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It so happened that Florence and John made this whole journey alone—that is, with no one to accompany them as protectors or companions. They had servants with them, it is true, as will be more fully explained in the sequel, but that was all.

Mr. Morelle, Florence's father, who was an East India merchant, had come from the East Indies to meet his family in Europe, and had been with them, and had travelled with them some part of the time while they had been there, though in many cases he had been engaged in business in London and in Paris, and his family had consequently travelled a good deal by themselves. Mrs. Morelle was very much accustomed to travel with the children by herself, and was perfectly competent to take care of the party on all occasions. Indeed, she had very often devolved the duty of directing the movements and operations of the party upon the children themselves, so that Grimkie, and even Florence, had become quite accustomed to the management of affairs, and Florence used to say sometimes that if she believed if there was any occasion for it, she should not be afraid to travel alone, or at least with only John for a companion, from one end of Europe to the other. The occasion occurred sooner than she anticipated.

Mr. Morelle was not intending to accompany his family on their return to America, but was to go back to India for a short time, and then to proceed to America by way of the Pacific Ocean and California. He travelled with his family through Switzerland and Italy to Naples, and then returned with them to Rome; for Naples, as you will see by looking upon any map of Italy, is much farther to the southward than Rome. Here he was to leave them in in order to embark on board a steamer at Civita Vecchia, which is the port of Rome, for Alexandria. From Alexandria he was to cross the Isthmus of Suez, by railroad, to the head of the Red Sea, thence by another steamer down the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, and so on to Calcutta.

This is what is called the overland route to India, which is much shorter and more expeditious than to go all the way by sea, around the Cape of Good Hope.

A few days before Mr. Morelle was to set out for Civita Vecchia to meet the steamer there, while he was employed in packing and arranging his trunks, at the hotel in Rome, he thought how pleasant it would be if his wife were going with him.

* Pronounced Tchivitta Vekkia.

"Ah, Jennie," said he-her name was Jane, but he generally called her Jennie; “Ah, Jennie, how nice it would be if you were only going with me. And besides being so pleasant for me, there would be a great deal of novelty for you in such a trip. You could see the Nile, and the desert, and the Arabs, and the camels."

"I should like to see all those things very much," said Mrs. Morelle.

"Then we should have a pleasant sail down the Red Sea and across the Indian Ocean to Calcutta," added Mr. Morelle. "There would be a great deal to amuse you in Calcutta."

"I have no doubt of it," said Mrs. Morelle. “Then, besides, I think you would enjoy the voyage across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco," continued Mr. Morelle," and the passage down the coast to Panama, and so across the Isthmus and home. You would have then circumnavigated the globe. That would be quite a feather in your cap. There are very few ladies that have circumnavigated the globe."


'Very few indeed," said Mrs. Morelle.

"Father," said John, "that proverb is not right for ladies. They don't wear any feathers in their caps-only in their bonnets."

"True," said Mr. Morelle; "that proverb must have been made for boys-or for soldiers.

"At all events," added Mr. Morelle, after a moment's pause, "I think you would find a great deal to amuse you in such a voyage, and I wish you would go with me."

"But the children ?" said Mrs. Morelle, looking a little alarmed.

"As to the children,” replied Mr. Morelle, "it is not exactly the right sort of trip for them, I admit.

"But then," he added, after a moment's pause," they might return to America direct, by themselves. Florence is getting to be quite an experienced traveller. How would it do for them to go to America themselves, across the Atlantic, while we go round the other way ?"

Mrs. Morelle looked up quite surprised at hearing this suggestion, and exclaimed,

"Oh husband!"

She saw, however, that there was a lurking smile upon Mr. Morelle's countenance, which indicated to her at once that he did not mean seriously to propose this plan.

"You are not serious, I am sure,” she added.

“No,” replied Mr. Morelle, “I am not really serious. I should not think it wise to send off two such children on such an expedition, as a matter of choice. Still, if it was a matter of necessity, I have no doubt that they could make the journey without any danger."

"Nor I," said John. "I am sure we could do it."

"What do you think about it, Florence ?" asked Mrs. Morelle.

"If I had plenty of money, I think I could do it," said Florence.

"That is it, exactly," said Mr. Morelle. "It is very hard for a lady to travel alone in Europe, if she is poor, or if she is obliged to manage economically. But if she has plenty of money, and understands the usages half as well as Florence does, she can go all over the continent as easily and as safely as she can go from Union Square to Brooklyn, in New York, by the Fulton Ferry.”

Nothing more was said on the subject at this time. No one of all who had been speaking had any idea that the case could ever arrive of Florence and John being obliged to set off to make the journey and voyage from Rome to New York alone. Yet so it was, as will fully appear in the sequel. I ought to say that Grimkie was not with the party at this time, having been placed at a college in Germany.

Mr. Morelle finished packing his trunks, and the next day he bade his family good by, and proceeded by the diligence to Civita Vecchia, where he embarked on board the steamer, and set sail for Alexandria.

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