276 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
cutting off the burned part with my knife, we found underneath some most delicious meat, saturated with the perfume of the truffles in a manner that every epicure knows how to appreciate.
When we had eaten, we tried to snatch a little sleep, but were too excited to do more than doze fitfully. At sunrise we were up, and our first care was to take off the lions' skins. My syringe, which I had brought with me, did the business effectually, and we soon obtained two of the most splendid skins that can be imagined. The fur was as soft as silk, and of a most beautiful colour.
The heat of the sun had begun to corrupt the oysters heaped upon the bank, and the effluvia which they exhaled induced us to return to Cliff House, for we meant to come back to get the pearls when the sun and air had sufficiently dried the oysters to make the task endurable.
Early next morning we set sail. Jack did not feel much inclination to take his place again in Fritz's cajack, so embarked with us in the boat.
Fritz set off before us, as if to serve as pilot; but when he had conducted us through the vault and over the shoals, he rowed up to our boat, and, handing me a letter, shot off again like an arrow. I opened the paper quickly, and imagine my sur-