By Nancy Bailey
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Extra info for Bound for Australia (Time Machine, No 20)
For seven days they’ve been making halting progress southeast, and you’ve been with them. Every day is the same. The four of you start out by moonlight, when it’s coolest. You walk in single file through the scrub and the gum trees. As the sun rises and the day becomes hot, you try to keep the hordes of flies away from your face. You listen to the screams of birds overhead and try to ignore your blisters and the scratching in your dry throat. And at dusk you collapse, exhausted, for a few hours of sleep before the moon rises again.
A family of Maoris, as the natives of this island are called is feasting on some kind of raw meat. Their faces are smeared with blood, and bones—big bones—lie scattered where they’ve tossed them. ” Cook asks again. At last one man looks up. “Some of our enemies rowed into this cove five days ago,” he says, wiping his mouth on his arm. ” All four of you gasp. Then Cook clears his throat. “We’re supposed to be observing native customs on this expedition,” he says. ” “Yes,” says Banks. ” He gingerly picks up one of the bones.
The men are wildly enthusiastic—perhaps because they’ve been cooped up for so long. “This soil would be perfect for all the crops we grow in England,” exults the captain. ” Banks is even more excited. ” he shouts. ” Cook smiles at him. “Then we’ll call it Botany Bay,” he says. Click here. ” Captain Cook and Mr. Banks have decided to spend today visiting the natives of the region, and you’re going along to take notes for Banks. About a mile from the ship you find a few huts made of bark slabs. In front of one of them is a still-smoking fire with some mussels cooking in the coals—but there’s no one tending it.