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|The Scarecrow of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
Daylight at Last
|Page 3 of 3||
"I hope it ain't an island, Trot," said Cap'n Bill gravely.
"If it is, I s'pose we're prisoners," she replied.
"Ezzackly so, Trot."
"But, 'even so, it's better than those terr'ble underground tunnels and caverns," declared the girl.
"You are right, little one," agreed the Ork. "Anything above ground is better than the best that lies under ground. So let's not quarrel with our fate but be thankful we've escaped."
"We are, indeed!" she replied. "But I wonder if we can find something to eat in this place?"
"Let's explore an' find out," proposed Cap'n Bill. "Those trees over at the left look like cherry-trees."
On the way to them the explorers had to walk through a tangle of vines and Cap'n Bill, who went first, stumbled and pitched forward on his face.
"Why, it's a melon!" cried Trot delightedly, as she saw what had caused the sailor to fall.
Cap'n Bill rose to his foot, for he was not at all hurt, and examined the melon. Then he took his big jackknife from his pocket and cut the melon open. It was quite ripe and looked delicious; but the old man tasted it before he permitted Trot to eat any. Deciding it was good he gave her a big slice and then offered the Ork some. The creature looked at the fruit somewhat disdainfully, at first, but once he had tasted its flavor he ate of it as heartily as did the others. Among the vines they discovered many other melons, and Trot said gratefully: "Well, there's no danger of our starving, even if this is an island."
"Melons," remarked Cap'n Bill, "are both food an' water. We couldn't have struck anything better."
Farther on they came to the cherry trees, where they obtained some of the fruit, and at the edge of the little forest were wild plums. The forest itself consisted entirely of nut trees -- walnuts, filberts, almonds and chestnuts -- so there would be plenty of wholesome food for them while they remained there.
Cap'n Bill and Trot decided to walk through the forest, to discover what was on the other side of it, but the Ork's feet were still so sore and "lumpy" from walking on the rocks that the creature said he preferred to fly over the tree-tops and meet them on the other side. The forest was not large, so by walking briskly for fifteen minutes they reached its farthest edge and saw before them the shore of the ocean.
"It's an island, all right," said Trot, with a sigh.
"Yes, and a pretty island, too," said Cap'n Bill, trying to conceal his disappointment on Trot's account. "I guess, partner, if the wuss comes to the wuss, I could build a raft -- or even a boat -- from those trees, so's we could sail away in it."
The little girl brightened at this suggestion. "I don't see the Ork anywhere," she remarked, looking around. Then her eyes lighted upon something and she exclaimed: "Oh, Cap'n Bill! Isn't that a house, over there to the left?"
Cap'n Bill, looking closely, saw a shed-like structure built at one edge of the forest.
"Seems like it, Trot. Not that I'd call it much of a house, but it's a buildin', all right. Let's go over an' see if it's occypied."
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|The Scarecrow of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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