As the day stretches, clouds begin to appear to the north and drift lazily across the sky, eventually bringing some relief from the sun in the early afternoon. The party grows hungry and sits to eat; Arkemis shares some figs, unleavened bread and a clear dipping sauce made of crushed limes and fennel that's sharp to the taste, yet unusually delicious to German palates.
In time you work your way down to the saddle, and find there to be cracks in the stone along the north side of the island, most often a foot or so wide but 10 or 20 feet deep, like dried pudding that has split on the surface. The south edge of the island (where the tilt in the plateau falls towards the sea) is all gravel and sand, held together with occasional scrub.
About a hundred yards ahead, you can see the top of a big olive tree, thirty feet wide ... but it appears to be growing from inside one of the cracks, for you can't see the trunk of the thing at all. The canopy is rich and full, however, unusual for the island, so you suspect there must be a water source for it.
As you close within 70 yards of it, the entire olive tree canopy gives a terrific shake. A large bird emerges from it, and you realize as it drops towards the south end of the island that it's an ordinary-sized vulture, not remotely large enough to shake the tree, just put out by the shake. The vulture soon reaches the water, hundreds of yards from you, and disappears as it becomes too small to see.
The tree seems untouched, but you're all wary. After another minute or so, it gives another terrific shake. It appears as though it is being struck with something, but you do not hear the sound of a blow.