Across the lagoon Raoul could see approaching the ominous line of the puff of wind.
Then came the rain out of the distance, advancing with the roar of a gale of wind and causing the water of the lagoon to smoke in driven windrows.
The tropic rain sheeted about them so that they could see only the beach under their feet and the spiteful little waves from the lagoon that snapped and bit at the sand.
The hot sun was blazing down, and the lagoon was once more a mirror.
He called to one new arrival, a woman with a nursing babe in her arms, and in answer received the information that her house had just been swept into the lagoon.
This was the highest spot of land in miles, and already, in many places on either hand, the great seas were making a clean breach of the slender ring of the atoll and surging into the lagoon. Twenty miles around stretched the ring of the atoll, and in no place was it more than fifty fathoms wide.
A sea breached across the atoll, wetting him to the knees ere it subsided into the lagoon. The sun had disappeared, and a lead-colored twilight settled down.
He saw a brown shoulder and a black head silhouetted against the churning white of the lagoon. The next instant that, too, had vanished.
It had been torn from its foundations, and wind and sea were heaving and shoving it toward the lagoon. A frightful wall of water caught it, tilted it, and flung it against half a dozen cocoanut trees.
The head of the tree, with three sailors of the Aorai and the old captain sailed off over the lagoon. It did not fall to the ground, but drove through the air like a piece of chaff.
Mapuhi rose to the surface of the lagoon, still clutching his daughter Ngakura.
I admit that I was absorbed by the distant view, so absorbed that I didn't notice then that the motif of the story is almost identical with the motif of "The Lagoon
." However, the idea at the back is very different; but the story is mainly made memorable to me by the fact that it was my first contribution to "Blackwood's Magazine" and that it led to my personal acquaintance with Mr.
The road passed through a narrow sandy plain, lying between the sea and the interior salt lagoons. The number of beautiful fishing birds, such as egrets and cranes, and the succulent plants assuming most fantastical forms, gave to the scene an interest which it would not otherwise have possessed.
I have no doubt many interesting facts, in relation to marine and fresh water animals, might be observed in this chain of lagoons, which skirt the coast of Brazil.