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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 268 pages of information about Across India.

Dr. Hawkes took possession of Dr. Ferrolan, and placed himself and Uncle Moses on each side of him.  The professor took charge of Mrs. Blossom.  The captain invited those who remained standing to take such seats as they chose; and when all were placed at the table, he reverently said a brief grace.  Everybody was unusually social; but as the commander had announced that the particulars of the wreck of the Travancore would be detailed in due time by Dr. Ferrolan, the subject was ignored, and the voyage of the Guardian-Mother was the general subject of conversation.  The chief steward had “spread himself” on the breakfast, and the meal was far more elaborate than usual; and the wrecked trio proved that they had excellent appetites.

CHAPTER VII

Dr. FERROLAN’S explanation of the wreck

With the rising of the sun the gale had broken, and by the time the party in the cabin left the table, the north-east monsoon was soothing the ocean with its gentle blast.  The angry sea was rapidly becoming good-natured again, though the waves were still high enough to give the ship an uneasy motion.  But all the party, and no less the trio added to their number, had their sea-legs on, and no reasonable motion disturbed any of them.

The two engineers from the wreck of the Travancore had been as carefully looked after as the strangers in the main cabin.  They had been supplied with clothing, and they had breakfasted in the mess-room on the best the larder afforded.  The third person brought in by the second cutter was the Hindu cook of the wrecked steamer; but he spoke English very well, and had been otherwise Europeanized.  He had been turned over to Baldy Bickling, the second cook of the ship, who had clothed and fed him, and seemed to be unable to do enough for him.

The three gentlemen in the cabin were as sociable as could be desired; and though it was Sunday morning, the scene at the tables had been very animated.

When the meal was finished, the guests at their own request were shown over the ship; and they were not at all reserved in the expression of their admiration at the elegance with which she had been fitted up, and not less at the convenience of all the arrangements.

Lord Tremlyn was particularly interested in the educational feature of the Guardian-Mother, as Captain Ringgold explained his pet scheme in the library, or study, abaft the state-cabin, as it was called on the plan of the vessel prepared by the gentleman for whom she had been built.  The guests looked at the titles of the books, considerable additions to which had been made at Cairo, Alexandria, and elsewhere.

“This is not a library of romances,” said his lordship with a smile, as he took in the encyclopaedias, books of travel, scientific treatises, and geographical works.

“No, sir; they cover a broad range of useful information,” replied the commander.  “Those of our company who are disposed to read novels supply themselves with that kind of literature.  Quite a number of them are lecturers”—­

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