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Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 [1848], Jack Tier, volume 1 (Burgess, Stringer & Co., New York) [word count] [eaf079v1].
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Front matter Covers, Edges and Spine

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The present Work professes to be the first in an English dress, (excepting,
perhaps, the translation from Thiers,) in which justice is done to
the contending parties. The labors of others, besides the English authorities,
have been consulted; consequently the reader will find very different
relations and facts, in numerous and very important instances
those found in works so biassed as the class to which Alison and Scott
belong. It is time we knew better respecting the history of this great
European epoch, than the simple pinning of one's faith upon interested
authorities, that write all on one side.

Camp and Quarter-Deck; with numerous battle scenes and portraits. Published
by Burgess and Stringer, New-York, Part I. The design of this work is to present in
a popular form a detail of the military and naval engagements which occurred during
the last great European war. The author has taken as his authorities the most accredited
writers on the subject; and has invested his narratives with all the interest
which a popular and brilliant style is capable of affording to the stirring events he has
undertaken to delineate. We have no doubt but that the work will become extremely
popular with a large class of readers.

N. Y. Albion.

Camp and Quarter-Deck.—This is the title of an historical work, of the highest interest,
written and compiled by a gentleman whom we know to be eminently qualified
for giving a concise, vigorous, and faithful account of the scenes and actors of one of
the most eventful periods in the history of the world. This book is rich in its stories
of historical and biographical facts, is handsomely got up, and profusely illustrated.—

N. Y. Dispatch.

Highly vigorous descriptions of noted battles, principally fought in Napoleon's career,
with brief memoirs of various military notabilities, such as Ney, Massena, Wellington,
Napoleon, &c.

N. Y. Com. Adv.

This work will be read with the utmost interest, especially as we do not happen to
live in the “happy times of peace.” It is excellent.

N. Y. Spirit of the Times.

The First Part is now published—Price, 25 cents.

Parts II. and III., which complete the book, will be issued without
unnecessary delay.

222 Broadway, corner of Ann st., New-York.

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Title Page [figure description] Title-Page.[end figure description]


Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool
I; when I was at home I was in a better place; but
Travellers must be content.
As You Like It.

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Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1848, by
in the clerk's office of the District Court for the Northern District
of New York.

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This work has already appeared in Graham's Magazine,
under the title of “Rose Budd.” The change
of name is solely the act of the author, and arises from
a conviction that the appellation given in this publication
is more appropriate than the one laid aside.
The necessity of writing to a name, instead of getting
it from the incidents of the book itself, has been the
cause of this departure from the ordinary rules.

When this book was commenced, it was generally
supposed that the Mexican war would end, after a few
months of hostilities. Such was never the opinion of
the writer. He has ever looked forward to a protracted
struggle; and, now that Congress has begun
to interfere, sees as little probability of its termination,
as on the day it commenced. Whence honourable gentlemen
have derived their notions of the constitution,
when they advance the doctrine that Congress is an

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American Aulic council, empowered to encumber the
movements of armies, and, as old Blucher expressed
it in reference to the diplomacy of Europe, “to spoil
with the pen the work achieved by the sword,” it is
difficult to say more than this, that they do not get
them from the constitution itself. It has generally
been supposed that the present executive was created
in order to avoid the very evils of a distracted and
divided council, which this new construction has a
direct tendency to revive. But a presidential election
has ever proved, and probably will ever prove, stronger
than any written fundamental law.

We have had occasion to refer often to Mexico in
these pages. It has been our aim to do so in a kind
spirit; for, while we have never doubted that the factions
which have possessed themselves of the government
in that country have done us great wrong, wrong
that would have justified a much earlier appeal to
arms, we have always regarded the class of Mexicans
who alone can properly be termed the `people,' as mild,
amiable, and disposed to be on friendly terms with us.
Providence, however, directs all to the completion of
its own wise ends. If the crust which has so long
encircled that nation, enclosing it in bigotry and ignorance,
shall now be irretrievably broken, letting in
light, even Mexico herself may have cause hereafter
to rejoice in her present disasters. It was in this way
that Italy has been, in a manner, regenerated; the

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conquests of the French carrying in their train the
means and agencies which have, at length, aroused
that glorious portion of the earth to some of its ancient
spirit. Mexico, in certain senses, is the Italy of this
continent; and war, however ruthless and much to be
deplored, may yet confer on her the inestimable blessings
of real liberty, and a religion released from “feux
” as well as all other artifices.

A word on the facts of our legend. The attentive
observer of men and things has many occasions to
note the manner in which ordinary lookers on deceive
themselves, as well as others. The species of treason
portrayed in these pages is no uncommon occurrence;
and it will often be found that the traitor is the loudest
in his protestations of patriotism. It is a pretty safe
rule to suspect the man of hypocrisy who makes a
parade of his religion, and the partisan of corruption
and selfishness, who is clamorous about the rights of
the people. Captain Spike was altogether above the
first vice; though fairly on level, as respects the second,
with divers patriots who live by their deity.

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Main text

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Why, that's my spirit!
But was not this nigh shore?


Close by, my master.


But are they, Ariel, safe?


Not a hair perished:


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D'ye here there, Mr. Mulford?” called out Capt. Stephen
Spike, of the half-rigged, brigantine Swash, or Molly Swash,
as was her registered name, to his mate—“we shall be dropping
out as soon as the tide makes, and I intend to get
through the Gate, at least, on the next flood. Waiting for
a wind in port is lubberly seamanship, for he that wants one
should go outside and look for it.”

This call was uttered from a wharf of the renowned city
of Manhattan, to one who was in the trunk-cabin of a clipper-looking
craft, of the name mentioned, and on the deck
of which not a soul was visible. Nor was the wharf, though
one of those wooden piers that line the arm of the sea that
is called the East River, such a spot as ordinarily presents
itself to the mind of the reader, or listener, when an allusion
is made to a wharf of that town which it is the fashion of
the times to call the Commercial Emporium of America—
as if there might very well be an emporium of any other
character. The wharf in question had not a single vessel
of any sort lying at, or indeed very near it, with the exception
of the Molly Swash. As it actually stood on the eastern
side of the town, it is scarcely necessary to say that such a
wharf could only be found high up, and at a considerable
distance from the usual haunts of commerce. The brig lay

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more than a mile above the Hook (Corlaer's, of course, is
meant—not Sandy Hook) and quite near to the old Alms
House—far above the ship-yards, in fact. It was a solitary
place for a vessel, in the midst of a crowd. The grum top-chain
voice of Captain Spike had nothing there to mingle
with, or interrupt its harsh tones, and it instantly brought
on deck Harry Mulford, the mate in question, apparently
eager to receive his orders.

“Did you hail, Captain Spike?” called out the mate, a
tight, well-grown, straight-built, handsome sailor-lad of two
or three-and-twenty—one full of health, strength and manliness.

“Hail! If you call straining a man's throat until he's
hoarse, hailing, I believe I did. I flatter myself, there is not a
man north of Hatteras that can make himself heard further in
gale of wind than a certain gentleman who is to be found
within a foot of the spot where I stand. Yet, sir, I've been
hailing the Swash these five minutes, and thankful am I to
find some one at last who is on board to answer me.”

“What are your orders, Capt. Spike?”

“To see all clear for a start as soon as the flood makes.
I shall go through the Gate on the next young flood, and I
hope you'll have all the hands aboard in time. I see two
or three of them up at that Dutch beer-house, this moment,
and can tell'em; in plain language, if they come here with
their beer aboard them, they'll have to go ashore again.”

“You have an uncommonly sober crew, Capt. Spike,”
answered the young man, with great calmness. “During
the whole time I have been with them, I have not seen a
man among them the least in the wind.”

“Well, I hope it will turn out that I've an uncommonly
sober mate in the bargain. Drunkenness I abominate, Mr.
Mulford, and I can tell you, short metre, that I will not
stand it.”

“May I inquire if you ever saw me, the least in the world,
under the influence of liquor, Capt. Spike?” demanded the
mate, rather than asked, with a very fixed meaning in his

“I keep no log-book of trifles, Mr. Mulford, and cannot
say. No man is the worse for bowsing out his jib when off
duty, though a drunkard's a thing I despise. Well, well—

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remember, sir, that the Molly Swash casts off on the young
flood, and that Rose Budd and the good lady, her aunt, take
passage in her, this v'y'ge.”

“Is it possible that you have persuaded them into that, at
last!” exclaimed the handsome mate.

“Persuaded! It takes no great persuasion, sir, to get
the ladies to try their luck in that brig. Lady Washington
herself, if she was alive and disposed to a sea-v'y'ge, might
be glad of the chance. We've a ladies' cabin, you know,
and it's suitable that it should have some one to occupy it.
Old Mrs. Budd is a sensible woman, and takes time by the
forelock. Rose is ailin'—pulmonary they call it, I believe,
and her aunt wishes to try the sea for her constitution—”

“Rose Budd has no more of a pulmonary constitution
than I have myself,” interrupted the mate.

“Well, that's as people fancy. You must know, Mr.
Mulford, they've got all sorts of diseases now-a-days, and
all sorts of cures for'em. One sort of a cure for consumption
is what they tarm the Hyder-Ally—”

“I think you must mean hydropathy, sir—”

“Well it's something of the sort, no matter what—but
cold water is at the bottom of it, and they do say it's a
good remedy. Now Rose's aunt thinks if cold water is
what is wanted, there is no place where it can be so plenty
as out on the ocean. Sea-air is good, too, and by taking a
v'y'ge her niece will get both requisites together, and cheap.”

“Does Rose Budd think herself consumptive, Capt.
Spike?” asked Mulford, with interest.

“Not she—you know it will never do to alarm a pulmonary,
so Mrs. Budd has held her tongue carefully on the
subject before the young woman. Rose fancies that her
aunt is out of sorts, and that the v'y'ge is tried on her account—
but the aunt, the cunning thing, knows all about it.”

Mulford almost nauseated the expression of his commander's
countenance while Spike uttered the last words. At
no time was that countenance very inviting, the features being
coarse and vulgar, while the color of the entire face was
of an ambiguous red, in which liquor and the seasons would
seem to be blended in very equal quantities. Such a countenance,
lighted up by a gleam of successful management,
not to say with hopes and wishes that it will hardly do to

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dwell on, could not but be revolting to a youth of Harry
Mulford's generous feelings, and most of all to one who entertained
the sentiments which he was quite conscious of entertaining
for Rose Budd. The young man made no reply,
but turned his face toward the water, in order to conceal the
expression of disgust that he was sensible must be strongly
depicted on it.

The river, as the well-known arm of the sea in which the
Swash was lying is erroneously termed, was just at that
moment unusually clear of craft, and not a sail, larger than
that of a boat, was to be seen between the end of Blackwell's
Island and Corlaer's Hook, a distance of about a league.
This stagnation in the movement of the port, at that particular
point, was owing to the state of wind and tide. Of the
first, there was little more than a southerly air, while the
last was about two-thirds ebb. Nearly everything that was
expected on that tide, coast-wise, and by the way of the
Sound, had already arrived, and nothing could go eastward,
with that light breeze and under canvas, until the flood made.
Of course it was different with the steamers, who were paddling
about like so many ducks, steering in all directions,
though mostly crossing and re-crossing at the ferries. Just
as Mulford turned away from his commander, however, a
large vessel of that class shoved her bows into the view,
doubling the Hook, and going eastward. The first glance
at this vessel sufficed to drive even Rose Budd momentarily
out of the minds of both master and mate, and to give a new
current to their thoughts. Spike had been on the point of
walking up the wharf, but he now so far changed his purpose
as actually to jump on board of the brig and spring up
alongside of his mate, on the taffrail, in order to get a better
look at the steamer. Mulford, who loathed so much in his
commander, was actually glad of this, Spike's rare merit as
a seaman forming a sort of attraction that held him, as it
might be against his own will, bound to his service.

“What will they do next, Harry?” exclaimed the master,
his manner and voice actually humanized, in air and sound
at least, by this unexpected view of something new in his
calling—“What will they do next?”

“I see no wheels, sir, nor any movement in the water
astern, as if she were a propeller,” returned the young man.

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“She's an out-of-the-way sort of a hussy! She's a
man-of-war, too—one of Uncle Sam's new efforts.”

“That can hardly be, sir. Uncle Sam has but three
steamers, of any size or force, now the Missouri is burned;
and yonder is one of them, lying at the Navy Yard, while
another is, or was lately, laid up at Boston. The third is
in the Gulf. This must be an entirely new vessel, if she
belong to Uncle Sam.”

“New! She's as new as a Governor, and they tell me
they've got so now that they choose five or six of them, up
at Albany, every fall. That craft is sea-going, Mr. Mulford,
as any one can tell at a glance. She's none of your passenger-hoys.”

“That's plain enough, sir—and she's armed. Perhaps
she's English, and they've brought her here into this open
spot to try some new machinery. Ay, ay! she's about to
set her ensign to the navy men at the yard, and we shall see
to whom she belongs.”

A long, low, expressive whistle from Spike succeeded this
remark, the colours of the steamer going up to the end of a
gaff on the sternmost of her schooner-rigged masts, just as
Mulford ceased speaking. There was just air enough, aided
by the steamer's motion, to open the bunting, and let the
spectators see the design. There were the stars and stripes,
as usual, but the last ran perpendicularly, instead of in a
horizontal direction.

“Revenue, by George!” exclaimed the master, as soon
as his breath was exhausted in the whistle. “Who would
have believed they could screw themselves up to doing
such a thing in that bloody service?”

“I now remember to have heard that Uncle Sam was
building some large steamers for the revenue service, and,
if I mistake not, with some new invention to get along with,
that is neither wheel nor propeller. This must be one of
these new craft, brought out here, into open water, just to
try her, sir.”

“You're right, sir, you're right. As to the natur' of the
beast, you see her buntin', and no honest man can want
more. If there's anything I do hate, it is that flag, with its
unnat'ral stripes, up and down, instead of running in the
true old way. I have heard a lawyer say, that the revenue

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flag of this country is onconstitutional, and that a vessel
carrying it on the high seas might be sent in for piracy.”

Although Harry Mulford was neither Puffendorf, nor Grotius,
he had too much common sense, and too little prejudice
in favour of even his own vocation, to swallow such a theory,
had fifty Cherry Street lawyers sworn to its justice. A
smile crossed his fine, firm-looking mouth, and something
very like a reflection of that smile, if smiles can be reflected
in one's own countenance, gleamed in his fine, large, dark

“It would be somewhat singular, Capt, Spike,” he said,
“if a vessel belonging to any nation should be seized as a
pirate. The fact that she is national in character would
clear her.”

“Then let her carry a national flag, and be d—d to her,”
answered Spike fiercely. “I can show you law for what I
say, Mr. Mulford. The American flag has its stripes fore
and aft by law, and this chap carries his stripes parpendic'lar.
If I commanded a cruiser, and fell in with one of
these up and down gentry, blast me if I wouldn't just send
him into port, and try the question in the old Alms-House.”

Mulford probably did not think it worth while to argue
the point any further, understanding the dogmatism and
stolidity of his commander too well to deem it necessary.
He preferred to turn to the consideration of the qualities of
the steamer in sight, a subject on which, as seamen, they
might better sympathize.

“That's a droll-looking revenue cutter, after all, Capt.
Spike,” he said—“a craft better fitted to go in a fleet, as a
look-out vessel, than to chase a smuggler in-shore.”

“And no goer in the bargain! I do not see how she gets
along, for she keeps all snug under water; but, unless she
can travel faster than she does just now, the Molly Swash
would soon lend her the Mother Carey's Chickens of her
own wake to amuse her.”

“She has the tide against her, just here, sir; no doubt
she would do better in still water.”

Spike muttered something between his teeth, and jumped
down on deck, seemingly dismissing the subject of the revenue
entirely from his mind. His old, coarse, authoritative
manner returned, and he again spoke to his mate about

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Rose Budd, her aunt, the “ladies' cabin,” the “young flood,”
and “casting off,” as soon as the last made. Mulford listened
respectfully, though with a manifest distaste for the
instructions he was receiving. He knew his man, and a feeling
of dark distrust came over him, as he listened to his
orders concerning the famous accommodations he intended
to give to Rose Budd and that “capital old lady, her aunt;”
his opinion of “the immense deal of good sea-air and a
v'y'ge would do Rose,” and how “comfortable they both
would be on board the Molly Swash.”

“I honour and respect, Mrs. Budd, as my captain's lady,
you see, Mr. Mulford, and intend to treat her accordin'ly.
She knows it—and Rose knows it—and they both declare
they'd rather sail with me, since sail they must, than with
any other ship-master out of America.”

“You sailed once with Capt. Budd yourself, I think I have
heard you say, sir?”

“The old fellow brought me up. I was with him from
my tenth to my twentieth year, and then broke adrift to see
fashions. We all do that, you know, Mr. Mulford, when we
are young and ambitious, and my turn came as well as

“Capt. Budd must have been a good deal older than his
wife, sir, if you sailed with him when a boy,” Mulford observed
a little drily.

“Yes; I own to forty-eight, though no one would think
me more than five or six-and-thirty, to look at me. There
was a great difference between old Dick Budd and his wife,
as you say, he being about fifty, when he married, and she
less than twenty. Fifty is a good age for matrimony, in a
man, Mulford; as is twenty in a young woman.”

“Rose Budd is not yet nineteen, I have heard her say,”
returned the mate, with emphasis.

“Youngish, I will own, but that's a fault a liberal-minded
man can overlook. Every day, too, will lessen it. Well,
look to the cabins, and see all clear for a start. Josh will
be down presently with a cart-load of stores, and you'll take
'em aboard without delay.”

As Spike uttered this order, his foot was on the planksheer
of the bulwarks, in the act of passing to the wharf
again. On reaching the shore, he turned and looked

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intently at the revenue steamer, and his lips moved, as if he were
secretly uttering maledictions on her. We say maledictions,
as the expression of his fierce ill-favoured countenance too
plainly showed that they could not be blessings. As for
Mulford, there was still something on his mind, and he followed
to the gangway ladder and ascended it, waiting for a
moment when the mind of his commander might be less occupied
to speak. The opportunity soon occurred, Spike having
satisfied himself with the second look at the steamer.

“I hope you don't mean to sail again without a second
mate, Capt. Spike?” he said.

“I do though, I can tell you. I hate Dickies—they are
always in the way, and the captain has to keep just as much
of a watch with one as without one.”

“That will depend on his quality. You and I have both
been Dickies in our time, sir; and my time was not long

“Ay—ay—I know all about it—but you didn't stick to
it long enough to get spoiled. I would have no man aboard
the Swash who made more than two v'y'ges as second officer.
As I want no spies aboard my craft, I'll try it once more
without a Dicky.”

Saying this in a sufficiently positive manner, Capt. Stephen
Spike rolled up the wharf, much as a ship goes off
before the wind, now inclining to the right, and then again
to the left. The gait of the man would have proclaimed him
a sea-dog, to any one acquainted with that animal, as far
as he could be seen. The short squab figure, the arms
bent nearly at right angles at the elbow, and working like
two fins with each roll of the body, the stumpy, solid legs,
with the feet looking in the line of his course and kept wide
apart, would all have contributed to the making up of such
an opinion. Accustomed as he was to this beautiful sight,
Harry Mulford kept his eyes riveted on the retiring person
of his commander, until it disappeared behind a pile of lumber,
waddling always in the direction of the more thickly
peopled parts of the town. Then he turned and gazed at
the steamer, which, by this time, had fairly passed the brig,
and seemed to be actually bound through the Gate. That
steamer was certainly a noble-looking craft, but our young
man fancied she struggled along through the water heavily.

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She might be quick at need, but she did not promise as
much by her present rate of moving. Still, she was a noble-looking
craft, and, as Mulford descended to the deck
again, he almost regretted he did not belong to her; or, at
least, to anything but the Molly Swash.

Two hours produced a sensible change in and around
that brigantine. Her people had all come back to duty, and
what was very remarkable among seafaring folk, sober to a
man. But, as has been said, Spike was a temperance man,
as respects all under his orders at least, if not strictly so in
practice himself. The crew of the Swash was large for a
half-rigged brig of only two hundred tons, but, as her spars
were very square, and all her gear as well as her mould
seemed constructed for speed, it was probable more hands
than common were necessary to work her with facility and
expedition. After all, there were not many persons to be
enumerated among the “people of the Molly Swash,” as
they called themselves; not more than a dozen, including
those aft, as well as those forward. A peculiar feature of
this crew, however, was the circumstance that they were all
middle-aged men, with the exception of the mate, and all
thorough-bred sea-dogs. Even Josh, the cabin-boy, as he
was called, was an old, wrinkled, gray-headed negro, of near
sixty. If the crew wanted a little in the elasticity of youth,
it possessed the steadiness and experience of their time of
life, every man appearing to know exactly what to do, and
when to do it. This, indeed, composed their great merit;
an advantage that Spike well knew how to appreciate.

The stores had been brought alongside of the brig in a
cart, and were already showed in their places. Josh had
brushed and swept, until the ladies' cabin could be made no
neater. This ladies' cabin was a small apartment beneath
a trunk, which was, ingeniously enough, separated from the
main cabin by pantries and double doors. The arrangement
was unusual, and Spike had several times hinted that
there was a history connected with that cabin; though what
the history was Mulford never could induce him to relate.
The latter knew that the brig had been used for a forced
trade on the Spanish Main, and had heard something of her
deeds in bringing off specie, and proscribed persons, at different
epochs in the revolutions of that part of the world,

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and he had always understood that her present commander
and owner had sailed in her, as mate, for many years before
he had risen to his present station. Now, all was regular
in the way of records, bills of sale, and other documents;
Stephen Spike appearing in both the capacities just named.
The register proved that the brig had been built as far back
as the last English war, as a private cruiser, but recent and
extensive repairs had made her “better than new,” as her
owner insisted, and there was no question as to her seaworthiness.
It is true the insurance offices blew upon her,
and would have nothing to do with a craft that had seen her
two score years and ten; but this gave none who belonged
to her any concern, inasmuch as they could scarcely have
been underwritten in their trade, let the age of the vessel be
what it might. It was enough for them that the brig was
safe and exceedingly fast, insurances never saving the lives
of the people, whatever else might be their advantages.
With Mulford it was an additional recommendation, that
the Swash was usually thought to be of uncommonly just

By half-past two, P. M., everything was ready for getting
the brigantine under way. Her fore-topsail—or fore-
tawsail as Spike called it—was loose, the fasts were singled,
and a spring had been carried to a post in the wharf, that
was well forward of the starboard bow, and the brig's head
turned to the southwest, or down the stream, and consequently
facing the young flood. Nothing seemed to connect
the vessel with the land but a broad gangway plank, to which
Mulford had attached life-lines, with more care than it is
usual to meet with on board of vessels employed in short
voyages. The men stood about the decks with their arms
thrust into the bosoms of their shirts, and the whole picture
was one of silent, and possibly of somewhat uneasy expectation.
Nothing was said, however; Mulford walking the
quarter-deck alone, occasionally looking up the still little
tenanted streets of that quarter of the suburbs, as if to search
for a carriage. As for the revenue-steamer, she had long
before gone through the southern passage of Blackwell's,
steering for the Gate.

“Dat's dem, Mr. Mulford,” Josh at length cried, from the
look-out he had taken in a stern-port, where he could see

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over the low bulwarks of the vessel. “Yes, dat's dem, sir.
I know dat old gray horse dat carries his head so low and
sorrowful like, as a horse has a right to do dat has to drag
a cab about this big town. My eye! what a horse it is,

Josh was right, not only as to the gray horse that carried
his head “sorrowful like,” but as to the cab and its contents.
The vehicle was soon on the wharf, and in its door soon
appeared the short, sturdy figure of Capt. Spike, backing out,
much as a bear descends a tree. On top of the vehicle were
several light articles of female appliances, in the shape of
bandboxes, bags, &c., the trunks having previously arrived
in a cart. Well might that over-driven gray horse appear
sorrowful, and travel with a lowered head. The cab, when
it gave up its contents, discovered a load of no less than four
persons besides the driver, all of weight, and of dimensions
in proportion, with the exception of the pretty and youthful
Rose Budd. Even she was plump, and of a well-rounded
person; though still light and slender. But her aunt was
a fair picture of a ship-master's widow; solid, comfortable
and buxom. Neither was she old, nor ugly. On the contrary,
her years did not exceed forty, and being well preserved,
in consequence of never having been a mother, she
might even have passed for thirty-five. The great objection
to her appearance was the somewhat indefinite character of
her shape, which seemed to blend too many of its charms
into one. The fourth person, in the fare, was Biddy Noon,
the Irish servant and factotum of Mrs. Budd, who was a
pock-marked, red-faced, and red-armed single woman, about
her mistress's own age and weight, though less stout to the

Of Rose we shall not stop to say much here. Her deepblue
eye, which was equally spirited and gentle, if one can
use such contradictory terms, seemed alive with interest and
curiosity, running over the brig, the wharf, the arm of the
sea, the two islands, and all near her, including the Alms-House,
with such a devouring rapidity as might be expected
in a town-bred girl, who was setting out on her travels for
the first time. Let us be understood; we say town-bred,
because such was the fact; for Rose Budd had been both
born and educated in Manhattan, though we are far from

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wishing to be understood that she was either very well-born,
or highly educated. Her station in life may be inferred from
that of her aunt, and her education from her station. Of the
two, the last was, perhaps, a trifle the highest.

We have said that the fine blue eye of Rose passed swiftly
over the various objects near her, as she alighted from the
cab, and it naturally took in the form of Harry Mulford, as
he stood in the gangway, offering his arm to aid her aunt
and herself in passing the brig's side. A smile of recognition
was exchanged between the young people, as their eyes
met, and the colour, which formed so bright a charm in Rose's
sweet face, deepened, in a way to prove that that colour spoke
with a tongue and eloquence of its own. Nor was Mulford's
cheek mute on the occasion, though he helped the hesitating,
half-doubting, half-bold girl along the plank with a steady
hand and rigid muscles. As for the aunt, as a captain's
widow, she had not felt it necessary to betray any extraordinary
emotions in ascending the plank, unless, indeed, it
might be those of delight on finding her foot once more on
the deck of a vessel!

Something of the same feeling governed Biddy, too, for,
as Mulford civilly extended his hand to her also, she exclaimed—

“No fear of me, Mr. Mate—I came from Ireland by wather,
and knows all about ships and brigs, I do. If you
could have seen the times we had, and the saas we crossed,
you'd not think it nadeful to say much to the likes iv me.”

Spike had tact enough to understand he would be out of
his element in assisting females along that plank, and he
was busy in sending what he called “the old lady's dunnage”
on board, and in discharging the cabman. As soon
as this was done, he sprang into the main-channels, and
thence vid the bulwarks, on deck, ordering the plank to be
hauled aboard. A solitary labourer was paid a quarter to
throw off the fasts from the ring-bolts and posts, and everything
was instantly in motion to cast the brig loose. Work
went on as if the vessel were in haste, and it consequently
went on with activity. Spike bestirred himself, giving his
orders in a way to denote he had been long accustomed to
exercise authority on the deck of a vessel, and knew his
calling to its minutiæ. The only ostensible difference

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between his deportment to-day and on any ordinary occasion,
perhaps, was in the circumstance that he now seemed anxious
to get clear of the wharf, and that in a way which might
have attracted notice in any suspicious and attentive observer.
It is possible that such a one was not very distant, and
that Spike was aware of his presence, for a respectable-looking,
well-dressed, middle-aged man had come down one of
the adjacent streets, to a spot within a hundred yards of the
wharf, and stood silently watching the movements of the
brig, as he leaned against a fence. The want of houses in
that quarter enabled any person to see this stranger from
the deck of the Swash, but no one on board her seemed to
regard him at all, unless it might be the master.

“Come, bear a hand, my hearty, and toss that bow-fast
clear,” cried the captain, whose impatience to be off seemed
to increase as the time to do so approached nearer and nearer.
“Off with it, at once, and let her go.”

The man on the wharf threw the turns of the hawser clear
of the post, and the Swash was released forward. A smaller
line, for a spring, had been run some distance along the
wharves, ahead of the vessel, and brought in aft. Her people
clapped on this, and gave way to their craft, which, being
comparatively light, was easily moved, and was very manageable.
As this was done, the distant spectator who had
been leaning on the fence moved toward the wharf with a
step a little quicker than common. Almost at the same instant,
a short, stout, sailor-like looking little person, waddled
down the nearest street, seeming to be in somewhat of a
hurry, and presently he joined the other stranger, and appeared
to enter into conversation with him; pointing toward
the Swash as he did so. All this time, both continued to
advance toward the wharf.

In the meanwhile, Spike and his people were not idle.
The tide did not run very strong near the wharves and in
the sort of a bight in which the vessel had lain; but, such as
it was, it soon took the brig on her inner bow, and began to
cast her head off shore. The people at the spring pulled
away with all their force, and got sufficient motion on their
vessel to overcome the tide, and to give the rudder an influence.
The latter was put hard a-starboard, and helped to
cast the brig's head to the southward.

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Down to this moment, the only sail that was loose on
board the Swash was the fore-topsail, as mentioned. This
still hung in the gear, but a hand had been sent aloft to overhaul
the buntlines and clewlines, and men were also at the
sheets. In a minute the sail was ready for hoisting. The
Swash carried a wapper of a fore-and-aft mainsail, and, what
is more, it was fitted with a standing gaff, for appearance in
port. At sea, Spike knew better than to trust to this arrangement;
but in fine weather, and close in with the land, he
found it convenient to have this sail haul out and brail like
a ship's spanker. As the gaff was now aloft, it was only
necessary to let go the brails to loosen this broad sheet of
canvas, and to clap on the out-hauler, to set it. This was
probably the reason why the brig was so unceremoniously
cast into the stream, without showing more of her cloth.
The jib and flying-jibs, however, did at that moment drop
beneath their booms, ready for hoisting.

Such was the state of things as the two strangers came
first upon the wharf. Spike was on the taffrail, overhauling
the main-sheet, and Mulford was near him, casting the fore-topsail
braces from the pins, preparatory to clapping on the

“I say, Mr. Mulford,” asked the captain, “did you ever
see either of them chaps afore? These jokers on the wharf,
I mean.”

“Not to my recollection, sir,” answered the mate, looking
over the taffrail to examine the parties. “The little one is
a burster! The funniest-looking little fat old fellow I've
seen in many a day.”

“Ay, ay, them fat little bursters, as you call 'em, are
sometimes full of the devil. I do n't like either of the chaps,
and am right glad we are well cast, before they got here.”

“I do not think either would be likely to do us much
harm, Capt. Spike.”

“There's no knowing sir. The biggest fellow looks as
if he might lug out a silver oar at any moment.”

“I believe the silver oar is no longer used, in this country
at least,” answered Mulford, smiling. “And if it were,
what have we to fear from it? I fancy the brig has paid
her reckoning.”

“She do n't owe a cent, nor ever shall for twenty-four

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[figure description] Page 023.[end figure description]

hours after the bill is made out, while I own her. They
call me ready-money Stephen, round among the ship-chandlers
and caulkers. But I do n't like them chaps, and what
I do n't relish I never swallow, you know.”

“They 'll hardly try to get aboard us, sir; you see we
are quite clear of the wharf, and the mainsail will take now,
if we set it.”

Spike ordered the mate to clap on the outhauler, and
spread that broad sheet of canvas at once to the little breeze
there was. This was almost immediately done, when the
sail filled, and began to be felt on the movement of the vessel.
Still, that movement was very slow, the wind being so
light, and the vis inertiœ of so large a body remaining to be
overcome. The brig receded from the wharf, almost in a
line at right angles to its face, inch by inch, as it might be,
dropping slowly up with the tide at the same time. Mulford
now passed forward to set the jibs, and to get the topsail on
the craft, leaving Spike on the taffrail, keenly eyeing the
strangers, who, by this time, had got down nearly to the
end of the wharf, at the berth so lately occupied by the
Swash. That the captain was uneasy was evident enough,
that feeling being exhibited in his countenance, blended with
a malignant ferocity.

“Has that brig any pilot?” asked the larger and better-looking
of the two strangers.

“What's that to you, friend?” demanded Spike, in return.
“Have you a Hell-Gate branch?”

“I may have one, or I may not. It is not usual for so
large a craft to run the Gate without a pilot.”

“Oh! my gentleman's below, brushing up his logarithms.
We shall have him on deck to take his departure before long,
when I'll let him know your kind inquiries after his health.”

The man on the wharf seemed to be familiar with this
sort of sea-wit, and he made no answer, but continued that
close scrutiny of the brig, by turning his eyes in all directions,
now looking below, and now aloft, which had in truth
occasioned Spike's principal cause for uneasiness.

“Is not that Capt. Stephen Spike, of the brigantine Molly
Swash?” called out the little, dumpling-looking person, in a
cracked, dwarfish sort of a voice, that was admirably adapted
to his appearance. Our captain fairly started; turned

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[figure description] Page 024.[end figure description]

full toward the speaker; regarded him intently for a moment;
and gulped the words he was about to utter, like one confounded.
As he gazed, however, at little dumpy, examining
his bow-legs, red broad cheeks, and coarse snub nose,
he seemed to regain his self-command, as if satisfied the
dead had not really returned to life.

“Are you acquainted with the gentleman you have
named?” he asked, by way of answer. “You speak of him
like one who ought to know him.”

“A body is apt to know a shipmate. Stephen Spike and
I sailed together twenty years since, and I hope to live to
sail with him again.”

You sail with Stephen Spike? when and where, may
I ask, and in what v'y'ge, pray?”

“The last time was twenty years since. Have you forgotten
little Jack Tier, Capt. Spike?”

Spike looked astonished, and well he might, for he had
supposed Jack to be dead fully fifteen years. Time and
hard service had greatly altered him, but the general resemblance
in figure, stature, and waddle, certainly remained.
Notwithstanding, the Jack Tier that Spike remembered was
quite a different person from this Jack Tier. That Jack
had worn his intensely black hair clubbed and curled, whereas
this Jack had cut his locks into short bristles, which time
had turned into an intense gray. That Jack was short and
thick, but he was flat and square; whereas this Jack was
just as short, a good deal thicker, and as round as a dumpling.
In one thing, however, the likeness still remained perfect.
Both Jacks chewed tobacco, to a degree that became
a distinct feature in their appearance.

Spike had many reasons for wishing Jack Tier were not
resuscitated in this extraordinary manner, and some for being
glad to see him. The fellow had once been largely in
his confidence, and knew more than was quite safe for any
one to remember but himself, while he might be of great use
to him in his future, operations. It is always convenient to
have one at your elbow who thoroughly understands you,
and Spike would have lowered a boat and sent it to the
wharf to bring Jack off, were it not for the gentleman who
was so inquisitive about pilots. Under the circumstances,

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[figure description] Page 025.[end figure description]

he determined to forego the advantages of Jack's presence,
reserving the right to hunt him up on his return.

The reader will readily enough comprehend, that the
Molly Swash was not absolutely standing still while the dialogue
related was going on, and the thoughts we have recorded
were passing through her master's mind. On the
contrary, she was not only in motion, but that motion was
gradually increasing, and by the time all was said that has
been related, it had become necessary for those who spoke
to raise their voices to an inconvenient pitch in order to be
heard. This circumstance alone would soon have put an
end to the conversation, had not Spike's pausing to reflect
brought about the same result, as mentioned.

In the mean time, Mulford had got the canvas spread.
Forward, the Swash showed all the cloth of a full-rigged
brig, even to royals and flying jib; while aft, her mast
was the raking, tall, naked pole of an American schooner.
There was a taunt topmast, too, to which a gaff-topsail was
set, and the gear proved that she could also show, at need,
a staysail in this part of her, if necessary. As the Gate was
before them, however, the people had set none but the plain,
manageable canvas.

The Molly Swash kept close on a wind, luffing athwar
the broad reach she was in, until far enough to weather
Blackwell's, when she edged off to her course, and went
through the southern passage. Although the wind remained
light, and a little baffling, the brig was so easily impelled,
and was so very handy, that there was no difficulty in keeping
her perfectly in command. The tide, too, was fast increasing
in strength and volocity, and the movement from
this cause alone was getting to be sufficiently rapid.

As for the passengers, of whom we have lost sight in order
to get the brig under way, they were now on deck again.
At first, they had all gone below, under the care of Josh, a
somewhat rough groom of the chambers, to take possession
of their apartment, a sufficiently neat, and exceedingly comfortable
cabin, supplied with everything that could be wanted
at sea, and, what was more, lined on two of its sides with
state-rooms. It is true, all these apartments were small,
and the state-rooms were very low, but no fault could be

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[figure description] Page 026.[end figure description]

found with their neatness and general arrangements, when
it was recollected that one was on board a vessel.

“Here ebbery t'ing heart can wish,” said Josh, exultingly,
who, being an old-school black, did not disdain to use some
of the old-school dialect of his caste. “Yes, ladies, ebbery
t'ing. Let Cap'n Spike alone for dat! He won'erful at
accommodation! Not a bed-bug aft—know better dan come
here; jest like de people, in dat respects, and keep deir
place forrard. You nebber see a pig come on de quarter-deck,

“You must maintain excellent discipline, Josh,” cried
Rose, in one of the sweetest voices in the world, which was
easily attuned to merriment—“and we are delighted to
learn what you tell us. How do you manage to keep up
these distinctions, and make such creatures know their
places so well?”

“Nuttin easier, if you begin right, miss. As for de pig,
I teach dem wid scaldin' water. Wheneber I sees a pig
come aft, I gets a little water from de copper, and just scald
him wid it. You can't t'ink, miss, how dat mend his manners,
and make him squeel fuss, and t'ink arter. In dat
fashion I soon get de ole ones in good trainin', and den I
has no more trouble with dem as comes fresh aboard; for
de ole hog tell de young one, and 'em won'erful cunnin', and
know how to take care of 'emself.”

Rose Budd's sweet eyes were full of fun and expectation,
and she could no more repress her laugh than youth and
spirits can always be discreet.

“Yes, with the pigs,” she cried, “that might do very well;
but how is it with those—other creatures?”

“Rosy, dear,” interrupted the aunt, “I wish you would
say no more about such shocking things. It's enough for
us that Capt. Spike has ordered them all to stay forward
among the men, which is always done on board well disciplined
vessels. I've heard your uncle say, a hundred
times, that the quarter-deck was sacred, and that might be
enough to keep such animals off it.”

It was barely necessary to look at Mrs. Budd in the face
to get a very accurate general notion of her character. She
was one of those inane, uncultivated beings who seem to
be protected by a benevolent Providence in their pilgrimage

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on earth, for they do not seem to possess the power to protect
themselves. Her very countenance expressed imbecility
and mental dependence, credulity and a love of gossip.
Notwithstanding these radical weaknesses, the good woman
had some of the better instincts of her sex, and was never
guilty of anything that could properly convey reproach.

She was no monitress for Rose, however, the niece much
oftener influencing the aunt, than the aunt influencing the
niece. The latter had been fortunate in having had an
excellent instructress, who, though incapable of teaching her
much in the way of accomplishments, had imparted a great
deal that was respectable and useful. Rose had character,
and strong character, too, as the course of our narrative will
show; but her worthy aunt was a pure picture of as much
mental imbecility as at all comported with the privileges of

The conversation about “those other creatures” was
effectually checked by Mrs. Budd's horror of the “animals,”
and Josh was called on deck so shortly after as to prevent
its being renewed. The females staid below a few minutes,
to take possession, and then they re-appeared on deck, to
gaze at the horrors of the Hell Gate passage. Rose was
all eyes, wonder and admiration of everything she saw.
This was actually the first time she had ever been on the
water, in any sort of craft, though born and brought up in
sight of one of the most thronged havens in the world. But
there must be a beginning to everything, and this was Rose
Budd's beginning on the water. It is true the brigantine
was a very beautiful, as well as an exceedingly swift vessel;
but all this was lost on Rose, who would have admired a
horse-jockey bound to the West Indies, in this the incipient
state of her nautical knowledge. Perhaps the exquisite
neatness that Mulford maintained about everything that came
under his care, and that included everything on deck, or
above-board, and about which neatness Spike occasionally
muttered an oath, as so much senseless trouble, contributed
somewhat to Rose's pleasure; but her admiration would
scarcely have been less with anything that had sails, and
seemed to move through the water with a power approaching
that of volition.

It was very different with Mrs. Budd, She, good woman,

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had actually made one voyage with her late husband, and
she fancied that she knew all about a vessel. It was her
delight to talk on nautical subjects, and never did she really
feel her great superiority over her niece, so very unequivocally,
as when the subject of the ocean was introduced, about
which she did know something, and touching which Rose
was profoundly ignorant, or as ignorant as a girl of lively
imagination could remain with the information gleaned from

“I am not surprised you are astonished at the sight of
the vessel, Rosy,” observed the self-complacent aunt at one
of her niece's exclamations of admiration. “A vessel is a
very wonderful thing, and we are told what extr'orny beings
they are that `go down to the sea in ships.' But you are
to know this is not a ship at all, but only a half-jigger rigged,
which is altogether a different thing.”

“Was my uncle's vessel, The Rose In Bloom, then, very
different from the Swash?”

“Very different indeed, child! Why, The Rose In Bloom
was a full-jiggered ship, and had twelve masts—and this is
only a half-jiggered brig, and has but two masts. See, you
may count them—one—two!”

Harry Mulford was coiling away a top-gallant-brace,
directly in front of Mrs. Budd and Rose, and, at hearing this
account of the wonderful equipment of The Rose In Bloom,
he suddenly looked up, with a lurking expression about his
eye that the niece very well comprehended, while he exclaimed,
without much reflection, under the impulse of surprise—

“Twelve masts! Did I understand you to say, ma'am,
that Capt. Budd's ship had twelve masts?”

“Yes, sir, twelve! and I can tell you all their names, for
I learnt them by heart—it appearing to me proper that a
ship-master's wife should know the names of all the masts
in her husband's vessel. Do you wish to hear their names,
Mr. Mulford?”

Harry Mulford would have enjoyed this conversation to
the top of his bent, had it not been for Rose. She well knew
her aunt's general weakness of intellect, and especially its
weakness on this particular subject, but she would suffer no
one to manifest contempt for either, if in her power to prevent
it. It is seldom one so young, so mirthful, so

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[figure description] Page 029.[end figure description]

ingenuous and innocent in the expression of her countenance,
assumed so significant and rebuking a frown as did pretty
Rose Budd when she heard the mate's involuntary exclamation
about the “twelve masts.” Harry, who was not easily
checked by his equals, or any of his own sex, submitted to
that rebuking frown with the meekness of a child, and stammered
out, in answer to the well-meaning, but weak-minded
widow's question—

“If you please, Mrs. Budd—just as you please, ma'am—
only twelve is a good many masts—” Rose frowned again—
“that is—more than I'm used to seeing—that's all.”

“I dare say, Mr. Mulford—for you sail in only a half-jigger;
but Capt. Budd always sailed in a full-jigger—and
his full-jiggered ship had just twelve masts, and, to prove
it to you, I'll give you the names—first then, there were
the fore, main, and mizen masts—”

“Yes—yes—ma'am,” stammered Harry, who wished the
twelve masts and The Rose In Bloom at the bottom of the
ocean, since her owner's niece still continued to look coldly
displeased—“that's right, I can swear!”

“Very true, sir, and you'll find I am right as to all the
rest. Then, there were the fore, main, and mizen top-masts—
they make six, if I can count, Mr. Mulford?”

“Ah!” exclaimed the mate, laughing, in spite of Rose's
frowns, as the manner in which the old sea-dog had quizzed
his wife became apparent to him. “I see how it is—you
are quite right, ma'am—I dare say The Rose In Bloom had
all these masts, and some to spare.”

“Yes, sir—I knew you would be satisfied. The fore,
main and mizen top-gallant-masts make nine—and the fore,
main and mizen royals make just twelve. Oh, I'm never
wrong in anything about a vessel, especially if she is a full-jiggered

Mulford had some difficulty in restraining his smiles each
time the full-jigger was mentioned, but Rose's expression of
countenance kept him in excellent order—and she, innocent
creature, saw nothing ridiculous in the term, though the
twelve masts had given her a little alarm. Delighted that
the old lady had got through her enumeration of the spars
with so much success, Rose cried, in the exuberance of her

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[figure description] Page 030.[end figure description]

“Well, aunty, for my part, I find a half-jigger vessel, so
very, very beautiful, that I do not know how I should behave
were I to go on board a full-jigger.”

Mulford turned abruptly away, the circumstance of Rose's
making herself ridiculous giving him sudden pain, though
he could have laughed at her aunt by the hour.

“Ah, my dear, that is on account of your youth and inexperience—
but you will learn better in time. I was just so,
myself, when I was of your age, and thought the fore-rafters
were as handsome as the squared-jiggers, but soon after I
married Capt. Budd I felt the necessity of knowing more
than I did about ships, and I got him to teach me. He
did n't like the business, at first, and pretended I would
never learn; but, at last, it came all at once like, and then
he used to be delighted to hear me `talk ship,' as he called
it. I've known him laugh, with his cronies, as if ready to
die, at my expertness in sea-terms, for half an hour together—
and then he would swear—that was the worst fault your
uncle had, Rosy—he would swear, sometimes, in a way
that frightened me, I do declare!”

“But he never swore at you, aunty?”

“I can't say that he did exactly do that, but he would
swear all round me, even if he did n't actually touch me,
when things went wrong—but it would have done your heart
good to hear him laugh! he had a most excellent heart, just
like your own, Rosy dear; but, for that matter, all the
Budds have excellent hearts, and one of the commonest
ways your uncle had of showing it was to laugh, particularly
when we were together and talking. Oh, he used to
delight in hearing me converse, especially about vessels, and
never failed to get me at it when he had company. I see
his good-natured, excellent-hearted countenance at this moment,
with the tears running down his fat, manly cheeks,
as he shook his very sides with laughter. I may live a
hundred years, Rosy, before I meet again with your uncle's

This was a subject that invariably silenced Rose. She
remembered her uncle, herself, and remembered his affectionate
manner of laughing at her aunt, and she always
wished the latter to get through her eulogiums on her married
happiness, as soon as possible, whenever the subject
was introduced.

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All this time the Molly Swash kept in motion. Spike
never took a pilot when he could avoid it, and his mind was
too much occupied with his duty, in that critical navigation,
to share at all in the conversation of his passengers, though
he did endeavour to make himself agreeable to Rose, by an
occasional remark, when a favourable opportunity offered.

As soon as he had worked his brig over into the south or
weather passage of Blackwell's, however, there remained
little for him to do, until she had drifted through it, a distance
of a mile or more; and this gave him leisure to do the
honours. He pointed out the castellated edifice on Blackwell's
as the new penitentiary, and the hamlet of villas, on
the other shore, as Ravenswood, though there is neither wood
nor ravens to authorize the name. But the “Sunswick,”
which satisfied the Delafields and Gibbses of the olden, time,
and which distinguished their lofty halls and broad lawns,
was not elegant enough for the cockney tastes of these latter
days, so “wood” must be made to usurp the place of cherries
and apples, and “ravens” that of gulls, in order to
satisfy its cravings. But all this was lost on Spike. He
remembered the shore as it had been twenty years before,
and he saw what it was now, but little did he care for the
change. On the whole, he rather preferred the Grecian
Temples, over which the ravens would have been compelled
to fly, had there been any ravens in that neighbourhood, to
the old-fashioned and highly respectable residence that once
alone occupied the spot. The point he did understand, however,
and on the merits of which he had something to say,
was a little farther ahead. That, too, had been re-christened—
the Hallet's Cove of the mariner being converted into
Astoria—not that bloody-minded place at the mouth of the
Oregon, which has come so near bringing us to blows with
our “ancestors in England,” as the worthy denizens of that
quarter choose to consider themselves still, if one can judge
by their language. This Astoria was a very different place,
and is one of the many suburban villages that are shooting
up, like mushrooms in a night, around the great Commercial
Emporium. This spot Spike understood perfectly, and
it was not likely that he should pass it without communicating
a portion of his knowledge to Rose.

“There, Miss Rose,” he said, with a didactic sort of air,

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[figure description] Page 032.[end figure description]

pointing with his short, thick finger at the little bay which
was just opening to their view; “there's as neat a cove as
a craft need bring up in. That used to be a capital place
to lie in, to wait for a wind to pass the Gate; but it has got
to be most too public for my taste. I'm rural, I tell Mulford,
and love to get in out-of-the-way berths with my brig, where
she can see salt-meadows, and smell the clover. You never
catch me down in any of the crowded slips, around the markets,
or anywhere in that part of the town, for I do love
country air. That's Hallet's Cove, Miss Rose, and a pretty
anchorage it would be for us, if the wind and tide didn't
sarve to take us through the Gate.”

“Are we near the Gate, Capt. Spike?” asked Rose, the
fine bloom on her cheek lessening a little, under the apprehension
that formidable name is apt to awaken in the breasts
of the inexperienced.

“Half a mile, or so. It begins just at the other end of
this island on our larboard hand, and will be all over in
about another half mile, or so. It's no such bad place, a'ter
all, is Hell-Gate, to them that's used to it. I call myself a
pilot in Hell-Gate, though I have no branch.”

“I wish, Capt. Spike, I could teach you to give that place
its proper and polite name. We call it Whirl-Gate altogether
now,” said the relict.

“Well, that's new to me,” cried Spike. “I have heard
some chicken-mouthed folk say Hurl-Gate, but this is the
first time I ever heard it called Whirl-Gate—they'll get it
to Whirligig-Gate next. I do n't think that my old commander,
Capt. Budd, called the passage anything but honest
up and down Hell-Gate.”

“That he did—that he did—and all my arguments and
reading could not teach him any better. I proved to him
that it was Whirl-Gate, as any one can see that it ought to
be. It is full of whirlpools, they say, and that shows what
Nature meant the name to be.”

“But, aunty,” put in Rose, half reluctantly, half anxious
to speak, “what has gate to do with whirlpools? You will
remember it is called a gate—the gate to that wicked place
I suppose is meant.”

“Rose, you amaze me! How can you, a young woman
of only nineteen, stand up for so vulgar a name as Hell-Gate!”

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[figure description] Page 033.[end figure description]

“Do you think it as vulgar as Hurl-Gate, aunty?” To
me it always seems the most vulgar to be straining at gnats.”

“Yes,” said Spike sentimentally, “I'm quite of Miss
Rose's way of thinking—straining at gnats is very ill-manners,
especially at table. I once knew a man who strained
in this way, until I thought he would have choked, though it
was with a fly to be sure; but gnats are nothing but small
flies, you know, Miss Rose. Yes, I'm quite of your way
of thinking, Miss Rose; it is very vulgar to be straining at
gnats and flies, more particularly at table. But you'll find
no flies or gnats aboard here, to be straining at, or brushing
away, or to annoy you. Stand by there, my hearties, and see
all clear to run through Hell-Gate. Do n't let me catch you
straining at anything, though it should be the fin of a whale!”

The people forward looked at each other, as they listened
to this novel admonition, though they called out the customary
“ay, ay, sir,” as they went to the sheets, braces and
bowlines. To them the passage of no Hell-Gate conveyed
the idea of any particular terror, and with the one they were
about to enter, they were much too familiar to care anything
about it.

The brig was now floating fast, with the tide, up abreast
of the east end of Blackwell's, and in two or three more
minutes she would be fairly in the Gate. Spike was aft,
where he could command a view of everything forward, and
Mulford stood on the quarter-deck, to look after the head-braces.
An old and trustworthy seaman, who acted as a
sort of boatswain, had the charge on the forecastle, and was
to tend the sheets and tack. His name was Rove.

“See all clear,” called out Spike. “D'ye hear there,
for'ard! I shall make a half-board in the Gate, if the wind
favour us, and the tide prove strong enough to hawse us to
wind'ard sufficiently to clear the Pot—so mind your—”

The captain breaking off in the middle of this harangue,
Mulford turned his head, in order to see what might be the
matter. There was Spike, levelling a spy-glass at a boat
that was pulling swiftly out of the north channel, and shooting
like an arrow directly athwart the brig's bows into the
main passage of the Gate. He stepped to the captain's elbow.

“Just take a look at them chaps, Mr. Mulford,” said Spike,
handing his mate the glass.

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“They seem in a hurry,” answered Harry, as he adjusted
the glass to his eye, “and will go through the Gate in
less time than it will take to mention the circumstance.”

“What do you make of them, sir?”

“The little man who called himself Jack Tier is in the
stern-sheets of the boat, for one,” answered Mulford.

“And the other, Harry—what do you make of the other?”

“It seems to be the chap who hailed to know if we had a
pilot. He means to board us at Riker's Island, and make
us pay pilotage, whether we want his services or not.”

“Blast him and his pilotage too! Give me the glass”—
taking another long look at the boat, which by this time was
glancing, rather than pulling, nearly at right angles across
his bows. “I want no such pilot aboard here, Mr. Mulford.
Take another look at him—here, you can see him, away on
our weather bow, already.”

Mulford did take another look at him, and this time his
examination was longer and more scrutinizing than before.

“It is not easy to cover him with the glass,” observed
the young man—“the boat seems fairly to fly.”

“We're forereaching too near the Hog's Back, Capt.
Spike,” roared the boatswain, from forward.

“Ready about—hard a lee,” shouted Spike. “Let all fly,
for'ard—help her round, boys, all you can, and wait for no
orders! Bestir yourselves—bestir yourselves.”

It was time the crew should be in earnest. While Spike's
attention had been thus diverted by the boat, the brig had
got into the strongest of the current, which, by setting her
fast to windward, had trebled the power of the air, and this
was shooting her over toward one of the greatest dangers of
the passage on a flood tide. As everybody bestirred themselves,
however, she was got round and filled on the opposite
tack, just in time to clear the rocks. Spike breathed
again, but his head was still full of the boat. The danger
he had just escaped as Scylla met him as Charybdis. The
boatswain again roared to go about. The order was given
as the vessel began to pitch in a heavy swell. At the next
instant she rolled until the water came on deck, whirled with
her stern down the tide, and her bows rose as if she were
about to leap out of water. The Swash had hit the Pot Rock!

-- 035 --


If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on


Truly, by your office, you may; but I think they that touch
pitch will be defiled; the most peaceable way for you, if you do take
a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal out of your

Much Ado About Nothing.

[figure description] Page 035.[end figure description]

We left the brigantine of Capt. Spike in a very critical
situation, and the master himself in great confusion of mind.

A thorough seaman, this accident would never have happened,
but for the sudden appearance of the boat and its passengers;
one of whom appeared to be a source of great
uneasiness to him. As might be expected, the circumstance
of striking a place as dangerous as the Pot Rock in Hell-Gate,
produced a great sensation on board the vessel. This
sensation betrayed itself in various ways, and according to
the characters, habits, and native firmness of the parties. As
for the ship-master's relict, she seized hold of the main-mast,
and screamed so loud and perseveringly, as to cause the
sensation to extend itself into the adjacent and thriving village
of Astoria, where it was distinctly heard by divers of
those who dwelt near the water. Biddy Noon had her share
in this clamour, lying down on the deck in order to prevent
rolling over, and possibly to scream more at her leisure, while
Rose had sufficient self-command to be silent, though her
cheeks lost their colour.

Nor was there anything extraordinary in females betraying
this alarm, when one remembers the somewhat astounding
signs of danger by which these persons were surrounded.
There is always something imposing in the swift movement
of a considerable body of water. When this movement is
aided by whirlpools and the other similar accessories of an
interrupted current, it frequently becomes startling, more
especially to those who happen to be on the element itself.
This is peculiarly the case with the Pot Rock, where, not
only does the water roll and roar as if agitated by a mighty

-- 036 --

[figure description] Page 036.[end figure description]

wind, but where it even breaks, the foam seeming to glance
up stream, in the rapid succession of wave to wave. Had
the Swash remained in her terrific berth more than a second
or two, she would have proved what is termed a “total
loss;” but she did not. Happily, the Pot Rock lies so low
that it is not apt to fetch up anything of a light draught of
water, and the brigantine's fore-foot had just settled on its
summit, long enough to cause the vessel to whirl round and
make her obeisance to the place, when a succeeding swell
lifted her clear, and away she went down stream, rolling as
if scudding in a gale, and, for a moment, under no command
whatever. There lay another danger ahead, or it would be
better to say astern, for the brig was drifting stern foremost;
and that was in an eddy under a bluff, which bluff lies at an
angle in the reach, where it is no uncommon thing for craft
to be cast ashore, after they have passed all the more imposing
and more visible dangers above. It was in escaping
this danger, and in recovering the command of his vessel,
that Spike now manifested the sort of stuff of which he was
really made, in emergencies of this sort. The yards were
all sharp up when the accident occurred, and springing to
the lee braces, just as a man winks when his eye is menaced,
he seized the weather fore-brace with his own hands, and
began to round in the yard, shouting out to the man at the
wheel to “port his helm” at the same time. Some of the
people flew to his assistance, and the yards were not only
squared, but braced a little up on the other tack, in much
less time than we have taken to relate the evolution. Mulford
attended to the main-sheet, and succeeded in getting
the boom out in the right direction. Although the wind was
in truth very light, the velocity of the drift filled the canvas,
and taking the arrow-like current on her lee bow, the Swash,
like a frantic steed that is alarmed with the wreck made by
his own madness, came under command, and sheered out
into the stream again, where she could drift clear of the
apprehended danger astern.

“Sound the pumps!” called out Spike to Mulford, the
instant he saw he had regained his seat in the saddle. Harry
sprang amidships to obey, and the eye of every mariner in
that vessel was on the young man, as, in the midst of a
death-like silence, he performed this all-important duty. It

-- 037 --

[figure description] Page 037.[end figure description]

was like the physician's feeling the pulse of his patient before
he pronounces on the degree of his danger.

“Well, sir?” cried out Spike, impatiently, as the rod reappeared.

“All right, sir,” answered Harry, cheerfully—“the well
is nearly empty.”

“Hold on a moment longer, and give the water time to
find its way amidships, if there be any.”

The mate remained perched up on the pump, in order to
comply, while Spike and his people, who now breathed more
freely again, improved the leisure to brace up and haul aft,
to the new course.

“Biddy,” said Mrs. Budd considerately, during this pause
in the incidents, “you need n't scream any longer. The
danger seems to be past, and you may get up off the deck
now. See, I have let go of the mast. The pumps have
been sounded, and are found tight.”

Biddy, like an obedient and respectful servant, did as directed,
quite satisfied if the pumps were tight. It was some
little time, to be sure, before she was perfectly certain whether
she were alive or not—but, once certain of this circumstance,
her alarm very sensibly abated, and she became
reasonable. As for Mulford, he dropped the sounding
rod again, and had the same cheering report to make.

“The brig is as tight as a bottle, sir.”

“So much the better,” answered Spike. “I never had
such a whirl in her before in my life, and I thought she was
going to stop and pass the night there. That's the very
spot on which `The Hussar' frigate was wrecked.”

“So I have heard, sir. But she drew so much water that
she hit slap against the rock, and started a butt. We
merely touched on its top with our fore-foot, and slid off.”

This was the simple explanation of the Swash's escape,
and, everybody being now well assured that no harm had
been done, things fell into their old and regular train again.
As for Spike, his gallantry, notwithstanding, was upset for
some hours, and glad enough was he when he saw all three
of his passengers quit the deck to go below. Mrs. Budd's
spirits had been so much agitated that she told Rose she
would go down into the cabin and rest a few minutes on its
sofa. We say sofa, for that article of furniture, now-a-days,

-- 038 --

[figure description] Page 038.[end figure description]

is far more common in vessels than it was thirty years ago
in the dwellings of the country.

“There, Mulford,” growled Spike, pointing ahead of the
brig, to an object on the water that was about half a mile
ahead of them, “there's that bloody boat—d'ye see? I
should like of all things to give it the slip. There's a chap
in that boat I do n't like.”

“I do n't see how that can be very well done, sir, unless
we anchor, repass the Gate at the turn of the tide, and go to
sea by the way of Sandy Hook.”

“That will never do. I've no wish to be parading the
brig before the town. You see, Mulford, nothing can be
more innocent and proper than the Molly Swash, as you
know from having sailed in her these twelve months. You'll
give her that character, I'll be sworn?”

“I know no harm of her, Capt. Spike, and hope I never

“No, sir—you know no harm of her, nor does any one
else. A nursing infant is not more innocent than the Molly
Swash, or could have a clearer character if nothing but
truth was said of her. But the world is so much given to
lying, that one of the old saints, of whom we read in the
good book, such as Calvin and John Rogers, would be vilified
if he lived in these times. Then, it must be owned,
Mr. Mulford, whatever may be the raal innocence of the brig,
she has a most desperate wicked look.”

“Why, yes, sir—it must be owned she is what we sailors
call a wicked-looking craft. But some of Uncle Sam's cruisers
have that appearance, also.”

“I know it—I know it, sir, and think nothing of looks
myself. Men are often deceived in me, by my looks, which
have none of your long-shore softness about 'em, perhaps;
but my mother used to say I was one of the most tender-hearted
boys she had ever heard spoken of—like one of
the babes in the woods, as it might be. But mankind go so
much by appearances that I do n't like to trust the brig too
much afore their eyes. Now, should we be seen in the lower
bay, waiting for a wind, or for the ebb tide to make, to
carry us over the bar, ten to one but some philotropic or
other would be off with a complaint to the District Attorney
that we looked like a slaver, and have us all fetched up to be

-- 039 --

[figure description] Page 039.[end figure description]

tried for our lives as pirates. No, no—I like to keep the
brig in out-of-the-way places, where she can give no offence
to your 'tropics, whether they be philos, or of any other

“Well, sir, we are to the eastward of the Gate, and all's
safe. That boat cannot bring us up.”

“You forget, Mr. Mulford, the revenue-craft that steamed
up, on the ebb. That vessel must be off Sands' Point by
this time, and she may hear something to our disparagement
from the feller in the boat, and take it into her smoky head
to walk us back to town. I wish we were well to the eastward
of that steamer! But there's no use in lamentations.
If there is really any danger, it's some distance ahead yet,
thank Heaven!”

“You have no fears of the man who calls himself Jack
Tier, Capt. Spike?”

“None in the world. That feller, as I remember him,
was a little bustlin' chap that I kept in the cabin, as a sort
of steward's mate. There was neither good nor harm in
him, to the best of my recollection. But Josh can tell us
all about him—just give Josh a call.”

The best thing in the known history of Spike was the fact
that his steward had sailed with him for more than twenty
years. Where he had picked up Josh no one could say,
but Josh and himself, and neither chose to be very communicative
on the subject. But Josh had certainly been with
him as long as he had sailed the Swash, and that was from
a time actually anterior to the birth of Mulford. The mate
soon had the negro in the council.

“I say, Josh,” asked Spike, “do you happen to remember
such a hand aboard here as one Jack Tier?”

“Lor' bless you, yes sir—'members he as well as I do
the pea soup that was burnt, and which you t'rowed all over
him, to scald him for punishment.”

“I've had to do that so often, to one careless fellow or
other, that the circumstance does n't recall the man. I
remember him—but not as clear as I could wish. How
long did he sail with us?”

“Sebberal v'y'ge, sir, and got left ashore down on the
main, one night, when'e boat were obliged to shove off in
a hurry. Yes, 'members little Jack, right well I does.”

-- 040 --

[figure description] Page 040.[end figure description]

“Did you see the man that spoke us from the wharf, and
hailed for this very Jack Tier?”

“I see'd a man, sir, dat was won'erful Jack Tier built
like, sir, but I did n't hear the conwersation, habbin' the
ladies to 'tend to. But Jack was oncommon short in his
floor timbers, sir, and had no length of keel at all. His beam
was won'erful for his length, altogedder—what you call
jolly-boat, or bum-boat build, and was only good afore'e
wind, Cap'n Spike.”

“Was he good for anything aboard ship, Josh? Worth
heaving-to for, should he try to get aboard of us again?”

“Why, sir, can't say much for him in dat fashion. Jack
was handy in the cabin, and capital feller to carry soup from
the gally, aft. You see, sir, he was so low-rigged that the
brig's lurchin' and pitchin' could n't get him off his pins,
and he stood up like a church in the heaviest wea'der. Yes,
sir, Jack was right good for dat.”

Spike mused a moment—then he rolled the tobacco over
in his mouth, and added, in the way a man speaks when his
mind is made up—

“Ay ay! I see into the fellow. He'll make a handy
lady's maid, and we want such a chap just now. It's better
to have an old friend aboard, than to be pickin' up strangers,
'long shore. So, should this Jack Tier come off to us, from
any of the islands or points ahead, Mr. Mulford, you'll
round to and take him aboard. As for the steamer, if she
will only pass out into the Sound where there's room, it
shall go hard with us but I get to the eastward of her, without
speaking. On the other hand, should she anchor this
side of the fort, I'll not attempt to pass her. There is deep
water inside of most of the islands, I know, and we'll try
and dodge her in that way, if no better offer. I've no more
reason than another craft to fear a government vessel, but
the sight of one of them makes me oncomfortable; that's

Mulford shrugged his shoulders and remained silent, perceiving
that his commander was not disposed to pursue the
subject any further. In the mean time, the brig had passed
beyond the influence of the bluff, and was beginning to feel
a stronger breeze, that was coming down the wide opening
of Flushing Bay. As the tide still continued strong in her

-- 041 --

[figure description] Page 041.[end figure description]

favour, and her motion through the water was getting to be
four or five knots, there was every prospect of her soon
reaching Whitestone, the point where the tides meet, and
where it would become necessary to anchor; unless, indeed,
the wind, which was now getting to the southward and eastward,
should come round more to the south. All this Spike
and his mate discussed together, while the people were clearing
the decks, and making the preparations that are customary
on board a vessel before she gets into rough water.

By this time it was ascertained that the brig had received
no damage by her salute of the Pot Rock, and every trace
of uneasiness on that account was removed. But Spike kept
harping on the boat, and “the pilot-looking chap who was
in her.” As they passed Riker's Island, all hands expected
a boat would put off with a pilot, or to demand pilotage; but
none came, and the Swash now seemed released from all
her present dangers, unless some might still be connected
with the revenue steamer. To retard her advance, however,
the wind came out a smart working breeze from the southward
and eastward, compelling her to make “long legs and
short ones” on her way towards Whitestone.

“This is beating the wind, Rosy dear,” said Mrs. Budd,
complacently, she and her niece having returned to the deck
a few minutes after this change had taken place. “Your
respected uncle did a great deal of this in his time, and was
very successful in it. I have heard him say, that in one of
his voyages between Liverpool and New York, he beat the
wind by a whole fortnight, everybody talking of it in the
insurance offices, as if it was a miracle.”

“Ay, ay, Madam Budd,” put in Spike, “I'll answer for
that. They're desperate talkers in and about them there
insurance offices in Wall street. Great gossips be they,
and they think they know everything. Now just because
this brig is a little old or so, and was built for a privateer in
the last war, they'd refuse to rate her as even B, No. 2,
and my blessing on 'em.”

“Yes, B, No. 2, that's just what your dear uncle used
to call me, Rosy—his charming B, No. 2, or Betsy, No. 2;
particularly when he was in a loving mood. Captain Spike,
did you ever beat the wind in a long voyage?”

“I can't say I ever did, Mrs. Budd,” answered Spike,

-- 042 --

[figure description] Page 042.[end figure description]

looking grimly around, to ascertain if any one dared to smile
at his passenger's mistake; “especially for so long a pull
as from New York to Liverpool.”

“Then your uncle used to boast of the Rose In Bloom's
wearing and attacking. She would attack anything that
came in her way, no matter who, and as for wearing, I
think he once told me she would wear just what she had a
mind to, like any human being.”

Rose was a little mystified, but she looked vexed at the
same time, as if she distrusted all was not right.

“I remember all my sea education,” continued the unsuspecting
widow, “as if it had been learnt yesterday. Beating
the wind and attacking ship, my poor Mr. Budd used
to say, were nice manœuvres, and required most of his tactics,
especially in heavy weather. Did you know, Rosy
dear, that sailors weigh the weather, and know when it is
heavy and when it is light?”

“I did not, aunt; nor do I understand now how it can
very well be done.”

“Oh! child, before you have been at sea a week, you will
learn so many things that are new, and get so many ideas
of which you never had any notion before, that you'll not
be the same person. My captain had an instrument he
called a thermometer, and with that he used to weigh the
weather, and then he would write down in the log-book `today,
heavy weather, or to-morrow, light weather,' just as it
happened, and that helped him mightily along in his voyages.”

“Mrs. Budd has merely mistaken the name of the instrument—
the `barometer' is what she wished to say,” put in
Mulford, opportunely.

Rose looked grateful, as well as relieved. Though profoundly
ignorant on these subjects herself, she had always
suspected her aunt's knowledge. It was, consequently,
grateful to her to ascertain that, in this instance, the old
lady's mistake had been so trifling.

“Well, it may have been the barometer, for I know he
had them both,” resumed the aunt. “Barometer, or thermometer,
it do n't make any great difference; or quadrant,
or sextant. They are all instruments, and sometimes he
used one, and sometimes another. Sailors take on board

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[figure description] Page 043.[end figure description]

the sun, too, and have an instrument for that, as well as
one to weigh the weather with. Sometimes they take on
board the stars, and the moon, and `fill their ships with the
heavenly bodies,' as I've heard my dear husband say, again
and again! But the most curious thing at sea, as all sailors
tell me, is crossing the line, and I do hope we shall cross
the line, Rosy, that you and I may see it.”

“What is the line, aunty, and how do vessels cross it.”

“The line, my dear, is a place in the ocean where the
earth is divided into two parts, one part being called the
North Pole, and the other part the South Pole. Neptune
lives near this line, and he allows no vessel to go out of one
pole into the other, without paying it a visit. Never! never!—
he would as soon think of living on dry land as think of
letting even a canoe pass, without visiting it.”

“Do you suppose there is such a being, really, as Neptune,

“To be sure I do; he is king of the sea. Why should n't
there be? The sea must have a king, as well as the land.”

“The sea may be a republic, aunty, like this country;
then, no king is necessary. I have always supposed Neptune
to be an imaginary being.”

“Oh that's impossible—the sea is no republic; there are
but two republics, America and Texas. I've heard that the
sea is a highway, it is true—the `highway of nations,' I
believe it is called, and that must mean something particular.
But my poor Mr. Budd always told me that Neptune was
king of the seas, and he was always so accurate, you might
depend on everything he said. Why, he called his last Newfoundland
dog Neptune; and do you think, Rosy, that your
dear uncle would call his dog after an imaginary being?—
and he a man to beat the wind, and attack ship, and take
the sun, moon and stars aboard! No, no, child; fanciful
folk may see imaginary beings, but solid folk see solid beings.”

Even Spike was dumfounded at this, and there is no
knowing what he might have said, had not an old sea-dog,
who had just come out of the fore-topmast cross-trees, come
aft, and, hitching up his trowsers with one hand while he
touched his hat with the other, said with immoveable gravity,

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[figure description] Page 044.[end figure description]

“The revenue-steamer has brought up just under the fort,
Capt. Spike.”

“How do you know that, Bill?” demanded the captain,
with a rapidity that showed how completely Mrs. Budd and
all her absurdities were momentarily forgotten.

“I was up on the fore-topgallant yard, sir, a bit ago, just
to look to the strap of the jewel-block, which wants some
sarvice on it, and I see'd her over the land, blowin' off steam
and takin' in her kites. Afore I got out of the cross-trees,
she was head to wind under bare-poles, and if she had n't
anchored, she was about to do so. I'm sartin 't was she,
sir, and that she was about to bring up.”

Spike gave a long, low whistle, after his fashion, and he
walked away from the females, with the air of a man who
wanted room to think in. Half a minute later, he called

“Stand by to shorten sail, boys. Man fore-clew-garnets,
flying jib down haul, topgallant sheets, and gaff-topsail
gear. In with 'em all, my lads—in with everything, with a

An order to deal with the canvas in any way, on board
ship, immediately commands the whole attention of all whose
duty it is to attend to such matters, and there was an end
of all discourse while the Swash was shortening sail. Everybody
understood, too, that it was to gain time, and prevent
the brig from reaching Throg's Neck sooner than was desirable.

“Keep the brig off,” called out Spike, “and let her ware—
we're too busy to tack just now.”

The man at the wheel knew very well what was wanted,
and he put his helm up, instead of putting it down, as he
might have done without this injunction. As this change
brought the brig before the wind, and Spike was in no hurry
to luff up on the other tack, the Swash soon ran over a mile
of the distance she had already made, putting her back that
much on her way to the Neck. It is out of our power to
say what the people of the different craft in sight thought of
all this, but an opportunity soon offered of putting them on
a wrong scent. A large coasting schooner, carrying everything
that would draw on a wind, came sweeping under the
stern of the Swash, and hailed.

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“Has anything happened, on board that brig?” demanded
her master.

“Man overboard,” answered Spike—“you hav'nt seen
his hat, have you?”

“No—no,” came back, just as the schooner, in her onward
course, swept beyond the reach of the voice. Her
people collected together, and one or two ran up the rigging
a short distance, stretching their necks, on the look-out for
the “poor fellow,” but they were soon called down to “'bout
ship.” In less than five minutes, another vessel, a rakish
coasting sloop, came within hail.

“Did n't that brig strike the Pot Rock, in passing the
Gate?” demanded her captain.

“Ay, ay!—and a devil of a rap she got, too.”

This satisfied him; there being nothing remarkable in a
vessel's acting strangely that had hit the Pot Rock in passing
Hell Gate.

“I think we may get in our mainsail on the strength of
this, Mr. Mulford,” said Spike. “There can be nothing oncommon
in a craft's shortening sail, that has a man overboard,
and which has hit the Pot Rock. I wonder I never
thought of all this before.”

`Here is a skiff trying to get alongside of us, Capt. Spike,”
called out the boatswain.

“Skiff be d—d! I want no skiff here.”

“The man that called himself Jack Tier is in her, sir.”

“The d—l he is!” cried Spike, springing over to the opposite
side of the deck to take a look for himself. To his
infinite satisfaction he perceived that Tier was alone in the
skiff, with the exception of a negro, who pulled its sculls,
and that this was a very different boat from that which had
glanced through Hell Gate, like an arrow darting from its

“Luff, and shake your topsail,” called out Spike. “Get
a rope there to throw to this skiff.”

The orders were obeyed, and Jack Tier, with his clothes-bag,
was soon on the deck of the Swash. As for the skiff
and the negro, they were cast adrift the instant the latter
had received his quarter. The meeting between Spike and
his quondam steward's mate was a little remarkable. Each
stood looking intently at the other, as if to note the changes

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which time had made. We cannot say that Spike's hard,
red, selfish countenance betrayed any great feeling, though
such was not the case with Jack Tier's. The last, a lymphatic,
puffy sort of a person at the best, seemed really a
little touched, and he either actually brushed a tear from his
eye, or he affected so to do.

“So, you are my old shipmate, Jack Tier, are ye?”
exclaimed Spike, in a half-patronizing, half-hesitating way—
and you want to try the old craft ag'in. Give us a leaf
of your log, and let me know where you have been this
many a day, and what you have been about? Keep the
brig off, Mr. Mulford. We are in no particular hurry to
reach Throg's, you'll remember, sir.”

Tier gave an account of his proceedings, which could
have no interest with the reader. His narrative was anything
but very clear, and it was delivered in a cracked,
octave sort of a voice, such as little dapper people not
unfrequently enjoy—tones between those of a man and a
boy. The substance of the whole story was this. Tier
had been left ashore, as sometimes happens to sailors, and,
by necessary connection, was left to shift for himself. After
making some vain endeavours to rejoin his brig, he had
shipped in one vessel after another, until he accidentally
found himself in the port of New York, at the same time as
the Swash. He know'd he never should be truly happy
ag'in until he could once more get aboard the old hussy, and
had hurried up to the wharf, where he understood the brig
was lying. As he came in sight, he saw she was about to
cast off, and, dropping his clothes-bag, he had made the best
of his way to the wharf, where the conversation passed that
has been related.

“The gentleman on the wharf was about to take boat,
to go through the Gate,” concluded Tier, “and so I begs a
passage of him. He was good-natured enough to wait until
I could find my bag, and as soon a'terwards as the men
could get their grog we shoved off. The Molly was just
getting in behind Blackwell's as we left the wharf, and,
having four good oars, and the shortest road, we come out
into the Gate just ahead on you. My eye! what a place
that is to go through in a boat, and on a strong flood! The
gentleman, who watched the brig as a cat watches a mouse,

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says you struck on the Pot, as he called it, but I says `no,'
for the Molly Swash was never know'd to hit rock or shoal
in my time aboard her.”

“And where did you quit that gentleman, and what has
become of him?” asked Spike.

“He put me ashore on that point above us, where I see'd
a nigger with his skiff, who I thought would be willin' to 'arn
his quarter by giving me a cast alongside. So here I am,
and a long pull I've had to get here.”

As this was said, Jack removed his hat and wiped his
brow with a handkerchief, which, if it had never seen better
days, had doubtless been cleaner. After this, he looked
about him, with an air not entirely free from exultation.

This conversation had taken place in the gangway, a
somewhat public place, and Spike beckoned to his recruit
to walk aft, where he might be questioned without being

“What became of the gentleman in the boat, as you call
him?” demanded Spike.

“He pulled ahead, seeming to be in a hurry.”

“Do you know who he was?”

“Not a bit of it. I never saw the man before, and he
did n't tell me his business, sir.”

“Had he anything like a silver oar about him.”

“I saw nothing of the sort, Capt. Spike, and knows nothing
consarning him.”

“What sort of a boat was he in, and where did he get it?”

“Well, as to the boat, sir, I can say a word, seein' it was
so much to my mind, and pulled so wonderful smart. It
was a light ship's yawl, with four oars, and came round the
Hook just a'ter you had got the brig's head round to the
eastward. You must have seen it, I should think, though
it kept close in with the wharves, as if it wished to be snug.”

“Then the gentleman, as you call him, expected that
very boat to come and take him off?”

“I suppose so, sir, because it did come and take him off.
That's all I knows about it.”

“Had you no jaw with the gentleman? You was n't
mnm the whole time you was in the boat with him?”

“Not a bit of it, sir. Silence and I does n't agree together
long, and so we talked most of the time.”

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[figure description] Page 048.[end figure description]

“And what did the stranger say of the brig?”

“Lord, sir, he catechised me like as if I had been a child
at Sunday-school. He asked me how long I had sailed in
her; what ports we'd visited, and what trade we'd been in.
You can't think the sight of questions he put, and how
cur'ous he was for the answers.”

“And what did you tell him in your answers? You said
nothin' about our call down on the Spanish Main, the time
you were left ashore, I hope, Jack?”

“Not I, sir. I played him off surprisin'ly. He got nothin'
to count upon out of me. Though I do owe the Molly Swash
a grudge, I'm not goin' to betray her.”

“You owe the Molly Swash a grudge! Have I taken an
enemy on board her, then?”

Jack started, and seemed sorry he had said so much;
while Spike eyed him keenly. But the answer set all right.
It was not given, however, without a moment for recollection.

“Oh, you knows what I mean, sir. I owe the old hussy
a grudge for having desarted me like; but it's only a love
quarrel atween us. The old Molly will never come to harm
by my means.”

“I hope not, Jack. The man that wrongs the craft he
sails in can never be a true-hearted sailor. Stick by your
ship in all weathers is my rule, and a good rule it is to go
by. But what did you tell the stranger?”

“Oh! I told him I'd been six v'y'ges in the brig. The
first was to Madagascar—”

“The d—l you did? Was he soft enough to believe

“That's more than I knows, sir. I can only tell you
what I said; I do n't pretend to know how much he believed.”

“Heave ahead—what next?”

“Then I told him we went to Kamschatka for gold dust
and ivory.”

“Whe-e-ew! What did the man say to that?”

“Why, he smiled a bit, and a'ter that he seemed more
cur'ous than ever to hear all about it. I told him my third
v'y'ge was to Canton, with a cargo of broom-corn, where
we took in salmon and dun-fish for home. A'ter that we

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[figure description] Page 049.[end figure description]

went to Norway with ice, and brought back silks and money.
Our next run was to the Havana, with salt and 'nips—”

“'Nips! what the devil be they?”

“Turnips, you knows, sir. We always calls 'em 'nips
in cargo. At the Havana I told him we took in leather and
jerked beef, and came home. Oh! he got nothin' from me,
Capt. Spike, that'll ever do the brig a morsel of harm!”

“I am glad of that, Jack. You must know enough of
the seas to understand that a close mouth is sometimes better
for a vessel than a clean bill of health. Was there nothing
said about the revenue-steamer?”

“Now you name her, sir, I believe there was—ay, ay,
sir, the gentleman did say, if the steamer fetched up to the
westward of the fort, that he should overhaul her without
difficulty, on this flood.

“That'll do, Jack; that'll do, my honest fellow. Go
below, and tell Josh to take you into the cabin again, as
steward's mate. You're rather too Dutch built, in your old
age, to do much aloft.”

One can hardly say whether Jack received this remark
as complimentary, or not. He looked a little glum, for a
man may be as round as a barrel, and wish to be thought
genteel and slender; but he went below, in quest of Josh,
without making any reply.

The succeeding movements of Spike appeared to be much
influenced by what he had just heard. He kept the brig under
short canvas for near two hours, sheering about in the
same place, taking care to tell everything which spoke him
that he had lost a man overboard. In this way, not only
the tide, but the day itself, was nearly spent. About the
time the former began to lose its strength, however, the
fore-course and the main-sail were got on the brigantine,
with the intention of working her up toward Whitestone,
where the tides meet, and near which the revenue-steamer
was known to be anchored. We say near, though it was,
in fact, a mile or two more to the eastward, and close to the
extremity of the Point.

Notwithstanding these demonstrations of a wish to work
to windward, Spike was really in no hurry. He had made
up his mind to pass the steamer in the dark, if possible, and
the night promised to favour him; but, in order to do this,

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[figure description] Page 050.[end figure description]

it might be necessary not to come in sight of her at all; or,
at least, not until the obscurity should in some measure
conceal his rig and character. In consequence of this plan,
the Swash made no great progress, even after she had got
sail on her, on her old course. The wind lessened, too,
after the sun went down, though it still hung to the eastward,
or nearly ahead. As the tide gradually lost its force,
moreover, the set to windward became less and less, until
it finally disappeared altogether.

There is necessarily a short reach in this passage, where
it is always slack water, so far as current is concerned.
This is precisely where the tides meet, or, as has been intimated,
at Whitestone, which is somewhat more than a mile
to the westward of Throgmorton's Neck, near the point of
which stands Fort Schuyler, one of the works recently
erected for the defence of New York. Off the pitch of the
point, nearly mid-channel, had the steamer anchored, a fact
of which Spike had made certain, by going aloft himself,
and reconnoitering her over the land, before it had got to be
too dark to do so. He entertained no manner of doubt that
this vessel was in waiting for him, and he well knew there
was good reason for it; but he would not return and attempt
the passage to sea by way of Sandy Hook. His manner of
regarding the whole matter was cool and judicious. The
distance to the Hook was too great to be made in such short
nights ere the return of day, and he had no manner of doubt
he was watched for in that direction, as well as in this.
Then he was particularly unwilling to show his craft at all
in front of the town, even in the night. Moreover, he had
ways of his own for effecting his purposes, and this was the
very spot and time to put them in execution.

While these things were floating in his mind, Mrs. Budd
and her handsome niece were making preparations for passing
the night, aided by Biddy Noon. The old lady was
factotum, or factota, as it might be most classical to call her,
though we are entirely without authorities on the subject,
and was just as self-complacent and ambitious of seawomanship
below decks, as she had been above board. The effect,
however, gave Spike great satisfaction, since it kept her out
of sight, and left him more at liberty to carry out his own
plans. About nine, however, the good woman came on

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[figure description] Page 051.[end figure description]

deck, intending to take a look at the weather, like a skilful
marineress as she was, before she turned in. Not a little
was she astonished at what she then and there beheld, as
she whispered to Rose and Biddy, both of whom stuck close
to her side, feeling the want of good pilotage, no doubt, in
strange waters.

The Molly Swash was still under her canvas, though very
little sufficed for her present purposes. She was directly off
Whitestone, and was making easy stretches across the passage,
or river, as it is called, having nothing set but her huge
fore-and-aft mainsail and the jib. Under this sail she
worked like a top, and Spike sometimes fancied she travelled
too fast for his purposes, the night air having thickened the
canvas as usual, until it “held the wind as a bottle holds
water.” There was nothing in this, however, to attract the
particular attention of the ship-master's widow, a sail, more
or less, being connected with observation much too critical
for her schooling, nice as the last had been. She was surprised
to find the men stripping the brig forward, and converting
her into a schooner. Nor was this done in a loose
and slovenly manner, under favour of the obscurity. On
the contrary, it was so well executed that it might have deceived
even a seaman under a noon-day sun, provided the
vessel were a mile or two distant. The manner in which
the metamorphosis was made was as follows: the studding-sail
booms had been taken off the topsail-yard, in order
to shorten it to the eye, and the yard itself was swayed up
about half-mast, to give it the appearance of a schooner's
fore-yard. The brig's real lower yard was lowered on the
bulwarks, while her royal yard was sent down altogether,
and the topgallant-mast was lowered until the heel rested on
the topsail yard, all of which, in the night, gave the gear
forward very much the appearance of that of a fore-topsail
schooner, instead of that of a half-rigged brig, as the craft
really was. As the vessel carried a try-sail on her foremast,
it answered very well, in the dark, to represent a
schooner's foresail. Several other little dispositions of this
nature were made, about which it might weary the uninitiated
to read, but which will readily suggest themselves to the
mind of a sailor.

These alterations were far advanced when the females

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[figure description] Page 052.[end figure description]

re-appeared on deck. They at once attracted their attention,
and the captain's widow felt the imperative necessity,
as connected with her professional character, of proving the
same. She soon found Spike, who was bustling around the
deck, now looking around to see that his brig was kept in
the channel, now and then issuing an order to complete her

“Captain Spike, what can be the meaning of all these
changes? The tamper of your vessel is so much altered
that I declare I should not have known her!”

“Is it, by George! Then she is just in the state I want
her to be in.”

“But why have you done it—and what does it all mean?”

“Oh, Molly's going to bed for the night, and she's only
undressing herself—that's all.”

“Yes, Rosy dear, Captain Spike is right. I remember
that my poor Mr. Budd used to talk about The Rose In Bloom
having her clothes on, and her clothes off, just as if she was
a born woman! But do n't you mean to navigate at all in
the night, Captain Spike? Or will the brig navigate without

“That's it—she's just as good in the dark, under one
sort of canvas, as under another. So, Mr. Mulford, we'll
take a reef in that mainsail; it will bring it nearer to the
size of our new foresail, and seem more ship-shape and
Brister fashion—then I think she'll do, as the night is getting
to be rather darkish.”

“Captain Spike,” said the boatswain, who had been set
to look-out for that particular change—“the brig begins to
feel the new tide, and sets to windward.”

“Let her go, then—now is as good a time as another.
We've got to run the gantlet, and the sooner it is done the

As the moment seemed propitious, not only Mulford, but
all the people, heard this order with satisfaction. The night
was star-light, though not very clear at that. Objects on
the water, however, were more visible than those on the land,
while those on the last could be seen well enough, even from
the brig, though in confused and somewhat shapeless piles.
When the Swash was brought close by the wind, she had
just got into the last reach of the “river,” or that which

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[figure description] Page 053.[end figure description]

runs parallel with the Neck for near a mile, doubling where
the Sound expands itself, gradually, to a breadth of many
leagues. Still the navigation at the entrance of this end of
the Sound was intricate and somewhat dangerous, rendering
it indispensable for a vessel of any size to make a crooked
course. The wind stood at south-east, and was very scant
to lay through the reach with, while the tide was so slack
as barely to possess a visible current at that place. The
steamer lay directly off the Point, mid-channel, as mentioned,
showing lights, to mark her position to anything which might
be passing in or out. The great thing was to get by her
without exciting her suspicion. As all on board, the females
excepted, knew what their captain was at, the attempt was
made amid an anxious and profound silence; or, if any one
spoke at all, it was only to give an order in a low tone, or
its answer in a simple monosyllable.

Although her aunt assured her that everything which had
been done already, and which was now doing, was quite in
rule, the quick-eyed and quick-witted Rose noted these unusual
proceedings, and had an opinion of her own on the
subject. Spike had gone forward, and posted himself on the
weather-side of the forecastle, where he could get the clearest
look ahead, and there he remained most of the time,
leaving Mulford on the quarter-deck, to work the vessel,
Perceiving this, she managed to get near the mate, without
attracting her aunt's attention, and at the same time out of

“Why is everybody so still and seemingly so anxious,
Harry Mulford?” she asked, speaking in a low tone herself,
as if desirous of conforming to a common necessity. “Is
there any new danger here? I thought the Gate had been
passed altogether, some hours ago?”

“So it has. D'ye see that large dark mass on the water,
off the Point, which seems almost as huge as the fort, with
lights above it? That is a revenue-steamer which came out
of York a few hours before us. We wish to get past her
without being troubled by any of her questions.”

“And what do any in this brig care about her questions?
They can be answered, surely.”

“Ay, ay, Rose—they may be answered, as you say, but
the answers sometimes are unsatisfactory. Captain Spike,

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[figure description] Page 054.[end figure description]

for some reason or other, is uneasy, and would rather not
have anything to say to her. He has the greatest aversion
to speaking the smallest craft when on a coast.”

“And that's the reason he has undressed his Molly, as
he calls her, that he might not be known.”

Mulford turned his head quickly toward his companion,
as if surprised by her quickness of apprehension, but he
had too just a sense of his duty to make any reply. Instead
of pursuing the discourse, he adroitly contrived to change
it, by pointing out to Rose the manner in which they were
getting on, which seemed to be very successfully.

Although the Swash was under much reduced canvas,
she glided along with great ease and with considerable rapidity
of motion. The heavy night air kept her canvas
distended, and the weatherly set of the tide, trifling as it yet
was, pressed her up against the breeze, so as to turn all to
account. It was apparent enough, by the manner in which
objects on the land were passed, that the crisis was fast approaching.
Rose rejoined her aunt, in order to await the
result, in nearly breathless expectation. At that moment,
she would have given the world to be safe on shore. This
wish was not the consequence of any constitutional timidity,
for Rose was much the reverse from timid, but it was the
fruit of a newly-awakened and painful, though still vague,
suspicion. Happy, thrice happy was it for one of her naturally
confiding and guileless nature, that distrust was thus
opportunely awakened, for she was without a guardian competent
to advise and guide her youth, as circumstances required.

The brig was not long in reaching the passage that
opened to the Sound. It is probable she did this so much
the sooner because Spike kept her a little off the wind, with
a view of not passing too near the steamer. At this point,
the direction of the passage changes at nearly a right angle,
the revenue-steamer lying on a line with the Neck, and
leaving a sort of bay, in the angle, for the Swash to enter.
The land was somewhat low in all directions but one, and
that was by drawing a straight line from the Point, through
the steamer, to the Long Island shore. On the latter, and
in that quarter, rose a bluff of considerable elevation, with
deep water quite near it; and, under the shadows of that

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[figure description] Page 055.[end figure description]

bluff, Spike intended to perform his nicest evolutions. He
saw that the revenue vessel had let her fires go down, and
that she was entirely without steam. Under canvas, he had
no doubt of beating her hand over hand, could he once fairly
get to windward; and then she was at anchor, and would
lose some time in getting under way, should she even commence
a pursuit. It was all important, therefore, to gain as
much to windward as possible, before the people of the
government vessel took the alarm.

There can be no doubt that the alterations made on board
the Swash served her a very good turn on this occasion.
Although the night could not be called positively dark, there
was sufficient obscurity to render her hull confused and indistinct
at any distance, and this so much the more when
seen from the steamer outside, or between her and the land.
All this Spike very well understood, and largely calculated
on. In effect he was not deceived; the look-outs on board
the revenue craft could trace little of the vessel that was
approaching beyond the spars and sails which rose above
the shores, and these seemed to be the spars and sails of a
common foretopsail schooner. As this was not the sort of
craft for which they were on the watch, no suspicion was
awakened, nor did any reports go from the quarter-deck to
the cabin. The steamer had her quarter watches, and
officers of the deck, like a vessel of war, the discipline of
which was fairly enough imitated, but even a man-of-war
may be overreached on an occasion.

Spike was only great in a crisis, and then merely as a
seaman. He understood his calling to its minutiæ, and he
understood the Molly Swash better than he understood any
other craft that floated. For more than twenty years had
he sailed her, and the careful parent does not better understand
the humours of the child, than he understood exactly
what might be expected from his brig. His satisfaction
sensibly increased, therefore, as she stole along the land,
toward the angle mentioned, without a sound audible but the
gentle gurgling of the water, stirred by the stem, and which
sounded like the ripple of the gentlest wave, as it washes
the shingle of some placid beach.

As the brig drew nearer to the bluff, the latter brought
the wind more ahead, as respected the desired course. This

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[figure description] Page 056.[end figure description]

was unfavourable, but it did not disconcert her watchful

“Let her come round, Mr. Mulford,” said this pilot-captain,
in a low voice—“we are as near in as we ought to

The helm was put down, the head sheets started, and
away into the wind shot the Molly Swash, fore-reaching famously
in stays, and, of course, gaining so much on her
true course. In a minute she was round, and filled on the
other tack. Spike was now so near the land, that he could
perceive the tide was beginning to aid him, and that his weatherly
set was getting to be considerable. Delighted at
this, he walked aft, and told Mulford to go about again as
soon as the vessel had sufficient way to make sure of her in
stays. The mate inquired if he did not think the revenue
people might suspect something, unless they stood further
out toward mid-channel, but Spike reminded him that they
would be apt to think the schooner was working up under
the southern shore, because the ebb first made there. This
reason satisfied Mulford, and, as soon as they were half-way
between the bluff and the steamer, the Swash was again
tacked, with her head to the former. This manœuvre was
executed when the brig was about two hundred yards from
the steamer, a distance that was sufficient to preserve, under
all the circumstances, the disguise she had assumed.

“They do not suspect us, Harry!” whispered Spike to
his mate. “We shall get to windward of 'em, as sartain
as the breeze stands. That boatin' gentleman might as well
have staid at home, as for any good his hurry done him or
his employers!”

“Whom do you suppose him to be, Captain Spike?”

“Who,—a feller that lives by his own wicked deeds.
No matter who he is. An informer, perhaps. At any rate,
he is not the man to outwit the Molly Swash, and her old,
stupid, foolish master and owner, Stephen Spike. Luff, Mr.
Mulford, luff. Now's the time to make the most of your
leg—Luff her up and shake her. She is setting to windward
fast, the ebb is sucking along that bluff like a boy at
a molasses hogshead. All she can drift on this tack is clear
gain; there is no hurry, so long as they are asleep aboard
the steamer. That's it—make a half-board at once, but

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[figure description] Page 057.[end figure description]

take care and not come round. As soon as we are fairly
clear of the bluff, and open the bay that makes up behind it,
we shall get the wind more to the southward, and have a
fine long leg for the next stretch.”

Of course Mulford obeyed, throwing the brig up into the
wind, and allowing her to set to windward, but filling again
on the same tack, as ordered. This, of course, delayed her
progress toward the land, and protracted the agony, but it
carried the vessel in the direction she most wished to go,
while it kept her not only end on to the steamer, but in a
line with the bluff, and consequently in the position most favourable
to conceal her true character. Presently, the bay
mentioned, which was several miles deep, opened darkly toward
the south, and the wind came directly out of it, or
more to the southward. At this moment the Swash was
near a quarter of a mile from the steamer, and all that distance
dead to windward of her, as the breeze came out of
the bay. Spike tacked his vessel himself now, and got her
head up so high that she brought the steamer on her lee
quarter, and looked away toward the island which lies northwardly
from the Point, and quite near to which all vessels
of any draught of water are compelled to pass, even with
the fairest winds.

“Shake the reef out of the mainsail, Mr. Mulford,” said
Spike, when the Swash was fairly in motion again on this
advantageous tack. “We shall pass well to windward of
the steamer, and may as well begin to open our cloth

“Is it not a little too soon, sir?” Mulford ventured to remonstrate;
“the reef is a large one, and will make a great
difference in the size of the sail.”

“They'll not see it at this distance. No, no, sir, shake
out the reef, and sway away on the topgallant-mast rope;
I'm for bringing the Molly Swash into her old shape again,
and make her look handsome once more.”

“Do you dress the brig, as well as undress her, o'mights;
Captain Spike?” inquired the ship-master's reliet, a little
puzzled with this fickleness of purpose. “I do not believe
my poor Mr. Budd ever did that.”

“Fashions change, madam, with the times—ay, ay, sir—
shake out the reef, and sway away on that mast-rope,

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boys, as soon as you have manned it. We'll convart our
schooner into a brig again.”

As these orders were obeyed, of course, a general bustle
now took place. Mulford soon had the reef out, and the
sail distended to the utmost, while the topgallant-mast was
soon up and fidded. The next thing was to sway upon the
fore-yard, and get that into its place. The people were
busied at this duty, when a hoarse hail came across the
water on the heavy night air.

“Brig ahoy!” was the call.

“Sway upon that fore-yard,” said Spike, unmoved by
this summons—“start it, start it at once.”

“The steamer hails us, sir,” said the mate.

“Not she. She is hailing a brig; we are a schooner

A moment of active exertion succeeded, during which the
fore-yard went into its place. Then came a second hail.

“Schooner, ahoy!” was the summons this time.

“The steamer hails us again, Captain Spike.”

“The devil a bit. We're a brig now, and she hails a
schooner. Come boys, bestir yourselves, and get the canvas
on Molly for'ard. Loose the fore-course before you quit
the yard there, then up aloft and loosen everything you can

All was done as ordered, and done rapidly, as is ever the
case on board a well-ordered vessel when there is occasion
for exertion. That occasion now appeared to exist in earnest,
for while the men were sheeting home the topsail, a
flash of light illuminated the scene, when the roar of a gun
came booming across the water, succeeded by the very distinct
whistling of its shot. We regret that the relict of the
late Captain Budd did not behave exactly as became a ship-master's
widow, under fire. Instead of remaining silent and
passive, even while frightened, as was the case with Rose,
she screamed quite as loud as she had previously done that
very day in Hell-Gate. It appeared to Spike, indeed, that
practice was making her perfect; and, as for Biddy, the
spirit of emulation became so powerful in her bosom, that,
if anything, she actually outshrieked her mistress. Hearing
this, the widow made a second effort, and fairly recovered
the ground some might have fancied she had lost.

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“Oh! Captain Spike,” exclaimed the agitated widow,
“do not—do not, if you love me, do not let them fire

“How am I to help it!” asked the captain, a good deal to
the point, though he overlooked the essential fact, that, by
heaving-to, and waiting for the steamer's boat to board him,
he might have prevented a second shot, as completely as if
he had the ordering of the whole affair. No second shot
was fired, however. As it afterward appeared, the screams
of Mrs. Budd and Biddy were heard on board the steamer,
the captain of which, naturally enough, supposing that the
slaughter must be terrible where such cries had arisen, was
satisfied with the mischief he had already done, and directed
his people to secure their gun and go to the capstan-bars, in
order to help lift the anchor. In a word, the revenue vessel
was getting under way, man-of-war fashion, which means
somewhat expeditiously.

Spike understood the sounds that reached him, among
which was the call of the boatswain, and he bestirred himself
accordingly. Experienced as he was in chases and all
sorts of nautical artifices, he very well knew that his situation
was sufficiently critical. It would have been so, with
a steamer at his heels, in the open ocean; but, situated as
he was, he was compelled to steer but one course, and to
accept the wind on that course as it might offer. If he
varied at all in his direction it was only in a trifling way,
though he did make some of these variations. Every
moment was now precious, however, and he endeavoured to
improve the time to the utmost. He knew that he could
greatly outsail the revenue vessel, under canvas, and some
time would be necessary to enable her to get up her steam;
half an hour at the very least. On that half hour, then,
depended the fate of the Molly Swash.

“Send the booms on the yards, and set stun'sails at once,
Mr. Mulford,” said Spike, the instant the more regular canvas
was spread forward. “This wind will be free enough
for all but the lower stun'sail, and we must drive the brig

“Are we not looking up too high, Captain Spike? The
Stepping-Stones are ahead of us, sir.”

“I know that very well, Mulford. But it's nearly high

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water, and the brig's in light trim, and we may rub and go.
By making a short cut here, we shall gain a full mile on
the steamer; that mile may save us.”

“Do you really think it possible to get away from that
craft, which can always make a fair wind of it, in these
narrow waters, Captain Spike?”

“One don't know, sir. Nothin' is done without tryin',
and by tryin' more is often done than was hoped for. I
have a scheme in my head, and Providence may favour me
in bringing it about.”

Providence! The religionist quarrels with the philosopher
if the latter happen to remove this interposition of a
higher power, even so triflingly as by the intervention of
secondary agencies, while the biggest rascal dignifies even
his success by such phrases as Providential aid! But it is
not surprising men should misunderstand terms, when they
make such sad confusion in the acts which these terms are
merely meant to represent. Spike had his Providence as
well as a priest, and we dare say he often counted on its
succour, with quite as rational grounds of dependence as
many of the pharisees who are constantly exclaiming,
“The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord are

Sail was made on board the Swash with great rapidity,
and the brig made a bold push at the Stepping-Stones.
Spike was a capital pilot. He insisted if he could once gain
sight of the spar that was moored on those rocks for a
buoy, he should run with great confidence. The two lights
were of great assistance, of course; but the revenue vessel
could see these lights as well as the brig, and she, doubtless,
had an excellent pilot on board. By the time the studding-sails
were set on board the Swash, the steamer was aweigh,
and her long line of peculiar sails became visible. Unfortunately
for men who were in a hurry, she lay so much
within the bluff as to get the wind scant, and her commander
thought it necessary to make a stretch over to the southern
shore, before he attempted to lay his course. When he
was ready to tack, an operation of some time with a vessel
of her great length, the Swash was barely visible in the obscurity,
gliding off upon a slack bowline, at a rate which
nothing but the damp night air, the ballast-trim of the vessel,

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united to her excellent sailing qualities, could have produced
with so light a breeze.

The first half hour took the Swash completely out of sight
of the steamer. In that time, in truth, by actual superiority
in sailing, by her greater state of preparation, and by the
distance saved by a bold navigation, she had gained fully a
league on her pursuer. But, while the steamer had lost sight
of the Swash, the latter kept the former in view, and that
by means of a signal that was very portentous. She saw
the light of the steamer's chimneys, and could form some
opinion of her distance and position.

It was about eleven o'clock when the Swash passed the
light at Sands' Point, close in with the land. The wind
stood much as it had been. If there was a change at all,
it was half a point more to the southward, and it was a little
fresher. Such as it was, Spike saw he was getting, in that
smooth water, quite eight knots out of his craft, and he made
his calculations thereon. As yet, and possibly for half an
hour longer, he was gaining, and might hope to continue to
gain on the steamer. Then her turn would come. Though
no great traveller, it was not to be expected that, favoured
by smooth water and the breeze, her speed would be less
than ten knots, while there was no hope of increasing his
own without an increase of the wind. He might be five
miles in advance, or six at the most; these six miles would
be overcome in three hours of steaming, to a dead certainty,
and they might possibly be overcome much sooner. It was
obviously necessary to resort to some other experiment than
that of dead sailing, if an escape was to be effected.

The Sound was now several miles in width, and Spike,
at first, proposed to his mate, to keep off dead before the
wind, and by crossing over to the north shore, let the
steamer pass ahead, and continue a bootless chase to the
eastward. Several vessels, however, were visible in the
middle of the passage, at distances varying from one to
three miles, and Mulford pointed out the hopelessness of
attempting to cross the sheet of open water, and expect
to go unseen by the watchful eyes of the revenue people.

“What you say is true enough, Mr. Mulford,” answered
Spike, after a moment of profound reflection, “and every
foot that they come nearer, the less will be our chance.

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But here is Hempstead Harbour a few leagues ahead; if we
can reach that before the blackguards close, we may do well
enough. It is a deep bay, and has high land to darken the
view. I don't think the brig could be seen at midnight by
anything outside; if she was once fairly up that water a mile
or two.”

“That is our chance, sir!” exclaimed Mulford cheerfully.
“Ay, ay, I know the spot; and everything is favourable—
try that, Captain Spike; I'll answer for it that we go clear.”

Spike did try it. For a considerable time longer he stood
on, keeping as close to the land as he thought it safe to run,
and carrying everything that would draw. But the steamer
was on his heels, evidently gaining fast. Her chimneys
gave out flames, and there was every sign that her people
were in earnest. To those on board the Swash these flames
seemed to draw nearer each instant, as indeed was the fact,
and just as the breeze came fresher out of the opening in
the hills, or the low mountains, which surround the place
of refuge in which they designed to enter, Mulford announced
that by aid of the night-glass he could distinguish both sails
and hull of their pursuer. Spike took a look, and throwing
down the instrument, in a way to endanger it, he ordered
the studding-sails taken in. The men went aloft like cats,
and worked as if they could stand in air. In a minute or
two the Swash was under what Mrs. Budd might have called
her “attacking” canvas, and was close by the wind, looking
on a good leg well up the harbour. The brig seemed to
be conscious of the emergency, and glided ahead at capital
speed. In five minutes she had shut in the flaming chimneys
of the steamer. In five minutes more Spike tacked,
to keep under the western side of the harbour, and out of
sight as long as possible, and because he thought the breeze
drew down fresher where he was than more out in the

All now depended on the single fact whether the brig had
been seen from the steamer or not, before she hauled into
the bay. If seen, she had probably been watched; if not
seen, there were strong grounds for hoping that she might
still escape. About a quarter of an hour after Spike hauled
up, the burning chimneys came again into view. The brig
was then half a league within the bay, with a fine dark

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background of hills to throw her into shadow. Spike ordered
everything taken in but the trysail, under which the brig
was left to set slowly over toward the western side of the
harbour. He now rubbed his hands with delight, and
pointed out to Mulford the circumstance that the steamer
kept on her course directly athwart the harbour's mouth!
Had she seen the Swash, no doubt she would have turned
into the bay also. Nevertheless, an anxious ten minutes
succeeded, during which the revenue vessel steamed fairly
past, and shut in her flaming chimneys again by the eastern
headlands of the estuary.


The western wave was all a flame,
The day was well nigh done,
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright sun;
When that strange ship drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the sun.
The Ancient Mariner.

At that hour, on the succeeding morning, when the light
of day is just beginning to chase away the shadows of night,
the Molly Swash became visible within the gloom of the high
land which surrounds so much of the bay of Hempstead,
under easy sail, backing and filling, in order to keep within
her hiding-place, until a look could be had at the state of
things without. Half an hour later, she was so near the
entrance of the estuary, as to enable the look-outs aloft to
ascertain that the coast was clear, when Spike ordered the
helm to be put up, and the brig to be kept away to her
course. At this precise moment, Rose appeared on deck,
refreshed by the sleep of a quiet night; and with cheeks
tinged with a colour even more delicate than that which was
now glowing in the eastern sky, and which was almost as

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“We stopped in this bit of a harbour for the night, Miss
Rose, that is all;” said Spike, observing that his fair passenger
was looking about her, in some little surprise, at
finding the vessel so near the land, and seemingly so much
out of her proper position. “Yes, we always do that, when
we first start on a v'y'ge, and before the brig gets used to
travelling—do n't we, Mr. Mulford?”

Mr. Mulford, who knew how hopeless was the attempt to
mystify Rose, as one might mystify her credulous and weak-minded
aunt, and who had no disposition to deal any way
but fairly by the beautiful, and in one sense now helpless
young creature before him, did not see fit to make any reply.
Offend Spike he did not dare to do, more especially under
present circumstances; and mislead Rose he would not do.
He affected not to hear the question, therefore, but issuing
an order about the head-sails, he walked forward as if to see
it executed. Rose herself was not under as much restraint
as the young mate.

“It is convenient, Captain Spike,” she coolly answered
for Mulford, “to have stopping-places, for vessels that are
wearied, and I remember the time when my uncle used to
tell me of such matters, very much in the same vein; but, it
was before I was twelve years old.”

Spike hemmed, and he looked a little foolish, but Clench,
the boatswain, coming aft to say something to him in confidence,
just at that moment, he was enabled to avoid the
awkwardness of attempting to explain. This man Clench,
or Clinch, as the name was pronounced, was deep in the
captain's secrets; far more so than was his mate, and would
have been filling Mulford's station at that very time, had he
not been hopelessly ignorant of navigation. On the present
occasion, his business was to point out to the captain, two
or three lines of smoke, that were visible above the water
of the Sound, in the eastern board; one of which he was
apprehensive might turn out to be the smoke of the revenue
craft, from which they had so recently escaped.

“Steamers are no rarities in Long Island Sound, Clench,”
observed the captain, levelling his glass at the most suspected
of the smokes. “That must be a Providence, or
Stonington chap, coming west with the Boston train.”

“Either of them would have been further west, by this

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time, Captain Spike,” returned the doubting, but watchful
boatswain. “It's a large smoke, and I fear it is the revenue
fellow coming back, after having had a look well to the
eastward, and satisfying himself that we are not to be had
in that quarter.”

Spike growled out his assent to the possibility of such a
conjecture, and promised vigilance. This satisfied his subordinate
for the moment, and he walked forward, or to the
place where he belonged. In the mean time, the widow
came on deck, smiling, and snuffing the salt air, and ready
to be delighted with anything that was maritime.

“Good morning, Captain Spike,” she cried—“Are we in
the offing, yet?—you know I desired to be told when we are
in the offing, for I intend to write a letter to my poor Mr.
Budd's sister, Mrs. Sprague, as soon as we get to the offing.”

“What is the offing, aunt?” inquired the handsome

“Why you have hardly been at sea long enough to understand
me, child, should I attempt to explain. The offing,
however, is the place where the last letters are always written
to the owners, and to friends ashore. The term comes,
I suppose, from the circumstance that the vessel is about to
be off, and it is natural to think of those we leave behind,
at such a moment. I intend to write to your aunt Sprague,
my dear, the instant I hear we are in the offing; and what
is more, I intend to make you my amanuensis.”

“But how will the letter be sent, aunty?—I have no more
objections to writing than any one else, but I do not see how
the letter is to be sent. Really, the sea is a curious region,
with its stopping-places for the night, and its offings to write
letters at!”

“Yes, it's all as you say, Rose—a most remarkable
region is the sea! You'll admire it, as I admire it, when
you come to know it better; and as your poor uncle admired
it, and as Captain Spike admires it, too. As for the letters,
they can be sent ashore by the pilot, as letters are always

“But, aunty, there is no pilot in the Swash—for Captain
Spike refused to take one on board.”

“Rose!—you don't understand what you are talking
about! No vessel ever yet sailed without a pilot, if indeed

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any can. It's opposed to the law, not to have a pilot; and
now I remember to have heard your dear uncle say it wasn't
a voyage if a vessel didn't take away a pilot.”

“But if they take them away, aunty, how can they send
the letters ashore by them?”

“Poh! poh! child; you don't know what you're saying;
but you'll overlook it, I hope, Captain Spike, for Rose is
quick, and will soon learn to know better. As if letters
couldn't be sent ashore by the pilot, though he was a hundred
thousand miles from land! But, Captain Spike, you
must let me know when we are about to get off the Sound,
for I know that the pilot is always sent ashore with his letters,
before the vessel gets off the Sound.”

“Yes, yes,” returned the captain, a little mystified by
the widow, though he knew her so well, and understood her
so well—“you shall know, ma'am, when we get off soundings,
for I suppose that is what you mean.”

“What is the difference? Off the Sound, or off the
soundings, of course, must mean the same thing. But,
Rosy, we will go below and write to your aunt at once, for
I see a light-house yonder, and light-houses are always put
just off the soundings.”

Rose, who always suspected her aunt's nautical talk,
though she did not know how to correct it, and was not
sorry to put an end to it, now, by going below, and spreading
her own writing materials, in readiness to write, as the
other dictated. Biddy Noon was present, sewing on some
of her own finery.

“Now write, as I tell you, Rose,” commenced the widow—

“My dear sister Sprague—Here we are, at last, just off
the soundings, with light-houses all round us, and so many
capes and islands in sight, that it does seem as if the vessel
never could find its way through them all. Some of these
islands must be the West Indies”—

“Aunty, that can never be!” exclaimed Rose—“we left
New York only yesterday.”

“What of that? Had it been old times, I grant you
several days might be necessary to get a sight of the West
Indies, but, now, when a letter can be written to a friend in
Boston, and an answer received in half an hour, it requires
no such time to go to the West Indies. Besides, what other

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islands are there in this part of the world?—they can't be

“No—no,”—said Rose, at once seeing it would be preferable
to admit they were the West Indies; so the letter
went on:—

“Some of these islands must be the West Indies, and it
is high time we saw some of them, for we are nearly off
the Sound, and the light-houses are getting to be quite
numerous. I think we have already seen four since we left
the wharf. But, my dear sister Sprague, you will be delighted
to hear how much better Rose's health is already

“My health, aunty! Why, I never knew an ill day in
my life!”

“Don't tell me that, my darling; I know too well what
all these deceptive appearances of health amount to. I
would not alarm you for the world, Rosy dear, but a careful
parent—and I'm your parent in affection, if not by nature—
but a careful parent's eye is not to be deceived. I know
you look well, but you are ill, my child; though, Heaven
be praised, the sea air and hydropathy are already doing
you a monstrous deal of good.”

As Mrs. Budd concluded, she wiped her eyes, and appeared
really glad that her niece had a less consumptive
look than when she embarked. Rose sat, gazing at her
aunt, in mute astonishment. She knew how much and
truly she was beloved, and that induced her to be more
tolerant of her connection's foibles than even duty demanded.
Feeling was blended with her respect, but it was almost too
much for her, to learn that this long, and in some respects
painful voyage, was undertaken on her account, and without
the smallest necessity for it. The vexation, however, would
have been largely increased, but for certain free communications
that had occasionally occurred between her and the
handsome mate, since the moment of her coming on board
the brig. Rose knew that Harry Mulford loved her, too,
for he had told her as much with a seaman's frankness;
and though she had never let him know that his partiality
was returned, her woman's heart was fast inclining toward
him, with all her sex's tenderness. This made the mistake

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of her aunt tolerable, though Rose was exceedingly vexed
it should ever have occurred.

“Why, my dearest aunt,” she cried, “they told me it
was on your account that this voyage was undertaken!”

“I know they did, poor, dear Rosy, and that was in order
not to alarm you. Some persons of delicate constitutions—”

“But my constitution is not in the least delicate, aunt;
on the contrary, it is as good as possible; a blessing for
which, I trust, I am truly grateful, I did not know but you
might be suffering, though you do look so well, for they all
agreed in telling me you had need of a sea-voyage.”

“I, a subject for hydropathy! Why, child, water is no
more necessary to me than it is to a cat.”

“But going to sea, aunty, is not hydropathy—”

“Don't say that, Rosy; do not say that, my dear. It is
hydropathy on a large scale, as Captain Spike says; and
when he gets us into blue water, he has promised that you
shall have all the benefits of the treatment.”

Rose was silent and thoughtful; after which she spoke
quickly, like one to whom an important thought had suddenly

“And Captain Spike, then, was consulted in my case?”
she asked.

“He was, my dear, and you have every reason to be
grateful to him. He was the first to discover a change in
your appearance, and to suggest a sea voyage. Marine
Hydropathy, he said, he was sure would get you up again;
for Captain Spike thinks your constitution good at the bottom,
though the high colour you have proves too high a state of
habitual excitement.”

“Was Dr. Monson consulted at all, aunt?”

“Not at all. You know the doctors are all against hydropathy,
and mesmerism, and the magnetic telegraph, and
everything that is new; so we thought it best not to consult

“And my aunt Sprague?”

“Yes, she was consulted after everything was settled, and
when I knew her notions could not undo what had been
already done. But she is a seaman's widow, as well as
myself, and has a great notion of the virtue of sea air.”

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“Then it would seem that Doctor Spike was the principal
adviser in my case!”

“I own that he was, Rosy dear. Captain Spike was
brought up by your uncle, who has often told me what a
thorough seaman he was. `There's Spike, now,' he said
to me one day, `he can almost make his brig talk'—this
very brig too, your uncle meant, Rosy, and, of course, one
of the best vessels in the world to take hydropathy in.”

“Yes, aunty,” returned Rose, playing with the pen, while
her air proved how little her mind was in her words.
“Well, what shall I say next to my aunt Sprague?”

“Rose's health is already becoming confirmed,” resumed
the widow, who thought it best to encourage her niece by
as strong terms as she could employ, “and I shall extol
hydropathy to the skies, as long as I live. As soon as we
reach our port of destination, my dear sister Sprague, I
shall write you a line to let you know it, by the magnetic

“But there is no magnetic telegraph on the sea, aunty,”
interrupted Rose, looking up from the paper, with her clear,
serene, blue eyes, expressing even her surprise, at this touch
of the relict's ignorance.

“Don't tell me that, Rosy, child, when everybody says
the sparks will fly round the whole earth, just as soon as
they will fly from New York to Philadelphia.”

“But they must have something to fly on, aunty; and
the ocean will not sustain wires, or posts.”

“Well, there is no need of being so particular; if there
is no telegraph, the letter must come by mail. You can say
telegraph, here, and when your aunt gets the letter, the postmark
will tell her how it came. It looks better to talk
about telegraphic communications, child.”

Rose resumed her pen, and wrote at her aunt's dictation,
as follows:—“By the magnetic telegraph, when I hope to
be able to tell you that our dear Rose is well. As yet, we
both enjoy the ocean exceedingly; but when we get off the
Sound, into blue water, and have sent the pilot ashore, or
discharged him, I ought to say, which puts me in mind of
telling you that a cannon was discharged at us only last
night, and that the ball whistled so near me, that I heard it
as plain as ever you heard Rose's piano.”

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“Had I not better first tell my aunt Sprague what is to
be done when the pilot is discharged?”

“No; tell her about the cannon that was discharged,
first, and about the ball that I heard. I had almost forgot
that adventure, which was a very remarkable one, was it
not, Biddy?”

“Indeed, Missus, and it was! and Miss Rose might put
in the letter how we both screamed at that cannon, and
might have been heard as plainly, every bit of it, as the

“Say nothing on the subject, Rose, or we shall never
hear the last of it. So, darling, you may conclude in your
own way, for I believe I have told your aunt all that comes
to mind.”

Rose did as desired, finishing the epistle in a very few
words, for, rightly enough, she had taken it into her head
there was no pilot to be discharged, and consequently that the
letter would never be sent. Her short but frequent conferences
with Mulford were fast opening her eyes, not to say her
heart, and she was beginning to see Captain Spike in his true
character, which was that of a great scoundrel. It is true, that
the mate had not long judged his commander quite so harshly;
but had rather seen his beautiful brig, and her rare qualities,
in her owner and commander, than the man himself; but
jealousy had quickened his observation of late, and Stephen
Spike had lost ground sensibly with Harry Mulford, within
the last week. Two or three times before, the young man
had thought of seeking another berth, on account of certain
distrusts of Spike's occupations; but he was poor, and so
long as he remained in the Swash, Harry's opportunities of
meeting Rose were greatly increased. This circumstance,
indeed, was the secret of his still being in the “Molly,” as
Spike usually called his craft; the last voyage having excited
suspicions that were rather of a delicate nature. Then
the young man really loved the brig, which, if she could
not be literally made to talk, could be made to do almost
everything else. A vessel, and a small vessel, too, is rather
contracted as to space, but those who wish to converse can
contrive to speak together often, even in such narrow limits.
Such had been the fact with Rose Budd and the handsome
mate. Twenty times since they sailed, short as that time

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was, had Mulford contrived to get so near to Rose, as to talk
with her, unheard by others. It is true, that he seldom
ventured to do this, so long as the captain was in sight, but
Spike was often below, and opportunities were constantly
occurring. It was in the course of these frequent but brief
conversations, that Harry had made certain dark hints
touching the character of his commander, and the known
recklessness of his proceedings. Rose had taken the alarm,
and fully comprehending her aunt's mental imbecility, her
situation was already giving her great uneasiness. She had
some undefined hopes from the revenue steamer; though,
strangely enough as it appeared to her, her youngest and
most approved suitor betrayed a strong desire to escape from
that craft, at the very moment he was expressing his apprehensions
on account of her presence in the brig. This contradiction
arose from a certain esprit de corps, which seldom
fails, more or less, to identify the mariner with his ship.

But the writing was finished, and the letter sealed with
wax, Mrs. Budd being quite as particular in that ceremony
as Lord Nelson, when the females again repaired on deck.
They found Spike and his mate sweeping the eastern part
of the Sound with their glasses, with a view to look out for
enemies; or, what to them, just then, was much the same
thing, government craft. In this occupation, Rose was a
little vexed to see that Mulford was almost as much interested
as Spike himself, the love of his vessel seemingly overcoming
his love for her, if not his love of the right—she
knew of no reason, however, why the captain should dread
any other vessel, and felt sufficiently provoked to question
him a little on the subject, if it were only to let him see that
the niece was not as completely his dupe as the aunt. She
had not been on deck five minutes, therefore, during which
time several expressions had escaped the two sailors touching
their apprehensions of vessels seen in the distance, ere she
commenced her inquiries.

“And why should we fear meeting with other vessels?”
Rose plainly demanded—“here in Long Island Sound, and
within the power of the laws of the country?”

“Fear?” exclaimed Spike, a little startled, and a good
deal surprised at this straight-forward question—“Fear,
Miss Rose! You do not think we are afraid, though there

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are many reasons why we do not wish to be spoken by certain
craft that are hovering about. In the first place, you
know it is war time—I suppose you know, Madam Budd,
that America is at war with Mexico?”

“Certainly,” answered the widow, with dignity—“and
that is a sufficient reason, Rose, why one vessel should
chase, and another should run. If you had heard your
poor uncle relate, as I have done, all his chasings and runnings
away, in the war times, child, you would understand
these things better. Why, I've heard your uncle say that,
in some of his long voyages, he has run thousands and
thousands of miles, with sails set on both sides, and all over
his ship!”

“Yes, aunty, and so have I, but that was `running before
the wind,' as he used to call it.”

“I s'pose, however, Miss Rose,” put in Spike, who saw
that the niece would soon get the better of the aunt;—“I
s'pose, Miss Rose, that you'll acknowledge that America is
at war with Mexico?”

“I am sorry to say that such is the fact, but I remember
to have heard you say, yourself, Captain Spike, when my
aunt was induced to undertake this voyage, that you did not
consider there was the smallest danger from any Mexicans.”

“Yes, you did, Captain Spike,” added the aunt—“you
did say there was no danger from Mexicans.”

“Nor is there a bit, Madam Budd, if Miss Rose, and
your honoured self, will only hear me. There is no danger,
because the brig has the heels of anything Mexico can send
to sea. She has sold her steamers, and, as for anything
else under her flag, I would not care a straw.”

“The steamer from which we ran, last evening, and
which actually fired off a cannon at us, was not Mexican,
but American,” said Rose, with a pointed manner that put
Spike to his trumps.

“Oh! that steamer—” he stammered—“that was a race—
only a race, Miss Rose, and I wouldn't let her come near
me, for the world. I should never hear the last of it, in the
insurance offices, and on 'change, did I let her overhaul
us. You see, Miss Rose—you see, Madam Budd—” Spike
ever found it most convenient to address his mystifying discourse
to the aunt, in preference to addressing it to the niece

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—“You see, Madam Budd, the master of that craft and I
are old cronies—sailed together when boys, and set great
store by each other. We met only last evening, just a'ter
I had left your own agreeable mansion, Madam Budd, and
says he, `Spike, when do you sail?' `To-morrow's flood,
Jones,' says I—his name is Jones;—Peter Jones, and as
good a fellow as ever lived. `Do you go by the Hook, or
by Hell-Gate—' ”

“Hurl-Gate, Captain Spike, if you please—or Whirl-Gate,
which some people think is the true sound; but the
other way of saying it is awful.”

“Well, the captain, my old master, always called it Hell-Gate,
and I learned the trick from him—”

“I know he did, and so do all sailors; but genteel people,
now-a-days, say nothing but Hurl-Gate, or Whirl-Gate.”

Rose smiled at this; as did Mulford; but neither said anything,
the subject having once before been up between them.
As for ourselves, we are still so old-fashioned as to say, and
write, Hell-Gate, and intend so to do, in spite of all the
Yankees that have yet passed through it, or who ever shall
pass through it, and that is saying a great deal. We do
not like changing names to suit their uneasy spirits.

“Call the place Hurl-Gate, and go on with your story,”
said the widow, complacently.

“Yes, Madam Budd—`Do you go by the Hook, or by
Whirl-Gate?' said Jones. `By Whirl-a-Gig-Gate,' says I.
`Well,' says he, `I shall go through the Gate myself, in the
course of the morning. We may meet somewhere to the
eastward, and, if we do, I'll bet you a beaver,' says he,
`that I show you my stern.' `Agreed,' says I, and we
shook hands upon it. That's the whole history of our
giving the steamer the slip, last night, and of my not wishing
to let her speak me.”

“But you went into a bay, and let her go past you,” said
Rose, coolly enough as to manner, but with great point as
to substance. “Was not that a singular way of winning a

“It does seem so, Miss Rose, but it's all plain enough,
when understood. I found that steam was too much for
sails, and I stood up into the bay to let them run past us,
in hopes they would never find out the trick. I care as little

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for a hat as any man, but I do care a good deal about having
it reported on 'change that the Molly was beat, by even a

This ended the discourse for the moment, Clench again
having something to say to his captain in private.

“How much of that explanation am I to believe, and
how much disbelieve?” asked Rose, the instant she was left
alone with Harry. “If it be all invention, it was a ready
and ingenious story.”

“No part of it is true. He no more expected that the
steamer would pass through Hell-Gate, than I expected it
myself. There was no bet, or race, therefore; but it was
our wish to avoid Uncle Sam's cruiser, that was all.”

“And why should you wish any such thing?”

“On my honour, I can give you no better reason, so far
as I am concerned, than the fact that, wishing to keep clear
of her, I do not like to be overhauled. Nor can I tell you
why Spike is so much in earnest in holding the revenue
vessel at arm's length; I know he dislikes all such craft, as
a matter of course, but I can see no particular reason for it
just now. A more innocent cargo was never stuck into a
vessel's hold.”

“What is it?”

“Flour; and no great matter of that. The brig is not
half full, being just in beautiful ballast trim, as if ready for
a race. I can see no sufficient reason, beyond native antipathy,
why Captain Spike should wish to avoid any craft,
for it is humbug his dread of a Mexican, and least of all,
here, in Long Island Sound. All that story about Jones is
a tub for whales.”

“Thank you for the allusion; my aunt and myself being
the whales.”

“You know I do mean—can mean nothing, Rose, that is
disrespectful to either yourself or your aunt.”

Rose looked up, and she looked pleased. Then she
mused in silence, for some time, when she again spoke.

“Why have you remained another voyage with such a
man, Harry?” she asked, earnestly.

“Because, as his first officer, I have had access to your
house, when I could not have had it otherwise; and because
I have apprehended that he might persuade Mrs. Budd, as

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he had boasted to me it was his intention to do, to make
this voyage.”

Rose now looked grateful; and deeply grateful did she
feel, and had reason to feel. Harry had concealed no portion
of his history from her. Like herself, he was a ship-master's
child, but one better educated and better connected
than was customary for the class. His father had paid a
good deal of attention to the youth's early years, but had
made a seaman of him, out of choice. The father had lost
his all, however, with his life, in a shipwreck; and Harry
was thrown upon his own resources, at the early age of
twenty. He had made one or two voyages as a second
mate, when chance threw him in Spike's way, who, pleased
with some evidences of coolness and skill, that he had
shown in a foreign port, on the occasion of another loss,
took him as his first officer; in which situation he had remained
ever since, partly from choice and partly from necessity.
On the other hand, Rose had a fortune; by no
means a large one, but several thousands in possession, from
her own father, and as many more in reversion from her
uncle. It was this money, taken in connection with the
credulous imbecility of the aunt, that had awakened the
cupidity, and excited the hopes of Spike. After a life of
lawless adventure, one that had been chequered by every
shade of luck, he found himself growing old, with his brig
growing old with him, and little left beside his vessel and
the sort of half cargo that was in her hold. Want of means,
indeed, was the reason that the flour-barrels were not more

Rose heard Mulford's explanation favourably, as indeed
she heard most of that which came from him, but did not
renew the discourse, Spike's conference with the boatswain
just then terminating. The captain now came aft, and
began to speak of the performances of his vessel in a way
to show that he took great pride in them.

“We are travelling at the rate of ten knots, Madam Budd,”
he said exultingly, “and that will take us clear of the land,
before night shuts in ag'in. Montauk is a good place for
an offing; I ask for no better.”

“Shall we then have two offings, this voyage, Captain
Spike?” asked Rose, a little sarcastically. “If we are in

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the offing now, and are to be in the offing when we reach
Montauk, there must be two such places.”

“Rosy, dear, you amaze me!” put in the aunt. “There
is no offing until the pilot is discharged, and when he's discharged
there is nothing but offing. It's all offing. On the
Sound, is the first great change that befalls a vessel as she
goes to sea; then comes the offing; next the pilot is discharged—
then—then—what comes next, Captain Spike?”

“Then the vessel takes her departure—an old navigator
like yourself, Madam Budd, ought not to forget the departure.”

“Quite true, sir. The departure is a very important
portion of a seaman's life. Often and often have I heard
my poor dear Mr. Budd talk about his departures. His
departures, and his offings and his—”

“Land-falls,” added Spike, perceiving that the ship-master's
relict was a little at fault.

“Thank you, sir; the hint is quite welcome. His land-falls,
also, were often in his mouth.”

“What is a land-fall, aunty?” inquired Rose—“It appears
a strange term to be used by one who lives on the

“Oh! there is no end to the curiosities of sailors! A
`land-fall,' my dear, means a shipwreck, of course. To
fall on the land, and a very unpleasant fall it is, when a
vessel should keep on the water. I've heard of dreadful
land-falls in my day, in which hundreds of souls have been
swept into eternity, in an instant.”

“Yes; yes, Madam Budd—there are such accidents
truly, and serious things be they to encounter,” answered
Spike, hemming a little to clear his throat, as was much his
practice whenever the widow ran into any unusually extravagant
blunder; “yes, serious things to encounter. But
the land-fall that I mean is a different sort of thing; being,
as you well know, what we say when we come in sight of
land, a'ter a v'y'ge; or, meaning the land we may happen
first to see. The departure is the beginning of our calculation
when we lose sight of the last cape or headland,
and the land-fall closes it, by letting us know where we are,
at the other end of our journey, as you probably remember.”

“Is there not such a thing as clearing out in navigation?”

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asked Rose, quickly, willing to cover a little confusion that
was manifest in her aunt's manner.

“Not exactly in navigation, Miss Rose, but clearing out,
with honest folk, ought to come first, and navigation a'terwards.
Clearing out means going through the Custom-House,
accordin' to law.”

“And the Molly Swash has cleared out, I hope?”

“Sartain—a more lawful clearance was never given in
Wall Street; it's for Key West and a market. I did think
of making it Havana and a market, but port-charges are
lightest at Key West.”

“Then Key West is the place to which we are bound?”

“It ought to be, agreeable to papers; though vessels
sometimes miss the ports for which they clear.”

Rose put no more questions; and her aunt, being conscious
that she had not appeared to advantage in the affair
of the “land-fall,” was also disposed to be silent. Spike
and Mulford had their attention drawn to the vessel, and the
conversation dropped.

The reader can readily suppose that the Molly Swash
had not been standing still all this time. So far from this,
she was running “down Sound,” with the wind on her
quarter, or at south-west, making great head-way, as she
was close under the south shore, or on the island side of the
water she was in. The vessel had no other motion than
that of her speed, and the females escaped everything like
sea-sickness, for the time being. This enabled them to
attend to making certain arrangements necessary to their
comforts below, previously to getting into rough water. In
acquitting herself of this task, Rose received much useful
advice from Josh, though his new assistant, Jack Tier,
turned out to be a prize indeed, in the cabins. The first
was only a steward; but the last proved himself not only
a handy person of his calling, but one full of resources—a
genius, in his way. Josh soon became so sensible of his
own inferiority, in contributing to the comforts of females,
that he yielded the entire management of the “ladies'
cabin,” as a little place that might have been ten feet square,
was called, to his uncouth-looking, but really expert deputy.
Jack waddled about below, as if born and brought up in
such a place, and seemed every way fitted for his office. In

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height, and in build generally, there was a surprising conformity
between the widow and the steward's deputy, a circumstance
which might induce one to think they must often
have been in each other's way, in a space so small; though, in
point of fact, Jack never ran foul of any one. He seemed
to avoid this inconvenience by a species of nautical instinct.

Towards the turn of the day, Rose had everything arranged,
and was surprised to find how much room she had
made for her aunt and herself, by means of Jack's hints,
and how much more comfortable it was possible to be, in
that small cabin, than she had at first supposed.

After dinner, Spike took his siesta. He slept in a little
state-room that stood on the starboard side of the quarter-deck,
quite aft; as Mulford did in one on the larboard.
These two state-rooms were fixtures; but a light deck overhead,
which connected them, shipped and unshipped, forming
a shelter for the man at the wheel, when in its place, as
well as for the officer of the watch, should he see fit to use
it, in bad weather. This sort of cuddy, Spike termed his

The captain had no sooner gone into his state-room, and
closed its window, movements that were understood by
Mulford, than the latter took occasion to intimate to Rose,
by means of Jack Tier, the state of things on deck, when
the young man was favoured with the young lady's company.

“He has turned in for his afternoon's nap, and will sleep
for just one hour, blow high, or blow low,” said the mate,
placing himself at Rose's side on the trunk, which formed
the usual seat for those who could presume to take the
liberty of sitting down on the quarter-deck. “It's a habit
with him, and we can count on it, with perfect security.”

“His doing so, now, is a sign that he has no immediate
fears of the revenue steamer?”

“The coast is quite clear of her. We have taken good
looks at every smoke, but can see nothing that appears like
our late companion. She has doubtless gone to the eastward,
on duty, and merely chased us, on her road.”

“But why should she chase us, at all?”

“Because we ran. Let a dog run, or a man run, or a
cat run, ten to one but something starts in chase. It is

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human nature, I believe, to give chase; though I will admit
there was something suspicious about that steamer's movements—
her anchoring off the Fort, for instance. But let
her go, for the present; are you getting things right, and to
your mind, below decks?”

“Very much so. The cabin is small, and the two state-rooms
the merest drawers that ever were used, but, by putting
everything in its place, we have made sufficient room,
and no doubt shall be comfortable.”

“I am sorry you did not call on me for assistance. The
mate has a prescriptive right to help stow away.”

“We made out without your services,” returned Rose,
slightly blushing—“Jack Tier, as he is called, Josh's assistant,
is a very useful person, and has been our adviser
and manager. I want no better for such services.”

“He is a queer fellow, all round. Take him altogether, I
hardly ever saw so droll a being! As thick as he's long,
with a waddle like a duck, a voice that is cracked, hair like
bristles, and knee high; the man might make a fortune as
a show. Tom Thumb is scarcely a greater curiosity.”

“He is singular in `build,' as you call it,” returned Rose,
laughing, “but, I can assure you that he is a most excellent
fellow in his way—worth a dozen of Josh. Do you know,
Harry, that I suspect he has strong feelings towards Captain
Spike; though whether of like or dislike, friendship or enmity,
I am at a loss to say.”

“And why do you think that he has any feeling at all?
I have heard Spike say he left the fellow ashore, somewhere
down on the Spanish Main, or in the Islands, quite twenty
years since; but a sailor would scarce carry a grudge so
long a time, for such a thing as that.”

“I do not know—but feeling there is, and much of it,
too; though, whether hostile or friendly, I will not undertake
to say.”

“I'll look to the chap, now you tell me this. It is a little
odd, the manner in which he got on board us, taken in connection
with the company he was in, and a discovery may
be made. Here he is, however; and, as I keep the keys of
the magazine, he can do us no great harm, unless he scuttles
the brig.”

“Magazine! Is there such a thing here?”

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“To be sure there is, and ammunition enough in it to
keep eight carronades in lively conversation for a couple of

“A carronade is what you call a gun, is it not?”

“A piece of a one—being somewhat short, like your
friend, Jack Tier, who is shaped a good deal like a carronade.”

Rose smiled—nay, half laughed, for Harry's pleasantries
almost took the character of wit in her eyes, but she
did not the less pursue her inquiries.

“Guns! And where are they, if they be on this vessel?”

“Do not use such a lubberly expression, my dear Rose,
if you respect your father's profession. On a vessel, is a
new-fangled Americanism, that is neither fish, flesh, nor
red-herring, as we sailors say—neither English nor Greek.”

“What should I say, then? My wish is not to parade
sea-talk, but to use it correctly, when I use it at all.”

“The expression is hardly `sea-talk,' as you call it, but
every-day English—that is, when rightly used. On a vessel
is no more English than it is nautical—no sailor ever used
such an expression.”

“Tell me what I ought to say, and you will find me a
willing, if not an apt scholar. I am certain of having often
read it, in the newspapers, and that quite lately.”

“I'll answer for that, and it's another proof of its being
wrong. In a vessel is as correct as in a coach, and on a
vessel as wrong as can be; but you can say on board a
vessel, though not `on the boards of a vessel;' as Mrs. Budd
has it.”

“Mr. Mulford!”

“I beg a thousand pardons, Rose, and will offend no
more—though she does make some very queer mistakes!”

“My aunt thinks it an honour to my uncle's memory, to
be able to use the language of his professional life, and if
she does sometimes make mistakes that are absurd, it is
with motives so respectable that no sailor should deride

“I am rebuked for ever. Mrs. Budd may call the anchor
a silver spoon, hereafter, without my even smiling. But if
the aunt has this kind remembrance of a seaman's life, why
cannot the niece think equally well of it?”

“Perhaps she does,” returned Rose, smiling again—

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“seeing all its attractions through the claims of Captain

“I think half the danger from him gone, now that you
seem so much on your guard. What an odious piece of
deception, to persuade Mrs. Budd that you were fast falling
into a decline!”

“One so odious that I shall surely quit the brig at the
first port we enter, or even in the first suitable vessel that
we may speak.”

“And Mrs. Budd—could you persuade her to such a

“You scarce know us, Harry Mulford. My aunt commands,
when there is no serious duty to perform, but we
change places when there is. I can persuade her to anything
that is right, in ten minutes.”

“You might persuade a world!” cried Harry, with strong
admiration expressed in his countenance; after which he
began to converse with Rose, on a subject so interesting to
themselves, that we do not think it prudent to relate any
more of the discourse, forgetting all about the guns.

About four o'clock, of a fine summer's afternoon, the
Swash went through the Race, on the best of the ebb, and
with a staggering south-west wind. Her movement by the
land, just at that point, could not have been less than at the
rate of fifteen miles in the hour. Spike was in high spirits,
for his brig had got on famously that day, and there was
nothing in sight to the eastward. He made no doubt, as he
had told his mate, that the steamer had gone into the Vineyard
Sound, and that she was bound over the shoals.

“They want to make political capital out of her,” he
added, using one of the slang phrases, that the “business
habits” of the American people are so rapidly incorporating
with the common language of the country—“They want
to make political capital out of her, Harry, and must show
her off to the Boston folk, who are full of notions. Well,
let them turn her to as much account in that way as they
please, so long as they keep her clear of the Molly. Your
sarvant, Madam Budd”—addressing the widow, who just at
that moment came on deck—“a fine a'ternoon, and likely
to be a clear night to run off the coast in.”

“Clear nights are desirable, and most of all at sea,

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Captain Spike,” returned the relict, in her best, complacent
manner, “whether it be to run off a coast, or to run on a
coast. In either case, a clear night, or a bright moon must
be useful.”

Captain Spike rolled his tobacco over in his mouth, and
cast a furtive glance at the mate, but he did not presume to
hazard any further manifestations of his disposition to laugh.

“Yes, Madam Budd,” he answered, “it is quite as you
say, and I am only surprised where you have picked up so
much of what I call useful nautical knowledge.”

“We live and learn, sir. You will recollect that this is
not my first voyage, having made one before, and that I
passed a happy, happy, thirty years, in the society of my
poor, dear husband, Rose's uncle. One must have been
dull, indeed, not to have picked up, from such a companion,
much of a calling that was so dear to him, and the particulars
of which were so very dear to him. He actually gave
me lessons in the `sea dialect,' as he called it, which probably
is the true reason I am so accurate and general in
my acquisitions.”

“Yes, Madam Budd—yes—hem—you are—yes, you are
wonderful in that way. We shall soon get an offing, now,
Madam Budd—yes, soon get an offing, now.”

“And take in our departure, Captain Spike—” added the
widow, with a very intelligent smile.

“Yes, take our departure. Montauk is yonder, just
coming in sight; only some three hours' run from this spot.
When we get there, the open ocean will lie before us; and
give me the open sea, and I'll not call the king my uncle.”

“Was he your uncle, Captain Spike?”

“Only in a philanthropic way, Madam Budd. Yes, let
us get a good offing, and a rapping to'gallant breeze, and I
do not think I should care much for two of Uncle Sam's
new-fashioned revenue craft, one on each side of me.”

“How delightful do I find such conversation, Rose! It's
as much like your poor, dear uncle's, as one pea is like another.
`Yes,' he used to say, too, `let me only have one
on each side of me, and a wrapper round the topgallant
sail to hold the breeze, and I'd not call the king my uncle.'
Now I think of it, he used to talk about the king as his
uncle, too.”

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“It was all talk, aunty. He had no uncle, and, what is
more, he had no king.”

“That's quite true, Miss Rose,” rejoined Spike, attempting
a bow, which ended in a sort of jerk. “It is not very
becoming in us republicans to be talking of kings, but a
habit is a habit. Our forefathers had kings, and we drop
into their ways without thinking of what we are doing.
Fore-topgallant yard, there?”


“Keep a bright look-out, ahead. Let me know the instant
you make anything in the neighbourhood of Montauk.”

“Ay, ay, sir.”

“As I was saying, Madam Budd, we seamen drop into
our forefathers' ways. Now, when I was a youngster, I
remember, one day, that we fell in with a ketch—you know,
Miss Rose, what a ketch is, I suppose?”

“I have not the least notion of it, sir.”

“Rosy, you amaze me!” exclaimed the aunt—“and you
a ship-master's niece, and a ship-master's daughter! A
catch is a trick that sailors have, when they quiz landsmen.”

“Yes, Madam Budd, yes; we have them sort of catches,
too; but I now mean the vessel with a peculiar rig, which
we call a ketch, you know.”

“Is it the full-jigger, or the half-jigger sort, that you

Spike could hardly stand this, and he had to hail the top-gallant-yard
again, in order to keep the command of his
muscles, for he saw by the pretty frown that was gathering
on the brow of Rose, that she was regarding the matter a
little seriously. Luckily, the answer of the man on the
yard diverted the mind of the widow from the subject, and
prevented the necessity of any reply.

“There's a light, of course, sir, on Montauk, is there
not, Captain Spike?” demanded the seaman who was aloft.

“To be sure there is—every head-land, hereabouts, has
its light; and some have two.”

“Ay, ay, sir—it's that which puzzles me; I think I see
one light-house, and I'm not certain but I see two.”

“If there is anything like a second, it must be a sail.
Montauk has but one light.”

Mulford sprang into the fore-rigging, and in a minute was

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on the yard. He soon came down, and reported the light-house
in sight, with the afternoon's sun shining on it, but no
sail near.

“My poor, dear Mr. Budd used to tell a story of his being
cast away on a light-house, in the East Indies,” put in the
relict, as soon as the mate had ended his report, “which
always affected me. It seems there were three ships of
them together, in an awful tempest directly off the land—”

“That was comfortable, any how,” cried Spike;—“if it
must blow hard, let it come off the land, say I.”

“Yes, sir, it was directly off the land, as my poor husband
always said, which made it so much the worse you
must know, Rosy; though Captain Spike's gallant spirit
would rather encounter danger than not. It blew what they
call a Hyson, in the Chinese seas—”

“A what, aunty?—Hyson is the name of a tea, you

“A Hyson, I'm pretty sure it was; and I suppose the
wind is named after the tea, or the tea after the wind.”

“The ladies do get in a gale, sometimes, over their tea,”
said Spike gallantly. “But I rather think Madam Budd
must mean a Typhoon.”

“That's it—a Typhoon, or a Hyson—there is not much
difference between them, you see. Well, it blew a Typhoon,
and they are always mortal to somebody. This my poor
Mr. Budd well knew, and he had set his chronometer for
that Typhoon—”

“Excuse me, aunty, it was the barometer that he was
watching—the chronometer was his watch.”

“So it was—his watch on deck was his chronometer, I
declare. I am forgetting a part of my education. Do you
know the use of a chronometer, now, Rose? You have
seen your uncle's often, but do you know how he used it?”

“Not in the least, aunty. My uncle often tried to explain
it, but I never could understand him.”

“It must have been, then, because Captain Budd did not
try to make himself comprehended,” said Mulford, “for I
feel certain nothing would be easier than to make you understand
the uses of the chronometer.”

“I should like to learn it from you, Mr. Mulford,” answered
the charming girl, with an emphasis so slight on the

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`you,' that no one observed it but the mate, but which was
clear enough to him, and caused every nerve to thrill.

“I can attempt it,” answered the young man, “if it be
agreeable to Mrs. Budd, who would probably like to hear it

“Certainly, Mr. Mulford; though I fancy you can say
little on such a subject that I have not often heard already,
from my poor, dear Mr. Budd.”

“This was not very encouraging, truly; but Rose continuing
to look interested, the mate proceeded.

“The use of the chronometer is to ascertain the longitude,”
said Harry, “and the manner of doing it is, simply
this: A chronometer is nothing more nor less than a watch,
made with more care than usual, so as to keep the most
accurate time. They are of all sizes, from that of a clock,
down to this which I wear in my fob, and which is a watch
in size and appearance. Now, the nautical almanacs are all
calculated to some particular meridian—”

“Yes,” interrupted the relict, “Mr. Budd had a great
deal to say about meridians.”

“That of London, or Greenwich, being the meridian
used by those who use the English Almanacs, and those of
Paris or St. Petersburg, by the French and Russians. Each
of these places has an observatory, and chronometers that
are kept carefully regulated, the year round. Every chronometer
is set by the regulator of the particular observatory
or place to which the almanac used is calculated.”

“How wonderfully like my poor, dear Mr. Budd, all this
is, Rosy! Meridians, and calculated, and almanacs! I
could almost think I heard your uncle entertaining me with
one of his nautical discussions, I declare!”

“Now the sun rises earlier in places east, than in places
west of us.”

“It rises earlier in the summer, but later in the winter,
everywhere, Mr. Mulford.”

“Yes, my dear Madam; but the sun rises earlier every
day, in London, than it does in New York.”

“That is impossible,” said the widow, dogmatically—
“Why should not the sun rise at the same time in England
and America?”

“Because England is east of America, aunty. The sun

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does not move, you know, but only appears to us to move,
because the earth turns round from west to east, which
causes those who are farthest east to see it first. That is
what Mr. Mulford means.”

“Rose has explained it perfectly well,” continued the
mate. “Now the earth is divided into 360 degrees, and
the day is divided into 24 hours. If 360 be divided by 24,
the quotient will be 15. If follows that, for each fifteen
degrees of longitude, there is a difference of just one hour
in the rising of the sun, all over the earth, where it rises at
all. New York is near five times 15 degrees west of Greenwich,
and the sun consequently rises five hours later at
New York than at London.”

“There must be a mistake in this, Rosy,” said the relict,
in a tone of desperate resignation, in which the desire to
break out in dissent, was struggling oddly enough with an
assumed dignity of deportment. “I've always heard that
the people of London are some of the latest in the world.
Then, I've been in London, and know that the sun rises in
New York, in December, a good deal earlier than it does in
London, by the clock—yes, by the clock.”

“True enough, by the clock, Mrs. Budd, for London is
more than ten degrees north of New York, and the farther
north you go, the later the sun rises in winter, and the
earlier in summer.”

The relict merely shrugged her shoulders, as much as to
say that she knew no such thing; but Rose, who had been
well taught, raised her serene eyes to her aunt's face, and
mildly said—

“All true, aunty, and that is owing to the fact that the
earth is smaller at each end than in the middle.”

“Fiddle faddle with your middles and ends, Rose—I've
been in London, dear, and know that the sun rises later
there than in New York, in the month of December, and
that I know by the clock, I tell you.”

“The reason of which is,” resumed Mulford, “because
the clocks of each place keep the time of that place. Now,
it is different with the chronometers; they are set in the observatory
of Greenwich, and keep the time of Greenwich.
This watch chronometer was set there, only six months

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since; and this time, as you see, is near nine o'clock, when
in truth it is only about four o'clock here, where we are.”

“I wonder you keep such a watch, Mr. Mulford!”

“I keep it,” returned the mate, smiling, “because I know
it to keep good time. It has the Greenwich time; and, as
your watch has the New York time, by comparing them together,
it is quite easy to find the longitude of New York.”

“Do you, then, keep watches to compare with your chronometers?”
asked Rose, with interest.

“Certainly not; as that would require a watch for every
separate part of the ocean, and then we should only get
known longitudes. It would be impracticable, and load a
ship with nothing but watches. What we do is this: We
set our chronometers at Greenwich, and thus keep the
Greenwich true time wherever we go. The greatest attention
is paid to the chronometers, to see that they receive no
injuries; and usually there are two, and often more of them,
to compare one with another, in order to see that they go
well. When in the middle of the ocean, for instance, we
find the true time of the day at that spot, by ascertaining
the height of the sun. This we do by means of our quadrants,
or sextants; for, as the sun is always in the zenith
at twelve o'clock, nothing is easier than to do this, when the
sun can be seen, and an arc of the heavens measured. At
the instant the height of the sun is ascertained by one observer,
he calls to another, who notes the time on the chronometer.
The difference in these two times, or that of the
chronometer and that of the sun, gives the distance in degrees
and minutes, between the longitude of Greenwich and
that of the place on the ocean where the observer is; and
that gives him his longitude. If the difference is three hours
and twenty minutes, in time, the distance from Greenwich
is fifty degrees of longitude, because the sun rises three hours
and twenty minutes sooner in London, than in the fiftieth
degree of west longitude.”

“A watch is a watch, Rosy,” put in the aunt, doggedly—
“and time is time.—When it's four o'clock at our house,
it's four o'clock at your aunt Sprague's, and it's so all over
the world. The world may turn round—I'll not deny it,
for your uncle often said as much as that, but it cannot turn
in the way Mr. Mulford says, or we should all fall off it, at

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night, when it was bottom upwards. No, sir, no; you've
started wrong. My poor, dear, late Mr. Budd, always admitted
that the world turned round, as the books say; but
when I suggested to him the difficulty of keeping things in
their places, with the earth upside down, he acknowledged
candidly—for he was all candour, I must say that for him—
and owned that he had made a discovery by means of his
barometer, which showed that the world did not turn round
in the way you describe, or by rolling over, but by whirling
about, as one turns in a dance. You must remember your
uncle's telling me this, Rose?”

Rose did remember her uncle's telling her aunt this, as
well as a great many other similar prodigies. Captain Budd
had married his silly wife on account of her pretty face, and
when the novelty of that was over, he often amused himself
by inventing all sorts of absurdities, to amuse both her and
himself. Among other things, Rose well remembered his
quieting her aunt's scruples about falling off the earth, by
laying down the theory that the world did not “roll over,”
but “whirl round.” But Rose did not answer the question.

“Objects are kept in their places on the earth by means
of attraction,” Mulford ventured to say, with a great deal
of humility of manner. “I believe it is thought there is no
up or down, except as we go from or towards the earth;
and that would make the position of the last a matter of
indifference, as respects objects keeping on it.”

“Attractions are great advantages, I will own, sir, especially
to our sex. I think it will be acknowledged there has
been no want of them in our family, any more than there
has been of sense and information. Sense and information
we pride ourselves on; attractions being gifts from God,
we try to think less of them. But all the attractions in the
world could not keep Rosy, here, from falling off the earth,
did it ever come bottom upwards. And, mercy on me,
where would she fall to!”

Mulford saw that argument was useless, and he confined
his remarks, during the rest of the conversation, to showing
Rose the manner in which the longitude of a place might be
ascertained, with the aid of the chronometer, and by means
of observations to get the true time of day, at the particular
place itself. Rose was so quick-witted, and already so well

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instructed, as easily to comprehend the principles; the details
being matters of no great moment to one of her sex
and habits. But Mrs. Budd remained antagonist to the last.
She obstinately maintained that twelve o'clock was twelve
o'clock; or, if there was any difference, “London hours
were notoriously later than those of New York.”

Against such assertions arguments were obviously useless,
and Mulford, perceiving that Rose began to fidget, had
sufficient tact to change the conversation altogether.

And still the Molly Swash kept in swift motion. Montauk
was by this time abeam, and the little brigantine began to
rise and fall, on the long swells of the Atlantic, which now
opened before her, in one vast sheet of green and rolling
waters. On her right lay the termination of Long Island;
a low, rocky cape, with its light, and a few fields in tillage,
for the uses of those who tended it. It was the “land's end”
of New York, while the island that was heaving up out of
the sea, at a distance of about twenty miles to the eastward,
was the property of Rhode Island, being called Blok
Island. Between the two, the Swash shaped her course for
the ocean.

Spike had betrayed uneasiness, as his brig came up with
Montauk; but the coast seemed clear, with not even a distant
sail in sight, and he came aft, rubbing his hands with
delight, speaking cheerfully.

“All right, Mr. Mulford,” he cried—“everything ship-shape
and brister-fashion—not even a smack fishing hereaway,
which is a little remarkable. Ha!—what are you
staring at, over the quarter, there?”

“Look here, sir, directly in the wake of the setting sun,
which we are now opening from the land—is not that a

“Sail! Impossible, sir. What should a sail be doing in
there, so near Montauk—no man ever saw a sail there in
his life. It's a spot in the sun, Madam Budd, that my mate
has got a glimpse at, and, sailor-like, he mistakes it for a
sail! Ha—ha—ha—yes, Harry, it's a spot in the sun.”

“It is a spot on the sun, as you say, but it's a spot made
by a vessel—and here is a boat pulling towards her, might
and main; going from the light, as if carrying news.”

It was no longer possible for Spike's hopes to deceive

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him. There was a vessel, sure enough; though, when first
seen, it was so directly in a line with the fiery orb of the
setting sun, as to escape common observation. As the brig
went foaming on towards the ocean, however, the black
speck was soon brought out of the range of the orb of day,
and Spike's glass was instantly levelled at it.

“Just as one might expect, Mr. Mulford,” cried the captain,
lowering his glass, and looking aloft to see what could
be done to help his craft along; “a bloody revenue cutter,
as I'm a wicked sinner! There she lies, sir, within musket
shot of the shore, hid behind the point, as it might be in
waiting for us, with her head to the southward, her helm
hard down, topsail aback, and foresail brailed; as wicked
looking a thing as Free Trade and Sailor's Rights ever ran
from. My life on it, sir, she's been put in that precise spot,
in waiting for the Molly to arrive. You see, as we stand
on, it places her as handsomely to windward of us, as the
heart of man could desire.”

“It is a revenue cutter, sir; now she's out of the sun's
wake, that is plain enough. And that is her boat, which
has been sent to the light to keep a look-out for us. Well,
sir, she's to windward; but we have everything set for our
course, and as we are fairly abeam, she must be a great
traveller to overhaul us.”

“I thought these bloody cutters were all down in the
Gulf,” growled the captain, casting his eyes aloft again, to
see that everything drew. “I'm sure the newspapers have
mentioned as many as twenty that are down there, and here
is one, lying behind Montauk, like a snake in the grass!”

“At any rate, by the time he gets his boat up we shall
get the start of him—ay, there he fills and falls off, to go
and meet her. He'll soon be after us, Captain Spike, at
racing speed.”

Everything occurred as those two mariners had foreseen.
The revenue cutter, one of the usual fore-top-sail schooners
that are employed in that service, up and down the coast,
had no sooner hoisted up her boat, than she made sail, a
little off the wind, on a line to close with the Swash. As
for the brig, she had hauled up to an easy bowline, as she
came round Montauk, and was now standing off south south-east,
still having the wind at south-west. The weatherly

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position of the cutter enabled her to steer rather more than
one point freer. At the commencement of this chase, the
vessels were about a mile and a half apart, a distance too
great to enable the cutter to render the light guns she carried
available, and it was obvious from the first, that everything
depended on speed. And speed it was, truly; both
vessels fairly flying; the Molly Swash having at last met
with something very like her match. Half an hour satisfied
both Spike and Mulford that, by giving the cutter the
advantage of one point in a freer wind, she would certainly
get alongside of them, and the alternative was therefore to
keep off.

“A starn chase is a long chase, all the world over,” cried
Spike—“edge away, sir; edge away, sir, and bring the
cutter well on our quarter.”

This order was obeyed; but to the surprise of those in
the Swash, the cutter did not exactly follow, though she
kept off a little more. Her object seemed to be to maintain
her weatherly position, and in this manner the two vessels
ran on for an hour longer, until the Swash had made most
of the distance between Montauk and Blok Island. Objects
were even becoming dimly visible on the last, and the light
on the point was just becoming visible, a lone star above a
waste of desert, the sun having been down now fully a
quarter of an hour, and twilight beginning to draw the curtain
of night over the waters.

“A craft under Blok,” shouted the look-out, that was
still kept aloft as a necessary precaution.

“What sort of a craft?” demanded Spike, fiercely; for
the very mention of a sail, at that moment, aroused all his
ire. “Arn't you making a frigate out of an apple-orchard?”

“It's the steamer, sir. I can now see her smoke. She's
just clearing the land, on the south side of the island, and
seems to be coming round to meet us.”

A long, low, eloquent whistle from the captain, succeeded
this announcement. The man aloft was right. It was the
steamer, sure enough; and she had been lying hid behind
Blok Island, exactly as her consort had been placed behind
Montauk, in waiting for their chase to arrive. The result
was, to put the Molly Swash in exceeding jeopardy, and the

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reason why the cutter kept so well to windward was fully
explained. To pass out to sea between these two craft was
hopeless. There remained but a single alternative from
capture by one or by the other,—and that Spike adopted
instantly. He kept his brig dead away, setting studding-sails
on both sides. This change of course brought the
cutter nearly aft, or somewhat on the other quarter, and
laid the brig's head in a direction to carry her close to the
northern coast of the island. But the principal advantage
was gained over the steamer, which could not keep off,
without first standing a mile or two, or even more, to the
westward, in order to clear the land. This was so much
clear gain to the Swash, which was running off at racing
speed, on a north-east course, while her most dangerous
enemy was still heading to the westward. As for the cutter,
she kept away; but it was soon apparent that the brig had
the heels of her, dead before the wind.

Darkness now began to close around the three vessels;
the brig and the schooner soon becoming visible to each
other principally by means of their night-glasses; though
the steamer's position could be easily distinguished by means
of her flaming chimney. This latter vessel stood to the
westward for a quarter of an hour, when her commander
appeared to become suddenly conscious of the ground he
was losing, and he wore short round, and went off before
the wind, under steam and canvas; intending to meet the
chase off the northern side of the island. The very person
who had hailed the Swash, as she was leaving the wharf,
who had passed her in Hell-Gate, with Jack Tier in his
boat, and who had joined her off Throgmorton's, was now
on her deck, urging her commander by every consideration
not to let the brig escape. It was at his suggestion that the
course was changed. Nervous, and eager to seize the brig,
he prevailed on the commander of the steamer to alter
his course. Had he done no more than this, all might have
been well; but so exaggerated were his notions of the
Swash's sailing, that, instead of suffering the steamer to
keep close along the eastern side of the island, he persuaded
her commander of the necessity of standing off a long distance
to the northward and eastward, with a view to get
ahead of the chase. This was not bad advice, were there

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any certainly that Spike would stand on, of which, however,
he had no intention.

The night set in dark and cloudy; and, the instant that
Spike saw, by means of the flaming chimney, that the
steamer had wore, and was going to the eastward of Blok,
his plan was laid. Calling to Mulford, he communicated it
to him, and was glad to find that his intelligent mate was of
his own way of thinking. The necessary orders were
given, accordingly, and everything was got ready for its

In the meantime, the two revenue craft were much in
earnest. The schooner was one of the fastest in the service,
and had been placed under Montauk, as described, in the
confident expectation of her being able to compete with even
the Molly Swash successfully, more especially if brought
upon a bowline. Her commander watched the receding
form of the brig with the closest attention, until it was entirely
swallowed up in the darkness, under the land, towards
which he then sheered himself, in order to prevent the
Swash from hauling up, and turning to windward, close in
under the shadow of the island. Against this manœuvre,
however, the cutter had now taken an effectual precaution,
and her people were satisfied that escape in that way was

On the other hand, the steamer was doing very well.
Driven by the breeze, and propelled by her wheels, away
she went, edging further and further from the island, as the
person from the Custom-House succeeded, as it might be,
inch by inch, in persuading the captain of the necessity of
his so doing. At length a sail was dimly seen ahead, and
then no doubt was entertained that the brig had got to the
northward and eastward of them. Half an hour brought
the steamer alongside of this sail, which turned out to be a
brig that had come over the shoals, and was beating into
the ocean, on her way to one of the southern ports. Her
captain said there had nothing passed to the eastward.

Round went the steamer, and in went all her canvas.
Ten minutes later the look-out saw a sail to the westward,
standing before the wind. Odd as it might seem, the
steamer's people now fancied they were sure of the Swash.
There she was, coming directly for them, with squared yards!

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The distance was short, or a vessel could not have been
seen by that light, and the two craft were soon near each
other. A gun was actually cleared on board the steamer,
ere it was ascertained that the stranger was the schooner!
It was now midnight, and nothing was in sight but the
coasting brig. Reluctantly, the revenue people gave the
matter up; the Molly Swash having again eluded them,
though by means unknown.


Leander dived for love, Leucadia's cliff
The Lesbian Sappho leap'd from in a miff,
To punish Phaon; Icarus went dead,
Because the wax did not continue stiff;
And, had he minded what his father said,
He had not given a name unto his watery bed.

We must now advance the time several days, and change
the scene to a distant part of the ocean; within the tropics
indeed. The females had suffered slight attacks of sea-sickness,
and recovered from them, and the brig was safe
from all her pursuers. The manner of Spike's escape was
simple enough, and without any necromancy. While the
steamer, on the one hand, was standing away to the northward
and eastward, in order to head him off, and the
schooner was edging in with the island, in order to prevent
his beating up to windward of it, within its shadows, the
brig had run close round the northern margin of the land,
and hauled up to leeward of the island, passing between it
and the steamer. All this time, her movements were concealed
from the schooner by the island itself, and from the
steamer, by its shadow and dark back-ground, aided by the
distance. By making short tacks, this expedient answered
perfectly well; and, at the very moment when the two
revenue vessels met, at midnight, about three leagues to

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leeward of Blok Island, the brigantine, Molly Swash, was
just clearing its most weatherly point, on the larboard tack,
and coming out exactly at the spot where the steamer was
when first seen that afternoon. Spike stood to the westward,
until he was certain of having the island fairly between
him and his pursuers, when he went about, and filled
away on his course, running out to sea again on an easy
bowline. At sunrise the next day he was fifty miles to the
southward and eastward of Montauk; the schooner was
going into New London, her officers and people quite chop-fallen;
and the steamer was paddling up the Sound, her
captain being fully persuaded that the runaways had returned
in the direction from which they had come, and might yet
be picked up in that quarter.

The weather was light, just a week after the events related
in the close of the last chapter. By this time the
brig had got within the influence of the trades; and, it
being the intention of Spike to pass to the southward of
Cuba, he had so far profited by the westerly winds, as to
get well to the eastward of the Mona Passage, the strait
through which he intended to shape his course on making
the islands. Early on that morning Mrs. Budd had taken
her seat on the trunk of the cabin, with a complacent air,
and arranged her netting, some slight passages of gallantry,
on the part of the captain, having induced her to propose
netting him a purse. Biddy was going to and fro, in quest
of silks and needles, her mistress having become slightly
capricious in her tastes of late, and giving her, on all such
occasions, at least a double allowance of occupation. As
for Rose, she sat reading beneath the shade of the coach-house
deck, while the handsome young mate was within
three feet of her, working up his logarithms, but within the
sanctuary of his own state-room; the open door and window
of which, however, gave him every facility he could desire
to relieve his mathematics, by gazing at the sweet countenance
of his charming neighbor. Jack Tier and Josh were
both passing to and fro, as is the wont of stewards, between
the camboose and the cabin, the breakfast table being just
then in the course of preparation. In all other respects,
always excepting the man at the wheel, who stood within a
fathom of Rose, Spike had the quarter-deck to himself, and

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did not fail to pace its weather-side with an air that denoted
the master and owner. After exhibiting his sturdy, but
short, person in this manner, to the admiring eyes of all
beholders, for some time, the captain suddenly took a seat
at the side of the relict, and dropped into the following

“The weather is moderate, Madam Budd; quite moderate,”
observed Spike, a sentimental turn coming over him
at the moment. “What I call moderate and agreeable.”

“So much the better for us; the ladies are fond of
moderation, sir.”

“Not in admiration, Madam Budd—ha! ha! ha! no,
not in admiration. Immoderation is what they like when
it comes to that. I'm a single man, but I know that the
ladies like admiration—mind where you're sheering to,”
the captain said, interrupting himself a little fiercely, considering
the nature of the subject, in consequence of Jack
Tier's having trodden on his toe in passing—“or I'll teach
you the navigation of the quarter-deck, Mr. Burgoo!”

“Moderation—moderation, my good captain,” said the
simpering relict. “As to admiration, I confess that it is
agreeable to us ladies; more especially when it comes from
gentlemen of sense, and intelligence, and experience.”

Rose fidgeted, having heard every word that was said,
and her face flushed; for she doubted not that Harry's
ears were as good as her own. As for the man at the
wheel, he turned the tobacco over in his mouth, hitched up
his trousers, and appeared interested, though somewhat
mystified—the conversation was what he would have
termed “talking dictionary,” and he had some curiosity to
learn how the captain would work his way out of it. It
is probable that Spike himself had some similar gleamings
of the difficulties of his position, for he looked a little
troubled, though still resolute. It was the first time he had
ever lain yard-arm and yard-arm with a widow, and he had
long entertained a fancy that such a situation was trying to
the best of men.

“Yes, Madam Budd, yes,” he said, “exper'ence and sense
carry weight with 'em, wherever they go. I'm glad to find
that you entertain these just notions of us gentlemen, and
make a difference between boys and them that's seen and

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known exper'ence. For my part, I count youngsters under
forty as so much lumber about decks, as to any comfort and
calculations in keepin' a family, as a family ought to be

Mrs. Budd looked interested, but she remained silent on
hearing this remark, as became her sex.

“Every man ought to settle in life, some time or other,
Madam Budd, accordin' to my notion, though no man ought
to be in a boyish haste about it,” continued the captain.
“Now, in my own case, I've been so busy all my youth—
not that I'm very old now, but I'm no boy—but all my
younger days have been passed in trying to make things
meet, in a way to put any lady who might take a fancy to

“Oh! captain—that is too strong! The ladies do not
take fancies for gentlemen, but the gentlemen take fancies
for ladies!”

“Well, well, you know what I mean, Madam Budd; and
so long as the parties understand each other, a word dropped,
or a word put into a charter-party, makes it neither
stronger nor weaker. There's a time, howsomever, in every
man's life, when he begins to think of settling down, and
of considerin' himself as a sort of mooring-chain, for
children and the likes of them to make fast to. Such is
my natur', I will own; and ever since I've got to be intimate
in your family, Madam Budd, that sentiment has
grown stronger and stronger in me, till it has got to be
uppermost in all my idees. Bone of my bone, and flesh of
my flesh, as a body might say.”

Mrs. Budd now looked more than interested, for she
looked a little confused, and Rose began to tremble for her
aunt. It was evident that the parties most conspicuous in
this scene were not at all conscious that they were overheard,
the intensity of their attention being too much concentrated
on what was passing to allow of any observation
without their own narrow circle. What may be thought
still more extraordinary, but what in truth was the most
natural of all, each of the parties was so intently bent on
his, or her, own train of thought, that neither in the least
suspected any mistake.

“Grown with your growth, and strengthened with your

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strength,” rejoined the relict, smiling kindly enough on the
captain to have encouraged a much more modest man than
he happened to be.

“Yes, Madam Budd—very just that remark; grown
with my strength, and strengthened with my growth, as
one might say; though I've not done much at growing for
a good many years. Your late husband, Captain Budd, often
remarked how very early I got my growth; and rated me
as an `able-bodied' hand, when most lads think it an honour
to be placed among the `or'naries.' ”

The relict looked grave; and she wondered at any man's
being so singular as to allude to a first husband, at the very
moment he was thinking of offering himself for a second.
As for herself, she had not uttered as many words in the
last four years, as she had uttered in that very conversation,
without making some allusion to her “poor dear Mr. Budd.”
The reader is not to do injustice to the captain's widow,
however, by supposing for a moment that she was actually
so weak as to feel any tenderness for a man like Spike,
which would be doing a great wrong to both her taste and
her judgment, as Rose well knew, even while most annoyed
by the conversation she could not but overhear. All that
influenced the good relict was that besetting weakness of
her sex, which renders admiration so universally acceptable;
and predisposes a female, as it might be, to listen to a suitor
with indulgence, and some little show of kindness, even
when resolute to reject him. As for Rose, to own the truth,
her aunt did not give her a thought, as yet, notwithstanding
Spike was getting to be so sentimental.

“Yes, your late excellent and honourable consort always
said that I got my growth sooner than any youngster he
ever fell in with,” resumed the captain, after a short pause;
exciting fresh wonder in his companion, that he would persist
in lugging in the “dear departed” so very unseasonably.
“I am a great admirer of all the Budd family, my good
lady, and only wish my connection with it had never tarminated;
if tarminated it can be called.”

“It need not be terminated, Captain Spike, so long as
friendship exists in the human heart.”

“Ay, so it is always with you ladies; when a man is
bent on suthin' closer and more interestin' like, you're for

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putting it off on friendship. Now friendship is good enough
in its way, Madam Budd, but friendship is n't love.”

Love!” echoed the widow, fairly starting, though she
looked down at her netting, and looked as confused as she
knew how. “That is a very decided word, Captain Spike,
and should never be mentioned to a woman's ear lightly.”

So the captain now appeared to think, too, for no sooner
had he delivered himself of the important monosyllable,
than he left the widow's side, and began to pace the deck,
as it might be to moderate his own ardour. As for Rose,
she blushed, if her more practised aunt did not; while Harry
Mulford laughed heartily, taking good care, however, not
to be heard. The man at the wheel turned the tobacco
again, gave his trousers another hitch, and wondered anew
whither the skipper was bound. But the drollest manifestation
of surprise came from Josh, the steward, who was
passing along the lee-side of the quarter-deck, with a tea-pot
in his hand, when the energetic manner of the captain
sent the words “friendship is n't love” to his ears. This
induced him to stop for a single instant, and to cast a wondering
glance behind him; after which he moved on toward
the galley, mumbling as he went—“Lub! what he want
of lub, or what lub want of him! Well, I do t'ink Captain
Spike bowse his jib out pretty 'arly dis mornin'.”

Captain Spike soon got over the effects of his effort, and
the confusion of the relict did not last any material length
of time. As the former had gone so far, however, he
thought the present an occasion as good as another to bring
matters to a crisis.

“Our sentiments sometimes get to be so strong, Madam
Budd,” resumed the lover, as he took his seat again on the
trunk, “that they run away with us. Men is liable to be
run away with as well as ladies. I once had a ship run
away with me, and a pretty time we had of it. Did you
ever hear of a ship's running away with her people, Madam
Budd, just as your horse ran away with your buggy?”

“I suppose I must have heard of such things, sir, my
education having been so maritime, though just at this moment
I cannot recall an instance. When my horse ran
away, the buggy was cap-asided. Did your vessel cap-aside
on the occasion you mention?”

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“No, Madam Budd, no. The ship was off the wind at
the time I mean, and vessels do not capsize when off the
wind. I'll tell you how it happened. We was a scuddin'
under a goose-wing foresail—”

“Yes, yes,” interrupted the relict, eagerly. “I've often
heard of that sail, which is small, and used only in tempests.”

“Heavy weather, Madam Budd—only in heavy weather.”

“It is amazing to me, captain, how you seamen manage
to weigh the weather. I have often heard of light weather
and heavy weather, but never fairly understood the manner
of weighing it.”

“Why we do make out to ascertain the difference,” replied
the captain, a little puzzled for an answer; “and I
suppose it must be by means of the barometer, which goes
up and down like a pair of scales. But the time I mean,
we was a scuddin' under a goose-wing foresail—”

“A sail made of goose's wings, and a beautiful object it
must be; like some of the caps and cloaks that come from
the islands, which are all of feathers, and charming objects
are they. I beg pardon—you had your goose's wings

“Yes, Madam Budd, yes; we was steering for a Mediterranean
port, intending to clear a mole-head, when a sea
took us under the larboard-quarter, gave us such a sheer
to-port as sent our cat-head ag'in a spile, and raked away
the chain-plates of the top-mast back-stays, bringing down
all the forrard hamper about our ears.”

This description produced such a confusion in the mind
of the widow, that she was glad when it came to an end.
As for the captain, fearful that the “goose's wings” might
be touched upon again, he thought it wisest to attempt
another flight on those of Cupid.

“As I was sayin', Madam Budd, friendship is n't love; no,
not a bit of it! Friendship is a common sort of feelin':
but love, as you must know by exper'ence, Madam Budd, is
an uncommon sort of feelin'.”

“Fie, Captain Spike, gentlemen should never allude to
ladies knowing any thing about love. Ladies respect, and
admire, and esteem, and have a regard for gentlemen; but
it is almost too strong to talk about their love.”

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“Yes, Madam Budd, yes; I dare say it is so, and ought
to be so; and I ask pardon for having said as much as I
did. But my love for your niece is of so animated and
lastin' a natur', that I scarce know what I did say.”

“Captain Spike, you amaze me! I declare I can hardly
breathe for astonishment. My niece! Surely you do not
mean Rosy!”

“Who else should I mean? My love for Miss Rose is
so very decided and animated, I tell you, Madam Budd,
that I will not answer for the consequences, should you not
consent to her marryin' me.”

“I can scarce believe my ears! You, Stephen Spike,
and an old friend of her uncle's, wishing to marry his

“Just so, Madam Budd; that's it, to a shavin'. The
regard I have for the whole family is so great, that nothin'
less than the hand of Miss Rose in marriage can, what I
call, mitigate my feelin's.”

Now the relict had not one spark of tenderness herself
in behalf of Spike; while she did love Rose better than
any human being, her own self excepted. But she had
viewed all the sentiment of that morning, and all the fine
speeches of the captain, very differently from what the present
state of things told her she ought to have viewed them;
and she felt the mortification natural to her situation. The
captain was so much bent on the attainment of his own
object, that he saw nothing else, and was even unconscious
that his extraordinary and somewhat loud discourse had
been overheard. Least of all did he suspect that his admiration
had been mistaken; and that in what he called
“courtin' ” the niece, he had been all the while “courtin' ”
the aunt. But little apt as she was to discover any thing,
Mrs. Budd had enough of her sex's discernment in a matter
of this sort, to perceive that she had fallen into an awkward
mistake, and enough of her sex's pride to resent it. Taking
her work in her hand, she left her seat, and descended to
the cabin, with quite as much dignity in her manner as it
was in the power of one of her height and “build” to express.
What is the most extraordinary, neither she nor
Spike ever ascertained that their whole dialogue had been
overheard. Spike continued to pace the quarter-deck for

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several minutes, scarce knowing what to think of the relict's
manner, when his attention was suddenly drawn to other
matters by the familiar cry of “sail-ho!”

This was positively the first vessel with which the Molly
Swash had fallen in since she lost sight of two or three craft
that had passed her in the distance, as she left the American
coast. As usual, this cry brought all hands on deck, and
Mulford out of his state-room.

It has been stated already that the brig was just beginning
to feel the trades, and it might have been added, to see the
mountains of San Domingo. The winds had been variable
for the last day or two, and they still continued light, and
disposed to be unsteady, ranging from north-east to south-east,
with a preponderance in favour of the first point. At
the cry of “sail-ho!” everybody looked in the indicated
direction, which was west, a little northerly, but for a long
time without success. The cry had come from aloft, and
Mulford went up as high as the fore-top before he got any
glimpse of the stranger at all. He had slung a glass, and
Spike was unusually anxious to know the result of his examination.

“Well, Mr. Mulford, what do you make of her?” he
called out as soon as the mate announced that he saw the
strange vessel.

“Wait a moment, sir, till I get a look,—she's a long way
off, and hardly visible.”

“Well, sir, well?”

“I can only see the heads of her top-gallant sails. She
seems a ship steering to the southward, with as many kites
flying as an Indiaman in the trades. She looks as if she
were carrying royal stun'-sails, sir.”

“The devil she does! Such a chap must not only be in
a hurry, but he must be strong-handed to give himself all
this trouble in such light and var'able winds. Are his yards
square?—Is he man-of-war-ish?”

“There's no telling, sir, at this distance; though I rather
think its stun'-sails that I see. Go down and get your
breakfast, and in half an hour I'll give a better account of

This was done, Mrs. Budd appearing at the table with
great dignity in her manner. Although she had so

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naturally supposed that Spike's attentions had been intended for
herself, she was rather mortified than hurt on discovering
her mistake. Her appetite, consequently, was not impaired,
though her stomach might have been said to be very full.
The meal passed off without any scene, notwithstanding,
and Spike soon re-appeared on deck, still masticating the
last mouthful like a man in a hurry, and a good deal à
l' Américaine
. Mulford saw his arrival, and immediately
levelled his glass again.

“Well, what news now, sir?” called out the captain.
“You must have a better chance at him by this time, for I
can see the chap from off the coach-house here.”

“Ay, ay, sir; he's a bit nearer, certainly. I should say
that craft is a ship under stun'-sails, looking to the eastward
of south, and that there are caps with gold bands on her

“How low down can you see her?” demanded Spike, in
a voice of thunder.

So emphatic and remarkable was the captain's manner in
putting this question, that the mate cast a look of surprise
beneath him ere he answered it. A look with the glass succeeded,
when the reply was given.

“Ay, ay, sir; there can be no mistake—it's a cruiser,
you may depend on it. I can see the heads of her topsails
now, and they are so square and symmetrical, that gold
bands are below beyond all doubt.”

“Perhaps he's a Frenchman—Johnny Crapaud keeps
cruisers in these seas as well as the rest on'em.”

“Johnny Crapaud's craft don't spread such arms, sir.
The ship is either English or American; and he's heading
for the Mona Passage as well as ourselves.”

“Come down, sir, come down—there's work to be done
as soon as you have breakfasted.”

Mulford did come down, and he was soon seated at the
table, with both Josh and Jack Tier for attendants. The
aunt and the niece were in their own cabin, a few yards distant,
with the door open.

“What a fuss'e cap'in make 'bout dat sail,” grumbled
Josh, who had been in the brig so long that he sometimes
took liberties with even Spike himself. “What good he
t'ink t'will do to measure him inch by inch? Bye'm by he

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get alongside, and den 'e ladies even can tell all about

“He nat'rally wishes to know who gets alongside,” put
in Tier, somewhat apologetically.

“What matter dat. All sort of folk get alongside of Molly
Swash; and what good it do 'em? Yoh! yoh! yoh! I do
remem'er sich times vid'e ole hussy!”

“What old hussy do you mean?” demanded Jack Tier a
little fiercely, and in a way to draw Mulford's eyes from the
profile of Rose's face to the visages of his two attendants.

“Come, come, gentlemen, if you please; recollect where
you are,” interrupted the mate authoritatively. “You are
not now squabbling in your galley, but are in the cabin.
What is it to you, Tier, if Josh does call the brig an old
hussy; she is old, as we all know, and years are respectable;
and as for her being a `hussy,' that is a term of endearment
sometimes. I've heard the captain himself call
the Molly a `hussy,' fifty times, and he loves her as he
does the apple of his eye.”

This interference put an end to the gathering storm as a
matter of course, and the two disputants shortly after passed
on deck. No sooner was the coast clear than Rose stood
in the door of her own cabin.

“Do you think the strange vessel is an American?” she
asked eagerly.

“It is impossible to say—English or American I make
no doubt. But why do you inquire?”

“But my aunt and myself desire to quit the brig, and if
the stranger should prove to be an American vessel of war,
might not the occasion be favourable?”

“And what reason can you give for desiring to do so?”

“What signifies a reason,” answered Rose with spirit.
“Spike is not our master, and we can come and go as we
may see fit.”

“But a reason must be given to satisfy the commander
of the vessel of war. Craft of that character are very particular
about the passengers they receive; nor would it be
altogether wise in two unprotected females to go on board
a cruiser, unless in a case of the most obvious necessity.”

“Will not what has passed this morning be thought a
sufficient reason,” added Rose, drawing nearer to the mate,

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and dropping her voice so as not to be heard by her

Mulford smiled as he gazed at the earnest but attractive
countenance of his charming companion.

“And who could tell it, or how could it be told? Would
the commander of a vessel of war incur the risk of receiving
such a person as yourself on board his vessel, for the reason
that the master of the craft she was in when he fell in with
her desired to marry her?”

Rose appeared vexed, but she was at once made sensible
that it was not quite as easy to change her vessel at sea, as
to step into a strange door in a town. She drew slowly
back into her own cabin silent and thoughtful; her aunt
pursuing her netting the whole time with an air of dignified

“Well, Mr. Mulford, well,” called out Spike at the head
of the cabin stairs, “what news from the coffee?”

“All ready, sir,” answered the mate, exchanging significant
glances with Rose. “I shall be up in a moment.”

That moment soon came, and Mulford was ready for
duty. While below, Spike had caused certain purchases
to be got aloft, and the main-hatch was open and the men
collected around it, in readiness to proceed with the work.
Harry asked no questions, for the preparations told him
what was about to be done, but passing below, he took
charge of the duty there, while the captain superintended
the part that was conducted on deck. In the course of the
next hour eight twelve-pound carronades were sent up out
of the hold, and mounted in as many of the ports which
lined the bulwarks of the brigantine. The men seemed to
be accustomed to the sort of work in which they were now
engaged, and soon had their light batteries in order, and
ready for service. In the mean time the two vessels kept
on their respective courses, and by the time the guns were
mounted, there was a sensible difference in their relative
positions. The stranger had drawn so near the brigantine
as to be very obvious from the latter's deck, while the brigantine
had drawn so much nearer to the islands of San
Domingo and Porto Rico, as to render the opening between
them, the well-known Mona Passage, distinctly visible.

Of all this Spike appeared to be fully aware, for he quitted

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the work several times before it was finished, in order to
take a look at the stranger, and at the land. When the
batteries were arranged, he and Mulford, each provided with
a glass, gave a few minutes to a more deliberate examination
of the first.

“That's the Mona ahead of us,” said the captain; “of
that there can be no question, and a very pretty land-fall
you've made of it, Harry. I'll allow you to be as good a
navigator as floats.”

“Nevertheless, sir, you have not seen fit to let me know
whither the brig is really bound this voyage.”

“No matter for that, young man—no matter, as yet.
All in good time. When I tell you to lay your course for
the Mona, you can lay your course for the Mona; and, as
soon as we are through the passage, I'll let you know what
is wanted next—if that bloody chap, who is nearing us,
will let me.”

“And why should any vessel wish to molest us on our
passage, Captain Spike?”

“Why, sure enough! It's war-times, you know, and
war-times always bring trouble to the trader—though it
sometimes brings profit, too.”

As Spike concluded, he gave his mate a knowing wink,
which the other understood to mean that he expected himself
some of the unusual profit to which he alluded. Mulford
did not relish this secret communication, for the past
had induced him to suspect the character of the trade in
which his commander was accustomed to engage. Without
making any sort of reply, or encouraging the confidence by
even a smile, he levelled his glass at the stranger, as did
Spike, the instant he ceased to grin.

“That's one of Uncle Sam's fellows!” exclaimed the
captain, dropping the glass. “I'd swear to the chap in
any admiralty court on 'arth.”

“'T is a vessel of war, out of all doubt,” returned the
mate, “and under a cloud of canvas. I can make out the
heads of her courses now, and see that she is carrying hard,
for a craft that is almost close-hauled.”

“Ay, ay; no merchantmen keeps his light stun'-sails
set, as near the wind as that fellow's going. He's a big
chap, too—a frigate, at least, by his canvas.”

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“I do not know, sir—they build such heavy corvettes
now-a-days, that I should rather take her for one of them.
They tell me ships are now sent to sea which mount only
two-and-twenty guns, but which measure quite a thousand

“With thunderin' batteries, of course.”

“With short thirty-twos and a few rapping sixty-eight
Paixhans—or Columbiads, as they ought in justice to be

“And you think this chap likely to be a craft of that sort?”

“Nothing is more probable, sir. Government has several,
and, since this war has commenced, it has been sending
off cruiser after cruiser into the Gulf. The Mexicans dare
not send a vessel of war to sea, which would be sending
them to Norfolk, or New York, at once; but no one can
say when they may begin to make a prey of our commerce.”

“They have taken nothing as yet, Mr. Mulford, and, to
tell you the truth, I'd much rather fall in with one of Don
Montezuma's craft than one of Uncle Sam's.”

“That is a singular taste, for an American, Captain
Spike, unless you think, now our guns are mounted, we
can handle a Mexican,” returned Mulford coldly. “At all
events, it is some answer to those who ask `What is the
navy about?' that months of war have gone by, and not an
American has been captured. Take away that navy, and
the insurance offices in Wall-street would tumble like a New
York party-wall in a fire.”

“Nevertheless, I'd rather take my chance, just now,
with Don Montezuma than with Uncle Sam.”

Mulford did not reply, though the earnest manner in
which Spike expressed himself, helped to increase his distrust
touching the nature of the voyage. With him the
captain had no further conference, but it was different as
respects the boatswain. That worthy was called aft, and
for half an hour he and Spike were conversing apart, keeping
their eyes fastened on the strange vessel most of the

It was noon before all uncertainly touching the character
of the stranger ceased. By that time, however, both vessels
were entering the Mona Passage; the brig well to windward,
on the Porto Rico side; while the ship was so far to

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leeward as to be compelled to keep everything close-hauled,
in order to weather the island. The hull of the last could
now be seen, and no doubt was entertained about her being
a cruiser, and one of some size, too. Spike thought she
was a frigate; but Mulford still inclined to the opinion that
she was one of the new ships; perhaps a real corvette, or
with a light spar-deck over her batteries. Two or three of
the new vessels were known to be thus fitted, and this might
be one. At length all doubt on the subject ceased, the
stranger setting an American ensign, and getting so near as
to make it apparent that she had but a single line of guns.
Still she was a large ship, and the manner that she ploughed
through the brine, close-hauled as she was, extorted admiration
even from Spike.

“We had better begin to shorten sail, Mr. Mulford,” the
captain at length most reluctantly remarked. “We might
give the chap the slip, perhaps, by keeping close in under
Porto Rico, but he would give us a long chase, and might
drive us away to windward, when I wish to keep off between
Cuba and Jamaica. He's a traveller; look, how he stands
up to it under that could of canvas!”

Mulford was slow to commence on the studding-sails, and
the cruiser was getting nearer and nearer. At length a gun
was fired, and a heavy shot fell about two hundred yards
short of the brig, and a little out of line with her. On this
hint, Spike turned the hands up, and began to shorten sail.
In ten minutes the Swash was under her topsail, mainsail
and jib, with her light sails hanging in the gear, and all the
steering canvas in. In ten minutes more the cruiser was
so near as to admit of the faces of the three or four men
whose heads were above the hammock-cloths being visible,
when she too began to fold her wings. In went her royals,
topgallant-sails, and various kites, as it might be by some
common muscular agency; and up went her courses.
Everything was done at once. By this time she was crossing
the brig's wake, looking exceedingly beautiful, with her
topsails lifting, her light sails blowing out, and even her
heavy courses fluttering in the breeze. There flew the
glorious stars and stripes also; of brief existence, but full
of recollections! The moment she had room, her helm
went up, her bows fell off, and down she came, on the

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weather quarter of the Swash, so near as to render a trumpet
nearly useless.

On board the brig everybody was on deck; even the
relict having forgotten her mortification in curiosity. On
board the cruiser no one was visible, with the exception of
a few men in each top, and a group of gold-banded caps on
the poop. Among these officers stood the captain, a red-faced,
middle-aged man, with the usual signs of his rank
about him; and at his side was his lynx-eyed first lieutenant.
The surgeon and purser were also there, though they
stood a little apart from the more nautical dignitaries. The
hail that followed came out of a trumpet that was thrust
through the mizzen-rigging; the officer who used it taking
his cue from the poop.

“What brig is that?” commenced the discourse.

“The Molly Swash, of New York, Stephen Spike,

“Where from, and whither bound?”

“From New York, and bound to Key West and a market.”

A pause succeeded this answer, during which the officers
on the poop of the cruiser held some discourse with him of
the trumpet. During the interval the cruiser ranged fairly
up abeam.

“You are well to windward of your port, sir,” observed
he of the trumpet significantly.

“I know it; but it's war times, and I didn't know but
there might be piccaroons hovering about the Havanna.”

“The coast is clear, and our cruisers will keep it so. I
see you have a battery, sir!”

“Ay, ay; some old guns that I've had aboard these ten
years: they're useful, sometimes, in these seas.”

“Very true. I'll range ahead of you, and as soon as
you've room, I'll thank you to heave-to. I wish to send a
boat on board you.”

Spike was sullen enough on receiving this order, but there
was no help for it. He was now in the jaws of the lion, and
his wisest course was to submit to the penalties of his position
with the best grace he could. The necessary orders
were consequently given, and the brig no sooner got room
than she came by the wind and backed her topsail. The
cruiser went about, and passing to windward, backed her

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main-topsail just forward of the Swash's beam. Then the
latter lowered a boat, and sent it, with a lieutenant and a
midshipman in its stern-sheets, on board the brigantine. As
the cutter approached, Spike went to the gangway to receive
the strangers.

Although there will be frequent occasion to mention this
cruiser, the circumstances are of so recent occurrence, that
we do not choose to give either her name, or that of any
one belonging to her. We shall, consequently, tell the
curious, who may be disposed to turn to their navy-lists and
blue-books, that the search will be of no use, as all the
names we shall use, in reference to this cruiser, will be fictitious.
As much of the rest of our story as the reader please
may be taken for gospel; but we tell him frankly, that we
have thought it most expedient to adopt assumed names, in
connection with this vessel and all her officers. There are
good reasons for so doing; and, among others, is that of
abstaining from arming a clique to calumniate her commander,
(who, by the way, like another commander in the
Gulf that might be named, and who has actually been exposed
to the sort of tracasserie to which there is allusion, is
one of the very ablest men in the service,) in order to put
another in his place.

The officer who now came over the side of the Swash
we shall call Wallace; he was the second lieutenant of the
vessel of war. He was about thirty, and the midshipman
who followed him was a well-grown lad of nineteen. Both
had a decided man-of-war look, and both looked a little
curiously at the vessel they had boarded.

“Your servant, sir,” said Wallace, touching his cap in
reply to Spike's somewhat awkward bow. “Your brig is
the Molly Swash, Stephen Spike, bound from New York to
Key West and a market.”

“You've got it all as straight, lieutenant, as if you was
a readin' it from the log.”

“The next thing, sir, is to know of what your cargo is

“Flour; eight hundred barrels of flour.”

“Flour! Would you not do better to carry that to Liverpool?
The Mississippi must be almost turned into paste by
the quantity of flour it floats to market.”

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“Notwithstanding that, lieutenant, I know Uncle Sam's
economy so well, as to believe I shall part with every barrel
of my flour to his contractors, at a handsome profit.”

“You read Whig newspapers principally, I rather think,
Mr. Spike,” answered Wallace, in his cool, deliberate way,
smiling, however, as he spoke.

We may just as well say here, that nature intended this
gentleman for a second lieutenant, the very place he filled.
He was a capital second lieutenant, while he would not have
earned his rations as first. So well was he assured of this
peculiarity in his moral composition, that he did not wish
to be the first lieutenant of anything in which he sailed. A
respectable seaman, a well-read and intelligent man, a capital
deck officer, or watch officer, he was too indolent to
desire to be anything more, and was as happy as the day
was long, in the easy berth he filled. The first lieutenant
had been his messmate as a midshipman, and ranked him
but two on the list in his present commission; but he did
not envy him in the least. On the contrary, one of his
greatest pleasures was to get. “Working Willy,” as he called
his senior, over a glass of wine, or a tumbler of “hot stuff,”
and make him recount the labours of the day. On such
occasions, Wallace never failed to compare the situation of
“Working Willy” with his own gentlemanlike ease and
independence. As second lieutenant, his rank raised him
above most of the unpleasant duty of the ship, while it did
not raise him high enough to plunge him into the never-ending
labours of his senior. He delighted to call himself
the “ship's gentleman,” a sobriquet he well deserved, on
more accounts than one.

“You read Whig newspapers principally, I rather think,
Mr. Spike,” answered the lieutenant, as has been just mentioned,
“while we on board the Poughkeepsie indulge in
looking over the columns of the Union, as well as over those
of the Intelligencer, when by good luck we can lay our
hands on a stray number.”

“That ship, then, is called the Poughkeepsie, is she, sir?”
inquired Spike.

“Such is her name, thanks to a most beneficent and sage
provision of Congress, which has extended its parental care
over the navy so far as to imagine that a man chosen by the

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people to exercise so many of the functions of a sovereign,
is not fit to name a ship. All our two and three deckers
are to be called after states; the frigates after rivers; and
the sloops after towns. Thus it is that our craft has the
honour to be called the United States ship the `Poughkeepsie,
' instead of the `Arrow,' or the `Wasp,' or the `Curlew,'
or the `Petrel,' as might otherwise have been the case. But
the wisdom of Congress is manifest, for the plan teaches us
sailors geography.”

“Yes, sir, yes, one can pick up a bit of l'arnin' in that
way cheap. The Poughkeepsie, Captain—?”

“The United States' ship Poughkeepsie, 20, Captain
Adam Mull, at your service. But, Mr. Spike, you will
allow me to look at your papers. It is a duty I like, for it
can be performed quietly, and without any fuss.”

Spike looked distrustfully at his new acquaintance, but
went for his vessel's papers without any very apparent hesitation.
Every thing was en regle, and Wallace soon got
through with the clearance, manifest, &c. Indeed the cargo,
on paper at least, was of the simplest and least complicated
character, being composed of nothing but eight
hundred barrels of flour.

“It all looks very well on paper, Mr. Spike,” added the
boarding officer. “With your permission, we will next see
how it looks in sober reality. I perceive your main hatch
is open, and I suppose it will be no difficult matter just to
take a glance at your hold.”

“Here is a ladder, sir, that will take us at once to the
half-deck, for I have no proper 'twixt decks in this craft;
she's too small for that sort of outfit.”

“No matter, she has a hold, I suppose, and that can contain
cargo. Take me to it by the shortest road, Mr. Spike,
for I am no great admirer of trouble.”

Spike now led the way below, Wallace following, leaving
the midshipman on deck, who had fallen into conversation
with the relict and her pretty niece. The half-deck of the
brigantine contained spare sails, provisions, and water, as
usual, while quantities of old canvas lay scattered over the
cargo; more especially in the wake of the hatches, of which
there were two besides that which led from the quarter-deck.

“Flour to the number of eight hundred barrels,” said

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Wallace, striking his foot against a barrel that lay within
his reach. “The cargo is somewhat singular to come from
New York, going to Key West, my dear Spike?”

“I suppose you know what sort of a place Key West is,
sir; a bit of an island in which there is scarce so much as
a potatoe grows.”

“Ay, ay, sir; I know Key West very well, having been
in and out a dozen times. All eatables are imported, turtle
excepted. But flour can be brought down the Mississippi so
much cheaper than it can be brought from New York.”

“Have you any idee, lieutenant, what Uncle Sam's men
are paying for it at New Orleens, just to keep soul and
bodies together among the so'gers?”

“That may be true, sir—quite true, I dare say, Mr.
Spike. Have n't you a bit of a chair that a fellow can sit
down on—this half-deck of your's is none of the most comfortable
places to stand in. Thank you, sir—thank you
with all my heart. What lots of old sails you have scattered
about the hold, especially in the wake of the hatches!”

“Why, the craft being little more than in good ballast
trim, I keep the hatches off to air her; and the spray might
spit down upon the flour at odd times but for them 'ere sails.”

“Ay, a prudent caution. So you think Uncle Sam's
people will be after this flour as soon as they learn you have
got it snug in at Key West?”

“What more likely, sir? You know how it is with our
government—always wrong, whatever it does! and I can
show you paragraphs in letters written from New Orleens,
which tell us that Uncle Sam is paying seventy-five and
eighty per cent. more for flour than anybody else.”

“He must be a flush old chap to be able to do that, Spike.”

“Flush! I rather think he is. Do you know that he is
spendin', accordin' to approved accounts, at this blessed moment,
as much as half a million a day? I own a wish to be
pickin' up some of the coppers while they are scattered about
so plentifully.”

“Half a million a day! why that is only at the rate of
$187,000,000 per annum; a mere trifle, Spike, that is scarce
worth mentioning among us mariners.”

“It's so in the newspapers, I can swear, lieutenant.”

“Ay, ay, and the newspapers will swear to it, too, and

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they that gave the newspapers their cue. But no matter,
our business is with this flour. Will you sell us a barrel
or two for our mess? I heard the caterer say we should
want flour in the course of a week or so.”

Spike seemed embarrassed, though not to a degree to
awaken suspicion in his companion.

“I never sold cargo at sea, long as I've sailed and owned
a craft,” he answered, as if uncertain what to do. “If
you'll pay the price I expect to get in the Gulf, and will
take ten barrels, I do n't know but we may make a trade
on't. I shall only ask expected prices.”

“Which will be—?”

“Ten dollars a barrel. For one hundred silver dollars I
will put into your boat ten barrels of the very best brand
known in the western country.”

“This is dealing rather more extensively than I anticipated,
but we will reflect on it.”

Wallance now indolently arose and ascended to the quarter-deck,
followed by Spike, who continued to press the flour
on him, as if anxious to make money. But the lieutenant
hesitated about paying a price as high as ten dollars, or to
take a quantity as large as ten barrels.

“Our mess is no great matter after all,” he said carelessly.
“Four lieutenants, the purser, two doctors, the master, and
a marine officer, and you get us all. Nine men could
never eat ten barrels of flour, my dear Spike, you will see
for yourself, with the quantity of excellent bread we carry.
You forget the bread.”

“Not a bit of it, Mr. Wallace, since that is your name.
But such flour as this of mine has not been seen in the Gulf
this many a day. I ought in reason to ask twelve dollars
for it, and insist on such a ship as your'n's taking twenty
instead of the ten barrels.”

“I thank you, sir, the ten will more than suffice; unless,
indeed, the captain wants some for the cabin. How is it
with your steerage messes, Mr. Archer—do you want any

“We draw a little from the ship, according to rule, sir,
but we can't go as many puddings latterly as we could before
we touched last at the Havanna,” answered the laughing
midshipman. “There is n't a fellow among us, sir, that

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could pay a shore-boat for landing him, should we go in
again before the end of another month. I never knew such
a place as Havanna. They say midshipmen's money melts
there twice as soon as lieutenants' money.”

“It's clear, then, you'll not take any of the ten. I am
afraid after all, Mr. Spike, we cannot trade, unless you will
consent to let me have two barrels. I'll venture on two at
ten dollars, high as the price is.”

“I should n't forgive myself in six months for making so
had a bargain, lieutenant, so we'll say no more about it if
you please.”

“Here is a lady that wishes to say a word to you, Mr.
Wallace, before we go back to the ship, if you are at leisure
to hear her, or them—for there are two of them,” put
in Archer.

At this moment Mrs. Budd was approaching with a dignified
step, while Rose followed timidly a little in the rear.
Wallace was a good deal surprised at this application, and
Spike was quite as much provoked. As for Mulford, he
watched the interview from a distance, a great deal more
interested in its result than he cared to have known, more
especially to his commanding officer. Its object was to get
a passage in the vessel of war.

“You are an officer of that Uncle Sam vessel,” commenced
Mrs. Budd, who thought that she would so much
the more command the respect and attention of her listener,
by showing him early how familiar she was with even the
slang dialect of the seas.

“I have the honour, ma'am, to belong to that Uncle Sam
craft,” answered Wallace gravely, though he bowed politely
at the same time, looking intently at the beautiful girl in the
back-ground as he so did.

“So I've been told, sir. She's a beautiful vessel, lieutenant,
and is full jiggered, I perceive.”

For the first time in his life, or at least for the first time
since his first cruise, Wallace wore a mystified look, being
absolutely at a loss to imagine what “full jiggered” could
mean. He only looked, therefore, for he did not answer.

“Mrs. Budd means that you've a full rigged craft,” put
in Spike, anxious to have a voice in the conference, “this
vessel being only a half-rigged brig.”

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“Oh! ay; yes, yes—the lady is quite right. We are
full jiggered from our dead-eyes to our eye-bolts.”

“I thought as much, sir, from your ground hamper and
top-tackles,” added the relict smiling. “For my part there
is nothing in nature that I so much admire as a full jiggered
ship, with her canvas out of the bolt-ropes, and her clewlines
and clew-garnets braced sharp, and her yards all

“Yes, ma'am, it is just as you say, a very charming
spectacle. Our baby was born full grown, and with all her
hamper aloft just as you see her. Some persons refer vessels
to art, but I think you are quite right in referring them
to nature.”

“Nothing can be more natural to me, lieutenant, than a
fine ship standing on her canvas. It's an object to improve
the heart and to soften the understanding.”

“So I should think, ma'am,” returned Wallace, a little
quizzically, “judging from the effect on yourself.”

This speech, unfortunately timed as it was, wrought a
complete change in Rose's feelings, and she no longer
wished to exchange the Swash for the Poughkeepsie. She
saw that her aunt was laughed at in secret, and that was a
circumstance that never failed to grate on every nerve in
her system. She had been prepared to second and sustain
the intended application—she was now determined to oppose

“Yes, sir,” resumed the unconscious relict, “and to
soften the understanding. Lieutenant, did you ever cross
the Capricorn?”

“No less than six times; three going and three returning,
you know.”

“And did Neptune come on board you, and were you

“Everything was done secundem artem, ma'am. The
razor was quite an example of what are called in poetry
`thoughts too deep for tears.' ”

“That must have been delightful. As for me, I'm quite
a devotee of Neptune's; but I'm losing time, for no doubt
your ship is all ready to pull away and carry on sail—”

“Aunt, may I say a word to you before you go any further,”
put in Rose in her quiet but very controlling way.

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The aunt complied, and Wallace, as soon as left alone,
felt like a man who was released from a quick-sand, into
which every effort to extricate himself only plunged him
so much the deeper. At this moment the ship hailed, and
the lieutenant took a hasty leave of Spike, motioned to the
midshipman to precede him, and followed the latter into his
boat. Spike saw his visiter off in person, tending the side
and offering the man-ropes with his own hands. For this
civility Wallace thanked him, calling out as his boat pulled
him from the brig's side—“If we `pull away,' ” accenting
the “pull” in secret derision of the relict's mistake, “you
can pull away; our filling the topsail being a sign for you
to do the same.”

“There you go, and joy go with you,” muttered Spike,
as he descended from the gangway. “A pretty kettle of
fish would there have been cooked had I let him have his
two barrels of flour.”

The man-of-war's cutter was soon under the lee of the
ship, where it discharged its freight, when it was immediately
run up. During the whole time Wallace had been
absent, Captain Mull and his officers remained on the poop,
principally occupied in examining and discussing the merits
of the Swash. No sooner had their officer returned, however,
than an order was given to fill away, it being supposed
that the Poughkeepsie had no further concern with
the brigantine. As for Wallace, he ascended to the poop
and made the customary report.

“It's a queer cargo to be carrying to Key West from
the Atlantic coast,” observed the captain in a deliberating
sort of manner, as if the circumstance excited suspicion;
“Yet the Mexicans can hardly be in want of any such supplies.”

“Did you see the flour, Wallace?” inquired the first lieutenant,
who was well aware of his messmate's indolence.

“Yes, sir, and felt it too. The lower hold of the brig
is full of flour, and of nothing else.”

“Ware round, sir—ware round and pass athwart the
brig's wake,” interrupted the captain. “There's plenty of
room now, and I wish to pass as near that craft as we can.”

This manœuvre was executed. The sloop-of-war no
sooner filled her maintop-sail than she drew ahead, leaving

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plenty of room for the brigantine to make sail on her course.
Spike did not profit by this opening, however, but he sent
several men aloft forward, where they appeared to be getting
ready to send down the upper yards and the topgallant-mast.
No sooner was the sloop-of-war's helm put up
than that vessel passed close along the brigantine's weather
side, and kept off across her stern on her course. As she
did this the canvas was fluttering aboard her, in the process
of making sail, and Mull held a short discourse with Spike.

“Is anything the matter aloft?” demanded the man-of-war's

“Ay, ay; I've sprung my topgallant-mast, and think
this a good occasion to get another up in its place.”

“Shall I lend you a carpenter or two, Mr. Spike?”

“Thank'ee, sir, thank'ee with all my heart; but we can
do without them. It's an old stick, and it's high time a
better stood where it does. Who knows but I may be
chased and feel the want of reliable spars.”

Captain Mull smiled and raised his cap in the way of an
adieu, when the conversation ended; the Poughkeepsie
sliding off rapidly with a free wind, leaving the Swash
nearly stationary. In ten minutes the two vessels were
more than a mile apart; in twenty, beyond the reach of shot.

Notwithstanding the natural and common-place manner
in which this separation took place, there was much distrust
on board each vessel, and a good deal of consummate management
on the part of Spike. The latter knew that every
foot the sloop-of-war went on her course, carried her just
so far to leeward, placing his own brig, in-so-much, dead to
windward of her. As the Swash's best point of sailing,
relatively considered, was close-hauled, this was giving to
Spike a great security against any change of purpose on
the part of the vessel of war. Although his people were
aloft and actually sent down the topgallant-mast, it was
only to send it up again, the spar being of admirable toughness,
and as sound as the day it was cut.

“I don't think, Mr. Mulford,” said the captain sarcastically,
“that Uncle Sam's glasses are good enough to tell
the difference in wood at two leagues' distance, so we'll
trust to the old stick a little longer. Ay, ay, let 'em run off
before it, we'll find another road by which to reach our port.”

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“The sloop-of-war is going round the south side of Cuba,
Captain Spike,” answered the mate, “and I have understood
you to say that you intended to go by the same passage.”

“A body may change his mind, and no murder. Only
consider, Harry, how common it is for folks to change their
minds. I did intend to pass between Cuba and Jamaica,
but I intend it no longer. Our run from Montauk has been
oncommon short, and I've time enough to spare to go to the
southward of Jamaica too, if the notion takes me.”

“That would greatly prolong the passage, Captain Spike,—
a week at least.”

“What if it does—I've a week to spare; we're nine
days afore our time.”

“Our time for what, sir? Is there any particular time
set for a vessel's going into Key West?”

“Don't be womanish and over-cur'ous, Mulford. I sail
with sealed orders, and when we get well to windward of
Jamaica, 't will be time enough to open them.”

Spike was as good as his word. As soon as he thought
the sloop-of-war was far enough to leeward, or when she
was hull down, he filled away and made sail on the wind
to get nearer to Porto Rico. Long ere it was dark he had
lost sight of the sloop-of-war, when he altered his course to
south-westerly, which was carrying him in the direction
he named, or to windward of Jamaica.

While this artifice was being practised on board the
Molly Swash, the officers of the Poughkeepsie were not
quite satisfied with their own mode of proceeding with the
brigantine. The more they reasoned on the matter, the
more unlikely it seemed to them that Spike could be really
carrying a cargo of flour from New York to Key West, in
the expectation of disposing of it to the United States' contractors,
and the more out of the way did he seem to be in
running through the Mona Passage.

“His true course should have been by the Hole in the
Wall, and so down along the north side of Cuba, before the
wind,” observed the first lieutenant. “I wonder that never
struck you, Wallace; you, who so little like trouble.”

“Certainly I knew it, but we lazy people like running
off before the wind, and I did not know but such were Mr.

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Spike's tastes,” answered the “ship's gentleman.” “In my
judgment, the reluctance he showed to letting us have any
of his flour, is much the most suspicious circumstance in the
whole affair.”

These two speeches were made on the poop, in the presence
of the captain, but in a sort of an aside that admitted
of some of the ward-room familiarity exhibited. Captain
Mull was not supposed to hear what passed, though hear it
he in fact did, as was seen by his own remarks, which immediately

“I understood you to say, Mr. Wallace,” observed the
captain, a little drily, “that you saw the flour yourself?”

“I saw the flour-barrels, sir; and as regularly built were
they as any barrels that ever were branded. But a flour-barrel
may have contained something beside flour.”

“Flour usually makes itself visible in the handling; were
these barrels quite clean?”

“Far from it, sir. They showed flour on their staves,
like any other cargo. After all, the man may have more
sense than we give him credit for, and find a high market
for his cargo.”

Captain Mull seemed to muse, which was a hint for his
juniors not to continue the conversation, but rather to seem
to muse, too. After a short pause, the captain quietly remarked—
“Well, gentlemen, he will be coming down after
us, I suppose, as soon as he gets his new topgallant-mast
on-end, and then we can keep a bright look-out for him.
We shall cruise off Cape St. Antonio for a day or two, and
no doubt shall get another look at him. I should like to
have one baking from his flour.”

But Spike had no intention to give the Poughkeepsie the
desired opportunity. As has been stated, he stood off to the
southward on a wind, and completely doubled the eastern
end of Jamaica, when he put his helm up, and went, with
favouring wind and current, toward the northward and westward.
The consequence was, that he did not fall in with
the Poughkeepsie at all, which vessel was keeping a sharp
look-out for him in the neighbourhood of Cape St. Antonio
and the Isle of Pines, at the very moment he was running
down the coast of Yucatan. Of all the large maritime countries
of the world, Mexico, on the Atlantic, is that which is

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the most easily blockaded, by a superior naval power. By
maintaining a proper force between Key West and the
Havanna, and another squadron between Cape St. Antonio
and Loggerhead Key, the whole country, the Bay of Honduras
excepted, is shut up, as it might be in a band-box. It
is true the Gulf would be left open to the Mexicans, were
not squadrons kept nearer in; but, as for anything getting
out into the broad Atlantic, it would be next to hopeless.
The distance to be watched between the Havanna and Key
West is only about sixty miles, while that in the other direction
is not much greater.

While the Swash was making the circuit of Jamaica, as
described, her captain had little communication with his passengers.
The misunderstanding with the relict embarrassed
him as much as it embarrassed her; and he was quite willing
to let time mitigate her resentment. Rose would be
just as much in his power a fortnight hence as she was today.
This cessation in the captain's attentions gave the
females greater liberty, and they improved it, singularly
enough as it seemed to Mulford, by cultivating a strange
sort of intimacy with Jack Tier. The very day that succeeded
the delicate conversation with Mrs. Budd, to a part
of which Jack had been an auditor, the uncouth-looking
steward's assistant was seen in close conference with the
pretty Rose; the subject of their conversation being, apparently,
of a most engrossing nature. From that hour, Jack
got to be not only a confidant, but a favourite, to Mulford's
great surprise. A less inviting subject for tête-à-têtes and
confidential dialogues, thought the young man, could not
well exist; but so it was; woman's caprices are inexplicable;
and not only Rose and her aunt, but even the captious
and somewhat distrustful Biddy, manifested on all occasions
not only friendship, but kindness and consideration for Jack.

“You quite put my nose out o' joint, you Jack Tier, with
'e lady,” grumbled Josh, the steward de jure, if not now de
of the craft, “and I neber see nuttin' like it! I s'pose
you expect ten dollar, at least, from dem passenger, when
we gets in. But I'd have you to know, Misser Jack, if you
please, dat a steward be a steward, and he do n't like to hab
trick played wid him, afore he own face.”

“Poh! poh! Joshua,” answered Jack good-naturedly,

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“do n't distress yourself on a consail. In the first place,
you've got no nose to be put out of joint; or, if you have
really a nose, it has no joint. It's nat'ral for folks to like
their own colour, and the ladies prefar me, because I'm

“No so werry white as all dat, nudder,” grumbled Josh.
“I see great many whiter dan you. But, if dem lady like
you so much as to gib you ten dollar, as I expects, when
we gets in, I presumes you'll hand over half, or six dollar,
of dat money to your superior officer, as is law in de case.”

“Do you call six the half of ten, Joshua, my scholar, eh?”

“Well, den, seven, if you like dat better. I wants just
half, and just half I means to git.”

“And half you shall have, maty. I only wish you would
just tell me where we shall be, when we gets in.”

“How I know, white man? Dat belong to skipper, and
better ask him. If he do n't gib you lick in de chop, p'rhaps
he tell you.”

As Jack Tier had no taste for “licks in the chops,” he
did not follow Josh's advice. But his agreeing to give half
of the ten dollars to the steward kept peace in the cabins.
He was even so scrupulous of his word, as to hand to Josh
a half-eagle that very day; money he had received from
Rose; saying he would trust to Providence for his own half
of the expected douceur. This concession placed Jack Tier
on high grounds with his “superior officer,” and from that
time the former was left to do the whole of the customary
service of the ladies' cabin.

As respects the vessel, nothing worthy of notice occurred
until she had passed Loggerhead Key, and was fairly
launched in the Gulf of Mexico. Then, indeed, Spike took
a step that greatly surprised his mate. The latter was directed
to bring all his instruments, charts, &c., and place
them in the captain's state-room, where it was understood
they were to remain until the brig got into port. Spike
was but an indifferent navigator, while Mulford was one of
a higher order than common. So much had the former
been accustomed to rely on the latter, indeed, as they approached
a strange coast, that he could not possibly have
taken any step, that was not positively criminal, which
would have given his mate more uneasiness than this.

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At first, Mulford naturally enough suspected that Spike
intended to push for some Mexican port, by thus blinding
his eyes as to the position of the vessel. The direction
steered, however, soon relieved the mate from this apprehension.
From the eastern extremity of Yucatan, the Mexican
coast trends to the westward, and even to the south of
west, for a long distance, whereas the course steered by
Spike was north, easterly. This was diverging from the
enemy's coast instead of approaching it, and the circumstance
greatly relieved the apprehensions of Mulford.

Nor was the sequestration of the mate's instruments the
only suspicious act of Spike. He caused the brig's paint to
be entirely altered, and even went so far toward disguising
her, as to make some changes aloft. All this was done as
the vessel passed swiftly on her course, and everything had
been effected, apparently to the captain's satisfaction, when
the cry of “land-ho!” was once more heard. The land
proved to be a cluster of low, small islands, part coral, part
sand, that might have been eight or ten in number, and the
largest of which did not possess a surface of more than a
very few acres. Many were the merest islets imaginable,
and on one of the largest of the cluster rose a tall, gaunt
light-house, having the customary dwelling of its keeper at
its base. Nothing else was visible; the broad expanse of
the blue waters of the Gulf excepted. All the land in sight
would not probably have made one field of twenty acres in
extent, and that seemed cut off from the rest of the world,
by a broad barrier of water. It was a spot of such singular
situation and accessories, that Mulford gazed at it with a
burning desire to know where he was, as the brig steered
through a channel between two of the islets, into a capacious
and perfectly safe basin, formed by the group, and dropped
her anchor in its centre.

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He sleeps; but dreams of massy gold,
And heaps of pearl. He stretch'd his hands—
He hears a voice—“Ill man withhold!”
A pale one near him stands.

[figure description] Page 124.[end figure description]

It was near night-fall when the Swash anchored among
the low and small islets mentioned. Rose had been on
deck, as the vessel approached this singular and solitary
haven, watching the movements of those on board, as well
as the appearance of objects on the land, with the interest
her situation would be-likely to awaken. She saw the light
and manageable craft glide through the narrow and crooked
passages that led into the port, the process of anchoring,
and the scene of tranquil solitude that succeeded; each following
the other as by a law of nature. The light-house
next attracted her attention, and, as soon as the sun disappeared,
her eyes were fastened on the lantern, in expectation
of beholding the watchful and warning fires gleaming
there, to give the mariner notice of the position of the dangers
that surrounded the place. Minute went by after
minute, however, and the customary illumination seemed to
be forgotten.

“Why is not this light shining?” Rose asked of Mulford,
as the young man came near her, after having discharged
his duty in helping to moor the vessel, and in clearing the
decks. “All the light-houses we have passed, and they
have been fifty, have shown bright lights at this hour, but

“I cannot explain it; nor have I the smallest notion
where we are. I have been aloft, and there was nothing
in sight but this cluster of low islets, far or near. I did
fancy, for a moment, I saw a speck like a distant sail, off
here, to the northward and eastward, but I rather think it
was a gull, or some other sea-bird glancing upward on the
wing. I mentioned it to the captain when I came down,

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and he appeared to believe it a mistake. I have watched
that light-house closely, too, ever since we came in, and I
have not seen the smallest sign of life about it. It is altogether
an extraordinary place!”

“One suited to acts of villany, I fear, Harry!”

“Of that we shall be better judges to-morrow. You, at
least, have one vigilant friend, who will die sooner than
harm shall come to you. I believe Spike to be thoroughly
unprincipled; still he knows he can go so far and no further,
and has a wholesome dread of the law. But the circumstance
that there should be such a port as this, with a
regular light-house, and no person near the last, is so much
out of the common way, that I do not know what to make
of it.”

“Perhaps the light-house keeper is afraid to show himself,
in the presence of the Swash?”

“That can hardly be, for vessels must often enter the
port, if port it can be called. But Spike is as much concerned
at the circumstance that the lamps are not lighted,
as any of us can be. Look, he is about to visit the building
in the boat, accompanied by two of his oldest sea-dogs.”

“Why might we not raise the anchor, and sail out of this
place, leaving Spike ashore?” suggested Rose, with more
decision and spirit than discretion.

“For the simple reason that the act would be piracy,
even if I could get the rest of the people to obey my orders,
as certainly I could not. No, Rose: you, and your aunt,
and Biddy, however, might land at these buildings, and
refuse to return, Spike having no authority over his passengers.”

“Still he would have the power to make us come back to
his brig. Look, he has left the vessel's side, and is going
directly toward the light-house.”

Mulford made no immediate answer, but remained at
Rose's side, watching the movements of the captain. The
last pulled directly to the islet with the buildings, a distance
of only a few hundred feet, the light-house being constructed
on a rocky island that was nearly in the centre of the cluster,
most probably to protect it from the ravages of the
waves. The fact, however, proved, as Mulford did not fail
to suggest to his companion, that the beacon had been

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erected less to guide vessels into the haven, than to warn
mariners at a distance, of the position of the whole group.

In less than five minutes after he had landed, Spike himself
was seen in the lantern, in the act of lighting its lamps.
In a very short time the place was in a brilliant blaze,
reflectors and all the other parts of the machinery of the
place performing their duties as regularly as if tended by
the usual keeper. Soon after Spike returned on board, and
the anchor-watch was set. Then everybody sought the
rest that it was customary to take at that hour.

Mulford was on deck with the appearance of the sun;
but he found that Spike had preceded him, had gone ashore
again, had extinguished the lamps, and was coming alongside
of the brig on his return. A minute later the captain
came over the side.

“You were right about your sail, last night, a'ter all,
Mr. Mulford,” said Spike, on coming aft. “There she is,
sure enough; and we shall have her alongside to strike
cargo out and in, by the time the people have got their

As Spike pointed toward the light-house while speaking,
the mate changed his position a little, and saw that a
schooner was coming down toward the islets before the
wind. Mulford now began to understand the motives of the
captain's proceedings, though a good deal yet remained
veiled in mystery. He could not tell where the brig was,
nor did he know precisely why so many expedients were
adopted to conceal the transfer of a cargo as simple as that
of flour. But he who was in the secret left but little time
for reflection; for swallowing a hasty breakfast on deck,
he issued orders enough to his mate to give him quite as
much duty as he could perform, when he again entered the
yawl, and pulled toward the stranger.

Rose soon appeared on deck, and she naturally began to
question Harry concerning their position and prospects.
He was confessing his ignorance, as well as lamenting it,
when his companion's sweet face suddenly flushed. She
advanced a step eagerly toward the open window of Spike's
state-room, then compressed her full, rich under-lip with the
ivory of her upper teeth, and stood a single instant, a beautiful
statue of irresolution instigated by spirit. The last

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quality prevailed; and Mulford was really startled when he
saw Rose advance quite to the window, thrust in an arm,
and turn toward him with his own sextant in her hand.
During the course of the passage out, the young man had
taught Rose to assist him in observing the longitude; and
she was now ready to repeat the practice. Not a moment
was lost in executing her intention. Sights were had, and
the instrument was returned to its place without attracting
the attention of the men, who were all busy in getting up
purchases, and in making the other necessary dispositions
for discharging the flour. The observations answered the
purpose, though somewhat imperfectly made. Mulford had
a tolerable notion of their latitude, having kept the brig's
run in his head since quitting Yutacan; and he now found
that their longitude was about 83 ° west from Greenwich.
After ascertaining this fact, a glance at the open chart,
which lay on Spike's desk, satisfied him that the vessel was
anchored within the group of the Dry Tortugas, or at the
western termination of the well-known, formidable, and extensive
Florida Reef. He had never been in that part of the
world before, but had heard enough in sea-gossip, and had
read enough in books, to be at once apprised of the true
character of their situation. The islets were American;
the light-house was American; and the haven in which the
Swash lay was the very spot in the contemplation of government
for an outer man-of-war harbour, where fleets might
rendezvous in the future wars of that portion of the world.
He now saw plainly enough the signs of the existence of a
vast reef, a short distance to the southward of the vessel,
that formed a species of sea-wall, or mole, to protect the
port against the waves of the gulf in that direction. This
reef he knew to be miles in width.

There was little time for speculation, Spike soon bringing
the strange schooner directly alongside of the brig. The
two vessels immediately became a scene of activity, one
discharging, and the other receiving the flour as fast as it
could be struck out of the hold of the Swash and lowered
upon the deck of the schooner. Mulford, however, had
practised a little artifice, as the stranger entered the haven,
which drew down upon him an anathema or two from
Spike, as soon as they were alone. The mate had set the

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brig's ensign, and this compelled the stranger to be markedly
rude, or to answer the compliment. Accordingly he
had shown the ancient flag of Spain. For thus extorting
a national symbol from the schooner, the mate was sharply
rebuked at a suitable moment, though nothing could have
been more forbearing than the deportment of his commander
when they first met.

When Spike returned to his own vessel, he was accompanied
by a dark-looking, well-dressed, and decidedly gentleman-like
personage, whom he addressed indifferently, in
his very imperfect Spanish, as Don Wan, (Don Juan, or
John,) or Señor Montefalderon. By the latter appellation
he even saw fit to introduce the very respectable-looking
stranger to his mate. This stranger spoke English well,
though with an accent.

“Don Wan has taken all the flour, Mr. Mulford, and
intends shoving it over into Cuba, without troubling the
custom-house, I believe; but that is not a matter to give us
any concern, you know.”

The wink, and the knowing look by which this speech
was accompanied, seemed particularly disagreeable to Don
Juan, who now paid his compliments to Rose, with no little
surprise betrayed in his countenance, but with the ease and
reserve of a gentleman. Mulford thought it strange that a
smuggler of flour should be so polished a personage, though
his duty did not admit of his bestowing much attention on
the little trifling of the interview that succeeded.

For about an hour the work went steadily and rapidly
on. During that time Mulford was several times on board
the schooner, as, indeed, was Josh, Jack Tier, and others
belonging to the Swash. The Spanish vessel was Baltimore,
or clipper built, with a trunk-cabin, and had every
appearance of sailing fast. Mulford was struck with her
model, and, while on board of her, he passed both forward
and aft to examine it. This was so natural in a seaman,
that Spike, while he noted the proceeding, took it in good
part. He even called out to his mate, from his own quarter-deck,
to admire this or that point in the schooner's construction.
As is customary with the vessels of southern
nations, this stranger was full of men, but they continued at
their work, some half dozen of brawny negroes among

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them, shouting their songs as they swayed at the falls, no
one appearing to manifest jealousy or concern. At length
Tier came near the mate, and said,

“Uncle Sam will not be pleased when he hears the reason
that the keeper is not in his light-house.”

“And what is that reason, Jack? If you know it, tell it to

“Go aft and look down the companion-way, maty, and
see it for yourself.”

Mulford did go aft, and he made an occasion to look down
into the schooner's cabin, where he caught a glimpse of the
persons of a man and a boy, whom he at once supposed had
been taken from the light-house. This one fact of itself
doubled his distrust of the character of Spike's proceedings.
There was no sufficient apparent reason why a mere smuggler
should care about the presence of an individual more or
less in a foreign port. Everything that had occurred, looked
like pre-concert between the brig and the schooner; and the
mate was just beginning to entertain the strongest distrust
that their vessel was holding treasonable communication
with the enemy, when an accident removed all doubt on the
subject, from his own mind at least. Spike had, once or
twice, given his opinion that the weather was treacherous,
and urged the people of both crafts to extraordinary exertions,
in order that the vessels might get clear of each other as
soon as possible. This appeal had set various expedients in
motion to second the more regular work of the purchases.
Among other things, planks had been laid from one vessel
to the other, and barrels were rolled along them with very
little attention to the speed or the direction. Several had
fallen on the schooner's deck with rude shocks, but no damage
was done, until one, of which the hoops had not been
properly secured, met with a fall, and burst nearly at Mulford's
feet. It was at the precise moment when the mate
was returning, from taking his glance into the cabin, toward
the side of the Swash. A white cloud arose, and half a
dozen of the schooner's people sprang for buckets, kids, or
dishes, in order to secure enough of the contents of the broken
barrel to furnish them with a meal. At first nothing
was visible but the white cloud that succeeded the fall, and
the scrambling sailors in its midst. No sooner, however, had

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the air got to be a little clear, than Mulford saw an object lying
in centre of the wreck, that he at once recognised for a keg of
the gunpowder! The captain of the schooner seized this keg,
gave a knowing look at Mulford, and disappeared in the hold
of his own vessel, carrying with him, what was out of all
question, a most material part of the true cargo of the Swash.

At the moment when the flour-barrel burst, Spike was below,
in close conference with his Spanish, or Mexican guest;
and the wreck being so soon cleared away, it is probable
that he never heard of the accident. As for the two crews,
they laughed a little among themselves at the revelation
which had been made, as well as at the manner; but to old
sea-dogs like them, it was a matter of very little moment,
whether the cargo was, in reality, flour or gunpowder. In a
few minutes the affair seemed to be forgotten. In the course of
another hour the Swash was light, having nothing in her but
some pig-lead, which she used for ballast, while the schooner
was loaded to her hatches, and full. Spike now sent a boat,
with orders to drop a kedge about a hundred yards from the
place where his own brig lay. The schooner warped up to
this kedge, and dropped an anchor of her own, leaving a very
short range of cable out, it being a flat calm. Ordinarily,
the trades prevail at the Dry Tortugas, and all along the
Florida Reef. Sometimes, indeed, this breeze sweeps across
the whole width of the Gulf of Mexico, blowing home, as it
is called—reaching even to the coast of Texas. It is subject,
however, to occasional interruptions everywhere, varying
many points in its direction, and occasionally ceasing entirely.
The latter was the condition of the weather about
noon on this day, or when the schooner hauled off from the
brig, and was secured at her own anchor.

“Mr. Mulford,” said Spike, “I do not like the state of the
atmosphere. D'ye see that fiery streak along the western
horizon—well, sir, as the sun gets nearer to that streak,
there'll be trouble, or I'm no judge of weather.”

“You surely do not imagine, Captain Spike, that the sun
will be any nearer to that fiery streak, as you call it, when
he is about to set, than he is at this moment?” answered the
mate, smiling.

“I'm sure of one thing, young man, and that is, that old
heads are better than young ones. What a man has once

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seen, he may expect to see again, if the same leading signs
offer. Man the boat, sir, and carry out the kedge, which is
still in it, and lay it off here, about three p'ints on our larboard

Mulford had a profound respect for Spike's seamanship,
whatever he might think of his principles. The order was
consequently obeyed. The mate was then directed to send
down various articles out of the top, and to get the top-gallant
and royal yards on deck. Spike carried his precautions
so far, as to have the mainsail lowered, it ordinarily brailing
at that season of the year, with a standing gaff. With
this disposition completed, the captain seemed more at his
ease, and went below to join Señor Montefalderon in a siesta.
The Mexican, for such, in truth, was the national character
of the owner of the schooner, had preceded him in this indulgence;
and most of the people of the brig having laid themselves
down to sleep under the heat of the hour, Mulford
soon enjoyed another favourable opportunity for a private
conference with Rose.

“Harry,” commenced the latter, as soon as they were
alone; “I have much to tell you. While you have been
absent I have overheard a conversation between this Spanish
gentleman and Spike, that shows the last is in treaty
with the other for the sale of the brig. Spike extolled his
vessel to the skies, while Don Wan, as he calls him, complains
that the brig is old, and cannot last long; to which
Spike answered `to be sure she is old, Señor Montefalderon,
but she will last as long as your war, and under a bold captain
might be made to return her cost a hundred fold!'
What war can he mean, and to what does such a discourse

“The war alludes to the war now existing between America
and Mexico, and the money to be made is to be plundered
at sea, from our own merchant-vessels. If Don Juan
Montefalderon is really in treaty for the purchase of the brig,
it is to convert her into a Mexican cruiser, either public or

“But this would be treason on the part of Spike!”

“Not more so than supplying the enemy with gunpowder,
as he has just been doing. I have ascertained the reason
he was so unwilling to be overhauled by the revenue

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steamer, as well as the reason why the revenue steamer
wished so earnestly to overhaul us. Each barrel of flour
contains another of gunpowder, and that has been sold to
this Señor Montefalderon, who is doubtless an officer of the
Mexican government, and no smuggler.”

“He has been at New York, this very summer, I know,”
continued Rose, “for he spoke of his visit, and made such
other remarks, as leaves no doubt that Spike expected to
find him here, on this very day of the month. He also paid
Spike a large sum of money in doubloons, and took back
the bag to his schooner, when he had done so, after showing
the captain enough was left to pay for the brig could
they only agree on the terms of their bargain.”

“Ay, ay; it is all plain enough now, Spike has determined
on a desperate push for fortune, and foreseeing it
might not soon be in his power to return to New York in
safety, he has included his designs on you and your fortune,
in the plot.”

“My fortune! the trifle I possess can scarcely be called
a fortune, Harry!”

“It would be a fortune to Spike, Rose; and I shall be
honest enough to own it would be a fortune to me. I say
this frankly, for I do believe you think too well of me to
suppose that I seek you for any other reason than the ardent
love I bear your person and character; but a fact is
not to be denied because it may lead certain persons to distrust
our motives. Spike is poor, like myself; and the brig
is not only getting to be very old, but she has been losing
money for the last twelve months.”

Mulford and Rose now conversed long and confidentially,
on their situation and prospects. The mate neither magnified
nor concealed the dangers of both; but freely pointed
out the risk to himself, in being on board a vessel that was
aiding and comforting the enemy. It was determined between
there that both would quit the brig the moment an
opportunity offered; and the mate even went so far as to
propose an attempt to escape in one of the boats, although
he might incur the hazards of a double accusation, those of
mutiny and larceny, for making the experiment. Unfortunately,
neither Rose, nor her aunt, nor Biddy, nor Jack
Tier had seen the barrel of powder, and neither could testify

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as to the true character of Spike's connection with the
schooner. It was manifestly necessary, therefore, independently
of the risks that might be run by “bearding the lion
in his den,” to proceed with great intelligence and caution.

This dialogue between Harry and Rose, occurred just
after the turn in the day, and lasted fully an hour. Each
had been too much interested to observe the heavens, but,
as they were on the point of separating, Rose pointed out to
her companion the unusual and most menacing aspect of
the sky in the western horizon. It appeared as if a fiery
heat was glowing there, behind a curtain of black vapour;
and what rendered it more remarkable, was the circumstance
that an extraordinary degree of placidity prevailed in all
other parts of the heavens. Mulford scarce knew what to
make of it; his experience not going so far as to enable him
to explain the novel and alarming appearance. He stepped
on a gun, and gazed around him for a moment. There lay
the schooner, without a being visible on board of her, and
there stood the light-house, gloomy in its desertion and solitude.
The birds alone seemed to be alive and conscious of
what was approaching. They were all on the wing, wheeling
wildly in the air, and screaming discordantly, as belonged
to their habits. The young man leaped off the gun,
gave a loud call to Spike, at the companion-way, and sprang
forward to call all hands.

One minute only was lost, when every seaman on board
the Swash, from the captain to Jack Tier, was on deck.
Mulford met Spike at the cabin door, and pointed toward the
fiery column, that was booming down upon the anchorage,
with a velocity and direction that would now admit of no
misinterpretation. For one instant that sturdy old seaman
stood aghast; gazing at the enemy as one conscious of his
impotency might have been supposed to quail before an assault
that he foresaw must prove irresistible. Then his
native spirit, and most of all the effects of training, began
to show themselves in him, and he became at once, not only
the man again, but the resolute, practised, and ready commander.

“Come aft to the spring, men—” he shouted—“clap on
the spring, Mr. Mulford, and bring the brig head to wind.”

This order was obeyed as seamen best obey, in cases of

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sudden and extreme emergency; or with intelligence, aptitude
and power. The brig had swung nearly round, in the
desired direction, when the tornado struck her. It will be
difficult, we do not know but it is impossible, to give a clear and
accurate account of what followed. As most of our readers
have doubtless felt how great is the power of the wind, whiffling
and pressing different ways, in sudden and passing
gusts, they have only to imagine this power increased many,
many fold, and the baffling currents made furious, as it
might be, by meeting with resistance, to form some notion
of the appalling strength and frightful inconstancy with
which it blew for about a minute.

Notwithstanding the circumstance of Spike's precaution
had greatly lessened the danger, every man on the deck of
the Swash believed the brig was gone when the gust struck
her. Over she went, in fact, until the water came pouring
in above her half-ports, like so many little cascades, and
spouting up through her scupper-holes, resembling the blowing
of young whales. It was the whiffling energy of the
tornado that alone saved her. As if disappointed in not
destroying its intended victim at one swoop, the tornado “let
up” in its pressure, like a dexterous wrestler, making a fresh
and desperate effort to overturn the vessel, by a slight variation
in its course. That change saved the Swash. She
righted, and even rolled in the other direction, or what might
be called to windward, with her decks full of water. For a
minute longer these baffling, changing gusts continued, each
causing the brig to bow like a reed to their power, one lifting
as another pressed her down, and then the weight, or
the more dangerous part of the tornado was passed, though
it continued to blow heavily, always in whiffling blasts,
several minutes longer.

During the weight of the gust, no one had leisure, or indeed
inclination to look to aught beyond its effect on the brig.
Had one been otherwise disposed, the attempt would have
been useless, for the wind had filled the air with spray, and
near the islets even with sand. The lurid but fiery tinge,
too, interposed a veil that no human eye could penetrate.
As the tornado passed onward, however, and the winds
lulled, the air again became clear, and in five minutes after
the moment when the Swash lay nearly on her side, with

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her lower yard-arm actually within a few feet of the water,
all was still and placid around her, as one is accustomed to
see the ocean in a calm, of a summer's afternoon. Then it
was that those who had been in such extreme jeopardy
could breathe freely and look about them. On board the
Swash all was well—not a rope-yarn had parted, or an eyebolt
drawn. The timely precautions of Spike had saved
his brig, and great was his joy thereat.

In the midst of the infernal din of the tornado, screams
had ascended from the cabin, and the instant he could quit
the deck with propriety, Mulford sprang below, in order to
ascertain their cause. He apprehended that some of the
females had been driven to leeward when the brig went
over, and that part of the luggage or furniture had fallen
on them. In the main cabin, the mate found Señor Montefalderon
just quitting his berth, composed, gentleman-like,
and collected. Josh was braced in a corner nearly grey
with fear, while Jack Tier still lay on the cabin floor, at the
last point to which he had rolled. One word sufficed to let
Don Juan know that the gust had passed, and the brig was
safe, when Mulford tapped at the deor of the inner cabin.
Rose appeared, pale, but calm and unhurt.

“Is any one injured?” asked the young man, his mind
relieved at once, as soon as he saw that she who most occupied
his thoughts was safe; “we heard screams from this

“My aunt and Biddy have been frightened,” answered
Rose, “but neither has been hurt. Oh, Harry, what terrible
thing has happened to us? I heard the roaring of—”

“ 'T was a tornado,” interrupted Mulford eagerly, “but
't is over. 'T was one of those sudden and tremendous gusts
that sometimes occur within the tropics, in which the danger
is usually in the first shock. If no one is injured in this
cabin, no one is injured at all.”

“Oh, Mr. Mulford—dear Mr. Mulford!” exclaimed the
relict, from the corner into which she had been followed
and jammed by Biddy, “Oh, Mr. Mulford, are we foundered
or not?”

“Heaven be praised, not, my dear ma'am, though we
came nearer to it than I ever was before.”

“Are we cap-asided?”

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“Nor that, Mrs. Budd; the brig is as upright as a church.”

“Upright!” repeated Biddy, in her customary accent,—
“is it as a church? Sure, then, Mr. Mate, 't is a Presbyterian
church that you mane, and that is always totterin'.”

“Catholic, or Dutch—no church in York is more completely
up and down than the brig at this moment.”

“Get off of me—get off of me, Biddy, and let me rise,”
said the widow, with dignity. “The danger is over I see,
and, as we return our thanks for it, we have the consolation
of knowing that we have done our duty. It is incumbent
on all, at such moments, to be at their posts, and to set
examples of decision and prudence.”

As Mulford saw all was well in the cabin, he hastened on
deck, followed by Señor Montefalderon. Just as they
emerged from the companion-way, Spike was hailing the

“Forecastle, there,” he cried, standing on the trunk himself
as he did so, and moving from side to side, as if to catch
a glimpse of some object ahead.

“Sir,” came back from an old salt, who was coiling up
rigging in that seat of seamanship.

“Where-away is the schooner? She ought to be dead
ahead of us, as we tend now—but blast me if I can see as
much as her mast-heads.”

At this suggestion, a dozen men sprang upon guns or
other objects, to look for the vessel in question. The old
salt forward, however, had much the best chance, for he
stepped on the heel of the bowsprit, and walked as far out
as the knight-heads, to command the whole view ahead of
the brig. There he stood half a minute, looking first on
one side of the head-gear, then the other, when he gave his
trousers a hitch, put a fresh quid in his mouth, and called
out in a voice almost as hoarse as the tempest, that had just
gone by,

“The schooner has gone down at her anchor, sir.
There's her buoy watching still, as if nothing had happened;
but as for the craft itself, there's not so much as a bloody
yard-arm, or mast-head of her to be seen!”

This news produced a sensation in the brig at once, as
may be supposed. Even Señor Montefalderon, a quiet,
gentleman-like person, altogether superior in deportment to

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the bustle and fuss that usually marks the manners of persons
in trade, was disturbed; for to him the blow was heavy
indeed. Whether he were acting for himself, or was an
agent of the Mexican government, the loss was much the

“Tom is right enough,” put in Spike, rather coolly for
the circumstances—“that there schooner of yourn has foundered,
Don Wan, as any one can see. She must have capsized
and filled, for I obsarved they had left the hatches off,
meaning, no doubt, to make an end of the storage as soon
as they had done sleeping.”

“And what has become of all her men, Don Esteban?”
for so the Mexican politely called his companion. “Have
all my poor countrymen perished in this disaster?”

“I fear they have, Don Wan; for I see no head, as of
any one swimming. The vessel lay so near that island
next to it, that a poor swimmer would have no difficulty in
reaching the place; but there is no living thing to be seen.
But man the boat, men; we will go to the spot, Señor, and
examine for ourselves.”

There were two boats in the water, and along-side of the
brig. One was the Swash's yawl, a small but convenient
craft, while the other was much larger, fitted with a sail,
and had all the appearance of having been built to withstand
breezes and seas. Mulford felt perfectly satisfied, the moment
he saw this boat, which had come into the haven in
tow of the schooner, that it had been originally in the service
of the light-house keeper. As there was a very general
desire among those on the quarter-deck to go to the assistance
of the schooner, Spike ordered both boats manned,
jumping into the yawl himself, accompanied by Don Juan
Montefalderon, and telling Mulford to follow with the larger
craft, bringing with him as many of the females as might
choose to accompany him. As Mrs. Budd thought it incumbent
on her to be active in such a scene, all did go,
including Biddy, though with great reluctance on the part
of Rose.

With the buoy for a guide, Spike had no difficulty in
finding the spot where the schooner lay. She had scarcely
shifted her berth in the least, there having been no time for
her even to swing to the gust, but she had probably

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capsized at the first blast, filled, and gone down instantly.
The water was nearly as clear as the calm, mild atmosphere
of the tropics; and it was almost as easy to discern the
vessel, and all her hamper, as if she lay on a beach. She
had sunk as she filled, or on her side, and still continued in
that position. As the water was little more than three
fathoms deep, the upper side was submerged but a few
inches, and her yard-arms would have been out of the
water, but for the circumstance that the yards had canted
under the pressure.

At first, no sign was seen of any of those who had been
on board this ill-fated schooner when she went down. It
was known that twenty-one souls were in her, including the
man and the boy who had belonged to the light-house. As
the boat moved slowly over this sad ruin, however, a horrible
and startling spectacle came in view. Two bodies were
seen, within a few feet of the surface of the water, one
grasped in the arms of the other, in the gripe of despair.
The man held in the grasp, was kept beneath the water
solely by the death-lock of his companion, who was himself
held where he floated, by the circumstance that one of his
feet was entangled in a rope. The struggle could not have
been long over, for the two bodies were slowly settling
toward the bottom when first seen. It is probable that both
these men had more than once risen to the surface in their
dreadful struggle. Spike seized a boat-hook, and made an
effort to catch the clothes of the nearest body, but ineffectually,
both sinking to the sands beneath, lifeless, and without
motion. There being no sharks in sight, Mulford volunteered
to dive and fasten a line to one of these unfortunate
men, whom Don Juan declared at once was the schooner's
captain. Some little time was lost in procuring a lead-line
from the brig, when the lead was dropped alongside of the
drowned. Provided with another piece of the same sort of
line, which had a small running bowline around that which
was fastened to the lead, the mate made his plunge, and
went down with great vigour of arm. It required resolution
and steadiness to descend so far into salt water; but Harry
succeeded, and rose with the bodies, which came up with
the slightest impulse. All were immediately got into the

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boat, and away the latter went toward the light-house, which
was nearer and more easy of access than the brig.

It is probable that one of these unfortunate men might
have been revived under judicious treatment; but he was
not fated to receive it. Spike, who knew nothing of such
matters, undertook to direct everything, and, instead of
having recourse to warmth and gentle treatment, he ordered
the bodies to be rolled on a cask, suspended them by the
heels, and resorted to a sort of practice that might have destroyed
well men, instead of resuscitating those in whom
the vital spark was dormant, if not actually extinct.

Two hours later, Rose, seated in her own cabin, unavoidably
overheard the following dialogue, which passed in
English, a language that Señor Montefalderon spoke perfectly
well, as has been said.

“Well, Señor,” said Spike, “I hope this little accident
will not prevent our final trade. You will want the brig
now, to take the schooner's place.”

“And how am I to pay you for the brig, Señor Spike,
even if I buy her?”

“I'll ventur' to guess there is plenty of money in Mexico.
Though they do say the government is so backward
about paying, I have always found you punctual, and am
not afraid to put faith in you ag'in.”

“But I have no longer any money to pay you half in
hand, as I did for the powder, when last in New York.”

“The bag was pretty well lined with doubloons when I
saw it last, Señor.”

“And do you know where that bag is; and where there
is another that holds the same sum?”

Spike started, and he mused in silence some little time,
ere he again spoke.

“I had forgotten,” he at length answered. “The gold
must have all gone down in the schooner, along with the

“And the poor men!”

“Why, as for the men, Señor, more may be had for the
asking; but powder and doubloons will be hard to find,
when most wanted. Then the men were poor men, accordin'
to my idees of what an able seaman should be, or they

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never would have let their schooner turn turtle with them
as she did.”

“We will talk of the money, Don Esteban, if you please,”
said the Mexican, with reserve.

“With all my heart, Don Wan—nothing is more agreeable
to me than money. How many of them doubloons
shall fall to my share, if I raise the schooner and put you
in possession of your craft again?”

“Can that be done, Señor?” demanded Don Juan earnestly.

“A seaman can do almost anything, in that way, Don
Wan, if you will give him time and means. For one-half
the doubloons I can find in the wrack, the job shall be

“You can have them,” answered Don Juan, quietly, a
good deal surprised that Spike should deem it necessary to
offer him any part of the sum he might find. “As for the
powder, I suppose that is lost to my country.”

“Not at all, Don Wan. The flour is well packed around
it, and I don't expect it would take any harm in a month.
I shall not only turn over the flour to you, just as if nothing
had happened, but I shall put four first-rate hands aboard
your schooner, who will take her into port for you, with a
good deal more sartainty than forty of the men you had.
My mate is a prime navigator.”

This concluded the bargain, every word of which was
heard by Rose, and every word of which she did not fail to
communicate to Mulford, the moment there was an opportunity.
The young man heard it with great interest, telling
Rose that he should do all he could to assist in raising the
schooner, in the hope that something might turn up to enable
him to escape in her, taking off Rose and her aunt. As
for his carrying her into a Mexican port, let them trust him
for that! Agreeably to the arrangement, orders were given
that afternoon to commence the necessary preparations for
the work, and considerable progress was made in them by
the time the Swash's people were ordered to knock off work
for the night.

After the sun had set, the reaction in the currents again
commenced, and it blew for a few hours heavily, during the
night. Toward morning, however, it moderated, and when

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the sun re-appeared it scarcely ever diffused its rays over a
more peaceful or quiet day. Spike caused all hands to be
called, and immediately set about the important business he
had before him.

In order that the vessel might be as free as possible,
Jack Tier was directed to skull the females ashore, in the
brig's yawl; Señor Montefalderon, a man of polished manners,
as we maintain is very apt to be the case with Mexican
gentlemen, whatever may be the opinion of this good
republic on the subject just at this moment, asked permission
to be of the party. Mulford found an opportunity to
beg Rose, if they landed at the light, to reconnoitre the
place well, with a view to ascertain what facilities it could
afford in an attempt to escape. They did land at the light,
and glad enough were Mrs. Budd, Rose and Biddy to place
their feet on terrá firmâ after so long a confinement to the
narrow limits of a vessel.

“Well,” said Jack Tier, as they walked up to the spot
where the buildings stood, “this is a rum place for a light'us,
Miss Rose, and I don't wonder the keeper and his messmates
has cleared out.”

“I am very sorry to say,” observed Señor Montefalderon,
whose countenance expressed the concern he really felt,
“that the keeper and his only companion, a boy, were on
board the schooner, and have perished in her, in common
with so many of my poor countrymen. There are the
graves of two whom we buried here last evening, after vain
efforts to restore them to life!”

“What a dreadful catastrophe it has been, Señor,” said
Rose, whose sweet countenance eloquently expressed the
horror and regret she so naturally felt—“Twenty fellow-beings
hurried into eternity without even an instant for

“You feel for them, Señorita—it is natural you should,
and it is natural that I, their countryman and leader, should
feel for them, also. I do not know what God has in reserve
for my unfortunate country! We may have cruel and unscrupulous
men among us, Señorita, but we have thousands
who are just, and brave, and honourable.”

“So Mr. Mulford tells me, Señor; and he has been much
in your ports, on the west coast.”

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“I like that young man, and wonder not a little at his
and your situation in this brig—” rejoined the Mexican,
dropping his voice so as not to be heard by their companions,
as they walked a little ahead of Mrs. Budd and Biddy.
“The Señor Spike is scarcely worthy to be his commander
or your guardian.”

“Yet you find him worthy of your intercourse and trust,
Don Juan?”

The Mexican shrugged his shoulders, and smiled equivocally;
still, in a melancholy manner. It would seem he
did not deem it wise to push this branch of the subject further,
since he turned to another.

“I like the Señor Mulford,” he resumed, “for his general
deportment and principles, so far as I can judge of him
on so short an acquaintance.”

“Excuse me, Señor,” interrupted Rose, hurriedly—“but
you never saw him until you met him here.”

“Never—I understand you, Señorita, and can do full
justice to the young man's character. I am willing to think
he did not know the errand of his vessel, or I should not
have seen him now. But what I most like him for, is this:
Last night, during the gale, he and I walked the deck together,
for an hour. We talked of Mexico, and of this war,
so unfortunate for my country already, and which may become
still more so, when he uttered this noble sentiment—
`My country is more powerful than yours, Señor Montefalderon,
' he said, `and in this it has been more favoured by
God. You have suffered from ambitious rulers, and from
military rule, while we have been advancing under the arts
of peace, favoured by a most beneficent Providence. As
for this war, I know but little about it, though I dare say
the Mexican government may have been wrong in some
things that it might have controlled and some that it might
not—but let right be where it will, I am sorry to see a
nation that has taken so firm a stand in favour of popular
government, pressed upon so hard by another that is supposed
to be the great support of such principles. America
and Mexico are neighbours, and ought to be friends; and
while I do not, cannot blame my own country for pursuing
the war with vigour, nothing would please me more than to
hear peace proclaimed.' ”

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“That is just like Harry Mulford,” said Rose, thoughtfully,
as soon as her companion ceased to speak. “I do
wish, Señor, that there could be no use for this powder, that
is now buried in the sea.”

Don Juan Montefalderon smiled, and seemed a little surprised
that the fair young thing at his side should have
known of the treacherous contents of the flour-barrels. No
doubt he found it inexplicable, that persons like Rose and
Mulford should, seemingly, be united with one like Spike;
but he was too well bred, and, indeed, too effectually mystified,
to push the subject further than might be discreet.

By this time they were near the entrance of the light-house,
into which the whole party entered, in a sort of mute
awe at its silence and solitude. At Señor Montefalderon's
invitation, they ascended to the lantern, whence they could
command a wide and fair view of the surrounding waters.
The reef was much more apparent from that elevation than
from below; and Rose could see that numbers of its rocks
were bare, while on other parts of it there was the appearance
of many feet of water. Rose gazed at it with longing
eyes, for, from a few remarks that had fallen from Mulford,
she suspected he had hopes of escaping among its channels
and coral.

As they descended and walked through the buildings,
Rose also took good heed of the supplies the place afforded.
There were flour, and beef, and pork, and many other of the
common articles of food, as well as water in a cistern, that
caught it as it flowed from the roof of the dwelling. Water
was also to be found in casks—nothing like a spring or a
well existing among those islets. All these things Rose
noted, putting them aside in her memory for ready reference

In the mean time the mariners were not idle. Spike
moved his brig, and moored her, head and stern, alongside
of the wreck, before the people got their breakfasts. As
soon as that meal was ended, both captain and mate set
about their duty in earnest. Mulford carried out an anchor
on the off-side of the Swash, and dropped it at a distance of
about eighty fathoms from the vessel's beam. Purchases
were brought from both mast-heads of the brig to the chain
of this anchor, and were hove upon until the vessel was

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given a heel of more than a streak, and the cable was tolerably
taut. Other purchases were got up opposite, and
overhauled down, in readiness to take hold of the schooner's
masts. The anchor of the schooner was weighed by its
buoy-rope, and the chain, after being rove through the
upper or opposite hawse-hole, brought in on board the
Swash. Another chain was dropped astern, in such a way,
that when the schooner came upright, it would be sure to
pass beneath her keel, some six or eight feet from the rudder.
Slings were then sunk over the mast-heads, and the
purchases were hooked on. Hours were consumed in these
preliminary labours, and the people went to dinner as soon
as they were completed.

When the men had dined, Spike brought one of his purchases
to the windlass, and the other to the capstan, though
not until each was bowsed taut by hand; a few minutes
having brought the strain so far on everything, as to enable
a seaman, like Spike, to form some judgment of the likelihood
that his preventers and purchases would stand. Some
changes were found necessary to equalize the strain, but,
on the whole, the captain was satisfied with his work, and
the crew were soon ordered to “heave-away; the windlass

In the course of half an hour the hull of the vessel, which
lay on its bilge, began to turn on its keel, and the heads of
the spars to rise above the water. This was the easiest
part of the process, all that was required of the purchases
being to turn over a mass which rested on the sands of the
bay. Aided by the long levers afforded by the spars, the
work advanced so rapidly, that, in just one hour's time after
his people had begun to heave, Spike had the pleasure to
see the schooner standing upright, alongside of his own brig,
though still sunk to the bottom. The wreck was secured
in this position, by means of guys and preventers, in order
that it might not again cant, when the order was issued to
hook on the slings that were to raise it to the surface.
These slings were the chains of the schooner, one of which
went under her keel, while for the other the captain trusted
to the strength of the two hawse-holes, having passed the
cable out of one and in at the other, in a way to serve his
purposes, as has just been stated.

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When all was ready, Spike mustered his crew, and made
a speech. He told the men that he was about a job that
was out of the usual line of their duty, and that he knew
they had a right to expect extra pay for such extra work.
The schooner contained money, and his object was to get
at it. If he succeeded, their reward would be a doubloon a
man, which would be earning more than a month's wages
by twenty-four hours' work. This was enough. The men
wanted to hear no more; but they cheered their commander,
and set about their task in the happiest disposition possible.

The reader will understand that the object to be first
achieved, was to raise a vessel, with a hold filled with flour
and gunpowder, from off the bottom of the bay to its surface.
As she stood, the deck of this vessel was about six feet under
water, and every one will understand that her weight,
so long as it was submerged in a fluid as dense as that of
the sea, would be much more manageable than if suspended
in air. The barrels, for instance, were not much heavier
than the water they displaced, and the wood work of the
vessel itself, was, on the whole, positively lighter than the
element in which it had sunk. As for the water in the hold,
that was of the same weight as the water on the outside of
tne craft, and there had not been much to carry the schooner
down, beside her iron, the spars that were out of water, and
her ballast. This last, some ten or twelve tons in weight,
was in fact the principal difficulty, and alone induced Spike
to have any doubts about his eventual success. There was
no foreseeing the result until he had made a trial, however;
and the order was again given to “heave away.”

To the infinite satisfaction of the Swash's crew, the weight
was found quite manageable, so long as the hull remained
beneath the water. Mulford, with three or four assistants,
was kept on board the schooner lightening her, by getting
the other anchor off her bows, and throwing the different
objects overboard, or on the decks of the brig. By the time
the bulwarks reached the surface, as much was gained in
this way, as was lost by having so much of the lighter woodwork
rise above the water. As a matter of course, however,
the weight increased as the vessel rose, and more especially
as the lower portion of the spars, the bowsprit, boom,

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&c., from being buoyant assistants, became so much dead
weight to be lifted.

Spike kept a watchful eye on his spars, and the extra supports
he had given them. He was moving, the whole time,
from point to point, feeling shrouds and back-stays, and preventers,
in order to ascertain the degree of strain on each,
or examining how the purchases stood. As for the crew,
they cheered at their toil, incessantly, passing from capstan
bars to the handspikes, and vice versâ. They, too, felt that
their task was increasing in resistance as it advanced, and
now found it more difficult to gain an inch, than it had been
at first to gain a foot. They seemed, indeed, to be heaving
their own vessel out, instead of heaving the other craft
up, and it was not long before they had the Swash heeling
over toward the wreck several streaks. The strain, moreover,
on everything, became not only severe, but somewhat
menacing. Every shroud, back-stay, and preventer was as
taut as a bar of iron, and the chain-cable that led to the
anchor planted off abeam, was as straight as if the brig were
riding by it in a gale of wind. One or two ominous surges
aloft, too, had been heard, and, though no more than straps
and slings settling into their places under hard strains, they
served to remind the crew that danger might come from that
quarter. Such was the state of things, when Spike called
out to “heave and pall,” that he might take a look at the
condition of the wreck.

Although a great deal remained to be done, in order to
get the schooner to float, a great deal had already been done.
Her precise condition was as follows: Having no cabin windows,
the water had entered her, when she capsized, by the
only four apertures her construction possessed. These were
the companion-way, or cabin-doors; the sky-light; the
main-hatch, or the large inlet amid-ships, by which cargo
went up and down; and the booby-hatch, which was the
counterpart of the companion-way, forward; being intended
to admit of ingress to the forecastle, the apartment of the
crew. Each of these hatch-ways, or orifices, had the usual
defences of “coamings,” strong frame-work around their
margins. These coamings rose six or eight inches above
the deck, and answered the double purpose of strengthening
the vessel, in a part, that without them would be weaker

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han common, and of preventing any water that might be
washing about the decks from running below. As soon,
therefore, as these three apertures, or their coamings, could
be raised above the level of the water of the basin, all danger
of the vessel's receiving any further tribute of that sort
from the ocean would be over. It was to this end, consequently,
that Spike's efforts had been latterly directed,
though they had only in part succeeded. The schooner
possessed a good deal of sheer, as it is termed; or, her two
extremities rose nearly a foot above her centre, when on an
even keel. This had brought her extremities first to the
surface, and it was the additional weight which had consequently
been brought into the air that had so much increased
the strain, and induced Spike to pause. The deck forward,
as far aft as the foremast, and aft as far forward as the
centre of the trunk, or to the sky-light, was above the water,
or at least awash; while all the rest of it was covered. In
the vicinity of the main-hatch there were several inches of
water; enough indeed to leave the upper edge of the coamings
submerged by about an inch. To raise the keel that
inch by means of the purchases, Spike well knew would
cost him more labour, and would incur more risk than all
that had been done previously, and he paused before he
would attempt it.

The men were now called from the brig and ordered to
come on board the schooner. Spike ascertained by actual
measurement how much was wanted to bring the coamings
of the main-hatch above the water, until which, he knew,
pumping and bailing would be useless. He found it was
quite an inch, and was at a great loss to know how that
inch should be obtained. Mulford advised another trial with
the handspikes and bars, but to this Spike would not consent.
He believed that the masts of the brig had already as
much pressure on them as they would bear. The mate
next proposed getting the main boom off the vessel, and to
lighten the craft by cutting away her bowsprit and masts.
The captain was well enough disposed to do this, but he
doubted whether it would meet with the approbation of “Don
Wan,” who was still ashore with Rose and her aunt, and
who probably looked forward to recovering his gunpowder

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by means of those very spars. At length the carpenter hit
upon a plan that was adopted.

This plan was very simple, though it had its own ingenuity.
It will be remembered that water could now only
enter the vessel's hold at the main-hatch, all the other
hatchways having their coamings above the element. The
carpenter proposed, therefore, that the main-hatches, which
had been off when the tornado occurred, but which had been
found on deck when the vessel righted, should now be put
on, oakum being first laid along in their rabbetings, and
that the cracks should be stuffed with additional oakum, to
exclude as much water as possible. He thought that two
or three men, by using caulking irons for ten minutes, would
make the hatch-way so tight that very little water would
penetrate. While this was doing, he himself would bore as
many holes forward and aft as he could, with a two inch
auger, out of which the water then in the vessel would be
certain to run. Spike was delighted with this project, and
gave the necessary orders on the spot.

This much must be said of the crew of the Molly Swash—
whatever they did in their own profession, they did intelligently
and well. On the present occasion they maintained
their claim to this character, and were both active and expert.
The hatches were soon on, and, in an imperfect
manner, caulked. While this was doing, the carpenter got
into a boat, and going under the schooner's bows, where a
whole plank was out of water, he chose a spot between two
of the timbers, and bored a hole as near the surface of the
water as he dared to do. Not satisfied with one hole, however,
he bored many—choosing both sides of the vessel to
make them, and putting some aft as well as forward. In a
word, in the course of twenty minutes the schooner was
tapped in at least a dozen places, and jets of water, two
inches in diameter, were spouting from her on each bow,
and under each quarter.

Spike and Mulford noted the effect. Some water, doubtless,
still worked itself into the vessel about the main-hatch,
but that more flowed from her by means of the outlets just
named, was quite apparent. After close watching at the
outlets for some time, Spike was convinced that the schooner
was slowly rising, the intense strain that still came from the

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brig producing that effect as the vessel gradually became
lighter. By the end of half an hour, there could be no
longer any doubt, the holes, which had been bored within an
inch of the water, being now fully two inches above it. The
auger was applied anew, still nearer to the surface of the
sea, and as fresh outlets were made, those that began to
manifest a dulness in their streams were carefully plugged.

Spike now thought it was time to take a look at the state
of things on deck. Here, to his joy, he ascertained that the
coamings had actually risen a little above the water. The
reader is not to suppose by this rising of the vessel, that she
had become sufficiently buoyant, in consequence of the
water that had run out of her, to float of herself. This was
far from being the case; but the constant upward pressure
from the brig, which, on mechanical principles, tended constantly
to bring that craft upright, had the effect to lift the
schooner as the latter was gradually relieved from the
weight that pressed her toward the bottom.

The hatches were next removed, when it was found that
the water in the schooner's hold had so far lowered, as to
leave a vacant space of quite a foot between the lowest part
of the deck and its surface. Toward the two extremities
of the vessel this space necessarily was much increased, in
consequence of the sheer. Men were now sent into the
hatchway with orders to hook on to the flour-barrels—a
whip having been rigged in readiness to hoist them on deck.
At the same time gangs were sent to the pumps, though
Spike still depended for getting rid of the water somewhat
on the auger—the carpenter continuing to bore and plug
his holes as new opportunities offered, and the old outlets
became useless. It was true this expedient would soon
cease, for the water having found its level in the vessel's
hold, was very nearly on a level also with that on the outside.
Bailing also was commenced, both forward and aft.

Spike's next material advantage was obtained by means
of the cargo. By the time the sun had set, fully two hundred
barrels had been rolled into the hatchway, and passed
on deck, whence about half of them were sent in the light-house
boat to the nearest islet, and the remainder were
transferred to the deck of the brig. These last were placed
on the off side of the Swash, and aided in bringing her

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nearer upright. A great deal was gained in getting rid of
these barrels. The water in the schooner lowered just as
much as the space they had occupied,-and the vessel was
relieved at once of twenty tons in weight.

Just after the sun had set, Señor Don Juan Montefalderon
and his party returned on board. They had staid on the
island to the last moment, at Rose's request, for she had
taken as close an observation of everything as possible, in
order to ascertain if any means of concealment existed, in
the event of her aunt, Biddy, and herself quitting the brig.
The islets were all too naked and too small, however; and
she was compelled to return to the Swash, without any hopes
derived from this quarter.

Spike had just directed the people to get their suppers as
the Mexican came on board. Together they descended to
the schooner's deck, where they had a long but secret conference.
Señor Montefalderon was a calm, quiet and reasonable
man, and while he felt as one would be apt to feel
who had recently seen so many associates swept suddenly
out of existence, the late catastrophe did not in the least unman
him. It is too much the habit of the American people
to receive their impressions from newspapers, which throw
off their articles unreflectingly, and often ignorantly, as
crones in petticoats utter their gossip. In a word, the opinions
thus obtained are very much on a level, in value, with
the thoughts of those who are said to think aloud, and who
give utterance to all the crudities and trivial rumours that
may happen to reach their ears. In this manner, we apprehend,
very false notions of our neighbours of Mexico have
become circulated among us. That nation is a mixed race,
and has necessarily the various characteristics of such an
origin, and it is unfortunately little influenced by the diffusion
of intelligence which certainly exists here. Although
an enemy, it ought to be acknowledged, however, that even
Mexico has her redeeming points. Anglo-Saxons as we
are, we have no desire unnecessarily to illustrate that very
marked feature in the Anglo-Saxon character, which prompts
the mother stock to calumniate all who oppose it, but would
rather adopt some of that chivalrous courtesy of which so
much that is lofty and commendable is to be found among
the descendants of Old Spain.

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The Señor Montefalderon was earnestly engaged in what
he conceived to be the cause of his country. It was scarcely
possible to bring together two men impelled by motives more
distinct than Spike and this gentleman. The first was acting
under impulses of the lowest and most grovelling nature;
while the last was influenced by motives of the highest.
However much Mexico may, and has, weakened her cause
by her own punic faith, instability, military oppression, and
political revolutions, giving to the Texans in particular ample
justification for their revolt, it was not probable that Don
Juan Montefalderon saw the force of all the arguments that
a casuist of ordinary ingenuity could certainly adduce
against his country; for it is a most unusual thing to find a
man anywhere, who is willing to admit that the positions of
an opponent are good. He saw in the events of the day, a
province wrested from his nation; and, in his reasoning on
the subject, entirely overlooking the numerous occasions on
which his own fluctuating government had given sufficient
justification, not to say motives, to their powerful neighbours
to take the law into their own hands, and redress themselves,
he fancied all that has occurred was previously planned;
instead of regarding it, as it truly is, as merely the result
of political events that no man could have foreseen, that no
man had originally imagined, or that any man could control.

Don Juan understood Spike completely, and quite justly
appreciated not only his character, but his capabilities.
Their acquaintance was not of a day, though it had ever
been marked by that singular combination of caution and
reliance that is apt to characterize the intercourse between
the knave and the honest man, when circumstances compel
not only communication, but, to a certain extent, confidence.
They now paced the deck of the schooner, side by side, for
fully an hour, during which time the price of the vessel, the
means, and the mode of payment and transfer, were fully
settled between them.

“But what will you do with your passengers, Don Esteban?”
asked the Mexican pleasantly, when the more material
points were adjusted. “I feel a great interest in the
young lady in particular, who is a charming señorita, and
who tells me that her aunt brought her this voyage on account
of her health. She looks much too blooming to be

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out of health, and if she were, this is a singular voyage for
an invalid to make!”

“You don't understand human natur' yet, altogether, I
see, Don Wan,” answered Spike, chuckling and winking.
“As you and I are not only good friends, but what a body
may call old friends, I'll let you into a secret in this affair,
well knowing that you'll not betray it. It's quite true that
the old woman thinks her niece is a pulmonary, as they call
it, and that this v'y'ge is recommended for her, but the gal
is as healthy as she's handsom'.”

“Her constitution, then, must be very excellent, for it is
seldom I have seen so charming a young woman. But if
the aunt is misled in this matter, how has it been with the

Spike did not answer in words, but he leered upon his
companion, and he winked.

“You mean to be understood that you are in intelligence
with each other, I suppose, Don Esteban,” returned the
Señor Montefalderon, who did not like the captain's manner,
and was willing to drop the discourse.

Spike then informed his companion, in confidence, that
he and Rose were affianced, though without the aunt's knowledge,—
that he intended to marry the niece the moment he
reached a Mexican port with the brig, and that it was their
joint intention to settle in the country. He added that the
affair required management, as his intended had property,
and expected more, and he begged Don Juan to aid him, as
things drew near to a crisis. The Mexican evaded an answer,
and the discourse dropped.

The moon was now shining, and would continue to throw
its pale light over the scene for two or three hours longer.
Spike profited by the circumstance to continue the work of
lightening the schooner. One of the first things done next
was to get up the dead, and to remove them to the boat.
This melancholy office occupied an hour, the bodies being
landed on the islet, near the powder, and there interred in
the sands. Don Juan Montefalderon attended on this occasion,
and repeated some prayers over the graves, as he had
done in the morning, in the cases of the two who had been
buried near the light-house.

While this melancholy duty was in the course of

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performance, that of pumping and bailing was continued, under the
immediate personal superintendence of Mulford. It would
not be easy to define, with perfect clearness, the conflicting
feelings by which the mate of the Swash was now impelled.
He had no longer any doubt on the subject of Spike's treason,
and had it not been for Rose, he would not have hesitated
a moment about making off in the light-house boat for
Key West, in order to report all that had passed to the authorities.
But not only Rose was there, and to be cared for,
but what was far more difficult to get along with, her aunt
was with her. It is true, Mrs. Budd was no longer Spike's
dupe; but under any circumstances she was a difficult subject
to manage, and most especially so in all matters that
related to the sea. Then the young man submitted, more
or less, to the strange influence which a fine craft almost
invariably obtains over those that belong to her. He did
not like the idea of deserting the Swash, at the very moment
he would not have hesitated about punishing her owner for
his many misdeeds. In a word, Harry was too much of a
tar not to feel a deep reluctance to turn against his cruise,
or his voyage, however much either might be condemned by
his judgment, or even by his principles.

It was quite nine o'clock when the Señor Montefalderon
and Spike returned from burying the dead. No sooner did
the last put his foot on the deck of his own vessel, than he
felt the fall of one of the purchases which had been employed
in raising the schooner. It was so far slack as to
satisfy him that the latter now floated by her own buoyancy,
though it might be well to let all stand until morning, for
the purposes of security. Thus apprised of the condition
of the two vessels, he gave the welcome order to “knock
off for the night.”

-- 154 --


At the piping of all hands,
When the judgment signal's spread—
When the islands and the land,
And the seas give up their dead,
And the south and the north shall come;
When the sinner is dismayed,
And the just man is afraid,
Then heaven be thy aid,
Poor Tom.

[figure description] Page 154.[end figure description]

The people had now a cessation from their toil. Of all
the labour known to sea-faring men, that of pumping is
usually thought to be the most severe. Those who work
at it have to be relieved every minute, and it is only by
having gangs to succeed each other, that the duty can be
done at all with anything like steadiness. In the present
instance, it is true, that the people of the Swash were sustained
by the love of gold, but glad enough were they when
Mulford called out to them to “knock off, and turn in for
the night.” It was high time this summons should be made,
for not only were the people excessively wearied, but the
customary hours of labour were so far spent, that the light
of the moon had some time before begun to blend with the
little left by the parting sun. Glad enough were all hands
to quit the toil; and two minutes were scarcely elapsed ere
most of the crew had thrown themselves down, and were
buried in deep sleep. Even Spike and Mulford took the
rest they needed, the cook alone being left to look out for
the changes in the weather. In a word, everybody but this
idler was exhausted with pumping and bailing, and even
gold had lost its power to charm, until nature was recruited
by rest.

The excitement produced by the scenes through which
they had so lately passed, caused the females to sleep
soundly, too. The death-like stillness which pervaded the

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vessel contributed to their rest, and Rose never woke, from
the first few minutes after her head was on her pillow, until
near four in the morning. The deep quiet seemed ominous
to one who had so lately witnessed the calm which precedes
the tornado, and she arose. In that low latitude and warm
season, few clothes were necessary, and our heroine was on
deck in a very few minutes. Here she found the same
grave-like sleep pervading everything. There was not a
breath of air, and the ocean seemed to be in one of its profoundest
slumbers. The hard-breathing of Spike could be
heard through the open windows of his state-room, and this
was positively the only sound that was audible. The common
men, who lay scattered about the decks, more especially
from the mainmast forward, seemed to be so many
logs, and from Mulford no breathing was heard.

The morning was neither very dark nor very light, it
being easy to distinguish objects that were near, while those
at a distance were necessarily lost in obscurity. Availing
herself of the circumstance, Rose went as far as the gangway,
to ascertain if the cook were at his post. She saw
him lying near his galley, in as profound a sleep as any of
the crew. This she felt to be wrong, and she felt alarmed,
though she knew not why. Perhaps it was the consciousness
of being the only person up and awake at that hour of
deepest night, in a vessel so situated as the Swash, and in
a climate in which hurricanes seem to be the natural offspring
of the air. Some one must be aroused, and her
tastes, feelings, and judgment, all pointed to Harry Mulford
as the person she ought to awaken. He slept habitually in
his clothes—the lightest summer dress of the tropics; and
the window of his little state-room was always open for air.
Moving lightly to the place, Rose laid her own little, soft
hand on the arm of the young man, when the latter was on
his feet in an instant. A single moment only was necessary
to regain his consciousness, when Mulford left the
state-room and joined Rose on the quarter-deck.

“Why am I called, Rose,” the young man asked, attempering
his voice to the calm that reigned around him; “and
why am I called by you?

Rose explained the state of the brig, and the feeling which
induced her to awaken him. With woman's gentleness she

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[figure description] Page 156.[end figure description]

now expressed her regret for having robbed Harry of his
rest; had she reflected a moment, she might have kept
watch herself, and allowed him to obtain the sleep he must
surely so much require.

But Mulford laughed at this; protested he had never
been awakened at a more favourable moment, and would
have sworn, had it been proper, that a minute's further sleep
would have been too much for him. After these first explanations,
Mulford walked round the decks, carefully felt how
much strain there was on the purchases, and rejoined Rose
to report that all was right, and that he did not consider it
necessary to call even the cook. The black was an idler
in no sense but that of keeping watch, and he had toiled the
past day as much as any of the men, though it was not
exactly at the pumps.

A long and semi-confidential conversation now occurred
between Harry and Rose. They talked of Spike, the brig,
and her cargo, and of the delusion of the captain's widow.
It was scarcely possible that powder should be so much
wanted at the Havanna as to render smuggling, at so much
cost, a profitable adventure; and Mulford admitted his convictions
that the pretended flour was originally intended for
Mexico. Rose related the tenor of the conversation she
had overheard between the two parties, Don Juan and Don
Esteban, and the mate no longer doubted that it was Spike's
intention to sell the brig to the enemy. She also alluded
to what had passed between herself and the stranger.

Mulford took this occasion to introduce the subject of
Jack Tier's intimacy and favour with Rose. He even professed
to feel some jealousy on account of it, little as there
might be to alarm most men in the rivalry of such a competitor.
Rose laughed, as girls will laugh when there is
question of their power over the other sex, and she fairly
shook her rich tresses as she declared her determination to
continue to smile on Jack to the close of the voyage. Then,
as if she had said more than she intended, she added with
woman's generosity and tenderness,—

“After all, Harry, you know how much I promised to
you even before we sailed, and how much more since, and
have no just cause to dread even Jack. There is another
reason, however, that ought to set your mind entirely at

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case on his account. Jack is married, and has a partner
living at this very moment, as he does not scruple to avow

A hissing noise, a bright light, and a slight explosion, interrupted
the half-laughing girl, and Mulford, turning on his
heel, quick as thought, saw that a rocket had shot into the
air, from a point close under the bows of the brig. He was
still in the act of moving toward the forecastle, when, at the
distance of several leagues, he saw the explosion of another
rocket high in the air. He knew enough of the practices
of vessels of war, to feel certain that these were a signal
and its answer from some one in the service of government.
Not at all sorry to have the career of the Swash arrested,
before she could pass into hostile hands, or before evil could
befall Rose, Mulford reached the forecastle just in time to
answer the inquiry that was immediately put to him, in the
way of a hail. A gig, pulling four oars only, with two
officers in its stern-sheets, was fairly under the vessel's
bows, and the mate could almost distinguish the countenance
of the officer who questioned him, the instant he showed his
head and shoulders above the bulwarks.

“What vessels are these?” demanded the stranger,
speaking in the authoritative manner of one who acted for
the state, but not speaking much above the usual conversational

“American and Spanish,” was the answer. “This brig
is American—the schooner alongside is a Spaniard, that
turned turtle in a tornado, about six-and-thirty hours since,
and on which we have been hard at work trying to raise
her, since the gale which succeeded the tornado has blown
its pipe out.”

“Ay, ay, that's the story, is it? I did not know what
to make of you, lying cheek by jowl, in this fashion. Was
anybody lost on board the schooner?”

“All hands, including every soul aft and forward, the
supercargo excepted, who happened to be aboard here.
We buried seventeen bodies this afternoon on the smallest
of the Keys that you see near at hand, and two this morning
alongside of the light. But what boat is that, and where
are you from, and whom are you signalling?”

“The boat is a gig,” answered the stranger, deliberately,

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“and she belongs to a cruiser of Uncle Sam's, that is off
the reef, a short bit to the eastward, and we signalled our
captain. But I'll come on board you, sir, if you please.”

Mulford walked aft to meet the stranger at the gangway,
and was relieved, rather than otherwise, at finding that
Spike was already on the quarter-deck. Should the vessel
of war seize the brig, he could rejoice at it, but so strong
were his professional ideas of duty to the craft he sailed in,
that he did not find it in his heart to say aught against her.
Were any mishap to befall it, or were justice to be done, he
preferred that it might be done under Spike's own supervision,
rather than under his.

“Call all hands, Mr. Mulford,” said Spike, as they met.
“I see a streak of day coming yonder in the east—let all
hands be called at once. What strange boat is this we have

This question was put to the strangers, Spike standing
on his gangway-ladder to ask it, while the mate was summoning
the crew. The officer saw that a new person was
to be dealt with, and in his quiet, easy way, he answered,
while stretching out his hands to take the man-rope—

“Your servant, sir—we are man-of-war's men, belonging
to one of Uncle Sam's craft, outside, and have just come in
to pay you a visit of ceremony. I told one, whom I suppose
was your mate, that I would just step on board of you.”

“Ay, ay—one at a time, if you please. It's war-time,
and I cannot suffer armed boat's crews to board me at
night, without knowing something about them. Come up
yourself, if you please, but order your people to stay in the
boat. Here, muster about this gangway, half a dozen of
you, and keep an eye on the crew of this strange boat.”

These orders had no effect on the cool and deliberate lieutenant,
who ascended the brig's side, and immediately stood
on her deck. No sooner had he and Spike confronted each
other, than each gave a little start, like that of recognition,
and the lieutenant spoke.

“Ay, ay—I believe I know this vessel now. It is the
Molly Swash, of New York, bound to Key West, and a
market; and I have the honour to see Captain Stephen Spike

It was Mr. Wallace, the second lieutenant of the

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[figure description] Page 159.[end figure description]

sloop-of-war that had boarded the brig in the Mona Passage, and to
avoid whom Spike had gone to the southward of Jamaica.
The meeting was very mal-à-propos, but it would not do to
betray that the captain and owner of the vessel thought as
much as this; on the contrary, Wallace was warmly welcomed,
and received, not only as an old acquaintance, but
as a very agreeable visiter. To have seen the two, as they
walked aft together, one might have supposed that the meeting
was conducive of nothing but a very mutual satisfaction,
it was so much like that which happens between those who
keep up a hearty acquaintance.

“Well, I'm glad to see you again, Captain Spike,” cried
Wallace, after the greetings were passed, “if it be only to
ask where you flew to, the day we left you in the Mona
Passage? We looked out for you with all our eyes, expecting
you would be down between San Domingo and
Jamaica, but I hardly think you got by us in the night.
Our master thinks you must have dove, and gone past loon-fashion.
Do you ever perform that manœuvre?”

“No, we've kept above water the whole time, lieutenant,”
answered Spike, heartily; “and that is more than can be
said of the poor fellow alongside of us. I was so much
afraid of the Isle of Pines, that I went round Jamaica.”

“You might have given the Isle of Pines a berth, and
still have passed to the northward of the Englishmen,” said
Wallace, a little drily. “However, that island is somewhat
of a scarecrow, and we have been to take a look at it ourselves.
All's right there, just now. But you seem light;
what have you done with your flour?”

“Parted with every barrel of it. You may remember
I was bound to Key West, and a market. Well, I found
my market here, in American waters.”

“You have been lucky, sir. This `emporium' does not
seem to be exactly a commercial emporium.”

“The fact is, the flour is intended for the Havanna; and
I fancy it is to be shipped for slavers. But I am to know
nothing of all that, you'll understand, lieutenant. If I sell
my flour in American waters, at two prices, it's no concern
of mine what becomes of it a'terwards.”

“Unless it happen to pass into enemy's hands, certainly
not; and you are too patriotic to deal with Mexico, just now,

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[figure description] Page 160.[end figure description]

I'm sure. Pray, did that flour go down when the schooner
turned turtle?”

“Every barrel of it; but Don Wan, below there, thinks
that most of it may yet be saved, by landing it on one of
those Keys to dry. Flour, well packed, wets in slowly.
You see we have some of it on deck.”

“And who may Don Wan be, sir, pray? We are sent
here to look after Dons and Donas, you know.”

“Don Wan is a Cuban merchant, and deals in such articles
as he wants. I fell in with him among the reefs here,
where he was rummaging about in hopes of meeting with
a wrack, he tells me, and thinking to purchase something
profitable in that way; but finding I had flour, he agreed
to take it out of me at this anchorage, and send me away
in ballast at once. I have found Don Wan Montefalderon
ready pay, and very honourable.”

Wallace then requested an explanation of the disaster, to
the details of which he listened with a sailor's interest. He
asked a great many questions, all of which bore on the
more nautical features of the event; and, day having now
fairly appeared, he examined the purchases and backings
of the Swash with professional nicety. The schooner was
no lower in the water than when the men had knocked off
work the previous night; and Spike set the people at the
pumps and their bailing again, as the most effectual method
of preventing their making any indiscreet communications
to the man-of-war's men.

About this time the relict appeared on deck, when Spike
gallantly introduced the lieutenant anew to his passengers.
It is true he knew no name to use, but that was of little
moment, as he called the officer “the lieutenant,” and
nothing else.

Mrs. Budd was delighted with this occasion to show-off,
and she soon broke out on the easy, indolent, but waggish
Wallace, in a strain to surprise him, notwithstanding the
specimen of the lady's skill from which he had formerly

“Captain Spike is of opinion, lieutenant, that our cast-anchor
here is excellent, and I know the value of a good
cast-anchor place; for my poor Mr. Budd was a sea-faring

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man, and taught me almost as much of your noble profession
as he knew himself.”

“And he taught you, ma'am,” said Wallace, fairly opening
his eyes, under the influence of astonishment, “to be
very particular about cast-anchor places!”

“Indeed he did. He used to say, that roads-instead were
never as good, for such purposes, as land that's locked
havens, for the anchors would return home, as he called it,
in roads-instead.”

“Yes, ma'am,” answered Wallace, looking very queer
at first, as if disposed to laugh outright, then catching a
glance of Rose, and changing his mind; “I perceive that
Mr. Budd knew what he was about, and preferred an
anchorage where he was well land-locked, and where there
was no danger of his anchors coming home, as so often
happens in your open roadsteads.”

“Yes, that's just it! That was just his notion! You
cannot feel how delightful it is, Rose, to converse with one
that thoroughly understands such subjects! My poor Mr.
Budd did, indeed, denounce roads-instead, at all times calling
them `savage.' ”

“Savage, aunt,” put in Rose, hoping to stop the good
relict by her own interposition—“that is a strange word to
apply to an anchorage!”

“Not at all, young lady,” said Wallace gravely. “They
are often wild berths, and wild berths are not essentially
different from wild beasts. Each is savage, as a matter of

“I knew I was right!” exclaimed the widow. “Savage
cast-anchors come of wild births, as do savage Indians.
Oh! the language of the ocean, as my poor Mr. Budd used
to say, is eloquence tempered by common sense!”

Wallace stared again, but his attention was called to other
things, just at that moment. The appearance of Don Juan
Montefalderon y Castro on deck, reminded him of his duty,
and approaching that gentleman he condoled with him on
the grave loss he had sustained. After a few civil expressions
on both sides, Wallace made a delicate allusion to the
character of the schooner.

“Under other circumstances,” he said, “it might be my
duty to inquire a little particularly as to the nationality of

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your vessel, Señor, for we are at war with the Mexicans, as
you doubtless know.”

“Certainly,” answered Don Juan, with an unmoved air
and great politeness of manner, “though it would be out of
my power to satisfy you. Everything was lost in the
schooner, and I have not a paper of any sort to show you.
If it be your pleasure to make a prize of a vessel in this
situation, certainly it is in your power to do it. A few barrels
of wet flour are scarce worth disputing about.”

Wallace now seemed a little ashamed, the sang froid of
the other throwing dust in his eyes, and he was in a hurry
to change the subject. Señor Don Juan was very civilly
condoled with again, and he was made to repeat the incidents
of the loss, as if his auditor took a deep interest in
what he said, but no further hint was given touching the
nationality of the vessel. The lieutenant's tact let him see
that Señor Montefalderon was a person of a very different
calibre from Spike, as well as of different habits; and he did
not choose to indulge in the quiet irony that formed so large
an ingredient in his own character, with this new acquaintance.
He spoke Spanish himself, with tolerable fluency,
and a conversation now occurred between the two, which
was maintained for some time with spirit and a very manifest

This dialogue between Wallace and the Spaniard gave
Spike a little leisure for reflection. As the day advanced
the cruiser came more and more plainly in view, and his
first business was to take a good survey of her. She might
have been three leagues distant, but approaching with a very
light breeze, at the rate of something less than two knots in
the hour. Unless there was some one on board her who
was acquainted with the channels of the Dry Tortugas,
Spike felt little apprehension of the ship's getting very near
to him; but he very well understood that, with the sort of
artillery that was in modern use among vessels of war, he
would hardly be safe could the cruiser get within a league.
That near Uncle Sam's craft might certainly come without
encountering the hazards of the channels, and within that
distance she would be likely to get in the course of the
morning, should he have the complaisance to wait for her.
He determined, therefore, not to be guilty of that act of folly.

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All this time the business of lightening the schooner proceeded.
Although Mulford earnestly wished that the man-of-war
might get an accurate notion of the true character
and objects of the brig, he could not prevail on himself to
become an informer. In order to avoid the temptation so
to do, he exerted himself in keeping the men at their tasks,
and never before had pumping and bailing been carried on
with more spirit. The schooner soon floated of herself, and
the purchases which led to the Swash were removed. Near
a hundred more barrels of the flour had been taken out of
the hold of the Spanish craft, and had been struck on the
deck of the brig, or sent to the Key by means of the boats.
This made a material change in the buoyancy of the vessel,
and enabled the bailing to go on with greater facility. The
pumps were never idle, but two small streams of water were
running the whole time toward the scuppers, and through
them into the sea.

At length the men were ordered to knock off, and to get
their breakfasts. This appeared to arouse Wallace, who
had been chatting, quite agreeably to himself, with Rose,
and seemed reluctant to depart, but who now became sensible
that he was neglecting his duty. He called away his
boat's crew, and took a civil leave of the passengers; after
which he went over the side. The gig was some little distance
from the Swash, when Wallace rose and asked to see
Spike, with whom he had a word to say at parting.

“I will soon return,” he said, “and bring you forty or
fifty fresh men, who will make light work with your wreck.
I am certain our commander will consent to my doing so,
and will gladly send on board you two or three boat's

“If I let him,” muttered Spike between his teeth, “I shall
be a poor, miserable cast-anchor devil, that's all.”

To Wallace, however, he expressed his hearty acknowledgments;
begged him not to be in a hurry, as the worst
was now over, and the row was still a long one. If he got
back toward evening it would be all in good time. Wallace
waved his hand, and the gig glided away. As for Spike,
he sat down on the plank-sheer where he had stood, and
remained there ruminating intently for two or three minutes.
When he descended to the deck his mind was fully made

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up. His first act was to give some private orders to the
boatswain, after which he withdrew to the cabin, whither he
summoned Tier, without delay.

“Jack,” commenced the captain, using very little circumlocution
in opening his mind, “you and I are old shipmates,
and ought to be old friends, though I think your natur' has
undergone some changes since we last met. Twenty years
ago there was no man in the ship on whom I could so certainly
depend as on Jack Tier; now, you seem given up
altogether to the women. Your mind has changed even
more than your body.”

“Time does that for all of us, Captain Spike,” returned
Tier coolly. “I am not what I used to be, I'll own, nor
are you yourself, for that matter. When I saw you last,
noble captain, you were a handsome man of forty, and
could go aloft with any youngster in the brig; but, now,
you're heavy, and not over-active.”

“I!—Not a bit of change has taken place in me for the
last thirty years. I defy any man to show the contrary.
But that's neither here nor there; you are no young woman,
Jack, that I need be boasting of my health and beauty
before you. I want a bit of real sarvice from you, and
want it done in old-times fashion; and I mean to pay for
it in old-times fashion, too.”

As Spike concluded, he put into Tier's hand one of the
doubloons that he had received from Señor Montefalderon,
in payment for the powder. The doubloons, for which so
much pumping and bailing were then in process, were still
beneath the waters of the gulf.

“Ay, ay, sir,” returned Jack, smiling and pocketing the
gold, with a wink of the eye, and a knowing look; “this
does resemble old times sum'at. I now begin to know
Captain Spike, my old commander again, and see that he's
more like himself than I had just thought him. What am
I to do for this, sir? speak plain, that I may be sartain to
steer the true course.”

“Oh, just a trifle, Jack—nothing that will break up the
ground-tier of your wits, my old shipmate. You see the
state of the brig, and know that she is in no condition for

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“ 'T would have been better all round, sir, had they never
come aboard at all,” answered Jack, looking dark.

Spike was surprised, but he was too much bent on his
projects to heed trifles.

“You know what sort of flour they're whipping out of the
schooner, and must understand that the brig will soon be in
a pretty litter. I do not intend to let them send a single
barrel of it beneath my hatches again, but the deck and the
islands must take it all. Now I wish to relieve my passengers
from the confinement this will occasion, and I have
ordered the boatswain to pitch a tent for them on the largest
of these here Tortugas; and what I want of you, is to muster
food and water, and other women's knicknacks, and go
ashore with them, and make them as comfortable as you
can for a few days, or until we can get this schooner loaded
and off.”

Jack Tier looked at his commander as if he would penetrate
his most secret thoughts. A short pause succeeded, during
which the steward's mate was intently musing, then his
countenance suddenly brightened; he gave the doubloon a
fillip, and caught it on the palm of his hand as it descended,
and he uttered the customary “Ay, ay, sir,” with apparent
cheerfulness. Nothing more passed between these two worthies,
who now parted, Jack to make his arrangements, and
Spike to “tell his yarn,” as he termed the operation in his
own mind, to Mrs. Budd, Rose, and Biddy. The widow
listened complacently, though she seemed half doubting,
half ready to comply. As for Rose, she received the proposal
with delight—The confinement of the vessel having
become irksome to her. The principal obstacle was in overcoming
the difficulties made by the aunt, Biddy appearing to
like the notion quite as much as “Miss Rosy.” As for the
light-house, Mrs. Budd had declared nothing would induce
her to go there; for she did not doubt that the place would
soon be, if it were not already, haunted. In this opinion
she was sustained by Biddy; and it was the knowledge of
this opinion that induced Spike to propose the tent.

“Are you sure, Captain Spike, it is not a desert island?”
asked the widow; “I remember that my poor Mr. Budd always
spoke of desert islands as horrid places, and spots that
every one should avoid.”

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“What if it is, aunty,” said Rose eagerly, “while we
have the brig here, close at hand. We shall suffer none of
the wants of such a place, so long as our friends can supply

“And such friends, Miss Rose,” exclaimed Spike, a little
sentimentally for him, “friends that would undergo hunger
and thirst themselves, before you should want for any

“Do, now, Madam Budd,” put in Biddy in her hearty
way, “it's an island, ye'll remimber: and sure that's just
what ould Ireland has ever been, God bless it! Islands
make the pleasantest risidences.”

“Well I'll venture to oblige you and Biddy, Rosy, dear,”
returned the aunt, still half reluctant to yield; “but you'll
remember, that if I find it at all a desert island, I'll not pass
the night on it on any account whatever.”

With this understanding the party was transferred to the
shore. The boatswain had already erected a sort of a tent,
on a favourable spot, using some of the old sails that had
covered the flour-barrels, not only for the walls, but for a
carpet of some extent also. This tent was ingeniously
enough contrived. In addition to the little room that was
entirely enclosed, there was a sort of piazza, or open verandah,
which would enable its tenants to enjoy the shade in
the open air. Beneath this verandah, a barrel of fresh water
was placed, as well as three or four ship's stools, all of
which had been sent ashore with the materials for constructing
the tent. The boat had been going and coming
for some time, and the distance being short, the “desert island”
was soon a desert no longer. It is true that the supplies
necessary to support three women for as many days,
were no great matter, and were soon landed, but Jack Tier
had made a provision somewhat more ample. A capital
caterer, he had forgotten nothing within the compass of his
means, that could contribute to the comfort of those who had
been put especially under his care. Long before the people
“knocked off” for their dinners, the arrangements were
completed, and the boatswain was ready to take his leave.

“Well, ladies,” said that grum old salt, “I can do no
more for you, as I can see. This here island is now almost
as comfortable as a ship that has been in blue water for a

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month, and I do n't know how it can be made more comfortabler.”

This was only according to the boatswain's notion of
comfort; but Rose thanked him for his care in her winning
way, while her aunt admitted that, “for a place that was
almost a desert island, things did look somewhat promising.”
In a few minutes the men were all gone, and the islet was
left to the sole possession of the three females, and their constant
companion, Jack Tier. Rose was pleased with the
novelty of her situation, though the islet certainly did deserve
the opprobrium of being a “desert island.” There
was no shade but that of the tent, and its verandah-like
covering, though the last, in particular, was quite extensive.
There was no water, that in the barrel and that of the
ocean excepted. Of herbage there was very little on this
islet, and that was of the most meagre and coarse character,
being a long wiry grass, with here and there a few stunted
bushes. The sand was reasonably firm, however, more
especially round the shore, and the walking was far from
unpleasant. Little did Rose know it, but a week earlier, the
spot would have been next to intolerable to her, on account
of the musquitoes, gallinippers, and other similar insects of
the family of tormentors; but everything of the sort had temporarily
disappeared in the currents of the tornado. To do
Spike justice, he was aware of this circumstance, or he
might have hesitated about exposing females to the ordinary
annoyances of one of these spots. Not a musquito, or anything
of the sort was left, however, all having gone to leeward,
in the vortex which had come so near sweeping off
the Mexican schooner.

“This place will do very well, aunty, for a day or two,”
cried Rose cheerfully, as she returned from a short excursion,
and threw aside her hat, one made to shade her face
from the sun of a warm climate, leaving the sea-breeze that
was just beginning to blow, to fan her blooming and sunny
cheeks. “It is better than the brig. The worst piece of
land is better than the brig.”

“Do not say that, Rose—not if it's a desert island, dear;
and this is desperately like a desert island; I am almost
sorry I ventured on it.”

“It will not be deserted by us, aunty, until we shall see

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occasion to do so. Why not endeavour to get on board of
yonder ship, and return to New York in her; or at least induce
her captain to put us ashore somewhere near this, and
go home by land. Your health never seemed better than it
is at this moment; and as for mine, I do assure you, aunty,
dear, I am as perfectly well as I ever was in my life.”

“All from this voyage. I knew it would set you up, and
am delighted to hear you say as much. Biddy and I were
talking of you this very morning, my child, and we both
agreed that you were getting to be yourself again. Oh,
ships, and brigs, and schooners, full-jigger or half-jigger, for
pulmonary complaints, say I! My poor Mr. Budd always
maintained that the ocean was the cure for all diseases, and
I determined that to sea you should go, the moment I became
alarmed for your health.”

The good widow loved Rose most tenderly, and she was
obliged to use her handkerchief to dry the tears from her
eyes as she concluded. Those tears sprung equally from a
past feeling of apprehension, and a present feeling of gratitude.
Rose saw this, and she took a seat at her aunt's side,
touched herself, as she never failed to be on similar occasions
with this proof of her relative's affection. At that
moment even Harry Mulford would have lost a good deal
in her kind feelings toward him, had he so much as smiled
at one of the widow's nautical absurdities. At such times,
Rose seemed to be her aunt's guardian and protectress, instead
of reversing the relations, and she entirely forgot herself the
many reasons which existed for wishing that she had been
placed in childhood, under the care of one better qualified
than the well-meaning relict of her uncle, for the performance
of her duties.

“Thank you, aunty—thank'ee, dear aunty,” said Rose,
kissing the widow affectionately. “I know that you mean
the best for me, though you are a little mistaken in supposing
me ill. I do assure you, dear,” patting her aunt's
cheek, as if she herself had been merely a playful child, “I
never was better; and if I have been pulmonary, I am entirely
cured, and am now ready to return home.”

“God be praised for this, Rosy. Under His divine providence,
it is all owing to the sea. If you really feel so much
restored, however, I do not wish to keep you a moment

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longer on a ship's board than is necessary. We owe
something to Captain Spike's care, and cannot quit him too
unceremoniously; but as soon as he is at liberty to go into
a harbour, I will engage him to do so, and we can return
home by land—unless, indeed, the brig intends to make the
home voyage herself.”

“I do not like this brig, aunty, and now we are out of
her, I wish we could keep out of her. Nor do I like your
Captain Spike, who seems to me anything but an agreeable

“That's because you arn't accustomed to the sea. My
poor Mr. Budd had his ways, like all the rest of them; it
takes time to get acquainted with them. All sailors are so.”

Rose bent her face involuntarily, but so low as to conceal
the increasing brightness of her native bloom, as she answered,

“Harry Mulford is not so, aunty, dear—and he is every
inch a sailor.”

“Well, there is a difference, I must acknowledge, though
I dare say Harry will grow every day more and more like
all the rest of them. In the end, he will resemble Captain

“Never,” said Rose, firmly.

“You can't tell, child. I never saw your uncle when he
was Harry's age, for I was n't born till he was thirty, but
often and often has he pointed out to me some slender, genteel
youth, and say, `just such a lad was I at twenty,' though
nothing could be less alike, at the moment he was speaking,
than they two. We all change with our years. Now I
was once as slender, and almost—not quite, Rosy, for few
there are that be—but almost as handsome as you yourself.”

“Yes, aunty, I've heard that before,” said Rose, springing
up, in order to change the discourse; “but Harry Mulford
will never become like Stephen Spike. I wish we had
never known the man, dearest aunty.”

“It was all your own doings, child. He's a cousin of
your most intimate friend, and she brought him to the house;
and one could n't offend Mary Mulford, by telling her we
did n't like her cousin.”

Rose seemed vexed, and she kept her little foot in motion,
patting the sail that formed the carpet, as girls will pat the

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ground with their feet when vexed. This gleam of displeasure
was soon over, however, and her countenance became
as placid as the clear, blue sky that formed the vault of the
heavens above her head. As if to atone for the passing rebellion
of her feelings, she threw her arms around her aunt's
neck; after which she walked away, along the beach, ruminating
on her present situation, and of the best means of
extricating their party from the power of Spike.

It requires great familiarity with vessels and the seas, for
one to think, read, and pursue the customary train of reasoning
on board a ship that one has practised ashore. Rose
had felt this embarrassment during the past month, for the
whole of which time she had scarcely been in a condition to
act up to her true character, suffering her energies, and in
some measure her faculties, to be drawn into the vortex produced
by the bustle, novelties, and scenes of the vessel and
the ocean. But, now she was once more on the land, diminutive
and naked as was the islet that composed her present
world, and she found leisure and solitude for reflection and
decision. She was not ignorant of the nature of a vessel of
war, or of the impropriety of unprotected females placing
themselves on board of one; but gentlemen of character,
like the officers of the ship in sight, could hardly be wanting
in the feelings of their caste; and anything was better than
to return voluntarily within the power of Spike. She determined
within her own mind that voluntarily she would not.
We shall leave this young girl, slowly wandering along the
beach of her islet, musing on matters like these, while we
return to the vessels and the mariners.

A good breeze had come in over the reef from the Gulf,
throwing the sloop-of-war dead to leeward of the brigantine's
anchorage. This was the reason that the former had
closed so slowly. Still the distance between the vessels
was so small, that a swift cruiser, like the ship of war,
would soon have been alongside of the wreckers, but for the
intervening islets and the intricacies of their channels. She
had made sail on the wind, however, and was evidently disposed
to come as near to the danger as her lead showed
would be safe, even if she did not venture among them.

Spike noted all these movements, and he took his measures
accordingly. The pumping and bailing had been

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going on since the appearance of light, and the flour had been
quite half removed from the schooner's hold. That vessel
consequently floated with sufficient buoyancy, and no further
anxiety was felt on account of her sinking. Still, a great
deal of water remained in her, the cabin itself being nearly
half full. Spike's object was to reduce this water sufficiently
to enable him to descend into the state-room which
Señor Montefalderon had occupied, and bring away the doubloons
that alone kept him in the vicinity of so ticklish a
neighbour as the Poughkeepsie. Escape was easy enough to
one who knew the passages of the reef and islets; more especially
since the wind had so fortunately brought the cruiser
to leeward. Spike most apprehended a movement upon
him in the boats, and he had almost made up his mind, should
such an enterprise be attempted, to try his hand in beating it
off with his guns. A good deal of uncertainty on the subject
of Mulford's consenting to resist the recognised authorities
of the country, as well as some doubts of a similar
nature in reference to two or three of the best of the foremast
hands, alone left him at all in doubt as to the expediency of
such a course. As no boats were lowered from the cruiser,
however, the necessity of resorting to so desperate a measure,
did not occur, and the duty of lightening the schooner had proceeded
without interruption. As soon as the boatswain
came off from the islet, he and the men with him were directed
to take the hands and lift the anchors, of which it
will be remembered the Swash had several down. Even
Mulford was shortly after set at work on the same duty;
and these expert and ready seamen soon had the brig clear
of the ground. As the schooner was anchored, and floated
without assistance, the Swash rode by her.

Such was the state of things when the men turned to,
after having had their dinners. By this time, the sloop-of-war
was within half a league of the bay, her progress
having been materially retarded by the set of the current,
which was directly against her. Spike saw that a collision
of some sort or other must speedily occur, and he determined
to take the boatswain with him, and descend into the
cabin of the schooner in quest of the gold. The boatswain
was summoned, and Señor Montefalderon repeated in this
man's presence the instructions that he thought it necessary

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for the adventurers to follow, in order to secure the prize.
Knowing how little locks would avail on board a vessel,
were the men disposed to rob him, that gentleman had
trusted more to secreting his treasure, than to securing it in
the more ordinary way. When the story had again been
told, Spike and his boatswain went on board the schooner,
and, undressing, they prepared to descend into the cabin.
The captain paused a single instant to take a look at the
sloop-of-war, and to examine the state of the weather. It
is probable some new impression was made on him by this
inquiry, for, hailing Mulford, he ordered him to loosen the
sails, and to sheet home, and hoist the foretopsail. In a
word, to “see all ready to cast off, and make sail on the
brig at the shortest notice.” With this command he disappeared
by the schooner's companion-way.

Spike and his companion found the water in the cabin
very much deeper than they had supposed. With a view
to comfort, the cabin-floor had been sunk much lower than
is usual on board American vessels, and this brought the
water up nearly to the arm-pits of two men as short as our
captain and his sturdy little boatswain. The former grumbled
a good deal, when he ascertained the fact, and said
something about the mate's being better fitted to make a
search in such a place, but concluding with the remark,
that “the man who wants ticklish duty well done, must see
to it himself.”

The gold-hunters groped their way cautiously about the
cabin for some time, feeling for a drawer, in which they
had been told they should find the key of Señor Montefalderon's
state-room door. In this Spike himself finally succeeded,
he being much better acquainted with cabins and
their fixtures, than the boatswain.

“Here it is, Ben,” said the captain, “now for a dive
among the Don's val'ables. Should you pick up anything
worth speaking of, you can condemn it for salvage, as I
mean to cast off, and quit the wrack the moment we've made
sure of the doubloons.”

“And what will become of all the black flour that is lying
about, sir?” asked the boatswain with a grin.

“It may take care of itself. My agreement will be up as
soon as the doubloons are found. If the Don will come

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down handsomely with his share of what will be left, I may
be bought to put the kegs we have in the brig ashore for him
somewhere in Mexico; but my wish is to get out of the
neighbourhood of that bloody sloop-of-war, as soon as possible.”

“She makes but slow headway ag'in the current, sir; but
a body would think she might send in her boats.”

“The boats might be glad to get back again,” muttered
Spike. “Ay, here is the door unlocked, and we can now
fish for the money.”

Some object had rolled against the state-room door, when
the vessel was capsized, and there was a good deal of difficulty
in forcing it open. They succeeded at last, and
Spike led the way by wading into the small apartment.
Here they began to feel about beneath the water, and by a
very insufficient light, in quest of the hidden treasure.
Spike and his boatswain differed as to the place which had
just been described to them, as men will differ even in the
account of events that pass directly before their eyes. While
thus employed, the report of a heavy gun came through the
doors of the cabin, penetrating to the recess in which they
were thus employed.

“Ay, that's the beginning of it!” exclaimed Spike. “I
wonder that the fool has put it off so long.”

“That gun was a heavy fellow, Captain Spike,” returned
the boatswain; “and it sounded in my ears as if't was shotted.”

“Ay, ay, I dare say you're right enough in both opinions.
They put such guns on board their sloops-of-war, now-a-days,
as a fellow used to find in the lower batteries of a two-decker
only in old times; and as for shot, why Uncle Sam
pays, and they think it cheaper to fire one out of a gun,
than to take the trouble of drawing it.”

“I believe here's one of the bags, Captain Spike,” said
the boatswain, making a dip, and coming up with one-half
of the desired treasure in his fist. “By George, I've
grabbed him, sir; and the other bag can't be far off.”

“Hand that over to me,” said the captain, a little authoritatively,
“and take a dive for the next.”

As the boatswain was obeying this order, a second gun
was heard, and Spike thought that the noise made by the

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near passage of a large shot was audible also. He called
out to Ben to “bear a hand, as the ship seems in 'arnest.”
But the head of the boatswain being under water at the time,
the admonition was thrown away. The fellow soon came
up, however, puffing like a porpoise that has risen to the surface
to blow.

“Hand it over to me at once,” said Spike, stretching out
his unoccupied hand to receive the prize; “we have little
time to lose.”

“That's sooner said than done, sir,” answered the boatswain;
“a box has driven down upon the bag, and there's
a tight jam. I got hold of the neck of the bag, and pulled
like a horse, but it wouldn't come no how.”

“Show me the place, and let me have a drag at it.
There goes another of his bloody guns!”

Down went Spike, and the length of time he was under
water, proved how much he was in earnest. Up he came at
length, and with no better luck than his companion. He
had got hold of the bag, satisfied himself by feeling its outside
that it contained the doubloons, and hauled with all his
strength, but it would not come. The boatswain now proposed
to take a jamming hitch with a rope around the neck
of the bag, which was long enough to admit of such a fastening,
and then to apply their united force. Spike assented,
and the boatswain rummaged about for a piece of small rope
to suit his purpose. At this moment Mulford appeared at
the companion-way to announce the movements on the part
of the sloop-of-war. He had been purposely tardy, in order
to give the ship as much time as possible; but he saw by the
looks of the men that a longer delay might excite suspicion.

“Below there!” called out the mate.

“What's wanting, sir?—what's wanting, sir?” answered
Spike; “let's know at once.”

“Have you heard the guns, Captain Spike?”

“Ay, ay, every grumbler of them. They've done no
mischief, I trust, Mr. Mulford?”

“None as yet, sir; though the last shot, and it was a heavy
fellow, passed just above the schooner's deck. I've the
topsail sheeted home and hoisted, and it's that which has set
them at work. If I clewed up again, I dare say they'd not
fire another gun.”

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“Clew up nothing, sir, but see all clear for casting off and
making sail through the South Pass. What do you say,
Ben, are you ready for a drag?”

“All ready, sir,” answered the boatswain, once more
coming up to breathe. “Now for it, sir; a steady pull, and
a pull all together.”

They did pull, but the hitch slipped, and both went down
beneath the water. In a moment they were up again, puffing
a little and swearing a great deal. Just then another gun,
and a clatter above their heads, brought them to a stand.

“What means that, Mr. Mulford?” demanded Spike, a
good deal startled.

It means that the sloop-of-war has shot away the head of
this schooner's foremast, sir, and that the shot has chipp'd a
small piece out of the heel of our maintop-mast—that's all.”

Though excessively provoked at the mate's cool manner
of replying, Spike saw that he might lose all by being too
tenacious about securing the remainder of the doubloons.
Pronouncing in very energetic terms on Uncle Sam, and all
his cruisers, an anathema that we do not care to repeat, he
gave a surly order to Ben to “knock-off,” and abandoned
his late design. In a minute he was on deck and dressed.

“Cast off, lads,” cried the captain, as soon as on the deck
of his own brig again, “and four of you man that boat. We
have got half of your treasure, Señor Wan, but have been
driven from the rest of it, as you see. There is the bag;
when at leisure we'll divide it, and give the people their
share. Mr. Mulford, keep the brig in motion, hauling up
toward the South Pass, while I go ashore for the ladies. I'll
meet you just in the throat of the passage.”

This said, Spike tumbled into his boat, and was pulled
ashore. As for Mulford, though he cast many an anxious
glance toward the islet, he obeyed his orders, keeping the
brig standing off and on, under easy canvas, but working
her up toward the indicated passage.

Spike was met by Jack Tier on the beach of the little

“Muster the women at once,” ordered the captain, “we
have no time to lose, for that fellow will soon be firing broadsides,
and his shot now range half a mile beyond us.”

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“You'll no more move the widow and her maid, than
you'll move the island,” answered Jack, laconically.

“Why should I not move them? Do they wish to stay
here and starve?”

“It's little that they think of that. The sloop-of-war no
sooner begun to fire than down went Mrs. Budd on the canvas
floor of the tent, and set up just such a screaming as
you may remember she tried her hand at the night the revenue
craft fired into us. Biddy lay down alongside of her
mistress, and at every gun, they just scream as loud as they
can, as if they fancied they might frighten off Uncle Sam's
men from their duty.”

“Duty!—You little scamp, do you call tormenting honest
traders in this fashion the duty of any man?”

“Well, captain, I'm no ways partic'lar about a word or
two. Their `ways,' if you like that better than duty, sir.”

“Where's Rose? Is she down too, screaming and squalling?”

“No, Captain Spike, no. Miss Rose is endeavouring, like
a handsome young Christian lady as she is, to pacify and
mollify her aunt and Biddy; and right down sensible talk
does she give them.”

“Then she at least can go aboard the brig,” exclaimed
Spike, with a sudden animation, and an expression of countenance
that Jack did not at all like.

“I ray-y-ther think she'll wish to hold on to the old
lady,” observed the steward's-mate, a little emphatically.

“You be d—d,” cried Spike, fiercely; “when your opinion
is wanted, I'll ask for it. If I find you've been setting
that young woman's mind ag'in me, I'll toss you overboard,
as I would the offals of a shark.”

“Young women's minds, when they are only nineteen,
get set ag'in boys of fifty-six without much assistance.”

“Fifty-six yourself.”

“I'm fifty-three—that I'll own without making faces at
it,” returned Jack, meekly; “and, Stephen Spike, you logged
fifty-six your last birthday, or a false entry was made.”

This conversation did not take place in the presence of
the boat's crew, but as the two walked together toward the
tent. They were now in the verandah, as we have called
the shaded opening in front, and actually within sound of

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the sweet voice of Rose, as she exhorted her aunt, in tones
a little louder than usual for her to use, to manifest more
fortitude. Under such circumstances Spike did not deem it
expedient to utter that which was uppermost in his mind, but,
turning short upon Tier, he directed a tremendous blow directly
between his eyes. Jack saw the danger and dodged,
falling backward to avoid a concussion which he knew would
otherwise be fearful, coming as it would from one of the best
forecastle boxers of his time. The full force of the blow was
avoided, though Jack got enough of it to knock him down,
and to give him a pair of black eyes. Spike did not stop to
pick the assistant steward up, for another gun was fired at
that very instant, and Mrs. Budd and Biddy renewed their
screams. Instead of pausing to kick the prostrate Tier, as
had just before been his intention, the captain entered the

A scene that was sufficiently absurd met the view of Spike,
when he found himself in the presence of the females. The
widow had thrown herself on the ground, and was grasping
the cloth of the sail on which the tent had been erected with
both her hands, and was screaming at the top of her voice.
Biddy's imitation was not exactly literal, for she had taken
a comfortable seat at the side of her mistress, but in the way
of cries, she rather outdid her principal.

“We must be off,” cried Spike, somewhat unceremoniously.
“The man-of-war is blazing away, as if she was a
firin' minute-guns over our destruction, and I can wait no

“I'll not stir,” answered the widow—“I can't stir—I shall
be shot if I go out. No, no, no—I'll not stir an inch.”

“We'll be kilt!—we'll be kilt!” echoed Biddy, “and a
wicket murther't will be in that same man, war or no war.”

The captain perceived the uselessness of remonstrance at
such a moment, and perhaps he was secretly rejoiced thereat;
but it is certain that he whipped Rose up under his arm,
and walked away with her, as if she had been a child of two
or three years of age. Rose did not scream, but she struggled
and protested vehemently. It was in vain. Already
the captain had carried her half the distance between the
tent and the boat, in the last of which, a minute more would
have deposited his victim, when a severe blow on the back

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of his head caused Spike to stumble, and he permitted Rose
to escape from his grasp, in the effort to save himself from
a fall. Turning fiercely toward his assailant, whom he suspected
to be one of his boat's crew, he saw Tier standing
within a few yards, levelling a pistol at him.

“Advance a step, and you're a dead man, villain!”
screamed Jack, his voice almost cracked with rage, and the
effort he made to menace.

Spike muttered an oath too revolting for our pages; but
it was such a curse as none but an old salt could give vent
to, and that in the bitterness of his fiercest wrath. At that
critical moment, while Rose was swelling with indignation
and wounded maiden pride, almost within reach of his arms,
looking more lovely than ever, as the flush of anger deepened
the colour in her cheeks, a fresh and deep report from
one of the guns of the sloop-of-war drew all eyes in her direction.
The belching of that gun seemed to be of double
the power of those which had preceded it, and jets of water,
that were twenty feet in height, marked the course of the
formidable missile that was projected from the piece. The
ship had, indeed, discharged one of those monster-cannons
that bear the name of a distinguished French engineer, but
which should more properly be called by the name of the
ingenious officer who is at the head of our own ordnance,
as they came originally from his inventive faculties, though
somewhat improved by their European adopter. Spike suspected
the truth, for he had heard of these “Pazans,” as he
called them, and he watched the booming, leaping progress
of the eight-inch shell that this gun threw, with the apprehension
that unknown danger is apt to excite. As jet succeeded
jet, each rising nearer and nearer to his brig, the
interval of time between them seeming fearfully to diminish,
he muttered oath upon oath. The last leap that the shell
made on the water was at about a quarter of a mile's distance
of the islet on which his people had deposited at least a hundred
and fifty barrels of his spurious flour:-thence it flew,
as it might be without an effort, with a grand and stately
bound into the very centre of the barrels, exploding at the
moment it struck. All saw the scattering of flour, which
was instantly succeeded by the heavy though slightly straggling
explosion of all the powder on the island. A hundred

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kegs were lighted, as it might be, in a common flash, and a
cloud of white smoke poured out and concealed the whole
islet, and all near it.

Rose stood confounded, nor was Jack Tier in a much
better state of mind, though he still kept the pistol levelled,
and menaced Spike. But the last was no longer dangerous
to any there. He recollected that piles of the barrels encumbered
the decks of his vessel, and he rushed to the boat,
nearly frantic with haste, ordering the men to pull for their
lives. In less than five minutes he was alongside, and on
the deck of the Swash—his first order being to—“Tumble
every barrel of this bloody powder into the sea, men. Over
with it, Mr. Mulford, clear away the midship ports, and
launch as much as you can through them.”

Remonstrance on the part of Señor Montefalderon would
have been useless, had he been disposed to make it; but,
sooth to say, he was as ready to get rid of the powder as
any there, after the specimen he had just witnessed of the
power of a Paixhan gun.

Thus it is ever with men. Had two or three of those
shells been first thrown without effect, as might very well
have happened under the circumstances, none there would
have cared for the risk they were running; but the chance
explosion which had occurred, presented so vivid a picture
of the danger, dormant and remote as it really was, as to
throw the entire crew of the Swash into a frenzy of exertion.

Nor was the vessel at all free from danger. On the contrary,
she ran very serious risk of being destroyed, and in
some degree, in the very manner apprehended. Perceiving
that Spike was luffing up through one of the passages nearest
the reef, which would carry him clear of the group, a long
distance to windward of the point where he could only effect
the same object, the commander of the sloop-of-war opened
his fire in good earnest, hoping to shoot away something
material on board the Swash, before she could get beyond
the reach of his shot. The courses steered by the two vessels,
just at that moment, favoured such an attempt, though they
made it necessarily very short-lived. While the Swash was
near the wind, the sloop-of-war was obliged to run off to
avoid islets ahead of her, a circumstance which, while it
brought the brig square with the ship's broadside, compelled

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the latter to steer on a diverging line to the course of her
chase. It was in consequence of these facts, that the sloop-of-war
now opened in earnest, and was soon canopied in the
smoke of her own fire.

Great and important changes, as has been already mentioned,
have been made in the armaments of all the smaller
cruisers within the last few years. Half a generation since,
a ship of the rate—we do not say of the size—of the vessel
which was in chase of Spike and his craft, would not have
had it in her power to molest an enemy at the distance these
two vessels were now apart. But recent improvements have
made ships of this nominal force formidable at nearly a
league's distance; more especially by means of their Paixhans
and their shells.

For some little time the range carried the shot directly
over the islet of the tent; Jack Tier and Rose, both of whom
were watching all that passed with intense interest, standing
in the open air the whole time, seemingly with no concern
for themselves, so absorbed was each, notwithstanding all
that had passed, in the safety of the brig. As for Rose, she
thought only of Harry Mulford, and of the danger he was
in by those fearful explosions of the shells. Her quick intellect
comprehended the peculiar nature of the risk that was
incurred by having the flour-barrels on deck, and she could
not but see the manner in which Spike and his men were
tumbling them into the water, as the quickest manner of
getting rid of them. After what had just passed between
Jack Tier and his commander, it might not be so easy to
account for his manifest, nay, intense interest in the escape
of the Swash. This was apparent by his troubled countenance,
by his exclamations, and occasionally by his openly
expressed wishes for her safety. Perhaps it was no more
than the interest the seaman is so apt to feel in the craft in
which he has so long sailed, and which to him has been a
home, and of which Mulford exhibited so much, in his struggles
between feeling and conscience—between a true and a
false duty.

As for Spike and his people, we have already mentioned
their efforts to get rid of the powder. Shell after shell exploded,
though none very near the brig, the ship working
her guns as if in action. At length the officers of the

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sloop-of-war detected a source of error in their aim, that is of very
common occurrence in sea-gunnery. Their shot had been
thrown to ricochet, quartering a low, but very regular succession
of little waves. Each shot striking the water at an
acute angle to its agitated surface, was deflected from a
straight line, and described a regular curve toward the end
of its career; or, it might be truer to say, an irregular
curvature, for the deflection increased as the momentum of
the missile diminished.

No sooner did the commanding officer of the sloop-of-war
discover this fact, and it was easy to trace the course of the
shots by the jets of water they cast into the air, and to see
as well as to hear the explosions of the shells, than he ordered
the guns pointed more to windward, as a means of
counteracting the departure from the straight lines. This
expedient succeeded in part, the solid shot falling much nearer
to the brig the moment the practice was resorted to. No
shell was fired for some little time after the new order was
issued, and Spike and his people began to hope these terrific
missiles had ceased their annoyance. The men cheered,
finding their voices for the first time since the danger had
seemed so imminent, and Spike was heard animating them
to their duty. As for Mulford, he was on the coach-house
deck, working the brig, the captain having confided to him
that delicate duty, the highest proof he could furnish of confidence
in his seamanship. The handsome young mate had
just made a half-board, in the neatest manner, shoving the
brig by its means through a most difficult part of the passage,
and had got her handsomely filled again on the same
tack, looking right out into open water, by a channel through
which she could now stand on a very easy bowline.
Everything seemed propitious, and the sloop-of-war's solid
shot began to drop into the water, a hundred yards short
of the brig. In this state of things one of the Paixhans
belched forth its angry flame and sullen roar again. There
was no mistaking the gun. Then came its mass of iron, a
globe that would have weighed just sixty-eight pounds, had
not sufficient metal been left out of its interior to leave a
cavity to contain a single pound of powder. Its course, as
usual, was to be marked by its path along the sea, as it
bounded, half a mile at a time, from wave to wave. Spike

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saw by its undeviating course that this shell was booming
terrifically toward his brig, and a cry to “look out for the
shell,” caused the work to be suspended. That shell struck
the water for the last time, within two hundred yards of the
brig, rose dark and menacing in its furious leap, but exploded
at the next instant. The fragments of the iron were
scattered on each side, and ahead. Of the last, three or
four fell into the water so near the vessel as to cast their
spray on her decks.

“Overboard with the rest of the powder!” shouted Spike.
“Keep the brig off a little, Mr. Mulford—keep her off, sir;
you luff too much, sir.”

“Ay, ay, sir,” answered the mate. “Keep her off, it is.”

“There comes the other shell!” cried Ben, but the men
did not quit their toil to gaze this time. Each seaman
worked as if life and death depended on his single exertions.
Spike alone watched the course of the missile. On it came,
booming and hurtling through the air, tossing high the jets,
at each leap it made from the surface, striking the water
for its last bound, seemingly in a line with the shell that had
just preceded it. From that spot it made its final leap.
Every hand in the brig was stayed and every eye was raised
as the rushing tempest was heard advancing. The mass
went muttering directly between the masts of the Swash.
It had scarcely seemed to go by when the fierce flash of fire
and the sharp explosion followed. Happily for those in the
brig, the projectile force given by the gun carried the fragments
from them, as in the other instance it had brought
them forward; else would few have escaped mutilation, or
death, among their crew.

The flashing of fire so near the barrels of powder that
still remained on their deck, caused the frantic efforts to be
renewed, and barrel after barrel was tumbled overboard,
amid the shouts that were now raised to animate the people
to their duty.

“Luff, Mr. Mulford—luff you may, sir,” cried Spike.
No answer was given.

“D'ye hear there, Mr. Mulford?—it is luff you may,

“Mr. Mulford is not aft, sir,” called out the man at the
helm—“but luff it is, sir.”

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“Mr. Mulford not aft! Where's the mate, man? Tell
him he is wanted.”

No Mulford was to be found! A call passed round
the decks, was sent below, and echoed through the entire
brig, but no sign or tidings could be had of the handsome
mate. At that exciting moment the sloop-of-war seemed to
cease her firing, and appeared to be securing her guns.


Thou art the same, eternal sea!
The earth has many shapes and forms,
Of hill and valley, flower and tree;
Fields that the fervid noontide warms,
Or winter's rugged grasp deforms,
Or bright with autumn's golden store;
Thou coverest up thy face with storms,
Or smilest serene,—but still thy roar
And dashing foam go up to vex the sea-beat shore:

We shall now advance the time eight-and-forty hours.
The baffling winds and calms that succeeded the tornado
had gone, and the trades blew in their stead. Both vessels
had disappeared, the brig leading, doubling the western
extremity of the reef, and going off before both wind and
current, with flowing sheets, fully three hours before the
sloop-of-war could beat up against the latter, to a point that
enabled her to do the same thing. By that time, the Swash
was five-and-twenty miles to the eastward, and consequently
but just discernible in her loftiest sails, from the ship's royal
yards. Still, the latter continued the chase; and that evening
both vessels were beating down along the southern margin
of the Florida Reef, against the trades, but favoured by
a three or four knot current, the brig out of sight to windward.
Our narrative leads us to lose sight of both these
vessels, for a time, in order to return to the islets of the
Gulf. Eight-and-forty hours had made some changes in

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and around the haven of the Dry Tortugas. The tent still
stood, and a small fire that was boiling its pot and its kettle,
at no great distance from it, proved that the tent was still
inhabited. The schooner also rode at her anchors, very
much as she had been abandoned by Spike. The bag of
doubloons, however, had been found, and there it lay, tied
but totally unguarded, in the canvas verandah of Rose
Budd's habitation. Jack Tier passed and repassed it with
apparent indifference, as he went to and fro, between his
pantry and kitchen, busy as a bee in preparing his noontide
meal for the day. This man seemed to have the islet all to
himself, however, no one else being visible on any part of
it. He sang his song, in a cracked, contre alto voice, and
appeared to be happy in his solitude. Occasionally he
talked to himself aloud, most probably because he had no
one else to speak to. We shall record one of his recitatives,
which came in between the strains of a very inharmonious
air, the words of which treated of the seas, while the
steward's assistant was stirring an exceedingly savoury
mess that he had concocted of the ingredients to be found
in the united larders of the Swash and the Mexican schooner.

“Stephen Spike is a capital willian!” exclaimed Jack, smelling
at a ladle filled with his soup—“a capital willian, I call
him. To think, at his time of life, of such a handsome
and pleasant young thing as this Rose Budd; and then to
try to get her by underhand means, and by making a fool
of her silly old aunt. It 's wonderful what fools some old
aunts be! Quite wonderful! If I was as great a simpleton
as this Mrs. Budd, I'd never cross my threshhold. Yes,
Stephen Spike is a prodigious willian, as his best friend
must own! Well, I gave him a thump on the head that
he'll not forget this v'y'ge. To think of carryin' off that
pretty Rose Budd in his very arms, in so indecent a manner!
Yet, the man has his good p'ints, if a body could only forget
his bad ones. He's a first-rate seaman. How he
worked the brig till he doubled the reef, a'ter she got into
open water; and how he made her walk off afore the wind,
with stun'sails alow and aloft, as soon as ever he could
make 'em draw! My life for it, he 'll tire the legs of Uncle
Sam's man, afore he can fetch up with him. For running
away, when hard chased, Stephen Spike has n't his equal

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on 'arth. But, he's a great willian—a prodigious willian!
I cannot say I actually wish him hanged; but I would
rather have him hanged than see him get pretty Rose in his
power. What has he to do with girls of nineteen? If the
rascal is one year old, he's fifty-six. I hope the sloop-of-war
will find her match, and I think she will. The Molly's
a great traveller, and not to be outdone easily. 'T would
be a thousand pities so lovely a craft should be cut off in
the flower of her days, as it might be, and I do hope she'll
lead that bloody sloop on some sunken rock.

“Well, there's the other bag of doubloons. It seems
Stephen could not get it. That's odd, too, for he's great
at grabbin' gold. The man bears his age well; but he's a
willian! I wonder whether he or Mulford made that half-board
in the narrow channel. It was well done, and Stephen
is a perfect sailor; but he says Mulford is the same.
Nice young man, that Mulford; just fit for Rose, and Rose
for him. Pity to part them. Can find no great fault with
him, except that he has too much conscience. There's
such a thing as having too much, as well as too little conscience.
Mulford has too much, and Spike has too little.
For him to think of carryin' off a gal of nineteen! I say
he's fifty-six, if he's a day. How fond he used to be of
this very soup! If I've seen him eat a quart of it, I've
seen him eat a puncheon full of it, in my time. What an
appetite the man has when he's had a hard day's duty on 't!
There 's a great deal to admire, and a great deal to like in
Stephen Spike, but he's a reg'lar willian. I dare say he
fancies himself a smart, jaunty youth ag'in, as I can remember
him; a lad of twenty, which was about his years
when I first saw him, by the sign that I was very little
turned of fifteen myself. Spike was comely then, though
I acknowledge he's a willian. I can see him now, with his
deep blue roundabout, his bell-mouthed trowsers, both of
fine cloth—too fine for such a willian—but fine it was, and
much did it become him.”

Here Jack made a long pause, during which, though he
may have thought much, he said nothing. Nevertheless,
he was n't idle the while. On the contrary, he passed no
less than three several times from the fire to the tent, and
returned. Each time, in going and coming, he looked

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intently at the bag of doubloons, though he did not stop at it
or touch it. Some associations connected with Spike's fruitless
attempts to obtain it must have formed its principal interest
with this singular being, as he muttered his captain's
name each time in passing, though he said no more audibly.
The concerns of the dinner carried him back and forth; and
in his last visit to the tent, he began to set a small table—
one that had been brought for the convenience of Mrs. Budd
and her niece, from the brig, and which of course still remained
on the islet. It was while thus occupied, that Jack
Tier recommenced his soliloquy.

“I hope that money may do some worthy fellow good
yet. It's Mexican gold, and that's inemy's gold, and might
be condemned by law, I do suppose. Stephen had a hankerin'
a'ter it, but he did not get it. It come easy enough to
the next man that tried. That Spike 's a willian, and the
gold was too good for him. He has no conscience at all to
think of a gal of nineteen! And one fit for his betters, in
the bargain. The time has been when Stephen Spike might
have pretended to Rose Budd's equal. That much I'll ever
maintain, but that time's gone; and, what is more, it will
never come again. I should like Mulford better if he had a
little less conscience. Conscience may do for Uncle Sam's
ships, but it is sometimes in the way aboard a trading craft.
What can a fellow do with a conscience when dollars is to
be smuggled off, or tobacco smuggled ashore? I do suppose
I've about as much conscience as it is useful to have,
and I've got ashore in my day twenty thousand dollars'
worth of stuff, of one sort or another, if I've got ashore the
valie of ten dollars. But Spike carries on business on too
large a scale, and many's the time I've told him so. I
could have forgiven him anything but this attempt on Rose
Budd; and he's altogether too old for that, to say nothing
of other people's rights. He's an up-and-down willian, and
a body can make no more, nor any less of him. That soup
must be near done, and I'll hoist the signal for grub.”

This signal was a blue-peter of which one had been
brought ashore to signal the brig; and with which Jack now
signalled the schooner. If the reader will turn his eyes toward
the last named vessel, he will find the guests whom
Tier expected to surround his table. Rose, her aunt, and

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Biddy were all seated, under an awning made by a sail, on
the deck of the schooner, which now floated so buoyantly
as to show that she had materially lightened since last seen.
Such indeed was the fact, and he who had been the instrument
of producing this change, appeared on deck in the person
of Mulford, as soon as he was told that the blue-peter of
Jack Tier was flying.

The boat of the light-house, that in which Spike had
landed in quest of Rose, was lying alongside of the schooner,
and sufficiently explained the manner in which the mate had
left the brig. This boat, in fact, had been fastened astern,
in the hurry of getting from under the sloop-of-war's fire,
and Mulford had taken the opportunity of the consternation
and frantic efforts produced by the explosion of the last shell
thrown, to descend from his station on the coach-house into
this boat, to cut the painter, and to let the Swash glide away
from him. This the vessel had done with great rapidity,
leaving him unseen under the cover of her stern. As soon
as in the boat, the mate had seized an oar, and sculled to an
islet that was within fifty yards, concealing the boat behind
a low hummock that formed a tiny bay. All this was done
so rapidly, that united to the confusion on board the Swash,
no one discovered the mate or the boat. Had he been seen,
however, it is very little probable that Spike would have lost
a moment of time, in the attempt to recover either. But he
was not seen, and it was the general opinion on board the
Swash, for quite an hour, that her handsome mate had been
knocked overboard and killed, by a fragment of the shell
that had seemed to explode almost in the ears of her people.
When the reef was doubled, however, and Spike made his
preparations for meeting the rough water, he hove to, and
ordered his own yawl, which was also towing astern, to be
hauled up alongside, in order to be hoisted in. Then, indeed,
some glimmerings of the truth were shed on the crew,
who missed the light-house boat. Though many contended
that its painter must also have been cut by a fragment of
the shell, and that the mate had died loyal to roguery and
treason. Mulford was much liked by the crew, and he was
highly valued by Spike, on account of his seamanship and
integrity, this latter being a quality that is just as necessary
for one of the captain's character to meet with in those he

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trusts as to any other man. But Spike thought differently
of the cause of Mulford's disappearance, from his crew. He
ascribed it altogether to love for Rose, when, in truth, it
ought in justice to have been quite as much imputed to a
determination to sail no longer with a man who was clearly
guilty of treason. Of smuggling, Mulford had long suspected
Spike, though he had no direct proof of the fact; but now
he could not doubt that he was not only engaged in supplying
the enemy with the munitions of war, but was actually
bargaining to sell his brig for a hostile cruiser, and possibly
to transfer himself and crew along with her.

It is scarcely necessary to speak of the welcome Mulford
received when he reached the islet of the tent. He and
Rose had a long private conference, the result of which was
to let the handsome mate into the secret of his pretty companion's
true feelings toward himself. She had received
him with tears, and a betrayal of emotion that gave him
every encouragement, and now she did not deny her preference.
In that interview the young people plighted to each
other their troth. Rose never doubted of obtaining her
aunt's consent in due time, all her prejudices being in favour
of the sea and sailors; and should she not, she would soon
be her own mistress, and at liberty to dispose of herself and
her pretty little fortune as she might choose. But a cypher
as she was, in all questions of real moment, Mrs. Budd was
not a person likely to throw any real obstacle in the way
of the young people's wishes; the true grounds of whose
present apprehensions were all to be referred to Spike, his
intentions, and his well-known perseverance. Mulford was
convinced that the brig would be back in quest of the remaining
doubloons, as soon as she could get clear of the
sloop-of-war, though he was not altogether without a hope
that the latter, when she found it impossible to overhaul her
chase, might also return in order to ascertain what discoveries
could be made in and about the schooner. The explosion
of the powder, on the islet, must have put the man-of-war's
men in possession of the secret of the real quality
of the flour that had composed her cargo, and it doubtless
had awakened all their distrust on the subject of the Swash's
real business in the Gulf. Under all the circumstances,
therefore, it did appear quite as probable that one of the

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parties should reappear at the scene of their recent interview
as the other.

Bearing all these things in mind, Mulford had lost no
time in completing his own arrangements. He felt that he
had some atonement to make to the country, for the part
he had seemingly taken in the late events, and it occurred
to him, could he put the schooner in a state to be moved,
then place her in the hands of the authorities, his own peace
would be made, and his character cleared. Rose no sooner
understood his plans and motives, than she entered into
them with all the ardour and self-devotion of her sex; for
the single hour of confidential and frank communication
which had just passed, doubled the interest she felt in Mulford
and in all that belonged to him. Jack Tier was useful
on board a vessel, though his want of stature and force rendered
him less so than was common with sea-faring men.
His proper sphere certainly had been the cabins, where his
usefulness was beyond all cavil; but he was now very serviceable
to Mulford on the deck of the schooner. The first
two days, Mrs. Budd had been left on the islet, to look to
the concerns of the kitchen, while Mulford, accompanied by
Rose, Biddy and Jack Tier, had gone off to the schooner,
and set her pumps in motion again. It was little that Rose
could do, or indeed attempt to do, at this toil, but the pumps
being small and easily worked, Biddy and Jack were of
great service. By the end of the second day the pumps
sucked; the cargo that remained in the schooner, as well
as the form of her bottom, contributing greatly to lessen the
quantity of the water that was to be got out of her.

Then it was that the doubloons fell into Mulford's hands,
along with everything else that remained below decks. It
was perhaps fortunate that the vessel was thoroughly purified
by her immersion, and the articles that were brought
on deck to be dried were found in a condition to give no
great offence to those who removed them. By leaving the
hatches off, and the cabin doors open, the warm winds of
the trades effectually dried the interior of the schooner in
the course of a single night; and when Mulford repaired on
board of her, on the morning of the third day, he found her
in a condition to be fitted for his purposes. On this occasion
Mrs. Budd had expressed a wish to go off to look at

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her future accommodations, and Jack was left on the islet
to cook the dinner, which will explain the actual state of
things as described in the opening of this chapter.

As those who toil usually have a relish for their food, the
appearance of the blue-peter was far from being unwelcome
to those on board of the schooner. They got into the boat,
and were sculled ashore by Mulford, who, seaman-like, used
only one hand in performing this service. In a very few
minutes they were all seated at the little table, which was
brought out into the tent-verandah for the enjoyment of the

“So far, well,” said Mulford, after his appetite was
mainly appeased; Rose picking crumbs, and affecting to
eat, merely to have the air of keeping him company; one
of the minor proofs of the little attentions that spring from
the affections. “So far, well. The sails are bent, and
though they might be never and better, they can be made
to answer. It was fortunate to find anything like a second
suit on board a Mexican craft of that size at all. As it is,
we have foresail, mainsail, and jib, and with that canvas I
think we might beat the schooner down to Key West in the
course of a day and a night. If I dared to venture outside
of the reef, it might be done sooner even, for they tell me
there is a four-knot current sometimes in that track; but I
do not like to venture outside, so short-handed. The current
inside must serve our turn, and we shall get smooth
water by keeping under the lee of the rocks. I only hope
we shall not get into an eddy as we go further from the end
of the reef, and into the bight of the coast.”

“Is there danger of that?” demanded Rose, whose quick
intellect had taught her many of these things, since her
acquaintance with vessels.

“There may be, looking at the formation of the reef and
islands, though I know nothing of the fact by actual observation.
This is my first visit in this quarter.”

“Eddies are serious matters,” put in Mrs. Budd, “and
my poor husband could not abide them. Tides are good
things; but eddies are very disagreeable.”

“Well, aunty, I should think eddies might sometimes be
as welcome as tides. It must depend, however, very much
on the way one wishes to go.”

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“Rose, you surprise me! All that you have read, and
all that you have heard, must have shown you the difference.
Do they not say `a man is floating with the tide,'
when things are prosperous with him—and don't ships drop
down with the tide, and beat the wind with the tide? And
don't vessels sometimes `tide it up to town,' as it is called,
and is n't it thought an advantage to have the tide with you?”

“All very true, aunty; but I do not see how that makes
eddies any the worse.”

“Because eddies are the opposite of tides, child. When
the tide goes one way, the eddy goes another—is n't it so,
Harry Mulford? You never heard of one's floating in an

“That's what we mean by an eddy, Mrs. Budd,” answered
the handsome mate, delighted to hear Rose's aunt
call him by an appellation so kind and familiar,—a thing
she had never done previously to the intercourse which had
been the consequence of their present situation. “Though
I agree with Rose in thinking an eddy may be a good or a
bad thing, and very much like a tide, as one wishes to

“You amaze me, both of you! Tides are always spoken
of favourably, but eddies never. If a ship gets ashore, the
tide can float her off; that I've heard a thousand times.
Then, what do the newspapers say of President—,and
Governor —, and Congressman —?1 Why, that
they all `float in the tide of public opinion,' and that must
mean something particularly good, as they are always in
office. No, no, Harry; I'll acknowledge that you do know
something about ships; a good deal, considering how young
you are; but you have something to learn about eddies.
Never trust one as long as you live.”

Mulford was silent, and Rose took the occasion to change
the discourse.

“I hope we shall soon be able to quit this place,” she
said; “for I confess to some dread of Captain Spike's return.”

“Captain Stephen Spike has greatly disappointed me,”

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observed the aunt, gravely. “I do not know that I was
ever before deceived in judging a person. I could have
sworn he was an honest, frank, well-meaning sailor—a
character, of all others, that I love; but it has turned out

“He's a willian!” mutttered Jack Tier.

Mulford smiled; at which speech we must leave to conjecture;
but he answered Rose, as he ever did, promptly
and with pleasure.

“The schooner is ready, and this must be our last meal
ashore,” he said. “Our outfit will be no great matter; but
if it will carry us down to Key West, I shall ask no more
of it. As for the return of the Swash, I look upon it as
certain. She could easily get clear of the sloop-of-war,
with the start she had, and Spike is a man that never yet
abandoned a doubloon, when he knew where one was to be

“Stephen Spike is like all his fellow-creatures,” put in
Jack Tier, pointedly. “He has his faults, and he has his

“Virtue is a term I should never think of applying to
such a man,” returned Mulford, a little surprised at the fellow's
earnestness. “The word is a big one, and belongs
to quite another class of persons.” Jack muttered a few
syllables that were unintelligible, when again the conversation

Rose now inquired of Mulford as to their prospects of
getting to Key West. He told her that the distance was
about sixty miles; their route lying along the north or inner
side of the Florida Reef. The whole distance was to be
made against the trade-wind, which was then blowing about
an eight-knot breeze, though, bating eddies, they might expect
to be favoured with the current, which was less strong
inside than outside of the reef. As for handling the schooner,
Mulford saw no great difficulty in that. She was not large,
and was both lightly sparred and lightly rigged. All her
top-hamper had been taken down by Spike, and nothing
remained but the plainest and most readily-managed gear.
A fore-and-aft vessel, sailing close by the wind, is not difficult
to steer; will almost steer herself, indeed, in smooth
water. Jack Tier could take his trick at the helm, in any

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weather, even in running before the wind, the time when it
is most difficult to guide a craft, and Rose might be made to
understand the use of the tiller, and taught to govern the
motions of a vessel so small and so simply rigged, when on
a wind and in smooth water. On the score of managing
the schooner, therefore, Mulford thought there would be
little cause for apprehension. Should the weather continue
settled, he had little doubt of safely landing the whole party
at Key West, in the course of the next four-and-twenty
hours. Short sail he should be obliged to carry, as well on
account of the greater facility of managing it, as on account
of the circumstance that the schooner was now in light ballast
trim, and would not bear much canvas. He thought
that the sooner they left the islets the better, as it could not
be long ere the brig would be seen hovering around the
spot. All these matters were discussed as the party still sat
at table; and when they left it, which was a few minutes
later, it was to remove the effects they intended to carry
away to the boat. This was soon done, both Jack Tier and
Biddy proving very serviceable, while Rose tripped backward
and forward, with a step elastic as a gazelle's, carrying
light burdens. In half an hour the boat was ready.
“Here lies the bag of doubloons still,” said Mulford, smiling.
“Is it to be left, or shall we give it up to the admiralty court
at Key West, and put in a claim for salvage?”

“Better leave it for Spike,” said Jack unexpectedly.
“Should he come back, and find the doubloons, he may be
satisfied, and not look for the schooner. On the other hand,
when the vessel is missing, he will think that the money is
in her. Better leave it for old Stephen.”

“I do not agree with you, Tier,” said Rose, though she
looked as amicably at the steward's assistant, as she thus
opposed his opinion, as if anxious to persuade rather than
coerce. “I do not quite agree with you. This money belongs
to the Spanish merchant; and, as we take away with
us his vessel, to give it up to the authorities at Key West, I
do not think we have a right to put his gold on the shore
and abandon it.”

This disposed of the question. Mulford took the bag, and
carried it to the boat, without waiting to ascertain if Jack
had any objection; while the whole party followed. In a

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few minutes everybody and everything in the boat were
transferred to the deck of the schooner. As for the tent,
the old sails of which it was made, the furniture it contained,
and such articles of provisions as were not wanted, they
were left on the islet, without regret. The schooner had
several casks of fresh water, which were found in her hold,
and she had also a cask or two of salted meats, besides
several articles of food more delicate, that had been provided
by Señor Montefalderon for his own use, and which had not
been damaged by the water. A keg of Boston crackers
were among these eatables, quite half of which were still in
a state to be eaten. They were Biddy's delight; and it was
seldom that she could be seen when not nibbling at one of
them. The bread of the crew was hopelessly damaged.
But Jack had made an ample provision of bread when sent
ashore, and there was still a hundred barrels of the flour in
the schooner's hold. One of these had been hoisted on deck
by Mulford, and opened. The injured flour was easily removed,
leaving a considerable quantity fit for the uses of the
kitchen. As for the keg of gunpowder, it was incontinently
committed to the deep.

Thus provided for, Mulford decided that the time had arrived
when he ought to quit his anchorage. He had been
employed most of that morning in getting the schooner's
anchor, a work of great toil to him, though everybody had
assisted. He had succeeded, and the vessel now rode by a
kedge, that he could easily weigh by means of a deck tackle.
It remained now, therefore, to lift this kedge and to stand
out of the bay of the islets. No sooner was the boat secured
astern, and its freight disposed of, than the mate began to
make sail. In order to hoist the mainsail well up, he was
obliged to carry the halyards to the windlass. Thus aided,
he succeeded without much difficulty. He and Jack Tier
and Biddy got the jib hoisted by hand; and as for the foresail,
that would almost set itself. Of course, it was not
touched until the kedge was aweigh. Mulford found little
difficulty in lifting the last, and he soon had the satisfaction
of finding his craft clear of the ground. As Jack Tier was
every way competent to take charge of the forecastle, Mulford
now sprang aft, and took his own station at the helm;
Rose acting as his pretty assistant on the quarter-deck.

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There is little mystery in getting a fore-and-aft vessel
under way. Her sails fill almost as a matter of course, and
motion follows as a necessary law. Thus did it prove with
the Mexican schooner, which turned out to be a fast-sailing
and an easily-worked craft. She was, indeed, an American
bottom, as it is termed, having been originally built for the
Chesapeake; and, though not absolutely what is understood
by a Baltimore clipper, so nearly of that mould and nature
as to possess some of the more essential qualities. As usually
happens, however, when a foreigner gets hold of an
American schooner, the Mexicans had shortened her masts
and lessened her canvas. This circumstance was rather an
advantage to Mulford, who would probably have had more
to attend to than he wished under the original rig of the

Everybody, even to the fastidious Mrs. Budd, was delighted
with the easy and swift movement of the schooner.
Mulford, now he had got her under canvas, handled her
without any difficulty, letting her stand toward the channel
through which he intended to pass, with her sheets just taken
in, though compelled to keep a little off, in order to enter
between the islets. No difficulty occurred, however, and in
less than ten minutes the vessel was clear of the channels,
and in open water. The sheets were now flattened in, and
the schooner brought close by the wind. A trial of the vessel
on this mode of sailing was no sooner made, than Mulford
was induced to regret he had taken so many precautions
against any increasing power of the wind. To meet emergencies,
and under the notion he should have his craft more
under command, the young man had reefed his mainsail,
and taken the bonnets off of the foresail and jib. As the
schooner stood up better than he had anticipated, the mate
felt as all seamen are so apt to feel, when they see that their
vessels might be made to perform more than is actually got
out of them. As the breeze was fresh, however, he determined
not to let out the reef; and the labour of lacing on
the bonnets again was too great to be thought of just at that

We all find relief on getting in motion, when pressed by
circumstances. Mulford had been in great apprehension
of the re-appearance of the Swash all that day; for it was

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about the time when Spike would be apt to return, in the
event of his escaping from the sloop-of-war, and he dreaded
Rose's again falling into the hands of a man so desperate.
Nor is it imputing more than a very natural care to the
young man, to say that he had some misgivings concerning
himself. Spike, by this time, must be convinced that his
business in the Gulf was known; and one who had openly
thrown off his service, as his mate had done, would unquestionably
be regarded as a traitor to his interests, whatever
might be the relation in which he would stand to the laws
of the country. It was probable such an alleged offender
would not be allowed to appear before the tribunals of the
land, to justify himself and to accuse the truly guilty, if it
were in the power of the last to prevent it. Great, therefore,
was the satisfaction of our handsome young mate when
he found himself again fairly in motion, with a craft under
him, that glided ahead in a way to prove that she might
give even the Swash some trouble to catch her, in the event
of a trial of speed.

Everybody entered into the feelings of Mulford, as the
schooner passed gallantly out from between the islets, and
entered the open water. Fathom by fathom did her wake
rapidly increase, until it could no longer be traced back as
far as the sandy beaches that had just been left. In a quarter
of an hour more, the vessel had drawn so far from the
land, that some of the smaller and lowest of the islets were
getting to be indistinct. At that instant everybody had
come aft, the females taking their seats on the trunk, which,
in this vessel as in the Swash herself, gave space and height
to the cabin.

“Well,” exclaimed Mrs. Budd, who found the freshness
of the sea air invigorating, as well as their speed exciting,
“this is what I call maritime, Rosy, dear. This is what is
meant by the Maritime States, about which we read so
much, and which are commonly thought to be so important.
We are now in a Maritime State, and I feel perfectly happy
after all our dangers and adventures!”

“Yes, aunty, and I am delighted that you are happy,”
answered Rose, with frank affection. “We are now rid of
that infamous Spike, and may hope never to see his face

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“Stephen Spike has his good p'ints as well as another,”
said Jack Tier, abruptly.

“I know that he is an old shipmate of yours, Tier, and
that you cannot forget how he once stood connected with
you, and am sorry I have said so much against him,” answered
Rose, expressing her concern even more by her
looks and tones, than by her words.

Jack was mollified by this, and he let his feeling be seen,
though he said no more than to mutter, “He's a willian!”
words that had frequently issued from his lips within the
last day or two.

“Stephen Spike is a capital seaman, and that is something
in any man,” observed the relict of Captain Budd.
“He learned his trade from one who was every way qualified
to teach him, and it's no wonder he should be expert.
Do you expect, Mr. Mulford, to beat the wind the whole
distance to Key West?”

It was not possible for any one to look more grave than
the mate did habitually, while the widow was floundering
through her sea-terms. Rose had taught him that respect
for her aunt was to be one of the conditions of her own
regard, though Rose had never opened her lips to him on
the subject.

“Yes, ma'am,” answered the mate, respectfully, “we are
in the trades, and shall have to turn to windward, every
inch of the way to Key West.”

“Of what lock is this place the key, Rosy?” asked the
aunt, innocently enough. “I know that forts and towns
are sometimes called keys, but they always have locks of
some sort or other. Now, Gibraltar is the key of the Mediterranean,
as your uncle has told me fifty times; and I
have been there, and can understand why it should be,—
but I do not know of what lock this West is the key.”

“It is not that sort of key which is meant, aunty, at all—
but quite a different thing. The key meant is an island.”

“And why should any one be so silly as to call an island
a key?”

“The place where vessels unload is sometimes called a
key,” answered Mulford;—“the French calling it a quai,
and the Dutch kaye. I suppose our English word is derived
from these. Now, a low, sandy island, looking somewhat

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like keys, or wharves, seamen have given them this name.
Key West is merely a low island.”

“Then there is no lock to it, or anything to be unfastened,”
said the widow, in her most simple manner.

“It may turn out to be the key to the Gulf of Mexico,
one of these days, ma'am. Uncle Sam is surveying the
reef, and intends to do something here, I believe. When
Uncle Sam is really in earnest, he is capable of performing
great things.”

Mrs. Budd was satisfied with this explanation, though she
told Biddy that evening, that “locks and keys go together,
and that the person who christened the island to which they
were going, must have been very weak in his upper story.”
But these reflections on the intellects of her fellow-creatures
were by no means uncommon with the worthy relict; and
we cannot say that her remarks made any particular impression
on her Irish maid.

In the mean time, the Mexican schooner behaved quite
to Mulford's satisfaction. He thought her a little tender in
the squalls, of which they had several that afternoon; but
he remarked to Rose, who expressed her uneasiness at the
manner in which the vessel lay over in one of them, that
“she comes down quite easy to her bearings, but it is hard
forcing her beyond them. The vessel needs more cargo to
ballast her, though, on the whole, I find her as stiff as one
could expect. I am now glad that I reefed, and reduced
the head sails, though I was sorry at having done so when
we first came out. At this rate of sailing, we ought to be
up with Key West by morning.”

But that rate of sailing did not continue. Toward evening,
the breeze lessened almost to a calm again, the late
tornado appearing to have quite deranged the ordinary stability
of the trades. When the sun set, and it went down
into the broad waters of the Gulf a flood of flame, there was
barely a two-knot breeze, and Mulford had no longer any
anxiety on the subject of keeping his vessel on her legs.
His solicitude, now, was confined to the probability of falling
in with the Swash. As yet, nothing was visible, either in
the shape of land or in that of a sail. Between the islets
of the Dry Tortugas and the next nearest visible keys, there
is a space of open water, of some forty miles in width. The

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reef extends across it, of course; but nowhere does the
rock protrude itself above the surface of the sea. The
depth of water on this reef varies essentially. In some
places, a ship of size might pass on to it, if not across it;
while in others a man could wade for miles. There is one
deep and safe channel—safe to those who are acquainted
with it—through the centre of this open space, and which is
sometimes used by vessels that wish to pass from one side
to the other; but it is ever better for those whose business
does not call them in that direction, to give the rocks a good
berth, more especially in the night.

Mulford had gleaned many of the leading facts connected
with the channels, and the navigation of those waters, from
Spike and the older seamen of the brig, during the time
they had been lying at the Tortugas. Such questions and
answers are common enough on board ships, and, as they
are usually put and given with intelligence, one of our
mate's general knowledge of his profession, was likely to
carry away much useful information. By conversations
of this nature, and by consulting the charts, which Spike
did not affect to conceal after the name of his port became
known, the young man, in fact, had so far made himself
master of the subject, as to have tolerably accurate notions
of the courses, distances, and general peculiarities of the
reef. When the sun went down, he supposed himself to be
about half-way across the space of open water, and some
five-and-twenty miles dead to windward of his port of departure.
This was doing very well for the circumstances,
and Mulford believed himself and his companions clear of
spike, when, as night drew its veil over the tranquil sea,
nothing was in sight.

A very judicious arrangement was made for the watches
on board the Mexican schooner, on this important night.
Mrs. Budd had a great fancy to keep a watch, for once in
her life, and, after the party had supped, and the subject
came up in the natural course of things, a dialogue like this

“Harry must be fatigued,” said Rose, kindly, “and must
want sleep. The wind is so light, and the weather appears
to be so settled, that I think it would be better for him to
`turn in,' as he calls it;”—here Rose laughed so prettily

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that the handsome mate wished she would repeat the words,—
“better that he should `turn in' now, and we can call
him, should there be need of his advice or assistance. I
dare say Jack Tier and I can take very good care of the
schooner until daylight.”

Mrs. Budd thought it would be no more than proper for
one of her experience and years to rebuke this levity, as
well as to enlighten the ignorance her niece had betrayed.

“You should be cautious, my child, how you propose
anything to be done on a ship's board,” observed the aunt.
“It requires great experience and a suitable knowledge of
rigging to give maritime advice. Now, as might have been
expected, considering your years, and the short time you
have been at sea, you have made several serious mistakes
in what you have proposed. In the first place, there should
always be a mate on the deck, as I have heard your dear
departed uncle say, again and again; and how can there be
a mate on the deck if Mr. Mulford `turns in,' as you propose,
seeing that he's the only mate we have. Then you
should never laugh at any maritime expression, for each
and all are, as a body might say, solemnized by storms and
dangers. That Harry is fatigued I think is very probable;
and he must set our watches, as they call it, when he can
make his arrangements for the night, and take his rest as is
usual. Here is my watch to begin with; and I'll engage
he does not find it two minutes out of the way, though yours,
Rosy dear, like most girl's time-pieces, is, I'll venture to
say, dreadfully wrong. Where is your chronometer, Mr.
Mulford? let us see how this excellent watch of mine, which
was once my poor departed Mr. Budd's, will agree with that
piece of your's, which I have heard you say is excellent.”

Here was a flight in science and nautical language that
poor Mulford could not have anticipated, even in the captain's
relict! That Mrs. Budd should mistake “setting the
watch” for “setting our watches,” was not so very violent
a blunder that one ought to be much astonished at it in her;
but that she should expect to find a chronometer that was
intended to keep the time of Greenwich, agreeing with a
watch that was set for the time of New York, betrayed a
degree of ignorance that the handsome mate was afraid
Rose would resent on him, when the mistake was made to

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appear. As the widow held out her own watch for the
comparison, however, he could not refuse to produce his
own. By Mrs. Budd's watch it was past seven o'clock, while
by his own, or the Greenwich-set chronometer, it was a little
past twelve.

“How very wrong your watch is, Mr. Mulford,” cried
the good lady, “notwithstanding all you have said in its
favour. It's quite five hours too fast, I do declare; and
now, Rosy dear, you see the importance of setting watches
on a ship's board, as is done every evening, my departed
husband has often told me.”

“Harry's must be what he calls a dog-watch, aunty,” said
Rose, laughing, though she scarce knew at what.

“The watch goes, too,” added the widow, raising the
chronometer to her ear, “though it is so very wrong. Well,
set it, Mr. Mulford; then we will set Rose's, which I'll engage
is half an hour out of the way, though it can never be
as wrong as yours.”

Mulford was a good deal embarrassed, but he gained
courage by looking at Rose, who appeared to him to be
quite as much mystified as her aunt. For once he hoped
Rose was ignorant; for nothing would be so likely to diminish
the feeling produced by the exposure of the aunt's
mistake, as to include the niece in the same category.

“My watch is a chronometer, you will recollect, Mrs.
Budd,” said the young man.

“I know it; and they ought to keep the very best time—
that I've always heard. My poor Mr. Budd had two, and
they were as large as compasses, and sold for hundreds after
his lamented decease.”

“They were ship's chronometers, but mine was made for
the pocket. It is true, chronometers are intended to keep
the most accurate time, and usually they do; this of mine,
in particular, would not lose ten seconds in a twelvemonth,
did I not carry it on my person.”

“No, no, it does not seem to lose any, Harry; it only
gains,” cried Rose, laughing.

Mulford was now satisfied, notwithstanding all that had
passed on a previous occasion, that the laughing, bright-eyed,
and quick-witted girl at his elbow, knew no more of
the uses of a chronometer than her unusually dull and

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ignorant aunt; and he felt himself relieved from all embarrassment
at once. Though he dared not even seem to distrust
Mrs. Budd's intellect or knowledge before Rose, he did not
scruple to laugh at Rose herself, to Rose. With her there
was no jealousy on the score of capacity, her quickness
being almost as obvious to all who approached her as her

“Rose Budd, you do not understand the uses of a chronometer,
I see,” said the mate, firmly, “notwithstanding all I
have told you concerning them.”

“It is to keep time, Harry Mulford, is it not?”

“True, to keep time—but to keep the time of a particular
meridian; you know what meridian means, I hope?”

Rose looked intently at her lover, and she looked singularly
lovely, for she blushed slightly, though her smile was
as open and amicable as ingenuousness and affection could
make it.

“A meridian means a point over our heads—the spot
where the sun is at noon,” said Rose, doubtingly.

“Quite right; but it also means longitude, in one sense.
If you draw a line from one pole to the other, all the places
it crosses are on the same meridian. As the sun first appears
in the east, it follows that he rises sooner in places
that are east, than in places that are further west. Thus it
is, that at Greenwich, in England, where there is an observatory
made for nautical purposes, the sun rises about five
hours sooner than it does here. All this difference is subject
to rules, and we know exactly how to measure it.”

“How can that be, Harry? You told me this but the
other day, yet have I forgotten it.”

“Quite easily. As the earth turns round in just twenty-four
hours, and its circumference is divided into three hundred
and sixty equal parts, called degrees, we have only to
divide 360 by 24, to know how many of these degrees are
included in the difference produced by one hour of time.
There are just fifteen of them, as you will find by multiplying
24 by 15. It follows that the sun rises just one hour
later, each fifteen degrees of longitude, as you go west, or
one hour earlier each fifteen degrees of longitude as you go
east. Having ascertained the difference by the hour, it is
easy enough to calculate for the minutes and seconds.”

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“Yes, yes,” said Rose, eagerly, “I see all that—go on.”

“Now a chronometer is nothing but a watch, made with
great care, so as not to lose or gain more than a few seconds
in a twelvemonth. Its whole merit is in keeping time accurately.”

“Still I do not see how that can be anything more than
a very good watch.”

“You will see in a minute, Rose. For purposes that you
will presently understand, books are calculated for certain
meridians, or longitudes, as at Greenwich and Paris, and
those who use the books calculated for Greenwich, get their
chronometers set at Greenwich, and those who use the
Paris, get their chronometers set to Paris time. When I
was last in England, I took this watch to Greenwich, and
had it set at the Observatory by the true solar time. Ever
since it has been running by that time, and what you see
here is the true Greenwich time, after allowing for a second
or two that it may have lost or gained.”

“All that is plain enough,” said the much interested
Rose—“but of what use is it all?”

“To help mariners to find their longitude at sea, and thus
know where they are. As the sun passes so far north, and
so far south of the equator each year, it is easy enough to
find the latitude, by observing his position at noon-day; but
for a long time seamen had great difficulty in ascertaining
their longitudes. That, too, is done by observing the different
heavenly bodies, and with greater accuracy than by
any other process; but this thought of measuring the time
is very simple, and so easily put in practice, that we all run
by it now.”

“Still I cannot understand it,” said Rose, looking so intently,
so eagerly, and so intelligently into the handsome
mate's eyes, that he found it was pleasant to teach her other
things besides how to love.

“I will explain it. Having the Greenwich time in the
watch, we observe the sun, in order to ascertain the true
time, wherever we may happen to be. It is a simple thing
to ascertain the true time of day by an observation of the
sun, which marks the hours in his track; and when we get
our observation, we have some one to note the time at a
particular instant on the chronometer. By noting the hour,

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minutes, and seconds, at Greenwich, at the very instant we
observe here, when we have calculated from that observation
the time here, we have only to add, or subtract, the
time here from that of Greenwich, to know precisely how
far east or west we are from Greenwich, which gives us
our longitude.”

“I begin to comprehend it again,” exclaimed Rose, delighted
at the acquisition in knowledge she had just made.
“How beautiful it is, yet how simple—but why do I forget

“Perfectly simple, and perfectly sure, too, when the
chronometer is accurate, and the observations are nicely
made. It is seldom we are more than eight or ten miles
out of the way, and for them we keep a look-out. It is only
to ascertain the time where you are, by means that are easily
used, then look at your watch to learn the time of day at
Greenwich, or any other meridian you may have selected,
and to calculate your distance, east or west, from that meridian,
by the difference in the two times.”

Rose could have listened all night, for her quick mind
readily comprehended the principle which lies at the bottom
of this useful process, though still ignorant of some of the
details. This time she was determined to secure her acquisition,
though it is quite probable that, woman-like, they
were once more lost, almost as easily as made. Mulford,
however, was obliged to leave her, to look at the vessel,
before he stretched himself on the deck, in an old sail; it
having been previously determined that he should sleep first,
while the wind was light, and that Jack Tier, assisted by the
females, should keep the first watch. Rose would not detain
the mate, therefore, but let him go his way, in order to see
that all was right before he took his rest.

Mrs. Budd had listened to Mulford's second explanation
of the common mode of ascertaining the longitude, with all
the attention of which she was capable; but it far exceeded
the powers of her mind to comprehend it. There are persons
who accustom themselves to think so superficially, that
it becomes a painful process to attempt to dive into any of
the arcana of nature, and who ever turn from such investigations
wearied and disgusted. Many of these persons,
perhaps most of them, need only a little patience and

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perseverance to comprehend all the more familiar phenomena,
but they cannot command even that much of the two qualities
named to obtain the knowledge they would fain wish to
possess. Mrs. Budd did not belong to a division as high in
the intellectual scale as even this vapid class. Her intellect
was unequal to embracing anything of an abstracted character,
and only received the most obvious impressions, and
those quite half the time it received wrong. The mate's
reasoning, therefore, was not only inexplicable to her, but it
sounded absurd and impossible.

“Rosy, dear,” said the worthy relict, as soon as she saw
Mulford stretch his fine frame on his bed of canvas, speaking
at the same time in a low, confidential tone to her niece,
“what was it that Harry was telling you a little while ago?
It sounded to me like rank nonsense; and men will talk
nonsense to young girls, as I have so often warned you,
child. You must never listen to their nonsense, Rosy; but
remember your catechism and confirmation vow, and be a
good girl.”

To how many of the feeble-minded and erring do those
offices of the church prove a stay and support, when their
own ordinary powers of resistance would fail them! Rose,
however, viewed the matter just as it was, and answered

“But this was nothing of that nature, aunty,” she said,
“and only an account of the mode of finding out where a
ship is, when out of sight of land, in the middle of the ocean.
We had the same subject up the other day.”

“And how did Harry tell you, this time, that was done,
my dear?”

“By finding the difference in the time of day between
two places—just as he did before.”

“But there is no difference in the time of day, child, when
the clocks go well.”

“Yes, there is, aunty dear, as the sun rises in one place
before it does in another.”

“Rose you've been listening to nonsense now! Remember
what I have so often told you about young men, and
their way of talking. I admit Harry Mulford is a respectable
youth, and has respectable connections, and since you
like one another, you may have him, with all my heart, as

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soon as he gets a full-jiggered ship, for I am resolved no
niece of my poor dear husband's shall ever marry a mate,
or a captain even, unless he has a full-jiggered ship under
his feet. But do not talk nonsense with him. Nonsense
is nonsense, though a sensible man talks it. As for all this
stuff about the time of day, you can see it is nonsense, as
the sun rises but once in twenty-four hours, and of course
there cannot be two times, as you call it.”

“But, aunty dear, it is not always noon at London when
it is noon at New York.”

“Fiddle-faddle, child; noon is noon, and there are no
more two noons than two suns, or two times. Distrust
what young men tell you, Rosy, if you would be safe, though
they should tell you you are handsome.”

Poor Rose sighed, and gave up the explanation in despair.
Then a smile played around her pretty mouth. It was not
at her aunt that she smiled; this she never permitted herself
to do, weak as was that person, and weak as she saw
her to be; she smiled at the recollection how often Mulford
had hinted at her good looks—for Rose was a female, and
had her own weaknesses, as well as another. But the necessity
of acting soon drove these thoughts from her mind,
and Rose sought Jack Tier, to confer with him on the subject
of their new duties.

As for Harry Mulford, his head was no sooner laid on its
bunch of sail than he fell into a profound sleep. There he
lay, slumbering as the seaman slumbers, with no sense of
surrounding things. The immense fatigues of that and of
the two preceding days,—for he had toiled at the pumps
even long after night had come, until the vessel was clear,—
weighed him down, and nature was now claiming her influence,
and taking a respite from exertion. Had he been left
to himself, it is probable the mate would not have arisen
until the sun had reappeared some hours.

It is now necessary to explain more minutely the precise
condition, as well as the situation of the schooner. On
quitting his port, Mulford had made a stretch of some two
leagues in length, toward the northward and eastward, when
he tacked and stood to the southward. There was enough
of southing in the wind, to make his last course nearly due
south. As he neared the reef, he found that he fell in some

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miles to the eastward of the islets,—proof that he was doing
very well, and that there was no current to do him any
material harm, if, indeed, there were not actually a current
in his favour. He next tacked to the northward again, and
stood in that direction until near night, when he once more
went about. The wind was now so light that he saw little
prospect of getting in with the reef again, until the return
of day; but as he had left orders with Jack Tier to be called
at twelve o'clock, at all events, this gave him no uneasiness.
At the time when the mate lay down to take his rest, therefore,
the schooner was quite five-and-twenty miles to windward
of the Dry Tortugas, and some twenty miles to the
northward of the Florida Reef, with the wind quite light at
east-south-east. Such, then, was the position or situation
of the schooner.

As respects her condition, it is easily described. She had
but the three sails bent,—mainsail, foresail, and jib. Her
topmasts had been struck, and all the hamper that belonged
to them was below. The mainsail was single reefed, and
the foresail and jib were without their bonnets, as has already
been mentioned. This was somewhat short canvas, but
Mulford knew that it would render his craft more manageable
in the event of a blow. Usually, at that season and
in that region, the east trades prevailed with great steadiness,
sometimes diverging a little south of east, as at present,
and generally blowing fresh. But, for a short time previously
to, and ever since the tornado, the wind had been
unsettled, the old currents appearing to regain their ascendancy
by fits, and then losing it, in squalls, contrary currents,
and even by short calms.

The conference between Jack Tier and Rose was frank
and confidential.

“We must depend mainly on you,” said the latter, turning
to look toward the spot where Mulford lay, buried in
the deepest sleep that had ever gained power over him.
“Harry is so fatigued! It would be shameful to awaken
him a moment sooner than is necessary.”

“Ay, ay; so it is always with young women, when they
lets a young man gain their ears,” answered Jack, without
the least circumlocution; “so it is, and so it always will
be, I'm afeard. Nevertheless, men is willians.”

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Rose was not affronted at this plain allusion to the power
that Mulford had obtained over her feelings. It would seem
that Jack had got to be so intimate in the cabins, that his
sex was, in a measure, forgotten; and it is certain that his
recent services were not. Without a question, but for his
interference, the pretty Rose Budd would, at that moment,
have been the prisoner of Spike, and most probably the victim
of his design to compel her to marry him.

“All men are not Stephen Spikes,” said Rose, earnestly,
“and least of all is Harry Mulford to be reckoned as one
of his sort. But, we must manage to take care of the
schooner the whole night, and let Harry get his rest. He
wished to be called at twelve, but we can easily let the hour
go by, and not awaken him.”

“The commanding officer ought not to be sarved so, Miss
Rose. What he says is to be done.”

“I know it, Jack, as to ordinary matters; but Harry left
these orders that we might have our share of rest, and for
no other reason at all. And what is to prevent our having
it? We are four, and can divide ourselves into two watches;
one watch can sleep while the other keeps a look-out.”

“Ay, ay, and pretty watches they would be! There's
Madam Budd, now; why, she's quite a navigator, and
knows all about weerin' and haulin', and I dares to say could
put the schooner about, to keep her off the reef, on a pinch;
though which way the craft would come round, could best
be told a'ter it has been done. It's as much as I'd undertake
myself, Miss Rose, to take care of the schooner, should
it come on to blow; and as for you, Madam Budd, and that
squalling Irishwoman, you'd be no better than so many
housewives ashore.”

“We have strength, and we have courage, and we can
pull, as you have seen. I know very well which way to put
the helm now, and Biddy is as strong as you are yourself,
and could help me all I wished. Then we could always
call you, at need, and have your assistance. Nay, Harry
himself can be called, if there should be a real necessity for
it, and I do wish he may not be disturbed until there is that

It was with a good deal of reluctance that Jack allowed
himself to be persuaded into this scheme. He insisted, for

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a long time, that an officer should be called at the hour
mentioned by himself, and declared he had never known
such an order neglected, “marchant-man, privateer, or man-of-war.”
Rose prevailed over his scruples, however, and there
was a meeting of the three females to make the final arrangements.
Mrs. Budd, a kind-hearted woman, at the worst,
gave her assent most cheerfully, though Rose was a little
startled with the nature of the reasoning, with which it was

“You are quite right, Rosy dear,” said the aunt, “and
the thing is very easily done. I've long wanted to keep one
watch, at sea; just one watch; to complete my maritime
education. Your poor uncle used to say, `Give my wife
but one night-watch, and you'd have as good a seaman in
her as heart could wish.' I'm sure I've had night-watches
enough with him and his ailings; but it seems that they were
not the sort of watches he meant. Indeed, I did n't know
till this evening there were so many watches in the world,
at all. But this is just what I want, and just what I'm resolved
to have. Tier shall command one watch and I'll
command the other. Jack's shall be the `dog-watch,' as
they call it, and mine shall be the `middle-watch,' and last
till morning. You shall be in Jack's watch, Rose, and
Biddy shall be in mine. You know a good deal that Jack
do n't know, and Biddy can do a good deal I'm rather too
stout to do. I do n't like pulling ropes, but as for ordering,
I'll turn my back on no captain's widow out of York.”

Rose had her own misgivings on the subject of her aunt's
issuing orders on such a subject to any one, but she made
the best of necessity, and completed the arrangements without
further discussion. Her great anxiety was to secure a
good night's rest for Harry, already feeling a woman's care
in the comfort and ease of the man she loved. And Rose
did love Harry Mulford warmly and sincerely. If the very
decided preference with which she regarded him before they
sailed, had not absolutely amounted to passion, it had come
so very near it as to render that access of feeling certain,
under the influence of the association and events which succeeded.
We have not thought it necessary to relate a tithe
of the interviews and intercourse that had taken place between
the handsome mate and the pretty Rose Budd, during

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the month they had now been shipmates, having left the
reader to imagine the natural course of things, under such
circumstances. Nevertheless, the plighted troth had not been
actually given until Harry joined her on the islet, at a moment
when she fancied herself abandoned to a fate almost
as serious as death. Rose had seen Mulford quit the brig,
had watched the mode and manner of his escape, and in
almost breathless amazement, and felt how dear to her he
had become, by the glow of delight which warmed her heart,
when assured that he could not, would not, forsake her, even
though he remained at the risk of life. She was now, true
to the instinct of her sex, mostly occupied in making such a
return for an attachment so devoted as became her tenderness
and the habits of her mind.

As Mrs. Budd chose what she was pleased to term the
`middle-watch,' giving to Jack Tier and Rose her `dog-watch,
' the two last were first on duty. It is scarcely necessary
to say, the captain's widow got the names of the
watches all wrong, as she got the names of everything else
about a vessel; but the plan was to divide the night equally
between these quasi mariners, giving the first half to those
who were first on the look-out, and the remainder to their
successors. It soon became so calm, that Jack left the helm,
and came and sat by Rose, on the trunk, where they conversed
confidentially for a long time. Although the reader
will, hereafter, be enabled to form some plausible conjectures
on the subject of this dialogue, we shall give him no part
of it here. All that need now be said, is to add, that Jack
did most of the talking, that his past life was the principal
theme, and that the terrible Stephen Spike, he from whom
they were now so desirous of escaping, was largely mixed
up with the adventures recounted. Jack found in his companion
a deeply interested listener, although this was by no
means the first time they had gone over together the same
story and discussed the same events. The conversation lasted
until Tier, who watched the glass, seeing that its sands had
run out for the last time, announced the hour of midnight.
This was the moment when Mulford should have been called,
but when Mrs. Budd and Biddy Noon were actually awakened
in his stead.

“Now, dear aunty,” said Rose, as she parted from the

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new watch to go and catch a little sleep herself, “remember
you are not to awaken Harry first, but to call Tier and
myself. It would have done your heart good to have seen
how sweetly he has been sleeping all this time. I do not
think he has stirred once since his head was laid on that
bunch of sails, and there he is, at this moment, sleeping like
an infant!”

“Yes,” returned the relict, “it is always so with your
true maritime people. I have been sleeping a great deal
more soundly, the whole of the dog-watch, than I ever slept
at home, in my own excellent bed. But it's your watch
below, Rosy, and contrary to rule for you to stay on the
deck, after you've been relieved. I've heard this a thousand

Rose was not sorry to lie down; and her head was scarcely
on its pillow, in the cabin, before she was fast asleep. As
for Jack, he found a place among Mulford's sails, and was
quickly in the same state.

To own the truth, Mrs. Budd was not quite as much at
ease, in her new station, for the first half hour, as she had
fancied to herself might prove to be the case. It was a flat
calm, it is true; but the widow felt oppressed with responsibility
and the novelty of her situation. Time and again
had she said, and even imagined, she should be delighted to
fill the very station she then occupied, or to be in charge of
a deck, in a “middle watch.” In this instance, however,
as in so many others, reality did not equal anticipation.
She wished to be doing everything, but did not know how
to do anything. As for Biddy, she was even worse off than
her mistress. A month's experience, or for that matter a
twelvemonth's, could not unravel to her the mysteries of
even a schooner's rigging. Mrs. Budd had placed her “at
the wheel,” as she called it, though the vessel had no wheel,
being steered by a tiller on deck, in the 'long-shore fashion.
In stationing Biddy, the widow told her that she was to play
“tricks at the wheel,” leaving it to the astounded Irish
woman's imagination to discover what those tricks were.
Failing in ascertaining what might be the nature of her
“tricks at the wheel,” Biddy was content to do nothing, and
nothing, under the circumstances, was perhaps the very best
thing she could have done.

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Little was required to be done for the first four hours of
Mrs. Budd's watch. All that time, Rose slept in her berth,
and Mulford and Jack Tier on their sail, while Biddy had
played the wheel a “trick,” indeed, by lying down on deck,
and sleeping, too, as soundly as if she were in the county
Down itself. But there was to be an end of this tranquillity.
Suddenly the wind began to blow. At first, the breeze
came in fitful puffs, which were neither very strong nor very
lasting. This induced Mrs. Budd to awaken Biddy. Luckily,
a schooner without a topsail could not very well be taken
aback, especially as the head-sheets worked on travellers,
and Mrs. Budd and her assistant contrived to manage the
tiller very well for the first hour that these varying puffs of
wind lasted. It is true, the tiller was lashed, and it is also
true, the schooner ran in all directions, having actually
headed to all the cardinal points of the compass, under her
present management. At length, Mrs. Budd became alarmed.
A puff of wind came so strong, as to cause the vessel to lie
over so far as to bring the water into the lee scuppers. She
called Jack Tier herself, therefore, and sent Biddy down to
awaken Rose. In a minute, both these auxiliaries appeared
on deck. The wind just then lulled, and Rose, supposing
her aunt was frightened at trifles, insisted on it that Harry
should be permitted to sleep on. He had turned over once,
in the course of the night, but not once had he raised his
head from his pillow.

As soon as reinforced, Mrs. Budd began to bustle about,
and to give commands, such as they were, in order to prove
that she was unterrified. Jack Tier gaped at her elbow,
and by way of something to do, he laid his hand on the
painter of the Swash's boat, which boat was towing astern,
and remarked that “some know-nothing had belayed it with
three half-hitches.” This was enough for the relict. She
had often heard the saying that “three half-hitches lost the
king's long-boat,” and she busied herself, at once, in repairing
so imminent an evil. It was far easier for the good woman
to talk than to act; she became what is called “all fingers
and thumbs,” and in loosening the third half-hitch, she cast
off the two others. At that instant, a puff of wind struck
the schooner again, and the end of the painter got away
from the widow, who had a last glimpse at the boat, as the

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vessel darted ahead, leaving its little tender to vanish in the
gloom of the night.

Jack was excessively provoked at this accident, for he
had foreseen the possibility of having recourse to that boat
yet, in order to escape from Spike. By abandoning the
schooner, and pulling on to the reef, it might have been
possible to get out of their pursuer's hands, when all other
means should fail them. As he was at the tiller, he put his
helm up, and ran off, until far enough to leeward to be to
the westward of the boat, when he might tack, fetch and
recover it. Nevertheless, it now blew much harder than he
liked, for the schooner seemed to be unusually tender. Had
he had the force to do it, he would have brailed the foresail.
He desired Rose to call Mulford, but she hesitated about

“Call him—call the mate, I say,” cried out Jack, in a
voice that proved how much he was in earnest. “These
puffs come heavy, I can tell you, and they come often, too.
Call him—call him, at once, Miss Rose, for it is time to
tack if we wish to recover the boat. Tell him, too, to brail
the foresail, while we are in stays—that's right; another
call will start him up.”

The other call was given, aided by a gentle shake from
Rose's hand. Harry was on his feet in a moment. A passing
instant was necessary to clear his faculties, and to recover
the tenor of his thoughts. During that instant, the mate
heard Jack Tier's shrill cry of “Hard a-lee—get in that
foresail—bear a-hand—in with it, I say!”

The wind came rushing and roaring, and the flaps of the
canvas were violent and heavy.

“In with the foresail, I say,” shouted Jack Tier. “She
files round like a top, and will be off the wind on the other
tack presently. Bear a-hand!—bear a-hand! It looks black
as night to windward.”

Mulford then regained all his powers. He sprang to the
fore-sheet, calling on the others for aid. The violent surges
produced by the wind prevented his grasping the sheet as
soon as he could wish, and the vessel whirled round on
her heel, like a steed that is frightened. At that critical and
dangerous instant, when the schooner was nearly without
motion through the water, a squall struck the flattened sails,

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and bowed her down as the willow bends to the gale. Mrs.
Budd and Biddy screamed as usual, and Jack shouted until
his voice seemed cracked, to “let go the head-sheets.”
Mulford did make one leap forward, to execute this necessary
office, when the inclining plane of the deck told him it was
too late. The wind fairly howled for a minute, and over
went the schooner, the remains of her cargo shifting as she
capsized, in a way to bring her very nearly bottom upward.

eaf079v1.11. We suppress the names used by Mrs. Budd, out of delicacy to
the individuals mentioned, who are still living.

Ay, fare you well, fair gentleman.

As You Like it.

While the tyro believes the vessel is about to capsize at
every puff of wind, the practised seaman alone knows when
danger truly besets him in this particular form. Thus it
was with Harry Mulford, when the Mexican schooner went
over, as related in the close of the preceding chapter. He
felt no alarm until the danger actually came. Then, indeed,
no one there was so quickly, or so thoroughly apprized
of what the result would be, and he directed all his exertions
to meet the exigency. While there was the smallest hope
of success, he did not lessen, in the least, his endeavours to
save the vessel; making almost superhuman efforts to cast
off the fore-sheet, so as to relieve the schooner from the
pressure of one of her sails. But, no sooner did he hear
the barrels in the hold surging to leeward, and feel by the
inclination of the deck beneath his feet, that nothing could
save the craft, than he abandoned the sheet, and sprang to
the assistance of Rose. It was time he did; for, having followed
him into the vessel's lee-waist, she was the first to
be submerged in the sea, and would have been hopelessly
drowned, but for Mulford's timely succour. Women might
swim more readily than men, and do so swim, in those portions
of the world where the laws of nature are not counteracted
by human conventions. Rose Budd, however, had received
the vicious education which civilized society inflicts on

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her sex, and, as a matter of course, was totally helpless in an
element in which it was the design of Divine Providence she
should possess the common means of sustaining herself, like
every other being endued with animal life. Not so with
Mulford: he swam with ease and force, and had no difficulty
in sustaining Rose until the schooner had settled into her
new berth, or in hauling her on the vessel's bottom immediately

Luckily, there was no swell, or so little as not to endanger
those who were on the schooner's bilge; and Mulford
had no sooner placed her in momentary safety at least,
whom he prized far higher than his own life, than he bethought
him of his other companions. Jack Tier had hauled
himself up to windward by the rope that steadied the tiller,
and he had called on Mrs. Budd to imitate his example. It
was so natural for even a woman to grasp anything like a
rope at such a moment, that the widow instinctively obeyed,
while Biddy seized, at random, the first thing of the sort
that offered. Owing to these fortunate chances, Jack and
Mrs. Budd succeeded in reaching the quarter of the schooner,
the former actually getting up on the bottom of the
wreck, on to which he was enabled to float the widow, who
was almost as buoyant as cork, as indeed was the case with
Jack himself. All the stern and bows of the vessel were
under water, in consequence of her leanness forward and
aft; but though submerged, she offered a precarious footing,
even in these extremities, to such as could reach them. On
the other hand, the place where Rose stood, or the bilge of
the vessel, was two or three feet above the surface of the
sea, though slippery and inclining in shape.

It was not half a minute from the time that Mulford sprang
to Rose's succour, ere he had her on the vessel's bottom.
In another half minute, he had waded down on the schooner's
counter, where Jack Tier was lustily calling to him for
“help!” and assisted the widow to her feet, and supported
her until she stood at Rose's side. Leaving the last in her
aunt's arms, half distracted between dread and joy, he turned
to the assistance of Biddy. The rope at which the Irish
woman had caught, was a straggling end that had been
made fast to the main channels of the schooner, for the support
of a fender, and had been hauled partly in-board to

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keep it out of the water. Biddy had found no difficulty in
dragging herself up to the chains, therefore; and had she
been content to sustain herself by the rope, leaving as much
of her body submerged as comported with breathing, her
task would have been easy. But, like most persons who do
not know how to swim, the good woman was fast exhausting
her strength, by vain efforts to walk on the surface of
an element that was never made to sustain her. Unpractised
persons, in such situations, cannot be taught to believe
that their greatest safety is in leaving as much of their bodies
as possible beneath the water, keeping the mouth and
nose alone free for breath. But we have seen even instances
in which men, who were in danger of drowning,
seemed to believe it might be possible for them to craw! over
the waves on their hands and knees. The philosophy of
the contrary course is so very simple, that one would fancy
a very child might be made to comprehend it; yet, it is rare
to find one unaccustomed to the water, and who is suddenly
exposed to its dangers, that does not resort, under the pressure
of present alarm, to the very reverse of the true means
to save his or her life.

Mulford had no difficulty in finding Bridget, whose exclamations
of “murther!” “help!” “he-l-lup!” “Jasus!” and
other similar cries, led him directly to the spot, where she
was fast drowning herself by her own senseless struggles.
Seizing her by the arm, the active young mate soon placed
her on her feet, though her cries did not cease until she
was ordered by her mistress to keep silence.

Having thus rescued the whole of his companions from
immediate danger, Mulford began to think of the future.
He was seized with sudden surprise that the vessel did not
sink, and for a minute he was unable to account for the unusual
fact. On the former occasion, the schooner had gone
down almost as soon as she fell over; but now she floated
with so much buoyancy as to leave most of her keel and all
of her bilge on one side quite clear of the water. As one
of the main hatches was off, and the cabin-doors, and booby-hatch
doors forward were open, and all were under water,
it required a little reflection on the part of Mulford to understand
on what circumstance all their lives now depended.
The mate soon ascertained the truth, however, and we may

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as well explain it to the reader in our own fashion, in order
to put him on a level with the young seaman.

The puff of wind, or little squall, had struck the schooner
at the most unfavourable moment for her safety. She had
just lost her way in tacking, and the hull not moving ahead,
as happens when a craft is thus assailed with the motion on
her, all the power of the wind was expended in the direction
necessary to capsize her. Another disadvantage arose from
the want of motion. The rudder, which acts solely by
pressing against the water as the vessel meets it, was useless,
and it was not possible to luff, and throw the wind from
the sails, as is usually practised by fore-and-aft rigged craft,
in moments of such peril. In consequence of these united
difficulties, the shifting of the cargo in the hold, the tenderness
of the craft itself, and the force of the squall, the
schooner had gone so far over as to carry all three of the
openings to her interior suddenly under water, where they
remained, held by the pressure of the cargo that had rolled
to leeward. Had not the water completely covered these
openings, or hatches, the schooner must have sunk in a
minute or two, or by the time Mulford had got all his companions
safe on her bilge. But they were completely submerged,
and so continued to be, which circumstance alone
prevented the vessel from sinking, as the following simple
explanation will show.

Any person who will put an empty tumbler, bottom upwards,
into a bucket of water, will find that the water will
not rise within the tumbler more than an inch at most. At
that point it is arrested by the resistance of the air, which,
unable to escape, and compressed into a narrow compass,
forms a body that the other fluid cannot penetrate. It is on
this simple and familiar principle, that the chemist keeps his
gases, in inverted glasses, placing them on shelves, slightly
submerged in water. Thus it was, then, that the schooner
continued to float, though nearly bottom upward, and with
three inlets open, by which the water could and did penetrate.
A considerable quantity of the element had rushed
in at the instant of capsizing, but meeting with resistance
from the compressed and pent air, its progress had been arrested,
and the wreck continued to float, sustained by the
buoyancy that was imparted to it, in containing so large a

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body of a substance no heavier than atmospheric air. After
displacing its weight of water, enough of buoyancy remained
to raise the keel a few feet above the level of the sea.

As soon as Mulford had ascertained the facts of their situation,
he communicated them to his companions, encouraging
them to hope for eventual safety. It was true, their
situation was nearly desperate, admitting that the wreck
should continue to float for ever, since they were almost
without food, or anything to drink, and had no means of
urging the hull through the water. They must float, too,
at the mercy of the winds and waves, and should a sea get
up, it might soon be impossible for Mulford himself to maintain
his footing on the bottom of the wreck. All this the
young man had dimly shadowed forth to him, through his
professional experience; but the certainty of the vessel's not
sinking immediately had so far revived his spirits, as to
cause him to look on the bright side of the future, pale as
that glimmering of hope was made to appear whenever reason
cast one of its severe glances athwart it.

Harry had no difficulty in making Rose comprehend their
precise situation. Her active and clear mind understood at
once the causes of their present preservation, and most of
the hazards of the future. It was not so with Jack Tier.
He was composed, even resigned; but he could not see the
reason why the schooner still floated.

“I know that the cabin-doors were open,” he said, “and
if they wasn't, of no great matter would it be, since the
joints ar'n't caulked, and the water would run through them
as through a sieve. I'm afeard, Mr. Mulford, we shall find
the wreck going from under our feet afore long, and when
we least wish it, perhaps.”

“I tell you the wreck will float so long as the air remains
in its hold,” returned the mate, cheerfully. “Do you not
see how buoyant it is?—the certain proof that there is plenty
of air within. So long as that remains, the hull must float.”

“I've always understood,” said Jack, sticking to his
opinion, “that wessels floats by vartue of water, and not by
vartue of air; and, that when the water gets on the wrong
side on 'em, there's little hope left of keepin' 'em up.”

“What has become of the boat?” suddenly cried the
mate. “I have been so much occupied as to have forgotten

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the boat. In that boat we might all of us still reach Key
West. I see nothing of the boat!”

A profound silence succeeded this sudden and unexpected
question. All knew that the boat was gone, and all knew
that it had been lost by the widow's pertinacity and clumsiness;
but no one felt disposed to betray her at that grave
moment. Mulford left the bilge, and waded as far aft as
it was at all prudent for him to proceed, in the vain hope
that the boat might be there, fastened by its painter to the
schooner's tafferel, as he had left it, but concealed from
view by the darkness of the night. Not finding what he
was after, he returned to his companions, still uttering exclamations
of surprise at the unaccountable loss of the boat.
Rose now told him that the boat had got adrift some ten or
fifteen minutes before the accident befell them, and that
they were actually endeavouring to recover it when the
squall which capsized the schooner struck them.

“And why did you not call me, Rose?” asked Harry,
with a little of gentle reproach in his manner. “It must
have soon been my watch on deck, and it would have been
better that I should lose half an hour of my watch below,
than that we should lose the boat.”

Rose was now obliged to confess that the time for calling
him had long been past, and that the faint streak of light,
which was just appearing in the east, was the near approach
of day. This explanation was made gently, but frankly;
and Mulford experienced a glow of pleasure at his heart,
even in that moment of jeopardy, when he understood
Rose's motive for not having him disturbed. As the boat
was gone, with little or no prospect of its being recovered
again, no more was said about it; and the window, who had
stood on thorns the while, had the relief of believing that
her awkwardness was forgotten.

It was such a relief from an imminent danger to have
escaped from drowning when the schooner capsized, that
those on her bottom did not, for some little time, realize
all the terrors of their actual situation. The inconvenience
of being wet was a trifle not to be thought of, and, in fact,
the light summer dresses worn by all, linen or cotton as
they were entirely, were soon effectually dried in the wind.
The keel made a tolerably convenient seat, and the whole

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party placed themselves on it to await the return of day, in
order to obtain a view of all that their situation offered in
the way of a prospect. While thus awaiting, a broken and
short dialogue occurred.

“Had you stood to the northward the whole night?”
asked Mulford, gloomily, of Jack Tier; for gloomily he
began to feel, as all the facts of their case began to press
more closely on his mind. “If so, we must be well off the
reef, and out of the track of wreckers and turtlers. How
had you the wind, and how did you head before the accident

“The wind was light the whole time, and for some hours
it was nearly calm,” answered Jack, in the same vein; “I
kept the schooner's head to the nor'ard, until I thought we
were getting too far off our course, and then I put her
about. I do not think we could have been any great distance
from the reef, when the boat got away from us, and
I suppose we are in its neighbourhood now, for I was tacking
to fall in with the boat when the craft went over.”

“To fall in with the boat! Did you keep off to leeward
of it, then, that you expected to fetch it by tacking?”

“Ay, a good bit; and I think the boat is now away here
to windward of us, drifting athwart our bows.”

This was important news to Mulford. Could he only
get that boat, the chances of being saved would be increased
a hundred fold, nay, would almost amount to a certainty;
whereas, so long as the wind held to the southward and
eastward, the drift of the wreck must be toward the open
water, and consequently so much the further removed from
the means of succor. The general direction of the trades,
in that quarter of the world, is east, and should they get
round into their old and proper quarter, it would not benefit
them much; for the reef running south-west, they could
scarcely hope to hit the Dry Tortugas again, in their drift,
were life even spared them sufficiently long to float the distance.
Then there might be currents, about which Mulford
knew nothing with certainty; they might set them in
any direction; and did they exist, as was almost sure to be
the case, were much more powerful than the wind in controlling
the movements of a wreck.

The mate strained his eyes in the direction pointed out

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by Jack Tier, in the hope of discovering the boat through
the haze of the morning, and he actually did discern something
that, it appeared to him, might be the much desired
little craft. If he were right, there was every reason to
think the boat would drift down so near them as to enable
him to recover it by swimming. This cheering intelligence
was communicated to his companions, who received it with
gratitude and delight. But the approach of day gradually
dispelled that hope, the object which Mulford had mistaken
for the boat, within two hundred yards of the wreck, turning
out to be a small, low, but bare hummock of the reef,
at a distance of more than two miles.

“That is a proof that we are not far from the reef, at
least,” cried Mulford, willing to encourage those around
him all he could, and really much relieved at finding himself
so near even this isolated fragment of terra firma.
“This fact is the next encouraging thing to finding ourselves
near the boat, or to falling in with a sail.”

“Ay, ay,” said Jack, gloomily; “boat or no boat, 't will
make no great matter of difference now. There's customers
that'll be sartain to take all the grists you can send
to their mill.”

“What things are those glancing about the vessel?”
cried Rose, almost in the same breath; “those dark, sharp-looking
sticks—see, there are five or six of them! and they
move as if fastened to something under the water that pulls
them about.”

“Them's the customers I mean, Miss Rose,” answered
Jack, in the same strain as that in which he had first
spoken; “they're the same thing at sea as lawyers be
ashore, and seem made to live on other folks. Them's

“And yonder is truly the boat!” added Mulford, with a
sigh that almost amounted to a groan. The light had, by
this time, so far returned as to enable the party not only
to see the fins of half a dozen sharks, which were already
prowling about the wreck, the almost necessary consequence
of their proximity to a reef in that latitude, but actually to
discern the boat drifting down toward them, at a distance
that promised to carry it past, within the reach of Mulford's
powers of swimming, though not as near as he could have

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wished, even under more favourable circumstances. Had
their extremity been greater, or had Rose begun to suffer
from hunger or thirst, Mulford might have attempted the
experiment of endeavoring to regain the boat, though the
chances of death by means of the sharks would be more
than equal to those of escape; but still fresh, and not yet
feeling even the heat of the sun of that low latitude, he was
not quite goaded into such an act of desperation. All that
remained for the party, therefore, was to sit on the keel of
the wreck, and gaze with longing eyes at a little object
floating past, which, once at their command, might so
readily be made to save them from a fate that already began
to appear terrible in the perspective. Near an hour was
thus consumed, ere the boat was about half a mile to leeward;
during which scarcely an eye was turned from it for
one instant, or a word was spoken.

“It is beyond my reach now,” Mulford at length exclaimed,
sighing heavily, like one who became conscious
of some great and irretrievable loss. “Were there no
sharks, I could hardly venture to attempt swimming so far,
with the boat drifting from me at the same time.”

“I should never consent to let you make the trial, Harry,”
murmured Rose, “though it were only half as far.”

Another pause succeeded.

“We have now the light of day,” resumed the mate, a
minute or two later, “and may see our true situation. No
sail is in sight, and the wind stands steadily in its old quarter.
Still I do not think we leave the reef. There, you
may see breakers off here at the southward, and it seems as
if more rocks rise above the sea, in that direction. I do
not know that our situation would be any the better, however,
were we actually on them, instead of being on this
floating wreck.”

“The rocks will never sink,” said Jack Tier, with so
much emphasis as to startle the listeners.

“I do not think this hull will sink until we are taken
off it, or are beyond caring whether it sink or swim,” returned

“I do not know that, Mr. Mulford. Nothing keeps us
up but the air in the hold, you say.”

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“Certainly not; but that air will suffice as long as it
remains there.”

“And what do you call these things?” rejoined the assistant
steward, pointing at the water near him, in or on
which no one else saw anything worthy of attention.

Mulford, however, was not satisfied with a cursory glance,
but went nearer to the spot where Tier was standing.
Then, indeed, he saw to what the steward alluded, and was
impressed by it, though he said nothing. Hundreds of
little bubbles rose to the surface of the water, much as one
sees them rising in springs. These bubbles are often met
with in lakes and other comparatively shallow waters, but
they are rarely seen in those of the ocean. The mate understood,
at a glance, that those he now beheld were produced
by the air which escaped from the hold of the wreck;
in small quantities at a time, it was true, but by a constant
and increasing process. The great pressure of the water
forced this air through crevices so minute that, under ordinary
circumstances, they would have proved impenetrable
to this, as they were still to the other fluid, though they
now permitted the passage of the former. It might take a
long time to force the air from the interior of the vessel by
such means, but the result was as certain as it might be
slow. As constant dropping will wear a stone, so might
the power that kept the wreck afloat be exhausted by the
ceaseless rising of these minute air-bubbles.

Although Mulford was entirely sensible of the nature of
this new source of danger, we cannot say he was much
affected by it at the moment. It seemed to him far more
probable that they must die of exhaustion, long before the
wreck would lose all of its buoyancy by this slow process,
than that even the strongest of their number could survive
for such a period. The new danger, therefore, lost most
of its terrors under this view of the subject, though it certainly
did not add to the small sense of security that
remained, to know that inevitably their fate must be sealed
through its agency, should they be able to hold out for a
sufficient time against hunger and thirst. It caused Mulford
to muse in silence for many more minutes.

“I hope we are not altogether without food,” the mate
at length said. “It sometimes happens that persons at sea

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carry pieces of biscuit in their pockets, especially those
who keep watch at night. The smallest morsel is now of
the last importance.”

At this suggestion, every one set about an examination.
The result was, that neither Mrs. Budd nor Rose had a
particle of food, of any sort, about their persons. Biddy
produced from her pockets, however, a whole biscuit, a
large bunch of excellent raisins that she had filched from
the steward's stores, and two apples,—the last being the
remains of some fruit that Spike had procured a month
earlier in New York. Mulford had half a biscuit, at which
he had been accustomed to nibble in his watches; and
Jack lugged out, along with a small plug of tobacco, a
couple of sweet oranges. Here, then, was everything in
the shape of victuals or drink, that could be found for the
use of five persons, in all probability for many days. The
importance of securing it for equal distribution, was so
obvious, that Mulford's proposal to do so met with a common
assent. The whole was put in Mrs. Budd's bag, and
she was intrusted with the keeping of this precious store.

“It may be harder to abstain from food at first, when
we have not suffered from its want, than it will become
after a little endurance,” said the mate. “We are now
strong, and it will be wiser to fast as long as we conveniently
can, to-day, and relieve our hunger by a moderate
allowance toward evening, than to waste our means by too
much indulgence at a time when we are strong. Weakness
will be sure to come if we remain long on the wreck.”

“Have you ever suffered in this way, Harry?” demanded
Rose, with interest.

“I have, and that dreadfully. But a merciful Providence
came to my rescue then, and it may not fail me now. The
seaman is accustomed to carry his life in his hand, and to
live on the edge of eternity.”

The truth of this was so apparent as to produce a thoughtful
silence. Anxious glances were cast around the horizon
from time to time, in quest of any sail that might come in
sight, but uselessly. None appeared, and the day advanced
without bringing the slightest prospect of relief. Mulford
could see, by the now almost sunken hummocks, that they
were slowly drifting along the reef, toward the southward

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and eastward, a current no doubt acting slightly from the
north-west. Their proximity to the reef, however, was of
no advantage, as the distance was still so great as to render
any attempt to reach it, even on the part of the mate, unavailable.
Nor would he have been any better off could
he have gained a spot on the rocks that was shallow enough
to admit of his walking, since wading about in such a place
would have been less desirable than to be floating where
he was.

The want of water to drink threatened to be the great
evil. Of this, the party on the wreck had not a single
drop! As the warmth of the day was added to the feverish
feeling produced by excitement, they all experienced thirst,
though no one murmured. So utterly without means of
relieving this necessity did each person know them all to
be, that no one spoke on the subject at all. In fact, shipwreck
never produced a more complete destitution of all
the ordinary agents of helping themselves, in any form or
manner, than was the case here. So sudden and complete
had been the disaster, that not a single article, beyond those
on the persons of the sufferers, came even in view. The
masts, sails, rigging, spare spars, in a word, everything
belonging to the vessel was submerged and hidden from
their sight, with the exception of a portion of the vessel's
bottom, which might be forty feet in length, and some ten
or fifteen in width, including that which was above water
on both sides of the keel, though one only of these sides
was available to the females, as a place to move about on.
Had Mulford only a boat-hook, he would have felt it a relief;
for not only did the sharks increase in number, but
they grew more audacious, swimming so near the wreck
that, more than once, Mulford apprehended that some one
of the boldest of them might make an effort literally to
board them. It is true, he had never known of one of these
fishes attempting to quit his own element in pursuit of his
prey; but such things were reported, and those around the
wreck swam so close, and seemed so eager to get at those
who were on it, that there really might be some excuse for
fancying they might resort to unusual means of effecting
their object. It is probable that, like all other animals,
they were emboldened by their own numbers, and were

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acting in a sort of concert, that was governed by some of
the many mysterious laws of nature that have still escaped
human observation.

Thus passed the earlier hours of that appalling day.
Toward noon, Mulford had insisted on the females dividing
one of the oranges between them, and extracting its juice
by way of assuaging their thirst. The effect was most
grateful, as all admitted, and even Mrs. Budd urged Harry
and Tier to take a portion of the remaining orange; but
this both steadily refused. Mulford did consent to receive
a small portion of one of the apples, more with a view of
moistening his throat than to appease his hunger, though
it had, in a slight degree, the latter effect also. As for
Jack Tier, he declined even the morsel of apple, saying
that tobacco answered his purpose, as indeed it temporarily

It was near sunset, when the steward's assistant called
Mulford aside, and whispered to him that he had something
private to communicate. The mate bade him say on, as
they were out of ear-shot of their companions.

“I've been in sitiations like this afore,” said Jack, “and
one l'arns exper'ence by exper'ence. I know how cruel it
is on the feelin's to have the hopes disapp'inted in these
cases, and therefore shall proceed with caution. But, Mr.
Mulford, there's a sail in sight, if there is a drop of water
in the Gulf!”

“A sail, Jack! I trust in Heaven you are not deceived!”

“Old eyes are true eyes in such matters, sir. Be careful
not to start the women. They go off like gunpowder,
and, Lord help 'em! have no more command over themselves,
when you loosen 'em once, than so many flying-fish
with a dozen dolphins a'ter them. Look hereaway, sir,
just clear of the Irishwoman's bonnet, a little broad off the
spot where the reef was last seen—if that an't a sail, my
flame is not Jack Tier.”

A sail there was, sure enough! It was so very distant,
however, as to render its character still uncertain, though
Mulford fancied it was a square-rigged vessel heading to
the northward. By its position, it must be in one of the
channels of the reef, and by its course, if he were not deceived,
it was standing through, from the main passage

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along the southern side of the rocks, to come out on the
northern. All this was favourable, and at first the young
mate felt such a throbbing of the heart as we all experience
when great and unexpected good intelligence is received.
A moment's reflection, however, made him aware how little
was to be hoped for from this vessel. In the first place,
her distance was so great as to render it uncertain even
which way she was steering. Then, there was the probability
that she would pass at so great a distance as to render
it impossible to perceive an object as low as the wreck, and
the additional chance of her passing in the night. Under
all the circumstances, therefore, Mulford felt convinced
that there was very little probability of their receiving any
succour from the strange sail; and he fully appreciated Jack
Tier's motive in forbearing to give the usual call of “Sail,
ho!” when he made this discovery. Still, he could not
deny himself the pleasure of communicating to Rose the
cheering fact that a vessel was actually in sight. She
could not reason on the circumstances as he had done, and
might at least pass several hours of comparative happiness
by believing that there was some visible chance of delivery.

The females received the intelligence with very different
degrees of hope. Rose was delighted. To her their rescue
appeared an event so very probable now, that Harry Mulford
almost regretted he had given rise to an expectation
which he himself feared was to be disappointed. The feelings
of Mrs. Budd were more suppressed. The wreck and
her present situation were so completely at variance with
all her former notions of the sea and its incidents, that she
was almost dumb-founded, and feared either to speak or to
think. Biddy differed from either of her mistresses—the
young or the old; she appeared to have lost all hope, and
her physical energy was fast giving way under her profound
moral debility.

From the return of light that day, Mulford had thought,
if it were to prove that Providence had withdrawn its protecting
hand from them, Biddy, who to all appearance
ought to be the longest liver among the females at least,
would be the first to sink under her sufferings. Such is
the influence of moral causes on the mere animal.

Rose saw the night shut in around them, amid the solemn

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solitude of the ocean, with a mingled sensation of awe and
hope. She had prayed devoutly, and often, in the course
of the preceding day, and her devotions had contributed to
calm her spirits. Once or twice, while kneeling with her
head bowed to the keel, she had raised her eyes toward
Harry with a look of entreaty, as if she would implore him
to humble his proud spirit and place himself at her side,
and ask that succour from God which was so much needed,
and which indeed it began most seriously to appear that
God alone could yield. The young mate did not comply,
for his pride of profession and of manhood offered themselves
as stumbling-blocks to prevent submission to his
secret wishes. Though he rarely prayed, Harry Mulford
was far from being an unbeliever, or one altogether regardless
of his duties and obligations to his Divine Creator.
On the contrary, his heart was more disposed to resort to
such means of self-abasement and submission, than he put
in practice, and this because he had been taught to believe
that the Anglo-Saxon mariner did not call on Hercules, on
every occasion of difficulty and distress that occurred,
as was the fashion with the Italian and Romish seamen,
but he put his own shoulder to the wheel, confident that
Hercules would not forget to help him who knew how to
help himself. But Harry had great difficulty in withstanding
Rose's silent appeal that evening, as she knelt at the
keel for the last time, and turned her gentle eyes upward
at him, as if to ask him once more to take his place at her
side. Withstand the appeal he did, however, though in his
inward spirit he prayed fervently to God to put away this
dreadful affliction from the young and innocent creature
before him. When these evening devotions were ended,
the whole party became thoughtful and silent.

It was necessary to sleep, and arrangements were made
to do so, if possible, with a proper regard for their security.
Mulford and Tier were to have the look-out, watch and
watch. This was done that no vessel might pass near them
unseen, and that any change in the weather might be noted
and looked to. As it was, the wind had fallen, and seemed
about to vary, though it yet stood in its old quarter, or a
little more easterly, perhaps. As a consequence, the drift
of the wreck, insomuch as it depended on the currents of

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the air, was more nearly in a line with the direction of the
reef, and there was little ground for apprehending that they
might be driven further from it in the night. Although
that reef offered in reality no place of safety, that was
available to his party, Mulford felt it as a sort of relief, to
be certain that it was not distant, possibly influenced by a
vague hope that some passing wrecker or turtler might yet
pick them up.

The bottom of the schooner and the destitute condition of
the party admitted of only very simple arrangements for the
night. The females placed themselves against the keel in
the best manner they could, and thus endeavoured to get a
little of the rest they so much needed. The day had been
warm, as a matter of course, and the contrast produced by
the setting of the sun was at first rather agreeable than
otherwise. Luckily Rose had thrown a shawl over her
shoulders, not long before the vessel capsized, and in this
shawl she had been saved. It had been dried, and it now
served for a light covering to herself and her aunt, and added
essentially to their comfort. As for Biddy, she was too hardy
to need a shawl, and she protested that she should not think
of using one, had she been better provided. The patient,
meek manner in which that humble, but generous-hearted
creature submitted to her fate, and the earnestness with which
she had begged that “Miss Rosy” might have her morsel
of the portion of biscuit each received for a supper, had sensibly
impressed Mulford in her favour; and knowing how much
more necessary food was to sustain one of her robust frame
and sturdy habits, than to Rose, he had contrived to give
the woman, unknown to herself, a double allowance. Nor
was it surprising that Biddy did not detect this little act of
fraud in her favour, for this double allowance was merely a
single mouthful. The want of water had made itself much
more keenly felt than the want of food, for as yet anxiety,
excitement and apprehension prevented the appetite from
being much awakened, while the claims of thirst were increased
rather than the reverse, by these very causes. Still,
no one had complained, on this or any other account, throughout
the whole of the long and weary day which had passed.

Mulford took the first look-out, with the intention of catching
a little sleep, if possible, during the middle hours of the

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night, and of returning to his duty as morning approached.
For the first hour nothing occurred to divert his attention
from brooding on the melancholy circumstances of their
situation. It seemed as if all around him had actually lost
the sense of their cares in sleep, and no sound was audible
amid that ocean waste, but the light washing of the water,
as the gentle waves rolled at intervals against the weather
side of the wreck. It was now that Mulford found a moment
for prayer, and seated on the keel, that he called on
the Divine aid, in a fervent but silent petition to God, to put
away this trial from the youthful and beautiful Rose, at least,
though he himself perished. It was the first prayer that
Mulford had made in many months, or since he had joined
the Swash—a craft in which that duty was very seldom
thought of.

A few minutes succeeded this petition, when Biddy spoke.

“Missus—Madam Budd—dear Missus”—half whispered
the Irish woman, anxious not to disturb Rose, who lay furthest
from her—“Missus, bees ye asleep at sich a time as

“No, Biddy; sleep and I are strangers to each other, and
are likely to be till morning. What do you wish to say?”

“Anything is better than my own t'oughts, missus dear,
and I wants to talk to ye. Is it no wather at all they'll
give us so long as we stay in this place?”

“There is no one to give it to us but God, poor Biddy,
and he alone can say what, in his gracious mercy, it may
please him to do. Ah! Biddy, I fear me that I did an unwise
and thoughtless thing, to bring my poor Rose to such
a place as this. Were it to be done over again, the riches
of Wall Street would not tempt me to be guilty of so wrong
a thing!”

The arm of Rose was thrown around her aunt's neck,
and its gentle pressure announced how completely the offender
was forgiven.

“I's very sorry for Miss Rose,” rejoined Biddy “and I
suffers so much the more meself in thinking how hard it
must be for the like of her to be wantin' in a swallow of
fresh wather.”

“It is no harder for me to bear it, poor Biddy,” answered
the gentle voice of our heroine, “than it is for yourself.”

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“Is it meself then? Sure am I, that if I had a quar-r-t
of good, swate wather from our own pump, and that's far
betther is it than the Crothon the best day the Crothon ever
seed—but had I a quar-r-t of it, every dhrap would I give
to you, Miss Rose, to app'ase your thirst, I would.”

“Water would be a great relief to us all, just now, my
excellent Biddy,” answered Rose, “and I wish we had but
a tumbler full of that you name, to divide equally among
the whole five of us.”

“Is it divide? Then it would be ag'in dividin' that my
voice would be raised, for that same ra'son that the tumbler
would never hold as much as you could dhrink yourself,
Miss Rose.”

“Yet the tumbler full would be a great blessing for us all,
just now,” murmured Mrs. Budd.

“And is n't mutthon good 'atin', ladies! Och! if I had
but a good swate pratie, now, from my own native Ireland,
and a dhrap of milk to help wash it down! It's mighty
little that a body thinks of sich thrifles when there's abundance
of them; but when there's none at all, they get to be
stronger in the mind than riches and honours.”

“You say the truth, Biddy,” rejoined the mistress, “and
there is a pleasure in talking of them, if one can't enjoy
them. I've been thinking all the afternoon, Rose, what a
delicious food is a good roast turkey, with cranberry sauce;
and I wonder, now, that I have not been more grateful for the
very many that Providence has bestowed on me in my time.
My poor Mr. Budd was passionately fond of mutton, and I
used wickedly to laugh at his fondness for it, sometimes,
when he always had his answer ready, and that was that
there are no sheep at sea. How true that is, Rosy dear!
there are indeed no sheep at sea!”

“No, aunty,” answered Rose's gentle voice from beneath
the shawl;—“there are no such animals on the ocean, but
God is with us here as much as he would be in New York.”

A long silence succeeded this simple remark of his well
beloved, and the young mate hoped that there would be no
more of a dialogue, every syllable of which was a dagger to
his feelings. But nature was stronger than reflection in
Mrs. Budd and Biddy, and the latter spoke again, after a
pause of near a quarter of an hour.

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“Pray for me, Missus,” she said, moaningly, “that I
may sleep. A bit of sleep would do a body almost as much
good as a bit of bread—I won't say as much as a dhrap of

“Be quiet, Biddy, and we will pray for you,” answered
Rose, who fancied by her breathing that her aunt was about
to forget her sufferings for a brief space, in broken slumbers.

“Is it for you I'll do that—and sure will I, Miss Rose.
Niver would I have quitted Ireland, could I have thought
there was sich a spot on this earth as a place where no
wather was to be had.”

This was the last of Biddy's audible complaints, for the
remainder of this long and anxious watch of Mulford. He
then set himself about an arrangement which shall be mentioned
in its proper place. At twelve o'clock, or when he
thought it was twelve, he called Jack Tier, who in turn
called the mate again at four.

“It looks dark and threatening,” said Mulford, as he rose
to his feet and began to look about him once more, “though
there does not appear to be any wind.”

“It's a flat calm, Mr. Mate, and the darkness comes
from yonder cloud, which seems likely to bring a little rain.”

“Rain! Then God is indeed with us here. You are
right, Jack; rain must fall from that cloud. We must catch
some of it, if it be only a drop to cool Rose's parched

“In what?” answered Tier, gloomily. “She may wring
her clothes when the shower is over, and in that way get a
drop. I see no other method.”

“I have bethought me of all that, and passed most of my
watch in making the preparations.”

Mulford then showed Tier what he had been about, in
the long and solitary hours of the first watch. It would
seem that the young man had dug a little trench with his
knife, along the schooner's bottom, commencing two or
three feet from the keel, and near the spot where Rose was
lying, and carrying it as far as was convenient toward the
run, until he reached a point where he had dug out a sort
of reservoir to contain the precious fluid, should any be sent
them by Providence. While doing this, there were no signs
of rain; but the young man knew that a shower alone could

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save them from insanity, if not from death; and in speculating
on the means of profiting by one, should it come, he
had bethought him of this expedient. The large knife of
a seaman had served him a good turn, in carrying on his
work, to complete which there remained now very little to
do, and that was in enlarging the receptacle for the water.
The hole was already big enough to contain a pint, and it
might easily be sufficiently enlarged to hold double that

Jack was no sooner made acquainted with what had been
done, than he out knife and commenced tearing splinter
after splinter from the planks, to help enlarge the reservoir.
This could only be done by cutting on the surface, for the
wood was not three inches in thickness, and the smallest
hole through the plank, would have led to the rapid escape
of the air and to the certain sinking of the wreck. It required
a good deal of judgment to preserve the necessary
level also, and Mulford was obliged to interfere more than
once to prevent his companion from doing more harm than
good. He succeeded, however, and had actually made a
cavity that might contain more than a quart of water, when
the first large drop fell from the heavens. This cavity was
not a hole, but a long, deep trench—deep for the circumstances—
so nicely cut on the proper level, as to admit of
its holding a fluid in the quantity mentioned.

“Rose—dearest—rise, and be ready to drink,” said
Mulford, tenderly disturbing the uneasy slumbers of his
beloved. “It is about to rain, and God is with us here, as
he might be on the land.”

“Wather!” exclaimed Biddy, who was awoke with the
same call. “What a blessed thing is good swate wather,
and sure am I we ought all to be thankful that there is such
a precious gift in the wor-r-ld.”

“Come, then,” said Mulford, hurriedly, “it will soon rain—
I hear it pattering on the sea. Come hither, all of you,
and drink, as a merciful God furnishes the means.”

This summons was not likely to be neglected. All arose
in haste, and the word “water” was murmured from every
lip. Biddy had less self-command than the others, and she
was heard saying aloud,—“Och! and did n't I dhrame of
the blessed springs and wells of Ireland the night, and

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haven't I dhrunk at 'em all? but now it's over, and I am
awake, no good has't done me, and I'm ready to die for
one dhrap of wather.”

That drop soon came, however, and with it the blessed
relief which such a boon bestows. Mulford had barely time
to explain his arrangements, and to place the party on their
knees, along his little reservoir and the gutter which led to
it, when the pattering of the rain advanced along the sea,
with a deep rushing sound. Presently, the uplifted faces
and open mouths caught a few heavy straggling drops, to
cool the parched tongues, when the water came tumbling
down upon them in a thousand little streams. There was
scarcely any wind, and merely the skirt of a large black
cloud floated over the wreck, on which the rain fell barely
one minute. But it fell as rain comes down within the
tropics, and in sufficient quantities for all present purposes.
Everybody drank, and found relief, and, when all was over,
Mulford ascertained by examination that his receptacle for
the fluid was still full to overflowing. The abstinence had
not been of sufficient length, nor the quantity taken of large
enough amount, to produce injury, though the thirst was
generally and temporarily appeased. It is probable that the
coolness of the hour, day dawning as the cloud moved past,
and the circumstance that the sufferers were wetted to their
skins, contributed to the change.

“Oh, blessed, blessed wather!” exclaimed Biddy, as she
rose from her knees; “America, afther all, isn't as dhry
a country as some say. I've niver tasted swater wather in
Ireland itself!”

Rose murmured her thanksgiving in more appropriate
language. A few exclamations also escaped Mrs. Budd,
and Jack Tier had his sententious eulogy on the precious
qualities of sweet water.

The wind rose as the day advanced, and a swell began
to heave the wreck with a power that had hitherto been
dormant. Mulford understood this to be a sign that there
had been a blow at some distance from them, that had
thrown the sea into a state of agitation, which extended
itself beyond the influence of the wind. Eagerly did the
young mate examine the horizon, as the curtain of night
arose, inch by inch, as it might be, on the watery

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panorama, in the hope that a vessel of some sort or other might
be brought within the view. Nor was he wholly disappointed.
The strange sail seen the previous evening was
actually there; and what was more, so near as to allow her
hull to be distinctly visible. It was a ship, under her square
canvas, standing from between divided portions of the reef,
as if getting to the northward, in order to avoid the opposing
current of the Gulf Stream. Vessels bound to Mobile,
New Orleans, and other ports along the coast of the Republic,
in that quarter of the ocean, often did this; and
when the young mate first caught glimpses of the shadowy
outline of this ship, he supposed it to be some packet, or
cotton-droger, standing for her port on the northern shore.
But a few minutes removed the veil, and with it the error
of this notion. A seaman could no longer mistake the craft.
Her length, her square and massive hamper, with the symmetry
of her spars, and the long, straight outline of the hull,
left no doubt that it was a cruiser, with her hammocks unstowed.
Mulford now cheerfully announced to his companions,
that the ship they so plainly saw, scarcely a
gun-shot distant from them, was the sloop-of-war which had
already become a sort of an acquaintance.

“If we can succeed in making them see our signal,”
cried Mulford, “all will yet be well. Come, Jack, and
help me to put abroad this shawl, the only ensign we can

The shawl of Rose was the signal spread. Tier and
Mulford stood on the keel, and holding opposite corners,
let the rest of the cloth blow out with the wind. For near
an hour did these two extend their arms, and try all possible
expedients to make their signal conspicuous. But, unfortunately,
the wind blew directly toward the cruiser, and
instead of exposing a surface of any breadth to the vision
of those on board her, it must, at most, have offered little
more than a flitting, waving line.

As the day advanced, sail was made on the cruiser. She
had stood through the passage, in which she had been becalmed
most of the night, under short canvas; but now she
threw out fold after fold of her studding-sails, and moved
away to the westward, with the stately motion of a ship before
the wind. No sooner had she got far enough to the

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northward of the reef, than she made a deviation from her
course as first seen, turning her stern entirely to the wreck,
and rapidly becoming less and less distinct to the eyes of
those who floated on it.

Mulford saw the hopelessness of their case, as it respected
relief from this vessel; still, he persevered in maintaining
his position on the keel, tossing and waving the shawl, in
all the variations that his ingenuity could devise. He well
knew, however, that their chances of being seen would
have been trebled could they have been ahead instead of
astern of the ship. Mariners have few occasions to look behind
them, while a hundred watchful eyes are usually turned
ahead, more especially when running near rocks and shoals.
Mrs. Budd wept like an infant when she saw the sloop-of-war
gliding away, reaching a distance that rendered sight
useless, in detecting an object that floated as low on the
water as the wreck. As for Biddy, unable to control her
feelings, the poor creature actually called to the crew of the
departing vessel, as if her voice had the power to make itself
heard, at a distance which already exceeded two leagues.
It was only by means of the earnest remonstrances of Rose,
that the faithful creature could be quieted.

“Why will ye not come to our relaif?” she cried at the
top of her voice. “Here are we, helpless as new-born babies,
and ye sailing away from us in a conthrary way!
D'ye not bethink you of the missus, who is much of a sailor,
but not sich a one as to sail on a wrack; and poor Miss
Rose, who is the char-rm and delight of all eyes. Only
come and take off Miss Rose, and lave the rest of us, if ye
so likes; for it's a sin and a shame to lave the likes of her
to die in the midst of the ocean, as if she was no betther
nor a fish. Then it will be soon that we shall ag'in feel
the want of wather, and that, too, with nothing but wather
to be seen on all sides of us.”

“It is of no use,” said Harry, mournfully, stepping down
from the keel, and laying aside the shawl. “They cannot
see us, and the distance is now so great as to render it
certain they never will. There is only one hope left. We
are evidently set to and fro by the tides, and it is possible
that by keeping in or near this passage, some other craft
may appear, and we be more fortunate. The relief of the

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rain is a sign that we are not forgotten by Divine Providence,
and with such a protector we ought not to despair.”

A gloomy and scanty breaking of the fast succeeded.
Each person had one large mouthful of bread, which was
all that prudence would authorize Mulford to distribute.
He attempted a pious fraud, however, by placing his own
allowance along with that of Rose's, under the impression
that her strength might not endure privation as well as his
own. But the tender solicitude of Rose was not to be thus
deceived. Judging of his wishes and motives by her own,
she at once detected the deception, and insisted on retaining
no more than her proper share. When this distribution
was completed, and the meagre allowance taken, only sufficient
bread remained to make one more similar scanty
meal, if meal a single mouthful could be termed. As for
the water, a want of which would be certain to be felt as
soon as the sun obtained its noon-day power, the shawl was
extended over it, in a way to prevent evaporation as much
as possible, and at the same time to offer some resistance
to the fluid's being washed from its shallow receptacle by
the motion of the wreck, which was sensibly increasing
with the increase of the wind and waves.

Mulford had next an anxious duty to perform. Throughout
the whole of the preceding day he had seen the air escaping
from the hull, in an incessant succession of small
bubbles, which were formidable through their numbers, if
not through their size. The mate was aware that this unceasing
loss of the buoyant property of the wreck, must
eventually lead to their destruction, should no assistance
come, and he had marked the floating line, on the bottom
of the vessel with his knife, ere darkness set in, on the previous
evening. No sooner did his thoughts recur to this
fact, after the excitement of the first hour of daylight was
over, than he stepped to the different places thus marked,
and saw, with an alarm that it would be difficult to describe,
that the wreck had actually sunk into the water
several inches within the last few hours. This was, indeed,
menacing their security in a most serious manner, setting
a limit to their existence, which rendered all precaution on
the subject of food and water useless. By the calculations
of the mate, the wreck could not float more than

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eight-and-forty hours, should it continue to lose the air at the rate at
which it had been hitherto lost. Bad as all this appeared,
things were fated to become much more serious. The motion
of the water quite sensibly increased, lifting the wreck
at times in a way greatly to increase the danger of their
situation. The reader will understand this movement did
not proceed from the waves of the existing wind, but from
what is technically called a ground-swell, or the long, heavy
undulations that are left by the tempest that is past, or by
some distant gale. The waves of the present breeze were
not very formidable, the reef making a lee; though they
might possibly become inconvenient from breaking on the
weather side of the wreck, as soon as the drift carried the
latter fairly abreast of the passage already mentioned. But
the dangers that proceeded from the heavy ground-swell,
which now began to give a considerable motion to the
wreck, will best explain itself by narrating the incidents as
they occurred.

Harry had left his marks, and had taken his seat on the
keel at Rose's side, impatiently waiting for any turn that
Providence might next give to their situation, when a heavy
roll of the wreck first attracted his attention to this new circumstance.

“If any one is thirsty,” he observed quietly, “he or she
had better drink now, while it may be done. Two or three
more such rolls as this last will wash all the water from our

“Wather is a blessed thing,” said Biddy, with a longing
expression of the eyes, “and it would be betther to swallow
it than to let it be lost.”

“Then drink, for Heaven's sake, good woman—it may
be the last occasion that will offer.”

“Sure am I that I would not touch a dhrap, while the
missus and Miss Rosy was a sufferin'.”

“I have no thirst at all,” answered Rose, sweetly, “and
have already taken more water than was good for me, with
so little food on my stomach.”

“Eat another morsel of the bread, beloved,” whispered
Harry, in a manner so urgent that Rose gratefully complied.
“Drink, Biddy, and we will come and share with you before
the water is wasted by this increasing motion.”

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Biddy did as desired, and each knelt in turn and took a
little of the grateful fluid, leaving about a gill in the gutters
for the use of those whose lips might again become parched.

“Wather is a blessed thing,” repeated Biddy, for the
twentieth time—“a blessed, blessed thing is wather!”

A little scream from Mrs. Budd, which was dutifully
taken up by the maid, interrupted the speech of the latter,
and every eye was turned on Mulford, as if to ask an explanation
of the groaning sound that had been heard within
the wreck. The young mate comprehended only too well.
The rolling of the wreck had lifted a portion of the open
hatchway above the undulating surface of the sea, and a
large quantity of the pent air within the hold had escaped
in a body. The entrance of water to supply the vacuum
had produced the groan. Mulford had made new marks
on the vessel's bottom with his knife, and he stepped down
to them, anxious and nearly heart-broken, to note the effect.
That one surging of the wreck had permitted air enough
to escape to lower it in the water several inches. As yet,
however, the visible limits of their floating foundation had
not been sufficiently reduced to attract the attention of the
females; and the young man said nothing on the subject.
He thought that Jack Tier was sensible of the existence of
this new source of danger, but if he were, that experienced
mariner imitated his own reserve, and made no allusion to
it. Thus passed the day. Occasionally the wreck rolled
heavily, when more air escaped, the hull settling lower and
lower in the water as a necessary consequence. The little
bubbles continued incessantly to rise, and Mulford became
satisfied that another day must decide their fate. Taking
this view of their situation, he saw no use in reserving their
food, but encouraged his companions to share the whole of
what remained at sunset. Little persuasion was necessary,
and when night once more came to envelope them in darkness,
not a mouthful of food or a drop of water remained
to meet the necessities of the coming morn. It had rained
again for a short time, in the course of the afternoon, when
enough water had been caught to allay their thirst, and
what was almost of as much importance to the females now,
a sufficiency of sun had succeeded to dry their clothes, thus
enabling them to sleep without enduring the chilling damps

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that might otherwise have prevented it. The wind had
sensibly fallen, and the ground-swell was altogether gone,
but Mulford was certain that the relief had come too late.
So much air had escaped while it lasted as scarce to leave
him the hope that the wreck could float until morning.
The rising of the bubbles was now incessant, the crevices
by which they escaped having most probably opened a little,
in consequence of the pressure and the unceasing action
of the currents, small as the latter were.

Just as darkness was shutting in around them for the
second time, Rose remarked to Mulford that it seemed to
her that they had not as large a space for their little world
as when they were first placed on it. The mate, however,
successfully avoided an explanation; and when the watch
was again set for the night, the females lay down to seek
their repose, more troubled with apprehensions for a morrow
of hunger and thirst, than by any just fears that might so
well have arisen from the physical certainty that the body
which alone kept them from being engulfed in the sea, could
float but a few hours longer. This night Tier kept the
look-out until Jupiter reached the zenith, when Mulford
was called to hold the watch until light returned.

It may seem singular that any could sleep at all in such
a situation. But we get accustomed, in an incredibly short
time, to the most violent changes; and calamities that seem
insupportable, when looked at from a distance, lose half
their power if met and resisted with fortitude. The last
may, indeed, be too insignificant a word to be applied to
all of the party on the wreck, on the occasion of which we
are writing, though no one of them all betrayed fears that
were troublesome. Of Mulford it is unnecessary to speak.
His deportment had been quiet, thoughtful, and full of a
manly interest in the comfort of others, from the first moment
of the calamity. That Rose should share the largest
in his attentions was natural enough, but he neglected no
essential duty to her companions. Rose, herself, had little
hope of being rescued. Her naturally courageous character,
however, prevented any undue exhibitions of despair, and
now it was that the niece became the principal support of
the aunt, completely changing the relations that had formerly
existed between them. Mrs. Budd had lost all the

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little buoyancy of her mind. Not a syllable did she now
utter concerning ships and their manœuvres. She had
been, at first, a little disposed to be querulous and despairing,
but the soothing and pious conversation of Rose awakened
a certain degree of resolution in her, and habit soon exercised
its influence over even her inactive mind. Biddy was
a strange mixture of courage, despair, humility, and consideration
for others. Not once had she taken her small
allowance of food without first offering it, and that, too, in
perfect good faith, to her “Missus and Miss Rosy;” yet
her moanings for this sort of support, and her complaints
of bodily suffering much exceeded that of all the rest of the
party put together. As for Jack Tier, his conduct singularly
belied his appearance. No one would have expected
any great show of manly resolution from the little rotund,
lymphatic figure of Tier; but he had manifested a calmness
that denoted either great natural courage, or a resolution
derived from familiarity with danger. In this particular,
even Mulford regarded his deportment with surprise, not
unmingled with respect.

“You have had a tranquil watch, Jack,” said Harry,
when he was called by the person named, and had fairly
aroused himself from his slumbers. “Has the wind stood
as it is since sunset?”

“No change whatever, sir. It has blown a good working
breeze the whole watch, and what is surprising not as much
lipper has got up as would frighten a colt on a sea-beach.”

“We must be near the reef, by that. I think the only
currents we feel come from the tide, and they seem to be
setting us back and forth, instead of carrying us in any one
settled direction.”

“Quite likely, sir; and this makes my opinion of what
I saw an hour since all the more probable.”

“What you saw! In the name of a merciful Providence,
Tier, do not trifle with me! Has any thing been seen
near by?”

“Don't talk to me of your liquors and other dhrinks,”
murmured Biddy in her sleep. “It's wather that is a
blessed thing; and I wish I lived, the night and the day,
by the swate pump that's in our own yard, I do.”

“The woman has been talking in her sleep, in this fashion,

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most of the watch,” observed Jack, coolly, and perhaps a
little contemptuously. “But, Mr. Mulford, unless my eyes
have cheated me, we are near that boat again. The passage
through the reef is close aboard us, here, on our larboard
bow, as it might be, and the current has sucked us in it in
a fashion to bring it in a sort of athwart-hawse direction
to us.”

“If that boat, after all, should be sent by Providence to
our relief! How long is it since you saw it, Jack.”

“But a bit since, sir; or, for that matter, I think I see
it now. Look hereaway, sir, just where the dead-eyes of
the fore-rigging would bear from us, if the craft stood upon
her legs, as she ought to do. If that isn't a boat, it's a rock
out of water.”

Mulford gazed through the gloom of midnight, and saw,
or fancied he saw, an object that might really be the boat.
It could not be very distant either; and his mind was instantly
made up as to the course he would pursue. Should
it actually turn out to be that which he now so much hoped
for, and its distance in the morning did not prove too great
for human powers, he was resolved to swim for it at the
hazard of his life. In the meantime, or until light should
return, there remained nothing to do but to exercise as
much patience as could be summoned, and to confide in
God, soliciting his powerful succour by secret prayer.

Mulford was no sooner left alone, as it might be, by
Tier's seeking a place in which to take his rest, than he
again examined the state of the wreck. Little as he had
hoped from its long-continued buoyancy, he found matters
even worse than he apprehended they would be. The hull
had lost much air, and had consequently sunk in the water
in an exact proportion to this loss. The space that was
actually above the water, was reduced to an area not more
than six or seven feet in one direction, by some ten or
twelve in the other. This was reducing its extent, since
the evening previous, by fully one-half; and there could be
no doubt that the air was escaping, in consequence of the
additional pressure, in a ratio that increased by a sort of
arithmetical progression. The young man knew that the
whole wreck, under its peculiar circumstances, might sink
entirely beneath the surface, and yet possess sufficient

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buoyancy to sustain those that were on it for a time longer,
but this involved the terrible necessity of leaving the females
partly submerged themselves.

Our mate heard his own heart beat, as he became satisfied
of the actual condition of the wreck, and of the physical
certainty that existed of its sinking, at least to the point
last mentioned, ere the sun came to throw his glories over
the last view that the sufferers would be permitted to take
of the face of day. It appeared to him that no time was to
be lost. There lay the dim and shapeless object that seemed
to be the boat, distant, as he thought, about a mile. It
would not have been visible at all but for the perfect smoothness
of the sea, and the low position occupied by the observer.
At times it did disappear altogether, when it would
rise again, as if undulating in the ground-swell. This last
circumstance, more than any other, persuaded Harry that
it was not a rock, but some floating object that he beheld.
Thus encouraged, he delayed no longer. Every moment
was precious, and all might be lost by indecision. He did
not like the appearance of deserting his companions, but,
should he fail, the motive would appear in the act. Should
he fail, every one would alike soon be beyond the reach of
censure, and in a state of being that would do full justice
to all.

Harry threw off most of his clothes, reserving only his
shirt and a pair of light summer trowsers. He could not
quit the wreck, however, without taking a sort of leave of
Rose. On no account would he awake her, for he appreciated
the agony she would feel during the period of his
struggles. Kneeling at her side, he made a short prayer,
then pressed his lips to her warm cheek, and left her. Rose
murmured his name at that instant, but it was as the innocent
and young betray their secrets in their slumbers.
Neither of the party awoke.

It was a moment to prove the heart of man, that in which
Harry Mulford, in the darkness of midnight, alone, unsustained
by any encouraging eye, or approving voice, with
no other aid than his own stout arm, and the unknown
designs of a mysterious Providence, committed his form to
the sea. For an instant he paused, after he had waded
down on the wreck to a spot where the water already

-- 244 --

[figure description] Page 244.[end figure description]

mounted to his breast, but it was not in misgivings. He
calculated the chances, and made an intelligent use of such
assistance as could be had. There had been no sharks
near the wreck that day, but a splash in the water might
bring them back again in a crowd. They were probably
prowling over the reef, near at hand. The mate used great
care, therefore, to make no noise. There was the distant
object, and he set it by a bright star, that wanted about an
hour before it would sink beneath the horizon. That star
was his beacon, and muttering a few words in earnest prayer,
the young man threw his body forward, and left the wreck,
swimming lightly but with vigour.

END OF VOL. I. Back matter

-- --


[figure description] Advertisement.[end figure description]




Comprising together nearly One Thousand Pages of Reading—the
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We have been better pleased with these works than with any we have met with for
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London Age.

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London Athenæum.Rao.
of “Youth of Shakspeare

It is no slight praise to any, that the romantic portions of the book remind us most
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Ibid.Critique on “Shakspeare and his Friends.”

The Shakspeare novels are now generally known, and justify appreciated. They
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We commend the whole series to the attention and favor of all our readers. To those
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Editor's Table
Kaick. Mag.

They are among the few works of fiction that will not perish with the reading; for,
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Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 [1848], Jack Tier, volume 1 (Burgess, Stringer & Co., New York) [word count] [eaf079v1].
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