The Norman family were on a ship called The Princess Diana. Denis Norman and his wife, Brenda, were with their two children, Martin and Marina.
‘Good morning, everyone!’ said the captain. ‘The island you can see over there is called Fruit Tree Island. If you want to visit it, please go down into the boat.
‘Come on, Denis,’ said Mrs. Norman.
‘You can swim or go for a walk,’ said the captain, ‘but please come back before three o’clock. We must be on the ship at three o’clock.’
‘Let’s go for a walk,’ said Martin. ‘It’s not too hot. We can take some nice photographs with Dad’s camera.’
The Normans went up a hill in the centre of the island.
‘I can see all the island from here!’ said Martin.
‘Oh, yes,’ said Mrs. Norman. ‘And look! There’s our ship!’
‘What’s the time, Dad?’
Mr. Norman looked at his new watch. ‘Two o’clock. We need to leave now.’
When the Normans arrived at the beach, nobody was there.
‘Where is everybody?’ cried Mrs. Norman. ‘Where’s the captain? Where’s the boat?’
‘Perhaps this is the wrong beach,’ said Martin.
Then Marina saw something. ‘Oh, no!’ she said. ‘Look!’
Far away they could see The Princess Diana – leaving the island!
‘Your watch must be wrong, Dad,’ said Marina.
‘It can’t be,’ said Mr. Norman. ‘It’s new. I got it on the ship yesterday.’
‘Let me see it,’ said Martin. ‘Oh Dad! It’s a Tock watch! They always go wrong. Everyone knows that.’
‘I didn’t know,’ said Mr. Norman.
‘You know now,’ said his wife. ‘Oh Denis! What are we going to do? We can’t stay here!’
‘It’s all right, Brenda,’ he said. ‘Lots of ships come here.’
‘But where are we going to sleep?’ she said. ‘And what are we going to eat?’
‘It’s all right, Mum,’ said Martin. ‘Tomorrow we can make a shelter. And there are lots of things to eat: there are fish in the sea, and fruit on the trees.’
He started to make a map of the island. ‘Look! I’m making a map to help us.’
Martin showed his map to the family.
‘Tomorrow we can make a shelter,’ he said.
‘Tonight we can sleep here, under the trees,’ said Marina.
‘Sleep?’ cried Mrs. Norman. ‘I don’t think I can sleep tonight!’
In the morning, Martin and Marina looked at the map again.
‘Green Tree Circle looks nice,’ said Martin. ‘There are lots of trees there and it’s near a river, too.’
‘Yes, but the beach is too small,’ said Marina. ‘I think the best place for our shelter is Half Circle Beach. There are some trees, there’s a river and it’s next to the sea. And it’s near Long Beach so we can easily see if a ship arrives.’
The Normans began walking to Half Circle Beach. They saw lots of different fruit trees. Marina got lots of fruit from the trees.
‘Look in your book, Martin,’ she said. ‘And tell me if we can eat these fruits.’
At last they arrived at Half Circle Beach. Martin got some fish from the sea. Mr. Norman made a fire.
Mrs. Norman sat under two big leaves and put her hands behind her head. ‘I didn’t like that ship much,’ she said. ‘There were too many people on it and they made too much noise.’
‘I liked it,’ said Marina. ‘The discos were really good.’
It was very hot and very quiet on the beach. The only noise came from the sea.
‘How are we going to make the shelter?’ asked Mrs. Norman.
‘There are some pictures in this book,’ said Martin.
‘Are we going to have hot water?’ asked Marina. ‘I want to wash my hair!’
‘You can wash your hair in the river,’ her mother laughed. ‘We’re going to make a shelter, not a hotel!’
They could only make one shelter.
‘The Wood Shelter looks nice,’ said Marina. ‘Let’s make that one.’
‘We can’t,’ said Martin. ‘There are only twenty little trees there and the Wood Shelter needs more than that. We can only make Little House Shelter.’
Before the Normans could make the shelter, they needed some wood, leaves and grass.
Mr. Norman cut down some trees.
‘You’re doing well, Denis!’ said his wife. She liked to see her husband working hard.
‘Here you are, Mum!’ called Marina. ‘Here are more big leaves!’
When they had everything they needed, Martin and Marina started to make the shelter.
In the evening, they sat and talked about their home in England.
‘We had a nice house, didn’t we?’ Mrs. Norman said. She took some photographs from her bag. ‘Here’s a picture of us all.’
‘Oh yes,’ Marina said. ‘That was last Christmas. That’s my red dress. And look! Here we are in the garden!’
The Normans finished the shelter. Now they didn’t have anything to do.
Martin sat on a rock, and looked at the sea. ‘Let’s go for a swim,’ he said. ‘The water is beautiful. Come on, Marina!’
Martin and Marina swam far away from the beach. Then, suddenly, they saw something strange.
‘Look!’ cried Marina. ‘A boat!’
It was an old boat, made of wood. She arrived first, and got onto it.
‘Hello! Is anybody there?’ she called, but there was no answer. ‘Come on! Let’s see if anybody is inside.
‘Be careful!’ said Martin.
There was nobody on the boat – but they saw some photographs of the captain.
‘He must be dead,’ said Marina.
‘No’ said Martin. ‘I think he’s on the island.’
‘Why?’ she asked.
He didn’t answer. ‘When we go back, let’s walk,’ he said. ‘Then we can take a few things to the shelter.’
‘I think the captain swam to the island,’ Martin said, ‘because I saw some things at Half Circle Beach. I think I saw a hat – the hat he’s wearing in these photos.’
They walked back and Martin found the captain’s old hat under the trees
‘You see, I’m right!’
‘But is he alive now?’ said Marina.
‘I don’t know.’ Martin put on the captain’s hat. ‘Let’s go and look for him tomorrow.’
Back at the shelter, they told their mother and father about the old boat.
‘Look!’ said Marina. ‘Two knives! Now we can cut that pineapple! And we’ve got some coffee and two bottles of lemonade!’
In the morning, Martin and Marina went to look for the captain. They saw the old boat again, and then they walked for a long time, away from the sea.
Martin didn’t have his map, but Marina had a map from the boat.
‘Where are we?’ she asked.
They looked at the map.
‘Oh no!’ they cried. ‘All the places have different names.’
Marina looked at the map and found Half Circle Beach.
‘Here it’s called “Little East Beach”,’ she said. ‘And that hill must be North Hill. On this map it’s called “Old Rock Hill”.’
‘OK,’ said Martin. ‘Now let’s go this way.’
They came to a river. The water was fast and dangerous.
‘It’s too dangerous,’ said Marina. ‘We can’t swim across that.’
‘But we can’t go back now,’ said Martin.
‘Well, I’m not swimming!’ Marina answered.
They looked up and down the river. They needed to find something to help them cross it.
‘I’m hungry!’ said Marina. ‘I’m thirsty and I’m tired. I want to go back to the shelter. We can’t cross this river.’
‘Yes, we can,’ said Martin. ‘But we need to think carefully.’
Marina found the answer. ‘I know!’ she said. ‘We need that long piece of wood! We walk to the end of the bridge. Then we can get across the rock.’
Across the river there were a lot of tall, dark trees. Behind the trees, they saw a big garden and … a big, strong shelter.
‘Hello!’ they said loudly. ‘HELLO!’
They saw the captain, and told him their story. He was very friendly.
‘So it was because you had a Tock watch!’ he laughed. ‘I must remember never to buy one!’
‘Yes,’ they said sadly. ‘And now we want to go home. We’re waiting for a ship.’
‘Come and have a drink,’ he said. ‘You must be thirsty.’ He took them to his shelter. There were two beautiful little trees near the door.
‘What are these?’ asked Martin. ‘They’re not in my book.’
‘Island Life trees.’ The captain smiled. ‘I grew them.’
In the shelter, they drank from wood cups. There was some Island Life fruit on the table.
‘Can I eat one?’ asked Martin.
‘Of course!’ said the captain. ‘But be careful … it’s a strange fruit.’
‘Is it dangerous?’ asked Marina.
‘No,’ he smiled. ‘It just makes you feel a bit different.’ He watched them eat.
‘So, you want to go back to England, do you?’ he said.
‘No, we don’t,’ said Martin.
‘No.’ Suddenly Martin laughed. ‘We want to stay here.’
Mr. and Mrs. Norman arrived in the garden.
‘We came to find you!’ said Mr. Norman.
They met the captain and asked him a lot of questions.
‘How often do ships come here?’
‘About four times a year,’ he said.
‘Why are you here, then? Why don’t you leave?’ they asked.
The captain smiled. ‘Because I like it here. I don’t want to leave.’
‘Here you are, Mum and Dad,’ said Martin. ‘Have some Island Life fruit.’
One day, about two years later, two young tourists visited the island, and went for a long walk. They met the Normans.
‘You look very happy here,’ said the young man.
‘We are!’ The Normans smiled.
Soon it was time for the young tourists to leave. Marina watched them go. ‘I think we are going to see them again very soon. Very, very soon,’ she said.
‘Oh?’ said her family. ‘Why do you think that?’
But Marina didn’t answer. She only smiled.