- زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
- سطح متوسط
دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
این فصل را میتوانید به بهترین شکل و با امکانات عالی در اپلیکیشن «زیبوک» بخوانید
متن انگلیسی فصل
The Last of the Coral Island
I shouted and cried with joy as I gazed towards the island. It was still many miles away but near enough for me to make out the outlines of the two mountains.
It would take me two or three hours to run the ship in. I knew that Jack and Peterkin were not in the habit of rising before six, and as it was now only three, I hoped to arrive before they were awake. I made up my mind to run the schooner into the lagoon and bring up opposite our old camp. The anchor was hanging at the cathead, so all I had to do was cut the tackling and down it would drop.
I searched among the flags until I found the terrible “Jolly Roger”, which I ran up to the peak. While I was doing this, a thought struck me. I went the powder magazine, brought up a blank cartridge, and loaded the big brass gun. I took care to grease its mouth well, then went and thrust the poker into the fire.
All was now ready. I was not more than a quarter of a mile from the reef. In no time, it seemed, I was gliding through the entrance. On coming opposite the camp, I put the helm hard down. The schooner came round and lost way. I ran forward, let go the anchor, caught up the red-hot poker, put it to the brass gun, and shattered the morning silence with an almighty bang.
I gazed hopefully towards the shore.
Before the echoes had died away, I saw Peterkin bound out of the camp, his eyeballs starting from his head with surprise and terror. He gave one look, one yell, then fled into the bushes like a wild cat. The next moment Jack appeared, took one look, and turned to run.
I was almost mad with joy.
“Ahoy!” I shouted. “Peterkin! Jack! It’s me!”
Jack came to a halt and turned. Peterkin appeared out of the bushes. I shouted again, and the two of them ran at full speed towards the beach. I could no longer contain myself. I threw off my jacket and jumped overboard at the same moment that Jack bounded into the sea. We met in deep water, clasped each other round the neck, and sank to the bottom. When we had struggled back to the surface, I say Peterkin spluttering about like a wounded duck, laughing and crying by turns, and choking himself with salt water.
How can I tell of the joy that followed by landing on the beach? We all of us acted like mad things, leaping and prancing and talking and shouting, and beating each other upon the back.
And then, of course, I had to tell my tale. As soon as I had finished the two of them made me go over it again. Both were very worried by what I could tell them of the probable fate of the girl Avatea. Jack clenched his teeth, shook his fist towards to sea, and said that he’d like to break Tararo’s head.
After they had pumped me dry, it was my turn to ask what had happened to them since I’d been gone, and how they had got out of the Diamond Cave.
“We waited an hour for you to come back,” said Jack, “and then began to get really worried. I dived out of the cave by myself, and there was no sign of you or anyone else. Then I saw the schooner standing out to sea, and decided that the pirates must have carried you away with them. You can guess how I felt then. I dived back to the cave and told Peterkin. We had to think of a way of getting out without your help. As far as I could see, there was only one way it could be done. I dived out, found a good strong pole, took it back with me, and lashed Peterkin to it to keep him straight and stiff-“
“You can imagine how much I liked that!” said Peterkin. Jack grinned.
“We searched all over the island for you,” he went on, “and felt pretty low when we knew for certain the pirates had carried you off. And then, when we were out on the reef one day, Peterkin saw a small, dark object lying among the rocks. We found that it was a small keg of gunpowder.”
“I sent you that,” I put in, with a smile.
“Well, we found it very useful,” said Jack, “and we’ve been able to use the pistol ever since. But the island became a dreary place after you’d gone, and we were longing for a ship to take us off. Now that we’ve got it, I think we ought to have a look at some of the other islands of the South Seas. We couldn’t really do much better than shape our course for the island on which Avatea lives, and see if we can do anything to rescue her.”
There was a little silence while we stared at him and thought this over. Then Peterkin and I spoke together.
“Good idea!” we said. “We’ll come!”
It was settled. We lost no time in making ready to leave the island. As the ship was already laden with stores, we had very little to do.
When all was ready, we climbed to the mountain-top and gazed for the last time at the rich green valleys, the white sandy beach, the still lagoon, and the coral reef with its crested breakers.
We went back to the camp, and carved our names upon a piece of board, which we set up upon the shore. A few minutes later we were on board the schooner.
A steady breeze was blowing when we set sail, a little before sunset. It carried us past the reef and out to sea.
The shore grew rapidly more indistinct as the shades of evening fell, while our ship bounded lightly over the waves. Slowly the mountain-top sank on the horizon until it became a mere speck. In another moment the sun and our Coral Island sank together into the broad bosom of the Pacific.
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