To-day we got your leter wich surprised us very much. Although I kept hopeing and hopeing some body would find the bottle. We are not so distresed now because we were picked up and now have toast and other things beter than barnicles. I mesured from here to the equater on the big map and it is an aufuly far way for the bottle to go. Only I thought it would. I am sorry you are so imprisined on the iland and please dont let the cheif with the beard poisen you because we would like to hear from you agan. If there is tresure on that iland I should think you could look for it and it would be exiting. But prehaps there is none. We hope there is some on Wecanicut. But it is hard to know sirtainly. Chris and Jerry are going to do a leter. But I thought I would first. I hope the saviges will be frendly allways.
Your respecfull comrade,
P.S. None of us are Bones yet.
“Will it do?” Greg asked anxiously, when I folded it up. His eyes grow very dark when he’s anxious, and they were perfectly inky now. You never would have guessed that they were really blue.
“It’ll do splendidly,” I said, for I did think the Castaway man would like Greg’s letter tremendously.
“Better let me see it, my lad,” said Jerry, rolling over among the pine-cones and sitting up.
Greg got his precious letter with a snatch and a squeak, and scurried off with it. I pitched Jerry back on to the pine-needles, because I knew he’d never let the thing go if he saw it.
“Oh, let him send it,” I said. “It’s perfectly all right, and it will do the Bottle Man heaps of good.”
But Jerry growled about “beastly scrawls” and wasn’t pleased with me until supper-time.
Somehow we all began calling our island person the “Bottle Man” after Greg did, for it seemed as good a name as any for him, seeing that we didn’t know his real one. We read the letter from him after supper to Aunt Ailsa, and she laughed and liked it, and so did Father. We also asked Father what the Latin meant, and he made a funny face and said he’d forgotten such things, but then he looked at it again and told us it meant something like this:
“The happy hour shall come, all the more appreciated because it comes unexpectedly.”
So we went to bed thinking about our poor old Bottle Man consoling himself out there on his island with Latin quotations.
We all went to Wecanicut next day, which was a glorious one, and when the food had disappeared we three walked up the point and wrote to the Bottle Man from there. We’d decided that the paper with “17 Luke Street” on it was much too grand for “poore mariners” anyway, so we’d just brought brownish paper that comes in a block. We told the Bottle Man how wonderful we thought it was that he had found our message, and how his letter had cheered