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Here, on the other side of the island, the view was utterly different. The filmyenchantments of mirage could not endure the cold ocean water and the horizon was hard,clipped blue. Ralph wandered down to the rocks. Down here, almost on a level with the sea,you could follow with your eye the ceaseless, bulging passage of the deep sea waves. They weremiles wide, apparently not breakers or the banked ridges of shallow water. They traveled thelength of the island with an air of disregarding it and being set on other business; they wereless a progress than a momentous rise and fall of the whole ocean. Now the sea would suckdown, making cascades and waterfalls of retreating water, would sink past the rocks andplaster down the seaweed like shining hair: then, pausing, gather and rise with a roar,irresistibly swelling over point and outcrop, climbing the little cliff, sending at last an arm ofsurf up a gully to end a yard or so from him in fingers of spray.Wave after wave, Ralph followed the rise and fall until something of the remoteness ofthe sea numbed his brain. Then gradually the almost infinite size of this water forced itself onhis attention. This was the divider, the barrier. On the other side of the island, swathed atmidday with mirage, defended by the shield of the quiet lagoon, one might dream of rescue;but here, faced by the brute obtuseness of the ocean, the miles of division, one was clampeddown, one was helpless, one was condemned, one was--Simon was speaking almost in his ear. Ralph found that he had rock painfully grippedin both hands, found his body arched, the muscles of his neck stiff, his mouth strained open."You'll get back to where you came from."Simon nodded as he spoke. He was kneeling on one knee, looking down from a higherrock which he held with both hands; his other leg stretched down to Ralph's level.Ralph was puzzled and searched Simon's face for a clue."It's so big, I mean--"Simon nodded."All the same. You'll get back all right. I think so, anyway."
Some of the strain had gone from Ralph's body. He glanced at the sea and then smiledbitterly at Simon."Got a ship in your pocket?"Simon grinned and shook his head."How do you know, then?"When Simon was still silent Ralph said curtly, "You're batty."Simon shook his head violently till the coarse black hair flew backwards and forwardsacross his face."No, I'm not. I just _think you'll get back all right._"For a moment nothing more was said. And then they suddenly smiled at each other.Roger called from the coverts."Come and see!"The ground was turned over near the pig-run and there were droppings that steamed.Jack bent down to them as though he loved them."Ralph--we need meat even if we are hunting the other thing.""If you mean going the right way, we'll hunt."They set off again, the hunters bunched a little by fear of the mentioned beast, whileJack quested ahead. They went more slowly than Ralph had bargained for; yet in a way he wasglad to loiter, cradling his spear. Jack came up against some emergency of his craft and soonthe procession stopped. Ralph leaned against a tree and at once the daydreams came swarming