Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 393 pages of information about Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader.

As we have already remarked, Corrie and his two companions in misfortune had been bound, and in this condition were left by the savages to their fate.  Their respective positions were by no means enviable.  Poor Alice lay near the edge of the cliff, with her wrists and ankles so securely tied that no effort of which she was capable could set her free.  Poopy lay about ten yards further up the cliff, flat on her sable back, with her hands tied behind her, and her ankles also secured; so that she could by no means attain to a sitting position, although she made violent and extraordinary efforts to do so.  We say extraordinary, because Poopy, being ingenious, hit upon many devices of an unheard of nature to accomplish her object.  Among others, she attempted to turn heels over head, hoping thus to get upon her knees; and there is no doubt whatever that she would have succeeded in this had not the formation of the ground been exceedingly unfavorable for such a maneuver.

Corrie had shown such an amount of desperate vindictiveness, in the way of kicking, hitting, biting, scratching, and pinching, when the savages were securing him, that they gave him five or six extra coils of the rope of cocoanut fiber with which they bound him.  Consequently he could not move any of his limbs; and now he lay on his side between Alice and Poopy, gazing with much earnestness and no little astonishment at the peculiar contortions of the latter.

“You’ll never manage it, Poopy,” he remarked, in a sad tone of voice, on beholding the poor girl balanced on the small of her back, preparatory to making a spring that might have reminded one of the leaps of a trout when thrown from its native element upon the bank of a river.  “And you’ll break your neck if you go on like that,” he added, on observing that, having failed in these attempts, she recurred to the heels-over-head process; but all in vain.

“O me!” sighed Poopy, as she fell back in a fit of exhaustion.  “It’s be all hup wid us.”

“Don’t say that, you goose,” whispered Corrie; “you’ll frighten Alice, you will.”

“Will me?” whispered Poopy, in a tone of self-reproach; then in a loud voice, “Oh, no! it’s not all hup yet.  Miss Alice.  See, me go at it again.”

And “go at it” she did in a way that actually alarmed her companions.  At any other time Corrie would have exploded with laughter, but the poor boy was thoroughly overwhelmed by the suddenness and the extent of his misfortune.  The image of Bumpus, disappearing headlong over that terrible cliff, had filled his heart with a feeling of horror which nothing could allay, and grave thoughts at the desperate case of poor little Alice (for he neither thought of nor cared for Poopy or himself) sank like a weight of lead upon his spirit.

“Don’t try it any more, dear Poopy,” said Alice, entreatingly; “you’ll only hurt yourself and tear your frock.  I feel sure that some one will be sent to deliver us.  Don’t you, Corrie?”

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Gascoyne, The Sandal Wood Trader from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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