“There were some huts near the place on the shore, where the men made good fires, and we warmed and dried ourselves. The storm abated a great deal in a few hours, and the tide went down, so that we could go off to the ship before night to get some provisions. The next morning the men could work at the ship very easily, and they brought all the passengers’ baggage on shore. My father got his trunk with the clock in it. A day or two afterward some sloops came to the place, and took us all away to carry us to Quebec. Just before we embarked on board the sloops, my father and I, watching a good opportunity, dug up our weights out of the sand, and put them back safely in their places in the clock-box.”
“Is that the end?” asked Phonny, when Beechnut paused.
“Yes,” replied Beechnut, “I believe I had better make that the end.”
“I think it is a very interesting and well-told story,” said Madeline. “And do you feel very tired?”
“No,” said Beechnut. “On the contrary, I feel all the better for my ride. I believe I will sit up a little while.”
So saying, he raised himself in the wagon and sat up, and began to look about him.
“What a wonderful voyage you had, Beechnut!” said Phonny. “But I never knew before that you were shipwrecked.”
“Well, in point of fact,” replied Beechnut, “I never was shipwrecked.”
“Never was!” exclaimed Phonny. “Why, what is all this story that you have been telling us, then?”
“Embellishment,” said Beechnut quietly.
“Embellishment!” repeated Phonny, more and more amazed.
“Yes,” said Beechnut.
“Then you were not wrecked at all?” said Phonny.
“No,” replied Beechnut.
“And how did you get to the land?” asked Phonny.
“Why, we sailed quietly up the St. Lawrence,” replied Beechnut, “and landed safely at Quebec, as other vessels do.”
“And the clock-weights?” asked Phonny.
“All embellishment,” said Beechnut. “My father had no such clock, in point of fact. He put his money in a bag, his bag in his chest, and his chest in the hold, and it came as safe as the captain’s sextant.”
“And the iceberg and the rainbow?” said Madeline.
“Embellishment, all embellishment,” said Beechnut.
“Dear me!” said Phonny, “I thought it was all true.”
“Did you?” said Beechnut. “I am sorry that you were so deceived, and I am sure it was not my fault, for I gave you your choice of a true story or an invention, and you chose the invention.”
“Yes,” said Phonny, “so we did.”
There was once a little boy who perhaps might have been a good little fellow if his friends had taken pains to make him so; but—I do not know how it was—instead of teaching him to be good, they gave him everything he cried for; so, whenever he wished to have anything, he had only to cry, and if he did not get it directly, he cried louder and louder till at last he got it. By this means Alfred was not only very naughty, but very unhappy. He was crying from morning till night. He had no pleasure in anything; he was in everybody’s way, and nobody liked to be with him.