120 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
which trailed round him like the robe of a spectre; another was buried in a pair of trousers, which were fastened round his neck, and reached to the ground ; and the third had a long waistcoat, which came down to his feet, and gave him the look of an elongated sausage. They all tried to jump about, but finding this impossible, from the length of their garments, they strutted slowly to and fro. After some hearty laughing, I asked what was the cause of this masquerade. My wife told me that the three boys had been bathing, and that she had taken the opportunity to wash all their clothes ; but as they had not dried so soon as she expected, the boys had become impatient, and had taken from the sailor's chest what they wanted.
' I preferred,' said she, ' that you should see them in this odd sort of a disguise, rather than quite naked, like little savages.'
It was now our turn to give an account of our journey: and we showed her, one after another, casks, bulrushes, salt, fish, and lastly, with infinite triumph, our beautiful kangaroo. In a trice it was surrounded, examined, and admired by all, and such a number of questions asked, that Ernest and I scarcely knew which to answer first.
Fritz was the only one who was a little silent