FRITZ AND I VISIT THE WRECK 45
biscuit. Fritz asked for a piece of cheese to eat with it, and Ernest looked eagerly at the second cask we had pulled out of the sea to discover whether it also contained Dutch cheeses. In a minute he came up to us, joy sparkling in his eyes.
' Father,' said he,' if we had a little butter spread upon our biscuit, don't you think it would improve it ?'
' That indeed it would ; but if—if-----' I asked
rather impatiently : ' What do you mean ?'
' Well,' he said triumphantly, ' this barrel is full of salt butter. I made a little opening in it with a knife, and see, I got out enough to spread upon a piece of biscuit.'
' Your greediness is of some general use,' I remarked. ' Who will have some butter on his biscuit ?'
The boys surrounded the cask in a moment, while I was in some perplexity as to how to break it open. Fritz was for taking off the topmost hoop, and thus loosening one of the ends. But this I objected to, knowing that the great heat of the sun would melt the butter, which would then run out and be wasted. The idea occurred to me that I might make a hole in the "bottom of the cask large