“That would be kind of hard for us,” Cari reminded her. “With Steve laid up and all.”
“You and Steve could have the hut that’s already built,” Lance said.
“Sounds good to me,” Stephanie said.
“Then it’s settled,” Cathy agreed. “We’ll start work after breakfast.”
The work went quickly with everyone laughing and having a good time. While everyone else was working on huts, Cari and Steve were making beds. The beds had a bamboo frame with thinner, bouncier bamboo strapped across the middle. Candy and Kevin finished their hut first. The huts were arranged in a semi-circle. Kevin started digging a deep hole about twenty-five feet behind them.
“What’s that for?” Steve asked.
“I’m making an outhouse,” Kevin told him.
“Well, hurry up,” Steve laughed. “I gotta use it.”
“You’ll just have to use the bushes until I’m finished,” Kevin told him.
In two days, all the huts and the two outhouses were finished. The island was beginning to look like a town. Cari had found some wild grapes growing in the jungle and the boys were trying to make some wine in bamboo barrels from them.
Everyone was used to living on the island now and were beginning to think of it as home. And it was their home, at least for now. They had been on the island for a total of four and one half months now.
Their families believed they had perished in the storm. They even had plots for them in cemeteries.
“You know what I’d really like?” Brent asked one day.
“What?” Cathy asked.
“Meat,” Brent said. “A big, thick, juicy steak, smothered in onions. A baked potato with sour cream and a nice cold beer.”
“That would be great,” Steve agreed. Steve had taken his splint off a week before. He still had a limp, but he could at least walk.
The boys told the girls they were going to get some sugarcane, but actually they were going hunting for wild boars.
They walked along quietly to where Brent had first seen the boars while he was looking for Steve. The boys all climbed into trees because they were scared of the pigs’ razor sharp tusks.
Kevin threw a rock into the cave where the boars lived. Nothing happened. He threw another rock, and out of the cave came a big boar, followed by three small ones.
“Aim for the pig on the left,” Lance whispered. The arrows flew through the air, and one struck the pig squarely in the side. Another hit him in the leg. The pig squealed and fell over dead. Darrel jumped out of the tree, and had to jump back into it, because the rest of the boars tried to attack him. Kevin took the rope he had with him and after about a dozen tries he got it hooked on the boar’s tusks. He and Steve pulled the pig into the tree. Then, on cue, the boys all jumped from the trees. The boars chased them for a little ways, but gave up after a while.
To make themselves feel like real big game hunters, the boys tied two of the pig’s hooves to one pole and two to the other pole. Kevin led the way to the camp and the rest of the boys carried the pig on the two poles. When they walked into camp the girls were shocked.
“Oh my gosh!” Stephanie exclaimed.
“The poor thing,” Candy said sadly.
“You killed that pig,” Kris said. “You murderers.”
“That’s gross,” Cari said disgustedly.
“What are you gonna do to it?” Cathy asked.
“We’re going to have a luau,” Darrel told them.
“Steve and I are going to clean the boar,” Brent said. “Darrel is going to build a fire, Kevin and Lance are going to find two sticks to hold the boar over the fire and you girls are going to make all the little side dishes.”
“And I can make my salad,” Kris said happily.
“No!” Brent, Steve Cari and Candy said together.
“What they mean, honey,” Lance explained. “Were going to have enough food. You don’t have to bother.”
“Oh,” Kris said. “It’s no bother.” And she went into her hut to make the salad.
Lance sighed and went with Kevin to find the sticks.
The boar was delicious. It had been so long since any of them had eaten meat that they stuffed themselves until they could barely move. Kris even remembered to put sugarcane in her salad instead of bamboo, so it didn’t taste too bad.
“That was one meal I won’t forget,” Candy said.
“It wasn’t top sirloin,” Brent said. “But I haven’t had meat for so long, it was just as good as top sirloin.”
“If we had pots and pans,” Stephanie said. “We could have clams or lobster.”
“Anytime you want lobster, just take some clay from down by the water,” Darrel told Stephanie. “Make a pot from it, then let it dry and put the bot in a big fire.”
“Yeah,” Candy said. “It’ll harden like a rock. Then you can boil lobster.”
“Oh, could we really?” Kris asked.
“As soon as we make some lobster traps and put them in the water,” Steve told her.
“Good,” Cari said. “I’ll make the pots tomorrow.”
Who would have thought the island would turn into a maternity ward, but it was. Stephanie had been getting heavier. She jogged on the beach, and ate less, but she still gained weight. One day she was eating a few pieces of coconut for lunch. Cari was watching her eat.
“You should eat more,” Cari told her.
“What?” Stephanie said. “I’m trying to lose weight, not gain it.”
“You could have another mouth in there to feed,” Cari said, smiling.
“You think I’m pregnant?” Stephanie asked.
“Could be,” Cari said.
Stephanie shot a quick glance at Darrel. “You don’t think that one time …” she began.
“These things do happen,” Darrel said.
“Oh my gosh,” she said softly.
It looked as though Cari was right. Stephanie was gaining weight only in her stomach area. As the weeks went by and she got bigger and bigger, Darrel kept a clean supply of blankets around for them the time came.
Everyone was just as anxious for the baby to come as Stephanie and Darrel. They waited on her hand and foot.
Then one night …
“Someone get in here!” Darrel yelled. “The baby is coming!”