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The Journal of Eustace Scrubb, a.k.a. The Last Bastion of Civilization in an Uncivilized Land

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Entry 1

Observer: Eustace Clarence Scrubb

Location: unknown

Surrounding environment: wet

Physical condition of observer: wet

Mental state of observer: abysmal

Primary Hypothesis: We are all mad.

Supporting Evidence: E. and L. behavior, although usually aberrant, utterly inconsistent with English schoolchildren re: use of archaic language, swords, etc. E. and L. evidencing impaired rationality re: insist we have fallen through painting (patently preposterous) into land of Narnia (geographically proposterous, as there is no such country recognized by Her Majesty’s government, all evidence of which is woefully absent in present circumstances).

Test Method: pending. Observer is unfamiliar with exact procedure for diagnosing insanity and other mental disorders. Note to self: find relevant reading material upon return to Cambridge.

Note to self: upon return to England, France or similarly civilized country, investigate immediately whether insanity inherited through maternal or paternal line.

Secondary Hypothesis: painting coated with solvent off-gassing hallucinogenic fumes.

Supporting Evidence: close proximity to painting immediately prior to experiencing ill effects. Funny smell in spare room. (Source of smell: mothballs, leftover scent from Aunt Murgatroyd’s Pekingese, Pevensie cousins, hallucinogenic fumes?)

Test Method: N/A, hypothesis impossible to test in present circ., given lack of painting and/or unaffected observer.

 

Entry 2

Location: unknown, aboard reconstruction of antique sailing vessel, at sea (literally)

Surrounding environment: wet, humid, crowded, smelly, most unpleasant even to the most unbiased observer. No distilled water, most unsanitary.

Physical condition of observer: seasick

Mental state of observer: at sea (figuratively)

Primary Hypothesis (insanity): still untested

Secondary Hypothesis (solvent-induced hallucination): less likely given the apparent time elapsed since initial exposure

L. is being uncommonly solicitous. E. is demonstrating typical behavior, i.e. boorish. Captain of sailing vessel is Caspian, calling himself King of Narnia, which is clearly some undiscovered, uninhabited isle. Stars unfamiliar, but humidity suggests East Indies, or possibly Canary Islands. No evidence of steam power, let alone modern technology. 

Singularly discourteous mouse running about with a sword like a fondue fork. It speaks. Possible ventriloquism? Hidden phonograph? More investigation required. Pity I haven’t my dissection kit.

Tertiary Hypothesis: L. and E. conducting experiment of their own to test my resilience. Or, more likely, are playing a mean prank out of spite.

Supporting Evidence: ... none, but it would be just like them.

Test Method: none at this time

 

Entry 3

Location: ship Dawn Treader, origin “Narnia,” destination unknown

Surrounding environment: see previous entry

Physical condition of observer: as well as may be expected under present circ.

Mental state of observer: spirits improved following administration of unlabeled medication by L. Rather sporting of her. For a girl.

Technology on board is primitive. A submarine could blast this ship to pieces just by ramming it, no torpedoes required. Still, the craftsmanship is fine enough, if you like that sort of thing. Lion carvings everywhere for some reason. Asked L. why iconography of land animal aboard seafaring vessel. She laughed at me. Last time I ask her anything.

That great dirty mouse keeps following me about, saying I’ve insulted his honor, or L’s honor, or C’s or E’s or the cook’s or the captain’s (and I thought C. was the captain? These Narnians are too backwards even for a straightforward hierarchy). What does a mouse know about honor, anyway? Stupid antiquated notion. It keeps going on about its tail, “the honor and glory of a mouse,” “gift from Aslan” and the like.

I’ll show him.

 

Entry 3 addendum

They not only let that menace of a mouse run free — it’s also armed! That toy sword it’s always waving about is sharp!

I will have words with C. about this.

 

Entry 3 post-addendum

C., E. and L. are all fiends. They’re stark raving mad, going on about duels and satisfaction! They’re all as savage as that mouse.

 

Entry 4

Location: primitive cell on a primitive island, held captive by a primitive thug named Pug

Surrounding environment: even filthier and more crowded than the ship

Physical condition of observer: black and blue from the blasted mouse’s beating, from being manhandled by the slavers, and from being jostled by other prisoners

Mental state of observer: have been kidnapped by slavers, what do you think? Lower than abysmal.

Am being sold at auction. Barbaric. My cousins agree, will wonders never cease.
On the one bright note, have learned all kinds of interesting insults from the mouse. Impressive vocabulary for a rodent.

 

Entry 4 addendum

I say “sold,” but I wasn’t. No one wanted to buy me. It was humiliating, degrading, and [writing unintelligible].

Lucy was crying when it came her turn. First time I ever saw her look scared of anything.

The mouse wasn’t scared.

C. rescued us. Suppose being “king” has its advantages. Alberta says royalty is passé, and Harold says colonialism is an outdated system. Thought of debating the matter with C., but he’s probably hidebound by tradition and wouldn’t see sense. Might be interesting to talk with E. sometime, though. If he isn’t being a prig.

 

Entry 5

For a while things weren’t so bad. Even the mouse wasn’t much of a nuisance. But I should have known better. The hurricane was inevitable, I suppose. C. was a maniac to take to sea in a tub as small as this.

My only consolation is that even L. seems miserable. She actually snapped at me the other day. I told her [unintelligible]

Oh hang it all. The ink is diluted and the paper is wet. Do you know how hard it is to write neatly when the ship is going up and down, up and down like a ruddy [unintelligible]

 

Entry 5 addendum

Everything is dry now. And still. It’s a ruddy relief, and I can’t figure out why eveyone looks so worried. You would think they’d be glad not to be tossed about and drenched and seasick at every turn.

Not that I was seasick, mind. Although it would be understandable if one were.

 

Entry 5 post-addendum

No wind, little water, dwindling supplies. You’d think a royal expedition would be better planned than this. Don’t they have cartographers in this blasted place?

I think the mouse is spying on me. E. too, no doubt. L. is always around too, but I think she’s just a busybody.

I’m sure I have a temperature. If I could just get a drink of water, I could think clearly. Just one little sip...

 

Entry 6

The less said about the water incident, the better. I was sick and out of my mind with thirst, and the only humane thing would have been to give me a drink — but I digress.

(I knew the mouse was spying on me!)

The wind returned at last, and we reached land. The island is mountainous and lushly green, covered with cedar trees and riddled with streams. Fresh water! Everything is calm and still and quiet. Anyone with any sense could see the thing to do is to rest from our ordeal. But C. and E. and L. and the rest of the lunatics insist on working before we have our strength back. I’m in no condition, even they should see that. Not that anyone pays attention to me, unless it’s to torment me. As soon as they’re busy, I’ll just slip away for a little. Just to rest. And maybe to explore a little.

That’s the problem with these Narnian types. No common sense, and no sense of adventure or curiosity. Imagine! I could be the first person to explore these wilds. I could discover new species, or a vein of gold or something much more worthwhile than berries or masts. It’d serve them right if I found treasure and they missed out. Then they’d be sorry they treated me so savagely.

 

Entry 6 addendum

I’ve wandered farther than I meant to, and it’s hard to judge the passage of time in this beastly fog. What if I slept the whole day? What if the others have gone back to the ship? What if they leave me here all alone?

Even their company is better than none at all.

I have to hurry back. I won’t let them leave me behind. I can’t [unintelligible]

Something’s coming. Some sort of wild animal, I can hear it snorting and hissing — I see it! Thru the trees, scaly and large and long tail, like a dinosaur, only the hip structure is all wrong — and wings, too large to be vestigial — and smoke, is the brute on fire? It’s old and slow and stiff but I think it’s looking at me and I daren’t move —
[ink splotches]

I think it’s dead.

Or could it be faking? Better not chance it. And yet... I ought to sketch it at least. For posterity. And I am thirsty, and I don’t think the brute fouled the water...
[water splotches]

Confound it, it’s raining. Am going to the creature’s cave, at least it’ll be dry.

It’s blasted dark in here, am writing without a match and [unintelligible]

GOLD

IfoundGOLD

I’ll show them. I’ll buy C’s crown out from under him. I’ll buy a decent ship, buy that brute slaver Pug and make him a slave, I’ll... [writing trails off into illegibility]

[subsequent page is torn and singed]

 

Entry 7

I was a dragon. I was a dragon.

A real, live, flying dragon.

And now I’m not.

 

Entry 8

I feel I should be more ashamed of it than I am. I mean, I am ashamed of my behavior. I was an utter rotter. Still am, probably, just more aware of it.

Edmund says to be patient about that, by the way, to keep trying even when everything is awful. Lucy says it’ll take time to grow beyond myself. I almost understand what she means, which can only be a good thing.

Still. Dragon.

It’s hard to be ashamed of the dragon. Maybe I should be. But I can’t regret it, and not just for what came of it — Aslan, and all the rest. I wonder if he knows how hard it was to become human again?

I could fly.

I think I’ll always miss that. I don’t know what that says about me. Can’t be anything good.

Still. I was a dragon.

Whatever else might happen after Narnia, assuming we ever leave here (and I’m starting to think I almost wouldn’t mind if we didn’t), I’ll always have the memory of flying.

Hypothesis: If I can change from a dragon to a boy, then I can become a better boy than I was before.

Supporting evidence: I learned to be a pretty decent dragon if I do say so myself.

Test Method: Trial and error

Results: Pending

 

Entry 9

It’s harder being useful as a boy than it was as a dragon. I can barely haul on the lines — after being able to lift the whole mast! It’s maddening.

Lucy tells me to be patient. Every time she does, I want to snap at her, but something stops me.

Reep is a brick. He seems to know when I’m reverting to form — he says he can see smoke curling from my nostrils. From anyone else, even Lucy, it would sound awful. But Reep sat up with me every night while I was a dragon, even after the way I treated him. (I never thought of it, but of course he’s nocturnal.) Most of the crew was afraid of me at first, but not Reep. I guess he’s used to everyone being so much bigger than he is.

Besides, I don’t think he’s afraid of anything.

I’m sorry I ever swung him around by his tail. We joke about it now. I’m not very good at joking yet, but Edmund says I’m improving. Maybe when I get good enough at it, I’ll pull Reep’s tail again. Just a little.

After all, it’s a lot like pulling someone’s leg, isn’t it?

 

Entry 10

Observer: Reepicheep

Subject: asleep

Primary Hypothesis: Eustace sleeps very soundly

Revised Hypothesis: Eustace sleeps so soundly only a cannon could wake him

Test Method: in progress

Results: highly satisfactory for observer

Hypothesis: confirmed

Conclusion: Eustace should not leave his journal open nor his bed unguarded when retiring for the evening, especially after pulling a Mouse’s tail, even in jest.

 

Editor’s Note

These journal entries were recovered from the belongings of Sir Eustace the Undragoned upon the Dawn Treader’s return to Narnia under the reign of King Caspian X. These and other items, including a metal cylinder believed to belong to King Edmund the Just, are preserved at the royal library in Cair Paravel.

Sir Eustace’s methods of observation, hypothesis and conclusion have made a great contribution to philosophy and medicine. Narnian scholars know him not only as the Undragoned, but also as the father of Empirical Science, a term which can be found frequently in his earlier journal entries written in the land of Spare Oom. These writings are available to scholars for examination. Address all requests to Head Librarian Teekicheek, many-times-great granddaughter of Reepicheep, Knight of Narnia and Friend to Dragons.