“Aye, Jack, those were laughing times,” said Fritz, sadly.
“Not only that, but our mother was always so even—tempered; she was never ruffled in the slightest degree by my nonsense; though she often had the right to be very angry, yet she never once took offence. On another occasion, Mary and Sophia Wolston were working here at those mysterious embroideries which they always hid when we came near.”
“Toby’s collar, I suppose,” remarked Fritz.
“My tobacco pouch,” suggested Willis.
“I approached,” continued Jack, “with the muffled softness of a cat, and was just on the point of discovering their secret, when my monkey, Knips, who was cracking nuts at their feet, made a spring, and drew a bobbin of silk after it; this caused them to look round, and great was my astonishment to find myself caught at the very moment I expected to surprise them. They commenced scolding me at an immense rate, but then it was so delightful to be scolded!”
“Aye,” murmured Fritz, “that is all over now.”
Like a file of sheep, one recollection dragged another after it, so that the whole of the past recurred to their memories. Some faint streaks of light now warned them that day was about to break; the cocks began to crow one after the other, and to fill the air with their shrill voices.
“Now,” said Willis, “it is high time to be off.”
Jack hastily gathered two bouquets of flowers, which he suspended to the lintel of each dwelling.
“These,” said he, “will show them that we have paid them another visit.”
They then bent down all three on their knees, uttered a short prayer, and afterwards disappeared amidst the shadows of the chestnut trees.
“Listen!” said Willis, seeing that his companions were about to make a halt, “if you stop again, or speak of returning any more, I will cease to regard you as men.”
Half an hour afterwards, on the morning of the 8th March, 1812, the pinnace bore out to sea, and when day broke, the crew could not descry a single trace of New Switzerland on any point of the horizon.
EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND TWELVE—THE MARY—COUNT
SOURCES OF RIVERS—THE ALPS DEMOLISHED—NO MORE PYRENEES—THE
FIRST SHIP—ADMIRAL NOAH—FLEETS OF THE ISRAELITES—THE
COMPASS—PRINTING—GUNPOWDER—ACTIUM AND SALAMIS—DIDO AND
AENEAS—STEAM—DON GARAY AND ROGER BACON—MELCHTHAL, FURST, AND
WILLIAM TELL—GOING A-PLEASURING—UPSET VERSUS BLOWN UP—A DEAD
CALM—THE LOG—WILLIS’S ARCHIPELAGO—THE ISLAND OF SOPHIA—THE BREAD
FRUIT-TREE—NATIVES OF POLYNESIA—STRIPED TROWSERS—ABDUCTION OF
WILLIS—IS HE TO BE ROASTED OR BOILED?—WHEN THE WINE IS POURED OUT,
WE MUST DRINK IT.