We caught sight of a fire in the horizon. I decided to check it out, since none of the islands in this area is inhabited. When we came close, we put out a lifeboat and ended up on a long beach. The fire we had seen had taken control over the island, and my only question was what had started it.
When we were just about to leave, one kid, followed by many others, came running from the burning forest. At first they didn’t see us, and I could swear they were not just playing. The first kid was obviously chased by the others, who were holding sharpened spears in their hands. They were all screaming, and some of them had serious wounds. I think we got there just in time to save the boy’s life.
The kids were in poor shape, and I wonder how English boys could not have made it better for themselves. Except for the first kid, they all looked like savages with their painted faces. Since the one kid without paint was the one who was being chased, my guess is that they had some sort of a tribal war.
When they finally spotted me, most of them seemed afraid. They must have been here for months, maybe years, since they didn’t seem to understand what I was, even if I stood there in my finest uniform. When the first kid started talking to me, I got shocked. He told me that two of the kids on the island had been killed by the others, and that there hadn’t been any grown-ups there at all. They didn't know how many they were in the first place, and therefore they didn't know if they had lost anybody else. Suddenly they all started to cry in front of me. I think they felt sorry for their dead friends.
Afterwards I left the kids at the beach with one of the ratings. Then I took the two other ones with me, to search for more kids. We found two of them, stuck in some branches. They were only minutes away from the flames. On our way back to the beach, we found a rotten pig’s head on a stick. Later I asked several times, but none of...