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The Wonder Island Boys: Conquest of the Savages By Roger Thompson Finlay Characters: 16442

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03

When the morning sun was struggling to come up over the mountains in the east, the whole camp was startled by Sutoto, who, with a number of the Berees during the night, had acted as a picket, to observe the attitude of the defeated tribes.

He made his way to the Professor, who had taken his old place in the wagon. "The Tuolos, Kurabus and Illyas have all united and are now on the big river."

"When did you last see them?"

He held up his fingers to indicate the time, and the Professor called to Will: "Do you know what time he means?"

Will soon interpreted the sign to mean three in the morning.

"If they have not been separated it is a sign that they intend to continue the fight," said John.

"I suggest," replied the Professor, "that we call a council of the principal men in the tribes, and let them fully understand what our aim and desires are, and thus unite the four tribes in a bond of unity. This is a most opportune time."

The news of the obvious action of the tribes to the north was soon learned by all, and whenp. 12 the Professor's view was communicated there was a universal assent.

Within an hour the chiefs assembled, and the Professor addressed them as follows: "My brothers, I am glad to be able to talk to you, and Uraso and Muro will tell you what I have to say. The Great Spirit sent us here, and we tried for a long time to tell you why we came, but you did not understand it.

"The Great Spirit is the same to all tribes; he does not favor one more than the other, but sometimes one tribe will understand better than the other what he wants, and when they do know what he says it makes them stronger and better.

"We believe the Great Spirit wants the different tribes to live together in peace, and not kill each other, and for that purpose he has given each one something to do. If he does that in a right way he not only helps himself, but he helps everyone else.

"We want to show you how to do this, but before we can start we must all be like one family. We do not ask the Berees to give up their customs and become Saboros, nor do we want the Brabos to do as the Osagas do. We do not care what you believe about this or that, or how you shall dress, or what language you shall speak. The only thing we should be careful to do alike is to so work that we shall not injure each other.

"It will not be hard to learn this, and we will all be patient, and we ask you to be patient with us. We want to show you that the ground is your mother, and when you ask her for fruit shep. 13 will give you plenty, and you can soon learn to make things which will make your wives and children happy and contented.

"You will know that anything you own will be yours, and none can take it from you, and if anyone tries to take it, everyone will stand up and protect you. The tribes which are now to the north must be made to understand this, and we must unite to compel them to agree to this manner of living.

"I know that the tribes are powerful enemies, and can bring a great many warriors to fight against us, but we do not want to kill, nor do we want them to kill us. Your weapons are not any better than the ones they have, and we want to make some that will enable us to overcome them, not for the purpose of killing them, but only to protect ourselves and our homes and children.

"If that is what you want and you agree with me that it is the right thing to do, we will help you. To do that you must not fight each other. I have heard that you do not believe in sacrificing captives, as the Tuolos and the Illyas and the Kurabus do, and I am glad of it.

"I am told that you all know Suros, the great, father of the Berees, and that he is wise. He is my friend, and he must be present at our councils, but we cannot go to him now, because we must protect our friends, the Brabos, against the warring tribes.

"But we must also be prepared to meet those enemies, and where we live, we have the workshop by which we can make all the wonderful thingsp. 14 needed for our protection. We must go to the Brabos' village, to be on guard, while others must go to our village and bring back those articles, and we will make the things at your own homes, so we can compel those tribes to submit."

These words affected all the warriors, and they gathered around the chiefs and expressed their willingness to do all that the Professor had suggested.

One after the other, the chiefs assented, and the Brabos were especially pleased. Their chief, Oma, arose and said: "We have been fighting our friends, and not our enemies, but we did not know any better. We thought everyone was an enemy. The Great White Chief has told us a new way to live, and we will do whatever he says."

Uraso, chief of the Osagas, held up his hand, and turned to the people: "I was wounded by the White Chief, and he took me to his village and treated me like a friend. He cured me of my wounds, and I became his friend. I left him and tried to come back and tell my people what a wonderful father he was, but the Illyas captured me, and when I escaped, and returned, found my people had gone out to fight him and his people. This made me sorry. I cannot tell you of all the things I saw at his village, and now let the White Chief say what I shall do and my whole tribe will help him. Muro will tell you what he has learned, because he, too, knows him."

"I do not know how to tell you about this wonderful man," said Muro. "I have seen him refuse to kill his enemies, when he could easily do it. Hep. 15 healed the Kurabus, and returned him to his friends, and that is something new for us to think about. His enemies are our enemies, and his friends are our friends."

This remarkable scene, which took place on the battle-field, could not be properly understood without some explanation of the preceding affairs in the history of Wonder Island.

About a year and a half previous to this, the Professor referred to, and two boys, George Mayfield and Harry Crandall, who were companions on the schoolship Investigator, were wrecked and cast ashore on the island. It was fortunate that they landed on a portion of the island remote from the inhabited part, and for several months had no idea that any human beings lived there.

They had absolutely nothing but their clothing; not even a knife or other tool, but despite this, set to work to make all the appliances used in civilized life. The preceding volumes showed how this was done, and what the successive steps were to obtain food and clothing, and to make tools and machinery.

They built a home, and put up a water wheel, a workshop and laboratory; captured a species of cattle, called the yak, and used the milk for food, and trained the oxen to do the work of transportation; they found ramie fiber and flax, built a loom and wove goods from which clothing was made; they found various metals, in the form of ore and extracted them; and finally made guns, electric batteries, and did other things, as fast as they were able to carry on the work.

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In the meantime several exploring trips were undertaken, and they learned of the existence of savage tribes, and what was more startling still, ascertained that other boats, belonging to the ill-fated Investigator, had been cast ashore, and later on came in contact with several tribes with whom they had a number of fights, and by chance discovered a tribe, the Tuolos, who held two of the boys in captivity.

These they rescued, namely, Thomas Chambers and Ralph Wharton. Returning from one of these expeditions they found a man at their home, who had entirely lost his memory. This was John L. Varney, a highly educated man, who had seen service in many lands, and later on was restored to reason.

Prior to the present enterprise, which was related in the opening pages, a chief, Uraso, of the Osagas, was wounded and captured by them, and taken to their Cataract home, as they called it, and when healed, he had left them, for the purpose of returning to his own tribe, so that he might bring them to the Cataract as friends; but he was captured and detained.

During this interim, the last expedition was organized, and after some mishaps,

they proceeded into the part of the country where the savages lived, and on the way rescued the chief of the Saboros, and also a former companion of John.

Two weeks before our story begins, the Professor was captured by a band of Berees, and taken to their village, where he was instrumental in healing the chief's favorite daughter, and inp. 17 gratitude, placed his warriors at the Professor's disposal to rescue his friends, who were about to be attacked by the hostile tribes.

The Professor saw and rescued two more of the shipwrecked boys, who were held captive by the Berees, and together they started to relieve the occupants of the wagon. The various tribes had been at war with each other, and when they learned that the wagon with the whites was entering their country, all sought to effect the capture; but the enmity between certain tribes caused several of them to unite and the three most bitter and vindictive, namely, the Tuolos, Kurabus and the Illyas, were opposed to the Osagas, the Saboros and the Berees.

It was fortunate that all these forces met at the place where the wagon was located, and in the battle which followed, the whites and their allies won. The situation was, however, that the victory might soon be a fruitless one, because the three tribes could muster a larger force than the four tribes now joined under the Professor, and might renew the attack at any time.

"Let us now see what the situation is," said the Professor, to the chiefs. "I have made a map of the island, showing where the various tribes are located, and where the villages are situated, so we may all have a like understanding."

"I would suggest," said John, "that a part of the force be sent to the Cataract and bring all the machinery and stock we have at that place, to this part of the island, where it can be set up andp. 18 operated. In that way we can the more readily teach the people how to do the work."

"That is absolutely necessary, as it is too far off where the plant is now located, to be of service to us."

Fig. 1. Position of the Wagon and attacking Forces.

"If you will allow me to say something it might help us," remarked Muro. "Let the Professor select a certain number of warriors from each tribe, to go to your village and bring the things here, and others will remain, and watch our enemies."

"That is a good idea," observed Blakely, "but before doing that I think we ought to muster our forces, so that we may know what we have top. 19 depend on, and the chiefs can tell us who are the best fitted for the various tasks."

"Your view is the correct one," answered the Professor, "and Muro, you, Uraso and Ralsea, inform all of them what is required. I shall expect you, Blakely, to take charge of the mustering of the forces."

The suggestion was understood and agreed to by all, and the various tribes were arranged in columns.

The Professor addressed them as follows: "In our country, we have a plan for everything we do, and everything is done in order. We try to follow the plan in which the Great Spirit orders everything done. We want every man to do something and be responsible for one part of the work."

"While the people are gone to the White Chief's village, others might go to the Berees' village and bring the Great Chief Suros, as he is wise, and we should like to have him here," added Uraso.

"Your suggestion," said the Professor, "is a wise one, and it will show how earnest you are in making this bond a lasting one among you. I thank you for calling attention to the matter, and it shall be acted on at once."

The muster roll, as prepared by Blakely, showed the following results:

The Berees: Sub-chief Ralsea and eighty-five warriors.

The Osagas: Chief Uraso, two sub-chiefs and one hundred and ten warriors.

The Saboros: Chief Muro, three sub-chiefs and p. 20one hundred and fifteen warriors.

The Brabos: Chief Oma, two sub-chiefs and one hundred and five warriors.

The whites were enumerated as follows:

The Professor.

John L. Varney.

Samuel Blakely.

{ George Mayfield,

{ Harry Crandall,

{ Thomas Chambers,

The boys: { Ralph Wharton,

{ James Redfield,

{ William Rudel.

The combined force thus numbered four hundred and twenty-four, not counting Angel. It should be said that Angel was an orang-outan, captured while a baby, and he had been educated by George to do many wonderful things. It is well known that these animals are great imitators, but this one really learned many useful things. One of them was to climb the tallest trees and warn George of the approach of enemies, and this was such a wonderful thing, that Muro explained it to his people and they really admired the animal, and who was, in consequence, a great pet.

When the council met the Professor said: "I will detail one hundred and fifty men to accompany John to our village to bring the things from that place, and those remaining will go to the Brabos' village to watch our enemies and to protect the home of our friends. Ralsea should take the litter and twenty men and go after the Greatp. 21 Chief Suros, and bring him here, so that we may consult with him."

"We have thirty guns," said John, "and at least half should be left with you while we are away."

"It might also be well," remarked Blakely, "to have the different chiefs select the most competent men in the four tribes to whom instructions might be given in the use of the guns, and I will drill them and show how to handle them to the best advantage."

The four chiefs selected the men for the expedition from the respective tribes, and the four boys who had been together for so long, begged that they might be of the party also, and the Professor could not deny them this privilege.

Early in the morning the entire force started on the march for the Brabos' village, and before night arrived at the main one, where the Professor and his party had the first close sight of the village and the inhabitants.

Runners were sent ahead to inform the people of the expected arrivals. This was the first time in the history of the island that a foreign tribe had ever visited them, except in a hostile manner, and the curiosity of the women and children was intense.

Oma, the chief, had graciously ordered the best hut for the Professor, but he declined it with many thanks, and presented the chief's wife with one of the mirrors, which delighted them. Some of the warriors were designated to procure game, and others to bring in wood for the fires, and thep. 22 most skilled were selected to scout to the northwest to determine the movements of the enemy.

In the morning, John and his party, with the wagon, started for the Cataract home. Uraso and Muro were designated to accompany them, and you may be sure that to the boys this trip had in it every enjoyment that could be brought to them.

"What a difference there is in things, now," mused Harry, as he drove the yaks along. "I hope they will have no trouble with those treacherous tribes until we get back."

"It makes me sad to think that we have to give up the Cataract," said George. "The past year has been a happy one to all of us, even though we have had serious times. And what shall we do with the flag?"

They had made a beautiful flag, which floated from a tall staff on Observation Hill. It would have been a grief to permit it to remain.

John overheard the conversation. "Yes; we shall certainly take it with us, and teach the natives here to respect it." And the boys applauded the sentiment.

In two days more the party sighted the Cataract, and saw "Old Glory" floating from the mast. When they saw it again, they took off their hats and gave three cheers. This so astonished the natives that they could not understand it, and Uraso told his people that the flag was worshipped by the white people.

"Did you hear what Uraso told them?" asked John.

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"No; what was it!"

"He said that white people did not carry individual charms to ward off troubles, but that they had the flag for that purpose, and the one flag was the charm of all the people; and he also told them it was made a certain way for that purpose."

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