A New Friend
Do not think me foolish, for I had brought the necessary preparations for our mission, but they've all been lost with our vessel. Thus I confess that although most of the morning was spent attempting to explore deeper into the island, I was inevitably forced to retreat to the shores once again, my attire entirely unsuitable for the arduous journey inland.
Lack of provisions had left me ill-prepared for any hazard, in fact, so food was my next objective. I believe my weakened condition was not simply due to protein deprivation but also lingering effects from something in the noxious fumes we sailed through to reach the island, so I dare not return to the sea until I learn how the natives avoid such effects. Perhaps there is something in their diet which gives them a natural immunity? Perhaps I need simply to acclimatize. Until such time as I've determined it safe to venture out again, I'm restricting myself to what I can forage up on land, which at least seems to be abundant in fruit.
While foraging for fruit, I've come across a number of other objects which have given me a great deal of insight into customs and way of life observed here. Perhaps they are not so far from civilization as I've feared. I've come across a rather large number of dolls, so they obviously have strong family units and devotion to their children. Religion also features prominently, I suspect, from the care taken to bury their dead with objects to serve them in the afterlife. Party favors and tokens are signs that they apparently greet death with an air of celebrating the fulfilled life of the deceased, instead of mourning. However, I confess that I'm baffled by the above ground burial practices, without even benefit of a mausoleum or tomb, and with no negative sea level here that would cause a buried body to be prematurely exhumed. Perhaps open-air burial has links to their belief system. Maybe they worship a god of the skies, and are offering their loved ones into their care?
In any case, a very interesting thing occurred while I was examining these artifacts (and placing some in crates to take home for further cultural study). Puzzling over some strange inscriptions in an attempt to determine their origin, I was suddenly set upon by what I can only describe as a zombie! Intent to take my very life or my virtue, I cannot say, but we struggled for quite some time. I have not much physical prowess, but neither will I lay down and submit, I daresay, to such a rogues attempt to ravish me! All the while I attempted to communicate with him, but no language seemed to penetrate the mask of bloodlust.
At some point in our struggles, the oaf knocked me down so hard, my corset became loosened. Worn out and without hope, I prepared to submit to the inevitable. Inexplicably, he stopped and simply stared at my heaving bosom. My mother Doris had given me a necklace for luck before we left on our journey, and it seemed to have captured the monster's attention (at least, I was hoping that's what he was staring at so longingly).
In an attempt to show good will, hoping to prolong the uncertain stalemate, I gave the charm to him. This had a miraculous affect! The zombie appears to have become enthralled by my generosity, and has been my loyal helper ever since.
It's been most convenient having him to lift these heavy crates and boxes after I've filled them with historical and cultural artifacts, and he's even collected enough fruit to end my concerns for food for the time being. Still, he appears visibly agitated each time we hear the drums start up again, and I must take that as sign that they are cause for concern. We're collecting goods as quickly as possible now as the drums are playing more frequently and it feels like something, something rather major, is imminent.
Our sponsors would like us to let you know that there is an ongoing need for illustrations to go with this mission report, so that Headquarters does not yell at our castaways for their lack of diligence in providing visual documentation of their journey. Information on this can be found in this forum thread, and contributions chosen for inclusion will be rewarded most handsomely. Illustrations for today provided by BootlegPatch and volleygirl10.