They ate dinner on the decks, the two boats snuggled so close that it was the easiest thing in the world to pass dishes from one to another. After dinner they lolled in the sunlight and gazed up at the sheer granite bluff or the smiling and cloudless sky and talked lazily or slumbered a little. And finally Wink Wheeler thought of fishing and in a few minutes a half-dozen lines were overboard, and, while the catches were not big, they were fairly frequent, and the question of what they were to have for supper was solved there and then. It was Harry Corwin’s idea to stay in the pool overnight and everyone instantly applauded it. Later, a party went ashore and explored, but there were no paths to be found and Nature was jealous of her secrets and they came back without more knowledge of this unknown island than they had had before. They named it Mystery Island and called the little harbour Titania’s Mirror, a suggestion from Bert Alley which elicited jibes and a final agreement.
“It’s not ‘mushy’ a bit,” said Steve, in Bert’s defence. “It’s a fine name for the prettiest bit of water any of us ever saw, and you know it. The only trouble with you is that you’re afraid someone will laugh at you for being poetical or imaginative. If Bert had suggested calling it Put-In Bay or Simpkins’ Cove or something like that you’d have said ‘Fine!’ and secretly thought him a perfect ass!”
Twilight came early and the still, limpid water of the pool took on all sorts of strange and wonderful hues, like the iridescent surface of a pearl-shell. It grew very still and a little bit eery as the shadows crept over the scene, and it was a relief when Cas Temple and Bert Alley brought forth their mandolins. I am sorry to say that Titania’s Mirror was a bit too thickly inhabited by mosquitoes for comfort, and there were restless turnings and muttered expostulations to be heard for some time after lights were out.
The morning broke radiantly and at half-past six Titania’s Mirror was turned into a highly satisfactory bathtub. Brown arms clove the shadowed surface and dripping heads rose and fell as fully half the number set out on a spirited race to the entrance. When almost there they emerged into a flood of pale sunlight, and looking down through the pellucid water they could see the sloping sides of the basin converging like the sides of a bowl. Tragedy was surely the last thing to be thought of amidst such idyllic surroundings, and yet it was hovering very close.