Monday, January 9, 2012

The dark church, my plans, my rational mind

            ...When I was come down the hill to the end of the island, where, indeed, I had never been before, I was presently convinced that seeing the print of a man's foot was not such a strange thing in the island as I imagined.  It was a special providence I was cast upon the side of the island where the savages never came.  I should easily have known nothing was more frequent than for the canoes from the main, when they happened to be a little too far out at sea, to shoot over to that side of the island for harbour.
           When I was come down the hill to the shore, as I said above, being the south west point of the island, I was confounded and amazed.  Nor is it possible for me to express the horror of my mind at seeing the shore spread with skulls, hands, feet, and other bones of human bodies.  I observ’d a place where there had been a fire made and a circle dug in the earth, where I supposed the savage wretches, according to their dreadful customs, had sat down to their inhuman feastings upon the bodies of their fellow creatures.
            I further observ'd this whole corner of the island had been shaped and arrang'd to serve their needs, and just as I had made a homestead on my side of the island, the savages had made a church for their awful beliefs.  Many trees had strange symbols and shapes cut within their bark, and these symbols were also painted large on many stones, altho' the growls of the beast told me what the paint most certainly was.  I stepp'd over the bones and skulls to closer examine a tree, and saw the cuts and carving were very old.  The sand itself, indeed, was all red with long use.  This savage church had been here on my island long before the fateful night that brought the beast and I to the shores here.  Tho' now I wonder'd the wisdom of calling it my island, and if it ever had been.
            Twelve great strides from the fire-circle was a large iron-wood tree, one which dwarft all I had ever seen, and all things had been clear'd away from it.  Were four men to stretch their arms only then might they just encircle the base of such a giant, and it took another twelve steps to walk about and examine it.  To the height of two men had the living tree been shaped and cut to make a living totem or statue from the wood, which continued to grow as its roots and leaves attested.  It was the shape of a great man, one who crouch'd like a child at play, or an animal, I could not say which.  Upon his carv'd feet and hands were great claws, like those of the beast, which made these appendages even longer and more disturbing.  His head was large and his eyes long and wide.  A beard of thick, fat hairs trail'd down his face, and crouched as he was the hairs all but reached his ancles.  And then a cold chill did creep through my limbs, for I knew this figure and had seen it before...

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