Adventures in Southern Seas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 245 pages of information about Adventures in Southern Seas.
of the coral cave, in which the stars were reflected as in a mirror.  Ackbau and other chiefs stood near her.  The queen was pale, but her dark eyes were resolute.  She smiled when I looked at her, to give me encouragement.  Her subjects were assembled round the pool in a triple line.  Presently the beating of a war-drum announced the arrival of a procession, which advanced slowly to the pool, bearing a litter upon which, bound hand and foot, was stretched the unfortunate Van Luck.  When they had come to the edge of the pool they set the litter down and withdrew.

I had no cause to love Van Luck, yet there was something in his helpless misery which appealed to me, and made it impossible for me to abandon him to his fate without an effort to save him.  Besides, he was of my race, a white man.  I could not leave him to be butchered by savages.

And now the waters of the pool began to be agitated by the rising of the leviathan from its depths, and suddenly a monstrous head, mounted upon a neck full twenty feet long, rose out of the water.  The body of the creature resembled that of a turtle, only ten times larger than. the biggest turtle I had ever beheld.  Thrice the monster circled the pool.  Then it began slowly to approach the litter upon which Van Luck lay, more dead than alive with the terror that had come upon him.  I could bear no more, and, throwing prudence to the winds, I ran to help him.  I was just in time to drag him beyond reach of the monster, who made a rush to the edge of the pool when he saw his prey being taken from him.

A great shout arose from the savages, who seemed amazed at the act of sacrilege I had committed.  The reed pipes stopped playing.  Melannie rose from her throne pale and trembling.  Ackbau advanced towards me with a threatening gesture.

“This must not be, Ackbau,” I said, pointing to where Van Luck lay at my feet gazing at the monster in mute terror.  “I will prevent it.”  Ackbau gave some directions, when a number of savages advanced, evidently with the intention of taking me alive, so that I might be given to the monster, which continued to swim round the pool lashing the water into foam, and stretching its neck from side to side in anger at having been robbed of its prey.

But now a new diversion arose which caused a panic among the savages.  We had all been so engrossed by what was taking place at the pool that no heed had been given to the mountain.  With a mighty roar which shook the island to its foundations the volcano broke into eruption.  The crust had given way, and the internal fires, held in check, belched from the crater.  Huge rocks and stones glowing red hot were thrown to incredible heights.  The earth rocked and opened, so that many were engulfed.

Streams of lava began to descend.  The pool sank, leaving a deep pit into which the monster disappeared.  The prophecy was about to be fulfilled.  The snake god had been robbed of its tribute, and the island with all upon it was to be destroyed.  In, their terror the savages raced for the seashore.  Nothing was remembered but self-preservation.

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Adventures in Southern Seas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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