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The Mysterious Island

Chapter 7
The settlers in Lincoln Island had now regained their dwelling, without having
been obliged to reach it by the old opening, and were therefore spared the
trouble of mason's work. It was certainly lucky, that at the moment they were
about to set out to do so, the apes had been seized with that terror, no less
sudden than inexplicable, which had driven them out of Granite House. Had the
animals discovered that they were about to be attacked from another direction?
This was the only explanation of their sudden retreat.
During the day the bodies of the apes were carried into the wood, where they
were buried; then the settlers busied themselves in repairing the disorder caused
by the intruders, disorder but not damage, for although they had turned
everything in the rooms topsy-turvy, yet they had broken nothing. Neb relighted
his stove, and the stores in the larder furnished a substantial repast, to which all
did ample justice.
Jup was not forgotten, and he ate with relish some stonepine almonds and
rhizome roots, with which he was abundantly supplied. Pencroft had unfastened
his arms, but judged it best to have his legs tied until they were more sure of his
submission.
Then, before retiring to rest, Harding and his companions seated round their
table, discussed those plans, the execution of which was most pressing. The
most important and most urgent was the establishment of a bridge over the
Mercy, so as to form a communication with the southern part of the island and
Granite House; then the making of an enclosure for the musmons or other woolly
animals which they wished to capture.
These two projects would help to solve the difficulty as to their clothing, which
was now serious. The bridge would render easy the transport of the balloon
case, which would furnish them with linen, and the inhabitants of the enclosure
would yield wool which would supply them with winter clothes.
As to the enclosure, it was Cyrus Harding's intention to establish it at the sources
of the Red Creek, where the ruminants would find fresh and abundant pasture.
The road between Prospect Heights and the sources of the stream was already
partly beaten, and with a better cart than the first, the material could be easily
conveyed to the spot, especially if they could manage to capture some animals to
draw it.
But though there might be no inconvenience in the enclosure being so far from
Granite House, it would not be the same with the poultry-yard, to which Neb
called the attention of the colonists. It was indeed necessary that the birds should
 
 
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