SHIPWRECKED SAILOR ON SMOKING ROCK 261
although not tall, yet he was well proportioned. He was twenty-six years of age.
Ernest was twenty-four. He was not as strong as his brother, and his long limbs were rather too soft and rounded; he had a dreamy, meditative face.
Jack was lithe, light and supple, almost as much of a boy at twenty-three as he had been at thirteen; his whereabouts could always be known by his merry laugh.
Francis was sixteen. He promised to be even taller than Ernest, and was decidedly the best-looking of the four, with his clear, sun-tanned skin and fair hair. He was not so merry as Jack, so clever as Ernest, nor so capable as Fritz ; but he was the best all-round man amongst them, and was distinguished for his good temper.
They had all grown up well-disposed, straightforward, manly fellows, clean-hearted and fearless, and we had every reason to be proud of them.
Of course, now that my sons were men, I did
not attempt to control them as I had formerly
done, but let them go off as they pleased on their
own expeditions. Sometimes they were away for
days together in different parts of the island.