only person in the tale who is not frightened is a man, and he is not severely tested, inasmuch as it was he who invented the mouse.
But he is all ready to punish the ladies for their timidity, and, with a discipline severer than that of the British
army, prohibits them from ever again attacking the political opponents of their sex. What if the Queen
had caused General to be cashiered for cowardice by reason of his retreat before the “exasperated” animal?
Crossing the Atlantic
once, and talking with the surgeon of the ocean steamer, I was told by him that in his wide experience he had found women, on the whole, cooler than men in case of disaster at sea. He told me of one occasion when they expected that the vessel would ultimately sink, and he asked the one woman on board to remain a few minutes in the cabin with her children, because they would be in the way on deck, he promising to call them in ample time for safety.
When he went below, all was so quiet in the cabin that he thought they must have gone elsewhere, but he found the mother sitting on the sofa with the three children around her, telling them stories in a low voice to keep them still.
All were carefully dressed in their warmest clothes, with everything tied carefully about them, ready for any emergency.
She also had a small hand-bag packed with a few essentials, and a