“I believe he is fooling,” said Nellie. “He only wants to scare us!” And she tossed her pretty head.
“Perhaps we’ll stir up some lions or tigers,” said Tom.
“Or an elephant,” added Dick. “But I don’t think we will. My opinion is that these islands have nothing on them but birds, monkeys, small game, and snakes.”
“You’ve forgotten one thing,” said Dora, with an odd smile.
EXPLORING THE SEVEN ISLANDS
Another rainy spell, lasting three days, followed, but after that the sky cleared in a fashion which Captain Blossom thought betokened good weather for some time to come.
“We can now explore the seven islands and learn just what they contain,” he said.
The question now arose as to who should go along and who should stay at home with the girls. Lots were cast, and by this it was decided that the exploring party should consist of Captain Blossom, Sam, and Tom, leaving Dick and old Jerry with Dora, Nellie, and Grace.
It was decided that the exploring party should take the lightest of the rowboats and enough provisions to last for a week. Each was also provided with a pistol, and Captain Blossom carried a rifle in addition.
“If all goes well we will be back inside of four days,” said the captain, when he and Tom and Sam were ready to depart. “But if we are not back at that time do not worry until at least a week has gone by.” And so it was arranged. It was also arranged that three shots fired in succession should be a signal that one party or the other was in trouble.
Tom and Sam were pleased over the prospect of going with the captain and they willingly took up the oars to row to the nearest island, which, as we already know, was close at hand. The boat was left on the beach and without delay the captain and the two boys plunged into the interior.
The island was small, with but a slight rise of ground in the center. It was of small importance and they soon came out on the ocean side, where there was a beach strewn with shells and with oysters scarcely fit to eat. The growth on this island was mostly of young palms and the captain was of the opinion that the ground was not many years old.
“This has been thrown up by an earthquake or a volcano,” he said. “There is nothing here to interest us,” and he turned back.
They already knew something of the island on which the wreck was located, but, nevertheless, made a trip across it and up the outward coast. Here they found a number of orange and lemon trees, and also a great quantity of tropical nuts and some spices. The lemons proved to be very refreshing, and Tom said he meant to come back some day and get a bagful for general use.
The next island was visited the next day, the party spending the night on the wreck. The passage to this island was rather a rough one, and they had all they could do to keep from having their provisions spilt overboard.