The Coral Island

The Coral Island  (1857) 
by R. M. Ballantyne

A story about three young British boys who are shipwrecked on a desert island, and fashion their own society and way of life, meeting with missionaries and savages. In the end they are rescued, and returned home much wiser and more mature, for their adventure.

The Coral Island - Frontispiece.png

PETERKIN CAUGHT CONVERSING WITH THE CAT. Page 145

Coral Island.jpg

The Coral Island:

A Tale of the Pacific Ocean.

by

Robert Michael Ballantyne.

author of "Hudson's Bay; or, every-day life in the wilds of North
America;" "Snow-flakes and Sun-beams; or, the young fur
traders:" "Ungava; a tale of the
Esquimaux,"

&c. &c.

With illustrations by the author.

Boston:

Phillips, Sampson and Company.

1859.

Riverside, Cambridge:
Printed by H. O. Houghton and Company.

Preface.




I was a boy when I went through the wonderful adventures herein set down. With the memory of my boyish feelings strong upon me, I present my book specially to boys, in the earnest hope that they may derive valuable information, much pleasure, great profit, and unbounded amusement from its pages.

One word more. If there is any boy or man who loves to be melancholy and morose, and who cannot enter with kindly sympathy into the regions of fun, let me seriously advise him to shut my book and put it away. It is not meant for him.

Ralph Rover.

Edinburgh, 1857.

Contents.


  1. Page
  2. CHAPTER I.
  3. The beginning—My early life and character—I thirst for adventure in foreign lands and go to sea,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    9
  4. CHAPTER II.
  5. The departure—The sea—My companions—Some account of the wonderful sights we saw on the great deep—A dreadful storm and a frightful wreck,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    14
  6. CHAPTER III.
  7. The Coral Island—Our first cogitations after landing, and the result of them—We conclude that the island is uninhabited,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    20
  8. CHAPTER IV.
  9. We examine into our personal property, and make a happy discovery—Our island described—Jack proves himself to be learned and sagacious above his fellows—Curious discoveries—Natural lemonade!
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    26
  10. CHAPTER V.
  11. Morning, and cogitations connected therewith—We luxuriate in the sea, try our diving powers, and make enchanting excursions among the coral groves at the bottom of the ocean—The wonders of the deep enlarged upon,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    39
  12. CHAPTER VI.
  13. An excursion into the interior, in which we make many valuable and interesting discoveries—We get a dreadful fright—The bread-fruit tree—Wonderful peculiarity of some of the fruit-trees—Signs of former inhabitants,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    46
  14. CHAPTER VII.
  15. Jack's ingenuity—We get into difficulties about fishing, and get out of them by a method which gives us a cold bath—Horrible encounter with a shark,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    57
  16. CHAPTER VIII.
  17. The beauties of the bottom of the sea tempt Peterkin to dive—How he did it—More difficulties overcome—The water garden—Curious creatures of the sea—The tank—Candles missed
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  18. very much, and the candle-nut tree discovered—Wonderful account of Peterkin's first voyage—Cloth found growing on a tree—A plan projected, and arms prepared for offence and defence—A dreadful cry,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    65
  19. CHAPTER IX.
  20. Prepare for a journey round the island—Sagacious reflections—Mysterious appearances and startling occurrences,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    82
  21. CHAPTER X.
  22. Make discovery of many excellent roots and fruits—The resources of the Coral Island gradually unfolded—The banian-tree—Another tree which is supported by natural planks—Water-fowl found—A very remarkable discovery, and a very peculiar murder—We luxuriate on the fat of the land,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    90
  23. CHAPTER XI.
  24. Effects of over-eating, and reflections thereon—Humble advice regarding cold water—The "horrible cry" accounted for—The curious birds called penguins—Peculiarity of the cocoa-nut palm—Questions on the formation of coral islands—Mysterious footsteps—Strange discoveries and sad sights,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    100
  25. CHAPTER XII.
  26. Something wrong with the tank—Jack's wisdom and Peterkin's impertinence—Wonderful behavior of a crab—Good wishes for those who dwell far from the sea—Jack commences to build a little boat,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    113
  27. CHAPTER XIII.
  28. Notable discovery at the spouting cliffs—The mysterious green monster explained—We are thrown into unutterable terror by the idea that Jack is drowned—The Diamond Cave,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    120
  29. CHAPTER XIV.
  30. Strange peculiarity of the tides—Also of the twilight—Peterkin's remarkable conduct in embracing a little pig and killing a big sow—Sage remarks on jesting—Also on love,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    131
  31. CHAPTER XV.
  32. Boat-building extraordinary—Peterkin tries his hand at cookery and fails most signally—The boat finished—Curious conversation with the cat, and other matters,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    138
  33. CHAPTER XVI.
  34. The boat launched—We visit the coral reef—The great breaker that never goes down—Coral insects—The way in which coral
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  35. islands are made—The boat's sail—We tax our ingenuity to form fish-hooks — Some of the fish we saw—And a monstrous whale—Wonderful shower of little fish—Water-spouts,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    147
  36. CHAPTER XVII.
  37. A monster wave and its consequences—The boat lost and found—Peterkin's terrible accident—Supplies of food for a voyage in the boat—We visit Penguin Island, and are amazed beyond measure—Account of the penguins,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    156
  38. CHAPTER XVIII.
  39. An awful storm and its consequences—Narrow escape—A rock proves a sure foundation—A fearful night and a bright morning—Deliverance from danger
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    170
  40. CHAPTER XIX.
  41. Shoemaking—The even tenor of our way suddenly interrupted—An unexpected visit and an appalling battle—We all become warriors, and Jack proves himself to be a hero,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    177
  42. CHAPTER XX.
  43. Intercourse with the savages—Cannibalism prevented—The slain are buried and the survivors depart, leaving us again alone on our Coral Island
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    189
  44. CHAPTER XXI.
  45. Sagacious and moral remarks in regard to life—A sail!—An unexpected salute—The end of the black cat—A terrible dive—an incautious proceeding and a frightful catastrophe,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    196
  46. CHAPTER XXII.
  47. I fall into the hands of pirates—How they treated me, and what I said to them—The result of the whole ending in a melancholy separation and in a most unexpected gift,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    205
  48. CHAPTER XXIII.
  49. Bloody Bill—Dark surmises—A strange sail, and a strange crew, and a still stranger cargo—New reasons for favoring missionaries—A murderous massacre, and thoughts thereon
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    216
  50. CHAPTER XXIV.
  51. Bloody Bill is communicative and sagacious—Unpleasant prospects—Retrospective meditations interrupted by volcanic agency—The pirates negotiate with a Eeejee chief—Various etceteras that are calculated to surprise and horrify,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    227
  52. CHAPTER XXV.
  53. The sandal-wood party—Native children's games, somewhat
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  54. surprising—Desperate amusements suddenly and fatally brought to a close—An old friend recognized—News—Romata's mad conduct,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    242
  55. CHAPTER XXVI.
  56. Mischief brewing—My blood is made to ran cold—Evil consultations and wicked resolves—Bloody Bill attempts to do good and fails—The attack—Wholsale murder—The flight—The escape,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    253
  57. CHAPTER XXVII.
  58. Reflections—The wounded man—The squall—True consolation—Death,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    264
  59. CHAPTER XXVIII.
  60. Alone on the deep—Necessity the mother of invention—A valuable book discovered—Natural phenomenon—A bright day in my history,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    274
  61. CHAPTER XXIX.
  62. The effect of a cannon-shot—A happy reunion of a somewhat moist nature—Retrospects and explanations—An awful dive—New plans—The last of the Coral Island,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    279
  63. CHAPTER XXX.
  64. The voyage—The island, and consultation in which danger is scouted as a thing unworthy of consideration—Rats and cats—The native teacher—Awful revelations—Wonderful effects of Christianity,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    291
  65. CHAPTER XXXI.
  66. A strange and bloody battle—The lion bearded in his den—Frightful scenes of cruelty, and fears for the future,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    308
  67. CHAPTER XXXII.
  68. An unexpected discovery, and a bold, reckless defiance, with its consequences—Plans of escape, and heroic resolves,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    317
  69. CHAPTER XXXIII.
  70. The flight—The pursuit—Despair and its results—The lion bearded in his den again—Awful danger threatened and wonderfully averted—A terrific storm,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    325
  71. CHAPTER XXXIV.
  72. Imprisonment—Sinking hopes—Unexpected freedom to more than one, and in more senses than one,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    337
  73. CHAPTER XXXV.
  74. Conclusion,
    ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    344

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.