LANDING ON THE DESERT ISLAND 17
calmed down a little I pointed out to him the folly and unmanliness of this want of self-control. By this time the soup was cool, and we at last made our meal.
The sun began to sink into the west. The fowls gathered round, pecking here and there at the morsels of biscuit which had fallen on the ground. Then my wife produced the bag she had so mysteriously huddled into the tub, and drawing from it handfuls of grain, scattered them upon the ground for the ducks and hens. Seeing this, I suggested that we should not use anything so valuable so lavishly, but keep it as seed for a future harvest, in which she agreed. Then the pigeons sought a roosting-place among the rocks; the hens ranged themselves in a line along the ridge of the tent; and the geese and ducks betook themselves in a body, cackling and quacking as they proceeded, to a marshy bit of ground near the sea, where some thick bushes afforded them shelter.
A little later we began to follow their example by preparing for bed. First, we loaded our guns and pistols, and laid them carefully in the tent; next, we held evening prayer, and with the last ray of the sun we entered our tent, and, after drawing the sail-cloth over the hooks, to close the