268 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
them in a large sack we had brought. Afterwards I set Ernest to work to clear the nests of the feathers and dirt.
When this was done, we passed on to the beautiful bay Fritz had christened the Bay of Pearls. The water was so calm and pure that we could see the fish far below us. I recognised a sort of white fish, the shining scales of which are used as false pearls. I showed them to my sons ; but they could not understand how a little stone would be worth so much more than the fish-scales, when the latter were quite as brilliant.
At last we arrived at the rocky bank where Fritz had found the pearl oysters. The coast presented a most beautiful prospect; forests, which lost themselves in the distance, and high mountains covered with the rich vegetation of the tropics. A majestic river flowed into the bay, and cut the green prairies like a band of silver. We all landed safely except the monkey, who could not make up his mind to leap the narrow space which separated him from the land. Twenty times he rose on his hind legs, and twenty times he shrank back, as if he had the ocean to cross. At length we took pity on him, and threw him a rope, by which means he landed safely.