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ground opposite; and it was there Fidele discovered the other duck sitting on eggs.
When we returned for the remainder of the evening, we were agreeably surprised by seeing the armadillo crawling about in his stoccado; and he did not seem disposed to burrow, even at sight of ourselves. I brought out a musk-melon, and cut off a large piece, which I placed softly in his retreat: he soon discovered it, and in our presence began to eat it, but we drew away immediately for fear of alarming or disconcerting him.
dear Eliza," I said, as she seated herself on our wooden settee, 66 'your idea was correct; we shall tame the armadillo." As we had no desire to contend with the sand-flies to-night, we retired to the ship, just as the sun was setting; and took our humble, though happy station, on one of the hencoops on the quarter-deck, where we enjoyed the cool of the evening without any annoyance, until it was time to go to sleep.
Thursday, 7th.-We breakfasted on board this morning; occupying ourselves in looking up various things for our use on shore; and my dear wife took this occasion to observe, that now she must sit a little every day at her needle, as both her dress and mine required repair. While she was thus busied about her own concerns, I rummaged the sailors' chests in the steerage for fish-hooks, and was fortunate enough to find some pretty large ones, already fastened to lines: I selected a couple of different sizes; cutting the lines, so as to leave about four or five feet attached to each hook; and then put them in my pocket.
Towards mid-day we went on shore; she taking some things with her for needle employment; and I, a bag with the last remains of our plantains. While she was cutting and contriving her work in the plank house, I went down to the border of the woodland region, and lopped off two straight sticks about six feet long each, to the ends of which I fastened the lines with the hooks, and left them ready baited at the rock. On my return to my wife, I said, "Now, Eliza, it is near dinner-time; I am very hungry; go and catch a fish for us.' She looked up and smiled, but seemed a little confused; "Dear Edward!" cried she, "an Asiatic wife might tremble at such a command; but I have nothing to fear from my dear husband! I will go in faith, for I know you would not mock me!" "Come, sweetest," I said, "and it will be done." She arose cheerfully, and we ran down together hand in hand to the beach. I took up one of the rods, and gave it to her: "Oh, you cunning fellow!" she exclaimed, "how agreeably you have teased me." I now led her up on the rock, from whence she lowered down the line with the hook into the conservatory, and in an instant it was nearly pulled out of her hand; the strongest fish, most likely, had seized the bait. I stood by and encouraged her; and, after a few minutes, with a little help, she raised her finny prize out of the cask, and landed it safely on the rock, to my great delight and to hers; but, on this occasion, Fidele wished to take a part in the exploit, endeavouring to seize the fish while it was tumbling about on the ground before us. We took it on shore, and Eliza
received many compliments from her happy husband for her dexterity. Thus we amused ourselves, by turning common occurrences into causes of pleasantry.
After dinner, I proposed a walk in the cool of the evening, to the cocoa-nut grove, and it was purely a little excursion of pleasure. My Eliza suggested our taking the eastern beach for our path; for she wished to handsel her new basket by collecting any pretty shells that might present themselves on our way. The breeze continued fresh, and our stroll was in shadow for nearly half a mile. We often stood to gaze on the reef, where the sea broke furiously, while all within it was smooth It was a scene of great interest to us: the one, our place of jeopardy; the other, the safe channel, through which our vessel passed to that secure creek in which she now lay, at once a storehouse and a home. The shells were abundant, but not many were perfect, or retained their polish : we, however, contrived to gather some worth having; and, as we arranged them before us on the sand, my dear wife said, "If we should ever return to England, those shells will be a cherished memorial of our present situation.”
On arriving at the cocoa-nut grove, we were delighted to see the melons and pumpkins all in flower, stretching their shoots extensively around; and the yams and coccos beginning to point their germs through the ground. We sat down on the trunk of the tree I had formerly felled, and rested ourselves. The gaskets were under the ledge of the rock: I took them out, and, quickly climbing the next tree,
brought down a couple of young cocoa-nuts, the milk of which was very grateful to us. We then returned by the other shore, and collected some excellent cane reeds for baskets, or any other use that might occur, and arrived at our palace a little before sunset. Tea was very acceptable after this long walk; after which we gratefully retired to our vessel, to prayer and repose.
Friday, 8th.- My dear wife kept closely at her needle-work, while I employed myself in cutting some small trees and brushwood. During my task, she got a little tired of being from me; and to my own glad greeting too, suddenly joined me with her fishing-rod ready baited in her hand, and invited me to accompany her to the rock. "The day wears," said she, smiling, " and I come to my duty." "Dearest," cried I, "no duty; only thy pastime ; but I will now do it, for it is sometimes rather tugging work." "Oh, no, dear Edward; you allotted it to me, and I will not give up my office. So long as you replenish the conservatory, I will furnish you with its fish."—" Well, well, be it so,” said I; and, instantly resolving on a bit of merriment, determined to leave the matter entirely to herself; so, walking up with her to the rock over the cask, she dropped in the bait, which was greedily seized by some strong fish, and the action pulled the rod by a jerk from her hand; but she quickly picked it up, (for I did not,) while I said, "You shall have fair play, and the fish too." Fidele would have helped her if he could; he seemed to understand what was going forward, for he jumped off the rock on to the top of the cask, and I really thought
he was going to take the line in his mouth. The fish, however, kept its station; and the delicate arm of my dear wife was unable to drag him forth. I now offered to assist her. "No, no; fair play, Edward," she cried; "no fish, no dinner." She did indeed tug, and the fish tugged, and my poor love was almost tired out; at last, by one great effort, she raised him out of the hatch, on to the top of the cask, where Fidele stood; but the fish made a bound, and carried line and rod into the open water; while Fidele, struck with terror, leaped back upon the rock; but as since our arrival here we had accustomed him to go into the smooth sea, and bring out pieces of stick, he now, with a little encouragement from his mistress, who ran round with him to the sandy beach of the inlet, immediately took the water; and, laying hold of the rod, (the fish being almost spent by its preceding exertion,) kept it fast in his mouth, and, after many fruitless efforts, managed to get footing with his cumbrous prize, and, to the great joy of my wife, placed the rod in her hand. She then drew up the fish with a triumph, which, she declared, was all their own. I gave the dear pair a cheer of applause, which Fidele returned with an extraordinary howl, that made us both laugh. Before we carried away her prize, as the rest of the fish in the conservatory had been some days without food, I threw some in to them, and then turned my steps homeward with my sweet helpmate.
Together, we prepared the calipeavar for dinner, which duly appeared, with all the et ceteras, limes, and peppers. In honour of the contest, my wife set