One night, they ran into the storm. Muse said, “What are you doing out here?”
Zuangeng said, “To find out what the commotion is about! The yelling woke me up. What time is it?”
Muse said, “Two in the morning. If you are going to be out here, get your clothes on.”
Zuangeng went to his cabin. He got his clothes, including his shoes and socks, on. He exited the cabin. His clothes quickly got soaked. The commotion had died down. The storm had died down. It was still raining; but, the wind was calmer.
The crew were preparing the life boats. Zuangeng found Captain Garaad. He said, “What is going on?”
Captain Garaad said, “We are preparing to go ahore.”
Zuangeng said, “Will the life boats make it over the reef?”
Captain Garaad said, “The water is deep enough. You’ll be with me.”
Zuangeng said, “Who else will be with us?”
Captain Garaad said, “There will be Muse and Bilal. Some of my crew will be with us.”
Zuangeng remained with Captain Garaad. The boats were lowered. Captain Garaad, Zuangeng, Muse, Bilal and two others got in one boat. One man with a lantern sat in the bow. Another man grabbed the oars.
They rowed across the reef into the lagoon. It continued to rain with lightning and thunder. The men with the lanterns at the bows guided the rowers. The water in the lagoon was quieter than in the open ocean. There were still waves; but, not as big.
They reached the sandy shore of a small island.
The men got out of the boats into water. Zuangeng jumped into the water with them. He walked onto the shore. The men pulled the boats onto the shore.
Most of the men and Zuangeng stayed with the boats. Those with lanterns searched for shelter. They found some abandoned houses inland. The houses were surrounded by overgrown grasses and bushes. Some retained their roofs. None of them retained their windows nor doors. The timbers showed signs of decay. The houses with roofs, the men on reconnaissance deemed them suitable for the remainder of the night.
They returned and reported to Captain Garaad. Captain Garaad said, “We shelter in the houses. When it’s daylight, we’ll survey the area.”
They reached the houses. They split among the suitable houses. Captain Garaad retained Zuangeng, Bilal, Muse and one man with a lantern with him. They entered one house. The wood floor was littered dust, leaves and other debris. The walls were bare wood. The frame of the house was visible. The windows were bare of any glass, not even of shards. The window frames were laying on the floor.
They cleared an area of the floor as best as they could. Zuangeng, even, helped. They laid down and soon were asleep, except Zuangeng. He laid on the floor, still wet as everybody else. He felt a slight chill.
He, eventually, sat up. He surveyed the room. The men were asleep, some snoring. He could not sleep. He got up on his bare feet. He silently walked to the doorway.
He stopped in the doorway. He turned to look behind him. The men were still sleeping. He turned back to look out. Rain still came down; however, there was no more lightning nor thunder. It was not raining as hard, more like a drizzle. It was still dark outside. The only light was from the lantern on the floor. He left the lantern behind.
He exited the house. He looked around. He barely saw the houses. The clouds had thinned admitting some moonlight to dimly filter through.
He turned left. He walked through the tall grass. He came across another house. Dim light of a lantern could be seen in the doorway. Nobody was wake. He continued his journey among the houses.
He came to the last house. He looked at it. It was vacant, having no roof. He walked past it.
He continued walking among the grass and shrubs. It stopped raining. It remained overcast. Eventually, it got lighter as the sun had started to rise. He looked into the sky. The clouds were grey except for the red ones on the eastern horizon.