They then set forward, the children in advance of the rest. Jonas walked with Rollo and Lucy, and he had round his waist a broad leather belt, which he always wore on such occasions, and which had, on one side, his hatchet and knife, and on the other a sort of bag or pocket, containing several things, such as matches, a little dipper, &c.
Rollo’s father and mother, and his uncle George, walked along behind them. The way was, for some distance, a sort of cart-path, too steep and rough for a chaise, but hard and dry, and pretty comfortable walking. Rollo and Lucy asked Jonas if he would not tell them a story, as they went along, to beguile the way.
Jonas began a story, about a boy that lived a long time on a mountain alone, but he had not proceeded far, before they heard a voice behind, calling them. They looked buck, and saw that Rollo’s father was beckoning them to stop.
They waited till he came up, and he told them he wanted to give them their orders for the day; and they were rules, he said, which ought to be observed on all berrying expeditions, by children.
“First” said he, “always keep in sight of me. For this purpose, watch me all the time, when we are stepping, and keep before, rather than behind, when we are walking.
“Second. Take no unnecessary steps, but keep in the right path, and walk slowly and steadily there, so as to save your strength. Otherwise you will get tired out very soon.
“Third. Do not touch any flower or berry that you see, except blueberries, without first showing them to one of us.”
The children listened to these rules, and promised to obey them, and then walked on. They tried to walk slowly and steadily, listening to Jonas’s story. They turned off, after a time, into a narrower and steeper path, and ascended, stepping from stone to stone The trees and bushes hung over their heads, making the walk shady and cool.
After slowly ascending in this way, for some time, they came out of the woods into an opening of rocky ground, and patches of blue berry-bushes. They saw, also, at some distance before them, three or four boys, sitting upon a rock, with pails and baskets in their hands, talking and laughing loud. They did not take much notice of them, but walked on quietly. They were going on directly towards them, but Rollo’s father called them, and pointed for them to turn off to the right, round a rocky precipice which was in that direction.
The children were turning accordingly, when they heard a shout from the boys before them,—“Hallo,—come this way, and we will show you where the blueberries are.”
“Father,” said Rollo, as he stopped and turned round to his father, “the boys say they will show us the blueberries, out that way: shall we go and see?”
“No,” said his father in a low voice, so that the boys did not hear. “No: go the way I told you.”