Save for certain verbal corrections, I publish this manuscript without comment as the will directs, only adding that it sets out our mutual experiences very faithfully, though Arbuthnot’s deductions from them are not always my own.
I would say also that I am contemplating another visit to the South Sea Islands, where I wish to make some further investigations. I dare say, however, that these will be barren of results, as the fountain of Life-water is buried for ever, nor, as I think, will any human being stand again in the Hades-like halls of Nyo. It is probable also that it would prove impossible to rediscover the island of Orofena, if indeed that volcanic land still remains above the waters of the deep.
Now that he is a very wealthy man, Bastin talks of accompanying me for purposes quite different from my own, but on the whole I hope he will abandon this idea. I may add that when he learned of his unexpected inheritance he talked much of the “deceitfulness of riches,” but that he has not as yet taken any steps to escape their golden snare. Indeed he now converses of his added “opportunities of usefulness,” I gather in connection with missionary enterprise.
J. R. BICKLEY.
P.S.—I forgot to state that the spaniel Tommy died within three days of his owner. The poor little beast was present in the room at the time of Arbuthnot’s passing away, and when found seemed to be suffering from shock. From that moment Tommy refused food and finally was discovered quite dead and lying by the body on Marama’s feather cloak, which Arbuthnot often used as a dressing-gown. As Bastin raised some religious objections, I arranged without his knowledge that the dog’s ashes should rest not far from those of the master and mistress whom it loved so well.