Eight Cousins HTML version

10. Rose's Sacrifice
There certainly were "larks" on Campbell's 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
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 "Alice's 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.