“Rather so; but now watch this one running on the deck; it can’t fly unless we help it by a little toss up such as the waves would give it.”
The odd-looking little thing, whose eyes, beak, and legs were as black and bright as jet, ran nimbly but awkwardly up and down, to the great amusement of the children. Annie made haste to fetch her mother and father, George, and even Willie, who laughed and clapped his hands, and cried, “Pretty, pretty!” At length Mr. James thought the stranger had shown himself quite long enough, so taking it up, he threw it into the air, and it disappeared over the ship’s side. Every one ran to get a look at it on its restless home, but in vain—it could be seen nowhere.
Mrs. Lee, however, was surprised by the color of the water in which they were then sailing; it was of a beautiful blue, instead of the dark, almost black hue it had hitherto appeared: immense quantities of sea-weed were also floating in it. Mr. James informed her that this water was called the Gulf Stream; a great current flowing from the Gulf of Mexico northwards along the coast of America. “In the sea-weed,” added he, “are many kinds of animals and insects; I will try what I can find for Georgy.” So saying, he seized a boat-hook, and soon succeeded in hauling up a great piece, from which he picked a crab not much bigger than a good-sized spider. Georgy nursed it very tenderly until he went to bed, and, even then, could with difficulty be persuaded to part with it till morning.
A few days after this, a cry of “Land!” was heard from the mast-head, and when just before tea the Lee family came on deck it was to watch the sun set amid clouds of purple and gold, behind the still distant but distinctly seen shores of the land which was to be their future home. By the same hour on the following day, the good ship Columbia had borne them safely across the deep, and was anchored in the beautiful bay of New York.
THE NEW WORLD.
Mr. Lee was a religious, kind-hearted, sensible man, and his wife as truly estimable as himself. They both loved their children dearly, and were unceasing in their efforts to secure their happiness and prosperity. Still it is possible they would never have thought of seeking fortune in the wild back-woods of the United States, had it not been for the repeated entreaties of Mrs. Lee’s only brother, John Gale, an industrious, enterprising young man, who had gone there some four years before this tale commences. John soon perceived that all his brother-in-law’s exertions in England would never enable him to provide as well for his children, nor for the old age of himself and wife, as he could in America. Privations at the outset, and very hard work, would have, it is true, to be endured; but John believed him and his wife to be endowed with courage and patience to sustain any trial. He therefore spared no pains to prevail on them to