One night he appeared to be in a very ill-humor, and Mr. Eyre tried to find out the reason. At last Wylie said in an angry tone, “The dogs have eaten the skin.” It seems he had hung the skin of a kangaroo upon a bush, intending to eat it by-and-bye, and the wild dogs had stolen the dainty morsel. Wylie was restored to his usual good-humor by the sight of some fine fishes his master had caught. Next time the boy shot a kangaroo, he took good care of the skin, folding it up, and hiding it.
One day he was so happy as to catch two opossums in a tree. His master determined to see how Wylie would behave, if left entirely to himself. He sat silently by the fire, while Wylie was cooking one opossum. The boy, having got it ready for his supper, took the other to his sleeping place. His master inquired what he intended to do with it. Wylie replied, “I shall be hungry in the morning, and I am keeping it for my breakfast.” Then Mr. Eyre perceived that the greedy boy intended to offer him neither supper nor breakfast. Accordingly he took out his bag of flour, and said to Wylie, “Very well, we will each eat our own food; you eat the opossums you shot, and I eat the flour I have; and I will give you no more.” In this manner, Mr. Eyre hoped to show the boy the folly of his selfishness. Wylie was frightened at the idea of getting no more flour, and immediately offered the smaller opossum to his master, and promised to cook it himself. What a selfish, and ungrateful boy! Wylie had a wicked heart by nature, and so have we. Only he had not been taught what was right, as we have been. This is a prayer which would suit well every child, and every man in the world, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Mr. Eyre continued to be kind to Wylie, though he saw the boy did not really love him.
But the troubles of the journey were nearly at an end. At last the travellers saw a ship a few miles from the shore. Oh I how anxious they were that the sailors should see them! What could they do? They kindled a fire on a rock, and they made a great deal of smoke come out of the fire. Soon a boat was seen approaching the shore. How great was the joy of the weary travellers. The sailors in the boat were Frenchmen, but they were not the less kind on that account. They invited Mr. Eyre and Wylie to accompany them to their ship.
When the young savage found himself on board, he was almost wild with delight, for he had now as much to eat as he could desire, and he began eating biscuits so fast, that the sailors began to be afraid lest he should eat them all; and they were glad to give him fishes instead, as they could catch plenty of them.
For twelve days Wylie and his master lived in the ship, and then left it, laden with provisions, and dressed in warm clothes.
They had still many miles to go along the shore, but they suffered no more from want of food and water.