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“He could not say if it was after two or three years of solitude; 佛山桑拿qq群2013 but at last he became the miserable creature you found!

“I have no need to tell you, gentlemen, that Ayrton, Ben Joyce, and I, are the same.”

[2] The events which have just been briefly related are taken from a work which some of our readers have no doubt read, and which is entitled Captain Grant’s Children. They will remark on this occasion, as well as later, some discrepancy in the dates: but later again, they will understand why the real dates were not at first given.

Cyrus Harding and his companions rose at the end of this account. It is impossible to say how much they were [Pg 201] moved! What misery, grief, and despair lay revealed before them!

“Ayrton,” said Harding, rising, “you have been a great criminal, but Heaven must certainly think that you have expiated your crimes! That has been proved by your having been brought again among your fellow-creatures. Ayrton, you are forgiven! And now you will be our companion?”

Ayrton drew back.

“Here is my hand!” said the engineer.

Ayrton grasped the hand which 佛山桑拿飞机网 Harding extended to him, and great tears fell from his eyes.

“Will you live with us?” asked Cyrus Harding.

“Captain Harding, leave me some time longer,” replied Ayrton, “leave me alone in the hut in the corral!”

“As you like, Ayrton,” answered Cyrus Harding. Ayrton was going to withdraw, when the engineer addressed one more question to him:—

“One word more, my friend. Since it was your intention 佛山夜生活luntan to live alone, why did you throw into the sea the document which put us on your track?”

“A document?” repeated Ayrton, who did not appear to know what he meant.

“Yes, the document which we found enclosed in a bottle, giving us the exact position of Tabor Island!”

Ayrton passed his hand over his brow, then after having thought, “I never threw any document into the sea!” he answered.

“Never,” exclaimed Pencroft.

“Never!”

And Ayrton, bowing, reached the door and departed.
CHAPTER XVIII
Conversation—Cyrus Harding and Gideon Spilett—An Idea of the Engineer’s—The Electric Telegraph—The Wires—The Battery—The Alphabet—Fine Season—Prosperity of the Colony—Photography—An Appearance of Snow—Two Years in Lincoln Island.

“Poor man!” said Herbert, who had rushed to the door, but returned, having seen Ayrton slide down the rope of the lift and disappear in the darkness.

“He will come back,” said Cyrus Harding.

“Come now, captain,” exclaimed Pencroft, “what does that mean? What! wasn’t it Ayrton who threw that bottle into the sea? Who was it then?”

Certainly, if 佛山桑拿去哪里好 ever a question was necessary to be made, it was that one!

“It was he,” answered Neb, “only the unhappy man was half mad.”

“Yes!” said Herbert, “and he was no longer conscious of what he was doing.”

“It can only be explained in that way, my friends,” replied Harding quickly, “and I understand now how Ayrton was able to point out exactly the situation of Tabor Island, since the events which had preceded his being left on the Island had made it known to him.”

“However,” observed Pencroft, “if he was not yet a brute when he wrote that

document, and if he threw it into the sea seven or eight years ago, how is it that the paper has not been injured by damp?”

“That proves,” answered Cyrus Harding, “that Ayrton was deprived of intelligence at a more recent time than he thinks.”

“Of course it must be so,” replied Pencroft, “without that the fact would be unaccountable.”

“Unaccountable 佛山桑拿按摩网论坛 indeed,” answered the engineer, who did not appear desirous to prolong the conversation.

“But has Ayrton told the truth?” asked the sailor.[Pg 204]

“Yes,” replied the reporter. “The story which he has told is true in every point. I remember quite well the account in the newspapers of the yacht expedition undertaken by Lord Glenarvan, and its result.”

“Ayrton has told the truth,” added Harding. “Do not doubt it, Pencroft, for it was painful to him. People tell the

truth when they accuse themselves like that!”

The next day—the 21st of December—the colonists descended to the beach, and having climbed the plateau they found nothing of Ayrton. He had reached his house in the corral during the night, and the settlers judged it best not to agitate him by their presence. Time would doubtless perform what sympathy had been unable to accomplish.

Herbert, Pencroft, and Neb 佛山桑拿按摩论坛 resumed their ordinary occupations. On this day the same work brought Harding and the reporter to the workshop at the Chimneys.

“Do you know, my dear Cyrus,” said Gideon Spilett, “that the explanation you gave yesterday on the subject of the bottle has not satisfied me at all! How can it be supposed that the unfortunate man was able to write that document and throw the bottle into the sea without having the slightest recollection of it?”

“Nor was it he who threw it in, my dear Spilett.”

“You think then….”

“I think nothing, I know nothing!” interrupted Cyrus Harding. “I am content to rank this incident among those which I have not been able to explain to this day!”

“Indeed, Cyrus,” said Spilett, “these things are incredible! Your rescue, the case stranded on the sand, Top’s adventure, and lastly this bottle…. Shall we never have the answer to these enigmas?”