A close family who has found themselves stranded on an
island after a shipwreck - By J. D. Wyss

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Ernest alone remained with his mother and me, and we employed ourselves in constructing a sugar≠cane press, of which my wife had much need.
The boys, meantime, had galloped off and passed over the tract of land that separated Family Bridge from another farm-colony not far from Prospect Hill, which we called the Hermitage, where they intended to pass the day, when, on approaching the farmhouse, they heard cries like that of a person in distress. It was a sort of wild, maniacal laugh, and the animals stopped in terror; the dogs barked and howled fearfully; and the ostrich, more frightened than the others, fled in the direction of the Lake of Swans with such rapidity that all the efforts of its master could not check it. The bull and the ass trembled so violently that Fritz and his brother were obliged to dismount.
Francis seized his gun, put two pistols in his belt, called the two dogs, and calmly walked on in the direction of the strange laugh. He had not gone more than thirty paces when he saw, through the bushes, an enormous hyena, which had killed one of our sheep, and was devouring it, while ever and anon that strange laugh of joy would echo from its blood-stained lips.
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