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which, at the worst, were merely problematical, had sub
sided, Mark began to see that there remained many things
to do, which were of even more pressing necessity than
anything yet done. Among the first of these there was
the perfect security of the ship. So long as she rode at a
single anchor, she could not be considered as absolutely
safe ; for a shift of wind would cause her to swing against
the ' sea-wall," as he called the natural breakwater outside
of her, where, if not absolutely wrecked, she might receive
material damage. Prudence required, therefore, that the
ship should be moored, as well as anchored. Neverthe
less, there was a good deal of truth in what Mark had said
touching the plants growing while he and Bob were busy
at other matters ; and this thought, of itself, formed a suf
ficient justification for what he had just done, much as it



82 THE CRATER;

had been done under present excitement. As they lay
under the shade of the royal, our mariners discussed these
matters, and matured some plans for the future.

At two o'clock Mark and Bob resumed their work.
The latter suggested the necessity of getting food and
water ashore for the pigs, as an act that humanity imperi
ously demanded of them; not humanity in the sense of
feeling for our kind, but in the sense in which we all ought
to feel for animal suffering, whether endured by man or
beast. Mark assented as to the food, but was of opinion
a thunder shower was about to pass over the reef. The
weather certainly did wear this aspect, and Bob was con
tent to wait the result, in order to save himself unnecessary
trouble. As for the pigs, they were still in the crater
rooting, as it might be for life or death, though nothing
edible had as yet rewarded them for their toil. Perhaps
they found it pleasant to be thrusting their noses into some
thing that resembled soil, after so long a confinement to
the planks of a ship. Seeing them at work in this man
ner, suggested to Mark to try another experiment, which
certainly looked far enough ahead, as if he had no great
hopes of getting off the island for years to come. Among
the seeds of Captain Crutchely were those of oranges,
lemons, limes, shaddocks, figs, and grapes; all plants well
enough suited to the place, if there were only soil to nou
rish them. Now, one of the hogs had been rooting, as
best he might, just under the wall, on the northern side of
the crater, making a long row of little hillocks, of earthy
ashes, at unequal distances it is true, but well enough dis
posed for the nature of the different fruits, could they only
be got to grow. Along this irregular row of hillocks did
Mark bury his seeds, willing to try an experiment which
might possibly benefit some other human being, if it never
did any good to himself. When this was done, he and
Betts left the crater, driving the hogs out before them.

Having made his plantation, Mark felt a natural desire
to preserve it. He got the royal, therefore, and succeeded
in fastening it up as a substitute for a gate, in their natural
gate-way. Had the pigs met with any success in rooting,
it is not probable this slight obstacle would have prevented
their finding their way, again, into the cavity of the crater;



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 83

but, as it was, it proved all-sufficient, and the sail was per
mitted to hang before the hole, until a more secure gate
was suspended in its stead.

The appearances of the thunder-shower were so much
increased by this time, that our mariners hastened back to
the ship in order to escape a ducking. They had hardly
got on board before the gust came, a good deal of water
falling, though not in the torrents in which one sometimes
sees it stream down within the tropics. In an hour it was
all over, the sun coming out bright and scorching, after
the passage of the gust. One thing occurred, however,
which at first caused both of the seamen a good deal of
uneasiness, and again showed them the necessity there was
For mooring the ship. The wind shifted from the ordinary
direction of the trades, during the squall, to a current of
air that was nearly at right angles to the customary course.
This caused the ship to swing, and brought her so near the
sea-wall, that once or twice her side actually rubbed against
it. Mark was aware, by his previous sounding, that this
wall rather impended over its base, being a part of an old
crater, beyond a question, and that there was little danger
of the vessel's hitting the bottom, or taking harm in any
other way than by friction against the upper part ; but this
friction might become too rude, and finally endanger the
safety of the vessel.

As soon as the weather became fine, however, the trades
returned, and the ship swung round to her old berth. Bob
now suggested the expediency of carrying out their hea
viest kedge ashore, of planting it in the rocks, and of run
ning out to it two or three parts of a hawser, to which a
line of planks might be lashed, and thus give them the
means of entering and quitting the ship, without having
recourse to the dingui. Mark approved of this plan, and,
it requiring a raft to carry ashore the kedge, the dingui
being so light they were afraid to trust it, it was decided
to commence that work in the morning. For the rest of
the present day nothing further was done, beyond light
and necessary jobs, and continuing the examination of the
island. Mark was curious to look at the effect of the
shower, both in reference to his plantations, and to the
quantity of fresh water that might have lodged on the ree



84 THE CRATER;

It was determined, therefore, to pass an hour or two asbora
before the night shut in again.

Previously to quitting the ship, Bob spoke of the poultry.
There were but six hens, a cock, and five ducks, left.
They were all as low in flesh and spirits, as it was usual
to find birds that have been at sea fifty days, and the honest
tar proposed turning them all adrift on the reef, to make
their own living in the best way they could. Now and
then a little food might be put in their way, but let them
have a chance for their lives. Mark assented at once, and
the coops were opened. Each fowl was carried to the taff-
rail, and tossed into the air, when it flew down upon the
reef, a distance of a couple of hundred feet, almost as a
matter of course. Glad enough were the poor things to
be thus liberated. To Mark's surprise, no sooner did they
reach the reef, than to work they went, and commenced
picking up something with the greatest avidfey, as if let
loose in the best supplied poultry-yard. Confident there
was nothing for even a hen to glean on the rocks when he
left there, the young man could not account for this, until
turning his eyes inboard, he saw the ducks doing the same
thing on deck. Examining the food of these last-mentioned
animals, he found there were a great number of minute
mucilaginous particles on the deck, which no doubt had
descended with the late rain, and which all the birds, a
well as the hogs, seemed eager to devour. Here, then,
was a supply, though a short-lived one, of a manna suited
to those creatures, which might render them happy for a
few hours, at least. Bob caught the ducks, and tossed
them overboard, when they floundered about and enjoyed
themselves in a way that communicated a certain pleasure
even to the desolate and shipwrecked men who had set
them at liberty. Nothing with life now remained in the
ship but the goat, and Mark thought it best not to turn
her ashore until they had greater facilities for getting the
necessary food to her than the dingui afforded. As she
was not likely to breed, there was no great use in keeping
this animal at all, to say nothing of the means of feeding
her, for any length of time ; but Mark was unwilling to
take her life, since Providence had brought them all to
that place in company. Then he thought she might be a



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 85

pretty object leaping about the cliffs of the crater, giving
the island a more lively and inhabited appearance, though
he foresaw she might prove very destructive to his planta
tions, did his vegetables grow. As there was time enough
to decide on her final fate, it was finally settled she should
be put ashore, and have a comfortable fortnight, even
though condemned to die at the end of that brief period.

On landing, every hole in the face of the cliff was found
filled with fresh water. Belts was of opinion that the
water-casks might all be filled with the water which was
thus collected, the fluid having seemingly all flowed into
these receptacles, while little had gone into the sea. This
was encouraging for the future, at any rate; the want of
water, previously to this shower, appearing to Mark to be
a more probable occurrence than the want of food. The
sea might furnish the last, on an emergency, while it could
do nothing with the first. But the manner in which the
ducks were enjoying themselves, in these fresh pools, can
scarcely be imagined ! As Mark stood looking at them, a
doubt first suggested itself to his mind concerning the pro
priety of men's doing anything that ran counter to their
instincts, with any of the creatures of God. Pet-birds in
cages, birds that were created to fly, had always been dis
agreeable to him ; nor did he conceive it to be any answer
to say that they were born in cages, and had never known
liberty. They were created with an instinct for flight,
and intense must be their longings to indulge in the power
which nature had bestowed on them. In the cage in which
he now found himself, though he could run, walk, leap,
swim, or do aught that nature designed him to do, in the
way of mere animal exploits, young Mark felt how bitter
were the privations he was condemned to suffer.

The rain had certainly done no harm, as yet, to the
planting. All the hills were entire, as Mark and Bob had
left them, though well saturated with water. In a few,
there might be even too much of the element, perhaps, but
Mark observed that a tropical sun would soon remove that
objection. His great apprehension was that he had com
menced his gardening too late, and that the dry weather
might set in too soon for the good of his vegetables ; if any
of them, indeed) ever came up at all. Here was one good

r Q



86 THE CRATER;

soaking secured, at all events; and, knowing the power
of a tropical sun, Mark was of opinion that the fate of the
great experiment he had tried would soon be known. Could
he succeed in producing vegetation among the debris of
the crater, he and Bob might find the means of subsistence
during their natural lives ; but, should that resource fail
them, all their hopes would depend on being able to effect
their escape in a craft of their own construction. In no
case, however, but that of the direst necessity, did Mark
contemplate the abandonment of his plan for getting back
to the inhabited world, his country, and his bride !

That night our mariners had a sounder sleep than they
had yet been blest with since the loss of their shipmates,
and the accident to the vessel itself. The two following
days they passed in securing the ship. Bob actually made
a very respectable catamaran, or raft, out of the spare
spars, sawing the topmasts and lower yards in two, for that
purpose, and fastening them together with ingenuity and
strength, by means of lashings. But Mark hit upon an
expedient for getting the two kedges ashore, that prevented
the necessity of having recourse to the raft on that occa
sion. These kedges lay on the poop, where they were
habitually kept, and two men had no great difficulty in
getting them over the stern, suspended by stoppers. Now
Mark had ascertained that the rock of the Reef rose like
a wall, being volcanic, like all the rest of the formation,
and that the ship could float almost anywhere alongside of
it. Aided by the rake of the stern of an old-fashioned
Philadelphia-built ship, nothing was easier than to veer
upon the cable, let the vessel drop in to the island, until
the kedges actually hung over the rocks, and then lower
the last down. All this was done, and the raft was re
served for other purposes. Notwithstanding the facility
with which the kedges were got ashore, it took Mark and
Bob quite half a day to plant them in the rock precisely
where they' were wanted. When this was accomplished,
however, it was so effectually done as to render the hold
even greater than that of the sheet-anchor. The stocks
were not used at all, but the kedges were laid flat on the
rock, quite near to each other, and in such a manner that
tha flukes were buried in crevices of the lava, giving a



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 87

most secure hold, while the shanks came out through
natural grooves, leading straight towards the ship. Six
parts of a hawser were bent to the kedges, three to each, and
these parts were held at equal distances by pieces of spars
ingeniously placed between them, the whole being kept in
its place by regular stretchers that were lashed along the
hawsers at distances of ten feet, giving all the parts of the
ropes the same level. Before these stretchers were se
cured, the ship was hove ahead by her cable, and the
several parts of the hawser brought to an equal strain.
This left the vessel about a hundred feet from the island,
a convenient, and if the anchor held, a safe position ; though
Mark felt little fear of losing the ship against rocks that
were so perpendicular and smooth. On the stretchers
planks were next laid and lashed, thus making a clear pas
sage between the vessel and the shore, that might be used
at all times, without recourse to the dingui ; besides moor
ing the ship head and stern, thereby keeping her always
in the same place, and in the same position.

The business of securing the ship occupied nearly two
days, and was not got through with until about the middle
of the afternoon of the second day. It was Saturday, and
Mark had determined to make a good beginning, and keep
all their Sabbaths, in future, as holy times, set apart for the
special service of the Creator. He had been born and
educated an Episcopalian, but Bob claimed to be a Quaker,
and what was more he was a little stiff in some of his no
tions on the opinion of his sect. The part of New Jersey
in which Betts was born, had many persons of this reli
gious persuasion, and he was not only born, but, in one
sense, educated in their midst; though the early age at
which he went to sea had very much unsettled his prac
tice, much the most material part of the tenets of these
good persons. When the two knocked off work, Saturday
afternoon, therefore, it was with an understanding that the
next day was to be one of rest in the sense of Christians,
and, from that time henceforth, that the Sabbath was to
be kept as a holy day. Mark had ever been inclined to
soberness of thought on such subjects. His early engage
ment to Bridget had kept him from falling into the ways
of most mariners, and, time and again, had a future state



88 THE CRATER;

of being been the subject of discourse between him and
his betrothed. As the seasons of adversity are those in
which men are the most apt to bethink them of their duties
to God, it is not at all surprising that one of this disposi
tion, thus situated, felt renewed demands on his gratitude
and repentance.

While Mark, in this frame of mind, went rambling
around his narrow domains, Bob got the dingui, and pro
ceeded with his fishing-tackle towards some of the naked
rocks, that lifted their caps above the surface of the sea,
in a north-westerly direction from the crater. Of these
naked rocks there were near twenty, all within a mile of
the crater, and the largest of them not containing more
than six or eight acres of dry surface. Some were less
than a hundred feet in diameter. The great extent and
irregular formation of the reefs all around the island, kept
the water smooth, for some distance, on all sides of it ; and
it was only when the rollers were sent in by heavy gales,
that the dingui could not move about, in this its proper
sphere, in safety.

Betts was very fond of fishing, and could pass whole
days, at a time, in that quiet amusement, provided he had
a sufficient supply of tobacco. Indeed, one of the greatest
consolations this man possessed, under the present misfor
tune, was the ample store of this weed which was to be
found in the ship. Every man on board the Rancocus,
Mark alone excepted, made use of tobacco; and, for so
long a voyage, the provision laid in had been very abun
dant. On this occasion, Bob enjoyed his two favourite
occupations to satiety, masticating the weed while he
fished.

With Mark it was very different. He was fond of his
fowling-piece, but of little use was that weapon in his pre
sent situation. Of all the birds that frequented the adja
cent rocks, not one was of a sort that would be eaten, un
less in cases of famine. As he walked over the island,
that afternoon, his companion was the goat, which had
been driven ashore on the new gangway, and was enjoying
its liberty almost as much as the ducks. As the animal
frisked about him, accompanying him everywhere in his
walks, Mark -was reminded of the goats of Crusoe, and his



OB, VULCAN'S PEAK. 89

mind naturally adverted to the different accounts of ship
wrecks of which he had read, and to a comparison between
his own condition and those of other mariners who had been
obliged to make their homes, for a time, on otherwise un
inhabited islands.

In this comparison, Mark saw that many things made
greatly against him, on the one hand ; while, on the other,
there were many others for which he had every reason to
be profoundly grateful. In the first place, this island was,
as yet, totally without vegetation of every kind. It had
neither plant, shrub, nor tree. In this he suffered a great
privation, and it even remained to be proved by actual
experiment, whether he was master of what might be con
sidered the elements of soil. It occurred to him that
something like vegetation must have shown itself, in or
about the crater, did its debris contain the fertilizing prin
ciple, Mark not being sufficiently versed in the new science
of chemical agriculture, to understand that the admixtures
of certain elements might bring to life forces that then
were dormant. Then the Reef had no water. This was
a very, very great privation, the most serious of all, and
might prove to be a terrible calamity. It is true that, just
at that moment, there was a shower every day, and some
times two or three of them ; but it was then spring, and
there could be little reason to doubt that droughts would
come in the hot and dry season. As a last objection, the
Reef had no great extent, and no variety, the eye taking
it all in at a glance, while the crater was its sole relief
against the dullest monotony. Nor was there a bit of wood,
or fuel of any sort to cook with, after the supply now in
the ship should be exhausted. Such were the leading dis
advantages of the situation in which our mariners were
placed, as compared with those into which most other
shipwrecked seamen had been thrown.

The advantages, on the other hand, Mark, in humble
gratitude to God, admitted to be very great. In the first
place, the ship and all she contained was preserved, giving
them a dwelling, clothes, food and water, as well as fuel,
for a long time to come ; possibly, aided by what might be
gleaned on even that naked reef, sufficient to meet all their
wants for the duration of a human life The cargo of the
8



90 THE CRATER;

Rancocus was of no great extent, and of little value in a
civilized country ; but Mark knew that it included many
articles that would be of vast service where he was. The
beads and coarse trinkets with which it had been intended
to trade with the savages, were of no use whatever, it is
true ; but the ship's owners were pains-taking and thought
ful Quakers, as has been already intimated, who blended
with great shrewdness in the management of their worldly
affairs, a certain regard to benevolence in general, and a
desire to benefit their species. On this principle, they had
caused a portion of their cargo to be made up, sending, in
addition to all the ruder and commoner tools, that could
be used by a people without domestic animals, a small
supply of rugs, coarse clothes, coarse earthen-ware, and a
hundred similar things, that would be very serviceable to
any who knew how to use them. Most of the seeds came
from these thoughtful merchants.

If fresh water were absolutely wanting on the reef, it
rained a good deal ; in the rainy season it must rain for a
few weeks almost incessantly, and the numerous cavities
in the ancient lava, formed natural cisterns of great capa
city. By taking the precaution of filling up the water-
casks of the ship, periodically, there was little danger of
suffering for the want of this great requisite. It is true,
the sweet, cool, grateful draught, that was to be got from
the gushing spring, must be forgotten ; but rain-water col
lected in clean rock, and preserved in well -sweetened
casks, was very tolerable drinking for seamen. Captain
Crutchely, moreover, had a filterer for the cabin, and
through it all the water used there was habitually passed.

In striking the balance between the advantages and dis
advantages of his own situation, as compared with that of
other shipwrecked mariners, Mark confessed that he had
quite as much reason to be grateful as to repine. The
last he was resolved not to do, if possible; and he pursued
his walk in a more calm and resigned mood than he had
been in since the ship entered among the shoals.

Mark, naturally enough, cast his eyes around him, and
asked himself the question what was to be done with the
domestic animals they had now all landed. The hogs
might, or might not be of the greatest importance to them



OR, VULCAN'S PEAK. 91

as their residence on the island was or was not protracted,
and as they found the means of feeding them. There was
still food enough in the ship to keep these creatures for
some months, and food that had been especially laid in for
that purpose ; but that food would serve equally well for
the fowls, and our young man was of opinion, that eggs
would be of more importance to himself and Betts, than
hog's flesh. Then there was the goat; she would soon
cease to be of any use at all, and green food was not to be
had for her. A little hay, however, remained ; and Mark
was fully determined that Kitty, as the playful little thing
was called, should live at least as long as that lasted. She
was fortunate in being content with a nourishment that no
other animal wanted.

Mark could see absolutely nothing on the rocks for a
bird to live on, yet were the fowls constantly picking up
something. They probably found insects that escaped his
sight ; while it was certain that the ducks were revelling
in the pools of fresh water, of which there might, at that
moment, have been a hundred on the reef. As all these
creatures were, as yet, regularly fed from the supplies in
the ship, each seemed to be filled with the joy of existence ;
and Mark, as he walked among them, felt how profound
ought to be his own gratitude, since he was still in a state
of being which admitted of a consciousness of happiness
so much beyond anything that was known to the inferior
animals of creation. He had his mind, with all its stores
gathered from study and observation, his love for God, and
his hopes of a blessed future, ever at command. Even his
love for Bridget had its sweets, as well as its sorrows. It
was grateful to think of her tenderness to himself, her
beauty, her constancy, of which he would not for a moment
doubt, and of all the innocent and delightful converse they
had had during a courtship that occupied so much of their
brief lives.

Just as the sun was setting, Bob returned from his fish
ing xcursion. To Mark's surprise, he saw that the dingui
floated almost with her gun wale-to, and he hastened down
to meet his friend, who came ashore in a little bay, quke
near the gate-way, and in which the rock did not rise as
much like a wall as it did on most of the exterior of the



92 THE CRATER;

reef. Bob had caught about a dozen fish, some of which
were of considerable size, though all were of either species
or varieties that were unknown to them both. Selecting
two of the most promising-looking, for their own use, he
threw the others on the rocks, where the pigs and poultry
might give them a trial. Nor was it long before these
creatures were hard at work on them, disregarding the
scales and fins. At first the hens were a little delicate,



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