We all agreed afterwards that none of us had ever worked so hard in our lives before as we did that day. For my part, I know I was often on the point of dropping exhausted with fatigue; but I just kept on going—like a machine—determined that, whatever happened, I would not be the first to give up.
When we had scrambled to the top of a high peak, almost instantly we saw the strange mountain pictured in the letter. In shape it was the perfect image of a hawk’s head, and was, as far as we could see, the second highest summit in the island.
Although we were all out of breath from our climb, the Doctor didn’t let us rest a second as soon as he had sighted it. With one look at the sun for direction, down he dashed again, breaking through thickets, splashing over brooks, taking all the short cuts. For a fat man, he was certainly the swiftest cross-country runner I ever saw.
We floundered after him as fast as we could. When I say we, I mean Bumpo and myself; for the animals, Jip, Chee-Chee and Polynesia, were a long way ahead—even beyond the Doctor—enjoying the hunt like a paper-chase.
At length we arrived at the foot of the mountain we were making for; and we found its sides very steep. Said the Doctor,
“Now we will separate and search for caves. This spot where we now are, will be our meeting-place. If anyone finds anything like a cave or a hole where the earth and rocks have fallen in, he must shout and hulloa to the rest of us. If we find nothing we will all gather here in about an hour’s time—Everybody understand?”
Then we all went off our different ways.