250 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
I should not have noticed it, but Ernest, who had sprung to his feet, only waited until it entered the dovecot, when he pulled the trap shut, and mysteriously disappeared. We took no notice of what he was doing, until he came back with a folded piece of paper in his hand, this he presented to me, saying it had just come by the post. I opened it and read :
' Dear Father and Mother,
' We arrived safely at the Hermitage, and there found a hyena, which had devoured several of our sheep. Francis has the honour of having killed the monster, and he behaved very pluckily. We have passed the whole day in preparing the skin, which is very fine and will be very useful. The pemmican is the most detestable stuff I ever tasted.
' Good-bye ; much love from us all.
I saw now at once why Jack had taken the two pigeons, trusting to their instinct to return home, and we were delighted at his happy thought.
After dinner a new pigeon was seen to enter the dovecot. Ernest, who had not remained quiet one