AN ENGLISH SHIP 297
after, they heard distinctly three reports of a cannon in the distance! They could not be mistaken, for a faint light toward the east preceded each report. After an excited conversation as to what should be done, they jumped into the canoe and made for home to tell us the news.
We had heard the report of the cannon they had fired, and we could not imagine why they were hurrying back so fast. As soon as they came within earshot I called out as loud as I could : ' Halloo, there ! what is the matter ?' On they came, and jumping on shore, shouted out: ' Did you not hear them ?'
' Hear what ?' said I. ' We have heard nothing but the noise your waste of powder made.'
' You have not heard three other reports in the distance ?' 'No.' ' Why, we heard them plainly and distinctly.'
' It was the echo,' said Ernest.
This remark nettled Jack a little, and he replied rather sharply:
' No, Mr. Doctor, it wasn't the echo ; I think I have fired cannon enough in my lifetime to know whether that was an echo or not. We distinctly heard three reports of a cannon, and we are