284 THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
Everybody spoke at once, and my sons addressed their new companion with such vivacity as to embarrass the timid stranger ; my wife saw his distress, and, as it was late, she gave the signal for a general break-up, saying she was going to make up a bed for our visitor on the pinnace, where he could sleep comfortably. My sons and I stopped to light and arrange our watch-fires.
The new-comer naturally became the subject of conversation.
' I should like to know,' said Francis, addressing himself to Fritz, ' where you found this man ?'
Fritz smiled without answering.
But after a few minutes he recounted to his brothers the whole history of the albatross; as he spoke of his thoughts and actions, he became so excited in his narration, that he forgot himself and the secret that he had to keep, and he called the young sailor ' Emily.'
' Emily ! — Emily !' repeated his brothers, who had begun to doubt the mystery, ' Emily !—Fritz has deceived us, and Sir Edward is a girl I—our adopted brother turned into a sister!'
This discovery changed the conversation. Fritz explained to his brothers that Emily, appearing in a midshipman's dress, which she had habitually