SHIPWRECKED SAILOR ON SMOKING ROCK 265
what he had told us, the others dispersed, and Fritz took the opportunity to tell me about something still more strange that he had discovered.
' In examining the albatross which I had knocked down,' he said, ' I saw a piece of linen around one of its feet. I untied it, and read the following words written upon it in good English : " Save the poor shipwrecked sailor on the smoking rock.''' The bird was only stunned so I wrote on a strip of my handkerchief: " Have faith in God: help is near" And if by any chance the bird goes back to the place it came from, it may do good.'
I was, of course, much interested in this curious fact, but knowing that the albatross travels immense distances, I thought it hardly likely that the man who sent the message was anywhere near us, especially as the message itself might be years old.
After this we examined the sea-otter that Fritz had brought back, and once again discussed the subject of the pearls. The others were naturally anxious to go and fish for some more themselves, and this we decided to do.
Accordingly, we gathered together all the implements we thought likely to be of use in this strange new fishery and prepared our provisions for the voyage: two hams were cooked, cassava cakes,