Wild Life in the Land of the Giants - novelonlinefree.info
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Jill and I even crept out along bowsprit and jib-boom, and waved our handkerchiefs and shouted again.
Was there ever such an home-coming in the world I wonder!
Auntie knows our voices. Mother waves back to us.
"Call away the boat!"
In a few minutes more, rowed by the st.u.r.dy arms of Lawlor and Ritchie, the little boat is bounding over the water.
Then it is beached, and mother, half hysterical and wholly in tears, does not know which of us to hug first.
And the fact is she does not know till we tell her which is Jack and which is Jill.
"I'm Jack, mother;" "I'm Jill, mother," we say.
Then we go all up home together.
Mattie was well, but away at school. She returned next day, however, and Jill and I were half afraid of her, so tall and beautiful had she become. But dear Mattie was self-possessed enough, though we semi-civilised sailors were shy.
This was a never-to-be-forgotten day. We had brought Mattie--we would always call her Mattie--a father and a sister. For this box was _the_ box, and that is saying enough.
For many voyages after this, Jill and I sailed together in the same s.h.i.+ps. And very often Ritchie and Lawlor were our s.h.i.+pmates.
We never saw nor heard anything more of Adriano. That was a little morsel of mystery never cleared up.
Castizo settled down in England, having bought property not far from the little churchyard where his dear wife is sleeping. He is there now, though he is getting old. With him live Peter and his wife Dulzura, as he still calls her, and it is ever a pleasure to meet them, and oftentimes, I scarcely need say, we talk of the dear old days on the Pampas and our life in the Land of the Giants.
Alas, poor Jill, though! It is sad to record how we were parted at last. We who thought the same thoughts, dreamt the same dreams, and were seldom separate by night or by day. We who had come through so many wild and stormy adventures hand in hand, I might say, to be parted so strangely.
We had come off a long voyage to the Arctic ice, and were together in London. We left each other but for an hour, it was agreed. I was back in time at the appointed place, but poor Jill never appeared. I never saw my brother again. No one could find out, though all search was made, whither he had gone, or been taken!
Long years have pa.s.sed away since then. I have fallen heir to our long lost estates. Mother and aunt live with me in our n.o.ble home.
Mattie is my wife.
They say I look a sadder man.
This may be so. Yet I live in hope that poor Jill and I are sure to meet again _some day--somewhere_. And when lying awake at night, thinking about the past, I sometimes seem to hear a voice which I know to be my brother's, saying--
"Come to me, Jack; come to me, for I cannot come to you."