The Mysterious Island
The weather changed during the first week of March. There had been a full moon
at the commencement of the month, and the heat was excessive. The
atmosphere was felt to be full of electricity, and a period of some length of
tempestuous weather was to be feared.
Indeed, on the 2nd, peals of thunder were heard, the wind blew from the east,
and hail rattled against the facade of Granite House like volleys of grape-shot.
The door and windows were immediately closed, or everything in the rooms
would have been drenched. On seeing these hailstones, some of which were the
size of a pigeon's egg, Pencroft's first thought was that his cornfield was in
He directly rushed to his field, where little green heads were already appearing,
and by means of a great cloth, he managed to protect his crop.
This bad weather lasted a week, during which time the thunder rolled without
cessation in the depths of the sky.
The colonists, not having any pressing work out of doors, profited by the bad
weather to work at the interior of Granite House, the arrangement of which was
becoming more complete from day to day. The engineer made a turning-lathe,
with which he turned several articles both for the toilet and the kitchen,
particularly buttons, the want of which was greatly felt. A gunrack had been made
for the firearms, which were kept with extreme care, and neither tables nor
cupboards were left incomplete. They sawed, they planed, they filed, they turned;
and during the whole of this bad season, nothing was heard but the grinding of
tools or the humming of the turning-lathe which responded to the growling of the
Master Jup had not been forgotten, and he occupied a room at the back, near the
storeroom, a sort of cabin with a cot always full of good litter, which perfectly
suited his taste.
"With good old Jup there is never any quarreling," often repeated Pencroft,
"never any improper reply. What a servant, Neb, what a servant!"
Of course Jup was now well used to service. He brushed their clothes, he turned
the spit, he waited at table, he swept the rooms, he gathered wood, and he
performed another admirable piece of service which delighted Pencroft--he never
went to sleep without first coming to tuck up the worthy sailor in his bed.