I took no chances, but began at once to shout, as soon as I saw the men had noticed his
coming. It was impossible for me to tell whether or not Dr. Schermerhorn heard me. If he
did, he misunderstood my intention, for he continued painfully to advance. The only
result I gained was to get myself well gagged with my own pocket handkerchief, and
thrown in a hollow between the dunes. Thence I could hear Handy Solomon speaking
fiercely and rapidly.
"Now you let me run this," he commanded; "we got to find out somethin'. It ain't no good
to us without we knows--and we want to find out how he's got the rest hid."
"I'm goin' out to help him carry her in," announced the seaman.
A long pause ensued, in which I watched the deep canopy of red-black thicken overhead.
A strange and unearthly light had fallen on the world, and the air was quite still. After a
while I heard Handy Solomon and Dr. Schermerhorn join the group.
"There you are, Perfessor," cried Handy Solomon, in tones of the greatest heartiness, "I'll
put her right there, and she'll be as safe as a babby at home. She's heavy, though."
Dr. Schermerhorn laughed a pleased and excited laugh. I could tell by the tone of his
voice that he was strung high, and guessed that his triumph needed an audience.
"You may say so well!" he said. "It iss heafy; and it iss heafy with the world-desire, the
great substance than can do efferything. Where iss Percy?"
"He's gone aboard."
"We must embark. The time is joost right. A day sooner and the egsperiment would haf
been spoilt; but now"--he laughed--"let the island sink, we do not care. We must embark
"It'll take a man long time to carry down all your things, Perfessor."
"Oh, led them go! The eruption has alretty swallowed them oop. The lava iss by now a
foot deep in the valley. Before long it flows here, so we must embark."
"But you've lost all them vallyable things, Perfessor," said Handy Solomon. "Now, I call
that hard luck."
Dr. Schermerhorn snapped his fingers.