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Voyages and Travels of Count Funnibos and Baron Stilkin

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Chapter One.

“What shall we do with ourselves, my dear Stilkin?” exclaimed Count Funnibos, yawning and stretching out his legs and arms, which were of the longest.

“Do! why, travel,” answered Baron Stilkin, with a smile on his genial countenance.

“Travel! what for?” asked the Count, yawning again.

“To see the world, to be sure,” answered the Baron.

“The world! why, don’t we see it by looking out of the window?” asked the Count.

“That’s what many people say, and fancy they know the world when they have looked out of their own windows,” observed the Baron.

“Ah, yes, perhaps you are right: you always are when I happen to be wrong, and you differ from me—unless you are wrong also,” replied the Count. “But where shall we go?”

“Why, round the world if we want to see it;—or as far round as we can get,” said the Baron, correcting himself; “and then we shall not have seen it all.”

“When shall we start?” asked the Count, brightening up; “next year?”

“Next fiddlesticks! this afternoon, to be sure. Don’t put off till to-morrow what can be done to-day, still less till next year. What’s to hinder us? We have no ties.”

“Yes, there are my neck-ties to come from the laundress,” said the Count, who was addicted to taking things literally; “and I must procure some new shoe-ties.”

“Never mind, I’ll get them for you in good time,” said the Baron. “You have plenty of money, so you can pay for both of us, which will simplify accounts.”

“Yes, to be sure, I hate complicated accounts,” remarked the Count, who thought the Baron the essence of wisdom, and that this was an especially bright idea. “And what luggage shall we require?”

“Let me see: you have two valises—one will do for you and the other for me,” said the Baron, putting his fore-finger on his brow in a thoughtful manner. “All, yes; besides the ties you will require a shirt-collar or two, a comb to unravel those hyacinthine locks of yours, a pair of spectacles, and a toothpick. It might be as well also to take an umbrella, in case we should be caught out in the rainy season.”

“But shouldn’t I take my slippers?” asked the Count.

“What a brilliant idea!” exclaimed the Baron. “And that reminds me that you must of course take your seven-league boots.”

“But I have only one pair, and if I put them on I shall be unable to help running away from you, and we could no longer be called travelling companions.”

“Ah, yes, I foresaw that difficulty from the first,” observed the Baron. “But, my dear Funnibos, I never allow difficulties to stand in my way. I’ve thought of a plan to overcome that one. You shall wear one boot and I’ll wear the other, then hand in hand we’ll go along across the country almost as fast as you would alone.”

“Much faster—for I should to a certainty lose my way, or stick in a quagmire,” observed the Count.

“Then all our arrangements are made,” said the Baron. “I’ll see about any other trifles we may require....