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The raft drew beyond the mid­dle of the river; the boys pointed her head right, and then lay on their oars.

The river was not high, so there was not more than a two or three mile cur­rent. Hardly a word was
said dur­ing the next three-quarters of an hour. Now the raft was pass­ing before the dis­tant town. Two or three glim­mer­ing lights showed where it lay, peace­fully sleep­ing, beyond the vague vast sweep of star-gemmed water, uncon­scious of the tremen­dous event that was happening.

  • The Black Avenger stood still with folded arms, “look­ing his last” upon
  • the scene of his for­mer joys and his later suf­fer­ings, and wishing
  • she” could see him now, abroad on the wild sea, fac­ing peril and death with daunt­less heart, going to his doom with a grim smile on his lips. It was but a small strain on his imag­i­na­tion to remove Jackson´s Island
  • beyond eye­shot of the vil­lage, and so he “looked his last” with a
  • bro­ken and sat­is­fied heart. The other pirates were look­ing their last,
  • too; and they all looked so long that they came near let­ting the

cur­rent drift them out of the range of the island. But they dis­cov­ered the dan­ger in time, and made shift to avert it. About two o´clock in the morn­ing the raft grounded on the bar two hun­dred yards above the head of the island, and they waded back and forth until they had landed their freight.

Part of the lit­tle raft´s belong­ings con­sisted of an old sail, and this they spread over a nook in the bushes for a tent to shel­ter their pro­vi­sions; but they them­selves would sleep in the open air in good weather, as became outlaws.

  1. They built a fire against the side of a great log twenty or thirty
  2. steps within the som­bre depths of the for­est, and then cooked some
  3. bacon in the frying-pan for sup­per, and used up half of the corn “pone”
  4. stock they had brought. It seemed glo­ri­ous sport to be feast­ing in that
  5. wild, free way in the vir­gin for­est of an unex­plored and uninhabited
  6. island, far from the haunts of men, and they said they never would
  7. return to civ­i­liza­tion. The climb­ing fire lit up their faces and threw
  8. its ruddy glare upon the pil­lared tree-trunks of their for­est temple,
  9. and upon the var­nished foliage and fes­toon­ing vines.

When the last crisp slice of bacon was gone, and the last allowance of corn pone devoured, the boys stretched them­selves out on the grass, filled with con­tent­ment. They could have found a cooler place, but they would not deny them­selves such a roman­tic fea­ture as the roast­ing camp-fire.