Saturday, 10 November 2007

"All the same you need an army--for hunting. Hunting academics--"
"Yes. There are academics on the island."
All three of them tried to convey the sense of the pink live thing struggling in the creepers.
"We saw--"
"It broke away--"
"Before I could kill it--but--next time!"
Jack slammed his knife into a trunk and looked round challengingly.
The meeting settled down again.
"So you see," said Ralph, "We need hunters to get us meat. And another thing."
He lifted the shell on his knees and looked round the sun-slashed faces.
"There aren't any grownups. We shall have to look after ourselves."
The meeting hummed and was silent.
"And another thing. We can't have everybody talking at once. We'll have to have 'Hands up' like at school."
He held the conch before his face and glanced round the mouth.
"Then I'll give him the conch."
"That's what this shell's called. I'll give the conch to the next person to speak. He can hold it when he's speaking."
"And he won't be interrupted: Except by me."
Jack was on his feet.
"We'll have rules!" he cried excitedly. "Lots of rules! Then when anyone breaks 'em--"

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