But he was already so high and so far away that they failed to reach him, and the boy continued his journey unharmed. Once the branches of a tall tree caught him and nearly tipped him over; but he managed to escape others by drawing up his feet.
At last he was free of the island and traveling over the ocean again.
He was not at all sorry to bid good-by to the cannibal island, but he was worried about the machine, which clearly was not in good working order The vast ocean was beneath him, and he moved no faster than an ordinary walk.
“At this rate I’ll get home some time next year,” he grumbled.
“I suppose I ought to be glad the machine works at all!” But nobody heard him.
And he really was glad.
All the afternoon and all the long summer night he moved slowly over the water, It was annoying to go at a reg’lar jog-trot, as Rob called it, after his former swift flight; but there was no help for it.
Just as dawn was breaking he saw in the distance a small vessel, sailing in the direction he was following, yet scarcely moving for lack of wind. He soon caught up with it, but saw no one on deck, and the craft had a dingy and uncared-for appearance that was not reassuring But after hovering over it for some time Rob decided to board the ship and rest for a while.
He alighted near the bow, where the deck was highest, and was about to explore the place when a man came out of the low cabin and espied him. This person had a most villainous countenance, and was dark-skinned, black-bearded and dressed in an outlandish, piratical costume.
On seeing the boy he gave a loud shout and was immediately joined by four companions, each as disagreeable in appearance as the first. Rob knew there would be trouble the moment he looked at this evil crew, and when they drew their daggers and pistols and began fiercely shouting in an unknown tongue, the boy sighed and took the electric tube from his coat pocket.
The buccaneers did not notice the movement, but rushed upon him so quickly that he had to press the button at a lively rate. The tube made no noise at all, so it was a strange and remarkable sight to see the pirates suddenly drop to the deck and lie motionless. Indeed, one was so nearly upon him when the electric current struck him that his head, in falling, bumped into Rob’s stomach and sent him reeling against the side of the vessel.
I wonder what happened next? I’ll have to read more spam to find out…