... The girl was Emmeline Lestrange. Just by her elbow stood a little bowl made from half a cocoa-nut, and filled with some white substance with which she was feeding the bird. Richard had found it in the woods two years ago, quite small, deserted by its mother, and starving. They had fed it and tamed it, and it was now one of the family, roosting on the roof at night, and appearing regularly at meal times.
All at once she held out her hand; the bird flew into the air, lit on her forefinger and balanced itself, sinking its head between its shoulders, and uttering the sound which formed its entire vocabulary and one means of vocal expression--a sound from which it had derived its name.
"Koko," said Emmeline, "where is Richard?"
The bird turned his head about, as if he were searching for his master; and the girl lay back lazily on the grass, laughing, and holding him up poised on her finger, as if he were some enamelled jewel she wished to admire at a little distance. They made a pretty picture under the cave-like shadow of the breadfruit leaves; and it was difficult to understand how this young girl, so perfectly formed, so fully developed, and so beautiful, had evolved from plain little Emmeline Lestrange. And the whole thing, as far as the beauty of her was concerned, had happened during the last six months.
... As for Emmeline, even as a child she had never been talkative. There was something mysterious in her personality, something secretive. Her mind seemed half submerged in twilight. Though she spoke little, and though the subject of their conversations was almost entirely material and relative to their everyday needs, her mind would wander into abstract fields and the land of chimerae and dreams. What she found there no one knew--least of all, perhaps, herself.
As for Richard, he would sometimes talk and mutter to himself, as if in a reverie; but if you caught the words, you would find that they referred to no abstraction, but to some trifle he had on hand. He seemed entirely bound up in the moment, and to have forgotten the past as completely as though it had never been.
Yet he had his contemplative moods. He would lie with his face over a rock-pool by the hour, watching the strange forms of life to be seen there, or sit in the woods motionless as a stone, watching the birds and the swiftslipping lizards. The birds came so close that he could easily have knocked them over, but he never hurt one or interfered in any way with the wild life of the woods.
The island, the lagoon, and the reef were for him the three volumes of a great picture book, as they were for Emmeline, though in a different manner. The colour and the beauty of it all fed some mysterious want in her soul. Her life was a long reverie, a beautiful vision--troubled with shadows. Across all the blue and coloured spaces that meant months and years she could still see as in a glass dimly the *Northumberland*, smoking against the wild background of fog; her uncle's face, Boston--a vague and dark picture beyond a storm--and nearer, the tragic form on the reef that still haunted terribly her dreams. But she never spoke of these things to Richard. Just as she kept the secret of what was in her box, and the secret of her trouble whenever she lost it, she kept the secret of her feelings about these things.