- 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
Tararo signed to several of his men, who seized hold of Jack and Peterkin and me and dragged us through the bush to the edge of the village. Here they thrust us into a cave in the cliff, and, having barricaded the entrance, left us in total darkness.
We felt about for some time-for our legs were free, although our wrists were still bound-till we found a low ledge of rock running along one side of the cave. On this we seated ourselves and waited quietly for the end that we knew must be near.
At last we heard a noise at the entrance to the cave. The barricade was dragged away; then three savages entered and led us through the forest, towards the temple that stood on the hill. We had not gone far when a procession of natives came to meet us, shouting and beating drums. We were placed at the head of the procession and forced along towards the temple where, we knew, human beings were offered for sacrifice.
I staggered on, so lost in fear and horror that I was hardly aware that the sky had darkened.
Suddenly there came a growl of thunder overhead, and heavy drops of rain began to fall; the air was filled with the rush of something, and then the afternoon went mad…
A hurricane hit Mango with a deafening roar. The natives fled for shelter on every side, leaving us alone in the midst of the howling storm.
The wind caught us and whirled us along, while great, driven raindrops slapped hard against our flesh.
“Get down!” I heard Jack shout, and I threw myself to the ground.
A body sprawled down beside me. It was the missionary, and he had a knife in his hand.
“Thank the Lord,” he cried, as he cut our bonds, “I am in time! Now, follow me.”
We fought our way along in the teeth of the howling wind, which burst with the noise of a thunderclap among the trees, tearing many from their roots and hurling them to the ground. Rain cut across the land in sheets; lightning played like forked serpents in the air; and high above the roar of the storm thunder crashed and rolled in awful majesty.
We found shelter in a cave and stayed there all through that night and the next day, while the storm raged in fury. In the village the scene was appalling. Houses were blown down and whirled away. Great waves came sweeping in from the mighty ocean, rising higher and higher on the beach, until the sea was lashing its angry waters far inland and had dashed into wreck those few houses that were still standing.
A little before dawn on the second day the backbone of the hurricane broke. When the sun rose, the wind was no more than a steady breeze, and the sea had gone down again. For the first time in two days we thought of the dangers from which we had been rescued by the storm.
“You must have food,” the missionary told us. “I will get that for you, and then you must try to escape.”
He went off, and was gone for a long time while we waited restlessly. At last we heard footsteps at the entrance, and the missionary stood there with his back to the light so that we could not see his face. As we moved towards him, he took Jack by the shoulders and exclaimed: “My dear young friend, through the great goodness of God you are free!”
“Free!” we cried together.
“Yes, free - to come and go as you will. I warned Tararo that if he tried to kill you, then the Lord would punish him and all his people. The hurricane came to prove my words.
Tararo has become a Christian, and his people are burning their gods of wood. Come and see for yourselves!”
We could scarcely believe our senses. Our eyes were dazzled by the bright sunshine, and our minds by what he had said, as we followed him from the cave and into the shambles of the village. One after another the savages rushed towards us and shook us by the hand. Then they fell in behind us, and, forming a sort of procession, we went to meet Tararo.
The chief was kindness itself, ready to do anything to help us; and Avatea, he promised, should be sent in a war-canoe to the island of her lover-chief.
Our next thought was for the schooner, which, we found, had been washed ashore but not seriously damaged by the storm. With the help of Tararo’s people we got her afloat again, and repaired what little damage she had suffered. Within a week she was fit for the open sea.
During this time the natives had started building a church, under the guidance of the missionary, and several rows of new cottages were marked out, so that the place soon looked as if it might well become as peaceful and beautiful a village as any in the South Sea Islands.
We now resolved to delay our departure no longer. Three natives volunteered to go with us to Tahiti, where we thought it likely that we should be able to pick up a crew of sailors to man our vessel.
It was a bright clear morning when we hoisted the snow-white sails of the pirate schooner and left the shores of Mango. The missionary and thousands of the natives came down to bid us God-speed, and to see us sail away. As the vessel bent before a light, fair wind, we glided quickly over the lagoon under a cloud of canvas.
That night, as we sat at the stern of the schooner gazing out upon the wide sea, a thrill of joy, strangely mixed with sadness, passed through our hearts; for we were at length “homeward bound”, and were leaving far behind us the beautiful, bright green coral islands of the Pacific Ocean.
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