“So I should think,” remarked Fritz.
“Yet the resemblance was very remarkable; the only difference was a carbuncle on the nose, which the real Bill has and the other has not, but which I had forgotten.”
“Like Cicero,” remarked Jack.
“Another Admiral?” inquired Willis, drily.
“No, he was only an orator.”
“Bill soon satisfied me that he was the very identical William Stubbs, and that the other was only a very good imitation.”
“He did not receive you with a punch in the ribs, at all events, like the apocryphal Bill,” remarked Jack.
“No; but what is more to the purpose, he told me that, after having struggled with the terrible tempest off New Switzerland—which you recollect—the Nelson found herself at such a distance, that Captain Littlestone resolved to proceed on his voyage, and to return again as speedily as possible.
“‘We arrived at the Cape all right,’ added Bill, ’landed the New Switzerland cargo, and sailed again with the Rev. Mr. Wolston on board. A few days after leaving the Cape, we were pounced upon by a French frigate; the Nelson, with its crew, was sent off as a prize to Havre, and here I have been ever since,’ said Bill, ’a prisoner at large, allowed to pick up a living as I can amongst the shipping.’”
“And the remainder of the crew?” inquired Fritz.
“Are all here prisoners of war.”
“And the Rev. Mr. Wolston and the captain?”
“Are prisoners on parole.”
“What! in Havre?”
“Yes, close at hand, in the Hotel d’Espagne.”
“And we sitting here,” cried Jack, snatching up his hat and rushing down stairs four steps at a time.
Willis and Fritz followed as fast as they could.
When they all three reached the bottom of the stairs.
“If Captain Littlestone is here, Willis,” said Jack, “he could not have been on board the Boudeuse.”
“That is true, Master Jack.”
“In that case, Great Rono, you must have been dreaming in the corvette as well as in the Yankee.”
“No,” insisted Willis, “it was no dream, I am certain of that.”
“Explain the riddle, then.”
“I cannot do that just at present, but it may be cleared up by-and-by, like all the mysteries and miracles that surround us.”
[I] This circumstance is historical, and will be found at length in the Memoirs of Napoleon, by Amedee Goubard.
CAPTAIN LITTLESTONE IS FOUND, AND THE REV. MR. WOLSTON IS SEEN FOR THE FIRST TIME.
Jack, on arriving at the hotel, ascertained the number of the room in which Captain Littlestone was located. In his hurry to see his old friend, the young man did not stop to knock at the door, but entered without ceremony, with Fritz and Willis at his heels. They found themselves in the presence of two gentlemen, one of whom sat with his face buried in his hands, the other was reading what appeared to be a small bible.