This was certainly an improvement over the old, out-of-date method of desert island exploration. Such patent, adjustable islands would bring the joys of adventurous pioneering “within the reach of all” as advertisement writers are so fond of declaring, just as the phonograph, has brought music into every home.
“That’s funny,” said Pee-wee, pausing in amazement. “That wasn’t here yesterday, because I was down here yesterday. Anyway as long as no one’s here I’m going to be the one to go and discover it. Findings is keepings; it’s just the same with islands as it is with everything else.”
To increase his astonishment and cause his brimming cup of joy to overflow a tree stood upon the little speck of green land laden with white blossoms, which wafted a faint but fragrant promise to the enchanted scout upon the distant shore.
“That’s an apple tree,” said Pee-wee, his mouth watering. “I’m going over there to discover it and then it’s mine, the whole island’s mine because findings is keepings, that’s international law.”
No doubt he felt that the League of Nations would stand in back of him in the matter of this epoch-making discovery.
PEE-WEE EXPLORES THE ISLAND
There was no doubt at all of the reality of this extraordinary apparition. Pee-wee, who was always sure of everything, was doubly sure of this. Squint and rub his eyes as he would, there was the desert island in the middle of the river with the tree surmounting it. By all the precedents in history this island was his. He had as much right to it as the king of Spain had to San Salvador, more in fact, for the king of Spain had never seen the island of San Salvador.
If there was any good in history at all (and Pee-wee had his doubts about that) why then this mysterious island belonged to him. Miss Bunting, if she had any sense of fairness at all, would concede this. If the good old rule of findings is keepings applied to monarchs it certainly applied to Boy Scouts. So Pee-wee prepared to set sail and formally take possession of his discovery. He would sail around it as Columbus had sailed around the coast of Cuba. . . .
Entering the troops’ deserted old car he got the oars of the old flat bottom boat belonging to the troop. He also procured a black marking stick used for marking scout signs on rocks, and a pasteboard target on the back of which he printed in ostentatious lettering.
This desert island is
by Walter Harris and all PRETAINING
to it including apples and
everything and other kinds of
food and wild animals if there
are any also PRESIOUS mettles