Captain Peter interfered, for three of the boys were helping Ben for the fun of the thing.
"Nonsense! Don't shake him! Let him alone, boys. One never snores like that when one's freezing. Cover him up with something. Here, this cloak will do. Hey, schipper?" and he looked toward the stern for permission to use it.
"There," said Peter, tenderly adjusting the garment, "let him sleep. He will be as frisky as a lamb when he wakes. How far are we from Leyden, schipper?"
"Not more'n a couple of pipes," replied a voice, rising from smoke like the genii in fairy tales (puff! puff!). "Likely not more'n one an' a half"--puff! puff!--"if this wind holds." Puff! puff! puff!
"What is the man saying, Lambert?" asked Ben, who was holding his mittened hands against his cheeks to ward off the cutting air.
"He says we're about two pipes from Leyden. Half the boors here on the canal measure distance by the time it takes them to finish a pipe."
"See here, Benjamin Dobbs," retorted Lambert, growing unaccountably indignant at Ben's quiet smile. "See here, you've a way of calling every other thing you see on THIS side of the German ocean 'ridiculous.' It may suit YOU, this word, but it doesn't suit ME. When you want anything ridiculous, just remember your English custom of making the Lord Mayor of London, at his installation, count the nails in a horseshoe to prove HIS LEARNING."
"Who told you we had any such custom as that?" cried Ben, looking grave in an instant.