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FIVE ALIVE

By L. H. Hall


 

FIVE ALIVE

By L. H. Hall

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 ... The Sea
Chapter 2 ... Aches and Pains
Chapter 3 ... The Cave
Chapter 4 ... Man on the Beach
Chapter 5 ... Fruit
Chapter 6 ... The Journal
Chapter 7 ... Aloe
Chapter 8 ... New Friends
Chapter 9 ... God's Christmas Tree
Chapter 10 ... Sunday School
Chapter 11 ... Hidden Treasure
Chapter 12 ... Swimming Pool
Chapter 13 ... The Dark Night
Chapter 14 ... Workaholic
Chapter 15 ... Christmas
Chapter 16 ... Goats
Chapter 17 ... Julie
Chapter 18 ... The Lookout
Chapter 19 ... Bats
Chapter 20 ... Making Plans
Chapter 21 ... Terraces
Chapter 22 ... Lake Four
Chapter 23 ... The Dolphins
Chapter 24 ... Unhappy Birthday
Chapter 25 ... Homecoming
Chapter 26 ... Disaster
Chapter 27 ... The Handyman
Chapter 28 ... Sarah
Chapter 29 ... The Baby
Chapter 30 ... Debbie
Chapter 31 ... Ridges and Ravines
Chapter 32 ... Growing Up
Chapter 33 ... Trapped
Chapter 34 ... The Big Day
Chapter 35 ... Surprise
Chapter 36 ... Deejay
Chapter 37 ... The Promise
Chapter 38 ... Discovered
Chapter 39 ... Sarah's Ultimatum
Chapter 40 ... Guests
Chapter 41 ... The Wedding

 

Chapter 38

Discovered

 

Deejay was eating some food from the table by this time, and drinking goat's milk.  Sarah usually nursed her a couple times a day to continue the rapport they had, but she skipped a breast feeding occasionally.  We had visited the Top of the Word several times in our minds, and physically climbed the mountain twice since Deejay's dedication, but what had been promised to be her last birthday on the island, was rapidly approaching.  The Top of the World had not been mentioned.

A few nights before she was seventeen, I asked, "Do you still want to climb the mountain on your birthday, Sarah?"

"I would like to.  It will probably be the last time we'll be able to do it, and it is still the most special place in the world.  We were married, and we dedicated Deejay up there."

"I thought you would.  I've been planing on it for a year but, I wanted to make sure."

"You don't mind, do you?"

"I would be disappointed if you didn't."

Sarah fed the baby early in the afternoon, and gave her to Debbie to care for, promising to be back by noon the next day. Deejay fussed a little, when we started through the goat pen without her.  She loved to go, but she loved her big brother and sisters.  She would be all right by the time we were out of sight.

We reached the summit just before the top of the rim of the sun dropped below the horizon.  We jumped into the pool to wash some of the sweat and dirt off; then, we went directly to the Top of the World, to eat our cold supper and watch the night close in.  The sky to the North was dark and dreary with distant flasnes of lightning.  "It looks like a storm over there."  I sliced off a wedge of a mango. "I hope it doesn't come this way."

"The wind is from the other direction; I think we'll be all right." Sarah took the portion I offered.

"Yeah, but I'd surely hate to be up here in one of those bad storms."

"None of them have ever knocked the Top of the World down yet, and I know God wouldn't allow it if we were in the shelter."

"You've got a lot of confidence."

"Why shouldn't I have, after what we've been through.  We'll be alive and well when we are discovered.  Besides I have Jesus in my heart.  I can never die.  I have life eternal."

"I think I have made a fanatic out of you."  I teased her, laughing.

"If believing the Word of God makes me a fanatic, I am proud to be one."  She stood up.  "HEY, WORLD, I, SARAH LEE DAVIS, AM A FANATIC BECAUSE I BELIEVE EVERY WORD OF THE BIBLE, AND LIVE BY IT!!!"  She sat down laughing, "There!  How about that?  Does that satisfy you?"

"I am glad you are.  I'm proud of you.  So often you make me ashamed of myself because I forget."

"Me too."  She accepted another slice of the mango.  "When I forget, I always have you or one of the others to remind me.  I don't know what I will do when the others aren't around all the time, but even if they had been born to us, and we had raised them out there someplace, it wouldn't be long before they would leave us.  We can't hold them prisoner on this island, as much as I would like to.  I don't know what He has in mind for us, but He didn't give us this special training for us to be cooped up on this little island, and not be able to use it for His service."

"I know you're right, Sarah, but how can five people, ignorant to the ways of the world, function in that world."

"Maybe, we were taken out of that world to be raised in this manner; so, we can go back into it and help improve it"

"Yeah, but here, we've been shielded from temptation.  Now we'll have to face it and overcome it."  I threw the mango pit into the jungle below.

"Didn't I tempt you before we were married?  I was sure tempted to seduce you.  Don't you think Jamie and the girls are tempted, even though they think of each other as a bother or sisters?  You bet we have temptations."

"In that way, yes, but out there in the other world, there are so many different kinds of temptations, that we're not used to, or even know about."  I ate the last of the mango. 

"And we are used to depending on the Holy Spirit and following His guidance.  That's not going to stop when we get out there.  If I had any doubt about that, I'd die before I would ever leave these shores.  We know who our God is, and where He is; and we know how to hear his voice.  We'll be all right out there."  Sarah drank from her canteen

"I thought you said you were scared to go out there."

"In the natural I am.  I'm scared silly.  I have prayed that our parents will come here where we feel comfortable to get acquainted with us.  If they can't, or refuse to come, or if we're wrong about them being alive, I'll leave this island in a minute in the protection of my heavenly Father, who will not leave me, nor forsake me."

"Girl, you ought to be a preacher."

"I AM!  And don't you ever forget it!"  She laughed.

With the dark sky in the North, the night was the darkest we had ever seen from that vantage point.  A thin moon was rising in the East, but didn't replace the light from the stars in the north.  The fire on the patio was burning brightly.  Usually by that hour, it would have died down, but it looked as if someone had just added wood to it.  "I wonder if there is something wrong at the cave."  I pointed it out to Sarah.  "Do you think they're trying to get our attention?"

"I don't think so.  If there was something wrong, we would know about it."

"We didn't know when Jamie cut his foot."

"We weren't needed either. The Lord took care of it, and he can take care of this too if there's a problem, whatever it is.  We were probably paying too much attention to each other to hear that still small voice when Jamie got hurt, or we would have known it."

"You're right on both counts.  If there's a problem, He'll have to take care of it.  It's too dangerous to go down in the dark."

"Look," she said, pointing toward the sky.  "Aren't those funny stars?"

"I looked at the stars, slightly north of us, moving steadily in an westerly direction.  "Now I know why the fire is so bright."

"Why?"

"In almost nine years, we have never seen an airplane fly over.  We have just been discovered.  It may take a few months for them to get here.  My mother's up there, and she knows we're here.  Dad thinks we're dead, but sooner or later, he'll come just to pacify Mother.  I remember our first trip up here I was talking to the Lord, He said, '. . . Your parents will find you,' and that is exactly what He meant."

"Thank you, Jesus."  She snuggled close to me.  "My parents will be with them.  Our folks are coming to our island, just like I prayed they would."  We never questioned it.  We both knew that neither of us would have said it, if we did not know it was true.  "Lets pray and meet the Lord for the last time we'll physically lie here with him."

She prayed.  Thanking him for: his love; his presence; his care and protection over the years; the plane; the large fire; our impending imminent meeting with our parents. She did not ask for a thing, not even for Deejay.  It was simply a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.  When she thanked Him for his presence, his glory descended on us and we were  engulfed in him for the night.

When we arrived at the cave the following day, we found our wood pile on the north side of the patio had burned,  "What happened down here last night?"  Sarah asked,  "Did you light a signal fire for the airplane?"

"No, Deejay did, or at least she was responsible."  Jamie answered.

"Shame on you, Jamie, blaming a thing like that on a poor defenseless baby.  What happened?"  Sarah teased.

"She pulled a burni . . ."

"Did she get burned?   Where is she?"  Sarah cried, running toward the cave.

"She's all right!  She's asleep!"  Debbie called.

"Like I was trying to tell you," Jamie continued.  She pulled a burning stick out of the fire, and stood there looking at it.  When I saw her, I snatched it from her, and threw it away without looking where I was throwing it.  That made her mad, so I was trying to get on her good side again, when Julie yelled, 'Fire!'  By that time, the wood pile was ablaze.  We tried to put it out, but the more water we poured on it the brighter it burned.  Finally, we stood back and let it burn."

"We had been watching the dark sky in the North," Debbie continued, "hoping that it wouldn't come this way while you were on the mountain.  When we could do nothing to put the fire out, I turned my attention back to the clouds, and praying for you.  Then, I saw some funny stars.  Jamie looked at them, and without hesitation, he said, 'That's why we had the fire.  That's an airplane, and Momma's on it. She's seen the fire and knows we are here, but she will have to convince Dad.  He thinks we are dead.  It might take six months but she won't leave him alone until he comes.'"

"Mommy and Daddy's gonna come with'em too." Julie announced.

Sarah and I didn't say a word.  We just looked at each other and smiled.  Debbie saw us.  "Did you already know?"

"We spoke almost the exact words to each other last night."  Sarah took my hand and looked into my eyes.

"I knew why the fire burned it's brightest at the right moment.  I was just curious as to how it got started."  I shook my finger at Jamie.  "And you, Jamie, ought to be horse whipped, as Dad used to say, for giving Deejay credit for what the Lord did."

"What do you mean?"

"You said the fire was all Deejay's fault.  She was just an instrument in God's hands."

"Oh, that.  Sorry Lord; I knew better too."

The dogs started making a commotion in the cave.  "Deejay's awake I got something to tell you."  Sarah started for the cave.  "I'll meet you in the pool, where it's cool."

The rest of us were already in the lake, when Sarah leaped off the patio with the giggling baby in her arms.  They came up separately.  "'Gain Mommy, 'gain."  Deejay giggled, swimming to her mother. 

"Later, Sweetheart."  Sarah splashed a little water at the infant, who turned toward me.

"Da da do."

"Not right now, Darling. Momma's gonna tell us something."  I picked the little girl up and hugged her. "I love you so much."

"Whatcha got on your mind, Mom?"  Julie held her hands out to the baby, who buried her face in Daddy's shoulder.

"I'll tell you, now."  Sarah linked her arm around Jamie's.  Timmy and I have known for the last year that yeaterday would be my last birthday on the island.  That's why we made the extra trips to the Top of the World.

"You did?"  Julie spun around to face Sarah.  "I know who told you, but when did He tell you?  What did He say?"

"On the mountain.  My last birthday.  I was feeding Deejay before we dedicated her.  He said I would have one more birthday up there but not two."

"Sometime between now and your next birthday."  Jamie relaxed on his back pondering what Sarah had said.  "I'll betcha they come before Thanksgiving." 

"Sim, Da da, sim."  The baby struggled to get down.

"I was thinking more like October or November."  I put the squirming baby into the water.  "Mom should wear Dad down in three months.  I'll bet his life will be miserable 'til he gives in."

"Yeah,"  Jamie climbed onto the diving rock, laughing. "Serves him right for not listening to the Lord."

"I don't know if my dad can hold out that long."  Sarah picked Deejay up again.  "I remember Momma being a real nag, when she didn't get her way."

"It's settled then."  Julie slipped into the deep water.  "They will be here at least by Christmas.  Wouldn't that make a marvelous Christmas present."

"It would make a better birthday present for Debbie, or Timmy.  They come first."  Sarah dunked Deejay momentarily.  The little girl came up laughing.

"OH!  NO!"  Debbie screamed.  "What are we going to wear?  We can't meet them in these grass things.  They don't even cover us up good."

"They won't care how we look.  They will just be glad we're alive and well."  I splashed the water to get Deejay's attention.  "If I know Momma, she'll go through every missionary box she can find, and have several sizes of everything, just to make sure she's got the right things."  That wasn't a revelation. I remembered that much about my mother.

"We can cut up a blanket and make some of those things like we wore until that guy's coveralls were gone. You remember the ones we tied on the side that were always coming loose.  And, we girls can tie a strip of blanket around the top." Sarah let the baby come to me.  .

"Scratchy!  Scratchy!"  Julie started scratching.  "Even the thought of it makes me itch.  I don't even like to sleep on those things.  I sure don't want to wear them against the tender parts of my body!"

"Me neither!"  Debbie  climbed onto the diving rock.

"We won't have to wear them but a few minutes, if Timmy's right about his mom, but if you'd rather we can cut up one of the ponchos.  They would be awful hot, but not so scratchy."

"That's better," they agreed.

"I bet they won't bring us anything we can swim in."  Julie intercepted the baby.

"Timmy said, she'll  probably have several sizes of clothes. We  can probably make something." Sarah followed Debbie up the diving rock.

"Ump, Dooie, ump." Deejay pointed at the cliff.

"After a while, Baby,  We'll jump with you in a minute.  We're talking now."  Julie dipped the baby to her armpits into the water.

Debbie surfaced from a dive.  "Well, I ain't leaving until they've been here at least a week.  I want them to see our beautiful home,  If they like it, maybe we can come back here on vacations."

"Or better yet, maybe they'll like it so much they will build a house down on the lakes and live here."  Julie dreamed.

"Yeah!"  We all agreed.

"If we're going to entertain guests, we better prepare for them."  I began to figure.  "Let's see.  We've got a sister and a brother, and you have a brother, at least.   With our folks that makes seven people, and we need to plan for at least two more.  That's nine.  We got the three beds and three chairs in the ravine.  We can fix up Sarah's and my old beds, and the old big bed.  Some of the kids might be able to sleep on that if they had to.   We'll need a bigger table, nine more eating chairs,  six lounge chairs and five more beds.  No we'll make two more big beds like Sarah's and mine. That ought to be enough, even if they bring a few extras.  We've got work to do Jamie.  Let's go gather some bamboo.  Girls, Sarah can stay with the baby, this time.  You girls can start by getting vines and making new mats for old beds.  I want to be ready for them in a month."

"We girls can make the mats."  Sarah followed Jamie and me out of the water.  "You men can start working with the frames"

Deejay set up a howl.  "Ump.  Ump."

"All right, Deejay.  We'll jump, but just one time, then we've got work to do."  Julie carried the baby up the path and gave her to Sarah.

Everyone was excited.  We were going to have company, and we wanted to be ready.  Sarah made one jump with the baby, and went to work.  She cut the old mat from the beds, and tightened the vines that held the frames together, while the girls collected vines, and Jamie and I brought in bamboo stalks.  By mid-afternoon we had a supply of materials to start, and went to work.

"Where are they going to sleep?"  Sarah began stringing the warp vines on the old bed frame.

I sharpened a burning stick to a point to burn holes in the bamboo stalks.  "Our parent's can sleep in Jamie's and one of the girl's rooms and the kids can either sleep on the patio or in a room with their parents.  If they bring some one else we still have the other girl's room."

"And where are we supposed to sleep?"  Jamie was cutting the bamboo poles to size.

The girls might be able to share a room, and you can take your choice:  the main room, the den room, the patio, or the ravine."  Sarah tightened a vine and tied it.  "You sleep on the patio most of the time anyway" 

The next days were busy ones.  Jamie and I were making furniture, and the girls wove mats and made the clothes out of ponchos for us to wear to meet our parents.

The girls did not go to the ravine on schedule, but started wearing the new poncho-pants,  I questioned Sarah about it, and she explained that they had figured out a way to hide their embarrassment.  They did not want to take a chance on being in the ravine, when our folks came.  We boys hardly knew the difference.

By the end of the month we took a trip to the cove to make sure we would have plenty of salt and syrup for our guests.  We hoped they would bring their own coffee.  I knew my dad and mother loved their coffee.  The only drinks we had besides water and fresh juice, were goat milk, and lemonade.  When I thought about that, I made a note to go to Goat Field and bring in three more friendly goats, with kids old enough not to need them.

By the first of September, we were ready, and settled down to wait.  Day after day dragged by.  We stood by the hour gazing out to sea and kept a fire burning on the ledge day and night.  We kept a pile of green wood and brush near by to make more smoke if we saw them coming in the day time.  The Philippines were west of us.  I was sure they would come from the West or Northwest.  We scanned the horizon for hours at a time.  Each night we went to bed disappointed, and each morning we awoke with a new hope.  September turned into October, first--second--third--

The evening of the third, Debbie was the last to come to the patio to watch the bats.  "I know when they'll be here."

"When?"  Julie asked first.

"In four more days, the morning of my birthday."

"Is that a revelation or wishful thinking?"  Sarah asked.

"Wishful thinking," Debbie admitted, frowning, "but could you think of a better birthday present God could give me?"

"Yes!"  Julie played with the baby.  "They could come tonight and be here in the morning."

"That would be better."  Debbie prayed, "Jesus, you're my mediator.  Please ask our Father to let them be here on my birthday."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 1995

By

Leonard H. Hall, Sr.

 

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