"What you must do," said old Sea Catch, after he had heard his son's adventures, "is to grow up and be a big seal like your father, and have a nursery on the beach, and then they will leave you alone.
That autumn he left the beach as soon as he could, and set off alone because of a notion in his bullet-head.
But I was sure that the first thing he did was to make the circuit of the beach to learn if landings had been made by other boats.
He returned to the beach and clambered about, over the rocky backbone, again hunting for me with lighted matches, The closeness of the shave impelled me to further flight.
There were no beaches
on the southern shore, and by early afternoon we rounded the black promontory and completed the circumnavigation of the island.
A shallow sandbank had appeared in the sea and the water had receded from the beach
. I fancied I saw some black object flopping about upon this bank, but it became motionless as I looked at it, and I judged that my eye had been deceived, and that the black object was merely a rock.
A forest of pale, scrubby ferns ran down almost to the beach
. Here I dragged up the dugout, hiding it well within the vegetation, and with some loose rocks built a cairn upon the beach
to mark my cache.
Presently I stood upon the beach
looking out over the wide and lonely sea across whose forbidding bosom no human being had yet ventured, to discover what strange and mysterious lands lay beyond, or what its invisible islands held of riches, wonders, or adventure.
They turned their backs on the beach
and in the tiny main street bought meat, vegetables, and half a dozen eggs.
'even if we get him down to the beach
? Better let him stay till tomorrow, and I will bring him round to Nukuheva in the boats.'
A big sea had sprung up, and the mile-long breakers, curling up to the over-fall two hundred yards from shore, were crashing on the beach
. The Jessie was plunging madly to two anchors, and every second or third sea broke clear over her bow.
Both men had arisen now and were walking across the beach
toward a small, native canoe in which Muda Saffir had come to the meeting place.