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Strauch, Dora; Brockmann, Walter / Satan came to Eden

Chapter III: We find our Eden,   pp. 34-49

Page 43

We Find Our Eden 
though actually our informants had not been sure whether the 
fearful Watkins had actually lived in this cave or in a hut now 
disappeared which was said to have been on the very spot where 
our own house was afterwards to stand. 
  The cave's arched entrance revealed two benches hewn into 
either wall and a hole which had apparently served as a hearth. 
The walls were black with soot and the place contained an 
improvised bed made of a sheet of corrugated iron with a layer 
of grass between it and its tarpaulin covering. Many a hunter of 
the wild cattle must have rested his weary bones on this unyield- 
ing couch. I bent down to pull the sailcloth straight, and as I did 
so a huge rat jumped out. I sprang back in horror and disgust but 
the creature, no less terrified than I, scurried away. A stone's throw 
from the mouth of the cave, we saw our first fresh-water spring. 
It gushed down the side of the cliff like a miniature waterfall. A 
tiny oasis of ciruela trees and a miniature orange grove had come 
into being within the radius of its off-flow, and a short way off 
stood a magnificent aguacate tree full of fruit, and a guava. 
  The water of the spring wandered down the wide gulley between 
the two volcanoes. It made a short and marshy bed between scat- 
tered lava boulders. Quite different plants grew here from any 
we had yet seen on the island. The richly laden fruit-trees told 
again of men's attempt to tame this wild nature to their needs. 
We caught sight of a plough half buried, like a symbol of despair, 
under the encroaching vines which it had been brought there long 
ago to keep at bay. Down on the beach beside the rusty cistern 
and the rusty crane we had seen another plough, lying where its 
owners had abandoned it. Seeing its fellow here, I supposed that 
they had not even thought it worth while to transport it up the 
  I was enchanted by the beauty of this spot, and the reminder 
of others' failure, which the vine-grown plough betokened, did 
not seem discouraging enough to me to make it necessary to look 
any farther for a place where we should settle. I liked the thought 
of living within the protecting walls of the two volcanoes, that 
rose like massive ramparts on either hand, grim in certain lights, 
but unassailable by wind and weather. They reminded me of the 

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