Nautilus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 90 pages of information about Nautilus.
a pleasant picture!  Well, there was Lena! she was pleasant to look at, surely!  Her hair was like silver, and her eyes blue and soft, though they could be sharp, too.  But, somehow, when her face was brought here beside the Skipper’s, it looked foolish and empty, and her pretty smile had nothing to say except to bid one look and see how pretty she was, and how becoming blue was to her; and—­and, altogether, she would not do at all.

Mr. Bill Hen, then, who was always kind to him, and quite often, when.  Mrs. Pike was not near, would give him a checkerberry lozenge.  Mr. Bill Hen’s face was good-natured, to be sure, but oh, how coarse and red and stupid it was beside the fine dark sleeping mask!  Why did people look so different, and more when they were asleep than any other time?  Did one’s soul come out and kind of play about, and light up the person’s face; and if so, was it not evident that the Skipper was a good man? and that perhaps things were really different in his country, and they had other kinds of Ten Commandments, and—­no, but right was right, and it didn’t make any difference about countries in that sort of thing.  You knew that yourself, because you felt it in your stomach when you did bad things; perhaps when one grew older, one’s stomach did not feel so quickly.  And, anyhow, if that was true about the soul, how do you suppose a person’s own soul would make his face look if he was running away from the things he ought to do, and going to play with monkeys and see the wonders of the world?  The boy wondered what he was looking like at the present moment, and summoned up the image of a frightful picture of a devil in another of those old books into which he was forever peeping at odd times.  Did they miss him now, the old books in the garret, because he had not come up to wish them good-night and take a look at some of the best pictures before he went to bed?  Was he likely to turn into a devil when he died, do you suppose?

How still it was, and how queer his eyes felt!  But he could not lie down, for then he would be alone again, and the things would come and sit on him; it was good to sit up and look at the Skipper, and wonder—­and wonder—­

A gleam, faint and red, shot from a shell in the farther corner,—­a splendid creature, scarlet and pale green, with horns that gave it a singularly knowing look.  He almost thought it nodded to him; and hark! was that a tiny voice speaking, calling him by name?

“Come away, little boy!” said the voice.  “Come away to the south, where the water is blue always, and storms come rarely, rarely!  There, under the water, my brothers and sisters wait to see you, and with them their friends, the lovely ones, of whom you have dreamed all your life.  There, on beds of sea-moss, they lie, and the rainbow is dull beside them.  Flowers are there, and stars, and bells that wave softly without sound.  For one fair thing that the man, our master, told you of, we

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Nautilus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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