Early the next morning Steve gently shook Cari To wake her up. But he kept his hand over her mouth so she wouldn’t say anything and wake the others up. As soon as Cari and Steve got far enough away from the hut, she said, “Why are you doing this? It’s still dark.”
“I want you to see something,” he said. He took her down to where the beach sloped to the ocean. Then they sat down.
“What’s this all about?” she insisted.
“I want you to see the sunrise,” he told her.
“I saw it yesterday,” he said. “It was so magnificent, I wanted you to see it.”
Soon the sun began rising over the horizon, the sky turned pink as the sun rose higher, and the gold and crimson met in an explosion of color. The orange fiery glow took over the sky. They could feel its melting warmth and Cari was in awe at the sight.
“It’s beautiful,” she said in almost a whisper.
“It’s not as beautiful as you are,” Steve said.
“Oh Steve,” Cari said, blushing as she turned her face toward his and looked into his eyes. “You embarrass me,” she told him.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“Don’t be,” Cari said. “I like it. Go ahead, tell me more.”
Steve laughed, and then became serious. “I love you, sunshine,” he said to her.
“I love you, too, baby.” And she kissed him softly on the lips. Steve stood up and pulled Cari up with him. They went to walk on the beach alone.
“What does the rest of the island look like?” Kevin asked Candy.
“I really couldn’t tell you,” Candy said.
“Let’s go take a walk around,” Kevin suggested.
“We’ll get lost,” Candy said. “It’s too risky.”
“No, it’s not,” Kevin said. “We’ll mark a trail.”
“I don’t know …” Candy began.
“Just me and you, alone,” Kevin told her.
“You just talked me into it,” Candy said. “I’ll go and tell the others we’re going.” She ran down the beach to tell Kris.
“If we’re not back in two hours,” Kevin called after her. “Tell them to come look for us.”
Kevin marked the trail they took by putting notches in the trees and piling three rocks on top of each other.
“This place is great,” Kevin said, as he pulled two bananas off a nearby tree and gave one to Candy.
“I don’t know if I want to go back when they find us,” Candy said. “If they find us,” she added.
The thought of never being found scared her. She slipped her hand into Kevin’s, who was making a notch on a tree. He looked down and saw a spider crawling up Candy’s foot.
“Look out for that spider,” he warned her.
“Where?” Candy said, as she jumped aside. That was her mistake. When she jumped she landed right in the middle of some quicksand.
“Kevin,” she cried. “Help me!”
The quicksand was up to her waist and she was sinking fast. Kevin looked around and saw a branch just a few feet away. He ran over and cut the vines off the tree. Candy was in up to her armpits when Kevin got there with the vine. He tossed it to her, but she missed. Now only her head and hands were showing. She caught the vine when he threw it. Then he threw the free end over a branch. The quicksand was up to her chin.
“Hold tight, sweetheart,” he told her. “I’ll get you out.”
Kevin grabbed the rope and pulled, but the forced pulling Candy down was stronger than he was.
“Pull yourself up,” he told her. “I can’t do this alone. You’ve got to help.”
“I can’t,” Candy cried.
“Try harder,” Kevin said.
Then slowly but surely, Candy started rising out of the quicksand. In a while she was free. Kevin ran over to her and helped her walk to where a big boulder was so she could sit down.
“Oh Kevin,” she sobbed. “I was so scared. I thought I was going to die in there.”
“It’s all right,” he said. “I’ve got you and everything is going to be okay. Stop crying, honey.”
“Take me back to the hut, please,” Candy said, as she stood up. Kevin helped her walk back to camp.
Stephanie helped Candy get washed off with some water she brought from a fresh water stream. Steve had discovered the stream the day before.
“Never go to that part of the island,” Candy told Stephanie.
“Don’t worry,” Stephanie said. “I won’t.”
After about three weeks, the castaways figured that someone was looking for them but they didn’t know where to look.
Darrel said, “We should build a huge bonfire on the beach. Then maybe a boat would see us.”
“We’ll need lots of wood,” Cathy said.
“The sooner we get it, the better,” Kevin said.
Everyone went out looking for wood. It was getting late and Steve decided just to get a few more dead branches before he went in. Steve was looking up toward the trees. His foot hit the root of a tree that was sticking up above the ground. He tripped and fell into a valley, hitting the sides of the canyon as he fell. Steve hit the ground with an exploding force and he was knocked unconscious. Night fell and Steve didn’t wake up.
“Where could he be?” Cari wondered nervously. “This isn’t like Steve.”
“Maybe the headhunters got him,” Kris suggested.
“I hope not. His head wouldn’t look good hanging on a wall.”
“Let’s all go to bed,” Brent said. “Steve will probably be here in the morning.”
That night Kevin woke Lance up. They took a stick and lit it on fire, like a torch.
“Where are we going?” Lance asked.
“I’ll show you,” Kevin told him.
On the way to where Kevin and Lance were going, Kevin cut off the biggest piece of bamboo he could find.
“This is where we’re going,” Kevin said as he stuck the torch in the ground.
“The quicksand,” Lance whispered. “You don’t suppose …”
“I hope not,” Kevin said, as he started poking the bamboo in the quicksand.
“Oh God,” he said in a soft voice. “I’ve hit something.”
To be continued …