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monly bear this point in mind. The amusingly pettish criticisms of foreign hotels and customs which do not happen to tally with their ideas of the fitness of things, recorded by some of them, mark them for greenhorns and unreasonable beings.

It was the morning of Easter Sunday when we steamed out of Sona River, and we expected before nightfall to be landed on Coiba, or rather Rancheria, a neighboring island. The agent of the steamship company had once been interested in pearl fisheries which had their headquarters on Rancheria. The enterprise had been abandoned some years before, but he assured us that we would find a village and some good huts on the island. The latter belonged to the company and the agent urged us to occupy them. This proved to be another of his wild flights of fancy. However, we had not entirely lost faith in him at that time and determined to follow his advice. The easternmost point of the island, Punta Marguerita, was the place from which it had been arranged that we should signal passing steamers when we were ready to be taken off, and it seemed to be wise to reconnoitre this island first, and afterwards get some of the natives to row us over to Coiba,


which is only about five miles distant from it.

It was about five o'clock in the evening when the “ David ” came to anchor, entirely out of its course and in the midst of a number of nasty rocks, about two miles from Rancheria. Beppo and one of the crew rowed Brown and myself and our belongings to the island. We landed on a patch of sandy beach, about two acres in extent. On the edge of this were two deserted huts, which the jungle would shortly take into its embrace. The little open space was entirely enclosed by heavy growth, quite impenetrable, except with the aid of the machete. Back in this wilderness somewhere the village that had stood in the open a few years before was now buried beyond sight.

Our first thought was to congratulate ourselves that we had not arrived after dark. In that case, trusting to the agent's report of conditions, we should probably have left the boat and sent it back to the ship without investigation. Our one chance for continued life would then have lain in the somewhat unlikely chance of attracting the attention of the people on Coiba. We would have been shut in on our little sand patch without water. The undergrowth came down thickly to the sea at every other part of the shore within view. We might have risked the danger of becoming meat for sharks by attempting to wade round to the point from which our signal was to have been given, but it is doubtful whether our state would have been bettered by success.

However, we did not waste much time in conjectures, but started, after a short delay, to row across to Coiba. On the way Beppo told us stories of pearl fishers' fights with sharks and drew our attention to the great shells of the pearl oyster, many of them larger than dinner plates, lying thickly at the bottom of the

It was difficult to believe that we were looking down over thirty feet, so clear and still was the water. A little uneasiness was occasioned in our minds by a school of young whales, through which we had to pass on our way. There was no fear of their intentionally harming us, but if one of them should happen to come up under the boat and give it a playful whisk with his tail we knew that the conse quences would be tragic.

Suddenly we rounded a projecting rock and shot into a little cove. On a narrow beach running back to the monte were six or eight na






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