Now the Arla was one of many vessels owned by Captain Malu, and it was at his suggestion and by his invitation that Bertie went aboard the Arla as guest for a four days' recruiting cruise on the coast of Malaita.
Ugi had dropped astern, and the ARLA was sliding along through a summer sea toward the wooded ranges of Malaita.
Six months ago, he and the rest of the boat's crew drowned the then captain of the ARLA.
He noticed with alarm that two white men had so died--guests, like himself, on the Arla.
I thought the skipper of the Arla had died of dysentery when I took his billet.
As the Arla drew in to an anchorage in the midst of mangrove swamps, a double row of barbed wire was stretched around above her rail.
The flight of the twenty-five recruits had actually cost the Arla forty pounds, and, since they had taken to the bush, there was no hope of recovering them.
Three more days the Arla spent on the coast, and three more nights the skipper and the mate drank overfondly of cold tea, leaving Bertie to keep the watch.
Harriwell, cheerfully; but the three of us, with you, of course, and the skipper and mate of the Arla, can handle them all right.
Harriwell pressed him to stay on longer, but Bertie insisted on sailing immediately on the Arla for Tulagi, where, until the following steamer day, he stuck close by the Commissioner's house.