|For My Cousins||"Stranded," by Florence Birkholz||
|1915 Westfield High School Yearbook - Page 35
(Marquette Co., Wisconsin)
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Carl Winfield slowly regained consciousness. First a sensation as of floating, but gradually the misty haze drifted away and he began to wonder where he was, for he was gazing upon an entirely different scene. The sun was very bright and the heat intense, and he was lying upon a wide beach, with bits of wreck lying all about him. Immense vultures and other birds of prey, hovered overhead squawking appallingly.
Lying in the hot sun was not pleasant; and rising with difficult he started to walk but his joints were stiff, as if he had just recovered from a severe attack of rheumatism. The ground was covered with sand, like that found along sea shores, but at every step the sand gave way under his feet with a swift sliding motion, making progress difficult. After walking in this manner for some time he came to more solid ground. Becoming tired ere long from physical exertion, he sat down to rest and meditate.
After a few moments of brain racking, Carl remembered that early in the evening, a storm had arisen and the Olympia, the ship on which he was a passenger, springing a leak, the people had put to sea in small boats. Later, with the capsizing of the boats, came unconsciousness. "Ah," thought Carl, "I must have been stunned and the waves drifted me to shore."
The forenoon was passing away and Carl felt famished for want of food, and it would not do to sit there in the scorching sun. With a heart full of anxiety he resumed his exploration. He found trees and bushes laden with many kinds of tropical fruit. When he had eaten his fill he retraced his steps, the tide had returned and he was now standing upon the sea shore. He spent most of the day wandering around, and as there were no signs of human life bein gnear, he decided that he had been cast upon an island.
While wandering about, he discovered footprints of wild animals, and upon following these, found that they led to a stream of clear water. "Now," said Carl to himself, "as there are wild beasts in this region I must have some means of protection."
It was growing dark, and where was he to go for the night? He thought the top of a tree would be a good place to keep him from impending danger. For protection he sharpened a long stick, with hard rough stones, as best he could. Then climbing into the tree, he feel asleep as if the branches had been a bed of down. But he was so weary that only a broken rest came to him. Suddenly awaking in the night he had a strange feeling that danger was near. His muscles grew taut and strained, as he heard something stealthily moving beneath the tree.
As he looked down, he found hisemfl gazing direclty into the glaring orbs of a wild animal. As the animal moved uneasily about under the tree, the faint moonlight revealed a powerful tiger. Carl, feeling a strange sense of exhiliration creeping over him, rejoiced at the chance to demonstrate man's superiority over beast. Cautionsly he moved to the lowest limb of the tree for freer action and also to entice the tiger.
[continued on next page]
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