John Willie (John Alexander Scott Coutts) wrote an unfinished story titled "Magic Island", serialized in his magazine Bizarre in 6 parts from 1948 through 1954.
The story Willie wrote (and illustrated with 4 watercolors and two b/w drawings) alleges to be from a series of bottles washed up on a beach somewhere.
This story’s characterizations in words and drawings are remarkably different from Willie’s other work. This story is much ‘lighter’. In "Magic Island" Willie explored one of his favorite themes - girls as ponies - but from a different slant. There was little distress or physical punishment, minimal bondage, and it was all voluntary. He described a utopia, where part of the population just happens to be involved with pulling others around in light carts and running races. The story still has high heels, bare breasts and rears, harnesses with bits, and firmly secured hands - it wouldn’t be Willie otherwise - but everything’s quite cheery and upbeat for the participants. Where discipline is involved it’s more of a loving, ‘this is for your own good’ thing than a dom-sub sadistic relationship. There aren’t any wide eyes, furrowed brows, tears or fearsome gags, nobody’s tugging remorselessly on corset laces, and whips become just light instruments just used for course corrections and flicking annoying butterflies away. Even so, high-spirited ponies have to have their hands secured, posture harnesses are used, and they are hobbled so they won’t wander far... The problem is that he never finished it! Which is annoying, I want to know what happened.
Here’s a synopsis of the tale as far as JW took it:
Bottle 1 - (Bizarre # 4) A torpedo blows up Jim’s ship in the south seas during WWII. He is the sole survivor, washes ashore on an island, passes out. He comes to as he’s being saved by a remarkably beautiful woman, Malua. Malua is wearing only a sarong, a flower in her hair, and unusual high-heeled sandals. Her nude breasts stand up perkily. This vision of loveliness has the woozy Jim carried through a long tunnel in the cliffs that completely surround the island (shades of ‘Land That Time Forgot’) to the lush interior. There Jim sees a remarkable ‘cart’, a wicker contraption with two wheels like a sulky, pulled by three other equally beautiful women all decked out in pony harnesses and little else. He and Malua sit in it, Malua chucks the reigns, and they zip off through the woods. Jim is fascinated by the grace, beauty, speed, and evident zest for their strange situation that these pony-girls show (there’s a well-known JW two-page watercolor of this team in action. The ponies are smiling and happy-looking even though tightly belted around their waists, running hard pulling the cart, being flicked with a light whip Malua wields, and have bits in their mouths.)
A large butterfly called a "Cupid" lands on Gail - one of the ponies - and another on Jim, then on Malua. Malua says that this butterfly happening means the person landed on is soon to be married, and if so it will mean the break-up of her championship team - Gail is over pony age, on the team by permission because it’s the fastest team in the island and Gail wants the coveted ‘jeweled slippers’ which winning teams get to wear after they retire from pony life. The cupid butterfly also underlines the apparent attraction between Malua and Jim. The ponies react to the butterfly by bolting, which upsets Malua. They get to her parent’s house, Jim goes to sleep.
Bottle 2 - (Bizarre # 6) Jim wakes up, breakfasts. He then proceeds to fall for Malua in a big way. Malua’s brothers "Mutt and Geoff" - heh heh - appear, kid around, and vanish. Malua explains bridal customs on the island, which are unusual: a bride is taken to the woods on her wedding day, tied to a tree, and gagged. Unable to move or make noise, she must depend on her husband-to-be’s tracking skills to find her. If he doesn’t locate her by sunset, the wedding’s off. Malua says, in a puzzled way, that there must be more to it, ‘because nobody ever fails to find his bride’. Jim opines that his tracking skills are non-existent (he’s been a sailor most of his life) and they’d have to tie his bride up in the same room with him. There’s evident interest by both parties in taking this further, a somewhat murky drawing in Bizarre shows Malua playing a guitar and singing to Jim, a brother remarks that she’s never sung like that before. Cupid’s arrows have hit home.
Malua goes on: the bride is hitched up like a pony and pulls her husband home after the wedding, and expects to be tied up on their wedding night. Hmm. Jim doesn’t react strongly one way or the other to this interesting news.
Bottle 3 - (Bizarre # 7) Jim meets another castaway - Dr. Macintosh - and Malua’s mother Wendy, and her not-first-named father ‘Mr. Saunders". He learns something of the history of the island from Mac and Wendy. Settled some 300 years ago by English-speaking people, it was without horses or other means of transport, so humans were harnessed to carts. Over time girls became the only ‘ponies’, and they started racing as well as just pulling the other people around. Life is extremely easy, it’s warm, food in abundance, nobody has to work hard. Nor is the island visited by the outside world, save for the occasional castaways like Jim and Mac.
Everyone is very healthy, long-legged, and strong. Pulling carts about has became the exclusive duty of girls from 16-20. Most of their efforts appear to be devoted to carrying people to and fro, and in racing. Pony racing and ‘show’ events are a big deal on this island.
Dr. Macintosh reports that he’s studied the ‘ponies’ since he came to the island 20 years back - "Most interesting study in my long career, harumph!", and that they are truly marvels of human form and function, able to do the 100 in 7.3 seconds and also run long distances without tiring. He and Wendy explain that girls start walking on their toes when they are very young, and so are able to hold that pose when being ponies without external support. Jim wonders how they can run so fast with their arms tied behind them, Wendy responds: "Oh, it’s all practice. Little girls ask to have their hands tied behind almost as soon as they can talk, so they can practice running that way..." Every girl wants to be part of a winning pony team - the teams are judged on speed and beauty, sure-fire ways of getting a man. Women walk on the balls of their feet for their whole lives - when she stops being a pony, a girl’s feet are fitted with high heeled sandals which match her feet, not the outside world’s (‘OW’, in island jargon) reverse process of having to learn to walk in arbitrarily high heels. Jim marvels at the easy grace with which Malua and Wendy move about in their high heel sandals.
They discuss the process of becoming a pony, and mention that pony’s behavior doesn’t always meet their owner’s desires. For this situation there are punishment harnesses and training harnesses. Wendy relates how one of her ‘owners’ became displeased with her deportment and kept her locked in a punishment rig for a week on light rations - "It’s no joke, Jim, those harnesses are really uncomfortable!" and when her now-husband tried to sneak in ice cream at night to her stall she couldn’t eat it because she had a bit in her mouth. "Didn’t you resent that?" "Well, no, it’s all part of a girl’s training, it’s for her own good. When correction is needed, we accept that, even though it’s unpleasant. We want to be the best ponies we can be, and we accept correction as needed. Some of us are very high-spirited, after all." "Yes", echoes Malua, "My monkeys require constant reminders or they’d run all over the place. They’re fast, but nowhere near as well-disciplined as Dad’s team."
Bottle 4 - (Bizarre # 8) Jim and Malua arise (separately, no hanky-panky here), dress, and get ready to get in her cart to go to the yearly ‘pony auction’ at ‘Tatts’. Jim, it seems, is to have a team of his own. Outside they encounter her father’s "show" team handled by Teena (Malua’s little sister?) all ready to go: two brunettes in shiny black leather harness flanking a white-haired gal in pure highly-polished white leather (watercolor in Belier). These beauties have a perfect (and very rigid) posture and stare fixedly ahead. Malua explains that they are wonders at dressage and long-distance travel, but not as fast as her team. But that her dad, as the chief of the Island, has the luxury of having two teams, the other one is a set of fast racers. This is his ‘show’ team. Dad comes out, gets in the cart, takes the reins, clucks and speeds off. Jim is amazed again at the speed they reach.
Malua quizzes Jane, her groom (another sister?) about her ‘team of monkeys’ (so named because they are skittish and likely to indulge in mischief). "Are they in #4 harness? Make sure you tell them it isn’t by accident, I don’t want any more bolting like yesterday from these monkeys." (Apparently harnesses are graded, #1 being a simple waist band (my supposition) and going up to who-knows-what levels of control and punishment.)
When Jane brings the team out Jim thinks their harness isn’t much different from yesterday’s, but their bits are now linked by stiff wood rods instead of straps, so no pony can turn her head unless all three do so in unison. They greet him with side-long looks, staring straight ahead. (watercolor in Belier, but it may be of the initial encounter, not this one.). And there are straps coming from their heads to their waist belts in back, and straps around their elbows. Malua inspects her team and starts taking up slack in the straps. Soon the girls are standing very straight indeed, heads ‘proudly’ up, and elbows well back behind them. Their wrists are fastened to their waists, so pulling their elbows back makes for an extreme ‘chest-forward’ stance.
"Can they pull far, when they’re all tightened up like that?" he asks.
"Oh, this isn’t tight - those straps can be taken all the way in, if necessary. This is just a mild take-in to remind them they have a strict harness on and not to bolt as they did yesterday. And we don’t have far to go." Jim thinks if this is mild he sure wouldn’t want to be subjected to a strict harness.
Off they trot to the show. A Cupid butterfly shows up, and makes Jim and Malua skittish. Jim sees the value of the stricter harness - the ponies can’t turn their heads and so remain unaware of the exciting insect, and continue with their smooth, speedy gait rather than the antics of yesterday.
At the auction a groom takes the ponies and cart, Malua instructs her to loosen their harness and remove their bits, but leave them hitched up. The little groom leads the three over to a bunch of other ponies and they start chattering gaily to one another.
At the show fifty girls are lined up, cords around necks attached to a pole overhead, all on tip-toe of course. They wear nothing but small g-strings. (Watercolor of this lineup in Belier’s book.) Jim is instantly smitten by a pony named Suhanee. She’s got quite a crowd around her, and Jim opines that he has little chance of making a winning bid for her. Malua says that’s just as well, Suhanee is unsuitable because she’s:
1. A‘Radiant’, i.e. has long dark hair which reflects the sun in multiple colors (two drawings of Suhanee show it falling down below her rear),
2. Is just 16 - beginning pony age and thus untested in races, an unknown,
3. As a Radiant is likely to be either very fast or very slow - a big gamble. (Radiants are like that, it seems.)
4. Besides, Malua can tell by her extra restraints that Suhanee is a ‘wriggler’, one who constantly tries to get out of her wrist and other bondage, requiring more careful tying up than most ponies. She doesn’t think this is a suitable ‘first pony’ for Jim.
Malua pulls Jim away, but he’s caught Suhanee’s eye and she his. Suhanee further disappoints Malua by suddenly lowering herself to stand flat-footed. This ‘drop’ is quite unacceptable in a pony, they have to stay on their toes at all times to be fast and have the desired beauty. Malua says it shows Suhanee is not pony material and they need to look further. Jim catches Suhanee’s eye again and intuits that she did it on purpose to look unacceptable to everyone else. Something’s up here. Malua argues vociferously against this whim. "I’m going to have her!" declares Jim, "Maybe I can get a couple of blondes to flank her."
Bottle 5: (Bizarre # 10) The auction commences. There’s a description of the leather-clad mistress of ceremonies, some bidding action on other ponies, and then Suhanee is presented. (There’s a b/w drawing of her with arms tied, and a watercolor of her in a line of other ponies up for auction.) She drops a heel during her circuit of the ring, to an audible gasp from the crowd and, in Malua’s opinion, a certain disqualification as a pony. But Jim thinks he knows better and bids anyway, getting her for a very low price (which he has to borrow from Malua’s father.) Now he owns half or a third of a team. He repairs to the stables to see his new possession, finds her waiting expectantly with a gleam in her eyes. Jim sees that Suhanee is very tightly bound around the elbows to prevent any wriggling, and it suddenly dawns on him that he can now do anything he wants with his new pony. He undoes the restraint, leaving only her wrists bound, and massages the welts on her arms. Suhanee sighs with pleasure. Malua comes up with a 15-yr-old named Joanne, introduces her to Jim, and says that she wants to apply for the position of groom. Jim questions her in mock sternness, ‘can you handle this spirited steed?’ Joanne assures him that she’s good friends with Suhanee, that only the two of them know how fast Suhanee can really run (very fast), and that she’s also ever so strict with her, beating her when she doesn’t run well enough. Jim asks Suhanee if Joanne’s OK with her, and is greeted with a far-away look and a vague nod of her head. Suhanee’s in some different head space just now, apparently due to her relationship with the slightly-younger but dominant groom. We are led to wonder about Suhanee’s temperament. Joanne is accepted, and as Malua and Jim walk away he sees the youngster pulling Suhanee’s elbows back together behind her and tying her up again. He’s confident that he’s taken on the right groom.
Bottle 6 - (Bizarre # 15/16) Malua announces that Jim needs another pony, he’s unlikely to get a good one at the auction, and the only other Radiant of pony age is at a remote farm, has never run fast at all, but maybe Jim can win some points on just the beauty of such a pair or even train her somehow. Off they go in the cart, pulled by the spirited blondes. It’s a long ride so Malua doesn’t hitch up her ponies too tightly.
They arrive at the farm after a flying trip - Jim is amazed yet again at how fast the ponies can run, for long distances too. When they stop Malua asks him to help put hobbles on the blondes, 10" chains connecting their ankles so they won’t wander far. He does, describing the task in some detail for us. Then he removes the bit from the one he’s just hobbled. "She had to open her jaws to their fullest so I could get the large knobby wooden ball out of her mouth. Once out the whole bit assembly could be flopped back behind her, leaving her face mostly unencumbered except for the bridle."
He notices that all three have wet chins - "Any bit in their mouths makes them drool uncontrollably, they always get all wet." The first pony to be unbitted asks Malua politely for a basin to wash with and ‘may I have a drink, please?’ Malua brings out a large basin and the ponies all gather around it, plunging their faces in and shaking themselves off to get rid of the drool. (Their hands remain secured to their waists, ponies don’t get to use their hands at all, it seems.) Then smaller bowels with water come out, and Jim holds one up for a pony. "Oh, no, Jim, we never indulge our ponies. They can lap up on their own just fine if you put the bowls on that shelf." "Well, I indulge them, Malua." Jim apparently showing a touch of independence here. All three ponies quickly surround him, and since they can’t use their hands at all they "crowded around me, pressing in with their soft parts, begging to be allowed to drink more." He tips the bowl to each pretty mouth in turn until it’s empty, then Malua drags him away fuming at his soft-heartedness and they go inside. The ponies are allowed to wander as they will, and they trip off with little steps - with their tight hobble chains they can’t get far, but it becomes more evident to Jim that ponies must be kept under careful control at all times.
After some hellos with the prospective pony’s mom they discuss her daughter’s suitability (or lack thereof) as a pony. "Gracious, she’s fast, but she won’t run for anyone, she’s no proper pony. But you’re welcome to try, young man." The daughter is called out from her chores in a back room and proves to be another absolute stunner. She isn’t consulted in the decision process. "Judy, you’ll go with Jim to be trained as a pony, and stay nights at your aunt Cynthia’s in town. I’ll expect her back on weekends, but if you need to keep her for extra training I’ll understand."
Judy gathers up some minimal needs, changes from her sarong to the standard leather waist belt and G-string which ponies wear, and comes out. Malua’s team has wandered over to a large rosebush and are smelling the flowers and talking amongst themselves, Jim notes that they come as quickly as they can when Malua calls, ankle chains jingling merrily. Malua hitches up her team, and Judy turns to present her back to Jim with her wrists crossed behind her. Jim uses cords her mom has supplied to tie Judy’s wrists together. He sees that Judy is a ‘wriggler’ too, testing her bondage and twisting her wrists, so he does her elbows and an extra cord around her shoulders to secure the elbow tie. Judy’s arms are now completely trussed - "Well, I am a sailor and I know knots" says Jim. "Now what? Hogtie her and put her in the back of the cart?" "Oh, no, you just put a bridle on and hitch her to the cart, she’ll follow along just fine." Jim straps a bridle around Judy’s neck and ties it to a ring on the back of the cart.
Malua has some doubts about her ‘monkeys’, and brings their elbows right back together for the trip home. Jim is again struck with the rigidity of their postures, and yet they still have a mischievious gleam in their eyes, untamed by their strict harnessing. He decides to tighten the bridle around Judy’s neck a bit, and feels the brush of her lips against his forehead as he bends to the task. Hmm, we wonder, what’s up here?
They start home to Malua’s house, with Judy trotting obediently behind. (She has little choice, with the bridle tight around her neck and the other end tied to the cart.)
And that was the end of it. John Willie never got around to the next installment. He sold Bizarre after putting out only 4 more issues, other people published the last 6 issues. We are left to wonder:
1. Can Jim, with no experience, train his two wriggling fillies to pace together, look elegant, and be obedient to his will? Or will they continually frustrate him? Malua is quite skeptical.
2. Suhanee’s a good bet, but what does it take to get Judy trained and responsive when others have evidently tried and failed? How will the two Radiants respond to each other? Can his new little groom Joanne handle Judy as well?
3. Will he do well in the upcoming races - the ones where the right to wear the coveted jeweled slippers could be won?
4. Will he be able to get them running fast together, fast enough to beat Malua, who evidently has the fastest team around?
5. With both Suwahnee and Judy evidently having strong feelings for Jim, how does the triangle between these two ponies and Malua work out? He can only marry one according to Willie’s description of the island culture. They’re all attractive, and he’s going to have complete mastery over his ponies. But he’s practically engaged to Malua, who’s older and more ‘wifely’. But these two vixens clearly have their caps set for him. How will that influence their training and performance?
6. Whoever he chooses, how will he find her when she’s tied and gagged, silent and motionless in the woods on their wedding day? All the other men on the island are experienced trackers and always find their brides, but he’s a sailor, clueless in the wild, and the marriage will be called off unless he can locate his hidden mate-to-be.
7. What are the training harnesses and dread punishment harnesses actually like? How high does the series go past the uncomfortable "# 4" described on Malua’s team in bottle #6? Did Willie intend to keep this story very upbeat and light, or was he going to get more into his usual vein as it developed? In Bottle #5, Joanne mentions that she’s a good, strict groom because she ‘beats Suhanee when she doesn’t run fast enough’, a hint of the more coercive JW-like activities which could occur in this so-far sadism-lite tale.
8. These girls speak and act human as soon as they are unbitted. They aren’t role-playing at all, unlike most pony-girl scenes. They don’t feel like ponies, they are just girls pulling people around, and they happen to require restraint because of their high spirits, frisky natures, and, well, that’s just the way things are done. But they are thoroughly human. What happens in this situation? It’s new. Pony girls are usually expected to become somewhat animal-like, play the part. Willie didn’t explore the dynamics, just established the scene. This is the most exasperating part of the puzzle. What did he intend?
As well as some non-pony concerns such as what is Jim going to do for a living, further exploration of the culture of this paradise, will he ever leave the island, etc. But those things aren’t why we’re here, are they.
But wait! Before the story can go on, some changes have to be made. Willie didn’t do his math. He’d have us accept that 73% of the population - everyone over the age of 20 - is being hauled around by just another 3.3% of it, (the females from 16-20), teamed up 3 at a time. C’mon, JW, that dog don’t hunt, only 1% of the people on the island could have a ‘team’ the way you describe it.
Here’s a set of population demographics for the island that does work:
1. We need more girls - The ratio of females to males needs to be something like 9:1 on this island (due to something in the diet), so there are a LOT of girls available to do things like being ponies, and there is a LOT of competition for the available men, including Jim. (Yes, yes, it’s just a typical male fantasy, but there has to be some plausible reason why a lot of young women are available to pull all these carts around.)
2. Who pull carts longer - The ‘term’ of pony duty has to be longer. Willie said it was 16 through 20 years old - a five year stint. But that creates a severe shortage of ponies even with a 9:1 ratio. It should be a 15-year term instead (16 thru 30 yrs. old).
3. And only families get ponies, one team per each - As detailed below there would be 7.3 ‘families’ (one father, several mothers) per hundred people, and just enough females ages 15-30 to pull them around.
4. Then it all works out:
Of every 100 people on the island (assuming a 75 year avg. life expectancy for men and women):
There are 10 men. 1.2 are under 9 years old, 1.5 are 9 thru 20, 7.3 are 21-75. All 7.3 of these guys marry, so there are 7.3 households per hundred islanders. The 1.5 ‘teenage’ boys can be grooms or go to school or at least do something more useful than typical teen-age boys do in our world. (The reader will agree that this is a problem that needs resolution in any society.) These obnoxious male offspring are totally ignored in this story.
There are 90 women. 9.6 are under 9, 7.2 are 9 thru 14, 19 women are ‘of age’ to be ponies - 15 thru 30, and the rest, 54 of them, are 31 or older.
How many ponies are needed? One team per household is 7.3 teams, assume 2.6 ponies per team = 19 ponies needed for every hundred souls. (Slightly over half the teams are trios, slightly less than half are pairs. JW didn’t mention pairs, but the inexorable rules of arithmetic so ordain.) Remarkably, 19.2 women of eligible age are available to fill the need for 19 ponies. Aren’t statistics grand?
Polygamy! The group has to reproduce. Each of the 10 men in a group of 100 has to father 10 children - 9 cute little ponies-to-be and one drone, a guy. It’s a bit much to stick one wife with the chore of bearing all 10, especially when she doesn’t get started until 31, and a bit much to have 8 out of 9 women wind up as spinsters. So in spite of what Willie implied about monogamy, the Magic Island turns out to be a polygamous society. Each man takes 3 or 4 wives, having 2-3 children with each. With the average man having 3.5 wives, 25.5 out of the pool of 54 eligible women will be married and 28.5 will be left as spinsters. Poor dears.
"Why don’t the men marry ALL the women?" I hear some clever reader asking. Because, bozo, the island would over-populate, there’d be no natural selection in favor of long legs, beauty, and high/firm boobies, and what sane man wants 7.4 wives? Three and a half sounds like more than enough, even the easy-to-dominate wives which Willie ordained the island women to be, after their pony training. Not to mention all the rug-rats scampering about. The way this is written, none of the men want more than 4 wives, and 3 or 4 per each man has become the societal convention. So there.
Willie never said anything about what ‘ex-pony-age’ unmarried women do. They must do a lot of farm labor, buggy and harness-making, and generally keep the economy going.
That makes a tidy and well-balanced society (unless the reader is of the female persuasion). Women serve their 16 years as ponies, catching men’s eyes; men choose whom they will as they go along, siring a bunch of daughters and the occasional son. Over half the women are found wanting as marriage partners, but contribute in other ways. Which provides a plot hook for another favorite topic of JW’s – lesbianism. We’ll encounter that later on.
When do women get married? After they are ponies. Something ‘in the diet’ – a handy excuse – delays ovulation, but not puberty, until a woman is 30. That’s why they can be ponies from 16-30, they aren’t ready to breed until then. So all these ponies are also lubricious sex kittens who also don’t get pregnant. No wonder the sexual mores on this island are a bit loose. There’s no reason for chastity. But the women aren’t ‘easy’, although that’s what you’d expect with nine girls to every guy. No, they still have a bit of reserve and have to be courted, although not married until much later. When a woman’s about 18 or so she’s probably not a virgin any more, but the females don’t rush into things. To Jim’s considerable discomfiture, as you will see.
What’s the Magic Island’s population? Willie wrote that 50 ponies were up for auction at the yearly sale at "Tatts" - ‘fillies’ and ‘trades’. If we guess that 1/10th of the whole pony population falls under those two categories, there would have to be 500 ponies in all. That corresponds to an island population of 2,778. That’s a good-sized but supportable group for an island. 33 girls would come of pony age each year, so the other 17 ponies at the show would be trades of some kind. That seems a reasonable estimate, only 3.5% of the ponies get traded each year.
The island would have 500 ponies in 202 hitches, 222 grooms to look after them - about one groom per hitch, let’s assume not all kids become grooms. Slightly more than half the hitches would have 3 ponies, the rest 2. This must correspond somehow to their individual strengths and the weight of the load they have to haul, or the dexterity of the drivers, or just their wealth – ponies cost ‘money’, after all. Willie did not go into the mechanics of selecting ponies for a team except for this annual ‘auction’ or private trades.
OK, things are tidied up and the ‘Magic’ island isn’t quite so mysterious any more. But one of Malua’s brothers has to vanish, her dad’s alternative ‘speedy’ team is gone, Malua gets some more half-sisters, and three step-moms as well as her mom Wendy. Malua’s pony Gail is 32, not 22. Question # 5 above, about who Jim winds up marrying, becomes moot - he can marry Malua, Suhanee, and Judy if he wants and still have room for more. Malua has her own rig because... Hm. Because she was the champ pony two years ago and those champs are granted their own teams for a while - let’s say 5 years. Her family has two other teams - her dad’s (already known to us from the story and watercolor), and the family’s ‘regular’ team. (The chief gets to have two teams in his family because he’s a big-shot.) So Jim has fallen in among the creme-de-la-creme of this society. Or maybe Malua ‘rescued’ him because she IS about the biggest lioness on the scene and new men are very highly valued.
How big is the island? There are 2,778 people total, grouped into two towns and rurals. There are 202 families plus 1500 unmarried women - The spinsters would tend to live together, perhaps an average 2.5 gals in a group, for 600 ‘families’ of single women. Jeeze, three times the number of families. Well, that’s population demographics for you.
Of 802 ‘families’, half live in towns and half in the country. The town density is 1 family per acre, lots of room, so that’s two two-hundred-acre towns with 500 people each. Little towns, a mile long by a third of a mile wide. In the country each group has 20 acres? Sounds about right, they don’t need to cultivate much and they don’t have tractors or horse-drawn ploughs. 20 x 401 = 8000 acres, 12 square miles of inhabited rural country, almost a sq. mile of town, and let’s have 3/4 of the island be uninhabited, so the valley is 52 sq miles - 13 long by 4 wide. The mountains that surround it are two miles thick (except at the secret entrance from the beach) so the island itself is 17 x 8 miles. Not all that big, easy to miss way out there by itself in the midst of the Pacific, and apparently mostly rugged mountains – the valley would be easy to miss unless you flew right over it.
Why are the girls so tall, fast and good-looking? Social Darwinism accounts for the beauty, long-leggedness and running speed of the island’s female population. Less than half of the eligible women have children, and the men of the island have been consistently choosing the longest-legged, speediest, prettiest and most agreeable babes for 300 years. That’s only 10 generations, but we’ll just assume that the short-legged, slow, aggressive and bow-wow genes are gone from this pool.
This explains something else that Willie glossed over - how can women run about at speed without some kind of breast support? They’d flop themselves silly if they had normally constructed breasts of the moderate-to-large size JW depicted. So island women have been bred by this selection process for C or D-cup boobs, which are very firm and high. When they run, these agreeable appendages bounce and jiggle pleasingly, but they don’t turn into wobbly pendulums even after 16 years of pony duty.
Now - after six pages of scene-setting and modification - we’re ready to continue the tale. Remember? When we left them at the end of bottle # 6, Jim and Malua are returning from Judy’s home after procuring that troublesome "Radiant" as a second pony for Jim, she is hitched up to the rig and trotting along behind.