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Author: Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851
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Title: Homeward Bound
       or, The Chase

Author: James Fenimore Cooper

Release Date: February, 2006 [EBook #9826]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on October 22, 2003]

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HOMEWARD BOUND ***




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Homeward Bound;
or, The Chase.

A Tale of the Sea.

By J. Fenimore Cooper.


      "Is 't not strange, Canidius.
  That from Tarentum and Brundusium
  He could so quickly cut the Ionian Sea,
  and take in Toryne."--SHAKSPEARE.


Complete in One Volume.

New Edition.

NEW YORK:
Published by Hurd and Houghton,
Cambridge: Riverside Press.
1871




Homeward Bound.




Preface.



In one respect, this book is a parallel to Franklin's well-known apologue
of the hatter and his sign. It was commenced with a sole view to exhibit
the present state of society in the United States, through the agency, in
part, of a set of characters with different peculiarities, who had freshly
arrived from Europe, and to whom the distinctive features of the country
would be apt to present themselves with greater force, than to those who
had never lived beyond the influence of the things portrayed. By the
original plan, the work was to open at the threshold of the country, or
with the arrival of the travellers at Sandy Hook, from which point the
tale was to have been carried regularly forward to its conclusion. But a
consultation with others has left little more of this plan than the
hatter's friends left of his sign. As a vessel was introduced in the first
chapter, the cry was for "more ship," until the work has become "all
ship;" it actually closing at, or near, the spot where it was originally
intended it should commence. Owing to this diversion from the author's
design--a design that lay at the bottom of all his projects--a necessity
has been created of running the tale through two separate works, or of
making a hurried and insufficient conclusion. The former scheme has,
consequently, been adopted.

It is hoped that the interest of the narrative will not be essentially
diminished by this arrangement.

There will be, very likely, certain imaginative persons, who will feel
disposed to deny that every minute event mentioned in these volumes ever
befell one and the same ship, though ready enough to admit that they may
very well have occurred to several different ships: a mode of commenting
that is much in favour with your small critic. To this objection, we shall
make but a single answer. The caviller, if any there should prove to be,
is challenged to produce the log-book of the Montauk, London packet, and
if it should be found to contain a single sentence to controvert any one
of our statements or facts, a frank recantation shall be made. Captain
Truck is quite as well known in New York as in London or Portsmouth, and
to him also we refer with confidence, for a confirmation of all we have
said, with the exception, perhaps, of the little occasional touches of
character that may allude directly to himself. In relation to the latter,
Mr. Leach, and particularly Mr. Saunders, are both invoked as
unimpeachable witnesses.

Most of our readers will probably know that all which appears in a New
York journal is not necessarily as true as the Gospel. As some slight
deviations from the facts accidentally occur, though doubtless at very
long intervals, it should not be surprising that they sometimes omit
circumstances that are quite as veracious as anything they do actually
utter to the world. No argument, therefore, can justly be urged against
the incidents of this story, on account of the circumstance of their not
being embodied in the regular marine news of the day.

Another serious objection on the part of the American reader to this work
is foreseen. The author has endeavoured to interest his readers in
occurrences of a date as antiquated as two years can make them, when he is
quite aware, that, in order to keep pace with a state of society in which
there was no yesterday, it would have been much safer to anticipate
things, by laying his scene two years in advance. It is hoped, however,
that the public sentiment will not be outraged by this glimpse at
antiquity, and this the more so, as the sequel of the tale will bring down
events within a year of the present moment.

Previously to the appearance of that sequel, however, it may be well to
say a few words concerning the fortunes of some of our _characters_, as it
might be _en attendant_.

To commence with the most important: the Montauk herself, once deemed so
"splendid" and convenient, is already supplanted in the public favour by a
new ship; the reign of a popular packet, a popular preacher, or a popular
anything-else, in America, being limited by a national _esprit de corps_,
to a time materially shorter than that of a lustre. This, however, is no
more than just; rotation in favour being as evidently a matter of
constitutional necessity, as rotation in office.

Captain Truck, for a novelty, continues popular, a circumstance that he
himself ascribes to the fact of his being still a bachelor.

Toast is promoted, figuring at the head of a pantry quite equal to that of
his great master, who regards his improvement with some such eyes as
Charles the Twelfth of Sweden regarded that of his great rival Peter,
after the affair of Pultowa.

Mr. Leach now smokes his own cigar, and issues his own orders from a
monkey rail, his place in the line being supplied by his former "Dickey."
He already speaks of his great model, as of one a little antiquated it is
true, but as a man who had merit in his time, though it was not the
particular merit that is in fashion to-day.

Notwithstanding these little changes, which are perhaps inseparable from
the events of a period so long as two years in a country as energetic as
America, and in which nothing seems to be stationary but the ages of
Tontine nominees and three-life leases, a cordial esteem was created among
the principal actors in the events of this book, which is likely to
outlast the passage, and which will not fail to bring most of them
together again in the sequel.

_April_ 1838.




Chapter I.



  An inner room I have,
  Where thou shalt rest and some refreshment take,
  And then we will more fully talk of this

  ORRA.


The coast of England, though infinitely finer than our own, is more
remarkable for its verdure, and for a general appearance of civilisation,
than for its natural beauties. The chalky cliffs may seem bold and noble
to the American, though compared to the granite piles that buttress the
Mediterranean they are but mole-hills; and the travelled eye seeks
beauties instead, in the retiring vales, the leafy hedges, and the
clustering towns that dot the teeming island. Neither is Portsmouth a very
favourable specimen of a British port, considered solely in reference to
the picturesque. A town situated on a humble point, and fortified after
the manner of the Low Countries, with an excellent haven, suggests more
images of the useful than of the pleasing; while a background of modest
receding hills offers little beyond the verdant swales of the country. In
this respect England itself has the fresh beauty of youth, rather than the
mellowed hues of a more advanced period of life; or it might be better to
say, it has the young freshness and retiring sweetness that distinguish
her females, as compared with the warmer tints of Spain and Italy, and
which, women and landscape alike, need the near view to be appreciated.

Some such thoughts as these passed through the mind of the traveller who
stood on the deck of the packet Montauk, resting an elbow on the
quarter-deck rail, as he contemplated the view of the coast that stretched
before him east and west for leagues. The manner in which this gentleman,
whose temples were sprinkled with grey hairs, regarded the scene, denoted
more of the thoughtfulness of experience, and of tastes improved by
observation, than it is usual to meet amid the bustling and common-place
characters that compose the majority in almost every situation of life.
The calmness of his exterior, an air removed equally from the admiration
of the novice and the superciliousness of the tyro, had, indeed, so
strongly distinguished him from the moment he embarked in London to that
in which he was now seen in the position mentioned, that several of the
seamen swore he was a man-of-war's-man in disguise. The fair-haired,
lovely, blue-eyed girl at his side, too seemed a softened reflection of
all his sentiment, intelligence, knowledge, tastes, and cultivation,
united to the artlessness and simplicity that became her sex and years.

"We have seen nobler coasts, Eve," said the gentleman, pressing the arm
that leaned on his own; "but, after all England will always be fair to
American eyes."

"More particularly so if those eyes first opened to the light in the
eighteenth century, father."

"You, at least, my child, have been educated beyond the reach of national
foibles, whatever may have been my own evil fortune; and still, I think
even you have seen a great deal to admire in this country, as well as in
this coast."

Eve Effingham glanced a moment towards the eye of her father, and
perceiving that he spoke in playfulness, without suffering a cloud to
shadow a countenance that usually varied with her emotions, she continued
the discourse, which had, in fact, only been resumed by the remark first
mentioned.

"I have been educated, as it is termed, in so many different places and
countries," returned Eve, smiling, "that I sometimes fancy I was born a
woman, like my great predecessor and namesake, the mother of Abel. If a
congress of nations, in the way of masters, can make one independent of
prejudice, I may claim to possess the advantage. My greatest fear is,
that in acquiring liberality, I have acquired nothing else."

Mr. Effingham turned a look of parental fondness, in which parental pride
was clearly mingled, on the face of his daughter, and said with his eyes,
though his tongue did not second the expression, "This is a fear, sweet
one, that none besides thyself would feel."

"A congress of nations, truly!" muttered another male voice near the
father and daughter. "You have been taught music in general, by seven
masters of as many different states, besides the touch of the guitar by a
Spaniard; Greek by a German; the living tongues by the European powers,
and philosophy by seeing the world; and now with a brain full of learning,
fingers full of touches, eyes full of tints, and a person full of grace,
your father is taking you back to America, to 'waste your sweetness on the
desert air.'"

"Poetically expressed, if not justly imagined, cousin Jack," returned the
laughing Eve; "but you have forgot to add, and a heart full of feeling for
the land of my birth."

"We shall see, in the end."

"In the end, as in the beginning, now and for evermore."

"All love is eternal in the commencement."

"Do you make no allowance for the constancy of woman? Think you that a
girl of twenty can forget the country of her birth, the land of her
forefathers--or, as you call it yourself when in a good humour, the land
of liberty?"

"A pretty specimen _you_ will have of its liberty!" returned the cousin
sarcastically. "After having passed a girlhood of wholesome restraint in
the rational society of Europe, you are about to return home to the
slavery of American female life, just as you are about to be married!"

"Married! Mr. Effingham?"

"I suppose the catastrophe will arrive, sooner or later, and it is more
likely to occur to a girl of twenty than to a girl of ten."

"Mr. John Effingham never lost an argument for the want of a convenient
fact, my love," the father observed by way of bringing the brief
discussion to a close. "But here are the boats approaching; let us
withdraw a little, and examine the chance medley of faces with which we
are to become familiar by the intercourse of a month."

"You will be much more likely to agree on a verdict of murder," muttered
the kinsman.

Mr. Effingham led his daughter into the hurricane-house--or, as the
packet-men quaintly term it, the _coach_-house, where they stood watching
the movements on the quarter-deck for the next half-hour; an interval of
which we shall take advantage to touch in a few of the stronger lights of
our picture, leaving the softer tints and the shadows to be discovered by
the manner in which the artist "tells the story."

Edward and John Effingham were brothers' children; were born on the same
day; had passionately loved the same woman, who had preferred the
first-named, and died soon after Eve was born; had, notwithstanding this
collision in feeling, remained sincere friends, and this the more so,
probably, from a mutual and natural sympathy in their common loss; had
lived much together at home, and travelled much together abroad, and were
now about to return in company to the land of their birth, after what
might be termed an absence of twelve years; though both had visited
America for short periods in the intervals,--John not less than
five times.

There was a strong family likeness between the cousins, their persons and
even features being almost identical; though it was scarcely possible for
two human beings to leave more opposite impressions on mere casual
spectators when seen separately. Both were tall, of commanding presence,
and handsome; while one was winning in appearance, and the other, if not
positively forbidding, at least distant and repulsive. The noble outline
of face in Edward Effingham had got to be cold severity in that of John;
the aquiline nose of the latter, seeming to possess an eagle-like and
hostile curvature,--his compressed lip, sarcastic and cold expression, and
the fine classical chin, a feature in which so many of the Saxon race
fail, a haughty scorn that caused strangers usually to avoid him. Eve drew
with great facility and truth, and she had an eye, as her cousin had
rightly said, "full of tints." Often and often had she sketched both of
these loved faces, and never without wondering wherein that strong
difference existed in nature which she had never been able to impart to
her drawings. The truth is, that the subtle character of John Effingham's
face would have puzzled the skill of one who had made the art his study
for a life, and it utterly set the graceful but scarcely profound
knowledge of the beautiful young painter at defiance. All the points of
character that rendered her father so amiable and so winning, and which
were rather felt than perceived, in his cousin were salient and bold, and
if it may be thus expressed, had become indurated by mental suffering and
disappointment.

The cousins were both rich, though in ways as opposite as their
dispositions and habits of thought. Edward Effingham possessed a large
hereditary property, that brought a good income, and which attached him to
this world of ours by kindly feelings towards its land and water; while
John, much the wealthier of the two, having inherited a large commercial
fortune, did not own ground enough to bury him. As he sometimes deridingly
said, he "kept his gold in corporations, that were as soulless
as himself."

Still, John Effingham was a man of cultivated mind, of extensive
intercourse with the world, and of manners that varied with the occasion;
or perhaps it were better to say, with his humours. In all these
particulars but the latter the cousins were alike; Edward Effingham's
deportment being as equal as his temper, though also distinguished for a
knowledge of society.

These gentlemen had embarked at London, on their fiftieth birthday, in the
packet of the 1st of October, bound to New York; the lands and family
residence of the proprietor lying in the state of that name, of which all
of the parties were natives. It is not usual for the cabin passengers of
the London packets to embark in the docks; but Mr. Effingham,--as we shall
call the father in general, to distinguish him from the bachelor,
John,--as an old and experienced traveller, had determined to make his
daughter familiar with the peculiar odours of the vessel in smooth water,
as a protection against sea-sickness; a malady, however, from which she
proved to be singularly exempt in the end. They had, accordingly, been on
board three days, when the ship came to an anchor off Portsmouth, the point
where the remainder of the passengers were to join her on that particular
day when the scene of this tale commences.

At this precise moment, then, the Montauk was lying at a single anchor,
not less than a league from the land, in a flat calm, with her three
topsails loose, the courses in the brails, and with all those signs of
preparation about her that are so bewildering to landsmen, but which
seamen comprehend as clearly as words. The captain had no other business
there than to take on board the wayfarers, and to renew his supply of
fresh meat and vegetables; things of so familiar import on shore as to be
seldom thought of until missed, but which swell into importance during a
passage of a month's duration. Eve had employed her three days of
probation quite usefully, having, with the exception of the two gentlemen,
the officers of the vessel, and one other person, been in quiet possession
of all the ample, not to say luxurious cabins. It is true, she had a
female attendant; but to her she had been accustomed from childhood, and
Nanny Sidley, as her quondam nurse and actual lady's-maid was termed,
appeared so much a part of herself, that, while her absence would be
missed almost as greatly as that of a limb, her presence was as much a
matter of course as a hand or foot. Nor will a passing word concerning
this excellent and faithful domestic be thrown away, in the brief
preliminary explanations we are making.

Ann Sidley was one of those excellent creatures who, it is the custom with
the European travellers to say, do not exist at all in America, and who,
while they are certainly less numerous than could be wished, have no
superiors in the world, in their way. She had been born a servant, lived a
servant, and was quite content to die a servant,--and this, too, in one
and the same family. We shall not enter into a philosophical examination
of the reasons that had induced old Ann to feel certain she was in the
precise situation to render her more happy than any other that to her was
attainable; but feel it she did, as John Effingham used to express it,
"from the crown of her head to the sole of her foot." She had passed
through infancy, childhood, girlhood, up to womanhood, _pari passu_, with
the mother of Eve, having been the daughter of a gardener, who died in the
service of the family, and had heart enough to feel that the mixed
relations of civilised society, when properly understood and appreciated,
are more pregnant of happiness than the vulgar scramble and
heart-burnings, that, in the _melee_ of a migrating and unsettled
population, are so injurious to the grace and principles of American life.
At the death of Eve's mother, she had transferred her affections to the
child; and twenty years of assiduity and care had brought her to feel as
much tenderness for her lovely young charge as if she had been her natural
parent. But Nanny Sidley was better fitted to care for the body than the
mind of Eve; and when, at the age of ten, the latter was placed under the
control of an accomplished governess, the good woman had meekly and
quietly sunk the duties of the nurse in those of the maid.

One of the severest trials--or "crosses," as she herself termed it--that
poor Nanny had ever experienced, was endured when Eve began to speak in a
language she could not herself comprehend; for, in despite of the best
intentions in the world, and twelve years of use, the good woman could
never make anything of the foreign tongues her young charge was so rapidly
acquiring. One day, when Eve had been maintaining an animated and laughing
discourse in Italian with her instructress, Nanny, unable to command
herself, had actually caught the child to her bosom, and, bursting into
tears, implored her not to estrange herself entirely from her poor old
nurse. The caresses and solicitations of Eve soon brought the good woman
to a sense of her weakness; but the natural feeling was so strong, that it
required years of close observation to reconcile her to the thousand
excellent qualities of Mademoiselle Viefville, the lady to whose
superintendence the education of Miss Effingham had been finally confided.

This Mademoiselle Viefville was also among the passengers, and was the one
other person who now occupied the cabins in common with Eve and her
friends. She was the daughter of a French officer who had fallen in
Napoleon's campaigns, had been educated at one of those admirable
establishments which form points of relief in the ruthless history of the
conqueror, and had now lived long enough to have educated two young
persons, the last of whom was Eve Effingham. Twelve years of close
communion with her _eleve_ had created sufficient attachment to cause her
to yield to the solicitations of the father to accompany his daughter to
America, and to continue with her during the first year of her probation,
in a state of society that the latter felt must be altogether novel to a
young woman educated as his own child had been.

So much has been written and said of French governesses, that we shall not
anticipate the subject, but leave this lady to speak and act for herself
in the course of the narrative. Neither is it our intention to be very
minute in these introductory remarks concerning any of our characters; but
having thus traced their outlines, we shall return again to the incidents
as they occurred, trusting to make the reader better acquainted with all
the parties as we proceed.




Chapter II.



  Lord Cram and Lord Vultur.
  Sir Brandish O'Cultur,
  With Marshal Carouzer,
  And old Lady Mouser.

  BATH GUIDE.


The assembling of the passengers of a packet-ship is at all times a matter
of interest to the parties concerned. During the western passage in
particular, which can never safely be set down at less than a month, there
is the prospect of being shut up for the whole of that period, within the
narrow compass of a ship, with those whom chance has brought together,
influenced by all the accidents and caprices of personal character, and a
difference of nations, conditions in life, and education. The
quarter-deck, it is true, forms a sort of local distinction, and the poor
creatures in the steerage seem the rejected of Providence for the time
being; but all who know life will readily comprehend that the _pele-mele_
of the cabins can seldom offer anything very enticing to people of
refinement and taste. Against this evil, however, there is one particular
source of relief; most persons feeling a disposition to yield to the
circumstances in which they are placed, with the laudable and convenient
desire to render others comfortable, in order that they may be made
comfortable themselves.

A man of the world and a gentleman, Mr. Effingham had looked forward to
this passage with a good deal of concern, on account of his daughter,
while he shrank with the sensitiveness of his habits from the necessity of
exposing one of her delicacy and plastic simplicity to the intercourse of
a ship. Accompanied by Mademoiselle Viefville, watched over by Nanny, and
guarded by himself and his kinsman, he had lost some of his apprehensions
on the subject during the three probationary days, and now took his stand
in the centre of his own party to observe the new arrivals, with something
of the security of a man who is entrenched in his own door-way.

The place they occupied, at a window of the hurricane-house, did not admit
of a view of the water; but it was sufficiently evident from the
preparations in the gangway next the land, that boats were so near as to
render that unnecessary.

"_Genus_ cockney; _species_, bagman," muttered John Effingham, as the
first arrival touched the deck. "That worthy has merely exchanged the
basket of a coach for the deck of a packet; we may now learn the price
of buttons."

It did not require a naturalist to detect the species of the stranger, in
truth; though John Effingham had been a little more minute in his
description than was warranted by the fact. The person in question was one
of those mercantile agents that England scatters so profusely over the
world, some of whom have all the most sterling qualities of their nation,
though a majority, perhaps, are a little disposed to mistake the value of
other people as well as their own. This was the _genus_, as John Effingham
had expressed it; but the _species_ will best appear on dissection. The
master of the ship saluted this person cordially, and as an old
acquaintance, by the name of Monday.

"A _mousquetaire_ resuscitated," said Mademoiselle Viefville, in her
broken English, as one who had come in the same boat as the first-named,
thrust his whiskered and mustachoed visage above the rail of the gangway.

"More probably a barber, who has converted his own head into a wig-block,"
growled John Effingham.

"It cannot, surely, be Wellington in disguise!" added Mr. Effingham, with
a sarcasm of manner that was quite unusual for him.

"Or a peer of the realm in his robes!" whispered Eve, who was much amused
with the elaborate toilet of the subject of their remarks, who descended
the ladder supported by a sailor, and, after speaking to the master, was
formally presented to his late boat-companion, as Sir George Templemore.
The two bustled together about the quarter-deck for a few minutes, using
eye-glasses, which led them into several scrapes, by causing them to hit
their legs against sundry objects they might otherwise have avoided,
though both were much too high-bred to betray feelings--or fancied they
were, which answered the same purpose.

After these flourishes, the new comers descended to the cabin in company,
not without pausing to survey the party in the hurricane-house, more
especially Eve, who, to old Ann's great scandal, was the subject of their
manifest and almost avowed admiration and observation.

"One is rather glad to have such a relief against the tediousness of a
sea-passage," said Sir George as they went down the ladder. "No doubt you
are used to this sort of thing, Mr. Monday; but with me, it is voyage the
first,--that is, if I except the Channel and the seas one encounters in
making the usual run on the Continent."

"Oh, dear me! I go and come as regularly as the equinoxes, Sir George,
which you know is quite, in rule, once a year. I call my passages the
equinoxes, too, for I religiously make it a practice to pass just twelve
hours out of the twenty-four in my berth."

This was the last the party on deck heard of the opinions of the two
worthies, for the time being; nor would they have been favoured with all
this, had not Mr. Monday what he thought a rattling way with him, which
caused him usually to speak in an octave above every one else. Although
their voices were nearly mute, or rather lost to those above, they were
heard knocking about in their state-rooms; and Sir George, in particular,
as frequently called out for the steward, by the name of "Saunders," as
Mr. Monday made similar appeals to the steward's assistant for succour, by
the appropriate appellation of "Toast."

"I think we may safely claim this person, at least, for a countryman,"
said John Effingham: "he is what I have heard termed an American in a
European mask."

"The character is more ambitiously conceived than skilfully maintained,"
replied Eve, who had need of all her _retenue_ of manner to abstain from
laughing outright. "Were I to hazard a conjecture, it would be to describe
the gentleman as a collector of costumes, who had taken a fancy to exhibit
an assortment of his riches on his own person. Mademoiselle Viefville,
you, who so well understand costumes, may tell us from what countries the
separate parts of that attire have been collected?"

"I can answer for the shop in Berlin where the travelling cap was
purchased," returned the amused governess; "in no other part of the world
can a parallel be found."

"I should think, ma'am," put in Nanny, with the quiet simplicity of her
nature as well as of her habits, "that the gentleman must have bought his
boots in Paris, for they seem to pinch his feet, and all the Paris boots
and shoes pinch one's feet,--at least, all mine did."

"The watch-guard is stamped 'Geneva,'" continued Eve.

"The coat comes from Frankfort: _c'est une equivoque_."

"And the pipe from Dresden, Mademoiselle Viefville."

"The _conchiglia_ savours of Rome, and the little chain annexed bespeaks
the Rialto; while the _moustaches_ are anything but _indigenes_, and the
_tout ensemble_ the world: the man is travelled, at least."

Eve's eyes sparkled with humour as she said this: while the new passenger,
who had been addressed as Mr. Dodge, and as an old acquaintance also, by
the captain, came so near them as to admit of no further comments. A short
conversation between the two soon let the listeners into the secret that
the traveller had come from America in the spring, whither, after having
made the tour of Europe, he was about to return in the autumn.

"Seen enough, ha!" added the captain, with a friendly nod of the head,
when the other had finished a brief summary of his proceedings in the
eastern hemisphere. "All eyes, and no leisure or inclination for more?"

"I've seen as much as I _warnt_ to see," returned the traveller, with an
emphasis _on_, and a pronunciation _of_, the word we have italicised, that
cannot be committed to paper, but which were eloquence itself on the
subject of self-satisfaction and self-knowledge.

"Well, that is the main point. When a man has got all he wants of a thing,
any addition is like over-ballast. Whenever I can get fifteen knots out of
the ship, I make it a point to be satisfied, especially under close-reefed
topsails and on a taut bowline."

The traveller and the master nodded their heads at each other, like men
who understood more than they expressed; when the former, after inquiring
with marked interest if his room-mate, Sir George Templemore, had arrived,
went below. An intercourse of three days had established something like an
acquaintance between the latter and the passengers she had brought from
the River, and turning his red quizzical face towards the ladies, he
observed with inimitable gravity,

"There is nothing like understanding when one has enough, even if it be of
knowledge. I never yet met with the navigator who found two 'noons' in the
same day, that he was not in danger of shipwreck. Now I dare say, Mr.
Dodge there, who has just gone below, has, as he says, seen all he
_warnts_ to see, and it is quite likely he knows more already than he can
cleverly get along with.--Let the people be getting the booms on the
yards, Mr. Leach; we shall be _warnting_ to spread our wings before the
end of the passage."

As Captain Truck, though he often swore, seldom laughed, his mate gave the
necessary order with a gravity equal to that with which it had been
delivered to him; and even the sailors went aloft to execute it with
greater alacrity for an indulgence of humour that was peculiar to their
trade, and which, as few understood it so well, none enjoyed so much as
themselves. As the homeward-bound crew was the same as the outward-bound,
and Mr. Dodge had come abroad quite as green as he was now going home
ripe, this traveller of six months' finish did not escape diver
commentaries that literally cut him up "from clew to ear-ring," and which
flew about in the rigging much as active birds flutter from branch to
branch in a tree. The subject of all this wit, however, remained
profoundly, not to say happily, ignorant of the sensation he had produced,
being occupied in disposing of the Dresden pipe, the Venetian chain, and
the Roman _conchiglia_ in his state-room, and in "instituting an
acquaintance," as he expressed it, with his room-mate, Sir George
Templemore.

"We must surely have something better than this," observed Mr. Effingham,
"for I observed that two of the state-rooms in the main cabin are
taken singly."

In order that the general reader may understand this, it may be well to
explain that the packet-ships have usually two berths in each state-room,
but they who can afford to pay an extra charge are permitted to occupy the
little apartment singly. It is scarcely necessary to add, that persons of
gentlemanly feeling, when circumstances will at all permit, prefer
economising in other things in order to live by themselves for the month
usually consumed in the passage, since in nothing is refinement more
plainly exhibited than in the reserve of personal habits.

"There is no lack of vulgar fools stirring with full pockets," rejoined
John Effingham; "the two rooms you mention may have been taken by some
'yearling' travellers, who are little better than the semi-annual _savant_
who has just passed us."

"It is at least _something_, cousin Jack, to have the wishes of a
gentleman."

"It _is something_, Eve, though it end in wishes, or even in caricature."

"What are the names?" pleasantly asked Mademoiselle Viefville; "the
_names_ may be a clue to the characters."

"The papers pinned to the bed-curtains bear the antithetical titles of Mr.
Sharp and Mr. Blunt; though it is quite probable the first is wanting of a
letter or two by accident, and the last is merely a synonyme of the old
_nom de guerre_ 'Cash.'"

"Do persons, then, actually travel with borrowed names, in our days?"
asked Eve, with a little of the curiosity of the common mother whose
name she bore.

"That do they, and with borrowed money too, as well as in other days. I
dare say, however, these two co-voyagers of ours will come just as they
are, in truth, Sharp enough, and Blunt enough."

"Are they Americans, think you?"

"They ought to be; both the qualities being thoroughly _indigenes_, as
Mademoiselle Viefville would say."

"Nay, cousin John, I will bandy words with you no longer; for the last
twelve months you have done little else than try to lessen the joyful
anticipations with which I return to the home of my childhood."

"Sweet one, I would not willingly lessen one of thy young and generous
pleasures by any of the alloy of my own bitterness; but what wilt thou? A
little preparation for that which is as certain to follow as that the sun
succeeds the dawn, will rather soften the disappointment thou art
doomed to feel."

Eve had only time to cast a look of affectionate gratitude towards
him,--for whilst he spoke tauntingly, he spoke with a feeling that her
experience from childhood had taught her to appreciate,--ere the arrival
of another boat drew the common attention to the gangway. A call from the
officer in attendance had brought the captain to the rail; and his order
"to pass in the luggage of Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt," was heard by
all near.

"Now for _les indigenes_," whispered Mademoiselle Viefville, with the
nervous excitement that is a little apt to betray a lively expectation in
the gentler sex.

Eve smiled, for there are situations in which trifles help to awaken
interest, and the little that had just passed served to excite curiosity
in the whole party. Mr. Effingham thought it a favourable symptom that the
master, who had had interviews with all his passengers in London, walked
to the gangway to receive the new-comers; for a boat-load of the
quarter-deck _oi polloi_ had come on board a moment before without any
other notice on his part than a general bow, with the usual order to
receive their effects.

"The delay denotes Englishmen," the caustic John had time to throw in,
before the silent arrangement at the gangway was interrupted by the
appearance of the passengers.

The quiet smile of Mademoiselle Viefville, as the two travellers appeared
on deck, denoted approbation, for her practised eye detected at a glance,
that both were certainly gentlemen. Women are more purely creatures of
convention in their way than men, their education inculcating nicer
distinctions and discriminations than that of the other sex; and Eve, who
would have studied Sir George Templemore and Mr. Dodge as she would have
studied the animals of a caravan, or as creatures with whom she had no
affinities, after casting a sly look of curiosity at the two who now
appeared on deck, unconsciously averted her eyes like a well-bred young
person in a drawing-room.

"They are indeed English," quietly remarked Mr. Effingham; "but, out of
question English gentlemen."

"The one nearest appears to me to be Continental," answered Mademoiselle
Viefville who had not felt the same impulse to avert her look as Eve; "he
is _jamais Anglais_!"

Eve stole a glance in spite of herself, and, with the intuitive
penetration of a woman, intimated that she had come to the same
conclusion. The two strangers were both tall, and decidedly gentleman-like
young men, whose personal appearance would cause either to be remarked.
The one whom the captain addressed as Mr. Sharp had the most youthful
look, his complexion being florid, and his hair light; though the other
was altogether superior in outline of features as well as in expression;
indeed, Mademoiselle Viefville fancied she never saw a sweeter smile than
that he gave on returning the salute of the deck; there was more than the
common expression of suavity and of the usual play of features in it, for
it struck her as being thoughtful and as almost melancholy. His companion
was gracious in his manner, and perfectly well toned; but his demeanour
had less of the soul of the man about it, partaking more of the training
of the social caste to which it belonged. These may seem to be nice
distinctions for the circumstances; but Mademoiselle Viefville had passed
her life in good company, and under responsibilities that had rendered
observation and judgment highly necessary, and particularly observations
of the other sex.

Each of the strangers had a servant; and while their luggage was passed
up from the boat, they walked aft nearer to the hurricane-house,
accompanied by the captain. Every American, who is not very familiar with
the world appears to possess the mania of introducing. Captain Truck was
no exception to the rule; for, while he was perfectly acquainted with a
ship, and knew the etiquette of the quarter-deck to a hair, he got into
blue water the moment he approached the finesse of deportment. He was
exactly of that school of _elegants_ who fancy drinking a glass of wine
with another, and introducing, are touches of breeding; it being
altogether beyond his comprehension that both have especial uses, and are
only to be resorted to on especial occasions. Still, the worthy master,
who had begun life on the forecastle, without any previous knowledge of
usages, and who had imbibed the notion that "manners make the man," taken
in the narrow sense of the axiom, was a devotee of what he fancied to be
good breeding, and one of his especial duties, as he imagined, in order to
put his passengers at their ease, was to introduce them to each other; a
proceeding which, it is hardly necessary to say, had just a contrary
effect with the better class of them.

"You are acquainted, gentlemen?" he said, as the three approached the
party in the hurricane-house.

The two travellers endeavoured to look interested, while Mr. Sharp
carelessly observed that they had met for the first time in the boat. This
was delightful intelligence to Captain Truck, who did not lose a moment in
turning it to account. Stopping short, he faced his companions, and, with
a solemn wave of the hand, he went through the ceremonial in which he most
delighted, and in which he piqued himself at being an adept.

"Mr. Sharp, permit me to introduce you to Mr. Blunt--Mr. Blunt, let me
make you acquainted with Mr. Sharp."

The gentlemen, though taken a little by surprise at the dignity and
formality of the captain, touched their hands civilly to each other, and
smiled. Eve, not a little amused at the scene, watched the whole
procedure; and then she too detected the sweet melancholy of the one
expression and the marble-like irony of the other. It may have been this
that caused her to start, though almost imperceptibly, and to colour.

"Our turn will come next," muttered John Effingham: "get the grimaces
ready."

His conjecture was right; for, hearing his voice without understanding the
words, the captain followed up his advantage to his own infinite
gratification.

"Gentlemen,--Mr. Effingham, Mr. John Effingham"--(every one soon came to
make this distinction in addressing the cousins)--"Miss Effingham,
Mademoiselle Viefville:--Mr. Sharp, Mr. Blunt,--ladies;--gentlemen, Mr.
Blunt, Mr. Sharp."

The dignified bow of Mr. Effingham, as well as the faint and distant smile
of Eve, would have repelled any undue familiarity in men of less tone than
either of the strangers, both of whom received the unexpected honour like
those who felt themselves to be intruders. As Mr. Sharp raised his hat to
Eve, however, he held it suspended a moment above his head, and then
dropping his arm to its full length, he bowed with profound respect,
though distantly. Mr. Blunt was less elaborate in his salute, but as
pointed as the circumstances at all required. Both gentlemen were a little
struck with the distant hauteur of John Effingham, whose bow, while it
fulfilled all the outward forms, was what Eve used laughingly to term
"imperial." The bustle of preparation, and the certainty that there would
be no want of opportunities to renew the intercourse, prevented more than
the general salutations, and the new-comers descended to their
state-rooms.

"Did you remark the manner in which those people took my introduction?"
asked Captain Truck of his chief mate, whom he was training up in the ways
of packet-politeness, as one in the road of preferment. "Now, to my
notion, they might have shook hands at least. That's what I call
_Vattel_."

"One sometimes falls in with what are _rum_ chaps," returned the other,
who, from following the London trade, had caught a few cockneyisms. "If a
man chooses to keep his hands in the beckets, why let him, say I; but I
take it as a slight to the company to sheer out of the usual track in
such matters."

"I was thinking as much myself; but after all, what can packet-masters do
in such a case? We can set luncheon and dinner before the passengers, but
we can't make them eat. Now, my rule is, when a gentleman introduces me,
to do the thing handsomely, and to return shake for shake, if it is three
times three; but as for a touch of the beaver, it is like setting a
top-gallant sail in passing a ship at sea, and means just nothing at all.
Who would know a vessel because he has let run his halyards and swayed the
yard up again? One would do as much to a Turk for manners' sake. No, no!
there is something in this, and, d--- me, just to make sure of it, the
first good opportunity that offers, I'll--ay, I'll just introduce them all
over again!--Let the people ship their hand-spikes, Mr. Leach, and heave in
the slack of the chain.--Ay, ay! I'll take an opportunity when all hands
are on deck, and introduce them, ship-shape, one by one, as your
greenhorns go through a lubber's-hole, or we shall have no friendship
during the passage."

The mate nodded approbation, as if the other had hit upon the right
expedient, and then he proceeded to obey the orders, while the cares of
his vessel soon drove the subject temporarily from the mind of his
commander.




Chapter III.



  By all description, this should be the place.
  Who's here?--Speak, ho!--No answer!--What is this?

  TIMON OF ATHENS


A ship with her sails loosened and her ensign abroad is always a beautiful
object; and the Montauk, a noble New-York-built vessel of seven hundred
tons burthen, was a first-class specimen of the "kettle-bottom" school of
naval architecture, wanting in nothing that the taste and experience of
the day can supply. The scene that was now acting before their eyes
therefore soon diverted the thoughts of Mademoiselle Viefville and Eve
from the introductions of the captain, both watching with intense
interest the various movements of the crew and passengers as they passed
in review.

A crowd of well-dressed, but of an evidently humbler class of persons than
those farther aft, were thronging the gangways, little dreaming of the
physical suffering they were to endure before they reached the land of
promise,--that distant America, towards which the poor and oppressed of
nearly all nations turn longing eyes in quest of a shelter. Eve saw with
wonder aged men and women among them; beings who were about to sever most
of the ties of the world in order to obtain relief from the physical pains
and privations that had borne hard on them for more than threescore years.
A few had made sacrifices of themselves in obedience to that mysterious
instinct which man feels in his offspring; while others, again, went
rejoicing, flushed with the hope of their vigour and youth. Some, the
victims of their vices, had embarked in the idle expectation that a change
of scene, with increased means of indulgence, could produce a healthful
change of character. All had views that the truth would have dimmed, and,
perhaps, no single adventurer among the emigrants collected in that ship
entertained either sound or reasonable notions of the mode in which his
step was to be rewarded, though many may meet with a success that will
surpass their brightest picture of the future. More, no doubt, were to be
disappointed.

Reflections something like these passed through the mind of Eve Effingham,
as she examined the mixed crowd, in which some were busy in receiving
stores from boats; others in holding party conferences with friends, in
which a few were weeping; here and there a group was drowning reflection
in the parting cup; while wondering children looked up with anxiety into
the well-known faces, as if fearful they might lose the countenances they
loved, and the charities on which they habitually relied, in such
a _melee._

Although the stern discipline which separates the cabin and steerage
passengers into castes as distinct as those of the Hindoos had not yet
been established, Captain Truck had too profound a sense of his duty to
permit the quarterdeck to be unceremoniously invaded. This part of the
ship, then, had partially escaped the confusion of the moment; though
trunks, boxes, hampers, and other similar appliances of travelling, were
scattered about in tolerable affluence. Profiting by the space, of which
there was still sufficient for the purpose, most of the party left the
hurricane-house to enjoy the short walk that a ship affords. At that
instant, another boat from the land reached the vessel's side, and a
grave-looking personage, who was not disposed to lessen his dignity by
levity or an omission of forms, appeared on deck, where he demanded to be
shown the master. An introduction was unnecessary in this instance; for
Captain Truck no sooner saw his visitor than he recognized the well-known
features and solemn pomposity of a civil officer of Portsmouth, who was
often employed to search the American packets, in pursuit of delinquents
of all degrees of crime and folly.

"I had just come to the opinion I was not to have the pleasure of seeing
you this passage, Mr. Grab," said the captain, shaking hands familiarly
with the myrmidon of the law; "but the turn of the tide is not more
regular than you gentlemen who come in the name of the king.--Mr. Grab,
Mr. Dodge; Mr. Dodge, Mr. Grab. And now, to what forgery, or bigamy, or
elopement, or _scandalum magnatum,_ do I owe the honor of your company
this time?--Sir George Templemore, Mr. Grab; Mr. Grab, Sir George
Templemore."

Sir George bowed with the dignified aversion an honest man might be
supposed to feel for one of the other's employment; while Mr. Grab looked
gravely and with a counter dignity at Sir George. The business of the
officer, however, was with none in the cabin; but he had come in quest of
a young woman who had married a suitor rejected by her uncle,--an
arrangement that was likely to subject the latter to a settlement of
accounts which he found inconvenient, and which he had thought it prudent
to anticipate by bringing an action of debt against the bridegroom for
advances, real or pretended, made to the wife during her nonage. A dozen
eager ears caught an outline of this tale as it was communicated to the
captain, and in an incredibly short space of time it was known throughout
the ship, with not a few embellishments.

"I do not know the person of the husband," continued the officer, "nor
indeed does the attorney who is with me in the boat; but his name is
Robert Davis, and you can have no difficulty in pointing him out. We know
him to be in the ship."

"I never introduce any steerage passengers, my dear sir; and there is no
such person in the cabin, I give you my honour,--and that is a pledge that
must pass between gentlemen like us. You are welcome to search, but the
duty of the vessel must go on. Take your man--but do not detain the
ship.--Mr. Sharp, Mr. Grab; Mr. Grab, Mr. Sharp.--Bear a hand there, Mr.
Leach, and let us have the slack of the chain as soon as possible."

There appeared to be what the philosophers call the attraction of
repulsion between the parties last introduced, for the tall
gentlemanly-looking Mr. Sharp eyed the officer with a supercilious
coldness, neither party deeming much ceremony on the occasion necessary.
Mr. Grab now summoned his assistant, the attorney, from the boat, and
there was a consultation between them as to their further proceedings.
Fifty heads were grouped around them, and curious eyes watched their
smallest movements, one of the crowd occasionally disappearing to report
proceedings.

Man is certainly a clannish animal; for without knowing any thing of the
merits of the case, without pausing to inquire into the right or the wrong
of the matter, in the pure spirit of partisanship, every man, woman, and
child of the steerage, which contained fully a hundred souls, took sides
against the law, and enlisted in the cause of the defendant. All this was
done quietly, however, for no one menaced or dreamed of violence, crew and
passengers usually taking their cues from the officers of the vessel on
such occasions, and those of the Montauk understood too well the rights of
the public agents to commit themselves in the matter.

"Call Robert Davis," said the officer, resorting to a _ruse_, by affecting
an authority he had no right to assume. "Robert Davis!" echoed twenty
voices, among which was that of the bridegroom himself, who was nigh to
discover his secret by an excess of zeal. It was easy to call, but no
one answered.

"Can you tell me which is Robert Davis, my little fellow?" the officer
asked coaxingly, of a fine flaxen-headed boy, whose age did not exceed
ten, and who was a curious spectator of what passed. "Tell me which is
Robert Davis, and I will give you a sixpence."

The child knew, but professed ignorance.

"_C'est un esprit de corps admirable_!" exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville;
for the interest of the scene had brought nearly all on board, with the
exception of those employed in the duty of the vessel, near the gangway.
"_Ceci est delicieux,_ and I could devour that boy--!"

What rendered this more, odd, or indeed absolutely ludicrous, was the
circumstance that, by a species of legerdemain, a whisper had passed among
the spectators so stealthily, and yet so soon, that the attorney and his
companion were the only two on deck who remained ignorant of the person of
the man they sought. Even the children caught the clue, though they had
the art to indulge their natural curiosity by glances so sly as to escape
detection.

Unfortunately, the attorney had sufficient knowledge of the family of the
bride to recognize her by a general resemblance, rendered conspicuous as
it was by a pallid face and an almost ungovernable nervous excitement. He
pointed her out to the officer, who ordered her to approach him,--a
command that caused her to burst into tears. The agitation and distress of
his wife were near proving too much for the prudence of the young husband,
who was making an impetuous movement towards her, when the strong grasp of
a fellow-passenger checked him in time to prevent discovery. It is
singular how much is understood by trifles when the mind has a clue to the
subject, and how often signs, that are palpable as day, are overlooked
when suspicion is not awakened, or when the thoughts have obtained a false
direction. The attorney and the officer were the only two present who had
not seen the indiscretion of the young man, and who did not believe him
betrayed. His wife trembled to a degree that almost destroyed the ability
to stand; but, casting an imploring look for self-command on her
indiscreet partner, she controlled her own distress, and advanced towards
the officer, in obedience to his order, with a power of endurance that the
strong affections of a woman could alone enable her to assume.

"If the husband will not deliver himself up, I shall be compelled to order
the wife to be carried ashore in his stead!" the attorney coldly remarked,
while he applied a pinch of snuff to a nose that was already
saffron-coloured from the constant use of the weed.

A pause succeeded this ominous declaration, and the crowd of passengers
betrayed dismay, for all believed there was now no hope for the pursued.
The wife bowed her head to her knees, for she had sunk on a box as if to
hide the sight of her husband's arrest. At this moment a voice spoke from
among the group on the quarter-deck.

"Is this an arrest for crime, or a demand for debt?" asked the young man
who has been announced as Mr. Blunt.

There was a quiet authority in the speaker's manner that reassured the
failing hopes of the passengers, while it caused the attorney and his
companion to look round in surprise, and perhaps a little in resentment. A
dozen eager voices assured "the gentleman" there was no crime in the
matter at all--there was even no just debt, but it was a villanous scheme
to compel a wronged ward to release a fraudulent guardian from his
liabilities. Though all this was not very clearly explained, it was
affirmed with so much zeal and energy as to awaken suspicion, and to
increase the interest of the more intelligent portion of the spectators.
The attorney surveyed the travelling dress, the appearance of fashion, and
the youth of his interrogator, whose years could not exceed
five-and-twenty, and his answer was given with an air of superiority.

"Debt or crime, it can matter nothing in the eye of the law."

"It matters much in the view of an honest man," returned the youth with
spirit. "One might hesitate about interfering in behalf of a rogue,
however ready to exert himself in favour of one who is innocent, perhaps,
of every thing but misfortune."

"This looks a little like an attempt at a rescue! I hope we are still in
England, and under the protection of English laws?"

"No doubt at all of that, Mr. Seal," put in the captain, who having kept
an eye on the officer from a distance, now thought it time to interfere,
in order to protect the interests of his owners. "Yonder is England, and
that is the Isle of Wight, and the Montauk has hold of an English bottom,
and good anchorage it is; no one means to dispute your authority, Mr.
Attorney, nor to call in question that of the king. Mr. Blunt merely
throws out a suggestion, sir; or rather, a distinction between rogues and
honest men; nothing more, depend on it, sir.--Mr. Seal, Mr. Blunt; Mr.
Blunt, Mr. Seal. And a thousand pities it is, that a distinction is not
more commonly made."

The young man bowed slightly, and with a face flushed, partly with
feeling, and partly at finding himself unexpectedly conspicuous among so
many strangers, he advanced a little from the quarter-deck group, like one
who feels he is required to maintain the ground he has assumed.

"No one can be disposed to question the supremacy of the English laws in
this roadstead," he said, "and least of all myself; but you will permit me
to doubt the legality of arresting, or in any manner detaining, a wife in
virtue of a process issued against the husband."

"A briefless barrister!" muttered Seal to Grab. "I dare say a timely
guinea would have silenced the fellow. What is now to be done?"

"The lady must go ashore, and all these matters can be arranged before a
magistrate."

"Ay, ay! let her sue out a _habeas corpus_ if she please," added the ready
attorney, whom a second survey caused to distrust his first inference.
"Justice is blind in England as well as in other countries, and is liable
to mistakes; but still she is just. If she does mistake sometimes, she is
always ready to repair the wrong."

"Cannot _you_ do something here?" Eve involuntarily half-whispered to Mr.
Sharp, who stood at her elbow.

This person started on hearing her voice making this sudden appeal, and
glancing a look of intelligence at her, he smiled and moved nearer to the
principal parties.

"Really, Mr. Attorney," he commenced, "this appears to be rather
irregular, I must confess,--quite out of the ordinary way, and it may lead
to unpleasant consequences."

"In what manner, sir?" interrupted Seal, measuring the other's ignorance
at a glance.

"Why, irregular in form, if not in principle. I am aware that the _habeas
corpus_ is all-essential, and that the law must have its way; but really
this does seem a little irregular, not to describe it by any
harsher term."

Mr. Seal treated this new appeal respectfully, in appearance at least, for
he saw it was made by one greatly his superior, while he felt an utter
contempt for it in essentials, as he perceived intuitively that this new
intercession was made in a profound ignorance of the subject. As respects
Mr. Blunt, however, he had an unpleasant distrust of the result, the quiet
manner of that gentleman denoting more confidence in himself, and a
greater practical knowledge of the laws. Still, to try the extent of the
other's information, and the strength of his nerves, he rejoined in a
magisterial and menacing tone--

"Yes, let the lady sue out a writ of _habeas corpus_ if wrongfully
arrested; and I should be glad to discover the foreigner who will dare to
attempt a rescue in old England, and in defiance of English laws."

It is probable Paul Blunt would have relinquished his interference, from
an apprehension that he might be ignorantly aiding the evil-doer, but for
this threat; and even the threat might not have overcome his prudence, had
not he caught the imploring look of the fine blue eyes of Eve.

"All are not necessarily foreigners who embark on board an American ship
at an English port," he said steadily, "nor is justice denied those that
are. The _habeas corpus_ is as well understood in other countries as in
this, for happily we live in an age when neither liberty nor knowledge is
exclusive. If an attorney, you must know yourself that you cannot legally
arrest a wife for a husband, and that what you say of the _habeas corpus_
is little worthy of attention."

"We arrest, and whoever interferes with an officer in charge of a prisoner
is guilty of a rescue. Mistakes must be rectified by the magistrates."

"True, provided the officer has warranty for what he does."

"Writs and warrants may contain errors, but an arrest is an arrest,"
growled Grab.

"Not the arrest of a woman for a man. In such a case there is design, and
not a mistake. If this frightened wife will take counsel from me, she will
refuse to accompany you."

"At her peril, let her dare do so!"

"At _your_ peril do you dare to attempt forcing her from the ship!"

"Gentlemen, gentlemen!--let there be no misunderstanding, I pray you,"
interposed the captain. "Mr. Blunt, Mr. Grab; Mr. Grab, Mr. Blunt. No
warm words, gentlemen, I beg of you. But the tide is beginning to serve,
Mr. Attorney, and 'time and tide,' you know--If we stay here much
longer, the Montauk may be forced to sail on the 2d, instead of the 1st,
as has been advertised in both hemispheres. I should be sorry to carry you
to sea, gentlemen, without your small stores; and as for the cabin, it is
as full as a lawyer's conscience. No remedy but the steerage in such a
case.--Lay forward, men, and heave away. Some of you, man the
fore-top-sail halyards.--We are as regular as our chronometers; the 1st,
10th, and 20th, without fail."

There was some truth, blended with a little poetry, in Captain Truck's
account of the matter. The tide had indeed made in his favour, but the
little wind there was blew directly into the roadstead, and had not his
feelings become warmed by the distress of a pretty and interesting young
woman, it is more than probable the line would have incurred the disgrace
of having a ship sail on a later day than had been advertised. As it was,
however, he had the matter up in earnest, and he privately assured Sir
George and Mr. Dodge, if the affair were not immediately disposed of, he
should carry both the attorney and officer to sea with him, and that he
did not feel himself bound to furnish either with water. "They may catch a
little rain, by wringing their jackets," he added, with a wink; "though
October is a dryish month in the American seas."

The decision of Paul Blunt would have induced the attorney and his
companion to relinquish their pursuit but for two circumstances. They had
both undertaken the job as a speculation, or on the principle of "no
play, no pay," and all their trouble would be lost without success. Then
the very difficulty that occurred had been foreseen, and while the officer
proceeded to the ship, the uncle had been busily searching for a son on
shore, to send off to identify the husband,--a step that would have been
earlier resorted to could the young man have been found. This son was a
rejected suitor, and he was now seen, by the aid of a glass that Mr. Grab
always carried, pulling towards the Montauk, in a two-oared boat, with as
much zeal as malignancy and disappointment could impart. His distance from
the ship was still considerable; but a peculiar hat, with the aid of the
glass, left no doubt of his identity. The attorney pointed out the boat to
the officer, and the latter, after a look through the glass, gave a nod of
approbation. Exultation overcame the usual wariness of the attorney, for
his pride, too, had got to be enlisted in the success of his
speculation,--men being so strangely constituted as often to feel as much
joy in the accomplishment of schemes that are unjustifiable, as in the
accomplishment of those of which they may have reason to be proud.

On the other hand, the passengers and people of the packet seized
something near the truth, with that sort of instinctive readiness which
seems to characterize bodies of men in moments of excitement. That the
solitary boat which was pulling towards them in the dusk of the evening
contained some one who might aid the attorney and his myrmidon, all
believed, though in what manner none could tell.

Between all seamen and the ministers of the law there is a long-standing
antipathy, for the visits of the latter are usually so timed as to leave
nothing between the alternatives of paying or of losing a voyage. It was
soon apparent, then, that Mr. Seal had little to expect from the apathy of
the crew, for never did men work with better will to get a ship loosened
from the bottom.

All this feeling manifested itself in a silent and intelligent activity
rather than in noise or bustle, for every man on board exercised his best
faculties, as well as his best good will and strength; the clock-work
ticks of the palls of the windlass resembling those of a watch that had
got the start of time, while the chain came in with surges of half a
fathom at each heave.

"Lay hold of this rope, men," cried Mr. Leach, placing the end of the
main-topsail halyards in the hands of half-a-dozen athletic steerage
passengers, who had all the inclination in the world to be doing, though
uncertain where to lay their hands; "lay hold, and run away with it."

The second mate performed the same feat forward, and as the sheets had
never been started, the broad folds of the Montauk's canvas began to open,
even while the men were heaving at the anchor. These exertions quickened
the blood in the veins of those who were not employed, until even the
quarter-deck passengers began to experience the excitement of a chase, in
addition to the feelings of compassion. Captain Truck, was silent, but
very active in preparations. Springing to the wheel, he made its spokes
fly until he had forced the helm hard up, when he unceremoniously gave it
to John Effingham to keep there. His next leap was to the foot of the
mizen-mast, where, after a few energetic efforts alone, he looked over his
shoulder and beckoned for aid.

"Sir George Templemore, mizen-topsail-halyards; mizen-topsail-halyards,
Sir George Templemore," muttered the eager master, scarce knowing what he
said. "Mr. Dodge, now is the time to show that your name and nature are
not identical."

In short, nearly all on board were busy, and, thanks to the hearty good
will of the officers, stewards, cooks, and a few of the hands that could
be spared from the windlass, busy in a way to spread sail after sail with
a rapidity little short of that seen on board of a vessel of war. The
rattling of the clew-garnet blocks, as twenty lusty fellows ran forward
with the tack of the mainsail, and the hauling forward of braces, was the
signal that the ship was clear of ground, and coming under command.

A cross current had superseded the necessity of casting the vessel, but
her sails took the light air nearly abeam; the captain understanding that
motion was of much more importance just then than direction. No sooner did
he perceive by the bubbles that floated past, or rather appeared to float
past, that his ship was dividing the water forward, than he called a
trusty man to the wheel, relieving John Effingham from his watch. The next
instant, Mr. Leach reported the anchor catted and fished.

"Pilot, you will be responsible for this if my prisoners escape," said Mr.
Grab menacingly. "You know my errand, and it is your duty to aid the
ministers of the law."

"Harkee, Mr. Grab," put in the master, who had warmed himself with the
exercise; "we all know, and we all do our duties, on board the Montauk. It
is your duty to take Robert Davis on shore if you can find him; and it is
my duty to take the Montauk to America: now, if you will receive counsel
from a well-wisher, I would advise you to see that you do not go in her.
No one offers any impediment to your performing your office, and I'll
thank you to offer me none in performing mine.--Brace the yards further
forward, boys, and let the ship come up to the wind."

As there were logic, useful information, law, and seamanship united in
this reply, the attorney began to betray uneasiness; for by this time the
ship had gathered so much way as to render it exceedingly doubtful whether
a two-oared boat would be able to come up with her, without the consent of
those on board. It is probable, as evening had already closed, and the
rays of the moon were beginning to quiver on the ripple of the water, that
he would have abandoned his object, though with infinite reluctance, had
not Sir George Templemore pointed out to the captain a six-oared boat,
that was pulling towards them from a quarter that permitted it to be seen
in the moonlight.

"That appears to be a man-of-war's cutter," observed the baronet uneasily,
for by this time all on board felt a sort of personal interest in
their escape.

"It does indeed, Captain Truck," added the pilot; "and if _she_ make a
signal, it will become my duty to heave-to the Montauk."

"Then bundle out of her, my fine fellow, as fast as you can for not a
brace or a bowline shall be touched here, with my consent, for any such
purpose. The ship is cleared--my hour is come--my passengers are on
board--and America is my haven.--Let them that want me, catch me. That is
what I call _Vattel_."

The pilot and the master of the Montauk were excellent friends, and
understood each other perfectly, even while the former was making the most
serious professions of duty. The beat was hauled up, and, first whispering
a few cautions about the shoals and the currents, the worthy marine guide
leaped into it, and was soon seen floating astern--a cheering proof that
the ship had got fairly in motion. As he fell out of hearing in the wake
of the vessel, the honest fellow kept calling out "to tack in season."

"If you wish to try the speed of your boat against that of the pilot, Mr.
Grab," called out the captain, "you will never have a better opportunity.
It is a fine night for a regatta, and I will stand you a pound on Mr.
Handlead's heels. For that matter, I would as soon trust his head, or his
hands, in the bargain."

The officer continued obstinately on board, for he saw that the six-oared
boat was coming up with the ship, and, as he well knew the importance to
his client of compelling a settlement of the accounts, he fancied some
succour might be expected in that quarter. In the mean time, this new
movement on the part of their pursuers attracted general attention, and,
as might be expected, the interest of this little incident increased the
excitement that usually accompanies a departure for a long sea-voyage,
fourfold. Men and women forgot their griefs and leave-takings in anxiety,
and in that pleasure which usually attends agitation of the mind that does
not proceed from actual misery of our own.




Chapter IV.



  Whither away so fast?
                O God save you!
  Even to the hall to hear what shall become
  Of the great Duke of Buckingham.

  HENRY VIII.


The assembling of the passengers of the large packet-ship is necessarily
an affair of coldness and distrust, especially with those who know the
world, and more particularly still when the passage is from Europe to
America. The greater sophistication of the old than of the new hemisphere,
with its consequent shifts and vices, the knowledge that the tide of
emigration sets westward, and that few abandon the home of their youth
unless impelled by misfortune at least, with other obvious causes, unite
to produce this distinction. Then come the fastidiousness of habits, the
sentiments of social castes, the refinements of breeding, and the reserves
of dignity of character, to be put in close collision with bustling
egotism, ignorance of usages, an absence of training, and downright
vulgarity of thought and practices. Although necessity soon brings these
chaotic elements into something like order, the first week commonly passes
in reconnoitring, cool civilities, and cautious concessions, to yield at
length to the never-dying charities; unless, indeed, the latter may happen
to be kept in abeyance by a downright quarrel, about midnight carousals, a
squeaking fiddle, or some incorrigible snorer.

Happily, the party collected in the Montauk had the good fortune to
abridge the usual probation in courtesies, by the stirring events of the
night on which they sailed. Two hours had scarcely elapsed since the last
passenger crossed the gangway, and yet the respective circles of the
quarter-deck and steerage felt more sympathy with each other than the
boasted human charities ordinarily quicken in days of common-place
intercourse. They had already found out each other's names, thanks to the
assiduity of Captain Truck, who had stolen time, in the midst of all his
activity, to make half-a-dozen more introductions, and the Americans of
the less trained class were already using them as freely as if they were
old acquaintances. We say Americans, for the cabins of these ships usually
contain a congress of nations, though the people of England, and of her
ci-devant colonies, of course predominate in those of the London lines. On
the present occasion, the last two were nearly balanced in numbers, so far
as national character could be made out; opinion (which, as might be
expected, had been busy the while,) being suspended in reference to Mr.
Blunt, and one or two others whom the captain called "foreigners," to
distinguish them from the Anglo-Saxon stock.

This equal distribution of forces might, under other circumstances, have
led to a division in feeling; for the conflicts between American and
British opinions, coupled with a difference in habits, are a prolific
source of discontent in the cabins of packets. The American is apt to
fancy himself at home, under the flag of his country; while his
Transatlantic kinsman is strongly addicted to fancying that when he has
fairly paid his money, he has a right to embark all his prejudices with
his other luggage.

The affair of the attorney and the newly-married couple, however, was kept
quite distinct from all feelings of nationality; the English apparently
entertaining quite as lively a wish that the latter might escape from the
fangs of the law, as any other portion of the passengers. The parties
themselves were British, and although the authority evaded was of the same
origin, right or wrong, all on board had taken up the impression that it
was improperly exercised. Sir George Templemore, the Englishman of highest
rank, was decidedly of this way of thinking,--an opinion he was rather
warm in expressing,--and the example of a baronet had its weight, not only
with most of his own countrymen, but with not a few of the Americans also.
The Effingham party, together with Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt, were, indeed,
all who seemed to be entirely indifferent to Sir George's sentiments; and,
as men are intuitively quick in discovering who do and who do not defer to
their suggestions, their accidental independence might have been favoured
by this fact, for the discourse of this gentleman was addressed in the
main to those who lent the most willing ears. Mr. Dodge, in particular,
was his constant and respectful listener, and profound admirer:--But then
he was his room-mate, and a democrat of a water so pure, that he was
disposed to maintain no man had a right to any one of his senses, unless
by popular sufferance.

In the mean while, the night advanced, and the soft light of the moon was
playing on the waters, adding a semi-mysterious obscurity to the
excitement of the scene. The two-oared boat had evidently been overtaken
by that carrying six oars, and, after a short conference, the first had
returned reluctantly towards the land, while the latter profiting by its
position, had set two lug-sails, and was standing out into the offing, on
a course that would compel the Montauk to come under its lee, when the
shoals, as would soon be the case, should force the ship to tack.

"England is most inconveniently placed," Captain Truck dryly remarked as
he witnessed this manoeuvre. "Were this island only out of the way, now,
we might stand on as we head, and leave those man-of-war's men to amuse
themselves all night with backing and filling in the roads of Portsmouth."

"I hope there is no danger of that little boat's overtaking this large
ship!" exclaimed Sir George, with a vivacity that did great credit to his
philanthropy, according to the opinion of Mr. Dodge at least; the latter
having imbibed a singular bias in favour of persons of condition, from
having travelled in an _eilwagen_ with a German baron, from whom he had
taken a model of the pipe he carried but never smoked, and from having
been thrown for two days and nights into the society of a "Polish
countess," as he uniformly termed her, in the _gondole_ of a _diligence_,
between Lyons and Marseilles. In addition, Mr. Dodge, as has just been
hinted, was an ultra-freeman at home--a circumstance that seems always to
react, when the subject of the feeling gets into foreign countries.

"A feather running before a lady's sigh would outsail either of us in this
air, which breathes on us in some such fashion as a whale snores, Sir
George, by sudden puffs. I would give the price of a steerage passage, if
Great Britain lay off the Cape of Good Hope for a week or ten days."

"Or Cape Hatteras!" rejoined the mate.

"Not I; I wish the old island no harm, nor a worse climate than it has got
already; though it lies as much in our way just at this moment, as the
moon in an eclipse of the sun. I bear the old creature a great-grandson's
love--or a step or two farther off, if you will,--and come and go too
often to forget the relationship. But, much as I love her, the affection
is not strong enough to go ashore on her shoals, and so we will go about,
Mr. Leach; at the same time, I wish from my heart that two-lugged rascal
would go about his business."

The ship tacked slowly but gracefully, for she was in what her master
termed "racing trim;" and as her bows fell off to the eastward, it became
pretty evident to all who understood the subject, that the two little
lug-sails that were "eating into the wind," as the sailors express it,
would weather upon her track ere she could stretch over to the other
shoal. Even the landsmen had some feverish suspicions of the truth, and
the steerage passengers were already holding a secret conference on the
possibility of hiding the pursued in some of the recesses of the ship.
"Such things were often done," one whispered to another, "and it was as
easy to perform it now as at any other time."

But Captain Truck viewed the matter differently: his vocation called him
three times a year into the roads at Portsmouth, and he felt little
disposition to embarrass his future intercourse with the place by setting
its authorities at a too open defiance. He deliberated a good deal on the
propriety of throwing his ship up into the wind, as she slowly advanced
towards the boat, and of inviting those in the latter to board him.
Opposed to this was the pride of profession, and Jack Truck was not a man
to overlook or to forget the "yarns" that were spun among his fellows at
the New England Coffee-house, or among those farming hamlets on the banks
of the Connecticut, whence all the packet-men are derived, and whither
they repair for a shelter when their careers are run, as regularly as the
fruit decays where it falleth, or the grass that has not been harvested or
cropped withers on its native stalk.

"There is no question, Sir George, that this fellow is a man-of-war's
man," said the master to the baronet, who stuck close to his side. "Take a
peep at the creeping rogue through this night-glass, and you will see his
crew seated at their thwarts with their arms folded, like men who eat the
king's beef. None but your regular public servant ever gets that impudent
air of idleness about him, either in England or America. In this respect,
human nature is the same in both hemispheres, a man never falling in with
luck, but he fancies it is no more than his deserts."

"There seems to be a great many of them! Can it be their intention to
carry the vessel by boarding?"

"If it is, they must take the will for the deed," returned Mr. Truck a
little coldly. "I very much question if the Montauk, with three cabin
officers, as many stewards, two cooks, and eighteen foremast-men, would
exactly like the notion of being 'carried,' as you style it, Sir, George,
by a six-oared cutter's crew. We are not as heavy as the planet Jupiter,
but have somewhat too much gravity to be 'carried' as lightly as all
that, too."

"You intend, then, to resist?" asked Sir George, whose generous zeal in
behalf of the pursued apparently led him to take a stronger interest in
their escape than any other person on board.

Captain Truck, who had never an objection to sport, pondered with himself
a little, smiled, and then loudly expressed a wish that he had a member of
congress or a member of parliament on board.

"Your desire is a little extraordinary for the circumstances," observed
Mr. Sharp; will you have the goodness to explain why?"

"This matter touches on international law, gentlemen." continued the
master, rubbing his hands; for, in addition to having caught the art of
introduction, the honest mariner had taken it into his head he had become
an adept in the principles of Vattel, of whom he possessed a well-thumbed
copy, and for whose dogmas he entertained the deference that they who
begin to learn late usually feel for the particular master into whose
hands they have accidentally fallen. "Under what circumstances, or in what
category, can a public armed ship compel a neutral to submit to being
boarded--not 'carried,' Sir George, you will please to remark; for d----
me, if any man 'carries' the Montauk that is not strong enough to 'carry'
her crew and cargo along with her!--but in what category, now, is a packet
like this I have the honour to command obliged, in comity, to heave-to and
to submit to an examination at all? The ship is a-weigh, and has
handsomely tacked under her canvas; and, gentlemen, I should be pleased to
have your sentiments on the occasion. Just have the condescension to point
out the category."

Mr. Dodge came from a part of the country in which men were accustomed to
think, act, almost to eat and drink and sleep, in common; or, in other
words, from one of those regions in America, in which there was so much
community, that few had the moral courage, even when they possessed the
knowledge, and all the other necessary means, to cause their individuality
to be respected. When the usual process of conventions, sub-conventions,
caucusses, and public meetings did not supply the means of a "concentrated
action," he and his neighbours had long been in the habit of having
recourse to societies, by way of obtaining "energetic means," as it was
termed; and from his tenth year up to his twenty-fifth, this gentleman had
been either a president, vice-president, manager, or committee-man, of
some philosophical, political, or religious expedient to fortify human
wisdom, make men better, and resist error and despotism. His experience
had rendered him expert in what may well enough be termed the language of
association. No man of his years, in the twenty-six states, could more
readily apply the terms of "taking up"--"excitement"--"unqualified
hostility"--"public opinion"--"spreading before the public," or any other
of those generic phrases that imply the privileges of all, and the rights
of none. Unfortunately, the pronunciation of this person was not as pure
as his motives, and he misunderstood the captain when he spoke of comity,
as meaning a "committee;" and although it was not quite obvious what the
worthy mariner could intend by "obliged in committee (comity) to
heave-to," yet, as he had known these bodies to do so many "energetic
things," he did not see why they might not perform this evolution as well
as another.

"It really does appear, Captain Truck," he remarked accordingly, "that our
situation approaches a crisis, and the suggestion of a comity (committee)
strikes me as being peculiarly proper and suitable to the circumstances,
and in strict conformity with republican usages. In order to save time,
and that the gentlemen who shall be appointed to serve may have
opportunity to report, therefore, I will at once nominate Sir George
Templemore as chairman, leaving it for any other gentleman present to
suggest the name of any candidate he may deem proper. I will only add,
that in my poor judgment this comity (committee) ought to consist of at
least three and that it have power to send for persons and papers."

"I would propose five, Captain Truck, by way of amendment," added
another passenger of the same kidney as the last speaker, gentlemen of
their school making it a point to differ a little from every proposition
by way of showing their independence.

It was fortunate for both the mover of the original motion, and for the
proposer of the amendment, that the master was acquainted with the
character of Mr. Dodge, or a proposition that his ship was to be worked by
a committee, (or indeed by comity,) would have been very likely to meet
with but an indifferent reception; but, catching a glimpse of the laughing
eyes of Eve, as well as of the amused faces of Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt, by
the light of the moon, he very gravely signified his entire approbation of
the chairman named, and his perfect readiness to listen to the report of
the aforesaid committee as soon as it might be prepared to make it.

"And if your committee, or comity, gentlemen," he added, "can tell me what
Vattel would say about the obligation to heave-to in a time of profound
peace, and when the ship, or boat, in chase, can have no belligerent
rights, I shall be grateful to my dying day; for I have looked him through
as closely as old women usually examine almanacks to tell which way the
wind is about to blow, and I fear he has overlooked the subject
altogether."

Mr. Dodge, and three or four more of the same community-propensity as
himself, soon settled the names of the rest of the committee, when the
nominees retired to another part of the deck to consult together; Sir
George Templemore, to the surprise of all the Effingham party, consenting
to serve with a willingness that rather disregarded forms.

"It might be convenient to refer other matters to this committee,
captain," said Mr. Sharp, who had tact enough to see that nothing but her
habitual _retenue_ of deportment kept Eve, whose bright eyes were dancing
with humour from downright laughter: "these are the important points of
reefing and furling, the courses to be steered, the sail to be carried,
the times and seasons of calling all hands together, with sundry other
customary duties, that no doubt would be well treated on in this
forthcoming report."

"No doubt, sir; I perceive you have been at sea before, and I am sorry you
were overlooked in naming the members of the comity: take my word for
it, all that you have mentioned can be done on board the Montauk by a
comity, as well as settling the question of heaving-to, or not, for yonder
boat.--By the way, Mr. Leach, the fellows have tacked, and are standing in
this direction, thinking to cross our bows and speak us.--Mr. Attorney,
the tide is setting us off the land, and you may make it morning before
you get into your nests, if you hold on much longer. I fear Mrs. Seal and
Mrs. Grab will be unhappy women."

The bloodhounds of the law heard this warning with indifference, for they
expected succour of some sort, though they hardly knew of what sort, from
the man-of-war's boat which, it was now plain enough, must weather on the
ship. After putting their heads together, Mr. Seal offered his companion a
pinch of snuff, helping himself afterwards, like a man indifferent to the
result, and one patient in time of duty. The sun-burnt face of the
captain, whose standing colour was that which cooks get when the fire
burns the brightest, but whose hues no fire or cold ever varied, was
turned fully on the two, and it is probable they would have received some
decided manifestation of his will, had not Sir George Templemore, with the
four other committee-men, approached to give in the result of their
conference.

"We are of opinion, Captain Truck," said the baronet, "that as the ship is
under way, and your voyage may be fairly said to have commenced, it is
quite inexpedient and altogether unnecessary for you to anchor again; but
that it is your duty----"

"I have no occasion for advice as to my duty, gentlemen. If you can let me
know what Vattel says, or ought to have said, on the subject, or touching
the category of the right of search, except as a belligerent right, I will
thank you; if not, we must e'en guess at it. I have not sailed a ship in.
this trade these ten years to need any jogging of the memory about
port-jurisdiction either, for these are matters in which one gets to be
expert by dint of use, as my old master used to say when he called us from
table with half a dinner. Now, there was the case of the blacks in
Charleston, in which our government showed clearly it had not studied
Vattel, or it never would have given the answer it did. Perhaps you never
heard that case, Sir George, and as it touches a delicate principle, I
will just run over the category lightly; for it has its points, as well
as a coast."

"Does not this matter press,--may not the boat--"

"The boat will do nothing, gentlemen, without the permission of Jack
Truck. You must know, the Carolinians have a law that all niggers brought
into their state by ships, must be caged until the vessel sails again.
This is to prevent emancipation, as they call it, or abolition, I know not
which. An Englishman comes in from the islands with a crew of blacks, and,
according to law, the authorities of Charleston house them all before
night. John Bull complains to his minister, and his minister sends a note
to our secretary, and our secretary writes to the Governor of Carolina,
calling on him to respect the treaty, and so on. Gentlemen, I need not
tell you what a treaty is--it is a thing in itself to be obeyed; but it is
all important to know what it commands. Well, what was this said treaty?
That John should come in and out of the ports, on the footing of the most
favoured nation; on the _statu quo ante bellum_ principle, as Vattel has
it. Now, the Carolinians treated John just as they treated Jonathan, and
there was no more to be said. All parties were bound to enter the port,
subject to the municipals, as is set forth in Vattel. That was a case soon
settled, you perceive, though depending on a nicety."

Sir George had listened with extreme impatience, but, fearful of
offending, he listened to the end; then, seizing the first pause in the
captain's discourse, he resumed his remonstrances with an interest that
did infinite credit to his humanity, at the same time that he overlooked
none of the obligations of politeness.

"An exceedingly clear case, I protest," he answered, "and capitally put--I
question if Lord Stowell could do it better--and exceedingly apt, that
about the _ante bellum_; but I confess my feelings have not been so much
roused for a long time as they have been on account of these poor people.
There is something inexpressibly painful in being disappointed as one is
setting out in the morning of life, as it were, in this cruel manner; and
rather than see this state of things protracted, I would prefer paying a
trifle out of my own pocket. If this wretched attorney will consent, now
to take a hundred pounds and quit us, and carry back with him that
annoying cutter with the lug-sails, I will give him the money most
cheerfully,--most cheerfully, I protest."

There is something so essentially respectable in practical generosity,
that, though Eve and all the curious auditors of what was massing; felt an
inclination to laugh at the whole procedure up to this declaration, eye
met eye in commendation of the liberality of the baronet. He had shown he
had a heart, in the opinion of most of those who heard him though his
previous conversation had led several of the observers to distrust his
having the usual quantum of head.

"Give yourself no trouble about the attorney, Sir George," returned the
captain, shaking the other cordially by the hand: "he shall not touch a
pound of your money, nor do I think he is likely to touch Robert Davis. We
have caught the tide on our lee bow, and the current is wheeling us up to
windward, like an opposition coach flying over Blackheath. In a few
minutes we shall be in blue water; and then I'll give the rascal a touch
of Vattel that will throw him all aback, if it don't throw him overboard."

"But the cutter?"

"Why, if we drive the attorney and Grab out of the ship, there will be no
process in the hands of the others, by which they can carry off the man,
even admitting the jurisdiction. I know the scoundrels, and not a shilling
shall either of the knaves take from this vessel with my consent Harkee,
Sir George, a word in your ear: two of as d----d cockroaches as ever
rummaged a ship's bread-room; I'll see that they soon heave about, or I'll
heave them both into their boat, with my own fair hands."

The captain was about to turn away to examine the position of the cutter,
when Mr. Dodge asked permission to make a short report in behalf of the
minority of the comity (committee), the amount of which was, that they
agreed in all things with the majority, except on the point that, as it
might become expedient for the ship to anchor again in some of the ports
lower down the Channel, it would be wise to keep that material
circumstance in view, in making up a final decision in the affair. This
report, on the part of the minority, which, Mr. Dodge explained to the
baronet, partook rather of the character of a caution than of a protest,
had quite as little influence on Captain Truck as the opinion of the
majority, for he was just one of those persons who seldom took advice that
did not conform with his own previous decision; but he coolly continued to
examine the cutter, which by this time was standing on the same course as
the ship, a short distance to windward of her, and edging a little off the
wind, so as to bring the two nearer to each other, every yard
they advanced.

The wind had freshened to a little breeze, and the captain nodded his head
with satisfaction when he heard even where he stood on the quarter-deck,
the slapping of the sluggish swell, as the huge bows of the ship parted
the water. At this moment those in the cutter saw the bubbles glide
swiftly past them, while to those in the Montauk the motion was still slow
and heavy; and yet, of the two, the actual velocity was rather in favour
of the latter, both having about what is technically termed "four-knot
way" on them. The officer of the boat was quick to detect the change that
was acting against him, and by easing the sheets of his lug-sails, and
keeping the cutter as much off the wind as he could, he was soon within a
hundred feet of the ship, running along on her weather-beam. The bright
soft moonlight permitted the face of a young man in a man-of-war cap, who
wore the undress uniform of a sea lieutenant, to be distinctly seen, as he
rose in the stern-sheets, which contained also two other persons.

"I will thank you to heave-to the Montauk," said the lieutenant civilly,
while he raised his cap, apparently in compliment to the passengers who
crowded the rail to see and hear what passed. "I am sent on the duty of
the king, sir."

"I know your errand, sir," returned Captain Truck, whose resolution to
refuse to comply was a good deal shaken by the gentleman-like manner in
which the request was made; "and I wish you to bear witness, that if I do
consent to your request, it is voluntarily; for, on the principles laid
down by Vattel and the other writers on international law, the right of
search is a belligerent right, and England being at peace, no ship
belonging to one nation can have a right to stop a vessel belonging
to another."

"I cannot enter into these niceties, sir," returned the lieutenant,
sharply: "I have my orders, and you will excuse me if I say, I intend to
execute them."

"Execute them, with all my heart, sir: if you are ordered to heave-to my
ship, all you have to do is to get on board if you can, and let us see the
style in which you handle yards. As to the people now stationed at the
braces, the trumpet that will make them stir is not to be spoken through
at the Admiralty. The fellow has spirit in him, and I like his principles
as an officer, but I cannot admit his conclusions as a jurist. If he
flatters himself with being able to frighten us into a new category, now,
that is likely to impair national rights, the lad has just got himself
into a problem that will need all his logic, and a good deal of his
spirit, to get out of again."

"You will scarcely think of resisting a king's officer in British waters!"
said the young man with that haughtiness that the meekest tempers soon
learn to acquire under a pennant.

"Resisting, my dear sir! I resist nothing. The misconception is in
supposing that you sail this ship instead of John Truck. That is my name,
sir; John Truck. Do your errand in welcome, but do not ask me to help you.
Come aboard, with all my heart; nothing would give me more pleasure than
to take wine with you; but I see no necessity of stopping a packet, that
is busy on a long road, without an object, as we say on the other side of
the big waters."

There was a pause, and then the lieutenant, with the sort of hesitation
that a gentleman is apt to feel when he makes a proposal that he knows
ought not to be accepted, called out that those in the boat with him would
pay for the detention of the ship. A more unfortunate proposition could
not be made to Captain Truck, who would have hove-to his ship in a moment
had the lieutenant proposed to discuss Vattel with him on the
quarter-deck, and who was only holding out as a sort of salve to his
rights, with that disposition to resist aggression that the experience of
the last forty years has so deeply implanted in the bosom of every
American sailor, in cases connected with English naval officers, and who
had just made up his mind to let Robert Davis take his chance, and to
crack a bottle with the handsome young man who was still standing up in
the boat. But Mr. Truck had been too often to London not to understand
exactly the manner in which Englishmen appreciate American character; and,
among other things, he knew it was the general opinion in the island that
money could do any thing with Jonathan; or, as Christophe is said once to
have sententiously expressed the same sentiment, "if there were a bag of
coffee in h---, a Yankee could be found to go and bring it out."

The master of the Montauk had a proper relish for his lawful gains as well
as another, but he was vain-glorious on the subject of his countrymen,
principally because he found that the packets outsailed all other
merchant-ships, and fiercely proud of any quality that others were
disposed to deny them.

At hearing this proposal, or intimation, therefore, instead of accepting
it, Captain Truck raised his hat with formal civility, and coolly wished
the other "good night." This was bringing the affair to a crisis at once;
for the helm of the cutter was borne up, and an attempt was made to run
the boat alongside of the ship. But the breeze had been steadily
increasing, the air had grown heavier as the night advanced, and the
dampness of evening was thickening the canvas of the coarser sails in a
way sensibly to increase the speed of the ship. When the conversation
commenced, the boat was abreast of the fore-rigging; and by the time it
ended, it was barely up with the mizzen. The lieutenant was quick to see
the disadvantage he laboured under, and he called out "Heave!" as he found
the cutter was falling close under the counter of the ship, and would be
in her wake in another minute. The bowman of the boat cast a light grapnel
with so much precision that it hooked in the mizzen rigging, and the line
instantly tightened so as to tow the cutter. A seaman was passing along
the outer edge of the hurricane-house at the moment, coming from the
wheel, and with the decision of an old salt, he quietly passed his knife
across the stretched cordage, and it snapped like pack-thread. The grapnel
fell into the sea, and the boat was lossing in the wake of the ship, all
as it might be while one could draw a breath. To furl the sails and ship
the oars consumed but an instant, and then the cutter was ploughing the
water under the vigorous strokes of her crew.

"Spirited! spirited and nimble!" observed Captain Truck, who stood coolly
leaning against a shroud, in a position where he could command a view of
all that was passing, improving the opportunity to shake the ashes from
his cigar while he spoke; "a fine young fellow, and one who will make an
admiral, or something better, I dare say, if he live;--perhaps a cherub,
in time. Now, if he pull much longer in the back-water of our wake, I
shall have to give him up, Leach, as a little marin-_ish:_ ah! there he
sheers out of it, like a sensible youth as he is! Well, there is something
pleasant in the conceit of a six-oared boat's carrying a London liner by
boarding, even admitting the lad could have got alongside."

So, it would seem, thought Mr. Leach and the crew of the Montauk; for they
were clearing the decks with as much philosophy as men ever discover when
employed in an unthankful office. This _sang-froid_ of seamen is always
matter of surprise to landsmen; but adventurers who have been rocked in
the tempest for years, whose utmost security is a great hazard, and whose
safety constantly depends on the command of the faculties, come in time to
experience an apathy on the subject of all the minor terrors and
excitements of life, that none can acquire unless by habit and similar
risks. There was a low laugh among the people, and now and then a curious
glance of the eye over the quarter to ascertain the position of the
struggling boat; but there the effect of the little incident ceased, so
far as the seamen were concerned.

Not so with the passengers. The Americans exulted at the failure of the
man-of-war's man, and the English doubted. To them, deference to the crown
was habitual, and they were displeased at seeing a stranger play a king's
boat such a trick, in what they justly enough thought to be British
waters. Although the law may not give a man any more right than another to
the road before his own door, he comes in time to fancy it, in a certain
degree, his particular road. Strictly speaking, the Montauk was perhaps
still under the dominion of the English laws, though she had been a
league from the land when laying at her anchor, and by this time the tide
and her own velocity had swept her broad off into the offing quite as far
again; indeed she had now got to such a distance from the land, that
Captain Truck thought it his "duty" to bring matters to a conclusion with
the attorney.

"Well, Mr. Seal," he said, "I am grateful for the pleasure of your company
thus far; but you will excuse me if I decline taking you and Mr. Grab
quite to America. Half an hour hence you will hardly be able to find the
island; for as soon as we have got to a proper distance from the cutter, I
shall tack to the south-west, and you ought, moreover, to remember the
anxiety of the ladies at home."

"This may turn out a serious matter, Captain Truck, on your return
passage! The laws of England are not to be trifled with. Will you oblige
me by ordering the steward to hand me a glass of water? Waiting for
justice is dry duty, I find."

"Extremely sorry I cannot comply, gentlemen. Vattel has nothing on the
subject of watering belligerents, or neutrals, and the laws of Congress
compel me to carry so many gallons to the man. If you will take it in the
way of a nightcap, however, and drink success to our run to America, and
your own to the shore, it shall be in champagne, if you happen to like
that agreeable fluid."

The attorney was about to express his readiness to compromise on these
terms, when a glass of the beverage for which he had first asked was put
into his hand by the wife of Robert Davis. He took the water, drank it,
and turned from the woman with the obduracy of one who never suffered
feeling to divert him from the pursuit of gain. The wine was brought, and
the captain filled the glasses with a seaman's heartiness.

"I drink to your safe return to Mrs. Seal, and the little gods and
goddesses of justice,--Pan or Mercury, which is it? And as for you, Grab,
look out for sharks as you pull in. If they hear of your being afloat, the
souls of persecuted sailors will set them on you, as the devil chases male
coquettes. Well, gentlemen, you are balked this time; but what matters it?
It is but another man got safe out of a country that has too many in it;
and I trust we shall meet good friends again this day four months. Even
man and wife must part, when the hour arrives."

"That will depend on how my client views your conduct on this occasion,
Captain Truck; for he is not a man that it is always safe to thwart."

"That for your client, Mr. Seal!" returned the captain, snapping his
fingers. "I am not to be frightened with an attorney's growl, or a
bailiff's nod. You come off with a writ or a warrant, I care not which; I
offer no resistance; you hunt for your man, like a terrier looking for a
rat, and can't find him; I see the fine fellow, at this moment, on
deck,--but I feel no obligation to tell you who or where he is; my ship is
cleared and I sail, and you have no power to stop me; we are outside of
all the head-lands, good two leagues and a half off, and some writers say
that a gun-shot is the extent of your jurisdiction, once out of which,
your authority is not worth half as much as that of my chief cook, who has
power to make his mate clean the coppers. Well, sir, you stay here ten
minutes longer and we shall be fully three leagues from your nearest land,
and then you are in America, according to law, and a quick passage you
will have made of it. Now, that is what I call a category."

As the captain made this last remark, his quick eye saw that the wind had
hauled so far round to the westward, as to supersede the necessity of
tacking, and that they were actually going eight knots in a direct line
from Portsmouth. Casting an eye behind him, he perceived that the cutter
had given up the chase, and was returning towards the distant roads. Under
circumstances so discouraging, the attorney, who began to be alarmed for
his boat, which was flying along on the water, towed by the ship, prepared
to take his leave; for he was fully aware that he had no power to compel
the other to heave-to his ship, to enable him to get out of her. Luckily
the water was still tolerably smooth, and with fear and trembling, Mr.
Seal succeeded in blundering into the boat; not, however, until the
watermen had warned him of their intention to hold on no longer. Mr. Grab
followed, with a good deal of difficulty, and just as a hand was about to
let go the painter, the captain appeared at the gangway with the man they
were in quest of, and said in his most winning manner--

"Mr. Grab, Mr. Davis; Mr. Davis, Mr Grab; I seldom introduce steerage
passengers, but to oblige two old friends I break the rule. That's what I
call a category. My compliments to Mrs. Grab. Let go the painter"

The words were no sooner uttered than the boat was tossing and whirling in
the caldron left by the passing ship.




Chapter V.



  What country, Mends, is this?
                   Illyria, lady.

  TWELFTH NIGHT.


Captain Truck cast an eye aloft to see if everything drew, as coolly as if
nothing out of the usual course had happened; he and his crew having,
seemingly, regarded the attempt to board them as men regard the natural
phenomena of the planets, or in other words, as if the ship, of which they
were merely parts, had escaped by her own instinct or volition. This habit
of considering the machine as the governing principle is rather general
among seamen, who, while they ease a brace, or drag a bowline, as the
coachman checks a rein, appear to think it is only permitting the creature
to work her own will a little more freely. It is true all _know_ better,
but none talk, or indeed would seem to _feel_, as if they thought
otherwise.

"Did you observe how the old barky jumped out of the way of those rovers
in the cutter?" said the captain complacently to the quarter-deck group,
when his survey aloft had taken sufficient heed that his own nautical
skill should correct the instinct of the ship. "A skittish horse, or a
whale with the irons in him, or, for that matter, one of the funniest of
your theatricals, would not have given a prettier aside than this poor old
hulk, which is certainly just the clumsiest craft that sails the ocean. I
wish King William would take it into his royal head, now, to send one of
his light-heeled cruisers out to prove it, by way of resenting the
cantaverous trick the Montauk played his boat!"

The dull report of a gun, as the sound came short and deadened up against
the breeze, checked the raillery of Mr. Truck. On looking to leeward,
there was sufficient light to see the symmetrical sails of the corvette
they had left at anchor, trimmed close by the wind, and the vessel itself
standing out under a press of canvas, apparently in chase. The gun had
evidently been fired as a signal of recall to the cutter, blue lights
being burnt on board of both the ship and its boat, in proof that they
were communicating.

The passengers now looked gravely at each other, for the matter, in their
eyes, began to be serious. Some suggested the possibility that the offence
of Davis might be other than debt, but this was disproved by the process
and the account of the bailiff himself; while most concluded that a
determination to resent the slight done the authorities had caused the
cruiser to follow them out, with the intention of carrying them back
again. The English passengers in particular began now to reason in favour
of the authority of the crown, while those who were known to be Americans
grew warm in maintaining the rights of their flag. Both the Effinghams,
however, were moderate in the expression of their opinions; for education,
years, and experience, had taught them to discriminate justly.

"As respects the course of Captain Truck, in refusing to permit the cutter
to board him, he is probably a better judge than any of us," Mr. Effingham
observed with gentlemanly reserve--"for he must better understand the
precise position of his ship at the time; but concerning the want of right
in a foreign vessel of war to carry this ship into port in a time of
profound peace, when sailing on the high seas, as will soon be the case
with the Montauk,--admitting that she is not there at present,--I should
think there can be no reasonable doubt. The dispute, if there is to be
any, has now to become matter of negotiation; or redress must be sought
through the general agents of the two nations, and not taken by the
inferior officers of either party. The instant Montauk reaches the public
highway of nations, she is, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the
country under whose flag she legally sails."

"Vattel, to the back-bone!" said the captain, giving a nod of approbation,
again clearing the end of his cigar.

Now, John Effingham was a man of strong feelings, which is often but
another word for a man of strong prejudices; and he had been educated
between thirty or forty years before, which is saying virtually, that he
was educated under the influence of the British opinions, that then
weighed (and many of which still weigh) like an incubus on the national
interests of America. It is true, Mr. Effingham was in all senses the
contemporary, as he had been the school-fellow, of his cousin; that they
loved each other as brothers, had the utmost reliance on each other's
principles in the main, thought alike in a thousand things, and yet, in
the particular of English domination, it was scarcely possible for one man
to resemble another less than the widowed kinsman resembled the bachelor.

Edward Effingham was a singularly just-minded man, and having succeeded at
an early age to his estate, he had lived many years in that intellectual
retirement which, by withdrawing him from the strifes of the world, had
left a cultivated sagacity to act freely on a natural disposition. At the
period when the entire republic was, in substance, exhibiting the
disgraceful picture of a nation torn by adverse factions, that had their
origin in interests alien to its own; when most were either Englishmen or
Frenchmen, he had remained what nature, the laws and reason intended him
to be, an American. Enjoying the _otium cum dignitate_ on his hereditary
estate, and in his hereditary abode, Edward Effingham, with little
pretensions to greatness, and with many claims to goodness, had hit the
line of truth which so many of the "god-likes" of the republic, under the
influence of their passions, and stimulated by the transient and
fluctuating interests of the day, entirely overlooked, or which, if
seeing, they recklessly disregarded. A less impracticable subject for
excitement,--the _primum mobile_ of all American patriotism and activity,
if we are to believe the theories of the times,--could not be found, than
this gentleman. Independence of situation had induced independence of
thought; study and investigation rendered him original and just, by
simply exempting him from the influence of the passions; and while
hundreds were keener, abler in the exposition of subtleties, or more
imposing with the mass, few were as often right, and none of less
selfishness, than this simple-minded and upright gentleman. He loved his
native land, while he saw and regretted its weaknesses; was its firm and
consistent advocate abroad, without becoming its interested or mawkish
flatterer at home, and at all times, and in all situations, manifested
that his heart was where it ought to be.

In many essentials, John Effingham was the converse of all this. Of an
intellect much more acute and vigorous than that of his cousin, he also
possessed passions less under control, a will more stubborn, and
prejudices that often neutralized his reason. His father had inherited
most of the personal property of the family, and with this he had plunged
into the vortex of monied speculation that succeeded the adoption of the
new constitution, and verifying the truth of the sacred saying, that
"where treasure is, there will the heart be also," he had entered warmly
and blindly into all the factious and irreconcilable principles of party,
if such a word can properly be applied to rules of conduct that Bary with
the interests of the day, and had adopted the current errors with which
faction unavoidably poisons the mind.

America was then much too young in her independence, and too insignificant
in all eyes but her own, to reason and act for herself, except on points
that pressed too obviously on her immediate concerns to be overlooked; but
the great social principles,--or it might be better to say, the great
social interests,--that then distracted Europe, produced quite as much
sensation in that distant country, as at all comported with a state of
things that had so little practical connexion with the result, The
Effingham family had started Federalists, in the true meaning of the term;
for their education, native sense and principles, had a leaning to order,
good government, and the dignity of the country; but as factions became
fiercer, and names got to be confounded and contradictory, the landed
branch settled down into what they thought were American, and the
commercial branch into what might properly be termed English Federalists.
We do not mean that the father of John intended to be untrue to his native
land; but by following up the dogmas of party he had reasoned himself into
a set of maxims which, if they meant anything, meant everything but that
which had been solemnly adopted as the governing principles of his own
country, and many of which were diametrically opposed to both its
interests and its honour.

John Effingham had insensibly imbibed the sentiments of his particular
sect, though the large fortune inherited from his father had left him too
independent to pursue the sinuous policy of trade. He had permitted
temperament to act on prejudice to such an extent that he vindicated the
right of England to force men from under the American flag, a doctrine
that his cousin was too simple-minded and clear-headed ever to entertain
for an instant: and he was singularly ingenious in discovering blunders in
all the acts of the republic, when they conflicted with the policy of
Great Britain. In short, his talents were necessary, perhaps, to reconcile
so much sophistry, or to render that reasonably plausible that was so
fundamentally false. After the peace of 1815, John Effingham went abroad
for the second time, and he hurried through England with the eagerness of
strong affection; an affection that owed its existence even more to
opposition than to settled notions of truth, or to natural ties. The
result was disappointment, as happens nineteen times in twenty, and this
solely because, in the zeal of a partisan he had fancied theories, and
imagined results. Like the English radical, who rushes into America with a
mind unsettled by impracticable dogmas, he experienced a reaction, and
this chiefly because he found that men were not superior to nature, and
discovered so late in the day, what he might have known at starting, that
particular causes must produce particular effects. From this time, John
Effingham became a wiser and a more moderate man; though, as the shock had
not been sufficiently violent to throw him backward on truth, or rather
upon the opposing prejudices of another sect, the remains of the old
notions were still to be discovered lingering in his opinions, and
throwing a species of twilight shading over his mind; as, in nature, the
hues of evening and the shadows of the morning follow, or precede, the
light of the sun.

Under the influence of these latent prejudices, then, John Effingham
replied to the remarks of his cousin, and the discourse soon partook of
the discursive character of all arguments, in which the parties are not
singularly clear-headed, and free from any other bias than that of truth,
Nearly all joined in it, and half an hour was soon passed in settling the
law of nations, and the particular merits or demerits of the instance
before them.

It was a lovely night, and Mademoiselle Viefville and Eve walked the deck
for exercise, the smoothness of the water rendering the moment every way
favourable. As has been already said, the common feeling in the escape of
the new-married couple had broken the ice, and less restraint existed
between the passengers, at the moment when Mr. Grab left the ship, than
would have been the case at the end of a week, under ordinary
circumstances. Eve Effingham had passed her time since her eleventh year
principally on the continent of Europe, and in the mixed intercourse that
is common to strangers in that part of the world; or, in other words,
equally without the severe restraint that is usually imposed there on the
young of her own sex, or without the extreme license that is granted to
them at home. She came of a family too well toned to run into the
extravagant freedoms that sometimes pass for easy manners in America, had
she never quitted her father's house even: but her associations abroad had
unavoidably imparted greater reserve to her ordinary deportment than the
simplicity of cis-Atlantic usages would have rendered indispensable in the
most, fastidious circles. With the usual womanly reserves, she was natural
and unembarrassed in her intercourse with the world, and she had been
allowed to see so many different nations, that she had obtained a
self-confidence that did her no injury, under the influence of an
exemplary education, and great natural dignity of mind. Still,
Mademoiselle Viefville, notwithstanding she had lost some of her own
peculiar notions on the subject, by having passed so many years in an
American family, was a little surprised at observing that Eve received the
respectful advances of Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt with less reserve than it
was usual to her to manifest to entire strangers. Instead of remaining a
mere listener, she answered several remarks of the first, and once or
twice she even laughed with him openly at some absurdity of the committee
of five. The cautious governess wondered, but half disposed to fancy that
there was no more than the necessary freedom of a ship in it all,--for,
like a true Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle Viefville had very vague notions of
the secrets of the mighty deep--she permitted it to pass, confiding in the
long-tried taste and discretion of her charge. While Mr. Sharp discoursed
with Eve, who held her arm the while, she herself had fallen into an
animated conversation with Mr. Blunt, who walked at her side, and who
spoke her own language so well, that she at first set him down as a
countryman, travelling under an English appellation, as _a nom de guerre_.
While this dialogue was at its height of interest--for Paul Blunt
discoursed with his companion of Paris and its excellencies with a skill
that soon absorbed all her attention, "_Paris, ce magnifique Paris,_"
having almost as much influence on the happiness of the governess, as it
was said to have had on that of Madame de Stael, Eve's companion dropped
his voice to a tone that was rather confidential for a stranger, although
it was perfectly respectful, and said,--

"I have flattered myself, perhaps through the influence of self-love
alone, that Miss Effingham has not so far forgotten all whom she has met
in her travels, as to think me an utter stranger."

"Certainly not," returned Eve, with perfect simplicity and composure;
"else would one of my faculties, that of memory, be perfectly useless. I
knew you at a glance, and consider the worthy captain's introduction as so
much finesse of breeding utterly thrown away."

"I am equally gratified and vexed at all this; gratified and infinitely
flattered to find that I have not passed before your eyes like the common
herd, who leave no traces of even their features behind them; and vexed at
finding myself in a situation that, I fear, you fancy excessively
ridiculous?"

"Oh, one hardly dare to attach such consequences to acts of young men, or
young women either, in an age as original as our own. I saw nothing
particularly absurd but the introduction;--and so many absurder have since
passed, that this is almost forgotten."

"And the name--?"

"--Is certainly a keen one. If I am not mistaken, when we were in Italy
you were content to let your servant bear it; but, venturing among a
people so noted for sagacity as the Yankees, I suppose you have fancied it
was necessary to go armed _cap-a-pie_."

Both laughed lightly, as if they equally enjoyed the pleasantry, and then
he resumed:

"But I sincerely hope you do not impute improper motives to the
incognito?"

"I impute it to that which makes many young men run from Rome to Vienna,
or from Vienna to Paris; which causes you to sell the _vis-a-vis_ to buy a
_dormeuse_; to know your friends to-day, and to forget them to-morrow; or,
in short, to do a hundred other things that can be accounted for on no
other motive."

"And this motive--?"

"--Is simply caprice."

"I wish I could persuade you to ascribe some better reason to all my
conduct. Can you think of nothing, in the present instance, less
discreditable?"

"Perhaps I can," Eve answered, after a moment of thought; then laughing
lightly again, she added, quickly; "But I fear, in exonerating you from
the charge of unmitigated caprice, I shall ascribe a reason that does
little less credit to your knowledge."

"This will appear in the end. Does Mademoiselle Viefville remember me, do
you fancy?"

"It is impossible; she was ill, you will remember, the three months we saw
so much of you."

"And your father, Miss Effingham;--am I really forgotten by him?"

"I am quite certain you are not. He never forgets a face, whatever in this
instance may have befallen the name."

"He received me so coldly, and so much like a total stranger!"

"He is too well-bred to recognise a man who wishes to be unknown, or to
indulge in exclamations of surprise, or in dramatic starts. He is more
stable than a girl, moreover, and may feel less indulgence to caprice."

"I feel obliged to his reserve; for exposure would be ridiculous, and so
long as you and he alone know me, I shall feel less awkward in the ship. I
am certain neither will betray me."

"Betray!"

"Betray, discover, annihilate me if you will. Anything is preferable to
ridicule."

"This touches a little on the caprice; but you flatter yourself with too
much security; you are known to one more besides my father, myself, and
the honest man whom you have robbed of all his astuteness, which I believe
was in his name."

"For pity's sake, who can it be?"

"The worthy Nanny Sidley, my whilom nurse, and actual _femme de chambre_.
No ogre was ever more vigilant on his ward than the faithful Nanny, and it
is vain to suppose she does not recall your features."

"But ogres sometimes sleep; recollect how many have been overcome in that
situation."

Eve smiled, but shook her head. She was about to assure Mr. Sharp of the
vanity of his belief, when an exclamation from her governess diverted the
attention of both, and before either had time to speak again, Mademoiselle
turned to them, and said rapidly in French--

"I assure you, _ma chere_, I should have mistaken monsieur for a
_compatriote_ by his language, were it not for a single heinous fault that
he has just committed."

"Which fault you will suffer me to inquire into, that I may hasten to
correct it?" asked Mr. Blunt.

"Mais, monsieur, you speak _too_ perfectly, too grammatically, for a
native. You do not take the liberties with the language that one who feels
he owns it thinks he has a right to do. It is the fault of too much
correctness."

"And a fault it easily becomes. I thank you for the hint, mademoiselle;
but as I am now going where little French will be heard, it is probable it
will soon be lost in greater mistakes."

The two then turned away again, and continued the dialogue that had been
interrupted by this trifling.

"There may also be one more to whom you are known," continued Eve, as
soon as the vivacity of the discourse of the others satisfied her the
remark would not he heard.

"Surely, you cannot mean _him_?"

"Surely, I do mean _him_. Are you quite certain that 'Mr. Sharp, Mr.
Blunt; Mr. Blunt, Mr. Sharp,' never saw each other before?"

"I think not until the moment we entered the boat in company. He is a
gentlemanly young man; he seems even to be more, and one would not be apt
to forget him. He is altogether superior to the rest of the set: do you
not agree with me?"

Eve made no answer, probably because she thought her companion was not
sufficiently intimate to interrogate her on the subject of her opinions of
others. Mr. Sharp had too much knowledge of the world not to perceive the
little mistake he had made, and after begging the young lady, with a
ludicrous deprecation of her mercy, not to betray him, he changed the
conversation with the tact of a man who saw that the discourse could not
be continued without assuming a confidential character that Eve was
indisposed to permit. Luckily, a pause in the discourse between the
governess and her colloquist permitted a happy turn to the conversation.

"I believe you are an American, Mr. Blunt," he remarked; "and as I am an
Englishman, we may be fairly pitted against each other on this important
question of international law, and about which I hear our worthy captain
flourishing extracts from Vattel as familiarly as household terms. I hope,
at least, you agree with me in thinking that when the sloop-of-war comes
up with us, it will be very silly on our part to make any objections to
being boarded by her?"

"I do not know that it is at all necessary I should be an American to give
an opinion on such a point," returned the young man he addressed,
courteously, though he smiled to himself as he answered--"For what is
right, is right, quite independent of nationality. It really does appear
to me that a public-armed vessel ought, in war or peace, to have a right
to ascertain the character of all merchant-ships, at least on the coast of
the country to which the cruisers belong. Without this power, it is not
easy to see in what manner they can seize smugglers, capture pirates, or
other wise enforce the objects for which such vessels are usually sent to
sea, in the absence of positive hostilities."

"I am happy to find you agreeing with me, then, in the legality of the
doctrine of the right of search."

Paul Blunt again smiled, and Eve, as she caught a glimpse of his fine
countenance in turning in their short walk, fancied there was a concealed
pride of reason in the expression. Still he answered as mildly and quietly
as before.

"The right of search, certainly, to attain these ends, but to attain no
more. If nations denounce piracy, for instance, and employ especial agents
to detect and overcome the free-booters, there is reason in according to
these agents all the rights that are requisite to the discharge of the
duties: but, in conceding this much, I do not see that any authority is
acquired beyond that which immediately belongs to the particular service
to be performed. If we give a man permission to enter our house to look
for thieves, it does not follow that, because so admitted, he has a right
to exercise any other function. I do believe that the ship in chase of us,
as a public cruiser, ought to be allowed to board this vessel; but finding
nothing contrary to the laws of nations about her, that she will have no
power to detain or otherwise molest her. Even the right I concede ought to
be exercised in good faith, and without vexatious abuses."

"But, surely, you must think that in carrying off a refugee from justice
we have placed ourselves in the wrong, and cannot object, as a principle,
to the poor man's being taken back again into the country from which he
has escaped, however much we may pity the hardships of the
particular case?"

"I much question if Captain Truck will be disposed to reason so vaguely.
In the first place, he will be apt to say that his ship was regularly
cleared, and that he had authority to sail; that in permitting the officer
to search his vessel, while in British waters, he did all that could be
required of him, the law not compelling him to be either a bailiff or an
informer; that the process issued was to take Davis, and not to detain the
Montauk; that, once out of British waters, American law governs, and the
English functionary became an intruder of whom he had every right to rid
himself, and that the process by which he got his power to act at all
became impotent the instant it was without the jurisdiction under which it
was granted."

"I think you will find the captain of yonder cruiser indisposed to admit
this doctrine."

"That is not impossible; men often preferring abuses to being thwarted in
their wishes. But the captain of yonder cruiser might as well go on board
a foreign vessel of war, and pretend to a right to command her, in virtue
of the commission by which he commands his own ship, as to pretend to find
reason or law in doing what you seem to predict."

"I rejoice to hear that the poor man cannot now be torn from his wife!"
exclaimed Eve.

"You then incline to the doctrine of Mr. Blunt, Miss Effingham?" observed
the other controversialist a little reproachfully. "I fear you make it a
national question."

"Perhaps I have done what all seem to have done, permitted sympathy to get
the better of reason. And yet it would require strong proof to persuade me
that villanous-looking attorney was engaged in a good cause, and that meek
and warm-hearted wife in a bad one!"

Both the gentlemen smiled, and both turned to the fair speaker, as if
inviting her to proceed. But Eve checked herself, having already said more
than became her, in her own opinion.

"I had hoped to find an ally in you, Mr. Blunt, to sustain the claim of
England to seize her own seamen when found on board of vessels of another
nation," resumed Mr. Sharp, when a respectful pause had shown both the
young men that they need expect nothing more 'from their fair companion;
"but I fear I must set you down as belonging to those who wish to see the
power of England reduced, _coute qui coute_."

This was received as it was meant, or as a real opinion veiled under
pleasantry.

"I certainly do not wish to see her power maintained, _coute qui coute_"
returned the other, laughing; "and in this opinion, I believe, I may
claim both these ladies as allies."

"_Certainement!_" exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville, who was a living
proof that the feelings created by centuries of animosity are not to be
subdued by a few flourishes of the pen.

"As for me, Mr. Sharp," added Eve, "you may suppose, being an American
girl, I cannot subscribe to the right of any country to do us injustice;
but I beg you will not include me among those who wish to see the land of
my ancestors wronged, in aught that she may rightfully claim as her due."

"This is powerful support, and I shall rally to the rescue. Seriously,
then, will you allow me to inquire, sir, if you think the right of England
to the services of her seamen can be denied?"

"Seriously, then, Mr. Sharp, you must permit me to ask if you mean by
force, or by reason?"

"By the latter, certainly."

"I think you have taken the weak side of the English argument; the nature
of the service that the subject, or the citizen, as it is now the fashion
to say at Paris, mademoiselle--"

"--_Tant pis_," muttered the governess.

"--Owes his government," continued the young man slightly glancing at Eve,
at the interruption, "is purely a point of internal regulation. In England
there is compulsory service for seamen without restriction, or what is
much the same, without an equal protection; in France, it is compulsory
service on a general plan; in America, as respects seamen, the service is
still voluntary."

"Your pardon;--will the institutions of America permit impressment at
all?"

"I should think, not indiscriminate impressment; though I do not see why
laws might not be enacted to compel drafts for the ships of war, as well
as for the army: but this is a point that some of the professional
gentlemen on board, if there be any such, might better answer
than myself."

"The skill with which you have touched on these subjects to-night, had
made me hope to have found such a one in you; for to a traveller, it is
always desirable to enter a country with a little preparation, and a ship
might offer as much temptation to teach as to learn."

"If you suppose me an _American lawyer_, you give me credit for more than
I can lay claim to."

As he hesitated, Eve wondered whether the slight emphasis he had laid on
the two words we have italicised, was heaviest on that which denoted the
country, or on that which denoted the profession.

"I have been much in America, and have paid a little attention to the
institutions, but should be sorry to mislead you into the belief that I am
at all infallible on such points," Mr. Blunt continued.

"You were about to touch on impressment."

"Simply to say that it is a municipal national power, one in no degree
dependent on general principles, and that it can properly be exercised in
no situation in which the exercise of municipal or national powers is
forbidden. I can believe that this power may be exercised on board
American ships in British waters--or at least, that it is a more plausible
right in such situations; but I cannot think it can be rightfully
exercised anywhere else. I do not think England would submit to such a
practice an hour, reversing the case, and admitting her present strength:
and an appeal of this sort is a pretty good test of a principle."

"Ay, ay, what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, as Vattel
says," interrupted Captain Truck, who had overheard the last speech or
two: "not that he says this in so many words, but then, he has the
sentiment at large scattered throughout his writings. For that matter,
there is little that can be said on a subject that he does not put before
his readers, as plainly as Beachy Head lies before the navigator of the
British Channel. With Bowditch and Vattel, a man might sail round the
globe, and little fear of a bad landfall, or a mistake in principles. My
present object is to tell you, ladies, that the steward has reported the
supper in waiting for the honour of your presence."

Before quitting the deck, the party inquired into the state of the chase,
and the probable intentions of the sloop-of-war.

"We are now on the great highway of nations," returned Mr. Truck, "and it
is my intention to travel it without jostling, or being jostled. As for
the sloop, she is standing out under a press of canvas, and we are
standing from her, in nearly a straight line, in like circumstances. She
is some eight or ten miles astern of us, and there is an old saying among
seamen that 'a stern chase is a long chase.' I do not think our case is
about to make an exception to the rule. I shall not pretend to say what
will be the upshot of the matter; but there is not the ship in the British
navy that can gain ten miles on the Montauk, in her present trim, and with
this breeze, in as many hours; so we are quit of her for the present."

The last words were uttered just as Eve put her foot on the step to
descend into the cabin.




Chapter VI.



  _Trin._ Stephano,--
  _Steph._ Doth thy other mouth call me? Mercy! Mercy!

  TEMPEST.


The life of a packet steward is one of incessant mixing and washing, of
interrogations and compoundings, all in a space of about twelve feet
square. These functionaries, usually clever mulattoes who have caught the
civilisation of the kitchen, are busy from morning till night in their
cabins, preparing dishes, issuing orders, regulating courses, starting
corks, and answering questions. Apathy is the great requisite for the
station; for wo betide the wretch who fancies any modicum of zeal, or good
nature, can alone fit him for the occupation. From the moment the ship
sails until that in which a range of the cable is overhauled, or the chain
is rowsed up in readiness to anchor, no smile illumines his face, no tone
issues from his voice while on duty, but that of dogged routine--of
submission to those above, or of snarling authority to those beneath him.
As the hour for the "drink gelt," or "buona mana," approaches, however, he
becomes gracious and smiling. On his first appearance in the pantry of a
morning, he has a regular series of questions to answer, and for which,
like the dutiful Zeluco, who wrote all his letters to his mother on the
same day, varying the dates to suit the progress of time, he not
unfrequently has a regular set of answers out and dried, in his
gastronomical mind. "How's the wind?" "How's the weather?" "How's her
head?" all addressed to this standing almanack, are mere matters of
course, for which he is quite prepared, though it is by no means unusual
to hear him ordering a subordinate to go on deck, after the answer is
given, with a view to ascertain the facts. It is only when the voice of
the captain is heared from his state-room, that he conceives himself bound
to be very particular, though such is the tact of all connected with
ships, that they instinctively detect the "know nothings," who are
uniformly treated with an indifference suited to their culpable ignorance.
Even the "old salt" on the forecastle has an instinct for a brother tar,
though a passenger, and a due respect is paid to Neptune in answering his
inquiries, while half the time the maiden traveller meets with a grave
equivoque, a marvel, or a downright mystification.

On the first morning out, the steward of the Montauk commenced the
dispensation of his news; for no sooner was he heard rattling the glasses,
and shuffling plates in the pantry, than the attack was begun by Mr.
Dodge, in whom "a laudable thirst after knowledge," as exemplified in
putting questions, was rather a besetting principle. This gentleman had
come out in the ship, as has been mentioned, and unfortunately for the
interest of his propensity, not only the steward, but all on board, had,
as it is expressed in slang language, early taken the measure of his foot.
The result of his present application was the following brief dialogue.

"Steward," called out Mr. Dodge, through the blinds of his state-room;
"whereabouts are we?"

"In the British Channel, sir."

"I might have guessed that, myself."

"So I s'pose, sir; nobody is better at guessing and divining than Mr.
Dodge."

"But in what part of the Channel are we, Saunders?"

"About the middle, sir."

"How far have we come to night?"

"From Portsmouth Roads to this place, sir."

Mr. Dodge was satisfied, and the steward, who would not have dared to be
so explicit with any other cabin-passenger, continued coolly to mix an
omelette. The next attack was made from the same room, by Sir George
Templemore.

"Steward, my good fellow, do you happen to know whereabouts we are?"

"Certainly, sir; the land is still werry obwious."

"Are we getting on cleverly?"

"_Nicely_, sir;" with a mincing emphasis on the first word, that betrayed
there was a little waggery about the grave-looking mulatto.

"And the sloop-of-war, steward?"

"Nicely too, sir."

There was a shuffling in the state-room, followed by a silence. The door
of Mr. Sharp's room was now opened an inch or two, and the following
questions issued through the crevice:

"Is the wind favourable, steward?"

"Just her character, sir."

"Do you mean that the wind is favourable?"

"For the Montauk, sir; she's a persuader in this breeze."

"But is she going in the direction we wish?"

"If the gentleman wishes to perambulate America, it is probable he will
get there with a little patience."

Mr. Sharp pulled-to his door, and ten minutes passed without further
questions; the steward beginning to hope the morning catechism was over,
though he grumbled a wish that gentlemen would "turn out" and take a look
for themselves. Now, up to this moment, Saunders knew no more, than those
who had just been questioning him of the particular situation of the ship,
in which he floated as indifferent to the whereabouts and the winds, as
men sail in the earth along its orbit, without bethinking them of
parallaxes, nodes, ecliptics, and solstices. Aware that it was about time
for the captain to be heard, he sent a subordinate on deck, with a view to
be ready to meet the usual questions from his commander. A couple of
minutes were sufficient to put him _au courant_ of the real state of
things. The next door that opened was that of Paul Blunt, however, who
thrust his head into the cabin, with all his dark curls in the confusion
of a night scene.

"Steward!"

"Sir.

"How's the wind?"

"Quite exhilarating, sir."

"From what quarter?"

"About south, sir"

"Is there much of it?"

"A prewailing breeze, sir."

"And the sloop?"

"She's to leeward, sir, operating along as fast as she can."

"Steward!"

"Sir," stepping hurriedly out of his pantry, in order to hear more
distinctly.

"Under what sail are we?"

"Topgallant sails, sir."

"How's her head?"

"West-south-west, sir."

"Delicious! Any news of the rover?"

"Hull down to leeward, sir, and on our quarter.

"Staggering along, eh?"

"Quite like a disguised person, sir."

"Better still. Hurry along that breakfast of yours, sir; I am as hungry as
a Troglodyte."

The honest captain had caught this word from a recent treatise against
agrarianism, and having an acquired taste for orders in one sense, at
least, he flattered himself with being what is called a Conservative, in
other words, he had a strong relish for that maxim of the Scotch
freebooter, which is rendered into English by the comely aphorism of "keep
what you've got, and get what you can."

A cessation of the interrogatories took place, and soon after the
passengers began to appear in the cabin, one by one. As the first step is
almost invariably to go on deck, especially in good weather, in a few
minutes nearly all of the last night's party were again assembled in the
open air, a balm that none can appreciate but those who have experienced
the pent atmosphere of a crowded vessel. The steward had rendered a
faithful account of the state of the weather to the captain, who was now
seen standing in the main-rigging, looking at the clouds to windward, and
at the sloop-of-war to leeward, in the knowing manner of one who was
making comparisons materially to the disadvantage of the latter.

The day was fine, and the Montauk, bearing her canvas nobly, was, to use
the steward's language, also staggering along, under everything that would
draw, from her topgallant-sails down, with the wind near two points
forward of the beam, or on an easy bowline. As there was but little sea,
her rate was quite nine knots, though varying with the force of the wind.
The cruiser had certainly followed them thus far, though doubts began to
be entertained whether she was in chase, or merely bound like themselves
to the westward; a course common to all vessels that wish to clear the
Channel, even when it is intended to go south, as the rocks and tides of
the French coast are inconvenient neighbours in long nights.

"Who knows, after all, that the cutter which tried to board us," asked the
captain aloud, "belongs to the ship to leeward?"

"I know the boat, sir," answered the second mate; "and the ship is the
Foam."

"Let her foam away, then, if she wishes to speak us. Has any one tried her
bearings since daylight?"

"We set her by the compass at six o'clock, sir, and she has not varied her
bearing, as far as from one belaying pin to another, in three hours; but
her hull rises fast: you can now make out her ports, and at daylight the
bottom of her courses dipped."

"Ay, ay, she is a light-going Foam, then! If that is the case, she will be
alongside of us by night."

"In which event, captain, you will be obliged to give him a broadside of
Vattel," threw in John Effingham, in his cool manner.

"If that will answer his errand, he is welcome to as much as he can carry.
I begin to doubt, gentlemen, whether this fellow be not in earnest: in
which case you may nave an opportunity of witnessing how ships are
handled, when seamen have their management. I have no objection, to
setting the experience of a poor come-and-go sort of a fellow, like
myself, in opposition to the geometry and Hamilton Moore of a young
man-of-war's-man. I dare say, now, yonder chap is a lord, or a lord's
progeny, while poor Jack Truck is just as you see him."

"Do you not think half-an-hour of compliance on our part might bring the
matter to an amicable conclusion a once?" said Paul Blunt. "Were we to run
down to him, the object of his pursuit could be determined in a
few minutes."

"What! and abandon poor Davis to the rapacity of that rascally attorney?"
generously exclaimed Sir George Templemore. "I would prefer paying the
port-charges myself, run into the handiest French port, and let the honest
fellow escape!"

"There is no probability that a cruiser would attempt to take a mere
debtor from a foreign vessel on the open sea."

"If there were no tobacco in the world, Mr. Blunt, I might feel disposed
to waive the categories, and show the gentleman that courtesy," returned
the captain, who was preparing another cigar. "But while the cruiser might
not feel authorised to take an absconding debtor from this vessel, he
might feel otherwise on the subject of tobacco, provided there has been an
information for smuggling."

Captain Truck then explained, that the subordinates of the packets
frequently got their ships into trouble, by taking adventures of the
forbidden weed clandestinely into European ports, and that his ship, in
such circumstances, would lose her place in the line, and derange all the
plans of the company to which she belonged. He did the English government
the justice to say, that it had always manifested a liberal disposition
not to punish the innocent for the guilty; but were any such complaints
actually in the wind, he thought he could settle it with much less loss to
himself on his return, than on the day of sailing. While this explanation
was delivered, a group had clustered round the speaker, leaving Eve and
her party on the opposite side of the deck.

"This last speech of Mr. Blunt's quite unsettles my opinion of his
national character, as Vattel and our worthy captain would say," remarked
Mr. Sharp. "Last night, I set him down as a right loyal American; but I
think it would not be natural for a thorough-going countryman of yours,
Miss Effingham, to propose this act of courtesy to a cruiser of
King William."

"How far any countrymen of mine, thorough-going or not, have reason to
manifest extreme courtesy to any of your cruisers," Eve laughingly
replied, "I shall leave Captain Truck to say. But, with you, I have long
been at a loss to determine whether Mr. Blunt is an Englishman or an
American, or indeed, whether he be either."

"Long, Miss Effingham! He then has the honour of being well known to you?"

Eye answered steadily, though the colour mounted to her brow; but whether
from the impetuous exclamation of her companion, or from any feeling
connected with the subject of their conversation, the young man was at a
loss to discover.

"Long, as girls of twenty count time--some four or five years; but you may
judge how well, when I tell you I am ignorant of his country even."

"And may I venture to ask which do you, yourself, give him credit for
being, an American or an Englishman?"

Eve's bright eyes laughed, as she answered, "You have put the question
with so much finesse, and with a politeness so well managed, that I should
indeed be churlish to refuse an answer:--Nay, do not interrupt me, and
spoil all the good you have done by unnecessary protestations of
sincerity."

"All I wish to say is, to ask an explanation of a finesse, of which I am
quite as innocent as of any wish to draw down upon myself the visitations
of your displeasure."

"Do you, then, really conceive it a _credit_ to be an American?"

"Nobody of less modesty than yourself, Miss Effingham, under all the
circumstances, would dream of asking the question."

"I thank you for the civility, which must be taken as it is offered, I
presume, quite as a thing _en regle_; but to leave our fine opinions of
each other, as well as our prejudices, out of the question--"

"You will excuse me if I object to this, for I feel nay good sense
implicated. _You_ can hardly attribute to me opinions so utterly
unreasonable, so unworthy of a gentleman--so unfounded, in short! Am I not
incurring all the risks and hardships of a long sea-voyage, expressly to
visit your great country, and, I trust, to improve by its example
and society?"

"Since you appear to wish it, Mr. Sharp--" Eve glanced her playful eye up
at him as she pronounced the name--"I will be as credulous as a believer
in animal magnetism: and that, I fancy, is pushing credulity to the verge
of reason. It is now settled between us, that you do conceive it an honour
to be an American, born, educated, and by extraction."

"All of which being the case with Miss Effingham."

"All but the second; indeed, they write me fearful things concerning this
European education of mine; some even go so far as to assure me I shall be
quite unfitted to live in the society to which I properly belong!"

"Europe will be rejoiced to receive you back again, in that case; and no
European more so than myself."

The beautiful colour deepened a little on the cheek of Eve, but she made
no immediate reply.

"To return to our subject," she at length said; "Were I required to say, I
should not be able to decide on the country of Mr. Blunt; nor have I ever
met with any one who appeared to know. I saw him first in Germany, where
he circulated in the best company; though no one seemed acquainted with
his history, even there. He made a good figure; was quite at his ease;
speaks several languages almost as well as the natives of the different
countries themselves; and, altogether, was a subject of curiosity with
those who had leisure to think of any thing but their own dissipation
and folly."

Mr. Sharp listened with obvious gravity to the fair speaker, and had not
her own eyes been fastened on the deck, she might have detected the lively
interest betrayed in his. Perhaps the feeling which was at the bottom of
all this, to a slight degree, influenced his answer.

"Quite an Admirable Crichton!"

"I do not say that, though certainly expert in tongues. My own rambling
life has made me acquainted with a few languages, and I do assure you,
this gentleman speaks three or four with almost equal readiness, and with
no perceptible accent. I remember, at Vienna, many even believed him to be
a German."

"What! with the name of Blunt?"

Eve smiled, and her companion, who silently watched every expression of
her varying countenance, as if to read her thoughts, noted it.

"Names signify little in these migratory times," returned the young lady.
"You have but to imagine a _von_ before it, and it would pass at Dresden,
or at Berlin. Von Blunt, _der Edelgeborne Graf Von Blunt, Hofrath_--or
if you like it better, _Geheimer Rath mit Excellenz und eure Gnaden_"

"Or, _Baw-Berg-Veg-Inspector-Substitut!_" added Mr. Sharp, laughing. "No,
no! this will hardly pass. Blunt is a good old English name; but it has
not finesse enough for Italian, German, Spanish, or anything else but John
Bull and his family."

"I see no necessity, for my part, for all this Bluntishness; the gentleman
may think frankness a good travelling quality."

"Surely, he has not concealed his real name!"

"Mr. Sharp, Mr. Blunt; Mr. Blunt, Mr. Sharp;" rejoined Eve, laughing until
her bright eyes danced with pleasure. "There would be something
ridiculous, indeed, in seeing so much of the finesse of a master of
ceremonies subjected to so profound a mystification! I have been told that
passing introductions amount to little among you men, and this would be a
case in point."

"I would I dared ask if it be really so."

"Were I to be guilty of indiscretion in another's case, you would not fail
to distrust me in your own. I am, moreover, a protestant, and abjure
auricular confessions."

"You will not frown if I inquire whether the rest of your party remember
him?"

"My father, Mademoiselle Viefville, and the excellent Nanny Sidley, again;
but, I think, none other of the servants, as he never visited us. Mr. John
Effingham was travelling in Egypt at the time, and did not see him at all,
and we only met in general society; Nanny's acquaintance merely that of
seeing him check his horse in the Prater, to speak to us of a morning."

"Poor fellow, I pity him; he has, at least, never had the happiness of
strolling on the shores of Como and the islands of Laggo Maggiore in your
company, or of studying the wonders of the Pitti and the Vatican."

"If I must confess all, he journeyed with us on foot and in boats an
entire month, among the wonders of the Oberland, and across the
Wallenstadt. This was at a time when we had no one with us but the regular
guides and the German courier, who was discharged in London."

"Were it not for the impropriety of tampering with a servant, I would
cross the deck and question your good Nanny, this moment!" said Mr. Sharp
with playful menace. "Of all torture, that of suspense is the hardest to
be borne."

"I grant you full permission, and acquit you of all sins, whether of
disrespect, meanness, impertinence, ungentle-manlike practices, or any
other vice that may be thought to attend and characterize the act."

"This formidable array of qualities would check the curiosity of a village
gossip!"

"It has an effect I did not intend, then; I wish you to put your threat in
execution."

"Not seriously, surely?"

"Never more so. Take a favourable moment to speak to the good soul, as an
old acquaintance; she remembers you well, and by a little of that
interrogating management you possess, a favourable opportunity may occur
to bring in the other subject. In the mean time, I will glance over the
pages of this book."

As Eve began to read, Mr. Sharp perceived she was in earnest, and
hesitating a moment, in doubt of the propriety of the act, he yielded to
her expressed desire, and strolled carelessly towards the faithful old
domestic. He addressed her indifferently at first, until believing he
might go further, he smilingly observed that he believed he had seen her
in Italy. To this Nanny quietly assented, and when he indirectly added
that it was under another name, she smiled, but merely intimated her
consciousness of the fact, by a quick glance of the eye.

"You know that travellers assume names for the sake of avoiding
curiosity," he added, "and I hope you will not betray me."

"You need not fear me, sir; I meddle with little besides my own duty, and
so long as Miss Eve appears to think there is no harm in it, I will
venture to say it is no more than a gentleman's caprice."

"Why, that is the very word she applied to it herself! You have caught the
term from Miss Effingham."

"Well, sir, and if I have, it is caught from one who deals little harm to
any."

"I believe I am not the only one on board who travels under a false name,
if the truth were known?"

Nanny looked first at the deck, then at her interrogator's face, next
towards Mr. Blunt, withdrawing her eye again, as if guilty of an
indiscretion, and finally at the sails. Perceiving her embarrassment,
respecting her discretion, and ashamed of the task he had undertaken, Mr.
Sharp said a few civil things suited to the condition of the woman, and
sauntering about the deck for a short time, to avoid suspicion, soon found
himself once more alongside of Eve. The latter inquired with her eyes, a
little exultingly perhaps, concerning his success.

"I have failed," he said; "but something must be ascribed to my own
awkward diffidence; for there is so much meanness in tampering with a
servant, that I had not the heart to push my questions, even while I am
devoured by curiosity."

"Your fastidiousness is not a disease with which all on board are
afflicted, for there is at least one grand inquisitor among us, by what I
can learn; so take heed to your sins, and above all, be very guarded of
old letters, marks, and other tell-tales, that usually expose impostors."

"To all that, I believe, sufficient care has already been had, by that
other Dromio, my own man."

"And in what way do you share the name between you? Is it Dromio of
Syracuse, and Dromio of Ephesus? or does John call himself Fitz-Edward, or
Mortimer, or De Courcy?"

"He has complaisance enough to make the passage with nothing but a
Christian name, I believe. In truth, it was by a mere accident that I
turned usurper in this way. He took the state-room for me, and being
required to give a name, he gave his own, as usual. When I went to the
docks to look at the ship, I was saluted as Mr. Sharp, and then the
conceit took me of trying how it would wear for a month or six weeks. I
would give the world to know if the _Geheimer Rath_ got his cognomen in
the same honest manner."

"I think not, as his man goes by the pungent title of Pepper. Unless poor
John should have occasion for two names during the passage, you are
reasonably safe. And still, I think," continued Eve, biting her lips, like
one who deliberated, "if it were any longer polite to bet, Mr. John
Effingham would hazard all the French gloves in his trunks, against all
the English finery in yours, that the inquisitor just hinted at gets at
your secret before we arrive. Perhaps I ought rather to say, ascertains
that you are not Mr. Sharp, and that Mr. Blunt is."

Her companion entreated her to point out the person to whom she had given
the _sobriquet_ she mentioned.

"Accuse me of giving nicknames to no one. The man has this title from
Mademoiselle Viefville, and his own great deeds. It is a certain Mr.
Steadfast Dodge, who, it seems, knows something of us, from the
circumstance of living in the same county, and who, from knowing a little
in this comprehensive manner, is desirous of knowing a great deal more."

"The natural result of all useful knowledge."

"Mr. John Effingham, who is apt to fling sarcasms at all lands, his native
country included, affirms that this gentleman is but a fair specimen of
many more it will be our fortune to meet in America. If so, we shall not
long be strangers; for according to Mademoiselle Viefville and my good
Nanny, he has already communicated to them a thousand interesting
particulars of himself, in exchange for which he asks no more than the
reasonable compensation of having all his questions concerning us truly
answered."

"This is certainly alarming intelligence, and I shall take heed
accordingly."

"If he discover that John is without a surname, I am far from certain he
will not prepare to have him arraigned for some high crime or
misdemeanour; for Mr John Effingham maintains that the besetting
propensity of all this class is to divine the worst the moment their
imaginations cease to be fed with fact. All is false with them, and it is
flattery or accusation."

The approach of Mr. Blunt caused a cessation of the discourse, Eve
betraying a slight degree of sensitiveness about admitting him to share in
these little asides, a circumstance that her companion observed, not
without satisfaction. The discourse now became general, the person who
joined them amusing the others with an account of several proposals
already made by Mr. Dodge, which, as he expressed it, in making the
relation, manifested the strong community-characteristics of an American.
The first proposition was to take a vote to ascertain whether Mr. Van
Buren or Mr. Harrison was the greatest favourite of the passengers; and,
on this being defeated, owing to the total ignorance of so many on board
of both the parties he had named, he had suggested the expediency of
establishing a society to ascertain daily the precise position of the
ship. Captain Truck had thrown cold water on the last proposal, however,
by adding to it what, among legislators, is called a "rider;" he having
drily suggested that one of the duties of the said society should be to
ascertain also the practicability of wading across the Atlantic.




Chapter VII.



  When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks,
  When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
  When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
  Untimely storms make men expect a dearth:
  All may be well; but if God sort it so,
  'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.

  RICHARD III.


These conversations, however, were mere episodes of the great business
of the passage. Throughout the morning, the master was busy in rating his
mates, giving sharp reprimands to the stewards and cooks, overhauling the
log line, introducing the passengers, seeing to the stowage of the
anchors, in getting down the signal-pole, throwing in touches of Vattel,
and otherwise superintending duty, and dispensing opinions. All this time,
the cat in the grass does not watch the bird that hops along the ground
with keener vigilance than he kept his eye on the Foam. To an ordinary
observer, the two ships presented the familiar spectacle of vessels
sailing in the same direction, with a very equal rate of speed; and as the
course was that necessary to clear the Channel, most of the passengers,
and, indeed, the greater part of the crew, began to think the cruiser,
like themselves, was merely bound to the westward. Mr. Truck, on the
contrary, judging by signs and movements that more naturally suggested
themselves to one accustomed to direct the evolutions of a ship, and to
reason on their objects, than to the mere subjects of his will, thought
differently. To him, the motive of the smallest change on board the
sloop-of-war was as intelligible as if it had been explained in words, and
he even foresaw many that were about to take place. Before noon, the Foam
had got fairly abeam, and Mr. Leach, pointing out the circumstance,
observed, that if her wish was to overhaul them, she ought then to tack;
it being a rule among seamen, that the pursuing vessel should turn to
windward as often as she found herself nearest to her chase. But the
experience of Captain Truck taught him better; the tide was setting into
the Channel on the flood, and the wind enabled both ships to fake the
current on their lee-bows, a power that forced them up to windward;
whereas, by tacking, the Foam would receive the force of the stream on her
weather broadside, or so nearly so, as to sweep her farther astern than
her difference in speed could easily repair.

"She has the heels of us, and she weathers on us, as it, is," grumbled the
master; "and that might satisfy a man less modest. I have led the
gentleman such a tramp already that he will be in none of the best humours
when he comes alongside, and we may make up our minds on seeing Portsmouth
again before we see New-York, unless a slant of wind, or the night, serve
us a good turn. I trust, Leach, you have not been destroying your
prospects in life by looking too wistfully at a tobacco-field?"

"Not I, sir; and if you will give me leave to say it, Captain Truck, I do
not think a plug has been landed from the ship, which did not go ashore in
a _bona-fide_ tobacco-box, that might appear in any court in England. The
people will swear, to a man, that this is true."

"Ay, ay! and the Barons of the Exchequer would be the greatest fools in
England not to believe them. If there has been no defrauding the revenue,
why does a cruiser follow this ship, a regular packet, to sea?"

"This affair of the steerage passenger, Davis, sir, is probably the cause.
The man may be heavily in debt, or possibly a defaulter; for these rogues,
when they break down, often fall lower than the 'twixt decks of a ship
like this."

"This will do to put the quarter-deck and cabin in good humour at sailing,
and give them something to open an acquaintance with; but it is sawdust to
none but your new beginners. I have known that Seal this many a year, and
the rogue never yet had a case that touched the quarter-deck. It is as the
man and his wife say, and I'll not give them up, out here in blue water,
for as much foam as lies on Jersey beach after an easterly blow. It will
not be any of the family of Davis that will satisfy yonder wind-eater; but
he will lay his hand on the whole family of the Montauk, leaving them the
agreeable alternative of going back to Portsmouth in his pleasant society,
or getting out here in mid-channel, and wading ashore as best they can.
D--- me! If I believe, Leach, that Vattel will bear the fellow out in it,
even if there has been a whole hogshead of the leaves trundled into his
island without a permit!"

To this Mr. Leach had no encouraging answer to make, for, like most of his
class, he held practical force in much greater respect than the
abstractions of books. He deemed it prudent, therefore, to be silent,
though greatly doubting the efficacy of a quotation from any authority on
board, when fairly put in opposition to a written order from the admiral
at Portsmouth, or even to a signal sent down from Admiralty at London.

The day wore away, making a gradual change in the relative positions of
the two ships, though so slowly, as to give Captain Truck strong hopes of
being able to dodge his pursuer in the coming night, which promised to be
dark and squally. To return to Portsmouth was his full intention, but not
until he had first delivered his freight and passengers in New-York; for,
like all men bound up body and soul in the performance of an especial
duty, he looked on a frustration of his immediate object as a much greater
calamity than even a double amount of more remote evil. Besides, he felt a
strong reliance on the liberality of the English authorities in the end,
and had little doubt of being able to extricate himself and his ship from
any penalties to which the indiscretion or cupidity of his subordinates
might have rendered him liable.

Just as the sun dipped into the watery track of the Montauk, most of the
cabin passengers again appeared on deck, to take a look at the situation
of the two vessels, and to form their own conjectures as to the probable
result of the adventure. By this time the Foam had tacked twice, once to
weather upon the wake of her chase, and again to resume her line of
pursuit. The packet was too good a ship to be easily overtaken, and the
cruiser was now nearly hull-down astern, but evidently coming up at a rate
that would bring her alongside before morning. The wind blew in squalls, a
circumstance that always aids a vessel of war, as the greater number of
her hands enables them to make and shorten sail with ease and rapidity.

"This unsettled weather is as much as a mile an hour against us," observed
Captain Truck, who was far from pleased at the fact of his being outsailed
by anything that floated; "and, if truth must be said, I think that fellow
has somewhere about half a knot the best of it, in the way of foot, on a
bowline and with this breeze. But he has no cargo in, and they trim their
boats like steel-yards. Give us more wind, or a freer, and I would leave
him to digest his orders, as a shark digests a marling-spike, or a
ring-bolt, notwithstanding all his advantages; for little good would it
then do him to be trying to run into the wind's eye, like a steam-tug. As
it is, we must submit. We are certainly in a category, and be d---d
to it!"

It was one of those wild-looking sunsets that are so frequent in the
autumn, in which appearances are worse, perhaps, than the reality. The
ships were now so near the Chops of the Channel that no land was visible,
and the entire horizon presented that chill and wintry aspect that belongs
to gloomy and driving clouds, to which streaks of dull light serve more to
give an appearance of infinite space than any of the relief of brightness.
It was a dreary night-fall to a landsman's eye; though they who better
understood the signs of the heavens, as they are exhibited on the ocean,
saw little more than the promise of obscurity, and the usual hazards of
darkness in a much-frequented sea,

"This will be a dirty night," observed John Effingham, "and we may have
occasion to bring in some of the flaunting vanity of the ship, ere another
morning returns."

"The vessel appears to be in good hands," returned Mr. Effingham: "I have
watched them narrowly; for, I know not why, I have felt more anxiety on
the occasion of this passage than on any of the nine I have already made."

As he spoke, the tender father unconsciously bent his eyes on Eve, who
leaned affectionately on his arm, steadying her light form against the
pitching of the vessel. She understood his feelings better than he did
himself, possibly, since, accustomed to his fondest care from childhood,
she well knew that he seldom thought of others, or even of himself, while
her own wants or safety appealed to his unwearying love.

"Father," she said, smiling in his wistful face, "we have seen more
troubled waters than these, far, and in a much frailer vessel. Do you not
remember the Wallenstadt and its miserable skiff? where I have heard you
say there was really danger, though we escaped from it all with a
little fright."

"Perfectly well do I recollect it, love, nor have I forgotten our brave
companion, and his good service, at that critical moment. But for his
stout arm and timely succour we might not, as you say, have been quit for
the fright."

Although Mr. Effingham looked only at his daughter, while speaking, Mr.
Sharp, who listened with interest, saw the quick, retreating, glance of
Eve at Paul Blunt, and felt something like a chill in his blood as he
perceived that her own cheeks seemed to reflect the glow which appeared on
that of the young man. He alone observed this secret evidence of common
interest in some event in which both had evidently been actors, those
around them being too much occupied in the arrangements of the ship, and
too little suspicious, to heed the trifling circumstance. Captain Truck
had ordered all hands called, to make sail, to the surprise of even the
crew. The vessel, at the moment, was staggering along under as much canvas
as she could apparently bear, and the mates looked aloft with inquiring
eyes as if to ask what more could be done.

The master soon removed all doubts. With a rapidity that is not common in
merchant ships, but which is usual enough in the packets, the lower
studding-sails, and two topmast-studding-sails were prepared, and made
ready for hoisting. As soon as the words "all ready" were uttered, the
helm was put up, the sails were set, and the Montauk was running with a
free wind towards the narrow passage between the Scilly Islands and the
Land's End. Captain Truck was an expert channel pilot, from long practice,
and keeping the run of the tides in his head, he had loosely calculated
that his vessel had so much offing as, with a free wind, and the great
progress she had made in the last twenty-four hours, would enable him to
lay through the pass.

"'Tis a ticklish hole to run into in a dirty night, with a staggering
breeze," he said, rubbing his hands as if the hazard increased his
satisfaction, "and we will now see if this Foam has mettle enough
to follow."

"The chap has a quick eye and good glasses, even though he should want
nerve for the Scilly rocks," cried the mate, who was looking out from the
mizzen rigging. "There go his stun'-sails already, and a plenty of them!"

Sure enough the cruiser threw out her studding-sails, had them full and
drawing in five minutes, and altered her course so as to follow the
Montauk. There was now no longer any doubt concerning her object; for it
was hardly possible two vessels should adopt so bold a step as this, just
at dark, and on such a night, unless the movements of one were regulated
by the movements of the other.

In the mean time, anxious faces began to appear on the quarter-deck, and
Mr. Dodge was soon seen moving stealthily about among the passengers,
whispering here, cornering there, and seemingly much occupied in
canvassing opinions on the subject of the propriety of the step that the
master had just taken; though, if the truth must be told, he rather
stimulated opposition than found others prepared to meet his wishes. When
he thought, however, he had collected a sufficient number of suffrages to
venture on an experiment, that nothing but an inherent aversion to
shipwreck and a watery grave could embolden him to make, he politely
invited the captain to a private conference in the state-room occupied by
himself and Sir George Templemore. Changing the _venue_, as the lawyers
term it, to his own little apartment,--no master of a packet willingly
consenting to transact business in any other place--Captain Truck, who was
out of cigars at the moment, very willingly assented.

When the two were seated, and the door of the room was closed, Mr. Dodge
carefully snuffed the candle, looked about him to make sure there was no
eave's-dropper in a room eight feet by seven, and then commenced his
subject, with what he conceived to be a commendable delicacy and
discretion.

"Captain Truck," he said, in the sort of low confidential tone that
denotes equally concern and mystery, "I think by this time you must have
set me down as one of your warm and true friends and supporters. I came
out in your ship, and, please God we escape the perils of the sea, it is
my hope and intention to return home in her."

"If not, friend Dodge," returned the master, observing that the other
paused to note the effect of his peroration, and using a familiarity in
his address that the acquaintance of the former passage had taught him was
not misapplied; "if not, friend Dodge, you have made a capital mistake in
getting on board of her, as it is by no means probable an occasion will
offer to get out of her, until we fall in with a news-boat, or a
pilot-boat, at least somewhere in the latitude and longitude of Sandy
Hook. You smoke, I believe sir?"

"I ask no better," returned Steadfast, declining the offer; "I have told
every one on the Continent,"--Mr. Dodge had been to Paris, Geneva, along
the Rhine, and through Belgium and Holland, and in his eyes, this was the
Continent,--"that no better ship or captain sails the ocean; and you know
captain, I have a way with me, when I please, that causes what I say to be
remembered. Why, my dear sir, I had an article extolling the whole line in
the most appropriate terms, and this ship in particular, put into the
journal at Rotterdam. It was so well done, that not a soul suspected it
came from a personal friend of yours."

The captain was rolling the small end of a cigar in his mouth to prepare
it for smoking, the regulations of the ship forbidding any further
indulgence below; but when he received this assurance, he withdrew the
tobacco with the sort of mystifying simplicity that gets to be a second
nature with a regular votary of Neptune, and answered with a coolness of
manner that was in ridiculous contrast to the affected astonishment of
the words:--

"The devil you did!--Was it in good Dutch?"

"I do not understand much of the language," said Mr. Dodge, hesitatingly;
for all he knew, in truth, was _yaw_ and _nein_, and neither of these
particularly well;--"but it looked to be uncommonly well expressed. I
could do no more than pay a man to translate it. But to return to this
affair of running in among the Scilly Islands such a night as this."

"Return, my good fellow! this is the first syllable you have said about
the matter!"

"Concern on your account has caused me to forget myself. To be frank with
you, Captain Truck, and if I wer'n't your very best friend I should be
silent, there is considerable excitement getting up about this matter."

"Excitement! what is that like?--a sort of moral head-sea, do you mean?"

"Precisely: and I must tell you the truth, though I had rather a thousand
times not; but this change in the ship's course is monstrous unpopular!"

"That is bad news, with a vengeance, Mr. Dodge; I shall rely on you, as an
old friend, to get up an opposition."

"My dear captain, I have done all I could in that way already; but I never
met with people so bent on a thing as most of the passengers. The
Effinghams are very decided, though so purse-proud and grand; Sir George
Templemore declares it is quite extraordinary, and even the French lady
is furious. To be as sincere as the crisis demands, public opinion is
setting so strong against you, that I expect an explosion."

"Well, so long as the tide sets in my favour, I must endeavour to bear it.
Stemming a current, in or out of water, is up-hill work; but with a good
bottom, clean copper, and plenty of wind, it may be done."

"It would not surprise me were the gentlemen to appeal to the general
sentiment against you when we arrive, and make a handle of it against
your line!"

"It may be so indeed; but what can be done? If we return, the Englishman
will certainly catch us, and, in that case, my own opinion would be dead
against me!"

"Well, well, captain; I thought as a friend I would speak my mind. If this
thing should really get into the papers in America, it would spread like
fire in the prairies. You know what the papers are, I trust,
Captain Truck?"

"I rather think I do, Mr. Dodge, with many thanks for your hints, and I
believe I know what the Scilly Islands are, too. The elections will be
nearly or quite over by the time we get in, and, thank God, they'll not be
apt to make a party question of it, this fall at least. In the mean time
rely on my keeping a good look-out for the shoals of popularity, and the
quicksands of excitement. You smoke sometimes, I know, and I can recommend
this cigar as fit to regale the nose of that chap of Strasbourg----you
read your Bible, I know, Mr. Dodge, and need not be told whom I mean. The
steward will be happy to give you a light on deck, sir."

In this manner, Captain Truck, with the _sang froid_ of an old tar, and
the tact of a packet-master, got rid of his troublesome visiter, who
departed, half suspecting that he had been quizzed, but still ruminating
on the expediency of getting up a committee, or at least a public meeting
in the cabin, to follow up the blow. By the aid of the latter, could he
but persuade Mr. Effingham to take the chair, and Sir George Templemore to
act as secretary, he thought he might escape a sleepless night, and, what
was of quite as much importance, make a figure in a paragraph on
reaching home.

Mr. Dodge, whose Christian name, thanks to a pious ancestry, was
Steadfast, partook of the qualities that his two appellations not inaptly
expressed. There was a singular profession of steadiness of purpose, and
of high principle about him, all of which vanished in Dodge at the close.
A great stickler for the rights of the people, he never considered that
this people was composed of many integral parts, but he viewed all things
as gravitating towards the great aggregation. Majorities were his hobbies,
and though singularly timid as an individual, or when in the minority, put
him on the strongest side and he was ready to face the devil. In short,
Mr. Dodge was a people's man, because his strongest desire, his "ambition
and his pride," as he often expressed it, was to be a man of the people.
In his particular neighbourhood, at home, sentiment ran in veins, like
gold in the mines, or in streaks of public opinion; and though there might
be three or four of these public sentiments, so long as each had its
party, no one was afraid to avow it; but as for maintaining a notion that
was not thus upheld, there was a savour of aristocracy about it that would
damn even a mathematical proposition, though regularly solved and proved.
So much and so long had Mr. Dodge respired a moral atmosphere of this
community-character, and gregarious propensity, that he had, in many
things, lost all sense of his individuality; as much so, in fact, as if he
breathed with a pair of county lungs, ate with a common mouth, drank from
the town-pump, and slept in the open air.

Such a man was not very likely to make an impression on Captain Truck, one
accustomed to rely on himself alone, in the face of warring elements, and
who knew that a ship could not safely have more than a single will, and
that the will of her master.

The accidents of life could scarcely form extremes of character more
remote than that of Steadfast Dodge and that of John Truck. The first
never did anything beyond acts of the most ordinary kind, without first
weighing its probable effect in the neighbourhood; its popularity or
unpopularity; how it might tally with the different public opinions that
were whiffling through the county; in what manner it would influence the
next election, and whether it would be likely to elevate him or depress
him in the public mind. No Asiatic slave stood more in terror of a
vindictive master than Mr. Dodge stood in fear and trembling before the
reproofs, comments, censures, frowns, cavillings and remarks of every man
in his county, who happened to be long to the political party that just at
that moment was in power. As to the minority, he was as brave as a lion,
could snap his fingers at them, and was foremost in deriding and scoffing
at all they said and did. This, however, was in connexion with politics
only; for, the instant party-drill ceased to be of value, Steadfast's
valour oozed out of his composition, and in all other things he dutifully
consulted every public opinion of the neighbourhood. This estimable man
had his weak points as well as another, and what is more, he was quite
sensible of them, as was proved by a most jealous watchfulness of his
besetting sins, in the way of exposure if not of indulgence. In a word,
Steadfast Dodge was a man that wished to meddle with and control all
things, without possessing precisely the spirit that was necessary to
leave him master of himself; he had a rabid desire for the good opinion of
every thing human, without always taking the means necessary to preserve
his own; was a stout declaimer for the rights of the community, while
forgetting that the community itself is but a means set up for the
accomplishment, of a given end; and felt an inward and profound respect
for everything that was beyond his reach, which manifested itself, not in
manly efforts to attain the forbidden fruit, but rather in a spirit of
opposition and detraction, that only betrayed, through its jealousy, the
existence of the feeling, which jealousy, however, he affected to conceal
under an intense regard for popular rights, since he was apt to aver it
was quite intolerable that any man should possess anything, even to
qualities, in which his neighbours might not properly participate. All
these, moreover, and many similar traits, Mr. Dodge encouraged in the
spirit of liberty!

On the other hand, John Truck sailed his own ship; was civil to his
passengers from habit as well as policy; knew that every vessel must have
a captain; believed mankind to be little better than asses; took his own
observations, and cared not a straw for those of his mates; was never more
bent on following his own views than when all hands grumbled and opposed
him; was daring by nature, decided from use and long self-reliance, and
was every way a man fitted to steer his bark through the trackless ways of
life, as well as those of the ocean. It was fortunate for one in his
particular position, that nature had made the possessor of so much
self-will and temporary authority, cool and sarcastic rather than
hot-headed and violent; and for this circumstance Mr. Dodge in particular
had frequent occasions for felicitation.




Chapter VIII.



  But then we are in order, when we are
  Most out of order.

  JACK CADE.


Disappointed in his private appeal to the captain's dread of popular
disapprobation, Mr. Dodge returned to his secret work on deck: for like a
true freeman of the exclusive school, this person never presumed to work
openly, unless sustained by a clear majority; canvassing all around him,
and striving hard to create a public opinion, as he termed it, on his side
of the question, by persuading his hearers that every one was of his
particular way of thinking already; a method of exciting a feeling much
practised by partisans of his school. In the interval, Captain Truck was
working up his day's reckoning by himself, in his own state-room, thinking
little, and caring less, about any thing but the results of his figures,
which soon convinced him, that by standing a few hours longer on his
present course, he should "plump his ship ashore" somewhere between
Falmouth and the Lizard.

This, discovery annoyed the worthy master so much the more, on account of
the suggestions of his late visiter; for nothing could be less to his
taste than to have the appearance of altering his determination under a
menace. Still something must be done before midnight, for he plainly
perceived that thirty or forty miles, at the farthest, would fetch up the
Montauk on her present course. The passengers had left the deck to escape
the night air, and he heard the Effinghams inviting Mr. Sharp and Mr.
Blunt into the ladies' cabin, which had been taken expressly for their
party, while the others were calling upon the stewards for the usual
allowance of hot drinks, at the dining-table without. The talking and
noise disturbed him; his own state-room became too confined, and he went
on deck to come to his decision, in view of the angry-looking skies and
the watery waste, over which he was called to prevail. Here we shall leave
him, pacing the quarter-deck, in moody silence alone, too much disturbed
to smoke even, while the mate of the watch sat in the mizzen-rigging, like
a monkey, keeping a look-out to windward and ahead. In the mean time, we
will return to the cabin of the Effinghams.

The Montauk was one of the noblest of those surpassingly beautiful and
yacht-like ships that now ply between the two hemispheres in such numbers,
and which in luxury and the fitting conveniences seem to vie with each
other for the mastery. The cabins were lined with satin-wood and
bird's-eye maple; small marble columns separated the glittering panels of
polished wood, and rich carpets covered the floors. The main cabin had the
great table, as a fixture, in the centre, but that of Eve, somewhat
shorter, but of equal width, was free from all encumbrance of the sort. It
had its sofas, cushions, mirrors, stools, tables, and an upright piano.
The doors of the state-rooms, and other conveniences, opened on its sides
and ends. In short, it presented, at that hour, the resemblance of a
tasteful boudoir, rather than that of an apartment in a cramped and
vulgar ship.

Here, then, all who properly belonged to the place were assembled, with
Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt as guests, when a tap at the door announced
another visiter. It was Mr. Dodge, begging to be admitted on a matter of
business. Eve smiled, as she bowed assent to old Nanny, who acted as her
groom of the chambers, and hastily expressed a belief that her guest must
have come with a proposal to form a Dorcas society.

Although Mr. Dodge was as bold as Caesar in expressing his contempt of
anything but popular sway, he never came into the presence of the quiet
and well-bred without a feeling of distrust and uneasiness, that had its
rise in the simple circumstance of his not being used to their company.
Indeed, there is nothing more appalling, in general, to the vulgar and
pretending, than the simplicity and natural ease of the refined. Their own
notions of elegance lie so much on the surface, that they seem at first to
suspect an ambush, and it is probable that, finding so much repose where,
agreeably to their preconceived opinions, all ought to be fuss and
pretension, they imagine themselves to be regarded as intruders.

Mr. Effingham gave their visitor a polite reception, and one that was
marked with a little more than the usual formality, by way of letting it
be understood that the apartment was private; a precaution that he knew
was very necessary in associating with tempers like those of Steadfast.
All this was thrown away on Mr. Dodge, notwithstanding every other person
present admired the tact with which the host kept his guest at a distance,
by extreme attention, for the latter fancied so much ceremony was but a
homage to his claims. It had the effect to put him on his own good
behaviour, however, and of suspending the brusque manner in which he had
intended to broach his subject. As every body waited in calm silence, as
if expecting an explanation of the cause of his visit, Mr. Dodge soon felt
himself constrained to say something, though it might not be quite as
clearly as he could wish.

"We have had a considerable pleasant time, Miss Effingham, since we sailed
from Portsmouth," he observed familiarly.

Eve bowed her assent, determined not to take to herself a visit that did
violence to all her habits and notions of propriety. But Mr. Dodge was too
obtuse to feel the hint conveyed in mere reserve of manner.

"It would have been more agreeable, I allow, had not this man-of-war taken
it into her head to follow us in this unprecedented manner." Mr. Dodge was
as fond of his dictionary as the steward, though he belonged to the
political, while Saunders merely adorned the polite school of talkers.
"Sir George calls it a most 'uncomfortable pro endure.' You know Sir
George Templemore, without doubt, Miss Effingham?"

"I am aware there is a person of that name on board, sir," returned Eve,
who recoiled from this familiarity with the sensitiveness with which a
well-educated female distinguishes between one who appreciates her
character and one who does not; "but have never had the honour of his
acquaintance."

Mr. Dodge thought all this extraordinary, for he had witnessed Captain
Truck's introduction, and did not understand how people who had sailed
twenty-four hours in the same ship, and had been fairly introduced, should
not be intimate. As for himself, he fancied he was, what he termed, "well
acquainted" with the Effinghams, from having talked of them a great deal
ignorantly, and not a little maliciously; a liberty he felt himself fully
entitled to take from the circumstance of residing in the same county,
although he had never spoken to one of the family, until accident placed
him in their company on board the same vessel.

"Sir George is a gentleman of great accomplishments, Miss Effingham, I
assure you; a man of unqualified merit. We have the same state-room, for I
like company, and prefer chatting a little in my berth to being always
asleep. He is a baronet, I suppose you know,--not that I care anything for
titles, all men being equal in truth, though--though----"

"--Unequal in reality, sir, you probably meant to add," observed John
Effingham, who was lolling on Eve's work-stand, his eagle-shaped face
fairly curling with the contempt he felt, and which he hardly cared
to conceal.

"Surely not, sir!" exclaimed the terrified Steadfast, looking furtively
about, lest some active enemy might be at hand to quote this unhappy
remark to his prejudice. "Surely not! men are every way equal, and no one
can pretend to be better than another. No, no,--it is nothing to me that
Sir George is a baronet; though one would prefer having a gentleman in the
same state-room to having a coarse fellow. Sir George thinks, sir, that
the ship is running into great danger by steering for the land in so dark
a night, and in such _dirty_ weather. He _has_ many out-of-the-way
expressions, Sir George, I must admit, for one of his rank; he calls the
weather _dirty_, and the proceedings _uncomfortable_; modes of expression,
gentlemen, to which I give an unqualified disapprobation."

"Probably Sir George would attach more importance to a _qualified_
disapprobation," retorted John Effingham.

"Quite likely," returned Mr. Dodge innocently, though the two other
visiters, Eve and Mademoiselle Viefville, permitted slight muscular
movements about the lips to be seen: "Sir George is quite an original in
his way. We have few originals in our part of the country, you know, Mr.
John Effingham; for to say the truth, it is rather unpopular to differ
from the neighbourhood, in this or any other respect. Yes, sir, the people
will rule, and ought to rule. Still, I think Sir George may get along well
enough as a stranger, for it is not quite as unpopular in a stranger to be
original, as in a native. I think you will agree with me, sir, in
believing it excessively presuming in an American to pretend to be
different from his fellow-citizens."

"No one, sir, could entertain such presumption, I am persuaded, in your
case."

"No, sir, I do not speak from personal motives; but of the great general
principles, that are to be maintained for the good of mankind. I do not
know that any man has a right to be peculiar in a free country. It is
aristocratic and has an air of thinking one man is better than another. I
am sure Mr. Effingham cannot approve of it?"

"Perhaps not. Freedom has many arbitrary laws that it will not do to
violate."

"Certainly, sir, or where would be its supremacy? If the people cannot
control and look down peculiarity, or anything they dislike, one might as
well live in despotism at once."

"As I have resided much abroad, of late years, Mr. Dodge," inquired Eve,
who was fearful her kinsman would give some cut that would prove to be
past bearing, as she saw his eye was menacing, and who felt a disposition
to be amused at the other's philosophy, that overcame the attraction of
repulsion she had at first experienced towards him--"will you favour me
with some of those great principles of liberty of which I hear so much,
but which, I fear, have been overlooked by my European instructors?"

Mademoiselle Viefville looked grave; Messrs. Sharp and Blunt delighted;
Mr. Dodge, himself, mystified.

"I should feel myself little able to instruct Miss Effingham on such a
subject," the latter modestly replied, "as no doubt she has seen too much
misery in the nations she has visited, not to appreciate justly all the
advantages of that happy country which has the honour of claiming her for
one of its fair daughters."

Eve was terrified at her own temerity, for she was far from anticipating
so high a flight of eloquence in return for her own simple request, but it
was too late to retreat.

"None of the many illustrious and god-like men that our own beloved land
has produced can pretend to more zeal in its behalf than myself, but I
fear my abilities to do it justice will fall far short of the subject," he
continued. "Liberty, as you know, Miss Effingham, as you well know,
gentlemen, is a boon that merits our unqualified gratitude, and which
calls for our daily and hourly thanks to the gallant spirits who, in the
days that tried men's souls, were foremost in the tented field, and in the
councils of the nation."

John Effingham turned a glance at Eve, that seemed to tell her how unequal
she was to the task she had undertaken, and which promised a rescue, with
her consent; a condition that the young lady most gladly complied with in
the same silent but expressive manner.

"Of all this my young kinswoman is properly sensible, Mr. Dodge," he said
by way of diversion; "but she, and I confess myself, have some little
perplexity on the subject of what this liberty is, about which so much has
been said and written in our time. Permit me to inquire, if you understand
by it a perfect independence of thought, action, and rights?"

"Equal laws, equal rights, equality in all respects, and pure, abstract,
unqualified liberty, beyond all question, sir."

"What, a power in the strong man to beat the little man, and to take away
his dinner?"

"By no means, sir; Heaven forbid that I should maintain any such doctrine!
It means entire liberty: no kings, no aristocrats, no exclusive
privileges; but one man as good as another!"

"Do you understand, then, that one man is as good as another, under our
system, Mr. Dodge?"

"Unqualifiedly so, sir; I am amazed that such a question should be put by
a gentleman of your information, in an age like this!"

"If one man is as good as another," said Mr. Blunt, who perceived that
John Effingham was biting his lips, a sign that something more biting
would follow,--"will you do me the favour to inform me, why the country
puts itself to the trouble and expense of the annual elections?"

"Elections, sir! In what manner could free institutions flourish or be
maintained, without constantly appealing to the people, the only true
sources of power?"

"To this I make no objections, Mr. Dodge," returned the young man,
smiling; "but why an election; if one man is as good as another, a lottery
would be cheaper, easier, and sooner settled. Why an election, or even a
lottery at all? why not choose the President as the Persians chose their
king, by the neighing of a horse?

"This would be indeed an extraordinary mode of proceeding for an
intelligent and virtuous people, Mr. Blunt; and I must take the liberty of
saying that I suspect you of pleasantry. If you wish an answer, I will
say, at once by such a process we might get a knave, or a fool, or
a traitor."

"How, Mr. Dodge! I did not expect this character of the country from you!
Are the Americans, then, all fools, or knaves, or traitors?"

"If you intend to travel much in our country, sir, I would advise great
caution in throwing out such an insinuation, for it would be apt to meet
with a very general and unqualified disapprobation. Americans are
enlightened and free, and as far from deserving these epithets as any
people on earth."

"And yet the fact follows from your own theory. If one man is as good as
another, and any one of them is a fool, or a knave, or a traitor,--all are
knaves, or fools, or traitors! The insinuation is not mine, but it
follows, I think, inevitably, as a consequence of your own proposition."

In the pause that succeeded, Mr. Sharp said in a low voice to Eve, "He is
an Englishman, after all!"

"Mr. Dodge does not mean that one man is as good as another in that
particular sense," Mr. Effingham kindly interposed, in his quality of
host; "his views are less general, I fancy, than his words would give us,
at first, reason to suppose."

"Very true, Mr. Effingham, very true, sir; one man is not as good as
another in that particular sense, or in the sense of elections, but in all
other senses. Yes, sir," turning towards Mr. Blunt again, as one reviews
the attack on an antagonist, who has given a fall, after taking breath;
"in all other senses, one man is unqualifiedly as good as another. One man
has the same rights as another."

"The slave as the freeman?"

"The slaves are exceptions, sir. But in the free states except in the case
of elections, one man is as good as another in all things. That is our
meaning, and any other principle would be unqualifiedly unpopular."

"Can one man make a shoe as well as another?"

"Of rights, sir,--I stick to the rights, you will remember,"

"Has the minor the same rights as the man of full age; the apprentice as
the master; the vagabond as the resident; the man who cannot pay as the
man who can?"

"No, sir, not in that sense either. You do not understand me, sir, I fear.
All that I mean is, that in particular things, one man is as good as
another in America. This is American doctrine, though it may not happen to
be English, and I flatter myself it will stand the test of the strictest
investigation."

"And you will allow me to inquire where this is not the case, in
particular things. If you mean to say that there are fewer privileges
accorded to the accidents of birth, or to fortune and station in America,
than is usual in other countries, we shall agree; but I think it will
hardly do to say there are none!"

"Privileges accorded to birth in America, sir! The idea would be odious to
her people!"

"Does not the child inherit the property of the father?"

"Most assuredly; but this can hardly be termed a privilege.

"That may depend a good deal on taste. I should account it a greater
privilege than to inherit a title without the fortune."

"I perceive, gentlemen, that we do not perfectly understand each other,
and I must postpone the discussion to a more favourable opportunity; for I
confess great uneasiness at this decision of the captain's, about steering
in among the rocks of Sylla." (Mr. Dodge was not as clear-headed as
common, in consequence of the controversy that had just occurred.) "I
challenge you to renew the subject another time, gentlemen. I only
happened in" (another peculiarity of diction in this gentleman) "to make a
first call, for I suppose there is no exclusion in an American ship?"

"None whatever, sir," Mr. John Effingham coldly answered. "All the
state-rooms are in common, and I propose to seize an early occasion to
return this compliment, by making myself at home in the apartment which
has the honour to lodge Mr. Dodge and Sir George Templemore."

Here Mr. Dodge beat a retreat, without touching at all on his real errand.
Instead of even following up the matter with the other passengers, he got
into a corner, with one or two congenial spirits, who had taken great
offence that the Effinghams should presume to retire into their cabin, and
particularly that they should have the extreme aristocratical audacity to
shut the door, where he continued pouring into the greedy ears of his
companions his own history of the recent dialogue, in which, according to
his own account of the matter, he had completely gotten the better of that
"young upstart, Blunt," a man of whom he knew positively nothing, divers
anecdotes of the Effingham family, that came of the lowest and most idle
gossip of rustic malignancy, and his own vague and confused notions of the
rights of persons and of things. Very different was the conversation that
ensued in the ladies' cabin, after the welcome disappearance of the
uninvited guest. Not a remark of any sort was made on his intrusion, or on
his folly; even John Effingham, little addicted in common to forbearance,
being too proud to waste his breath on so low game, and too well taught to
open upon a man the moment his back was turned. But the subject was
continued, and in a manner better suited to the education, intelligence,
and views of the several speakers.

Eve said but little, though she ventured to ask a question now and then;
Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt being the principal supporters of the discourse,
with an occasional quiet discreet remark from the young lady's father, and
a sarcasm, now and then, from John Effingham. Mr. Blunt, though advancing
his opinions with diffidence, and with a proper deference for the greater
experience of the two elder gentlemen, soon made his superiority apparent,
the subject proving to be one on which he had evidently thought a great
deal, and that too with a discrimination and originality that are far
from common.

He pointed out the errors that are usually made on the subject of the
institutions of the American Union, by confounding the effects of the
general government with those of the separate states; and he clearly
demonstrated that the Confederation itself had, in reality, no distinctive
character of its own, even for or against liberty. It was a confederation,
and got its character from the characters of its several parts, which of
themselves were independent in all things, on the important point of
distinctive principles, with the exception of the vague general provision
that they must be republics; a prevision that meant anything, or nothing,
so far as true liberty was concerned, as each state might decide
for itself.

"The character of the American government is to be sought in the
characters of the state governments," he concluded, "which vary with their
respective policies. It is in this way that communities that hold one half
of their numbers in domestic bondage are found tied up in the same
political _fasces_ with other communities of the most democratic
institutions. The general government assures neither liberty of speech,
liberty of conscience, action, nor of anything else, except as against
itself; a provision that is quite unnecessary, as it is purely a
government of delegated powers, and has no authority to act at all on
those particular interests."

"This is very different from the general impression in Europe," observed
Mr. Sharp; "and as I perceive I have the good fortune to be thrown into
the society of an American, if not an _American lawyer_, able to enlighten
my ignorance on these interesting topics, I hope to be permitted, during
some of the idle moments, of which we are likely to have many, to
profit by it."

The other coloured, bowed to the compliment, but appeared to hesitate
before he answered.

"'Tis not absolutely necessary to be an American by birth," he said, "as I
have already had occasion to observe, in order to understand the
institutions of the country, and I might possibly mislead you were you to
fancy that a native was your instructer. I have often been in the country,
however, if not born in it, and few young men, on this side of the
Atlantic, have had their attention pointed, with so much earnestness, to
all that affects it as myself."

"I was in hopes we had the honour of including you among our countrymen,"
observed John Effingham, with evident disappointment. "So many young men
come abroad disposed to quarrel with foreign excellences, of which they
know nothing, or to concede so many of our own, in the true spirit of
serviles, that I was flattering myself I had at last found an exception."

Eve also felt regret, though she hardly avowed to herself the reason.

"He is then, an Englishman, after all!" said Mr. Sharp, in another aside.

"Why not a German--or a Swiss--or even a Russian?"

"His English is perfect; no continental could speak so fluently, with such
a choice of words, so totally without an accent, without an effort. As
Mademoiselle Viefville says, he does not speak well enough for a
foreigner."

Eve was silent, for she was thinking of the singular manner in which a
conversation so oddly commenced, had brought about an explanation on a
point that had often given her many doubts. Twenty times had she decided
in her own mind that this young man, whom she could properly call neither
stranger nor acquaintance, was a countryman, and as often had she been led
to change her opinion. He had now been explicit, she thought, and she felt
compelled to set him down as a European, though not disposed, still, to
believe he was an Englishman. For this latter notion she had reasons it
might not have done to give to a native of the island they had just left,
as she knew to be the fact with Mr. Sharp.

Music succeeded this conversation, Eve having taken the precaution to have
the piano tuned before quitting port, an expedient we would recommend to
all who have a regard for the instrument that extends beyond its outside,
or even for their own ears. John Effingham executed brilliantly on the
violin; and, as it appeared on inquiry, the two younger gentlemen
performed respectably on the flute, flageolet, and one or two other wind
instruments. We shall leave them doing great justice to Beethoven,
Rossini, and Mayerbeer, whose compositions Mr. Dodge did not fail to sneer
at in the outer cabin, as affected and altogether unworthy of attention,
and return on deck to the company of the anxious master.

Captain Truck had continued to pace the deck moodily and alone, during the
whole evening, and he only seemed to come to a recollection of himself
when the relief passed him on his way to the wheel, at eight bells.
Inquiring the hour, he got into the mizzen rigging, with a night-glass,
and swept the horizon in search of the Foam. Nothing could be made out,
the darkness having settled upon the water in a way to circumscribe the
visible horizon to very narrow limits.

"This may do," he muttered to himself, as he swung off by a rope, and
alighted again on the planks of the deck. Mr. Leach was summoned, and an
order was passed for the relieved watch to remain on deck for duty.

When all was ready, the first mate went through the ship, seeing that all
the candles were extinguished, or that the hoods were drawn over the
sky-lights, in such a way as to conceal any rays that might gleam upwards
from the cabin. At the same time attention was paid to the binnacle lamp.
This precaution observed, the people went to work to reduce the sail, and
in the course of twenty minutes they had got in the studding-sails, and
all the standing canvas to the topsails, the fore-course, and a forward
stay-sail. The three topsails were then reefed, with sundry urgent commands
to the crew to be active, for, "The Englishman was coming up like a horse,
all this time, no doubt."

This much effected, the hands returned on deck, as much amazed at the
several arrangements as if the order had been to cut away the masts.

"If we had a few guns, and were a little stronger-handed," growled an old
salt to the second-mate, as he hitched up his trousers and rolled over his
quid, "I should think the hard one, aft, had been stripping for a fight;
but as it is we have nothing to carry on the war with, unless we throw
sea-biscuits into the enemy'!"

"Stand by to _veer_!" called out the captain from the quarter-deck; or, as
he pronounced it, "_ware_."

The men sprang to the braces, and the bows of the ship fell off gradually,
as the yards yielded slowly to the drag. In a minute the Montauk was
rolling dead before it, and her broadside came sweeping up to the wind
with the ship's head to the eastward. This new direction in the course had
the double effect of hauling off the land, and of diverging at more than
right angles from the line of sailing of the Foam, if that ship still
continued in pursuit. The seamen nodded their heads at each other in
approbation, for all now as well understood the meaning of the change as
if it had been explained to them verbally.

The revolution on deck produced as sudden a revolution below. The ship was
no longer running easily on an even keel, but was pitching violently into
a head-beating sea, and the wind, which a few minutes before, was scarcely
felt to blow, was now whistling its hundred strains among the cordage.
Some sought their berths, among whom were Mr. Sharp and Mr. Dodge; some
hurried up the stairs to learn the reason, and all broke up their
avocations for the night.

Captain Truck had the usual number of questions to answer, which he did in
the following succinct and graphic manner, a reply that we hope will prove
as satisfactory to the reader, as it was made to be, perforce,
satisfactory to the curious on board.

"Had we stood on an hour longer, gentlemen, we should have been lost on
the coast of Cornwall!" he said, pithily: "had we stopped where we were,
the sloop-of-war would nave been down upon us in twenty minutes: by
changing the course, in the way you have seen, he may get to leeward ward
of us; if he find it out, he may change his own course, in the dark, being
as likely to go wrong as to go right; or he may stand in, and set up the
ribs of his majesty's ship Foam to dry among the rocks of the Lizard,
where I hope all her people will get safely ashore, dry shod."

After waiting the result anxiously for an hour, the passengers retired to
their rooms one by one; but Captain Truck did not quit the deck until the
middle watch was set. Paul Blunt heard him enter his state-room, which was
next to his own, and putting out his head, he inquired the news above. The
worthy master had discovered something about this young man which created
a respect for his nautical information, for he never misapplied a term,
and he invariably answered all his questions promptly, and with respect.

"Dirtier, and dirtier," he said, in defiance of Mr. Dodge's opinion of the
phrase, pulling off his pee-jacket, and laying aside his sow-wester; "a
cap-full of wind, with just enough drizzle to take the comfort out of a
man, and lacker him down like a boot."

"The ship has gone about?"

"Like a dancing-master with two toes. We have got her head to the
southward and westward again; another reef in the topsails," (which word
Mr. Truck pronounced _tawsails_, with great unction,) "England well under
our lee, and the Atlantic ocean right before us. Six hours on this course,
and we make a fair wind of it."

"And the sloop?"




Chapter IX.



        The moon was now
  Rising full orbed, but broken by a cloud.
  The wind was hushed, and the sea mirror-like

  ITALY.


Most of the passengers appeared on deck soon after Saunders was again
heard rattling among his glasses. The day was sufficiently advanced to
allow a distinct view of all that was passing, and the wind had shifted.
The change had not occurred more than ten minutes, and as most of the
inmates of the cabin poured up the cabin-stairs nearly in a body, Mr.
Leach had just got through with the necessary operation of bracing the
yards about, for the breeze, which was coming stiff, now blew from the
north-east. No land was visible, and the mate was just giving his opinion
that they were up with Scilly, as Captain Truck appeared in the group.

One glance aloft, and another at the heavens, sufficed to let the
experienced master into all the secrets of his present situation. His next
step was to jump into the rigging, and to take a look at the sea, in the
direction of the Lizard. There, to his extreme disappointment, appeared a
ship with everything set that would draw, and with a studding-sail
flapping, before it could be drawn down, which he knew in an instant to be
the Foam. At this spectacle Mr. Truck compressed his lips, and made an
inward imprecation, that it would ill comport with our notions of
propriety to repeat.

"Turn the hands up and shake out the reefs, sir," he said coolly to his
mate, for it was a standing rule of the captain's to seem calmest when he
was in the greatest rage. "Turn them up, sir, and show every rag that will
draw, from the truck to the lower studding-sail boom, and be d----d
to them!"

On this hint Mr. Leach bestirred himself, and the men were quickly on the
yards, casting loose gaskets and reef-points. Sail opened after sail, and
as the steerage passengers, who could show a force of thirty or forty men,
aided with their strength, the Montauk was soon running dead before the
wind, under every thing that would draw, and with studding-sails on both
sides. The mates looked surprised, the seamen cast inquiring glances aft,
but Mr. Truck lighted a cigar.

"Gentlemen," said the captain, after a few philosophical whiffs, "to go to
America with yonder fellow on my weather beam is quite out of the
question: he would be up with me, and in possession, before ten o'clock,
and my only play is to bring the wind right over the taffrail, where,
luckily, we have got it. I think we can bother him at this sport, for your
sharp bottoms are not as good as your kettle-bottoms in ploughing a full
furrow. As for bearing her canvas, the Montauk will stand it as long as
any ship in King William's navy, before the gale. And on one thing you may
rely; I'll carry you all into Lisbon, before that tobacco-hating rover
shall carry you back to Portsmouth. This is a category to which I
will stick."

This characteristic explanation served to let the passengers understand
the real state of the case. No one remonstrated, for all preferred a race
to being taken; and even the Englishmen on board began again to take sides
with the vessel they were in, and this the more readily, as Captain Truck
freely admitted that their cruiser was too much for him on every tack but
the one he was about to try. Mr. Sharp hoped that they might now escape,
and as for Sir George Templemore, he generously repeated his offer to pay,
out of his own pocket, all the port-charges in any French, Spanish, or
Portuguese harbour, the master would enter, rather than see such an
outrage done a foreign vessel in a time of profound peace.

The expedient of Captain Truck proved his judgment, and his knowledge of
his profession. Within an hour it was apparent that, if there was any
essential difference in the sailing of the two ships under the present
circumstances, it was slightly in favour of the Montauk. The Foam now set
her ensign for the first time, a signal that she wished to speak the ship
in sight. At this Captain Truck chuckled, for he pronounced it a sign
that she was conscious she could not get them within range of her guns.

"Show him the gridiron," cried the captain, briskly; "it will not do to be
beaten in civility by a man who has beaten us already on so many other
tacks; but keep all fast as a church-door on a week-day."

This latter comparison was probably owing to the circumstance of the
master's having come from a part of the country where all the religion is
compressed into the twenty-four hours that commence on a Saturday-night at
sunset, and end at sunset the next day: at least, this was his own
explanation of the matter. The effect of success was always to make Mr.
Truck loquacious, and he now began to tell many excellent anecdotes, of
which he had stores, all of events that had happened to him in person, or
of which he had been an eye-witness; and on which his hearers, as Sancho
said, might so certainly depend as true, that, if they chose, they might
safely swear they had seen them themselves.

"Speaking of churches and doors, Sir George," he said, between the puffs
of the cigar, "were you ever in Rhode Island?"

"Never, as this is my first visit to America, captain."

"True; well, you will be likely to go there, if you go to Boston, as it is
the best way; unless you would prefer to run over Nantucket shoals, and a
hundred miles of ditto as Mr. Dodge calls it."

"_Ditter_, captain, if you please--_ditter_: it is the continental word
for round-about."

"The d---l it is! it is worth knowing, however. And what may be the
French for pee-jacket?"

"You mistake me, sir,--_ditter_, a circuit, or the longer way."

"That is the road we are now travelling, by George!--I say, Leach, do you
happen to know that we are making a ditter to America?"

"You were speaking of a church, Captain Truck," politely interposed Sir
George, who had become rather intimate with his fellow-occupant of the
state-room.

"I was travelling through that state, a few years since, on my way from
Providence to New London, at a time when a new road had just been opened.
It was on a Sunday, and the stage--a four-horse power, you must know--had
never yet run through on the Lord's-day. Well, we might be, as it were,
off here at right angles to our course, and there was a short turn in the
road, as one would say, out yonder. As we hove in sight of the turn, I saw
a chap at the mast-head of a tree; down he slid, and away he went right
before it, towards a meeting-house two or three cables length down the
road. We followed at a smart jog, and just before we got the church abeam,
out poured the whole congregation, horse and foot, parson and idlers,
sinners and hypocrites, to see the four-horse power go past. Now this is
what I call keeping the church-door open on a Sunday."

We might have hesitated about recording this anecdote of the captain's,
had we not received an account of the same occurrence from a quarter that
left no doubt that his version of the affair was substantially correct.
This and a few similar adventures, some of which he invented, and all of
which he swore were literal, enabled the worthy master to keep the
quarter-deck in good humour, while the ship was running at the rate of ten
knots the hour in a line so far diverging from her true course. But the
relief to landsmen is so great, in general, in meeting with a fair wind at
sea, that few are disposed to quarrel with its consequences. A bright day,
a steady ship, the pleasure of motion as they raced with the combing seas,
and the interest of the chase, set every one at ease; and even Steadfast
Dodge was less devoured with envy, a jealousy of his own deservings, and
the desire of management, than usual. Not an introduction occurred, and
yet the little world of the ship got to be better acquainted with each
other in the course of that day, than would have happened in months of the
usual collision on land.

The Montauk continued to gain on her pursuer until the sun set, when
Captain Truck began once more to cast about him for the chances of the
night. He knew that the ship was running into the mouth of the Bay of
Biscay, or at least was fast approaching it, and he bethought him of the
means of getting to the westward. The night promised to be anything but
dark, for though a good many wild-looking clouds were by this time
scudding athwart the heavens, the moon diffused a sort of twilight gleam
in the air. Waiting patiently, however, until the middle-watch was again
called, he reduced, sail, and hauled the ship off to a south-west course,
hoping by this slight change insensibly to gain an offing before the Foam
was aware of it; a scheme that he thought more likely to be successful, as
by dint of sheer driving throughout the day, he had actually caused the
courses of that vessel to dip before the night shut in.

Even the most vigilant become weary of watching, and Captain Truck was
unpleasantly disturbed next morning by an alarm that the Foam was just out
of gun-shot, coming up with them fast. On gaining the deck, he found the
fact indisputable. Favoured by the change in the course, the cruiser had
been gradually gaining on the Montauk ever since the first watch was
relieved, and had indeed lessened the distance between the respective
ships by two-thirds. No remedy remained but to try the old expedient of
getting the wind over the taffrail once more, and of showing all the
canvas that could be spread. As like causes are known to produce like
effects, the expedient brought about the old results. The packet had the
best of it, and the sloop-of-war slowly fell astern. Mr. Truck now
declared he would make a "regular business of it," and accordingly he
drove his ship in that direction throughout the day, the following night,
and until near noon of the day which succeeded, varying his course
slightly to suit the wind, which he studiously kept so near aft as to
allow the studding-sails to draw on both sides. At meridian, on the fourth
day out, the captain got a good observation, and ascertained that the ship
was in the latitude of Oporto, with an offing of less than a degree. At
this time the top-gallant sails of the Foam might be discovered from the
deck, resembling a boat clinging to the watery horizon. As he had fully
made up his mind to run into port in preference to being overhauled, the
master had kept so near the land, with an intention of profiting by his
position, in the event of any change favouring his pursuers; but he now
believed that at sunset he should be safe in finally shaping his course
for America.

"There must be double-fortified eyes aboard that fellow to see what we are
about at this distance, when the night is once shut in," he said to Mr.
Leach, who seconded all his orders with obedient zeal, "and we will watch
our moment to slip out fairly into the great prairie, and then we shall
discover who best knows the trail! You'll be for trotting off to the
prairies, Sir George, as soon as we get in, and for trying your hand at
the buffaloes, like all the rest of them. Ten years since, if an
Englishman came to look at us, he was afraid of being scalped in Broadway
and now he is never satisfied unless he is astraddle of the Rocky
Mountains in the first fortnight. I take over lots of cockney-hunters
every summer, who just get a shot at a grizzly bear or two, or at an
antelope, and come back in time for the opening of Drury Lane."

"Should we not be more certain of accomplishing your plans, by seeking
refuge in Lisbon for a day or two? I confess now I should like to see
Lisbon, and as for the port-charges, I would rather pay them twice, than
that this poor man should be torn from his wife. On this point I hope,
Captain Truck, I have made myself sufficiently explicit."

Captain Truck shook the baronet heartily by the hand, as he always did
when this offer was renewed, declaring that his feelings did him honour.

"Never fear for Davis," he said. "Old Grab shall not have him this tack,
nor the Foam neither. I'll throw him overboard before such a disgrace
befall us or him. Well, this leech has driven us from the old road, and
nothing now remains but to make the southern passage, unless the wind
prevail at south."

The Montauk, in truth, had not much varied from a course that was once
greatly in favour with the London ships, Lisbon and New York being nearly
in the same parallel of latitude, and the currents, if properly improved,
often favouring the run. It is true, the Montauk had kept closer in with
the continent by a long distance than was usual, even for the passage he
had named; but the peculiar circumstances of the chase had left no
alternative, as the master explained to his listeners.

"It was a coasting voyage, or a tow back to Portsmouth, Sir George," he
said, "and of the two, I know you like the Montauk too well to wish to be
quit of her so soon."

To this the baronet gave a willing assent, protesting that his feelings
had got so much enlisted on the side of the vessel he was in, that he
would cheerfully forfeit a thousand pounds rather than be overtaken. The
master assured him that was just what he liked, and swore that he was the
sort of passenger he most delighted in.

"When a man puts his foot on the deck of a ship, Sir George, he should
look upon her as his home, his church, his wife and children, his uncles
and aunts, and all the other lumber ashore. This is the sentiment to make
seamen. Now, I entertain a greater regard for the shortest ropeyarn aboard
this ship, than for the topsail-sheets or best bower of any other vessel.
It is like a man's loving his own finger, or toe, before another person's.
I have heard it said that one should love his neighbour as well as
himself; but for my part I love my ship better than my neighbour's, or my
neighbour himself; and I fancy, if the truth were known, my neighbour pays
me back in the same coin! For my part, I like a thing because it is mine."

A little before dark the head of the Montauk was inclined towards Lisbon,
as if her intention was to run in, but the moment the dark spot that
pointed out the position of the Foam was lost in the haze of the horizon,
Captain Truck gave the order to "_ware_" and sail was made to the
west-south-west.

Most of the passengers felt an intense curiosity to know the state of
things on the following morning, and all the men among them were dressed
and on deck just as the day began to break. The wind had been fresh and
steady all night, and as the ship had been kept with, her yards a little
checked, and topmast studding-sails set, the officers reported her to be
at least a hundred miles to the westward of the spot where she veered. The
reader will imagine the disappointment the latter experienced, then, when
they beheld the Foam a little on their weather-quarter, edging away for
them as assiduously as she had been hauling up for them, the night they
sailed from Portsmouth, distant little more than a league!

"This is indeed extraordinary perseverance," said Paul Blunt to Eve, at
whose side he was standing at the moment the fact was ascertained, "and I
think our captain might do well to heave-to and ascertain its cause."

"I hope not," cried his companion with vivacity. I confess to an _esprit
de corps_, and a gallant determination to 'see it out,' as Mr. Leach
styles his own resolution. One does not like to be followed about the
ocean in this manner, unless it be for the interest it gives the voyage.
After all, how much better is this than dull solitude, and what a zest it
gives to the monotony of the ocean!"

"Do you then find the ocean a scene of monotony?"

"Such it has oftener appeared to me than anything else, and I give it a
fair trial, having never _le mal de mer_. But I acquit it of this sin now;
for the interest of a chase, in reasonably good weather, is quite equal to
that of a horse-race, which is a thing I delight in. Even Mr. John
Effingham can look radiant under its excitement."

"And when this is the case, he is singularly handsome; a nobler outline of
face is seldom seen than that of Mr. John Effingham."

"He has a noble outline of soul, if he did but know it himself," returned
Eve, warmly: "I love no one as much as he, with the exception of my
father, and as Mademoiselle Viefville would say, _pour cause_."

The young man could have listened all day, but Eve smiled, bowed
graciously, though with a glistening eye, and hastily left the deck,
conscious of having betrayed some of her most cherished feelings to one
who had no claim to share them.

Captain Truck, while vexed to his heart's core, or, as he expressed it
himself, "struck aback, like an old lady shot off a hand-sled in sliding
down hill," was prompt in applying the old remedy to the evil. The Montauk
was again put before the wind, sail was made, and the fortunes of the
chase were once more cast on the "play of the ship."

The commander of the Foam certainly deprecated this change, for it was
hardly made before he set his ensign, and fired a gun. But of these
signals no other notice was taken than to show a flag in return, when the
captain and his mates proceeded to get the bearings of the sloop-of-war.
Ten minutes showed they were gaining; twenty did better and in an hour she
was well on the quarter.

Another day of strife succeeded, or rather of pure sailing, for not a
rope was started on board the Montauk, the wind still standing fresh and
steady. The sloop made many signals, all indicating a desire to speak the
Montauk, but Captain Truck declared himself too experienced a navigator to
be caught by bunting, and in too great a hurry to stop and chat by
the way.

"Vattel had laid down no law for such a piece of complaisance, in a time
of profound peace. I am not to be caught by that category."

The result may be anticipated from what has been already related. The two
ships kept before the wind until the Foam was again far astern, and the
observations of Captain Truck told him, he was as far south as the Azores.
In one of these islands he was determined to take refuge, provided he was
not favoured by accident, for going farther south was out of the question,
unless absolutely driven to it. Calculating his distance, on the evening
of the sixth day out, he found that he might reach an anchorage at Pico,
before the sloop-of-war could close with him, even allowing the necessity
of hauling up again by the wind.

But Providence had ordered differently. Towards midnight, the breeze
almost failed and became baffling, and when the day dawned the officer of
the watch reported that it was ahead. The pursuing ship, though still in
sight, was luckily so far astern and to leeward as to prevent any danger
from a visit by boats, and there was leisure to make the preparations that
might become necessary on the springing up of a new breeze. Of the speedy
occurrence of such a change there was now every symptom, the heavens
lighting up at the north-west, a quarter from which the genius of the
storms mostly delights in making a display of his power.




Chapter X



        I come with mightier things;
  Who calls mo silent? I have many tones--
  The dark sky thrills with low mysterious moans,
  Borne on my sweeping winds.

  MRS. HEMANS.


The awaking of the winds on the ocean is frequently attended with signs
and portents as sublime as any the fancy can conceive. On the present
occasion, the breeze that had prevailed so steadily for a week was
succeeded by light baffling puffs, as if, conscious of the mighty powers
of the air that were assembling in their strength, these inferior blasts
were hurrying to and fro for a refuge. The clouds, too, were whirling
about in uncertain eddies, many of the heaviest and darkest descending so
low along the horizon, that they had an appearance of settling on the
waters in quest of repose. But the waters themselves were unnaturally
agitated. The billows, no longer following each other in long regular
waves, were careering upwards, like fiery coursers suddenly checked in
their mad career. The usual order of the eternally unquiet ocean was lost
in a species of chaotic tossings of the element, the seas heaving
themselves upward, without order, and frequently without visible cause.
This was the reaction of the currents, and of the influence of breezes
still older than the last. Not the least fearful symptom of the hour was
the terrific calmness of the air amid such a scene of menacing wildness.
Even the ship came into the picture to aid the impression of intense
expectation; for with her canvas reduced, she, too, seemed to have lost
that instinct which had so lately guided her along the trackless waste,
and was "wallowing," nearly helpless, among the confused waters. Still she
was a beautiful and a grand object, perhaps more so at that moment than at
any other; for her vast and naked spars, her well-supported masts, and all
the ingenious and complicated hamper of the machine, gave her a
resemblance to some sinewy and gigantic gladiator, pacing the arena, in
waiting for the conflict that was at hand.

"This is an extraordinary scene," said Eve, who clung to her father's arm,
as she gazed around her equally in admiration and in awe; "a dreadful
exhibition of the sublimity of nature!"

"Although accustomed to the sea," returned Mr. Blunt, "I have witnessed
these ominous changes but twice before, and I think this the grandest of
them all."

"Were the others followed by tempests?" inquired the anxious parent.

"One brought a tremendous gale, while the other passed away like a
misfortune of which we get a near view, but are permitted to escape
the effects."

"I do not know that I wish such to be entirely our present fortune,"
rejoined Eve, "for there is so much sublimity in this view of the ocean
unaroused, that I feel desirous of seeing it when aroused."

"We are not in the hurricane latitudes, or hurricane months," resumed the
young man, "and it is not probable that there is anything more in reserve
for us than a hearty gale of wind, which may, at least, help us to get rid
of yonder troublesome follower."

"Even that I do not wish, provided he will let us continue the race on our
proper route. A chase across the Atlantic would be something to enjoy at
the moment, gentlemen, and something to talk of in after life."

"I wonder if such a thing be possible!" exclaimed Mr. Sharp; "it would
indeed be an incident to recount to another generation!"

"There is little probability of our witnessing such an exploit," Mr. Blunt
remarked, "for gales of wind on the ocean have the same separating
influence on consorts of the sea, that domestic gales have on consorts of
the land. Nothing is more difficult than to keep ships and fleets in sight
of each other in very heavy weather, unless, indeed, those of the best
qualities are disposed to humour those of the worst."

"I know not which may be called the best, or which the worst, in this
instance, for our tormentor appears to be as much better than ourselves in
some particulars, as we are better than he in others. If the humouring is
to come from our honest captain, it will be some such humouring as the
spoiled child gets from a capricious parent in moments o anger."

Mr. Truck passed the group at that instant, and heard his name coupled
with the word honest, in the mouth of Eve, though he lost the rest of
the sentence.

"Thank you for the compliment, my dear young lady," he said; "and I wish I
could persuade Captain Somebody, of his Britannic Majesty's ship Foam, to
be of the same way of thinking. It is all because he will not fancy me
honest in the article of tobacco, that he has got the Montauk down here,
on the Spanish coast, where the man who built her would not know her; so
unnatural and unseemly is it to catch a London liner so far out of her
track. I shall have to use double care to get the good craft home again."

"And why this particular difficulty, captain?" Eve, who was amused with
Mr. Truck's modes of speech, pleasantly inquired. "Is it not equally easy
to go from one part of the ocean, as from another?"

"Equally easy! Bless you, my dear young lady, you never made a more
capital mistake in your life. Do you imagine it is as easy to go from
London to New York, now, as to go from New York to London?"

"I am so ignorant as to have made this ridiculous mistake, if mistake it
be; nor do I now see why it should be otherwise."

"Simply because it is up-hill, ma'am. As for our position here to the
eastward of the Azores; the difficulty is soon explained. By dint of
coaxing I had got the good old ship so as to know every inch of the road
on the northern passage, and now I shall be obliged to wheedle her along
on a new route, like a shy horse getting through a new stable-door. One
might as well think of driving a pig from his sty, as to get a ship out of
her track."

"We trust to you to do all this and much more at need. But to what will
these grand omens lead? Shall we have a gale, or is so much magnificent
menacing to be taken as an empty threat of Nature's?"

"That we shall know in the coarse of the day, Miss Effingham, though
Nature is no bully, and seldom threatens in vain. There is nothing more
curious to study, or which needs a nicer eye to detect, than your winds."

"Of the latter I am fully persuaded, captain, for they are called the
'viewless winds,' you will remember, and the greatest authority we
possess, speaks of them as being quite beyond the knowledge of man: 'That
we may hear the sound of the wind, but cannot tell whence it cometh, or
whither it goeth.'"

"I do not remember the writer you mean, my dear young lady," returned Mr.
Truck, quite innocently; "but he was a sensible fellow, for I believe
Vattel has never yet dared to grapple with the winds. There are people who
fancy the weather is foretold in the almanack; but, according to my
opinion, it is safer to trust a rheumatis' of two or three years'
standing. A good, well-established, old-fashioned rheumatis'--I say
nothing of your new-fangled diseases, like the cholera, and varioloid, and
animal magnitudes--but a good old-fashioned rheumatis', such as people
used to have when I was a boy, is as certain a barometer as that which is
at this moment hanging up in the coach-house here, within two fathoms of
the very spot where we are standing. I once had a rheumatis' that I set
much store by, for it would let me know when to look out for easterly
weather, quite as infallibly as any instrument I ever sailed with. I never
told you the story of the old Connecticut horse-jockey, and the typhoon, I
believe; and as we are doing nothing but waiting for the weather to make
up its mind--"

"The weather to make up its mind!" exclaimed Eve, looking around her in
awe at the sublime and terrific grandeur of the ocean, of the heavens, and
of the pent and moody air; "is there an uncertainty in this?"

"Lord bless you! my dear young lady, the weather is often as uncertain,
and as undecided, and as hard to please, too, as an old girl who gets
sudden offers on the same day from a widower with ten children, an
attorney with one leg, and the parson of the parish. Uncertain, indeed!
Why I have known the weather in this grandiloquent condition for a whole
day. Mr. Dodge, there, will tell you it is making up its mind which way it
ought to blow, to be popular; so, as we have nothing better to do, Mr.
Effingham, I will tell you the story about my neighbour, the
horse-jockey. Hauling yards when there is no wind, is like playing on a
Jew's-Harp, at a concert of trombones."

Mr. Effingham made a complaisant sign of assent, and pressed the arm of
the excited Eve for patience.

"You must know, gentlemen," the captain commenced, looking round to
collect as many listeners as possible,--for he excessively disliked
lecturing to small audiences, when he had anything to say that he thought
particularly clever,--"you must know that we had formerly many craft
that went between the river and the islands--"

--"The river?" interrupted the amused Mr. Sharp.

"Certain; the Connecticut, I mean; we all call it the river down our
way--between the river and the West Indies, with horses, cattle, and
other knick-knacks of that description. Among others was old Joe Bunk, who
had followed the trade in a high-decked brig for some twenty-three years,
he and the brig having grown old in company, like man and wife. About
forty years since, our river ladies began to be tired of their bohea, and
as there was a good deal said in favour of souchong in those days, an
excitement was got up on the subject, as Mr. Dodge calls it, and it was
determined to make an experiment in the new quality, before they dipped
fairly into the trade. Well, what do you suppose was done in the premises,
as Vattel says, my dear young lady?"

Eve's eyes were still on the grand and portentous aspect of the heavens,
but she civilly answered,

"No doubt they sent to a shop and purchased a sample."

"Not they; they knew too much for that, since any rogue of a grocer might
cheat them. When the excitement had got a little headway on it, they
formed a tea society, with the parson's wife for presidentess, and her
oldest daughter for secretary. In this way they went to work, until the
men got into the fever too, and a project was set a-foot to send a craft
to China for a sample of what they wanted."

"China!" exclaimed Eve, this time looking the captain fairly in the face.

"China, certain; it lies off hereaway, you know, round on the other side
of the earth. Well, whom should they choose to go on the errand but old
Joe Bunk. The old man had been so often to the islands and back, without
knowing anything of navigation, they thought he was just their man, as
there was no such thing as losing him."

"One would think he was the very man to get lost," observed Mr. Effingham,
while the captain fitted a fresh cigar; for smoke he would, and did, in
any company, that was out of the cabin, although he always professed a
readiness to cease, if any person disliked the fragrance of tobacco.

"Not he, sir; he was just as well off in the Indian Ocean as he would be
here, for he knew nothing about, either. Well, Joe fitted up the brig; the
Seven Dollies was her name; for you must, know we had seven ladies in the
town, who were cally Dolly, and they each of them used to send a colt, or
a steer, or some other delicate article to the islands by Joe, whenever he
went; so he fitted up the Seven Dollies, hoisted in his dollars, and made
sail. The last that was seen or heard of the old man for eight months, was
off Montauk, where he was fallen in with, two days out, steering
south-easterly, by compass."

"I should think," observed John Effingham, who began to arouse himself as
the story proceeded, "that Mrs. Bunk must have been very uneasy all
this time?"

"Not she; she stuck to the bohea in hopes the souchong would arrive before
the restoration of the Jews. Arrive it did, sure enough, at the end of
eight months, and a capital adventure it proved for all concerned. Old Joe
got a great name in the river for the exploit, though how he got to China
no one could say, or how he got back again; or, for a long time, how he
got the huge heavy silver tea-pot, he brought home with him."

"A silver tea-pot?"

"Exactly that article. At last the truth came to be known; for it is not
an easy matter to hide anything of that nature down our way; it is
aristocratic, as Mr. Dodge says, to keep a secret. At first they tried Joe
with all sorts of questions, but he gave them 'guess' for 'guess.' Then
people began to talk, and finally it was fairly whispered that the old man
had stolen the tea-pot. This brought him before the meeting.--Law was out
of the question, you will understand, as there was no evidence; but the
meeting don't stick much at particulars, provided people talk a
good deal."

"And the result?" asked John Effingham, "I suppose the parish took the
tea-pot and left Joe the grounds."

"You are as far out of the way as we are here, down on the coast of Spain!
The truth is just this. The Seven Dollies was lying among the rest of
them, at anchor, below Canton, with the weather as fine as young girls
love to see it in May, when Joe began to get down his yards, to house his
masts, and to send out all his spare anchors. He even went so far as to
get two hawsers fastened to a junk that had grounded a little ahead of
him. This made a talk among the captains of the vessels, and some came on
board to ask the reason. Joe told them he was getting ready for the
typhoon; but when they inquired his reasons for believing there was to be
a typhoon at all, Joe looked solemn, shook his head, and said he had
reasons enough, but they were his own. Had he been explicit, he would have
been laughed at, but the sight of an old grey-headed man, who had been at
sea forty years, getting ready in this serious manner, set the others at
work too; for ships follow each other's movements, like sheep running
through a breach in the fence. Well, that night the typhoon came in
earnest, and it blew so hard, that Joe Bunk said he could see the houses
in the moon, all the air having blown out of the atmosphere."

"But what has this to do with the tea-pot, Captain Truck?"

"It is the life and soul of it. The captains in port were so delighted
with Joe's foreknowledge, that they clubbed, and presented him this pot as
a testimony of their gratitude and esteem. He'd got to be popular among
them, Mr. Dodge, and that was the way they proved it."

"But, pray, how did he know the storm was approaching?" asked Eve, whose
curiosity had been awakened in spite of herself. "It could not have been
that his 'foreknowledge' was supernatural."

"That no one can say, for Joe was presbyterian-built, as we say,
kettle-bottomed, and stowed well. The truth was not discovered until ten
years afterwards, when the old fellow got to be a regular cripple, what
between rheumatis', old age, and steaming. One day he had an attack of
the first complaint, and in one of its most severe paroxysms, when nature
is apt to wince, he roared three times, 'a typhoon! a typhoon! a typhoon!'
and the murder was out. Sure enough, the next day we had a regular
north-easter; but old Joe got no sign of popularity that time. And now,
when you get to America, gentlemen and ladies, you will be able to say you
have heard the story of Joe Bunk and his tea-pot."

Thereupon Captain Truck took two or three hearty whiffs of the cigar,
turned his face upwards, and permitted the smoke to issue forth in a
continued stream until it was exhausted, but still keeping his head raised
in the inconvenient position it had taken. The eye of the master, fastened
in this manner on something aloft, was certain to draw other eyes in the
same direction, and in a few seconds all around him were gazing in the
same way, though none but himself could tell why.

"Turn up the watch below, Mr. Leach," Captain Truck at length called out,
and Eve observed that he threw away the cigar, although a fresh one; a
proof, as she fancied, that he was preparing for duty.

The people were soon at their places, and an effort was made to get the
ship's head round to the southward. Although the frightful stillness of
the atmosphere rendered the manoeuvre difficult, it succeeded in the end,
by profiting by the passing and fitful currents, that resembled so many
sighings of the air. The men were then sent on the yards, to furl all the
canvas, with the exception of the three topsails and the fore-course, most
of it having been merely hauled up to await the result. All those who had
ever been at sea before, saw in these preparations proof that Captain
Truck expected the change would be sudden and severe: still, as he
betrayed no uneasiness, they hoped his measures were merely those of
prudence. Mr. Effingham could not refrain from inquiring, however, if
there existed any immediate motives for the preparations that were so
actively, though not hurriedly, making.

"This is no affair for the rheumatis'," returned the facetious master,
"for, look you here, my worthy sir, and you, my dear young lady,"--this
was a sort of parental familiarity the honest Jack fancied he had a right
to take with all his unmarried female passengers, in virtue of his office,
and of his being a bachelor drawing hard upon sixty;--"look you here, my
dear young lady, and you, too, ma'amselle, for you can understand the
clouds, I take it, if they are not French clouds; do you not see the
manner in which those black-looking rascals are putting their heads
together? They are plotting something quite in their own way, I'll
warrant you."

"The clouds are huddling, and rolling over each other, certainly,"
returned Eve, who had been struck with the wild beauty of their
evolutions, "and a noble, though fearful picture they present; but I do
not understand the particular meaning of it, if there be any hidden omen
in their airy flights."

"No rheumatis' about you, young lady," said the captain, jocularly; "too
young, and handsome, and too modern, too, I dare say, for that
old-fashioned complaint. But on one category you may rely, and that is,
that nothing in nature conspires without an object."

"But I do not think vapour whirling in a current of air is a conspiracy,"
answered Eve, laughing, "though it may be a category."

"Perhaps not,--who knows, however; for it is as easy to suppose that
objects understand each other, as that horses and dogs understand each
other. We know nothing about it, and, therefore, it behooves us to say
nothing. If mankind conversed only of the things they understood, half the
words might be struck out of the dictionaries. But, as I was remarking,
those clouds, you can see, are getting together, and are making ready for
a start, since here they will not be able to stay much longer."

"And what will compel them to disappear?"

"Do me the favour to turn your eyes here, to the nor'-west You see an
opening there that looks like a crouching lion; is it not so?"

"There is certainly a bright clear streak of sky along the margin of the
ocean, that has quite lately made its appearance; does it prove that the
wind will blow from that quarter?"

"Quite as much, my dear young lady, as when you open your window it
proves that you mean to put your head out of it."

"An act a well-bred young woman very seldom performs," observed
Mademoiselle Viefville; "and never in a town."

"No? Well, in our town on the river, the women's heads are half the time
out of the windows. But I do not pretend, ma'amselle, to be expert in
proprieties of this sort, though I can venture to say that I am somewhat
of a judge of what the winds would be about when they open _their_
shutters. This opening to the nor'-west, then, is a sure sign of something
coming out of the window, well-bred or not."

"But," added Eve, "the clouds above us, and those farther south, appear to
be hurrying towards your bright opening, captain, instead of from it."

"Quite in nature, gentlemen; quite in nature, ladies. When a man has fully
made up his mind to retreat, he blusters the most; and one step forward
often promises two backward. You often see the stormy petterel sailing at
a ship as if he meant to come aboard, but he takes good care to put his
helm down before he is fairly in the rigging. So it is with clouds, and
all other things in nature. Vattel says you may make a show of fight when
your necessities require it, but that a neutral cannot fire a gun, unless
against pirates. Now, these clouds are putting the best face on the
matter, but in a few minutes you will see them wheeling as St. Paul did
before them."

"St. Paul, Captain Truck!"

"Yes, my dear young lady; to the right about."

Eve frowned, for she disliked some of these nautical images, though it was
impossible not to smile in secret at the queer associations that so often
led the well-meaning master's discursive discourse. His mind was a strange
jumble of an early religious education,--religious as to externals and
professions, at least,--with subsequent loose observation and much worldly
experience, and he drew on his stock of information, according to his own
account of the matter, "as Saunders, the steward, cut the butter from the
firkins, or as it came first."

His prediction concerning the clouds proved to be true, for half an hour
did not pass before they were seen "scampering out of the way of the
nor'-wester," to use the captain's figure, "like sheep giving play to the
dogs." The horizon brightened with a rapidity almost supernatural, and, in
a surprisingly short space of time, the whole of that frowning vault that
had been shadowed by murky and menacing vapour, sporting its gambols in
ominous wildness, was cleared of everything like a cloud, with the
exception of a few white, rich, fleecy piles, that were grouped in the
north, like a battery discharging its artillery on some devoted field.

The ship betrayed the arrival of the wind by a cracking of the spars, as
they settled into their places, and then the huge hull began to push aside
the waters, and to come under control. The first shock was far from
severe, though, as the captain determined to bring his vessel up as near
his course as the direction of the breeze would permit, he soon found he
had as much canvas spread as she could bear. Twenty minutes brought him to
a single reef, and half an hour to a second.

By this time attention was drawn to the Foam. The old superiority of that
cruiser was now apparent again, and calculations were made concerning the
possibility of avoiding her, if they continued to stand on much longer on
the present course. The captain had hoped the Montauk would have the
advantage from her greater bulk, when the two vessels should be brought
down to close-reefed topsails, as he foresaw would be the case; but he was
soon compelled to abandon even that hope. Further to the southward he was
resolved he would not go, as it would be leading him too far astray, and,
at last, he came to the determination to stand towards the islands, which
were as near as might be in his track, and to anchor in a neutral
roadstead, if too hard pressed.

"He cannot get up with us before midnight. Leach," he concluded the
conference held with the mate by saying; "and by that time the gale will
be at its height, if we are to have a gale, and then the gentleman will
not be desirous of lowering his boats. In the mean time, we shall be
driving in towards the Azores, and it will be nothing out of the course of
nature, should I find an occasion to play him a trick. As for offering up
the Montauk a sacrifice on the altar of tobacco, as old Deacon Hourglass
used to say in his prayers, it is a category to be averted by any
catastrophe short of condemnation."




Chapter XI.



             I, that shower dewy light
  Through slumbering leaves, bring storms!--the tempest birth
  Of memory, thought, remorse.--Be holy, Earth!
  I am the solemn Night!

  MRS. HEMANS.


In this instance, it is not our task to record any of the phenomena of the
ocean, but a regular, though fierce gale of wind. One of the first signs
of its severity was the disappearance of the passengers from the deck, one
shutting himself in his room after another, until none remained visible
but John Effingham and Paul Blunt. Both these gentlemen, as it appeared,
had made so many passages, and had got to be so familiar with ships, that
sea-sickness and alarms were equally impotent as respects their
constitutions and temperaments.

The poor steerage-passengers were no exception, but they stole for refuge
into their dens, heartily repentant, for the time being, at having braved
the dangers and discomforts of the sea. The gentle wife of Davis would now
willingly have returned to meet the resentment of her uncle; and as for
the bridegroom himself, as Mr. Leach, who passed through this scene of
abominations to see that all was right, described him,--"Mr. Grab would
not wring him for a dish-cloth, if he could see him in his
present pickle."

Captain Truck chuckled a good deal at this account, for he had much the
same sympathy for ordinary cases of sea-sickness, as a kitten feels in the
agony of the first mouse it has caught, and which it is its sovereign
pleasure to play with, instead of eating.

"It serves him right, Mr. Leach, for getting married; and mind you don't
fall into the same abuse of your opportunities," he said, with an air of
self-satisfaction, while comparing three or four cigars in the palm of his
hand doubtful which of the fragrant plump rolls to put into his mouth.
"Getting married, Mr. Blunt, commonly makes a man a fit subject for
nausea, and nothing is easier than to set the stomach-pump in motion in
one of your bridegrooms; is not this true as the gospel, Mr. John
Effingham?"

Mr. John Effingham made no reply,--but the young man who at the moment was
admiring his fine form, and the noble outline of his features, was
singularly struck with the bitterness, not to say anguish, of the smile
with which he bowed a cold assent. All this was lost on Captain Truck who
proceeded _con amore._

"One of the first things that I ask concerning my passengers is, is he
married? when the answer is 'no,' I set him down as a good companion in a
gale like this, or as one who can smoke, or crack a joke when a topsail is
flying out of a bolt-rope,--a companion for a category. Now, if either of
you gentlemen had a wife, she would have you under hatches to-day, lest
you should slip through a scupperhole,--or be washed overboard with the
spray,--or have your eye-brows blown away in such a gale, and then I
should lose the honour of your company. Comfort is too precious to be
thrown away in matrimony. A man may gain foreknowledge by a wife, but he
loses free agency. As for you, Mr. John Effingham, you must have coiled
away about half a century of life, and there is not much to fear on your
account; but Mr. Blunt is still young enough to be in danger of a mishap.
I wish Neptune would come aboard of us, hereaway, and swear you to be true
and constant to yourself, young gentleman."

Paul laughed, coloured slightly, and then rallying, he replied in the same
voice,

"At the risk of losing your good opinion, captain, and even in the face of
this gale, I shall avow myself an advocate of matrimony,"

"If you will answer me one question, my dear sir, I will tell you whether
the case is or is not hopeless."

"In order to assent to this, you will of course see the necessity of
letting me know what the question is."

"Have you made up your mind who the young woman shall be? If that point is
settled, I can only recommend to you some of Joe Bunk's souchong, and
advise you to submit, for there is no resisting one's fate. The reason
your Turks yield so easily to predestination and fate, is the number of
their wives. Many a book is written to show the cause of their submitting
their necks so easily to the sword and the bow-string. I've been in
Turkey, gentlemen, and know something of their ways. The reason of their
submitting so quietly to be beheaded is, that they are always ready to
hang themselves. How is the fact, sir? Have you settled upon the young
lady in your own mind or not?"

Although there was nothing in all this but the permitted trifling of boon
companions on ship-board, Paul Blunt received it with an awkwardness one
would hardly have expected in a young man of his knowledge of the world.
He reddened, laughed, made an effort to throw the captain to a greater
distance by reserve, and in the end fairly gave up the matter by walking
to another part of the deck. Luckily, the attention of the honest master
was drawn to the ship, at that instant, and Paul flattered himself he was
unperceived; but the shadow of a figure at his elbow startled him, and
turning quickly, he found Mr. John Effingham at his side.

"Her mother was an angel," said the latter huskily. "I too love her; but
it is as a father."

"Sir!--Mr. Effingham!--These are sudden and unexpected remarks, and such
as I am not prepared for."

"Do you think one as jealous of that fair creature as I, could have
overlooked your passion?--She is loved by _both_ of you, and she merits
the warmest affection of a thousand. Persevere, for while I have no voice,
and, I fear, little influence on her decision, some strange sympathy
causes me to wish you success. My own man told me that you have met
before, and with her father's knowledge, and this is all I ask, for my
kinsman is discreet. He probably knows you, though I do not."

The face of Paul glowed like fire, and he almost gasped for breath.
Pitying his distress, Effingham smiled kindly, and was about to quit him,
when he felt his hand convulsively grasped by those of the young man.

"Do not quit me, Mr. Effingham, I entreat you," he said rapidly; "it is so
unusual for me to hear words of confidence, or even of kindness, that they
are most precious to me! I have permitted myself to be disturbed by the
random remarks of that well-meaning, but unreflecting man; but in a moment
I shall be more composed--more manly--less unworthy of your attention
and pity."

"Pity is a word I should never have thought of applying to the person,
character, attainments, or, as I hoped, fortunes of Mr. Blunt; and I
sincerely trust that you will acquit me of impertinence. I have felt an
interest in you, young man, that I have long ceased to feel in most of my
species, and I trust this will be some apology for the liberty I have
taken. Perhaps the suspicion that you were anxious to stand well in the
good opinion of my little cousin was at the bottom of it all."

"Indeed you have not misconceived my anxiety, sir; for who is there that
could be indifferent to the good opinion of one so simple and yet so
cultivated; with a mind in which nature and knowledge seem to struggle for
the possession. One, Mr. Effingham, so little like the cold sophistication
and heartlessness of Europe on the one hand, and the unformed girlishness
of America, on the other; one, in short, so every way what the fondest
father or the most sensitive brother could wish."

John Effingham smiled, for to smile at any weakness was with him a habit;
but his eye glistened. After a moment of doubt, he turned to his young
companion, and with a delicacy of expression and a dignity of manner that
none could excel him in, when he chose, he put a question that for several
days had been uppermost in his thoughts, though no fitting occasion had
ever before offered, on which he thought he might venture.

"This frank confidence emboldens me--one who ought to be ashamed to boast
of his greater experience, when every day shows him to how little profit
it has been turned, to presume to render our acquaintance less formal by
alluding to interests more personal than strangers have a right to touch
on. You speak of the two parts of the world just mentioned, in a way to
show me you are equally acquainted with both."

"I have often crossed the ocean, and, for so young a man, have seen a full
share of their societies. Perhaps it increases my interest in your lovely
kinswoman, that, like myself, she properly belongs to neither."

"Be cautious how you whisper that in her ear, my youthful friend; for Eve
Effingham fancies herself as much American in character as in birth.
Single-minded and totally without management,--devoted to her duties,---
religious without cant,--a warm friend of liberal institutions, without
the slightest approach to the impracticable, in heart and soul a woman,
you will find it hard to persuade her, that with all her practice in the
world, and all her extensive attainments, she is more than a humble copy
of heir own great _beau ideal_."

Paul smiled, and his eyes met those of John Effingham--the expression of
both satisfied the parties that they thought alike in more things than in
their common admiration of the subject of their discourse.

"I feel I have not been as explicit as I ought to be with you, Mr.
Effingham," the young, man resumed, after a pause; "but on a more fitting
occasion, I shall presume on your kindness to be less reserved. My lot has
thrown me on the world, almost without friends, quite without relatives,
so far as intercourse with them is concerned; and I have known little of
the language or the acts of the affections."

John Effingham pressed his hand, and from that time he cautiously
abstained from any allusion to his personal concerns; for a suspicion
crossed his mind that the subject was painful to the young man. He knew
that thousands of well-educated and frequently of affluent people, of both
sexes, were to be found in Europe, to whom, from the circumstance of
having been born out of wedlock, through divorces, or other family
misfortunes, their private histories were painful, and he at once inferred
that some such event, quite probably the first, lay at the bottom of Paul
Blunt's peculiar situation. Notwithstanding his warm attachment to Eve, he
had too much confidence in her own as well as in her father's judgment, to
suppose an acquaintance of any intimacy would be lightly permitted; and
as to the mere prejudices connected with such subjects, he was quite free
from them. Perhaps his masculine independence of character caused him, on
all such points, to lean to the side of the _ultra_ in liberality.

In this short dialogue, with the exception of the slight though
unequivocal allusion of John Effingham, both bad avoided any farther
allusions to Mr. Sharp, or to his supposed attachment to Eve. Both were
confident of its existence, and this perhaps was one reason why neither
felt any necessity to advert to it: for it was a delicate subject, and
one, under the circumstances, that they would mutually wish to forget in
their cooler moments. The conversation then took a more general character,
and for several hours that day, while the rest of the passengers were kept
below by the state of the weather, these two were together, laying, what
perhaps it was now too late to term, the foundation of a generous and
sincere friendship. Hitherto Paul had regarded John Effingham with
distrust and awe, but he found him a man so different from what report and
his own fancy had pictured, that the reaction in his feelings served to
heighten them, and to aid in increasing his respect. On the other hand,
the young man exhibited so much modest good sense, a fund of information
so much beyond his years, such integrity and justice of sentiment, that
when they separated for the night, the old bachelor was full of regret
that nature had not made him the parent of such a son.

All this time the business of the ship had gone on. The wind increased
steadily, until, as the sun went down, Captain Truck announced it, in the
cabin, to be a "regular-built gale of wind." Sail after sail had been
reduced or furled until the Montauk was lying-to under her foresail, a
close-reefed main-top-sail, a fore-top-mast stay-sail, and a mizzen
stay-sail. Doubts were even entertained whether the second of these sails
would not have to be handed soon, and the foresail itself reefed.

The ship's head was to the south-south-west, her drift considerable, and
her way of course barely sufficient to cause her to feel her helm. The
Foam had gained on her several miles during the time sail could be
carried; but she, also, had been obliged to heave-to, at the same
increase of the sea and wind as that which had forced Mr. Truck to lash
his wheel down. This state of things made a considerable change in the
relative positions of the two vessels again; the next morning showing the
sloop-of-war hull down, and well on the weather-beam of the packet. Her
sharper mould and more weatherly qualities had done her this service, as
became a ship intended for war and the chase.

At all this, however, Captain Truck laughed. He could not be boarded in
such weather, and it was matter of indifference where his pursuer might
be, so long as he had time to escape, when the gale ceased. On the whole,
he was rather glad than otherwise of the present state of things, for it
offered a chance to slip away to leeward as soon as the weather would
permit, if, indeed, his tormentor did not altogether disappear in the
northern board, or to windward.

The hopes and fears of the worthy master, however, were poured principally
into the ears of his two mates; for few of the passengers were visible
until the afternoon of the second day of the gale; then, indeed, a general
relief to their physical suffering occurred, though it was accompanied by
apprehensions that scarcely permitted the change to be enjoyed. About
noon, on that day, the wind came with such power, and the seas poured down
against the bows of the ship with a violence so tremendous, that it got to
be questionable whether she could any longer remain with safety in her
present condition. Several times in the course of the morning, the waves
had forced her bows off, and before the ship could recover her position,
the succeeding billow would break against her broadside, and throw a flood
of water on her decks. This is a danger peculiar to lying-to in a gale;
for if the vessel get into the trough of the sea, and is met in that
situation by a wave of unusual magnitude, she runs the double risk of
being thrown on her beam-ends, and of having her decks cleared of
everything, by the cataract of water that washes athwart them. Landsmen
entertain little notion of the power of the waters, when driven before a
tempest, and are often surprised, in reading of naval catastrophes, at the
description of the injuries done. But experience shows that boats,
hurricane-houses, guns, anchors of enormous weight, bulwarks and planks,
are even swept off into the ocean, in this manner, or are ripped up from
their fastenings.

The process of lying-to has a double advantage, so long as it can be
maintained, since it offers the strongest portion of the vessel to the
shock of the seas, and has the merit of keeping her as near as possible to
the desired direction. But it is a middle course, being often adopted as
an expedient of safety when a ship cannot scud; and then, again, it is
abandoned for scudding when the gale is so intensely severe that it
becomes in itself dangerous. In nothing are the high qualities of ships so
thoroughly tried as in their manner of behaving, as it is termed, in these
moments of difficulty; nor is the seamanship of the accomplished officer
so triumphantly established in any other part of his professional
knowledge, as when he has had an opportunity of showing that he knows how
to dispose of the vast weight his vessel is to carry, so as to enable her
mould to exhibit its perfection, and on occasion to turn both to the
best account.

Nothing will seem easier to a landsman than for a vessel to run before the
wind, let the force of the gale be what it may. But his ignorance
overlooks most of the difficulties, nor shall we anticipate their dangers,
but let them take their places in the regular thread of the narrative.

Long before noon, or the hour mentioned, Captain Truck foresaw that, in
consequence of the seas that were constantly coming on board of her, he
should be compelled to put his ship before the wind. He delayed the
manoeuvre to the last moment, however, for what he deemed to be sufficient
reasons. The longer he kept the ship lying-to, the less he deviated from
his proper course to New York, and the greater was the probability of his
escaping, stealthily and without observation from the Foam, since the
latter, by maintaining her position better, allowed the Montauk to drift
gradually to leeward, and, of course, to a greater distance.

But the crisis would no longer admit of delay. All hands were called; the
maintop-sail was hauled up, not without much difficulty, and then Captain
Truck reluctantly gave the order to haul down the mizzen-stay-sail, to put
the helm hard up, and to help the ship round with the yards. This is at
all times a critical change, as has just been mentioned for the vessel is
exposed to the ravages of any sea, larger than common, that may happen to
strike her as she lies nearly motionless, with her broadside exposed to
its force. To accomplish it, therefore, Captain Truck went up a few
ratlines in the fore-rigging, (he was too nice a calculator to offer even
a surface as small as his own body to the wind, in the after shrouds,)
whence he looked out to windward for a lull, and a moment when the ocean
had fewer billows than common of the larger and more dangerous kind. At
the desired instant he signed with his hand, and the wheel was shifted
from hard-down to hard-up.

This is always a breathless moment in a ship, for as none can foresee the
result, it resembles the entrance of a hostile battery. A dozen men may be
swept away in an instant, or the ship herself hove over on her side. John
Effingham and Paul, who of all the passengers were alone on deck,
understood the hazards, and they watched the slightest change with the
interest of men who had so much at stake. At first the movement of the
ship was sluggish, and such as ill-suited the eagerness of the crew. Then
her pitching ceased, and she settled into the enormous trough bodily, or
the whole fabric sunk, as it were, never to rise again. So low did she
fall, that the foresail gave a tremendous flap; one that shook the hull
and spars from stem to stern. As she rose on the next surge, happily its
foaming crest slid beneath her, and the tall masts rolled heavily to
windward. Recovering her equilibrium, the ship started through the brine,
and as the succeeding roller came on, she was urging ahead fast. Still,
the sea struck her abeam, forcing her bodily to leeward, and heaving the
lower yardarms into the ocean. Tons of water fell on her decks, with the
dull sound of the clod on the coffin. At this grand moment, old Jack
Truck, who was standing in the rigging, dripping with he spray, that had
washed over him, with a naked head, and his grey hair glistening, shouted
like a Stentor, "Haul in your fore-braces, boys! away with the yard, like
a fiddlestick!" Every nerve was strained; the unwilling yards, pressed
upon by an almost irresistible column of air, yielded slowly, and as the
sail met the gale more perpendicularly, or at right angles to its surface,
it dragged the vast hull through the sea with a power equal to that of a
steam-engine. Ere another sea could follow, the Montauk was glancing
through the ocean at a furious rate, and though offering her quarter to
the billows, their force was now so much diminished by her own velocity,
as to deprive them of their principal danger.

The motion of the ship immediately became easy, though her situation was
still far from being without risk. No longer compelled to buffet the
waves, but sliding along in their company, the motion ceased to disturb
the systems of the passengers, and ten minutes had not elapsed before most
of them were again on deck, seeking the relief of the open air. Among the
others was Eve, leaning on the arm of her father.

It was a terrific scene, though one might now contemplate it without
personal inconvenience. The gentlemen gathered around the beautiful and
appalled spectatress of this grand sight, anxious to know the effect it
might produce on one of her delicate frame and habits. She expressed
herself as awed, but not alarmed; for the habits of dependence usually
leave females less affected by fear, in such cases, than those who, by
their sex, are supposed to be responsible.

"Mademoiselle Viefville has promised to follow me," she said, "and as I
have a national claim to be a sailor, you are not to expect hysterics or
even ecstasies from me; but reserve yourselves, gentlemen, for the
_Parisienne_."

The _Parisienne_, sure enough, soon came out of the hurricane-house, with
elevated hands, and eyes eloquent of admiration, wonder and fear. Her
first exclamations were those of terror, and then turning a wistful look
on Eve, she burst into tears. "_Ah, ceci est decisif!_" she exclaimed.
"When we part, we shall be separated for life."

"Then we will not part at all, my dear mademoiselle; you have only to
remain in America, to escape all future inconveniences of the ocean. But
forget the danger, and admire the sublimity of this terrific panorama."

Well might Eve thus term the scene. The hazards now to be avoided were
those of the ship's broaching-to, and of being pooped. Nothing may seem
easier, as has been said, than to "sail before the wind," the words having
passed into a proverb; but there are times when even a favouring gale
becomes prolific of dangers, that we shall now briefly explain.

The velocity of the water, urged as it is before a tempest, is often as
great as that of the ship, and at such moments the rudder is useless, its
whole power being derived from its action as a moving body against the
element in comparative repose. When ship and water move together, at an
equal rate, in the same direction, of course this power of the helm is
neutralized, and then the hull is driven much at the mercy of the winds
and waves. Nor is this all; the rapidity of the billows often exceeds that
of a ship, and then the action of the rudder becomes momentarily reversed,
producing an effect exactly opposite to that which is desired. It is true,
this last difficulty is never of more than a few moments' continuance,
else indeed would the condition of the mariner be hopeless; but it is of
constant occurrence, and so irregular as to defy calculations and defeat
caution. In the present instance, the Montauk would seem to fly through
the water, so swift was her progress; and then, as a furious surge
overtook her in the chase, she settled heavily into the element, like a
wounded animal, that, despairing of escape, sinks helplessly in the grass,
resigned to fate. At such times the crests of the waves swept past her,
like vapour in the atmosphere, and one unpractised would be apt to think
the ship stationary, though in truth whirling along in company with a
frightful momentum.

It is scarcely necessary to say, that the process of scudding requires the
nicest attention to the helm, in order that the hull may be brought
speedily back to the right direction, when thrown aside by the power of
the billows; for, besides losing her way in the caldron of water--an
imminent danger of itself--if left exposed to the attack of the succeeding
wave, her decks, at least, would be swept, even should she escape a still
more serious calamity.

Pooping is a hazard of another nature, and is also peculiar to the process
of scudding. It merely means the ship's being overtaken by the waters
while running from them, when the crest of a sea, broken by the
resistance, is thrown in-board, over the taffrail or quarter. The term is
derived from the name of that particular portion of the ship. In order to
avoid this risk, sail is carried on the vessel as long as possible, it
being deemed one of the greatest securities of scudding, to force the hull
through the water at the greatest attainable rate. In consequence of these
complicated risks, ships that sail the fastest and steer the easiest, scud
the best. There is, however, a species of velocity that becomes of itself
a source of new danger; thus, exceedingly sharp vessels have been known to
force themselves so far into the watery mounds in their front, and to
receive so much of the element on decks, as never to rise again. This is a
fate to which those who attempt to sail the American clipper, without
understanding its properties, are peculiarly liable. On account of this
risk, however, there was now no cause of apprehension, the full-bowed,
kettle-bottomed Montauk being exempt from the danger; though Captain Truck
intimated his doubts whether the corvette would like to brave the course
he had himself adopted.

In this opinion, the fact would seem to sustain the master of the packet;
for when the night shut in, the spars of the Foam were faintly
discernible, drawn like spiders' webs on the bright streak of the evening
sky. In a few more minutes, even this tracery, which resembled that of a
magic-lantern, vanished from the eyes of those aloft; for it had not been
seen by any on deck for more than an hour.

The magnificent horrors of the scene increased with the darkness. Eve and
her companions stood supported by the hurricane-house, watching it for
hours, the supernatural-looking light, emitted by the foaming sea,
rendering the spectacle one of attractive terror. Even the consciousness
of the hazards heightened the pleasure; for there was a solemn and grand
enjoyment mingled with it all, and the first watch had been set an hour,
before the party had resolution enough to tear themselves from the sublime
sight of a raging sea.




Chapter XII.



  _Touch._ Wast ever in court, shepherd?
  _Cor._ No, truly.
  _Touch._ Then thou art damn'd.
  _Cor._ Nay, I hope----
  _Touch._ Truly, thou art damn'd, like an ill-roasted egg, all on
                one side.

  AS YOU LIKE IT.


No one thought of seeking his berth when all the passengers were below.
Some conversed in broken, half intelligible dialogues, a few tried
unavailingly to read, and more sat looking at each other in silent
misgivings, as the gale howled through the cordage and spars, or among the
angles and bulwarks of the ship. Eve was seated on a sofa in her own
apartment, leaning on the breast of her father, gazing silently through
the open doors into the forward cabin; for all idea of retiring within
oneself, unless it might be to secret prayer, was banished from the mind.
Even Mr. Dodge had forgotten the gnawings of envy, his philanthropical and
exclusive democracy, and, what was perhaps more convincing still of his
passing views of this sublunary world, his profound deference for rank, as
betrayed in his strong desire to cultivate an intimacy with Sir George
Templemore. As for the baronet himself, he sat by the cabin-table with his
face buried in his hands, and once he had been heard to express a regret
that he had ever embarked.

Saunders broke the moody stillness of this characteristic party, with
preparations for a supper. He took but one end of the table for his cloth,
and a single cover showed that Captain Truck was about to dine, a thing he
had not yet done that day. The attentive steward had an eye to his
commander's tastes; for it is not often one sees a better garnished board
than was spread on this occasion, so far at least as quantity was
concerned. Besides the usual solids of ham, corned-beef, and roasted
shoat, there were carcasses of ducks, pickled oysters--a delicacy almost
peculiar to America--and all the minor condiments of olives, anchovies,
dates, figs, almonds, raisins, cold potatoes, and puddings, displayed in a
single course, and arranged on the table solely with regard to the reach
of Captain Truck's arm. Although Saunders was not quite without taste, he
too well knew the propensities of his superior to neglect any of these
important essentials, and great care was had, in particular, so to dispose
of everything as to render the whole so many radii diverging from a common
centre, which centre was the stationary arm-chair that the master of the
packet loved to fill in his hours of ease.

"You will make many voyages, Mr. Toast,"--the steward affectedly gave his
subordinate, or as he was sometimes facetiously called, the steward's
mate, reason to understand, when they had retired to the pantry to await
the captain's appearance--"before you accumulate all the niceties of a
gentleman's dinner. Every _plat_," (Saunders had been in the Havre line,
where he had caught a few words of this nature,) "every _plat_ should be
within reach of the _convive's_ arm, and particularly if it happen to be
Captain Truck, who has a great awersion to delays at his diet. As for the
_entremets_, they may be scattered miscellaneously with the salt and the
mustard, so that they can come with facility in their proper places."

"I don't know what an _entremet_ is," returned the subordinate, "and I
exceedingly desire, sir, to receive my orders in such English as a
gentleman can diwine."

"An _entremet_, Mr. Toast, is a mouthful thrown in promiscuously between
the reliefs of the solids. Now, suppose a gentleman begins on pig; when he
has eaten enough of this, he likes a little brandy and water, or a glass
of porter, before he cuts into the beef; and while I'm mixing the first,
or starting the cork, he refreshes himself with an _entremet_, such as a
wing of a duck, or perhaps a plate of pickled oysters. You must know that
there is great odds in passengers; one set eating and jollifying, from the
hour we sail till the hour we get in, while another takes the ocean as it
might be sentimentally."

"Sentimentally, sir! I s'pose those be they as uses the basins uncommon?"

"That depends on the weather. I've known a party not eat as much as would
set one handsome table in a week, and then, when they conwalesced, it was
intimidating how they dewoured. It makes a great difference, too, whether
the passengers acquiesce well together or not, for agreeable feelings give
a fine appetite. Lovers make cheap passengers always."

"That is extr'or'nary, for I thought such as they was always hard to
please, with every thing but one another."

"You never were more mistaken. I've seen a lover who couldn't tell a sweet
potato from an onion, or a canvas-back from an old wife. But of all
mortals in the way of passengers, the bagman or go-between is my greatest
animosity. These fellows will sit up all night, if the captain consents,
and lie abed next day, and do nothing but drink in their berths. Now, this
time we have a compliable set, and on the whole, it is quite a
condescension and pleasure to wait on them."

"Well, I think, Mr. Saunders, they isn't alike as much as they might be
'nother."

"Not more so than wenison and pig. Perfectly correct, sir; for this cabin
is a lobskous as regards deportment and character. I set all the
Effinghams down as tip-tops, or, A No. 1, as Mr. Leach calls the ship; and
then Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt are quite the gentlemen. Nothing is easier,
Mr. Toast, than to tell a gentleman; and as you have set up a new
profession,--in which I hope, for the credit of the colour, you will be
prosperous,--it is well worth your while to know how this is done,
especially as you need never expect much from a passenger, that is not a
true gentleman, but trouble. There is Mr. John Effingham, in particular;
his man says he never anticipates change, and if a coat confines his arm,
he repudiates it on the spot."

"Well, it must be a satisfaction to serve such a companion, I think Mr.
Dodge, sir, quite a feller."

"Your taste, Toast, is getting to be observable, and by cultivating it,
you will soon be remarkable for a knowledge of mankind. Mr. Dodge, as you
werry justly insinuate, is not werry refined, or particularly well suited
to figure in genteel society."

"And yet he seems attached to it Mr. Saunders, for he has purposed to
establish five or six societies since we sailed."

"Werry true, sir; but then every society is not genteel. When we get back
to New York, Toast, I must see and get you into a better set than the one
you occupied when we sailed. You will not do yet for our circle, which is
altogether conclusive; but you might be elevated. Mr. Dodge has been
electioneering with me, to see if we cannot inwent a society among the
steerage-passengers for the abstinence of liquors, and another for the
perpetration of the morals and religious principles of our forefathers. As
for the first, Toast, I told him it was sufficiently indurable to be
confined in a hole like the steerage, without being percluded from the
consolation of a little drink; and as for the last, it appeared to me that
such a preposition inwolwed an attack on liberty of conscience."

"There you give'd him, sir, quite as good as he sent," returned the
steward's mate, chuckling, or perhaps sniggering would be a word better
suited to his habits of cachinnation, "and I should have been glad to
witness his confusion. It seems to me, Mr. Saunders, that Mr. Dodge loves
to get up his societies in support of liberty and religion, that he may
predominate over both by his own inwentions."

Saunders laid his long yellow finger on the broad flat nose of his mate,
with an air of approbation, as he replied,

"Toast, you have hit his character as pat as I touch your Roman. He is a
man fit to make proselytes among the wulgar and Irish,"--the Hibernian
peasant and the American negro are sworn enemies--"but quite unfit for
anything respectable or decent. Were it not for Sir George, I would
scarcely descend to clean his state-room."

"What is your sentiments, Mr. Saunders, respecting Sir George?"

"Why, Sir George is a titled gentleman, and of course is not to be
strictured too freely. He has complimented me already with a sovereign,
and apprised me of his intention to be more particular when we get in."

"I feel astonished such a gentleman should neglect to insure a state-room
to his own convenience."

"Sir George has elucidated all that in a conversation we had in his room,
soon after our acquaintance commenced. He is going to Canada on public
business, and sailed at an hour's interval. He was too late for a single
room, and his own man is to follow with most of his effects by the next
ship. Oh! Sir George may be safely put down as respectable and
liberalized, though thrown into disparagement perhaps by forty
circumstances."

Mr. Saunders, who had run his vocabulary hard in this conversation, meant
to say "fortuitous;" and Toast thought that so many circumstances might
well reduce a better man to a dilemma. After a moment of thought, or what
in his orbicular shining features he fancied passed for thought,
he said,--

"I seem to diwine, Mr. Saunders, that the Effinghams do not much intimate
Sir George."

Saunders looked out of the pantry-door to reconnoitre, and finding the
sober quiet already described reigning, he opened a drawer, and drew forth
a London newspaper.

"To treat you with the confidence of a gentleman in a situation as
respectable and responsible as the one you occupy, Mr. Toast," he said, "a
little ewent has transpired in my presence yesterday, that I thought
sufficiently particular to be designated by retaining this paper. Mr.
Sharp and Sir George happened to be in the cabin together, alone, and the
last, as it suggested to me, Toast, was desirous of removing some of the
haughter of the first, for you may have observed that there has been no
conversation between any of the Effinghams, or Mr. Blunt, or Mr. Sharp,
and the baronet; and so to break the ice of his haughter, as it might be,
Sir George says, 'Really, Mr. Sharp, the papers have got to be so
personally particular, that one cannot run into the country for a mouthful
of fresh air that they don't record it. Now, I thought not a soul knew of
my departure for America, and yet here you see they have mentioned it,
with more particulars than are agreeable.' On concluding, Sir George gave
Mr. Sharp this paper, and indicated this here paragraph. Mr. Sharp perused
it, laid down the paper, and retorted coldly, 'It is indeed quite
surprising, sir; but impudence is a general fault of the age.' And then he
left the cabin solus. Sir George was so wexed, he went into his
state-room and forgot the paper, which fell to the steward, you know, on a
principle laid down in Wattel, Toast"

Here the two worthies indulged in a smothered merriment of their own at
the expense of their commander; for though a dignified man in general, Mr.
Saunders could laugh on occasion, and according to his own opinion of
himself he danced particularly well.

"Would you like to read the paragraph, Mr. Toast?"

"Quite unnecessary, sir; your account will be perfectly legible and
satisfactory."

By this touch of politeness, Mr. Toast, who knew as much of the art of
reading as a monkey commonly knows of mathematics, got rid of the
awkwardness of acknowledging the careless manner in which he had trifled
with his early opportunities. Luckily, Mr. Saunders, who had been educated
as a servant in a gentleman's family, was better off, and as he was vain
of all his advantages, he was particularly pleased to have an opportunity
of exhibiting them. Turning to the paragraph he read the following lines,
in that sort of didactic tone and elaborate style with which gentlemen who
commence the graces after thirty are a little apt to make bows:

"We understand Sir George Templemore, Bart., the member for Boodleigh, is
about to visit our American colonies, with a view to make himself
intimately acquainted with the merits of the unpleasant questions by which
they are just now agitated, and with the intention of entering into the
debates in the house on that interesting subject on his return. We believe
that Sir George will sail in the packet of the first from Liverpool, and
will return in time to be in his seat after the Easter holidays. His
people and effects left town yesterday by the Liverpool coach. During the
baronet's absence, his country will be hunted by Sir Gervaise de Brush,
though the establishment at Templemore Hall will be kept up."

"How came Sir George here, then?" Mr. Toast very naturally inquired.

"Having been kept too late in London, he was obliged to come this way or
to be left. It is sometimes as close work to get the passengers on board,
Mr. Toast, as to get the people. I have often admired how gentlemen and
ladies love procrastinating, when dishes that ought to be taken hot, are
getting to be quite insipid and uneatable."

"Saunders!" cried the hearty voice of Captain Truck, who had taken
possession of what he called his throne in the cabin. All the steward's
elegant diction and finish of demeanour vanished at the well-known sound,
and thrusting his head out of the pantry-door, he gave the prompt
ship-answer to a call,

"Ay, ay, sir!"

"Come, none of your dictionary in the pantry there, but show your
physiognomy in my presence. What the devil do you think Vattel would say
to such a supper as this?"

"I think, sir, he would call it a werry good supper, for a ship in a hard
gale of wind. That's my honest opinion, Captain Truck, and I never deceive
any gentleman in a matter of food. I think, Mr. Wattel would approve of
that there supper, sir."

"Perhaps he might, for he has made blunders as well as another man. Go,
mix me a glass of just what I love when I've not had a drop all day.
Gentlemen, will any of you honour me, by sharing in a cut? This beef is
not indigestible, and here is a real Marylander, in the way of a ham. No
want of oakum to fill up the chinks with, either."

Most of the gentlemen were too full of the gale to wish to eat; besides
they had not fasted like Captain Truck since morning. But Mr. Monday, the
bagman, as John Effingham had termed him, and who had been often enough at
sea to know something of its varieties, consented to take a glass of
brandy and water, as a corrective of the Madeira he had been swallowing.
The appetite of Captain Truck was little affected by the state of the
weather, however; for though too attentive to his duties to quit the deck
until he had ascertained how matters were going on, now that he had fairly
made up his mind to eat, he set about it with a heartiness and simplicity
that proved his total disregard of appearances when his hunger was sharp.
For some time he was too much occupied to talk, making regular attacks
upon the different _plats_, as Mr. Saunders called them, without much
regard to the cookery or the material. The only pauses were to drink, and
this was always done with a steadiness that never left a drop in the
glass. Still Mr. Truck was a temperate man; for he never consumed more
than his physical wants appeared to require, or his physical energies knew
how to dispose of. At length, however, he came to the steward's
_entremets_, or he began to stuff what he, himself, had called "oakum,"
into the chinks of his dinner.

Mr. Sharp had watched the whole process from the ladies' cabin, as indeed
had Eve, and thinking this a favourable occasion to ascertain the state of
things on deck, the former came into the main-cabin, commissioned by the
latter, to make the inquiry.

"The ladies are desirous of knowing where we are, and what is the state of
the gale, Captain Truck," said the gentleman, when he had seated himself
near the throne.

"My dear young lady," called out the captain, by way of cutting short the
diplomacy of employing ambassadors between them, "I wish in my heart I
could persuade you and Mademoiselle V.A.V., (for so he called the
governess, in imitation of Eve's pronunciation of her name,) to try a few
of these pickled oysters; they are as delicate as yourselves, and worthy
to be set before a mermaid, if there were any such thing."

"I thank you for the compliment, Captain Truck, and while I ask leave to
decline it, I beg leave to refer you to the plenipotentiary Mademoiselle
Viefville" (Eve would not say herself) "has intrusted with her wishes."

"Thus you perceive, sir," interposed Mr. Sharp again, "you will have to
treat with me, by all the principles laid down by Vattel."

"And treat you, too, my good sir. Let me persuade you to try a slice of
this anti-abolitionist," laying his knife on the ham, which he still
continued to regard himself with a sort of melancholy interest. "No? well,
I hold over-persuasion as the next thing to neglect. I am satisfied, sir,
after all, as Saunders says, that Vattel himself, unless more unreasonable
at his grub than in matters of state, would be a happier man after he had
been at his table twenty minutes, than before he sat down."

Mr. Sharp perceiving that it was idle to pursue his inquiry while the
other was in one of his discursive humours, determined to let things take
their course, and fell into the captain's own vein.

"If Vattel would approve of the repast, few men ought to repine at their
fortune in being so well provided."

"I flatter myself, sir, that I understand a supper, especially in a gale
of wind, as well as Mr. Vattel, or any other man could do."

"And yet Vattel was one of the most celebrated cooks of his day."

Captain Truck stared, looked his grave companion steadily in the eye, for
he was too much addicted to mystifying, not to distrust others, and picked
his teeth with redoubled vigilance.

"Vattel a cook! This is the first I ever heard of it."

"There was a Vattel, in a former age, who stood at the head of his art as
a cook; this I can assure you, on my honour: he may not have been your
Vattel, however."

"Sir, there never were two Vattels. This is extraordinary news to me, and
I scarcely know how to receive it."

"If you doubt my information, you may ask any of the other passengers.
Either of the Mr. Effinghams, or Mr. Blunt, or Miss Effingham, or
Mademoiselle Viefville will confirm what I tell you, I think; especially
the latter, for he was her countryman."

Hereupon Captain Truck began to stuff in the oakum again, for the calm
countenance of Mr. Sharp produced an effect; and as he was pondering on
the consequences of his oracle's turning out to be a cook, he thought it
not amiss to be eating, as it were, incidentally. After swallowing a dozen
olives, six or eight anchovies, as many pickled oysters, and raisins and
almonds, as the advertisements say _a volonte_, he suddenly struck his
fist on the table, and announced his intention of putting the question to
both the ladies.

"My dear young lady," he called out, "will you do me the honour to say
whether you ever heard of a cook of the name of Vattel?"

Eve laughed, and her sweet tones were infectious amid the dull howling of
the gale, which was constantly heard in the cabins, like a bass
accompaniment, or the distant roar of a cataract among the singing
of birds.

"Certainly, captain," she answered; "Mr. Vattel was not only a cook, but
perhaps the most celebrated on record, for sentiment at least, if not
for skill."

"I make no doubt the man did his work well, let him be set about what he
might; and, mademoiselle, he was a countryman of yours, they tell me?"

"_Assurement_, Monsieur Vattel has left more distinguished _souvenirs_
than any other cook in France."

Captain Truck turned quickly to the elated and admiring Saunders, who felt
his own glory enhanced by this important discovery, and said in that
short-hand way he had of expressing himself to the chief of the pantry,

"Do you hear that, sir; see and find out what they are, and dress me a
dish of these _souvenirs_ as soon as we get in. I dare say they are to be
had at the Fulton market, and mind while there to look out for some
tongues and sounds. I've not made half a supper to-night, for the want of
them. I dare say these _souvenirs_ are capital eating, if Monsieur Vattel
thought so highly of them. Pray, mademoiselle, is the gentleman dead?"

"Helas, oui! How could he live with a sword run through his body?"

"Ha! killed in a duel, I declare; died fighting for his principles, if the
truth were known! I shall have a double respect for his opinion, for this
is the touchstone of a man's honesty. Mr. Sharp, let us take a glass of
Geissenheimer to his memory; we might honour a less worthy man."

As the captain poured out the liquor, a fall of several tons of water on
the deck shook the entire ship, and one of the passengers in the
hurricane-house, opening a door to ascertain the cause, the sound of the
hissing waters and of the roaring winds came fresher and more distinct
into the cabin. Mr. Truck cast an eye at the tell-tale over his head to
ascertain the course of the ship, and paused just an instant, and then
tossed off his wine.

"This hint reminds me of my mission," Mr. Sharp re joined. "The ladies
desire to know your opinion of the state of the weather?"

"I owe them an answer, if it were only in gratitude for the hint about
Vattel. Who the devil would have supposed the man ever was a cook! But
these Frenchmen are not like the rest of mankind, and half the nation are
cooks, or live by food, in some way or other."

"And very good cooks, too, Monsieur le Capitaine," said Mademoiselle
Viefville. "Monsieur Vattel did die for the honour of his art. He fell on
his own sword, because the fish did not arrive in season for the dinner of
the king."

Captain Truck looked more astonished than ever. Then turning short round
to the steward, he shook his head and exclaimed,

"Do you hear that, sir? How often would you have died, if a sword had been
run through you every time the fish was forgotten, or was too late'? Once,
to a dead certainty, about these very tongues and sounds."

"But the weather?" interrupted Mr. Sharp.

"The weather, my dear sir; the weather, my dear ladies, is very good
weather, with the exception of winds and waves, of which unfortunately
there are, just now, more of both than we want. The ship must scud, and as
we go like a race-horse, without stopping to take breath, we may see the
Canary Islands before the voyage is over. Of danger there is none in this
ship, as long as we can keep clear of the land, and in order that this may
be done, I will just step into my state-room, and find out exactly
where we are."

On receiving this information, the passengers retired for the night,
Captain Truck setting about his task in good earnest. The result of his
calculations showed that they would run westward of Madeira, which was all
he cared about immediately, intending always to haul up to his course on
the first good occasion.




Chapter XIII.



  There are yet two things in my destiny--
  world to roam o'er, and a home with thee.

  BYRON.


Eve Effingham slept little: although the motion of the ship had been much
more severe and uncomfortable while contending with head-winds, on no
other occasion were there so many signs of a fierce contention, of the
elements as in this gale. As she lay in her berth, her ear was within a
foot of the roaring waters without, and her frame trembled as she heard
them gurgling so distinctly, that it seemed as if they had already forced
their way through the seams of the planks, and were filling the ship.
Sleep she could not, for a long time, therefore, and during two hours she
remained with closed eyes an entranced and yet startled listener of the
fearful strife that was raging over the ocean. Night had no stillness, for
the roar of the winds and waters was incessant, though deadened by the
intervening decks and sides; but now and then an open door admitted, as it
might be, the whole scene into the cabins. At such moments every sound was
fresh, and frightfully grand,--even the shout of the officer coming to the
ear like a warning cry from the deep.

At length Eve, wearied by her apprehensions even, fell into a troubled
sleep, in which her frightened faculties, however, kept so much on the
alert, that at no time was the roar of the tempest entirely lost to her
sense of hearing. About midnight the glare of a candle crossed her eyes,
and she was broad awake in an instant. On rising in her berth she found
Nanny Sidley, who had so often and so long watched over her infant and
childish slumbers, standing at her side, and gazing wistfully in her face.

"'Tis a dread night, Miss Eve," half whispered the appalled domestic. "I
have not been able to sleep for thinking of you, and of what might happen
on these wide waters!"

"And why of me particularly, my good Nanny?" returned Eve, smiling in the
face of her old nurse as sweetly as the infant smiles in its moments of
tenderness and recollection. "Why so much of me, my excellent Ann?--are
there not others too, worthy of your care? my beloved father--your own
good self--Mademoiselle Viefville--cousin Jack--and--" the warm colour
deepened on the cheek of the beautiful girl, she scarcely knew why
herself--"and many others in the vessel, that one, kind as you, might
think of, I should hope, when your thoughts become apprehensions, and your
wishes prayers."

"There are many precious souls in the ship, ma'am, out of all question;
and I'm sure no one wishes them all safe on land again more than myself;
but it seems to me, no one among them all is so much loved as you."

Eve leaned forward playfully, and drawing her old nurse towards her,
kissed her cheek, while her own eyes glistened, and then she laid her
flushed cheek on that bosom which had so frequently been its pillow
before. After remaining a minute in this affectionate attitude, she rose
and inquired if her nurse had been on deck.

"I go every half-hour, Miss Eve; for I feel it as much my duty to watch
over you here, as when I had you all to myself in the cradle. I do not
think your father sleeps a great deal to-night, and several of the
gentlemen in the other cabins remain dressed; they ask me how you spend
the time in this tempest, whenever I pass their state-room doors."

Eve's colour deepened, and Ann Sidley thought she had never seen her child
more beautiful, as the bright luxuriant golden hair, which had strayed
from the confinement of the cap, fell on the warm cheek, and rendered eyes
that were always full of feeling, softer and more brilliant even
than common.

"They conceal their uneasiness for themselves under an affected concern
for me, my good Nanny," she said hurriedly; "and your own affection makes
you an easy dupe to the artifice."

"It may be so, ma'am, for I know but little of the ways of the world. It
is fearful, is it not, Miss Eve, to think that we are in a ship, so far
from any land, whirling along over the bottom as fast as a horse
could plunge?"

"The danger is not exactly of that nature, perhaps, Nanny."

"There is a bottom to the ocean, is there not? I have heard some maintain
there is no bottom to the sea--and that would make the danger so much
greater. I think, if I felt certain that the bottom was not very deep, and
there was only a rock to be seen now and then, I should not find it so
very dreadful."

Eve laughed like a child, and the contrast between the sweet simplicity of
her looks, her manners, and her more cultivated intellect, and the
matronly appearance of the less instructed Ann, made one of those pictures
in which the superiority of mind over all other things becomes
most apparent.

"Your notions of safety, my dear Nanny," she said, "are not precisely
those of a seaman; for I believe there is nothing of which they stand more
in dread than of rocks and the bottom."

"I fear I'm but a poor sailor, ma'am, for in my judgment we could have no
greater consolation in such a tempest than to see them all around us. Do
you think, Miss Eve, that the bottom of the ocean, if there is truly a
bottom, is whitened with the bones of shipwrecked mariners, as
people say?"

"I doubt not, my excellent Nanny, that the great deep might give up many
awful secrets; but you ought to think less of these things, and more of
that merciful Providence which has protected us through so many dangers
since we have been wanderers. You are in much less danger now than I have
known you to be, and escape unharmed."

"I, Miss Eve!--Do you suppose that I fear for myself? What matters it if a
poor old woman like me die a few years sooner or later or where her frail
old body is laid? I have never been of so much account when living as to
make it of consequence where the little which will remain to decay when
dead moulders into dust. Do not, I implore you, Miss Effingham, suppose
me so selfish as to feel any uneasiness to-night on my own account."

"Is it then, as usual, all for me, my dear, my worthy old nurse, that you
feel this anxiety? Put your heart at ease, for they who know best betray
no alarm; and you may observe that the captain sleeps as tranquilly this
night as on any other."

"But he is a rude man, and accustomed to danger. He has neither wife nor
children, and I'll engage has never given a thought to the horrors of
having a form precious as this floating in the caverns of the ocean,
amidst ravenous fish and sea-monsters."

Here her imagination overcame poor Nanny Sidley, and she folded her arms
about the beautiful person of Eve, and sobbed violently. Her young
mistress, accustomed to similar exhibitions of affection, soothed her with
blandishments and assurances that soon restored her self-command, when the
dialogue was resumed with a greater appearance of tranquillity on the part
of the nurse. They conversed a few minutes on the subject of their
reliance on God, Eve returning fourfold, or with the advantages of a
cultivated intellect, many of those simple lessons of faith and humility
that she had received from her companion when a child; the latter
listening, as she always did, to these exhortations, which sounded in her
ears, like the echoes of all her own better thoughts, with a love and
reverence no other could awaken. Eve passed her small white hand over the
wrinkled cheek of Nanny in kind fondling, as it had been passed a thousand
times when a child, an act she well knew her nurse delighted in, and
continued,--

"And now, my good old Nanny, you will set your heart at ease, I know; for
though a little too apt to trouble yourself about one who does not deserve
half your care, you are much too sensible and too humble to feel distrust
out of reason. We will talk of something else a few minutes, and then you
will lie down and rest your weary body."

"Weary! I should never feel weary in watching, when I thought there was a
cause for it."

Although Nanny made no allusion to herself, Eve understood in whose behalf
this watchfulness was meant. She drew the face of the old woman towards
her, and left a kiss on each cheek ere she continued:--

"These ships have other things to talk about, besides their dangers," she
said. "Do you not find it odd, at least, that a vessel of war should be
sent to follow us about the ocean in this extraordinary way?"

"Quite so, ma'am, and I did intend to speak to you about it, some time
when I saw you had nothing better to think of. At first I fancied, but I
believe it was a silly thought, that some of the great English lords and
admirals that used to be so much about us at Paris, and Rome, and Vienna,
had sent this ship to see you safe to America, Miss Eve; for I never
supposed they would make so much fuss concerning a poor runaway couple,
like these steerage-passengers."

Eve did not refrain from laughing again, at this conceit of Nanny's, for
her temperament was gay as childhood, though well restrained by
cultivation and manner, and once more she patted the cheek of her
nurse kindly.

"Those great lords and admirals are not great enough for that, dear Nanny,
even had they the inclination to do so silly a thing. But has no other
reason suggested itself to you, among the many curious circumstances you
may have had occasion to observe in the ship?"

Nanny looked at Eve, and turned her eyes aside, glanced furtively at the
young lady again, and at last felt compelled to answer.

"I endeavour, ma'am, to think well of everybody, though strange thoughts
will sometimes arise without our wishing it. I suppose I know to what you
allude; but I don't feel quite certain it becomes me to speak."

"With me at least, Nanny, you need have no reserves, and I confess a
desire to learn if we have thought alike about some of our
fellow-passengers. Speak freely, then; for you can have no more
apprehension in communicating all your thoughts to me, than in
communicating them to your own child."

"Not as much, ma'am, not half as much; for you are both child and mistress
to me, and I look quite as much to receiving advice as to giving it. It is
odd, Miss Eve, that gentlemen should not pass under their proper names,
and I have had unpleasant feelings about it, though I did not think it
became me to be the first to speak, while your father was with you, and
mamerzelle," for so Nanny always styled the governess, "and Mr. John, all
of whom love you almost as much as I do, and all of whom are so much
better judges of what is right. But now you encourage me to speak my mind,
Miss Eve, I will say I should like that no one came near you who does not
carry his heart in his open hand, that the youngest child might know his
character and understand his motives."

Eve smiled as her nurse grew warm, but she blushed in spite of an effort
to seem indifferent.

"This would be truly a vain wish, dear Nanny, in the mixed company of a
ship," she said. "It is too much to expect that strangers will throw aside
all their reserves, on first finding themselves in close communion. The
well-bred and prudent will only stand more on their guard under such
circumstances."

"Strangers, ma'am!"

"I perceive that you recollect the face of one of our shipmates. Why do
you shake your head?" The tell-tale blood of Eve again mantled over her
lovely countenance. "I suppose I ought to have said _two_ of our
shipmates, though I had doubted whether you retained any recollection of
one of them."

"No gentleman ever speaks to you twice, Miss Eve, that I do not remember
him."

"Thank you, dearest Nanny, for this and a thousand other proofs of your
never-ceasing interest in my welfare; but I had not believed you so
vigilant as to take heed of every face that happens to approach me."

"Ah, Miss Eve! neither of these gentlemen would like to be mentioned by
you in this careless manner, I'm sure. They both did a great deal more
than 'happen to approach you;' for as to--"

"Hist! dear Nanny; we are in a crowded place, and you may be overheard.
You will use no names, therefore, as I believe we understand each other
without going into all these particulars. Now, my dear nurse, would I give
something to know which of these young men has made the most favourable
impression on your upright and conscientious mind I?"

"Nay, Miss Eve, what is my judgment in comparison with your own, and that
of Mr. John Effingham, and--"

"--My cousin Jack! In the name of wonder, Nanny, what has he to do with
the matter?"

"Nothing, ma'am; only I can see he has his favourites as well as another,
and I'll venture to say Mr. Dodge is not the greatest he has in
this ship."

"I think you might add Sir George Templemore; too," returned Eve,
laughing.

Ann Sidley looked hard at her young mistress, and smiled before she
answered; and then she continued the discourse naturally, as if there had
been no interruption.

"Quite likely, ma'am; and Mr. Monday, and all the rest of that set. But
you see how soon he discovers a real gentleman; for he is quite easy and
friendly with Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt, particularly the last."

Eve was silent, for she did not like the open introduction of these names,
though she scarce knew why herself.

"My cousin is a man of the world," she resumed, on perceiving that Nanny
watched her countenance with solicitude, as if fearful of having gone too
far; "and there is nothing surprising in his discovering men of his own
class. We know both these persons to be not exactly what they seem, though
I think we know no harm of either, unless it be the silly change of names.
It would have been better had they come on board, bearing their proper
appellations; to us, at least, it would have been more respectful, though
both affirm they were ignorant that my father had taken passage in the
Montauk,--a circumstance that may very well be true, as you know we got
the cabin that was first engaged by another party."

"I should be sorry, ma'am, if either failed in respect."

"It is not quite adulatory to make a young woman the involuntary keeper of
the secrets of two unreflecting young men; that is all, my good Nanny. We
cannot well betray them, and we are consequently their confidants _par
force_. The most amusing part of the thing is, that they are masters of
each other's secrets, in part at least, and feel a delightful awkwardness
in a hundred instances. For my own part I pity neither, but think each is
fairly enough punished. They will be fortunate if their servants do not
betray them before we reach New York."

"No fear of that, ma'am, for they are discreet, cautious men, and if
disposed to blab, Mr. Dodge has given both good opportunities already, as
I believe he has put to them as many questions as there are speeches in
the catechism."

"Mr. Dodge is a vulgar man."

"So we all say, ma'am, in the servants' cabin, and everybody is so set
against him there, that there is little chance of his learning much. I
hope, Miss Eve, mamerzelle does not distrust either of the gentlemen?"

"Surely you cannot suspect Mademoiselle Viefville of indiscretion, Nanny;
a better spirit, or a better tone than hers, does not exist."

"No, ma'am, 'tis not that: but I should like to have one more secret with
you, all to myself. I honour and respect mamerzelle, who has done a
thousand times more for you than a poor ignorant woman like me could have
done, with all my zeal; but I do believe, Miss Eve, I love your shoe tie
better than she loves your pure and beautiful spirit."

"Mademoiselle Viefville is an excellent woman, and I believe is sincerely
attached to me."

"She would be a wretch else. I do not deny her attachment, but I only say
it is nothing, it ought to be nothing, it can be nothing, it shall be
nothing, compared to that of the one who first held you in her arms, and
who has always held you in her heart. Mamerzelle can sleep such a night as
this, which I'm sure she could not do were she as much concerned for
you as I am."

Eve knew that jealousy of Mademoiselle Viefville was Nanny's greatest
weakness, and drawing the old woman to her, she entwined her arms around
her neck and complained of drowsiness. Accustomed to watching, and really
unable to sleep, the nurse now passed a perfectly happy hour in holding
her child, who literally dropped asleep on her bosom; after which Nanny
slid into the berth beneath, in her clothes, and finally lost the sense of
her apprehensions in perturbed slumbers.

A cry on dock awoke all in the cabins early on the succeeding morning. It
was scarcely light, but a common excitement seized every passenger, and
ten minutes had not elapsed when Eve and her governess appeared in the
hurricane-house, the last of those who came from below. Few questions had
been asked, but all hurried on deck with their apprehensions awakened by
the gale, increased to the sense of some positive and impending danger.

Nothing, however, was immediately apparent to justify all this sudden
clamour. The gale continued, if anything with increased power; the ocean
was rolling over its cataracts of combing seas, with which the ship was
still racing, driven under the strain of a reefed fore-course, the only
canvas that was set. Even with this little sail the hull was glancing
through the raging seas, or rather in their company, at a rate a little
short of ten miles in the hour.

Captain Truck was in the mizzen-rigging, bare-headed, every lock of hair
he had blowing out like a pennant. Occasionally he signed to the man at
the wheel which way to put the helm; for instead of sleeping, as many had
supposed, he had been conning the ship for hours in the same situation, As
Eve appeared, he was directing the attention of several of the gentlemen
to some object astern, but a very few moments put all on deck in
possession of the facts.

About a cable's length, on one of the quarters of the Montauk, was a ship
careering before the gale like themselves, though carrying more canvas,
and consequently driving faster through the water. The sudden appearance
of this vessel in the sombre light of the morning, when objects were seen
distinctly but without the glare of day; the dark hull, relieved by a
single narrow line of white paint, dotted with ports; the glossy
hammock-cloths, and all those other coverings of dark glistening canvas
which give to a cruiser an air of finish and comfort, like that of a
travelling carriage; the symmetry of the spars, and the gracefulness of
all the lines, whether of the hull or hamper, told all who knew anything
of such subjects, that the stranger was a vessel of war. To this
information Captain Truck added that it was their old pursuer the Foam.

"She is corvette-built," said the master of the Montauk, "and is obliged
to carry more canvas than we, in order to keep out of the way of the seas;
for, if one of these big fellows should overtake her, and throw its crest
into her waist, she would become like a man who has taken too much
Saturday-night, and with whom a second dose might settle the purser's
books forever."

Such in fact was the history of the sudden appearance of this ship. She
had lain-to as long as possible, and on being driven to scud, carried a
close-reefed maintop-sail, a show of canvas that urged her through the
water about two knots to the hour faster than the rate of the-packet.
Necessarily following the same coarse, she overtook the latter just as the
day began to dawn. The cry had arisen on her sudden discovery, and the
moment had now arrived when she was about to come up, quite abreast of her
late chase. The passage of the Foam, under such circumstances, was a grand
but thrilling thing. Her captain, too, was seen in the mizzen-rigging of
his ship, rocked by the gigantic billows over which the fabric was
careering. He held a speaking-trumpet in his hand, as if still bent on his
duty, in the midst of that awful warring of the elements. Captain Truck
called for a trumpet in his turn, and fearful of consequences he waved it
to the other to keep more aloof, The injunction was either misunderstood,
the man-of-war's man was too much bent on his object, or the ocean was too
uncontrollable for such a purpose, the corvette driving up on a sea quite
abeam of the packet, and in fearful proximity. The Englishman applied the
trumpet, and words were heard amid the roaring of the winds. At that time
the white field of old Albion, with the St. George's cross, rose over the
bulwarks, and by the time it had reached the gaff-end, the bunting was
whipping in ribbons.

"Show 'em the gridiron!" growled Captain Truck through his trumpet, with
its mouth turned in board.

As everything was ready this order was instantly obeyed, and the stripes
of America were soon seen fluttering nearly in separate pieces. The two
ships now ran a short distance in parallel lines, rolling from each other
so heavily that the bright copper of the corvette was seen nearly to her
keel. The Englishman, who seemed a portion of his ship, again tried his
trumpet; the detached words of "lie-by,"--"orders,"--"communicate," were
caught by one or two, but the howling of the gale rendered all connexion
in the meaning impossible. The Englishman ceased his efforts to make
himself heard, for the two ships were now rolling-to, and it appeared as
if their spars would interlock. There was an instant when Mr. Leach had
his hand on the main-brace to let it go; but the Foam started away on a
sea, like a horse that feels the spur, and disobeying her helm, shot
forward, as if about to cross the Montauk's forefoot.

A breathless instant followed, for all on board the two ships thought they
must now inevitably come foul of each other, and this the more so, because
the Montauk took the impulse of the sea just as it was lost to the Foam,
and seemed on the point of plunging directly into the stern of the latter.
Even the seamen clenched the ropes around them convulsively, and the
boldest held their breaths for a time. The "p-o-r-t, hard a port, and be
d---d to you!" of Captain Truck; and the "S-t-a-r-b-o-a-r-d, starboard
hard!" of the Englishman, were both distinctly audible to all in the two
ships; for this was a moment in which seamen can speak louder than the
tempest. The affrighted vessels seemed to recede together, and they shot
asunder in diverging lines, the Foam leading. All further attempts at a
communication were instantly useless; the corvette being half a mile ahead
in a quarter of an hour, rolling her yardarms nearly to the water.

Captain Truck said little to his passengers concerning this adventure; but
when he had lighted a cigar, and was discussing the matter with his
chief-mate, he told the latter there was "just one minute when he would
not have given a ship's biscuit for both vessels, nor much more for their
cargoes. A man must have a small regard for human souls, when he puts
them, and their bodies too, in so much jeopardy for a little tobacco."

Throughout the day it blew furiously, for the ship was running into the
gale, a phenomenon that we shall explain, as most of our readers may not
comprehend it. All gates of wind commence to leeward; or, in other words,
the wind is first felt at some particular point, and later, as we recede
from that point, proceeding in the direction from which the wind blows.
It is always severest near the point where it commences, appearing to
diminish in violence as it recedes. This, therefore, is an additional
motive for mariners to lie-to, instead of scudding, since the latter not
only carries them far from their true coarse, but it carries them also
nearer to the scene of the greatest fury of the elements.




Chapter XIV.



  Good boatswain, have care.

  TEMPEST.


At sunset, the speck presented by the reefed top-sail of the corvette had
sunk beneath the horizon, in the southern board, and that ship was seen no
longer. Several islands had been passed, looking tranquil and smiling amid
the fury of the tempest; but it was impossible to haul up for any one
among them. The most that could be done was to keep the ship dead before
it, to prevent her broaching-to, and to have a care that she kept clear of
those rocks and of that bottom, for which Nanny Sidley had so much pined.

Familiarity with the scene began to lessen the apprehensions of the
passengers, and as scudding is an easy process for those who are liable to
sea-sickness, ere another night shut in, the principal concern was
connected with the course the ship was compelled to steer. The wind had so
far hauled to the westward as to render it certain that the coast of
Africa would lie in their way, if obliged to scud many hours longer; for
Captain Truck's observations actually placed him to the southward and
eastward of the Canary Islands. This was a long distance out of his
course, but the rate of sailing rendered the fact sufficiently clear.

This, too was the precise time when the Montauk felt the weight of the
tempest, or rather, when she experienced the heaviest portion of that
which it was her fate to feel. Lucky was it for the good ship that she had
not been in this latitude a few hours earlier, when it had blown something
very like a hurricane. The responsibility and danger of his situation now
began seriously to disturb Captain Truck, although he kept his
apprehensions to himself, like a prudent officer. All his calculations
were gone over again with the utmost care, the rate of sailing was
cautiously estimated, and the result showed, that ten or fifteen hours
more would inevitably produce shipwreck of another sort, unless the wind
moderated.

Fortunately, the gale began to break about midnight. The wind still blew
tremendously, but it was less steadily, and there were intervals of
half-an-hour at a time when the ship might have carried much more canvas,
even on a bowline: of course her speed abated in proportion, and, after
the day had dawned, a long and anxious survey from aloft showed no land to
the eastward. When perfectly assured of this important fact, Captain Truck
rubbed his hands with delight, ordered a coal for his cigar, and began to
abuse Saunders about the quality of the coffee during the blow.

"Let there be something creditable, this morning, sir," added the captain,
after a sharp rebuke; "and remember we are down here in the neighbourhood
of the country of your forefathers, where a man ought, in reason, to be on
his good behaviour. If I hear any more of your washy compounds, I'll put
you ashore, and let you run naked a summer or two with the monkeys and
ouran-outangs."

"I endeavour, on all proper occasions, to render myself agreeable to you,
Captain Truck, and to all those with whom I have the happiness to sail,"
returned the steward; "but the coffee, sir, cannot be very good, sir, in
such weater, sir. I do diwine that the wind must blow away its flavour,
for I am ready to confess it has not been as odorous as it usually is,
when I have had the honour to prepare it. As for Africa, sir, I flatter
myself, Captain Truck, that you esteem me too highly to believe I am
suited to consort or besort with the ill-formed and inedicated men who
inhabit that wild country. I misremember whether my ancestors came from
this part of the world or not; but if they did, sir, my habits and
profession entirely unqualify me for their company, I hope. I know I am
only a poor steward, sir, but you'll please to recollect that your great
Mr. Vattel was nothing but a cook."

"D--n the fellow, Leach; I believe it is this conceit that has spoiled
the coffee the last day or two! Do you suppose it can be true that a great
writer like this man could really be no better than a cook, or was that
Englishman roasting me, by way of showing how cooking is done ashore? If
it were not for the testimony of the ladies, I might believe it; but they
would not share in such an indecent trick. What are you lying-by for, sir?
go to your pantry and remember that the gale is broken, and we shall all
sit down to table this morning, as keen-set as a party of your brethren
ashore here, who had a broiled baby for breakfast."

Saunders, who _ex-officio_ might be said to be trained in similar
lectures, went pouting to his work, taking care to expend a proper part of
his spleen on Mr. Toast, who, quite as a matter of course, suffered in
proportion as his superior was made to feel, in his own person, the weight
of Captain Truck's authority. It is perhaps fortunate that nature points
out this easy and self-evident mode of relief, else would the rude habits
of a ship sometimes render the relations between him who orders and him
whose duty it is to obey, too nearly approaching to the intolerable.

The captain's squalls, however, were of short duration and on the present
occasion he was soon in even a better humour than common, as every minute
gave the cheering assurance, that the tempest was fast drawing to a close.
He had finished his third cigar, and was actually issuing his orders to
turn the reef out of the foresail, and to set the main-top-sail
close-reefed, when most of the passengers appeared on deck, for the first
time that morning.

"Here we are, gentlemen!" cried Captain Truck, in the way of salutation,
"nearer to Guinea than I could wish, with every prospect, now, of soon
working our way across the Atlantic, and possibly of making a thirty or
thirty-five days' passage of it yet. We have this sea to quiet; and then I
hope to show you what the Montauk has in her, besides her passengers and
cargo. I think we have now got rid of the Foam, as well as of the gale. I
did believe, at one time, her people might be walking and wading on the
coast of Cornwall; but I now believe they are more likely to try the sands
of the great Desert of Sahara."

"It is to be hoped they have escaped the latter calamity, as fortunately
as they escaped the first!" observed Mr. Effingham.

"It may be so; but the wind has got round to nor-west, and has not been
sighing these last twelve hours. Cape Bianco is not a hundred leagues from
us, and, at the rate he was travelling, that gentleman with the
speaking-trumpet may now be philosophizing over the fragments of his ship,
unless he had the good sense to haul off more to the westward than he was
steering when last seen. His ship should have been christened the 'Scud,'
instead of the 'Foam.'"

Every one expressed the hope that the ship, to which their own situation
was fairly enough to be ascribed, might escape this calamity; and all
faces regained their cheerfulness as they saw the canvas fall, in sign
that their own danger was past. So rapidly, indeed, did the gale now
abate, that the topsails were hardly hoisted before the order was given to
shake out another reef, and within an hour all the heavier canvas that
was proper to carry before the wind was set, solely with a view to keep
the ship steady. The sea was still fearful, and Captain Truck found
himself obliged to keep off from his course, in order to avoid the danger
of having his decks swept.

The racing with the crest of the waves, however, was quite done, for the
seas soon cease to comb and break, after the force of the wind
is expended.

At no time is the motion of the vessel more unpleasant, or, indeed, more
dangerous, than in the interval that occurs between the ceasing of a
violent gale, and the springing up of a new wind. The ship is
unmanageable, and falling into the troughs of the sea, the waves break in
upon her decks, often doing serious injury, while the spars and rigging
are put to the severest trial by the sudden and violent surges which they
have to withstand. Of all this Captain Truck was fully aware, and when he
was summoned to breakfast he gave many cautions to Mr. Leach before
quitting the deck.

"I do not like the new shrouds we got up in London," he said, "for the
rope has stretched in this gale in a way to throw too much strain on the
old rigging; so see all ready for taking a fresh drag on them, as soon as
the people have breakfasted. Mind and keep her out of the trough, sir, and
watch every roller that you find comes tumbling upon us."

After repeating these injunctions in different ways, looking to windward
some time, and aloft five or six minutes, Captain Truck finally went
below, to pass judgment on Mr. Saunders' coffee. Once in his throne, at
the head of the long table, the worthy master, after a proper attention to
his passengers, set about the duty of restoration, as the steward
affectedly called eating, with a zeal that never failed him on such
occasions. He had just swallowed a cup of the coffee, about which he had
lectured Saunders, when a heavy flap of the sails announced the sudden
failure of the wind.

"That is bad news," said Captain Truck, listening to the fluttering blows
of the canvas against the masts. "I never like to hear a ship shaking its
wings while there is a heavy sea on; but this is better than the Desert of
Sahara, and so, my dear young lady, let me recommend to you a cup of this
coffee, which is flavoured this morning by a dread of ouran-outangs, as
Mr. Saunders will have the honour to inform you--"

A jerk of the whole ship was followed by a report like that made by a
musket. Captain Truck rose, and stood leaning on one hand in a bent
attitude, expectation and distrust intensely portrayed in every feature.
Another helpless roil of the ship succeeded, and three or four similar
reports were immediately heard, as if large ropes had parted in quick
succession. A rending of wood followed, and then came a chaotic crash, in
which the impending heavens seemed to fall on the devoted ship. Most of
the passengers shut their eyes, and when they were opened again, or a
moment afterwards, Mr. Truck had vanished It is scarcely necessary to
describe the confusion that followed. Eve was frightened, but she behaved
well, though Mademoiselle Viefville trembled so much as to require the
assistance of Mr. Effingham.

"We have lost our masts," John Effingham coolly remarked; "an accident
that will not be likely to be very dangerous, though by prolonging the
passage a month or two, it may have the merit of making this good company
more intimately acquainted with each other, a pleasure for which we cannot
express too much gratitude."

Eve implored his forbearance by a glance, for she saw his eye was
unconsciously directed towards Mr. Monday and Mr. Dodge, for both of whom
she knew her kinsman entertained an incurable dislike. His words, however,
explained the catastrophe, and most of the men hastened on deck to assure
themselves of the fact.

John Effingham was right. The new rigging which had stretched so much
during the gale, had permitted too much of the strain, in the tremendous
rolls of the ship, to fall upon the other ropes. The shroud most exposed
had parted first; three or four more followed in succession, and before
there was time to secure anything, the remainder had gone together, and
the mainmast had broken at a place where a defect was now seen in its
heart. Falling over the side, the latter had brought down with it the
mizzen-mast and all its hamper, and as much of the fore-mast as stood
above the top. In short, of all the complicated tracery of ropes, the
proud display of spars, and the broad folds of canvas that had so lately
overshadowed the deck of the Montauk, the mutilated fore-mast, the
fore-yard and sail, and the fallen head-gear alone remained. All the rest
either cumbered the deck, or was beating against the side of the ship, in
the water.

The hard, red, weather-beaten face of Captain Truck was expressive of
mortification and concern, for a single instant, when his eye glanced over
the ruin we have just described. His mind then seemed made up to the
calamity, and he ordered Toast to bring him a coal of fire, with which he
quietly lighted a cigar.

"Here is a category, and be d---d to it, Mr. Leach," he said, after
taking a single whiff. "You are doing quite right, sir; cut away the wreck
and force the ship free of it, or we shall have some of those sticks
poking themselves through the planks. I always thought the chandler in
London, into whose hands the agent has fallen, was a--rogue, and now I
know it well enough to swear to it. Cut away, carpenter, and get us rid of
all this thumping as soon as possible. A very capital vessel, Mr. Monday,
or she would have rolled the pumps out of her, and capsized the galley."

No attempt being made to save anything, the wreck was floating astern in
five minutes, and the ship was fortunately extricated from this new
hazard. Mr. Truck, in spite of his acquired coolness, looked piteously at
all that gallant hamper, in which he had so lately rejoiced, as yard-arm,
cross-trees, tressel-trees, and tops rose on the summits of swells or
settled in the troughs, like whales playing their gambols. But habit is a
seaman's philosophy, and in no one feature is his character more
respectable than in that manliness which disinclines him to mourn over a
misfortune that is inevitable.

The Montauk now resembled a tree stripped of its branches, or a courser
crippled in his sinews; her glory had, in a great degree, departed. The
foremast alone remained, and of this even the head was gone, a
circumstance of which Captain Truck complained more than of any other, as,
to use his own expressions, "it destroyed the symmetry of the spar, which
had proved itself to be a good stick." What, however, was of more real
importance, it rendered it difficult, if not impossible, to get up a spare
topmast forward. As both the main and mizzen-mast had gone quite near the
deck, this was almost the only tolerably easy expedient that remained;
and, within an hour of the accident, Mr. Truck announced his intentions to
stand as far south as he could to strike the trades, and then to make a
fair wind of it across the Atlantic, unless, indeed, he might be able to
fetch into the Cape de Verde Islands, where it would be possible, perhaps,
to get something like a now outfit.

"All I now ask, my dear young lady," he said to Eve, who ventured on deck
to look at the desolation, as soon the wreck was cut adrift, "all I now
ask, my dear young lady, is an end to westerly winds for two or three
weeks, and I will promise to place you all in America yet, in time to eat
your Christmas dinner. I do not think Sir George will shoot many white
bears among the Rocky Mountains this year, but then there will be so many
more left for another season. The ship is in a category, and he will be an
impudent scoundrel who denies it; but worse categories than this have been
reasoned out of countenance. All head-sail is not a convenient show of
cloth to claw off a lee-shore with; but I still hope to escape the
misfortune of laying eyes on the coast of Africa."

"Are we far from it?" asked Eve, who sufficiently understood the danger of
being on an uninhabitable shore in their present situation; one in which
it was vain to seek for a port. "I would rather be in the neighbourhood of
any other land, I think, than that of Africa."

"Especially Africa between the Canaries and Cape Blanco," returned Captain
Truck, with an expressive shrug. "More hospitable regions exist,
certainly; for, if accounts are to be credited, the honest people
along-shore never get a Christian that they do not mount him on a camel,
and trot him through the sands a thousand miles or so, under a hot sun,
with a sort of haggis for food, that would go nigh to take away even a
Scotchman's appetite."

"And you do not tell us how far we are from this frightful land, Mons. le
Capitaine?" inquired Mademoiselle Viefville.

"In ten minutes you shall know, ladies, for I am about to observe for the
longitude. It is a little late, but it may yet be done."

"And we may rely on the fidelity of your information?"

"On the honour of a sailor and a man."

The ladies were silent, while Mr. Truck proceeded to get the sun and the
time. As soon as he had run through his calculations, he came to them with
a face in which the eye was roving, though it was still good-humoured
and smiling.

"And the result?" said Eve.

"Is not quite as flattering as I could wish. We are materially within a
degree of the coast; but, as the wind is gone, or nearly so, we may hope
to find a shift that will shove us farther from the land. And now I have
dealt frankly with you, let me beg you will keep the secret, for my people
will be dreaming of Turks, instead of working, if they knew the fact."

It required no great observation to discover that Captain Truck was far
from satisfied with the position of his ship. Without any after-sail, and
almost without the means of making any, it was idle to think of hauling
off from the land, more especially against the heavy sea that was still
rolling in from the north-west; and his present object was to make the
Cape de Verdes, before reaching which he would be certain to meet the
trades, and where, of course, there would be some chance of repairing
damages. His apprehensions would have been much less were the ship a
degree further west, as the prevailing winds in this part of the ocean are
from the northward and eastward; but it was no easy matter to force a ship
that distance under a foresail, the only regular sail that now remained in
its place. It is true, he had some of the usual expedients of seamen at
his command, and the people were immediately set about them; but, in
consequence of the principal spars having gone so near the decks, it
became exceedingly difficult to rig jury-masts.

Something must be attempted, however, and the spare spars were got out,
and all the necessary preparations were commenced, in order that they
might be put into their places and rigged, as well as circumstances would
allow. As soon as the sea went down, and the steadiness of the ship would
permit, Mr. Leach succeeded in getting up an awkward lower studding-sail,
and a sort of a stay-sail forward, and with these additions to their
canvas, the ship was brought to head south, with the wind light at the
westward. The sea was greatly diminished about noon; but a mile an hour,
for those who had so long a road before them, and who were so near a coast
that was known to be fearfully inhospitable, was a cheerless progress, and
the cry of "sail, ho!" early in the afternoon, diffused a general joy in
the Montauk.

The stranger was made to the southward and eastward, and was standing on
a course that must bring her quite near to their own track, as the Montauk
then headed. The wind was so light, however, that Captain Truck gave it as
his opinion they could not speak until night had set in.

"Unless the coast has brought him up, yonder flaunting gentleman, who
seems to have had better luck with his light canvas than ourselves, must
be the Foam," he said. "Tobacco, or no tobacco, bride or bridegroom, the
fellow has us at last, and all the consolation that is left is, that we
shall be much obliged to him, now, if he will carry us to Portsmouth, or
into any other Christian haven. We have shown him what a kettle-bottom can
do before the wind, and now let him give us a tow to windward like a
generous antagonist. That is what I call Vattel, my dear young lady."

"If he do this, he will indeed prove himself a generous adversary," said
Eve, "and we shall be certain to speak well of his humanity, whatever we
may think of his obstinacy."

"Are you quite sure the ship in sight is the corvette?" asked Paul Blunt.

"Who else can it be?--Two vessels are quite sufficient to be jammed down
here on the coast of Africa, and we know that the Englishman must be
somewhere to leeward of us; though, I will confess, I had believed him much
farther, if not plump up among the Mohammedans, beginning to reduce to a
feather-weight, like Captain Riley, who came out with just his skin and
bones, after a journey across the desert."

"I do not think those top-gallant-sails have the symmetry of the canvas of
a ship-of-war."

Captain Truck looked steadily at the young man an instant, as one regards
a sound criticism, and then he turned his eye towards the object of which
they were speaking.

"You are right, sir," he rejoined, after a moment of examination; "and I
have had a lesson in my own trade from one young enough to be my son. The
stranger is clearly no cruiser, and as there is no port in-shore of us
anywhere near this latitude, he is probably some trader who has been
driven down here, like ourselves."

"And I'm very sure, captain," put in Sir George Templemore, "we ought to
rejoice sincerely that, like ourselves he has escaped shipwreck. For my
part, I pity the poor wretches on board the Foam most sincerely, and could
almost wish myself a Catholic, that one might yet offer up sacrifices in
their behalf."

"You have shown yourself a Christian throughout all that affair, Sir
George, and I shall not forget your hand some offers to befriend the ship,
rather than let us fall into the jaws of the Philistines. We were in a
category more than once, with that nimble-footed racer in our wake, and
you were the man, Sir George, who manifested the most hearty desire to
get us out."

"I ever feel an interest in the ship in which I embark," returned the
gratified baronet, who was not displeased at hearing his liberality so
openly commended; "and I would cheerfully have given a thousand pounds in
preference to being taken. I rather think, now, that is the true spirit
for a sportsman!"

"Or for an admiral, my good sir. To be frank with you, Sir George, when I
first had the honour of your acquaintance, I did not think you had so much
in you. There was a sort of English attention to small wares, a species of
knee-buckleism about your _debutt_, as Mr. Dodge calls it, that made me
distrust your being the whole-souled and one-idea'd man I find you
really are."

"Oh! I _do_ like my comforts," said Sir George, laughing.

"That you do, and I am only surprised you don't smoke. Now, Mr. Dodge,
your room-mate, there, tells me you have six-and-thirty pair of breeches!"

"I have--yes, indeed, I have. One would wish to go abroad decently clad."

"Well! if it should be our luck to travel in the deserts, your wardrobe
would rig out a whole harem."

"I wish, captain, you would do me the favour to step into our state-room,
some morning; I have many curious things I should like to show you. A set
of razors, in particular,--and a dressing-case--and a pair of patent
pistols--and that life-preserver that you admire so much, Mr. Dodge. Mr.
Dodge has seen most of my curiosities, I believe, and will tell you some
of them are really worth a moment's examination."

"Yes, captain, I must say," observed Mr. Dodge,--for this conversation was
held apart between the three, the mate keeping an eye the while on the
duty of the ship, for habit had given Mr. Truck the faculty of driving his
people while he entertained his passengers--"Yes, captain, I must say I
have met no gentleman who is better supplied with necessaries, than _my_
friend, Sir George. But English gentlemen are curious in such things, and
I admit that I admire their ingenuity."

"Particularly in breeches, Mr. Dodge. Have you coats to match, Sir
George?"

"Certainly, sir. One would be a little absurd in his shirt sleeves. I
wish, captain, we could make Mr. Dodge a little less of a republican. I
find him a most agreeable room-mate, but rather annoying on the subject of
kings and princes."

"You stick up for the people, Mr. Dodge, or to the old category?"

"On that subject, Sir George and I shall never agree, for he is
obstinately monarchial; but I tell him we shall treat him none the worse
for that, when he gets among us. He has promised me a visit in our part of
the country, and I have pledged myself to his being unqualifiedly well
received; and I think I know the whole meaning of a pledge."

"I understand Mr. Dodge," pursued the baronet, "that he is the editor of a
public journal, in which he entertains his readers with an account of his
adventures and observations during his travels, 'The Active Inquirer,' is
it not, Mr. Dodge?"

"That is the name, Sir George. 'The Active Inquirer' is the present name,
though when we supported Mr. Adams it was called 'The Active Enquirer,'
with an E."

"A distinction without a difference; I like that," interrupted Captain
Truck. "This is the second time I have had the honour to sail with Mr.
Dodge, and a more active inquirer never put foot in a ship, though I did
not know the use he put his information to before. It is all in the way of
trade, I find."

"Mr. Dodge claims to belong to a profession, captain, and is quite above
trade. He tells me many things have occurred on board this ship, since we
sailed, that will make very eligible paragraphs."

"The d---- he does!--I should like particularly well, Mr. Dodge, to know
what you will find to say concerning this category in which the Montauk
is placed."

"Oh! captain, no fear of me, when you are concerned. You know I am a
friend, and you have no cause to apprehend any thing; though I'll not
answer for everybody else on board; for there are passengers in this ship
to whom I have decided antipathies, and whose deportment meets with my
unqualified disapprobation."

"And you intend to paragraph them?"

Mr. Dodge was now swelling with the conceit of a vulgar and inflated man,
who not only fancies himself in possession of a power that others dread,
but who was so far blinded to his own qualities as to think his opinion of
importance to those whom he felt, in the minutest fibre of his envious and
malignant system, to be in every essential his superiors. He did not dare
express all his rancour, while he was unequal to suppressing it entirely.

"These Effinghams, and this Mr. Sharp, and that Mr. Blunt," he muttered,
"think themselves everybody's betters; but we shall see! America is not a
country in which people can shut themselves up in rooms, and fancy they
are lords and ladies."

"Bless my soul!" said Captain Truck, with his affected simplicity of
manner; "how did you find this out, Mr. Dodge? What a thing it is, Sir
George, to be an active inquirer!"

"Oh! I know when a man is blown up with notions of his own importance. As
for Mr. John Effingham, he has been so long abroad that he has forgotten
that he is a going home to a country of equal rights!"

"Very true, Mr. Dodge; a country in which a man cannot shut himself, up in
his room, whenever the notion seizes him. This is the spirit, Sir George,
to make a great nation, and you see that the daughter is likely to prove
worthy of the old lady! But, my dear sir, are you quite sure that Mr.
John Effingham has absolutely so high a sentiment in his own favour. It
would be awkward business to make a blunder in such a serious matter, and
murder a paragraph for nothing. You should remember the mistake of the
Irishman!"

"What was that?" asked the baronet, who was completely mystified by the
indomitable gravity of Captain Truck, whose character might be said to be
actually formed by the long habit of treating the weaknesses of his
fellow-creatures with cool contempt. "We hear many good things at our
club; but I do not remember the mistake of the Irishman?"

"He merely mistook the drumming in his own ear, for some unaccountable
noise that disturbed his companions."

Mr. Dodge felt uncomfortable; but there is no one in whom a vulgar-minded
man stands so much in awe as an immovable quiz, who has no scruple in
using his power. He shook his head, therefore, in a menacing manner, and
affecting to have something to do he went below, leaving the baronet and
captain by themselves.

"Mr. Dodge is a stubborn friend of liberty," said the former, when his
room-mate was out of hearing.

"That is he, and you have his own word for it. He has no notion of letting
a man do as he has a mind to! We are full of such active inquirers in
America, and I don't care how many you shoot before you begin upon the
white bears, Sir George."

"But it would be more gracious in the Effinghams, you must allow, captain,
if they shut themselves up in their cabin less, and admitted us to their
society a little oftener. I am quite of Mr. Dodge's way of thinking, that
exclusion is excessively odious."

"There is a poor fellow in the steerage, Sir George, to whom I have given
a piece of canvas to repair a damage to his mainsail, who would say the
same thing, did he know of your six-and-thirtys. Take a cigar, my dear
sir, and smoke away sorrow."

"Thankee, captain: I never smoke. We never smoke at our club, though some
of us go, at times, to the divan to try a chibouk."

"We can't all have cabins to ourselves, or no one would live forward. If
the Effinghams like their own apartment, I do honestly believe it is for a
reason as simple as that it is the best in the ship. I'll warrant you, if
there were a better, that they would be ready enough to change. I suppose
when we get in, Mr. Dodge will honour you with an article in 'The Active
Inquirer?'"

"To own the truth, he has intimated some such thing."

"And why not? A very instructive paragraph might be made about the
six-and-thirty pair of breeches, and the patent razors, and the
dressing-case, to say nothing of the Rocky Mountains, and the
white bears."

Sir George now began to feel uncomfortable, and making a few unmeaning
remarks about the late accident, he disappeared.

Captain Truck, who never smiled except at the corner of his left eye,
turned away, and began rattling off his people, and throwing in a hint or
two to Saunders, with as much indifference as if he were a firm believer
in the unfailing orthodoxy of a newspaper, and entertained a profound
respect for the editor of the 'Active Inquirer,' in particular.

The prognostic of the master concerning the strange ship proved true, for
about nine at night she came within hail, and backed her maintop-sail.
This vessel proved to be an American in ballast, bound from Gibraltar to
New York; a return store-ship from the squadron kept in the Mediterranean.
She had met the gale to the westward of Madeira, and after holding on as
long as possible, had also been compelled to scud. According to the report
of her officers, the Foam had run in much closer to the coast than
herself, and it was their opinion she was lost. Their own escape was owing
entirely to the wind's abating, for they had actually been within sight of
the land, though having received no injury, they had been able to haul off
in season.

Luckily, this ship was ballasted with fresh water, and Captain Truck
passed the night in negotiating a transfer of his steerage passengers,
under an apprehension that, in the crippled state of his own vessel, his
supplies might be exhausted before he could reach America. In the morning,
the offer of being put on board the store-ship was made to those who
chose to accept it, and all in the steerage, with most from the cabin,
profited by the occasion to exchange a dismasted vessel for one that was,
at least, full rigged. Provisions were transferred accordingly, and by
noon next day the stranger made sail on a wind, the sea being tolerably
smooth, and the breeze still ahead. In three hours she was out of sight to
the northward and westward, the Montauk holding her own dull course to the
southward, with the double view of striking the trades, or of reaching one
of the Cape de Verdes.




Chapter XV.



  _Steph_.--His forward voice now is to speak well of his friend; his
  backward voice is to utter foul speeches, and to detract.

  TEMPEST


The situation of the Montauk appeared more desolate than ever, after the
departure of so many of her passengers. So long as her decks were thronged
there was an air of life about her, that served to lessen disquietude, but
now that she was left by all in the steerage, and by so many in the
cabins, those who remained began to entertain livelier apprehensions of
the future. When the upper sails of the store-ship sunk as a speck in the
ocean, Mr. Effingham regretted that he, too, had not overcome his
reluctance to a crowded and inconvenient cabin, and gone on board her,
with his own party. Thirty years before he would have thought himself
fortunate in finding so good a ship, and accommodations so comfortable;
but habit and indulgence change all our opinions, and he had now thought
it next to impossible to place Eve and Mademoiselle Viefville in a
situation that was so common to those who travelled by sea at the
commencement of the century.

Most of the cabin passengers, as has just been stated, decided
differently, none remaining but the Effinghams and their party, Mr.
Sharp, Mr. Blunt, Sir George Templemore, Mr. Dodge, and Mr. Monday. Mr.
Effingham had been influenced by the superior comforts of the packet, and
his hopes that a speedy arrival at the islands would enable the ship to
refit, in time to reach America almost as soon as the dull-sailing vessel
which had just left them. Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt had both expressed a
determination to share his fortunes, which was indirectly saying that they
would share the fortunes of his daughter. John Effingham remained, as a
matter of course, though he had made a proposition to the stranger to tow
them into port, an arrangement that failed in consequence of the two
captains disagreeing as to the course proper to be steered, as well as to
a more serious obstacle in the way of compensation, the stranger throwing
out some pretty plain hints about salvage; and Mr. Monday staying from an
inveterate attachment to the steward's stores, more of which, he rightly
judged, would now fall to his share than formerly.

Sir George Templemore had gone on board the store-ship, and had given some
very clear demonstrations of an intention to transfer himself and the
thirty-six pair of breeches to that vessel; but on examining her comforts,
and particularly the confined place in which he should be compelled to
stow himself and his numerous curiosities, he was unequal to the
sacrifice. On the other hand, he knew an entire state-room would now fall
to his share, and this self-indulged and feeble-minded young man preferred
his immediate comfort, and the gratification of his besetting weakness, to
his safety.

As for Mr. Dodge, he had the American mania of hurry, and was one of the
first to propose a general swarming, as soon as it was known the stranger
could receive them. During the night, he had been actively employed in
fomenting a party to "resolve" that prudence required the Montauk should
be altogether abandoned, and even after this scheme failed, he had dwelt
eloquently in corners (Mr. Dodge was too meek, and too purely democratic,
ever to speak aloud, unless under the shadow of public opinion,) on the
propriety of Captain Truck's yielding his own judgment to that of the
majority. He might as well have scolded against the late gale, in the
expectation of out-railing the tempest, as to make such an attempt on the
firm-set notions of the old seaman concerning his duty; for no sooner was
the thing intimated to him than he growled a denial in a tone that he was
little accustomed to use to his passengers, and one that effectually
silenced remonstrance. When these two plans had failed, Mr. Dodge
endeavoured strenuously to show Sir George that his interests and safety
were on the side of a removal; but with all his eloquence, and with the
hold that incessant adulation had actually given him on the mind of the
other, he was unable to overcome his love of ease, and chiefly the passion
for the enjoyment of the hundred articles of comfort and curiosity in
which the baronet so much delighted. The breeches might have been packed
in a trunk, it is true, and so might the razors, and the dressing-case,
and the pistols, and most of the other things; but Sir George loved to
look at them daily, and as many as possible were constantly paraded
before his eyes.

To the surprise of every one, Mr. Dodge, on finding it impossible to
prevail on Sir George Templemore to leave the packet, suddenly announced
his own intention to remain also. Few stopped to inquire into his motives
in the hurry of such a moment. To his room-mate he affirmed that the
strong friendship he had formed for him, could alone induce him to
relinquish the hope of reaching home previously to the autumn elections.

Nor did Mr. Dodge greatly colour the truth in making this statement. He
was an American demagogue precisely in obedience to those feelings and
inclinations which would have made him a courtier any where else. It is
true, he had travelled, or thought he had travelled, in a _diligence_ with
a countess or two, but from these he had been obliged to separate early on
account of the force of things; while here he had got a _bona-fide_
English baronet all to himself, in a confined state-room, and his
imagination revelled in the glory and gratification of such an
acquaintance. What were the proud and distant Effinghams to Sir George
Templemore! He even ascribed their reserve with the baronet to envy, a
passion of whose existence he had very lively perceptions, and he found a
secret charm in being shut up in so small an apartment with a man who
could excite envy in an Effingham. Rather than abandon his aristocratical
prize, therefore, whom he intended to exhibit to all his democratic
friends in his own neighbourhood, Mr. Dodge determined to abandon his
beloved hurry, looking for his reward in the future pleasure of talking of
Sir George Templemore and his curiosities, and of his sayings and his
jokes, in the circle at home. Odd, moreover, as it may seem, Mr. Dodge had
an itching desire to remain with the Effinghams; for while he was
permitting jealousy and a consciousness of inferiority to beget hatred, he
was willing at any moment to make peace, provided it could be done by a
frank admission into their intimacy. As to the innocent family that was
rendered of so much account to the happiness of Mr. Dodge, it seldom
thought of that individual at all, little dreaming of its own importance
in his estimation, and merely acted in obedience to its own cultivated
tastes and high principles in disliking his company. It fancied itself, in
this particular, the master of its own acts, and this so much the more,
that with the reserve of good-breeding its members seldom indulged in
censorious personal remarks, and never in gossip.

As a consequence of these contradictory feelings of Mr. Dodge, and of the
fastidiousness of Sir George Templemore, the interest her two admirers
took in Eve, the devotion of Mr. Monday to sherry and champaigne, and the
decision of Mr. Effingham, these persons therefore remained the sole
occupants of the cabins of the Montauk. Of the _oi polloi_ who had left
them, we have hitherto said nothing, because this separation was to remove
them entirely from the interest of our incidents.

If we were to say that Captain Truck did not feel melancholy as the
store-ship sunk beneath the horizon, we should represent that
stout-hearted mariner as more stoical than he actually was. In the course
of a long and adventurous professional life, he had encountered calamities
before, but he had never before been compelled to call in assistance to
deliver his passengers at the stipulated port, since he had commanded a
packet. He felt the necessity, in the present instance, as a sort of stain
upon his character as a seaman, though in fact the accident which had
occurred was chiefly to be attributed to a concealed defect in the
mainmast. The honest master sighed often, smoked nearly double the usual
number of cigars in the course of the afternoon, and when the sun went
down gloriously in the distant west, he stood gazing at the sky in
melancholy silence, as long as any of the magnificent glory that
accompanies the decline of day lingered among the vapours of the horizon.
He then summoned Saunders to the quarter-deck, where the following
dialogue took place between them:

"This is a devil of a category to be in, Master Steward!"

"Well, he might be better, sir. I only wish the good butter may endure
until we get in."

"If it fail, I shall go nigh to see you clapt into the State's prison, or
at least into that Gothic cottage on Blackwell's Island."

"There is an end to all things, Captain Truck, if you please, sir, even to
butter. I presume, sir, Mr. Vattel, if he know anything of cookery, will
admit that."

"Harkee, Saunders, if you ever insinuate again that Vattel belonged to the
coppers, in my presence, I'll take the liberty to land you on the coast
here, where you may amuse yourself in stewing young monkeys for your own
dinner. I saw you aboard the other ship, sir, overhauling her
arrangements; what sort of a time will the gentlemen be likely to have
in her?"

"Atrocious, sir! I give you my honour, as a real gentleman, sir. Why,
would you believe it, Captain Truck, the steward is a downright nigger,
and he wears ear-rings, and a red flannel shirt, without the least
edication. As for the cook, sir, he wouldn't pass an examination for Jemmy
Ducks aboard here, and there is but one camboose, and one set of coppers."

"Well, the steerage-passengers, in that case, will fare as well as the
cabin."

"Yes, sir, and the cabin as bad as the steerage; and for my part, I
abomernate liberty and equality."

"You should converse with Mr. Dodge on that subject, Master Saunders, and
let the hardest fend off in the argument. May I inquire, sir, if you
happen to remember the day of the week?"

"Beyond controversy, sir; to-morrow will be Sunday, Captain Truck, and I
think it a thousand pities we have not an opportunity to solicit the
prayers and praises of the church, sir, in our behalf, sir."

"If to-morrow will be Sunday, to-day must be Saturday, Mr. Saunders,
unless this last gale has deranged the calendar."

"Quite naturally, sir, and werry justly remarked. Every body admits there
is no better navigator than Captain Truck, sir."

"This may be true, my honest fellow," returned the captain moodily, after
making three or four heavy puffs on the cigar; "but I am sadly out of my
road down here in the country of your amiable family, just now. If this be
Saturday, there will be a Saturday night before long, and look to it, that
we have our 'sweethearts and wives.' Though I have neither myself, I feel
the necessity of something cheerful, to raise my thoughts to the future."

"Depend on my discretion, sir, and I rejoice to hear you say it; for I
think, sir, a ship is never so respectable and genteel as when she
celebrates all the anniwersaries. You will be quite a select and agreeable
party to-night, sir."

With this remark Mr. Saunders withdrew, to confer with Toast on the
subject, and Captain Truck proceeded to give his orders for the night to
Mr. Leach. The proud ship did indeed present a sight to make a seaman
melancholy; for to the only regular sail that stood, the foresail, by this
time was added a lower studding-sail, imperfectly rigged, and which would
not resist a fresh puff, while a very inartificial jury-topmast supported
a topgallant-sail, that could only be carried in a free wind. Aft,
preparations were making of a more permanent nature, it is true. The upper
part of the mainmast had been cut away, as low as the steerage-deck where
an arrangement had been made to step a spare topmast. The spar itself was
lying on the deck rigged, and a pair of sheers were in readiness to be
hoisted, in order to sway it up; but night approaching, the men had been
broken off, to rig the yards, bend the sails, and to fit the other spars
it was intended to use, postponing the last act, that of sending all up,
until morning.

"We are likely to have a quiet night of it," said the captain, glancing
his eyes round at the heavens; "and at eight o'clock to-morrow let all
hands be called, when we will turn-to with a will, and make a brig of the
old hussey. This topmast will do to bear the strain of the spare
main-yard, unless there come another gale, and by reefing the new mainsail
we shall be able to make something out of it. The topgallant-mast will fit
of course above, and we may make out, by keeping a little free, to carry
the sail: at need, we may possibly coax the contrivance into carrying a
studding-sail also. We have sticks for no more, though we'll endeavour to
get up something aft, out of the spare spars obtained from the store-ship.
You may knock off at four bells, Mr. Leach, and let the poor fellows have
their Saturday's night in peace. It is a misfortune enough to be
dismasted, without having one's grog stopped."

The mate of course obeyed, and the evening shut in beautifully and placid,
with all the glory of a mild night, in a latitude as low as that they were
in. They who have never seen the ocean under such circumstances, know
little of its charms in its moments of rest. The term of sleeping is well
applied to its impressive stillness, for the long sluggish swells on which
the ship rose and fell, hardly disturbed its surface. The moon did not
rise until midnight, and Eve, accompanied by Mademoiselle Viefville and
most of her male companions, walked the deck by the bright starlight,
until fatigued with pacing their narrow bounds.

The song and the laugh rose frequently from the forecastle, where the crew
were occupied with their Saturday night; and occasionally a rude sentiment
in the way of a toast was heard. But weariness soon got the better of
merriment forward, and the hard-worked mariners, who had the watch below,
soon went down to their berths, leaving those whose duty it was to remain
to doze away the long hours in such places as they could find on deck.

"A white squall," said Captain Truck, looking up at the uncouth sails that
hardly impelled the vessel a mile in the hour through the water, "would
soon furl all our canvas for us, and we are in the very place for such an
interlude."

"And what would then become of us?" asked Mademoiselle Viefville quickly.

"You had better ask what would become of that apology for a topsail,
mam'selle, and yonder stun'sail, which looks like an American in London
without straps to his pantaloons. The canvas would play kite, and we
should be left to renew our inventions. A ship could scarcely be in better
plight than we are at this moment, to meet with one of these African
flurries."

"In which case, captain," observed Mr. Monday, who stood by the skylight
watching the preparations below, "we can go to our Saturday-night without
fear; for I see the steward has everything ready, and the punch looks very
inviting, to say nothing of the champaigne."

"Gentlemen, we will not forget our duty," returned the captain; "we are
but a small family, and so much the greater need that we should prove a
jolly one. Mr. Effingham, I hope we are to have the honour of your company
at 'sweethearts and wives.'"

Mr. Effingham had no wife, and the invitation coming under such peculiar
circumstances, produced a pang that Eve, who felt his arm tremble, well
understood. She mildly intimated her intention to go below however; the
whole party followed, and lucky it was for the captain's entertainment
that she quitted the deck, as few would otherwise have been present at it.
By pressing the passengers to favour him with their company, he succeeded
in the course of a few minutes in getting all the gentlemen seated at the
cabin-table, with a glass of delicious punch before each man.

"Mr. Saunders may not be a conjuror or a mathematician, gentlemen," cried
Captain Truck, as he ladled out the beverage; "but he understands the
philosophy of sweet and sour, strong and weak; and I will venture to
praise his liquor without tasting it. Well, gentlemen, there are
better-rigged ships on the ocean than this of ours; but there are few with
more comfortable cabins, or stouter hulls, or better company. Please God
we can get a few sticks aloft again, now that we are quit of our
troublesome shadow, I think I may flatter myself with a reasonable hope of
landing you, that do me the honour to stand by me, in New York, in less
time than a common drogger would make the passage, with his legs and arms.
Let our first toast be, if you please: A happy end to that which has had
a disastrous beginning.'"

Captain Truck's hard face twitched a little while he was making this
address, and as he swallowed the punch, his eyes glistened in spite of
himself. Mr. Dodge, Sir George, and Mr. Monday repeated the sentiment
sonorously, word for word, while the other gentlemen bowed, and drank it
in silence.

The commencement of a regular scene of merriment is usually dull and
formal, and it was some time before Captain Truck could bring any of his
companions up to the point where he wished to see them; for though a
perfectly sober man, he loved a social glass, and particularly at those
times and seasons which conformed to the practice of his calling. Although
Eve and her governess had declined taking their seats at the table, they
consented to place themselves where they might be seen, and where they
might share occasionally in the conversation.

"Here have I been drinking sweethearts and wives of a Saturday-night, my
dear young lady, these forty years and more," said Captain Truck, after
the party had sipped their liquor for a minute or two, "without ever
falling into luck's latitude, or furnishing myself with either; but,
though so negligent of my own interests and happiness, I make it an
invariable rule to advise all my young friends to get spliced before they
are thirty. Many is the man who has come aboard my ship a determined
bachelor in his notions, who has left it at the end of the passage ready
to marry the first pretty young woman he fell in with."

As Eve had too much of the self-respect of a lady, and of the true dignity
of her sex, to permit jokes concerning matrimony, or a treatise on love,
to make a part of her conversation, and all the gentlemen of her party
understood her character too well, to say nothing of their own habits, to
second this attempt of the captain's, after a vapid remark or two from the
others, this rally of the honest mariner produced no _suites_.

"Are we not unusually low, Captain Truck," inquired Paul Blunt, with a
view to change the discourse, "not to have fallen in with the trades? I
have commonly met with those winds on this coast as high as twenty-six or
twenty seven, and I believe you observed to-day, in twenty-four."

Captain Truck looked hard at the speaker, and when he had done, he nodded
his head in approbation.

"You have travelled this road before, Mr. Blunt, I perceive. I have
suspected you of being a brother chip, from the moment I saw you first put
your foot on the side-cleets in getting out of the boat. You did not come
aboard parrot-toed, like a country-girl waltzing; but set the ball of the
foot firmly on the wood, and swung off the length of your arms, like a man
who knows how to humour the muscles. Your present remark, too, shows you
understand where a ship ought to be, in order to be in her right place. As
for the trades, they are a little uncertain, like a lady's mind when she
has more than one good offer; for I've known them to blow as high as
thirty, and then again, to fail a vessel as low as twenty-three, or even
lower. It is my private opinion, gentlemen, and I gladly take this
opportunity to make it public, that we are on the edge of the trades, or
in those light baffling winds which prevail along their margin, as eddies
play near the track of strong steady currents in the ocean. If we can
force the ship fairly out of this trimming region--that is the word, I
believe, Mr. Dodge--we shall do well enough; for a north-east, or an east
wind, would soon send us up with the islands, even under the rags we
carry. We are very near the coast, certainly--much nearer than I could
wish; but when we do get the good breeze, it will be all the better for
us, as it will find us well to windward."

"But these trades, Captain Truck?" asked Eve: "if they always blow in the
same direction, how is it possible that the late gale should drive a ship
into the quarter of the ocean where they prevail?"

"Always, means sometimes, my dear young lady. Although light winds prevail
near the edge of the trades, gales and tremendous fellows too, sometimes
blow there also, as we have just seen. I think we shall now have settled
weather, and that our chance of a safe arrival, more particularly in some
southern American port, is almost certain, though our chance for a speedy
arrival be not quite as good I hope before twenty-four hours are passed,
to see our decks white with sand.

"Is that a phenomenon seen here?" asked the father.

"Often, Mr. Effingham, when ships are close in with Africa, and are fairly
in the steady winds. To say the truth, the country abreast of us, some
twenty or thirty miles distant, is not the most inviting; and though it
may not be easy to say where the garden of Eden is, it is no hazardous to
say it is not there."

"If we are so very near the coast, why do we not see it?"

"Perhaps we might from aloft, if we had any aloft just now. We are to the
southward of the mountains, however, and off a part of the country where
the Great Desert makes from the coast. And now, gentlemen, I perceive Mr.
Monday finds all this sand arid, and I ask permission to give you, one and
all, 'Sweethearts and wives.'"

Most of the company drank the usual toast with spirit, though both the
Effinghams scarce wetted their lips. Eve stole a timid glance at her
father, and her own eyes were filled with tears as she withdrew them; for
she knew that every allusion of this nature revived in him mournful
recollections. As for her cousin Jack, he was so confirmed a bachelor that
she thought nothing of his want of sympathy with such a sentiment.

"You must have a care for your heart, in America, Sir George Templemore,"
cried Mr. Dodge, whose tongue loosened with the liquor he drank. "Our
ladies are celebrated for their beauty, and are immensely popular, I can
assure you."

Sir George looked pleased, and it is quite probable his thoughts ran on
the one particular vestment of the six-and-thirty, in which he ought to
make his first appearance in such a society.

"I allow the American ladies to be handsome," said Mr. Monday; "but I
think no Englishman need be in any particular danger of his heart from
such a cause, after having been accustomed to the beauty of his own
island. Captain Truck, I have the honour to drink your health."

"Fairly said," cried the captain, bowing to the compliment; "and I
ascribe my own hard fortune to the fact that I have been kept sailing
between two countries so much favoured in this particular, that I have
never been able to make up my mind which to prefer. I have wished a
thousand times there was but one handsome woman in the world, when a man
would have nothing to do but fall in love with her; and make up his mind
to get married at once, or to hang himself."

"That is a cruel wish to us men," returned Sir George, "as we should be
certain to quarrel for the beauty."

"In such a case," resumed Mr. Monday, "we common men would have to give
way to the claims of the nobility and gentry, and satisfy ourselves with
plainer companions; though an Englishman loves his independence, and might
rebel. I have the honour to drink your health and happiness, Sir George."

"I protest against your principle, Mr. Monday," said Mr. Dodge, "which is
an invasion on human rights. Perfect freedom of action is to be maintained
in this matter as in all others. I acknowledge that the English ladies are
extremely beautiful, but I shall always maintain the supremacy of the
American fair."

"We will drink their healths, sir. I am far from denying their beauty, Mr.
Dodge, but I think you must admit that they fade earlier than our British
ladies. God bless them both, however, and I empty this glass to the two
entire nations, with all my heart and soul."

"Perfectly polite, Mr. Monday; but as to the fading of the ladies, I am
not certain that I can yield an unqualified approbation to your
sentiment."

"Nay, sir, your climate, you will allow, is none of the best, and it wears
out constitutions almost as fast as your states make them."

"I hope there is no real danger to be apprehended from the climate," said
Sir George: "I particularly detest bad climates; and for that reason have
always made it a rule never to go into Lincolnshire."

"In that case, Sir George, you had better have stayed at home. In the way
of climate, a man seldom betters himself by leaving old England. Now this
is the tenth time I've been in America, allowing that I ever reach there,
and although I entertain a profound respect for the country, I find myself
growing older every time I quit it. Mr. Effingham, I do myself the favour
to drink to your health and happiness."

"You live too well when amongst us, Mr. Monday," said the captain; "there
are too many soft crabs, hard clams, and canvas-backs; too much old
Madeira, and generous Sherry, for a man of your well-known taste to resist
them. Sit less time at table, and go oftener to church this trip, and let
us hear your report of the consequences a twelve-month hence."

"You quite mistake my habits, Captain Truck, I give you my honour.
Although a judicious eater, I seldom take anything that is compounded,
being a plain roast and boiled man; a true old-fashioned Englishman in
this respect, satisfying my appetite with solid beef and mutton, and
turkey, and pork, and puddings and potatoes, and turnips and carrots, and
similar simple food; and then I _never_ drink.--Ladies, I ask the honour
to be permitted to wish you a happy return to your native countries.--I
ascribe all the difficulty, sir, to the climate, which will not permit a
man to digest properly."

"Well, Mr. Monday, I subscribe to most of your opinions, and I believe few
men cross the ocean together that are more harmonious in sentiment, in
general, than has proved to be the case between you and Sir George, and
myself," observed Mr. Dodge, glancing obliquely and pointedly at the rest
of the party, as if he thought they were in a decided minority; "but in
this instance, I feel constrained to record my vote in the negative. I
believe America has as good a climate, and as good general digestion as
commonly falls to the lot of mortals: more than this I do not claim for
the country, and less than this I should be reluctant to maintain. I have
travelled a little, gentlemen, not as much, perhaps, as the Messrs.
Effinghams; but then a man can see no more than is to be seen, and I do
affirm, Captain Truck, that in my poor judgment, which I know is good for
nothing--"

"Why do you use it, then?" abruptly asked the straight-forward captain;
"why not rely on a better?"

"We must use such as we have, or go without, sir; and I suspect, in my
very poor judgment, which is probably poorer than that of most others on
board, that America is a very good sort of a country. At all events, after
having seen something of other countries, and governments, and people, I
am of opinion that America, as a country, is quite good enough for me."

"You never said truer words, Mr. Dodge, and I beg you will join Mr. Monday
and myself in a fresh glass of punch, just to help on the digestion. You
have seen more of human nature than your modesty allows you to proclaim,
and I dare say this company would be gratified if you would overcome all
scruples, and let us know your private opinions of the different people
you have visited. Tell us something of that _dittur_ you made on
the Rhine."

"Mr. Dodge intends to publish, it is to be hoped!" observed Mr. Sharp,
"and it may not be fair to anticipate his matter."

"I beg, gentlemen, you will have no scruples on that score, for my work
will be rather philosophical and general, than of the particular nature of
private anecdotes. Saunders, hand me the manuscript journal you will find
on the shelf of our state-room, next to Sir George's patent tooth-pick
case. This is the book; and now, gentlemen and ladies, I beg you to
remember that these are merely the ideas as they arose, and not my more
mature reflections."

"Take a little punch, sir," interrupted the captain, again, whose hard
nor'-west face was set in the most demure attention. "There is nothing
like punch to clear the voice, Mr. Dodge; the acid removes the huskiness,
the sugar softens the tones, the water mellows the tongue, and the Jamaica
braces the muscles. With a plenty of punch, a man soon gets to be
another--I forget the name of that great orator of antiquity,--it wasn't
Vattel, however."

"You mean Demosthenes, sir; and, gentlemen, I beg you to remark that this
orator was a republican: but there can be no question that liberty is
favourable to the encouragement of all the higher qualities. Would you
prefer a few notes on Paris, ladies, or shall I commence with some
extracts about the Rhine?"

"_Oh! de grace, Monsieur_, be so very kind as not to overlook _Paris_!"
said Mademoiselle Viefville.

Mr. Dodge bowed graciously, and turning over the leaves of his private
journal, he alighted in the heart of the great city named. After some
preliminary hemming, he commenced reading in a grave didactic tone, that
sufficiently showed the value he had attached to his own observations.

"'_Dejjuned_ at ten, as usual, an hour, that I find exceedingly
unreasonable and improper, and one that would meet with general
disapprobation in America. I do not wonder that a people gets to be
immoral and depraved in their practices, who keep such improper hours. The
mind acquires habits of impurity, and all the sensibilities become
blunted, by taking the meals out of the natural seasons. I impute much of
the corruption of France to the periods of the day in which the food
is taken--'"

"_Voila une drole d'idee!_" ejaculated Mademoiselle Viefville.

"'--In which food is taken," repeated Mr. Dodge, who fancied the
involuntary exclamation was in approbation of the justice of his
sentiments. 'Indeed the custom of taking wine at this meal, together with
the immorality of the hour, must be chief reasons why the French ladies
are so much in the practice of drinking to excess'"

"_Mais, monsieur!_"

"You perceive, mademoiselle calls in question the accuracy of your facts,"
observed Mr. Blunt, who, in common with all the listeners, Sir George and
Mr. Monday excepted, began to enjoy a scene which at first had promised
nothing but _ennui_ and disgust.

"I have it on the best authority, I give you my honour, or I would not
introduce so grave a charge in a work of his contemplated importance. I
obtained my information from an English gentleman who has resided twelve
years in Paris; and he informs me that a very large portion of the women
of fashion in that capital, let them belong to what country they will, are
dissipated."

"_A la bonne heure, monsieur!--mais_, to drink, it is very different."

"Not so much so, mademoiselle, as you imagine," rejoined John Effingham.
"Mr. Dodge is a purist in language as well as in morals, and he uses terms
differently from us less-instructed prattlers. By dissipated, he
understands a drunkard."

"_Comment!_"

"Certainly; Mr. John Effingham, I presume, will at least give us the
credit in America in speaking our language better than any other known
people. 'After dejjunying, took a _phyacre_ and rode to the palace, to see
the king and royal family leave for Nully.--'"

"_Pour ou_?"

"_Pour Neuilly, mademoiselle_," Eve quietly answered.

"'--For Nully. His majesty went on horseback, preceding his illustrious
family and all the rest of the noble party, dressed in a red coat, laced
with white on the seams, wearing blue breeches and a cocked hat.'"

"_Ciel!_"

"'I made the king a suitable republican reverence as he passed, which he
answered with a gracious smile, and a benignant glance of his royal eye.
The Hon. Louis Philippe Orleans, the present sovereign of the French, is a
gentleman of portly and commanding appearance, and in his state attire,
which he wore on this occasion, looks 'every inch a king.' He rides with
grace and dignity, and sets an example of decorum and gravity to his
subjects, by the solemnity of his air, that it is to be hoped will produce
a beneficial and benign influence during this reign, on the manners of the
nation. His dignity was altogether worthy of the schoolmaster of
Haddonfield.'"

"_Par exemple!_"

"Yes, mam'selle, in the way of example, it is that I mean. Although a pure
democrat, and every way opposed to exclusion, I was particularly struck
with the royalty of his majesty's demeanour, and the great simplicity of
his whole deportment. I stood in the crowd next to a very accomplished
countess, who spoke English, and she did me the honour to invite me to pay
her a visit at her hotel, in the vicinity of the Bourse."

"_Mon Dieu--mon Dieu--mon Dieu!_"

"After promising my fair companion to be punctual, I walked as far as
Notter Dam--"

"I wish Mr. Dodge would be a little more distinct in his names," said
Mademoiselle Viefville, who had begun to take an interest in the subject,
that even valueless opinions excite in us concerning things that touch the
affections.

"Mr. Dodge is a little profane, mademoiselle," observed the captain; "but
his journal probably was not intended for the ladies, and you must
overlook it. Well, sir, you went to that naughty place--"

"To Notter Dam, Captain Truck, if you please, and I flatter myself that is
pretty good French."

"I think, ladies and gentlemen, we have a right to insist on a
translation; for plain roast and boiled men, like Mr. Monday and myself,
are sometimes weeping when we ought to laugh, so long as the discourse is
in anything but old-fashioned English. Help yourself, Mr. Monday, and
remember, you _never_ drink."

"_Notter Dam_, I believe, mam'selle, means our Mother, the Church of our
Mother.--Notter, or Noster, our,--Dam, Mother: Notter Dam. 'Here I was
painfully impressed with the irreligion of the structure, and the general
absence of piety in the architecture. Idolatry abounded, and so did holy
water. How often have I occasion to bless Providence for having made me
one of the descendants of those pious ancestors who cast their fortunes in
the wilderness in preference to giving up their hold on faith and charity!
The building is much inferior in comfort and true taste to the commoner
American churches, and met with my unqualified disapprobation.'"

"_Est il possible que cela soit vrai, ma chere!_"

"_Je l'espere, bien, mademoiselle_."

"You may _despair bien_, cousin Eve," said John Effingham, whose fine
curvilinear face curled even more than usual with contempt.

The ladies whispered a few explanations, and Mr. Dodge, who fancied it was
only necessary to resolve to be perfect to achieve his end, went on with
his comments, with all the self-satisfaction of a provincial critic.

"'From Notter Dam I proceeded in a _cabrioly_ to the great national
burying-ground, Pere la Chaise, so termed from the circumstance that its
distance from the capital renders chaises necessary for the _convoys_--"

"How's this, how's this!" interrupted Mr. Truck; "is one obliged to sail
under a convoy about the streets of Paris?"

"_Monsieur Dodge veut dire, convoi_. Mr. Dodge mean to say, _convoi_"
kindly interposed Mademoiselle Viefville.

"Mr. Dodge is a profound republican, and is an advocate for rotation in
language, as well as in office: I must accuse you of inconstancy, my dear
friend, if I die for it. You certainly do not pronounce your words always
in the same way, and when I had the honour of carrying you out this time
six months, when you were practising the continentals, as you call them,
you gave very different sounds to many of the words I then had the
pleasure and gratification of hearing you use."

"We all improve by travelling, sir, and I make no question that my
knowledge of foreign language is considerably enlarged by practice in the
countries in which they are spoken."

Here the reading of the journal was interrupted by a digression on
language, in which Messrs. Dodge, Monday, Templemore, and Truck were the
principal interlocutors, and during which the pitcher of punch was twice
renewed. We shall not record much of this learned discussion, which was
singularly common-place, though a few of the remarks may be given as a
specimen of the whole.

"I must be permitted to say," replied Mr. Monday to one of Mr. Dodge's
sweeping claims to superiority in favour of his own nation, "that I think
it quite extraordinary an Englishman should be obliged to go out of his
own country in order to hear his own language spoken in purity; and as one
who has seen your people, Mr. Dodge, I will venture to affirm that nowhere
is English better spoken than in Lancashire. Sir George, I drink
your health!"

"More patriotic than just, Mr. Monday; every body allows that the American
of the eastern states speaks the best English in the world, and I think
either of these gentlemen will concede that."

"Under the penalty of being nobody," cried Captain Truck; "for my own
part, I think, if a man wishes to hear the language in perfection, he
ought to pass a week or ten days in the river. I must say, Mr. Dodge, I
object to many of your sounds, particularly that of inyon, which I myself
heard you call onion, no later than yesterday."

"Mr. Monday is a little peculiar in fancying that the best English is to
be met with in Lancashire," observed Sir George Templemore; "for I do
assure you that, in town, we have difficulty in understanding gentlemen
from your part of the kingdom."

This was a hard cut from one in whom Mr. Monday expected to find an ally,
and that gentleman was driven to washing down the discontent it
excited, in punch.

"But all this time we have interrupted the _convoi_, or convoy, captain,"
said Mr. Sharp; "and Mr. Dodge, to say nothing of the mourners, has every
right to complain. I beg that gentleman will proceed with his entertaining
extracts."

Mr. Dodge hemmed, sipped a little more liquor, blew his nose, and
continued:

"'The celebrated cemetery is, indeed, worthy of its high reputation. The
utmost republican simplicity prevails in the interments, ditches being dug
in which the bodies are laid, side by side, without distinction of rank,
and with regard only to the order in which the convoys arrive.' I think
this sentence, gentlemen, will have great success in America, where the
idea of any exclusiveness is quite odious to the majority."

"Well, for my part," said the captain, "I should have no particular
objection to being excluded from such a grave: one would be afraid of
catching the cholera in so promiscuous a company."

Mr. Dodge turned over a few leaves, and gave other extracts.

"'The last six hours have been devoted to a profound investigation of the
fine arts. My first visit was to the _gullyteen;_ after which I passed an
instructive hour or two in the galleries of the Musy.'--"

"Ou, done?"

"Le Musee, mademoiselle."

"--'Where I discovered several very extraordinary things, in the way of
sculpture and painting. I was particularly struck with the manner in which
a plate was portrayed in the celebrated marriage of Cana, which might
very well have been taken for real Delft, and there was one finger on the
hand of a lady that seemed actually fitted to receive and to retain the
hymeneal ring.'"

"Did you inquire if she were engaged?--Mr. Monday, we will drink her
health."

"'Saint Michael and the Dragon is a _shefdowory_.'--"

"Un quoi?"

"Un chef-d'oeuvre, mademoiselle."

"--' The manner in which the angel holds the dragon with his feet, looking
exactly like a worm trodden on by the foot of a child, is exquisitely
plaintive and interesting. Indeed these touches of nature abound in the
works of the old masters, and I saw several fruit-pieces that I could have
eaten. One really gets an appetite by looking at many things here, and I
no longer wonder that a Raphael, a Titian, a Correggio, a Guide-o.'--"

"Un qui?"

"Un Guido, mademoiselle."

"Or a Cooley."

"And pray who may he be?" asked Mr. Monday.

"A young genius in Dodgetown, who promises one day to render the name of
an American illustrious. He has painted a new sign for the store, that in
its way is quite equal to the marriage of Cana. 'I have stood with tears
over the despair of a Niobe,'" continuing to read, "'and witnessed the
contortions of the snakes in the Laocoon with a convulsive eagerness to
clutch them, that has made me fancy I could hear them hiss." That
sentence, I think, will be likely to be noticed even in the
New-Old-New-Yorker, one of the very best reviews of our days, gentlemen."

"Take a little more punch, Mr. Dodge," put in the attentive captain; "this
grows affecting, and needs alleviation, as Saunders would say. Mr. Monday,
you will get a bad name for being too sober, if you never empty your
glass. Proceed, in the name of Heaven! Mr. Dodge."

"'In the evening I went to the Grand Opery.'--"

"Ou, done?"

"Au grand Hoppery, mademoiselle," replied John Effingham.

"--'To the _Grand Opery_,'" resumed Mr. Dodge, with emphasis, his eyes
beginning to glisten by this time, for he had often applied to the punch
for inspiration, "'where I listened to music that is altogether inferior
to that which we enjoy in America, especially at the general trainings,
and on the Sabbath. The want of science was conspicuous; and if _this_ be
music, then do I know nothing about it!'"

"A judicious remark!"'exclaimed the captain.--"Mr. Dodge has great merit
as a writer, for he loses no occasion to illustrate his opinions by the
most unanswerable facts. He has acquired a taste for Zip Coon and Long
Tail Blue, and it is no wonder he feels a contempt for your
inferior artists."

"'As for the dancing,'" continued the editor of the Active Inquirer, "'it
is my decided impression that nothing can be worse. The movement was more
suited to a funeral than the ball-room, and I affirm, without fear of
contradiction, that there is not an assembly in all America in which a
_cotillion_ would not be danced in one-half the time that one was danced
in the _bally_ to-night.'"

"Dans le quoi?"

"I believe I have not given the real Parisian pronunciation to this word,
which the French call bal-_lay_", continued the reader, with
great candour.

"Belay, or make all fast, as we say on ship-board. Mr. Dodge, as master,
of this vessel, I beg to return you the united, or as Saunders would say,
the condensed thanks of the passengers, for this information; and next
Saturday we look for a renewal of the pleasure. The ladies are getting to
be sleepy, I perceive, and as Mr. Monday _never_ drinks and the other
gentlemen have finished their punch, we may as well retire, to get ready
for a hard day's work to-morrow."

Captain Truck made this proposal, because he saw that one or two of the
party were _plenum punch_, and that Eve and her companion were becoming
aware of the propriety of retiring. It was also true that he foresaw the
necessity of rest, in order to be ready for the exertions of the morning.

After the party had broken up, which it did very contrary to the wishes of
Messrs. Dodge and Monday, Mademoiselle Viefville passed an hour in the
state-room of Miss Effingham, during which time she made several
supererogatory complaints of the manner in which the editor of the Active
Inquirer had viewed things in Paris, besides asking a good many questions
concerning his occupation and character.

"I am not quite certain, my dear mademoiselle, that I can give you a very
learned description of the animal you think worthy of all these questions,
but, by the aid of Mr. John Effingham's information, and a few words that
have fallen from Mr. Blunt, I believe it ought to be something as
follows:--America once produced a very distinguished philosopher, named
Franklin--"

"Comment, ma chere! Tout le monde le connait!"

"--This Monsieur Franklin commenced life as a printer; but living to a
great age, and rising to high employments, he became a philosopher in
morals, as his studies had made him one in physics. Now, America is full
of printers, and most of them fancy themselves Franklins, until time and
failures teach them discretion."

"_Mais_ the world has not seen but _un seul Franklin!_"

"Nor is it likely to see another very soon. In America the young men are
taught, justly enough, that by merit they may rise to the highest
situations; and, always according to Mr. John Effingham, too many of them
fancy that because they are at liberty to turn any high qualities they may
happen to have to account, they are actually fit for anything. Even he
allows this peculiarity of the country does much good, but he maintains
that it also does much harm, by causing pretenders to start up in all
directions. Of this class he describes Mr. Dodge to be. This person,
instead of working at the mechanical part of a press, to which he was
educated, has the ambition to control its intellectual, and thus edits the
Active Inquirer."

"It must be a very useful journal!"

"It answers his purposes, most probably. He is full of provincial
ignorance, and provincial prejudices, you perceive; and, I dare say, he
makes his paper the circulator of all these, in addition to the personal
rancour, envy, and uncharitableness, that usually distinguish a pretension
that mistakes itself for ambition. My cousin Jack affirms that America is
filled with such as he."

"And, Monsieur Effingham?"

"Oh! my dear father is all mildness and charity, you snow, mademoiselle,
and he only looks at the bright side of the picture, for he maintains that
a great deal of good results from the activity and elasticity of such a
state of things. While he confesses to a great deal of downright ignorance
that is paraded as knowledge; to much narrow intolerance that is
offensively prominent in the disguise of principle, and a love of liberty;
and to vulgarity and personalities that wound all taste, and every
sentiment of right, he insists on it that the main result is good."

"In such a case there is need of an umpire. You mentioned the opinion of
Mr. Blunt. Comme ce jeune homme parle bien Francais!"

Eve hesitated, and she changed colour slightly, before she answered.

"I am not certain that the opinion of Mr. Blunt ought to be mentioned in
opposition to those of my father and cousin Jack, on such a subject," she
said. "He is very young, and it is, now, quite questionable whether he is
even an American at all."

"Tant mieux, ma chere. He has been much in the country, and it is not the
native that make the best judge, when the stranger has many opportunities
of seeing."

"On this principle, mademoiselle, you are, then, to give up your own
judgment about France, on all those points in which I have the misfortune
to differ from you," said Eve, laughing.

"_Pas tout a fait_," returned the governess goodhumouredly. "Age and
experience must pass _pour quelque chose. Et Monsieur Blunt_?--"

"Monsieur Blunt leans nearer to the side of cousin Jack, I fear, than to
that of my dear, dear father. He says men of Mr. Dodge's character,
propensities, malignancy, intolerance, ignorance, vulgarity, and peculiar
vices abound in and about the American press. He even insists that they do
an incalculable amount of harm, by influencing those who have no better
sources of information; by setting up low jealousies and envy in the place
of principles and the right; by substituting--I use his own words,
mademoiselle," said Eve, blushing with the consciousness of the fidelity
of her memory--"by substituting uninstructed provincial notions for true
taste and liberality; by confounding the real principles of liberty with
personal envies, and the jealousies of station; and by losing sight
entirely of their duties to the public, in the effort to advance their own
interests. He says that the government is in truth a _press-ocracy_, and a
press-ocracy, too, that has not the redeeming merit of either principles,
tastes, talents or knowledge."

"Ce Monsieur Blunt has been very explicit, and _suffisamment eloquent_,"
returned Mademoiselle Viefville, gravely; for the prudent governess did
not fail to observe that Eve used language so very different from that
which was habitual to her, as to make her suspect she quoted literally.
For the first time the suspicion was painfully awakened, that it was her
duty to be more vigilant in relation to the intercourse between her charge
and the two agreeable young men whom accident had given them as
fellow-passengers. After a short but musing pause, she again adverted to
the subject of their previous conversation.

"Ce Monsieur Dodge, est il ridicule!"

"On that point at least, my dear mademoiselle, there can be no mistake.
And yet cousin Jack insists that this stuff will be given to his readers,
as views of Europe worthy of their attention."

"Ce conte du roi!--mais, c'est trop fort!"

"With the coat laced at the seams, and the cocked hat!"

"Et l'honorable Louis Philippe d'Orleans!"

"Orleans, mademoiselle; d'Orleans would be anti-republican."

Then the two ladies sat looking at each other a few moments in silence,
when both, although of a proper _retenue_ of manner in general, burst into
a hearty and long-continued fit of laughter. Indeed, so long did Eve, in
the buoyancy of her young spirits, and her keen perception of the
ludicrous, indulge herself, that her fair hair fell about her rosy cheeks,
and her bright eyes fairly danced with delight.




Chapter XVI.



  And there he went ashore without delay,
  Having no custom-house or quarantine,--
  To ask him awkward questions on the way
  About the time and place where he had been.

  BYRON.


Captain Truck was in a sound sleep as soon as his head touched the pillow.
With the exception of the ladies, the others soon followed his example;
and as the people were excessively wearied, and the night was so tranquil,
ere long only a single pair of eyes were open on deck: those of the man at
the wheel. The wind died away, and even this worthy was not innocent of
nodding at his post.

Under such circumstances, it will occasion no great surprise that the
cabin was aroused next morning with the sudden and startling information
that the land was close aboard the ship. Every one hurried on deck, where,
sure enough, the dreaded coast of Africa was seen, with a palpable
distinctness, within two miles of the vessel. It presented a long broken
line of sand-hills, unrelieved by a tree, or by so few as almost to merit
this description, and with a hazy background of remote mountains to the
north-east. The margin of the actual coast nearest to the ship was
indented with bays; and even rocks appeared in places; but the general
character of the scene was that of a fierce and burning sterility. On this
picture of desolation all stood gazing in awe and admiration for some
minutes, as the day gradually brightened, until a cry arose from forward,
of "a ship!"

"Whereaway?" sternly demanded Captain Truck; for the sudden and unexpected
appearance of this dangerous coast had awakened all that was forbidding
and severe in the temperament of the old master; "whereaway, sir?"

"On the larboard quarter, sir, and at anchor."

"She is ashore!" exclaimed half-a-dozen voices at the same instant, just
as the words came from the last speaker. The glass soon settled this
important point. At the distance of about a league astern of them were,
indeed, to be seen the spars of a ship, with the hull looming on the
sands, in a way to leave no doubt of her being a wreck. It was the first
impression of all, that this, at last, was the Foam; but Captain Truck
soon announced the contrary.

"It is a Swede, or a Dane," he said, "by his rig and his model. A stout,
solid, compact sea-boat, that is high and dry on the sands, looking as if
he had been built there. He does not appear even to have bilged, and most
of his sails, and all of his yards, are in their places. Not a living soul
is to be seen about her! Ha! there are signs of tents made of sails on
shore, and broken bales of goods! Her people have been seized and carried
into the desert, as usual, and this is a fearful hint that we must keep
the Montauk off the bottom. Turn-to the people, Mr. Leach, and get up your
sheers that we may step our jury-masts at once; the smallest breeze on the
land would drive us ashore, without any after-sail."

While the mates and the crew set about completing the work they had
prepared the previous day, Captain Truck and his passengers passed the
time in ascertaining all they could concerning the wreck, and the reasons
of their being themselves in a position so very different from what they
had previously believed.

As respects the first, little more could be ascertained; she lay
absolutely high and dry on a hard sandy beach, where she had probably been
cast during the late gale, and sufficient signs were made out by the
captain, to prove to him that she had been partly plundered. More than
this could not be discovered at that distance, and the work of the Montauk
was too urgent to send a boat manned with her own people to examine. Mr.
Blunt, Mr. Sharp, Mr. Monday, and the servants of the two former, however,
volunteering to pull the cutter, it was finally decided to look more
closely into the facts, Captain Truck himself taking charge of the
expedition.--While the latter is getting ready, a word of explanation will
suffice to tell the reader the reason why the Montauk had fallen so much
to leeward.

The ship being so near the coast, it became now very obvious she was
driven by a current that set along the land, but which, it was probable,
had set towards it more in the offing. The imperceptible drift between the
observation of the previous day and the discovery of the coast, had
sufficed to carry the vessel a great distance; and to this simple cause,
coupled perhaps with some neglect in the steerage during the past night,
was her present situation to be solely attributed. Just at this moment,
the little air there was came from the land, and by keeping her head
off-shore, Captain Truck entertained no doubt of his being able to escape
the calamity that had befallen the other ship in the fury of the gale. A
wreck is always a matter of so much interest with mariners, therefore,
that taking all these things into view, he had come to the determination
we have mentioned, of examining into the history of the one in sight, so
far as circumstances permitted.

The Montauk carried three boats; the launch, a large, safe, and
well-constructed craft, which stood in the usual chucks between the
foremast and mainmast; a jolly-boat, and a cutter. It was next to
impossible to get the first into the water, deprived as the ship was of
its mainmast; but the other hanging at davits, one on each quarter, were
easily lowered. The packets seldom carry any arms beyond a light gun to
fire signals with, the pistols of the master, and perhaps a fowling-piece
or two. Luckily the passengers were better provided: all the gentlemen had
pistols, Mr. Monday and Mr. Dodge excepted, if indeed they properly
belonged to this category, as Captain Truck would say, and most of them
had also fowling-pieces. Although a careful examination of the coast with
the glasses offered no signs of the presence of any danger from enemies,
these arms were carefully collected, loaded, and deposited in the boats,
in order to be prepared for the worst. Provisions and water were also
provided, and the party were about to proceed.

Captain Truck and one or two of the adventurers were still on the deck,
when Eve, with that strange love of excitement and adventure that often
visits the most delicate spirits, expressed an idle regret that she could
not make one in the expedition.

"There is something so strange and wild in landing on an African desert,"
she said; "and I think a near view of the wreck would repay us,
Mademoiselle, for the hazard."

The young men hesitated between their desire to have such a companion, and
their doubts of the prudence of the step; but Captain Truck declared there
could be no risk, and Mr. Effingham consenting, the whole plan was altered
so as to include the ladies; for there was so much pleasure in varying the
monotony of a calm, and escaping the confinement of ship, that everybody
entered into the new arrangement with zeal and spirit.

A single whip was rigged on the fore-yard, a chair was slung, and in ten
minutes both ladies were floating on the ocean in the cutter. This boat
pulled six oars, which were manned by the servants of the two Messrs.
Effinghams, Mr. Blunt, and Mr. Sharp, together with the two latter
gentlemen in person. Mr. Effingham steered. Captain Truck had the
jolly-boat, of which he pulled an oar himself, aided by Saunders, Mr.
Monday, and Sir George Templemore; the mates and the regular crew being
actively engaged in rigging their jury-mast. Mr. Dodge declined being of
the party, feeding himself with the hope that the present would be a
favourable occasion to peep into the state-rooms, to run his eye over
forgotten letters and papers, and otherwise to increase the general stock
of information of the editor of the Active Inquirer.

"Look to your chains, and see all clear for a run of the anchors, Mr.
Leach, should you set within a mile of the shore," called out the captain,
as they pulled off from the vessel's side. "The ship is drifting along the
land, but the wind you have will hardly do more than meet the send of the
sea, which is on shore: should any thing go wrong show an ensign at the
head of the jury-stick forward."

The mate waved his hand, and the adventurers passed without the sound of
the voice. It was a strange sensation to most of those in the boats, to
find themselves in their present situation. Eve and Mademoiselle
Viefville, in particular, could scarcely credit their senses, when they
found the egg-shells that held them heaving and setting like bubbles on
those long sluggish swells, which had seemed of so little consequence
while in the ship, but which now resembled the heavy respirations of a
leviathan. The boats, indeed, though always gliding onward, impelled by
the oars, appeared at moments to be sent helplessly back and forth, like
playthings of the mighty deep, and it was some minutes before either
obtained a sufficient sense of security to enjoy her situation. As they
receded fast from the Montauk, too, their situation seemed still more
critical; and with all her sex's love of excitement, Eve heartily repented
of her undertaking before they had gone a mile. The gentlemen, however,
were all in good spirits, and as the boats kept near each other, Captain
Truck enlivening their way with his peculiar wit, and Mr. Effingham, who
was influenced by a motive of humanity in consenting to come, being
earnest and interested, Eve soon began to entertain other ideas.

As they drew near the end of their little expedition, entirely new
feelings got the mastery of the whole party. The solitary and gloomy
grandeur of the coasts, the sublime sterility,--for even naked sands may
become sublime by their vastness,--the heavy moanings of the ocean on the
beach, and the entire spectacle of the solitude, blended as it was with
the associations of Africa, time, and the changes of history, united to
produce sensations of a pleasing melancholy. The spectacle of the ship,
bringing with it the images of European civilization, as it lay helpless
and deserted on the sands, too, heightened all.

This vessel, beyond a question, had been driven up on a sea during the
late gale, at a point where the water was of sufficient depth to float
her, until within a few yards of the very spot where she now lay; Captain
Truck giving the following probable history of the affair:

"On all sandy coasts," he said, "the return waves that are cast on the
beach form a bar, by washing back with them a portion of the particles.
This bar is usually within thirty or forty fathoms of the shore, and there
is frequently sufficient water within it to float a ship. As this bar,
however, prevents the return of all the water, on what is called the
under-tow, narrow channels make from point to point, through which this
excess of the element escapes. These channels are known by the appearance
of the water over them, the seas breaking less at those particular places
than in the spots where the bottom lies nearer to the surface, and all
experienced mariners are aware of the fact. No doubt, the unfortunate
master of this ship, finding himself reduced to the necessity of running
ashore to save the lives of his crew, has chosen such a place, and has
consequently forced his vessel up to a spot where she has remained dry as
soon as the sea fell. So worthy a fellow deserved a better fate; for this
wreck is not three days old, and yet no signs are to be seen of any who
were in that stout ship."

These remarks were made as the crew of the two boats lay on their oars, at
a short distance without the line on the water, where the breaking of the
sea pointed out the position of the bar. The channel, also, was plainly
visible directly astern of the ship, the sea merely rising and falling in
it without combing. A short distance to the southward, a few bold black
rocks thrust themselves forward, and formed a sort of bay, in which it was
practicable to land without risk; for they had come on the coast in a
region where the monotony of the sands, as it appeared when close in, was
little relieved by the presence of anything else.

"If you will keep the cutter just without the breakers, Mr. Effingham,"
Captain Truck continued, after standing up a while and examining the
shore, "I will pull into the channel, and land in yonder bay. If you feel
disposed to follow, you may do so by giving the tiller to Mr. Blunt, on
receiving a signal to that effect from me. Be steady, gentlemen, at your
oars, and look well to the arms on landing, for we are in a knavish part
of the world. Should any of the monkeys or ouran-outangs claim kindred
with Mr. Saunders, we may find it no easy matter to persuade them to leave
us the pleasure of his society."

The captain made a sign, and the jolly-boat entered the channel. Inclining
south, it was seen rising and falling just within the breakers, and then
it was hid by the rocks. In another minute, Mr. Truck, followed by all but
Mr. Monday, who stood sentinel at the boat, was on the rocks, making his
way towards the wreck. On reaching the latter, he ascended swiftly even to
the main cross-trees. Here a long examination of the plain, beyond the
bank that hid it from the view of all beneath, succeeded, and then the
signal to come on was made to those who were still in the boat.

"Shall we venture?" cried Paul Blunt, soliciting an assent by the very
manner in which he put the question.

"What say you, dear father?"

"I hope we may not yet be too late to succour some Christian in distress,
my child. Take the tiller, Mr. Blunt, and in Heaven's good name, and for
humanity's sake, let us proceed!"

The boat advanced, Paul Blunt standing erect to steer, his ardour to
proceed corrected by apprehensions on account of her precious freight.
There was an instant when the ladies trembled, for it seemed as if the
light boat was about to be cast upon the shore, like the froth of the sea
that shot past them; but the steady hand of him who steered averted the
danger, and in another minute they were floating at the side of the
jolly-boat. The ladies got ashore without much difficulty, and stood on
the summit of the rocks.

"Nous voici donc, en Afrique," exclaimed Mademoiselle Viefville, with that
sensation of singularity that comes over all when they first find
themselves in situations of extraordinary novelty.

"The wreck--the wreck," murmured Eve; "let us go to the wreck. There may
be yet a hope of saving some wretched sufferer."

Toward the wreck they all proceeded, after leaving two of the servants to
relieve Mr. Monday on his watch.

It was an impressive thing to stand at the side of a ship on the sands of
Africa, a scene in which the desolation of an abandoned vessel was
heightened by the desolation of a desert. The position of the vessel,
which stood nearly erect, imbedded in the sands, rendered it less
difficult than might be supposed for the ladies to ascend to, and to walk
her decks, a rude staging having been made already to facilitate the
passage. Here the scene became thrice exciting, for it was the very type
of a hastily deserted and cherished dwelling.

Before Eve and Mademoiselle Viefville gained the deck, the other party had
ascertained that no living soul remained. The trunks, chests, furniture,
and other appliances of the cabin, had been rummaged, and many boxes had
been raised from the hold, and plundered, a part of their contents still
lying scattered on the decks. The ship, however, had been lightly
freighted, and the bulk of her cargo, which was salt, was apparently
untouched. A Danish ensign was found bent to the halyards, a proof that
Captain Truck's original conjecture concerning the character of the vessel
was accurate, her name, too, was ascertained to be the Carrier, as
translated into English, and she belonged to Copenhagen. More than this it
was not easy to ascertain. No papers were found, and her cargo, or as much
of it as remained, was so mixed, and miscellaneous, as Saunders called it,
that no plausible guess could be given as to the port where it had been
taken in, if indeed it had all been received on board at the same place.

Several of the light sails had evidently been carried off, but all the
heavy canvas was left on the yards which remained in their places. The
vessel was large, exceedingly strong, as was proved by the fact that she
had not bilged in beaching, and apparently well found. Nothing was wanting
to launch her into the ocean but machinery and force, and a crew to sail
her, when she might have proceeded on her voyage as if nothing unusual had
occurred. But such a restoration was hopeless, and this admirable machine,
like a man cut off in his youth and vigour, had been cast upon the shores
of this inhospitable region, to moulder where it lay, unless broken up for
the wood and iron by the wanderers of the desert.

There was no object more likely to awaken melancholy ideas in a mind
resembling that of Captain Truck's, than a spectacle of this nature. A
fine ship, complete in nearly all her parts, virtually uninjured, and yet
beyond the chance of further usefulness, in his eyes was a picture of the
most cruel loss. He cared less for the money it had cost than for the
qualities and properties that were thus destroyed.

He examined the bottom, which he pronounced capital for stowing, and
excellent as that of a sea-boat; he admired the fastenings: applied his
knife to try the quality of the wood, and pronounced the Norway pine of
the spars to be almost equal to anything that could be found in our own
southern woods. The rigging, too, he regarded as one loves to linger over
the regretted qualities of a deceased friend.

The tracks of camels and horses were abundant on the sand around the
ship, and especially at the bottom of the rude staging by which the party
had ascended, and which had evidently been hastily made in order to carry
articles from the vessel to the backs of the animals that were to bear
them into the desert. The foot-prints of men were also to be seen, and
there was a startling and mournful certainty in distinguishing the marks
of shoes, as well as those of the naked foot.

Judging from all these signs, Captain Truck was of opinion the wreck must
have taken place but two or three days before, and that the plunderers had
not left the spot many hours.

"They probably went off with what they could carry at sunset last evening,
and there can be no doubt that before many days, they, or others in their
places, will be back again. God protect the poor fellows who have fallen
into this miserable bondage! What an occasion would there now be to rescue
one of them, should he happen to be hid near this spot!"

The idea seized the whole party at once, and all eagerly turned to examine
the high bank, which rose nearly to the summit of the masts, in the hope
of discovering some concealed fugitive. The gentlemen went below again,
and Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt called out in German, and English, and French,
to invite any one who might be secreted to come forth. No sound answered
these friendly calls. Again Captain Truck went aloft to look into the
interior, but he beheld nothing more than the broad and unpeopled desert.

A place where the camels had descended to the beach was at no great
distance, and thither most of the party proceeded, mounting to the level
of the plain beyond. In this little expedition, Paul Blunt led the
advance, and as he rose over the brow of the bank, he cocked both barrels
of his fowling-piece, uncertain what might be encountered. They found,
however, a silent waste, almost without vegetation, and nearly as
trackless as the ocean that lay behind them. At the distance of a hundred
rods, an object was just discernible, lying on the plain half-buried in
sand, and thither the young men expressed a wish to go, first calling to
those in the ship to send a man aloft to give the alarm, in the event of
any party of the Mussulmans being seen. Mr. Effingham, too, on being told
their intention, had the precaution to cause Eve and Mademoiselle
Viefville to get into the cutter, which he manned, and caused to pull out
over the bar, where she lay waiting the issue.

A camel's path, of which the tracks were nearly obliterated by the sands,
led to the object; and after toiling along it, the adventurers soon
reached the desired spot. It proved to be the body of a man who had died
by violence. His dress and person denoted that of a passenger rather than
that of a seaman, and he had evidently been dead but a very few hours,
probably not twelve. The cut of a sabre had cleft his skull. Agreeing not
to acquaint the ladies with this horrible discovery, the body was hastily
covered with the sand, the pockets of the dead man having been first
examined; for, contrary to usage, his person had not been stripped. A
letter was found, written by a wife to her husband, and nothing more. It
was in German, and its expressions and contents, though simple, were
endearing and natural. It spoke of the traveller's return; for she who
wrote it little thought of the miserable fate that awaited her beloved in
this remote desert.

As nothing else was visible, the party returned hastily to the beach,
where they found that Captain Truck had ended his investigation, and was
impatient to return. In the interest of the scene the Montauk had
disappeared behind a headland, towards which she had been drifting when
they left her. Her absence created a general sense of loneliness, and the
whole party hastened into the jolly-boat, as if fearful of being left.
When without the bar again, the cutter took in her proper crew, and the
boats pulled away, leaving the Dane standing on the beach in his solitary
desolation--a monument of his own disaster.

As they got further from the land the Montauk came in sight again, and
Captain Truck announced the agreeable intelligence that the jury mainmast
was up, and that the ship had after-sail set, diminutive and defective as
it might be. Instead of heading to the southward, however, as heretofore,
Mr. Leach was apparently endeavouring to get back again to the northward
of the headland that had shut in the ship, or was trying to retrace his
steps. Mr. Truck rightly judged that this was proof his mate disliked the
appearance of the coast astern of him, and that he was anxious to get an
offing. The captain in consequence urged his men to row, and in little
more than an hour the whole party were on the deck of the Montauk again,
and the boats were hanging at the davits.




Chapter XVII.



  I boarded the king's ship; now on the beak,
  Now in the waist, the deck, in every cabin,
  I flam'd amazement.

  TEMPEST.


If Captain Truck distrusted the situation of his own ship when he saw that
the mate had changed her course, he liked it still less after he was on
board, and had an opportunity to form a more correct judgment. The current
had set the vessel not only to the southward, but in-shore, and the send
of the ground-swell was gradually, but inevitably, heaving her in towards
the land. At this point the coast was more broken than at the spot where
the Dane had been wrecked, some signs of trees appearing, and rocks
running off in irregular reefs into the sea. More to the south, these
rocks were seen without the ship, while directly astern they were not half
a mile distant. Still the wind was favourable, though light and baffling,
and Mr. Leach had got up every stitch of canvas that circumstances would
at all allow; the lead, too, had been tried, and the bottom was found to
be a hard sand mixed with rocks, and the depth of the water such as to
admit of anchoring. It was a sign that Captain Truck did not absolutely
despair after ascertaining all these facts, that he caused Mr. Saunders to
be summoned; for as yet, none of those who had been in the boats had
breakfasted.

"Step this way, Mr. Steward," said the captain; "and report the state of
the coppers. You were rummaging, as usual, among the lockers of yonder
unhappy Dane, and I desire to know what discoveries you have made! You
will please to recollect, that on all public expeditions of this nature,
there must be no peculation or private journal kept. Did you see any
stock-fish?"

"Sir, I should deem this ship disgraced by the admission into her pantry
of such an article, sir. We have tongues and sounds in plenty, Captain
Truck, and no gentleman that has such diet, need ambition a stock-fish!"

"I am not quite of your way of thinking; but the earth is not made of
stock-fish. Did you happen to fall in with any butter?"

"Some, sir, that is scarcely fit to slush a mast with, and I do think, one
of the most atrocious cheeses, sir, it was ever my bad fortune to meet
with. I do not wonder the Africans left the wreck."

"You followed their example, of course, Mr. Saunders, and left the
cheese."

"I followed my own judgment, sir, for I would not stay in a ship with such
a cheese, Captain Truck, sir, even to have the honour of serving under so
great a commander as yourself. I think it no wonder that vessel was
wrecked! Even the sharks would abandon her. The very thoughts of her
impurities, sir, make me feel unsettled in the stomach."

The captain nodded his head in approbation of this sentiment, called for a
coal, and then ordered breakfast. The meal was silent, thoughtful, and
even sad; every one was thinking of the poor Danes and their sad fate,
while they who had been on the plain had the additional subject of the
murdered man for their contemplation.

"Is it possible to do nothing to redeem these poor people, father, from
captivity?" Eve at length demanded.

"I have been thinking of this, my child; but I see no other method than to
acquaint their government of their situation."

"Might we not contribute something from our own means to that effect?
Money, I fancy, is the chief thing necessary."

The gentlemen looked at each other in approbation, though a reluctance to
be the first to speak kept most of them silent.

"If a hundred pounds, Miss Effingham, will be useful," Sir George
Templemore said, after the pause had continued an awkward minute, laying a
banknote of that amount on the table, "and you will honour us by becoming
the keeper of the redemption money, I have great pleasure in making
the offer."

This was handsomely said, and as Captain Truck afterwards declared,
handsomely done too, though it was a little abrupt, and caused Eve to
hesitate and redden.

"I shall accept your gift, sir," she said; "and with your permission will
transfer it to Mr. Effingham, who will better know what use to put it to,
in order to effect our benevolent purpose. I think I can answer for as
much more from himself."

"You may, with certainty, my dear--and twice as much, if necessary. John,
this is a proper occasion for your interference."

"Put me down at what you please," said John Effingham, whose charities in
a pecuniary sense were as unlimited, as in feeling they were apparently
restrained. "One hundred or one thousand, to rescue that poor crew!"

"I believe, sir, we must all follow so good an example," Mr. Sharp
observed; "and I sincerely hope that this scheme will not prove useless. I
think it may be effected by means of some of the public agents at
Mogadore."

Mr. Dodge raised many objections, for it really exceeded his means to give
so largely, and his character was formed in a school too envious and
jealous to confess an inferiority on a point even as worthless as that of
money. Indeed, he had so long been accustomed to maintain that "one man
was as good as another," in opposition to his senses, that, like most of
those who belong to this impracticable school, he had tacitly admitted in
his own mind, the general and vulgar ascendency of mere wealth; and, quite
as a matter of course, he was averse to confessing his own inferiority on
a point that he had made to be all in all, while loudest in declaiming
against any inferiority whatever. He walked out of the cabin, therefore,
with strong heart-burnings and jealousies, because others had presumed to
give that which it was not really in his power to bestow.

On the other hand, both Mademoiselle Viefville and Mr. Monday manifested
the superiority of the opinions in which they had been trained. The first
quietly handed a Napoleon to Mr. Effingham, who took it with as much
attention and politeness as he received any of the larger contributions;
while the latter produced a five-pound note, with a hearty good-will that
redeemed the sin of many a glass of punch in the eyes of his companions.

Eve did not dare to look towards Paul Blunt, while this collection was
making; but she felt regret that he did not join in it. He was silent and
thoughtful, and even seemed pained, and she wondered if it were possible
that one, who certainly lived in a style to prove that his income was
large, could be so thoughtless as to have deprived himself of the means of
doing that which he so evidently desired to do. But most of the company
was too well-bred to permit the matter to become the subject of
conversation, and they soon rose from table in a body. The mind of Eve,
however, was greatly relieved when her father told her that the young man
had put a hundred sovereigns in gold into his hands as soon as possible,
and that he had seconded this offering with another, of embarking for
Mogadore in person, should they get into the Cape de Verds, or the
Canaries, with a view of carrying out the charitable plan with the
least delay.

"He is a noble-hearted young man," said the pleased father, as he
communicated this fact to his daughter and cousin; "and I shall not object
to the plan."

"If he offer to quit this ship one minute sooner than is necessary, he
does, indeed, deserve a statue of gold," said John Effingham; "for it has
all that can attract a young man like him, and all too that can awaken his
jealousy."

"Cousin Jack!" exclaimed Eve reproachfully, quite thrown off her guard by
the abruptness and plainness of this language.

The quiet smile of Mr. Effingham proved that he understood both, but he
made no remark. Eve instantly recovered her spirits, and angry at herself
for the girlish exclamation that had escaped her, she turned on her
assailant. "I do not know that I ought to be seen in an aside with Mr.
John Effingham," she said, "even when it is sanctioned with the presence
of my own father."

"And may I ask why so much sudden reserve, my offended beauty?"

"Merely that the report is already active, concerning the delicate
relation in which we stand towards each other."

John Effingham looked surprised, but he suppressed his curiosity from a
long habit of affecting an indifference he did not always feel. The father
was less dignified, for he quietly demanded an explanation.

"It would seem," returned Eve, assuming a solemnity suited to a matter of
interest, "that our secret is discovered. While we were indulging our
curiosity about this unfortunate ship, Mr. Dodge was gratifying the
laudable industry of the Active Inquirer, by prying into our state-rooms."

"This meanness is impossible!" exclaimed Mr. Effingham.

"Nay," said John, "no meanness is impossible to a demagogue,--a pretender
to things of which he has even no just conception,--a man who lives to
envy and traduce; in a word, a _quasi_ gentleman. Let us hear what Eve
has to say."

"My information is from Ann Sidley, who saw him in the act. Now the kind
letter you wrote my father, cousin Jack, just before we left London, and
which you wrote because you would not trust that honest tongue of yours to
speak the feelings of that honest heart, is the subject of my daily study;
not on account of its promises, you will believe me, but on account of the
strong affection it displays to a girl who is not worthy of one half you
feel and do for her."

"Pshaw!"

"Well, let it then be pshaw! I had read that letter this very morning, and
carelessly left it on my table. This letter Mr. Dodge, in his undying
desire to lay everything before the public, as becomes his high vocation,
and as in duty bound, has read; and misconstruing some of the phrases, as
will sometimes happen to a zealous circulator of news, he has drawn the
conclusion that I am to be made a happy woman as soon as we reach America,
by being converted from Miss Eve Effingham into Mrs. John Effingham."

"Impossible! No man can be such a fool, or quite so great a miscreant!"

"I should rather think, my child," added the milder father, "that
injustice has been done Mr. Dodge. No person, in the least approximating
to the station of a gentleman, could even think of an act so base as this
you mention."

"Oh! if this be all your objection to the tale," observed the cousin, "I
am ready to swear to its truth. But Eve has caught a little of Captain
Truck's spirit, of mystifying, and is determined to make a character by a
bold stroke in the beginning. She is clever, and in time may rise to be
a quiz."

"Thank you for the compliment, cousin Jack, which, however, I am forced to
disclaim, as I never was more serious in my life. That the letter was
read, Nanny, who is truth itself, affirms she saw. That Mr. Dodge has
since been industriously circulating the report of my great good fortune,
she has heard from the mate, who had it from the highest source of
information direct, and that such a man would be likely to come to such a
conclusion, you have only to recall the terms of the letter yourself,
to believe."

"There is nothing in my letter to justify any notion so silly."

"An Active Inquirer might make discoveries you little dream of, dear
cousin Jack. You speak of its being time to cease roving, of settling
yourself at last, of never parting, and, prodigal as you are, of making
Eve the future mistress of your fortune. Now to all this, recreant,
confess, or I shall never again put faith in man."

John Effingham made no answer, but the father warmly expressed his
indignation, that any man of the smallest pretensions to be admitted among
gentlemen, should be guilty of an act so base.

"We can hardly tolerate his presence. John, and it is almost a matter of
conscience to send him to Coventry."

"If you entertain such notions of decorum, your wisest way, Edward, will
be to return to the place whence you have come; for, trust me, you will
find scores of such gentlemen where you are going!"

"I shall not allow you to persuade me I know my own country so little.
Conduct like this will stamp a man with disgrace in America as well as
elsewhere."

"Conduct like this would, but it will no longer. The pell-mell that rages
has brought honourable men into a sad minority, and even Mr. Dodge will
tell you the majority must rule. Were he to publish my letter, a large
portion of his readers would fancy he was merely asserting the liberty of
the press. Heavens save us! You have been dreaming abroad, Ned Effingham,
while your country has retrograded, in all that is respectable and good, a
century in a dozen years!"

As this was the usual language of John Effingham, neither of his listeners
thought much of it, though Mr. Effingham more decidedly expressed an
intention to cut off even the slight communication with the offender, he
had permitted himself to keep up, since they had been on board.

"Think better of it, dear father," said Eve; "for such a man is scarcely
worthy of even your resentment. He is too much your inferior in
principles, manners, character, station, and everything else, to render
him of so much account; and then, were we to clear up this masquerade into
which the chances of a ship have thrown us, we might have our scruples
concerning others, as well as concerning this wolf in sheep's clothing."

"Say rather an ass, shaved and painted to resemble a zebra," muttered
John. "The fellow has no property as respectable as the basest virtue of
a wolf."

"He has at least rapacity."

"And can howl in a pack. This much, then, I will concede to you: but I
agree with Eve, we must either punish him affirmatively, by pulling his
ears, or treat him with contempt, which is always negative or silent. I
wish he had entered the state-room of that fine young fellow, Paul Blunt,
who is of an age and a spirit to give him a lesson that might make a
paragraph for his Active Inquirer, if not a scissors' extract of himself."

Eve knew that the offender had been there too, but she had too much
prudence to betray him.

"This will only so much the more oblige him," she said, laughingly; "for
Mr. Blunt, in speaking of the editor of the Active Inquirer, said that he
had the failing to believe that this earth, and all it contained, was
created merely to furnish materials for newspaper paragraphs."

The gentlemen laughed with the amused Eve, and Mr. Effingham remarked,
that "there did seem to be men so perfectly selfish, so much devoted to
their own interests, and so little sensible of the rights and feelings of
others, as to manifest a desire to render the press superior to all other
power; not," he concluded, "in the way of argument, or as an agent of
reason, but as a master, coarse, corrupt, tyrannical and vile; the
instrument of selfishness, instead of the right, and when not employed as
the promoter of personal interests, to be employed as the tool of personal
passions."

"Your father will become a convert to my opinions. Miss Effingham," said
John, "and he will not be home a twelve-month before he will make the
discovery that the government is a press-ocracy, and its ministers,
self-chosen and usurpers, composed of those who have the least at stake,
even as to character."

Mr. Effingham shook his head in dissent, but the conversation changed in
consequence of a stir in the ship. The air from the land had freshened,
and even the heavy canvas on which the Montauk was now compelled
principally to rely, had been asleep, as mariners term it, or had blown
out from the mast, where it stood inflated and steady, a proof at sea,
where the water is always in motion, that the breeze is getting to be
fresh. Aided by this power, the ship had overcome the united action of the
heavy ground-swell and of the current, and was stealing out from under the
land, when the air murmured for an instant, as if about to blow still
fresher, and then all the sails flapped. The wind had passed away like a
bird, and a dark line to sea-ward, denoted the approach of the breeze from
the ocean. The stir in the vessel was occasioned by the preparations to
meet this change.

The new wind brought little with it beyond the general danger of blowing
on shore. The breeze was light, and not more than sufficient to force the
vessel through the water, in her present condition, a mile and a half in
the hour, and this too in a line nearly parallel with the coast. Captain
Truck saw therefore at a glance, that he should be compelled to anchor.
Previously, however, to doing this, he had a long talk with his mates, and
a boat was lowered.

The lead was cast, and the bottom was found to be still good, though a
hard sand, which is not the best holding ground.

"A heavy sea would cause the ship to drag," Captain Truck remarked,
"should it come on to blow, and the lines of dark rocks astern of them
would make chips of the Pennsylvania in an hour, were that great ship to
lie on it."

He entered the boat, and pulled along the reefs to examine an inlet that
Mr. Leach reported to have been seen, before he got the ship's head to the
northward. Could an entrance be found at this point, the vessel might
possibly be carried within the reef, and a favourite scheme of the
captain's could be put in force, one to which he now attached the highest
importance. A mile brought the boat up to the inlet, where Mr. Truck found
the following appearances: The general formation of the coast in sight was
that of a slight curvature, within which the ship had so far drifted as to
be materially inside a line drawn from headland to headland. There was,
consequently, little hope of urging a vessel, crippled like the Montauk,
against wind, sea and current, out again into the ocean. For about a
league abreast of the ship the coast was rocky, though low, the rocks
running off from the shore quite a mile in places, and every where fully
half that distance. The formation was irregular, but it had the general
character of a reef, the position of which was marked by breakers, as well
as by the black heads of rocks that here and there showed themselves above
the water. The inlet was narrow, crooked, and so far environed by rocks as
to render it questionable whether there was a passage at all, though the
smoothness of the water had raised hopes to that effect in Mr. Leach.

As soon as captain Truck arrived at the mouth of this passage, he felt so
much encouraged by the appearance of things that he gave the concerted
signal for the ship to veer round and to stand to the southward. This was
losing ground in the way of offing, but tack the Montauk could not with
so little wind, and the captain saw by the drift she had made since he
left her, that promptitude was necessary. The ship might anchor off the
inlet, as well as anywhere else, if reduced to anchoring outside at all,
and then there was always the chance of entering.

As soon as the ship's head was again to the southward, and Captain Truck
felt certain that she was lying along the reef at a reasonably safe
distance, and in as good a direction as he could hope for, he commenced
his examination. Like a discreet seaman he pulled off from the rocks to a
suitable distance, for should an obstacle occur outside, he well knew any
depth of water further in would be useless. The day was so fine, and in
the absence of rivers, the ocean so limpid in that low latitude, that it
was easy to see the bottom at a considerable depth. But to this sense, of
course, the captain did not trust, for he kept the lead going constantly,
although all eyes were also employed in searching for rocks.

The first cast of the lead was in five fathoms, and these soundings were
held nearly up to the inlet, where the lead struck a rock in three fathoms
and a half. At this point, then, a more careful examination was made, but
three and a half was the shallowest cast. As the Montauk drew nearly a
fathom less than this, the cautious old master proceeded closer in.
Directly in the mouth of the inlet was a large flat rock, that rose nearly
to the surface of the sea, and which, when the tide was low, was probably
bare. This rock Captain Truck at first believed would defeat his hopes of
success, which by this time were strong; but a closer examination showed
him that on one side of it was a narrow passage, just wide enough to
admit a ship.

From this spot the channel became crooked, but it was sufficiently marked
by the ripple on the reef; and after a careful investigation, he found it
was possible to carry three fathoms quite within the reef, where a large
space existed that was gradually filling up with sand, but which was
nearly all covered with water when the tide was in, as was now the case,
and which had channels, as usual, between the banks. Following one of
these channels a quarter of a mile, he found a basin of four fathoms of
water, large enough to take a ship in, and, fortunately, it was in close
proximity to a portion of the reef that was always bare, when a heavy sea
was not beating over it. Here he dropped a buoy, for he had come provided
with several fragments of spars for this purpose; and, on his return, the
channel was similarly marked off, at all the critical points. On the flat
rock, in the inlet, one of the men was left, standing up to his waist
in-the water, it being certain that the tide was failing.

The boat now returned to the ship, which it met at the distance of half a
mile from the inlet. The current setting southwardly, her progress had
been more rapid than when heading north, and her drift had been less
towards the land. Still there was so little wind, so steady a
ground-swell, and it was possible to carry so little after-sail, that
great doubts were entertained of being able to weather the rocks
sufficiently to turn into the inlet. Twenty times in the next half hour
was the order to let go the anchor, on the point of being given, as the
wind baffled, and as often was it countermanded, to take advantage of its
reviving. These were feverish moments, for the ship was now so near the
reef as to render her situation very insecure in the event of the wind's
rising, or of a sea's getting up, the sand of the bottom being too hard to
make good holding-ground. Still, as there was a possibility, in the
present state of the weather, of kedging the ship off a mile into the
offing, if necessary, Captain Truck stood on with a boldness he might not
otherwise have felt. The anchor hung suspended by a single turn of the
stopper, ready to drop at a signal, and Mr. Truck stood between the
knight-heads, watching the slow progress of the vessel, and accurately
noticing every foot of leeward set she made, as compared with the rocks.

All this time the poor fellow stood in the water, awaiting the arrival of
his friends, who, in their turn, were anxiously watching his features, as
they gradually grew more distinct.

"I see his eyes," cried the captain cheerily; "take a drag at the
bowlines, and let her head up as much as she will, Mr. Leach, and never
mind those sham topsails Take them in at once, sir; they do us, now, more
harm than good."

The clewline blocks rattled, and the top-gallant sails, which were made
to do the duty of top-sails, but which would hardly spread to the lower
yards, so as to set on a wind, came rapidly in. Five minutes of intense
doubt followed, when the captain gave the animating order to--"Man the
main-clew garnets, boys, and stand by to make a run of it!"

This was understood to be a sign that the ship was far enough to windward,
and the command to "in mainsail," which soon succeeded, was received
with a shout.

"Hard up with the helm, and stand by to lay the fore-yard square," cried
Captain Truck, rubbing his hands. "Look that both bowers are clear for a
run; and you, Toast, bring me the brightest coal in the galley."

The movements of the Montauk were necessarily slow; but she obeyed her
helm, and fell off until her bows pointed in towards the sailor in the
water. This fine fellow, the moment he saw the ship approaching, waded to
the verge of the rock, where it went off perpendicularly to the bottom,
and waved to them to come on without fear.

"Come within ten feet of me," he shouted. "There is nothing to spare on
the other side."

As the captain was prepared for this, the ship was steered accordingly,
and as she hove slowly past on the rising and falling water, a rope was
thrown to the man, who was hauled on board.

"Port!" cried the captain, as soon as the rock was passed; "port your
helm, sir, and stand for the first buoy."

In this manner the Montauk drove slowly but steadily on, until she had
reached the basin, where one anchor was let go almost as soon as she
entered. The chain was paid out until the vessel was forced over to some
distance, and then the other bower was dropped. The foresail was hauled
up and handed, and chain was given the ship, which was pronounced to be
securely moored.

"Now," cried the captain, all his anxiety ceasing with the responsibility,
"I expect to be made a member of the New York Philosophical Society at
least, which is learned company for a man who has never been at college,
for discovering a port on the coast of Africa, which harbour, ladies and
gentlemen, without too much vanity, I hope to be permitted to call Port
Truck. If Mr. Dodge, however should think this too anti-republican, we
will compromise the matter by calling it Port Truck and Dodge; or the town
that no doubt will sooner or later arise on its banks, may be called
Dodgeborough, and I will keep the harbour to myself."

"Should Mr. Dodge consent to this arrangement, he will render himself
liable to the charge of aristocracy," said Mr. Sharp; for as all felt
relieved by finding themselves in a place of security, so all felt
disposed to join in the pleasantry. "I dare say his modesty would prevent
his consenting to the plan."

"Why, gentlemen," returned the subject of these remarks, "I do not know
that we are to refuse honours that are fairly imposed on us by the popular
voice; and the practice of naming towns and counties after distinguished
citizens, is by no means uncommon with us. A few of my own neighbours have
been disposed to honour me in this way already, and my paper is issued
from a hamlet that certainly does bear my own unworthy name. So you
perceive there will be no novelty in the appellation."

"I would have made oath to it," cried the captain, "from your
well-established humility. Is the place as large as London?"

"It can boast of little more than my own office, a tavern, a store, and a
blacksmith's shop, captain, as yet; but Rome was not built in a day."

"Your neighbours, sir, must be people of extraordinary discernment; but
the name?"

"That is not absolutely decided. At first it was called Dodgetown, but
this did not last long, being thought vulgar and common-place. Six or
eight weeks afterwards, we--"

"We, Mr. Dodge!"

"I mean the people, sir,--I am so much accustomed to connect myself with
the people, that whatever they do, I think I had a hand in."

"And very properly, sir," observed John Effingham, "as probably without
you, there would have been no people at all."

"What may be the population of Dodgetown, sir?" asked the persevering
captain, on this hint.

"At the census of January, it was seventeen; but by the census of March,
there were eighteen. I have made a calculation that shows, if we go on at
this rate, or by arithmetical progression, it will be a hundred in about
ten years, which will be a very respectable population for a country
place. I beg pardon, sir, the people six or eight weeks afterwards,
altered the name to Dodgeborough; but a new family coming in that summer,
a party was got up to change it to Dodge-ville, a name that was immensely
popular, as ville means city in Latin; but it must be owned the people
like change, or rotation in names, as well as in office, and they called
the place Butterfield Hollow, for a whole month, after the new inhabitant,
whose name is Butterfield. He moved away in the fall; and so, after trying
Belindy, (_Anglice_ Belinda,) Nineveh, Grand Cairo, and Pumpkin Valley,
they made me the offer to restore the ancient name, provided some
_addendum_ more noble and proper could be found than town, or ville, or
borough; it is not yet determined what it shall be, but I believe we shall
finally settle down in Dodgeople, or Dodgeopolis."

"For the season; and a very good name it will prove for a short cruise, I
make no question. The Butterfield Hollow _was_ a little like rotation in
office, in truth, sir."

"I didn't like it, captain, so I gave Squire Butterfield to understand,
privately; for as he had a majority with him, I didn't approve of speaking
too strongly on the subject. As soon as I got him out of the tavern,
however, the current set the other way."

"You fairly uncorked him!"

"That I did, and no one ever heard of him, or of his hollow, after his
retreat. There are a few discontented and arrogant innovators, who affect
to call the place by its old name of Morton; but these are the mere
vassals of a man who once owned the patent, and who has now been dead
these forty years. We are not the people to keep his old musty name, or to
honour dry bones."

"Served him right, sir, and like men of spirit! If he wants a place called
after himself, let him live, like other people. A dead man has no occasion
for a name, and there should be a law passed, that when a man slips his
cables, he should bequeath his name to some honest fellow who has a worse
one. It might be well to compel all great men in particular, to leave
their renown to those who cannot get any for themselves."

"I will venture to suggest an improvement on the name, if Mr. Dodge will
permit me," said Mr. Sharp, who had been an amused listener to the short
dialogue. "Dodgeople is a little short, and may be offensive by its
_brusquerie_. By inserting a single letter, it will become Dodge-people;
or, there is the alternative of Dodge-adrianople, which will be a truly
sonorous and republican title. Adrian was an emperor, and even Mr. Dodge
might not disdain the conjunction."

By this time, the editor of the Active Inquirer began to be extremely
elevated--for this was assailing him on his weakest side--and he laughed
and rubbed his hands as if he thought the joke particularly pleasant. This
person had also a peculiarity of judgment that was singularly in
opposition to all his open professions, a peculiarity, however, that
belongs rather to his class than to the individual member of it. Ultra as
a democrat and an American, Mr. Dodge had a sneaking predilection in
favour of foreign opinions. Although practice had made him intimately
acquainted with all the frauds, deceptions, and vileness of the ordinary
arts of paragraph-making, he never failed to believe religiously in the
veracity, judgment, good faith, honesty and talents of anything that was
imported in the form of types. He had been weekly, for years, accusing his
nearest brother of the craft, of lying, and he could not be altogether
ignorant of his own propensity in the same way; but, notwithstanding all
this experience in the secrets of the trade, whatever reached him from a
European journal, he implicitely swallowed whole. One, who knew little of
the man, might have supposed he feigned credulity to answer his own
purposes; but this would be doing injustice to his faith, which was
perfect, being based on that provincial admiration, and provincial
ignorance, that caused the countryman, who went to London for the first
time, to express his astonishment at finding the king a man. As was due to
his colonial origin, his secret awe and reverence for an Englishman was
in proportion to his protestations of love for the people, and his
deference for rank was graduated on a scale suited to the heart-burning
and jealousies he entertained for all whom he felt to be his superiors.
Indeed, one was the cause of the other; for they who really are
indifferent to their own social position, are usually equally indifferent
to that of others, so long as they are not made to feel the difference by
direct assumptions of superiority.

When Mr. Sharp, whom even Mr. Dodge had discovered to be a gentleman,--and
an English gentleman of course,--entered into the trifling of the moment,
therefore, so far from detecting the mystification, the latter was
disposed to believe himself a subject of interest with this person,
against whose exclusiveness and haughty reserve, notwithstanding, he had
been making side-hits ever since the ship had sailed. But the avidity with
which the Americans of Mr. Dodge's temperament are apt to swallow the
crumbs of flattery that fall from the Englishman's table, is matter of
history, and the editor himself was never so happy as when he could lay
hold of a paragraph to republish, in which a few words of comfort were
doled out by the condescending mother to the never-dying faith of the
daughter. So far, therefore, from taking umbrage at what had been said, he
continued the subject long after the captain had gone to his duty, and
with so much perseverance that Paul Blunt, as soon as Mr. Sharp escaped,
took an occasion to compliment that gentleman on his growing intimacy with
the refined and single-minded champion of the people. The other admitted
his indiscretion; and if the affair had no other consequences, it afforded
these two fine young men a moment's merriment, at a time when anxiety had
been fast getting the ascendency over their more cheerful feelings. When
they endeavoured to make Miss Effingham share in the amusement, however,
that young lady heard them with gravity; for the meanness of the act
discovered by Nanny Sidley, had indisposed her to treat the subject of
their comments with the familiarity of even ridicule. Perceiving this,
though unable to account for it, the gentlemen changed the discourse, and
soon became sufficiently grave by Contemplating their own condition.

The situation of the Montauk was now certainly one to excite uneasiness
in those who were little acquainted with the sea, as well as in those who
were. It was very much like that for which Miss Effingham's nurse had
pined, having many rocks and sands in sight, with the land at no great
distance. In order that the reader may understand it more clearly, we
shall describe it with greater minuteness.

To the westward of the ship lay the ocean, broad, smooth, glittering, but,
heaving and setting, with its eternal breathings, which always resemble
the respiration of some huge monster. Between the vessel and this waste of
water, and within three hundred feet of the first, stretched an irregular
line of ripple, dotted here and there with the heads of low naked rocks,
marking the presence and direction of the reef.

This was all that would interpose between the basin and the raging
billows, should another storm occur; but Captain Truck thought this would
suffice so far to break the waves as to render the anchorage sufficiently
secure. Astern of the ship, however, a rounded ridge of sand began to
appear as the tide fell, within forty fathoms of the vessel, and as the
bottom was hard, and difficult to get an anchor into it, there was the
risk of dragging on this bank. We say that the bottom was hard, for the
reader should know that it is not the weight of the anchor that secures
the ship, but the hold its pointed fluke and broad palm get of the ground.
The coast itself was distant less than a mile, and the entire basin within
the reef was fast presenting spits of sand, as the water fell on the ebb.
Still there were many channels, and it would have been possible, for one
who knew their windings, to have sailed a ship several leagues among them,
without passing the inlet; these channels forming a sort of intricate
net-work, in every direction from the vessel.

When Captain Truck had coolly studied all the peculiarities of his
position, he set about the duty of securing his ship, in good earnest. The
two light boats were brought under the bows, and the stream anchor was
lowered, and fastened to a spar that lay across both. This anchor was
carried to the bank astern, and, by dint of sheer strength, was laid over
its summit with a fluke buried to the shank in the hard sand. By means of
a hawser, and a purchase applied to its end, the men on the banks next
roused the chain out, and shackled it to the ring. The bight was hove-in,
and the ship secured astern, so as to prevent a shift of wind, off the
land, from forcing her on the reef. As no sea could come from this
quarter, the single anchor and chain were deemed sufficient for this
purpose. As soon as the boats were at liberty, and before the chain had
been got ashore, two kedges were carried to the reef, and laid among the
rocks, in such a way that their flukes and stocks equally got hold of the
projections. To these kedges lighter chains were secured; and when all the
bights were hove-in, to as equal a strain as possible. Captain Truck
pronounced his ship in readiness to ride out any gale that would be likely
to blow. So far as the winds and waves might affect her, the Montauk was,
in truth, reasonably safe; for on the side where danger was most to be
apprehended, she had two bowers down, and four parts of smaller chain were
attached to the two kedges. Nor had Captain Truck fallen into the common
error of supposing he had so much additional strength in his fastenings,
by simply running the chains through the rings, but he had caused each to
be separately fastened, both in-board and to the kedges, by which means
each length of the chain formed a distinct and independent fastening
of itself.

So absolute is the sovereignty of a ship, that no one had presumed to
question the master as to his motives for all this extraordinary
precaution, though it was the common impression that he intended to remain
where they were until the wind became favourable, or at least, until all
danger of being thrown upon the coast, from the currents and the
ground-swell, should have ceased, Paul Blunt observed, that he fancied it
was the intention to take advantage of the smooth water within the reef,
to get up a better and a more efficient set of jury-masts. But Captain
Truck soon removed all doubts by letting the truth be known. While on
board the Danish wreck, he had critically examined her spars, sails, and
rigging, and, though adapted for a ship two hundred tons smaller than the
Montauk, he was of opinion they might be fitted to the latter vessel, and
made to answer all the necessary purposes for crossing the ocean,
provided the Mussulmans and the weather would permit the transfer.

"We have smooth water and light airs," he said, when concluding his
explanation, "and the current sets southwardly along this coast; by means
of all our force, hard working, a kind Providence, and our own enterprise,
I hope yet to see the Montauk enter the port of New York, with royals set,
and ready to carry sail on a wind. The seaman who cannot rig his ship with
sticks and ropes and blocks enough, might as well stay ashore, Mr. Dodge,
and publish an hebdomadal. And so, my dear young lady, by looking along
the land, the day after to-morrow, in the northern board here, you may
expect to see a raft booming down upon you that will cheer your heart, and
once more raise the hope of a Christmas dinner in New York, in all lovers
of good fare."




Chapter XVIII



  Here, in the sands. Thee I'll rake up--

  LEAR


His mind made up, his intentions announced, and his ship in readiness,
Captain Truck gave his orders to proceed with promptitude and clearness.
The ladies remaining behind, he observed that the two Messrs. Effingham,
as a matter of course, would stay with them as protectors, though little
could harm them where they were.

"I propose to leave the ship in the care of Mr. Blunt," he said, "for I
perceive something about that gentleman which denotes a nautical instinct.
If Mr. Sharp choose to remain also, your society will be the more
agreeable, and in exchange, gentlemen, I ask the favour of the strong arms
of all your servants. Mr. Monday is my man in fair or foul, and so, I
flatter myself, will be Sir George Templemore; and as for Mr. Dodge, if he
stay behind, why the Active Inquirer will miss a notable paragraph, for
there shall be no historian to the expedition, but one of my own
appointing. Mr. Saunders shall have the honour of cooking for you in the
meanwhile, and I propose taking every one else to the Dane."

As no serious objections could be made to this arrangement, within an hour
of the time when the ship was fastened, the cutter and jolly-boat
departed, it being the intention of Captain Truck to reach the wreck that
evening, in season to have his sheers ready to raise by daylight in the
morning; or he hoped to be back again in the course of the succeeding
day. No time was to be lost, he knew, the return of the Arabs being hourly
expected, and the tranquillity of the open sea being at all times a matter
of the greatest uncertainty. With the declared view of making quick work,
and with the secret apprehension of a struggle with the owners of the
country, the captain took with him every officer and man in his ship that
could possibly be spared, and as many of the passengers as he thought
might be useful. As numbers might be important in the way of intimidation,
he cared almost as much for appearances as for any thing else, or
certainly he would not have deemed the presence of Mr. Dodge of any great
moment; for to own the truth, he expected the editor of the Active
Inquirer would prove the quality implied by the first word of the title of
his journal, as much in any other way as in fighting.

Neither provisions nor water, beyond what might be necessary in pulling to
the wreck, nor ropes, nor blocks, nor any thing but arms and ammunition,
were taken in the boats; for the examination of the morning had shown the
captain, that, notwithstanding so much had been plundered, a sufficiency
still remained in the stranded vessel. Indeed, the fact that so much had
been left was one of his reasons for hastening off himself, as he deemed
it certain that they who had taken away what was gone, would soon return
for the remainder. The fowling-pieces and pistols, with all the powder and
ball in the ship, were taken: a light gun that was on board, for the
purpose of awaking sleepy pilots, being left loaded, with the intention of
serving for a signal of alarm, should any material change occur in the
situation of the ship.

The party included thirty men, and as most had fire-arms of one sort or
another, they pulled out of the inlet with spirit and great confidence in
their eventual success. The boats were crowded, it is true, but there was
room to row, and the launch had been left in its place on deck, because it
was known that two boats were to be found in the wreck, one of which was
large: in short, as Captain Truck had meditated this expedient from the
moment he ascertained the situation of the Dane, he now set about carrying
it into effect with method and discrimination. We shall first accompany
him on his way, leaving the small party in the Montauk for our future
attention in another chapter.

The distance between the two vessels was about four leagues, and a
headland intervening, those in the boats in less than an hour lost sight
of their own ship, as she lay shorn of her pride anchored within the reef.
At almost the same moment, the wreck came into view, and Captain Truck
applied his glass with great interest, in order to ascertain the state of
things in that direction. All was tranquil--no signs of any one having
visited the spot since morning being visible. This intelligence was given
to the people, who pulled at their oars the more willingly under the
stimulus of probable success, driving the boats ahead with
increasing velocity.

The sun was still some distance above the horizon, when the cutter and
jolly-boat rowed through the narrow channel astern of the wreck, and
brought up, as before, by the side of the rocks. Leaping ashore, Captain
Truck led the way to the vessel, and, in five minutes, he was seen in the
forward cross-trees, examining the plain with his glass. All was as
solitary and deserted as when before seen, and the order was immediately
given to commence operations without delay.

A gang of the best seamen got out the spare topmast and lower-yard of the
Dane, and set about fitting a pair of sheers, a job that would be likely
to occupy them several hours. Mr. Leach led a party up forward, and the
second mate went up with another further aft, each proceeding to send down
its respective top-gallant-mast, top-sail-yard, and top-mast; while
Captain Truck, from the deck, superintended the same work on the
mizen-mast. As the men worked with spirit, and a strong party remained
below to give the drags, and to come up the lanyards, spar came down after
spar with rapidity, and just as the sun dipped into the ocean to the
westward, everything but the lower-masts was lying on the sands, alongside
of the ship; nothing having been permitted to touch the decks in
descending. Previously, however, to sending down the lower-yards, the
launch had been lifted from its bed and landed also by the side of
the vessel.

Ail hands were now mustered on the sands, and the boat was launched, an
operation of some delicacy, as heavy rollers were occasionally coming in.
As soon as it floated, this powerful auxiliary was swept up to the rocks,
and then the men began to load it with the standing rigging and sails,
the latter having been unbent, as fast as each spar came down. Two kedges
were found, and a hawser was bent to one, when the launch was carried
outside of the bar and anchored. Lines being brought in, the yards were
hauled out to the same place, and strongly lashed together for the night.
A great deal of running rigging, many blocks, and divers other small
articles, were put into the boats of the Montauk, and the jolly-boat of
the wreck, which was still hanging at her stern, was also lowered and got
into the water. With these acquisitions, the party had now four boats, one
of which was heavy and capable of carrying a considerable freight.

By this time it was so late and so dark, that Captain Truck determined to
suspend his labours until morning. In the course of a few hours of active
toil, he had secured all the yards, the sails, the standing and running
rigging, the boats, and many of the minor articles of the Dane; and
nothing of essential importance remained, but the three lower masts.
These, it is true, were all in all to him, for without them he would be
but little better off than he was before, since his own ship had spare
canvas and spare yards enough to make a respectable show above the
foundation. This foundation, however, was the great requisite, and his
principal motive in taking the other things, was to have a better fit than
could be obtained by using spars and sails that were not intended to
go together.

At eight o'clock, the people got their suppers, and prepared to turn in
for the night. Some conversation passed between Captain Truck and his
mates, concerning the manner of disposing of the men while they slept,
which resulted in the former's keeping a well-armed party of ten with him
in the ship, while the remainder were put in the boats, all of which were
fastened to the launch, as she lay anchored off the bar. Here they made
beds of the sails, and, setting a watch, the greater portion of both gangs
were soon as quietly asleep as if lying in their own berths on board the
Montauk. Not so with Captain Truck and his mates. They walked the deck of
the Dane fully an hour after the men were silent, and for some time after
Mr. Monday had finished the bottle of wine he had taken the precaution to
bring with him from the packet, and had bestowed his person among some
old sails in the cabin. The night was a bright starlight, but the moon was
not to be expected until near morning. The wind came off the sands of the
interior in hot puffs, but so lightly as to sound, that it breathed past
them like the sighings of the desert.

"It is lucky, Mr. Leach," said the Captain, continuing the discourse he
had been holding with his mate in a low voice, under the sense of the
insecurity of their situation; "it is lucky, Mr. Leach, that we got out
the stream anchor astern, else we should have had the ship rubbing her
copper against the corners of the rocks. This air seems light, but under
all her canvas, the Montauk would soon flap her way out from this coast,
if all were ready."

"Ay, ay, sir, if all were ready!" repeated Mr. Leach, as if he knew how
much honest labour was to be expended before that happy moment
could arrive.

"If all were ready. I think we may be able to whip these three sticks out
of this fellow by breakfast-time in the morning, and then a couple of
hours will answer for the raft; after which, a pull of six or eight more
will take us back to our own craft."

"If all goes well, it may be done, sir."

"Well or ill, it must be done. We are not in a situation to play at
jack-straws!"

"I hope if may be done, sir."

"Mr. Leach!"

"Captain Truck!"

"We are in a d----le category, sir, if the truth must be spoken."

"That is a word I am not much acquainted with, but we have an awkward
berth of it here, if that be what you mean!"

A long pause, during which these two seamen, one of whom was old, the
other young, paced the deck diligently.

"Mr. Leach!"

"Captain Truck!"

"Do you ever pray?"

"I have done such a thing in my time, sir; but, since I have sailed with
you, I have been taught to work first and pray afterwards; and when the
difficulty has been gotten over by the work, the prayers have commonly
seemed surplusage."

"You should take to, your thanksgivings. I think your grandfather was a
parson Leach."

"Yes, he was, sir, and I have been told your father followed the same
trade."

"You have been told the truth, Mr. Leach. My father was as meek, and
pious, and humble a Christian as ever thumped a pulpit. A poor man, and,
if truth must be spoken, a poor preacher too; but a zealous one, and
thoroughly devout. I ran away from him at twelve, and never passed a week
at a time under his roof afterwards. He could not do much for me, for he
had little education and no money, and, I believe, carried on the business
pretty much by faith. He was a good man, Leach, notwithstanding there
might be a little of a take-in for such a person to set up as a teacher;
and, as for my mother, if there ever was a pure spirit on earth it was in
her body!"

"Ay, that is the way commonly with the mothers, sir."

"She taught me to pray," added the captain, speaking a little thick, "but
since I've been in this London line, to own the truth, I find but little
time for any thing but hard work, until, for want of practice, praying has
got to be among the hardest things I can turn my hand to."

"That is the way with all of us; it is my opinion, Captain Truck, these
London and Liverpool liners will have a good many lost souls to
answer for."

"Ay, ay, if we could put it on them, it would do well enough; but my
honest old father always maintained, that every man must stand in the gap
left by his own sins; though he did assert, also, that we were all
fore-ordained to shape our courses starboard or port, even before we were
launched."

"That doctrine makes an easy tide's-way of life; for I see no great use in
a man's carrying sail and jamming himself up in the wind, to claw off
immoralities, when he knows he is to fetch up upon them after all
his pains."

"I have worked all sorts of traverses to get hold of this matter, and
never could make any thing of it. It is harder than logarithms. If my
father had been the only one to teach it, I should have thought less about
it, for he was no scholar, and might have been paying it out just in the
way of business; but then my mother believed it, body and soul, and she
was too good a woman to stick long to a course that had not truth to
back it."

"Why not believe it heartily, sir, and let the wheel fly? One gets to the
end of the v'y'ge on this tack as well as on another."

"There is no great difficulty in working up to or even through the passage
of death, Leach, but the great point is to know the port we are to moor in
finally. My mother taught me to pray, and when I was ten I had underrun
all the Commandments, knew the Lord's Creed, and the Apostles' Prayer, and
had made a handsome slant into the Catechism; but, dear me, dear me, it
has all oozed out of me, like the warmth from a Greenlander."

"Folks were better educated in your time, Captain Truck, than they are
now-a-days, by all I can learn."

"No doubt of that in the world. In my time, younkers were taught respect
for their betters, and for age, and their Catechism, and piety, and the
Apostles' Prayer, and all those sort of things. But America has fallen
astern sadly in manners within the last fifty years. I do not flatter
myself with being as good as I was when under my excellent dear mother's
command, but there are worse men in the world, and out of Newgate, too,
than John Truck. Now, in the way of vices, Leach, I never swear."

"Not you, sir; and Mr. Monday _never_ drinks."

As the protestation of sobriety on the part of their passenger had got to
be a joke with the officers and men of the ship, Captain Truck had no
difficulty in understanding his mate, and though nettled at a retort that
was like usurping his own right to the exclusive quizzing of the vessel,
he was in a mood much too sentimental and reflecting to be angry. After a
moment's pause, he resumed the dialogue, as if nothing had been said to
disturb its harmony.

"No, I _never_ swear; or, if I do, it is in a small gentlemanly way, and
with none of your foul-mouthed oaths, such as are used by the
horse-jockeys that formerly sailed out of the river."

"Were they hard swearers?"

"Is a nor'-wester a hard wind? Those fellows, after they have been choked
off and jammed by the religion ashore for a month or two, would break out
like a hurricane when they had made an offing, and were once fairly out of
hearing of the parsons and deacons. It is said that old Joe Bunk began an
oath on the bar that he did not get to the end of until his brig was off
Montauk. I have my doubts, Leach, if any thing be gained by screwing down
religion and morals, like a cotton bale, as is practised in and about
the river!"

"A good many begin to be of the same way of thinking; for when our people
_do_ break out, it is like the small-pox!"

"I am an advocate for education; nor do I think I was taught in my own
case more than was reasonable. I think even a prayer is of more use to a
ship-master than Latin, and I often have, even now, recourse to one,
though it may not be exactly in Scripture language. I seldom want a wind
without praying for it, mentally, as it might be; and as for the
rheumatis', I am always praying to be rid of it, when I'm not cursing it
starboard and larboard. Has it never struck you that the world is less
moral since steamboats were introduced than formerly?"

"The boats date from before my birth, sir."

"Very true--you are but a boy. Mankind appear to be hurried, and no one
likes to stop to pray, or to foot up his sins, as used to be the case.
Life is like a passage at sea. We feel our way cautiously until off
soundings on our own coast, and then we have an easy time of it in the
deep water; but when we get near the shoals again; we take out the lead,
and mind a little how we steer. It is the going off and coming on the
coast, that gives us all the trouble."

"You had some object in view, Captain Truck, when you asked me if I ever
prayed!"

"Certain. If I were to set to work to pray myself just now, it would be
for smooth water to-morrow, that we may have a good time in towing the
raft to the ship--hist! Leach did you hear nothing?"

"There was a sound different from what is common in the air from the land!
It is probably some savage beast, for Africa is full of them."

"I think we might manage a lion from this fortress. Unless the fellow
found the stage, he could hardly board us, and a plank or two thrown from
that, would make a draw-bridge of it at once. Look yonder! there is
something moving on the bank, or my eyes are two jewel-blocks."

Mr. Leach looked in the required direction, and he, too, fancied he saw
something in motion on the margin of the bank. At the point where the
wreck lay, the beach was far from wide, and her flying jib-boom, which was
still out, projected so near the low acclivity, where the coast rose to
the level of the desert, as to come within ten feet of the bushes by which
the latter was fringed. Although the spar had drooped a little in
consequence of having lost the support of the stays, its end was still
sufficiently high to rise above the leaves, and to permit one seated on it
to overlook the plain as well as the starlight would allow. Believing the
duty to be important, Captain Truck, first giving his orders to Mr. Leach,
as to the mode of alarming the men, should it become necessary, went
cautiously out on the bowsprit, and thence by the foot-ropes, to the
farther extremity of the booms. As this was done with the steadiness of a
seaman and with the utmost care to prevent discovery, he was soon
stretched on the spar, balancing his body by his legs beneath, and casting
eager glances about, though prevented by the obscurity from seeing either
far or very distinctly.

After lying in this position a minute, Captain Truck discovered an object
on the plains, at the distance of a hundred yards from the bushes, that
was evidently in motion. He was now all watchfulness, for, had he not seen
the proofs that the Arabs or Moors had already been at the wreck, he knew
that parties of them were constantly hovering along the coast, especially
after every heavy gale that blew from the westward, in the hope of booty.
As all his own people were asleep, the mates excepted, and the boats could
just be discovered by himself, who knew their position, he was in hopes
that, should any of the barbarians be near, the presence of his own party
could hardly be known. It is true, the alteration in the appearance of the
wreck, by the removal of the spars, must strike any one who had seen it
before, but this change might have been made by another party of
marauders, or those who had now come, if any there were, might see the
vessel for the first time.

While such thoughts were rapidly glancing through his mind, the reader
will readily imagine that the worthy master was not altogether at his
ease. Still he was cool, and as he was resolved to fight his way off, even
against an army, he clung to the spar with a species of physical
resolution that would have done credit to a tiger. The object on the plain
moved once more, and the clouds opening beyond he plainly made out the
head and neck of a dromedary. There was but one, however; nor could the
most scrupulous examination show him a human being. After remaining a
quarter of an hour on the boom, during all which time the only sounds that
were heard were the sighings of the night-air, and the sullen and steady
wash of the surf, Captain Truck came on deck again, where he found his
mate waiting his report with intense anxiety. The former was fully aware
of the importance of his discovery, but, being a cool man, he had not
magnified the danger to himself.

"The Moors are down on the coast," he said, in an undertone; "but I do not
think there can be more than two or three of them at the most; probably
spies or scouts; and, could we seize them, we may gain a few hours on
their comrades, which will be all we want; after which they shall be
welcome to the salt and the other dunnage of the poor Dane. Leach, are you
the man to stand by me in this affair?"

"Have I ever failed you, Captain Truck, that you put the question?"

"That you have never, my fine fellow; give me a squeeze of your honest
hand, and let there be a pledge of life or death in it."

The mate met the iron grasp of his commander, and each knew that he
received an assurance on which he might rely.

"Shall I awake the men, sir?" asked Mr. Leach.

"Not one of them. Every hour of sleep the people get will be a lower mast
saved. These sticks that still remain are our foundation, and even one of
them is of more account to us, just now, than a fleet of ships might be at
another time. Take your arms and follow me; but first we will give a hint
to the second-mate of what we are about."

This officer was asleep on the deck, for he had been so much wearied with
his great exertions that afternoon as to catch a little rest as the
sweetest of all gifts. It had been the intention of Captain Truck to
dismiss him to the boats: but, observing him to be overcome with
drowsiness, he had permitted him to catch a nap where he lay. The
look-out, too, was also slumbering under the same indulgence; but both
were now awakened, and made acquainted with the state of things on shore.

"Keep your eyes open, but keep a dead silence," concluded Captain Truck;
"for it is my wish to deceive these scouts, and to keep them ignorant of
our presence. When I cry out 'Alarm!' you will muster all hands, and clear
away for a brush, but not before. God bless you, my lads! mind and keep
your eyes open. Leach, I am ready."

The captain and his companion cautiously descended to the sands, and
passing astern of the ship, they first took their way to the jolly-boat,
which lay at the rocks in readiness to carry off the two officers to the
launch. Here they found the two men in charge so soundly asleep, that
nothing would have been easier than to bind them without giving the alarm.
After a little hesitation, it was determined to let them dream away their
sorrows, and to proceed to the spot where the bank was ascended.

At this place it became necessary to use the greatest precaution, for it
was literally entering the enemy's country. The steepness of the short
ascent requiring them to mount nearly on their hands and feet, this part
of their progress was made without much hazard, and the two adventurers
stood on the plain, sheltered by some bushes.

"Yonder is the camel," whispered the captain: "you see his crooked neck,
with the head tossing at moments. The fellow is not fifty yards from the
body of the poor German! Now let us follow along this line of bushes, and
keep a sharp look-out for the rider."

They proceeded in the manner mentioned, until they came to a point where
the bushes ceased, and there was an opening that overlooked the beach
quite near the wreck.

"Do you see the boats, Leach, here away, in a line with the starboard
davit of the Dane? They look like dark spots on the water, and an ignorant
Arab might be excused for taking them for rocks."

"Except that they rise and fall with the rollers; he must be doubly a Turk
who could make such a blunder!"

"Your wanderers of the desert are not so particular. The wreck has
certainly undergone some changes since yesterday, and I should not wonder
if even a Mussulman found them out, but--"

The gripe of Mr. Leach, whose fingers almost entered the flesh of his arm,
and a hand pointed towards the bushes on the other side of the opening,
silenced the captain's whisper, A human form was seen standing on the
fringe of the bank, directly opposite the jib-boom. It was swaddled in a
sort of cloak, and the long musket that was borne in a hollow of an arm,
was just discernible, diverging from the line of the figure. The Arab, for
such it could only be, was evidently gazing on the wreck, and presently he
ventured out more boldly, and stood on the spot that was clear of bushes.
The death-like stillness on the beach deceived him, and he advanced with
less caution towards the spot where the two officers were in ambush, still
keeping his own eye on the ship. A few steps brought him within reach of
Captain Truck, who drew back his arm until the elbow reached his own hip,
when he darted it forward, and dealt the incautious barbarian a severe
blow between the eyes. The Arab fell like a slaughtered ox, and before his
senses were fairly recovered, he was bound hands and feet, and rolled over
the bank down upon the beach, with little ceremony, his fire-arms remaining
with his captors.

"That lad is in a category," whispered the captain; "it now remains to be
seen if there is another."

A long search was not rewarded with success, and it was determined to lead
the camel down the path, with a view to prevent his being seen by any
wanderer in the morning.

"If we get the lower masts out betimes," continued the captain, "these
land pirates will have no beacons in sight to steer by, and, in a country
in which one grain of sand is so much like another, they might hunt a week
before they made a happy landfall."

The approach of the two towards the camel was made with less caution than
usual, the success of their enterprise throwing them off their guard, and
exciting their spirits. They believed in short, that their captive was
either a solitary wanderer, or that he had been sent ahead as a scout, by
some party that would be likely to follow in the morning.

"We must be up and at work before the sun, Mr. Leach," said the captain,
speaking clearly, but in a low tone, as they approached the camel. The
head of the animal was tossed; then it seemed to snuff the air, and it
gave a shriek. In the twinkling of an eye an Arab sprang from the sand, on
which he had been sleeping, and was on the creature's back. He was seen to
look around him, and before the startled mariners had time to decide on
their course, the beast, which was a dromedary trained to speed, was out
of sight in the darkness. Captain Truck had thrown forward his
fowling-piece, but he did not fire.

"We have no right to shoot the fellow," he said, "and our hope is now in
the distance he will have to ride to join his comrades. If we have got a
chief, as I suspect, we will make a hostage of him, and turn him to as
much account, as he can possibly turn one of his own camels. Depend on it
we shall see no more of them for several hours, and we will seize the
opportunity to get a little sleep. A man must have his watch below, or he
gets to be as dull and as obstinate as a top-maul."

The captain having made up his mind to this plan was not slow in putting
it in execution. Returning to the beach they liberated the legs of their
prisoner, whom they found lying like a log on the sands, and made him
mount the staging to the deck of the ship. Leading the way into the cabin,
Mr. Truck examined the fellow by a light, turning him round and commenting
on his points very much as he might have done had the captive been any
other animal of the desert.

The Arab was a swarthy, sinewy man of forty, with all his fibres indurated
and worked down to the whip-cord meagreness and rigidity of a racer, his
frame presenting a perfect picture of the sort of being one would fancy
suited to the exhausting motion of a dromedary, and to the fare of a
desert. He carried a formidable knife, in addition to the long musket of
which he had been deprived, and his principal garment was the coarse
mantle of camel's hair, that served equally for cap, coat and robe. His
wild dark eyes gleamed, as Captain Truck passed the lamp before his face,
and it was sufficiently apparent that he fancied a very serious
misfortune had befallen him. As any verbal communication was out of the
question, some abortive attempts were essayed by the two mariners to make
themselves understood by signs, which, like some men's reasoning, produced
results exactly contrary to what had been expected.

"Perhaps the poor fellow fancies we mean to eat him, Leach," observed the
captain, after trying his skill in pantomime for some time without
success; "and he has some grounds for the idea, as he was felled like an
ox that is bound to the kitchen. Try and let the miserable wretch
understand, at least, that we are not cannibals."

Hereupon the mate commenced an expressive pantomime, which described, with
sufficient clearness, the process of skinning, cutting up, cooking, and
eating the carcass of the Arab, with the humane intention of throwing a
negative over the whole proceeding, by a strong sign of dissent at the
close; but there are no proper substitutes for the little monosyllables of
"yes" and "no," and the meaning of the interpreter got to be so confounded
that the captain himself was mystified.

"D--n it, Leach," he interrupted, "the man fancies that he is not good
eating, you make so many wry and out-of-the-way contortions. A sign is a
jury-mast for the tongue, and every seaman ought to know how to practise
them, in case he should be wrecked on a savage and unknown coast. Old Joe
Bunk had a dictionary of them, and in calm weather he used to go among his
horses and horned cattle, and talk with them by the hour. He made a
diagram of the language, and had it taught to all us younkers who were
exposed to the accidents of the bea. Now, I will try my hand on this Arab,
for I could never go to sleep while the honest black imagined we intended
to breakfast on him."

The captain now recommenced his own explanations in the language of
nature. He too described the process of cooking and eating the
prisoner--for this he admitted was indispensable by way of preface--and
then, to show his horror of such an act, he gave a very good
representation of a process he had often witnessed among his sea-sick
passengers, by way of showing his loathing of cannibalism in general, and
of eating this Arab in particular. By this time the man was thoroughly
alarmed, and by way of commentary on the captain's eloquence, he began to
utter wailings in his own language, and groans that were not to be
mistaken. To own the truth, Mr. Truck was a good deal mortified with this
failure, which, like all other unsuccessful persons, he was ready to
ascribe to anybody but himself.

"I begin to think, Mr. Leach," he said, "that this fellow is too stupid
for a spy or a scout, and that, after all, he is no more than a driveller
who has strayed from his tribe, from a want of sense to keep the road in a
desert. A man of the smallest information must have understood me, and yet
you perceive by his lamentations and outcries that he knows no more what I
said than if he were in another parallel of latitude. The chap has quite
mistaken my character; for if I really did intend to make a beast of
myself, and devour my species, no one of the smallest knowledge of human
nature would think I'd begin on a nigger! What is your opinion of the
man's mistake, Mr. Leach?"

"It is very plain, sir, that he supposes you mean to broil him, and then
to eat so much of his steaks, that you will be compelled to heave up like
a marine two hours out; and, if I must say the truth, I think most people
would have inferred the same thing from your signs, which are as plainly
cannibal as any thing of the sort I ever witnessed."

"And what the devil did he make of yours, Master Cookery-Book?" cried the
captain with some heat. "Did he fancy you meant to mortify the flesh with
a fortnight's fast? No, no, sir; you are a very respectable first officer,
but are no more acquainted with Joe Bunk's principles of signs, than this
editor here knows of truth and propriety. It is your blundering manner of
soliloquizing that has set the lad on a wrong traverse. He has just
grafted your own idea on my communication, and has got himself into a
category that a book itself would not reason him out of, until his fright
is passed. Logic is thrown away on all 'skeary animals,' said old Joe
Bunk. Hearkee, Leach, I've a mind to set the rascal adrift, condemning the
gun and the knife for the benefit of the captors. I think I should sleep
better for the certainty that he was trudging along the sand, satisfied he
was not to be barbecued in the morning."

There is no use in detaining him, sir, for his messmate, who went off on
the dromedary, will sail a hundred feet to his one, and if an alarm is
really to be given to their party, it will not come from this chap. He
will be unarmed, and by taking away his pouch we shall get some ammunition
for this gun of his, which will throw a shot as far as Queen Anne's
pocket-piece. For my part, sir, I think there is no great use in keeping
him, for I do not think he would understand us, if he stayed a month, and
went to school the whole time."

"You are quite right, and as long as he is among us, we shall be liable to
unpleasant misconceptions; so cut his lashings, and set him adrift, and be
d---d to him."

The mate, who by this time was drowsy, did as desired, and in a moment the
Arab was at liberty. At first the poor creature did not know what to make
of his freedom, but a smart application, _a posteriori_, from the foot of
Captain Truck, whose humanity was of the rough quality of the seas, soon
set him in motion up the cabin-ladder. When the two mariners reached the
deck, their prisoner was already leaping down the staging, and in another
minute his active form was obscurely seen clambering up the bank, on
gaining which he plunged into the desert, and was seen no more.

None but men indurated in their feelings by long exposure would be likely
to sleep under the circumstances in which these two seamen were placed;
but they were both too cool, and too much accustomed to arouse themselves
on sudden alarms, to lose the precious moments in womanish apprehensions,
when they knew that all their physical energies would be needed on the
morrow, whether the Arabs arrived or not. They accordingly regulated the
look-outs, gave strong admonitions of caution to be passed from one to
another, and then the captain stretched himself in the berth of the poor
Dane who was now a captive in the desert, while Mr. Leach got into the
jolly-boat, and was pulled off to the launch. Both were sound asleep in
less than five minutes after their heads touched their temporary pillows.




Chapter XIX.



  Ay, he does well enough, if he be disposed,
  And so do I too; he does it with a better grace, but
  I do it more natural.

  TWELFTH NIGHT.


The sleep of the weary is sweet. Of all the party that lay thus buried in
sleep, on the verge of the Great Desert, exposed at any moment to an
assault from its ruthless and predatory occupants, but one bethought him
of the danger; though _he_ was, in truth, so little exposed as to have
rendered it of less moment to himself than to most of the others, had he
not been the possessor of a fancy that served oftener to lead him astray
than for any purposes that were useful of pleasing. This person was in one
of the boats, and as they lay at a reasonable distance from the land, and
the barbarians would not probably have known how to use any craft had they
even possessed one, he was consequently safe from everything but a
discharge from their long muskets. But this remote risk sufficed to keep
him awake, it being very different things to foster malice, circulate
gossip, write scurrilous paragraphs, and cant about the people, and to
face a volley of fire-arms. For the one employment, nature, tradition,
education, and habit, had expressly fitted Mr. Dodge; while for the other,
he had not the smallest vocation. Although Mr. Leach, in setting his
look-outs on board the boats, had entirely overlooked the editor of the
Active Inquirer, never before had that vigilant person's inquiries been
more active than they were throughout the whole of that long night, and
twenty times would he have aroused the party on false alarms, but for the
cool indifference of the phlegmatic seamen, to whom the duty more properly
belonged. These brave fellows knew too well the precious qualities of
sleep to allow that of their shipmates to be causelessly disturbed by the
nervous apprehensions of one who carried with him an everlasting stimulant
to fear in the consciousness of demerit. The night passed away
undisturbed, therefore, nor was the order of the regular watch broken
until the look-outs in the wreck, agreeably to their orders, awoke Captain
Truck and his mates.

It was now precisely at the moment when the first, and as it might be the
fugitive, rays of the sun glide into the atmosphere, and, to use a quaint
expression, "dilute its darkness." One no longer saw by starlight, or by
moonlight, though a little of both were still left; but objects, though
indistinct and dusky, had their true outlines, while every moment rendered
their surfaces more obvious.

When Captain Truck appeared on deck, his first glance was at the ocean;
for, were its tranquillity seriously disturbed, it would be a death-blow
to all his hopes. Fortunately, in this particular, there was no change.

"The winds seem to have put themselves out of breath in the last gale, Mr.
Leach," he said, "and we are likely to get the spars round as quietly as
if they were so many saw-logs floating in a mill-pond. Even the
ground-swell has lessened, and the breakers on the bar look like the
ripple of a wash-tub. Turn the people up, sir, and let us have a drag at
these sticks before breakfast, or we may have to broil an Arab yet."

Mr. Leach hailed the boats, and ordered them to send their gang of
labourers on shore. He then gave the accustomed raps on the deck, and
called "all hands" in the ship. In a minute the men began to appear,
yawning and stretching their arms--for no one had thrown aside his
clothes--most of them launching their sea-jokes right and left, with as
much indifference as if they lay quietly in the port to which they were
bound. After some eight or ten minutes to shake themselves, and to get
"aired," as Mr. Leach expressed it, the whole party was again mustered on
the deck of the Dane, with the exception of a hand or two in the launch,
and Mr. Dodge. The latter had assumed the office of sentinel over the
jolly-boat, which, as usual, lay at the rocks, to carry such articles off
as might be wanted.

"Send a hand up into the fore-top, Mr. Leach," said the captain, gaping
like a greyhound; "a fellow with sharp eyes; none of your chaps who read
with their noses down in the cloudy weather of an almanack; and let him
take a look at the desert, in search of Arabs."

Although the lower rigging was down and safe in the launch, a girt-line,
or as Captain Truck in the true Doric of his profession pronounced it, a
"_gunt_-line," was rove at each mast, and a man was accordingly hauled up
forward as soon as possible. As it was still too dusky to distinguish far
with accuracy, the captain hailed him, and bade him stay where he was
until ordered down, and to keep a sharp look-out.

"We had a visit from one chap in the night," he added, "and as he was a
hungry-looking rascal, he is a greater fool than I think him, or he will
be back before long, after some of the beef and stock-fish of the wreck.
Keep a bright look-out."

The men, though accustomed to their commander's manner, looked at each
other more seriously, glanced around at their arms, and then the
information produced precisely the effect that had been intended, that of
inducing them to apply to their work with threefold vigour.

"Let the boys chew upon that, instead of their tobacco," observed the
captain to Mr. Leach, as he hunted for a good coal in the galley to light
his cigar with. "I'll warrant you the sheers go up none the slower for the
information, desperate philosophers as some of these gentry are!"

This prognostic was true enough, for instead of gaping and stretching
themselves about the deck, as had been the case with most of them a minute
before, the men now commenced their duty in good earnest, calling to each
other to come to the falls and the capstan-bars, and to stand by the heels
of the sheers.

"Heave away!" cried the mate, smiling to see how quick the captain's hint
had been taken; "heave round with a will, men, and let us set these legs
on end, that they may walk."

As the order was obeyed to the letter, the day had not fairly opened when
the sheers were in their places and secured. Every man was all activity,
and as their work was directed by those whose knowledge was never at
fault, a landsman would have been surprised at the readiness with which
the crew next raised a spar as heavy as the mainmast, and had it
suspended, top and all, in the air, high enough to be borne over the side.
The lowering was a trifling affair, and the massive stick was soon lying
at its length on the sands. Captain Truck well knew the great importance
of this particular spar, for he might make out with the part of the
foremast that remained in the packet, whereas, without this mast he could
not possibly rig any thing of much available use aft. He called out to the
men therefore, as he sprang upon the staging, to follow him and to launch
the spar into the water before they breakfasted.

"Let us make sure of this fellow, men," he added, "for it is our main-stay.
With this stick fairly in our raft, we may yet make a passage; no one must
think of his teeth till it is out of all risk. This stick we must have, if
we make war on the Emperor of Morocco for its possession."

The people knew the necessity for exertion, and they worked accordingly.
The top was knocked off, and carried down to the water; the spar was then
cut round, and rolled after it, not without trouble, however, as the
trestle trees were left on; but the descent of the sands favoured the
labour. When on the margin of the sea, by the aid of hand-spikes, the head
was got afloat, or so nearly so, as to require but little force to move
it, when a line from the boats was fastened to the outer end, and the top
was secured alongside.

"Now, clap your hand-spikes under it, boys, and heave away!" cried the
captain. "Heave together and keep the stick straight--heave, and his head
is afloat!--Haul, haul away in the boat!--heave all at once, and as if you
were giants!--you gained three feet that tug, my hearties--try him again,
gentlemen, as you are--and move together, like girls in a
_cotillion_--Away with it!--What the devil are you staring at, in the
fore-top there? Have you nothing better to do than to amuse yourself in
seeing us heave our insides out?"

The intense interest attached to the securing of this spar had extended to
the look-out in the top, and instead of keeping his eye on the desert, as
ordered, he was looking down at the party on the beach, and betraying his
sympathy in their efforts by bending his body, and appearing to heave in
common with his messmates. Admonished of his neglect by this sharp
rebuke, he turned round quickly towards the desert, and gave the fearful
alarm of "The Arabs!"

Every man ceased his work, and the Whole were on the point of rushing in a
body towards their arms, when the greater steadiness of Captain Truck
prevented it.

"Whereaway?" he demanded sternly.

"On the most distant hillock of sand, may be a mile and a half inland."

"How do they head?"

"Dead down upon us, sir."

"How do they travel?"

"They have camels, and horses: all are mounted, sir."

"What is their number?".

The man paused, as if to count, and then he called out,

"They are strong-handed, sir; quite a hundred I think. They have brought
up, sir, and seem to be sounding about them for an anchorage."

Captain Truck hesitated, and he looked wistfully at the mast.

"Boys!" said he, shaking his hand over the bit of massive wood, with
energy, "this spar is of more importance to us than our mother's milk in
infancy. It is our victuals and drink, life and hopes. Let us swear we
will have it in spite of a thousand Arabs. Stoop to your hand-spikes, and
heave at the word--'heave as if you had a world to move,--heave,
men, heave!"

The people obeyed, and the mast advanced more than half the necessary
distance into the water. But the man now called out that the Arabs wore
advancing swiftly towards the ship.

"One more effort, men," said Captain Truck, reddening in the face with
anxiety, and throwing down his hat to set the example in person,--"heave!"

The men hove, and the spar floated.

"Now to your arms, boys, and you, sir, in the top, keep yourself hid
behind the head of the mast. We must be ready to show these gentry we are
not afraid of them." A sign, of the hand told the men in the launch to
haul away, and the all-important spar floated slowly across the bar, to
join the raft.

The men now hurried up to the ship, a post that Captain Truck declared he
could maintain against a whole tribe, while Mr. Dodge began incontinently
to scull the jolly-boat, in the best manner he could, off to the launch.
All remonstrance was useless, as he had got as far as the bar before he
was perceived. Both Sir George Templemore and Mr. Monday loudly denounced
him for deserting the party on the shore in this scandalous manner, but
quite without affect. Mr. Dodge's skill, unfortunately for his success,
did not quite equal his zeal; and finding, when he got on the bar, that he
was unable to keep the boat's head to the sea, or indeed to manage it at
all, he fairly jumped into the water and swam lustily towards the launch.
As he was expert at this exercise, he arrived safely, cursing in his heart
all travelling, the desert, the Arabs, and mankind in general, wishing
himself quietly back in Dodgeopolis again, among his beloved people. The
boat drove upon the sands, of course, and was eventually taken care of by
two of the Montauk's crew.

As soon as Captain Truck found himself on the deck of the Dane, the arms
were distributed among the people. It was clearly his policy not to
commence the war, for he had nothing, in an affirmative sense, to gain by
it, though, without making any professions, his mind was fully made up not
to be taken alive, as long as there was a possibility of averting such a
disaster. The man aloft gave constant notice of the movements of the
Arabs, and he soon announced that they had halted at a pistol's shot from
the bank, where they were securing their camels, and that his first
estimate of their force was true.

In the mean time, Captain Truck was far from satisfied with his position.
The bank was higher than the deck of the ship, and so near it as to render
the bulwarks of little use, had those of the Dane been of any available
thickness, which they were not. Then, the position of the ship, lying a
little on one side, with her bows towards the land, exposed her to being
swept by a raking fire; a cunning enemy having it in his power, by making
a cover of the bank, to pick off his men, with little or no exposure to
himself. The odds were too great to sally upon the plain, and although
the rocks offered a tolerable cover towards the land, they had none
towards the ship. Divide his force he dared not do,--and by abandoning the
ship, he would allow the Arabs to seize her, thus commanding the other
position, besides the remainder of the stores, which he was desirous
of securing.

Men think fast in trying circumstances, and although the captain was in a
situation so perfectly novel, his practical knowledge and great coolness
rendered him an invaluable commander to those under his orders.

"I do not know, gentlemen," he said, addressing his passengers and mates,
"that Vattel has laid down any rule to govern this case. These Arabs, no
doubt, are the lawful owners of the country, in one sense; but it is a
desert--and a desert, like a sea, is common property for the time being,
to all who find themselves in it. There are no wreck-masters in Africa,
and probably no law concerning wrecks, but the law of the strongest. We
have been driven in here, moreover, by stress of weather--and this is a
category on which Vattel has been very explicit. We have a _right_ to the
hospitality of these Arabs, and if it be not freely accorded, d--n me,
gentlemen, but I feel disposed to take just as much of it as I find I
shall have occasion for! Mr. Monday, I should like to hear your sentiments
on this subject."

"Why, sir," returned Mr. Monday, "I have the greatest confidence in your
knowledge, Captain Truck, and am equally ready for peace or war, although
my calling is for the first. I should try negotiation to begin with, sir,
if it be practicable, and you will allow me to express an opinion, after
which I would offer war."

"I am quite of the same mind, sir; but in what way are we to negotiate
with a people we cannot make understand a word we say? It is true, if they
were versed in the science of signs, one might do something with them; but
I have reason to know that they are as stupid as boobies on all such
subjects. We shall get ourselves into a category at the first _protocol_,
as the writers say."

Now, Mr. Monday thought there was a language that any man might
understand, and he was strongly disposed to profit by it. In rummaging the
wreck, he had discovered a case of liquor, besides a cask of Hollands,
and he thought an offering of these might have the effect to put the Arabs
in good humour at least.

"I have known men, who, treated with dry, in matters of trade, were as
obstinate as mules, become reasonable and pliable, sir, over a bottle," he
said, after explaining where the liquor was to be found; "and I think, if
we offer the Arabs this, after they have been in possession a short time,
we shall find them better disposed towards us. If it should not prove so,
I confess, for one, I should feel less reluctance in shooting them
than before."

"I have somewhere heard that the Mussulmans never drink," observed Sir
George; "in which case we shall find our offering despised. Then there is
the difficulty of a first possession; for, if these people are the same as
those that were here before, they may not thank us for giving them so
small a part of that, of which they may lay claim to all. I'm very sure,
were any one to offer me my patent pistols, as a motive for letting him
carry away my patent razors, or the East India dressing-case, or any thing
else I own, I should not feel particularly obliged to him."

"Capitally put, Sir George, and I should be quite of your way of thinking,
if I did not believe these Arabs might really be mollified by a little
drink. If I had a proper ambassador to send with the offering, I would
resort to the plan at once."

Mr. Monday, after a moment's hesitation, spiritedly offered to be one of
two, to go to the Arabs with the proposal, for he had sufficient
penetration to perceive that there was little danger of his being seized,
while an armed party of so much strength remained to be overcome--and he
had sufficient nerve to encounter the risk. All he asked was a companion,
and Captain Truck was so much struck with the spirit of the volunteer,
that he made up his mind to accompany him himself. To this plan, however,
both the mates and all the crew, stoutly but respectfully objected. They
felt his importance too much to consent to this exposure, and neither of
the mates, even, would be allowed to go on an expedition of so much
hazard, without a sufficient motive. They might fight, if they pleased,
but they should not run into the mouth of the lion unarmed and
unresisting.

"It is of no moment," said Mr. Monday; "I could have liked a gentlemen
for my companion; but no one of the brave fellows will have any objection
to passing an hour in company with an Arab Sheik over a bottle. What say
you my lads, will any one of you volunteer?"

"Ay, ay, sir!" cried a dozen in a breath.

"This will never do," interrupted the captain; "I have need of the men,
for my heart is still set on these two sticks that remain, and we have a
head-sea and a stiff breeze to struggle with in getting back to the ship.
By George, I have it! What do you say to Mr. Dodge for a companion, Mr.
Monday? He is used to committees, and likes the service: and then he has
need of some stimulant, after the ducking he has received. Mr. Leach, take
a couple of hands, and go off in the jolly-boat and bring Mr. Dodge on
shore. My compliments to him, and tell him he has been unanimously chosen
to a most honourable and lucrative--ay, and a popular employment."

As this was an order, the mate did not scruple about obeying it. He was
soon afloat, and on his way towards the launch. Captain Truck now hailed
the top, and inquired what the Arabs were about. The answer was
satisfactory, as they were still busy with their camels and in pitching
their tents. This did not look much like an immediate war, and bidding the
man aloft to give timely notice of their approach, Mr. Truck fancied he
might still have time to shift his sheers, and to whip out the
mizzen-mast, and he accordingly set about it without further delay.

As every one worked, as it might be for life, in fifteen minutes this
light spar was suspended in the falls. In ten more its heel was clear of
the bulwarks, and it was lowered on the sands almost by the run. To knock
off the top and roll it down to the water took but a few minutes longer,
and then the people were called to their breakfast; the sentinel aloft
reporting that the Arabs were employed in the same manner, and in milking
their camels. This was a fortunate relief, and every body ate in peace,
and in the full assurance that those whom they so much distrusted were
equally engaged in the same pacific manner.

Neither the Arabs nor the seamen, however, lost any unnecessary time at
the meal. The former were soon reported to be coming and going in parties
of fifteen or twenty, arriving and departing in an eastern direction.
Occasionally a single runner went or came alone, on a fleet dromedary, as
if communications were held with other bodies which lay deeper in the
desert. All this intelligence rendered Captain Truck very uneasy, and he
thought it time seriously to take some decided measures to bring this
matter to an issue. Still, as time gained was all in his favour if
improved, he first ordered the men to begin to shift the sheers forward,
in hopes of being yet able to carry off the foremast; a spar that would be
exceedingly useful, as it would save the necessity of fishing a new head
to the one which still stood in the packet. He then went aside with his
two ambassadors, with a view to give his instructions.

Mr. Dodge had no sooner found himself safe in the launch than he felt his
courage revive, and with his courage, his ingenuity, self-love and
assurance. While in the water, a meeker man there was not on earth; he had
even some doubts as to the truth of all his favourite notions of liberty
and equality, for men think fast in danger, and there was an instant when
he might have been easily persuaded to acknowledge himself a demagogue and
a hypocrite in his ordinary practices; one whose chief motive was self,
and whose besetting passions were envy, distrust and malice; or, in other
words, very much the creature he was. Shame came next, and he eagerly
sought an excuse for the want of manliness he had betrayed; but, passing
over the language he had held in the launch, and the means Mr. Leach found
to persuade him to land again, we shall give his apology in his own words,
as he now somewhat hurriedly delivered it, to Captain Truck, in his
own person.

"I must have misunderstood your arrangement, captain," he said; "for
somehow, though _how_ I do not exactly know--but _somehow_ the alarm of
the Arabs was no sooner given than I felt as if I _ought_ to be in the
launch to be at my post; but I suppose it was because I knew that the
sails and spars that brought us here are mostly there, and that this was
the spot to be most resolutely defended. I _do_ think, if they had waded
off to us, I should have fought like a tiger!"

"No doubt you would, my dear sir, and like a wild cat too! We all make
mistakes in judgment, in war, and in politics, and no fact is better
known than that the best soldiers in the end are they who give a little
ground at the first attack. But Mr. Leach has explained to you the plan of
Mr. Monday, and I rely on your spirit and zeal, which there is now an
excellent opportunity to prove, as before it was only demonstrated."

"If it were only an opportunity of meeting the Arabs sword in hand,
captain."

"Pooh! pooh! my dear friend, take _two_ swords if you choose. One who is
full of fight can never get the battle on his own terms. Fill the Arabs
with the _schnaps_ of the poor Dane, and if they should make the smallest
symptom of moving down towards us, I rely on you to give the alarm, in
order that we may be ready for them. Trust to us for the _overture_ of the
_piece_, as I trust to you for the overtures of peace."

"In what way can we possibly do this, Mr. Monday? How _can_ we give the
alarm in season?

"Why," interposed the unmoved captain, "you may just shoot the sheik, and
that will be killing two birds with one stone; you will take your pistols,
of course, and blaze away upon them, starboard and larboard; rely on it,
we shall hear you."

"Of that I make no doubt, but I rather distrust the prudence of the step.
That is, I declare, Mr. Monday, it looks awfully like tempting Providence!
I begin to have conscientious scruples. I hope you are quite certain,
captain, there is nothing in all this against the laws of Africa? Good
moral and religious influences are not to be overlooked. My mind is quite
exercised in the premises!"

"You are much too conscientious for a diplomatic man," said Mr. Truck,
between the puffs at a fresh cigar. "You need not shoot any of the women,
and what more does, a man want? Come, no more words, but to the duty
heartily. Every one expects it of you, since no one can do it half so
well; and if you ever get back to Dodgeopolis, there will be matter for a
paragraph every day of the year for the next six months. If any thing
serious happen to you, trust to me to do your memory justice."

"Captain, captain, this trifling with the future is blasphemous! Men
seldom talk of death with impunity, and it really hurts my feelings to
touch on such awful subjects so lightly. I will go, for I do not well see
how the matter is to be helped; but let us go amicably, and with such
presents as will secure a good reception and a safe return."

"Mr. Monday takes the liquor-case of the Dane, and you are welcome to any
thing that is left, but the foremast. _That_ I shall fight for, even if
lions come out of the desert to help the Arabs."

Mr. Dodge had many more objections, some of which he urged openly, and
more of which he felt in his inmost spirit. But for the unfortunate dive
into the water, he certainly would have pleaded his immunities as a
passenger, and plumply refused to be put forward on such an occasion; but
he felt that he was a disgraced man, and that some decided act of spirit
was necessary to redeem his character. The neutrality observed by the
Arabs, moreover, greatly encouraged him; for he leaned to an opinion
Captain Truck had expressed, that so long as a strong-armed party remained
in the wreck, the sheik, if a man of any moderation and policy, would not
proceed to violence.

"You may tell him, gentlemen," continued Mr. Truck, "that as soon as I
have whipped the foremast out of the Dane, I will evacuate, and leave him
the wreck, and all it contains. The stick can do him no good, and I want
it in my heart's core. Put this matter before him plainly, and there is no
doubt we shall part the best friends in the world. Remember one thing,
however, we shall set about lifting the spar the moment you quit us, and
should there be any signs of an attack, give us notice in season, that we
may take to our arms."

By this reasoning Mr. Dodge suffered himself to be persuaded to go on the
mission, though his ingenuity and fears supplied an additional motive that
he took very good care not to betray. Should there be a battle, he knew he
would be expected to fight, if he remained with his own party, and if with
the other, he might plausibly secrete himself until the affair was over;
for, with a man of his temperament, eventual slavery had less horrors than
immediate death.

When Mr. Monday and his co-commissioner ascended the bank, bearing the
case of liquors and a few light offerings, that the latter had found in
the wreck, it was just as the crew, assured that the Arabs still remained
tranquil, had seriously set about pursuing their great object. On the
margin of the plain, Captain Truck took his leave of the ambassadors,
though he remained some time to reconnoitre the appearance of things in
the wild-looking camp, which was placed within two hundred yards of the
spot on which he stood. The number of the Arabs had not certainly been
exaggerated, and what gave him the most uneasiness was the fact that
parties appeared to be constantly communicating with more, who probably
lay behind a ridge of sand that bounded the view less than a mile distant
inland, as they all went and came in that direction. After waiting to see
his two _envoyes_ in the very camp, he stationed a look-out on the bank,
and returned to the wreck, to hurry on the all-important work.

Mr. Monday was the efficient man of the two commissioners, so soon as they
were fairly embarked in their enterprise. He was strong of nerves, and
without imagination to fancy dangers where they were not very obvious, and
had a great faith in the pacific virtues of the liquor-case. An Arab
advanced to meet them, when near the tents; and although conversation was
quite out of the question, by pure force of gesticulations, aided by the
single word "sheik," they succeeded in obtaining an introduction to that
personage.

The inhabitants of the desert have been so often described that we shall
assume they are known to our readers, and proceed with our narrative the
same as if we had to do with Christians. Much of what has been written of
the hospitality of the Arabs, if true of any portion of them, is hardly
true of those tribes which frequent the Atlantic coast, where the practice
of wrecking would seem to have produced the same effect, on their habits
and morals that it is known to produce elsewhere. But a ship protected by
a few weather-worn and stranded mariners, and a ship defended by a strong
and an armed party, like that headed by Captain Truck, presented very
different objects to the cupidity of these barbarians. They knew the great
advantage they possessed by being on their own ground, and were content to
await events, in preference to risking a doubtful contest. Several of the
party had been at Mogadore, and other parts, and had acquired tolerably
accurate ideas of the power of vessels; and as they were confident the
men now at work at the wreck had not the means of carrying away the cargo,
their own principal object, curiosity and caution, connected with certain
plans that were already laid among their leaders, kept them quiet, for the
moment at least.

These people were not so ignorant as to require to be told that some other
vessel was at no great distance, and their scouts had been out in all
directions to ascertain the fact, previously to taking their ultimate
measures; for the sheik himself had some pretty just notions of the force
of a vessel of war, and of the danger of contending with one. The result
of his policy, therefore, will better appear in the course of the
narrative.

The reception of the two envoys of Captain Truck was masked by that
smiling and courteous politeness which seems to diminish as one travels
west, and to increase as he goes eastward; though it was certainly less
elaborate than would have been found in the palace of an Indian rajah. The
sheik was not properly a sheik, nor was the party composed of genuine
Arabs, though we have thus styled them from usage. The first, however, was
a man in authority, and he and his followers possessed enough of the
origin and characteristics of the tribes east of the Red Sea, to be
sufficiently described by the appellation we have adopted.

Mr. Monday and Mr. Dodge were invited by signs to be seated, and
refreshments were offered. As the last were not particularly inviting, Mr.
Monday was not slow in producing his own offering, and in recommending its
quality, by setting an example of the way in which it ought to be treated.
Although Mussulmans, the hosts did not scruple about tasting the cup, and
ten minutes of pantomime, potations, and grimaces, brought about a species
of intimacy between the parties.

The man who had been so unceremoniously captured the previous night by
Captain Truck, was now introduced, and much curiosity was manifested to
know whether his account of the disposition in the strangers to eat their
fellow creatures was true. The inhabitants of the desert, in the course of
ages, had gleaned certain accounts of mariners eating their shipmates,
from their different captives, and vague traditions to that effect
existed among them, which the tale of this man had revived. Had the sheik
kept a journal, like Mr. Dodge, the result of these inquiries would
probably have been some entries concerning the customs and characters of
the Americans, that were quite as original as those of the editor of the
Active Inquirer concerning the different nations he had visited.

Mr. Monday paid great attention to the pantomime of the Arab, in which
that worthy endeavoured to explain the disposition of Captain Truck to
make a barbecue of him: when it was ended, he gravely informed his
companions that the sheik had invited them to stay for dinner,--a
proposition that he was disposed to accept; but the sensitiveness of Mr.
Dodge viewed the matter otherwise, for, with a conformity of opinion that
really said something in favour of the science of signs, he arrived at the
same conclusion as the poor Arab himself--with the material difference,
that he fancied that the Arabs were disposed to make a meal of himself.
Mr. Monday, who was a hearty beef and brandy personage, scouted the idea,
and thought the matter settled, by pointing to two or three young camels
and asking the editor if he thought any man, Turk or Christian, would
think of eating one so lank, meagre, and uninviting, as himself, when they
had so much capital food of another sort at their elbow. "Take your share
of the liquor while it is passing, man, and set your heart at ease as to
the dinner, which I make no doubt will be substantial and decent. Had I
known of the favour intended us, I should have brought out the sheik a
service of knives and forks from Birmingham; for he really seems a
well-disposed and gentleman-like man. A very capital fellow, I dare say,
we shall find him, after he has had a few camel's steaks, and a proper
allowance of _schnaps_. Mr. Sheik, I drink your health with all my heart."

The accidents of life could scarcely have brought together, in
circumstances so peculiar, men whose characters were more completely the
converse of each other than Mr. Monday and Mr. Dodge. They were, perfect
epitomes of two large classes in their respective nations, and so
diametrically opposed to each other, that one could hardly recognise in
them scions from a common stock. The first was dull, obstinate,
straight-forward, hearty in his manners, and not without sincerity, though
wily in a bargain, with all his seeming frankness; the last, distrustful,
cunning rather than quick of comprehension, insincere, fawning when he
thought his interests concerned, and jealous and detracting at all other
times, with a coldness of exterior that had at least the merit of
appearing to avoid deception. Both were violently prejudiced, though in
Mr. Monday, it was the prejudice of old dogmas, in religion, politics, and
morals; and in the other, it was the vice of provincialism, and an
education that was not entirely free from the fanaticism of the
seventeenth century. One consequence of this discrepancy of character was
a perfectly opposite manner of viewing matters in this interview. While
Mr. Monday was disposed to take things amicably, Mr. Dodge was all
suspicion; and had they then returned to the wreck, the last would have
called to arms, while the first would have advised Captain Truck to go out
and visit the sheik, in the manner one would visit a respectable and
agreeable neighbour.




Chapter XX.



  'Tis of more worth than kingdoms! far more precious
  'Than all the crimson treasures of life's fountain!
  Oh let it not elude thy grasp!

  COTTON


Things were in this state, the sheik and his guests communicating by
signs, in such a way as completely to mystify each other; Mr. Monday
drinking, Mr. Dodge conjecturing, and parties quitting the camp and
arriving every ten minutes, when an Arab pointed eagerly with his finger
in the direction of the wreck. The head of the foremast was slowly rising,
and the look-out in the top was clinging to the spar, which began to cant,
in order to keep himself from falling. The sheik affected to smile; but he
was evidently disturbed, and two or three messengers were sent out into
the camp. In the meanwhile, the spar began to lower, and was soon entirely
concealed beneath the bank.

It was now apparent that the Arabs thought the moment had arrived when it
was their policy to interfere. The sheik, therefore, left his guests to be
entertained by two or three others who had joined in the potations, and
making the best assurances he could by means of signs, of his continued
amity, he left the tent. Laying aside all his arms, attended by two or
three old men like himself, he went boldly to the plank, and descended
quietly to the sands, where he found Captain Truck busied in endeavouring
to get the spar into the water. The top was already afloat, and the stick
itself was cut round in the right position for rolling, when the foul but
grave-looking barbarians appeared among the workmen. As the latter had
been apprised of their approach, and of the fact of their being unarmed,
no one left his employment to receive them, with the exception of Captain
Truck himself.

"Bear a hand with the spar, Mr. Leach," he said, "while I entertain these
gentlemen. It is a good sign that they come to us without arms, and it
shall never be said that we are behind them in civility. Half an hour will
settle our affairs, when these gentry are welcome to what will be left of
the Dane.--Your servant, gentlemen; I'm glad to see you, and beg the
honour to shake hands with all of you, from the oldest to the youngest."

Although the Arabs understood nothing that was said, they permitted
Captain Truck to give each of them a hearty shake of the hand, smiling and
muttering their own compliments with as much apparent good will as was
manifested by the old seaman himself.

"God help the Danes, if they have fallen into servitude among these
blackguards!" said the captain, aloud, while he was shaking the sheik a
second time most cordially by the hand, "for a fouler set of thieves I
never laid eyes on, Leach. Mr. Monday has tried the virtue of the
_schnaps_ on them, notwithstanding, for the odour of gin is mingled with
that of grease, about the old scoundrel.--Roll away at the spar, boys!
half-a-dozen more such heaves, and you will have him in his native
element, as the newspapers call it.--I'm glad to see you, gentlemen; we
are badly off as to chairs, on this beach, but to such as we have you are
heartily welcome.--Mr. Leach, the Arab sheik;--Arab sheik, Mr. Leach.--On
the bank there!"

"Sir."

"Any movement among the Arabs?"

"About thirty have just ridden back into the desert, mounted on camels,
sir; nothing more."

"No signs of our passengers?"

Ay, ay, sir. Here comes Mr. Dodge under full sail, heading for the bank,
as straight as he can lay his course!"

"Ha!--Is he pursued?"

The men ceased their work, and glanced aside at their arms.

"Not at all, sir. Mr. Monday is calling after him, and the Arabs seem to
be laughing. Mr. Monday is just splicing the main-brace with one of
the rascals."

"Let the Atlantic ocean, then, look out for itself, for Mr. Dodge will be
certain to run over it. Heave away, my hearties, and the stick will be
afloat yet before that gentleman is fairly docked."

The men worked with good will, but their zeal was far less efficient than
that of the editor of the Active Inquirer, who now broke through the
bushes, and plunged down the bank with a velocity which, if continued,
would have carried him to Dodgeopolis itself within the month. The Arabs
started at this sudden apparition, but perceiving that those around them
laughed, they were disposed to take the interruption in good part. The
look-out now announced the approach of Mr. Monday, followed by fifty
Arabs; the latter, however, being without arms, and the former without his
hat. The moment was critical, but the steadiness of Captain Truck did not
desert him. Issuing a rapid order to the second mate, with a small party
previously selected for that duty, to stand by the arms, he urged the rest
of the people to renewed exertions. Just as this was done, Mr. Monday
appeared on the bank, with a bottle in one hand and a glass in the other,
calling aloud to Mr. Dodge to return and drink with the Arabs.

"Do not disgrace Christianity in this unmannerly way," he said; "but show
these gentlemen of the desert that we know what propriety is. Captain
Truck, I beg of you to urge Mr. Dodge to return. I was about to sing the
Arabs 'God save the King,' and in a few more minutes we should have had
'Rule Britannia,' when we should have been the best friends and companions
in the world. Captain Truck, I've the honour to drink your health."

But Captain Truck viewed the matter differently. Both his ambassadors were
now safely back, for Mr. Monday came down upon the beach, followed, it is
true, by all the Arabs, and the mast was afloat, He thought it better,
therefore, that Mr. Dodge should remain, and that the two parties should
be as quietly, but as speedily as possible, separated. He ordered the
hauling line to be fastened to the mast, and as the stick was slowly going
out through the surf, he issued the order for the men to collect their
implements, take their arms, and to assemble in a body at the rocks, where
the jolly-boat still lay.

"Be quick, men, but be steady; for there are a hundred of these rascals on
the beach already, and all the last-comers are armed. We might pick up a
few more useful things from the wreck, but the wind is coming in from the
westward, and our principal concern now will be to save what we have got.
Lead Mr. Monday along with you, Leach, for he is so full of diplomacy and
_schnaps_ just now that he forgets his safety. As for Mr. Dodge, I see he
is stowed away in the boat already, as snug as the ground-tier in a ship
loaded with molasses. Count the men off, sir, and see that no one
is missing."

By this time, the state of things on the beach had undergone material
changes. The wreck was full of Arabs, some of whom were armed and some
not; while mauls, crows hand-spikes, purchases, coils of rigging, and
marling-spikes were scattered about on the sands, just where they had been
dropped by the seamen. A party of fifty Arabs had collected around the
rocks, where, by this time, all the mariners were assembled, intermingling
with the latter, and apparently endeavouring to maintain the friendly
relations which had been established by Mr. Monday. As a portion of these
men were also armed, Captain Truck disliked their proceedings; but the
inferiority of his numbers, and the disadvantage under which he was
placed, compelled him to resort to management rather than force, in order
to extricate himself.

The Arabs now crowded around and intermingled with the seamen, thronged
the ship, and lined the bank, to the number of more than two hundred. It
became evident that their true force had been underrated, and that
additions were constantly making to it, from those who lay behind the
ridges of sand. All those who appeared last, had arms of one kind or
another, and several brought fire-arms, which they gave to the sheik, and
to those who had first descended to the beach. Still, every face seemed
amicable, and the men were scarcely permitted to execute their orders,
from the frequent interruptions to exchange tokens of friendship.

But Captain Truck fully believed that hostilities were intended, and
although he had suffered himself in some measure to be surprised, he set
about repairing his error with great judgment and admirable steadiness.
His first step was to extricate his own people from those who pressed upon
them, a thing that was effected by causing a few to take a position, that
might be defended, higher among the rocks, as they afforded a good deal of
cover, and which communicated directly with the place where they had
landed; and then ordering the remainder of the men to fall back singly. To
prevent an alarm, each man was called off by name, and in this manner the
whole party had got within the prescribed limits, before the Arabs, who
were vociferating and talking altogether, seemed to be aware of the
movement. When some of the latter attempted to follow, they were gently
repulsed by the sentinels. All this time Captain Truck maintained the
utmost cordiality towards the sheik, keeping near him, and amongst the
Arabs himself. The work of plunder, in the meantime, had begun in earnest
in the wreck, and this he thought a favourable symptom, as men thus
employed would be less likely to make a hostile attack. Still he knew that
prisoners were of great account among these barbarians, and that an
attempt to tow the raft off from the land, in open boats, where his people
would be exposed to every shot from the wreck, would subject them to he
greatest danger of defeat, were the former disposed to prevent it.

Having reflected a few minutes on his situation. Captain Truck issued his
final orders. The jolly-boat might carry a dozen men at need, though they
would be crowded and much exposed to fire; and he, therefore, caused eight
to get into her, and to pull out to the launch. Mr. Leach went with this
party, for the double purpose of directing its movements, and of being
separated from his commander, in order that one of those who were of so
much importance to the packet, might at least stand a chance of being
saved. This separation also was effected without alarming the Arabs,
though Captain Truck observed that the sheik watched the
proceeding narrowly.

As soon as Mr. Leach had reached the launch, he caused a light kedge to be
put into the jolly-boat, and coils of the lightest rigging he had were
laid on the top of it, or were made on the bows of the launch. As soon as
this was done, the boat was pulled a long distance off from the land,
paying out the ropes first from the launch, and then from the boat itself,
until no more of the latter remained. The kedge was then dropped, and the
men in the launch began to haul in upon the ropes that were attached to
it. As the jolly-boat returned immediately, and her crew joined in the
work, the line of boats, the kedge by which they had previously ridden
having been first raised, began slowly to recede from the shore.

Captain Truck had rightly conjectured the effect of this movement. It was
so unusual and so gradual, that the launch and the raft were warped up to
the kedge, before the Arabs fully comprehended its nature. The boats were
now more than a quarter of a mile from the wreck, for Mr. Leach had run
out quite two hundred fathoms of small rope, and of course, so distant as
greatly to diminish the danger from the muskets of the Arabs, though still
within reach of their range. Near an hour was passed in effecting this
point, which, as the sea and wind were both rising, could not probably
have been effected in any other manner, half as soon, if at all.

The state of the weather, and the increasing turbulence of the barbarians,
now rendered it extremely desirable to all on the rocks to be in their
boats again. A very moderate blow would compel them to abandon their
hard-earned advantages, and it began to be pretty evident, from the
manners of those around them, that amity could not much longer be
maintained. Even the old sheik retired, and, instead of going to the
wreck, he joined the party on the beach, where he was seen in earnest
conversation with several other old men, all of whom gesticulated
vehemently, as they pointed towards the boats and to the party on
the rocks.

Mr. Leach now pulled in towards the bar, with both the jolly-boats and the
cutter, having only two oars each, half his men being left in the launch.
This was done that the people might not be crowded at the critical moment,
and that, at need, there might be room to fight as well as to row; all
these precautions having been taken in consequence of Captain Truck's
previous orders. When the boats reached the rocks, the people did not
hurry into them; but a quarter of an hour was passed in preparations, as
if they were indifferent about proceeding, and even then the jolly-boat
alone took in a portion, and pulled leisurely without the bar. Here she
lay on her oars, in order to cover the passage of the other boats, if
necessary, with her fire. The cutter imitated this manoeuvre, and the boat
of the wreck went last. Captain Truck quitted the rock after all the
others, though his embarkation was made rapidly by a prompt and
sudden movement.

Not a shot was fired, however, and, contrary to his own most ardent hopes,
the captain found himself at the launch, with all his people unhurt, and
with all the spars he had so much desired to obtain. The forbearance of
the Arabs was a mystery to him, for he had fully expected hostilities
would commence, every moment, for the last two hours. Nor was he yet
absolutely out of danger, though there was time to pause and look about
him, and to take his succeeding measures more deliberately. The first
report was a scarcity of both food and water. For both these essentials
the men had depended on the wreck, and, in the eagerness to secure the
foremast, and subsequently to take care of themselves, these important
requisites had been overlooked, quite probably, too, as much from a
knowledge that the Montauk was so near, as from hurry. Still both were
extremely desirable, if not indispensable, to men who had the prospect of
many hours' hard work before them; and Captain Truck's first impulse was
to despatch a boat to the ship for supplies. This intention was
reluctantly abandoned, however, on account of the threatening appearance
of the weather.

There was no danger of a gale, but a smart sea breeze was beginning to set
in, and the surface of the ocean was, as usual, getting to be agitated.
Changing all his plans therefore, the Captain turned his immediate
attention to the safety of the all-important spars.

"We can eat to-morrow, men," he said; "but if we lose these sticks, our
chance for getting any more will indeed be small. Take a gang on the raft,
Mr. Leach, and double all the lashings, while I see that we get an offing.
If the wind rises any more, we shall need it, and even then be worse off
than we could wish."

The mate passed upon the raft, and set about securing all the spars by
additional fastenings; for the working, occasioned by the sea, already
rendered them loose, and liable to separate. While this was in train, the
two jolly-boats took in lines and kedges, of which, luckily, they had one
that was brought from the packet, besides two found in the wreck, and
pulled off into the ocean. As soon as one kedge was dropped, that by which
the launch rode was tripped, and the boats were hauled up to it, the other
jolly-boat proceeding on to renew the process. In this manner, in the
course of two more hours, the whole, raft and all, were warped broad off
from the land, and to windward, quite two miles, when the water became so
deep that Captain Truck reluctantly gave the order to cease.

"I would gladly work our way into the offing in this mode, three or four
leagues," he said, "by which means we might make a fair wind of it. As it
is, we must get all clear, and do as well as we can. Rig the masts in the
launch, Mr. Leach, and we will see what can be done with this dull craft
we have in tow."

While this order was in course of execution, the glass was used to
ascertain the manner in which the Arabs were occupied. To the surprise of
all in the boats, every soul of them had disappeared. The closest scrutiny
could not detect one near the wreck, on the beach, nor even at the spot
where the tents had so lately stood.

"They are all off, by George!" cried Captain Truck, when fully satisfied
of the fact. "Camels, tents, and Arabs! The rascals have loaded their
beasts already, and most probably have gone to hide their plunder, that
they may be back and make sure of a second haul, before any of their
precious brother vultures, up in the sands, get a scent of the carrion.
D--n the rogues; I thought at one time they had me in a category! Well,
joy be with them! Mr. Monday, I return you my hearty thanks for the manly,
frank, and diplomatic manner in which you have discharged the duties of
your mission. Without you, we might not have succeeded in getting the
foremast. Mr. Dodge, you have the high consolation of knowing that,
throughout this trying occasion, you have conducted yourself in a way no
other man of the party could have done."

Mr. Monday was sleeping off the fumes of the _schnaps_, but Mr. Dodge
bowed to the compliment, and foresaw many capital things for the journal,
and for the columns of the Active Inquirer. He even began to meditate
a book.

Now commenced much the most laborious and critical part of the service
that Captain Truck had undertaken, if we except the collision with the
Arabs--that of towing all the heavy spars of a large ship, in one raft, in
the open sea, near a coast, and with the wind blowing on shore. It is true
he was strong-handed, being able to put ten oars in the launch, and four
in all the other boats; but, after making sail, and pulling steadily for
an hour, it was discovered that all their exertions would not enable them
to reach the ship, if the wind stood, before the succeeding day. The drift
to leeward, or towards the beach, was seriously great, every heave of the
sea setting them bodily down before it; and by the time they were half a
mile to the southward, they were obliged to anchor, in order to keep clear
of the breakers, which by this time extended fully a mile from shore.

Decision was fortunately Captain Truck's leading quality. He foresaw the
length and severity of the struggle that was before them, and the men had
not been pulling ten minutes, before he ordered Mr. Leach, who was in the
cutter, to cast off his line and to come alongside the launch.

"Pull back to the wreck, sir," he said, "and bring off all you can lay
hands on, in the way of bread, water, and other comforts. We shall make a
night of it, I see. We will keep a look-out for you, and if any Arabs
heave in sight on the plain, a musket will be fired; if so many as to
render a hint to abscond necessary, two muskets will be fired, and the
mainsail of the launch will be furled for two minutes; more time than that
we cannot spare you."

Mr. Leach obeyed this order, and with great success. Luckily the cook had
left the coppers full of food, enough to last twenty-four hours, and this
had escaped the Arabs, who were ignorant where to look for it. In
addition, there was plenty of bread and water, and "a bull of Jamaica" had
been discovered, by the instinct of one of the hands, which served
admirably to keep the people in good humour. This timely supply had
arrived just as the launch anchored, and Mr. Truck welcomed it with all
his heart; for without it, he foresaw he should soon be obliged to abandon
his precious prize.

When the people were refreshed, the long and laborious process of warping
off the land was resumed, and, in the course of two hours more, the raft
was got fully a league into the offing, a shoal permitting the kedges to
be used farther out this time than before. Then sail was again made, and
the oars were once more plied. But the sea still proved their enemy,
though they had struck the current which began to set them south. Had
there been no wind and sea, the progress of the boats would now have been
comparatively easy and quick; but these two adverse powers drove them in
towards the beach so fast, that they had scarcely made two miles from the
wreck when they were compelled a second time to anchor.

No alternative remained but to keep warping off in this manner, and then
to profit by the offing they had made as well as they could, the result
bringing them at sunset nearly up with the headland that shut out the view
of their own vessel, from which Captain Truck now calculated that he was
distant a little less than two leagues. The wind had freshened, and though
it was not by any means so strong as to render the sea dangerous, it
increased the toil of the men to such a degree, that he reluctantly
determined to seek out a proper anchorage, and to give his wearied people
some rest.

It was not in the power of the seamen to carry their raft into any haven,
for to the northward of the headland, or on the side on which they were,
there was no reef, nor any bay to afford them shelter. The coast was one
continued waving line of sand-banks, and in most places, when there was a
wind, the water broke at the distance of a mile from the beach; the
precise spot where the Dane had stranded his vessel, having most probably
been chosen for that purpose, with a view to save the lives of the people.
Under these circumstances nothing remained but to warp off again to a safe
distance, and to secure the boats as well as they could for the night.
This was effected by eight o'clock, and Captain Truck gave the order to
let go two additional kedges, being determined not to strike adrift in the
darkness, if it was in his power to prevent it. When this was done, the
people had their suppers, a watch was set, and the remainder went
to sleep.

As the three passengers had been exempted from the toil, they volunteered
to look out for the safety of the boats until midnight, in order that the
men might obtain as much rest as possible; and half an hour after the crew
were lost in the deep slumber of seamen, Captain Truck and these gentlemen
were seated in the launch, holding a dialogue on the events of the day.

"You found the Arabs conversable and ready at the cup, Mr. Monday?"
observed the captain, lighting a cigar, which with him was a never-failing
sign for a gossip. "Men that, if they had been sent to school young,
taught to dance, and were otherwise civilized, might make reasonably good
ship mates, in this roving world of ours?"

"Upon my word, sir, I look upon the sheik as uncommon gentleman-like, and
altogether as a good fellow. He took his glass without any grimaces,
smiled whenever he said any thing, though I could not understand a word he
said, and answered all my remarks quite as civilly as if he spoke English.
I must say, I think Mr. Dodge manifested a want of consideration in
quitting his company with so little ceremony. The gentleman was hurt, I'll
answer for it, and he would say as much if he could only make out to
explain himself on the subject. Sir George, I regret we had not the
honour of your company on the occasion, for I have been told these Arabs
have a proper respect for the nobility and gentry. Mr. Dodge and myself
were but poor substitutes for a gentleman like yourself."

The trained humility of Mr. Monday was little to the liking of Mr. Dodge,
who by the sheer force of the workings of envy had so long been
endeavouring to persuade others that he was the equal of any and every
other man--a delusion, however, in which he could not succeed in
persuading himself to fall into--and he was not slow in exhibiting the
feeling it awakened.

"Sir George Templemore has too just a sense of the rights of nations to
make this distinction, Mr. Monday," he said. "If I left the Arab sheik a
little abruptly, it was because I disliked his ways; for I take it Africa
is a free country, and that no man is obliged to remain longer in a tent
than it suits his own convenience. Captain Truck knows that I was merely
running down the beach to inform him that the sheik intended to follow,
and he no doubt appreciates my motive."

"If not, Mr. Dodge," put in the captain, "like other patriots, you must
trust to posterity to do you justice. The joints and sinews are so
differently constructed in different men, that one never knows exactly how
to calculate on speed; but this much I will make affidavit to, if you wish
it, on reaching home, and that is, that a better messenger could not be
found than Mr. Steadfast Dodge, for a man in a hurry. Sir George
Templemore, we have had but a few of your opinions since you came out on
this expedition, and I should be gratified to hear your sentiments
concerning the Arabs, and any thing else that may suggest itself at
the moment."

"Oh, captain! I think the wretches odiously dirty, and judging from
appearances, I should say sadly deficient in comforts."

"In the way of breeches in particular; for I am inclined to think, Sir
George, you are master of more than are to be found in their whole nation.
Well, gentlemen, one must certainly travel who wishes to see the world;
but for this sheer down here upon the coast of Africa, neither of us might
have ever known how an Arab lives, and what a nimble wrecker he makes. For
my own part, if the choice lay between filling the office of Jemmy Ducks,
on board the Montauk, and that of sheik in this tribe, I should, as we say
in America, Mr. Dodge, leave it to the people, and do all in my power to
obtain the first situation. Sir George, I'm afraid all these _county
tongues_, as Mr. Dodge calls them, in the way of wind and weather, will
quite knock the buffalo hunt on the Prairies in the head, for this fall
at least."

"I beg, Captain Truck, you will not discredit my French in this way. I do
not call a disappointment '_county tongues_,' but '_contra toms_;' the
phrase probably coming from some person of the name of _tom_, who was
_contra_, or opposed to every one else."

"Perfectly explained, and as clear as bilge-water. Sir George, has Mr.
Dodge mentioned to you the manner in which these Arabs enjoy life? The
gentlemen, by way of saving; dish-water, eat half-a-dozen at a time out of
the same plate. Quite republican, and altogether without pride, Mr. Dodge,
in their notions!"

"Why, sir, many of their habits struck me as being simple and
praiseworthy, during the short time I remained in their country; and I
dare say, one who had leisure to study them might find materials for
admiration. I can readily imagine situations in which a man has no right
to appropriate a whole dish to himself."

"No doubt, and he who wishes a thing so unreasonable must be a great hog!
What a thing is sleep! Here are these fine fellows as much lost to their
dangers and toils as if at home, and tucked in by their careful and pious
mothers. Little did the good souls who nursed them, and sung pious songs
over their cradles, fancy the hardships they were bringing them up to! But
we never know our fates, or miserable dogs most of us would be. Is it not
so, Sir George?"

The baronet started at this appeal, which crossed the quaint mind of the
captain as a cloud darkens a sunny view, and he muttered a hasty
expression of hope that there was now no particular reason to expect any
more serious obstacles to their reaching the ship.

"It is not an easy thing to tow a heavy raft in light boats like these,
exactly in the direction you wish it to go," returned the captain, gaping.
"He who trusts to the winds and waves, trusts an uncertain friend, and one
who may fail him at the very moment when there is most need of their
services. Fair as things now seem, I would give a thousand dollars of a
small stock, in which no single dollar has been lightly earned, to see
these spars safely on board the Montauk, and snugly fitted to their proper
places. Sticks, gentlemen, are to a ship what limbs are to a man. Without
them she rolls and tumbles about as winds, currents, and seas will; while
with them she walks, and dances, and jumps Jim Crow; ay, almost talks. The
standing rigging are the bones and gristle; the running gear the veins in
which her life circulates; and the blocks the joints."

"And which is the heart?" asked Sir George.

"Her heart is the master. With a sufficient commander no stout ship is
ever lost, so long as she has a foot of water beneath her false keel, or a
ropeyarn left to turn to account."

"And yet the Dane had all these."

"All but the water. The best craft that was ever launched, is of less use
than a single camel, if laid high and dry on the sands of Africa. These
poor wretches truly! And yet their fate might have been ours, though I
thought little of the risk while we were in the midst of the Arabs. It is
still a mystery to me why they let us escape, especially as they so soon
deserted the wreck. They were strong-handed, too; counting all who came
and went, I think not less than several hundreds."

The captain now became silent and thoughtful, and, as the wind continued
to rise, he began to feel uneasiness about his ship. Once or twice he
expressed a half-formed determination to pull to her in one of the light
boats, in order to look after her safety in person, and then he abandoned
it, as he witnessed the rising of the sea, and the manner in which the
massive raft caused the cordage by which it was held to strain. At length
he too fell asleep, and we shall leave him and his party for awhile, and
return to the Montauk, to give an account of what occurred on board
that ship.




Chapter XXI.



  Nothing beside remains! Round the decay
  Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
  The lone and level sands stretch far away.

  SHELLEY


As Captain Truck was so fully aware of the importance of rapid movements
to the success of his enterprise, it will be remembered that he left in
the ship no seaman, no servant, except Saunders the steward, and, in
short, no men but the two Messrs. Effingham, Mr. Sharp, Mr. Blunt, and the
other person just mentioned. If to these be added, Eve Effingham,
Mademoiselle Viefville, Ann Sidley, and a French _femme de chambre_, the
whole party will be enumerated. At first, it had been the intention of the
master to leave one of his mates behind him, but, encouraged by the secure
berth he had found for his vessel, the great strength of his moorings, the
little hold the winds and waves could get of spars so robbed of their
proportions, and of a hull so protected by the reef, and feeling a certain
confidence in the knowledge of Mr. Blunt, who, several times during the
passage, had betrayed a great familiarity with ships, he came to the
decision named, and had formally placed the last named gentleman in full
charge, _ad interim_, of the Montauk.

There was a solemn and exciting interest in the situation of those who
remained in the vessel, after the party of bustling seamen had left them.
The night came in bland and tranquil, and although there was no moon, they
walked the deck for hours with strange sensations of enjoyment, mingled
with those of loneliness and desertion. Mr. Effingham and his cousin
retired to their rooms long before the others, who continued their
exercise with a freedom and an absence of restraint, that they had not
before felt, since subjected to the confinement of the ship.

"Our situation is at least novel," Eve observed, "for a party of
Parisians, Viennois, Romans, or by whatever name we may be
properly styled."

"Say Swiss, then," returned Mr. Blunt; "for I believe that even the
cosmopolite has a claim to choose his favourite residence."

Eve understood the allusion, which carried her back to the weeks they had
passed in company, among the grand scenery of the Alps; but she would not
betray the consciousness, for, whatever may be the ingenuousness of a
female, she seldom loses her sensitiveness on the subject of her more
cherished feelings.

"And do you prefer Switzerland to all the other countries of your
acquaintance?" asked Mr. Sharp: "England I leave out of the question, for,
though we, who belong to the island, see so many charms in it, it must be
conceded that strangers seldom join us very heartily in its praises. I
think most travellers would give the palm to Italy."

"I am quite of the same opinion," returned the other; "and were I to be
confined to a choice of a residence for life, Italy should be my home.
Still, I think, that we like change in our residence, as well as in the
seasons. Italy is summer, and one, I fear, would weary of even an
eternal June."

"Is not Italy rather autumn, a country in which the harvest is gathered
and where one begins already to see the fall of the leaf?"

"To me," said Eve, "it would be an eternal summer; as things are eternal
with young ladies. My ignorance would be always receiving instruction, and
my tastes improvement. But, if Italy be summer, or autumn, what is
poor America?"

"Spring of course," civilly answered Mr. Sharp.

"And, do you, Mr. Blunt, who seem to know all parts of the world equally
well, agree in giving _our_ country, _my_ country at least, this
encouraging title?"

"It is merited in many respects, though there are others in which the term
winter would, perhaps, be better applied. America is a country not easily
understood; for, in some particulars, like Minerva, it has been born
full-grown: while, in others, it is certainly still an infant."

"In what particulars do you especially class it with the latter?" inquired
Mr. Sharp.

"In strength, to commence," answered the other, slightly smiling; "in
opinions, too, and in tastes, and perhaps in knowledge. As to the latter
essential, however, and practical things as well as in the commoner
comforts, America may well claim to be in midsummer, when compared with
other nations. I do not think you Americans, Miss Effingham, at the head
of civilisation, certainly, as so many of your own people fancy; nor yet
at the bottom, as so many of those of Mademoiselle Viefville and Mr. Sharp
so piously believe."

"And what are the notions of the countrymen of Mr. Blunt, on the subject?"

"As far from the truth, perhaps, as any other. I perceive there exist some
doubts as to the place of my nativity," he added, after a pause that
denoted a hesitation, which all hoped was to end in his setting the matter
at rest, by a simple statement of the fact; "and I believe I shall profit
by the circumstance, to praise and condemn at pleasure, since no one can
impeach my candour, or impute either to partialities or prejudices."

"That must depend on the justice of your judgments. In one thing, however,
you will have me on your side, and that is in giving the _pas_ to
delicious, dreamy Italy! Though Mademoiselle Viefville will set this down
as _lese majeste_ against _cher Paris_; and I fear, Mr. Sharp will think
even London injured."

"Do you really hold London so cheap?" inquired the latter gentleman, with
more interest than he himself was quite aware of betraying.

"Indeed, no. This would be to discredit my own tastes and knowledge. In a
hundred things, I think London quite the finest town of Christendom. It is
not Rome, certainly, and were it in ruins fifteen centuries, I question if
people would flock to the banks of the Thames to dream away existence
among its crumbling walls; but, in conveniences, beauty of verdure, a
mixture of park-like scenery and architecture, and in magnificence of a
certain sort, one would hardly know where to go to find the equal
of London."

"You say nothing of its society, Miss Effingham?"

"It would be presuming, in a girl of my limited experience to speak of
this. I hear so much of the good sense of the nation, that I dare not say
aught against its society, and it would be affectation for me to pretend
to commend it; but as for your females, judging by my own poor means, they
strike me as being singularly well cultivated and accomplished;
and yet---"

"Go on, I entreat you. Recollect we have solemnly decided in a general
congress of states to be cosmopolites, until safe within Sandy Hook, and
that _la franchise_ is the _mot d'ordre_."

"Well, then, I should not certainly describe you English as a talking
people," continued Eve, laughing. "In the way of society, you are quite as
agreeable as a people, who never laugh and seldom speak, can possibly make
themselves."

"_Et les jeunes Americaines_?" said Mademoiselle Viefville, laconically.

"My dear mademoiselle, your question is terrific! Mr. Blunt has informed
me that _they_ actually giggle!"

"_Quelle horreur_!"

"It is bad enough, certainly; but I ascribe the report to calumny. No; if
I must speak, let me have Paris for its society, and Naples for its
nature. As respects New York, Mr. Blunt, I suspend my judgment."

"Whatever may be the particular merit which shall most attract your
admiration in favour of the great emporium, as the grandiloquent writers
term the capital of your own state, I think I can venture to predict it
will be neither of those just mentioned. Of society, indeed, New York has
positively none: like London, it has plenty of company, which is
disciplined something like a regiment of militia composed of drafts from
different brigades, and which sometimes mistakes the drum-major for
the colonel."

"I had fancied you a New Yorker, until now," observed Mr. Sharp.

"And why not now? Is a man to be blind to facts as evident as the noon-day
sun, because he was born here or there? If I have told you an unpleasant
truth, Miss Effingham, you must accuse _la franchise_ of the offence. I
believe _you_ are not a Manhattanese?"

"I am a mountaineer; having been born at my father's country residence."

"This gives me courage then, for no one here will have his filial piety
shocked,"

"Not even yourself?"

"As for myself," returned Paul Blunt, "it is settled I am a cosmopolite in
fact, while you are only a cosmopolite by convention. Indeed, I question
if I might take the same liberties with either Paris or London, that I am
about to take with palmy Manhattan. I should have little confidence in the
forbearance of my auditors: Mademoiselle Viefville would hardly forgive
me: were I to attempt a criticism on the first, for instance."

"_C'est impossible_! you could not, Monsieur Blunt; _vous parlez trop bien
Francais_ not to love _Paris_."

"I _do_ love _Paris_, mademoiselle; and, what is more, I love _Londres_,
or even _la Nouvelle Yorck_. As a cosmopolite, I claim this privilege, at
least, though I can see defects in all. If you will recollect, Miss
Effingham, that New York is a social bivouac, a place in which families
encamp instead of troops, you will see the impossibility of its possessing
a graceful, well-ordered, and cultivated society. Then the town is
commercial; and no place of mere commerce can well have a reputation for
its society. Such an anomaly, I believe, never existed. Whatever may be
the usefulness of trade, I fancy few will contend that it is very
graceful."

"Florence of old?" said Eve.

"Florence and her commerce were peculiar, and the relations of things
change with circumstances. When Florence was great, trade was a monopoly,
in a few hands, and so conducted as to remove the principals from
immediate contact with its affairs. The Medici traded in spices and silks,
as men traded in politics, through agents. They probably never saw their
ships, or had any farther connexion with their commerce, than to direct
its spirit. They were more like the legislator who enacts laws to regulate
trade, than the dealer who fingers a sample, smells at a wine, or nibbles
a grain. The Medici were merchants, a class of men altogether different
from the mere factors, who buy of one to sell to another, at a stated
advance in price, and all of whose enterprise consists in extending the
list of safe customers, and of doing what is called a 'regular business.'
Monopolies do harm on the whole, but they certainly elevate the favoured
few. The Medici and the Strozzi were both princes and merchants, while
those around them were principally dependants. Competition, in our day,
has let in thousands to share in the benefits; and the pursuit, while it
is enlarged as a whole, has suffered in its parts by division."

"You surely do not complain that a thousand are comfortable and
respectable to-day, for one that was _il magnifico_ three hundred
years since?"

"Certainly not. I rejoice in the change; but we must not confound names
with things. If we have a thousand mere factors for one merchant, society,
in the general signification of the word, is clearly a gainer; but if we
had one Medici for a thousand factors, society, in its particular
signfication, might also be a gainer. All I mean is, that, in lowering the
pursuit, we have necessarily lowered its qualifications; in other words,
every man in trade in New York, is no more a Lorenzo, than every printer's
devil is a Franklin."

"Mr. Blunt cannot be an American!" cried Mr. Sharp; "for these opinions
would be heresy."

"_Jamais, jamais_" joined the governess.

"You constantly forget the treaty of cosmopolitism. But a capital error is
abroad concerning America on this very subject of commerce. In the way of
merchandise alone, there is not a Christian maritime nation of any extent,
that has a smaller portion of its population engaged in trade of this sort
than the United States of America. The nation, as a nation, is
agricultural, though the state of transition, in which a country in the
course of rapid settlement must always exist, causes more buying and
selling of real property than is usual. Apart from this peculiarity, the
Americans, as a whole people, have not the common European proportions of
ordinary dealers."

"This is not the prevalent opinion," said Mr. Sharp.

"It is not, and the reason is, that all American towns, or nearly all that
are at all known in other countries, are purely commercial towns. The
trading portion of a community is always the concentrated portion, too,
and of course, in the absence of a court, of a political, or of a social
capital, it has the greatest power to make itself heard and felt, until
there is a direct appeal to the other classes. The elections commonly
show quite as little sympathy between the majority and the commercial
class as is consistent with the public welfare. In point of fact, America
has but a very small class of real merchants, men who are the cause and
not a consequence of commerce, though she has exceeding activity in the
way of ordinary traffic. The portion of her people who are engaged as
factors,--for this is the true calling of the man who is a regular agent
between the common producer and the common consumer,--are of _a_ high
class as factors, but not of _the_ high class of merchants. The man who
orders a piece of silk to be manufactured at Lyons, at three francs a
yard, to sell it in the regular course of the season to the retailer at
three francs and a half, is no more a true merchant, than the attorney,
who goes through the prescribed forms of the court in his pleadings, is a
barrister."

"I do not think these sentiments will be very popular at home, as Mr.
Dodge says," Eve laughingly remarked; "but when shall we reach that home!
While we are talking of these things, here are we, in an almost deserted
ship, within a mile of the great Desert of Sahara! How beautiful are the
stars, mademoiselle! we have never before seen a vault so studded with
brilliants."

"That must be owing to the latitude," Mr. Sharp observed.

"Certainly. Can any one say in what latitude we are precisely?" As Eve
asked this question, she unconsciously turned towards Mr. Blunt; for the
whole party had silently come to the conclusion that he knew more of ships
and navigation than all of them united.

"I believe we are not far from twenty-four, which is bringing us near the
tropics, and places us quite sixteen degrees to the southward of our port.
These two affairs of the chase and of the gale have driven us fully twelve
hundred miles from the course we ought to have taken."

"Fortunately, mademoiselle, there are none to feel apprehensions on our
account, or, none whose interest will be so keen as to create a very
lively distress. I hope, gentlemen, you are equally at ease on
this score?"

This was the first time Eve had ever trusted herself to out an
interrogatory that might draw from Paul Blunt any communication that
would directly touch upon his connexions. She repented of the speech as
soon as made, but causelessly, as it drew from the young man no answer.
Mr. Sharp observed that his friends in England could scarcely know of
their situation, until his own letters would arrive to relieve their
minds. As for Mademoiselle Viefville, the hard fortune which reduced her
to the office of a governess, had almost left her without natural ties.

"I believe we are to have watch and ward to-night," resumed Eve, after the
general pause had continued some little time. "Is it not possible for the
elements to put us in the same predicament as that in which we found the
poor Dane?"

"Possible, certainly, but scarcely probable," returned Mr. Blunt. "The
ship is well moored, and this narrow ledge of rocks, between us and the
ocean, serves admirably for a break-water. One would not like to be
stranded, helpless as we are, at this moment, on a coast like this!"

"Why so particularly helpless? You allude to the absence of our crew?"

"To that, and to the fact that, I believe, we could not muster as much as
a pocket-pistol to defend ourselves with, everything in the shape of
fire-arms having been sent with the party in the boats."

"Might we not lie on the beach, here, for days, even weeks," inquired Mr.
Sharp, "without being discovered by the Arabs?"

"I fear not. Mariners have told me that the barbarians hover along the
shores, especially after gales, in the hope of meeting with wrecks, and
that it is surprising how soon they gain intelligence of any disaster. It
is seldom there is even an opportunity to escape in a boat."

"I hope here, at least, we are safe?" cried Eve, in a little terror, and
shuddering, as much in playfulness as in real alarm.

"I see no grounds of concern where we are, so long as we can keep the ship
off the shore. The Arabs have no boats, and if they had, they would not
dare to attack a vessel that floated, in one, unless aware of her being as
truly helpless as we happen at this moment to be."

"This is a chilling consolation, but I shall trust in your good care,
gentlemen. Mademoiselle, it is drawing near midnight, I believe."

Eve and her companion then courteously wished the two young men good
night, and retired to their state-rooms; Mr. Sharp remained an hour longer
with Mr. Blunt, who had undertaken to watch the first few hours,
conversing with a light heart, and gaily; for, though there was a secret
consciousness of rivalry between these two young men on the subject of
Eve's favour, it was a generous and manly competition, in which each did
the other ample justice. They talked of their travels, their views of
customs and nations, their adventures in different countries, and of the
pleasure each had felt in visiting spots renowned by association or the
arts; but not a word was hazarded by either concerning the young creature
who had just left them, and whom each still saw in his mind's eye, long
after her light and graceful form had disappeared. At length Mr. Sharp
went below, his companion insisting on being left alone, under the penalty
of remaining up himself during the second watch. From this time, for
several hours, there was no other noise in the ship than the tread of the
solitary watchman. At the appointed period of the night, a change took
place, and he who had watched, slept; while he who had slept, watched.
Just as day dawned, however, Paul Blunt, who was in a deep sleep, felt a
shake at his shoulder.

"Pardon me," cautiously whispered Mr. Sharp: "I fear we are about to have
a most unpleasant interruption to our solitude."

"Heavenly powers!--Not the Arabs?"

"I fear no less: but it is still too dark to be certain of the fact. If
you will rise, we can consult on the situation in which we are placed. I
beg you to be quick."

Paui Blunt had hastily risen on an arm, and he now passed a hand over his
brow, as if to make certain that he was awake. He had not undressed
himself, and in another moment he stood on his feet in the middle of the
state-room.

"This is too serious to allow of mistake. We will not alarm her, then; we
will not give any alarm, sir, until certain of the calamity."

"In that I entirely agree with you," returned Mr. Sharp who was perfectly
calm, though evidently distressed. "I may be mistaken, and wish your
opinion. All on board but us two are in a profound sleep."

The other drew on his coat, and in a minute both were on deck. The day had
not yet dawned, and the light was scarce sufficient to distinguish objects
even near as those on the reef, particularly when they were stationary.
The rocks, themselves, however, were visible in places, for the tide was
out, and most of the upper portion of the ledge was bare. The two
gentlemen moved cautiously to the bows of the vessel, and, concealed by
the bulwarks, Mr. Sharp pointed out to his companion the objects that had
given him the alarm.

"Do you see the pointed rock a little to the right of the spot where the
kedge is placed?" he said, pointing in the direction that he meant. "It is
now naked, and I am quite cenain there was an object on it, when I went
below, that has since moved away."

"It may have been a sea-bird; for we are so near the day, some of them are
probably in motion. Was it large?"

"Of the size of a man's head, apparently; but this is by no means all.
Here, farther to the north, I distinguished three objects in motion,
wading in the water, near the point where the rocks are never bare."

"They may have been herons; the bird is often found in these low
latitudes, I believe. I can discover nothing."

"I would to God, I may have been mistaken, though I do not think I could
be so much deceived."

Paul Blunt caught his arm, and held it like one who listened intently.

"Heard you that?" he whispered hurriedly.

"It sounded like the clanking of iron."

Looking around, the other found a handspike, and passing swiftly up the
heel of the bowsprit, he stood between the knight-heads. Here he bent
forward, and looked intently towards the lines of chains which lay over
the bulwarks, as bow-fasts. Of these chains the parts led quite near each
other, in parallel lines, and as the ship's moorings were taut, they were
hanging in merely a slight curve. From the rocks, or the place where the
kedges were laid to a point within thirty feet of the ship, these chains
were dotted with living beings crawling cautiously upward. It was even
easy, at a second look, to perceive that they were men stealthily
advancing on their hands and feet.

Raising the handspike, Mr. Blunt struck the chains several violent blows.
The effect was to cause the whole of the Arabs--for it could be no
others--suddenly to cease advancing, and to seat themselves astride
the chains.

"This is fearful," said Mr. Sharp; "but we must die, rather than permit
them to reach the ship."

"We must. Stand you here, and if they advance, strike the chains. There is
not an instant to lose."

Paul Blunt spoke hurriedly, and, giving the other the handspike, he ran
down to the bitts, and commenced loosening the chains from their
fastenings. The Arabs heard the clanking of the iron-rings, as he threw
coil after coil on the deck, and they did not advance. Presently two parts
yielded together beneath them, and then two more. These were the signals
for a common retreat, and Mr. Sharp now plainly counted fifteen human
forms as they scrambled back towards the reef, some hanging by their arms,
some half in the water, and others lying along the chains, as best they
might. Mr. Blunt having loosened the chains, so as to let their bights
fall into the sea, the ship slowly drifted astern, and rode by her cables.
When this was done, the two young men stood together in silence on the
forecastle, as if each felt that all which had just occurred was
some illusion.

"This is indeed terrible," exclaimed Paul Blunt. "We have not even a
pistol left! No means of defence--nothing but this narrow belt of water
between us and these barbarians! No doubt, too, they have fire-arms; and,
as soon as it is light, they will render it unsafe to remain on deck."

Mr. Sharp took the hand of his companion and pressed it fervently. "God
bless you!" he said in a stifled voice. "God bless you, for even this
brief delay. But for this happy thought of yours, Miss Effingham--the
others--we should _all_ have been, by this time, at the mercy of these
remorseless wretches. This is not a moment for false pride or pitiful
deceptions. I think either of us would willingly die to rescue that
beautiful and innocent creature from a fate like this which threatens her
in common with ourselves?"

"Cheerfully would I lay down my life to be assured that she was, at this
instant, safe in a civilized and Christian country."

These generous young men squeezed each other's hands, and at that moment
no feeling of rivalry, or of competition even, entered the heart of
either. Both were influenced by a pure and ardent desire to serve the
woman they loved, and it would be true to say, that scarce a thought of
any but Eve was uppermost in their minds. Indeed so engrossing was their
common care in her behalf, so much more terrible than that of any other
person did her fate appear on being captured, that they forgot, for the
moment, there were others in the ship, and others, too, who might be
serviceable in arresting the very calamity they dreaded.

"They may not be a strong party," said Paul Blunt, after a little thought,
"in which case, failing of a surprise, they may not be able to muster a
force sufficient to hazard an open attack until the return of the boats.
We have, God be praised! escaped being seized in our sleep, and made
unconscious victims of so cruel a fate. Fifteen or twenty will scarcely
dare attempt a ship of this size, without a perfect knowledge of our
feebleness, and particularly of our want of arms. There is a light gun on
board, and it is loaded; with this, too, we may hold them at bay, by not
betraying our weakness. Let us awake the others, for this is not a moment
for sleep. We are safe, at least, for an hour or two; since, without
boats, they cannot possibly find the means to board us in less than
that time."

The two young men went below, unconsciously treading lightly, like those
who moved about in the presence of an impending danger. Paul Blunt was in
advance, and to his great surprise he met Eve at the door of the ladies'
cabin, apparently awaiting their approach. She was dressed, for
apprehension, and the novelty of their situation, had caused her to sleep
in most of her clothes, and a few moments had sufficed for a hasty
adjustment of the toilet. Miss Effingham was pale, but a concentration of
all her energies seemed to prevent the exhibition of any womanly terror.

"Something is wrong!" she said, trembling in spite of herself, and laying
her hand unwittingly on the arm of Paul Blunt: "I heard the heavy fall of
iron on the deck."

"Compose yourself, dearest Miss Effingham, compose yourself, I entreat
you. I mean, that we have come to awaken the gentlemen."

"Tell me the worst, Powis, I implore you. I am equal,--I think I am equal,
to hearing it."

"I fear your imagination has exaggerated the danger."

"The coast?"

"Of that there is no cause for apprehension. The sea is calm, and our
fasts are perfectly good."

"The boats?"

"Will doubtless be back in good time."

"Surely--surely," said Eve, recoiling a step, as if she saw a monster,
"not the Arabs?"

"They cannot enter the ship, though a few of them are hovering about us.
But for the vigilance of Mr. Sharp, indeed, we might have all been
captured in our sleep. As it is, we have warning, and there is now little
doubt of our being able to intimidate the few barbarians who have shown
themselves, until Captain Truck shall return."

"Then from my soul, I thank you, Sir George Templemore, and for this good
office will you receive the thanks of a father, and the prayers of all
whom you have so signally served."

"Nay, Miss Effingham, although I find this interest in me so grateful that
I have hardly the heart to lessen your gratitude, truth compels me to give
it a juster direction. But for the promptitude of Mr. Blunt--or as I now
find I ought to address him, Mr. Powis--we should truly have all
been lost."

"We will not dispute about your merits, gentlemen. You have both deserved
our most heartfelt thanks, and if you will awaken my father and Mr. John
Effingham, I will arouse Mademoiselle Viefville and my own women. Surely,
surely, this is no time to sleep!"

The summons was given at the state-room doors, and the two young men
returned to the deck, for they felt it was not safe to leave it long at
such a moment. All was quite tranquil above, however, nor could the utmost
scrutiny now detect the presence of any person on the reef.

"The rocks are cut off from the shore, farther to the southward by deeper
water," said Paul Blunt--for we shall continue to call both gentlemen,
except on particular occasions, by their _noms de guerre_--"and when the
tide is up the place cannot be forded. Of this the Arabs are probably
aware; and having failed in their first attempt, they will probably retire
to the beach as the water is rising, for they might not like to be left on
the riband of rock that will remain in face of the force that would be
likely to be found in such a vessel."

"May they not be acquainted with the absence of most of our people, and be
bent upon seizing the vessel before they can return?"

"That indeed is the gloomy side of the conjecture, and it may possibly be
too true; but as the day is beginning to break, we shall soon learn the
worst, and anything is better than vague distrust."

For some time the two gentlemen paced the quarter-deck together in
silence. Mr. Sharp was the first to speak.

"The emotions natural to such an alarm," he said, "have caused Miss
Effingham to betray an incognito of mine, that I fear you find
sufficiently absurd. It was quite accidental, I do assure you; as much so,
perhaps, as it was motiveless."

"Except as you might distrust American democracy," returned Paul, smiling,
"and feel disposed to propitiate it by a temporary sacrifice of rank
and title."

"I declare you do me injustice. My man, whose name _is_ Sharp, had taken
the state-room, and, finding myself addressed by his appellation, I had
the weakness to adopt it, under the impression it might be convenient in a
packet. Had I anticipated, in the least, meeting with the Effinghams, I
should not have been guilty of the folly, for Mr. and Miss Effingham are
old acquaintances."

"While you are thus apologising for a venial offence, you forget it is to
a man guilty of the same error. I knew your person, from having seen you
on the Continent; and finding you disposed to go by the homely name of
Sharp, in a moment of thoughtlessness, I took its counterpart, Blunt. A
travelling name is sometimes convenient, though sooner or later I fancy
all deceptions bring with them their own punishments."

"It is certain that falsehood requires to be supported by falsehood.
Having commenced in untruth, would it not be expedient to persevere until
we reach America? I, at least, cannot now assert a right to my proper
name, without deposing an usurper!"

"It _will_ be expedient for you, certainly, if it be only to escape the
homage of that double-distilled democrat, Mr. Dodge. As for myself, few
care enough about me to render it a matter of moment how I am styled;
though, on the whole, I should prefer to let things stand as they are, for
reasons I cannot well explain."

No more was said on the subject, though both understood that the old
appellations were to be temporarily continued. Just as this brief dialogue
ended, the rest of the party appeared on deck. All preserved a forced
calmness, though the paleness of the ladies betrayed the intense anxiety
they felt. Eve struggled with her fears on account of her father, who had
trembled so violently, when the truth was first told him, as to be quite
unmanned, but who now comported himself with dignity, though oppressed
with apprehension almost to anguish. John Effingham was stern, and in the
bitterness of his first sensations he had muttered a few imprecations on
his own folly, in suffering himself to be thus caught without arms. Once
the terrible idea of the necessity of sacrificing Eve, in the last resort,
as an expedient preferable to captivity, had flashed across his mind; but
the real tenderness he felt for her, and his better nature, soon banished
the unnatural thought. Still, when he joined the party on deck, it was
with a general but vague impression, that the moment was at hand when
circumstances had required that they were all to die together. No one was
more seemingly collected than Mademoiselle Viefville. Her life had been
one of sacrifices, and she had now made up her mind that it was to pass
away in a scene of violence; and, with a species of heroism that is
national, her feelings had been aroused to a sort of Roman firmness, and
she was prepared to meet her fate with a composure equal to that of
the men.

These were the first feelings and impressions of those who had been
awakened from the security of the night, to hear the tale of their danger;
but they lessened as the party collected in the open air, and began to
examine into their situation by means of the steadily increasing light.
As the day advanced, Paul Blunt, in particular, carefully examined the
rocks near the ship, even ascending to the fore-top, from which elevation
he overlooked the whole line of the reef; and something like hope revived
in every bosom, when he proclaimed the joyful intelligence that nothing
having life was visible in that direction.

"God be praised!" he said with fervour, as his foot touched the deck again
on descending; "we have at least a respite from the attacks of these
barbarians. The tide has risen so high that they dare not stay on the
rocks, lest they might be cut off; for they probably think us stronger
than we are, and armed. The light gun on the forecastle is loaded,
gentlemen, though not shotted; for there are no shot in the vessel,
Saunders tells me; and I would suggest the propriety of firing it, both to
alarm the Arabs, and as a signal to our friends. The distance from the
wreck is not so great but it might be heard, and I think they would at
least send a boat to our relief. Sound flies fast, and a short time may
bring us succour. The water will not be low enough for our enemies to
venture on the reef again, under six or eight hours, and all may yet
be well."

This proposal was discussed, and it proving, on inquiry, that all the
powder in the ship, after loading the gun for this very purpose of firing
a signal, had been taken in the boats, and that no second discharge could
be made, it was decided to lose no more time, but to let their danger be
known to their friends at once, if it were possible to send the sound so
far. When this decision was come to, Mr. Blunt, aided by Mr. Sharp, made
the necessary preparations without delay. The latter, though doing all he
could to assist, envied the readiness, practical skill and intelligence,
with which his companion, a man of cultivated and polished mind in higher
things, performed every requisite act that was necessary to effect their
purpose. Instead of hastily discharging the piece, an iron four-pound gun,
Mr. Blunt first doubled the wad, which he drove home with all his force,
and then he greased the muzzle, as he said, to increase the report.

"I shall not attempt to explain the philosophy of this," he added with a
mournful smile, "but all lovers of salutes and salvos will maintain that
it is useful; and be it so or not, too much depends on our making
ourselves heard, to neglect any thing that has even a chance of aiding
that one great object. If you will now assist me, Sir George, we will run
the gun over to starboard, in order that it may be fired on the side next
the wreck."

"Judging from the readiness you have shown on several occasions, as well
as your familiarity with the terms, I should think you had served,"
returned the real baronet, as he helped his companion to place the gun at
a port on the northern side of the vessel.

"You have not mistaken my trade. I was certainly bred, almost born, a
seaman; and though as a traveller I have now been many years severed from
my early habits, little of what I knew has been lost. Were there five
others here, who had as much familiarity as myself with vessels, I think
we could carry the ship outside the reef, crippled as she is, and set the
Arabs at defiance. Would to God our worthy captain had never brought
her inside."

"He did all for the best, no doubt?"

"Beyond a question; and no more than a commendable prudence required.
Still he has left us in a most critical position. This priming is a little
damp, and I distrust it. The coal, if you please."

"Why do you not fire?"

"At the last moment, I almost repent of my own expedient. Is it quite
certain no pistols remain among any of our effects?"

"I fear not. Saunders reports that all, even to those of the smallest
size, were put in requisition for the boats."

"The charge in this gun might serve for many pistols, or for several
fowling-pieces. I might even sweep the reef, on an emergency, by using old
iron for shot! It appears like parting with a last friend, to part with
this single precious charge of gunpowder."

"Nay, you certainly know best; though I rather think the Messrs. Effingham
are of your first opinion."

"It is puerile to waver on such a subject, and I will hesitate no longer.
There are moments when the air seems to float in the direction of our
friends; on the first return of one of those currents, I will fire."

A minute brought the opportunity, and Paul Blunt, or Paul Powis, as his
real name would now appear to be, applied the coal. The report was sharp
and lively; but as the smoke floated away, he again expressed his doubts
of the wisdom of what had just been done. Had he then known that the
struggling sounds had diffused themselves in their radii, without reaching
the wreck, his regrets would have been increased fourfold. This was a
fact, however, that could not be then ascertained, and those in the packet
were compelled to wait two or three hours before they even got the
certainty of their failure.

As the light increased a view was obtained of the shore, which seemed as
silent and deserted as the reef. For half an hour the whole party
experienced the revulsion of feeling that accompanies all great changes of
emotion, and the conversation had even got to be again cheerful, and to
turn into its former channels, when suddenly a cry from Saunders renewed
the alarm. The steward was preparing the breakfast in the galley, from
which he gave occasional glances towards the land, and his quick eye had
been the first to detect a new and still more serious danger that now
menaced them.

A long train of camels was visible, travelling across the desert, and
holding its way towards the part of the reef which touched the shore. At
this point, too, were now to be seen some twenty Arabs, waiting the
arrival, of their friends; among whom it was fair to conclude were those
who had attempted to carry the ship by surprise. As the events which next
followed were closely connected with the policy and forbearance of the
party of barbarians near the wreck, this will be a suitable occasion to
explain the motives of the latter, in not assailing Captain Truck, and the
real state of things among these children of the desert.

The Dane had been driven ashore, as conjectured, in the last gale, and the
crew had immediately been captured by a small wandering party of the
Arabs, with whom the coast was then lined; as is usually the case
immediately after tempestuous weather. Unable to carry off much of the
cargo, this party had secured the prisoners, and hurried inland to an
oasis, to give the important intelligence to their friends; leaving scouts
on the shore, however, that they might be early apprised of any similar
disaster, or of any change in the situation of their present prize. These
scouts had discovered the Montauk, drifting along the coast, dismasted
and crippled, and they had watched her to her anchorage within the reef.
The departure of her boats had been witnessed, and though unable to
foresee the whole object of this expedition, the direction taken pointed
out the wreck as the point of destination. All this, of course, had been
communicated to the chief men of the different parties on the coast, of
which there were several, who had agreed to unite their forces to secure
the second ship, and then to divide the spoils.

When the Arabs reached the coast near the wreck, that morning, the elders
among them were not slow in comprehending the motives of the expedition;
and having gained a pretty accurate idea of the number of men employed
about the Dane, they had come to the just conclusion that few were left in
the vessel at anchor. They had carried off the spy-glass of their prize
too, and several among them knew its use, from having seen similar things
in other stranded ships. By means of this glass, they discovered the
number and quality of those on board the Montauk, as soon as there was
sufficient light, and directed their own operations accordingly. The
parties that had appeared and disappeared behind the sandy ridges of the
desert, about the time at which we have now arrived in the narrative, and
those who have been already mentioned in a previous chapter, were those
who came from the interior, and those who went in the direction of the
reef; the first of the latter of which Saunders had just discovered. Owing
to the rounded formation of the coast, and to the intervention of a
headland, the distance by water between the two ships was quite double
that by land between the two encampments, and those who now arrived
abreast of the packet, deliberately pitched their tents, as if they
depended more on a display of their numbers for success than on
concealment and as if they felt no apprehension of the return of the crew.

When the gentlemen had taken a survey of this strong party, which numbered
more than a hundred, they held a consultation of the course it would be
necessary to pursue. To Paul Blunt, as an avowed seaman, and as one who
had already shown the promptitude and efficiency of his resources, all
eyes were turned in expectation of an opinion.

"So long as the tide keeps in," this gentleman observed, "I see no cause
for apprehensions. We are beyond the reach of musketry, or at all events,
any fire of the Arabs, at this distance, must be uncertain and harmless;
and we have always the hope of the arrival of the boats. Should this fail
us, and the tide fall this afternoon as low as it fell in the morning, our
situation will indeed become critical. The water around the ship may
possibly serve as a temporary protection, but the distance to the reef is
so small that it might be passed by swimming."

"Surely we could make good the vessel against men raising themselves out
of the water, and clambering up a vessel's side?" said Mr. Sharp.

"It is probable we might, if unmolested from the shore. But, imagine
twenty or thirty resolute swimmers to put off together for different parts
of the vessel, protected by the long muskets these Arabs carry, and you
will easily conceive the hopelessness of any defence. The first man among
us, who should show his person to meet the boarders, would be shot down
like a dog."

"It was a cruel oversight to expose us to this horrible fate!" exclaimed
the appalled father.

"This is easier seen now than when the mistake was committed," observed
John Effingham. "As a seaman, and with his important object in view,
Captain Truck acted for the best, and we should acquit him of all blame,
let the result be what it may. Regrets are useless, and it remains for us
to devise some means to arrest the danger by which we are menaced, before
it be too late. Mr. Blunt, you must be our leader and counsellor: is it
not possible for us to carry the ship outside of the reef, and to anchor
her beyond the danger of our being boarded?"

"I have thought of this expedient, and if we had a boat it might possibly
be done, in this mild weather; without a boat, it is impossible."

"But we have a boat," glancing his eye towards the launch that stood in
the chocks or chucks.

"One that would be too unwieldy for our purposes, could it be got into the
water; a thing in itself that would be almost impracticable for us
to achieve."

A long silence succeeded, during which the gentlemen were occupied in the
bootless effort of endeavouring to devise expedients to escape the Arabs;
bootless, because on such occasions, the successful measure is commonly
the result of a sort of sudden inspiration, rather than of continued and
laborious thought.




Chapter XXII.



                            With religious awe
  Grief heard the voice of Virtue. No complaint
  The solemn silence broke. Tears ceased to flow.

  GLOVER.


Hope is the most treacherous of all human fancies. So long as there is a
plausible ground to expect relief from any particular quarter, men will
relax their exertions in the face of the most imminent danger, and they
cling to their expectations long after reason has begun to place the
chances of success on the adverse side of the scale. Thus it was with the
party in the Montauk. Two or three precious hours were lost in the idle
belief that the gun would be heard by Captain Truck, and that they might
momentarily look for the appearance of, at least, one of the boats.

Paul Blunt was the first to relinquish this delusion. He knew that, if it
reached their friends at all, the report must have been heard in a few
seconds, and he knew, also, that it peculiarly belonged to the profession
of a seaman to come to quick decisions. An hour of smart rowing would
bring the cutter from the wreck to the headland, where it would be
visible, by means of a glass, from the fore-top. Two hours had now passed
away and no signs of any boat were to be discovered, and the young man
felt reluctantly compelled to yield all the strong hopes of timely aid
that he had anticipated from this quarter. John Effingham, who had much
more energy of character than his kinsman, though not more personal
fortitude and firmness, was watching the movements of their young leader,
and he read the severe disappointment in his face, as he descended the
last time from the top, where he had often been since the consultation,
to look out for the expected succour.

"I see it in your countenance," said that gentleman, "we have nothing to
look for from the boats. Our signal has not been heard."

"There is no hope, and we are now thrown altogether on our own exertions,
aided by the kind providence of God."

"This calamity is so sudden and so dire, that I can scarcely credit it!
Are we then truly in danger of becoming prisoners to barbarians? Is Eve
Effingham, the beautiful, innocent, good, angelic daughter of my cousin,
to be their victim!--perhaps the inmate of a seraglio!"

"There is the pang! Had I a thousand bodies, a thousand lives, I could
give all of the first to unmitigated suffering, lay down all the last to
avert so shocking a calamity. Do you think the ladies are sensible of
their real situation?"

"They are uneasy rather than terrified. In common with us all, they have
strong hopes from the boats, though the continued arrival of the
barbarians, who are constantly coming into their camp, has helped to
render them a little more conscious of the true nature of the danger."

Here Mr. Sharp, who stood on the hurricane-house, called out for the
glass, in order to ascertain what a party of the Arabs, who were collected
near the in-shore end of the reef, were about. Paul Blunt went up to him,
and made the examination. His countenance fell as he gazed, and an
expression like that of hopelessness was again apparent on his fine
features, when he lowered the glass.

"Here is some new cause of uneasiness!"

"The wretches have got a number of spars, and are lashing them together to
form a raft. They are bent on our capture, and I see no means of
preventing it."

"Were we alone, men only, we might have the bitter consolation of selling
our lives dearly; but it is terrible to have those with us whom we can
neither save nor yet devote to a common destruction with our enemies!"

"It is indeed terrible, and the helplessness of our situation adds to its
misery."

"Can we not offer terms?--Might not a promise of ransom, with hostages, do
something? I would cheerfully remain in the hands of the barbarians, in
order to effect the release of the rest of the party."

Mr. Blunt grasped his hand, and for a moment he envied the other the
generous thought. But smiling bitterly, he shook his head, as if conscious
of the futility of even this desperate self-devotion.

"Gladly would I be your companion; but the project is, in every sense,
impracticable. Ransom they might consent to receive with us all in their
power, but not on the condition of our being permitted to depart. Indeed,
no means of quitting them would be left; for, once in possession of the
ship, as in a few hours they must be, Captain Truck, though having the
boats, will be obliged to surrender for want of food, or to run the
frightful hazard of attempting to reach the islands, on an allowance
scarcely sufficient to sustain life under the most favourable
circumstances. These flint-hearted monsters are surrounded by the
desolation of their desert, and they are aware of all their appalling
advantages."

"The real state of things ought to be communicated to our friends, in
order that they may be prepared for the worst."

To this Mr. Blunt agreed, and they went together to inform John Effingham
of the new discovery. This stern-minded man was, in a manner, prepared for
the worst, and he now agreed on the melancholy propriety of letting his
kinsman know the actual nature of the new danger that threatened them.

"I will undertake this unpleasant office," he said, "though I could, in my
inmost soul, pray that the necessity for it might pass away. Should the
worst arrive, I have still hopes of effecting something by means of a
ransom; but what will have been the fate of the youthful, and delicate,
and lovely, ere we can make ourselves even comprehended by the barbarians?
A journey in the desert, as these journeys have been described to me,
would be almost certain death to all but the strongest of our party, and
even gold may fail of its usual power, when weighed against the evil
nature of savages."

"Is there no hope, then, really left us?" demanded Mr. Sharp, when the
last speaker had left them to descend to the cabins. "Is it not possible
to get the boat into the water, and to make our escape in that?"

"That is an expedient of which I have thought, but it is next to
impracticable. As anything is better than capture, however, I will make
one more close examination of the proceedings of the demons, and look
nearer into our own means."

Paul Blunt now got a lead and dropped it over the side of the ship, in the
almost forlorn hope that possibly she might lie over some hole on the
bottom. The soundings proved to be, as indeed he expected, but a little
more than three fathoms.

"I had no reason to expect otherwise," he said, as he drew in the line,
though he spoke like a disappointed man. "Had there been sufficient water
the ship might have been scuttled, and the launch would have floated off
the deck; but as it is, we should lose the vessel without a sufficient
object. It would appear heroic were you and I to contrive to get on the
reef, and to proceed to the shore with a view to make terms with the
Arabs; but there could be no real use in it, as the treachery of their
character is too well established to look for any benefit from such
a step."

"Might they not be kept in play, until our friends returned? Providence
may befriend us in some unexpected manner in our uttermost peril."

"We will examine them once more with the glass. By a movement among the
Arabs, there has probably been a new accession to their numbers."

The two gentlemen now ascended to the top of the hurricane-house again, in
feverish haste, and once more they applied the instrument. A minute of
close study induced Mr. Blunt to drop the glass, with an expression that
denoted increased concern.

"Can any thing possibly make our prospects worse?" eagerly inquired his
companion.

"Do you not remember a flag that was on board the Dane--that by which we
identified his nation?"

"Certainly: it was attached to the halyards, and lay on the quarter-deck."

"That flag is now flying in the camp of these barbarians! You may see it,
here, among the tents last pitched by the party that arrived while we were
conversing forward."

"And from this, you infer--"

"That our people are captives! That flag was in the ship when we left it;
had the Arabs returned before our party got there, the captain would have
been back long ere this; and in order to obtain this ensign they must have
obtained possession of the wreck, after the arrival of the boats; an event
that could scarcely occur without a struggle; I fear the flag is a proof
on which side the victory has fallen."

"This then would seem to consummate our misfortunes!"

"It does indeed; for the faint hope that existed, of being relieved by the
boats, must now be entirely abandoned."

"In the name of God, look again, and see in what condition the wretches
have got their raft!"

A long examination followed, for on this point did the fate of all in the
ship now truly seem to depend.

"They work with spirit," said Mr. Blunt, when his examination had
continued a long time; "but it seems less like a raft than before--they
are lashing spars together lengthwise--here is a dawning of hope, or what
would be hope, rather, if the boats had escaped their fangs!"

"God bless you for the words!--what is there encouraging?"

"It is not much," returned Paul Blunt, with a mournful smile; "but trifles
become of account in moments of extreme jeopardy. They are making a
floating stage, doubtless with the intention to pass from the reef to the
ship, and by veering on the chains we may possibly drop astern
sufficiently to disappoint them in the length of their bridge. If I saw a
hope of the final return of the boats, this expedient would not be without
its use, particularly if delayed to the last moment, as it might cause the
Arabs to lose another tide, and a reprieve of eight or ten hours is an age
to men in our situation."

Mr. Sharp caught eagerly at this suggestion and the young men walked the
deck together for half an hour, discussing its chances, and suggesting
various means of turning it to the best account. Still, both felt
convinced that the trifling delay which might thus be obtained, would, in
the end, be perfectly useless, should Captain Truck and his party have
really fallen into the hands of the common enemy. They were thus engaged,
sometimes in deep despondency, and sometimes buoyant with revived
expectations, when Saunders, on the part of Mr. Effingham summoned
them below.

On reaching the cabin, whither both immediately hastened, the two
gentlemen found the family party in the distress that the circumstances
would naturally create. Mr. Effingham was seated, his daughter's head
resting on a knee, for she had thrown herself on the carpet, by his side.
Mademoiselle Viefville paced the cabin, occasionally stopping to utter a
few words of consolation to her young charge, and then again reverting in
her mind to the true dangers of their situation, with a force that
completely undid all she had said, by betraying the extent of her own
apprehensions. Ann Sidley knelt near her young mistress, sometimes praying
fervently, though in silence, and at other moments folding her beloved in
her arms, as if to protect her from the ruffian grasp of the barbarians.
The _femme de chambre_ was sobbing in a state-room, while John Effingham
leaned, with his arms folded against a bulk-head, a picture of stern
submission rather than of despair. The whole party was now assembled, with
the exception of the steward, whose lamentations throughout the morning
had not been noiseless, but who was left on deck to watch the movements of
the Arabs.

The moment was not one of idle forms, and Eve Effingham, who would have
recoiled, under other circumstances, at being seen by her fellow
travellers in her present situation, scarce raised her head, in
acknowledgement of their melancholy salute, as they entered. She had been
weeping, and her hair had fallen in profusion around her shoulders. The
tears fell no longer, but a warm flushed look, one which denoted that a
struggle of the mind had gotten the better of womanly emotions, had
succeeded to deadly paleness, and rendered her loveliness of feature and
expression bright and angelic. Both of the young men thought she had never
seemed so beautiful, and both felt a secret pang, as the conviction forced
itself on them, at the same instant, that this surpassing beauty was now
likely to prove her most dangerous enemy.

"Gentlemen," said Mr. Effingham, with apparent calmness, and a dignity
that no uneasiness could disturb, "my kinsman has acquainted us with the
hopeless nature of our condition, and I have begged the favour of this
visit on your own account. _We_ cannot separate; the ties of blood and
affection unite us, and our fate must be common; but, on _you_ there is no
such obligation. Young, bold, and active, some plan may suggest itself, by
which you may possibly escape the barbarians, and at least save
yourselves, I know that generous temperaments like yours will not be
disposed to listen, at first, to such a suggestion: but reflection will
tell you that it is for the interest of us all. You may let our fate be
known, earlier than it otherwise would be, to those who will take
immediate measures to procure our ransoms."

"This is impossible!" Mr. Sharp said firmly. "We can never quit you; could
never enjoy a moment's peace under the consciousness of having been guilty
of an act so selfish!"

"Mr. Blunt is silent," continued Mr. Effingham, after a short pause, in
which he looked from one of the young men to the other. "He thinks better
of my proposition, and will listen to his own best interests."

Eve raised her head quickly, but without being conscious of the anxiety
she betrayed, and gazed with melancholy intentness at the subject of
this remark.

"I do credit to the generous feelings of Mr. Sharp," Paul Blunt now
hurriedly answered, "and should be sorry to admit that my own first
impulses were less disinterested; but I confess I have already thought of
this, and have reflected on all the chances of success or failure. It
might be practicable for one who can swim easily to reach the reef; thence
to cross the inlet, and possibly to gain the shore under cover of the
opposite range of rocks, which are higher than those near us; after which,
by following the coast, one might communicate with the boats by signal, or
even go quite to the wreck if necessary. All of this I have deliberated
on, and once I had determined to propose it; but--"

"But what?" demanded Eve quickly. "Why not execute this plan, and save
yourself? Is it a reason, because case is hopeless, that you should
perish?" Go, then, at once, for the moments are precious; an hour hence,
it may be too late."

"Were it merely to save myself, Miss Effingham, do you really think me
capable of this baseness?"

"I do not call it baseness. Why should we draw you down with us in our
misery? You have already served us, Powis, in a situation of terrible
trial, and it is not just that you should always devote yourself in behalf
of those who seem fated never to do you good. My father will tell you he
thinks it your duty now to save yourself if possible."

"I think it the duty of every man," mildly resumed Mr. Effingham, "when no
imperious obligation requires otherwise, to save the life and liberty
which God has bestowed. These gentlemen have doubtless ties and claims on
them that are independent of us, and why should they inflict a pang on
those who love them, in order to share in our disaster?"

"This is placing useless speculations before a miserable certainty,"
observed John Effingham. "As there can be no hope of reaching the boats,
it is vain to discuss the propriety of the step."

"Is this true, Powis? Is there truly no chance of your escaping. You will
not deceive us--deceive yourself--on a vain point of empty pride!"

"I can say with truth, almost with joy, for I thank God I am spared the
conflict of judging between my duty and my feelings, that there can no
longer be any chance of finding the wreck in the possession of our
friends," returned Paul fervently. "There were moments when I thought the
attempt should be made; and it would perhaps have properly fallen to my
lot to be the adventurer; but we have now proof that the Arabs are
masters, and if Captain Truck has escaped at all, it is under
circumstances that scarcely admit the possibility of his being near the
land. The whole coast must be watched and in possession of the barbarians,
and one passing along it could hardly escape being seen."

"Might you not escape into the interior, notwithstanding?" asked Eve,
impetuously.

"With what motive? To separate myself from those who have been my fellows
in misfortune, only to die of want, or to fall into the hands of another
set of masters? It is every way our interest to keep together, and to let
those already on the coast become our captors, as the booty of two ships
may dispose them to be less exacting with their prisoners."

"Slaves!" muttered John Effingham.

His cousin bowed his head over the delicate form of Eve, which he folded
with his arms, as if to shield it from the blasts and evils of the desert.

"As we may be separated immediately on being taken," resumed Paul Blunt,
"it will be well to adopt some common mode of acting, and a uniform
account of ourselves, in order that we may impress the barbarians with the
policy of carrying us, as soon as possible, into the vicinity of Mogadore,
with a view to obtaining a speedy ransom."

"Can any thing be better than the holy truth?" exclaimed Eve. "No, no, no!
Let us not deform this chastening act of God by colouring any thought or
word with deception."

"Deception in our case will hardly be needed; but by understanding those
facts which will most probably influence the Arabs, we may dwell the most
on them. We cannot do better than by impressing on the minds of our
captors the circumstance that this is no common ship, a fact their own
eyes will corroborate, and that we are not mere mariners, but passengers,
who will be likely to reward their forbearance and moderation."

"I think, sir," interrupted Ann Sidley, looking up with tearful eyes from
the spot where she still knelt, "that if these people knew how much Miss
Eve is sought and beloved, they might be led to respect her as she
deserves, and this at least would 'temper the wind to the shorn lamb!'"

"Poor Nanny!" murmured Eve, stretching forth a hand towards her old nurse,
though her face was still buried in her own hair, "thou wilt soon learn
that there is another leveller beside the grave!"

"Ma'am!"

"Thou wilt find that Eve, in the hands of barbarians, is not thy Eve. It
will now become my turn to become a handmaiden, and to perform for others
offices a thousand times more humiliating than any thou hast ever
performed for me."

Such a consummation of their misery had never struck the imagination of
the simple-minded Ann, and she gazed at her child with tender concern, as
if she distrusted her senses.

"This is too improbable, dear Miss Eve," she said, "and you will distress
your father by talking so wildly. The Arabs are human beings though they
are barbarians, and they will never dream of anything so wicked as this."

Mademoiselle Viefville made a rapid and fervent ejaculation in her own
language, that was keenly expressive of her own sense of misery, and Ann
Sidley, who always felt uneasiness when anything was said affecting Eve
that she could not understand, looked from one to the other, as if she
demanded an explanation.

"I'm sure Mamerzelle cannot think any such thing likely to take place,"
she continued more positively; "and, sir, you at least will not permit
Miss Eve to torment herself with any notions as unreasonable, as
monstrous as this!"

"We are in the hands of God, my worthy Ann, and you may live to see all
your fixed ideas of propriety violated," returned Mr. Effingham. "Let us
pray that we may not be separated, for there will at least be a tender
consolation in being permitted to share our misery in company. Should we
be torn asunder, then indeed will the infliction be one of
insupportable agony!"

"And who will think of such a cruelty, sir? _Me_ they cannot separate from
Miss Eve, for I am her servant, her own long-tried, faithful attendant,
who first held her in arms, and nursed her when a helpless infant; and you
too, sir, you are her father, her own beloved revered parent; and Mr.
John, is he not her kinsman, of her blood and name? And even Mamerzelle
also has claims to remain with Miss Eve, for she has taught her many
things, I dare say, that it is good to know. Oh! no, no, no! no one has a
right to tear us asunder, and no one will have the heart to do it."

"Nanny, Nanny," murmured Eve, "you do not, cannot know the cruel Arabs!"

"They cannot be crueller and more unforgiving than our own savages, ma'am,
and they keep the mother with the child; and when they spare life, they
take the prisoners into their huts, and treat them as they treat their
own. God has caused so many of the wicked to perish for their sins, in
these eastern lands, that I do not think a man can be left that is wretch
enough to harm one like Miss Eve. Take courage then, sir, and put your
trust in his Holy Providence. I know the trial is hard to a tender
father's heart, but should their customs require them to keep the men and
women asunder, and to separate you from your daughter, for a short time,
remember that I shall be with her, as I was in her childhood, when, by the
mercy of God, we carried her through so many mortal diseases in safety,
and have got her, in the pride of her youth, without a blemish or a
defect, the perfect creature she is."

"If the world had no other tenants but such as you, devoted and
simple-hearted woman, there would indeed be little cause for apprehension;
for you are equally unable to imagine wrong yourself, or to conceive it in
others. It would remove a mountain from my heart, could I indeed believe
that even you will be permitted to remain near this dependent and fragile
girl during the months of suffering and anguish that are likely to occur."

"Father," said Eve, hurriedly drying her eyes, and rising to her feet with
a motion so easy, and an effort so slight, that it appeared like the power
of mere volition,--the superiority of the spirit over her light
frame,--"father, do not let a thought of me distress you at this awful
moment. You have known me only in happiness and prosperity,--an indulged
and indolent girl; but I feel a force which is capable of sustaining me,
even in this blank desert. The Arabs can have no other motive than to
preserve us all, as captives likely to repay their care with a rich
ransom. I know that a journey, according to their habits, will be painful
and arduous, but it may be borne. Trust, then, more to my spirit than to
my feeble body, and you will find that I am not as worthless as I fear
you fancy."

Mr. Effingham passed his arm round the slender waist of his child, and
folded her almost frantically to his bosom. But Eve was aroused, and
gently extricating herself, with bright tearless eyes, she looked round at
her companions, as if she would reverse the order of their sympathies,
and drive them to their own wants and hazards.

"I know you think me the most exposed by this dreadful disaster," she
said; "that I may not be able to bear up against the probable suffering,
and that I shall sink first, because I am the feeblest and frailest in
frame; but God permits the reed to bend, when the oak is destroyed. I am
stronger, able to bear more than you imagine, and we shall all live to
meet again, in happier scenes, should it be our present hard fortune to be
separated."

As Eve spoke, she cast affectionate looks on those dear to her by habit,
and blood, and services; nor did she permit an unnecessary reserve at such
a moment to prevent glances of friendly interest towards the two young
men, whose very souls seemed wrapped in her movements. Words of
encouragement from such a source, however, only served to set the
frightful truth more vividly before the minds of her auditors, and not one
of them heard what she said who did not feel an awful presentiment that a
few weeks of the suffering of which she made so light, did she even escape
a crueller fate, would consign that form, now so winning and lovely, to
the sands. Mr. Effingham now rose, and for the first time the flood of
sensations that had been so long gathering in his bosom, seemed ready to
burst through the restraints of manhood. Struggling to command himself, he
turned to his two young male companions, and spoke with an impressiveness
and dignity that carried with them a double force, from the fact of his
ordinary manners being so tempered and calm.

"Gentlemen," he said, "we may serve each other, by coming to an
understanding in time; or at least you may confer on me a favour that a
life of gratitude would not repay. You are young and vigorous, bold and
intelligent, qualities that will command the respect of even savages. The
chances that one of you will survive to reach a Christian land are much
greater than those of a man of my years, borne down as I shall be with the
never-dying anxieties of a parent."

"Father! father!"

"Hush! darling: let me entreat these gentlemen to bear us in mind, should
they reach a place of safety; for, after all, youth may do that in your
behalf, which time will deny to John and myself. Money will be of no
account, you know, to rescue my child from a fate far worse than death,
and it may be some consolation to you, young men, to recollect, at the
close of your own careers, which I trust will yet be long and happy, that
a parent, in his last moments, found a consolation in the justifiable
hopes he had placed on your generous exertions."

"Father, I cannot bear this! For you to be the victim of these barbarians
is too much; and I would prefer trusting all to a raft on the terrible
ocean, to incurring the smallest chance of such a calamity. Mademoiselle,
you will join me in the entreaty to the gentlemen to prepare a few planks
to receive us, where we can perish together, and at least have the
consolation of knowing that our eyes will be closed by friends. The
longest survivor will be surrounded and supported by the spirits of those
who have gone before, into a world devoid of care."

"I have thought this from the first," returned Mademoiselle Viefville in
French, with an energy of manner that betokened a high and resolved
character: "I would not expose gentlewomen to the insults and outrages of
barbarians; but did not wish to make a proposition that the feelings of
others might reject."

"It is a thousand times preferable to capture, if indeed it be
practicable," said John Effingham, looking inquiringly towards Paul. The
latter, however, shook his head in the negative, for, the wind blowing on
shore, he knew it would be merely meeting captivity without the appearance
of a self-reliance and dignity, that might serve to impress their captors
favourably.

"It is impossible," said Eve, reading the meaning of the glances, and
dropping on her knees before Mr. Effingham; "well, then, may our trust be
in God! We have yet a few minutes of liberty, and let them not be wasted
idly, in vain regrets. Father, kiss me, and give me once more that holy
and cherished blessing, with which you used to consign me to sleep, in
those days when we scarce dreamed of, never realised, misfortune."

"Bless you, bless you, my babe; my beloved, my cherished Eve!" said the
father solemnly, but with a quivering lip. "May that dread Being whose
ways, though mysterious, are perfect wisdom and mercy, sustain you in this
trial, and bring you at last, spotless in spirit and person, to his own
mansions of peace. God took from me early thy sainted mother, and I had
impiously trusted in the hope that thou wert left to be my solace in age.
Bless you, my Eve; I shall pray God, without ceasing, that thou mayest
pass away as pure and as worthy of His love, as her to whom thou owest
thy being."

John Effingham groaned; the effort he made to repress his feelings causing
the out-breaking of his soul to be deep though smothered.

"Father, let us pray together. Ann, my good Ann, thou who first taught me
to lisp a thanksgiving and a request, kneel here by my side--and you, too,
mademoiselle; though of a different creed, we have a common God! Cousin
John, you pray often, I know, though so little apt to show your emotions;
there is a place for you, too, with those of your blood. I know not
whether these gentlemen are too proud to pray."

Both the young men knelt with the others, and there was a long pause in
which the whole party put up their supplications, each according to his or
her habits of thought.

"Father!" resumed Eve, looking up as she still knelt between the knees of
Mr. Effingham, and smiling fondly in the face of him she so piously loved;
"there is one precious hope of which even the barbarians cannot rob us: we
may be separated here, but our final meeting rests only with God!"

Mademoiselle Viefville passed an arm round the waist of her sweet pupil,
and pressed her against her heart.

"There is but one abode for the blessed, my dear mademoiselle, and one
expiation for us all." Then rising from her knees, Eve said with the grace
and dignity of a gentlewoman, "Cousin Jack, kiss me; we know not when
another occasion may offer to manifest to each other our mutual regard.
You have been a dear and an indulgent kinsman to me, and should I live
these twenty years a slave, I shall not cease to think of you with
kindness and regret."

John Effingham folded the beautiful and ardent girl in his arms, with the
freedom and fondness of a parent.

"Gentlemen," continued Eve, with a deepening colour, but eyes that were
kind and grateful, "I thank you, too, for lending your supplications to
ours. I know that young men in the pride of their security, seldom fancy
such a dependence on God necessary; but the strongest are overturned, and
pride is a poor substitute for the hope of the meek, I believe you have
thought better of me than I merit, and I should never cease to reproach
myself with a want of consideration, did I believe that any thing more
than accident has brought you into this ill-fated vessel. Will you permit
me to add one more obligation to the many I feel to you both?" advancing
nearer to them, and speaking lower; "you are young, and likely to endure
bodily exposure better than my father--that we shall be separated I feel
persuaded--and it might be in your power to solace a heart-broken
parent.--I see, I know, I may depend on your good offices."

"Eve--my blessed daughter--my only, my beloved child!" exclaimed Mr.
Effingham, who overheard her lowest syllable, so death-like was the
stillness of the cabin--"come to me, dearest; no power on earth shall ever
tear us asunder!"

Eve turned quickly, and beheld the arms of her parent extended. She threw
herself into them, when the pent and irresistible emotions broke loose in
both, for they wept together, as she lay on his bosom, with a violence
that in a man it was awfully painful to witness.

Mr. Sharp had advanced to take the offered hand of Eve when she suddenly
left him for the purpose just mentioned, and he now felt the grasp of
Paul's fingers on his arm, as if they were about to penetrate the bone.
Fearful of betraying the extent of their feelings, the two young men
rushed on deck together, where they paced backward and forward for many
minutes, quite unable to exchange a word, or even a look.




Chapter XXIII.



  O Domine Deus! speravi in te,
  O care mi Jesu, nune libera me;--
      In dura catena,
      In misera poena,
          Desidero te--
      Languendo, gemendo
      Et genuflectendo,
  Adora, imploro, ut liberes me.

  _Queen Mary._


The sublime consolations of religion were little felt by either of the two
generous-minded and ardent young men who were pacing the deck of the
Montauk. The gentle and the plastic admit the most readily of the divine
influence; and of all on board the devoted vessel at that moment, they who
were the most resigned to their fate were those who by their physical
force were the least able to endure it.

"This heavenly resignation," said Mr. Sharp, half whispering, "is even
more heart-rending than the out-breakings of despair."

"It is frightful!" returned his companion. "Any thing is better than
passive submission in such circumstances. I see but little, indeed no hope
of escape; but idleness is torture. If I endeavour to raise this boat,
will you aid me?"

"Command me like your slave. Would to Heaven there were the faintest
prospects of success!"

"There is but little; and should we even succeed, there are no means of
getting far from the ship in the launch, as all the oars have been carried
off by the captain, and I can hear of neither masts nor sails. Had we the
latter, with this wind which is beginning to blow, we might indeed prolong
the uncertainty, by getting on some of those more distant spits of sand."

"Then, in the name of the blessed Maria!" exclaimed one behind them in
French, "delay not an instant, and all on board will join in the labour!"

The gentlemen turned in surprise, and beheld Mademoiselle Viefville
standing so near them as to have overheard their conversation. Accustomed
to depend on herself; coming of a people among whom woman is more
energetic and useful, perhaps, than in any other Christian nation, and
resolute of spirit naturally, this cultivated and generous female had come
on deck purposely to see if indeed there remained no means by which they
might yet escape the Arabs. Had her knowledge of a vessel at all equalled
her resolution, it is probable that many fruitless expedients would
already have been adopted; but finding herself in a situation so
completely novel as that of a ship, until now she had found no occasion to
suggest any thing to which her companions would be likely to lend
themselves. But, seizing the hint of Paul, she pressed it on him with
ardour, and, after a few minutes of urging, by her zeal and persuasion she
prevailed on the two gentlemen to commence the necessary preparations
without further delay. John Effingham and Saunders were immediately
summoned by Mademoiselle Viefville herself, who, once engaged in the
undertaking, pursued it fervently, while she went in person into the
cabins to make the necessary preparations connected with their subsistence
and comforts, should they actually succeed in quitting the vessel.

No experienced mariner could set about the work with more discretion, or
with a better knowledge of what was necessary to be done, than Mr, Blunt
now showed. Saunders was directed to clear the launch, which had a roof on
it, and still contained a respectable provision of poultry, sheep and
pigs. The roof he was told not to disturb, since it might answer as a
substitute for a deck; but everything was passed rapidly from the inside
of the boat, which the steward commenced scrubbing and cleaning with an
assiduity that he seldom manifested in his cabins. Fortunately, the
tackles with which Mr. Leach had raised the sheers and stepped the
jury-mast the previous morning were still lying on the deck, and Paul was
spared the labour of reeving new ones. He went to work, therefore, to get
up two on the substitute for a main-stay; a job that he had completed,
through the aid of the two gentlemen on deck, by the time Saunders
pronounced the boat to be in a fit condition to receive its cargo. The
gripes were now loosened, and the fall of one of the tackles was led to
the capstan.

By this time Mademoiselle Viefville, by her energy and decision, had so
far aroused Eve and her woman, that Mr. Effingham had left his daughter,
and appeared on deck among those who were assisting Paul. So intense was
the interest, however, which all took in the result, that the ladies, and
even Ann Sidley, with the _femme de chambre_, suspended their own efforts,
and stood clustering around the capstan as the gentlemen began to heave,
almost breathless between their doubts and hopes; for it was a matter of
serious question whether there was sufficient force to lift so heavy a
body at all. Turn after turn was made, the fall gradually tightening,
until those at the bars felt the full strain of their utmost force.

"Heave together, gentlemen," said Paul Blunt, who directed every thing,
besides doing so much with his own hands. "We have its weight now, and all
we gain is so much towards lifting the boat."

A steady effort was continued for two or three minutes, with but little
sensible advantage, when all stopped far breath.

"I fear it will surpass our strength," observed Mr. Sharp. "The boat seems
not to have moved, and the ropes are stretched in a way to
menace parting."

"We want but the force of a boy added to our own," said Paul, looking
doubtingly towards the females; "in such cases, a pound counts for a ton."

"_Allons_!" cried Mademoiselle Viefville, motioning to the _femme de
chambre_ to follow; "we will not be defeated for the want of such
a trifle."

These two resolute women applied their strength to the bars, and the
power, which had been so equally balanced, preponderated in favour of the
machine. The capstan, which a moment before was scarcely seen to turn, and
that only by short and violent efforts, now moved steadily but slowly
round, and the end of the launch rose. Eve was only prevented from joining
the labourers by Nanny, who held her folded in her arms, fearful that some
accident might occur to injure her.

Paul Blunt now cheerfully announced the certainty that they had a force
sufficient to raise the boat, though the operation would still be long and
laborious. We say, cheerfully; for while this almost unhoped-for success
promised little relief in the end, there is always something buoyant and
encouraging in success of any sort.

"We are masters of the boat," he said, "provided the Arabs do not molest
us; and we may drift away, by means of some contrivance of a sail, to such
a distance as will keep us out of their power, until all chance of seeing
our friends again is finally lost."

"This, then, is a blessed relief!" exclaimed Mr. Effingham; "and God may
yet avert from us the bitterest portion of this calamity!"

The pent emotions again flowed, and Eve once more wept in her father's
arms, a species of holy joy mingling with her tears. In the mean time,
Paul, having secured the fall by which they had just been heaving, brought
the other to the capstan, when the operation was renewed with the same
success. In this manner in the course of half an hour the launch hung
suspended from the stay, at a sufficient height to apply the yard-tackles.
As the latter, however, were not aloft, Paul having deemed it wise to
ascertain their ability to lift the boat at all, before he threw away so
much toil, the females renewed their preparations in the cabins, while the
gentlemen assisted the young sailor in getting up the purchases. During
this pause in the heaving, Saunders was sent below to search for sails and
masts, both of which Paul thought must be somewhere in the ship, as he
found the launch was fitted to receive them.

It was apparent, in the mean time, that the Arabs watched their
proceedings narrowly; for the moment Paul appeared on the yard a great
movement took place among them, and several muskets were discharged in the
direction of the ship, though the distance rendered the fire harmless. The
gentlemen observed with concern, however, that the balls passed the
vessel, a fearful proof of the extraordinary power of the arms used by
these barbarians. Luckily the reef, which by this time was nearly bare
ahead of the ship, was still covered in a few places nearer to the shore
to a depth that forbade a passage, except by swimming. John Effingham,
however, who was examining the proceedings of the Arabs with a glass,
announced that a party appeared disposed to get on the naked rocks nearest
the ship, as they had left the shore, dragging some light spars after
them, with which they seemed to be about to bridge the different spots of
deep water, most of which were sufficiently narrow to admit of being
passed in this manner.

Although the operation commenced by the Arabs would necessarily consume a
good deal of time, this intelligence quickened the movements of all in the
ship. Saunders, in particular, who had returned to report his want of
success, worked with redoubled zeal; for, as is usual with those who are
the least fortified by reason, he felt the greatest horror of falling into
the hands of barbarians. It was a slow and laborious thing,
notwithstanding, to get upon the yards the heavy blocks and falls; and had
not Paul Blunt been quite as conspicuous for personal strength as he was
ready and expert in a knowledge of his profession, he would not have
succeeded in the unaided effort;--unaided aloft, though the others, of
course, relieved him much by working at the whips on deck. At length this
important arrangement was effected, the young man descended, and the
capstan was again manned.

This time the females were not required, it being in the power of the
gentlemen to heave the launch out to the side of the ship, Paul managing
the different falls so adroitly, that the heavy boat was brought so near
and yet so much above the rail, as to promise to clear it. John Effingham
now stood at one of the stay-tackle falls, and Paul at the other, when the
latter made a signal to ease away. The launch settled slowly towards the
side of the vessel until it reached the rail, against which it lodged.
Catching a turn with his fall, Mr. Blunt sprang forward, and bending
beneath the boat, he saw that its keel had hit a belaying-pin. One blow
from a capstan-bar cleared away this obstruction, and the boat swung off.
The stay-tackle falls were let go entirely, and all on board saw, with an
exultation that words can scarcely describe, the important craft suspended
directly over the sea. No music ever sounded more sweetly to the
listeners than the first plash of the massive boat as it fell heavily upon
the surface of the water. Its size, its roof, and its great strength gave
it an appearance of security, that for the moment deceived them all; for,
in contemplating the advantage they had so unexpectedly gained, they
forgot the many obstacles that existed to their availing themselves of it.

It was not many minutes before Paul was on the roof of the launch, had
loosened the tackles, and had breasted the boat to, at the side of the
ship, in readiness to receive the stores that the females had collected.
In order that the reader may better understand the nature of the ark that
was about to receive those who remained in the Montauk, however, it may be
well to describe it.

The boat itself was large, strong, and capable of resisting a heavy sea
when well managed, and, of course, unwieldy in proportion. To pull it, at
a moderate rate, eight or ten large oars were necessary; whereas, all the
search of the gentlemen could not find one. They succeeded, however, in
discovering a rudder and tiller, appliances not always used in launches,
and Paul Blunt shipped them instantly. Around the gunwales of the boat,
stanchions, which sustained a slightly-rounded roof, were fitted; a
provision that it is usual to make in the packets, in order to, protect
the stock they carry against the weather. This stock having been turned
loose on the deck, and the interior cleaned, the latter now presented a
snug and respectable cabin; one coarse and cramped, compared with those of
the ship certainly, but on the other hand, one that might be well deemed a
palace by shipwrecked mariners. As it would be possible to retain this
roof until compelled by bad weather to throw it away, Paul, who had never
before seen a boat afloat with such a canopy, regarded it with delight;
for it promised a protection to that delicate form he so much cherished in
his inmost heart, that he had not even dared to hope for. Between the roof
and the gunwale of the boat, shutters buttoned in, so as to fill the
entire space and when these were in their places, the whole of the
interior formed an enclosed apartment, of a height sufficient to allow
even a man to stand erect without his hat. It is true, this arrangement
rendered the boat clumsy, and, to a certain extent, top-heavy and
unmanageable; but so long as it could be retained, it also rendered it
infinitely more comfortable than it could possibly be without it. The
roof, moreover, might be cut away in five minutes, at any time, should
circumstances require it.

Paul had just completed a hasty survey of his treasure, for such he now
began to consider the launch, when casting his eye upward, with the
intention to mount the ship's side, he saw Eve looking down at him, as if
to read their fate in the expression of his own countenance.

"The Arabs," she hurriedly remarked, "are moving along the reef, as my
father says, faster than he could wish, and all our hopes are centred in
you and the boat. The first, I know, will not fail us, so long as means
allow; but can we do anything with the launch?"

"For the first time, dearest Miss Effingham, I see a little chance of
rescuing ourselves from the grasp of these barbarians. There is no time to
lose, but everything must be passed into the boat with as little delay as
possible."

"Bless you, bless you, Powis, for this gleam of hope! Your words are
cordials, and our lives can scarcely serve to prove the gratitude we
owe you."

This was said naturally, and as one expresses a strong feeling, without
reflection, or much weighing of words; but even at that fearful moment, it
thrilled on every pulse of the young man. The ardent look that he gave the
beautiful girl caused her to redden to the temples, and she
hastily withdrew.

The gentlemen now began to pass into the boat the different things that
had been provided, principally by the foresight of Mademoiselle Viefville,
where they were received by Paul who thrust them beneath the roof without
stopping to lose the precious moments in stowage. They included
mattresses, the trunks that contained their ordinary sea-attire, or those
that were not stowed in the baggage-room, blankets, counterpanes, potted
meats, bread, wine, various condiments and prepared food, from the stores
of Saunders, and generally such things as had presented themselves in the
hurry of the moment. Nearly half of the articles were rejected by Paul,
as unnecessary, though he received many in consideration of the delicacy
of his feebler companions, which would otherwise have been cast aside.
When he found, however, that food enough had been passed into the boat to
supply the wants of the whole party for several weeks, he solicited a
truce, declaring it indiscreet to render themselves uselessly
uncomfortable in this manner, to say nothing of the effect on the boat.
The great requisite, water, was still wanting, and he now desired that the
two domestics might get into the boat to arrange the different articles,
while he endeavoured to find something that might serve as a substitute
for sails, and obtain the all-important supply.

His attention was first given to the water, without which all the other
preparations would be rendered totally useless. Before setting about this,
however, he stole a moment to look into the state of things among the
Arabs. It was indeed time, for the tide had now fallen so low as to leave
the rocks nearly bare, and several hundreds of the barbarians were
advancing along the reef, towing their bridge, the slow progress of which
alone prevented them from coming up at once to the point opposite the
ship. Paul saw there was not a moment to lose, and, calling Saunders, he
hurried below.

Three or four small casks were soon found, when the steward brought them
to the tank to be filled. Luckily the water had not to be pumped off, but
it ran in a stream into the vessel that was placed to receive it. As soon
as one cask was ready, it was carried on deck by the gentlemen, and was
struck into the boat with as little delay as possible. The shouts of the
Arabs now became audible, even to those who were below, and it required
great steadiness of nerve to continue the all-important preparation. At
length the last of the casks was filled, when Paul rushed on deck, for, by
this time, the cries of the barbarians proclaimed their presence near the
ship. When he reached the rail, he found the reef covered with them, some
hailing the vessel, others menacing, hundreds still busied with their
floating bridge, while a few endeavoured to frighten those on board by
discharging their muskets over their heads. Happily, aim was impossible,
so long as care was taken not to expose the body above the bulwarks.

"We have not a moment to lose!" cried Mr. Effingham, on whose bosom Eve
lay, nearly incapable of motion. "The food and water are in the boat, and
in the name of a merciful God, let us escape from this scene of frightful
barbarity?"

"The danger is not yet so inevitable," returned Paul, steadily. "Frightful
and pressing as it truly seems, we have a few minutes to think in. Let me
entreat that Miss Effingham and Mademoiselle Viefville will receive a drop
of this cordial."

He poured into a glass a restorative from a bottle that had been left on
the capstan as superfluous, in the confusion of providing stores, and held
it to the pallid lips of Eve. As she swallowed a mouthful, nearly as
helpless as the infant that receives nourishment from the hand of its
nurse, the blood returned, and raising herself from her father's arms, she
smiled, though with an effort, and thanked him for his care.

"It was a dread moment," she said, passing a hand over her brow; "but it
is past, and I am better. Mademoiselle Viefville will be obliged to you,
also, for a little of this."

The firm-minded and spirited Frenchwoman, though pale as death, and
evidently suffering under extreme apprehension, put aside the glass
courteously, declining its contents.

"We are sixty fathoms from the rocks," said Paul calmly, "and they must
cross this ditch yet, to reach us. None of them seem disposed to attempt
it by swimming, and their bridge, though ingeniously put together, may not
prove long enough."

"Would it be safe for the ladies to get into the boat where she lies,
exposed as they would be to the muskets of the Arabs?" inquired Mr. Sharp.

"All that shall be remedied," returned Paul. "I cannot quit the deck;
would you," slightly bowing to Mr. Sharp, "go below again, with Saunders,
and look for some light sail? without one, we cannot move away from the
ship, even when in the boat. I see a suitable spar and necessary rigging
on deck; but the canvas must be looked for in the sail-room. It is a
nervous thing, I confess, to be below at such a moment; but you have too
much faith in us to dread being deserted."

Mr. Sharp grasped the hand as a pledge of a perfect reliance on the
other's faith, but he could not speak. Calling Saunders, the steward
received his instructions, when the two went hastily below.

"I could wish the ladies were in the boat with their women," said Paul,
for Ann Sidley and the _femme de chambre_ were still in the launch, busied
in disposing of its mixed cargo of stores, though concealed from the Arabs
by the roof and shutters; "but it would be hazardous to attempt it while
exposed to the fire from the reef. We shall have to change the position of
the ship in the end, and it may as well be done at once."

Beckoning to John Effingham to follow, he went forward to examine into the
movements of the Arabs, once more, before he took any decided step. The
two gentlemen placed themselves behind the high defences of the
forecastle, where they had a fair opportunity of reconnoitring their
assailants, the greater height of the ship's deck completely concealing
all that had passed on it from the sight of those on the rocks.

The barbarians, who seemed to be, and who in truth were, fully apprised of
the defenceless and feeble condition of the party on board, were at work
without the smallest apprehension of receiving any injury from that
quarter. Their great object was to get possession of the ship, before the
returning water should again drive them from the rocks. In order to effect
this, they had placed all who were willing and sufficiently subordinate on
the bridge, though a hundred were idle, shouting, clapping their hands,
menacing, and occasionally discharging a musket, of which there were
probably fifty in their possession.

"They work with judgment at their pontoon," said Paul, after he had
examined the proceedings of those on the reef for a few minutes. "You may
perceive that they have dragged the outer end of the bridge up to
windward, and have just shoved it from the rocks, with the intention to
permit it to drift round, until it shall bring up against the bows of the
ship, when they will pour on board like so many tigers. It is a disjointed
and loose contrivance, that the least sea would derange; but in this
perfectly smooth water it will answer their purpose. It moves slowly, but
will surely drift round upon us in the course of fifteen or twenty minutes
more; and of this they appear to be quite certain themselves, for they
seem as well satisfied with their work as if already assured of its
complete success."

"It is, then, important to us to be prompt, since our time will be so
brief."

"We will be prompt, but in another mode. If you will assist me a little, I
think this effort, at least, may be easily defeated, after which it will
be time enough to think of escape."

Paul, aided by John Effingham, now loosened the chains altogether from the
bitts, and suffered the ship to drop astern. As this was done silently and
stealthily, it occupied several minutes; but the wind being by this time
fresh, the huge mass yielded to its power with certainty; and when the
bridge had floated round in a direct line from the reef, or dead to
leeward, there was a space of water between its end and the ship of more
than a hundred feet. The Arabs had rushed on it in readiness to board; but
they set up a yell of disappointment as soon as the truth was discovered.
A tumult followed; several fell from the wet and slippery spars; but,
after a short time wasted in confusion and clamour, the directions of
their chiefs were obeyed, and they set to work with energy to break up
their bridge, in order to convert its materials into a raft.

By this time Mr. Sharp and Saunders had returned, bringing with them
several light sails, such as spare royals and top-gallant studding-sails.
Paul next ordered a spare mizzen-top-gallant mast, with a top-gallant
studding-sail boom, and a quantity of light rope to be laid in the
gangway, after which he set about the final step. As time now pressed in
earnest, the Arabs working rapidly and with increasing shouts, he called
upon all the gentlemen for assistance, giving such directions as should
enable them to work with intelligence.

"Bear a hand, Saunders," he said, having taken the steward forward with
him, as one more accustomed to ships than the others; "bear a hand my fine
fellow, and light up this chain. Ten minutes just now are of more value
than a year at another time."

"'Tis awful, Mr. Blunt, sir--werry awful, I do confirm," returned the
steward, blubbering and wiping his eyes between the drags at the chains.
"Such a fate to befall such cabins, sir!--And the crockery of the werry
best quality out of London or New York! Had I diwined such an issue for
the Montauk, sir, I never would have counselled Captain Truck to lay in
half the stores we did, and most essentially not the new lots of vines.
Oh! sir, it is truly awful to have such a calamity wisit so much elegant
preparation!"

"Forget it all, my fine fellow, and light up the chain. Ha!--she touches
abaft! Ten or fifteen fathoms more will answer."

"I've paid great dewotion to the silver, Mr. Blunt, sir, for it's all in
the launch, even to the broken mustard-spoon; and I do hope, if Captain
Truck's soul is permitted to superintend the pantry any longer, it will be
quite beatified and encouraged with my prudence and oversight. I left all
the rest of the table furniture, sir; though I suppose these _muscle_-men
will not have much use for any but the oyster-knives, as I am informed
they eat with their fingers. I declare it is quite oppressive and unhuman
to have such wagabonds rummaging one's lockers!"

"Rouse away, my man, and light up! the ship has caught the breeze on her
larboard bow, and begins to take the chain more freely. Remember that
precious beings depend on us for safety!"

"Ay, ay, sir; light up, it is. I feel quite a concern for the ladies, sir,
and more especially for the stores we abandon to the underwriters. A
better-found ship never came out of St. Catherine's Docks or the East
River, particularly in the pantry department; and I wonder what these
wretches will do with her. They will be quite abashed with her
conveniences, sir, and unable to enjoy them. Poor Toast, too! he will have
a monstrous unpleasant time with the _muscle_-men; for he never eats fish;
and has quite a genteel and ameliorated way with him. I shouldn't wonder
if he forgot all I have taken so much pains to teach him, sir, unless he's
dead; in which case it will be of no use to him in another world."

"That will do," interrupted Paul, ceasing his labour, "the ship is aground
from forward aft. We will now hurry the spars and sails into the boat, and
let the ladies get into her."

In order that the reader may better understand the present situation of
the ship, it may be necessary to explain what Mr. Powis and the steward
had been doing all this time. By paying out the chains, the ship had
fallen farther astern, until she took the ground abaft on the edge of the
sand-bank so often mentioned; and, once fast at that end, her bows had
fallen off, pressed by the wind, as long as the depth of the water would
allow. She now lay aground forward and aft, with her starboard side to the
reef, and the launch between the vessel and the naked sands was completely
covered from the observations and assaults of the barbarians by
the former.

Eve, Mademoiselle Viefville, and Mr. Effingham now got into the launch,
while the others still remained in the ship to complete the preparations.

"They get on fast with their raft," said Paul, while he both worked
himself and directed the labour of the others, "though we shall be safe
here until they actually quit the rocks. Their spars will be certain to
float down upon the ship; but the movement will necessarily be slow, as
the water is too deep to admit of setting, even if they had poles, of
which I see none. Throw these spare sails on the roof of the launch,
Saunders. They may be wanted before we reach a port, should God protect us
long enough to effect so much. Pass two compasses also into the boat, with
all the carpenter's tools that have been collected."

While giving these orders, Paul was busied in sawing off the larger end of
the pole-mizzen-top-gallant-mast, to convert it into a spar for the
launch. This was done by the time he ceased speaking; a step was made,
and, jumping down on the roof of the boat, he cut out a hole to receive
it, at a spot he had previously marked for that purpose. By the time he
had done, the spar was ready to be entered, and in another minute they had
the satisfaction of seeing a very sufficient mast in its place. A royal
was also stretched to its yard, and halyards, tack and sheet, being bent,
everything was ready to run up a sail at a moment's warning. As this
supplied the means of motion, the gentlemen began to breathe more freely,
and to bethink them of those minor comforts and essentials that in the
hurry of such a scene would be likely to be overlooked. After a few more
busy minutes, all was pronounced to be ready, and John Effingham began
seriously to urge the party to quit the ship; but Paul still hesitated. He
strained his eyes in the direction of the wreck, in the vain hope of yet
receiving succour from that quarter; but, of course, uselessly, as it was
about the time when Captain Truck was warping off with his raft, in order
to obtain an offing. Just at this moment a party of twenty Arabs got upon
the spars, which they had brought together into a single body, and began
to drift down slowly upon the ship.

Paul cast a look about him to see if anything else that was useful could
be found, and his eyes fell upon the gun. It struck him that it might be
made serviceable as a scarecrow in forcing their way through the inlet,
and he determined to lodge it on the roof of the launch, for the present,
at least, and to throw it overboard as soon as they got into rough water,
if indeed they should be so fortunate as to get outside of the reef at
all. The stay and yard tackles offered the necessary facilities, and he
instantly slung the piece. A few rounds of the capstan lifted it from the
deck, a few more bore it clear of the side, and then it was easily lowered
on the roof, Saunders being sent into the boat to set up a stanchion
beneath, in order that its weight might do no injury.

The gentlemen at last got into the launch, with the exception of Paul, who
still lingered in the ship watching the progress of the Arabs, and making
his calculations for the future.

It required great steadiness of nerve, perfect self-reliance, and an
entire confidence in his resources and knowledge, for one to remain a
passive spectator of the slow drift of the raft, while it gradually
settled down on the ship. As it approached, Paul was seen by those on it,
and, with the usual duplicity of barbarians, they made signs of amity and
encouragement. These signs did not deceive the young man, however, who
only remained to be a close observer of their conduct, thinking some
useful hint might thus be obtained, though his calmness so far imposed on
the Arabs that they even made signs to him to throw them a rope. Believing
it now time to depart, he answered the signal favourably, and disappeared
from their sight.

Even in descending to the boat, this trained and cool young seaman
betrayed no haste. His movements were quick, and everything was done with
readiness and knowledge certainly, but no confusion or trepidation
occasioned the loss of a moment. He hoisted the sail, brought down the
tack, and then descended beneath the roof, having first hauled in the
painter, and given the boat a long and vigorous shove, to force it from
the side of the vessel. By this last expedient he at once placed thirty
feet of water between the boat and the Montauk, a space that the Arabs had
no means of overcoming. As soon as he was beneath the roof the sheet was
hauled in, and Paul seized the tiller; which had been made, by means of a
narrow cut in the boards, to play in one of the shutters. Mr. Sharp took a
position in the bows, where he could see the sands and channels through
the crevices, directing the other how to steer; and just as a shout
announced the arrival of the raft at the other side of the ship, the flap
of their sail gave those in the boat the welcome intelligence that they
had got so far from her cover as to feel the force of the wind.




Chapter XXIV.



  Speed, gallant bark! richer cargo is thine,
  Than Brazilian gem, or Peruvian mine;
  And the treasures thou bearest thy destiny wait,
  For they, if thou perish, must share in thy fate.

  PARK


The departure of the boat was excellently timed. Had it left the side of
the ship while the Arabs on the raft were unoccupied, and at a little
distance, it would have been exposed to their fire; for at least a dozen
of those who boarded had muskets; whereas the boat now glided away to
leeward, while they were busy in getting up her side, or were so near the
ship as not to be able to see the launch at all. When Paul Powis, who was
looking astern through a crevice, saw the first Arab on the deck of the
Montauk, the launch was already near a cable's length from her, running
with a fresh and free wind into one of the numerous little channels that
intersected the naked banks of sand. The unusual construction of the boat,
with its enclosed roof, and the circumstance that no one was visible on
board her, had the effect to keep the barbarians passive, until distance
put her beyond the reach of danger. A few muskets were discharged, but
they were fired at random, and in the bravado of a semi-savage state
of feeling.

Paul kept the launch running off free, until he was near a mile from the
ship, when, finding he was approaching the reef to the northward and
eastward, and that a favourable sand-bank lay a short distance ahead, he
put down the helm, let the sheet fly, and the boat's forefoot shot upon
the sands. By a little management, the launch was got broadside to the
bank, the water being sufficiently deep, and, when it was secured, the
females were enabled to land through the opening of a shutter.

The change from the apparent hopelessness of their situation, was so
great, as to render the whole party comparatively happy. Paul and John
Effingham united in affirming it would be quite possible to reach one of
the islands to leeward in so good a boat, and that they ought to deem
themselves fortunate, under the circumstances, in being the masters of a
little bark so well found in every essential. Eve and Mademoiselle
Viefville, who had fervently returned their thanks to the Great Ruler of
events, while in the boat, walked about the hard sand with even a sense of
enjoyment, and smiles began again to brighten the beautiful features of
the first. Mr. Effingham declared, with a grateful heart, that in no park,
or garden, had he ever before met with a promenade that seemed so
delightful as this spot of naked and moistened sand, on the sterile coast
of the Great Desert. Its charm was its security, for its distance from
every point that could be approached by the Arabs, rendered it, in their
eyes, a paradise.

Paul Powis, however, though he maintained a cheerful air, and the
knowledge that he had been so instrumental in saving the party lightened
his heart of a load, and disposed him even to gaiety, was not without some
lingering remains of uneasiness. He remembered the boats of the Dane, and,
as he thought it more than probable Captain Truck had fallen into the
hands of the barbarians, he feared that the latter might yet find the
means to lay hands on themselves. While he was at work fitting the
rigging, and preparing a jigger, with a view to render the launch more
manageable, he cast frequent uneasy glances to the northward, with a
feverish apprehension that one of the so-long-wished-for boats might at
length appear. Their friends he no longer expected, but his fears were all
directed towards the premature arrival of enemies from that quarter. None
appeared, however, and Saunders actually lighted a fire on the bank, and
prepared the grateful refreshment of tea for the whole party; none of
which had tasted food since morning, though it was now drawing near night.

"Our caterers," said Paul, smiling, as he cast his eyes over the repast
which Ann Sidley had spread on the roof of the boat, where they were all
seated on stools, boxes, and trunks, "our caterers have been of the
gentler sex, as any one may see, for we have delicacies that are fitter
for a banquet than a desert."

"I thought Miss Eve would relish them, sir," Nanny meekly excused herself
by saying; "she is not much accustomed to a coarse diet; and mamerzelle,
too, likes niceties, as I believe is the case with all of French
extraction."

Eve's eyes glistened, though she felt it necessary to say something by way
of apology.

"Poor Ann has been so long accustomed to humour the caprices of a petted
girl," she said, "that I fear those who will have occasion for all their
strength may be the sufferers. I should regret it for ever, Mr. Powis, if
_you_, who are every way of so much importance to us, should not find the
food you required."

"I have very inadvertently and unwittingly drawn down upon myself the
suspicion of being one of Mr. Monday's _gourmets_, a plain roast and
boiled person," the young man answered laughingly, "when it was merely my
desire to express the pleasure I had in perceiving that those whose
comfort and ease are of more account than any thing else, have been so
well cared for. I could almost starve with satisfaction, Miss Effingham,
if I saw you free from suffering under the extraordinary circumstances in
which we are placed."

Eve looked grateful, and the emotion excited by this speech restored all
that beauty which had so lately been chilled by fear.

"Did I not hear a dialogue between you and Mr. Saunders touching the
merits of sundry stores that had been left in the ship?" asked John
Effingham, turning to Paul by way of relieving his cousin's distress.

"Indeed you might; he relieved the time we were rousing at the chains with
a beautiful Jeremiad on the calamities of the lockers. I fancy, steward,
that you consider the misfortunes of the pantry as the heaviest disaster
that has befallen the Montauk!"

Saunders seldom smiled. In this particular he resembled Captain Truck; the
one subduing all light emotions from an inveterate habit of serious
comicality, and the responsibility of command; and the other having lost
most of his disposition to merriment, as the cart-horse loses his
propensity to kick, from being overworked. The steward, moreover, had
taken up the conceit that it was indicative of a "nigger" to be merry;
and, between dignity, a proper regard to his colour--which was about
half-way between that of a Gold Coast importation, and a rice-plantation
overseer, down with the fever in his third season--and dodged submission
to unmitigated calls on his time, the prevailing character of the poor
fellow's physiognomy was that of a dolorous sentimentality He believed
himself to be materially refined by having had so much intimate
communication with gentlemen and ladies, suffering under sea-sickness, and
he knew that no man in the ship could use language like that he had always
at his finger's ends. While so strongly addicted to melancholy, therefore,
he was fond of hearing himself talk; and, palpably encouraged as he had
now been by John Effingham and Paul, and a little emboldened by the
familiarity of a shipwreck, he did not hesitate about mingling in the
discourse, though holding the Effinghams habitually in awe.

"I esteem it a great privilege, ladies and gentlemen," he observed, as
soon as Paul ceased, "to have the honour of being _wracked_ (for so the
steward, in conformity with the Doric of the forecastle, pronounced the
word,) in such company. I should deem it a disgrace to be cast away in
some society I could name, although I will predicate, as we say in
America, nothing on their absence. As to what inwolves the stores, it
surgested itself to me that the ladies would like delicate diet, and I
intermated as much to Mrs. Sidley and t'other French waiting-woman. Do you
imagine, gentlemen, that the souls of the dead are permitted to look back
at such ewents of this life as touches their own private concerns and
feelings?"

"That would depend, I should think, steward, on the nature of the
employment of the souls themselves," returned John Effingham. "There must
be certain souls to which any occupation would be more agreeable than that
of looking behind them. But, may I ask why you inquire?"

"Because, Mr. John Effingham, sir, I do not believe Captain Truck can ever
be happy in heaven, as long as the ship is in the hands of the Arabs! If
she had been honourably and fairly wracked, and the captain suffercated by
drowning, he could go to sleep like another Christian; but, I do think,
sir, if there be any special perdition for seamen, it must be to see their
vessel rummaged by Arabs. I'll warrant, now, those blackguards have had
their fingers in everything already; sugar, chocolate, raisins, coffee,
cakes, and all! I wonder who they think would like to use articles they
have handled! And there is poor Toast, gentlemen, an aspiring and
improving young man; one who had the materials of a good steward in him,
though I can hardly say they were completely deweloped. I did look forward
to the day when I could consign him to Mr. Leach as my own predecessor,
when Captain Truck and I should retire, as I have no doubt we should have
done on the same day, but for this distressing accident. I dewoutly pray
that Toast is deceased, for I would rather any misfortune should befall
him in the other world than that he should be compelled to associate with
Arab niggers in this. Dead or alive, ladies, I am an advocate for a man's
keeping himself respectable, and in proper company."

So elastic had the spirits of the whole become by their unlooked-for
escape, that Saunders was indulged to the top of his humour, and while he
served the meal, passing between his fire on the sands and the roof of the
launch, he enjoyed a heartier gossip than any he had had since they left
the dock; not even excepting those sniggering scenes with Mr. Toast in the
pantry, in which he used to unbend himself a little, forgetting his
dignity as steward in the native propensities of the black.

Paul Powis entered but a moment into the trifling, for on him rested the
safety of all. He alone could navigate, or even manage the boat in rough
water; and, while the others confided so implicitly in his steadiness and
skill, he felt the usual burden of responsibility. When the supper was
ended, and the party were walking up and down the little islet of sand, he
took his station on the roof therefore, and examined the proceedings of
the Arabs with the glass; Mr. Sharp, with a species of chivalrous
self-denial that was not lost on his companion, foregoing the happiness of
walking at the side of Eve, to remain near him.

"The wretches have laid waste the cabins already!" observed Mr. Sharp,
when Paul had been looking at the ship some little time. "That which it
took months to produce they will destroy in an hour."

"I do not see that," returned Paul; "there are but about fifty in the
ship, and their efforts seem to be directed to hauling her over against
the rocks. They have no means of landing their plunder where she lies; and
I suspect there is a sort of convention that all are to start fair. One or
two, who appear to be chiefs, go in and out of the cabins; but the rest
are actively engaged in endeavouring to move the ship."

"And with what success?"

"None, apparently. It exceeds their knowledge of mechanics to force so
heavy a mass from its position. The wind has driven the ship firmly on the
bank, and nothing short of the windlass, or capstan, can remove her. These
ignorant creatures have got two or three small ropes between the vessel
and the reef, and are pulling fruitlessly at both ends! But _our_ chief
concern will be to find an outlet into the ocean, when we will make the
best of our way towards the Cape de Verds."

Paul now commenced a long and close examination of the reef, to ascertain
by what openings he might get the launch on the outside. To the northward
of the great inlet there was a continued line of rocks, on which he was
sorry to perceive armed Arabs beginning to show themselves; a sign that
the barbarians still entertained the hope of capturing the party.
Southward of the inlet there were many places in which a boat might pass
at half-tide, and he trusted to getting through one of them as soon as it
became dark. As the escape in the boat could not have been foreseen, the
Arabs had not yet brought down upon them the boats of the wreck; but
should morning dawn and find them still within the reef, he saw no hope of
final escape against boats that would posess the advantage of oars,
ignorant as the barbarians might be of their proper use.

Every thing was now ready. The interior of the launch was divided into two
apartments by counterpanes, trunks, and boxes; the females spreading their
mattresses in the forward room, and the males in the other. Some of those
profound interpreters of the law, who illustrate legislation by the
devices of trade, had shipped in the Montauk several hundred rude leaden
busts of Napoleon, with a view to save the distinction in duties between
the metal manufactured and the metal unmanufactured. Four or five of these
busts had been struck into the launch as ballast. They were now snugly
stowed, together with the water, and all the heavier articles, in the
bottom of the boat. The jigger had been made and bent, and a suitable mast
was stepped by means of the roof. In short, every provision for comfort or
safety that Paul could think of had been attended to: and every thing was
in readiness to re-embark as soon as the proper hour should arrive.

The gentler portion of the party were seated on the edge of the roof,
watching the setting sun, and engaged in a discourse with feelings more
attempered to their actual condition than had been the case immediately
after their escape. The evening had a little of that wild and watery
aspect which, about the same hour, had given Captain Truck so much
concern, but the sun dipped gorgeously into the liquid world of the West,
and the whole scene, including the endless desert, the black reef, the
stranded ship, and the movements of the bustling Arabs, was one of
gloomy grandeur.

"Could we foretell the events of a month," said John Effingham, "with what
different feelings from the present would life be chequered! When we left
London, the twenty days since, our eyes and minds were filled with the
movements, cares, refinements, and interest of a great and polished
capital, and here we sit, houseless wanderers, gazing at an eventide on
the coast of Africa! In this way, young men, and young ladies too, will
you find, as life glides away that the future will disappoint the
expectations of the present moment!"

"All futures are not gloomy, cousin Jack," said Eve; "nor is all hope
doomed to meet with disappointment. A merciful God cares for us when we
are reduced to despair on our own account, and throws a ray of unexpected
light on our darkest hours. Certainly we, of all his creatures, ought not
to deny this!"

"I do not deny it. We have been rescued in a manner so simple as to seem
unavoidable, and yet so unexpected as to be almost miraculous. Had not Mr.
Blunt, or Mr. Powis, as you call him--although I am not in the secret of
the masquerade--but, had not this gentleman been a seaman, it would have
surpassed all our means to get this boat into the water, or even to use
her properly were she even launched. I look upon his profession as being
the first great providential interference, or provision, in our behalf;
and his superior skill and readiness in that profession as a circumstance
of no less importance to us."

Eve was silent; but the glow in the western sky was scarcely more radiant
and bright than the look she cast on the subject of the remark.

"It is no great merit to be a seaman, for the trade is like another, a
mere matter of practice and education," observed Paul, after a moment of
awkward hesitation. "If, as you say, I have been instrumental in serving
you, I shall never regret the accidents--cruel accidents of my early life
I had almost called them--that cast my fortunes so early on the ocean."

A falling pin would have been heard, and all hoped the young man would
proceed; but he chose to be silent. Saunders happened to overhear the
remark, for he was aiding Ann Sidley in the boat, and he took up the
subject where it was left by the other, in a little aside with his
companion.

"It is a misfortune that Mr. Dodge is not here to question the gentleman,"
said the steward to his assistant, "and then we might hear more of his
adwentures, which, I make no doubt, have been werry pathetic and
romantical. Mr. Dodge is a genuine inquisitor, Mistress Ann; not such an
inquisitor as burns people and flays them in Spain, where I have been, but
such an inquisitor as torments people, and of whom we have lots
in America."

"Let the poor man rest in peace," said Nanny, sighing. "He's gone to his
great account, steward; and I fear we shall none of us make as good a
figure as we might at the final settling. Besides Miss Eve, I never knew a
mortal that wasn't more or less a sinner."

"So they all say; and I must allow that my experience leans to the wicked
side of the question. Captain Truck, now, was a worthy man; but he had his
faults, as well as Toast. In the first place he would swear when things
took him aback; and then, he had no prewarication about speaking his mind
of a fellow-creature, if the coffee happened to be thick, or the poultry
didn't take fat kindly. I've known him box the compass with oaths if the
ship was got in irons."

"It's very sinful; and it is to be feared that the poor man was made to
think of all this in his latter moments."

"If the Arabs undertook to cannibalize him, I think he must have given it
to them right and left," continued Saunders, wiping an eye, for between
him and the captain there had existed some such affection as the prisoner
comes to feel for the handcuffs with which he amuses his _ennui_, "some of
his oaths would choke a dog."

"Well, let him rest--let him rest. Providence is kind, and the poor man
may have repented in season."

"And Toast, too! I'm sure, Mrs. Ann, I forgive Toast all the little
mistakes he made, from the bottom of my heart, and particularly that
affair of the beefsteak that he let fall into the coffee the morning that
Captain Truck took me so flat aback about it; and I pray most dewoutly
that the captain, now he has dropped this mortal coil, and that there is
nothing left of him but soul, may not find it out, lest it should breed
ill-blood between them in heaven."

"Steward, you scarcely know what you say," interrupted Ann, shocked at his
ignorance, "and I will speak of it no more."

Mr. Saunders was compelled to acquiesce, and he amused himself by
listening to what was said by those on the roof. As Paul did not choose to
explain farther, however, the conversation was resumed as if he had said
nothing. They talked of their escape, their hopes, and of the supposed
fate of the rest of the party; the discourse leaving a feeling of sadness
on all, that harmonized with the melancholy, but not unpicturesque, scene
in which they were placed. At length the night set in; and as it
threatened to be dark and damp, the ladies early made their arrangements
to retire. The gentlemen remained on the sands much later; and it was ten
o clock before Paul Powis and Mr. Sharp, who had assumed the watch, were
left alone.

This was about an hour later than the period already described as the
moment when Captain Truck disposed himself to sleep in the launch of the
Dane. The weather had sensibly altered in the brief interval, and there
were signs that, to the understanding of our young seaman, denoted a
change. The darkness was intense. So, deep and pitchy black, indeed, had
the night become, that even the land was no longer to be distinguished,
and the only clues the two gentlemen had to its position were the
mouldering watch-fires of the Arab camp, and the direction of the wind.

"We will now make an attempt," said Paul, stopping in his short walk on
the sand, and examining the murky vault over head. "Midnight is near; and
by two o'clock the tide will be entirely up. It is a dark night to thread
these narrow channels in, and to go out upon the ocean, too, in so frail a
bark! But the alternative is worse."

"Would it not be better to allow the water to rise still higher? I see by
these sands that it has not yet done coming in."

"There is not much tide in these low latitudes, and the little rise that
is left may help us off a bank, should we strike one. If you will get upon
the roof, I will bring in the grapnels and force the boat off."

Mr. Sharp complied, and in a few minutes the launch was floating slowly
away from the hospitable bank of sand. Paul hauled out the jigger, a small
sprit-sail, that kept itself close-hauled from being fastened to a
stationary boom, and a little mast stepped quite aft, the effect of which
was to press the boat against the wind. This brought the launch's head up,
and it was just possible to see, by close attention, that they had a
slight motion through the water.

"I quit that bank of sand as one quits a tried friend," said Paul, all the
conversation now being in little more than whispers: "when near it, I know
where we are; but presently we shall be absolutely lost in this intense
darkness."

"We have the fires of the Arabs for lighthouses still."

"They may give us some faint notions of our position but light like that
is a very treacherous guide in so dark a night. We have little else to do
but to keep an eye on the water, and to endeavour to get to windward."

Paul set the lug-sail, into which he had converted the royal, and seated
himself directly in the eyes of the boat, with a leg hanging down on each
side of the cutwater. He had rigged lines to the tiller, and with one in
each hand he steered, as if managing a boat with yoke-lines. Mr. Sharp was
seated at hand, holding the sheet of the mainsail; a boat-hook and a light
spar lying on the roof near by, in readiness to be used should
they ground.

While on the bank, Paul had observed that, by keeping the boat near the
wind, he might stretch through one of the widest of the channels for near
two miles unless disturbed by currents, and that, when at its southern
end, he should be far enough to windward to fetch the inlet, but for the
banks of sand that might lie in his way. The distance had prevented his
discerning any passage through the reef at the farther end of this
channel; but, the boat drawing only two feet of water, he was not without
hopes of being able to find one. A chasm, that was deep enough to prevent
the passage of the Arabs when the tide was in, would, he thought,
certainly suffice for their purpose. The progress of the boat was steady,
and reasonably fast; but it was like moving in a mass of obscurity. The
gentleman watched the water ahead intently, with a view to avoid the
banks, but with little success; for, as they advanced, it was merely one
pile of gloom succeeding another. Fortunately the previous observation of
Paul availed them, and for more than half an hour their progress was
uninterrupted.

"They sleep in security beneath us," said Paul, "while we are steering
almost at random. This is a strange and hazardous situation in which we
are placed. The obscurity renders all the risks double."

"By the watch-fires, we must have nearly crossed the bay, and I should
think we are now quite near the southern reef."

"I think the same; but I like not this baffling of the wind. It comes
fresher at moments, but it is in puffs, and fear there will be a shift It
is now my best pilot."

"That and the fires."

"The fires are treacherous always. It looks darker than ever ahead!"

The wind ceased blowing altogether, and the sail fell in heavily. Almost
at the same moment the launch lost its way, and Paul had time to thrust
the boot-hook forward just in season to prevent its striking a rock.

"This is a part of the reef, then, that is never covered," said he. "If
you will get on the rocks and hold the boat, I will endeavour to examine
the place for a passage. Were we one hundred feet to the southward and
westward, we should be in the open ocean, and comparatively safe."

Mr. Sharp complied, and Paul descended carefully on the reef, feeling his
way in the intense darkness by means of the boat-hook. He was absent ten
minutes, moving with great caution, as there was the danger of his falling
into the sea at every step. His friend began to be uneasy, and the whole
of the jeopardy of their situation presented itself vividly to his mind in
that brief space of time, should accident befall their only guide. He was
looking anxiously in the direction in which Paul had disappeared, when he
felt a gripe of his arm.

"Breathe even with care!" whispered Paul hurriedly. "These rocks are
covered with Arabs, who have chosen to remain on the dry parts of the
reef, in readiness for their plunder in the morning. Thank Heaven! I have
found you again; for I was beginning to despair. To have called to you
would have been certain capture, as eight or ten of the barbarians are
sleeping within fifty feet of us. Get on the roof with the least possible
noise, and leave the rest to me."

As soon as Mr. Sharp was in the boat, Paul gave it a violent shove from
the rocks, and sprang on the roof at the same moment. This forced the
launch astern, and procured a momentary safety. But the wind had shifted.
It now came baffling, and in puffs, from the Desert, a circumstance that
brought them again to leeward.

"This is the commencement of the trades," said Paul, "they have been
interrupted by the late gale, but are returning. Were we outside the reef,
our prayers could not be more kindly answered than by giving us this very
wind but here, where we are, it comes unseasonably. Ha!--this, at least,
helps her!"

A puff from the land filled the sails, and the ripple of the water at the
stern was just audible. The helm was attended to, and the boat drew slowly
from the reef and ahead.

"We have all reason for gratitude! That danger, at least, is avoided. Ha!
the boat is aground!"

Sure enough the launch was on the sands. They were still so near the
rocks, as to require the utmost caution in their proceedings. Using the
spar with great care, the gentlemen discovered that the boat hung astern,
and there remained no choice but patience.

"It is fortunate the Arabs have no dogs with them on the rocks: you hear
them howling incessantly in their camps."

"It is, truly. Think you we can ever find the inlet in this deep
obscurity?"

"It is our only course. By following the rocks we should be certain to
discover it; but you perceive they are already out of sight, though they
cannot be thirty fathoms from us. The helm is free, and the boat must be
clear of the bottom again. This last puff has helped us."

Another silence succeeded, during which the launch moved slowly onward,
though whither, neither of the gentlemen could tell. But a single fire
remained in sight, and that glimmered like a dying blaze. At times the
wind came hot and arid, savouring of the Desert, and then intervals of
death-like calm would follow. Paul watched the boat narrowly for half an
hour, turning every breath of air to the best account, though he was
absolutely ignorant of his position. The reef had not been seen again, and
three several times they grounded, the tide as often floating them off.
The course, too, had been repeatedly varied. The result was that painful
and profound sensation of helplessness that overcomes us all when the
chain of association is broken, and reason becomes an agent less useful
than instinct.

"The last fire is out," whispered Paul. "I fear that the day will dawn
and find us still within the reef."

"I see an object near us. Can it be a high bank?"

The wind had entirely ceased, and the boat was almost without motion. Paul
saw a darkness more intense even than common ahead of him, and he leaned
forward, naturally raising a hand before him in precaution. Something he
touched, he knew not what; but feeling a hard smooth surface, that he at
first mistook for a rock, he raised his eyes slowly, and discerned, by the
little light that lingered in the vault of heaven, a dim tracery that he
recognized. His hand was on the quarter of the ship!

"'Tis the Montauk!" he whispered breathlessly, "and her decks must be
covered with Arabs. Hist!--do you hear nothing?"

They listened, and smothered voices, those of the watch, mingled with low
laughter, were quite audible. This was a crisis to disturb the coolness of
one less trained and steady than Paul; but he preserved his
self-possession.

"There is good as well as evil in this," he whispered. "I now know our
precise position; and, God be praised! the inlet is near, could we but
reach it.--By a strong shove we can always force the launch from the
vessel's side, and prevent their boarding us; and I think, with extreme
caution, we may even haul the boat past the ship undetected."

This delicate task was undertaken. It was necessary to avoid even a tread
heavier than common, a fall of the boat-hook, or a collision with the
vessel, as the slightest noise became distinctly audible in the profound
stillness of deep night. Once enlightened as to his real position,
however, Paul saw with his mind's eye obstructions that another might not
have avoided. He knew exactly where to lay his hand, when to bear off, and
when to approach nearer to the side of the ship, as he warily drew the
boat along the massive hull.--The yard of the launch luckily leaned
towards the reef, and offered no impediment. In this manner, then, the two
gentlemen hauled their boat as far as the bows of the ship, and Paul was
on the point of giving a last push, with a view to shove it to as great a
distance possible ahead of the packet, when its movement was suddenly and
violently arrested.




Chapter XXV.



    And when the hours of rest
  Come, like a calm upon the mid-sea brine
    Hushing its billowy breast--
  The quiet of that moment, too, is thine;
    It breathes of him who keeps
  The vast and helpless city while it sleeps.

  BRYANT.


It was chilling to meet with this unexpected and sudden check at so
critical a moment. The first impression was, that some one of the hundreds
of Arabs, who were known to be near, had laid a hand on the launch; but
this fear vanished on examination. No one was visible, and the side of the
boat was untouched. The boat-hook could find no impediment in the water,
and it was not possible that they could again be aground. Raising the
boat-hook over his head, Paul soon detected the obstacle. The line used by
the barbarians in their efforts to move the ship was stretched from the
forecastle to the reef, and it lay against the boat's mast. It was severed
with caution; but the short end slipped from the hand of Mr. Sharp, who
cut the rope, and fell into the water. The noise was heard, and the watch
on the deck of the ship made a rush towards her side.

No time was to be lost; but Paul, who still held the outer end of the
line, pulled on it vigorously, hauling the boat swiftly from the ship,
and, at the same time, a little in advance. As soon as this was done, he
dropped the line and seized the tiller-ropes, in order to keep the
launch's head in a direction between the two dangers--the ship and the
reef. This was not done without some little noise; the footfall on the
roof, and the plash of the water when it received the line, were audible;
and even the element washing under the bows of the boat was heard. The
Arabs of the ship called to those on the reef, and the latter answered.
They took the alarm, and awoke their comrades, for, knowing as they did,
that the party of Captain Truck was still at liberty, they apprehended
an attack.

The clamour and uproar that succeeded were terrific. Muskets were
discharged at random, and the noises from the camp echoed the cries and
tumult from the vessel and the rocks. Those who had been sleeping in the
boat were rudely awaked, and Saunders joined in the cries through sheer
fright. But the two gentlemen on deck soon caused their companions to
understand their situation, and to observe a profound silence.

"They do not appear to see us," whispered Paul to Eve as he bent over, so
as to put his head at an open window; "and a return of the breeze may
still save us. There is a great alarm among them and no doubt they know we
are not distant; but so long as they cannot tell precisely where, we are
comparatively safe.--Their cries do us good service as landmarks, and you
may be certain I shall not approach the spots were they are heard. Pray
Heaven for a wind, dearest Miss Effingham, pray Heaven for a wind!"

Eve silently, but fervently did pray, while the young man gave all his
attention again to the boat.--As soon as they were clear of the lee of the
ship, the baffling puffs returned, and there were several minutes of a
steady little breeze, during which the boat sensibly moved away from the
noises of the ship. On the reef, however, the clamour still continued, and
the gentlemen were soon satisfied that the Arabs had stationed themselves
along the whole line of rocks, wherever the latter were bare at high
water, as was now nearly the case, to the northward as well as to the
southward of the opening.

"The tide is still entering by the inlet," said Paul, "and we have its
current to contend with. It is not strong, but a trifle is important at a
moment like this!"

"Would it not be possible to reach the bank inside of us, and to shove the
boat ahead by means of these light spars?" asked Mr. Sharp.

The suggestion was a good one; but Paul was afraid the noise in the water
might reach the Arabs, and expose the party to their fire, as the utmost
distance between the reef and the inner bank at that particular spot did
not exceed a hundred fathoms. At length another puff of air from the land
pressed upon their sails, and the water once more rippled beneath the
bows of the boat. Paul's heart beat hard, and as he managed the
tiller-lines, he strained his eyes uselessly in order to penetrate the
massive-looking darkness.

"Surely," he said to Mr. Sharp, who stood constantly at his elbow, "these
cries are directly ahead of us! We are steering for the Arabs!"

"We have got wrong in the dark then. Lose not a moment to keep the boat
away, for here to leeward there are noises."

As all this was self-evident, though confused in his reckoning, Paul put
up the helm, and the boat fell off nearly dead before the wind. Her motion
being now comparatively rapid, a few minutes produced an obvious change in
the direction of the different groups of clamorous Arabs, though they also
brought a material lessening in the force of the air.

"I have it!" said Paul, grasping his companion almost convulsively by the
arm. "We are at the inlet, and heading, I trust, directly through it! You
hear the cries on our right; they come from the end of the northern reef,
while these on our left are from the end of the southern. The sounds from
the ship, the direction of the land breeze, our distance--all confirm it,
and Providence again befriends us!"

"It will be a fearful error should we be mistaken!"

"We cannot be deceived, since nothing else will explain the circumstances.
There!--the boat feels the ground-swell--a blessed and certain sign that
we are at the inlet! Would that this tide were done, or that we had
more wind!"

Fifteen feverish minutes succeeded. At moments the puffs of night-air
would force the boat ahead, and then again it was evident by the cries
that she fell astern under the influence of an adverse current. Neither
was it easy to keep her on the true course, for the slightest variation
from the direct line in a tide's way causes a vessel to sheer. To remedy
the latter danger, Paul was obliged to watch his helm closely, having no
other guide than the noisy and continued vociferations of the Arabs.

"These liftings of the boat are full of hope," resumed Paul; "I think,
too, that they increase."

"I perceive but little difference, though I would gladly see all you
wish."

"I am certain the swell increases, and that the boat rises and falls more
frequently. You will allow there is a swell?"

"Quite obviously: I perceived it before we kept the boat away. This
variable air is cruelly tantalizing!"

"Sir George Templemore--Mr. Powis," said a soft voice at a window beneath
them.

"Miss Effingham!" said Paul, so eager that he suffered the tiller-line to
escape him.

"These are frightful cries!--Shall we never be rid of them!"

"If it depended on me--on either of us--they should distress you no more.
The boat is slowly entering the inlet, but has to struggle with a
head-tide. The wind baffles, and is light, or in ten minutes we should be
out of danger."

"Out of this danger, but only to encounter another!"

"Nay, I do not think much of the risk of the ocean in so stout a boat. At
the most, we may be compelled to cut away the roof, which makes our little
bark somewhat clumsy in appearance, though it adds infinitely to its
comfort. I think we shall soon get the trades, before which our launch,
with its house even, will be able to make good weather."

"We are certainly nearer those cries than before!"

Paul felt his cheek glow, and his hand hurriedly sought the tiller-line,
for the boat had sensibly sheered towards the northern reef. A puff of air
helped to repair his oversight, and all in the launch soon perceived that
the cries were gradually but distinctly drawing more aft.

"The current lessens," said Paul, "and it is full time; for it must be
near high water. We shall soon feel it in our favour, when all will
be safe!"

"This is indeed blessed tidings! and no gratitude can ever repay the debt
we owe you, Mr. Powis!"

The puffs of air now required all the attention of Paul, for they again
became variable, and at last the wind drew directly ahead in a continued
current for half an hour. As soon as this change was felt, the sails were
trimmed to it, and the boat began to stir the water under her bows.

"The shift was so sudden, that we cannot be mistaken in its direction,"
Paul remarked; "besides, those cries still serve as pilots. Never was
uproar more agreeable."

"I feel the bottom with this spar!" said Mr. Sharp suddenly.

"Merciful Providence protect and shield the weak and lovely----"

"Nay, I feel it no longer: we are already in deeper water."

"It was the rock on which the seamen stood when we entered!" Paul
exclaimed, breathing more freely. "I like those voices settling more under
our lee, too. We will keep this tack" (the boat's head was to the
northward) "until we hit the reef, unless warned off again by the cries."

The boat now moved at the rate of five miles in the hour, or faster than a
man walks, even when in quick motion. Its rising and falling denoted the
long heavy swell of the ocean, and the wash of water began to be more and
more audible, as she settled into the sluggish swells.

"That sounds like the surf on the reef," continued Paul; "every thing
denotes the outside of the rocks."

"God send it prove so!"

"That is clearly a sea breaking on a rock! It is awkwardly near, and to
leeward, and yet it is sweet to the ear as music."

The boat stood steadily on, making narrow escapes from jutting rocks, as
was evinced by the sounds, and once or twice by the sight even; but the
cries shifted gradually, and were soon quite astern. Paul knew that the
reef trended east soon after passing the inlet, and he felt the hope that
they were fast leaving its western extremity, or the part that ran the
farthest into the ocean; after effecting which, there would be more water
to leeward, his own course being nearly north, as he supposed.

The cries drew still farther aft, and more distant, and the sullen wash of
the surf was no longer so near as to seem fresh and tangible.

"Hand me the lead and line, that lie at the foot of the mast, it you
please," said Paul. "Our water seems sensibly to deepen, and the seas have
become more regular."

He hove a cast, and found six fathoms of water; a proof, he thought, that
they were quite clear of the reef.

"Now, dear Mr. Effingham, Miss Effingham, Mademoiselle," he cried
cheerfully, "now I believe we may indeed deem ourselves beyond the reach
of the Arabs, unless a gale force us again on their inhospitable shores."

"Is it permitted to speak?" asked Mr. Effingham, who had maintained a
steady but almost breathless silence.

"Freely: we are quite beyond the reach of the voice; and this wind, though
blowing from a quarter I do not like, is carrying us away from the
wretches rapidly."

It was not safe in the darkness, and under the occasional heaves of the
boat, for the others to come on the roof; but they opened the shutters,
and looked out upon the gloomy water with a sense of security they could
not have deemed possible for people in their situation. The worst was over
for the moment, and there is a relief in present escape that temporarily
conceals future dangers. They could converse without the fear of alarming
their enemies, and Paul spoke encouragingly of their prospects. It was his
intention to stand to the northward until he reached the wreck, when,
failing to get any tidings of their friends, they might make the best of
their way to the nearest island to leeward.

With this cheering news the party below again disposed themselves to
sleep, while the two young men maintained their posts on the roof.

"We must resemble an ark," said Paul laughing, as he seated himself on a
box near the stem of the boat, "and I should think would frighten the
Arabs from an attack, had they even the opportunity to make one. This
house we carry will prove a troublesome companion, should we encounter a
heavy and a head sea."

"You say it may easily be gotten rid of."

"Nothing would be easier, the whole apparatus being made to ship and
unship. _Before_ the wind we might carry it a long time, and it would even
help us along; but _on_ a wind it makes us a little top-heavy, besides
giving us a leeward set. In the event of rain, or of bad weather of any
sort, it would be a treasure to us all, more especially to the females,
and I think we had better keep it as long as possible."

The half hour of breeze already mentioned sufficed to carry the boat some
distance to the northward, when it failed, and the puffs from the land
returned. Paul supposed they were quite two miles from the inlet, and,
trying the lead, he found ten fathoms of water, a proof that they had also
gradually receded from the shore. Still nothing but a dense darkness
surrounded them, though there could no longer be the smallest doubt of
their being in the open ocean.

For near an hour the light baffling air came in puffs, as before, during
which time the launch's head was kept, as near as the two gentlemen could
judge, to the northward, making but little progress; and then the breeze
drew gradually round into one quarter, and commenced blowing with a
steadiness that they had not experienced before that night. Paul suspected
this change, though he had no certain means of knowing it; for as soon as
the wind baffled, his course had got to be conjectural again. As the
breeze freshened, the speed of the boat necessarily augmented, though she
was kept always on a wind; and after half an hour's progress, the
gentlemen became once more uneasy as to the direction.

"It would be a cruel and awkward fate to hit the reef again," said Paul;
"and yet I cannot be sure that we are not running directly for it."

"We have compasses: let us strike a light and look into the matter."

"It were better had we done this more early, for a light might now prove
dangerous, should we really have altered the course in this intense
darkness. There is no remedy, however, and the risk must be taken. I will
first try the lead again."

A cast was made, and the result was two and a half fathoms of water.

"Put the helm down!" cried Paul, springing to the sheet: "lose not a
moment, but down with the helm!"

The boat did not work freely under her imperfect sail and with the roof
she carried, and a moment of painful anxiety succeeded. Paul managed,
however, to get a part of the sail aback, and he felt more secure.

"The boat has stern-way: shift the helm, Mr. Sharp."

This was done, the yard was dipped, and the two young men felt a relief
almost equal to that they had experienced on clearing the inlet, when they
found the launch again drawing ahead, obedient to her rudder.

"We are near something, reef or shore," said Paul, standing with the
lead-line in his hand, in readiness to heave. "I think it can hardly be
the first, as we hear no Arabs."

Waiting a few minutes, he hove the lead, and, to his infinite joy, got
three fathoms fairly.

"That is good news. We are hauling off the danger, whatever it may be," he
said, as he felt the mark: "and now for the compass."

Saunders was called, a light was struck, and the compasses were both
examined. These faithful but mysterious guides, which have so long served
man while they have baffled all his ingenuity to discover the sources of
their power, were, as usual, true to their governing principle. The boat
was heading north-north-west; the wind was at north-east, and before they
tacked they had doubtless been standing directly for the beach, from which
they could not have been distant a half quarter of a mile, if so much. A
few more minutes would have carried them into the breakers, capsized the
boat, and most probably drowned all below the roof, if not those on it.

Paul shuddered as these facts forced themselves on his attention, and he
determined to stand on his present course for two hours, when daylight
would render his return towards the land without danger.

"This is the trade," he said, "and it will probably stand. We have a
current to contend with, as well as a head-wind; but I think we can
weather the cape by morning, when we can get a survey of the wreck by
means of the glass. If we discover nothing, I shall bear up at once for
the Cape de Verds."

The two gentlemen now took the helm in turns, he who slept fastening
himself to the mast, as a precaution against being rolled into the sea by
the motion of the boat. In fifteen fathoms water they tacked again, and
stood to the east-south-east, having made certain, by a fresh examination
of the compass, that the wind stood in the same quarter as before. The
moon rose soon after, and, although the morning was clouded and lowering,
there was then sufficient light to remove all danger from the darkness. At
length this long and anxious night terminated in the usual streak of day,
which gleamed across the desert.

Paul was at the helm, steering more by instinct than any thing else, and
occasionally nodding at his post; for two successive nights of watching
and a day of severe toil had overcome his sense of danger, and his care
for others. Strange fancies beset men at such moments; and his busy
imagination was running over some of the scenes of his early youth, when
either his sense or his wandering faculties made him hear the usual brief,
spirited hail of,

"Boat ahoy!"

Paul opened his eyes, felt that the tiller was in his hand, and was about
to close the first again, when the words were more sternly repeated,

"Boat ahoy!--what craft's that? Answer, or expect a shot!"

This was plain English, and Paul was wide awake in an instant. Rubbing his
eyes, he saw a line of boats anchored directly on his weather bow, with a
raft of spars riding astern.

"Hurrah!" shouted the young man. "This is Heaven's own tidings! Are these
the Montauk's?"

"Ay, ay. Who the devil are you?"

The truth is, Captain Truck did not recognize his own launch in the royal,
roof, and jigger. He had never before seen a boat afloat in such a guise;
and in the obscurity of the hour, and fresh awakened from a profound
sleep, like Paul, his faculties were a little confused. But the latter
soon comprehended the whole matter. He clapped his helm down, let fly the
sheet, and in a minute the launch of the packet was riding alongside of
the launch of the Dane. Heads were out of the shutters, and every boat
gave up its sleepers, for the cry was general throughout the
little flotilla.

The party just arrived alone felt joy. They found those whom they had
believed dead, or captives, alive and free, whereas the others now learned
the extent of the misfortune that had befallen them. For a few minutes
this contrast in feeling produced an awkward meeting; but the truth soon
brought all down to the same sober level. Captain Truck received the
congratulations of his friends like one in a stupor; Toast looked amazed
as his friend Saunders shook his hand; and the gentlemen who had been to
the wreck met the cheerful greetings of those who had just escaped the
Arabs like men who fancied the others mad.

We pass over the explanations that followed, as every one will readily
understand them. Captain Truck listened to Paul like one in a trance, and
it was some time after the young man had done before he spoke. With a wish
to cheer him, he was told of the ample provision of stores that had been
brought off in the launch, of the trade winds that had now apparently set
in, and of the great probability of their all reaching the islands in
safety. Still the old man made no reply; he got on the roof of his own
launch, and paced backwards and forwards rapidly, heeding nothing. Even
Eve spoke to him unnoticed, and the consolations offered by her father
were not attended to. At length he stopped suddenly, and called for
his mate.

"Mr. Leach?"

"Sir."

"Here is a category for you!"

"Ay, ay, sir; it's bad enough in its way; still we are better off than the
Danes."

"You tell me, sir," turning to Paul, "that these foul blackguards were
actually on the deck of the ship?"

"Certainly, Captain Truck. They took complete possession; for we had no
means of keeping them off."

"And the ship is ashore?"

"Beyond a question."

"Bilged?"

"I think not. There is no swell within the reef, and she lies on sand."

"We might have spared ourselves the trouble, Leach, of culling these
cursed spars, as if they had been so many toothpicks."

"That we might, sir; for they will not now serve as oven-wood, for want
of the oven."

"A damnable category, Mr. Effingham! I'm glad you are safe, sir; and you,
too, my dear young lady--God bless you!--God bless you!--It were better
the whole line should be in their power than one like you!"

The old seaman's eyes filled as he shook Eve by the hand, and for a moment
he forgot the ship.

"Mr. Leach?"

"Sir."

"Let the people have their breakfasts, and bear a hand about it. We are
likely to have a busy morning, sir. Lift the kedge, too, and let us drift
down towards these gentry, and take a look at them. We have both wind and
current with us now, and shall make quick work of it."

The kedge was raised, the sails were all set, and, with the two launches
lashed together, the whole line of boats and spars began to set to the
southward at a rate that would bring them up with the inlet in about
two hours.

"This is the course for the Cape de Verds, gentlemen," said the captain
bitterly. "We shall have to pass before our own door to go and ask
hospitality of strangers. But let the people get their breakfasts, Mr.
Leach; just let the boys have one comfortable meal before they take to
their oars."

Eat himself, however, Mr. Truck would not. He chewed the end of a cigar,
and continued walking up and down the roof.

In half an hour the people had ended their meal, the day had fairly
opened, and the boats and raft had made good progress.

"Splice the main-brace, Mr. Leach," said the captain, "for we are a
littled jammed. And you, gentlemen, do me the favour to step this way for
a consultation. This much is due to your situation."

Captain Truck assembled his male passengers in the stern of the Dane's
launch, where he commenced the following address:

"Gentlemen," he said, "every thing in this world has its nature and its
principles. This truth I hold you all to be too well informed and well
educated to deny. The nature of a traveller is to travel, and see
curiosities; the nature of old men is to think on the past, of a young man
to hope for the future. The nature of a seaman is to stick by his ship,
and of a ship to be treated like a vessel, and not to be ransacked like a
town taken by storm, or a nunnery that is rifled,--You are but passengers,
and doubtless have your own wishes and occupations, as I have mine. Your
wishes are, beyond question, to be safe in New York among your friends;
and mine are to get the Montauk there too, in as little time and with as
little injury as possible. You have a good navigator among you; and I now
propose that you take the Montauk's launch, with such stores as are
necessary, and fill away at once for the islands, where, I pray God, you
may all arrive in safety, and that when you reach America you may find all
your relations in good health, and in no manner uneasy at this little
delay. Your effects shall be safely delivered to your respective orders,
should it please God to put it in the power of the line to honour
your drafts."

"You intend to attempt recapturing the ship!" exclaimed Paul,

"I do, sir," returned Mr. Truck, who, having thus far opened his mind, for
the first time that morning gave a vigorous hem! and set about lighting a
cigar.--"We may do it, gentlemen, or we may not do it. If we do it, you
will hear farther from me; if we fail, why, tell them at home that we
carried sail as long as a stitch would draw."

The gentlemen looked at each other, the young waiting in respect for the
counsel of the old, the old hesitating in deference to the pride and
feelings of the young.

"We must join you in this enterprise, captain," said Mr. Sharp quietly,
but with the manner of a man of spirit and nerve.

"Certainly, certainly," cried Mr. Monday; "we ought to make a common
affair of it; as I dare say Sir George Templemore will agree with me in
maintaining; the nobility and gentry are not often backward when their
persons are to be risked."

The spurious baronet acquiesced in the proposal as readily as it had been
made by him whom he had temporarily deposed; for, though a weak and a
vain young man, he was far from being a dastard.

"This is a serious business," observed Paul, "and it ought to be ordered
with method and intelligence. If we have a ship to care for, we have those
also who are infinitely more precious."

"Very true, Mr. Blunt, very true," interrupted Mr. Dodge, a little
eagerly. "It is my maxim to let well alone; and I am certain shipwrecked
people can hardly be better off and more comfortable than we are at this
very moment. I dare say these gallant sailors, if the question was fairly
put to them, would give it by a handsome majority in favour of things as
they are. I am a conservative, captain--and I think an appeal ought to be
made to the ballot-boxes before we decide on a measure of so much
magnitude."

The occasion was too grave for the ordinary pleasantry, and this singular
proposition was heard in silence, to Mr. Dodge's great disgust.

"I think it the duty of Captain Truck to endeavour to retake his vessel,"
continued Paul; "but the affair will be serious, and success is far from
certain. The Montauk's launch ought to be left at a safe distance with all
the females, and in prudent keeping; for any disaster to the boarding
party would probably throw the rest of the boats into the hands of the
barbarians, and endanger the safety of those left in the launch.--Mr.
Effingham and Mr. John Effingham will of course remain with the ladies."

The father assented with the simplicity of one who did not distrust his
own motives, but the eagle-shaped features of his kinsman curled with a
cool and sarcastic smile.

"Will _you_ remain in the launch?" the latter asked pointedly, turning
towards Paul.

"Certainly it would be greatly out of character were to think of it. My
trade is war; and I trust that Captain Truck means to honour me with the
command of one of the boats."

"I thought as much, by Jove!" exclaimed the captain, seizing a hand which
he shook with the utmost cordiality. 'I should as soon expect to see the
sheet-anchor wink, or the best-bower give a mournful smile, as to see you
duck.' Still, gentlemen, I am well aware of the difference in our
situations. I ask no man to forget his duties to those on shore on my
account; and I fancy that my regular people, aided by Mr. Blunt, who can
really serve me by his knowledge, will be as likely to do all that can be
done as all of us united. It is not numbers that carry ships as much as
spirit, promptitude, and resolution."

"But the question has not yet been put to the people," said Mr. Dodge, who
was a little mystified by the word last used, which he had yet to learn
was strictly technical as applied to a vessel's crew.

"It shall, sir," returned Captain Truck, "and I beg you to note the
majority. My lads," he continued, rising on a thwart, and speaking aloud,
"you know the history of the ship. As to the Arabs, now they have got her,
they do not know how to sail her, and it is no more than a kindness to
take her out of their hands. For this business I want volunteers; those
who are for the reef, and an attack, will rise up and cheer; while they
who like an offing have only to sit still and stay where they are."

The words were no sooner spoken than Mr. Leach jumped up on the gunwale
and waved his hat. The people rose as one man, and taking the signal from
the mate, they gave three as hearty cheers as ever rung over the bottle.

"Dead against you, sir!" observed the captain, nodding to the editor; "and
I hope you are now satisfied."

"The ballot might have given it the other way," muttered Mr. Dodge; "there
can be no freedom of election without the ballot."

No one, however, thought any longer of Mr. Dodge or his scruples; but the
whole disposition for the attack was made with promptitude and caution. It
was decided that Mr. Effingham and his own servant should remain in the
launch; while the captain compelled his two mates to draw lots which of
them should stay behind also, a navigator being indispensable. The chance
fell on the second mate, who submitted to his luck with an ill grace.

A bust of Napoleon was cut up, and the pieces of lead were beaten as
nearly round as possible, so as to form a dozen leaden balls, and a
quantity of slugs, or langrage. The latter were put in canvas bags; while
the keg of powder was opened, a flannel shirt or two were torn, and cart
ridges were filled. Ammunition was also distributed to the people, and Mr.
Sharp examined their arms. The gun was got off the roof of the Montauk's
launch, and placed on a grating forward in that of the Dane. The sails and
rigging were cleared out of the boat and secured on the raft when she was
properly manned, and the command of her was given to Paul.

The three other boats received their crews, with John Effingham at the
head of one, the captain and his mate commanding the others. Mr. Dodge
felt compelled to volunteer to go in the launch of the Dane, where Paul
had now taken his station, though he did it with a reluctance that escaped
the observation of no one who took the pains to observe him. Mr, Sharp and
Mr. Monday were with the captain, and the false Sir George Templemore went
with Mr. Leach. These arrangements completed, the whole party waited
impatiently for the wind and current to set them down towards the reef,
the rocks of which by this time were plainly visible, even from the
thwarts of the several boats.




Chapter XXVI.



  Hark! was it not the trumpet's voice I heard?
  The soul of battle is awake within me.
  The fate of ages and of empires hangs
  On this dread hour.

  MASSINGER


The two launches were still sailing side by side, and Eve now appeared at
the open window next the seat of Paul. Her face was pale as when the scene
of the cabin occurred, and her lip trembled.

"I do not understand these warlike proceedings" she said, "but I trust,
Mr. Blunt, _we_ have no concern with the present movement."

"Put your mind at ease on this head, dearest Miss Effingham, for what we
now do we do in compliance with a general law of manhood. Were your
interests and the interests of those with you alone consulted, we might
come to a very different decision: but I think you are in safe hands
should our adventure prove unfortunate."

"Unfortunate! It is fearful to be so near a scene like this! I cannot ask
you to do any thing unworthy of yourself; but, all that we owe you impels
me to say, I trust you have too much wisdom, too much true courage, to
incur unnecessary risks."

The young man looked volumes of gratitude; but the presence of the others
kept its expression within due bounds.

"We old sea dogs," he answered, smiling, "are rather noted for taking care
of ourselves. They who are trained to a business like this usually set
about it too much in a business-like manner to hazard anything for
mere show."

"And very wisely; Mr. Sharp, too,"--Eve's colour deepened with a
consciousness that Paul would have given worlds to understand--"he has a
claim on us we shall never forge. My father can say all this better
than I."

Mr. Effingham now expressed his thanks for all that had passed, and
earnestly enjoined prudence on the young men. After which Eve withdrew her
head, and was seen no more. Most of the next hour was passed in prayer by
those in the launch.

By this time the boats and rail were within half a mile of the inlet; and
Captain Truck ordered the kedge, which had been transferred to the launch
of the Montauk, to be let go. As soon as this was done, the old seaman
threw down his hat, and stood on a thwart in his grey hair.

"Gentlemen, you have your orders," he said with dignity; for from that
moment his manner rose with the occasion, and had something of the
grandeur of the warrior. "You see the enemy. The reef must first be
cleared, and then the ship shall be carried. God knows who will live to
see the end; but that end must be success, on the bones of John Truck
shall bleach on these sands! Our cry is 'The Montauk and our own!' which
is a principle Vattel will sustain us in. Give way, men! a long pull, a
strong pull, and a pull altogether; each boat in its station!"

He waved his hand, and the oars fell into the water at the same instant.
The heavy launch was the last, for she had double-fasts to the other boat.
While loosening that forward the second mate deserted his post, stepping
nimbly on board the departing boat, and concealing himself behind the
foremost of the two lug-sails she carried. Almost at the same instant Mr.
Dodge reversed this manoeuvre by pretending to be left clinging to the
boat of the Montauk, in his zeal to shove off. As the sails were drawing;
hard, and the oars dashed the spray aside, it was too late to rectify
either of these mistakes, had it been desirable.

A few minutes of a stern calm succeeded, each boat keeping its place with
beautiful precision. The Arabs had left the northern reef with the light;
but, the tide being out, hundreds were strung along the southern range of
rocks, especially near the ship. The wind carried the launch ahead, as had
been intended, and she soon drew near the inlet.

"Take in the sails," said Mr. Blunt. "See your gun clear forward."

A fine, tall, straight, athletic young seaman stood near the grating, with
a heated iron lying in a vessel of live coals before him, in lieu of a
loggerhead, the fire being covered with a tarpaulin. As Paul spoke, this
young mariner turned towards him with the peculiar grace of a
man-of-war's-man, and touched his hat.

"Ay, ay, sir. All ready, Mr. Powis."

Paul started, while the other smiled proudly, like one who knew more than
his companions.

"We have met before," said the first.

"That have we sir, and in boat-duty, too. You were the first on board the
pirate on the coast of Cuba, and I was second."

A look of recognition and a wave of the hand passed between them, the men
cheering involuntarily. It was too late for more, the launch being fairly
in the inlet, where she received a general but harmless fire from the
Arabs. An order had been given to fire the first shot over the heads of
the barbarians; but this assault changed the plan.

"Depress the piece, Brooks," said Paul, "and throw in a bag of slugs."

"All ready, sir," was uttered in another minute.

"Hold water, men--the boat is steady--let them have it."

Men fell at that discharge; but how many was never known, as the bodies
were hurried off the reef by those who fled. A few concealed themselves
along the rocks, but most scampered towards the shore.

"Bravely done!" cried Captain Truck, as his boat swept past. "Now for the
ship, sir!"

The people cheered again, and dashed their oars into the water. To clear
the reef was nothing; but to carry the ship was a serious affair. She was
defended by four times the number of those in the boats, and there was no
retreat. The Arabs, as has already been seen, had suspended their labour
during the night, having fruitlessly endeavoured to haul the vessel over
to the reef before the tide rose. More by accident than by calculation,
they had made such arrangements by getting a line to the rocks as would
probably have set the ship off the sands, when she floated at high water;
but this line had been cut by Paul in passing, and the wind coming on
shore again, during the confusion and clamour of the barbarians, or at a
moment when they thought they were to be attacked, no attention was paid
to the circumstance, and the Montauk was suffered to drive up still higher
on the sands, where she effectually grounded at the very top of the tide.
As it was now dead low water, the ship had sewed materially, and was now
lying on her bilge partly sustained by the water, and partly by
the bottom.

During the short pause that succeeded, Saunders, who was seated in the
captain's boat as a small-arms-man, addressed his subordinate in a
low voice.

"Now, Toast," he said, "you are about to contend in battle for the first
time; and I diwine, from experience, that the ewent gives you some
sentiments that are werry original. My adwice to you is, to shut both eyes
until the word is given to fire, and then to open them suddenly, as if
just awaking from sleep; after which you may present and pull the
trigger. Above all, Toast, take care not to kill any of our own friends,
most especially not Captain Truck, just at this werry moment."

"I shall do my endeavours, Mr. Saunders," muttered Toast, with the apathy
and submissive dependence on others with which the American black usually
goes into action. "If I do any harm, I hope it will be overlooked, on
account of my want of experience."

"Imitate me, Toast, in coolness and propriety, and you'll be certain not
to offend. I do not mean that you too are to kill the werry same
_Muscle_-men that I kill, but that when I kill one you are to kill
another. And be werry careful not to hurt Captain Truck, who'll be certain
to run right afore the muzzle of our guns, if he sees any thing to be
done there."

Toast growled an assent, and then there was no other noise in the boat
than that which was produced by the steady and vigorous falling of the
oars. An attempt had been made to lighten the vessel by unloading her, and
the bank of sand was already covered with bales and boxes, which had been
brought up from the hold by means of a stage, and by sheer animal force.
The raft had been extended in size, and brought round to the bank by the
stern of the vessel, with the intention to load it, and to transfer the
articles already landed to the rocks.

Such was the state of things about the Montauk when the boats came into
the channel that ran directly up to the bank. The launch led again, her
sails having been set as soon as the reef was swept, and she now made
another discharge on the deck of the ship, which, inclining towards the
gun, offered no shelter. The effect was to bring every Arab, in the
twinkling of an eye, down upon the bank.

"Hurrah!" shouted Captain Truck; "that grist has purified the old bark!
And now to see who is to own her! 'The thieves are out of the temple,' as
my good father would have said."

The four boats were in a line abreast, the launch under one sail only. A
good deal of confusion existed on the bank but the Arabs sought the cover
of the bales and boxes, and opened a sharp though irregular fire. Three
times, as they advanced, the second mate and that gallant-looking young
seaman called Brooks discharged the gun, and at each discharge the Arabs
were dislodged and driven to the raft. The cheers of the seamen became
animated, though they still plied the oars.

"Steadily, men," said Captain Truck, "and prepare to board."

At this moment the launch grounded, though still twenty yards from the
bank, the other boats passing her with loud cheers.

"We are all ready, sir," cried Brooks.

"Let 'em have it. Take in the sail, boys."

The gun was fired, and the tall young seaman sprang upon the grating and
cheered. As he looked backward, with a smile of triumph, Paul saw his eyes
roll. He leaped into the air, and fell at his length dead upon the water;
for such is the passage of a man in battle, from one state of existence
to another.

"Where do we hang?" asked Paul steadily; "forward or aft?"

It was forward, and deeper water lay ahead of them. The sail was set
again, and the people were called aft. The boat tipped, and shot ahead
towards the sands, like a courser released from a sudden pull.

All this time the others were not idle. Not a musket was fired from either
boat until the whole three struck the bank, almost, at the same instant,
though at as many different points. Then all leaped ashore, and threw in a
fire so close, that the boxes served as much for a cover to the assailants
as to the assailed. It was at this critical moment, when the seamen paused
to load, that Paul, just clear of the bottom, with his own hand applying
the loggerhead, swept the rear of the bank with a most opportune
discharge.

"Yard-arm and yard-arm!" shouted Captain Truck. "Lay 'em aboard, boys, and
give 'em Jack's play!"

The whole party sprang forward, and from that moment all order ceased.
Fists, hand-spikes, of which many were on the bank, and the butts of
muskets, were freely used, and in a way that set the spears and weapons of
the Arabs at defiance. The Captain, Mr. Sharp, John Effingham, Mr.
Monday, the _soi-disant_ Sir George Templemore, and the chief mate, formed
a sort of Macedonian phalanx, which penetrated the centre of the
barbarians, and which kept close to the enemy, following up its advantages
with a spirit that admitted of no rallying. On their right and left
pressed the men, an athletic, hearty, well-fed gang. The superiority of
the Arabs was in their powers of endurance; for, trained to the whip-cord
rigidity of racers, force was less their peculiar merit than bottom. Had
they acted in concert, how ever, or had they been on their own desert,
mounted, and with room for their subtle evolutions, the result might have
been very different; but, unused to contend with an enemy who brought them
within reach of the arm, their tactics were deranged, and all their habits
violated. Still, their numbers were formidable, and it is probable that
the accident to the launch, after all, decided the matter. From the moment
the _melee_ began not a shot was fired, but the assailants pressed upon
the assailed, until a large body of the latter had collected near the
raft. This was just as the launch reached the shore, and Paul perceived
there was great danger that the tide might roll backward from sheer
necessity. The gun was loaded, and filled nearly to the muzzle with slugs.
He caused the men to raise it on their oars, and to carry it to a large
box, a little apart from the confusion of the fight. All this was done in
a moment, for three minutes had not yet passed since the captain landed.

Instead of firing, Paul called aloud to his friends to cease fighting.
Though chafing like a vexed lion, Captain Truck complied, surprise
effecting quite as much as obedience. The Arabs, hardest pressed upon,
profited by the pause to fall back on the main body of their friends, near
the raft. This was all Paul could ask, and he ordered the gun to be
pointed at the centre of the group, while he advanced himself towards the
enemy, making a sign of peace.

"Damn 'em, lay 'em aboard!" cried the captain: "no quarter to the
blackguards!"

"I rather think we had better charge again," added Mr. Sharp, who was
thoroughly warmed with his late employment.

"Hold, gentlemen; you risk all needlessly. I will show these poor
wretches what they have to expect, and they will probably retire. We want
the ship, not their blood."

"Well, well," returned the impatient captain, "give 'em plenty of Vattel,
for we have 'em now in a category."

The men of the wilderness and of the desert seem to act as much by
instinct as by reason. An old sheik advanced, smiling, towards Paul, when
the latter was a few yards in advance of his friends, offering his hand
with as much cordiality as if they met merely to exchange courtesies. Paul
led him quietly to the gun, put his hand in, and drew out a bag of slugs,
replaced it, and pointed significantly at the dense crowd of exposed
Arabs, and at the heated iron that was ready to discharge the piece. At
all this the old Arab smiled, and seemed to express his admiration. He was
then showed the strong and well-armed party, all of whom by this time had
a musket or a pistol ready to use. Paul then signed to the raft and to the
reef, as much as to tell the other to withdraw his party.

The sheik exhibited great coolness and sagacity, and, unused to frays so
desperate, he signified his disposition to comply. Truces, Paul knew, were
common in the African combats, which are seldom bloody, and he hoped the
best from the manner of the sheik, who was now permitted to return to his
friends. A short conference succeeded among the Arabs, when several of
them smilingly waved their hands, and most of the party crowded on the
raft. Others advanced, and asked permission to bear away their wounded,
and the bodies of the dead, in both of which offices they were assisted by
the seamen, as far as was prudent; for it was all-important to be on the
guard against treachery.

In this extraordinary manner the combatants separated, the Arabs hauling
themselves over to the reef by a line, their old men smiling, and making
signs of amity, until they were fairly on the rocks. Here they remained
but a very few minutes, for the camels and dromedaries were seen trotting
off towards the Dane on the shore; a sign that the compact between the
different parties of the barbarians was dissolved, and that each man was
about to plunder on his own account. This movement produced great
agitation among the old sheiks-and their followers on the reef, and set
them in motion with great activity towards the land. So great was their
hurry, indeed, that the bodies of all the dead, and of several of the
wounded, were fairly abandoned on the rocks, at some distance from
the shore.

The first step of the victors, as a matter of course, was to inquire into
their own loss. This was much less than would have otherwise been, on
account of their good conduct. Every man, without a solitary exception,
had ostensibly behaved well; one of the most infallible means of lessening
danger. Several of the party had received slight hurts, and divers bullets
had passed through hats and jackets. Mr. Sharp, alone, had two through the
former, besides one through his coat. Paul had blood drawn on an arm, and
Captain Truck, to use his own language, resembled "a horse in fly-time,"
his skin having been rased in no less than five places. But all these
trifling hurts and hair-breadth escapes counted for nothing, as no one was
seriously injured by them, or felt sufficient inconvenience even to report
himself wounded.

The felicitations were warm and general; even the seamen asking leave to
shake their sturdy old commander by the hand. Paul and Mr. Sharp fairly
embraced, each expressing his sincere pleasure that the other had escaped
unharmed. The latter even shook hands cordially with his counterfeit, who
had acted with spirit from the first to the last. John Effingham alone
maintained the same cool indifference after the affair that he had shown
in it, when it was seen that he had played his part with singular coolness
and discretion, dropping two Arabs with his fowling-piece on landing, with
a sort of sportsman-like coolness with which he was in the habit of
dropping woodcocks at home.

"I fear Mr. Monday is seriously hurt," this gentleman said to the captain,
in the midst of his congratulations: "he sits aloof on the box yonder, and
looks exhausted."

"Mr. Monday! I hope not, with all my heart and soul He is a capital
_diplomate_, and a stout boarder. And Mr Dodge, too! I miss Mr. Dodge."

"Mr. Dodge must have remained behind to console the ladies," returned
Paul, "finding that your second mate had abandoned them, like a recreant
that he is."

The captain shook his disobedient mate by the hand a second time, and
swore he was a mutineer for violating his orders, and ended by declaring
that the day was not distant when he and Mr. Leach should command two as
good liners as ever sailed out of America.

"I'll have nothing to do with either of you as soon as we reach home," he
concluded. "There was Leach a foot or two ahead of me the whole time; and,
as for the second officer, I should be justified in logging him as having
run. Well, well; young men will be young men; and so would old men too,
Mr. John Effingham, if they knew how. But Mr. Monday does look doleful;
and I am afraid we shall be obliged to overhaul the medicine-chest
for him."

Mr. Monday, however, was beyond the aid of medicine. A ball had passed
through his shoulder-blade in landing, notwithstanding which he had
pressed into the _melee_, where, unable to parry it, a spear had been
thrust into his chest. The last wound appeared grave, and Captain Truck
immediately ordered the sufferer to be carried into the ship: John
Effingham, with a tenderness and humanity that were singularly in contrast
to his ordinary sarcastic manner, volunteering to take charge of him.

"We have need of all our forces," said Captain Truck, as Mr. Monday was
borne away; "and yet it is due to our friends in the launch to let them
know the result. Set the ensign, Leach; that will tell them our success,
though a verbal communication can alone acquaint them with the
particulars."

"If," interrupted Paul, eagerly, "you will lend me the launch of the Dane,
Mr. Sharp and myself will beat her up to the raft, let our friends know
the result, and bring the spars down to the inlet. This will save the
necessity of any of the men's being absent. We claim the privilege, too,
as belonging properly to the party that is now absent."

"Gentlemen, take any privilege you please. You have stood by me like
heroes; and I owe you all more than the heel of a worthless old life will
ever permit me to pay."

The two young men did not wait for a second invitation but in five minutes
the boat was stretching through one of the channels that led landward; and
in five more it was laying out of the inlet with a steady breeze.

The instant Captain Truck retrod the deck of his ship was one of
uncontrollable feeling with the weather-beaten old seaman. The ship had
sewed too much to admit of walking with ease, and he sat down on the
coaming of the main hatch, and fairly wept like an infant. So high had his
feelings been wrought that this out-breaking was violent, and the men
wondered to see their grey-headed, stern, old commander, so completely
unmanned. He seemed at length ashamed of the weakness himself, for, rising
like a worried tiger, he began to issue his orders as sternly and promptly
as was his wont.

"What the devil are you gaping at, men!" he growled; "did you never see a
ship on her bilge before? God knows, and for that matter you all know,
there is enough to do, that you stand like so many marines, with their
'eyes right!' and 'pipe-clay.'"

"Take it more kindly, Captain Truck," returned an old sea-dog, thrusting
out a hand that was all knobs, a fellow whose tobacco had not been
displaced even by the fray; "take it kindly, and look upon all these boxes
and bales as so much cargo that is to be struck in, in dock. We'll soon
stow it, and, barring a few slugs, and one four-pounder, that has cut up a
crate of crockery as if it had been a cat in a cupboard, no great harm is
done. I look upon this matter as no more than a sudden squall, that has
compelled us to bear up for a little while, but which will answer for a
winch to spin yarns on all the rest of our days. I have fit the French,
and the English, and the Turks, in my time; and now I can say I have had a
brush with the niggers."

"D--n me, but you are right, old Tom! and I'll make no more account of
the matter. Mr. Leach, give the people a little encouragement. There is
enough left in the jug that you'll find in the stern-sheets of the
pinnace; and then turn-to, and strike in all this dunnage, that the Arabs
have been scattering on the sands. We'll stow it when we get the ship into
an easier bed than the one in which she is now lying."

This was the signal for commencing work; and these straight-forward tars,
who had just been in the confusion and hazards of a fight, first took
their grog, and then commenced their labour in earnest. As they had only,
with their knowedge and readiness, to repair the damage done by the
ignorant and hurried Arabs, in a short time every thing was on board the
ship again, when their attention was directed to the situation of the
vessel itself. Not to anticipate events, however, we will now return to
the party in the launch.

The reader will readily imagine the feelings with which Mr. Effingham and
his party listened to the report of the first gun. As they all remained
below, they were ignorant who the individual really was that kept pacing
the roof over their heads, though it was believed to be the second mate,
agreeably to the arrangement made by Captain Truck.

"My eyes grow dim," said Mr. Effingham, who was looking through a glass;
"will you try to see what is passing, Eve?"

"Father, I cannot look," returned the pallid girl. "It is misery enough to
hear these frightful guns."

"It is awful!" said Nanny, folding her arms about her child, "and I wonder
that such gentlemen as Mr. John and Mr. Powis should go on an enterprise
so wicked!"

"_Voulez-vous avoir la complaisance, monsieur_?" said Mademoiselle
Viefville, taking the glass from the unresisting hand of Mr. Effingham.
"_Ha! le combat commence en effet_!"

"Is it the Arabs who now fire?" demanded Eve, unable, in spite of terror,
to repress her interest.

"_Non, c'est cet admirable jeune homme, Monsieur Blunt, qui devance tous
les autres_!"

"And now, mademoiselle, _that_ must surely be the barbarians?"

"_Du tout. Les sauvages fuient. C'est encore du ba teau de Monsieur Blunt
qu'on tire. Quel beau courage! son bateau est toujours des premiers_!"

"That shout is frightful! Do they close?"

"_On crie des deux parts, je crois. Le vieux capitaine est en avant a
present, et Monsieur Blunt s'arrete_!"

"May Heaven avert the danger! Do you see the gentlemen at all,
Mademoiselle?"

"_La fumee est trop epaisse. Ah! les viola! On tire encore de son
bateau_."

"_Eh bien, mademoiselle_?" said Eve tremulously, after a long pause.

"_C'est deja fini. Les Arabes se retirent et nos amis se sont empares du
batiment. Cela a ete l'affaire d'un moment, et que le combat a ete
glorieux! Ces jeunes gens sont vraiment dignes d'etre Francais, et le
vieux capitaine, aussi_.'

"Are there no tidings for us, mademoiselle?" asked Eve, after another long
pause, during which she had poured out her gratitude in trembling, but
secret thanksgivings.

"_Non, pas encore. Ils se felicitent, je crois_."

"It's time, I'm sure, ma'am," said the meek-minded Ann, "to send forth the
dove, that it may find the olive branch. War and strife are too sinful to
be long indulged in."

"There is a boat making sail in this direction," said Mr. Effingham, who
had left the glass with the governess, in complaisance to her wish.

"_Oui, c'est le bateau de Monsieur Blunt_."

"And who is in it?" demanded the father, for the meed of a world could not
have enabled Eve to speak.

"_Je vois Monsieur Sharp--oui, c'est bien lui_."

"Is he alone?"

"_Non, il y en a deux--mais--oui--c'est Monsieur Blunt,--notre jeune
heros_!"

Eve bowed her face, and even while her soul melted in gratitude to God,
the feelings of her sex caused the tell-tale blood to suffuse her features
to the brightness of crimson.

Mr. Effingham now took the glass from the spirited Frenchwoman, whose
admiration of brilliant qualities had overcome her fears, and he gave a
more detailed and connected account of the situation of things near the
ship, as they presented themselves to a spectator at that distance.

Notwithstanding they already knew so much, it was a painful and feverish
half hour to those in the launch, the time that intervened between this
dialogue and the moment when the boat of the Dane came alongside of their
own. Every face was at the windows, and the young men were received like
deliverers, in whose safety all felt a deep concern.

"But, cousin Jack," said Eve, across whose speaking countenance
apprehension and joy cast their shadows and gleams like April clouds
driving athwart a brilliant sky, "my father has not been able to discover
his form among those who move about on the bank."

The gentlemen explained the misfortune of Mr. Monday, and related the
manner in which John Effingham had assumed the office of nurse. A few
delicious minutes passed; for nothing is more grateful than the happiness
that first succeeds a victory, and the young men proceeded to lift the
kedge, assisted by the servant of Mr. Effingham. The sails were set; and
in fifteen minutes the raft--the long-desired and much-coveted
raft--approached the inlet.

Paul steered the larger boat, and gave to Mr. Sharp directions how to
steer the other. The tide was flowing into the passage; and, by keeping
his weatherly position, the young man carried his long train of spars with
so much precision into its opening, that, favoured by the current, it was
drawn through without touching a rock, and brought in triumph to the very
margin of the bank. Here it was secured, the sails and cordage were
brought ashore, and the whole party landed.

The last twenty hours seemed like a dream to all the females, as they
again walked the solid sand in security and hope. They had now assembled
every material of safety, and all that remained was to get the ship off
the shore, and to rig her; Mr. Leach having already reported that she was
as tight as the day she left London.




Chapter XXVII.



  Would I were in an ale-house in London!
  I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety

  HENRY VTH.


Mademoiselle Viefville, with a decision and intelligence that rendered her
of great use in moments of need hastened to offer her services to the
wounded man, while Eve, attended by Ann Sidley, ascended the ship and made
her way into the cabins, in the best manner the leaning position of the
vessel allowed. Here they found less confusion than might have been
expected, the scene being ludicrous, rather than painful, for Mr. Monday
was in his state-room excluded from sight.

In the first place, the _soi-disant_ Sir George Templemore was counting
over his effects, among which he had discovered a sad deficiency in coats
and pantaloons. The Arabs had respected the plunder, by compact, with the
intention of making a fair distribution on the reef; but, with a view to
throw a sop to the more rapacious of their associates, one room had been
sacked by the permission of the sheiks. This unfortunate room happened to
be that of Sir George Templemore, and the patent razors, the East Indian
dressing case, the divers toys, to say nothing of innumerable vestments
which the young man had left paraded in his room, for the mere pleasure of
feasting his eyes on them, had disappeared.

"Do me the favour, Miss Effingham," he said, appealing to Eve, of whom he
stood habitually in awe, from the pure necessity of addressing her in his
distress, or of addressing no one, "do me the favour to look into my room,
and see the unprincipled manner in which I have been treated. Not a comb
nor a razor left; not a garment to make myself decent in! I'm sure such
conduct is quite a disgrace to the civilization of barbarians even, and I
shall make it a point, to have the affair duly represented to his
majesty's minister the moment I arrive in New York. I sincerely hope you
have been better treated, though I think, after this specimen of their
principles, there is little hope for any one: I'm sure we ought to be
grateful they did not strip the ship. I trust we shall all make common
cause against them the moment we arrive."

"We ought, indeed, sir," returned Eve, who, while she had known from the
beginning of his being an impostor, was willing to ascribe his fraud to
vanity, and who now felt charitable towards him on account of the spirit
he had shown in the combat; "though I trust we shall have escaped better.
Our effects were principally in the baggage-room, and that, I understand
from Captain Truck, has not been touched."

"Indeed you are very fortunate, and I can only wish that the same good
luck had happened to myself. But then, you know, Miss Effingham, that one
has need of his little comforts, and, as for myself, I confess to rather a
weakness in that way."

"Monstrous prodigality and wastefulness!" cried Saunders, as Eve passed on
towards her own cabin, willing to escape any more of Sir George's
complaints. "Just be so kind, Miss Effingham, ma'am, to look into this
here pantry, once! Them niggers, I do believe, have had their fingers in
every thing, and it will take Toast and me a week to get things decorous
and orderly again. Some of the shrieks" (for so the steward styled the
chiefs) "have been yelling well in this place, I'll engage, as you may
see, by the manner in which they have spilt the mustard and mangled that
cold duck. I've a most mortal awersion to a man that cuts up poultry
against the fibers; and, would you think it, Miss Effingham, ma'am, that
the last gun Mr. Blunt fired, dislocated, or otherwise diwerted, about
half a dozen of the fowls that happened to be in the way; for I let all
the poor wretches out of the coops, that they might make their own livings
should we never come back. I should think that as polite and experienced a
gentleman as Mr. Blunt might have shot the Arabs instead of my poultry!"

"So it is," thought Eve, as she glanced into the pantry and proceeded.
"What is considered happiness to-day gets to be misery to-morrow, and the
rebukes of adversity are forgotten the instant prosperity resumes its
influence. Either of these men, a few hours since, would have been most
happy to have been in this vessel, as a home, or a covering for their
heads, and now they quarrel with their good fortune because it is wanting
in some accustomed superfluity or pampered indulgence."

We shall leave her with this wholesome reflection uppermost, to examine
into the condition of her own room, and return to the deck.

As the hour was still early, Captain Truck having once quieted his
feelings, went to work with zeal, to turn the late success to the best
account. The cargo that had been discharged was soon stowed again, and the
next great object was to get the ship afloat previously to hoisting in the
new spars. As the kedges still lay on the reef, and all the anchors
remained in the places where they had originally been placed, there was
little to do but to get ready to heave upon the chains as soon as the tide
rose. Previously to commencing this task, however, the intervening time
was well employed in sending, down the imperfect hamper that was aloft,
and in getting up shears to hoist out the remains of the foremast, as well
as the jury mainmast, the latter of which, it will be remembered, was only
fitted two days before. All the appliances used on that occasion being
still on deck, and every body lending a willing hand, this task was
completed by noon. The jury-mast gave little trouble, but was soon lying
on the bank; and then Captain Truck, the shears having been previously
shifted, commenced lifting the broken foremast, and just as the cooks
announced that the dinner was ready for the people, the latter safely
deposited the spar on the sands.

"'Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowline,'" said Captain Truck to Mr.
Blunt, as the crew came up the staging in their way to the galley, in
quest of their meal. "I have not beheld the Montauk without a mast since
the day she lay a new-born child at the ship-yards. I see some half a
dozen of these mummified scoundrels dodging about on the shore yet, though
the great majority, as Mr. Dodge would say, have manifested a decided
disposition to amuse them selves with a further acquaintance with the
Dane. In my humble opinion, sir, that poor deserted ship will have no more
inside of her by night, than one of Saunders' ducks that have been dead an
hour. That hearty fellow, Mr. Monday, is hit, I fear, between wind and
water, Leach?"

"He is in a bad way, indeed, as I understand from Mr John Effingham, who
very properly allows no one to disturb him, keeping the state-room door
closed on all but himself and his own man."

'Ay, ay, that is merciful; a man likes a little quiet when he is killed.
As soon as the ship is more fit to be seen however, it will become my duty
to wait on him in order to see that nothing is wanting. We must offer the
poor man the consolations of religion, Mr. Blunt."

"They would certainly be desirable had we one qualified for the task."

"I can't say as much in that way for myself, perhaps, as I might, seeing
that my father was a priest. But then, we masters of packets have occasion
to turn our hands to a good many odd jobs. As soon as the ship is snug, I
shall certainly take a look at the honest fellow. Pray, sir, what became
of Mr. Dodge in the skirmish?"

Paul smiled, but he prudently answered, "I believe he occupied himself in
taking notes of the combat, and I make no doubt will do you full justice
in the Active Inquirer, as soon as he gets its columns again at
his command."

"Too much learning, as my good father used to say, has made him a little
mad. But I have a grateful heart to-day, Mr. Blunt, and will not be
critical. I did not perceive Mr. Dodge in the conflict, as Saunders calls
it, but there were so many of those rascally Arabs, that one had not an
opportunity of seeing much else. We must get the ship outside of this reef
with as little delay as possible, for to tell you a secret"--here the
captain dropped his voice to a whisper--"there are but two rounds a-piece
left for the small arms, and only one cartridge for the four-pounder. I
own to you a strong desire to be in the offing."

"They will hardly attempt to board us, after the specimen they have had of
what we can do."

"No one knows, sir; no one knows. They keep pouring down upon the coast
like crows on the scent of a carrion, and once done with the Dane, we
shall see them in hundreds prowling around us like wolves. How much do we
want of high water?"

"An hour, possibly. I do not think there is much time to lose before the
people get to work at the windlass."

Captain Truck nodded, and proceeded to look into the condition of his
ground-tackle. It was a joyous but an anxious moment when the hand-spikes
were first handled, and the slack of one of the chains began to come in.
The ship had been upright several hours, and no one could tell how hard
she would hang on the bottom. As the chain tightened, the gentlemen, the
officers included, got upon the bows and looked anxiously at the effect of
each heave; for it was a nervous thing to be stranded on such a coast,
even after all that had occurred.

"She winks, by George!" cried the captain; "heave together, men, and you
will stir the sand!"

The men did heave, gaining inch by inch, until no effort could cause the
ponderous machine to turn. The mates, and then the captain, applied their
strength in succession, and but half a turn more was gained. Everybody was
now summoned, even to the passengers, and the enormous strain seemed to
threaten to tear the fabric asunder; and still the ship was immoveable.

"She hangs hardest forward, sir," said Mr. Leach: "suppose we run up the
stern-boat?"

This expedient was adopted, and so nearly were the counteracting powers
balanced, that it prevailed. A strong heave caused the ship to start, an
inch more of tide aided the effort, and then the vast hull slowly yielded
to the purchase, gradually turning towards the anchor, until the quick
blows of the pall announced that the vessel was fairly afloat again.

"Thank God for that, as for all his mercies!" said Captain Truck. "Heave
the hussy up to her anchor, Mr. Leach, when we will cast an eye to her
moorings."

All this was done, the ship being effectually secured, with due attention
to a change in the wind, that now promised to be permanent. Not a moment
was lost; but, the sheers being still standing, the foremast of the Dane
was floated alongside, fastened to, and hove into its new berth, with as
much rapidity as comported with care. When the mast was fairly stepped,
Captain Truck rubbed his hands with delight, and immediately commanded his
subordinate to rig it, although by this time the turn of the day had
considerably passed.

"This is the way with us seamen, Mr. Effingham," he observed; "from the
fall to the fight, and then again from the fight to the fall. Our work,
like women's, is never done; whereas you landsmen knock off with the sun,
and sleep while the corn grows. I have always owed my parents a grudge for
bringing me up to a dog's life."

"I had understood it was a choice of your own, captain."

"Ay--so far as running away and shipping without their knowledge was
concerned, perhaps it was; but then it was their business to begin at the
bottom, and to train me up in such a manner that I would not run away. The
Lord forgive me, too, for thinking amiss of the two dear old people; for,
to be candid with you, they were much too good to have such a son; and I
honestly believe they loved me more than I loved myself. Well, I've the
consolation of knowing I comforted the old lady with many a pound of
capital tea after I got into the China trade, ma'amselle."

"She was fond of it?" observed the governess politely.

"She relished it very much, as a horse takes to oats, or a child to
custard. That, and snuff and grace, composed her principal consolations."

"_Quoi?_" demanded the governess, looking towards Paul for an explanation.

"_Grace, mademoiselle; la grace de Dieu._"

"_Bien!"_

"It's a sad misfortune, after all, to lose a mother, ma'amselle. It is
like cutting all the headfasts, and riding altogether by the stern; for it
is letting go the hold of what has gone before to grapple with the future.
It is true that I ran away from my mother when a youngster, and thought
little of it! but when she took her turn and ran away from me, I began to
feel that I had made a wrong use of my legs. What are the tidings from
poor Mr. Monday?"

"I understand he does not suffer greatly, but that he grows weaker fast,"
returned Paul. "I fear there is little hope of his surviving such a hurt."

The captain had got out a cigar, and had beckoned to Toast for a coal; but
changing his mind suddenly, he broke the tobacco into snuff, and scattered
it about the deck.

"Why the devil is not that rigging going up, Mr. Leach?" he cried,
fiercely. "It is not my intention to pass the winter at these moorings,
and I solicit a little more expedition."

"Ay, ay, sir," returned the mate, one of a class habitually patient and
obedient; "bear a hand, my lads, and get the strings into their places."

"Leach," continued the captain, more kindly, and still working his
fingers unconsciously, "come this way, my good friend. I have not
expressed to you, Mr. Leach, all I wish to say of your good conduct in
this late affair. You have stood by me like a gallant fellow throughout
the whole business, and I shall not hesitate about saying as much when we
get in. It is my intention to write a letter to the owners, which no doubt
they'll publish; for, whatever they have got to say against America, no
one will deny it is easy to get any thing published. Publishing is
victuals and drink to the nation. You may depend on having justice
done you."

"I never doubted it, Captain Truck."

"No, sir; and you never winked. The mainmast does not stand up in a gale
firmer than you stood up to the niggers."

"Mr. Effingham, sir--and Mr. Sharp--and particularly Mr. Blunt--"

"Let me alone to deal with them. Even Toast acted like a man. Well, Leach,
they tell me poor Monday must slip, after all."

"I am very sorry to hear it, sir; Mr. Monday laid about him like a
soldier!"

"He did, indeed; but Bonaparte himself has been obliged to give up the
ghost, and Wellington must follow him some day; even old Putnam is dead.
Either you or I, or both of us, Leach, will have to throw in some of the
consolations of religion on this mournful occasion."

"There is Mr. Effingham, sir, or Mr. John. Effingham, elderly gentlemen
with more scholarship."

"That will never do. All they can offer, no doubt, will be acceptable, but
we owe a duty to the ship. The officers of a packet are not
graceless-horse-jockeys, but sober, discreet men, and it becomes them to
show that they have some education, and the right sort of stuff in them on
an emergency. I expect you will stand by me, Leach, on this melancholy
occasion, as stoutly as you stood by me this morning."

"I humbly hope, sir, not to disgrace the vessel, but it is likely Mr.
Monday is a Church-of-England-man, and we both belong to the Saybrook
Platform!"

"Ah! the devil!--I forgot that! But religion is religion; old line or new
line; and I question if a man so near unmooring will be very particular.
The great thing is consolation, and that we must contrive to give him, by
hook or by crook, when the proper moment comes; and now, Mr. Leach, let
the people push matters, and we shall have every, thing up forward, and
that mainmast stepped yet by 'sunset;' or it would be more literal to say
'_sun-down_;'" Captain Truck, like a true New-England-man, invariably
using a provincialism that has got to be so general in America.

The work proceeded with spirit, for every one was anxious to get the ship
out of a berth that was so critical, as well from the constant vicinity of
the Arabs as from the dangers of the weather. The wind baffled too, as it
is usual on the margin of the trades, and at times it blew from the sea,
though it continued light, and the changes were of short continuance. As
Captain Truck hoped, when the people ceased work at night, the fore and
fore-top-sail-yards were in their places, the top-gallant-mast was fitted,
and, with the exception of the sails, the ship was what is called a-tanto,
forward. Aft, less had been done, though by the assistance of the
supernumeraries, who continued to lend their aid, the two lower masts were
stepped, though no rigging could be got over them. The men volunteered to
work by watches through the night, but to this Captain Truck would not
listen, affirming that they had earned their suppers and a good rest, both
of which they should have.

The gentlemen, who merely volunteered an occasional drag, cheerfully took
the look-outs, and as there were plenty of fire-arms, though not much
powder, little apprehension was entertained of the Arabs. As was expected,
the night passed away tranquilly, and every one arose with the dawn
refreshed and strengthened.

The return of day, however, brought the Arabs down upon the shore in
crowds; for the last gale, which had been unusually severe, and the
tidings of the wrecks, which had been spread by means of the dromedaries
far and wide, had collected a force on the coast that began to be
formidable through sheer numbers. The Dane had been effectually emptied,
and plunder had the same effect on these rapacious barbarians that blood
is known to produce on the tiger. The taste had begotten an appetite, and
from the first appearance of the light, those in the ship saw sighs of a
disposition to renew the attempt on their liberty.

Happily, the heaviest portion of the work was done, and Captain Truck
determined, rather than risk another conflict with a force that was so
much augmented, to get the spars on board, and to take the ship outside of
the reef, without waiting to complete her equipment. His first orders,
therefore, when all hands were mustered, were for the boats to get in the
kedges and the stream anchor, and otherwise to prepare to move the vessel.
In the mean time other gangs were busy in getting the rigging over the
mast-heads, and in setting it up. As the lifting of the anchors with boats
was heavy work, by the time they were got on board and stowed it was noon,
and all the yards were aloft, though not a sail was bent in the vessel.

Captain Truck, while the people were eating, passed through the ship
examining every stay and shroud: there were some make-shifts it is true,
but on the whole he was satisfied, though he plainly saw that the presence
of the Arabs had hurried matters a little, and that a good many drags
would have to be given as soon as they got beyond danger, and that some
attention must be paid to seizings still, what had been done would answer
very well for moderate weather, and it was too late to stop to change.

The trade wind had returned, and blew steadily as if finally likely to
stand; and the water outside of the reef was smooth enough to permit the
required alterations, now that the heavier spars were in their places.

The appearance of the Montauk certainly was not as stately and commanding
as before the wreck, but there was an air of completeness about it that
augured well. It was that of a ship of seven hundred tons, fitted with
spars intended for a ship of five hundred. The packet a little resembled a
man of six feet, in the coat of a man of five feet nine, and yet the
discrepancy would not be apt to be noticed by any but the initiated.
Everything essential was in its place, and reasonably well secured, and,
as the Dane had been rigged for a stormy sea, Captain Truck fell satisfied
he might, in his present plight, venture on the American coast even in
winter, without incurring unusual hazard.

As soon as the hour of work arrived, therefore, a boat was sent to drop a
kedge as near the inlet as it would be safe to venture, and a little to
windward of it. By making a calculation, and inspecting his buoys, which
still remained where he had placed them, Captain Truck found that he could
get a narrow channel of sufficient directness to permit the ship to be
warped as far as this point in a straight line. Every thing but the boats
was now got on board, the anchor by which they rode was hove up, and the
warp was brought to the capstan, when the vessel slowly began to advance
towards the inlet.

This movement was a signal to the Arabs, who poured down on both reefs in
hundreds, screaming and gesticulating like maniacs. It required good
nerves and some self-reliance to advance in the face of such a danger, and
this so much the more, as the barbarians showed themselves in the greatest
force on the northern range of rocks, which offered a good shelter for
their persons, completely raked the channel, and, moreover, lay so near
the spot where the kedge had been dropped, that one might have jerked a
stone from the one to the other. To add to the awkwardness of the affair,
the Arabs began to fire with those muskets that are of so little service
in close encounters, but which are notorious for sending their shot with
great precision from a distance. The bullets came thick upon the ship,
though the stoutness of the bulwarks forward, and their height, as yet
protected the men.

In this dilemma, Captain Truck hesitated about continuing to haul ahead,
and he sent for Mr. Blunt and Mr. Leach for a consultation. Both these
gentlemen advised perseverance, and as the counsel of the former will
succinctly show the state of things, it shall be given in his own words.

"Indecision is always discouraging to one's friends, and encouraging to
one's enemies," he said, "and I recommend perseverance. The nearer we haul
to the rocks, the greater will be our command of them, while the more the
chances of the Arabs' throwing their bullets on our decks will be
diminished. Indeed, so long as we ride head to wind, they cannot fire low
enough to effect their object from the northern reef, and on the southern
they will not venture very near, for want of cover. It is true it will be
impossible for us to bend our sails or to send out a boat in the face of
so heavy a fire, while our assailants are so effectually covered; but we
may possibly dislodge them with the gun, or with our small-arms, from the
decks. If not, I will head a party into the tops, from which I will
undertake to drive them out of the reach of our muskets in five minutes."

"Such a step would be very hazardous to those who ventured aloft."

"It would not be without danger, and some loss must be expected; but they
who fight must expect risks."

"In which case it will be the business of Mr. Leach and myself to head the
parties aloft. If we are obliged to console the dying, damn me, but we are
entitled to the privilege of fighting the living."

"Ay, ay, sir," put in the mate; "that stands to reason."

"There are three tops, gentlemen," returned Paul, mildly, "and I respect
your rights too much to wish to interfere with them. We can each take one,
and the effect will be in proportion to the greater means we employ,--one
vigorous assault being worth a dozen feints."

Captain Truck shook Paul heartily by the hand, and adopted his advice.
When the young man had retired, he turned to the mate, and said--

"After all, these men-of-war's men are a little beyond us in the science
of attack and defence, though I think I could give him a hint in the
science of signs. I have had two or three touches at privateering in my
time, but no regular occupation in your broadside work. Did you see how
Mr. Blunt handled his boat yesterday? As much like two double blocks and a
steady drag, as one belaying-pin is like another, and as coolly as a great
lady in London looks at one of us in a state of nature. For my part,
Leach, I was as hot as mustard, and ready to cut the throat of the best
friend I had on earth; whereas he was smiling as I rowed past him, though
I could hardly see his face for the smoke of his own gun."

"Yes, sir, that's the way with your regular builts. I'll warrant you he
began young, and had kicked all the passion out of himself on old salts,
by the time he was eighteen. He doesn't seem, neither, like one of the
true d--n-my-eye breed; but it's a great privilege to a man in a
passion to be allowed to kick when and whom he likes."

"Not he. I say Leach, perhaps he might lend us a hand when it comes to the
pinch with poor Monday. I have a great desire that the worthy fellow
should take his departure decently."

"Well, sir, I think you had better propose it. For my part, I'm quite
willing to go into all three of the tops alone, rather than disappoint a
dying man."

The captain promised to look to the matter, and then they turned their
attention to the ship, which in a few more minutes was up as near the
kedge as it was prudent to haul her.




Chapter XXVIII.



  Speed, gallant bark, the tornado is past;
  Staunch and secure thou hast weather'd the blast;
  Now spread thy full sails to the wings of the morn,
  And soon the glad haven shall greet thy return.

  _Park_.


The Montauk now lay close to the inlet, and even a little to windward of
its entrance; but the channel was crooked, not a sail was bent, nor was it
possible to bend one properly without exposing the men to the muskets of
the Arabs, who, from firing loosely, had got to be more wary and
deliberate, aiming at the places where a head or an arm was occasionally
seen. To prolong this state of things was merely to increase the evil, and
Captain Truck determined to make an effort at once to dislodge
his enemies.

With this view the gun was loaded in-board, filled nearly to the
muzzle with slugs, and then it was raised with care to the
top-gallant-forecastle, and cautiously pushed forward near the gunwale.
Had the barbarians understood the construction of a vessel, they might
have destroyed half the packet's crew while they were thus engaged about
the forecastle by firing through the planks; but, ignorant of the weakness
of the defences, they aimed altogether at the openings, or over the rails.

By lowering the gaff the spanker was imperfectly bent; that is to say, it
was bent on the upper leach. The boom was got in under cover of the
hurricane-house, and of the bundle of the sail; the out-hauler was bent,
the boom, replaced, the sail being hoisted with a little and a hurried
lacing, to the luff. This was not effected without a good deal of hazard,
though the nearness of the bows of the vessel to the rocks prevented most
of the Arabs from perceiving what passed so far aft. Still, others nearer
to the shore caught glimpses of the actors, and several narrow escapes
were the consequence. The second mate, in particular, had a shot through
his hat within an inch of his head. By a little management,
notwithstanding, the luff of the spanker was made to stand tolerably well;
and the ship had at least the benefit of this one sail.

The Dane had been a seaman of the old school; and, instead of the more
modern spenser, his ship had been fitted with old-fashioned stay-sails. Of
these it was possible to bend the main and mizzen stay-sails in tolerable
security, provided the ends of the halyards could be got down. As this,
however, would be nearly all aftersail, the captain determined to make an
effort to overhaul the buntlines and leachlines of the foresail, at the
same time that men were sent aloft after the ends of the halyards. He also
thought it possible to set a fore-topmast stay-sail flying.

No one was deceived in this matter. The danger and the mode of operating
were explained clearly, and then Captain Truck asked for volunteers. These
were instantly found; Mr. Leach and the second mate setting the example by
stepping forward as the first two. In order that the whole procedure may
be understood, however, it shall be explained more fully.

Two men were prepared to run up on the fore-yard at the word. Both of
these, one of whom was Mr. Leach, carried three small balls of marline, to
the end of each of which was attached a cod-hook, the barb being filed
off in order to prevent its being caught. By means of these hooks the
balls were fastened to the jackets of the adventurers. Two others stood
ready at the foot of the main and mizzen riggings. By the gun lay Paul and
three men; while several of the passengers, and a few of the best shots
among the crew, were stationed on the forecastle, armed with muskets and
fowling-pieces.

"Is everybody ready?" called out the captain from the quarter-deck.

"All ready!" and "Ay! ay, sir!" were answered from the different points of
the ship.

"Haul out the spanker!"

As soon as this sail was set, the stern of the ship swung round towards
the inlet, so as to turn the bow on which the gun was placed towards the
part of the reef where the Arabs were in greatest numbers.

"Be steady, men! and do not hurry yourselves, though active as wild-cats!
Up, and away!"

The two fore-yard men, and the two by the after-masts, sprang into the
rigging like squirrels, and were running aloft before the captain had done
speaking.--At the same instant one of the three by the gun leaped on the
bowsprit, and ran out towards the stay. Paul, and the other two, rose and
shoved the gun to its berth; and the small-arms men showed themselves at
the rails.

So many, all in swift motion, appearing at the same moment in the rigging,
distracted the attention of the Arabs for an instant, though scattering
shots were fired. Paul knew that the danger would be greatest when the men
aloft Were stationary, and he was in no haste. Perhaps for half a minute
he was busy in choosing his object, and in levelling the gun, and then it
was fired. He had chosen the moment well; for Mr. Leach and his fellow
adventurers were already on the fore-yard, and the Arabs had arisen from
their covers in the eagerness of taking aim. The small-arms men poured in
their volley, and then little more could be done in the way of the
offensive, nearly all the powder in the ship having been expended.

It remains to tell the result of this experiment.--Among the Arabs a few
fell, and those most exposed to the fire from the ship were staggered,
losing near a minute in their confusion; but those more remote maintained
hot discharges after the first surprise. The whole time occupied in what
we are going to relate was about three minutes; the action of the several
parts going on simultaneously.

The adventurer forward, though nearest to the enemy, was least exposed.
Partly covered by the bowsprit, he ran nimbly out on that spar till he
reached the stay. Here he cut the stop of the fore-topmast halyards,
overhauled the running part, and let the block swing in. He then hooked a
block that he had carried out with him, and in which the bight of a rope
had been rove through the thimble, and ran in as fast as possible. This
duty, which had appeared the most hazardous of all the different
adventures, on account of the proximity of the bowsprit to the reef, was
the first done, and with the least real risk; the man being partly
concealed by the smoke of the gun, as well as by the bowsprit. He escaped
uninjured.

As the two men aft pursued exactly the same course, the movements of one
will explain those of the other. On reaching the yard, the adventurer
sprang on it, caught the hook of the halyard-block, and threw himself off
without an instant's hesitation, overhauling the halyards by his weight.
Men stood in readiness below to check the fall by easing off the other end
of the rope, and the hardy fellow reached the deck in safety. This seemed
a nervous undertaking to the landsmen; but the seamen who so well
understood the machinery of their vessel, made light of it.

On the fore-yard, Mr. Leach passed out on one yard-arm, and his
co-adventurer, a common seaman, on the other. Each left a hook in the knot
of the inner buntline, as he went out, and dropped the ball of marline on
deck. The same was done at the outer buntlines, and at the leachlines.
Here the mate returned, according to his orders, leaped upon the rigging,
and thence upon a backstay, when he slid on deck with a velocity that set
aim at defiance. Notwithstanding the quickness of his motions, Mr. Leach
received a trifling hit on the shoulder, and several bullets whizzed
near him.

The seaman on the other yard-arm succeeded equally well, escaping the
smallest injury, until he had secured the leachline, when, knowing the
usefulness of, obtaining it, for he was on the weather side of the ship,
he determined to bring in the end of the reef-tackle with him. Calling out
to let go the rope on the deck, he ran out to the lift, bent over and
secured the desired end, and raised himself erect, with the intention to
make a run in, on the top of the yard. Captain Truck and the second mate
had both commanded him to desist in vain, for impunity from harm had
rendered him fool-hardy. In this perilous position he even paused to give
a cheer. The cry was scarcely ended when he sprang off the yard several
feet upwards and fell perpendicularly towards the sea, carrying the rope
in his hand. At first, most on board believed the man had jumped into the
water as the least hazardous means of getting down, depending on the rope,
and on swimming, for his security; but Paul pointed out the spot of blood
that stained the surface of the sea, at the point where he had fallen. The
reef-tackle was rounded cautiously in, and its end rose to the surface
without the hand that had so lately grasped it. The man himself never
re-appeared.

Captain Truck had now the means of setting three stay-sails, the spanker,
and the fore-course; sails sufficient, he thought, to answer his present
purposes.--The end of the reef-tackle, that had been so dearly bought, was
got in, by means of a light line, which was thrown around it.

The order was now given to brail the spanker, and to clap on and weigh the
kedge, which was done by the run. As soon as the ship was free of the
bottom, the fore-topmast-stay-sail was set flying, like a jib-top-sail, by
hauling out the tack, and swaying upon the halyards. The sheet was hauled
to windward, and the helm put down; of course the bows of the ship began
to fall off, and, as soon, as her head was sufficiently near her course,
the sheet was drawn, and the wheel shifted.

Captain Truck now ordered the foresail, which, by this time was ready, to
be set. This important sail was got on the vessel, by bending the
buntlines and leachlines to its head, and by hauling out the
weather-head-cringle by means of the reef tackle. As soon as this broad
spread of canvas was on the ship, her motion was accelerated, and she
began to move away from the spot, followed by the furious cries and
menaces of the Arabs. To the latter no one paid any heed, but they were
audible until drowned in distance. Although aided by all her spars, and
the force of the wind on her hull, a body as large as the Montauk required
some little time to overcome the _vis inertiae_, and several anxious
minutes passed before she was so far from the cover of the Arabs as to
prevent their clamour from seeming to be in the very ears of those on
board. When this did occur, it brought inexpressible relief, though it
perhaps increased the danger, by increasing the chances of the bullets
hitting objects on deck.

The course at first was nearly before the wind, when the flat rock, so
often named, being reached, the ship was compelled to haul up on an easy
bowline, in order to pass to windward of it. Here the stay-sails aft and
the spanker were set, which aided in bringing the vessel to the wind, and
the fore-tack was brought down. By laying straight out of the pass, a
distance of only a hundred yards, the vessel would be again clear of every
thing, and beyond all the dangers of the coast, so long as the present
breeze stood. But the tide set the vessel bodily towards the rock, and her
condition did not admit of pressing hard upon a bowline. Captain Truck was
getting to be uneasy, for he soon perceived that they were nearing the
danger, though very gradually, and he began to tremble for his copper.
Still the vessel drew steadily ahead, and he had hopes of passing the
outer edge of the rocks in safety. This outer edge was a broken, ragged,
and pointed fragment, that would break in the planks should the vessel
rest upon it an instant, while falling in that constant heaving and
setting of the ocean, which now began to be very sensibly felt. After all
his jeopardy, the old mariner saw that his safety was at a serious hazard,
by one of those unforeseen but common risks that environ the
seaman's life.

"Luff! luff! you can," cried Captain Truck, glancing his eye from the rock
to the sails, and from the sails to the rock. "Luff, sir--you are at
the pinch!"

"Luff it is sir!" answered the man at the wheel, who stood abaft the
hurricane-house, covered by its roof, over which he was compelled to look,
to get a view of the sails. "Luff I may, and luff it is, sir."

Paul stood at the captain's side, the crew being ordered to keep
themselves as much covered as possible, on account of the bullets of the
Arabs, which were at this time pattering against the vessel, like hail at
the close of a storm.

"We shall not weather that point of ragged rock," exclaimed the young man,
quickly; "and if we touch it the ship will be lost."

"Let her claw off," returned the old man sternly. "Her cutwater is up with
it already. Let her claw off."

The bows of the ship were certainly up with the danger, and the vessel was
slowly drawing ahead; but every moment its broadside was set nearer to the
rock, which was now within fifty feet of them. The fore-chains were past
the point, though little hope remained of clearing it abaft. A ship turns
on her centre of gravity as on a pivot, the two ends inclining in opposite
directions; and Captain Truck hoped that as the bows were past the danger,
it might be possible to throw the after-part of the vessel up to the wind,
by keeping away, and thus clear the spot entirely.

"Hard up with your helm!" he shouted, "hard up!--Haul down the
mizzen-stay-sail, and give her sheet!"

The sails were attended to, but no answer came from the wheel, nor did the
vessel change her course.

"Hard up, I tell you, sir--hard up--hard up, and be d---d to you!"

The usual reply was not made. Paul sprang through the narrow gangway that
led to the wheel. All that passed took but a minute, and yet it was the
most critical minute that had yet befallen the Montauk; for had she
touched that rock but for an instant, human art could hardly have kept her
above water an hour.

"Hard up, and be d---d to you!" repeated Captain Truck, in a voice of
thunder, as Paul darted round the corner of the hurricane-house.

The seaman stood at the wheel, grasping its spokes firmly, his eyes aloft
as usual, but the turns of the tiller rope showed that the order was
not obeyed.

"Hard up, man, hard up! are you mad?" Paul uttered these words as he
sprang to the wheel, which he made whirl with his own hands in the
required direction. As for the seaman, he yielded his hold without
resistance, and fell like a log, as the wheel flew round. A ball had
entered his back, and passed through his heart, and yet he had stood
steadily to the spokes, as the true mariner always clings to the helm
while life lasts.

The bows of the ship fell heavily off, and her stern pressed up towards
the wind; but the trifling delay so much augmented the risk, that nothing
saved the vessel but the formation of the run and counter, which, by
receding as usual, allowed room to escape the dangerous point, as the
Montauk hove by on a swell.

Paul could not see the nearness of the escape, but the purity of the water
permitted Captain Truck and his mates to observe it with a distinctness
that almost rendered them breathless. Indeed there was an instant when the
sharp rock was hid beneath the counter, and each momentarily expected to
hear the grating of the fragment, as it penetrated the vessel's bottom.

"Relieve that man at the wheel, and send him hither this moment," said
Captain Truck, in a calm stern voice, that was more ominous than an oath.

The mate called a seaman, and passed aft himself to execute the order. In
a minute he and Paul returned, bearing the body of the dead mariner, when
all was explained.

"Lord, thy ways are unsearchable!" muttered the old master, uncovering
himself, as the corpse was carried past, "and we are but as grains of
seed, and as the vain butterflies in thy hand!"

The rock once cleared, an open ocean lay to leeward of the packet, and
bringing the wind a little abaft the beam, she moved steadily away from
those rocks that had been the witnesses of all her recent dangers. It was
not long before she was so distant that all danger from the Arabs ceased.
The barbarians, notwithstanding, continued a dropping fire and furious
gesticulations, long after their bullets and menaces became matters of
indifference to those on board.

The body of the dead man was laid between the masts, and the order was
passed to bend the sails. As all was ready, in half an hour the Montauk
was standing off the land under her three topsails, the reef now distant
nearly a league. The courses came next, when the top-gallant yards were
crossed and the sails set; the lighter canvas followed, and some time
before the sun disappeared, the ship was under studding-sails, standing to
the westward, before the trades.

For the first time since he received the intelligence that the Arabs were
the masters of the ship, Captain Truck now felt real relief. He was
momentarily happy after the combat, but new cares had pressed upon him so
soon, that he could scarcely be said to be tranquil. Matters were now
changed. His vessel was in good order, if not equipped for racing, and, as
he was in a low latitude, had the trade winds to befriend him, and no
longer entertained any apprehension of his old enemy the Foam, he felt as
if a mountain had been removed from his breast.

"Thank God," he observed to Paul, "I shall sleep to-night without dreaming
of Arabs or rocks, or scowling faces at New York. They may say that
another man might have shown more skill in keeping clear of such a scrape,
but they will hardly say that another man could have got out of it better.
All this handsome outfit, too, will cost the owners nothing--literally
nothing; and I question if the poor Dane will ever appear to claim the
sails and spars. I do not know that we are in possession of them exactly
according to the law of Africa, for of that code I know little; or
according to the law of nations, for Vattel, I believe, has nothing on the
subject; but we are in possession so effectually, that, barring the
nor'-westers on the American coast, I feel pretty certain of keeping them
until we make the East River."

"It might be better to bury the dead," said Paul; for he knew Eve would
scarcely appear on deck as long as the body remained in sight. "Seamen,
you know, are superstitious on the subject of corpses."

"I have thought of this; but hoped to cheat those two rascals of sharks
that are following in our wake, as if they scented their food. It is an
extraordinary thing, Mr. Blunt, that these fish should know when there is
a body in a ship, and that they will follow it a hundred leagues to make
sure of their prey."

"It would be extraordinary, if true; but in what manner has the fact been
ascertained?"

"You see the two rascally pirates astern?" observed Mr. Leach.

"Very true; but we might also see them were there no dead body about the
ship. Sharks abound in this latitude, and I have seen several about the
reef since we went in.

"They'll be disappointed as to poor Tom Smith," said the mate, "unless
they dive deep for him. I have lashed one of Napoleon's busts to the fine
fellow's feet, and he'll not fetch up until he's snugly anchored on
the bottom."

"This is a fitting hour for solemn feelings," said the captain, gazing
about him at the heavens and the gathering gloom of twilight. "Call all
hands to bury the dead, Mr. Leach. I confess I should feel easier myself
as to the weather, were the body fairly out of the ship."

While the mate went forward to muster the people, the captain took Paul
aside with a request that he would perform the last offices for
the deceased.

"I will read a chapter in the Bible myself," he said; "for I should not
like the people to see one of the crew go overboard, and the officers have
no word to say in the ceremonies; it might beget disrespect, and throw a
slur on our knowledge; but you man-of-war's-men are generally more
regularly brought up to prayers than us liners, and if you have a proper
book by you, I should feel infinitely obliged if you would give us a lift
on this melancholy occasion."

Paul proposed that Mr. Effingham should be asked to officiate, as he knew
that gentleman read prayers in his cabin, to his own party, night
and morning.

"Does he?" said the captain; "then he is my man, for he must have his hand
in, and there will be no stammering or boggling. Ay, ay; he will fetch
through on one tack. Toast, go below, and present my compliments to Mr.
Effingham, and say I should like to speak to him; and, harkee, Toast,
desire him to put a prayer-book in his pocket, and then step into my
state-room, and bring up the Bible you will find under the pillow. The
Arabs had a full chance at the plunder; but there is something about the
book that always takes care of it. Few rogues, I've often remarked, care
about a Bible. They would sooner steal ten novels than one copy of the
sacred writ. This of mine was my mother's, Mr. Blunt, and I should have
been a better man had I overhauled it oftener."

We pass over most of the arrangements, and come at once to the service,
and to the state of the ship, just as her inmate were assembled on an
occasion which no want of formality can render any thing but solemn and
admonitory. The courses were hauled up, and the main-topsail had been laid
to the mast, a position in which a ship has always an air of stately
repose. The body was stretched on a plank that lay across a rail, the
leaden bust being enclosed in the hammock that enveloped it. A spot of
blood on the cloth alone betrayed the nature of the death. Around the body
were grouped the crew, while Captain Truck and his mates stood at the
gangway. The passengers were collected on the quarter-deck, with Mr.
Effingham, holding a prayer-book, a little in advance.

The sun had just dipped into the ocean, and the whole western horizon was
glorious with those soft, pearly, rainbow hues that adorn the evening and
the morning of a low latitude, during the soft weather of the autumnal
months. To the eastward, the low line of coast was just discernible by the
hillocks of sand, leaving the imagination to portray its solitude and
wastes. The sea in all other directions was dark and gloomy, and the
entire character of the sunset was that of a grand picture of ocean
magnificence and extent, relieved by a sky in which the tints came and
went like the well-known colours of the dolphin; to this must be added the
gathering gloom of twilight.

Eve pressed the arm of John Effingham, and gazed with admiration and awe
at the imposing scene.

"This is the seaman's grave!" she whispered.

"And worthy it is to be the tomb of so gallant a fellow. The man died
clinging to his post; and Powis tells me that his hand was loosened from
the wheel with difficulty."

They were silent, for Captain Truck uncovered himself, as did all around
him, placed his spectacles, and opened the sacred volume. The old mariner
was far from critical in his selections of readings, and he usually chose
some subject that he thought would most interest his hearers, which were
ordinarily those that most interested himself. To him Bible was Bible, and
he now turned to the passage in the Acts of the Apostles in which the
voyage of St. Paul from Judea to Rome is related. This he read with
steadiness, some quaintness of pronunciation, and with a sort of breathing
elasticity, whenever he came to those verses that touched particularly on
the navigation.

Paul maintained his perfect self-command during this extraordinary
exhibition, but an unbidden smile lingered around the handsome and
chiseled mouth of Mr. Sharp. John Effingham's curved face was sedate and
composed, while the females were too much impressed to exhibit any levity.
As to the crew, they listened in profound attention, occasionally
exchanging glances whenever any of the nautical expedients struck them as
being out of role.

As soon as this edifying chapter was ended, Mr. Effingham commenced the
solemn rites for the dead. At the first sound of his voice, a calm fell on
the vessel as if the spirit of God had alighted from the clouds, and a
thrill passed through the frames of the listeners. Those solemn words of
the Apostle commencing with "I am the resurrection and the life, saith the
Lord, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet he shall live: and
whosoever liveth and believeth in me, he shall never die," could not have
been better delivered. The voice, intonation, utterance, and manner, of
Mr. Effingham, were eminently those of a gentleman; without pretension,
quiet, simple, and mellow, while, on the other hand, they were feeling,
dignified, distinct, and measured.

When he pronounced the words "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he
shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though, after my skin,
worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh shall I see God," &c. &c. the men
stared about them as if a real voice from heaven had made the
declaration, and Captain Truck looked aloft like one expecting a
trumpet-blast. The tears of Eve began to flow as she listened to the
much-loved tones; and the stoutest heart in that much tried ship quailed.
John Effingham made the responses of the psalm steadily, and Mr. Sharp and
Paul soon joined him. But the profoundest effect was produced when the
office reached those consoling but startling words from the Revelations
commencing with, "I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me write, from
henceforth blessed are the dead who die in the Lord," &c. Captain Truck
afterwards confessed that he thought he heard the very voice, and the men
actually pressed together in their alarm. The plunge of the body was also
a solemn instant. It went off the end of the plank feet foremost, and,
carried rapidly down by the great weight of the lead, the water closed
above it, obliterating every trace of the seaman's grave. Eve thought that
its exit resembled the few brief hours that draw the veil of oblivion
around the mass of mortals when they disappear from earth.

Instead of asking for the benediction at the close of the ceremony, Mr.
Effingham devoutly and calmly commenced the psalm of thanksgiving for
victory, "If the Lord had not been on our side, now may we say, if the
Lord himself had not been on our side, when men rose up against us, they
would have swallowed us up quick, when they were so wrathfully displeased
with us." Most of the gentlemen joined in the responses, and the silvery
voice of Eve sounded sweet and holy amid the breathings of the ocean. _Te
Deum Laudamus,_ "We praise thee, O God! we acknowledge thee to be the
Lord!" "All the earth doth worship thee, the Father everlasting;" closed
the offices, when Mr. Effingham dismissed his congregation with the usual
layman's request for the benediction.

Captain Truck had never before been so deeply impressed with any religious
ceremony, and when it ceased he looked wistfully over the side at the spot
where the body had fallen, or where it might be supposed to have fallen---
for the ship had drifted some distance--as one takes a last look at the
grave of a friend.

"Shall we fill the main-topsail, sir?" demanded Mr. Leach, after waiting
a minute or two in deference to his commander's feelings; "or shall we
hook on the yard-tackles, and stow the launch?"

"Not yet, Leach; not yet. It will be unkind to poor Jack to hurry away
from his grave so indecently. I have observed that the people about the
river always keep in sight till the last sod is stowed, and the rubbish is
cleared away. The fine fellow stood to those spokes as a close-reefed
topsail in a gale stands the surges of the wind, and we owe him this
little respect."

"The boats, sir?"

"Let them tow awhile longer. It will seem like deserting him to be
rattling the yard-tackles and stowing boats directly over his head. Your
gran'ther was a priest, Leach, and I wonder you don't see the impropriety
of hurrying away from a grave. A little reflection will hurt none of us."

The mate admired at a mood so novel for his commander, but he was fain to
submit. The day was fast closing notwithstanding, and the skies were
losing their brilliancy in hues that were still softer and more
melancholy, as if nature delighted, too, in sympathizing with the feelings
of these lone mariners!




Chapter XXIX.



  Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain.

  LEAR.


The barbarians had done much less injury to the ship and her contents than
under the circumstances could have been reasonably hoped. The fact that
nothing could be effectually landed where she lay was probably the cause,
the bales that had actually been got out of the ship, having been put upon
the bank with a view to lighten her, more than for any other reason. The
compact, too, between the chiefs had its influence probably, though it
could not have lasted long with so strong temptations to violate it
constantly before the eyes of men habitually rapacious.

Of course, one of the first things after each individual had ascertained
his own losses, was to inquire into those of his neighbours, and the usual
party in the ladies' cabin was seated around the sofa of Eve, about nine
in the evening, conversing on this topic, after having held a short but
serious discourse on their recent escape.

"You tell me, John, that Mr. Monday has a desire to sleep?" observed Mr.
Effingham, in the manner in which one puts an interrogation.

"He is easier, and dozes. I have left my man with him, with orders to
summon me the instant he awakes."

A melancholy pause succeeded, and then the discourse took the channel from
which it had been diverted.

"Is the extent of our losses in effects known?" asked Mr. Sharp. "My man
reports some trifling _deficit_, but nothing of any value."

"Your counterfeit," returned Eve, smiling, "has been the principal
sufferer. One would think by his plaints, that not a toy is left in
Christendom."

"So long as they have not stolen from him his good name, I shall not
complain, as I may have some use for it when we reach America, of which
now, God be praised! there are some flattering prospects."

"I understand from my connexions that the person who is known in the main
cabin as Sir George Templemore, is not the person who is known as such in
this," observed John Effingham, bowing to Mr. Sharp, who returned his
salute as one acknowledges an informal introduction. "There are certainly
weak men to be found in high stations all over the world, but you will
probably think I am doing honour to my own sagacity, when I say, that I
suspected from the first that he was not the true Amphitryon. I had heard
of Sir George Templemore, and had been taught to expect more in him than
even a man of fashion--a man of the world--while this poor substitute can
scarcely claim to be either."

John Effingham so seldom complimented that his kind words usually told,
and Mr. Sharp acknowledged the politeness, more gratified than he was
probably willing to acknowledge to himself. The other could have heard of
him only from Eve and her father, and it was doubly grateful to be spoken
of favourably in such a quarter: he thought there was a consciousness in
the slight suffusion that appeared on the face of the daughter, which led
him to hope that even the latter had not considered him unworthy of
recollection; for he cared but little for the remembrances of Mr.
Effingham, if they could all be transferred to his child.

"This person, who does me the honour to relieve me from the trouble of
bearing my own name," he resumed, "cannot be of very lofty pretensions, or
he would have aspired higher. I suspect him of being merely one of those
silly young countrymen of mine, of whom so many crowd stage-coaches and
packets, to swagger over their less ambitious fellow-mortals with the
strut and exactions of the hour."

"And yet, apart from his folly in 'sailing under false colours,' as our
worthy captain would call it, the man seems well enough."

"A folly, cousin Jack," said Eve with laughing eyes though she maintained
a perfect demureness with her beautiful features--"that he shares in
common with so many others!"

"Very true, though I suspect he has climbed to commit it, while others
have been content to descend. The man himself behaved well yesterday,
showing steadiness as well as spirit in the fray."

"I forgive him his usurpation for his conduct on that occasion," returned
Mr. Sharp, "and wish with all my heart the Arabs had discovered less
affection for his curiosities. I should think that they must find
themselves embarrassed to ascertain the uses of some of their prizes; such
for instance, as the button-hooks, the shoe-horn, knives with twenty
blades, and other objects that denote a profound civilization."

"You have not spoken of your luck, Mr. Powis," added Mr. Effingham; "I
trust you have fared as well as most of us, though had they visited their
enemies according to the injury received from them, you would be among
the heaviest of the sufferers."

"My loss," replied Paul, mournfully, "is not much in pecuniary value,
though irreparable to me."

A look of concern betrayed the general interest, for as he really seemed
sad, there was a secret apprehension that his loss even exceeded that
which his words would give them reason to suppose. Perceiving the
curiosity that was awakened, and which was only suppressed by politeness,
the young man added,

"I miss a miniature that, to me, is of inestimable value."

Eve's heart throbbed, while her eyes sunk to the carpet. The others seemed
amazed, and after a brief pause, Mr. Sharp observed--

"A painting on its own account would hardly possess much value with such
barbarians. Was the setting valuable?"

"It was of gold, of course, and had some merit in the way of workmanship.
It has probably been taken as curious rather than for its specific value;
though to me, as I have just said, the ship itself could scarcely be of
more account--certainly not as much prized."

"Many light articles have been merely mislaid; taken away through
curiosity or idleness, and left where the individual happened to be at the
moment of changing his mind," said John Effingham: "several things of mine
have been scattered through the cabins in this manner, and I understand
that divers vestments of the ladies have found their way into the
state-rooms of the other cabin; particularly a nightcap of Mademoiselle
Viefville's, that has been discovered in Captain Truck's room, and which
that gallant seaman has forthwith condemned as a lawful waif. As he never
uses such a device on his head, he will be compelled to wear it next his
heart. He will be compelled to convert it into a _liberty_-cap."

"_Ciel!_ if the excellent captain will carry us safe to New York," coolly
returned the governess, "he shall have the prize, _de tout mon coeur;
c'est un homme brave, et c'est aussi un brave homme, a sa facon_"

"Here are _two_ hearts concerned in the affair already, and no one can
foresee the consequences; but," turning to Paul, "describe, this
miniature, if you please, for there are many in the vessel, and yours is
not the only one that has been mislaid."

"It was a miniature of a female, and one, too, I think, that would be
remarked for her beauty."

Eve felt a chill at her heart.

"If, sir, it is the miniature of an elderly lady," said Ann Sidley,
"perhaps it is this which I found in Miss Eve's room, and which I intended
to give to Captain Truck in order that it might reach the hands of its
right owner."

Paul took the miniature, which he regarded coldly for a moment, and then
returned to the nurse.

"Mine is the miniature of a female under twenty," he said, colouring as he
spoke; "and is every way different from this."

This was the painful and humiliating moment when Eve Effingham was made to
feel the extent and the nature of the interest she took in Paul Powis. On
all the previous occasions in which her feelings had been strongly
awakened on his account, she had succeeded in deceiving herself as to the
motive, but now the truth was felt in that overwhelming form that no
sensitive heart can distrust.

No one had seen the miniature, though all observed the emotion with which
Paul spoke of it, and all secretly wondered of whom it could be.

"The Arabs appear to have some such taste for the fine arts as
distinguishes the population of a mushroom American city," said John
Effingham; "or one that runs to portraits, which are admired while the
novelty lasts, and then are consigned to the first spot that offers to
receive them."

"Are _your_ miniatures all safe, Eve?" Mr. Effingham inquired with
interest; for among them was one of her mother that he had yielded to her
only through strong parental affection, but which it would have given him
deep pain to discover was lost, though John Effingham, unknown to him,
possessed a copy.

"It is with the jewellery in the baggage-room, dearest father, and
untouched of course. We are fortunate that our passing wants did not
extend beyond our comfort and luckily they are not of a nature to be much
prized by barbarians. Coquetry and a ship have little in common, and
Mademoiselle Viefville and myself had not much out to tempt the
marauders."

As Eve uttered this, both the young men involuntarily turned their eyes
towards her, each thinking that a being so fair stood less in need than
common of the factitious aid of ornaments. She was dressed in a dark
French chintz, that her maid had fitted to her person in a manner that it
would seem none but a French assistant can accomplish, setting off her
falling shoulders, finely moulded bust, and slender-rounded waist, in a
way to present a modest outline of their perfection. The dress had that
polished medium between fashion and its exaggeration, that always denotes
a high association, and perhaps a cultivated mind--certainly a cultivated
taste--offending neither usage on the one hand, nor self-respect and a
chaste appreciation of beauty on the other. Indeed Eve was distinguished
for that important acquisition to a gentlewoman, an intellectual or
refined toilette; not intellect and refinement in extravagance and
caricature, but as they are displayed in fitness, simplicity, elegance,
and the proportions. This much, perhaps, she owed to native taste, as the
slight air of fashion, and the high air of a gentlewoman, that were thrown
about her person and attire, were the fruits of an intimate connexion with
the best society of half the capitals of the European continent. As an
unmarried female, modesty, the habits of the part of the world in which
she had so long dwelt, and her own sense of propriety, caused her to
respect simplicity of appearance; but through this, as it might be in
spite of herself, shone qualities of a superior order. The little hand and
foot, so beautiful and delicate, the latter just peeping from the dress
under which it was usually concealed, appeared as if formed expressly to
adorn a taste that was every way feminine and alluring.

"It is one of the mysteries of the grand designs of Providence, that men
should exist in conditions so widely distant from each other," said John
Effingham abruptly, "with a common nature that can be so much varied by
circumstances. It is almost humiliating to find one's-self a man, vhen
beings like these Arabs are to be classed as fellows."

"The most instructed and refined, cousin Jack, may get a useful lesson,
notwithstanding your disrelish for the consanguinity, from this very
identity of nature," said Eve, who made a rally to overcome feelings that
she deemed girlish and weak. "By showing us what we might be ourselves, we
get an admonition of humility; or by reflecting on the difference that is
made by education, does it not strike you that there is an encouragement
to persevere until better things are attained?"

"This globe is but a ball, and a ball, too, insignificant, even when
compared with the powers of man," continued the other. "How many
navigators now circle it! even you, sir, may have done this, young as you
still are," turning to Paul, who made a bow of assent; "and yet, within
these narrow limits, what wonderful varieties of physical appearance,
civilization, laws, and even of colour, do we find, all mixed up with
points of startling affinity."

"So far as a limited experience has enabled me to judge," observed Paul,
"I have every where found, not only the same nature, but a common innate
sentiment of justice that seems universal; for even amidst the wildest
scenes of violence, or of the most ungovernable outrages, this sentiment
glimmers through the more brutal features of the being. The rights of
property, for instance, are every where acknowledged; the very wretch who
steals whenever he can, appearing conscious of his crime, by doing it
clandestinely, and as a deed that shuns observation. All seem to have the
same general notions of natural justice, and they are forgotten only
through the policy of systems, irresistible temptation, the pressure of
want, or the result of contention."

"Yet, as a rule, man every where oppresses his weaker fellow."

"True; but he betrays consciousness of his error, directly or indirectly.
One can show his sense of the magnitude of his crime even by the manner of
defending it. As respects our late enemies, I cannot say I felt any
emotion of animosity while the hottest engaged against them, for their
usages have rendered their proceedings lawful."

"They tell me," interrupted Mr. Effingham, "that it is owing to your
presence of mind and steadiness that more blood was not shed
unnecessarily."

"It may be questioned," continued Paul, noticing this compliment merely by
an inclination of the head, "if civilized people have not reasoned
themselves, under the influence of interest, into the commission of deeds
quite as much opposed to natural justice as anything done by these
barbarians. Perhaps no nation is perfectly free from the just imputation
of having adopted some policy quite as unjustifiable in itself as the
system of plunder maintained among the Arabs."

"Do you count the rights of hospitality as nothing?"

"Look at France, a nation distinguished for refinement, among its rulers,
at least. It was but the other day that the effects of the stranger who
died in her territory were appropriated to the use of a monarch wallowing
in luxury. Compare this law with the treaties that invited strangers to
repair to the country, and the wants of the monarch who exhibited the
rapacity, to the situation of the barbarians from whom we have escaped,
and the magnitude of the temptation we offered, and it does not appear
that the advantage is much with Christians. But the fate of shipwrecked
mariners all over the world is notorious. In countries the most advanced
in civilization they are plundered, if there is an opportunity, and, at
need, frequently murdered."

"This is a frightful picture of humanity," said Eve shuddering. "I do not
think that this charge can be justly brought against America."

"That is far from certain. America has many advantages to weaken the
temptation to crime, but she is very far from perfect. The people on some
of her coasts have been accused of resorting to the old English practice
of showing false lights, with a view to mislead vessels, and of committing
cruel depredations on the wrecked. In all things I believe there is a
disposition in man to make misfortune weigh heaviest on the unfortunate.
Even the coffin in which we inter a friend costs more than any other piece
of work of the same amount of labour and materials."

"This is a gloomy picture of humanity, to be drawn by one so young," Mr.
Effingham mildly rejoined.

"I think it true. All men do not exhibit their selfishness and ferocity
in the same way; but there are few who do not exhibit both. As for
America, Miss Effingham, she is fast getting vices peculiar to herself and
her system, and, I think, vices which bid fair to bring her down, ere
long, to the common level, although I do not go quite so far in describing
her demerits as some of the countrymen of Mademoiselle Viefville
have gone."

"And what may that have been?" asked the governess eagerly, in English.

"_Pourrie avant d'etre mure. Mure_, America is certainly far from being;
but I am not disposed to accuse her yet of being quite_pourrie._"

"We had flattered ourselves," said Eve, a little reproachfully, "with
having at last found a countryman in Mr. Powis."

"And how would that change the question? Or do you admit that an American
can be no American, unless blind to the faults of the country,
however great?"

"Would it be generous for a child to turn upon a parent that all others
assail?"

"You put the case ingeniously, but scarcely with fairness. It is the duty
of the parent to educate and correct the child, but it is the duty of the
citizen to reform and improve the character of his country. How can the
latter be done, if nothing but eulogies are dealt in? With foreigners, one
should not deal too freely with the faults of his country, though even
with the liberal among them one would wish to be liberal, for foreigners
cannot repair the evil; but with one's countrymen I see little use and
much danger, in observing a silence as to faults. The American, of all
others, it appears to me, should be the boldest in denouncing the common
and national vices, since he is one of those who, by the institutions
themselves, has the power to apply the remedy."

"But America is an exception, I think, or perhaps it would be better to
say I _feel_, since all other people deride at, mock her, and dislike her.
You will admit this yourself, Sir George Templemore?"

"By no means: in England, now, I consider America to be particularly well
esteemed."

Eve held up her pretty hands, and even Mademoiselle Viefville, usually so
well-toned and self-restrained, gave a visible shrug.

"Sir George means in his country," dryly observed John Effingham.

"Perhaps the parties would better understand each other," said Paul,
coolly, "were Sir George Templemore to descend to particulars. He belongs
himself to the liberal school, and may be considered a safe witness."

"I shall be compelled to protest against a cross-examination on such a
subject," returned the baronet, laughing. "You will be satisfied, I am
certain, with my simple declaration. Perhaps we still regard the Americans
as _tant soit peu_ rebels; but that is a feeling that will soon cease."

"That is precisely the point on which I think liberal Englishman usually
do great justice to America, while it is on other points that they betray
a national dislike."

"England believes America hostile to herself; and if love creates love,
dislike creates dislike."

"This is at least something like admitting the truth of the charge, Miss
Effingham," said John Effingham, smiling, "and we may dismiss the accused.
It is odd enough that England should consider America as rebellious, as is
the case with many Englishmen, I acknowledge, while, in truth, England
herself was the rebel, and this, too, in connexion with the very questions
that produced the American revolution."

"This is quite new," said Sir George, "and I confess some curiosity to see
how it can be made out."

John Effingham did not hesitate about stating his case.

"In the first place you are to forget professions and names," he said,
"and to look only at facts and things. When America was settled, a compact
was made, either in the way of charters or of organic laws, by which all
the colonies had distinct rights, while, on the other hand, they confessed
allegiance to the king. But in that age the English monarch _was_ a king.
He used his veto on the laws, for instance, and otherwise exercised his
prerogatives. Of the two, he influenced parliament more than parliament
influenced him. In such a state of things, countries separated by an
ocean might be supposed to be governed equitably, the common monarch
feeling a common parental regard for all his subjects. Perhaps distance
might render him even more tender of the interest of those who were not
present to protect themselves."

"This is putting the case loyally, at least," said Sir George, as the
other paused for a moment.

"It is precisely in that light that I wish to present it. The degree of
power that parliament possessed over the colonies was a disputed point;
but I am willing to allow that parliament had all power."

"In doing which, I fear, you will concede all the merits," said Mr.
Effingham.

"I think not. Parliament then ruled the colonies absolutely and legally,
if you please, under the Stuarts; but the English rebelled against these
Stuarts, dethroned them, and gave the crown to an entirely new family--one
with only a remote alliance with the reigning branch. Not satisfied with
this, the king was curtailed in his authority; the prince, who might with
justice be supposed to feel a common interest in all his subjects, became
a mere machine in the hands of a body who represented little more than
themselves, in fact, or a mere fragment of the empire, even in theory;
transferring the control of the colonial interest from the sovereign
himself to a portion of his people, and that, too, a small portion. This
was no longer a government of a prince who felt a parental concern for all
his subjects, but a government of a _clique_ of his subjects, who felt a
selfish concern only for their own interests."

"And did the Americans urge this reason for the revolt?" asked Sir George.
"It sounds new to me."

"They quarreled with the results, rather than with the cause. When they
found that legislation was to be chiefly in the interests of England, they
took the alarm, and seized their arms, without stopping to analyse causes.
They probably were mystified too much with names and professions to see
the real truth, though they got some noble glimpses of it."

"I have never before heard this case put so strongly," cried Paul Powis,
"and yet I think it contains the whole merit of the controversy as a
principle."

"It is extraordinary how nationality blinds us," observed Sir George,
laughing. "I confess, Powis,"--the late events had produced a close
intimacy and a sincere regard between these two fine young men,--"that I
stand in need of an explanation."

"You can conceive of a monarch," continued John Effingham, "who possesses
an extensive and efficient power?"

"Beyond doubt; nothing can be plainer than that."

"Fancy this monarch to fall into the hands of a fragment of his subjects,
who reduce his authority to a mere profession, and begin to wield it for
their own especial benefit, no longer leaving, him a free agent, though
always using the authority in his name."

"Even that is easily imagined."

"History is full of such instances. A part of the subjects, unwilling to
be the dupes of such a fraud, revolt against the monarch in name, against
the cabal in fact. Now who are the real rebels? Profession is nothing.
Hyder Ally never seated himself in the presence of the prince he had
deposed, though he held him captive during life."

"But did not America acquiesce in the dethronement of the Stuarts?" asked
Eve, in whom the love of the right was stronger even than the love
of country.

"Beyond a doubt, though America neither foresaw nor acquiesced in all the
results. The English themselves, probably, did not' foresee the
consequences of their own revolution; for we now find England almost in
arms against the consequences of the very subversion of the kingly power
of which I have spoken. In England it placed a portion of the higher
classes in possession of authority, at the expense of all the rest of the
nation; whereas, as respects America, it set a remote people to rule over
her, instead of a prince, who had the same connexion with his colonies as
with all the rest of his subjects. The late English reform is a peaceable
revolution; and America would very gladly have done the same thing, could
she have extricated herself from the consequences, by mere acts of
congress. The whole difference is, that America, pressed upon by peculiar
circumstances, preceded England in the revolt about sixty years, and that
this revolt was against an usurper, and not against the legitimate
monarch, or against the sovereign himself."

"I confess all this is novel to me," exclaimed Sir George.

"I have told you, Sir George Templemore, that, if you stay long enough in
America, many novel ideas will suggest themselves. You have too much sense
to travel through the country seeking for petty exceptions that may
sustain your aristocratical prejudices, or opinions, if you like that
better; but will be disposed to judge a nation, not according to
preconceived notions, but according to visible facts."

"They tell me there is a strong bias to aristocracy in America; at least
such is the report of most European travellers."

"The report of men who do not reflect closely on the meaning of words.
That there are real aristocrats in opinion in America is very true; there
are also a few monarchists, or those who fancy themselves monarchists."

"Can a man be deceived on such a point?"

"Nothing is more easy. He who would set up a king merely in name, for
instance, is not a monarchist, but a visionary, who confounds names
with things."

"I see you will not admit of a balance in the state."

"I shall contend that there must be a preponderating authority in every
government, from which it derives its character; and if this be not the
king, that government is not a real monarchy, let the laws be administered
in whose name they may. Calling an idol Jupiter does not convert it into a
god. I question if there be a real monarchist left in the English empire
at this very moment. They who make the loudest professions that way strike
me as being the rankest aristocrats, and a real political aristocrat is,
and always has been, the most efficient enemy of kings."

"But we consider loyalty to the prince as attachment to the system."

"That is another matter; for in that you may be right enough, though it is
ambiguous as to terms."

"Sir--gentlemen--Mr. John Effingham, sir," interrupted Saunders, "Mr.
Monday is awake, and so werry conwalescent--I fear he will not live long.
The ship herself is not so much conwerted by these new spars as poor Mr.
Monday is conwerted since he went to sleep."

"I feared this," observed John Effingham, rising. "Acquaint Captain Truck
with the fact, steward: he desired to be sent for at any crisis."

He then quitted the cabin, leaving the rest of the party wondering that
they could have been already so lost to the situation of one of their late
companions, however different from themselves he might be in opinions and
character. But in this they merely showed their common connexion with all
the rest of the great family of man, who uniformly forget sorrows that do
not press too hard on self, in the reaction of their feelings.




Chapter XXX.



  Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

  ISAIAH.


The principal hurt of Mr. Monday was one of those wounds that usually
produce death within eight-and-forty hours. He had borne the pain with
resolution; and, as yet, had discovered no consciousness of the imminent
danger that was so apparent to all around him. But a film had suddenly
past from before his senses; and, a man of mere habits, prejudices, and
animal enjoyments, he had awakened at the very termination of his brief
existence to something like a consciousness of his true position in the
moral world, as well as of his real physical condition. Under the first
impulse of such an alarm, John Effingham had been sent for; and he, as has
been seen, ordered Captain Truck to be summoned. In consequence of the
previous understanding these two gentlemen and Mr. Leach appeared at the
state-room door at the same instant. The apartment being small it was
arranged between them that the former should enter first, having been
expressly sent for; and that the others should be introduced at the
pleasure of the wounded man.

"I have brought my Bible, Mr. Leach," said the captain when he and the
mate were left alone, "for a chapter is the very least we can give a
cabin-passenger, though I am a little at a loss to know what particular
passage will be the most suitable for the occasion. Something from the
book of Kings would be likely to suit Mr. Monday, as he is a
thorough-going king's man."

"It is so long since I read that particular book, sir," returned the mate,
diligently thumbing his watch-key, "that I should be diffident about
expressing an opinion. I think, however, a little Bible might do
him good."

"It is not an easy matter to hit a conscience exactly between wind and
water. I once thought of producing an impression on the ship's company by
reading the account of Jonah and the whale as a subject likely to attract
their attention, and to show them the hazards we seamen run; but, in the
end, I discovered that the narration struck them all aback as a thing not
likely to be true. Jack can stand any thing but a fish story, you
know, Leach."

"It is always better to keep clear of miracles at sea, I believe, sir,
when the people are to be spoken to: I saw some of the men this evening
wince about that ship of St. Paul's carrying out anchors in a gale."

"The graceless rascals ought to be thankful they are not at this very
moment trotting through the great desert lashed to dromedaries' tails! Had
I known that, Leach, I would have read the verse twice! But Mr. Monday is
altogether a different man, and will listen to reason. There is the story
of Absalom, which is quite interesting; and perhaps the account of the
battle might be suitable for one who dies in consequence of a battle; but,
on the whole, I remember my worthy old father used to say that a sinner
ought to be well shaken up at such a moment."

"I fancy, sir, Mr. Monday has been a reasonably steady man as the world
goes. Seeing that he is a passenger, I should try and ease him off
handsomely, and without any of these Methodist surges."

"You may be right, Leach, you may be right; do as foil would be done by is
the golden rule after all. But, here comes Mr. John Effingham; so I fancy
we may enter."

The captain was not mistaken, for Mr. Monday had just taken a
restorative, and had expressed a desire to see the two officers. The
state-room was a small, neat, and even beautifully finished apartment,
about seven feet square. It had originally been fitted with two berths;
but, previously to taking possession of the place, John Effingham had
caused the carpenter to remove the upper, and Mr. Monday now lay in what
had been the lower bed. This situation placed him below his attendant, and
in a position where he might be the more easily assisted. A shaded lamp
lighted the room, by means of which the captain caught the anxious
expression of the dying man's eye, as he took a seat himself.

"I am grieved to see you in this state, Mr. Monday." said the master, "and
this all the more since it has happened in consequence of your bravery in
fighting to regain my ship. By rights this accident ought to have befallen
one of the Montauk's people, or Mr. Leach, here, or even myself, before it
befel you."

Mr. Monday looked at the speaker as if the intended consolation had failed
of its effect, and the captain began to suspect that he should find a
difficult subject for his new ministrations. By way of gaining time, he
thrust an elbow into the mate's side as a hint that it was now his turn to
offer something.

"It might have been worse, Mr. Monday," observed Leach, shifting his
attitude like a man whose moral and physical action moved _pari passu:_
"it might have been much worse, I once saw a man shot in the under jaw,
and he lived a fortnight without any sort of nourishment!"

Still Mr. Monday gazed at the mate as if he thought matters could not be
much worse.

"That _was_ a hard case," put in the captain; "why, the poor fellow had no
opportunity to recover without victuals.

"No, sir, nor any drink. He never swallowed a mouthful of liquor of any
sort from the time he was hit, until he took the plunge when we threw him
overboard."

Perhaps there is truth in the saying that "misery loves company," for the
eye of Mr. Monday turned towards the table on which the bottle of cordial
still stood, and from John Effingham, had just before helped him to
swallow, under the impression that it was of no moment what he took. The
captain understood the appeal, and influenced by the same opinion
concerning the hopelessness of the patient's condition, besides being
kindly anxious to console him, he poured out a small glass, all of which
he permitted the other to drink. The effect was instantaneous, for it
would seem this treacherous friend is ever to produce a momentary pleasure
as a poor compensation for its lasting pains.

"I don't feel so bad, gentleman," returned the wounded man with a force of
voice that startled his visitors. "I feel better--much better, and am very
glad to see you. Captain Truck, I have the honor to drink your health."

The captain looked at the mate as if he thought their visit was
twenty-four hours too soon, for live, all felt sure, Mr. Monday could not.
But Leach, better placed to observe the countenance of the patient,
whispered his commander that it was merely "a catspaw, and will
not stand."

"I am very glad to see you both, gentlemen," continued Mr. Monday, "and
beg you to help yourselves."

The captain changed his tactics. Finding his patient so strong and
cheerful, he thought consolation would be more easily received just at
that moment, than it might be even half an hour later.

"We are all mortal, Mr. Monday--"

"Yes, sir; all very mortal."

"And even the strongest and boldest ought occasionally to think of their
end."

"Quite true, sir; quite true. The strongest and boldest. When do you think
we shall get in, gentlemen?"

Captain Truck afterwards affirmed that he was "never before taken so flat
aback by a question as by this." Still he extricated himself from the
dilemma with dexterity, the spirit of proselytism apparently arising
within him in proportion as the other manifested indifference to
his offices.

"There is a port to which we are all steering, my dear sir," he said; "and
of which we ought always to bear in mind the landmarks and beacons, and
that port is heaven."

"Yes," answered Mr Leach, "a port that, sooner or later, will fetch us all
up."

Mr. Monday gazed from one to the other, and something like the state of
feeling, from which he had been aroused by the cordial, began to return.

"Do you think me so bad, gentlemen?" he inquired, with a little of the
eagerness of a startled man.

"As bad as one bound direct to so good a place as I hope and trust is the
case with you, can be," returned the captain, determined to follow up the
advantage he had gained. "Your wound, we fear, is mortal, and people
seldom remain long in this wicked world with such sort of hurts."

"If he stands that," thought the captain, "I shall turn him over, at once,
to Mr. Effingham."

Mr. Monday did not stand it. The illusion produced by the liquor, although
the latter still sustained his pulses, had begun to evaporate, and the
melancholy truth resumed its power.

"I believe, indeed, that I am near my end, gentlemen," he said faintly;
and am thankful--for--for this consolation."

"Now will be a good time to throw in the chapter," whispered Leach; "he
seems quite conscious, and very contrite."

Captain Truck, in pure despair, and conscious of his own want of judgment,
had determined to leave the question of the selection of this chapter to
be decided by chance. Perhaps a little of that mysterious dependence on
Providence which renders all men more or less superstitions, influenced
him; and that he hoped a wisdom surpassing his own might direct him to a
choice. Fortunately, the book of Psalms is near the middle of the sacred
volume, and a better disposition of this sublime repository of pious
praise and spiritual wisdom could not have been made; for the
chance-directed peruser of the Bible will perhaps oftener open among its
pages than at any other place.

If we should say that Mr. Monday felt any very profound spiritual relief
from the reading of Captain Truck, we should both overrate the manner of
the honest sailor, and the intelligence of the dying man. Still the solemn
language of praise and admiration had an effect, and, for the first time
since childhood, the soul of the latter was moved. God and judgment passed
before his imagination, and he gasped for breath in a way that induced
the two seamen to suppose the fatal moment had come, even sooner than they
expected. The cold sweat stood upon the forehead of the patient, and his
eyes glared wildly from one to the other. The paroxysm, however, was
transient, and he soon settled down into a state of comparative calmness,
pushing away the glass that Captain Truck offered, in mistaken kindness,
with a manner of loathing.

"We must comfort him, Leach," whispered the captain; "for I see he is
fetching up in the old way, as was duly laid down by our ancestors in the
platform. First, groanings and views of the devil, and then consolation
and hope. We have got him into the first category, and we ought now, in
justice, to bring to, and heave a strain to help him through it."

"They generally give 'em prayer, in the river, in this stage of the
attack," said Leach. "If you can remember a short prayer, sir, it might
ease him off."

Captain Truck and his mate, notwithstanding the quaintness of their
thoughts and language, were themselves solemnly impressed with the scene,
and actuated by the kindest motives. Nothing of levity mingled with their
notions, but they felt the responsibility of officers of a packet, besides
entertaining a generous interest in the fate of a stranger who had fallen,
fighting manfully at their side. The old man looked awkwardly about him,
turned the key of the door, wiped his eyes, gazed wistfully at the
patient, gave his mate a nudge with his elbow to follow his example, and
knelt down with a heart momentarily as devout as is often the case with
those who minister at the altar. He retained the words of the Lord's
prayer, and these he repeated aloud, distinctly, and with fervour, though
not with a literal conformity to the text. Once Mr. Leach had to help him
to the word. When he rose, the perspiration stood on his forehead, as if
he had been engaged in severe toil.

Perhaps nothing could have occurred more likely to strike the imagination
of Mr. Monday than to see one, of the known character and habits of
Captain Truck, thus wrestling with the Lord in his own behalf. Always
obtuse and dull of thought, the first impression was that of wonder; awe
and contrition followed. Even the mate was touched, and he afterwards told
his companion on deck, that "the hardest day's work he had ever done, was
lending a hand to rouse the captain through that prayer."

"I thank you, sir," gasped Mr. Monday, "I thank you--Mr. John
Effingham--now, let me see Mr. John Effingham. I have no time to lose, and
wish to see _him_"

The captain rose to comply, with the feelings of a man who had done his
duty, and, from that moment, he had a secret satisfaction at having so
manfully acquitted himself, Indeed, it has been remarked by those who have
listened to his whole narrative of the passage, that he invariably lays
more stress on the scene in the state-room, than on the readiness and
skill with which he repaired the damages sustained by his own ship,
through the means obtained from the Dane, or the spirit with which he
retook her from the Arabs.

John Effingham appeared in the state-room, where the captain and Mr. Leach
left him alone with the patient Like all strong-minded men, who are
conscious of their superiority over the rest of their fellow creatures,
this gentleman felt disposed to concede most to those who were the least
able to contend with him. Habitually sarcastic and stern, and sometimes
forbidding, he was now mild and discreet. He saw, at a glance, that Mr.
Monday's mind was alive to novel feelings, and aware that the approach of
death frequently removes moral clouds that have concealed the powers of
the spirit while the animal part of the being was in full vigour, he was
surprised at observing the sudden change that was so apparent in the
countenance of the dying man.

"I believe, sir, I have been a great sinner," commenced Mr. Monday, who
spoke more feebly as the influence of the cordial evaporated, and in short
and broken sentences.

"In that you share the lot of all," returned John Effingham. "We are
taught that no man of himself, no unaided soul, is competent to its own
salvation. Christians look to the Redeemer for succour."

"I believe I understand you, but I am a business man, sir, and have been
taught that reparation is the best atonement for a wrong."

"It certainly should be the _first_"

"Yes, indeed it should, sir. I am but the son of poor parents, and may
have been tempted to some things that are improper. My mother, too, I was
her only support. Well, the Lord will pardon it, if it were wrong, as I
dare say it might have been. I think I should have drunk less and thought
more, but for this affair--perhaps it is not yet too late."

John Effingham listened with surprise, but with the coolness and sagacity
that marked his character. He saw the necessity, or at least the prudence,
of there being another witness present. Taking advantage of the exhaustion
of the speaker, he stepped to the door of Eve's cabin, and signed Paul to
follow him. They entered the state-room together, when John Effingham took
Mr. Monday soothingly by the hand, offering him a nourishment less
exciting than the cordial, but which had the effect to revive him.

"I understand you, sir," continued Mr. Monday, looking at Paul; "it is all
very proper; but I have little to say--the papers will explain it all.
Those keys, sir--the upper drawer of the bureau, and the red morocco
case--take it all--this is the key. I have kept everything together, from
a misgiving that an hour would come. In New York you will have time--it is
not yet too late."

As the wounded man spoke at intervals, and with difficulty, John Effingham
had complied with his directions before he ceased. He found the red
morocco case, took the key from the ring, and showed both to Mr. Monday,
who smiled and nodded approbation. The bureau contained paper, wax, and
all the other appliances of writing. John Effingham inclosed the case in a
strong envelope, and affixed to it three seals, which he impressed with
his own arms; the then asked Paul for his watch, that the same might be
done with the seal of his companion. After this precaution, he wrote a
brief declaration that the contents had been delivered to the two, for the
purpose of examination, and for the benefit of the parties concerned,
whoever they might be, and signed it. Paul did the same, and the paper was
handed to Mr. Monday, who had still strength to add his own signature.

"Men do not usually trifle at such moments," said John Effingham, "and
this case may contain matter of moment to wronged and innocent persons.
The world little knows the extent of the enormities that are thus
committed. Take the case, Mr. Powis, and lock it up with your effects,
until the moment for the examination shall come."

Mr. Monday was certainly much relieved after this consignment of the case
into safe hands, trifles satisfying the compunctions of the obtuse. For
more than an hour he slumbered. During this interval of rest, Captain
Truck appeared at the door of the state-room to inquire into the condition
of the patient, and, hearing a report so favourable, in common with all
whose duty did not require them to watch, he retired to rest. Paul had
also returned, and offered his services, as indeed did most of the
gentlemen; but John Effingham dismissed his own servant even, and declared
it was his intention not to quit the place that night. Mr. Monday had
reposed confidence in him, appeared to be gratified by his attentions and
presence, and he felt it to be a sort of duty, under such circumstances,
not to desert a fellow-creature in his extremity. Any thing beyond some
slight alleviation of the sufferer's pains was hopeless; but this, he
rightly believed, he was as capable of administering as another.

Death is appalling to those of the most iron nerves, when it comes quietly
and in the stillness and solitude of night. John Effingham was such a man;
but he felt all the peculiarity of his situation as he sat alone in the
state-room by the side of Mr. Monday, listening to the washing of the
waters that the ship shoved aside, and to the unquiet breathing of his
patient. Several times he felt a disposition to steal away for a few
minutes, and to refresh himself by exercise in the pure air of the ocean;
but as often was the inclination checked by jealous glances from the
glazed eye of the dying man, who appeared to cherish his presence as his
own last hope of life. When John Effingham wetted the feverish lips, the
look he received spoke of gratitude and thanks, and once or twice these
feelings were audible in whispers. He could not desert a being so
helpless, so dependent; and, although conscious that he was of no
material service beyond sustaining his patient by his presence, he felt
that this was sufficient to exact much heavier sacrifices.

During one of the troubled slumbers of the dying man, his attendant sat
watching the struggles of his countenance, which seemed to betray the
workings of the soul that was about to quit its tenement, and he mused on
the character and fate of the being whose departure for the world of
spirits he himself was so singularly called on to witness!

"Of his origin I know nothing," thought John Effingham, "except by his own
passing declarations, and the evident fact that, as regards station, it
can scarcely have reached mediocrity. He is one of those who appear to
live for the most vulgar motives that are admissible among men of any
culture, and whose refinement, such as it is, is purely of the
conventional class of habits. Ignorant, beyond the current opinions of a
set; prejudiced in all that relates to nations, religions, and characters;
wily, with an air of blustering honesty; credulous and intolerant; bold in
denunciations and critical remarks, without a spark of discrimination, or
any knowledge but that which has been acquired under a designing
dictation; as incapable of generalizing as he is obstinate in trifles;
good-humoured by nature, and yet querulous from imitation:--for what
purposes was such a creature brought into existence to be hurried out of
it in this eventful manner?" The conversation of the evening recurred to
John Effingham, and he inwardly said, "If there exist such varieties of
the human race among nations, there are certainly as many species, in a
moral sense, in civilized life itself. This man has his counterpart in a
particular feature in the every-day American absorbed in the pursuit of
gain; and yet how widely different are the two in the minor points of
character! While the other allows himself no rest, no relaxation, no
mitigation of the eternal gnawing of the vulture rapacity, this man has
made self-indulgence the constant companion of his toil; while the other
has centered all his pleasures in gain, this Englishman, with the same
object in view, but obedient to national usages, has fancied he has been
alleviating his labours by sensual enjoyments. In what will their ends
differ? From the eyes of the American the veil will be torn aside when it
is too late, perhaps, and the object of his earthly pursuit will be made
the instrument of his punishment, as he sees himself compelled to quit it
all for the dark uncertainty of the grave; while the blusterer and the
bottle-companion sinks into a forced and appalled repentance, as the
animal that has hitherto upheld him loses its ascendency."

A groan from Mr. Monday, who now opened his glassy eyes, interrupted these
musings. The patient signed for the nourishment, and he revived a little.

"What is the day of the week?" he asked, with an anxiety that surprised
his kind attendant.

"It is, or rather it _was_, Monday; for we are now past midnight."

"I am glad of it, sir--very glad of it."

"Why should the day of the week be of consequence to you now?"

"There is a saying, sir--I have faith in sayings--they told me I was born
of a Monday, and should die of a Monday."

The other was shocked at this evidence of a lingering and abject
superstition in one who could not probably survive many hours, and he
spoke to him of the Saviour, and of his mediation for man. All this could
John Effingham do at need; and he could do it well, too, for few had
clearer perceptions of this state of probation than himself. His weak
point was in the pride and strength of his character; qualities that
indisposed him in his own practice to rely on any but himself, under the
very circumstances which would impress on others the necessity of relying
solely on God. The dying man heard him attentively, and the words made a
momentary impression.

"I do not wish to die, sir," Mr. Monday said suddenly, after a long pause.

"It is the general fate; when the moment arrives, we ought to prepare
ourselves to meet it."

"I am no coward, Mr. Effingham."

"In one sense I know you are not, for I have seen you proved. I hope you
will not be one in any sense. You are now in a situation in which manhood
will avail you nothing: your dependence should be placed altogether
on God."

"I know it, sir--I try to feel thus; but I do not wish to die."

"The love of Christ is illimitable," said John Effingham, powerfully
affected by the other's hopeless misery.

"I know it--I hope it--I wish to believe it. Have _you_ a mother, Mr.
Effingham?"

"She has been dead many years."

"A wife?"

John Effingham gasped for breath, and one might have mistaken him, at the
moment, for the sufferer.

"None: I am without parent, brother, sister, wife, or child. My nearest
relatives are in this ship."

"I am of little value; but, such as I am, my mother will miss me. We can
have but one mother, sir."

"This is very true. If you have any commission or message for your mother,
Mr. Monday, I shall have great satisfaction in attending to your wishes."

"I thank you, sir; I know of none. She has her notions on religion, and--I
think it would lessen her sorrow to hear that I had a Christian burial."

"Set your heart at rest on that subject: all that our situation will
allow, shall be done."

"Of what account will it all be, Mr. Effingham? I wish I had drunk less,
and thought more."

John Effingham could say nothing to a compunction that was so necessary,
though so tardy.

"I fear we think too little of this moment in our health and strength,
sir."

"The greater the necessity, Mr. Monday, of turning our thoughts towards
that divine mediation which alone can avail us, while there is yet
opportunity."

But Mr. Monday was startled by the near approach of death, rather than
repentant. He had indurated his feelings by the long and continued
practice of a deadening self-indulgence, and he was now like a man who
unexpectedly finds himself in the presence of an imminent and overwhelming
danger, without any visible means of mitigation or escape. He groaned and
looked around him, as if he sought something to cling to, the spirit he
had shown in the pride of his strength availing nothing. All these,
however, were but passing emotions, and the natural obtusity of the
man returned.

"I do not think, sir," he said, gazing intently at John Effingham, "that
I have been a very great sinner."

"I hope not, my good friend; yet none of us are so free from spot as not
to require the aid of God to fit us for his holy presence."

"Very true, sir--very true, sir. I was duly baptized and properly
confirmed."

"Offices which are but pledges that we are expected to redeem."

"By a regular priest and bishop, sir;--orthodox and dignified clergymen!"

"No doubt: England wants none of the forms of religion. But the contrite
heart, Mr. Monday, will be sure to meet with mercy."

"I feel contrite, sir; very contrite."

A pause of half an hour succeeded, and John Effingham thought at first
that his patient had again slumbered; but, looking more closely at his
situation, he perceived that his eyes often opened and wandered over
objects near him. Unwilling to disturb this apparent tranquillity, the
minutes were permitted to pass away uninterrupted, until Mr. Monday spoke
again of his own accord.

"Mr. Effingham--sir--Mr. Effingham," said the dying man.

"I am near you, Mr. Monday, and will not leave the room."

"Bless you, bless you, do not _you_ desert me!"

"I shall remain: set your heart at rest, and let me know your wants."

"I want life, sir!"

"That is the gift of God, and its possession depends solely on his
pleasure. Ask pardon for your sins, and remember the mercy and love of the
blessed Redeemer."

"I try, sir. I do not think I have been a _very_ great sinner."

"I hope not: but God can pardon the penitent, however great their
offences."

"Yes, sir, I know it--I know it. This affair has been so unexpected, I
have even been at the communion-table, sir: yes, my mother made me
commune. Nothing was neglected, sir."

John Effingham was often proud and self-willed in his communications with
men, the inferiority of most of his fellow-creatures to himself, in
principles as well as mind, being too plainly apparent not to influence
the opinions of one who did not too closely study his own failings;
but, as respects God, he was habitually reverent and meek. Spiritual pride
formed no part of his character, for he felt his own deficiency in the
Christian qualities, the main defect arising more from a habit of
regarding the infirmities of others than from dwelling too much on his own
merits. In comparing himself with perfection, no one could be more humble;
but in limiting the comparison to those around him, few were prouder, or
few more justly so, were it permitted to make such a comparison at all.
Prayer with him was not habitual, or always well ordered, but he was not
ashamed to pray; and when he did bow down his spirit in this manner, it
was with the force, comprehensiveness, and energy of his character. He was
now moved by the feeble and common-place consolations that Mr. Monday
endeavoured to extract from his situation. He saw the peculiarly deluding
and cruel substitution of forms for the substance of piety that
distinguishes the policy of all established churches, though, unlike many
of his own countrymen, his mind was superior to those narrow exaggerations
that, on the other hand, too often convert innocence into sin, and puff up
the votary with the conceit of a sectarian and his self-righteousness.

"I will pray with you, Mr. Monday," he said, kneeling at the side of the
dying man's bed: "we will ask mercy of God together, and he may lessen
these doubts."

Mr. Monday made a sign of eager assent, and John Effingham prayed in a
voice that was distinctly audible to the other. The petition was short,
beautiful, and even lofty in language, without a particle of Scripture
jargon, or of the cant of professed devotees; but it was a fervent,
direct, comprehensive, and humble appeal to the Deity for mercy on the
being who now found himself in extremity. A child might have understood
it, while the heart of a man would have melted with its affecting and meek
sincerity. It is to be hoped that the Great Being, whose Spirit pervades
the universe, and whose clemency is commensurate with his power, also
admitted the force of the petition, for Mr. Monday smiled with pleasure
when John Effingham arose.

"Thank you, sir--a thousand thanks," muttered the dying man, pressing the
hand of the other. "This is better than all."

After this Mr. Monday was easier, and hours passed away in nearly a
continued silence. John Effingham was now convinced that his patient
slumbered, and he allowed himself to fall into a doze. It was after the
morning watch was called, that he was aroused by a movement in the berth.
Relieving his patient required nourishment, or some fluid to moisten his
lips, John Effingham offered both, but they were declined. Mr. Monday had
clasped his hands on his breast, with the fingers uppermost, as painters
and sculptors are apt to delineate them when they represent saints in the
act of addressing the Deity, and his lips moved, though the words were
whispered. John Effingham kneeled, and placed his ear so close as to catch
the sounds. His patient was uttering the simple but beautiful petition
transmitted by Christ himself to man, as the model of all prayer.

As soon as the other had done, John Effingham repeated the same prayer
fervently and aloud himself, and when he opened his eyes, after this
solemn homage to God, Mr. Monday was dead.




Chapter XXXI.



  Let me alone:--dost thou use to write
  Thy name? or hast thou a mark to thyself, like an
  Honest, plain-dealing man?

  JACK CADE.


At a later hour, the body of the deceased was consigned to the ocean with
the forms that had been observed the previous night at the burial of the
seaman. These two ceremonies were sad remembrancers of the scene the
travellers had passed through; and, for many days, the melancholy that
they naturally excited pervaded the ship. But, as no one connected by
blood with any of the living had fallen, and it is not the disposition of
men to mourn always, this feeling gradually subsided, and at the end of
three weeks the deaths had lost most of their influence, or were recalled
only at moments by those who thought it wise to dwell on such
solemn subjects.

Captain Truck had regained his spirits; for, if he felt mortified at the
extraordinary difficulties and dangers that had befallen his ship, he also
felt proud of the manner in which he had extricated himself from them. As
for the mates and crew, they had already returned to their ordinary habits
of toil and fun, the accidents of life making but brief and superficial
impressions on natures accustomed to vicissitudes and losses.

Mr. Dodge appeared to be nearly forgotten during the first week after the
ship succeeded in effecting her escape; for he had the sagacity to keep
himself in the background, in the hope that all connected with himself
might be overlooked in the hurry and excitement of events. At the end of
that period, however, he resumed his intrigues, and was soon actively
engaged in endeavouring to get up a "public opinion," by means of which he
proposed to himself to obtain some reputation for spirit and courage. With
what success this deeply-laid scheme was likely to meet, as well as the
more familiar condition of the cabins, may be gathered by a conversation
that took place in the pantry, where Saunders and Toast were preparing the
hot punch for the last of the Saturday nights that Captain Truck expected
to be at sea. This discourse was held while the few who chose to join in
jollification that peculiarly recalled the recollection of Mr. Monday,
were slowly assembling round the great table at the urgent request of
the master.

"Well, I must say, Mr. Toast," the steward commenced, as he kept stirring
the punch, "that I am werry much rejoiced Captain Truck has resuscertated
his old nature, and remembers the festivals and fasts, as is becoming the
master of a liner. I can see no good reason because a ship is under
jury-masts, that the passengers should forego their natural rest and diet.
Mr. Monday made a good end, they say, and he had as handsome a burial as I
ever laid eyes on at sea. I don't think his own friends could have
interred him more efficaciously, or more piously, had he been on shore."

"It is something, Mr. Saunders, to be able to reflect beforehand on the
respectable funeral that your friends have just given you. There is a
great gratification to contemplate on such an ewent."

"You improve in language, Toast, that I will allow; but you sometimes get
the words a little wrong. We suspect before a thing recurs, and reflect on
it after it has ewentuated. You might have suspected the death of poor Mr.
Monday after he was wounded, and reflected on it after he was interred in
the water. I agree with you that it is consoling to know we have our
funeral rights properly delineated. Talking of the battle, Mr. Toast, I
shall take this occasion to express to you the high opinion I entertain of
your own good conduct. I was a little afraid you might injure Captain
Truck in the conflict; but, so far as I have ascertained, on close
inwestigation, you hurt nobody. We coloured people have some prejudices
against us, and I always rejoice when I meet with one who assists to put
them down by his conduck."

"They say Mr. Dodge didn't do much harm, either," returned Toast. "For my
part I saw nothing of him after I opened my eyes; though I don't think I
ever stared about me so much in my life."

Saunders laid a finger on his nose, and shook his head significantly.

"You may speak to me with confidence and mistrust, Toast," he said, "for
we are friends of the same colour, besides being officers in the same
pantry. Has Mr. Dodge conwersed with you concerning the ewents of those
two or three werry ewentful days?"

"He has insinevated considerable, Mr. Saunders; though I do not think Mr.
Dodge is ever a werry free talker."

"Has he surgested the propriety of having an account of he whole affair
made out by the people, and sustained by affidavits?"

"Well, sir, I imagine he has. At all ewents, he has been much on the
forecastle lately, endeavouring to persuade the people that _they_ retook
the ship, and that the passengers were so many encumbrancers in
the affair."

"And, are the people such _non composses_ as to believe him, Toast?"

"Why, sir, it is agreeable to humanity to think well of ourselves. I do
not say that anybody actually _believes_ this; but, in my poor judgment,
Mr. Saunders, there are men in the ship that would find it _pleasant_ to
believe it, if they could."

"Werry true; for that is natural. Your hint, Toast, has enlightened my
mind on a little obscurity that has lately prewailed over my conceptions.
There are Johnson, and Briggs, and Hewson, three of the greatest skulks in
the ship, the only men who prewaricated in the least, so much as by a cold
look, in the fight; and these three men have told me that Mr. Dodge was
the person who had the gun put on the box; and that he druv the Arabs upon
the raft. Now, I say, no men with their eyes open could have made such a
mistake, except they made it on purpose. Do you corroborate or contrawerse
this statement, Toast?"

"I contrawerse it, sir; for in my poor judgment it was Mr. Blunt."

"I am glad we are of the same opinion. I shall say nothing till the proper
moment arrives, and then I shall exhibit my sentiments, Mr. Toast, without
recrimination or anxiety, for truth is truth."

"I am happy to observe that the ladies are quite relaxed from their
melancholy, and that they now seem to enjoy themselves ostensibly."

Saunders threw a look of envy at his subordinate, whose progress in
refinement really alarmed his own sense of superiority; but suppressing
the jealous feeling, he replied with, dignity,

"The remark is quite just, Mr. Toast, and denotes penetration. I am always
rejoiced when I perceive you elewating your thoughts to superior objects,
for the honour of the colour."

"Mister Saunders," called out the captain from his seal in the arm-chair,
at the head of the table.

"Captain Truck, sir."

"Let us taste your liquors."

This was the signal that the Saturday-night was about to commence, and the
officers of the pantry presented their compounds in good earnest. On this
occasion the ladies had quietly, but firmly declined being present, but
the earnest appeals of the well-meaning captain had overcome the scruples
of the gentlemen, all of whom, to avoid the appearance of disrespect to
his wishes, had consented to appear.

"This is the last Saturday night, gentlemen, that I shall probably ever
have the honour of passing in your good company," said Captain Truck, as
he disposed of the pitchers and glasses before him, so that he had a
perfect command of the appliances of the occasion, "and I feel it to be a
gratification with which I would not willingly dispense. We are now to
the westward of the Gulf, and, according to my observations and
calculations, within a hundred miles of Sandy Hook, which, with this mild
south-west wind, and our weatherly position, I hope to be able to show you
some time about eight o'clock to-morrow morning. Quicker passages have
been made certainly, but forty days, after all, is no great matter for the
westerly run, considering that we have had a look at Africa, and are
walking on crutches."

"We owe a great deal to the trades," observed Mr. Effingham; "which have
treated us as kindly towards the end of the passage, as they seemed
reluctant to join us in the commencement. It has been a momentous month,
and I hope we shall all retain healthful recollections of it as long as
we live."

"No one will retain as _grateful_ recollections of it as myself,
gentlemen," resumed the captain. "You had no agency in getting us into
the scrape, but the greatest possible agency in getting us out of it.
Without the knowledge, prudence, and courage that you have all displayed,
God knows what would have become of the poor Montauk, and from the bottom
of my heart I thank you, each and all while I have the heartfelt
satisfaction of seeing you around me, and of drinking to your future
health, happiness and prosperity."

The passengers acknowledged their thanks in return, by bows, among which,
that of Mr. Dodge was the most elaborate and conspicuous. The honest
captain was too much touched, to observe this little piece of audacity,
but, at that moment, he could have taken even Mr. Dodge in his arms and
pressed him to his heart.

"Come, gentlemen," he continued; "let us fill and do honour to the night.
God has us all in his holy keeping, and we drift about in the squalls of
life, pretty much as he orders the wind to blow. 'Sweethearts and wives!'
and, Mr. Effingham, we will not forget beautiful, spirited, sensible, and
charming daughters."

After this piece of nautical gallantry, the glass began to circulate. The
captain. Sir George Templemore--as the false baronet was still called in
the cabin, and believed to be by all but those who belonged to the
_coterie_ of Eve--and Mr. Dodge, indulged freely, though the first was too
careful of the reputation of his ship, to forget that he was on the
American coast in November. The others partook more sparingly, though even
they submitted in a slight degree to the influence of good cheer, and for
the first time since their escape, the laugh was heard in the cabin as was
wont before to be the case. An hour of such indulgence produced again some
of the freedom and ease which mark the associations of a ship, after the
ice is fairly broken, and even Mr. Dodge began to be tolerated. This
person, notwithstanding his conduct on the occasion of the battle, had
contrived to maintain his ground with the spurious baronet, by dint of
assiduity and flattery, while the others had rather felt pity than
aversion, on account of his abject cowardice. The gentlemen did not
mention his desertion at the critical moment, (though Mr. Dodge never
forgave those who witnessed it,) for they looked upon his conduct as the
result of a natural and unconquerable infirmity, that rendered him as much
the subject of compassion as of reproach. Encouraged by this forbearance,
and mistaking its motives, he had begun to hope his absence had not been
detected in the confusion of the fight, and he had even carried his
audacity so far, as to make an attempt to persuade Mr. Sharp that he had
actually been one of those who went in the launch of the Dane, to bring
down the other boat and raft to the reef, after the ship had been
recaptured. It is true, in this attempt, he had met with a cold repulse,
but it was so gentlemanlike and distant, that he had still hopes of
succeeding in persuading the other to believe what he affirmed; by way of
doing which, he endeavoured all he could to believe it himself. So much
confusion existed in his own faculties during the fray, that Mr. Dodge was
fain to fancy others also might not have been able to distinguish things
very accurately.

Under the influence of these feelings, Captain Truck, when the glass had
circulated a little freely, called on the Editor of the Active Inquirer,
to favour the company with some more extracts from his journal. Little
persuasion was necessary, and Mr. Dodge went into his state-room to bring
forth the valuable records of his observations and opinions, with a
conviction that all was forgotten, and that he was once more about to
resume his proper place in the social relations of the ship. As for the
four gentlemen who had been over the ground the other pretended to
describe, they prepared to listen, as men of the world would be apt to
listen to the superficial and valueless comments of a tyro, though not
without some expectations of amusement.

"I propose that we shift the scene to London," said Captain Truck, "in
order that a plain seaman, like myself, may judge of the merits of the
writer--which, I make no doubt, are very great; though I cannot now swear
to it with as free a conscience as I could wish."

"If I knew the pleasure of the majority," returned Mr. Dodge, dropping the
journal, and looking about him inquiringly, "I would cheerfully comply
with it; for I think the majority should always rule. Paris, or London, or
the Rhine, are the same to me; I have seen them all, and am just, as well
qualified to describe the one as to describe the other."

"No one doubts it, my dear sir; but I am not as well qualified to
understand one of your descriptions as I am to understand another.
Perhaps, evon you, sir, may express yourself more readily, and have better
understood what was said to you, in English, than in a foreign tongue."

"As for that, I do not think the value of my remarks is lessened by the
one circumstance, or enhanced by the other, sir. I make it a rule always
to be right, if possible; and that, I fancy, is as much as the natives of
the countries themselves can very well effect. You have only to decide,
gentlemen, whether it shall be England, or France, or the Continent."

"I confess an inclination to the _Continent_," said John Effingham; "for
one could scarcely wish to limit a comprehensiveness like that of Mr.
Dodge's to an island, or even to France."

"I see how it is," exclaimed the captain; "we must put the traveller
through all his paces, and have a little of both; so Mr. Dodge will have
the kindness to touch on all things in heaven and earth, London and Paris
inclusive."

On this hint the journalist turned over a few pages carelessly, and then
commenced:

"'Reached _Bruxelles_ (Mr. Dodge pronounced this word Brucksills) at seven
in the evening, and put up at the best house in the place, called the
Silver Lamb, which is quite near the celebrated town-house, and, of course
in the very centre of the _beau_ quarter. As we did not leave until after
breakfast next morning, the reader may expect a description of this
ancient capital. It lies altogether on a bit of low, level land-----'"

"Nay, Mr. Dodge," interrupted the _soi-disant_ Sir George, "I think _that_
most be an error. I have been at Brussels, and I declare, now, it struck
me as lying a good deal on the side of a very steep hill!"

"All a mistake, sir, I do assure you. There is no more hill at
_Brucksills_ than on the deck of this ship. You have been in too great a
hurry, my dear Sir George; that is the way with most travellers; they do
not give themselves time to note particulars. You English especially, my
dear Sir George, are a little apt to be precipitate; and I dare say, you
travelled post, with four horses, a mode of getting on by which a man may
very well transfer a hill, in his imagination, from one town to another. I
travelled chiefly in a _voitury_, which afforded leisure for remarks."

Here Mr. Dodge laughed; for he felt that he had got the best of it.

"I think you are bound to submit, _Sir George Templemore"_ said John
Effingham, with an emphasis on the name that raised a smile among his
friends; "Brussels certainly lies on a flat; and the hill you saw has,
doubtless, been brought up with you from Holland in your haste. Mr. Dodge
enjoyed a great advantage in his mode of travelling; for, by entering a
town in the evening, and quitting it only in the morning, he had the whole
night to look about him."

"That was just my mode of proceeding, Mr. John Effingham; I made it a rule
to pass an entire night in every large town I came to."

"A circumstance that will give a double value to your opinions with our
countrymen, Mr. Dodge, since they very seldom give themselves half that
leisure when once in motion. I trust you have not passed over the
institutions of Belgium, sir; and most particularly the state of society
in the capital, of which you saw so much?"

"By no means; here are my remarks on these subjects:

"--'Belgium, or _The Belges_, as the country is now called, is one of the
upstart kingdoms that have arisen in our times; and which, from signs that
cannot be mistaken, is fated soon to be overturned by the glorious
principles of freedom. The people are ground down, as usual, by the
oppression of hard task-masters, and bloody-minded priests. The monarch,
who is a bigoted Catholic of the House of Saxony, being the son of the
king of that country, and a presumptive heir to the throne of Great
Britain, in right of his first wife, devoting all his thoughts to miracles
and saints. The nobles form a class by themselves, indulging in all sorts
of vices.'--I beg pardon, Sir George, but the truth must be told in our
country, or one had better never speak.--'All sorts of vices, and
otherwise betraying the monstrous tendencies of the system.'"

"Pray, Mr. Dodge," interrupted John Effingham, "have you said nothing as
to the manner in which the inhabitants relieve the eternal _ennui_ of
always walking on a level surface?"

"I am afraid not, sir. My attention was chiefly given to the institutions,
and to the state of society, although I can readily imagine they must get
to be heartily tired of a dead flat"

"Why, sir, they have contrived to run a street up and down the roof of
the cathedral; and up and down this street they trot all hours of
the day."

Mr. Dodge looked distrustful; but John Effingham maintained his gravity.
After a pause the former continued:--

"'The usages of _Brucksills_ are a mixture of Low Dutch and High Dutch
habits, as is the language. The king being a Polander, and a grandson of
Augustus, king of Poland, is anxious to introduce the customs of the
Russians into his court; while his amiable young queen, who was born in
New Jersey when her illustrious father kept the school at Haddonfield,
early imbibed those notions of republicanism which so eminently
distinguish his Grace the Honourable Louis Philippe Orleans, the present
King of the French.'"

"Nay, Mr. Dodge," said Mr. Sharp, "you will have all the historians ready
to cut your throat with envy!"

"Why, sir, I feel it a duty not to throw away the great opportunities I
have enjoyed; and America is a country in which an editor may never hope
to mystify his readers. We deal with them in facts, Mr. Sharp; and
although this may not be your English practice, we think that truth is
powerful and will prevail. To continue,--'The kingdom of _the Belges_ is
about as large as the north-east corner of Connecticut, including one town
in Rhode Island; and the whole population may be about equal to that of
_our_ tribe of Creek Indians, who dwell in the wilder parts of _our_ state
of Georgia.'"

"This particularity is very convincing," observed Paul, "and then it has
the merit, too, of coming from an eye-witness"

"I will now, gentlemen, return with you to Paris, where I stayed all of
three weeks, and of the society of which my knowledge of the language
will, of course, enable me to give a still more valuable account."

"You mean to publish these hints, I trust, sir?" inquired the captain.

"I shall probably collect them, and enlarge them in the way of a book; but
they have already been laid before the American public in the columns of
the Active Inquirer, I can assure you, gentlemen, that my colleagues of
the press have spoken quite favourably of the letters as they appeared.
Perhaps you would like to hear some of their opinions?"

Hereupon Mr. Dodge opened a pocket-book, out of which he took six or eight
slips of printed paper, that had been preserved with care, though
obviously well thumbed. Opening one, he read as follows:

"'Our friend Dodge, of the Active Inquirer, is instructing his readers,
and edifying mankind in general, with some very excellent and pungent
remarks on the state of Europe, which part of the world he is now
exploring with some such enterprise and perseverance as Columbus
discovered when he entered on the unknown waste of the Atlantic. His
opinions meet with our unqualified approbation, being sound, American, and
discriminating. We fancy these Europeans will begin to think in time that
Jonathan has some pretty shrewd notions concerning themselves, the
critturs!' This was extracted from the People's Advocate, a journal edited
with great ability, by Peleg Pond, esquire, a thorough-going republican,
and a profound observer of mankind."

"In his own parish in particular," quaintly added John Effingham. "Pray,
sir, have you any more of these critical _morceaux_?"

"At least a dozen," beginning to read again.--"Steadfast Dodge, esquire,
the editor of the Active Inquirer, is now travelling in Europe, and is
illuminating the public mind at home by letters that are Johnsonian in
style, Chesterfieldian in taste and in knowledge of the world, with the
redeeming qualities of nationality, and republicanism, and truth. We
rejoice to perceive by these valuable contributions to American
literature, that Steadfast Dodge, esquire, finds no reason to envy the
inhabitants of the Old World any of their boasted civilization; but that,
on the contrary, he is impressed with the superiority of our condition
over all countries, every post that he progresses. America has produced
but few men like Dodge; and even Walter Scott might not be ashamed to own
some of his descriptions. We hope he may long continue to travel.'"

"_Voitury_" added John Effingham gravely. "You perceive, gentlemen, how
modestly these editors set forth their intimacy with the traveller--'our
friend Dodge, of the Active Inquirer,' and 'Steadfast Dodge, esquire!'--a
mode of expression that speaks volumes for their own taste, and their
profound deference for their readers!"

"We always speak of each other in this manner, Mr. John Effingham--that is
our _esprit du corps_."

"And I should think that there would be an _esprit de corps_ in the public
to resist it," observed Paul Blunt.

The distinction was lost on Mr. Dodge, who turned over to one of his most
elaborate strictures on the state of society in France, with all the
self-complacency of besotted ignorance and provincial superciliousness.
Searching out a place to his mind, this profound observer of men and
manners, who had studied a foreign people, whose language when spoken was
gibberish to him, by travelling five days in a public coach, and living
four weeks in taverns and eating-houses, besides visiting three theatres,
in which he did not understand a single word that was uttered, proceeded
to lay before his auditors the results of his observations.

"'The state of female society in France is truly awful,' he resumed, 'the
French Revolution, as is universally known, having left neither decorum,
modesty, nor beauty in the nation. I walk nightly in the galleries of the
Palais Royal, where I locate myself, and get every opportunity of
observing the peculiarities of ladies of the first taste and fashion in
the metropolis of Europe. There is one duchess in particular, whose grace
and _embonpoint_ have, I confess, attracted my admiration. This lady, as
my _lacquais de_ _place_ informs me, is sometimes termed _la mere du
peuple_, from her popularity and affability. The young ladies of France,
judging from the specimens I have seen here--which must be of the highest
class in the capital, as the spot is under the windows of one of the royal
palaces--are by no means observable for that quiet reserve and modest
diffidence that distinguish the fair among our own young countrywomen; but
it must be admitted they are remarkable for the manner in which, they walk
alone, in my judgment a most masculine and unbecoming practice. Woman was
not made to live alone, and I shall contend that she was not made to walk
alone. At the same time, I confess here is a certain charm in the manner
in which these ladies place a hand in each pocket of their aprons, and
balance their bodies, as they move like duchesses through the galleries.
If I might humbly suggest, the American fair might do worse than imitate
this Parisian step; for, as a traveller I feel it a duty to exhibit any
superior quality that other nations possess. I would also remark on the
general suavity of manners that the ladies of quality' (this word Mr Dodge
pronounced _qua-a-lity_,) 'observe in their promenades in and about this
genteel quarter of Paris.'"

"The French ladies ought to be much flattered with this notice of them,"
cried the captain, filling Mr. Dodge's glass. "In the name of truth and
penetration, sir, proceed."

"'I have lately been invited to attend a ball in one of the first families
of France, which resides in the Rue St. Jaques, or the St. James' of
Paris. The company was select, and composed of many of the first persons
in the kingdom of _des Francais_. The best possible manners were to be
seen here, and the dancing was remarkable for its grace and beauty. The
air with which the ladies turned their heads on one side, and inclined
their bodies in advancing and retiring, was in the first style of the
court of Terpsichore. They were all of the very first families of France.
I heard one excuse herself for going away so early, as _Madame la
Duchesse_ expected her; and another observed that she was to leave town in
the morning with _Madame la Vicomtesse_. The gentlemen, with few
exceptions, were in fancy dresses, appearing in coats, some of sky-blue,
some green, some scarlet, and some navy-blue, as fancy dictated, and all
more or less laced on the seams much in the manner as was the case with
the Honourable the King the morning I saw him leave for _Nully_. This
entertainment was altogether the best conducted of any I ever attended,
the gentlemen being condescending, and without the least pride, and the
ladies all grace.'"

"Graces would be more expressive, if you will excuse my suggesting a word,
sir," observed John Effingham, as the other paused to take breath.

"'I have observed that the people in most monarchies are abject and
low-minded in their deportment. Thus the men take off their hats when they
enter churches, although the minister be not present; and even the boys
take off their hats when they enter private houses. This is commencing
servility young. I have even seen men kneeling on the cold pavements of
the churches in the most abject manner, and otherwise betraying the
feeling naturally created by slavish institutions."

"Lord help 'em!" exclaimed the captain, "if they begin so young, what a
bowing and kneeling set of blackguards they will get to be in time."

"It is to be presumed that Mr. Dodge has pointed out the consequences in
the instance of the abject old men mentioned, who probably commenced their
servility by entering houses with their hats off," said John Effingham.

"Just so, sir," rejoined the editor. "I throw in these little popular
traits because I think they show the differences between nations."

"From which I infer," said Mr. Sharp, "that in your part of America boys
do not take off their hats when they enter houses, nor men kneel in
churches?"

"Certainly not, sir. Our people get their ideas of manliness early; and as
for kneeling in churches, we have some superstitious-sects--I do not
mention them; but, on the whole, no nation can treat the house of God more
rationally than we do in America."

"That I will vouch for," rejoined John Effingham; "for the last time I was
at home I attended a concert in one of them, where an _artiste_ of
singular nasal merit favoured the company with that admirable piece of
conjoined sentiment and music entitled 'Four-and-twenty fiddlers all in
a row!'"

"I'll engage for it," cried Mr. Dodge, swelling with national pride; "and
felt all the time as independent and easy as if he was in a tavern. Oh!
superstition is quite extinct in _Ameriky!_ But I have a few remarks on
the church in my notes upon England: perhaps you would like to hear them?"

"Let me entreat you to read them," said the true Sir George Templemore, a
little eagerly.

"Now, I protest against any liberality," added the false Sir George,
shaking his finger.

Mr. Dodge disregarded both; but, turning to the place, he read aloud with
his usual self-complacency and unction.

"'To-day, I attended public worship in St.---church, Minories. The
congregation was composed of many of the first people of England, among
whom were present Sir Solomon Snore, formerly HIGH sheriff of London, a
gentleman of the first consideration in the empire, and the celebrated Mr.
Shilling, of the firm of Pound, Shilling, and Pence. There was certainly a
fine air of polite life in the congregation, but a little too much
idolatry. Sir Solomon and Mr. Shilling were both received with
distinction, which was very proper, when we remember their elevated rank;
but the genuflexions and chaunting met with my very unqualified
disapprobation.'"

"Sir Solomon and the other personage you mention were a little _pursy_,
perhaps," observed Mr. Sharp, "which destroyed their grace."

"I disapprove of all kneeling, on general principles, sir. If we kneel to
one, we shall get to kneel to another, and no one can tell where it will
end. 'The exclusive manner in which the congregation were seated in pews,
with sides so high that it was difficult to see your nearest neighbour;
and these pews' (Mr. Dodge pronounced this word _poohs_,) 'have often
curtains that completely enclose their owners, a system of selfishness
that would not be long tolerated in _Ameriky_.'"

"Do individuals own their pews in America?" inquired Mr. Sharp.

"Often," returned John Effingham; always, "except in those particular
portions of the country where it is deemed invidious, and contrary to the
public rights, to be better off than one's neighbour, by owning any thing
that all the community has not a better claim to than its proprietor."

"And canot the owner of a pew curtain it, with a view to withdrawn into it
himself at public worship?"

"America and England are the antipodes of each other in all these things.
I dare say, now, that you have come among us with an idea that our liberty
is so very licentious, that a man may read a newspaper by himself?"

"I confess, certainly, to that much," returned Mr. Sharp, smiling.

"We shall teach him better than this, Mr. Dodge, before we let him
depart. No, sir, you have very contracted ideas of liberty, I perceive.
With us every thing is settled by majorities. We eat when the majority
eats; drink, when the majority drinks; sleep, when the majority sleeps;
pray, when the majority prays. So far from burying ourselves in deep wells
of pews, with curtains round their edges, we have raised the floors,
amphitheatre fashion, so that every body can see every body; have taken
away the sides of the pews, which we have converted into free and equal
seats, and have cut down the side of the pulpit so that we can look at the
clergyman; but I understand there is actually a project on foot to put the
congregation into the pulpit, and the parson into the aisle, by way of
letting the latter see that he is no better than he should be. This would
be a capital arrangement, Mr. Dodge, for the 'Four-and-twenty fiddlers all
in a row.'"

The editor of the Active Inquirer was a little distrustful of John
Effingham, and he was not sorry to continue his extracts, although he was
obliged to bring himself still further under the fire of his assailant.

"'This morning,' Mr. Dodge resumed, I stepped into the coffee-room of the
'Shovel and Tongs,' public-house, to read the morning paper, and, taking a
seat by the side of a gentleman who was reading the 'Times,' and drawing
to me the leaves of the journal, so that it would be more convenient to
peruse, the man insolently and arrogantly demanded of me, 'What the devil
I meant?' This intolerance in the English character is owing to the
narrowness of the institutions, under which men come to fancy liberty
applies to persons instead of majorities.'"

"You perceive, Mr. Sharp," said John Effingham, "how much more able a
stranger is to point out the defects of national character than a native.
I dare say that in indulging your individuality, hitherto, you have
imagined you were enjoying liberty."

"I fear I have committed some such weakness--but Mr. Dodge will have the
goodness to proceed."

The editor complied as follows:--"'Nothing has surprised me more than the
grovelling propensities of the English on the subject of names. Thus this
very inn, which in America would be styled the 'Eagle Tavern,' or the
'Oriental or Occidental Hotel,' or the 'Anglo-Saxon Democratical
Coffee-house,' or some other equally noble or dignified appellation, is
called the 'Shovel and Tongs.' One tavern, which might very appropriately
be termed 'The Saloon of Peace,' is very vulgarly called 'Dolly's
Chop-house.'"

All the gentlemen, not excepting Mr. Sharp, murmured their disgust at so
coarse a taste. But most of the party began now to tire of this pretending
ignorance and provincial vulgarity, and, one by one, most of them soon
after left the table. Captain Truck, however, sent for Mr. Leach, and
these two worthies, with Mr. Dodge and the spurious baronet, sat an hour
longer, when all retired to their berths.




Chapter XXXII.



  I'll meet thee at Philippi.

  SHAKESPEARE.


Happy is the man who arrives on the coast of New York, with the wind at
the southward, in the month of November. There are two particular
conditions of the weather, in which the stranger receives the most
unfavourable impressions of the climate that has been much and unjustly
abused, but which two particular conditions warrant all the evil that has
been said of it. One is a sweltering day in summer, and the other an
autumnal day, in which the dry north wind scarce seems to leave any marrow
in the bones.

The passengers of the Montauk escaped both these evils, and now approached
the coast with a bland south-west breeze, and a soft sky. The ship had been
busy in the night, and when the party assembled on deck in the morning,
Captain Truck told them, that in an hour they should have a sight of the
long-desired western continent. As the packet was inning in at the rate
of nine knots, under topmast and top-gallant studding-sails, being to
windward of her port, this was a promise that the gallant vessel seemed
likely enough to redeem.

"Toast!" called out the captain, who had dropped into his old habits as
naturally as if nothing had occurred, "bring me a coal; and you, master
steward, look well to the breakfast this morning. If the wind stands six
hours longer, I shall have the grief of parting with this good company,
and you the grief of knowing you will never set another meal before them.
These are moments to awaken sentiment, and yet I never knew an officer of
the pantry that did not begin to grin as he drew near his port."

"It is usually a cheerful moment with every one, I believe, Captain
Truck," said Eve, "and most of all, should it be one of heartfelt
gratitude with us."

"Ay, ay, my dear young lady; and yet I fancy Mr. Saunders will explain it
rather differently. Has no one sung out 'land,' yet, from aloft, Mr.
Leach? The sands of New Jersey ought to be visible before this."

"We have seen the haze of the land since daylight, but not land itself."

"Then, like old Columbus, the flowered doublet is mine--land, ho!"

The mates and the people laughed, and looking ahead, they nodded to each
other, and the word "land" passed from mouth to mouth, with the
indifference with which mariners first see it in short passages. Not so
with the rest. They crowded together, and endeavoured to catch a glimpse
of the coveted shore, though, with the exception of Paul, neither could
perceive it.

"We must call on you for assistance," said Eve, who now seldom addressed
the handsome young seaman without a flush on her own beautiful face; "for
we are all so luberly that none of us can see that which we so
earnestly desire."

"Have the kindness to look over the stock of that anchor," said Paul, glad
of an excuse to place himself nearer to Eve; and you will discover an
object on the water."

"I do," said Eve, "but is it not a vessel?"

"It is; but a little to the right of that vessel, do you not perceive a
hazy object at some elevation above the sea?"

"The cloud, you mean--a dim, ill-defined, dark body of vapour?"

"So it may seem to you, but to me it appears to be the land. That is the
bluff-like termination of the celebrated high lands of Navesink. By
watching it for half an hour you will perceive its form and surface grow
gradually more distinct."

Eve eagerly pointed out the place to Mademoiselle Vielville and her
father, and from that moment, for near an hour, most of the passengers
kept it steadily in view. As Paul had said, the blue of this hazy object
deepened; then its base became connected with the water, and it ceased to
resemble a cloud at all. In twenty more minutes, the faces and angles of
the hills became visible, and trees started out of their sides. In the end
a pair of twin lights were seen perched on the summit.

But the Montauk edged away from these highlands, and shaped her course
towards a long low spit of sand, that lay several miles to the northward
of them. In this direction, fifty small sail were gathering into, or
diverging from, the pass, their high, gaunt-looking canvas resembling so
many church towers on the plains of Lombardy. These were coasters,
steering towards their several havens. Two or three outward-bound ships
were among them, holding their way in the direction of China, the Pacific
Ocean, or Europe.

About nine, the Montauk met a large ship standing on bowline, with every
thing set that would draw, and heaping the water under her bows. A few
minutes after, Captain Truck, whose attention had been much diverted from
the surrounding objects by the care of his ship, came near the group of
passengers, and once more entered into conversation.

"Here we are, my dear young lady," he cried, "within five leagues of Sandy
Hook, which lies hereaway, under our lee bow; as pretty a position as
heart could wish. The lank, hungry-looking schooner in-shore of us, is a
new vessel, and, as soon as she is done with the brig near her we shall
have her in chase, when there will be a good opportunity to get rid of all
our spare lies. This little fellow to leeward, who is clawing up towards
us, is the pilot; after whose arrival, my functions cease, and I shall
have little to do but to rattle off Saunders and Toast, and to feed
the pigs."

"And who is this gentleman ahead of us, with his main-topsail to the mast,
his courses in the brails, and his helm a-lee?" asked Paul.

"Some chap who has forgotten his knee-buckles, and has been obliged to
send a boat up to town to hunt for them," coolly rejoined the captain,
while he sought the focus of the glass, and levelled it at the vessel in
question. The look was long and steady, and twice Captain Truck lowered
the instrument to wipe the moisture from his own eye. At length, he called
out, to the amazement of every body,

"Stand by to in all studding-sails, and to ware to the eastward. Be
lively, men, be lively! The eternal Foam, as I am a miserable sinner!"

Paul laid a hand on the arm of Captain Truck, and stopped him, as the
other was about to spring towards the forecastle, with a view to aid and
encourage his people.

"You forget that we have neither spars nor sails suited to a chase," said
the young man. "If we haul off to sea-ward on any tack we can try, the
corvette will be too much for us now, and excuse me if I say that a
different course will be advisable."

The captain had learned to respect the opinion of Paul, and he took the
interference kindly.

"What choice remains, but to run down into the very jaws of the lion," he
asked, "or to wear round, and stand to the eastward?"

"We have two alternatives. We may pass unnoticed, the ship being so much
altered; or we may haul up on the tack we are on, and get into
shallow water."

"He draws as little as this ship, sir, and would follow. There is no port
short of Egg Harbour, and into that I should be bashful about entering
with a vessel of this size; whereas, by running to the eastward, and
doubling Montauk, which would owe us shelter on account of our name, I
might get into the Sound, or New London, at need, and then claim the
sweepstakes, as having won the race."

"This would be impossible, Captain Truck, allow me to say. Dead before the
wind, we cannot escape, for the land would fetch us up in a couple of
hours; to enter by Sandy Hook, if known, is impossible, on account of the
corvette, and, in a chase of a hundred and twenty miles, we should be
certain to be overtaken."

"I fear you are right, my dear sir, I fear you are right. The
studding-sails are now in, and. I will haul up for the highlands, and
anchor under them, should it be necessary. We can then give this fellow
Vattel in large quantities, for I hardly think he will venture to seize us
while we have an anchor fast to good American ground."

"How near dare you stand to the shore?"

"Within a mile ahead of us; but to enter the Hook, the bar must be crossed
a league or two off."

"The latter is unlucky; but, by all means, get the vessel in with the
land; so near as to leave no doubt as to our being in American waters."

"We'll try him, sir, we'll try him. After having escaped the Arabs, the
deuce is in it, if we cannot weather upon John Bull! I beg your pardon,
Mr. Sharp; but this is a question that must be settled by some of the
niceties of the great authorities."

The yards were now braced forward, and the ship was brought to the wind,
so as to head in a little to the northward of the bathing-houses at Long
Branch. But for this sudden change of course, the Montauk would have run
down dead upon the corvette, and possibly might have passed her
undetected, owing to the change made in her appearance by the spars of the
Dane. So long as she continued "bows on," standing towards them, not a
soul on board the Foam suspected her real character, though, now that she
acted so strangely, and offered her broadside to view, the truth became
known in an instant. The main-yard of the corvette was swung, and her
sails were filled on the same course as that on which the packet was
steering. The two vessels were about ten miles from the land, the Foam a
little ahead, but fully a league to leeward. The latter, however, soon
tacked and stood in-shore. This brought the vessels nearly abreast of each
other, the corvette a mile or more, dead to leeward, and distant now some
six miles from the coast. The great superiority of the corvette's sailing
was soon apparent to all on board both vessels, for she apparently went
two feet to the packet's one.

The history of this meeting, so unexpected to Captain Truck, was very
simple. When the gale had abated, the corvette, which had received no
damage, hauled up along the African coast, keeping as near as possible to
the supposed track of the packet, and failing to fall in with her chase,
she had filled away for New York. On making the Hook she took a pilot, and
inquired if the Montauk had arrived. From the pilot she learned that the
vessel of which she was in quest had not yet made its appearance, and she
sent an officer up to the town to communicate with the British Consul. On
the return of this officer, the corvette stood away from the land, and
commenced cruising in the offing. For a week she had now been thus
occupied, it being her practice to run close in, in the morning, and to
remain hovering about the bar until near night, when she made sail for an
offing. When first seen from the Montauk, she had been lying-to, to take
in stores sent from the town, and to communicate with a news-boat.

The passengers of the Montauk had just finished their breakfast, when the
mate reported that the ship was fast shoaling her water, and that it would
be necessary to alter the course in a few minutes, or to anchor. On
repairing to the deck, Captain Truck and his companions perceived the land
less than a mile ahead of them, and the corvette about half that distance
to the leeward, and nearly abeam.

"That is a bold fellow," exclaimed the captain, "or he has got a Sandy
Hook pilot on board him."

"Most probably the latter," said Paul: "he would scarcely be here on this
duty, and neglect so simple a precaution."

"I think this would satisfy Mr. Vattel, sir," returned Captain Truck, as
the man in the chains sung out, 'and a half hree!' "Hard up with the helm,
and lay the yards square, Mr. Leach."

"Now we shall soon know the virtue of Vattel," said John Effingham, "as
ten minutes will suffice to raise the question very fairly."

The Foam put her helm down, and tacked beautifully to the south-east. As
soon as the Montauk, which vessel was now running along shore, keeping in
about four fathoms water, the sea being as smooth as a pond, was abeam,
the corvette wore round, and began to close with her chase, keeping on her
eastern, or outer board.

"Were we an enemy, and a match for that sloop," said Paul, "this smooth
water and yard-arm attitude would make quick work."

"Her captain is in the gangway, taking our measure," observed Mr. Truck:
"here is the glass; I wish you to examine his face, and tell me if you
think him a man with whom the law of nations will avail anything. See the
anchor clear, Mr. Leach, for I'm determined to bring up all standing, if
the gentleman intends to renew the old tricks of John Bull on our coast.
What do you make of him, Mr. Blunt?"

Paul did not answer, but laying down the glass, he paced the deck rapidly
with the manner of one much disturbed. All observed this sudden change,
though no one presumed to comment on it. In the mean time the sloop-of-war
came up fast, and in a few minutes her larboard fore-yard-arm was within
twenty feet of the starboard main-yard-arm of the Montauk, the two vessels
running on parallel lines. The corvette now hauled up her fore-course, and
let her top-gallant sails settle on the caps, though a dead silence
reigned in her.

"Give me the trumpet," said Captain Truck, stepping to the rail; "the
gentleman is about to give us a piece of his mind."

The English captain, who was easily known by his two epaulettes, also held
a trumpet; but neither of the two commanders used his instrument, the
distance being sufficiently near for the natural voice,

"I believe, sir," commenced the man-of-war's-man, "that I have the
pleasure to see Captain Truck, of the Montauk, London packet?"

"Ay, ay; I'll warrant you he has my name alongside of John Doe and
Richard Roe," muttered Mr. Truck, "spell as carefully as it could be in a
primer.--I am Captain Truck, and this is the Montauk. May I ask the name
of your vessel, and your own, sir?"

"This is his Britannic Majesty's ship, the Foam, Captain Ducie."

"The Honourable Captain Ducie!" exclaimed Mr. Sharp. "I thought I
recognised the voice: I know him intimately well."

"Will he stand Vattel?" anxiously demanded Mr. Truck.

"Nay, as for that, I must refer you to himself."

"You appear to have suffered in the gale," resumed Captain Ducie, whose
smile was very visible, as he thus addressed them like an old
acquaintance. "We fared better ourselves, for I believe we did not part a
ropeyarn."

"The ship pitched every stick out of her," returned Captain Truck, "and
has given us the trouble of a new outfit."

"In which you appear to have succeeded admirably. Your spars and sails are
a size or two too small; but every thing stands like a church."

"Ay, ay, now we have got on our new clothes, we are not ashamed to be
seen."

"May I ask if you have been in port to do all this?"

"No, sir; picked them up along-shore."

The Honourable Captain Ducie thought he was quizzed, and his manner became
a little more cold, though it still retained its gentlemanlike tone.

"I wish much to see you in private, sir, on an affair of some magnitude,
and I greatly regret it was not in my power to speak you the night you
left Portsmouth. I am quite aware you are in your own waters, and I feel a
strong reluctance to retain your passengers when so near their port; but I
shall feel it as a particular favour if you will permit me to repair on
board for a few minutes."

"With all my heart," cried Captain Truck: "if you will give me room, I
will back my main-topsail, but I wish to lay my head off shore. This
gentleman understands Vattel, and we shall have no trouble with him. Keep
the anchor clear Mr. Leach, for 'fair words butter no parsnips.' Still,
he is a gentleman;--and, Saunders, put a bottle of the old Madeira on the
cabin table."

Captain Ducie now left the rigging in which he had stood, and the corvette
luffed off to the eastward, to give room to the packet, where she hove-to
with her fore-topsail aback. The Montauk followed, taking a position under
her lee. A quarter-boat was lowered, and in five minutes its oars were
tossed at the packet's lee-gangway, when the commander of the corvette
ascended the ship's side, followed by a middle-aged man in the dress of a
civilian, and a chubby-faced midshipman.

No one could mistake Captain Ducie for anything but a gentleman. He was
handsome, well-formed, and about five-and-twenty. The bow he made to Eve,
with whose beauty and air he seemed instantly struck, would have become a
drawing-room; but he was too much of an officer to permit any further
attention to escape him until he had paid his respects to, and received
the compliments of, Captain Truck. He then turned to the ladies and Mr.
Effingham, and repeated his salutations.

"I fear," he said, "my duty has made me the unwilling instrument of
prolonging your passage, for I believe few ladies love the ocean
sufficiently, easily to forgive those who lengthen its disagreeables."

"We are old travellers, and know how to allow for the obligations of
duty," Mr. Effingham civilly answered.

"That they do, sir," put in Captain Truck; "and it was never my good
fortune to have a more agreeable set of passengers. Mr. Effingham, the
Honourable Captain Ducie;--the Honourable Captain Ducie, Mr.
Effingham;--Mr. John Effingham, Mam'selle V.A.V." endeavouring always to
imitate Eve's pronunciation of the name;--"Mr. Dodge, the Honourable
Captain Ducie; the Honourable Captain Ducie, Mr. Dodge."

The Honourable Captain Ducie and all the others, the editor of the Active
Inquirer excepted, smiled slightly, though they respectively bowed and
curtseyed; but Mr. Dodge, who conceived himself entitled to be formally
introduced to every one he met, and to know all he saw, whether introduced
or not, stepped forward promptly, and shook Mr. Ducie very cordially
by the hand.

Captain Truck now turned in quest of some one else to introduce; Mr.
Sharp stood near the capstan, and Paul had retired as far aft as the
hurricane-house.

"I am happy to see you in the Montauk," added Captain Truck, insensibly
leading the other towards the capstan, "and am sorry I had not the
satisfaction of meeting you in England. The Honourable Captain Ducie, Mr.
Sharp, Mr. Sharp, the Honourable Captain--"

"George Templemore!" exclaimed the commander of the corvette, looking from
one to the other.

"Charles Ducie!" exclaimed the _soi-disant_ Mr. Sharp.

"Here then is an end of part of my hopes, and we have been on a wrong
scent the whole time."

"Perhaps not, Ducie: explain yourself."

"You must have perceived my endeavours to speak you, from the moment you
sailed?"

"To _speak_ us!" cried Captain Truck. "Yes, sir, we _did_ observe your
endeavours to _speak_ us."

"It was because I was given to understand that one _calling_ himself Sir
George Templemore, an impostor, however, had taken passage in this ship;
and here I find that we have been misled, by the real Sir George
Templemore's having chosen to come this way instead of coming by the
Liverpool ship. So much for your confounded fashionable caprices,
Templemore, which never lets you know in the morning whether you are to
shoot yourself or to get married before night."

"And is this gentleman Sir George Templemore?" pithily demanded Captain
Truck.

"For that I can vouch, on the knowledge of my whole life."

"And we know this to be true, and have known it since the day we sailed,"
observed Mr. Effingham.

Captain Truck was accustomed to passengers under false names, but never
before had he been so completely mystified.

"And pray, sir," he inquired of the baronet, "are you a member of
Parliament?"

"I have that honour."

"And Templemore Hall is your residence, and you have come out to look at
the Canadas?"

"I am the owner of Templemore Hall, and hope to look at the Canadas
before I return."

"And," turning to Captain Ducie, "you sailed in quest of another Sir
George Templemore--a false one?"

"That is a part of my errand," returned Captain Ducie, smiling.

"Nothing else?--you are certain, sir, that this is the whole of your
errand?"

"I confess to another motive," rejoined the other, scarce knowing how to
take Captain Truck's question; "but this one will suffice for the
present, I hope."

"This business requires frankness. I mean nothing disrespectful; but I am
in American waters, and should be sorry, after all, to be obliged to throw
myself on Vattel."

"Let me act as mediator," interrupted Sir George Templemore. "Some one has
been a defaulter, Ducie; is it not so?"

"This is the simple truth; an unfortunate, but silly young man, of the
name of Sandon. He was intrusted with a large sum of the public money, and
has absconded with quite forty thousand pounds."

"And this person, you fancy, did me the honour to travel under my name?"

"Of that we are certain. Mr. Green here," motioning to the civilian,
"comes from the same office, and traced the delinquent, under your name,
some distance on the Portsmouth road. When we heard that a Sir George
Templemore had actually embarked in the Montauk, the admiral made no
scruple in sending me after the packet. This has been an unlucky mistake
for me, as it would have been a feather in the cap of so young a commander
to catch the rogue."

"You may choose your feather, sir," returned Captain Truck, "for you will
have a right to wear it. The unfortunate young man you seek is, out of
question, in this ship."

Captain Truck now explained that there was a person below who had been
known to him as Sir George Templemore, and who, doubtless, was the unhappy
delinquent sought. But Captain Ducie did not betray the attention or
satisfaction that one would have expected from this information, his eye
being riveted on Paul, who stood beneath the hurricane-house. When the
latter saw that he attracted attention he advanced slowly, even
reluctantly, upon the quarter-deck. The meeting between these two
gentlemen was embarrassed, though each maintained his self-possession.

"Mr. Powis, I believe?" said the officer bowing haughtily

"Captain Ducie, if I am not mistaken?" returned the other, lifting his hat
steadily, though his face became flushed.

The manner of the two, however, was but little noticed at the moment,
though all heard the words. Captain Truck drew a long "whe--e--e--w!" for
this was rather more than even he was accustomed to, in the way of
masquerades. His eye was on the two gentlemen as they walked aft together,
and alone, when he felt a touch upon his arm. It was the little hand of
Eve, between whom and the old seaman there existed a good deal of
trifling, blended with the most entire good-will. The young lady laughed
with her sweet eyes, shook her fair curls, and said mockingly,

"Mr. Sharp, Mr. Blunt; Mr. Blunt, Mr. Sharp!"

"And were you in the secret all this time, my dear young lady?"

"Every minute of it; from the buoys of Portsmouth to this very spot."

"I shall be obliged to introduce my passengers all over again!"

"Certainly; and I would recommend that each should show a certificate of
baptism, or a passport, before you announce his or her name."

"_You_ are, at least, the beautiful Miss Effingham, my dear young lady?"

"I'll not vouch for that, even," said Eve, blushing and laughing.

"That is Mr. John Effingham, I hope!"

"For that I _can_ vouch. There are not _two_ cousin Jacks on earth."

"I wish I knew what the other business of this gentleman is! He seems
amicably disposed, except as regards Mr. Blunt. They looked coldly and
suspiciously at each other."

Eve thought so too, and she lost all her desire for pleasantry. Just at
this moment Captain Ducie quitted his companion, both touching their hats
distantly, and returned to the group he had so unceremoniously left a few
minutes before.

"I believe, Captain Truck, you now know my errand," he said, "and can say
whether you will consent to my examining the person whom you have
mentioned?"

"I know _one_ of your errands, sir; you spoke of having _two_."

"Both will find their completion in this ship, with your permission."

"Permission! That sounds well, at least, my dear young lady. Permit me to
inquire, Captain Ducie, has either of your errands the flavour of tobacco
about it?"

The young man looked surprised, and he began to suspect another
mystification.

"The question is so singular that it is not very intelligible."

"I wish to know, Captain Ducie, if you have anything to say to this ship
in the way of smuggling?"

"Certainly not. I am not a custom-house officer, sir, nor on the revenue
duty; and I had supposed this vessel a regular packet, whose interest is
too plain to enter into such a pursuit."

"You have supposed nothing but the truth, sir; though we cannot always
answer for the honesty or discretion of our people. A single pound of
tobacco might forfeit this noble ship; and, observing the perseverance
with which you have chased me, I was afraid all was not right with
the excise."

"You have had a needless alarm then, for my two objects in coming to
America are completely answered by meeting with Mr. Powis and the Mr.
Sandon, who, I have been given to understand, is in his state-room below."

The party looked at each other, but nothing was said.

"Such being the facts, Captain Ducie, I beg to offer you every facility so
far as the hospitality of my ship is concerned."

"You will permit us to have an interview with Mr. Sandon?"

"Beyond a doubt. I see, sir, you have read Vattel, and understand the
rights of neutrals, or of independent nations. As this interview most
probably will be interesting, you may desire to have it held in private,
and a state-room will be too small for the purpose. My dear young lady,
will you have the complaisance to lend us your cabin for half an hour?"

Eve bowed assent, and Captain Truck then invited the two Englishmen below.

"My presence at this interview is of little moment," observed Captain
Ducie; "Mr. Green is master of the whole affair, and I have a matter of
importance to arrange with Mr. Powis. If one or two of you gentlemen will
have the kindess to be present, and witnesses of what passes between Mr.
Sandon and Mr. Green, it would be a great favour. Templemore, I may claim
this of you?"

"With all my heart, though it is an unpleasant office to see guilt
exposed. Should I presume too much by asking Mr. John Effingham to be of
our party?"

"I was about to make the same request," put in the captain. "We shall then
be two Englishmen and two Yankees,--if Mr. John Effingham will allow me so
to style him?"

"Until we get within the Hook, Captain Truck, I am a Yankee; once _in_ the
country, I belong to the Middle States, if you will allow me the favour
to choose."

The last speaker was stopped by a nudge from Captain Truck, who seized an
opportunity to whisper,

"Make no such distinction between outside and inside, I beg of you, my
dear sir. I hold that the ship is, at this identical moment, in the United
States of America in a positive sense, as well as by a legal fiction; and
I think Vattel will bear me out in it."

"Let it pass for that, then. I will be present at your interview with the
fugitive. If the case is not clear against him, he shall be protected."

Things were now soon arranged; it being decided that Mr. Green, who
belonged to one of the English offices, accompanied by the gentlemen just
named, should descend to the cabin of Miss Effingham, in order to receive
the delinquent; while Captain Ducie should have his interview with Paul
Powis in the state-room of the latter.

The first party went below immediately; but Captain Ducie remained on deck
a minute or two to give an order to the midshipman of his boat, who
immediately quitted the Montauk, and pulled to the corvette. During this
brief delay Paul approached the ladies, to whom he spoke with a forced
indifference, though it was not possible to avoid seeing his concern.

His servant, too, was observed watching his movements with great interest;
and when the two gentlemen went below in company, the man shrugged his
shoulders, and actually held up his hands, as one is wont to do at the
occurrence of any surprising or distressing circumstance.




Chapter XXXIII.



  Norfolk, for thee remains a heavy doom,
  Which I with some unwillingness pronounce.

  SHAKSPEARE.


The history of the unfortunate young man, who, after escaping all the
hazards and adventures of the passage was now so unexpectedly overtaken as
he was about to reach what he fancied an asylum, was no more than one of
those common-place tissue of events that lead, through vanity and
weakness, to crime. His father had held an office under the British
government. Marrying late, and leaving a son and daughter just issuing
into life at the time of his decease, the situation he had himself filled
had been given to the first, out of respect to the unwearied toil of a
faithful servant.

The young man was one of those who, without principles or high motives,
live only for vanity. Of prominent vices he had none, for there were no
salient points in his character on which to hang any quality of
sufficient boldness to encourage crime of that nature. Perhaps he owed his
ruin to the circumstance that he had a tolerable person, and was six feet
high, as much as to any one other thing. His father had been a short,
solid, square-built little man, whose ambition never towered above his
stature, and who, having entered fairly on the path of industry and
integrity early in life, had sedulously persevered in it to the end. Not
so with the son. He read so much about aristocratic stature, aristocratic
ears, aristocratic hands, aristocratic feet, and aristocratic air, that he
was delighted to find that in all these high qualities he was not easily
to be distinguished from most of the young men of rank he occasionally saw
riding in the parks, or met in the streets, and, though he very well knew
he was not a lord, he began to fancy it a happiness to be thought one by
strangers, for an hour or two in a week.

His passion for trifles and toys was inherent, and it had been increased
by reading two or three caricatures of fashionable men in the novels of
the day, until his happiness was chiefly centered in its indulgence. This
was an expensive foible; and its gratification ere long exhausted his
legitimate means. One or two trifling and undetected peculations favoured
his folly, until a large sum happening to lie at his sole mercy for a week
or two, he made such an inroad on it as compelled a flight. Having made up
his mind to quit England, he thought it would be as easy to escape with
forty thousand pounds as with the few hundreds he had already appropriated
to himself. This capital mistake was the cause of his destruction; for the
magnitude of the sum induced the government to take unusual steps to
recover it, and was the true cause of its having despatched the cruiser in
chase of the Montauk.

The Mr. Green who had been sent to identify the fugitive, was a cold,
methodical man, every way resembling the delinquent's father, whose
office-companion he had been, and in whose track of undeviating attention
to business and negative honesty he had faithfully followed. He felt the
peculation, or robbery, for it scarce deserved a milder term, to be a
reproach on the corps to which he belonged, besides leaving a stigma on
the name of one to whom he had himself looked up as to a model for his own
imitation and government. It will readily be supposed, therefore, that
this person was not prepared to meet the delinquent in a very
forgiving mood.

"Saunders," said Captain Truck in the stern tone with which he often
hailed a-top, and which implied that instant obedience was a condition of
his forbearance, "go to the state-room of the person who has _called_
himself Sir George Templemore--give him my compliments--be very
particular, Mr. Saunders--and say Captain Truck's compliments, and then
tell him I expect the honour of his company in this cabin--the _honour_ of
his company, remember, in this cabin. If that don't bring him out of his
state-room, I'll contrive something that shall."

The steward turned up the white of his eyes, shrugged his shoulders, and
proceeded forthwith on the errand. He found time, however, to stop in the
pantry, and to inform Toast that their suspicions were at least in
part true.

"This elucidates the circumstance of his having no attendant with him,
like other gentlemen on board, and a wariety of other incidents, that much
needed dewelopement. Mr. Blunt, I do collect from a few hints on deck,
turns out to be a Mr. Powis, a much genteeler name; and as they spoke to
some one in the ladies' cabin as 'Sir George,' I should not be overcome
with astonishment should Mr. Sharp actually eventuate as the real
baronite."

There was time for no more, and Saunders proceeded to summon the
delinquent.

"This is the most unpleasant part of the duty of a packet-master between
England and America," continued Captain Truck, as soon as Saunders was out
of sight. "Scarce a ship sails that it has not some runaway or other,
either in the steerage or in the cabins, and we are often called on to aid
the civil authorities on both sides of the water."

"America seems to be a favourite country with our English rogues,"
observed the office-man, drily. "This is the third that has gone from our
own department within as many years."

"Your department appears to be fruitful of such characters, sir,"
returned Captain Truck, pretty much in the spirit in which the first
remark had been given.

Mr. Green was as thorough-going an Englishman as any of his class in the
island. Methodical, plodding, industrious, and regular in all his habits,
he was honest by rule, and had no leisure or inclination for any other
opinions than those which were obtained with the smallest effort. In
consequence of the limited sphere in which he dwelt, in a moral sense at
least, he was a mass of the prejudices that were most prevalent at the
period when he first obtained his notions. His hatred of France was
unconquerable, for he had early learned to consider her as the fast enemy
of England; and as to America, he deemed her to be the general asylum of
all the rogues of his own country--the possession of a people who had
rebelled against their king because the restraints of law were inherently
disagreeable to them. This opinion he had no more wish to proclaim than he
felt a desire to go up and down declaring that Satan was the father of
sin; but the fact in the one case was just as well established in his mind
as in the other. If he occasionally betrayed the existence of these
sentiments, it was as a man coughs; not because he particularly wishes to
cough, but because he cannot help it. Finding the subject so naturally
introduced, therefore, it is no wonder if some of his peculiar notions
escaped him in the short dialogue that followed.

"We have our share of bad men, I presume, sir," he rejoined to the thrust
of Captain Truck; "but the thing that has most attracted comment with us,
is the fact that they all go to America."

"And we receive our share of rogues, I presume, sir; and it is the subject
of animadversion with _us_ that they all come from England."

Mr. Green did not feel the force of this retort; but he wiped his
spectacles as he quietly composed his features into look of
dignified gravity.

"Some of your most considerable men in America, I believe, sir," he
continued, "have been Englishmen, who preferred a residence in the
colonies to a residence at home."

"I never heard of them," returned the captain; "will you have the goodness
to name just one?"

"Why, to begin, there was your Washington. I have often heard my father
say that he went to school with him in Warwickshire, and that he was
thought anything but very clever, too, while he lived in England."

"You perceive, then, that we made something of him when we got him over on
this side; for he turned out in the end to be a very decent and
respectable sort of person. Judging from the language of some of your
prints, sir, I should suppose that King William enjoyed the reputation of
being a respectable man in your country?"

Although startled to hear his sovereign spoken of in this irreverent
manner, Mr. Green answered promptly,----

"He is a king, sir, and comports himself as a king."

"And all the better, I dare say, for the thrashing he got when a
youngster, from the Vermont tailor."

Now Captain Truck quite as religiously believed in this vulgar tale
concerning the prince in question, as Mr. Green believed that Washington
had commenced his career as one no better than he should be, or as
implicitly as Mr. Steadfast Dodge gave credit to the ridiculous history of
the schoolmaster of Haddonfield; all three of the legends belonging to the
same high class of historical truths.

Sir George Templemore looked with surprise at John Effingham, who gravely
remarked,----

"Elegant extracts, sir, from the vulgar rumours of two great nations. We
deal largely in these legends, and you are not quite guiltless of them. I
dare say, now, if you would be frank, that you yourself have not always
been deaf to the reports against America."

"You surely do not imagine that I am so ignorant of the career of
Washington?"

"Of that I fully acquit you; nor do I exactly suppose that your present
monarch was flogged by a tailor in Vermont, or that Louis Phillipe kept
school in New Jersey. Our position in the world raises us beyond these
elegancies; but do you not fancy some hard things of America, more
especially concerning her disposition to harbour rogues, if they come with
full pockets."

The baronet laughed, but he coloured. He wished to be liberal, for he well
knew that liberality distinguishes the man of the world, and was an
indispensable requisite for a gentleman; but it is very hard for an
Englishman to manifest true liberality towards the _ci-devant_ colonies,
and this he felt in the whole of his moral system, notwithstanding every
effort to the contrary.

"I will confess that case of Stephenson made an unfavourable impression in
England," he said with some reluctance.

"You mean the absconding member of Parliament," returned John Effingham,
with emphasis on the four last words. "You cannot mean to reproach us with
his selection of a place of refuge; for he was picked up at sea by a
foreign ship that was accidentally bound to America."

"Certainly not with that circumstance, which, as you say, was purely an
accident. But was there not something extraordinary in his liberation
from arrest!"

"Sir George Templemore, there are few Englishmen with whom I would dwell
an instant on this subject," said John Effingham gravely; "but you are one
of those who have taught me to respect you, and I feel a strong regret
whenever I trace any of these mistaken notions in a man of your really
generous disposition. A moment's reflection will show you that no
civilized society could exist with the disposition you hint at; and as for
the particular case you have mentioned, the man did not bring money of any
moment with him, and was liberated from arrest on a principle common to
all law, where law is stronger than political power, and which principle
we derive directly from Great Britain. Depend on it, so far from there
being a desire to receive rich rogues in America from other countries,
there is a growing indisposition to receive emigrants at all; for their
number is getting to be inconvenient to the native population."

"Why does not America pass reciprocal laws with us then, for the mutual
delivery of criminals."

"One insuperable objection to such a reciprocity arises from the nature of
our government, as a confederation, since there is no identity in our own
criminal jurisprudence: but a chief reason is the exceedingly artificial
condition of your society, which is the very opposite of our own, and
indisposes the American to visit trifling crimes with so heavy
punishments. The American, who has a voice in this matter, you will
remember, is not prepared to hang a half-starved wretch for a theft, or to
send a man to Botany Bay for poaching. The facility with which men obtain
a livelihood in America has hitherto converted most rogues into
comparatively honest men when they get there; though I think the day is
near, now your own police is so much improved, when we shall find it
necessary in self-defence to change our policy. The common language, as I
am told, induces many knaves, who now find England too hot to hold them,
to migrate to America."

"Captain Ducie is anxious to know whether Mr. Truck will quietly permit
this criminal to be transferred to the Foam."

"I do not think he will permit it at all without being overpowered, if the
request be urged in any manner as a right. In that case, he will very
properly think that the maintenance of his national character is of more
importance than the escape of a dozen rogues. _You_ may put a harsh
construction on his course; but _I_ shall think him right in resisting an
unjust and an illegal invasion of his rights. I had thought Captain Ducie,
however, more peaceably disposed from what has passed."

"Perhaps I have expressed myself too strongly. I know he would wish to
take back the criminal; but I scarce think that he meditates more than
persuasion. Ducie is a fine fellow, and every way a gentleman."

"He appears to have found an acquaintance in our young friend, Powis."

"The meeting between these two gentlemen has surprised me, for it can
scarcely be termed amicable: and yet it seems to occupy more of Ducie's
thoughts just now than the affair of the runaway."

Both now became silent and thoughtful, for John Effingham had too many
unpleasant suspicions to wish to speak, and the baronet was too generous
to suggest a doubt concerning one whom he felt to be his rival, and whom,
in truth, he had begun sincerely to respect, as well as to like. In the
mean time, a discussion, which had gradually been growing more dogged and
sullen on the part of Mr. Green and more biting and caustic on that of
Captain Truck, was suddenly terminated by the reluctant and tardy
appearance of Mr. Sandon.

Guilt, that powerful vindicator of the justice of Providence, as it proves
the existence of the inward monitor, conscience, was painfully impressed
on a countenance that, in general, expressed little beyond a vacant
vanity. Although of a tall and athletic person, his limbs trembled in a
way to refuse to support him, and when he saw the well-known face of Mr.
Green, the unhappy young man sank into a seat from a real inability to
stand. The other regarded him sternly through his spectacles, for more
than a minute.

"This is a melancholy picture, Henry Sandon!" he at length said. "I am, at
least, glad that you do not affect to brazen out your crime, but that you
show a proper sense of its enormity. What would your upright and
painstaking father have said, had he lived to see his only son in this
situation?"

"He is dead!" returned the young man, hoarsely. "He is dead, and never can
know any thing about it."

The unhappy delinquent experienced a sense of frightful pleasure as he
uttered these words.

"It is true, he is dead; but there are others to suffer by your
misconduct. Your innocent sister is living, and feels all your disgrace."

"She will marry Jones, and forget it all. I gave her a thousand pounds,
and she is married before this."

"In that you are mistaken. She has returned the money, for she is, indeed,
John Sandon's daughter, and Mr. Jones refuses to marry the sister of
a thief."

The delinquent was vain and unreflecting, rather than selfish, and he had
a natural attachment to his sister, the only other child of his parents.
The blow, therefore, fell on his conscience with double force, coming from
this quarter.

"Julia can compel him to marry her," said the startled brother; "he is
bound by a solemn engagement, and the law will protect her."

"No law can make a man marry against his will, and your poor unfortunate
sister is too tender of your feelings whatever you may havee been of hers,
to wish to give Mr. Jones an opportunity of defending himself by exposing
your crime. But this is wasting words, Mr. Sandon, for I am wanted in the
office, where I have left things in the hands of an inexperienced
substitute. Of course you are not prepared to defend an act, that your
conscience must tell you is inexcusable."

"I am afraid, Mr. Green, I have been a little thoughtless or, perhaps, it
would be better to say, unlucky."

Mr. Sandon had fallen into the general and delusive mistake of those who
err, in supposing himself unfortunate rather than criminal. With an
ingenuity, that, exercised in a better cause, would have made him a
respectable man, he had been endeavouring to excuse his crime to himself,
on various pleas of necessity, and he had even got at last to justify his
act, by fancying that some trifling wrong he had received, or which he
fancied he had received in the settlement of his own private account, in
some measure excused his fraud, although his own denied claim amounted
merely to the sum of twenty pounds, and that which he had taken was so
large. It was under the influence of such feelings that he made the answer
just given.

"A little thoughtless! unlucky! And is this the way Henry Sandon, that you
name a crime that might almost raise your upright father from his grave?
But I wilt speak no more of feelings that you do not seem to understand.
You confess to have taken forty thousand pounds of the public money, to
which you have no right or claim?"

"I certainly have in my hands some money, which I do not deny belongs to
government."

"It is well; and here is my authority to receive it from you. Gentlemen,
will you have the kindness to see that my powers are regular and
authentic?"

John Effingham and others cast their eyes over the papers, which seemed to
be in rule, and they said as much.

"Now, sir," resumed Mr. Green, "in the first place, I demand the bills you
received in London for this money, and your regular endorsement in
my favour."

The culprit appeared to have made up his mind to this demand, and, with
the same recklessness with which he had appropriated the money to his own
use, he was now ready to restore it, without proposing a condition for
his own safety The bills were in his pocket, and seating himself at a
table, he made the required endorsement, and handed them to Mr Green.

"Here are bills for thirty-eight thousand pounds," said that methodical
person, after he had examined the drafts, one by one, and counted their
amount; "and you are known to have taken forty thousand. I demand the
remainder."

"Would you leave me in a strange country penniless?" exclaimed the
culprit, in a tone of reproach.

"Strange country! penniless!" repeated Mr. Green, looking over his
spectacles, first at Mr. Truck, and then at Mr. Sandon. "That to which you
have no claim must be restored, though it strip you to the skin. Every
pound you have belongs to the public, and to no one else."

"Your pardon, Mr. Green, and green enough you are, if you lay down that
doctrine," interrupted Captain Truck, "in which neither Vattel, nor the
revised statutes will bear you out. A passenger cannot remove his effects
from a ship, until his passage be first paid."

"That, sir, I dispute, in a question affecting the king's revenues. The
claims of government precede all others, and the money that has once
belonged to the crown, and which has not been regularly paid away by the
crown, is the crown's still."

"Crowns and coronations! Perhaps, Master Green, you think you are in
Somerset House at this present speaking?"

Now Mr. Green was so completely a star of a confined orbit, that his ideas
seldom described a tangent to their ordinary revolutions. He was so much
accustomed to hear of England ruling colonies, the East and the West,
Canada, the Cape, and New South Wales, that it was not an easy matter for
him to conceive himself to be without the influence of the British laws.
Had he quitted home with the intention to emigrate, or even to travel, it
is probable that his mind would have kept a more equal pace with his body,
but summoned in haste from his desk, and with the office spectacles on his
nose, it is not so much a matter of wonder that he hardly realized the
truths of his present situation. The man-of-war, in which everything was
His Majesty's, sustained this feeling, and it was too sudden a change to
expect such a man to abandon all his most cherished notions at a moment's
warning. The irreverent exclamation of Captain Truck shocked him, and he
did not fail to show as much by the disgust pictured in his countenance.

"I am in one of His Majesty's packets, sir, I presume, where, you will
permit me to say, a greater deference for the high ceremonies of the
kingdom ought to be found."

"This would make even old Joe Bunk laugh. You are in a New York liner,
sir, over which no majesty has any control, but their majesties John
Griswold and Co. Why, my good sir, the sea has unsettled your brain!"

Now, Mr. Green did know that the United States of America had obtained
their independence, but the whole proceeding was so mixed up with
rebellion, and a French alliance, in his mind, that he always doubted
whether the new republic had a legal existence at all, and he had been
heard to express his surprise that the twelve judges had not long since
decided this state of things to be unconstitutional, and overturned the
American government by _mandamus._ His disgust increased, accordingly, as
Captain Truck's irreverence manifested itself in stronger terms, and there
was great danger that the harmony, which had hitherto prevailed between
the parties, would be brought to a violent termination.

"The respect for the crown in a truly loyal subject, sir," Mr. Green
returned sharply, "is not to be unsettled by the sea; not in my case, at
least, whatever it might have been, in your own."

"My own! why, the devil, sir, do you take me for a _subject_?"

"A truant one, I fear, though you may have been born in London itself."

"Why, my dear sir," said Captain Truck, taking the other by a button, as
if he pitied his hallucination, "you don't breed such men in London. I
came from the river, which never had a subject in it, or any other
majesty, than that of the Saybrook Platform. I begin to understand you,
at last: you are one of those well-meaning men who fancy the earth but a
casing to the island of Great Britain. Well, I suppose it is more the
fault of your education than of your nature, and one must overlook the
mistake. May I ask what is your farther wish, in reference to this unhappy
young man?"

"He must refund every pound of the public money that remains in his
possession."

"That is just, and I say yea."

"And all who have received from him any portion of this money, under
whatever pretences, must restore it to the crown."

"My good sir, you can have no notion of the quantity of champaigne and
other good things this unfortunate young man has consumed in this ship.
Although but a sham baronet, he has fared like a real lord; and you cannot
have the heart to exact from the owners the keeping of your rogues."

"Government makes no distinction, sir, and always claims its own."

"Nay, Mr. Green," interrupted Sir George Templemore, "I much question if
government would assert a right to money that a peculator or a defaulter
fairly spends, even in England; much less does it seem to me it can
pretend to the few pounds that Captain Truck has lawfully earned."

"The money has not been lawfully earned, sir. It is contrary to law to
assist a felon to quit the kingdom, and I am not certain there are no
penalties for that act alone; and as for the public money, it can never
legally quit the Treasury without the proper office forms."

"My dear Sir George," put in the captain, "leave me to settle this with
Mr. Green, who, no doubt, is authorized to give a receipt in full. What is
to be done with the delinquent, sir, now that you are in possession of
his money?"

"Of course he will be carried back in the Foam, and, I mourn to be
compelled to say, that he must be left in the hands of the law."

"What, with or without my permission?"

Mr. Green stared, for his mind was precisely one of those which would
conceive it to be a high act of audacity in a _ci-devant_ colonist to
claim the rights of an old country, even did he really understand the
legality and completeness of the separation.

"He has committed forgery, sir, to conceal his peculation. It is an awful
crime; but they that commit it cannot hope to escape the consequences."

"Miserable impostor! is this true!" Captain Truck sternly demanded of the
trembling culprit.

"He calls an oversight forgery, sir," returned the latter huskily. "I have
done nothing to affect my life or liberty."

At this moment Captain Ducie, accompanied by Paul Powis, entered the
cabin, their faces flushed, and their manner to each other a little
disturbed, though it was formally courteous. At the same instant, Mr.
Dodge, who had been dying to be present at the secret conference, watched
his opportunity to slip in also.

"I am glad you have come, sir," said Mr. Green, "for here may be occasion
for the services of his Majesty's officers. Mr. Sandon has given up these
bills, but two thousand pounds remain unaccounted for, and I have traced
thirty-five, quite clearly, to the master of this ship, who has received
it in the way of passage-money."

"Yes, sir, the fact is as plain as the highlands of Navesink from the
deck," drily added Captain Truck.

"One thousand of this money has been returned by the defaulter's sister,"
observed Captain Ducie.

"Very true, sir; I had forgotten to give him credit for that."

"The remainder has probably been wasted in those silly trifles of which
you have told me the unhappy man was so fond, and for which he has
bartered respectability and peace of mind. As for the money paid this ship
for the passage, it has been fairly earned, nor do I know that government
has any power to reclaim it."

Mr. Green heard this opinion with still greater disgust than he had felt
towards the language of Captain Truck; nor could he very well prevent his
feelings escaping, him in words.

"We truly live in perilous times," he muttered, speaking more
particularly to John Effingham, out of respect to his appearance, "when
the scions of the nobility entertain notions so loose. We have vainly
fancied in England that the enormities of the French revolution were
neutralized by Billy Pitt; but, sir, we still live in perilous times, for
the disease has fairly reached the higher classes. I hear that designs are
seriously entertained against the wigs of the judges and bishops, and the
next thing will be the throne! All our venerable institutions are
in danger."

"I should think the throne might indeed be in danger, sir," returned John
Effingham, gravely, "if it reposes on wigs."

"It is my duty, Captain Truck," continued Captain Ducie, who was a man so
very different from his associate that he scarcely seemed to belong to the
same species, "to request you will deliver to us the person of the
culprit, with his effects, when we can relieve you and your passengers
from the pain of witnessing any more of this unpleasant scene."

At the sound of the delivery of his person, all the danger of his
situation rushed forcibly before the imagination of the culprit. His face
flushed and became pale, and his legs refused to support him, though he
made a desperate effort to rise.

After an instant of silence, he turned to the commander of the corvette,
and, in piteous accents, appealed to him for mercy.

"I have been punished severely already," he continued, as his voice
returned, "for the savage Arabs robbed me of everything I had of any
value. These gentlemen know that they took my dressing-case, several other
curious and valuable articles for the toilet, and nearly all my clothes."

"This man is scarcely a responsible being," said John Effingham, "for a
childish vanity supplies the place of principles, self-respect, and duty.
With a sister scorned on account of his crimes, conviction beyond denial,
and a dread punishment staring him in the face, his thoughts still run
on trifles."

Captain Ducie gave a look of pity at the miserable young man, and, by his
countenance, it was plain to see that he felt no relish for his duty.
Still he felt himself bound to urge on Captain Truck a compliance with
his request. The master of the packet was a good deal divided by an
inherent dislike of seeming to yield anything to a British naval officer,
a class of men whom he learned in early life most heartily to dislike; his
kind feelings towards this particular specimen of the class; a reluctance
to give a man up to a probable death, or some other severe punishment; and
a distaste to being thought desirous of harbouring a rogue. In this
dilemma, therefore, he addressed himself to John Effingham for counsel.

"I should be pleased to hear your opinion, sir, on this matter," he said,
looking at the gentleman just named, "for I own myself to be in a
category. Ought we, or not, to deliver up the culprit?"

"_Fiat justitia ruat coelum_" answered John Effingham, who never fancied
any one could be ignorant of the meaning of these familiar words.

"That I believe indeed to be Vattel," said Captain Truck; "but exceptions
alter rules. This young man has some claims on us on account of his
conduct when in front of the Arabs."

"He fought for himself, sir, and has the merit of preferring liberty in a
ship to slavery in the desert."

"I think with Mr. John Effingham," observed Mr. Dodge, "and can see no
redeeming quality in his conduct on that occasion. He did what we all did,
or, as Mr. John Effingham has so pithily expressed it, he preferred
liberty in our company to being an Arab's slave."

"You will not deliver me up, Captain Truck!" exclaimed the delinquent.
"They will hang me, if once in their power. Oh I you will not have the
heart to let them hang me!"

Captain Truck was startled at this appeal, but he sternly reminded the
culprit that it was too late to remember the punishment, when the crime
was committed.

"Never fear, Mr. Sandon," said the office-man with a sneer; "these
gentlemen will take you to New York, for the sake of the thousand pounds,
if they can. A rogue is pretty certain of a kind reception in America,
I hear."

"Then, sir," exclaimed Captain Truck, "you had better go in with us."

"Mr Green, Mr. Green, this is indiscreet, to call it by no worse a term,"
interposed Captain Ducie, who, while he was not free from a good deal of
the prejudices of his companion, was infinitely better bred, and more in
the habit of commanding himself.

"Mr. John Effingham, you have heard this wanton insult," continued Captain
Truck, suppressing his wrath as well as he could: "in what mariner ought
it to be resented?"

"Command the offender to quit your ship instantly," said John Effingham
firmly.

Captain Ducie started, and his face flushed; but disregarding him
altogether, Captain Truck walked deliberately up to Mr. Green, and ordered
him to go into the corvette's boat.

"I shall allow of neither parley nor delay," added the exasperated old
seaman, struggling to appear cool and dignified, though his vocation was
little for the latter. "Do me the favour, sir, to permit me to see you
into your boat, sir. Saunders, go on deck, and tell Mr. Leach to have the
side manned--with _three_ side boys, Saunders;--and now I ask it as the
greatest possible favour, that you will walk on deck with me, or--or--damn
me, but I'll drag you there, neck and heels!"

It was too much for Captain Truck to seem calm when he was in a towering
passion, and the outbreak at the close of this speech was accompanied by a
gesture with a hand which was open, it is true, but from which none of the
arts of his more polite days could erase the knobs and hue that had been
acquired in early life.

"This is strong language, sir, to use to a British officer, under the guns
of a British cruiser," exclaimed the commander of the corvette.

"And his was strong language to use to a man in his own country and in his
own ship. To you, Captain Ducie I have nothing to say, unless it be to say
you are welcome. But your companion has indulged in a coarse insult on my
country, and damn me if I submit to it, if I never see St. Catherine's
Docks again. I had too much of this when a young man, to wish to find it
repeated while an old one."

Captain Ducie bit his lip, and he looked exceedingly vexed. Although he
had himself blindly imbibed the notion that America would gladly receive
the devil himself if he came with a full pocket, he was shocked with the
coarseness that would throw such an innuendo into the very faces of the
people of the country. On the other hand, his pride as an officer was hurt
at the menace of Captain Truck, and all the former harmony of the scene
was threatened with a sudden termination. Captain Ducie had been struck
with the gentlemanlike appearance of both the Effinghams, to say nothing
of Eve, the instant his foot touched the deck of the Montauk, and he now
turned with a manner of reproach to John Effingham, and said,

"Surely, sir, _you_ cannot sustain Mr. Truck in his extraordinary
conduct!"

"You will pardon me if I say I do. The man has been permitted to remain
longer in the ship than I would have suffered."

"And, Mr. Powis, what is your opinion?"

"I fear," said Paul, smiling coldly, "that I should have knocked him down
on the spot."

"Templemore, are you, too, of this way of thinking?"

"I fear the speech of Mr. Green has been without sufficient thought. On
reflection he will recall it."

But Mr. Green would sooner part with life than part with a prejudice, and
he shook his head in the negative in a way to show that his mind was
made up.

"This is trifling," added Captain Truck. "Saunders, go on deck, and tell
Mr. Leach to send down through the skylight a single whip, that we may
whip this polite personage on deck; and, harkee, Saunders, let there be
another on the yard, that we may send him into his boat like an anker
of gin!"

"This is proceeding too far," said Captain Ducie. "Mr Green, you will
oblige me by retiring; there can be no suspicion cast on a vessel of war
for conceding a little to an unarmed ship."

"A vessel of war should not insult an unarmed ship, sir!" rejoined Captain
Truck, pithily.

Captain Ducie again coloured; but as he had decided on his course, he had
the prudence to remain silent. In the mean time Mr. Green sullenly took
his hat and papers, and withdrew into the boat; though, on his return to
London he did not fail to give such a version of the affair as went
altogether to corroborate all his own, and his friends' previous notions
of America; and, what is equally singular, he religiously believed all he
had said on the occasion.

"What is now to be done with this unhappy man?" inquired Captain Ducie
when order was a little restored.

The misunderstanding was an unfortunate affair for the culprit. Captain
Truck felt a strong reluctance to deliver him up to justice after all they
had gone through together, but the gentlemanlike conduct of the English
commander, the consciousness of having triumphed in the late conflict, and
a deep regard for the law, united on the other hand to urge him to yield
the unfortunate and weak-minded offender to his own authorities.

"You do not claim a right to take him out of an American ship by violence,
if I understand you, Captain Ducie?"

"I do not. My instructions are merely to demand him."

"That is according to Vattel. By demand you mean, to request, to ask for
him?"

"I mean to request, to ask for him," returned the Englishman, smiling.

"Then take him, of God's name; and may your laws be more merciful to the
wretch than he has been to himself, or to his kin."

Mr. Sandon shrieked, and he threw himself abjectly on his knees between
the two captains, grasping the legs of both.

"Oh! hear me! hear me!" he exclaimed in a tone of anguish. "I have given
up the money, I will give it all up! all to the last shilling, if you will
let me go! You, Captain Truck, by whose side I have fought and toiled, you
will not have the heart to abandon me to these murderers!"

"It's d--d hard!" muttered the captain, actually wiping his eyes; "but it
is what you have drawn upon yourself, I fear. Get a good lawyer, my poor
fellow, as soon as you arrive; and it's an even chance, after all,
that you go free!"

"Miserable wretch!" said Mr. Dodge, confronting the still kneeling and
agonized delinquent, "Wretch! these are the penalties of guilt. You have
forged and stolen, acts that meet with my most unqualified disapprobation,
and you are unfit for respectable society.--I saw from the very first what
you truly were, and permitted myself to associate with you, merely to
detect and expose you, in order that you might not bring disgrace on our
beloved country. An impostor has no chance in America; and you are
fortunate in being taken back to your own hemisphere."

Mr. Dodge belonged to a tolerably numerous class, that is quaintly
described as being "law honest;" that is to say, he neither committed
murder nor petty larceny. When he was guilty of moral slander, he took
great care that it should not be legal slander; and, although his whole
life was a tissue of mean and baneful vices, he was quite innocent of all
those enormities that usually occupy the attention of a panel of twelve
men. This, in his eyes, raised him so far above less prudent sinners as to
give him a right to address his quondam associate as has been just
related. But the agony of the culprit was past receiving an increase from
this brutal attack; he merely motioned the coarse-minded sycophant and
demagogue away, and continued his appeals to the two captains for mercy.
At this moment Paul Powis stepped up to the editor, and in a low but firm
voice ordered him to quit the cabin.

"I will pray for you--be your slave--do all you ask, if you will not give
me up!" continued the culprit, fairly writhing in his agony. "Oh! Captain
Ducie, as an English nobleman, have mercy on me."

"I must transfer the duty to subordinates," said the English commander, a
tear actually standing in his eye. "Will you permit a party of armed
marines to take this unhappy being from your ship, sir."

"Perhaps this will be the best course, as he will yield only to a show of
force. I see no objection to this, Mr John Effingham?"

"None in the world, sir. It is your object to clear your ship of a
delinquent, and let those among whom he committed the fault be
the agents."

"Ay--ay! this is what Vattel calls the comity of nations. Captain Ducie, I
beg you will issue your orders."

The English commander had foreseen some difficulty, and, in sending away
his boat when he came below, he had sent for a corporal's guard. These men
were now in a cutter, near the ship, lying off on their oars, in a rigid
respect to the rights of a stranger, however,--as Captain Truck was glad
to see, the whole party having gone on deck as soon as the arrangement was
settled. At an order from their commander the marines boarded the Montauk,
and proceeded below in quest of their prisoner.

Mr. Sandon had been left alone in Eve's cabin; but as soon as he found
himself at liberty, he hurried into his own state-room. Captain Truck went
below, while the marines were entering the ship; and, having passed a
minute in his own room, he stepped across the cabin, to that of the
culprit. Opening the door without knocking, he found the unhappy man in
the very act of applying a pistol to his head, his own hand being just in
time to prevent the catastrophe. The despair portrayed in the face of the
criminal prevented reproach or remonstrance, for Captain Truck was a man
of few words when it was necessary to act. Disarming the intended suicide,
he coolly counted out to him thirty-five pounds, the money paid for his
passage, and told him to pocket it.

"I received this on condition of delivering you safe in New York," he
said; "and as I shall fail in the bargain, I think it no more than just to
return you the money. It may help you on the trial."

"Will they hang me?" asked Mr. Sandon hoarsely, and with an imbecility
like that of an infant.

The appearance of the marines prevented reply, the prisoner was secured,
his effects were pointed out, and his person was transferred to the boat
with the usual military promptitude. As soon as this was done the cutter
pulled away from the packet, and was soon hoisted in again on the
corvette's deck. That day month the unfortunate victim of a passion for
trifles committed suicide in London, just as they were about to transfer
him to Newgate; and six months later his unhappy sister died of a
broken heart.




Chapter XXXIV.



                     We'll attend you there:
  Where, if you bring not Marcius, we'll proceed
  In our first way.

  CORIOLANUS.


Eve and Mademoiselle Viefville had been unwilling spectators of a portion
of the foregoing scene, and Captain Ducie felt a desire to apologise for
the part he had been obliged to act in it. For this purpose he had begged
his friend the baronet to solicit a more regular introduction than that
received through Captain Truck.

"My friend Ducie is solicitous to be introduced, Miss Effingham, that he
may urge something in his own behalf concerning the commotion he has
raised among us."

A graceful assent brought the young commander forward, and as soon as he
was named he made a very suitable expression of his regret to the ladies,
who received it as a matter of course, favourably.

"This is a new duty to me, the arrest of criminals," added Captain Ducie.

The word _criminals_ sounded harsh to the ear of Eve, and she felt her
cheek becoming pale.

"Much as we regret the cause," observed the father "we can spare the
person you are about to take from us without much pain; for _we_ have
known him for an impostor from the moment he appeared.--Is there not some
mistake? That is the third trunk that I have seen passed into the boat
marked P. P."

Captain Ducie smiled, and answered,--

"You will call it a bad pun if I say P. P. see," pointing to Paul, who was
coming from the cabin attended by Captain Truck. The latter was conversing
warmly, gesticulating towards the corvette, and squeezing his
companion's hand.

"Am I to understand," said Mr. Effingham earnestly, "that Mr. Powis, too,
is to quit us?"

"He does me the favour, also,"--Captain Ducie's lip curled a little at the
word _favour_,--"to accompany me to England."

Good breeding and intense feeling caused a profound suspense, until the
young man himself approached the party. Paul endeavoured to be calm, and
he even forced a smile as he addressed his friends.

"Although I escape the honours of a marine guard," he said,--and Eve
thought he said it bitterly, "I am also to be taken out of the ship.
Chance has several times thrown me into your society, Mr. Effingham---
Miss Effingham--and, should the same good fortune ever again occur, I hope
I may be permitted to address you at once as an old acquaintance."

"We shall always entertain a most grateful recollection of your important
services, Mr. Powis," returned the father, "and I shall not cease to wish
that the day may soon arrive when I can have the pleasure of receiving you
under my own roof."

Paul now offered to take the hand of Mademoiselle Viefville, which he
kissed gallantly. He did the same with Eve's, though she felt him tremble
in the attempt. As these ladies had lived much in countries in which this
graceful mode of salutation prevails among intimates, the act passed as a
matter of course.

With Sir George Templemore, Paul parted with every sign of good-will. The
people, to whom he had caused a liberal donation to be made, gave him
three cheers, for they understood his professional merits at least; and
Saunders, who had not been forgotten, attended him assiduously to the side
of the ship. Here Mr. Leach called, "the Foam's away!" and Captain Ducie's
gig was manned. At the gangway Captain Truck again shook Paul cordially by
the hand, and whispered something in his ear.

Every thing being now ready, the two gentlemen prepared to go into the
boat. As Eve watched all that passed with an almost breathless anxiety, a
little ceremonial that now took place caused her much pain. Hitherto the
manner of Captain Ducie, as respected his companion, had struck her as
equivocal. At times it was haughty and distant, while at others it had
appeared more conciliatory and kind. All these little changes she had
noted with a jealous interest, and the slightest appearance of respect or
of disrespect was remarked, as if it could furnish a clew to the mystery
of the whole procedure.

"Your boat is ready, sir," said Mr. Leach, stepping out of the gangway to
give way to Paul, who stood nearest to the ladder.

The latter was about to proceed, when he was touched lightly on the
shoulder by Captain Ducie, who smiled, Eve thought haughtily, and
intimated a desire to precede him. Paul coloured, bowed, and falling back,
permitted the English officer to enter his own boat first.

"_Apparemment ce captaine Anglais est un pen sans facon--Voila qui est
poli!_" whispered Mademoiselle Viefville.

"These commanders of vessels of war are little kings," quietly observed
Mr. Effingham, who had unavoidably noticed the whole procedure.

The gig was soon clear of the ship, and both the gentlemen repeated their
adieus to those on deck. To reach the corvette, to enter her, and to have
the gig swinging on her quarter occupied but five minutes.

Both ships now filled away, and the corvette began to throw out one sheet
of cloth after another until she was under a cloud of canvas, again
standing to the eastward with studding-sails alow and aloft. On the other
hand, the Montauk laid her yards square, and ran down to the Hook. The
pilot from the corvette had been sent on board the packet, and, the wind
standing, by eleven o'clock the latter had crossed the bar. At this moment
the low dark stern of the Foam resembled a small black spot on the sea
sustaining a pyramid of cloud.

"You were not on deck, John, to take leave of our young friend Powis,"
said Mr. Effingham, reproachfully.

"I do not wish to witness a ceremony of this extraordinary nature. And yet
it might have been better if I had."

"Better, cousin Jack!"

"Better. Poor Monday committed to my care certain papers that, I fancy,
are of moment to some one, and these I intrusted to Mr. Powis, with a view
to examine them together when we should get in. In the hurry of parting,
he has carried them off."

"They may be reclaimed by writing to London," said Mr. Effingham quietly.
"Have you his address?"

"I asked him for it; but the question appeared to embarrass him."

"Embarrass, cousin Jack!"

"Embarrass, Miss Effingham."

The subject was now dropped by common consent. A few moments of awkward
silence succeeded, when the interest inseparable from a return home, after
an absence of years, began to resume its influence, and objects on the
land were noticed. The sudden departure of Paul was not forgotten,
however; for it continued the subject of wonder with all for weeks, though
little more was said on the subject.

The ship was soon abreast of the Hook, which Eve compared, to the
disadvantage of the celebrated American haven with the rocky promontories
and picturesque towers of the Mediterranean.

"This portion of our bay, at least, is not very admirable," she said,
"though there is a promise of something better above."

"Some New-York cockney, who has wandered from the crackling heat of his
Nott stove, has taken it into his poetical imagination to liken this bay
to that of Naples," said John Effingham; "and his fellow-citizens greedily
swallow the absurdity, although there is scarcely a single feature in
common to give the foolish opinion value."

"But the bay above _is_ beautiful!"

"Barely pretty: when one has seen it alone, for many years, and has
forgotten the features of other bays, it does not appear amiss; but _you_,
fresh from the bolder landscapes of Southern Europe, will be
disappointed."

Eve, an ardent admirer of nature, heard this with regret, for she had as
much confidence in the taste of her kinsman as in his love of truth. She
knew he was superior to the vulgar vanity of giving an undue merit to a
thing because he had a right of property in it; was a man of the world,
and knew what he uttered on all such matters; had not a particle of
provincial admiration or of provincial weakness MI his composition; and,
although as ready as another, and far more able than most, to defend his
country and her institutions from the rude assault of her revilers, that
he seldom made the capital mistake of attempting to defend a weak point.

The scenery greatly improved, in fact, however, as the ship advanced; and
while she went through the pass called the Narrows, Eve expressed her
delight. Mademoiselle Viefville was in ecstasies, not so much with the
beauties of the place as with the change from the monotony of the ocean to
the movement and liveliness of the shore.

"You think this noble scenery?" said John Effingham.

"As far from it as possible, cousin Jack. I see much meanness and poverty
in the view, but at the same time it has fine parts. The islands are not
Italian, certainly; nor these hills, nor yet that line of distant rocks;
but, together, they form a pretty bay, and a noble one in extent and uses
at least."

"All this is true. Perhaps the earth does not contain another port with so
many advantages for commerce. In this respect I think it positively
unequalled; but I know a hundred bays that surpass it in beauty. Indeed in
the Mediterranean it is not easy to find a natural haven that does not."

Eve was too fresh from the gorgeous coast of Italy to be in ecstasies with
the meagre villages and villas that, more or less, lined the bay of
New-York; but when they reached a point where the view of the two rivers,
separated by the town, came before them, with the heights of Brooklyn,
heights comparatively if not positively, on one side, and the receding
wall of the palisadoes on the other, Eve insisted that the scene was
positively fine.

"You have well chosen your spot," said John Effingham; "but even this is
barely good. There is nothing surpassing about it."

"But it is home, cousin Jack."

"It is _home_, Miss Effingham," he answered, gaping, "and as you have no
cargo to sell, I fear you will find it an exceedingly dull one."

"We shall see--we shall see," returned Eve, laughing. Then, looking about
her for a few minutes, she added with a manner in which real and affected
vexation were prettily blended, "In one thing I do confess myself
disappointed."

"You will be happy, my dear, if it be in only one."

"These smaller vessels are less picturesque than those I have been
accustomed to see."

"You have hit upon a very sound criticism, and, by going a little deeper
into the subject, you will discover a singular deficiency in this part of
an American landscape. The great-height of the spars of all the smaller
vessels of these waters, when compared with the tame and level coast,
river banks, and the formation of the country in general, has the effect
to diminish still more the outlines of any particular scene. Beautiful as
it is, beyond all competition, the Hudson would seem still more so, were
it not for these high and ungainly spars."

The pilot now began to shorten sail, and the ship drew into that arm of
the sea which, by a misnomer peculiarly American, it is the fashion to
call the East River. Here our heroine candidly expressed her
disappointment, the town seeming mean and insignificant. The Battery, of
which she remembered a little, and had heard so much, although beautifully
placed, disappointed her, for it had neither the extent and magnificence
of a park, nor the embellishments and luxurious shades of a garden. As she
had been told that her countrymen were almost ignorant of the art of
landscape gardening, she was not so much disappointed with this spot,
however, as with the air of the town, and the extreme filth and poverty of
the quays. Unwilling to encourage John Effingham in his diposition to
censure, she concealed her opinions for a time.

"There is less improvement here than even I expected," said Mr. Effingham,
as they got into a coach on the wharf. They had taught me, John, to expect
great improvements. "And great, very great improvements have been made in
your absence. If you could see this place as you knew it in youth, the
alterations would seem marvellous."

"I cannot admit this. With Eve, I think the place mean in appearance,
rather than imposing, and so decidedly provincial as not to possess a
single feature of a capital."

"The two things are not irreconcilable, Ned, if you will take the trouble
to tax your memory. The place _is_ mean and provincial; but thirty years
since it was still meaner and more provincial than it is to-day. A century
hence it will begin to resemble a large European town."

"What odious objects these posts are!" cried Eve.

"They give the streets the air of a village, and I do not see their
uses."

"These posts are for awnings, and of themselves they prove the peculiar
country character of the place. If you will reflect, however, you will see
it could net well be otherwise. This town to-day contains near
three-hundred thousand souls, two-thirds of whom are in truth emigrants
from the interior of our own, or of some foreign country; and such a
collection of people cannot in a day give a town any other character than
that which belongs to themselves. It is not a crime to be provincial and
rustic; it is only ridiculous to fancy yourselves otherwise, when the fact
is apparent."

"The streets seem deserted. I had thought New York a crowded town."

"And yet this is Broadway, a street that every American will tell you is
so crowded as to render respiration impossible."

"John Effingham excepted," said Mr. Effingham smiling.

"Is _this_ Broadway?" cried Eve, fairly appalled.

"Beyond a question. Are you not smothered?"

Eve continued silent until the carriage reached the door of her father's
house. On the other hand, Mademoiselle Viefville expressed herself
delighted with all she saw, a circumstance that might have deceived a
native of the country, who did not know how to explain her raptures. In
the first place she was a Frenchwoman, and accustomed to say pleasant
things; then she was just relieved from an element she detested, and the
land was pleasant in her eyes. But the principal reason is still in
reserve: Mademoiselle Viefville, like most Europeans, had regarded America
not merely as a provincial country, and this without a high standard of
civilization for a province, as the truth would have shown, but as a
semi-barbarous quarter of the world; and the things she saw so much
surpassed her expectations, that she was delighted, as it might be,
by contrast.

As we shall have a future occasion to speak of the dwelling of Mr.
Effingham, and to accompany the reader much further in the histories of
our several characters, we shall pass over the feelings of Eve when fairly
established that night under her own roof. The next morning, however, when
she descended to breakfast, she was met by John Effingham, who gravely
pointed to the following paragraph in one of the daily journals.

"The Montauk, London packet, which has been a little out of time, arrived
yesterday, as reported in our marina news. This ship has met with various
interesting adventures, that, we are happy to hear, will shortly be laid
before the world by one of her passengers, a gentleman every way qualified
for the task. Among the distinguished persons arrived in this ship is our
contemporary, Steadfast Dodge, Esquire, whose amusing and instructing
letters from Europe are already before the world.--We are glad to hear
that Mr Dodge returns home better satisfied than ever with his own
country, which he declares to be quite good enough for him It is whispered
that our literary friend has played a conspicuous part in some recent
events on the coast of Africa, though his extreme and well known modesty
renders him indisposed to speak of the affair; but we forbear ourselves
out of respect to a sensibility that we know how to esteem.

"His Britannic Majesty's ship, Foam, whose arrival we noticed a day or two
since, boarded the Montauk off the Hook, and took out of her two
criminals, one of whom, we are told, was a defaulter for one hundred and
forty thousand pounds, and the other a deserter from the king's service,
though a scion of a noble house. More of this to-morrow."

The morrow never came, for some new incident took the place of the
promised narration. A people who do not give themselves time to eat, and
with whom "go ahead" has got to be the substitute of even religion, little
troubling themselves to go back twenty-four hours in search of a fact.

"This must be a base falsehood, cousin Jack," said Eve, as she laid down
the paper, her brow flushed with an indignation that, for the moment,
proved too strong for even apprehension.

"I hope it may turn out to be so, and yet I consider the affair
sufficiently singular to render suspicion at least natural."

How Eve both thought and acted in the matter, will appear hereafter.

THE END.







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