Jacob Abbott. Rollo in Switzerland

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and 214 &216 MERCER ST.,

Grand Central Hotel.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by JACOB ABBOTT,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of


[Illustration: ROLLO'S IN EUROPE.]











[Illustration: MONT BLANC.]


ROLLO; twelve years of age.

MR. and MRS. HOLIDAY; Rollo's father and mother, travelling

in Europe.

THANNY; Rollo's younger brother.

JANE; Rollo's cousin, adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Holiday.

MR. GEORGE; a young gentleman, Rollo's uncle.



The last day that Rollo spent in Paris, before he set out on his journey into Switzerland, he had an opportunity to acquire, by actual experience, some knowledge of the nature of the passport system.

Before commencing the narrative of the adventures which he met with, it is necessary to premise that no person can travel among the different states and kingdoms on the continent of Europe without what is called a passport. The idea which prevails among all the governments of the continent is, that the people of each country are the subjects of the sovereign reigning there, and in some sense belong to him. They cannot leave their country without the written permission of the government, nor can they enter any other one without showing this permission and having it approved and stamped by the proper officers of the country to which they wish to go. There are, for example, at Paris ministers of all the different governments of Europe, residing in different parts of the city; and whoever wishes to leave France, to go into any other kingdom, must first go with his passport to the ministers of the countries which he intends to visit and get them to put their stamp upon it. This stamp represents the permission of the government whose minister affixes it that the traveller may enter the territory under their jurisdiction. Besides this, it is necessary to get permission from the authorities of Paris to leave the city. Nobody can leave France without this. This permission, too, like the others, is given by a stamp upon the passport. To get this stamp, the traveller must carry or send his passport to the great central police office of Paris, called the prefecture of police. Now, as the legations of the different governments and the prefecture of police are situated at very considerable distances from each other about the city, and as it usually takes some time to transact the business at each office, and especially as the inexperienced traveller often makes mistakes and goes to the wrong place, or gets at the right place at the wrong hour, it usually requires a whole day, and sometimes two days, to get his passport all right so as to allow of his setting out upon his journey. These explanations are necessary to enable the reader to understand what I now proceed to relate in respect to Rollo.

One morning, while Rollo and Jennie were at breakfast with their father and mother, Rollo's uncle George came in and said that he had concluded to go and make a little tour in Switzerland. "I shall have three weeks," said he, "if I can get away to-morrow; and that will give me time to take quite a little run among the mountains. I have come now to see if you will let Rollo go with me."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, very eagerly, and rising at once from his chair. "Yes, sir. Let me go with him. That's exactly the thing. Yes, sir."

"Have you any objection?" said Mr. Holiday, quietly, turning towards Rollo's mother.

"No," said Mrs. Holiday, speaking, however, in a very doubtful tone,-"no; I don't know that I have-any great objection."

Whatever doubt and hesitation Mrs. Holiday might have had on the subject was dispelled when she came to look at Rollo and see how eager and earnest he was in his desire to go. So she gave her definitive consent.

"How long do you think you will be gone?" said Mr. Holiday.

"Three weeks, nearly," replied Mr. George. "Say twenty days."

"And how much do you suppose it will cost you?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"I have made a calculation," said Mr. George; "and I think it will cost me, if I go alone, about twenty-five francs a day for the whole time. There would, however, be a considerable saving in some things if two go together."

"Then I will allow you, Rollo," replied Mr. Holiday, looking towards Rollo, "twenty-five francs a day for this excursion. If you spend any more than that, you must take it out of your past savings. If you do not spend it all, what is left when you come back is yours."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo. "I think that will be a great plenty."

"Twenty-five francs a day for twenty days," continued Mr. Holiday, "is five hundred francs. Bring me that bag of gold, Rollo, out of my secretary. Here is the key."

So Rollo brought out the gold, and Mr. Holiday took from it twenty-five Napoleons. These he put in Rollo's purse.

"There," said Mr. Holiday, "that's all I can do for you. For the rest you must take care of yourself."

"How long will it take you to pack your trunk?" said Mr. George.

"Five minutes," said Rollo, promptly, standing up erect as he said it and buttoning his jacket up to his chin.

"Then put on your cap and come with me," said Mr. George.

Rollo did so. He followed Mr. George down stairs to the door, and they both got into a small carriage which Mr. George had waiting there and drove away together towards Mr. George's hotel.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. George, "I have got a great deal to do to-day, and there are our passports to be stamped. I wonder if you could not attend to that."

"Yes," said Rollo, "if you will only tell me what is to be done."

"I don't myself know what is to be done," said Mr. George. "That's the difficulty. And I have not time to find out. I have got as much as I can possibly do until four o'clock; and then the office of the prefecture of police is closed. Now, if you can take the passports and find out what is to be done, and do it, then we can go to-morrow; otherwise we must wait till next day."

"Well," said Rollo, "I'll try."

"You will find the passports, then, on my table at the hotel. I am going to get out at the next street and take another carriage to go in another direction. You can keep this carriage."

"Very well," said Rollo.

"You may make inquiries of any body you please," said Mr. George, "except your father and mother. We must not trouble your father with any business of any kind till he gets entirely well; and your mother would not know any thing about it at all. Perhaps the master of the hotel can tell you. You had better ask him, at any rate."

Here Mr. George pulled the string for the carriage to stop, as they had arrived at the corner of the street where he was to get out. The coachman drew up to the sidewalk and stopped. Mr. George opened the door and stepped out upon the curbstone, and then said, as he shut the door,-

"Well, good by, Rollo. I hope you will have good luck. But, whatever happens, keep a quiet mind, and don't allow yourself to feel perplexed or troubled. If you don't succeed in getting the passports ready to-day we can attend to them to-morrow and then go the next day, which will answer nearly as well."

Then, directing the coachman to drive to the hotel, Mr. George walked rapidly away.

When Rollo reached the hotel he got the key of his uncle George's room, at the porter's lodge, and went immediately up to see if the passports were there. He found them, as his uncle had said, lying on the table.

"Now," said Rollo, "the first thing I'll do is to find Carlos and see if he will go and help me get the passports stamped."[1]

So, taking the passports in his hand, he went along the corridor till he came to the door leading to the apartments where Carlos lodged. There was a bell hanging by the side of the door. Rollo pulled this cord, and presently the courier came to the door.[2] Rollo inquired for Carlos, and the courier said that he would go and get him. In the mean time the courier asked Rollo to step in and take a seat. So Rollo went in. The room that he entered was a small one, and was used as an antechamber to the apartment; and it was very neatly and pleasantly furnished for such a purpose. There were a sofa and several chairs, and maps and pictures on the walls, and a table with writing materials on it in the centre. Rollo sat down upon the sofa. In a few minutes Carlos came.

"Look here!" said Rollo, rising when Carlos came in. "See these passports! We're going to get them stamped. Will you go with me? I have got a carriage at the door."

Here Rollo made a sort of whirling motion with his hand, advancing it forward at the same time as it rolled, to indicate the motion of a wheel. This was to signify to Carlos that they were going in a carriag ...

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