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28. CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHTH.
An Evening of Delight.--Joe's Culinary Performance.--A Dissertation on Raw Meat.--The Narrative of James Bruce.--Camping out.--Joe's Dreams.--The Barometer begins to fall.--The Barometer rises again.--Preparations for Departure.--The Tempest.
The evening was lovely, and our three friends enjoyed it in the cool shade of the mimosas, after a substantial repast, at which the tea and the punch were dealt out with no niggardly hand.
Kennedy had traversed the little domain in all directions. He had ransacked every thicket and satisfied himself that the balloon party were the only living creatures in this terrestrial paradise; so they stretched themselves upon their blankets and passed a peaceful night that brought them forgetfulness of their past sufferings.
On the morrow, May 7th, the sun shone with all his splendor, but his rays could not penetrate the dense screen of the palm-tree foliage, and as there was no lack of provisions, the doctor resolved to remain where he was while waiting for a favorable wind.
Joe had conveyed his portable kitchen to the oasis, and proceeded to indulge in any number of culinary combinations, using water all the time with the most profuse extravagance.
"What a strange succession of annoyances and enjoyments!" moralized Kennedy. "Such abundance as this after such privations; such luxury after such want! Ah! I nearly went mad!"
"My dear Dick," replied the doctor, "had it not been for Joe, you would not be sitting here, to-day, discoursing on the instability of human affairs."
"Whole-hearted friend!" said Kennedy, extending his hand to Joe.
"There's no occasion for all that," responded the latter; "but you can take your revenge some time, Mr. Kennedy, always hoping though that you may never have occasion to do the same for me!"
"It's a poor constitution this of ours to succumb to so little," philosophized Dr. Ferguson.
"So little water, you mean, doctor," interposed Joe; "that element must be very necessary to life."
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