SHIPWRECKED SAILOR ON SMOKING ROCK 263
gummy moss, so he had procured some, and brought them back with him.
He had then gone on further until he had come to a great bay.
'While I was coasting along the shores of the bay,' he said,' I saw at the bottom of the transparent waters, beds of shells resembling large oysters. I detached some with my hook, and threw them on the sand without getting out of my canoe, and set to work to obtain more. When I returned with a new load, I found that the oysters I had first deposited on the sand were opened, and the sun had already begun to corrupt them. I took up one or two; but instead of finding the nice fat oyster I expected, I found nothing but some gritty meat. In trying to detach this from the shell, I felt some little, round, hard stones, like peas, under my knife. I took them out, and found them so brilliant that I filled my pocket with them. Don't you think that they are really pearls ?'
' See!' said his brothers, taking them in their hands. ' How beautiful, how brilliant, how regular !'
' They are really pearls,' cried I, ' oriental pearls of the greatest beauty. You have discovered a treasure, which one day will be, I hope, of immense