Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 208 pages of information about Jerry of the Islands.

It is not expedient to burden this preliminary to my story with further details, which I do make asseveration I possess a-plenty.  I hope I have given some assurance that the adventures of my dog hero in this novel are real adventures in a very real cannibal world.  Bless you!—­when I took my wife along on the cruise of the Minota, we found on board a nigger-chasing, adorable Irish terrier puppy, who was smooth-coated like Jerry, and whose name was Peggy.  Had it not been for Peggy, this book would never have been written.  She was the chattel of the Minota’s splendid skipper.  So much did Mrs. London and I come to love her, that Mrs. London, after the wreck of the Minota, deliberately and shamelessly stole her from the Minota’s skipper.  I do further admit that I did, deliberately and shamelessly, compound my wife’s felony.  We loved Peggy so!  Dear royal, glorious little dog, buried at sea off the east coast of Australia!

I must add that Peggy, like Jerry, was born at Meringe Lagoon, on Meringe Plantation, which is of the Island of Ysabel, said Ysabel Island lying next north of Florida Island, where is the seat of government and where dwells the Resident Commissioner, Mr. C. M. Woodford.  Still further and finally, I knew Peggy’s mother and father well, and have often known the warm surge in the heart of me at the sight of that faithful couple running side by side along the beach.  Terrence was his real name.  Her name was Biddy.

Jack London
Waikiki beach,
Honolulu, Oahu, T.H. 
June 5, 1915

CHAPTER I

Not until Mister Haggin abruptly picked him up under one arm and stepped into the sternsheets of the waiting whaleboat, did Jerry dream that anything untoward was to happen to him. Mister Haggin was Jerry’s beloved master, and had been his beloved master for the six months of Jerry’s life.  Jerry did not know Mister Haggin as “master,” for “master” had no place in Jerry’s vocabulary, Jerry being a smooth-coated, golden-sorrel Irish terrier.

But in Jerry’s vocabulary, “Mister Haggin” possessed all the definiteness of sound and meaning that the word “master” possesses in the vocabularies of humans in relation to their dogs. “Mister Haggin” was the sound Jerry had always heard uttered by Bob, the clerk, and by Derby, the foreman on the plantation, when they addressed his master.  Also, Jerry had always heard the rare visiting two-legged man-creatures such as came on the Arangi, address his master as Mister Haggin.

But dogs being dogs, in their dim, inarticulate, brilliant, and heroic-worshipping ways misappraising humans, dogs think of their masters, and love their masters, more than the facts warrant.  “Master” means to them, as “Mister” Haggin meant to Jerry, a deal more, and a great deal more, than it means to humans.  The human considers himself as “master” to his dog, but the dog considers his master “God.”

Follow Us on Facebook