Begin with a piece of paper rather heavier than the balloon, and tear off bit by bit until the two exactly balance.
DRIFTED INTO PORT.
BY EDWIN HODDER.
AMONG THE FISHER FOLKS.
We cannot follow the holiday party through all their pleasant wanderings, nor tell of the impressions made upon them by the scenes, celebrated in history and romance, through which they traveled.
Their drives in the midday heat, their strolls in the cool evening, their resting hours as they talked over the events of the day, all were harmonious and gladsome.
If there was one part of the trip which gave them greater pleasure than the rest, it was their visit to the Shetland Isles.
There was an indescribable pleasure to our young folks in wandering under cliffs gaunt and bare, and hearing the stories of Vikings, who fought and fell,—or fought and conquered in these isles.
Sometimes in their wanderings they would come upon a “fairy-ring,” and as they listened to the strange stories told by the islanders, they seemed to be really in some bewitched and spell-bound place. Or, perhaps a “kern,” standing solitary upon some hill-top, would call forth a whole series of Danish and Norwegian legends, which would give them food for reflection for days.
Many a pleasant adventure they had as they rode together on their sure-footed little “shelties,” or climbed the crags and rocks to look down upon the isles, “like so many stars reflected from the sky.” And many a pleasant talk they had with the hospitable inhabitants, who rehearsed to them some of the dangers which assail the dwellers in those solitary little islands. The narrow belts of sea, which divide their ocean-girded homes, have constantly to be ferried across, and many a boat which has gone out manned with a gallant crew has never returned or sent a waif to tell its story.
It was partly to acquire a knowledge of the Shetland character, and to see some phases of its home-life, that our friends, when they came at last to one little village by the sea, where they had only intended to make a flying visit, determined to halt there for a few days. It was a charming spot; on the one side of the village there were to be seen some of the finest specimens of the savage grandeur of cliff and crag, and on the other the smiling, genial face of cultivation and quiet beauty.
On the morning our friends arrived at the village they found three fishermen at work beside their cottage door, on the margin of the sea. They were brothers—Ole, Maurice, and Eric Hughson; all young men, handsome, strong and intelligent. Howard and Martin made friends with them at once, and as the morning was calm and bright, entered into arrangements with them for their best boat to be launched, so that our friends might have a long sail, to visit some of the caverns abounding on the coast, and to see the homes of the wild sea-birds, and the haunts of the fowlers.