LANDING ON THE DESERT ISLAND 15
evil habit of lying, even in jest, whereupon he expressed his sorrow.
He then told us that he had passed over to the other side of the river, and had found the shore there quite low, and covered with casks, chests, and planks, and different sorts of things washed up by the sea.
I told him we would go there as soon as possible to secure some of these things, but first we must go back to the ship and try to fetch away the animals.
' If we had the cow we could soak our biscuit in milk,' observed dainty Ernest.
Fritz told us also that he had not seen the smallest trace of man, dead or alive, on land or water.
Our soup was now ready ; the boys thereupon tried to open the oysters with their knives, but only succeeded in cutting their own fingers. I showed them how to place the shells near the fire, whereupon they opened of themselves. Then I explained that the oysters were esteemed a great delicacy, and were swallowed raw. They followed my example in holding up the shells and letting the oyster inside slip down their throats ; but they made wry faces, and did not seem to appreciate the delicious morsel, for, as they had lived very simply at home, such things were new to them.