Nautilus eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 90 pages of information about Nautilus.
have a thousand to show you.  What does he know, a man, whose eyes are already half-shut?  But you are a child, and for you all things shall be opened under the ocean, and you shall see the treasures of it, and the wonders; and you shall grow wise, wise, so that men shall look up to you, and shall say, ‘Where did he gain his knowledge?’ And your friend shall be with you, oh yes, for he knows the way, if he cannot see all the things that will meet your eyes!  And you and he together shall sail—­shall sail, through waters green as chrysoprase; and all the sea-creatures shall learn to know you and love you.  You shall learn where the sea-otter makes his nest, in the leaves of the giant sea-weed, where they stretch along the water, full sixty feet long, as the Skipper told you.  The ‘Nautilus’ will be there, too:  not a clumsy wooden mountain, like this in which we lie prisoned, but the creature itself, the fairy thing of pearl and silver!  Look! here lies his shell, and you find it lovely; but like us, it is dim and dead for want of the life within it.

“Come away, and let us be sailing, sailing over seas of gold!  And when you are weary of the top of the waves, down you shall sink with us through the clear green water, and the night will fall like a soft dream, and the moon-fish, with its disk of silver, shall gleam beside you to light the dimness that yet is never dark; and you shall go down, down, down—­”

And about this time it must have been that the little boy went down, for when the morning broke, the Skipper found him, fast asleep, and smiling as he slept.

CHAPTER IX.

FAMILY MATTERS.

“Well,” said Mr. Bill Hen, “I only want to put it to you, you understand.  Intelligent man like you, no need for me to do more than put it to you.  There’s the child, and there’s the old man, and they ’pear to have got separated.  I don’t want to be understood as implying anything, not anything in the living world; but there’s where it is, you see.  And me being a justice of the peace, and sworn, you observe, to—­well, I’m sure you will see for yourself the position I’m placed in.  Point is, you seemed consid’able interested in the child, as one may say.  Nothing strange in that,—­nice little boy! would interest an Injin chief, if he had any human feelin’ in him.  But bein’ a justice of the peace, you see,—­well, Mr. Scraper has sent me to make inquiries, and no offence in the world, I trust—­no insult, you understand, if I jest—­well, all about it—­do you know where in thunder the child is?”

Mr. Bill Hen, standing on the bank, delivered himself of these remarks with infinite confusion, perspiring freely, and wiping his face with a duster, which he had brought by mistake instead of a handkerchief.  He looked piteously at the Skipper, who stood leaning over the side, cheerfully inscrutable, clad in spotless white, and smoking a long cigar.

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Nautilus from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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