“Heavens!” exclaimed Tickler, “if your reverences will only relieve us from these torments, you may commend our souls to whom you please, for I have no ambition but to get home. If his excellency wants to die a great martyr, I have no objection!” Here Mr. Tickler relapsed into a state of melancholy, and gave vent to his feelings in a flood of tears. But the priests only looked grave, and would have offered them absolution without a change of countenance. “Bear up, bear up, friend;” rejoined general Potter, “and keep in mind that you suffer for your country’s sake. It will soon be over, for the ice melts fast. And if you write not of this outrage, so that it shall fire every heart at home for revenge, then I am much mistaken in your capacity as a critic.” Thus bitterly they lamented their fate, until the severity of the pain had well nigh exhausted their strength, and left them in a condition which will be described in the next chapter.
Which Records several amusing things that took place when the ice was dissolved.
Novel as the punishment I have described in the previous chapter may appear to the grave reader, it was not without its severity. If any one doubt this, let him but try the experiment, and I warrant that a few seconds will be sufficient to convince him; and if he be of a merry turn of mind, let him get some kind friend to try the experiment in his presence; but be sure that the performance takes place in the presence of not less than three priests, all of whom must preserve the most solemn demeanor. And now to the matter of the release.
When then the ice was melted, and the culprits were restored to their clothes, the general thanked the priests for their great kindness, and congratulated himself that this most remarkable event, which completely put to blush all the other events of his life, had in no way damped his ardor for great military exploits. “I have great discernment, Tickler,” said the general, rubbing his haunches, “and unless the fates come against me, rely upon it this envy of the king will cost him dearly. A little more strength at our backs, and I had made him dance to the tune of this sword of mine.” “If your excellency would take my advice,” replied Tickler, “he would get speedily home, for if this barbarous vagabond of a king should take it into his head to give us another melting down on the ice, I would not give a straw for either of our lives.” An escort, mounted on mules and asses, now arrived and put an end to this dialogue, for it was the signal for the general and his secretary to pack up their alls. And this being done with the assistance of the priests, they were soon mounted, (the general upon old Battle and Mr. Tickler on his mule,) and on their way to Jollifee, a small town on the coast,