Jack was taking a drink of water, and I thought looking a little brighter. I was quite out of breath, and before I could speak he had time to say—
"Why, Bob, you've hardly been away an hour."
"I have found it!" I cried, "I have found it!"
"Take it easy, man," he said; "take a drink of water. Didn't I tell you we were near it?"
We took near two hours to reach it, for we were both weak for want of food, and Jack was ill. Then we sat down under one of the posts and consulted.
"Jack," said I, "we may die of starvation yet, unless you can cut that wire. I couldn't climb the pole, poor devil that I am, not to save your life and my own."
(You will remember, no doubt, that I have already told you that Jack was a very clever athlete.)
He replied after a silence of a minute or so, letting his words drop slowly: "I should have thought but little of it yesterday morning. I am sure I don't know if I can do it now. I'll try."
"I have one lozenge left," I said; "take it before you try;" and I handed him the lozenge.
"I'll take my share of it," he answered, "but not yours too."
"Now be reasonable, Jack," said I; "my life as well