"Wine, quick!" cried Peter, who, with Ben's help, was rubbing Jacob from head to foot.
Ludwig stretched forth his hand imploringly toward the Dutchman, who, with an air of great importance, was still fumbling beneath the jacket.
"DO hurry! He will die! Has anyone else any wine?"
"He IS dead!" said an awful voice from among the bystanders.
"Have a care!" he said, reluctantly drawing forth a small blue flask. "This is schnapps. A little is enough."
A little WAS enough. The paleness gave way to a faint flush. Jacob opened his eyes, and, half bewildered, half ashamed, feebly tried to free himself from those who were supporting him.
There was no alternative, now, for our party but to have their exhausted comrade carried, in some way, to Leyden. As for expecting him to skate anymore that day, the thing was impossible. In truth, by this time each boy began to entertain secret yearnings toward iceboats, and to avow a Spartan resolve not to desert Jacob. Fortunately a gentle, steady breeze was setting southward. If some accommodating schipper would but come along, matters would not be quite so bad after all.
Peter hailed the first sail that appeared. The men in the stern would not even look at him. Three drays on runners came along, but they were already loaded to the utmost. Then an iceboat, a beautiful, tempting little one, whizzed past like an arrow. The boys had just time to stare eagerly at it when it was gone. In despair, they resolved to prop up Jacob with their strong arms, as well as they could, and take him to the nearest village.