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Chapter 21 Chapter 21 Two Days on Land

I put my foot on the ground and felt an indescribable impression. Ned Land tried to kick the ground with his foot, as if to take possession of it.In fact, we were "passengers of the Nautilus"—according to Captain Nemo, actually captives of the captain of the Nautilus—for only two months. In a few minutes we were within gunshot distance of the shore.The land was formed almost entirely of reef-building coral deposits, but some of the beds of the dried-up rapids, interspersed with remnants of granite, testify to the primordial primordial formation of the island.The whole skyline is hidden by admirable curtains of forests.Many tall trees--some with trunks as high as two hundred feet--connected to each other by kudzu vines, looked like natural hammocks swaying in the breeze.This is acacia tree, fig tree, firebird tree, chestnut tree, hibiscus, pandan tree, and palm tree, all of which are luxuriantly mixed together.Under the green holes of these trees.At the foot of their toothed trunks, there are many orchids, legumes, and ferns.

The Canadian, however, does not pay attention to the beautiful varieties of Papuan native plants, he puts aside the beautiful in favor of the practical and useful.He saw a coconut tree, fell several from it, and split it, and we drank the juice and ate the flesh with satisfaction, which illustrates our love for the home-cooked meals on board the Nautilus. dissatisfied. "Delicious!" said Ned Land. "Delicious!" replied Conseil. "I suppose," said the Canadian, "that your Nemo will not object to our taking these fruits back to the ship?" "I don't think he'd object," I replied, "but he won't eat it."

"It's his fault!" Conseil said. "We could have eaten more!" Ned Land replied, "because there would be more left over." "I'll tell you something, Master Ned Land," I said to the harpooner, who was about to hit another coconut tree, "coconuts are delicious, but don't fill up the boat right away. Instead of coconuts, it would be wise to see if there are other things that are grown on the island, something delicious and useful. Fresh vegetables, for example, will be very welcome in the galley of the Nautilus." "Sir is right," Conseil replied, "I proposed to divide our boat into three parts, one for fruit, one for vegetables, and one for game. But until now, we haven't even seen any game."

"Conseil, you should not be disappointed in anything," replied the Canadian. "Let us go on, then," said I, "but keep your eyes open and look about. Though the island does not appear to be inhabited, it is probable that there are some strangers who may have a different idea of ​​the nature of pigs than we do! muscle "Hee: hee! Ned Land made a strange noise, moving his upper and lower jaws, making a meaningful expression. "Ned Land, what's the matter with you—" Conseil shouted. "Honestly," replied the Canadian, "I'm beginning to understand the allure of human flesh!"

"Ned! Ned! What are you talking about?" Conseil asked. "You, a man-eating animal! Then I live in the same cabin with you, and my life is not safe by your side! Do I Wake up one day with half of your body bitten off?" "My friend Conseil, I like you very much, but I won't eat you unless it's critical." "I can't believe it—" Conseil replied, "go hunting! I must catch some game to satisfy the appetite of this man-eating man, otherwise, one morning, the only thing that Monsieur will see is his servant." Pieces of meat came to serve him."

While we joked with each other and exchanged ideas, we went under the gloomy vaults of the forest, and in the space of two hours we covered all directions. Chance and chance, which granted our wishes, led us to find many edible plants, one of the most useful products of the tropics, which became a valuable food which we did not have on board.I speak of the bread-tree, of which there are many on the island of Gueboro, and I am particularly concerned about the one without kernels, which is called "lima" in Malayan. What distinguished this tree from the others was that it had a straight trunk, and was forty feet high.The top of the tree is very beautiful, ring-shaped, composed of broad leaves with many ear beads, which, in the opinion of a biologist, fully shows that it is a "breadfruit tree", which has fortunately been found in the Mascarene Islands. The transplant was successful.In the clusters of green clumps, hang down a thick spherical fruit, about one decimeter in size, with an uneven appearance, like a hexagon.This is a useful plant gifted by nature to non-wheat-producing areas. It does not need to be cultivated, and it produces bread for eight months of the year to supply people.

Ned Land was familiar with these breadfruits.He had eaten it on many trips before, and he knew how to prepare this edible thing well.So seeing these fruits immediately aroused his appetite, and he couldn't bear it anymore. "Sir," he said to me, "if I don't try the breadcrumb noodles, I'm going to die of anxiety!" "Try it, my friend Ned Land, and try it all you want. We're here to gain experience, so let's try it." "That won't take much time," replied the Canadian. So he took a fire mirror and used the sunlight to set the dry branches on fire, and the fire burned blazingly.At this time, Conseil and I picked the best fruit from the bread tree.Some are not yet ripe enough, with a thick skin covered with white flesh, but rarely fibrous.Most of the others are yellow and sticky, just waiting to be picked.

These fruits do not have kernels.Conseil gave Ned Land a dozen or three, and he cut them into thick slices, put them over a red fire, and as he sliced, always said: "Look, sir, how delicious this bread is!" "Especially since we haven't eaten bread for a long time!" said Conseil. The Canadian added: "It can even be said that this is not an ordinary bread, but a delicious pastry. Sir, have you never eaten it?" "No, Ned." "Then, get ready and try this unique food. If you eat it and don't want it anymore, then I won't be the No. 1 harpooner in Tianzi.

After a few minutes, the part of the fruit facing the red fire has been completely scorched.The white vermicelli was exposed inside, like soft and tender bread crumbs, and it tasted like fennel. It must be admitted that the bread is delicious, and I like it very much. "It's a pity that such a good dough can't keep fresh for long," I said; "I hope I don't need to take it back to the ship for store food." "Really, sir!" cried Ned Land, "you say this as a biologist; but I will act as a baker. Conseil, go and pick these Fruit, we can take it with us when we go back."

"How do you make these fruits?" I asked the Canadian. "Use the starchy mud of this fruit to make a leavened dough, which can be preserved for a long time without spoilage. When I want to eat it, I bake it in the ship's kitchen. Although it tastes a little sour, you must think it is delicious. " "Master Ned Land, then, with this bread, it seems that we are not short of anything? . . . " "Short things, Professor," replied the Canadian, "short of fruit, or at least some vegetables!" "Let's go find fruit and vegetables."

When we have finished picking the breadfruit, we go for it, to round out our "above ground" lunch. Our search was not in vain, and by about noon we had plenty of bananas.This kind of delicious product in tropical places is available all year round. The Malayans call them "bisang", which means that they are eaten raw and do not need to be cooked.Along with the bananas, we get huge pungent jacques, sweet mangoes and unbelievably large pineapples.It took us a lot of time to pick fruit this time, but the result was very good, and there is nothing to regret. Conseil always followed Ned Land.The harpooner went ahead, and as he went through the woods he was skilful, and always picked good fruit to enrich the store of food. Conseil asked: "Good friend Ned Land, are we not short any more?" "Hmm!" said the Canadian impatiently. "What! Are you still not satisfied?" "All these plants don't make a proper meal," Ned Land replied. "That's the last dish of the meal, that's the dessert. But where's the soup? Where's the meat?" "Yeah," I said, "the ribs that Ned promised me look pretty questionable." "Sir," replied the Canadian, "the hunt is not over, it hasn't begun yet. Be patient! We're sure to come across some feathered animals, and if there isn't one here, there must be another..." "If it doesn't happen today, it will certainly happen tomorrow," Conseil added, "because we shouldn't go too far. I'm going to propose going back to the boat." "What! It's time to go back!" Ned Land shouted. "We must go back before night comes," I said. "So what time is it?" the Canadian asked. "It was at least two o'clock in the afternoon," replied Conseil. "How time flies on earth!" said Master Ned Land with a sigh of regret. "Let's go," replied Conseil. We came back from the forest, and we got new food, because we temporarily picked the palm fruit, which must be picked on the top of the tree. I recognized the Malayan called "Abulu". Adzuki beans, and top-quality taro. When we got to the dinghy, we brought back so much stuff.But Ned Land felt that his food was not enough.Luckily for him, he got something again.As we got into the boat he saw several trees, of the palm tree type, twenty-five to thirty feet high.These trees are as useful and as valuable as the bread-tree, and are one of the most useful products of the Malaya region.This is a sago tree, a plant that grows without planting. Like a mulberry tree, it reproduces and grows naturally without manual labor due to its own twigs and seeds. Ned Land knew what to do with these trees.He took out his axe, swung it, and soon fell to the ground two or three sago trees, which were quite mature, judging by the white dust that sprinkled on their leaves. I watched him chop trees more with the eyes of a biologist than with a hungry man.He stripped each trunk of an inch-thick layer of skin, beneath which lay a long web of tangled knots, to which fine powder like a gelatinous film adhered.This powder is sago, which is the main food for the residents of Melanesia. Ned Land was just chopping the trunk into pieces at the moment, like he chops the firewood for burning, in preparation for extracting the flour from the trunk, passing the flour through a thin cloth to separate it from the fibers, and letting it dry in the sun. , let the moisture dry, then put it in the mold and let it solidify. At five o'clock in the afternoon we loaded up our wealth and left the shores of the island, and half an hour later our skiff was alongside the Nautilus again.When we got to the boat, no one came out.The conical cylinder of this huge steel plate seems to be abandoned by no one.After we got the food up, I went down to my room.I saw that supper was already set in the room.I ate and went to sleep. The next day, January 6, there was little news from the ship.There was no sound, no life inside.The boat is still beside the Nautilus, where we left it yesterday.We decided to go to Gueboro Island again.Ned.Lan hoped that in terms of hunting, he would have better luck today than yesterday, and he wanted to see another part of the woods. When the sun came up, we were already on the boat.The small boat arrived on the island in a short while due to the push of the waves hitting the shore of the island. We got out of the boat and onto land, and I wanted the Canadians to lead the way by instinct or better, so we followed Ned Land, whose long legs moved so fast that he often left us far behind. behind. Ned Land walked west along the coast for a while, wading through some rapids, and came to a high plain fringed with admirable woods.Some crows fly around the water, but they don't let people approach them, and they fly away when they see people coming.From their vigilance, I realized that these birds knew how to deal with us bipeds, and I concluded that, if the island was not inhabited, at least strangers often visited it. After passing through a fairly vast grassland, we came to the edge of a small forest, where many birds were flying and singing, which seemed full of life. "It's just birds," said Conseil. "But there's something to eat in it, too!" replied the harpooner. "No, good friend Ned," replied Conseil, "because I saw only some parrots there." "My friend Conseil," Ned Land answered gravely, "a parrot is a pheasant to a man who has nothing else to eat." "Besides," I said, "this bird is well cooked and well worth the knife and fork." " It is thus that, under the thick foliage of the woods, there is a great colony of parrots flying from branch to branch, which, if they are carefully taught, can speak the language of man.For the moment they are just chattering away with all the female parrots of every color: there are the stern, multicolored parrots, who seem to be pondering some philosophical question; The parrot and goose room is like a piece of red yarn floating with the phoenix; there are Papuan cherry geese dyed the most beautiful sky blue, and all kinds of beautiful and lovely birds, but generally speaking, they are all inedible . But a bird peculiar to this country, which never crosses the frontier of the Alu and Papuan islands, I do not now see in this flock.Fate has kept the bird for now, but it won't be long before I can appreciate it. After passing through a not very dense jungle, we came to a plain with many bushes piled up.I saw many gorgeous birds flying in the air. Their long feathers made them have to go against the wind to fly.Their undulating flight, their graceful curves in the air, their brilliant colors attract and bewilder the eye.I had no trouble recognizing them coming. "The Peerless Bird, the Peerless Bird!" I shouted. "Princeles, suborder Rectus," replied Conseil. "" Cranes and swans? ' asked Ned Land. "I don't think so, Master Ned Land. But I'll get you one of the loveliest things that the tropics produce!" "I'll try, Professor, though I'm used to the harpoon, and the gun is worse." The bird is an important trade of the Malayans to the Chinese; the Malayans catch the bird in various ways, none of which we can use.They either put the nets on top of the tall trees where the unparalleled birds like to live, or use strong sparrow glue to make them stick and immobilize.They even put poison in the springs that the birds used to drink.As for us now, the only way is to shoot them while they are flying.We rarely have the chance to hit them.Sure enough, we did waste some ammunition. By about eleven o'clock we had passed the first mountain range which forms the center of the island, but still nothing.Belly rumbling, hunger tormenting us.Hunters believe that their hunting must be fruitful, but they are wrong, and they will not get any prey.Luckily, Conseil fired twice and got the prey for lunch quite by accident.He brought down a white dove and a mountain dove.They were hastily plucked, hung from spits, and roasted over a blazing fire of dry wood.While roasting these interesting animals, Ned Land prepared the breadfruit.After a while, the white pigeons and mountain doves were all eaten up, and everyone said they were delicious.Nutmeg is the habit of these birds in great abundance, so that their meat is spiced and makes a green and tasty dish. "It tastes like a hen that's grown on mushrooms," Conseil said. "Ned, are we short of something now?" I asked the Canadian. "Not yet a four-legged game, Mr. Aronnax," replied Ned Land. "All these pigeons, doves are nothing more than snacks and snacks. So as long as I haven't killed an animal with rib meat , I can never be satisfied." "Ned, I can't be satisfied if I don't catch a Peerless Bird." "Then let's go on hunting," Conseil replied, "but on the sea side. We have reached the first slope of the mountain, and I think it would be better to go back to the forest. Conseil was very sensible, and we followed his advice.After walking for an hour, we came to a forest that was actually a sago tree.Some harmless snakes escaped beneath our feet.The Peerless Bird flew away when it saw us approaching.When I was very disappointed and couldn't catch them, Conseil, who was walking in front of me, suddenly bent down, shouted triumphantly, and approached me with a very beautiful unparalleled bird. "Good! You have succeeded! Conseil." I shouted. "Sir, I don't dare to do it. You are over-rewarding." Conseil replied. "No, my boy, you've done a marvelous thing. It's a marvelous thing to get a white and peerless bird, and to hold it in your hand!" "If you examine it carefully, sir, you will see that I have not really contributed much." "Conseil, why?" "Because the bird is as drunk as a quail." "Are you drunk?" "Yes, sir. I caught him under the tree when he got drunk from eating beans. My friend Ned, please see the terrible results of this gluttony and over-willedness." !" "Nonsense!" replied the Canadian. "I've only had a few jennies for the past two months, so you don't have to reproach me!" I then examined the strange bird.Conseil was not mistaken.Wushuangwu was intoxicated by the bean sprouts juice, which made it limp and weak.It cannot fly and has difficulty walking.But I don't have to worry about it, just let it sleep its drunken sleep. This peerless bird belongs to the most beautiful of the eight species of peerless birds native to Papua and the neighboring islands.This is the "big emerald" unparalleled bird, the rarest kind.It was three decimeters long, with a relatively small head and small eyes just near the mouth.Its mouth is yellow, its claws and nails are brown, its wings are the color of purple with scarlet tips, its head and back of its neck are pale yellow, its throat is emerald, its belly and breast are chestnut, so it looks It looks like a very gorgeous combination of various colors.Moreover, two horn-shaped fluffy green balls protrude from the tail, connected with very fine and light slender feathers, like long dragging ribbons, so all these completely beautify the whole image of this strange bird, so The local people poetically called it "the bird of the sun". I really hope that I can take this beautiful unparalleled bird back to Paris and give it to the Botanical Garden, because there is not a living unparalleled bird in the garden. "Is this bird really rare?" asked the Canadian, in a tone that did not estimate prey from an artistic point of view. "Very rare, my honest companion, especially the ones that are very rare to catch alive. Even if they are dead, these birds are still an important trade object. So the Venerable Master tried to make fake ones, just like pearls and diamonds." "What!" cried Conseil, "is someone making a fake Peerless Bird?" "Yes, Conseil." "So, sir, do you know how the natives are made?" "I know. When the season phoenix rises in the east, the unparalleled bird sheds the beautiful feathers around its tail. Biologists call these feathers aileron feathers. People who fake birds tidy up these feathers up, and mounted them very skillfully on poor pre-killed and plucked parrots. Then they glued the places where the furs joined, and whitewashed the birds, and they sent these novelty creations to all parts of Europe. Museum and bird lover. "Well," said Ned Land, "although it's not the body of the bird, it's always the feathers of the bird, and I don't think there's any harm if the bird isn't used for food!" " Although my desire has been satisfied by catching this unparalleled bird, Canada: The desire of the big hunter has not been satisfied.By luck, around two o'clock, Ned Land shot down a fat forest boar, a breed of pig the natives call a "Baliodon."The pig came just in time for our quest for real four-legged meat, so it was popular and kept.Ned Land expressed his pride in the accuracy of his shooting.The wild boar was hit by an electric bomb and fell to the ground dead. The Canadian cut six or seven loins from the pig to be roasted in the evening, and he skinned and disemboweled and eviscerated it.Then came the hunt again, this time again showing the achievements of Ned Land and Conseil.Sure enough, when the pair of friends were searching the bushes, they drove out a large group of kangaroos. They stretched out their elastic legs and jumped away.Although these animals jumped and walked fast, they hadn't escaped far, and the electric bullets had already caught up with them. "Ah! Professor," exclaimed Ned Land, his enthusiasm for the hunt growing wild, "what a delicious game, especially boiled! What a rare treat on board the Nautilus! Two !Three!Five on the ground! I think when we're going to eat all this meat, the stupid things on the boat won't taste a crumb of meat, I'm so glad" I think the Canadian, in his overjoy, might have slaughtered the whole herd of kangaroos if he hadn't said so much!He only hit a dozen or so before stopping. "These kangaroos are the first order of celiac mammals," Conseil said.These kangaroos are short, a type of rabbit kangaroo that usually live in tree holes and run very fast.Although they are small in stature, their meat is delicious and considered a treasure. We are very pleased with the results of our hunt.Joyful Ned Land proposed to come to this charming island again tomorrow, and he would kill every quadruped that could be eaten, and not a single one would be left.But he planned this way, and he didn't think of the unexpected event that was coming. " At six in the afternoon, we returned to the beach.Our dinghy is still where it was.The Nautilus was like a long reef: emerging from the surface two nautical miles offshore. Ned Land did not delay at all, and immediately prepared the important matter of dinner. The loin meat of the "Balio Don" wild boar is roasted over a red fire, and soon it emits a very fragrant smell, and the air is full of fragrance! ... I feel like I'm on the same page as the Canadians.Facing these fresh barbecues, I am also very happy!Forgive me, everybody, for exactly the same reason as I have forgiven Master Ned Land! The dinner was really delicious.With the addition of two mountain doves, the menu of this special restaurant is richer and more perfect.Sago noodles, breadfruit, some mangoes, half a dozen pineapples, and a drink made from coconut fruit, we had a great time.I also think that my faithful companions have lost even the necessary clarity of mind. "Shall we not go back to the Nautilus tonight?" Conseil said. "Shall we never go back?" Ned Land said.Just at this moment a stone fell at our feet, interrupting at once the harpooner's proposal.
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