List Of Contents | Contents of Black Bartlemy's Treasure by Jeffrey
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and presently got me to sleep.



I opened my eyes to a great beam of sun pouring in at the open
doorway, whereby I judged my companion already astir.  So I arose
forthwith, and going out of the cave stood amazed to see the
havoc wrought by last night's storm.  For everywhere lay trees
torn and uprooted, and in divers of the more exposed places the
wind it seemed had swept them utterly away, so that the landscape
here and there wore an air unfamiliar and not to be recognised.
Though the wind was died away I saw the sea yet rolling
tempestuous to break in foam upon the reef and with dreadful
roar.  Looking down on Deliverance Beach I beheld its white sands
littered with piles of driftwood, and over all a cloudless blue
with the sun new-risen and very hot.

And now taking my hooks and line and a pliant bough for rod, I
went forth to angle for breakfast.  Reaching the lagoon great
wonder was it to behold these waters so smooth and placid while
the surf foamed and thundered beyond the reef.  I now baited my
hooks with fat of the goat and betook me to my angling; nor had I
long to wait ere I felt a jerk on my line, and tingling with the
joy of it I whipped my rod so furiously that my fish whirled
glittering through the air, and flying from my barbless hook lay
floundering on the sands behind me; and though of no great size
yet a very good fish I thought him.  And indeed I found the fish
to bite readily enough and mighty dexterous to filch my bait, and
though I lost a-many yet I, becoming more expert, contrived to
land five likely fish of different sizes and of marvellous

So there sat I in the shade of a rock, mighty content and quite
lost in the joy of my sport until, chancing to lift my gaze, I
beheld my companion upon the rocks over against me gazing away
across the troubled ocean.  And beholding all the grace of her as
she stood there, her shapely figure poised and outlined against
the blue sky, her long hair rippling in the soft wind, I clean
forgot my fish, for indeed it seemed I had not noticed the
vigorous beauty of her until now.  And in this moment, as I sat
staring up at her, she turned and spying me, waved her hand in
cheery greeting and begins to descend these rocks, leaping sure-
footed from ledge to ledge, lithe and graceful as any fabled
nymph or goddess of them all.  But I, well knowing the danger of
these rocks, watched her with breath in check and mighty anxious
until she sprang nimbly to the sands and so came running all
joyous to meet me.  Hereupon I caught up my forgotten angle and
found my hook empty, whereat she must needs fall a-laughing at my

"O Martin" says she, "what a glory of sun and sea and sky and the
wind so sweet!  Indeed it seems as nature would make us amends
for the cruel storm, for the poor trees have suffered greatly."

"Aye, comrade," quoth I, "so is there much fruit for us to gather
ere it rot, and great store of palm-nuts, which are good food and
useful in a thousand ways."

"But nature is very cruel, Martin, for I have seen many birds
lying dead and over yonder a poor goat crushed by a tree."

"Why then," says I, "these will we eat also, at least, such as we

"Nay, Martin, your mind runneth overmuch on food, methinks."

"Mayhap!" says I.  "Howbeit here are fish to our breakfast." 
Hereupon she falls on her knees to behold my catch and very full
of wonder.

"Indeed," says she, "meseemeth we have strayed into Paradise, for
even the fish are beautiful.  Why stare you so, Martin?  Is it so
wonderful I joy in life and find it sweet in so fair a world and
on such a day?  Moreover I have been swimming--"

"How?" says I, "and the sea so rough!"

"I have found me a little bay where the waters run smooth and
deep.  But come, let us breakfast, for to-day, Martin, to-day we
will explore our island."

"Why, I had thought to try my saw to-day," says I, "I had
intended to begin a chair for you."

"Nay, let this rest awhile; Martin, to-day I yearn to adventure
the unknown, who can say what marvels and wonders lie waiting

"As you will!" says I, rising, and so away to the plateau.  Now
very soon I had the fire a-going and while she bustled to and fro
preparing breakfast and singing very sweet and blithe to hear, I
took the pistol, and having cleaned and oiled it, found it very
well; then I loaded it with one of my six bullets, using a strip
from my ragged shirtsleeve for wads.  This done I laid it by and,
going for Adam's journal, I cut therefrom the map of the island
and fell to studying it with a view to our forthcoming journey. 
The which map I give herewith:

(Map of the island.)

Hearing my companion call me I went out to find breakfast ready,
the fish broiled and very appetising.  While we ate I showed her
Adam's map and she greatly pleased therewith and anxious to know
how I came by it, all of which I told her.  And she, examining
this plan, grows but the more eager to be gone on this

"But, Martin," says she all at once as she studied the map,
"Master Penfeather would seem to have been forced to slay a great
number of poor men, here be--one--two--three--O many men all dead
by his hand--and each marked with a little cross."

"Aye," I nodded, "and each and every 'slain of necessity'"...

"Which meaneth--what, Martin?"

"Murder, like as not, though 'tis all cunningly glozed in his

"I would fain see this journal, Martin."

"Why, so you shall and judge thereby whether he be rogue or no,
for 'tis beyond me."

"But now," says she rising, "let us make ready for our journey,
though 'twill be no great matter, for according to this plan the
island is no more than seven miles long and some five miles

"Even so," quoth I, "'twill be ill travelling by reason of woods
and tangled thickets, swamps and the like, so I judge 'twill take
the whole day."

"Why then," says she, leaping up, "the sooner we start the
better, Martin."

Hereupon, finding her so set on it I proceeded to equip myself
for the journey; in my belt I thrust my trusty knife and the
hatchet, these balanced by the pistol, and over my shoulder I
slung my bow and quiver of arrows and chose me a good stout
sapling for staff.  Soon cometh my companion, her slender middle
girt by a goatskin girdle whereto she had hung our other sheath-
knife and my wallet; so we set out together side by side. 
Reaching the little valley, we turned off to the right, or
westerly, according to Adam's map, following the stream that
rippled amid great boulders or flowed 'twixt banks adorned with
many-hued flowers most rare to be seen.  And here were bushes of
all kinds and trees a-plenty untouched by the gale, for the
little valley, being well secluded, it fortuned the wind had
passed over it.  Up rose the sun waxing ever hotter, so that,
reaching a grove of trees, I would have my companion rest awhile
in this right pleasant shade the whiles I, with certain great
leaves, contrived a covering for her head and another for my own;
which done, we fared on again and she very merry by reason of the
strange figures we cut.  Thus we presently came out of the valley
into a pleasant champain--a rolling grassy upland with dim woods
beyond, even as Adam had set forth in his map.  Wherefore, guided
by this map, we struck off north and so in a while came again to
the river and heard the roar of the waterfall away to our left;
and turning thither (I being minded to show her this wonder) we
saw before us a high land, well girt by bush and fern and
flowering shrubs, up which we scrambled forthwith, the roar of
the fall waxing louder as we climbed.  Reaching the summit we saw
it had once been covered by noble trees, some few of which the
storm had left standing yet, but for the most part they lay wind-
tossed in wild and tangled confusion.

"O Martin!" says my companion, "O Martin!" and so stood awed by
the destruction wrought by this mighty and pitiless tempest. 
Here was ill-going, but by dint of labour with my hatchet I
forced us a way through the wreckage until we suddenly came where
we might behold the fall that leapt from the adjacent rocks, all
rainbow-hued, to plunge into those deep and troubled waters

And now instead of bursting forth into cries of delighted wonder,
as I had expected, my companion stood mute and still, her hands
tight-clasped, viewing now the splendour of these falling waters,
now the foam-sprent deeps below, like one quite dumbfounded.  At

"O Martin," says she in my ear, for the noise of the fall was
very loud, "here is wonder on wonder!"

"As how, comrade?"

"This great body of water for all its weight yet disturbeth
yonder black depths very little--and how should this chance
except this dark lake be immeasurably deep?"

"Aye, true!" says I.  "Here belike was a volcano once and this
the crater."

Hard by, a great rock jutted out above the lake, that same barren
rock wherein I had sat the day I discovered this cataract; now as
I viewed this rock I was struck by its grotesque shape and then,
all at once, I saw it was hatefully like to a shrivelled head--
there were the fleshless jaws, the shrunken nose and great,
hollow eye-socket.  And now even as I stared at the thing my
companion spied it also, for I felt her hand on my arm and saw
her stand to view it wide-eyed.  So we, speaking no word, stared
upon this shape, and ever as we stared the nameless evil of it
seemed to grow, insomuch that we turned with one accord and
hasted away.

"Yonder was an ill sight, Martin."

"Indeed!" says I.  "'Twas like the face of one long dead!  And
yet 'tis no more than a volcanic rock!  Nature playeth strange
tricks sometimes, and here was one vastly strange and most
unlovely!"  After this we went on side by side and never a word
betwixt us until we had reached that pleasant champain country
where flowed the river shaded by goodly trees, in whose branches
fluttered birds of a plumage marvellously coloured and diverse,
and beneath which bloomed flowers as vivid; insomuch that my lady
brake forth ever and anon into little soft cries of delighted
wonder.  And yet despite all these marvels it was long ere we
shook off the evil of that ghastly rock.

Presently as we journeyed came a wind sweet and fresh from the
sea, offsetting the sun's immoderate heat to our great comfort,
so that, though ofttimes our way was toilsome, our spirits rose
notwithstanding, and we laughed and talked unfeignedly as only
good comrades may.

By noon we had reached a place of rocks where, according to
Adam's map should be a ford, though hereabouts the stream,
swollen by the late rains, ran deep.  Howbeit we presently came
upon the ford sure enough and, having crossed it, my lady must
needs fall to admiring at her new shoes again, finding them

"And they so comfortable and easy to go in, Martin!"

"Why, you have footed it bravely thus far!" says I, "But--"

"But?" says she, "And what then?  You shall find me no laggard
these days, Martin.  Indeed I could run fast as you for all your
long legs, sir."

So she challenges me to race her forthwith, whereupon (and
despite the sun) we started off side by side and she so fleet
that I might scarce keep pace with her; thus we ran until at last
we stopped all flushed and breathless and laughing for the pure
joy of it.

Presently in our going we came on a little dell, very shady and
pleasantly secluded, where flowers bloomed and great clusters of
wild grapes hung ripe for the plucking; and mighty pleasant
methought it to behold my companion's pleased wonderment.  Here
we sat to rest and found these grapes very sweet and refreshing.

Much might I tell of the marvels of this island, of fruit and
bird and beast, of the great butterflies that wheeled and hovered
resplendent, and of the many and divers wonders that beset us at
every turn; but lest my narrative grow to immoderate length (of
the which I do already begin to entertain some doubt) I will pass
these with this mere mention and hurry on to say that we tramped
blithely on until, the sun declining westwards, warned us to be
turning back; but close before us rose that high hill whose
summit towered above the island, and my companion mighty
determined that she must climb it.

"For, Martin," says she, scornful of all weariness, "once up
there we may behold all our domain spread out before us!"

So having skirted the woods and avoided tangled thickets as well
as we might, we began the ascent, which we found to be no great
matter after all.  And now I bethought me how Adam had sped
hotfoot up hereabouts on a time and with Tressady's glittering
hook ringing loud on the rocks behind him.  More than once as we
climbed we came on flocks of goats that scampered off at sight of
us; here, too, I remarked divers great birds and determined to
try a shot at one if chance should offer.  As to my companion, I
had all I could do to keep up with her until, flushed and
breathless, she turned to view me all radiant-eyed where we stood
panting upon the summit.  And now beholding the prospect below,
she uttered a soft, inarticulate cry, and sinking down upon the
sward, pushed the damp curls from her brow the better to survey
the scene outstretched before us.

A rolling, wooded country of broad savannahs, of stately groves
and mazy boskages, of dim woods and flashing streams; a blended
harmony of greens be-splashed, here and there, with blossoming
thickets or flowering trees, the whole shut in by towering, tree-
girt cliffs and bounded by a limitless ocean, blue as any

Viewing the island from this eminence I could see that Adam's map
was true in all essentials as to shape and general trend of the
country, and sitting beside my lady I fell to viewing the island
more narrowly, especially this eminent place; and looking about
me I called to mind how Adam (according to his story) had waged
desperate fight with Tressady hereabouts--indeed I thought to
recognise the very spot itself, viz., a narrow ledge of rock
with, far below, a sea that ran deeply blue to break in foam
against the base of these precipitous cliffs.  Away over hill and
dale I saw that greeny cliff with its silver thread of falling
water that marked our refuge, and beyond this again, on my right
hand, the white spume of the breakers on the reef.  And beholding
the beauties thus spread out before my eyes, and knowing myself
undisputed lord of it all, there grew within me a sense of joy
unknown hitherto.

At last, moved by a sudden thought, I turned from the beauties of
this our island to study the beauty of her who sat beside me; the
proud carriage of her shapely head 'neath its silky masses of
hair, the level brows, the calm, deep serenity of her blue eyes,
the delicate nose, full red lips and dimpled chin, the soft round
column of her throat, deep bosom and slender waist--thus sat I
staring upon her loveliness heedless of all else until she
stirred uneasily, as if conscious of my regard, and looked at me. 
Then I saw that her eyes were serene no longer, whiles all at
once throat and cheeks and brow were suffused with slow and

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