The Sea Monster was much further away than you might suppose. When there was ever so much smooth, swelling water between us and Wecanicut, the Monster’s head still seemed almost as far away as before. Somehow the water looked very deep, although you couldn’t see down into it, and it humped itself under the boat.
Presently Wecanicut began to drop further away, and then the Sea Monster loomed up suddenly right over us, and Jerry had to fend the boat off with an oar. We had never guessed how big the thing really was,—not big at all for an island, but very large for a bare, off-shore rock. I should say that it was just about the bigness of an ordinary house, and very black and beetling, with not a spear of grass or anything on it. When Jerry said, “My stars, what a weird place!” his voice went booming and rumbling in among the rocks, and a lot of gulls flew up suddenly, flapping and shrieking. He held the boat up against the edge of a rock while Greg and I got out. We took the kit-bag ashore, and Jerry made the boat fast by putting a big piece of stone on top of the rope. There was nothing like a beach or even a shelving rock to pull it up on, so that was the best we could do. The boat backed away as far as it could, but the rope was firmly wedged between the rock and the stone so it couldn’t get away.
Of course we went first to look at the black cave-entrance. Sure enough, a great flat slab had fallen down from it and lay half in the water,—we could see scratchy marks and broken places where it had slid. The cave itself was about six feet deep, and very dank and dismal-looking. There was no sign of there ever having been treasure, for nobody could possibly have buried it, unless they’d hewn places in the living rock, like ancient Egyptians. We might have thought of that before, but of course we didn’t honestly believe that there was treasure. Somehow the Sea Monster didn’t seem nearly so jolly and exciting as it had from Wecanicut. It was so real and big, and whenever a wave came in, it boomed and echoed under the hanging-over rocks. We climbed around to the other side and went up on top of the highest place, which was about three times as high as I am. From there we could see the Headland, very far away and blue, and Wecanicut behind us, safe and green and friendly-looking, but a long way off; and nothing else but a smeary line of smoke from a steamer at sea.
“We named this place well,” I said; “it is a Monster.”
“Brrrr, hear it roar!” Jerry said. “The waves must be bigger, or something. There weren’t any when we came out.”
We looked down and saw that the water was behaving differently. Instead of being smooth and rolling, there was a skitter of sharp ripples all over it, and the waves went slap and frothed white when they hit the rock. The sky had changed, too. It was not so blue, and there were switchy mares’ tails across it, and the wind was blowing from Wecanicut, instead of toward it.