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   Chapter 18 BUILDING A SHIP TO TAKE THEM HOME

The Wonder Island Boys: Conquest of the Savages By Roger Thompson Finlay Characters: 27316

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


Great was the surprise of Oroto to find that Marmo, chief of the Tuolos, and Tastoa, chief of the Kurabus, were in the town. Greater still was the marvel to know that they were entirely free to go and come, and when Uraso announced to him that there were no restrictions on his liberty, he wondered why he had been brought from his village.

This proceeding was most unusual. During the preceding day, when they marched into the town, he had been kept in one of the buildings under guard, and had not seen the Professor, as the latter first desired to confer with John, and learn all about the facts about the chief and his actions.

Oroto was most anxious to see the Great White Chief, and when Uraso announced to him that he was prepared to receive him, he was eager to go. John thought it would be much better for them to meet alone, because it was desired to avoid all cause for jealousy among the different chiefs, and it would, probably, be disagreeable to have them present. All must be present, or none.

Uraso conducted him to the door of the Professor's apartment, and left him. As he entered, the Professor came forward, and grasped his hand, and put his arm around him, and in that manner conducted him to a seat.

The chief looked at him, and saw the strong,p. 225 handsome face and the white beard and hair. He appeared to be awed by the sight, as he was affected by the kind reception. He was far from assuming the defiant attitude with which he met John.

"I welcome you," said the Professor. "I know we can be friends."

The chief was overcome by the greeting words. It was plain that he had prepared for an entirely different kind of meeting. He did not answer, but sat there with eyes riveted on the Professor, and the latter continued:

"I hope my warriors have treated you right, and that they have not injured any of your people."

When Oroto had recovered from his surprise he responded:

"Why do you call me your friend?"

The Professor smiled, and he answered: "Are you my enemy?"

This was a question which was unexpected. What manner of man was this? The Professor saw the struggle in the chief's mind, as he tried to frame a reply.

"I was your enemy; but I do not see why I should be. I was told that you were a terrible chief."

"Who told you so?"

"The wise men."

"Do you believe them?"

"No; I shall kill them, because they have lied to me and my people."

"Why do you wish to kill them? Will that do you or your people any good?"

p. 226

"Then what can I do with people who deceive us?"

"Teach them to understand and know that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. When you do that you are also teaching the people what is right. If you kill them you are teaching people revenge, and revenge will not help them."

"You are telling me something new and strange. My people would not understand that. They would think I feared to punish."

"The white man does not think so. He believes that each man is entitled to his life. If he does wrong, he may be deprived of his liberty, and made to labor for others, and pleasures kept from him, but that his life should not be taken from him, unless he has committed the greatest crime against the people."

"What is the greatest crime?"

"The killing of another."

"I am in your power. What do you want me to do? What will you do with me? I did not know you taught such things."

"You are in my village; but you are free to go where you will. My chief did not bring you here to humiliate you, or to punish you. I told him to bring you here so you might know how the white men live, and how they try to make the people happy. You can see these things for yourself. Then you can understand."

"I am told that you have people here from all the tribes, and that they live together in peace and in contentment."

"Yes; and why not? Because one man was born and lives in one place, is that any reason why hep. 227 should be the enemy of one who lives somewhere else?"

"But how can we prevent them from fighting each other?"

"Let all the chiefs agree to do what is right to each other, and to their people; and treat each man the same, whether he belongs to your tribe or to some other. Do not seek revenge, but justice."

"I shall forever be the White Chief's friend."

"But you must be not only my friend, but the friend of all the chiefs. They have agreed to live together in peace. We will find work for all your people to do, so they can become happy and strong, and I want you to go with me to see the things we are doing to help the people. Before we do so you must talk to the chiefs who have been here and who know what we are trying to bring about."

Oroto sought out Marmo at once. He was the nearest in kin to the Illyas, and the Professor noted this action on his part with the greatest satisfaction. Soon Tastoa, of the Kurabus, was brought in, and no restraint was placed on any of these conferences.

When all the whites met that night you may be sure that there was a jollification that knew no bounds. What a wonderful thing had been accomplished. All grasped the Professor's hand, and many tears were shed in the joy of the meeting. Six boys and three men had been rescued from the jaws of death by the Professor and the two boys.

In less than two years they had transformed an island of savage races into some semblance of orp. 228derly life, and inspired the people with a new impulse. It was the first time the chiefs of the island had ever met together. Within a week all were on friendly terms with each other.

At the conference that evening the Professor remarked: "We have now put in nearly two years of hard work, and accomplished the most wonderful results. The boys want to go home, and it is right that they should. Owing to the peculiar conditions existing here, we have not been in a position where we could take any organized steps to go home. As long as any of our friends were in captivity it was our duty to remain."

"The situation is different now. We have really started a little empire here. This is the 'Empire' that Harry spoke about when we landed here. He little knew how prophetic that was. We now have the men, the material, the energy, and the ingenuity to make anything that is made anywhere in the world."

"We must build a ship-"

But the Professor could go no further. The boys were wild with excitement at the news, as they gathered about him.

"But I am coming back again," cried one after the other.

"But I am not going away," added the Professor, "because I am afraid I should never be able to come back again."

There was a tone of sadness as he said this, and it touched all the boys. It was hard to tell whether this was an occasion for joy or sorrow.

All knew what the Professor and John andp. 229 Blakely felt, and that it would become their great field for future work.

Here was also a field for the energies of the boys, whose abilities could be directed into useful channels. Commercially the island was of immense value, if properly used. So long as John and the Professor were there no wrong speculative efforts would dare to be attempted by unscrupulous adventurers.

John, together with Harry, Tom and Jim, who were the engineering force of the island, soon began the work of preparing the material for the ship which would place them in communication with the great world.

The three new boys were initiated into the crafthood which was ever widening and gaining new recruits. The natives showed remarkable aptitude for the various branches of work. But the Professor and Blakely had other ideas than to train too many of them to labor in the mechanical lines.

Here was a land, rich in soil, capable of growing any crop, or adapted to give up its bounty in the form of many valuable kinds of produce. Rubber, coffee, spices, cocoanuts, the finest fibers, in variety, and all of them now growing wild.

This land must be occupied and tilled by a people adapted to the soil and climate. The principles of agriculture must be instilled. What a wonderful work to contemplate!

The schoolhouse was ready, but there were no books. Robert had taken the preliminary lessons as an artist, and was very handy with the brush and pencil. Entirely on his own initiative, hep. 230 prepared a set of letters, containing the caps of the alphabet, and these were cut out by him, and the work so delighted the Professor that he instructed the boys how to cast the whole series at one time, so that a good stock of type was finally turned out.

"The party plunged into the forest, taking the direction which Tom and Ralph had gone on the former trip"

[See p. 235]

"I have an idea," said Robert, "that it would be a good thing to put some pictures in the primer; just enough to make it look attractive."

"That would be fun," answered Min. "Don't say anything to the Professor about it."

The latter had already arranged a simple press, but when the latter was nearing completion, Roy burst out laughing, as he remarked: "Type is a good thing, and so is a printing press, but I am interested in knowing where we are going to get the paper."

"Paper?" exclaimed George; "lots of it growing all about here." And he looked at the boys a little maliciously. "All we need to do is to go out and gather it."

"Paper growing? Well, I have seen many things here, but that is something new to me."

"Do you know what the plantain tree is, the tree, with the big sprawling leaves? Those leaves will make good sheets for printing on."

The Professor heard the last part of the conversation, and remarked: "We might as well make paper, and I have already asked Harry to make a grinder for furnishing the pulp. We have the finest paper stock in the world."

"Yes," exclaimed George; "the ramie."

"No; not that. There is a reason why hemp,p. 231 and many other fibers are better than that. Do you recall the peculiarity about ramie?"

Harry remembered. It resists moisture, and while it makes an excellent paper would be difficult with their crude means to turn it out satisfactorily. The grinding machine was a simple affair, and the fiber was fed through again and again, until it was cut up into short lengths.

Fig. 22. Paper Making Machine.

The principal thing, however, in paper making is to get it the same thickness. "It will take toop. 232 long to make a cylinder, which makes the paper even, and distribute the pulp perfectly, and in the absence of that I have ordered an apparatus which will turn out a sheet at a time."

The Professor then exhibited a drawing, and continued: "Notice the box, which is two feet square inside and two feet high. See this cleat all around the inside, six inches from the top. That is to hold the frame of a cloth web, which fits in the box exactly."

"At the bottom of the box is a pipe, right in the middle. This pipe is for the purpose of carrying the water into the box. Below the box is a larger box, and this contains the water which has the pulp mixed with it, just enough of the pulp to make it look cloudy.

"The water in the box is carried into the box by the pump. When the screen, or web, is placed in position, and the pump set to work, the water, carrying the pulp, moves upwardly in the box, and the fine particles of pulp are caught by the screen and held there, the little fibers lying crisscross over each other.

"Every minute or so the screen with the paper mat on its underside must be taken out and another put in, and the matted paper on each screen put under a press, and the water squeezed out, after which it will readily peel off the screen, and when it is dried it makes a good blotting paper. To make a writing paper of it, the sheet must be run through a number of heavily weighted steel rollers, but we don't need that for printing our books."

p. 233

The paper was made in that manner, and the Professor was delighted when he saw the illustrations. Thus the first serious attempt was made to begin the teaching of the children, and when the books were ready the boys were all happy to undertake the work of teaching. It was here that the Tuolo medicine men were utilized, and it may be said to their credit that they found the new calling agreeable and pleasant.

But there is still so much to be said about the town, the people, the actions of the chiefs, the work that was being prosecuted, the farms and plantations that were started, the manufactured articles turned out, the new houses erected everywhere, and the intense interest exhibited by the people under the new order of things.

The boys knew they had been a great factor in the regeneration of the island, and were proud of it. Lolo, and boys of like ages with our boys, were given special training, due to the suggestion of the Professor. Some were taught the theory of medicine, as the necessity of proper medical treatment was essential. Many received the rudimentary knowledge of carpentry and other occupations from John.

The ship was the principal topic of conversation, and to that the main energies were directed. The finest oak trees were cut and brought in; a new and larger sawmill installed; the machine shop was busy day and night in the making of two new lathes, a planer, and several drilling machines.

During the rush and the excitement of all thesep. 234 new enterprises, the boys could not forget their earlier experiences, and about the mysterious things which formed parts of their adventures.

To enumerate all of them would take too much space, and be unnecessary, but some of them had an intense personal interest, and they r

ecalled how the missing flag was accounted for when John appeared; the removal of their boat at the Palls of South River was explained; the discovery of the light beyond the West River really indicated the location of the savage village.

But there were other things still unaccounted for, and the boys craved a solution to the mysterious happenings. Who wrote the message found in the Investigator's lifeboat, No. 3? Who took the flagstaff at Observation Hill? Who placed the crude oars and the strange ropes in their boat which was found stranded on the sea beach ten miles from the place where they left it?

The boys determined to know these things, and they trusted to the future to be able to give the answers.

Little of the time was devoted to pleasure now. The great forest to the west was looked on by the boys with longing eyes many times. They had heard about the experience at Blakely's old home on the hill. One day Harry said: "There is one thing lacking in the town."

"What is it?" asked Tom.

"The American flag."

"Good! We must get a fitting flag pole for that."

All the boys conspired together that night.

p. 235

They would go to the great forest and bring in the finest pole to be found. Jack and Jill and Angel must go with them; and Lolo and his best boy friend were invited.

Early in the morning, without giving anyone an idea of their intentions, the guns and the bolos were loaded on the wagon, and plenty of provisions, you may be assured. George and Ralph manned the large boat, so that the crossing of the river would be facilitated. The wagon still had the fort sections, which were taken along so that could be floated across.

Within an hour the main river was reached and the float sections attached, so that the yaks plunged in and drew the wagon across, while the boat was drawn up on shore to await their return.

The party plunged into the forest, taking the direction which Ralph and Tom had gone on the former trip. Quantities of game were bagged, but there was no exciting incident. The pole was the main thing, after all, and when they tramped in every direction the selection was narrowed down to two fine specimens of shellbark hickory, and one was felled and trimmed, and after hoisting one end on the wagon, the other was put on the truck and the party drove into Unity in the afternoon.

The inhabitants swarmed the streets at the novel spectacle. The Professor, John, Blakely and Rogers instantly divined the meaning of the pole.

"Where shall we put it up?" asked Harry.

"Right in the center of the town," was the Prop. 236fessor's response. "To-morrow is flag-raising day, and it shall be a holiday!"

Before night the hole had been dug, and the immense pole erected.

When "Old Glory" went up the next day there was nothing lacking but the music; the hats of everyone came off as the flag slowly ascended, and the cheers that came from the throats of the natives could not have been more intense, nor the enthusiasm greater, if participated in by genuine Americans.

Old Glory

THE END

p. 237

* * *

GLOSSARY OF WORDS

USED IN TEXT

Astrologer. An interpreter of the supposed influence of the stars on the destinies of man.

Accumulation. To add to; gathering little by little. A store of things.

Acquiring. To receive or gain in whatsoever manner.

Accosted. To speak to; to address; to approach.

Adequate. Sufficient; enough.

Alluring. That which attracts; to have a fancy for.

Alternative. Either one or the other.

Animated. Lively; sparkling; exhilarating.

Apportion. To divide and distribute or assign.

Aptitude. Suited to the work; well adapted.

Betokened. To give a promise or evidence of.

Cardinal. The main feature; the original.

Calcareous. Partaking of lime.

Capillary. That capacity in liquids to cohere to material.

Celerity. Quickly; with speed.

Climax. To bring to a conclusion.

Chaparral. A dense cluster of small trees.

Cooperation. Acting together; in concert.

Concise. Short and to the point.

Cohesive. To stick together; to adhere to each other.

Comprehend. To understand.

Compact. In a small space.

Concentrated. To bring together.

Commotion. Not orderly; violent agitation; tumult.

Cringed. To bow in servility; to wince.

Deterred. Prevented; kept from.

Devoid. To be without; bereft.

Depredations. The act of plundering or laying waste.

Decorum. In an orderly manner.

Demoniacs. Influenced by demons, or possessed with bad spirit.p. 238

Detained. Held as a captive.

Deftly. Neat and skillful in action.

Diagonally. Across from corner to corner.

Dismantle. To take apart; to dissever.

Discernible. To see.

Disinfectant. To make germ proof; to make sanitary.

Diversified. A variety; having different qualities; many of the same kind.

Disclose. To show; to advise or inform.

Doctrine. That which is taught or set forth for belief.

Drones. Those which are not busy, or prone to shirk.

Effusive. Talkative.

Emboldened. One who is encouraged to go forward.

Entrapped. One who is caught by some design on the part of another.

Emotional. An excitement of the mind.

Emaciated. Lean; thin from want of food.

Emulated. To copy after; to take pattern from.

Enumerated. Counted.

Entrancing. To put into a state of delight.

Ethics. The philosophy of morals.

Evolutions. A term employed to show the manner in which soldiers are trained.

Factor. One of the elements in a problem.

Fantastical. Peculiarly garbed; out of the natural manner.

Fascination. A peculiar drawing to; pleasant attraction.

Function. Any specific act or power that belongs to an agent.

Gratified. Satisfied; well pleased.

Hilarity. Joy; the state of being demonstratively happy.

Identical. The same; exactly alike.

Impulse. That which is done at the moment.

Imprecations. To hurl defiance; to bring down maledictions.

Impressed. To produce an effect; warned.

Imperiously. In a haughty manner; in a way to indicate power.

Imitated. To do in the same manner.

Initiated. To bring into; to make familiar with; to install.

Imposing. Adapted to make an impression.

Interspersed. To put between or among.

Indication. To show; to give an idea of.

Instilling. To educate; to teach.p. 239

Installed. To establish; to put in the proper place.

Inculcate. To teach by principle, or otherwise.

Indignant. Anger or scorn aroused by a wrong act.

Instigation. To entice another to do a thing.

Indefatigable. Continual act in doing a thing; not weary in work or play.

Innumerable. A large number; many of the same kind or thing.

Indited. To put into words or writing.

Irritability. Rubbing against; friction of part.

Irrepressible. Difficult to control; hard to keep down.

Instrumental. The means by which a thing is done.

Malediction. A wish that harm may come; a curse.

Medium. A means; an object that enables the carrying out of a design.

Muster roll. The list of a set of men who have combined for an object.

Maneuvered. The arranging of forces in a certain manner.

Naturalist. One versed in natural history.

Omen. A sign; a favorable or unfavorable issue.

Pendant. Hanging; an article suspended; swinging below.

Penetrated. Going into; entering a body.

Phase. One form; a particular manner.

Projection. To give out; a throwing, shooting or sending out.

Precarious. Rather dangerous; not the safest.

Profusion. A quantity; many of the same kind or quality.

Presentiment. Believing or feeling beforehand.

Prescribing. Setting forth; explaining in detail.

Precipitous. Doing quickly; acting without considering results.

Restriction. Within certain bounds or limits.

Restoration. To bring back to its original form.

Requiting. To pay; to give just dues.

Requisition. The necessity for a thing; to call for some quality or article.

Regeneration. To make over anew; to better.

Reconstructed. To put into a better condition; or to restore to its original form.

Rhythmic. Made to correspond in sound, in a regular or determined time.

Rudimentary. Original, or basic.p. 240

Saturated. To thoroughly fill a substance, as with a liquid so it will not hold more.

Scantling. A piece of sawn timber, used as the upright support of a building.

Seclusion. Hidden; kept out of sight.

Semblance. The same as; likened unto.

Simulating. To copy; to imitate.

Smelter. A furnace for melting metals.

Solicitation. Asking for anything; requesting, by petition or otherwise.

Stimulating. To encourage; to cause to act.

Stalagmite. An incrustation on the floor of a cave or cavern.

Stalactite. The calcareous or lime hangings on the walls and ceilings of a cavern.

Stipulated. Set forth in some particular manner.

Tactics. The science or art of military evolutions.

Talisman. Something that produces or is capable of bringing about a wonderful effect.

Tempered. The quality in a metal of hardening.

Tissues. The flesh, muscles and organic materials of a body.

Tournament. A festival of ancient time; games and feats of arms.

Transmitted. Sent away; forwarded to a distant place.

Transport. Carried away by joyful news or emotions.

Typical. A good sample; the like in kind.

Unaffected. Not influenced; without emotion.

Undulating. Wavy; rolling.

Unscrupulous. Not guided by a right course; wrongful actions.

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