“The ‘Duncan’ continued her voyage along the thirty-seventh parallel. In the meanwhile, Lady Glenarvan undertook to vanquish the resistance of the ruffian.
“At last, her influence prevailed, and Ayrton, in exchange for what he could tell, proposed that Lord Glenarvan should leave him on some island in the Pacific, instead of giving him up to the English authorities. Lord Glenarvan, resolving to do anything to obtain information about Captain Grant, consented.
“Ayrton then related all his life, and it was certain that he knew nothing from the day on which Captain Grant had landed him on the Australian coast.
“Nevertheless, Lord Glenarvan kept the promise which he had given. The ‘Duncan’ continued her voyage and arrived at Tabor Island. It was there that Ayrton was to be landed, and it was there also that, by a veritable miracle, they found Captain Grant and two men, exactly on the thirty-seventh parallel.
“The convict, then, went to take their place on this desert islet, and at the moment he left the yacht these words were pronounced by Lord Glenarvan:—
“’Here, Ayrton, you will be far from any land, and without any possible communication with your fellow-creatures. You can-not escape from this islet on which the ‘Duncan’ leaves you. You will be alone, under the eye of a God who reads the depths of the heart, but you will be neither lost nor forgotten, as was Captain Grant. Unworthy as you are to be remembered by men, men will remember you. I know where you are Ayrton, and I know where to find you. I will never forget it!
“And the ‘Duncan,’ making sail, soon disappeared. This was 18th of March, 1855.
(The events which have just been briefly related are taken from a
work which some of our readers have no doubt read, and which is
entitled, “Captain Grant’s children.” They will remark on this
occasion, as well as later, some discrepancy in the dates; but
later again, they will understand why the real dates were not at
“Ayrton was alone, but he had no want of either ammunition, weapons, tools, or seeds.
“At his, the convict’s disposal, was the house built by honest Captain Grant. He had only to live and expiate in solitude the crimes which he had committed.
“Gentlemen, he repented, he was ashamed of his crimes and was very miserable! He said to himself, that if men came some day to take him from that islet, he must be worthy to return among them! How he suffered, that wretched man! How he labored to recover himself by work! How he prayed to be reformed by prayer! For two years, three years, this went on, but Ayrton, humbled by solitude, always looking for some ship to appear on the horizon, asking himself if the time of expiation would soon be complete, suffered as none other suffered! Oh! how dreadful was this solitude, to a heart tormented by remorse!