Повелитель мух / Lord of the Flies
Уильям Голдинг

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“Come on,” said Jack presently, “we’re explorers.”

“We’ll go to the end of the island,” said Ralph, “and look round the corner.”

“If it is an island—”

Now, toward the end of the afternoon, the mirages were settling a little. They found the end of the island, quite distinct, and not magicked out of shape or sense. There was a jumble of the usual squareness, with one great block sitting out in the lagoon. Sea birds were nesting there.

“Like icing,” said Ralph, “on a pink cake.”

“We shan’t see round this corner,” said Jack, “because there isn’t one. Only a slow curve—and you can see, the rocks get worse—”

Ralph shaded his eyes and followed the jagged outline of the crags up toward the mountain. This part of the beach was nearer the mountain than any other that they had seen.

“We’ll try climbing the mountain from here,” he said. “I should think this is the easiest way. There’s less of that jungly stuff; and more pink rock. Come on.”

The three boys began to scramble up. Some unknown force had wrenched and shattered these cubes so that they lay askew, often piled diminishingly on each other. The most usual feature of the rock was a pink cliff surmounted by a skewed block; and that again surmounted, and that again, till the pinkness became a stack of balanced rock projecting through the looped fantasy of the forest creepers. Where the pink cliffs rose out of the ground there were often narrow tracks winding upwards. They could edge along them, deep in the plant world, their faces to the rock.

“What made this track?”

Jack paused, wiping the sweat from his face. Ralph stood by him, breathless.


Jack shook his head.


Ralph peered into the darkness under the trees. The forest minutely vibrated.

“Come on.”

The difficulty was not the steep ascent round the shoulders of rock, but the occasional plunges through the undergrowth to get to the next path. Here the roots and stems of creepers were in such tangles that the boys had to thread through them like pliant needles. Their only guide, apart from the brown ground and occasional flashes of light through the foliage, was the tendency of slope: whether this hole, laced as it was with the cables of creeper, stood higher than that.

Somehow, they moved up.

Immured in these tangles, at perhaps their most difficult moment, Ralph turned with shining eyes to the others.




The cause of their pleasure was not obvious. All three were hot, dirty and exhausted.

Ralph was badly scratched. The creepers were as thick as their thighs and left little but tunnels for further penetration. Ralph shouted experimentally and they listened to the muted echoes.

“This is real exploring,” said Jack. “I bet nobody’s been here before.”

“We ought to draw a map,” said Ralph, “only we haven’t any paper.”

“We could make scratches on bark,” said Simon, “and rub black stuff in.”

Again came the solemn communion of shining eyes in the gloom.



There was no place for standing on one’s head. This time Ralph expressed the intensity of his emotion by pretending to knock Simon down; and soon they were a happy, heaving pile in the under-dusk.

When they had fallen apart Ralph spoke first.

“Got to get on.”

The pink granite of the next cliff was further back from the creepers and trees so that they could trot up the path. This again led into more open forest so that they had a glimpse of the spread sea. With openness came the sun; it dried the sweat that had soaked their clothes in the dark, damp heat. At last the way to the top looked like a scramble over pink rock, with no more plunging through darkness. The boys chose their way through defiles and over heaps of sharp stone.

“Look! Look!”

High over this end of the island, the shattered rocks lifted up their stacks and chimneys. This one, against which Jack leaned, moved with a grating sound when they pushed.

“Come on—”

But not “Come on” to the top. The assault on the summit must wait while the three boys accepted this challenge. The rock was as large as a small motor car.


Sway back and forth, catch the rhythm.


Increase the swing of the pendulum, increase, increase, come up and bear against that point of furthest balance—increase—increase—


The great rock loitered, poised on one toe, decided not to return, moved through the air, fell, struck, turned over, leapt droning through the air and smashed a deep hole in the canopy of the forest. Echoes and birds flew, white and pink dust floated, the forest further down shook as with the passage of an enraged monster: and then the island was still.


“Like a bomb!”


Not for five minutes could they drag themselves away from this triumph. But they left at last. The way to the top was easy after that. As they reached the last stretch Ralph stopped.


They were on the lip of a circular hollow in the side of the mountain. This was filled with a blue flower, a rock plant of some sort, and the overflow hung down the vent and spilled lavishly among the canopy of the forest. The air was thick with butterflies, lifting, fluttering, settling.

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