“Let’s keep him,” Steve suggested.
“That’s what we’re going to do,” Darrel told them.
“Oh good,” Kris said. “He’ll make a sweet pet as soon as he’s tamed.”
“Let’s call him Tarzan,” Stephanie said.
“Okay,” Brent agreed. “Let’s call him that.”
“Do you like that name?” Cathy asked the monkey.
Tarzan answered by jumping up and down in his cage and screaming.
“Does that mean ‘yes’ in monkey talk?” Kris asked.
“I hope so,” Stephanie told her. “Because that’s his name.”
Tarzan got used to everyone, but he liked James the best. He would ride on James’ shoulder wherever they went, and if someone tried to take him off, he would bite their hand. Within three weeks of the time he was tamed, everyone had been reminded to leave Tarzan alone.
One very hot day while everyone was swimming, laying in the sand, or building sand castles, Lance found what he thought was an old sail buried in the sand.
“Look,” he said to the others. “I found a sail from a ship.”
They all came away from what they were doing to look at Lance’s discovery. Lance dug around the sail and pulled it up, only to find out it wasn’t just a sail. There was something sewn inside the cloth.
“Oh no,” Candy said. “I know what it is and I don’t want to see it.”
“What is it?” Cari asked.
“Someone was buried at sea,” Brent told her. “The body must have washed up here and got covered by sand.
Lance carefully pulled the sail apart to reveal a pile of broken bones and some of the dead man’s possessions.
“Here’s a bible,” Steve said. “A rusty dagger, an old gun, a bag of …” Steve opened the leather pouch. “A bag of gold coins and some medals.”
“He wasn’t buried at sea,” Kevin told them, as he looked into the hole where the body had been. “There’s a wooden box under him.”
Kevin was right. There was a wooden chest under the body. The boys pulled it up out of the hole. The lock on it was so rusty that it broke open the first time Steve hit it with a rock to break it. Candy and Kris pulled the lid open. The trunk was not full of gold and silver doubloons as they had expected. It contained guns, ammunition and a smaller box. Inside the smaller box there was gold, but no one cared about that. After all, they couldn’t buy anything on the island.
“I’ll bet these guns still work,” Darrel told them, as he pulled a flintlock pistol from the box. He aimed at a palm tree and pulled the trigger. The sound of the exploding gunpowder scared him, as well as everybody else. No one knew the guns were loaded.
“It’s a good thing you didn’t aim that at anyone,” Brent said. “Or we would have one less person on this island.”
Darrel put the empty gun back in the box and closed the lid.
“Let’s put those guns in a safe place so no one gets hurt with them,” Stephanie suggested.
“We can put them in our hut,” Cathy told them.
So the guns were put in Cathy and Brent’s hut.
James crawled under the bed and opened the box. He pulled out one of the pistols.
“Look,” James whispered. “Bang, bangs.” He took the gun outside and tried to pull the trigger, but it was pretty rusty and hard to pull.” He banged the pistol on a tree stump. James still had his finger on the trigger, and it went off. The gunpowder exploded and burned Jame’s hands. He dropped the gun and ran crying to his mother. But when he got to where his mother was, he stopped crying when he saw Kevin lying there on the ground. The sand around Kevin was covered with blood.
Darrel grabbed James and began screaming at him, “Were you playing with those guns? Were you?”
“No Papa,” James lied.
“Tell me the truth, James,” Darrel said, trying not to yell. “Were you using the guns?”
“No Papa,” James told him.
“You’re lying to me,” Darrel said, raising his voice.
“No,” James whispered.
“Someone help me,” Kevin said as he woke up.
“We’re taking you in the hut,” Cathy told him. “Just don’t move around.”
“The pain is driving me crazy,” Kevin cried.
“We’re gonna pick you up,” Steve said. “Are you ready?”
“Yes,” Kevin groaned. “Just please be careful.”
Steve and Darrel gently picked up Kevin and started carrying him to the hut.
“I think I’m dying,” Kevin told them.
“Don’t say that,” Candy said. “Don’t ever say that.”
Kevin was lying in his bed in his and practically screaming as Lance tried to pull the bullet from his side. Lance felt the bullet and pulled it out.
“It was in there deep,” he said proudly. “But I got it.”
“Maybe you’ll be a surgeon when you grow up,” Kevin said. “Now will you patch me up?”
“Oh yeah,” Lance apologized. “Sorry.”
“I could have drowned or fallen off a cliff or something,” Kevin complained. “There has to be a better way to die than to get shot in the back by a little kid.”
“You are not dying,” Lance told him.
“I was I was,” Kevin said. “It hurts so bad. I wonder if there’s a witch doctor around here that could do a little dance and fix me up?”
Outside Candy was talking to Stephanie, who was apologizing for what James had done.
“It’s okay,” Candy told her. “The guns were there and James was just sitting around with nothing to do … and it happened.”
“Well, James isn’t going to be sitting around for a long time,” Stephanie said. “I think he’ll be doing a lot of standing around.”
“I’m going in and see how Kevin is doing.” Candy got up and walked into the hut. “How do you feel?” she asked Kevin.
“Crummy,” Kevin said. “Really crummy.”
Candy reached over and pulled down the blanket that was covering Kevin. The bullet wound was in the lower part of his back, just a few inches away from his backbone.
To be continued …