Chapter 42

           OnedayMartinbecameawarethathewaslonely. Hewashealthyandstrong,andhadnothingtodo. Thecessationfromwritingandstudying,thedeathofBrissenden,andtheestrangementfromRuthhadmadeabigholeinhislife; andhisliferefusedtobepinneddowntogoodlivingincafésandthesmokingofEgyptiancigarettes. ItwastruetheSouthSeaswerecallingtohim,buthehadafeelingthatthegamewasnotyetplayedoutintheUnitedStates. Twobooksweresoontobepublished,andhehadmorebooksthatmightfindpublication. Moneycouldbemadeoutofthem,andhewouldwaitandtakeasackfulofitintotheSouthSeas. HeknewavalleyandabayintheMarquesasthathecouldbuyforathousandChilidollars. Thevalleyranfromthehorseshoe,land-lockedbaytothetopsofthedizzy,cloud-cappedpeaksandcontainedperhapstenthousandacres. Itwasfilledwithtropicalfruits,wildchickens,andwildpigs,withanoccasionalherdofwildcattle,whilehighupamongthepeakswereherdsofwildgoatsharriedbypacksofwilddogs. Thewholeplacewaswild. Notahumanlivedinit. AndhecouldbuyitandthebayforathousandChilidollars. 

           Thebay,asherememberedit,wasmagnificent,withwaterdeepenoughtoaccommodatethelargestvesselafloat,andsosafethattheSouthPacificDirectoryrecommendedittothebestcareeningplaceforshipsforhundredsofmilesaround. Hewouldbuyaschooneroneofthoseyacht-like,copperedcraftsthatsailedlikewitchesandgotradingcopraandpearlingamongtheislands. 

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