There certainly were larks on Campbells Island next day, as Charlie had foretold, and Rose took her part in them like one intent on enjoying every minute to the utmost. There was a merry breakfast, a successful fishing expedition, and then the lobsters came out in full force, for even Aunt Jessie appeared in red flannel. There was nothing Uncle Alec could not do in the water, and the boys tried their best to equal him in strength and skill, so there was a great diving and ducking, for every one was bent on distinguishing himself.
Rose swam out far beyond her depth, with uncle to float her back; Aunt Jessie splashed placidly in the shallow pools, with Jamie paddling near by like a little whale beside its mother; while the lads careered about, looking like a flock of distracted flamingoes, and acting like the famous dancing party in Alices Adventures in Wonderland.
Nothing but chowder would have lured them from their gambols in the briny deep; that time-honoured dish demanded the concentrated action of several mighty minds; so the Water Babies came ashore and fell to cooking.
It is unnecessary to say that, when done, it was the most remarkable chowder ever cooked, and the quantity eaten would have amazed the world if the secret had been divulged. After this exertion a siesta was considered the thing, and people lay about in tents or out as they pleased, the boys looking like warriors slumbering where they fell.
The elders had just settled to a comfortable nap when the youngsters rose, refreshed and ready for further exploits. A hint sent them all off to the cave, and there were discovered bows and arrows, battle clubs, old swords, and various relics of an interesting nature. Perched upon a commanding rock, with Jamie to splain things to her, Rose beheld a series of stirring scenes enacted with great vigour and historical accuracy by her gifted relatives.
Captain Cook was murdered by the natives of Owhyhee in the most thrilling manner. Captain Kidd buried untold wealth in the chowder kettle at the dead of night, and shot both the trusting villains who shared the secret of the hiding place. Sinbad came ashore there and had manifold adventures, and numberless wrecks bestrewed the sands.
Rose considered them by far the most exciting dramas she had ever witnessed; and when the performance closed with a grand ballet of Feejee Islanders, whose barbaric yells alarmed the gulls, she had no words in which to express her gratification.
Another swim at sunset, another merry evening on the rocks watching the lighted steamers pass seaward and the pleasure-boats come into port, ended the second day of the camping out, and sent everyone to bed early that they might be ready for the festivities of the morrow.
Archie, didnt I hear uncle ask you to row home in the morning for fresh milk and things?
Please, may I go too? I have something of great importance to arrange; you know I was carried off in a hurry, Rose said in a confidential whisper as she was bidding her cousins good night.
Im willing, and I guess Charlie wont mind.
Thank you; be sure you stand by me when I ask leave in the morning, and dont say anything till then, except to Charlie. Promise, urged Rose, so eagerly, that Archie struck an attitude and cried dramatically
By yonder moon I swear!
Hush! its all right, go along; and Rose departed as if satisfied.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.