254 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
seen, such as majestic forests, in which lived turkeys and peacocks, whose cries and screams imparted an air of life to the sombre river. Farther on, the scene had changed. There were enormous elephants feeding along the banks, in troops of twenty or thirty. Some were playing in the water, and squirting the cooling fluid over the heated bodies of their companions. Tigers and panthers, too, lay sleeping in the sun, their magnificent fur contrasting strangely with the green bank upon which they reclined; but not one of these animals paid the least attention to him.
What had frightened him most had been the sight of some great crocodiles, which had quickly made him retreat.
Even with the protection of the new palisade, I felt that this side of the island, near to all these dangerous beasts, was not so safe as the other, so I suggested we had been away from our fixed camp long enough, and should return to Falcon's Nest. This we did without any mishap.
It was some time after this—but indeed, time flowed so smoothly by, I forget exactly when—that Fritz, ever active, proposed we should make a fort on Shark Island, to which we could retire, if ever hard pressed by savage animals on land. I gave