THE FLOATING ACADEMY
"Well, if this is a life on the ocean wave or anything like it, I am satisfied to remain on shore."
"I knew that the Hudson river could cut up pretty lively at times, but the frolics of the Hudson are not a patch on this."
"They said we would not be seasick, but if I am not I don't know what you call it. I don't want it any worse, at any rate."
"They said it wouldn't hurt any if you were sick, but I wonder if they ever tried it themselves?"
"No, they are like the old bachelors who write about how to bring up children. They never had any, so they don't know anything about them."
"Well, if we get much more of this I shall get out and walk."
"And I'll go with you, my boy."
There were three boys on the deck of a large steam yacht, now about two days out from New York, bound to the West Indies on a voyage combining pleasure and education.
The boys belonged to the Hilltop Academy, situated in the Highlands of the Hudson, and their names were Billy Manners, Harry Dickson, and Arthur Warren, all being close chums, and ready to share any adventure except that of being seasick.
They were none of them sick, but they were all afraid they would be, hence their remarks upon the subject.
There were close upon a hundred of the Hilltop Boys, and they were now on a tour of the islands of the Spanish Main, having been invited by the father of one of them, a man largely interested in the shipping business, who had put at their service a commodious steam yacht large enough to hold them all.
Besides the boys there were Dr. Theophilus Wise, the principal, and a number of his instructors, the negro coachman at the Academy, who was now serving in the capacity of cook and general handy man to the doctor and the boys, and the captain and crew, a considerable party all told.
The sky was bright, there was none too much motion, and there was really no reason why a lot of healthy boys should be seasick, and perhaps they only feared they would be, and were just a little uncomfortable.
They were to spend the Easter vacation and a few weeks longer among the islands, continuing their studies as usual, and getting a knowledge of geography and of many other things, which they could not get by merely studying books, Dr. Wise having practical ideas on these points, and having now a chance to carry them out through the generosity of Mr. Smith, the shipping merchant, who had furnished the yacht.
His son, Jesse W., one of the youngest boys at the Academy, had been found and brought home when lost on the mountains by one of the Hilltop boys by the name of Jack Sheldon, a general favorite at the Academy, and it was in recognition of this act that he had decided to give the boys this glorious vacation.
As the three boys were complaining about the rough seas, and the chance of becoming seasick, they were joined by two others, one of whom said in a breezy voice and with a lively air:
"Well, boys, how are you enjoying yourselves? Glorious weather, isn't it? Fine breeze, just the thing to send us along, although we do not need it, going under steam."
"I'm glad you like it, Jack!" said Harry with a wry face, "but I can't say that I do....