The Hanging Stone

But the change of heart in the Bag-jagderags was really sincere. The Doctor had made a great impression on them—a deeper one than even he himself realized at the time. In fact I sometimes think that that speech of his from the palace-steps had more effect upon the Indians of Spidermonkey Island than had any of his great deeds which, great though they were, were always magnified and exaggerated when the news of them was passed from mouth to mouth.

A sick girl was brought to him as he reached the place where the boats lay. She turned out to have some quite simple ailment which he quickly gave the remedy for. But this increased his popularity still more. And when he stepped into his canoe, the people all around us actually burst into tears. It seems (I learned this afterwards) that they thought he was going away across the sea, for good, to the mysterious foreign lands from which he had come.

Some of the chieftains spoke to the Popsipetels as we pushed off. What they said I did not understand; but we noticed that several canoes filled with Bag-jagderags followed us at a respectful distance all the way back to Popsipetel.

The Doctor had determined to return by the other shore, so that we should be thus able to make a complete trip round the island’s shores.

Shortly after we started, while still off the lower end of the island, we sighted a steep point on the coast where the sea was in a great state of turmoil, white with soapy froth. On going nearer, we found that this was caused by our friendly whales who were still faithfully working away with their noses against the end of the island, driving us northward.