We will take our revenge by and by, and England will get her full share in our future discoveries. Let the name New America stand for the continent itself, but I suppose Altamont has not yet disposed of all the bays, and capes, and headlands it contains, and I imagine there will be nothing to prevent us calling this bay Victoria Bay?”
“Nothing whatever, provided that yonder cape is called Cape Washington,” replied Altamont.
“You might choose a name, sir,” exclaimed Hatteras, almost beside himself with passion, “that is less offensive to an Englishman.”
“But not one which sounds so sweet to an American,” retorted Altamont, proudly.
“Come, come,” said the Doctor, “no discussion on that subject. An American has a perfect right to be proud of his great countryman! Let us honour genius wherever it is met with; and since Altamont has made his choice, let us take our turn next; let the captain——”
“Doctor!” interrupted Hatteras, “I have no wish that my name should figure anywhere on this continent, seeing that it belongs to America.”
“Is this your unalterable determination?” asked Clawbonny.
The Doctor did not insist further.
“Very well, we’ll have it to ourselves then,” he continued, turning to Johnson and Bell. “We’ll leave our traces behind us. I propose that the island we see out there, about three miles away from the shore, should be called Isle Johnson, in honour of our boatswain,’’
“Oh, Mr. Clawbonny,” began Johnson, in no little confusion.
“And that mountain that we discovered in the west we will call Bell Mount, if our carpenter is willing.”
“It is doing me too much honour,” replied Bell.
“It is simple justice,” returned the Doctor.
“Nothing could be better,” said Altamont.
“Now then, all we have to do is to christen our fort,” said the Doctor, “about that there will be no discussion, I hope, for it is neither to our gracious sovereign Queen Victoria, nor to Washington, that we owe our safety and shelter here, but to God, who brought about our meeting, and by so doing saved us all. Let our little fort be called Fort Providence.”
“Your remarks are just,” said Altamont; “no name could be more suitable.”
“Fort Providence,” added Johnson, “sounds well too. In our future excursions, then, we shall go by Cape Washington to Victoria Bay, and from thence to Fort Providence, where we shall find food and rest at Doctor’s House!”
“The business is settled then so far,” resumed the Doctor. “As our discoveries multiply we shall have other names to give; but I trust, friends, we shall have no disputes about them, for placed as we are, we need all the help and love we can give each other. Let us be strong by being united. Who knows what dangers yet we may have to brave, and what sufferings to endure before we see our native land once more. Let us be one in heart though five in number, and let us lay aside all feelings of rivalry. Such feelings are bad enough at all times, but among us they would be doubly wrong. You understand me, Altamont, and you, Hatteras?”
Neither of the captains replied, but the Doctor took no notice of their silence, and went on to speak of other things. Sundry expeditions were planned to forage for fresh food. It would soon be spring, and hares and partridges, foxes and bears would re-appear. So it was determined that part of every day should be spent in hunting and exploring this unknown continent of New America.
[Illustration: Clambering up the steep, rocky wall, against which the Doctor’s House leaned, he succeeded, though with considerable difficulty, in reaching the top.—P.77]
AN EXCURSION TO THE NORTH OF VICTORIA BAY
Next morning Clawbonny was out by dawn of day. Clambering up the steep, rocky wall, against which the Doctor’s House leaned, he succeeded, though with considerable difficulty, in reaching the top, which he found terminated abruptly in a sort of truncated cone. From this elevation there was an extensive view over a vast tract of country, which was all disordered and convulsed as if it had undergone some volcanic commotion.