Now there on that island we remained for four long months. For food we ate the turtles, which we cooked over fires that Kari made by cunningly twirling a pointed piece of driftwood in the hollow of another piece that he filled with the dust of dried grass. Had he lacked that knowledge we must have starved or lived on raw flesh. As it was, we had plenty with this meat and that of birds and their eggs, also of fish that we caught in the pools when the tide was down. From the shells of the turtles, by the help of stones, we built us a kind of hut to keep off the sun and the rain, which in that hot place was sufficient shelter; also, when the stench was out of them, we used other shells in which to catch rainwater that we stored as best we could against seasons of drought. Lastly, with my big bow which was saved with the armour, I shot sea-otters, and from their pelts we made us garments after rubbing the skins with turtle fat and handling them to make them soft.
Thus, then, we lived from moon to moon upon that desert place, till I thought I should go mad with loneliness and despair, for no help came near us. There were the mountains of the mainland far away, but between them and us stretched leagues of sea that we could not swim, nor had we anything of which to make a boat.
“Here we must remain until we die!” at last I cried in my wretchedness.
“Nay,” answered Kari, “our gods are still with us and will save us in their season.”
This, indeed, they did in a strange fashion.
THE DAUGHTER OF THE MOON
For the fourth time since we were cast away on this island the huge full moon shone in a sky of wondrous blue. Kari and I watched it rise between the two snow-clad peaks far away that he had called a gateway to his land, which was so near to us and yet it would seem more distant than Heaven itself. Heaven we might hope to reach upon the wings of spirit when we died, but to that country how could we come?
We watched that great moon climb higher and higher up a ladder of little bar-like clouds, till wearying we let our eyes fall upon the glittering pathway which its light made upon the bosom of the placid sea. Suddenly Kari stared and stared.
“What is it?” I asked idly.
“I thought I saw something yonder far away where Quilla’s footsteps make the waters bright,” he said, speaking in his own language in which now we often talked together.
“Quilla’s?” I exclaimed. “Oh! I forgot: that is the lady moon’s name in your tongue, is it not? Well, come, Quilla, and I will wed and worship you, as ’tis said the ancients did, and never turn to look upon another, be she woman, or goddess, or both. Only come and take me from this accursed isle and in payment I’ll die for you, if need be, when first I’ve taught you how to love as star or woman never loved before.”