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Jerry of the Islands Jack London

Chapter XX

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Harley Kennan uttered a sharp exclamation.

"Of course," he cried. "The Commissioner told me all about it. The Arangi, that the Somo people captured, sailed last from Meringe Plantation. Johnny recognizes the dog as the same breed as the pair Haggin, of Meringe, must possess. But that was a long time ago. He must have been a little puppy. Of course he's a white man's dog."

"And yet you've overlooked the crowning proof of it," Villa Kennan teased. "The dog carries the evidence around with him."

Harley looked Jerry over carefully.

"Indisputable evidence," she insisted.

After another prolonged scrutiny, Kennan shook his head.

"Blamed if I can see anything so indisputable as to leave conjecture out."

"The tail," his wife gurgled. "Surely the natives do not bob the tails of their dogs.--Do they, Johnny? Do black man stop along Malaita chop 'm off tail along dog."

"No chop 'm off," Johnny agreed. "Mister Haggin along Meringe he chop 'm off. My word, he chop 'm that fella tail, you bet."

"Then he's the sole survivor of the Arangi," Villa Kennan concluded. "Don't you agree, Mr. Sherlock Holmes Kennan?"

"I salute you, Mrs. S. Holmes," her husband acknowledged gallantly. "And all that remains is for you to lead me directly to the head of La Perouse himself. The sailing directions record that he left it somewhere in these islands."

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Little did they guess that Jerry had lived on intimate terms with one Bashti, not many miles away along the shore, who, in Somo, at that very moment, sat in his grass house pondering over a head on his withered knees that had once been the head of the great navigator, the history of which had been forgotten by the sons of the chief who had taken it.

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Jerry of the Islands
Jack London

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