Pretty gift and loving lesson, Festival and glee, Bid us thank thee as we're sailing O'er the frozen sea.
Nicholas! Saint Nicholas! So we sing to thee!
The last note died away in the distance. Our boys, who in their vain efforts to keep up with the boat had felt that they were skating backward, turned to look at one another.
"How beautiful that was!" exclaimed Van Mounen.
Jacob drew close to Ben, giving his usual approving nod, as he spoke. "Dat ish goot. Dat ish te pest vay. I shay petter to take to Leyden mit a poat!"
"Take a boat!" exclaimed Ben in dismay. "Why, man, our plan was to SKATE, not to be carried like little children."
"Tuyfels!" retorted Jacob. "Dat ish no little--no papies--to go for poat!"
The boys laughed but exchanged uneasy glances. It would be great fun to jump on an iceboat, if they had a chance, but to abandon so shamefully their grand undertaking--who could think of such a thing?