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´╗┐Title: Charley Laurel - A Story of Adventure by Sea and Land
Author: Kingston, William Henry Giles, 1814-1880
Language: English
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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 "Charley Laurel - A Story of Adventure by Sea and Land" ***

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Charley Laurel, A Story of Adventure by Sea and Land, by W H G Kingston.

________________________________________________________________________

Here Kingston gives us a story of a young boy who had been handed to a
British seaman, Dick, at a place in the West Indies which had just been
attacked by the British.  The boy's nurse, a coloured woman, had
received a fatal wound.  The boy is brought up by Dick on board ship,
but there are all sorts of misadventures, such as being cast away on a
raft, being picked up by what turns out to be a pirate ship, escaping
and then being rescued by a privateer.

It is at this point that the story gets a bit serious.  Dick and Charley
find themselves on an island in the South Pacific, having been captured
by savage tribes, and being kept apart.  Charley plays a trick on his
captors, which enables him to travel to where Dick is, and bring him
back.  They escape from the island, and are picked up by a British ship.

Charley is taken back to England, where the shipowner's family take a
liking to him, and he is sent to a boarding school, where he does very
well.  He is then sent back to sea by the kindly shipowner, in one of
his vessels.  I will not tell you more than this, but there is a rather
surprising end.

________________________________________________________________________

CHARLEY LAUREL, A STORY OF ADVENTURE BY SEA AND LAND, BY W H G KINGSTON.



CHAPTER ONE.

VALUABLE BOOTY.

A good many years ago, before, indeed, I can remember, His Majesty's
Ship _Laurel_, a corvette of eighteen guns and a hundred and thirty men,
commanded by Captain Blunt, formed one of the West India squadron.

She, with another corvette, and a brig in company, came one fine morning
off a beautiful island, then in possession of the French, although, as
Dick Driver, from whom I got the particulars, said, properly belonged to
England, at least, it once had.  Of course, therefore, it was their
business to get it back again.  Dick could not recollect its name, nor
the exact date of the occurrences I am describing, for, being no
scholar, he was a very bad hand at recollecting dates; and as he could
not write his own name, of course it was not to be expected that he
would keep a journal, or remember very accurately all the places he had
visited.

The _Laurel_ and her consorts, having hoisted French colours, stood
along the coast, which the captain and officers of the former ship
narrowly examined with their glasses.

At length the shades of evening drew on, and they came off a small town,
situated on the shore of a bay, the entrance of which was guarded by a
fort.  The _Laurel_ stood on, as if about to enter the bay, but the
land-wind coming off the shore, she and the other two vessels stood away
till they had got such a distance from the harbour that there was no
chance of their being seen by the sharpest eyes, with the best of
night-glasses, looking out for them.

The ships having hove-to, the commanders of the other vessels came on
board the _Laurel_, when Captain Blunt announced his intention of
attacking the town, hoping to hold possession of it till another
squadron, which had been destined for the purpose, had captured a more
important place on the other side of the island.  The captain's plan was
to send in the different boats of the squadron with a strong party of
marines and blue-jackets, in three divisions, a couple of hours before
daylight, as it was hoped at that time, the garrison of the fort being
less on the alert than at an earlier hour, the boats might enter the bay
unperceived.

The first and largest division was instructed to take possession of the
town; the second was to attack the fort; and the third to cut out any
vessels found in the harbour, in case the other two should be compelled
to retreat, so that, at all events, there might be something to show for
the night's work.

The boats' crews, and all who were fortunate enough, as they considered
it, to be selected for the expedition, were soon busily employed in
sharpening cutlasses, fitting fresh flints to their pistols, and making
other preparations for the possible bloody work in which they were to be
engaged.  Dick Driver, who belonged to the cutter's crew, was among the
most active.  Dick was a short, strongly built, powerful fellow, with a
broad, honest countenance, bright blue eyes, and fair bushy beard and
whiskers,--a truer-hearted, braver seaman than Dick Driver never
stepped.

"If this here cutlass of mine does its duty, we'll thrash the Mounseers,
and gain the King his own again," exclaimed Dick, as he applied his
weapon to the grindstone, feeling that he was a host in himself; and so
he was, provided no treacherous bullet found its way through his sturdy
frame, when, alas, Dick's strength and courage would have availed him
nothing.

The boats at length collected round the _Laurel_; the oars were muffled;
the officers were ordered to maintain a strict silence.  It was hoped
that by getting in the rear of the fort it might be taken with a rush,
while the larger party entered the town, and took by surprise any troops
who might be stationed within it.

The night was very dark, for clouds were in the sky, and the water was
smooth.

The first lieutenant of the _Laurel_, who commanded the expedition,
leading in the gig, away the boats pulled, keeping close together, and
looking as they glided along like some huge serpent creeping on his
prey.  The entrance to the bay was gained without the boats being
discovered.  They dashed on more rapidly than before.  In a few minutes
they would be hard at work, the seamen slashing away with their
cutlasses, and the marines firing, and pronging with their muskets and
bayonets at their fellow-creatures.

Strange that men should like such work.  Dick confessed he did, though
he could not exactly say why.

The officers did their duty admirably; the marines were landed, and the
blue-jackets were springing on shore before a shot was fired from the
town.

Dick, who belonged to the first division, pushed on in that direction
with his party, while the other two attended to their destined duty.
The gates of the fort, however, being closed, the intended rush could
not be accomplished; and it was evident from the rapid firing that some
hot work was going on there.  Instead also of at once entering the town,
the first party found their progress impeded by a somewhat numerous body
of troops, who, quartered near at hand, turned out in time to defend it.
The Frenchmen fought well, Dick acknowledged, though some had neither
boots nor coats on, and many were destitute of other garments.  They
were, however, driven back inch by inch, till some turned tail and fled;
the rest soon afterwards doing the same, followed by the victors, who
fired indiscriminately at every one they saw in front of them.  On such
an occasion many of the unfortunate inhabitants were too likely to
suffer, and many who had no arms in their hands, or had thrown them down
and cried out for quarter, were shot before the officers could halt
their men.

Meeting with two streets forking in different directions, some in the
darkness had followed one and some the other.  Flames were seen also
bursting in the rear from houses set on fire either intentionally or by
accident; while shouts and shrieks and cries arose in all directions.
Altogether, the little town, which a few minutes before had been
slumbering peacefully, was now the scene of havoc, terror, and
confusion.

As Dick, cutlass in hand, was making his way along the dark street, a
piteous cry reached his ears, and looking down, he saw lying wounded on
the ground a black woman, holding up to him a little white child.

"Oh, save him! save him! or he will be killed!" she exclaimed.

"Of course I will," answered Dick, tucking the child under his left arm;
"and I'll help you into a house, where you may be safe."

He was about to perform the humane act he proposed, when there was a
cry, "The French are coming on in force--fall back, men! fall back!"

Dick had only time to draw the poor woman on one side, when he was
compelled, with his companions, rapidly to re-trace his steps.  Not
knowing where to deposit the child in safety, he kept it under his arm;
and though on most occasions he would have been in the rank nearest the
foe, he now, according to orders, retreated as fast as he could.  Many
of the other men had bundles of things they had picked up, but they were
certainly not little children.

The boats were reached at last, though not until a good many of the
gallant jollies and several of the blue-jackets had been shot down by a
large body of French troops, who had come in from the farther side of
the town.  They were again, however, driven back far enough to allow the
marines and sailors to embark.

Dick, unhurt, had reached the barge, still carrying his burden, for he
had not the heart to throw it down, and could not find any safe place to
put it in.

The fort had not been taken, but five merchantmen were captured and
towed out of the harbour, in spite of the hot fire through which they
had to pass.

Captain Blunt was very angry on finding that the men had brought away
plunder from the town; and they were ordered to deliver it up, that it
might be sent back to the inhabitants, whom, as he said, he had no
intention of injuring.

Dick Driver, who among others had been seen to come aboard with a
bundle, was ordered aft.

"Please, sir," said Dick, as he presented himself, holding a fine child
in his arms of about four years old, "it ain't any booty, but a lawful
gift.  I was axed to take care of it, and I promised I would, and so I
have."

"I do believe it's a little girl," exclaimed the captain, examining the
delicate features and somewhat feminine appearance of the child, which
had long fair locks hanging down over its shoulders.

"Lord bless you, no, sir!  If it had been a she I shouldn't have known
what to do with her--but it's as fine a youngster as I ever set eyes
upon, barring his curls: and we will soon dock them, seeing they will be
in his way, and not suited for the smart little tarpaulin I am going to
make for him."

"What, my man, you don't expect to keep the child?" exclaimed the
captain.  "We must send him on shore with the rest of the property
brought away."

"But, sir, he was given to me to look after by his dying mother,"
exclaimed Dick, forgetting for the moment that the child was white, and
that the woman who had given it to him was as black as his shoe.  "He is
not like the rest of the booty, and if I may make so bold, I would like
to keep him, and bring him up as one of the ship's company.  We are all
agreed that we will take precious good care of him, and he will be a
greater favourite among us than either Quacho, or Jocko, or the old goat
that went overboard in the last gale, or the pig as was killed when we
were short of fresh provisions.  Do, sir, let us keep him?  We wouldn't
part with the little chap for all the prize-money we have made this
cruise."

Dick, in his anxiety to keep the child, had become desperate, and spoke
with greater freedom than he would otherwise have ventured to do when
addressing his captain.  "If he were to be sent ashore there's no one
might own him," he continued; "then what would become of the poor little
chap? he might be taken to the workhouse, or just brought up nohow."

The captain, however, was not to be moved by all Dick's arguments.

"You did very rightly, my man, in saving the child's life, and you
deserve a reward," he observed; "but we cannot turn the ship into a
nursery, and he must run his chance of finding his friends.  However, as
you seem to have made a good nurse, you may take charge of him till we
can send him away."

"Thank you, sir," said Dick, as he touched his hat, glad of even this
short respite, and hoping that something might turn up to induce the
captain to allow the child to remain on board.  "We will take good care
of him--that we will; and if he has to go back to his friends, we will
see that he is in proper trim, so that they won't be nohow ashamed of
him."

Dick, having thus delivered himself, swung his body round and hurried
forward with light step, holding his young charge in his arms.

The _Laurel_ and the other ships, with their prizes, were at this time
standing away from the land.  The seamen grumbled not a little at having
to give up their booty: they could not understand why the merchantmen
should have been cut out, and they not allowed to keep what they had
picked up on shore.

An officer, who spoke French, now came from one of the prizes with some
important information which he had obtained from a prisoner.  It was to
the effect that three heavy French frigates were hourly expected off the
coast.  Captain Blunt accordingly ordered a bright look-out to be kept
for any strange sail.  In a short time three were descried standing
along shore.  There could be no doubt that they were the enemy's
frigates; and as the two corvettes and brig could not hope to cope with
them, all sail was made to escape.  The enemy soon afterwards were seen
crowding all sail in chase: the prizes were ordered by signal to
separate and to make the best of their way to Jamaica, while the
_Laurel_ and her consorts stood to the eastward, under all the canvas
they could spread.  Before nightfall they had run their powerful foes
out of sight.

The next day a heavy gale sprang up, which increased to a hurricane.  A
signal of distress was made by the unfortunate ten-gun brig, while the
other sloop was evidently in a bad plight.

During the night, the _Laurel_ having to run before the gale, lost sight
of both of them.  The gale continuing longer than usual, ere it ceased
she found herself in a the wide waters of the Atlantic, with all her
boats washed away or stove in, her three top-masts gone, and besides
other damages, a leak sprung, which kept the pumps going for the best
part of each watch.



CHAPTER TWO.

THE LIFE-RAFT.

The _Laurel_ had for some days been becalmed, and though every one on
board, from the captain to the smallest powder-monkey, had been
whistling for a breeze to carry her back to look after her prizes and
consorts, no breeze came.

Dick had been the busiest of the busy.  He now appeared, with no small
pride in his countenance, leading by the hand a little boy dressed in a
seaman's jacket and trowsers, his shirt-collar turned down, and a little
tarpaulin hat stuck on the top of his curly head.  He went boldly aft,
till he reached the captain, who, with several officers, was standing on
the quarterdeck.

"Touch your hat, Charley," said Dick.  Charley obeyed promptly with a
true sailor's manner, showing that his guardian had, according to his
own ideas, commenced his education, and had at all events taught him to
be obedient.

"Please, sir, this here little chap is Charley Laurel, as I brought
aboard t'other night," began Dick.  "Some wanted to call him one name,
some another.  We called him Charley, sir, after Mr Slings, the
boatswain, who offered to stand godfather; and 'cause, as I may say, he
belongs to all of us, we have given him the name of Laurel, after the
old barky, if that's agreeable to you, sir."

"I have no objection to any name you may give him," answered the
captain; "but I warn you that we shall have before many weeks to restore
him to his friends, when we shall find out his proper one, and I have no
doubt they will be glad to reward you for the care you have taken of
him."

"I want no reward, sir, except perhaps a glass of grog to drink their
healths, and small thanks we will give them if they take him from us.
It will be hard to lose him as well as our other booty, especially when
he takes to us so kindly.  To my mind, he will be much better off with
us than among them niggers, who will just spoil him with sugar-cane and
letting him have his own way.  Besides, sir, the black woman gave him to
me, and unless you says so, we will not hand him over to them."

Dick slapped his leg as he spoke, as a clencher to his assertion, and in
his eagerness was going to use a strong expression, when, recollecting
that he was on the quarterdeck, and to whom he was speaking, he stopped
short.

"Well, my man," said the captain, good-naturedly, not offended with
Dick's freedom, "make the most of the little fellow while you have him,
and we will see what to do with him by-and-by."

There is an old saying which should never be forgotten, that "Man
proposes, but God disposes."

It was the hurricane season.  Captain Blunt had been doing his best to
get the damages the ship had received repaired.  He was pacing the deck,
and every now and then casting an anxious eye round the horizon, knowing
well that the gallant little _Laurel_ was ill able to withstand either a
gale or an enemy, by either of which she might be assailed, although,
like a true sailor, he was ready to meet the one or the other with
undaunted courage.

The ocean was like a sheet of glass, and the hot sun struck down on the
deck with tremendous force.  Those who could, sat in the shade, those
who could not, as Dick observed, "had to grin and bear it, though it was
not much odds where a man got to, it was hot everywhere."

Now and then a covey of flying-fish might be seen skimming over the
ocean, but they came out of the water to avoid the jaws of their
persevering foes, the dolphins or bonitos, not because they liked it, or
wished to exhibit their brilliant wings, but the wiser leviathans of the
deep kept in the cooler regions below the surface.  Gradually a thin
mist filled the atmosphere; it seemed to come from nowhere, but there it
was, though the heat was in no way diminished by it, but rather
increased.  Still the pumps had to be kept going, and the crew had to
stand at them, whether in sunshine or shade, stripped to the waist, the
perspiration running down from every pore.  No one grumbled, though
"spell ho!" was oftener than usual cried, and numerous visits were paid
to the water-cask by those who generally disdained the pure liquid
unless mixed with rum.

The captain's countenance wore an unwonted grave expression; the
officers, too, looked serious, and their eyes were constantly turned
round, now in one direction, now in the other.  Presently the captain
shouted with startling energy--

"All hands shorten sail! clew up! haul down!  Be smart, my lads!"

The courses were quickly brailed up and furled, the fore-staysail alone
being set.  A dark cloud was seen away to the south-west, gathering as
it approached a vast assemblage of black masses which appeared to come
out of space, advancing rapidly till they formed one dense column.

The men were scarcely off the yards when a sheet of white foam came
hissing over the hitherto calm surface of the ocean, followed by a
deafening roar as wave after wave arose, each higher than its
predecessor, and then the hurricane in all its irresistible might struck
the sorely-battered ship.  Over she heeled before it, the fore-staysail
with a loud report flew out of the bolt-ropes ere it had done its duty
of paying off the ship's head.  Again and again the savage blast struck
her side, pressing her still farther down, while the ever-increasing
seas broke in foaming masses over her.  The captain gave the order to
cut away the mizzen-mast, and set another staysail.  For a moment there
was a lull, the ship rose, and her head feeling the wind, away she flew
before the howling gale.  The carpenter sounded the well.  He had an
alarming report to make to the captain--the water was gaining faster
than ever on the ship.  Dick heard it.

"To my mind the old barky will be going down," he said to himself.  "I
must look after Master Charley, for if she does, it won't do to have the
little chap going to Davy Jones' locker.  It is all very well for those
as are bred to it, but, bless his young heart!  I must do what I can to
keep him afloat."

Dick was a man of action rather than words.  He immediately filled his
capacious pockets with all the provisions he could lay hands on.  In the
launch on deck he found a basket which had been brought on board with
vegetables.  There were a number of broken spars and other fragments of
wood, the remains of the boats which had been carried away.  He began to
lash them firmly together in a mode which a seaman only could have
accomplished; and in the centre of the raft he had thus formed he
secured the basket, which had a lid to it.  One of the officers saw him,
and told him to knock off.

"Ay, ay!" he answered; but it was not a moment, he conceived, to stand
on ceremony, and immediately again went on with his work.  The boatswain
also set his eyes on him.

"What are you about there, Dick?" he asked.  "Off with you to the pumps;
it will be your spell directly."

"I am building a raft for your godson, Mr Slings," answered Dick.  "You
would not wish the pretty little chap to be drowned if there's a chance
of saving him, and please Heaven, I will try and do it, though I am as
ready as any on myself to stick to the old barky to the last."

"Don't you be talking of the ship going down," exclaimed the boatswain,
gruffly; "you will be making the rest chicken-hearted."

"You know as well as I do, Mr Slings, that go down she will, before
many hours are over, unless old `Harry Cane' takes himself off pretty
smartly."

Dick could not resist the sailor's common joke even at that moment.

"I cannot say you nay, Dick," answered the boatswain; "but all this
comes of having babies aboard; we must try and keep the ship above
water, anyhow."

The raft being completed, Dick got hold of a small beaker of water,
which he secured to it; he also formed a paddle, and laid alongside of
it a spar of considerable length.  Having finished his work, he slipped
below, and brought up little Charley, with a bundle of bedding and a
blanket.  The child greatly objected to go to bed in the basket, and
still more so to be lashed in, as Dick was doing.  Dick knew that nobody
would interfere with the child, but still he placed him as much out of
sight as possible, just abaft the fore-mast.

"You be good boy, Charley, and don't cry out," he said, trying to soothe
him.  "There is a biscuit--chaw it, lad.  I have to take a spell at the
pumps, and will be back directly."

As soon as Dick could leave his work at the pumps, he hurried back to
the child, and threw himself down to rest by his side.

The ship flew on before the gale.  Every one, knowing that their lives
depended on their exertions, laboured away with desperation: some were
sent below to bale with buckets, which were passed up to others
stationed on deck, but all their efforts, it appeared too likely, would
be of no avail.  Still the water gained on them.  The only hope was that
the hurricane might cease, and that a sail might be got under the ship's
bottom.  Preparations were made for doing this as soon as it was
practicable, but the wind blew harder and harder.  The main-mast had
before been badly sprung, and during one of the fearful lurches the
ill-fated ship made, down it came, crushing the launch, on which
depended the only hope of saving the lives of some of them.  Dick rushed
forward, fearing his little charge had suffered, but Charley still lay
unhurt in his basket on the raft.  Suddenly there came a lull, and the
hurricane ceased almost as rapidly as it had commenced: the sea,
however, still tumbled and tossed about fiercely on either side, the
ship lying helpless in the midst of the foaming waves.  The crew
laboured as gallantly as before, though their stout arms were giving
way, and many knew too well that all hope was nearly gone.  Some with
the sharpest eyes were sent to the mast-head, to look out for any ship
which might have approached before the calm came on; but as they cast
their anxious eyes around the horizon, not a sail was to be seen rising
out of the dark tumbling waters.

Dick had gone again to the pumps.  "Spell ho!" he cried, for he had
worked till he could work no longer.  He had just thrown himself down by
the side of the raft when a fearful cry arose.

"The ship is sinking! the ship is sinking!"

Dick seated himself on the raft, with a spar in his hand which he had
prepared.  Lower and lower the gallant ship sank.  Many of the crew were
at the pumps; some were still below, some running to the forecastle,
others aft.  Dick kept his post.  The water rushed in at the ports--the
raft floated--a surge carried it overboard, Dick urging it by a shove
which sent it far away from the ship's side.

The _Laurel_ gave one plunge forward--her stern rose in the air--and
down she glided beneath the tumultuous waters.  One fearful shriek arose
of strong men in their agony.  Some few attempted to reach the raft, but
they were drawn down in the vortex caused by the sinking ship.  Dick
vigorously plied his paddle, and though tumbled and tossed fearfully
about, he got far enough off to escape the danger of being drawn down
with the rest.  Had he not had Charley to look after, he would have
shared the fate of his shipmates, he thought; and so he would, I am
sure.  Though he was himself frequently under water, and often almost
washed off the little raft, the child, protected in the basket, remained
nearly dry.  As Dick gazed back towards where the stout ship had lately
floated, he could see a few struggling forms with arms outstretched, and
hear their last cries for help ere they sank for aye, till that awful
day when the sea shall give up its dead; and in a few minutes he and
little Charley were the only living beings of all the gallant fellows
who had formed the crew of the ill-fated _Laurel_.



CHAPTER THREE.

DICK'S PRAYER.

Night had come and passed away since the gallant _Laurel_ had sunk.  The
sea had much gone down, and Dick, no longer compelled to hold on for his
life, was able to open the basket and give Charley, who was crying out
for his breakfast, some food.

"Where de ship?" inquired Charley, in his imperfect English and little
innocent fashion.  "Where we got to?  Why not give me hot tea?  Why give
me wet biscuit?"

"Don't ask questions, Charley," answered Dick.  "If I have a fancy for
taking a cruise on this here raft, you should be content--you know I
have charge of you; and if I didn't think it the best thing to be done,
I wouldn't have brought you here."

"All right," said Charley.  "More biscuit, please.  Now I sing song to
you, Dick," and the little chap struck up the stave of a ditty which
Dick had taught him, evidently feeling in no way alarmed at the fearful
position in which he was placed.

"I think, Charley, you should say your prayers," said Dick, who had
taught the boy those he had himself learned in his childhood.  "Ask God
to take care of you, Charley; for I am sure if He does not no one else
will, either here or anywhere else.  He hears your prayers as well as
big people's, so don't be afraid of asking Him for what you want; and
just now I have a notion we want Him to send a ship this way to pick us
up."

Charley turned round, and kneeling up in his basket, lifted his small
hands towards the blue sky, and asked the kind Father he believed dwelt
there to take care of him and Dick, and send a ship to pick them up.

Dick gazed affectionately at the child as he prayed.

"That's done me good," he said to himself.  "I am sure He who lives up
there will do what that innocent little cherub asks.  What He would say
if a rough wild chap like me was to pray, is a different matter; and yet
I mind that mother used to tell me He will hear any one who is sorry for
what they have done amiss, and trust to His Son who died for sinners.
But it's a hard matter to mind all the bad things a man like me has
done, and I hope He ain't so over particular with respect to poor
sailors."

Dick at length, mustering courage, knelt by the side of the child, the
calm sea allowing him to do so without the danger of falling off.  His
prayer might not have been, as he expressed it, very ship-shape; the
chief expression in it was, "Lord be merciful to me a sinner, and take
care of little Charley here and me, if such a one as I am is worth
looking after."

At length Dick resumed his seat by the side of his charge.  The sun came
down with intense heat, but he managed, by turning the raft round with
his paddle, and lifting the lid of the basket, to shelter Charley from
its burning rays.  The child sat up and looked about him, prattling away
frequently in a lingo Dick could not understand: sometimes also he spoke
a little English, which he seemed to have known before he came on board
the _Laurel_, but since then he had picked up a good many words.  Dick
now tried to amuse him and himself by teaching him more, and as the
child learned rapidly whatever he heard, he already could sing--

  "Cease, rude Boreas, blustering railer,
  List ye landsmen all to me."

and--

  "One night it blew a hurricane,
  The sea was mountains rolling,
  When Barney Buntline turned his quid,
  And cried to Billy Bowlin--"

right through without a mistake.

"Oh, look dere, dere! what dat rum fis?" he suddenly exclaimed, pointing
to a short distance from the raft.

Dick looked, and saw what a sailor dreads more than any human foe--the
black triangular fin of a huge shark which was noiselessly gliding by,
just beneath the surface, and turning its wicked eye towards Charley and
himself.  A blow from the monster's tail or nose might easily upset the
raft, when they to a certainty would become its prey.  Dick grasped his
pole to do battle, should the creature come nearer, and he at once began
beating the water on every side and shouting at the top of his voice.
The shark, an arrant coward by nature, kept at a distance, but his dark
fin could still be seen as he circled round and round the raft, waiting,
Dick feared, for an opportunity to rush in and make an attack.

"He shall pay for it with one of his eyes, if he does," said Dick to
himself.

"What for make all that noise?" asked Charley.

"Why do you sing out `youngster' sometimes?" inquired Dick.  "Because
you have a fancy for it, I've a notion, and so I have a fancy just now
to shout away.  I mus'n't frighten the little chap," he muttered to
himself.  "It won't do to tell him what Jack Shark is looking after."

Thus Dick sat on till he thought by the position of the sun that it must
be noon, when he gave Charley his dinner and cup of water--he himself
eating but sparingly, for fear of diminishing his scanty store and
depriving the child of food.

"I can hold out much longer than he can," he said to himself, "and I
must not let him get into bad case."

Every now and then Dick stood up and gazed around the horizon, anxiously
looking out for the signs of a breeze which might bring up some ship.
The sun was again sinking beneath the ocean, which continued glass-like
as before.  At length night crept over the world of waters, and the
brilliant stars shone down from the dark sky, each one reflected clearly
in the mirror-like deep.

"What all those pretty things up dere?" asked Charley, waking suddenly
from his first sleep; "get me some to play wid, Dick."

"Just what I can't do, boy," answered Dick.  "All those are stars far
away in the sky, and I have heard say they are worlds; but how they stop
up is more than I can tell, except God keeps them there."

"God do many things we can't," said Charley.  "But if I ask Him, would
He give me some to play wid?"

"No, Charley, He gives us what we want and what is good for us, but He
chooses to keep those stars where they are, for He knows that if He sent
one of them down they would only do us harm.  Now, Charley, don't be
asking more questions; just lie down and go to sleep again," and Dick
shut down the lid of the basket.

Charley's questions, however, had set his mind at work, and as he gazed
up in the sky he thought more than he had ever done before of those
wondrous lights which he had always seen there, and yet had troubled
himself so little about.  And then he was led to think of the God who
made them and governs their courses, and many things he had heard in his
boyhood came back to his mind.

"Mother used to say He is a kind and loving God, and go I am sure He
will take care of this little chap, and me, too, for his sake."

Dick at length felt very sleepy.  He had been afraid to shut his eyes,
for fear of the shark, but he could no longer prevent the drowsiness
creeping over him: he lashed himself therefore to the raft, to escape
the risk of falling off it, and placing his head on the basket, closed
his weary eyelids.

The bright beams of the great red sun rising above the horizon as they
fell on his eyes awoke him, and on looking round he caught sight of the
fin of the shark gliding by a few feet off.  The monster's eye was
turned up towards him with a wicked leer, and he believed that in
another instant the savage creature would have made a grab at the raft.
His pole was brought into requisition, and the rapid blows he gave with
it on the water soon made the monster keep at a respectful distance.  He
would not shout out, for fear of waking Charley.

The boy slept on for a couple of hours longer, and when he at length
awoke, seemed none the worse for what he had gone through.  Dick had cut
up some little bits of meat and biscuit, that he might not have to wait
for breakfast after he awoke.  He had on the previous day carefully
dried his clothes and bedding, and given him such food as he required--
the child, indeed, could not have had a better nurse.

Dick calculated that the store of provisions he had stowed away in the
basket and his own pockets would last a week, and he hoped before the
termination of that time to be picked up.  He, in reality, in
consequence of anxiety, suffered more than the child: had he been alone,
he probably would not have felt so much.

The day passed away as before.  Occasionally sea-birds flew overhead,
and huge fish were seen swimming by, or breaking the calm surface as
they poked up their noses or leaped into the air.

"Oh, Dick, Dick, what dat?" suddenly exclaimed Charley.  As he spoke, a
dozen flying-fish, their wings glittering in the bright sun, leaped on
to the raft, some tumbling into the child's basket.

Dick quickly secured them, for though unwilling to feed the little boy
with raw fish, they would, he knew, afford him an ample meal or two.
Charley, however, begged to have some to play with, and was much
surprised to find their beautiful wings quickly become dry, and that in
a few seconds they were dead.

Dick enjoyed a better supper than he had had since the hurricane began,
and he always afterwards declared that those fish had kept his body and
soul, when he would otherwise have been starved--although those he
reserved for a meal on the following day required a keen appetite to
munch up.

Day after day Dick and his charge floated on the calm ocean.  He was
becoming weaker than he had ever before been in his life, and yet he
would take but a few drops of water from the beaker, and would not eat a
particle of the food more than was necessary to keep the life in him, so
fearful was he of not having enough for Charley.  Yet Dick had not been
distinguished among his shipmates for any especial good qualities,
except that he was looked upon as a good-natured, kind-hearted, jovial
fellow, and brave as the bravest; yet so were many of the _Laurel's_
gallant crew, now sleeping their last sleep beneath the ocean.

The faithful fellow now often found himself dropping off to sleep when
he wished to be awake--and afraid that on one of these occasions Charley
might get out of his basket and tumble overboard, to make such an
accident impossible, he tied him down by the legs in such a way as to
allow the child to sit up when inclined, and look about him.

Poor Dick, who was getting very weak, was lying down asleep with his
head on the edge of the basket, when he heard Charley's voice sing out--

"See, see--what dat?"

Dick opened his eyes, and casting them in the direction the child
pointed, caught sight of a large vessel under all sail running down
before the wind, which she brought up with her.

"A ship, Charley, a ship!" cried Dick.  "And we must do what we can to
make her see us, or she may be passing by, and we shall be no better off
than we are now."

He instantly took off his shirt, which he fastened by its sleeves to the
pole.  Holding it aloft as the ship drew near, with all his strength he
waved it to and fro, shouting out in his anxiety, and not aware how low
and hollow his voice sounded.  Charley shouted too, with his childish
treble, though their united voices could not have reached by a long way
as far as the ship was from them.  It seemed to Dick that she would pass
at some distance: his heart sank.  Presently his eye brightened.

"She has altered her course; she is standing this way," he cried out.
"Charley, we shall be picked up!"

"Then I thank God--He hear my prayer.  I ask ship come--ship do come,"
said Charley.

"You are right, boy--you are right!" cried Dick.  "And I was forgetting
all about that prayer of yours."

The tall ship glided rapidly over the ocean, the surface of which was
now rippled with miniature wavelets as the freshening breeze swept
across it.

"To my eye, she is a foreign ship of war," observed Dick.  "But a friend
in need is a friend indeed, and we may be thankful to be taken on board
by her or any other craft.  Even if a `Mounseer' had offered to pick us
up, I would not have refused."

The ship approaching was hove-to, a boat being lowered from her, which,
with rapid strokes, pulled towards the raft.



CHAPTER FOUR.

THE PIRATE SHIP.

Dick and the little boy were lifted off the raft, with the basket and
cask, and placed in the stern of the boat.  The crew were swarthy
fellows with red caps, and Dick at once saw that the uniform worn by the
officers in command was neither English nor French.  They appeared to be
talking gibberish, but such indeed were all foreign languages to him.
He asked Charley if it was the French lingo.

"Not know what they say," answered Charley.

"I suppose, however, that they will give us something to eat and drink,"
observed Dick.  "And so, whoever they may be, we shall be better off
than on the raft."

On getting alongside, Dick was hoisted on board, and one of the men
carried Charley up in his arms.

Numerous questions were at once put to Dick, every one seeming anxious
to know how he and the boy came to be on the raft.  He replied by
pointing to his lips, and showing by other signs that he was hungry and
thirsty.  When it was discovered that he was either too weak to speak,
or that he did not understand their language, he was carried below and
placed in a hammock, while the officers took charge of little Charley,
who was soon at home among them.  A rough-looking fellow brought Dick a
mess of some sort in basin, and a horn cup filled with stiff grog.  A
sailor seldom refuses a glass of grog, and although water was what he
then wanted, he drank the spirit off, and ate some of the food.  The
effect of the grog was to send him into a sound sleep, from which he did
not awake till the next day.  He felt by that time pretty strong, and,
turning out, went on deck.  He found that he was on board a flush-decked
ship-rigged vessel, heavily armed, with a numerous crew of dark-skinned
savage-looking fellows, most of them wearing long knives or daggers in
their belts.  He thought that perhaps they might be Spaniards or
Portuguese, then the idea occurred to him that they were Algerines or
Salee rovers, of whom he had heard.  However, seeing some of them with
leaden crucifixes round their necks, he came to the conclusion that they
were Spaniards.  Not one of them could speak a word of English, and Dick
was ignorant of every language except his own.

The ship lying becalmed, the crew seemed to take it very easily, some
sitting down between the guns, amusing themselves with cards or dice,
while others were asleep on the deck.  Going aft, and looking down the
skylight, which was open, Dick saw that the officers were employed much
as their men, only they were gambling with large gold pieces as stakes.

"These may be honest gentlemen, or may be not," he thought to himself.
"However, if they are kind to Charley, I don't mind what they are, and I
suppose for his sake they won't make me walk the plank.  I wonder where
the little chap can be," and he looked down the companion-hatch, though
he did not venture to descend.

The officer of the watch seemed to understand what he wanted, and going
to the head of the companion-ladder, shouted out, "Pedro!" and some
other words, and presently a black man appeared with Charley in his
arms, and handed him over to Dick.

"Much obliged to you, friend," said Dick; "he is a fine little chap,
isn't he?"

The black grinned and seemed to understand him, and patted the child on
the head.

"Well, Charley, my boy, have they treated you well?" asked Dick, as he
took up the child and kissed him affectionately.

Charley said that the gentlemen had been kind, and had given him all
sorts of things to eat, and some strong stuff to drink, which made him
sleep most of the time.

Dick carried Charley to the only shady spot he could find unoccupied,
and sat down with him on his knees.  Charley prattled away merrily, but
he soon stopped and complained of a headache, and of the strong stuff
the officers had given him to drink.  This made Dick suspect that they
had been amusing themselves by trying to make the child tipsy.

"It was a shame in them," exclaimed Dick, indignantly.  "You must stay
by me, Charley.  I can't trust you out of my sight."

Dick after this kept Charley by his side, and at night made him sleep in
his hammock.

Several days passed by, and the ship lay without movement on the smooth
ocean.  A breeze at length springing up, the crew were all life and
activity, with a look-out at each mast-head.  Towards noon a sail was
espied, and all sail was made in chase.  She was a brig under English
colours.  On the stranger being come up with, a gun was fired across her
bows; and as she did not heave-to, a shot was sent crashing into her
hull.  She then hauled down her colours.  The boats were manned and
shoved off to her.  They quickly returned, laden almost to the water's
edge.  The ship stood on again nearer to her, when the boats towed her
alongside.  Her cargo, consisting of bales of merchandise, was
transferred to the ship.

"I thought so," said Dick, when he saw the proceedings.  "She is no
better than she should be, and if it had not been for this little chap,
I would rather have remained on the raft than have come aboard her.  I
wonder what they will do with the crew."

That matter was soon, to Dick's horror, settled.  One after the other he
saw the poor fellows compelled to walk to the end of a long plank, when
the inner end was lifted up and they were sent overboard.  The brig was
set on fire, and the pirate, letting down the sheets, proceeded on her
course.

Some days after this, when Dick came on deck, he saw at a short distance
a small island with a few cocoa-nut trees growing on it.  Several of the
officers who were on deck were consulting together, every now and then
casting a look at him and Charley.  At last one of them called him up
and made him understand that they were well-disposed towards him, and
that as they understood he had been the means of saving the life of the
little child, they wished to treat him kindly--that otherwise he would
have shared the fate of the brig's crew, if they had not left him on the
raft to perish.  To show their regard, they intended to land him on the
island, where he would find water and sufficient food to support life;
though, if he wished it, they would take care of the child, to follow
their noble profession.

"Thank you for nothing," answered Dick.  "I would sooner heave the
little chap overboard, to be munched up by a shark, than leave him with
you; and as to quitting the ship without him, I will not do it; but if
it please you to put him and me on shore, I'll go willingly enough, and
trust to One better able to take care of us than you are."

Though the pirates did not understand what Dick said, they comprehended
that he was perfectly willing to be left on the island.  A boat was
accordingly lowered, and numerous articles which the pirates had taken
out of the brig, and were likely to prove useful to him, were put into
her.  Charley ran up and shook hands with the officers, but hastened
back immediately to Dick, for he was afraid of being left behind.  Poor
little fellow, he felt grateful to them for their kindness, having no
notion of the villains they were.

Dick, taking him in one arm, descended the ship's side into the boat,
which pulled away towards the land.  Numerous shoals and rocks
surrounded the island, among which the boat threaded her way, and at
length landed him and the boy, with the articles they had brought, on
the sandy beach of a sheltered bay.

Dick had no inclination to shake hands with the crew who had so lately
murdered his countrymen, and probably very many people besides, nor did
he feel at his ease till he saw the boat again pulling out towards the
ship.  As soon as she had gone, Dick, who had held Charley in his arms,
placed him on a rock, and examined the articles which had been sent with
him.

"I am much obliged to the villains, at all events," he said; "but can
only wish them a better calling and a happier end than most of them are
likely to meet with.  To be sure, they can afford to be generous, seeing
that they stole the things and had more than they could use.  Here are
some carpenter's tools, a saw and axe, a hammer and nails, and a piece
of canvas that will do for a tent; a bale of cloth, and calico, and
needles, and thread; here are fish-hooks and lines, and shoes; three
casks of flour and rice, and some pots, and pans, and knives; and a
decent-looking fowling-piece and powder and shot.  Well, if I hadn't
seen what I did see, I should have taken them to be kind-hearted decent
chaps, who, for some reason or other, didn't wish to keep me among them,
and so had put me ashore, and wished to do their best to make me
comfortable.  Ah, I have a notion how it is--the skipper, or one or
other of them has got a little chap like this at home, and they have
done it for his sake; and savage as their hearts may be, they didn't
quite like keeping him on board their wicked-doing craft.  Yes, that's
it; so if I have saved Charley's life, he has saved mine, though he
doesn't know it, bless him!"

Dick having finished his soliloquy, cut a pole from a tree growing near,
and quickly rigged up a tent, beneath which he placed Charley out of the
heat of the sun.  He then collected wood, of which there was an
abundance on the beach, and soon had a fire burning, and next proceeded
to cook some of the provisions for Charley and himself.  Not far off was
a spring of water, which would afford him an abundant supply of that
necessary of life.

"We sha'n't be so badly off, Charley, after all," he said; "only I hope
these fellows won't come back again, in case they may take it into their
heads to carry you away."

"I will not leave you, Dick," answered the boy, taking his hand and
beginning to cry at the thought.

"You sha'n't, Charley, you sha'n't," said Dick.  "We will move away to
another part of the island, where they cannot find us; may be there is
water elsewhere, that's what we shall want most.  There are plenty of
cocoa-nuts, and I dare say other vegetables, and with the gun I shall be
able to shoot birds, and with the hooks catch as many fish as we shall
want.  We are better off than on the raft, anyhow."

Dick having made up a bed with the cloth for Charley to sleep on, cut
some grass for himself, and then prepared to pass the night.

"You say your prayers, Charley," said Dick; "and mind you thank God for
bringing us ashore in safety."

Dick had a feeling that the little innocent boy could offer up his
prayers more effectually than he himself could; but yet Dick did his
best to pray in his own fashion, though he could seldom say more than,
"I am a desperately wicked fellow; God be merciful to me, and, if He
thinks fit, take care of me and make me better."

He, however, taught Charley a much longer prayer than this, suitable, as
he considered, to his condition.

The rough sailor and the child having finished their devotions, lay down
on their beds, and, fearless of evil, fell asleep.

Next day after breakfast Dick, leading Charley by one hand and taking
his gun in the other, set out to explore the island.  On reaching the
top of the nearest height, which was of no great elevation, being a mass
of barren rock thrown up by some convulsion of nature, he looked around
him.  The island was of small size, a couple of miles perhaps in length
and about a quarter as broad, with deep indentations, bays, or small
gulfs.  The larger portion was barren, but here and there were spots
overgrown with the richest vegetation of the tropics.  The shores were
rocky, but in no part high, while around in every direction were seen
extensive reefs, some rising above the water, others only to be
distinguished by the line of foam which danced above them.

"From the look of the place, ships are likely to give this a wide
berth," observed Dick.  "However, we can manage to live here pretty
comfortably, and may be some day or other we shall get off again, but
how, is more than I can tell."

On descending from the hill they reached a cocoa-nut grove.  Dick looked
up at the nuts, now almost ripe, with a well-satisfied eye.

"We will have some of those before long, and the milk will be good food
for you, Charley," he observed.  "Ah, and we shall have some cabbages,
too."  He pointed to some smaller palm-trees, the crown of which yields
the cabbage, so prized in the tropics as one of the most delicious
vegetables.

Sometimes Dick carried Charley on his shoulders, sometimes he let him
run alongside him, and he thus made his progress to the farther end of
the island.  One part appeared very barren, low, and sandy, with wild
rocks rising up on either side.

"After all, this place may be our best hunting-ground," observed Dick,
on discovering that it was the habitation of wild fowl, who came there
to lay their eggs and rear their young.

At length he reached the extreme end of the island.  Near it was a grove
of cocoa-nut and other palms, a beautiful sandy bay, and what Dick was
in search of, a spring of clear water which bubbled out of the rock.

"We shall be better off here, and out of the way of those gentry if they
return to the island, and I don't think they will come so far to look
for us," said Dick.  "We will move up the stores, and after that I will
build a hut; it will be more comfortable than the tent, especially in
the hurricane season, and we can't tell how long we may have to stop."

Dick having discovered that, by keeping partly inland and partly near
the shore, a tolerably easy road existed from one end of the island to
the other, he built a little hand-dray, in which, he conveyed the stores
to the new location.  It occupied several days, but, as he said, time
being their own, he had no need to be in a hurry.  He next put up a hut,
for which the trees growing around and the planking from some
unfortunate vessel dashed to pieces on the reefs afforded abundance of
material, while the palm-leaves served for a thatch.  He could not also
be long content without a boat.  Though not an expert ship-builder, he
managed to knock together a contrivance in which he could venture out
within the reefs in calm weather to fish with Charley.

"We live like princes, my boy," he said, "but I wish somehow I was able
to look after your education; though if we had books I could not make
use of them, seeing I never learned to read."

Charley replied that he was very happy without books, and he supposed
when he grew up to be a big boy he should find the means of learning.

"I don't know when that may be, though," observed Dick.  "We have been
here now some months, and I have never yet caught sight of a sail.
However, though I cannot give you learning, I can teach you religion,
and I will try and recollect all I ever knew.  I can remember the ten
commandments, or most of them, which I learned at school, and they will
do to begin with, and as we go on, may be I shall brush up more."

Dick was as good as his word, and at night frequently lay awake trying
to recollect what he had known as a boy.  The task was often a hard one,
but his desire to benefit his charge induced him to persevere, when
probably he might otherwise have abandoned the attempt.

Month after month passed away, and Dick and Charley continued to live
their Robinson Crusoe style of life without interruption, and in happy
ignorance of all that was going on in the world.



CHAPTER FIVE.

AT DEATH'S DOOR.

"How many years have we been here, Dick?" asked Charley.  "It seems to
me a great many, for I was a very little fellow when you first took
charge of me, and now I am a strong big chap."

"Bring me the bundle of sticks and I will tell you," said Dick; "for I
have not thought of reckoning lately, though I have kept the score as
carefully as at first."  Charley went and brought several sticks tied
together and notched all over.  Dick examined them.

"It's three years to-day, according to my reckoning, since we were put
on shore.  To my mind we ought to thank God, who has taken such care of
us all this time.  I should not mind, however, getting away soon, for
your sake.  It's time you should be having some book-learning.  I don't
want you to grow into a poor ignorant fellow like me."

"You are not ignorant, Dick," said Charley.  "You taught me all I know,
and I have no greater fancy for books than you have."

"But, Charley, I have another reason for wishing to get away," said
Dick.  "You see our clothes are pretty nearly worn out, and I have only
stuff enough to make one more suit for you and one for myself, and you
will grow out of yours pretty fast, as you have done the others.  Then
we may not always find provisions as plentiful as we have generally up
to this time; birds don't come to the island as they did once, and I
fancy that even the fish don't bite as freely along shore as they used
to do.  I have been thinking of building a larger boat, so that we may
go farther off.  That wreck which drove on the reef six months ago has
given us plenty of stuff for timbers and planking, as well as canvas for
sails, and now you are big enough to help me, I shall get on faster than
when I built the small one."

Charley replied that he should be glad to do whatever Dick wished, and
would try to learn carpentering.  Dick accordingly set to work to build
a large boat.  The undertaking was, however, more difficult than he had
expected, and at last he had to abandon his design, and, instead, to try
and enlarge the little punt, or the coracle rather, which he had
constructed some time before.

The two carpenters laboured away every day, when not engaged in shooting
or fishing, or otherwise providing for their support.

Dick had husbanded his ammunition, but even that was coming to an end,
and though eggs were still to be found, he could not hope longer to
shoot many birds, which had become wilder in consequence of hearing the
report of his gun.

Among the treasures sent on shore by the pirates was a small keg of
tobacco.  Dick had used it pretty freely for the first year or two, but
latterly, finding that it must also come to an end, he put himself on an
allowance, and only smoked a pipe occasionally when his day's work was
over, and he took his seat with Charley on the bench under the porch in
front of their hut.  Charley had asked one day why he should not smoke
too.

"A very good thing for grown men like me," answered Dick, "but very bad
for little boys.  When you have been at sea a dozen years or so, you may
try if you like it.  If it was to do you good I would share my last plug
with you--you know that, Charley."

"Yes, indeed I do," was the answer, and Charley never again asked for
tobacco.

They were seated, as I was saying, within the porch one evening, when
Dick, whose eyes were turned towards the boat, drawn up on the beach in
the little bay in front of them, observed--

"I have a fancy for taking a cruise farther out than we have been yet;
we shall get bigger fish, and not lose so many lines and hooks.  I am
afraid we shall soon have nothing else but fish to live upon, and though
they are not bad food, yet, if there was to come a spell of foul
weather, such as we have had now and then, we should not be able to get
even them.  Now what I want is to catch a good quantity, that we may
salt them down for a store, should there be nothing else to be got."

Charley was well pleased with the thoughts of a longer cruise, and early
in the morning, having carried down some cocoa-nuts and boiled roots,
with a few eggs and fish, which they cooked over night, they launched
their curiously-built boat.  She was, as Dick observed, a good one to
run before a breeze, but where it came to sailing with the wind abeam,
she was apt to go as fast to leeward as she did ahead.  He, however, had
made three oars, two of which he pulled himself, while he had taught
Charley to steer with the third.

Though the wind blew off the land, it being light, Dick had no doubt he
should easily be able to pull back again.  Having examined the reefs
from a height in the neighbourhood, and easily making his way among
them, he reached the outer circle.  Here he let down a big stone, to
serve as an anchor, attached to a long rope; but he found the water
deeper than he had expected, though, as the stone touched the bottom, he
hoped that it would hold the boat.

The lines had not been long over the side before Charley hooked a big
fish, larger than he had ever before seen.  Dick helped him to haul it
in, though, as he was so doing, it nearly broke away.  Dick caught two
or three, then Charley got another bite; he was again obliged to cry out
for Dick's assistance.  Dick saw that, from the size of the fish, skill
would be required to capture it, and he continued playing it a
considerable time, before he ventured to haul it up to the boat.  On
getting it on board he found that the hook was twisted, and some more
time was employed in putting on a new one.  Thus eager in and occupied
with the sport, Dick did not observe that the boat was slowly drifting
along the reef, away from the entrance, by which alone he could regain
the shore.  The wind was also increasing, though as the sea was smooth
he did not discover this.  At length, looking up, he observed the
position of the boat, and on going to the bows, found that the cable was
slack and the stone no longer at the end of it.  It had been cut
through.  Quickly hauling in the cable and the fish-lines, and telling
Charley to take the oar to steer, he began pulling hard to regain the
passage through the reefs.  A strong current was, however, against him,
as was the wind, which had shifted slightly, and though he exerted
himself to the utmost, he could make no way.

"I have been so long ashore that I have forgotten my seamanship, and
have done a very lubberly thing," he said, as he tugged away.  All his
efforts were of no avail to urge the heavy tub-like boat against the
forces opposed to her.  She drifted farther and farther away from the
land, and the farther she got the more she felt the influence of the
breeze; while the sea also, though smooth near the land, began to tumble
and toss in a way which made Dick feel more uncomfortable than he had
ever before been in his life.  The wind at the time blew only a moderate
gale, but he could not help acknowledging that the craft he had been so
proud of was very ill able to contend with the heavy sea which was
rapidly getting up.

"There's no help for it, and I don't want the craft to capsize.  I must
run before the breeze, and may be it will shift, and we shall be able to
get back again--but if not! well, I won't think of that," said Dick, to
himself.  "I must keep my own spirits up, for Charley's sake.  It will
be hard, however, for the poor little chap to lose his life after being
saved from the sinking ship and those villainous pirates.  For myself I
don't care; I have well known ever since I came to sea that any day what
happens to so many might happen to me."

The heavy boat, though flat-bottomed, behaved better than might have
been expected.  Dick, who had taken the helm, steered carefully, keeping
right before the seas.  As he had not communicated his fears to Charley,
the boy was delighted with the way in which she flew over the foaming
waters.

"I didn't think you were going to give me such a sail as this, Dick," he
exclaimed.

"No more did I, Charley," answered Dick.  "Maybe we shall not get back
as soon as we wish, but the weather looks fine.  I hope we may, some day
or other."

Dick, however, was disappointed.  The wind continued to freshen, and he
was compelled to stand on, fearing the risk of making another attempt to
regain the shore.

Night came on.  He told Charley to take some food; but he was too much
occupied himself to eat.  He then, making the boy lie down near him,
covered him up with a piece of canvas.

All night long he sat steering his boat and praying that the wind might
not further increase.  As day dawned he cast a hurried glance astern;
the land was not to be seen.  He had no compass, and even should the
wind change, he would have difficulty in regaining so small a spot.  He
had not the heart to awake Charley, fearing that he would be frightened
on finding himself out of sight of land.  At length, however, the boy
got up and gazed about him with an astonished look.

"Why, Dick, what has become of our island?" he exclaimed.  "You never
told me you were going to leave it!"

"I wish I had never done so," said Dick.  Charley saw that his friend
looked anxious.

"I don't know if we are in any danger; but if we are, remember, Dick,
that God took care of us on the raft, and can just as well take care of
us now.  That's what you have taught me; and so I will pray to Him, and
I am sure He will hear me."

"Do, Charley, do," said Dick; "and I'll mind the ship."

All that day the boat ran on.  Charley insisted on bringing Dick some
food, and putting it into his mouth, for he could not venture to leave
the helm for an instant.  Charley himself seemed perfectly happy, for
after getting accustomed to the movements of the boat, the confidence he
had in his friend prevented him from thinking of danger.

At length the wind began to fall, and the sea went down, and in a few
hours a perfect calm came on.  The boat floated without movement.

Dick determined, after he had had a few hours' sleep, to try and pull
back.  He slept longer than he expected, and Charley, who sat watching
by his side, would not awake him.  When at last he did open his eyes, it
was nearly dark.  A thin mist spreading over the ocean and obscuring the
stars, he had no means of ascertaining in what direction to pull.

"I might be working away all night, and find that I had only gone
farther from the island," he observed.  "You and I, Charley, will keep
watch and watch.  You shall take one hour and I three; that will be
about the proper proportion, seeing that I am about three times as old
as you are, and want less sleep."  So the night passed by.

At last the sun rose, his beams dispersed the mist, and Dick, seizing
the oars, began to pull away lustily in the direction he supposed the
island to be.  Suddenly a crack was heard--one of his oars had gone--he
took the steering oar, but that in a few minutes went also.

"It cannot be helped, Charley," he said.  "We must trust to Him who
knows well how to take care of us."

The boat lay motionless.  Hour after hour and day after day passed away.
Dick, as he had before done, gave Charley the largest portion of
provisions and water, he himself taking barely enough to support life.
He felt, too, very sorrowful, thinking of the fate which he feared might
be in store for the poor little boy, on whom he had bestowed all the
love of his big and tender heart.

As long as he had strength he stood up and gazed around, in the hopes of
seeing a sail approaching.  At length he sat down, and felt that he
should not be able to rise any more.  Charley brought him some water.

"Drink it, Dick," he said; "it will do you good; I am not thirsty."

Dick took a few drops; they revived him, and once more he rose to his
feet, holding on by the mast.  As he turned his eye to the northward it
fell on a sail; he gave a shout of joy, though his voice sounded hollow
in his own ears.  "Charley," he said, "she is coming this way; pray to
God she may not change her course."

So eager was he that he forgot his weakness, and continued standing up,
watching the vessel, which came on, bringing up the breeze.  He was now
sure she would pass near where the boat lay.  On and on she came.

"She is an English ship, by the cut of her sails!" he exclaimed.
"Charley, my boy, we are saved.  I don't think I could have held out
many hours longer, and you would not have been far after me."

The stranger approached.  It was evident, from the way she was steering,
that they were seen; still Dick could not help shouting out as loud as
his weak voice would allow.  The stranger hove-to, and a boat was
lowered.

"I hope they are not pirates," said Charley, "like the others."

"I hope not; but if they are we shall soon find out, and we can but ask
them to put us ashore again; for depend on it they will know the
whereabouts of our island."

This was said while the boat was approaching.

"What strange craft is that?" said the officer in command of the boat,
examining Dick's wonderful specimen of naval architecture.

Dick explained that he and the boy had been out fishing, and been blown
off the island, of which they had been the sole occupants for some
years.

"We will hear more about it when we get you on board," said the officer,
a fine-looking young man, in a kind voice, observing Dick's exhausted
condition.

With the assistance of the crew Dick was lifted into the boat, for he
had scarcely strength remaining to move, though Charley scrambled on
board by himself.  Dick heard from one of the crew, as the boat pulled
towards the ship, that she was the _Dolphin_, Captain Podgers, bound
round Cape Horn.

"We've two petticoats aboard--the skipper's wife and daughter, so your
youngster won't want for nurses to look after him," said the man who
told Dick this.  "To my mind, however, he'll be best off with the young
lady, for t'other's a curious one, and it will depend what humour she's
in how she will treat him."

The officer helped Charley up the side, and Dick was hoisted on deck
after him.  When placed on his feet he sank down, unable to stand.

"He is almost starved," said the doctor, who now appeared.  "Take him
below, and I will attend to him.  But the youngster seems in good case."

"Glad you say so, sir," murmured Dick.  "I could not let him want while
there was food to be had, and I hope they'll be kind to him aboard, for
his parents are gentlefolks, and he wasn't brought up to the hard life
he's had to lead of late."  Dick said this that Charley might be treated
with more consideration than might otherwise have been the case.  He was
not disappointed; indeed, though roughly clad, the boy had the look and
air of a young gentleman.

The captain, a stout, burly man, and his wife, Mrs Podgers, a much
stouter woman, already mentioned, now appeared from below, followed by a
slight, fair, delicate-looking girl, who offered a strong contrast to
her parents--if such could possibly be the relationship they bore to
her.

"Let me look at the little fellow," said Mrs Podgers, as she waddled to
the gangway, where Charley was still standing near the third mate.  "He
don't seem as if he had been starved; yet I was told that he and the man
were a whole week in the boat without anything to eat.  But bring him
into the cabin, Mr Falconer; I want to hear all about it."  Mrs
Podgers, as she spoke, gave Charley a kiss, for which he seemed in no
way grateful.  He showed less objection, however, to the same treatment
from the young lady, and willingly followed her into the cabin, keeping
close to her, and at a distance from the stout captain and his wife.
Finding, however, that Mrs Podgers did not again attempt to kiss him,
he became more reconciled to her, and did good justice, while sitting
next to Miss Kitty, to the ample supper placed before him.

Mrs Podgers, and more especially the young lady, listened with great
interest to his account of his adventures, and he apparently made his
way into the good graces of the elder personage.  "Well, Kitty," she
said, "as he is too young to go and live among the men forward, and
seems well-behaved, if you like to look after him, he may remain in the
cabin, and you can teach him to read; which if he's the son of
gentlefolks he ought to know how to do, and it will be an amusement to
you, my dear."  Miss Kitty said she should be very happy to take care of
the boy, and asked him if he wished to remain.

"Yes, with you," he answered, looking up in her face, "but you'll let me
go and see Dick whenever he wants me?"

"Oh, yes, as often as you like," she answered; "and I am glad to find
that you are grateful to one who seems to have devoted himself to you;
for if we are not grateful to our earthly friends, we are still less
likely to be grateful to our heavenly Friend."

"I know whom you mean," said Charley, nodding to her.  "Dick has told me
about Him; He took care of us all the time we were on the island and in
the boat, and Dick has taught me to pray to Him every night and morning,
and I shouldn't be happy if I didn't."

"I am very, very glad to hear of that," observed Miss Kitty, pressing
the boy's hand.  "We shall be friends, Charley."

Honest Dick, who had meantime been placed in a hammock, hearing that
Charley was in good hands, felt satisfied about him, though still he
begged the doctor to let him have a look at the boy as soon as possible,
to assure himself that he was all right.



CHAPTER SIX.

CAPTAIN PODGERS.

The _Dolphin_ under all sail was making rapid progress to the southward.

I have not hitherto mentioned the fact that I was the little Charley I
have been speaking of; indeed, so indistinct is my recollection of the
earlier events I have described, that had it not been for Dick, I could
have known very little about them.  Dick soon recovered, and I was
delighted when, on having made my way forward, I found myself again with
him.  He scanned me all over, as if to ascertain whether any harm had
come to me during our long separation.  I assured him that I was all
right, and was loud in my praise of Miss Kitty, though I was less
complimentary to Mrs Podgers and the captain.

"They are not nice people," I observed; "drink nasty rum, quarrel and
fight, and then kiss and hug; then quarrel and fight again."

My description was a correct one.  Mrs Podgers, indeed, had come to sea
sorely against her husband's will, simply because she would, and had
brought Miss Kitty, who had just come from school, with her--to save the
expense of keeping her at home.  Miss Kitty was evidently very unhappy,
and did not at all like the life she had to lead.  She was as refined in
appearance, manners, and feelings, as Mrs Podgers was coarse in all
three; but the captain, though fat and addicted to rum-drinking in large
quantities, and somewhat sulky in his cups, was not nearly as bad as his
wife.  He was, moreover, greatly tried, both in the cabin by her, and on
deck by his unruly crew: the latter was, indeed, about as rough a set of
fellows as ever collected on board ship.  The first and second mates
were not unfitted, by the ready use they made of their fists, to manage
them, but the third mate, Edward Falconer, who had brought Dick and me
on board, differed from them greatly.  He was refined in his appearance
and manners, and gentle in his behaviour, though there was, at times, a
look in his eye which showed that he was not lacking in spirit and
daring.

The _Dolphin_, besides being bound on a whaling cruise, was a "Letter of
Marque," by which she had the right, without being considered a pirate,
to take and plunder any of the enemy's ships she might fall in with; but
when Mrs Podgers, with Miss Kitty, came on board, the crew, suspecting
that the captain intended to confine himself to the more pacific of the
two occupations, were very indignant, and a mutinous and discontented
spirit arose among them.

The captain never from the first took to me.

"I am bothered enough with women, and don't want a brat in the cabin
into the bargain," he growled out one day when angry with his wife.

"Oh, but the little boy loves me so much," said Mrs Podgers, drawing me
towards her.  "Don't you, Charley?"

"No, I can't say I do," I answered; for Dick had charged me always to
speak the truth.  "But I love Miss Kitty, that I do, for she is sweet
and pretty, and that's what you know you are not;" and I broke away from
her and ran up to the young lady.

"Ungrateful little wretch!" exclaimed Mrs Podgers.  "Then out of the
cabin you shall go, and live with your equals forward."

"Yes, let him go at once," said the captain, "or you will be changing
your mind."

"Not likely, after what he has said to me," exclaimed Mrs Podgers.  "I
would pull his ears, as he deserves, that I would."

Poor Kitty looked very much frightened, and held me close to her.  "Oh,
don't, Mrs Podgers, pray don't; the little boy did not intend to be
naughty, and I will take care of him, and teach him better manners if
you will let me."

"No, Miss, I will do no such thing," answered Mrs Podgers, her anger in
no way diminished.

"Take him on deck at once, and tell the man who came with him to look
after him.  If he goes overboard that's his own fault, not mine.  I
would have been a mother to him, but I cannot stand ingratitude, and he
has no claim on my sympathy and affections, as you have, Kitty my dear."

Poor Kitty gave no responsive glance to this remark, but turned away her
head, and taking me by the hand led me to the companion stair, whence we
went up on deck.

Mr Falconer, who was officer of the watch, stepped up as she appeared.
She told him with tears in her eyes what had occurred.

"It is what might be expected," he observed; "but let me entreat you not
to be anxious about the little boy.  You shall see him as often as you
wish, and I suspect that he will be as well off with the honest fellow
who had charge of him as he would with those people in the cabin."

I did not understand at the time that there was anything peculiar in his
remarks, or that Miss Kitty seemed to place far more confidence in him
than she did in captain and Mrs Podgers.  I only understood that I was
to go back to Dick, and of that I should have been heartily glad, had
not my satisfaction been mitigated by the idea that I should be thus
separated from Miss Kitty, whose amiability and gentleness had greatly
attracted me.

"Well, Charley, we will look after you," said Dick, when I went forward.
"There's a vacant berth next to mine, and I'll put your bedding in it.
But I am afraid, boy, your manners won't be improved by your new
shipmates."

Dick was right, for while I was rapidly increasing my vocabulary of
English words, I learned to use some of the expressions constantly
issuing from the sailors' mouths, without knowing their meaning, or
having any idea of their vileness.

At length, one day, when seated in the forecastle with Dick, I uttered
several in succession, highly pleased with my own proficiency.  Dick
looked at me hard.

"Charley, do you know those are very bad words you are saying?" he
exclaimed; "I didn't think you knew such."

"Why, Dick, I heard you say them yourself the other day," and I reminded
him of several occasions on which he had uttered some of the words I had
made use of.

"Did I, Charley? are you sure of it?" he asked, evidently considering
whether I had brought a true or false accusation against him.

"Certain sure, Dick," I said.

"Well, now, I am very sorry for that, and mind, Charley, though you hear
other people say what is bad, or see them do what is bad, it is no
reason that you should say or do the same; and for my part, Charley, I
must clap a preventer-brace on my tongue, and bowse it taut, or those
sort of words will, I know, be slipping out.  I mind that my good mother
used to tell me that I must never take God's name in vain, and that's
what I am afraid I have been doing, over and over again.  Remember,
Charley, if I ever hear you, I'll punish you, and I'll try and break the
men of it; it's a shame that they should set such a bad example to a
little chap like you, though I am afraid it will be a hard job to stop
them."

Dick was as good as his word.  From that day forward I never heard him
utter an oath, though several times a round one rose to his lips.  I at
first was not so careful, but the rope's-ending he gave me made me
recollect for the future.  The men cried shame when they saw him beating
me, and were not a little astonished when he told them that it was their
fault, and that of course if they swore the little chap would swear
also.  After this, I really believe that several of them, rough as they
were, restrained themselves when I was within hearing, though the
greater number went on as before.

Both on and after crossing the line the _Dolphin_ was frequently
becalmed for several days at a time, which did not improve the captain's
temper, nor that of the crew either.  The voyage therefore was greatly
prolonged.  I was more with Miss Kitty than I had expected, for the
captain and his wife very frequently, after indulging in potations long
and deep, fell asleep in the cabin.  On such occasions she used to make
her escape on deck.  She never seemed tired of watching the flying-fish
skimming over the ocean, or the dolphins swimming by, or the sea-birds
which passed in rapid flight overhead, or watching the magnificent
frigate-bird as it soared on high, and then shot down into the ocean to
grasp its finny prey.

Sometimes, however, I used to wonder what she could be looking at when
Edward Falconer was by her side gazing with her over the ocean.  To be
sure, there were the stars glittering above, or the moon with her path
of silvery light cast across the vast expanse of water, and she and he
seemed never tired of gazing at it.  Sometimes on such occasions she
held me by her hand, and seemed always to wish to have me near her.  I
at first was not able to understand what she and the young mate were
talking about, but in time, as I learned more English, I perhaps
comprehended more than they supposed.

"I have been a wild, wayward, careless fellow, Kate," I heard Mr
Falconer say one evening as he stood by Miss Kitty's side.  "Instead of
remaining at college, and taking advantage of the opportunities I
possessed of rising in the world, I spent all my means, and then, to the
grief of an excellent father, shipped on board a merchantman as a sailor
before the mast.  My knowledge of mathematics soon enabled me to become
a better navigator than the captain himself, while I rapidly acquired a
knowledge of seamanship, as from having been accustomed all my life to
boating and yachting, I was at once perfectly at home.  I soon became a
mate, but I spent all my pay, and was glad to ship on board the
_Dolphin_, the first vessel I could find which had a vacant berth.  Had
I known the character of the master and the officers with whom it was to
be my lot to associate, I should certainly, as you may suppose, have
avoided her.  I had already found, like the prodigal son, that I had dry
husks alone to eat, and bitterly mourning my folly, had, even before the
ship sailed, contemplated returning home on the first opportunity and
seeking my father's forgiveness, when you came on board and I began to
breathe a new existence."

"You need not tell me more, Edward," said Kitty.  "I cannot bear the
thoughts of having prevented you from doing what you considered right,
and right it was, I am sure.  You must not think of me; oh, let me urge
you to go home, and occupy the position which from your education and
family you should properly enjoy, for surely your father will receive
you thankfully, and forgive your offences.  As for me--humanly
speaking--I am helpless; but I am not without hope--for I know in whom I
trust.  Were I not confident that God watches over and takes care of all
who have faith in that love which induced Him to give us the greatest
gift He could bestow on perishing sinners, I should indeed be
miserable."

Much more was said which I did not hear.  Mr Falconer and Kitty took
several turns on deck together, and I ran about near them.

Their conversation was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Mrs
Podgers' head at the companion-hatch, as in an angry tone she summoned
the young lady below.  The mate walked aft, and I scampered forward to
rejoin Dick.



CHAPTER SEVEN.

THE FIRE.

The _Dolphin_ being greatly in want of water, put into the Falkland
Islands to obtain it, as well as beef, which the captain understood
could be obtained for the trouble of catching the animals on whose backs
it existed.

The shore of the harbour in which we lay was rocky, but beyond it was a
wide expanse of partly level, and partly undulating ground, reaching far
away in the distance.

Dick told me he would take me on shore to see some of the fun, he being
one of the men appointed to shoot the cattle.

Mounted Spaniards, or Indians, with their bolas and lassoes, would have
killed them with perfect ease; but, armed as we were, with only heavy
muskets which did not always go off, the chances were very great against
the desired beef being obtained.  Just as we had shoved off, the
captain, seeing me in the boat, ordered me back.  The men, however,
having already begun to give way, pretended not to hear him, and we were
soon beyond hailing distance of the ship.  In a short time we saw
another boat following us.  After we had landed, who should step out of
her but Miss Kitty and Mr Falconer; he had a gun on his shoulder, but
had not intended coming till he found that she wanted to have a walk on
shore.  Whether or not she had asked leave of Mrs Podgers, I do not
know; she did not always consider that necessary when she had a fancy
for doing anything.

We pushed on some way inland, and though the herbage was high, it was
not thick except in places where there were large tufts of tall
tussock-grass, like waving plumes growing out of the earth, while the
ground itself was tolerably smooth.  We went on till we reached a rocky
knoll rising like an island amidst the sea of waving grass that
surrounded it.  We climbed to the top, that we might discover where the
cattle were to be found in greatest numbers.  As yet, a few only had
been seen, which scampered off before a shot at them could be obtained.
Three or four herds were discovered in the distance.  The mate, with
half the men, agreed to go in one direction and to stalk them down,
while Dick and the rest went in another.  Miss Kitty said she was tired,
and that she would remain on the top of the rock with me till their
return.  The mate begged to leave with her a flask of water and some
biscuits, which he had brought, I suspect, on her account.  Not knowing
what sort of scenery she might meet with, she had brought her
sketch-book, for she was a well-educated girl, and understood music, and
a number of other things besides.  She laughingly observed that a few
strokes would quickly picture the surrounding scenery.  She amused
herself with copying a huge tuft of the tussock-grass which grew near,
and then made me stand and sit, now in one position, now in another,
while she took my portrait.  Then telling me to play about near her, and
to take care not to tumble off the rock, she sat down to meditate.  What
her thoughts were about I cannot say, but she certainly very often
looked in the direction Edward Falconer had gone.

Several shots were heard from time to time.  They grew fainter and
fainter, as if the cattle had headed off away from the harbour.

The day wore on.  The sun was already sinking in the sky.

"I wonder when they will come back?" she said once or twice.  "Can you
see any one, Charley?"

I looked, but could not distinguish any objects amid the expanse of
grass.

A dull booming sound of a ship's gun came from the direction of the
harbour, then another and another.

"That is, I suspect, to recall the boats," said Kitty to me.  "I could
find my way there with you, Charley; but I don't like to leave this
spot, lest those who have gone after the cattle on returning might
wonder what has become of us."

We waited some time longer--the sun set--the shades of evening drew on.
Kitty became very anxious.  It was too late now to attempt alone to get
back to the boats; and it was evident that we should have to spend the
night on the knoll.  As there was plenty of tall grass around, I
proposed that we should build a hut for ourselves, but, as we had no
means of cutting it, we could not carry out my project.  Miss Kitty was,
as before, casting an anxious gaze around, expecting each moment that
some one would appear, when suddenly she exclaimed--

"See, see, Charley!  What is that?"

I looked in the direction she pointed, when I saw a dark line of smoke
rising out of the plain, curling in wreaths as it ascended towards the
sky.  It might have been mistaken for mist, had there not appeared below
it a thin red line with sharp little forks darting upwards.

"The grass is on fire!  Oh, what will become of them?" she exclaimed,
seizing my hand, and gazing, with dread and horror in her countenance,
at the advancing line of flame and smoke.  I did not suppose that we
ourselves were in danger; but on looking round I observed the numerous
tufts of grass which grew on every side among the rocks.

One part of the mound was composed entirely of bare rock.  I pointed it
out to my companion.  Though we should be almost suffocated with smoke,
we might there escape the flames.  We hastened to it, and kneeling down,
she prayed for protection for me, and for herself, and for Edward--I
heard her mention the mate's name--and for the rest.

I was not particularly frightened, because I did not see anything very
terrible; only the red line of fire jumping and leaping playfully, and
the wreaths of smoke, which looked very graceful as they curled round
and round, till at length they formed a dark canopy which spread over
the sky.

"They may have been on the other side of the fire," I heard Kitty say;
"but then he would have thought of me, and, I fear, have attempted to
rush through the flames to my rescue, and Dick will not have forgotten
you, Charley.  We must pray for them, my boy--we must pray for them."

On came the wave of flame; the whole island from one end to the other
seemed on fire.  Our communication with the harbour was well-nigh cut
off.  Though the men in charge of the boats might have seen it
approaching, they could not have come to our assistance.

Happily, Kitty's dress was of a thick material, and so was mine, for the
weather had been for some time cold, and Dick had made me a winter suit.
Kitty saw clearly that the flames would surround the rock, and creep up
its sides; and the open space on which we had taken refuge was fearfully
small.  I fancied that I could hear the roaring and hissing of the
flames, they were already so near, when a shout reached our ears.

"They are coming! they are coming!" cried Kitty; "but oh, I fear the
fire will overtake them before they can gain the rock.  I see them!  I
see them!  It is dreadfully close!"  She gasped for breath.  Then she
rose to her feet, and waved her white handkerchief, hoping that it might
be distinguished through the gloom, for she in vain tried to cry out in
answer to the shout we had heard.  The glare of the approaching fire
fell on her figure.  At that moment a man dashed up the rock--it was
Edward Falconer.  He could only utter, "You are safe, dearest!" and sank
on the ground.  Kitty stooped down and tried to raise him, pouring some
water from the flask into his mouth.  He speedily revived.  Three other
men followed him--the first was Dick; he seized me in his arms, and gave
me a hug and put me down on the rock, and then he and the rest dashed
back towards the flames, and began with their guns to beat and trample
down the surrounding grass.  The mate joined them, but the flames
quickly reached the spot, and in a few minutes we were surrounded by a
sea of fire.  Dick sheltered me in his arms, and Edward Falconer
supported Kitty in the very centre of the rock, turning their backs to
the scorching flames from which they attempted to shield us.  The smoke
curled round our heads, and we had great difficulty in breathing.  I
could not help crying out from the pain of suffocation, which made Dick
almost distracted.  He first lifted me up above his head, that I might
get more air; and when he could support me no longer, he threw a
handkerchief over my face, and held me in his arms as a mother would her
child.

How long we stood thus I do not know; it seemed a very long time.  At
length the fire had burned up all the grass around us, and the smoke
grew less.  Still it was impossible to reach the harbour, and might be
so for many hours to come.

The whole party sat down on the rock, Miss Kitty inviting me to come to
her, while Edward Falconer sat by her side.

"As you like, Miss," said Dick; "but I would not give him up to any one
else."

"I hope the rest got off safe, as they were not far from the shore,"
observed one of the men.  "But I say, Dick, I wonder what has become of
the beasts you and Mr Falconer killed?"

"They must be well roasted, at all events," answered Dick.  "The sun
won't have been long up either before every bone will be picked clean by
the galinasos and other birds."

"It's mighty possible, I'm afraid, that two or three of our fellows have
been caught.  It will be a cruel job if they are, for though a sailor
lays it to his account to get drowned now and then, he doesn't expect to
be frizzled into the bargain," observed Pat O'Riley.

They went on joking for some time, notwithstanding the fearful scene
they had gone through, and although even at that moment some of their
shipmates might be lying scorched to death on the plain below them.  I,
however, was soon asleep, with my head on Kitty's lap, and therefore
cannot say what she and Edward Falconer talked about.  All I know is,
that before I closed my eyes I saw him endeavouring to shield her from
the wind, which blew sharply over the knoll.

At daylight we set out, Edward and Dick insisting on carrying Kitty in a
chair formed with their hands, while Pat O'Riley carried me on his
shoulders.

"Well, Miss Kitty, we had given you up for lost," exclaimed Mrs
Podgers, who met us at the gangway.

It struck me, young as I was, that her address did not show much
maternal affection.

"Had not Mr Falconer and some of the crew come to our rescue, the boy
and I would have been probably burnt to death, but they bravely risked
their lives to save ours," answered Kitty, firmly.

A boat was sent back to look for the remainder of the men; some at
length arrived, but three could not be found, though search was made for
them in every direction.  Some thought that they had run away, others
that they had been destroyed by the flames.  A portion of one ox only
was brought on board, but the captain would not wait to obtain more, and
having filled up the water-casks, the _Dolphin_ again sailed to go round
Cape Horn.

We had got very nearly up to the southern end of America, when we met a
gale blowing directly against us, which sent us back far away to the
eastward and southward.  The wind, however, again coming fair, we ran
before it under all sail to make up for lost time.

Finding Dick's berth empty one evening after it was dark, and not
feeling inclined to sleep, I crept up on deck to be with him, as I had
been accustomed to do in more genial latitudes.  I found him on the
look-out on the forecastle.

"What do you want to see?"  I asked, observing that he was peering into
the darkness ahead.

"Anything that happens to be in our way, Charley," he answered.  "An
island, ship, or an iceberg; it would not be pleasant to run our
jib-boom against either of the three."

"What is that, then?"  I asked, my sharp eyes observing what I took to
be a high white wall rising out of the sea.

"Down with the helm!" shouted Dick at the top of his voice.  "An iceberg
ahead!"

"Brace up the yards!" cried the officer of the watch from aft.

The mast-heads seemed almost to touch the lofty sides of a huge white
mountain as we glided by it.

"In another half-minute we should have been on the berg, if it hadn't
been for you, Charley," said Dick, when we had rounded the mountain, and
were leaving it on our quarter.  "I'll back your sharp eyes, after this,
against all on board."



CHAPTER EIGHT.

JONAS WEBB.

We were a long time regaining our lost ground.  I remember at length
finding the ship gliding over huge glass-like billows, which came
rolling slowly and majestically, as if moved upwards and onwards by some
unseen power, with deep, broad valleys between them, into which the ship
sinking, their sides alone bounded the view from her deck ahead and
astern.  On the right rose however, above them, a high, rocky headland,
which the third mate told Miss Kitty, as she stood on the deck gazing at
the shore, was Cape Horn.

"I could fancy it some giant demigod, the monarch of these watery
realms," she observed.  "He looks serene and good-tempered at present;
but how fearful must be these mighty waves when he is enraged, and
fierce storms blow across them."

"You are indeed right, Miss Kitty," he answered; "and for my part, on
such occasions, I prefer giving his majesty a wide berth and keeping out
of sight of his frown.  Provided the ship is sound, and the rigging well
set up, we have little dread of these vast waves.  A short chopping sea
is far more dangerous.  However, we shall soon be round the `Cape,' and
then I hope for your sake we shall have fine weather and smooth water."

She stood for some time holding on to a stanchion, gazing at the scene
so strange to her eyes.

The captain coming on deck to satisfy himself that all was going on
properly, the mate stepped forward to attend to some duty.  As the
former's rubicund visage disappeared beneath the companion-hatch, Mr
Falconer returned aft.

"I have been thinking, Edward, that I was wrong to give the reins to my
fancy, as I did just now," said Kitty, in her sweet, artless way.  "I
should have remembered that He who made the world governs the wide
ocean--the tides and currents move at His command, and He it is who bids
the waters be at rest, or sends the whirlwind sweeping over them.  I
feel that it is wrong, even in poetry, to assign to beings of the
imagination the power which alone belongs to Him.  Do you understand
me?"

"Yes, though I should not have thought you wrong," answered the young
officer, gazing at her with admiration.  "But I do understand you, and I
am sure that you are right.  God is a jealous God, and cannot of course
admit of any detraction from His authority by the creatures He has
formed.  I see that every form of idolatry, whether the idol be
worshipped or not, must be offensive to Him--whether men assign His
power to others, or attempt to approach Him in prayer through the
mediation of saints or angels, when He has told them to draw near to the
throne of grace according to the one way He has appointed."

It may seem strange that I should have recollected this conversation.
In truth, I did not, and it was not till many years afterwards that I
was told of it.  Indeed, I may confess once for all, that had I not
possessed the advantage of communicating with some of the principal
actors, I should have been unable to describe many of the events which
occurred at that period of my existence.  I remember, however, the
captain, and his amiable consort, Mrs Podgers, and the snappish cruel
way she spoke to sweet Miss Kitty and Edward Falconer.  She appeared,
indeed, to detest him, and took every opportunity of showing her dislike
by all sorts of petty annoyances.  He bore them all with wonderful
equanimity, perhaps for Kitty's sake, perhaps because he despised their
author.  Sometimes, when he came on deck after dining in the cabin, he
would burst into a fit of laughter, as if enjoying a good joke, and
would continue to smile when Kitty appeared with a look of vexation and
pain on her countenance, supposing he must have been annoyed beyond
endurance.

We had just doubled the Cape, when another sail was seen crossing our
course, now rising up against the clear sky, now sinking so low that
only her upper canvas was visible.  We approached each other, when the
stranger made a signal that she would send a boat aboard us.  We also
hove-to, and began gracefully bowing away at each other, as if the ships
were exchanging compliments.  A seaman with his bag stepped on board
when the boat came alongside, and offered to remain, if the captain
would receive him as a volunteer.  The mate who came in the boat, saying
he was an experienced hand, and had been in the Pacific several years,
the captain at once accepted his services.  We gave the mate the last
news from England and several newspapers, and he, in return, offered to
take any letters our people might have ready to send home.  In a short
time we each filled, and stood on our respective courses.

From what the mate had said, our captain was eager to have a talk with
the new-comer, Jonas Webb by name.  The latter said he had gone out many
years before in a South Sea whaler, and when on her homeward voyage he
had exchanged into the ship he had just left, then outward-bound.  Both
ships had been very successful in fishing and making prizes, and he had
saved a great deal of money.  Not content with what he had got, he
wished to make more.  He had been all along the coast, and knew every
port.  Among other pieces of information, he told the captain that two
South Sea whalers, captured by the Spaniards, lay in the Bay of
Conception, and advised that they should be cut out, declaring that it
might easily be done, as the harbour was unguarded by forts.  I don't
think Captain Podgers was fond of fighting, but he was of money, and he
believed that by getting hold of these two ships, he should make more
than by catching a score of whales.

After this, both fore and aft, the only talk was about the proposed
undertaking.  Miss Kitty looked very grave, but though she knew the
captain would take very good care to remain safe on board, she guessed
that Edward Falconer would be sent on the expedition; and, though he
made light of it, he had observed that Jonas Webb was wrong with regard
to the place being unfortified.  Captain Podgers had got angry, and
declared that the man, an experienced old sailor, who had just come from
thence, must know more than a young fellow, as he was, could do.  Mrs
Podgers, with a sneer, also remarked that perhaps he would rather not
have any fighting, lest he might get a cut across his face, and spoil
his beauty, or the smell of gunpowder would make him faint.

I am sure that the third mate was as brave as steel, and did not think a
bit about his good looks; but the sting, somehow or other, struck deeper
than most of her venomed darts.

Hoisting American colours, we stood in towards an island off the Bay of
Conception.  Here heaving to, as night closed in, four of the boats were
manned under charge of the three mates and the boatswain.  Jonas Webb
and Dick went in Mr Falconer's boat.

Those who remained on board anxiously watched for their return,
expecting, as the night was light, to see them towing out their prizes.

Some hours passed by, when the rattle of musketry and the boom of great
guns came over the calm waters.

"Why, that fellow Webb mast have deceived me!" exclaimed the captain,
stamping about the deck in a state of agitation.  "Falconer was right.
There will be more glory, as he will call it, than profit in the
expedition.  Bah!  I cannot afford to lose men."

Eager eyes were looking out for the expected ships.  They did not
appear, but at last first one boat and then another was seen emerging
from the gloom.

"Well, gentlemen, what has become of the whalers?" exclaimed the
captain, as the two first mates stepped on deck.

"The Spaniards peppered us too hotly to enable us to tow them out, sir,
and the wind afforded no help," was the answer.  "I am afraid Mr
Falconer's boat, too, has got into a mess--he had taken one of the
whalers, but would not leave his prize, though I suspect several of his
men were killed or wounded."

"Was Mr Falconer himself hit?" asked Mrs Podgers, who had come up to
hear the news.

"I cannot say, ma'am," answered the first mate.  "His boat must have
been terribly mauled, and I am afraid that she must have been sunk, or
that her crew must have been taken prisoners.  I cannot otherwise
account for his not following us."

I had hold of Miss Kitty's hand.  I felt it tremble; she seemed to be
gasping for breath.

"You should have gone back and looked for them," said the captain, who
had judgment enough to know that the third mate was one of the best
officers in the ship.

"Oh! do, do so!" exclaimed Miss Kitty, scarcely aware of what she was
saying.  "It was cowardly and cruel to leave them behind."

"Not far wrong," growled the captain, who, if not brave himself, wished
his subordinates to fight well--as has been the case with other leaders
in higher positions.

The mates were returning to their boats when the shout was raised that
the fourth boat was appearing.  She came on slowly, as if with a
crippled crew.  Kitty leaned against the bulwarks for support.

"Send down slings; we have some wounded men here," said a voice which I
recognised as Dick's.

"Let the others go first," said another voice.  "They are more hurt than
I am."

Miss Kitty sprang to the gangway and looked over.  Three men were
hoisted on board; one especially was terribly injured--it was Jonas
Webb.  The last who appeared was Mr Falconer.

"I am only wounded in the shoulder, though I am faint from loss of
blood," he said, in a feeble voice.  He spoke so that Kitty might hear
him.  "We should have got the prize with more help."

Kitty ran to his side to assist him along the deck, not caring what Mrs
Podgers or anybody else might say to her.  The exertion, however, was
too much for him; and if Dick and another man had not held him up, he
would have fallen, for Kitty's slight frame could scarcely have
supported him.  He was taken to his cabin, and after the doctor had
attended to the other men he allowed him to examine his wound.

I have not before mentioned our doctor.  The men used to say he was only
fit for making bread pills, and they, poor fellows, had better means of
forming an opinion of his skill than I had.  After his visit, Mr
Falconer would not let him dress his wound, though he did manage to get
out the bullet.  It was dressed, however, and Kitty used to say that I
was the doctor.  I know that I went every day into the cabin with her
and Dick, and that we used to put lotions and plaster on his poor
shoulder.  Mrs Podgers declared that it was very indelicate in her to
do so, but Kitty replied that if women were on board ship, it was their
duty to attend to the wounded.

We visited the other men who were hurt, especially poor Jonas Webb; but
Kitty confessed that his injuries were beyond her skill--indeed, it
seemed wonderful that, mangled as he was, he should continue to live on.

The miscarriage of the expedition was owing also to him.  Mr Falconer
had gallantly carried the prize, got the Spaniards under hatches, and
taken her in tow, when, on passing the batteries, Webb's pistol went
off.  This drew the attention of the garrison to the boat, and they
immediately opened a hot fire.  Webb was the first struck, and soon
afterwards several of the other men were hit.  Mr Falconer, who had
remained on deck, on this let himself down into the boat to assist in
pulling, and, in spite of the hot fire, would have continued doing so,
had not the Spaniards broken loose, and, getting hold of some muskets on
board, began firing at the boat.  Mr Falconer, on being himself
wounded, cut the painter, and the boat escaped without further injury.

Dick was very angry with the other officers, and did not mind expressing
his opinion of them.  I never saw him so put out.  He felt much for poor
Webb, and I heard him declare that he was very doubtful about Mr
Falconer's recovery.  If he died, what would become of poor Miss Kitty?



CHAPTER NINE.

A MINISTERING ANGEL.

Mr Falconer did not die.  Kitty asked him to live for her sake, and I
dare say he was glad to do so.  Dick and the doctor were out of hearing
at the time, so that I don't know whether I ought to repeat it.

She often, as she sat by his side, spoke very seriously to him, and used
to read the Bible.  One day she asked whether he truly believed it to be
God's word, and to contain His commands to man.  He said he did with all
his heart, and that he had always done so.

"Then," she asked, "how is it that you have not always lived according
to its rules?"

"First, because I did not read the book," he answered; "and, secondly,
because I liked to follow my own will."

"And preferred darkness to light, because your deeds were evil?  That is
what the Bible says, Edward, and you believe that it is God's word,"
said Kitty, in a firm voice.  "But can you now truly say, `I will arise
and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy
son?'"

She gazed with her bright blue eyes full upon him as she spoke, so
innocent and free from guile.

"Indeed, I truly can," he said.

"Hear these words," she continued, turning rapidly over the leaves of
the Bible she held before her.  "`God so loved the world that he gave
his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not
perish, but have everlasting life.'"

"The faith, the belief, must be living, active, not a dead faith, and
then how glorious the assurance, if we remember what everlasting life
means--a certainty of eternal happiness, which no man can take away, and
which makes the pains, and sufferings, and anxieties of this life as
nothing.  I always think of those promises, Edward, whenever I am in
trouble, and you know I very often am, and I remember that God says, `I
will never leave thee nor forsake thee.'  That, and that alone, has
enabled me to endure the dreadful life I have had to lead on board this
ship, until I knew that you loved me.  But the being possessed of that
knowledge, though it affords me unspeakable happiness, does not, I
confess, make me more free from anxiety than I was before.  Then I knew
that nothing could take away what I possessed, because it was treasured
in my own heart; but now I cannot help feeling anxious on your account--
exposed to numberless dangers as you are, and must be, in the horrid
work such as I understand this ship is to be engaged in.  When that
dreadful woman insisted on my accompanying her, I understood that the
ship was to make an ordinary voyage, visiting interesting lands, trading
with the natives, and catching whales.  Had I known the truth I would
have resisted her authority, and gone out as a governess or into service
as a nursery-maid, or done anything rather than have come on board.  But
left an orphan and penniless, and under her guardianship, so she
asserted, I thought it my duty to obey her.  I do not regret it now,"
she added, quickly; "but I felt that you must have been surprised at
finding me dependent on such a person as Mrs Podgers.  I have never
told you my history--I will do so.  When, about ten years ago, my dear
mother was dying, just as I was six years old, this woman was her nurse,
and pretended to be warmly attached to her.  My father, Lieutenant
Raglan, having married against the wishes of his family, they,
considering that my mother, though highly educated and attractive, was
inferior to him in birth and fortune, cast him off, and refused to hold
any further communication with him.  Just before the time I speak of, he
sailed for the East India station, and my dear mother being left at a
distance from her own friends, who resided in the West Indies, she had
no one of her own station, when her fatal illness attacked her, to whom
she could confide me.  When, therefore, her nurse promised to watch over
me with the tenderest care, and to see that I was educated in a way
suitable to my father's position in society, and to restore me to him as
soon as he returned, she thankfully left me and all the property she
possessed under her charge.  Such is what her nurse, now Mrs Podgers,
has always asserted.  Providentially, my mother had written to a lady,
Mrs Henley, at whose school she herself had been educated, saying, that
it was her express wish that I should be under her charge until I was
sixteen, although I was to spend my holidays with nurse till my father's
return.  I suspect, that at the last, my poor mother had some doubts
about leaving so much in the power of a woman of inferior education; and
I remember seeing her write a paper, which she got the respectable old
landlord of the house and his son to witness, and it was to be sent, on
her death, to my kind friend, Mrs Henley.  That paper, or one very like
it, I afterwards saw my nurse destroy.

"On my mother's death, I was sent to Mrs Henley, my nurse insisting
that I should spend the holidays with her.  For the first year or two
she was very kind, and I had nothing to complain of; but after she
married Captain Podgers, her conduct changed very much, I suspect in
consequence of her having taken to drinking.  I did not find this out at
the time, though I thought her occasionally very odd.  She insisted that
she was my guardian, and showed me my mother's handwriting to prove her
authority; and I felt that it was my duty to obey her, though I lived in
hopes that by my father's return I should be freed from her control.

"Year after year passed by.  Then came the account of the capture and
destruction of his ship and loss of many of her officers, though no
information as to his fate could be obtained.  All I knew, to my grief,
was that he did not return.  Still I have a hope amounting almost to
confidence that he is alive.  The thought that I might possibly meet
with him made me less unwilling than I should otherwise have been to
obey Mrs Podgers' commands to accompany her on the voyage she was about
to make.  Her sole motive, I suspect, in wishing me to go, was to save
the expense of my continuing at school.  Still I wonder sometimes how I
could have ventured on board, suspecting, as I had already done, the
hypocritical character of the woman who had pretended to be so devoted
to my mother and me."

"You have, at all events, proved an inestimable blessing to me," said
the young officer.  "Even when I first saw you, I could not believe that
you were really the daughter of such people as the captain and his
wife."

I do not know that I had before thought much about the matter, but when
I heard now, for the first time, that Miss Kitty was not related to the
captain and his wife, I felt a sort of relief, and could not help
exclaiming, "Oh, I am so glad!"  She smiled as she looked at me, but she
made no reply either to mine or Mr Falconer's remark.  She gave us
both, I have no doubt, credit for sincerity.

Although our visits to the wounded mate occupied a good deal of our
time--I say our visits, for I always accompanied Miss Kitty--we did not
neglect the other wounded men.

We went, indeed, to see poor Jonas Webb several times a day.  Sorely
wounded as he was, he yet could listen to what Miss Kitty said to him,
though he was too weak and suffering to utter more than a few words in
reply.  She one day, finding him worse, asked him solemnly if he was
prepared to meet his God.

"What! do you think I am dying, young lady?" he groaned out, in a
trembling voice.

"The doctor says that he has never known any one wounded as badly as you
are to recover," she said, in a gentle, but firm voice.

"Oh, but I cannot die!" he murmured.  "I have made well-nigh five
hundred pounds, and expected to double it in this cruise, and I cannot
leave all that wealth.  I want to go home, to live at my ease and enjoy
it."

"You cannot take your wealth with you," she answered.

Without saving more, she read from the Bible the account of the rich man
and Lazarus.  She then went on to the visit of the wealthy young lawyer
to Jesus, and paused at the reply of the Lord; she repeated the words,
"How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a
rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

"Now," she continued, "you have been trusting in the wealth which, with
so much toil and danger, you have been collecting, to enjoy a life of
ease and comfort on shore.  Suppose God said to you, `Thou fool, this
night thy soul shall be required of thee!' as He does to many; can you
face Him?"

"But I don't see that I have been a bad man.  I have always borne a good
character, and, except when the blood was up, and I have been fighting
with the enemy, or when I have been on shore, may be for a spree, I have
never done anything for which God could be angry with me."

"God looks upon everything that we do, unless in accordance with His
will, to be sinful.  He does not allow of small sins any more than great
sins; they are hateful in His sight; and He shows us that we are by
nature sinful and deserving of punishment, and that, as we owe Him
everything, if we were to spend all our lives in doing only good, we
should be but performing our duty, and still we should have no right in
ourselves to claim admittance into the pure, and glorious, and happy
heaven He has prepared for those alone who love Him.  He has so
constituted our souls that they must live for ever, and must either be
with Him in the place of happiness, or be cast into that of punishment.
But, my friend, Jesus loves you and all sinners, and though God is so
just that He cannot let sin go unpunished, yet Jesus undertook to be
punished instead of you, and He died on the cross and shed His blood
that you might go free of punishment.  If you will but trust in Him, and
believe that He was so punished, and that, consequently, God no longer
considers you worthy of punishment, but giving you, as it were, the
holiness and righteousness which belong to Christ, will receive you into
that holy heaven where none but the righteous can enter."

The wounded man groaned and answered slowly, "I am afraid that I am a
sinner, though I have been trying to make out that I am not one.  But I
really have had a very hard life of it, and no good example set me, and
shipmates around me cursing and swearing, and doing all that is bad; and
so I hope if I do die, as you say I shall, that God won't keep me out of
heaven."

"Jesus Christ says, `There is only one way by which we can enter; there
is but one door.'  `I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light.'  `He that
believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the
only-begotten Son of God.'  Jesus also says, `He that heareth my word,
and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not
come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life;' and again,
`Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.'  Jesus came
not to call the righteous, or those who fancy themselves good enough to
go to heaven, as you have been doing, but sinners, to repentance--those
who know themselves to be sinners.  Think how pure and holy God is, and
how different you are to Him, and yet you must be that holy as He is
holy to enter heaven.  Christ, as I have told you, gives you His
holiness if you trust to Him; and God says, `Though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool;' and, `As far as the east is from the west, so
far will I put your sins from me.'  Believe what God says; that is the
first thing you have to do.  Suppose Jesus was to come to you now, and,
desperately wounded as you are, tell you to get up and walk; would you
believe Him, or say that you could not?  He said that to many when He
was on earth, and they took Him at His word, and found that He had
healed them.  There was, among others, a man with a withered hand.  When
He said, `Stretch forth thine hand,' the man did not say, `I cannot,'
but stretched it forth immediately.  Just in the same way, when God
says, `Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,' do
believe on Him, and trust to Him to fulfil His promise.  God never
deceives any one; all His words are fulfilled."

Day by day the young girl spoke to the dying seaman, and, though
witnessing scenes abhorrent to her feelings, influenced by God's grace,
she overcame her repugnance, and faithfully continued to attend him.
She had the satisfaction of hearing him cry, "Lord, be merciful to me a
sinner!" and confess that he had a full hope of forgiveness, through the
merits of Jesus alone.

Two of the other men, though apparently not so severely injured as Webb,
owing to the ignorance of the surgeon, sank from their wounds.  They
died as they had lived, hardening their hearts against the Saviour's
love.

Had Miss Kitty not been very firm, Mrs Podgers would have prevented her
from attending the mate or the other wounded men.

Mr Falconer, though for some time confined to his cabin, was at length
able to get on deck.

"Glad to see you about again," said the captain, as he appeared, in his
usual gruff but not unkind tone.  "When I brought the ladies aboard, I
didn't think that they'd prove so useful in looking after the sick;
though I doubt if she," and he pointed with his thumb over his shoulder
at his wife, "has troubled you much with her attentions."

Before the mate could speak, Mrs Podgers waddled up to him.  "Well, Mr
Falconer, you've found your way out of your cabin at last," she said, in
her nasty wheezy tone.  "I should have thought that when an officer was
only slightly hurt, as you were, he might have managed to return to his
duty before this."

The mate said nothing, but the remark made Miss Kitty very angry.  I
should have said, that as Mrs Podgers would not allow me on the
quarterdeck, the appearance of the bows in her bonnet above the
companion-hatch was the signal for me to escape among my friends
forward; and that it was from Dick, who was at the helm, I afterwards
heard of the unpleasant remarks made by that most unattractive of
females.



CHAPTER TEN.

WHALING AND FIGHTING.

The _Dolphin_, after her first ill-success at privateering, stood away
from the coast towards a part of the ocean where it was expected that
whales would be found.  Look-outs were at the mast-head.

I was sitting with Dick forward, for as Mrs Podgers was sunning herself
on deck, I was keeping out of her way.  Miss Kitty was reading, and Mr
Falconer was pacing up and down, as officer of the watch, taking care
not to approach her till Mrs Podgers should dive below.  Most of the
crew were knitting and splicing, spinning yarns, or performing other
work, of which there is always plenty to be done on board ship, while
some few of them were lying lazily about, doing nothing.

I have not before mentioned a personage who was dubbed the officer of
marines, Lieutenant Pyke.  His figure was tall and thin, as the
captain's was short and broad, and though their noses were much of the
same colour, being as red as strong potations and hot suns could
possibly make them, Lieutenant Pyke's was enormously long.  He was now
engaged in drilling twelve of the most ruffianly and ill-conditioned of
the crew, whom he called his jollies.  They were of various heights and
dimensions, and though they wore red coats and belts, knee-breeches and
gaiters, and carried muskets, they were, as Dick, who held them in
supreme contempt, declared, "as unlike sodgers as they could well be."
Lieutenant Pyke, however, was proud of them, and boasted that they would
follow him to the cannon's mouth, whenever he led the way.

"Likely enough they will," observed Dick, "because, you see, there's
little chance of the lieutenant ever getting there."

He had for some time been drilling these troops of his, as he also
occasionally designated the fellows, making them march up and down, and
pointing every now and then to an imaginary enemy, whom he ordered them
to charge and annihilate, when there came a shout from aloft, "There she
blows!"  In a moment all the crew jumped to their feet.  Our stout
captain tumbled up from below, crying out, "Where away!" and four boats
being lowered and manned, off they pulled, led by Mr Falconer in the
direction in which the look-out pointed.  We could see, about a quarter
of a mile from the ship, a huge hump projecting three feet out of the
water, while from the fore part of the monster's enormous head arose at
the end of every ten seconds a white jet of foam.

"There again! there again!" shouted the crew.  Away dashed the boats at
full speed.

"His spoutings are nearly out," said Dick.

"He is going down," cried others.

Again a spout rose, and we could see the small, as it is called, of his
back rise preparatory to his descent.

"His tail will be up directly," said Dick, "and they will lose him, I
fear;" but at that moment Mr Falconer's boat dashing on, as he stood up
in the boat with his glistening harpoon raised above his head, away it
flew with unerring force, and was buried in the side of the huge animal.
A loud cheer rose from the men in the boats and those on deck, and the
whale, hitherto so quiet, began to strike the water with his vast tail,
aiming with desperate blows at his advancing enemies.  Now his enormous
bottle-nose-shaped head rose in the air--now we saw his flukes lashing
the water, his body writhing with the agony of the wound the sharp iron
had inflicted.  The water around him was soon beaten into a mass of
foam, while the noise made by his tail was almost deafening.

Kitty stood eagerly watching the scene, and looking somewhat pale, for
it seemed as if the boat could scarcely escape some of those desperate
blows dealt around.

I had felt very anxious about my friend.

"Never fear," said Dick; "he knows what he is about.  See, it's `stern
all.'"

The boat backed out of the way; the monster's tail rose for an instant
and disappeared.

"He has sounded," cried Dick.

Away ran the line.  An oar was held up in the boat.

"That means that the line has run out," said Dick.

The nearest boat dashed up, and a fresh line was bent on.  That soon
came to an end, and another, and yet another was joined to it.

"He has eight hundred fathoms out by this time," shouted Dick, "and if
he does not come up soon, he will be lost.  But no, it's `haul in the
slack;' he is rising; they are coiling away the line in the tubs."

Directly afterwards the blunt nose of the animal rose from the sea, and
a spout was projected high into the air.  Mr Falconer's boat was being
hauled rapidly towards it.  A long lance with which he was armed was
quickly buried in the side of the huge creature, going deep down into a
vital part.  The other boats gathered round it, from each a lance was
darted forth, the whale rolling over and over in his agony, and coiling
the rope round him, when suddenly, with open jaws, he darted at one of
the boats, and then attacked another.  Kitty shrieked out with fear, for
it was Mr Falconer's boat which was overtaken, and was seen, shattered
to fragments, flying into the air, while the other was capsized; and now
the whale went so swiftly along the surface, that it seemed he must
after all escape.  Two of the boats were not yet fastened, and, without
stopping to help the men in the water, away they dashed in chase of the
whale.  Impeded by the shattered boat he was dragging after him, and by
several drogues fastened to the lines, he was soon overtaken, when
another harpoon and several more lances were darted into his body.
Still unconquered, away the animal again went, and up rose his tail: he
was attempting to sound, but this his increasing weakness prevented him
from doing.  Then he stopped, and his vast frame began to writhe and
twist about in every possible way, beating the surrounding sea into
foam, and dyeing it with his blood.  The boats backed out of his way.
The captain had sent another boat to the assistance of the men in the
water, when it was seen that the one upset was righted, and that the
people belonging to the shattered boat had been taken on board her.  She
soon joined those which were fast to the whale, and when the monster at
length lay motionless on the water, assisted them in towing it up to the
ship.

Kitty could scarcely conceal her joy when she saw Mr Falconer steering
one of the boats.  I shouted with satisfaction.

The whale was soon alongside, and the operation of cutting off the
blubber, hoisting it on board, and boiling it down in huge caldrons
placed on tripods, commenced.

As night came on, the fires lighted under the pots shed a bright glare
across the deck on the rigging and on the men at work.  I thought them
wild and savage-looking enough before, but they now appeared more like
beings of the lower world than men of flesh and blood.

"I have no fancy for this sort of work," observed Dick, who was a
thorough man-of-war's man.  "The decks won't be fit to tread on for
another week."

However, we had the decks dirtied in the same way many a time for
several weeks after that, being very successful in catching whales.

At last the fighting part of the crew, who were not accustomed to
whaling, began to grumble, and wished to return to the coast, to carry
on the privateering, or, as Dick called it, the pirating work, which
they looked upon as the chief object of the voyage.

Lieutenant Pyke was especially urgent about the matter, and proposed
that a descent should be made on some of the towns, which he and his
brave troops, he asserted, could capture without difficulty.

On reaching the coast, we brought up in a small bay with a town on its
shore.

We had not been long at anchor, when in the evening a boat came off,
manned by natives, with three Spaniards in her.  The captain received
them very politely, and introduced them to his wife and Kitty.  They
seemed highly pleased, and said they had come to trade, taking the
_Dolphin_ to be a smuggler, many English vessels visiting the coast for
the purpose of landing goods free of the high duties imposed on them by
the Spanish Government.  As many pieces of cloth and cotton as could be
found were shown to them as samples.  The captain told them that if they
would return on board with their dollars, the goods should be ready for
them.

Mr Falconer, when he heard of the shameful trick which it was proposed
to play the unfortunate Spaniards, was very indignant, and I believe
would have warned them if he could.  The captain, hearing what he had
said, backed by Lieutenant Pyke and one of the other officers, declared
that he would shoot him through the head if he did any such thing.

During the night, two boats came off with our former visitors and four
others, all bringing a large supply of dollars.  On going down below,
great was their dismay on finding that they were prisoners, and that,
when released, they would have to leave their money behind them and go
without the goods.

In the morning, another boat appeared with two more merchants, who were
treated in the same way.  Altogether, ten thousand dollars were thus
stolen from the Spaniards.

"They are breaking the laws of their country," observed Dick to me, "and
they deserve punishment.  For my part, I don't like this way of doing
things; but if Mr Pyke is as good as his word, and was to land with his
marines and attack the town, it would be more ship-shape and
honourable."

I mention the circumstance to show the abomination of the privateering
system, but people generally did not see it in the same light in those
days.

A suspicious sail appearing in the offing, the Spaniards were allowed to
go on shore, though Lieutenant Pyke declared that if he had his way they
should all have been made to pay a heavy ransom first.  The anchor was
hove up, and we stood out to sea.  We were becalmed during the day,
while still at a distance from the stranger.  As evening approached, a
breeze springing up, she neared us, with a black flag flying from her
peak.  From the cut of her sail and the appearance of her hull, she was
an English vessel, fully as large, if not larger, than the _Dolphin_;
but there could be no doubt of her character--she was a pirate.  The
drum beat to quarters, and preparations were made to give her a warm
reception.  Mrs Podgers and Kitty were sent down into the cockpit,
where they might be out of harm's way.  It was by this time nearly dark,
but still the stranger could be seen gliding towards us through the
thickening gloom.  Dick took me up and carried me to them, in spite of
my entreaties to be allowed to see the fun.

"It will be no fun, Charley, if yonder scoundrels do as they intend, and
try to take the ship," he remarked.  "At all events, there will be some
desperate fighting, and a shot may carry your head off, my boy--so below
you must go, whether you like it or not."

Kitty took my hand and drew me towards her as soon as I appeared,
thankful that I was not to be exposed to danger.

"I should think the little brat might be made useful, sitting on an
ammunition tub," exclaimed Mrs Podgers.  "Why should he be more petted
than the other boys?"

"No, no!" cried Kitty, holding me fast.  "He is younger than they are,
and it would be cruel to let him run the risk of being hurt."

We waited for some time, no one speaking; for Mrs Podgers was too much
frightened, and Kitty too anxious, to do so.  At length there came the
dull sound of a gun fired from the other vessel, followed by louder,
clearer reports of several discharged by the _Dolphin_.  The enemy
replied with a still greater number, and several broadsides were soon
afterwards rapidly exchanged between the combatants.  The firing now
ceased.  We waited almost breathless to hear it begin again.



CHAPTER ELEVEN.

ATTACK ON THE SPANISH HIDALGO.

As no wounded men had been brought below, we trusted that the _Dolphin_
was having the best of it.  At last I begged Kitty to let me go on deck
and ascertain how matters were going on.

"No, no, Charley," she answered.  "They may again begin firing;" but I
saw that she was very anxious herself to learn the state of affairs.

"I will be back again in a minute," I said, and was just escaping from
her, when once more the thundering sound of big guns, with the rattle of
musketry, broke the silence, and she caught me and held me fast.

The firing went on with redoubled vigour, and cries and shouts reached
our ears.  The alarm of Mrs Podgers increased.

"O dear, O dear!" she cried out, wringing her hands.  "If Podgers was to
be hit, what would become of me?"

Once more there was a cessation of the firing.

"Do let me run up, Kitty," I said.  "Some of those we care for may be
wounded, and the rest too busy to bring them below."

I knew my argument would prevail.  "Let him go," said Mrs Podgers.  "I
do so want to know how the captain is."

I broke from her and climbed up the ladder.  I was as active as a
monkey, and quickly reached the deck.  The fighting lanterns which hung
against the bulwarks shed their light across it, and showed me several
human forms stretched out motionless.  The crew, stripped to their
waists, were at the guns, while the officers stood about here and there
among them.  I caught sight of the captain's stout figure, but I looked
in vain for Mr Falconer.  I ran forward in hopes of finding him.  I had
got nearly to the forecastle when the matches were applied to the guns,
and as they were discharged a shower of shot came hissing across the
deck.

I made my way amidst the shower of shot and bullets and falling blocks,
and the horrible din of battle, to the forecastle, where, to my great
joy, I saw Mr Falconer directing the foremost guns.  Dick at the same
moment caught sight of me.

"Charley," he exclaimed, "what business have you here?  Go back, boy,
and tell the ladies we are all right, and will make the pirate sheer off
before long, if we don't take her."

I hurried below with the satisfactory intelligence.  Miss Kitty kissed
me when I told her I had seen Mr Falconer, and I was somewhat afraid
that Mrs Podgers would bestow the same reward upon me when I said that
the captain was unhurt.

"I wish he would make haste and sink the ship which has frightened us so
much," she observed.  "It is a shame that those sort of people should be
allowed to live."

Mrs Podgers did not consider that the Spaniards would probably have
said the same of us.

We heard our ship fire several broadsides in rapid succession; then all
was silent.

Supposing that the fight was over, I persuaded Miss Kitty again to allow
me to run on deck.  Reaching it, I caught sight, a short distance off,
of the tall masts and sails of the enemy's ship.

At that moment loud cheers burst from the throats of our crew.
Gradually the dark sails of our antagonist appeared to be sinking, and
wild shrieks and cries came across the waters towards us.  Lower and
lower the sails sank, and in another minute the spot occupied by the
pirate was vacant--she had disappeared beneath the waves.  No boat was
sent to help the drowning wretches.  Mr Falconer proposed going to
their assistance.

"No, no!" exclaimed the captain; "they would have robbed us or sent us
to the bottom; they don't deserve our pity."

"But they are fellow-creatures, and we should try and save their lives,"
exclaimed the mate.

"You are too tender-hearted, Falconer; you should not have joined a
privateer," was the answer; and the _Dolphin_ glided rapidly away from
the spot where her foe had gone down.

The surgeon was meantime busy with the wounded men, while five who had
been killed were with little ceremony hove overboard.  Mrs Podgers and
Kitty returned to the cabin.  The latter, as before, endeavoured to
alleviate the sufferings of the wounded men, and often visited them,
attended by Mr Falconer and me, notwithstanding the scoldings she daily
got from Mrs Podgers for so doing.

After this, we again stood in for the coast, capturing several Spanish
merchant vessels.

Mr Pyke declared that he wanted to find an enemy more worthy of his and
his troops' prowess than he had hitherto encountered.

"We will give you a chance," said the captain.  "I have discovered from
some of the prisoners that there is a town on the shores of a bay not
far off, which is unprotected by forts.  We may easily make ourselves
masters of the place, and shall probably find in it a good store of
wealth.  But we must be quick about the business, or some troops
stationed at no great distance may be down upon us and interfere with
our proceedings."

"You may depend upon me for doing my part," answered the lieutenant,
drawing himself up.

We made the land early in the day, but hove-to till night, when it was
hoped the inhabitants might be taken by surprise.  The weather was fine,
and the entrance to the harbour broad and safe.  We waited till past
midnight, and then stood in and came to an anchor.  Four boats were
ordered to be got ready; Lieutenant Pyke and his marines went in one of
them, the others were commanded by the sea officers, with a party of
blue-jackets.

I had heard the men talking of what they were going to do, and I thought
that I should very much like to see the fun.  I knew, however, that
neither Dick nor Miss Kitty would approve of my going, and that Mr
Falconer was also unlikely to take me, should I ask him to do so.  The
last boat which left the ship was commanded by the boatswain, a rough
but good-natured man, with whom I had become somewhat of a favourite.  I
watched my opportunity, and slipped in directly after him, and the men,
thinking that he intended I should go, allowed me to stow myself away in
the bow before he saw me, the darkness favouring my design.  The boats
shoved off, and away we pulled, with muffled oars, towards the shore.

We landed just outside the town, among wild rocks.  No lights were
moving about the place, only here and there a few glimmering from the
windows.  Lieutenant Pyke drew up his marines; the other officers
arranged their men in a compact body, I following the rear.

Daylight broke.  When all was ready, the first mate ordered us to
advance, and, stepping lightly over the ground, we made a rush into the
town.  There were no gates to stop us and no sentinels on the watch.  A
sort of town-hall and a church were first entered, and everything they
contained, images, silver candlesticks, crucifixes, incense-pans,
chalices, and several bags of money, with some silver-mounted guns and
pistols, were taken possession of before the inhabitants were awake.  We
then attacked a large house in which lights were still burning, and
where it was supposed the commandant of the place resided.  The door
yielded to the blows of the marines' muskets, and rushing into a
good-sized hall, we saw seated at the end of a long table a thin, tall
hidalgo, and on either side of him a fat priest, with two or three other
personages.  The table was covered with rich plate and numerous flagons
and wine-flasks.  The party gazed at us with open mouths and staring
eyes, but were far too tipsy to utter anything beyond a few expressions
of surprise and dismay.

The commandant, rising, tried to draw his sword, but could not find the
hilt, and tumbled back into his big armchair; while the fat friars,
whose first impulse had been to make their escape, rolled over on the
ground, upsetting the hidalgo's chair in their struggles, when all three
began kicking and striking out, believing each other to be foes.  The
rest of the party at once yielded themselves as prisoners.  Our men,
bursting into loud fits of laughter, let the trio fight on for some
time, till our commander, fearing, should we delay longer, that the
inhabitants would make their escape, or perhaps assemble and attack us,
ordered them to be lifted up and carried off, with their arms bound
behind them.  It was no easy matter to do this, for the friars were so
heavy that it required three stout men to each to set them on their
legs.

While a party was left to guard them, the rest proceeded to break into
the other houses.

The inhabitants, now aroused from their slumbers by the hubbub, put
their heads, with their nightcaps on, out of the windows in all
directions, but quickly withdrew them, uttering loud shrieks and
exclamations of dismay and surprise.  After a little time Dick caught
sight of me.

"Charley," he cried out, "what has brought you here?"

"I wanted to see the fun, Dick.  I hope you are not angry."

"But I am, though, Charley," he answered; "and though, to my mind, it's
dirty work attacking sleeping people, who have never done us any harm,
we may have some fighting yet, and you may get knocked on the head.
Stick by me, however, and I'll look after you, though you don't deserve
it."

I felt ashamed of myself, and took good care to do as Dick told me.

He, with about half the number of our party, now proceeded to one side
of the town, while the other marched to the farther end, three or four
armed men entering any of the large houses which appeared likely to
contain booty worth carrying off.  My party had accompanied the marines
under Lieutenant Pyke, who was shouting out "he only wished he could see
a foe worthy of his steel."  As we went along, we came to a small
square, at the other side of which a band of some twenty persons
appeared, others coming up in the distance.  I am not sure that all had
arms, though they presented a somewhat military aspect.  Our commander
ordered the marines to charge them.

"On, lads, on!" cried the lieutenant, waving his sword, but he did not
move very fast.  The Spaniards, however, seeing the invaders coming, ran
off as fast as their legs would carry them, when the lieutenant doubled
his speed, waving his sword still more vehemently, and shouting out:
"On, brave lads!  Death or victory!"  By the time he got across the
square, no foe was to be seen, and after looking round the corner to
ascertain that they had not reassembled, he marched back his men in
triumph.

In a short time every house had been ransacked, and, with our booty and
prisoners, we returned to the boats and regained the ship, not a shot
having been fired nor a life lost.

The commandant having agreed to pay five thousand dollars as his own
ransom and that of his companions, one of the fat friars was sent on
shore to collect the money, having orders to return by noon.  He shook
his head, and declared that this was impossible.

"It might take four or five days, perhaps a week, to collect such a
sum."

"Very well," said the captain at last.  "By sunset, if the ransom is not
brought on board, we shall have a fine bonfire out there," and he
pointed to the town.

"Arra' now, captain, you may as well cook and eat us at once, for sorrow
a dollar have ye left us, and all the crucifixes, and candlesticks, and
beautiful images, which we might have pledged for the money, stowed away
in your hold!" exclaimed the fat friar, betraying his Hibernian origin,
and that he had understood every word which had been spoken.

"Are you an Irishman, and living among these foreigners, and pretending
to be one of them?" cried the captain.  "If I had known that, I would
have clapped on another thousand dollars to your ransom."

"Sure, captain, dear, it would have been more charitable to have taken
them off," observed the jovial friar.  "However, just be after giving me
four days, and ye shall resave the dollars all bright and beautiful,
though not a quarter of one could all the blessed saints together
collect in the whole of our unfortunate town and the circumjacent
country."

The friar's eye twinkled as he spoke.  At last he proposed paying even a
larger sum, provided that the captain would prolong the time to five
days for its collection.  Captain Podgers, eager to get more money, and
not suspecting treachery, agreed to the proposal, and Fra Patricio,
chuckling in his sleeve, prepared to take his departure.

"Captain, dear," he said, turning round with a comical look as he
reached the gangway, "ye haven't got a bottle of potheen, the raal
cratur, have ye?  It would just be after comforting me in my trouble."

A bottle of Irish whiskey being handed to the friar, he tucked it away
in his sleeve, and his boat pulled off towards the shore.

Mr Falconer, who understood Spanish, shortly after this informed the
captain that he had discovered, from the prisoners' conversation, that
the object of Friar Patrick in asking for more time to collect the
ransom, was that troops might be sent for to protect the town.  The
captain replied that he would hang his prisoners if any such trick was
played.

We remained two days longer, and no news came from the Irish friar.

Our prisoners were well supplied with eatables and drinkables and
tobacco, and appeared perfectly happy, talking freely among themselves,
as they sat at table and smoked their cigarettes.  Mr Falconer, though
unwilling to be an eavesdropper, could not help hearing what they said,
and as he had prudently not let them discover that he knew Spanish, they
did not suspect that he understood what they said.  He was sitting
writing in his own cabin, which opened on the gun-room, when he heard
one of them remark that, in a couple of days, at furthest, the tables
would be turned, and that those who were now their masters would be
prisoners, or hung up at the yard-arms of their frigate.

"Which, pirates as they are, will be their just fate," observed another.
On this, the rest of the party laughed grimly.

"The ladies we cannot hang, though."

"No; they can be sent to a nunnery, or perhaps you, Seignor Commandant,
who are a bachelor, would wish to wed the fat widow."

Some remarks were made about Miss Kitty, which Mr Falconer did not
repeat.

"How soon can the two frigates be here?" inquired another.

"In two days, or three at most," was the answer.  "But we shall be in no
slight danger.  I wish we could escape before then."

"No fear about that," answered one of the former speakers.  "The
Englishmen won't attempt to fight against so overpowering a force, and
will, depend on it, haul down their flag as soon as they see the two
frigates enter the harbour."

This idea seemed to make the whole party very merry.

Mr Falconer, after sitting quiet for some time, went on deck, and
informed the captain of all he had heard.

Captain Podgers was not a little put out by the information he received.
He was very unwilling to lose his dollars, but if he remained in
harbour, he might lose his ship, and his own life into the bargain; for
Mr Falconer did not fail to repeat the threat of the Spaniards, to have
him hung up at the yard-arm as a pirate.  He vowed that he should be
ready to fight one Spanish frigate, but two were more than even the
_Dolphin_ could venture to tackle.

After pacing the deck two or three times, he summoned the officers into
the cabin; and it was finally settled that the other fat friar should be
at once sent on shore, with orders to make his appearance next day at
noon at the landing-place, with all the dollars that had been collected,
and should the amount not be sufficient, he was to warn the inhabitants
that their town would be set on fire.  That the _Dolphin_ might run no
risk of being entrapped, she was at once to put to sea, while the boats
alone were to go in the following day and bring off the ransom.

The Spaniards were very much alarmed when they saw preparations going on
for making sail.

Fortunately, a Spanish merchant among our prisoners spoke a little
English, so that Mr Falconer had not to betray to them his knowledge of
their language.  The fat friar shrugged his shoulders when he heard what
he was to do.  He seemed, however, not a little pleased to get out of
the clutches of the terrible privateersman.  As soon as he had been
landed, the _Dolphin's_ anchor was hove up, and the land breeze still
blowing, we sailed out of the harbour.

We were standing on and off the island during the night.  It was a calm
and beautiful one.  I had gone on deck to be near Dick, which I
frequently did during his watch, when, the moon shining brightly from
behind some light fleecy clouds which floated over the sky, we caught
sight of an object gliding over the glittering waters.  As it
approached, Dick pronounced it to be a raft, with a small square sail
set, and soon afterwards we distinguished two figures on it.  He hailed.
There came, in reply, a faint cry across the water.  Directly
afterwards the sail was lowered.  Mr Falconer, who was officer of the
watch, ordered the ship to be hove-to and a boat lowered, which quickly
towed the raft and its occupants alongside.  The men were hoisted on
deck, for they were too weak to climb up by themselves.  Dick and I, who
had good reason to feel for them, hurried to the gangway.  Dick, without
asking questions, filled a cup of water and brought it to them; they
both drank eagerly.

Mr Falconer while by his orders a couple of hammocks were being got
ready for them, inquired who they were and whence they had come.  One,
who appeared the least exhausted, answered that they had been ten days
at sea, and for the three last they had been without food or water, with
the exception of half a biscuit apiece, and that they were the survivors
of six who had embarked on the raft.

"I am the second mate of the _Juno_, armed whaler," continued the
speaker.  "Our crew mutinied, murdered the captain and several of the
other officers; but the third mate and I, with four men who refused to
join them, were turned adrift on this wretched raft, with but a scanty
allowance of water and provisions, which the mutineers gave us,
asserting that it was enough to support us till we could reach the
shore.  Calms and light winds prevailed, and we were almost abandoning
hope, when, this afternoon, we made the land, though I doubt if we
should have survived had we not fallen in with you."

Mr Falconer treated the two mates with great kindness, and did his best
to make them comfortable, not doubting the truth of their story.  They
had farther added, that as soon as they had been sent off from the side
of the ship, the mutineers hoisted the black flag, with three cheers,
announcing that they intended to turn pirates and attack ships of all
nations.

From their account, there remained no doubt that the _Juno_ was the ship
which had lately engaged the _Dolphin_, and met with so awful, though
well-deserved a fate.  They also told us that the _Juno_ had been about
to enter a harbour a short distance off, when two men-of-war were seen,
with their lower masts only standing, that several boats had been sent
out in chase of the ship, but, a breeze springing up, she had escaped.

This confirmed what Mr Falconer had heard from the Spaniards, and made
the captain thankful that he had listened to his advice.

The next day we stood in to the mouth of the harbour, when the boats
were sent on shore, each carrying half a dozen torches.  Our prisoners
were in a great fright on seeing this, saying that the friars would very
probably be unable to collect the money, and earnestly urging that we
would remain two or three days longer at anchor before setting fire to
the town.

"We are not to be so caught, seignors," answered the captain, laughing
grimly.  "If your friends bring the dollars, well and good; if not, we
will make a bonfire which will light the two frigates you expect into
the harbour."

Away the boats pulled, one only being left alongside, in which the
governor and his companions were ordered to seat themselves.  We waited
anxiously for some time, when wreaths of smoke were seen to ascend from
various parts of the town, and the whole place was shortly in a blaze.
The captain considered himself very humane, when he allowed his
prisoners, after having been stripped of nearly every particle of
clothing, to be put on shore on the nearest point.  This he did to
revenge himself for the loss of the expected dollars, which he knew, on
seeing the town set on fire, had not been obtained.

Scarcely had the boats returned and been hoisted up, when two large
ships were seen steering for the entrance of the harbour.  Every stitch
of canvas the _Dolphin_ could carry was set.  The strangers, on seeing
her, made all sail in chase, and, from the way that they overhauled her,
there appeared but little prospect of her escape.



CHAPTER TWELVE.

MR. NEWTON.

The frigates continued to gain on the _Dolphin_.  Captain Podgers was in
a great state of agitation, dreading the punishment which the Spaniards
would justly inflict on us for the injuries we had done them, especially
when they found on board the articles we had carried away from the
church.  "If there was only one of them, I would fight her gladly, and,
big as she is, we would beat her, too," exclaimed the captain, as he
paced the deck, eyeing the enemy through his spy-glass; and, to do him
justice, he was a brave man and not a bad sailor, although he had few
other good qualities.

Miss Kitty looked very pale, not from fear of herself, but she dreaded
the danger to which those on deck would be exposed.

The wind increased and the sea got up: still we carried on, though our
masts and spars bent and cracked.  The sails were wetted--hammocks were
slung, and men with shot got into them--indeed, every device was used to
increase the speed of the ship.  After a time, we appeared to be holding
our own, if not drawing a little ahead of the enemy.

As evening approached, the wind dropped, and we could see the sails of
the frigates hanging against the masts.  Ours soon afterwards collapsed,
and we lay perfectly becalmed.  Some of the men forward expressed their
opinion that the Spaniards would attack as with their boats.

"Little fear of that," said Dick; "they know us too well to wish to come
to close quarters.  We should have a much better chance of taking them,
if we were to try it.  I don't know if the captain will think of doing
that."

Darkness now came down upon us and shut out the enemy from sight.  The
captain might have expected an attack to be made on us by the frigates'
boats, for he ordered a bright look-out to be kept.  Boarding-netting
was triced up; the men wore their cutlasses at their sides and pistols
in their belts, and pikes were placed ready for use.

Miss Kitty had come on deck, and, seeing me at a little distance, called
me to her.

"If there is to be more of that dreadful work, you must come and stay
with me, Charley, as before," she said.  "I cannot let you risk your
young life; you must promise me now."

I did so, though unwillingly.

"When will this fearful fighting end?" she said, sighing.  "Though men
seem to delight in it, I am sure that it is against all Divine laws, and
brings misery and suffering to both parties."

"I hope that we shall escape fighting this time," I observed; "for Dick
says that he is sure the Spaniards will not attack us.  Perhaps before
the morning we shall be able to get away from them."

No one turned in that night, and the crew were kept at their quarters,
to be ready for a sudden attack.

When the sun rose out of the ocean, his beams fell on the tails of our
foes, throwing a ruddy glow on the calm waters, which shone like a plain
of molten gold.  Eager eyes were looking out for a breeze.  Should it
come from the direction of our foes, they would have every chance of
catching us; but if ahead, we should have the advantage of them, and
thus be able to slip out of their way.

Several hours passed by.  We were still the same distance as before from
the enemy.

I was on the forecastle with Dick, when I caught sight of a slight
ripple which played over the surface.  I pointed it out to my companion.

"All right, Charley," he said.  "Those catspaws are a good sign.
There's another and another."

Presently the sails gave a flap.  In a moment every one was in activity:
the yards were braced sharp up, the royals filled, then the
topgallantsails and topsails bulged out, and away we glided.  Looking
astern, we saw that the Spaniards still remained becalmed.  The
captain's ruddy countenance beamed with satisfaction at the hopes of
carrying off his booty in safety.

"We shall give the Dons the `good-bye,'" he shouted out to his wife
below.

Kitty quickly came on deck, and I saw how thankful she felt.

Gradually our enemies' sails sank beneath the horizon, and at length we
had the satisfaction of losing sight of them altogether.  Still the
captain observed, that as they would guess the course we had taken, they
might be after us; and until two days had passed by, he did not feel
altogether secure.

We now steered back to the whaling-ground, where we remained for a
couple of months, half filling the ship with oil.

After this we touched at two of the Society Islands.  At one of them we
saw, as we came to an anchor at some little distance from the beach,
beneath a grove of cocoa-nut trees, a neat white cottage built in the
English style, with two larger edifices near it, and Dick remarked that
one of them looked very like a chapel.  The numerous natives, who came
off in their canoes, bringing fruits, and vegetables, and fish, were
dressed in shirts and trousers, and all behaved in a quiet, orderly way.
Two or three of those who came on board spoke English.

"Why, what has come over you people?  You are very different sort of
fellows to what you were a few years ago, when I was here," observed the
captain.

"We were then heathen savages; we are now Christian men," was the
answer.  "There is our chapel, and there is our school-house; in yonder
cottage lives our good pastor, the missionary, Mr Newton, and he will
be very glad to receive any who like to visit him."

"I have no fancy for those sort of fellows," growled the captain; "they
spoil trade, and prevent our men enjoying their freedom on shore."

Kitty, however, on hearing the account given by the natives, expressed
her wish to go and pay a visit to the missionary, and Mr Falconer
offered to convey her on shore.  The captain could not refuse his
request for a boat, though he granted it with an ill grace.  Dick was
ordered to get one ready.  Kitty desired to take me with her, and we
were soon walking up a neat pathway towards the cottage.

How beautiful and quiet it looked--everything seemed smiling around.

A gentleman, whom we at once guessed was Mr Newton, appeared at the
garden-gate, and cordially invited us into his house.  Before entering,
we were joined by his wife, a sweet-looking young woman.  I thought
that, next to Kitty, she was the most perfect being in the world: for
almost since I could recollect, I had seen no other females, except the
wild natives of the islands we had visited, besides Mrs Podgers.  To
her she certainly was a very great contrast.

On entering, Kitty was placed on a sofa by our hostess, who removed her
bonnet and shawl, and spoke in the sweetest and kindest manner to her.
To my surprise, Kitty suddenly burst out crying.

Mr Newton asked her what was the matter.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, "how peaceful and happy all around appears!  Oh,
how I should like to remain here!"

Kitty then told her how she was situated.  Mrs Newton replied that she
should be very glad to receive her, and that she hoped she would assist
in the work she was engaged in.

"Indeed, I would pray that I might be able to do so," said Kitty.

Mr Falconer looked agitated--a struggle was going on in his heart.

"I have engaged to serve on board yonder ship--my duty forbids me to
quit her," he said, in a husky voice.  "Yet you will be far, far better
off here, and freer from danger, than on board."

"We must not deceive you," said Mr Newton.  "Although the natives
around us are Christians, there are still many savage heathens in the
island, and many more in the neighbouring islands, and we are liable to
be attacked by them.  It is our duty to be here, but we are not
altogether free from danger."

"I should be thankful to leave Miss Kitty in a place of safety," said
Mr Falconer, "but that information alters the advice I might have
given."

"I will continue on board, and share the dangers the ship may have to go
through," exclaimed Kitty, suddenly.  "I am, however, deeply grateful
for the kind offer you, my friends, have made to me; and do not suppose
that it is because I fear to run the risk you speak of, but," and she
looked up at Mr Falconer, "I have another reason, which I must ask you
not to press me to name."

I do not know whether the missionary and his wife suspected what that
reason was, but they did not again urge Miss Kitty to stay with them.

She and I, however, spent the three days the ship remained in the
harbour at the missionary's house, and they were the happiest I could
ever remember.

How rough and profane appeared my shipmates when I returned on board.
Kitty, too, evidently felt the difference between the quiet abode she
had left and the cabin of the _Dolphin_.

The _Dolphin_ had been several months at sea, and during the time five
or six more whales had been caught, when we touched at the Sandwich
Islands, where we took on board ten natives, to assist in navigating
her.  We had also put into the Gallipagos, to refit.  They are the most
dreary group of islands I have ever visited, dark rocks rising up
everywhere round their coasts, with wild black beaches, and huge
tortoises, with legs resembling those of elephants, and serpent-like
heads, and long lizard-like guanas crawling over them.  As no water was
to be procured there, we sailed northward till we came in sight of a
beautiful island, with hills rising here and there into the blue sky,
covered with the richest tropical vegetation.

Directly after, we brought up in a sheltered bay.  A number of large
canoes came off to us, filled with natives, the skins of the older
chiefs almost black, from the elaborate tattoo marks with which they
were covered.  Those of the younger people were, however, of a light
brown hue, the skins of some indeed being quite fair.  The heads of the
chiefs were decorated with crowns made of long feathers; they wore long
loose cloaks of native cloth over their shoulders, and carried in their
hands elaborately carved clubs.

The captain, through one of the Sandwich Islanders who could talk
English, told them that his object in coming to this island was to get a
supply of water, and to cut some spars to make yards for the ship.  They
replied in a friendly way that he was welcome to do as he wished, and
that they would show him the trees likely to suit his purpose.

A number of them were parading the deck, examining everything they saw.
When Kitty appeared, they gazed at her with astonishment, she being the
first white woman they had probably ever seen.  All the people appeared
to be very friendly, and anxious to induce our men to go on shore in
order to trade, but there being plenty of work on board, the captain
would not allow this.  At night the natives took their departure,
promising to return the next day.

The following morning, several canoes came round the ship, and the
captain proposed landing, to select the trees which he wished to have
out down.  Mr Falconer asked Miss Kitty whether she would like to go on
shore.  She answered that she did not like the appearance of the
natives, and that, though they might profess to be very friendly, she
did not trust them, but that she should be very glad to take a sail in
the bay, and to make some sketches of the island from the water, and
especially of some picturesque rocks which we had passed when entering.
The mate gladly undertook to do as she wished, and ordered a boat, with
four of the steadiest men in the ship, who were always ready to obey
him, to be got ready.

As they expected to be away for some hours, he put some water and
provisions into the boat.  The steward, not knowing this, had filled a
basket, which he also lowered down to the crew.  Mr Falconer had
intended that Dick should go, but the first mate had directed him to do
some work, which kept him occupied, and had told me to attend on him.  I
knew that Miss Kitty would gladly have me with her, and felt
disappointed when I saw the boat sail away down the harbour.  The
natives seemed to take little notice of the boat's departure, probably
they thought she had gone for a short distance only, and would soon
return.

The captain, with the carpenter and his mates, and a boat's crew, now
went on shore.  Dick and I were at work on the bowsprit, I sitting by
him, holding the rope-yarn and grease-pot.  As soon as the captain was
gone, the natives began to invite our men on shore, and several of them,
declaring that it was very hard that they should be kept on board,
slipped into the canoes, and allowed the savages to carry them off.
Others followed their example.  The officers shouted to them to return,
but their orders were not attended to.  More canoes now came off, full
of savages, who, as they got alongside, clambered on board, till the
deck was crowded with them, so that the crew who remained at their duty
could scarcely move about.  The first mate, seeing this, ordered the
natives back into their canoes.  I had, while the mate was issuing his
orders, turned my glance aft, when, at that moment, he cried out to
Lieutenant Pyke, who was below, to get his men under arms, and then
signed to the natives crowding the deck to return to their canoes.
Thinking, apparently, to make the savages understand him better, he
incautiously gave a shove to one of the chiefs who was standing near
him.  The savage, uttering a fearful cry, whirled round his heavy club
and struck the poor mate dead on the deck.  It was a signal to his
followers.  In an instant every club was upraised and aimed at the head
of the nearest seaman.

Dick, hearing the savages shout, looked up from his work, and seeing
what was taking place, laid hold of me by the collar and dragged me
along to the jib-boom end, whence we witnessed the dreadful scene
enacted on deck.



CHAPTER THIRTEEN.

IN THE CLUTCHES OF THE CHIEF.

The crew of the _Dolphin_, though numerous and well accustomed to the
use of arms, being thus taken unawares, were almost helpless.  The
sharp-edged war-clubs of the natives came crashing down upon their
heads, as they ran here and there in search of weapons to defend
themselves.  Lieutenant Pyke was struck dead the instant he appeared at
the companion-hatch.  The second mate was treated in the same way, while
the boatswain, with a few men who gathered round him, made a desperate
attempt to defend himself; but he and his party were overpowered by
numbers, and cut down, after they had killed several of the natives.
Some of our men jumped down below, but were followed by the savages.
Whether they were killed, or whether any escaped, we could not tell.  A
few ran up the rigging, where the natives appeared afraid to follow
them.

In a few minutes, besides Dick and me, not a white man whom we could
see, except those aloft, remained alive.  The natives now began dancing
frantically about the deck, whirling their clubs over their heads, and
shouting at the top of their voices for joy of their victory.  They
either did not observe Dick and me, or knowing that we must at length
come in, did not think us worth their notice.  I felt almost overpowered
with horror.  In spite of that, however, I thought of dear Miss Kitty,
dreading that she and Mr Falconer, with those in the boat, would, on
their return, have to share the terrible fate of our other companions;
while I fully expected Dick and I would soon be summoned off to be
killed.

What had become of Mrs Podgers, and those who had been below at the
moment of the attack, we could not tell.

"Oh, Dick, what are we to do?"  I exclaimed, trembling with fear.

"We must trust to God, Charley," he answered.  "He will take care of us,
though how that is to be, is more than I can say.  I can only hope that
the savages, fierce as they are, will not have the heart to kill a
little boy like you; and it can matter little what becomes of an old
fellow, such as I am.  Say your prayers, Charley, though you cannot
kneel down.  That does not matter."

The savages all this time continued dancing on the deck, as if they
would beat it in, shouting at the top of their voices, and flourishing
their war-clubs, looking more like a gang of demons let loose than human
beings.

"It will be bad enough for us, Charley, even though the natives don't
kill and eat us, but my mind is most troubled about poor Miss Kitty.
What will become of her, if they get hold of the boat? and there's no
chance that I can see of her escaping."

"I was thinking of her, too," I said, "and Mr Falconer.  The savages
will murder him and the boat's crew, as they have the rest.  Oh, Dick!
I cannot stand it.  I wish they would kill me at once!"

I felt, as I spoke, like the hapless bird fascinated by the glance of
the serpent, and could scarcely restrain myself from clambering on board
and rushing among the savages.

"Hold fast, Charley," said Dick.  "I wish I had not said what I did--you
have got your best days before you.  If the savages wanted to kill us,
they would have done so before now.  See, they are growing calmer, and
are talking together; they, perhaps, will be satisfied with gaining
possession of the ship, and all the plunder in her, and won't kill those
who make no resistance."

Soon after Dick had said this, a tall chief with a high plume of
feathers on his head, and his almost white skin only slightly tattooed,
advanced to the heel of the bowsprit, and, looking towards Dick and me,
shouted out some words, and beckoned us to come in.

"What shall we do, Dick?"  I asked.  "Will he kill me, do you think?"

"There's no help for it, Charley," answered Dick.  "But don't be afraid;
he shall kill me before he hurts you.  Just get round and keep close
behind me, and I will ask him to take care of you; he does not look as
savage as the rest."

I followed Dick, though I confess my alarm was so great that I could
scarcely hold on.  As we got to the inner end of the bowsprit, I
observed that the chief placed his bloodstained club against the
bulwarks; he then lifted up both his hands, to show that they held no
weapon.  Dick, therefore, advanced more boldly, and getting on deck,
still keeping me behind him, confronted the chief.

"I make bold to ask you to let this little chap go free, Mr Savage,"
said Dick, pointing to me.  "He has never done you no harm, and never
will.  It cannot do you any good if you kill him, and he is so thin, he
would make but a poor meal, if you want to eat him."

Although the chief could not have understood a word that Dick said, he
seemed to comprehend his meaning, and, putting his hand on his head and
mine, he signified that we were his property, and that he would take
care of us.  He even smiled when he looked at me, and seemed to inquire
whether I was Dick's son, so Dick fancied; for he replied, "He is all
the same as my child, and if you hurt him, it will be the worse for
you."  Our friend then called up two other men, who appeared to belong
to him as a sort of bodyguard, and then charged them to take care of us,
while he went aft and spoke to the other chiefs.

Meantime the natives had begun to hoist up the goods from the hold, and
to load their canoes with them, our new friend being apparently engaged
in securing his share of the booty.  Dick and I were thus left on the
forecastle, and could observe what was going on.  We often turned our
eyes towards the mouth of the harbour, dreading to see the boat return.
And yet, what could become of her, with no friendly port near, should
she not come back?

A considerable time having passed, the young chief's canoe came round
under the bows, and he made signs to us to lower ourselves into her.
Just before I did so, I cast my eyes once more seaward, and there I
caught sight of a boat's sail.  Mr Falconer and Kitty were returning,
unsuspicious of the dreadful circumstances which had occurred.  How I
wished that I could go off and warn them.

We had scarcely thought about the captain and the rest of the men on
shore.  If they had escaped, we need not have much apprehension about
ourselves; but if they had been put to death, we, I still dreaded, on
reaching the shore might meet with the same fate.

"What can we do, Dick, to let Miss Kitty and the mate know their
danger?"  I asked.  "If they come up the harbour, there will be no
chance for them."

"We can do nothing, Charley," he answered.  "They are in God's hands, as
we are, and we must trust to Him to take care of us all."

The young chief now made another sign to Dick and me to get into the
canoe, so we lowered ourselves down, and went up to where the chief was
standing.  His canoe, like many others around, was of considerable
length, fully forty feet, though not more than a foot and a half wide,
and of about the same depth.  She was kept from upsetting by outriggers
projecting from the bow, middle, and stern, with a long piece of light
wood secured to the extremity of each.  On the upper part of the stem,
which projected about two feet, was a carved head of some animal; while
the after part also projected six feet or more beyond the actual stern,
something like the shape of a Dutch skate.  The paddles were neatly made
of a hard black wood, highly polished, with slender handles, and the
blades of an oval form.  I afterwards examined the canoe, and found that
it was composed of many pieces of the bread-fruit tree, cut into planks
and sewed together with the fibres of the outside shell of the
cocoa-nut.  The seams were covered inside and out with strips of bamboo
sewed to the edge of each plank, to keep in a stuffing of cocoa-nut
fibre.  The keel consisted of one piece, which ran the whole length, and
was hollowed out in the form of a canoe, being, indeed, the foundation
of the vessel.  Three pieces of thick plank, placed as partitions,
divided the interior into four parts, and served for timbers to keep her
from separating or closing together.  She had also a mat sail, broad at
the top, and narrowing to a point at the foot.

The chief told as to sit down, and directed his crew to paddle towards
the shore.  This they did, accompanied by several other canoes, which
were apparently under his command.

We frequently turned our eyes towards the boat, but the wind was scant
and light, and she made but little progress up the harbour.  Probably
Miss Kitty and the mate were in no hurry to return on board.  The men
who had escaped up the rigging were still there; but whether the
captain's wife and those who had fled below had survived the massacre we
could not tell.  The ship was still crowded with savages, who were
busily employed carrying up what they could find below and had strength
to remove.  The oil-casks must, however, have been beyond their power to
lift, though Dick observed that they would be sure to try and get hold
of the iron hoops, and be rather astonished when the oil burst out over
them.

Our captor directed his course towards a small inner bay, on the shores
of which were several huts, where we concluded that he lived.  Though
some of his men cast savage glances at us, and looked as if they would
like to knock out our brains, we were not ill-treated, nor was anything
taken from us.

On landing, we were allowed to remain by ourselves while the crews of
the canoes were busy in unloading them as fast as they could.

There was close at hand, forming one side of the little bay, a high
rock, whence Dick thought that we could get a good sight of the whole
harbour.  We set off, and, unnoticed by the busy natives, made our way
to the top of it.  We were not disappointed in our expectations, and
from it could see both the ship and the boat.  The latter had made but
little way, and, finding the wind against her, had lowered her sail and
taken to the oars.  More canoes were collecting alongside, and we
concluded that the chief and his followers were going to return for a
further supply of booty.  We were allowed to remain on the rocks, the
natives probably knowing that we could not make our escape.

The wind after a time freshened a little, and the boat was drawing
nearer.  As we were looking towards her, a loud report reached our ears,
and, turning our eyes towards the ship, we saw the masts and deck rising
upwards, surrounded by a dense smoke, and a thick mass of the shattered
fragments of numberless articles, mingled with the boom-boats,
companion-hatch, caboose, and human beings mangled and torn.  For a few
seconds they seemed to hang in the air, and then were scattered far and
wide around the ship.  The masts falling into the water, crushed several
of the canoes alongside, and the shrieks and cries of the natives, who
had escaped with life, while they paddled away in dismay, came over the
waters towards us.

Dick and I held our breath, and I saw horror depicted in his
countenance.

"Though the savages deserve what they have got, it may be the worse for
us," he muttered.  "They will now knock us on the head, to a certainty."

I made no reply, but I feared that what Dick said would prove true.

Flames now burst out from the ship, and several guns which were loaded
went off, sending their shot flying among the natives, and creating
still further dismay.

So absorbed were we for some minutes in watching the ship, that we had
almost forgotten the boat.  Again looking towards her, I saw that her
sail was hoisted, and that she was running before the wind towards the
harbour's mouth.

"Mr Falconer guesses what has happened; I am sure of that," said Dick,
"and he would rather trust to carrying Miss Kitty off into the wide
ocean than to the mercy of the savages, though I am afraid they will
have a hard time of it, even if they get clear."

"Oh, Dick!"  I cried out, "see, there are some of the savages after
them, and they may be overtaken."

Such, indeed, was the case.  Several canoes which at the time of the
explosion had been at a distance from the ship, watching, apparently,
the approaching boat, on seeing her standing seaward, began to paddle
after her.  Though they had no sails, they glided rapidly over the
water, and there seemed but little probability that our friends would
effect their escape.



CHAPTER FOURTEEN.

MOTAKEE.

So absorbed were Dick and I in watching the boat with Miss Kitty on
board and the savages pursuing them, that we did not think of ourselves
or the fate which too probably awaited us.  The savages paddled with
might and main, resolved, it seemed, to revenge on our friends the
destruction which had overtaken so many of their people.  They were
gaining rapidly on the boat, though her crew were pulling hard at the
oars.  I felt inclined to cry with agitation as I thought of what Miss
Kitty would have to endure, when the boat's sail filled out, and a
freshening breeze carried her along faster than she had hitherto been
moving.  The wind still further increased.  Away she shot ahead,
distancing her pursuers.  She gained the harbour's mouth, and, steering
out to sea, ran on till her white sail appeared a mere speck in the
horizon; while the savages, disappointed of their prey, paddled back
towards the shore.

Meantime the ill-fated _Dolphin_ continued burning, and was now in
flames fore and aft, the savages having been too much alarmed to make
any attempt to extinguish the fire.  The men who had been aloft had
clung to the mast when it fell, though we could scarcely hope that they
had escaped uninjured.  We saw, however, that several of them were still
hanging on to it, while it floated free of the burning ship.  The
natives, on discovering them, approached the mast, and dragged them into
their canoes.  What they intended to do with them we could not tell, but
we feared that they would murder them, as we supposed they also would
us.

The young chief who had taken possession of us had not reached the ship
when she blew up, and we now saw him and his people landing in the
little bay above which we were seated.  We had made no attempt to
conceal ourselves.  He beckoned to us to come down.

"We must put a bold face on the matter," said Dick, taking my hand.
"Cheer up, Charley.  I don't think he intends to hurt you; and if he
kills me, remember, do your best to escape, and don't turn into a
savage, as they are sure to try and make you, and cover you all over
with tattoo marks."

"Oh, they must not kill you, Dick; they sha'n't kill you!"  I cried out.
"I will let them kill me first."

I felt, indeed, that I would much rather be put to death than see my
kind friend murdered before my eyes.

Dick, leading me by the hand, approached the chief, whose club I
expected every moment to see upraised to strike us dead.  Instead of
doing so, however, looking at me kindly, he took me by the hand and made
a speech to Dick, which we, of course, could not understand, but which,
from its tone, relieved us somewhat from our apprehensions.  I
afterwards discovered that it was to the effect that he had promised to
befriend us; and knowing that the destruction of the ship and the death
of his people was not owing to as, that would not alter his purpose.

"Thank you kindly, sir," said Dick, touching his hat sailor-fashion.
"If you will treat this boy well, it's all I care for.  I speak him
fair, Charley, for your sake," he said to me, "and by the cut of his
jib, I think he will be as good as his word."

The chief, whose name we found was Motakee, or "The good-looking one,"
now addressed his people, who had been casting somewhat threatening
glances at us, and, I suspect, had we been left to their tender mercies,
would very soon have knocked us on the head.  Our new friend having
appointed several of his people to guard us, told us to follow him along
the shore.  After going a short distance, we reached another much larger
beach, on which a number of canoes were drawn up and a large concourse
of people assembled.  We looked about for the captain and our shipmates,
who had at first landed.  On going a little farther, what was our horror
to see the greater number of them lying dead on the shore, with their
heads so battered that we could scarcely recognise them.  We knew the
captain, however, by his figure and dress; we had, therefore, too much
reason to suppose that we were the only survivors of the _Dolphin's_
crew, with the exception of those who had escaped in the boat and the
men who had been saved on the mast.  We saw the latter alive in some of
the canoes still afloat.  Whether the captain had been killed before the
destruction of the ship, we could not at first ascertain, but I believe
he and the rest were murdered after the accident.

The chief held a long consultation, while Dick and I stood at a little
distance watching them, uncertain what was to be our fate.

"Cheer up, Charley," said Dick.  "I would fight for you as long as
there's life in me, if it would be of any use; but I don't think,
savages as they are, that they will have the heart to kill you; and as
for me, as I said before, they may do as they like, though I wish I was
sure they would not eat me afterwards."

"Oh, Dick, Dick!"  I cried out, "don't think of anything so horrid!  I
will ask the young chief not to hurt you, and I will tell him he had
better kill me first."

Just then the consultation came to an end, and Motakee, coming up to us,
made signs that we need not be afraid, and that he would protect us.

I afterwards found, when I came to know their language, that he had told
the other chiefs that on seeing me he had been reminded of a little boy
he had lost, and that he had saved Dick on my account, supposing that he
was my father, or, at all events, my friend.

Six men, one of whom was a Sandwich Islander, named Tui, who had been
saved on the mast, were now brought on shore.  As we watched them, we
fully believed that the savages would put them to death, as they had the
other poor fellows.  Tui, however, stepped forward and addressed the
natives in a language which they appeared to comprehend.  They again
consulted together, the unhappy men standing apart, uncertain whether
they might not at any moment find the clubs of the savages crashing
through their brains.  Trusting to Motakee's protection, I felt inclined
to rush forward and plead for them, but Dick held me back.

"You will do no good, Charley," he said, "and one of those savages may
in a moment give you a tap with his club, and kill you, as an idle boy
does a fly."

The five poor fellows stood collected together, looking pale as death,
but they were as brave as any of the men on board.  Among them I
recognised Tom Clode, the armourer, and Mat Davis, the carpenter's mate.

The discussion seemed to last a very long time.  Tui was listened to
attentively, as he every now and then put in a word.  At length five of
the principal chiefs rose from their mats, and, stepping forward, each
put his hand on one of the men.  At first I thought they were going to
kill them, as they led them away; but Tui, coming up, told us that they
were only going to be taken as slaves.  Another old chief now advanced
and put his hand on Dick's shoulder.

"He going take you for slave," said Tui.

"I have no wish to be idle, but I would rather have chosen a master with
a better-looking mug of his own," observed Dick.  "I hope the old
gentleman lives not far from your friend, Charley; for I can't stand
being separated from you."

I burst into tears as Dick said this, when Motakee, coming up, tried, in
a gentle way, to soothe me.

"He is a good young fellow, that he is," cried Dick; "and as you are
likely to be well off with him, it's little odds what happens to me."

Motakee, finding that my tears continued to flow, endeavoured to
persuade the old chief, Toobo Cava, to allow Dick to continue with him.
This, however, he refused, and replied that he might rather allow me to
accompany Dick.  Tui told us what was said.

"I would like to have you, Charley," said Dick, "but you will be much
better off with Motakee, and, indeed, I doubt if he would let you come,
however much you may wish it."

Dick was right; for after another long palaver, Motakee took me by the
hand, while old Toobo Cava led off Dick.

"Keep up your spirits, Charley, and don't forget the lessons I have
taught you; say your prayers, and be a good boy," cried Dick, looking
back towards me.  "We will manage to see each other, or these talking
fellows are cleverer than I take them to be."

Motakee, accompanied by his people, conducted me back to the bay where
we had landed, and thence to his house, which was situated in a valley
but a short distance from the shore.  It stood on a platform of large
stones, nearly twelve feet above the ground, and was fully thirty feet
in length, though considerably narrower.  The back of the house was
fourteen feet in height, the roof sloping down towards the front, which
was scarcely more than five feet high, but the walls were of a uniform
height all round, thus the farther part of the house between them and
the roof was entirely open.  The front part, into which we first entered
by a very small door, had a floor composed of the rough stones of the
platform, but the inner part, separated from it by a partition, was
covered with fine mats.  At one end was the bed-place, which consisted
of two horizontal poles, about a foot from the ground, with matting
stretched between them.  On this the chief and his family reclined,
resting their heads on one of the poles, which served as a pillow, while
their feet extended towards the other.  Around the walls, which were
also composed of matting, were hung numerous weapons, spears, clubs,
axes, slings, and stilts, on which I found that the people were very
fond of walking.

These stilts are elaborately carved poles, with carved figures towards
the lower end, on the heads of which the feet rest.  The chief took down
a pair, and, to amuse me, mounted on them, and ran over the ground with
great rapidity, now standing on one leg, now on the other, and twirling
round and performing all sorts of extraordinary feats.  He having set
the example, others followed it, till nearly all the men and the boys in
the village turned out on stilts, and began chasing each other over the
rough ground, as much at home as if they were treading it with their
feet, instead of being mounted high above it.

The sports being over, Motakee led me to the farther end of the village,
where there was a sort of temple.  In front of the temple were a number
of little buildings a couple of feet high, on each of which stood a
carved figure, surrounded with shells, and feathers, and whales' teeth.
He and his people sat down before them, and bowed, and uttered certain
words, and then bowed again, leading me to suppose that they were
performing some religious ceremony.

Having finished his prayers, if such all this bowing and muttering words
could be intended for, the chief conducted me back to his house.  Here
he introduced me to his wife, pretty-looking young woman, of a bright
brown colour, clothed in somewhat scanty garments, composed of cloth,
manufactured from the paper-mulberry tree.  She received me very kindly,
and we sat down to a supper consisting of fish, and various roots, and
other vegetables and fruits.

I had till now been under the dreadful impression that the people were
cannibals; but there was nothing in the repast set before me which made
me unwilling to partake of it.  On the contrary, as I was very hungry, I
set to with a will, and the people standing round seemed pleased at
seeing me eat with so good an appetite.

Several days passed by; the chief and his wife seemed to consider that I
had taken the place of their lost child, and treated me as such with
much kindness.  I had, however, neither seen nor heard anything of Dick,
and I gave Motakee to understand that I wished to go out and look for
him, to which he, by signs, replied that it would be dangerous for me to
wander about by myself, as the people of other tribes might kill me, and
that I must remain quietly where I was.

I remembered Dick's plan of keeping time when we were in our solitary
island, and I cut a stick, on which I marked the days of the week.  I
did not forget either his parting advice to me, and every night and
morning I knelt down and said my prayers.  The natives understood what I
was about, and never interrupted me, and treated me with more respect
than even some of the men did on board the _Dolphin_.

At the end of a couple of months I saw that something unusual was taking
place in the village.  The men were polishing up their arms, and the
women were engaged in making baskets and cooking provisions.  This led
me to suppose that an expedition of some sort was about to take place.

Motakee called me to him one day, and told me by signs that he was going
away, and that he would place me under charge of some one who would take
good care of me during his absence.  I told him that I should be very
sorry to be parted from him, and asked him to let me go, hoping that by
some means I might hear of Dick.  He shook his head, and told me that as
danger would have to be encountered, I was too young as yet, but that
when I grew older, he would teach me the use of the native weapons, and
allow me to accompany him to war.  He then led me to another house,
somewhat smaller than his own, in which the principal inmate was an old
woman.  Though Moola--that was her name--was very old and dry and
withered, from the expression of her countenance and the way in which he
treated her, I was led to suppose that she was Motakee's mother.  Such,
indeed, was the case.  She spoke kindly to me, and I had no reason to
fear that I should be ill-treated.

After this Motakee led out his people, all armed with clubs, and
hatchets, and spears; the heads of the principal men being decorated
with plumes of feathers, but, with the exception of cloths round their
waists, entirely destitute of clothing.  From this I knew that they were
about to proceed on some warlike expedition, and, though they felt
confident of success, I could not help remembering that they might be
defeated; and should they be so, what would become of me?  Again I asked
the chief if he could give me any information about Dick?  My heart sank
within me; for, from the reply he made, he led me to suppose that some
accident had happened to my faithful friend.



CHAPTER FIFTEEN.

MOOLA.

Old Moola kept a watchful eye on me, as if she divined my intention of
trying to make my escape to go in search of Dick on the first
opportunity which might occur.

I concluded that if the warriors were away he would be less carefully
looked after than usual, and would try to find me; for I was very sure
that he was as anxious about me as I was about him.

There were a good many other boys in the village, and I used to play
with them, and did my best to excel them in all their sports.  I found,
after some practice, that I could walk on stilts as well as they could.
I induced them to run races, and I very frequently came off the victor.
They had an advantage, from being more lightly clad than I was, that is
to say, while I wore my shirt and trousers, they had no clothing
whatever.

The women, meantime, were employed in their usual domestic occupations,
in making cloth by beating out the bark of the paper-mulberry tree, and
manufacturing mats and baskets.  I afterwards observed that they were
always employed in such occupations, while the men, when at home,
cultivated the fields, and caught fish with nets and fish-hooks, the
latter formed of mother-of-pearl, as also with bone, and wooden
harpoons.  Besides the articles I have mentioned, they make calabashes
from gourds, and kava-cups formed of the cocoa-nut, as also cradles for
their children, hollowed out of a log with great neatness.  They also
use small chests, which are in like manner hollowed out of solid pieces
of wood, with covers to them, and wooden bowls and stands, on which
various objects are hung out of the way of the rats.  Those animals are
great pests, and to preserve their more valuable articles, the natives
suspend them in baskets from the roofs of their houses, by lines passing
through the bottoms of inverted calabashes, so that, should the
creatures reach the polished surface of the calabashes, they slip off on
to the ground, without being able to climb beneath them.

Moola's house was furnished with all the articles I have mentioned,
supplied to her by the people of her tribe, who looked up to her with
great respect.  As I was under her charge, and was moreover regarded in
the light of a chief's son, no one interfered with me, or questioned
what I thought fit to do.  This was a great advantage, and I hoped would
enable me to carry out my plan.  Besides my amusements on shore, I soon
learned to swim and to paddle a canoe, and other boys and I used
frequently to go out in the bay.  It occurred to me that, by gradually
extending our excursions, I might be able to get along the shore to some
distance, and there land and make my way into the interior.  To do this,
however, I found that I should require two or more companions, and they
might not be disposed to assist me.  I became expert in fishing with the
line and hooks and in spearing fish, but I could not manage to dive in
the way the natives did.  Some of them, with a hoop-net in one hand, and
a stick in the other, would dart down into the deep water among the
coral, and with the stick drive the fish hidden among its recesses into
the net.  This operation was not unattended with danger.  Sharks were
constantly prowling about, to snap up a person unprepared for their
attacks; and one day, a young man who, according to custom, wore his
hair loose, was caught by it among the coral, and, unable to extricate
himself, was drowned before his companions could go to his assistance.
When the sea rolled in a heavy surf on the shore, it was common
amusement for boys, and even for girls, to paddle out on little rafts,
mounting to the top of the surf, and if the raft was upset, which
frequently happened, they would dive under the sea, and come up again on
the other side.

Besides these amusements, in which I took a part, I tried to learn some
of the arts practised by the natives.  I never found the time hang
heavily on my hands, still I was continually thinking how I could manage
to find Dick.  After considering the matter, I abandoned the idea of
making the attempt by water, and resolved to try and escape by land.
Fearing that the warriors would return, I determined to put it into
execution without delay.  I had secreted as much food in the pockets of
my jacket as they could hold, and, late in the day, I challenged my
companions to a race on stilts across the country, pointing to a rock
which projected from the hillside at some distance.  They laughed at me
when they saw me dressed in my jacket, declaring that I should have no
chance, and willingly agreed to give me a short start, believing that,
encumbered as I was, they could easily come up with me.  Old Moola, not
suspecting my intentions, came out from her hut, and promised to reward
the victor.  We took our places, and away we started.  I exerted myself
to the utmost to keep ahead of my competitors, and found, as I had
hoped, that I was at first gaining on them rapidly, although they in the
end, I have no doubt, would have overtaken me.  As soon as I felt sure
that I was well out of sight, hidden by a ridge over which I had passed,
I turned off to the right, and ran on along the valley, where the even
ground allowed me to continue at a good speed.  I then, turning into a
wood, jumped off my stilts, and, having concealed them among the hushes,
continued my flight on foot.  I went on and on, avoiding cultivated land
or any huts where I might meet with inhabitants, till the increasing
darkness compelled me to stop.  I had no dread of wild beasts or
venomous snakes, as I knew the island was free from them.  I could
therefore lie down on the dry grass, and recover my strength without
fear; and I hoped that the other boys would make their way to the goal,
and not think of looking for me till the darkness prevented them from
doing so.

I slept soundly, and soon after I awoke the first streaks of dawn
appeared in the sky.  Having taken a little food, and drank some water
from a rivulet which flowed by, I proceeded onwards, intending to lie in
wait near the first village I should come to, in the hopes that one or
other of the captive Englishmen might be there, and might give me
information about Dick, should he himself not appear.

I went on for some way, keeping myself concealed as much as possible
among the trees, till I saw several native huts before me, just on the
borders of a wood.  Making my way through the wood, I discovered a tree
which I could climb.  I managed, not without difficulty, to get up it,
and, when near the top, concealed by the leafy boughs, I could survey
all that went on in the village below me.  The people at length began to
come out of their huts, but I saw only women, or old men and boys,
showing that the fighting part of the population had not returned.  In
vain I watched for Dick, or one of the other white men.  Disappointed at
not seeing them, I descended from my perch, afraid that some of the
people might come into the wood and discover me.  Hurrying on, I had got
to no great distance, when I heard voices from among the trees behind
me, showing that, had I not escaped when I did, I should have been found
out.

I could by this time speak the native language quite well enough to make
myself understood, and I resolved, should I meet any one, to go up and
speak with confidence, as if I had full right to be at liberty.

In a short time I reached another village.  Here I watched as before,
but though several natives were moving about, none of my shipmates were
to be seen, and the dreadful idea occurred to me that they had all been
murdered.  My heart sank, still I determined to continue my search.

The direct path from village to village was very much shorter than the
road I was compelled to take, as I had to make wide circuits to avoid
observation.  I was now at a considerable distance from Motakee's
village, and I hoped, even should I be seen by any of the natives, there
was not much risk of being sent back.  This made me less cautious than
before.  Feeling thirsty, I had gone to a bright spring which gushed out
of a rock, to drink, when, on looking up, I saw a young girl with
several gourds, which she had brought to fill with water.  She cast an
astonished glance at me, and inquired where I had come from.  I told her
at once that I knew from her looks she was kind, and could only wish to
do me good; that I had belonged to the ship which had been taken by her
people, and that I was in search of my guardian.  "I have not mistaken
you," I added; "you will help me, if you can?"

She looked pleased, and replied that she could feel for me, away from my
country and friends, and that she certainly would not betray me.  She
added that she had heard that there was an Englishman living in the next
village, kept a prisoner by an old chief who ruled there, who was very
stern and cruel, and made him work very hard, and that he had become
very ill.

"The chief himself has gone away to fight, and you will have less
difficulty in seeing your countryman than would have been the case had
he been at home."

I thanked the young girl very much for her information, and she having
pointed out the road I was to take, I proceeded on my journey.  I went
on till I came to the village.  I could easily distinguish the chief's
house, which was considerably larger than that of the other natives.
Some short distance from it was a small hut.  It was built in a
different fashion to that of the natives, and not so neatly put
together.  On one side was a garden, apparently lately formed, and
carefully cultivated.  It struck me at once that it must be the work of
an Englishman.  I concealed myself, as before, so that I could watch the
proceedings of the inhabitants.  After a time, I saw a woman, with a
basket in her hand, approach the hut: she looked cautiously round, to
ascertain, apparently, that no one was watching her, and then went in.
She was old, and far from comely, but, even at the distance she was from
me, her countenance looked kind and gentle.  She soon came out again,
looking about as before, and hurrying away.  I observed that her basket
was empty.  This convinced me that she had been to take provisions to
the inmate of the hut, whoever he might be.  I determined to ascertain
this.

"May I come in," I asked, in the native language.

"Who's there?" was the reply, in English.

I knew the voice; it was Dick's.

He lay on a bed formed of dry grass and mats; I hurried up to him.

"I have found you at last, my dear, dear Dick!"  I exclaimed.

"Charley, is it you, yourself?  Then you are not dead," he cried out.
"I was told you were, and it well-nigh broke my heart.  I shall get well
now though.  Where have you been? what have you been about?"

I soon told him, and how I had managed to elude my captors.  He
expressed his delight that I had not been ill-treated, as he had been.

"That old chief is a regular tyrant; he made me work for him till I
could work no longer, and then would have let me die of starvation, if a
good woman had not, at the risk of her life, brought me food.  Bless
them! they are all alike, black and white, when a fellow is in trouble,
however bad they may be in other respects.  Things were not so bad at
first.  Tui, who lives not far off, came over with Mat Davis, and helped
me to put up this hut; or otherwise, as far as my old master was
concerned, I should have had to sleep out of doors.  He, however, would
not let them come again, and I have had to look out for myself.  The
only pleasant thing that has happened to me was seeing Toobo Cava go off
to the war, but he will be back again soon, I fear, and then the hard
work will begin once more.  But you must not stay here, Charley; I don't
know what he would do if he caught you, though it will be a sore grief
to me to have you separated from me."

I told Dick that I was determined at all hazards to stay with him.

"We will argue the point, Charley," said Dick.

He at last allowed me to remain till the following day.  He had been so
well supplied with food, that he was able to give me as much as I
required.  I spent half the night sitting up talking to him, and had the
satisfaction of seeing that my visit was doing him good, his complaint
being more the result of anxiety and ill-treatment than anything else.

"I scarcely know what to advise you to do, Charley," he said.  "If you
are caught here, you may be hardly dealt with, and yet I don't like to
tell you to leave me; though, as you say the people you have been living
with have treated you well, it will be best for you to make your way
back to them."

"Come what will, I am not going to run away and leave you while you are
sick and helpless," I answered.  "God will take care of me if I ask Him;
you have often told me that, and so I will say my prayers and go to
sleep."

I did so, and coiled myself away on a heap of grass by Dick's side.

The next morning we were awoken by hearing a great noise in the village.
We found that we had both overslept ourselves.  Dick went to the door
of the hut, to ascertain the cause of the hubbub, telling me to keep
concealed under the mats.  After some time he came back.

"I guessed how it is," he said; "the fighting men have returned from the
war, but, as far as I can discover, the old chief is not among them.  He
has, I suspect, been knocked on the head, and serve him right too.  They
are mourning for him, it seems, and it will be as well to keep out of
their way, lest they take it into their heads to sacrifice us to his
ghost, as I know is the fashion among these savages."

Dick spoke quite coolly, but our danger was great.  He again told me to
keep snug under the mats, and I saw him walking up and down the hut,
evidently very unhappy.  "I don't care for myself," I heard him say.
"Poor dear Charley, I wish that he was out of the scrape.  Well, well;
we have been saved before, and we may be saved again.  It's a great
thing to know that God looks after us poor fellows better than we can
look after ourselves."  While he was speaking, the noise increased.
Never did I hear such savage shrieks, cries, and howls.

"The people are cutting themselves with knives, and flints, and
spear-heads, to show their grief for their dead chief," observed Dick,
after he had taken another look outside the hut.  He sat down, and
seemed considering what he should do.  After some time, I heard a
footstep approaching the hut, and the old woman I had before seen
entered.

She looked very anxious, and told Dick he must get out of the way, and
hide himself for some days, when he would be safe.  Dick thanked her
warmly.

"You have been kind to me, and you will be kind, I know, to my son; and
if you will hide us away together I shall be happy."

Dick then told me to come forward.  The old woman looked very much
surprised at seeing me, and on hearing that I had been taken care of by
Motakee, advised me to go back at once to him, and to take Dick along
with me.  There was no time to be lost.  Having ascertained that the
coast was clear, she told us to hurry off into the wood, and to make our
way as fast as we could to Motakee's village, promising, if she could,
to put her people on a wrong scent, should they think of pursuing us.

We did as she had advised.  We had not, however, got far into the wood,
when, as we were making our way along the hillside, as I looked back
through an opening in the trees, I saw a number of people advancing
towards the hut, shrieking, and shouting, and flourishing their weapons.
There could be little doubt that their intention was to get hold of
Dick.  We hurried on, and did not stop till we were far away beyond the
sound of their voices.



CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

DICK AND CHARLEY REUNITED.

The natives in the villages were so busy celebrating their victory, or
mourning for their slain warriors, that Dick and I escaped observation
and reached the spot where I had left my stilts.

"Now, Dick," said I, mounting on them, "come along; you shall hide near
the village, and I will go boldly into it, as if I had been taking only
a longer walk than usual.  Then, as Motakee will be glad to see me back,
I will tell him that the other old chief, Toobo Cava, is dead, and you
ought to be set at liberty, and ask him to protect you.  If he says he
cannot, you must make your escape, and I'll follow; but if he says yes,
we will live together happily till we can get away from this savage
country."

Dick agreed to my plan.  As we got near the village, I left him, hid
away in the wood, and stalked forward on my stilts.

I saw Motakee haranguing the people, and recounting his exploits, so I
at once advanced and saluted him, as if I had no reason to be ashamed of
anything I had done.  He did not look angry, but told me he was happy to
see me.  The boys shouted, and asked where I had been.

"I told you I should beat you," I answered; "and I took a somewhat
longer run than any of you, I've a notion.  When shall you be ready for
another race?"

"We will beat you next time, though," they cried out, not putting any
further inconvenient questions to me.

My appearance had somewhat disturbed the usual formality of the meeting,
and the chief, having commanded silence, went on with his speech.

As soon as it was over, I descended from my stilts, and begged him to
grant the petition I had to make.  I praised Dick as he had deserved,
and told the chief all he had done for me; and, to my great joy, he
replied that he would protect him, as, his owner being dead, no one else
could claim his services.

On this I hurried off and brought in Dick, who was well received by the
people.  I afterwards told the chief the trick I had played, at which he
was very much amused.

Dick at once set to work to make himself useful, and soon gained
Motakee's confidence, so that he allowed us both to roam about as we
chose.

The victory gained by our friends over the Typees, the tribe they had
attacked, had put them in excellent humour.  They had burned down their
villages, destroyed their fruit trees, and carried off their canoes.
The slaughter had been, we were sorry to hear, considerable on both
sides; for the Typees possessed several strong forts, formed of large
stones and huge pieces of timber.  These had been taken by assault, when
all within had been put to the sword.  Dick said he was surprised that
savages could construct such strong works, for it would have proved a
tough job, even to English sailors, to take some of those he had seen.

Months and months passed by, and yet no vessel had come near the island,
in which we might make our escape.  The people had got, we suspected, a
bad name; for the _Dolphin_ was not the only vessel, we found, they had
cut off, while they had attempted unsuccessfully to capture several
others.  Our only hope was that a man-of-war would come in, which might
carry us off by force, should the natives refuse to give us up.

The chief, who had adopted me as his son, seemed determined not to let
me go, and I found that I was narrowly watched wherever I wandered.

Dick managed, at length, to communicate with some of the other men;
though one or two were content to remain among the natives, having
married and adopted their customs: the rest expressed an earnest wish to
escape.

A tremendous storm having occurred, when it seemed as if the whole
island would be carried away by the fury of the waves, the wreck of the
_Dolphin_ was cast up on the beach.

Dick told me that Mat Davis had long been thinking of building a vessel,
and that the carpenter's tools having been among the first things
landed, he hoped, if he could get hold of them, to be able to build a
craft which would convey us to the coast of South America.  He had
persuaded the chiefs, that if they could have such a vessel as he
described, they might not only overpower all the neighbouring tribes,
but sail in quest of foreign lands, which they might conquer.  The
chiefs listened eagerly to this proposal, and promised to assist him in
carrying out his undertaking.

Mat Davis, who was a clever fellow, was the chief architect.  Assisted
by the armourer, a forge was put up for the ironwork, and he set the
natives to cut down trees and hew out timbers and planks.  Others were
employed in rope-making and in manufacturing fine matting for the sails,
as all the _Dolphin's_ canvas had been burnt.  Dick and I were allowed
to lend a hand, but as, with the exception of Davis and Clode, all were
unskilled, the work proceeded but slowly.  The hopes of escaping
encouraged the Englishmen, and the thoughts of the victories they were
to win induced the natives to labour on.

Dick had followed his own plan of notching the days on sticks, several
of which he had tied up in a bundle.  By his calculation we had been two
years among the savages, and I could now speak their language perfectly
well.  Our clothes were worn out, and I had to dress like the natives.
The chief told me, when I grew older, that I must be tattooed, an
operation for which I had no fancy, and I hoped to make my escape before
he should insist on my undergoing it.

The vessel was at last built, and ready to be launched.  She was a
schooner of about forty tons, and capable of carrying sixty or eighty
men.  The natives declared that none of their island canoes would be
able to contend with her.  It took some time to rig her, and to obtain
suitable provisions and casks for holding water.

I don't know whether Motakee suspected the design of the Englishmen; but
when I spoke of taking a cruise in her, he replied that he would not
expose me to the dangers she might encounter, and I found that I was
more narrowly watched than ever.

Dick came back one day, looking very much out of spirits.

"The other men have formed a plan for escaping, but I cannot agree to
it," he said.  "They intend to let as many natives as choose to come on
board, and, as soon as they are out of sight of land, to rise upon them
and heave them overboard, so that their provisions and water should not
be exhausted, should they have to make a long voyage.  And another thing
is, Charley, I won't go without you."

Motakee had not entered into the views of his countrymen with regard to
the vessel the Englishmen were building: he either suspected their
design or believed that she would not prove as successful in attacking
their foes as the rest supposed.  When I asked his leave to go on board,
he took me by the arm and whispered--

"I know your tricks; you should not have told me how you managed to get
away and join your friend.  No, no; I shall shut you up till the vessel
has sailed."

He was as good as his word, and from that day I was not allowed to leave
the hut without the company of one of his most trusted followers.  He
allowed Dick, however, to go about as he chose, apparently caring but
little whether or not he made his escape.

Dick had been absent for three days.  I could not believe that he had
gone without me, and yet I felt very anxious about him.  On the fourth
day he returned.

"They have gone, Charley," he exclaimed; "all our people and thirty
natives.  I stopped to the last, trying to persuade them to give up
their wicked plan; but they answered that the natives had murdered our
friends and burned our ship, and that they had a right to treat them as
they chose.  I said that I was sure we ought not to return evil for
evil, and that they might have found some other way of making their
escape, and that no good could possibly come of what they were about.
They abused me, and asked me if I was going to betray them, and that if
I would not come with them, I must take the consequences, as the natives
were sure to murder us, as soon as they discovered what had become of
their countrymen.  Even now I think I was wrong in not warning Motakee,
for I consented to evil, though I would not join in it."

When Motakee found that the schooner had sailed, he allowed me to go
about as usual, and treated Dick with far more respect than before.
Dick, indeed, soon became his right-hand man, or councillor, and the
people looked up to him as the person next to the chief, in consequence.

Some days after this it came on to blow very hard, and the sea beat with
tremendous fury on the rocky coast.  Dick and I wished to have a sight
of the huge breakers outside the harbour.  We went along the shore for
some distance, to a part exposed to the whole sweep of the ocean.  As we
were looking along it, Dick exclaimed that he saw a vessel on the rocks.
We made our way as near as we could get to the spot.

"Charley, I am afraid that is the schooner," Dick exclaimed; "but there
is not a living being on board."

We crept on still closer to the little vessel.  We shouted loudly, lest
any one might have been washed on shore, but no reply came to our cries.

"I am afraid every one has been washed away," he observed.  "If the
natives had been on board, they are such first-rate swimmers that some
of them would have managed to reach the land."

We looked about in every direction, but could discover no boats on the
beach nor any sign of a living man.

"It's too likely that our people did as they intended, and having got
rid of the natives, were themselves caught in the hurricane and driven
back here; but we shall never know, I suspect, what has happened."

After spending a considerable time in searching about, being unable to
get nearer the wreck, we returned home.  We told Motakee what we had
seen; but, of course, did not mention our suspicions.

"I knew that the voyage would work us no good, to your people or mine,"
he observed; "and I am very glad you did not sail in the vessel."

We were, indeed, thankful that we had not.

Next day, when the hurricane was over, we went back with some of the
natives to examine the wreck; but, on getting on board, we could find
nothing to explain the mystery.  Dick's opinion was that the crew had
been on deck, and were washed overboard before the vessel struck, some
time after they had disposed of the unfortunate natives in the way they
had proposed.

I have not spoken of the various events which had taken place since we
came to the island.  Several times Motakee had gone out to fight his
enemies, and had invariably returned victorious.

At length another expedition was talked of against a powerful tribe at
some distance.  He told Dick he must prepare to accompany him.  I begged
that I might go, too.

"No, Charley; you must stay at home," answered Dick.  "I have no wish to
go and fight other savages in a quarrel in which I have no concern, and
I would not go if I could stay away without offending the chief.  I
don't want to kill any of the fellows, and I don't wish to be killed
either."

The warriors were preparing to take their departure, when, early in the
morning, as I was looking out over the sea, I caught sight of a ship
approaching the island.  I watched her eagerly, and when, at length, I
felt sure she was standing towards the harbour, I ran back to tell Dick.
The natives had been so busy in preparing their weapons, that they had
not observed her.  Fortunately, no one saw me.

"Now is our chance, then," exclaimed Dick.  "Come along, Charley: we
will jump into a canoe, and maybe we shall get away from the shore
before the savages miss us."

Without a moment's delay we hurried down to the beach, taking some
paddles out of a canoe-hut on our way.  We launched a canoe, which we
found hauled up on the shore, and paddled with might and main out to
sea.  The water was smooth, and, though the wind was against us, we made
good progress.  The ship came on.  We were alongside.  Ropes were
hove-to us, and, making the canoe fast, we scrambled up on deck.



CHAPTER SEVENTEEN.

ESCAPE FROM THE ISLAND.

"Some savages come on board, sir," I heard the mate sing out to the
captain, a fine-looking man, who was standing near the wheel; "an old
and a young one."

"No, please you, sir," said Dick, stepping aft.  "We are not savages,
but unfortunate Englishmen.  We have had a hard job to make our escape
from the savages, though, and if you will take my advice, sir, you will
not go into that harbour; for if you do, you will run a chance of being
treated as our ship was."

"How is that, my man?" asked the captain; and Dick thereupon told him
the way in which the _Dolphin_ had been cut off, and how all had been
kept prisoners for upwards of two years by the natives.

"I thank you for the warning, my friend," said the captain, "and we will
be on our guard against treachery.  I think, however, that if we show
that we are well armed and on the watch, we need not fear them.  We are
in want of water, wood, and vegetables, and by letting the natives
understand that we will pay fairly for them, we shall, I hope, obtain
what we require."

"As to that, sir, Charley Laurel and I can talk well enough to them; and
we will take good care to tell them that they must play no tricks."

"You may be of much service to me, then," said the captain, "and I shall
be glad to carry you and Charley Laurel, as you call him, to any place
we touch at where you may wish to land."

"Thank you, sir," said Dick; "but we can both work our passage, and
though it is better than two years since I was afloat, I don't think I
am less handy than before."

The ship, which we found to be the _Phoebe_, Captain Renton, having
brought up in the bay, a number of canoes came off to her.  The captain
told me and Dick to say to them that he could allow no one on board.
The natives looked much surprised at seeing us on the deck, and they of
course guessing that we had told the captain what had happened to the
_Dolphin_, some of them paddled back again in a great fright, supposing
that he had come to punish them for what they had done.  By the
captain's directions we told them not to be alarmed; that he wished to
be friends with them; and that if they behaved well, they would be
treated as friends.

In a short time Motakee came off.  When we told Captain Renton who he
was, he was invited on deck.  He seemed greatly concerned at the thought
of losing me, and asked me reproachfully how, after being treated as a
son, I could think of deserting him.  I assured him that I was very
grateful for all his kindness, but that I wished to go back to live
among people of my own colour and habits, and that otherwise I would
gladly have remained with him.  He soon made himself at home on board,
and when invited into the cabin behaved with great propriety, and told
me to express to the captain his regret for the massacre of the
_Dolphin's_ crew.

He put off his expedition on account of the arrival of the _Phoebe_, and
while she remained in harbour he was constantly on board, and used every
exertion to obtain what the captain wanted.

I at last parted from him with real regret, though Dick would not let me
venture on shore, lest he might show his affection for me by keeping me
a prisoner.

Captain Renton was a very different sort of person to poor Captain
Podgers.  We had prayers every evening in his cabin, and he would allow
none of the officers to use abusive language towards the men, while he
maintained strict discipline on board.

He proposed cruising for some time for whales in those latitudes, and
then sailing south, to touch at one of the Society Islands.

The day after we sailed, the captain called me into his cabin.

"I have heard your history, my lad, from your friend, Dick Driver, and I
find that you have had no advantages of education, while I am afraid
that you are very ignorant of gospel truth, without which all education
is of no avail in God's sight."

"As I have not seen a book since I was on board the _Dolphin_, I suspect
that I should prove a bad hand at reading, sir," I answered: "but I have
not forgotten what Miss Kitty told me about the love of Jesus to sinful
man; how He willingly offered Himself up to be punished instead of us,
that all who believe on Him may be free, and be able to go to God as
children go to an affectionate father, and ask Him for all they want;
and that when we die we may be sure that we shall be taken to live with
Him in great joy and happiness for ever and ever."

"Ah, my dear boy," exclaimed the captain, his eye brightening with
pleasure, "you already know then the most important truths I can tell
you.  And do you indeed believe that Jesus died for you, and is your
Saviour, and loves you, and watches over you, and sends His Holy Spirit
to help you to love Him, and serve Him, and to keep you out of
temptation?"

"Yes, indeed I do, sir," I answered.  "I pray to God through Him every
night and morning, and I believe that He has preserved me from the many
dangers I have gone through."

Though I have not mentioned it, I had often talked with Dick of all Miss
Kitty had taught me, and the knowledge of God's love more than anything
else had supported us; and I am very sure that Dick felt as I did,
though he might not have been able to explain himself so clearly.  I had
made great progress indeed under Miss Kitty's instruction; thus,
although for some time I at first found it difficult to read the New
Testament, which the captain put into my hands, I gradually regained the
knowledge I had lost.

The kind captain, after the conversation I have mentioned, invited me
into the cabin every day, and took great pains in instructing me in
reading and writing.  Until I could do so myself, he read a portion of
God's Word, which he explained to me in a very simple and clear manner.
I did my utmost to learn, as I was now of an age to be ashamed of my
ignorance, especially when I found that the two ship's boys read and
wrote far better than I did.  Every moment that I was off duty I was at
my studies, and when Dick found what progress I made, he declared his
intention of setting to work to learn to read himself.  I did my best to
help him, and the captain kindly lent him some books that he might
instruct himself.  In about four months I could read with perfect ease
and write very fairly, besides having gained some knowledge of
arithmetic and geography.  As to history, I found I had a very confused
knowledge, and jumbled events together in a curious way.

I had not forgotten dear Miss Kitty, and I often talked about her, and
wondered whether she and the mate had made their escape.  Dick always
said that he thought they had, as Mr Falconer was a good navigator, and
that they were very likely to have fallen in with some whaler, as he was
sure to have steered his course over the ground most frequented by them.

At length, after sailing for some time south, and passing several
islands, we sighted one at which the captain said he intended to touch,
as the natives were Christians, and they could supply all his wants on
equitable terms, without the risk of treachery, which he must run at the
heathen islands.  As we drew near I recognised the scenery, and on
asking Dick, he told me it was the very island at which the _Dolphin_
had touched when Miss Kitty and Mr Falconer had gone on shore to the
house of the missionary.

As soon as the anchor was down, the captain ordered a boat to be
lowered, and told me that I might accompany him.

Mr Newton, the missionary, who knew Captain Renton, came down to the
landing-place to welcome him, and conduct him up to his house.  I
followed, but as he did not recognise me, I felt unwilling to address
him.  They entered the house together.

"Come in, my lad," said Mr Newton, seeing me standing outside.  "You
are heartily welcome."

I followed the captain into the sitting-room, where I saw two ladies.
One, whom I guessed was Mrs Newton, came forward to greet him as an old
acquaintance; the other rose, and as she did so and turned her face
towards me, my heart leaped with joy, for there I saw Miss Kitty,
looking as bright and blooming as ever.

"Miss Kitty!"  I exclaimed; "is it you? is it you?"

The first moment she did not know me, for I was greatly changed.  She
took both my hands, and looking into my face, she said--

"Charley, Charley Laurel, are you indeed alive and well?  I had greatly
feared that you were lost.  And has honest Dick too escaped?"

She made me sit down by her side, and I rapidly told her all that had
occurred.

"And how did you escape, Miss Kitty?"  I asked; "we were fearfully
anxious about you."

"You had reason to be so," she answered.  "Mr Falconer had expressed
some fears that the natives might prove treacherous while we were away
in the boats, and, on our return, he was remarking that he must try and
induce the captain to keep a strict watch on board, and to allow only a
few natives at a time on deck, when, through his glass, he observed that
the ship was surrounded by canoes, and that the natives in great numbers
were clambering on board.  Still we sailed on, when we saw a dreadful
explosion, and shortly afterwards several canoes came paddling after us.
Mr Falconer pointed them out to the men, who agreed with him that the
ship had been taken by the savages, and that by some accident they had
blown her up.  He immediately put the boat about, exclaiming to me, `For
your sake we will do our best to escape!'  The wind increased: we were
standing out into the open ocean.  Had it not been on my account Mr
Falconer would, I am sure, have gone back at all risks to ascertain the
fate of those on board.  The fact, however, of the canoes following us,
showed the hostile intentions of the natives, and the men declared that
even had I not been in the boat they would not have run their heads into
danger for no purpose.

"As the wind increased we lost sight of the canoes, which were unable to
contend with the heavy sea to which the boat was now exposed.

"The prospect before us was a fearful one, but the alternative of
returning to the shore was worse.  Still we could rely on the protecting
care of our heavenly Father, in whom we both trusted.  We had but a
small supply of food and water, which, with the greatest economy, could
only last us three days.  Mr Falconer, however, encouraged the men by
telling them that he hoped, before the end of that time, to make an
island, marked as uninhabited on the chart, where we might obtain water
and provisions.

"Happily the wind, though continuing fair, did not increase, and,
exactly at the time Mr Falconer expected, the island appeared in sight,
when the last drop of water had been exhausted.  Coasting around the
island, we found a small harbour, which we entered.  A grove of
cocoa-nut trees greeted our sight, fringing the shore, and near them was
a spring of fresh water.  Mr Falconer shot several birds, and having
fishing-hooks and lines, the men quickly caught a supply of fish.  They
then put up a hut for me, where I could enjoy that rest I so much
required.  At night, also, a number of turtle were observed landing on
the sandy beach to lay their eggs, and we thus had no longer any fear of
suffering from starvation.

"So well satisfied were the men with the island, that they proposed
remaining, rather than venture again to sea.  Mr Falconer inquired my
wishes.  I knew that I could implicitly trust him.  Months would perhaps
pass before any ship might appear.  I begged that, if the men would be
persuaded to go, we might continue our voyage.  They agreed at length to
do as he wished.

"Besides the casks, a number of cocoa-nuts were filled with water;
birds, and fish, and turtle, were salted, and four live turtle and a
number of cocoa-nuts were taken on board.  Thus amply supplied with
provisions, we again set sail.

"We had been a week at sea, when a vessel was seen, hove-to in the
distance.  We steered for her.  Her boats were away in chase of a whale.
We received a kind welcome on board the ship, which was the _Harmony_,
from Captain Landon and his wife, who were Christian people.  My
satisfaction was very great when I found that the captain intended
touching at this island, to refit his ship before proceeding to other
fishing-grounds.  The second mate had died, and he offered Mr Falconer
the berth.  He gladly accepted it.  At the end of three weeks I had the
happiness of finding myself with these kind friends.

"I knew how Mr Falconer felt when he told me that he must continue on
board the _Harmony_, though he trusted on his arrival in England to be
able to obtain the command of a ship in which he might return here.
Since then no letter from him has reached me, nor have I received any
tidings of him.  Still I feel perfect confidence that he is faithful and
true, and that he will return as soon as he can find the means of doing
so."

I felt very sorry when I heard the latter part of Miss Kitty's
narrative; for while I fully agreed with her that Mr Falconer would
return if he could, I feared that, had he not lost his life, he might
have been wrecked or taken prisoner, or detained somewhere by illness.

As Mr Newton afterwards observed to me, he had never seen any woman who
was so thoroughly sustained under a great trial by her confidence in the
man to whom she had given her heart, and her perfect trust that all was
ordered by God for the best.



CHAPTER EIGHTEEN.

ON STILTS.

I felt very sorry at the thought of leaving Miss Kitty, and would gladly
have remained with her and Mr and Mrs Newton, but Dick would not hear
of my doing so; and Captain Renton insisted that I should return home
with him, and go to school and obtain that instruction which I certainly
greatly required.

"We will take good care of the young lady, Charley," said Mr Newton;
"and should you meet with Mr Falconer, tell him that she is still as
well cared for as at first."

Once more the _Phoebe_ was at sea.  Captain Renton gave me a berth in
his cabin, and took so much pains to instruct me, that before the voyage
was over I had made good progress in various branches of knowledge.

"Why, Charley," said Dick, who was proud of the information I displayed,
"you have become quite a scholar.  Should not be surprised to hear of
your bearing up to be a judge, or a bishop, or a big-wig of some sort."

"No, no, Dick," I answered; "my only wish is to be a sailor, though I
own I should like to be a captain some day or other, though, of course,
I must study to become that."

"No fear of you, if you go on as you have begun," remarked Dick, gazing
approvingly at me.

We were about the latitude of Madeira, when one morning we sighted a
ship standing to the south'ard.  As the day drew on, just as we were
close to her, it fell calm, and she made a signal that she would send
letters on board us to carry home.  A boat put off from her, and came
alongside.  The second mate of the ship came on deck with the letters.

"Captain Falconer, of the _Harmony_, begs that you will post these on
your arrival in England," he said, presenting them to Captain Renton, by
whose side I was standing.

"Captain Falconer!"  I exclaimed, turning eagerly to my captain.  "May I
go on board and see him, sir?  I cannot help thinking that he was the
mate of the _Dolphin_, who saved that young lady from the savages."

Captain Renton at once ordered a boat to be lowered, to carry me on
board the _Harmony_, letting Dick accompany me.  Dick, who pulled the
stroke-oar, gave way with a will, for he felt as eager as I was about
the matter.  We were soon alongside, and without waiting for the mate,
who commanded the boat, I scrambled on board, followed by Dick.  There,
to my great delight, I saw Mr Falconer.  He did not recognise me, as
without ceremony I hurried aft, but when he saw Dick, he started, and
then looked inquiringly at me.

"What, are you Dick Driver?" he exclaimed, as Dick, not forgetting his
manners, touched his hat to him.

"Yes, sir.  I am myself, and I am right glad to see you alive and well;
and this is Charley Laurel, who, may be, you remember."

"Indeed I do," said Mr Falconer, shaking me warmly by the hand, and
inviting us down in his cabin.  "I feared that you had been both killed
by the savages."

I briefly narrated how we had escaped, and when I told him that we had
visited Mr Newton, and left Miss Kitty well, only a few months before,
I judged by the agitation and interest he showed that she had not
misplaced her confidence in him.

"I am bound out to the South Seas, where I have hitherto in vain
attempted to go," he observed.  "As soon as I reached England, I
obtained a berth on board a ship bound for the Pacific, but she was
unhappily wrecked not far from Cape Horn.  I, with some of the crew who
had reached the land, was taken off by a homeward-bound ship, in which I
returned to England.  I should immediately have again sailed, but
hearing that my father was ill, I went to visit him.  I had the
happiness of being reconciled to him before he died, when I found myself
the possessor of a small fortune.  It is not, however, sufficient to
enable me to live without a profession, and through the recommendation
of the late captain of the _Harmony_, which her owners were about to
send again to the Pacific, I obtained command of her, and trust before
long of again having the happiness of seeing Miss Raglan."

"I am sure, sir, she will be very glad to see you," I could not help
saying; and I told him that none of his letters had been received.

Captain Falconer kept me on board all day, and nearly the whole time was
spent by him in asking me questions, and hearing all I could tell him
about Miss Kitty.  In the evening, he sent me and Dick back to the
_Phoebe_ in one of the _Harmony's_ boats.

Next morning a westerly breeze sprang up, and the two ships stood on
their respective courses.

After this we had a quick run to England, and, arriving in the Thames,
Captain Renton took me with him to the owners, Messrs. Dear and Ashe, to
whom he gave an account of my adventures.  Mr Dear, the head of the
firm, was a mild-looking pleasant old gentleman.  He called me into his
room, and asked me a number of questions, and then desired Captain
Renton to send Dick Driver next day up to the office.

"If you can spare the lad, I will take him home with me, as Mrs Dear
will like to see him," he observed.

"I intended to have taken you to my house, Charley," said Captain
Renton, as he wished me good-bye, "but I am sure it will be to your
advantage to accept Mr Dear's invitation."

In the afternoon, I drove out with Mr Dear to his country house, in the
neighbourhood of London.  It appeared to me a perfect palace.  I had
never before since I could recollect been in any house larger than Mr
Newton's cottage.

Mrs Dear, a very kind lady, soon made me feel perfectly at home.

"We are much interested in you, Charley," she said, "and Mr Dear will
do his best to discover your relations in the West Indies.  In the mean
time we think you will benefit by going to school."

I was very sorry to leave Captain Renton, but said I was ready to do
whatever she and Mr Dear thought best.

The next evening, when Mr Dear returned, he said that he could not
ascertain from Dick Driver the name of the island from which I had been
taken away.  At the same time he observed: "I conclude that I shall be
able to learn at the Admiralty what place it was the _Laurel_ and her
consorts attacked."

I spent a couple of weeks with my new friends before they found a school
to which I could be sent.  Captain Renton, accompanied by Dick, came out
to see me.  Dick had agreed to sail again in the _Phoebe_, and promised
that, on his return, he would not fail to pay me a visit.  He looked
very downcast.

"We have been together for the best part of ten years, Charley," he
said, as he wrung my hand, "and if I did not know it was for your good,
I could not bear the thoughts of parting from you; but you are in kind
hands, and I know it's better for you to remain on shore, and I am not
one to stand in your way--I love you too well for that."

The next day Mr Dear drove me down to a large school at Hammersmith.  I
was introduced to the master, Mr Rushton, a tall gentleman with white
hair, who looked very well able to keep a number of boys in order, and
Mr Dear gave him a brief account of my history.

"The lad will do very well," he said, patting me on the head.  "I have
boys from all parts of the world, and he will soon find himself at home
among them."

As soon as Mr Dear had gone, Mr Rushton, taking me by the hand, led me
into the playground, where upwards of a hundred boys were rushing about,
engaged in all sorts of games.  He shouted "Fenwick," and a boy of my
own age came up.  He told the boy that he wished him to look after me,
and teach me the ways of the school.  Having done this, he re-entered
the house.

As soon as the master was gone, I found myself surrounded by a number of
boys, who, having examined me from head to foot, began asking me
questions.

Though I was ignorant of all their games, and had scarcely heard of
cricket and football, yet I knew a number of things which they did not.

"Who is your father?" asked one fellow.

"I don't know," I replied.

"Who is your mother?" inquired another.

I gave the same answer, whereon there was a general laugh.

"Have you many brothers and sisters?"

"I don't know," I again said.

"Where were you born?"

"That's more than I can tell you," I answered, quite quietly, and so I
went on.

"I don't think you have got much out of me," I said, at last.  "And now
I want to know who among you can box the compass?  Can any of you put a
ship about?  Can some one describe the Marquesas? or tell me where
Tahiti and the Sandwich Islands are to be found?"

To none of these or similar questions did I receive any replies.

"Now I find that I have not got much out of you, either," I observed,
"so we are pretty equal.  Now, you might have answered my questions,
though no one, as far as I know, could have answered those you put to
me."

"The young fellow has got his wits about him," observed one of the big
boys; and the others at once seemed inclined to treat me with far more
respect than at first.

"Now," said I, gaining courage, "I have spent most of my life at sea,
where we don't play the games you have on shore, but if any of you will
teach me, I shall be very glad to learn them; and perhaps I may show you
how to do a number of things you know nothing about."

From that day forward I was never bothered by having questions put to
me.  I soon managed to get hold of a piece of rope, which had lashed up
one of the boy's boxes, and began to initiate several who wished to
learn into the mysteries of knotting and splicing.  Before long a
carpenter came to do some work, and I got him to make me a pair of
stilts.  Several of the bigger boys ordered others.  I would not use
mine till the rest came home.  Many then tried to walk about on them.

"Who are going to try their stilts?"  I asked.

"We want to see you, Laurel, walk on yours," was the answer.

"No, no; you mount on yours first," I said; and most of them tried to
get up, each with the help of two or three fellows who stood round to
support them.  I then brought out mine.

"Shall we help you?" inquired three or four of the boys, who by this
time were my chief friends and supporters.

"Thank you," I said, laughing; while the others who were looking on
expected to see me bungle as the rest had been doing.  My friends
collected round me and prepared to help me up.  I did not undeceive
them, but suddenly jumping on one side I sprang into my stilts.

"Who's for a race?"  I cried out.  "Come along; let us start fair."

We were at one end of the playground, and I began to move backwards and
forwards, and in and out among the other fellows.  They seemed satisfied
that I was not going to do much better than they were.  Several who had
by this time managed to balance themselves, now formed a line.

"Away you go," cried one of the big boys, who expected to see me and the
rest tumble down on our noses.

Off we started.  In an instant I felt as much at home as I had been when
making my escape from Motakee's village, and, as might be supposed, away
I went.  First one of the boys tumbled down, then another, and another,
while I kept ahead, and, reaching the end of the playground, turned back
again, to find all my competitors rubbing their arms and knees, only two
or three having the courage to make an attempt to stand up again on
their stilts.

"I don't want to laugh at you," I said, as I came back and stalked in
and out among them, looking down with a complacent air from my lofty
elevation.  "I ought to have told you, perhaps, that I have had some
experience in walking on stilts, though, as I had not used them for many
months, I did not wish to boast beforehand.  You will do as well as I
can in time."

"I should think you must have had experience," cried out two or three of
the big fellows; "and probably you can do a good many more things.  We
shall be on the watch not to be taken in again."

Stilt-walking soon became the rage, though I continued to be far
superior to all my companions.  They looked up to me in consequence with
even greater respect than before, and I found my position in the school
as satisfactory as I could desire.  I was able, consequently, to take
the part of many of the weaker or less courageous boys who were bullied
by the rest.  Among others, there was a delicate boy called Henri de
Villereine, and who, because he spoke with a foreign accent, was
nicknamed Frenchy.  Though a year or two my senior, he was not nearly so
strong, and was ill able to defend himself against much smaller boys.
He seemed a gentle, well-disposed boy, and when others, on my first
going to school, had attacked me, he had always stood aloof.  Though I
had not had much conversation with him, I could not bear to see him
bullied.

One day, when two or three fellows had set upon him, I rushed up to his
assistance, and, without saying a word, knocked over his assailants one
after the other.  He gratefully thanked me, and said he was afraid that,
as soon as my back was turned, the fellows would set on him again.

After this no one ventured to attack Henri de Villereine, and I was the
means of rendering his life at school far pleasanter, poor fellow! than
it had been before.  He showed his gratitude by every means in his
power, and as I liked him for his many amiable qualities, we became fast
friends.

However, I have not space to give an account of my schoolboy days.  I
applied myself diligently to my studies, and while I believe that I was
liked by the boys, I gained credit with the masters, and rose rapidly
towards the head of the school.



CHAPTER NINETEEN.

DICK'S LESSON NOT LOST.

I had been three years at school, and was now almost a man in
appearance.  Henri had gone to the island of Saint Lucia in the West
Indies, where his family resided.  I was sorry to lose him, as there was
no boy in the school I liked so much.  He had made me promise to come
and see him should I ever be able to do so.  This seemed not impossible,
as I had not lost my affection for the sea, and Mr Dear had promised to
send me in one of his ships, should I wish to follow it as a profession.
I had, indeed, thought of no other.

He had made all the inquiries he could to discover my friends, but
hitherto unsuccessfully.

I had spent my holidays at his house, when he and his wife treated me as
kindly as if I had been their son.

The midsummer holidays were approaching.  We had a large cricket-field
just opposite the house, where one evening we were playing.  I had
become as good a cricketer as any of the big boys, though I never cared
very much for that or any other game which seemed to lead to no result.
I liked it, as it gave exercise to the body, just as I like chess
because it requires mental exertion.  My side was in, and I had just
given up my bat, having been caught out, when, as I was going to throw
myself down on the grass, I saw a sailor-like looking man enter the
field.  He looked about for some time.  I went towards him and inquired
what he wanted.

"Can you tell me, sir, if young Charley Laurel is at this school, and
whereabouts I can find him?" he said, addressing me as a stranger.

The moment he spoke my heart leaped into my mouth, for I recognised my
faithful friend and protector, Dick Driver.  I could scarcely resist
throwing my arms round his neck, as I should have done when a little
boy, but the fancy seized me to try whether he would find out who I was
when I spoke.

"Charley Laurel, the young monkey.  You don't suppose a big fellow like
me would take the trouble to be looking after such a little jackanapes;
but if you care for him, I shall be happy to try and find him out for
you."

"Care for him?  I should think I do: he has never been out of my head
all these years I have been away from home.  I brought him up, I may
say, since he was no higher than my knee, and I love him as if he had
been my own son."

I had led Dick, as he was speaking, to a shady spot under some tall
trees on one side of the field, away from the rest of the fellows.

"I am sure you do, Dick; and Charley would be an ungrateful fellow if he
did not love you from the bottom of his heart," I answered.

Dick looked hard at me as I spoke, then grasping my hands, which I held
out, he exclaimed:

"Why, as I live, you are Charley yourself!  My dear, dear boy, what has
come over my eyes, that I should not have known you? and yet, to be sure
you are grown into a fine big fellow."

I assured Dick that I had known him at once, and begged his pardon for
the trick I had played him.

We sat down on the grass, and, as may be supposed, had a long yarn
together.

Dick, as I knew, had sailed again in the _Phoebe_ another voyage to the
Pacific, and had only just returned.

"To my mind, Charley, it's high time that you should go to sea, if you
are going at all, or you will never get rid of your land ways--not that
I have any fear of you now.  The _Phoebe_ is going into dock to receive
a thorough repair, and I have promised Captain Renton to rejoin him as
soon as she is ready for sea; and I feel sure, if you apply to the
owners, they will appoint you.  I set my heart on having you with me,
and, to tell you the truth, I should not be happy without you.  So just
you ask them, and they will not say `nay.'"

I told Dick there was nothing I so much wished, and promised at once to
write and ask Mr Dear.  Dick was greatly pleased.

"The matter is settled then, Charley, and I hope, before many months are
over, we shall be in blue water together again, and I shall be teaching
you many of the things which I am afraid all your schooling must have
made you forget."  As it was a half-holiday, I was able to spend several
hours with Dick.  We were at length discovered.  The boys gathered round
us, inquiring who Dick was; and on hearing that he was an old sailor,
begged him to spin them some of his yarns.  Dick indulged them to their
hearts' content, and, among other things, narrated some of the early
events of my life.  At last he was obliged to take his departure, that
he might catch the evening coach for London.

When the school broke up, I returned to Mr Dear's.  He at once
questioned me as to my inclinations about a profession; and when I told
him that I wished to go to sea, he replied, to my great joy, that he
would make arrangements for my sailing in the _Phoebe_.

I spent several weeks at his house, before she was ready for sea,
employing my time, at his suggestion, in studying navigation.

On going up to town one day, I found Captain Renton at the office.  He
cordially welcomed me, and assured Mr Dear that he would do his best to
make a sailor of me, and to fit me for my duties as an officer.

The _Phoebe_ was, I found, bound out to Sydney, New South Wales.  As she
was by this time nearly ready for sea, Mr Dear thought it best that I
should go on board at once and commence my duties.  I found that Dick
had already joined.

"I hope, Charley, you have not forgotten what you knew before you went
to school," he observed.  "I have been mortally afraid that the
book-learning would drive your seamanship out of your head."

"I hope not," I answered; "I feel myself perfectly at home already, but
I shall be able to judge better when I get to sea."

When Captain Renton left the ship that evening, I thought he looked very
pale; and the next day the first mate, Mr Gibbs, received a message to
say that he was too ill to come on board.  Several days passed.  We then
heard that he was unable to proceed on the voyage, and had given up the
command to a Captain Slack, who made his appearance the next morning.

"I don't like his name," observed Dick to me, "but he may be a very good
man for all that: still, to my eye, he is very different to Captain
Renton, but we shall find out all about him by-and-by."

At length the _Phoebe_ went out of dock down to Gravesend.  Some of her
passengers had already come on board, the rest here joined us.

We soon found when we got into blue water that Captain Slack was, as
Dick feared, a very different sort of person from Captain Renton.  We
had no services on a Sunday, no prayers in the cabin; and, though he had
appeared quiet enough in harbour, he now swore at the men and abused the
officers if anything went wrong.  Had Mr Dear known the sort of man he
was, I feel sure that he would not have given him the command of the
ship.  The passengers seemed very indifferent to his conduct, as long as
he did not abuse them, and that he took very good care not to do.

"Charley, I hope you have not forgotten to say your prayers," said Dick
to me, one day.  "The more ungodly people are around us, the more need
there seems to me that we should pray to be led aright, and kept from
joining in their wickedness.  You have got your Bible with you, I hope."

I had, but I had to confess that I had not once looked into it.

"I have not sailed so many years with good Captain Renton, without
learning his ways, and as I want to be guided by the Bible, I am very
sure that I must read it every day.  Sometimes I find it a difficult
job, but I don't mind the other men laughing and jeering at me, as they
are fond of doing; neither, Charley, will you, if you are wise.  It is
better to fear God, than poor helpless beings like ourselves.  That's
what I always say to myself when the others begin to jeer at me."

I promised Dick that I would do as he advised, and that very day when I
went to my berth, on the half-deck, I got out my Bible and began to read
it.  I remembered what Captain Renton often said to me, that I must not
read it like a common book, but that I must earnestly pray to be
enlightened by God's Holy Spirit while I read it, to understand its
truths.  I did so, and I then saw that I was an utterly lost sinner,
and, as far as my own merits were concerned, had no right to claim
admittance into heaven.  But then I saw also, that by trusting to the
merits of Christ, and to His perfect and complete sacrifice offered up
for me, my sins were washed away, and that God would receive me and
welcome me as a dear son; and that at any moment, should I be called out
of the world, I should be sure of eternal happiness.  I also learned
another glorious truth, namely, that Christ the great High Priest, who
has entered into the Holy of Holies, is now at the right hand of God,
and having taken my flesh upon Him, knows all my infirmities, and can be
touched by them, having been tempted as I am, and thus acts as my
mediator, my intercessor, my advocate; thus washing me daily, hourly,
every moment, with His blood, from the sins which I commit.  Yet I know
that every sin grieves and offends Him, and I strive with the aid of His
Holy Spirit to resist sin, to refrain from sin, and I sorrow heartily
for the sins of which I know I am guilty.  Yet I live in a constant
sense of His boundless love and mercy.  I do so now, I did so then.
This gave me a contentment and joy I had never known before, and I no
longer feared any danger, nor felt cast down by the annoyances which my
ungodly shipmates were continually endeavouring to give me.

This knowledge, however, did not come all at once, and many weeks passed
by before I attained to that happy condition which I am sure all
Christians ought to enjoy.  I at length spoke to Dick on the subject.

"Of course, Charley," he said, "it's a poor religion to my mind if a man
does not take God at His word and believe what He says; and He tells us
that all who believe on His Son have passed from death unto life, have
entered the kingdom of heaven, and are heirs of eternal happiness.  It
seems to me all clear sailing when we know that, though Satan is always
trying to place rocks and quicksands in our way, but when we have got
the true Pilot aboard, we are sure to keep clear of them, for He can
make no mistake.  That makes me happy and contented, and afraid of
nothing except that I should forget to pray for that help, which, if I
pray, is sure to be sent me."

Dick and I, knowing that we were not to keep our light under a bushel,
as we had the opportunities, spoke to others, and by degrees several of
the crew joined us to read the Bible and pray together.

The captain heard of our proceedings, and, declaring that he would have
no prayers or psalm-singers on board, Dick was summoned aft to answer
for his conduct.

"I only do what Captain Renton did, sir," he answered, quietly; "and if
I neglect my duty, I do not ask to be treated with more favour than
others."

"Just take care what you are about then," answered the captain; "my eye
will be upon you."

Dick touched his hat respectfully, and without saying anything went
forward.

I was soon afterwards called up.

"I should have expected, Mr Laurel, that you would have known better
than to try and upset the discipline of the ship," he observed, in a
sarcastic tone.  "How can you expect the men to obey me if you try and
make them suppose that they are better than I am?"

"I am not attempting to do so, Captain Slack," I answered, quietly.
"The more I read the Bible, the more clearly I see that it is the duty
of Christians to obey those set in authority over them; and I am very
sure that those of the crew who follow its precepts will become more
obedient seamen and more anxious to do their duty than heretofore."

"As to that, I am a better judge than a youngster who has only just left
school," he observed; "and I warn you, as I warned your friend, to take
care of what you are about."

As we were only doing what his predecessor had encouraged, the captain
did not dare to prohibit our meetings, and Dick and I continued as
before to read our Bibles, and to induce all we could to listen.  The
third mate and one of the midshipmen, as well as several of the seamen
and passengers, joined us, though the rest seemed more than ever
determined to reject the truth, and to go on in their old ways.

As we neared Sydney, the captain resumed his shore-going manners, and
did his best to make himself agreeable to the passengers.

On a fine morning, soon after daybreak, we entered the magnificent
harbour of Port Jackson.  As soon as the passengers had landed and the
cargo was discharged, we had to turn to and prepare the ship for sea, so
I had little opportunity of visiting the place.  As we had orders to
clean up the cabins, we knew that we were to take passengers home; and
having received a cargo of wool, "Blue Peter" was hoisted, as a sign
that we were ready to sail.  Several passengers immediately came on
board: among the last was a gentleman, who, by his dress, I knew to be a
missionary or clergyman, and two ladies who accompanied him.  No sooner
had the younger lady stepped on deck than I felt sure she was my old
friend Miss Kitty.  I ran eagerly up to her.  Her surprise was even
greater than mine, for she did not recollect me.  Her companions were
Mr and Mrs Newton.  They all expressed their pleasure at seeing me,
and told me that they had come to Sydney, on their way to England.

Miss Kitty looked very sad.  I was afraid of asking about Captain
Falconer, fearing that something painful might have occurred connected
with him.  I waited, hoping to hear his name mentioned.  At length I
made the inquiry of Mr Newton.

"He has paid us two visits, and is still in these seas, though hoping
soon to return home," he answered.  "He is as much attached as ever to
our friend, but he is wisely anxious to secure the comforts of a home
before he marries; and though she would not have refused to become his
wife, had he pressed her, still, believing that her father is alive, and
may return home, she wishes first to obtain his sanction."

With a favourable breeze, the _Phoebe_ soon ran the coast of Australia
out of sight.



CHAPTER TWENTY.

OVERBOARD.

We had been some weeks at sea.  Captain Slack showed his evil
disposition by throwing every impediment in the way of Mr Newton when
he attempted to hold a service on board.  He could not, however, prevent
him from having prayers in his own cabin, to which I and Dick, and those
who were willing to come, were invited.  Among them was a half-caste
lad, called Bill Gennill, of a not over-prepossessing countenance, to
whom I had spoken.  While others scoffed, he listened, and had before we
reached Sydney gladly accepted the truth.  This exposed him to the
sneers, and often to the ill-treatment, of his messmates, though Dick
and I did our best to protect him.  He expressed his gratitude, and,
opposing gentleness to brutality, showed every day more and more
earnestness.  Mr Newton encouraged him to persevere.  Miss Kitty often
spoke kindly to him, and frequently brought up her Bible, and read such
portions as he could best understand.

"I think that Bill understands the fundamental truths of the gospel,"
she said to me: "that being all sinners by nature, and outcasts from
God, and become again His dear children by simple faith in the glorious
fact that Christ died, and was punished instead of us, and that our debt
to God being thus paid, our sins are blotted out of His remembrance, and
that we being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, we can approach
boldly the throne of grace, and are made heirs with Him of that kingdom
which He has gone before to prepare for us.  He knows, too, that, being
possessed of these privileges, we are called on by the aid of the Holy
Spirit to try and imitate Christ, to live pure and blameless lives, to
make His name known to others, and do all the good we can to our
fellow-creatures, especially to those of the household of faith.  I am
thankful to find, Charley, that you, too, know these truths, and are not
ashamed of Christ."

"I have not understood them many months, though I ought to have known
them long ago," I answered.  "Now that I do know them, I feel that
nothing is so disgraceful to a Christian as to be ashamed of confessing
the Master he serves, and therefore it is that Satan is always
endeavouring to make us conceal our belief in the presence of our
fellow-men.  I feel how necessary it is to pray for grace for those who
do not really acknowledge Christ, although they would be very angry if
told that they were not Christians."

"I found that to be the case in Sydney," said Miss Kitty, "although
during the time I spent with Mr and Mrs Newton it was a difficulty I
did not experience.  The poor heathens among whom I lived were sincere;
they had discovered the worthlessness of their own idols, and felt their
sinfulness, and, consequently, heard with joy the simple plan of
salvation which God in His mercy has prepared for man.  In Sydney, I
found people so well satisfied with their forms and ceremonies, their
attendance at their churches and chapels, and their almsgiving and moral
conduct, that they stared when I spoke of the love of Jesus, which
brought Him down from heaven to suffer for man, and of the utter
inability of man to save himself; they apparently believing that they
themselves were doing the work which was to merit salvation, making the
sacrifice of Christ of no effect.  This, it appears to me, is the belief
of a large number of nominal Christians, while a still larger number
live on from day to day without giving a thought to the future, or
caring whether they are to pass it in glory, or to be cast out for ever
from the presence of God.  I cannot bear to think that those I know
should be existing in so dangerous a state without trying to make the
truth known to them, and urging them to accept salvation while the day
of grace lasts."

I mention this conversation, because it so exactly describes my own
feelings, and the state of the greater number of people I have since
met.

"How earnestly I pray that my dear father may have accepted the truth,"
continued Miss Kitty.  "I had almost despaired of again seeing him, when
a sailor, who had been wrecked in the Pacific, made his way to our
island.  While conversing with the poor man, who was dying, he told me
that he had been on board an outward-bound ship which had picked up an
English officer, who had made his escape from a French prison; and I was
certain, from the name and from the description he gave me, that the
officer must have been my father.  The ship touched nowhere till she was
wrecked on some rocks in the Southern Ocean, between the Mauritius and
Australia.  My father was among those who escaped.  They were rescued by
a South Sea whaler, which my informant quitted to join another ship,
leaving him on board.  Where my father was going to he could not tell,
but concluded that he intended returning home.  Even should he have done
so, he would have been unable to hear of me, and this makes me anxious
in the extreme to return home, to try and find him out."

I sympathised with Miss Kitty when she gave me this account, and told
her how glad I should be to assist her in the search.

Some days after this, one of those furious gales which occasionally blow
over the usually calm waters of the Pacific came on, and we unexpectedly
made an island not marked in the charts, to avoid which our course was
being altered, when a squall laid the ship almost on her beam-ends.
Throwing off my jacket, that my arms might be perfectly unfettered, I
sprang aloft with others yet further to shorten sail, when the
main-topmast and the yard on which I hung were carried away.  The next
moment I found myself struggling amid the foaming waters.  The ship flew
on.  To heave-to or lower a boat I knew was impossible.  I gave myself
up for lost: still I struck out with the instinct of self-preservation.
The seas dancing wildly around circumscribed my view, and I could only
just see the masts of the ship as she receded from me.  Several other
poor fellows I knew had been hove into the sea off the yard with me.
Though dressed only in a light shirt and trousers, I was nearly
exhausted.  Had I retained my jacket, I believe that I should have been
unable to keep myself afloat.  Just then a shout reached my ears, and I
saw Bill seated astride a piece of timber, not far from me.  With my
remaining strength I made towards it, and he, seizing me by the shirt,
hauled me up, and made me fast with some rope attached to the spar.

"Glad to find you, Charley," he said.  "I saw the timber, when I thought
there was no hope, and got on to it.  Now we must trust that the ship
will come back to pick us up, or that the wind will drive us to the
shore, otherwise we shall be badly off."

I thought so too; but having escaped immediate death so wonderfully, I
could not help hoping that further means would be sent us for preserving
our lives.

"We must trust in God," I answered.  "It is a happy thing for you and
me, Bill, that we are ready to go into His presence, knowing that He
will receive us as loved children."

"Ah, yes, Master Charley, that's what I have been thinking," said Bill.
"I knew you were on the yard, and the moment I was in the water I prayed
that He would save you as well as me, and you see He has done so."

We, however, could talk but little; indeed, what we said was uttered in
disjointed sentences; for the foaming sea kept tossing the log on which
we sat up and down, so that we could with difficulty hold on to it.  The
sea-birds kept wildly screaming over our heads, while nothing could be
seen around us but the foaming, troubled waters.  In vain we looked out
for the ship.  Evening was coming on, and the gloom increased.  Had it
not been for the rope, we could not have maintained our hold of the log.
Each time after a sea had swept over us I looked up, hoping to discover
the ship, but she was nowhere visible, and even had she been near, the
increased darkness would have shut her out from our sight.

Hour after hour passed by, and, faint and exhausted, I felt that I could
not hold on much longer.  Poor Bill seemed in even a worse condition.  I
could hear his voice every now and then, amid the roaring of the waters,
uttering a prayer, and I joined him in my heart.  At last I fell into a
state of almost insensibility, and I knew not how the hours went by.
Again I aroused myself, and it seemed to me that the night must have
well-nigh passed by.  At length the roaring sound of the waters
increased: it was that of a heavy surf breaking on the shore.  Daylight
appeared.  As the log rose to the summit of the sea, I caught sight of a
rocky coast close at hand.  In a few minutes more the log might be cast
on it, but the danger we ran was greater than ever, for if turned over
and over by the surf, we might be crushed beneath it.  I cast off the
lashings which bound me, holding on instead tightly to the ropes, and
urging Bill to do the same.  He did not appear to comprehend me.  I
stretched out my hand to assist him, and had just succeeded in casting
loose the rope which held him, when a foaming sea took me, and I was
carried forward in its embrace towards the shore.  What happened to my
companion I could not see, for I lost all consciousness.  Confused by
the roaring and hissing of the waters in my ears, it appeared to me that
I was lifted up and down, and swept backwards and forwards; then I felt
my hands and feet touching the shore.  I struggled on.  Another sea came
hissing up; I dug my hands into the sand ere it passed away.  Exhausted,
I could exert myself no further.  Had another sea overtaken me, it would
have carried me helplessly off.

How long I thus remained I know not, when I felt my head lifted from the
ground, and opening my eyes, I saw an old man with long hair and beard,
and a benignant expression of countenance, bending over me.  Taking me
in his arms, he carried me some way from the water, and then again
placed me on the ground, unable to proceed farther.

"How came you here, lad?" he asked, when he saw that I had sufficiently
recovered to speak.  "Has your ship been cast away?"

I told him how I had been carried overboard, and inquired whether my
companion had been saved.

"I have seen no one," he said.  "Indeed, I only just now came down to
the spot to bathe, as it is one of the few places on the shore free from
rocks; but I will search for him as soon as you are more recovered."

I begged him to go at once, assuring him that I already felt better.

"I must give you some food first," he said, hurrying away.  He brought
some fish and yams, which much restored my strength; but when I tried to
get up and accompany him, I was unable to walk.

He went off with a long pole and a rope in his hand, telling me that I
might rest without anxiety, as there were neither savages nor wild
beasts in the island to injure me.

The warm sun soon dried my clothes, and, creeping under the shade of a
rock, I fell asleep.  I was awoke by hearing voices, and to my great
joy, on looking up, I saw the old man, accompanied by Bill, who told me
that he had clung to the timber, which had been drifted some way along
the shore into a sheltered bay, where it had grounded.  Thence he had
scrambled over the rocks, and after searching in vain for me, had sat
down in deep grief, under the idea that I had been lost.

Assisted by Bill, the old man led me to his hut, built against the side
of rock at the foot of a high hill.  Here he placed before us some more
food.

"I cannot but welcome you, my lads," he said; "for I have spent three
weary years in solitude since I was wrecked off this island, I being the
sole survivor of a whole ship's company.  Though I have constantly been
on the look-out since then, not a sail has come near enough to see my
signals--the flag I have hoisted by day, and the beacons I have kept
burning at night.  When I caught sight of your ship yesterday, I was in
hopes that she was approaching; but when the gale came on I knew she
could only do so with great peril, and was thankful when I saw her
weather the island."

I was glad to know from this that the _Phoebe_ had escaped.

I knew by the tone of voice and manners of the old man that he was a
gentleman, and, from his expressions, I guessed that he was a naval
officer; but I felt a delicacy in putting questions to him, though I was
anxious to learn who he was.

"We must not eat the bread of idleness," I said, when the meal was over.
"Is there no work you would wish us to do?"

"All you can do now, my lads, is to lie down and rest," he answered,
smiling.  "When you are recovered, you will have to put up a hut for
yourselves, and to cultivate some ground, as perhaps you may have to
remain here as long as I have done."

"We must not go to sleep without thanking God for His great mercy to
us," said Bill.

I felt rebuked.  Without hesitation, I knelt down with my companion near
a heap of dried grass and matting, which our host had prepared for us.
He looked on, slightly astonished, but I heard him utter "Amen" at the
end of my prayer.

Worn out with fatigue, we slept on till nearly daybreak the following
morning.



CHAPTER TWENTY ONE.

REUNION.

During the first few weeks we were on the island, Bill and I built
ourselves a comfortable hut, and planted a plot of ground with roots and
seeds given to us by our host, several boxes of which, he said, had
fortunately been washed on shore from the wreck.  Great had been my
astonishment to find who he was.  I had been narrating my previous
adventures.  When I came to give him an account of Miss Kitty, I saw
that he was deeply interested.  He asked me question upon question.  I
told him of her belief that her father was still alive, and of her
resolution not to marry till his return home.

"Then, dear boy, I pray more than ever that we may make our escape ere
long, for I am her long missing father, Lieutenant Raglan.  Misfortune
has pursued me for many years, but I shall be recompensed by finding my
child all you describe her."

I had not expected to find her father so old a man, but I discovered
that care and anxiety had whitened his hair and furrowed his cheeks, and
that he was not nearly so advanced in years as he had at first appeared.

But I must be brief in my account of our stay on the island.  I have
not, indeed, many incidents to describe.  We employed our time in
fishing, searching for birds' egg and turtle eggs, and trapping birds.
We also found a raft, on which we hoped to be able to push off to any
vessel which might at length approach the coast.

I did not forget Miss Kitty's earnest wish that her father should be
brought to a knowledge of the Truth.  This encouraged me to speak to
him.  I then expressed my regret that we had no Bible, observing what
comfort it would have afforded us, how impossible it is without it for
man to know God's laws, and, consequently, to obey them.

"But surely, my young friend, men lead very moral and good lives without
reading the Bible."

"They owe their knowledge of what is good and moral to the Bible alone,
sir," I answered.  "They get it secondhand, it is true, just as they get
their knowledge of God from the Bible, although they may never look into
it.  Without the Bible we should still be worshipping blocks of stone,
or creeping things, or the sun and stars.  Without it man would never
have discovered what God is, or how He desires to be worshipped."

And I then went on, as well as I was able, to speak of God's love to
man, which induced Him to form His plan of salvation so exactly suited
to man's wants.

"I am sure, sir," I continued, "God, who formed this beautiful world and
filled it with wonders, cannot have left us without a revelation of
Himself, and nowhere else but in the Bible can we find that revelation."

I happily recollected many important passages from the Scriptures, which
I quoted.

The old officer said he would think over the subject, and I left him in
his hut, evidently meditating seriously on it.  Day after day he
introduced it, and now seemed only to take pleasure in talking of it.
He was surprised to find how much Bill knew, and how clearly he could
explain himself.

When people have absorbing subjects of conversation the time passes
rapidly by.

I was one day seated with my new friend in the hut, when Bill rushed in,
exclaiming:

"A sail in sight! a sail in sight!  She is standing this way!"

We hurried to the top of the hill above the hut.  A large ship was
approaching the island.  The wind was off shore, the sea calm.  We
hoisted the flag, and then hastily collecting some provisions, put them
on our raft, and shoved off, determined to run every risk rather than
allow her to pass us.  It might have been a hard matter to get back if
we failed to intercept her.  We had brought a long pole with a flag at
the end, to attract her attention.  We exerted all our strength to
paddle off.  The wind was light, but in our favour.  On she stood, as if
intending to give the island a wide berth.  We had got a considerable
distance from the land.  Mr Raglan moved the flag to and fro.

"We are seen, we are seen!" he exclaimed, as the ship altered her course
directly for us.  In a short time she hove-to; a boat was lowered and
pulled up to us.  We sprang into her.  Questions were eagerly asked as
to who we were.

"And what ship is yours?" inquired Mr Raglan.

"The _Harmony_, Captain Falconer," was the answer.

I rejoiced to hear this.

We were quickly on deck, and welcomed cordially as strangers by Captain
Falconer, who did not recognise me.  I lost no time, however, in making
myself known, and in telling him who Mr Raglan was.  I need not say how
great was his satisfaction on receiving this information.  He bestowed
all the care and attention he possibly could on the old officer, and
treated him as a son would a father.

I had not, while on the island, mentioned Captain Falconer's name to Mr
Raglan, who had, therefore, no idea that he was his daughter's affianced
husband.

"I consider your friend one of the finest officers of the merchant
service I ever met," he said to me, one day.  "A noble fellow.  I can
never be grateful enough for the attention he shows me."

The _Harmony_ was homeward-bound.

As there was no one to do the duty of third mate, Captain Falconer gave
me the berth, and much gratified me by saying how well pleased he was
with the way I performed my work.  The discipline of the ship was
excellent, favourably contrasting with that of the _Phoebe_.  Captain
Falconer, following the example of her former commander, had prayers
every morning and evening in his cabin, and a regular service for the
men on Sundays, while he had a supply of excellent books for their
instruction.

Mr Raglan was always ready to enter into conversation on religious
subjects with the captain, and from the day we got on board he became a
diligent reader of the Bible.

We had a quick passage to England.  As soon as we reached the Thames,
Captain Falconer gave me leave to go on shore, that I might visit my
kind friend Mr Dear, who would, I knew, be under the belief that I had
been lost.

Mr Raglan accompanied me, as I hoped that Mr Dear would be able to
inform him where his daughter was residing.  He had left his office when
we arrived, and we therefore took a coach and drove to his residence.
We were shown by the servant into the drawing-room, while she went to
call her master, who was in the garden.  The window was open, and we saw
him walking along a path, accompanied by two ladies.  He soon came into
the drawing-room.

"Oh, my dear Laurel!" he exclaimed, in a voice broken by agitation, as
he took my hands.  "You are as one risen from the dead; we had given you
up as lost.  My wife will, indeed, be rejoiced to see you; and there is
another lady here who will be glad to find that you are in the land of
the living.  Poor girl, when we heard her history we invited her to stay
here, and positively refused to let her leave us."

He said this before he appeared to notice Mr Raglan.  I felt somewhat
embarrassed as to what to do, but I thought it best to introduce him
before Mrs Dear and Miss Kitty came in.

I scarcely knew what effect the sudden announcement that his daughter
was actually in his sight might have on the old officer.  I resolved, in
the first instance, simply to tell Mr Dear that his unknown visitor was
a naval officer, who, having been shipwrecked, had come home in the
_Harmony_, and then to get him to leave the room with me, that I might
consult him in private.  I did as I intended.

"I am very glad to see you, sir," exclaimed Mr Dear.  "Pray be seated
on this sofa, and excuse me: my young friend here has a word or two to
say to me.  Come along, Charley," and we left the room.

As soon as we were in the passage I told him who the officer was.

"Bless me!" he cried out, "that is extraordinary.  I am, indeed,
delighted.  Will you go back and tell him that you hope his daughter
will soon be with him, and then slip out again, and we will prepare Miss
Kitty.  I want your assistance, for I am afraid I shall be letting the
truth out too soon."

I felt somewhat nervous, but I managed to break the news to my friend,
and then, hurrying out.  I joined Mr Dear in the garden.  We found the
ladies seated in an arbour at the further end.  Miss Kitty, knowing me
at once, uttered a cry of surprise, and ran forward with outstretched
hands to meet me.

"I do not believe in ghosts," she said, "or I might have supposed that I
saw yours.  How did you escape?"

"What, is this Charley Laurel?" cried Mrs Dear, giving me a kind
welcome, before I could answer Miss Kitty's question, which she herself
repeated.

I soon told them, and this gave me an opportunity of mentioning the
shipwrecked officer who had saved my life.  I went on describing him,
keeping my eyes fixed on Miss Kitty's face, till she exclaimed suddenly:

"Oh, Charley, tell me; is he not my father?  And you say he came home
with you?"

"Yes," I answered; "and he is even now waiting to see you."

"Oh, take me to him! take me to him!" she cried out.

Mr and Mrs Dear accompanied her to the house, and, leading her to the
drawing-room door, left her with her long-lost parent.

I need scarcely say that Captain Falconer next day made his appearance
at the house, and before he went away Mr Raglan gladly accepted him as
a son-in-law.

I was glad to find that Captain Renton was again to take command of the
_Phoebe_, though I should have preferred sailing with Captain Falconer.
He, however, it had been arranged, in consequence of his marriage,
should remain on shore for a year or two, to superintend the fitting out
of Messrs. Dear and Ashe's ships.

I made two voyages in the _Phoebe_, and returned on the last as her
first mate.  So high a character did Captain Renton give me, that my
employers promised me the command of a ship they were about to despatch
to the West Indies.  I passed the short time I was able to spend on
shore in visiting Mr Dear and Captain and Mrs Falconer, with whom
Captain Raglan, for I was glad to find he was promoted, resided.

My ship, the _Ellen_, was at length ready for sea.  I felt as proud as I
suppose most young officers do, when they first assume the command of a
fine vessel; and as I surveyed the _Ellen_, I was satisfied that she was
all I could desire.

"You need not be jealous of Falconer," said Mr Dear, who accompanied me
on board.  "You have now got a wife of your own, and I hope she will
prove true and faithful."

Being allowed three mates, I offered the berth of third mate to Dick,
who, though no navigator, was as good a seaman as I could desire to have
under me.

"I am obliged to you, Captain Laurel, but I am afraid I ha'n't make much
of a hand of the quadrant, or managing those chronometer affairs," he
answered, modestly; "though I know the stars pretty well, and can dot
down what is wanted in the log."

"I won't trouble you about that," I said; "you can manage the men, which
is more important.  We have a rough lot, I fear."

Dick without farther ado accepted the appointment.

We were bound, in the first instance, for Barbadoes, but expected to
visit other islands on our return.  We had a fine run across the
Atlantic.  Though at first I felt a little strange, sitting in dignified
solitude in my cabin, I soon got accustomed to it.

The first and second mates were sensible fellows, and learned to esteem
Dick for his excellent qualities.  He managed the men admirably, and got
more work out of them than they could, so that all things went smoothly.
He did not abuse them for swearing or coarse language, but, by bringing
out his Bible, he got them to listen; and then, pointing to God's Word,
asked them whether such and such things could be right in His sight.
Thus by degrees they were induced to give up a habit which had become
with most of them a second nature.

We had just made the north end of the Caribbean Islands soon after
daylight, and were going about, to beat up to our port, as the wind was
against us, when the look-out at the mast-head caught sight of a large
ship which appeared to be on shore on a reef.  Her sails were furled,
and she was heeling over greatly.  I accordingly stood on, to render her
any assistance she might require.  As we drew near her, we saw that she
was, indeed, hard and fast, while a heavy sea broke on the reef and
threatened her with destruction.  Through my glass I could see that the
crew were employed in lowering the yards, probably for the purpose of
building a raft.  I, ordering the first mate to stand off the land,
lowered two boats.  I took the command of one, and Dick of the other,
and we pulled towards the wreck.  The tide was rising, and as we got
near we saw that the breakers were dashing with increasing fury against
the ship.  A boat crowded with people had got away on the lee side
towards the land, and another, attempting to follow her example, was
swamped, and we feared that all the people in her were lost.  To
approach on the weather side was impossible.  I therefore directed Dick
to follow me, and pulled away to the south'ard, hoping to get round it,
as I did not believe that it extended many miles in that direction.  We
had, however, a long pull, and by the time we got into comparatively
smooth water, having passed round the southern end of the reef, I was
afraid that the fate of those on board must be sealed.  When we again
made out the ship, I feared that my worst anticipations had been
fulfilled, for the sea broke completely over her.  Her masts were gone
and her upper works washed away.  I got as near as I could, but could
distinguish no human being on board.  Her crew must either have been
carried away by the sea, or made their escape in the boats, or on the
raft they were forming, if, as I doubted, they had had time to finish
it.  Away to the westward rose a rocky island, which, from its
appearance, I guessed was uninhabited, and I thought that in all
probability any who had escaped would attempt to effect a landing on it.
As in their hurry they were not likely to have carried either
provisions or water, I determined to pull to the island, to relieve any
of the people who might have reached it.  As we drew near, I saw that
the sea was breaking heavily on the weather shore, but I had no doubt of
being able to land on the lee side.  We had a long pull before us; but
the men exerted themselves, and I still hoped to get back to the ship
before night closed in.



CHAPTER TWENTY TWO.

EMILIE.

On landing on the lee side of the island, I climbed to a high point near
at hand, whence I could take a glance over the sea to the westward, but
could discover no sign of either raft or boats, and therefore concluded
that they must have been cast on the weather side; and if so, from the
heavy surf which broke against it, I feared few could have scaped it.

However, with Dick and several of the men, I pushed across, carrying
ropes and boat-hooks and some of the oars, to try and save any who might
be clinging to the neighbouring rocks.  We had not got far when I heard
a voice hailing, and we caught sight of a man on the top of a rock in
the centre of the island, waving to us.  "Make haste! make haste!" he
shouted, "or you will be too late."  The stranger hurried down the rock,
and we followed him.

In a few minutes we again caught sight of the sea on the east side of
the island.  As we were climbing over the rough ground, I saw that a
reef extended some distance from the mainland, with wild rocks rising
out of it above the foaming waters.  Midway between them and the land
was a large boat, surrounded by people, some on the reef, others
clinging to the boat; while several were at that moment being carried
away by the sea, which, sweeping round the rocks, beat with violence
against the shattered boat.  The men with frantic efforts were
attempting to drag her up farther on the reef, as the only hope of
saving their lives.  Now one poor fellow, now another, was washed away,
as the sea swept round over the reef with ever-increasing force.  We
were hurrying down the rocks, when I saw just below us a young lady, for
I could not doubt, from her appearance, that she was such.  She had been
gazing at the dreadful spectacle, and apparently unable to witness it
longer, she sank on the rock, pressing her hand on her eyes, to shut it
out.  At this moment we were joined by the stranger who had called to
us.

"I caught sight of your boat coming towards the island, and was hurrying
across, to entreat you to try what you could do to assist our friends,"
he said.  "Help is at hand, Emilie; they may still be saved," he
exclaimed, as he made his way to where the young lady was seated.

We got as close to the people as the sea would allow us.

"Hold on to the rope," cried Dick, securing the end round his waist.  "I
will swim out, and make it fast to the boat."

Fearlessly he plunged into the boiling surf, but was soon carried down
far below the boat, and we hauled him back, not without great risk of
his being dashed against the rocks.

"I will try it again, and start higher up the shore," he exclaimed,
still undaunted.

"Let me go," cried the young stranger; "they are my friends, and I ought
to run the risk."

"If I cannot manage it, you shall go the next time," answered Dick, once
more plunging into the water.

He swam on directly across the boiling current, which swept him down
towards the boat.  He had very nearly gained a footing on the rocks,
when once more he was carried down, and we hauled him back, utterly
exhausted.  His bravery had encouraged the rest of the men, several of
whom begged that I would allow them to make the attempt.

"I said that I would go next," exclaimed the young stranger, fastening
the rope round his waist, and, before I could stop him, he plunged into
the water.  He buffeted the waves bravely, but his strength was not
equal to the undertaking.  I trusted that, notwithstanding his light
figure and delicate appearance, he would succeed.  Every moment was
precious, for one after the other the people were being carried away
before our eyes, without our having the means of saving them.  He had
already got a footing on the reef.  Just as some of the men were making
their way towards him, and he had nearly got up to the boat, a sea
lifted him off his feet, and he and those who were near him were swept
away.  My men and I hauled in the rope, but, unable to guide himself, he
was dashed with violence against the rocks, and when we drew him on
shore, he was almost insensible.

"Oh, my poor, poor brother!" exclaimed the young lady, who knelt down by
his side.  "Can nothing be done for him?"

"He will, I trust, recover," I said, "though I fear he is greatly
injured.  But we must make another attempt to help the poor people on
the rock."

"Oh, do so, brave men!" she said, looking up with an imploring glance,
her thoughts being evidently divided between her brother and those he
had attempted to rescue.

Dick was preparing again to make the attempt.  This time he fastened two
oars under his arms, with a boat-hook lashed across them, and, supported
by this simple sort of catamaran, he at length, by great exertions,
reached the rocks, and secured the rope to the bow of the boat, round
which the survivors were clinging.  Among them were two females.
Securing one of them to himself by means of a spare piece of rope, and
pushing back some of the men, who were attempting to reach the shore by
the rope, he began to make his way along it, resting on the oars.  Every
instant I dreaded to see him and his burden carried away, but he landed
in safety, and we placed the almost senseless lady by the side of her
friends.

We had fortunately brought a second coil of lighter rope.  As I saw that
Dick was exhausted I determined to go myself, and, making the rope fast
round my waist, I hauled myself across, as Dick had done, though, from
the difficulty I had to hold on, I judged of the danger he had gone
through.

As the tide was still rising, I knew that the boat and all clinging to
her must shortly be washed off the rock.

The youngest female was still safe.  I secured her to my back, following
Dick's example, and began hauling myself across, though every moment I
expected to be washed away.  As soon as she landed, she threw herself
into the arms of the young lady whom we had first seen, and, from their
likeness, I judged that they were sisters.  I was about to return, when
I saw one of the men making his way across by the rope, and that others
were preparing to follow, not waiting for the assistance which the oars
might afford them.

"Oh, my father, my father, is he not coming!" exclaimed the young lady I
had brought on shore.

I had observed among the people on the rock a gentleman who had
committed the young lady to my charge.

"I will try and save him!"  I exclaimed.

At that moment loud shrieks were heard, for the sea had lifted the boat
and swept her and all clinging to her off the rock.  The rope still
held, and my men hauled on it with right good-will.  The other rope was
still round my waist.  I plunged into the water, and swam towards the
boat.  I caught sight of the gentleman just at the moment that he had
been forced from his hold.  In another instant he would have been
carried away, when, grasping him tightly, I shouted to my men to haul me
in.  Almost exhausted, I was drawn on shore with the person I had
rescued.  Of the rest, three were thrown on the rocks, one of whom was
carried away before he could make good his footing, while the remainder
were swept out to sea.  Besides the two we had first seen, only eight
were saved.  The sorrow exhibited by the ladies and the old gentleman
when they saw how severely injured the young man had been in his effort
to help them, made me suppose that they were relatives.

"Oh, Henri, Henri!" they murmured, bending over him.

Their accent and the last words they uttered showed me that they were
French.

The young man opened his eyes and tried to smile, as if to reassure
them.

"I am not so very much hurt," he answered, in a low voice.

Just then I was sure I knew the expression of his countenance; his eyes,
too, glanced at my face.

"Are you not Frenchy?"  I asked, "My old friend Henri de Villereine?"

"Yes, Charley.  I thought I knew you," he answered.  "Thank you, thank
you, for what you have done!"

His companions looked at me with surprise.  "I am an old schoolfellow,"
I said; "and I am doubly thankful that I have been the means of helping
those belonging to him."

There was, however, no time for conversation or explanation beyond this.
Having formed two rough litters with our oars and ropes, we placed my
old schoolfellow on one and the elder lady on the other, while I and the
other gentleman assisting the young ladies, we proceeded back to the
boats.  The provisions we had brought somewhat restored all the party.

The evening was approaching, and when I looked out for the ship I could
but just distinguish her topsails above the horizon.  We had a long pull
before us, and I feared we should not reach her before dark, and, if so,
we might have to spend the night tossed about on the stormy sea.  I
cheered my men, and they did their utmost.  Dick had taken the seamen in
his boat, and I had the passengers in mine.  They were much cast down at
the loss of their companions and the horrors they had gone through.

I found that the young lady who had at first landed was Henri's sister;
the other I had saved was Sophie, his cousin; and the old lady and
gentleman her father and mother.  Thus the whole of one family had been
saved, but several other passengers, men, and women, and children on
board, had lost their lives.

They belonged, they told me, to the island of Saint Lucia, and were on
their way to pay a visit to England, which neither of the young ladies
had seen.

Emilie was an intelligent, interesting-looking girl, and appeared much
attached to her brother, by whose side she sat, trying to support him in
as comfortable a position as could be arranged in the stern-sheets.  I
was, however, more struck by the gentle and sweet look of Sophie, whose
features also were decidedly prettier than those of her cousin, though
few girls under the circumstances could have looked attractive; and it
may seem strange that I should have thought about the matter, but I had
saved her life, and naturally felt an interest in her.  Henri, I
observed every now and then, gazed at her when he could lift up his
head, but she turned away her eyes, as if unwilling to meet his, and
then he sank back with a sigh.

While we pulled southward inside the reef, although the sea was somewhat
heavy, it was much smoother than outside, and I feared that we might
have some difficulty in getting our passengers on board.  I had
fortunately brought a musket and powder-flask, with some blue lights,
from the ship.  The sun set before we reached the southern end of the
reef, and we had barely light sufficient to steer with any degree of
safety round it.  At length, however, I judged that I might venture to
do so, and we commenced our pull out to sea.  The waves broke with a
loud roar on the rocks close to us, and I could distinguish the surf
rising up like a white wall as we made our way to the westward.  I was
thankful when I saw it well over the quarter.  My men exerted themselves
bravely.  As soon as we had got to a sufficient distance from the reef,
I fired the musket and let off a blue light.  There was no answer from
the ship.  We pulled out still farther, and in half an hour made another
signal.  My relief was great when, about as I judged a mile away, a blue
light burst forth from the ship, showing clearly her rigging and sails
as she bore down towards us.

Scarcely an expression of anxiety or alarm had escaped my new friends,
although to them the foaming seas, as we made our way over them that
dark night, must have appeared truly terrible.

In a short time the ship appeared like a phantom moving over the ocean.
I let off another blue light, to show our position.  She hove-to, and we
pulled up under her lee.  As we approached, I ordered a chair to be
slung, to hoist our passengers on board.  The operation would be a
dangerous one.

By the time we were alongside the chair was ready, with lanterns let
down on either side of it.  The old lady was first sent up, and then his
sister and cousin entreated that Henri might go.  I secured him in the
chair, for he had not strength to hold on.  He groaned as I did so, the
boat all the time rising and falling, and there was a risk that, before
he could be hoisted clear of her, she might be lifted up and strike the
chair.  This risk, indeed, was run by all the party.  I was anxious to
get the old gentleman to take his seat next, as I knew that I could with
greater ease carry the lighter forms of the young ladies up in my arms.
Henri was lifted on deck, and then, almost by main force, I placed
Monsieur de Villereine in the chair.  As soon as I saw him swinging well
out of the way of the boat, taking Sophie round the waist, and telling
my coxswain to follow with her cousin, I sprang up the side.  It was
well that I did so, for at that moment, a sea surging round almost stove
in the boat and half filled her with water; but the men were ready, and,
hooking on, the falls were let down, and the boat was hoisted up in time
to save her being completely knocked to pieces.  The party in Dick's
boat took but a short time in getting on board, and she also was quickly
hoisted up.

While the ship stood off the land, I went down to the cabin to attend to
my passengers.

I fortunately had plenty of berths.  The steward set to work to get them
ready, and the cook meantime was busy in preparing hot soup and
arrowroot, and other things which he thought might conduce to the
comfort of my unexpected guests.  Having served in passenger ships, I
was at no loss what to do, and the mates and I turning out our
wardrobes, supplied clothing which might serve while that of the party
was washed in fresh water and dried.

The night was stormy, and I was obliged constantly to be on deck, but
whenever I went below, I visited poor Henri, who was suffering much.  I
did all I could to relieve him, and directed my steward, who was a
trustworthy man, to remain by his side during my absence.

The next day the weather moderated, and I was thankful to find the rest
of the party greatly recovered.  They all expressed their gratitude to
me for the attention I paid to their relative.

"You forget," I answered, "that he is an old schoolfellow, and that I
have the greatest satisfaction possible in being of service to him."

"Ah, you must be the friend then of whom he has often spoken to us, who
was so kind to him at school," observed Emilie.  "We have so longed to
see you, to return the kindness you showed him when he was a boy, and we
hope to do so, as he said you promised to pay us a visit should you ever
come to the West Indies."

I replied that I should be very glad to avail myself of the invitation
he had given me, could I manage to do go, but that I feared my duty
would not allow me to leave the ship on that voyage.

Henri appeared to get much better during the day.  While I sat by him,
he repeated the invitation his sister had given me, and entreated me to
visit them, saying, his father and mother, he was sure, would be most
anxious to see me.

None of the rest of the party suffered much from the exposure and alarm
to which they had been subjected.

Within a week we were safely at anchor in Carlisle Bay, on the shore of
which, Bridgetown, the capital of the beautiful island of Barbadoes, is
situated.



CHAPTER TWENTY THREE.

A HURRICANE.

As soon as the anchor was dropped and the sails furled, I conveyed my
passengers on shore, that I might see them comfortably lodged as soon as
possible.  I had offered to supply them with funds, but Monsieur de
Villereine, thanking me cordially, assured me that he was well known to
several merchants in Bridgetown, and that he should have no difficulty
in obtaining money.

"I should be very thankful, however, if you could convey us to Saint
Lucia, as we should prefer sailing in your ship to any other," he
observed; "and as I am well known to your consignees, I may, perhaps,
arrange the matter with them."  I of course replied that I should be
truly glad if this could be done, though I could not venture on my own
responsibility to go there.

"Oh, but my uncle will easily manage it," observed Emilie, "so we will
consider it settled.  I should not like to trust my dear brother on
board any other ship."

Sophie seemed inclined to speak, but hesitated: though the glance she
gave me, I fancied, showed that she hoped I would not decline.

"Oh, you must come, Laurel," said Henri.  "My father will, I am sure, be
glad to pay any expenses of extra insurance and that sort of thing, so
that the interest of your owners will not suffer."

Having seen my friends lodged at a comfortable hotel, I had to return on
board to attend to my duties connected with the ship.

I lost no time in discharging my cargo, and was not sorry to find that
there would be some delay before the sugar and other produce I was to
receive in return would be ready.

I of course visited my friends every day, to see how poor Henri was
getting on, and spent as much time with him as I could.  They insisted
as regularly on my remaining to dine and spend the evening.  Every day
that I saw the young ladies, I liked them better, and confessed to
myself that I had begun to feel more than an ordinary interest for
Sophie.  Her eyes brightened when I entered, and her manner towards me
was so gentle and so confiding, that I could not help fancying that the
feelings I had for her were returned.  Then I began to ask myself the
question, Have I, with the precarious profession I have to depend on,
without a name or family, with only one friend able to assist me, any
right to attempt to win the affections of a young girl accustomed to all
the luxuries of a rich planter's establishment? or is it indeed likely
that her father would allow her to marry a person situated as I am?
These and similar thoughts occupied my mind; and I determined, the next
time I went to the house, to be very cautious in my manner, and, only
paying such attentions to her and her cousin as common courtesy
demanded, to devote myself rather to her uncle and aunt, or to Henri,
who had now sufficiently recovered to be able to join the party in the
drawing-room.

The next day, however, when I went to call on the merchants to whom the
_Ellen_ was consigned, they inquired whether I should have any objection
to carry Monsieur de Villereine and his family to Saint Lucia.

"He has made the necessary arrangements with us, so that, if the ship is
ready, you can sail the day after to-morrow."

I tried to look unconcerned, and replied that I should be very glad to
do anything to accommodate them.

"We will consider the matter settled then," was the answer; "you can get
ready for sea."

I own that I had had my cabins burnished up, and had procured a new
dinner and tea service, while I directed the mates to get the ship in as
trim order as possible.  As soon as the cargo was discharged, the
painters had been busy in all directions about her; while Dick, who
suspected the truth, got the decks holy-stoned and scrubbed till they
looked almost as white as snow.

All things were ready by the day I had been directed to sail, and early
in the forenoon I went on shore to escort my passengers on board.  They
too were in very different guise to that when they came on board after
their shipwreck.  Sophie looked more sweet and lovely than ever, in the
light costume which the heat of the climate required, while Emilie was
cheerful and full of conversation, doing her utmost to keep up her
brother's spirits.  I was sorry to see less improvement in him than I
had hoped.  He looked pale and ill, though he declared that he had
recovered from the injuries he had received when dashed against the
rocks.

The weather was fine, and I did not expect to be long in running across
to Saint Lucia, which is one of the nearest islands in the Caribbean Sea
to Barbadoes.  The wind, however, headed us soon after we got clear of
the land, and a few hours afterwards it fell a dead calm, and we lay
immovable on the glass-like sea.  I cannot say that for my own sake I
specially regretted this, though, knowing the wishes of my friends, I
felt anxious to make the shortest possible passage.

I had an awning rigged, so that the ladies could spend the day on deck,
where they sat busy with their needles; for, unlike the Creoles
generally, they were evidently good housewives.

"As you may suppose, Captain Laurel, having lost all our things, we have
plenty of work before us to make fresh ones," observed Emilie, laughing.
"Though as we intended to get rigged out, as you would call it, in
Paris, fortunately our loss was not so severe as it would have been on
our homeward voyage.  Ah, but I am wrong to talk so lightly, when I
speak of that terrible event.  Still, you understand, that we fancy we
can make our own things better than anybody else can make them for us,
and therefore you must not expect to find us sitting, like other young
ladies, with our hands before us."

Sophie, however, was not so diligent as her cousin, and did not object
to come to the side of the ship, and watch the strange creatures of the
deep as they swam or floated by.  When night came on, and the stars
shone forth from the clear sky, each reflected in the deep as in a
mirror, she stood with me while I told her their names.  I was scarcely
aware how time had passed by, when I heard Monsieur de Villereine's
voice summoning his niece, and telling her that it was time for her to
retire to her cabin.

I was never addicted to whistling for a wind, and certainly should not
have done so on that occasion.  A breeze, however, came at last, and the
_Ellen_ gliding swiftly over the calm sea, we came in sight of that most
beautiful and picturesque island of Saint Lucia.

Two lofty heights of a sugar-loaf form, shooting up from the sea, and
feathered from base to summit with the richest foliage, were the first
objects which attracted our attention.  Beyond these rose a range of
mountains, running north and south through the island, and broken into
the most fantastic shapes.  As we sailed along the shore, having the
mountains still as the background, here and there appeared the most
lovely little caves and bays, fringed with luxuriant cane-fields, and
enlivened by the neatly laid-out mansions of the planters; while
numerous fishing and passage boats, with their long light masts and
lateen sails, were gliding over the calm waters.

"I used to tell you, Laurel, that our island was one of the most
beautiful in the world--don't you think so?" said Henri, as, while
standing near his sister and cousin, I was watching the shore, and every
now and then addressing them.

"Indeed it is.  I am not surprised that you are so fond of it, and,
could I leave the sea, I should be content to spend my days there," I
answered, speaking as I felt.

"Oh, do," exclaimed Henri.  "Come and turn planter; we can give you
plenty of occupation, and my health as been so bad lately, that I should
be glad if you could take my place."

"I am afraid that, having lived so little on shore, I should make but a
poor farmer," I answered, laughing.

Sophie looked up at me, and remarked: "The difficulties to be overcome
are not very great, I suspect, and I am sure you would soon learn all
that is necessary."

"The proposal is indeed a tempting one," I answered; "and yet I love the
sea, and should be sorry to abandon it."

"Oh, you can take an occasional trip to England," observed Henri.  "Have
a ship of your own, and just make a voyage when you get tired of the
shore."

Our conversation was interrupted by a shift of wind, which compelled me
to issue orders for trimming sails.

The steward then announced luncheon, and I remained some time on deck
after my passengers had gone below.

I had observed Dick, who did not often trouble himself about scenery,
watching the coast with more than usual interest.

"Do you know, captain," he said, coming up to me, "I have a notion that
I have seen this island before.  The look of the coast is very like that
we sailed along when I was aboard the _Laurel_, before I picked you up.
I shall be able to tell better when we come off the harbour, for then I
think I should be sure to know the place again.  It will be strange if
it should turn out that I am right in my idea, and if so, I would advise
you to make inquiries, and learn if any of the families on shore about
that time lost a little boy in the way you were lost.  Maybe, as the
newspapers say, you will hear of something to your advantage; and if you
don't, why you won't be worse off than you are now, and you may be very
sure that as long as Dick Driver lives, you have got a friend who will
stick to you, blow high or blow low."

"I am sure you will, Dick," I answered.  "Though perhaps, as many years
have passed by since you were last on these seas, you may be mistaken as
to the island."

Yet, although I said this, I could not help allowing strange hopes and
fears to agitate my bosom.  I might discover my parents, or they might
be dead, and their successors might be unwilling to acknowledge a
stranger coming among them.  I could scarcely calm myself sufficiently
to go into the cabin.  I determined, however, to say nothing about
Dick's remarks, but to try and overcome all the hopes which I found
rising within me.  I apologised for being late to luncheon, on the plea
of being detained on deck by duty, and did my best to perform the
honours of the table and try to converse in my usual manner.  The ladies
were eager to know when I thought we should get in.

"The wind is so light that I do not expect to enter the harbour till
to-morrow morning," I replied.  "I cannot pretend to regret this, as I
know my stay will be very short, and it will defer the time when I must
bid you farewell."

Sophie looked up at me, and a shade of sadness passed over her sweet
countenance.  I could not be mistaken.  I interpreted her feelings by my
own, and just then I would have given a great deal to have had a proper
excuse for remaining at Saint Lucia.

Night came on, and the _Ellen_ floated calmly on the moonlit sea.
Emilie had insisted on Henri going below, afraid of his being exposed to
the night-air: indeed, the trying cough from which he suffered showed
how necessary it was that all care should be taken of him.

Sophie still lingered on deck.  I invited her to come to the side and
watch the moonbeams playing on the waters.

"I know what sailors have to go through," she observed, "but yet I fancy
the enjoyments of a night like this must almost recompense them for the
tempest and rough seas they have to endure."

"We get so well accustomed to both one and the other.  Though
acknowledging the beauty of the ocean under all its various phases,
whether sleeping as now under the beams of the pale moon, or glowing in
the rays of the ruddy sun, we value them less, I fear, than those who
only occasionally venture on the world of waters," I remarked.

"Oh, but I am sure I could never look with indifference on such a scene
as this," said Sophie, "and should be content to make voyage after
voyage to witness it."

However, I do not feel disposed to say what else we talked about.  I was
young, and said what I certainly did not intend to say.  I told Sophie
that I loved her, and would never marry any one else.  She did not
withdraw her hand, and, whispering that I had made her very happy,
promised that she would be faithful to me, and that she did not suppose
her father and mother would object to me, especially as I was the friend
of her cousin.

The time flew by faster than I supposed, as we thus stood talking; Dick,
who had charge of the deck, keeping at a judicious distance.

Suddenly the light on the water disappeared, a cloud had obscured the
moon; again the light shone forth, and again was shut out; still no wind
filled our sails.  I knew, however, that it might come ere long.  Sophie
still lingered by my side.  Hitherto the ocean had slept in silence.
Suddenly a rushing murmuring sound fell on my ear.

"Hands aloft, and shorten sail!"  I shouted.  There was not a moment to
be lost.

"Go below, I entreat you," I said, leading Sophie to the
companion-hatch.

"Oh, what is going to happen?" she asked, in an anxious tone.

"A hurricane is, I fear, upon us," I answered, "and you will be safer
below."

She no longer hesitated, and her father, aroused by my voice, happily
came to assist her down.

"Turn the hands up!"  I shouted to Dick, who hurried forward to rouse up
the watch below.

In less than a minute the other mates and the rest of the crew were on
deck.  Courses were hauled up, topgallant sheets were let fly, topsails
lowered.  The crew had sprung aloft.  The fore-topsail was hauled, but
before the men were off the yards, the hurricane was down upon us.  Over
the ship heeled.  In an instant the topgallantsails were blown to
ribbons.

"Down, for your lives, down!"  I shouted.  No human power could have
handled the canvas now, with wild roars lashing furiously in the wind.
The main and mizen-topsails were blown out of the bolt-ropes, and soon
with innumerable coils encircled the yards.  The ship, relieved of the
pressure of the sails, righted.  Happily the wind was off the land, or
in a few minutes she would have been driven on shore.  Still there was
the danger of it shifting; I therefore put the helm up, and ran off
before the wind.  Every instant the sea rose, and as she got farther and
farther from the land, she began to pitch and tumble wildly about.  Dick
and several hands, going aloft with axes, at length cleared the
topgallant yards, and we got them down on deck, and struck the gallant
masts.  Getting the main-topsail set, a lull occurring, I was able to
heave her to.

Not till then could I venture to leave the deck.  On entering the cabin,
I found my passengers clinging to the sofas.  By the light which swung
to and fro in the centre, I saw that they all looked pale and alarmed,
expecting again to have to encounter the fearful dangers from which they
had lately escaped.  I did my best to reassure them, by expressing my
hopes that the hurricane would soon cease, and that, God protecting us,
we might be able to enter port.

"Oh, then I have no fear," exclaimed Sophie; and raising her head, she
did her best to impart the same confidence she felt to her companions.

Not knowing, however, what might occur, I was compelled again to return
quickly to the deck.  The gale howled and whistled through the rigging,
the waves roared, and the sea, as it rose in wild billows around, every
now and then broke on board, threatening to sweep our decks clear of all
upon them.  The lightning, darting from the clouds in vivid flashes,
played around our masts.  At any instant the electric fluid might, I
knew full well, come hissing down on deck, and set the ship on fire.
Should also the wind shift, we should lose more of our sails, and might
be driven before daylight helplessly on shore.

It was a very anxious time; for I felt that I had not only the ship to
look after, but her whom I loved more than my life, and those dear to
her, under my charge.

Still the confidence in God's protecting care which has cheered me
through life supported me on that trying occasion.  I knew too that it
was enjoyed by my friends; for, from the conversations I had had with
them, I had discovered that they possessed the same faith as I did, and
though, from living among those who differed from them, they did not
speak in public on religious subjects, they made the precepts of the
Bible the rule of their lives.



CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR.

A HAPPY DISCOVERY.

Morning broke at length.  How different was the appearance of the ocean
to that it had presented the previous day!  The dark-green foam-topped
waves danced up wildly, the sky was of a murky hue, the wind roared and
whistled as loudly as before, and the ship, instead of gliding on with
calm dignity, tumbled and tossed as if she was a mere cock-boat.

Sophie begged to come on deck.  I assisted her up.  Scarcely had she
appeared, when there came a break in the clouds to the eastward, and the
sun shone forth.  "A good omen!" she exclaimed.

"We may take it as such," I answered; "and I trust that before long the
hurricane will cease, and He who holds the waters in His hands will save
us from further danger."

The wind ceased almost as suddenly as it had arisen, the sea went down,
and in a few hours we were able to clear the yards and bend fresh sails.
Once more the ship was standing for the land.

My first mate had frequently been at Saint Lucia, and he acting as
pilot, soon after daylight the next morning we entered the harbour.

The ship of necessity must I found be detained some days, as the
main-topmast was badly sprung, while she had received other damages in
the gale.  As these could be repaired under the superintendence of my
first mate, I escorted my passengers on shore.

Monsieur de Villereine had begged me to come to his house, which was
situated about a mile from the town, but I felt compelled to accept
Henri's invitation to accompany him and his sister to his father's
house, a short distance farther off on the side of the mountain; and
more so, as from his weak state, he required my assistance in getting in
and out of the carriage.  Poor fellow! my heart grieved for him, as it
seemed to me, though he had no apprehension of danger, that he was only
returning home to die.

I had asked Sophie whether she had mentioned our engagement to her
father and mother.

"I will do so immediately we get home," she answered; "it would be
better than saying anything at present."

Monsieur de Villereine's house stood on elevated ground, with extensive
sugar plantations below it.  It was of a considerable size, surrounded
by a broad verandah.  The handsome appearance of the interior, and the
numerous domestic slaves, gave me an idea of the wealth of the owners.
I could not help asking myself, "Will Sophie be content to exchange all
this luxury for the limited income and small house which I should alone
have the power of offering her?"  I had but one moment to speak to her
alone.  She seemed to divine my thoughts.

"I do not value all these things," she said, pressing my hand; "and I
trust that my brothers will live to occupy this house."

She had already told me of her two brothers, who were away on the other
side of the island.

After resting some time, we continued our journey to the house of
Henri's father and mother.  A messenger had been sent on to warn them of
our coming.

I was much pleased with the elder Monsieur de Villereine and his wife.
They received me in the most kind and cordial way, but I saw how deeply
they were grieved at the altered appearance of poor Henri, and that they
were evidently far more alarmed than Emilie had been, who had constantly
watched him.  Their house was even handsomer than that of Sophie's
father, though built in the same style.  It commanded a beautiful view
of the town and harbour and the blue sea beyond it, while on every side
below stretched out the numerous sugar plantations; while here and there
were seen the whitewashed houses of the inhabitants, with their
gaily-painted verandahs and window blinds.

Though her manner was gentle and kind in the extreme, Madame de
Villereine's countenance wore an expression of sadness which seemed
habitual to it.  I concluded, however, that this arose very much from
her anxiety about the health of her only son.  Emilie tried to cheer up
her parents by assuring them that Henri was better than he had been, and
she hoped that before long they should be able to carry out their
project of visiting England.

"Though not our native air, it is yours, you know, mamma, and I am sure
it will effectually restore his health."

Madame de Villereine shook her head.

"I had thought so," she observed; "but I see a great change in him for
the worse, and I fear he is sinking under the same complaint which
carried off my dear sister."

In the course of conversation she happened to mention that the sister of
whom she spoke was a Mrs Raglan.  I was struck by the name, and
inquired who she had married.

"An officer in the navy," she answered; "but he was ordered to the East
Indies, and soon afterwards she died, leaving a little girl.  We
received notice of her death, but the island being at the time in the
possession of France, and war raging, we were never able to ascertain
what became of the child."

Emilie I saw seemed anxious when her mother began to speak on this
subject, and endeavoured, without appearing to do so, to change the
conversation.  Soon afterwards her mother seemed much affected, and left
the room.

"I must ask you," said Emilie, "not again to allude to the subject, as
it recalls many painful associations."

"I will do as you wish," I answered, "but I feel sure that I am well
acquainted with the niece she spoke of;" and I then told her all I knew
of Kitty Raglan, my meeting with her father, and her marriage with my
old friend Captain Falconer.

She expressed her pleasure at what I had told her, adding, "It will, I
am sure, give great joy to mother, for she has always grieved at having
lost all traces of my cousin, though she has still greater grief of her
own."

Just then Madame de Villereine returned, and Emilie cautiously prepared
her for the interesting information I had to give.

"This is indeed joyful news," she exclaimed, when I had told her of her
niece's happy marriage with Captain Falconer; when suddenly she stopped
and sighed, and the sad expression which her countenance usually wore
stole over it.

"Monsieur de Villereine will to-day drive you over to see his brother
and his wife and daughter, and you must give them the account you have
given me.  They will be greatly interested; and oh, how I wish we could
persuade Captain Falconer to come over and pay us a visit!"

A carriage shortly afterwards came to the door, and I accompanied my new
friend--Emilie wishing to remain with Henri.  Monsieur de Villereine,
who had observed our approach, received as at the door.  He welcomed me
with marked politeness, but it struck me that his manner was much more
stiff and formal than it had before been.  He conducted us to the
drawing-room, where I hoped to see Sophie, but her mother alone was
there.  I was struck also by the change of manner of the old lady,
though she was as studiously polite and courteous as her husband.
Having begged me to be seated, and made various common-place inquiries,
he led his brother out of the room, while the old lady continued the
conversation in the same formal strain.  When I inquired for Sophie,
expressing my hope that she had recovered from the fatigues of the
voyage, she answered that her daughter was in her room, and that she did
not think she would be able to leave it that morning.

After some time, when it seemed to me that we had exhausted all subjects
of conversation, and my tongue had begun in a most uncomfortable way to
cling to my mouth, for I somehow or other had forgotten all about Mrs
Falconer, and that I had undertaken to narrate her history to her uncle
and aunt, I was in truth thinking only of Sophie and myself, the two
brothers returned and the old lady retired.  They then sat down opposite
to me, and I could not help feeling, by the expression of their
countenances and their manner, that something not over agreeable was
coming.  Monsieur de Villereine looked at his brother and then at me,
and hummed and hawed several times, as if he did not like to begin what
he had to say.  At last he mustered courage.

"My dear Captain Laurel," he began, "I am sure that as a sailor you like
open and frank dealing.  Now, I need not tell you how much we esteem
you, and how grateful we are for the inestimable service you have
rendered us, and for your kindness and attention while we were on board
your ship; but you must acknowledge that I ought not as a father to
allow these considerations to bias me when my daughter's future
prospects are concerned.  Now you will understand, my brother and I had
agreed that she should marry her cousin Henri, although she herself is
not aware of this arrangement.  My astonishment was nevertheless very
great when she told me that you had offered her your hand, and that she,
young and inexperienced as she is, had, without consulting me, ventured
to accept you.  Such a thing, my dear sir, is against all precedent.
The whole of society would be subverted, and all parental authority
destroyed, were I as a father to allow what you do me the honour of
proposing to take place.  I am, I repeat, deeply grateful to you for the
inestimable service you have rendered me, but I must ask you to be
generous, and not insist on my giving you the reward you demand."

"My dear sir," I exclaimed, "I do not ask for your daughter's hand as a
reward for anything I have done, though I esteem it the highest prize I
could win.  The service you are pleased to say I have rendered you, I
should equally have given to any fellow-creature, and I therefore ask
your daughter's hand as a free gift.  I love her devotedly, and she has
consented, with your permission, to be mine."

"My permission I cannot give, Captain Laurel," exclaimed the old
gentleman, growing more and more agitated.  "I desire to reward you to
the utmost of my power, and you have my sincere and hearty gratitude;
but more I cannot and will not offer.  I regret deeply to say this, and
I am grieved--greatly grieved.  My brother knows my determination, and I
am sure that you will agree that it is better I should express it at
once."

In vain I attempted to plead my cause.  I entreated to see Sophie, but
her father replied that that would only be painful and useless; and at
length the elder Monsieur de Villereine observing that his carriage was
ready, I took the hint, and, feeling as if I was walking in a dream, I
got into it.  I felt dreadfully cast down.  It seemed to me that Sophie
was lost to me for ever, and I might not again have an opportunity of
seeing her.

"I have some few commissions to perform in the town," said my friend,
"and we will drive there.  But notwithstanding what has occurred, I must
insist on your coming back with me to see Henri: he and his sister will
afford you all the consolation they can.  But my brother is very
determined, and I know him so well that I cannot tell you to keep up
your hopes.  It would be wiser for you to abandon them altogether."

We reached the town, and when we got there I was much inclined to go on
board the ship and remain: but Monsieur de Villereine pressed me so
earnestly to return, that, for the sake of Henri, I agreed to do so.
As, however, I wished to go on board for a short time, he undertook to
wait for me.  Taking a boat from the shore, I pulled out to the _Ellen_.
I had not been long on board before Dick asked me to step into the
cabin, as he had something of interest to communicate to me.

"Well, Captain Laurel," he said, as soon as we were seated, "I went on
shore yesterday evening and walked up the town, and I am as sure as I am
alive that this is the very place where you came from.  As I walked up
the street, I came to the very spot where the black woman handed you to
me when you were a little chap scarcely higher than my knee--I could
swear to it in any court of justice, if it were necessary--and, as I
think I have told you, I have always carried about me the very coral you
had on at the time; and now I would advise you to lose no time in making
inquiries about the matter among your friends."

So wretched did I feel, that I was very little disposed to do this, and
had I not promised to rejoin Monsieur de Villereine, I think that I
should have remained on board, to get ready for sailing as fast as
possible.  I however told Dick that I would do as he recommended.

I found Monsieur de Villereine waiting on the quay for me.  As soon as
we had got clear of the town, I began to speak to him on the subject.
As I went on, I was surprised at the extraordinary agitation he
exhibited.

"Do I understand from you, my dear sir, that you yourself were carried
away from this island when about four years of age?" he asked, pulling
up his horse, as if he felt unable to guide the animal, and gazing at me
earnestly.

"One of my mates, who has acted the part of a father to me, has assured
me so," I answered, "though I myself have a very indistinct recollection
even of events which occurred much after that."

"The ways of heaven are indeed mysterious," exclaimed Monsieur de
Villereine.  "At the time you mention, my second son, two years younger
than Henri, while in charge of a black nurse, was lost to us.  The poor
woman was wounded by a chance shot during an attack from an English
squadron, and she died shortly afterwards without being able to give any
account of what had become of the child, though we had hopes that he had
been carried on board one of the men-of-war.  As, however, two of them
were afterwards lost, we abandoned all expectation of ever again seeing
our son.  I must not raise your hopes too high, nor my own, and yet when
I look at your features, and think of what my son might have been, I
cannot but believe that you are indeed my lost boy.  His name, too, was
Charles, which may be a remarkable coincidence.  You tell me that that
name was given you on board the ship."

As may be supposed, my heart beat violently as Monsieur de Villereine
said this; yet I could not help trusting that he was indeed my father.

That he might himself make inquiries of Dick, I offered to send on board
at once for my mate.  We accordingly drove back into the town.  Dick
soon arrived at the hotel, where we remained for him.  Monsieur de
Villereine cross-questioned him narrowly, and on his producing the coral
I spoke of, any doubts he might have entertained vanished.

"My dear boy," he exclaimed, embracing me, "you are indeed my long-lost
son.  Your recovery will, I trust, be the means of preserving your poor
mother's life, for she has, I fear, a great grief in store for her; for,
although she hoped for the best, I cannot but see that your poor brother
Henri's days are numbered."

I need not repeat what more my father said.  Taking Dick in the
carriage, we drove rapidly home.  My father hurried in first to prepare
my mother, and in a few minutes I had the happiness of being clasped in
her arms, and receiving the affectionate kisses of my sister Emilie and
the warm congratulations of poor Henri.

"I always loved you as a brother," he exclaimed; "and now I am indeed
delighted to find that you are so in reality."

I was scarcely aware how quickly the time had gone by, when carriage
wheels were heard approaching the house.

"I sent off a note to your uncle and aunt," said Emilie to me, "as I was
sure they would be glad to hear the news, and here they are."

They entered the room directly afterwards, followed by Sophie.  The
formal manner my uncle had assumed had vanished.  After he and my aunt
had cordially welcomed me, the whole party disappeared from the room
with the exception of Sophie.

"Papa has withdrawn his objection," she whispered; "and I told him I
would never marry any one but you."

I must bring my yarn to a conclusion.

My first mate was so trustworthy a man, that I felt justified in sending
the _Ellen_ back to Barbadoes under his charge to receive her cargo.

Poor Henri entreated that I would not delay my marriage, and Sophie
having no objections, in the course of a few weeks we were united.  My
brother's death, which all expected, took place, to our great grief, a
short time afterwards.

I was thankful to find that the consignees of the _Ellen_ consented to
allow my mate to take her home.  On her next voyage my parents and
sister, as well as my uncle and aunt, agreed to accompany me to England,
leaving my brothers-in-law in charge of their two estates.

We had a prosperous passage, and having been invited by Mr and Mrs
Dear to pay them a visit, we on our arrival repaired to their house,
where Captain and Mrs Falconer had come to receive us; and I had the
happiness of introducing my old friend, and now my cousin Kitty, to her
aunt and to the rest of her relations.

THE END.





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