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´╗┐Title: A Voyage round the World - A book for boys
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Voyage round the World - A book for boys" ***

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A Voyage round the World, A book for boys, by W.H.G. Kingston.

________________________________________________________________________

Here is a sort of compendium of all the excitements that befall
Kingston's young heroes.  Swimming episodes of various kinds, serpents,
unfriendly savages, and unexpected coincidences, have all been put
together here, to make a well-written book, that you will find quite
amusing and interesting.  Recommended.

Makes a good audiobook, too.

________________________________________________________________________

A VOYAGE ROUND THE WORLD, A BOOK FOR BOYS, BY W.H.G. KINGSTON.



CHAPTER ONE.

MY HOME, AND HOW I LEFT IT.

The day arrived.  A post-chaise stood in front of the old grey
manor-house.  I have it all before me.  The pointed gables--the
high-pitched, dark weather; stained roof--the numberless latticed
windows--the moat, now dry, which had once served to keep out a body of
Cromwell's horse--the tall elms, which had nestled many a generation of
rooks--the clump of beech trees, and the venerable wide-spreading oak--
the broad gravelled court on one side, and the velvety lawn on the
other, sloping away down to the fine, large, deep fish-pond, whose
waters, on which I had obtained my first nautical experiences, as seen
through the green foliage, were sparkling brighter than ever under the
deep blue of the summer sky.

At the hall door were assembled all those I loved on earth--and dearly,
too, I loved them.  My mother, as good and kind a mother as ever nursed
a somewhat numerous and noisy progeny; my sisters, dear, sweet, good
girls; and half-a-dozen brothers, honest, generous, capital fellows; our
father, too--such a father!--we always agreed that no one could come up
to him.  Other fellows might have very good fathers, but they were not
equal to him!  He could be just like one of us at cricket, or out
fishing, or shooting, and yet he was always right, and there was not a
finer-looking gentleman in the county, and that every one said.  We were
all at home for the Midsummer holidays--that is to say, we boys; our
mother was not a person to let her girls go to school.  Who could say
that we were not met for the last time in our lives?

I was the third of the boys.  Two of our sisters were older than any of
us.  I loved them, and they all loved me.  Not that we ever talked about
that; I knew it and felt it, and yet I was going to leave them by my own
express wish.

I was not what is called a studious boy.  I was fond of reading, and I
read all the books of voyages and travels I could lay hands on, and
before long began to wish to go and see with my own eyes what I had read
about.  My brothers were fond of shooting and fishing and rowing, and so
was I; but I thought shooting tigers and lions and elephants, and
fishing for whales, and sailing over the salt ocean, would be much
grander work than killing partridges, catching perch, or rowing about
our pond in a punt.  I do not know that my imaginings and wishes, ardent
as they grew, would ever have produced any definite form of action, had
not an old schoolfellow of our father's, called Captain Frankland, about
a year before the day I speak of, come to our house.  As soon as I knew
he was coming I was very eager to see him, for I heard our father tell
our mother that there was scarcely a part of the world he had not
visited, and that he was looked upon as a first-rate navigator, and a
most scientific seaman.  He had been in the navy during the war-time,
but peace came before he was made a lieutenant; and believing that he
should not there find sufficient employment for his energies, he had
quitted it and entered the merchant-service.  While in command of a
whaler, he had been far towards the north pole.  He had traversed the
Antarctic seas, and had often visited India and China, and the islands
of the Pacific.  Still, as money-making or idleness had never been his
aim, and his strength was unabated, he kept at sea when many men would
have sought for rest on shore.  Such was the account my father gave of
him.

How eagerly I waited for his coming!  He had chosen the holidays on
purpose that he might see our father's young tribe, he wrote him word.
He was the very sort of person I longed to talk to; still it was with no
little awe that I thought of actually breakfasting, and dining, and
speaking day after day with one who had seen so much of the world, and
met with so many adventures.  At last he arrived.  I was not
disappointed in his appearance.  He was a tall, thin, spare man, all
bone and muscle.  His hair was almost white, and his features, which
were not a little weather-beaten, had, I thought, a most pleasant
expression.  While, however, my brothers ran eagerly forward to meet
him, I hung back, watching him at a distance, like a bashful child.  Had
he been one of England's greatest heroes, I could not have looked at him
with greater respect.  "And that is the man," I thought, "who has sailed
over thousands and thousands of miles of water, and has seen Indians
dressed in feathers and shells, and negroes running wild in their native
woods, and Hottentots, and Esquimaux, and Chinese, and I do not know
what other strange people!"  I saw my father look round for me, so at
last I went forward in time to be presented in my turn with the rest of
my brothers.  Very soon the feeling of awe wore off, and I became the
most constant of his attendants wherever he wished to go.  With the
greatest eagerness I used to listen to the accounts he gave our father
of his various adventures in the distant countries he had visited.  My
brothers listened also; but while they would at length betake themselves
to other occupations, I remained his ever-attentive auditor.  The
interest I exhibited in what he was saying attracted his attention, and
much pleased him, so that when I ventured to ask him questions, he both
answered them willingly and encouraged me to ask more.  Thus we before
long became very great friends.

"Should you like to go to sea, Harry?" said he to me one day, when he
had begun to talk of taking his departure.

"With you, sir, indeed I should; there's nothing in the world I should
like so much," I answered.  The tone of my voice and the expression of
my countenance showed him how much I was in earnest.

"Very well, my boy.  You are rather young just yet to rough it at sea,
and you will be the better for another year's schooling; but when I come
back from my next voyage, if you are in the same mind, and your father
is willing to let you go, I will take you to sea with me.  I'll talk to
him about it if I have an opportunity."

"Thank you, sir--thank you!"  I exclaimed, almost choking with the
vehemence of my feelings; "it is what I have been longing for above all
things.  Do, pray, tell my father, or he may suppose it is only a
passing fancy of mine, and may wish me to go into some other profession.
Still, he'll let me go with you--I know he will."

Captain Frankland smiled at my eagerness, but he said not a word to
dissuade me from my wish.  Perhaps he remembered his own feelings at my
age.  Grown-up people are apt to forget how they thought and felt when
they were boys, which is the reason so few men win the confidence of the
young and manage them properly.  The captain, on the contrary, seemed to
understand me thoroughly, and thus gained a complete influence over me.

"I'll be ready to go when you come back," I added.

"Don't be too sure of yourself, Harry," he answered.  "I've seen many
people completely change their opinions in a year's time, and I shall
not be absent less than that.  If you remain constant to your wish,
remember my promise; but if your fancy changes, you are free to follow
it as far as I am concerned."

I thanked Captain Frankland over and over again for his kindness, and
certainly did not think that there was a possibility of my changing my
inclinations.  So he went away, much to my regret, and I fancied that he
had not mentioned our conversation to my father.  We all returned to
school, except our eldest brother, who went to college.  I no longer
enjoyed school as I once did--I was looked upon as having become very
idle.  My mind, however, was not idle, I know, for I was continually
thinking over the idea which had got possession of it.  By allowing my
thoughts to rest on that idea, and that alone, the desire increased till
I persuaded myself that the only life I could possibly lead with
satisfaction was that of a life at sea.  All this time the curious thing
was, that of the sea itself I practically knew nothing.  Born and bred
in an inland county, my eyes had actually never rested on the wide
ocean.  Still, I had formed a notion of what it was like; and I fancied
that a sailor was always wandering about from one wild country to
another, and going through a rapid succession of wonderful adventures.
I forgot all about those long voyages when ships are weeks and weeks
together out of sight of land, and the many weary and often anxious
hours which a seaman has to pass away; nor did I consider that he has
frequently the same voyage to make over and over again, the same lands
to visit, and the same people to see.  However, though I looked with no
little pleasure on the idea of becoming a sailor, I had still greater
satisfaction in the anticipation of visiting strange and far-distant
lands, in meeting with adventures, and in becoming acquainted with the
various tribes of the human race.

With the absorbing passion which now possessed me ruling every thought,
I could no longer properly fix my attention on my Latin and Greek books
and usual school-lessons; and as for nonsense, and even sense verses, I
abandoned all attempts at making them.  I am ashamed to say that I
allowed others to do the work which passed as mine; and even though I
managed to present the required written exercises, I was constantly in
richly-deserved disgrace for the neglect of those tasks which no one
else could perform for me.  I was decidedly wrong; I ought to have had
the right feeling and manliness to perform to the best of my power those
lessons which it was the master's duty to set me, and then I might with
a clear conscience have indulged freely in my own peculiar tastes.  As
it was, when the Christmas holidays arrived, I was sent home with a
letter from the master containing severe complaints of my inattention
and negligence of my duties, while my brothers were complimented on the
progress they had made in their studies.  The master told me he should
write, but our father received us all in the same affectionate way; and
as he said nothing on the matter, I hoped that he was not going to take
notice of it.

The first joyous days of getting home had passed over, and New-Year's
Day come and gone, before he broached the subject.  From his love and
kind heart, he would not before mar my boyish happiness.  He then,
summoning me into his study, spoke seriously to me about my past
conduct.  I frankly owned my fault, and confessed to him the true cause
of my idleness.  From his answer I found, to my very great satisfaction,
that Captain Frankland had already talked to him about my wish to go to
sea, and had expressed his readiness to take me.

"I cannot, however, allow you, my dear Harry, to leave school under the
present circumstances," said my father.  "You must learn to obey your
superiors, and to command yourself, before you will be fit to go into
the world.  Whatever course of life you pursue, you will have many
things to do which you will dislike, or in which you may from
inclination take no interest; but this will afford you but a poor excuse
for not doing your duty.  What do you think the captain of a ship would
say to an officer who had not obeyed his orders, should the latter
remark to him, `Really, sir, I felt so little interest in the matter, or
I disliked it so very much, that I could not bring myself to perform the
work?'  Yet this is what you have been doing, my boy.  I will say no
more on the subject.  You will go back to school at the end of the
holidays; and if I find that, from a sense of duty, you are attending,
to the best of your power, to the studies your master may select for
you, I will take your wishes into my very earnest consideration, and see
how I can best carry them out for your advantage."

I felt how just, and kind, and considerate my father was, and I resolved
to the utmost to follow his advice.  I shall never forget those
Christmas holidays.  They were very, very happy ones.  Our eldest
brother Jack, who was at college, was a very clever fellow, and put us
up to all sorts of fun.  In doors and out of doors there was nothing he
did not think of.  He never bullied, and wasn't a bit spoiled.  He was
going to study at the bar, that he might better look after the family
property.  James, the next, was the quiet one; he was preparing for the
Church.  Then came our third sister, Mary.  Julia and Isabella were
older than any of us.  Mary was my favourite.  There was nothing she
wouldn't do for me--or, for that matter, for any of us.  She did not
like baiting our hooks when we were fishing, but still she did it when
we asked her; and I do really believe that the worms didn't feel half
the pain they otherwise would when handled by her fingers.  She'd go out
with us rat-catching and badger-hunting, and yet, to see her in the
drawing-room, there wasn't a sweeter, softer, more feminine girl in the
county.  When we were at school, she wrote us twice as many letters as
anybody else, and told us how the pony and the dogs were getting on; and
how old Martin had found a wasp's nest, which he was keeping for us to
blow up--and all that sort of thing.  Willie and Georgie were at school
with me, and Herbert was going the next half, and after him were two
more girls, so that Mary had no companions of her own age, and that made
her, I suppose, stick so much more to us than the older ones did, who
were now young ladies--old enough to go to balls, and to talk when any
gentlemen called.

I cannot stop to describe our amusements.  I went to school with a more
hopeful, manly spirit than I ever did before, and to the astonishment of
Dr Summers, set to with a will at everything he gave me to do, and
before long was nearly up at the head of my class.  I wished to please
my father, and to follow his advice, that I am sure of; but I confess
that I was powerfully influenced by another motive.  From what he had
said, I saw that this was the surest way of obtaining the accomplishment
of my wishes.

Hoops and driving had gone out, and cricket and marbles were in, and the
days were getting long and warm, when I received a letter from Mary,
saying that Captain Frankland had come home, and had written to our
father, but she did not know what had passed between them.  I always
told Mary all I thought and wished; and though she cried very much at
the thoughts of my going away, yet she promised to help me as best she
could.  How she was to help, I did not exactly know.  I tried to console
her by promising to bring her back parrots without end from Africa, and
shawls from India, and fans and carved ivory bones from China, and
poisoned arrows, and darts, and tomahawks, and all sorts of dreadful
weapons, from America and the islands of the Pacific.  Indeed, had I
fulfilled my promises to the letter, I could pretty well have loaded a
ship with my intended gifts.  My father said nothing, and we all went
home together at the usual time.  At the end of this half, a very
complimentary letter had preceded me.

"I am glad to hear that Dr Summers is pleased with you, my dear boy,"
said my father, and I thought his countenance wore a graver expression
than usual.  "Tell me, are your wishes the same as when you last left
home?"

I replied that I was as anxious as ever to go to sea.

"I will not, then, thwart your inclination, Harry," he answered.  "Your
mother and I would rather you had selected a profession which would have
kept you nearer to us.  But you have chosen a fine line of life, and may
Heaven protect you in your career!  I should have been glad, for some
reasons, to have had the power of sending you into the Royal Navy; but I
have no interest to get you in, and still less any to advance you in it.
The merchant-service should not be looked on as less noble and less
creditable a profession.  It is one of the chief means by which
England's greatness and prosperity is maintained.  In it your progress
and success will depend almost entirely on your own exertions.  You must
also so conduct yourself that you may sustain to the utmost the credit
of the service, and, I doubt not, you will have no cause to regret
entering it.  I might have wished to keep you longer at home, but I am
unwilling to miss the opportunity of sending you to sea under charge of
a commander of the high character and attainments possessed by Captain
Frankland.  He, in the kindest way, tells me that he is ready to take
you; and he also informs me that a relative of mine is one of the
officers appointed to his ship, Silas Brand by name.  You have heard as
speak of my good Cousin Martha, Mrs Brand; Silas is her only son.  He
was a steady, good lad when I last heard of him before he went to sea,
and I daresay that you will find him a firm friend.  At all events, I am
sure, from Captain Frankland's remarks, that he will prove a profitable
one.  He tells me also that his proposed voyage will be one of very
great interest; that the owners of the ship have a variety of objects in
view; so that he expects to visit a number of interesting places during
the voyage, which is, in fact, to be completely round the world."

"Round the World!"  I exclaimed.  "How delightful!  And am I actually
going to sail all round the world in my first voyage?  Well, I did not
expect anything so good as that.  Isn't it a first-rate chance, papa?"

"It may be very long before you return, my boy," replied my father.  "I
trust, however, that you will proportionately profit by the voyage.
Captain Frankland says, that he hopes to make you something of a seaman
before you return.  You will, I trust, make the best use of his
instructions."

I promised that I would, and sincerely intended to keep my promise.  So
it was finally settled that I was to go to sea, and few lads were ever
sent afloat under better auspices than I enjoyed.  I cannot fully
describe the agitating sensations which passed through my bosom when I
began to reflect on the approaching consummation of my wishes.  While my
heart beat with anticipated pleasure at the strange sights I was to
behold, I could not but contemplate with sorrow the thoughts of leaving
so many dear ones behind.  Not that I for a moment hesitated what I
would do, but the sharp edge of the enjoyment I might have felt was
entirely blunted.  Still, I went about talking with a keen relish of all
I was to see, and what I was to do, while the preparations for my outfit
were in progress; and I not a little excited the envy of my younger
brothers, and of some of the boys near us, when they heard that I was
starting on a voyage round the world.

At last the chest was packed, and lashed on behind the post-chaise.  A
few minutes more, and the old home which knew me would know me no more
for many a long day.  Can I describe that parting?  Still, all bore up
heroically.  I did my best not to give way, but there was a hot, choking
sensation in my throat, as if a Thug from India had got his fatal noose
tight round my jugular vein; and a pulling away at the heart, as if the
fangs of a stout double tooth were firmly clenched in it, and a
strong-fisted dentist was hauling it out.  My father and Jack were going
with me to see me on board.  I believe Jack envied me, and wished that
he was going too, instead of having to pore over dusty parchments.  My
mother folded me in her arms, and kept me there.  That was the worst.
Still, I could not bear to break away.

"Come, Harry," said my father, "we shall miss the train."  He took me
gently by the shoulder, and guided me into the carriage.  I took a last
kiss from Mary's dear lips as I passed her.  "I shall be back to-morrow
evening, I hope," said he, following me.

"I say, Harry, don't forget the bows and arrows you are to bring me from
the Tonga Islands!" sung out Willie.

"Or the hunting-panther from South America!" cried Georgie.

"Or the parrots from Africa!" exclaimed Mary through her tears.

"Or the love-birds from India!" said Julia.

"Or my ivory fan from China, young sailor boy!" said Isabella.

"Don't forget the journal you are to keep, or the subjects I asked you
to note for me!" exclaimed the studious James.

Thus, amid various shouts and exclamations of a similar character, the
moment Jack mounted on the box we drove off towards the nearest station
on the railway which was to convey us to Liverpool.  My father said
nothing for some time, and I felt that I could not utter a word without
allowing my feelings to get the better of me.  However, by the time we
reached the station, I had much recovered my spirits; and when once we
were in the railway, Jack had so much to talk about, and cut so many
jokes, that I became very happy, as he did not leave me a moment to
think about the dear home I had left.  I have often since thought, when
I have seen people grumbling at home, or finding fault or quarrelling
with their brothers and sisters or parents, let them go away and get
knocked and kicked about the world, and they will have good reason to
value their own quiet home as they ought.

I thought Liverpool a very fine city, with its large public buildings,
and its broad streets, and its churches, and its Sailors' Home, which I
visited, where sailors have a large smoking-hall, and dining-rooms, and
a lecture-room, and a chapel, and where some hundreds may each have a
little separate cabin to himself.  I wish every port in the world, much
frequented by shipping, had a place of a similar character.  Most of
all, I was struck with the docks, crowded with ships of great size, and,
indeed, craft of every description and nation; as also with its wide
quays and wharfs, and floating landing-stages, and steamers dashing in
and out, and running up and down the river in such a hurry, that they
looked as if they were conscious that they had to struggle for their
existence among the struggling human multitude of the place.  We
inquired for the _Triton_.

"There she is, with the blue Peter flying at the fore!  She sails
to-night, don't she, Tom?" said a waterman whom we addressed.  "Do you
want a boat, gintlemen?"

My father said, "Yes;" and agreed with the man as to his fare.

We stepped into his boat, and away we pulled towards my future home--the
good ship _Triton_.  I had never seen a ship before, it must be
remembered.  I had looked at pictures of them, so I was acquainted with
their shape; but I had formed no adequate idea of the size of a large
ship; and as the boat lay alongside of the _Triton_, and I looked up and
saw one of the officers standing at the gangway to receive us, it
appeared something like scaling the walls of a castle to climb up to the
deck.  What should I have thought had the _Triton_ been a hundred and
twenty gun-ship, instead of a merchantman of 500 tons, for such was her
size!  However, I then thought her a magnificent ship; she was indeed a
very fine one for her size.  Side ropes being rigged, we soon gained her
deck.  The captain was still on shore, but my father at once made out
Silas Brand.  He was a shortish, rather thick-set, fair man, with a
roundish face and a somewhat florid complexion.  He had light hair, with
largish whiskers, and he shaved his chin in harbour.  I had to look at
him frequently, and to talk to him more than once, before I discovered
that his countenance showed much firmness and decision, and that his
smile betokened more than a good-natured, easy disposition.  My father
had a good deal of talk with him, while Jack and I went round to see the
ship.  In the course of our peregrinations, we entered what I found was
the captain's cabin.  A lad of about my own age was sitting at a table,
with a book and slate before him.  He turned round when the door opened,
and eyed me narrowly before he got up from his chair.  Then, apparently
recollecting himself, he advanced towards us.

"Are you the new youngster who is to sail with us?" said he, putting out
his hand.  "My name is Gerard Frankland, though it is seldom people take
the trouble of calling me more than Jerry.  My father told me to expect
you.  I'm to look after you, and see you don't get into mischief, I
suppose.  I'll be very strict with you, mind that!"

Amused with his free and easy way, I told him that he was not mistaken
as to my identity.

"That's all right then," he answered.  "This gentleman is your brother.
Take a seat, sir, and make yourself at home.  You'll have something?
When my father is on shore, I reign here supreme, though on deck, to be
sure, I can't boast much of my authority.  Steward, bring glasses, and
biscuits, and anything else!  You're not going with us, sir?  I wish you
were.  We'll have rare fun before we come back, I'll warrant."

"No," answered Jack, laughing, and highly diverted with Master Jerry's
volubility and perfect self-possession.  "I should much like to take the
trip though.  However, my brother Harry will, I hope, on your return,
give us a full account of all you see and do."

"He'll have plenty to tell then of what we do, and not a little of what
we see," answered Jerry, with a sort of a half wink at me, which was as
much as to say, "We'll be up to all sorts of things."  He added aloud,
"My father is not the man to let the grass grow under the ship's bottom;
but here come the glasses!  What will you have--hot or cold?"

"Thank you," said Jack; "our father is here, and we must not stop.  We
came to see Harry on board, and have soon to return on shore."  While he
was speaking, our father appeared at the door, accompanied by Silas
Brand.

Gerard's whole manner changed the moment he saw them.  He got up to
receive my father with perfect politeness; and, instead of exhibiting
the forward, flippant manner with which he had treated us, he turned at
once into a steady-looking, somewhat demure boy.  My father, after
addressing a few kind words to him, and telling him that he was his
father's oldest friend, signed to me that he wished to speak to me
alone.  He took me into Silas Brand's cabin, and kneeling down, offered
up a few prayers, full of deep, deep love, for my preservation from all
earthly dangers, and for my acceptance as a forgiven sinner at the day
of judgment.

"Look straight on beyond this transient world in all you think, or try,
or do.  Remember, delightful as this existence may appear, and
undoubtedly is to those who know how to employ it properly, it is but a
passage which leads to eternity.  May Heaven guide you, my boy!"  He
took me in his arms, and then I knew how his fond, tender heart felt the
parting.  He burst into tears: he was not long in recovering himself.

Captain Frankland came on board.  Last farewells were said.  My dear
father and Jack went down the ship's side.  The pilot remarked that the
tide would suit.  The anchor was hove up.  A steamer took us in tow;
then, after pulling ahead of us for a couple of hours or more, she cast
off.  All sail was set, and free of the Mersey's mouth, away we glided
on our voyage Round the World.



CHAPTER TWO.

THE VOYAGE COMMENCED.

The _Triton_ was a well-found, well-officered, and well-manned ship.
Still, on first getting to sea, there appeared to be a considerable
amount of disorder, and the crew were incessantly employed in stowing
away the last stores which had come on board, and in getting everything
into its right place.  This gave me a feeling that I was not in my right
place, for no one had a moment to attend to me, and to tell me what to
do; and had it not been for Gerard, I should have felt not a little
miserable.  He was as active as any one, and seemed to be thoroughly up
to his duty.  He did, however, find time to speak to me.

"I'll tell you what to do, Harry," said he; "just keep out of the way,
and look on.  You'll learn more in that manner just now than in any
other.  You'll have plenty of time to get up your seamanship by-and-by."

I followed his advice to great advantage.  The first manoeuvre I saw
performed on board was when, having got clear of all the shoals and
dangers at the mouth of the Mersey, we shortened sail to allow the pilot
to enter his boat, and the last person we were to see for many a day
connected with home took his departure.  He shook hands with the captain
and mates, and wished us a good voyage and speedy return.  I watched the
boat as it proceeded towards the pilot-cutter with a curious feeling of
interest.  I was aroused by Gerard, who asked me why I was so
sentimental.  He saw nothing in a pilot-boat leaving the ship.  The last
I saw of our native land were the lofty cliffs of Wales.  I came on deck
early in the morning; and, as I looked out aft, they appeared receding
fast on the larboard-quarter, across the bright blue sea.  Turning
round, my somewhat bewildered glance next wandered upwards, and there I
beheld, with unrestrained admiration, the wide spread of white canvas
which hung extended on the yards, high, high up in the blue sky, like a
vast mass of snowy cloud.  It looked to me as if there was enough sail
to fly away with the whole ship and her cargo; for, the breeze being
light and fair, we had all our courses, and topsails, and
topgallant-sails, and royals set with studding-sails also on either
side, almost sweeping the sparkling waters which danced off from the
_Triton's_ sharp bows as she clove her stately yet rapid way through the
ocean.  Captain Frankland was anxious to take every advantage of the
favourable wind, that we might get a good distance from the land, and
thus not run the chance of being driven back again, and be compelled, as
is often the case with outward-bound ships, to take shelter in that
magnificent harbour--Milford Haven, or in the still more lovely one of
Queenstown, on the Irish coast.  Away we flew, every day going faster
and faster as the breeze freshened.

"Not a brace, nor a tack, nor a sheet did we slack" on board of the
gallant _Triton_ for a whole week; and then it fell calm, and we lay
washing our sides up to the scuppers in the pure waters of the Atlantic.
During this time everything was got to rights, and I began to find my
way about every part of the ship, and to learn the names of the spars,
and ropes, and sails.  Gerard very soon dared me to go aloft; of course
I was nothing loath.

"Follow me, then, youngster!" said he; and with a wicked look, up he
went the main rigging.  I ascended readily enough, intending to go
through the lubbers' hole, as the opening in the top is called through
which the lower shrouds lead.  This way is quite allowable for a
landsman; but Jerry, having no fear of my breaking my neck before his
eyes, led the way by the futtock-shroud; and, as he quickly stood up in
the top, I saw his face grinning over me while I hung with my back over
the ocean, very doubtful whether I could climb round so as to get hold
of the topmast-shrouds.

"Don't let your feet go till you have got a firm grip of this rope
here," said he, touching the shroud.  I clutched hold of it: then up I
slipped my other hand, and, drawing up my knees, soon had them on the
combing of the top, and found myself standing alongside my companion.  I
should have liked to have stopped to take breath and look about me; but,
before I could utter a word, he was off again, up the topmast-rigging,
with the agility of a monkey, and laughingly sung out to me to join him
on the cross-trees.  I thought he would surely rest there, but away he
was again, nor did he stop till he had got hold of the main-truck; and,
as he clung on with his chin over it, he took off his cap and waved it
round his head.  My blood was warmed with the exercise and the
excitement, and I was close after him.  The moment he was down I took
his place, and did the same thing; but I had to be quick in following
him, not to miss the way he was leading.  Down he slid by the
main-topmast-stay, and in an instant more he was climbing the
fore-topmast rigging.  He waited for me, however, and waved me on.  I
did not remark that two seamen, the oldest hands on board, were at the
same time deliberately mounting the fore-shrouds.  Just as I reached the
fore-topmast cross-trees, they were up to me.

"You han't paid your footing up here, young master," said one, old Ben
Yool by name.  He spoke in a gruff voice, as if he had not a soft
particle in his whole composition.

"You know what that means, master?" added the other, Charlie Cockle, as
he was called, imitating him.

"I don't know what you want, but I know that you are two to one, which
isn't fair, at all events; and, do you see, I am not accustomed to give
in to threats," said I, and endeavoured to climb away from them, not
knowing exactly where I was going.

The midge caught in a web might as well attempt to escape from a hungry
spider.  They caught me in a moment; and, without further ceremony,
stretching out my arms and legs, lashed them to the topmast-rigging,
making what is called a spread eagle of me.  It was very humiliating,
though my position was thus exalted, and very unromantic; and the rogue
Jerry aggravated my feelings by pretending to pity me, though I guessed
even then that he had arranged the plan beforehand with Yool and Cockle
thus to entrap me.  The seamen had descended towards the deck, leaving
me bound in this ignominious manner.  Jerry came and placed himself in
the rigging opposite to me.

"It must be very unpleasant!" quoth he.  "I wonder what they would say
if I was to let you loose?"

"I wish you would," I answered.  "It's a great shame, and I don't like
it."

"But I dare not," he replied, putting on a pretended serious face,
though he could not hide the twinkle of his laughing eyes; "they are
such precious fierce fellows.  But don't you think that you might buy
yourself off?  I'll see if I can arrange the matter with them."

I saw that there would be no use contending against my tormentor, and I
was more hurt than I choose to acknowledge; so I wisely agreed to pay
any moderate sum to be released.  The arrangement was soon made; and
Yool and Cockle, having unlashed my limbs, begged my pardon, and
complimented me on the daring and agility I had displayed on this my
first climb aloft.

This adventure, as I took the treatment I received good humouredly, made
me capital friends with all the seamen, and I found that there were not
kinder-hearted or better men on board than Yool and Cockle.  I observed
that Jerry took the opportunity when his father was below to play off
the tricks imagined by his fertile brain, though he was sometimes
discovered and reprimanded; but he put on so penitent an expression, and
had such comical excuses to offer, that Captain Frankland saw that it
would be worse than useless to punish him.  Indeed, punishment would
scarcely have corrected such faults as he had.  Gerard, from being
small, and having delicate features, though they were full of rich
humour, looked younger than I did; but he was in reality older, and had
much more experience of the world.  His constitution was considered
delicate, which was the reason his father took him to sea at first; but
now he liked the life so much, he told me, that he had resolved to
follow it as a profession.  We both of us slept in a cabin which we had
to ourselves, near the captain's.  Gerard was learning navigation; and
Captain Frankland told me that I must study hard to catch him up, so
that we might work together.  He superintended our studies; but Silas
Brand was our chief master, and somehow or other, in his quiet way, he
managed to impart a considerable amount of information in a pleasant and
rapid manner.  It appeared to me that he always said the right thing at
the right time, so as to impress it on the memory.  Our first officer,
John Renshaw, was a very worthy man, but totally unlike my Cousin Silas.
He was tall and thin, and had a long weather-beaten, rather
melancholy-looking face.  Not that he was melancholy; the form of his
features made him look so.  It is better, however, to look melancholy
than to have facetious features, which always appear to be on a broad
grin.  A strong contrast to both of them was found in our third officer,
Samuel Melgrove.  He was a man with strongly-marked, rather coarse
features, with red hair and complexion.  One might have expected to hear
only the roughest tones come out of such a mouth as he possessed; but,
instead, he spoke in a soft, somewhat mincing manner, and prided himself
on his gentlemanly style and volubility.  He could, however, speak loud
and rough enough in case of necessity.  If called on suddenly to shorten
sail, no one could make himself better heard.  The mates on board a
merchantman have the same sort of duty as the lieutenants of a
man-of-war, with the addition of having to attend to the stowing of the
cargo and stores.  We had also a surgeon, who was a good naturalist and
a very scientific man--Mr David McRitchie.  He evidently at first
looked with very grave suspicion on Gerard and me, as if we were only
waiting our opportunity to play him some trick; and when he left his
cabin he always locked the door, lest we should get in and do some
mischief; but such an idea was, I must say, very far from my thoughts,
and even Gerard respected him too much to wish to annoy him.  How to
convince him of this seemed a difficulty.  Gerard undertook to assure
him.

"Mr McRitchie," said he one day abruptly to him, "I daresay that you
think me a young jackanapes, whose only thought is how he can do most
harm in the world.  Now, sir, you are mistaken; all I want is that you
will impart some of your knowledge to Harry and me; but, understand,
whether you do that or not, Harry and I will make it a point of honour
not to do you any injury by word, look, or deed."

"Oh, I never--Well, well, you are good boys, and I perfectly trust you,"
stuttered out the doctor, completely taken by surprise.  "I shall be
glad, too, to give you all the information in my power; and I hope, in
the course of the voyage, we may have many interesting subjects to see
and talk about."  I was sure that Mr McRitchie would faithfully keep
his word.

We had three other somewhat important personages on board who were
characters in their way--Richard Fleming the boatswain, James Pincott
the carpenter, and Thomas Veal the captain's steward.  They each had
their peculiarities; but I will not stop now to describe them.  We had
twenty men forward, all picked hands; for, with the long voyage we
contemplated, and the service we were on, it was necessary to be
strongly manned.  I must not omit a description of the _Triton_ herself.
She had a raised poop, beneath which were situated the chief cabins,
and a forecastle, under which the crew lived in two compartments, one on
either side of it.  There was also a caboose, or galley, with a great
cooking-range, and, indeed, every convenience the men could desire.  We
carried eight guns--9-pounders--for we were going into seas where it
would be necessary to be well-armed, and constantly on our guard against
treachery; and we were also amply supplied with boats, which, I may
remark, were always kept in good order, and ready for instant use.  I
was surprised one day during a calm, before we had been long at sea, to
hear the order given to lower boats when there was no ship in sight, and
apparently no reason for it.  So were those of the crew who had not
before sailed with Captain Frankland.  They, however, flew to obey the
order, and, in a short time, three boats were manned and in the water.
They were then hoisted in again, and stowed.

"Very well," said the captain, holding his watch in his hand.  "Smartly
done, my lads; but another time, I think, we may do it still quicker."

Some of the men, of course, grumbled, as I have found out that some
people will grumble when any new system is introduced, the object of
which they do not understand.  The loudest grumbler at anything new
introduced on board was old Fleming the boatswain.  He called himself a
Conservative, or, rather, a Tory, and strongly opposed all change.

"None of your newfangled notions for me," he used to observe; "I like
things as they were.  Do you think our fathers would have all along been
satisfied with them if they hadn't been good?  I look upon it as
disrespectful to their memory to wish to have them changed, as if we
thought ourselves so much wiser and better than they were."

Gerard and I were fond of going forward to the forecastle, where, in
fine weather, in an evening, he always took his seat with his pipe in
his mouth.

"By the same rule it was wrong to introduce the compass or the
steam-engine; former generations had done very well without them; yet
how should we, on a dark night, have managed to steer across the ocean
as we do, or how could people manage to get about the world as rapidly
as they find necessary for their business or pleasure?"

Gerard thought that this remark would be a poser for the boatswain; but
old Fleming was not so easily defeated.

"As to the matter of the compass, do you see, that's what I call an
exception to the general rule," he answered, with a serious look.  "But
as for the railways and steam-engines, and all those sort of things
afloat or ashore, to my mind the world would be altogether much better
without them.  It's necessary for sailors to go about, that's granted;
but the rest of the world would be very much better staying at home and
minding their own business.  What I preach I practise; and when I leaves
home I says to my missus, says I, `Now mind, Molly, don't you be going
gadding about till I comes back to look after you;' and she'd no more
think of going outside the street-door, except when she goes to church
or a-marketing, than she'd try to fly, and that would be no easy matter
for her, seeing that she weighs thirteen stone at least."

Such is a specimen of old Fleming's style of conversation.  Gerard and I
used to be much amused while listening to him, though we did not fail to
make the most of his remarks while repeating them to the mates.  James
Pincott the carpenter, on the contrary, was a great reformer.  No
invention was too new to suit his taste.  Whenever he heard of any
discovery, he could not be contented till he saw it introduced.  We
often tried to get the two together, and very soon managed to throw an
apple of discord between them.  Pincott occupied much of his thoughts
about a flying-machine, which no failure had taught him to believe could
not be made to work.

"I'll tell you what, mate, there's just this difference between you and
me in this matter," I heard Fleming remark; "you says a flying-machine
can be made; so do I.  You may make fifty flying-machines, or a hundred,
or five hundred for that matter, all different, and with all sorts of
wheels, and cogs, and what not, which nobody can understand; but when
they are made, what I have to ask you, mate, is, will they fly?  It's
there you and I differ."

Having thus delivered himself, Fleming drew himself up with a triumphant
look at his adversary.  Now, Pincott was a very quiet man with all his
eccentricities, so he merely answered--

"It will be enough for me if one can be made to fly.  That's all I argue
for."

"It never has been done yet, and, to my mind, never will," answered
Fleming, sturdily; "though I have heard of a man who made his son put on
a pair of wings which he had fabricated, and shoved him off the top of a
high wall, and when the lad, as was to be expected, reached the ground,
he broke his leg."

This was a story told of Pincott, who, however, on all occasions stoutly
denied that he was the culprit.  Another story against Pincott was, that
when first iron vessels were introduced, he declared that it was
impossible they could swim.  "No, no," it was said he said, "birds can
fly, so I don't see why men shouldn't; but iron always has sunk, and, to
my mind, it always will sink."  Fleming, who told the story, used to
wind up with the remark, "But then you see, mate, there's no rule
without an exception."  As these disputes never led to any disagreeable
consequences, they served to beguile away many a weary hour at sea.  But
I have said enough to describe the character of our inferior officers.
They were both thoroughly good seamen and steady men.

We had hitherto had little else than sunshine and light winds, so that
my introduction to a sea life was most favourable.  Gloriously rose the
sun over the blue sparkling waters, when, on coming on deck, I found the
ship steering south-west, and standing in for the Bay of Funchal in the
lofty island of Madeira.  On one side of us were the Desertas--rocks
which Gerard told me gravely were so-called because they had once
belonged to the mainland, and were now making the best of their way off
to Africa; but the doctor differed with him, and observed that they
obtained their name from being desert or barren rocks, especially
compared with the fertile island near which they are placed.  Lovely as
is the interior of our dear old country, few parts of its shores are
attractive; and as this was the first land we had made after leaving
home, it seemed doubly beautiful.  It appeared, as it rose before us,
like one vast mountain extending from east to west, with a bay in the
centre, and covered in the richest profusion with beautiful trees of
many different sorts, among which, I afterwards found, are the cedar,
chestnut, orange, lemon, fig, citron, the vine, the olive, the mulberry,
banana, and pomegranate, while generous nature sprinkles with no lavish
hand the myrtle, the geranium, the rose, and the violet in every open
space.  The geranium especially grows in vast quantities; its scent is
most powerful, and the honey which we got in the island was strongly
flavoured with it.  But I forgot; we are not on shore yet.  How bright,
and beautiful, and rich, and fertile, and romantic everything looked!
What charming white-washed cottages!  What lovely villas, surrounded by
gardens filled with flowers of every hue!  What a pretty town stretching
away round the shores of the bay!  How clean, and neat, and comfortable
all the dwellings! and how grand the churches and public buildings.
Gerard and I agreed that we should like to come back there some day
after we had done our wanderings, and take up our abode for the rest of
our days.

"Stay till you have been on shore and seen the inside as well as the
outside of things," observed Cousin Silas, who had overheard us.  We
thought he was in what we used to call one of his grumpy humours, and
did not heed him.  We sailed on, and dropped our anchor opposite to the
city of Funchal.  A health-boat came off, but as no one was sick on
board, the people in her did not trouble us much.  When she went away,
we were surrounded with other boats pulled by swarthy, muscular, little
men with gay caps and sashes, and white shirt sleeves, who bawled, and
hallooed, and jabbered, in the vain hope of making us comprehend what
they said.  We shouted and hallooed in return, as if each party were
deaf; and it was not till after a considerable expenditure of breath,
that we discovered that we did not understand a word of each other's
language; so at last we took to making signs, by which means we got on
much better.  There was no great difficulty in this, as they had an
abundance of fruit to sell, which we were equally anxious to buy.

The captain had, I found, touched here chiefly to get a supply of fruit,
vegetables, fresh meat, and water, as he knew that the health of a crew
is maintained without difficulty when there is an abundance of these
necessaries.  He had also another reason for coming here.  It was to
obtain information, which the Portuguese authorities were able to
supply, regarding certain places he proposed visiting.  As, however, the
whole plan of our proceedings was to be kept secret, I will not touch on
that subject.  Gerard and I were all anxiety to go on shore, so the
captain gave us leave to accompany Mr Brand, with strict charges to him
to keep us out of mischief.  "Not an easy job!" muttered Silas,
preparing to accompany us into a boat.  For the first time in my life I
stood on foreign soil, and very soon I was undeceived as to the
cleanliness, and comfort, and beauty of the habitations; and many a
house which looked so very picturesque at a distance was found, on a
nearer inspection, to be a very dirty domicile.  Still the views from
them were beautiful.  Nature has done everything; it is graceless man
who is in fault that all is not in accordance with it.  At the corner of
one of the streets we saw a number of horses, and mules, and donkeys,
standing together with their attendant drivers--_arrieros_.

"Wouldn't you like a ride, Mr Brand?" exclaimed Gerard, looking towards
them.  He had not to look twice before the whole _posse commitatus_ of
men and boys rushed forward, and seizing us _vi et armis_, carried us
off in triumph towards their sorry-looking beasts.  Which party would
have us seemed a question.  Who ever heard of sailors who didn't want to
ride?  Ride we must; but as there were thirty or more beasts, and only
three of us, it was difficult to say which of them should have the
honour of carrying us.  The _arrieros_ got one of Cousin Silas's legs
put on the back of a horse, and another on that of a mule, while a
little wicked donkey began kicking and plunging directly under him.  At
last he sprang on to the back of the horse, and Gerard and I found
ourselves somehow or other on the saddles of two mules, when their
respective owners, catching hold of their long tails, and giving them a
prong with their iron-pointed sticks, away we started from out of the
crowd, who all hallooed and shouted after us, till we had shot some way
up one of the steep rocky heights over which the bridle-paths of the
island lead.  "Arra burra--arra, arra, arra!" sung out the crowd.
"Arra, arra, arra!" repeated our _arrieros_, goading the unfortunate
animals with their sticks--"Arra, sish, sish!"  It is hopeless to
imitate the sounds emitted by our drivers.  Up we shot like pellets from
popguns, through the narrow rock-strewn gorges which are called roads.
Up, up, up the animals scrambled.  They seemed to enjoy the fun, or,
perhaps, wiser than men, they felt a pleasure in performing their daily
duty.  We, too, enjoyed the magnificent views we got over vineyards, and
fields, and orange-groves, and olive-plantations, with often deep
precipices below us, and the blue sparkling sea in the distance.  We
passed several buildings, once convents and nunneries; but when the
constitutional government was established in Portugal, the monks were
turned out of their habitations to gain an honest livelihood as best
they could, though the nuns were in some instances allowed to remain in
their abodes, on condition of their admitting no fresh novices.  Thus,
by this time the greater number of professed nuns are old women.  They
employ themselves in fabricating artificial flowers of shells and
feathers, baskets and ornaments of various sorts, as well as in making
dried fruits and sweetmeats.  As Cousin Silas observed, it might have
appeared hard to turn the poor monks adrift in the world; but as ill
weeds grow apace, it was necessary to eradicate them, lest a fresh crop
should spring up where they had for so long taken root.

We dined with an English merchant, an old friend of Captain Frankland's,
who treated us most sumptuously.  He told us of a curious disease which
had lately attacked the vines, and which he feared would ultimately
destroy them.  The grapes growing on the diseased vines, instead of
ripening, wither up and rot.  He said that he had urged the inhabitants
of the island not to depend solely on their vines, but to endeavour to
produce other articles for which their soil and climate was especially
suited.  Among other things he introduced the mulberry-tree, by the
cultivation of which large numbers of the silk-worm might be bred, and
silk in great quantities exported.  Under the present system, when the
vines fail, as the people do not grow sufficient corn in the island for
their support, they are at once reduced to a state of famine.  But I
must not prolong my description of Madeira.  It is a very lovely island,
and has a very delicious climate, and produces all sorts of nice fruits;
and though the inhabitants have rather a fancy for being dirty, the
English residents set them a better example, and have introduced
comforts and conveniences which make the country a very pleasant abode.
The island is about thirty-seven miles in length by eleven in breadth,
and contains perhaps 60,000 inhabitants.

Again sail was made on the ship, and away we glided over the smooth
ocean with a north-easterly breeze, passing within two miles of the
island of Palma, one of the Canaries, or Fortunate Islands, which belong
to Spain.  The appearance, as we eyed it from the ship, was most
attractive; but Silas, who had been on shore there, told us that through
the misgovernment of the upper classes, and the slothfulness of the
lower, the land does not produce nearly what it might be made to do,
while the people remain in a poor and backward condition.  Before sunset
the same day we saw the island of Ferro, the most western of the group.
Before the discovery of America, this was looked on as the extreme
western limits of the habitable world, and till very lately some
navigators calculated their first meridian from thence.  There are
thirteen islands in the group, which produce corn, silk, tobacco, sugar,
and the wine which was so long known under their name.  We caught about
here the regular north-east trade-wind; away we went before it as
steadily and majestically as a swan glides over his native lake.  I hope
every reader of my adventures will look at the map, and see whereabouts
the places I mention are situated, or they will find some difficulty in
clearly comprehending my descriptions.

We had, I thought, been a long time at sea without meeting with anything
very amusing.

"I say, Jerry, when are we to fall in with all the wonderful adventures
you told me of?"  I asked one day, as we were walking the deck together.

"You would meet with plenty of wonders if you would but keep your eyes
open to see them," observed Cousin Silas, who overheard my observation.
The reply, however, did not quite satisfy me; nothing like a gale or bad
weather had occurred, and I began to suspect that we had already had a
sample of the sort of life we were always to undergo at sea.

"Hillo!" exclaimed Jerry soon after this, "what has come over the air, I
wonder?  Why, we have got into a regular red fog.  What has caused it,
Mr Brand; can you tell me?"

"No, indeed, I cannot," answered Silas.  "I've met with it more than
once.  It is a very curious phenomenon."

"They do say it comes off from the coast of Africa," remarked Ben Yool,
who was at the wheel, and from his age privileged to speak on such a
matter.  "It's full of red sand, and I've seen it covering the decks in
some parts as if a man had been scraping a red holystone over them."

We were still discussing the subject, when Captain Frankland came on
deck.  He listened for some time to what we were saying.

"I am glad to hear you discuss the subject, my lads," he remarked in a
kind voice.  "Though you are wrong in your conjectures, if you will
attend, I will try and explain what I know about the matter.  It is a
very important one, for by means of this dust--for dust it is--which
fills the air, philosophers have been able to determine in part the
difficult problem of the track of the winds in their circuits.  How is
this? you will say.  Dust coming from one place surely cannot be
distinguishable from dust coming from another.  To the ignorant man it
is not, but to the man of science it is.  There are certain minute
animal productions called infusoria and organisms peculiar to each
portion of the globe.  The expression is, the habitat of such infusoria
is such or such a place.  These infusoria can only be distinguished by a
most powerful microscope.  Professor Ehrenberg, who has devoted his
attention to the subject, has examined specimens of the dust which is
now falling on our decks.  He found it composed of dry infusoria, the
forms of which are found not on an African desert, but in the south-east
trade-wind regions of South America."

"South America, father!" exclaimed Jerry, pointing with his hand to the
south-west.  "How can those clouds of red dust come all the way out here
in the teeth of the north-east trade-wind?"

"What becomes of the north-east trade-wind when it reaches the end of
its journey, and where is that end think you, my boy?" asked Captain
Frankland.  Jerry looked puzzled, and I had not a notion to give forth
on the subject.  "I will try and explain the matter; but when you can
obtain a work, written by Lieutenant Maury, of the American navy, you
will comprehend the subject much better," said Captain Frankland.
"There are three calm regions or belts surrounding the globe--one under
the equator, and one in each hemisphere, under the tropics of Cancer and
Capricorn, which you have heard spoken of as the horse latitudes.
Between these two belts blow the north-east and south-east trade-winds,
meeting at the equatorial belt.  Now, when they get there, instead of
causing a whirlwind, the excessive heat causes the particles of which
they are composed to expand and rise, gradually producing a calm.  After
rising a certain height, they again commence moving round the globe.
Which course they took it was difficult to say, till we find these
clouds of red dust carried along in an upper region of the atmosphere
from south-west to north-east; for not only are they found here, but up
the Mediterranean and across Switzerland.  They are raised into the
atmosphere probably by whirlwinds which occur during the vernal equinox,
which is the dry season, from the valley of the lower Orinoco.  Thus,
had a label been attached to each particle of which the wind is
composed, to show whence it came, the problem could not have been more
perfectly solved."

While the captain was speaking, Mr McRitchie came on deck, and
collected in sheets of paper a quantity of the red dust.  "It will be
prized by some of my scientific friends at home," he observed; "and even
the unscientific may value a substance which has travelled half round
the globe high up in the atmosphere."

"There is another substance, doctor, which travels farther, and is of
much greater use to man; and yet how little he troubles his head to
consider where it comes from," remarked the captain.

"What do you mean, sir?" asked the doctor, a little puzzled I thought.

"Water," answered Captain Frankland.  "Remember those dense fogs, like
wet blankets, which so continually rise in those calm regions to the
south of us; they are caused by vapours rising from the sea, and leaving
its salt behind.  This vapour must go somewhere, and it certainly does
not fall in any place near the region where it is drawn up.  See the
beautiful provision of Nature to supply with fertilising moisture the
many districts of the earth!  This damp vapour, of which we shall
by-and-by have a specimen, rises into the upper regions of the air, and
is there wafted steadily on till it reaches the northern portion of the
globe.  It is raised by the powerful rays of the sun during the southern
summer, and with it a considerable amount of heat is carried off which
remains latent.  When it reaches the far colder atmosphere of the north,
it is formed into clouds, and condensed, and then precipitated in rain.
In the southern hemisphere there is, as you know, a larger proportion of
sea than in that of the north; and thus it serves as a reservoir to
supply those spots which would otherwise be arid deserts, with an
abundant supply of the chief necessary of life.  The whole of nature is
full of similar beautiful arrangements for making the globe a convenient
habitation for man, clearly to be perceived if men would but open their
eyes to behold them."



CHAPTER THREE.

THE WONDERS OF THE OCEAN.

We were about a day's sail or so from the Cape de Verd Islands, when one
day, as I was looking out, I saw on the starboard-bow what I was certain
was a shoal of great extent covered with sea-weed.  "Land on the
starboard-bow!"  I sung out, thinking there could be no mistake about
the matter.  I heard a loud laugh at my shoulder.  Old Ben Yool stood
there.

"Well, if that is not land, I do not know what is!"  I replied.  But
still Ben only laughed at me.  I was arguing the point, when the
captain, who was on deck, called me aft.  I found him with a chart,
which he was showing to Gerard.

"You are not the first person, Harry, who has taken that collection of
sea-weed for land," he observed.  "That is the Sargasso Sea.  When the
companions of Columbus sighted it, they thought that it marked the
extreme limits of the navigable ocean.  We are at the southern edge of
it.  Look at this chart; it extends in a triangular form between the
groups of the Azores, Canaries, and Cape de Verds.  It is caused by the
Gulf Stream, which, circling round the Atlantic, sends off towards the
centre all the sea-weed and drift-wood collected in its course.  Throw
some chips into that tub; now, set the water in motion with your hand.
The current you have created sends off all the chips into the centre of
the tub.  You need never forget how this Sargasso Sea becomes covered
with weed.  But you will wish to know something about this wonderful
Gulf Stream, which not only produces the effect I have described, but
exerts a very powerful influence, on the climate of many countries, and
on the navigation of the Atlantic, besides causing many other important
results.  It is, indeed, one of the most wonderful of all the phenomena
of the ocean.  Consider it as a mighty river of warm water flowing for
three thousand miles with scarcely diminished volume, never dying, never
overflowing, over a bottom and between banks of cold water.  So little
affinity have its waters with the common water of the ocean, and so
different is their colour, that a distinct line can often be traced
where they pass along.  See where it takes its rise in the Gulf of
Mexico, whence it is called the Gulf Stream.  Now, mark its course, and
note its effects.  Remember, that not only is it warm itself, but it
warms the air which passes over it.  It likewise contains much more salt
than the common sea-water.  The salt gives it its peculiar deep
indigo-like colour.  It runs at the rate of between three and five miles
an hour.  It is roof-shaped--that is, higher in the centre than on
either side.  This is proved by placing a boat on either side of the
centre, when it drifts off towards the edge nearest to which it is cast
loose.  Another peculiarity exists in connection with it.  Water
radiates heat far more slowly than does the earth.  If, therefore, the
Gulf Stream swept along the ground, it would speedily lose its heat.  To
prevent this, it is made to pass over a cushion of cold water, into
which its heat does not readily pass.  When, however, its waters wash
any shores, they impart some of their heat to them, increasing the
warmth of the climate, adding fertility to the soil, and making it a
more agreeable abode for man.  Now, look at the chart, and observe where
the mighty current leaves its reputed source in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mark it sweeping round the coast of Florida, and glancing off to the
eastward near Cape Hatteras, in the United States, allowing a belt of
cold water to wash the shores of that country during the winter months
of the year.  Watch it passing near the coast of Nova Scotia, and in the
summer, not far from that of Newfoundland, where it has undoubtedly
caused the formation of the well-known fishing-banks.  This is the way
they have been produced.  When the summer sun releases the innumerable
mighty icebergs which have been formed on the shores of the polar
regions, they float away to the south, carried by a current which sets
towards Newfoundland.  They bear away with them vast quantities of rock,
and stones, and sand.  Meeting the hot water of the Gulf Stream, they
quickly melt and deposit their burdens at the bottom, always about the
same spot which you see marked as the Grand Bank.  Now the stream,
taking an easterly course, reaches the 40th degree of north latitude,
when it begins to spread itself over the colder water of the ocean,
washing the shores of Ireland; some going up towards Spitzbergen,
surrounding the Shetland Isles, and other isles in the north; more
rushing up the British Channel; and another quantity flowing into the
Bay of Biscay, and away again towards the south--adding warmth to the
whole of the indented shores of Europe, and at the same time supplying
the deficiency of salt to the waters flowing out of the Baltic and the
Polar basin."

"Thank you, father," exclaimed Gerard; "I now understand why, when last
year we made the voyage to New York, we kept away so far to the
northward.  It was to avoid the Gulf Stream, which would have been
setting against us.  But I say, father, I want to know why the water
takes it into its head to flow in that way.  I suppose there is some
cause for it?"

"Our beneficent Maker undoubtedly formed it for the benefit of his
creatures," returned the captain; "but, as I have often told you, he
brings about his purposes by the laws or causes which he himself has
established.  There may be several causes in operation to form this
ocean-stream, though up to this moment learned men have been unable to
decide what they are.  Now one theory is advanced, now another.  The
shape of the Gulf Stream may have something to do with it.  It appears
that it is higher than the rest of the surface, for it is more bulky.
Water will always seek its level.  It has thus a tendency to flow
towards the colder and lower water of the poles, feeling at the same
time the effect of the diurnal motion of the globe; while the water of
the poles, to supply its place, flows towards the equator, subject to
the same disturbing cause.  Thus the water of the globe is set in
motion.  These being hot, tropical waters, remain on the surface, and a
portion of them is forced into the Gulf of Mexico.  Here, though they
lose somewhat of their saltness from the fresh waters of the Mississippi
and Orinoco, they gain more heat from these hot streams, and are still
much Salter than the rest of the ocean.  Perhaps the impetus may be
given them by the pressure of the currents from the poles.  The diurnal
motion of the globe will account for the drift-wood and sea-weed being
cast off on the east or left bank of the stream.  There is another cause
for this.  From the stream being roof-shaped, any drift which its left
portion took up would have to go up hill to get to the northward.
Therefore, though trees and other produce of the West Indies are found
on the shores of Europe, none are ever picked up on those of America.
And this brings me to the point from which I set out--the cause of the
Sargasso Sea, the centre, it may be called, of this wondrous and almost
inexplicable Gulf Stream."

"But, father, still you have not told us why the Gulf Stream flows in
the direction it does," said Gerard, who generally stuck to the point in
an argument on which he wanted information.

"Men possessed of far more scientific knowledge than I can boast of,
have been puzzled to reply to that question," returned the captain.
"The trade-winds, the diurnal motion of the earth, the expansion of
water by heat, may all combine to force it along and direct its course;
and yet there may be some still more potent cause at work unperceived by
us, perhaps undiscoverable.  One thing we know, that it was the will of
the Almighty that so it should flow, for a great and beneficent object;
and that, to effect it, he has employed some potent and sufficient
agent, which, when he thinks fit, he will allow to be revealed to us by
the light of that science which he has given as one of his best gifts to
man.  There are, as you perceive on the charts, other currents in the
vast ocean, all set in movement for the sake of benefiting the
inhabitants of the globe.  While the warm Gulf Stream runs up to
Spitzbergen, the Hudson's Bay and Arctic currents bring cold water and
icebergs towards the south; and a current from the North Atlantic
carries its cooling waters round the arid shores of western Africa.
There is the great equatorial current from east to west round the world,
and numerous other currents in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the
influence of which we shall feel during our voyage; and by knowing where
to search for them, and where to avoid them, we can generally make them
serviceable to our object.  What I would especially point out to you, my
lads, is the beautiful adaptation of all the works of the Creator to the
great object of the whole.  The air and water are kept in motion for the
benefit of man and all living beings.  Order everywhere reigns supreme.
Science shows us that storms are regulated by exact laws, and it is only
through our ignorance and blindness that we cannot tell whence they
come, and whither they go.  What an admirable system of compensation
exists throughout the universe!  Heat, lost by radiation, is quickly
restored; water, lifted up by evaporation, has its place supplied by
colder currents; mighty rivers discharge their waters in vast quantities
into the ocean, and from the far-off regions of the tropics the winds
come loaded with dense vapours, which, precipitated at their sources
with ample and regular measure, supply all their demands.  I might
produce numberless examples.  As an instance, the whole volume of the
waters of the Mississippi, rushing out at its mouth, find their way back
again in an ever-constant circle to its sources among the far-off lakes
of North America.  The Gulf Stream fertilises the earth for the benefit
of man, and it likewise carries food to regions frequented by the mighty
whales.  Frequently large shoals of sea-nettles, on which the black
whale feeds, have been met with, borne onward towards its haunts in the
north.  The whale itself, it is believed, could not exist in the warm
waters of the stream.  Fish, also, are not generally found in it; and
those which inhabit it are of a very inferior flavour.  Instead,
therefore, of wandering about the ocean, where they could not be
procured by man, they are driven to the shallow waters near the coast,
where they can easily be caught.  It is a curious fact, that the warmer
the water, the brighter are the colours of the fish which inhabit it;
though, as food, they are generally of much less value.  While the Gulf
Stream largely benefits the globe, it is at the same time the proximate
cause of shipwreck and disaster, from the storms which it creates, in
consequence of the irregularity of its temperature, and that of the
neighbouring regions, both in air and water.  Perhaps nowhere is a more
terrific sea found than when a heavy gale meets the Gulf Stream, when
running at its maximum rate.  Many a ship has gone down beneath its
waters.  However, I might go on all day telling you curious things about
this same Gulf Stream.  One thing more I will mention: people often
complain of the dampness of England.  The same cause which so favourably
tempers the cold of our country, creates the dampness complained of.  It
is not that our soil is more humid, that marshes exist, or that the
country is not well drained; but it is that the westerly and
north-westerly breezes which prevail, come loaded with the warm vapours
ascending from the tropic heated waters of the Gulf Stream."

"Thank you, father, for all you have told us," said Gerard; "I think I
have learned a great deal I did not know before."

I was certain that I had, and directly afterwards put down, as well as I
could remember, all Captain Frankland had said.  The next day we sighted
Saint Vincent, one of the ten islands which form the Cape de Verd group,
so-called from being off the Cape de Verds, on the coast of Africa.  The
islands belong to the Portuguese.  They produce all sorts of tropical
fruits and vegetables, so that ships often touch here to be supplied
with them.  A large number of the inhabitants are black, or of a very
dark hue.  Instead of standing directly for the Brazils, Captain
Frankland shaped a course almost across the Atlantic for the coast of
South America.  He did this, he explained to Gerard and me, to get the
wind, which generally blows off that coast when the north-east trade
failed us; and to avoid the equatorial calms, in which, away from the
land, vessels are often baffled for days together.  I found, after I had
been some time at sea, "That the longest way round is often the shortest
way there," as the saying is.  In tropical latitudes, winds from
different quarters blow with great regularity in different places at
certain seasons of the year.  The great object of a master is, to find
where the wind is blowing which will be fair for him.  The two most
regular winds are the north-east and south-east trade-winds which blow
from either side of the equator, and meet in a wide belt of calms found
under it.  There are currents in the air as well as in the ocean; and
Silas told me that he has more than once passed ships at sea right
before the wind--steering north, for instance, while his ship, with an
equally fair breeze, has been standing to the south.  Formerly, ships
used to be steered as far south as they could get before the
trade-winds; and then often found themselves baffled for days, if not
weeks together, in the calm latitudes off the coast of Africa, when, if
they had stood boldly across the ocean, as we were now doing, they would
never have wanted a wind move or less fair.  Thus it will be seen that
in navigation there are currents in the sea and currents in the air to
be considered, and that it requires a great deal of forethought, and
knowledge, and experience, to take a ship in safety and with speed round
the world.  We were bowling along in grand style before the north-east
trade-wind, when Gerard stopped his father in his morning walk on deck.

"I say, father, can you tell Harry and me all about this trade-wind,
which we have got hold of it seems?" said he with a grave look, as if he
wished to become very learned.

"Which has got hold of us rather, I should say, by the way it is
carrying us along," answered the captain, smiling.  No one knew Jerry so
well as he did, though he often pretended not to understand at what he
was driving.  "You ask a question to which it is rather difficult to
reply in a brief way.  Take a piece of paper; draw a circle on it; now,
draw three parallel belts across it--one in the centre, and one on each
side of the centre.  Write on the centre belt, `Equatorial Calms;' on
the upper, `Calms of Cancer;' on the lower, `Calms of Capricorn.'  The
circle represents the globe; the ends of a line drawn at right angles to
the belts where it reaches the circle, mark the poles.  The globe moves
from west to east.  Now, suppose a mass of air sent off from the north
pole towards the equator in a straight line, it not partaking of the
diurnal motion of the earth would appear as if it came from the
north-east.  Another mass starting from the equator towards the pole in
consequence of the impetus given it, would be going faster towards the
east than the earth, and would, consequently, appear as if it came from
the south-west.  This actually takes place, but in the upper regions of
the air.  The same exchange takes place between the south pole and the
equator.  Now, let us see what becomes of these masses.  That which
started from the north pole meets in the air at about the parallel of 30
degrees; the mass which started from the equator meeting with equal
force, they balance each other, and produce a calm and an accumulation
of atmosphere pressing downward, and ejecting from below two
surface-currents--one towards the equator, which are the north-east
trade-winds; the other towards the pole, called the south-west
passage-winds.  This moving mass of air, which constitutes the
north-east trade-wind, meets near the equator with another mass which
has been moving on as the south-east trade--meeting with equal force,
they form a calm; and then, warmed by the heat of the sun, they ascend,
one-half streaming off high up towards the south-east--that is, counter
to the surface-current--till it reaches the southern calm belt; another
mass coming from the south-west, where it descends, and rushes as a
north-west surface-wind towards the south pole.  We have traced the mass
which started from the north pole.  Reaching the southern regions, it is
whirled round till, at the pole itself, a perfect calm is produced, when
it ascends and starts off as an upper current towards the equator; but
meeting another current near the tropic of Capricorn, then descends,
one-half flowing out at the surface, as I have before described, as the
south-east trade, the other towards the south pole.  This is the most
beautiful and regular system of atmospheric circulation kept up around
our globe.  It has not been ascertained exactly why the masses I have
spoken of take certain directions, but we know the directions they do
take.  The red dust we found off the Cape de Verds assists us in certain
degrees.  We know some of the agents--the diurnal motion of the earth,
and the sun's heating rays.  There are certain counteracting or
disturbing causes from which the surface-winds deviate from the courses
I have described.  Some lands are covered with forests, others with
marshes, others with sand.  All these may be disturbing causes--so are
lofty mountains.  From these causes, and the more powerful effect of the
sun's rays in one place than in another, hurricanes and typhoons occur,
and the monsoons are made to blow--the harmattan on the west coast of
Africa; the simoon, with its deadly breath, in Arabia; the oppressive
sirocco in the Mediterranean.  What I have said will explain that
beautiful passage in Ecclesiastes, 1st chapter, 6th verse, which shows
the exactness of the sacred writers whenever they do introduce
scientific subjects: `The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about
unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth
again according to his circuits.'  Who gave Solomon this information?  I
doubt if any of his sages possessed that scientific knowledge which has
only been attained by philosophers of late years.  Perhaps I may still
more clearly explain to you the cause of the circulation of the
atmosphere.  I told you that there were two agents at work--diurnal
motion, and the heat of the sun; but to these may be added the cold of
the poles, which contracts the air.  Suppose the globe at rest, and
covered with one uniform stagnant mass of atmosphere; suddenly heat,
cold, and the diurnal motion commence their operations.  The air about
the equator would expand, that about the poles contract.  Thus two
systems of winds would commence to blow--one above, from the equator
towards the poles; and as thus a vacuum would be left below, a current
would come from the poles to supply its place.  The diurnal motion
prevents these currents running in straight lines.  That coming from the
poles will appear to have easting in them, and those going towards the
poles westing.  Not only, however, is the level of the atmosphere
changed by the heating rays of the sun, but its specific gravity.  Thus
the heated current moves more easily and rapidly than the colder; and
the latter, consequently, turns back a portion of what was going towards
the poles, and adjusts the equilibrium of the atmosphere.  I have
already shown you the great importance of the circulation of the air in
the economy of nature; and how, among the many offices of the
atmosphere, it distributes moisture over the surface of the earth,
making the barren places fruitful, and tempering the climates of
different latitudes, fitting them as the abode of civilised man.  But I
will not pursue the subject further just now.  You must do that for
yourselves.  Try and remember what I have said, and think about it
whenever you have an opportunity."  Jerry and I thanked the captain for
what he had told us, and I, as before, at once dotted it down as well as
I could in my note-book.

Crossing the Atlantic, we sighted a glittering white rock rising fifty
feet out of the water.  It was, I found, the Island of Saint Paul's.  It
had a curious appearance, standing thus alone in the ocean 500 miles
from the coast of America, and 350 from the Island of Fernando Noronha--
the snowy pinnacle of a submarine mountain.  We hove-to close to it, and
a boat being lowered, Mr McRitchie, Mr Brand, Jerry, and I, went on
shore.  The whole rock is not three-quarters of a mile in circumference.
Its white colour, we found, was produced by a thin coating of a
substance formed by the washing off of the birds' dung, collected there
in a succession of ages.  The rock was covered with birds--my old
friends, the booby and the noddy, I had so often read about.  They
stared at us with a stupid look as we pulled up, not at all able to make
us out, and in no way disposed to make way for us.  Gerard and I were
for knocking as many as we could on the head; but Cousin Silas would not
allow us, observing that we did not want them for food, and that they
had a far better right to the rock than we had.  The booby, Mr
McRitchie told us, is a species of gannet, and the noddy a species of
tern.  The first lays her eggs on the bare rock, but the latter
constructs a nest with sea-weed.  While the doctor was eagerly hunting
about for specimens of natural history, we were amused by watching the
proceedings of some of the few inhabitants of the rock.  By the side of
several of the noddies' nests we saw a dead flying-fish, evidently
deposited there by the male bird.  Whenever we succeeded in driving away
any one of the females, instantly a big crab, which seemed to have been
watching his opportunity from the crevices of the rocks, would rush out,
and with greedy claws carry off the prey.  One fellow, still more
hungry, ran away with one of the young birds.  Another was going to make
a similar attempt.

"I ought to stop that fellow, at all events!" said Jerry, giving Master
Crab a stunning blow.  We tied his claws, and presented him as a trophy
to the doctor.

"A fine specimen of _Graspus_" cried our scientific friend, stowing him
away in his wallet.

"A capital name!" said Jerry.  "He seemed ready enough to grasp anything
he could lay his claws on."

The doctor said he could find neither a plant nor a lichen on the
island, and only a few insects and spiders, besides the boobies and
noddies.  I ought to have mentioned that we did not fail to meet with
the moist and oppressive weather found under the belt of calms under the
equator.  Frequently I felt as if I could scarcely breathe, and nearly
everybody was in low spirits and ready to grumble.  Jerry and I vowed
that the air was abominable.  Cousin Silas stopped us.

"Remember, lads," said he, "what the captain was telling you.  If it
were not for them mists, how could the rivers of the north be supplied
with their waters, and the fields of our own land be made fertile?
Thank God rather that you are thus enabled to see more of the wonders of
creation."

I never forgot this remark of Cousin Silas.  A delightful writer, now
well-known, describing the subject, calls it "The Circle of Blessing."
[Mrs Alfred Gatty, in her "Parables from Nature."]

Making sail, we soon lost sight of that white-topped rock.  Soon
afterward Gerard rushed down one morning at daybreak into our berth,
and, rousing me up, told me I was wanted on deck.  Half asleep, I jumped
up, and slipping my legs into my trousers--for no other garment was
required in that latitude--ran with him where he led me forward.  I had
scarcely got my eyes open when I found myself seized by two shaggy
monsters; and hearing the sound of a conch shell, I looked up, and saw
before me, as if he had just come over the bows of the ship, a
strange-looking personage, with a glittering crown on his head, a huge
red nose, long streaming hair, and white whiskers as big as two mops.
In his hand he held a trident, and over his shoulders was worn a mantle
covered with strange devices.

"Trite!--where's Trite?  Come along, Trite!" he exclaimed, in a gruff
voice--which sounded not altogether unlike that of old Ben Yool's--as he
looked over the bows; and presently he handed up a lady of very ample
dimensions, who certainly, except for a petticoat and a necklace of
shells, I should not have suspected to have belonged to the fair sex.

"Oh, there you are, my lovie!  We must be sharp about our work, for we
have so many ships to board that we haven't a moment to lose.  Now, if
there are any young shavers who hasn't crossed the middle of my kingdom
before, let them be brought up here in quarter less than no time, or
I'll do--I'll do--I'll do what you shall see."

This was said in a terrifically gruff voice.  Before I had time to look
about me, the two monsters had dragged me forward before his marine
majesty and his spouse; and one producing a huge cold tar brush, and the
other a piece of rusty hoop, I found my face paid over with some most
odorous lather.  I cried out to Jerry, who I thought, as a friend, ought
to help me; but he pretended to be in a dreadful fright, and when the
monsters ran after him he managed to shove so violently against me that
he sent me head first into a large tub of water which stood at the feet
of Neptune.  I was, however, immediately hauled out by the shaggy
Tritons, and after a fresh application of lather, my face was scraped
over with the piece of hoop.

"Douse him--douse the baby again!" shouted Neptune; and from the mode I
was treated, I thought that I should have been nearly drowned, had not
Mrs Neptune, or rather Amphitrite, interfered in a voice which was
intended to be very affectionate, but which sounded as if the poor lady
had a very sore throat, and begged that I might be allowed to return to
my cradle to sleep out the remainder of my watch.

"Oh, good mother, your sex are always gentle and kind," I answered,
determining to jump with the humour of the thing, and to show that I had
not lost my temper, although the ceremony I had gone through was far
from pleasant.  "Now, if you'll just leave one of your squires here
aboard, and he'll come aft by-and-by, I'll try if I can fish out a
five-shilling piece from the bottom of my chest, to buy you and your
good man some baccy and rum, to cheer you when you get back to your own
fireside."

"Well spoken, like a true son of the Ocean!" exclaimed Neptune, patting
me on the back.  "For that same notion you are free from henceforth and
for ever of my watery realms; seeing also as how you have been lathered
and shaved and crossed the line.  So here are three cheers for Mr Harry
Hopeton; and may he live to sail round the world, and to command as fine
a ship as this here craft--and finer, too!"

The crew, at Neptune's beck, on this gave three hearty cheers; and while
the Tritons were chasing down some lads and two or three men, who had
never before crossed the line, I made my escape towards a tub of clean
water, and thence to my cabin, where I very soon removed all traces of
the discipline I had gone through.  By the time the captain appeared the
whole ceremony was at an end, and the men were employed in washing down
decks, as if nothing had occurred.  It was the third mate's watch; and I
found afterwards that Jerry, who was the chief instigator, had obtained
his leave to have the ceremony take place.  The captain, I daresay, also
knew all about it, but said nothing on the subject.  Once upon a time
the crew of every ship crossing the line considered it their right to be
allowed full licence to indulge in all sorts of wild pranks; but the
custom got so much abused that many captains have put a stop to it
altogether, while others only allow it among well-tried and trusty
crews.  I was not sorry to have had the tricks played on me, because it
contributed to gain me the good will of the people; and I now felt that,
having crossed the line, I had a right to consider myself something of a
sailor.



CHAPTER FOUR.

A TRIP UP THE AMAZON.

Two days after crossing the line we sighted the island of Fernando
Noronha, which, with several outlying islets, is a very picturesque
spot.  It belongs to the empire of the Brazils, and is used as a penal
settlement.  As Captain Frankland wished to touch at every place not out
of his way, we dropped anchor in Citadel Bay, opposite a fort on which
the Brazilian colours were flying.  A boat was lowered, and though some
heavy rollers were setting into the bay, we managed to get on shore on
the top of one of them without getting wet--that is to say, the captain,
Gerard, and I.  It was really a pretty sight.  We pulled on steadily,
with the head of the boat directed on shore; then a high, heaving,
glassy wave came gliding in, and the boat was on its summit; now the men
pulled away with all their might, and on we flew till the boat's keel
touched the beach.  Quickly the waters receded.  The instant they did so
we all jumped out, and hauling the boat up before another roller came
in, she was high and dry out of harm's way.  A guard of blacks received
us; and hearing that the town was only about a mile and a half distant,
we set off to walk there.  We passed through a pretty valley, and some
woods of tropical shrubs, with the blue sea visible beneath their broad,
fan-like leaves, and by many huts and cottages, inhabited mostly by
blacks, who seemed very much astonished at our appearance.  At last we
reached the town, which has an open space in the centre, and a church
and the governor's house at one end, and a strong fort above it.  Here
nearly all the soldiers and free men are blacks, while the whites are
mostly slaves, made so by their crimes.  It must be rather a
satisfactory state of things to the feelings of the blacks.  The
governor of this place--of a hundred houses or so--received us very
civilly, and gave the captain all the information he required; and,
besides that, a good supply of vegetables, which the island produces in
abundance.

On leaving Fernando Noronha we steered for Pernambuco--perhaps, next to
Rio, the port of the greatest importance in the Brazils.  On going into
the harbour with a strong breeze blowing, the pilot from gross
carelessness gave the _Triton_ so hard a blow against a rook that an
ugly hole was knocked in her bottom.  It seemed for a moment that the
masts would have gone by the board; but the ship, bounding off the rock,
glided on as if nothing had happened.  It was a great trial for the
temper of Captain Frankland; but he uttered scarcely a word of reproof
to the pilot, and as to an oath, I never heard an expression even
approaching one pass from his lips all the time I was with him.  The
crew were all at their stations, and none stirred from them till the
captain ordered the carpenter to sound the well.  He quickly reported
that there were three feet of water in the well, and that it was rushing
in at a great rate.  All hands on board not absolutely required to
shorten sail were ordered to man the pumps, and the _Triton_ was carried
in as close to the town as possible, so that she might immediately be
put on shore should there be danger of her sinking.  On a further
examination of the damage the ship had received, it was found that it
would be absolutely necessary to land part of her cargo and to put her
on shore before it could be repaired.  It was late in the day before
this was determined on, so that nothing could be done that afternoon.
All night long the sound of the pumps going continuously kept me awake
till towards morning, when I still heard them in my sleep.  A gang of
negroes had been brought off to work them in relays, so that the crew
were saved the fatigue which they would otherwise have undergone.  I was
very glad the next morning when I found the ship hauled close in-shore
to a place where, if she did sink, she could not go far, or drown those
on board.  Captain Frankland found that it would take a considerable
time to get the damage repaired, as it was even of a more serious nature
than at first supposed.  He bore the annoyance with his usual calm
temper.  I have often thought what a valuable possession is a calm
temper, and how worthy of being cultivated.

The ship was consigned to an English firm--Messrs. Gleg and Robarts--who
rendered us every assistance in their power.  Mr Robarts was on the
point of starting in a fast-sailing schooner on a trip along the coast
to the northward and west, as far as the mouth of the mighty river
Amazon.  He invited Gerard and me, with Mr McRitchie, to accompany
him--not the last excursion of the sort we were destined to make.  As he
undertook to be back before the ship could be ready for sea, the
captain, glad that we should see as much of the country as possible,
allowed us to go.  I was amused at hearing the doctor charge the crew
not to fall sick, or tumble down and break their arms or legs, till his
return, at the risk of his high displeasure.  The schooner--the
_Andorinha_--was built and manned by Portuguese, or rather Brazilians
and blacks.  She was a very pretty little vessel, and a first-rate
sea-boat; indeed, the Portuguese models of vessels often used to put to
shame the crafts of the same class built in England.  However, of late
years we have made a great stride in that respect.  I speak of the
Portuguese, because the Brazils, it must be remembered, was colonised
from Portugal, and the greater part of the white inhabitants--if they
can be called white by courtesy--are of that nation originally.  I am
sorry to say that I lost my notes made on this trip, so that I am unable
to describe it with the minuteness of the rest of my narrative.

Mr Robarts was a very merry, kind person, and we spent a very pleasant
life on board the little _Andorinha_.  We put into several of the large
rivers, as the object of Mr Robarts was to collect some of the wildest
productions of the country from the natives inhabiting their banks.
When, we entered the Amazon, I could scarcely believe that we were in a
river, so wide and grand is the stream.  The colour of the water,
however, showed us that it was really a river we were in.  We had gone
up for some considerable distance, a strong breeze enabling us to battle
with the current, when at length we came to an anchor near the shore.
About a hundred and fifty miles up is the Brazilian town of Para--a
complete sea-port, though not equal in size to Pernambuco.  We, however,
having a favourable breeze, went much further up the main stream, and
then turned into one of the numerous rivers which fall into it.  Here
Mr Robarts expected to remain some little time to trade with the
natives.  I had been below, when, on returning on deck, I heard Gerard
laughing heartily, and pointing to a boat which was proceeding up the
stream.  In the fore-part was a thatched shed, on either side of which
sat four natives paddling.  In the after-part was another shed of bamboo
and grass, under which sat the passengers.  On the top of all was the
helmsman--a naked savage, lying his full length, and steering with his
feet, under a sun which would quickly have cooked a beef-steak exposed
to it.  Mr Robarts told us that the boat or canoe was called an
egaritea, and that it was the canoe usually employed for the conveyance
of travellers on the Amazon.  Again we laughed at the helmsman, who
seemed perfectly unconcerned, as, holding on to the bamboo roof with one
hand, he rested his black head on the other, just high enough to let him
look about in every direction.  Mr Robarts could not leave the
schooner; but as Mr McRitchie and we were very anxious to see as much
of the interior of this wonderful country as possible, we arranged to go
up in an egaritea as far as time would allow.  Mr Robarts allowed us to
take a half-caste native, who had served on board a British ship and
spoke a little English, as our interpreter.  He was called Pedro, but he
had a much longer Indian name, which I do not remember.  Away we
started, in high glee, with blankets, a supply of provisions, and a few
cooking utensils, with plates, cups, knives, and forks.  We could not
help laughing whenever we thought of our araies, or chief boatman, lying
at his length above us, steering with his feet.  This mode of travelling
we found very comfortable--almost too luxurious for our tastes--and
tolerably expeditious.  I should say that we all had our guns, and that
McRitchie had, besides, his sketch-book, and boxes and cases for
collecting subjects of natural history.  The difficulty in this region
was to know what to select.  The water abounded with all sorts of
strange fish, and turtles and alligators innumerable.  I must say, when
I first saw one of these hideous monsters, I felt an awe creeping over
me, though the natives did not seem to care a bit about them.  We had
got to the end of our voyage in the egaritea, and arranged to hire a
light open canoe, with two men as rowers, in which we could proceed up
some of the smaller rivers.  Nothing could surpass the luxuriance of the
foliage, which not only lined their banks, but extended a long way
inland, strange birds of all sizes, from the diminutive humming-bird to
others of immense bulk, of the most gorgeous plumage, flew about among
the trees; while, as we paddled along, we heard the most curious
chatterings, and now and then, if we remained quiet for a few minutes,
we could see hundreds of little black and brown and yellow faces, with
bright eyes peering at us from among the boughs.  The slightest movement
or noise made by us would send them scampering off along the branches,
or rather swinging themselves by hands and tails from bough to bough, or
from creeper to creeper, that being their favourite mode of locomotion.
They were clean, nice, respectable-looking little fellows, quite unlike
monkeys cooped up in menageries, or even in the Zoological Gardens, and
seemed to lead very happy and joyous lives.  Gerard declared that if he
was not a human being really, the next best state of existence he should
desire would be that of a monkey on the banks of the Amazon.  We were
not aware at the time of certain facts, which afterwards came to our
knowledge, which might detract somewhat from the desirability of the
existence; among others, that the natives shoot and eat the poor little
fellows with as little compunction as we should young pigs or fowls.

We were paddling along, admiring the wonderful foliage--one forest
seeming, as it were, to rise up out of the top of another, the lowest
being higher and thicker than any forest in northern regions--when
suddenly a huge black monster was seen swimming rapidly towards us.

"An alligator!" exclaimed McRitchie.  "He'll make mince-meat of us in a
moment.  My gun--quick, quick!"

I was handing him his gun when one of our native boatmen, laughing at
our fright, made signs that there was no danger, and seizing a piece of
drift-wood floating by, adroitly threw it across its mouth.  The vast
jaw of the monster came crashing down on it.  There they stuck, and the
native assured us, through Pedro, that he was now quite harmless.
McRitchie took a steady aim at the creature's eye, while a native stood
ready with a coil of ropes to throw over it directly it was killed, or
it would have sunk, I fancy, out of sight in an instant.  McRitchie's
bullet took immediate effect, and we soon had the creature hauled up on
the nearest bank, where our medico had the opportunity of anatomically
examining him at his leisure.  While he was thus employed, Gerard and I
agreed that it would be a good opportunity to prepare dinner, assisted
by Pedro.  The natives preferred sleeping in their canoe.  While we were
engaged over our fish, I on a sudden looked up, and saw a huge animal of
the tiger species stealing catlike towards the doctor, attracted
probably by the carcass of the alligator.  The creature seemed at that
moment about to make its fatal spring.  I had my gun providentially by
my side.  I shrieked out to the doctor to be on his guard, and at the
same moment raised my weapon to my shoulder to fire.  He had the large
knife with which he had been cutting up the alligator in his hand.
Resting on my knee, I fired, and though I did not flatter myself that I
was a good shot, happily hit the animal on the head.  He fell backwards,
stunned but not dead; and the doctor, rushing forward with his knife,
deprived the creature of existence, thanking me in the same breath for
the service I had rendered him.

"Come, we are meeting with adventures now, I do think, indeed!"
exclaimed Jerry, as we sat round our repast, after the enthusiastic
doctor had cut up the tiger.  "Hurrah! it's great fun."

Soon after embarking to proceed on our voyage, we looked into a curious
little nook under the trees, where, in the centre of the stream, lay a
canoe with two people, a man and his wife, in it.  They were not
over-encumbered with garments, but the man had some curious feather
ornaments on his arms.  At first they seemed inclined to paddle away,
but a shout from one of our canoemen brought them alongside, and from
the affectionate greeting which was exchanged between the parties we
found that they were relations, or at all events great friends.  Pedro
informed us that they invited us to their dwelling.  We were delighted
to accept the invitation, as we particularly wished to see the way of
life of the aborigines.  We paddled on some little distance, when our
new friends, leading the way pushed in among the tall reeds till we
found ourselves close to some long poles with a platform on the top and
a ladder leading to it.  We followed them up the ladder, when we found
ourselves in a sort of hut, thickly thatched over with palm-leaves.
Looking out, we saw several similar habitations.  It seemed something
like living up in trees.  We concluded that the object the natives had
in view in placing their habitations in such positions was to avoid the
floods, as also snakes and crawling creatures, and the noxious air which
floats close to the surface.  All the natives' houses are not built in
this way, for when we went further inland we met with several standing
only a short distance from the ground--on some more elevated spot.  The
natives are not very pleasant companions, as they anoint their bodies
all over with oil, which gives anything but a notion that they indulge
in cleanliness.  Jerry, however, observed that it was probably nothing
when people got accustomed to it, and that as oil was a clean thing,
they might be more cleanly than people who wear dirty clothes and never
wash.  Even these people do wash their children; and we were highly
amused in the morning on seeing a mother giving her little black-headed
papoose a bath.  The bath was a big tub made out of the hollowed
seed-lobe of a species of palm.  The fat little creature splashed about
and seemed to enjoy the bath amazingly.  After this we agreed that the
natives had a good reason for anointing their bodies with oil, and that
they were not naturally a dirty people.  With Pedro, who carried the
doctor's cases, and one of the natives as a guide, we made from thence a
long excursion inland.  We were all together when Pedro stopped us.
"There is something curious up in the trees," he observed.  We peered
through the branches, and a little way off saw two men--negroes they
seemed--seated at some distance from each other on the boughs of
different trees, perfectly motionless.  Each of them had a tube at his
mouth about twelve feet long, and very slender.  The mouthpiece was
thick--a short cylinder apparently--as the doctor told us, a receptacle
for wind.  The weapon or instrument, he said, was a sarbacan.  Numerous
beautiful birds were flying about in the neighbourhood, some of them the
most diminutive humming-birds.  Soon as we looked down fell one, then
another and another.  They were shot with little darts of hard wood
pointed at one end, and twisted round with wadding at the other to
prevent the wind escaping.  Jerry said that at school he had often made
similar weapons on a small scale, and had killed insects with them.
After the sportsmen had shot off all their arrows they came down from
their perches to collect their game.  We found that they were employed
by some naturalists at Para, and that the birds were wanted either for
stuffing or for the sake of their feathers.  We saw several snakes as we
continued our walk, and I must own that I felt very uncomfortable when
they appeared hanging from the boughs of the trees or crawling along
among the thick grass.  Many of them were perfectly harmless, but
others, we were told, were fearfully venomous.  Once we very narrowly
escaped a rattlesnake which appeared close to us, but Providence has
ordered it that most of these creatures should be more afraid of man
than man need be of them, and they make off rapidly at his approach.
If, however, they are trodden on, or are disturbed waiting for their
prey, they become savage, and revenge themselves on the intruders.  In
most instances, the only chance of saving the life of a person bitten is
at once to suck the wound.

At length it was time for us to go back to the egaritea, that we might
return to the schooner.  We found, on rejoining the passenger canoe,
that she would not be ready to start till the next morning.  We were
doubting what to do with ourselves in the meantime, when Pedro informed
us that he had heard of some amusing sport to take place that night, and
that he could obtain leave for us to join in it if we wished.  A party
of natives were going a little way down the river to a sandbank on which
turtles wore accustomed, at this season of the year, to come on shore in
order to deposit their eggs.  The natives hide themselves near the spot,
and as soon as the unsuspecting turtles have performed the operation,
they rush out and turn as many as they can catch on their backs.  There
they lie helpless till they are dispatched by the hungry aborigines.  We
started in our own canoe, in company with twenty or thirty others, late
in the evening.  On reaching the neighbourhood of the sandbank all the
canoes put to shore, and were drawn up on the beach.  The natives, one
acting as a leader, whom we followed close after, proceeded along in
single file till a number of bushes and trees close to the bank was
reached.  Behind these the party were soon concealed.  It was a great
trial of patience waiting for the turtle.  I thought at last that they
would not appear, and regretted having lost our night's rest for
nothing.  At last, however, a low whistle from our leader aroused the
attention of the whole party, and a number of black objects were seen
moving over the white sands, till the bank seemed literally covered with
them.  They remained for some time scraping holes in the sand, and, as I
supposed, depositing their eggs in them; then, at a sign from our
copper-coloured leader, out rushed all the savages, and getting between
the water and the turtle began turning them over with wonderful
rapidity.  Jerry and I tried our hands at the sport, but while we turned
one turtle a native would turn a dozen, and would rush into the water
after those that had escaped, and frequently bring them back.  At length
all the turtle had escaped or been killed, or had rather been turned on
their backs, where they lay utterly unable to move.  The natives now
selected five or six, and carrying them to an open place inland where
the squaws had already lighted a fire, hero they cut the flesh out of
the shell and immediately began cooking it in a variety of ways, and as
soon as it was cooked tossing it down their throats.  They all ate till
they were gorged, and then went fast asleep round their fires, forgetful
of tigers or rattlesnakes or other wild creatures.  I should think a
tiger must occasionally carry some of them off when they are in that
state, unless the wild beasts prefer the turtles, which I rather fancy
they do.  We selected four turtle, and filled a basket with a quantity
of the round soft eggs, and then paddled back to our egaritea.

Soon after it was daylight we started on our passage down the river,
which, as we had a strong current in our favour, was very quickly
performed.  The _Andorinha_ was just ready to sail, and as we had a fair
breeze, we did not stop at Para, but proceeded at once to sea.

I have narrated the chief incidents of our expedition.  By-the-by, the
doctor took a capital sketch of one of the tree habitations, literally
perched among the branches.  He had to climb a tree to take it, an easy
matter in those parts, considering the immense number of tendrils to
assist a person in the operation.  A big monkey was sitting on a
neighbouring bough, and did not observe us, as we were hid by the thick
foliage.  I have introduced the sketch at the end of the chapter.

We had a favourable voyage back to Pernambuco, where we found the
repairs of the _Triton_ just completed.  Captain Frankland was of course
very anxious not to lose a day after this was done, so as soon as the
cargo could be restowed we bade farewell to Mr Robarts and our other
kind friends, and with a light wind stood out of the harbour.  Our
destination was Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the Brazils.  I shall not
forget the magnificent sight which met my eyes, as one bright afternoon
we glided through a narrow entrance into its superb harbour.  We
appeared to be sailing up a large lake, extending as far inland as the
eye could reach, and surrounded with lofty mountains of many different
and picturesque shapes.  On either side were walls of granite, rising
sheer out of the water to a height of nearly 2000 feet, while behind
them rose the vast Sugar-loaf Mountain, and a number of other lofty and
barren peaks towering up clear and defined against the blue sky.  Like
mighty giants they surround the harbour, the ground at their bases
sloping towards the water, and sprinkled with pretty villages, and
quintas, and orange-groves, and covered with the most luxuriant
vegetation.  A picturesque fort guards the entrance to the bay.  Passing
it, after sailing about four miles, we dropped our anchor among a crowd
of vessels carrying the ensigns of nearly all the civilised nations of
the world, before the city of Rio, which, built on a flat extending two
miles from the hills, appeared on our left hand.  As our stay was to be
short, the captain allowed Gerard and me to accompany the doctor on
shore at once.  He himself went with us, and introduced us to a
merchant, who kindly undertook to show us about the place.

"There, go and see all you can, and give me an account of what you have
seen when you return on board," were his parting words.

Rio, with its superb harbour, as seen from the heights above it, is a
picturesque city, as I think the drawing I brought home and now give
will prove.  It is built upon piles--that is, the lower part--and as the
drainage is bad, it is at times very unhealthy.  On landing, we found
ourselves on a large open space with a palace before us, and a fountain
in front of it.  Before the palace stood two negro soldiers as a guard.
The army, our friend told us, is composed chiefly of negroes, who make
very good soldiers; and the navy is manned by them.  Acting with
Englishmen, many of whom are in the Brazilian navy, they are as bravo
and trustworthy as any men to be found.  Off the square branched a
number of narrow streets.  As the climate is so hot, all the streets are
made narrow, that they may be kept as much as possible in shade.  The
houses are mostly of good size, and the walls are very thick; they thus
keep out the heat of the sun.  The churches are also substantially
built, and decorated in a very florid style--the interiors being tawdry
in the extreme, calculated only to please the uncultivated taste of the
negroes and of the lower order of whites.  Railways have been formed in
the Brazils, and one runs to Petropolis, a summer resort of the
principal inhabitants.  Omnibuses, too, have made their appearance.  The
streets are paved with fine blocks of stone, and the city is lighted
with gas; indeed, as our friend observed, "under the liberal government
of the present constitutional emperor the country has made great
material progress.  When her literally unbounded resources are
developed, the Brazils cannot fail, unless her constitution is
overthrown, of becoming a wealthy and happy nation.  At present, her
wretched parody of the pure religion of Christians, and her lazy,
profligate, and ignorant priests, tend more than anything else to retard
her progress.  Vile as they are, they have been unable to prevent the
free circulation of the Scriptures and the toleration of Protestant
opinions."

We were struck by the immense number of negroes who crowd the streets.
Those born in Africa are known by the distinguishing marks of their
tribes on their foreheads.  Many of them are free.  A negro in Rio may
demand his valuation from a magistrate, and when he can make up the
fixed sum he can purchase his freedom.  Slaves are generally treated
kindly by their masters, and as their price is high, on account of the
impediments thrown in the way of the slave trade, their health is
carefully looked after.  The porters are all slaves.  They pay their
owners so much a day, and keep the rest of what they gain for
themselves.  They carry everything on their heads.  We sometimes met a
dozen grunting or singing in time, as they stooped under some huge
machine borne aloft above them.  They lie about the streets with their
baskets, ready for anybody's call.  We thought the Brazilians a very
quiet and most polite people.  They were continually bowing to each
other, and there was none of that bustling roughness so often seen in
England.  We met the emperor on horseback in plain clothes, though his
attendants were in handsome uniforms.  He was a fine intelligent-looking
young man, and is much liked.  The Brazilian government is liberal.
Both Houses of Parliament are elected by the people; and if there is a
majority of three-fourths in favour of a measure in the Lower House, the
measure is virtually carried, whatever the vote of the Upper.  If the
Senate, or Upper House, do not agree, the two meet in convention; and as
the number of the Senate is small compared to that of the Lower House,
it can thus always be outvoted.  The vote of the emperor can suspend a
law for a year; but if, at the end of that time, it be again passed by
the Legislature, it takes effect.  In reality, the government is a
republic, the emperor being the executive, though deprived of
legislative power.

We passed in our walk a house out of which a funeral procession was
coming.  It was that of a young lad of our own age, we were told.  That
and the neighbouring houses were hung with blue cloth.  The hearse and
liveries of the servants, and the trappings of the horses, were of the
same colour.  His hands were crossed before him with a cup in them.  The
decorations at the funerals of young children are red, those only of
grown-up people are black.  If boys are named after any of the saints,
they are dressed in appropriate costumes.  If after Saint John, a pen is
placed in one hand and a book in the other.  If after Saint Francis or
Saint Anthony, he has a monk's gown and cowl.  Sometimes a boy is called
after the archangel Michael, and then he wears a gilt pasteboard helmet,
a tunic with a belt round the waist, tight red boots, and his hand
resting on a sword.  Poor little girls, with rouge and false locks, are
made to represent Madonnas and female saints.  Jerry and I agreed that
we should not like to be rigged out in that guise after we were dead.

Rio is supplied with water by an aqueduct which comes from far up among
the mountains, its chief source being a romantic and forest-surrounded
spot, called the "Mother of Waters."  The actual channel which conveys
sufficient water to supply so large a city as Rio is only nine inches
wide and nine and a half deep.  The precious fluid, however, comes
rushing down with great rapidity, and thus quickly fills all the
reservoirs below.  It is conveyed from its mountain-source sometimes
across valleys on high massive arches, sometimes in the interior of a
thick wall-like structure, and sometimes underground.  The channel has
for its whole length an arch above it of sufficient height and width to
enable a man to walk upright along it.  Altogether, we agreed that Rio
if it were not for the slaves and the monks, and the want of drains,
would be a very civilised city.  Never did sight-seers get over the
ground faster than we did, or make better use of their eyes.  I ought to
have mentioned that steamers ply in various directions in the harbour of
Rio.  Our friend proposed a trip up the country, which would last during
the few days we had to spare.  We started in one of the smallest of the
steamers, and went up the River Macacu.  One thing struck us--a boat
laden with slaves, which had been landed on the opposite shore, and were
being smuggled into the city.  We went on shore at the small town of
Porto Sampaio, and thence on mule back about fifteen miles, to the
country-house of a Brazilian gentleman, our friend's friend.  We four
had a room to ourselves--a large, roughly built apartment.  Scarcely
were we all in bed, and the light out, when, just as I had dropped
asleep, down came something on my nose.  I started up, and there
appeared to be a tremendous clattering and pattering about the room.

"I say, Harry, what are you heaving at me?" sung out Jerry, springing up
also.

"Rather, what are you throwing at me?"  I retorted.

"Hillo! what's the matter?" cried the doctor; "I felt something soft
slip through my fingers--animals of some sort--what can they be?"

"Only rats!" said our friend, awoke by our exclamations.  "I know they
are somewhat numerous in this house."

We all sat up, and began shouting and striking right and left; but the
rats did not mind us a bit.  At last the doctor lighted a lucifer match,
and away scampered at least a hundred rats into the holes from whence
they had come out.  We thought that we were to have rest, but as soon as
darkness and silence were restored, out they all came again, and made as
much hubbub as before.  Jerry and I kept knocking about us to little
purpose, till we both fell back asleep; and all night long I dreamed
that I was fighting with a host of black men on the coast of Africa.
When the morning broke, they scampered away like so many evil spirits,
leaving their marks, however, behind them.  They had committed no little
mischief also.  They had gnawed through our friend's shoes and the
doctor's leather cigar-case; they had carried off Jerry's leather
braces--the remains of which were found near one of the holes--and the
front strap of my cap.  We all had suffered, but, as Jerry remarked, as
they had left us our noses and toes it did not much signify.  They
infest the country in all directions, we were told.

The estate we were on produced chiefly sugar.  The milk by which the
canes are crushed consisted of three vertical wooden rollers worked by
mules.  The most interesting subject connected with our trip was the
cultivation and preparation of the mandioca.  The chief produce is
called farinha: the slaves are fed almost entirely on it.  A field of
mandioca, when ripe, looks something like a nursery of young plants.
Each plant grows by itself, with a few palmated leaves only at the top.
The stem is about an inch in diameter at the base, and six or seven feet
long.  A bud appears at nearly every inch of the otherwise smooth stem.
These plants give forth tubers of irregular shape, in substance like a
parsnip, about six inches long and four thick.  The tubers, after being
scraped and rinsed, are ground, or rather grated against a wheel with a
brass grater as a tire.  One slave turns the wheel, and another presses
the root against it.  The pulp is then put into bags and pressed.  The
matter, which resembles cheese-cake in consistence, is then rubbed
through a wire sieve and thrown into shallow copper pans moderately
heated.  After being stirred up, it quickly dries, and the produce is
not unlike oatmeal.  The juice pressed out is very poisonous by itself.
It is, however, collected in pans, when a beautifully white substance is
precipitated to the bottom.  This substance is tapioca, so largely used
in puddings at home.  To plant a field of mandioca, the stems of the old
plants are cut into bits about four inches long, and stuck in the
ground.  They quickly take root, and, sending forth shoots from the
buds, are in two years fit again to dig up.  The mandioca is called
cassava in some countries.  The press used by the Indians is a simple
and most ingenious contrivance.  It is made by the Indians wherever the
plant is grown.  It is a basket made of fine split cane loosely plaited;
in shape, a tube five feet long and five inches in diameter at the
mouth, and narrowing somewhat at the bottom.  A strong loop is left at
each end.  To use it, first it is wetted, and then a man holding the
mouth presses the other end against the ground till it is half its
former height.  A long smooth stick is now inserted down the middle, and
the pulp is packed tightly round it till the basket is full.  It is then
hung to a beam or branch of a tree by a loop at the mouth, while a heavy
weight is attached to one at the bottom, till the basket has assumed its
original tube-like form and length, and the whole of the liquid has been
pressed out of the mass of mandioca.

One of the most curious features in a Brazilian forest is the vegetable
cordage, or _sipos_, which hang down from every branch, like slack ropes
from the rigging of a ship.  Jerry and I several times could not resist
having a good swing on them, while the doctor was hunting about for his
specimens.  Their roots are in the ground.  They climb up a tree, then
hang over a branch and descend, and often twist upward again by their
own stem, to descend more than once again to the ground.  We were shown
the nests of some diminutive bees.  The nests are not so large as a
turkey's egg, while the bodies of the bees are but little thicker than
the bodies of mosquitoes.  The comb is of a dark brown colour, and the
construction of the nest is somewhat like that of ants.  The only
entrance is a small hole, at the mouth of which they construct a tube
turning upwards.  This is regularly closed up at night, so that no damp
can enter, and it is never opened till the sun has been some time up.
The bees have no stings, but they are very brave, and will drive away
the ordinary bee from their hives.  A sketch which the doctor took, and
finished up afterwards on board, will afford a better idea of the
vegetation of a Brazilian forest than any verbal account I can give.

I might go on indeed for hours describing all the wonders we saw during
our short trip.  Our last excursion was to the Corcovado Mountains,
whence we looked down on the blue waters of the superb harbour of Rio,
surrounded by sandy beaches and numerous snow-white buildings, peeping
from amid the delicate green foliage which covers the bases of the
neighbouring mountains, and creeps up almost to their summits; while the
mountains are on every side broken into craggy and castellated peaks of
every varied shape; the whole forming a not easily forgotten panorama.
Once more we were on board and under weigh.  The bay, as we sailed out,
was full of vessels; but the flag of Old England was not, as I should
have supposed, among the most numerous.  With a fair wind we passed out
of the harbour, and stood along the coast to the southward.



CHAPTER FIVE.

ADVENTURES IN THE FALKLANDS.

The reason, I believe, why sailors in a well-regulated ship are
generally so happy, is, that they are never allowed to have an idle
moment.  Mr Renshaw was always finding something for the people to do;
and when that work was finished, there was something else of equal
importance to be done.  The picture our deck presented on one day will
serve for that seen on most days in fine weather: on one side the
spun-yarn winches were going, manufacturing spun-yarn out of old junk--a
never-ending source of employment; Mr Pincott and his mates were busily
at work building a boat on the other; the sail-maker and his gang were
repairing some of the sails, and making light ones for the gentle
breezes of the Pacific; while Fleming and his crew were laying up rope,
and the rest of the watch were knotting yarns, making sinnet, wad-bags,
wads, chafing gear of all descriptions, such as worming, parcelling,
roundings, spun-yarn, rope-yarn, marline, seizing, stuffs, and service
of all kinds; the names of which things alone are, I suspect, sufficient
to puzzle a landsman, so I will say no more about them.  Aft were
Captain Frankland, with one of the mates and Gerard and I, taking
observations of the sun,--an employment in which, as I began to
understand it, I felt great interest.  It struck me that, as far as I
saw, Captain Frankland took very little concern about the ship.  He
seldom spoke a word to any of the crew, and only occasionally on points
of duty while on deck, to the mates.  I soon found, however, that no man
could more effectually exert himself, when his exertions were required.
Hitherto there had been nothing to call forth his energies.  With light
winds and calm seas, he had better employment in his cabin.  That very
day a change came over the even tenor of our lives; scarcely were our
sextants stowed away, when, as the captain was walking the deck, I saw
him frequently turn his glance to the westward.  There, over the land,
in a moment it seemed, arose a bank of clouds, which every instant grew
denser and denser, and came rushing toward us across the sky.

"All hands shorten sail!" shouted Captain Frankland, stopping suddenly
in his walk.  Quick as the word, the work in which everybody was engaged
was stowed away, and up jumped the crew, all life and activity.  Away
they flew aloft--royals were sent down, top-gallant-sails were furled,
and the yards were braced so as to take the wind on the starboard-tack.
We had had the wind from the north-east, but it now fell almost a dead
calm, and the lower sails began to flap idly against the masts; and
under our topsails we waited the coming of the squall.  It did not long
delay; on it came in its majestic fury.  On one side of us the whole sky
was covered with a dense mass of threatening clouds, while the sea below
appeared torn up into sheets of hissing foam; on the other, the sky was
blue, and the water smooth as a polished mirror.  There was not a breath
of air where the ship lay.  Then down on us came the fierce squall with
its utmost fury--rain, hail, and wind united--over heeled the stout ship
as if she had been a mere cockleshell, till her gunwale was buried in
the water.  I thought she would never rise again, but I kept my eye on
Captain Frankland, who seemed as cool and collected as if nothing
unusual was happening.  With speaking-trumpet in hand, and holding on by
the weather-rail, he ordered the mizen-topsail to be furled.  The lee
maintopsail braces were then slackened, to shiver the maintopsail; and
the wind being taken out of it, the whole pressure was thrown on the
headsail; the helm was then put a-starboard, and her bow paying off,
righting herself, away flew the ship rapidly before the gale on an even
keel.  The foaming seas, rising every moment higher and higher, coursed
each other up under our stern, as if angry at our escaping their power.
Dark clouds were above us; dark hissing seas on every side; the thunder
roared, the lightning flashed brightly: so terrific did the scene appear
to me, that I thought at times that we must be hurrying to destruction.
I concealed my feelings, for Gerard took the matter very coolly, and he
was not likely to spare me if I expressed any unwarrantable alarm.
After we had run on before the gale for some time, it began to moderate.
We had all the time been going out of our course; so, to avoid losing
more ground, the captain gave the order to heave the ship to.  I had
never before seen this operation performed.  The fore-topsail was first
furled, and the maintopsail, which was closely reefed, and the
fore-topmast staysail were the only sails set.  "Brace up the main
yard!" was the next order given.  "Now, down with the helm!" cried the
captain, watching a favourable opportunity when a heavy sea had passed
us.  The ship felt the influence of the wind, and came up with her head
to the westward; and then she rode, rising easily to the tops of the
seas, and gliding slowly down into the valleys--their wild, foaming,
hissing crests rushing furiously by her, but not a drop of water coming
on board.  I had never pictured to myself a scene so awfully grand as
that which I now beheld in perfect security.  On one side the waters
rose in a wall high above the deck, and looked as if about to overwhelm
us; while the next instant we were looking down into a vale of waters of
depth so great, that it seemed, if we slipped into it, we should never
again struggle upwards.  When summoned to dinner, I went below with the
expectation that I should be unable to have a mouthful; instead of
which, there appeared to be very little more motion than usual, so
easily rode the ship; and I could scarcely persuade myself that I had
but just left a scene of such wild confusion on deck.  The gale did not
last more than twelve hours, and the ship was then once more put on her
proper course for the Falkland Islands.

"Land ho! land ho!" was shouted one forenoon from aloft, with the usual
prolonged cry.  The Falkland Islands were in sight, and the land seen as
we drew nearer, I found, was that about Cape Bougainville.  We stood on,
and next we made out the rugged hills above Berkley Sound, and then got
close to the dark brown cliffs of Macbride's Head, with hundreds of
seals lying on the sands and rocks below them.  We could hear the roar
of the beasts as they looked up at us, indignant, I thought, at being
disturbed by our approach; but Mr Brand told me that, fierce as they
looked, they are a very harmless race, and easily captured.  On the
downs above were numerous cattle feeding, which gave us the idea that we
were approaching some civilised part of the world.  Passing Berkley
Sound with a stiff breeze, which rushed out of it, we stood on for Mount
Low, and then beat up Port William, which has a line of sand hills on
one side of it, and Stanley Harbour at the end.  Although the day was
fine, the appearance of the country was not very attractive; for there
are no trees--rocks, and sand hills, and tussac grass, and barren
heights, being the chief features.  We dropped anchor opposite Stanley,
the capital of the settlement.  Above a line of piers and quays appeared
a double row of neat white cottages, inhabited by the pensioners who
were sent out to assist in founding the colony.  Round and about them
are other houses and cottages, extending along the shores of the bay,
and sprinkled on the sides of a gentle slope.  They are generally of
light tints, which contrast well with the dark background of the hill
beyond, and give the place a pretty appearance.  Further up is the
church, not a very ecclesiastical-looking building; and beyond again,
the cemetery, which has a neat chapel attached to it.  The Government
House is a long, low cottage edifice, which looks well from the harbour;
and on the east of the town are some extensive stores, belonging to the
Falkland Island Company, with their small fleet of vessels in front of
it.  On the west of the town is the Government Dock-yard, with
block-house, workshops, guard-house, and stores, all neatly railed in.
The surrounding country consisting of slight elevations, either rocky or
covered with tussac grass, is not attractive.  I could not help looking
at the place with great interest, as the first infant British settlement
I had seen; and I thought less of what it then was than of what it might
become, under good management.  The last idea was suggested to me, I
must own, by Mr Brand.

The chief promenade in Stanley is called Ross Road, running right and
left of the principal street for about two miles.  On one side of it are
built a number of houses facing the water, and among them are two or
more hotels, of some pretensions.  Behind this road are some smaller
streets, inhabited by labouring people, Spanish Gauchos, and others.
There are, perhaps, rather more than a hundred houses in the town, and
between 400 and 500 inhabitants, including boatmen, stray sailors,
Gauchos, and other wanderers.  Several of the houses have gardens which
produce a fair supply of vegetables, and beef is to be had in abundance;
but as the colony produces very little else in the way of food, the
inhabitants are somewhat hard up in that respect.  The islands
alternately belonged to England and Spain, till, in 1774, they were
finally evacuated by the latter power, though it is only of late years
that they have been systematically colonised by England.  The first
governor, Lieutenant Moody, arrived there in 1842, when the site of the
intended town was changed from Port Louis to Port Stanley.  As a proof
of the value of the islands, Mr Lafosse, a British merchant at Monte
Video, paid 60,000 pounds to have the right over all cattle of every
description to be found on the East Falklands, for six years and a half.
From what I heard, the climate is very healthy.  It is at times windy,
but in summer it is as mild and dry as the south of England.  In winter
the cold is never severe, and only at intervals of several years does
snow fall to any depth, so as to risk the destruction of cattle.  The
most remarkable production is the tussac, a gigantic species of grass,
which grows to the height of ten feet, and is capable of sheltering and
concealing herds of cattle and horses.  The core of this grass is of so
nutritious a nature, that people have been known to live for months on
it, and to retain their health.  From this cause the animals on the
islands grow to a great size, and their flesh is of a particularly fine
flavour.  The great object for which the settlement was founded, was to
afford a place where ships might repair, and to supply those going round
Cape Horn, or returning home that way, with fresh provisions.  It is
also under contemplation to make it a penal settlement, for which it is
in many respects particularly adapted, if sufficient employment for the
convicts can be found.

Gerard and I were very anxious to get on shore to enjoy some of the
sport we had heard so much about.  "Wouldn't it be fine to kill a fat
bull, who would make nothing of tossing one twelve feet up in the air if
he could but catch a fellow on the tip of his horns?" said he, rubbing
his hands.

I agreed with him; but we had little hopes of having our wishes
gratified, when a gentleman from the shore offered to give us a trip
round in one of the Company's schooners to the West Falklands, where she
was going to procure cattle.  As the ship was to remain here some days
to have one or two slight defects made good, and to take in a supply of
beef, fresh and salt, Captain Frankland allowed us to accept the offer,
Mr Brand going to look after us.  Away dashed the little schooner, the
_Sword-Fish_, having a fine fresh breeze, with as merry a party on board
as ever put to sea.  There was our friend Mr Nathaniel Burkett, and his
friend Mr Jonathan Kilby, both keen sportsmen, and up to all sorts of
fun; and Gerard and I, and the master of the vessel, Tom Cribb by name,
who, though not a good shot, seeing that he had but one eye, and that
had a terrific squint, knew every inch of the coast, and exactly where
we were likely to find sport; and then there was Cousin Silas, who was a
first-rate shot, though he did not throw away his words by talking about
the matter.  Pleasant as our trip promised to be, many a gale has to be
encountered off those wild islands, and dangers not a few.  We, however,
instead of standing out to sea and going round all, took a course,
well-known to our skipper, among the numerous isles and islets grouped
round the larger Falkland.  Their names I cannot pretend to remember.
At last we dropped anchor in a snug cove where we were to remain for the
night.  We, the sportsmen, were to have a boat left us, and we were to
land, while the schooner ran on to a station some way further.  We had
one dog with us, Old Surley by name, belonging to Mr Kilby--as brave an
animal as ever flew at a bull's neck, for he feared neither bull nor
beast of any sort.  With our guns, plenty of ammunition, and a stock of
provisions, we pulled up a creek where we could leave the boat in
safety, and landed.  We first climbed a rock on the shore, whence we
could look about us and take a survey of the island.  It was of
considerable size.  We saw that we should have no difficulty in
penetrating across it, through the high tussac grass which almost
entirely covered the ground.  We first advanced together.  We soon came
to some curious green mounds, covered with a velvety moss, about two
feet high and nine in circumference.  I happened to sit down on one to
tie my shoe, and it made a most comfortable seat.

"Do you know what that is?" said Mr Burkett, giving it a blow with the
butt end of his gun, which broke the moss to pieces as if it had been a
huge toadstool.  The mossy coat was an inch and a half in thickness, and
the whole interior appeared filled with wide-spreading miniature
fir-trees.  Every stalk, of which there were a great number, was edged
with diminutive leaves like those of the fir; and the tops were
sprinkled with little pieces of resin, brown outside and white within,
some not larger than a pin's-head, and others half the size of a
filbert.  We afterwards came to some mounds where the plants had pushed
through the green moss, and their leaves having slightly expanded, they
looked like miniature myrtles.  Instead of going directly inland, we
made our way along the shore among the penguin grass.  This grows to the
height of ten feet, on the top of clumps of decayed vegetable matter,
forming large hillocks, which made the shore look as if it had been
covered with a coppice of underwood.  We took our way through it, often
being hid from each other by the high grass, and had not gone far when a
loud roar saluted our ears.  Jerry and I were together, but we had lost
sight of the rest of the party.  I instinctively drew back, and he
looked very much as if he would have run away, had he known where to run
to.  He says he felt very brave though.

"What's that?"  I exclaimed.

"A lion!" replied Jerry, looking uncomfortable.

"A wild boar," said I; "there are no lions here."

"A big bull, perhaps," cried my companion.  "I hope his horns are not
sharp!"

Our guns were loaded only with small shot, so that we could hope to make
but little impression on the body of a wild animal.  The roar was
repeated, and there was a loud rustling among the penguin grass on a
mound near us.  The grass moved rapidly.  We looked towards it.
Presently the huge head of a ferocious-looking animal appeared glaring
at us from among the grass.  We shouted lustily for help to our friends.

"Let's run, it is a lion--I told you so," cried Jerry; "no time to lose,
if we don't wish to be eaten up!"  Suiting the action to the word, Jerry
turned round, and, in attempting to escape, tumbled over some of the
tangled stalks, and lay sprawling on the ground, while I endeavoured to
lift him up.  The huge monster all the time came roaring towards us,
Jerry and I shouting out,--"Help, help, help! a lion, a lion!"  In
another moment I expected to feel his claws on my shoulder.

"A sea-lion, my lads!" cried Mr Jonathan Kilby, who at that moment
appeared close to us from among the high grass.  "Jump up and attack
him."

The beast having no legs, and being able only to make progress with his
fins, had not advanced so far as we expected.  Our friend, having in the
meantime drawn the small shot from his gun, and put a ball instead,
fired at the head of the beast.  The ball entered and stopped his
further progress, and there he lay, helplessly floundering about, and
roaring more lustily than ever.  This gave Jerry and me time to recover
ourselves, and to put bullets into our guns, with which we soon put an
end to the sufferings of the poor beast.  He was, we found, a species of
seal, about eight feet long, of a yellowish-brown colour, and with a
large mane, covering his neck and shoulders.  He looked as if he would
prove an ugly customer in the water; but as he had only flappers for
front legs, with very small nails on them, and only a tail instead of
hind-legs, a person on shore could very easily keep out of his way, and
Jerry and I felt rather foolish at the fright he had put us into.  We
had achieved our victory before Mr Brand and Mr Burkett found their
way up to us.  As he lay not far from the boat, we settled to take his
skin on our return.  Going on, we reached a lake of some size, from
which vast numbers of teal got up.  Jerry and I shot several, which made
us very proud; and the rest of the party tagged thirty or more between
them, so that they were pretty well loaded.  Before long, we again
managed to get separated from the rest, but we had grown so satisfied
with our prowess that we were indifferent to consequences.  We felt that
we were not likely to starve even if we lost our way.  I was just going
to fire at a teal, when Jerry pulled my arm, and pointing to an opening
in the distance among the clumps of grass, I saw the head of a huge bull
not fifty yards from us, and, as it seemed, fast asleep.  Now was the
time to show what we could do, so we withdrew our small shot and loaded
with ball.  Like North American Indians on a war-trail, we crawled
stealthily towards him.  We halted, and resting our guns on a bank,
fired together.

"I am certain I hit him," cried Jerry.

"So am I," I added--though I was surprised that the beast did not move.

"We've killed him!" cried Jerry, as on we rushed, expecting to find a
rich prize.  He was lying down when we hit him, we saw that.  We kept
him in sight for some way, then we found our further progress somewhat
impeded by the bogginess of the ground.  At last we were brought to a
stand-still about ten paces from our victim.  Jerry gave a blank look at
me, and I looked at him, and burst out laughing.  The poor beast was not
alive, certainly, but we were innocent of his death.  He had evidently
got into the bog in wet weather, and in vain struggling to free himself,
had died of starvation.  His head was stretched out, as if hopelessly
longing for the rich food he saw growing not thirty yards from him,
which yet he could not reach.  All around the morass were the hoof-marks
of his comrades, as if they had been watching him in his dying
struggles, scampering round and round, perhaps with terror, or perhaps
thinking how they might help him.

"At all events," exclaimed Jerry, "we may say we hit a huge bull and
left him as dead as mutton; and there's no great harm if the rest go
back to look for him.  We can easily point them out the place by the
side of the lake."

A little further on we reached a smaller lake which was swarming with
birds--geese, ducks, divers, and other wild-fowl.  Among them were
several swans, beautifully white, with black necks, which kept swimming
gracefully about like the great lords of the feathered population among
whom they moved.  Jerry and I were very hungry, so we sat ourselves down
to take a nibble at our biscuit and cheese, not wishing to disturb them
till our friends should come up to help us to slaughter them.  We had
sat a little while, and opened our wallet, when, what was our surprise
to see the birds swimming together, and landing in numbers below our
feet!  Slowly some advanced, as if to reconnoitre us, and then others
came on, till some hundreds were within thirty yards of us, evidently
wondering what strange animals we could be.  Then they began to talk to
each other in a most strange discordant cackle, their voices growing
louder and louder, as if they were disputing on the subject, and could
not settle it to their satisfaction.  We lay back and watched them,
highly diverted.  Nearer and nearer they approached, talking away
furiously all the time in tones of wonder and surprise, more than in
those of anger.

"I know what they are saying," whispered Jerry.  "Well, these are two
strange beings!  How could they have come here?  They are not seals,
that's certain, for they have legs; but they don't look as if they could
swim with those long, thin projections instead of flappers; and
assuredly they can't fly, for they have no wings.  How can they feed
themselves, for they have no bills? and see what great ugly round things
they've got for heads.  Evidently they cannot dive or live under water.
They are not fish, then, nor birds; for if those are feathers growing on
their backs, they are very rugged and dirty.  Well, we pity them; for
they are strange beasts, that's a fact."  This quaint notion of Jerry's
tickled my fancy so much that I burst into a loud fit of laughter, which
somewhat startled our flock of visitors; while Jerry, sitting up, hove a
stick he had carried all day made fast to his side in among them.  The
missile did not, however, make them turn tail; but, instead, they
clustered thickly round it, and, as if it had been some impertinent
intruder, began pecking at it furiously.  As we could not carry the
birds away, with a praiseworthy self-denial we abstained from firing.
When, however, we jumped suddenly up and clapped our hands, away they
scuttled at a great rate, chattering and quacking louder than ever.  We
hoped, however, to reward ourselves for our present self-denial, by
returning with all the party to have a shot at them in the evening.
After this we walked on for a mile, and had begun to wonder what had
become of our companions, and to be a little anxious at having missed
them, when we were startled at hearing a loud roar not three hundred
yards from us.  It was very different from that of the sea-lion, and we
too soon recognised it as the voice of an angry bull.  Again the bull
bellowed, and this time several other bulls lent their voices to the
terror-inspiring chorus.  We ran to the top of the highest mound near
us, and thence we made out five or six bulls, with their tails up in the
air, rushing towards us, following one whose voice we first heard.  The
spot on which we stood afforded us no protection, for the beasts would
have rushed up it in a moment, but a couple of hundred yards on was a
rock with steep sides, just rising above the grass; and our only chance
of safety was to climb it before the horns of the first bull had reached
our backs.  Had he come directly on, as fast as his legs could carry
him, this we should have had no chance of doing; but instead of that, he
every now and then stuck his sharp ugly-looking horns into the grass,
and tossed it above his head, as if to show how he intended to treat us
when he caught us.  We rushed on with our eyes fixed on the rock, not
venturing to look behind, and expecting every moment to feel his horns
at our backs.  We kept a tight hold of our guns, but unfortunately
dropped our wallets and the game we had shot.  On we ran and on came the
bull; the rock was a dozen yards before us, and he was not much further
off in our rear.  We sprang on; Jerry tripped over a lump of decayed
grass, but he picked himself up, and, crying to me not to stop, followed
me.  The face of the rock was too perpendicular directly in front to
allow me to get up it, but a little to the right it was more broken.  I
sprang towards the place, and scrambled up.  Jerry reached the foot of
the rock; the bull was making for the right side, where he had seen me
climb up.  In another moment he would have pinned Jerry to the rock, or
tossed him up to me.

"Help me! help me, Harry!" he sung out, with good reason dreadfully
alarmed.  I had just time to throw myself down at full length, and, by
loaning over the rock, to seize his hand, before the bull, seeing him,
with a terrific bellow made a full butt at him.  With a strength I did
not think myself capable of exerting, I hauled him up to me, the bull's
horns actually passing between his feet!  In his hurry, however, he
dropped his gun at the foot of the rock, and the bull vented his rage
and disappointment by giving it several butts as it lay on the ground;
and I was in great hopes that he would strike the lock and make it go
off--it would have astonished him not a little.  Jerry almost fainted
with the fright the brute had given him, but he very speedily recovered,
and then we looked round to see what sort of a place we were on.  We
found that it was, fortunately, inaccessible on all sides; so we
returned with much greater composure to watch the proceedings of our
bovine enemies.  The other bulls had now come up, with their tails in
the air, bellowing at the top of their voices, and tearing the ground up
on all sides, and throwing the grass over their heads.  They appeared
for some reason to be fearfully enraged against us.  There were seven
bulls altogether.  Placed in the convenient position we were, we agreed
that we could easily shoot them, and thus raise the siege; but on
examining the contents of our pockets, we found that we had only got
five bullets between us.  Now, supposing every bullet to have had in
this case its billet, and to have mortally wounded an animal, that would
have left two unprovided for; and even with two we had no desire to
contend on the level ground.  Still we determined to do what we could;
so I loaded and took a steady aim at the beast which had led on the
attack.  The bullet struck him on the head; but his skull was thick, and
though it wounded him severely, it did not enter his brain.  The pain
made him tear up the ground more furiously, and bellow louder than
before.  Jerry said he would try the next time; so I loaded, and he took
the gun.  I thought he was going to make a good shot, but he was
nervous, and the bullet only struck the beast's shoulder, nor did it
increase the sweetness of his temper.  We had thus only three bullets,
and all our enemies as vicious as ever.  The most important thing we
agreed to be done was to get rid of the leader; so I took the gun again,
and carefully loading, waited till he made a tilt right up to the face
of the rock, really looking as if he had been going to try and leap up
at us.  I tried to be perfectly cool, and fired.  The bullet struck him,
I was certain of that, but it did not kill him, so I supposed that it
had glanced off over his head.

"I won't miss again," I cried, loading as rapidly as I could.  "One of
our last two bullets must do the deed."

Our enemy, on receiving his last wound, turned off and made a rapid
circuit round the rock, to discover, we concluded, if there was any
place by which he could get up at us.  Finding none, he returned.  As
soon as he appeared, I took a steady aim, resting the barrel on a lump
of rock--I fired.  Roaring with fury, he bounded along towards the rock.
I thought he would almost have reached us.  Suddenly he stopped--down
went his head, and over he rolled close under the rock, and there he lay
stone dead!  We both of us simultaneously raised a loud shout of
victory; but, as Jerry remarked, we began to crow rather too soon, for
the other six bulls, no way daunted at the fall of their leader,
continued raging round about us as furiously as ever.  We had only one
bullet left, and with that we could scarcely hope even to settle one of
them.  We sat ourselves down watching our enemies, hoping that they
would grow tired of waiting for us and go away; but they seemed by no
means disposed to move.  Never did a beleaguering army watch more
pertinaciously round a hard pressed garrison than did our formidable
enemies watch to toss us in the air.  In vain we stood up and looked
around on every side for our friends, as far as our somewhat limited
range of vision extended.  There was not a sign of them.  They, too,
would have become not a little anxious about us, except Cousin Silas
thought we were still with Mr Kilby, and the latter gentleman supposed
we had joined our other friends.  If so, unless they met they would
probably not come to look for us.  As we had taken but a light luncheon,
we began to feel very hungry, and to cast longing glances at our
satchels and the teal, which lay at some distance from the rock, but
which we dared not attempt to got.  Not ten feet below where we sat was
the bull.  Jerry looked over the rock--

"I should so like to have a juicy beef-steak out of you, old fellow!"
said he, addressing the dead animal.  "I say, Harry, don't you think we
could manage to get it?  The other brutes will certainly grow hungry
before long; and, as they don't want to eat us, while they are picking
up their dinners I shall have plenty of time to get down and cut out a
few slices.  I have my knife, and I sharpened it only yesterday."

I had mine also; and, as I highly approved of his suggestion, we
resolved to wait a favourable opportunity for our exploit.  Raw meat was
not, however, to our taste; so we agreed to try and light a fire and
cook our steaks.  There was plenty of dry moss and grass on the rock, so
we set to work and collected all that we could find, so that we soon had
a famous heap of it, sufficient almost to roast the whole animal.  As we
expected, the bulls, after looking at us for some time, feeling the
calls of hunger, began to lower their tails, and putting their heads to
the ground, commenced to munch the tender grass.

"Now, if these beasts had been lions and tigers, the more hungry they
grew the more anxious they would have been to get at us.  It's lucky all
animals are not carnivorous."

Having delivered himself of this sagacious remark, Jerry said he was
ready to turn butcher.  We waited, however, till the bulls had got a
little further off, and then he descended on the carcass of our victim,
while I bent over the rock, as before, to help him up should they appear
inclined to tilt at him.  Enough steaks were cut to dine half-a-dozen
men; and then, as the bulls did not observe him, grown brave from
impunity, he went on further and picked up his gun.  This he handed up
to me, and it was not much the worse for the butting it had got.  The
bulls were still feeding quietly, apparently having forgot all about us.

"I say, Harry, I think some biscuits, and rum and water, would not be
bad things with our steaks, not to speak of the teal," said he, looking
up at me.  "What do you advise?  May I venture to run for the satchels
and some of the game?"

I agreed with him that it would be very desirable to have them, and
offered to accompany him.

"No, no," he answered, with a knowledge of generalship for which I had
not given him credit; "do you load the gun, and stand by to cover me if
I am pursued; you will be ready also to help me up the rock as before.
If I were to take your place with the gun up there, the chances are that
I should shoot you instead of the bull, and that would not do.  I'll go,
never fear."  Jerry, as will be seen, was a creature of impulse.  He was
as brave as any one when he had time for reflection, and saw the
necessity for coolness.  As soon as I had loaded the gun and got ready,
keeping his eyes on the bulls, he cautiously advanced towards our
satchels.  If a bull lifted his head, he stopped, and crouched down to
the ground.  Then he advanced again on all-fours; and so by slow degrees
he worked himself up to the spot at which he aimed.  He seized the
things, and began to return as slowly as before.  It would have been
well if he had continued his caution, but when he had got about half way
on his return, he took it into his head to run, laughing loudly at the
success of his exploit.  His figure moving alone, and his voice, roused
the bulls.  Up went their tails, and a terrific bellow made his laughter
cease in a moment.  I shouted to him to run faster.  On he scampered,
shouting loudly, "Fire, Harry, if you see one of them going to butt!"  I
was all ready, and he bravely held fast our property.  The bull nearest
to him, wildly whisking his tail and bellowing louder than ever, was
close to him.  I was in doubt whether or not to fire, lest I should
still more infuriate the animal should I wound without killing him.  In
another moment I saw that there was no alternative.  His horns were
close to Jerry's back, and in an instant he would have had him high up
in the air.  I shouted to Jerry to jump on one side.  He followed my
advice with wonderful coolness.  I fired.  My bullet hit the bull in the
right eye.  Down went his head, tearing into the ground.  He rushed on
almost close up to the rock, bellowing furiously, ploughing up the earth
with his horns; and then, as if he had been making a voluntary
summerset, he rolled right over, and was dead.  It was indeed a triumph.
I had no time to think about it then.  On rushed Jerry, for the other
bulls were coming up fast.  Throwing aside my gun, I helped Jerry up the
rock with the things he had so courageously recovered at the moment the
other beasts were up to him.

"Bravo, Harry!" he sung out; "you've saved my life and shot the bull;
you are a capital fellow!"

I proposed that we would not compliment each other till we had lighted
our fire and cooked our steaks.  As we had now some teal, we added a
couple to our repast.  We had some lucifers, so we soon made a glorious
fire.  Having plucked our teal, we poked them under the ashes, while, in
true sportsman fashion, we toasted the steaks at the end of our ramrod.
Having also pepper and salt, we had every reason to be satisfied with
our repast.

"I say, I wish those other fellows were here," said Jerry.  "It would be
great fun if they would come, thinking we were stuck in a bog, or spiked
on the horns of bulls, and find us so jollily eating away up here.
Here's to your health, Harry.  May you always make as good shots as you
did just now, when you saved me from the butt of that beast's head!
Hillo! have a bit of your brother?" cried he, holding a piece of the
steak at the end of his ramrod down towards one of the bulls, which came
snuffing up towards us.

Thus we went on laughing and joking, perfectly contented, and thinking
only of the present moment.  We forgot that our fuel would soon be
expended; that the position we occupied would be a very unpleasant one
on which to pass a cold and perhaps rainy night; and that our friends
would become really alarmed should we not make our appearance at the
boat.  These considerations did not begin to weigh with us till we had
finished our dinner.  When, however, we had time for reflection, we were
not quite so well contented with ourselves.

"This is very good fun," I remarked, "but I should like to know how we
are to get away unless these beasts of bulls choose to raise the siege."

"They'll not do that in a hurry," answered Jerry.  "We must wait till
night-time, when they can't see us, and then make a run for it."

"But how are we to find our way to the boat in the dark?"  I asked.  "I
scarcely know whereabouts she lies."

"To the westward, then, I think," said he.  "If the sky is clear we may
steer by the stars, and we shall manage to find our way."

I cannot say that I felt as hopeful as my friend professed to do, still
there appeared to be no other means of escaping the bulls, and getting
back to the boat.  Should we wait till the morning the brutes would
probably espy us, and run a tilt at us as before.  We had provisions to
last us for many days, but we had no liquid, with the exception of a
little rum and water, which, although we had carefully husbanded it, was
very low in the flask.  A breeze had sprung up from the east, and it was
already rather cold on the top of the rock; so, making up our fire, we
sat down by it.  We were amused at the way in which the bulls
occasionally came and had a look at us; as much as, Jerry said, to ask,
"Well, when are you coming down to let us give you a toss?  We don't
intend to go away till we've tried it on.  We are at home here, you
know, so we are in no hurry."  Provoked, as he declared, at their
impudence, he at last seized a bundle of burning grass which, he had
twisted into a torch, and when a bull came near he hove it at his head.
The flaming mass caught on his horns, and certainly had the effect of
making him turn tail, and rush bellowing off from the rock; but it had
another effect, and a most disastrous one, on which we had not
calculated.  Galloping on, the animal very soon freed himself from his
burning head-dress by sending it into the middle of a large clump of
tussac grass.

"Hurrah! the brute has made a famous bonfire!" exclaimed Jerry, clapping
his hands as he saw the bright flames burst out from the easily ignited
grass.

"Larger than we may bargain for," I remarked, as in another instant,
fanned by the wind, the fire began to run along the ground, and a
neighbouring clump broke forth into a furious blaze.

"Well, that is a bonfire!" cried Jerry, still not comprehending the
extent of the mischief he had commenced; but it was not long before he
also saw with me what was going to occur.  On went the fire, running
along the ground as if it had been strewed with gunpowder--then for an
instant playing round some tall clump, out of which directly afterwards
forked flames darted forth, and quickly reduced it to ashes, while thick
volumes of smoke curled upwards to the sky.  No sooner did the bulls
scent the smoke than up went their tails, and with loud bellows they
dashed off through the grass, trampling it down in their fright.

"Now is our time!"  I exclaimed; "the siege is raised; let us make the
best of our way to the boat."

Following the impulse of the moment, we seized our guns and the birds we
had shot, and leaping off the rock, began to run in an opposite
direction to that which the bulls had taken.

"Hurrah! the bulls are off.  There they go like mad things, with their
tails up in the air!" exclaimed Jerry, as we ran on.

"I did it finely--didn't I?  That bonfire was a capital idea.  We've
killed two, and the rest won't be in such a hurry to butt at people in
future."

On we scampered, but we had not gone twenty paces before I seized
Jerry's arm and came to a stand-still, looking with dismay at the scene
before us.  The flames, blown by the wind, had caught the neighbouring
clumps of tall grass.  Dry as tinder, they were blazing up furiously.
Our further progress was completely barred by the fierce flames which
were rapidly extending on every side, and even then running along the
ground towards us.  We had already passed over a quantity of dry grass
which, in another moment, might be on fire, and then all hope of escape
would be lost.

"Back, back!"  I exclaimed--"to the rock, to the rock!  It is our only
place of safety."

With frantic speed we rushed back, the fierce flames, like hissing
serpents, close on our heels.  Hotter and hotter became the air--more
dense and suffocating the smoke.  Blinded and confused by it, we could
scarcely find our way.  A trip over the tangled grass-stalks we knew
would be fatal.  The flames were already scorching our backs.  On either
side we saw them leaping upwards round the tall tufts of dry herbage.
We shrieked with pain and terror.  The rock was reached, but to scale
its steep sides seemed beyond our power.  With a strength I did not
believe myself to possess, I seized Jerry and hoisted him up.  Grasping
the clumps of grass and rugged lumps of rock, he scrambled to the top,
and then leaning over, lent me his hand, and dragged me after him.
Horror of what might be my fate enabled me to do what I otherwise could
not have accomplished.  At the same moment that I reached the top of the
rock, the whole surrounding surface of the ground below became a sea of
raging fire--leaping, tossing, hissing, roaring, the flames blown here
and there by the wind; it was like the ocean in a storm.  The devouring
element came circling round us, the bright flames darting up like the
tongues of huge serpents, eager to make us their prey.  Bewildered by
the scorching heat and black circles of smoke, we were nearly falling
back into the fiery sea.  I felt that I could not much longer retain my
senses.  I seized Jerry's arm, and dragging him back, we retreated
towards the centre of the rock.  Even there the heat was so intense, and
the smoke so suffocating, that it was with difficulty we could breathe.

"This is dreadful!" he exclaimed faintly.  "Harry, I cannot stand it--I
am going to die."  Saying this, he sunk gasping to the ground.  At the
same time I felt an agonising sensation in my chest, and fully believing
that the same fate as his was about to overtake me also, I dropped down
senseless by his side.



CHAPTER SIX.

OUR BOAT ADVENTURE AMONG THE FALKLANDS.

A current of cool air was passing over the face of the rock, I conclude,
for, to my no small satisfaction, I discovered that I was alive, and
could very speedily sit up.  The spectacle which met my sight, however,
was terrific in the extreme.  Far as the eye could reach, the whole
country was in a blaze, the flames crackling and hissing as they
fiercely attacked clump after clump of the tall tussac grass, while the
ground over which they had passed was charred and blackened, the
globular masses of the bog balsam glowing with fervent heat.  The flames
also still burned brightly close round us, and I saw no means by which
we could escape from our position.  As soon as I had collected my
thoughts, I remembered my companion.  I found a few drops of spirits and
water in our flask.  I poured them down his throat.  He looked up.

"What! am I still alive?" he muttered faintly.  "Oh, the bulls and the
fire! what's going to happen next?"

"That is more than I can tell you exactly," I answered; "but I suppose,
in time, the fire will burn itself out, and then we may get away from
this.  Let us watch it meantime.  It is worth looking at."

In a short time, after a few sighs, Jerry lifted up his head from the
ground, and sat up.  The sight at which we gazed was especially grand
when a fresh puff of wind sent the flames rolling along, and throwing up
forked flashes, as they found new fuel to feed on.  All the beasts it
had encountered had, of course, fled, terror inspired, before it; but
numberless young birds must have been destroyed, and we saw hundreds of
their parents hovering over the spot where their nests had been, in the
vain effort to save their offspring.  Some we saw fall into the flames,
either from having their wings singed from approaching too near, or by
being suffocated with the smoke.  When we saw the effects of the fire,
we were doubly thankful that we had not attempted to make our way across
the island.  Once surrounded by that fiery furnace, we must have been,
to a certainty, burned to death.  Suddenly a dreadful thought occurred
to me.

"Jerry," I exclaimed, "where can our friends be all this time?  Is it
possible that they can have been among the grass, and that the fire may
have caught them up?  Good Cousin Silas, and Mr Burkett, and jolly Mr
Kilby.  Poor fellows! we may be much better off than they are."

"Oh, don't talk about it," said Jerry, shuddering; "it is too dreadful.
I hope--I hope they will have got into a place of safety.  Poor fellows!
and it was all my doing.  Do you know, Harry, I think we ought to pray
for them.  They may be requiring aid which no mortal man can give them."

"Yes, indeed," said I; "we ought--let us."  And together we knelt down
on the hard rock, surrounded by the roaring flames, the thick black
smoke curling around us, and sometimes almost suffocating us; and most
earnestly did we offer up our prayers for the safety of our friends and
for our own; and most thankful did we feel that we had been preserved
from the dangers into which we had been thrown.  I pity the person who
is ashamed to acknowledge that he prays for protection both for himself
and those he cares for.  How should we go through the world without the
protection of an all-merciful God?  Often and often I have had proof of
how utterly unable we are to take care of ourselves.  Among the many
blessings and advantages I have enjoyed is that of having had parents
who taught me to pray, and not to be ashamed of praying.  At school,
when some poor, weak, foolish boys were afraid to kneel down by their
bedsides to say their prayers, my brothers and I always persevered in
the practice; and very soon we put to shame those who tried to interrupt
us--and not only we ourselves, but other boys who did the same, were
from that time never interfered with.  Sure I am that our prayers were
heard, and that the blessings we prayed for in earnestness and
simplicity were given us.  When we rose from our knees we found our
courage much increased.  The occasion had made us serious, and reminded
us of our duties.  I wish that it had been always so, that it were still
always so; but even now as I write, I feel how much day after day I have
left undone of what I ought to have done.  Is it not so with all of us?
Then what necessity is there for prayer for strength from above to
enable us to do our duty.  I say again, don't be ashamed.  Pray always;
and if it is for your good, what you ask with faith God will most
assuredly give you.  He has said it, and his promises never fail.

Night was now approaching, but we could yet see no prospect of our
escaping from our present position.  The darkness, as it came on, served
to brighten the effect of the fire; and as we gazed round on every side,
as far as the eye could reach, we could see only the bright glare of the
conflagration as it went on widening its circle round us.  Now and then,
as it reached spots more thickly covered with clumps of tussac grass, we
could see the flames rushing upwards in pyramids of fire; but in other
places a dense fierce glow could alone be perceived as the fiery wave
receded from us.  The sight we beheld was certainly a very grand one,
and not easily to be forgotten; but our position was far from pleasant,
and we would thankfully have found ourselves on board the schooner, or
even in the boat under shelter of a sail.  Our clothes were scorched,
and so were our hands and feet; we were getting very hungry, and no fuel
remained to enable us to cook our provisions, while now that the fire
was removed from us the sharp wind made us feel very cold.  When we
considered the small area of the rock which had been at one time like an
island amid the fiery ocean, we had more reason than ever to be thankful
that we had escaped destruction.  On further examination of the locality
we discovered that the proximate cause of our escape was owing to the
position of the rock near a piece of water, the extent of which we
perceived when the fire in our neighbourhood had burned itself out.  A
narrow belt of grass only intervened between the rock and the water, the
rest of the ground being a marsh covered with moist rushes, which did
not burn.  As the wind had for the greater part of the time blown over
the pond, we were thus saved from suffocation.  Had the rock been
thickly surrounded by high grass, I think that we must have been burned
to death; for, blown by the wind, the flames would have reached the very
centre of the rock where we lay; and had we not been roasted, we should
have been suffocated by the smoke.  We crouched down on the rock, and
sat for some time without speaking, watching the progress of the flames.
The ground around us was still glowing with the remains of the fire.
How long we had sat silent I do not know, when Jerry exclaimed, with
animation--

"I say, Harry, why shouldn't we have a steak off our old friend the
bull?  He must be pretty well done through by this time."

"We will try him at all events," said I; and descending the rock, we
very soon had some fine slices of beef out of him.  Finding that the
ground was sufficiently cooled to allow our walking on it without
burning our shoes, we advanced with our steaks stuck at the end of our
ramrods to a glowing heap of bog balsam.  Kicking it up with our feet,
it soon sent forth a heat amply sufficient to cook our already
half-roasted steaks.  When they were done, collecting our guns, and
bags, and game, we sat down on the lee side of the rock, and speedily
silenced the cravings of hunger.  We should have been glad of something
to drink, but we were not yet sufficiently thirsty to induce us to get
water from the pond.  We felt very tired after all the exercise we had
taken, and the excitement we had gone through during the day; but we
were afraid to go to sleep lest the bulls should wander back, or
something else happen we knew not what; besides, the anxiety about our
friends kept us awake.  At last, however, as we sat shoulder to shoulder
under the rock, sleep stole imperceptibly on us, and I do not think that
I ever enjoyed a sounder slumber than I did that night.  When we awoke
we rubbed our eyes, not knowing where we were.  It was broad daylight.
We rose to our feet, and after stretching our cramped limbs, we climbed
to the top of the rock to look about us.  The fire still raged over part
of the island, which was enveloped in thick wreaths of black smoke; but
to the west we caught sight of the blue sea, sparkling brightly in the
sunshine, the intervening space being free from flames, though
presenting a surface of black ashes, not a blade of grass apparently
having escaped the conflagration.  We thought, too, that we recognised a
point round which the schooner had come just before dropping us in the
boat.  This encouraged us to hope that we might not be very far-distant
from the place where we had landed.  Without waiting, therefore, for
breakfast, we determined at once to set off.

"Let us take some beef, though," exclaimed Jerry; "it will prove that by
our own prowess we have killed a bull at all events."

The slices of beef were speedily cut, therefore, and strung on over our
shoulders, and, like two young Robinson Crusoes, we set off in the hopes
of soon relieving our anxiety about our friends.  Nothing could be more
melancholy than the appearance of the country through which we passed--
cinders and blackness on every side.  Every now and then we nearly
tumbled into a glowing heap of bog balsam.  It was sad, too, to see the
number of nests, some with eggs in them, and others with young birds
completely roasted; indeed, we passed many old birds burned to cinders.
At last we struck the shore; but the face of nature had been so
completely altered by the fire, that we were uncertain whether it was to
the north or south of the creek at which we had landed.  At last we
agreed that we were to the south of the spot we wished to reach, so we
stood along the beach to the north.  We had not got far before we saw, a
little way inland, where the grass had been, two black masses.  We
grasped each other's arms.  Were they the figures of men?  Trembling
with fear we hurried towards them.  Though burned to cinders, still we
had no difficulty in recognising them as two seals.  The poor things,
stupified and astonished by the fire, had probably had no time to waddle
into the water before it had overtaken them.  Perhaps seals, like fish,
are attracted by fire, and the foolish animals had thought it a fine
sight to behold.  We had taken no breakfast, and were beginning to feel
the want of food, but, at the same time, we were so thirsty that we did
not feel as if we could eat.  There was plenty of salt water; but that
was not tempting, and would only have increased our suffering.  Jerry
sat himself down on the beach and said he could go no further; but I
urged him to continue on, in the hopes that we might come soon upon a
stream of water.  I remember even then being struck by the immense
quantities of kelp which fringed the shore.  The long leaves and roots,
where left by the tide, looked like pieces of thick brown leather; and
we agreed that cups and bowls, and all sorts of things, might be made
out of it.  Kelp is a species of sea-weed of gigantic size, and its
sturdy stems have been known to reach the surface from a depth of nearly
three hundred feet; some of the wide-spreading weeds looking like tanned
hides extended on the surface.  Its roots cling with a powerful gripe to
the rocks, on which alone it grows.  Some of the stems are sufficiently
strong to moor a boat with.  I had a knife, the handle of which was made
by simply sticking the hilt of the blade into a piece of the root while
it was wet;--when the kelp dried the blade was firmly fixed in it.  We
had not gone far when a rippling sound saluted our ears; and running on,
we found a bright, sparkling stream gurgling out of the bank.  We put
our mouths down to the spot where it gushed out, and oh, how we enjoyed
the cool pure draught!  Nothing could then have been more gratifying to
our taste.  We found this gave a remarkably keen edge to our appetites;
so we sat down by the stream and produced a piece of the steak we had
cooked the previous evening, and the remains of our biscuit.  While
discussing them, Jerry exclaimed that he saw something galloping along
the shore.

"Is it a bull?"  I asked, thinking that we might have to decamp, and
looking out for a place of safety.

"It comes on very fast," he answered.  I jumped up, for I was sitting a
little below him, and looked in the direction he pointed.

"It's old Surley! it's old Surley!"  I shouted.  "Our friends cannot be
far-off."

On came the old dog, and was very soon jumping up and licking our hands
and faces, and wagging his tail, till it looked as if he would wag it
off.  He seemed in no way displeased at receiving a piece of beef; and
as soon as he had got it he began to trot off with it in his mouth in
the direction from which he had come.  After going a few yards, however,
he stopped and turned half round, and wagged his tail, as much as to
say, "Come along with me; I trotted all the way on purpose to fetch
you."

We took up our guns to show that we were about to follow; and on this he
began to jump, and frisk about, and bark, to exhibit his satisfaction,
and then he stopped and went on a little, and then stopped again to see
that we were following.  In great hopes that he was leading us to our
friends, we went on as fast as we could walk.  Our path led us under
some cliffs which were literally crowded with penguins and young
albatrosses, or mollimauks.  There was a regular encampment or rookery
of them, extending for five or six hundred yards in length, and from one
to two dozen in breadth.  The nests of the albatrosses were nearly a
foot high, and of a cup-like form.  Feathers were just beginning to
spread on the backs and wings of the young birds, and to take the place
of the down with which they had originally been covered.  Old Surley
passed by without taking any notice of them.  When we approached the
spot they set up a loud gabbling, and spouted out an oily substance at
us.  The penguins were much more dignified, and looked at us with silent
contempt.  The surface of the sea near at hand was covered with the
parent birds, and the air was alive with them as they flew backward and
forward to carry food to their young; but as, following old Surley's
example, we did not attempt to molest their broods, they took no notice
of us.  The penguins were the most numerous, and appeared to be the
original inhabitants of the spot.  They were arranged with great
regularity, those having just broken the shell being together, as were
those with their feathers appearing, and also those expecting soon to
fly.  Never had I seen so many birds together.  However, we were too
anxious about our friends to stop, so we hurried on after old Surley.
From the steady way in which he proceeded, we felt sure that he was
leading us in the right direction.  Nor were we deceived.  Before long
we recognised the creek where we landed, and soon we reached the boat
drawn up on the shore.  We rushed towards her to discover if our friends
had lately been there.  We examined her thoroughly; but after all we
could not decide the point.  Thus we remained as anxious as ever.
While, however, we were engaged in this manner, we had not watched old
Surley, and when we looked up he was gone.  Just before we got into the
boat, Jerry's cap had tumbled off, and when he wanted to put it on
again, though we hunted about in every direction, it was nowhere to be
found.  At first we thought of continuing our search for our friends,
but we soon agreed that it would be wiser to stay where we were; that if
they had escaped they would certainly return to the boat, and that if we
went in search of them, the so doing would only delay our meeting.
Being somewhat tired, therefore, we got into the boat, and drawing the
sail over the after-part, we lay down in the stern-sheets and were soon
fast asleep.  We were both awoke by old Surley's bark, and jumping up,
we saw Mr Brand with his other two companions running along the beach.
We jumped out of the boat and hurried to meet them.  Mr Brand had
Jerry's cap in his hand, which old Surley had carried with him to show
that he had found us.  We speedily narrated our adventures to each
other.  They had been dreadfully alarmed on our account.  It turned out
as we had supposed--Mr Kilby had reached the sea-shore by himself,
thinking that we were with the other party, while they supposed we were
with him.  However, they had not been very anxious about us till they
saw the conflagration burst out, and guessed that we were by some means
the cause of it.  They were on their way to look for us, but the flames,
like some mighty torrent, rushed towards them.  They had with frantic
haste to dart through the clumps of tussac and penguin grass to reach
the beach.  They hurried to the boat, and had barely time to leap into
her, and shove off, before the flames, fanned by the wind, came
crackling and hissing up after them, and would very probably have set
her on fire.  Cousin Silas was almost in despair about us, and Mr Kilby
told me that he said he should never forgive himself if we came to harm.
They were much interested with the account we gave them of our
adventures; and as it was time for dinner, we agreed to cook and eat the
trophies we had brought with us--the beef-steaks--before putting to sea.
We were amused at finding that we had committed an illegal act in
killing the bulls; but, as it was in self-defence, it was agreed that
the act was justifiable.

It had been arranged that we were to rejoin the schooner on the evening
of this day, at a point of land running out from an island a little to
the west of where we now were, unless the weather should prove bad; in
which case she was to come in for us.  The weather, however, was very
fine, so making sail we stood across the channel.  The station to which
she had gone was three or four miles further to the south.  The water
was very clear, and as we passed through the kelp we looked down in some
places where it grew less thickly, and could see its vast stems and
branches, with their huge leaves, springing up from the depth of many
fathoms, like a forest of submarine oaks or Spanish chestnuts.  We were
amused with the flight of some of the ducks we put up.  Mr Burkett
called them loggerheads, racers, or steamers.  Their wings will not lift
them from the water, but whirling them round and round, they went
scuttling and waddling away over the surface at a rapid rate, generally
two and two--the loving husband and his wife--leaving a deep furrow in
the water behind them.  We burst into fits of laughter at the ridiculous
manner in which they moved.  They are fat and fishy, and not at all fit
for food.  I never expected to have seen more birds together than we had
passed at the rookery under the cliffs in the morning; but we sailed by
an island, of which birds of all descriptions had taken entire
possession.  There were various species of ducks, and geese, and snipe,
and teal, and shags, and grebes, and penguins, and albatrosses, and
sea-rooks, and oyster-catchers, and gulls with pink breasts, and many
others, of whose names I have no note.  As we believed that we had
plenty of time, we landed near some cliffs to have a nearer look at
them.  So tame were they that we could knock down as many as we liked
with our sticks; but it was murderous work, and as we did not want them
to eat--indeed many were not fit for eating--we soon desisted from it.

Near where we landed the cliffs ran out into the sea, forming natural
docks, and in one of these cliffs we discovered a large cavern, which
seemed to run a great way under the ground.  By climbing along the
ledges of the rocks, somewhat slippery with sea-weed, at no little risk
of a ducking, we got to the mouth of the cavern.  The sides were
composed of ledges rising one above another, and every available spot,
as far as the eye could penetrate, was occupied by shags and divers, and
other sea-fowls.  There were thousands--there might have been millions
of them, if the cavern ran back as far as we supposed it did.  They in
no way seemed alarmed at our intrusion, but allowed us to kick them
over, without attempting to escape.  However, at last, old Surley found
his ways after us, and his appearance created the wildest hurly-burly
and confusion.  Such clapping of wings, and hurrying to and fro, and
quacking, and shrieking, and whirling here and there, was never seen
among a feathered community.  They must have been very glad when we took
our departure.

We had got into high spirits with our walk, and had begun to forget all
about the bulls and the fire, when, as Jerry and I were in advance
scrambling along the shore, we saw basking, a little way inland, among
some tussac grass, a huge animal.  "Why, there is an elephant!"  I
exclaimed, starting back "or a live mammoth, or something of that sort.
I don't like his look, I own."

However, screwing up our courage, we advanced cautiously toward the
monster, as he seemed no way disposed to move at our approach.  Then we
halted and examined him more narrowly.  He was alive, for we saw his eye
complacently looking at us, as Diogenes might have looked out of his tub
at the passing crowd.  He was fully twenty feet long, with a huge
unwieldy body and a big head.  The most curious thing about his head was
a huge nose, or trunk rather, which hung down nearly half a foot below
the upper jaw.  His skin was covered with short hair of a light dun
colour, and he had a tail and fins like a seal.  While we were still in
doubt what he could be, Mr Kilby overtook us, and laughingly seizing
our hands ran up behind the monster.

"Are you for a ride?" he exclaimed; and before Jerry suspected what was
going to happen he found himself seated on the monster's tail!  "There
you go, on the back of a sea-elephant," exclaimed Mr Kilby, giving the
beast a poke with his stick.  "Hold on tight, and he can't hurt you."

Jerry did hold on, not knowing whether to laugh or shriek out with fear.
Away crawled, or whalloped rather, the elephant towards the water, Mr
Kilby and I keeping alongside, ready to catch Jerry should he fall off.
I soon saw there was no real danger, except the monster should roll
round, when his weight would kill any one under him.  Jerry also
instantly entered into the joke of the thing, and was delighted with the
idea of being able to boast that he had ridden on a sea-elephant.

"I shall be carried off into the depths of the ocean, and you, Mr
Kilby, will have to be answerable to my disconsolate father," he sang
out, half laughing and half crying.  "Good-bye, Harry; a pleasant voyage
to you round the world.  May you not be spirited away by a sea-monster
like this.  Oh! oh! help me off, though!--he'll have me into the sea to
a certainty, and then he'll turn round and gobble me up--he will.  I
know he will."

As the beast approached the beach, lest the joke might be carried too
far, we lent him a hand to dismount, while his steed crawled on as
sedately as before into the water, and, as he swam off, turned round his
head, as much as to say, "Hillo, master, are you not coming too?  Just
try it, and see how you like a swim with me."  Mr Kilby told us that
this animal had probably been sick, and had remained behind while his
companions had taken to the sea, which they always do on the approach of
summer.  In autumn they come on shore, and live in large herds in marshy
places by the sides of rivers, eating grass like cattle.  The females,
which are without the snout, suckle their young, of which they have
generally two at a time.  As they are very slow in their movements, to
afford themselves time to escape they have sentinels posted while they
are feeding, whose duty is to give notice of approaching danger.  They
are very good tempered and inoffensive, though the mothers will attack
those who molest their young.  Mr Kilby told us of a man who had his
leg bitten off by a female, while he was attempting to carry away her
cub.  We now once more took to the boat.  We had not been long under
weigh before I saw Mr Burkett looking up anxiously at the sky.

"I don't quite like the look of the weather," he remarked.  He had been
a sailor, and had long been cruising about the islands.  He was
therefore our pilot on the present occasion.  "Brand, can you make out
the schooner anywhere?"  Cousin Silas replied that he could nowhere see
her.  "Then something has delayed her at the station," observed Burkett.
"As the tide is making in that direction, and the wind is fair, we'll
run down there instead of crossing the channel to the point proposed."

This plan was agreed to, though it might have been wiser had we kept to
our original purpose.  For some time we made fine weather of it, but
getting into another channel, we found the wind first scant, and then
directly against us.  We had consequently no choice but to attempt to
beat up to the station.  This delayed us much beyond the time we
expected to get there.  We of course kept a bright look-out for the
schooner, lest she should pass us; but evening was closing in apace, and
still we had a long way to go.  However, Mr Burkett said he knew
exactly where we were, and that we should be able before long to make
out a light in one of the cottages, which would guide us to the station.
So we kept a press of sail on the boat, and looked out for the light.
The boat stood well up to her canvas, but after passing high cliffs, and
opening a channel from the sea, a sudden squall took her, and before we
had time to cast off the sheet, she was over on her beam ends.  Cousin
Silas whipped out his knife and tried to cut the main-sheet, while I let
go the head-sheets, and Burkett jammed down the helm; but it was too
late--over went the boat.  Our ballast, happily, consisting of
water-casks, she did not sink, though she turned bottom upwards.  It was
a moment of intense horror and dismay.  I felt myself under the boat,
entangled in the rigging!  I had no time for thought.  I felt that death
had come, far away from home and friends.  The next moment I was dragged
out and placed on the keel--Cousin Silas was my preserver.  Where was
poor Jerry, though?  Again Silas dived, and brought him to the surface,
handing him up near me.  Mr Kilby and Mr Burkett were clinging on to
the gunwale, and now they all climbed up; and there we sat, our lives
for the moment preserved, but with very grave apprehensions as to what
should become of us.  Old Surley, when the boat capsized, kept swimming
round her; and when we climbed up on her bottom, be followed our
example, sitting as grave as a judge, thinking it was all right.  Had we
been near inhabited shores, or in a channel frequented by vessels, we
might have had some hope of being rescued; but the schooner was the only
vessel we could expect to pass that way, and the chances of her seeing
us appeared very remote.  Happily the wind fell, and there was not much
sea, or we should have been washed off our insecure hold.  The current
was running very strong, and Burkett was of opinion that it would drift
us down towards the station; but it was a question whether we could
reach the place before the tide turned, and whether we should get near
enough to it to make our cries heard.  These discussions occupied us for
some time, and perhaps assisted to divert our minds from the very awful
position in which we were placed.  Jerry and I were sitting near each
other astride on the keel at the after-part of the boat.  Cousin Silas
had climbed up over the bows, while Burkett and Kilby hung on, lying
their full length amidships.

"I say, Brand, don't you think we could manage to right the boat?" said
Burkett.  "If we could do it we might paddle on shore somewhere, and we
should, at all events, have no fear of starving."

"We'll try what can be done," answered Cousin Silas, slipping off into
the water, and we following his example.  "All ready now--heave away."
We hove in vain.  The sail, and something else heavy, which had got foul
of the rigging, prevented us righting her.

"We must give it up, I fear," cried Burkett at last.  "The oars went
adrift, I fear; and as we have no hats among us, we should have nothing
to bail her out with."

As it happened, we all wore light sea-caps, which would have helped us
very little in getting rid of the water.  With sad hearts we had to
abandon the attempt, and again to climb up into our places, considerably
exhausted with the efforts we had made.  Night was now coming on
rapidly, and the darkness which grew round us much increased the horrors
of opposition.

"One thing I have to tell you," said Burkett,--"there is always a light
kept burning at the station.  If we sight it, we shall know whereabouts
we are, and be able to calculate our chances of reaching the shore."

This, however, I thought very poor consolation.  The light could be of
no use to us unless the tide took us near enough to it to allow of our
voices being heard on shore.  Fortunately we could still distinguish the
dim outline of the coast as we drifted by, or we should not have known
in what direction to look out for the expected light.  Cousin Silas said
very little--he was anxiously looking out for the beacon, to us of such
vital importance.  How dreadful, indeed, was our situation!  I dared not
think--I dared not hope to escape--still I dared not turn my eye to the
future.  I waited with a sort of apathetic indifference to the result.
No light appeared; the current was evidently setting us through the
centre of the passage out to sea, in the direction of that
storm-surrounded promontory, Cape Horn.  We must abandon even the remote
prospect of being drifted on shore on one of the southern portions of
the Falklands.  For some time there was a complete silence among us.  It
was broken by Cousin Silas.

"My friends," said he, in a calm, grave tone, but without a sign of
agitation, "has it occurred to you that we may soon be called upon to
die?  Are you prepared for death?  Are you ready to stand in the
presence of the Judge of all the earth?"

No one answered him.  What were their thoughts I do not know.  Mine were
very terrible.  I thought how hard it was for those young as Jerry and I
were, to be summoned to leave the beautiful world which we expected to
enjoy so much.  I forgot that numbers young as ourselves had been called
away.

"It is a fact we should all of us attempt to realise," continued Silas.
"We must be judged.  Have we gone to the Fountain which washes away all
sins, to be cleansed from our iniquities?  Do you trust on Christ, and
Christ alone, as our Saviour, who will acknowledge us as his disciples--
who will present us purified from our sins for acceptance by the Father?
My dear friends, I put before you these great truths, because our
happiness or our misery for that eternity which we are now approaching
depends on them.  On what do you trust?  Oh, be able to give a
satisfactory answer before it is too late."  I will not give the
conversation which followed.  It was very brief.  The result was, that
each of us turned ourselves to prayer, and prayed as we had never prayed
before.  Had we even been more disposed to levity than we were, we could
not but have felt the earnestness of the appeal made to us--the
importance of the subject--the awful truths uttered by our companion.
Darker grew the night--the sea-birds screamed above us--the distant
cliffs grew dimmer, their outline less distinct--the rushing tide earned
us rapidly onwards--the cold wind pierced through our wet clothes, and
sent the spray dashing over us.  Shivering, benumbed, hungry and faint,
I felt as if I could no longer retain my hold.  Death--death, I thought,
was truly approaching.  Still, notwithstanding all Cousin Silas had
said, I did not so much picture the future; I did not even dread it as I
mourned for what I was leaving--the distant home I loved so well, and
all those who so dearly loved me.  I thought of the anxiety the
uncertainty of my fate would occasion, the grief when they learned the
truth; and bitter tears burst from my eyes, not for myself, but for them
I loved.  I mention the state of my mind and feelings on this awful
occasion for a very important object.  It agrees with my own experience,
and all I have heard from others placed in similar situations;--a person
who has been living unprepared for death, for eternity, cannot on a
sudden change the whole current of his thoughts, and fix them on the
awful state into which he is hurrying.  If he has not before found peace
with God, there is little hope that he will seek it then.  Oh no! the
time to do that is while we have health and strength, and hope to have a
long life before us to be consecrated to him.  He has an eternity
prepared for us--are we to give him alone the dregs of our short span of
life?  He gave us everything--are we to return him only a few hurried
prayers and ejaculations of sorrow?  We cry out for mercy--on what do we
ground our expectations of receiving it?  Remember that God is a just
God--what, in justice, do we deserve?  Oh! remember also that "in such
an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh;" and as you value your
happiness for eternity, say not in your heart, "My Lord delayeth his
coming."  I was thinking of home, and all I loved there.  Suddenly a
shout brought my thoughts back to the sad reality of our own position.

"The light! the light!--there it is--I see it clearly," exclaimed Jerry,
whose bright eyes had been constantly on the watch for the looked-for
beacon.

"Where? where?" we all simultaneously cried out.

"At a right angle with the boat's keel, as she now lies, on the
port-side.  There--there, it is quite bright."

All of us looked intently in the direction he indicated.  There was the
light--there could be no doubt about it, beaming forth cheerfully
through the darkness.  It was still a mile or more to the south along
the shore past which we were drifting, and we certainly were nearly a
mile, if not a full mile, from the coast.

"How near do you judge that we shall drift to the station?" asked Cousin
Silas of Burkett.

He considered a little--"Not much nearer than we now are," he answered.

"What chance, then, have we of making ourselves heard, and getting help
from them?" again asked Cousin Silas.  "None," said Burkett, in a sad
tone.

"Then it must be done!" exclaimed Cousin Silas, in a firm tone.
"Friends, one of us must endeavour to reach the shore by swimming.  The
risk is great.  It is a long way, but it is the only means by which we
may be saved.  The strongest and best swimmer must make the attempt."

"I wish that I were a better swimmer than I am," said Burkett, "but I do
not think I could do it."

"I am but a poor one--I know that I could not," added Kilby with a sigh.

"I'll try, Mr Brand," cried Jerry; "I can float for ever so long, if I
can't swim all the way."

"I'll go with you," said I, preparing to throw off my clothing as Jerry
was doing.

"No, no; neither of you lads must go," exclaimed Cousin Silas, eagerly.
"I was prepared for the risk when I made the offer.  Harry, tell my
mother, if you escape, how I thought of her to the last.  Never forget
what I have just been talking to you about.  Gerard, your father will
understand that I died in the discharge of my duty.  Friends, good-bye;
I trust that God, in his good pleasure, will enable me to bring you
Help."

Saying these words, he handed us his clothes, which we hung across the
keel of the boat, and then he slid off into the dark water, and struck
out directly for the shore.  As soon as he was gone, old Surley seemed
resolved to follow his example; and though we tried to hold him, he
dashed off into the water, and away he went, swimming quietly by the
side of Mr Brand.

"One good thing is, the old dog will perhaps help him if he gets tired,"
remarked Jerry.  "I've heard of them doing such things."

Cousin Silas calculated that, being carried to the south by the set of
the current he should thus land directly under the light.  With calm,
steady strokes, he clove his way through the yielding fluid.  Not a
sound escaped from his manly breast, nor could we detect the noise made
by his slowly-moving hands, as they separated the water before him.  How
earnestly did we pray for him!--how eagerly did we watch him, till his
head was shrouded in darkness.



CHAPTER SEVEN.

ROUNDING CAPE HORN.

On drifted the boat!  Darkness was above us--darkness was around us!--
that small beacon-light the only source of hope.  Without it we must
have given way to despair.  How eagerly, how intently we listened for
the sound of Cousin Silas's shout, should he have succeeded in reaching
the shore!  We came almost abreast of the light; not a sound reached our
ears.

"It is a long distance for the voice of a man exhausted with swimming to
be heard," said Burkett.  "He scarcely, too, could have reached there
yet."  We thought not either.  We relapsed into silence and listened.

"O Burkett! what of the kelp?" suddenly exclaimed Kilby.  "Can he ever
swim through it?"

My heart sunk within me as I heard the question; what man, even the
strongest swimmer, freshly taken to the water, could force his way
through those tangled masses of sea-weed?  My noble-hearted cousin, was
he then to be the first victim among us?

"The shore is sandy thereabouts, and unusually free from kelp.  There is
a natural dock where the schooner lies, and clear water all round."

These words spoken by Burkett again revived my hopes.  Still not a sound
reached us.  We could distinguish no signal from the shore to give us
hope.  Blacker and blacker grew the night.  More keenly whistled the
wind.  The sea-birds' shriek, echoing it seemed from the caverned rocks,
sounded like a funeral wail.  We fancied that many a fierce albatross
was hovering over our heads, to pounce down on us when nature gave way
before our sufferings.

"Harry, Harry!" said Gerard in a low voice, "I don't think I can stand
this much longer.  Oh, my poor father! my poor father! how sorry he will
be to think that I should often have done things which I knew would vex
him."

"Silence," said Burkett; "we must try at all events and make ourselves
heard, lest Brand should have failed to reach the shore.  Now get ready
for a shout; never fear cracking our voices."

We were just then, as far as we could judge, directly abreast of the
light.  Every instant after this would be making our case more hopeless.
How we shouted, again and again! but all we heard in return was the
discordant shriek of the sea-fowl as they flew away startled at the
noise.  So we drifted on.  In vain we shouted; our voices grew weary,
and we gave it up in despair.  Our eyes were still fixed on the light.
We sunk lower and lower.  We held on to the boat, but every moment
increased our difficulty in so doing, the wind getting up, or rather we
had drifted into a more exposed part of the channel, and the boat began
to toss about, while the spray beat wildly over us.  How long the time
seemed!  Every moment was counted as a minute; every minute as an hour.
We had to gripe on to the keel with all our might, or we should have
been washed off.  With the greatest difficulty we could retain our hold.
Yet we could still see the light dimly glimmering in the distance; but
as that grew fainter and fainter, so did our hopes of being rescued.
Scarcely could we see the light; dimmer and dimmer it grew; then we
looked--it had disappeared!  The rapid current hurried us on.  The wide,
storm-tossed Southern Ocean lay spread out before us.  Darkness was
around us.  No land could be distinguished.  Hope of life fled.  We all
prayed.  We encouraged each other.  We resolved not to give way to
despair while life remained.  We had to speak in a loud tone to be
heard.

"Silence!" exclaimed Burkett abruptly.  "I heard a sound.  Yes, yes!
See, see!  Heaven be praised; that noble fellow Brand is safe, and we
may yet be saved!"  As he spoke, a thin stream of light shot upwards
from the dark ocean, and broke into a thousand beautiful coruscations
above our heads.  "A rocket! the schooner had some on board for
signals," cried Burkett.  "She is under weigh to look for us!"

About the light we had no doubt; but it was scarcely possible that he
could have heard any sound.  None, at all events, had reached our ears.
A few moments before, we had been prepared to die; now life, with its
many fancied advantages, occupied all our thoughts.  With intense
eagerness we looked towards the spot whence the rocket had ascended.
All was darkness.  Suddenly a light burst forth; of intense brightness
it seemed, as it shed its rays over the foam-sprinkled, dancing water,
and showed us clearly the spars, and rigging, and white canvas of the
schooner.  We shouted long and lustily, but we were too far off to be
heard.  Our hearts sunk, for she was standing away from us.  Once more
we shouted.  Our shout was answered from a different direction from that
where we had seen the schooner.  Earnestly we listened.  We could
distinguish, too, the loud barking of a dog.

"Old Surley is safe, at all events.  I am glad of that, poor fellow,"
exclaimed Gerard.  "I like that old dog."

We watched eagerly.  A light was observed dancing over the seas.  Again
we cried out.  How cheery struck those sounds on our ears, which we had
thought would never hear the human voice again.  In less than five
minutes a whale-boat dashed up to us, with old Surley in her bow, and at
her stern sat Cousin Silas.  We were saved! and before we could speak,
we sank down on our knees, to return thanks to Him whose right arm had
preserved us.  A few words served to tell us how Cousin Silas had
reached the shore a little way above the station, with old Surley as his
companion; how kindly he had been received, and how promptly every one
rushed to man the boats to hasten to our rescue.

In less than an hour we were at the station, when the schooner and the
other boats soon returned.  We were put to bed and rubbed with blankets,
and had hot rum and water poured down our throats, so that very soon we
recovered; nor did we suffer any material injury from the cold and wet
to which we had been so long exposed.  The schooner had been delayed,
being unable to complete her cargo of seal-skins by the time expected.
The next day we sailed, and in three days arrived safely in Stanley.  We
found the _Triton_ ready for sea, and only waiting our return to sail.
I was in the cabin when Captain Frankland first saw Gerard after hearing
of our escape.  Tears stood in the old man's eyes as he took his son in
his arms; and I saw by the expression of his countenance how he loved
him.  Mr Brand always stood high in his estimation; when he heard of
what Silas had done, he stood higher still.  I must own it, Jerry and I
very soon forgot the awe-inspiring thoughts which had passed through our
minds while we expected so soon to be called into eternity.  Our chief
concern was, having lost our guns and gamebags.  We were, therefore,
highly delighted when Burkett and Kilby made their appearance on board,
each with a very good fowling-piece in his hand, with powder-flasks and
shot-belts, and all other requisites, and begged our acceptance of them,
in remembrance, as they said, of the adventures we had gone through
together.

"Thank you, thank you," we exclaimed; "we'll not forget you, at all
events, wherever we go."

We called our guns after the good-natured donors, and had their names
engraved on them.  Many a wild-fowl did Burkett and Kilby knock over in
various parts of the world.  Old Surley accompanied our visitors.  Mr
Brand and he had become great friends after their long swim together;
and Kilby, to whom he belonged, in the warmth of his heart presented him
to Cousin Silas, who, very much to our satisfaction, did not refuse the
gift.  Thus old Surley became our companion in many a subsequent
adventure.  Just before we sailed, some very sad news reached the
colony.  It was the death of Captain Allen Gardiner and his six
companions on the bleak coast of Terra del Fuego, where they had gone
for the purpose of forming a missionary establishment, with the hope of
spreading a knowledge of the Christian faith among the benighted
inhabitants of those wild regions.

Captain Gardiner had left England in the autumn of 1850, with Dr
Williams, a surgeon, who went forth as a catechist; Mr Maidment, who
held the same office; Erwin, a carpenter; and three Cornish fishermen,
named Badcock, Bryant, and Pearce.  The _Ocean Queen_, the ship in which
they took their passage, proceeded on her passage to the Pacific, after
landing them at Banner Cove in Picton Island, which will be found near
the entrance of Beagle Channel, about half way between the Straits of Le
Maire and Cape Horn.  They had with them two large boats, called the
_Pioneer_ and _Speedwell_, and two small punts, with tents and stores;
but their supply of provisions appears to have been very scanty.
Scarcely had they pitched their tents when the natives collected in
considerable numbers, and threatened to attack them.  To avoid
collision, they ultimately took to their boats, intending to seek
another spot where they might form their station.  They put to sea; but
in going out of the harbour the _Speedwell_, under charge of Dr
Williams, got entangled among the rocks, and was nearly lost.  All hands
on board suffered much.  Captain Gardiner had in the meantime found
Bloomfield Harbour, which he thought would suit them, but during his
cruise had lost the punts he had in tow.  He at last returned to Banner
Cove; but on sailing again his boat got on shore.  Then it was
discovered that all their powder had been left on board the ship, and so
they had no means of killing the wild-fowl on which they depended
chiefly for their support.  Some of their provisions they buried here as
a reserve.  Again they put to sea; but their boats, which they clearly
had not strength to manage, were beached on their way to Bloomfield
Harbour.  After a fortnight's delay, they got afloat and sailed on to a
spot about forty miles along that iron-bound coast, called Spaniards'
Harbour, which, after much consultation, they agreed would be the
fittest place for their location.  Here they arrived at the end of
January 1851; but the _Pioneer_ was driven on shore, and irretrievably
wrecked.  So they collected what stores they could save, and dragged
them into a cave near the spot--her remains being hauled up on the
beach.  Dr Williams, meantime, carried the _Speedwell_ further up the
harbour, and anchored her there.  Disasters followed them.  A tide
higher than usual washed into the cave, and swept away a large portion
of their stores; then a hut they had built under the rook caught fire;
and Captain Gardiner barely escaped with his life; lastly, scurvy broke
out.  Their provisions were running very short, so they sailed back to
Banner Cove, to procure those they had left there.  The provisions were
found; but the scanty store could only last them a few months.  They
seemed to have a foreboding of the fate which awaited them.  On
conspicuous places on the rocks they wrote in large letters, "Go to
Spaniards' Harbour.  Hasten! hasten!  We are suffering from sickness--we
are nearly starving!"  Words of the same signification were written on
paper, and buried in bottles where they might most likely be found.

They reached Spaniards' Harbour by the end of March.  Captain Gardiner
took up his habitation at the cave, in the place he called Earnest Cove,
to watch for those who, it was hoped, would come to their relief; while
Dr Williams went to a more sheltered spot, up the harbour, at the mouth
of Cook's River, with the _Speedwell_.  The months passed slowly by.
Their food was all gone.  They caught and ate mice, a fox, a fish half
devoured, a penguin and shag--most unwholesome food--and then mussels
and other shell-fish; and then the Antarctic winter set in; and lastly,
through disease and starvation, one by one they died.  They had kept a
daily record of their proceedings--of their sufferings.  While they had
strength, they occasionally assisted each other.  The last effort of the
two survivors was to go on crutches to Cook's River, to learn the state
of Dr Williams, who had for long not come to them; but their weak state
compelled them to abandon the attempt, and they returned to die in
Earnest Cove.  Maidment had been sleeping in the cave--he died there;
Captain Gardiner near the remains of the _Pioneer_, which had been
hauled up on the beach, and with which he had formed a slight shelter
for himself from the weather.  They had kept their journals to the last;
and wonderful as it may seem, though storms had raged and rains had
fallen, those journals had been preserved.  Captain Gardiner's last
written words were addressed to Dr Williams, of whose death he was not
aware:--

"Dear Dr Williams,--The Lord has seen fit to call home another of our
little company.  Our dear departed brother left the boat on Tuesday
afternoon, and has not since returned.  Doubtless he is in the presence
of his Redeemer, whom he served faithfully.  Yet a little while, and
though ... the Almighty, to sing praises ... throne.  I neither hunger
nor thirst, though ... days ... without food ...  Maidment's kindness to
me ... heaven."

In October a schooner was despatched from Monte Video with provisions,
under the charge of a Captain Smyley.  Too late he reached Spaniards'
Harbour, and having just time to visit the _Speedwell_ in Cook's River,
a gale springing up, he was compelled to put to sea without ever landing
at Earnest Cove.  In the meantime, Captain Morshead, in the _Dido_
frigate, having sailed from England, was ordered to call at Picton
Island with relief for the party.  After continuing the search for some
time, they were about to abandon it, when the inscriptions on the rocks
were discovered, calling on them to go to Spaniards' Harbour.  There the
_Dido_ proceeded.  Maidment's body was found in the cave, Captain
Gardiner's by the side of the boat, with their journals and books
scattered around.  Their remains, with those found at Cook's River, were
carefully interred in a grave on the beach--the funeral service being
read by one of the lieutenants.  The colours of the ship and boats were
struck half-mast, and three volleys of musketry fired over the graves.
The journals--not a word of which was, as I have said, rendered
illegible--were carefully forwarded to England, and, like voices from
the grave, have undoubtedly instigated many to aid those who seek to
spread the truth of the gospel among the savage inhabitants of those
wild regions.

"Those noble Christian men have not suffered in vain; and yet they met
the just doom of those who neglect to take those precautions which are
necessary for the preservation of life.  God has, in his infinite
wisdom, given us reason and forethought; and that reason and forethought
we ought to employ as much when engaged in his service, as when occupied
about the ordinary affairs of life."  This remark was made by Captain
Frankland, and I have often since reflected on it; and I trust that by
repeating it, it may tend to guide the plans of those labouring in
objects for the spread of God's great name and glory, and all the
blessings of the gospel throughout the world.  The particulars of the
narrative I have thus briefly given had just reached Stanley, and were
the subject of conversation among all those who had any idea above that
of the price of seal-skins and the profits of the last wreck on their
shores.

With a fair wind and fine weather we sailed to double Cape Horn,
intending to pass through the Straits of Le Maire.  Often on the passage
did Gerard and I and Cousin Silas talk of the fate of Captain Gardiner,
and long to visit the spot where he and his brave companions died, and
to see the strange wild natives it had been his ardent desire to bring
to a knowledge of the truth.  The favourable breeze carried us through
the straits, and as the well-defined outline of the rocky shores of
Terra del Fuego rose before us, we gazed with deep interest on a land
which had been the scene of the sad catastrophe now occupying our
thoughts.

To the west and north of us were numerous islands clustering together,
of various sizes, with deep channels between them, most of them
consisting of rocky mountains, often rising in perpendicular precipices
from the ocean, and shooting upwards to a vast height in towering peaks
and rugged crags, untrod by the feet of man or beast.  Along the shores
of these numerous isles and islets are gulfs and bays, and coves and
creeks without number, often with level ground in their neighbourhood
producing a somewhat rich vegetation, and forming a great contrast to
the terrifically wild and barren tracts which are the chief
characteristics of the region.  Bold, precipitous headlands, with dark
barren elevations behind them, appeared on our right as we skirted the
northern shores of the straits.  We made Cape Good Success, and a little
way beyond it, crossed abreast of the mouth of Spaniards' Harbour, into
which rolls the whole set of the South Atlantic.  Then standing on till
near the entrance of the Beagle Channel, up which a little way lies
Picton Island, we stood away towards Cape Horn, so as to steer close
round it into the Pacific.  Captain Frankland had often been here, and
had once brought up in a harbour for many days from bad weather, when he
had surveyed many of the passages in his boats.  I was below; Gerard
rushed into the cabin.

"We are off the Cape! we are off the Cape!" he exclaimed; "it is a sight
worth seeing."  I hurried on deck, and thence I beheld rising not a mile
from us, in all its solitary grandeur, that far-famed promontory Cape
Horn,--a lofty pyramid frowning bold defiance towards the storm-tossed
confines of those two mighty oceans which circle the earth.  Dark clouds
rested on its summit, foam-crested waves with ceaseless roar dashed
furiously at its base, the sea-fowl flew shrieking round it; and as I
gazed at it, I could not help thinking how an old heathen would have
believed it the very throne of the god of storms.  Well has it earned
its fame.  Scarcely were we round the Cape, when the wind, which had
hitherto been favourable, shifted suddenly to the westward and
southward, and dark clouds came rushing up from that quarter in hot
haste, like a stampede of wild animals on the prairies of America.  The
long swell which had been rolling up from the east was met by a
succession of heavy waves torn up by the fierce gale blowing along the
whole course of the Southern Pacific, creating the wildest confusion on
the world of waters.  A few minutes before it seemed we were gliding
smoothly on before a favourable breeze, under topsails and
top-gallant-sails; now the ship was madly plunging into the foam-covered
tossing seas.

"All hands shorten sail!" cried Mr Renshaw, the first officer.

"All hands shorten sail!" was repeated along the decks.

"I thought how it would be when I saw the nightcap on the top of the
Horn," muttered old Ben Yool.  "We shall have a sneezer before we have
done with it, and it may be this day month won't see us round the Cape."

Old Ben's prognostications were not very pleasant, for we were anxious
to be round the Cape among the wonders we expected to behold in the
Pacific.  Scarcely was the order given, than the crew were in the
rigging.  Top-gallant-sails were quickly stowed, three reefs were taken
in the topsails, and the courses were brailed up and furled.  This was
done not a moment too soon: the mighty seas came rolling up mountains
beyond mountains, with wide valleys between them, into whose depths the
ship plunged down from each watery height as it came under her, seeming
as if she could never rise again.  Still once more she was lifted
upwards among showers of spray, which flew off from the white-crested
seas, deluging us fore and aft.  Overhead the wild scud flew fast, the
stern Cape looked more solitary and grand, and the sea-fowl with
discordant shrieks flew round and round, closing in the circles they
were forming till they almost touched our masts.  The ship struggled
bravely onward on the starboard-tack, rapidly increasing her distance
from the land, but making very little way to the westward.

More than once I held my breath and clenched my teeth, as I felt the
ship sending forward, and saw the wide, deep valley into which she was
plunging, and the long, huge, watery height rolling on towards us, and
looking as if it must overwhelm us.  And then, when having, by a miracle
it seemed, escaped the threatened danger, to see another valley just as
deep and wide, and another mountain just as big--and to know that though
we might rush ever so fast onward, we should find valley after valley
just as deep, and mountain after mountain just as big for days and days,
or weeks to come, perhaps; when, too, I heard the howling and whistling
of the wind, and the creaking and complaining of the timbers and
bulkheads, and the roar and dash of the seas,--I own that I could not
help wishing that my feet were planted on some firm ground, and that I
were enjoying the wild scene from a distance.

"O Jerry, where are we going to?"  I exclaimed, when we first met the
full swell of the Pacific.

"Going? why, to the west coast of South America, and to Robinson
Crusoe's Island, and to all sorts of wild places," he answered,
laughing.  "We have rather a rough road before us, as you say; but never
mind, Harry, you'll soon get accustomed to it, and a little bumping is
good for the digestion, they say."

Jerry was right; in a very short time I was as much at home as any one
in a gale.

The puff we had got off the east coast of America showed me what a gale
was; but that was mere child's play to the storm now blowing.  When I
thought anything was at its worst, when matters wore a most gloomy and
threatening aspect, I could not but admire the coolness and
self-possession of Captain Frankland and his officers.  They seemed to
take it all as a matter of course, and walked the deck as composedly as
in a calm, only they had to hold on pretty tightly at times to the
weather-railings, when the ship, with a sudden jerk, was sent over to
port, and then back again almost as far on the other side.  It was fine,
however, to see the tall figure of Captain Frankland, as he balanced
himself, leaning backward when the ship shot downwards into the trough
of the sea; and I soon gained confidence from the perfect composure he
exhibited.  Very soon the wind came round more to the northward of west,
and the ship looked up rather nearer to her course round the Cape.  Our
satisfaction, however, was soon destroyed by the redoubled fury with
which the gale came down on us.  The captain beckoned Mr Renshaw and
Mr Brand to come to him.  They stood in earnest conversation on the
quarter-deck.  Darkness was coming on--I could just see their figures
grouped together.  With startling energy Mr Renshaw had just given the
order to furl the fore and mizzentop-sail, to heave the ship to, when
there was a loud crash.

"Down! down for your lives!" shouted the captain.  The main-topmast had
been carried away.  Masts, and yards, and blocks, and rigging, came
hurtling down on deck in one mass of ruin, injuring two or three of our
men, and knocking one poor fellow overboard.  In vain an attempt was
made to save him.  To lower a boat would have been madness.  His
death-shriek sounded in our ears as he dropped astern, and soon sunk
beneath the dark, troubled waters.  We had little time to think of his
fate--the fate of many a gallant seaman.  Our own danger was great.  The
mates sprung forward to clear the wreck, and to secure as well as could
be done the other masts.  The fear was that the fore-topmast and
mizzen-topmast, if not the lower masts, deprived of their support, might
go likewise.  The wreck was quickly cleared, and the masts got on board.
To stand on or to heave to were equally out of the question.  It was
necessary to put the ship before the wind.  The mizzentop-sail was
furled, the helm put up, and the ship was to be wore round.  Now came
the danger.  In wearing, if a sea strikes a ship abeam, there is a great
risk of her bulwarks being stove in, and of everything being washed from
her decks.  Every one held on to whatever he thought most secure.  The
ship wore steadily round.  A huge sea came rolling on, but already the
fore-yard was squared; it struck her on the counter, and she flew
unharmed before it.  Instead, however, of running to the eastward, she
was headed up towards the land.  No one turned in that night.  Sharp
eyes were on the look-out for land.  Cape Horn, like some gigantic
spirit of the deep, was seen towering up amid the raging ocean.  On we
kept.  Once more we were under shelter of the land, the mizzen-top-sail
was set, and we ran up just outside those islands which cluster
thereabout so thickly, till at daylight we were off the mouth of a
channel, up which we ran, and dropped our anchor in a fine land-locked
harbour.

"We are far better off here than battering about outside, and knocking
the ship to pieces," observed Mr Pincott, the carpenter.  "Now, if we
could but get a fresh spar for a topmast, we should soon be all
ataunto."

As, however, we were not likely to find spars large enough for the
purpose in this part of the world, it was necessary to make use of the
broken one.  While this work was going on, it was resolved to hold some
communication with the natives.  A boat was lowered, under charge of Mr
Brand--Gerard and I and Mr McRitchie going in her, and two hands, as no
more could be spared from attending to the repairs of the ship.  We were
all armed, but the captain directed us to be very careful in our
intercourse with the wild people we might meet.  We had with us some
trinkets, glass necklaces, bracelets, rings, gilt lockets, knives,
scissors, and other trifles, to barter with them, or to win their
good-will.  After pulling some way, we reached a sandy cove surrounded
with trees of good height, and a quantity of brushwood below them.  We
saw several wigwams among the trees, and two canoes hauled up on the
beach.  Beyond the wood were ranges of high hills, the nearest ascending
almost precipitously from the water, while those further off were worthy
of the name of mountains.  It was altogether a very beautiful and
attractive scene--the more so, that it was totally unexpected in that
region.  No natives were visible, so we ran the boat on shore, and
landed.  The wigwams were in shape like those of the North American
Indians composed of a number of long sticks stuck in the ground in a
circle, and bending inwards till their other ends met, and were secured
together with a band.  Instead of being covered with birch bark, these
were thatched very neatly with dry grass or reeds, and formed very warm
abodes.  In the centre a pile of ashes showed where their fires were
placed.  Their canoes were very like those of North America, being built
of bark, with ribs neatly formed, and kept in shape by several beams
athwartships secured to the gunwale.  Near the wigwams were two other
partly finished canoes.  While we were examining these rude habitations
and means of locomotion, a shout from the two men left in the boat made
us look up, and in an opening in the wood we saw some dozen or more
savages advancing stealthily towards us.  Mr Brand, the instant he saw
them, told us to fall back behind him; and he then advanced alone,
patting his stomach,--the sign of amity among these people.  It is as
much as to say, I suppose, "I have had a good dinner, and I hope that
you have had one also."  They, in return, all shouted and gesticulated
most vehemently, pointing to their mouths in their eagerness to speak,
not being aware, probably, that we did not understand a word they said;
however, at last they began to pat their stomachs, and then we knew that
all was right.  Accordingly we advanced to meet them, patting our
stomachs with one hand, and holding out the other to grasp theirs.  They
were of a brownish copper colour, well formed and athletic, with long
shaggy hair--their only clothing being a piece of skin thrown over one
shoulder.  In such a climate as that of Terra del Fuego, their being
able to go without clothes shows that they must be of a very hardy
nature.  We were soon surrounded by some thirty or more of these very
unprepossessing gentlemen, all talking most furiously to us or at us,
some patting us on the back, and others examining our handkerchiefs, and
caps, and buttons, or any article of our dress they could get hold of.
We patted them on the back in return, but as they had no clothes, we
took hold of their hair and admired it; and Jerry must needs catch one
fellow by the nose, and assured him that he had a very handsome nob!  In
this way we in a short time became excellent friends, though, as we had
no interpreter, we could only communicate with each other by signs.
When they found that we did not understand what they said, they hallooed
louder and louder; and as they had voices of most stentorian power, they
at last spoke to us in a perfect roar, till they almost deafened us!  By
their tones we fancied that they were saying, "Well, if you cannot
understand that, you must be desperately stupid fellows."

When they found that we had come as friends, they invited us to
accompany them to the village, or, as Jerry called it, their wigwamment,
about a quarter of a mile off, in a sheltered nook among the trees.
Fearing no treachery, we agreed, and we walked along in the most
amicable way, they slapping us on the back, and we slapping them, while
they often indulged in the most uproarious shouts of laughter.  Stopping
suddenly, they asked us by signs if we were hungry, and immediately
gathered a number of fungi, which grew in clusters round the roots of a
tree which Mr McRitchie told us was an evergreen beech.  They handed
them to Jerry and me, at the same time patting us on the stomach.

"What are these toadstools for, old gentleman?" exclaimed Jerry, holding
them up and laughing.  "They don't want us to eat these, surely, for our
luncheon?"

"They do, though," said Mr McRitchie.  "They are the edible fungi.
Just take a piece; the people hereabouts eat them largely."

Jerry on this took a large mouthful, but spat it out, declaring that he
would just as soon eat shoe-leather.  I ate a small piece, but thought
it tasted very insipid, and not very digestible.  The savages looked
astonished at our want of taste, and, to show that they appreciated the
production more than we did, crammed quantities of it into their mouths.

"Come, Mr McRitchie, for the advancement of science you must eat some!"
exclaimed Jerry, handing him a big fungus.

This was a favourite expression of the doctor's; nor, to do him justice,
was he slack to put his principles into practice.  I have since often
remarked in England the roots of beech trees completely surrounded with
masses of fungi not unlike them in appearance.  The doctor ate enough to
redeem our character with the savages, and then we proceeded in the same
amicable way as before, till we reached their village.  It consisted of
ten wigwams, some of considerable size, capable of holding twelve or
more people.  They were neatly thatched with straw, and their doorways
had a piece of carved wood, so as to form an arch overhead.  Several
little, long-backed, sharp-eyed, hairy terriers came barking out and
snapping at our heels, and wore very annoying till they were called off
by their masters.  In and about the huts were a number of women and
children, the former far from unpleasant in their looks, though as dirty
as the men.  Indeed, from their appearance, we had reason to doubt
whether any of the tribe had ever washed in their lives.  The women had
a modest, retiring look; and the children seemed in no way frightened
when they saw us.  Cousin Silas had a happy knack of making friends with
savages, and especially with their children.  His secret, I found, was
great gentleness.  While Mr McRitchie, Jerry, and I sat down on a log
facing the huts, he advanced slowly towards the nearest group of
children with some bracelets and lockets, which he now first produced,
singing and dancing at the same time, so as to attract their attention.
They stared at him with open eyes, but showed no inclination to run away
till he got near enough to slip the string of a locket over the neck of
the tallest child--a little girl--and a bracelet over the arm of
another; and then, taking their hands, he began slowly to move round and
round in a circle, beckoning to the rest of the children to join hands.
This they readily did, and then two or three of the men--their fathers
probably--joined the circle, and we got up and united our hands to those
of the savages, and then several of the women came; and there we were--
Mr Brand, and the doctor, and Jerry, and I, and the savages--men,
women, and children--all singing, and dancing, and jumping, and laughing
like mad, till we were fain to stop for want of strength to go on.  To
show their satisfaction, the savages gave us all round some
over-affectionate hugs, which, besides nearly squeezing the breath out
of our bodies, were unpleasant on account of the very dirty condition of
the huggers.  We would not tell them that we did not like it, so we had
to submit to the ceremony as often as they thought fit to perform it,
and to put the best face we could on the matter.  The dance over, they
invited us into a wigwam.  It was ten feet in diameter, with a fire on
the ground in the centre.  Round it were heaps of dry grass, on which
apparently they slept; while bunches of grass were hung to the roof,
probably to dry.  The smoke found its way out of the doorway, and
through a small aperture, where the poles at the apex joined.  There we
all sat round the fire, squatting on our heels, and talking away as fast
as our tongues could move, as if we were keeping up a very interesting
conversation.  The smoke and heat, not to mention the want of
cleanliness in our hosts, made us very glad to get out again into the
fresh air.  Besides the fungi I have spoken of, the Fuegians live
chiefly on fish and the shell-fish they gather on the rocks, though they
eat birds and grubs of all sorts--and, I fancy, nothing comes amiss to
them.  We observed that a platform of clay was placed in each canoe, on
which to place a fire.  There was also a sort of well at the bottom of
the canoe, and out of it a man was constantly employed in bailing the
water, which leaked in through the seams.  The men we met were of good
size, and robust; but their legs were thin and weak, owing to their
sitting so much in their canoes and walking so little.  When by degrees
we produced our gifts, and distributed them among the party--men, women,
and children--their pleasure knew no bounds.  They danced, and laughed,
and shouted into our ears louder than ever; so that we thought it would
be as well to be off while they remained in such excellent humour.  They
were much astonished at seeing the doctor pull out his note-book and
write in it.  The doctor, to indulge them, made a few clear strokes; and
a young man, who had attached himself to Jerry and me, imitated them in
a wonderful way, considering his rough and uncouth hand.  We had heard
them making a number of strange sounds, and at last we discovered that
they were imitating our words.

"Good-bye," said Jerry, as we got up to go away.

"Good-bye," replied our young friend as clearly as possible, seeming
fully to comprehend the meaning of the words.

"You speak capital English," said Jerry, laughing.

"Capital English," repeated the savage, shouting with a laughter which
was quite catching, as if he had said something very clever.

Then, having gone through another process of hugging, we proceeded to
the boat, accompanied by our new friends.  Having refitted the topmast,
we waited till the gale had blown itself out; and once more putting to
sea, we had a very quick passage round Cape Horn, now no longer clothed
in storms, to Valparaiso, the sea-port of Santiago, the capital of
Chili.



CHAPTER EIGHT.

ADVENTURES IN CHILI.

One morning, when it was my watch on deck, soon after dawn the cheery
sound was heard of "Land on the starboard-bow!"  I looked out; and as
daylight increased, there appeared, as if rising out of the ocean in
their desolate grandeur, capped with snow and towering high above the
clouds, the lofty summits of a range of mountains trending away north
and south far as the eye could reach.  They were the giant Cordilleras.
On we sailed with a fresh breeze.  The sun ascended with stately pace
from behind them, and then a mist arose and shrouded their base.  Hour
after hour we ran on, and yet we seemed not to have got nearer; till
once more the mists lifted, and wild, rocky, and barren heights sloped
upwards before us from the ocean.  Full sixty miles were gone over from
the time those snowy peaks were first seen till we reached Valparaiso,
far away down at their base.  We must have been a hundred and twenty
miles off them at sunrise.

Coming so suddenly from the wild regions of Tierra del Fuego and the
unattractive Falklands, Valparaiso appeared to us a very beautiful
place.  It is very irregularly built--at the bottoms of valleys, on the
tops of hills, and on their steep and sometimes rugged sides, rising
directly out of the blue ocean, with a succession of range after range
of lofty mountains behind it the Cordilleras towering in the background
beyond all.  Gerard and I were very eager to get on shore; so was old
Surley.  He wagged his tail, and ran to the ship's side and barked, and
looked up in our faces and looked at the land, as much as to say, "How I
should like to have a scamper along the beach there!"

"Yes, you may all three go, if Mr McRitchie will take care of you,"
said the captain, laughing.  Fleming got leave to accompany us, as he
had been unwell for some weeks, and the captain thought a trip on shore
would do him good.  We found that there would be time to get right up
among the mountains, where we hoped to find some good sport, our great
ambition being to kill a guanaco--the name given to the llama in its
wild state.  A number of boatmen good-naturedly helped us to land on the
beach, with our guns and carpet-bags.  It was market-day; the market was
full of vegetables and other provisions, and the place bore a very
cheerful aspect.  We heard that, in spite of the want of level ground,
the town has very rapidly improved in the last few years.  The country
generally, since order has been established, has become prosperous.
Everybody praises the climate, and perhaps there is not a finer in the
world; for, although hot in summer, the air is dry and pure, and
tempered by the sea-breeze, which regularly sets in every forenoon.  In
the harbour were two or three old hulks, the remains of the fleet
commanded by Lord Dundonald, when he performed one of his most gallant
exploits--the cutting out of the _Esmeralda_ frigate, belonging to the
Spaniards, from the port of Callao.  Fleming was with him, and told me
all about it.

"What a lucky adventure!"  I remarked.

"No, Mr Harry, it wasn't luck, it was prudence and forethought which
gained the day with him then at all times.  There never was a more
prudent, and never a braver man.  He feared nothing, and took every
precaution to insure success.  We were three days getting ready.  We
were all dressed in white, with a blue mark on the left arm--160
blue-jackets and 80 marines--and armed with cutlass and pistols--all
picked men.  Every man knew exactly what he had to do--some to attack
one part of the ship, some another; others to go aloft and loose pails,
some to the main, and others to the foretop.  The admiral sent all the
ships of the squadron out of the bay, except his own flag-ship.  At
midnight we were told off into fourteen boats.  A line of booms had been
placed across the mouth of the inner harbour, with only a narrow
entrance.  Just then the admiral's boat, which led, ran foul of a
Spanish guard-boat; but he whispered to the crew, that if they gave any
alarm he would kill every one of them; so they held their tongues, and
we were quickly alongside the _Esmeralda_.  The Spaniards were asleep,
and before they had time to seize their arms, we were upon them, the
frigate's cables were cut, and we were running out of the harbour.  Had
the admiral's directions been followed in all points, we should have cut
out every craft in the harbour, and a rich treasure-ship to boot; but he
had traitors serving under him, and all was not done which ought to have
been done."  Fleming told me also how Lord Dundonald took the strong
forts of Valdivia, to the south of Chili, by storm, with his single
ship's company; but I must not now repeat the story.

We engaged two caleches, rattle-trap vehicles, like gigs with hoods, to
carry us to Santiago, the capital of Chili.  One horse was in the
shafts; another on the left side was ridden by a postilion on a
high-peaked saddle, with a long knife at the saddle-bow; he being
dressed with a straw hat over a silk handkerchief tied round his head
and the ends hanging down behind, a short jacket, coarse pantaloons,
high boots, huge spurs, and a poncho hanging over one shoulder.  Jerry
and Mr McRitchie went together, Fleming accompanied me, and we had old
Surley, who sat up between our legs, looking sagaciously out before him.
Away we rattled.  The road was much better than we had expected to find
it in a place so far away from England as this seemed.  My idea was,
that once round Cape Horn, we should not see anything but painted
savages or long-tailed Chinese; and I was quite surprised to find good
roads and carriages in Chili.  We slept two nights on the road; admired
Santiago, which is full of laughing gas, the air is so fine; it stands
1700 feet above the level of the sea.  Then we started off on horseback
towards the Cordilleras, to a spot called the Snow Bank, whence Santiago
is regularly supplied with snow all the year round.  At the capital we
fell in with an English sailor, Tom Carver by name, who had served with
Fleming under Lord Cochrane, and having married a Chilian wife, had
settled in the country.  He came as our interpreter, for without him a
guide we procured would have been of very little service.  Leaving our
horses at a small rancho, or farm-house, we set off with our guns,
Fleming and the guide carrying most of the provisions, though we each of
us had a share.  The scenery was wild and grand in the extreme,
consisting of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes, of rugged heights, and
of dark glens and gorges, with precipices which went sheer down many
hundred feet below us.  We had not gone far before we came to a
suspension bridge made of hides, cut into strips and twisted together,
thrown across a fearful gorge.  Bundles of sticks placed on the ropes
form the road.  It was full of holes, and as I looked through, far down
into the torrent foaming below, I could not help feeling how very
disagreeable it would be to slip through.  Surley followed at my heels,
and even he did not like it.  We now reached a wide valley, on the sides
of which, far up on the mountains, we descried a number of animals,
which Jerry and I concluded, without doubt, were the much-desired
guanacoes.  Mr McRitchie, with Simmons, the sailor, and the guide, were
ahead; Fleming was with us; so we agreed, as we could not fail of being
seen by our companions, we would climb the mountain in chase of the
game.  Up, up we climbed, old Surley after us.  He seemed to think it
very good fun; but Fleming, not accustomed to such exercise, was soon
blown.

"Come along, Fleming," cried Jerry; "we shall soon be up to the beasts;
don't give in, man."

"No, Mr Gerard, you go on, and leave me to follow you slowly," answered
Fleming.  "If I stop, you'll easily find me again."

We, of course, were ready enough to follow this advice; so Jerry,
Surley, and I, pushed on up the mountain as fast as we could climb
towards the nearest herd of guanacoes.  They were of a light-brown
colour, of about the size of a stag.  I should describe the animals we
saw as having small heads, with large and brilliant eyes, thick lips,
and ears long and movable.  The neck was very long, and kept perfectly
upright, while the haunches were slightly elevated; so that they looked
somewhat like little camels--the purpose of which, indeed, they serve
when domesticated.  We could see several herds in different parts on the
side of the mountain.  There was one low down near the path in the
direction the doctor and his companions had taken.  They were feeding
quietly, when one looked up, then another, and away the whole herd
scampered at a tremendous rate up the mountain.  We thought that the
sight of the doctor's party had put them to flight; and it showed us
that we must be cautious in approaching the herd we had marked.  Old
Surley was very eager to be after them, and we had great difficulty in
keeping him back.

The air was keen and at the same time hot.  There was not a cloud in the
intense blue sky, and the rays of the sun came down with great force,
and blistered our skin and peeled our noses till we were afraid of
touching them; but we did not think much about that trifle while the
guanacoes were in sight.  Concealing ourselves as much as possible
behind rocks and bushes, and here and there an evergreen quillay-tree,
we got nearer and nearer to them.  Sometimes we got behind clumps of the
great chandelier-like cactus, whose sturdy green twisted stems afforded
us capital shelter.

"It is lucky we are not very big, or we should not be able to hide
ourselves so well," observed Jerry as we crept on.  The valley lay far
below us, with steep precipices and a brawling torrent, with rocks and
shrubs scattered about; and high above us wild jagged peaks and
snow-covered mountain-tops.  The stillness of the air was most
extraordinary.  Not a sound reached our ears.  Never have I been in a
wilder or more magnificent scene.  I do not know what our four-footed
companion thought of it, but he certainly enjoyed the idea of catching a
guanaco--so did we, indeed, more than anything else.  We had got within
five hundred yards of the nearest without being discovered.  Hitherto we
had gone on very cautiously.  Our eagerness overcame our discretion.  We
left cover and ran on exposing ourselves to view.

"Stop, stop, Harry!" sang out Jerry.  "We are near enough to fire; stop
and let us recover our wind."  The advice was good, and I was about to
follow it, when one of the guanacoes turned his head and saw us.  Before
we could bring our rifles to our shoulders, they were off like the wind.
Jerry was going to fire after them but I stopped him, pointing to
another herd a short distance further off, along the side of the
mountain.

"You'll frighten them too if you do," I observed.  "Let us try to get up
to them more cautiously."  One great difficulty was to keep Surley back,
or he would have followed the herd till he had caught one of them, or
broken his neck over a precipice.  Consoling ourselves for our
disappointment with the hopes of getting near enough up to the next herd
to fire before being seen, we scrambled on as before.  Now and then we
glanced behind us to mark the spot where we had left Fleming, while we
kept an eye in the direction Mr McRitchie had taken; and on that broad
exposed mountain-side, we did not think it possible that we could miss
each other.  We climbed on, therefore, without any misgivings as to how
we should find our way back again.  I fastened my handkerchief through
Surley's collar to keep him back.  He was thus able also sometimes to
help me up a steep place or a rock quicker than I could have got by
myself.  Jerry followed close behind me.  The distance was, we found,
greater than we expected to the next herd.  We were, fortunately, to
leeward of them, and not one of them noticed our approach.  We halted
behind a thick cactus.  There was a rock some three hundred yards
further off, and within a good shot of the herd.

"Now, Jerry, you mark the fellow to the left; I'll take the one to the
right," said I, almost trembling in my eagerness.  "Don't let us fire
till we get up to the rock; then rest a moment, and it will be hard if
we don't hit one of them.  If we miss, we'll see what Surley can do for
us."  Jerry nodded his agreement to this proposal, and crouching down,
we crept on till we reached the rock.  For an instant we waited to
recover breath, then we lifted up our rifles and rested them on a ledge
of the rock.  It would be impossible to have got a better aim.  Crack--
crack--we both fired.  Off scampered the herd up the mountain.

"We've missed! we've missed!" we cried.  "Oh, bothera--No, no! there's
one fellow staggering.  The one I fired at," I exclaimed.  "Hurrah!"

"There's another!  See, see!--he's over--no! he's up again, and away
with the rest," sung out Jerry.  "Let Surley after him, Harry.  He'll
bring him down.  Hurrah, hurrah, what luck!"

With such like exclamations we darted from behind our cover, and ran as
fast as our legs could carry us up to the guanaco I had hit; while
Surley, hounded on by us, went off in hot chase after the animal Jerry
had wounded.  We were soon up to the guanaco I had hit.  Poor beast! he
staggered on, and then over he went on his side.  He looked up at us
with his mild eyes, as much as to say, "Oh, you cruel white men, who
come from far-off across the seas, you have well-nigh destroyed the
original people of the country, and now you would wage war against us,
its harmless four-footed inhabitants."  He tried to spit at us, but his
strength failed him, and in an instant more he was dead.  As soon as we
saw this, off we went after Surley.  He had singled a guanaco out of the
herd, and marks of blood on the grass showed that it had been wounded.
Old Surley was among them.  Then one beast was seen to drop astern.
Slower and slower he went, kicking out all the time at the dog, who ran
leaping up to try and catch hold of his neck.  He got a kick, which sent
him rolling over, but he was up again.

"Hurrah!" cried Jerry.  "He has him now, though.  Remember, Harry,
that's the beast I shot."

On we ran and clambered to get up with Old Surley and the guanaco, which
was still struggling to get away.  He made several desperate springs
forward, but he struck out with his heels and spat in vain, for the
stanch dog was not to be shaken off.  He was rapidly getting weaker--he
struggled less violently--at last over he came, and we saw there was no
chance of his escaping.  We stopped, and, like good sportsmen, loaded
our rifles in case they might be required.  By the time we got up the
guanaco was dead, and Old Surley was standing over him, looking
wonderfully proud of his victory.  What was to be done with the game now
that we had got it? was the question.  We could not carry it away, for
each animal was fully four feet high, and eight or nine long.  We looked
about for marks by which we should know the spot where the last killed
lay.  We thought that we had found some that we could not mistake, but,
still more certainly to recognise it, we piled up all the stones and
bushes we could collect on a rock, till we had made a considerable heap,
which we thought would be conspicuous at a distance.  We then began to
consider that it was time to look about for our companions.  We could
nowhere make them out, but we had no doubt as to easily finding the spot
where we had left Fleming.  First, however, we had to go and mark the
place more distinctly where we had left my guanaco.  It took us as long
to descend the mountain as to climb it; for we often came to steep
places which we had to make a circuit to avoid.  We reached the edge of
a small precipice, where we had a tolerably clear view of the hill-side
below us, and of the valley beyond.  In ascending, we had passed on one
side of the rock.  We looked about to discover the spot where we had
left the guanaco.  There it lay; but not a hundred yards from it we saw
another animal approaching it by stealthy steps.  We watched it
narrowly.

"It must be a big cat!" cried Jerry.

"No, no; it is a puma--the South American lion," I sang out.  "Oh, if we
can but get a shot at him it will be fine!"

He was so intent on the prospect of a feast off the dead guanaco that he
did not see us.  He crawled up near it, and then sprang on the carcass.
We did not like to have our game destroyed, so we could not help
shouting out, "Get off from that, you beast!"  Our voices startled the
puma, and looking round and seeing us, and Surley approaching with an
angry growl, he trotted off down the mountain.  We agreed that he was
probably an old fellow, and that, having lost his activity, he could not
catch the live animals.  We both fired, but we were not near enough, and
missed him.  Away he bounded down the mountain without once stopping to
look behind him.

"I vote we take some slices out of our friend here," said Jerry.  His
suggestions were generally very practical.  "I don't see why we should
run the risk of losing our dinner altogether.  The chances are that
another of these pumas finds him out and leaves us but poor pickings."
I agreed to the wisdom of the suggestion, and so we supplied ourselves
with enough meat for all the party.  We then raised a mark near our
guanaco as we had done before.

"That will do famously," said Jerry, finishing the heap with a long
piece of cactus.  "Now, let us go and look for Fleming.  The doctor and
guides will be back soon.  I'm getting very hungry, I know, and if they
don't come I vote we make an attack on the prog baskets without them."

"Let us find Fleming and the baskets first," I answered; for my mind
began to misgive me about finding him as easily as we had expected.  The
chase after the guanacoes had led us a long way, and I found it very
difficult to calculate distances or the size of objects in that bright
atmosphere, where the proportions of all surrounding objects were so
vast.  Still I did not express my fears to Jerry.  We kept our eyes
about us, on the chance of falling in with another puma; for we agreed
that it would be much better to be able to talk of having killed a lion
than even two harmless llamas.  On we went for a long time, scrambling
over the crags, and precipices, and rough ground.

"Where can Fleming have got to?" exclaimed Jerry at last; "I am certain
that we are up to the spot where we left him."  I thought so likewise.
We shouted at the top of our voices, but the puny sounds seemed lost in
the vast solitudes which encompassed us.  "I think it must have been
further on," said I, after I had taken another survey of the country.
So on we rushed, keeping our eyes about us on every side.

We had gone on some way further, when Jerry laid his hand on my arm.
"What is that, Harry?" he exclaimed.  "It is the puma!  See the rascal
how stealthily he creeps along!  He's after some mischief, depend on it.
I hope he won't go back and eat up our guanacoes."

"We must take care that he does not do that," said I.  "We'll stop his
career.  Is your rifle ready.  We'll creep after him as stealthily as he
is going along.  He is so busy that he does not see us, and the chances
are that we get near enough to knock him over."

"Come along then," exclaimed Jerry; and, imitating the puma's cautious
mode of proceeding, we rapidly gained on him.  We had got up almost
close enough to fire when Jerry whispered, "O Harry, what is that?  It's
Fleming, dear! dear!"

Just below where the puma was crouching down ready to make his fatal
spring, lay the form of the old seaman; but whether he was dead, or
asleep, or fainting, we could not tell.  There was not a moment to be
lost.  In another instant the savage brute would have fixed his claws in
his throat.  We rushed on--so did old Surley.  The puma had actually
begun his spring when we fired.  Both our bullets took effect, but still
he leaped forward.  He fell close to Fleming.  Our shipmate sprang up on
his knees, but it was only to receive the claws of the brute on his
chest.  The blow knocked him over.  We were running on and shouting all
the time, to distract the attention of the puma.

"He is killed! he is killed!" cried Jerry.  "No."  In an instant, with a
clasp-knife in his hand, Fleming was up again and plunging away at the
throat of the brute.  He rose to his knees.  He gave stab after stab,
and prevented the puma from fixing its jaws on his own throat, which
seemed the aim of the enraged animal.  The brave Surley was at his
flanks tearing and biting at them with all his might.

"Hold on, Fleming," we shouted; "we will be up to you directly."

"Fire! fire!" cried Fleming; "I can't keep the brute back much longer."

At length Surley's attack seemed to produce more effect on the puma.
For a moment he turned round to try to repel him.  Fleming seized the
opportunity, and, taking better aim than he had hitherto been able to
do, plunged his knife right up to the hilt in the animal's breast, and
then sprang back out of his way.  We came up at the same moment, barely
in time to save Surley from some severe handling, for the puma had
turned all his fury on him.  We stopped and loaded, and then running on
got close up to the beast, to run no risk of hitting the dog, and fired.
Over he rolled, giving a few spasmodic clutches with his claws, and
with a snarl expired.

"You've saved my life anyhow, young gentlemen," said Fleming.  "When I
felt the brute's claws on my breast, before I saw you and honest Surley
there, I thought it was all over with me."

Surley was standing over the dead body of the puma, and he seemed to
think that he had had the chief hand in killing him.  We were very proud
of the trophy; and when we found that Fleming was scarcely injured,
though his clothes were somewhat torn, we were very glad that the
adventure had occurred.  Fleming told us that when we did not return he
had set off to look after us; but at last, overcome again with the heat
of the sun, he had sat down and dropped asleep.  It was now getting late
in the day, so after we had marked the place where the dead puma lay, we
agreed that we would return to the bottom of the valley and try and find
our companions.  That we might enjoy a whole day in the mountains, it
had been arranged that we should bivouac in the valley, and not commence
our return till the following morning.  We looked about for the doctor
and guides, but they were nowhere to be seen.  We fired off our rifles,
but no one answered in return.  We began to be anxious.  Could they have
been stopped by robbers? or could any Indians have attacked them?  Such
things had occurred before now, we were told.  Sometimes bands of the
fierce Araucanian Indians had been known to make incursions into the
province from the south, and to attack farm-houses and even villages
among the mountains.  Robbers, too, in large bands once frequented the
country, and laid contributions on all the peaceable inhabitants.
Still, since the government has been settled and order established, such
occurrences were no longer heard of.  We therefore resolved that it
would be unwise to make ourselves unhappy; so, after having partaken of
some of the articles of Fleming's basket to stay our appetites, we set
to work to prepare for our encampment for the night.  We fixed on a spot
under a high rock, which would shelter us from the prevailing wind; and
we then looked about for fuel with which we could light a fire.  We
found a plant in great abundance, but we could not tell whether, it
would burn or not.  "Try, at all events," said Fleming.  We made a heap,
and put some paper and matches under it.  It burned admirably, exuding a
resinous smell; and we afterwards found that it was called the _Alpinia
umbellifera_.  After we had collected enough fuel for the night, we sat
ourselves down before the fire wrapped up in our cloaks, which Fleming
had been carrying for us.  When enough ashes had been made, we produced
our meat and toasted some slices at the end of our ramrods.

"I say, Harry, does not this remind you of the night we spent at the
Falkland Islands?" said Jerry.  "I like this bivouacking life
amazingly."  I agreed with him that it was very good fun in fine
weather, but that with cold and snow, or rain, I thought we should very
likely change our tune.

"That you would, young gentlemen," observed Fleming.  "Remember that
you've only seen the bright side of life as yet.  There's a dark side as
well, and you should be prepared for it when it comes, otherwise you
won't be fit to meet it like men.  Don't go on fancying that the sun is
always to shine on you, and that you are always to be warm and
comfortable, and to have plenty of money in your pockets, and no
troubles and sorrows, and pains and sicknesses.  You'll have your share,
and it is better that you should depend on it, not to make you value
this world too much."

"I say, Fleming, don't preach--there's a good fellow!" exclaimed Jerry.
"I want just now to enjoy my slice of guanaco.  I know what you say is
very true, and I'll remember and think about it by-and-by."

Fleming might have made further remarks on the subject, had not a faint
shout, as if from a distance, reached our ears.  We listened.  Could it
be from Indians or robbers?  Jerry put his hand to the top of his head.
"Oh, my scalp!" said he; "it feels very uncomfortable already."  Again
the shout reached us.  We shouted in return.  We had little doubt that
it was raised by the doctor and his companions.  Soon they emerged out
of the darkness laden with all sorts of specimens of natural history.
We crowed over them, however, for they had not killed either a guanaco
or a puma.  They could not doubt our assertions, as they had proof in
the slices of the former which we cooked for them.  Fleming and Old
Surley, too, showed the marks of their encounter with the puma; and we
got great credit for having killed him.  We were a very merry party as
we drew round the fire recounting our adventures; and Surley sat up
looking as wise as any of us, and if he could but have put his words
together, he would have told as good a story as any of us.  At all
events, he dogfully played his part at the feast, and ate up with
evident relish all the scraps of guanaco flesh which we gave him.  Mr
McRitchie was as satisfied as we were with the result of his day's
excursion; and as we had an abundant supply of everything to make the
inner man comfortable, and good cloaks to keep the outer warm, we were
all very happy.  Our guide talked a good deal, though no one but Tom
Carver understood a word he said.  Tom and Fleming, however, spun the
longest yarns, all about Lord Cochrane and all the wonders he had done,
and how from his daring and bravery he made the people of the country
believe that he was in league with the Evil One, if he was not rather
the Evil One himself.  They gave him the name of the _Diabo_.

"No one ever deserved it less," exclaimed Fleming.  "The devil, to my
mind, is cunning and cowardly, and a fool into the bargain.  Resist him,
and he'll run away.  Act a straightforward, honest part, and he can
never get round you.  Lord Cochrane, you see, mates, was as true and
honest as steel, as brave as his sword, and so wise, that he never
undertook to do anything when he didn't see the way clear before him
that would lead to success."  Tom agreed also in heartily praising their
old chief, though they were not very complimentary to the Spaniards or
to the people of Chili, whom he had come to assist.

"I say, Tom, do you mind when we were going away from Valparaiso to
attack Callao, and you and I were serving aboard the _O'Higgins_, how
that lieutenant brought the admiral's little son on board?" said
Fleming, for the purpose, I suspect, of drawing his friend out.

"Ay, that I do," answered Tom Carver.  "You see the flag-lieutenant had
gone on shore for some of the admiral's traps, when he fell in with the
little chap, who wasn't more than five or six years old.  `I want to go
with father,' says he.  `I must go with father aboard the big ship
there.  I will go.'  At first the lieutenant said he couldn't take him;
but the little fellow cried out so, that he couldn't find it in his
heart to refuse him; so he lifted him up on his shoulders and carried
him away to the boat.  The child shouted and crowed with pleasure,
waving his little hat above his head, just like a sucking hero as he
was.  When the people saw it, they seemed as if they would grow mad with
delight, and followed him in crowds, cheering and crying out, `_Viva la
Patria_' at the top of their voices.  I was one of the boat's crew, and
certainly there was something in it somehow which took our fancy
mightily.  Off we pulled aboard the flag-ship, before Lady Cochrane
found out what had become of the child, and I daresay she was in a great
taking.  Well, we only got aboard just as the ship was under weigh, and
he couldn't be sent on shore again.  There was nothing to be done but to
take him with us.  We weren't sorry to have him, for, you see, next to a
monkey, there's nothing does a ship's company more good than having a
little child to look after.  The small chap had nothing but the clothes
he was dressed in.  `What's to be done with him?' says the admiral.
`Why, bless ye, my lord, he'll have fifty nurses, every one as good as
the she-maids as has to look after him ashore,' answered Ben Brown, the
admiral's coxswain; `and as for clothing, the ship's tailor will rig him
out in no time.'  To my mind, the admiral rather liked having the little
fellow with him.  Fearless himself, he couldn't even feel fear for one
of those he loved best on earth.  Young master very soon made himself at
home among us, and in a couple of days the ship's tailor had as complete
a midshipman's uniform made for him as you'd wish to see.

"We were bound, do you see, to Callao, where the admiral discovered that
a large Spanish ship was about to sail for Europe, with great treasure
aboard.  Besides her, there was a Spanish squadron of considerable force
lying in the harbour, under the protection of the guns of the forts.
The admiral was up to all sorts of dodges, so he hoisted American
colours, and, as two United States' ships of war were expected with
another ship, stood in.  A fog, however came on, and the _Lantaro_, one
of our squadron, parting company, his plan was defeated.  However, we
fell in with a Spanish gunboat in the fog, and took her.  Fogs and light
winds baffled us for some time; but the admiral was not a man to be
turned aside from what he had intended, so at last we got in before the
forts, and with springs on our cables began blazing away at them and the
fleet, of which there were altogether some fourteen vessels.  Well, I
was telling you of the admiral's little son.  Of course his father was
very anxious about him, for it was no child's work we were about, so he
locked him up as he fancied safe in his after-cabin.  As soon, however,
as the firing began, the youngster thought he should like to see some of
the fun; so what does he do, but work his way out through the
quarter-gallery window, and find his way up on deck.  `Go down below,
sir, this moment,' says the admiral when he sees him.  `You'll be having
your head shot off if you stay here.'  The shot was flying about us
pretty thick by that time, let me tell you.  `No, no, daddy,' says he.
`Let me stay here.  You stay, and de oder midshipmens stay; why
shouldn't I?'  He couldn't speak quite plain yet, do you see.  `Take him
below out of harm's way, one of you,' says the admiral, turning to me.
You see he had plenty to do watching the enemy and issuing orders, and
had not time to look after the boy.  So as the admiral ordered, I seized
up the young gentleman, and was going to carry him off below, when he
began to kick up such a hubbub, and to kick, and scratch, and bite, it
was as hard work to hold him as it would have been to gripe a
rattlesnake.  `Put me down, I say--put me down,' he sung out.  `I'll not
go below.  I want to stay on deck and fight the enemy.'  Well, I saw
that there was no use in taking him below, because, as no one could be
spared to look after him, he would have been soon up again; besides, to
my mind, a shot finds its way into one part of a ship as well as
another.  So I put him down again, and there was his little lordship as
busy as any powder-monkey, handing up the powder to the gunners.  Well,
as I was saying, the shot was falling pretty thick about our ears, when
a round shot takes off the head of a marine standing close to the small
boy, scattering the brains and blood of the poor fellow right over the
small chap, almost blinding him.  The admiral was looking that way.  His
tall figure bent forwards.  I thought he would have fallen from the
agony of his mind.  He believed his child was killed.  In an instant,
however, the little hero recovered himself, and dashing the blood from
his face, ran up to his lordship.  `Don't be afraid, papa,' says he;
`I'm not hurt--the shot did not strike me.  Tom says the ball isn't cast
that can kill mamma's boy.'  That was true enough, for he'd heard some
of us say, what we believed, that he couldn't come to harm any more than
his father could.  The admiral's face brightened again, when he saw that
no harm had happened to the boy.  I suppose after this he thought as we
did, for he let him stay on deck during the whole action; and a pretty
sharp one it was, when I tell you we had two hundred guns firing away at
us for a couple of hours.  If it hadn't been for the fog, we shouldn't
have had a stick standing at the end of it.  After this we had several
brushes with the enemy.

"At last the admiral considered that it would be a great thing to take
Valdivia, a strongly-fortified place on the south of Chili, still held
by the Spaniards.  We had some Chilian troops on board, and very brave
fellows they were, under a French officer.  Our own officers were worth
very little, and the admiral had to look after everything himself.  One
night we were off the island of Quiriquina, and he had turned in to take
a little rest, leaving the deck in charge of one of the lieutenants.
The lieutenant thought he should like a snooze, so he turned in and left
a midshipman in charge of the ship.  The midshipman went to sleep, and
when he awoke he found the ship all aback.  In trying to box her off he
ran her on shore, on the sharp edge of a rock, where, if there had been
any swell, she would have beaten her bottom in.  Many of the people
wanted to abandon the ship; but the admiral was not a man to allow such
a thing while there was a hope of getting her off; and telling them that
they would be all murdered by the savages on the coast if they landed,
he set all hands to work at the pumps.  When they came to be examined,
they were all out of repair; and as the carpenter could make no hand at
mending them, what does the admiral do but whip off his coat and set to
work with his own hands.  Didn't we feel that he was a man we'd follow
through thick and thin, though we knew that pretty well before then.  At
last, what with pumping and bailing, we found that the water did not
gain on us, so the stream anchor was got, and heaving on it with a will,
we once more set the old ship afloat.  `Never mind, my lads,' says the
admiral; `if we can but make her swim as far as Valdivia, we shall do
very well without a ship for a time.'  By that we knew he intended to
take and occupy the place.  The admiral wanted to take the Spaniards by
surprise, so he shifted his flag aboard the _Intrepedo_ brig-of-war,
taking with him the _Montezuma_, a man-of-war schooner, and, in spite of
a high sea, all the troops were put on board the two vessels.  You
should just see what sort of a place Valdivia is, with strong forts on
both sides of a channel not three-quarters of a mile wide.  There is
only one small landing-place, called the Aquada del Ingles, with a fort
protecting it.  Towards that we stood, for the surf sets so heavily on
the shore, that a boat attempting to land anywhere else would be knocked
to pieces.  We had a gallant English officer in command of the troops,
Major Miller.  I never saw such a fire-eater.  His body was almost
riddled with shot, but he never seemed to mind; nothing sickened him of
fighting; and as soon as he got well he was as ready for work as ever.
So, as I was saying, the brig and schooner ran in and anchored close to
Fort Ingles, keeping the boats on the other side of the vessels, out of
sight.  The admiral hailed the fort, and said we had lost our boats
coming round Cape Horn, and begged they would send one; but just then
one of ours drifted astern, and the Spaniards, smelling a rat, opened
fire on us.  Instantly the admiral ordered the troops to land, and a
launch, with the gallant Major Miller, and some forty-four marines,
shoved off, and under a heavy shower of musket-balls, pushed for the
shore.  His coxswain was wounded, and he received a shot through his
hat.  On we shoved (for I was with him), and leaping on shore with loud
cheers, we drove the enemy before us at the point of the bayonet.  I
forgot to tell you that when the _O'Higgins_ got on shore, we had nearly
all our powder spoiled, so that he had to depend entirely on the
bayonet.  There's no better weapon to be used when Spaniards are
concerned.  They can't stand it.  Other boats followed, and in less than
a hour we had 300 troops landed.  We waited till it was dark to begin
the attack.  There was a gallant young ensign, Mr Vidal.  While the
main body advanced in front, firing off their muskets, and shouting to
show the Spaniards that we were going to give them a taste of the
bayonet, he got round to the rear of the forts, and opening his fire,
the enemy got frightened, and took to their heels, while we took the
forts--which was what we had come to take.  At the same time 300 more
Spaniards, who were marching into Fort Ingles, were seized with a panic,
and all fled together.  The brave Chilians bayoneted them by dozens; and
when the gates of the other forts were opened to receive the fugitives,
they entered at the same time, and thus fort after fort was taken with
very little loss to us, but a good deal to the enemy.  Two days after,
we attacked the forts on the other side of the water with the same
success, and then took the town of Valdivia itself, which is some little
way up the river.  We found a large supply of ammunition in the place,
and I know that I got a fair share of prize-money.  That Major Miller I
was telling you of was soon after this again desperately wounded in
attempting to take another fort.  When he had fallen, his faithful
marines made a desperate charge, and brought him off.  They were all
Chilians, it must be remembered.  One of them, named Roxas, was a very
brave fellow.  He was the first to land with the major, and had helped
to carry him to the beach on their retreat.  Two out of three were
wounded, and when the major invited him to step into the boat, `No,
sir,' says he; `I was the first to land, and I intend to be the last to
leave the shore.'  You see, young gentlemen, it is not only Englishmen
can do gallant things, and I like when I have an opportunity to praise
those with other blood in their veins.

"You'd like to know how we took the _Esmeralda_, I daresay?" said Tom.

"I told Master Harry all about that the other day," observed Fleming.
"It was a gallant thing, wasn't it?"

"But, I say, I wonder if the gentlemen over heard talk of what my lady
did?  She was, for a woman, and a young, beautiful woman too, just as
brave as my lord.  Well, I'll tell you.  The first part I heard from a
man, a soldier, a brave, faithful fellow, who was with her; the rest I
saw myself.  She, with her baby, was up the country, at a place called
Quilca, among the mountains, when, as she was at a ball at some great
man's house there, she heard that the Spaniards had made up their minds
to seize her and her infant, and to detain them as hostages.  To think
with her was to act.  Going quietly out of the ball-room and changing
her dress, she popped the nurse and child into a sort of palanquin, and
mounting one of her horses, and ordering out all the rest, she started
away in the middle of the night, and pushed on without stopping
anywhere, or telling any one where she was going.  All that night and
all next day she travelled on, mounting another horse whenever the one
she rode grew tired.  At last she arrived at a dark ravine, just a split
in the mountain some hundred feet deep, with a foaming torrent roaring
below.  There was just the sort of rope bridge we had to cross
yesterday.  Some of the people had gone down below to haul the horses
over, and she had sent her own horse across, when what should they hear
but the sound of the enemy's bugles.  Seizing her child, she ordered the
palanquin-bearers to go over, and then followed close behind them
herself.  Again the bugle sounded,--the enemy were close at hand.  She
hurried on, but the movements of so many people crossing made the bridge
swing fearfully from side to side.  She felt as if she must be thrown
off into the raging gulf below.  More and more the bridge swung, and at
length, overcome with terror, she sank down on the narrow pathway,
clasping the infant to her breast.  I've heard people say they dream of
such things.  Here was the reality.  The bridge continued to swing
backwards and forwards with a fearful motion, and she clung to it for
her life.  It was a great risk for any one else to venture on the
bridge, but, in spite of that, Pedro, the soldier I told you of, crawled
along, and, says he in his own language, `Give me the child, my lady,
and I'll take care of it;' and crawling along with it in his arms, he
placed it in safety.  Then he went back, and helped Lady Cochrane
across.  Just then the advance guard of the enemy's troops appeared,
winding down the sides of the mountains.  Pedro and the other men hacked
away at the bridge; the ropes parted and fell into the torrent, and her
ladyship was safe, while the Spaniards ground their teeth in vain.  On
she pushed, till she reached the coast, and there she found the
admiral's ship, and came on board.  We were all proud to have her; for
you see, with all her beauty, there wasn't a bit of vanity or nonsense
about her, and she would speak kind-like to any one of us, just as if we
was her equal.  Soon after she came on board, the admiral heard that
there was a rich Spanish ship just about putting to sea, and a very good
sailer.  He knew if she once got ahead of us we should never catch her
up, so, without waiting to land Lady Cochrane, we slipped our cables and
made sail up to where the treasure-ship and several others of the
enemy's vessels lay at anchor.  We beat to quarters, and got up to them
about midnight all ready for action.  We were not long in beginning the
sport, nor they in returning the compliments we paid them; for, besides
the treasure-ship, the Spaniards had some gun-boats moored under their
forts.  While we were firing away, the mother, just like her little son,
wouldn't leave the deck, but stood there like any hero, animating the
men.

"After some time one of the crew of a gun, a Chilian, seemed to be
afraid of firing.  What does her ladyship do, but, seizing his arm, and
guiding the match to the touch-hole, fire the gun!  She thought maybe
that the man would be punished if he was observed.  However, the effort
was too much for her, for you see she was but a young woman, and she
sank down on deck in a fainting fit.  We thought she was wounded, and
several of us ran forward to lift her up and carry her below.  It did
our hearts good to find that there was nothing really the matter with
her.  When the action was over, and we had pretty well knocked the
treasure-ship and gun-boats to pieces, we returned in the morning to our
former anchorage.  As we were furling sails, her ladyship came on deck
to show us she was all to rights.  No sooner was the canvas stowed, than
we manned yards of our own accord, and then didn't we cheer her and the
admiral with right good will; and the whole crew, one and all, Chilians
and Englishmen, five hundred of us, burst forth with the hymn of the
Republic, praying at the end that Heaven would bless and prosper them.
She bowed more than once, but didn't say a word, and then burst into
tears.

"Ah! she was the lady who knew how to win a sailor's heart!"



CHAPTER NINE.

ROBINSON CRUSOE'S ISLAND.

Fleming and his old shipmate, Tom Carver, kept spinning their
interesting yarns about Lord Cochrane's gallant deeds till a late hour.
At last it was time to go to sleep; so we wrapped ourselves up as
closely as we could in our cloaks, with our feet to the fire and our
backs to the rock, to seek repose.  Fleming, and Tom, and the doctor,
however, kept watch one after the other, both to keep up the fire and to
prevent our being taken by surprise by the visit of a puma, or any other
unwelcome visitor.  By-the-by, the doctor told us that the puma very
seldom seeks his prey in the day-time, or attacks men, though he has
been known to do so at times.  The fellow we killed measured fully five
feet from the nose to the tail, which was itself, in addition, two feet
and a half long.  The back was of a brownish-red colour, and the breast
of a reddish ash colour, and the lower jaw and throat white.  Its face
was like that of a huge cat, and it is said to be able to climb trees,
and to drop down from them on its prey.  Its ordinary way of seizing its
prey is to spring on the back, and draw back the head of the animal till
its neck is broken.  The guanaco, which is common throughout South
America, was used by the ancient Peruvians, in great numbers, as a beast
of burden.  It carried about a hundredweight.  Its flesh also served
them for food; of its skin leather articles were made, and its hair was
woven into cloth.  When domesticated, it is known as the llama.  It
feeds on vegetables, and requires no attention.  Its voice resembles the
shrill neighing of a horse.  Its use as a beast of burden has been
superseded by the horse, the ass, and the mule.  The fleece of the tame
animal is not so long as that of the wild one.  Their appearance I have
already described.  I shall never forget that night among the Andes,--
how the stars of the southern hemisphere came out, and shone with a
brilliancy I had never before seen in that purest of pure atmospheres,
among those grand old mountains.  For a long time I could not go to
sleep: at last I did, and it seemed but a moment afterwards that Terry
aroused me to go with Tom and the Indian guide to bring the guanaco and
the skin of the puma.  With their aid we were not long in finding the
puma, and in having his skin off him.  We found the first guanaco
untouched, so we took his skin and some of the flesh.  As, however, we
were looking for the spot where we had left the other, a huge condor
rose into the air, followed by two or three others.

"Ah! you'll not find much beyond his bones, depend on that," said Tom.
"These birds don't leave pickings for anybody else."

Such being the case, we agreed that it was not worth while to climb up
so far, as we were in a hurry to get back to the rock to breakfast.
Directly after it we set off on our return to the city.  The natives of
Chili, we were told, often catch the puma with the lasso.  They also
hunt it with dogs, and shoot it when it climbs up trees.  When we came
to the bridge of hide-rope it looked more rickety and impassable than
ever.  Just fancy a few rotten-looking strips of leather slung across a
chasm some thousand feet deep!

"Never mind," said Fleming, laughing; "hold on to something.  If it give
way don't you let go, at all events, and the chances are you are brought
up somewhere.  My maxim is, Never let go of one rope till you have got
hold of another."

However, we crossed in safety, and spent a very pleasant day at
Santiago, seeing all the sights of that city, though Jerry and I agreed
that we would rather have been in the mountains shooting guanacoes or
hunting pumas,--so I daresay would old Surley.  We got back in good time
to Valparaiso.  When dining at the hotel, we met an Englishman who had
travelled over all parts of South America, and had made an infinite
number of sketches, which he did in the most rapid way.  He made me a
present of several, which he drew at the hotel; among them was the
Frontispiece to this volume.  He gave us the following information at
the same time.  He told us that apes' flesh was very nice for eating--a
fact some of our party were inclined to doubt.  He laughed at our
scruples, and assured us that he had frequently dined off apes.  The
Indians on the Amazon go out regularly to hunt them, and have a very
successful mode of so doing.  Every hunter is provided with a hollow
cane, called a sarbacan--I before described it in our trip up the
Amazon.  It is about twelve feet in length; and a quiver containing a
dozen little pieces of very hard wood, sharp at one end, and fitted with
a bit of cotton-wadding at the other.  Concealed by the luxuriant
foliage of the forest, the Indian, resting his sarbacan on the branch of
a tree, waits the near approach of his prey; then blowing out one of the
little polished arrows from the tube with his mouth, he invariably
strikes the ape, and brings him to the ground.  What ensures the success
of this mode of hunting is, that it is carried on without the slightest
noise, and a whole troop of apes may be killed without their discovering
whence the death-dealing darts proceed.  When we were on the Amazon we
did not know that the poor monkeys were killed in this way.  I forgot to
mention before the beautiful regularity of the land and sea-breezes
which we experienced at this place.  It was the dry season of the year,
and the air was wonderfully bright and clear.  The atmosphere being in a
state of equilibrium (so the doctor told us), was ready to obey even the
slightest impulse, and to rush towards any spot where rarefaction was
taking place.  Thus, at about ten in the morning, as the rays of the sun
gain power and shed their influence over the earth, the air from the sea
begins to move towards it.  As rarefaction increases, so does the
strength of the wind, till by three or four in the afternoon it rushes
in with great force, creating a considerable sea, and if a vessel is not
well moored, driving her before it.  Captain Frankland knew what to
expect, and was therefore prepared for the emergency.

On the afternoon of our return to Valparaiso, we put to sea.  From the
cause I have mentioned respecting the strength of the sea-breeze, it is
necessary to make a good offing from the land.  We therefore stood off
shore till we had sunk the tops of the Andes below the horizon.  The
name of the _Pacific_ was given to this ocean by the Spaniards, who
first crossed the Isthmus of Panama, under the belief that the whole sea
was always as calm as was then the portion they beheld.  Storms, if less
frequent, are certainly not less violent than in other portions of the
world.  We certainly very frequently experienced the fickleness of the
elements.  As we were about to haul up to the northward, the wind
suddenly shifted round to that very quarter, and then shifted somewhat
to the eastward.  We stood away on the starboard-tack, but were
evidently making a great deal of lee-way.  At last Captain Frankland,
finding that no progress could be made, hove the ship to.  Jerry and I
had by this time got pretty well accustomed to knocking about, so that
we did not mind it.  We suffered the greatest inconvenience at our
meals, because very often the soup which we had intended to put into our
mouths without signal or warning rolled away into the waistcoat-pockets
of our opposite neighbour.  The doctor more than once suffered from
being the recipient of the contents of Jerry's plate as well as of mine;
but he took it very good-naturedly, and as he very soon returned us the
compliment, we were all square.  Not long after dinner, while we were on
deck, Ben Yool, who was aloft, hailed to say that he saw bearing right
down for us a large brig, and, considering the gale, that she was
carrying a wonderful press of canvas.  Her courses were brailed up, but
her topsails were set, while the top-gallant-sails and royals were
flying away in ribbons, except the main-royal, which, with the mast, had
gone over the side.  We accordingly all looked out for her.  We soon, as
we rose to the summit of a long rolling sea, caught sight of her,
plunging over the foaming waters and often half buried in them.  There
was something very strange in her appearance, and in the way she came
tearing along through the waters.  Captain Frankland looked at her
attentively through his glass.

"I cannot make it out," he exclaimed; "the people on board are either
all drunk or must have gone mad."

We were not kept long in suspense.  On came the brig.  She was a
fine-looking vessel; but such a sight met our eyes as I never expected
to see.  Her deck was crowded with men, but instead of attempting to
shorten sail, they were all shrieking and fighting together.  One party
seemed to have taken possession of the after-part of the vessel, the
rest were forward--while in the intermediate space several lay weltering
in their blood.  Now one party would rush forward and meet the other in
the waist, and then after a desperate struggle one would retreat before
the other.  Thus they continued as long as they remained in sight.  It
appeared, from the glimpse we got of them as they drove by, that the
crew had risen against their officers, who were fighting to regain the
upper hand.  What they were it was difficult to say, but their
appearance bespoke them to be a great set of ruffians.  I asked Ben Yool
what he thought of them.

"To my mind, Master Harry, they are nothing better than a set of
pirates, and I had just as soon not have fallen in with them in smooth
water."

Every spy-glass on board was directed towards them.  Strange as it
appeared, there could be no doubt about the matter.  In spite of the
terrific gale--in spite of the prospect of the masts going overboard,
and of the ship being reduced to a complete wreck, an event which might
any moment occur, the wretched crew of the brig were destroying each
other with the maddest fury.  From the state of things on board as we
saw them, the chances were that the survivors of the victorious party
would not have strength to take in sail or clear the deck at the end of
the fight.

"That was an extraordinary spectacle we have just witnessed," observed
Cousin Silas, as Jerry and I were holding on to the rails near him as
the strange brig disappeared, hidden by the dark foam-topped waves which
leaped up between her and us.  "Never heard anything like it before,
perhaps you will say, lads.  Now, in my opinion, you have heard of many
things exactly like it before.  What is the world doing at the present
moment?  What has it been doing since the flood?  Men have been
quarrelling, and fighting, and knocking each other on the head, while
ruin has been encircling them around, from that time to the present.  We
were sent into this world to perform certain duties--to help each other
in doing them--to love God and to love each other.  If we obey God, we
are promised eternal happiness: if we disobey him, eternal punishment.
We are told that this world must come to an end, and that all things in
it will be destroyed.  What do men do?  They shut their eyes to all
these truths.  They live as if they and everything in the world were to
last for ever--as if there were no God to obey and love; and, like the
madmen we have just seen, they separate into parties, hating each other,
and fight, and quarrel, and deface God's image in which he made man,
utterly regardless of the terrible doom awaiting them--just as the
people aboard that ship were doing."

"The simile would not have occurred to me, Mr Brand," observed Jerry.
"I see it now, though.  Still, if people do as little harm as they can,
it is all right."

"No, no, lad.  Don't for a moment indulge in such an erroneous, foolish
notion, put into people's heads by the spirit of evil himself, to
deceive them.  I tell you we were sent into the world not only to
abstain from sin, but to do as much good as we can--to actively employ
ourselves--to look about us to see how we can do good,--not to wait till
some opportunity occurs that may never come.  But we are certain to find
some good work if we look for it; and if your heart is right towards
God, and you earnestly wish to serve him, and not the world, and not
yourself, he will point out to you what to do."

The conversation was interrupted by a heavy lurch the ship made, which
sent Jerry and me tumbling away into the lee scuppers; a huge sea at the
same moment came rolling up with a foaming crest towards us.  It caught
the brig broad on the bow--up it rose like a wall, and then with a loud
angry roar fell right over us.  I felt myself swimming in deep water,
with my mouth full and almost blinded.  I heard Jerry's cry close to me.
The dreadful thought occurred to me that we were both overboard, and
the utter impossibility of lowering a boat to save us flashed across me.
I shrieked out for help.  A whirl--a confused sound of roaring, hissing
waters--a sensation of battling and struggling with them--an eager
desire to clutch at something,--are all I remember.  Down came the gale
on the ship with greater fury than before--another sea from the opposite
quarter struck her.  I felt myself grasped by a strong arm, and when I
opened my eyes, I saw that I was being dragged up to windward by Cousin
Silas, who, at the imminent risk of losing his own life, had sprung out
with a rope in his hand and hauled me on board again.

"Oh, where is Jerry--where is Jerry?" were the first words I uttered.
No one answered.  "Oh, he is lost! he is lost!"  I cried, and burst into
tears, forgetting altogether to thank Cousin Silas for having saved me.
I felt that I could never survive the loss of my young shipmate.  Just
then I saw several of the crew running to leeward.  Two or three heads
were in the water, with arms wildly striking out.  Shrieks, too, rung in
my ears.  Ben Yool was among them; I saw his face clearly; he did not
seem alarmed, like the rest.  A long rope was hove to him.  He grasped
it.  He struck out towards another of the swimmers; it was Jerry.  Ben
seized him in one of his arms, while he was striking out with the other.
There seemed, however, but little chance for him of escaping with his
life; for when the ship again surged ahead, the rope would have been
torn from his grasp, but just then another cross sea providentially
rolled up to leeward, and sent him and Jerry close up to the bulwarks.
There they were grasped by the crew, and when the ship rolled over again
to the other side, they were hauled on board safe and sound.  Two other
men remained in the water.  They turned their faces with straining
eyeballs imploringly towards the ship, which was drifting from them.  In
vain they shrieked out; no one could help them.  A foaming, hissing sea
rose between us and them.  Far, far away the unhappy men were carried,
and when the ship rose again to the summit of a wave, they were nowhere
to be seen.  I felt then how mercifully I had been preserved, and
grateful to Him who had thought fit to save me, while, for his own
inscrutable ends, he had allowed others to be taken.  Jerry, I know, had
the same thoughts and feelings, though I fear their impression soon
faded, but not away altogether.  Its traces, however faint, were
permanently left on our minds, and I believe that they have often since
had a powerful influence on us.  I hope, also, as we grow older, that we
may often recur to them instead of endeavouring to drive them away.
Joyful as Captain Frankland was at recovering his son, he felt much the
loss of his two men; for he truly was the father of his crew, and they
knew and gladly acknowledged it.  This was the secret of the influence
he had over them.  The ship still lay to, but the gale increased.
Suddenly there was a loud report, like a clap of thunder.  The
fore-top-sail, close-reefed as it was, had blown out of the bolt-ropes,
and the shreds fluttered in streamers from the yards.  Away it flew,
lashing the yard with fury, and coiling itself into thick twists of
rope.  The wind unfortunately caught the bow, and bringing her right
round, exposed her broadside to the sea.  The instant the accident
happened, the mates, with some of the crew, had rushed forward, and
loosing the fore-stay-sail, were hoisting it just as a big sea came
roaring towards us.  It was half way up at the moment the sea reached
us.  "Hoist away, my lads!" was the general cry.  The ship felt its
effects; springing forward, she seemed to dash through the sea, which,
however, broke in a deluge over us.  Her head came round, and away she
flew before the storm.  Before, however, the fore-stay-sail was up it
was blown clean away, and the ship dashed on under bare poles to the
westward, leaving our two poor shipmates in their watery tomb far
astern.  All that night we ran plunging on.  In the morning watch the
wind began to fall.  I asked Yool, who was in the same watch with me,
what he thought was going to happen.

"Why, Master Harry, that the gale is tired of blowing, and that we shall
before long have a calm, or only just a light, pleasant breeze," he
answered.  So it proved; after this the wind rapidly decreased, and by
sunrise all hands were aloft bending new sails, and busily employed in
repairing the damages received in the gale.  Just as the captain came on
deck, one of the mates hailed from aloft that he saw a whale, or a rock,
or some large black object, just rising out of the water--he could not
make out what.

We had been on the point of hauling our wind to stand back for Callao,
but the captain ordered the ship to be kept on, to ascertain what the
object could be.  I with others had gone aloft to look out also, when,
as the sun arose, I saw before me what I at first took to be a cloud,
but gradually it grew more and more distinct, till I was certain that it
was a lofty mountain.  The rest of the crew were so busily employed
about the rigging, and in looking out for the whale or whatever it was,
that I was the first to see it;--of this I was very proud.

"Land ahead!"  I sung out.

"Ay, ay; all right, Harry," he answered, knowing of course what land it
must be.  I soon after went down on deck, where I met Jerry, looking
rather pale and ill after his bath.

"Do you know what that land is?"  I asked, pointing to it; for with the
increasing light it was now seen clearly from the deck.

"Why, it's no other than Robinson Crusoe's island--Juan Fernandes; and
my father says he intends to run in there, as it will be more convenient
to repair damages at anchor; and he thinks that very likely the gale may
come back again on us.  Won't it be jolly to go on shore and to see the
very cave he lived in, and the sand where he first saw Friday's
foot-mark, and the descendants of the goats he had, and various other
animals?  I am certain I could find out every spot of ground he talks
about.  There's no place I would rather see than this."

"So would I," I observed.  "But you forget, Jerry, there was no such
person as Robinson Crusoe.  We may be disappointed when we get there."

"I won't believe it!" he answered, indignantly.  "There was, and there
must have been, and there shall have been a Robinson Crusoe!  How could
he have written his life if he had not lived, I should like to know?"

"There was a man called Alexander Selkirk, who was left there from one
of Lord Anson's ships, and a first-rate writer--Daniel Defoe by name--
got hold of his account, on which he founded the story of Robinson
Crusoe," I answered.

"I tell you that is all bosh," said Jerry.  "I don't believe that any
man who had not gone through every scene he describes, could have given
as good an account of them as does Robinson Crusoe; so I intend to stick
to my belief, and not care what anybody else says on the subject."  I
must own that I felt very much inclined to agree with Jerry, and to look
on Defoe very much in the light of a pirate, who had got hold of a ship
which did not belong to him.  The important discussion was cut short by
the report of the first mate, who had again gone aloft with his glass to
take another look at the object seen ahead.

"As far as I can see, I've no doubt that it is the hull of a ship
floating bottom uppermost," he sung out; "but whether any one is still
clinging to her or not, is more than I can make out."

"Get one of the boats ready, Mr Brand; we'll board the wreck, at all
events," said the captain.  While the boat was quickly prepared, we made
good progress towards the wreck.

"There is a man on her; I can see him clearly," sung out the third mate
from forward.  "He is lying along the keel.  He is alive; he sees us; he
is waving to us."

As soon as the ship got up to the wreck, she was hove-to, and I followed
Mr Brand, with Ben Yool, into the boat.  There was still a great deal
of sea running; and when we got up to the wreck, there was no little
danger, we discovered, in getting alongside her.  There were masts and
spars still hanging on by the rigging around her, which would at once
have stove in our boat if we had got among them incautiously, and we
should very likely have lost our own lives.  There was only one man on
the ship's bottom; we saw him just lifting his head and watching us
anxiously as we pulled round.  We could discover no spot free from
danger; so we pulled off again to consult what was best to be done.  The
poor wretch thought we were going to desert him, and shouted out to us
in English and Spanish, imploring us to have compassion on him, and save
his life.

"Ay, ay, friend!" answered Ben Yool.  "Don't suppose we'd leave you
there; we should be rum sort of Christians to do that.  Wait a bit;
we'll get you off directly."

"He appears to be unable to help himself, or he might lower himself down
by a rope," observed Mr Brand.  "Make a line fast round me; I think
that I could manage to got in just under the quarter, and so haul myself
up by some of the ropes I see hanging over it."

To propose was with Cousin Silas to act, and in another moment he was
striking out towards the wreck.  Avoiding the main-mast--close to which,
with some of its spars, he had to pass--he at length got hold of the
quarter without injury.  He was soon up alongside the stranger.  The man
was apparently unable to walk; so Mr Brand supported him as he helped
him along the keel, till he reached the after-part; and then, securing a
line to him, he beckoned us to pull in, while he lowered both himself
and the man into the boat.  We quickly pulled back again, before the
shattered mast drove towards the hull.  From the appearance of the
wreck, she did not look as if she would have floated much longer.  The
stranger was a mulatto--a fine, tall fellow, apparently, but now looking
very wretched and weak from loss of blood and want of food.  We soon had
him on board, dried and put into a clean hammock, under the doctor's
care.  His manner at first was rough, and somewhat sullen; but it
improved by degrees, and he seemed grateful for the kindness shown to
him.  He was evidently suffering so much from pain that no one asked him
for particulars about the wreck, or how he had been brought into his
present position.  It was not till the doctor came in to dinner that we
began to suspect the truth.

"Do you know that that man has received a couple of desperate wounds
with a long, sharp knife?" said he.  "When I discovered this, it
occurred to me that he must have been one of the crew of the vessel
which passed us yesterday, and that she had met the fate which was to be
expected."

"No doubt about it," answered Captain Frankland.  "I have thought so
from the first; but I did not wish to prejudice anybody against the
man."

"He is not disinclined to be communicative; but whether he speaks the
truth or not is another question," said the doctor.  "He says that the
vessel capsized was a Peruvian brig; that he and another man had a
quarrel, in which he received two stabs; that soon after the brig was
struck by a squall, and capsized; that one of the boats was uninjured,
and that some dozen people escaped in her."

"I think the latter part of his account is very likely in some respects
to be true," observed Captain Frankland.  "If so, they are a class of
gentry we must be on the watch for and keep clear of.  They cannot be
far-off, and they are not likely to stand on ceremony, if they want a
ship, which is probable, about helping themselves to the first they fall
in with likely to suit them."

Jerry and I agreed, however, that we should very much like to meet with
the pirates and have a brush with them.

"They would find us better prepared than they expected," said he.  "They
do not know, besides our big guns, what a supply of arms we have on
board."

Notwithstanding our strong suspicions of the character of the stranger,
he was treated from the first with every possible kindness.  All this
time we were approaching Robinson Crusoe's island.  We almost expected
to see a man dressed in goat-skins, with a high conical cap, a gun in
his hand, and a negro and goat moving behind him, waiting on the shore
to welcome us.  In my opinion, he would have found his dress of skins
very hot in that climate, while his savage could have been only of a
lightish-brown colour.  As we drew in with the land, rocks, trees, and
shrubs, clothing the sides of the lofty and picturesque mountains, grew
more and more distinct; and then a few cottages peeped out here and
there, and a fort guarding the only harbour, with the Chilian flag
flying over it, showing us that it was no longer a deserted island; but,
unfortunately, the inhabitants we found were not of a class to make it
the abode of peace and contentment.  The Chilian Government have turned
it into a penal settlement, and the chief residents are the convicts and
their guards.  It is only to be hoped that the result of their labours
may make it a fitter place for the habitation of more virtuous people.
We ran into the harbour, which is nearly land-locked, and dropped our
anchor.  It was a curious feeling, coming suddenly from the storm-tossed
ocean, to find ourselves surrounded by land, with lofty mountains rising
up from the shore close to us.  We all agreed that we were never in a
more beautiful or picturesque spot.  Even now the town is a very rough
sort of a place.  There might have been a hundred cottages, some neatly
white-washed, but others made only of boughs and mud; and even the
governor's house is only of one story.  The fort was a mere stockade,
and of little use as a defence.  The governor was an Englishman, who
belonged to the Chilian navy.  Poor fellow! his was a very unpleasant
and dull life; for, except a priest and the officer in command of the
soldiers, he had no one with whom he could converse.  While the crew
were employed in setting up the rigging, Jerry and I and the doctor
accompanied Captain Frankland on shore.  We were received on landing by
a very ragged set of soldiers, many of whom had not even shoes on their
feet, and all, more or less, seem to have borrowed some of Robinson
Crusoe's garments.  Besides the governor's house, there was a chapel--a
little, low building, with a cross on the top of it to show its object.
The poor soldiers crowded round us, and asked if we had shoes to sell.
Fortunately there were some cases on board, one of which the captain
sent for; and the third mate, who acted as supercargo, disposed of the
whole of them, though there was some difficulty in finding articles for
barter when their cash ran short.  Had not the governor helped them,
they would have remained shoeless.  We were delighted with the quantity
of fruit which was brought to us.  There were cherries, and very large
strawberries, and melons, and grapes--all of which, we had no doubt,
were planted originally by Robinson Crusoe.  We lunched with the
governor; and then, while the captain returned on board, Jerry and I and
the doctor started with a guide to take a long walk into the country.
Away we went, highly delighted, and soon found ourselves in a beautiful
and fertile valley, with waterfalls coming down the sides of the hills,
and bright streams and ponds.  We came, too, upon a flock of goats; and
one very old fellow had a nick in his ear, so we had no doubt that he
was one of those left by Robinson Crusoe himself.  The doctor would not
give, an opinion on the subject, but Jerry asserted that there could not
be a shadow of doubt about it.  Going on a little further, we came upon
a cave--a veritable cave--in the side of the mountain, with a sort of
rough porch in front of it, built of boughs and thatched with straw.
Jerry uttered a loud shout of delight.

"There!" he exclaimed.  "I knew it was all true.  Why, there is the very
hut Robinson Crusoe built for himself."

His voice must have aroused some one who was within, for a door was
pushed open, and a figure appeared, who, if he was not Robinson Crusoe,
was very like pictures of him.  He had a long beard, and was dressed in
goat-skins, and had sandals on his feet, and a thick stick in his hand--
altogether a very wild-looking character.  Jerry drew back, and looked
at him very much as if by some incantation he had conjured up the spirit
of the long-departed hero.

"It can't be Crusoe!" he gasped out.  "Yet, if it isn't, who can he be?"
At length he gained courage, and both of us slowly approaching the man,
he said, with a desperate effort, "Pray, tell me who you are?"

A grim smile lighted up such of the features of the man as could be seen
through his bushy beard, whiskers, and moustaches.  He shook his head.
Jerry repeated the question.

"No intende," he answered.

"Then he can't be Robinson Crusoe if he doesn't understand English,"
whispered Jerry, with a sigh.

The doctor, who had been behind gathering plants, now came up.  He
laughed heartily when we told him that we had had great hopes that the
rough-looking stranger might turn out to be Robinson Crusoe himself,
gone back to live on his own island.  He exchanged a few words with the
stranger.

"The man tells me that he is a goat-herd--a convict--unjustly banished
here;--that of course.  He begs that we will give him a few coppers to
buy a glass of rum."

Jerry and I eagerly searched in our pockets, when we discovered some
Chilian coins, which we bestowed on the poor goat-herd; but even as I
dropped them into his hand, I could not help feeling that I was offering
an insult to a great man in distress by giving him such a trifle.  The
provoking part of the affair was, that, as the doctor told us, the man
himself had never even heard of Robinson Crusoe in the whole course of
his life.  We had a delightful ramble through the valley, and over the
hills.  We found an abundance of the sandalwood-tree growing on the
mountains, and myrtles in great quantities, with a variety of other
aromatic shrubs.  Vegetables of all sorts were growing in profusion, and
there were a number of cattle, and horses, and mules.  There was also
plenty of milk; and from what we saw at the governor's table, there was
no lack of provisions of any sort.

Old Surley was with us, and he made acquaintance with a great number of
the canine race of high and low degree, though those of low degree, I
must say, vastly predominated.  We made a collection of all sorts of
things,--bits of myrtle, and sandalwood, and leaves, and flowers, and
shells; for we were sure our friends at home would highly prize
everything coming from Robinson Crusoe's island.  We got some delicious
milk also, I remember--which sailors as well as Londoners know how to
value.  There is an abundance of wood on the island, and delicious
streams of pure water, one of which runs through the centre of the town.
I must not forget to mention the immense quantity of fish we caught.
This abundance of fish, Captain Frankland considered, is owing to a cold
current which flows by the island from the Southern Pole, and at the
same time tempers the air and adds fertility to the soil.  The island is
about 300 miles from Valparaiso, 33 degrees 30 minutes south latitude.
It is about fifteen miles long, and five broad.  After we had seen it in
all directions, we agreed that it was indeed a pity that it was in the
possession of those who were so little able to make a good use of it.  I
never saw a more idle set of people than the inhabitants who were not
compelled to work.  All the time we were on shore, they did nothing but
walk about or lie down in the shade, wrapped up in their big cloaks.

When we returned on board we accompanied the doctor to see his patient,
the mulatto we had rescued from the wreck.  The doctor asked him whether
he would not go on shore, where he might have fresh fruit and
vegetables, and be better taken care of than he could be on board.

"No, no," he answered.  "Thank you, though, much.  There are no good
people in this place.  I do not want to be among them."

"Then you know something about them?" said the doctor.

"There are very few places where I do not know somebody," he answered,
evasively.

The doctor did not press the point.  Indeed the poor man was not in a
condition to be carried.  He told us that his name was Manuel Silva;
that he had all his life been knocking about the world, and that he did
not look upon any one country as his home.  We asked him no questions,
and he did not choose to tell us how he had got on board the vessel
where we found him.  The next day, when we went on shore, the governor
told us that he had often difficult work in keeping the convicts in
order, and that not long ago a dozen of them contrived to run off with a
boat, headed by a desperate fellow who had been a seaman.  They got
clear away, and soon after news was brought that a large brig had been
attacked and taken, and all the crew made to walk the plank.

"It will be necessary for us, then, to be on our guard," remarked the
captain.  "They would be ugly customers to fall in with."

"Indeed it will," observed the governor.  "They were desperate and
cunning fellows, too, and they will, I fear, do no small amount of
mischief before they come to an end.  I have sent notice to the Chilian
Government, who will despatch one of their ships of war in search of the
fellows; but in this wide ocean, with thousands of islands among which
they may lie hid, there is but little chance of them being found."

We had another day's delightful ramble over the hills and across the
valleys of this lonely island; and except that Robinson Crusoe must have
found it somewhat dull, being alone for so long before Friday came to
him, Jerry and I agreed that he was in no way to be pitied, and that we
should like nothing better than having to spend some time there.  We did
not quite settle how long.  There are a number of caves high up in the
sides of the mountain, overlooking Cumberland Bay harbour, as it is
called; and those barbarous fellows, the Spaniards, compel the convicts,
who labour at the stone quarries, to live in them.  The challenges of
the sentinels, reaching all the way down to the harbour, broke the still
silence of the night, as we lay at our anchors, ready to sail with the
first dawn on the following morning.  A light wind wafted us away from
that romantic spot, our visit to which is among the most pleasant
recollections of our voyage.  We gazed astern as if we were looking our
last on the land of our birth, and did not leave the deck till its faint
blue mountains had sunk beneath the horizon.  In consequence of what we
had heard from the governor, we got our guns and small arms in order, to
be ready for the supposed pirates, should we fall in with them, while a
sharp look-out was kept, that we might not be taken unawares.  Captain
Frankland was too brave and experienced a man to be afraid of taking
necessary precautions on all occasions.  It did not occur to the
captain, till we had been some time at sea, to inquire of Manuel Silva
whether he knew anything of the pirates.  Grave suspicions had begun to
cross his mind that he was in some way connected with them.  Of course
Silva denied all knowledge of them.  When pressed to give some account
of himself, he replied, "I am grateful for all your kindness.  If I have
an opportunity I will show it.  I do not wish to tell you falsehoods,
therefore do not press me on that subject."  With a favourable breeze we
steered a course for the coast of Peru.



CHAPTER TEN.

VISIT TO THE EMPIRE OF THE INCAS.

To the south of Lima, in the Bay of Pisco, are found three small
islands, or rather barren rocks.  Not a tree grows on them--not a blade
of grass.  The feathered race for ages past, probably since the last
flood rolled over the face of the globe, have made them their abode.
Strange as it may seem, they are of more intrinsic value than the
richest mines of Potosi; yet their produce is all on the surface, and to
be obtained but with little labour.  They are the three Chincha Islands,
and their produce is guano.  It is the result of the droppings of birds,
which in that dry and rainless region has preserved all its fertilising
qualities, and has been stored up, by the decree of a beneficent
Providence, to restore strength and vigour to the far-off lands of the
Old World.  We sighted them one morning, and running in, brought up in
their neighbourhood.  There were sixty ships, mostly English, anchored
near them, for the purpose of loading with guano; and sometimes there
are upwards of a hundred.  A boat was lowered, and the captain, Jerry,
the doctor, and I, went in her.  We had to climb up to the top of one of
the islands by a ladder; the cliffs are so steep, and being composed of
felspar and quartz, so broken away by the action of the sea, that it is
the only method of reaching the summit.  The island was covered with
thick layers of guano, and one cutting, about a hundred yards from the
cliff, was sixty feet deep, or rather high, for the cutting is made into
it from the side, just as a slice is cut out of a cheese.  A
steam-engine is employed in digging it out, and filling a set of cars,
which run on a tramway to the edge of the cliff under which the vessels
lie to load.  Two hundred convicts were engaged in shovelling down the
guano, and a number of stout negroes are employed in the hold to
distribute it as it comes down through a canvas shoot.  They have to
wear iron masks, as the fresh guano is stronger than volatile salts, and
more penetrating than coal-dust.

The bird which produces the guano is a sort of tern, with red bill and
legs.  It has a long whisker-like feather curling out under the ear on
each side.  The top of the head and the tips of the wings and tail are
black.  The body, which is about ten inches long, is of a dark-slate
colour.  Large flocks of gulls, divers, and pelicans, likewise visit the
islands.  It is calculated that, on one island alone, there were
2,000,000 tons of guano; and although from 200,000 to 300,000 tons are
annually imported into England, it will take some time to exhaust the
supply.  Guano is a corruption of the Quichua word _huaim_.  The Quichua
is the language of the Incas.  Under the enlightened government of the
Incas the value of guano was well-known, and severe laws were enacted
against any one disturbing the birds during the breeding season.
Pulling away to another island, we found a number of Chinese employed in
digging out the guano.  We were not surprised at seeing them look very
miserable and unhappy, for the oppressive odour arising from the
fresh-dug guano was intolerable, to us even for a short time.  We were
told that many of them in their wretchedness commit suicide, flying,
through their ignorance, from present evils to those they know not of,
instead of endeavouring manfully to support their lot, if inevitable, or
to seek proper means to escape from it if they have the power--not that
I thought this at the time, by-the-by.  I only remarked to Jerry that
they were very great fools for their pains.  A little way up the bay, on
the mainland, is the sea-port of Pisco, a neat Spanish-built place.  In
the neighbourhood are numerous remains, which prove how populous must
have been the country under the sway of the Incas.

Sailing north, we entered the Bay of Callao, the port of Lima.  Before
us lay Callao, with rich green plains on either side, covered with white
farms and willow-trees, with the high cliffs of Morro Solar to the
south, and below it the bathing-place of Cherillos.  Six or eight miles
inland appeared the white towers of Lima, surrounded by orange-groves;
while above them, far into the blue sky, rose peak beyond peak of the
ever-glorious snow-capped Andes.  Such is the scene which, for many ages
past, has been looked on; but a change--a great and important one--is
taking place in the land; and what was our surprise, when we went on
shore, to see English omnibuses and broughams--and more than that, the
terminus of a railway, the carriages of which ran rattling on to Lima.

"Funny," cried Jerry, when we found ourselves, with the captain and the
doctor, in one of the aforesaid carriages, "to think that we are all
away on the other side of that great big straggling continent of
America, and yet to feel, as we look about this box, as if we were only
skurrying off from London to Liverpool."

I entered into his feelings, and the voyage round Cape Horn, and our
different adventures, seemed like a dream, till we looked out and saw
the giant Cordilleras, and then we were soon reminded where we were.  We
met a Peruvian gentleman on the railway, who told us much about the
country.  Among other things, while the Marquis of Villa Garcia was
viceroy of Peru in 1746, on the 28th of October, during a warm but
perfectly calm evening, while the inhabitants of Callao and Lima were
not dreaming of evil, on a sudden, without a moment's warning, the earth
shook with tremendous violence.  Every house in Callao fell level with
the ground, crushing their hapless inmates.  Many of those in Lima were
likewise overthrown; and as the affrighted survivors looked seaward, a
vast wave like a gigantic wall came roaring on towards the devoted
place.  In an instant every living soul in Callao, with the exception of
one man who clung to a piece of timber, was overwhelmed by the raging
waters.  Not a vestige of the town remained.  On went the wave, carrying
with it a Spanish frigate, the _Saint Fernim_, and other vessels,
leaving them high and dry far inland.  Lima narrowly escaped complete
destruction, and it was long before the inhabitants recovered from the
panic into which the catastrophe had thrown them.  For years after the
destruction of the Inca rule, unhappy Peru groaned under the
misgovernment and tyranny of the Spaniards, and rapidly and surely the
aboriginal inhabitants decreased in numbers.  Several revolts occurred,
but were crushed with barbarous severity.  At length the colonists of
Spain conceived the hope of throwing off the yoke of the mother country.
Although frequently defeated, the people of Chili were, by the aid of
Lord Cochrane, at last successful.  General San Martin, who had become
the president, entered Lima on the 19th of July 1821, the viceroy La
Cerna being cut off from any support from Spain by the Chilian fleet
having retreated to Cuzco, where he took up his head-quarters.
Ultimately he was completely defeated, and his whole army was destroyed.
On the 20th the independence of Peru was proclaimed, and though the
republic was long subject to intestine commotions, from what we could
learn and see it now appears to be making very satisfactory progress.

We next wished to get up to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas,
situated high up among the Andes; but we had no time to accomplish the
journey.  We heard, however, of a very interesting place twenty-five
miles to the south of Lima, on the coast.  It was the city and temple of
Pachacamac, "the creator of the world," supposed to have been built in
times long anterior to those of the Incas.  We had two days to spare
before the ship was to sail, and the captain said we might visit the
place.  The doctor, Jerry, and I, with a guide, a half Indian, set out,
accordingly, at an early hour on horseback.  We were accompanied by
Silva, who, from speaking Spanish perfectly, went as our interpreter.
He was still ill, and weak from his wounds and his exposure on the
wreck, but he begged so hard that he might go on shore, that the doctor
could not refuse him.  He had won the regard of all by his respectful
and unobtrusive manners, and had managed completely to obliterate the
suspicions which the captain at first entertained of him.  The doctor
told us during the ride more than I knew before about the country.  The
early inhabitants were worshippers of Pachacamac, and when the Incas
introduced the religion of the Sun, instead of destroying the faith they
found existing, with an enlightened policy they allowed the temples of
both to exist side by side.  Passing close to the lofty cliffs of the
Morro Solar, we rode through a large sugar estate, and then across a
sandy desert, with several lakes in it stocked with water-fowl, and soon
afterwards, from the top of a gentle ascent, we saw before us the hill
on which stands the remains of the once celebrated temple.  The mighty
fane stood at the top of the hill, with terraces encircling it, and
surrounding the base was the town.  Beyond were seen the blue waters of
the Pacific rolling on the sandy shore.  We could not help feeling sad
and awe-struck as we rode into the deserted city.  The walls were there,
although many were battered down, but the roofs of all had disappeared.
Passing through the town, we climbed up a height 400 feet above the sea,
where the remains of the great temple were standing.  The walls
surrounding the centre space are about twenty feet high, and we
discovered even some of the vermilion paint with which they were adorned
still adhering to them.  Below this wall were a succession of three
broad terraces.  The interior shrine was entirely destroyed by Hernando
Pizarro, when he was sent by his brother, at the suggestion of the Inca
Atahuallpa, to collect the treasures which it was supposed to contain.
The priests had got notice of his purpose, and flying, had concealed the
greater portion of their wealth.  Disappointed in his expectations,
Pizarro having stripped the shrine of all its gold and ornaments,
levelled it with the ground.  The interiors of the larger portion of the
houses were full of sand.

Having wandered about through this melancholy relic of the past with old
Surley at our heels, who in no way seemed to enter into our enthusiasm,
we turned to retrace our steps to where we had left our horses.  We had
observed some figures at a distance among the ruins, but they seemed to
take no notice of us.  Suddenly they disappeared.  We found our guide
standing by our horses where we had left him.  He seemed rather
agitated, but we could not make out what had happened, as we did not
understand a word of his language.  When we mounted, he inquired of us
by signs whether we had got pistols.  We showed him that we had not, or
arms of any sort.  He did not treat us as we afterwards thought he might
have done had he not been an honest man, and say, "Oh, if that is the
case, I will rob you myself."  He shook his head and showed us his own
long knife, and signified that very likely we should have to use it for
our defence.  Such was the interpretation, at all events, that we put on
his various signs.  Silva, who had been a little behind, now came up.

"The poor man has seen some blacks who bear a bad character, it appears,
and he is afraid they will attack us," he observed.  "However, show a
bold front, and we shall easily drive them off if they do."  As there
was no avoiding the danger, whatever it was, we made up our minds to
meet it as well as we could.

"It has something to do with those fellows we saw among the ruins," said
Jerry.  "Only I think they would have robbed us then, had they intended
to do so."

"Perhaps we are mistaken altogether, or, what is as probable, our guide
has unnecessarily frightened himself, and tried to frighten us,"
observed the doctor.

"We shall see, doctor," said I.  "I hope you are right."  Just then we
reached a small hut, such as is inhabited by Indians.  Jerry declared
that he must have a draught of milk, as we saw some cows feeding near,
and before the guide could stop him, he had knocked at the door.
Instead of the kindly face of an Indian appearing at his summons, out
rushed a big, savage-looking negro, and by his angry gestures seemed to
inquire what we wanted.

"A calabash of milk, friend Sambo," answered Jerry, in no ways daunted.
While, however, he was speaking, two other blacks appeared at the door,
while three or four more, flourishing long knives, came running toward
us from a neighbouring wood.

"Put spurs to your horses, boys, and let us get away from this!" cried
the doctor.  As we were attempting to follow his advice, one of the
blacks seized Jerry's rein, and though I struck the fellow a heavy blow
with my stick, he would not let go his hold.  The consequence of the
blow was nearly fatal to me, for the fellow with his other hand struck
at me with a long glittering knife, and had not I pulled back my horse
by an involuntary movement, he would have plunged it into my side--as it
was, he cut my trousers and drew blood from my leg.  Seeing things come
to this pass, the doctor and Silva, who proved himself a brave fellow,
began to lay about them, one with his stick and the other with a heavy
Spanish riding whip; while old Surley, who, after growling fiercely, saw
that the time for action had now arrived, began to bite away at the
negroes' thin calves and long heels, greatly to their annoyance.  Each
man, as he found himself bit, turned round and endeavoured to stab the
dog, and very much afraid I was that they would succeed; but so actively
did he jump about from side to side, now bounding here, now there, that
not one of the numberless blows which were struck reached him, while his
furious barking and repeated bites served most materially to distract
the attention of our assailants.  Still they were fully eight armed
savages to five people with sticks and a whip, and a dog; and as Jerry
and I were only boys, and old Surley had only his teeth to fight with,
it must be acknowledged that we were very unequally matched.  Feeling
this, we should certainly have felt it no disgrace to run away if we
could; but the black held on so tightly to Jerry's rein that we could
not escape.  At last the negro I speak of, finding that he had missed me
and could not hit the dog, lifted up his long knife and made a desperate
lounge with it at Jerry.  I saw what he was about to do, and crying out
to Surley, my stick instinctively came down with all its force on the
ruffian's arm, while the dog sprung up and caught him by the throat.  He
let go at that moment the rein.

"Now on, boys, on!" sung out the doctor, who saw what had occurred; and
bringing our sticks down on our horses' backs, we dashed past the
infuriated negroes, on whose heads Silva bestowed many a terrific whack
with his stout stick, as they attempted to catch his rein.  We were
followed closely by the guide and our valiant ally, old Surley, at whom
several blows were aimed, but he escaped them all, and at full gallop we
pushed over the sandy plain, pursued by our black assailants.  Happily
they had no fire-arms, or we should have fared ill.  When we had got
beyond their reach we pulled up and congratulated ourselves on our
escape, while old Surley came in for his due share of praise and thanks.
He wagged his tail and opened his mouth, as if he were about to speak
and say, "I only did my duty, masters; you feed me well, and treat me
kindly, and I love you, and am ready to fight for you, and do you any
other service in my power, as I hope to prove whenever I have the
opportunity."

It was very late when we got back to Lima, to the house of a merchant
who had asked us to stay with him.  He told us that the blacks who
attacked us were, he had no doubt, emancipated slaves, who had always
borne a very bad character.  Had they been properly educated, and
prepared for freedom, they might have turned out well; but those
wretches are a melancholy example of what will be found to be the case
in other countries where slavery still exists, should the slaves
suddenly be made free, or should they rise and win their freedom for
themselves.  Unless they are carefully trained--taught to depend on
their own exertions, and instructed in the pure truths of Christianity--
they will, when freed, sink into a state of sloth and wretchedness; or
if they rise to obtain their own freedom, they will, very certainly, be
guilty of the most dreadful murders and every kind of atrocity in
carrying out their designs.  I often have since thought of what our
friend said, and have prayed that the people of the United States will
make due preparation for enlightening those held so long in bondage.  On
the nature of that preparation it defends (I have often heard Captain
Frankland say) whether their dear-bought liberty shall give joy and
gladness, or poverty and misery.

The next morning, before returning to Callao, we rode out to visit the
ruins of an Inca town, situated on a hill forming one side of a fertile
and well-irrigated valley.  The walls of the houses were built of
unburnt brick and mud, carefully constructed at right angles to each
other, and very thick--indeed, they put us in mind of some of the
pictures we had seen of Egyptian architecture.  We were surprised to
hear of the great number of Indians who still exist in the country.
Under the present government they live happy and contented lives among
the lovely valleys of their ancestors.  Their huts are generally built
of stone and covered with red tiles, creepers being trained to trail
over the walls, over which often a huge pumpkin is seen to hang, while a
prickly cactus stands as a sentinel at the doorway.  The dress of the
men is a serge coat of an emerald green colour, without a collar, and
with a short skirt; loose black breeches, open at the knee, after the
Spanish fashion; and a long red waistcoat with large pockets.  Pieces of
llamas' hide fastened round the feet serve them for shoes, while their
legs are stockingless.  On their heads they wear broad-brimmed hats or
caps, adorned with gold-lace or ribbons of gay colours.  The women wear
the same hat as the men, with a mantle over the shoulder secured in
front by a silver pin; a red bodice, and a blue petticoat reaching a
little below the knee.  Altogether they present a very picturesque
appearance.  We made another very interesting excursion in a canal up a
river--or a stream rather, for it was very narrow--but what we were most
struck with was the richness of the vegetation, the bark, reeds, and
trees, and shrubs of all sorts which grew close to the water.  What was
remarkable were the palm-trees, which shot up above the other trees--
themselves of no inconsiderable growth.  We were sorry not to be able to
spend a longer time on the river.  It put us very much in mind of the
scenery of the Amazon.  We saw enough of the country to make us long to
see more of it, but were obliged to hurry back to the railway-station to
get to Callao, once more to embark on board the _Triton_.

It was night by the time we reached the harbour, the sea calm as glass;
and it struck me that there was something peculiarly solemn as we looked
out on that dark, silent expanse of water, after gazing as we had done
for some days on the lofty snow-capped Cordilleras, and the laughing
green valleys round Lima.  Dark as was the water, no sooner were the
oars dipped in it than it appeared as if they were ladling up some
red-hot fluid metal; and as the boat which was sent to take us off
pulled toward us from the ship, she left a long line of fire in her
wake.  Even when we scooped up the water in our hands and threw it into
the air, it appeared like sparkles of fire, so long did it retain its
brilliancy.  The slightest movement in the water caused a flash of
light.  Jerry and I agreed that we had never seen anything more
beautiful.  The doctor told us that this phosphorescence or luminosity
of the ocean is caused by a minute animal, scarcely perceptible to the
naked eye, though sufficient to tinge the water of a brown or reddish
colour.  Other marine substances are, however, luminous.  While we were
waiting to step into the boat, the bay having returned to its original
darkness, on a sudden it appeared as if it had become a vast caldron of
molten lead.  The waters tumbled and rolled about in sheets of flame.

"It is indeed a beautiful sight," exclaimed the doctor; "never saw such
a display of luminosity."

"Grand, grand!" cried Jerry.  "A thing to talk about--ah! what is that?"

We were all silent.  There was a low, rumbling, awful noise, neither
like distant thunder nor the report of cannon--nor, indeed, anything
else I ever heard; the earth seemed to sink under our feet, and then as
if it were being crushed together--rocks, and earth, and sand, all in
one lump by some mighty force.  It was very dreadful.  Our knees
positively trembled under us, at least I felt mine doing so.  The boat
rose and fell several times.  I remembered the way in which old Callao
had been destroyed, and I began to fear that a similar catastrophe was
about to occur.  For a time there was a perfect rest, no movement of
earth, or water, or air--not the less awful on that account though.

"Is it all over?" at length exclaimed Jerry, who was the first to break
the silence.

"I hope so," answered the doctor; "but let us get into the boat, and
pull on board; we shall be safer there than on shore, at all events."

We followed his advice.  As the boat clove her way through the water she
seemed to be gliding over a surface of gold, overlaid by some dark sand
which was parted as she went by.  When we got on board, we found that
our shipmates had felt the shock, the vibration of which must have come
up as they supposed by the chain cable.  For a long time we walked the
deck, expecting another shock, but the night passed off quietly, and
when morning returned there was nothing to indicate that an earthquake
had taken place.  I ought to have said that the present town of Callao
was built at a little distance from the site of the old town destroyed
by the earthquake, and on a higher and more commanding position.

Once more we were at sea.  One of the most interesting places we called
at, on account of its position and associations, was Panama.  For many a
year it slept on neglected and almost forgotten.  Now it has been
completely aroused from its lethargy, to find itself in the middle of
the highway to California, and the chief resting-place of gold-diggers.
It is bounded by the sea on three sides, and surrounded by a wall with
ditch and bastions on the land side.  In the centre is the _plaza_, into
which converge several streets of old-fashioned, sedate-looking Spanish
houses, with broad verandas and heavy folding-shutters.  Now a change
has rudely come over them.  Above the door of one appeared, in huge
characters--"American Hotel"; while a board announced that "Good
Lodging, Brandy Smashes, Sice, and Egg-nog," were to be obtained within.
There are several other hotels with conspicuous signs, all denoting
that they have been established by citizens of the United States, while
there exist several restaurants, cafes, and newspaper and billiard-rooms
besides.  A steamer had arrived only a few days before at Aspinwall, on
the east side, and the town was consequently full of passengers who had
come across by the railway.  Nowhere, perhaps, are the past and the
present brought into greater contrast.  We visited the ruins of several
churches and other buildings with massive walls, which probably never
were finished,--all attesting the departed importance of the place.  Now
palm-trees grow in their lonely courts; tropical climbing plants throw
their festoons in rich luxuriance over their elaborate architecture, and
banana-trees have taken root in the clefts of the crumbling walls.
Panama, however, is not the identical city whence Pizarro sailed for the
conquest of the kingdom of the Incas.  That city stood six miles down
the coast; and after it was sacked and utterly destroyed by Morgan, who
murdered every soul then within it, none returned to take up their
habitation there, and it still remains as he left it, a heap of ruins,
now overgrown by rank vegetation.

We were fortunate in finding the directions Captain Frankland expected
to guide his future course, and I got letters from home.  How greedily I
devoured them!  Every word I read over and over again, and I kissed them
more than once, when I knew Jerry was not looking at me.  I do not give
a longer account of the place, because I was engaged most of the time I
was there in writing home.  I judged from the delight I felt in getting
letters, that mine would afford a somewhat similar pleasure; so I found
they did, and I advise those of my readers who have to go away from home
to remember this, and never to lose an opportunity of writing.  We were
bound for San Francisco, the giant mushroom city of the wondrous
gold-bearing regions of California.  I had always fancied that the
Pacific was, as its name betokens, a wide expanse of island-sprinkled
water, seldom or never ruffled by a storm.  At length I had practical
proof of my mistake.  We had made a good offing from the coast, to give
a wide berth to that narrow strip of land which runs from north to
south, and is known as Lower California.  I saw the captain looking
constantly at the barometer; Jerry and I looked also, for we guessed
that something was the matter.  The quicksilver sank lower and lower in
the tube, showing that the superincumbent atmosphere had become lighter,
or more rarified, and that a current of air would soon come in from some
direction or other and fill it up.

"What's going to happen?"  I asked of Jerry, seeing that the glass, or
rather the fluid in it, fell more and more.

"Why, we are going to have such a gale as we don't often meet with, I
suspect," he answered.  Just as he spoke, his father's voice was heard
on dock.  We immediately hurried there as fast as we could fly.  At the
time there was but little wind, then it became perfectly calm, with only
a long heavy swell from the southward.  The calm was of short duration.

"All hands shorten sail!" sung out the captain.  The crew sprung aloft;
so did Jerry and I.  We never shirked our duty, and Captain Frankland
knew that if he let us do so, whatever the excuse, we should never
become true seamen.  It was hard work to hold on to the yard, much more
to get in the stiff canvas.  I have heard of people having their teeth
blown down their throats by a gale; I thought mine would have gone, and
then I should have gone too, for I literally had to hold on by them to
steady myself on the yard.  Jerry was not far from me.  We tugged and
hauled away, and at last got the canvas rolled up as we best could; but
I must own that it was far from well done.  The gale was still
increasing in strength, and we were not sorry to find ourselves safe on
deck again--so, I think, was the captain to see us.  Perhaps, however,
he had got so accustomed to the risks his son was constantly running,
that he did not think about it.  Scarcely had we come down from aloft,
and were looking about to see what was going to happen, than we saw away
to the south-east, far as the eye could reach, a tumbling mass of
foaming waters rushing on at a furious rate towards us.

Meantime the storm stay-sails had been set, and the helm being put down,
the ship was hove-to with her head to the eastward.  As the seas came
with the swell, they were regular, and though the ship plunged
violently, now rising to the summit of a wave, now sinking down into the
trough, there was no fear of any of them breaking on board provided our
masts stood.  Such was the state of things when night came on.  The wind
howled, and whistled, and shrieked; the sea roared and hissed; the
timbers and the masts groaned; the bulkheads creaked; and everything and
everybody which was not secured very tightly, tumbled and rolled about
in a most uncontrollable manner.  For my part, I confess that I more
than once wished I were safe on shore again.  As to turning in, not one
of us thought of doing that.  Still the glass was falling, and still the
gale was increasing.  With regard to eating, also, all we could do was
to nibble a biscuit; for, as Jerry observed, had we attempted to put
anything into our mouths with a fork, the chances were that we should
have sent fork and all down our throats, or dug the prongs into our eyes
or noses, or done some other mischief.  Every now and then Jerry and I
started up on deck to see how things were going on, not that we could be
of any use there.  Just as we had agreed to go below again, a blast, as
if a fresh hand had beep added to the bellows, came down upon us; there
was a terrific report, the ship heeled over on her side as if she were
going down, and away flew the stay-sails out of the bolt-ropes, followed
by nearly all the canvas, which, ill furled in our hurry, broke loose
from the gaskets, and, fluttering away with loud flaps, was soon reduced
to ribbons, knotted and twisted in every conceivable way.  As the ship
fell off into the trough of the sea when her sails rent, a foaming
billow came roaring up, and striking her, made a clean breach over us.
There were shouts and cries fore and aft.  Jerry and I held on for our
lives.  Happily the stanchions we held to did not give way.  Half
terrified, and not knowing what was next to happen, we tried to pierce
the gloom which surrounded us.  Jerry's chief anxiety was for his
father; so was mine, and for Cousin Silas likewise, and, indeed, for our
kind friend the doctor.  I had time also, strange as it may seem, to
think about old Surley, and to hope that he had not been washed
overboard, for unwisely he had followed us on deck.  Very soon we were
satisfied that the captain was safe, for we heard him issuing orders in
a clear voice which sounded high above the gale.  Directly afterwards
Cousin Silas passed us on his way forward, to get the fore-stay-sail on
the ship, to bring her head round.

"If that does not do, what will happen?"  I asked of Jerry.

"We shall have to cut away the mizzen-mast and the main-mast too," he
answered.  "Pleasant, won't it be?"  I hoped that we should not be
driven to this alternative.  As soon as the captain had given the
necessary orders for the safety of the ship, we heard him telling Ben
Yool to go and look for us.

"They be safe enough, sir," was the answer.  "I see'd them after the
squall."

"Ay, ay, father, we are all right here," sung out Jerry.  How high and
shrill his voice sounded amid the roar of the tempest!  By this time the
sail was hoisted, the helm was put up--the ship's head rose and fell,
and rose again.  At length the canvas felt the force of the wind.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" was shouted fore and aft.  Slowly round came her
head--the helm was righted.  The fore-staysail was quickly hauled down
again, or the next squall would have taken it out of the bolt-ropes, and
away we flew under bare poles--now plunging headlong into the deep
valleys before us, our stern lifted high up above the seas--now climbing
the opposite side of the watery hill, the wave following us as it came
up, vast and indistinct in the gloom of night, looking as if it must
overwhelm us.

"But what has become of old Surley?"  I asked of Jerry, when we had time
to draw our breath a little more freely.  "Can the dear old fellow be
washed overboard?"

"I hope not; perhaps he didn't like the look of things on deck, and
skulked down below again," answered Jerry.  "Let us go and look for
him."

This was no easy work, in the way the ship was pitching and tumbling
about, and not without considerable risk; but on that point we did not
very much trouble our heads.  Old Surley was always ready to fight for
us; and had we thought about the matter, we should have been ready to go
through any amount of danger for his sake.  Letting go our hold,
therefore, away we crawled, grasping at anything we could reach, to
prevent ourselves from being rolled away to leeward.  At last we reached
the forecastle, where the men had all huddled together, but old Surley
was not there.  This made us very anxious about him.  No one had seen
him.  We began to fear that, as he had not hands to hold on by, he must
have been washed overboard when the heavy sea struck the ship which had
laid her on her beam ends.

"You'd better not be scuttling about the decks, young gentlemen," said
Ben Yool.  "Another of those big seas may come, and then if you are
caught by it you may be carried away further off than you'll like."

"Thank you, Ben," we answered.  "We'll take care of ourselves; but we
must first find old Surley, whatever happen."  Saying this, we began to
work our way aft again, peering and putting our hands into every place
where we thought he could be stowed away.  As we were passing along
close to the booms on the starboard side, under the long boat, I thought
amidst the howling of the tempest that I heard a low whine.  I told
Jerry.  We together hunted about the spot till our hands touched a hairy
coat.  It was that of old Surley.  Of that we were certain, by hearing
him again whine.  He could not move.  Poor fellow, he had been jammed in
among the booms.  We judged that there would be great difficulty in
releasing him, but after feeling about in all directions round him, we
determined to make the attempt.  I took his head and Jerry took his
tail, and, watching our opportunity as the spars separated by the
movement of the ship, we lifted him out of the trap in which he had been
caught.  He licked my face and hands, and then turned round and did the
same to Jerry; indeed, he took every means to evince his gratitude.  We
were very happy to find that none of his bones had been broken, and
together we all three scrambled back in the best way we could to the
cabin.  Old Surley seemed to be very hungry after his imprisonment, so I
made another excursion on deck to the cook's larder, and got him a piece
of meat, with which I returned to the cabin.  We should have been glad
of something of the sort ourselves, but as we could not attempt to cook
anything, and the meat I had brought was raw, we gave the whole of it to
our four-footed friend.  We all sat down on the deck of the cabin,
holding on by the legs of the table--that is to say, Jerry and I held
on, and Surley lay between us.  The doctor was in his berth.  After, as
he said, he had sufficiently enjoyed the scene on deck, he had wisely
turned in, feeling that he could be of no use anywhere else.  Never
before had I spent so uncomfortable a night on board.  We were very wet,
and cold, and hungry, and not at all certain that the ship would not go
down, and carry us and all hands with her.

"It's not so bad, though, as the time we spent on the bottom of the boat
among the Falkland Islands," observed Jerry.

"But that only lasted a short time," I remarked.  "For what we know, it
may blow as hard as it does now for a week to come.  What shall we do
then?"

"Grin and bear it.  That's the only thing to be done that I know of,"
answered Jerry.

All that night we sat up as I have described, now and then dozing off
for a short time, but then waking up again as the ship gave a more
tremendous plunge than before.  At last the captain came and lay down on
the sofa, and seeing that we were all safe, went to sleep; but he was
soon on deck again, and remained there till daylight.  All that day the
gale blew as hard, if not harder than ever, and we went rolling and
pitching away before it.  All the people were sent below except the
hands at the wheel, and they secured themselves there, lest they should
be washed away by the seas which threatened every moment to break aboard
us.  As to looking out, all we could see were the foaming mountains of
water rising up in broken masses around us, and the sheets of spray
which never-ceasingly flew over us.  Night came on again, and matters
had not mended.  The glass was still lower than ever.  Jerry and I had
managed to shift our clothes, so that we were more comfortable than on
the former night, and old Surley had had a lesson not to venture on deck
again.  His coat was thus dry, and we all lay down together to pass the
night.  Having scarcely closed our eyes the night before, we soon went
to sleep.  Never have I slept more soundly.  Suddenly I woke up.  The
ship was plunging as heavily as before, and the wind was howling and the
sea roaring as loudly as ever.  Still only half awake, I found my way up
the companion-ladder.  I looked out.  No one was to be seen on deck--the
dark mountain seas and the confused mass of rigging could alone be
perceived.  I cast my eyes aloft?  What was that I saw?  High up in the
air, at the main-topmast-head, there was perched a ball of fire.  I was
so astonished, and, I may say, alarmed, that I could not speak.  What
could the phenomenon portend?  It stayed there for some time, then all
of a sudden it glided down, and went out to the main-top-sail yard-arm--
a bright, glowing, flaming ball.  It will be setting the ship on fire!
I thought that I would go and rouse up some one to tell what I had seen,
in case there was any danger to be apprehended.  Still I could not tear
myself away from my post.  I shouted out to Jerry, but he did not hear
me.  I was just returning below when I found Cousin Silas at my
shoulder.

"So, Harry, you want to find out when the gale will have done blowing,"
said he.

"Yes, I do indeed; but look there!"  I exclaimed, pointing to the ball
of fire.

"Ah, there's old Jack o' lantern!" he answered composedly.  "Not a bad
sign either.  A gale seldom lasts long after he has come.  Look at him,
he is rather playful to-night."  He was indeed.  Sometimes the light
would ascend and then descend the masts, then run along the yards, and
waiting a little at each yard-arm, would be back again and slip down one
of the stays to the fore-mast, and mount up in a second to the
fore-topmast head.  Sometimes, when the ship rolled very much, the
mast-head would leave it floating in the air, but as she rolled back
again it would quickly re-attach itself.  More than once it got divided
into several parts, as it flew about the rigging, but was very speedily
re-united again.  Cousin Silas laughed when I told him that I thought it
might do us some injury.

"Oh no; Jack is a very harmless fellow," he answered.  "More than once,
when it has not been blowing as hard as it does now, before I was out of
my apprenticeship, I and others have chased Jack about the rigging, and
caught him too.  When near, he seems to have a very dull, pale light.  I
and another fellow determined to have him.  At last I clutched him.  I
felt that I had got something clammy, as it were, which stung my skin
like a handful of thin jelly-fish.  I brought him down on deck, and
clapped him into a box.  In the morning I could feel that there was
something in the box, but all the light was gone, and the box hadn't
been opened long before the thing, whatever it was, was gone too."

Had anybody but Cousin Silas given me this account, I should scarcely
have believed him; and even in this case I had some little difficulty in
not supposing that he must, in some way or other, have been deceived.

Jack, however, did not bring us the fine weather we wished for.
Daylight returned, and we were little better off than before.  We
nibbled some biscuit, as Jerry said, to keep our spirits up, and then
had a look at the glass.  It had risen two degrees.  Still the sea ran
very high.  Jerry and I went at last on deck, followed by Surley.  The
captain and officers were there, for they had resolved to try and bring
the ship to; as she was running a long way out of her course.  This,
after a time, was done, when the wind lulled, under a close-reefed
fore-topsail.  We rode after this much more pleasantly, and then the sea
began to go down, and once more we could move about the deck without
danger of being washed overboard.

"All hands make sail!" was at length the cheering cry, just as the sun
had set, as the poets say, in his ocean bed.  We sprang aloft--Jerry and
I racing who should be first up on the yard-arm.  Surley looked as if he
would like to follow.  Jerry beat me.  The ship was still rolling
heavily in the swell after the gale.  He was springing out towards the
yard-arm, laughing gaily at his success, when the ship gave a roll, and
away he was sent clear of the bulwarks and into the sea.  To glide down
by a back-stay and to jump overboard after him was the work of a moment.
I scarcely knew what I was doing.  I fancied that I just heard the cry
of "A man overboard;" but I was not certain.  I knew that I was for my
size a good swimmer, and I wanted to save my friend.  He could swim, but
not much.  He threw up his arms; I saw him, and struck out towards him.
I had a companion, I found, hastening also to his rescue.  It was old
Surley.  He swam faster than I did, seeming to know the importance of
haste.  We were not without means of support, for as Jerry fell the
life-buoy had been let go.  It was such as are carried by men-of-war,
and could support several people.  I sung out to Jerry.  He heard my
voice, but he only answered faintly.  He had got his mouth full of
water, and had been stunned and confused by his fall.  He was beating
the water wildly, forgetting apparently that he could swim.

"Help! help!" he sung out; "I'm sinking!  I'm sinking!"  I did my utmost
to reach him, but was still some way off.  Surley dashed towards him,
and seized him by the collar, holding his head above water.  I saw that
the best thing I could do was to tow the life-buoy up to him.  It was
not far off.  Surley seemed to divine my intention, and swam towards it.
At last I got it up to Jerry.  He had just strength enough left to
catch hold of it.  Old Surley put his paws in the beckets to support
himself, and then we all three were hanging on to the life-buoy, while
the ship, as it seemed to us, was running far away, already almost
concealed by the thick clouds of spray with which we were surrounded.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

ADVENTURES IN MEXICO.

"I am so glad you are saved, Jerry," said I.  These were the first words
I spoke after we had got hold of the life-buoy.

"But are we saved?" he exclaimed.  "Will the ship be able to come back?
and if she does, will they see us, do you think?"

"They'll not desert us--of that we may be certain," I replied; and I
thought how heart-broken Captain Frankland would be when he found that
his son had fallen overboard and was in all probability lost.  Strange
to say, I did not think at all of my own perilous position.  I had gone
to save Jerry, and it seemed a matter of course that I must save him.
It must be remembered that our heads were very little above the level of
the water, and that although the sea had gone down considerably, we were
surrounded by masses of foam--now sinking into the trough, now rising to
the top of a wave.  Our view, therefore, was very limited.  We were
looking out eagerly for the ship through the thickening gloom.  Happily,
when the life-buoy was let go, the trigger was pulled.  This set off a
sort of blue light, which burned at the top, and which water could not
extinguish.  We felt sure, therefore, that as long as that light
continued burning we should be seen by those on board.  Our great dread
was that the light would go out before the ship could get back to us.
We strained our eyes in the direction of the ship.  The thickening gloom
and mist were rapidly encircling her, and shrouding her from our sight.

"O Harry, Harry, she's going away, and they won't know where to look for
us!" cried Jerry.  "Poor father, what will he do? and my carelessness
has brought you into this trouble, and poor Surley too.  I wish you
hadn't jumped overboard for me."

"I'm very glad I did, for I don't think that you would have been alive
now if I had not," I answered; "and don't have any regrets about me--I
only did my duty, and I am sure that you would have done the same for
me.  But I say, do you remember what Mr Brand talked about when we were
holding on by the bottom of the boat among the Falklands?"

"Yes, I do; something about our being summoned before many moments to
stand before the Judge of all the world," answered Jerry.  "I've been
thinking of that just now."

"So have I," said I.  "Well, it strikes me that if we thought about it
oftener we should be better prepared for the time when it does come.
Come it will, I know,--`as a thief in the night,' the Bible says.  I'll
try and think more on the subject, so that when the moment does come I
may be ready."

Many people make resolutions as we did: how few keep them!  It is
extraordinary that we should have been able to talk so much in the
position in which we were placed.  As I was saying, we strained our eyes
gazing after the ship.

"Jerry," I exclaimed suddenly, "she has hove about--I am certain of it!
See, see! she is coming nearer!"

Breathlessly we watched.  Even though the gloom was thickening, we could
discern that her bow was turned towards us.  We shouted in our
eagerness--not to show where we were: there was no use in that, nor
could we have made ourselves heard; the light also from the life-buoy
was still burning brightly.  On came the ship towards us.  There was no
doubt about the matter.

"There's down with the helm!" cried Jerry.  "They are going to heave
to--hurrah! hurrah!"

In another minute the ship lay hove-to a short distance to windward of
us.  She looked like some huge dark spirit rising out of the ocean.  We
knew that they must be lowering a boat, though we could not see it.
Then we shouted, to show that we were all right and in good heart.  A
shout from the boat's crew was given in return, and a light was held up
to show us that help was coming.  Over the waves it came dancing towards
us.  In a few minutes more the boat was up to us, with Mr Brand at the
helm.  Whenever any very important work was to be performed, I observed
the captain liked to intrust it to Cousin Silas.

"Take old Surley off first!" exclaimed Jerry.  Manuel Silva, who had, it
appeared, insisted on coming, was about to help him in.  "He has had
hard work to hold on, poor fellow."  So Surley was taken into the boat,
and then I, for Jerry would not get in till the last; and then the
life-buoy was lifted in, and in a very short time we were all safe on
deck, and the ship once more steering towards the American coast.

We were earned below--that is to say, Jerry and I.  The men took care of
Surley.  We were put into our berths, and the doctor came to us, and we
were rubbed, and had some hot brandy and water; and then I, at all
events, felt all to rights.  Jerry had been hurt by his fall, and it
took him much longer to recover.  The captain went and sat by him; and
Jerry told me that he heard him offering up his thanks to our merciful
God for having restored his son to him.  He then came and talked to me,
and told me how sorry he should have been had I been lost, and how
grateful he felt to me for having been the means of saving his son's
life.  I do not know exactly what I said.  I remember I told him what I
was sure of,--that Jerry would have done exactly the same for me.  There
was this difference, that I could swim very well, and that Jerry could
swim very little, so that I deserved less thanks than he should have
done had he jumped in for me, considering that he would have run far
greater risk for my sake than I had done for his.  The captain smiled
when I said this, but made no remark.  He had always been kind to me,--
he was now kinder than ever; but this did not prevent him from taking
every means to make me a sailor, and to keep me to my duty, while at the
same time he afforded me every opportunity of seeing as much as possible
of the world through which we were passing.

Silva, as I before have said, by his quiet manners, readiness to lend a
hand when any work was going forward, and anxiety to be on good terms
with all, had completely won the good-will of everybody on board.  He
was evidently a man of some attainments, and was more likely to have
been an officer than a man before the mast.  With Jerry and me he was
apparently very frank.  He told us how when a young lad he had been
turned adrift into the world to seek his fortune, without parents or any
one to care for him; and how he had battled on, picking up information
where he could, reading what books he could lay hands on, and laying in
a store of knowledge for future use.

"I have served on board vessels of every description.  I've been on
board slavers, and merchant vessels, and men-of-war of several nations.
I've served with Lord Cochrane both in the Pacific and Atlantic; and for
a long time I was in an opium clipper in the China Seas; but, as you
know, lads, a rolling stone gathers no moss, and here I am, as poor as I
was when I first began life.  However, there are plenty of ways by which
a man may make his fortune if he chooses, and I must find one of them
some of these days."

He spoke in a desperate, careless tone, as if he in reality cared very
little what became of him, or what he did.  We had begun to feel a
strong liking for the man, and were now inclined to pity him sincerely.

I will not describe another gale which came on, and drove us away to the
southward and westward for several days, the wind shifting about so much
that we scarcely knew where we had got to.  At length, when it had
moderated, so that an observation could be taken, we found that we were
on the coast of Mexico, not far from the harbour of Mazatlan, near the
entrance of the Gulf of California.  The ship had been so battered about
during the gale, that the captain was glad of an opportunity of running
into harbour to repair damages, before proceeding to San Francisco,
where he could not expect to find workmen, and where, if he remained
long, his own crew might be tempted to desert.  As we stood in for the
shore, a few barren rocks or small islands appeared in sight, and
running through, we found ourselves before a pretty little town, part of
it standing on the foot of a steep promontory, and partly on a sandy
bank which encircles a wide lagoon.  This was Mazatlan.  It is inhabited
by Mexican Spaniards.  The first mate, Mr Renshaw, had not been on
shore during the voyage, so the captain insisted on his going with the
doctor and Jerry and me.  We first went to an inn--a _meson_, as it was
called.  It consisted of a quadrangular building, with a court-yard in
the centre, and a corridor running round it.  All the rooms opened into
this corridor, and had no communication with each other.  The corridor
was the general lounging-place; and at night many of the guests who
preferred air to privacy, slung their hammocks in it.  Round the walls,
or on the pillars, they also hung up their saddles and other riding
gear.  As to furniture, there is something like a bedstead, a wooden
elevation which keeps the sleeper from the floor; but chairs and tables
are luxuries seldom met with, while washhand-stands are things unheard
of--washing being but little in vogue among the travelling population.
We were fortunate in falling in with two Englishmen--that is to say,
one, Captain Driscoll, was an Irishman, who had been in the Mexican
service; and the other, Dr Dwyer, was a merchant.  They knew the
country well, and were travelling towards Durango, the largest town in
the neighbourhood.  They had with them two young men, sons of
_rancheroes_, as the Mexican cattle-farmers are called.  They both lived
some way up the country, and as they also were bound to Durango, and had
speedily to return, it was arranged that we should all travel together.
With the addition of our new friends' two servants, we thus together
mustered ten persons.  We were all of us well-armed, and not without
necessity: our friends told us that the country had lately been infested
by large bands of Comanche Indians, who had been driven away from the
borders of the United States, and had discovered that they were able to
carry on their depredations among the Mexicans almost with impunity.
"They are not likely to attack a well-armed party, and if they do, we
can give a good account of them."  This account only the more excited
our interest, and we quite hoped that the Indians would attack us.  When
we first went to the inn, we saw a large party on horseback just setting
out, we understood, in the same direction.  They were all armed to the
teeth,--with pistols in their belts, some with swords by their sides,
and others with lances or rifles.  They made a gay appearance on their
richly caparisoned steeds, with their broad-brimmed hats and feathers,
bright-coloured sashes, trousers open at the knees, with silver buttons
and loose jackets, with yellow boots and large silver spurs.  They were
laughing loudly and talking; and as they flourished their spears and
rifles, they boasted how they would treat any Indians who might dare to
attack them.  The doctor said he thought that it was a pity we had not
been ready to accompany them.

"Let them go alone," answered our friend; "I know those boasting
gentlemen too well to trust them.  If attacked, they would leave all the
fighting to us.  We shall be better off by ourselves."  Our friends
provided horses and all necessaries for the journey, and in high spirits
we started, mounted on high Spanish saddles, from which it seemed
impossible that we could ever tumble off.  I will not attempt to
describe the scenery in detail.  It was hilly, and woody, and rocky,
with valleys and waterfalls; now and then we came to a plain with a wide
extent of open country, and then had to cross rocky ridges, and climb
lofty heights among crags and pine-trees; but nothing came amiss to us
or our horses.  The young farmers had pressed us to stop a day at their
father's house, which was only a little out of the way.  It was built in
the fashion of the inn I have described, surrounded by the
farm-buildings and pens for cattle.  The father was a fine, hearty old
man, dressed in the ancient Spanish costume; and their mother and
sisters were kind, fresh-looking people, very unlike the
parchment-skinned, withered crones we had seen in the town.  They gave
us for supper _tortillas_, which are thin cakes made of corn, and eggs,
and fried beans, and some other things, to which we did justice.  The
next morning our friends asked us if we would like to see a hunt.

"Of what?" we asked.

"Of a bear," was the answer.  "One has been seen in the neighbourhood,
and his destruction is resolved on."

"Oh, by all means!" we exclaimed, wondering in what way the bear was to
be hunted.  "Let us go."

After an early breakfast, we set out on horseback, accompanied by
several men on foot carrying long poles.  Each of the young rancheroes
had a long coil of rope round his saddle-bow, to which one end was
fastened--at the other was a running loop.  This I found was a lasso--a
weapon (for so it may be called) in their hands of very formidable
character.  The appearance the young rancheroes presented on horseback
was very picturesque.  Their saddle-cloths and saddles were richly
worked, and the head-gear of their horses was adorned with gay tassels.
Round their own heads, and necks, and waists, they wore bright-coloured
handkerchiefs.  Their jackets and trousers were made very loose, and
adorned with a profusion of silver buttons; while on their heels they
wore huge silver spurs, with rowels as large as the palm of a man's
hand.  Two other rancheroes joined us.  They had seen the hear, and
found out his haunts.  We reached a wild, rugged country, with a few
trees in the valleys, and numerous large rocks jutting out in the sides
of the hills.

"The rancheroes say that the bear's cave is not far off from here,"
observed one of our English friends.  "We must be prepared for him.
Keep by us and do as we do."  Scarcely had he spoken when a loud growl
or snort was heard, and not a hundred yards from us a huge, grisly,
brown monster rushed out from behind a rook, showing his teeth, and
standing upon his hind-legs as if ready to fight.  I had never seen a
more ferocious-looking monster.  While we were looking at him he went
down on his fore-paws, and with a loud growl made a rush at us.

"Put spurs to your horses, and gallop down the valley, or he will be
upon us!" exclaimed our friends.  We were not slow to follow this
advice.  I looked round--the bear was following us.  Fast as we went,
unwieldy as the monster looked, he came as rapidly after us.  I could
not help thinking if one of our horses fell, what would become of the
rider.  It was not unlikely either that one of us, especially the first
mate, who was not accustomed to ride, might tumble off.  If so, the bear
would certainly kill him.  On we went as fast as our horses' legs could
carry us.  The bear was, notwithstanding this, gaining on us.  I kept
alongside Jerry, so did the mate.  Their horses could not go faster.  I
wondered what had become of the rancheroes; I did not see them.  Another
terrific growl was heard, and looking over my shoulder, I saw that the
bear had gained still more on us.  He was not eighty paces from us.
Just then I saw Jerry pulling at his horse's bridle.  He hauled away
lustily, but it was too late.  Down went the poor animal over a big
stone, and away flew Jerry over his head.  I shrieked with terror.  How
could I help him?  I turned round, hoping to divert the bear's
attention, but the monster took no notice of me, and made straight at
Jerry.  At that moment, when I thought that it was all up with him, I
heard a loud _switch_, as if something were passing rapidly through the
air, and two of the rancheroes darted out from behind a cliff, having
thrown their lassoes over the bear's head and shoulders.  Away they
galloped in an opposite direction to which he was going, till their
ropes were at their fullest tension, and then their horses drew up,
planting their feet firmly on the ground and dragging against the
astonished animal.  Instead of seizing the prey he expected, he found
himself drawn up with a halter round his neck, and heating the air in a
vain endeavour to escape.  When he found that he could make no head
against the two rancheroes, who were endeavouring to stop him, he turned
round in a fit of fury and endeavoured to overtake them.  Keeping their
lassoes at full stretch, away they went before him; and if he stopped a
moment to try to get rid of the nooses, they gave him a jerk which made
him move on again.  Jerry was, happily, not hurt by his fall, and having
caught his horse, the mate, and I helped him quickly to mount and to
overtake the rest of the party who were following the hunters.  After
galloping along the valley for a quarter of a mile or so, the two other
rancheroes darted out from behind a rock, and whirling their lassoes
round their heads, cast them with unerring aim over the shoulders of the
bear, and then galloped away from him.  The monster had now four lassoes
round him.  Mighty as was his strength, and fierce as were his
struggles, he was in an instant brought to the ground.  He bit, and
struggled, and snarled, or rather growled in vain; tighter and tighter
grew each noose till he was hauled over on his back.  Some of the men on
foot, who had been hidden in the neighbourhood, rushed forward, and
threw their lassoes over his legs.  He was now utterly helpless.  Then
the men came with their long poles, with which they formed a sort of
litter, and off they carried poor Bruin in triumph.  It was certainly
much pleasanter examining him now he was made fast than when he was at
liberty.  We were told that his strength is so great that he can,
without difficulty, overcome the huge bison whom he meets with in the
plains.  The doctor called him the _Ursus ferox_.  His claws were long
and strong, his canine teeth of great size, and his eyes deeply sunk in
his head.  We followed the huge prisoner in triumph till we came to a
road, when he was put on a cart and rumbled off to the farm.  Thence he
was forwarded to Mazatlan, and very likely shipped off to some distant
part of the world.

On our way back to the rancho, we encountered a herd of wild cattle, one
of which the young rancheroes wished to capture.  Off they set in
pursuit of a fine bull they had singled out from the herd.  One of them
rode up on the right side of the animal about twenty feet off, the other
kept a little behind at about the same distance on the left side.  Away
flew the noose of the right-hand man over the head of the beast; at the
same moment the ranchero behind cast his by a peculiar knack over the
left hind-foot, as the animal lifted it in running.  The sudden jerk
brought him to the ground, and the other ends of the lassoes being
fastened to the saddles, the horses stood perfectly still, dragging away
with all their might in opposite directions.  Their masters quietly
dismounted, and leaving their horses thus keeping the bull secure, they
leisurely approached him.  They then secured his feet in such a way that
he could only just walk, and bent his head down to his legs, so that he
could not butt, and making him get up, led him away a prisoner.  Several
were treated in the same way.  We wonderfully enjoyed our day's
excursion.

The next morning by daybreak we set off to continue our journey.  It was
very pleasant travelling.  Sometimes Jerry and I rode together,
sometimes with the doctor or Mr Renshaw, and at others with our two
English friends, from whom we gained a good deal of information.  From
all I heard, I should not at all like to live in Mexico.  The
descendants of the fierce conquerors have become a most degenerate race,
without religion, without morality--each man ready to destroy his
neighbour for the sake of getting into his place.  That object seems to
be the only end and aim of all their politics.  As to patriotism, it
does not exist.  The nearest approach to the sentiment is made by those
who wish for a settled government, that they may enjoy their property in
peace and quiet.  The consequences of the constant change of government
are, that brigands abound, that the confines of the country are left
open to the depredations of the Red Indians, and that the army of the
state is left in a dreadfully disorganised condition--ill paid, ill fed,
ill clothed, and utterly unable to cope with the evils which beset them.
We stopped for a few hours at a ruined house to take our mid-day meal,
and then continued our journey.  Soon after this we came to some
blackened walls which showed where a village once stood.  We learned
from the rancheroes that only a few weeks before there existed on the
spot a pretty hamlet, with a contented and happy population of some
fifty persons or so.  One morning, just as they were setting forth to
their work, the dreaded war whoop of the Indians was heard.  Two or
three hundred Red Indian warriors, armed with spears, rifles, and round
shields, were seen galloping towards the devoted village.  Some of the
people fled.  All tried to flee, for so completely unprepared were they
that there was no time to make any defence.  The women and children, as
they were overtaken, were indiscriminately slaughtered.  The plunder
that was considered worth carrying off was collected, and then in
wantonness the village was set on fire.  A few of the fugitives had at
length reached Durango with the tale of their misfortunes.  Some troops
had been sent out with orders to exterminate the savages, but they took
very good care not to come near them, while the Indians indeed were
probably making a foray some two or three hundred miles away.  At night
we reached a rancho, the owner of which was known to our friends.  He
received us hospitably, slung hammocks for us in one of the corridors of
the house, and gave us the usual tortillas, and eggs, and beans for a
feast, in addition to some very fine beef.  The evening of the next day
was approaching, when, as we were descending a hill, we saw in the plain
below us a number of horsemen galloping about.  We were too far off to
make out what they were.  The rancheroes gazed earnestly at them.  Mr
Renshaw had a good glass with him.

"Why, there are red fellows on horseback, with spears and shields, but
without a rag on them," he exclaimed.  "They seem to be fighting with
another set of fellows dressed as Spaniards, and, hang it, the latter
are turning heels and flying."  The rancheroes seemed very much excited
all the time, and rode a little way down the hill, that they might
better see what was going on.  They quickly turned round and beckoned to
us to join them.  We did so, and soon saw that if we would save the
lives of the Mexicans, there was not a moment to be lost.  Although
there were thirty of them, there were fully four times as many Indians.
It was not difficult to divine what had occurred.  The Mexicans had been
taken by surprise, and instead of pulling up and keeping close together,
each man had galloped off in the hope of saving his own life, without
thinking of his companions.  The Indians had thus got in among them, and
had already pierced several through with their long spears.  Each Indian
warrior, however, as soon as he had killed or disabled a man, stopped to
take his scalp, and this gave time to some of the Mexicans once more to
unite and to present a better front to the enemy.  The resistance they
were making, however, was very feeble, and as we galloped on we saw that
they had once more begun to break.  The Indians had been so intent on
the attack that they had not perceived our approach, neither had the
Mexicans.

"Now, my friends," exclaimed our friend Captain Driscoll, who seemed as
if by right to take the command, "keep together, shoulder to shoulder,
and dash boldly in among those red villains.  Cut them down, and pistol
them as best you can, shouting at the top of your voices.  I know them
of old; they won't stand that.  When they hear English voices they'll
run; they know what they are to get.  Wait till I give the word,
though."

It was very exciting.  Down the steep hill we dashed at full speed, our
horses seeming clearly to understand what we were about.  Already
several more Mexicans had, through their cowardice, lost their lives.
We were within two hundred yards of the scene of strife.  "Now's the
time!" shouted our leader.  "Hurrah, hurrah! my lads!  Give way, you red
scoundrels!" we all shouted at the top of our voices.  The Indians,
hearing our cries, turned their heads, and seeing a large body of
horsemen coming down the road, and not knowing how many there might be
following, thought that it was high time for them to be off.  Our
appearance, also, gave the Mexicans courage, and they charged more
manfully than they had done before.

"Wallop ahoo aboo, Erin gobragh!" sung out our leader, Captain Driscoll.
"Fly, ye red scoundrels; fly, or we will cut you into mince-meat!"
Whether the Indians understood what he said I do not know, but as he
suited the action to the word, wielding a pretty heavy Toledo, they took
his advice, and, disengaging themselves from the melee, urged their
horses to a rapid flight.  We, however, were too close to them to allow
them to escape altogether with impunity, and three of them were knocked
off the backs of their steeds, two of whom were mortally wounded.  A
third, I thought, was lead.  He lay on the ground without moving, or
apparently breathing, his tomahawk still held in his death-grasp.  The
cowardly Mexicans very soon put the other two poor wretches out of their
pain, by running them through and through with their lances.  Two or
three of the heroes were in the act of charging the dead man, with the
intention of running him through, when up he sprung to his feet, and
away he went as quick almost, it seemed, as a flash of lightning after
his comrades!  Several of our party gave chase after him, but though he
was on foot it appeared as if he would distance us.  His leg, however,
had been wounded, and he had miscalculated his strength.  His pace
slackened.  Once or twice he stumbled; he felt that he could run no
more.  He was a brave fellow, and was determined to die like a man, with
his face to his enemies.  Flourishing his tomahawk above his head, he
uttered his war cry, and rushed desperately towards us.  A Mexican's
lance struck him on the shoulder, and brought him to the ground.  The
other Mexicans were about to despatch him, but Captain Driscoll sung out
in Spanish, "Spare his life; spare his life; we do not kill fallen
enemies;" and Jerry and I, impelled by the same feelings, threw
ourselves before him, and by signs showed that we had resolved to
protect him.  The Indian seemed to comprehend what we were about, though
perhaps he thought we wanted to preserve his life only to torture him,
for he did not show that he was in any way obliged to us.  The moment
the lance was withdrawn, he sprung up with his weapon in his hand, ready
to fight on; but one of the rancheroes threw his lasso over his
shoulders, and, with a jerk which, had it been round his neck, would
have dislocated it, brought him again to the ground.

"We will bring him along with us," said Captain Driscoll; "the poor
wretch has shown great courage, and deserves to live.  Perhaps we may
learn from him something about his tribe."

The captive Indian was dragged along; and, finding that at present he
had no chance of escape, he came on quietly.  No less than eight of the
Mexicans had lost their lives, so sudden had been the attack of the red
men, and most of the bodies had been deprived of their scalps.  As it
was impossible to carry the corpses with us, and we had not time to bury
them, they were left to afford a banquet to the birds of the air and the
beasts of the forest--a common occurrence in this country.  Some of
those who had run away now came back, and by degrees the whole party was
once more collected together.  It was already late in the afternoon, and
we were anxious to find some place where we could rest for the night.
There was a village, we heard, at no great distance, and by riding
pretty hard we might reach it by nightfall.  After what had occurred,
this we were all well disposed to do, for we could not tell at what
moment the Comanches, when they found that our numbers were smaller than
they had supposed, might come back and attack us.  It was amusing to
hear the vapouring and boasting of the Mexicans, as our friends, with
their own comments, translated it to us.  The greatest boasters were the
greatest cowards.  Not one but could offer an excellent reason for
having run away.  Several were going to procure help; others to get
behind the Indians, to attack them in the rear; others were heroically
making a diversion, to draw off their attention from their friends.  It
was nearly dark when we reached the village, but not a sign of living
beings was there--no dog barked, no child's cheerful voice was heard,
not a cock crew.  Alas! there were blackened roofs and walls, and
charred door-posts.  The Indians had been there; all the inhabitants
must have been slain or had fled.  We rode through the hamlet; not a
human being was to be found.  One house--the largest in the place--had
escaped entire destruction.  It had two stories; a ladder led to the
upper one.  It would afford us shelter during the night, which gave
signs of being a tempestuous one.  Behind the house were some sheds,
where our horses might be tethered.  The first thing to be done was to
obtain food for them.  It was more important that they should be fed
than that we should; so a party was sent out to cut grass, and soon
returned with a sufficiency.  Most of the people had brought provisions,
as we likewise had done, and thus in that respect we were very well off.
Captain Driscoll, by tacit consent, was chosen to make the arrangements
for our security during the night.  In the lower room was a large
hearth, on which a blazing fire was made, and by the light of it we ate
our somewhat frugal supper.  We then all climbed up into the loft, and
the Mexicans, with their _scrapes_, and saddles, and saddle-cloths, soon
made themselves comfortable beds, and we imitated their example.  The
Indian prisoner had been made to come up, and then they bound his arms
and legs, and he sat in one corner with a man to watch him.  I had been
asleep some time, when I felt Jerry pulling at my arm.  I looked up.
The light of the moon was streaming in through a gap in the roof, for
the storm which had threatened had passed off.  Jerry put his finger to
his lips to impose silence, and pointed to the Indian.  He was sitting
up; his hands were free, and he was busily employed in disengaging his
legs from the lashings which secured them.  What to do I scarcely knew.
If the prisoner would go away without hurting any one, I thought it
would be the best thing that could happen.  Then it occurred to me that
if he escaped he might give information to his friends of our
whereabouts, so I thought it would be best to stop him.  I was on the
point of singing out, when up sprung the Indian, the long knife of his
sleeping guard in his hand.  He was about to plunge it into the man,
when Jerry's and my shouts arrested his arm, and leaping down the
trap-hole at which the ladder was placed, before those who had been
aroused could catch hold of him, away he flew through the village.
Pursuit was instantly made, but before the foot of the ladder could be
reached, he was out of sight.  Those who had gone after the Indian
returned looking very foolish; and the man who had charge of him was
soundly rated, but that was all that could be done.  I found that the
same reason for apprehension was entertained by the party which had
occurred to me.  However, after a time, the Mexicans got tired of
watching, and all lay down again in their places.  I could not go to
sleep.  I did not like the thought of that Indian escaping, and I
wondered that Captain Driscoll did not take more precautions to guard
against a surprise.  I found that Jerry was awake, and when I told him
my ideas he agreed with me.  We lay still for a little time, and then we
got up and looked out.  The night was perfectly still and fine.  We
fancied that if anybody were stirring we should not fail to hear.  We
went back into the loft, and then found that Captain Driscoll was awake.
He asked us what we had been about.  We told him our apprehensions.  He
laughed, and replied, that after the drubbing we had given the red
rascals they would not venture to come near us.

"The Duke of Wellington tells us that we should never despise our
enemies, whoever they may be," I answered.

Captain Driscoll laughed.  "The duke was not thinking of Red Indians,"
he observed.  "Don't be alarmed, my boys, the thieves won't come."
Scarcely had he uttered the words, when there was a neighing, and
kicking, and stamping of horses' feet in the court-yard below us.  We
looked out.  The place was full of Red Indians!

"To arms! to arms!" shouted the captain.  Everybody was instantly on
their feet.  I found that he had more arrangements than I had fancied.
The Indians had got over the walls of the court-yard, but the gate was
so blocked up that they could not open it to get our horses through.
Their only outlet was through our house.  The door leading to this was
instantly occupied by some of the Mexicans, while others ran their
rifles through all the crevices and holes in the walls, and began firing
away at the Indians.  They, disappointed in their attempt to carry off
our horses, after ham-stringing several of them, leaped back over the
walls, exposing themselves as they did so to the rifles of the Mexicans.
Several were shot down, but the greater number made their escape.  No
one attempted to follow them, however, for there could be no doubt that
a large party of them were in the neighbourhood, and that they would
very likely renew their attack on us.  They did not disappoint us.  In
less than a quarter of an hour the trampling of horses' hoofs was heard,
and through the gloom of night a large body of horsemen was seen
galloping up through the street of the ruined village.  As they got
near, they gave vent to the most unearthly shrieks and cries, intending,
undoubtedly, to terrify us.  Captain Driscoll was not, however, totally
unprepared for them.  He had stationed the best marksmen of the party
behind the walls of the enclosure and at the windows of the house.
There was little time, however, to make the arrangements, but each man
seemed to know pretty well what he had to do.  Not a shot was fired, not
a word was uttered.  The Indians, expecting an easy victory, galloped
along the road, flourishing their lances, or holding their rifles ready
to fire as soon as any one appeared to fire at.  They got close up to
the walls of the house, and there halted, fancying apparently that we
had already decamped.  Some got off their horses, to examine the ground
for our trail.

"_Tira! tira_!--fire, my lads, fire!" shouted our leader in Spanish and
English.  Every one of us obeyed the order, with such effect that fully
a dozen savages were knocked over, and many more wounded.  We lost not a
moment in loading again.  The savages, firing their rifles at us, rode
desperately up to the walls, as if intending to jump off their horses
and climb over them.  Had they succeeded in so doing, they might have
overwhelmed us with their numbers.  They were, however, received with
another volley, delivered with such good effect that their courage
failed them, and, wheeling about, they galloped away down the road as
fast as they could tear.  Two Mexicans only were wounded, and not very
seriously.  As may be supposed, no one went to sleep again that night;
and as soon as day broke we were all in our saddles, that we might reach
Durango before dark.  We now proceeded with something like military
order, to avoid a surprise; for it was thought probable that the Indians
might have formed an ambush on the road, with the intention of attacking
us.  In the afternoon, as we rode along, we caught sight of a body of
horsemen winding their way down a hill on the opposite side of the
valley.  They might be Indians.  Each man examined the lock of his
musket or rifle, and felt his side for his sword.  They approached, and
we then saw that they were a troop of cavalry.  They were very ragged,
and their horses were very miserable, and certainly they did not appear
as if they could contend with the well-mounted Indians we had
encountered.  These Comanche Indians, as the Mexicans call them, succeed
in their forays by the rapidity of their movements.  They will
accomplish a hundred miles in the day, driving several horses before
them.  When one is tired, they mount another.  If any are killed by
over-riding, their places can always be supplied from the nearest,
cattle estate.  They strike terror among the widely-scattered
inhabitants of the borders; but there is no doubt, if they were bravely
and systematically opposed, they would be very quickly driven away, or
compelled to have recourse to more peaceable occupations for their
support Durango is a pretty little town, with white-washed, flat-roofed
houses, standing on a plain surrounded by high rugged hills, a
remarkable feature being the number and size of the American aloes which
grow in the neighbourhood.  We put up at a _meson_, not remarkable for
its cleanliness or the luxury of its provisions, and were not sorry to
find ourselves once more in our saddles on our way back to Mazatlan.  We
reached that place without any adventure; and the same evening, having
wished our kind friends, Captain Driscoll and Mr Dwyer, good-bye,
sailed for San Francisco, the wonderful port of the gold regions of
California.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

CALIFORNIAN EXPERIENCES.

One fine morning we found the _Triton_--one of a crowd of vessels of all
rigs and sizes--standing in with a fair breeze towards the far-famed
harbour of San Francisco.  High black rocks ran out of the sea before
us, like monsters guarding the entrance to that domain of boundless
wealth.  Loud roars, too, saluted our ears, which, on a further
examination of the rocks, were found to proceed from a large
congregation of sea-lions assembled at their bases.  As we glided by,
not fifty fathoms from some of the rocks, they looked up at us with
inquiring eyes, as if to know why we had come there; and, certainly,
from their formidable heads, they appeared as if they were well able to
defend their native territory.  Jerry could not resist the temptation of
firing his rifle among them.  It had a wonderful effect on the whole
body; big and little sea-lions, and cows, and seals, all began
floundering away in the greatest dismay into the water--their
awkward-looking movements being very amusing; at the same time,
thousands of birds, which had been perched on the rocks, or floating in
the water, rose into the air, with loud screams, circling round our
heads; while porpoises, or some other huge monsters of the deep, kept
gambolling around us, and now and then leaping out of the water in
sportive humour.

All this exhibition of wild animal life was, it must be remembered,
within a few miles of the rich and populous city of San Francisco.  The
transition was very great; yet but a short time back a rude fort and a
few small huts were the only settled abodes of man.  The actual harbour
begins at a spot called the Golden Gate, where a high rock with a flat
summit projects into the water.  On it the American Government are
constructing a fort, which no hostile vessel will be able to pass with
impunity.  Passing this point, we saw before us on the right a perfect
forest of masts, with every flag under the sun flying aloft; and behind
them appeared, on a low hill rising like an amphitheatre from the
harbour, the far-famed city itself.  It was a busy, exciting scene.
Some of the vessels brought bands of English adventurers; others crowds
of Chinese, with round felt hats and long tails; others Malays; and some
even seemed to have blacks on board.  At a short distance from the city
were moored several large ships, their masts struck, their rigging
unrove, deserted by their crews, and some by their officers likewise.
The doctor, Jerry, and I, were the only persons who accompanied the
captain on shore.  The mates remained to guard against all risk of any
of the crew deserting.  It was only just daylight when we landed, but
all the world was astir.  Time is considered too precious here to lose a
moment.  The town itself presented an extraordinary collection of strong
contrasts: there were wooden sheds, and tents, and mud hovels, mixed up
with vast stores and large dwelling-houses; while carts, and waggons,
and coaches of every variety of build were moving about in all
directions, among people from every part of Europe--Germans, Italians,
French, Greeks, and English--the latter, of course, predominating as to
numbers; Yankees, with their keen, intelligent looks; Californians, in
their serapes; Mexicans, with their laced breeches and cuffs; and
Chilians, in broad-brimmed hats; Sandwich Islanders, and Negroes from
every part of Africa; Chinese, with their long tails and varied coloured
robes; and Malays and other people from the East.  Indeed, Europe, Asia,
Africa, and America were there fully represented,--all brought together
for the one object--a search for gold--all thinking of their own
business, and caring little or nothing for anybody else, so that their
aims were not interfered with.  Those who had been to the diggings were
pretty clearly to be distinguished by the one dark brown earthy hue
which pervaded their dress, and such parts of their countenances as
their huge tangled beards and whiskers allowed to be visible.

We first went to the market, to obtain provisions for the ship.  It was
already crowded with purchasers.  There was a magnificent display of
fruit and vegetables, and fish of all sorts and strange shapes, and huge
lobsters and turtle of a size to make an alderman's mouth water; and
then in the meat-market there were hung up before the butchers' stalls
huge elks with their superb antlers, and great big brown bears--just
such monsters as the one we saw captured, for they are considered
dainties here--and beautiful antelopes, and squirrels, and hares, and
rabbits in vast heaps--not to speak of pigs, and sheep, and oxen.  The
beef, we heard, was, and found to be, excellent.  I mention these things
to show how the inhabitants of a vast city like San Francisco, though
just sprung into existence, can, by proper arrangement, be fed.  A large
number of the shops are kept by Chinese, who sell all the fancy and
ornamental work, and act as washerwomen.  They are said to be great
rogues, and are, under that pretext, often cruelly treated by greater
rogues than themselves.  It is a sad thing to see heathen people coming
among nominal Christians, who, paying no regard to the religion they are
supposed to profess, prevent them from wishing to inquire into the truth
of a faith they might, with a good example before them, be tempted to
adopt.  One Chinese appeared to us so much like another, with their
thick lips, little slits of eyes, ugly parchment faces, in which age
makes no perceptible difference, that it seemed as if we were meeting
the same person over and over again.  The signs over their shops are
written in Chinese, and translated into the oddest English and Spanish I
ever saw.  One of the features in the street population of this city
which struck us were the shoe-blacks.  Each is provided with a
comfortable arm-chair and a newspaper.  He slips his employer into the
chair, hands him the paper to read, and then kneeling down, works away
till he has polished the leather boots; for which his demand is a
quarter of a dollar--the smallest coin in circulation, it seemed to us.
The sum is paid without a word; off walks the man with the clean boots,
and one with a dirty pair soon takes his place.

There is no want of restaurants and cafes, or of places where food in
abundance could be procured, though the price was rather astonishing.
Captain Frankland had some business to transact with a merchant--he left
us at one of them to dine.  When he rejoined us, he told us that he
would take us to a scene in which he hoped we should never be tempted to
mix.  We went out, and soon reached a magnificent building, full of
spacious halls, with an orchestra keeping up a succession of attractive
airs.  Making our way, not without difficulty, through the crowd, we saw
before us several long, green-covered tables, surrounded by people, who
appeared to be engaged in playing, on a grand scale, every conceivable
game of chance.  Never did I see countenances so palpably expressive of
the worst passions of our evil nature.  The keepers of the banks were
evidently villains of the darkest dye.  They sat with their revolvers on
the table, guarding the heaps of gold before them, as they skilfully
managed the cards and dice over which they presided.  The captain
assured us that they and those in league with them--the professional
players--always contrived to collect the largest proportion of the gold
in circulation--many of their foolish victims dissipating in one evening
all the hard-earned gains of a year.  There were ladies, too, among
them, gambling as eagerly as the men--dishonouring their sex.  The sight
of those countenances and the whole air of the place was sickening.
"Fifty ounces"--"A hundred"--"Two hundred ounces"--were the words we
heard repeated on every side.  Presently a man started up--a fine,
handsome young fellow--from before whom a heap of gold had been swept,
clutching his hair.  "And I was to have started for home to-morrow.  O
Mary!" he exclaimed, unconsciously, as he passed us.  There was the
report of a pistol--a cry.  The young man was picked up dead at the
door.  The players went on as before, scarcely turning their heads to
hear the account.  Who the unhappy youth was, no one knew.  We had seen
enough to answer the captain's object in taking us to the place.  We
strolled on through the city till we reached the Chinese quarter.
There, also, we were attracted by a strange noise intended for music,
produced by two stringed-fiddles, violoncellos, drums, and gongs, into a
building--a very shabby place; yet in the centre was a table with heaps
of gold upon it, and surrounded by a number of odd little men in wide
jackets, short trousers, long tails at their backs, huge embroidered
slippers on their feet, all deeply engaged, as if some most serious
matter were going forward--their queer eyes twinkling with mistrust as
they followed the course of a game which was being played.  In the
middle of the table was a heap of counters covered by a bowl, under
which the players put their hands, and drew out a number of them at a
time, which they counted with a long stick, and then the heaps of money
changed owners, but on what grounds we could in no way discover.

"You laugh at those odd little Chinese, and think them fail objects to
joke about," observed the captain; "but we must remember that they are
men with souls to be saved, responsible beings, like the unhappy people
in that gorgeous saloon we were in just now.  The vice in which we have
seen them indulging is the same, though, as their light is less, they
may be less to blame.  My hope is, that what you have seen to-night will
make you wish never to see the same sights again."

In the public room of the hotel, where we remained for the night, a
number of people were collected from all parts of the world.  Some had
been at the diggings; some had made money; several had come back as poor
as they went, and much the worse in health; others were about to go up
to try their fortunes, with secret hopes of succeeding where others had
failed.  The conversation of many of them was very amusing.  One man
especially interested us by the account he gave of his first journey up
the country.  He was evidently, from the tone of his voice and manners,
a gentleman by education, though in appearance as rough and
weather-beaten as a navvy who has put on a black coat for Sunday.  He
addressed himself to us, as he probably thought that we had come out to
turn gold-diggers, and he wished to warn us of the dangers to be
encountered.

"I had a good appointment in England, but I wanted to become rich in a
hurry, so I threw it up, and came out here," he began.  "You may doubt
the wisdom of the proceeding; so do I now.  I had a companion, and with
him and the mate of the ship I arrived in, as also her carpenter and a
Chinese boy, I arranged to go up the country.  With the implements we
had provided, and as much food as we could carry, we got on board a
small schooner, bound up the river to Stockton.  We had on board a
strange assemblage of people.  Many of them looked quite capable of
cutting our throats.  They were mostly armed, and bowie-knives and
revolvers were constantly exhibited.  When after two days' voyage we
landed, we were glad to get into a wretched hut, where we could obtain
food, and rest, and shelter, to prepare ourselves for our tramp to the
diggings.  We remained only one day, for the charges were so high at the
inn that we should have been ruined had we stayed longer.  Of the forty
people who had come up in the schooner, very few accompanied us.  We
found a party of about thirty starting, with five or six mules carrying
provisions.  We joined ourselves to them.  Each of us had a rifle slung
to his back, in addition to a week's provisions and our mining utensils,
while our pistols and knives were stuck in our belts.  We went on for
two days pretty easily.  I shall never forget the appearance of some
people we met, who had come overland from the western states of
America,--their haggard eyes, long matted hair, shrunk forms, and
tattered clothes, which hung on them like loose rags fluttering in the
wind.  They were the remnants of a large party, the greater number of
whom with their horses and cattle had died on the way, from the
hardships they had to encounter.  The latter part of the road, they
said, was strewed with the whitening bones of men and animals,
broken-down waggons, and abandoned furniture.  The next day's journey
gave us a specimen of what those poor fellows had endured.  The sun came
out with intense fury, and struck scorching down on our heads.  Not a
drop of water could be got.  There was a pool, we were told, some way
on.  We reached the spot: it was dry.  Our thirst grew intolerable.
Those who had been accustomed to take spirits suffered more than the
rest.  We lay down that night at a place where there was no wood.  We
had no fire, therefore, to cook our provisions.  We could not eat the
meat we had brought with us raw.  All night long the wolves howled
horribly in our ears.  At daybreak we arose and pushed on.  There was a
water-hole, we were told, a few miles ahead.  We reached the spot: it
was dry.  Many who had hitherto held out gave way to despair.  The
muleteers had skins with water, but they guarded them, revolver in hand,
to moisten their own and their mules' lips.  Their lives depended on
those of their animals.  A few of us had flasks, but we could only
venture to take a drop of the precious fluid at a time.  One man had a
bottle of brandy.  He boasted at first of his cleverness in having
secured it.  Now, he went about offering the whole of it for a drop of
water.  Several of the brandy drinkers sank down.  They had agreed to
keep together.  They implored us to help them.  A deaf ear was turned to
their entreaties.  Our own lives depended on our hastening on.  Three or
four others dropped by the way, one by one.  No one waited for them.
`On, on, on!' was the cry; `Water, water, water!'  At length, towards
evening, the mules pricked up their ears: trees appeared in the
distance.  We hurried on.  A glittering stream gladdened our sight.  We
rushed into it, greedily lapping up the water.  Our mules drank eagerly.
We felt revived and strengthened.  There was abundance of wood: we
lighted a fire and dressed our provisions.  Several birds, and two or
three animals were shot to increase our feast.

"Ha, ha, ha, how we laughed.  To-morrow, we said, we shall be able to
push on to the mines, and begin to dig for gold.  In an instant every
one was talking of gold.  `Gold, gold, gold,' was heard on every side.
Did any one think of the poor wretches we had left dying on the road--
men--brethren by nature, by a common faith--men with souls?  Not one of
us thought of going back.  At all events, not one of us offered to go
back.  An all-powerful loadstone was dragging us on--the lust of getting
gold.  Had we gone back to relieve our fellow-beings, we should have
been unable to proceed the next day for the diggings.  A whole day would
have been lost.  Oh, most foul and wretched was the mania which inspired
us!  Unnatural! no; it was that of fallen, debased human nature; it was
too true to that nature.  Those miserable men must have died horribly--
devoured by wolves or scalped by Indians.  The next day we pushed
eagerly on; yet we had to sleep high up on the side of a snow-capped
mountain; thence we were to descend to the scene of our labours.
Bitterly cold it was; yet we dared not move, for frightful precipices
yawned around.  We reached the first diggings that evening.  The miners
had just knocked off work, and crowded round us to hear the news, and to
see what we had brought.  Rough as they looked, by far the greater
number, I judged by the tone of their voices, belong to the educated
classes.  And shall I become like one of these men?  I thought.  I soon
became like one of them, and rougher still.  `I expected a friend about
this time,' said one, describing him.  He was among those who had fallen
and been deserted.  He made but few other inquiries.  He knew that such
events were too common to complain.  I saw him brush away a tear, as he
turned from us.  That man was too good for the company he was among.  We
encamped by ourselves, we knew not whom we must trust.  After this our
travelling party broke up.  My companions from the ship and I were to
work together.  We fixed on a spot, and erected our rude hut; then we
bought a rocker and shovel, pick-axe and spade, with two tin pans, and
set to work.  I dug out the earth, another carried it, and a third
washed it in the rocker.  Our success was tolerable; but it was many
days before we got enough to pay for the articles we had purchased, and
our provisions.  In the meantime, what scenes of wretchedness, misery,
dissipation, and violence, did I behold!  In every direction men were
dying of fever and dysentery.  At night the gambling booths were filled
with those who rapidly got rid of the earnings of many days.  I was
witness, too, of an encounter between two large parties of diggers.  One
party had encroached on the ground prepared by the other, and refused to
quit it.  Bowie-knives, and pick-axes, and hatchets, rifles and pistols,
were instantly brought into play.  A sanguinary encounter ensued.
Numbers fell on both sides; at last one party turned and fled.  I
visited the scene of the strife soon after.  A dozen or more human
beings lay on the ground dead, or dying--arms cut off--pierced through
and through with knives--skulls fractured with spades and pick-axes, and
many shot to death.  The dying had been left to die alone without aid or
pity, while their companions returned to their gold digging.  Often and
often I sickened at the sights I beheld, but still I continued at the
work.  I was compelled to continue at it.  I had given up everything for
it.  I was like a slave chained to it by the leg.  Gladly would I have
gone back to my steady occupation and quiet life, surrounded by those I
respected and loved.  I have only partly described the hardships we
endured.  We had famine, and cold, and rain.  Often we were without
fuel, our clothing was ragged and insufficient, and sickness in every
form came among us.  Besides desperate quarrels among the diggers, the
Indians came down upon us--fierce, sanguinary warriors, eager for our
scalps.  Their vengeance had been excited by aggressions made on them by
the whites.  We could scarcely leave the camp without risking an attack
from them.  Many diggers became their victims.  Such was our life for
months.  At length my companions and I, by unexpected good fortune,
saved a sufficient amount of gold dust to enable us to return to San
Francisco.  Steady work at home would have enabled me to lay by nearly
as much, while my health and spirits would not have been broken as they
now are.  We kept together to defend each other.  Many diggers on their
way to the city, after labouring for years, have been robbed and
murdered.  My companions spent most of their hard won wealth, and
returned to the diggings, where, one after the other, they fell victims
to disease, or the knives of assassins.  I had had enough of the life,
and my knowledge of business enabled me to procure a situation in a
merchant's office in this place, where, by employing the sum I had
scraped together, and by stript attention to business, I have realised
an amount four times as large, in a quarter of the time it took me to
collect it at the diggings."

"What you have said, sir, is very true," observed another gentleman
present.  "Things, however, have somewhat mended of late.  Still, a
gentleman has to lead little better than a dog's life in those regions.
For my part, although I was what is considered very lucky, I soon
sickened of it, and considered myself fortunate in being able to get
away with my gold in my pocket and a whole skin on my back.  Still this
is a wonderful country, and will become a great country some day.  I
have travelled over a good deal of it.  Not long ago I travelled up one
of the most beautiful valleys in the world.  At the bottom was a green
grassy sward with a pure bright stream running rapidly through it, over
a clear, pebbly bottom.  The hills on either side were clothed with
trees of various descriptions, rocks here and there jutting out between
them of many fantastic forms, while my ears were assailed with the
cheerful sound of falling water, and my eyes gladdened by the sight of
sparkling cascades flowing into basins, whence arose masses of white
foam.  Further on arose, appearing at the end of the valley, range
beyond range of mountains, the higher capped with snow.  Though the sun
was hot, the air was pure and cool as it came off the mountains,
tempered by the numerous cascades.  At length I reached a spot where the
valley widened, and there, spread out before me, lay a blue shining lake
fringed by lofty trees, with the hills rising gradually behind them,
while the water seemed alive with fish, which leaped from its calm
depths, and with the water-fowl which skimmed over its surface.  You'll
all say that was a lovely spot."

We all agreed that it must be, and that we should like to take up our
abode there.

"So I thought," he answered.  "But as a man cannot well live on fish and
water-fowl without corn, and potatoes, and vegetables, not to speak of
beef and mutton, and none of these things were to be procured within a
hundred miles of the place, I was glad to get out of it.  There's
another wonderful spot away to the south, near Sousa, where I have been.
There is a stream called the Stanislas river.  Up it I went, and then
journeyed along one of its tributaries, the high banks of which are
covered with trees, till I reached a broad valley.  I could scarcely
believe my eyes.  There arose before me a number of trees larger and
taller than any I supposed existed on the face of the globe.  It is
called the Mammoth-tree Valley, and is 1500 feet above the level of the
sea.  There were no less than ninety of them scattered over a space of
about forty acres, and rising high above the surrounding pine forest.
They are a species of pine or cone-bearing trees.  [Coniferae
(Wellingtonia gigantea.)] In the larger ones the branches do not begin
to spread out till the stem has reached a height of 200 feet, and some
are upwards of 300 feet high.  One was 32 feet in diameter--that is, 96
feet in circumference--while the smallest and weakest is not less than
16 feet in diameter.  The tops of nearly all have been broken off by
storms, or by the snow resting on them.  The Indians have injured others
by lighting fires at their bases, while the white men have cut down one
and carried away the bark of another to exhibit in far-off lands.  It
took five men twenty-five days to cut down the `Big tree,' for so it was
called.  They accomplished their work by boring holes in the stem, and
then cutting towards them with the axe.  The stump which remains has
been smoothed on the top, and the owner of the property, who acted as my
guide, assured me that sixteen couple could waltz on it.  In one a
spiral staircase has been cut, so that I was able to ascend to a
considerable height by it.  My acquaintance, the owner of the estate on
which these monsters grow, has given names to all of them.  One he calls
Uncle Tom's Cabin, because there is a hollow in the trunk capable of
holding from twenty to thirty people.  One hollow trunk has been broken
off and lies on the ground, and a man on horseback can ride from one end
of it to the other.  There are two trees called Husband and Wife, and
another he called the Family Group, consisting of father, mother, and
rather a large progeny of twenty-five children, regular sons of Anak.
The father fell some time ago, and striking another tree broke off the
upper part.  That portion measures 300 feet, and the part which still
stands 150--so that the whole tree was 450 feet in height.  Three
hundred feet is the ordinary height of the giants of the forest.  From
various calculations it would seem that these trees must have existed
for three thousand years at least--perhaps more; I can only say that I
considered the spectacle well worthy of the long journey I took to
behold it."

We thanked the stranger for the account he had given us.  We heard many
other wonderful stories, the truth of some of which we had reason to
doubt, so I have not repeated them here.  Captain Frankland was very
glad to get away from San Francisco without losing any of his own crew.
Probably, had he allowed them to have any communication with the shore,
this would not have been the case.

On our return on board, the first mate told the captain that a strange
brig had come into the harbour and anchored near us--that soon afterward
Manuel Silva was seen holding some communication with the people on
board.  In a little time a boat came off from her, and after some
conversation with a man in the boat, he said that he must bid us
good-bye.  No persuasions the mate used could induce him to stop, and he
stepped into the boat, and nothing more had been seen of him.  We were
very sorry to lose him, and it struck us at the time, I remember, that
there was something mysterious in his way of departure.

We were at sea about twenty-two days without falling in with land.  It
was late one evening when we sighted Woahoo, the largest of the Sandwich
Islands, of which Honolulu is the chief port and capital of the kingdom.
It was dark by the time we brought up in the roadstead outside the
harbour.  As I, of course, had read how Captain Cook was killed by the
Sandwich Islanders, and had often seen prints in which a number of naked
black fellows are hurling their spears and darts at him, I had an idea
that I knew all about them, and had pictured to myself exactly what I
should see when next morning we went on shore with our boat's crew
well-armed to trade with them.  The next morning at daybreak the anchor
was hove up, and with a light breeze we stood in through a narrow
passage in a coral reef, which extends from one point of land to
another, and forms the harbour.  What was my surprise to see before us,
when we dropped our anchor, a neat, pretty-looking town, with a fort on
the right side bristling with cannon, a fertile valley extending far
into the country on the left, and lofty mountains rising in the
distance.  Over the fort flew the Hawaian flag.  It is formed of the
British union-jack, with alternate blue, red, and white stripes.  The
streets are broad, and run at right angles to each other.  There were
numerous hotels, some of them really very handsome buildings on an
extensive scale, and managed after the American fashion, while in the
streets were a number of large and well-furnished shops.  There are
several churches and chapels of very respectable architectural
pretensions.  The Custom House is a handsome stone building near the
fort, and the regulations as to duties are strictly observed.  The chief
place of business is in the centre of the town; and the most fashionable
locality, where the residences of the leading people among the natives
are situated, is a green sward skirted by the beach and shaded by lofty
cocoa-nut and plantain trees.  The European villas are generally further
back--many of them very prettily built, and surrounded by gardens full
of the most delicious fruit and flowers.  Many of the foreign consuls
and merchants live in villas a few miles up the country.  Good wharves
have been built, and ships of 700 tons can refit alongside them.
Altogether Honolulu is a very wonderful place.

Jerry and I and the doctor, as usual, went on shore to see what was to
be seen, and this time we were accompanied by Mr Brand.  The ship was
to remain in the harbour for several days, and we were very anxious to
make a journey to some distance into the interior, that we might see the
natives as they were away from the centre of civilisation.  We had
introductions here to several gentlemen, who promised to forward our
views.  We were amused with the extraordinary appearance of the natives
in the streets--barbarism and civilisation met together.  The former
dress of the men was the taro, a kilt joined between the legs, so as to
form a wide and very short pair of breeches.  Some to this now add a
blue shirt, sometimes with the tails tucked in, sometimes flowing
gracefully.  Some wear cast-off coats, or jackets, or trousers, of
Europeans; but few of the common people have more than one of these
garments on at a time, and still fewer ever encumber themselves with
shoes and stockings.  The women had on generally long blue chemises, or
gowns and bonnets of every variety of colour and shape, and put on in
all sorts of ways--some placing them hind part before; indeed, they had
apparently exercised their ingenuity to make them as unbecoming as
possible.  Formerly, we were told, their head-dress was a wreath of
flowers, which suited their dark skins, and had a very pretty effect.
The chiefs, however, and their wives, were dressed in European costume,
and the king in public wears the Windsor uniform.  It is supposed that
the inhabitants of the Sandwich Islands derive their origin from the
Malays, and that at a very remote period a Malay junk, or fleet of
junks, was cast on those shores.  Their skins have the same dark hue,
and their features the same form, as the Malays of the present day.  It
is said that this group is becoming rapidly depopulated.  The people
themselves have taken up the idea that their race is to become extinct,
and seem willing to yield to their fate without a struggle.  The
diseases introduced by Europeans have tended to cause this, but they
themselves have many pernicious customs.  Among others, no sooner does a
native feel himself attacked with fever than he rushes into the sea, or
into the nearest cold stream, as he fancies, to cool himself.  The
result is that--the pores being closed instead of kept open and
perspiration encouraged--death comes in a few hours.  Among our friends
here was Mr Callard, a missionary, who had resided in the island for
some years.  He has gone into a hamlet, and found not a person remaining
alive.  On one occasion he met an old man sitting at the door of a hut;
he asked where the rest of the people were.

"All dead," was the answer.

"Then do you come with me, and I will provide for your wants."

"No," said the native gloomily; "I will not move.  I am preparing to
follow them."

The islands produce the paper mulberry, from which their cloths and
cordage are made; the acacia, used in the construction of their canoes;
the banana, the sugar-cane, the yam, the bread-fruit; and, the most
important of all, the taro root.  Of late years, coffee, cotton, rice,
tobacco, indigo, melons, the vine, oranges, peaches, figs, tamarinds,
guavas, and many other plants and fruits have been introduced.  The
natives pay the greatest attention to the cultivation of the taro root.
It is planted in square patches, either in swamps or in ground easily
irrigated, with banks and sluices, so that the water can be let on at
pleasure.  It takes eleven months to come to perfection.  When dried, it
is pounded on a smooth stone by means of another held in the hand, while
a little water is poured on it, when it is reduced to a paste called
poi, which is then fit to eat.  Much labour and patience is required to
bring it to perfection; and by the exercise of these qualities, there
can be no doubt that the natives have acquired those habits of industry
which are scarcely known among other savages.  The only animals found in
the island were dogs and pigs, undoubtedly brought there by their
ancestors.  The roots of the taro are from six inches to a foot in
length, and three or four inches in diameter.  In substance it is rather
more fibrous than the potato.  It is often eaten whole, like a potato.
The skin is scraped off with a shell, and the taro, split into two or
three pieces, is then placed on leaves in an oven containing stones,
heated as usual, the whole being then covered up with earth to steam for
half an hour.

Honolulu has become a great place of call for ships, from all parts of
the world, since San Francisco sprang into existence.  Vessels coming
round the Horn, to make a good offing, steer for it.  Others from
Australia, China, and the Eastern Archipelago, touch here; while whalers
have for long been in the habit of putting in here to refit and recruit.
The extreme healthiness of the islands induces many people from
California to come here, and the hotels and lodging-houses are filled
with invalids, often possessors of considerable wealth; but, at the same
time, from their profligate and dissipated habits, they set but a bad
example to the natives.  The natives are called Kanakas.  They are
generally fine-looking men.  The women are fairer, and with regular
features; many of them ride on horseback with men's saddles, dressed in
gay riding habits, and with a wreath of flowers encircling their raven
tresses, which gives them somewhat of a theatrical appearance.  The
islands are governed by a sovereign, King Kamehameha the Third, who has
a large family, and an income of about 1500 pounds a-year.  He has
likewise an army, clothed in gay uniforms, but there are almost as many
officers as men; indeed, as the kingdom is under the joint protection of
England, America, and France, there can be but little employment for
soldiers.  The police are of far more use in apprehending drunken
sailors, and keeping order in the town.  They are dressed in a blue
uniform, with a gold-lace cap, and armed with a staff with a brass knob.
The monarchy is hereditary, and limited.  The king's ministry consists
of a premier and other officers, similar to those of the English
Government, and many of them are English or Americans, and very
intelligent men.  We found that in the town there were all sorts of
places of public amusement, and, among others, a theatre, where English
plays are acted, and where the king constantly attends.  We went, and
were not a little surprised to see the boxes filled with very
gaily-dressed people, mostly whites.  It was a very hot night.  The play
was "Hamlet."  Hamlet had been using a pocket-handkerchief very
liberally all the evening, pressing it to his brow and cheeks, and at
last he said, "Oh, that this too, too solid flesh _wouldn't_ melt, and
resolve itself into a dew!"  Jerry and I applauded him very loudly.  He
gave us a wink, as much as to say, "I see you understand me."  He was
evidently a wag, and Hamlet was not suited to him, nor he to Hamlet.
There was no reason, however, because the royal Dane had been murdered,
that his son should murder the Queen's English at the rate he did, or
the character of Hamlet as Shakspeare drew it.  Who would have thought
of Shakspeare in the Sandwich Islands?  Shakspeare never acted in so
pretty a theatre.

Many of the natives, although able to afford habitations of a European
style, still live on in those used by their ancestors.  They are
generally of an oblong shape, with a very high-pitched roof, thatched
with grass and plantain leaves; and as the eaves slant down to within a
short distance from the ground, they have a very picturesque appearance.
They are cool in summer, and are impervious to rain.  The ceilings,
which are very elegant, are composed of polished bamboo, neatly
interwoven, while the floors are carpeted with mats of coloured grass.
The walls are decorated with a native cloth, called tapa, which serves
the purpose of tapestry.  The house is divided into separate chambers at
night by mats hung up on lines.  The beds are primitive; a mat serves
for every purpose, and a wooden roller as a pillow.  Many of the Kanakas
are well educated, and read and write not only their own, but several
European languages likewise.  There is one newspaper in the Hawaian
language, if not more, and several works have been published in it,
while the translation of the Bible is to be seen in every native hut.
Of course, all this information I picked up from different people during
our stay at Honolulu.

"We have not had any fun for a long time; I wonder what will turn up
next," said Jerry to me, after we had been there a couple of days.

The next morning, Mr Callard, the missionary, who was an old friend of
Captain Frankland's, came on board, and invited Jerry and me and Mr
McRitchie, and Mr Brand, if he could be spared, to accompany him to the
large island of Hawaii, round which he was going to make a visitation
tour.  Having to wait here for information on some important matters, he
gave us the leave we asked.

"You may take Ben Yool with you also," said he.  "The schooner is rather
short-handed, and you will find him useful at all events."

Jerry and I were highly pleased with this, for Ben was a great
favourite.  We were soon ready with our rifles and knapsacks, not
forgetting to take old Surley with us; it was a long time since the poor
fellow had had a run on shore.

"Take care that the natives don't cook and eat him," said Mr Renshaw,
as we shoved off.

The little mission-schooner, the _Dove_, was in readiness to receive us,
and in a few minutes, with a fair breeze, we were standing away to the
southward, towards the large island of Hawaii, or Owhyhee, on the shores
of which the immortal Cook lost his life.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

EXCURSION IN HAWAII.

We had a pleasant run for two days, with a light wind, and hoped the
next morning to land at Kailua, the capital of the island of Owhyhee;
but at sunset a sudden squall struck the little vessel, and had not Ben
Yool been at the helm, and instantly luffed up, while Jerry and I let
fly the foresheet, we should in all probability have been over, and
become food for the sharks.  It came on very dark and blowy; and as it
was too late to make a harbour, we gave the shore a wide berth, and ran
on.  The next forenoon, when we made the land, we found that we were to
the southward of Kailua.  As we stood in, Mr Callard told us that on
the shore of Karakakooa Bay, which was before us, Captain Cook met his
death, and that he would show us the very spot where that event
happened.  I felt as interested as if I were about to visit classic
ground.  Often and often as I had been reading through Cook's Voyages
with delight, I little thought that I should see the very spots he
describes, much less that one which has become sacred in our memory.
Before us appeared a line of volcanic cliffs, of considerable height,
the land rising again above them, covered with the richest verdure;
which makes the summits of the rocky and lofty mountains beyond appear
still more sterile and uninviting.  To the right, among groves of palms
and cocoa-nut trees, appeared the steep, sloping roofs of a native
village; while on the left, where the cliffs sink towards the water, and
groves of various tropical trees appear scattered about, our friend
pointed out to us the very spot where Cook was killed.  The cliffs near
are full of caves, which are used by the natives as places of sepulture;
and in one of these, it is said, the bones of the great navigator were
deposited by the priests, and valued by them as relics.  Our friend told
us that he had constantly made inquiries among the chiefs and natives as
to the affair, and that he is certain the attack on the whites was not
premeditated.  Some of the people had stolen a boat for the sake of the
nails in her, with which they wished to make fish-hooks.  He landed with
some boats to recover it.  While speaking to some of the chiefs on the
subject, a number of natives collected; and without his orders the
marines, believing that he was about to be attacked, fired.  A chief was
killed.  The natives advanced, and, while he was in the act of ordering
his people to desist, he was pierced through the body by a spear.  Grief
and dismay took possession of the hearts of both parties when he fell.
By the then superstitious natives he had been looked upon as their
deified and long-lost sovereign, Rono.  This Rono (so their legends
asserted) had in a fit of anger killed his wife, when, repenting of the
act, his senses deserted him, and he went about the islands wrestling
with whomsoever he met.  At last he took his departure in a vessel of a
strange build, and no one knew where he had gone, but all expected him
to return.  When Captain Cook appeared, the priests believed that he was
Rono, and, clothing him with the garments kept for their god, led him to
their temples, and offered sacrifices to propitiate his favour, while
the people prostrated themselves before him--he all the time little
suspecting the reason of the honours paid him.  After his death some of
the people naturally doubted that he could be Rono, but others still
affirmed that he was; and it is believed that the priests took some of
his bones and preserved them in a wicker basket covered over with red
feathers, which are highly prized by the natives.  In this they were
every year carried about from temple to temple, when the priests went to
collect tribute of the people.  After the abolition of idolatry in 1819,
it is not known what became of them; perhaps they were concealed by some
old priest who still clung secretly to the ancient faith.

Talking of nails, it is extraordinary what excellent fish-hooks the
natives will manufacture out of them.  They prefer them to the best made
in England.  They still set a high value on them; but they are not quite
so simple-minded as some of the Friendly islanders we heard of, who, on
obtaining some nails, planted them, in the hope of obtaining a large
crop from the produce!  Scarcely had we dropped our anchor when we were
surrounded by the canoes of the natives, who wore but the primitive
maro.  They brought off bread-fruits, cocoa-nuts, bananas, and other
products of the soil, in the hope of thus making themselves welcome.
One of them, who spoke English tolerably, undertook to pilot our boat on
shore.  We were eager to land.  As we pulled in, a number of men, women,
and children, came down to welcome us.  The men, like those in the
canoes, wore the taro, but the women were dressed with the loose blue
gowns I have described, and with wreaths of flowers round their heads.
We ran in among the masses of lava which lined the shore, and were
kindly helped by the people to land.  We observed that they were all
especially grave, for nowhere are more merry creatures found than the
native women.  As we walked along they followed us in silence.  At
length our guide stopped and pointed to the ground on which we stood.

"There, white men--there, friends--there it was your great sea-chieftain
fell."  He repeated, we found, the same words in his own language.  The
natives listened to what he said, and then hung their heads ashamed, as
if they had been guilty of the sad deed.  We broke off several pieces of
the lava from about the spot, to take to our friends at home, and sent
them on board the schooner.  We were to accompany the missionary
overland to Kailua, where the schooner was to meet us.  After the
missionary had spoken to the people, we were anxious to proceed on our
journey, and one of the principal natives, who lived a few miles to the
north, insisted that we should remain at his hut for the night; and we,
accordingly, gladly accompanied him.  We found the feast preparing
outside the door, in the usual oven.  Knowing that Englishmen have an
objection to eat dogs, he had killed a fatted pig.  The oven was a
simple affair.  A hole was dug in the earth, in which a large fire was
lighted upon some stones, till all the earth around was hot; piggy was
then put in, and the hole was covered up with loose earth; clouds of
steam then issued from the earth, and when no more was perceptible the
meat was declared to be cooked properly.  We all sat round on mats in
the primitive fashion, the food being placed before us either in
calabashes or on large leaves.  Instead of bread we had the bread-fruit.
It has somewhat the flavour of bread, and answers its purpose, but has
neither the appearance nor consistence of our staff of life.  It is
about the size of the shaddock, and, when fresh gathered, the flavour of
the citron; but it is always eaten baked, when it has the solidity of a
roasted chestnut.  Besides these luxuries, we had some fish nicely
cooked, which we ate with the thick interior of the cocoa-nut, which may
truly be called the cream, while the juice served to quench our thirst.
We had a number of visitors, who all, both men and women, chatted away
most merrily, especially the women, who kept up a continued peal of
laughter.  At night the hut was lighted up with chips of a resinous
wood, called kukia, which were stuck all round on the posts which
supported the roof; and when we expressed a wish to retire to rest, mats
were hung up to partition off our sleeping chambers.

It is, I find, impossible to describe all the interesting habits and
customs we observed of this primitive people.  The next day about noon
we found ourselves, on issuing from a grove of cocoa-nut trees, on the
shore of a beautiful bay, with high black rocks running out on either
side, and a yellow, sandy beach.  From the way the sea broke, first with
great violence, and then a second time with diminished force, there were
evidently two lines of coral reefs, one without the other.  A number of
people were seated on the rocks watching with great interest what was
going forward.  Some men, women, and children were in the water, while
others with their boards, about a foot wide and four feet long, in their
hands, were preparing to follow them.  Placing the boards on the water,
they threw themselves on them, and then swam out, diving under the
breakers of the inner bar, and appearing on the in-shore side of the
outer one.  The great art appeared to be, to remain on the steep slope
of the outer sea-roller as it swept majestically on towards the land,
and then, just before it broke, to dive under it, and to reappear
mounting up the side of the following watery hill.  Sometimes a lad
would keep above water too long, and the surf would roll him over, and
carry away his board; but he quickly recovered it, and soon regained his
credit.  Shouts of laughter bursting forth on all sides when any such
mishap occurred, showed that there was little fear of damage.  The women
and children kept generally on the inner bar, but were quite as expert
as the men.  On mounting to the top of the rocks we saw two of the men
swim out beyond the rest, on the further side of the breakers.  The
natives seemed to be watching them attentively.  Soon one of them was
seen to dive, then the other.  In a little time they both appeared,
flourishing their knives above their heads, and at the same moment two
huge black bodies floated to the surface, and were borne in by the
rollers towards the shore.

"What can they be?"  I exclaimed to Jerry.

"Sharks," he answered, watching them.  "Well, I should like to know how
to tackle to with one of these monsters.  I own that I shouldn't much
like to have to fight one of them with a suit of armour on, and a spear
or battle-axe in my hand.  I suspect even Saint George who killed the
dragon would have found it somewhat a tough job, and yet these naked
fellows make no difficulty about the matter."

"It is just what a man has been used to," I answered.  "I daresay one of
them would be very unhappy with a suit of armour on and a battle-axe."

No surprise seemed to be created by the achievement, and the bold
swimmers took their places among the rest on the rollers as if nothing
had happened.  When swimming out in this way, every man has a knife
secured to his board.  As soon as he sees a shark, he swims away a short
distance.  The shark approaches--he pretends to be very awkward.
Keeping his eye on the monster, who begins to fancy he has got a feast
prepared, he watches his time, and suddenly diving, sticks his sharp
weapon with all his might in the under part of the monster.  Sometimes
the shark attempted to fly, but generally the blow is fatal, and he is
towed in triumph on shore.

After spending a day at Kailua, the capital of the island, where there
is a fort and a governor, and where several merchants reside to supply
whalers with provisions, we embarked once more on board the schooner,
and ran round the south of the island to a small harbour in the
neighbourhood of Whyhohino, a chief missionary-station.  We were
received very kindly by the missionaries, and they procured us horses to
enable us to accomplish one of the chief objects which had brought us to
the place--a visit to the summit of the great volcano of Kilauea.  They
also found us two guides who were to accompany us to the crater, while
two other men were to remain with the horses below.  Mr Callard himself
had his duties to attend to, so that he could not accompany us.  Ben
Yool had been left with the schooner, so our party consisted of Mr
McRitchie, Cousin Silas, Jerry, and I, not forgetting old Surley.  He
always kept close to us, suspecting, perhaps, if the natives caught him,
they might cook and eat him.  We were well supplied with provisions, and
with bottles of water, which we could replenish on the way.  We
travelled at first along the coast, and then struck inland, directing
our course towards the lofty summit of the mountain, whence, even at
that distance, we could see pillars of smoke ascending to the sky.  It
was getting dark when our guides told us that close at hand was a cavern
in which we might pass the night sheltered from the weather.  Torches of
resinous wood were soon procured, and they led the way down a steep
path, till we found ourselves at the entrance of an immense cavern
formed in the lava.  It was some hundred feet square, and from fifteen
to twenty high.  When lighted up by the torches, it had a very wild and
picturesque appearance.  The horses were tethered in one part, while we
all went out and collected grass and fern leaves for our beds, and a
good supply of fuel for our fire.  Having cooked our supper, we sat
round the fire, while one of the natives, who spoke English very well,
told us some of the wonderful tales about Pele, the goddess of the
burning mountain, and her numerous diabolical followers.  Though our
guides were now Christians, and professed to disbelieve all these
fables, it was evident that their minds were considerably affected by
them; so difficult is it to get rid of early associations.  The cavern
had become rather smoky, and Mr Brand had gone out to enjoy the cool
air, when he called us to him.  We looked towards the mountain, which
rose in majestic grandeur before us, the summit crowned by wreaths of
flame, which rose and fell as if impelled by some secret power within.
After admiring it for some time, we returned to our bandit-looking abode
for the night.

The next morning, leaving our horses, we set out on foot towards the
crater.  A mass of smoke alone rested on the summit of the mountain.
The road was very rough, vegetation in many places destroyed, and in
general we found ourselves passing over masses of lava, with deep
crevices in some places and huge masses in others, while here and there
the crust was so thin that it gave way beneath our feet.  The heat was
very great; but we found a red berry growing on a low bush, which was
very refreshing.  At length, after some hours of toil, we found
ourselves standing on the summit of a cliff, while below us appeared a
vast plain full of conical hills, and in the centre of it a mass of
liquid lava like a wide lake of fire.  It was what we had come to see--
the crater of Kilauea.  Below the cliff, inside the basin, was a ledge
of considerable width of solid lava.  We looked about for a path by
which we could reach the plain.  At last we found a steep bank where the
cliff had given way.  By this we now descended with the help of sticks,
with which we had been provided.  The descent was difficult and
dangerous in the extreme, as the lava gave way before us, and huge
masses went rolling and tumbling away, some in front and some behind us,
as we slid down the steep bank.  The appearance of the ground was such
that we, with reason, hesitated on trusting ourselves to it.  Old
Surley, too, smelled at it, and examined it narrowly, as if very
doubtful about running over it.  Still, our guides assured us that other
Englishmen had been there; and where others had been we knew that we
could go.  At last we reached the bottom, and walked on, with our staffs
in hand feeling the way.  More than once I felt the ground cracking
under my feet.  It was not hot, but it struck me--suppose it is only a
crust, and one of us were to slip through into the boiling caldron
beneath!  I own that I more than once wished myself back again on cool
and solid ground.  To go through the ice is disagreeable enough, but to
slip down under this black cake would be horrible indeed.  Not five
minutes after this idea had crossed my mind, I heard a cry.  It was
Jerry's voice.  I looked round--his head and shoulders only were
appearing above the ground, and his arms stretched out wide on either
side, while with his fingers he tried to dig into the lava, to prevent
himself from slipping further.

"Oh, help me! help me!" he shrieked out; "I cannot find any rest for my
feet, and shall sink into some horrible pit."

"Stand back--stand back," shouted Mr Brand, as the rest of us were
running forward; "you will all be going in together.  Stay, let me see
first what I can do.  Hold on, Jerry; don't move, my boy," he added.
Then taking another pole from one of the guides, he laid himself along
the ground; he gradually advanced, till he had placed a pole under each
of Jerry's arms.  "Now, swing your legs up, and I will draw you away,"
he cried out.  Jerry did as he was told, and was dragged on to firm
ground.  The ground had given way just as if it had been a piece of
egg-shell.  Probably it had been formed by a sheet of lava flowing
rapidly over some fissure without filling it up.  Jerry was most
thankful for his preservation, but he had too much spirit to wish to go
back, and insisted on proceeding on to the borders of the liquid fiery
lake.  Before us, amidst the burning expanse, rose two lofty cones, one
of them insulated, the other joined by a causeway to the ledge of lava.
Besides these, a number of smaller cones were seen in various
directions.  The ground was also full of pools of burning sulphur, or
other liquid matter, while huge black shapeless masses of lava lay
scattered about in every direction, thrown out, undoubtedly, from the
mouth of one of the large cones before us.  On we pushed our way,
notwithstanding, and at last we stood on the very brink of the lake of
fire!  I could not altogether divest myself of the idea that it might
bubble over and destroy us.  It was strange that no heat appeared to
proceed from it, and yet the points of our sticks were instantly burned
to cinders when we put them into it.  After we had got accustomed to the
strange scene, we agreed that we should like to mount to the top of the
cone by the causeway.  Off we set.  We reached it, and began the
hazardous ascent.  There was an outer crust, which often gave way under
our feet--still we pushed on.  Our guides urged us to desist, saying
that no one had ever ventured thus far and returned alive.  Still they
followed us.  Up the cone they climbed.  It was a strangely wild
scene:--the fiery lake below us, around us; the vast masses of lava
piled upon the plain; the high black cliffs on every side; the wild,
hopeless desolation of the country beyond; and the numerous cones, each
the mouth of a miniature volcano, sending forth smoke in every
direction.  We had nearly reached the summit of the cone, when a thick
puff of sulphureous smoke almost drove us back headlong.  A loud roar at
the same time, louder than a thousand claps of thunder, saluted our
ears.

"Fly! fly!" cried our guides; "the mountain is going to vomit forth its
fiery breath."  Not a moment did we delay.  Down the side of the cone we
sprung--none of us looked back.  Thicker and thicker came forth the
smoke.  Rivulets of lava began to flow, streaming down the cone into the
lake below; some came towards the causeway, leaping down its sides.  On
we went, every instant dreading a fall through the thin crust.  Ashes
came forth and fell around us, and then huge masses of rock came down
with loud splashes into the fiery plain.  Some went even before us, and
were buried deep in the ground over which we had to tread.  The roar of
the mountain continued.  Down we sprung; a blow from a stone would have
killed us--a false step would have sent us into the fiery pool, to the
instant and utter annihilation of our mortal frames.  I felt as if I
could not cry out.  An unspeakable dread and horror had seized me.  At
length the plain of lava was regained.  No one was hurt; yet the danger
was not past.  Still the lava streamed forth.  It might overflow the
banks of the lake, for aught we could tell.  Ashes and masses of rock
fell in showers around us.  We fled like Lot and his family, nor stopped
till we reached the cliff.  Then it was searched in vain for a way to
mount to the summit.  We did now look back to see if the lava was
following us, but the glowing lake lay as calm as before.  The outburst
seemed to have subsided.  Now and then a jet of lava and fire came
forth, and a puff of smoke, but both soon ceased.  At last, walking
round under the cliff, we found a practicable way to the top.  We were
saved, and grateful for our escape, while our curiosity was amply
satisfied.  We were suffering much from thirst, when what was our
surprise to come upon a pool of clear water, with reeds growing round
it, though in the very neighbourhood of hot basins of sulphur, and of
cones spouting forth wreaths of smoke!  We expected to find the water
hot, instead of which, it was deliciously cool and refreshing.  On
ascending the cliff, we found that it was too late to descend the
mountain that night, so our guides led us to a hut built to afford
accommodation for travellers.  It stood overlooking the cones and the
lake of fire, and never shall I forget the extraordinary appearance of
that scene, as we watched it during the greater part of the night, or
the magnificent spectacle which gladdened our eyes when the glorious sun
rose from out of his ocean bed, and lighted up the distant snow-capped
peak of the lofty Mouna Roa, which is 14,000 feet above the level of the
sea.

We collected several specimens of sulphur and lava, and also a quantity
of what the natives call the hair of Pele.  Every bush around was
covered with it.  It is produced from the lava when first thrown up, and
borne along by the air till it is spun into fine filaments several
inches in length.  It was of a dark olive colour, brittle, and
semi-transparent.  In our descent of the mountain we entered long
galleries, the walls and roof hung with stalactites of lava of various
colours, the appearance being very beautiful.  They are formed by the
lava hardening above, while it continues to flow away underneath--thus
leaving a hollow in the centre.  We might have spent many days in
wandering about that strange, wild region, but we had seen enough to
talk about ever afterwards.  We got back safe to the station; and when
there, we found that Mr Callard had resolved to remain some time on the
island.  He begged us, consequently, to take back the schooner to
Honolulu, with directions for her to return for him in a fortnight.  It
seemed quite strange to us to be at sea again after the wonderful scenes
we had witnessed, and Jerry declared that he was well content to find
himself afloat with a whole skin on his body.  The wind came round to
the north-east, and we had to stretch away to the westward to lay a
course for Honolulu.  We were about thirty miles off the land when the
wind fell light, and gradually a thick fog arose, in which we found
ourselves completely shrouded.  We still stood on, keeping as good a
look-out as we could through the mist, lest we should run foul of any
other vessel--not that such an event was likely to happen just then in
the Pacific.  When night, however, came on, the fog grew still thicker,
and the darkness became so great that we literally could not see our
hands held out at arm's-length before us.  Mr Brand had kept the middle
watch, and then Jerry and I, with Ben Yool, went on deck, with some of
the native crew, to take the morning watch.  We glided slowly on over
the dark waters, the breeze falling gradually, till it was almost a
calm.  Jerry and I were walking the deck together, talking of the
strange sights we had lately seen, when, happening for a moment to be
silent, a cry, or it might have been a shriek, struck my ears, as if
wafted from a distance across the water.

"Did you hear it, Jerry?"  I asked.

"Yes; did you?  What can it be?" he answered.  "Ah! there's another--it
cannot be fancy."

"No; I heard it distinctly," I remarked.  "There is some mischief going
forward, I fear.  What is to be done?"  Again that faint, wailing cry of
distress reached our ears.

"You don't believe in ghosts, do you?" said Jerry.  "If there were such
things, I should fancy that those cries were uttered by them, and
nothing else."

"Nonsense, Jerry," said I, half vexed with him, for I saw that he was
inclined to give way to superstition.  "If those sounds are not the
effect of fancy, they must proceed from some human beings in distress;
but what can be the matter is more than I can say."  We found, on going
forward, that Ben Yool had heard the cries, and was still listening,
wondering what caused them.  They had also reached the ears of the
native seamen.  They declared that they must be caused by the spirits of
the storm roaming over the water, and that we should have a heavy gale
before long.  Again a shriek reached us, louder and more thrilling than
before.

"Oh, this is dreadful!"  I exclaimed.  "There must be some foul mischief
going on somewhere not far off.  We must call up Mr Brand, and see what
steps he will think fit to take."  I went and roused him up, and told
him of the strange sounds we had heard.  Both he and the doctor were
soon on deck.  At first he laughed at our description of the sounds we
had heard; but after he had listened a little time, another long,
deep-drawn wail came wafted across the ocean.

"That is the cry of some one in mortal fear or agony," he remarked.
"There is another!"  It was a sharp, loud cry, or rather shriek.

"The calmness of the sea and the peculiar state of the atmosphere would
enable a sound to travel from a long distance," observed McRitchie.  "It
may come from a spot a mile, or even two miles off."

"We must try and find out the direction, and go to the help of the poor
people, whoever they are," exclaimed Mr Brand.

"How is that to be done?" asked the doctor.  "Our cockleshell of a boat
will only hold three or four people, and the chances are that some
ruffianly work is going on, and we shall only share the fate of the
victims."

"It must be done, though," answered Cousin Silas.  "I cannot stay
quietly here when perhaps our appearance may prevent further mischief.
I will go in the boat, and I daresay I shall have volunteers to
accompany me."

"In that case I will go with you, Brand," said the doctor, who was as
plucky as anybody.  "I still say, however, that we should be wiser
remaining where we are till daylight."

"No, no, doctor," returned Cousin Silas; "you are not a fighting-man.
Your life is too valuable to be risked.  You stay on board and look
after the lads."

"But we want to go with you, Mr Brand!" exclaimed Jerry and I together;
"you won't leave us behind?"

"I daresay, boys!" answered Cousin Silas.  "What account should I have
to give to the captain if either of you got knocked on the head and I
escaped?  You remain on board the schooner.  It will be daylight soon;
and if I do not return before then, you'll be able to see where to pick
me up."

"If you resolves to go, why, d'ye see, sir, I goes with you," said Ben
Yool, stepping up.  "One of these brown chaps says he'll go, and that's
all you want.  To my mind, if we can frighten the villains from going on
with their murderous work, we may do some good; but as to forcing them
to hold their hands, we couldn't do it if we were even to lay the little
_Dove_ alongside them."

Mr Brand thanked Ben for his promptness in offering to support him, and
accepted his services; and arming themselves, they both, without further
delay, accompanied by a tall, strong Sandwich islander, lowered the
schooner's dinghy into the water.

"What I'd advise, sir, is this," said Ben: "Let us get as close up to
where the cries come from as we can without being seen, and then let us
hail the vessel, or raft, or whatever it may be, in gruff voices, and
say that if they don't knock off their murdering work, and let the
people they are harming go free, we will blow them all up into the sky.
If they don't heed us, we'll shriek and cry, and make all sorts of
noises, as if a thousand demons were about to board them; and, as people
who are about any bad work are certain to have bad consciences, they'll
fancy that the noises are ten times louder and worse than they are.  If
that does not succeed, we must try some other dodge; we shall hit off
something or other, I daresay."

While Ben was thus delivering himself, Mr Brand was loading his
pistols.  All things being ready, they stepped into the boat and shoved
off.  They were immediately lost to sight in the thick darkness which
surrounded us.  Their oars had been muffled; but we could hear the
gentle lap of the oars in the water for long afterwards, showing to what
a distance sound could travel, and that the scene of the outrage we had
been listening to might be further off than we supposed.  As Mr Brand
had taken the bearings of the _Dove_, and proposed pulling directly to
the south-west, whence the sounds came, and directly in the eye of the
wind, such as there was, which had shifted to that quarter, we knew that
he would have no great difficulty in getting aboard us again.  Still we
could not help feeling very anxious about him.  The plan, however,
proposed by Ben Yool struck us as likely to prove as effectual as any
that could be conceived;--much more so than had the little _Dove_
herself appeared; for, as she did not measure more than twenty tons, she
was not calculated by her size to command respect, especially as she had
no guns on board, and we had only our rifles.  Scarcely had the boat
left the side of the schooner when the shrieks were repeated.  They
seemed louder, or at all events more distinct.  We could no longer have
any doubt that they were uttered by human beings in distress.  Old
Surley thought so too.  He kept running about the deck in a state of
great agitation, and then stretched out his neck, and howled in reply to
the cry which reached his ears.  We kept slowly gliding on under all
sail, keeping as close to the wind as we could, so as to beat up in the
direction of the sound.  It had been arranged that we were to go about
every quarter of an hour, so that Mr Brand would know our whereabouts
and on what tack he was likely to find us on his return.  Our ears were
kept open to catch any fresh sound, and our eyes were looking about us
in all directions, in case a break in the mist should reveal any object
to us; but an hour passed away, and no other cry was heard.  There was a
little more wind, and it had shifted a point or so to the westward, and
perhaps that prevented sounds reaching us, we thought.  Another hour
crept by, but still Mr Brand did not return.  We began to be anxious
about him.  We constantly went to the binnacle lamp to look at our
watches.  It wanted but a short time to daylight.  The doctor, I saw by
his manner, was seriously alarmed about the party, though he said
nothing to us.  We fancied that we heard a hail, and then a shout and a
cry; but we could not quite agree about it.  We kept pacing the deck
anxiously, tacking as we had been directed by Mr Brand; and thus the
night wore on, and dawn once more broke over the world of waters.



CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

CAPTURED BY PIRATES.

Daylight increased; and as the sun, like a vast ball of fire, rose
slowly above the horizon, the mist lifted as if it had been a curtain
from off the surface of the water, rolling away in huge wreaths of
vapour before the breeze.  The wind had once more hauled round to the
southward, and then away to the westward, when, beneath an arch of
clouds, we saw two vessels alongside each other.  One was a schooner, a
fine, rakish-looking craft; the other a large brig.  The latter had her
royals and top-gallant-sails flying loose, her topsails were on the
caps, her courses were hauled up, her yards were braced here and there;
indeed, she presented a picture of most complete confusion.  Her
appearance would too plainly have told us that something wrong had taken
place, even had we not heard the cries in the night.  In vain we looked
round on every side for the dinghy; she was nowhere to be seen.  We
examined the vessels through a spy-glass we had with us.  She was not
visible alongside either of them.  Again and again we swept the horizon,
but not a speck could we discover that might be her.  "What is to be
done?" exclaimed Jerry in a tone of deep grief.  I too felt very sorry
for fear harm had happened to Cousin Silas; nor did I forget Ben and the
Sandwich islander.  "Hallo! hallo!  Look there! what is happening now?"
Jerry added.  We looked.  The schooner had parted a little distance from
the brig, and the latter vessel, after rolling once or twice to
starboard and port, seemed to dip her bows into the sea.  We gazed
earnestly with a sickening feeling.  Her bowsprit did not rise again.
Down, down she went, slowly and calmly, as if making a voluntary plunge
to the depths of the ocean.  The water closed over her decks, her lower
masts disappeared, her topmasts followed, and the loose sails for a
moment floated above the spot where she had been, and then sank also,
drawn down by the halliards beneath the waters.

We felt almost stupified with horror.  Combining the shrieks we had
heard and the occurrence we had just witnessed, we could have no doubt
that the schooner we saw before us was a pirate, and that her crew had,
after murdering those on board the brig, sunk her, to destroy, as they
might hope, all traces of their guilt.  They had had in us, however,
witnesses of the atrocity they had committed, when they thought no human
being could be cognisant of the fact.  What, however, had become of Mr
Brand, and Ben, and the native?  Had they been on board, we should
probably have acted wisely in endeavouring to get away from the pirates,
as they would undoubtedly, if they could catch us, and thought that we
suspected what had occurred, treat us much in the same way that they had
treated the crew of the brig.  Still, how could we think for a moment of
running away and deserting our friends--such a man, too, as Cousin
Silas, who, we felt sure, would never have deserted us while the
slightest hope remained of our being alive?

For some time after the brig had sunk, the schooner appeared to take no
notice whatever of us, while we continued to draw nearer and nearer to
her.  We had an Englishman, Mr Stone, who acted as master of the
_Dove_, and two other natives.  Stone was a simple-minded, honest man.
His principle was, if he received an order from a superior, to obey it.
Therefore, as Mr Brand had directed him to continue beating up to
windward till he returned on board, it never occurred to him to propose
running away from our suspiciously dangerous neighbour.  The natives
held their tongues, but did not look happy.  Mr McRitchie was the most
agitated.  He kept walking our little deck with hurried steps.  We were
drawing nearer and nearer to the big schooner.  Suddenly he stopped and
looked at us, the tears starting into his eyes.  "My dear lads," said
he, "it is very, very sad to think of, but there can be no doubt, I
greatly fear, that our friend and his followers have been murdered by
yonder piratical villains.  If they are still alive, (and what chance is
there of it?) they will certainly not be allowed to return to us.  We
are, therefore, only sacrificing our own lives by allowing ourselves to
fall into the power of the villains.  While there is time, let us
escape.  Captain Stone, don't you agree with me?"

"Well, sir, I cannot but say I do," answered the captain.  "If you order
me, as I consider that the craft is under your charge, we'll keep away
at once, and make all sail to the northward.  I feel that we ought to
have done it as soon as we made out what that craft there was."

The doctor hesitated still--a violent struggle was going on in his mind.
He passed his hand across his brow.  "Yes, it must be done.  Keep her
away, and make all sail," he exclaimed.

Scarcely was the helm put up, and a large square-sail of light canvas
the little schooner carried hoisted, when the stranger seemed to observe
our presence.  We had not run on for ten minutes when her head came
slowly round towards us, her square-topsails were hoisted up, her
foresail was rigged out, a square-sail was set, and after us she came
like a greyhound in chase of a hare.

"What chance have we, do you think, of getting away from her, Mr
Stone?" said Jerry, pointing to the big schooner, which was coming up
hand over hand after us.

Stone, who was at the helm, looked over his shoulder at the stranger.
"Why, none whatever, Mr Frankland," he answered, after a minute's
deliberation.

"Then I do not see much use in running away," observed Jerry.  "If we
are to be killed, let us be killed at once, and have it over."

"No, sir; as Mr Callard says, it's our duty to strive as long as we
can.  Our lives are in the hand of God.  He may find means to enable us
to escape, though we do not in our blindness see them.  Perhaps it may
fall a dead calm, and we may make use of our sweeps; or a squall may
spring up and carry away the stranger's masts; or another vessel may
heave in sight, and she may think it wise to slip out of the way."

"I see that you are right, Mr Stone," answered Jerry.  "But I wonder,
if they do catch us, what they will do to us all?"

"Cut the throats of every mother's son of us," he answered, quite
calmly.  "I've often thought of death, and I am prepared to die, for I
trust in One who is mighty to save my soul alive.  Have you the same
hope, young gentleman?  I trust you have.  It's my duty as a fellow man
to urge you to lay hold of it.  There's nothing else will save us,
depend on that.  From what I heard your officer, Mr Brand, say, I know
on what he trusted, and I hope he has not failed to speak to you about
the same matter."

"Ay, he spoke to us in a way we ought never to have forgotten, once when
we were drifting out to sea on the bottom of a boat, and we had little
chance of being saved; and then he swam off, at the still greater risk
of his own life, to save ours," answered Jerry.

"I knew that he was just the man to do that sort of thing.  He was a
Christian man, too, I am certain of it.  Well, it's a great comfort to
feel that of a man who you believe has just been taken out of the
world," observed the master.  "I hope your man, Yool, was a trusting
believer.  I know our man was, poor fellow."

Mr McRitchie had been listening, and seemed much affected at what had
been said.  The master spoke so confidently of Mr Brand's death, and of
the others, that we began ourselves to realise the melancholy fact.
What, however, was likely to be our own fate? we had several times asked
ourselves.  What could we expect but to be instantly murdered?  We
anxiously scanned the horizon on every side.  There was not a sign of a
sail of any description.  The wind remained steady.  There was no
prospect of a storm or a calm.  The stranger was coming up after us with
fearful speed.  We were within range of her guns, but she did not fire--
so we concluded that she had none on board.  It was useless for us to
attempt to do anything by fighting.  Jerry and I talked about it, but we
gave it up as a hopeless case.  The stranger could quickly have settled
the matter by running us down.

Mr Stone showed us that he did not boast in vain.  He was calm and
unmoved in spite of the dreadful danger which threatened us.  Still
holding the tiller in his hand, and keeping his eye on the sails, he
knelt down and offered up an earnest prayer for our safety.  We followed
his example, as did the natives; and when we arose from our knees, I,
for my part, felt that I was much better prepared than before to meet
with resignation whatever might befall us; so, I have no doubt, did my
companions.

The stranger had now got within musket-range, but still she did not
fire.  Those on board, of course, expected that in a few minutes more
they would be up with us, and perhaps did not think us worth their
powder.

"What chance have we now, Mr Stone?" asked the doctor, eyeing our big
pursuer with a look of horror.

"None, sir, that I see," was the answer; "but then, as I said, there may
be means prepared which I don't see, so we'll hold on, if you please."

After a minute or two the patience of the pirates appeared to have been
exhausted.  There was a report, and a musket-ball came whistling through
our sails.  Jerry and I bobbed our heads, for it felt so terribly near
our ears.  Jerry looked up indignantly.  "I have a great mind to have a
crack at them in return," he exclaimed; and before any one saw what he
was about, he had seized his rifle from the cabin, and sent a shot back
at them in return.

"Oh, sir, there was no use doing that; you will only the more anger
those wicked men," said Captain Stone, quite calmly.

"No, no; let's die game," answered Jerry.  "We may kill some of our
enemies before they kill us."

"We may kill some of our friends as likely," replied the captain.  "If
we could prevent them injuring us, we might kill them; but as we cannot,
we must patiently wait the result."

The doctor seemed to agree with the captain, so Jerry refrained from
again loading his rifle.  The effect, however, of his single shot was
most disastrous, for the pirates, supposing that we were about to show
fight, brought several muskets forward, and opened a hot fire on us.  As
the bullets came rattling about our ears, I thought not one of us would
escape.  The two poor Sandwich islanders were brought to the deck, one
directly after the other, desperately wounded.  The matter was becoming
very serious.  I thought that we ought to lower our sails; so did the
doctor, but Captain Stone begged us to keep all standing.  "We can't
tell still, sir, but what we may escape.  Hold on, hold on," he cried
out.  "There is One who watches over us.  If it is his will that we are
to be destroyed, his will be done."  Scarcely had he uttered these words
of true piety than he suddenly lifted up his arm, letting go the tiller,
and fell to the deck.  Jerry ran to the helm.  I tried to lift him up,
while the doctor knelt down by his side.  "Hold on, hold on, I counsel
you," he whispered, raising his head.  "They have done for me.  Doctor,
you cannot help me, I feel.  It's all right; we were doing our duty.  We
know in whom we trust.  He is mighty to save our souls alive."  With
these words he fell back, giving one look at our pursuer, and urging us
by a sign to hold on our course.  The doctor took his hand.  After
holding it for a minute, he shook his head.  "He's gone," he remarked;
"as brave a man as I ever met, and as true a Christian."

Jerry meantime stood undauntedly at the helm.  No sooner, however, had
the captain fallen than the pirates, seeing what had occurred, ceased
firing.  They had now got so near, that, had they chosen, they might
have picked every one of us off without difficulty.  At last they came
up almost abreast of us.

"Heave to, you young jackanapes, or we will sink you," sung out a man
from forward.  The doctor was attending to one of the wounded natives,
so they did not observe him, perhaps.  Although the command was issued
in a very uncomplimentary style, Jerry and I agreed that it would be
useless to disobey it; so going about, while he stood at the helm, I ran
forward and let fly the jib-sheet, while the foresail remained to
windward.

"Send your boat aboard us," shouted the same voice.

"We haven't got one," answered Jerry.  "You know that well enough, I
should think," he added in a lower voice.

"Oh, we'll send one, then," replied the speaker.

During this time the big schooner was hove-to quite close to us.
Presently some of the crew went aft, and a long gig was lowered from the
schooner's quarter, and a set of as ugly-looking ruffians as I ever cast
eyes on got into her, and pulled towards us.  From the specimen we had
witnessed of their conduct, we could only expect to be cut down and
thrown overboard as soon as they stepped on deck.  The least
unattractive was a man, apparently an officer, who sat in the
stern-sheets.  As he got near I could not help examining his
countenance.  He was a mulatto, with handsome, regular features.  I felt
certain that I had seen him before, and not long ago.  He had on his
head a large broad-brimmed straw hat, a gaily-coloured handkerchief, and
a waistcoat of red silk, while his jacket was of the finest material.
He wore a sash round his waist, and a dagger and a brace of
silver-mounted pistols stuck into it.  When he came alongside, he sprang
lightly on to the deck of the schooner, and looked about him.

"Now, my lads, be prepared; show no fear," said the doctor.  "Remember
that the worst they can do is to kill us, and they'll gain nothing by
that; so perhaps they will let us live."

As we made not the slightest attempt at resistance, which would have
been madness, even the pirates had no excuse for injuring us.  All we
did was to stand quietly at the after-part of the deck waiting what was
next going to happen.

One of the other pirates soon proceeded without ceremony into the cabin,
and the rest went forward down the fore-hatch.

The officer looked at me, and I looked at him.  Old Surley, who at first
had been very much inclined to fly at the strangers, growling fiercely,
went up to him and quietly licked his hand.  In spite of his
clean-shaven face, his gay clothes, and well filled-out cheeks, I
immediately recognised him as Manuel Silva, as he called himself--the
man whom we had with so much risk saved from the wreck of the Spanish
brig.  "Yes, I remember you," he whispered in his broken English; "but
don't let others know that.  I'm not a man to forget kindness, that's
all."

"Do you know anything of Mr Brand and the other men?"  I asked eagerly.
He made no reply; and immediately afterwards, assuming an air of
authority, he ordered the doctor, Jerry, and me, to get into the boat.

The doctor entreated that he might be left to attend the two wounded
Sandwich islanders.  The men, when they came on deck, laughed at his
request.  "We have got wounded too, and shall want you to attend on
them," they answered; "if you are a doctor, you are welcome."  Still the
doctor pleaded so hard for the poor men that at last they consented to
take one of them; the other, indeed, was already beyond all hopes of
recovery.  We turned a last look at the body of poor Captain Stone.

"What is to be done with him?" asked Jerry.

"Never mind him, youngster," answered one of the men; "we'll soon
dispose of him."

Silva, leaving three men on board, ordered us to get into his boat to
return with him to the big schooner.  As we were shoving off, old
Surley, who had been smelling about after the other men, gave a loud
bark, as much as to say, "Don't leave me behind," and leaped in after
us.  Truly glad were we to have him, poor fellow.  He might prove to us
a friend in need.

We stepped on deck; the crew, we thought, eyed us with very sinister
looks, but no one spoke to us till a man we took to be the captain
stepped up to the gangway.  "Who are you, and where do you come from,
who go about prying into other people's affairs?" he exclaimed in a
gruff voice.  He stamped with his feet as lift spoke, as if lashing
himself up into a rage.  He was a pale, long-faced man, with a large
beard, and a very evil expression in his eye.

"We have no wish to pry into anybody's affairs," answered the doctor
quietly.  "We missed a boat with some of the people belonging to this
schooner, and we thought they might be aboard your vessel."

"I know nothing of the people you talk of; but as you have seen more
than you ought, I suspect you'll remain with us.  We happen to want just
such a schooner as yours, so say no more about it.  You may think
yourselves fortunate in not losing your lives.  There's no disguise
about us, you see."

Had we before felt any doubts on the subject, these remarks would have
revealed to us too clearly the character of the people among whom we had
fallen.  I was thankful, indeed, that we were not immediately murdered.
Why the desperadoes allowed us to live was a mystery.  The doctor, they
thought, would be useful to them; and perhaps, as Jerry remarked, they
did not think us worth killing.  The doctor, he, and I, stood together
near the gangway, with Surley at our feet, waiting what was next to
happen.  Meantime the poor wounded Sandwich islander had been handed up,
and placed on the deck forward.

The vessel on board which we found ourselves was a large, handsome
craft, of fully a hundred and eighty tons; and, from her great beam, her
taunt, raking masts, the broad white ribbon outside, and the peculiar
paint and fittings on her deck, she was evidently American.  There were
a good many white men among her crew; but there were also many blacks
and mulattoes, of every shade of brown and hue of olive or copper.
Never had I seen people of so many nations and tribes brought together,
while every one of them to my eyes appeared most villainous cut-throats.

We saw the boat go back to the _Dove_ and deposit a couple of more hands
aboard her, and then both vessels hauled their wind and stood away to
the south-west.  Just then some of the crew hailed the doctor:--"Here;
your patient seems to be about to slip his cable.  You'd better come and
see what's the matter."  We accompanied the doctor, and knelt down by
the side of the wounded man, who was evidently dying.  He took the
doctor's hand.  "You kind to us, but you no help me now," he whispered,
with his failing breath.  "If you once more see Mr Callard--my love to
him--I die happy.  I trust in Him he taught me to cling to.  Once I was
poor savage.  He made me rich."  These were the poor Kanaka's last
words.  A few years ago, and how differently would one of his countrymen
have died!  The doctor closed the eyes and arranged the limbs of the
dead man, and threw a handkerchief which he took from his neck over his
face.  "There," he said, "he'll not give you any more trouble."  The men
said not a word, but walked about as composedly as if nothing had
happened, while we went back to our place near the gangway.  Shortly
afterwards, a man, who seemed to be an officer, went forward.  "Heave
that corpse overboard," he exclaimed; "why do you let it remain there
cumbering the deck?"  The men looked at each other, and then, lifting up
the body of the poor Kanaka, threw it, without form or ceremony, into
the water.  We looked astern.  There it floated, with the arms spread
out, and the face turned towards us, for the handkerchief had fallen off
the head.  Its lips seemed to move.  I thought it was uttering a
well-merited curse on the hateful craft we were on board.  It seemed to
be about to spring out of the water.  I could not help crying out.  I
shrieked, I believe.  Many of the pirates looked with horror.  "Is he
following us?"  I cried.  No.  Down sunk the body from sight, as if
dragged by some force from below.  "Ah, a shark has got him!" said
Silva, who had been looking on with the rest.  Many of the ruffians
shuddered, for they knew full well that such might any day be their own
fate.

While this scene was enacting, a similar one was taking place on board
the _Dove_.  Her captors, having time to look about them, had taken up
the bodies of poor Captain Stone and the other Kanaka, and, without
shroud or a shot to their feet, had hove them overboard.  They also were
immediately attacked by the sharks.  Jerry and I shuddered, as well we
might.  The doctor looked on with more composure.  "It matters little
whether sharks or animalculae first devour a body," he observed.  "One
or other will inevitably swallow it before long, only the sharks make
greater speed with the process.  Happily there is an essence which
neither one nor the other can destroy, which survives triumphant over
death; so, lads, when you mourn the loss of a friend, think of him as
living in that essence, not in the mortal frame you see torn to pieces
or mouldering in decay."  A new light seemed to burst on me as the
doctor said this.  The idea aided me to get over the horror I had felt
at seeing the fate of the missionary captain, and enabled me better to
bear the first remark which the pirate leader deigned to make us: "Well,
youngsters, if you don't behave yourselves, you'll come to that very
quickly, let me tell you."

"We have no wish to do otherwise than behave ourselves, sir," answered
Jerry in his politest way.  "Perhaps you will tell us what you wish to
have done?"

"To hold your tongue and be hanged," answered the ruffian, turning
aside; for Jerry's coolness puzzled and enraged him.

The doctor was now summoned down below to look after some sick men, the
mate, who called him, said; but, as Jerry whispered, he suspected they
were sick from having swallowed more bullets than they liked.  We two,
in the meantime, sat ourselves down on a gun, with Surley at our feet.
He put his nose between us, and looked anxiously up into our faces, as
if to learn what it all meant.  We were there allowed to remain
unmolested, while the pirates went past us attending to the duty of the
ship.  On seeing the guns, we wondered that the schooner had not fired
at us; but we concluded that they had coveted the _Dove_ for their own
objects, and had not wished to injure her.  It was evidently from no
compassion to us that they had not knocked her to pieces.  No one
interrupting us, Jerry and I began quietly to talk to each other.

"What can have become of Mr Brand, and Ben Yool, and the Kanaka?" said
I.  "Is it possible that they are aboard here all this time, do you
think?"

"I am afraid not," answered Jerry, shaking his head sorrowfully.  "I
think it's much more likely that a shot was hove into the dinghy if they
went alongside, and that they were sent to the bottom.  My only hope is,
that they missed their way and never came near this craft.  If so, they
may have been picked up by some vessel, or may find their way back to
Owhyhee."

"That last idea never occurred to me before.  Oh, I hope it may be so!
I wonder what the doctor thinks?" said I.

The doctor was absent for a long time.  When he came back to us, he said
that he could not give an opinion on the subject.  He was very silent,
and we thought that he looked more sad and thoughtful even than at
first.

The day wore on.  A black cook brought us some soup and a bowl of
farinha, which, as we were very hungry, we were glad enough to eat; and
at night, Silva told us that we three might occupy the small deck cabin
which was vacant.  We were glad enough to creep in there, and to forget
our sorrows in sleep.  For some time we slept as soundly as people who
have undergone a great deal of mental excitement generally sleep, though
the realities of the past mixed strangely with the visions of the night.
The most prominent was the picture of the sinking ship which we had
seen go down; but in addition I beheld the agonised countenances of the
murdered crew--some imploring mercy, others battling for life, and
others yielding hopelessly to their fate.  Among them, to my greater
horror, I thought I saw Mr Brand and Ben Yool.  They were bravely
struggling in the hands of the ruffians, as I am sure they would have
done.  Now one was up, now the other.  The pirates tried to force them
overboard, but they always again clambered up the side of the vessel.
Their boat was sunk beneath them; still they fought on, clutching hold
of ropes and the chain-plates--never for a moment losing heart.  "That
is the way to fight the battle of life against all enemies, spiritual
and carnal," said a voice.  It was Cousin Silas who spoke.  Then the
pirates made another desperate attack on him and Ben, and they were
forced back into the deep ocean.

I awoke with a loud cry.  "What's the matter? where are we?" asked
Jerry, stretching out his arms.  "O Harry, what dreadful dreams I have
had!  What is going to happen?  Now I know.  Oh dear!  Oh dear!  My poor
father, how miserable he will be when he fancies I am lost!"  When we
told each other our dreams, we found that they had been very much of the
same nature.

Our talking awoke the doctor.  He was, I daresay, not less unhappy than
we were, but he told us not to give way to unmanly fears, and scolded us
for talking about our dreams.  "It is a foolish and bad practice silly
people are apt to indulge in.  It makes them nervous, promotes
superstition, and, worse than all, frequently causes them to doubt God's
superintending care and watchfulness.  Your dreams have just been made
up of what has occurred, and of what your imagination has conjured up.
Just set to work and think and talk of how we may escape from our
present position, and perhaps you may think and talk to good effect."
As soon as we got up, we took our place as we had done the previous day,
as much out of the way of the rest of the people as possible.

We took the doctor's advice, and did little else for some time than talk
of how we might escape.  The most feasible plan which occurred to us was
to watch for an opportunity of deserting the ship whenever she might
touch at any place for water.  We agreed that it would be well to try
and lull the suspicions of our captors, by pretending to be perfectly
contented with our lot, and by making ourselves as much at home as
possible.

"We'll not seem to care about going on shore ourselves," observed Jerry;
"but after a time we'll talk about old Surley not being accustomed to
remain on board so long, and we'll ask leave to take him a run on the
beach; then he'll run on, and we will run after him, till we get out of
sight of the vessel, and then won't we put our best legs foremost--
that's all.  Surley will like the fun, and we will whistle him on; and
if any of the pirates meet us, we can say we are running after him; and
so we shall be, you know.  We can hide away in some tree, or in a
cavern, or somewhere or other till the ship sails, and then we must
trust to what may turn up to get away from the place, wherever it may
be."

"The chances are that it may be a desert island, and one rarely or never
visited by ships.  If so, perhaps we may have to live on it for years
without being able to escape from it," I observed.

"Well, no matter if that is the case," he answered; "anything is better
than living among these cut-throats."

"I agree with you," said I; "but what is to become of the doctor?  We
must not leave him behind."

"Certainly not," said Jerry; "we will tell him what we propose, and I
daresay he will find means to follow us.  If he cannot, perhaps he will
propose some plan which will be better than ours."

We talked till we talked ourselves very hungry, and were not sorry when
the black cook brought us a bowl of farinha for our breakfast.  We
should not have objected to a slice of cold beef or a piece of fish, but
we agreed that it would be wiser to take what was offered to us, and
appear thankful.  The doctor was asked in to breakfast with the captain.
He certainly would rather not have gone, but as nothing could be gained
by refusing, and something might by accepting the invitation, he went.
Tom Congo, the cook, did not forget old Surley, but, when the officers
were below at breakfast, brought him a mess, which he gobbled up with no
little satisfaction.

Silva appeared to take no notice of us; yet we could not but believe
that it was owing to his intercession our lives had been spared, and
that we were not ill-treated.  It will be remembered that, after the
story we heard of the escape of the convicts from Juan Fernandez,
serious suspicions had been entertained of his character.  We had now,
from finding him associated with pirates, every reason to believe that
our suspicions were correct.  Still, pirate as he was, all the right
feelings of our nature had not been blunted in him.  While on board the
_Triton_ he had always behaved well, and he now showed us that he was
grateful for the kindness he had received.  Such was the opinion Jerry
and I formed of him.

For three or four days things went on much in the same way as at first.
We had our food brought us regularly by our friend the black cook, and
were allowed to walk the deck as long as we liked, and to creep into our
cabin at night.  Nobody interfered with us.  The people who acted as
officers passed us by without notice, and the seamen did not take the
trouble to exchange a word with us.  At last Jerry and I agreed that it
was time to try and make ourselves more at home, or we should not be
able to carry into execution the plan we had proposed.  Surley, too,
seemed to think it very dull work sitting all day long with his nose
resting on our knees.  How to set about ingratiating ourselves with the
fellows, was the difficulty.  We generally talked over our plans when
the doctor was away, as he was for a considerable time every day
attending to the sick.  We determined first to try and win over old Tom
Congo, the black cook, as he seemed disposed to be friendly with us.

"I say, cook," exclaimed Jerry, "you give us very good food to eat, but
couldn't you add a bit of meat now and then?  Surley gets some, and we,
who have been accustomed all our lives to it, would like to have it
now."

"Oh, oh, you hab some of Surley's den," answered Tom Congo, with a grin.

"You are too kind to wish to make us eat scraps and bits," said Jerry;
"we should just like a piece of beef or pork."

Congo looked pleased; and though he would not promise to bring us any
meat, we saw that he would.  Now, we did not care so much about the
meat, but we thought that, by asking him a favour which he could easily
grant, we might gain his interest.  It was a compliment to him, and made
him feel as if he were our superior, for the time being at all events.
The next day, at dinner time, he brought us a very nice piece of boiled
beef and some potatoes.  We consulted what we could give him in return.
Our knives were too valuable to part with, but Jerry had a silver
pencil-case, which he offered to him.  Old Tom asked what it was for,
and when told to write with, he grinned from ear to ear, observing that,
as he could not write even his own name, it would be of no manner of use
to him; but that he thanked us all the same.

The feeling that there were two people on board who were disposed to be
friendly with us raised our spirits.  We got up and began to chase
Surley about the deck, making him run after a ball of spun-yarn till we
got tired of the game.  Then we walked up and down the deck till we got
right aft, where we could catch a glance at the compass.  We were
steering about south-west and by south.

"Where are we going to, my friend?" said Jerry, addressing the man at
the helm.

"Ask the captain; he's likely to tell you, youngster."

"Oh, no matter," answered Jerry, carelessly, "I only asked for
curiosity.  If it's to China, or round Cape Horn, or to California, it's
all the same to me."

"You're an independent little chap, at all events," answered the man;
"if you were one of us, you'd do well, I doubt not."

"Oh, I've no objection to do well," said Jerry; "just show me the way,
and I'm your man."

"I like your spirit, and I'll say a word in your favour with the crew.
I daresay you know something about navigation, which is more than most
of the officers do; so, if you join us, it won't be long before you are
made an officer."

"Thank you for your good opinion of me," said Jerry; "but I'm not
ambitious.  I just want to do what I like, and if nobody interferes with
me, I'm content."

"You're a merry little chap, at all events," observed the pirate.  "I
like to see a fellow with some spirit in him, and I'll keep you out of
harm if I can."

"Thank you," said Jerry, making a dash after Surley's tail; "I thought
you looked as if you were a kind chap, and that made me speak to you."

Thus by degrees we made ourselves at home among the crew.  Before the
evening we were chasing each other about the rigging.  The men forward
had a monkey, and we got hold of him, and made him ride upon Surley's
back.  Neither animal liked it at first, but by coaxing them we managed
to reconcile them to each other.  Jacko would every now and then take it
into his head to give old Surley a sly pinch on the ear or tail, and
then the dog would turn round and endeavour to bite the monkey's leg;
but the latter was always too quick for him, and would either jump off,
or leap up on his back as if he were going to dance there, or would
catch hold of a rope overhead and swing himself up out of his way.  It
really was great fun, and often we almost forgot where we were and our
sad fate.  It made the pirates also think us light-hearted, merry
fellows, and they gave themselves no further concern about watching us.
Now, of course, it sounds very romantic and interesting to be on board a
pirate vessel, among desperate cut-throats, to be going one does not
know where; but the reality is very painful and trying, and, in spite of
all we did in the day to keep up our spirits, Jerry and I often lay
awake half the night, almost crying, and wondering what would become of
us.  It was not till we remembered what we had heard at home, and what
Captain Frankland and Mr Brand had told us often--that in all
difficulties and troubles we should put our trust in God--that we found
any comfort.  How much we now wished for a Bible, that we might read it
to each other!  We now saw more clearly than we had ever before done its
inestimable value.  There were several on board the _Dove_, but we were
not likely to be able to get them.

The poor doctor was more to be pitied than we were.  He grew thinner and
thinner every day.  Evidently he felt his captivity very much.  His
prospect of escaping was much smaller than ours, because he was of far
greater use to the pirates than we were.  We might have been of some
service to them as navigators, but without our books and instruments we
could do very little for them even in that respect.

Several more days went by in this way.  The pirates now began to grow
fidgety, and they were constantly going to the mast-head, and spent the
day in looking out on every side round the horizon, in search of land or
a vessel, we could not tell which.  At last, one forenoon, one of the
look-outs shouted from aloft, "A sail! a sail!"

"Where away?" asked the captain, who till that moment seemed to have
been half asleep on deck.  He sprang to his feet, and he, with every one
on board, in an instant was full of life and animation.

"On the lee bow," answered the man.  "She is a large ship, standing to
the southward."  The wind was from the westward.

Several of the officers and men hurried aloft to have a look at the
stranger.  When they came down they seemed highly satisfied.

"She's a merchantman from California," observed one.  "She'll have
plenty of gold dust on board."

"She's the craft to suit us, then," observed a second.

"She's a heavy vessel, and the fellows aboard will fight for their
gold," remarked a third.

"Who cares? a little fighting will make the prize of more value," cried
another.  "We'll show them what they'll get by resistance."

The word was now passed along to clear the decks for action, and, with
the men at their guns, we bore down on the stranger.



CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

VOYAGE IN THE PIRATE VESSEL.

The stranger saw our approach, and from the eager way in which we
carried on sail, those on board must have had some suspicion of the
character of the schooner.  She was a fine large ship, and was evidently
a fast craft, but still the schooner managed to overhaul her.  As we had
hitherto stood on under easy sail, the _Dove_ was able to keep up with
us, but now we left her far astern.  Before we parted company, however,
the captain signalised her where to meet him.  I forgot to say that for
some time we did not know the name of the pirate chief, but at last we
heard him called Captain Bruno.  Though this name had a foreign sound,
he was, as I have before said, either an Englishman or an American.  The
schooner was called the _Hawk_, and she was not ill named.

As we drew near the ship we ran up English colours, while in return, up
went at her peak the stars and stripes of the United States.  On we
stood.  The ship, so Jerry and I concluded, did not suspect the
character of the schooner, for she made no attempt to escape us, but
appeared as if those on board expected a friendly greeting.  I observed
Captain Bruno very frequently turn his telescope towards the stranger,
and examine her narrowly.  The officers, too, began to talk to each
other, and look suspiciously at her.  I asked Mr McRitchie, who was
near us, whether he thought the pirates would attack the ship and murder
the crew, as we believed they had done that of the brig.

"I dread something terrible, but I have very little apprehension for the
fate of the people on board the ship," he answered, in a low tone.  "In
my opinion, the pirates will find that they have caught a tartar.  Mark
me--yonder craft is no merchantman, but a ship of war, either American
or English, or perhaps Chilian.  I should not be surprised to find that
she is on the watch for our friends here.  Scarcely do I know what to
wish.  If they fight at all, they will fight desperately, and we shall
run as great a chance of being killed as they will--though, if they are
captured, we may regain our liberty.  If, on the other hand, they
escape, our captivity will be prolonged."

"But if yonder ship prove to be what you suppose, and the schooner is
captured, perhaps we may be hung as pirates," said Jerry.  "How can we
prove that we are honest people?"

"There will be but little difficulty about that," answered Mr
McRitchie.  "The pirates themselves will acknowledge that we have been
brought on board against our will, and the account we can give of
ourselves is too circumstantial not to gain credit.  At all events, we
must hope for the best.  But see, Captain Bruno at last suspects that
something is wrong."

We had by this time got almost within the ordinary range of a ship's
guns.  Suddenly the captain sprang to the helm.  "Haul aft the main and
foresheets!" he sung out in a voice of thunder.  "Brace up the yards!
Down with the helm!  Keep her as close as she'll go!"  The crew flew to
obey these orders.  They knew full well that their lives depended on
their promptness.  Already the schooner had approached too near the
stranger.  That she was a man-of-war, she no longer left us in doubt.
Before the orders issued by Captain Bruno were executed, a line of ports
were thrown open, and eight long guns were run out, threatening to send
us to the bottom if we showed a disposition to quarrel, and aft at her
peak flew the stars and stripes of the United States.

The pirates saw that they were caught through their own folly and
greediness, but the captain showed himself to be a man of undaunted
courage, and full of resources.  "Hold on!" he sung out, before a sheet
was hauled in.  "We may lose our sticks if we attempt to run.  I'll try
if I cannot deceive these clever fellows, and put them on a wrong
scent."  The pirates seemed mightily pleased at the thought of playing
their enemy a trick, and highly applauded the proposal of their captain.
The schooner, therefore, stood steadily on, till she ran close down to
the corvette.  Then she hove-to, well to windward of the ship, however.
A boat was lowered, and Captain Bruno, with four of the most
quiet-looking of the crew, got into her, and pulled away for the ship.
When we hove-to, the corvette did the same, an eighth of a mile to
leeward of us.  We watched the proceedings of the pirate with no little
anxiety.

"If that fellow succeed in deceiving the captain of that ship, I shall
acknowledge that impudence will sometimes carry the day," observed Mr
McRitchie.

"Couldn't we contrive to make a signal to let the people of the
man-of-war know that we are kept here in durance vile?" observed Jerry.

While he was speaking, I looked round, and saw two of the most ruffianly
of the crew standing close to us, with pistols cocked in their hands,
held quietly down by their sides.  I hoped that our captors had not
overheard what Jerry had said.  I touched him as if by chance on the
shoulder, and after his eye had glanced at the pistols he said nothing
more about making signals to the corvette.  Our position was every
instant growing more and more critical.  If the pirate captain was
seized on board the man-of-war, it was impossible to say how his
followers might wreak their vengeance on our heads.  We watched him with
no little interest, till he ascended with perfect coolness the side of
the ship.  Our anxiety still further increased, after he reached the
deck and disappeared below.  Minute after minute slowly passed by, still
he did not return.  The pirates with their pistols got up closer to us,
and one, a most hideous black fellow, kept looking at us and then at his
weapon, and grinning from ear to ear, as if he was mightily eager to put
it to our heads and pull the trigger.  We tried to look as unconcerned
as possible, but I must own that I could not help every now and then
turning round, to ascertain in what direction the muzzle of the pistol
was pointed.  The black and his companion looked so malicious, that I
feared, whatever occurred, we should be the sufferers.  If Captain Bruno
escaped, we should still remain in captivity; or should he be suspected
and detained, probably the pirates would revenge themselves on us.  I
was afraid of speaking, and almost of moving, lest, even should I lift
an arm, it might be construed into the act of making a signal, and I
might get a bullet sent through my head.  The American corvette, with
her spread of white canvas, looked very elegant and graceful as she lay
hove-to, a short distance from us.  I wished very much that I was out of
the pirate, and safe on board her, even though the former might get free
away without the punishment she deserved.  But all such hopes, it
appeared, were likely to prove vain.  After the lapse of another ten
minutes Captain Bruno himself appeared on deck.  As he stood at the
gangway, he shook hands cordially with some of the officers.  He seemed
to be exchanging some good joke with them, for he and they laughed
heartily when he went down the side, and stepped into the boat.  As he
pulled back to the schooner, he waved his hand, and took off his hat
with the most becoming courtesy.  "Well," thought I to myself,
"certainly impudence will sometimes carry the day."

He was soon again on board.  "Make sail," he said with a calm smile;
"the corvette and we are going in search of a rascally pirate, which has
committed all sorts of atrocities.  I wonder whether we shall find her."
The joke seemed to tickle the fancies of all on deck, for a quiet
chuckle was heard on every side.  "Keep the rest of the people below,"
he said to Silva; "it might surprise the crew of the man-of-war to see
so many ugly fellows on board a quiet trader."  The order was strictly
obeyed.  A few only of the crew appeared on deck, and they were soon
seen employed in the usual occupations of a merchantman.  The wind was
light, so the schooner began leisurely to set sail after sail, till
every stitch of canvas she could carry was spread.  The corvette did the
same, and both vessels were soon going along under a cloud of canvas.
The schooner, we saw, had the advantage.  Gradually we were increasing
our distance from the man-of-war.  Captain Bruno chuckled audibly.
Still, at times, he cast an anxious look astern.

Jerry and I were allowed to walk about the deck, and to observe what was
going on.  We remarked the captain watching the corvette.  "Depend on
it," said Jerry, "he has been leaving some forged paper with the
Americans, or playing them some trick which he is afraid will be found
out."  I thought at first this must be Jerry's fancy.  We had no
opportunity of asking Mr McRitchie's opinion without being overheard.
Away we glided over the smooth ocean.  More and more we increased our
distance from the corvette.  The further ahead we got, the more Captain
Bruno seemed pleased; and as I watched his countenance, I became
convinced that Jerry's surmises were correct.  As we walked the deck and
watched the captain, we agreed that if he dared he would like to wet the
sails to make them hold more wind.  An hour or so passed away, when
suddenly the corvette yawed a little, a puff of white smoke appeared,
with a sharp report, and a shot came flying over the water close to us.
"Ah! have you found me out, my friends?" exclaimed Captain Bruno,
leaping down from the taffrail.  "All hands on deck!  Swing up the long
guns!  We must try to wing this fellow before he contrives to clip our
feathers."  In an instant everybody was alert: tackles were rove, and,
in a short time, two long and very heavy guns, with their carriages,
were hoisted up from the hold.  The guns were quickly mounted and run
out, and a brisk fire kept up at the corvette.  She also continued to
fire, but as to do so with effect she had to yaw each time, the
schooner, which could fire her stern guns as fast as she could load
them, had a considerable advantage.  It was a game at long bowls, for
the two vessels were already so far apart that it required very good
gunnery to send a shot with anything like a correct aim.  Silva seemed
to be one of the best marksmen on board.  Several times, when he fired,
the shot went through the sails of the ship of war.  The great object of
the pirates was to cripple her, as was that of the Americans to bring
down some of the schooner's spars.  Had the latter found out the trick
sooner which had been played them by the pirate, the probabilities are
that some of our rigging would have been cut through, and we should have
been overtaken; now there appeared every chance that we should effect
our escape.  Still, several of the shot which came from the corvette
struck us, or went through our sails; but the damage was instantly
repaired.  The crew had got up from below a store of spare ropes, and
sails, and spars, so that even should we receive any severe injury, it
could, we saw, be speedily put to rights.  As I before said, our
prospects of getting our throats cut, or our brains blown or knocked
out, were pretty well balanced against those of our being made free,
should the corvette come up with us; so we scarcely knew what to wish
for.  Every time a shot came near the vessel, the pirates cast such
angry glances at us, as if we had had something to do with the matter,
that we half expected some of them would let fly their pistols and put
an end to our lives.

Hour after hour thus passed away.  A stern chase is a long chase, as
everybody knows, and so the Americans must have thought it.  The wind
continued much as at first for some time.  This was all in favour of the
schooner, which sailed in a light wind proportionably better than the
corvette.  Towards evening, however, clouds began to gather in the
eastern horizon.  The bank rose higher and higher in the sky.  Now one
mass darted forward--now another--and light bodies flew rapidly across
the blue expanse overhead.  First the surface of the ocean was crisped
over with a sparkling ripple, and then wavelets appeared, and soon they
increased to waves with frothy crests; and the schooner sprung forward,
the canvas swelling, the braces tautening, and the masts and spars
cracking with the additional strain put on them.  For some time, though
she still continued to fire, scarcely a shot from the man-of-war had
come up to us, as we had still further increased our distance from her.
She, however, now felt the advantage of the stronger breeze, and our
pace became more equal.  Still the breeze increased.  The captain stood
aft, his eye apparently watching earnestly every spar and rope aloft, to
see how they stood the increasing strain.  Away we now flew, the water
hissing under our bows, and the spray leaping up on either side, and
streaming over us in thick showers.  The white canvas bulged, and
tugged, and tugged, till I thought it would carry the masts away, and
fly out of the bolt-ropes.  Captain Bruno, however, gave no orders to
take it in.  He looked astern; the corvette was going along as fast as
we were--perhaps faster.  This was not an occasion for shortening sail.
The crew seemed to have the same opinion.  They were fighting with
halters round their necks, every one full well knew; and though this
consciousness may make men desperate when brought to bay, it will
assuredly make them run away like arrant cowards if they have a
possibility of escape.

The sea by this time had got up considerably, and the schooner began to
pitch into it as she ran before the wind.  The corvette at first came on
rather more steadily, but she likewise soon began to feel the effects of
the troubled water; and away we both went, plunging our bows into the
sea as we dashed rapidly onward.  I could not help feeling that the
movements of both vessels showed that serious work was going on.  The
corvette, with her wide fields of canvas spread aloft, every sail
bulging out to its utmost extent, looked as if intent on the pursuit;
while the eager, hurried way in which the schooner struggled on amid the
foaming waves, made it appear as if she were indued with consciousness,
and was aware that her existence depended on her escaping her pursuer.

It was now blowing a perfect gale.  Every instant, as I kept looking
aloft, I expected to hear some dreadful crash, and to see the topmasts
come tumbling down over our heads; but though the top-gallant-masts bent
and writhed like fishing-rods with a heavy fish at the end of the line,
they were too well set up by the rigging to yield, even with the
enormous pressure put on them.

Captain Bruno called Silva to him again.  They held a consultation for
some minutes.  They looked at the corvette, and then at their own sails.
The result was, that some of the people were summoned aft, and once
more the long guns were run out, and, watching their opportunity, as the
stern of the vessel lifted, they opened fire on their pursuer.  "If we
could but knock away their fore-topmast with all that spread of canvas
on it, we should very soon run her out of sight," observed Silva,
stooping down to take aim.  He fired.  The canvas stood as before; but,
as far as we could judge, the shot had reached the man-of-war, and hands
were seen going aloft to repair some damage which it had caused.

The pirates cheered when they saw that the shot had taken effect,
"Hurrah! hurrah!  Fire away again, Silva; fire away!" they shouted.
Thus encouraged, he continued firing as fast as the guns could be
loaded.  Shot after shot was discharged.  Still the pursuer came on as
proudly and gallantly as before.  Now and then a shot was fired from her
bow chasers; but the difficulty of taking anything like an aim in such a
sea was very great, and they generally flew excessively wide of their
mark.  Silva, indeed, after the first shot, had but little to boast of
as a marksman.  His anger seemed to rise.  He looked with a fierce
glance at our pursuer.  Both the guns were loaded.  He stooped down to
one and fired; then, scarcely looking up to watch the result, he went to
the other.  The schooner was sinking into a sea; as she rose to the
summit of the next, a shot left the muzzle of the gun.  Away it winged
its flight above the foaming ocean.  Now the pirates cheered more
lustily than ever.  Good cause had they.  As if by magic, the wide cloud
of canvas which had lately towered above the deck of the corvette seemed
dissolved in air.  The race is not always to the swift, nor does Fortune
always favour the best cause.  The pirate's shot had cut the corvette's
fore-topmast completely in two, and we could see it with its tangled
mass of spars, and sails, and rigging hanging over the bows, and still
further stopping the ship's way.

"Now we may shorten sail," sang out Captain Bruno.  "Aloft, my lads;
quick about it."  The men needed not to be told of the importance of
haste.  They flew aloft, and soon handed the top-gallant-sails, and took
two reefs in the topsails.  Relieved of the vast weight which had been
pressing on her, and almost driving her over, the schooner now flew much
more easily over the seas, and with scarcely diminished speed.

We kept watching the corvette.  She, of course, could carry sail on her
main-mast, but it took some time to clear away the wreck of the
fore-topmast, and to set up the fore-stay, which had been carried away.
This it was necessary to do before sail could be set on the
main-topmast.  All this work occupied some time, and enabled the
schooner to get far ahead.  Night, too, was coming on.  The weather
promised to be very thick.  The pirate's chance of escape was very
considerable.  Our hearts sank within us as we saw the prospect of our
prolonged captivity.  Proportionably the pirates were elated as they
felt sure of escaping.  On we flew; the sails of the corvette grew
darker and darker, till a thin small pyramid alone was seen rising
against the sky in the far horizon.  Mr McRitchie, who had joined us on
deck, heaved a deep sigh.  To him captivity was even more galling than
to us.  Darkness came on, and the corvette was lost to sight.

It was a terrific night.  The wind increased, and the sea got up more
than ever--the thunder roared, and the lightning flashed; and as the
schooner went plunging away through the foaming ocean, often I thought
that she was about to sink down and never to rise again.  The dark,
stern features of the pirates were lighted up now and again, as they
stood at their posts, by the lightning as it played around us; but,
strange to say, they appear to have far more dreaded the anger of their
fellow-men than they did the fury of the elements.  Now and then,
perhaps, conscience whispered in the ears of some one not totally deaf
to its influence, that his last hour was approaching and that he must
soon stand in the presence of an offended God, whose laws he had long
systematically outraged; but, generally speaking, the consciences of
that reckless crew had long since been put to sleep, never to awake till
summoned, when hope should have fled, at the sound of the last trump.
On every side those countenances--bold, fierce, God-defying--broke forth
on me out of the darkness as the bright lightning gleamed across them.
Each individual face of the dreadful picture is indelibly impressed on
my memory.  At length the doctor went to his berth, and Jerry and I
followed him to the cabin and crept into ours--wet, hungry, and
sorrowful.  We slept--we had been so excited all day that we could not
help that from very weariness; but my dreams, I know, were strangely
troubled.

At last I awoke, and found that it was daylight.  I sprang up, calling
Jerry, and we went on deck to learn what had become of the corvette.
She was nowhere to be seen.  The wind had gone down very much, but it
was still blowing fresh, and a heavy sea was running.  The sky, however,
was blue and clear, and the waters sparkled brightly as the beams of the
rising sun glanced over them.  The schooner had escaped all damage in
the gale.  Our spirits rose somewhat with the pure fresh air of morning,
and very well pleased were we to devour a good breakfast, when our
friend the black cook placed it before us on deck, in a couple of large
basins, with heavy silver spoons to feed ourselves.

All day we were looking out in expectation of seeing the corvette again.
Hour after hour passed, but she did not appear.

"She will not find us again, Jerry," said I.  "I wonder what the pirates
will do with us?"

"Turn us into pirates somehow or other, I am afraid," answered Jerry.
"If we don't pretend to be satisfied with our lot, perhaps they will get
tired of us and will cut our throats, or throw us overboard, just to be
rid of us."

"That cannot, perhaps, he helped," I replied.  "But Jerry, I say, do not
for a moment ever think of turning pirate, even if it were to save your
life.  Do right, whatever comes of it, is what Cousin Silas has often
said to us--remember."

"I was not quite serious," answered Jerry.  "But still, it we did, we
should have a better chance of getting away."

"That is the very thing that we should not do," I replied.  "Never do
what is wrong that good may come of it.  The pirates are not likely to
ask us to join them; but if they do, all we have to say is that we would
rather not.  We need not go into the heroics about it, and show a vast
amount of virtuous indignation, but just quietly and civilly refuse, and
stick to it.  Don't fancy that we shall get away faster by doing what is
wrong.  As I said, let us do what is right, and trust all the rest to
Providence."

"I see of course you are right, Harry.  I'll try and heartily agree with
you; but just now I was considering how we might deceive the pirates by
pretending to join them, and I thought that I had got a first-rate plan
in my head.  But, Harry, from what you have been saying, I now
understand that I was wrong."

We took two or three turns on deck.

"I say, Harry," exclaimed Jerry, suddenly, "I wonder what has become of
the _Dove_?"  So interested had we been with what concerned ourselves
especially, that we had not till that moment thought about her.

"If she did not go to the bottom during the gale yesterday, perhaps the
corvette got hold of her," said I.  "If the corvette did catch her, the
people in charge of her are very likely to get their heads into a noose,
for they will be puzzled to explain in a satisfactory way how she came
into their possession."

Captain Bruno seemed to care very little for the loss of the people in
the little schooner.  He swore and grumbled somewhat under the idea that
she might have fallen into the power of the corvette, and seemed rather
to wish that she might have gone to the bottom.  However, as she was a
capital sea-boat, it was possible she might have weathered the gale, in
which case Jerry and I concluded that she would find her way to some
rendezvous or other with the pirate.  We hoped she might, for vague
ideas ran through our minds that she might by some means or other enable
us to make our escape from our captors.  We could not tell how, but we
thought that perhaps we might some night get on board her in some
harbour, when the large schooner was refitting, and run off with her.
Very slender hopes serve to buoy up people in circumstances like ours.

Three or four days passed away, and the pirates became pretty confident
that the man-of-war was not likely again to fall in with them.  As Jerry
and I passed the compass, we carelessly cast a glance at it, and found
that we were still steering a course to the southward.  The pirates were
now constantly on the alert.  It was evident that they were on the watch
for some vessel or some island.  We considered that they were looking
for a vessel, from the various directions in which they were looking
out--north, south, east, and west; and sometimes we lay hove-to for
hours together.

"I say, Harry, would it not be a joke if they were to fall in with the
corvette again?" observed Jerry, when no one was near.  "The Americans
would not let us escape quite so easily as before."

"The pirates will be too wary for that," I answered.  "But look! there
is something in sight from the mast-head.  There is `up helm.'  Away we
go in chase of her, whatever she may be."

There was a strong breeze from the north-west.  Our course was about
south-east.  Mr McRitchie joined us in our walk on deck.  He looked
more grave and sad even than before.  He had heard, we concluded, that
the pirates were about to commit some fresh act of atrocity.  They
expected some fighting, at all events, we soon discovered; for the
magazine was opened, powder and shot were got up, and all hands were
busily employed in overhauling their arms, giving them an additional
cleaning, and loading their pistols.

We did not venture aloft, but we looked out eagerly ahead to discover
the vessel of which it was clear the pirates were in chase.  First
royals, then top-gallant-sails, and topsails slowly rose above the
horizon.  At last her courses appeared, and we could see the whole of
her hull.  She was a large barque, and there could be little doubt that
the pirates were right in supposing her to be a merchantman.  We had
just done breakfast when she was first seen; it was almost sunset by the
time her hull was completely seen.

Our appearance did not seem to have created any alarm on board, for she
stood on steadily in her course to the southward.  We followed like a
blood-hound chasing its prey.  The pirates were in high glee; they
recognised the vessel as one which had been unloading in San Francisco
when they had been there, and they seemed to have no doubt, from the
number of people who appeared to be on board, seen through their
glasses, that her passengers were gold-diggers, returning to their
distant homes with their hard-earned gains--some obtained, undoubtedly,
by honest, laborious industry--others, perhaps, by the many lawless
means to which people will resort when excited by the lust of getting
money.

As darkness settled down on the ocean, we could just see the vessel
ahead.  We kept on in her wake.  As we much outsailed her, we quickly
stole up after her, till we could make out the dark figures of her crew,
as they stood on her deck, wondering, probably, what we could be.  Not a
shot was fired--no words were exchanged between the two vessels.
"Perhaps the large vessel is prepared for the strife," I thought to
myself.  "If so, the pirates may again find that they have caught a
tartar; still, it is strange that no one on board takes notice of us."
We were still following in the wake of the stranger, but rapidly
overhauling her.  Jerry and I remained on deck to see what would happen.
We had got close up on her quarter.  Our helm was put to port, and this
placed us on a line which enabled us to run up alongside.  Not till our
bows were almost up to the stranger's quarter did any one hail us.

"What are you? what do you want?" asked some one, in a tone of surprise.

"We'll show you," replied Captain Bruno.

"Oh! is that your game?" exclaimed a person on board the stranger.  "We
thought so;--fire!"

The order was obeyed, and several shot came crashing into the bows of
the schooner.  The pirates were not slow in returning the compliment.
Their fury was speedily worked up to the highest pitch.  They laboured
away at the guns, shouting and uttering terrific oaths, more like demons
than men.  We quickly ranged up alongside, keeping a little further off
than we probably should otherwise have done, in the hope of crippling
our opponent before attempting to board.  The stranger had evidently
many more people on board than the pirates had expected.  They fought
their guns well, and bravely too; but the further off we got the less
effect had they, showing that they were handled by men without practice;
while the pirates, on the other hand, seldom missed their aim.  Thus
fiercely engaged--the roar of the guns and the shrieks and cries of the
combatants breaking the silence of night, while the flashes lighted up
the darkness and revealed the hideous scene--we ran on in the same
course as at first.  The effect of the pirates' practice with their guns
soon began to tell on the stranger; spar after spar was shot away, and
her lofty canvas came dropping down in torn shreds on deck.  The pirates
shouted with satisfaction and triumph as each fresh shot told on their
opponent.  We consequently had to shorten sail to keep abreast of her.
Still, her shot sometimes searched out a pirate as he laboured at his
gun, and several lay writhing in agony on the deck, while the voices of
others were silenced for ever.  At last down came the fore-mast of the
barque, followed by her main-topmast.  She was completely in the power
of the pirates, for the schooner could sail round and round her, while
her crew were unable to fight their guns, overwhelmed as they were with
the wreck of the masts.  The pirates cheered ferociously, and, keeping
away, crossed the bows of the barque and fired a broadside right into
them.  Shrieks and cries arose from the deck of the stranger, but still
no signal was made that she had given in.  On the contrary, as soon as
she could get the guns on the port-side to bear, she began firing away
again on us.  We tacked, and once more stood towards her, so as to rake
her as we passed under her stern.  For a minute there was an entire
cessation of firing; none of her guns could be brought to bear on us,
and the pirates were reserving their fire to pour it into her with more
deadly effect.  Dim and indistinct, we could just make out her hull and
shattered rigging amid the gloom; and the pirates, believing that she
would quickly be in their power, were calculating on the rich booty
which would soon be theirs, when bright flames darted up from the midst
of her--a roar like the loudest thunder deafened our ears--up, up flew
spars, and rigging, and human forms, and pieces of burning plank--
illuminating the dark ocean far and wide around; while the fire, which
burned brightly, lighted up the countenances of the pirates as they
stood watching the catastrophe they had caused.  Some gleamed with
anger, others with disappointed avarice; some few looked horrified, and
a few were pale with terror, lest the same fate were about to be theirs.
No attempt was made to save any of those who, escaping from the burning
wreck, might be struggling in the waves.  Jerry and I fancied that we
could hear some shrieks and cries for help, but they were soon silenced,
as the waters closed over the heads of those who were struggling, but
struggling in vain.  Uttering a fierce oath, Captain Bruno stamped on
the deck, to give vent to his disappointment, and then ordering the helm
once more to be put up, stood away on his course to the southward.  Such
are pirates, such they have always been, in spite of the veil of romance
which has been thrown over their misdeeds.

For some days the schooner stood on, happily meeting with no other
vessel to plunder and destroy.  We all the time were kept in anxious
doubt as to what was to be our fate.  We had another cause of anxiety,
in observing that the crew were inclined to quarrel with each other.
The cause of this we could not understand, but the fact was very
evident.  A party seemed to be formed against the captain, and it
appeared to us that Silva was at the head of it.  Of course this was
only conjecture.  He was certainly not on such good terms with the
captain as he had been at first.  He was not a man of a quarrelsome or
ambitious disposition, and probably some of the rest of the crew put him
forward as their chief, knowing that he would be the principal sufferer
if their plans failed, and believing that they could easily get rid of
him if at any time they found it convenient so to do.  Now and then
disputes arose to a high pitch.  Knives would be drawn and pistols
flashed.  More than once matters were brought to extremities; wounds
were given and received, and blood was spilt.  It had the effect of
cooling their tempers for a moment, but at the slightest provocation
they again broke out.

One day two men were talking together, apparently on very good terms.
One of them we saw pull a dice-box out of his pocket, with several gold
and silver coins; the other likewise produced his money.  They began to
play--at first laughing in a friendly way at the various turns of their
fortunes.  Then the laughter ceased, and they grew more earnest and
intent on the game.  One looked very triumphant, as the gold lately
owned by his antagonist began to swell his heap.  At last the other had
no money left.  He produced a watch, a clasp-knife and several jewels, a
golden crucifix (which he kissed before parting with), and a
silver-mounted pistol.  His teeth were firm set; his eyes began to roll.
He played on.  Again he lost; but he had nothing wherewith to pay.  He
turned his pockets inside out.  The winner seemed still to be insisting
on payment.  A deadly pallor came over the countenance of the loser.  He
sprang to his feet; a sailor was passing, with a long knife stuck in his
red sash; he snatched it from the man, and uttering an exclamation
equivalent to "Have at you, then! take all I have to give!" plunged it
up to the hilt in the body of the winner, who fell to the deck without a
groan.  The action brought all those on deck around him.  "He insulted
me," he exclaimed; "he won all I had, and then asked for more."  The
bystanders seemed to acquiesce in the justness and rightfulness of the
action.  They did not attempt to touch the murderer, but they lifted up
the body of the man he had wounded.  He was already quite dead.  None of
the officers attempted to interfere.  The murderer searched in the
pockets of his victim for the money and jewels, and counting out the
coin, took possession of what had been his own.  Again with blasphemous
mockery he kissed the cross, evidently believing that he was doing a
righteous action, and then sat down on a gun with folded arms, as if he
had been an unconcerned spectator of the scene which was enacting.  The
rest of the dead man's property the pirates distributed among
themselves, and then lifting the body to the side of the vessel, without
an expression of regret threw it into the sea.

The tragedy was over, but the countenance of the murdered man haunted
us, while his murderer continued walking with an unconcerned look about
the deck, as if his hands were perfectly innocent of blood.

"Jerry," said I, "the sooner we are out of this, though even on a desert
island, the better."

"Oh yes, Harry; it is not safe to live with such wretches," was the
answer.

It would be better if men remembered at all times that it is not good to
dwell with sinners.



CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

OUR PERILOUS VOYAGE.

As we emerged from our cabin one morning, we found that the schooner was
standing toward what appeared to be a fleet of vessels at anchor.

"Why, we shall soon be among a whole squadron of buccaneers!" exclaimed
Jerry, in a tone of despair.  "We shall be separated, Harry--turned into
cabin boys, and never have a chance of escape.  O dear!  O dear!  My
poor father!--what will he do?"

"Why, Jerry, I am not quite so certain that those are vessels," I
remarked; "just observe them attentively.  Hillo! they have disappeared!
Stay, we shall soon rise to the top of the swell again.  There they
are!  They are as steady as church steeples.  Those are not the masts of
vessels.  They are cocoa-nut and palm-trees, depend on that.  They are
growing on one of those coral islands which abound in these latitudes.
Watch again.  On we go."  (Here I caught sight of the glittering, white,
sandy beach.) "How the surf breaks on the reef outside it!  How bright
and clear it appears, rising out of the deep ocean!  How green the
ground looks under those tall trees, and how intensely blue the lagoon
in the centre!  It is a lovely-looking spot--quite a fairy land.  I hope
that we shall be put on shore there, though I would rather have a few
hills and valleys to diversify the scene, if we are to remain there
long."

While we were talking we were rapidly approaching the coral island.  The
doctor joined us, and was watching it also.  The schooner stood on, and
we thought she was going to pass it.  The doctor, though not less
anxious to leave the vessel than we were, did not appear to agree with
our wish to be set on shore there.  "It is dreadfully hot there, without
shelter from sun or wind.  There is also but little variety of food; and
green as the ground looks from hence, we should find nothing to be
compared to a green lawn when once we set foot on it," he remarked.
Still Jerry and I were ready enough to run the risk, hoping that, at all
events, we might soon find the means of getting away.  When, however, we
had abandoned all hopes of landing there, the schooner was once more
hauled up close to the wind.  We found that she had stood on to clear a
reef.  She stood in under the lee of the land, and hove-to close to
where an opening appeared in the reef.

Our hearts beat quick, for now we felt certain that something or other
was going to happen, though nobody had said anything to us.  It seemed
strange that we could have lived so long surrounded by our
fellow-creatures, and yet so entirely alone.  A boat was lowered.  A
cask of bread, and another of salted meat, and some hatchets, and a few
old sails, and, indeed, more things than I can here enumerate, were put
into her.  The doctor was summoned into the captain's cabin.  He
remained a short time, and when he re-appeared he looked happier than he
had done for many days.  Jerry and I were then ordered into the boat;
the doctor, to our great satisfaction, followed.  Old Surley, as may be
supposed, would not consent willingly to be left behind, and, watching
his opportunity, he sprang in after us, and, as if he thought he might
be carried back again if perceived, immediately hid himself under the
seats between our legs.  We were delighted to have the old fellow, and
trembled lest the pirates, among some of whom he was a favourite, might
insist on keeping him.  It was with great satisfaction, therefore, that
we found the boat shoved off from the schooner's side.

Four of the pirates formed the crew of the boat, and taking the oars,
they pulled towards the shore.  We did not leave the pirate ship with
any regret, though few people would desire to be landed on a desert
island in the middle of the Pacific.  Tom Congo, the black cook, was the
only person who wished us good-bye.  He was evidently sorry to lose us.
We had no means of showing our gratitude to him, except by a few hurried
words.  We saw his good-natured black visage grinning at us over the
bulwarks, as we left the vessel's side.  Suddenly he started back.
There was some violent disturbance on deck.  Shouts, and cries, and
pistol-shots were heard.  The outbreak we had anticipated was taking
place.  There was a mutiny.  Some of the crew had risen against the
captain; there could be no doubt about that.  Some of the men in the
boat wanted to go back to join in the fray, but an old man among them
shook his head and said, "No!  Let the fools fight it out.  When we go
back we shall know which side to join."  The rest saw the worldly wisdom
of the advice, and calming down their eagerness, they pulled on to the
shore.

We quickly passed through the reef, and the boat grounded on the beach,
which we found was composed of broken corals and shells, and rose some
ten feet out of the water.  Had it not been for the disturbance on
board, the boat would probably have returned as soon as the stores
intended for our use had been landed; but, as an excuse for remaining,
the crew offered to carry them up to any place we might select under the
trees where to pitch a tent.  We selected one to leeward of a heap of
coral, where, several trees also growing close together, some shelter
might be obtained.  Near it was a pure spring of water bubbling up
through the hard rock, and flowing into a basin some five feet in
diameter, but of its depth we could not judge.  The water was so clear
that, as we looked into it, it appeared but a shallow pool.  Jerry,
being very thirsty, stooped down to drink from it, and, baring his arm,
intended to rest his hand at the bottom to support himself while he
stooped over.  Down he went on his knees, but he got more water than he
had bargained for.  Suddenly over head and heels he went, and was
floundering about in the pool, which must have been nearly three feet
deep.  Sad as was our condition, the doctor and I could not help
laughing heartily at his surprised countenance as he popped his head up
again after his summerset, and we assisted to haul him out.  Even the
saturnine pirates joined in the laugh.  As the sun was very hot, his
clothes quickly again dried, and he was in no way the worse for his
ducking.

Surley had not mended matters by jumping into the pool and swimming
about in its cool waters.  As soon as he was out, off he set scampering
about the island, scaring the wild-fowl, whisking his tail, and barking
with delight at finding himself free after his long imprisonment on
board ship.  I felt very much inclined to follow his example, and to run
about after him shouting at the top of my voice.  I restrained myself,
however, as the state of affairs was too serious to allow me to indulge
in any such exuberance of spirits.

We thanked the pirates, with as good a grace as we could command, for
helping us to carry up the stores.  "Oh, no need of thanks, mates," was
the answer.  "You won't find it very pleasant here, perhaps; but there's
many an honest fellow worse off than you are, and there are not many who
come aboard us who get away as well as you have done."

We had too much reason to believe this assertion true to hazard a reply.
Perhaps Jerry's tumble into the water had put them in good-humour; but
whatever was the cause, they seemed inclined to help us, and volunteered
to assist in cutting down some trees to build our hut, which the canvas
would make tolerably comfortable.  While so employed, however, they kept
looking up constantly towards the schooner.

"I say, Tom, don't you think that there is a chance of her making sail,
and leaving us here?" observed one of them to the old pirate Tom
Roguish.

"No fear of that, mate," answered old Tom, shaking his head.  "They know
our value too well to do that.  I've watched what has been going on for
some time, and it's my belief Silva's party will find that they have
made a mistake.  The captain has been too wide awake to be taken by
surprise, depend on that."

"Hillo! what are they about now?" exclaimed another of the men.  The
schooner, which had stood still closer in towards the shore, had lowered
another boat, at the same time firing a gun as a signal to recall the
one which had brought us.  We all ran down as fast as we could to the
spot nearest to her, and we could see that several persons were being
lowered into the boat.

"Well, good-bye, mates; a pleasant residence to you," exclaimed old Tom,
insisting on shaking hands with us; and then he and his companions
stepped into the boat and shoved off from the shore.  We were not sorry,
however, to see their no very pleasant visages grow less and less
distinct, till they were lost in the distance.  They stopped rowing as
they passed the other boat, and exchanging a few words, again pulled on.
We anxiously watched the approach of the other boat, to ascertain what
it contained.  One of the chief mates was steering.  Silva, also, to our
surprise, was in the boat.  His head was bent down, and, from his
attitude, it appeared as if his hands were lashed behind him.  But there
were two other people.  We looked, and looked again.  "Why," exclaimed
Jerry, in a joyful tone, "it's Mr Brand, and no other than Ben Yool!
How fortunate!  Now we shall go all right."  I at the same time, with no
less surprise and satisfaction, recognised my kind cousin and old Ben.
Mr McRitchie did not appear to be as surprised as we were.  He all the
time, we found, had known that they were on board, but had been directed
not to mention it to us.  He told us that, as far as he could make out,
Silva had been the means of saving the lives of Cousin Silas and Ben, as
he had saved ours, but that the pirates had kept them below, that they
might not discover whereabout they were landed; and, for the same
reason, had prevented them communicating with us.  Silva had another
reason also for consenting to this arrangement, for he was afraid that
their appearance might excite the anger of the pirates, and that they
might perhaps throw us all overboard together.  Indeed, it was owing to
a happy combination of circumstances that our lives had been spared by
that gang of bloodthirsty and cruel desperadoes.  Even now, we were not
quite certain that they might not take it into their heads to shoot us
all, and we longed to see them making sail and clear away.  The
provisions, however, they had left with us, showed that the intentions
of some of them had been kinder than the conduct of the crew in general
would have led us to expect.

The second boat now reached the beach.  Silva was assisted out,
apparently suffering much pain, and then Cousin Silas and Ben followed
with their limbs at liberty.  We ran forward to welcome them, which we
did most warmly, while they seemed very well pleased to meet us.  Poor
Silva was left, wounded as he was, standing on the beach.  Some more
casks and several other things were landed from the boat, and then the
crew, without addressing a word to any of us, shoved off as fast as they
could, and pulled back to the schooner.

As soon as the pirates were gone, we went up to Silva and asked him what
had occurred.  His rage and indignation, added to the pain he was
suffering, almost prevented him from speaking.  "Partly because I did
not like to see so much blood shed, and partly because the captain was
jealous of me, he had, I discovered, resolved to get rid of me," he
replied, stamping on the ground.  "I, however, was always on my guard.
Many of the people liked me and trusted me, and I got information of all
he intended to do.  He, however, it seems, had his spies, who got into
the confidence of some of my people, and the captain saw that we were
very likely to become the strongest party.  Some of his allies took the
occasion of your being put on shore to accuse me of having favoured you
for my own ends.  Words quickly led to blows.  My friends rallied round
me, but some of those I could best trust were sent away in the boat with
you.  The captain's party made a rush forward, and, wounded and
bleeding, I was seized.  They would have killed me at once, but my
friends declared that if I was hurt they would blow up the vessel and
all hands together.  I doubt if they would have kept their word.
However, the captain agreed to spare my life, and to put me on shore
with you, if they would not create any further disturbance.  This they
very quickly agreed to, the cowards, and so, here am I, lately as free
and independent as any of them, left to share the fate of those whose
lives they considered it a great favour to have spared."

"Well, Silva, we will try and make you as comfortable as we can," said
Cousin Silas, taking his arm.  "We have a doctor to tend you, which you
would not have had on board; and as we feel fully that through your
influence our lives have been preserved, we will do our best to show our
gratitude."  Cousin Silas said this as we were showing the path up to
the spot where we had commenced our hut.

In one corner we quickly made a bed of leaves and dry grass.  Over this
we spread a piece of canvas, and thus constructed a very good bed, on
which we placed Silva.  Dr McRitchie having examined his wounds, washed
them and bound them up; but he observed that he considered his case
somewhat serious.  As soon as this was done, we set to work to cut down
some more trees, so as to increase the dimensions of our habitation.  We
were employed for two entire days in building our hut, for we agreed
that, as we might have to remain a considerable time on the island, and
as probably heavy gales might at times prevail, it would be wise to
construct a habitation which could not easily be blown down.  To do
this, to every upright post we put another at a considerable angle, and
then secured our canvas tightly down to it.  We also beat heavy lumps of
coral tight down round the thick ends of the posts, so that it was
scarcely possible for the wind to drag them out of their holes.  We had
been considerately supplied by Silva with a saw, and hammer, and nails,
and other carpenter's tools; and he now most unexpectedly benefited by
his kindness to us, as we were able to put a comfortable shelter over
his head much more rapidly than we could otherwise have done.  I need
scarcely say that Cousin Silas took the lead in everything.  Indeed, I
suspect, without him we should have managed but badly.  Whenever our
spirits flagged, he restored them by his resignation and cheerfulness;
and he reminded us that although we might think our fate a hard one, we
should be most thankful that we had escaped with our lives from the
hands of such bloodthirsty miscreants as Bruno and his associates.

So busy were we at first, that it was some time before we had an
opportunity of inquiring how it was that the pirates had not murdered
him and Ben, when they pulled alongside the schooner.  "I believe that
they were so astonished at seeing two strangers on their deck, not
knowing where we had come from, that it did not occur to them to heave
us overboard again.  This gave time to Silva, who at once recognised us,
to form a scheme for saving our lives.  Going up to us, he welcomed us
as old comrades, hinting that we had some mysterious powers which
enabled us to go about over the ocean wherever we liked, seated on our
cloaks, or in cocoa-nut shells for aught I know.  The pirates on hearing
this, received us in a very friendly way, and all of them swore that no
harm should happen to us.  However, when we were required to take the
oaths of the fraternity, and steadily refused, some of them began to
suspect that Silva had been deceiving them.  Our punt alongside showed
that at all events we had not come on board on our cloaks.  However, as
they had sworn no harm should come to us, they kept their word, with the
intention of landing us, as they have done, on this or some other
uninhabited island.  After Silva had lost his authority, I suspect that
our treatment would have been very different to what we found it at
first."

"Well, Mr Brand, we are so very glad that you and Ben have escaped.
What should we have done without you?" exclaimed Jerry.

I could do no more than take his hand and wring it warmly.

"Now, tell us, what do you think we ought to do next?" added Jerry.

"Make ourselves as happy as we can, and collect everything which will
serve us as food, in case we have to make a long sojourn here, which it
is, I think, very probable we shall have to do," replied Mr Brand.  "A
ship may come off here in a few days or weeks, but we must remember that
perhaps months or years may pass before one is seen.  I cannot say
whereabouts we are, but I suspect that the pirates would not have left
us in the usual track of vessels coming north round Cape Horn, or going
east or west.  The next thing we have to do is to strip the branches off
the tallest palm on the island, and make it serve as a flag-staff.
We'll then make as large a flag as we can of our handkerchiefs and
shirts, and any stuff which will be light enough to fly well."

We very soon carried out this project, and all of us working away to
join our handkerchiefs, we had by the next afternoon a big flag flying
from what we called our mast-head.

"Why, we shall turn into regular Robinson Crusoes, if we stay here as
long as you were saying we might have to do, Mr Brand," observed Jerry,
as we were working away at our flag-staff.  "I cannot say, however, that
I like the look of this island as much as I did that of Juan Fernandez.
If we had our choice, we would rather be there, I should think."

"Very likely; but as you see, Jerry, we have not our choice, we must
make up our minds to be content where we are," answered Mr Brand
cheerfully.  "Probably, if we were at Juan Fernandez, supposing it still
uninhabited, we should be wishing to be on the mainland.  Let us strive,
therefore, wherever we are, or whatever happens to us, to be content.
Depend on it, we were not placed here by our merciful and all-loving
Maker without an object, though we may never discover it.  I do not for
a moment mean to say that we are to sit down idly and not to endeavour
to improve our condition.  We are sent into this world to struggle--that
we may in a variety of ways be tried--that all our trials may tend to
our improvement.  What I wish to impress on you, my lads, is, that we
should be contented in every condition in which we are placed; we should
be thankful for every step we gain, while our chief aim in life is our
religious and moral improvement.  But remember, above all things, that
we must always look beyond this world.  This is not our abiding-place--
this is not even our resting-place--there is no rest here.  If we only
strive for something in this world--however noble, however great the
position--we shall altogether fall short, very short of the aim, the
object of life."

Mr Brand warmed with his subject, and much more he said of a similar
nature, which I will not now repeat.  Jerry and I listened very
attentively, and old Ben Yool tried also to take in what he was saying.
I think he succeeded, and, certainly, on all occasions after that he
bore without a grumble all the hardships to which we were exposed.  Poor
Silva lay on his bed all this time, suffering much from his wounds,
while Mr McRitchie, when he could leave his side, went off with his gun
to explore the island, and to search for specimens of its natural
history.  There was, however, a good deal to be done before we could
accompany him.  First, we had to finish our house, and then to store
within it all the provisions and articles which the pirates had left
with us.  The doctor had kept his gun, and we had ours, which had been
brought from the _Dove_, given to us as we left the schooner.  These
fire-arms would have been of no use to us, had not Silva given us a keg
of powder and a bag of shot.  These treasures we resolved to husband
with great care, as we knew that we might be placed in positions in
which our very existence would depend on our having the means of killing
game, or of defending ourselves against enemies.

"Before we do anything else, we should take an inventory of all we
have," answered Mr Brand.  "We must calculate how long our provisions
will hold out, in the first place, and not imitate the example of many
savages, who eat up all they have got, and then starve."

This advice was followed.  We found that we had provisions for four or
five months; but we hoped to make them last a much longer time, if
necessary, by eating the birds which swarmed on the island.  There were
cocoa-nuts and some other fruits, and we hoped also to catch an
abundance of fish, which are generally to be found about the reefs
surrounding coral islands in the Pacific.  Our labours being concluded,
we all sat down together on the beach below our habitation, to talk over
our prospects.  Happy, indeed, was it for us all, that we had a man like
Cousin Silas among us, to give us his advice, and to set an example of
patience and hope, and faith in God's merciful providence, and a
cheerfulness which nothing could overcloud.  Really, after talking with
him for some time, I often felt that our lot was rather to be envied
than dreaded, and that we were only doomed to undergo a somewhat
prolonged picnic.  This example and conversation had ultimately a great
influence with the doctor, who had been inclined to repine and to become
morose, looking with gloomy apprehension as to the future.

A week passed by, and we found ourselves perfectly settled in our new
home.  Silva was gaining strength and his wounds were healing, and we
were all in excellent health.  The doctor also had almost recovered his
spirits.  We began now to take a more extended survey of our island.  We
calculated that it was from ten to fifteen miles from one end to the
other, or rather right across; and as it was nearly circular, with a
large lagoon in the centre, we had to walk from thirty to forty miles to
go round it.  It was about a mile across in most places.  The beach was
formed of broken coral and shells, while the upper portion of the land
consisted of the _debris_ of coral, the dung of birds, and vegetable
earth.  Out of this composition grew tall cocoa-nut trees, and palms,
and pandanus trees, besides a variety of shrubs.

The birds had been partially driven away from the spot where we landed
and had been working, but we found them in prodigious numbers a little
way on.  Cousin Silas insisted on our tying up old Surley, to prevent
the unnecessary destruction which he dealt among them.  Before
committing any great slaughter among them, Cousin Silas advised us to
kill only a few of each description, to ascertain which were the most
palatable for present consumption, and which were likely to preserve
best for future store.  Sitting on nests roughly constructed of sticks
among the shrubs, were a number of frigate birds (the _Tachypetes
Aquila_).  He is a magnificent fellow, allied in some respect to the
cormorant, but with shorter legs, and having a forked tail.  His plumage
is a rich empurpled black, and the beak, both mandibles of which are
curved at the tips, is red.  His wings are of immense length, and his
power of flight is wonderful.  He can fish perfectly well for himself,
but he is a most irreclaimable pirate, and likes to watch till other
birds have seized their prey, and then he drops down upon them and
carries it away.  Sailors also call them men-of-war birds, but I think
they ought to be called pirates.  We looked into their nests, and found
only one egg in each.

While sitting down taking our luncheon, we observed a snake crawling
along out of the grass, and wriggling his way towards the sea.  For what
he went there I do not know.  He had better have kept away.  Just as he
got below high-water mark, out darted from the crevice of a rock a huge
crab, and seized him by the nape of the neck.  The snake wriggled, and
twisted, and tried to free himself in vain.  Mr Crab held tight hold of
him, and seemed resolved to eat him up.  Poor Snakie tried to get his
tail round a bit of rock, to keep himself out of the water; but Crabie
pulled and hauled, and, in spite of all resistance, got him down to the
very edge of the water, knowing that when once under it his struggles
would very soon cease.  Crabs have, however, to learn the lesson that
there is many a slip between the catch and the feast.  A frigate bird
had from afar espied the combat, and, flying like a flash of lightning,
downward he darted and seized the snake by the back.  The voracious crab
held on, not liking to lose his prey, till he found himself borne
upwards from the ground, and in unpleasant propinquity to the frigate
bird's sharp beak.  He must have felt that if he did not let go at once,
he would be dashed to pieces; still, as a miser clutches his bags of
gold, did Mr Crab the snake.  Fortunately for him, the frigate bird had
flown seaward, so that when he did let go, he fell into the water, and,
probably, however his temper might have suffered, he was not much the
worse for the ducking.  Had he fallen on the rock, he would inevitably
have had his shell broken, and would himself have become the prey of the
pirate.

There were also sooty terns and gannets.  It was interesting to watch
the careful way in which the latter guarded their eggs, placed in holes
on the ground.  Wishing to make their offspring hardy, they do not build
nests for them, I suppose; or, perhaps, the warmth of the rock assists
the process of incubation.

There were probably a greater number of tropic birds than of any others.
They would not got out of our way as we walked along, allowing us to
shove them over rather than move.  We literally also took their eggs
from under them, without their attempting to make any defence.  This
apathy, as we called it, we thought arose from stupidity, but the doctor
examined one of them, and showed us how weak its legs were, while its
feet were adapted only for swimming.  Its wings, however, were very long
and powerful.  Therefore, had it been up in the air, or skimming along
over the summit of the waves, it would probably have acted in a very
different way.  "Never judge of people till you know the sphere of life
in which they have been accustomed to move," remarked the doctor.  "A
really sensible, clever man, may appear very stupid and dull, just as
these poor birds do, simply because he is out of his element."

The tropic bird is a species of gull, about the size of a partridge.  It
has a red bill and legs.  The feathers are white, tipped with black, and
the back is variegated with curved lines of black.  The tail consists of
two long, straight, narrow feathers, almost of equal breadth during
their whole length.  Their flight is most graceful--they glide along
with scarcely any perceptible motion of the wing.  They return every
night to roost on land.  They live entirely on fish.  The natives of the
South Sea Islands ornament their persons with their feathers.  We saw a
number of snakes, but none of them attempted to bite us; and the doctor
said from their appearance that he did not believe them to be of a
venomous character.  Whenever we went near the water among the rocks, we
saw large fish darting about, of every colour and shape; huge, long eels
gliding in and out between the rocks, and fierce, voracious sharks
pursuing their prey.

There were a great variety of molluscs; indeed, the whole shore was
composed of shells.  We naturally thought that the shells were empty;
but as we watched them, thousands of them began to move, each tenanted
by a soldier-crab, and a whole army of them slowly advanced out of the
sea and marched across the land, devouring all the insects they
encountered in their progress.  Now and then two of them would stop and
have a fight over a beetle or a spider, when perhaps a third would step
up and carry off the cause of dispute.  We found the spiders' webs
stretching in every direction between the bushes.  The spiders
themselves were great, ugly, black fellows, very disagreeable to look
at, and still more unpleasant when we found them crawling over our
faces.

I wish that I could describe the variety of shrubs we found on the
island.  Many were evergreens.  One, which the doctor called the
suriana, emitted a peculiarly strong, though not unpleasant odour.  We
used to be very glad, when the rays of the sun came down fiercely on our
heads, to take shelter under these trees, and to rest during our long
journeys from one end of our dominion to the other.

We in a short time were acquainted with nearly every portion of the
island.  Our habitation was about ten miles from the entrance to the
lagoon, so that in one direction we were able to travel twenty miles,
when we arrived at the termination of that part of the circle; and by
going the other way, ten miles brought us to the end of the other.  The
passage into the lagoon was probably the eighth of a mile broad.

One day Jerry and I set off, he taking the shorter distance and I the
long way, that we might have the pleasure of looking at each other
across the passage.  I do not know that we had any better reason.
Accompanied by old Surley, I set off by daybreak, as over such rough
ground it was difficult to make good more than two miles an hour.  It
was therefore the evening when I got there.  I looked eagerly across the
channel.  There stood Jerry, shouting and beckoning to me.  I shouted to
him, and made all sorts of signals expressive of my delight at seeing
him.

After we had played these sorts of antics for some time, I began to
consider that it would be rather tiresome to have to walk all the way
back by myself, and that either I must go across to Jerry, or get him to
come over to me.  I was the best swimmer, so I resolved to go over to
him.  I made signs that I would do so, and he signified that he was very
glad to hear it.  Old Surley seemed as pleased as I was at seeing Jerry,
and leaped and bounded about, barking every now and then, after his own
fashion, to show his satisfaction.  Two or three times he ran down to
the water, as if he intended to plunge in and to swim across; and each
time he came back whining and looking up in my face, as if he had
thought it would be wiser not to venture in.  I had good reason
afterwards to admire the instinct which prompted him to refrain from
doing what he evidently wished to do.

I had my gun with me, as well as some provisions, which, of course, I
did not wish to wet; and so I had to consider how I could get them over
dry.  A raft was the only means, but I reflected that it might prove
somewhat difficult to tow.  Still, I did not like to be beat, so I made
signs to Jerry what I was going to do.  With a hatchet which I carried
in my belt, and with which I had provided myself to make an arbour for
the night, I soon cut down wood enough to form a raft which would carry
all my things, including my clothes; and I had a line in my pocket
strong enough to tow it along.

All was ready; I launched my raft, and was loading it with my property,
when my eye caught sight of a shoal of fish darting up through the
passage, followed by a black, triangular fin, which I quickly recognised
as that of a huge shark.  I saw the horrid monster overtake and gobble
up some of the fugitives, and then quietly come back, as it appeared, to
swim sentry at the entrance of the lagoon.  Perhaps he knew that the
fish would make an attempt to get out again the same way.  Be that as it
may, I felt no inclination to encounter the gentleman.

When Jerry at length discovered the cause of my hesitation, he made
signs entreating me to go back rather than to endeavour to cross, as I
proposed.  Still, I did not like to be driven back, even by a shark.  I
made signs that I would make a raft for myself.  There were plenty of
materials, the work would not take long, and it would be a triumph to
have overcome a difficulty.  I thought the idea a very bright one; so I
at once set to work to build a raft large enough to carry me across the
channel.  Jerry tried to make me understand something or other; but I
was so absorbed with my own idea and the work on which I was engaged,
that I could not make out the meaning he wished to convey.  While I was
working, old Surley looked on very attentively, as if he wanted to help
me, and fully understood what I was about.

I had built the raft close down to the water; but even so, I had
considerable difficulty in getting it afloat.  I succeeded, however, in
so doing at last, by means of a long piece of wood, which served me as a
handspike.  Just as I was going to step on it, I fortunately saw the
branch of a tree floating by out to sea, at a rate which showed me that
I might very possibly be carried away by the current before I could get
across.  I therefore converted my neckcloth and pocket-handkerchief into
a tow-rope, and towed the raft inside the lagoon.  I had made myself two
strong paddles--one to serve in case the other should break.  At last I
reached a point where I thought I might embark with safety.  Surley, who
had before hesitated, now came and placed himself by me.  I had put on
my shirt again, but the rest of my things were on the small raft.  I
gave my raft a desperate shove, and away I went, paddling as hard as I
could up the lagoon.

I thought that I had gone far enough, and was in a hurry to get across,
so I began to direct my course athwart the current.  At first I made
great progress, and laughed and shouted at the idea of thus easily
accomplishing my undertaking.  When, however, I turned my head over my
shoulder, I found to my dismay that I had not got so far from the shore
whence I started as I had fancied, while I was still a long way from
that on which Jerry stood, eager to welcome me.  I plied my paddle with
all my might; but I appeared to make very little progress, and the
current was evidently carrying me rapidly down the passage.  I looked
seaward: I had ample cause for anxiety, if not for dismay.  A long line
of huge breakers was rolling in on an outer reef, while the passage
between them was so narrow that I scarcely hoped that the raft could be
carried through it; and if it was, where was I to go?  Out to sea, to be
starved to death!  If, on the other hand, I was thrown among the
breakers, I felt certain that I should soon become the prey of the
hungry shark I had just seen swimming after the shoal of fish.  These
reflections gave strength to my arm, and made me paddle away even faster
than before.

Jerry full well understood my clanger, and I saw him wringing his hands
in his anxiety; yet he saw that he could do nothing to help me.  I felt
that I had been very foolish; and the poignancy of my regret was
heightened when I remembered that I had placed myself in my present
predicament without any necessity or an adequate object.  I had little
time, I own, to indulge in such reflections, for all my thoughts and
feelings were soon engrossed with the danger which immediately
threatened me.  Jerry ran along the shore as I was carried by, in vain
stretching out his arms as if he would help me.  Old Surley sat still,
only now and then uttering a low whine, as if well aware of our peril,
but feeling that he was unable to render me aid.  Now and then he looked
into the water, as if he would like to swim ashore, which he might
possibly have done; but then, perhaps, he remembered the shark he had
seen, or he was unwilling to desert me.  I truly believe that it was the
latter cause made him remain so quiet by my side.  I am certain, from
the expression of his countenance and the turn of his head, that he was
fully aware of our danger.

I paddled and paddled away with all my might, all the time facing the
shore, and getting nearer to it, but at the same time gliding down
seaward.  I was about a hundred yards from the shore.  I looked towards
the angry breakers, and was not more than twice that distance from the
mouth of the channel.  In a small boat there would have been no danger,
but I found my raft a very heavy thing to move.  I put still greater
force into my strokes.  My paddle snapped in two.  Jerry uttered a cry
of despair, for he thought I must now inevitably be lost.  I seized the
spare paddle, and flourishing it above my head, began to ply it as I had
done the first.  I made some progress, but not sufficient, I feared, to
attain my object.  I was approaching the last point.  Jerry ran out to
the end of it, and rushed into the water up to his arm-pits, hoping to
stop the raft.  I shouted to him to go back; for at that moment I saw
close to me the fin of a monster shark.  The savage fish darted on
towards him, and he was barely in time to escape his ravenous jaws by
springing into shallow water.  Had he caught hold of the raft, I saw
that he would be lifted off his legs, and carried away with me.  Still I
hoped to get within his reach where he stood.  But vain was the wish: I
drifted past the point.  What hope had I now of being preserved?  I felt
inclined to throw away my paddle, and to give myself up to despair.  But
I aroused myself.  I bethought me how Cousin Silas would have behaved
under similar circumstances.  I prayed for strength and courage to Him
who is alone able to give them to those in deep distress.  He heard me,
or I should not be alive to tell my tale.  Again I seized my paddle, and
plied it with all my might.  Still I drifted towards the roaring
breakers.  I vividly pictured the horrid fate which awaited me.  I
scarcely dared look seaward.  I kept my eye on the shore, paddling
without intermission.  Suddenly I felt the raft arrested in its progress
towards the breakers.  It was partly whirled round, and I found it
gliding parallel with the shore.  This encouraged me; hope once more
revived.  I directed the raft towards the shore.  I saw Jerry waving his
hands with joy; he was answered by a cheerful bark from Surley.  I got
nearer and nearer.  Oh, how thankful I felt when I found the blade of my
paddle grasped by Jerry, and was towed by him safely to the shore!  Old
Surley sprang off on to dry ground, and began leaping up and licking
Jerry's cheeks and hands, to show his gratitude.  Jerry and I hauled up
the raft, with its little tender, and landed my things; and then,
overcome with fatigue and the revulsion of feeling which I experienced,
I fainted.  I very soon, however, recovered, and kneeling down, joined
by Jerry, I returned my heartfelt thanks to Him whose arm I knew most
certainly had saved me.  Afterwards I dressed; and sitting down, we made
a supper from some of the provisions we had brought with us.

We had lost so much time that it was impossible to get back to our
companions that night; so we set to work to prepare a hut and bed for
ourselves before we were overtaken by the darkness, which comes on so
rapidly in those latitudes.  We were not long in constructing a bower
and in raising a platform, under and on which we might sleep secure from
the attacks of the snakes and other crawling things which abounded; but
night came down on us before our work was quite completed.  However,
free from all fear of savages or wild beasts, we lay down, and were soon
asleep.



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

OUR RESIDENCE ON THE ISLAND.

Our journey back appeared very long, for I was weak and tired, and from
the exertion I had undergone, every muscle in my body ached.  We met
Cousin Silas coming to look for us; for he had become anxious at not
seeing Jerry return at all events, and feared something might have
happened to us.  Ben Yool had set off in the other direction to search
for me.  Therefore, instead of gaining a great deal of credit, as we
expected, by the feat we had accomplished, we found that we had caused
our friends no little trouble and anxiety.  It was a lesson to me ever
afterwards not to attempt to perform any useless undertaking simply
because it might be difficult or dangerous.  Many people have lost their
lives by such folly.

Silva had by this time completely recovered his health, but his spirits
were very uncertain.  Sometimes he would sit for hours brooding over his
past life, and the treatment he had received from his companions; then
he would start up and walk about the beach, waving his arms, and calling
down imprecations on their heads.  At other times he was very quiet and
sociable, and would talk rationally on any subject under discussion.

The lagoon swarmed with fish; but though very beautiful in appearance,
our difficulty was to catch them.  We could manage to make some coarse
lines out of some rope-yarns which had been thrown into the boat with
the canvas; we could cut rods from the younger trees which grew around;
and there were plenty of projecting masses of rock on which we might sit
and angle; but a very important portion of our gear was wanting--we had
no fishing-hooks.

"Has any one a file?" asked Silva.  We all examined our knives.  I had
one in my knife-handle, but it was broken, and I had neglected to get
the blacksmith to put a new one in its place.  We hunted eagerly in our
box of tools.  Nothing like a file could we discover.

"What is this?" exclaimed Jerry, pulling out a bag of nails from the
bottom of a cask.  "Here is something larger than a nail inside."  It
proved to be part of a file.

"There is enough here to file through an iron bar, if properly used,"
said Silva, examining it.  "Hand me the nails; I will see what I can
do."  Seating himself under the shade of a cocoa-nut tree near the hut,
he began working away most assiduously.  With a pair of pincers he
twisted the nail into the shape of a hook, and very soon filed, out a
barb, and some notches in the shank with which to secure the line.  In
the course of two or three hours he had produced a dozen capital hooks.
"Now we may go fishing," said he.  "We may catch as many fish as we can
want, but we should be the better of a canoe."

"Or a raft, eh, Harry?  Should you like to try another cruise on one?"
asked Jerry.

I shuddered at the thought of the danger from which I had been
preserved.  However, as we all felt that our health would benefit by
some fish diet, we soon had our gear fitted, and all hands, including
the doctor, might be seen perched, like so many cormorants, at the end
of all the projecting points in the neighbourhood.  Jerry and I were
near each other; the rest of the party were pulling in fish pretty
quickly; and we had caught several very beautiful-looking fellows--a
species of rock-fish--when Jerry sang out that he had got a bite of some
big fish, and called to me to help him.  Leaving my own rod, I ran round
towards him.

"Quick, quick, Harry!" he sung out, holding on by his rod with all his
might.  "I shall be in!  I shall be in!"

Still he would not let go his stick.  I sprang forward, and was just in
time to seize him by the leg, when over he went splash into the sea.  At
the same instant I caught sight of the malign countenance of a huge
shark, which had undoubtedly caught the fish he had at first hooked.  I
exerted all my strength to haul him in; for the monster, instead of
being intimidated by the splash, made a dash forward for the purpose of
grabbing him.  I almost shrieked with horror as I beheld the savage
fish; but Jerry had just time, as I drew him up by the legs, to put his
hand on a point of coral, and to throw back his head, though the shark's
snout almost touched his nose as he did so.

"Not a pleasant fellow to get a kiss from," exclaimed Jerry, as he
scrambled up the rock and shook off the water from his clothes.  Then he
added, in a more serious tone, "Oh, Harry, what an ungrateful wretch I
am to be joking at such a moment, before I have expressed my gratitude
to God who has preserved me, or thanked you for coming to my
assistance."

While on the island we had had more time than usual for reflection, and
had profited also by the example and exhortations of Cousin Silas, so
that we were both happily becoming much more serious and thoughtful than
heretofore.  Indeed, I have learned that what we consider misfortunes,
if seen in their proper light, may become the cause of the greatest
blessings.

Ben Yool had seen the accident from a distance, and now came hurrying up
to us.  He was inclined to scold Jerry for the fright he had given him.
I believe truly that the old man loved us as much as if we had been his
own sons, and would have been miserable had any accident happened to
either of us.

On examining the fish we had caught, we found that, although very
beautiful in appearance, few of them were likely to prove palatable to
the taste.  Some, Silva thought, were altogether poisonous; and those we
cooked had very little flavour.

"If we had but a canoe we might go off into deeper water, and then we
might catch a greater variety, and many fish very fit for food," he
remarked, eyeing as he spoke several trees which, he said, would make
good canoes.  One or more canoes we accordingly resolved to have; so at
once we set to work to cut down a couple of trees.  That operation our
axes quickly accomplished.  It did not take us long to fashion the
outside.  To scoop out the inside was more difficult.  Our axes did the
rougher portion, and then we heated stones and bits of iron, and burned
out the remainder, scraping off the black part with our knives.  In
about a week we had a couple of small canoes completed, with seats
across, and with three paddles in each.  Silva took charge of one,
Cousin Silas of the other.  The doctor and I went with him, while Ben
and Jerry accompanied Silva.

With no little satisfaction we launched our fleet into the lagoon.  Both
canoes swam very well, and off we paddled with great delight across the
lagoon.  How bright and clear were its waters!  It was almost impossible
to estimate their depth, we could so completely see down to the bottom.
After pulling some time, we rested on our oars.  As we looked over the
side, how beautiful was the sight which met our view!  It was like a
fairy land.  Coral rocks of the most fantastic shapes sprung up around.
Caverns, and arches, and columns, and pinnacles appeared.  Gorgeous and
varied were the hues.  There were white, and blue, and yellow
corallines.  Among them grew marine vegetables of every description.
Here the delicate sea-green stem of the fucas twisted round a rock; and
near it the ocean fan expanded its broad leaves.  Every point was
occupied by some feathery tuft of lovely tints, while from each cleft
projected the feelers of some sea-anemone or zoophyte.  Among the
heights of the submarine landscape moved thousands of living beings, to
which the doctor gave some learned names which I do not pretend to
remember.  Some he called chetodons.  They were flat and of an oval
form, of a rich silvery hue, and had blue stripes downwards.  They swam
in a perpendicular position, with one long, slender fin from the back
curving upwards, and another from the opposite side curving downwards.
Several came and looked at us, as if to inquire why we had visited their
domains.  Others of still more curious forms and tints were darting in
and out among the rocks; and there were huge lobsters, and crabs, and
crayfish, of various sorts, poking their long antenna? out of gloomy
caverns; and sea-urchins, and star-fish, and the beche-de-mer, lay
scattered about; while huge clams opened wide their broad valves to
catch their unwary prey.

While we were all looking over the side, what had hitherto appeared to
be a huge piece of rock began to move, and the piercing, savage eyes,
and cruel jaws of a vast shark approached the canoe.  I felt a shudder
run through my frame as I saw the monster darting out of his ambush.
"Give way!" cried Cousin Silas; "he means mischief."  The doctor and I
plied our paddles.  The brute made a dash at mine, and almost bit it in
two.  Away we went as fast as we could towards the shore, pursued by
him.  We shouted as loud as we could and splashed our oars about, to
frighten him away; but he seemed in no way disposed to be alarmed.
Silva, hearing our shouts, now came paddling toward us.  Jack Shark,
however, seemed resolved to play us a trick if he could.  Swimming off
to a short distance, he darted back, clearly with the intention of
upsetting the canoe.  Cousin Silas turned her away from him just in
time, and giving the gentleman a smart blow over the snout, made him
think better of his intention.  Silva coming up at the same moment, so
distracted his attention that we reached the shore without his
succeeding in doing us any material damage.

Sharks are generally quickly frightened by splashing and a noise, and I
had never seen any so bold and ferocious as those we met with about this
island.  In a little time we got accustomed to them, and often have I
seen them gliding in and out among our lines, far down in the depths of
the lagoon, though they did not prevent us from catching as many fish as
we required.  Sometimes, however, as we were hauling up a fish, a shark
would catch hold of it and deprive us of our prize.  We never went out
without catching a large quantity, so we had always a good supply of
fresh fish--the rest we preserved.  We had two ways of doing this.  Some
we cut open and dried in the sun; others we salted.  We made some
salt-pans by blocking up the outlets in the rocks when the water ran off
at high tide, and by scraping others in the sand.  We thus had a supply
of salt for all our wants.  Mr McRitchie also found in his chest some
papers containing a variety of vegetable seed.  We accordingly scraped a
spot clear for a vegetable garden, and it was surprising how quickly
many of them sprang up and became fit for food.  Thus I may say that we
were furnished with many of the necessaries of life.

We were somewhat scantily supplied with kitchen utensils; our saucepan,
or boiling-pot, especially, had seen much service.  Silva showed us how
we might boil our fish without it.  He collected a quantity of very fine
grass, and set to work to plait a large basket.  So neatly did he put it
together, that, after he had soaked it in water, he filled it up to the
brim and not a drop ran out.  Then he put the fish in; and lighting a
fire, heated a number of large stones.  These, as soon as they were hot,
he kept putting into the basket.  As soon as he supposed that all their
caloric had left them, he hooked them out with a forked stick.  In this
way, by keeping the water boiling by a constant supply of hot stones, he
thoroughly cooked the fish.  I should think anything which does not
require much boiling might be cooked in the same way.

Thanks to the example set us by Mr Brand, we were never idle.  Of
course a good deal of our time was occupied in procuring provisions, as
is generally the case with those living in a savage state.  We had not
made any excursion to a distance for some time, when one day Jerry, Ben,
and I, set out to take a long walk.  After proceeding for about two
hours, we saw before us a bay, with a wide sandy beach.  Ben put his
hand on our shoulders and pointed eagerly at the bay.  The shore was
covered with a number of black spots.

"What are those?"  I asked.

"Turtle," he answered; "won't we have a fine feast of, them!"

We approached the bay carefully, following Ben's footsteps.  There must
have been a hundred fine, large, green turtle, basking in the sun before
us--enough to make the mouth of an alderman water.  Ben crept up to the
nearest, a fine fat fellow, and catching him by the flapper turned him
over on his back, where he lay helplessly kicking, but unable to stir.
Jerry and I, watching how he did it, turned over several more, though
our united strength only enabled us to do it.  We had got over a dozen
or more when we came to a big fellow who was too heavy for us.  We had
got him almost over, when down he came again on his belly, and, very
naturally, not appreciating the honour of being turned into turtle-soup,
began scuttling away as hard as he could towards the sea.  As may have
been discovered, neither Jerry nor I were fellows who ever liked to give
in; so we held on to the turtle with all our might, every now and then
lifting up one side in the hope of getting him over, when, in spite of
his strength, we should have made him ours.  We shouted to Ben to come
and help us; but he was busily employed in turning the other turtles,
which, disturbed by our noise, were moving away towards the sea.  Our
friend had got actually into the sea, and we still clung on though we
were up to our middles in water.  We thought that by sticking to him we
might now more easily get him over.  We did succeed in lifting him up a
little way, but he dealt us such severe blows with his flapper that over
we both went, getting our mouths full of sand and water, and, of course,
wet to the skin.  Ben now saw that it was time to come to our aid, lest
the turtle should actually swim away with us.  He rushed into the water;
but just then our friend struck out with both his paddles, and darting
away, we fell back head over heels, nor were sorry when Ben helped us to
regain _terra firma_, with our arms and legs not a little bruised with
the blows we had received.

We had no time to think of our hurts.  "Come along," shouted Ben, "we
must turn a few more before they all go away."  We had succeeded, we
found, in capturing nearly thirty.  Leaving the poor brutes on their
backs--and very uncomfortable they must have found themselves--we
hurried back to get the canoes, that we might convey some of them
without delay to our home.  We found that each canoe could only carry
three at a time, so that we had to make five or six trips to get them up
to the house.  We inclosed a place in the shade, where we put them, and
kept them well supplied with wet sea-weed, so that we had hopes they
would be preserved in good condition for a long time.

Each time we visited the bay, we found it crowded with turtle.  We
discovered that they assembled there to deposit their eggs.  This they
do in holes which they dig out with their flappers in the sand.  They
cover them up again with the same instruments, and leave them to be
hatched by the sun.  We had not thought about this, when one day, as we
were pulling across the bay in our canoe, we remarked the great number
of sharks, and dog-fish, and sting-rays swimming about.  Presently, as
we got close in with the shore, we saw a number of young turtle crawling
out of the sand and making their way to the sea, expecting, of course,
to enjoy a pleasant swim; instead of which, a very large number of the
poor little innocents must have been gobbled up by the voracious
monsters.  It would seem as if none could escape, but I suppose that
some manage to run the gauntlet and to get clear off into deep water.

We had now a supply of turtle sufficient to last us till the return of
their brethren the next year, should we be kept on the island so long.
We thought that very probably we might have to remain even longer than a
year.  Even four or five years might pass without a ship coming near us.

We had made steps up to the top of our flag-staff, and one of us never
failed to climb up there every morning, noon, and evening, to take a
look round to see if any sail was in sight.  Sometimes we talked of
building a canoe in which we might cross to some other island, or
perhaps even reach the mainland of South America.  This was Silva's
proposal.  He had seen, he asserted, birds flying in that direction.
Some did not even stop on our island; and this circumstance convinced
him, he said, that land could not be far-off.  Mr Brand did not approve
of this proposal.  He said that, without a compass, and without knowing
the direction in which land was to be found, the experiment was too
hazardous, in so frail a bark as we had it in our power to construct.
Still Silva constantly harped on this subject, and seemed quite angry
when nobody seemed inclined to make the attempt.

Weeks and months rolled on.  Silva used to listen to what Mr Brand said
to him, and he always behaved very well.  Indeed, we had ceased to
remember that he had been a pirate, and had joined in the most atrocious
murders; still, I do not know that he was a changed man--I am afraid
not; that is to say, I am afraid had a piratical vessel come off the
island, he would not have refused to join her.  One very hot day Jerry
and I had accompanied him in an excursion along the shore, when suddenly
he said that he should like to bathe.  We walked on a little further,
leaving him to undress, and then we agreed that the water looked very
tempting, and that we would bathe also.  We were by this time at some
little distance from him.  We were partly undressed when we saw that the
tide was rising, so we carried our things higher up the beach.

"If it were not for those horrid sharks, I should like to have a good
long swim," exclaimed Jerry.

"But those sharks are quite sufficient reason why we should not attempt
anything of the sort," I remarked.  "Here, I think, we are pretty safe;
but we must keep our eyes about us, depend on that."  We were inside a
reef where sharks were unable to come.

While we were speaking, we observed Silva walk slowly into the water,
and we thought he was going to stoop down and swim off.  First, he put a
foot forward, then he placed the other near it, and seemed to be trying
to lift them up; and then he put an arm down, and then another.  We, not
thinking of danger, ran into the water and swam about for some time,
enjoying ourselves excessively.  When we came out we looked for Silva;
he was nowhere to be seen.  What had become of him?  We dressed as fast
as we could, and ran along the beach to the spot where he had been.
There were his clothes, but there was no other trace of him.  We
shouted, but we shouted in vain.  Much alarmed, we ran back to the
settlement, as we called our hut, to get Cousin Silas or Ben to
accompany us in our search for him.  Mr Brand had gone in an opposite
direction, but, after waiting some time, Ben Yool came in.  After he had
heard our account he launched the canoe, and all three of us set off
along the coast to the spot where Silva had last been seen.  As we got
near it we saw the doctor, and hailing him, told him what had occurred.
Silva's clothes showed us exactly where to look for him, though,
believing that a shark had carried him off, we had little hopes of
finding his body.  As we were pulling in quite close to the shore, Ben
exclaimed, "Why, there he is, poor fellow, moored head and stern!  What
can have got hold of him?"  We called the doctor to come and see; and
Jerry jumping on shore, gave up his place to him in the canoe.  When the
doctor, got over the spot, after a short examination he exclaimed, "Why,
it is a monster cephalopod--a squid, a horrid polypus has got hold of
him.  Poor fellow, what a dreadful death to die!  There can be no doubt
how it happened.  He must have stepped on the squid, which caught hold
of him with its long and powerful tentaculas, and gradually infolding
him in its dreadful embrace, dragged him under the water.  What strength
the creature must have! for Silva was a very strong man, and would not
easily have given in."  Thus the doctor went on lecturing on the polypus
over the dead body of our late companion--his love of natural history
making him for the moment almost forget the horrors of the scene.  How
to rescue the body from the grasp of the monster was our next
consideration.  Returning on shore, we cut some long sticks, intending
to attack him with them.  Again we launched the canoe, but when we
reached the spot the squid and the body of the pirate had disappeared.

This dreadful catastrophe had a great effect on me.  Mr Brand also was
very much grieved when we got back and told him of what had occurred.
When one out of a small number, cut off as we were from the rest of our
fellow-creatures, is taken away, the loss must always be much felt.  It
was many days before we recovered our spirits.  When I thought of the
sharks, and the dog-fish, and these still more horrid polypi, I could
not help feeling as if we were on an enchanted island, surrounded by
terrific monsters to prevent our escape.

As time wore on, even Mr Brand began to talk of the possibility of
building a canoe in which we might endeavour to get away.  One great
difficulty seemed to be that of carrying a sufficient quantity of water
and fuel with which to cook our food.  Of provisions we had an ample
supply.  Jerry proposed filling all the cocoa-nuts we could collect with
water.  The idea did not seem a bad one; but the first thing to be done
was to get our canoe built.

We all the time kept a constant look-out from our flag-staff head.  One
forenoon I was up there as usual, when I thought I saw a speck on the
water.  It grew larger and larger.  I watched it eagerly, till I saw
that it was a canoe with a large sail.  It was approaching the island at
a point a mile or so from the house.  I hailed to say what I had seen,
and advised my friends to get our arms ready, that we might be able to
defend ourselves should the strangers come as enemies.  Mr Brand told
me to come down.  He then went up, and, after watching the craft for
some time, pronounced her to be a large double canoe, and probably full
of people.  On his coming down, a council of war was held.  As we could
not tell what sort of savages those on board the canoe might be, we
agreed that it would be wise to be prepared, if necessary, to meet them
as enemies.  Accordingly, we put ourselves under Mr Brand's orders.  He
took the musket, and Jerry and I were armed with our fowling-pieces--Ben
and the doctor providing themselves with hatchets and knives and long
pointed sticks.  Thus prepared, we hastily advanced towards the spot for
which the canoe was making.  That we might not be seen, we kept
ourselves under cover of the trees and shrubs, or ran along a path on
the lagoon side of the island.

We reached a good place for concealment behind some rocks and thick
bushes before the canoe came to land, so that we had plenty of time to
examine her.  She was, as Mr Brand had before discovered, a large
double canoe--that is to say, there were two canoes secured side to
side, and sharp at both ends.  I afterwards had an opportunity of
measuring her.  Each canoe was upwards of thirty feet long, and of fully
three feet beam; and as they were about two feet apart, with a platform
between them, the whole structure was about nine feet across.  Each was
also between three and four feet deep, so that she had considerable hold
in the water, and was able to carry a large supply of provisions.  Each
end was fitted for a rudder, so that she could sail either way without
tacking.  The canoes were completely decked over, thus affording a cabin
to their crews, and the means of preserving their cargo from damage.
This also enabled the craft to go through very heavy seas without
foundering.  This canoe, however, was only half the size of the large
double canoes of the Fejee and Tonga islanders, which are often a
hundred feet long, and proportionably deep and wide.

Meantime we were watching with deep interest the approach of the
strangers, expecting any moment we might be called on to engage in
deadly conflict with them, should they discover us and be inclined for
war.  Cousin Silas had, however, charged us on no account to commence
hostilities till it was evident that they would not allow us to retain
peaceable possession of our island.  As they drew near they lowered
their large mat sail, and took to their paddles.  We held our breath
with anxiety, for we could count nearly forty people on board the canoe.
Besides the men, there were both women and children.  The men were
tall, fine-looking fellows; some had on turbans and cloaks, and all had
wide kilts of native cloth, and the women were decently habited in
petticoats.  We observed among them spears, and bows and arrows, and two
or three muskets, which they held up conspicuously above their heads.
As they approached the shore they looked about, apparently to discover
any signs of inhabitants.  Perhaps their quick sight had shown them our
hut and flag-staff.  On they came.  They passed the passage through the
reef, and running the canoe on to the smooth sand, both men and women
leaped out, and began to haul her up on the beach.  Now was the time to
appear before them, and to attack them if they gave signs of hostility;
but just as we were going to rush out to take them by surprise, they had
hauled up their canoe sufficiently high to prevent the possibility of
her drifting away, and then one and all, climbing up the beach, fell
down on their knees, lifting up their hands and bursting forth into a
hymn of praise.  There could be no doubt about it; the words were
strange to our ears, but the tune was one well-known to us all.  Then
one--the eldest of the party--uttered a prayer in a deep and solemn
voice, all the rest joining afterwards in a response.  About that, also,
there could be no doubt.

Savages though they might seem, they were evidently Christians, and
though we might not be able to understand each other's language, they
would receive us in the bond of brotherhood.  We all, I doubt not, felt
ashamed of our previous suspicions; though, to be sure, the precautions
we had taken were very right and just.  At a sign from Cousin Silas, we
advanced slowly from our ambush, and, kneeling down at a little distance
from them, joined them in the tune of the last hymn they sang.  They
looked surprised, but no one moved till the hymn was over; and then they
got up, and, advancing fearlessly towards us, we shook hands cordially
all round.

On a nearer inspection, we saw by their emaciated looks and the battered
condition of their canoe that they must have undergone much hardship.
Perhaps they thought us rather a rough set for Englishmen, for our
clothes were somewhat tattered, and Mr Brand's and the doctor's, and
Ben's beards, whiskers, and moustaches were of considerable length, and
not a little tangled.

After some experiments, we found that one of the men could speak a
little English, but we failed to get out of him an account of their
history.  We were, however, able to explain to them that, if they would
accompany us, we would supply them with food, water, and shelter, of
which they evidently stood much in need.  We first assisted them in
hauling their canoe still further up the beach, so that she could not
drift off again at the top of high-water; and then we all commenced our
journey to our house.  Many of the poor creatures were very weak and
ill; and it was interesting to see Ben carrying a baby in each arm, and
helping along the mothers at the same time.  We all did the same, but
his way was more remarkable.  He would talk to the poor women, and
encourage him by his tone, if not by his words; and then he would kiss
the children, and dance them, and sing, and whistle, and chirp to them,
greatly to the delight of the little creatures, and, I have no doubt, to
that of their mothers also.

When we reached our settlement, we made up beds for the most
sickly-looking, and the doctor, examining them, administered some
restoratives.  While he was doing so, we got fires lighted, and putting
all our pots, and pans, and cooking-baskets into requisition, we soon
had fish frying and boiling, and turtle stewing, and bread-fruit and
various roots baking; indeed, the eyes of the poor creatures glistened--
as well they might--with the anticipated feast.  The doctor, seeing
their eagerness, warned us to take care that they did not eat too much
at a time; and, to prevent their doing so, assisted in serving out a
small share only to each.  To the invalids and children he only gave at
first a few spoonfuls of turtle-soup; but that had a great effect in
reviving them.  The people seemed to comprehend clearly the reason why
we gave them only a small quantity.  Hungry as they were, before any one
would touch the food, one of the elders stood up and, spreading out his
hands, uttered a grace over it, in which the rest joined, evidently with
pious sincerity.  I could not help thinking to myself, How differently
do these poor Christian savages, as they may be called, act to what
would be the case with many civilised Christians under similar
circumstances!  The prayers of these poor people are undoubtedly
acceptable to the all-loving God, who bestows his bounteous gifts with
so lavish a hand on us his unworthy creatures; but what can we say of
the hurried, scarcely muttered ejaculations to which the master of many
a house in civilised England gives vent, as if afraid, in the presence
of his polished guests--miserable worms like himself--of uttering a word
of thanksgiving to the great Dispenser of all the blessings bestowed on
him?  Should a bishop, or some high dignitary of the church, be present,
then perhaps, in an ostentatious tone, he is requested to ask a blessing
on the banquet; and grace for once is uttered in an audible voice.  Far
be it from me to say that this is always the case, but who can deny that
it is too often so?  My young friends, I have learned many things in my
voyage round the world, and this matter among others from those
missionary, taught savages.  Grace being said, they quietly partook of
the provisions set before them, and though the eyes of some of the
younger ones wandered towards the pots and the fire, no one even asked
for more than we gave them.

When they had eaten, we made signs for them to lie down and rest.  This
they did with the most perfect confidence, as if not the shade of any
suspicion of treachery crossed their minds.  Some were suffering from
sores and ulcers, brought on by constant exposure and wet, and to these
the doctor at once attended with evident solicitude; which, it was
clear, completely won their hearts.  We watched over them carefully
while they slept, driving away the flies and insects which seemed
disposed to settle on them; indeed, in every way, to the best of our
power, we treated them as men should men, and not as so-called
Christians too often treat their fellow-creatures.  What we might have
done had not Cousin Silas set us the example, I cannot say; I only know
that we were, happily, much influenced by his conduct and exhortations.
My long stay in that lone island had, I feel, a very beneficial effect
with me.  I had time to meditate, to reflect, to look into myself, to
examine my own heart and feelings, which I might never have done had I
been mixing with the bustling, thoughtless world.  Again and again I
must urge my young friends to examine themselves--to reflect constantly.
Do not say that there is no time--make time.  It is one of the most
important works of your life.  Do not let trivialities put it off.
Nothing you can possibly gain by the neglect can recompense you, however
important you may for the time think the work in which you are engaged.

The first thing the strangers did on waking was to sit up and sing a
hymn, and then several of them pulled out of the pockets secured to
their waists books, which we had no doubt were Bibles; others had
hymn-books, or devotional books of some sort.

The next day two or three of the strongest made signs that they would
like to go and look at their canoe; but the others seemed content to
remain where they were--indeed, many of them could not have moved even
had they wished it.  Jerry and I accompanied our new friends to the
canoe.  They seemed satisfied when they saw that she was safe; and
having procured a few articles from her, and among them several cooking
utensils, they returned with us to the settlement.  They made signs, as
they examined the canoe, that she would require much repair before she
was again fit to put to sea.  She was, to our eyes, a wonderful
structure.  There was not a nail in her; all her planks were sewed
together, and secured in the same way to the ribs.  This made her very
strong and elastic, and accounted for her being able to endure the rough
seas to which she must have been exposed.

Several days passed away, and our guests showed that they were
recovering from the effects of their voyage.  All this time we could not
tell from whence they had come, or where they were going.  They tried to
explain, but we could not understand them.  They were coming from some
Christian island, and they were probably going to one; or, perhaps, they
were native missionaries anxious to carry the gospel of salvation to
their benighted fellow-beings among the inhabitants of Polynesia.  We
soon came to the conclusion that some were missionaries, who had their
wives and children with them.  One was a chief, who was escorting them,
and the rest were the seamen of the canoe.  Mr Brand arrived at this
conclusion.

"But, sir," said Jerry, "I thought missionaries always wore black coats
and white ties!"

"John the Baptist was a missionary, but his raiment was of camel's hair,
and his food locusts and wild honey," was the answer.  "A man may be a
first-rate missionary who dresses in a fustian jacket and leather
gaiters, or whose costume is not more elaborate than that of these poor
people.  A friend of mine told me that he has often, sitting hammer in
hand on the roof of a cottage nailing on shingles, preached the gospel
to a congregation who were as attentive as if he were in a high pulpit,
and were habited in lawn sleeves."

There was something in the manner and the grave and thoughtful
countenances of the missionaries which enabled us to distinguish them
from the rest, and the one who already spoke a few words in English
quickly acquired more by which to explain himself.

When they grew strong enough to move about, they made signs that they
would not longer consume our store of provisions, but would, if we would
let them have our canoes go and fish for themselves.  To this, of
course, we gladly consented; and they never came back without offering
us a portion of what they had caught.  We saw that they were preparing
to remain some time on the island.  They built themselves huts near
their big canoe, and also three small canoes for fishing.  Whatever fish
they caught which they did not wish to consume, they carefully cut in
two and dried in the sun.  They also discovered a plantation of gourds,
some of which they dried to serve as jars for holding water.  We also
went on with our preparations for a voyage.  When they discovered what
we were about, they seemed much satisfied, and intimated that they hoped
we would accompany them.  We, in reply, assured them that we would be
very glad to do so.  They then took us to the big canoe, and showed us
how carefully they were at work repairing her.  Whenever any of the
lacing which kept her together was in any way worn or chafed, they put
in fresh with the greatest neatness, covering all the seams up with a
sort of gum which they collected in the woods.  In this we could not
help them, but we assisted in curing a large supply of fish and birds,
and in collecting roots, and filling the cocoa-nuts and gourds with
water.  When they saw that we had still a number of turtle alive, they
seemed highly pleased, and signified that they would prove a very
valuable and wholesome provision for the voyage.

Everything was at last ready.  The canoe was brought round into the
lagoon to load.  We all assembled.  One of the native missionaries
offered up in his own tongue some earnest prayers for our safety, and
thanksgiving for mercies bestowed.  Mr Brand followed his example in
English.  Then all went on board--the women and children first; the
missionaries went next, followed by the chief and the sailors; and we
five Englishmen, with Surley, brought up the rear.  Another hymn was
sung, the canoe was cast loose, the seamen seized their paddles, and
slowly, to the music of a hymn sung by all the natives, we paddled out
of the lagoon.  The sea was smooth, though there was a fresh breeze; the
sail was hoisted, and away we glided at a rapid rate to the eastward.



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.

A VOYAGE IN A SOUTH SEA CANOE.

Once more we were on the boundless ocean, out of sight of land, the
stars only as our guides, and the sagacity of the Polynesian chief and
his followers to depend on.  What made us feel most strange was our
utter ignorance where we were going.  From the quantity of provisions
and water the natives had thought it necessary to provide, it was
evident that we had a long voyage before us--perhaps many weeks might be
occupied in performing it.  We could scarcely hope not to experience a
gale of wind even in the Pacific during that time, and how could we hope
to weather it out in so frail a craft, especially deeply laden as we
were?

When Jerry and I expressed our apprehensions, after we had been some
days on board, and were beginning to get very tired of being cramped up,
the answer of Cousin Silas rebuked us,--"Trust in Providence, my lads--
on the arm of Him who has already preserved us from so many dangers.  He
would not have sent this canoe full of Christian men to us, unless for
some good object."  Jerry and I felt that Cousin Silas spoke the truth,
and we made no further complaints.

It was surprising how delicate and attentive the islanders were to us--I
will not call them savages.  They devoted the end of one of the canoes
for our accommodation, and raised over it an awning with mats, that we
might be shaded from the heat of the sun, which was at times excessive.
They selected the most delicate and the best-dressed food for us, and
always served us first.  Their habits were cleanly, and they were always
kind and courteous towards each other, as they were especially to us.
Now, as all this was so different to what I had fancied the natural
character of the inhabitants of the islands in this part of the Pacific,
I could not but suppose that their Christianity had produced the change.
Had I known that the immediate ancestors of these very people, and,
indeed, some of the men on board, had been cannibals and savages of the
worst description, I might have been still more astonished.  Oh, it is a
glorious thing to know what a mighty change pure, simple Christianity
will work in the heart of man, vile and deformed as sin has made it!
Cousin Silas often used to remark, that the world was a very useful
book, if we could but read it aright; and, thanks to him, I learned many
important lessons from it.  No lesson was more important than that which
taught me the great change which the doctrines of Christianity, under
the influence of the Holy Spirit, produce on men of the most savage
natures.  It confirmed and strengthened my faith in the power of the
gospel; and I wish that all my young friends would read the accounts
which they may find of the labours of missionaries in those and other
hitherto benighted regions, and they will, if I mistake not, find the
same result produced on their hearts which I experienced in mine.
However, I must continue my narrative.

We had brought with us our fishing-hooks and lines, and whenever the
breeze was moderate, we used to throw them out, and seldom passed an
hour without catching some fish.  This afforded a pleasant and wholesome
change to our diet, and economised our provisions.  Our progress was
slow, and we were unable to ascertain how long the voyage was likely to
last.  Hitherto we had enjoyed only the finest weather; the wind had
always been favourable, and even the strongest breeze which had wafted
us along had only covered the ocean with a brisk ripple.

I mentioned that one of the missionaries spoke a few words of English.
So great was his desire to acquire a further knowledge of the language,
that all day long he was engaged in learning it from one or other of us.
He first obtained a large vocabulary of substantives.  These he noted
down in a pocket-book which he cherished with great care, and then he
began upon verbs.  These are more difficult to obtain, when neither
master nor pupil understands the other's language.  However, by dint of
various signs, he obtained a good number, of which he began very soon to
make use.  We got on talking by degrees, till we really did understand
each other very fairly.  By degrees we gleaned from him the following
narrative:--

He and his companions belonged to an island in the neighbourhood of
Otaheite, all the inhabitants of which, from the teaching of some
missionaries, had embraced with joy the Christian faith.  From living in
a state of constant warfare, no one for a moment knowing if his life was
safe from the assaults of his fellow-islanders, they had all become
peaceable and contented, life and property being as secure as in any
part of the world.  The missionaries had taught them many useful arts,
and had introduced into the island many vegetables, and a variety of
fruits, with some few animals; so that they had now a constant and ample
supply of all the necessaries of life.

Highly valuing all the blessings they enjoyed, they heard that there
were some islands lying far away to the west, the inhabitants of which
were still ignorant savages.  Some of their people had occasionally
visited them in trading-vessels, and some of their canoes had, it was
said, formerly gone there occasionally.  At all events, they believed
that the inhabitants understood their language.  If, then, some of their
people had ventured so far for the sake of gain, much more did it behove
them to go there for an object inestimably more important--the salvation
of the souls of a number of their fellow-creatures.  A daring chief
undertook to head an expedition, and six native preachers volunteered to
go and settle with their wives and families among the heathen islanders,
and to convey to them faithfully the gospel of salvation.

Two large canoes were fitted out, strengthened for the voyage, and
stored and provisioned.  The whole population of the island assembled on
the beach to bid their countrymen farewell, and to offer up their
prayers for their safety.  They knew somewhat of the dangers they must
encounter, perhaps not all of them, but they had counted the cost, and
had they been greater than those of which they did know, they would not
have been deterred from the attempt.  With a fair breeze the two canoes
set sail, and glided on over the smooth sea, towards the far-distant
group of islands.  Day after day they sailed on; no land greeted their
sight, but they believed that they were on the right course, and
fearlessly committed themselves to the care of a merciful Providence.
They knew that however they might be directed, it would be for the best.

For many days the two canoes kept together, and the crews encouraged
each other; their voices raised in hymns of praise being wafted afar
across the waters, as they joined in chorus, and sang alternately with
each other.  At length dark clouds were seen gathering in the horizon,
light scud flew across the sky, the sea began to rise--the canoes
laboured much--soon they were pitching violently into the quick-coming
seas: still they were skilfully managed, and the wind allowed them to
keep their course.  Gradually, however, they drifted further and further
apart.  Night came on, but the tempest did not abate.  Several of the
people were kept continually bailing, for, in spite of all their care,
the sea constantly broke over them, and from the straining of the canoe
many a leak was formed.  No one who endured them, could ever forget the
horrors of that night.  "Had we been as we once were," continued the
missionary, "we should have resigned ourselves to our fate, and
perished; but we knew that it is the duty of Christians to strive to the
last, trusting in the arm of Him who is all-powerful to save, and while
prepared for death, never abandoning hope.  The morning at length came.
The other canoe was nowhere to be seen.  In vain we stood up and
strained our eyes on every side, as we rose to the top of a sea; not a
sign of her could we perceive.  Still we trusted that our friends might
have been preserved.  That day the gale blew as furiously as before; but
in the evening it moderated, though the sky was covered with clouds, and
we knew not whither we were drifting.  For several days we drifted on,
ignorant of our position.  Every morning, when daylight returned, we
looked out eagerly for our friends, but we never saw them again.  We
live in hope that they may have been preserved.  All is for the best.

"We thought that when the gale abated, and the sea grew calm, and the
sun came out, our sufferings would have an end; but they only then
began.  Our stock of water was becoming less and less.  Many of our
provisions had been so damaged by the sea, that they quickly decayed.
The sea became calm as the lagoon inside a coral isle; the sun burst
forth with intense heat; our thirst grew excessive.  Our island was
plentifully supplied with water, and we had always been accustomed to an
abundance; yet now we dared not drink more than the shell of a small nut
could hold at a time.  Carefully we husbanded the precious fluid; we had
learned to know its value.  At last the time came when not a drop
remained.  Every calabash was examined over and over again--the last
drop was drained out.  We sat down, and looked mournfully at each other.
Our thirst increased.  We dipped our heads in salt water--we
continually sprinkled each other over with it; but that did not convey
coolness to our parched tongues.  `We must die,' exclaimed some one.
`No, no,' answered one of our missionary brethren; `we will pray without
ceasing--we will trust in God.  He will send us relief when we least
expect it.'  That very evening a flight of sea-fowl flew close to the
canoe.  We were able to knock over several.  Their blood assisted to
quench our thirst; their flesh, too, revived our strength.  The next day
several fish were caught; but it was not food we wanted.  `Water! water!
water!' was the cry from old and young alike.  Still a day passed away--
there was no sign of land--no sign of rain.  The next day came;
intolerable was the thirst we endured by noon.  In vain we strained our
eyes through the hot, quivering atmosphere; the sky was blue and pure as
ever; not a speck could we discern in the horizon.  We had hoped that we
might reach the group of islands to which we had been bound; we
accordingly kept, as we believed, a direct course for it.  Another
morning broke.  During the night, our sufferings had been intense.
Could we survive through another day?  We stood up to glance round the
horizon.  Directly before us arose, as if sprouting out of the water, a
line of palm and cocoa-nut trees!  How eagerly we plied our oars to
reach the island on which they grew!  How thankfully our voices sang the
morning hymn, and uttered our accustomed prayers!  We rapidly neared the
spot.  We might have run close by it in the night without seeing it.  We
paddled round to find a spot on which to land.  Tantalising indeed was
it to see the ground where we might hope to gain life and strength, and
yet not be able to place our feet on it.  At last an opening appeared in
the surrounding reef, we ran in, and, hauling up our canoe, hurried off
in search of water.  No water could we find, but the strongest climbed
some of the cocoa-nut trees, and quickly threw down a supply of their
refreshing fruit.  Oh, how delicious and cool was the milk which they
afforded us!  Still, pure water was what we most wanted; but though we
searched in every direction, and dug down as deep as we could with our
rough wooden tools, not a drop could we find.

"We remained here a week hoping for rain, but it came not.  The juice
from the cocoa-nuts restored our strength.  We collected all we could
gather for our voyage.  Once more we resolved to trust ourselves to the
sea.  We embarked, and hoisting sail, stood away on our former course.
No land appeared in sight.  Many days passed away.  Our supply of
cocoa-nuts was almost exhausted.  Again death by thirst stared us in the
face.  Oh, how carefully we husbanded the few precious nuts which
remained!  They at last were exhausted.  The hot sun again arose, and we
had no liquid with which to quench our thirst.  The burning rays of the
bright luminary struck down on our heads with intense force.  `Water!
water! water!' we repeated as before.  Some almost gave way to despair.
`We have before been preserved, why give up all hope now?' said others.
In the evening a small cloud was seen to rise out of the sea.  It spread
wider and wider.  There was no wind.  It advanced toward us.  Fast from
it fell a thick shower of pure, sweet water.  On it came, we opened wide
our mouths, we spread out our hands.  Oh, how gratefully it moistened
our parched lips!  We stretched out our sail and all our garments, and
let the precious streams we thus gathered run into our gourds and pots.
All that evening the rain came down in a continuous fall, and every
moment we were occupied in collecting it, till all our receptacles were
full to the brim,--not a shell did we allow to remain empty: and then we
poured it down our throats in a full, refreshing stream.  Scarcely were
we satisfied when the rain ceased--the dark cloud blew onward--the stars
shone forth brightly from the clear sky, and we pursued our course.

"The next island we came to was barren--no water, and no nuts; we must
have perished had we been cast on it.  Then we reached another with some
inhabitants on it.  We understood, in part, their language.  Their
ancestors had, they believed, been cast on it wandering as we were
across the ocean.  Their canoe had been destroyed, and they had remained
there without wishing to depart.  They had been driven forth from their
native isles by cruel wars, in which the greater number of their kindred
had been destroyed.  They received us in a friendly manner, and invited
us to remain with them.  They had heard nothing of the Truth.  The
gospel-message had never reached their ears.  From consulting with them
we were convinced that we had been driven so far out of our course that
we should never reach the islands of which we were in search.  Here,
however, was work for us to do, pointed out clearly by the finger of
God.  We told the islanders, to their joy, that we would remain with
them; and by degrees we opened to their wondering ears the glorious
tidings we had brought.  Astonished, they heard, but did not refuse to
listen.  Some speedily believed.  The news we brought was of a nature
their hearts had long yearned for; it spoke of rest from toil--rest from
suffering--rest from sin.  Others, in time, accepted the truth with
thankfulness.  Every day we preached, and every day some one
acknowledged himself a sinner, and sought redemption through Him alone
who can give it.  At length our glorious work was accomplished.  We gave
them books; we taught them to read.  We told them that we must depart to
try and reach our own homes.  They entreated that one of our number
would remain with them.  It was resolved that one should remain to guide
them aright.  We drew lots.  He on whom the lot fell, without a murmur,
with his wife and family, joyfully remained--though he well knew that he
could never hope again to see the land of his birth, and many dear to
him there.  But I am making my story longer than I intended.

"Once more we set sail to return to our homes.  Numerous were the
hardships we endured, though no one murmured.  Several islands were
visited.  At some, food was procured; at others we were afraid to stay,
on account of the fierce character and the cannibal propensities of the
inhabitants.  We had been ten days out of sight of land when we reached
your island, and truly did we rejoice to find not only whites, but
Christian men to receive us."

With these words the native missionary finished his narrative.  I was
particularly struck with the artless simplicity of his account, and the
faith and perseverance he and his companions had exhibited, so worthy of
imitation.  I felt ashamed as he spoke of white men, when I recollected
how many act in a way so totally at variance with their character as
Christian and civilised men, and how bad an example they set to those
whom they despise as heathens and savages.  I have very frequently met
young men who fancy when they are abroad that they may throw off all
restraints of religion and morals, under the miserable excuse that
people should do at Rome as the Romans do,--in other words, act as
wickedly as those among whom they have gone to live.  What would have
become of Lot had he followed the example of those among whom he took up
his abode?  Now, my young friends, I daresay that you will think I am
very young to lecture you; but remember that I have been round the
world, and I should have been very dull and stupid had I not reaped some
advantage from the voyage.  What I want to impress upon you is, when you
leave your homes and go abroad, to be if anything more strict, more
watchful over yourselves even than you have before been.  Society will,
too probably, afford less moral restraint, the temptations to evil will
be greater; but pray against them faithfully--strive against them
manfully, and they will not overcome you.

Our voyage, as I was saying, had hitherto been prosperous; but a gale
came on, and we were exposed to the very dangers the missionary had so
well described to me.  We could do nothing except help to bail out the
canoe, for the natives understood how to manage her much better than we
did; and, with all our civilisation and nautical knowledge, we had to
confess that in that respect they were our superiors.  The canoe
laboured fearfully, and often I thought that she must founder.  How
anxiously we looked out for some sign that the gale was abating, but in
vain.  Had we been in our own ship, we should certainly have thought
very little of the gale; but in this frail canoe we had ample reason to
dread its consequences.  At length the wind shifted, and drove us on in
what the islanders considered our proper course.  We ran on for some
days without seeing land, and then the gale blew over and left us
becalmed under a burning sun.  We had carefully from the first husbanded
our water, having the advantage of the previous experience of our
companions.  As it was, we had barely sufficient to quench the constant
thirst produced by the heat.  Every day, too, seemed to increase our
thirst and to diminish our stock of the precious fluid.  Our hope had
been to fall in with some vessel which might either supply us or give us
a course to the nearest island where we might obtain it.  One forenoon,
when we had been suffering even more than usual, the chief declared that
he saw a vessel on our weather bow, and that she would cross our course.
With intense eagerness and hope we all looked out for her.  As her
sails rose out of the water, we saw that she was a schooner.  If we
could but get on board her, we thought that we might again in time
rejoin the _Triton_.  We were very certain that Captain Frankland would
not cease to look for us while a chance remained of our being
discovered.  Gradually we neared the schooner.  I saw Cousin Silas and
Ben Yool looking at her with great earnestness.

"What is she, Ben, do you think?" asked Cousin Silas.

"Why, Mr Brand, as you know, sir, I've been boxing about the world for
the best part of the last forty years, and I think I ought to know one
craft from another, and to my mind that vessel is no other than the
piratical craft we were so long aboard.  I say, if you ask me, sir, that
we ought to stand clear of her.  She'll bring us no good."

"Exactly my idea," answered Cousin Silas; "the wretches might very
likely send us to the bottom, or carry us off again as prisoners."

We were, however, too near the schooner to hope to escape from her; but
we agreed that we might lie concealed while the canoe sailed quietly by
her, and that, probably, no questions would be asked.  We had some
little difficulty in explaining the character of the vessel to our
friends.  When they did understand it, they seemed to be much horrified,
and undertook carefully to conceal us.  As we drew near the schooner,
the rest of our party went below; but I wrapped myself up in a piece of
matting, leaving a small aperture through which I could see what was
going forward.  The schooner stood close up to us.  I was very certain
that she was the pirate.  Several faces I recognised.  Among them was
Captain Bruno.  At first I thought that they were going to run us down;
then I dreaded that they were going to make us come alongside.  Hauling
their foresail to windward, they hailed two or three times, but in a
language was not understood.  At last an answer was given from the
canoe.  What it was I could not tell.  It seemed to satisfy them.  To my
great joy they once more let draw their foresail, and stood away from
us.  This was not the last time we were to see that ill-omened craft.

As soon as she had got to some distance off, my friends came out of
their hiding-place, and I disengaged myself from the folds of the mat.
Truly thankful were we that we had escaped her.  The missionary told us
that the pirates had stated that we were about three hundred miles to
the westward of Otaheite, and that we should pass several islands to get
there.  Once at Otaheite the chief knew the direct course to his own
island, and believed that he should have no difficulty in finding it.
Our escape from the pirate made us, for a time, almost forget our raging
thirst; we could not, however, but admire the fidelity and resolution of
the natives, who, rather than run the risk of betraying us, had
refrained from asking for water from the pirate.

All that day our sufferings were very great.  As we were running on
during the night, our ears were assailed by the sound of breakers.  We
listened; they were on our weather bow.  If we ran on we might miss the
island; so we hauled down our sail, and paddled slowly on towards the
spot whence the sound proceeded.  All night we remained within sound of
the surf.  How anxiously we waited for daylight to ascertain that there
was an island, and not merely a coral reef over which the sea was
breaking!  That night was one of the most anxious we had yet passed.
Slowly the hours dragged along.  It was wonderful to observe the calm
and resigned manner of the islanders.  The missionaries and the chief
never gave the slightest sign of distress; even the women did not
complain.  "It must be near daybreak," said Mr Brand, waking up out of
a sleep into which he had at last fallen.  "Look out."  We strained our
eyes in the direction in which we believed the island to exist.  A few
pale streaks appeared in the east; and then, oh! our hearts leaped with
joy as we saw tall, thin lines appear against the sky; and, as the light
increased, the stems and tops of trees were revealed to view.  But our
joy was somewhat damped when we discovered that a long line of heavy
breakers rolled between us and them.  At sight of the island the
natives, with one accord, raised a hymn of praise and thanksgiving which
put our doubts to shame; and the chief, pointing to the surf, made signs
that we must go round on the other side, where we should find a place to
land.  The sail was forthwith hoisted, and we quickly ran round to the
lee side, where a wide opening in the surf presented itself.  We paddled
through it into the inner bay or lagoon, and reaching the shore, the
canoe was secured.

The natives did not forget their prayers and hymn of thanksgiving, in
which we all heartily joined them.  They then looked cautiously about,
to ascertain that there were no people on the island who might treat us
as enemies.  This necessary precaution being taken, we hurried about in
every direction in search of water.  Jerry and I kept together.  Our
tongues were parched with thirst.  Some of the natives were climbing the
cocoa-nut trees, in case any might still retain milk; but the season for
the fruit was now passing.  Indeed, we wanted water, pure simple water.
We felt that we should value it far more than the richest wine from the
vineyards of Burgundy or the Rhine.  At last we observed a little
moisture on the ground near a large tree.  We followed up its trace, and
soon, shaded by shrubs, we came to a basin of bright, cool water.  We
eagerly stooped down and lapped up some of the delicious fluid, and then
shouted loudly to our friends to come and enjoy the valued luxury with
us.  In a very short time the pool was surrounded with men, women, and
children, ladling up the water with their calabashes and bowls, the
mothers pouring it into the mouths of their children before they would
themselves touch a drop, while the men knelt down and lapped it up as we
had done.  As I watched the scene, I bethought me that it was a subject
fit for the exercise of the painter's highest art.

We spent a week on the island, repairing the canoe, catching fish, and
filling our water jars with water.  This may appear an unnecessarily
long time to have waited on our voyage, but, after being cramped up for
so many weeks, it was necessary to recruit our strength and to stretch
our limbs.  Much refreshed, we continued our voyage.  I forgot to state
that at every island where we touched we engraved our names on the
trunks of trees, in the most conspicuous situation, and stated the
direction in which we were going.  We had done this also on our own
island, as we called it, that should any vessel visit the spot she might
perhaps convey intelligence to Captain Frankland that we were alive, and
give him some clue as to where to look for us.  Our friends understood
our object, and now added some sentences in their own language to the
same effect.  The fine weather continued, and confident in the guidance
and protection of Him who had hitherto preserved us from so many and
great dangers, we launched forth again into the deep.

We passed several small islands; some had but a few stunted trees
growing on them; others again had scarcely soil sufficient to nourish a
few blades of long wiry grass; while others were barren rocks without
verdure of any description, their heads but lately risen from beneath
the waves.  I believe that it was at one time supposed that these coral
formations rose from immense depths in the ocean, and that those
wonderful and persevering polypi worked upwards till they had formed
submarine mountains with their honey-combed structures; but it is now
ascertained that they cannot exist below at the utmost fifty feet of the
surface, and that they establish the foundation of their structures on
submarine mountains and table-lands, while they do not work above
low-water mark.  How comes it then, it will be asked, that they form
islands which rise several feet above the sea?  Although the polypi are
the cause of the island being formed, they do not actually form it.
They begin by building their nests on some foundation which instinct
points out to them.  First they work upwards, so as to form a wall, the
perpendicular side of which is exposed to the point whence the strongest
winds blow and the heaviest sea comes rolling in.  Then they continue to
work along the ground and upwards on the lee side of the wall, sheltered
by their original structure from the heavy seas.  They also work at each
end of their wall in a curve with the convex side exposed to the sea.
Thus, at length, beneath the ocean a huge circular wall of considerable
breadth is formed.  Storms now arise, and the waves, dashing against the
outer part of the walls, detach huge masses of the coral, six feet
square or more, and cast them up on the top of it, where they remain
fixed among the rough peaks of coral; and gradually other portions are
thrown up, till a mass is formed above high-water mark.  Other bits,
ground by the waves into sand, now form a beach, united with shells and
various marine productions.  Birds come and settle, and leave seeds
which spring up; and trees grow, and attract moisture; and fresh springs
are formed, and the spot becomes fit for the abode of man.  Some islands
have had a rock, or, perhaps, the plateau of some marine mountain for
their commencement, and the polypi have simply enlarged it, and formed a
reef around it.  ["The Coral Island," by R.M. Ballantyne, Esquire,
Nelson and Sons.] However, this interesting subject has been so often
well explained in other works that I will not further enlarge on it,
though I could not pass it by in the description of my voyage without
some notice.

Another week we had been out of sight of land.  We were longing to find
some spot on which we might stretch our legs, if only for a few hours,
and, what was more important, obtain a fresh supply of water, when
towards the evening the treetops of a large island appeared before us
stretching away on either side to the north and south.  We approached
near enough to be seen from the shore, if there were inhabitants on it,
of which there could be little doubt; but we could discover no place
where it would be safe to attempt a landing.  Judging that the shortest
way to get round to the other side would be to go to the south, we
paddled in that direction during the night.  The roar of the surf
prevented any sounds from the shore from reaching our ears; but we
observed several fires lighted on the beach, which assured us that the
island was populated.  The question, of course, was--Would the
inhabitants appear as friends or foes?  We paddled but very slowly
during the night, just sufficiently to keep the canoe away from the
breakers, and to get round to the place where it was believed a passage
would be found.  At daylight we perceived the looked-for spot, and stood
towards it.  We observed a number of people on the beach.  They had
scarcely any clothing; their skins were dark, their hair was long and
straggly, and the men had spears or clubs in their hands.  Our chief
stood up and examined them narrowly.  No green boughs were waved as a
sign of amity; on the contrary, their gestures appeared somewhat of a
threatening character.  We had just got to the mouth of the passage when
his quick eye detected a number of canoes collected inside the reef, and
full of men, armed with darts and bows and arrows.  He made a hasty sign
to his followers to back their paddles, and away we shot out of the
trap.

As soon as our flight was discovered the canoes gave chase.  They were
small, each carrying not more than six or eight men; but from their
numbers they were formidable.  The men in them were also armed with a
variety of weapons, and we thought it very likely that the arrows and
darts might be poisoned.  In a long line they darted out of the passage
through the breakers, like hornets out of their nest, to the attack.
"There they come, the black scoundrels!" exclaimed Ben Yool.  "Ten,
fifteen, twenty,--there are thirty of them altogether.  They'll give us
no little trouble if they once get alongside.  However, they think that
they've only got their own countrymen, so to speak, to deal with.
They'll find themselves out in their reckoning, I hope."

As we got away from the land we felt the force of the wind, and the
chief ordering the sail to be set, we shot rapidly ahead.  Still the
small canoes made very rapid way through the water.  The chief looked at
us, as much as to ask, "What will you do, friends?"  Mr Brand
understood him, and answered by producing our fire-arms.  Fortunately we
had had very little necessity to expend our cask of powder and our shot,
and we had a good supply.  The missionaries, when they saw the
fire-arms, put their hands to their heads as if in sorrow that it would
be necessary to shed blood, but some words spoken by their chief
reassured them.  We could have told them that the sin lies with those
who make the attack, provided the other party has employed all evident
means to avoid hostilities.

By the orders of their chief our people got their own bows and spears
ready, and then they set to work with their paddles again, and plied
them most lustily, much increasing the speed of the canoe.  This,
however, had only the effect of making our enemies redouble their
efforts to overtake us.

Mr Brand and Jerry and I were the best shots; the doctor was not a good
one, and Ben knew better how to manage a big gun than a musket.

"You will fire over their heads, will you not?" said the doctor.

"I think not," answered Mr Brand.  "It will be mercy to make them feel
the effects of our power.  If each of us can knock over one of their
people they may be so terrified that they will turn back at once; but if
they once come on and attack us, we know not where the slaughter may
end, even should we prove victorious."

It was agreed, therefore, that as soon as the savages got near enough to
distinguish us, we were to jump up, and taking steady aim, to pick off
those who appeared to be chiefs in the headmost boats.  We explained our
plan to our chief, and he much approved of it.

The wind freshening we made good way, but still the flotilla of canoes
was fast overtaking us.  The voices of the savages, as they shouted and
shrieked at us, were wafted across the water; but they had not the
effect of intimidating our friends.  "Ah, my boys, you'll shout to a
different tune, I suspect, before long," exclaimed Ben, as he eyed them
angrily.  At length, in spite of all the efforts of our friends, the
savages got close up to us; and two men in the leading canoe, lifting
their bows, were about to draw their arrows, when Cousin Silas
exclaimed, "Now is the time, my lads; give it them."  We all fired.  The
two savages dropped instantly, and one man in each of the next canoes
went head foremost overboard.  The people in the following canoes
hesitated for a minute what to do.  The delay gave us time to reload.
Again we fired, while our people jumping up sent a flight of arrows
among our enemies.  Shrieks, and cries, and groans, arose from the
canoes, which all crowded thickly together like a flock of sheep, their
people astonished and terrified at what had occurred.  Then they turned
round, and all paddled back in evident confusion.  We shouted, and gave
them a parting volley; but this time it was over their heads to hasten
their movements.  We were preserved,--not one of us had received the
slightest injury.  Away we glided, as fast as the wind and our paddles
would carry us from the inhospitable island.



CHAPTER NINETEEN.

VOYAGE IN A WHALER--FURTHER ADVENTURES.

Wearily our voyage had continued for many weeks, yet we felt that having
been preserved from so many dangers, it would be sinful to complain.  No
one was actually sick, not a life had been lost, and by great economy
our provisions and water had hitherto been sufficient for our
necessities.  A flight of birds had passed over our heads, directing
their course to the north-east.  We saw our chief watching them, and he
at once ordered the canoe to be steered in the same direction.  All day
we stood on.  Just as the sun was setting, we thought we saw a faint
blue peak rising out of the water, but even the most practised eye could
not determine whether it was land or a light cloud.  We continued the
same course during the night.  For several hours I watched, then,
overcome by fatigue, I fell asleep.  "See! see!"  I heard Jerry exclaim.
I jumped up.  There appeared before us the lofty and rugged peaks of a
line of mountains.  Of great height they seemed, after the low land to
which our eyes had been so long accustomed.  Their sides were clothed
with verdure, pleasant and refreshing to the sight; and at their bases
were groves, and fields, and sparkling streams, with heat pretty-looking
cottages scattered about.  There was a slight swell.  When the canoe
rose to the top of it, we could see a yellow beach, with a circle of
bright, blue, calm water around it, and outside a line of white foaming
breakers, the guardians of the shore.  "Otaheite!  Otaheite!" exclaimed
the chief and his followers; and we thus knew that we were on the coast
of the dominion of the ill-treated Queen Pomare; but we also knew that
there were civilised men on shore, and that we should probably be
received there with kindness and hospitality.

Soon discovering a passage through the reef, we ran in, and were at once
surrounded by canoes full of people, wondering who we were and whence we
had come.  Our friends quickly gave an outline of our and their
adventures, to satisfy curiosity.  They found there several people from
their own island, one a chief who had become a wealthy man.  He took
them to his own house, and had their canoe hauled up to be repaired.  I
need not say that she was visited by all the foreign residents, curious
to examine a craft of so frail a structure which had performed so long a
voyage.  Our consul was very civil to us, and we were received into the
house of an English gentleman, who treated us with the greatest
kindness.  As we met with no very interesting adventures during our stay
here, I will content myself with giving a brief account of the island.

Otaheite was discovered in 1767, by Captain Wallis, who called it King
George's Island; but it is better known by the name of Tahiti.  It is of
volcanic formation, and consists of two peninsulas joined by a neck of
low land, about two miles across.  The whole island is about thirty
miles in circumference.  The smaller portion, called Tairaboo, is the
most fertile; but as Tahiti proper has the best harbour, it is the most
frequented, and is the seat of government.

We know very little of the history of the island.  Soon after its
discovery, a chief, who assumed the title of Pomare the First, made
himself king.  His son, and then his grandson, succeeded him, and the
present queen is his granddaughter; her name is Aimata, but she has
taken the title of Pomare the Fourth.  She has established a
constitution, and seven chiefs act as her ministers.  For many years
both the chiefs and people have professed Christianity, having been
converted to a knowledge of the truth by Protestant missionaries.  These
missionaries were undoubtedly earnest, pious men, but they have been
unable altogether to check the vices which the lawless rovers, outcasts
of every civilised nation in the world, have introduced among them.
Notwithstanding the counteracting influences I have mentioned,
civilisation was making progress in the island, under the teaching of
the Protestant missionaries, when the peace was disturbed by the arrival
of two French Roman Catholic priests.  They travelled about the country
endeavouring to teach their doctrines, but in no place did they find
willing hearers.  A few chiefs who were in opposition to the Government
for political motives, gave them some countenance, and they were
entertained at the house of the American consul.  The people, however,
resolved that they should not remain to attempt the corruption of the
faith in which they had been instructed, and rising in a body, compelled
them to go on board a small vessel, which carried them to Wallis Island,
two thousand miles off.  The French who had long desired the possession
of some island in the Pacific inhabited by partly civilised people, were
too glad to found a pretext on this circumstance for interfering in the
affairs of Tahiti.  A frigate, the _Venus_, commanded by Monsieur Du
Petit Thouars, entered the harbour of Papieti.  The French, captain,
bringing his guns to bear on the town, demanded satisfaction for the
outrage committed on his countrymen.  The queen was inclined to resist,
but the foreign inhabitants, knowing that they should be the chief
sufferers, collected the amount demanded, which was at least four times
as much as any pecuniary loss the priests had incurred.  He also forced
a treaty on the queen, by which Frenchmen were allowed to visit the
island at pleasure, to erect churches, and to practise their religion.
This was the commencement of the complete subjugation of the Tahitians
to the French.  So much for the history of the island.

The valleys, and a plain which extends from the sea-shore to the spurs
of the mountains, are very fertile, and produce in great abundance all
tropical plants.  The climate is warm, but not enervating; the scenery
is in many parts very beautiful.  Thus the natives are tempted to lead
an easy and idle life, exerting but little their physical and mental
powers.  It is, indeed, to their credit that they do not altogether
abandon themselves to indolence.  They are by nature constituted to
enjoy the beautiful scenes by which they are surrounded.  Consequently,
they delight in building their cottages in the most retired and lovely
spots they can find.  Their habitations are surrounded with fences,
inside which they cultivate the taro, and sweet potatoes, the banana,
the bread-fruit, the vi-apple, groves of orange and cocoa-nut trees, and
at times the sugar-cane.  Their habitations are of an oval shape, often
fifty or sixty feet long, and twenty wide.  They are formed of bamboos,
planted about an inch apart in the ground.  At the top of each wall thus
formed, a piece of the hibiscus, a strong and light wood, is lashed with
plaited rope.  From the top of the four walls the rafters rise and meet
in a ridge, those from the ends sloping like those from the sides.  The
rafters, which touch each other, are covered with small mats of the
pandanus leaf, which, closely fitted together and lapping over each
other, forms a durable roof, impervious to the rain.  The earth, beaten
hard, forms the floor.  There are no regular partitions, but mats serve
the purpose when required.  Their bedsteads are made of a framework of
cane raised two feet from the ground, and covered with mats, the most
luxurious using pillows stuffed with aromatic herbs.  They have neither
tables nor chairs.  Their style of cooking is very simple: they bake
their food in extemporised ovens filled with hot stones.  Since my
return I have often intended to propose having a picnic, and to cook all
our food in Tahitian fashion.  The dress of the people is undergoing a
rapid and considerable change.  Formerly a native cloak and kilt was all
that was thought necessary; now every sort of European clothing is in
vogue.  We had an example of this at a feast our English friend gave to
a number of chiefs and their relations.  Some of the gentlemen had on
uniform coats, with nankeen trousers too short for them, and coloured
slippers.  Others had top-boots, red shirts, black breeches, sailors'
round jackets, and cocked hats.  Some had high shoes and buckles, and
others had no shoes at all; but all had shirts and trousers, or
breeches.  Some, indeed, were in complete costume: shoes, stockings,
trousers, waistcoat, coat, shirt, with a huge neck-tie--every garment of
a different colour, and often too large or too small--while a little
straw hat was worn on the top of the head.  Indeed, it was very evident
that their clothes had been collected from all parts of the world, many
garments probably having passed a probation in pawnbrokers' shops, or in
those of old clothes-men in London or Liverpool.  I was particularly
struck by the total want of perception of congruity as to dress
exhibited both by men and women after they had abandoned their native
costume, which, if somewhat scanty, was graceful and adapted to the
climate.  The women we saw were dressed in straw bonnets of huge
proportions and ugly shape, and loose gowns of gay colours reaching from
the throat to the ankles, with silk handkerchiefs tied round their
necks.  A few wore wreaths of flowers round their heads, which formed a
picturesque part of their ancient costume.  The people are said to be
very honest, and always seemed in good-humour, happy and cheerful, while
we never saw them quarrelling or disputing with each other, far less
coming to blows.  Many of them are scrupulous in their attendance on
religious worship; the Sabbath is strictly kept by all, not even a boat
being launched, while those who are seen abroad are decently clothed,
going to or coming from church.  What change French civilisation may
have worked in this state of things it is painful to reflect.  We
visited several schools, and except that their skins were darker, the
appearance of the children differed little from that of the same class
in any part of Europe, while they appeared in no way wanting in
intelligence.  In fact, from all we saw and heard, we came to the
conclusion that the inhabitants of the islands of Polynesia are
generally as capable of a high state of education and civilisation as
the people of any other race, while their minds are peculiarly
susceptible of religious instruction.  Our fellow-voyagers afforded us a
good example of this.  We much regretted that we could not converse
familiarly with them.  Our missionary friend had especially won our
regard and esteem.

They were now anxious to return to their own island, the season of the
year being favourable for the voyage.  It was with much regret that we
heard of their intended departure.  With a large concourse of natives
and several English missionaries, we accompanied them down to the beach
to see them off.  Prayers were offered up by all present for their
safety during their voyage.  It was an impressive and affecting scene.
Many wept as the fine old chief and his friends stepped on board.  He
could scarcely refrain from tears, nor could we.  The frail canoe was
launched forth into the deep, the sail was hoisted, and away they went
on a voyage of three hundred miles, with full faith that the God who had
hitherto preserved them would watch over them still.

We did not at the moment believe that our departure was so near.  The
next day the _Matchless_, a Liverpool whaler, arrived in the harbour of
Papieti.  We met her master, Captain Brown, who told us that he was
bound for the coast of Japan, and that he should touch at the Bonin
Islands, and probably fish off there some time.  At this latter place we
knew that Captain Frankland fully intended to call.  How much his plans
might be changed by our supposed loss we could not tell, but at all
events we could not hope for a better opportunity of falling in again
with the _Triton_.  Captain Brown had lost several of his people,--some
by sickness, others in a gale, and others by desertion.  Hearing this,
Mr Brand offered his own and our services as far as the Bonin Islands,
or for a longer period, should we gain no account of our own ship.  They
were without hesitation accepted.  The _Matchless_ remained but a few
days, having called in merely to obtain water and a supply of fresh
provisions.  Our kind English friend, not content with having supported
us all the time we remained at Tahiti, insisted on supplying us with as
good an outfit as he could procure in the country.  When we expressed
our gratitude and unwillingness to be so great a burden on him, he
smiled.  "What is the use of property, unless to do good with it?" he
remarked.  "Do not say a word about the matter.  When you reach home,
should the obligation weigh too heavily on your conscience, you can send
me back the value; but I then shall be the loser, as it will show me
that you will not believe in the friendship which induces me to bestow
these trifles as a gift."  After this very kind speech we could do no
more than sincerely and cordially thank him.  The day before we
embarked, he told us that he had been making inquiries about Captain
Brown.  "I would rather that you had another man to sail with," he
observed.  "He is a person with two countenances, I am afraid.  On shore
he is mild, and obliging, and well-behaved; but afloat he is, I am told,
tyrannical and passionate, and often addicted to intemperance.  You
will, accordingly, be on your guard.  You will probably remain only a
few weeks with him, or I should advise you to give up the voyage, and
wait for another opportunity of going westward."  This was not pleasant
news, but we resolved on no account to delay our departure, and,
thanking our friend for his warning, as well as for all the kindness we
had received at his hands, we the next day went on board the
_Matchless_.

She was a fine vessel, and well-found with boats and gear.  How great a
contrast did she offer to the frail canoe in which we had lately made so
long a voyage!  How strongly built and rigged!  How well calculated to
stand the buffeting of the winds and waves!  How impossible did it seem
that any harm could come to her!  I felt this, I own, as I walked her
deck.  She had already taken twenty whales, or fish, as sailors wrongly
call them.  For some time Captain Brown was very civil and good-natured,
and we began to hope that our friend had received a wrong account of
him.

Although we did not expect to meet with whales, men were always kept at
the mast-heads on the look-out.  I shall not forget the excitement of
the scene when, after we had been a week at sea, the cry was uttered
from aloft, "There she spouts! there she spouts!"  In an instant
everybody was alert.  "Where away? where away?" was asked.  The point
where the whale had appeared was indicated.  The boats were lowered; the
crews leaped into them.  The master went in one, two mates in others.
Off they pulled in hot chase.  The whale sounded; the men lay on their
oars.  In half an hour she rose again, throwing up a jet of sparkling
foam into the air.  Again the boats dashed on.  The master's headed the
rest.  His harpoon struck the monster.  One of the other boats got fast
directly after.  Then off went the whale at a terrific speed, dragging
the boats after her directly away from the ship.  Now she sounded, and
all their lines were run out; but just as they would have to cut, up she
came again.  We followed under all sail.

The day was drawing to a close when another whale was seen floating idly
close to us.  The possibility of obtaining another rich prize was not to
be lost.  Mr Brand had served for three years in a whaler, and was now
doing duty as mate.  He ordered a boat to be manned.  Jerry and I
entreated that we might accompany him.  "One only can go," he answered;
"I am very sorry."  The lot fell upon me.  Jerry was never jealous.
"Old Surley and I will take care of each other," he answered.  Away we
went.  A long, low island was in sight from the mast-head.  The other
boats could nowhere be seen.  We got up to the whale before she sounded.
I fancy she was asleep.  The harpoon Mr Brand shot into her awakened
her up.  Off she went in the direction of the land, at a great rate.  I
wished Jerry had been with us.  It was so pleasant to be dragged along
at so furious a rate, the foam flying over the bows of the boat.
Formerly harpoons were always darted by the hand.  Now fire-arms are
used.  The butt of the harpoon is placed in the barrel, and the rope is
attached to it by a chain.  Less skill and strength is required to
strike the whale, but just as much skill and experience is requisite to
avoid being struck in return and smashed to atoms by the wounded animal.
Whenever the whale slackened her speed, we hauled up in the hope of
getting another harpoon into her, but she was soon off again; then she
sounded, and we were nearly losing our line.  Again she rose; a second
harpoon was run into her.  Off she was again.  At length blood mingled
with the foam from her spouts.  With fury she lashed the water around.
"Back! back for your lives!" shouted Mr Brand.  Well it was that we got
out of her way in time.  One blow from those tremendous flukes would
have destroyed us.

Loudly we shouted as the monster lay an inanimate mass on the surface of
the deep.  Then we looked about us.  We had approached close to the
island, but darkness was settling down over the face of the waters.  The
ship was not to be seen.  Clouds were gathering thickly in the sky.  A
gale, we feared, was brewing.  Our safest plan was to lie by all night
under the lee of the whale.  The wind came from the very direction where
we believed the ship to be.  We should never be able to pull against it.
We had got out our harpoons from the dead whale, and were putting our
gear in order, when, just as we were going to make fast to it, the huge
mass sunk from our sight!  We looked at each other with blank
disappointment.  It was gone--there can be no doubt about it, and was
utterly irrecoverable.  "Don't grumble, my lads.  We should have been
worse off had we been fast to it with a gale blowing, and unable to cut
ourselves adrift," exclaimed Mr Brand.  "Let us thank the Almighty that
we have escaped so great a danger.  We'll run under the lee of that
island for the night, and try and find the ship in the morning."
Accordingly we bore away, and were in a short time in comparatively
smooth water.  Still the weather looked very threatening.  We pulled in
close to the breakers.  "Harry," said Cousin Silas, "I think we should
know that island.  I see an opening in the breakers, and a clump of
trees on it which seems familiar to my eyes.  We shall be better off on
shore than here.  I will take the boat in."  The men were somewhat
astonished when they received the order to pull in for the land.  We
exactly hit the passage, and soon had the boat hauled up on the beach.
"We will have a roof over our heads to-night, lads," said Cousin Silas,
leading the way, and in a quarter of an hour we were seated under the
shelter of the hut where we had lived for so many months!  It was
strange that we had so unexpectedly fallen in with our own island again.

We lit a blazing fire, and caught some wild-fowl, and knocked down some
cocoa-nuts, which were now in season, and picked some bread-fruit, and,
with the provisions we had in the boat, enjoyed a capital meal, which
somewhat restored our spirits after the loss of our whale.  As far as we
could discover, no one had been there since we left the spot,--even our
beds were ready for us.  All hands rested soundly, and by the next
morning the short-lived summer gale had blown itself out.  I mounted to
the top of our flag-staff, and to my no small satisfaction saw our ship
lying-to five or six miles off to the westward.  I was hurrying with the
rest down to the boat, for I had no wish to be left again on the spot
though I felt an affection for it, when Cousin Silas stopped me.  "We
have an important work to perform," said he.  "Before we go we will
obliterate our former directions and write fresh ones, saying where we
are now going."  I saw the wisdom of this precaution in case the
_Triton_ might visit the place; and, accordingly, with our knives we
carved in a few brief words a notice that we were well and bound for the
Bonins.  This done, we embarked and ran out towards the ship.

On getting on board we found the captain in a desperately bad humour at
having been compelled by the gale to abandon the whales he had caught;
and our account of our loss did not improve his temper.  He swore and
cursed most terribly at his ill luck, as he chose to call it; and, to
console himself, opened his spirit case and drank tumbler after tumbler
of rum and water.  The result was soon apparent: he issued contradictory
orders--quarrelled with the mates--struck and abused the men, and
finally turned into his cot with his clothes on, where he remained for
several days, calling loudly for the spirit bottle whenever he awoke.
From this period he became an altered man from what he had at first
appeared, and lost all control over himself.

I will not dwell on the scenes which ensued on board the whaler.  They
were disgraceful to civilised beings, and to men calling themselves
Christians.  Cousin Silas, and the doctor, and Ben, did all they could
to counteract the evil,--the latter by exercising his influence forward,
and the others in endeavouring to check the officers, who seemed
inclined to imitate the example of the master.  Cousin Silas had charge
of one watch, and he got Jerry and me placed in another, and he told us
instantly to call him should we see anything going wrong.  Thus three or
four weeks passed away.  We managed during the time to kill two whales,
and to get them stowed safely on board; and this put the captain into
rather better humour.  However, the ship was often steered very
carelessly, and a bad look-out was kept.

We were running under all sail one day when, as I was forward, I saw a
line of white water ahead, which I suspected must be caused by a coral
reef.  I reported the circumstance.  Fortunately there was but little
wind.  I looked out anxiously on either hand to discover an opening.  To
the southward the line of foam terminated.  The helm was put down, and
the yards braced sharp up; but in five minutes a grating noise was heard
and the ship struck heavily.  The seamen rushed from below,--they full
well knew the meaning of that ominous sound, and they believed that the
ship was hopelessly lost.  The captain at the time was unconscious of
everything.  Cousin Silas hurried on deck, and, taking a glance round,
ordered the helm to be put up again, the yards to be squared, and the
courses which had been clewed up to be let fall.  It was our only
chance.  The ship's head swung round; once more she moved--grating on,
and, the doctor said, tearing away the work of myriads of polypi.
"Hurrah! hurrah!" a shout arose from all forward.  We were free.  Away
we flew.

This narrow escape ought to have been a warning to all on board.
Unhappily it was not.  The same system was pursued as before.  The other
mates grow jealous of Cousin Silas, and did their utmost to counteract
his efforts.  One night Jerry and I were on deck, actively moving about,
followed by Old Surley, looking out in every direction; for it was very
dark, and the officers had been having a carouse.  For some reason or
other I was more than usually uneasy.  So was Jerry.

"I should not wonder," said he, "that something will happen before
long."

"I hope not, if it is something bad," said I; "but I'm not altogether
happy.  I think that I will go and call Mr Brand."

"What shall we say to him, though?  There will be no use rousing him up
till we have something to tell him."  I agreed with Jerry, so we
continued talking as before.

"What are you youngsters about there?" shouted the first mate, who,
although it was his watch, was half tipsy.  "Go below, and turn in; I'll
not have chattering monkeys like you disturbing the discipline of the
ship."  Jerry and I hesitated about obeying, and Jerry whispered to me
that he would go and call Mr Brand.  But the mate sung out, "Mutiny!
mutiny!  Go to your own kennels, you young hounds!" and ordered some of
the watch on deck to carry out his commands.  We could not help
ourselves, so we went below, and turning into our berths very soon fell
asleep.

How long we had been asleep I do not know.  I was awoke by a terrific
crash and loud cries and shrieks.  Jerry and I sprung up, so indeed did
everybody below, and rushed on deck.  It was very dark; but from the way
the ship heaved and lurched, and the sheets of foam which flew over her,
we knew that she was among the breakers, and striking hard on a reef.
The fore-mast and main-mast had gone by the board.  The mizzen-mast
alone stood.  That fell soon after we got on deck, crushing several
people beneath it.  Anxiously we hunted about shouting for Cousin Silas,
followed by Old Surley, who, since we came on board, scarcely ever left
our heels.  We naturally sought him for advice.  It was, indeed, a
relief to us to find him unhurt.  In a short time we discovered the
doctor and Ben.  We clustered together, holding on by the bulwarks; for
every now and then a sea came and washed over the decks, and we ran
great risk of being carried away.  Nothing could we see on either side
beyond the white roaring breakers.  Cousin Silas said that he was
certain we must have been driven some way on the reef, or the sea would
have broken more completely over us, and no one could have hoped to
escape.  Several people had already been washed overboard, and had been
lost or killed by the falling masts; but who they were we could not
tell.  What, also, had become of the captain we did not know.  He had
not, that we could discover, come on deck.  Perhaps, all the time he was
below, unconscious of what had occurred.  All we could do was to cling
on where we were, till with daylight we should be able to tell our
position.  Every now and then we felt the ship lifting, and it appeared
as if she was driving gradually over the reef.  Another danger, however,
now presented itself--we might drive over the reef altogether, and sink
on the other side!  We strained our eyes through the darkness; but,
surrounded as we were with spray, it was impossible to distinguish the
shore, even though it might be near at hand.  If there was no land, our
lot would indeed be sad; for, wherever we were, it was clear that the
ship would be totally lost, and, as far as we could discover, all our
boats were destroyed.  After two or three hours passed in dreadful
suspense, though it appeared as if the whole night must have elapsed,
the ship became more steady, and the sea broke over her less violently.
"We must get a raft made," exclaimed Cousin Silas.  The men seemed to
look instinctively to him for orders, and willingly obeyed him.  All
hands set to work, some to collect the spars which had not been washed
overboard, others to cut away the bulwarks and to get off the hatches--
indeed, to bring together everything that would serve to form a raft.
Dark as it was they worked away; for they knew that when the tide again
rose the ship might be washed over the reef and sink, or go to pieces
where she lay.  How eagerly we watched for daylight to complete our
work!  The dawn at length came; and as the mists of night rolled off, we
saw before us a range of lofty mountains, of picturesque shapes, rising
out of a plain, the shore of which was not more than a quarter of a mile
off.  As the sun rose a rich landscape was revealed to us, of cocoa-nut
groves, and taro plantations, and sparkling streams, and huts sprinkled
about in the distance.

"At all events we have got to a beautiful country," observed Jerry, as
he looked towards it.

"One from which we shall be thankful to escape, and where our lives will
be of little value unless we can defend ourselves from the inhabitants,
who are, I suspect, among the most bloodthirsty of any of the natives of
Polynesia," answered Cousin Silas.  "However, the sooner we can get on
shore, and establish ourselves in some good position for defence, the
better."

The raft, which had been constructed with the idea that we might require
it for a long voyage, was a very large one, and having launched it, we
found that it could not only carry all the ship's company, but a number
of other things.  We found an ample supply of arms and ammunition--most
valuable articles under our present circumstances.  We got them all up,
as well as our clothes and everything valuable in the ship which could
at once be laid hands on; we also took a supply of provisions, that we
might for a time be independent of the natives.  One thing more was
brought up--that was, the still senseless body of the captain.  There he
lay, totally unconscious of the destruction his carelessness had brought
on the ship intrusted to his care.  In silence and sadness we shoved off
from the ship which had borne us thus far across the ocean.  Many of our
number were missing; two of the mates and six seamen had been killed by
the falling of the masts, or washed overboard.

We paddled across the smooth water inside the reef as fast as we could,
hoping to land before any of the natives had collected to oppose us.
All our people had muskets, and some had cutlasses, so that we were able
to show a bold front to any one daring to attack us.  As we neared the
shore we saw in the distance a number of people with bows, and arrows,
and clubs, hurrying towards our party.  We soon ran the raft aground,
and, leaping on shore, were led by Cousin Silas to the summit of a rocky
hill close to where we were.

The savages advanced with threatening gestures.  None of them had
fire-arms.  We thus felt sure that, if they ventured to attack us, we
should make a good fight of it.  Cousin Silas called four of the men to
the front, and ordered them to fire over the heads of the savages, to
show them the power we possessed.  The savages halted at the sound, and
looked about to see what had become of the balls they heard whistling
above them.  While they hesitated, Cousin Silas, cutting down a green
bough, went to the brow of the hill and waved it over his head--a token
of a friendly disposition, understood in all those regions.  To our
great satisfaction, we saw the savages tearing down boughs, which they
waved in the same manner.  Among the whaler's crew was a Sandwich
Islander who spoke the language of many of the people in those regions.
He was told to try and see if he could make them understand him.  Waving
a bough he went forward to meet them, while the rest of us stood ready
to fire should any treachery be practised.  They did not seem, however,
to have meditated any, and met him in a perfectly friendly manner.
After talking to them for some time, he came back and said he had
arranged everything.  He told them that we were voyaging to our own
country, and that we had landed here to await the arrival of another
ship.  If we were treated well, our friends would return the compliment;
but that if otherwise, they would certainly avenge us.  This,
undoubtedly, was far from strictly true; but I have no doubt that it had
the effect of making the savages disposed to treat us hospitably.  The
savages on this put down their arms and advanced towards us with
friendly gestures.  Mr Brand, consequently, went to meet them, ordering
us, at the same time, to keep our arms ready in case of treachery.  The
savages were very dark.  Some of them, whom, we took to be chiefs, wore
turbans over their frizzled-out hair, and mantles and kilts of native
cloth.  They shook hands with Mr Brand in a very friendly way, and
invited us all to their houses; but he replied that he preferred
building a house where we had landed, though he would be obliged to them
for a supply of food.  The natives replied very politely that the food
we should have, and that they hoped we should change our minds regarding
the place where we proposed building a house.

After some further conversation the chiefs and their followers retired,
and Mr Brand advised all hands to set to work to fortify the hill where
we were posted, and to bring up the greater part of the raft, and
everything on it, to our fort.  When this was done, we made a small raft
on which we could go off to the wreck, hoping to bring away everything
of value before she went to pieces.  The natives watched our proceedings
from a distance, but our fire-arms evidently kept them in awe, and
prevented them from coming nearer.  As soon as they had completed the
raft, three of the whaler's crew were eager to go off to the wreck; but
Mr Brand advised them to wait till just before daylight the following
morning, when they might hope to perform the trip without being
perceived.  He warned them that the savages were especially treacherous,
and could in no way be depended on.  Five or six of them, I think it
was, laughed at him, and asking why they should fear a set of black
savages, expressed their intention of going on board at once.
Accordingly, carrying only a couple of muskets with them, they shoved
off from the shore, and without much difficulty got up to the wreck.  It
was then low-water, but the tide was rising.  We watched them on board,
and then they disappeared below.  We waited anxiously to see them
commence their return, but they did not appear.  "They have broken into
the spirit-room, I fear," remarked Cousin Silas.  "If so, I fear that
they will be little able to find their way back."  An hour passed away.
We began to fear some disaster had befallen them.  While watching the
wreck, we saw from behind a wooded point to the right a large canoe make
its appearance, then another, and another, till a dozen were collected.
It was too probable that some treachery was intended.  We fired three
muskets in quick succession, in hopes of calling the attention of the
seamen.  No sooner did the savages hear the sound of the fire-arms than
they paddled away towards the wreck.  They had got nearly up to it, when
the seamen came on deck, and stared wildly around them, making all sorts
of frantic gestures.  Seeing the canoes, they fired their muskets at
them, but hit no one; and then, throwing down their weapons on the deck,
they doubled their fists, and with shouts of laughter struck out at
their approaching enemies.  The savages hesitated a moment at the
discharge of the muskets, but finding that they were not again fired at,
they paddled on at a rapid rate, and getting alongside the vessel,
swarmed in numbers on board.  We saw that the tipsy seamen who made a
show of fighting were speedily knocked down, but what afterwards became
of them we could not tell.  The savages were evidently eagerly engaged
in plundering the ship, and hurriedly loaded their canoes with the
things they collected.  They, of course, knew that the tide was rising,
and that their operations might be speedily stopped.  Some of the
canoes, deeply laden, had already shoved off, when we saw the remainder
of the savages make a rush to the side of the vessel; bright flames
burst forth from every hatchway; several loud reports were heard; then
one louder than the rest, and the ill-fated ship, and all who remained
on board, were blown into the air!



CHAPTER TWENTY.

OUR ESCAPE FROM THE ISLAND.

After the catastrophe I have described, the ship continued to burn
furiously--the oil in her hold helping to feed the conflagration.  The
savages who were already in their canoes paddled rapidly away; many must
have lost their lives, as several canoes appear to have been destroyed.
Numbers of the unfortunate wretches, wounded by the explosion, were
swimming about, trying to get hold of their canoes or of pieces of the
wreck; while others, who had escaped injury, were making for the shore.
But they had watchful enemies in the sea looking for them; the water
swarmed with sharks, and several, unable to defend themselves, were
caught by the voracious monsters.  What became of our poor countrymen--
whether they were blown up with the ship or carried off by the savages--
we could not tell.

By this accident our numbers were sadly diminished, as was our hope of
obtaining what we might require from the wreck.  Cousin Silas took
occasion to urge upon the remainder of the men the importance of keeping
together for mutual support; but, from the way the whaler's crew took
his advice, I saw that they were in no way inclined to follow it.  It
was with difficulty even that he could persuade them to keep watch at
night.  That was a trying period with us.  Cousin Silas and I, with two
of the crew kept our watch; and Ben, and the doctor, and Jerry, with two
others, watched the rest of the night.  We kept our ears and eyes wide
open, and fancied that we could see under the shadow of the trees the
savages prowling about us, and could hear their suppressed whispers; but
if such was the case, when they found that we were on the alert, they
refrained from attacking us.

That first night the captain awoke from his stupor, and, sitting up,
inquired what had occurred.  When he was told, somewhat abruptly, by one
of his crew that the ship was cast away, that the mates and several of
the men were lost, and that we were surrounded by savages ready to
destroy us, the account had so great an effect on him that it seemed to
drive him out of his mind.  He shrieked out, "It is false! it is false--
mutiny! mutiny!" and continued to rave in the most outrageous and
dreadful manner.  Thus he continued for many hours.  The doctor said he
was attacked with delirium tremens, brought on by his intemperate
habits; and thus he continued, without being allowed a moment of
consciousness to be aware of his awful state, till he was summoned hence
to stand before the Almighty Judge, whose laws, to the last moment of
his earthly probation, he had systematically outraged.  We buried him
just outside our fort, at night, that the savages might not observe that
our number was still further reduced.

Three or four days passed away.  Both night and day we were equally on
the alert, but the stock of provisions we had brought with us from the
wreck was growing very low, and it was necessary to devise some plan for
obtaining more.  The savages, on the other hand, finding that they could
not easily surprise us, changed their tactics, and once more came
towards us in friendly guise, bringing fruits and vegetables, and pigs
and poultry.  Had they been aware of our starving condition, they could
not have hit upon a better plan to win our confidence.  Still, however,
Cousin Silas did not trust to them.

"They may really be friendly," he remarked, "and let us behave towards
them as if they were; but never let us for a moment be off our guard."
When, however, the natives began to spread out their banquet before the
very eyes of the famished sailors, and invited them to come down and
partake of it, very few could resist the temptation.  One after another
went down, till only the doctor and Ben, Jerry and I, with Cousin Silas,
remained on the hill.  Even old Surley thought he might as well join the
party, but after he had gobbled up a good supply of pork, which some of
the sailors gave him, he hurried back to us.  We watched anxiously what
would next happen.  In a short time Jerry exclaimed that he thought it
was a pity we should not benefit by the feast, and before Cousin Silas
could stop him he had run down the hill and was among the savages.  At
that moment, what was our horror to see the natives start up, each
dealing the white man nearest him a terrific blow on the head.  No
second one was needed.  Every one of our late companions lay killed upon
the ground.  Jerry started back, and endeavoured to run to us, but a
savage caught him by the shoulder, and (how my blood ran cold!)  I
thought would brain him on the spot.  Jerry looked up in his face with
an imploring glance.  Something he said or did, or the way he looked,
seemed to arrest the savage's arm.  Perhaps he may have reminded him of
a son he had lost.  He lifted up his club, but this time it was to
defend his young prisoner from the attack of another savage.  He then
took him by the hand, and led him to a distance from the rest.  Jerry
looked back earnestly at us, but he saw that if he attempted to escape
from his protector he should probably be killed by one of the others, so
he accompanied him without resistance.  The rest of the savages,
collecting the dead bodies, fastened ropes to their legs, and dragged
them away, with loud shouts and songs of triumph.  To our surprise, they
did not molest us.  They saw that we retained the fire-arms, and
probably thought that they might take us at an advantage another time
without risk to themselves.  We had still a good supply of powder and
balls, so, loading all the muskets, we prepared for an attack.
Horrified as I had been at the slaughter of our late shipmates, my great
anxiety was about Jerry.  I hoped that his life might be safe, but it
was a sad fate to be kept in captivity by such treacherous and
bloodthirsty savages as these had showed themselves to be.  I asked Mr
Brand where he thought we were.  He replied that he had no doubt, from
the appearance and conduct of the savages, that we had been wrecked on
one of the outlying Fiji Islands.  He told me that the inhabitants, a
few years back, had all been the very worst cannibals in the Pacific,
but that of late years Protestant missionaries had gone among them, and
that in some of the islands, of which there were eighty or ninety
inhabited, the whole population had, he understood, become Christians.
Still, however, a large number, among whom the light of truth had not
been introduced, retained their old habits and customs; and among some
of these we had unfortunately fallen.  Of course, also, we could not but
be excessively anxious about our own fate.  How could we hope to hold
out without food, should the savages attack us?  The night passed away,
however, in silence.  Our enemies were evidently abiding their time.

It was just daybreak when Ben Yool started up.  "I can't stand it any
longer," he exclaimed.  "I'll just go and see if those savages left any
of their provisions behind them."  Without waking Mr Brand to know what
he would say, off he went down the hill.  How anxiously I waited his
return!  I was afraid that some of the savages might be lying in wait,
and might catch him.  My ear watched for the sound of his footsteps.
Five--ten minutes--a quarter of an hour passed away.  At last I thought
I heard the breathing of a person toiling up a hill.  It might be a
savage, though.  I kept my rifle ready, in case it should prove an
enemy.  To my great satisfaction it proved to be Ben.  He came loaded
with bread-fruits and cocoa-nuts, and what was undoubtedly the hind
quarters of a pig, while a calabash full of water hung round his neck.
"I was afraid that I should have to come back without anything for my
trouble," said he.  "Just then, under a tree, I stumbled over these
provisions.  How they came there I don't know, but there they are and
let us be thankful."

We roused up Mr Brand and the doctor.  They carefully examined the
provisions, and agreed that they were very good of their sort, so we set
to, and made a very hearty breakfast.  From the place where Ben found
the food, Mr Brand was of opinion that it had been left there expressly
for us, but whether by a friend or by our enemies, for the purpose of
entrapping us, it was difficult to say.

The day, as it advanced, threatened to be very stormy.  The clouds came
driving across the sky, and a gale began to blow, such as is rarely seen
in those latitudes.  It gave us rest, however, for the natives are not
fond of venturing out in such weather, and we had less fear of being
attacked.  During the night we were aroused by hearing a gun fired.  We
peered out seaward through the darkness; another gun was heard, and a
flash was seen.  It was evidently from a vessel in distress.  It was
just before daybreak.  The dawn came and revealed to us a schooner, with
all her canvas gone, drifting towards the breakers, which rolled in with
terrific power, a quarter of a mile from the shore.  We gazed at the
vessel; we all knew her at a glance, even through the gloom.  She was
the pirate schooner.  On she drove.  In another instant she was among
the foaming breakers.  Her time had come at last.  We could hear the
shrieks and despairing cries of the wretched men on board.  She struck
very near the spot where the whaler had been lost.  Over the reef she
drove.  We could see the people one after the other washed overboard,
and engulfed by the foaming waters.  To help them would have been
impossible, even had we not had to consider our own safety.  At last one
man appeared in the clear water inside the breakers.  He seemed to be
swimming, though he advanced but slowly, and we saw that he was lashed
to a piece of timber.  At last he drifted on shore.

"I cannot see the poor wretch die without help, pirate though he may
be," exclaimed Cousin Silas, running down to the beach.  I followed him.
The log of timber and its freight reached the shore at the moment we
got down to it.  There was no look of recognition.  We ran into the
water, and cast loose the body; but our undertaking had been useless.  A
corpse lay before us; and though the features were distorted, we
recognised them as those of Captain Bruno.  We had just time to hurry
back to our fort, when we saw a body of savages coming round a point at
a little distance off.

The schooner had, in the meantime, beaten over the reef, and was
drifting across the channel, when, as she got within a hundred yards of
the beach, she went down, leaving a dozen or more of her crew floating
on the surface.  Most of them struck out boldly for the shore; but no
sooner did they reach it, believing themselves safe, than the clubs of
the savages put an end to their existence.  In a short time not one
remained alive of the whole pirate crew.  It seemed strange that the
savages had allowed so long a time to elapse without attacking us, nor
could we in any way account for their conduct, unless under the
supposition that they were afraid of our fire-arms.  To show them that
our weapons were in good order, and that we were likely to use them
effectually, we every now and then, when we saw any of the natives near,
fired a volley in the air.

When we had gone down on the beach, on the occasion of the wreck of the
schooner, we observed a canoe thrown upon the shore.  She was evidently
one of those deserted by the savages when the whaler blew up.  We agreed
that, if we could get her repaired, she might prove the means of our
escape.  The first thing was to cut some paddles.  This we had no great
difficulty in doing, from the trees growing around us.  Watching their
opportunity, when no savages were near, Mr Brand and Ben went down to
examine her.  On their return they reported that she was perfectly
sound, and required little or nothing done to her.  It was a question
with us, however, whether we should commit ourselves to the deep at
once, and endeavour to reach some more hospitable island, or wait for
the possibility of a ship passing that way, and going off to her.

We had scarcely consumed our provisions, when at daybreak one morning we
observed a basket under the very tree where Ben had before discovered
what he brought us.  He again went down, and returned with a similar
supply.  We considered this matter, and could not believe that any
treachery was intended, but, on the contrary, we began to hope that we
had some secret friend among the savages.  Who he was, and how he came
to take an interest in us, was the question.  Several days more passed
away.  Each alternate night provisions were left for us.  At length I
resolved to endeavour to discover our friend.  My great object was that
I might be able by this means to gain tidings of Jerry, and perhaps to
rescue him from the hands of his captors, for I continued to hope that
he had not been put to death.  I explained my plan to Mr Brand.  After
some hesitation, he consented to allow me to adopt it.  "I feel with
you, Harry, that I could never bring myself to leave the island without
Jerry," he answered; "and probably the savages, should they catch you,
would be less likely to injure you than any of us."

That night, soon after it was dark, I crept down to the tree, and
concealing myself among some bushes which grew near, waited the result.
I felt very sleepy, and could at times scarcely keep myself awake.  At
last I heard footsteps, as if a person were cautiously approaching the
tree.  A man dressed, as far as I could distinguish, like a chief, with
a turban on his head, deposited a basket in the usual spot.  I sprang
out and seized his hand.  At first he seemed much surprised, if not
alarmed; but, recognising me, he patted me on the head, and uttered some
words in a low voice, which I could not understand, but their tone was
mild and kind.  Then he put out his hand, and I distinctly felt him make
the sign of the cross on my brow, and then he made it on his own.  I no
longer had any doubt that he was a Christian.  I longed to ask him about
Jerry, but I found that he did not understand a word of English.  It was
so dark, also, that he could scarcely see my gestures.  I tried every
expedient to make him comprehend my meaning.  I ran on, and then seized
an imaginary person, and conducted him back to the fort.  I raised my
hands in a supplicating attitude.  I shook his hands warmly, to show how
grateful I should be if he granted my request.  At last I began to hope
that he understood me.  He shook my hands and nodded, and then,
assisting me to carry the basket close up to the fort, hurriedly left
me.

This circumstance considerably raised the spirits of all the party, for
we felt that we had a friend where we least expected to find one.  If,
however, we could but get back Jerry, we resolved to embark.  Perhaps
the Christian chief might help us.  Had we been able to speak the
language, our difficulties would have been much lessened.  Here, again,
we had another example of the beneficial results of missionary labours.
How the chief had been brought to a knowledge of the truth we could not
tell, but that his savage nature had been changed was evident.  Perhaps
there might be others like him on the island.  How it was that we had
remained so long unmolested was another puzzle.  Perhaps it was owing to
some superstitious custom of the natives, Mr Brand observed.  Perhaps
we were tabooed; or, as we had, as they might suppose, existed so long
without food, they might look upon us as beings of a superior order, and
be afraid to injure us.  Our patience, meantime, was sorely tried.  We
were afraid also that the natives might discover our canoe, and carry it
off.

As may be supposed, our eyes took many an anxious glance seaward, in
hopes of being greeted by the sight of a vessel.  Nor were they
disappointed.  A large ship was discovered one forenoon standing in for
the land.  How the sight made our hearts beat!  The time had arrived for
us to endeavour to make our escape--but could we go and leave Jerry?

"Yes; we may induce the captain to come and look for him," said Cousin
Silas.

"But suppose he will not," observed the doctor.

"Then I, for one, will come back in the canoe, and not rest till I find
him," exclaimed Ben Yool.  "They can only kill and eat me at the worst,
and they'll find I'm a precious tough morsel."

"I'll keep you company, Ben," said I, taking his hand.

So it was agreed that we were to embark at once.  Taking our rifles and
muskets, the paddles in our hands, and some provisions in our pockets,
we hurried down to the beach.  We had got the canoe in the water, when a
shout attracted our attention.  Old Surley gave a bark of delight, and
ran off.  "That is Jerry's voice," I exclaimed, hurrying to meet him.
At a distance were several men and boys in hot pursuit.  Jerry was
somewhat out of breath, so I took his hand and helped him along, without
asking questions.  He, Surley, and I, leaped into the canoe together;
Mr Brand, Ben, and the doctor seized the paddles, and shoving her off
into deep water, away we steered towards the passage through the reef.
Scarcely had we got a couple of hundred yards off before the savages
reached the shore.  They instantly fitted their arrows to their bows;
but I, seizing my rifle, made signs that if they let fly I would fire in
return.  They understood the hint, and ran off along the beach to a spot
where a number of their canoes were hauled up.  The leading one, with
only three men in her, came dashing close after us through the surf.
One held his bow ready to shoot, the rest had placed their weapons at
the bottom.  The other canoes contained more savages, and followed close
after their leader.  This made us redouble our efforts to escape.  We
darted through the passage just as a dozen canoes or more left the
shore.  We had a terribly short start of them, and they paddled nearly
twice as fast as we could.

"Shall I fire and give notice to the ship?"  I asked Mr Brand.  I was
sitting in the bow of the canoe facing forward.

"Yes, yes, Harry, fire," he answered.  "They will hear us on board by
this time."  I took one of the muskets and fired in the air.  Directly
after, we saw the ship crowding more sail, and standing directly for us.

"I thought so all along, and now I'm certain of it," exclaimed Ben,
almost jumping up in his seat.  "I know that starboard topmast
studden-sail, and no mistake.  She's the _Triton_!  Hurrah! hurrah!"

"You're right, Ben," said Mr Brand.  "I felt sure also that she was the
_Triton_, but still was afraid my hopes might have in some way have
deceived me.  But give way, give way, or the savages will be up to us
before we are alongside her."  The caution was not unnecessary, for the
canoes of the savages had already got within range of our rifles.

"Couldn't you bring down a few of the niggers, sir?" asked Ben.  "It
will only serve them right, and mayhap will stop their way a little."

"No, no; never shed blood as long as it can be avoided," answered Cousin
Silas.  "These very savages who are now seeking our lives may ere long
be shown the light of truth, and be converted and live.  See, I believe
they have already made us out on board the _Triton_.  They are firing to
frighten off the savages."

As he spoke, three guns were fired in quick succession from the
_Triton_.  The noise and smoke, to which the savages were evidently
unaccustomed, made them desist paddling.  We redoubled our efforts, and
shot ahead.  After a little hesitation, the savages once more pressed on
after us, but happily at that moment the ship again fired.  Mr Brand at
the same time seized the muskets and discharged them one after the other
over the heads of our pursuers.  Again they wavered, some even turned
their canoes about, two or three only advanced slowly, the rest ceased
paddling altogether.  This gave us a great advantage, and without
waiting to let Mr Brand reload the muskets, we paddled away with our
hopes of escape much increased.  Some minutes elapsed, when the courage
of the savages returned, and fearing that we might altogether escape
them, they all united in the pursuit.  The breeze, however, freshened,
the ship rapidly clove the waters, and before the canoes had regained
the distance they had lost, we were alongside.  Loud shouts of welcome
broke from every quarter of the _Triton_ as we clambered up her side.

I will not attempt to describe the meeting of Jerry and his father.
Captain Frankland, indeed, received us all most kindly and heartily.
For a long time he had given us up as lost, but still he had continued
the search for us.  The _Dove_ had been captured by the American
corvette, and soon afterwards he had fallen in with her.  From the
pirates on board the little schooner he discovered that we were on board
the large one.  He had pursued her for several months, till at length,
passing our island, he had observed our flag-staff and our hut still
standing.  This was, fortunately, after our second visit, when we had
altered the inscriptions on the trees.  The gale which had wrecked the
pirate had driven the _Triton_ somewhat to the southward of her course
for the Bonins, whither she was bound to look for us; and thus, by a
wonderful coincidence, she appeared at the very moment her coming was of
most importance to rescue us from slavery, if not, more probably, from a
horrible death.

The savages, when they saw that we were safe on board the ship, finally
ceased from the pursuit.  Captain Frankland kept the ship steadily on
her course, ordering five or six guns to be fired without shot over
their heads, as a sign of the white man's displeasure.  After the first
gun, the savages turned round their canoes, and, in terror and dismay,
made the best of their way to the shore.  The _Triton_ was then steered
for the coast of Japan.

It was not till some days afterwards that Jerry gave me an account of
what had befallen him among the savages.  "I was in a horrible fright
when the savage dragged me off," he said.  "I thought that he was
keeping me to kill at his leisure, just as a housewife does a pig or a
turkey, when he wanted to eat me.  I cannot even now describe the
dreadful scenes I witnessed when the cannibal monsters cooked and
devoured the poor fellows they had so treacherously slaughtered.  What
was my dismay, also, when a few days afterwards some more bodies of
white men were brought in!  I thought that they had killed you all; and
it was only when I found that there were ten instead of five bodies,
that I hoped I might have been mistaken.

"The man who had captured me treated me kindly, and fed me well.  At
first I thought he might have had his reasons (and very unsatisfactory
they would have been to me) for doing the latter; but this idea I
banished (as it was not a pleasant fine, and took away my appetite) when
I found that he did not partake of the horrible banquets with his
countrymen.  He was constantly visited also in the evening by a chief,
who evidently looked on them with disgust, and always looked at me most
kindly, and spoke to me in the kindest tones, though I could not
understand what he said.  One evening, after he and my master had been
talking some time, he got up and made the sign of the cross on my brow,
and then on his own, and then on that of my master.  Then I guessed that
I must have fallen among Christians, and that this was the reason I was
treated so kindly.  I understood also by the signs he made that you all
were well, and that he would do his best to protect you.

"One day he came and told me to follow him into the woods.  My master's
hut was some way from the other habitations, so that we could go out
without of necessity being observed.  It was, however, necessary to be
cautious.  What was my delight when he took me to a height, and showing
me a vessel in the distance, pointed to the fort, and signed to me to
run and join you as fast as I could!  You know all the rest."

Jerry at different times afterwards gave me very interesting accounts of
various things he had observed among the savages of the Fijis, but I
have not now space to repeat them.

How delightful it was to find ourselves once more on board the fine
steady old ship, with a well-disciplined crew, and kind, considerate
officers!  Our sufferings and trials had taught us to appreciate these
advantages: and I believe both Jerry and I were grateful for our
preservation, and for the blessings we now enjoyed.

We had a very quick and fine run till we were in the latitude of
Loo-Choo.  A gale then sprung up--rather unusual, I believe, at that
season of the year.  It lasted two days.  When the weather cleared, we
saw a huge, lumbering thing tumbling about at the distance of three or
four miles from us.  It looked, as Fleming the gunner remarked, "like a
Martello tower adrift."

"If you'd said she was one of those outlandish Chinese junk affairs,
you'd have been nearer the truth," observed Mr Pincott the carpenter,
who, as of old, never lost an opportunity of taking up his friend.  "By
the way she rolls, I don't think she'll remain above water much longer."

Captain Frankland thought the same, and making sail we stood towards
her.  By that time she was evidently settling down.  The ship was
hove-to, the boats were lowered, and, in spite of a good deal of sea
which then was on, we ran alongside.  A number of strange-looking
figures in coloured silks and cottons, dressed more like women than men,
crowded the side.  Some leaped into the water in their fright; others we
received into the boats, and conveyed them to the ship.  Two trips had
been made, when Mr Pincott, who was in the boat with me, said he did
not think she would float till we came back.  At that moment a person
appeared at the stern of the vessel handsomely dressed.  He was a
fine-looking old gentleman.  He must have seen his danger, and he seemed
to be bidding his countrymen farewell.  I could not bear the thought of
leaving him; so I begged Mr Pincott to pull back, and signing him to
descend by one of the rope-ladders hanging over the stern, we received
him safely into the boat.  Scarcely had we done so, when the junk gave a
heavy lurch.  "There she goes, poor thing!" exclaimed Pincott.  "Well,
she didn't look as if she was made to swim.  But pull away, my lads--
pull away.  We may be back in time to pick up some of the poor fellows."
It was heartrending to see the poor wretches struggling in the water,
and holding out their hands imploringly to us, and yet not be able to
help them.  Many very soon sunk; others got hold of gratings and bits of
wreck, and endeavoured to keep themselves afloat, but some of those
monsters of the deep--the sharks--got in among them, and very soon
committed horrible havoc among the survivors.  The moment we were able
to get the people we had in the boat up the ship's side we returned to
the scene of the catastrophe.  We pulled about as rapidly as we could,
hauling in all we could get hold of still swimming about, but some were
drawn down even before our very eyes, and altogether a good many must
have been lost.

The old gentleman I had been the means of saving proved to be the chief
person on board.  We made out that the junk was from Loo-Choo, but that
he himself belonged to some town in Japan.  This we discovered by
showing him a map, and from the very significant signs he made.  While
we were making all sorts of pantomimic gestures, Mr Renshaw suggested
that a lad we had on board, supposed to be a Chinese, might perhaps be
able to talk with him.  Chin Chi had been picked up from a wreck at sea
on a former voyage of the _Triton_, and had now made some progress in
his knowledge of English.  Chin Chi was brought aft with some
reluctance.  What, however, was our astonishment to see the old
gentleman gaze at him earnestly for some minutes; they exchanged a few
words; then they proved that Japanese nature was very like English
nature, for, rushing forward, they threw themselves into each other's
arms--the father had found a long-lost son!

The son had been seized, like many of his countrymen, with a desire to
see the civilised world, of which, in spite of the exclusive system of
his government, he had heard, and had stolen off, and got on board a
ship which was afterwards wrecked, he being the only survivor.  Poor
fellow, he had seen but a very rugged part of the world during his visit
to England, in the Liverpool docks and similar localities.  He told his
father, however, how well he had been treated on board the _Triton_; and
the old gentleman, on hearing this, endeavoured to express his gratitude
by every means in his power.

Two days after this we found ourselves anchored off the harbour of
Napha, in Great Loo-Choo.  In a short time a boat came off from the
shore bearing two venerable old gentlemen with long beards and flowing
robes of blue and yellow, gathered in at the waist with sashes, and
almost hiding their white sandalled feet.  On their heads they wore
yellow caps, something like the Turkish fez in shape, and fastened under
their chins with strings, like a baby's nightcap.  Bowing with their
noses to the planks as they reached the deck, they presented red
visiting cards, three feet in length, and inquired what circumstance had
brought the ship to their island.  Great was their astonishment when our
old friend Hatchie Katsie presented himself, and said that we had come
to land him and his son, who had been shipwrecked.  He had come to give
notice of the loss of the junk, but that he purposed proceeding on in
the ship to Japan.

His first care was to send on shore for proper clothes for Chin Chi, who
looked a very different person when dressed in bright-coloured robes and
a gay cap.  He had got a similar dress for Jerry and me.  He told
Captain Frankland that he could not venture to invite him on shore, but
that, as we were mere boys, he might take us under his escort.

Highly delighted, we accordingly pulled on shore.  We found conveyances
waiting for us, kagos they were called.  They were the funniest little
machines I ever saw--a sort of litter; suppose a box open in front and
the sides, with a low seat inside, and the lid shut down.  Even Jerry
and I, though not very big, had great difficulty in coiling ourselves
away in ours; and how our portly old friend contrived it, was indeed a
puzzle.  We had to sit cross-legged, with our arms folded and our backs
bent double, and were borne jogging along by two native porters, our
heads every now and then bumping up against the roof, till we couldn't
help laughing and shouting out to each other to ascertain if our skulls
were cracked.  I suppose the natives have a mode of glueing themselves
down to the seats.

We passed over several well-made bridges, and along a paved causeway,
having on either side a succession of beautiful gardens and fertile
rice-fields, while before us rose a hill covered with trees, out of
which peeped a number of very pretty-looking villas.  When we reached
the top of the hill we had a fine view over a large portion of the
island--several towns and numerous villages were seen, with
country-houses and farms scattered about.  Altogether, we formed a very
favourable opinion of the island and the advanced state of civilisation
among the people of Loo-Choo.

The house to which our friend took us was built of wood, and covered
with earthen tiles.  It had bamboo verandas, and a court-yard in front
surrounded by a wall of coral.  The interior was plain and neat,--the
rafters appearing overhead were painted red, and the floor was covered
with matting.  The owner of the house, an old gentleman very like
Hatchie Katsie, received us very courteously, and after we had sat some
time, ordered food to be brought in.  Some long-robed attendants
prepared a table in the chief hall, on which they placed a number of
dishes, containing red slices of eggs and cucumber, boiled fish and
mustard, fried beef, bits of hog's liver, and a variety of other similar
dainties, at which we picked away without much consideration, but which
might have been bits of dogs, cats, or rats, for aught I knew to the
contrary.  The people of Loo-Choo must be very abstemious if we judge
from the size of their drinking cups--no larger than thimbles!  The
liquor they drank, called sakee, is distilled from rice.

We only spent two days on shore, so that I cannot pretend to know much
of the country.  From its elevation, and being constantly exposed to the
sea-breezes, it must be very healthy.  It is also very fertile.  All the
agricultural instruments we saw were rude.  The plough was of the old
Roman model, with an iron point.  One of the chief productions of the
island is rice, and as for it a constant supply of water is required,
there is a very extensive system of irrigation.  To prepare it for
cultivation, the land is first overflowed, and the labourer hoes, and
ploughs, and harrows, while he stands knee deep in mud and water.  It is
first grown in plots and then transplanted.  The banyan-tree is very
abundant, and so is the bamboo, which supplies them with food, lodging,
and clothing, besides, from its stately growth, forming a delightful
shade to their villages.  The sugar-cane is grown, and much sugar is
made from it.  The islands are of coral formation, but, from some mighty
convulsion of nature, the rock on which the coral was placed has been
upheaved, and now in many places appears above it.  The sketch I
introduce will afford a better notion of the country-scenery in Loo-Choo
than any mere verbal account which I could give.

The people of Loo-Choo are well formed, and the men have full black
beards, and their hair being well oiled is gathered to the back of the
head, and fastened with a gold, silver, or brass pin, according to the
rank of the wearer.  Their dress is a loose robe with wide sleeves,
gathered round the waist with a girdle, in which they carry their
tobacco pouch and pipe.  The upper classes wear a white stocking, and
when they go out they put on a straw sandal secured to the foot by a
band passing between the great toe and the next to it, as worn by the
Romans.  The peasants go bareheaded and barefooted, and wear only a
coarse cotton shirt.  Their cottages also are generally thatched with
rice straw, and surrounded by a palisade of bamboos.  The furniture is
of the simplest description.  It consists of a thick mat spread on the
plank floor, on which the people sit cross-legged; a table, a few
stools, and a teapot, with some cups, and a few mugs and saucers.  Their
food is chiefly rice and sweet potatoes, animal food being only used by
the upper classes.  The upper ranks use a variety of soups, sweetmeats,
and cooked and raw vegetables.  They are a hard-working people, though
they have their festivals and days of relaxation, when, in open spaces
between the trees, they indulge in their favourite foot-ball and other
athletic sports.

I think what I have given is about the full amount of the information I
obtained.  One thing I must observe, that although they are now sunk in
a senseless idolatry, from the mildness of their dispositions, and their
intelligent and inquiring minds, I believe that if Christianity were
presented to them in its rightfully attractive form, they would speedily
and gladly embrace the truth.

As our friend Hatchie Katsie was anxious to return to Japan, Captain
Frankland very gladly undertook to convey him there.  He and Chin Chi,
accordingly, once more embarked with us on board the _Triton_.



CHAPTER TWENTY ONE.

OUR VOYAGE TO JAPAN.

Our friend Hatchie Katsie belonged to the commercial town of Hakodadi,
situated in the Straits of Saugar, on the south end of the Japanese
island of Yesso, and before it we found ourselves one bright morning
brought up.  The harbour was full of junks of all sizes, coming and
going, proving that a brisk trade must be carried on there.  The town
seemed of considerable extent, stretching along the sea-shore for a mile
or more, while many of the streets ran up the sides of a lofty
promontory, at the base of which it stands.  The mountains rise directly
behind to an elevation of a thousand feet, their bare summits often
being covered with snow.  The slopes are clothed with underwood, while
on the plain below wide-spreading cypresses, maples, plum and peach
trees grow in rich profusion.  Altogether the scene is a very
picturesque and beautiful one.  From numerous stone quarries the
Japanese have supplied themselves with an abundance of building
materials.  The appearance of the town, with its well-constructed sea
walls, bridges, and dikes, showed us that the Japanese must be a very
industrious people, and that they have made considerable advance in
civilisation.

One of the first things which struck us was a Japanese boat which came
alongside, both from her model and the neat way in which she was put
together.  Her bows were very sharp, she had great beam, and she tapered
slightly towards the stern.  She was built of pine wood, and varnished
without any paint.  Her crew, almost naked, stood aft, and sculled her
along instead of rowing, at a very great rate.  The official personages
she brought off sat in the fore-part; one of them, armed with two
swords, a mark of rank, stood in the bows, and made a very good
figure-head.  We should probably have had to take our departure without
holding any communication with the shore, so anxious were the Japanese
government to prevent any communication of the people with foreigners,
when Hatchie Katsie made his appearance on deck.  The account he gave
his countrymen soon changed the aspect of affairs, and we were told that
the governor of the place would no doubt make an exception in our
favour.

Our friend having procured Japanese clothes for us, as he had done at
Loo-Choo, told us that he might venture to take us on shore and show us
something of the mode of life among his countrymen.  I have no doubt
that Chin Chi considered it far superior to that of the English, as far
as he was able to judge of them.  The Japanese gentlemen were,
generally, finer men than those of Loo-Choo.  Their dress also was
different.  One of the chief people in the place, if he was not the
governor, wore a gaily-coloured robe of rich silk, with the back,
sleeves, and breast, covered with armorial bearings.  He wore a very
short pair of trousers, with black socks and straw slippers.  His hat,
something like a reversed bowl, shone with lacquer and ornaments of
gold.  I must say, however, that Europeans have no right to quiz the
head covering of any nation in the world, as ours far surpass all others
in ugliness, and in the want of adaptation of means to an end.

Our friend could not take us publicly into the town, so he had us
conveyed to his country-house in kagos, such as were used at Loo-Choo.
On every side, as we passed along, the people were busily employed; some
were lading their packhorses with bags of meal, others with heavy
mallets were pounding grain into flour, while others were hoeing in the
rice grounds up to their knees in water.  There was no sign of poverty,
and even the lowest people were well and comfortably clad in coarse
garments, shorter than those of the more wealthy classes.  All wear the
hair drawn up and fastened at the top in a knot.  In rainy weather they
wear cloaks made of straw, so that a person looks like a thatched roof.
The same sort of garments, I hear, are used by the Portuguese peasantry.
The upper classes cover their robes with a waterproof cloak of
oiled-paper.  All, like the Chinese, use the umbrella as a guard from
the sun and rain.

The streets are thoroughly drained, for not only are there surface
gutters, but deep drains which carry all the filth into the sea.  Here,
again, they are in advance of many civilised people.  Some of the best
houses are built of stone, but they are usually constructed of a
framework of bamboo and laths, which is covered with plaster painted
black and white in diagonal lines.  The roofs are composed of black and
white tiles; the eaves extending low down to protect the interior from
the sun, and the oiled-paper windows from the rain.  They are,
generally, of but one story.  Some of the residences stand back from the
street with a court-yard before them, and have gardens behind.  The
fronts of the shops have movable shutters, and behind these are sliding
panels of oiled-paper or lattices of bamboo, to secure privacy when
required.  In the interior of the houses is a framework raised two feet
from the ground, divided by sliding panels into several compartments,
and spread with stuffed mats; it is the guest, dining, and sleeping-room
of private houses, and the usual workshop of handicraftsmen--a house
within a house.  When a nobleman travelling stops at a lodging-house,
his banner is conspicuously displayed outside, while the names of
inferior guests are fastened to the door-posts.  The doctor made a
capital sketch of a scene we saw when looking into the interior of a
Japanese house--a servant apparently feeding two children.

A Japanese has only one wife, consequently women stand far higher in the
social scale than among other Eastern people.  They have evening
parties, when tea is handed round; and the guests amuse themselves with
music and cards.  Japanese ladies have an ugly custom of dyeing their
teeth black, by a process which at the same time destroys the gums.  The
more wealthy people have suburban villas, the gardens of which are
surrounded by a wall, and laid out in the Chinese style, with
fish-ponds, containing gold and silver fish, bridges, pagoda-shaped
summer-houses and chapels, beds of gay-coloured flowers, and dwarf
fruit-trees.

A large portion of the people profess the Buddhist religion.  We visited
a large temple at Hakodadi, full sixty feet high.  The tiled roof is
supported on an arrangement of girders, posts, and tie-beams, resting
upon large lacquered pillars.  The ornaments in the interior, consisting
of dragons, phoenixes, cranes, tortoises, all connected with the worship
of Buddha, are elaborately carved and richly gilt.  There are three
shrines, each containing an image, and the raised floor is thickly
covered with mats.  We were shown a curious praying machine covered with
inscriptions.  At about the height easily reached by a person was a
wheel with three spokes, and on each spoke a ring: turning the wheel
once round is considered equivalent to saying a prayer, and the jingle
of the ring is supposed to call the attention of the divinity to the
presence of the person paying his devotions.  The Sintoo worship is
practised also among the Japanese, but its temples are less resorted to
than those of Buddha.

We saw a number of junks building.  In shape they were like the Chinese,
but none were more than a hundred tons burden.  Canvas instead of bamboo
is used for sails.

The Japanese are decidedly a literary people.  All classes can read and
write; and works of light reading appear from their presses almost with
the same rapidity that they do with us.  They print from wooden blocks,
and have wooden type.  They have also long been accustomed to print in
colours.  The paper they employ is manufactured from the bark of the
mulberry, but is so thin that only one side can be used.  They have
sorts of games, some like our chess, and cards, and lotto, and we saw
the lads in the streets playing ball very much as boys do in an English
country village.

As we did not go to the capital, I cannot describe it.  We understood
that there are two emperors of Japan--one acts as the civil governor,
and the other as the head of all ecclesiastical affairs, a sort of pope
or patriarch.  The laws are very strict, especially with regard to all
communication with foreigners.  If a person of rank transgresses them
and he is discovered, notice is sent to him, and he instantly cuts
himself open with his sword, and thus prevents the confiscation of his
property.  The people exhibit an extraordinary mixture of civilisation
and barbarism; the latter being the result of their gross superstitious
faith, and their seclusion from the rest of the world; the former shows
how acute and ingenious must be their minds to triumph over such
difficulties.

Our friend Hatchie Katsie accompanied us to the shore when we embarked.
Chin Chi parted with us most unwillingly.  He longed to see more of the
wonders of the world; but even had his father been ready to let him go,
we could not have ventured to carry him away publicly in opposition to
the laws of the country.

Once more we were at sea.  "Homeward! homeward!" was the cry; but we had
still a long way to sail and many places to visit before we could get
there.  Steering south, we came to an anchor before the city of Manilla,
the capital of the Philippine Islands, the largest of which is Lujon.
They belong to Spain, having been taken possession of in 1565.  They are
inhabited by a variety of savage tribes, most of whom have been
converted by their conquerors to the Roman Catholic faith.  The capital
stands on a low plain near a large lake, which has numerous branches,
now converted into canals.  Hills rise in the distance, and behind them
ranges of lofty mountains, clothed to their summits with luxuriant
vegetation.  The number of Europeans is very small compared to that of
the half-castes and aborigines.  There are said to be forty thousand of
those industrious people, the Chinese, who appear now to be finding
their way into every country on the shores of the Pacific where
employment can be procured.  The largest manufactory at Manilla is that
of cigars.  The city appeared to be in a somewhat dilapidated condition,
the churches and public buildings, especially, were fast falling into
decay.

We, as usual, were fortunate, and got a trip, through the kindness of an
English merchant, up the lake and a good way into the interior, when we
could not help wondering at the magnificent display of tropical
vegetation which we beheld.  We also saw three of the most ferocious
animals of the country.  Scarcely had we landed when, as with our friend
and several Indian attendants we were proceeding along the hanks of the
stream, our friend wished to send a message to a cottage on the opposite
side to desire the attendance of the master as a guide.  There was a
ford near, but the Indian who was told to go said he would swim his
horse across.

"Take care of the cayman," was the warning given by all.

"Oh, I care not for caymans; I would fight with a dozen of them!" was
the answer given, we were told.

The lake and rivers running into it abound with these savage monsters, a
species of alligator or crocodile.  The man forced his horse into the
stream and swam on some way.  Suddenly we were startled with the cry of
"A cayman! a cayman!  Take care, man!"  The Indian threw himself from
his horse and swam boldly to the bank, leaving his poor steed to become
the prey of the monster.  The cayman made directly for the horse, and
seized him with his huge jaws by the body.  The poor steed's shriek of
agony sounded in our ears, but fortunately for him the saddle-girth gave
way, and he struggled free, leaving the tough leather alone in the
brute's mouth, and swam off to shore.  The cayman, not liking the
morsel, looked about for something more to his taste.

The Indian had reached the bank, but instead of getting out of the
water, he stood in a shallow place behind a tree, and, drawing his
sword, declared that he was ready to fight the cayman.  The monster
open-mouthed made at him; but the man in his folly struck at its head.
He might as well have tried to cut through a suit of ancient armour.
The next instant, to our horror, the cayman had him shrieking in his
jaws, and with his writhing body disappeared beneath the surface of the
stream!

After this our journey was enlivened by all sorts of horrible accounts
of adventures with caymans, till we neared the spot where we expected to
find some buffaloes.  As we rode along we heard an extraordinary cry.
"It is a wild boar," exclaimed our friend; "but I suspect a boa has got
hold of him--a great _bore_ for him, I suspect."  We rode to the spot
whence the sound came.  There, sure enough, suspended from the low
branch of a tree was a huge boa-constrictor, some twenty feet long,
perhaps, which had just enclosed a wild pig in its monstrous folds.
While we looked he descended, and lubricating the animal with the saliva
from his mouth, and placing himself before it, took the snout in his
jaws and began to suck it in.  We had not time to wait, as our friend
told us it would take a couple of hours before he got the morsel into
his stomach.  This process is performed by wonderful muscular action and
power of distension.

In half an hour we reached a plain bordered by a forest.  "Here we shall
find buffaloes in abundance," exclaimed our friend; "but, my lads, be
cautious; keep behind me, and watch my movements, or you may be
seriously injured, or lose your lives.  Buffalo-hunting is no child's
play, remember."  We had with us a number of Indians on horseback armed
with rifles, and a pack of dogs of high and low degree.  Our chief
hunter was a remarkably fine-looking man, a half-caste.  He was dressed
in something like a bull-fighter's costume.  He dismounted and
approached the wood, rifle in hand.  Two of the Indians threw off most
of their clothes, and kept only their swords by their sides.  Thus
lightly clad, they were able to climb the trees to get out of harm's
way.  The Indians beat the woods, and the dogs barked and yelped, till
at length a huge buffalo came out to ascertain what all the noise was
about.  He stood pawing the ground and tossing up the grass with his
horns, as if working himself into a rage, looking round that he might
single out an object on which to vent his rage.  Though we were at some
distance, we felt the scene excessively trying.  His eye soon fell on
the bold huntsman, who stood rifle in hand ready to hit him on the head
as he approached.  If his hand trembled, if his rifle missed fire, his
fate was sealed.  The excitement, as I watched the result, was so great,
that I could scarcely breathe.  The huntsman stood like a statue, so
calm and unmoved, with his eye fixed on the monstrous brute.  The
buffalo got within a dozen paces of him.  I almost shrieked out, for I
expected every moment to see the man tossed in the air, or trampled and
gored to death with those formidable horns.  On came the buffalo--there
was a report--a cloud of smoke--and as it cleared away, he was seen with
his knees bent and his head as it were ploughing the ground; yet another
moment, and his huge body rolled over a lifeless mass; and the hunter
advancing, placed his foot proudly between his horns, as a sign that he
was the victor.  Loud shouts rent the air from all the Indians, for the
feat their leader had performed was no easy one, and which few are
capable of accomplishing.  In some parts of the island, buffaloes are
taken with the lasso, as we had seen it employed in Mexico.  The animal
was cut up and transferred to a cart, to be carried down to the lake, by
which it was to be conveyed to Manilla.  Tame buffaloes are used for
agricultural purposes.

The vegetable productions of the Philippines are very numerous.  Rice is
grown in great quantities.  What is known as Manilla hemp is an article
of much value.  It is obtained from the fibre of a species of plantain.
It, can only be exported from the port of Manilla.  Indigo, coffee,
sugar, cotton, and tobacco, are grown in abundance; indeed, were the
resources of the islands fully developed, they would prove some of the
richest in the world.  But it may truly be said, that where Spaniards
rule there a blight is sure to fall.

On leaving the Philippines, we sighted the coast of Borneo, and looked
in at Sarawak, a province which the talent, the energy, the
perseverance, and the philanthropy of Sir James Brooke, have brought
from the depths of barbarism and disorder to a high state of
civilisation.  Those who are incapable of appreciating his noble
qualities seem inclined to allow it to return to the same condition in
which he found it.  I heard Captain Frankland speak very strongly on the
subject, and he said it would be a disgrace to England, and the most
shortsighted policy, if she withdraws her support from the province, and
refuses to recompense Sir James for the fortune which he has expended on
it.

We next touched at Singapore, which was founded by a man of very similar
character and talents to Sir James Brooke.  That man was Sir Stamford
Raffles, whose life is well worthy of attentive study.  When, in 1819,
the English took possession of the island at the end of the Malay
peninsula, on which Singapore now stands, it contained but a few huts,
the remnants of an old city, once the capital of the Malayan kingdom,
and was then the resort of all the pirates who swarmed in the
neighbouring seas.  It is now a free port, resorted to by ships of all
nations.  It is the head-quarters of many wealthy mercantile houses,
whose managers live in handsome houses facing the bay, while its working
population is made up of Arabs, Malays, Chinese, and, indeed, by people
from all parts of the East.  Singapore is another example of what the
talent and energy of one man can effect.

The next harbour in which we found ourselves was that of Port Louis in
the Mauritius.  The town stands at the head of the bay, and is enclosed
on the east, and north, and south, by mountains rising but a short
distance from the shore.  The most lofty is the Pouce, which towers up
2800 feet immediately behind the town, and is a remarkable and
picturesque object.  The Mauritius is one of the most flourishing of
England's dependencies, and the French inhabitants seem perfectly
contented with her rule, and appreciate the numerous advantages they
possess from being under it.  Since the abolition of slavery, coolies
have been brought over to cultivate sugar, rice, tobacco, and to engage
in other labours, formerly performed by the negro slaves.  Port Louis is
a well-built town, and has a bustling and gay appearance, from the
number of traders from all parts of the East, who appear in their
various and picturesque costumes.  Our stay here was short.

We were next bound to the coast of Madagascar, Captain Frankland having
instructions to endeavour to open up a trade with the people, and to
gain all the information he could collect regarding them.  Madagascar is
larger than Great Britain and Ireland combined, and contains three
millions of inhabitants.  In 1817, a treaty was entered into between the
governor of the Mauritius and Radama, who was king of part of the
country.  The king consented to the abolition of the slave trade; and in
return, he was supplied with arms and ammunition, and military
instructors were sent to drill his army.  The London Missionary Society
also sent over a body of highly intelligent men, some to instruct the
people in Christianity, and others more particularly in a variety of
useful arts.  A considerable number of Malagasy youths were sent on
board English ships of war to be instructed in seamanship, while others
were carried to England to receive a more finished education.  It is a
remarkable fact, that, although when the missionaries arrived in 1818
letters were totally unknown, in ten years from 10,000 to 15,000 natives
had learned to read, many of them to write, and several had made some
progress in English.  This speaks well for the zeal and excellence of
the system employed by the missionaries, and for the talent of the
natives.

King Radama, after considerably extending his dominions, died in 1828,
when the policy of his successor towards the English considerably
changed.  The Malagasy government having resolved to impose their own
laws on foreign residents at the port of Tamatave, an English and two
French ships of war went there to try and settle the questions at issue.
Failing to do so, they attacked the port, which, however, was so well
defended, that they were compelled to retire, leaving several of their
number behind, whose heads were stuck upon poles on the shore.  In
consequence of this untoward event, all intercourse with the English
ceased for eight years.  Before that time the government had commenced a
cruel persecution of the Christian natives, and numbers were put to
death.  The effect, however, was very different from what was expected.
Attention was drawn to the subject of Christianity.  Many of all ranks
began to study the Bible and to acknowledge the truth, and among them
was the queen's son, then only seventeen years old.  The queen was
greatly averse to the new religion; and this, probably, was one of the
causes which made her break off all intercourse with strangers, while
she carried on the persecution against her own subjects who had become
converts.  The patient way in which the Christians bore their sufferings
induced many others to inquire into the truth of their doctrines, and
ultimately to embrace them.  At last a reaction took place; the queen
began to discover the ill effects of the restrictive system she had been
endeavouring to establish, and once more showed an inclination to renew
her intercourse with civilised nations.  Friendly relations with the
British had again been established when we anchored before Tamatave.

The roadstead before Tamatave offers a good anchorage, except when the
wind is from the north or east.  Several species of pandanus and some
tall cocoa-nut trees gave a tropical character to the scenery.  Soon
after anchoring, a large but rather clumsy canoe came alongside, with an
officer who spoke a little English, and said he was the harbour-master,
and a number of attendants.  They wore neatly plaited straw hats, white
shirts bound round the loins with cloths, and large white scarfs thrown
gracefully over the shoulders like the Scotch plaid.  The harbour-master
entered in a book the name of the ship and other particulars, and we
then accompanied him to his house on shore--that is, the captain, the
doctor, and Jerry and I.  It was built of wood, nearly fifty feet long
and twenty-five high, a verandah running all round; a door in the
centre, and windows on either side; the floor of the veranda well
planked, so as to form an outer apartment.  The whole was thatched with
the leaves of the traveller's-tree.  The walls were covered with tofia,
or native cloth, and the floor with a large fine mat.  A well-made
bedstead stood in one corner with sleeping mats on it, and in the centre
a table covered with a white cloth.  In different parts of the room were
chairs and ottomans covered with mats; cooking utensils, arms, machines
for making mats, bags of rice, and other articles for consumption, were
arranged against the sides of the room.  It was a fair specimen of a
native house, and in the essentials showed a considerable advancement in
civilisation and notions of comfort, as it was admirably adapted to the
climate.

Captain Frankland's object in coming to Madagascar was to open up a
commercial intercourse with the people, and to advance this object he
had resolved to visit the capital.  He had been supplied with several
letters of introduction to facilitate this object.  This brought us in
contact with a number of people.  One of our first visitors was a
fine-looking man, an officer of government.  He wore a gold-lace cloth
cap, a shirt with an elaborately worked collar and cuffs, and over it a
lamba, the native scarf or plaid, the centre of which consisted of broad
stripes of yellow, pink, scarlet, and purple, with the border of open
work of yellow and scarlet lace.  He had, however, neither shoes nor
stockings.  He was accompanied by two men bearing swords, the badges of
his office.  One of our visitors took snuff (a usual custom), by jerking
it from a richly ornamented tube of cane which his servant handed to
him, on to his tongue, when he swallowed it!

Tamatave, where we landed, is a large village, but the houses, or rather
huts, have generally a dilapidated appearance.  There are a few good
houses, belonging to foreigners and to the government officers.  We were
amused by seeing slaves filling thick bamboos six or seven feet long
with water from a well.  The water is pulled up in a cow horn instead of
a bucket, while the bamboo takes the place of a pitcher.  We visited the
market.  The vendors sat in the centre, or at the side of platforms made
of sand or mud, on which the articles were piled up.  We found rice,
maize, millet, mandioc, plantains, oranges, pine-apples, and many other
fruits.  All sorts of poultry were to be seen, and the butchers had
their meat arranged before them cut up into pieces on broad plantain
leaves.  The women were dressed very much in articles of European
manufacture; their hair, which is jet black, was arranged frequently in
light curls or knots, which has a far from picturesque effect.

Nothing is more wonderful in Madagascar than the great strides education
has made.  Thirty years ago the language was unwritten.  Only one
person, who had been educated in the Mauritius, could write, and that
was in a foreign language.  Now, all the government officers can write,
and all the business is transacted by writing, while all classes are
greedy for instruction; indeed, we had great reason to believe that
there are few more intelligent people than the inhabitants of that
magnificent island.

Before starting on our journey we were invited to a dinner by one of the
chiefs.  Our surprise was great, when we approached the house, to find
two lines of soldiers drawn up, dressed in white kilts with white belts
across their naked shoulders, with a musket or spear.  We were ushered
into a handsome hall full of officers in every variety of European
uniform, the chiefs having cocked hats, feathers, and gold epaulets.
The lady of the house and several other ladies were present, dressed in
English fashion; and the feast, which was abundant, was served much in
the English style.  Several of the officers spoke English, and toasts
were drunk and speeches made, while a band played very well both when we
entered and after dinner.  Some female slaves stood behind the ladies,
and two afterwards came in and made some very excellent coffee.  We were
very much interested as well as surprised to find so much civilisation
among those whom we had supposed barbarians.

I have spoken of slaves.  Although the government has abolished the
exportation of slaves, slavery is still allowed in the country.  The
slaves are generally people taken in war from among the inhabitants of
the northern provinces.  People are also condemned to perpetual slavery
for crimes by the government.  The Hovas, the name of the dominant
tribe, of whom Radama was chief, have made slaves of great numbers of
the tribes whom they have conquered.  We heard, however, that they are
generally kindly treated.  Many of the Christians were condemned to
slavery during the late persecutions; but the conditions made with those
who took charge of them was, that they were to be kept constantly at
hard labour.  We heard much of the admirable conduct of the Christians
under all their persecutions.  Their heathen masters declared that they
could be intrusted with any matter of importance, and were scrupulously
exact with regard to all property placed under their charge, while among
themselves they kept up the pure and simple doctrines which they had
learned from the Bible itself.

We now got ready for our journey.  We had a guide who had been in
England, and some years at the Cape of Good Hope, and spoke English
perfectly.  Our palanquins were something like cots slung on a long
pole, with a roof of native cloth, which could be rolled up or let down
to keep off the rain or sun.  The machine was borne by four bearers, two
before and two behind, while four others walked by the side ready to
relieve them.  No wheeled carriages are used in Madagascar, so that the
only roads are the paths made by the unshod feet of the natives, or by
the bullocks' hoofs; and there is no water-carriage--all goods are
conveyed on men's shoulders from one part of the country to the other;
so that we had quite an army with us, what with our relays of bearers,
and those who carried our baggage and presents.  Up and down hills we
travelled, through the wildest scenery we could imagine.  It is
difficult to describe it.  Sometimes we had to wind up and down over
rugged heights; then through forests, frequently turning aside to avoid
the huge trees which had fallen across our path; then across swamps and
plots of slippery mud; and often we had to force our way through dense
jungle, or through miles of primeval forests.

We saw many interesting trees and plants.  One of the most beautiful is
the bamboo.  Some of the canes, nearly a foot in circumference at the
base, rise to the height of forty or fifty feet, their slight,
feathery-looking points, like huge plumes, waving with the slightest
breeze, and assisting to keep up a circulation of the air.  They are
fringed at their joints with short branches of long, lance-shaped
leaves.  We saw bamboos of all sizes, some with the cane as delicate as
a small quill, yet fully ten feet long; and these were also exceedingly
graceful.  So also were the tree-ferns, which grew in great profusion
and beauty on the sides of the hills.  But the most curious and valuable
tree we saw was the traveller's-tree.  It has a thick succulent stem
like the plantain.  From ten to thirty feet from the ground it sends out
from the stem, not all round, but on opposite sides, like a fan, ten or
a dozen huge bright green leaves; so that facing it, it has the
appearance of a vast fan.  The stalk of the leaf is six or eight feet
long, and the leaf itself four or six more.  In each head were four or
five branches of seed-pods, in appearance something like the fruit of
the plantain.  When they burst each pod was found to contain thirty or
more seeds, in shape like a small bean, covered up with a very fine
fibre of a brilliant purple or blue colour.  The most singular
arrangement, which gains this tree the name it bears, is the pure water
which it contains.  This is found in the thick part of the stem of each
leaf, at the spot where it rises from the stem, where there is a cavity
formed by nature.  The water is evidently collected by the broad leaf,
and carried down a groove in the stem to the bowl, which holds a quart
or more, perhaps, at a time.  The traveller's-tree is of great use for
other purposes to the natives.  With the leaves they thatch their
houses; the stems serve to portion off the rooms; and the hard outside
bark is beaten flat, and is used for flooring.  The green leaves are
used to envelop packages, and sometimes a table is covered with them
instead of a tablecloth, while they are also folded into various shapes,
to be employed as plates, bowls, and even spoons.

We had to cross a river said to be infested by crocodiles.  The natives
walked close to us on either side, beating the water with long sticks to
keep them away.  The natives look on them with great dread, and attempt
to propitiate them by charms or sacrifices, instead of endeavouring to
destroy them.  They, however, take their eggs in great numbers, and dry
them for food.

Locusts in great numbers infest some of the provinces; but the people do
not allow them to pass without paying a heavy tribute, and eat them as
one of their chief luxuries, dressed in fat.  They fly about two or
three feet from the ground.  As soon as they appear, men, women, and
children rush out--the men catch them in sheets, the women and children
pick them from the ground, and then shake them in sacks till the wings
and legs are knocked off.  The lighter parts are then winnowed away, and
the bodies are dried in the sun and sold in the markets.

The natives seem to have the same dread of serpents that they have of
crocodiles.  The doctor found one, ten feet long, coiled away on the mat
where he had slept one morning, on going back to look for something he
had left there; but it escaped before it could be killed.

We slept during our journey sometimes at the habitations of chiefs,
sometimes at peasants' huts, and sometimes at houses in villages
provided for our accommodation.  The chiefs' houses were small, but
compactly built.  We remarked that the water was kept in large earthen
jars--like those used in the Holy Land, I conclude.  The sleeping-places
were neatly arranged round the rooms, and there was a general air of
comfort and respectability perceptible in most of them.  Very different
was a peasant's hut when we entered.  It was not more than twenty feet
square, divided into two compartments.  In the outer were calves, lambs,
and fowls.  In the inner, at one end was a bed, and at the foot of it a
fireplace, over which a man was cooking a pot of rice.  His wife sat
before a loom, consisting of four upright sticks fixed in the ground,
with rods across.  At the distance of seven feet were two short sticks
driven into the ground, connected by a bar, over which was stretched the
woof of silk to be woven.  On this simple apparatus the most beautiful
and rich patterns are worked.  Silk-worms abound in some of the
provinces, and a very large amount might be produced and form an
important article of trade.

As we approached the capital we found the villages of the Hovas all
strongly fortified on the summits of hills or rocks.  They have but one
narrow and difficult entrance, and are surrounded by one or more deep
ditches, every ridge at the side of the hill being cut through.  Great
care, indeed, has been shown in their construction, showing that they
were a warlike and marauding people, and found it necessary to guard
against reprisals from the neighbours they have attacked.

Antananarivo, the capital, at which we at length arrived, after a
journey of three hundred miles, is a very curious place.  It is built on
an oval hill, nearly two miles in length, rising four or five hundred
feet above the surrounding country, and is seven thousand feet higher
than the level of the sea.  On the highest part of the hill, and forming
a conspicuous object, is the palace of the queen.  It is sixty feet
high, with a lofty and steep roof, with attic windows, and is surrounded
by balconies, one above, the other.  The top is surmounted by a huge
golden eagle, with outspread wings, which looks as if able to have a
tough fight with the one which overshadowed the articles from the United
States at, the Great Exhibition.

The palace of the prince, which is smaller, is on one side, and has also
a golden eagle over it.  The dwellings of other members of the royal
family and chief nobility are on either side, while the rest of the
houses, which are only of one story, clothe the sides of the hill,
standing generally on small terraces, wherever the ground has allowed
their formation.  The houses are of plain unpainted wood, which gives
them a somewhat sombre and dilapidated appearance.  The interiors are,
however, very comfortable, and admirably suited to the climate.

Captain Frankland had the honour of an audience with the queen, who
received him very graciously, and seemed much pleased with the object of
his visit to the country.  Still more interested were we with the prince
royal and the princess Rabodo, his wife, who had for some time become
consistent Christians.  We were much struck with the kind and courteous
way in which the prince invariably treated his wife whenever they
appeared in public.  We always saw him dressed in a handsome uniform,
and she always appeared in the costume of an English lady.  All the
officers of the court were well dressed, either in European uniforms, or
in full native costume, which is very becoming.

We had a very comfortable house appropriated to us.  We found the
climate at this elevation far pleasanter than near the coast, the
thermometer, in the morning, not being higher than 56 degrees to 58
degrees.  A number of the chiefs visited Captain Frankland, to talk
about the productions of the country and the best methods for improving
its resources.  Jerry and I meantime made several excursions into the
surrounding country with the doctor, accompanied by a young chief, who
spoke English very well.  We one day passed a body of troops, and he
told us that there were forty thousand men forming an army round the
capital besides artillery.  Among other places we visited was the
country palace of Radama, called Isoaierana.  The top of a hill had been
removed to clear a space for the edifice.  It is a wonderful building,
considering the means at the disposal of the architect, but it wants
height to give it grandeur.  It is composed entirely of wood, the timber
having been brought from a forest fifty miles off.  Rows of balconies
run round it.  One hall we entered was a hundred feet long and forty
wide; but that also wanted height to make it appear to advantage.

From the very slight description I have given of the country, it will be
seen that considerable advances have of late years been made in
civilisation.  The prince royal is a most excellently disposed young
man, but his education is defective.  Should his life be spared, there
can be no doubt that he will exert himself to carry on the improvements
commenced under the auspices of Radama.  Unhappily, his mother and most
of the chief nobility still are heathens, while the severe edicts
against the Christians yet remain in force.  However, all must believe
that Christianity will ultimately triumph, and a happy future be in
store for that interesting country.

We were very sorry when, the captain having concluded his business, we
had once more to get into our palanquins, and to commence our return
journey to the coast.  We met with no adventure worthy of being noted,
though we saw a number of curious and interesting plants and shrubs.  At
length once more we trod the deck of the _Triton_.  The anchor was hove
up, the topsails hoisted, and with a fair breeze we stood to the
southward.  We touched at Cape Town, but I will not describe it or the
Table Mountain, of which every one has heard over and over again.  One
day we were all on deck, when the Captain and mates and Jerry and I were
taking observations.  "I thought so," exclaimed Captain Frankland; "we
have just put a girdle round the world; and now, lads, you will have
spare time enough to tie the knot."  In a few weeks after this we
reached the shores of Old England in safety, and though we had heartily
enjoyed our voyage, right glad and thankful too were we to see once more
its snow-white cliffs.

I spent three days with Captain Frankland's family, and then Jerry and
old Surley, who must not be forgotten, accompanied me to my own home.
All were there for the Christmas holidays, and what between my dear
father and mother's embraces, and my sisters pulling me here and there
to get another and another kiss at my well-browned cheeks, and my
brother's reiterated and hearty thumps on the back, I was almost in as
much danger of being pulled to pieces as I had during any time of the
voyage, and had not Jerry been there to draw off the attention of some
of the party, I do not know what would have been the result.  Cousin
Silas soon afterwards joined us, and remained while the ship was
refitting.  We spent a very merry Christmas, and no one seemed tired of
hearing us recount our adventures.  Old Surley used to sit at our feet,
and he nodded his head and winked his eyes, as much as to say "It is all
true, and if I could but speak I would tell you the same story."  I hope
that my readers will receive it in as favourable a way as did my family.
We had learned many lessons during our trip.  We had been taught to
respect other people, their manners, and even their prejudices, and to
reflect what we ourselves should have been had we laboured under similar
disadvantages, while at the same time we had seen every reason to love
Old England more and more, and to be deeply grateful for the numberless
inestimable blessings she enjoys.  We had been taught, too, to observe
the finger of the Almighty in his wondrous works, and to remark how he
has scattered his precious gifts far and wide over the face of the globe
for the benefit of his creatures.  Our midnight watches have not been
unprofitable.  Often and often in the calm night we have gazed upward at
the starlit sky and thought upon God.  We have had time for reflection.
We have felt our own unworthiness.  We have asked ourselves the serious
question, Do we make a good and complete use of the advantages we
possess--of the instruction afforded us--of the great examples set
before us--of the Word of God laid freely open for us?  But I might go
on for ever asking similar questions.  Happy are those who can make
satisfactory answers.  I must conclude by expressing a hope that those
who have gone through these pages will have found some of the amusement
and instruction which Jerry and I obtained in our--

Voyage round the World.

THE END.





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