Survivor: South Pacific

Meade concurred, and the three turned to gathering loose rocks for use as missiles, which they carried by using their ragged shirts as sacks. Each man broke off the stoutest branch he could find for a club. Properly armed, they set out to search the island. They were back under the scrub by afternoon after looking high and low, their search a futile effort revealing no clues. Stallings had vanished.

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Cannibal or castaway, Stallings’ kidnapper(s) did not return in the following weeks. Ogle searched the entire island several more times, finding no trace of any other inhabitants. Meade found the canoe-borne cannibal theory the most logical explanation, and the three men kept a sharp watch day and night.

Supplies of food and water were dwindling rapidly. Only the barest of sprinkles replenished the rainwater in the tub, strictly rationed to a cupped handful per day for each man. Ogle did all of the hunting, but was unable to spear fish without his beloved harpoon, and reduced to throwing rocks at birds who wisely scattered when he approached. Attempts to make a spear using Ogle’s spear point were fruitless; the dwarf tree limbs were too gnarled to fashion a shaft. Meade tried to augment their food supply by weaving a crude fishing net from the several hundred feet of rope they had found floating in the flotsam. Unfortunately, most of the tiny fish managed to slip through its coarse meshes.

Peasbury contracted dysentery, and weakened dramatically over a couple of days. He begged incessantly for fresh water to replace the fluids he was losing through his bowels. Meade was sympathetic, but pragmatically so. He steeled himself against Peasbury’s cries, only once allowing him an extra handful of water.

It was déjà vu. Meade awakened one morning to find Peasbury missing, a trail leading from beneath the trees indicating that he’d been dragged away. Ogle had fallen asleep on watch. Enraged, Meade rose on aching limbs and gathered his energy to kick Ogle awake, yet stayed his foot at the last moment when he saw blood congealed in the tangle of Ogle’s hair. Meade felt his scalp, and found a bleeding knot the size of a goose egg. Ogle awakened with a start, groaning in pain from the blow he’d taken.

“They’ve struck again,” Meade said, pointing to where Peasbury had lain.





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