CHAPTER VI. Verifies the old saying, it never rains but it pours; I meet with another old acquaintance.
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In opposition to half the world, and perhaps to
the whole of it, I must be allowed to say, that
hunger and cold are life preservers.
I am very certain that if my back had been
warm, and my belly well filled, when I quitted the
miserable hovel in the Five Points, I should have
gone immediately to the nearest and most convenient
spot, and there have put an end to my existence.
My determination to do so was fixed.
But I had not walked the length of half a dozen
blocks, before the piercing cold wind, and the urgent
demands of my appetite, completely drove
all thoughts of suicide out of my head. The idea
of killing myself before I got something warm and
comfortable to eat, was not to be endured. Mr.
Stewpy, and his warm cooking stove, completely
usurped the place in my affections, which Georgiana
De Lancey and my cousin occupied but a
few minutes before.
This is a humiliating confession to make, and -- 068 --
perhaps justice to myself would allow me to withhold
it; but as I am writing a true history of my
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adventures, and not a fictitious story, I feel bound
to record it.
I was walking as fast as I could towards the
eating house of the portly Mr. Stewpy, when, as
I crossed Water street, my eye caught sight of
the sign of the Foul Anchor, which brought to my
recollection the fact that I had left my bag of
clothes there in charge of Mr. Murphy, the landlord,
the day on which I came over from the navy
yard, a circumstance which I had unaccountably
forgotten. The bag contained some articles of
value, and I stepped into the house, and inquired
after my property.
The bar-room was full of sailors, drinking and
singing, and it was some time before I could get
the bar-keeper to attend to me. Mr. Murphy, the
landlord, bluntly and resolutely refused to give me
back my bag, notwithstanding I pointed it out to
him, among a heap of others, and told him I could
describe its contents. He said it was left in his
charge by a sailor, and he would not deliver it up
to a long coated highbinder.
While I stood disputing with Mr. Murphy, one
of the sailors stopped short in the middle of a
song, and stepping up to me, exclaimed,
But as I did not know him, I supposed he -- 069 --
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wanted to pick a quarrel with me, and so I turned my
back upon him, without noticing him.
“Ah!” said the sailor, with an oath, “I see
how it is; now you have got a long tailed swinger
on, you are too proud to speak to an old shipmate.”
I looked at the man again, and notwithstanding
his voice sounded very familiar, I could not recognise
“My good fellow,” I said, “I do not remember
you; but if you remember me, I am very glad
to hear it. Perhaps you can convince Mr. Murphy,
here, that I am no highbinder, although I
have got a frock coat on.”
“What, disremember me,” exclaimed the sailor,
“after you and I have rid half over South
America, on one horse together.”
“What, is it Jerry?” I exclaimed.
“Isn't it?” he said, “Jeremiah Bowhorn, himself.
I guess it's me. I am not certain, but I
I was so delighted, I could have fallen upon his
-- 070 --
neck and kissed him. I had now found a friend.
It was no wonder that I did not know him; he
had but recently recovered from an attack of the
small pox, and his once handsome face was very
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Jerry was not less delighted to meet with me,
than I was at meeting him. He took me out of the
bar-room into the back parlor, or dining-room,
where we soon became acquainted with each
other's situation and prospects. He called for
something to eat, and while I was regaling myself
with some baked beef and potatoes, and a glass
of Monongahela whiskey, he gave me a summary
of his adventures since we parted company in
Buenos Ayres, the conclusion of which was, that
he was paid off the day before from his last ship,
and that he had something more than a hundred
dollars in his pocket, any part of which, or the
whole, was entirely at my service.
Mr. Murphy, the landlord, finding that I was
not a highbinder, and that the bag of clothes
really belonged to me, delivered it up to me. I
took off the coat, which had caused me to be
regarded with suspicion, and put on my blue
jacket, and exchanged my black satin stock for
a black silk handkerchief.
Jerry swore that I looked more ship-shape, and -- 071 --
something like a man in my new dress, or rather
my old one, and he was so well pleased with my
appearance, that he insisted on taking me up
stairs into the parlor to introduce me to Miss
Mary Ann, the landlord's daughter. As I saw
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Jerry thought it would be conferring a great
honor upon me, I made no objection, and was
accordingly introduced to the young lady.
The parlor of the Foul Anchor was on the
-- 072 --
second floor, and the front windows commanded
a view which included a coppersmith's shop, a
clothing store, and a camboose factory. Jerry
called the parlor the ladies' cabin, and Miss Mary
Ann sat in it, surrounded by the gifts of a thousand
ocean rovers. She was an only daughter,
and a pretty little black-eyed girl she was. She
had a round face, glossy black hair, and sparkling
bright eyes; as she was always good-natured,
and neat in her dress, she won the good-will of
all her father's boarders, who rarely failed to
bring her a present when they returned from sea.
Her little parlor was literally filled with all manner
of curious things, enough to stock a dozen
village lyceums. There were sea-fans, and
branches of coral, Indian arrows, and models of
ships, ostrich eggs and whale's teeth, stuffed birds
and flamingo's feathers, shark's jaws and albatross's
wings, the skin of a penguin, and Chinese
slippers, a Turkish pipe, and a model of London
Bridge, a glass ship and a view of Mount Vesuvius,
and a thousand other equally rare and curious
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Miss Mary Ann affected to simper and look
shy, and as I felt in no humor for trifling, I remained
but a very few minutes with her.
Jerry was a favorite in the house, and to please
him Mr. Murphy consented to receive me as a
boarder. I had not fully recovered from the
severe shock which I experienced in the morning
in encountering my cousin and Georgiana De
Lancey; no, no, my feelings had been so severely
worked upon that their elasticity was gone; I felt
heart-broken and dejected still, and was still determined
upon self-destruction; the more familiar
the idea became, the less repugnance I felt to the
act. I saw no prospect of realizing my former
hopes; but as suicide was an act not to be repented
of, I concluded to wait a few days longer
before I consummated my intentions.
In the evening, the sailors grew very boisterous, -- 073 --
and to escape from the noise and confusion,
I went up to Miss Mary Ann's parlour, where I
found a gentleman seated alongside of her, whom
she introduced to me as Mr. Davis, mate of one
of the liners. He was a stout young man, with
light hair, and a florid complexion; dressed in a
blue coat, with bright buttons, and a white vest,
and a very high shirt collar. He was balancing
himself on the hind legs of his chair, when I
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entered, but on being introduced to me, he rose and
shook me by the hand, and said he should be
much pleased to see me on board the Columby.
He then took his seat and balanced himself as
before, and after a few minutes silence, he asked
me if I had heard any news.
I answered that I had not.
Miss Mary Ann said she had heard, but she
couldn't positively say it was true, that the Dutch
had taken Holland.
Of course, we all laughed at this bright sally,
and Mr. Davis sat looking for full five minutes at
Miss Mary Ann, with the liveliest satisfaction depicted
in his countenance. He then asked me
if I had noticed which way the wind was.
I told him I had not.
But Miss Mary Ann, with a saucy toss of the
head, said she guessed it was “nor-west and by
west, half west, Captain West.” Mr. Davis and
I laughed again, but the young lady pouted out
her lips, and looked very surly.
Thinking that I was probably the cause of her
pouting, I rose to go, when she jumped up, and
giving me a wink, told me she was all ready, and
began to put on her shawl and bonnet.
I was quite taken by surprise, and was just going -- 074 --
to ask her what she meant, when a glance
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from her roguish black eye gave me to understand
that I must remain mute.
Mr. Davis looked a north wester at me, but he
said nothing. When the young lady had adjusted
her hat to her satisfaction, she requested Mr.
Davis to excuse her, as she had engaged herself
to go to the museum with me.
I followed her out, feeling very foolish, as I
had not a copper in my pocket, and I was ashamed
to acknowledge my poverty. But she soon
relieved me from my embarrassment by slipping
a dollar into my hand, and telling me not to think
any thing amiss of it, as she only wanted to make
her beau feel jealous.
I was glad to find that Miss Mary Ann had no -- 075 --
other motive for making so free with me. We
went to the museum, and afterwards to a confectioner's,
and then returned home, and discovered
Mr. Davis walking to and fro on the opposite
side walk, under the shadow of the awning.
Probably he was meditating some stupendous
plan of revenge, such as drowning himself, or
murdering me and his sweetheart. But whatever
his thoughts or feelings were, they did not
prevent him from visiting the young lady every
night for the next week; and she omitted no opportunity
of tormenting him, by bestowing the
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sweetest smiles upon me whenever I was present.
I had been at the “Foul Anchor” a week, when
I found Jerry one morning sitting on his chest,
and looking very much cast down and dejected;
I sat down by his side, and commenced talking
to him, but it was some time before he would make
me a reply; he, however, at last, told me the
cause of his down heartedness.
“The long and the short of it is, Harry,” he -- 076 --
said, “I have been very misfortunate; I never
was caught in a white squall before, and now I
have lost every rag of canvass; blown clean out
of the bolt ropes; not a thread left. You see the
facts of the case is simply this: I got into a hack
as was standing before the door here yesterday,
for a bit of a ride. Where shall I drive, says
the hackman; any where, says I. Well, that is
no where, says the driver, so I'll stop here until
you conclude on something a little more particular.
Just then, I recollected there was a
young woman of my acquaintance as lived up
town, and which I wanted to see. So I gave
the hackman her number, and told him to drive
me there. When we got there, I squared the
yards with the driver, and in I went, and found the
young woman all alone, and down we sat
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together, and had something to drink quite sociable.
Very soon I begins to feel drowsy, and the
young woman, says she, lay down on the settee,
Jerry, and rest yourself; so down I lay, and when
I got up again, I found I had been asleep, and I
wish I may be blown into a gin shop if I warnt
skinned clean O! The young woman had not
only picked my pockets of every cent there was
in them, but she had even taken the shoes off my
feet, and shoved them up the spout along with my
new hat. So I had to toddle back again, bare
footed and bare headed, and without a sixpence
in my pocket to pay for a tort of grog.”
“Of course,” said Mr. Murphy, who had listened
to Jerry's recital, “you did'nt leave the
young woman's house without smashing every
thing into it.”
“Perhaps I didn't,” said Jerry. “All I cared
about it for, was, because I had just a hundred
dollars in my pocket, and was going to give half
of it to you, and the other half to my mother;
but now I shall not go to see the old woman,
for I don't like to go home to her without a dollar
in my pocket after being gone from her so long.”
Jerry's eyes filled with tears as he spoke of his
-- 077 --
mother, but he brushed them away, and soon resumed
his usually cheerful tone.
Briggs, Charles F. (Charles Frederick), 1804-1877 , The adventures of Harry Franco. Volume 2 (F. Saunders, New York) [word count] [eaf025v2].