Barty Crusoe and His Man Saturday by Burnett, Frances Hodgson
Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).
Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have been preserved. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
"Pirate Captain" is inconsistently capitalized.
On page 132, in the phrase "'Chattery-chattery--chat-chat chatterdy,' said Man Friday," Man Friday should possibly be Man Saturday.
BARTY CRUSOE AND HIS MAN SATURDAY
[Illustration: Barty and the Good Wolf had everything you could imagine]
BARTY CRUSOE AND HIS MAN SATURDAY
FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT
Author of "Little Lord Fauntleroy," "The Little Princess," "The Good Wolf," etc.
New York Moffat, Yard and Company 1909
Copyright, 1908, 1909, by Holiday Publishing Co. New York
Copyright, 1909, by Moffat, Yard and Company New York
Entered at Stationers' Hall All Rights Reserved Published, November, 1909
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
BARTY AND THE GOOD WOLF HAD EVERYTHING YOU COULD IMAGINE _Frontispiece_
HE WAS SO DELIGHTED WITH ROBINSON CRUSOE THAT HE COULD NOT REMEMBER THE TIME 4
"HELLO!" HE CALLED, "WERE YOU THE ONES AT THE SNOW FEAST?" 41
"IT'S GETTING WORSE," GASPED THE GOOD WOLF 70
BARTY LEANED FORWARD WITH HIS HANDS ON HIS KNEES AND GAZED WITH ALL HIS MIGHT 94
BARTY DREW NEARER AND THE NEXT MOMENT GAVE A SHOUT 118
THE PIRATES BEGAN TO ROW TOWARDS THE SHORE 132
"OH!" SAID THE CAPTAIN, "I'M REALLY SMILING" 136
THE PIRATE CAPTAIN TOOK OFF HIS HAT WITH A BIG FLOURISH 146
"IT'S ANOTHER PIRATE VESSEL AND IT IS GOING TO ATTACK US" 188
"WE'VE WON! WE'VE WON!" CRIED BARTY 200
BARTY CRUSOE AND HIS MAN SATURDAY
I hope you remember that I told you that the story of Barty and the Good Wolf was the kind of story which could go on and on, and that when it stopped it could begin again.
It was like that when Tim's mother told it to Tim, and really that was what Tim liked best about it--that sudden way it had of beginning all over again with something new just when you felt quite mournful because you thought it had come to an end. There are very few stories like that,--very few indeed,--so you have to be thankful when you find one.
This new part began with Barty finding an old book in the attic of his house. He liked the attic because you never knew what you might find there. Once he had even found an old sword which had belonged to his grandfather and which _might_ have killed a man if his grandfather had worn it in war.
One rainy day he found the book. It was a rather fat book, and it had been read so much that it was falling to pieces. On the first page there was a picture of a very queer looking man. He was dressed in clothes made of goat skin; he carried a gun on one shoulder and a parrot on the other, and his name was printed under the picture and it was--Robinson Crusoe.
Now, Barty was a very good reader for his age. He had to spell very few words when he read aloud, so he sat down at once on the attic floor and began to read about Robinson Crusoe as fast as ever he could. That day he was late to his dinner and was late for bed, and as the days went on he was late so often that his mother thought he must be losing his appetite. But he was not. He was only so delighted with Robinson Crusoe that he could not remember the time.
That week the Good Wolf was away on very important business, and if Barty had not had his wonderful book to read he might have felt lonely. The Good Wolf had taught him a special little tune to play on his whistle when he wanted to call _him_ without calling all the other animals.
[Illustration: He was so delighted with Robinson Crusoe that he could not remember the time]
The day Barty finished reading his book he tucked it under his arm and ran into the wood to his secret place and played his tune, and in less than two minutes he turned round and saw the Good Wolf trotting towards him out of the green tunnel.
Barty ran and hugged him, and while he was hugging him the book under his arm fell down to the grass. "What is that?" asked the Good Wolf, and he went to it and sniffed it over carefully.
"It is a book I have been reading," answered Barty. "It is about a man whose name was Robinson Crusoe. He was shipwrecked on a desert island."
"What is a desert island?" inquired the Good Wolf.
"It is a perfectly beautiful place with a sea all around it. Oh! I wonder if there are any desert islands around here!"
The Good Wolf looked thoughtful. He sat down and gently scratched his left ear with his hind foot.
"Do you want one?" he asked. "Let us make ourselves comfortable and talk it over."
So they sat down and Barty leaned against him with one arm round his neck and began to explain. "A desert island is a place where no one lives but you. There are no other people on it and there are no houses and no shops and you have to make yourself a hut to live in. And beautiful things grow wild--cocoanuts and big bunches of grapes. And there are goats and parrots you can tame so that they sit on your shoulder and talk to you."
"Do the goats sit on your shoulder and talk to you?" asked the Good Wolf, looking a little surprised.
"No, only the parrots," said Barty. "The goats follow you about and are friends with you. The only trouble sometimes is cannibals."
The Good Wolf shook his head. "I never saw a cannibal," he remarked.
"They are not nice," said Barty, "they are savage black men who want to eat people--but you can frighten them away with your gun," he ended quite cheerfully.
Then he told about Robinson Crusoe's man Friday and about everything else he could remember, and the story was so interesting and exciting that several times the Good Wolf quite panted. "Why, I should like it myself," he said, "I really should."
"If we only knew where there _was_ a desert island," said Barty.
The Good Wolf looked thoughtful again and once more scratched his left ear with his right foot, but there was an expression on his face which made Barty open his eyes very wide.
"_Do_ you know where there is one?" he cried out. "You look as if--"
The Good Wolf stood up and shook his pink ear _very hard_--and then he shook his blue one. "Nothing flew out," said Barty. "I saw nothing at all."
"What flew out did not fly out here," answered the Good Wolf. "It flew out in the place where it was wanted--ten thousand miles away."
Barty caught his breath and clapped his hands. "I know something nice is going to happen," he shouted, "and it's something about a desert island."
"Get on my back and clasp your arms around my neck and shut your eyes," the Good Wolf said. "This is not a trifling matter."
Barty scrambled up joyfully and did as he was told. The Good Wolf's fur felt soft and thick when he laid his face against it. He shut his eyes tight and then just for a few moments he felt as if they both were almost flying over the ground. They went so fast, indeed, and the air sung so in his ears as he rushed through it that it made him feel drowsy and he soon fell asleep.
* * * * *
When he felt himself waking he was quite warm, as if the sun were shining on him. There was a sound in his ears still; it was not the rushing of the air but a sound like rushing of water, which he had never heard before. He had never seen the sea and knew nothing about waves except what he had read in the story of Robinson Crusoe.
He sat up and stared straight before him and his eyes grew bigger, and bigger, and bigger. He was sitting on a snow-white beach and there before him was spread the great blue ocean, and its waves were swelling and breaking into snowy foam, and rushing and spreading and curling on the sand.
After he had looked straight before him for quite five minutes he turned and looked round about him. What he saw was a curve of beach and some cliffs rising from behind it. And on top of the cliffs were big leaved plants and straight, slender palm trees which waved and waved like spreading green feathers.
"I wonder if cocoanuts grow on them," said Barty. "That would be _very_ nice: Robinson Crusoe found cocoanuts."
When he said Robinson Crusoe that made him remember. "Why, it's a desert island," he said. "It's a desert island!"
Then, of course, he remembered about the Good Wolf and he turned round to look for him. And there he sat on the sand a few feet away.
"Were we wrecked?" asked Barty.
"Well, not exactly _wrecked_," answered the Good Wolf, "but here we are."
"Where is here?" asked Barty.
"Ten thousand miles from everybody," said the Good Wolf.
"Oh," said Barty, and his mouth was very round.
"You _said_ a desert island," remarked the Good Wolf, watching him.
"Yes," answered Barty, trying to speak cheerfully, because he did not want to hurt the Good Wolf's feelings by seeming dissatisfied. "And--and it is _very_ nice and desert, isn't it?"
"It is," answered the Good Wolf. "I chose the kind--like Robinson Crusoe's, you know."
"It is a very nice one," said Barty, "and I am much obliged to you." Then he dug his toe into the sand a little. "I am just thinking about my mother," he said while he was doing it.
The Good Wolf looked as cheerful as ever. "I had something in my pink ear which I shook out as we passed your cottage," he chuckled. "It's a kind of scent like mignonette and it makes mothers forget the time. It's very useful in case of long journeys, because when you come back they never say 'where have you been?' They don't know how long you have been away. I shook out a whole lot when we passed your house and I heard your mother say 'how sweet the mignonette smells to-day!'"
Barty's face was quite cheerful by the time the Good Wolf had finished. "I'm so glad I know you," he said. "You can do everything, can't you?" The Good Wolf looked thoughtful again (which makes three times), and he scratched his ear with his hind foot more seriously than ever.
"Look here," he said. "There is something I shall be obliged to tell you."
"What is it?" asked Barty, feeling very much interested.
"I can't do _everything_ on desert islands."
"Can't you shake things out of your ears?" exclaimed Barty.
"No," answered the Good Wolf. "I won't deceive you. I can't."
Barty could hardly gasp out "Why?"
"Just cast your eye on them, just look at them," said the Good Wolf. "You have been too much excited to notice them before. Do they _look_ as if I could shake things out of them?"
Barty _did_ look at them and he _did_ gasp then. His voice was almost a whisper. "No," he answered.
The tall pink ear and the tall blue ear had dwindled until they were only ordinary Bad Wolf ear size. "There is something in the air of desert islands that makes them dwindle away," the Good Wolf explained. "I could not shake a pin out of them now."
Barty drew a long breath, stood up straight and dug his strong little hands into his pockets. "Well," he said cheerfully, "all right. I asked for a desert island and I've got one. We shall have to look for everything and make everything exactly like Robinson Crusoe did. I believe it will be more fun. Don't you?"
"Sure of it," chuckled the Good Wolf. "Quite sure of it. If we could shake everything out of our ears when we wanted it, it would be scarcely any fun at all. It doesn't make _me_ feel mournful."
"It doesn't make me feel mournful either," said Barty. "Think what a lot of things we shall have to do."
"Yes," the Good Wolf answered. "We shall have to find a place to sleep in and things to eat and a fire to cook them with."
"I wonder where we shall find the fire?" said Barty.
"I don't know yet," the Good Wolf answered, "but on Robinson Crusoe's Desert Island you _did_ find things somehow."
"It will be great fun looking for them--like playing hide-and-seek," Barty said.
There seemed so many new things to do that he did not know where to begin first. But the little curling edges of the waves which came spreading out on the white sand seemed just for that minute to be nicer than anything else. So he sat down and began to take off his shoes and stockings.
"I am going to wade," he said. "I never waded in my life. I forgot desert islands were the seaside."
It was so cool and lovely and splashy and it was such fun to pretend he was going to let a wave catch him and then turn and run, shouting and laughing away from it, that for a few moments he almost forgot about the Good Wolf. But at last as he was running away from a big wave, he saw him come galloping along the beach as if he had been somewhere and was returning.
"Where did you go?" called Barty.
"Come along with me," said the Good Wolf, "and I will show you."
They turned and went back to where the rocks were. There was a large circle of them and inside the circle was a pool of quiet, clear water. "Here is something better than wading," said the Good Wolf. "I felt sure this was here. It is just the kind of a place you find on a desert island when you want to learn to swim. Take off your clothes and I will take you in and teach you."
Barty took off his clothes in one minute and a half.
"Come on," said the Good Wolf. "Catch hold of my hair and hold tight, just at first." And in he jumped and Barty with him.
The water had been warmed by the sun and was as clear as crystal. It wasn't too deep, either.
"Do exactly as I do," the Good Wolf said when they were splashing about together. He could swim splendidly, and Barty imitated him. At first he held on to his friend's thick, shaggy coat with one hand and paddled with the other, and kicked his legs. When he had learned what to do with his hands and feet the Good Wolf made him splash about in the shallower places until he began to feel quite brave, and actually swam a few strokes alone.
"I never, never thought I should learn to swim," he kept shouting joyfully. "See, I'm keeping up all by myself."
"Of course you will learn to swim," said the Good Wolf. "It is one of the first things you have to do when you are wrecked on a desert island." By the time they decided to come out of the water Barty knew that it would not be long before he could swim as if he were a little fish. He felt so proud and happy that he sang out loud as he run up and down in the sun to dry himself before he put on his clothes again. There are no towels on desert islands.
"What shall we do next?" asked Barty when he had finished dressing.
"Well," said the Good Wolf, "supposing now that I could shake things out of my ears what do you think you should ask me to shake out first?"
Barty did not think many minutes.
"My belt," said Barty, "is rather loose by this time. If you could shake things out I think I should ask you to shake out some dinner."
"It's what I should have chosen myself," said the Good Wolf. "What Robinson Crusoe did on his desert island when he wanted his dinner, was to go and look for it until he found it."
"Yes," said Barty, "I suppose we shall have to go and look too."
"All right, it's part of the game," said the Good Wolf. Then he looked at Barty a little anxiously. "Are you very hungry?" he inquired.
"Yes," said Barty, quite like a soldier. "So was Robinson Crusoe. That's part of the game, too."
"Come on," said the Good Wolf. "You are a good companion to be shipwrecked with. There are boys of your age who might have cried and said they wanted to go home."
"Oh, but I said a desert island," answered Barty. "And I meant a desert island. And it will be splendid finding something good to eat when your belt is as loose as mine."
The Good Wolf smiled a smile which reach to his ears, and off they went towards the place where the trees were.
As Barty and the Wolf walked along together they talked about Robinson Crusoe in the book.
"His ship was wrecked on the rocks and broken all to pieces," said Barty. "But _we_ did not come in a ship, did we?"
"No," answered the Wolf.
"And barrels and boxes full of biscuits and things floated about in the water and he swam after them. It would be rather nice to see a box of biscuits now, wouldn't it?" Barty said.
"Is your belt very loose?" asked the Good Wolf.
"It never was as loose as this before," said Barty.
"Buckle it a little tighter," said the Good Wolf. So Barty buckled it one hole tighter.
They walked along the shore till they came to a place where they could begin to climb the green cliff. Then they climbed and climbed and climbed and the grass grew greener and thicker and there were flowers growing on every side and bushes with birds singing on them, and the birds were all sorts of lovely colors. Some of them stopped singing just to look at Barty.
"They have never seen any boys before," remarked the Good Wolf.
"Do you think they like them?" asked Barty.
"You ought to go and see," the Good Wolf answered.
On one of the nearest bushes a bird was sitting which was prettier than all the rest. It had a white body and breast and soft blue wings and crest. Barty crept towards it with gentle little steps. He hoped very much that he would not frighten it. It did not look frightened. It put its head on one side and watched him. Then Barty took his whistle out of his pocket and softly played the tune the Good Wolf had taught him. The bird put his head on the other side and listened as if he were pleased. He was very attentive until Barty had finished and then suddenly he flew up in the air and fluttered 'round and 'round about, singing the tune himself.
"He is answering me!" cried out Barty, joyfully. "He learned the tune in a minute."
"He is a clever bird," said the Good Wolf. "Perhaps he knows a whole lot of things."
"I believe he likes me," said Barty. "I believe he does."
"All birds know a good thing when they see it," was what the Good Wolf said with his wisest air. "All animals do. I am an animal myself. You never threw a stone at a bird, did you, by the way?"
Barty stood quite still and looked at the ground, thinking very hard.
"I never threw a stone at anything," he said when he looked up.
"Ah," said the Good Wolf. "Such a _good_ plan that: Never to throw a stone at anything. In fact it's a good plan never to throw _anything_ at _anything_. I shouldn't be surprised if you find your Desert Island ever so much nicer just because you're like that. Animals know, I tell you. So do fairies. Look at the bird!" Barty was looking at it. It flew a few yards ahead of him and perched on a slender young tree, making funny little chirping noises.
"It sounds--" said Barty, "why, it sounds as if it were saying 'Trot along, trot along,' just as you did when we went to the Snow Feast."
"I did not see it at the Snow Feast," the Good Wolf said. "But perhaps it had a relation there. If it says 'trot along,' let us trot. Perhaps it is clever enough to notice how loose your belt is, and it thinks it can show us something to eat which will make it tighter."
So Barty trotted along and the Good Wolf trotted with him. The bird with the blue crest flew before them and Barty was quite sure it was showing them the way somewhere, because every now and then it stopped and perched on a bough and sang its little song. They went up the hill and up and up until they came to a place where they suddenly found themselves on the edge of a green hollow, and the minute they saw it the Good Wolf cried out, "_There's_ something we want," and trotted down as fast as he could to a big, clear pool which lay at the bottom of the hollow, and began to lap quickly.
"I want it, too," shouted Barty, and ran down the green slope himself.
He was just going to kneel down when he saw his bird fluttering about under a tall tree, and when he looked up he saw the tree was a very funny one. It was like a palm tree but it had great balls hanging from it and something queer was going on high up among the branches. The leaves were shaking as if things were moving about among them, and Barty was rather startled because he heard chattering, squeaking little voices. The sounds were so funny that for a minute he forgot that he was thirsty.
"That isn't birds," he said to the Good Wolf. "It isn't singing and it isn't chirping. What do you think it is?"
"Just watch a minute and you will see," the Good Wolf answered. Barty did not get up from his knees but he threw his curly head back and looked with all his might. What do you suppose he saw? First one little tiny black face with sharp eyes and sharp white teeth and a wrinkled nose, and then another little tiny funny black face with sharp eyes and sharp white teeth and a wrinkled nose, and then another, and then another. They peeped at him from under the leaves, and from over the leaves and round the big balls which hung from the branches. They gibbered and chattered and squeaked, and squeaked and gibbered and chattered. Barty's eyes got bigger and bigger and began to sparkle, and suddenly he jumped up and clapped his hands.
"They're monkeys!" he shouted. "They are little jet black monkeys, just like the ones that played in the land of the Snow Feast. Horray! Horray! Horray! Perhaps they are the very ones."
He put his hands up to his mouth and made a trumpet of them and shouted through it to the top of the tree. It was such a very tall tree and there were so many monkeys in it and they were making such a noise that they never could have heard him if he hadn't shouted.
[Illustration: "Hello!" he called, "were you the ones at the Snow Feast?"]
"Hello!" he called. "Were you the ones at the Snow Feast? Did you play in the band?" There was such a lot of chattering and squeaking at this that Barty thought it must mean "yes." There was rustling and jumping and scuffling, and suddenly a tiny black arm and hand darted out and plucked off one of the big hanging balls and threw it down to the earth. It bounded and bounded and rolled, and Barty ran after it and caught it just as it was going to roll into the pool of water.
"What is it?" he cried out. "What can it be?"
"It is something that will make your belt tighter," chuckled the Good Wolf. "It is another thing we wanted. It's a big fresh cocoanut."
He gave a jump as he said it and so did Barty. "There comes another," he called out, "and another and another." They had to keep jumping about because the jet-black monkeys were throwing the big nuts down as fast as they could.
"They know we are hungry," said Barty.
When the monkeys stopped throwing they settled themselves on the branches and watched with their little bright eyes twinkling as if they were delighted. They evidently wanted to see what Barty would do.
The Good Wolf soon showed him what to do. He found a flat rock by the edge of the pool and laid the big nut on it and then looked for a stone heavy enough to break it open. When it was broken open Barty felt sure nothing had ever looked so nice before. He had never known what a fresh young cocoanut was like. It was soft and creamy and rich, like some new kind of wonderful breakfast food.
Barty took a piece of the cocoanut shell and used it for a spoon. He sat comfortably on the grass and made quite a good breakfast. The blue and white bird watched him and the jet-black monkeys watched him, and the Good Wolf watched him.
Presently the blue and white bird flew down from the twig she was sitting on and began to peck very hard at some green leaves growing among the grass. She was so busy that the Good Wolf stopped watching Barty and began to watch her.
"That is a very clever bird," he said in a few minutes. "I believe she knows more about desert islands than people who have been to school for ten years." Barty stopped his cocoanut shell spoon halfway to his mouth.
"I believe she is trying to dig up something," he said.
"Claws are stronger than beaks," said the Good Wolf. "I will go and help her." He went to the place where the green leaves grew, and the minute he came near her the blue and white bird hopped out of his way and hopped on to the nearest bush and sang the little whistling song she had learned from Barty. It sounded so like talking that Barty almost shouted with delight.
"She says 'all right,'" he cried out. "That is bird talk."
The Good Wolf had begun to be very busy himself. He was digging very fast in the earth with his claws. Soon Barty saw he had dug up the root of the green leaves and it looked like a nice potato. He looked quite pleased and excited and went on digging and digging until he had dug up six fine roots and then he sat down by them and panted delightedly, with his nice big red tongue hanging out of his mouth.
"Well," he said, when he found his breath again, "the intelligence of that bird is beyond everything. What would you think of a hot roast potato, when your belt got a little loose again?"
"I should _love_ it," answered Barty. "Sometimes my mother lets me roast a potato for myself, and it is nicer than anything."
The Good Wolf looked down at his six roots and chuckled.
"Blue Crest has shown us something just like potatoes, only nicer. There are plenty of them growing about here. We can always dig them up, and when we have roasted them we can get some of the salt that has dried on the rocks by the sea to eat them with. What do you think of that?"
Barty was too joyful for anything.
"It is _just_ like Robinson Crusoe," he cried out. "Just--just--just! He was _always_ finding things."
"That's the advantage of a Desert Island," answered the Good Wolf. "You find everything when you have looked for it long enough to give you a beautiful appetite. Nobody could live on desert islands if they were not like that."
When the Good Wolf made his remark about the convenience of desert islands, such a chattering broke out among the black monkeys in the high branches in the cocoanut tree that Barty threw his head back as far as he could to see what was happening.
"Why," he cried out the next instant, "they are all sitting together at the very top of the tree as if they were holding a meeting. I am sure they are talking to each other about something important."
"Perhaps they are talking about us," the Good Wolf said.
"I do think they are," laughed Barty. "They keep turning their heads to look down on us." Then he jumped up and stood on his feet and shouted out to them as he had shouted before. "Hello!" he said. "I don't know whether you are the ones who played in the band at the Snow Feast, but will you be friends? Let us be friends."
They all chattered so fast at this that it seemed as if they had gone crazy.
"You can't understand what they say," said Barty, "but I believe they mean that they will."
"Ah, they'll be friends," the Good Wolf answered. "You see, there is something about you that _makes_ friends."
"Is there?" cried Barty, quite delighted. "I _am_ glad. I wonder what it is that does it?"
"Well, you're a jolly little chap," said the Good Wolf. "You've got such stout little legs, and you always seem to be enjoying yourself."
"I _am_ always enjoying myself," Barty answered. "I'm enjoying myself now 'normously. What shall we do next?"
The Good Wolf scratched behind his right ear, and Barty saw it was that thoughtful sort of scratch of his--the one he scratched when he was turning things over in his mind.
"Well," he said, after being quiet for a few moments, "Robinson Crusoe looked for a good many things that first day, didn't he?"
"Yes, he did," murmured Barty.
"Now what do you think we had better look for first?" the Good Wolf asked him.
"What do _you_ think?" said Barty.
"I want you to tell _me_," replied the Good Wolf. "It's _your_ desert island, you know, and you ought to take some of the responsibility."
Barty stood still and looked down at the ground, and the crowd of black monkeys at the top of the tree looked down at _him_ and stopped chattering as if they wanted to hear what he would say. After about a minute he looked up.
"We can't roast potatoes unless we have a fire, and we can't have a fire unless we have some matches, and we haven't any matches," he said.
The Good Wolf shook his head seriously.
"No, we haven't any matches," he answered.
"Do you think we should find any if we went to look for some?" Barty asked, feeling rather uncertain.
The Good Wolf got up and shook his fur coat thoroughly.
"There is no knowing _what_ one may find on a desert island," he remarked. "There is absolutely no knowing." Then he stopped a minute. "Is that all you can think of just now?" he asked Barty. "Just look about you."
Barty looked about him on the grass and under the trees, but he saw nothing which made him think of anything new.
"Look _all_ about you," said the Good Wolf.
So he looked not only on the ground, but up into the tree tops and over them into the sky. It looked very blue and hot and beautiful, but far away he saw a rather small cloud of a very queer color--it was purplish-black and had ragged edges.
"It's a storm cloud," said the Good Wolf, looking serious, "and it's coming towards the island. Do you see the wind beginning to stir the tops of the trees?"
"Yes," said Barty, looking rather anxious himself. "On Robinson Crusoe's desert island there was a kind of storm they call a tropical storm--I don't know what 'tropical' means, but the storms were dreadful. Is there going to be one now?"
"There is," said the Good Wolf. "Tropical storms are storms in the hot countries, and they are not nice to be out in."
Barty gave a shout.
"Then it's a house we must find first," he said, "as quickly as ever we can. We can't stay in the forest because the wind roots up the trees and the lightning strikes them and they fall crashing and crashing. We must find a house or a place to hide in. Could we run back to the beach and dig a hole in the sand and creep into it?"
"The kind of storm that cloud is bringing here," answered the Good Wolf, "will lash the sea into waves like mountains, and they will roll in and cover the beach like a big tide."
"The tree tops are beginning to shake now and the monkeys are chattering as if they were frightened," said Barty. "It's very queer and exciting."
"We must get away from the trees," said the Good Wolf. "Are you frightened?"
"Yes, I am frightened," answered Barty, "but there isn't any time to cry. Shall we run as fast as ever we can and look about us everywhere while we are running?"
"Yes," answered the Good Wolf; "we had better run to a place where there will be nothing to fall on us. One to be ready, two to be steady, three and--away!" And off they both started as fast as they could, and left the monkeys chattering and screaming behind them.
There were trees everywhere except near the shore, so they ran back towards where the sea was.
"If we stay on the cliffs the mountain waves won't dash up that high, will they?" Barty panted as he ran.
"No, they won't," answered the Good Wolf, "but the wind may blow us off the cliffs into the water."
"I don't see any house anywhere," said Barty.
"Neither do I," said the Good Wolf. "You don't find houses on desert islands; you have to build them."
Barty's stout little legs were flying over the ground faster than they had ever flown before, and he was in such a hurry he could scarcely find breath to speak, but he gave a little gasping laugh.
"There isn't much time to build one now," he said. And the Good Wolf grinned from ear to ear.
How they did run--over the grass and up the slopes and down the hollows and over the green gullies! The wind came in hot puffs and shook the tree tops, and the purplish-black cloud looked more ragged than ever, and was growing bigger and coming nearer. By the time they got to the bottom of the long green slope which led to the top of the cliff they had to stop a few moments to take breath.
It was just then that Barty thought he saw a little black head dart out of the long grass and then dart back again.
"Did you see anything near that big leaf?" he asked his companion.
"No," answered the Good Wolf.
"I thought I saw something, but perhaps I didn't," Barty said.
Then they began to climb the long green slope, and it was very steep, and the hot puffs of wind seemed to rush down it to push them back.
"Did you see anything peep out from behind that bush?" Barty said, stopping suddenly again.
"No," answered the Good Wolf, "nothing."
Then they climbed and climbed. The big puffs of wind grew hotter and fiercer, and the cloud spread until it was blotting out the blue of the skies quite fast. Barty's stout little legs were very tired.
"Did you see anything peep up from behind that bit of rock?" he said suddenly, for the third time.
"No," answered the Good Wolf; "nothing at all."
"I was almost sure _I_ did," said Barty, "But it was gone so quickly that I couldn't see what it was."
The Good Wolf looked at him out of the corner of his eye.
"Was it black?" he inquired.
"Yes," answered Barty. "Perhaps you did see it."
"No," replied the Good Wolf; "I didn't see it exactly, but I thought that if _you_ were to see anything just at this time it would be something black."
"Why?" asked Barty. "Why?"
"Trot along, trot along, trot along," said the Good Wolf. "We haven't found a house yet, but at the top of the cliff there is a hollow in the ground that we might lie down in."
The cloud had grown so big that it had spread itself over the sun and was making the sky look quite dark. The hot wind was blowing so hard that the Good Wolf had to bend his head and stiffen himself on his four legs to stand up against it.
"Take hold of my hair and hold on tight!" he called out.
His thick coat was being blown all about, and Barty's curly hair was streaming straight out behind him. The wind made such a noise that they could hardly hear each other's voices. The waves off the shore were rolling and breaking on the beach with a sound like thunder.
"It's getting worse," gasped the Good Wolf. "Hold on to me and we will push as hard as we can until we get to the top."
"Th-this is a t-t-tropical storm," Barty panted.
"Do you wish you were at home?" the Good Wolf managed to ask before the wind blew his breath away.
[Illustration: "It is getting worse," gasped the Good Wolf]
"N-no-not yet," Barty managed to shout back, almost without any breath at all. "I s-_said_ a desert island."
"Y-y-you are a j-jolly little ch-chap!" the Good Wolf shouted back. "Y-you are a-a st-stayer. Hold on to me tighter--here's a b-big blow coming."
It was such a tremendous blow that they had to throw themselves flat on the ground and let it pass over them. But they were nearly at the top of the cliff by this time, and after a few more battles and gasping short runs they reached the place where the green hollow was and threw themselves down into it and huddled close together.
They lay there for some time before they could get their breath again.
"The purple-black cloud looks as if it were dragging in the sea, and flashes are coming out of it," said Barty, when he could speak.
As soon as he could get breath again the Good Wolf sat up and scratched behind his ear _very_ seriously.
"What has happened?" cried Barty suddenly. "It seems as if the wind had stopped all at once."
"I'm afraid it hasn't stopped for long," the Good Wolf answered. "I don't like the look of this at all."
A big drop fell on Barty's nose and made him jump.
"That was a 'mense drop of rain!" he cried out; "and it felt as heavy as a stone."
"That's what I don't like," the Good Wolf said. "When the rain comes down it will come in a deluge, and if the wind doesn't blow us over the cliff the deluge will half drown us."
Barty gave another jump, but this time it was not because a raindrop had startled him. It was because he heard something a few yards away behind him. It was a squeaky, gibbering little voice, and it sounded as if it said something very much like this:
Barty heard it because the wind had stopped blowing and everything seemed for a few moments to be quite still. He stood up to look.
"It's the black thing!" he cried out. "It's one of the black monkeys who has followed us. He keeps popping his head in and out of a hole."
"I thought it was about time," the Good Wolf remarked. "Let us go and look at the hole."
"Chat-chat-chattery, chattery-chatterdy," said the black monkey, as if he were telling them to come.
They went to look, and as they drew near it the monkey kept darting in and out and chattering all the time.
The hole was in a piece of rock which stood out of the cliff. The opening was just big enough to crawl into.
"If we can get in it will keep the rain off us," cried Barty, and he went right down on his stomach and crawled in to see if there was room enough.
"Chattery-chattery-chat-chat-chatterdy," said the black monkey, running before him.
Almost as soon as Barty had crawled into the hole he gave a shout. He found he had crawled into an open place like a room, with walls of rock, and on one side there was actually an opening like a window, which looked out on the sea.
"It's a cave! It's a cave!" he called back to the Good Wolf, and the Good Wolf came scrambling in after him.
"It's a cave in the cliff," he said, "and the storm may do what it likes; it can't touch us. We found it just in time."
They were _only_ just in time, for at that very moment there came a great bellowing roar of thunder and a great rushing roar of rain. But it was all outside and they were safe and warm, and Barty danced for joy, and the black monkey danced too.
The tropical storm went on. The thunder crashed and the lightning flashed and the rain poured down in torrents. Barty had never heard such a noise in his life, but inside the cave everything was dry and warm and comfortable. The floor was covered with fine white sparkling sand, like a wonderful new kind of carpet. The walls and roof were made of white rock which sparkled also. The Good Wolf sat down on the white sand floor and smiled cheerfully. Barty sat down, too, and the black monkey sat down at the same time, because he was still perched on Barty's shoulder. He seemed an affectionate monkey, for he put one funny arm round the little boy's neck and leaned a black cheek against his curly hair.
"Come down and sit on my knee," Barty said to him, "I want to look at you. I never had a monkey for a friend in all my life before."
The black monkey jumped down on to his knee as if he had learned boys' language in his cradle. He could only chatter monkey chatter himself, but it was quite plain that he understood Barty. He _was_ funny when he sat down and folded his tiny hands before him, as if he were waiting to hear what was going to be said to him.
"He has such nice eyes," said Barty. "I believe he is asking me to tell him to do something."
"Yes, that's what he wants," replied the Good Wolf. "That is what he came for. I knew he was coming. That was why I asked you if you had seen something black."
"Was it?" said Barty. "You know all about this desert island, don't you?"
"Yes," the Good Wolf answered. "Every single thing," and he said it with such a peculiar smile that Barty knew there was some secret in his mind and he wondered what it was, but he did not ask because he felt sure that the Good Wolf would tell him some time.
The black monkey was looking at him so eagerly and with such a funny expression that Barty could not help laughing.
"His face is so tiny and wrinkled that he looks like a baby a hundred years old--only babies never are a hundred years old," he said. "Will you stay with me?" he asked the monkey. "If I were really Robinson Crusoe and you were bigger you might be my Man Friday."
"Chat-chat--chattery-chatterdy-chatterdy," replied the little black creature, getting so excited that he quite jumped up and down as if he could not keep still. He chattered so hard and his chatter sounded so much as if he were talking that it made Barty laugh more than ever and put a queer new thought into his head.
"It seems as if he were trying to say Saturday," he cried out. "Perhaps he is saying it in monkey language. I'm going to call him that. If he isn't a Man Friday he can be a Man Saturday." And Man Saturday seemed so pleased and the Good Wolf thought it such a good idea, that Barty was delighted and hugged his new little black friend quite tight in his arms.
"Things get nicer and nicer," he chuckled. "I wouldn't have missed coming to this desert island for anything."
Tropical storms come very quickly and go very quickly. Suddenly this one seemed to end all at once. The thunder stopped and the lightning stopped and the rain was over and the huge black cloud disappeared and out came the blazing sun looking as if it were pretending that it had never been hidden at all.
Barty and the Good Wolf went to look out through the big hole in the wall of the cave which was like a window. Everything was sparkling and blue and green and splendid again.
The sea, and the sky, and the grass, and the trees all looked so beautiful that Barty stood and gazed out of the window for about five minutes, forgetting everything else. Then suddenly he turned and looked around the cave.
"Where is Saturday?" he cried out.
The Good Wolf turned and looked about too, and after he had done it he shook his ears in a mystified way.
"I don't see him anywhere," he said. "He is not in that corner and he is not in _that_ one, and he is not in that one, and he is not in the _other_ one. If he were in the middle we should see him, of course."
"I am sure he wouldn't run away," said Barty. "I feel quite sure he wouldn't. He had such a nice look in his eyes and I know he took me for his friend. And I took him for mine. When people are friends they don't run away."
"Oh no," answered the Good Wolf. "Certainly not. Let us walk slowly all round the cave and look very carefully. This cave is a queer shape and it may have corners we can't see just at first."
So they walked round side by side and looked very carefully indeed. Once they walked round, twice they walked round, three times they walked round, and then they stopped and looked at each other. The Good Wolf sat down and scratched his ear with his hind foot in a very careful manner, and Barty put his hands in his pockets and whistled a little, quite thoughtfully. But almost the very next minute he cheered up and his face beamed all over.
"Why," he exclaimed, "you see, if he is my Man Saturday, he has things to do for me! I've not lived on a desert island long enough to know what they are, but I daresay they are very important. I believe he has gone to do something for me which he knows is his duty."
The Good Wolf stopped scratching his ear with his hind foot and became as cheerful as Barty.
"_Of course!_" he exclaimed emphatically. "You are a very clever boy to think of that. You always think of the right things at the right time, instead of thinking of the right things at the wrong time or the wrong things at the right time, which is very confusing."
"Shall we go outside and see if he is anywhere about?" said Barty.
"That is a good idea, too," responded the Good Wolf. "You are full of good ideas, and they are the most useful things a person can have on a desert island."
They walked down the cave--it was rather a long cave--towards the narrow passage which led from the hole outside to which Saturday had led Barty. As they came to the entrance to it they both drew back to look at something very queer which was coming towards them through the passage itself. It certainly was the queerest thing Barty had ever beheld since he had been a boy, and the Good Wolf himself looked as if it seemed a queer thing even to him. It would have seemed queer to you, too. What it really was Barty could not possibly have told, but what it _looked_ like was a bundle of dried leaves bound together by long grass and _walking_ over the ground by itself as if it were alive.
"It _is_ walking, isn't it?" asked Barty, too much astonished to be sure his eyes did not deceive him.
"It certainly is," the Good Wolf replied, "there is no mistake about that, and though I am Noah's Ark Wolf and have lived for ages and ages, I have never seen a bundle of dry leaves walk before. It is very interesting, indeed." He actually sat down to watch it and Barty leaned forward with his hands on his knees and gazed with all his might. On it came. It did not walk fast at all, but rather slowly as if it found it rather hard to get along--which seemed very natural, because no bundle of dried leaves could have had much practice in walking.
[Illustration: Barty leaned forward with his hands on his knees and gazed with all his might.]
It walked past them and it walked the full length of the cave until it reached the corner nearest the window.
"It's stopping," called out Barty, and the next minute he called out again: "It's lying down."
It did lie down, almost as if it were tired, but it did not lie still more than a minute. It rolled over on its side and lay there, and there was a scuffling and a couple of black legs were to be seen kicking themselves loose, and a pair of black arms twisting themselves from under it, and a little black wrinkled face and head with cunning, bright eyes pushed themselves out, and the minute Barty saw them he shouted aloud with glee:
"Saturday! Saturday! Saturday!" he cried out. "It was Man Saturday all the time. He was carrying the bundle of leaves himself and it was so big and he was so little and the leaves hung down so that we didn't see him."
Man Saturday came running across to his little master. It was plain to be seen that he was so pleased about something that he did not know what to do. He caught hold of Barty's hand and chatterdy-chattered at him and tried to pull him towards the corner.
"He wants me to do something," said Barty. "He brought the leaves for something. He wants me to find out what they are for."
Man Saturday danced before him to the corner where the bundle of leaves lay. He began to pull at the twigs which tied them together, and Barty knelt down and helped him.
"I'm sure they are for something important," he said. "I am going to think very hard."
He stood up and put his hands in his pockets and he stood astride because boys can often think harder when they stand that way. Man Saturday tried to imitate him, but as he hadn't any pockets he put his hands on his hips and held his head on one side while he watched Barty with his sharp little eyes, all eagerness to see if he would find out what he meant. He looked so funny.
"You couldn't _eat_ them however loose your belt was," Barty said, looking at the leaves. "And you couldn't _drink_ them even if you were dreadfully thirsty--and you couldn't _wear_ them even if your clothes were worn out as Robinson Crusoe's were. Even if you had a needle and thread to stitch them together they would break to pieces because they are so dry and brittle."
"Yes, they are very dry," remarked the Good Wolf, quietly.
And then all in a minute Barty felt sure he knew.
"If there were enough of them you could lie down on them," he said in great excitement. "_That's_ what they are for! Saturday knows where there are more of them and they are for a bed." When he said that, Man Saturday gave a squeak of delight and he immediately caught at Barty's hand and began to pull him towards the passage which was the way out of the cave.
"He has got a store of them somewhere," said the Good Wolf, "and it is a place where the rain could not reach it. Let us trot along and see."
Barty and Man Saturday were trotting along already, at least Man Saturday was trotting and Barty was creeping through the passage, and in two minutes he was out on the side of the cliff again and standing upon the ledge outside the cave. It was a very convenient ledge, and you could walk nearly all round the cliff on it. It was the kind of ledge you would only find on a desert island like Barty's--a really nice desert island.
Man Saturday led the way, and after a few yards they came to a place where some trees and bushes hung over the edge, and beneath them was a hole in the rock, rather like a very little cave, and there were a great many leaves near the entrance to it. Anyone could see how they had got there. They were blown from the trees and bushes, and when Barty bent down and peeped into the hole he saw that it was full of leaves which had been blowing in there for years until the tiny cave seemed almost stuffed with them. No rain could reach them and so they were quite nice and dry.
The hole was too small for Barty to crawl into, but it was more than large enough for Man Saturday, and chattering to Barty as fast as he could he crawled in and began to put together another bundle. He got the twigs from a bush close by and he pushed leaves out to Barty, so that he might help him.
It was great fun for Barty. He knew he could carry quite a bundle, and so he made a big one and when it was done he carried it back to his cave and pushed it before him when he crawled through the passage. Man Saturday brought one suited to his own size, because he was determined to work, too. Then they went back and made more bundles and the Good Wolf carried a big one on his back. In about half an hour the corner of the cave had a beautiful soft, heaped up, dry leaf bed in it, and Barty was rolling over and jumping and turning somersaults on it, and Man Saturday was jumping about with him. The leaves were piled so high and were so springy to jump on that it was like dancing in a hay stack, but rather nicer.
"Now," said Barty, stopping a minute to take breath after turning six somersaults on end, "we have a beautiful bath and we have a house and we have a bed and we have a Man Saturday--and we found something to eat when we looked, and I believe we shall find something more when we look again. I think just now I will lie down and have a sleep. Running very hard in storms does make you sleepy."
"That's a good idea, too," answered the Good Wolf. "I believe I should like to curl up and get a few thousand winks myself. Forty wouldn't be enough."
And he did curl up at the bottom of Barty's big bed of leaves, and almost before he had time to do it Barty had curled up, too, like a squirrel in a nest, and he was fast asleep--and so was little Man Saturday, who curled up close beside him.
Barty's bed of leaves was so comfortable that he slept all night like a dormouse and never rolled over once. There is no knowing when he would have opened his eyes if he had been left to himself, but when the sun had risen and begun to make the blue sea look as if it were sparkling with diamonds, he suddenly awakened and sat up to listen to something he had heard in his sleep.
What he had heard was Blue Crest. There she sat on the edge of the cave window, whistling the calling song she had learned from him the day before.
"Hello," said Barty, "I'm glad you've come back. I wondered where you were in the tropical storm." Blue Crest spread her wings and flew into the cave to perch on his wrist. She sang a little song of her own. She was saying "good morning" and letting him know she was glad he had come to the Desert Island. Barty whistled back to her and stroked her feathers with his fingers and lifted her up to put his cheek against her soft wing. Anyone would like to be wakened by a bird who was tame enough to sit on one's wrist and sing.
"But where is the Good Wolf? And I don't see Man Saturday," he said suddenly, looking round the cave.
Blue Crest spread her wings and flew to the cave window again. Barty scrambled down from his leaf bed and followed her. It was a very nice window to look through. You could see so much sea and sky, and the white beach seemed so far below; and when he looked down Barty saw where the Good Wolf and Man Saturday had gone. They were standing in the sands together and looked as if they were very much interested in something lying near them. Barty was just wondering what they were doing when he was so startled by something that he jumped. There was a sudden sound of the flapping of wings and a large white bird rushed past him quite close to his face. It flew out of a round hole in the front of the cliff, and the sight of it made Barty think of something.
"If she were a hen I should know there were eggs there," he said, "and that would be convenient."
The truth was that getting up had made him think of breakfast, and breakfast made him think of eggs. Blue Crest put her head on one side and gave three cheerful chirps. Then she flew to the round hole and disappeared inside. In about a minute she appeared again standing at the entrance, and she whistled Barty's call.
The little boy scrambled out onto the ledge outside the cave window. He knew that she was calling him to come and look at something. By standing on tiptoe he could look into the hole, and when he looked he saw it was full of very white eggs, which was so exciting that he could not help calling out to the Good Wolf and Saturday.
"Hel-lo! Hel-lo!" he shouted. "I'm coming and I've got some eggs for breakfast."
He was putting some into his blouse, which seemed a good place to carry them, when he saw the Good Wolf look up at him and then saw him turn towards the cliff and begin to run. He ran up the green slope so fast that he began to gallop, and he galloped until his tail and his hair streamed straight out behind him as they had done when he was running away from the tropical storm. He was excited.
Barty ran to meet him. He wanted to hear what had happened, so did Blue Crest; she flew after him. When they met the Good Wolf, he was quite out of breath and so was Barty. Blue Crest was not, but she fluttered down for a rest on Barty's shoulder.
"Have you a piece of glass in your pocket?" the Good Wolf panted out.
"Yes," answered Barty, beginning to fumble in his pockets. "At least I had yesterday a piece of grandma's old spectacles. Where is it?" fumbling deeper and deeper. "Oh! I must have lost it! It's gone!"
"I thought so," said the Good Wolf. "It fell out of your pocket onto the beach and something has happened. Come and see what it is." You may be sure Barty did not lose any time. He had to hold his blouse tight so that the eggs would not break when he was running.
When he got to the beach he found Man Saturday standing as he had seen him from the cliff ledge. He was looking very hard at the small pile of something Barty had noticed that they were watching when he first saw them.
"What is it?" he cried out, feeling very much interested himself.
"Don't you see anything curious?" asked the Good Wolf.
Barty drew nearer and the next minute he gave a shout.
"Smoke is beginning to come out of it," he said. "It looks like real smoke. What set it on fire? What is that shining thing? Why, it's my piece of glass," and he made a jump towards it.
"Don't touch it," said the Good Wolf. "The sun has been shining through it onto the leaves and has made it into a burning-glass, and it has lighted a fire. That is what has happened. Now you can cook your eggs."
"Let us roast them," said Barty. "Roasted eggs make you feel just like a picnic."
[Illustration: Barty drew nearer and next moment gave a shout]
Man Saturday gave him a cunning little look and then began to be very busy indeed. He ran and brought more sticks and leaves and Barty knelt down and blew the tiny flame until it grew into a bigger one, and then he fanned with his hat until the chips and twigs were snapping.
In a few minutes there was fire enough to cook anything and then began the breakfast making. It _was_ like a picnic. They put the eggs in the hot sand to roast and found some crystals of salt dried in the crannies of the rocks. Man Saturday brought some young cocoanuts and some of the roots that were like a potato, and they were roasted too. Man Saturday ran about chattering and imitated everything Barty did. He seemed quite delighted with the idea of roasting things in hot ashes, and when Barty and the Good Wolf went together to their swimming pool to have a bath while the breakfast was cooking, he sat beside the fire and watched it, with his arms hugging his knees and his eyes twinkling. "He always looks as if he were thinking very hard indeed," Barty said. "Perhaps he is thinking now how queer it is that a piece of glass can set things on fire. I dare say he never saw fire before."
Barty splashed about splendidly in the clear green water of the swimming pool and before his bath was ended he could swim ever so much better than he had swam the day before. He came out of the sparkling water all rosy and laughing with delight. But when he was putting on his clothes he stopped with a stocking half way on and began to think.
"It is very queer," he said in a puzzled voice, "but I keep thinking of something and I don't know what it is I'm thinking about."
"That's queer," said the Good Wolf.
"The Desert Island is beautiful, and the cave, and Man Saturday, and Blue Crest, and the swimming, but I feel as if I want to tell somebody about it and I don't know who it is. I can't remember."
"You'll remember in time," said the Good Wolf, "if you don't bother about it. I think the eggs must be roasted enough by now."
They went to see and found them all beautifully done. It was a lovely breakfast. They drank cocoanut milk out of cocoanut shells, instead of coffee, and the roasted eggs tasted _exactly_ like a picnic.
Man Saturday ate a cocoanut and seemed to enjoy it very much. After he had finished he began to walk up and down the beach and to look out at the sea as if he were keeping watch. Barty thought he looked anxious about something.
"What do you think he is looking for?" he asked the Good Wolf. Just at that minute Man Saturday stopped walking up and down and stood quite still shading his eyes with his small black paw. The Good Wolf watched him for a few minutes.
"I think," he said, "that he must be looking out for ships."
"What does he want them for?" said Barty.
"He doesn't want them," answered the Good Wolf. "He is afraid of them."
"Why," said Barty, "what sort of ships?"
"Pirates," said the Good Wolf.
That made Barty feel just a little uncomfortable.
"Pirates are almost as bad as cannibals, aren't they?" he said.
"Sometimes worse," said the Good Wolf, "though of course it depends upon the kind of pirates."
Man Saturday was not looking out from under his hand any more; he was running quickly across the beach to the cliff. When he got there he began to climb up the face of it. Only a monkey could have done it. He caught hold of tiny bushes and twigs and clumps of green things and pulled himself up like lightning. In a few minutes he was as high as the cave and he stood on the ledge and looked out from there, shading his eyes again with his black paw.
"He can see round the point from there," said the Good Wolf.
"Do you feel at all nervous?" asked Barty.
"I had a good night's sleep and I have had an excellent breakfast," the Good Wolf said, "and I am prepared for almost anything--but Pirates and Cannibals are known to be very disagreeable."
"But they are adventures, if they don't catch you," said Barty, cheering himself up.
"They are adventures if they _do_ catch you," answered the Good Wolf.
"The Best Adventure is finding out how to get away," said Barty.
"Well, you see a person comes to a desert island for adventures," said the Good Wolf.
Barty sat and hugged his knees and looked rather serious.
"Robinson Crusoe had a good many," he said. "He had to be shipwrecked before he could get to his island."
"Look at Man Saturday!" he said the next minute. Man Saturday was dancing up and down on the ledge and looking very much excited. He kept pointing round the headland and they could see that he was chattering though they could not hear him.
"He sees something coming round the point," said the Good Wolf. "This is beginning to look serious."
"But in adventures people always do get away," said Barty, cheering himself up again. "You see they couldn't write the adventures if they didn't."
"There, you have thought of the right thing at the right time again," said the Good Wolf. "It's a most valuable habit. Do I see a ship with black sails coming round the point?"
"Yes," answered Barty, "you do, because I see it myself. It is a very fierce looking ship, with guns sticking out through holes, and there are black flags as well as black sails, and white bones and skulls are painted on them. It is a very fierce ship indeed."
"Man Saturday is beckoning to us to go to the cave," the Good Wolf said, "perhaps we would better go."
Barty thought so, too, so they had another run back up the green slope and Blue Crest flew with them. They ran as fast as they had run in the storm, and when they got to the creeping in place they were inside in two minutes.
Man Saturday had clambered in through the window and he was chattering as fast as he could. He jumped onto Barty's shoulder and put his arm round his neck as if he intended to protect him. Blue Crest perched on the leaf bed and sang a little thrilling song which Barty knew was meant to be encouraging and was also full of good advice if he could have understood it.
Then all four went to the window and looked out.
The Pirate ship had come quite close to the shore by this time. Barty could see that there was a crowd of men on the deck and that they looked as fierce as the ship. They had big hats, and big beards, and big moustaches, and big sharp-looking crooked swords at their sides. Some of them had taken their swords out of their scabbards and were flourishing them about.
"That biggest one is feeling the edge of his to see if it is sharp," said Barty. "I think he must be the captain. It would be so nice to stay in here and watch them if they wouldn't come and find us."
"Chattery-chattery--chat-chat chatterdy," said Man Friday, pointing to make them look at something which was happening at the side of the ship.
[Illustration: The Pirates began to row towards the shore]
He was pointing at some of the pirates who were letting down a boat into the sea. As soon as it was in the water they let down a rope ladder and half a dozen of them swarmed down it. Then the captain walked to the side and climbed down too. He took a seat and sat with his bare crooked sword across his knees. He waved his arm fiercely to the other pirates and they began to row towards the shore.
"Don't let us look out of the window any more," said Barty. "They might see us."
"I am afraid they saw us when we ran up the hill," said the Good Wolf.
Barty rather gasped. You would have gasped yourself, you know, if you had been in a cave on a desert island and a boat full of pirates was being rowed very fast to the shore, just at the foot of the cliff where your cave was.
"Well," said Barty, "this _is_ an adventure. I hope it will end right. But I do wish there weren't so many pirates and they did not look so fierce."
And he sat down quite flat on the cave floor, and so did the Good Wolf, and so did Man Saturday. Blue Crest sat on Barty's shoulder and really hung her head and drooped her wings.
[Illustration: "Oh!" said the captain, "I'm really smiling."]
Barty and the Good Wolf and Saturday and Blue Crest sat very quiet indeed. It is always best to sit very quiet when pirates are landing on the beach just below your cave. You never can tell what will happen if you do something that attracts their attention.
But after a few minutes Barty could not help whispering a little.
"I have only read one book about pirates," he whispered, "and they blindfolded prisoners and made them walk out on a plank until they tumbled into the sea. They slashed heads off, too. Will they take us prisoners?"
"If they take us at all they will take us as prisoners," said the Good Wolf.
Barty looked round the cave and thought what a nice place it was and how comfortable the leaf bed had been.
"I can't help thinking about that thing which I can't remember," he said to the Good Wolf. "I'm thinking very hard about it just now. I wonder what it is."
The Good Wolf had no time to answer because they heard the pirates shouting so loudly as they tried to pull their boat upon the beach that he _had_ to go to the window and peep to see what they were doing.
"They look fiercer than ever, now that they are nearer," he whispered. "They have such crooked swords and such curly black mustaches. You would better come and peep yourself."
So Barty went and peeped. He did it very carefully so that only the least bit of his curly head was above the cave window-ledge and it only stayed there for a mite of a minute.
The pirates dragged their boat up on the beach with savage shouts and songs, and then they stood and looked all about them as if they were searching for something. They looked up the beach and down the beach, and then they began to look at the cliff and talk to each other about it. Barty could _see_ they were talking to each other about it.
"I believe they know we are here and are trying to find out where we are hidden," he said. It certainly looked as if they were. They looked and looked and talked and talked. At last the Captain walked ahead a few dozen yards and climbed upon the rock and stood there staring up at the cliff-front as hard as ever he could; then he took a spy-glass out of his satchel and he looked through that.
"It seems as if he is looking right at the window," said Barty, rather shaking, "I'm sure he must see it."
He did see it that very minute, because he began to shout to the other pirates and to wave his hat and his sword.
"There's a cave!" he yelled. "There's a cave! They are hiding in there."
Then he jumped down from the rock and ran with the other pirates to the place where the green slope began. Barty and the Good Wolf and Saturday could hear their shouts as they ran, and they knew they were running fast though they could not see them from the cave window.
I will not say that Barty did not turn a little pale. A desert island is a most interesting place and adventures are most exciting, but pirates chasing up a green slope to your cave, waving swords and shouting and evidently intending to search for you, seems almost too dangerous.
"I can't help thinking of that thing I can't remember properly," he said to the Good Wolf. "I wonder what it is."
"Come and stand by me," said the Good Wolf. "Whatever happens we ought to stand by one another."
Barty went and stood by him and put his arm tight round his furry neck. There was something about the Good Wolf which comforted you even when pirates were coming.
They were coming nearer and nearer, and louder and louder their shouts sounded. They had come up the green slope very fast indeed, and Barty and the Good Wolf could even hear what they were saying.
"A little boy and a wolf," they heard. "They ran up the hill. They must have hidden somewhere." Then after a few minutes they heard the pirate crew on the ledge not far from the window.
"There must be a way in," the Captain called out. "Swords and blood and daggers! We must find it. Daggers and blood and swords! Where can it be?"
Barty stood by the Good Wolf and Saturday stood by Barty and Blue Crest stood by Saturday, so they were all in a row prepared to meet their fate.
Suddenly there was a great big savage shout and there stood the pirates, all in a row, too, six of them staring in at the window. It was enough to frighten any one just to look at them, with their dark-skinned faces and white, sharp teeth gleaming, and their black eyes and beards, and their hats on one side.
"Swords and blood and daggers!" said the Captain, when he saw Barty and the Good Wolf and Saturday and Blue Crest standing in a row looking at him. "Blood and daggers and swords!" and he jumped over the window ledge right into the cave and all the other five jumped after him. After they were all inside, there was just one minute in which both rows stood and stared at each other. Barty wondered, of course, what would happen next. No one could help wondering. Would they begin to chop with the crooked swords? But they did not. They did something quite different. This is what they did:
[Illustration: The Pirate Captain took off his hat with a big flourish]
The Captain took off his big hat with a great flourish and made a bow right down to the ground, then the second pirate took off his big hat with a great flourish and made a bow right down to the ground, then the third pirate took off his hat, and the fourth and the fifth, until all six had taken off their hats with a flourish and made the most magnificently polite bow any one had ever seen.
"I beg your pardon," said the Captain in a most fierce voice. "I hope we are not disturbing you. I apologize most sincerely--I trust you will excuse us--I really do."
Barty's eyes and mouth opened quite wide. His mouth looked like a very red, round O. "Why?" he gasped out, "how polite you are."
"Thank you extremely," roared the Captain. "We appreciate the compliment. We are not known anywhere but on this particular desert island, but if we were known, we should be known for our politeness. We are the Perfectly Polite Pirates," and his row of pirates made six bows again.
"I--I didn't know pirates were _ever_ polite," said Barty.
"They never are," answered the Captain. "They are rude, all but ourselves. We were rude until a few years ago--when we met the Baboo Bajorum, and he would not stand it any longer."
"Who is he?" asked Barty.
The Perfectly Polite Pirate Captain made a splendid bow to Saturday.
"He is a relation of this gentleman," he said, "only he is twenty times as big and twenty times as strong, and if you do anything he does not like he can break you into little pieces and throw you away."
Barty gave Saturday an alarmed look. "Have you a relation like that?" he said.
"Chatterdy-chat-chatterdy," Saturday answered, and Barty knew he meant that if he had he was not a _very near_ relation.
One thing which puzzled Barty very much was that though the pirates were so polite that they kept bowing all the time they looked as fierce as ever, and when the Captain said such polite things, his voice was so rough and savage that it made you almost jump out of your skin when he began to speak.
"I hope you won't be cross at my speaking about it," Barty said, "but your voice scarcely sounds polite at all."
"Oh!" said the Captain as fiercely as ever, "I beg five hundred thousand million pardons, but that is nothing but a bad habit we can't get rid of. We spoke like this for such a long time that now we can't make our voices sound polite at all. We take voice lozenges six times a day, but it seems scarcely any use, and we can't help looking fierce and swinging our swords. But we are really as gentle as doves."
"I--I never sh-should have thought it," said Barty, moving back a little, because the pirate Captain began to swing his sword that very minute, and it looked rather alarming even if he were as gentle as a dove.
He saw that Barty was startled and stopped himself and made another bow.
"Pray excuse me," he said. "You see what a habit it is."
"What did you come here for?" asked Barty, feeling rather braver.
"To ask you to a tea party--to inquire if we might have the extreme pleasure of your society at a tea party on the ship."
"I never should have thought that either," said Barty. "We ran away and hid because you looked so frightening."
The Pirate Captain put his sword into its scabbard carefully, and took out his pocket handkerchief to wipe away the tears which came into his eyes.
"That is always the way," he said, looking quite overcome. "That is what happens when you get into bad habits and can't get out of them. We are so fond of having tea parties, but people don't want to come to them. When we feel that we can't live any longer without a tea party, we have to put to shore and chase people with our swords and take them prisoners. Sometimes we have to blindfold them and put chains on them to get them on board, for they always think they are going to be made to walk the plank. They are _so_ surprised when we take off the chains and give them tea and muffins and strawberry jam."
Barty began to feel quite cheerful. This was a much nicer adventure than he had thought it was going to be. To meet real pirates who were perfectly polite, and to go on board a pirate ship to tea, was really entertaining as well as exciting.
"Will you come?" inquired the Pirate Captain perfectly politely in spite of his savage voice, which Barty was beginning not to mind. "You will do us such an honor. And will this gentleman come?" he bowed to the Good Wolf. "And these two?" he made a bow to Saturday and Blue Crest.
"We will all come," said Barty; "every one of us."
All the six pirates bowed down to the floor of the cave again.
But then the Pirate Captain frowned such an awful frown that Barty began to feel a little frightened again.
"Don't you want us to go?" he inquired. "You look as if something had made you angry."
"Oh! I _beg_ your pardon," said the Captain. "You think I am frowning, but I am not. I am really smiling. That is my way of looking pleased. I can't do it the other way. I was so fierce all the years before I became polite that I can't untwist my face, and when I am perfectly delighted I scowl as if I were going to bite people's heads off. It is most inconvenient. _Don't_ let it disturb you."
"I will try not to," answered Barty, "but it startles me because I am not used to it."
"Will you come to the ship now?" said the Captain. "Baboo Bajorum is waiting."
That made Barty give another little jump. "Baboo Bajorum," he said; "the one who is strong enough to break people into little bits?"
"He can break them into very little bits," said the Captain. "And he does not always save the pieces. But he never does it if you are polite. He is really very nice indeed."
"I always try to remember to say 'please,'" said Barty. "And I believe I should like to see what he is like."
"He will be another adventure," said the Good Wolf.
"Pray, do us the honor to lead the way," said the Pirate Captain, bowing, and he and his men stepped behind Barty and the Good Wolf and Saturday and Blue Crest.
So Barty crept through the passage and the Good Wolf crept after him and Saturday crept after him and Blue Crest hopped after him, and then the six pirates lay down on their stomachs and crept after them, and when they all crawled out in a line through the entrance on to the hill, they made such a long row that they reached yards and yards.
They went down to the seashore and all got into the boat. Barty sat at one end and the Good Wolf sat at his feet. Saturday took a seat on Barty's knee and Blue Crest sat on his shoulder. The boat was a pretty white one and the pirates rowed so well that it went up and down over the waves in a most agreeable manner, rather like a rocking-horse.
When they reached the ship the rest of the pirates crowded to the side to see who had been brought to the tea party.
"How they are all scowling," said Barty to the Captain.
"You must remember what I told you," the Captain said. "Those are smiles. They are really grinning from ear to ear with pleasure because they see you come without being chained and padlocked."
"Ah! I must remember," said Barty, "that when they look cross they are only trying to look perfectly delighted."
Two of the sailors let down a rope ladder. Blue Crest flew up it and Saturday ran up it in a minute. The pirates in the boat held it steady and the pirate Captain carried Barty up on his back. The Good Wolf looked serious for a second or so and then began to walk up as calmly as if he had used rope ladders all his life.
When Barty was once on board every pirate on the ship began to wave his hat and cheer. A few of them took out their swords and began to flourish them and then seemed suddenly to remember that sword waving might not seem polite, and very quickly put them back into their scabbards.
Barty looked all around him. The deck was very big and clean and the cannons were polished until the brass they were made of shone like gold. At one end there was a gay blue and white awning spread, and under it was a table which looked as if it were piled with the kind of good things you have at a tea party.
"Where is Baboo Bajorum?" asked Barty, because he was really very curious.
"If you will have the extreme goodness to please be so kind as to do me the honor to step this way I will show you," said the pirate Captain. So they went in a procession, the pirate Captain leading the way with his hat in his hand, Barty following, the Good Wolf following Barty, Saturday following the Good Wolf, Blue Crest hopping after Saturday, and the six pirates in a line behind them. The pirates made bows all the time and Barty took off his hat for politeness.
When they reached the awning a very big black person, who looked as if he were Saturday who had suddenly grown immense, rose from a chair and made a low bow. He was covered with shaggy hair and had strong long arms and strong long hands. "He is a Gorilla," said the Good Wolf in a low voice to Barty, "but I know him quite well, and though you would not think it, he has a delightful disposition."
At all events he knew how to manage pirates and make them give a beautiful tea party. Barty and the Good Wolf and Saturday and Blue Crest were all given comfortable seats under the blue and white awning, and the Captain and six pirates handed them things faster than they could eat. Blue Crest had a muffin with strawberry jam on it, and she perched on the end of her plate and pecked away in perfect delight. Saturday had sugared walnuts which he had never tasted before and which filled him with glee. Barty and the Good Wolf had everything you could imagine, only the Good Wolf did not care for tea.
Baboo Bajorum did not talk except to make a remark now and then to Saturday, who understood his language. The pirates seemed to understand him without any words. He just sat and watched them and they watched him to see if he were pleased with what they were doing. Once a pirate who was greedy stole a piece of cake before he handed the plate to Barty, and Baboo Bajorum stretched out his enormously long hairy arm and seized him by the seat of his trousers and threw him over the rail into the sea. The pirate could swim very well and in a few minutes came clambering over the side of the ship again, but he looked very wet and ashamed and sneaked down into the hold as if he knew better than to come back to the party.
"That is the way he teaches us," said the Captain to Barty, eagerly handing him a currant bun with one of his best bows. "It is a way that makes you improve very quickly. He never argues. If he hits you or throws you overboard you know you have made some mistake and you make haste to find out what it is."
"I dare say that does teach people quickly," answered Barty, "but I should not like it."
He glanced rather anxiously at Baboo Bajorum, but Baboo was looking at him with quite a nice expression. Barty thought it must be a Gorilla smile, and as he of course wished to be polite he got up and made a low bow. Then Baboo Bajorum got up and made a low bow also, and all the pirates made bows and the Good Wolf made a bow and Saturday made one and Blue Crest bobbled her head up and down most gracefully.
"He likes you," the Good Wolf said to Barty in a whisper; "he sees you are polite by nature. I saw it myself that first morning when we met at the edge of the deep forest."
Barty's forehead wrinkled itself up in a puzzled way. "The morning we met on the edge of the deep forest," he said. "Now you have made me begin to think of that thing I can't remember. What is it, what is it, what is it?"
"Never mind," said the Good Wolf; "you will find out in time. Just now you must enjoy your adventures."
"Yes, I must," said Barty. "They are such splendid adventures. Just think, here I am on a pirate ship, having tea with pirates. What will come next?"
What came next was very interesting, but it was the thing that came next but one which was thrilling.
After tea was over Baboo Bajorum made a sign to the pirate Captain and he got up and bowed more deeply than ever and began to tell his story.
"This," he said, "is the story of how we were made into Polite Pirates. When first we were pirates we were a disgrace to the name. We chased ships and made them prisoners. We robbed them of their treasures and burned them and sank them in the sea. We made people walk the plank or chopped their heads off. Nobody would associate with us and we were never invited anywhere. I think I might even say that we were disliked. One day we dropped anchor near a small island in the Indian Ocean. We were very hot and tired because the sun was blazing and the sea was like a burning-glass and we had been having a busy day. We had chased a merchant vessel loaded with a rich cargo of gold and splendid stuff and ivory, and when we had caught it we had behaved in our usual rude and inconsiderate way. We had sliced any number of heads off, and after we had carried the rich cargo to our own ship we had blown up the merchant ship without a word of apology. We were so hot and tired when we dropped anchor near the little island that we all lay down in our hammocks and fell into a deep sleep.
"Just before I went down to my cabin one of the other pirates asked me to come with him to the side of the ship and look at something he had been noticing on the island.
"'Do you see those big creatures dodging in and out among the trees?' he said. 'Are they savages, or what are they?'
"I took my spy-glass and looked and saw that there really were some big creatures moving about among the cocoanut palm trees. They seemed to be peeping at us but trying to keep out of our sight and I could not see them plainly at all.
"'They look like savages dressed in skins of wild beasts,' I said; 'but they cannot do us any harm so long as we are on the sea and they are on the land. We will go to our cabins and sleep and leave one of the little cabin boys to watch.'
"So we went downstairs and left a little pirate whose name was Reginal Cyrel Adolphin Seymour to watch. He was a little boy who had run away from school to be a pirate, and very often he had been heard to remark that now he really was a pirate he would rather learn the multiplication table. He was as hot and tired as any of us that day, and what _he_ did was to fall asleep the minute the rest of us had gone to lie down." The pirate Captain stopped and cleared his throat and mopped his forehead with his red handkerchief.
"What happened then?" asked Barty. He saw Baboo Bajorum leaning forward with his big hairy hands on his knees and listening attentively. The pirate Captain began again:
"The sun got hotter and hotter and we slept and slept and slept. You know how heavily one sleeps on a hot day and how hard it is to get awake when you try. We did not try, but suddenly we all wakened at once. We were wakened by a great roaring which we thought was a sudden storm. But it was not a storm. It was a Baboo Bajorum sound, which you have never heard and which I hope you will never hear. It is louder than lions and fiercer than tigers and more piercing than panthers and leopards. Baboo Bajorums never make it unless they are very angry indeed, and when you hear it you had better look out."
"Are there more Baboo Bajorums than one?" Barty asked. "I thought this gentleman was the only one in the world."
The pirate Captain opened his mouth very wide and drew a long breath. Then he said in a solemn voice:
"When we waked up there were forty-two Baboo Bajorums on our ship and one was sitting by each man's hammock and roaring the angry roar."
"Ah," said Barty, "how frightening!" and he felt quite alarmed.
"It was frightening," replied the pirate Captain, "but we deserved it--for our unpoliteness. We had disturbed the Captain of the merchant ship at his dinner when we cut his head off, and we had disturbed the whole crew when we blew the ship up. Books about politeness always say that you must have quiet and unassuming manners. We deserved all that happened. We had been loud and assuming."
"What _did_ happen?" inquired Barty, and the Good Wolf leaned forward to listen, and Saturday leaned forward and Blue Crest nearly tilted over with eagerness.
"When they stopped roaring they took us all prisoners. They had swum over from the little island and climbed up the ship's side as soon as they were sure we were asleep. This gentleman," and he made a bow to Baboo Bajorum, "is the Great Baboo of all. He made me get out of my hammock and fastened a chain round my waist so that he could lead me about. The other Baboos did the same with the other pirates. The first place he led me to was to a black corner down in the hold. I had taken captive a sick old gentleman on the merchant ship and I had loaded him with chains and put him down in the darkest corner of the bottom of the ship. I was going to try and make him sign a paper to give me the money he had left on land. Baboo Bajorum made me take the chains off him and take him on deck and wait on him and make bows to him until my back was almost broken."
"He must have been very glad," said Barty, quite relieved.
"He was gladder than I was," said the pirate Captain. "It was through him that we found out what the Baboo Bajorum really intended to teach us. We were so frightened that we could not understand their signs, and as they always knocked us down or threw us overboard when we did not obey at once, we should very soon have been black and blue all over. The sea was very full of sharks near the island and when you were thrown overboard you never knew whether you would get back or not."
"That was dangerous enough to make any one polite," said Barty.
"But," said the Captain, "we did not know it was politeness they wanted until we brought the old gentleman out of the hold. He was very polite himself and made the most beautiful bows to all the Baboos. They had never seen bows before and they were very much pleased and began to practice bowing themselves. When the old gentleman was bowing a book fell out of his pocket. The Great Baboo kicked me until I picked it up. This is it. I never go anywhere without it." He took a book from his pocket and handed it to Barty, who opened it.
"'A Guide to Perfect Politeness, With Rules for Entertaining Royal Families, the Nobility and Gentry.' That is the name of it," said Barty. "Are there any adventures in it?"
"Not exactly adventures," said the pirate Captain. "It tells you how to converse brilliantly and how to fill up awkward pauses and how to begin a letter to a duke when you are writing to one, besides about never eating with your knife and always saying 'please' and 'I thank you' and 'pray excuse me' and 'I beg your pardon.'"
"Ah, I see!" said Barty. "That's why you said all those things in the cave."
"It was indeed," answered the pirate Captain. "The moment the Great Baboo saw the book he went and sat by the old gentleman and made signs to him to read aloud. The old gentleman read to him. In half an hour from that time I was chained to the mast and all the other pirates were chained on the deck round me and I was reading to them out of the 'Guide to Perfect Politeness.' The Great Baboo had thrown me into the sea in a very sharky place until I understood what he wanted. We all knew all the book by heart before breakfast next morning, and since then we have never broken a single rule. That was three years ago. The other Baboo Bajorums went back to their island in six months, but the Great Baboo has always sailed with us."
[Illustration: "It is another pirate vessel and it is going to attack us."]
At that moment Barty heard the sound of many feet running on the deck and the shouting of many voices, as if something new and alarming was happening. The pirate sailors were all running about. Some came tumbling up the companion-way and some went screaming up the rigging and some went running to the side to look over the sea.
The pirate Captain stopped and clapped his spy-glass to his eye.
"Hello!" he said. "I beg your pardon, excuse me for disturbing you by mentioning it, but there is a large ship bearing down on us at full sail. It is another pirate vessel and is going to attack us."
Barty jumped up and threw his cap in the air. "Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!" he said. "There's going to be a pirate battle and I'm certain we shall win."
The other pirate ship looked very big and grand. All its sails were filled with wind and it came cutting through the waves so fast that it looked as if it were alive. Barty stood and watched it and Saturday came and took hold of his hand. Everybody on the polite pirates' ship was running about, dragging guns into place or pulling ropes or sharpening swords. There was a great clatter and noise and shouting of "I beg your pardon," or "pray excuse me," or "may I ask you to be so kind," when the pirates fell over each other, or got in each other's way, or wanted to be helped to lift or drag something. Blue Crest prudently went and hid in a coil of rope and Good Wolf walked up and down the deck and examined things. Baboo Bajorum walked up and down, too, with his big hands in his pockets. Suddenly there came a white puff of smoke from the chasing ship and a big "boom," and Barty and Saturday both jumped at the same time because they knew the cannon had begun to fire.
The pirate captain shouted and waved his sword and then a puff of white smoke and a big "boom" came from the side of his ship, and Barty knew they had fired back.
Then everything became so exciting that you could scarcely stand it.
As soon as the boom and puff of white smoke was sent from the polite pirates' ship, a boom and a puff of white smoke came from the impolite pirates' ship, and as soon as a boom came from the impolite pirates' ship, a boom answered back from the polite pirates' ship.
It was like this:
"Boom!" from the impolite pirates.
"Boom----boom!" from the polite pirates.
"Boom!" from the impolite pirates.
"Boom, boom, boom!" from the polite pirates.
"Let us go and sit behind that big coil of rope and watch," said the Good Wolf.
It was the coil of rope Blue Crest had hidden herself inside, and when Barty and the Good Wolf and Saturday sat on the floor of the deck behind it, she was so glad that she whistled Barty's little song to let him know that she was quite near him. But Barty could scarcely hear her because there was so much noise. Pirates were shouting, gunners were ramming cannon balls into cannons, and the polite pirate captain was yelling polite orders to his men. Barty was obliged to shout himself, just as he had been obliged to shout in the tropical storm.
"Do you think we shall win?" he called out, as loud as he could, to the Good Wolf.
"We have the best guns," the Good Wolf called back. "The polite pirates have taken good care of their guns instead of quarreling about who should clean them. Listen!"
"Boom! Boom!" came from the impolite pirates' ship.
"Boom! Boom! Boom! Bang! Crash!" answered the polite pirates' ship.
The crash was the splitting and tearing open of the side of the other ship. Barty jumped up at the sound of it.
"We've hit them! We've hit them!" he shouted.
"We have the best gunners!" called out the Good Wolf.
"Boom!" said the impolite pirates' ship.
"Boom! Bang! Crash! Bang! Bang! Boom!" said the polite pirates.
Barty could not help jumping up and down, and Saturday simply stood on his head for joy and waved his little black legs in the air. Then came another roar and crash and bang, and the polite pirates raised a great loud cheer of victory and threw their hats in the air. The impolite pirates' ship was rapidly filling with water, and toppling over on one side.
"We've won! We've won!" cried Barty, dancing. "Look at the pirates running to launch their life-boats."
The impolite pirates were indeed running and skurrying about like mad things. They had left their guns altogether. The sea was pouring in at the big holes in the side of their ship and the ship was tilting more and more every second.
"If they don't get into the boats in a few minutes, their ship will turn over and they will be drowned," said the Good Wolf.
"They are the quickest pirates I ever saw," said Barty--"though, of course, I haven't seen many."
[Illustration: "We've won! we've won!" cried Barty, dancing]
They _were_ quick. They skurried and scuffled and darted. They undid knots and loosened ropes like lightning, and in two minutes their life boats swung out and they scrambled into them and were dropped down into the water.
"If Baboo Bajorum was to fire a broadside into them now," said the Good Wolf, "he would blow them and their boats into smithereens."
"Oh, I should not like him to do that," said Barty. "I'll go and ask him not to do it."
He ran to the end of the ship where Baboo Bajorum was standing watching the other ship sinking, and he took off his hat and made his deepest and politest bow.
"I beg your pardon," he said, "excuse me for interrupting. I know it is not polite but would you be so kind as to do me the great favor of _not_ blowing the Impolite Pirates into smithereens. If they hadn't come I should never have seen a pirate battle on the high seas and I always wanted to see one."
And he made another bow which was really a most beautiful one.
Baboo Bajorum listened to him with the greatest politeness. He made a bow each time Barty made one. In fact Barty thought he looked like a very nice gorilla indeed. He did something with his face that looked rather like smiling and then he put out his big hairy hand and patted Barty's head.
"Thank you, Mr. Bajorum," Barty said, feeling much relieved. "It's very kind of you, because, of course, they have given you a good deal of trouble."
Then he went back to the Good Wolf. He was rather hot and out of breath with excitement and he fanned himself with his hat.
"Even Robinson Crusoe never went to a pirate's battle," he said. "This is the biggest adventure of all. Let's go and look over the side and see what the other pirates are doing."
Evidently Baboo Bajorum had given his gunners orders to stop firing, because they had left their cannons and with the rest of the crew had run to the side and were leaning over watching their conquered enemies just as Barty wanted to do. The Impolite Pirates, all black with smoke and powder, were looking very much frightened. They had got into their boats and were rowing away from their sinking ship, but they plainly did not know which way to go, because they realized that if Baboo Bajorum began to fire his cannons at them he would blow them to smithereens. In fact, they could not understand why he did not blow them to smithereens immediately, and it made them feel very nervous. Of course they had not the least idea that Barty and the Good Wolf were on board, or perhaps they would have known that Barty was the kind of little boy who would not like to see pieces of pirates flying about in the air, even though he had felt that a pirates' battle was a sort of accommodation to him.
Their ship tilted more and more and at last sank down and down into the water, until it was out of sight. The cannon balls had smashed such big holes in it that the sea filled it directly. And the Impolite Pirates bent over their oars and rowed and looked back over their shoulders at Baboo Bajorum's ship in a frightened manner. They were saying to each other, "What is he going to do next?"
You see the trouble was, that however fast they rowed, they could not get away because Baboo Bajorum's ship was quietly sailing after them and they were so tired with fighting that they could scarcely row at all.
"And where do they think they are going to row to?" said the Polite Pirate captain. "They have neither food nor water in their boats and of course they are afraid to row towards the Desert Island, because we can stop them. They will simply perish if they row out on the high seas."
"Perish," said Barty.
He had once read a story about shipwrecked sailors perishing on the high seas, and it had made him cry. "I don't believe I want them to perish. I should not like to perish myself and neither would you. Now, would you?"
"No," answered the captain, "I should not. Nobody would. Perishing is about as unpleasant a thing as could happen to any man."
"I will go," said Barty, determinedly, "and speak to Mr. Bajorum."
So he ran to Baboo Bajorum, and after saluting in the usual manner he made three bows, one after the other.
"I hope I am not intruding and that you will please to be so kind as to excuse me for troubling you, Mr. Bajorum," he said, "but might I ask you another very great favor. The Impolite Pirates are very frightened, and they were in such a hurry that they had not time to put any food or water in their boats, and if they try to row out to sea they will perish. Do you think, sir, if you forgave them and let them come on board and you took a good deal of pains with them you might improve them into Polite Pirates, just as you did the others. You see, it would make your crew much bigger, and it might be much wiser for everybody when you were all intimate friends. Do you think you could oblige me by doing it?--excuse the liberty I am taking."
Mr. Baboo Bajorum listened as attentively as he had done before, and almost as soon as he began to speak Barty saw him do that thing with his face which made him look as if he were smiling, and even before Barty had finished he put out his big hairy hand and patted him again on the head.
"Thank you very kindly, Mr. Bajorum," said Barty. "I am extremely obliged and grateful and--and 'preciative. Could you call them back now? They are very tired, but they are rowing as fast as they can."
He forgot that Baboo Bajorum did not speak in the ordinary way and so could not call out "Come back, I won't hurt you."
Perhaps Baboo Bajorum forgot, too. He leaned over the side and waved his long, huge, hairy arm and gave a kind of awful roar. The pirates did not understand him at all and were so frightened that several of them tumbled backwards off their seats, and one or two of them dropped their oars and tried to hide themselves in the bottom of their boats.
"They are so frightened they can't understand," said Barty. "Would you mind lifting me up and letting me stand on the side and wave my handkerchief at them?--if it won't inconvenience you, please."
Baboo Bajorum lifted him up in a minute. His long arms were so strong that he lifted him as easily as if he were a pin. Barty stood on the rail and took out his pocket handkerchief and waved and waved it, and then he made a trumpet of his hands and shouted as loud as ever he could.
"Come back! Come back! We won't hurt you. Come back! Come back!"
A nice, fat, curly-headed little boy, standing on a ship's side, waving a white handkerchief and shouting in a loud and friendly manner, is a very different thing from a Baboo Bajorum shaking a long, black, hairy arm and roaring, so the Impolite Pirates stopped rowing and began to listen. The captain leaned over and put his hand behind his ear. Then he gave orders to his sailors and they began to row cautiously towards the ship.
"What did you say?" he shouted.
"Come back," Barty shouted in answer. "Mr. Bajorum will not let anyone hurt you. This," waving his hand towards the Baboo to introduce him, "is Mr. Bajorum."
The Impolite Pirates were so astonished that their faces dropped and they sat with their mouths wide open. Then they took off their hats and mopped their foreheads with their red bandanna handkerchiefs. Then they took up their oars and began to row towards the ship.
They were in five boats, and they all stopped in a line by the ship's side and looked up at the row of Polite Pirates who were looking down. They were so amazed that their mouths were still wide open, and when the Impolite Pirate captain spoke he stammered.
"D-d-did you s-s-say we m-might c-c-come on b-b-b-board?" he said. And when all the Polite Pirates bowed at once and the Captain answered him he was so overcome that he fainted quite away into the bottom of his boat. Because this was what the Captain said:
"If you will do us the honor and the kindness and will be so good as to oblige us, we shall be more delighted than we have words to express."
Then they let down a rope ladder and a bottle of smelling salts and some eau de cologne to restore the Impolite Captain, and by the time he was restored and assisted up the rope ladder all the Polite Pirates were standing lined up on deck ready to receive him and his crew with low sweeping bows. Barty and the Good Wolf came forward together and Barty explained.
"They are like this," he said, "because they are polite pirates, and in time they are going to teach you to be polite too. It is really very much nicer."
Just at first they almost gibbered because they did not know what to say, but when they were taken below and allowed to wash the smoke and powder off their faces and hands, and then were given cups of tea and muffins and raspberry jam, and then were shown all over the beautiful ship, they could not help but begin to be calm. But because they had never seen anything like Baboo Bajorum and his crew before, they could not help staring, and they could not all keep their mouths shut at the same time. The bows and politeness quite made them jump sometimes, but it was plain they began to admire them, because it was not long before they began to try to remember to make bows themselves.
At last they were all sitting peacefully together on the deck, and the sun had gone down and the moon had risen. The ship had sailed back to the Desert Island again and was lying at anchor in the beautiful blue water, which was making a soft lap-lap-lapping sound against its side. Barty looked out at the green slope which led up the cliff to the cave, and suddenly he remembered how he had slept on the bed of leaves last night and how comfortable it had been, and he remembered, too, that the Polite Pirates had only invited him to tea. So he got up from his chair and went to Baboo Bajorum and bowed--this time he did it more beautifully than ever, and he did it six times.
"I am ever so much obliged to you, Mr. Bajorum," he said. "I enjoyed the battle so much and thank you for inviting me to the tea party. I have enjoyed myself so much that I am rather sleepy. Would you be so kind as to oblige us by letting us get into the boat and go back to the cave to bed?"
Baboo Bajorum patted him again and shook hands with him and was most polite. In fact, everybody was so polite and made so many bows--even the Impolite Pirates--that it took some time to get the boat launched. But at last it was on the water and everybody got safely down the ladder, and the Polite Pirates took their seats and began to row towards the shore and those who stayed on the ship raised a delightful cheer.
Barty sat close to the Good Wolf and laid his head against his furry neck. The sky looked dark blue and the water looked dark blue and the stars in the sky looked as if they were shining in the water, and Barty was so happy and drowsy that he could scarcely tell which was sea and which was sky.
When they reached the white beach the Polite Pirate Captain picked Barty up in his arms and carried him up the queer slope, and instead of crawling through the hole he carried him round the ledge and lifted him in through the window.
The moon was shining in on the sparkling white sand of the cave floor and it shone in on the soft, heaped up bed of leaves which looked delightful. Barty stood in the moonlight and rubbed his eyes.
"Thank you," he said to the Polite Pirate Captain. "There never was anything like you in Robinson Crusoe."
"Who was Robinson Crusoe?" asked the Captain, leaning on the window ledge.
"He was in a book," answered Barty. "It was a very nice book, but this is nicer," and he rubbed his eyes harder than ever.
Just then the Good Wolf came in through the passage. Blue Crest was on his back and Man Saturday came after.
The Polite Pirate Captain took his hat off with a grand flourish.
"Good-night," he said. "A thousand thanks for a most delightful and perfectly charming afternoon. Good-night." And he turned round and ran round the ledge and down the green slope.
"And just think how frightened we were," Barty said drowsily, as he crept onto the softest part of his leaf bed. "I never thought pirates could be so nice."
The Good Wolf made a jump and curled up beside him snugly. Saturday curled up and was asleep in two minutes, and Blue Crest was asleep in one. And the moon shone in at the cave window and the sound of the waves on the beach was a soft murmur.
"Did I hear you say that this was nicer than Robinson Crusoe?" asked the Good Wolf, just as Barty's eyes were closing.
"It is--nicer," answered Barty, drowsily. "But--I can't help thinking of that thing--I can't remember. What--is--it?"
"In the morning I will tell you," said the Good Wolf. And that very minute Barty's eyes shut and he could not see the white moonlight any longer because he was fast asleep.
* * * * *
In the morning he wakened as suddenly as he had fallen asleep. He sat up among the leaves and saw the Good Wolf looking at him.
"What is it?" he said. "I am thinking of it again. I must find out what it is."
"Come along and get your bath in the pool," said the Good Wolf, cheerfully, "you shall know then."
The morning was brighter and the sea and the sky even bluer than they had been the day before. The slope was like green velvet and the pool in the rocks as clear as green crystal. Barty splashed and clashed and swam about almost like a fish. But he could not help saying to himself, "What is it? What is it? I wonder what it is?"
When he had finished his bath and put on his clothes, he said it to the Good Wolf who was standing and looking at him as he had looked when he awoke.
"What is it? What is it?" he said. "I feel as if I were just going to remember."
The Good Wolf began to sniff the air gently.
"Is there any mignonette growing about here?" he said.
Barty gave a little sniff, too, and then a little jump. There was the scent of mignonette in the air and the last time he had smelt it had been when the Good Wolf had carried him away.
"It's my mother--my mother I was thinking of!" he cried out. "Why couldn't I remember. She'll be wondering where I am. I must go home this minute."
"There," said the Good Wolf. "All right. We will go home. The reason you could not remember was because I made you forget on purpose. If I had not done that you would have been wondering all the time whether you were not too far away and if she was looking for you, and you would not have enjoyed the Desert Island at all. I made her forget, too, so that she has not even missed you. She thinks you have only been playing in the woods a few hours. Has it been nicer than Robinson Crusoe?"
"Yes, yes!" cried Barty.
"Get on my back and shut your eyes," said the Good Wolf.
"I don't want to shut my eyes until I have looked round at the Desert Island again," said Barty. "It is a lovely Desert Island. Could Saturday and Blue Crest come with us?"
He said that because Saturday had come running up and Blue Crest was perched on a rock.
"They can if you like," said the Good Wolf, "but I think you had better leave them here. You will want them when you come back."
"Can I come back?" Barty shouted joyfully.
"Yes--whenever you ask me to bring you. This Desert Island will always be here. Jump upon my back quickly. Your mother is just beginning to remember you."
Barty jumped up, waving his hand to Saturday and Blue Crest.
"I'm coming back, I'm coming back," he said.
Then he laid his cheek on the Good Wolf's fur and clasped his arms round his neck and shut his eyes, and then he was fast asleep again.
* * * * *
When he wakened up he was standing in his own cottage garden, and he went into the cottage and his mother looked up from watering her flowers and smiled at him.
"I was just beginning to wonder where you were," she said. "What rosy cheeks you have. You do look as if you had been enjoying yourself."
And that is the end of _this_ story.