Danny Dunn on a Desert Island
I’d have no difficulty deciding on an idea.”
    â€œBut those ideas are impractical.”
    â€œHave you a better one?”
    â€œYes. It has just occurred to me—”
    Before Professor Bullfinch could continue there was a noise behind them, higher up the trail. Branches snapped and stones came rattling down.
    â€œMore natives! We’re surrounded!” said Dr. Grimes. He raised his club.
    â€œWait. I don’t think so,” Professor Bullfinch said, calmly.
    At the same instant, a group of men came into sight. They were seamen, and two or three were holding rifles. Their leader, a tall, portly man, whose white hair stuck out under the peak of his cap, was carrying a pistol.
    â€œThe men from the ship!” Grimes said.
    â€œExactly. As I was about to say, it occurred to me that they’d be along soon,” said Professor Bullfinch. He stepped forward and held out his hand. “How do you do?” he said. “I’m Professor Euclid Bullfinch and this is Dr. A. J. Grimes.”
    â€œHowdy,” said the tall man, shaking hands. “I’m Larkin, first mate of the Inca Queen . We know all about you. There was a bulletin from Lima asking everybody to be on the watch for you. Then we picked up your signal, but it failed, and we’ve been searching the sector for an island. There isn’t one marked on the charts in this region.”
    â€œLet’s not stand about gossiping!” Dr. Grimes put in sharply. “The boys—”
    â€œOh, yeah. There’s supposed to be two kids with you. I got your note. The natives caught ’em eh?”
    â€œYes.”
    â€œWell, we’ll get ’em back,” the mate said confidently. “We’ll blow those savages to bits. Which way?”
    â€œFollow me,” said the Professor, and turned down the trail. The others pressed close behind, holding their rifles ready.
    They came to the top of the bank and paused. In the clearing they saw a dreadful sight. The two husky guards were holding Joe face down over the pot. Danny stood nearby with three or four of the natives about him.
    â€œQuick!” Dr. Grimes exclaimed. “There’s no time to lose!”
    â€œGet ’em!” shouted Larkin.
    He burst through the thicket and started down the bank, holding his pistol high. The rest streamed after him.
    The natives turned openmouthed at the intrusion. Larkin leveled his weapon.
    â€œStand back!” he ordered in a harsh voice. “Don’t move or we’ll open fire!”
    At that Danny leaped forward, holding up both his hands.
    â€œStop!” he cried. “You don’t understand!”

CHAPTER NINTEEN
    â€œA Pot by Any Other Name”
    Everyone stared at him. Danny looked round and beckoned to the short, fat man who was staring in fright.
    â€œThis is Chief Omata,” Danny said. “He speaks English.”
    The fat man bobbed his head, and with a wide grin said, “That right. I headman these fellas.”
    â€œNever mind that stuff,” said Larkin. “Let those two boys go.”
    â€œNo!” Danny interrupted. “It’s all right, I tell you.”
    â€œDanny, have you lost your mind?” snapped Dr. Grimes.
    The Professor, looking worried, said, “I—I think the strain has been too much for him.”
    â€œIt hasn’t!” Danny cried. “Look at me, Professor Bullfinch. Do I look crazy?”
    â€œWell…” the Professor began hesitantly.
    â€œListen,” Danny said. “Do you remember what you once told me about a tool having two uses? And about not judging by appearances?”
    â€œBut—”
    â€œBut listen to me. That pot—that’s a tool, too.”
    â€œA tool?”
    â€œSure. It can be a tool to cook with, or—a tool to wash with.”
    The Professor’s mouth opened, but no sound came out.
    â€œThat’s right,” Danny said. “It’s a kind of

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