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

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

Page 34

elebrate the first day on our island. 
In the bright morning sunshine the cabin and 
s surroundings presented a more dismal pic- 
are than in the kindlier light of the evening 
                  before. The rough house, known as the Casa 
Matrix, had been founded as long ago as i922, and was almost 
the only one of all the Norwegians' dwellings which had with- 
stood the ravages of the wild weather on the coast. But even it 
was in deplorable condition, its roof riddled with holes. The large 
iron rain-water tanks were eaten away with rust. There had been 
a dynamo constructed to supply the settlement with electric light, 
but all these modem innovations, too, had fallen into utter useless- 
ness and dilapidation, and the rust covered them like a fungus. 
There was an iron crane, though what this had been used for we 
could not tell. It stood there idle, lifting up its rusty arm with a 
gesture that might have been an entreaty or a warning. 
  In fact, Post Office Bay was the only spot on our enchanted 
island that I disliked from the first. I could not tell exactly why, 
especially considering that its snow-white beach is by far the pret- 
tiest on the island with its long promontories of cactus-covered, 
glistening lava-rock. The bay owed its name to a romantic cir- 
cumstance. Long before settlers had attempted to inhabit the island, 
whalers bound for the far Antarctic used to put in there in order 
to deposit in a large hogshead, mounted on a pole, letters to their 
home-folk. The dangers of their calling, which led them into the 
world's most perilous waters, might bring sudden death to them at 
any moment, and in those days there was little chance of help, and 
no means of sending either S 0 S or news of disaster. This cask 
post office, then, received their letters, which fellow whalers or 
other passing ships collected as they passed the island, and thus 
the families received news of their loved ones. It was strange to 
find in that deserted place something already historic like this 
hogshead. Every time we saw it I was reminded of those by-gone 
adventurers and often wondered what had happened to them. 
  To me there was something about Post Office Bay that seemed 

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