when death seemed inevitable, he stood immovable as
the animals crowded nearer.

At this juncture the outer circle of apes began to chatter, as if they
were discussing some new aspect of the affair which had presented itself,
and a moment later the entire party suddenly began to leap to and fro,
making the most hostile demonstrations.

The branch which Philip had broken from the tree was lying on the ground
directly at his feet, and with a quick movement one of the animals seized
it. Before he had time to place himself in a position of defense, or even
to draw his weapon, the ape showered blow after blow on his arms, legs,
face and head in such rapid succession that he could not avoid them.

It was difficult to remain passive under such a castigation, and also
very humiliating, for one whose business had been the training of
monkeys, to receive punishment from members of the same tribe he had so
often flogged; but under the circumstances there was no alternative.

At the first blow the apes gave way, much as a party of men might who
form a ring for two pugilists, and from their points of vantage evinced
the most profound delight. A crowd of boys could hardly have shown more
pleasure at the flogging of some obnoxious pedagogue and Philip’s anger
almost blinded his prudence.

During fully ten minutes the punishment, was continued without
intermission, and it might have resulted fatally to the unfortunate
animal-trader if he had not bethought himself of past experiences, when
he was master and apes were forced to receive his blows.

Around his neck he wore a blue silk handkerchief after the fashion of
sailors, and this he untied quickly, throwing it among the crowd of
spectators, knowing full well that any bright color will attract apes
more readily than food or noise.

In an instant the decorous assemblage had resolved themselves into a
shrieking, howling mob. They rushed toward the one who had been so
fortunate as to secure the prize, each trying in turn to seize it,
chattering and screaming until the din was absolutely deafening. He who
had played the part of castigator followed the example of the others, and
from a friendly contest it soon became a veritable fight, during which
there was but little question that the object of their desires would be
torn into shreds.

This was Philip’s opportunity. Not one of the combatants was paying the
slightest attention to him, and after stealing softly through the foliage
until the apes were shut out from view, he ran toward the interior of the
island at full speed.

It must not be supposed that Philip’s flight through the thicket was
attended with no more inconvenience than would be the case in an
American forest. Almost every shrub and tree was infested with small
black ants, and as the fugitive brushed past they loosened their hold on
the foliage to literally take possession of his body.

Before running a hundred yards his face and neck were covered, and he
could feel them on every inch of his skin, as they bit with a sharpness
which seemed like the prick of a huge needle.

In addition to these pests, which were very painful, there was a species
of blue-bottle fly, so numerous that the buzzing sounded like the humming
of bees; and when they alighted on Philip’s body it was with difficulty
he brushed them off, for their legs seemed to contain deposits of glue,
which held them firmly in place until sometimes it was necessary to
actually dismember them.

His skin soon became a mass of blotches, for the poison of the insects
caused the wounds to swell like boils, and it was no longer possible to
distinguish his features.



CHAPTER VI.

DISAGREEABLE NEIGHBORS.


Philip continued his flight, regardless either of fatigue or the insects,
through the brambles which tore his flesh until, on passing half-around
a slight elevation which was covered with a greenish white moss, he came
upon a lake fully a mile in length, and bordered by tall trees.

As nearly as could be judged he had traveled at least three miles, and in
this secluded and lovely spot, which was so surrounded by foliage as to
render it impossible for him to peer into the thicket further than two or
three feet, it surely seemed as if he was safe from his late tormentors.

The sensation of thirst was by this time so intense as to be almost
painful, and the sight of the clear, sparkling water revived his spirits
to a wonderful degree.

Running forward eagerly, he knelt on the soft turf at the edge of the
lake, and remained in that position ten or fifteen minutes, drinking at
intervals like one at a feast who is satisfied but delays leaving the
festive-board because of the enjoyment of looking at the delicacies.

With his thirst assuaged Philip’s hopes revived. He believed it would be
possible to avoid the apes on an island of such extent as this appeared
to be; and when he finally raised his head it was to look about him for
the purpose of deciding in which direction he would find refuge and
shelter for the night.

As he did so, however, a cry of dismay burst from his lips. On either
hand for a distance of many yards were the very apes from whom he was
trying to escape. All were kneeling as he knelt, and raising their heads
exactly as he raised his, with the water running in streams from their
muzzles.

No doubt they followed him through the thicket, or made their way
overhead among the branches; but since the stick with which he had
threatened them was not in sight, all idea of punishing the intruder was
forgotten. Their faculties of imitation proved greater than the love for
mischief, and thus, while he congratulated himself upon having escaped,
they had gathered noiselessly around him.

However dangerous the animal-trader’s position, he could not restrain a
loud burst of laughter at the grotesque scene before him; but his mirth
was very quickly turned to surprise when he heard the sounds of his own
voice echoed from five hundred pairs of lungs.

This mockery aroused still further his mirth, and he laughed yet louder,
the apes redoubling their efforts until it seemed as if each hairy throat
was swollen almost to bursting.

It was an orchestra of the tropics with a leader who had no pride in the
achievements of his subordinates.

As Philip sat up on his heels so did the animals, and with their heads
raised high in their effort to emulate what they possibly thought was a
song, a bright blue object around the throats of fifteen or twenty of the
larger apes attracted the shipwrecked boy’s attention.

It was hardly probable that the long-tailed denizens of the woods were
educated to the fashion of wearing neckties, but yet there could be no
question that these select few had on such an article of adornment.
Not until after several moments did Philip understand how prominent a
part his own neckerchief was playing in the scene. Each of the apes
thus decorated had secured a fragment of the cravat, and, true to their
imitative instincts, tied it around his neck.

Now that his strange companions were in apparently such a friendly mood,
Philip thought it possible, by abstaining from any threatening movements,
to get on with some degree of comfort, even though they still continued
to surround him.

To sleep just then was out of the question, for the smaller members
of the party were yet struggling to laugh, and he looked around for
something with which to appease his hunger, which had increased very
decidedly since his thirst was satisfied.

He gazed scrutinizingly along the borders of the lake, hoping to see at
least some fresh-water mussels. The apes did the same, although probably
not with a similar hope.

His eyes roamed among the foliage. So did those of his companions. He
saw on a number of trees near the water fruit of a bright yellow color,
resembling a crab-apple in shape. If the apes observed the same they made
no mention of the fact.

The trees were at least two hundred feet tall, with branches shooting
from their very tops, and to climb up these smooth trunks, where there
was not the slightest support for either hand or foot, was an utter
impossibility.

To throw a stone so high with any degree of accuracy would be rather a
difficult matter; but yet Philip resolved to try it. The shore of the
lake in certain places was covered with small, sharp, flint-like stones,
and thus there was plenty of ammunition at hand, even if he should be
forced to try very many times before succeeding.

The first shot was not a success. The stone, after striking the trunk of
the tree a few feet below the branches, bounded among the foliage with a
loud noise.

The apes, who had been intently watching all his movements, hardly waited
until the stone reached the ground before the entire party gathered
armfuls of stones and began to fling them at the topmost branches,
causing the leaves and fruit to fly in every direction.

The smaller animals, who could not send the missiles so high, formed
a chain, and passing the ammunition from hand to hand, supplied those
who were more skillful, until that particular portion of the forest was
almost entirely denuded of its foliage.

Impelled by his hunger Philip seized a handful of the small fruits, which
were evidently a species of guava, and began to eat eagerly.

At that instant the army of stone-throwers ceased their labor as each
gathered a supply of fruit, and began eating exactly as did their
human companion. When he raised one of the guavas to his mouth they
imitated his exact movement. When he chewed they worked their jaws most
industriously. When he ejected a seed from his mouth a perfect shower
of seeds fell upon the sand. If he threw away a stem they repeated the
action; and when, by chance, he made a smacking noise with his lips,
the shore of the lake resounded with such a snapping and clattering of
jaws as would have caused the “end-man” of a minstrel troupe to grow
exceedingly green with envy.

The abundant harvest which, when it was first gathered, gave promise of
supplying Philip with food for many days, was disposed of in a very few
moments. Before his hunger was satisfied the last guava had disappeared,
and the army of apes looked up expectantly, wondering what was to be the
next move in this queer sport.

It may seem comical to have one’s every gesture repeated by four or five
hundred long-tailed, human-like animals, but it soon becomes annoying, to
use the mildest term.

During fully fifteen minutes Philip sat silent and motionless, not daring
so much as to raise his finger lest ten or twelve hundred fingers should
be pointed toward him; and his companions observed the same immobility.

The approach of night, which comes on so rapidly in the tropics, gave
him plenty of food for reflection as he sat there surrounded by his
statue-like companions. To remain in the forest during the hours of
darkness with such a following was something that filled him with dread,
for it was impossible to say at what moment their capricious fancies
might lead to another attack, and he racked his brain in vain for some
answer to the vexed question.

He had every reason to believe that during the next day he should find
human beings who, however unfriendly, would at least relieve him of this
throng of attendants, for the island was apparently so large that it
seemed hardly probable it was uninhabited. Thus, according to his belief,
the only difficulties to be encountered were from this time until morning.

But how and where should the night be passed?



CHAPTER VII.

A SINGULAR DISAPPEARANCE.


The length of time which Philip remained motionless caused the apes to
show signs of the greatest discontent. In their monkey minds there was
no sport in thus sitting like statues, and two of the largest decided to
make matters more agreeable to themselves if not to their human companion.

He continued to sit under the shade of the palm-tree where the feast
had been brought to such an abrupt conclusion by the rapid consumption
of the eatables, and these two leaders approached in a manner which was
evidently friendly, but at the same time most inquisitive.

They first smelled of him, touched his hands, face and hair, and
proceeded on the work of examination down to his feet, where they
suddenly discovered that the shoes were not a portion of his body.

With a scream of delight one of the examiners removed the foot-covering,
and then evinced the most profound astonishment at being able to take off
the stockings also.

The shipwrecked man’s toes next attracted his attention, and he amused
himself by moving them back and forth, evidently wondering why this
stranger should be formed almost as perfectly as himself.

The other ape, chagrined at not having made as important a discovery as
his companion, now gave the most profound attention to Philip’s trousers,
catching hold of the lower portion and attempting to pull them off.

How to check these investigations, which might be more than inconvenient
when the main body of apes should consider it their duty to take part in
the operation, was what Philip could not decide, as, when he stood in
the midst of the throng during the first meeting, he dared not make any
threatening gestures; and it is very probable he would speedily have been
disrobed had not several of the spectators strenuously objected to the
two leaders monopolizing all the sport.

This objection was first shown when a dozen of the party began pulling at
Philip’s coat and vest, some even going so far as to fancy his hair might
be easily removed, and dragging out large handfuls by the roots. Before
five minutes had elapsed another squad marched up to perform their part
in the entertainment.

Owing to the inability of all to participate in the sport, these last
seemed to consider it a solemn duty to prevent their companions from
enjoying themselves, and then ensued a rough-and-tumble fight in which
Philip certainly played the part of “under dog.”

They screamed, tugged, pulled, and yelled over his prostrate body without
either side gaining the mastery, and although he received many bruises
and scratches, it was preferable to being entirely disrobed, or to seeing
his garments decorating the bodies of his antagonists or companions,
whichever we may call them.

Had he remained immovable much longer his clothes would speedily have
been torn into shreds by the yelling, scrambling crew around him; and to
lose this artificial covering in a forest through which one could not
walk without being seriously wounded by the brambles would be almost
as fatal as a desperate encounter. Therefore, for the first time since
meeting these strange inhabitants he decided to stand upon the defensive.

By dint of much pushing and pulling, and at the expense of many
scratches, he succeeded in extricating himself from the combatants, but
only to be confronted by a fresh force of assailants, who were lingering
on the outside of the struggling crowd. These, following the example
of their leaders, seemed to consider it the proper thing to engage him
in battle, and in a very few seconds it became absolutely necessary to
defend himself with force.

“It’s death if I don’t shoot, and it can be no worse if I kill four or
five; besides, the report of the revolver may frighten them,” he said to
himself as, backing against a gigantic palm-tree, he drew and leveled the
weapon directly at the foremost ape.

His position at this moment was most critical. That he would be torn
in pieces as had been his cravat, after shooting the first ape, seemed
inevitable; but he said grimly, between his set teeth:

“It is better to die while fighting than to yield without a struggle,”
and he took deliberate aim.

Another second and the weapon would have been discharged, unless, indeed,
as was quite possible, its long immersion in the sea had rendered it
useless.

Just as he was on the point of pressing the trigger a terrific shriek,
such as it would hardly seem could have come from any pair of lungs,
however vigorous, was heard some distance in the rear, and was prolonged
until the echoes sent it rolling down the lake like detonations of
thunder.

Philip stared about him in alarm, trying in vain to discover the meaning
of this strange noise, and to his great astonishment the crowd of apes
started with the rapidity of the wind in the direction from which the
shriek had come.

On every hand among the foliage could be seen for one brief second the
disappearing tails of his troublesome companions, and then he was left
alone, the tumult in the distance growing fainter and fainter, as this
army of animals dispersed at the highest rate of speed, until finally all
was hushed and still.

He was alone on the border of the lake. Silence and solitude had in the
twinkling of an eye replaced the frightful tumult, and the shadows of
night were closing rapidly around him.

Utter despair gave way to hope. Now that he was alone, the possible
dangers to be encountered in the forest during the hours of darkness were
as nothing compared to the relief he felt at having lost sight of the
grinning, chattering apes.

It might be possible to find human beings before the mantle of night
had been fully spread over the land, and he made his preparations for
continuing the tramp as calmly as if his life had never been threatened.
The most important task was to regain possession of his shoes and
stockings, for without them it would be a matter of impossibility to walk
a hundred yards, and he began the most careful search on the scene of the
late encounter.

When, after not more than five minutes’ hunt, the missing and highly
necessary articles were found, he accepted it as a good omen, and was
almost convinced that he would soon have food and shelter among human
beings. This belief was strengthened by the terrific shriek which brought
the battle of the apes to such a sudden end. He felt positive that the
noise had been made by some contrivance of man’s, although why the apes
rushed directly toward it was what he could not explain.

From among the branches cut off when the animals were bombarding the
trees he selected the stoutest one as a cane, as well as an additional
weapon of defense, and then started around the lake, hoping to find
the outlet, which must necessarily flow into the sea, before it became
necessary to halt for the night.

At this place, if anywhere, would he come upon the inhabitants of the
island; and as his late tormentors might return at any moment after
sunrise—it was hardly probable they would do so during the night—time
must be economized at the risk of meeting with wild animals in the jungle.

Following along the shore of the lake for fully half an hour, he met with
no obstacles save where the foliage came in a matted tangle close to the
water, and then the sound as of a cascade fell upon his ears.

He had arrived at the destination set; but not content to remain here,
although the darkness was almost impenetrable, he continued on down the
bank of this waterfall until arriving at a second, ending in a basin from
which, contrary to his expectations, flowed a stream of considerable size.

It was evident the coast was further away than he had fancied; and weary
in limb as well as sore in body he halted for the night.

The sleep that came to his eyelids was neither profound nor refreshing.
He made for himself such a bed as could be formed of leaves and moss; but
on lying down, the strangeness of his surroundings and the fear of what
might be lurking in the darkness prevented his eyes from closing many
moments at a time.

It was a relief rather than otherwise when the surrounding objects began
to stand out from a background of violet, and he knew the coming day was
sending heralds abroad to announce its near approach.

A welcome breeze, the accompaniment of sunrise, swept across the jungle,
cooling his fevered brow, and the fact that it was not heated caused him
to believe the sea but a short distance away. As he arose to his feet,
following the conformation of the stream, the thicket became less dense,
and the foliage so scanty that one could see many yards ahead, until,
when the sun showed itself above the horizon, not two hundred yards off
the waves of the boundless ocean were revealed to view.

To his disappointment there were no signs of inhabitants; but it might be
possible a village was located further up on the shore, and he made his
way along the beach, halting at every sound in the thicket, fearing his
old enemies might be in pursuit.

During the first hour he saw nothing to encourage, save it might be in
the thousands of oysters which were spread out on the beach, a goodly
portion of which had been opened, not naturally, but with the aid of a
little stone placed between the shells.

Philip knew that this must be a favorite feeding-ground for such
inhabitants of the island as he had already met. Oysters are a luxury
to the entire monkey tribe, who succeed in procuring the bivalves by a
variety of cunning means, the most common of which is to throw a stone
between the shells when the oyster chances to be open. In this manner
they are sure of their prey without having to run the risk of getting
their paws or muzzles caught in the powerful grip of the shell-fish.

Some monkeys, as Philip knew from what he had read on the subject,
particularly those of Burmah, open the oyster with a stone by striking
the base of the upper valve until it dislocates or breaks, and then
extract the meat with their fingers, occasionally putting the shell
straight to their mouths.

The necessity of observing and understanding every object in his path,
for the purpose of learning as much as possible concerning the island,
caused the traveler to scan these shells carefully. The fact that monkeys
are adept oyster-openers had no interest for him, save as it was the
means of showing that human beings had not visited this portion of the
shore; therefore he understood it would be necessary to look elsewhere
for aid.



CHAPTER VIII.

A PERILOUS PREDICAMENT.


Not having had guavas sufficient for anything more than the lightest kind
of a light lunch, the shipwrecked youth searched among the shells for
oysters. It was a laborious way of earning a dinner, since the monkeys
had cleaned out the meats pretty thoroughly, and an hour’s hard work did
not reward him with more than a dozen of the tiny bivalves.

His hunger was so great that he would have continued this almost futile
search longer, but for the fact that the sun was sending an intense
heat down upon the exposed beach, and already had he begun to feel the
greatest inconvenience, and even pain. Prostration, if nothing worse,
would most surely follow, unless he beat a speedy retreat.

To regain the shelter of the woods was absolutely necessary despite the
desire for food; but before doing so Philip believed it of the highest
importance that he should contrive some signal which might possibly
attract the attention of those on board passing vessels.

The means for doing such work were limited, yet he did succeed in raising
what might, perhaps, be seen half a mile away, although knowing full
well that no trading-vessels would venture so near the inhospitable
coast.

Cutting the straightest and tallest stick of bamboo which could be found
within a distance of a hundred yards, he stripped it of the leaves, and
to the top fastened one of the two white handkerchiefs he had about him
at the time of the shipwreck. This feeble attempt at a signal was planted
firmly in the sand, and by the expenditure of considerable labor he
heaped around the base a huge quantity of shells.

As far up and down the shore as the eye could reach a line of reef
extended fully a quarter of a mile into the sea, and it was with a
feeling of despondency that he looked at the fruits of his labor, knowing
there was but little chance the fluttering cloth could bring any one to
his relief.

To continue the journey around the coast would be to expose himself
to the direct rays of the sun, and inasmuch as the reef precluded the
possibility of a settlement in the vicinity, Philip determined to make
his way directly across the island.

To that end he went straight into the underbrush toward the south,
keeping careful watch on every hand lest he should be surprised by any
of his former monkey acquaintances, and at the expiration of an hour was
clambering up the side of a rocky elevation.

Of course it would have been possible to travel around the base of this
hill, but the hope that from the summit he might obtain a good view of
the odd land on which he had been thrown caused him to court rather than
avoid labor.

While making his way through the trees, pausing now and then to brush
away the insects which rendered every movement so painful, he saw
descending from a palm what he mistook for a flying-squirrel. With but
little hope that he could succeed in capturing this tiny game, which
would make a tempting lunch for one in his half-famished condition, he
darted forward.

There was no difficulty in catching the supposed squirrel, for it proved
to be anything rather than active in its movements, and as Philip’s
fingers clutched the body he found to his surprise that he had seized a
huge frog whose deep green skin looked, in the dim light, so much like
fur.

Naturalist though he was, Philip had never before seen such a specimen as
this. The toes were very long and webbed at their extremities, so that
upon being expanded they presented a surface much larger than the body.
The fore-legs were also bordered by a membrane, and it was evident the
frog was inflated during the leap, for he shrank to one-half his previous
size immediately the hunter grasped him.

There could be no mistake but that this was the veritable flying-frog of
the Malay Archipelago, and Philip examined it with great interest. The
back and legs were of a deep green, while the under-surface was yellow,
as were also the webs of the feet, each of which covered a surface of
about four square inches. The extremities of the toes were formed
similar to those of a tree-frog, and it is probable the membrane was
intended to be used as often for swimming as for flying.

It was not a particularly dainty morsel of food, however, and after
satisfying his curiosity concerning it Philip set the little fellow at
liberty, he continuing on up the difficult ascent.

He expended his strength uselessly in climbing the hill, however, for
when the highest point of the elevation had been gained it was not
possible to see anything above the surrounding trees. His fatigue and
disappointment might have caused him to give way in despair if, just at
the moment when his mental troubles were greatest, he had not observed
a small animal, evidently some species of deer, about two hundred yards
away.

The desire for food now outweighed all other considerations, and he crept
forward among the scanty foliage with his revolver in hand, hoping a
chance shot might supply him with a dinner.

When it was no longer possible to approach without danger of being seen,
he took careful aim over the top of a bowlder and discharged two barrels
of his weapon in rapid succession.

The deer sprang into the air and then staggered forward; but instead of
falling, as the hunter so ardently desired, he started down the sharp
descent on the south side of the hill.

Philip forgot his fatigue and pursued, taking a course at right-angles
with the one made by the animal, in order to intercept him at the point
of bushes which was evidently his destination.

With his eye fixed on the deer, noting not the nature of the ground over
which he traveled, Philip rushed forward, gaining rapidly on his prey. At
the objective point of foliage the animal halted for an instant, and the
hunter bent every energy toward increasing his speed.

When his pursuer was hardly three yards away the deer disappeared, and
thinking he had merely taken refuge behind the bushes, Philip darted
around the other side, only to stop suddenly as he saw a chasm yawning
before him.

He attempted to check himself so suddenly that a small stone was loosened
under his foot, throwing him forward with still greater impetus, and it
became impossible to regain a foot-hold.

At the very edge of the precipice he clutched wildly at what seemed to
be a bush, as he was literally hurled among the branches. This slight
support gave way beneath his weight, and he dropped his revolver to seize
with both hands the trunk of the bush.

Down, down he went, seemingly a great distance, but still holding on
for dear life; and then the foliage swung upward again in the rebound,
carrying him with it, as a matter of course.

Hanging like an apple on a limb, he swayed to and fro, up and down, until
the trunk upon which his very life depended had settled into nearly a
stationary position.

Now it could be seen that he had dropped hardly more than twenty
feet from the brow of the cliff; but this was not exactly cheering
information, for he was hanging over a sheer descent of thirty or forty
yards. That which he had mistaken for a bush was simply the upper portion
of a reasonably large tree which grew on a shelf of the rock ten or
twelve feet below the crest of the ledge.

He was grasping the trunk within three or four feet of the very top, and
his weight made a tremendous strain upon the root. The wood was tough,
however, and fortunately for him he bent so far from the cliff as to be
suspended almost at right-angles with it.

These points were noted with the quickness of thought at the same time
that a plan for saving himself came like a flash of light into his mind.

Before the strain on his arms should grow too great he determined to pull
himself along the trunk like an acrobat on a horizontal bar. He could not
do this, however, without causing the tree to sway violently again, and
it became necessary to throw one leg over the yielding wood, where he
hung in imminent danger not only of slipping off, but of being carried
down the precipice together with that which he clutched so desperately,
for it was only a question of time before the roots would be torn from
their slight hold.

Therefore it became essential that the attempt at escape should be made
in another direction.

Carefully letting himself down until he was once more in the first
position, he worked his way, with every muscle strained to its utmost
tension, hand over hand toward the roots, impeded by twigs and branches
until the task seemed well-nigh impossible.

Each inch gained in this direction caused the tree to resume more
nearly its original position, until when he was a little more than half
way toward the base the trunk stood upright, and by dropping down he
succeeded in reaching the narrow ledge, from which to gain the top of the
cliff was a reasonably easy task.

When Philip was once more in a place of safety it became necessary to
rest his weary limbs before going in search of the game that had so
nearly cost him his life. Lying prone upon the earth for fifteen minutes
was sufficient to give him the required strength, and then he began to
search for a practicable path to the foot of the precipice.

A detour of a quarter of a mile was sufficient to take him from the edge
of the cliff to the rocky side of the hill, down which it was possible to
make his way without any great difficulty.

Despite the pangs of hunger his first care was the revolver, and he
followed up the narrow ravine or gully, which was thickly overgrown with
shrubs, until he stood directly beneath the tree which had saved him from
a terrible fall. Here he searched the ground in vain, and was about to
give up the task to find the trail of the deer when glancing, by chance,
along the side of the cliff, he saw the weapon lodged in the branches of
a stout sapling, while not more than thirty feet distant was an immense
panther standing over the mangled carcass of the game.

Surely he was between the horns of a dilemma now. Both his revolver and
the postponed dinner were so near the ferocious animal that it would be
as dangerous to make any attempt at getting one as the other, and during
several moments he stood undecided, knowing that the first step taken in
retreat would bring the beast upon him.

A youth less versed in the habits of wild animals than Philip Garland
might unwittingly have brought on an encounter to which there could be
but one end. He, however, remained motionless, save as he worked his way,
inch by inch, toward a thicket of shrubs without lifting his feet from
the ground.

Even this stealthy retreat was noted by the animal, who began to twitch
its tail as if preparing for a leap, and the shipwrecked youth knew he
could no longer hold the enemy by his gaze nor gain the desired shelter.
There was little opportunity for further preparation. The panther was
already crouching for the spring.

Mentally bracing himself for that which seemed inevitable, he awaited
the supreme moment with but one faint hope in his mind—that it might be
possible to jump aside while the animal was in the air.



CHAPTER IX.

A TERRIBLE FIGHT.


Just at the instant when Philip Garland believed his career as a trader
in wild animals was to be ended by death the panther turned his head
slightly and began to paw up the leaves, his tail moving angrily from
side to side, much as if an adversary was approaching from the opposite
direction. At the same moment was heard a fierce growling and snarling
from the left, a short distance away, followed immediately by the sound
of claws raking the bark as this new-comer evidently sprang into a tree.

There was now an opportunity for the shipwrecked youth to make his
escape; but the fascination of the scene held him spell-bound.

The panther, who had been standing guard over the deer, crouched for an
instant with every muscle quivering, and then leaped high in the air as
a huge body shot from out the foliage with the force and velocity of a
cannon-ball, the two animals coming together with a shock several feet
from the ground.

The combatants rolled over and over, snarling like cats, full twenty
paces from where the revolver hung suspended, and Philip moved cautiously
forward without being observed by either of the participants in the
deadly strife.

A moment later he had secured the weapon, and made his way with
considerable difficulty up the side of the cliff until he arrived at a
stout but not tall tree, within view of the animals. To ascend the trunk
of this was but the work of a moment, and he seated himself among the
branches to await the result of the sanguinary battle.

Over and over the two panthers rolled, snarling and tearing at each
other’s throats as they uttered from time to time such roars as seemingly
caused the very air to tremble.

During fully fifteen minutes these huge cats tore and slashed, each
gripping his adversary’s neck, and at the expiration of that time one
arose to his feet with a mighty roar. The other lay dead, his glossy coat
cut into ribbons, and his life-blood staining the foliage for a dozen
feet on either side.

Whether the victor was the one who had first confronted him Philip could
not decide; but he came directly toward the carcass, after licking his
wounds; and now the question arose as to whether the hungry man should
see his dinner devoured when, possibly, he had the means of preventing it.

Recharging the two chambers of the weapon which had been emptied into the
body of the deer, Philip took careful aim between the panther’s eyes and
fired.

The ball simply grazed the animal’s skull, half stunning him for an
instant, and causing him to whirl around in such a manner that there was
no chance of firing a second shot with any degree of accuracy.

With an angry scream the panther leaped to his feet once more,
immediately searching for this new antagonist, whom he discovered with
but little difficulty after a few seconds. The blood blinded his eyes;
but he made a desperate leap with such effect that one of his huge paws
brushed Philip’s foot. The foliage was not sufficiently thick to check
the impetus of his jump, and he fell on the opposite side with a force
that rolled him over half a dozen times.

Philip could not afford to waste ammunition, therefore he decided to fire
only when there was a probability of hitting the mark fairly; and from
his reasonably safe position he watched the antics of the enraged animal.

Three different times did the panther run back from the tree and then
spring toward his enemy, but never leaping higher than at the first
attempt. With each failure he lost more and more of his temper. He rolled
on the ground and roared in impotent rage, made frantic rushes at the
tree, and twice climbed nearly to where Philip sat.

Four times did the hunter fire point-blank at the animal; but little
execution was done, save to further enrage the beast, because of the
foliage which impeded the view.

[Illustration: As Philip emerged from the ravine he discovered a panther
standing over the game.—(See page 67.)]

It was not until after fully an hour had passed that the panther settled
down on his haunches and gazed steadily at the tree, as if trying to
decide what his next move should be.

This was the opportunity for which Philip had waited, and with a
well-directed shot he ended the contest, tumbling the huge cat over,
where, after a few spasmodic twitches of the muscles, he lay motionless
and dead.

When Philip became convinced there was no longer any life in the beast he
descended from the tree, hastily cut out a quarter of the deer, and made
his way with all possible speed down the ravine, for the neighborhood
was one in which he did not care to linger. Under other circumstances
he might have had sufficient curiosity to examine the bodies of the
animals; but just now it was dinner, not natural history, in which he was
interested, and his one thought was to roast as quickly as possible the
meat which had so nearly cost him his life.

By following up the ravine toward the east he came upon a small stream
which had its source among a series of hills, of which the one he
ascended was the westernmost, and here he halted.

After gathering a quantity of dry twigs and leaves he soon started a
blaze by discharging his revolver directly into the inflammable material,
and half an hour later his hunger was satisfied with venison steaks,
several of which were eaten before the fire had made any very great
change in their appearance.

The fatigue, excitement and mental distress of the past three days had
wearied him to the verge of exhaustion, and now that the desire for food
was appeased he hastened to enjoy the repose so sadly needed.

Among some tamarind-trees which grew near the edge of the stream he
laid down, after hanging the remnant of meat among the branches for
safe-keeping, and hardly was his head upon the mossy pillow ere his eyes
closed in the most profound slumber.

How long that sleep lasted he knew not, save from the fact that when he
closed his eyes the sun was in the zenith, and on opening them again
it was precisely at the same point; therefore it seemed as if what was
intended for a short nap must have continued exactly twenty-four hours.

The meat hung where he left it; but the tropical sun had already begun to
taint it. To a man in Philip’s position such an incident is but trifling,
and despite its condition he broiled for himself another meal, saying, as
he did so:

“I sha’n’t miss the seasoning while it is so rank, therefore there is no
great loss without some small gain.”

After the repast was ended he remained seated in the shelter of the trees
trying to form some plan of relief, when he became aware of a certain
rustling near-by which could not have been produced by the gentle breeze
among the foliage.

Any unusual sound, however slight, in such a place demanded immediate
attention, because of the variety of enemies he had already met, and with
his revolver ready for instant use he advanced cautiously toward the
spot from whence the noise appeared to proceed.

Slowly, on tiptoe and with bated breath, he continued his way to a
thicket of mimosas, and raising the thorny branches with the utmost
caution peered forward at that which caused him to stand as if
spell-bound with horror.

Before him, suspended to the branches of a tree, was a huge skeleton, its
bones, which were bleached white as ivory, standing out in vivid contrast
against the dark green leaves.

It was some moments before Philip could control his emotions sufficiently
to approach this horrible object; but when he did so, alarm gave way to
surprise. He seized the foot of the rustling, ominous-looking fruit borne
by the mimosa, but it proved to be a hand. In an instant he understood
that the skeleton was that of an ape—a gigantic mandrill, enemy of the
baboon, with whom it shares the empire of ferocity.

Judging from the size of the bones, Philip knew that the ape to which it
formerly belonged must have surpassed in size and strength any of the
species he had ever seen; but how it chanced to be suspended in such a
manner was something concerning which he could form no plausible idea.

That the animal had been skinned before being strung up like a malefactor
was apparent from the fact that no fragment of hide was to be found at
the bottom of the tree or clinging to the bones.

Improbable as was the thought, Philip fancied he looked upon the
evidences of an execution. It surely appeared as if the mandrill had been
hanged, and then, to make the punishment more degrading, skinned after
death.

As may be supposed, Philip did not linger long in this vicinity. His
own condition afforded plenty of food for sorrow, and there was no
necessity to torture his mind with a sinister object such as called forth
speculations which could not be otherwise than painful.

The suspended skeleton had the effect, however, of lessening his troubles
to a certain extent, for as he made his way toward the east once more
there was in his mind plenty of food for thought other than the forlorn
condition in which he had so suddenly been plunged.

What spot on this vast globe had he found where apes usurped the place
of man? And was there a human being dwelling on the island? How did it
happen that the different species of monkeys he had seen were so familiar
with man?

This last question caused him to have more faith that he would soon find
others of his kind, and he pressed forward with renewed hope and vigor.



CHAPTER X.

A REMARKABLE GATHERING.


Refreshed by the profound slumber, and his mind fully occupied with
thoughts called forth by the discovery of the skeleton, Philip continued
straight on, knowing not where he was going until nightfall. So intent
was he on this subject that he felt no fatigue, but traveled like one in
a dream through the forest, which was partially illumined by the moon;
and not until this pale, cold light underwent a most complete change did
he fully realize what was passing around him.

The diminution of light, the gray, reddish mist which arose on the air,
came from no natural cause, and Philip instinctively climbed a tree to
gain, if possible, a more extended view.

To his great joy, from this point of vantage he could see flames on the
further side of the island. Fire betokened the presence of human beings,
and with a glad cry Philip descended from the tree to press forward at
full speed.

The conflagration, however, was much further away than he at first
supposed. An hour passed, and yet he had not approached near enough to
discern it through the thicket. Several times, while following the
depressions of the land, his range of vision was so obscured that it
became necessary to again climb a tree to make certain he was pursuing
the proper direction, and after four hours had elapsed the guiding light
died away entirely.

He was now without any means of shaping a course, and, knowing full
well the folly of traveling at random in a forest during the night when
objects are distorted by the gloom, he came to a halt.

While groping around to find a suitable place in which to sleep, he
discovered, to his great surprise, that the trees no longer grew at
irregular intervals, but were standing in straight rows, as if planted
by the hand of man. The soil had every appearance of having been tilled;
instead of walking on a springy turf, or over the decaying leaves of the
jungle, his feet sunk in the loam. The foliage no longer presented such
a variety of plants, but was all of the same species and covered thickly
with fruit.

Plucking one from a branch that bent down within reach he discovered that
it was a guava, produced by a regular system of culture. There was an
absence of harshness which characterizes this fruit in its natural state,
and the discovery was further proof to him that human beings dwelt upon
the island.

After a light repast of the pleasant-flavored but ill-smelling apple he
lay down to rest, and did not awaken until a terrific uproar, similar to
that which so startled his disagreeable companions the first day of his
arrival at the island, rang out on the clear air.

The din, indistinct at first, assumed the various gradations belonging to
the voices of wild animals—from the tiger’s snarl and the howling of the
hyena to the most piercing shrieks and shrillest whistles.

It was but natural that Philip should feel thoroughly alarmed, and make
every effort to seek refuge from this new danger which seemed close at
hand. Running forward he followed, without absolutely intending to do so,
the line of cultivated trees, and at the further end, in what appeared to
be a vast thicket, he crouched, waiting until the sun should reveal the
denizens of the jungle.

The day, which in the tropics does not steal on by degrees but bursts
forth in a sudden glory, filled the forest with dazzling light, and
through the numerous openings in the foliage Philip beheld that which
might seem to be improbable but for the fact that it can be supported by
the testimony of one of the most celebrated German naturalists.

In a vast cleared space which formed a natural arena was a group of
individuals partially clad in uniforms such as are worn by many of our
merchant-sailors, who believe that a distinctive dress on shipboard is
conducive to discipline.

The members of this gathering were seated on a slight elevation
apparently in grave deliberation, as if holding a sort of court-martial,
while among them was one who towered above the others, with a cap on
which were three bands of gold-lace, and a coat plentifully bedecked with
the same material.

It was not the uniforms nor the positions of these individuals which
surprised Philip. The cause of his profound astonishment, amounting
almost to bewilderment, was the fact that the entire assembly was
composed of apes, and the one in authority wore a uniform identical with
that which Philip had seen on Captain Seaworth the day when he and his
officers made the purchases at the animal-trainer’s establishment.

Composing this court—if such it can be called—and ranged about the
leader in circles, were all species of the monkey-tribe, or, to speak
more correctly, the ferocious members of that large family. Each one
was clad in some portion of a uniform, but none save the leader boasted
of an entire suit. Two or three had nothing more than caps; others wore
trousers, and several displayed partial suits of underclothing. One
ape was the proud possessor of a blue coat; another carried a saber
with the belt around his neck, while a number had the weapons minus
belts. Two or three were fortunate only in having gloves, which were as
often on their feet as their hands. Some had coats on hind-side before
without any attempt at buttoning them, and not a few were decorated with
bright-colored ribbons. Philip also noticed half a dozen who had portions
of female wearing apparel, such as dresses or capes.

The majority of the party were armed with some kind of a weapon, either
saber, boarding-pike, or capstan-bar.

Philip hardly completed his inspection of this singular-looking assembly
when he who appeared to be the leader began what was evidently a speech
lasting four or five minutes, and listened to with the utmost gravity by
all.

When he had concluded, half a dozen of those nearest him marched solemnly
into the thicket opposite Philip’s hiding-place, and returned with twenty
of the most inoffensive of the monkey-tribe, known as vervets, all of
whom were securely bound with ropes made from bark.

These were arraigned before the leader like so many criminals, and he
addressed them with a succession of harsh, guttural cries until the poor
creatures vainly tried to escape from the awful presence, but only to be
dragged back by their captors, who belabored them with bamboo sticks.

During fully a quarter of an hour this scene was continued, and then, as
if at a signal from the leader, a squad of huge apes, each of whom was
armed with a long stick, began flogging the prisoners unmercifully.

It was possible for Philip to hear the blows even though so far away,
and the unfortunate vervets gave vent to the most plaintive cries, which
sounded very much like appeals for mercy.

The executioners—for such they appeared to be—continued the punishment
until seemingly wearied with their cruel exertions, and then, unloosing
their bonds, drove the culprits from among them into the depths of the
forest.

No sooner was this done than the entire assembly crowded around the
leader, stroking his back, licking his hands, fawning at his feet, and in
every possible way showing the utmost respect mingled with fear.

When the big ape had received sufficient adulation to satisfy him he
waved his hand by way of signal for his followers to desist, and then,
arising majestically, started toward what was evidently a continuation of
the clearing, followed by his adherents.

If Philip’s surprise at this strange proceeding had been great, one can
imagine how much it was intensified when he recognized in this pompous
leader none other than the gigantic Goliah whom he had once owned and
sold to Captain Seaworth!



CHAPTER XI.

AN ODD VILLAGE.


Philip Garland’s surprise at seeing this vast assembly of apes
conducting themselves so thoroughly after the manner of human beings was
indeed great; but to recognize in the leader of the party an article
of merchandise which he had sold to Captain Seaworth was absolutely
bewildering.

How had Goliah reached this particular island? Had he taught these
companions of his to imitate man, or were they his instructors? In either
case, how did it happen that among these animals there should be such a
collection of weapons and clothing?

These questions Philip asked himself without being able to make any
reply. He was in that mental condition when one’s will has no control
over the body, and half-unconsciously he followed the procession as
it left the open-air court-room, although in his mind there was a
very-well-defined idea that by so doing he exposed himself to the most
extreme danger.

In his stupefaction—perhaps fascination would be the better word—he
advanced cautiously as if by instinct, keeping well in the rear of the
party, gliding from tree-trunk to tree-trunk, and halting within the
cover of the foliage whenever any of the apes showed an inclination to
loiter.

It was during one of these forced halts, and while obliged to remain
concealed a longer time than usual, that quite by accident he chanced to
glance through the thicket on his right, thereby increasing surprise to
the very verge of bewilderment.

He saw there, at a distance of thirty or forty yards from where he stood,
a collection of small huts built in the fashion of hamlets such as one
sees in Java. Around these loitered a number of apes, some few partially
dressed in garments of European manufacture, and the remainder clad only
as nature intended they should be; but nowhere could he perceive a human
being.

It was not possible that this monkey-tribe had built these neat
dwellings, which were ornamented with paint, lighted by glass windows,
and protected from the sun’s fervent rays by awnings; but yet, where were
the builders? Where the rightful inhabitants?

While standing in mute astonishment, with his eyes fixed upon the tiny
village, the procession from the court had passed out of sight into the
thicket unheeded by him, who had no thought save that of solving the
strange riddle.

While only partially screened by the foliage Philip was startled, almost
alarmed, by a light touch on his arm, and wheeling around suddenly, he
saw another of the animals sold by him to Captain Seaworth.

This was the chimpanzee Sweet Alice, and that she recognized him there
could be no mistake. Looking up into his face, while at the same time
plucking at the sleeve of his coat and pointing toward the village, she
gave him to understand, almost as well as could have been done by words,
her desire to have him follow.

Had Philip been in a less complete state of bewilderment he would have
hesitated before entering the little town, where, undoubtedly, his
arrival would be communicated to the huge baboon and he find himself a
prisoner once more. But in his present frame of mind nothing seemed more
natural than to accede to the chimpanzee’s mute request, and he motioned
her to lead the way.

Instead of going directly toward the buildings she moved off at
right-angles with them, looking cautiously from side to side as if to let
him understand that their advance should be concealed as far as possible,
and he followed her every movement.

During fifteen minutes the stealthy march was continued, interrupted now
and then as the chimpanzee stopped to listen or crept nearer to the edge
of the clearing to reconnoiter, and in all this time they had seen but
one other member of the tribe. He was evidently a laborer, and failed to
see the stranger because of his occupation, which consisted of splitting
logs with his fingers and an ax. He handled the tool very awkwardly, but
yet with a certain air which caused Philip to believe man had been his
teacher.

On emerging from the thicket the traveler discovered that they had
arrived at the outskirts of the village in the rear of the houses,
opposite the point where he first caught a glimpse of the settlement.
Here was a row of iron-barred cages, all but one of which were empty,
and toward this particular prison the chimpanzee advanced, beckoning her
companion to follow.

Hesitatingly he did so, and looking through the bars saw the other animal
he had sold to Captain Seaworth—Ben Bolt!

The sight of this captive gave Philip a solution to the riddle, and he
uttered a low exclamation of surprise that he had not sooner guessed it.

There could no longer be any question but that he was on the island where
the corporation, whose agent Captain Seaworth was, had started their
colony.

Upon examining the iron cages more closely he saw that they were the same
taken from his establishment when the animals were purchased, and in them
had been confined the gigantic Goliah. But how had he escaped? Where was
the captain and those who had been brought out as colonists?

It was hardly possible the tribe of monkeys could have vanquished the
entire party, and not probable Goliah had been released until the human
beings were disposed of in some way. Was this seeming capture of the
village the sequel to a story of which he had seen the first chapter in
the skeleton among the mimosas?

Philip had solved one problem only to find himself confronted by another
yet more perplexing and painful. He was on the very island where his
friends had landed, and yet no signs of them could be seen save in the
clothing, the cottages, and the behavior of the apes.

These thoughts passed through the shipwrecked youth’s mind very rapidly.
Only for a few moments did he stand undecided before the cage which
confined Ben Bolt, and then he drew the bars, allowing the unhappy
captive to go free.

Instantly the chimpanzee was released he rushed toward Philip, fawning
around him several minutes, and then turned to Alice, whom he greeted
with every evidence of affection. During fully five minutes these two
animals capered like dogs who evince joy at a master’s return. Then Alice
suddenly raised her head as if in fear, lowering it again as the hair on
her neck stood erect like that of an angry cat’s, while she motioned with
one paw toward the forest, and with the other thrust Ben Bolt back into
the cage, expressing by every gesture her desire that the door should be
fastened again.

So much intelligence had these chimpanzees displayed while in his
establishment that the animal-trainer felt no hesitation about following
the mute instructions; and the bars were hardly replaced when hoarse,
guttural cries in the distance told that Goliah was approaching.

To remain there longer would undoubtedly be to find himself in the power
of his former chattel. In such case, what revenge might not the gigantic
baboon take? If the chimpanzees remembered him so well, Goliah’s memory
would hardly be less retentive, and the floggings so often administered
might be repaid with compound interest.

It seemed that Alice understood this as well as did Philip, for on her
face were the liveliest expressions of terror, and she plucked at his
coat-sleeve trying to draw him away, while pointing toward the forest
from whence came the hoarse cries.

There was no longer any time for hesitation, and trusting himself
implicitly to the guidance of the chimpanzee, Philip followed, the two
passing the rear of the cages just as the baboon went by in front to
visit the prisoner.

Not an ape was to be seen on the principal street of the village, and as
they walked past the buildings Philip had an opportunity of examining
their condition.

What at a distance appeared to be a collection of neat cottages proved,
on closer inspection, to be hardly more than ruins. The windows of the
houses were broken, the frames splintered, and the greater portion
wrenched entirely out of their casings. From the second stories, hanging
on long poles, were torn uniforms, cravats, boots, belts, hats, empty
bottles, trousers, towels, rags of all colors, shirts, and even a few
flags. The paint was defaced, the fences were torn down, and everywhere
on the ground were scattered bones, fragments of glass and crockery, and
tins which once contained canned meats or vegetables. In several places
where crops had been growing could now be seen only dried stalks. The
chicken-coops, which were attached to nearly every dwelling, had been
wrecked, and the feathers scattered here and there told the fate of their
occupants.

It was a scene of pillage and waste such as would have shamed the
hangers-on of any army, however demoralized; and Philip, now hardly more
than a fugitive, thought with dismay of those who had probably met their
death while trying to found this colony. Never since the shipwreck had
he been so thoroughly dispirited, and but for the constant tugging of
the chimpanzee at his garments he might have lingered until it would be
no longer possible to escape. She literally pulled him along through the
tiny village until the seclusion of the thicket was gained, when her
movements became more leisurely, and he understood that there was no
longer any necessity for such rapid flight.

Probably because the chimpanzee believed they were safe for the time
being from Goliah, and that her companion did not require such careful
watching, she took the lead, proceeding through the jungle about an
eighth of a mile to a large banana-grove, where she began to search for
fruit.

Here, as at the village, were the same evidences of wanton destruction.
The long leaves of the plants were torn and trampled, bunches of
half-eaten fruit lay decaying upon the ground, and that which had cost no
slight amount of both time and money was almost entirely destroyed.

After some search the chimpanzee succeeded in finding two clusters of
the rich, yellow fruit, and motioning Philip to pluck them, she pointed
toward the east, as if intimating the direction in which they must travel.

By this time the shipwrecked youth recognized the wisdom of his guide’s
advice, and staggering under the heavy load of fruit, he followed close
behind as she left the cultivated ground to re-enter the jungle.

This detour had evidently been made for the purpose of providing him
with food in such place of refuge as she was probably about to lead him;
and at that moment the animal-trainer had a higher appreciation of the
intelligence of the monkey-tribe than ever before.

At a short distance from the banana plantation the chimpanzee stopped in
front of a palm-grove bearing smooth, shining fruit of a golden-orange
color, which was very attractive in appearance, and Philip began to
gather such as hung within his reach from the smaller trees, when, much
to his surprise, Alice made the most violent demonstrations of rage.
She held the delicious-looking apples to her mouth for an instant, and
then, dashing them to the ground, screamed and chattered volubly. It was
several seconds before the fugitive understood this pantomime; but when
she repeated it two or three times he gained an inkling of her meaning.

Without question this beautiful fruit was poisonous, and she had called
his attention to the fact that he might not at any future time eat what
was so tempting in appearance but deadly in its properties.

A ten minutes’ walk from this spot led them to a natural grotto in the
rocks, the floor of which was covered with thick moss and the thousand
vegetable productions to be found in Malaysia.

Here her gestures were as expressive as words, and Philip understood that
she was cautioning him to remain in hiding—probably until her return. She
pointed first to the fruit, secondly to the grotto, and then back in the
direction from which they had come, taking her departure only when he
nodded his head in token of willingness to obey the mute injunction.



CHAPTER XII.

THE TREASURE-CAVE.


Philip’s first sensation after being left alone was one of intense
relief. For the time being, at least, he was safe from pursuit, and
had not only food, but water sufficient to satisfy his wants two or
three days. Whether Alice returned or not he would be free from hunger
or thirst, since to revisit the banana plantation only a brisk walk of
fifteen minutes was necessary.

After making a hearty meal from the fruit he lay down, and during the
next ten hours was wrapped in the blissful unconsciousness of sleep.

When he awakened it was nearly sunset. Far away in the distance could be
heard the cries of the apes, and among them he fancied it was possible
to distinguish Goliah’s hoarse voice. To venture forth would be both
needless and unwise, and he remained within the grotto, trying in vain to
find some amusement or occupation which would serve to make the time pass
more rapidly.

As a matter of course, in this attempt he was unsuccessful. There was
nothing to be done save to count the seconds, and it does not require
many moments to weary one of such a useless occupation.

Now he had an opportunity to understand how painful may be the attack
of insects which in other quarters of the globe would be considered
insignificant. His hands, face and ankles were completely covered with
painful red blotches, caused by the bites of tiny flies; and a closer
inspection of the grotto showed him that he was by no means alone.

Now and then could be seen curious little animals, similar to mice, which
ran back and forth, nibbling at the bananas, his shoes, or anything
within reach, until a movement by him would cause them to hide in alarm.
Every time he overturned a stone or stick he found snugly ensconced under
it formidable scorpions, with their tails sticking up ready for an attack
or to defend themselves.

It seemed as if every nook and corner of the grotto was teeming with life
in some form of viciousness, and not until he had cleared a space, six
feet square, from gravel and the litter which would usually be found in
such a place could he lie down with any chance of being unmolested.

There was plenty of time for reflection—too much, in fact, for his own
good; and after making the wildest conjectures as to the probable fate
of Captain Seaworth and his party, Philip began to speculate upon the
probable length of his voluntary imprisonment. He could see no immediate
relief from the unpleasant occupants of the island, and the longer his
mind dwelt upon the subject the more convinced did he become that some
desperate effort to escape must be made.

Then came the important question of where he should flee. It was hardly
probable there were other human beings on the island, otherwise they
would have driven the apes from the cottages erected by the Seaworth
party; and to leave this place of refuge, where he was reasonably sure of
receiving food from the chimpanzee, would be to call down upon himself
a repetition of the unpleasant and painful events which he had already
experienced.

The night was very far advanced before his mind was sufficiently calm
to permit of his sleeping once more; but slumber did finally visit his
eyelids, bringing in its train most disagreeable dreams, from which he
was glad to be awakened before the sun had again illumined this tiny
portion of the world.

With absolutely nothing save painful thoughts to occupy his attention, he
began in a listless manner to examine more closely his place of refuge.

As has been said, it was a natural grotto formed in the rocks, but
apparently extending some distance into the range of hills which
stretched nearly across the island. The rear portion narrowed down to
what seemed to be a tunnel hardly more than four feet in diameter. In
this Philip entered without hesitation, crawling upon his hands and knees
for a distance of about a hundred feet, during which the passage grew
more and more contracted, until to turn around would have been absolutely
impossible.

At the end of such distance was an abrupt angle, after which it was
possible for him to proceed in a half-bent attitude along the tunnel,
which was floored with sand, and obstructed here and there by boulders
or irregular blocks of what appeared to be limestone.

Perhaps he had walked in this second direction two hundred feet, when, on
turning a second angle, he stood in an oval-shaped chamber about twenty
yards wide, twice as long, and twenty-five feet high.

It was a marvelous scene which met his startled gaze. Those who have
entered natural caves may have seen a similar picture, but certainly
nothing more imposing.

In the center of this subterranean cavern was a small circular lake,
hardly more than twelve feet in diameter, and sunken half a dozen inches
from the level of a floor formed of blackish-gray sand, covered with
small pebbles of various brilliant colors. The ceiling towered high
above, and was dome-shaped, thickly-studded with pendant stalactites,
as if Nature had thus given to the artisan the first idea of lincrusta
work. On the right, or eastern side, were benches of rocks rising like
terraces, bearing huge stalagmites shaped like animals, and incrusted
with myriads of tiny crystals which glistened like diamonds in the light
admitted through an opening partially obscured by the foliage in the
center of the dome.

After standing silent and motionless several moments, lost in admiration
of the scene before him, Philip pushed on toward another tunnel which led
from the chamber directly opposite the one he had just traversed.

Here, after five minutes of leisurely walking, the air became warmer and
humid, as if filled with steam, while on the left side of the tunnel was
a stream of water from which arose a peculiar phosphorescent light which
permitted the amazed traveler to see several inches below the surface.

A closer examination revealed the fact that the stream was filled with
fish, shaped something like a trout, and, singular as it may seem, the
luminous glow was emitted from their bodies. He plunged his hand in
without alarming the finny tribe, and lifting one out discovered that it
was blind, having no sign of an eye, which accounted for the readiness
with which he had made the capture.

Curiosity impelled Philip to continue his explorations without delay, and
he advanced rapidly along the tunnel, in which it was now possible to
stand erect. With every step the air grew warmer, until it was as if one
were suddenly plunged in a steam bath.

The cause of this excessive humidity was soon learned. In one corner of a
second chamber was a boiling spring, which bubbled and hissed just below
the surface of the floor.

He dipped his hand in, but immediately withdrew it as he gave vent to a
cry of pain. The water was boiling hot!

This cavern also had an exit or outlet about forty feet long, which
opened into a third, nearly twice as large as the first. From the roof
hung hundreds of stalactites, some only a few feet in length and others
which descended to the floor. Stalagmites glittered and glistened like
immense diamonds in a strong phosphorescent light, until the radiations
and reflections lent such an indescribable charm to the cave that it
seemed as if one were living through a story from the “Arabian Nights.”
This third room was evidently the end of the chain of caverns. In it
there was no opening, yet the glow from the middle apartment filled it
with light.

Wandering from one point to another without thought of weariness because
of the many wondrous beauties, Philip soon began to realize the fact that
he was hungry, and when on the point of retreating to the grotto where
the bananas were, he bethought himself of the trout. To boil two or three
in this kettle formed by nature would be comparatively an easy task, and
at the same time give him a change of diet.

Passing rapidly on to the stream where he had seen the fish, he caught
and dressed four, fastening them together with a strip torn from his
handkerchief. Returning to the spring he lowered them, and in a few
moments had sufficient and appetizing food for a hearty meal. Although
eaten without salt, this change in his bill of fare was a welcome one,
and Philip resolved to take with him a supply of cooked fish large enough
to satisfy his wants during several days.

To this end he groped about once more on the bed of the stream until his
hand came in contact with a very heavy round substance, which, simply
through idle curiosity, he raised to the surface.

His astonishment can hardly be described when he discovered that the
supposed rock was apparently a nugget of pure gold, weighing, as nearly
as he could judge, from three to four pounds.

The sight of this wealth, which was also evidence that more might be
found in the vicinity, so bewildered him that it was several moments
before he could make further examinations, and then came the fever for
riches which has been at the same time the destruction and delight of
thousands.

Working with desperate energy, as if the unlimited time at his disposal
was all too short for the purpose, he brought up nugget after nugget,
ranging in size from an ounce to half a pound, until he had collected at
least ten pounds’ weight of the precious metal.

The supply appeared to be inexhaustible. As nearly as he could judge, the
bed of the stream was literally covered with these yellow lumps, which
represented wealth in any civilized country; and his labor ceased only
when he began to realize how impossible, under the present circumstances,
it would be to derive any benefit from this unexpected discovery.

Now, more than ever, was it necessary he should devise some means of
finding his fellow-man, even though it should be impossible to carry his
treasure away. With a vessel and a crew such as could be procured at
Batavia untold wealth might be taken away; but how the first step was to
be made he had no idea.

In order to give himself time for reflection he first hid the nuggets
behind one of the statue-like formations in the outer chamber, and then
returned to the grotto.

Here he found the chimpanzee looking disturbed and alarmed because of
his absence, but she gave way to manifestations of the greatest delight
at his appearance. With an instinct which seemed almost like human
intelligence she had brought more bananas, and by gestures which were
unmistakable gave him to understand that as yet it was dangerous to leave
his hiding-place.

Then, after fawning upon him like a dog once more, she walked slowly away
in the direction of the village, turning from time to time, as if to be
certain he would not follow.

When finally the animal was lost to view amid the foliage, Philip
retreated to the further end of the grotto as if desirous of guarding the
entrance to the treasure-cave, and there gave himself up to speculations
regarding his flight from the island, forming some plans which were
hardly more than wild dreams, and others possible of execution.

The desire to learn the fate of Captain Seaworth and his party was almost
forgotten in his eagerness to profit by the rich discovery, and during
the remainder of that day the only thought in his mind was how to leave
the island, taking with him at least a portion of the newly-found wealth.



CHAPTER XIII.

TREASURE-GATHERING.


Although Philip was in a situation where gold was of far less value than
food, or even raiment, that thirst for wealth which has come upon so many
even under similar circumstances became so great as to create a most
intense desire to pile up the largest possible quantity of the precious
but—to him—useless metal.

Until a late hour in the night he gathered nuggets from the bed of the
stream, being able to work as well in the under-ground chamber during the
time of darkness as any other, owing to the phosphorescent light from the
fish, until he had hidden behind the natural statue a weight sufficient
to burden half a dozen men in the carrying. Upon the rough calculation
that twenty-five thousand dollars in gold weighs a hundred pounds, he had
good reason to believe that the value of his treasure was considerably
more than a hundred thousand dollars.

It was only his desire for sleep which caused him to desist; and
returning once more to the grotto, after a meal of boiled fish he laid
himself down to sleep, not awakening until daybreak, when, from the mouth
of the hill-side cave, he saw what aroused again in his mind the belief
that other human beings beside himself were upon the island.

The reflection of flames could be seen through the forest, evidently
caused by an enormous bonfire, and the only reasonable supposition was
that shipwrecked mariners were sending out this beacon-light in the hope
of attracting attention from those on some passing ship. Perhaps more
than he had been saved from the Swallow, and with this thought he darted
forward at full speed, heeding not possible discovery by the apes in his
eagerness to be again with human companions.

If such a thing were possible, he was more anxious now than ever before
to meet with men, for unless assistance could be obtained his wealth was
useless; and regardless of the thorns which pierced his flesh, or of the
pitfalls that might be in his path, he ran swiftly on toward the more
than welcome light.

The nearer he approached to the flames the stronger his hopes grew,
for he could see beyond a peradventure that it was a bonfire on the
highest point of the island, where people signaling for assistance would
naturally build a beacon.

That an enormous quantity of fuel was being consumed could be told
from the fact that it required nearly an hour of rapid walking before
he arrived at the base of the elevation; and in the highest state of
excitement he ran up the rocky slope, the soil rattling and crumbling
under his feet with such a peculiar sound that it was reasonable to
suppose he was traveling over the lava of an extinct volcano.

Here he came upon a kind of vegetation through which it was absolutely
impossible to pass. Occupying a space of a hundred feet square, as nearly
as he could judge, was a veritable jungle of thorns across which fifty
men with the best of tools would have been many hours in making a road.

The bushes, the creepers, and even the bamboos were covered with these
long, needle-like points, which tore his flesh cruelly. Everything grew
zig-zag and jagged, and in an inextricable tangle. To get through without
lacerating his body to such an extent as to be in danger of death was out
of the question, and in order to reach the desired spot a long detour was
necessary.

When within two-thirds of the distance to the summit a most extraordinary
spectacle greeted him. Instead of human beings it was apes who had
kindled the fire, and were most industriously engaged in feeding it.

Two files, composed of over a hundred of these animals, stretched from
the top of the hill down the side as far as he could see, a distance of
about six feet separating one from the other. This party was passing
fragments of wood, branches of trees, and such combustible materials, up
the incline to those at the top, who threw the fuel into the flames.

Industrious laborers were they, indeed. Not a sound could be heard, and
with the utmost gravity they continued the task as if it was something
upon which their lives depended.

Philip now saw that he was upon the crest of a small volcano which had
evidently not been in a state of eruption for some time, and the fire was
built within the blackened crater, with so much fuel that it more than
filled the space, the glowing coals rising several feet above the summit.

Unquestionably it was the reflection of a fire similar to this which
he had previously seen; but why these animals, who are supposed to
fear anything of the kind, worked so hard to keep the blaze alive was
something he could not even imagine. The wood literally flew through the
air, so eager were the laborers to see the flames leap and dance in the
gray light of the morning; and it was with a certain fascination, similar
to that experienced while viewing the proceedings of the court a few days
before, that Philip gazed upon the scene.

It could not have been more than five minutes that he remained motionless
watching these strange proceedings, and just when he began to realize
how necessary it was to leave the place before being discovered the apes
caught sight of him.

In an instant, as if by magic, the silence was broken. A dozen of the
animals clustered around him, shouting and screaming as if to others in
the distance, until the din was almost deafening, and he could hear it
echoed and re-echoed far away in the distance. His first thought was to
make his escape, by force if necessary; but before he could even so much
as raise his hands two gigantic baboons leaped toward him and seized,
firmly but not roughly, both his arms.

Either one of the animals could have held him prisoner despite his most
violent resistance, and Philip realized full well the uselessness of a
struggle in which he would inevitably receive many severe blows, even if
he should be so fortunate as to escape death.

During fifteen minutes the screaming and yelling continued, his captors
holding him immovable all the while; and then, as if a summons had been
received from some one in authority, the two baboons led him down the
hill, followed by all those who had been working so energetically to feed
the flames.

Through the forest in the direction by which he had approached, past the
banana plantation to the single street of the tiny settlement, Philip
was led like a malefactor, with the long train of grinning, chattering
followers; and he had good reason to believe his fate might be the same
as that of the skeleton which he had seen hanging in the thicket of
mimosas. He knew beyond a peradventure that he was being conducted to the
presence of Goliah, and who could say what the vindictive baboon might
devise in the way of punishment for the one who had not, in his case at
least, been a gentle master.

Goliah would remember all that had occurred, as could be told from
the imprisonment of Ben Bolt and the behavior of Alice; therefore the
merchant who had come so far in search of living curiosities knew there
was good cause for alarm regarding this meeting.

Upon reaching the village the baboons led their prisoner to the most
pretentious of the little cottages, which had probably been occupied by
Captain Seaworth as the office or counting-house of the colony, and into
this he was thrust. His two captors were the only members of the party
who accompanied him. The others remained in the street, some sitting on
their haunches, as if speculating whether they were to be treated to the
spectacle of an execution, a few hanging on the broken fences like boys
who loiter in front of a residence at which distinguished personages are
visiting, and the majority of the crowd surrounding the building much as
though taking steps to prevent an escape.

The interior of the dwelling differed but little from the outside, so
far as the scene of wanton destruction was concerned. Books were thrown
from their cases, leaves torn, and the bindings ruthlessly pulled off.
Fragments of clothing were strewn on the floor, furniture scratched
and splintered, and pictures turned face to the wall or thrown among
the debris in one corner of the room. Everything gave token of the
mischievousness of these animals; and yet in the midst of all a certain
kind of order reigned, as if the long-tailed residents were bent on
preserving some semblance of what the interior had once presented.

All these things Philip took in at a glance. He had no time to study
details, for within a very few seconds a most singular and grotesque
figure made its appearance from an adjoining room.

One would have said it was a gigantic bird, but Philip immediately
recognized the face as Goliah’s; and the sight of this ape, covered
from head to foot with feathers, naturally filled the prisoner with the
greatest surprise.

The cause of this strange transformation, however, was soon revealed. The
feathers were simply quills, the majority of which had been made into
pens, and were stuck over his ears, through the hair on the top of his
head, under his arms, and in every place where one would remain, not even
excepting the extreme end of his tail.

Goliah was followed by two smaller and less ferocious-looking baboons,
who were decorated in the same fantastic manner, and from their attitude
one might readily fancy they occupied the position of servants, or
perhaps counselors to his apish majesty.

The sight of this animal, whom he had chastised so many times, caused
Philip no slight alarm, for there was good reason to believe that some
signal vengeance might be wreaked upon him, and he peered closely into
the hairy, feather-bedecked face to learn whether his identity was
discovered.

If Goliah recognized his old master he gave no sign of such fact,
probably because he had more important business on hand just at that
moment. He stopped only long enough to glance at the frightened youth,
and then, consulting for an instant with the two behind him, uttered
several sharp cries, which were evidently commands. Immediately Philip’s
captors led him into an adjoining room, where was such a scene as would
have convinced the most skeptical that the monkey-tribe can be trained
to become useful in many ways.

In this apartment were at least fifty apes seated at two long tables,
and all in a state of the most intense excitement. They had before them
large quantities of paper, huge bottles of ink, and a numerous collection
of quill-pens, which they were using with the same industry and energy
as shown by the feeders of the fire. They leaned over the table like
weary clerks, dipping their pens into the inkstands frequently, often
mistaking their paws for the quills in the general hurry and confusion,
and scribbling upon sheets of paper spread before them, as if trying
to imitate, with the greatest possible fidelity, a party of overworked
journalists.

With their quills, or fingers, they scratched incessantly, spattering ink
in every direction, and sheet after sheet was covered with what looked
not unlike a stenographer’s notes.

When the paper was sufficiently bespattered with ink it was passed to
a venerable old monkey, who occupied a single desk at the further end
of the room, and he, after examining it intently, affixed one of those
little, red-paper seals which are used on legal documents. Then it was
handed to a monkey stationed just outside the door, and by him passed
along a line, precisely as the wood at the volcano had been, save that,
so far as Philip could understand, the messengers were sent toward the
sea-coast.

After the lapse of ten or fifteen minutes the same paper was returned
to the house and handed to Goliah, who, with an air of greatest wisdom,
scanned it carefully. Then he in turn passed it to another old ape in
an adjoining room, who was probably a register of deeds, a recorder of
wills, or whatever title is bestowed upon the keeper of monkey documents.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE BABOON TASK-MASTER.


From what he saw in this private counting-room Philip was convinced that
the apes were trying to imitate scenes which they had witnessed before
the unaccountable dispersion of the colony.

During Captain Seaworth’s stay upon the island, and while laying out
work on the plantations, he most likely had occasion to transmit many
written messages to his assistants, who were probably scattered over a
considerable extent of territory; therefore Goliah and his companions
must have seen very often that which they were portraying so grotesquely.

The big baboon, either from a desire to see the greatest possible number
of servants at work or because the dispatches were not brought back fast
enough to occupy all his time, had apparently decided to make Philip
his chief clerk, for he gave orders—or so the prisoner supposed, from
the cries which were uttered—and one of the scribblers vacated his seat
at the table. To this the animal-trainer was led. A package of paper
and several quill-pens were placed before him, and from the expressive
gestures indulged in by all the party there could be no question but that
he was commanded to cover the blank sheets with something which had a
semblance to writing.

Philip was not in a position to rebel. In fact, this treatment was so
different from what he had expected that he felt an intense relief at
learning the punishment was to be so slight. Before being allowed to
cease work, however, he had good proof that his life was to be quite the
reverse of an easy one.

During the first hour he worked with reasonable industry, cheered by the
hope that in so doing he might, through some unlooked-for chance, bring
human beings to his aid. In bold, legible handwriting he covered each
sheet with this brief appeal for assistance:

    Philip Garland, a merchant from New York, shipwrecked on this
    island, is held captive by a large troop of apes, who have
    taken possession of cottages erected by Captain Seaworth.
    Should this, by chance, fall into the hands of his countrymen,
    they are asked in the name of mercy and humanity to aid him in
    escaping.

There was a bare possibility that some of these documents might be lost
by the messengers and found by those who would try to aid him. Improbable
though such a contingency was, it served to cheer him at his work, and
Goliah appeared pleased because of the rapidity with which the sheets
were returned.

When an hour had passed, however, he not only grew weary, but dispirited,
and would have stopped had not two apes, who were stationed directly
behind his chair evidently by the big baboon’s orders, signified in the
most emphatic manner that he was to continue the work. One boxed his ears
soundly, while the other pointed toward the paper with harsh cries, which
were echoed by Goliah in a more commanding tone.

There was to be no cessation in this dispatch-writing, and with a groan
Philip resumed his labors, only to be subjected to the most violent usage
whenever he faltered in the task.

The day passed with the animal-trainer still at the table, his head
aching and his fingers cramped so that he could hardly hold the pen. He
had long since ceased to write appeals for help, but covered the paper
with any kind of marks made at random. Twice during the afternoon he
ceased his labors because of sheer weariness, and on both occasions not
only the two apes behind his chair, but all their companions in the room,
pinched his arms, pulled his hair, struck heavy blows on his head, or
scratched his face with their sharp claws.

Night came, and although it was not possible for him to see the marks
left by the pen, his guards kept vigilant watch, forcing him by the most
severe punishment to continue until the light of another dawn illumined
the room wherein half a hundred vindictive animals watched for the least
sign of faltering on the part of their unhappy prisoner.

It was when he believed it would be absolutely impossible to hold the
quill between his nerveless fingers another moment that the sound of a
bell from some remote portion of the building caused every ape to leave
the room, and Philip staggered to his feet like one on the verge of
exhaustion.

During these twenty-four hours he had blackened many quires of paper,
and each sheet had passed from one ape to another, probably making half
the circuit of the island before it was returned to Goliah. But now his
labors were ended for the time being, at least, and he ran down the
stairs as if thinking this bell summoned him to the breakfast he so
ardently desired.

The two sentinels behind his chair had not ceased their duties of
overseers, but in Goliah’s absence it was evident they did not dare to
restrain his movements; and thus, comparatively free in a dwelling filled
with brute enemies, he was allowed to proceed unmolested until he arrived
at the veranda in the rear of the building, where an old ape was tugging
vigorously at a bell attached to a post.

This veranda led into what might be called a court-yard, around each side
of which were long, low buildings, probably used as sleeping-apartments
for Captain Seaworth’s crew and clerks. The yard was covered with an
awning, and in the center had been built a small pond, bordered with
the tropical plants which grew in such profusion on the island. Here
and there a banana-tree upreared its glossy leaves, and at irregular
intervals smooth trunks of the bamboo thrust their delicate foliage
through apertures made in the awning.

It was a place where wearied workers might seek rest from their toil, and
undoubtedly Captain Seaworth had caused it to be so arranged for his own
especial enjoyment.

An air of homeliness at variance with what Philip had already witnessed
was presented in the person of an old monkey seated near the shore of the
miniature pond holding her baby, while she watched, with all the care and
considerably more than the tenderness of our imported French nurses, over
several little monkeys who were not yet old enough to run about alone.

Such was the view from the veranda looking into the court-yard. Gazing
in the opposite direction, however, a less interesting spectacle was
presented. Philip was standing just outside of what had evidently served
as Captain Seaworth’s dining-room. Here the tables had been spread by the
monkey attendants, or left by the domestics originally employed in the
house, and the scene of disorder may be imagined. Plates were scattered
about in every direction—on the floor, the chairs and the window-sills.
Broken glassware and crockery rendered walking dangerous unless one’s
feet were well protected. Knives, forks, spoons, tumblers, bottles and
fragments of food were strewn over the room in the greatest profusion.

Amid all this disorder, even as Philip stood gazing about with surprise
and dismay written on his face, Goliah strutted into the room and seated
himself in the very middle of the table, while his immediate following
clustered around him, some on the floor, others on chairs, and the two
old advisers occupied either end of the festive-board.

Philip’s hunger was too great to admit of his being fastidious. None of
the monkey-guests appeared to pay any particular attention to him, and he
entered in the hope of finding food which was yet in a condition to be at
least palatable.

All evidence of the cook’s skill, however, had long since been devoured
or destroyed. The apes were eating raw vegetables, corn and leaves. The
leaders of the party were feasting on a peculiar bark which had been
freshly stripped from the trees, and was evidently considered as a choice
morsel. They were by no means averse to their human servant partaking of
the delicacy, and were even painfully hospitable, acting on their usual
rule of all engaging in the same occupation at the same time.

Several gathered around Philip, and with manners more forcible than
polite thrust into his mouth pieces of the bark, vegetables which
resembled yams, and even going so far, in their eagerness, as to push
two or three pieces of crockery between his teeth. In order to make
certain that he was getting his full share, one venerable monkey held his
mouth open that the others might more quickly satisfy his hunger, and it
required very violent exertions on his part to prevent being choked to
death.

Fortunately for him, before the entire party could indulge in this
alleged hospitable work a number of apes entered the room bearing large
quantities of the favorite bark, and a frantic rush was made by all the
feasters, which resulted in his being neglected for the moment.

To satisfy his hunger with the articles of food here in the dining-room
was impossible, while to remain might be to subject himself to a diet of
crockery and glassware; therefore, at a moment when he fancied himself
unnoticed, he stole softly out of the window into the court-yard, and
continued on to the further end, where was a sign over one of the doors
bearing the word “Kitchen.”

Not alone did he go, however, for the counselors on the table seeing his
departure ran quickly after him, and in a twinkling every occupant of
the dining-room was at his heels—not for the purpose of restraining his
movements, but to learn what would be done.

To avoid this unpleasant retinue, if possible, he darted into an
apartment midway between the kitchen and the veranda, which was evidently
Captain Seaworth’s sitting-room. Here the work of destruction had not
been so complete. Several chairs were yet in serviceable condition, while
a violin, two guitars and a banjo hung on the walls with no marks of
having been touched by the long-tailed invaders.

Philip did not delay in this room, however, since food was the one object
of his desires, and he passed through several apartments until the
kitchen was finally reached.

To this place the instincts of the apes were sufficient to give them
free access. The doors of the cupboards were yet closed, for the
invaders had not been able to unfasten the catches. The marks of their
vain attempts in this direction, however, were written plainly in long
scratches across the doors, as if they had been seeking for some secret
spring, overlooking entirely the buttons and bolts.

Every member of the party from the dining-room was close at his heels
when he opened the first of the cupboards and found it filled with all
kinds of canned meats, poultry, vegetables, sardines, jam, milk, and
other delicacies which were probably intended for the officers of the
expedition.

The most conspicuous article in the closet was a huge jar of preserved
ginger which had most likely been taken on board during the latter
portion of the voyage, and this immediately attracted Goliah’s attention.
The lid was partially off, and with one blow of his paw he dislodged it
entirely, thrusting his head into the jar up to the shoulders.

His followers, envious of his good fortune, and not being able to procure
for themselves anything from this newly-discovered hoard because of the
narrowness of the door, seized their leader by the tail, pulling him from
one side of the room to the other regardless of his efforts to remain
quiet long enough to enjoy the unexpected feast.

As a matter of course the baboon was dragged over no inconsiderable
space; but he managed to keep his head within the neck of the jar,
and his zealous subjects only succeeded in rolling both him and the
sweetmeats about, his hairy shoulders completely filling the mouth of the
vessel so that none of the contents were spilled.

Philip was entirely neglected during this strife in which every member
of the brute company took part, and it was evident the struggle would be
ended only when Goliah’s tail was pulled out, the jar broken, or his head
removed from its sweet resting-place.



CHAPTER XV.

A MONKEY-FEAST.


During five minutes Philip watched the struggle between Goliah and
his subjects with no slight amusement. The baboon’s long tail made an
excellent handle, and by the aid of it the apes swung him around and
around, with the jar still covering his head, in what was at the same
time a most laughable and dangerous manner.

It would have been possible for the baboon to release himself at any
moment by loosening his hold of the jar; but the dainties to be found
therein were too enticing to be relinquished so readily, and without
protest he allowed himself to be flung from one side of the room to the
other, he eating greedily all the while.

This struggle was not confined to the baboon and those who were swinging
him around in such a lively fashion. It was only possible for half a
dozen of his followers to grasp the tail, and the others were not content
to remain simply as spectators when there was a possible opportunity to
gorge themselves. The two old counselors had managed to seize the jar,
but their united efforts were not sufficient to wrest it from Goliah;
yet, having smeared their fingers with the juice which trickled over the
leader’s shoulders, both were wildly eager to gain possession of some
portion of the dainty.

Nor were they the only ones possessed with the same desire. The entire
company seemed to have but one idea, which was to partake of preserved
ginger at the earliest possible moment, and before five minutes elapsed
there was every indication of an extensive riot. Each ape had begun to
struggle with his neighbor, urged on alike by his love of sweetmeats and
his instincts of imitation.

Now, while Philip would have welcomed the sudden death of the huge baboon
who held him captive, he was by no means disposed to have the party
engage in deadly combat if it could be avoided. He knew full well that
before the fight had progressed very far one or more of the company would
seize upon him; and in this encounter, where heads were pounded against
the wall without any regard to the thickness of skull, he would stand in
very much the same position as did the fragile vase when the bull made
his way into the china-shop.

Unfortunately there was but one jar of preserved ginger, and although he
held out glass after glass of the jam and other preserves, not a single
member of the party accepted the gift. Each was looking for a prize of
the same size as that in Goliah’s possession, and nothing smaller would
satisfy his ambition.

Then Philip attempted to leave the room, thinking they might follow, or
that he would at least be free; but this was a movement impossible of
execution owing to the whirling apes between him and the door, and any
retreat was out of the question because the closet was too narrow to
serve as a place of refuge.

Each second the strife waxed warmer, until it seemed as if the apartment
was filled with monkeys of all sizes, who were being swung in the air by
their tails; and more than once was Philip knocked down by the heads or
arms of these living missiles.

At the moment when he had given up all hope of being able to check the
wild scramble his eyes lighted upon a bag of nuts. In a twinkling he
emptied them on the floor, and in an equally short space of time the
confusion ceased as every ape began to scramble for his share of the
fruit.

Goliah was the only one who did not join in this last scene. When those
who had attached themselves to his tail let go their hold he was flung
into one corner of the room with the jar still pressed tightly to his
shoulders, and there he remained, unheeded and unheeding, gorging himself
with the sweetmeats until the skin of his stomach was stretched as tight
as the head of a drum.

While the long-tailed company were enjoying this unwonted feast, and
strewing the floor thickly with nutshells, Philip made all haste to
satisfy his hunger. There were plenty of sardines in the way of solid
food, and these, with ship’s-biscuit, made a reasonably hearty meal,
which he ate standing half in the cupboard, lest his companions should
suddenly become possessed of the idea to indulge in these oily delicacies
also.

During this time, and before the other feasters had exhausted the supply
of nuts, he held the closet-door only partially open, determined to shut
and lock it when his hunger was appeased, for he knew full well it would
be but the work of a few seconds for the apes to clear everything from
the shelves if they were given the opportunity.

But it was while taking the greatest precautions that he was in reality
the most careless.

Having eaten enough he desired to quench his thirst, and to that end
had broken the top from a bottle of wine, there being many cases in the
cupboard. In the absence of a glass he was forced to use the bottle as
a drinking-vessel, and to do so it was necessary to raise it above his
head. He was thus obliged to turn partially around, forgetting the fact
that he was exhibiting himself to the company.

Before his thirst was assuaged he had painful evidence of his
indiscretion. In the twinkling of an eye every ape ceased cracking nuts
and leaped toward the closet, while Philip, taken thus by surprise, had
not time to shut the door. As a matter of course all the party could
not come within reach of the cupboard at the same moment, but those in
advance passed the wine-bottles to their companions in the rear until
every monkey had enough of this unusual beverage to make him tipsy in
short order.

As soon as possible Philip shut the cupboard-door; but it was a case
of “locking the stable after the horse had been stolen,” and he looked
around with dismay as he saw each of his long-tailed companions holding
a bottle to his mouth, evidently wondering how the stupid man could have
found so much satisfaction in what was to them very dry fun.

The fact that they did not know enough to draw the corks caused him to
hope none of the party would succeed in getting any liquor; but in this
he was speedily disappointed.

It was one of Goliah’s advisers who, after watching Philip stealthily,
had begun the rush for the bottles, and this old fellow knew exactly how
their prisoner had set about extracting the contents.

The aged ape struck off the head of the bottle with a potato-masher which
was on the table, and five minutes later the floor was strewn with broken
glass, while every animal in the room except Goliah was busily engaged in
making himself more brutish than nature intended.

Philip stood gazing at this apparently convivial company with dismay
written on every feature of his countenance. If sober apes were
disagreeable companions, what would be the result when he was surrounded
by three or four hundred drunken animals? There could be no question but
that they would be intoxicated when each had finished his bottle, and
then the position of the captive, already disagreeable, must necessarily
be increased a hundred-fold.

It was probably the silence of the feasters which aroused Goliah from
his ginger-dream. He withdrew his head, plentifully besmeared with the
saccharine liquid, to gaze stupidly about him, while pieces of the
preserves hung from his nose, ears and eyebrows in the most picturesque
fashion. Gorged though he was, the sweet repast did not suffice when his
followers had something different, and with one bound he leaped upon the
smallest monkey-toper. To choke the astonished little reveler and wrest
his bottle from him was but the work of a moment, and then the king of
the island began his vinous portion of the feast.

Now, as if he had not already done himself sufficient injury, Philip
speedily set the example of a yet more alarming phase in this monkey orgy.

Angry because of what he had unwittingly done he dashed his empty bottle
against the cupboard-door.

This example was contagious. In another instant every ape was busily
engaged in belaboring his companions with bottles, and fragments of glass
flew in all directions.

Now, more than ever, was it difficult to leave the apartment. The
hailstorm of glass was so thick as almost to obscure the vision, and
Philip crouched behind the cooking-stove to protect himself from the
flying particles.

Two seconds later a groan of horror burst from his lips, for every one
of the half-drunken monkeys immediately conceived it necessary to do the
same thing, and he was undermost in the living stack, each member of
which continued to beat the other with such fragments of glass as had
survived the first onslaught.

It seemed certain he would be crushed to death—crushed between two or
three hundred quarts of wine encased in apes’ skins, and each of these
animated bottles writhing, twisting and scratching to get undermost.

It was fully fifteen minutes before Philip could so far extricate himself
as to be able once more to divert the attention of the party, and then he
seized the first possible means of deliverance. Wresting a half-shattered
bottle from the clutch of the nearest ape, he threw it toward the window,
and, as a natural consequence, every monkey about him struggled to his
feet that he might repeat the movement.

While this afforded him some slight relief, it was decidedly a dangerous
experiment. The wine had begun its work, and the apes were now so
thoroughly intoxicated as to have no idea of direction.

Instead of hurling the sharp fragments through the window, as Philip
intended they should, the long-tailed drunkards threw them at the doors,
the stove, or their companions, until one would have thought himself in a
fierce storm, where hail-stones were replaced by glass.

To remain upright without great danger of being seriously wounded, if not
killed, was impossible, and he who had begun this last and most dangerous
amusement was forced to throw himself on the floor to avoid the flying
particles.

Again did he witness another painful proof of an ape’s power of
imitation. In a twinkling every animal in the room threw himself on the
floor, and once more did Philip find himself the “under dog in the fight.”

He was wounded in numberless places from the claws of his companions or
the fragments of glass, and yet, whether he arose or remained passive,
there was still the sad satisfaction of knowing that it was he, and he
alone, who set the fashion in this kingdom of apes.



CHAPTER XVI.

AN APISH ORGY.


It required ten minutes of difficult work before Philip could succeed
in leaving the room where he had thoughtlessly done so much mischief,
and then, with all the drunken apes close at his heels, he ran into
the court-yard and threw himself on the bank of the tiny stream, so
thoroughly disheartened as to be careless of what further trouble might
come.

The scene which was presented under the awning during the next half-hour
would have given a disinterested spectator no slight amount of amusement,
but in Philip’s eyes it was too painful to admit of even a smile.

The party were seated as near the border of the pond as possible, and
to have some idea of the picture the reader should multiply any grossly
intoxicated person he has seen by about four hundred; but even then, and
with the most vivid imagination, he could hardly do full justice to the
spectacle.

They leered at each other, called names in the monkey language, very
likely told improbable stories, and argued after the fashion of men. Here
and there a party of a dozen were raising their voices in discordant
notes, which was not unlike the maudlin singing of human beings. Now and
then one would stagger back and forth in a vain attempt to get nearer
the pond, while his companions did all in their power to keep him back.
Then an ape, catching a glimpse of his own tail, and believing that it
belonged to his neighbor, would seize and pull it until he literally
overturned himself. If in falling he struck any other member of the
party, an incipient riot was started, but not to continue very long,
owing to the inebriated condition of all.

Those nearest the prisoner overwhelmed him with rough caresses, which
at times threatened to leave him entirely bald, because of the desire
to show affection by examining each particular hair on his head. If
they had understood the custom and significance of hand-shaking, the
animal-trainer’s troubles would have been much greater; but as it was,
he had even more in the way of trials than could be borne with any
respectable show of equanimity.

Taking the scene as a whole, and knowing exactly how these disagreeable
companions had been made more brutish than was natural, it presented such
a lesson as Philip must have profited by, for one cannot see even drunken
men without realizing the beauties and benefits of temperance.

To move ever so slightly was to find the others doing the same thing, and
Philip waited patiently throughout the whole of that long, dreary day,
hoping his companions would soon be wrapped in slumber, when he might
make his escape to the grotto.

But he waited in vain. At intervals certain members of the party would
doze; but there was no moment when more than fifty were in a state even
approaching unconsciousness, although the entire troop grew more quiet,
if not more sober, when the shadows of night began to gather.

Probably no man ever so desired to escape observation as did Philip,
when, just after sunset, he arose cautiously and made his way toward the
kitchen in the hope of being able to penetrate that portion of the house,
where he might find some degree of privacy. Surely, there should be a
small apartment in which he could barricade himself, and it was with this
in his mind that he entered the building.

Here, however, the gloom was already filling the room—for night in the
tropics comes on very rapidly—rendering some artificial light necessary.
With every reason to believe there might be lamps or candles in the
cupboard he opened the door once more, closing it very suddenly as the
entire body of apes rushed in, ready for any further mischief which might
present itself.

Philip stood for an instant with his back to the closet, wondering if
it would be safe to make any investigations while his companions were
so near, and as he faced the party it was impossible to check his mirth
despite all the reasons he had for sorrow.

The monkey-topers, now partially recovered from the effects of the wine,
were looking thoroughly demoralized and repentant. Some were holding
their paws to their heads as if to check the pain, while others appeared
to be suffering most in the region of the stomach. The majority of the
party yet walked unsteadily, and at short intervals squads of from ten to
twenty would return to the pond in order to quench the unnatural thirst
which was causing them to feel very wretched.

Under such a condition of affairs Philip believed that his followers were
incapable of any serious mischief, and, holding the cupboard door only
partially open, he reached inside for the purpose of providing himself
with a light.

Again chance aided, and the apes outwitted him. His hand struck the lid
of a box, and, displacing the cover, he found that it was filled with
candles, while piled in one corner immediately behind it was a quantity
of matches.

Now it became necessary to use both hands, and with one he extracted a
candle from the box, while with the other he ignited the wick.

This movement necessarily prevented him from retaining his hold on the
cupboard-door, and the half-sobered apes in the rear immediately seized
upon the opportunity. Philip’s candle was but just lighted when with a
rush they dashed into the closet, and behold! three hundred apes each
with a candle and a package of matches, forming a cordon around Philip,
and making the air heavy with brimstone as they rubbed the “fire-sticks”
on the doors, floor, stove, or more than once on their own hides. As
Philip had done so did every ape in the room, and with the most alarming
consequences. Now and then one less sober than his companions would
ignite a full bunch of matches, much to his alarm and confusion. As a
matter of course, such a blunderer immediately threw the blazing bits of
wood to the floor, thereby causing the animal-trainer no slight fear, for
it was impossible to say when the others might not do the same thing.

It seemed as if this was the culmination of all Philip’s troubles, for
to place a match and candle in the hands of a sober ape is to supply
the means of a conflagration, and what must be the result when these
dangerous things are controlled by intoxicated brutes?

Philip’s first thought was to extinguish his own candle; but even while
on the point of doing so it flashed into his mind that by causing the
flame to disappear he might seem to have thrown it away, and then would
ensue a scene similar to the one with the bottles, making the immediate
destruction of the building inevitable.

It was plain that, having thus far committed himself to the necessity
of artificial light, he must retain possession of it, and he made great
show of holding it carefully in both hands—a movement which was at once
imitated by the others, but not so cleverly as would have been the case
under other circumstances.

The result of this precaution was that at least one ape out of every
three burned his paws, while the other two singed their nearest neighbors
until the odor of burning hair was almost stifling.

Now the room resounded with cries of pain, and those who had been
burned belabored the party next to them, regardless of whether they had
inflicted the injuries or not, until the entire throng were flogging
each other with these tiny flames, scattering wicks and tallow in every
direction, while the blazing of hair added to the general illumination.

Philip realized that something must be done immediately, and he forced
his way out through the drunken crowd to the court-yard, going from there
to the sitting-room with the intention of gaining the street.

The door to this last apartment was fastened, however, and in order to
push back the bolts he placed his candle on the window-sill.

Before five seconds had elapsed every portion of the room was
decorated with lighted candles, and for the time being all danger of a
conflagration was averted, while the apes themselves gave evidence of
being in some familiar place.

It was probable that Captain Seaworth had given a party, or sanctioned
a gathering of his officers and the colonists, when the room had been
illuminated after this same fashion, and equally probable that the apes
were spectators, at some time in the past, of the scene from the outside.

They exchanged glances with each other, chattered noisily, and
gesticulated vigorously, while Philip stood gazing at them in amazement,
wondering what new phase of danger he was about to encounter.

An instant later four or five, whose memory was better than their
companions’, seized upon the musical instruments which hung on the wall
and began striking the strings with both hands and feet, while the
others, each with a partner, whirled, leaped and shouted as they went
through with the movements of a dance. One couple would dart up and down
the room, taking about four strides to cover the entire distance; another
set circled around and around within a circumscribed space; and yet more
stood bowing and scraping, until, had the scene been presented on the
stage of a theater, it would have called forth the most generous applause.

Every detail of a ball-room was here depicted after a certain apish
fashion, and the fact that at least half the company wore some portion of
clothing lent a decided air of realism to the scene.

The amateur musicians were most industrious, and since their idea of
perfect harmony was the greatest possible amount of noise, the result can
be imagined. Their facilities for playing were much greater than man’s.
For instance, a huge ape who had taken one of the banjos was seated on
the floor holding it with his left foot, while the right and both hands
were used to strike resounding blows on the strings. The performer on the
guitar had pressed into service a small monkey as assistant, and while
the latter held the instrument above his head, the musician used hands
and tail with which to draw forth wild and discordant strains.

Goliah had left the apartment immediately the dance began, and Philip’s
idea was that he had simply gone to station sentinels around the building
to prevent his escape; therefore he remained in one corner of the room,
hidden as far as possible from the merry-makers, not daring to show the
least desire to quit the scene of the festivities.

The remainder of the party did not appear to be at all disturbed by the
absence of their leader. They waltzed, polkaed, bowed and promenaded,
chatting gaily meanwhile; but after half an hour of this sport the
greater number followed the big baboon’s example, until not more than
twenty couples were left to go through the motions of keeping time to the
discordant braying of the instruments.

If Philip deluded himself with the idea that they were growing tired, and
that he would speedily find an opportunity of making his escape, he was
mistaken.

In less than a quarter of an hour the outer doors were thrown open with a
crash, and the animal-trainer looked up in astonishment to see entering
the room what at first glance appeared to be a party of richly-dressed
ladies and gentlemen.

There were half a hundred apes wearing muslin, silk and calico dresses;
some with shawls, others with bonnets, and not a few carrying gloves in
their hands, all attended by male escort clad in a variety of costumes.

It was Goliah who led this brilliant party, and leaning on his arm, but
looking terrified, was Sweet Alice, who had evidently been forced by
the baboon to take part in the merry-making while her mate remained a
prisoner in the cage.

After what Philip had already witnessed there was no trouble in divining
where these costumes had come from. The memory of a similar scene, when
the colonists had appeared dressed in their best, was probably so vivid
in the minds of the apes that the houses of the settlement had been
immediately ransacked for a supply of finery.

Had Philip been able to so far disassociate himself from the painful fact
that he was a captive, and become once more a student of natural history,
he would have received a most interesting lesson regarding the point
where instinct ceases and mental effort begins.



CHAPTER XVII.

INCONVENIENT MEMORIES.


Up to this time those of the apes who had once been articles of
merchandise in Philip Garland’s establishment gave no signs of
remembering their past treatment, and he congratulated himself, even amid
his troubles, that they did not take it into their apish heads to put him
through the same course of training as he formerly practiced.

This lack of memory was only temporary, however, as he soon had the best
of reasons to know, and never did a man repent more bitterly his attempts
at animal-training than Philip on this eventful evening, while his
long-tailed hosts were indulging in the gayeties of a ball.

The sport was at its height. The partially-clad apes were whirling around
the room, evidently enjoying the dance as much as ever their masters and
mistresses did; and Philip stood in one corner, hidden by the throng,
watching for an opportunity to make his escape through one of the
half-opened windows leading to the front veranda. He believed the apes
had for the time being forgotten him, but in this he made a sad mistake.

Suddenly a large monkey, who had formed a part of the collection sold
to Captain Seaworth’s officers, came close to his old master. Philip
recognized him as one whom he had taught, after much labor and many
blows, to play the banjo, and from the expression of the animal’s face he
understood that further trouble for himself was near at hand.

The monkey scanned him so long and intently that half a score of the
dancers ceased their sport and gathered around, full of curiosity to
learn what was to be done with this specimen of the human tribe.

It was as if the animal had tried to attract the attention of his
comrades. When there was a sufficient number around to prevent any
possibility of the animal-trainer’s escape, the monkey went to that
portion of the room where one of the banjos was hanging, and, taking down
the instrument, thrust it into Philip’s hands as he uttered a hoarse cry
in a commanding voice.

At this moment the other members of the company who had formerly belonged
to Philip’s establishment gathered around in high glee, and there could
be no mistake as to their intentions. As the animal-trainer had taught
his articles of merchandise, so now they were going to teach him, and the
lesson would unquestionably be painful as well as humiliating.

For an instant Philip’s pride prevented him from playing the part of
musician to the monkey-dancers, and he shook his head as if to say it was
impossible. Almost at the same moment he regretted having refused, for
the monkey immediately struck him across the face with the instrument,
dealing such a blow as sent the unfortunate captive staggering back
against the wall.

Again was the punishment about to be repeated, but before the blow could
be delivered Philip suddenly remembered how to play, and, swallowing
his pride as best he could, took the banjo, running his fingers lightly
across the strings.

At this new phase in the game of monkey-turned-trainer Goliah joined the
party, and his memory proved to be even more perfect than that of the
others.

It had been Philip’s greatest achievement in the education of these
animals to form a trio, each ape performing on a different instrument;
and in order that the picture should be correct, Goliah called two of
those who were playing for the dancers to range themselves on either side
of his late master.

Thus behold the youth whose proudest boast had been that he could train
any animal, however ferocious, seated between two enormous baboons,
strumming on a banjo as if his very life depended upon the amount of
noise produced.

It is not necessary to say that this was no enjoyment to him; but it
certainly was to the remainder of the party, and they grinned and
chattered their approbation of the scene, while the one who had first
started the sport stood directly behind the musician, armed with a long
stick.

The unfortunate captive jangled the strings without regard to harmony,
and fondly fancied that this was the lowest humiliation he would be
forced to bear. But his genial captors had a different opinion regarding
the matter.

One of the party whom Philip had taught to climb a pole now seemed to
enter into conversation with Goliah—who shall say that apes cannot
talk?—and a few moments later he and two others left the apartment.

Philip was playing industriously to save his back from the shower of
blows which descended at the slightest diminution of noise, when the
three animals returned with a long, stout pole, and the musician dropped
his instrument, literally dazed with fear and bewilderment, for now
he understood what further sport he would be expected to make for the
entertainment of this long-tailed party.

Was he to be called upon to perform every trick which had been taught
in his emporium of wild animals? If such should prove to be the case,
three days would hardly suffice in which to display all the varied
accomplishments he had prided himself upon teaching, and in that time his
exertions might prove fatal.

Cold streams of perspiration ran down his face, although the ball-room
was far from being warm, at the bare idea of the brutish part he was
called upon to perform.

The pole was there, however, and Goliah’s two old counselors stood close
behind the prisoner, armed with long, pliant bamboos. Philip understood
only too well the purpose for which these whip-like sticks had been
brought.

There was no mistaking the gestures with which they commanded the
prisoner to climb the pole, and from the ingenious way of keeping it
upright one would have fancied they had often performed the same feat for
their own amusement.

Five or six of the smaller apes seated themselves on the floor, holding
the pole at the base. Those of intermediate height grasped it with their
hands a few inches from the bottom; while the tallest—which were the
baboons and mandrills—threw their gigantic arms above the others, and
planted their feet as props beyond the lower class.

Goliah advanced toward the captive with an imperious air as he pointed to
the pole and then to the sticks held by the aged apes. Philip understood
that it would not be wise to hesitate much longer. In fact he received an
immediate and decided incentive to obey.

Just as he was balancing himself preparatory to swinging over the living
pedestal, one of Goliah’s advisers struck him two severe blows, which had
the desired effect.

Enraged, but yet fully realizing the danger of allowing his anger to
display itself, he leaped forward and commenced climbing.

Although he may have been a thoroughly good teacher, it was not possible
for him to practice gracefully that which he taught; and despite his
most frantic efforts to ascend beyond reach of the bamboo poles which
the old apes kept constantly in motion, he could not succeed in climbing
more than a few feet above the heads of those who held the pole. He would
clamber up five or six inches, only to slip back the same distance, or
further, and all the while the lower portion of his body was a fair
target for his tormentors.

He now deeply regretted ever having attempted to train a monkey to climb
a pole, and still more bitter were his regrets that he had used for this
purpose a stout whip with which to belabor his pupils exactly as they
were now belaboring him.

The sport of dancing was entirely forgotten in this new amusement, and
each member of the party seemed to think it the height of pleasure to
aid Goliah’s counselors in their efforts to make matters lively for the
animal-trainer.

He climbed and slipped back, raising himself as the blows grew more
furious, and then, despite all efforts, fell on the heads of those who
were holding the instrument of torture. His trousers and coat were torn
almost to tatters, and his skin scratched and bleeding. He was literally
in rags before a quarter of an hour had elapsed, and so thoroughly
exhausted as to be on the point of rebelling, regardless of the severe
punishment which would inevitably follow, when a lucky accident put an
end to this form of misery.

Under the incentive of blows more severe than the preceding ones, he
leaped upward and at the same time sideways, grasping the pole higher
than before. By this means his weight was thrown at an angle, and the
timber gave way in the middle.

The most comical antics of a clown in a circus would not have called
forth such applause as that which greeted Philip when he fell bruised and
bleeding upon the floor, while the entire company, even those who were
clad in the greatest profusion of fineries, had a jolly game of leap-frog
over his prostrate body.

For a moment he fancied this signal failure would cause his tormentors to
relinquish the one-sided sport; but he forgot that among the animals sold
to Captain Seaworth was his most accomplished pupil, who was now burning
with a desire to do his share toward training the teacher.

Philip had remained as he fell, with his face buried in his arms to
shield it from blows, when a vicious switch across the back caused him to
look up.

He saw before him his talented pupil, for whom he had received an extra
price because of the proficiency gained, comically scratching his thigh,
capering in the air, thrusting his tongue out in a mocking fashion, and
then whirling about on his head with both feet spread apart like a bent
fork. In fact this extremely lively animal was repeating all the grimaces
and contortions which had been instilled into his memory with so many
blows of the whip.

This part of the monkey’s performance was evidently for the benefit of
the spectators as well as Philip. He continued it several moments, and
then, bowing as he had been taught to do when receiving applause, stood
still, making the most imperative gestures to the prostrate youth.

Philip had climbed the pole because of the blows he had received, and
also because such a feat was, to a certain degree, within his power;
but to stand on his head and whirl around like a live teetotum was
impossible. He covered his face with his arms and remained motionless.

This immobility did not continue but a few seconds, for a hoarse scream
from Goliah caused half a dozen of the apes to beat his body as if it
had been a drum, until, knowing he would be pounded to a jelly should he
continue to disobey, he arose to his feet like one who had already tasted
the horrors of the whipping-post.



CHAPTER XVIII.

FROM THE FRYING-PAN TO THE FIRE.


Never before did an unwilling performer have such an attentive and at
the same time odd-looking audience. Under other circumstances Philip
would have been convulsed with laughter at the scene presented in this
drawing-room; but just now it was anything rather than comical, and
sorrow instead of mirth was imprinted upon his face. He, the redoubtable
trainer of animals, was about to attempt a handspring for a party of
apes, baboons, mandrills and monkeys!

Hardly knowing how to begin, he stood for a moment hesitating; but the
same means which had been employed to assist him in climbing the pole was
brought into requisition, until his limbs and back felt as if they had
been treated to a bath of fire.

Then the talented monkey turned one more somersault in front of Philip
and stood in an expectant attitude. There was no question but that he
intended the performance should be repeated, and the unfortunate youth
did his best to obey. He turned a somersault, and at the same time
twisted his spinal column until there was every reason to believe it was
dislocated.

Then the instructor stood on his head, and Philip was obliged to attempt
the same maneuver, but only to fail utterly. As a reward for his
awkwardness the bamboo sticks once more descended in a shower.

To relate all the misery and sorrows of the hour which followed would be
to tell one long tale of woe. Suffice it to say that as far as possible
the animal-trainer copied the movements of the demon-like monkey in front
of him. He jumped through hoops, blew kisses to the audience, went around
hat in hand begging for money, and realized, as never before, how much
labor his pupils had been forced to perform.

As he had shown anger when they failed, and treated them with liberal
doses of the whip, so did they give the same token of displeasure because
of his awkward movements.

This painful and humiliating performance might have continued until it
became literally an impossibility for Philip to raise either a hand or
foot, had it not been for an unexplained diversion.

He was thoroughly exhausted. It seemed that not even once more could he
go through the semblance of repeating his instructor’s example, and he
believed that the time had come when his career on this earth would be
ended forever, under the castigation of the apes. At this supreme moment
a sudden uproar in the adjoining apartment caused the spectators in this
new school of ground and lofty tumbling to rush helter-skelter from the
place of amusement, and to his most intense relief the unhappy captive
was left alone.

Bruised, bleeding and exhausted as he was, nothing save the knowledge of
his imminent peril could have induced him to so much as raise a hand.
Now, however, it was absolutely necessary, in order to save his life,
that he leave the village, and, limping painfully, he made his way
through the window to the street.

In which direction the grotto lay he had no idea, because of the
bewilderment that had come upon him during the past hour, and it was only
possible to rush blindly forward into the jungle, taking no heed of his
steps save that each one carried him further away from the scene of his
humiliation and punishment.

Stumbling, falling, rising only to fall again, he pushed on amid the
tangled foliage, nerved to almost superhuman exertions by the knowledge
of what his fate might be in case an escape was not effected.

In this manner, hardly knowing whether he continued in a straight course
or moved in a circle, he managed to press forward until the underbrush
became more sparse, and hope again sprung up in his heart. He supposed he
had arrived at the banana grove, where it was possible to procure food,
and from whence he would have but little difficulty in finding the grotto.

But for the fact that the events and ill-treatment of the evening had
dazed him, he would have exercised more care while traveling over an
unknown country. As it was, however, he walked blindly on, until he
found himself sinking amid the slime and water of a jungle marsh.

That which he had mistaken for the banana plantation was one of those
open morasses so frequent in this portion of the globe; and as the cold
water flowed around his aching body he realized the danger in which he
had thus incautiously placed himself.

In attempting to raise his feet and scramble back to more solid earth he
sunk the deeper, and then reason gave way to fear.

He knew that any effort on his part would make the situation more
dangerous; but this was forgotten in the frenzy which came upon him.

At the first plunge the water had only been within a few inches of his
knees; in five minutes it was at his waist, his lower limbs being so
imprisoned that any further movement of his feet was impossible.

Now came a new cause for alarm. He had felt himself growing weak for
several moments, but believing the faintness was caused by exertions made
during his rapid flight he paid no attention to the fact until, when held
prisoner by the mud, he discovered that his hands, face and neck were
covered with what at first glance appeared to be small caterpillars, dark
brown in color and striped with vivid yellow.

Under the most favorable circumstances they were disgusting-looking
creatures; but now, when by reason of his dangerous position every
disagreeable object was magnified, they seemed positively repulsive. He
attempted to brush away three or four which had fastened on the back of
his hand, and to his mingled surprise and horror they clung the tighter.

Taking hold of one with his thumb and finger he was forced to use no
slight amount of strength in removing it, and then a cry of terror burst
from his lips as he discovered that the repulsive thing was sucking his
blood.

He was covered with forest-leeches, which had attached themselves to
him during his flight through the woods, and his sudden and excessive
weakness arose from the enormous quantities of life-blood which they had
drained from his veins. For the instant his dangerous predicament was
forgotten in this new cause for alarm, and during five minutes he paid
but little attention to the fact that he was sinking deeper and deeper
into the mire while pulling the tiny vampires from his flesh.

Once these pests were removed, however, all the horrors of his situation
came upon him with redoubled force.

He was alone in a swamp, which continued to engulf him despite all
efforts, and it seemed certain that life, so painful but a short time
previous, was about to be extinguished.

However much one may wish for the approach of death, he instinctively
struggles against it when the summons comes. So it was with Philip. An
hour ago suffocation in the marsh would have seemed preferable to the
dangers by which he was surrounded; and yet, when the supreme moment was
so near at hand, the desire for life became strong once more.

Any efforts of his were useless, and to summon aid would be to call
around him the enemies from whom he had been endeavoring to escape; but
now that it was a question of life or death, he did not hesitate.

Again and again he cried for help, knowing that if his words were not
understood, those who had probably been sent in search of him would be
attracted to the spot by his voice. The exertion necessary to make this
appeal caused him to sink deeper and deeper in the treacherous mud, but
he continued to shout until the rustling of foliage warned him that help,
even though attended by danger, was at hand.

He expected to see the grinning face of Goliah or some of his adherents,
and even these would have been welcome; but to his inexpressible delight
it was the faithful chimpanzee who had responded to his cry for help.

Alice recognized his danger at once, and wasted no time in
investigations. With one paw clutching the trunk of a tree, which grew on
solid ground, she extended the other to him, and he grasped it with the
same desperate energy that a drowning man does the plank pushed out to
save him from death.

His own strength would have been insufficient to release him from the
predicament, for the mire had a hold stronger than human hands; but his
rescuer was powerful of limb, and, as he clutched her wrist with both
hands, she drew him safely to the shore.

It was several moments before he was able to make any movement toward
leaving the place, and during all this while Alice intimated, by the
expression of her face as well as by her gestures of anxiety, that he
should follow her.

When he had partially recovered from the exhaustion superinduced by his
flight and subsequent struggles, Philip motioned for the chimpanzee to
proceed, and at a rapid pace she led him through the jungle in, as he
thought, the direction of the grotto.

Only once during this fatiguing journey did the animal halt, and then
it was before a bubbling spring which, singularly enough in a land of
luxuriant vegetation, stood in a space of at least a hundred square yards
whereon not so much as a blade of grass was growing.

To find on this island such an arid spot caused Philip surprise, even
though he was so distressed both in body and mind; but he was not in
a condition to search for the cause, and would have passed by without
halting, motioning to Alice that he was not thirsty, if she by her
gestures had not insisted on his taking note of the water.

Thinking the best way to satisfy her would be to raise a few drops to his
lips, he dipped his hand in the spring. Instead of feeling the grateful
contact of cool liquid upon his flesh, it seemed as if he had touched
diluted lye. It was slightly warm, not of a very pleasant odor, and as he
attempted to rub the moisture from his fingers a lather like that made by
soap was produced.

For an instant he was at a loss to understand the meaning of this
apparent phenomenon, and then came the thought that he had heard his
friend, Captain Seaworth, speak of these soap-springs to be found in the
Malay Archipelago. It was a discovery which he welcomed quite as gladly
as though it had been pure water and he half-famished with thirst.

Hastily throwing off his clothes he plunged to the neck in the soapy
liquid, and never before was a bath more refreshing to a weary mortal.

Lathering his flesh again and again, he washed away all traces of
his plunge in the swamp, and after rubbing himself thoroughly, felt
that delicious sense of cleanliness which is so refreshing. The only
difficulty was to rid himself of the soapy substance, for however often
he might plunge beneath the surface the foam would appear every time he
passed his hand over his flesh, and it was only when in a partial state
of dryness that he put on his clothes once more, making gestures to the
chimpanzee that he was ready to continue the journey.

Although monkeys are not supposed to wash themselves, it was quite
evident she knew the properties of this water—perhaps from seeing some
of the colonists use it—and Philip could not fail to wonder at the
intelligence she displayed.

After half an hour’s rapid traveling the astonishment of the fugitive can
be imagined when, instead of arriving at the grotto, he found himself
inside the village.

This was the one spot of all others on the island which he wished to
avoid, and to the utmost of his ability he represented by gesture that it
was in the highest degree dangerous for him to go near Goliah.

Had Alice been able to speak his language she could not have replied
more expressively. By her movements he was made to understand that his
former place of hiding was known to the huge baboon, and that it would be
possible to secrete himself only in the very midst of his enemies.

“What matters it?” he said to himself. “The chimpanzee can lead me into
no greater danger than that to which I have already been exposed, and I
will follow her as confidently as I would a human being.”

Then he motioned Alice to proceed, and she led the way, much to his
surprise, directly through the main street of the settlement, where not a
single ape, monkey or baboon was to be seen.

Probably all had gone in search of him, and, knowing this, Alice had
formed her plans accordingly. She went directly to the house which he
had just left, and opened the door of the reception-room where he had
experienced so much humiliation and pain.

Then, as if to say that her continued absence might excite suspicion, she
motioned to the doors and wooden shutters of the windows as if advising
that they be closed, and left him to his own reflections.



CHAPTER XIX.

BESIEGED.


The behavior of the chimpanzee, as well as his own good common sense,
which he had had time to recover since the adventure in the marsh, told
Philip that it would be useless longer to fly from his enemies. He was
in a building constructed with especial reference to safety from outside
foes, and by barricading himself in the series of rooms which led from
the kitchen to the parlor he might be able to stand a siege of many days.

It is true he had no reason to expect aid, since it seemed most likely
Captain Seaworth’s party had been massacred; but yet time to wait for the
coming of human companions was the one thing desired, and to such end he
made every preparation.

On this, as well as on the other side of the building, each window had
heavy wooden shutters which could be closed from the inside, and the
doors were sufficiently stout to resist any attack which might be made
by the apes. As a matter of course, a determined body of men with the
proper tools could soon effect an entrance; but it was hardly probable
the animals would be able to break in after the place was once properly
fortified.

Philip understood that there was no time to be lost, for at any moment
Goliah and his forces might return. Therefore his first act was to shut
and barricade the three doors leading to the veranda. Then the heavy
shutters of the windows were closed and bolted, half a dozen candles were
lighted, and the fortification was as nearly complete as he could make it.

He now experienced a sense of security such as had not visited him since
the moment when he was thrown upon these inhospitable shores. There was
on hand sufficient food to last a long time, and he felt safe from any
immediate danger.

The one thing needful at this moment was slumber, and with a mind free
from apprehensions he made up such a bed in the dining-room as even a
less weary youth would not have disdained, closing his eyes in peaceful
sleep almost instantly after lying down.

He awakened in a calmer frame of mind than he had known since the time
when the good bark Swallow first encountered the gale, and was fully
alive to all the possibilities of his situation. He had no difficulty in
coming to the conclusion that so long as he was destined to remain on the
island he would be exposed to a vengeance worse than death at the hands
of those whom he had once treated as articles of merchandise. At present
he believed himself to be perfectly secure; but as a matter of course,
if he should dare to venture forth it would be to become the object of
renewed attacks, which very likely would end only in his death.

It was with such thoughts that his mind was occupied as he took from the
kitchen cupboard a fresh supply of candles to replace those long since
consumed, and then examined his miniature fortress to see if there was
any vulnerable point of attack which he had overlooked.

There was a second story, and through this it might be possible the apes
could effect an entrance, therefore he lost no time in examining the
upper portion of his refuge.

The rooms above were of the same size as those on the ground-floor; but
directly over the corner was a small bell-tower open on all four sides,
and entered by a trap-door. This last was secured by two iron bolts
which shut into mortices in the main timbers of the building, and, as he
believed, were sufficiently strong to resist any ordinary attack.

It was in this corner apartment over the parlor that Captain Seaworth
had established his private office, and, strange to say, it had thus far
escaped the observation of the apes. Everything was in the most complete
order. The books, papers and boxes which filled the shelves on either
side were as the commander of the ill-fated colony had left them. On
the writing-desk lay an unfinished letter to the stockholders of the
corporation, probably abandoned when the writer was called upon to resist
this army of apes.

It was not necessary for Philip to close the heavy window-shutters, for
they were already bolted, and in each was a sort of Venetian blind about
four inches square, which permitted a view of the surrounding country
while the spectator remained hidden.

Before examining further Philip looked from these loop-holes, and to his
dismay saw that he was already besieged.

At every point of vantage on the outside his enemies were posted. On the
elevations of land in the immediate vicinity, the branches of the trees,
and even the tops of the surrounding buildings, were groups of apes, who
watched this portion of the house as if understanding that in it was
hidden the human animal from whom they expected such rare entertainment
or revenge.

There could be no question but that they were on the _qui vive_, and at
the slightest movement of their captive would begin an attack. It was the
silent siege of an enemy who did not consider it necessary to conceal
himself behind his lines of defense.

Philip viewed the scene much as does a general when surveying a
battle-field. For the apes to climb up the sides of the house, whereon
were no projecting points, he knew was an impossibility, as it also was
for them to effect an entrance through the barricaded doors and windows.
To reach the tower from the adjoining buildings would not be difficult
for such agile climbers; but once there their opportunities for attack
would be no better than on the street below.

That Goliah was preparing for battle seemed hardly probable, since it is
not generally believed that animals know anything concerning warfare;
but yet he was certainly bringing up his troops in the most soldier-like
fashion. From the loop-holes Philip could see company after company
marching to this point or that in regular order; and no less than twenty
of the larger baboons, each wearing a saber by his side, were making
regular rounds of the clearing, as if inspecting the troops.

To give it more the appearance of a regular siege, only certain of these
long-tailed warriors were on watch, the others remaining close at hand
in readiness to open the battle at the first warning cry. These idle
ones were amusing themselves in a variety of ways. Some were wrestling,
others playing leap-frog, and not a few apparently interested in
story-telling—at least so it seemed to Philip in this latter case, for
parties of from fifteen to twenty were gathered around some venerable
monkey who appeared to be talking very earnestly.

Now and then Goliah would harangue the troops in the same manner as he
had addressed those composing the court-martial, and that he was making
direct reference to the house and its occupant could be told from the
fact that he frequently pointed to those on guard as well as to the
building, finally going through a series of threatening gestures, as if
explaining what he proposed to do when the time for action should come.

But for Philip’s knowledge of how nearly apes can copy the movements
of men he would have laughed at the baboons’ antics; but yet he could
not bring himself to believe his fortifications were in danger of being
carried, or that the enemy would make any real assault.

It seemed only reasonable to suppose the brutes would not continue very
long a siege which he could well sustain, according to the contents of
his larder, for many weeks; therefore, being tranquil in mind, he could
afford to examine leisurely his place of refuge.

A search resulted in his finding quite as much food for the mind as for
the body, which was a great boon, considering the length of time he
might be confined in this limited space. The apartment directly over the
kitchen had been fitted up as a library and lounging-room, probably for
the benefit of Captain Seaworth’s officers, and here was a collection of
books of travel.

In such an out-of-the-way corner of the world these silent companions
would be of the utmost value even in the case of those who enjoyed
freedom of action, but to Philip in his present condition they were rare
treasures.

His investigations in this quarter were ended for the time being, and
descending to the kitchen, he made such a breakfast of canned provisions
as was in the highest degree satisfactory, washing it down with moderate
draughts of light wine. Then he betook himself once more to Captain
Seaworth’s private office in the hope of finding something which would
give him a clew to the reasons why the island had thus been left to
Goliah and his followers.

A single written line indicating a combined attack of the apes would
explain why a large body of men had been overcome by the animals; yet,
armed as the colonists undoubtedly were, able to shelter themselves
behind the walls of the buildings, it did not seem as if any number of
the monkey-tribe could vanquish such a force as he knew had made their
headquarters on this island.

Yet it appeared as if such must have been the case, and Philip searched
among the papers in the hope of solving the riddle.

There were statements of moneys paid to the laborers, a detailed account
of the erection of all the buildings, together with mention of the time
occupied in unloading the vessel, dates as to when the crops had been
planted, memoranda to show what portion of the jungle was intended should
be cleared, and in fact all the minutiæ of the business connected with
establishing the colony, but no word relative to such enemies as Philip
had encountered.

Not until he was about to abandon the search did he find that for which
he sought. A large book lying carelessly at one side of the room had
hitherto escaped his observation because it seemed to be of little
importance, and he opened it without any idea that it might be the
document for which he had been hunting so eagerly.

The first page was sufficient to arrest his attention, for on it was
written, in bold letters, and in round, clear characters:

_Log of the ship Reynard, and Journal of my stay at Luzon._

Here was what Philip had been most anxious to find, and without thought
of the grinning faces which were keeping close watch over the building
he seated himself in an arm-chair, believing the mystery was about to be
solved.



CHAPTER XX.

CAPTAIN SEAWORTH’S JOURNAL.


The dry details of the log-book did not interest Philip save as they
showed him that the Reynard arrived at the island after a reasonably
prosperous voyage, with the colonists and crew in the best of health.

He read of the exploration of the island, where mention was made of the
extinct volcano which he had already seen, and learned that the village
was on the southernmost of the Toukang-Basi group.

Then, in rapid succession, he noted the author’s remarks relative to
certain portions of the land which it was proposed to cultivate, ran his
eye carelessly over the meteorological observations, and passed quickly
on to those pages where mention was made of the settlement, referring to
which Captain Sea worth wrote:

    The portable houses prove to be a most admirable invention.
    In fifteen days we have unloaded and set up every building,
    and not one joist has been wrongly measured or marked. In that
    short space of time we built an entire village resembling those
    to be found in Sumatra, and are as comfortably situated as the
    most captious colonist could desire.

    The Reynard has been brought around to the eastern shore,
    where we have found a small bay with water enough to float a
    line-of-battle ship, and the banks of which are so densely
    wooded that it is impossible to see a hundred yards in either
    direction. But for the fact that we are in the very center of
    a nest of Malay pirates, I should have no hesitation whatever
    about leaving her at moorings in charge of the boatswain. As it
    is, however, I am obliged to keep half the crew quartered on
    board, which reduces my working force very materially.

    If this colony does not succeed it will unquestionably be
    because of the ever-increasing audacity of the pirates who
    infest the seas in this part of the world. Their power
    increases year by year, and their flotillas have become fleets.
    The proas and junks are armed like frigates, and as sailors
    and fighting-men their crews are the most energetic of any
    nation; therefore it is that to guard against these marauders
    is the most important of all our duties, and better the work
    of planting should progress slowly than that we run the risk
    of having the fruits of our labor destroyed through neglect of
    precaution.

    The soil of the island is evidently very fertile. Flowers
    and fruits are abundant, and the thickest positively swarm
    with game. Save for the apes, which are as thick here as
    grasshoppers in a country field, this would be a garden spot
    indeed. But the apes destroy the charm of the place, since one
    must be constantly on watch against them, and they increase
    like flies. Unless some means can be devised to exterminate
    them we shall be forced to guard our plantations by night as
    well as by day, and therefore I have many serious misgivings
    as to whether the venture which has been so admirably planned
    will prove successful. To defend ourselves against the pirates
    from the ocean, and to save our crops from apes, we need at
    least two hundred more men; and whether I shall be justified
    in making the additional outlay, after it was decided that
    there were to be no further expenditures, is the question which
    disturbs me greatly.

    To guard against these monkey-robbers, who pull up our plants
    from sheer love of mischief, a high, barbed-wire fence would
    answer every purpose; but, unfortunately, it would cost more
    for such material than the additional force required, because
    it must be sent out in a ship from New York. My first officer
    counsels that we visit Lombok, Batavia, or Samarang, for the
    purpose of procuring natives, and his opinion I should incline
    to were it not for the fact that I am afraid to withdraw the
    entire ship’s crew from the island lest the colonists be
    overcome either by pirates or apes, the latter being quite as
    formidable as the former.

Here followed many notes regarding the labor already performed or
projected; and continuing after the banana plantation had been started,
Captain Seaworth wrote:

    Our house life is charming. The colonists are enjoying the best
    of health, in houses surrounded with palm-trees; and as for our
    own quarters, I never had anything to compare with these, not
    even in Madras, in point of comfort and elegance. We want for
    nothing, and our amusements are numerous. Once each week we
    give a ball in the drawing-room of the main building, and on
    Saturday mornings we hold an informal court on the open lawn to
    decide as to the business and government of our charming island.

    Again I am constrained to speak of our pests, the apes. So
    numerous are they, in fact, that one is almost certain, in
    discharging a gun at hazard, to bring down an animal; and their
    ferocity exceeds anything of which I have ever read. Those we
    brought from the establishment of Garland & Co. are civilized
    beings compared with the tribe we find here. It is a source of
    many jokes that we should have taken the trouble to bring so
    far pets which could be captured in such numbers. Instead of
    buying apes, we could ship a full cargo and never know they had
    left the island.

Again, the journal was continued with notes which would interest the
stockholders of the enterprise more than they did Philip, and he passed
hastily over them until he found the following:

    I have been trying to teach the gigantic baboon, Goliah, to
    follow me in the semi-weekly hunts we make for apes. Although
    hundreds are killed on each occasion the numbers do not seem
    to diminish, and we have decided to make hunters, if possible,
    of the apes we brought with us. Goliah, especially, would be
    invaluable could he be trained to prey upon those of his kind
    who so disturb us. Thus far, however, we have met with only
    partial success.

    During our excursion yesterday, while in the center of a large
    wood of mimosas, where I had wandered with the baboon, I
    suddenly saw advancing toward me with a club, which he carried
    like a drum-major’s cane, a gigantic mandrill, black as a
    negro, and followed by a regiment of apes.

    Goliah, generally so fierce and courageous, trembled with
    terror as he beheld this enormous animal. He recognized in him
    a conqueror, and consequently one to be feared. For the first
    time since owning him he crouched by my side like a frightened
    dog imploring protection, at the same time gnashing his teeth
    and beating his breast as he glanced furtively toward the
    gigantic beast who confronted him. This was the opportunity for
    which I had sought. If my baboon would fight the mandrill and
    come off victorious it might be possible the lesson had been
    learned, and I raised my rifle with the intention of wounding
    the brute, in order to make it more certain Goliah would
    vanquish him.

    Before I could discharge the weapon, however, the gigantic
    stranger leaped upon Goliah regardless of my presence, and the
    struggle between the two animals was terrific. Unquestionably
    my baboon would speedily have been killed, for in a few seconds
    he received most terrible punishment, and I was forced to fire
    at the risk of hitting the wrong one. Fortunately my aim was
    perfect, and the colossal mandrill fell dead.

    Never have I seen any animal display so much joy as did
    Goliah when his enemy expired. He would first shower blows
    upon the body, and then fawn on me with the most extravagant
    demonstrations of pleasure and thankfulness. With each buffet
    of the carcass his courage seemed to return, and I flatter
    myself that after a few more lessons he will understand his
    mission is the slaughter of these long-tailed pests.

    The apes who accompanied the mandrill dispersed immediately
    after his fall without offering any violence, but from the
    threatening demonstrations made to Goliah it seemed as if they
    were vowing vengeance; and he must have understood something of
    the kind, for despite his returning courage he hugged closer
    to my side, trembling violently all the while. Could they have
    gotten hold of him at that moment, the largest baboon ever
    owned by Garland & Co. would soon have been food for the ants.

    I shall have this enormous mandrill skinned, and dry his hide
    and bones, in order to present them to the Museum at Central
    Park on my return home.

“Then this is the story of the skeleton I found hanging on the mimosas
when I was first cast ashore here,” Philip said to himself. “He must
have hung it there that the ants might devour the flesh. But how much
different would have been my position had the captain or the mandrill
killed Goliah! I think I should most heartily enjoy seeing the bones of
that vicious baboon hanging side by side with those among the mimosas.”

This portion of the journal was concluded with two paragraphs, both of
which were particularly interesting to Philip, and he read as follows:

    From what I have heard of the habits of these peculiar animals,
    coupled with my own observations, I am of the opinion that the
    mandrill which I killed was the chief or leader of all the apes
    on the island, and am greatly in hopes the death of this beast
    may prevent many of their predatory excursions.

    On returning from this hunt I placed my rifle in the concealed
    armory, because I do not wish the baboons to get the idea that
    I use anything but the weapons provided by nature, for it might
    make them timid in the hunt which I am determined they shall
    indulge in before many weeks more.



CHAPTER XXI.

A HAPPY DISCOVERY.


The last paragraph which Philip read caused him to leap from his chair in
very excess of joy, since through it he learned that concealed somewhere
in the building—probably very near where he sat—was a collection of
weapons. If only so much as one rifle could be found, he would be
reasonably certain of holding his besiegers at bay, at least until the
provisions were exhausted.

Heeding not the volume, which had fallen to the floor, he made a hasty
circuit of the room, opening closet after closet until all but one had
been examined, and in this last he found that for which he sought.
Captain Seaworth had referred to it as “the armory,” but it must have
been his own private sporting weapons, for there were three fine
fowling-pieces, two rifles, and a large quantity of cartridges made up
for every kind of game.

To buckle on one of the ammunition-belts, fill it with ball-cartridges
and seize a rifle from the hooks was but the work of a moment, after
which Philip felt that at last he was in a condition to cope with a
hundred such as Goliah.

It was hardly possible to exterminate all the apes on the island from the
windows of the building, but he could certainly slay the most vicious,
and having done so, would in a certain measure be free to move around.

Philip now understood that Goliah had taken the place of the mandrill
whom Captain Seaworth killed, and was exercising the rights of leader
over them—an office which they probably respected because he approached
so nearly in size to their late chief. With Goliah and his counselors
dead, however, Philip’s position would be far more safe, if not
comfortable, and using the two chimpanzees as guard, it might be possible
to roam about the island at will. Then he could gather yet more gold from
the subterranean stream, and stow it away preparatory to removal as soon
as any vessel might visit that shore, unless, indeed, the pirates spoken
of in the journal should first make their appearance.

Now that he felt reasonably secure from the apes he began to fear those
marauders of the sea about whom he had read, and he could readily fancy
that to them was due the absence of the colonists. The pirates had
most likely made a raid upon the island, and killed or carried off as
prisoners those who were trying to establish the plantation.

Although this seemed the true and only reasonable explanation as to
why Captain Seaworth and his party had disappeared, it was certainly
strange and beyond Philip’s power to imagine why a more thorough sack
of the buildings had not taken place. That the pirates should leave all
this property—for so far as he had seen the houses were filled with a
plentiful supply of movable goods—seemed incomprehensible; but he was
not disposed to waste much time in these useless speculations. It was as
if he wished to enjoy the sense of security given by the weapons, and
advancing to the window he gazed through the loop-holes into the street.

The besiegers were still in the same places and the same attitudes of
hostility, but they had increased in numbers. From this point of vantage
he counted among the foliage and crouching behind the trunks of the trees
more than a hundred animals, all watching the closed windows with the
greatest intentness, and evidently waiting for an opportunity to begin
the attack.

Philip laughed to himself as he saw the vindictive faces of the apes, and
thought what a surprise he had in store for them, or how useless would be
their attempts to drive him out. But he failed to realize what they could
do in case of an attack, or how fierce might be the battle. The knowledge
that he had plenty of ammunition caused him to look upon these brute
enemies with a certain disdain which was destined to be changed to one of
fear before many days passed.

Leaving his position at the window he took the journal from the floor
and laid it on the table, but without any intention of reading it. He
would have plenty of time in which to pursue the investigation, and was
resolved now to enjoy himself after his own fashion. Besides, he was
weary with sitting still so long, and hungry. A further perusal of the
document which might reveal to him the cause of the colonists’ absence
could be had at any time, and there would undoubtedly be many dull hours
to while away; consequently he was in no haste to finish the captain’s
story.

A spiral staircase from the library led to the rooms below, and he went
into the kitchen intending there to have a hearty meal, for it would be
foolish not to enjoy that with which he was so generously provided.

There was an ample store of candles, and he lighted half a dozen in order
to give the semblance of a feast to his lonely repast.

Since his stay was indefinite and might be prolonged even into months,
he resolved to be methodical in his manner of living. Therefore, as the
first step in this direction, he set about arranging the table with as
much care as if he was to entertain a party of epicures.

Even at this moment, when he fancied his wants were so generously
provided for, came the knowledge that he would be denied water. During
his previous repast he congratulated himself that there was plenty of
wine, and thought this the most pleasant method of assuaging thirst;
but now he was of a different opinion. Although having been deprived of
nature’s beverage so short a time, he would have bartered a case of the
finest champagne in Captain Seaworth’s collection for a single pint of
such water as he had found in the grotto. But this it was impossible to
obtain, and during the elaborate meal he fancied how refreshing would be
coffee or tea rather than the rare vintages with which he was plentifully
supplied.

In the preparation of this meal he had an opportunity of taking account
of the stores on hand, and, as nearly as could be judged, there was
sufficient to last him at least three months; therefore fear of
starvation was not among his troubles.

A hearty meal was conducive to sleep, and being thoroughly the master
of his own time, Philip ascended the narrow staircase to the captain’s
bed-chamber, where, for the first time since the gale which wrecked the
Swallow sprung up, he was able to undress and retire in a Christian-like
fashion.

The unwonted luxury of a soft bed, clean sheets and pillows, were well
calculated to keep him within the borders of dreamland many hours, and
when he awakened the morning sun was just peeping in through the crevices
of the blind in the shutter.

With the awakening came the further and perhaps even greater desire for
water. He was denied even the pleasure of washing his face unless with
wine, and contented himself as best he could by using a dry towel, after
which he descended once more to the kitchen, where he made anything
rather than a hearty meal of canned dainties. He was beginning to tire of
delicacies, and remembered with regret the coarse food from which he had
turned with disgust while on board the Swallow.

It is strange in what a channel one’s fancies sometimes run. Here
was Philip, virtually a prisoner on an island inhabited by apes who
would rend him limb from limb should he venture out of doors, and yet
he was longing ardently for a commonplace plate of hash, and a cup of
the weakest coffee that was ever set before the patrons of a cheap
boarding-house would have tasted at that moment like nectar. However,
neither the hash nor the coffee was to be had for the wishing, and he
ascended once more to the library.

Another view of the surroundings was anything rather than reassuring.
The apes were there, with numbers still further increased, occupying the
same points of vantage as when he had seen them the day previous, and now
each had in front of him, or in a crotch of a tree where he was located,
a little pile of heavy stones stacked up with as much care as if they had
been cartridges, and Philip was soon to learn that they would be almost
as effective as the heaviest charged shell in his collection.

His first thought on noting these missiles was that they were intended
for him as soon as he made his appearance out of doors. He failed
to comprehend how the apes might use them; but all too soon did he
understand.

For a moment he stood undetermined whether to give his assailants a taste
of powder and ball at once, believing a lesson might be beneficial; but
the thought of the unfinished journal restrained him.

“I have plenty of time in which to show what can be done with fire-arms,”
he said to himself, “and it won’t interfere with the effectiveness of
the dose if I wait until the hours begin to drag. Beside, it is to
Goliah that the first instruction must be given, and then that little
ape who made me stand on my head shall be the next to receive one of the
captain’s bullets.”

Thus it was that a desire for revenge had come into Philip’s mind with
the first assurance of his own safety, as it often comes to the minds of
others. We arrogate to ourselves the right to teach, and cloak under it
a vengeance oftentimes as childish as the besieged animal-trainer’s may
seem.



CHAPTER XXII.

SOLVING THE MYSTERY.


With the happy belief in his mind that he could punish and drive away his
assailants whenever he should feel so disposed, Philip seated himself
once more in the captain’s arm-chair and opened the journal at the page
whereon he had found the welcome information concerning the weapons.

It was no longer like a person who believes himself in danger that Philip
continued the story. The fire-arms and stock of ammunition had given him
a sense of almost perfect security, and to have seen him as he took up
the book one would have supposed him to be some prosperous planter’s son
rather than a shipwrecked youth surrounded on all sides by brute enemies.

Philip had ceased reading at the point where the mystery attending the
disappearance of the colonists was apparently solved, and now the lines
which followed caused him to be oblivious of everything around. The
additional information was couched in the following words:

    We have this morning discovered that which gives my officers
    and myself the greatest uneasiness. There can no longer be any
    question but that the pirates have learned of our whereabouts,
    and are already meditating an attack, in which case we shall
    be almost entirely at their mercy, for the ship is not armed
    sufficiently heavy to resist such an onslaught as may be
    expected.

    It has been the subject of consultation during the forenoon,
    and opinion seems to be equally divided as to whether we ought
    to abandon the plantation, or destroy the ship and hold out
    as long as possible in such frail refuge as the buildings of
    the village will afford. In the event of our deciding upon
    this last plan, it is an open question with me whether we will
    not be sacrificing more than if we left the island until a
    sufficient force of natives can be procured from one of the
    Dutch settlements to augment our army until we are able to cope
    with these scourges of the seas.

    The cause of our uneasiness may seem a trifling one to the
    uninitiated, but those who are at all familiar with the customs
    of the Malays can readily understand how imminent is the danger
    which threatens.

    Last evening Mr. Clark, who is in command of the ship while
    she lays at anchorage, believed he saw the reflection of a
    light from the southernmost point of the island, but owing to
    the lateness of the hour he did not report such fact to me.
    This morning at daybreak he, with half a dozen of the crew,
    proceeded to that portion of the beach where the fire was
    supposed to have been built, and the absence of any embers in
    the vicinity convinced him that he had been mistaken or else
    a vessel was burned many miles off the coast. On returning
    to the Reynard, however, he found sufficient proof that the
    pirates had been on shore within the past twenty-four hours,
    for sticking in the sand directly opposite the ship was a
    Malay creese. It is such a menace as cannot be misunderstood.
    Before making an attack the pirates, in case members of their
    own tribe are at a station to be destroyed, leave such a weapon
    near by as token that they must be ready to use their own
    creeses when the battle begins. We have among the colonists
    four Malays, whom we took from Batavia as interpreters in the
    event of our finding any natives on this island.

    I am positive these four did not see the sinister message,
    otherwise the knife would have been removed; and I have just
    given Mr. Clark orders to forbid the sailors to leave the ship
    lest the fact should become known to those who may have joined
    us simply for the purpose of aiding in the massacre which would
    probably take place if the pirates landed. Judging from what I
    have read and heard, it is not likely we shall be molested for
    several days; therefore sufficient time yet remains in which to
    decide upon our course of action.

    At this moment the arrival of a ship would be most opportune.
    I am positive any captain could be persuaded or hired to
    remain at anchor here three or four weeks, while a portion of
    our company sailed in search of natives. In any event, word
    could be sent to Batavia; therefore, in the hope of signaling
    a vessel that shall lend such assistance, I have had a fire
    built in the crater of the old volcano, which is the highest
    point of land, and detailed a force of men to feed it night and
    day. Should any European craft pass within sight, her commander
    would unquestionably endeavor to learn the reason for the
    beacon, and thus my object may be attained.

“I am gradually learning the cause of the apes’ movements,” Philip said
to himself, as he looked up from the book thoughtfully. “Goliah’s force
probably enjoyed the glare of the flames, and since then, when having
nothing better to occupy their attention, have kept the fire alive as I
saw it on the night they captured me. If I ever succeed in reaching home
again I shall have a true story to tell which will seem in the highest
degree improbable.”

Then he turned his attention to the journal once more, and read the
following:

    During the past week the officers have been making ready for
    a ball to be held in this building, and I do not consider it
    necessary to put an end to the festivities. This merry-making
    will serve to allay any suspicions regarding our safety which
    may have sprung up among the colonists, owing to our protracted
    consultation of the morning, and it is in the highest degree
    essential that no panic shall ensue, whatever plan we may
    decide upon. The officers are warned to keep our deliberations
    a secret, and the people will dance and sing as if we were in
    perfect security, instead of living, as is really the case, on
    the crater of a sleeping volcano, which has already begun to
    seethe and boil preparatory to an eruption.

This last paragraph completed the page, and Philip eagerly turned to the
next leaf, but it was blank. The journal, which he had believed would
extend very much further, was suddenly ended. Not a word respecting the
ball, nor any mention of the weapon left in the sand!

A sinister blank followed the last line penned by the captain. What had
happened to the colony and to the writer himself since this final entry?
No one was present to answer these questions; but an ominous reply was
written everywhere around in the silence and desolation; the houses
partially destroyed and their contents pillaged; savage and vindictive
animals wearing, as if in raillery, the habiliments of gallant officers.

During the remainder of that day Philip sat in the library studying
over what was apparently a solution of the mystery, but arriving at
no satisfactory conclusion. It seemed almost certain the pirates had
interrupted the merry-making, and that the captain was massacred before
the dawning of another morning, otherwise he would have written more, for
the journal bore evidence of an entry, however slight or insignificant,
each day.

“But,” Philip asked himself, “if the Malays did make the descent, why
was not the village destroyed, and why were the valuable contents of
the houses left behind? If the pirates overcame the colonists they
would have had plenty of opportunity to sack and pillage, for there
was no possibility of an interruption, since they were masters of the
surrounding sea.”

One other supposition flashed across Philips mind, although it seemed
too absurd to be seriously entertained, and this was that the apes had
forestalled the murderous intentions of the pirates. Despite the apparent
foolishness of such a conjecture Philip could not banish the idea, even
though he said many times that if all belonging to the colony had been
assassinated in some mysterious way, he would certainly have found their
remains during his travels since the shipwreck.

Night came and he was still seated in the library sad and disheartened.
During the hours of darkness he alternately slumbered and speculated
upon the tragedy which must have taken place. Before morning he solved
the mystery or believed he did; and, terrible as was his theory, it had
strangely ’ enough the effect of calming him to a wonderful degree.

“It can only be accounted for by the fact that the creese had been
left on the shore earlier than the officer of the ship believed,” he
said aloud, as if addressing a companion. “The light which Mr. Clark
thinks he fancied must have been a reality—a signal to other vessels in
the vicinity. While the ball was at its height the pirates landed, so
completely surprising the merry-makers that resistance was more than
useless; therefore no blood was shed, but every member of the party was
made prisoner. At that moment, according to my belief, a body of apes
appeared, and the pirates, in the darkness, mistaking them for human
beings, fled before there was an opportunity to gather up the plunder.”

This supposition was certainly the most plausible of any yet entertained
by Philip. Had the entire colony been captured while at the ball, it
would account for the disorder of the dining-room, where the tables had
been prepared for the banquet.

With these gloomy ideas in his mind Philip no longer dreamed of
vengeance. He now believed that escape from the island was impossible.
Should he succeed in holding the apes at bay it would only serve to
prolong life until the pirates returned, as they undoubtedly would under
the belief that there were more inhabitants on the island.

“I shall live in this building as in a tomb as long as it pleases God to
preserve me,” he said to himself. “And the treasure in the cave is of no
more value than if I had piled up the sands on the sea-shore. To dream of
leaving here is little less than madness, surrounded and guarded as I am
by those who are a thousand times more crafty and cruel than the Malay
pirates.”

All hope was dead, and as does one who bids farewell to this earth,
expecting his stay on it is numbered by hours, he moved about
mechanically, but yet instinctively trying to preserve longer his
wretched existence. As if his weapons were now useless he replaced them
in the closet, but examined once more the fastenings of the doors and
windows, closing the shuttered loop-holes that he might not see the
sinister and menacing cordon of besiegers.

Then he descended to the floor below, determined there to spend the last
few hours of this most unnatural drama. The darkness was preferable to
light when even the slight consolation of hope must be denied, and he
waited only for death, in what form he did not speculate, to come.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE BEGINNING OF HOSTILITIES.


It is difficult to describe the condition of mind into which Philip fell
when the hope which had so long sustained him took flight.

As one in a dream, and hardly more conscious of his movements than a
sleeper, he remained during the next five days in the lower story of the
building.

A most unnatural and unhealthy condition of mind it was; but another
under the same circumstances might have displayed even less fortitude.
He believed death to be inevitable in a very short time, and that it
was an equal chance whether the blow would be dealt by pirates or apes;
therefore, with his sensibilities dulled by the conviction that his days
on earth were few, he passed them as does the brute, and without thought
save for the one supreme moment.

Mechanically he ate, drank and slept, seeing nothing save those objects
which were revealed by the rays of the candles, and it is more than
probable his mind would have given way under the continued monotony had
it not been for the rebellion his body made against this unnatural mode
of life.

His clothes, which had been literally torn to rags during his painful
experience in trying to amuse the apes and his subsequent flight through
the thicket, actually fell from his body, and since he possessed neither
needle nor thread he was almost in a complete state of nudity.

The rainy season, which answers in the tropics to our winter, had just
commenced. The nights were damp, even cold; and it was against this
exposure that his body rebelled. During the first two or three days the
deprivation of natural beverage affected him but slightly. He drank
frequently of the different wines and liquors to be found in the closet,
and therefore was always thirsty. The greater amount of spirits he
consumed the more necessary did water become, and as his body protested
against the cold, so did his stomach and brain cry out against such
stimulants.

That which at the end of the second day had simply been an inconvenience
became absolute suffering as time wore on. His eyes were swollen and
bloodshot; his pulse beat with feverish rapidity, his mouth felt parched
and dry, and the throbbing of his brain was like violent blows against
the skull. It needed but little to deprive him of reason, and yet he
realized not his own condition.

It was while suffering from that which was so nearly akin to delirium
that, hardly knowing what he did he ascended the staircase, took once
more the weapons from the closet and approached the window.

The fever in his blood rendered him irresponsible, and now a conflict was
something to be desired. In his mind came a vague idea that he would end
it all and die fighting. Better such an end than to yield up his life
amid the loneliness of that dwelling.

Piling all the ammunition under the window which was situated directly
beneath the tower, and loading every musket and rifle, a savage glee took
possession of him as he opened the loop-hole.

That which met his gaze temporarily sobered him. The fumes of the liquor
were driven from his brain, and he saw clearly the danger which menaced.

On the day when he descended to the kitchen with the intention of
remaining until death should come to his release there had been perhaps
two hundred apes guarding the dwelling. As he looked forth now, five
times as many were to be seen. To count them was impossible; they were as
the sands of the sea, and equally silent.

Five days previous these besiegers had gathered only insignificant piles
of stones. Now this rude ammunition had increased to such an enormous
extent that it formed veritable hills, placed so close one to the other
that it was as if an army had been throwing up breastworks, and behind
them three men each raised on the shoulders of the other could hardly
have looked over the top. The dwelling, instead of commanding a view of
the surrounding country, was now so inclosed that he was forced to lift
his eyes in order to see the grinning faces which were gazing down upon
him. The house no longer stood on an elevation, but in a valley formed by
these walls of projectiles.

Just within the edge of the woods, where was yet an open space, two large
apes were engaged in a deadly struggle, and Philip watched them for a
moment with a sort of savage pleasure, as if delighting in the brutal
scene.

Then a delirium of fever seized him once more. He was no longer a
reasoning animal, but a brute sunk to the level of those who held him
captive.

Without questioning as to what might be gained by such a course, he
discharged both barrels of his musket into the crowd of those who had
gathered around the combatants, and three fell at the first discharge.
Again and again he emptied his weapons, mowing down long lines of apes,
but apparently increasing their numbers, for as one fell a dozen sprung
to fill his place in the line of battle which was now formed.

In five minutes, where perhaps a hundred had stood, half a thousand were
gathered.

Neither were these new-comers idle. It was as if the report of his weapon
had been waited for as the signal of a general assault, and in an instant
the air was filled with fragments of rocks and stones, until one might
have fancied a furious hailstorm was raging. Pelting against the building
on all sides came the missiles, doing little damage at first; but it was
not possible such a frail structure could long withstand the assault.

Amid the shower of stones were handfuls of sand, as if the latter was
thrown by weaker arms; and, accompanied by grunts and shrieks of the
besiegers, the effect can hardly be described. It was deafening, and at
the same time horrible.

Maddened by continued drinking of liquor, and also by the terrific din
without, Philip kept up a perfect fusillade, until the moment came when
his weapons were so choked and heated that it was necessary to pause.

Not for an instant did the apes cease their attack, however. It was as
if this silence on the part of the besieged gave them renewed courage,
and the splintering of wood from time to time told that some timber had
yielded to their repeated assaults.

One would have said that these animals were well skilled in the art of
war. They advanced by platoons, discharging a volley and falling back to
get more supplies, while fresh troops advanced.

Much as a skillful general might do when his enemy shows signs of
weakening, Goliah appeared on the scene at the moment Philip’s fusillade
ceased, and, urging his followers to greater exertions, flung a heavy,
jagged fragment of rock at the window with such force that the shutter
was splintered, the pieces which fell inside knocking Philip to the floor.

This was the first evidence of what might be accomplished by such a
bombardment, and through this rent in the wall came showers of stones,
until the room was partially filled.

Philip was dazed for the moment by the fragments of wood; but he sprung
to his feet on regaining consciousness, and once more opened fire, this
time from another window. Such a fearful storm of projectiles rained
into the room that he would have been killed before one cartridge was
exploded had he attempted to fire through the breach.

He no longer heeded the condition of his weapons. One musket was used
until the danger of explosion was so imminent as to make it apparent to
his disordered mind, and dropping the useless gun he seized another,
firing with accurate aim, but never diminishing in the slightest the
enemy’s vigor.

The second shutter gave way before the fierce assault. He was wounded by
the splinters of wood and fragments of stone. His face was lacerated and
several teeth were broken. His hands were bleeding, and the upper portion
of his body was bruised and swollen.

The ammunition was becoming exhausted, and he saw with dismay that not
only was it impossible to vanquish the enemy unaided, but also that he
could not continue the battle a great many hours longer.

Hundreds of cartridges had been used; the shells were strewn so thickly
about him that he was forced now and then to stop and kick them away in
order to gain a foot-hold.

Before nightfall two of the muskets had burst in his hands, fortunately
without inflicting any serious injury, and he understood that it was
necessary to cease hostilities on his side until the remainder of the
weapons could be cleaned.

It was when he arrived at this decision that the shades of night began to
fall, and never before, to man, did the going down of the sun give more
pleasure.

Darkness settled over the island. The apes ceased their bombardment, and
victory was for the time undecided.

As a matter of fact, however, the apes were really the conquerors, since
the enemy whose ranks can be continually reinforced must triumph in the
end were he a hundred times less clever and brave than his adversary;
therefore it is that in battle “might makes right.”



CHAPTER XXIV.

A METAMORPHOSIS.


Until this night Philip had fancied that the dwelling would serve him as
an impregnable fort; but the result of the first day’s battle showed how
idle was such belief. It was hardly probable the building would withstand
another attack, and he who had flattered himself that he was safe as long
as he remained indoors understood how shelterless he would be after four
or five hours more of stone-throwing.

The knowledge of such imminent danger had a beneficial effect upon the
solitary occupant of Captain Seaworth’s house. It cleared the fumes of
liquor from his brain, as it were, and left him weaker in body, but
mentally better able to comprehend his exact position.

Carrying his weapons, he descended to the kitchen once more, and there
the excitement brought on a fever turn, with which came also despair.
He was like one in an ague-fit, and after the heat of the melee had
subsided—which was not until he had partially cleaned his weapons with
wine instead of water—a cold chill took possession of him.

Now a covering of some sort became necessary. It seemed as if he was
literally freezing to death, and with a lighted candle in his hand he
rushed frantically upstairs, hoping to find draperies with which to
screen his almost naked body, or failing in that, intending to use the
light covering of the bed.

Ammunition had become as essential to success as clothing, and again he
searched feverishly around the room.

It was while overhauling one of Captain Seaworth’s chests that Philip
placed his hands on a thick fur which felt soft as silk.

Delighted at the discovery he examined it closely, and found that it was
the entire hide of an animal similar to those by whom he was besieged.
From its enormous size he became convinced it was the coat of the
gigantic mandrill killed by the captain—the same brute whose skeleton,
hanging in the mimosas, had caused him so much surprise as well as fear.

With the exception of a slit in the stomach the hide had been taken off
entire, and, shrunken somewhat during the process of drying, it fitted
Philip as well as if it were made by an expert furrier.

Through the opening in the front he inserted his body, as does a boy who
puts on one of those peculiar night-gowns made to cover each limb; and
in order that none of the warmth so necessary just then should escape,
he laced up the aperture with a piece of string. Pulling the top of the
hide over his head, he had cap, coat and trousers of the same material,
all fitting like a glove, and warm enough to withstand the rigors of an
Arctic winter.

When his toilet was completed he looked at himself in the glass, but
immediately drew back with a cry of alarm.

His brown skin, thin cheeks and parched lips, which allowed his teeth to
be seen, his prominent cheek-bones, disheveled hair, together with eyes
hollow and restless, because of the fever, caused him to look exactly
like the ape whose garment he was wearing.

It would hardly be possible to imagine a more striking resemblance, and
Philip himself was decidedly troubled. It seemed as if he had descended,
both in body and mind, to the level of his enemies.

There was warmth in this garment, however, and with it came a return of
the fever. At all events, it is better to say his subsequent movements
were caused by the fire in his blood than to fancy for a single moment
that the skin of the animal had such an effect as to make him leap over
the chairs or tables in the same fashion as its original owner might have
done.

He was transformed into an ape in appearance, and one could fancy this
had unsettled his mind, for many moments elapsed before he resumed the
bearing of a human being.

Then he descended to the kitchen, spread for himself a repast composed of
delicacies which had become distasteful, and forced himself to eat until
the generous food caused the fever to subside somewhat.

The sight of his fur-covered arms almost frightened him, and not for all
the treasure in the subterranean chambers would he have taken another
glance at the glass, lest his own identity be forgotten in the belief
that he had become one of that species in whose education he formerly
felt so much interest.

His mind was a curious mixture of fancies and realities, all so strangely
interwoven that it seemed more like some hideous nightmare than the
events of life.

Not until nearly daybreak did he fall into an uneasy slumber, which
brought with it representations of every specimen of the monkey-tribe,
and on awakening shortly after sunrise he felt as weary as if sleep had
long been a stranger to his eyelids.

It was necessary he should be at his post of duty when the battle was
opened once more, as it undoubtedly soon would be, and with his weapons
in but little better condition than on the previous day he went into the
room above, stationing himself at the corner window opposite the one
which had been demolished.

This time it was the besiegers, not the besieged, who began the attack.
Philip had hardly opened the loop-hole when showers of stones fell,
and before he had time even to discharge a weapon a large portion of
the front wall and roof collapsed under the weight of missiles, thus
contracting his place of refuge to less than half its original size.

Realizing that he must check, if possible, this furious attack, lest the
building be utterly demolished and he crushed to death amid the ruins,
Philip began to fire with the utmost rapidity. During the next hour
he sent shot after shot at intervals of not more than ten or fifteen
seconds, but with no better result than before. It is true he could see
an ape fall at every discharge, but his enemies were so numerous that
the gaps were immediately closed with soldierly precision, and when
fifty rounds had been fired it seemed as if the numbers of the besiegers
increased rather than diminished.

Now and then a crash could be heard, telling that some portion of the
building had fallen, and it seemed hardly probable he would be able to
continue the struggle an hour longer.

Even though he might succeed in so far husbanding his strength as to
keep up the firing indefinitely, his weapons would soon cease to be of
service. Already was he reduced to one musket, the barrel of which was
so hot as to burn his hands, and it was only a question of a few moments
before he would be defenceless.

He could see Goliah leaping from point to point as he urged his followers
to greater exertions, and never once remaining in one position long
enough to serve as a fair target.

The rocks fell like rain in a summer shower, and at the expiration of
a quarter of an hour the last remaining musket was so choked as to be
useless. The entire front of the house gave way. The floor of the chamber
swayed to and fro like the branches of a tree in a storm, and it was
only by clutching at the window-casings that he saved himself from being
precipitated into the road.

He could feel the building crumbling beneath his feet, and it now
remained for him to accept one of the two alternatives. He must stay
where he was, knowing he would soon be crushed under the fragments of the
dwelling, or leap into the midst of the savage brutes who were maddened
by thought of victory, and there die like a man.

On a shelf near by was a dagger, perhaps the very weapon the Malays had
left sticking in the sand, and beside it lay his revolver, which he had
discarded when the battle first began, believing it too small to be of
any real service.

These two he seized, one in each hand, and mentally nerving himself for
the death which he fancied must come immediately, he leaped through the
rent in the walls, alighting on his feet in the road half a dozen paces
from the vindictive Goliah.

In his mind there was not the slightest thought that it would be possible
to escape a painful death. His only idea was to die while fighting,
rather than submit to capture and such torture as the apes could probably
devise.

Therefore it is not to be wondered at that an astonishment amounting
almost to bewilderment seized upon him when the army, instead of making
a deadly assault, dropped their weapons, drew back with every show of
respect and even terror, and then bent before him as if trying to assume
the most humble positions.

[Illustration: The front of the house gave way under the shower of stones
thrown at Philip by the monkeys.—(See page 191.)]

The leaders of the troop, who a few moments previous had been so eager
to encompass his death, now literally cringed before Philip like whipped
curs, and with Goliah at their head gathered around, fawning and
caressing, while Philip stood as if stupefied; and in fact only that word
would explain his mental condition.

The entire army crouched around him, some licking his hands, others his
feet, and all showing in every possible way delight and abasement. Not a
gesture of anger was made, and every head was bowed in evident respect.

It was fully a quarter of an hour before the bewildered Philip had so
far gained the mastery over himself as to form the slightest conjecture
of the reason for this sudden change in the behavior of his enemies,
and then like a flash of light came into his mind the thought that in
the mandrill’s skin he was mistaken for the gigantic ape whom Captain
Seaworth had suspected was the leader of all the apes on the island.

From the bearing of those who had so lately bent every energy to kill him
there could be no doubt but that he was safe, and his salvation was due
only to the fact that in him the army recognized an ape, or rather the
king of apes.



CHAPTER XXV.

THE NEW KING.


While Philip stood silent and motionless, trying to realize all that the
position of a leader of apes might signify, and speculating as to whether
it would be possible for him to carry out the part designated by his
brute companions, the animals were literally walking over each other in
their efforts to show allegiance or to give proof of joy at his return.

Philip’s first official act was to study closely the countenances of
those nearest, to discover if they were perplexed or suspicious because
he did not answer their chattering.

The owner of Philip’s skin must have been a quiet sort of fellow and one
who was not given to conversation, for his delighted subjects appeared to
think there was nothing strange in this silence of their king after so
long an absence.

Goliah appeared to be the only member of the party who was not delighted
at the sudden turn which affairs had taken; and this was but natural,
since it could hardly be expected that a despot will “step down and
out” from his high position without showing some signs of sorrow at
relinquishing his authority. He accepted the inevitable with remarkably
good grace, however, even going so far as to seem pleased at seeing the
rightful king come to his own once more.

This was the source of no slight relief to Philip. Had the big baboon
attempted to incite a rebellion, it is barely possible that he who had so
suddenly discovered himself a monarch would be deposed, for with treason
in the camp he would be at the mercy of the conspirators, since, not
understanding the language of the realm, he could not employ spies, and
his downfall might be even more sudden than his elevation.

But, as has been said, Goliah bore with wonderful equanimity the loss
of his crown, and at once installed himself in the office of adviser or
member of the privy council, which position one of the slain had probably
held prior to the king’s sudden disappearance.

Understanding that not only his high dignities but his life depended upon
the naturalness with which he wore the borrowed skin, Philip endeavored
to ape the apes, exerting himself to leap about in the most fantastic
manner, as he had seen Goliah do during his reign, and, singular as it
may seem, his antics were greeted with the most vociferous applause.

The only difficulty he experienced in transforming himself into a brute
was his inability to wave the tail back and forth, expressive of pleasure
or disapprobation, and his first edict was promulgated privately for
his own benefit, to the effect that he must never turn his back upon his
courtiers.

It was fully two hours before the delighted throng had finished showing
their pleasure at the monarch’s return, and then the crowd gave way
sufficiently for him to set out, accompanied by the courtiers and a long
train of attendants, to make a general inspection of the one town in his
kingdom.

In the hour of his prosperity—if one can be called prosperous who has
suddenly been transformed into an ape—Philip did not forget the debt of
gratitude he owed the chimpanzee, but immediately directed his steps
toward the rear of the buildings, where the unfortunate Ben Bolt still
languished behind prison-bars.

As the vast assembly arrived in front of the iron cage on the floor of
which lay the poor captive whose only crime consisted in having incurred
the displeasure of the vicious Goliah, Alice, who was trying to console
the unfortunate chimpanzee as best she could from the outside, darted
back in affright, believing the time had come when her mate was to be
sacrificed to the vengeance of the baboon.

Even she did not recognize the animal-trainer in his new character; but
she evidently had kindly remembrances of him who formerly owned Philip’s
skin, for instead of continuing her flight she halted at the edge of the
thicket until a gesture from the new king brought her to the bars of the
cage once more.

Philip lost no time in unfastening the bolts, and, reassuring the
captive as best he could by dumb show, led him forth to where Alice
stood, awaiting in painful uncertainty the result of this sudden change
of affairs.

Goliah understood even before the chimpanzee did that they were free to
go wheresoever they pleased, and he gave, vent to low cries of rage and
despair as he saw the two walk away paw in paw, the happiest-looking
monkeys in the kingdom.

Even then the deposed ruler did not show the least sign of
insubordination; he accepted what was to him the inevitable with becoming
resignation, save for the hoarse cries he uttered.

It is not to be wondered at that after this simple act of justice had
been done, Philip was wholly at a loss to know how to comport himself in
accordance with his dignity. To move even the short distance of a yard
without his numerous train of followers was impossible. His life had been
spared only at the expense of becoming thoroughly an ape, and it was
necessary to play well the part assigned him, until such time as friendly
members of his own race should land upon the island.

The thought that Captain Seaworth might succeed in regaining his liberty
and return with the colonists was the only thing that sustained him
in this trying position. With hands clasped behind his back in a very
un-apish attitude, he walked slowly toward his late place of refuge,
followed by thousands of his monkey-subjects, all moving as if plunged in
the deepest reflection.

Arriving at the ruins of the building he seated himself upon the
fragments of some timber, trying to decide what his future course of
action should be, and the crowd gathered silently around with the utmost
show of respect.

While sitting here it was but natural that Philip’s thoughts should
revert to the battle so lately and singularly ended, and he looked about
him for the bodies of the slain.

Surely hundreds had fallen under his well-directed and continuous fire,
but yet not a single corpse was to be seen. Search with his eyes where he
would, it was as if the besiegers had suffered no loss whatever; and the
reason for such a state of affairs he was not long in divining.

The apes had buried their comrades!

This newly-acquired knowledge led up to a subject which troubled Philip
seriously. If any of his devoted followers should chance to discover the
skeleton hanging in the mimosas, would they not recognize it as the frame
of their former king, and thus be in a position to brand the present
monarch as an impostor? Inasmuch as all their dead were consigned to the
earth, it would be known at once that this ape had been killed before
the appearance of the shipwrecked youth on the island. He already had
sufficient proof of their reasoning powers to believe they would readily
divine the meaning of the sinister mimosa fruit, more especially since it
undoubtedly hung in the same thicket where they saw their king fall.

It was necessary to put an end to this possible embarrassment at the very
beginning of his reign; but how could it be done? One may think it would
be a simple matter to bury the bones near where they were now hanging.
Such a plan could indeed have been carried into execution with the
greatest facility when Philip was the shipwrecked animal-trainer; but now
that he had become king of the island, and was surrounded by hundreds of
followers, it was an extremely difficult project, since upon the secrecy
of the movement depended its success.

“At all events,” Philip said to himself, “it is useless for me to think
of stealing away unobserved just now. I must await an opportunity, and
trust to the chapter of accidents that my predecessor’s bones may not be
discovered meanwhile.”

As he thus put from his mind this unpleasant contingency, the desire for
water, which had been so intense during the past five days, returned
with redoubled force, and for the first time did his kingly dignity seem
a boon. Now he could quench his thirst with what he pleased, and his
followers might exhaust the cupboard of its supply of liquor without his
being tempted to partake of a single drop.

Making his way with difficulty through the ruined building he proceeded
to the court-yard, and, kneeling at the fountain of crystal water, drank
until it seemed as if his thirst would never be satiated, while his
subjects, deeming it their duty to do as he did, filled themselves with
the cool beverage at imminent danger of bursting, through their excess
of loyal devotion.

After this had been done Philip felt the need of rest, and, lying on the
greensward under shelter of the awning, prepared to go to sleep.

It was a singular spectacle that met his gaze as he raised himself on one
elbow to make sure the apes had not found their way into the kitchen.
The entire court-yard and veranda were covered with the recumbent forms
of the monkeys, none of whom were probably very sleepy, but all bent
on following their king’s example; and in attempting to do this it was
necessary to pile themselves on top of each other like sardines in a box.

Although the bed was large it was uncomfortably full, and the unpleasant
thought came into Philip’s mind that while remaining upon the island he
would probably have the same number of bedfellows every night.

The strangeness of the situation, however, did not prevent him from
closing his eyes in slumber, and this blissful unconsciousness might have
continued until daybreak had it not been for a decided interruption in
the shape of a tropical tempest, which came upon them in all its fury
just before midnight.

In an instant the court-yard was a scene of the greatest confusion as
the crowd of apes tried to gain shelter in the adjoining buildings, and
during the confusion the king’s dignity was completely forgotten.

Even had the main building been intact it would not have sufficed
to shelter one-fourth of the party, and, half-ruined as it was, only
comparatively few could find in it a refuge from the rain which poured
down in torrents.

As a matter of course this obliged the majority of the troop to flee
toward the other cottages, and they ran in every direction with
apparently not a thought of their recently-returned king. There was no
one, however insignificant, who would pause in that tempest to do homage
to the monarch, and in a very few seconds the court-yard was so nearly
deserted that the king was virtually alone.

This was the opportunity for which Philip had longed, and, perhaps
fortunately for him, it had come thus quickly. Now he could steal away
unobserved, and bury what might not inaptly be termed his own bones.



CHAPTER XXVI.

A KINGLY GRAVE-DIGGER.


Philip had no very clear idea of where the skeleton was hanging. As is
already known, he had accidentally come upon it during his journey from
the beach; therefore the mimosas with the sinister-looking fruit were
in a southerly direction from the village, but of more than that he was
ignorant.

To find this spot in the night, and during the violent tempest, seemed
an impossible task; but yet it must be attempted despite every danger,
because such an opportunity might not present itself again for many days.

He made his way out through the ruined building, while his followers
scampered in every direction to shelter their bodies from the rain (for
a monkey is proverbially afraid of water), and crossed the road into the
thicket without being perceived by any of the startled crowd.

There was not the slightest danger of meeting with one of his subjects
during the journey unless the tempest should cease suddenly and Goliah
send messengers in search of him; therefore he walked fearlessly forward
after stopping behind the breastworks thrown up during the battle to arm
himself with a stout stick, which would serve as a shovel in the task of
grave-digging.

The rain descended in torrents. The wind howled and shrieked among the
trees, bending them almost to the earth, or here and there uprooting
some sturdy fellow who refused to bow his crest before the storm, while
fragments of branches, falling in every direction, threatened destruction
to the reckless traveler. The lightning-flashes which darted across the
entire horizon, illuminating during a few seconds the thicket as with the
glare of the noonday sun, served oftentimes to disclose danger in his
path, and it was only from the frequency of these bolts of light that he
was enabled to make his way with any knowledge of direction.

His own skin was dry, although that of his assumed character was heavy
with water, and, save for the fatigue of rapid walking, he was even more
comfortable than he would have been in a close room surrounded by his
animal followers. The knowledge that he had left the apes behind served
to arouse a feeling of exultation, and he bounded forward like a prisoner
who suddenly sees the road to liberty open before him when he had fancied
his term of confinement not yet half ended.

Each time the electric flash came he looked around eagerly in search of
the mimosas, and more than once did he mistakenly believe he had arrived
at the end of his journey.

The storm was still raging furiously when he finally found that for which
he sought.

Fully two minutes had passed without lightning, and then, as a terrific
peal of thunder was followed by a violent blaze, he saw directly before
him, swaying to and fro in the wind, the bones of himself—or of his
predecessor, whichever may be the correct term.

As a certain well-known author has said: “Man has three distinct
characters. Himself as God knows him, himself as his fellows know him,
and himself as he knows himself.” It was this second character which
Philip wished to hide, and, under the above proposition, could rightfully
be said to be burying his own skeleton.

To dig a grave with a sharpened stick as his only tool was by no means
an easy task, since, owing to the enormous size of the mandrill Captain
Seaworth had killed, it was necessary to make the excavation fully seven
feet long.

He worked, however, as men will when they know their lives depend upon
the effort. He threw aside the dark loam with feverish haste, regardless
alike of the pitiless rain and the hurtling branches, until, just as
the storm ceased and the moon peeped out from among the flying clouds
as if for no other purpose than to tint the rattling bones with a most
unearthly radiance, the grave was made, and the time had come when the
skeleton must be cut down from the branches.

As a matter of course the former king of the island had no trousers
pockets, therefore Philip was without a knife; but so strong is instinct
that he attempted several times to insert his hand into the outer skin
of his leg before realizing that his new clothes contained no convenient
receptacle for tools. The rope by which the skeleton had been suspended
was strong and resisted all his efforts to break it. It was necessary to
ascend the tree and untie the halter, after which the well-dried anatomy
fell to the ground with a clatter such as the end-man in a minstrel-show
makes when he wishes to excite the greatest possible applause.

It was necessary to work now with the utmost haste, for, the tempest
having ceased, it was more than probable his followers would soon come
in pursuit, and Philip interred his skeleton with all possible speed,
trampling the earth down until convinced that only the most careful
scrutiny could reveal his secret.

Then he retraced his steps as best he could; but more than once did he
deviate from the proper course, and the result of these involuntary
detours was that day had already begun to break when he arrived within
sight of the village.

Here was the loyalty of his subjects made manifest once more. Every
individual ape had been looking for his king, occupying the piles of
stones or roofs of houses as points of vantage, and when Philip appeared
from the thicket a howl of joy went up which seemed to shake the very
island.

During five hours the animal-trainer had been a man, but now he was an
ape again, so to remain until rescuers should arrive or he be tempted to
steal out once more under the friendly cover of a tempest.

Of course the first step which either king or peasant would naturally
take after morning dawned was to procure breakfast, and Philip realized
how necessary such a course was from the faintness which seized upon him
after his arduous labors.

To enter the kitchen and there satisfy his hunger would be to squander
all the provisions stored in the cupboards, for his subjects would
make short work of Captain Seaworth’s dainties. Therefore, with a view
of saving the stock for an emergency, Philip led the way, followed by
hundreds of grinning, chattering, frolicsome monkeys, to the banana
plantation, where all were soon busily engaged hunting for the yellow
fruit.

It was Goliah himself who assumed the task of providing the king with
food, and when the party had eaten their fill Philip led them back to the
village, where for some moments he stood undecided as to how he should
further comport himself.

To roam about the forest with such a band might be to excite the gravest
suspicions in the minds of his subjects because of his inability to climb
a tree or to swing himself from the branches by the aid of his tail;
therefore it was necessary he should, so far as possible, remain in the
settlement.

The sight of the ruined buildings, in front of which were the enormous
piles of stones thrown up as breastworks, gave him a desire to see these
habitations restored to their former appearance, and the thought came
that it would not be a long task to raise houses on the same plan, with
walls formed of the ammunition gathered by the apes.

It hardly seemed probable the long-tailed subjects could be made to
act the part of builders, but they would serve to carry the materials
from one point to another, and he resolved to set about the work of
reconstructing the settlement as a pleasant and profitable way of
spending his time.

To this end he began to drag away the splintered timbers, and instantly
a thousand pairs of hands were at work following his example, until all
the debris had been removed from the proposed site of the building. That
which would have required a week of his time was done in an hour, and the
amateur architect understood that his labors might yet be crowned with
success.

Then he placed some of the larger stones on such a line as he intended
the walls should be erected upon. Instantly every ape on the island was
seized with a mania for building, laboring with such a will that it
required all his efforts to restrain what was misdirected zeal, otherwise
a wall like that of China might have been put up, provided there had been
sufficient materials at hand.

It was necessary he should find something which would serve as mortar;
and to that end, as soon as he could control his too willing subjects he
searched the store-houses until to his great joy he found at least twenty
barrels of plaster, which Captain Seaworth had brought in case it might
be needed for just such a purpose.

To have these heavy barrels conveyed to the scene of operations it was
only necessary for Philip to roll one, when the whole twenty came out
like horses on a race-track; and as he began to open the plaster and mix
it with water, so did they.

Seized with a rage for building, they made mortar, broke stone, ran here
and there, and assisted Philip until the entire party were whitened
with plaster from the ends of their flattened noses to their toes,
causing them to look like veritable workmen with white over-garments;
but, unlike other workmen, they neither insisted that eight hours made
up a full day’s work, nor did they idle away valuable time in frivolous
conversation.

Before the day was half spent Philip began to experience the disagreeable
consequences of his midnight journey in the rain. His predecessor’s
hide had been thoroughly soaked during the labor of grave-digging, and
now that the sun sent down his hottest rays the skin began to shrink,
aided by the heat of his body and the warmth of the atmosphere, until
it inclosed him as if in a case of iron. Struggle as he might, it was
impossible to stretch the stout hide by any motion of his body, and
the cold perspiration gathered on his forehead as he realized what the
position of affairs would be in case the tightly-fitting garment should
burst asunder.

He no longer dared to make any movement, but stood erect with an
expression of anxiety on his face; and, true to their habits of mimicry,
his subjects did the same until Philip could not resist the inclination
to laugh aloud as the thought presented itself that it would be
ridiculous, indeed, if every member of the party were also waiting with
the same anxiety to ascertain whether or no his own skin was about to
split.

When he burst forth in uncontrollable laughter the entire army of
laborers did the same until the air resounded with their cries, and once
more was Philip forced to exercise the greatest caution lest even his own
mirth should hasten the catastrophe he so greatly feared.

Fortunately, however, his predecessor’s hide was now fully shrunken, and
although it fitted him quite as tightly as did his own skin, he had every
reason to believe it would remain intact unless he should be so careless
as to make some violent exertion.



CHAPTER XXVII.

A SERIOUS ACCIDENT.


It was only during such times as the work could be pursued that Philip
had any relief of mind, despite his kingly dignities. When, by example,
he intimated that the labors of the day might cease, his subjects
expected him to play the part of ape as heartily as they had enacted the
role of laborers, and in order to preserve his life he was forced to
comply with these wishes.

Holding a court-martial, for the purpose of trying and sentencing alleged
offenders, was the greatest delight of the long-tailed inhabitants, and
once each day Philip was obliged to sit in solemn state, surrounded by
his lieutenants, while the number of supposed culprits brought before him
was always sufficient to furnish the brute dignitaries with the spectacle
of a wholesale flogging.

If any of the party were found idle during working-hours they were
certain of being brought up for judgment, and this fact probably
accounted for the great zeal displayed whenever an example was set before
them.

At these mock trials Philip remained silent, since it would have been
impossible for his subjects to understand any decision he might render;
and Goliah took upon himself the duties of judge, looking up now and
then at the king, as if to make certain he was not assuming too much
power.

After the judicial session was ended the monkeys would separate,
forming bands of two or three hundred, each to go in search of food,
and during such excursions Philip oftentimes found an opportunity to
gain the kitchen unobserved, thus being able to vary the ordinary bill
of fare by some of the dainties which had been so distasteful while he
was a prisoner in the building. Never once, however, was he tempted to
drink any of the wine. The remembrance of the days when he so ardently
wished for water, but was unable to procure it, taught him the strictest
temperance principles.

Every morning the apes held what might be called a grand military review,
the entire body marching in front of the building occupied by their king.
Philip, and those who attached themselves to his person as a sort of
body-guard or staff, reviewed the troops with the utmost gravity, after
which each ape executed marvelous monkey-maneuvers in the shape of ground
and lofty tumbling, in which it was expected the king would take an
active part.

It was at the first of these parades that Philip understood what was
demanded of a monarch. After the main body of the party had turned
somersaults or handsprings all eyes were directed at him, and words were
not needed to let him know he should perform the same antics.

This opportunity of allowing the king to display his agility was never
lost, and after the first exhibition Philip looked forward with fear
and trembling to the moment when he must, before the assembled army, go
through such contortions as would have put a professional acrobat to
shame.

His method of life, as well as his costume, fitted him to a certain
extent for these extraordinary antics, and while he did not succeed in
performing them with the skill and agility displayed by his subjects,
there were plenty of flatterers near at hand to lavish praise upon him as
if he had outdone them all.

And now must be told that which may seem improbable.

Eager for labor, because it brought him relief from close communication
with his followers, Philip set systematically at work, not only repairing
the buildings, but laying out roads from one side of the island to
the other; and this he accomplished with no more assistance than that
afforded by the long-tailed inhabitants.

In less than one month the buildings which had been destroyed were
rebuilt in the most substantial manner with walls of stone. Two or three
additional dwellings were constructed later, and four splendid roads
running north, south, east and west, from the village to the sea, were
opened.

That which would have taken a small army of laborers many months to
accomplish was completed by the apes in a little more than three weeks.
It was only necessary for Philip to begin felling trees on the right
and left of the four lines representing the routes to be opened through
the thicket, when hundreds of pairs of hands were at work pulling up the
underbrush, tearing down shrubs, and chopping at the tree-trunks with as
many axes as could be found in the store-room.

During this work in the forest Philip had ample opportunity of noting the
immense number and variety of spiders and lizards which were to be found
on the island.

It was a positive pleasure for him to watch the little jumping spiders,
which were of such brilliant hue that they looked like animated gems as
they sprang from bough to bough. The web-spinning species were not only
very numerous, but caused the greatest annoyance. They stretched their
webs from one tree to another at such a height as to come in contact with
a man’s chin, and the threads were so strong and glutinous as to require
no slight amount of trouble to free one’s self from them. These fellows
were fully two inches long, with yellow spots on their brown bodies,
which gave them a very disagreeable appearance.

The apes paid little or no attention to these pests; but Philip could
never conquer his aversion to the fat-bellied insects, and more than once
did he make a long detour rather than run the risk of an encounter.

As for the lizards, it seemed as if every bush was alive with them.
They were of all shades—green, gray, brown and black; and even Goliah,
who delighted in cruelty, never so much as harmed one of these active
little hunters, all of whom were busily engaged catching the flies and
mosquitoes, for without such a check to the increase of insect-life the
island would speedily have become uninhabitable.

The work was carried steadily forward, however, despite all annoyances,
and in three weeks from the time Philip Garland became king of the apes
it was possible to sit in the rebuilt tower of the principal dwelling
and view the sea from four different points. Therefore, in case a vessel
approached the island the king would have such timely notice of her
coming that any signal might be made. It would simply be necessary to
start a small fire on the beach to have it built to the height of a
mountain by the industrious apes.

Only in the hope of relief coming from the sea did Philip succeed in
nerving himself to play the part of a brute. If he could have had a
companion with whom to converse, his position would have lost many
horrors; but to be surrounded by apes was worse than being alone, and,
next to the arrival of human beings, perfect solitude was the greatest
boon which could have been granted him.

During the labor of road-making Philip noticed that now and then a party
of apes would leave the working portion of the army and absent themselves
two or three hours, bringing at the end of that time what appeared, both
from shape and size, to be hens’ eggs. These were evidently considered a
great delicacy by the apes, and the searchers invariably handed one to
the king and each of his officers before partaking themselves.

To make any attempt at cooking them would have given the apes the idea
of building innumerable small fires, which might soon have consumed
all the vegetation on the island, and Philip ate his raw, as did the
others. He fancied that some of the colonists’ poultry might have escaped
destruction, and so eager was he to learn where this article of food
could be found that on seeing a certain number of apes abandon their
labors, under Goliah’s direction, he followed. The party went directly
to the sea-shore, and there, just above high-water mark, where a turtle
would naturally make her nest, were found little piles of sand, in each
of which was a single egg.

It was some time before Philip learned that these tiny hills were the
nests of a bird known to naturalists as the “Maleo.”

A few days later he saw a glossy black and white bird with helmeted head
and elevated tail—not unlike a common fowl, except that the bonnet and
the tubercles at the nostrils were longer—scraping the sand into little
mounds, and he knew the rare species was before him.

Some months subsequent to this Philip learned that after the maleo thus
deposits her eggs she follows the example of the turtle, and pays no
further attention to her nest. The sun does the work of maternity, and
the young chicks are able to take care of themselves on emerging from the
shell.

When all the contemplated work had been finished, Philip was at a loss to
know how he should employ the large number of his subjects, in order to
free himself as much as possible from their fawning companionship.

He would have built an observatory on the summit of the extinct volcano
but for the fact that the supply of plaster had already been used in
remodeling the buildings, and it was impossible to quarry rocks of such
size that they would be held together by their own weight.

The readiness with which his subjects copied every movement caused him to
believe it might be possible in the near future, unaided by human beings,
to continue the work already begun on the plantation—provided, of course,
he was not molested by the pirates. This idea came into his mind one day
when they were near the base of the volcanic mountain, and he saw what at
first glance appeared to be a peach-tree.

It was from twenty to thirty feet high, with glossy green leaves, and
bearing small, yellowish flowers at the same time that ripe fruit, not
unlike a peach in size and color, hung upon its branches.

Up to this moment he had supposed an orange was the only tree which
blossomed while the fruit was ripening, and this singular fact showed him
the mistake made in believing it to be a peach-tree.

Picking one of these luscious-looking apples, he found it of a tough,
fleshy consistency, partially split open, and showing within a dark brown
nut covered with crimson mace. It was a nutmeg.

As Philip well knew, the Dutch Government had relinquished its monopoly
of the nutmeg trade in these seas, and he speculated, despite the amount
of gold stored in the cavern, whether it would not be possible, with the
aid of his long-tailed subjects, to make of this fruitful island one vast
plantation of nutmegs, which would be a source of wealth greater even
than the bed of the stream could produce.

Although king of apes, he had the natural desire of man to increase his
possessions, and for a time his fancy painted most gorgeous and alluring
pictures of what might be done if the energies of the monkeys could be
directed into the proper channel.

It was only when he realized the mischievous propensities of the apes
that he decided against this pleasant dream. It was hardly probable he
could restrain them from destroying even fruit which was not palatable;
and he finally confessed to himself, with a sigh, that however absolute
his power, any attempt to change the nature of his subjects would be
useless.

During the one day of rest in which he allowed his followers to indulge
he had been forced to make such a display of his supposed apish powers
as thoroughly exhausted him, and, as the only means of utilizing the
superfluous energies of the army, he set about exploring more carefully
the island.

As may be supposed, his first step was to examine the little harbor where
the pirates had left their sinister warning and in which the Reynard had
been anchored. This was done in the hope of discovering something that
would show under what circumstances the colonists had embarked.

So far as gaining information was concerned he succeeded; but it was
anything rather than satisfactory.

Two buoys floating on the water showed that the anchor had not been
weighed. The cables were slipped when the Reynard sailed, and this fact
convinced Philip that the pirates had left the bay with all possible
speed, believing the apes were reinforcements of men.

This confirmation of his previous theories was a sad blow to the lonely
youth, who had secretly hoped he might have arrived at a false conclusion
when first studying the matter; but it was not long he mourned because
of his friends’ untimely fate, for before that day came to an end he had
grave cause for fear concerning his own immediate safety.

It was on his return from the journey to the sea-shore that Philip had an
opportunity of seeing how wonderfully Nature provides for the wants of
man.

He, accompanied by Goliah and followed by the entire army, marched
through the dense thickets, where not one breath from the sea could
penetrate to dispel the stifling heat, until the desire for water was
almost overpowering. In the hope that the huge baboon might know of a
spring near by, Philip gave evidence of intolerable thirst by pointing to
his mouth and making gestures as if drinking.

Goliah was equal to the emergency. Walking on a few paces he stopped
before a half-vine, half-shrub, which partially clung to the trunk of a
tree and bore huge, bulb-like flowers, shaped something after the fashion
of a pitcher. At the top was a petal which covered an aperture capable of
holding at least half a pint; and tearing this off, the baboon presented
to his king a flagon of water which, although slightly warm, was as
palatable as if it had just been taken from a spring.

This was Philip’s first introduction to the “pitcher-plant,” and many
times afterward did he quench his thirst from these natural reservoirs.

The exploring party returned to the village early in the afternoon. The
king, wearied by the long walk, seated himself near the veranda of the
royal residence, while Goliah, arrogating to himself the high office of
commander-in-chief, called out the troops for a second review.

Philip could not refuse to witness the evolutions nor to take part
himself, and his fatigue was so great that he was even more awkward than
usual.

While cutting the most solemn caper, which was accepted by the apes as a
formal military salute, he heard a slight noise immediately in the rear,
and an instant later the loosening of his single garment of skin told
what a disaster had befallen him.

The hide was split at that place where it had been most used by its
former owner as well as by Philip, and unless it should be possible to
regain the dwelling without turning his back to the troops the most
disastrous consequences might ensue.

Beads of perspiration stood on Philip’s brow as he retreated to a
gigantic bamboo, where it was possible to hide temporarily what the
apes might have considered something more than an accident; and during
the remainder of the review he stood stiff and upright, while his
staff-officers gazed at him in astonishment which was not mute, because
of the chattering they indulged in among themselves.

Philip understood that the first breath of suspicion had fallen upon him,
and instinctively he looked around for a weapon, knowing that Goliah
would not be slow to take advantage of any opportunity to regain the
crown.

A stout piece of bamboo, which had been used during the parade in lieu of
a sword by one of the officers, lay upon the ground where Philip could
reach it without exposing the fracture in his garments, and seizing this
he stood on guard, fully determined to defend himself, even to the death,
in case his counselors or Goliah should insist on his taking part in the
maneuvers. That he would fall a victim to their wrath the instant the
deception was made known by the rent was unquestionable; but his kingly
dignity might prevent the greater number of his subjects from crowding
too near.

In a suspiciously friendly manner Goliah motioned him, when the troops
were drawn up for the royal salute, to advance and go through the
ridiculous antics which he had formerly executed on such occasions.

Philip placed his hand on his head, and then on his stomach, as if to
show that he was suffering from pain. Although the other members of
his privy counsel appeared satisfied with such an explanation, the huge
baboon displayed the most lively curiosity. He walked entirely around the
king and the tree against which the latter leaned, but at a respectful
distance, and then, returning, once more invited the monarch to salute
the soldiers.

Again was the pantomime repeated, and, understanding this controversy
could not long continue, Philip motioned for the troops to resume their
march. He was well aware that because of Goliah’s maneuvres very many
had grown distrustful; but it was something which could not have been
prevented, and his safety lay in reaching the house.

Owing to Goliah’s interference, however, the parade was not dismissed
as quickly as under other and more pleasant circumstances. The troops
marched and countermarched, directed by the baboon, until it seemed to
the king, whose royal robe was shrinking rapidly, that the pageant would
never end.

The fifteen minutes which passed after his refusal to salute seemed like
so many hours; but the soldiers were finally dismissed, and by a series
of the most extraordinary maneuvers Philip succeeded in reaching the
veranda of his dwelling hardly more alive than dead, while clustered
around him, with anxiety or curiosity written on every face, was a vast
throng of apes, foremost among whom stood Goliah, glaring in the most
suspicious manner, as if he fully understood the cause of the king’s
discomfiture.



CHAPTER XXVIII.

A ROYAL INVALID.


The king of the apes was a voluntary prisoner for a second time.

On gaining the building he shut the door in the faces of his anxious and
suspicious subjects and betook himself once more to the second-story
room, from the windows of which he had previously waged battle against
the apes.

This apartment, like all others in the house, had been remodeled, and,
thanks to the energy of his subjects, was in a better condition to
withstand a siege than when he first entered it. During all his labor
he had kept ever in mind the thought that at some future time it might
be necessary to have a place of refuge, and to this end he restored the
rooms to their original condition and location, thus giving him, as
before, free range from the kitchen to what had been Captain Seaworth’s
office.

It is true the doors were no stronger than before, and should the apes
select either one of them as a distinct point of attack, it might soon be
battered down. Against such an event he could take no precautions, but
trusted that, should another battle ensue, the missiles would be thrown
with the same absence of studied aim as had been previously displayed.

Arriving in this corner apartment, Philip threw himself in Captain
Seaworth’s chair disheartened and almost weary of life, even though he
was trying to devise some plan for prolonging it.

Without having recourse to a mirror, he knew exactly how large was the
rent in his predecessor’s skin and the difficulties he would have in
repairing it. Had it been possible to present himself boldly before his
subjects he might have searched in the other houses of the village and
probably found needles and thread to repair the damage; but now that he
could show no more than his face, such an opportunity for benefiting
himself was out of the question.

Mechanically he looked about him, although every article in the room was
familiar, and perhaps he had opened the desk for at least the twentieth
time, when his eyes fell upon a piece of string.

It was what he most needed, and with it the rent made by “envious
fortune” might possibly be repaired.

Taking off the hide carefully and with considerable difficulty, he found
that it had been split from just below the jointure of the tail to a
distance of fully twelve inches straight up the back, and of course in
that particular place his body would serve to make the opening greater.

It was necessary to close it as nearly as possible, and with a splinter
of wood as an awl with which to puncture the hide, he finally succeeded
in lacing it up like a shoe.

The job was anything rather than satisfactory. The nearest-sighted ape
on the island would have perceived at once that there was something the
matter with the king’s back, and so familiar were Philip’s subjects
with their monarch, there could be no question about their immediately
investigating the cause of his singular appearance. Once curiosity was
aroused in this direction the secret must be exposed within a very few
moments, and he knew that his life would be spared only so long as he
succeeded in keeping the apes at a proper distance.

One can readily imagine his condition of mind when he put on, probably
for the last time, the dress of skin which had brought him such
questionable honors and might now prove to be the immediate cause of his
death. He could well say “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown” when
only the face should be seen by the subjects.

Goliah’s suspicions were undoubtedly aroused, and beyond a question he
would be the first, under the guise of excessive loyalty, to discover
why the military review had been brought to such an abrupt termination.
Therefore Philip understood that unless he could remain in a sitting
posture during the balance of his reign, discovery of his false character
was certain, and also that under no circumstances must his followers be
allowed to approach him.

The entire night was passed in these gloomy reflections, and when the
first gray light of dawn appeared in the sky the chattering of apes under
his window told Philip that his followers had come to learn the cause of
his sudden indisposition.

That they would remain until he showed himself was absolutely positive,
and without opening the door he stepped from the window to the balcony
as a great howl of joy went up from the assembled throng. They danced
and cut capers as if imploring the king to come down, and at the risk
of disarranging his very tender hide he was obliged to show them many
a royal caper before their anxious solicitude could be stilled in the
slightest degree.

Even after he had executed these dangerous maneuvers, for fully half an
hour did they refuse to be satisfied, and he had good reason to deplore
what probably no other king ever did—the intense affection of his
subjects.

Now and then some very zealous monkey clambered up on the balcony to make
sure the monarch was not deceiving them as to the state of his health,
but at a gesture from him the animal would leap back among the crowd; and
when Philip felt certain the lacing of his hide could no longer withstand
the strain he retreated into the room, taking good care to close the
window behind him.

That this voluntary imprisonment could not be continued many days he
understood before another hour passed. The number of those who were eager
to ascertain the exact condition of their monarch’s health increased each
moment, and in the absence of a court physician who could issue regular
bulletins regarding the patient it was necessary Philip should show
himself on the balcony several times during the afternoon, otherwise the
building might have been attacked again.

As a matter of course, he was forced on every occasion to go through the
apish capers which were supposed to display affection for his subjects,
and each time a warning rip from behind told that his gestures of love
must be moderated, otherwise his hide and his reign would soon be at an
end.

During this alternate appearance and disappearance Goliah remained seated
among the feathery branches of a palm which grew directly in front of the
building, and one could almost fancy he was taking notes, so carefully
did he watch every movement of the king, or so eagerly did he peer around
when his majesty retreated.

It was hardly to be supposed that the huge baboon would exert himself to
prolong a reign which had begun with his own discomfiture, and on his
last appearance Philip realized that to again leave the building would
be to give Goliah an opportunity of pursuing his investigations to a
successful termination.

To repel an attack was no longer possible. During the last battle the
ammunition had been so far exhausted that not more than twenty cartridges
and one not very serviceable weapon was left. Therefore from force of
arms Philip could expect nothing.

That evening the animal-trainer who was playing the part of king in
Apeland made one more attempt to restore the symbol of his royalty to
its former condition. With infinite care he laced and relaced the rent
until he flattered himself it was nearly as well concealed as if done by
the most skillful tailor, and putting it on again, decided that he might
trust himself even in the presence of Goliah.

His mind was so nearly at ease that he ate a hearty supper from the
store of provisions in the kitchen pantry and laid himself down to rest,
believing he had secured a yet longer lease to the throne of apedom.

Alas for the vanity of human hopes! Immediately on falling asleep he
dreamed he was once more standing before his army, saluting them with
mighty leaps and wonderful contortions of body. He awakened to find
himself sprawling on the floor, with the hide of his predecessor slit
from the jointure of the tail entirely to the neck!

His struggles in dreamland had precipitated the catastrophe. There was
not string enough in the building to repair this last rent, even had he
been sufficiently skillful to thread it into the partially decayed hide.

To appear in public on the balcony was no longer possible, and he was
a king only while he could remain hidden from view. When the least
intelligent of his subjects got a glimpse of him his crown was lost,
never more to be recovered, and Goliah would reign in his stead—Goliah,
from whom he might expect the most cruel reprisals for the temporary
loss of power.

Philip was so certain a cruel fate awaited him that he immediately began
to barricade the suite of apartments as thoroughly as possible under the
circumstances, and before another morning dawned every movable article of
furniture was piled against the doors in the hope that the final moment
might be delayed a short time.

Then, retreating to the kitchen, he awaited the inevitable.

From this retired spot he could hear the chattering and howling of his
subjects as they assembled once more to make inquiries concerning his
health, and he knew beyond a peradventure that not many hours would
elapse before they began to force their way into the building.



CHAPTER XXIX.

EXCESSIVE AFFECTION.


Philip’s dismal forebodings were destined to be realized within a very
short time. If his subjects had been impatient on the day previous
because they only saw him on the balcony, they were furious now when the
windows and doors remained closed and their king came not forth to greet
them.

From his place of refuge he could hear a murmuring sound, as of the
waves on the sea-shore; but after an hour passed this had increased to a
deafening roar, which was echoed and re-echoed from every portion of the
forest until it seemed as if the entire island must be covered with apes
searching for their ruler.

Now and then the fugitive could hear a hoarse cry, which arose above the
general din, and in it he believed he recognized Goliah’s voice. The huge
baboon, who had been only suspicious on the day previous, was probably
positive now that the king was not all he should be, and was most likely
inciting the multitude to open rebellion.

Judging from the events which followed, it was not a hard task to induce
these long-tailed subjects to rise in their might, for before noon the
attack was begun.

The apes, probably understanding that they could not learn the cause of
the king’s indisposition and sudden disappearance except by demolishing
the building which they themselves had reared, made a furious attack on
all four sides at the same moment.

From previous experience Philip knew that in this assault they must
necessarily be successful owing to their numbers, and also because it was
no longer possible for him to interpose any lengthy resistance; therefore
he remained in one corner of the kitchen, with the musket in his hands
and the small amount of ammunition in his pocket, resolved to sell his
life dearly when the supreme moment should arrive.

Against the sides of the building the heavy missiles rattled like hail;
the walls shook under the repeated blows, and now and then the crashing
and splintering of roof-timbers told that slowly but surely Philip’s
place of refuge was being reduced to a ruin.

At rare intervals the bombardment ceased as the entire army burst forth
in noisy cries of grief, deafening howls of sympathy, and groans which
were intended to be expressive of tenderness.

This mourning for their king was always followed by a more vigorous
onslaught, and, as near as Philip could judge, it was about the hour of
sunset when the building gave way beneath a shower of rocks. First a
heavy crash from above told that the roof had fallen; then the front wall
was forced in, probably burying amid its ruins the papers and books of
Captain Seaworth, and causing Philip’s hiding-place to rock to and fro
like a tree shaken by the wind.

Finally there came that which Philip had not anticipated.

Instead of the dwelling being demolished in such a manner that he was
exposed to view, the walls, besieged on every side, fell inward; and
at the last deafening crash he commended himself to God, for it seemed
positive he was buried alive.

In the brief space of time which elapsed from the first shattering of the
side-wall until the end came Philip thought, with intense relief, that he
would be crushed to death rather than murdered by those who had been so
loyal a few days previous. Then the ceiling and sides of the room burst
in, sending forth great clouds of dust, which from the outside must have
looked like smoke ascending from a funeral pyre.

The assailants were silenced—awed by their work. The building was nothing
more than a mass of ruin, but yet no trace of their king could be seen.

Looking from the outside, one would have said there could be no living
thing beneath these enormous fragments of rock and wood; and yet, strange
as it may seem, Philip was there with not so much as a single scratch
upon his body. It was destined that his life should not be taken by his
subjects during an assault planned by Goliah.

The heavy furniture, piled up from the door of the cupboard to the
corner of the room as a barricade in case the apes succeeded in entering
the building, had been sufficient to uphold the weight which fell upon
it, and the timbers of the ceiling had formed across the top a perfect
support.

The king of the apes, whose reign had been of such short duration,
was thus literally buried alive; but in this accidental tomb he had
provisions sufficient to serve him many days.

For a few moments after the falling of the timbers Philip congratulated
himself upon this fact; but his joy was short-lived. He soon realized
that unless—as was improbable—he could have aid from the outside, the
stock of provisions would simply serve to prolong his wretched life a
certain time, after which death must inevitably come.

“At all events I need not starve,” he said to himself after some
reflection, as he raised his musket; and with the knowledge that he could
invoke death before the torture of hunger and thirst became agonizing, he
grew more resigned.

Then came a long time of silence, which was finally broken by the sound
as of some one digging from above.

“Probably the night has passed, during which the apes were asleep, and
now they are searching for my body,” Philip said to himself; and although
he knew death would be inevitable in case of discovery (for the mandrill
skin had literally been torn from his body), it was with a certain sense
of relief he learned that the debris from above was being removed.

Yet one does not welcome death, however full of torture may be the
alternative; and when the noise made by the army of laborers grew more
distinct, telling that they were approaching nearer to his narrow prison
each moment, the thought of the struggle which must ensue was very
painful. With twenty cartridges he would hardly be able to hold the first
squad of laborers in check sixty seconds. Then, unarmed, he must meet
those whom he had so unwittingly deceived.

As the moments passed he was able to form a definite idea of the approach
of his enemies, for in such a light must he now consider his former
subjects. Already could he see tiny rays of light through the crevices of
the rocks and timbers, and the shower of dust which fell upon him told
that but a few feet of the debris remained between him and the open air.

Now he clutched his musket more firmly and stood on the alert, prepared
to spring forward at the instant the aperture was sufficiently large to
admit of the passage of his body, although he knew that the ruins were
surrounded by an army so great that it would be impossible to make his
way twenty feet before receiving a death-wound.

It was at this moment, when he had nerved himself for the struggle he
believed was about to ensue, that he felt, rather than heard, a noise
directly beneath his feet, and even while wondering as to the cause of it
an upheaval of the floor told that the enemy were searching for him both
above and below.

Then one of the boards upon which he stood was pushed aside, almost
overturning him, and he leveled his musket, ready to fire when they
should spring upon him out of what was evidently a tunnel.

The fragments from above had been so far removed by this time that the
darkness was partially dispersed, allowing him to see everything in the
vicinity quite distinctly.

An ape’s head presented itself from this unexpected aperture, and, in
order to save his ammunition as far as possible, Philip raised his musket
to strike. Another instant and there would have been one ape the less on
the island—an event well calculated to plunge the prisoner into an agony
of grief.

It was the chimpanzee, Ben Bolt, and not one of Goliah’s adherents, who
had thus come from the very earth, as it were; and an instant later the
besieged youth was shaking the animal by the paw as if he were a human
being, for there could be no question but that the two chimpanzees had
formed some plan to extricate their old master from his perilous position.

There was no time to be wasted in ceremonies, however. The laborers above
had so nearly reached the tiny place of refuge that fragments of stone
were already falling between the timbers, and the chimpanzee realized
quite as well as did Philip that to make this means of escape practicable
they must beat an immediate retreat.

The former stood at the edge of the tunnel and pointed downward with an
impatient gesture.

Philip descended into a narrow excavation barely large enough to admit of
his crawling on his hands and knees; and here, as if waiting for him, was
the other chimpanzee, who immediately led the way through the passage,
assuring herself that he would follow by winding her long tail around his
neck in such a manner that he must perforce be dragged if he could not
creep.

Had a spectator been in the place so lately occupied by Philip he would
have seen Ben Bolt pull the furniture together even above his head, and
then, retreating into the hole, drag some of the floor-boards after him
to hide the existence of the tunnel.

In this he displayed reasoning powers beyond a peradventure, for those
who were working above would, on reaching the bottom, find no evidences
of an excavation, and it was hardly probable they would pursue their
investigation any further than the floor of the room.



CHAPTER XXX.

THE RETREAT.


Philip did not attempt to speculate upon the intelligence displayed by
the chimpanzees as he half-followed and was half-dragged along the narrow
tunnel by Alice.

That these two had recognized in the king of the apes their old master
whose life they had previously tried to save there could be no question,
for on entering the narrow hiding-place in the house Ben Bolt had shown
no surprise at finding confined there a man instead of an ape; and on her
part, Alice acted as if recognizing the object of their search.

Both these animals must have been aware of the deception practiced upon
the other apes and received some inkling of the true state of affairs,
otherwise they would not have been so prompt in making this excavation
for the purpose of rescuing him.

The labor they had performed was prodigious, as Philip understood while
creeping along the tunnel; for, although they moved at a reasonably rapid
pace, it was fully twenty minutes before the three emerged into a thicket
of mimosas directly back of Ben Bolt’s former prison, and to the fugitive
it seemed certain these animals must have commenced their labors on the
very night when the first mishap occurred to the skin of royalty.

Perhaps Goliah had made his suspicions public; or perhaps, again, Ben
Bolt or Alice witnessed the first accident, and understanding who had
been masquerading under the guise of the king, immediately formed a
plan for his liberation. In either case the result of their labors
was certainly brought about by reason rather than instinct, and the
animal-trainer thought with a certain chagrin of the time when he
believed apes could only be taught by example emphasized with severe
punishment.

On emerging from the tunnel Philip could hear the shouts and cries of the
apes who were searching the ruins; but the thicket of mimosas hid him
from their view, and after beating down the ground as well as possible to
hide any evidence of the existence of the tunnel, Ben Bolt motioned for
Philip to follow him.

With Alice bringing up the rear, all three pushed forward at the utmost
speed until they arrived at the mouth of the grotto in which Philip had
previously taken refuge.

Since Goliah was in command of the apes the two chimpanzees were exposed
to as much danger as their human comrade, for the huge baboon would
undoubtedly make Ben Bolt a prisoner once more in order to separate him
from his mate; and, therefore, Philip understood that he was to have the
companionship of these beasts during such time as it might be necessary
to remain in hiding.

The grotto was far from being a secure place of retreat, since at any
moment a squad of apes might pass that way, and Philip now took upon
himself the part of conductor, leading the animals directly into the
subterranean chambers which he had discovered.

Here they could have light to a certain degree, water from the numberless
streams, and plenty of food in the shape of fish; therefore their
voluntary imprisonment might be monotonous but not painful, however long
a time it should continue.

It was probable Goliah’s forces would discover these under-ground
chambers, and to guard as far as possible against what might prove a dire
calamity, Philip set about filling the passage leading from the grotto
with fragments of limestone, taken from the chamber of statutes.

In this work he was aided by the chimpanzees very materially, and before
three hours had passed they were in what appeared to be an impregnable
position.

So far as Philip had discovered there was no means of entrance to the
subterranean chamber save through the grotto, and with the tunnel
half-filled by rocks, there was every reason to believe a siege could
be sustained indefinitely. The animals appeared to understand quite as
well as did their human companion that they were comparatively safe
from Goliah and his forces, and hand in hand they wandered through the
caverns, uttering exclamations of surprise or chattering with each other
in a low tone, but returning to Philip every moment to make sure he
would not again disappear from their view.

A dinner and supper of boiled fish, then a long time of unbroken repose,
and another day dawned.

During the hours devoted to slumber Philip had resolved that, in order to
occupy his mind and provide the needful exercise for all, he would again
take up his work of gathering gold, although it might not be possible to
carry it away. When breakfast had been cooked in the boiling spring, and
eaten, he motioned for the chimpanzees to follow him down the course of
the stream.

In order to make them understand what he wished to do, it was only
necessary to take from the water a few of the yellow nuggets, compare
them with bits of limestone to show the difference in color, and then
carry them to the hiding-place behind the statue. One example was
sufficient, and without delay the animals set about gathering the
treasure, so useless while Philip remained on the island, but of such
great value if he could succeed in conveying it to any civilized portion
of the world.

It was not his intention to make of this treasure-gathering absolute
labor, but only to perform so much of it as would give the needed
exercise in confinement; and after the chimpanzees had worked
industriously three hours he motioned for them to desist.

Stretched out on the cool white sand in the cavern nearest the grotto,
all three of the fugitives enjoyed a most pleasant siesta. They
could contrast the heat outside with the refreshing coolness of the
under-ground residence, and Philip admitted to himself that to remain
shut up here several weeks might not be as unpleasant as would seem at
first thought.

Thus alternately working and resting, the time passed at a reasonably
rapid rate until Philip judged that one week of this voluntary
imprisonment had elapsed.

During all this time nothing had been heard from the apes, and the
chimpanzees no longer acted as if fearing each moment their enemies
would find them out. Even Philip felt reassured on this point, and was
beginning to make preparations for sending Ben Bolt on a reconnoitering
expedition, or of going himself, when loud shouts from the outside
proclaimed the fact that Goliah’s army had at last discovered their
hiding-place.

Even now Philip felt but little alarm, for by barricading the tunnel it
would be possible to hold the entire force at bay.

Goliah, however, did not propose to let his army expend their energy and
time in shrieking. About noon on the eighth day of Philip’s voluntary
imprisonment the sounds from the grotto proclaimed the fact that the
enemy were making preparations for entering the passage.

At the first alarm the chimpanzees were nearly beside themselves with
fright; but after observing Philip’s calm demeanor they appeared to gain
confidence, and in less than an hour both were sufficiently composed to
render such aid as their human companion required.

The work of maintaining a defense was not arduous. It consisted simply
in breaking the naturally-formed statues into fragments—which was easily
done owing to the porous nature of the stone—and packing the pieces into
the passage as fast as the wall gave evidence of being weakened by the
besiegers.

“They may go on with that sort of work for a month without being able to
get at us,” Philip said, much as if the chimpanzees needed encouragement
and could understand what he said. “We have only to keep on hand a
plentiful supply of material, and the advantage will all be on our side.”

Before the day came to an end the animals had learned so well what was
necessary that their companion had no hesitation about trusting them to
continue the defense while he caught and prepared fish for supper.

During the night the enemy remained silent, but at the first break of day
the attack was continued—this time so methodically that the forenoon was
but half spent when the barricade was so far destroyed that Philip could
see the besiegers at the further end of the tunnel.

They labored in couples, dragging out the rocks and passing them to those
in the rear, who formed a long chain to the outer end of the grotto,
where the fragments were thrown down the incline at such a point that the
movement of the army would not be impeded.

In this order of working it was possible for them to gain very materially
upon the defenders of the cavern, and for the first time since having
taken refuge in this place Philip began to fear they might eventually be
dragged from what he had believed was a secure retreat, unless it should
be possible to change their own plan.

It was while he stood at the mouth of the tunnel trying to devise some
means of accelerating the work of defense that he was startled by hearing
the report of a cannon in the distance.

His companions immediately rushed to his side, as if understanding that
this booming noise meant deliverance for him whom they had labored so
hard; and while the three were listening intently a second report was
heard.

Now the besiegers began to understand that something unusual was
occurring on the island, and when the third report rang out on the still
air Philip shouted, in a loud voice:

“A vessel has come! Captain Seaworth has returned, and we shall be able
to leave this terrible place!”

The besiegers, confounded and uneasy because of the detonations, which
were several times repeated by the echoes, came to a decided stand-still,
while Goliah, who was stationed just inside the grotto, leaned forward,
sniffing the air and showing every symptom of uneasiness.



CHAPTER XXXI.

THE RETURN OF THE COLONISTS.


With stones in their hands, muzzles turned in the direction of the wind,
outstretched necks, hair standing on end, and ears pricked up, the apes
tried to realize what Philip himself would have been only too well
pleased to understand.

There could be no question but that a vessel was near, yet there were
many chances that Philip’s first explanation of the reason of the
cannonading was not the true one.

In the cavern it was impossible to say that a tempest might not be
raging, and the ship, having struck a reef, was signaling for assistance.
Or, again, the Malay pirates were perhaps attacking some vessels close
under the lee of the land. In fact, there were very many ways of
explaining the reasons for this discharge of ordnance without attributing
it to the return of the colonists, and Philip’s first flush of joy was
immediately turned to anxiety.

Half an hour passed, during which the besiegers remained like statues,
gazing toward the sea; and then, to Philip’s intense relief and almost
overwhelming happiness, came the sound of human voices.

The apes appeared to be more and more astonished. The greater number
looked frightened, and were already seeking with furtive glances
favorable openings for immediate flight. Goliah alone remained firm; but
it was possible to tell from the expression of his face that he shared
very sensibly in the alarm of his subjects.

Five minutes more passed, and Philip fancied he could hear the tramp of
many feet in the distance, when Goliah gave vent to a shrill, piercing
whistle, and in an instant every one of the besiegers disappeared. Not a
single ape remained in front of the grotto, and only for a few seconds
could Philip see their vanishing tails as they sought refuge in the
thicket.

Now, instead of trying to fill up the tunnel, those in the subterranean
chamber began tearing away at the rocks with feverish energy; and five
minutes later Philip, followed by the two chimpanzees, emerged from the
grotto into one of the broad roads built under his supervision as king,
down which could be seen a large body of men, in the immediate vicinity
of the village.

To run forward at the swiftest possible pace was the most natural thing
for Philip to do, and in a few moments he was standing before Captain
Seaworth, muttering incoherent words expressive of his deep joy, while
the two chimpanzees followed close behind him, looking as if they also
were relieved in mind by the coming of human beings.

The appearance of Philip, covered as he was with the fragments of an
ape’s skin, caused the most profound astonishment among those who had
just landed.

They looked upon him as if believing that he was a veritable wild man,
and not a few gave way at his approach, fearing he might inflict some
injury upon them.

Although Captain Seaworth and several of his officers were well
acquainted with Philip Garland, the animal-trainer, they failed to
recognize in this forlorn-looking specimen of humanity the once
prosperous merchant, and after gazing at him several moments in
undisguised astonishment the captain asked, sternly:

“Who are you?”

“A shipwrecked youth, whose life has been in danger during the past three
months.”

“One would say you were more ape than human,” the captain replied with a
smile.

“And so I have been; but now the time has come when I can assume my
proper place among human beings. This hide is not mine.”

“Which is lucky for you,” one of the officers added, and several laughed
heartily, “otherwise we might think it a deed of charity to finish
skinning you.”

Then Captain Seaworth, looking at the chimpanzees as if he recognized
them, asked:

“How comes it that you have adopted two of my former pets as your
servants?”

“These are animals which I once owned and trained, and afterward sold
to you, captain,” Philip said laughingly; and the gentleman, looking up
quickly, repeated:

“You sold them to me?”

“Yes. I am, or at least I was, Philip Garland, dealer in wild animals,
and sold you these chimpanzees, together with a baboon which I wish had
been killed years ago.”

It is needless to describe the astonishment caused by these words. In
this youth, only partially covered with the tattered skin of an ape,
and with matted and disheveled hair, the officers of the Reynard began
to distinguish some familiar features, and a moment later Philip was
overwhelmed with questions.

To tell his story would require no slight amount of time, and he proposed
that it be delayed until a more fitting moment, for he, in turn, was
eager to learn the reasons of the colonists’ sudden departure; therefore
he said:

“Inasmuch as your leaving the island has caused me no slight amount of
uneasiness and mystification, and can be told more quickly than my story,
suppose you first explain. This evening you shall learn the particulars
of my reign, for during at least half of my stay here I have been king of
the apes.”

“It will require but a few words to clear up what has seemed a mystery
if, as I presume, you have already seen the log-book.”

“I have, and the last page in it contained an account of the pirates’
warning which was found on the beach.”

“Exactly,” the captain replied. “In regard to that, Mr. Clark evidently
overlooked the weapon on the previous day, for before nightfall we saw
the Malay fleet in the offing. It was composed of so many proas that
to give battle would have been the height of foolishness, and in the
least possible time we embarked on the Reynard, slipping her cables and
standing out to sea. It was better to lose our property than run the risk
of losing our lives.

“The people were making preparations for a ball, and no work was being
done on the plantation, therefore it was possible to embark in less
than an hour from the time of the first alarm; but to save any of the
household goods was out of the question. The papers relating to the
settlement of the island I intended to take with me; but in the hurried
departure they, like a great many other things, were forgotten until
it was so late that to return for them would have been the height of
imprudence, and we abandoned everything with the faint hope of recovering
the property on our return.

“A running fight could be made provided we succeeded in preventing the
pirates from boarding us; and with a ten-knot breeze we dashed through
the fleet without receiving any injury. They opened fire as a matter of
course; but those scoundrels do not count upon a fight at long range,
because their weapons are not calculated to do much execution from a
distance.

“We were not idle. Every gun of the six we had on board was trained with
good effect, and before they could crawl out of range we sank three
proas. Two more of the crafts were disabled, and one was so splintered
about the hull that before we were out of sight her crew took to the
boats. It was a lesson which I fancy they will not forget for some time;
and now that we are to have such an increase of numbers, it will be a
very long while before the pirates, either from Sooloo or Magindinao,
dare to pay us a visit.

“We made Batavia in due course of time, took on more colonists, and
arranged for a large number to follow. They will be here in a few days,
and I have returned to complete our work; but I fancy quite as much has
been destroyed by the apes as would have been had the pirates landed,
although I am surprised at seeing these magnificent thoroughfares, which
must have cost no small amount of time and labor.”

“As king of the apes I have been able to do the colony some good,”
Philip replied. “These roads were laid out by my subjects, and as far as
possible I have endeavored to repair the buildings which they destroyed
during the first battle; but of this I shall tell you later.”

Then Captain Seaworth and his officers, eager to hear Philip’s story,
proposed that all go on board the Reynard, where the unfortunate man
could procure suitable garments; and while the colonists were engaged in
ascertaining the amount of damage done the dwellings the little party
went to the coast, the chimpanzees following Philip very closely, as if
only in his presence could they hope for protection from the vengeful
Goliah.

The remainder of that day was spent as far as Captain Seaworth and his
officers were concerned, in listening to Philip’s adventures, and when
night came one can well fancy the happy sense of relief and security
which the animal-trainer experienced on being able to lie down once more
in a bed with no fear of an attack from the apes.

It was decided that the chimpanzees should be allowed to go whithersoever
they pleased; but after the first visit to the ship no amount of
persuasion could induce them to go on shore again. They appeared to
realize that only there were they safe, and having been given quarters in
a shanty which the carpenter built on deck, they were apparently the most
contented of all the ship’s company.

Not until the following day, while the workmen were engaged in restoring
the buildings and otherwise putting the settlement into the same shape
as it had been at the time of their departure, did Philip tell Captain
Seaworth of the discovery he had made in the subterranean chamber. Had he
related this portion of his adventures in public the work of establishing
the plantation would have been speedily abandoned, for once the fever for
gold attacks man all industries languish, and the idea of gaining wealth
from the bed of the under-ground stream would have been more disastrous
to the colony than many visits from the pirates.

Even Captain Seaworth was undecided as to what should be done. He fully
realized the danger attending his enterprise should this discovery be
made known, and after much thought he said to Philip:

“We will let this remain a secret between you and me for the present.
You can at different times convey the gold which has been gathered to my
house, or to the ship, without letting any of the colonists know what
you are doing. Only in the event of our failing to make of this island a
fruitful plantation will we acquaint even my most trusty officers with
this new source of wealth.”



CHAPTER XXXII.

A BOATSWAIN’S FATE.


As a matter of course, Philip was enabled to resume his proper
habiliments as soon as he stepped on board the Reynard, Captain Seaworth
supplying him with a full outfit, and it was with no slight degree of
satisfaction that he surveyed himself in the mirror.

His long and peculiar residence on the island rendered him a valuable
adviser to Captain Seaworth, and it was decided that during such
time as he would be obliged to remain, owing to the limited means of
transportation, he was to act as a member of the board of directors.

The first labor the colonists engaged in was the repairing of the houses
which had been injured during the last siege. Then every dwelling was
fortified, as far as possible, for it was not to be supposed that such a
large body of apes, having once had possession of the settlement, would
remain very long at a respectful distance.

Philip’s advice to Captain Seaworth was that before anything was done
toward restoring the plantations to their former condition some means
be devised for ridding the island of the mischievous and vindictive
animals. To plant anew would be only to provide something for the apes
to destroy, and it was by no means safe for the male colonists to go
into the fields, leaving the cottages unprotected, since Goliah might
lead his forces to an attack at any moment; therefore if the scheme of
transforming the island into a garden was to be carried out, the first
and all-important task was the destruction or subjugation of the apes.

No one knew better than Philip how difficult would be such a task. At
the very lowest computation there were two thousand of these long-tailed
brutes against whom war must be waged, and, as has already been shown,
they were no mean antagonists. One such as Goliah would be more than a
match for three unarmed men, and the strictest orders were issued that
the colonists should only go from one point to another when in large
numbers, and with sufficient weapons to repel any onslaught which might
be made.

This order was promulgated on the afternoon of the same day the Reynard
entered the little cove, and before twelve hours had elapsed those of the
colonists who thought such a precaution foolish were fully convinced of
its wisdom.

The boatswain of the ship, whose constant boast it was that he could
overcome, single-handed, any three men who might be opposed to him,
laughed at the idea of banding together to resist an attack by monkeys,
and openly declared that he was not afraid of all the apes in the
Malay Archipelago. He even went so far as to intimate that Philip was
little less than a chicken-hearted fellow to allow himself to be made
a prisoner by such animals, and to do their bidding like a slave. In
fact, he did not hesitate to say he doubted Mr. Garland’s story very
seriously, and otherwise made so much sport of the “Munchausen Tales,” as
he called them, that many of the colonists were disposed to share in his
incredulity.

At about four o’clock in the afternoon Captain Seaworth decided to have
one of the small cannon brought from the Reynard for the better defense
of the village, and instructed the boatswain to proceed to the ship with
a sufficient number of men for mutual protection.

“I am going alone,” the old sailor said when he emerged from the
captain’s temporary dwelling, speaking to a number of his comrades with
whom he had previously been discussing the alleged facts of Philip’s
story. “I’ll make it my business to walk half-around the island just to
show how much truth there is in the yarn of this monkey-trainer, who has
been scared out of his senses by two or three tame baboons.”

Of course this would be a total disregard of the captain’s express
commands; but the boatswain flattered himself that his disobedience would
not be known save to those in whose eyes he wished to appear as a hero,
and away he started, armed only with a stout cudgel, which he declared
was enough to frighten all the apes on the island into convulsions.

Three hours later, the piece of ordnance not having arrived, Captain
Seaworth sent half a dozen colonists to the ship, and in due time they
returned with the information that the boatswain had not arrived at the
coast. The foolhardy man had been absent from the settlement sufficiently
long to have made four or five trips to the tiny harbor, and, believing
his desire to show contempt for the apes had resulted in a catastrophe,
those who heard his boasts laid the matter before the captain and Philip.

It was then too late to make any search for the unfortunate man, since
night, which comes on so suddenly in the tropics, was already close at
hand, and it would be worse than reckless to venture into the thicket
where the animals could so readily conceal themselves.

That Goliah and his forces had taken the boatswain prisoner, even if they
had not murdered him, Philip felt certain; but nothing could be done
until morning, and immediately after sunrise fifty well-armed men set
out, following as nearly as possible the supposed direction in which he
had gone.

The search was not of long duration. When the party arrived within a
hundred yards of the terminus of the road leading to the south they saw
that which caused the stoutest-hearted to draw back with a shudder.

Hanging to the lower limb of a mangrove-tree, exactly as Philip had seen
the skeleton of the mandrill suspended, was the unfortunate boatswain.
The rope for the execution of the deed had been formed from strips of
his clothing, and a party of Western lynchers could not have done the
deed more thoroughly.

From such slight evidence as could be seen among the underbrush or
foliage, it was not probable the sailor had had an opportunity to defend
himself more than a few seconds. Most likely Goliah’s forces leaped upon
him so quickly, and in such numbers, that before he could strike many
blows he was over-powered; but that he was alive when suspended from the
tree could be readily seen.

After the unfortunate man was given a Christian burial there was not one
among the colonists who questioned any detail of Philip’s story, however
improbable it may have seemed. Now that there could be no question as to
the dangers which menaced, Captain Seaworth resolved to rid the island of
the brutes, if possible; and to this end, acting under Philip’s advice,
he went to work systematically.

The buildings were left in charge of forty well-armed men, and the
strictest orders issued against the women venturing out of doors under
any pretense. Then all save a force necessary to guard the ship were set
at work cutting paths through the thicket at different angles from the
settlement, in order that there should be no opportunity of concealment
for the apes within reach of the house.

This task required no small amount of labor, and three days elapsed
before the colonists were in condition to open the battle.

During this time they had every evidence that Goliah’s forces were
watching them intently, for more than once could be heard shrill cries in
the thicket as if spies were reporting to their commander the progress
made, and on several occasions the workmen saw dark forms flitting by,
but at such a pace as to render it impossible to shoot with any accuracy
of aim.

It was on the night previous to the day set for the general attack that
the vessel from Batavia arrived with reinforcements, and then Captain
Seaworth had quite an army under his command.

Had the colonists been going forth to meet a regularly organized force
of men they could not have proceeded more carefully. The new-comers,
who were well aware of the fighting qualities of apes, were by no means
disposed to make light of the intended engagement, but at the same time
no one seemed disposed to shirk his duty.

Divided into squads of twenty, each man carrying fifty rounds of
ammunition, the detachments started from the village, marching through
the paths and down the roads, and diverging as do the spokes of a wheel
from its hub.

Philip, who commanded the party which proceeded toward the south, had
tried to induce the chimpanzees to accompany him, believing they could
give timely warning of the approach of the enemy; but these intelligent
animals were far too wise to put their precious bodies in such jeopardy.
They probably understood what the result would be in case of capture,
and all the inducements held out by their master were insufficient to
persuade them even to step over the ship’s rail.

During the first half hour after the forces began to advance, those in
the village heard no sound. Then came a few scattering shots, followed
by another time of silence, until finally the rattle of regular and
rapid firing from the road down which Philip had passed told the anxious
listeners that the battle was in progress.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

A PITCHED BATTLE.


The party commanded by Philip had marched down the broad avenue fully
two-thirds of the entire distance from the village to the sea-shore
without seeing so much as the tip of an ape’s tail, when suddenly every
man came to a halt without waiting for the word of command as a piercing
scream from the thicket at the left rang out on the clear air.

Involuntarily the colonists gazed in the direction from whence the cry
had come, and as they did so a vast army of apes poured out from the
thicket on the opposite side of the road armed with stones and sticks,
attacking them with such fury that before the men could recover from
their bewilderment three had fallen mortally wounded.

Philip, who was in the rear of the troops, delayed firing in the hope of
having as a target the gigantic form of Goliah.

In this, however, he was unsuccessful, for that worthy had taken good
care to be out of harm’s way, although more than once Philip fancied he
saw his grinning face. It was but a few seconds, however, that he could
remain inactive, so vigorous and well-directed was the shower of rocks,
and then he discharged his repeating-rifle again and again into the
solid ranks of apes without producing any apparent effect.

During fifteen minutes this hot engagement continued, and then, as a
shrill cry arose which could be distinctly heard above the rattle of
musketry, every ape who was left alive vanished amid the thicket in a
twinkling, leaving the colonists at liberty to count the cost of this
first attempt at subduing the original proprietors of the soil.

Five men were dead, three severely wounded, and hardly one had escaped
without some injury. On the other side at least forty apes were left
behind, either dead or unable to beat a retreat. It was safe to assume
that as many more had carried away bullets in their bodies; but this
made the victory a costly one for the colonists, when the number of apes
supposed to be on the island was taken into consideration.

“Twenty engagements like this and we shall no longer have men enough to
defend the village,” Philip said to himself as he gave the order for the
dead and dying to be carried back to the dwellings.

While this portion of Captain Seaworth’s army were returning in funeral
procession the sounds of conflict could be heard from the extreme
northern end of the road, and the reports of the weapons continued
for about ten minutes, when they died away entirely, causing Philip
to believe the apes had pursued the same tactics as during the first
engagement.

[Illustration: The vast army of apes poured from the thicket attacking
the party with great fury.—(See page 259.)]

When Philip and his decimated party reached the main building of the
settlement, the squad of men commanded by Mr. Clark, first officer of
the Reynard, could be seen approaching, bearing ominous-looking burdens,
which told that their portion of the conflict had also been attended
with fatal results. As the remainder of the colonists returned, company
by company, having seen no signs of the enemy, Captain Seaworth called a
council of war, since it was evident that Goliah did not intend to give
battle again during this day.

As nearly as could be judged about a hundred of the apes had been killed,
or so severely wounded as to make their deaths certain; but, on the other
hand, twelve men were dead, and fully twenty so badly disabled as to
render it impossible for them to take any further part in the defense of
the settlement for many weeks to come.

“To continue in this way will simply be to exterminate ourselves,”
Captain Seaworth said when his officers were assembled. “The apes so far
outnumber us that in less than a week we shall be at the mercy of the
animals unless some safer plan of attack can be devised; therefore I call
upon you, gentlemen, for an expression of opinion as to what course we
shall pursue.”

Among the entire party there was no one who could make a suggestion which
seemed at all feasible. Even Philip was at a loss to know what course
could be pursued with any chance of ultimate success, and but for the
fact that he was afraid of being called a coward he would then and there
have advised an abandonment of the scheme of colonizing the island.

It was not until the unsatisfactory session had nearly ended that Mr.
Clark proposed a plan whereby it might be possible to inflict injury upon
the apes without suffering any loss of life themselves.

“Let us bring all the heavy cannon from the ship,” he said, “and place
them in the dwellings where the openings in the forest can be commanded.
Then for two or three days every person on the island shall remain
concealed. By the end of that time the apes may fancy we have beat a
retreat and gather around the buildings in such force that we can kill
off a few hundred. It is not a very brilliant suggestion, I must admit;
but since no one has anything better to offer, it will be only a waste of
seventy-two hours at the most to try the experiment.”

No member of the party cared to say that he was really afraid of an army
of apes, although many had greater or less doubt as to whether they
would ever be able to carry out the original scheme of making there a
plantation, and the first officer’s plan met with the approbation of all.

“Two parties, numbering fifty each, will proceed at once to the ship for
the purpose of bringing on shore the heavy guns,” the captain said, as he
adjourned the council, “and after they have been placed in position all
the women and a portion of the natives must take refuge on the Reynard,
while the remainder of our force conceal themselves in the houses.”

With this the party separated. Mr. Clark and Philip were detailed to
command the respective crews who were to bring up the ordnance, and the
others, with Captain Seaworth at their head, went to pay the last honors
to those who had fallen in the singular engagement.

The ship’s surgeon was the busiest man on the island, and while the dead
were being suitably interred he, with the women as nurses, established
a hospital in the court-yard of Captain Seaworth’s house. The awnings
were replaced by spare canvas; hammocks were slung on either side, where
patients would be most likely to get the benefit of cooling draughts of
air, and every preparation was made for a long time of enforced seclusion.

The four central buildings of the village were selected as the ones to
be fortified; holes were pierced in the shutters to receive the muzzles
of the cannon, and loop-holes made that the men might be able to train
the pieces. Powder, grape and canister were brought in large quantities
from the ship and stacked up in the rooms, until the buildings intended
for the peaceful occupancy of industrious colonists looked like the
embrasures of a fort.

At the end of the day succeeding the battle everything was in readiness
for the experiment, and fully two-thirds of the colonists were sent on
board the Reynard, with orders to remain concealed. It was not deemed
advisable to remove the wounded from the court-yard, for unless the apes
should begin a regular siege, as they had done when Philip was alone,
this temporary hospital would not be exposed to an attack.

Captain Seaworth, Philip, Mr. Clark and the second mate had charge of the
cannon, and from sunrise on the first day after these arrangements had
been completed the four commanders watched carefully and eagerly for the
coming of the apes, whose curiosity it was hoped would lead them to their
death.



CHAPTER XXXIV.

APISH STRATEGY.


From the moment when everything was in readiness for the carrying out of
Mr. Clark’s scheme there were no sounds to be heard on the island save
those caused by the apes or the myriad forms of insect life. It was as
if the colonists had suddenly been stricken dumb; and so careful was
the captain and his officers to carry out the plan thoroughly that this
silence was not broken by any one under their command.

Save for the six ominous-looking protuberances from the shutters,
everything about the village was as it had been when the colonists fled
before the pirates, and even human beings might have been deceived by
this pretended abandonment of the island.

It was not expected that the apes would make any demonstration during the
hours of darkness; therefore, with the exception of a sentinel at each
loop-hole, the entire party slept until morning, when certain noises in
the adjacent forest proclaimed the fact that Goliah’s forces had taken
note of the unusual silence.

It so chanced that Philip was stationed at a point overlooking the
same portion of the thicket as when he alone defended the building;
and inasmuch as it was directly opposite his station that Goliah had
taken his stand during both times the settlement had been attacked, the
animal-trainer naturally hoped the huge baboon would direct the movements
of his followers from the spot he had previously occupied.

If the leader could be killed it was but natural to suppose his followers
would be dispersed, and Philip’s great desire was to put an end to the
career of the baboon who had caused him so much suffering.

Two hours after sunrise the first decisive move was made by the enemy.
Previous to this moment they could have been heard chattering among the
thickets; but now a party of about a dozen, who had evidently been sent
forward to spy out the situation of affairs, came boldly from the shelter
of the trees and marched entirely around the settlement.

The purpose of the concealed party was to wait until the main body of
the enemy had been massed where a volley of grape-shot could be sent
into their midst; therefore these spies were allowed to return to their
leaders unmolested.

At the end of the third hour another party reconnoitered in much the same
fashion as had the first, save that they went on the verandas of several
cottages, trying the doors and windows, and when they disappeared to make
a report Philip understood that the time was near at hand when a salutary
lesson might be given.

From the thicket could be heard a noise as of breaking limbs, shrill
cries of command, and now and then a hoarse shout from Goliah, until
suddenly fully one-half the main body of apes burst into view from among
the foliage.

Philip looked in vain for Goliah; that wily old baboon had no intention
of exposing his precious person when there were soldiers enough under his
command to do the fighting.

The guns were already trained, and at the signal, which was the discharge
of a revolver by one of the men stationed near Captain Seaworth, the
six cannon belched forth their iron hail, mowing great gaps through the
enemy’s lines.

There was no opportunity to repeat this dose, for in a twinkling every
animal who yet had command of his limbs disappeared, and nothing was left
in view of the concealed party save huge piles of dead and wounded.

Although it was not probable the apes would show themselves again, no
sound was made by those in concealment save such as was necessary in
reloading the cannon, and until four o’clock that afternoon all remained
on the alert, but without seeing or hearing a single member of Goliah’s
forces.

That it was useless to continue the ambush any longer Captain Seaworth
knew perfectly well, and at the word of command the colonists came out
from their hiding-places to perform such duties as were absolutely
necessary in the way of preparing food for themselves and their wounded
comrades in the court-yard.

Among the first work to be done was to bury the slain, for in that
tropical climate the bodies would decompose rapidly, and thus, even after
death, be a source of danger to those who had killed them.

The number of the fallen was less than had at first been supposed.
One hundred and twelve were all that could be found, and while it was
reasonable to believe fully as many more had received wounds of which
they would soon die, the ranks of the enemy had not been decimated to any
appreciable extent.

The sun set before the deep trench which had been dug to receive the
bodies was filled, and after this duty had been performed preparations
were made for the night, since it was possible Goliah might try to avenge
the blow which had been struck.

As the shadows lengthened and the deep gloom settled down over the island
gunners were stationed at the pieces once more, and again the little
village was in a state of comparative repose, save directly in the rear,
where half a dozen men were bringing water and hewing wood.

Captain Seaworth had the same idea as had Philip, that, true to their
imitative habits, the apes, if they made an attack after nightfall,
would do so at the same point from which their previous efforts had been
directed, and, therefore, but little attention was given to what might be
passing in the rear.

The cooks were preparing a hearty meal, for the men in ambush had not
been served with anything warm during two days. The kitchen doors and
windows were open, and the laborers were pursuing their respective tasks
without thought of harm, when suddenly a volley of rocks, coming thickly
as drops of rain in a summer shower, descended upon the unprotected
portion of the main building, taking by most complete surprise even those
who were on the alert.

As these missiles struck the sides and roof of the house or fell through
the open doors and windows, the noise was so deafening that fully five
minutes elapsed before Captain Seaworth could make his orders understood,
and in that brief time no slight amount of damage had been done.

The awning in the court-yard was partially torn down; several of the
wounded men received still further injury; two of the cooks were
disabled, and the stove was overturned, strewing the coals on the
kitchen floor in such a way as started a blaze among the dry wood, which
threatened speedy destruction to the house.

There was no longer any thought of retaliation, for it was necessary that
the flames should be extinguished before they gained too much headway,
and the orders were to form lines for passing water.

Hardly had this work been begun when another shower of rocks descended
upon the laborers, driving them in from the spring as several of the
party fell under the well-directed assault, and during the short time of
confusion which ensued the fire gained no inconsiderable headway.

Only three or four men could work to advantage at bringing water from
the spring in the court-yard, for the flow was not large enough to permit
of much being carried at a time, and while they were engaged in this
nearly useless labor Captain Seaworth ordered all the others save those
in charge of the cannon to form a cordon around the building for the
purpose of keeping up an incessant discharge of musketry into the thicket.

Not a single ape could be seen as the men marched bravely to their posts
amid the falling missiles, and their volleys, however rapid, had but
little effect, owing to the fact that they were forced to fire at random.

After the muskets had been emptied half a dozen times, and the attack had
been checked in some slight degree, every third man was told off to fight
the flames; but so much time had elapsed that before the work was well
begun it could be plainly seen that all their efforts were vain.

Then, in order to save the lives of the helpless ones in the court-yard,
a still larger number of defenders were assigned the duty of conveying
the wounded to a building on the outskirts of the settlement, and while
this was being done it seemed as if every tree in the vicinity concealed
an enemy who kept up a continuous discharge of rocks.

For those in charge of the cannon to remain in the house where they could
only shoot directly in front was useless, and under Philip’s command the
ordnance was taken outside. From this point, first in one direction and
then another, heavy charges of small shot were poured into the thicket
from whence came the missiles in the greatest profusion, but evidently
without doing much injury to the enemy.

The situation was now deplorable. That the main portion of the settlement
would be consumed there could be no question, for the flames had fastened
upon the wings on either side of the court-yard, and as all the cottages
were of such an inflammable material it needed but little to complete the
work of destruction.

The glare of the flames threw into brightest relief those who were
struggling to protect themselves and save the property, and thus they
afforded good targets for the unseen enemy, who had now completely
surrounded the village.



CHAPTER XXXV.

THE RETREAT.


By the time the wounded had been removed from the building at least half
a dozen more men were in need of the surgeon’s skill, for since the
flames had illuminated the scene so brilliantly the apes were able to
aim with more accuracy, and Captain Seaworth soon began to realize that
his entire force might be killed or disabled if any further attempt at
fighting fire was made.

Philip was so deeply engaged in directing the movements of those at the
cannon that he paid no attention to what was taking place outside his
own sphere of action. Knowing perfectly well the manners of the apes,
he understood that if the volleys of grape should cease even for a few
moments Goliah’s forces would charge in overwhelming numbers, believing
the colonists were growing weaker. Therefore, as rapidly as four men
could clean and load each piece, it was discharged point-blank at that
portion of the thicket in which the enemy appeared to be concealed in
greatest force.

The range was too short to permit of the grape-shot doing as much
execution as it would have done at five or six times the distance, and
after seven or eight rounds had been fired Philip discarded the iron
balls entirely, loading the cannon heavily with pebbles and fragments of
rock, which, flying in every direction, would spread over a much larger
space than round shot.

It was while he was most active in this work, and when the two cottages
immediately adjoining the central dwelling had caught fire, that Captain
Seaworth approached the chief of artillery looking troubled and pale.

“That a body of men should be routed by apes seems ridiculous,” he said;
“but at this moment I confess I see no chance of success in this unequal
battle. What is your opinion?”

Philip delayed answering only long enough to discharge one cannon at
the thicket of mimosas south of the burning village, and then, after
directing the gunners to clean and reload the piece in the shortest
possible time, he replied, gravely:

“I am ready to obey your orders, captain, whatever they may be, and
however much they vary from my own ideas; but I am convinced that a
continuation of this fight will result in the disablement of all your
forces. Already the natives are growing alarmed in the presence of an
unseen enemy who, without fire-arms, can do so much execution, and if
they should become panic-stricken the white members of the party will be
left to the mercy of the apes.”

“Then you propose——”

“I propose nothing, captain. I have simply given my opinion because you
asked it, and not with any desire to influence your movement.”

Then Philip rushed forward to another cannon which had been loaded, and
after discharging it returned to Captain Seaworth, who said:

“I am convinced you are correct. With the limited amount of water at our
command it will be impossible to stay the progress of the flames, and
we must leave the village to its destruction. Withdraw your guns one by
one after I have sent the wounded to the ship. It will be necessary for
you to cover the retreat with the cannon, because we have so many in the
hospital that nearly the entire working-force are required to transport
them.”

“Then it is to be a retreat?”

“If we were fighting against men I should feel warranted in a complete
surrender to prevent further slaughter; but since that is impossible it
must be as you say—a retreat. I will send those who are fighting the
flames to assist you in the more rapid discharge of the cannon while we
are carrying the wounded to the ship. Messengers must be dispatched to
Mr. Clark, with instructions for him to forward all aboard the Reynard to
aid us on the way.”

Philip wasted no time in reply. He realized fully how important it was
that a more vigorous defense should be made just at this moment, and he
urged the men to renewed exertions, if indeed that was possible when
every one battled for life itself.

Then began what has probably never had an equal in warfare—the retreat of
a large body of armed men before a party of apes.

As Captain Seaworth had said, it required the greater portion of his
force to convey the wounded, and so few remained to work the heavy guns,
drawing them back a few paces toward the sea-coast after each discharge,
that the commander himself was forced to assist Philip.

It was fully a quarter of an hour before the last wounded man left the
building which had been converted into a temporary hospital, and then,
foot by foot, the little party of artillerists literally fought their way
backward, while the rapid discharge of fire-arms from those in advance
told that the apes had already circled around the retreating army. As a
cannon was discharged it would be drawn twenty or thirty paces to the
rear, the men reloading even while it was moving, and the showers of
stones came thicker and more frequent.

Before half the necessary distance was traversed Philip’s left shoulder
had been so severely cut with a fragment of rock as to render the arm
useless, while blood streamed down the captain’s face from many minor
wounds. Hardly a man among those who were protecting the rear was
uninjured, and just when Philip began to fear that what had commenced as
an orderly march would end in a complete rout, reinforcements from the
ships arrived.

This party of thirty fresh men, each with a plentiful supply of
ammunition, checked the closely-pursuing apes, and it became possible to
move the cannon forty or fifty yards after each discharge.

Finally, to the intense relief of all, the beach was gained, and here it
was necessary to form in regular line of battle while the wounded were
being conveyed to the ships in small boats.

It seemed as if the apes understood that this was their last opportunity,
for they immediately redoubled their efforts. But now, however, being
so near a place of safety, the men fought even more courageously than
before, and huge sheets of flame burst from the weapons as the missiles
went hurtling through the branches, causing great slaughter, as could be
told by the shrieks of the wounded and dying animals.

Then the cannon were abandoned on the sea-shore when the boats from both
vessels were drawn up ready to receive the defenders at the same moment,
and, still discharging their muskets rapidly, the men were at last
conveyed to a place of comparative safety.

The deck of the Reynard looked not unlike that of a line-of-battle
ship after a terrific naval engagement. Hammocks were slung in every
direction; improvised cots were placed fore and aft; and the surgeon,
with all the women, was fully occupied in dressing the wounds until the
sun once more sent down his pitiless glare over the island and the sea.

Looking shoreward, along the road Philip had caused to be made while he
was king of the apes, nothing could be seen of the picturesque little
village save a heap of blackened, smoking ruins. The flames had done
their work thoroughly, and not a single building remained standing. That
the scheme of colonizing the island must be abandoned for the time being,
at least, Philip understood, since even if Goliah and his forces could
have been exterminated immediately a return to the United States was
necessary in order to replenish the stores, as well as to provide new
buildings for the laborers.

When the wounded had been made as comfortable as was possible under the
circumstances, Philip thought for the first time of the two chimpanzees,
and not seeing them anywhere around, he feared, through some mischance,
they had gone ashore in one of the boats, in which case their doom was
certainly sealed.

In this, however, he was mistaken. Half an hour later, while assisting
the crew to rig up temporary berths in the hold, he found the two animals
cowering in the forward portion of the ship, behind some spare cables,
and it was many moments before he could induce either to come on deck.

Toward noon, when the intense heat rendered it almost impossible for
the crew to continue the work of converting the ship into a temporary
hospital, Captain Seaworth held another consultation, and this time it
had no reference to how the apes might be exterminated, but was simply a
question of when it would be possible to set sail.

There were yet a sufficient number of men to work the ships as far as
Batavia, unless they were attacked by the pirates; and after deciding
that it would be better to run the chances of a fight at sea than be
caught at anchor by the Malays, Captain Seaworth reported the fact of
Philip’s having found a vast amount of treasure in the subterranean
chambers.

Never yet did blood outweigh gold, and every member of the council was
eager to become possessed of the precious metal, even at the risk of
another encounter with the animals. There was but little discussion
necessary in order to arrive at the opinion of the majority, which was
that they should defer sailing until at least one journey could be made
to the grotto, and a certain amount of the wealth be brought away.



CHAPTER XXXVI.

A DISAPPOINTMENT.


Each hour increased the anxiety of Captain Seaworth and his officers.
There was every reason to believe the pirates would return, and perhaps
very soon. It was not the custom of Malays to acknowledge themselves
vanquished so quickly, and doubtless they had the fullest information
concerning the movements of the colonists from the numberless small proas
or sampans which can be met in any direction under the guise of honest
traders.

Now that the colonists had returned, it was to be expected the pirates
would avenge themselves for the injuries inflicted by the Reynard, and
it was more than probable these reprisals would be made at the earliest
possible moment. As Mr. Clark suggested:

“This time there will be no warning given. The weapon we found serves to
notify any of their friends we may have with us to be on the alert, and
when the scoundrels come again it will be with the utmost secrecy.”

The ship which brought the natives from Batavia must also be taken back,
and there were hardly more than sufficient able-bodied men left after
the battle to work both crafts into port. If, therefore, the pirates
should attack while the vessels were at anchor, it would be possible to
make only the slightest show of defense. The Malays could easily finish
that which Goliah had begun, and the massacre would be complete.

“Since we have decided to visit the cave,” Captain Seaworth said, as
the council of war was brought to a close, “I believe it should be done
without loss of time. The apes have received such a punishment as will
probably prevent them from renewing hostilities until after they have
recovered somewhat from the effects of the battle, and the journey can be
made more safely to-morrow morning than twelve hours later.”

“You might also continue, captain, by saying that it would be safer to go
now than wait eighteen hours,” Mr. Clark said.

Instead of replying, Captain Seaworth looked at Philip questioningly, and
the latter said, after a brief time of thought:

“I am of the opinion that the attempt should be made at once. We can
return by sunset, and it will then be possible to take advantage of the
night-breeze to get under way.”

There was no necessity for any further discussion, and preparations for
the journey were begun without delay.

As a matter of course it was necessary to leave behind as many of the
able-bodied men as would be sufficient to work the boats, because it was
unsafe to moor the little crafts where the apes might destroy or set
them adrift, and after the crew had been told off for this purpose there
were but twenty-two uninjured ones to go in search of the treasure.

Few as these were in number, they made a formidable host because of their
weapons. Each carried a repeating-rifle, two revolvers, and a cutlass,
with ammunition enough to continue a spirited engagement for at least an
hour.

The afternoon was not more than half spent when the little party was
conveyed from the ship to the shore, and, forming in a column of fours,
marched up the southern avenue to the ruins of the village, each man on
the alert for the slightest suspicious sound which should betoken the
coming of the enemy.

During the march they took note of one singular fact—the absence of any
dead or wounded apes.

It was in this avenue that they had seen scores of the enemy fall before
the discharge of the cannon, and it was not probable they had killed
less than a hundred. On the foliage were stains of blood, and the broken
surface of the road showed where the soil had absorbed the life-blood of
many a human being as well as animal; but there were no other traces of
the fray. Several times did Captain Seaworth and Philip leave the ranks
to penetrate a short distance among the underbrush, but without gaining
any information as to the disposition of the dead.

On arriving at the ruins of the village it was found deserted, like the
avenue, and the treasure-seekers continued on their way to the grotto.

This last portion of the journey was supposed to be the most dangerous,
and yet they reached the mouth of the cavern without having been molested.

The work of carrying away the treasure which had seemed so dangerous
now appeared to be a very simple task, and Philip, followed by his
companions, marched boldly into the grotto without a thought of danger,
when suddenly a shower of stones came from the tunnel with such effect
that three of the party were stricken down.

Naturally the first thought of the men was to return the fire; but on
raising their weapons there were no adversaries to be seen. As Philip
and the chimpanzees had barricaded the passage, so now had Goliah, and a
narrow slit at the top of the wall through which the volley of stones had
been sent was the only aperture visible.

To aim at this opening would simply be a waste of ammunition, since
the bullets could only strike the top of the tunnel, and this Philip
understood in a very few seconds.

There was no necessity, however, for him to advise the beating of a
retreat. Each man in turn, on finding himself confronted by a shower of
stones when no enemy was visible, took refuge outside the grotto, some
of the more thoughtful carrying the wounded with them; and here the
gold-hunters took counsel together.

“We can now understand why there were no wounded to be seen,” Captain
Seaworth said. “The big baboon has profited by Mr. Garland’s example
and fortified himself in this place, where he has most likely set up a
hospital. The question now is, Can we dislodge him with the force at our
command?”

“To that question I say, most emphatically, No,” Philip replied. “The
passage is so long, the amount of rock in the chambers so great, that a
thousand men would hardly be sufficient to vanquish the apes while they
remain in a position which is almost impregnable.”

“Do you mean that we cannot recover the treasure?” Mr. Clark asked in
surprise.

“You can answer that as well as I,” was Philip’s reply. “The tunnel is
not less than forty feet long, and through it but two men can pass at a
time. At the further end we may safely say there are not less than five
hundred apes, who can procure plenty of their peculiar ammunition by
overturning the stalactites; and from your experience in monkey warfare
do you fancy, now our party is reduced to nineteen, that we can effect an
entrance?”

“It may be that only a few of the baboon’s followers have taken refuge
here,” Mr. Clark suggested; and the captain replied, quickly:

“There can be little doubt but that they are all within the chamber,
otherwise we should most certainly have been attacked while coming up the
road. Mr. Garland has described the structure of this place so well that
we can fully understand the condition of affairs, and I see no possible
chance of recovering the treasure until the apes have retreated.”

“Which is the same as saying that we must abandon all hope of getting it,
since it would be hardly less than madness to remain here in view of the
fact that the pirates may return at any moment,” Mr. Clark added.

“Exactly so, gentlemen but at the same time I leave it to you to say
whether we shall go, or remain in the faint hope of being able to
dislodge the baboon army.”

However eager the party might be to gain possession of the vast treasure
which they knew to be in the cavern, all were forced to confess that
under present circumstances it was impossible to obtain it, and with one
accord the march to the sea was taken up.

Already had the night-wind begun to blow. The ships were rising and
falling on the swelling sea, tugging at their cables as if impatient to
be away, while far on the horizon toward the south could be seen, by the
naked eye, a tiny smudge of black which betokened the coming of some
craft, for no land lay within the range of vision in that direction.

“Ahoy on the Reynard!” Captain Seaworth shouted, and in the absence of
any officer the surgeon answered the hail.

“Have the lookouts reported a sail in the vicinity?”

“Ay, ay, sir. A fleet of proas coming from the southward. Most likely the
pirates whom we met before.”

This was sufficient to settle the question of treasure-seeking, if that
which had been seen at the grotto was not convincing; and although Goliah
had wrought so much destruction, to him they were now probably indebted
for their lives, since, if it had been possible to enter the subterranean
chamber, they would have remained several hours, in which time the Malays
could have approached so near as to render flight impossible.

In less than thirty minutes both ships were under way, every sail set
and drawing, and before the island of apes had faded in the distance the
pirate fleet was lost to view.

The scheme of colonizing the island was a failure. It had cost the lives
of many, the limbs of not a few, and all the property brought from New
York, while absolutely nothing had been accomplished.

The port of Batavia was made without incident, and, after only so long
a stay as was necessary to settle up certain business matters connected
with the corporation, the Reynard set sail for the home port.

To-day Philip Garland is in New York, and with him are the two
chimpanzees; but whether he ever returns to the island, of which he
was once king, in search of the vast treasure known to be there, is a
question he only can answer, and at the present time he has not decided.


[THE END.]





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