236 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
varieties of the musk-rat, which they had found in the swamp.
The boys were very hungry, and we had an admirable supper ready for them. First came roast pork. By the side of the pig was placed a plate of nice fresh salad ; opposite to that was a dish of jelly ; for dessert we had a sort of fritters made from guava apples ; sweetmeats, of cinnamon preserved in sugar; and these were all set out with as much precision and nicety as if we had been in Europe, instead of on a desert island.
They breathlessly related their adventures, supplementing and contradicting one another freely during the meal, and ended by begging me to skin the kangaroo. I invented for that purpose a machine, which caused a great deal of laughter among the boys.
We had found on board the ship, in the surgeon's case of instruments, a large syringe. Without saying anything concerning it to my sons, who stood watching me with astonishment, I ordered them to suspend the kangaroo by the hind legs, at such a height that the breast of the animal would be about level with mine. When this preparatory arrangement was concluded I made an incision in the skin, and then took hold