“It seems, then,” said the Pilot, “that neither America nor England is to be our destination after all. But never mind, there are no lack of surgeons amongst the mounseers.”
“If we go on this way much longer,” said Jack, sighing, “we shall be carried round the world without arriving anywhere. Alas, my poor mother!”
DELHI—WILLIAM OF NORMANDY AND KING JOHN—ISABELLA OF BAVARIA AND JOAN OF ARC—POITIERS AND BOVINES—HISTORY OF A GHOST, A GRIDIRON, AND A CHEST OF GUINEAS.
At first the three adventurers were regarded as prisoners of war; when, however, their entire history came to be known, and their extraordinary migrations from ship to ship authenticated, they were looked upon as guests, and treated as friends.
“I thought I had only obtained possession of an English cruiser,” said the captain; “but I find I have also acquired the right of being useful to you.”
The commander of the Boudeuse was a very different sort of a person from Commodore Truncheon; the former treated his men as if every one of them had a title and great influence at the Admiralty, whilst the latter swore at his crew as if the word of command could not be understood without a supplementary oath. The English commodore might be the better sailor of the two, but certainly the French captain carried off the palm as regards politeness, urbanity, and gentlemanly bearing.
The wounds of Fritz and Jack were healing rapidly under the skilful treatment of the French surgeon, and, with a lift from Willis, they were able to walk a portion of the day on deck. With reviving health, their cheerful hopes of the future returned, their dormant spirits were re-awakened, and their minds regained their wonted animation.
“The corvette spins along admirably,” said the Pilot, “and is steering straight for the Bay of Biscay.”
“Ah!” said Jack sighing, “it is very easy to steer for a place, but it is not quite so easy to get there. I am sick of your friend the sea, Willis; and would give my largest pearl for a glimpse of a town, a village, or even a street.”
“If you want to see a street in all its glory, Master Jack, you must try and get the captain to alter his course for Delhi.”
“But I should think, Willis, that there is nothing in the street-scenery of Delhi to compare with the Boulevards of Paris, Regent-street in London, or the Broadway of New York.”
“Beg your pardon there, Master Jack; I know every shop window in Regent-street; I have often been nearly run over in the Broadway, and can easily imagine the turn out on the Boulevards; but they are solitudes in comparison with an Indian street.”
“How so, Willis?”
“Well, it is not that there are more inhabitants, nor on account of the traffic, for no streets in the world will beat those of London in that respect—it is because the people live, move, and have their being in the streets; they eat, drink, and sleep in the streets; they sing, dance, and pray in the streets; conventions, treaties, and alliances are concluded in the streets; in short, the street is the Indians’ home, his club, and his temple. In Europe, transactions are negotiated quietly; in India, nothing can be done without roaring, screaming, and bawling.”