180 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
of you thought of doing with the shell, if you had got it ?'
' I should turn it into a shield to defend myself with, if the savages should come upon us,' said Ernest.
' Pooh !' said Jack. ' There are no savages here ! I should make a little boat of it. It would glide along with the stream.'
' I thought,' said Francis in his turn, ' I should build a little house, papa, and the shell would makt such a fine roof to it ?
I turned to Fritz :
' And now what use is the rightful owner going to make of it ?' I asked.
' I thought,' he replied, ' of cleaning it thoroughly, and fixing it by the side of our river, and keeping it always full of pure water for mother's use, when she has to wash the linen, or cook.'
' Excellent!' I cried,' the pure water-tub ! This is what I call thinking for the general good. And we will do this as soon as we can find some clay, as a solid foundation for its bottom.'
' Ha, ha!' cried Jack, ' I have got some clay. This morning while I was out I came to a large slope by the river, and it was so slippery, that I could not keep upon my legs; so I fell, and dirtied