Rollo in Switzerland by Jacob Abbott
Rollo in Switzerland by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879
I.- -GETTING A PASSPORT,
II.- -CROSSING THE FRONTIER,
IV.- -THE DILIGENCE,
V.- -RIDE TO BERNE,
VI.-THE VALLEY OF THE AAR,
IX.- -THE WENGERN ALP,
X.- -GOING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN,
XII.- -ROLLO A COURIER,
ROLLO IN SWITZERLAND.
GETTING A PASSPORT.
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
"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
"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
"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
When Rollo reached the hotel he got the key of his uncl