As if that were not scary enough chapter six opens with a “sign” from the adults: it’s a parachuting dead body drifting down to the ground from a battle being fought by airplanes above the island.
Sam and Eric are tending the signal fire when they see the body, which looks strange in the darkness as the wind blows its head up and down.
Screaming and running away follows.
Ralph is dreaming of home when the twins wake him up. They scream that they saw the beast and that it was furry, had wings, teeth, and claws, there was something moving behind its head, and it followed them by “slinking behind the trees.”
By now, other boys have gathered around to listen, including our favorite troublemaker, Jack.
Jack, of course, wants to hunt the thing down.
Jack, Ralph, and an assortment of biguns head off to do so.
Piggy says “what about the littluns?” (as in, who will watch over them while we’re all off hunting for the beast?)
Jack says, “Sucks to the littluns,” since they’ve been taking care of themselves all along anyway. On that note, they let the hunt begin.
They decide to head for the tail end of the island, where the rocks make a sort of bridge – they’ve never explored that part before, and refer to it as “the castle.”
Simon walks along with them, doubtful that there is such a beast as the one Sam and Eric described. Instead, he imagines “a picture of a human, at once heroic and sick.”
When they get to the rocks, Ralph declares he will go in and look for the beast; he’s the chief, he thinks, so it’s his duty.
Several heart-pounding moments later, he sees that Jack has followed him.
Jack says, “couldn’t let you do it on your own.”
Not surprisingly, there is no beast inside. They have some fun exploring. And then they decide they have to climb to the top of the mountain to look for this beast thing.
The other boys start swarming into the rocks (“this would make wizard fort!” one of them shouts).
They have a grand old time until Ralph realizes the signal fire has gone out again.
With much grumbling and muttering, the boys quit their playing and follow Jack and Ralph to the top of the mountain.