4 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
might certainly assist us in hunting should we ever get on shore.
Little Francis had found some fishing-hooks, at which his brothers mocked, until I reminded them it was likely we might have to depend for oui food on fishing for some time to come.
My wife had found on board a cow and an ass, two goats, six sheep and a sow, which she had fed. All this was good so far as it went.
But now once more occurred to us the difficulty of crossing the broad strip of water that separated us from some kind of land, which we could just see far off. Jack, who was generally ready with an idea, cried out that he had often careered about on a pond at home in a tub, and that, as there seemed plenty of large barrels here, we might each have one and try.
This was not quite so simple as it sounded, but after some thinking I set to work, and, with the help of the boys, sawed four of the great barrels in half. This was tiring work, and took a long time, and there was much else to do before we could venture to trust ourselves on the water in them.
To make them more secure, we found a long pliant plank, and placed the eight tubs upon it, leaving a piece at each end reaching beyond the