Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Snarleyyow
Author: Marryat, Frederick, 1792-1848
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Snarleyyow" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



SNARLEYYOW

Or, The Dog Fiend

by

CAPTAIN MARRYAT

MDCCCXCV



Contents


CHAPTER I.
CHAPTER II.
CHAPTER III.
CHAPTER IV.
CHAPTER V.
CHAPTER VI.
CHAPTER VII.
CHAPTER VIII.
CHAPTER IX.
CHAPTER X.
CHAPTER XI.
CHAPTER XII.
CHAPTER XIII.
CHAPTER XIV.
CHAPTER XV.
CHAPTER XVI.
CHAPTER XVII.
CHAPTER XVIII.
CHAPTER XIX.
CHAPTER XX.
CHAPTER XXI.
CHAPTER XXII.
CHAPTER XXIII.
CHAPTER XXIV.
CHAPTER XXV.
CHAPTER XXVI.
CHAPTER XXVII.
CHAPTER XXVIII.
CHAPTER XXIX.
CHAPTER XXX.
CHAPTER XXXI.
CHAPTER XXXII.
CHAPTER XXXIII.
CHAPTER XXXIV.
CHAPTER XXXV.
CHAPTER XXXVI.
CHAPTER XXXVII.
CHAPTER XXXVIII.
CHAPTER XXXIX.
CHAPTER XL.
CHAPTER XLI.
CHAPTER XLII.
CHAPTER XLIII.
CHAPTER XLIV.
CHAPTER XLV.
CHAPTER XLVI.
CHAPTER XLVII.
CHAPTER XLVIII.
CHAPTER XLIX.
CHAPTER L.
CHAPTER LI.
CHAPTER LII.
CHAPTER LIII.
CHAPTER LIV.
CHAPTER LV.



Prefatory Note

_The dog fiend, or Snarleyyow_ is the earliest of the three novels, _The
Phantom Ship_ and _The Privateersman_ being the other two, in which
Marryat made use of historical events and attempted to project his
characters into the past. The research involved is not profound, but the
machinations of Jacobite conspirators provide appropriate material for
the construction of an adventure plot and for the exhibition of a
singularly despicable villain. Mr Vanslyperken and his acquaintances,
male and female, at home and abroad, are all--except perhaps his
witch-like mother--thoroughly life-like and convincing: their conduct is
sufficiently probable to retain the reader's attention for a rapid and
exciting narrative.

The numerous escapes of the vile cur, after whom the novel is
christened, and of his natural enemy Peter Smallbones are not all
equally well contrived, and they become a little wearisome by
repetition; but a general atmosphere of _diablerie_ is very effectively
produced by their means. Some such element of unreality is absolutely
demanded to relieve the sordid and brutal details by which the main plot
is worked out; and it must be admitted that in certain passages--the
death-struggle between Smallbones and the lieutenant's mother, the
discovery of the woman's body, and the descriptions of kisses between
Corporal Van Spitter and the Frau Vandersloosh--Marryat's habitual
literalness becomes unpleasantly coarse. The offensive touches, however,
are incidental, and the execution of the two villains, Vanslyperken and
Snarleyyow, with its dash of genuine pathos, is dramatic and
impressive:--"They were damnable in their lives, and in their deaths
they were not divided."

As usual the interest of the novel depends almost entirely upon men, but
on the character of Mrs Corbett, _née_ Nancy Dawson, Marryat has
expended considerable care with satisfactory results. Barring the
indecorous habit of regretting her past in public, which is not perhaps
untrue to nature, she is made attractive by her wit and sincere
repentance, without becoming unnaturally refined. The song in her honour
referred to on p. 107 is not suitable for reproduction in this place.
She was an historic character in the reign of William III., but must not
be confounded with her more celebrated namesake (1730-1767) of Sadler's
Wells, Covent Garden, and Drury Lane, who danced a horn-pipe in _The
Beggar's Opera_ to the air of "Nancy Dawson," which is mentioned in the
epilogue of _She Stoops to Conquer_, and survives in our nurseries as
"Here we go round the Mulberry Bush."

The greater part of _Snarleyyow_ was first printed in _The Metropolitan
Magazine_, 1836 and 1837; but on reaching Chapter xl., just as the novel
had appeared in book form, the editor--not then Marryat himself--told
his readers that it was not his intention to give an extended review of
this work, as they had already "ample means of forming their own opinion
of its varied merits:"--"We shall therefore content ourselves with a few
remarks, in announcing its publication and giving a brief outline of the
termination of the story from our last number." At the close of the said
extracts he writes:--

"And so ends Snarleyyow, with as much quaintness, spirit, and character
as it commenced."

The book was evidently written in haste, and few of the minor characters
retained one Christian name throughout its pages. It is here reprinted,
with the corrections of such slips as those just mentioned, from the
first edition in three volumes. Henry Colburn, 1837.

R.B.J.



Chapter I

Introduction of divers parties and a red-herring.


It was in the month of January, 1699, that a one-masted vessel, with
black sides, was running along the coast near Beachy Head, at the rate
of about five miles per hour. The wind was from the northward and blew
keenly, the vessel was under easy sail, and the water was smooth. It was
now broad daylight, and the sun rose clear of clouds and vapour; but he
threw out light without heat. The upper parts of the spars, the hammock
rails, and the small iron guns which were mounted on the vessel's decks,
were covered with a white frost. The man at the helm stood muffled up in
a thick pea-jacket and mittens, which made his hands appear as large as
his feet. His nose was a pug of an intense bluish red, one tint arising
from the present cold, and the other from the preventive checks which he
had been so long accustomed to take to drive out such an unpleasant
intruder. His grizzled hair waved its locks gently to the wind, and his
face was distorted with an immoderate quid of tobacco which protruded
his right cheek. This personage was second officer and steersman on
board of the vessel, and his name was Obadiah Coble. He had been
baptised Obadiah about sixty years before; that is to say if he had been
baptised at all. He stood so motionless at the helm, that you might have
imagined him to have been frozen there as he stood, were it not that
his eyes occasionally wandered from the compass on the binnacle to the
bows of the vessel, and that the breath from his mouth, when it was
thrown out into the clear frosty air, formed a smoke like to that from
the spout of a half-boiling tea-kettle.

The crew belonging to the cutter, for she was a vessel in the service of
his Majesty, King William the Third, at this time employed in protecting
his Majesty's revenue against the importation of alamodes and
lutestrings, were all down below at their breakfasts, with the exception
of the steersman and lieutenant-commandant, who now walked the
quarter-deck, if so small an extent of plank could be dignified with
such a name. He was a Mr Cornelius Vanslyperken, a tall, meagre-looking
personage, with very narrow shoulders and very small head. Perfectly
straight up and down, protruding in no part, he reminded you of some
tall parish pump, with a great knob at its top. His face was gaunt,
cheeks hollow, nose and chin showing an affection for each other, and
evidently lamenting the gulf between them which prevented their meeting.
Both appeared to have fretted themselves to the utmost degree of tenuity
from disappointment in love: as for the nose, it had a pearly round tear
hanging at its tip, as if it wept. The dress of Mr Vanslyperken was
hidden in a great coat, which was very long, and buttoned straight down.
This great coat had two pockets on each side, into which its owner's
hands were deeply inserted, and so close did his arms lie to his sides,
that they appeared nothing more than as would battens nailed to a
topsail yard. The only deviation from the perpendicular was from the
insertion of a speaking-trumpet under his left arm, at right angles with
his body. It had evidently seen much service, was battered, and the
clack Japan worn off in most parts of it. As we said before, Mr
Vanslyperken walked his quarter-deck. He was in a brown study, yet
looked blue. Six strides brought him to the taffrail of the vessel, six
more to the bows, such was the length of his tether--and he turned, and
turned again.

But there was another personage on the deck, a personage of no small
importance, as he was all in all to Mr Vanslyperken, and Mr Vanslyperken
was all in all to him; moreover, we may say, that he is the hero of the
TAIL. This was one of the ugliest and most ill-conditioned curs which
had ever been produced:--ugly in colour; for he was of a dirty yellow,
like the paint served out to decorate our men-of-war by his Majesty's
dock-yards:--ugly in face; for he had one wall-eye, and was so far
under-jawed as to prove that a bull-dog had had something to do with his
creation:--ugly in shape; for although larger than a pointer, and
strongly built, he was coarse and shambling in his make, with his
forelegs bowed out. His ears and tail had never been docked, which was a
pity, as the more you curtailed his proportions, the better looking the
cur would have been. But his ears, although not cut, were torn to
ribbons by the various encounters with dogs on shore, arising from the
acidity of his temper. His tail had lost its hair from an inveterate
mange, and reminded you of the same appendage to a rat. Many parts of
his body were bared from the same disease. He carried his head and tail
low, and had a villanous sour look. To the eye of a casual observer,
there was not one redeeming quality that would warrant his keep; to
those who knew him well, there were a thousand reasons why he should be
hanged. He followed his master with the greatest precision and
exactitude, walking aft as he walked aft, and walking forward with the
same regular motion, turning when his master turned, and moreover,
turning in the same direction; and, like his master, he appeared to be
not a little nipped with the cold, and, as well as he, in a state of
profound meditation. The name of this uncouth animal was very
appropriate to his appearance, and to his temper. It was Snarleyyow.

At last, Mr Vanslyperken gave vent to his pent-up feelings. "I can't, I
won't stand this any longer," muttered the lieutenant, as he took his
six strides forward. At this first sound of his master's voice the dog
pricked up the remnants of his ears, and they both turned aft. "She has
been now fooling me for six years;" and as he concluded this sentence,
Mr Vanslyperken and Snarleyyow had reached the taffrail, and the dog
raised his tail to the half cock.

They turned, and Mr Vanslyperken paused a moment or two, and compressed
his thin lips--the dog did the same. "I will have an answer, by all
that's blue!" was the ejaculation of the next six strides. The
lieutenant stopped again, and the dog looked up in his master's face;
but it appeared as if the current of his master's thoughts was changed,
for the current of keen air reminded Mr Vanslyperken that he had not yet
had his breakfast.

The lieutenant leant over the hatchway, took his battered
speaking-trumpet from under his arm, and putting it to his mouth, the
deck reverberated with, "Pass the word for Smallbones forward." The dog
put himself in a baying attitude, with his forefeet on the coamings of
the hatchway, and enforced his master's orders with a deep-toned and
measured bow, wow, wow.

Smallbones soon made his appearance, rising from the hatchway like a
ghost; a thin, shambling personage, apparently about twenty years old--a
pale, cadaverous face, high cheek-bones, goggle eyes, with lank hair
very thinly sown upon a head, which, like bad soil, would return but a
scanty harvest. He looked like Famine's eldest son just arriving to
years of discretion. His long lanky legs were pulled so far through his
trousers, that his bare feet, and half way up to his knees, were exposed
to the chilling blast. The sleeves of his jacket were so short, that
four inches of bone above his wrist were bared to view--hat he had
none--his ears were very large, and the rims of them red with cold, and
his neck was so immeasurably long and thin, that his head appeared to
topple for want of support. When he had come on deck, he stood with one
hand raised to his forehead, touching his hair instead of his hat, and
the other occupied with a half-roasted red-herring. "Yes, sir," said
Smallbones, standing before his master.

"Be quick!"--commenced the lieutenant; but here his attention was
directed to the red-herring by Snarleyyow, who raised his head and
snuffed at its fumes. Among other disqualifications of the animal, be it
observed, that he had no nose except for a red-herring, or a post by the
way side. Mr Vanslyperken discontinued his orders, took his hand out of
his great coat pocket, wiped the drop from off his nose, and then roared
out, "How dare you appear on the quarter-deck of a king's ship, sir,
with a red-herring in your fist?"

"If you please, sir," replied Smallbones, "if I were to come for to go
to leave it in the galley, I shouldn't find it when I went back."

"What do I care for that, sir? It's contrary to all the rules and
regulations of the service. Now, sir, hear me--"

"O Lord, sir! let me off this time, it's only a _soldier_," replied
Smallbones, deprecatingly; but Snarleyyow's appetite had been very much
sharpened by his morning's walk; it rose with the smell of the herring,
so he rose on his hind legs, snapped the herring out of Smallbones'
hand, bolted forward by the lee gangway, and would soon have bolted the
herring, had not Smallbones bolted after him and overtaken him just as
he had laid it down on the deck preparatory to commencing his meal. A
fight ensued; Smallbones received a severe bite in the leg, which
induced him to seize a handspike, and make a blow with it at the dog's
head, which, if it had been well aimed, would have probably put an end
to all further pilfering. As it was, the handspike descended upon one of
the dog's fore toes, and Snarleyyow retreated, yelling, to the other
side of the forecastle, and as soon as he was out of reach, like all
curs, bayed in defiance.

Smallbones picked up the herring, pulled up his trousers to examine the
bite, poured down an anathema upon the dog, which was, "May you be
starved, as I am, you beast!" and then turned round to go aft, when he
struck against the spare form of Mr Vanslyperken, who, with his hands in
his pocket, and his trumpet under his arm, looked unutterably savage.

"How dare you beat _my_ dog, you villain?" said the lieutenant at last,
choking with passion.

"He's a-bitten my leg through and through, sir," replied Smallbones,
with a face of alarm.

"Well, sir, why have you such thin legs, then?"

"'Cause I gets nothing to fill 'em up with."

"Have you not a herring there, you herring-gutted scoundrel? which, in
defiance of all the rules of the service, you have brought on his
Majesty's quarter-deck, you greedy rascal, and for which I intend--"

"It ar'n't my herring, sir, it be yours--for your breakfast--the only
one that is left out of the half-dozen."

This last remark appeared somewhat to pacify Mr Vanslyperken.

"Go down below, sir," said he, after a pause, "and let me know when my
breakfast is ready."

Smallbones obeyed immediately, too glad to escape so easily.

"Snarleyyow," said his master, looking at the dog, who remained on the
other side of the forecastle; "O Snarleyyow, for shame! Come here, sir.
Come here, sir, directly."

But Snarleyyow, who was very sulky at the loss of his anticipated
breakfast, was contumacious, and would not come. He stood at the other
side of the forecastle, while his master apostrophised him, looking him
in the face. Then, after a pause of indecision, he gave a howling sort
of bark, trotted away to the main hatchway, and disappeared below. Mr
Vanslyperken returned to the quarter-deck, and turned, and turned
as before.



Chapter II

Showing what became of the red-herring.


Smallbones soon made his re-appearance, informing Mr Vanslyperken that
his breakfast was ready for him, and Mr Vanslyperken, feeling himself
quite ready for his breakfast, went down below. A minute after he had
disappeared, another man came up to relieve the one at the wheel, who,
as soon as he had surrendered up the spokes, commenced warming himself
after the most approved method, by flapping his arms round his body.

"The skipper's out o' sorts again this morning," said Obadiah, after a
time. "I heard him muttering about the woman at the Lust Haus."

"Then, by Got, we will have de breeze," replied Jansen, who was a Dutch
seaman of huge proportions, rendered still more preposterous by the
multiplicity of his nether clothing.

"Yes, as sure as Mother Carey's chickens raise the gale, so does the
name of the Frau Vandersloosh. I'll be down and get my breakfast, there
may be keel-hauling before noon."

"Mein Got--dat is de tyfel."

"Keep her nor-east, Jansen, and keep a sharp look out for the boats."

"Got for dam--how must I steer the chip and look for de boats at de same
time?--not possible."

"That's no consarn o' mine. Those are the orders, and I passes them--you
must get over the unpossibility how you can." So saying, Obadiah Coble
walked below.

We must do the same, and introduce the reader to the cabin of Lieutenant
Vanslyperken, which was not very splendid in its furniture. One small
table, one chair, a mattress in a standing bed-place, with curtains made
of bunting, an open cupboard, containing three plates, one tea-cup and
saucer, two drinking glasses, and two knives. More was not required, as
Mr Vanslyperken never indulged in company. There was another cupboard,
but it was carefully locked. On the table before the lieutenant was a
white wash-hand basin, nearly half full of burgoo, a composition of
boiled oatmeal and water, very wholesome, and very hot. It was the
allowance, from the ship's coppers, of Mr Vanslyperken and his servant
Smallbones. Mr Vanslyperken was busy stirring it about to cool it a
little, with a leaden spoon. Snarleyyow sat close to him, waiting for
his share, and Smallbones stood by, waiting for orders.

"Smallbones," said the lieutenant, after trying the hot mess before him,
and finding that he was still in danger of burning his mouth, "bring me
the red-herring."

"Red-herring, sir?" stammered Smallbones.

"Yes," replied his master, fixing his little grey eye sternly on him,
"the red-herring."

"It's gone, sir!" replied Smallbones, with alarm.

"Gone!--gone where?"

"If you please, sir, I didn't a-think that you would have touched it
after the dog had had it in his nasty mouth; and so, sir--if you
please, sir--"

"And so what?" said Vanslyperken, compressing his thin lips.

"I ate it myself--if you please--O dear--O dear!"

"You did, did you--you gluttonous scarecrow--you did, did you? Are you
aware that you have committed a theft--and are you aware of the
punishment attending it?"

"O sir--it was a mistake--dear sir," cried Smallbones, whimpering.

"In the first place, I will cut you to ribbons with the cat."

"Mercy, sir--O sir!" cried the lad, the tears streaming from his eyes.

"The thief's cat, with three knots in each tail."

Smallbones raised up his thin arms, and clasped his hands, pleading for
mercy.

"And after the flogging--you shall be keel-hauled."

"O God!" screamed Smallbones, falling down on his knees, "mercy--mercy!"

But there was none. Snarleyyow, when he saw the lad go down on his
knees, flew at him, and threw him on his back, growling over him, and
occasionally looking at his master.

"Come here, Snarleyyow," said Mr Vanslyperken. "Come here, sir, and lie
down." But Snarleyyow had not forgotten the red-herring; so in revenge,
he first bit Smallbones in the thigh, and then obeyed his master.

"Get up, sir," cried the lieutenant.

Smallbones rose, but his temper now rose also; he forgot all that he was
to suffer, from indignation against the dog: with flashing eyes, and
whimpering with rage, he cried out, as the tears fell, and his arms
swung round, "I'll not stand this--I'll jump overboard--that I will:
fourteen times has that ere dog a-bitten me this week. I'd sooner die at
once, than be made dog's-meat of in this here way."

"Silence, you mutinous rascal, or I'll put you in irons."

"I wish you would--irons don't bite, if they hold fast. I'll run away--I
don't mind being hung--that I don't--starved to death, bitten to death
in this here way--"

"Silence, sir. It's over-feeding that makes you saucy."

"The Lord forgive you'" cried Smallbones, with surprise; "I've not had a
full meal"

"A full meal, you rascal! there's no filling a thing like you--hollow
from top to bottom, like a bamboo."

"And what I does get," continued Smallbones, with energy, "I pays dear
for; that ere dog flies at me, if I takes a bit o' biscuit. I never has
a bite without getting a bite, and it's all my own allowance."

"A proof of his fidelity, and an example to you, you wretch," replied
the lieutenant, fondly patting the dog on the head.

"Well, I wish you'd discharge me--or hang me, I don't care which. You
eats so hearty, and the dog eats so hearty, that I gets nothing. We are
only victualled for two."

"You insolent fellow! recollect the thief's cat."

"It's very hard," continued Smallbones, unmindful of the threat, "that
that ere beast is to eat my allowance, and be allowed to half eat
me too."

"You forget the keel-hauling, you scarecrow."

"Well, I hope I may never come up again, that's all."

"Leave the cabin, sir."

This order Smallbones obeyed.

"Snarleyyow," said the lieutenant, "you are hungry, my poor beast."
Snarleyyow put his forepaw up on his master's knee. "You shall have your
breakfast soon," continued his master, eating the burgoo between his
addresses to the animal. "Yes, Snarleyyow, you have done wrong this
morning--you ought to have no breakfast." Snarleyyow growled. "We are
only four years acquainted, and how many scrapes you have got me into,
Snarleyyow!" Snarleyyow here put both his paws upon his master's knee.
"Well, you are sorry, my poor dog, and you shall have some breakfast;"
and Mr Vanslyperken put the basin of burgoo on the floor, which the dog
tumbled down his throat most rapidly. "Nay, my dog, not so fast; you
must leave some for Smallbones, he will require some breakfast before
his punishment. There, that will do;" and Mr Vanslyperken wished to
remove the basin with a little of the burgoo remaining in it. Snarleyyow
growled, would have snapped at his master, but Mr Vanslyperken shoved
him away with the bell mouth of his speaking-trumpet, and recovering a
portion of the mess, put it on the table for the use of poor Smallbones.
"Now then, my dog, we will go on deck." Mr Vanslyperken left the cabin,
followed by Snarleyyow; but as soon as his master was half way up the
ladder, Snarleyyow turned back, leaped on the chair, from the chair to
the table, and then finished the whole of the breakfast appropriated for
Smallbones. Having effected this, the dog followed his master.



Chapter III

A retrospect, and short description of a new character


But we must leave poor Smallbones to lament his hard fate in the fore
peak of the vessel, and Mr Vanslyperken and his dog to walk the
quarter-deck, while we make our readers a little better acquainted with
the times in which the scenes passed which we are now describing, as
well as with the history of Mr Vanslyperken.

The date in our first chapter, that of the year 1699, will, if they
refer back to history, show them that William of Nassau had been a few
years on the English throne, and that peace had just been concluded
between England with its allies and France. The king occasionally passed
his time in Holland, among his Dutch countrymen, and the English and
Dutch fleets, which but a few years before were engaging with such an
obstinacy of courage, had lately sailed together, and turned their guns
against the French. William, like all those continental princes who have
been called to the English throne, showed much favour to his own
countrymen, and England was overrun with Dutch favourites, Dutch
courtiers, and peers of Dutch extraction. He would not even part with
his Dutch guards, and was at issue with the Commons of England on that
very account. But the war was now over, and most of the English and
Dutch navy lay dismantled in port, a few small vessels only being in
commission to intercept the smuggling from France that was carrying on,
much to the detriment of English manufacture, of certain articles then
denominated alamodes and lutestrings. The cutter we have described was
on this service, and was named the _Yungfrau_, although built in
England, and forming a part of the English naval force.

It may readily be supposed that Dutch interest, during this period, was
in the ascendant. Such was the case: and the Dutch officers and seamen
who could not be employed in their own marine were appointed in the
English vessels, to the prejudice of our own countrymen. Mr Vanslyperken
was of Dutch extraction, but born in England long before the Prince of
Orange had ever dreamt of being called to the English throne. He was a
near relation of King William's own nurse, and even in these days, that
would cause powerful interest. Previous to the revolution he had been
laid on the shelf for cowardice in one of the engagements between the
Dutch and the English, he being then a lieutenant on board of a
two-decked ship, and of long standing in the service; but before he had
been appointed to this vessel, he had served invariably in small craft,
and his want of this necessary qualification had never been discovered.
The interest used for him on the accession of the Dutch king was
sufficient for his again obtaining the command of a small vessel. In
those days, the service was very different from what it is now. The
commanders of vessels were also the pursers, and could save a great deal
of money by defrauding the crew; and further, the discipline of the
service was such as would astonish the modern philanthropist; there was
no appeal for subordinates, and tyranny and oppression, even amounting
to the destruction of life, were practised with impunity. Smollett has
given his readers some idea of the state of the service a few years
after the time of which we are now writing, when it was infinitely
worse, for the system of the Dutch, notorious for their cruelty, had
been grafted upon that of the English: the consequence was, a
combination of all that was revolting to humanity was practised without
any notice being taken of it by the superior powers, provided that the
commanders of the vessels did their duty when called upon, and showed
the necessary talent and courage.

Lieutenant Vanslyperken's character may be summed up in the three vices
of avarice, cowardice, and cruelty. A miser in the extreme, he had saved
up much money by his having had the command of a vessel for so many
years, during which he had defrauded and pilfered both from the men and
the government. Friends and connections he had none on this side of the
water, and, when on shore, he had lived in a state of abject misery,
although he had the means of comfortable support. He was now fifty-five
years of age. Since he had been appointed to the _Yungfrau_, he had been
employed in carrying despatches to the States-General from King William,
and had, during his repeated visits to the Hague, made acquaintance with
the widow Vandersloosh, who kept a Lust Haus[1], a place of resort for
sailors, where they drank and danced. Discovering that the comfortably
fat landlady was also very comfortably rich, Mr Vanslyperken had made
advances, with the hope of obtaining her hand and handling her money.
The widow had, however, no idea of accepting the offer, but was too wise
to give him a decided refusal, as she knew it would be attended with his
preventing the crew of the cutter from frequenting her house, and,
thereby, losing much custom. Thus did she, at every return, receive him
kindly and give him hopes, but nothing more. Since the peace, as we
before observed, the cutter had been ordered for the prevention of
smuggling.

[Footnote 1: Pleasure House.]

When and how Mr Vanslyperken had picked up his favourite Snarleyyow
cannot be discovered, and must remain a secret. The men said that the
dog had appeared on the deck of the cutter in a supernatural way, and
most of them looked upon him with as much awe as ill-will.

This is certain, that the cutter had been a little while before in a
state of mutiny, and a forcible entry attempted at night into the
lieutenant's cabin. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that
Vanslyperken felt that a good watch-dog might be a very useful appendage
to his establishment, and had procured one accordingly. All the
affection he ever showed to anything living was certainly concentrated
on this one animal, and, next to his money, Snarleyyow had possession of
his master's heart.

Poor Smallbones, cast on the world without father or mother, had become
starved before he was on board the cutter, and had been starved ever
since. As the reader will perceive, his allowance was mostly eaten up by
the dog, and he was left to beg a precarious support from the good-will
and charity of his shipmates, all of whom were equally disgusted with
the commander's cruelty and the ungainly temper of his brute companion.

Having entered into this retrospect for the benefit of the reader, we
will now proceed.

Mr Vanslyperken walked the deck for nearly a quarter of an hour without
speaking: the men had finished their breakfasts, and were lounging about
the deck, for there was nothing for them to do, except to look out for
the return of the two boats which had been sent away the night before.
The lieutenant's thoughts were, at one minute, upon Mrs Vandersloosh,
thinking how he could persuade her, and, at another, upon Smallbones,
thinking how he could render the punishment adequate, in his opinion, to
the magnitude of the offence. While discussing these two important
matters, one of the men reported the boats ahead, and broke up the
commander's reverie.

"How far off?" demanded Mr Vanslyperken.

"About two miles."

"Pulling or sailing?"

"Pulling, sir; we stand right for them."

But Mr Vanslyperken was in no pleasant humour, and ordered the cutter to
be hove-to.

"I tink de men have pull enough all night," said Jansen, who had just
been relieved at the wheel, to Obadiah Coble, who was standing by him on
the forecastle.

"I think so too: but there'll be a breeze, depend upon it--never mind,
the devil will have his own all in good time."

"Got for dam," said Jansen, looking at Beachy Head, and shaking his own.

"Why, what's the matter now, old Schnapps?" said Coble.

"Schnapps--yes--the tyfel--Schnapps, I think how the French schnapped us
Dutchmen here when you Englishmen wouldn't fight."

"Mind what you say, old twenty breeches--wouldn't fight--when wouldn't
we fight?"

"Here, where we were now, by Got, you leave us all in the lurch, and not
come down."

"Why, we couldn't come down."

"Bah!" replied Jansen, who referred to the defeat of the combined Dutch
and English fleet by the French off Beachy Head in 1690.

"We wouldn't fight, heh?" exclaimed Obadiah in scorn, "what do you say
to the Hogue?"

"Yes, den you fought well--dat was good."

"And shall I tell you why we fought well at the Hogue--you Dutch
porpoise--just because we had no Dutchmen to help us."

"And shall I tell you why the Dutch were beat off this Head?--because
the English wouldn't come down to help us."

Here Obadiah put his tongue into his right cheek. Jansen in return threw
his into his left, and thus the argument was finished. These disputes
were constant at the time, but seldom proceeded further than words--
certainly not between Coble and Jansen, who were great friends.

The boats were soon on board; from the time that the cutter had been
hove-to, every stroke of their oars having been accompanied with a
nautical anathema from the crews upon the head of their commander. The
steersman and first officer, who had charge of the boats, came over the
gangway and went up to Vanslyperken. He was a thickset, stout man, about
five feet four inches high, and, wrapped up in Flushing garments, looked
very much like a bear in shape as well as in skin. His name was Dick
Short, and in every respect he answered to his name, for he was short in
stature, short in speech, and short in decision and action.

Now when Short came up to the lieutenant, he did not consider it at all
necessary to say as usual, "Come on board, sir," for it was self-evident
that he had come on board. He therefore said nothing. So abrupt was he
in his speech, that he never even said "Sir," when he spoke to his
superior, which it may be imagined was very offensive to Mr
Vanslyperken: so it was, but Mr Vanslyperken was afraid of Short, and
Short was not the least afraid of Vanslyperken.

"Well, what have you done, Short?"

"Nothing."

"Did you see anything of the boat?"

"No."

"Did you gain any information?"

"No."

"What have you been doing all night?"

"Pulling."

"Did you land to obtain information?"

"Yes."

"And you got none?"

"No."

Here Short hitched up the waistband of his second pair of trousers,
turned short round, and was going below, when Snarleyyow smelt at his
heels. The man gave him a back kick with the heel of his heavy boot,
which sent the dog off yelping and barking, and put Mr Vanslyperken in a
great rage. Not venturing to resent this affront upon his first officer,
he was reminded of Smallbones, and immediately sent for Corporal Van
Spitter to appear on deck.



Chapter IV

In which there is a desperate combat.


Even at this period of the English history, it was the custom to put a
few soldiers on board of the vessels of war, and the _Yungfrau_ cutter
had been supplied with a corporal and six men, all of whom were
belonging to the Dutch marine. To a person who was so unpopular as Mr
Vanslyperken, this little force was a great protection, and both
Corporal Van Spitter and his corps were well treated by him. The
corporal was his purser and purveyor, and had a very good berth of it,
for he could cheat as well as his commandant. He was, moreover, his
prime minister, and an obedient executor of all his tyranny, for
Corporal Van Spitter was without a shadow of feeling--on the contrary,
he had pleasure in administering punishment; and if Vanslyperken had
told him to blow any man's brains out belonging to the vessel, Van
Spitter would have immediately obeyed the order without the change of a
muscle in his fat, florid countenance. The corporal was an enormous man,
tall, and so corpulent, that he weighed nearly twenty stone. Jansen was
the only one who could rival him; he was quite as tall as the corporal,
and as powerful, but he had not the extra weight of his carcass.

About five minutes after the summons, the huge form of Corporal Van
Spitter was seen to emerge slowly from the hatchway, which appeared
barely wide enough to admit the egress of his broad shoulders. He had a
flat foraging cap on his head, which was as large as a buffalo's, and
his person was clothed in blue pantaloons, tight at the ankle, rapidly
increasing in width as they ascended, until they diverged at the hips to
an expanse which was something between the sublime and the ridiculous.
The upper part of his body was cased in a blue jacket, with leaden
buttons, stamped with the rampant lion, with a little tail behind, which
was shoved up in the air by the protuberance of the parts. Having gained
the deck, he walked to Vanslyperken, and raised the back of his right
hand to his forehead.

"Corporal Van Spitter, get your cats up for punishment, and when you are
ready fetch up Smallbones."

Whereupon, without reply, Corporal Van Spitter put his left foot behind
the heel of his right, and by this manoeuvre turned his body round like
a capstern, so as to bring his face forward, and then walked off in
that direction. He soon re-appeared with all the necessary implements
of torture, laid them down on one of the lee guns, and again departed to
seek out his victim.

After a short time, a scuffle was heard below, but it was soon over, and
once more appeared the corporal with the spare, tall body of Smallbones
under his arm. He held him, grasped by the middle part, about where
Smallbones' stomach ought to have been, and the head and heels of the
poor wretch both hung down perpendicularly, and knocked together as the
corporal proceeded aft.

As soon as Van Spitter had arrived at the gun he laid down his charge,
who neither moved nor spoke. He appeared to have resigned himself to the
fate which awaited him, and made no resistance when he was stripped by
one of the marines, and stretched over the gun. The men, who were on
deck, said nothing; they looked at each other expressively as the
preparations were made. Flogging a lad like Smallbones was too usual an
occurrence to excite surprise, and to show their disgust would have been
dangerous. Smallbones' back was now bared, and miserable was the
spectacle; the shoulder-blades protruded, so that you might put your
hand sideways under the scapula, and every bone of the vertebræ, and
every process was clearly defined through the skin of the poor skeleton.
The punishment commenced, and the lad received his three dozen without a
murmur, the measured sound of the lash only being broken in upon by the
baying of Snarleyyow, who occasionally would have flown at the victim,
had he not been kept off by one of the marines. During the punishment,
Mr Vanslyperken walked the deck, and turned and turned again as before.

Smallbones was then cast loose by the corporal, who was twirling up his
cat, when Snarleyyow, whom the marine had not watched, ran up to the
lad, and inflicted a severe bite. Smallbones, who appeared, at the
moment, to be faint and lifeless--not having risen from his knees after
the marine had thrown his shirt over him, roused by this new attack,
appeared to spring into life and energy; he jumped up, uttered a savage
yell, and to the astonishment of everybody, threw himself upon the dog
as he retreated, and holding him fast with his naked arms, met the
animal with his own weapons, attacking him with a frenzied resolution
with his teeth. Everybody started back at this unusual conflict, and no
one interfered.

Long was the struggle, and such was the savage energy of the lad, that
he bit and held on with the tenacity of a bull-dog, tearing the lips of
the animal, his ears, and burying his face in the dog's throat, as his
teeth were firmly fixed on his windpipe. The dog could not escape, for
Smallbones held him like a vice. At last, the dog appeared to have the
advantage, for as they rolled over and over, he caught the lad by the
side of the neck; but Smallbones recovered himself, and getting the foot
of Snarleyyow between his teeth, the dog threw up his head and howled
for succour. Mr Vanslyperken rushed to his assistance, and struck
Smallbones a heavy blow on the head with his speaking-trumpet, which
stunned him, and he let go his hold.

Short, who had come on deck, perceiving this, and that the dog was about
to resume the attack, saluted Snarleyyow with a kick on his side, which
threw him down the hatchway, which was about three yards off from where
the dog was at the time.

"How dare you strike my dog, Mr Short?" cried Vanslyperken.

Short did not condescend to answer, but went to Smallbones and raised
his head. The lad revived. He was terribly bitten about the face and
neck, and what with the wounds in front, and the lashing from the cat,
presented a melancholy spectacle.

Short called some of the men to take Smallbones below, in which act they
readily assisted; they washed him all over with salt water, and the
smarting from his various wounds brought him to his senses. He was then
put in his hammock.

Vanslyperken and the corporal looked at each other during the time that
Short was giving his directions--neither interfered. The lieutenant was
afraid, and the corporal waited for orders. So soon as the men had
carried the lad below, Corporal Van Spitter put his hand up to his
foraging cap, and with his cat and seizings under his arm, went down
below. As for Vanslyperken, his wrath was even greater than before, and
with hands thrust even further down in his pockets than ever, and the
speaking-trumpet now battered flat with the blow which he had
administered to Smallbones, he walked up and down, muttering every two
minutes, "I'll keel-haul the scoundrel, by heavens! I'll teach him to
bite my dog."

Snarleyyow did not re-appear on deck; he had received such punishment as
he did not expect. He licked the wounds where he could get at them, and
then remained in the cabin in a sort of perturbed slumber, growling
every minute as if he were fighting the battle over again in his sleep.



Chapter V

A consultat on in which there is much mutiny.


This consultation was held upon the forecastle of his Majesty's cutter
_Yungfrau_, on the evening after the punishment of Smallbones. The major
part of the crew attended; all but the Corporal Van Spitter, who, on
these points, was known to split with the crew, and his six marines, who
formed the corporal's tail, at which they were always to be found. The
principal personage was not the most eloquent speaker, for it was Dick
Short, who was supported by Obadiah Coble, Yack Jansen, and another
personage, whom we must introduce, the boatswain or boatswain's mate of
the cutter; for although he received the title of the former, he only
received the pay of the latter. This person's real name was James
Salisbury, but for reasons which will be explained he was invariably
addressed or spoken of as Jemmy Ducks. He was indeed a very singular
variety of human discrepancy as to form: he was handsome in face, with a
manly countenance, fierce whiskers and long pigtail, which on him
appeared more than unusually long, as it descended to within a foot of
the deck. His shoulders were square, chest expanded, and, as far as
half-way down, that is, to where the legs are inserted into the human
frame, he was a fine, well-made, handsome, well-proportioned man. But
what a falling off was there!--for some reason, some accident, it is
supposed, in his infancy, his legs had never grown in length since he
was three years old: they were stout as well as his body, but not more
than eighteen inches from the hip to the heel; and he consequently
waddled about a very ridiculous figure, for he was like a man _razeed_
or cut down. Put him on an eminence of a couple of feet, and not see his
legs, and you would say at a distance, "What a fine looking sailor!" but
let him get down and walk up to you, and you would find that nature had
not finished what she had so well begun, and that you are exactly half
mistaken. This malconformation below did not, however, affect his
strength, it rather added to it; and there were but few men in the ship
who would venture a wrestle with the boatswain, who was very
appropriately distinguished by the cognomen of Jemmy Ducks. Jemmy was a
sensible, merry fellow, and a good seaman: you could not affront him by
any jokes on his figure, for he would joke with you. He was indeed the
fiddle of the ship's company, and he always played the fiddle to them
when they danced, on which instrument he was no mean performer; and,
moreover, accompanied his voice with his instrument when he sang to them
after they were tired of dancing. We shall only observe that Jemmy was a
married man, and he had selected one of the tallest of the other sex: of
her beauty the less that is said the better--Jemmy did not look to that,
or perhaps, at such a height, her face did not appear so plain to him
as it did who were to those more on a level with it. The effect of
perspective is well known, and even children now have as playthings,
castles, &c., laid down on card, which, when looked at in a proper
direction, appear just as correct as they do preposterous when lying
flat before you.

Now it happened that from the level that Jemmy looked up from to his
wife's face, her inharmonious features were all in harmony, and thus did
she appear--what is very advantageous in the marriage state--perfection
to her husband, without sufficient charms in the eyes of others to
induce them to seduce her from her liege lord. Moreover, let it be
recollected, that what Jemmy _wanted_ was _height_, and he had gained
what he required in his wife, if not in his own person: his wife was
passionately fond of him, and very jealous, which was not to be wondered
at, for, as she said, "there never was such a husband before or since."

We must now return to the conference, observing, that all these parties
were sitting down on the deck, and that Jemmy Ducks had his fiddle in
his hand, holding it with the body downwards like a bass viol, for he
always played it in that way, and that he occasionally fingered the
strings, pinching them as you do a guitar, so as to send the sound of it
aft, that Mr Vanslyperken might suppose that they were all met for
mirth. Two or three had their eyes directed aft, that the appearance of
Corporal Van Spitter or the marines might be immediately perceived; for,
although the corporal was not a figure to slide into a conference
unperceived, it was well known that he was an eavesdropper.

"One thing's sartain," observed Coble, "that a dog's not an officer."

"No," replied Dick Short.

"He's not on the ship's books, so I can't see how it can be mutiny."

"No," rejoined Short.

"Mein Got--he is not a tog, he is te tyfel," observed Jansen.

"Who knows how he came into the cutter?"

"There's a queer story about that," said one of the men.

Tum tum, tumty tum--said the fiddle of Jemmy Ducks, as if it took part
in the conference.

"That poor boy will be killed if things go on this way: the skipper will
never be content till he has driven his soul out of his body--poor
creature; only look at him as he lies in his hammock."

"I never seed a Christian such an object," said one of the sailors.

"If the dog ain't killed, Bones will be, that's sartain," observed
Coble, "and I don't see why the preference should be given to a human
individual, although the dog is the skipper's dog--now then, what d'ye
say, my lads?"

Tum tum, tum tum, tumty tumty tum, replied the fiddle.

"Let's hang him at once."

"No," replied Short.

Jansen took out his snickerree, looked at Short, and made a motion with
the knife, as if passing it across the dog's throat.

"No," replied Short.

"Let's launch him overboard at night," said one of the men.

"But how is one to get the brute out of the cabin?" said Coble; "if it's
done at all it must be done by day."

Short nodded his head.

"I will give him a launch the first opportunity," observed Jemmy Ducks,
"only--" (continued he in a measured and lower tone) "I should first
like to know whether he really _is_ a dog or _not_."

"A tog is a tog," observed Jansen.

"Yes," replied one of the forecastle men, "we all know a dog is a dog,
but the question is--is _this_ dog a dog?"

Here there was a pause, which Jemmy Ducks filled up by again touching
the strings of his fiddle.

The fact was, that, although every one of the sailors wished the dog
was overboard, there was not one who wished to commit the deed, not on
account of the fear of its being discovered who was the party by Mr
Vanslyperken, but because there was a great deal of superstition among
them. It was considered unlucky to throw any dog or animal overboard;
but the strange stories told about the way in which Snarleyyow first
made his appearance in the vessel, added to the peculiarly diabolical
temper of the animal, had often been the theme of midnight conversation,
and many of them were convinced that it was an imp of Satan lent to
Vanslyperken, and that, to injure or to attempt to destroy it would
infallibly be followed up with terrible consequences to the party, if
not to the vessel and all the crew. Even Short, Coble, and Jansen, who
were the boldest and leading men, although when their sympathies were
roused by the sufferings of poor Smallbones they were anxious to revenge
him, had their own misgivings, and, on consideration, did not like to
have anything to do with the business. But each of them kept their
reflections to themselves, for, if they could not combat, they were too
proud to acknowledge them.

The reader will observe that all their plans were immediately put an end
to until this important question, and not a little difficult one, was
decided--Was the dog a dog?

Now, although the story had often been told, yet, as the crew of the
cutter had been paid off since the animal had been brought on board,
there was no man in the ship who could positively detail, from his own
knowledge, the facts connected with his first appearance--there was only
tradition, and, to solve this question, to tradition they were obliged
to repair.

"Now, Bill Spurey," said Coble, "you know more about this matter than
any one, so just spin us the yarn, and then we shall be able to talk the
matter over soberly."

"Well," replied Bill Spurey, "you shall have it just as I got it word
for word, as near as I can recollect. You know I wasn't in the craft
when the thing came on board, but Joe Geary was, and it was one night
when we were boozing over a stiff glass at the new shop there, the
Orange Boven, as they call it, at the Pint at Portsmouth--and so you
see, falling in with him, I wished to learn something about my new
skipper, and what sort of a chap I should have to deal with. When I
learnt all about _him_, I'd half-a-dozen minds to shove off again, but
then I was adrift, and so I thought better of it. It won't do to be nice
in peace times you know, my lads, when all the big ships are rotting in
Southampton and Cinque Port muds. Well, then, what he told me I
recollect as well--ay, every word of it--as if he had whispered it into
my ear but this minute. It was a blustering night, with a dirty
southwester, and the chafing of the harbour waves was thrown up in
foams, which the winds swept up the street, they chasing one another as
if they were boys at play. It was about two bells in the middle watch,
and after our fifth glass, that Joe Geary said as this:

"It was one dark winter's night when we were off the Texel, blowing
terribly, with the coast under our lee, clawing off under storm canvas,
and fighting with the elements for every inch of ground, a hand in the
chains, for we had nothing but the lead to trust to, and the vessel so
flogged by the waves, that he was lashed to the rigging, that he might
not be washed away; all of a sudden the wind came with a blast loud
enough for the last trump, and the waves roared till they were hoarser
than ever; away went the vessel's mast, although there was no more
canvas on it than a jib pocket-handkerchief, and the craft rolled and
tossed in the deep troughs for all the world like a wicked man dying in
despair; and then she was a wreck, with nothing to help us but God
Almighty, fast borne down upon the sands which the waters had disturbed,
and were dashing about until they themselves were weary of the load; and
all the seamen cried unto the Lord, as well they might.

"Now, they say, that _he_ did not cry as they did, like men and
Christians, to Him who made them and the waters which surrounded and
threatened them; for Death was then in all his glory, and the foaming
crests of the waves were as plumes of feathers to his skeleton head
beneath them; but he cried like a child--and swore terribly as well as
cried--talking about his money, his dear money, and not caring about his
more precious soul.

"And the cutter was borne down, every wave pushing her with giant force
nearer and nearer to destruction, when the man at the chains shrieked
out--'Mark three, and the Lord have mercy on our souls!" and all the
crew, when they heard this, cried out--'Lord, save us, or we perish.'
But still they thought that their time was come, for the breaking waves
were under their lee, and the yellow waters told them that, in a few
minutes, the vessel, and all who were on board, would be shivered in
fragments; and some wept and some prayed as they clung to the bulwarks
of the unguided vessel, and others in a few minutes thought over their
whole life, and waited for death in silence. But _he_, he did all; he
cried, and he prayed, and he swore, and he was silent, and at last he
became furious and frantic; and when the men said again and again, 'The
Lord save us!' he roared out at last, "Will the _devil_ help us, for--'
In a moment, before these first words were out of his mouth, there was a
flash of lightning, that appeared to strike the vessel, but it harmed
her not, neither did any thunder follow the flash; but a ball of blue
flame pitched upon the knight heads, and then came bounding and dancing
aft to the taffrail, where _he_ stood alone, for the men had left him to
blaspheme by himself. Some say he was heard to speak, as if in
conversation, but no one knows what passed. Be it as it may, on a sudden
he walked forward as brave as could be, and was followed by this
creature, who carried his head and tail slouching, as he does now.

"And the dog looked up and gave one deep bark, and as soon as he had
barked the wind appeared to lull--he barked again twice, and there was a
dead calm--he barked again thrice, and the seas went down--and _he_
patted the dog on the head, and the animal then bayed loud for a minute
or two, and then, to the astonishment and fear of all, instead of the
vessel being within a cable's length of the Texel sands in a heavy gale,
and without hope, the Foreland lights were but two miles on our beam
with a clear sky and smooth water."

The seaman finished his legend, and there was a dead silence for a
minute or two, broken first by Jansen, who in a low voice said, "Then te
tog is not a tog."

"No," replied Coble, "an imp sent by the devil to his follower in
distress."

"Yes," said Short.

"Well, but," said Jemmy Ducks, who for some time had left off touching
the strings of his fiddle, "it would be the work of a good Christian to
kill the brute."

"It's not a mortal animal, Jemmy."

"True, I forgot that."

"Gifen by de tyfel," observed Jansen.

"Ay, and christened by him too," continued Coble. "Who ever heard any
Christian brute with such a damnable name?"

"Well, what's to be done?"

"Why," replied Jemmy Ducks, "at all events, imp o' Satan or not, that
ere Smallbones fought him to-day with his own weapons."

"And beat him too," said Coble.

"Yes," said Short.

"Now, it's my opinion, that Smallbones ar'n't afraid of him," continued
Jemmy Ducks, "and devil or no devil, he'll kill him if he can."

"He's the proper person to do it," replied Coble; "the more so, as you
may say that he's his _natural_ enemy."

"Yes, mein Got, de poy is de man," said Jansen.

"We'll put him up to it at all events, as soon as he is out of his
hammock," rejoined Jemmy Ducks.

A little more conversation took place, and then it was carried
unanimously that Smallbones should destroy the animal, if it was
possible to destroy it.

The only party who was not consulted was Smallbones himself, who lay
fast asleep in his hammock. The consultation then broke up, and they all
went below.



Chapter VI

In which, as often happens at sea when signals are not made out, friends
exchange broadsides.


Notwithstanding all the precautions of the party on the forecastle, this
consultation had been heard by no less a person than the huge Corporal
Van Spitter, who had an idea that there was some mystery going on
forward, and had contrived to crawl up under the bulwark, and throw
himself down on the forestaysail, which lay between two of the guns.
Having so done without being perceived, for it was at the very moment
that the party were all listening to Bill Spurey's legend of the dog's
first appearance on board, he threw a part of the sail over his fat
carcass, and thus remained undiscovered during the remainder of the
colloquy. He heard them all descending below, and remained still quiet,
till he imagined that the forecastle was clear. In the meantime Mr
Vanslyperken, who had been walking the deck abaft, unaccompanied by his
faithful attendant (for Snarleyyow remained coiled up on his master's
bed), was meditating deeply how to gratify the two most powerful
passions in our nature, love and revenge: at one moment thinking of the
fat fair Vandersloosh, and of hauling in her guilders, at another
reverting to the starved Smallbones and the comfort of a keel-hauling.
The long conference on the forecastle had not been unperceived by the
hawk's eye of the lieutenant, and as they descended, he walked forward
to ascertain if he could not pick up some straggler who, unsupported by
his comrades, might be induced by fear to acquaint him with the subject
of the discussion. Now, just as Mr Vanslyperken came forward Corporal
Van Spitter had removed the canvas from his body, and was about to rise
from his bed, when he perceived somebody coming forward. Not making it
out to be the lieutenant, he immediately dropped down again and drew the
canvas over him. Mr Vanslyperken perceived this manoeuvre, and thought
he had now caught one of the conspirators, and, moreover, one who showed
such fear as to warrant the supposition that he should be able to
extract from him the results of the night's unusually long conference.

Mr Vanslyperken walked up to where the corporal lay as quiet, but not
quite so small, as a mouse. It occurred to Mr Vanslyperken that a little
taste of punishment _in esse_ would very much assist the threats of what
might be received _in posse_; so he laid aside his speaking-trumpet,
looked round, picked up a handspike, and raising it above his head, down
it came, with all the force of the lieutenant's arm, upon Corporal Van
Spitter, whose carcass resounded like a huge kettle-drum.

"Tunder and flame," roared the corporal under the canvas, thinking that
one of the seamen, having discovered him eavesdropping, had thus wreaked
his revenge, taking advantage of his being covered up, and pretending
not to know him. "Tunder and flame!" roared the corporal, muffled up in
the canvas, and trying to extricate himself; but his voice was not
recognised by the lieutenant, and, before he could get clear of his
envelope, the handspike had again descended; when up rose the corporal,
like a buffalo out of his muddy lair, half-blinded by the last blow,
which had fallen on his head, ran full butt at the lieutenant, and
precipitated his senior officer and commander headlong down the
fore-hatchway.

Vanslyperken fell with great force, was stunned, and lay without motion
at the foot of the ladder, while the corporal, whose wrath was always
excessive when his blood was up, but whose phlegmatic blood could not be
raised without some such decided stimulus as a handspike, now turned
round and round the forecastle, like a bull looking for his assailants;
but the corporal had the forecastle all to himself, and, as he
gradually cooled down, he saw lying close to him the speaking-trumpet of
his senior officer.

"Tousand tyfels," murmured Corporal Van Spitter, "but it must have been
the skipper. Got for damn, dis is hanging matter!" Corporal Van Spitter
was as cool as a cucumber as soon as he observed what a mistake he had
made; in fact, he quivered and trembled in his fat. "But then," thought
he, "perhaps he did not know me--no, he could not, or he never would
have handspiked _me_." So Corporal Van Spitter walked down the hatchway,
where he ascertained that his commandant lay insensible. "Dat is good,"
thought he, and he went aft, lighted his lanthorn, and, as a _ruse_,
knocked at the cabin-door. Receiving no answer but the growl of
Snarleyyow, he went in, and then ascended to the quarter-deck, looked
round him, and inquired of the man at the wheel where Mr Vanslyperken
might be. The man replied that he had gone forward a few minutes before,
and thither the corporal proceeded. Of course, not finding him, he
returned, telling the man that the skipper was not in the cabin or the
forecastle, and wondering where he could be. He then descended to the
next officer in command, Dick Short, and called him.

"Well," said Short.

"Can't find Mr Vanslyperken anywhere," said the corporal.

"Look," replied Dick, turning round in his hammock.

"Mein Got, I have looked de forecastle, de quarter-deck, and de
cabin,--he not anywhere."

"Overboard," replied Dick.

"I come to you, sir, to make inquiry," said the corporal.

"Turn out," said Dick, suiting the action to the words, and lighting
with his feet on the deck in his shirt.

While Short was dressing himself, the corporal summoned up all his
marines; and the noise occasioned by this turn out, and the conversation
overheard by those who were awake, soon gave the crew of the cutter to
understand that some accident had happened to their commander. Even
Smallbones had it whispered in his ear that Mr Vanslyperken had fallen
overboard, and he smiled as he lay in the dark, smarting with his
wounds, muttering to himself that Snarleyyow should soon follow his
master. By the time that Short was on the quarter-deck, Corporal Van
Spitter, who knew very well where to look for it, had, very much to the
disappointment of the crew, found the body of Mr Vanslyperken, and the
marines had brought it aft to the cabin, and would have laid it on the
bed, had not Snarleyyow, who had no feeling in his composition,
positively denied its being put there.

Short came down and examined his superior officer.

"Is he dead?" inquired the corporal with alarm.

"No," replied Short.

"Vat can it be then?" said the corporal.

"Stunned," replied Short.

"Mein Got! how could it happen?"

"Tumbled," replied Short.

"What shall we do, sir?" rejoined the corporal.

"Bed," replied Short, turning on his heel, and a minute after turning
into his hammock.

"Mein Got, the dog will not let him go to bed," exclaimed the corporal.

"Let's put him in," said one of the marines, "the dog won't bite his
master."

So the marines lifted up the still insensible Mr Vanslyperken, and
almost tossed him into his standing bed-place, right on the body of the
snarling dog, who, as soon as he could disengage himself from the
weight, revenged himself by making his teeth meet more than once through
the lanthorn cheek of his master, and then leaping off the bed,
retreated growling under the table.

"Well, you _are_ a nice dog," exclaimed one of the marines, looking
after Snarleyyow in his retreat.

Now, there was no medical assistance on board so small a vessel. Mr
Vanslyperken, was allowed a small quantity of medicine, unguents, &c.,
but these he always sold to an apothecary, as soon as he had procured
them from the authorities. The teeth of the dog had, however, their
effect, and Mr Vanslyperken opened his eyes, and in a faint voice cried
"Snarleyyow." Oh, if the dog had any spark of feeling, how must he then
have been stung with remorse at his ingratitude to so kind a master! But
he apparently showed none, at least, report does not say that any
symptoms were manifest.

After a little burnt oakum had excoriated his nose, and a certain
quantity of the cold salt-water from alongside had wetted through his
bedclothes, Mr Vanslyperken was completely recovered, and was able to
speak and look about him. Corporal Van Spitter trembled a little as his
commandant fixed his eyes upon him, and he redoubled his attention.

"Mein Got, Mynheer Vanslyperken, how was this happen?" exclaimed the
corporal in a pathetic tone. Whereupon Mr Vanslyperken ordered every one
to leave the cabin but Corporal Van Spitter.

Mr Vanslyperken then communicated to the corporal that he had been
knocked down the hatchway by one of the men when he went forward; that
he could not distinguish who it was, but thought that it must have been
Jansen from his size. Corporal Van Spitter, delighted to find that his
skipper was on a wrong scent, expressed his opinion in corroboration of
the lieutenant's: after which a long consultation took place relative to
mutiny, disaffection, and the proper measures to be taken. Vanslyperken
mentioned the consultation of the men during the first watch, and the
corporal, to win his favour, was very glad to be able to communicate the
particulars of what he had overheard, stating that he had concealed
himself for that purpose.

"And where did you conceal yourself?" said Vanslyperken with a keen
inquiring look: for it immediately occurred to him that, unless it was
under the sail, there could be no concealment for such a huge body as
that of the corporal; and he had his misgivings. But the corporal very
adroitly observed, that he stood at the lower step of the fore-ladder,
with his head level with the coamings; and had, by this means, overheard
the conversation unperceived, and had only walked away when the party
broke up. This restored the confidence of Mr Vanslyperken, and a long
discussion took place, in which it was agreed between them, that the
only way to prevent Snarleyyow from being destroyed, was to try some
means to make away quietly with poor Smallbones. But this part of the
conversation was not carried to any length: for Mr Vanslyperken,
indignant at having received such injury in his face from his ungrateful
cur, did not, at that moment, feel the current of his affection run so
strong as usual in that direction. After this, the corporal touched his
hat, swung round to the right about in military style, and left
the cabin.



Chapter VII

In which Mr Vanslyperken goes on shore to woo the Widow Vandersloosh.


Three weeks of comparative calm now passed away, during which Mr
Vanslyperken recovered of his wounds and accident, and meditated how he
should make away with Smallbones. The latter also recovered of his
bites, and meditated how he should make away with Snarleyyow. Smallbones
had returned to his avocations, and Vanslyperken, intending mischief,
treated him more kindly, as a blind. Snarleyyow also, not forgetting his
defeat on the quarter-deck, did not renew his attacks, even when the
poor lad helped himself to biscuit.

The _Yungfrau_ anchored in the Downs, and Mr Vanslyperken received
despatches for the Hague; King William having written some letters to
his friends, and sent over to them a little English money, which he knew
would be acceptable; for continental kings on the English throne have
never appeared to have a clear sense of the honour conferred upon them.
England, in their ideas, has always been a _parvenue_ kingdom; her
nobles not able to trace farther back than the Conquest; while, in their
country, the lowest baron will prove his sixteen quarters, and his
descent from the darkest ages. But, nevertheless, upon the same
principle that the poor aristocracy will condescend to unite themselves
occasionally to city wealth, so have these potentates condescended to
reign over us.

Mr Vanslyperken received his despatches, and made the best of his way to
Amsterdam, where he anchored, delivered his credentials, and there
waited for the letters of thanks from his Majesty's cousins.

But what a hurry and bustle there appears to be on board of the
_Yungfrau_--Smallbones here, Smallbones there--Corporal Van Spitter
pushing to and fro with the dog-trot of an elephant; and even Snarleyyow
appears to be unusually often up and down the hatchway. What can it all
be about? Oh! Mr Vanslyperken is going on shore to pay his respects, and
continue his addresses, to the widow Vandersloosh. His boat is manned
alongside, and he now appears on the cutter's quarter-deck.

Is it possible that this can be Mr Vanslyperken? Heavens, how gay! An
uniform certainly does wonders with some people: that is to say, those
who do not look well in plain clothes are invariably improved by it;
while those, who look most like gentlemen in plain clothes, lose in the
same proportion. At all events Mr Vanslyperken is wonderfully improved.

He has a loose pair of blue pantaloons, with boots rising above his
knees pulled over them: his lower parts remind you of Charles the
Twelfth. He has a long scarlet waiscoat, with large gilt buttons and
flap pockets, and his uniform coat over all, of blue turned up with red,
has a very commanding appearance. To a broad black belt over his
shoulder hangs his cutlass, the sheath of which is mounted with silver,
and the hilt of ivory and gold threads; and, above all, his small head
is almost dignified by being surmounted with a three-cornered turned-up
and gold-banded cocked hat, with one corner of the triangle in front
parallel with his sharp nose. Surely the widow must strike her colours
to scarlet, and blue, and gold. But although women are said, like
mackerel, to take such baits, still widows are not fond of a man who is
as thin as a herring: they are too knowing, they prefer stamina, and
will not be persuaded to take the shadow for the substance.

Mr Vanslyperken was, nevertheless, very well pleased with himself, which
was something, but still not quite enough on the present occasion, and
he strutted the deck with great complacency, gave his final orders to
Dick Short, who, as usual, gave a short answer; also to Corporal Van
Spitter, who, as usual, received them with all military honour; and,
lastly, to Smallbones, who received them with all humility. The
lieutenant was about to step into the boat, when a doubt arose, and he
stopped in his advance, perplexed. It was one of no small
importance--was Snarleyyow to accompany him or not? That was the knotty
question, and it really was a case which required some deliberation. If
he left him on board after the conspiracy which had been formed against
him, the dog would probably be overboard before he returned; that is, if
Smallbones were also left on board; for Mr Vanslyperken knew that it had
been decided that Smallbones alone could and should destroy the dog. He
could not, therefore, leave the dog on board with safety; and, as for
taking him on shore with him, in that there was much danger, for the
widow Vandersloosh had set her face against the dog. No wonder: he had
behaved in her parlour as bad as the dog Crab in the Two Gentlemen of
Verona; and the Frau was a very clean person, and had no fancy for dogs
comparing their legs with those of her polished mahogany chairs and
tables. If Mr Vanslyperken's suit was to be decided according to the old
adage, "love me, love my dog," he certainly had but a poor chance; for
the widow detested the cur, and had insisted that it should never be
brought into her house. Take the dog on shore, therefore, he could not;
but, thought Mr Vanslyperken, I can take Smallbones on shore, that will
do as well. I have some biscuit to dispose of, and he shall go with it
and wait till I come off again. Smallbones was, therefore, ordered to
put on his hat and step into the boat with two half bags of biscuit to
carry up to the widow's house, for she did a little business with Mr
Vanslyperken, as well as allowing him to make love to her; and was never
so sweet or so gracious, as when closing a bargain. So Mr Vanslyperken
waited for Smallbones, who was soon ready, for his best consisted only
in a pair of shoes to his usually naked feet, and a hat for his
generally uncovered head. And Mr Vanslyperken, and Smallbones, and the
biscuit, were in the boat, when Snarleyyow intimated his intention to
join the party; but this was refused, and the boat shoved off
without him.

As soon as Mr Vanslyperken had shoved off, Dick Short, being in command,
thought he might as well give himself leave, and go on shore also. So he
went down, put on his best, and ordered the other boat to be manned, and
leaving Obadiah Coble on board as the next officer, he took with him
Jansen, Jemmy Ducks, and four or five others, to have a cruise. Now, as
Snarleyyow had this time made up his mind that he would go on shore, and
Short was willing to indulge him, for he knew that Smallbones, if he
fell in with him, would do his best to launch him into one of the
canals, so convenient in every street, the cur was permitted to get into
the boat, and was landed with the rest of the party, who, as usual,
repaired to the Lust Haus of the widow Vandersloosh; where we must leave
them for the present, and return to our friend, Mr Vanslyperken.



Chapter VIII

In which the Widow lays a trap for Mr Vanslyperken, and Smallbones lays
a trap for Snarleyyow, and both bag their game.


The widow Vandersloosh, as we have informed the reader, was the owner of
a Lust Haus, or pleasure-house for sailors: we will describe that
portion of her tenements more particularly by-and-bye: at present, we
must advert to her own private house, which stood adjoining, and had a
communication with the Lust Haus by a private door through the party
wall. This was a very small, snug little habitation, with one window in
each front, and two stories high; containing a front parlour and kitchen
on the basement, two small rooms on the first, and two on the second
floor. Nothing could be better arranged for a widow's residence.
Moreover, she had a back-yard running the whole length of the wall of
the Lust Haus in the rear, with convenient offices, and a back-door into
the street behind.

Mr Vanslyperken had arrived, paid his humble devoirs to the widow, more
humble, because he was evidently pleased with his own person, and had
been followed by Smallbones, who laid the biscuit by the scraper at the
door, watching it as in duty bound. The lieutenant imagined that he was
more graciously received than usual. Perhaps he was, for the widow had
not had so much custom lately, and was glad the crew of the cutter were
arrived to spend their money. Already had Vanslyperken removed his sword
and belt, and laid them with his three-cornered laced hat on the
side-table; he was already cosily, as of wont, seated upon the widow's
little fubsy sofa, with the lady by his side, and he had just taken her
hand and was about to renew his suit, to pour forth the impromptu
effusions of his heart, concocted on the quarter-deck of the _Yungfrau_,
when who should bolt into the parlour but the unwelcome Snarleyyow.

"O that nasty brute! Mynheer Vanslyperken, how dare you bring him into
my house?" cried the widow, jumping up from the sofa, with her
full-moon-face red with anger.

"Indeed, widow," replied Vanslyperken, "I left him on board, knowing
that you were not fond of animals; but some one has brought him on
shore. However, I'll find out who it was, and keel-haul him in honour of
your charms."

"I am fond of animals, Mr Vanslyperken, but I am not fond of such
animals as that--such a filthy, ugly, disagreeable, snarling brute; nor
can I think how you can keep him after what I have said about it. It
don't prove much regard, Mr Vanslyperken, when such a dog as that is
kept on purpose to annoy me."

"I assure you, widow--"

"Don't assure me, Mr Vanslyperken, there's no occasion--your dog is your
own--but I'll thank you to take him out of this house; and, perhaps, as
he won't go without you, you had better go with him."

Now the widow had never spoken so indignantly before: if the reader
wishes to know why she did so now, we will acquaint him; the widow
Vandersloosh had perceived Smallbones, who sat like Patience on a
monument, upon the two half bags of biscuit before her porch. It was a
query to the widow whether they were to be a present, or an article to
be bargained for: it was therefore very advisable to pick a quarrel,
that the matter might be cleared up. The widow's ruse met with all the
success which it deserved. In the first place, Mr Vanslyperken did what
he never would have believed himself capable of, but the wrath of the
widow had worked him also up to wrath, and he saluted Snarleyyow with
such a kick on the side, as to send him howling into the back-yard,
followed him out, and, notwithstanding an attempt at defence on the part
of the dog, which the lieutenant's high boots rendered harmless,
Snarleyyow was fairly or unfairly, as you may please to think it, kicked
into an outhouse, the door shut, and the key turned upon him. After
which Mr Vanslyperken returned to the parlour, where he found the widow,
erect, with her back turned to the stove, blowing and bristling, her
bosom heaving, reminding you of seas mountains high, as if she were
still under the effect of a just resentment for the affront offered to
her. There she stood waiting in all dignity for Mr Vanslyperken to
repair the injury done, whether unintentional or not. In few words,
there she waited, for the _biscuit_ to be presented to her. And it was
presented, for Vanslyperken knew no other way of appeasing her wrath.
Gradually the storm was allayed--the flush of anger disappeared, the
corners of the scornfully-turned-down mouth, were turned up
again--Cupid's bow was no longer bent in anger, and the widow's bosom
slept as when the ocean sleeps, like "an unweaned child." The biscuit
bags were brought in by Smallbones, their contents stored, and harmony
restored. Once more was Mr Vanslyperken upon the little sofa by the side
of the fat widow, and once more did he take her melting hand. Alas! that
her heart was not made of the same soft materials.

But we must not only leave Short and his companions in the Lust Haus,
but the widow and the lieutenant in their soft dalliance, and now occupy
ourselves with the two principal personages of this our drama,
Smallbones and Snarleyyow.

When Smallbones had retired, with the empty bread-bags under his arm, he
remained some time reflecting at the porch, and then having apparently
made up his mind, he walked to a chandler's shop just over the bridge of
the canal opposite, and purchased a needle, some strong twine, and a
red-herring. He also procured, "without purchase," as they say in our
War Office Gazettes, a few pieces of stick. Having obtained all these,
he went round to the door of the yard behind the widow's house, and let
himself in. Little did Mr Vanslyperken imagine what mischief was
brewing, while he was praising and drinking the beer of the widow's
own brewing.

Smallbones had no difficulty in finding out where Snarleyyow was
confined, for the dog was very busy gnawing his way through the door,
which, however, was a work of time, and not yet a quarter accomplished.
The place had been a fowl-house, and, at the bottom of the door, there
was a small hatch for the ingress and egress of these bipeds, the
original invention of some thrifty spinster, to prevent the maids from
stealing eggs. But this hatch was closed, or Snarleyyow would have
escaped through it. Smallbones took up his quarters in another outhouse,
that he might not be observed, and commenced his operations.

He first took out the bottom of one bread-bag, and then sewed that on
the other to make it longer; he then ran a string through the mouth, so
as to draw it close when necessary, and cut his sticks so as to support
it and keep it open. All this being arranged, he went to where
Snarleyyow was busy gnawing wood with great pertinacity, and allowed him
not only to smell, but to tear off the tail of the red-herring, under
the door; and then gradually drew the herring along until he had brought
it right under the hatch in the middle, which left it at the precise
distance that the dog could snuff it but not reach it, which Snarleyyow
now did, in preference to gnawing wood. When you lay a trap, much
depends upon the bait; Smallbones knew his enemy's partiality for
savoury comestibles. He then brought out his bag, set up his supporters,
fixed it close to the hatch, and put the red-herring inside of it. With
the string in one hand, he lifted up the hatch with the other.
Snarleyyow rushed out and rushed in, and in a moment the strings were
drawn, and as soon as drawn were tied tight round the mouth of the bag.
Snarleyyow was caught; he tumbled over and over, rolling now to the
right and now to the left, while Smallbones grinned with delight. After
amusing himself a short time with the evolutions of his prisoner, he
dragged him in his bag into the outhouse where he had made his trap,
shut the door, and left him. The next object was to remove any
suspicion on the part of Mr Vanslyperken; and to effect this, Smallbones
tore off the hatch, and broke it in two or three pieces, bit parts of it
with his own teeth, and laid them down before the door, making it appear
as if the dog had gnawed his own way out. The reason for allowing the
dog still to remain in prison, was that Smallbones dared not attempt
anything further until it was dark, and there was yet an hour or more to
wait for the close of the day.

Smallbones had but just finished his work in time; for the widow having
been summoned to her guests in the Lust Haus, had left Vanslyperken
alone, and the lieutenant thought this a good opportunity to look after
his four-footed favourite. He came out into the yard, where he found
Smallbones, and he had his misgivings.

"What are you doing here, sir?"

"Waiting for you, sir," replied Smallbones, humbly.

"And the dog?" said Vanslyperken, observing the strewed fragments of the
door hatch.

"He's a-bitten himself out, sir, I believe."

"And where is he, then?"

"I don't know, sir; I suppose he's gone down to the boat."

Snarleyyow hearing his master's voice, had commenced a whine, and
Smallbones trembled: fortunately, at that moment, the widow's ample form
appeared at the back-door of the house, and she called to Mr
Vanslyperken. The widow's voice drowned the whine of the dog, and his
master did not hear it. At the summons, Vanslyperken but half convinced,
but not daring to show any interest about the animal in the presence of
his mistress, returned to the parlour, and very soon the dog was
forgotten.

But as the orgies in the Lust Haus increased, so did it become more
necessary for the widow to make frequent visits there; not only to
supply her customers, but to restrain them by her presence; and as the
evening wore away, so did the absences of the widow become more
frequent. This Vanslyperken well knew, and he therefore always pressed
his suit in the afternoon, and as soon as it was dark returned on board.
Smallbones, who watched at the back-door the movements of his master,
perceived that he was refixing his sword-belt over his shoulder, and he
knew this to be the signal for departure. It was now quite dark, he
therefore hastened to the outhouse, and dragged out Snarleyyow in the
bag, swung him over his shoulder, and walked out of the yard-door,
proceeded to the canal in front of the widow's house, looked round him,
could perceive nobody, and then dragged the bag with its contents into
the stagnant water below, just as Mr Vanslyperken, who had bidden adieu
to the widow, came out of the house. There was a heavy splash--and
silence. Had such been heard on the shores of the Bosphorus on such a
night, it would have told some tale of unhappy love and a husband's
vengeance; but, at Amsterdam, it was nothing more than the drowning of
a cur.

"Who's there--is it Smallbones?" said Mr Vanslyperken.

"Yes, sir," said Smallbones, with alarm.

"What was that noise I heard?"

"Noise, sir? Oh, I kicked a paving-stone into the canal."

"And don't you know there is heavy fine for that, you scoundrel? And
pray where are the bread-bags?"

"The bread-bags, sir? Oh, Mr Short took them to tie up some vegetables
in them."

"Mr Short! O, very well. Come along, sir, and no more throwing stones
into the canal; why you might have killed somebody--there is a boat down
there now, I hear the people talking." And Mr Vanslyperken hastened to
his boat, which was waiting for him; anxious to ascertain if Snarleyyow,
as he fully expected, was in it. But to his grief and disappointment he
was not there, and Mr Vanslyperken sat in the stern sheets, in no
pleasant humour, thinking whether it was or was not a paving-stone
which Smallbones had thrown into the canal, and resolving that if the
dog did not appear, Smallbones should be keel-hauled. There was,
however, one more chance, the dog might have been taken on board.



Chapter IX

A long chapter, in which there is lamentation, singing, bibbing, and
dancing.


It may readily be supposed, that the first question asked by Mr
Vanslyperken, on his gaining the quarter-deck, was, if Snarleyyow were
on board. He was received with the military salute of Corporal Van
Spitter, for Obadiah Coble, having been left commanding officer, had
given himself leave, and, with a few men, had joined Dick Short and the
first party at the Lust Haus, leaving the corporal as the next senior
officer in charge. The answer in the negative was a great mortification
to Mr Vanslyperken, and he descended to his cabin in no very good
humour, and summoned Smallbones. But before Smallbones was summoned, he
had time to whisper to one or two of the conspirators--"_He's gone_." It
was enough; in less than a minute the whisper was passed throughout the
cutter. "He's gone," was sibilated above and below, until it met the
ears of even Corporal Van Spitter, who had it from a marine, who had it
from another marine, who had it from a seaman, who--but it was, however,
soon traced up to Smallbones by the indefatigable corporal--who
considered it his duty to report the report to Mr Vanslyperken.
Accordingly he descended to the cabin and knocked for admission.

In the meantime Vanslyperken had been venting his ill-humour upon
Smallbones, having, as he took off from his person, and replaced in his
drawers, his unusual finery, administered an unusual quantity of kicks,
as well as a severe blow on the head with his sheathed cutlass to the
unfortunate lad, who repeated to himself, by way of consolation, the
magic words--"_He's gone_."

"If you please, sir," said Corporal Van Spitter, "I've discovered from
the ship's company that the dog _is gone_."

"I know that, corporal," replied Vanslyperken.

"And, sir, the report has been traced to Smallbones."

"Indeed!--then it was you that said that the dog is gone--now, you
villain, where is he?"

"If you please, I did say that the dog was gone, and so he is; but I
didn't say that I knew where he was--no more I don't. He's runned away,
and he'll be back to-morrow--I'm sure he will."

"Corporal Van Spitter, if the dog is not on board again by eight o'clock
to-morrow morning, you will get all ready for keel-hauling this
scoundrel."

"Yes, mynheer," replied the corporal, delighted at having something to
do in the way of punishment.

Smallbones made up a lachrymal face.

"It's very hard," said he; "suppose the dog has fallen into the canal,
is that my fault? If he's a-gone to the bottom of the canal, that's no
reason why I'm to be dragged under the bottom of the cutter."

"Yes, yes," replied Vanslyperken, "I'll teach you to throw paving-stones
off the wharf. Leave the cabin, sir."

Smallbones, whose guilty conscience flew into his pallid face at the
mention of the paving-stones, immediately made a hasty retreat; and
Vanslyperken turned into his bed and dreamt of vengeance.

We must now return to the Lust Haus, and the party on shore; and our
first task must be, to give the reader an idea of what a Lust Haus may
be. It is, as its name imports, a resort for pleasure and amusement; and
in this respect the Dutch are certainly very much in advance of the
English, who have, in the pot-houses and low inns resorted to by seamen,
no accommodation of the kind. There is barely room for Jack to foot it
in a reel, the tap-room is so small; and as Jack is soon reeling after
he is once on shore, it is a very great defect. Now, the Lust Haus is a
room as large as an assembly-room in a country-town, well lighted up
with lamps and chandeliers, well warmed with stoves, where you have room
to dance fifty reels at once, and still have plenty of accommodation at
the chairs and tables ranged round on each side. At the end of the room
is a raised chair, with a protecting railing, on which the musicians, to
the number of seven or eight, are posted, and they continue during the
evening to play when requested. The people of the Lust Haus furnish wine
and spirits of every description, while cakes, nuts, walnuts, oranges,
&c, are supplied from the baskets of numerous young women who hand them
round, and press their customers to purchase. Police officers
superintend these resorts to remove those who are violent, and interfere
with the amusements of others. On the whole, it is a very gay scene, and
is resorted to by seamen of all nations, with a sprinkling of those who
are not sailors, but who like amusement, and there are plenty of females
who are ready to dance with them, and to share their beer or grog. Be it
further known, that there is a great deal of decorum in a Lust Haus,
particularly among the latter sex; and altogether it is infinitely more
rational and less debasing, than the low pot-houses of Portsmouth
or Plymouth.

Such was the place of amusement kept by the Frau Vandersloosh, and in
this large room had been seated, for some hours, Dick Short, Coble,
Jansen, Jemmy Ducks, and some others of the crew of his Majesty's cutter
_Yungfrau_.

The room was now full, but not crowded, it was too spacious well to be
so. Some sixteen couples were dancing a quadrille to a lively tune
played by the band, and among the dancers were to be seen old women, and
children of ten or twelve: for it was not considered improper to be seen
dancing at this humble assembly, and the neighbours frequently came in.
The small tables and numerous chairs round the room were nearly all
filled, beer was foaming from the mouths of the opened bottles, and
there was the ringing of the glasses as they pledged each other. At
several tables were assemblages of Dutch seamen, who smoked with all the
phlegm of their nation, as they gravely looked upon the dancers. At
another were to be seen some American seamen, scrupulously neat in their
attire, and with an air _distinguee_, from the superiority of their
education, and all of them quiet and sober. The basket-women flitted
about displaying their stores, and invited every one to purchase fruit,
and particularly hard-boiled eggs, which they had brought in at this
hour, when those who dined at one might be expected to be hungry.
Sailors' wives were also there, and perhaps some who could not produce
the marriage certificates; but as these were not asked for at the door,
it was of no consequence. About the centre of the room, at two small
tables joined together, were to be seen the party from the _Yungfrau_:
some were drinking beer, some grog, and Jemmy Ducks was perched on the
table, with his fiddle as usual held like a bass viol. He was known by
those who frequented the house by the name of the Manikin, and was a
universal object of admiration and good-will. The quadrille was ended,
and the music stopped playing.

"Come now," said Coble, tossing off his glass, "spell oh!--let's have a
song while they take their breath. Jemmy, strike up."

"Hurrah for a song!" cries Jemmy. "Here goes."

Jemmy then tuned one string of his fiddle, which was a little out, and
accompanying his voice, sang as follows: all those who were present
immediately keeping silence, for they were used to Jemmy's melody.


     Twas on the twenty-fourth of June, I sailed away to sea,
     I turned my pockets in the lap of Susan on my knee;
     Says I, my dear, 'tis all I have, I wish that it was more,
     It can't be helped, says Susan then, you know we've spent galore.

          You know we've spent galore, my Bill,
            And merry have been we,
          Again you must your pockets fill,
            For Susan on your knee.

     "Chorus, my boys--"

          For Susan on my knee, my boys,
          With Susan on my knee.

     The gale came on in thunder, lads, in lightning, and in foam,
     Before that we had sail'd away three hundred miles from home;
     And on the Sunday morning, lads, the coast was on our lee,
     Oh, then I thought of Portsmouth, and of Susan on my knee.

          For howling winds and waves to boot,
            With black rocks on the lee,
          Did not so well my fancy suit,
            As Susan on my knee.

     _Chorus_.--With Susan on my knee, my boys,
                With Susan on my knee.

     Next morning we were cast away upon the Frenchman's shore,
     We saved our lives, but not our all, for we could save no more;
     They marched us to a prison, so we lost our liberty,
     I peeped between the bars, and sighed for Susan on my knee.

          For bread so black, and wine so sour,
            And a son a-day to me,
          Made me long ten times an hour,
            For Susan on my knee.

     _Chorus_--For Susan on my knee, my boys,
               For Susan on my knee.

     One night we smashed our jailer's skull and off our boat did steer,
     And in the offing were picked up by a jolly privateer;
     We sailed in her the cruise, my boys, and prizes did take we,
     I'll be at Portsmouth soon, thinks I, with Susan on my knee.

          We shared three hundred pounds a man,
            I made all sail with glee,
          Again I danced and tossed my can,
            With Susan on my knee.

     _Chorus_.--With Susan on my knee, my boys,
                With Susan on my knee.

"That's prime, Jemmy. Now, my boys, all together," cried Obadiah Coble.

    _Chorus_.--Very good song, and very well sung,
               Jolly companions every one;
               We are all here for mirth and glee,
               We are all here for jollity.
               Very good song, and very well sung,
               Jolly companions every one;
               Put your hats on to keep your heads warm,
               A little more grog will do us no harm.


"Hurrah! now, Bill Spurey, suppose you tip us a stave. But I say,
Babette, you Dutch-built galliot, tell old Frank Slush to send us
another dose of the stuff; and d'ye hear, a short pipe for me, and a
paper o' baccy."

The short, fat Babette, whose proportions all the exercise of waiting
upon the customers could not reduce, knew quite enough English to
require no further explanation.

"Come, Jemmy, my hearty, take your fingers off your fiddle, and hand in
your pot," continued Coble; "and then if they are not going to dance,
we'll have another song. Bill Spurey, wet your whistle, and just clear
the cobwebs out of your throat. Here's more 'baccy, Short."

Short made no reply, but he shook out the ashes and filled his pipe. The
music did not strike up again, so Bill Spurey sang as follows:--


     Says the parson one day, as I cursed a Jew,
       Do you know, my lad, that we call it a sin?
     I fear of you sailors there are but few,
       St Peter, to heaven, will ever let in.
     Says I, Mr Parson, to tell you my mind,
       No sailors to knock were ever yet seen,
     Those who travel by land may steer 'gainst wind,
       But we shape a course for Fidler's Green.

          For Fidler's Green, where seamen true,
            When here they've done their duty,
          The bowl of grog shall still renew
            And pledge to love and beauty.

     Says the parson, I hear you've married three wives,
       Now do you not know, that that is a sin?
     You sailors, you lead such very bad lives,
       St Peter, to heaven, will ne'er let you in
     Parson, says I, in each port I've but _one_,
       And never had more, wherever I've been;
     Below I'm obliged to be chaste as a nun,
       But I'm promised a dozen at Fidler's Green.

          At Fidler's Green, where seamen true,
            When here they've done their duty,
          The bowl of grog shall still renew,
            And pledge to love and beauty.

     Says the parson, says he, you're drunk, my man,
       And do you not know that that is a sin?
     If you sailors will ever be swigging your can,
       To heaven you surely will never get in.
     (_Hiccup_.) Parson, you may as well be mum,
       'Tis only on shore I'm this way seen;
     But oceans of punch, and rivers of rum,
       Await the sailor at Fidler's Green.

          At Fidler's Green, where seamen true,
            When here they've done their duty,
          The bowl of grog shall still renew,
            And pledge to love and beauty.


"Well reeled off, Billy," cried Jemmy Ducks, finishing with a flourish
on his fiddle, and a refrain of the air. I don't think we shall meet
_him_ and his dog at Fidler's Green--heh!"

"No," replied Short, taking his pipe from his lip.

"No, no, Jemmy, a seaman true means one true in heart as well as in
knowledge; but, like a blind fiddler, he'll be led by his dog
somewhere else."

"From vere de dog did come from," observed Jansen.

The band now struck up again, and played a waltz--a dance new to our
country, but older than the heptarchy. Jansen, with his pipe in his
mouth, took one of the women by the waist, and steered round the room
about as leisurely as a capstern heaving up. Dick Short also took
another, made four turns, reeled up against a Dutchman who was doing it
with _sang froid_, and then suddenly left his partner and dropped into
his chair.

"I say, Jemmy," said Obadiah Coble, "why don't you give a girl a twist
round?"

"Because I can't, Oby; my compasses arn't long enough to describe a
circle. You and I are better here, old boy. I, because I've very little
legs, and you, because you havn't a leg to stand upon."

"Very true--not quite so young as I was forty years ago. Howsomever I
mean this to be my last vessel. I shall bear up for one of the London
dock-yards as a rigger."

"Yes, that'll do; only keep clear of the girt-lines, you're too stiff
for that."

"No, that would not exactly tell; I shall pick my own work, and that's
where I can bring my tarry trousers to an anchor--mousing the mainstay,
or puddening the anchor, with the best of any. Dick, lend us a bit
of 'baccy."

Short pulled out his box without saying a word. Coble took a quid, and
Short thrust the box again into his pocket.

In the meantime the waltz continued, and being a favourite dance, there
were about fifty couples going round and round the room. Such was the
variety in the dress, country, language, and appearance of the parties
collected, that you might have imagined it a masquerade. It was,
however, getting late, and Frau Vandersloosh had received the intimation
of the people of the police who superintend these resorts, that it was
the time for shutting up; so that, although the widow was sorry on her
own account to disperse so merry and so thirsty a party as they were now
becoming, so soon as the waltz was ended the musicians packed up their
instruments and departed.

This was a signal for many, but by no means for all, to depart; for
music being over, and the house doors closed, a few who remained,
provided they made no disturbance, were not interfered with by the
police. Among those who stayed were the party from the _Yungfrau_, one
or two American, and some Prussian sailors. Having closed up together,

"Come," cried Jemmy, "now that we are quiet again, let's have another
song; and who is it to be--Dick Short?"

"Short, my boy, come, you must sing."

"No," replied Short.

"Yes, yes--one verse," said Spurey.

"He never sings more," replied Jemmy Ducks, "so he must give us that.
Come, Short."

"Yes," replied Short, taking the pipe out of his mouth, and wetting his
lips with the grog.

     _Short_ stay apeak was the anchor,
      We had but a _short_ minute more,
     In _short_, I no longer could banker,
      For _short_ was the cash in my store.
     I gave one _short_ look,
      As Poll heaved a _short_ sigh
     One _short_ hug I took,
      _Short_ the matter cut I,
       And off I went to sea.

"Go on, Dick."

"No," replied Short, resuming his pipe.

"Well, then, chorus, my boys."

     Very good song, and very well sung,
     Jolly companions every one;
     We all are here for mirth and glee,
     We all are here for jollity.
     Very good song, and very well sung,
     Jolly companions every one;
     Put your hats on, and keep your heads warm,
     A little more liquor will do us no harm.

"Now then, Jemmy Ducks, it's round to you again. Strike up, fiddle and
all."

"Well, here goes," said Jemmy Ducks.

     The captain stood on the carronade--first lieutenant, says he,
     Send all my merry men aft here, for they must list to me:
     I havn't the gift of the gab, my sons--because I'm bred to the sea,
     That ship there is a Frenchman, who means to fight with we.
       Odds blood, hammer and tongs, long as I've been to sea,
       I've fought 'gainst every odds--but I've gained the victory.

     That ship there is a Frenchman, and if we don't take _she,_
     'Tis a thousand bullets to one, that she will capture _me_;
     I havn't the gift of the gab, my boys, so each man to his gun,
     If she's not mine in half an hour, I'll flog each mother's son.
       Odds bobs, hammer and tongs, long as I've been to sea,
       I've fought 'gainst every odds--and I've gained the victory.

     We fought for twenty minutes, when the Frenchman had enough,
     I little thought, said he, that your men were of such stuff;
     The captain took the Frenchman's sword, a low bow made to he,
     I havn't the gift of the gab, Mounsieur, but polite I wish to be.
       Odds bobs, hammer and tongs, long as I've been to sea,
       I've fought 'gainst every odds--and I've gained the victory.

     Our captain sent for all of us; my merry men, said he,
     I havn't the gift of the gab, my lads, but yet I thankful be;
     You've done your duty handsomely, each man stood to his gun,
     If you hadn't, you villains, as sure as day, I'd have flogged
          each mother's son.
       Odds bobs, hammer and tongs, as long as I'm at sea,
       I'll fight 'gainst every odds--and I'll gain the victory.

          _Chorus_--Very good song, and very well sung,
            Jolly companions every one;
            We all are here for mirth and glee,
            We all are here for jollity.
            Very good song, and very well sung,
            Jolly companions every one;
            Put your hats on to keep your heads warm,
            A little more grog will do us no harm.

"Now, Coble, we must have yours," said Jemmy Ducks.

"Mine! well, if you please: but half my notes are stranded. You'll think
that Snarleyyow is baying the moon: howsomever, take it as it is."


     Oh, what's the use of piping, boys, I never yet could larn,
     The good of water from the eyes I never could disarn;
     Salt water we have sure enough without our pumping more,
     So let us leave all crying to the girls we leave on shore.

              They may pump,
              As in we jump
          To the boat, and say, "Good-bye;"
              But as for men,
              Why, I say again,
          That crying's all my eye.

     I went to school when quite a boy, and never larnt to read,
     The master tried both head and tail--at last it was agreed
     No larning he could force in me, so they sent me off to sea,
     My mother wept and wrung her hands, and cried most bitterly.

              So she did pump,
              As I did jump
          In the boat, and said, "Good-bye;"
              But as for me,
              Who was sent to sea,
          To cry was all my eye.

     I courted Poll, a buxom lass; when I returned A B,
     I bought her ear-rings, hat, and shawl, a sixpence did break we;
     At last 'twas time to be on board, so, Poll, says I, farewell;
     She roared and said, that leaving her was like a funeral knell.

              So she did pump,
              As I did jump
          In the boat, and said, "Good-bye;"
              But as for me
              With the rate A B,
          To cry was all my eye.

     I soon went back, I shoved on shore, and Polly I did meet,
     For she was watching on the shore, her sweetheart for to greet,
     She threw her arms around me then, and much to my surprise,
     She vowed she was so happy that she pumped with both her eyes.

              So she did pump,
              As I did jump
          To kiss her lovingly,
              But, I say again,
              That as for men,
          Crying is all my eye.

     Then push the can around, my boys, and let us merry be;
     We'll rig the pumps if a leak we spring, and work most merrily:
     Salt water we have sure enough, we'll add not to its store,
     But drink, and laugh, and sing and chat, and call again for more.

              The girls may pump,
              As in we jump
          To the boat, and say, "Good-bye;"
              But as for we,
              Who sailors be,
          Crying is all my eye.

"Bravo, Obadiah! now one more song, and then we'll aboard. It won't do
to bowse your jib up too tight here," said Jemmy; "for it's rather
dangerous navigation among all these canals--no room for yawing."

"No," replied Dick Short.

"Then," said Jemmy, jumping off the table with his fiddle in his hand,
"let's have the roarer by way of a finish--what d'ye say, my hearties?"

Up they all rose, and gathered together in the centre of the room, save
Jemmy Ducks, who, flourishing with his fiddle, commenced.

          Jack's alive and a merry dog,
            When he gets on shore,
          He calls for his glass of grog,
            He drinks, and he calls for more.
          So drink, and call for what you please,
            Until you've had your whack, boys;
          We think no more of raging seas,
            Now that we've come back, boys.

"Chorus, now--"

     With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
       The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
     _Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
       Huzza, my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

All the seamen joined in the chorus, which they accompanied both with
their hands and feet, snapping their fingers at _whip_ and _snip_, and
smacking their hands at _smack_ and _crack_, while they danced round in
the most grotesque manner, to Jemmy's fiddle and voice; the chorus ended
in loud laughter, for they had now proved the words of the song to be
true, and were all alive and merry. According to the rules of the song,
Jemmy now called out for the next singer, Coble.

          Jack's alive and merry, my boys,
            When he's on blue water,
          In the battle's rage and noise,
            And the main-deck slaughter.
          So drink and call for what you please,
            Until you've had your whack, boys;
          We'll think no more or angry seas,
            Until that we go back, boys.

     _Chorus_.--With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
                  The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
                _Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
                  Huzza my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

Jansen and Jemmy Ducks, after the dancing chorus had finished,

          Yack alive and merry, my boys,
            Ven he get him _frau_,
          And he vid her ringlet toys,
            As he take her paw.
          So drink, and call for vat you please.
            Until you hab your vack, boys;
          Ve'll think no more of angry seas,
            Till ve standen back, boys.

Chorus and laughter

     With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
       The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
     _Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
       Huzza, my lads, we'll keep the pot boiling.

Bill Spurey--


          Jack's alive and merry, boys,
            When he's got the shiners;
          Heh! for rattle, fun, and noise,
            Hang all grumbling whiners.
          Then drink, and call for what you please,
            Until you've had your whack, boys;
          We think no more of raging seas,
            Now that we've come back, boys.

     _Chorus_.--With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
                  The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
                _Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
                  Huzza, my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

"Dick Short must sing."

"Yes," replied Dick.


          Jack's alive and full of fun,
            When his hulk is crazy,
          As he basks in Greenwich sun,
            Jolly still though lazy.
          So drink, and call for what you please,
            Until you've had your whack, boys;
          We'll think no more of raging seas,
            Now that we've come back, boys.

     _Chorus_.--With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
                 The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
               _Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
                 Huzza, my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

As this was the last chorus, it was repeated three or four times, and
with hallooing, screaming, and dancing in mad gesticulation.

"Hurrah, my lads," cried Jemmy, "three cheers and a bravo."

It was high time that they went on board; so thought Frau Vandersloosh,
who trembled for her chandeliers; so thought Babette, who had begun to
yawn before the last song, and who had tired herself more with laughing
at it; so thought they all, and they sallied forth out of the Lust Haus,
with Jemmy Ducks having the advance, and fiddling to them the whole way
down to the boat. Fortunately, not one of them fell into the canal, and
in ten minutes they were all on board; they were not, however, permitted
to turn into their hammocks without the important information being
imparted to them, that Snarleyyow had disappeared.



Chapter X

In which is explained the sublime mystery of keel-hauling--Snarleyyow
saves Smallbones from being drowned, although Smallbones would have
drowned him.


It is a dark morning; the wind is fresh from the northwest; flakes of
snow are seen wafting here and there by the wind, the avant-couriers of
a heavy fall; the whole sky is of one murky grey, and the sun is hidden
behind a dense bank. The deck of the cutter is wet and slippery, and
Dick Short has the morning watch. He is wrapt up in a Flushing
pea-jacket, with thick mittens on his hands; he looks about him, and now
and then a fragment of snow whirls into his eye; he winks it out, it
melts and runs like a tear down his cheek. If it were not that it is
contrary to man-of-war custom he would warm himself with the
_double-shuffle_, but such a step would be unheard of on the
quarter-deck of even the cutter _Yungfrau_.

The tarpaulin over the hatchway is pushed on one side, and the space
between the coamings is filled with the bull head and broad shoulders of
Corporal Van Spitter, who, at last, gains the deck; he looks round him
and apparently is not much pleased with the weather. Before he proceeds
to business, he examines the sleeves and front of his jacket, and having
brushed off with the palm of his hand a variety of blanket-hairs,
adhering to the cloth, he is satisfied, and now turns to the right and
to the left, and forward and aft--in less than a minute he goes right
round the compass. What can Corporal Van Spitter want at so early an
hour? He has not come up on deck for nothing, and yet he appears to be
strangely puzzled: the fact is, by the arrangements of last night, it
was decided, that this morning, if Snarleyyow did not make his
appearance in the boat sent on shore for fresh beef for the ship's
company, the unfortunate Smallbones was to be _keel-hauled_.

What a delightful morning for a keel-hauling!

This ingenious process, which, however, like many other good old
customs, has fallen into disuse, must be explained to the non-nautical
reader. It is nothing more nor less than sending a poor navigator on a
voyage of discovery under the bottom of the vessel, lowering him[2] down
over the bows, and with ropes detaining him exactly in his position
under the kelson, while he is drawn aft by a hauling line until he makes
his appearance at the rudder-chains, generally speaking quite out of
breath, not at the rapidity of his motion, but because, when so long
under the water, he has expended all the breath in his body, and is
induced to take in salt water _en lieu._ There is much merit in this
invention; people are very apt to be content with walking the deck of a
man-of-war, and complain of it as a hardship, but when once they have
learnt, by experience, the difference between being comfortable above
board, and the number of deprivations which they have to submit to when
under board and overboard at the same time, they find that there are
worse situations than being on the deck of a vessel--we say privations
when under board, for they really are very important:--you are deprived
of the air to breathe, which is not borne with patience even by a
philosopher, and you are obliged to drink salt water instead of fresh.
In the days of keel-hauling, the bottoms of vessels were not coppered,
and in consequence were well studded with a species of shell-fish which
attached themselves, called barnacles, and as these shells were all
open-mouthed and with sharp cutting points, those who underwent this
punishment (for they were made by the ropes at each side, fastened to
their arms, to hug the kelson of the vessel) were cut and scored all
over their body, as if with so many lancets, generally coming up
bleeding in every part, and with their faces, especially their noses, as
if they had been gnawed by the rats; but this was considered rather
advantageous than otherwise, as the loss of blood restored the patient
if he was not quite drowned, and the consequence was, that one out of
three, it is said, have been known to recover after their submarine
excursion. The Dutch have the credit, and we will not attempt to take
from them their undoubted right, of having invented this very agreeable
description of punishment. They are considered a heavy, phlegmatic sort
of people, but on every point in which the art of ingeniously tormenting
is in request, it must be admitted that they have taken the lead of much
more vivacious and otherwise more inventive nations.

[Footnote 2: The author has here explained keel-hauling as practised in
those times in small _fore and aft_ vessels. In large and square-rigged
vessels, the man was hauled up to one main-yard arm, and dropped into
the sea, and hauled under the bottom of the vessel to the other; but
this in small fore and aft vessels was not so easily effected, nor was
it considered sufficient punishment.]

And now the reader will perceive why Corporal Van Spitter was in a
dilemma. With all the good-will in the world, with every anxiety to
fulfil his duty, and to obey his superior officer, he was not a seaman,
and did not know how to commence operations. He knew nothing about
foddering a vessel's bottom, much less how to fodder it with the carcass
of one of his fellow-creatures. The corporal, as we said before, turned
round and round the compass to ascertain if he could compass his wishes;
at last, he commenced by dragging one-rope's end from one side and
another from the other; those would do for the side ropes, but he wanted
a long one from forward and another from aft, and how to get the one
from aft under the cutter's bottom was a puzzle; and then there was the
mast and the rigging in his way;--the corporal reflected--the more he
considered the matter, the more his brain became confused; he was at a
nonplus, and he gave it up in despair: he stood still, took out a blue
cotton handkerchief from the breast of his jacket and wiped his
forehead, for the intensity of thought had made him perspire--anything
like reflection was very hard work for Corporal Van Spitter.

"Tousand tyfels!" at last exclaimed the corporal, and he paused and
knocked his big head with his fist.

"Hundred thousand tyfels!" repeated the corporal after five minutes'
more thought.

"Twenty hundred tousand tyfels!" muttered the corporal, once more
knocking his head: but he knocked in vain; like an empty house, there
was no one within to answer the appeal. The corporal could no more: so
he returned his pocket-handkerchief to the breast of his jacket, and a
heavy sigh escaped from his own breast. All the devils in hell were
mentally conjured and summoned to his aid, but they were, it is to be
presumed, better employed, for although the work in hand was diabolical
enough, still, Smallbones was such a poor devil, that probably he might
have been considered as remotely allied to the fraternity.

It may be inquired why, as this was _on service_, Corporal Van Spitter
did not apply for the assistance of the seamen belonging to the vessel,
particularly to the officer in charge of the deck; but the fact was,
that he was unwilling to do this, knowing that his application would be
in vain, for he was aware that the whole crew sided with Smallbones; it
was only as a last resource that he intended to do this, and being now
at his _wit's_ end, he walked up to Dick Short, who had been watching
the corporal's motions in silence, and accosted him.

"If you please, Mynheer Short, Mynheer Vanslyperken give orders dat de
boy be keel-hauled dis morning:--I want haben de rope and de way."

Short looked at the corporal, and made no reply.

"Mynheer Short, I haben tell de order of Mynheer Vanslyperken."

Dick Short made no reply, but leaning over the hatchway, called out,
"Jemmy."

"Ay, ay," replied Jemmy Ducks, turning out of his hammock and dropping
on the lower deck.

Corporal Van Spitter, who imagined that Mr Short was about to comply
with his request after his own Harpocratic fashion, remained quietly on
the deck until Jemmy Ducks made his appearance.

"Hands," quoth Short.

Jemmy piped the hands up.

"Boat," quoth Short, turning his head to the small boat hoisted up
astern.

Now as all this was apparently preparatory to the work required, the
corporal was satisfied. The men soon came up with their hammocks on
their shoulders, which they put into the nettings, and then Jemmy
proceeded to lower down the boat. As soon as it was down and hauled up
alongside, Short turned round to Coble, and waving his hand towards the
shore, said,

"Beef."

Coble, who perfectly understood him, put a new quid into his cheek, went
down the side, and pulled on shore to bring off the fresh beef and
vegetables for the ship's company; after which Dick Short walked the
deck and gave no further orders.

Corporal Van Spitter perceiving this, went up to him again.

"Mynheer Short, you please get ready."

"No!" thundered Short, turning away.

"Got for dam, dat is mutiny," muttered the corporal, who immediately
backed stern foremost down the hatchway, to report to his commandant the
state of affairs on deck. Mr Vanslyperken had already risen; he had
slept but one hour during the whole night, and that one hour was so
occupied with wild and fearful dreams that he awoke from his sleep
unrefreshed. He had dreamed that he was making every attempt to drown
Smallbones, but without effect, for, so soon as the lad was dead he came
to life again; he thought that Smallbones' soul was incorporated in a
small animal something like a mouse, and that he had to dislodge it from
its tenement of clay; but as soon as he drove it from one part of the
body it would force its way back again into another; if he forced it out
by the mouth after incredible exertions, which made him perspire at
every pore, it would run back again into the ear; if forced from thence,
through the nostril, then in at the toe, or any other part; in short, he
laboured apparently in his dream for years, but without success. And
then the "change came o'er the spirit of his dream;" but still there was
analogy, for he was now trying to press his suit, which was now a liquid
in a vial, into the widow Vandersloosh, but in vain. He administered it
again and again, but it acted as an emetic, and she could not stomach
it, and then he found himself rejected by all--the widow kicked him,
Smallbones stamped upon him, even Snarleyyow flew at him and bit him; at
last, he fell with an enormous paving-stone round his neck, descending
into a horrible abyss head foremost, and, as he increased his velocity,
he awoke trembling and confused, and could sleep no more. This dream was
not one to put Mr Vanslyperken into good humour, and two severe cuts on
his cheek with the razor as he attempted to shave, for his hand still
trembled, had added to his discontent, when it was raised to its climax
by the entrance of Corporal Van Spitter, who made his report of the
mutinous conduct of the first officer. Never was Mr Vanslyperken in such
a tumult of rage; he pulled off some beaver from his hat to staunch the
blood, and wiping off the remainder of the lather, for he put aside the
operation of shaving till his hand was more steady, he threw on his coat
and followed the corporal on deck, looked round with a savage air, spied
out the diminutive form of Jemmy Ducks, and desired him to pipe "all
hands to keel-haul."

Whereupon Jemmy put his pipe to his mouth, and after a long flourish,
bawled out what appeared to Mr Vanslyperken to be--all hands to _be
heel-hauled;_ but Jemmy slurred over quickly the little change made in
the order, and, although the men tittered, Mr Vanslyperken thought it
better to say nothing. But there is an old saying, that you may bring a
horse to the pond, but you cannot make him drink. Mr Vanslyperken had
given the order, but no one attempted to commence the arrangements. The
only person who showed any activity was Smallbones himself, who, not
aware that he was to be punished, and hearing all hands piped for
something or another, came shambling, all legs and wings, up the
hatchway, and looked around to ascertain what was to be done. He was met
by the bulky form of Corporal Van Spitter, who, thinking that
Smallbones' making his appearance in such haste was with the intention
of jumping overboard to avoid his punishment, immediately seized him by
the collar with the left hand, turned round on a pivot towards Mr
Vanslyperken, and raising his right hand to his foraging cap, reported,
"The prisoner on deck, Mynheer Vanslyperken." This roused the lieutenant
to action, for he had been walking the deck for a half minute in
deep thought.

"Is all ready there, forward?" cried Mr Vanslyperken.

No one replied.

"I say, boatswain, is all ready?"

"No, sir," replied Jemmy; "nobody knows how to set about it. I don't,
anyhow--I never seed anything of the like since I've been in the
service--the whole of the ship's company say the same." But even the
flakes of snow, which now fell thick, and whitened the blue jacket of Mr
Vanslyperken, could not assuage his wrath--he perceived that the men
were refractory, so he summoned the six marines--who were completely
under the control of their corporal.

Poor Smallbones had, in the meantime, discovered what was going on, and
thought that he might as well urge something in his own defence.

"If you please, what are you going for to do with me?" said the lad,
with a terrified look.

"Lead him forward," said Mr Vanslyperken; "follow me, marines;" and the
whole party, headed by the lieutenant, went before the mast.

"Strip him," cried Mr Vanslyperken.

"Strip me, with the snow flying like this! An't I cold enough already?"

"You'll be colder when you're under the bottom of the cutter," replied
his master.

"O Lord! then it is keel-hauling a'ter all; why what have I done?" cried
Smallbones, as the marines divested him of his shirt, and exposed his
emaciated body to the pitiless storm.

"Where's Snarleyyow, sir?--confess."

"Snarleyyow--how should I know, sir? it's very hard, because your dog is
not to be found, that I'm to be dragged under the bottom of a vessel."

"I'll teach you to throw paving-stones in the canal."

"Paving-stones, sir!" and Smallbones' guilty conscience flew in his
face. "Well, sir, do as you please, I'm sure I don't care; if I am to be
killed, be quick about it--I'm sure I sha'n't come up alive."

Here Mr Vanslyperken remembered his dream, and the difficulty which he
had in driving Smallbones' soul out of his body, and he was fearful that
even keel-hauling would not settle Smallbones.

By the directions of Mr Vanslyperken, the hauling ropes and other
tackle were collected by the marines, for the seamen stood by, and
appeared resolved, to a man, to do nothing, and, in about half an hour,
all was ready. Four marines manned the hauling line, one was placed at
each side-rope fastened to the lad's arms, and the corporal, as soon as
he had lifted the body of Smallbones over the larboard gunnel, had
directions to attend the bow-line, and not allow him to be dragged on
too fast: a better selection for this purpose could not have been made
than Corporal Van Spitter. Smallbones had been laid without his clothes
on the deck, now covered with snow, during the time that the lines were
making fast to him; he remained silent, and as usual, when punished,
with his eyes shut, and as Vanslyperken watched him with feelings of
hatred, he perceived an occasional smile to cross the lad's haggard
features. He knows where the dog is, thought Vanslyperken, and his
desire to know what had become of Snarleyyow overcame his vengeance--he
addressed the shivering Smallbones.

"Now, sir, if you wish to escape the punishment, tell me what has become
of the dog, for I perceive that you know."

Smallbones grinned as his teeth chattered--he would have undergone a
dozen keel-haulings rather than have satisfied Vanslyperken.

"I give you ten minutes to think of it," continued the lieutenant; "hold
all fast at present."

The snow storm now came on so thick that it was difficult to distinguish
the length of the vessel. Smallbones' naked limbs were gradually
covered, and, before the ten minutes were expired, he was wrapped up in
snow as in a garment--he shook his head occasionally to clear his face,
but remained silent.

"Now, sir," cried Vanslyperken, "will you tell me, or overboard you go
at once? Will you tell me?"

"No," replied Smallbones.

"Do you know, you scoundrel?"

"Yes," replied Smallbones, whose indignation was roused.

"And you won't tell?"

"No," shrieked the lad--"no, never, never, never!"

"Corporal Van Spitter, over with him," cried Vanslyperken in a rage,
when a sudden stir was heard amongst the men aft, and as the corporal
raised up the light frame of the culprit, to carry it to the gunnel, to
the astonishment of Vanslyperken, of the corporal, and of Smallbones,
Snarleyyow appeared on the forecastle, and made a rush at Smallbones, as
he lay in the corporal's arms, snapped at his leg, and then set up his
usual deep baying, "bow, bow, bow!"

The re-appearance of the dog created no small sensation--Vanslyperken
felt that he had now no reason for keel-hauling Smallbones, which
annoyed him as much as the sight of the dog gave him pleasure. The
corporal, who had dropped Smallbones on the snow, was also disappointed.
As for Smallbones, at the baying of the dog, he started up on his knees,
and looked at it as if it were an apparition, with every demonstration
of terror in his countenance; his eyes glared upon the animal with
horror and astonishment, and he fell down in a swoon. The whole of the
ship's company were taken aback--they looked at one another and shook
their heads--one only remark was made by Jansen, who muttered, "De tog
is no tog a'ter all."

Mr Vanslyperken ordered Smallbones to be taken below, and then walked
aft; perceiving Obadiah Coble, he inquired whence the dog had come, and
was answered that he had come off in the boat which he had taken on
shore for fresh beef and vegetables. Mr Vanslyperken made no reply, but,
with Snarleyyow at his heels, went down into the cabin.



Chapter XI

In which Snarleyyow does not at all assist his master's cause with the
Widow Vandersloosh.


It will be necessary to explain to the reader by what means the life of
our celebrated cur was preserved. When Smallbones had thrown him into
the canal, tied up, as he supposed, in his winding-sheet, what Mr
Vanslyperken observed was true, that there were people below, and the
supposed paving-stone might have fallen upon them: the voices which he
heard were those of father and son, who were in a small boat going from
a galliot to the steps where they intended to land; for this canal was
not like most others, with the water in it sufficiently high to enable
people to step from the vessel's gunnel to the jetty. Snarleyyow fell in
his bag a few yards ahead of the boat, and the splash naturally
attracted their attention; he did not sink immediately, but floundered
and struggled so as to keep himself partly above water.

"What is that?" exclaimed the father to his son, in Dutch.

"Mein Gott! who is to know?--but we will see;" and the son took the
boat-hook, and with it dragged the bread-bags towards the boat, just as
they were sinking, for Snarleyyow was exhausted with his efforts. The
two together dragged the bags with their contents into the boat.

"It is a dog or something," observed the son.

"Very well, but the bread-bags will be useful," replied the father, and
they pulled on to the landing-stairs. When they arrived there they
lifted out the bags, laid them on the stone steps, and proceeded to
unrip them, when they found Snarleyyow, who was just giving signs of
returning animation. They took the bags with them, after having rolled
his carcass out, and left it on the steps, for there was a fine for
throwing anything into the canal. The cur soon after recovered, and was
able to stand on his legs; so soon as he could walk he made his way to
the door of the widow Vandersloosh, and howled for admittance. The widow
had retired: she had been reading her book of _prières_, as every one
should do, who has been cheating people all day long. She was about to
extinguish her light, when this serenade saluted her ears; it became
intolerable as the dog gained strength.

Babette had long been fast asleep, and was with difficulty roused up and
directed to beat the cur away. She attempted to perform the duty, arming
herself with the broom; but the moment she opened the door Snarleyyow
dashed in between her legs, upsetting her on the brick pavement. Babette
screamed, and her mistress came out in the passage to ascertain the
cause; the dog not being able to run into the parlour, bolted up the
stairs, and snapping at the widow as he passed, secured a berth
underneath her bed.

"Oh, mein Gott! it is the dog of the lieutenant," exclaimed Babette,
coming up the stairs in greater dishabille than her mistress, and with
the broom in her hand. "What shall we do--how shall we get rid of him?"

"A thousand devils may take the lieutenant, and his nasty dog, too,"
exclaimed the widow, in great wrath; "this is the last time that either
of them enter my house; try, Babette, with your broom--shove at
him hard."

"Yes, ma'am," replied Babette, pushing with all her strength at the dog
beneath the bed, who seized the broom with his teeth, and pulled it away
from Babette. It was a struggle of strength between the girl and
Snarleyyow--pull, Babette--pull, dog--one moment the broom, with
two-thirds of the handle, disappeared under the bed, the next the maid
recovered her lost ground. Snarleyyow was first tired of this
contention, and to prove that he had no thoughts of abandoning his
position, he let go the broom, flew at Babette's naked legs, and having
inserted his teeth half through her ankle, he returned growling to his
former retreat. "O dear, mein Gott!" exclaimed Babette, dropping her
broom, and holding her ankle with both hands.

"What shall we do?" cried the widow, wringing her hands.

It was indeed a case of difficulty. Mynheer Vandersloosh, before he had
quitted this transitory scene, had become a personage as bulky as the
widow herself, and the bed had been made unusually wide; the widow still
retained the bed for her own use, for there was no knowing whether she
might not again be induced to enter the hymeneal state. It occupied more
than one half of the room, and the dog had gained a position from which
it was not easy for two women to dislodge him; and, as the dog snarled
and growled under the bed, so did the widow's wrath rise as she stood
shivering--and it was directed against the master. She vowed mentally,
that so sure as the dog was under the bed, so sure should his master
never get into it.

And Babette's wrath was also kindled, now that the first pain of the
bite had worn off; she seized the broom again, and made some furious
lunges at Snarleyyow, so furious, that he could not regain possession
with his teeth. The door of the room had been left open that the dog
might escape--so had the street-door; and the widow stood at the foot of
the bed, waiting for some such effect being produced by Babette's
vigorous attacks; but the effects were not such as she anticipated; the
dog became more enraged, and at last sprang out at the foot of the bed,
flew at the widow, tore her only garment, and bit her in the leg. Frau
Vandersloosh screamed and reeled--reeled against the door left half
open, and falling against it, slammed it to with her weight, and fell
down shrieking. Snarleyyow, who probably had intended to make off,
seeing that his escape was prevented, again retreated under the bed, and
as soon as he was there he recommenced an attack upon Babette's legs.

Now, it appears, that what the united courage of the two females could
not accomplish, was at last effected by their united fears. The widow
Vandersloosh gained her legs as soon as she could, and at first opened
the door to run out, but her night dress was torn to ribbons in front.
She looked at her situation--modesty conquered every other feeling--she
burst into tears, and exclaiming, "Mr Vanslyperken! Mr Vanslyperken!"
she threw herself in an ecstasy of grief and rage on the centre of the
bed. At the same moment the teeth of the dog were again fixed upon the
ankles of Babette, who also shrieked, and threw herself on the bed, and
upon her mistress. The bed was a good bed, and had for years done its
duty; but you may even overload a bed, and so it proved in this
instance. The united weights of the mistress and the maid coming down
upon it with such emphasis, was more than the bed could bear--the
sacking gave way altogether, and the mattress which they lay upon was
now supported by the floor.

But this misfortune was their preservation--for when the mattress came
down, it came down upon Snarleyyow. The animal contrived to clear his
loins, or he would have perished; but he could not clear his long mangy
tail, which was now caught and firmly fixed in a new species of trap,
the widow's broadest proportions having firmly secured him by it.
Snarleyyow pulled, and pulled, but he pulled in vain--he was fixed--he
could not bite, for the mattress was between them--he pulled, and he
howled, and barked, and turned himself every way, and yelped; and had
not his tail been of coarse and thick dimensions, he might have left it
behind him, so great were his exertions; but, no, it was impossible. The
widow was a widow of substance, as Vanslyperken had imagined, and as she
now proved to the dog--the only difference was, that the master wished
to be in the very situation which the dog was now so anxious to escape
from--to wit, tailed on to the widow. Babette, who soon perceived that
the dog was so, now got out of the bed, and begging her mistress not to
move an inch, and seizing the broom, she hammered Snarleyyow most
unmercifully, without any fear of retaliation. The dog redoubled his
exertions, and the extra weight of Babette being now removed, he was at
last able to withdraw his appendage, and probably-feeling that there was
now no chance of a quiet night's rest in his present quarters, he made a
bolt out of the room, down the stairs, and into the street. Babette
chased him down, threw the broom at his head as he cleared the
threshold, and then bolted the door.

"O the beast!" exclaimed Babette, going up stairs again, out of breath;
"he's gone at last, ma'am."

"Yes," replied the widow, rising up with difficulty from the hole made
with her own centre of gravity; "and--and his master shall go too. Make
love indeed--the atomy--the shrimp--the dried-up stock-fish. Love,
quotha--and refuse to hang a cur like that. O dear! O dear! get me
something to put on. One of my best chemises all in rags--and his nasty
teeth in my leg in two places, Babette. Well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we
shall see--I don't care for their custom. Mr Vanslyperken, you'll not
sit on my sofa again, I can tell you;--hug your nasty cur--quite good
enough for you. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken."

By this time the widow had received a fresh supply of linen from
Babette; and as soon as she had put it on she rose from the bed, the
fractured state of which again called forth her indignation.

"Thirty-two years have I had this bed, wedded and single, Babette!"
exclaimed the widow. "For sixteen years did I sleep on that bed with the
lamented Mr Vandersloosh--for sixteen years have I slept in it, a lone
widow--but never till now did it break down. How am I to sleep to-night?
What am I to do, Babette?"

"'Twas well it did break down, ma'am," replied Babette, who was
smoothing down the jagged skin at her ankles; "or we should never have
got the nasty biting brute out of the house."

"Very well--very well. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken--marriage, indeed, I'd
as soon marry his cur."

"Mein Gott!" exclaimed Babette. "I think madame, if you did marry, you
would soon find the master as cross as the dog; but I must make
this bed."

Babette proceeded to examine the mischief, and found that it was only
the cords which tied the sacking which had given way, and considering
that they had done their office for thirty-two years, and the strain
which had been put upon them after so long a period, there was not much
to complain of. A new cord was procured, and, in a quarter of an hour,
all was right again; and the widow, who had sat in the chair fuming and
blowing off her steam, as soon as Babette had turned down the bed,
turned in again, muttering, "Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken--marriage indeed.
Well, well, we shall see. Stop till to-morrow, Mr Vanslyperken;" and as
Babette has closed the curtains, so will we close this chapter.



Chapter XII

In which resolutions are entered into in all quarters, and Jemmy Ducks
is accused of mutiny for singing a song in a snow-storm.


What were the adventures of Snarleyyow after this awkward interfence
with his master's speculations upon the widow, until he jumped into the
beef boat to go on board of the cutter, are lost for ever; but it is to
be supposed that he could not have remained the whole night without
making himself disagreeable in some quarter or another. But, as we
before observed, we know nothing about it; and, therefore, may be
excused if we do not tell.

The widow Vandersloosh slept but little that night: her soul was full of
vengeance; but although smarting with the imprints of the cur's teeth,
still she had an eye to business; the custom of the crew of the cutter
was not to be despised, and, as she thought of this, she gradually
cooled down. It was not till four o'clock in the morning that she came
to her decision; and it was a very prudent one, which was to demand the
dead body of the dog to be laid at her door before Mr Vanslyperken
should be allowed admittance. This was her right, and if he was sincere,
he would not refuse; if he did refuse, it was not at all clear that she
should lose the custom of the seamen, over the major part of whom
Vanslyperken then appeared to have very little control; and all of whom,
she knew, detested him most cordially, as well as his dog. After which
resolution the widow Vandersloosh fell fast asleep.

But we must return on board, where there was almost as much confusion as
there had been on shore. The reappearance of Snarleyyow was considered
supernatural, for Smallbones had distinctly told in what manner he had
tied him up in the bread-bags, and thrown him into the canal.
Whisperings and murmurings were heard all round the cutter's decks.
Obadiah Coble shrugged up his shoulders, as he took an extra quid--Dick
Short walked about with lips compressed, more taciturn than ever--Jansen
shook his head, muttering, "Te tog is no tog"--Bill Spurey had to repeat
to the ship's company the legend of his coming on board over and over
again. The only persons who appeared not to have lost their courage were
Jemmy Ducks and poor Smallbones, who had been put in his hammock to
recover him from his refrigeration. The former said, "that if they were
to sail with the devil, it could not be helped, pay and prize-money
would still go on;" and the latter, who had quite recovered his
self-possession, "vowed that dog or devil, he would never cease his
attempts to destroy him--if he was the devil, or one of his imps, it was
his duty as a Christian to oppose him, and he had no chance of better
treatment if he were to remain quiet." The snow-storm continued, and the
men remained below, all but Jemmy Ducks, who leaned against the lee side
of the cutter's mast, and, as the snow fell, sang, to a slow air, the
following ditty, it probably being called to his recollection by the
state of the weather.

     'Twas at the landing-place that's just below Mount Wyse,
     Poll leaned against the sentry's box, a tear in both her eyes,
     Her apron twisted round her arms, all for to keep them warm,
     Being a windy Christmas-day, and also a snow-storm.

          And Bet and Sue
          Both stood there too,
            A-shivering by her side,
          They both were dumb,
          And both looked glum,
            As they watched the ebbing tide.
          Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
            At the admiral's house looked she,
          To thoughts before in limbo,
            She now a vent gave free.
          You have sent the ship in a gale to work,
            On a lee shore to be jammed,
          I'll give you a piece of my mind, old Turk,
            Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     _Chorus_.--We'll give you a piece of our mind, old Turk,
                Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     Who ever heard in the sarvice of a frigate made to sail
     On Christmas-day, it blowing hard, with sleet, and snow, and hail?
     I wish I had the fishing of your back that is so bent,
     I'd use the galley poker hot unto your heart's content.

          Here Bet and Sue
          Are with me too,
            A shivering by my side,
          They both are dumb,
          And both look glum,
            And watch the ebbing tide.
          Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
            At the admiral's house looked she,
          To thoughts that were in limbo,
            She now a vent gave free.
          You've got a roaring fire I'll bet,
            In it your toes are jammed,
          Let's give him a piece of our mind, my Bet,
            Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     _Chorus_.--Let's give him a piece of our mind, my Bet,
                Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     I had the flour and plums all picked, and suet all chopped fine,
     To mix into a pudding rich for all the mess to dine;
     I pawned my ear-rings for the beef, it weighed at least a stone,
     Now my fancy man is sent to sea, and I am left alone.

          Here's Bet and Sue
          Who stand here too,
            A shivering by my side,
          They both are dumb,
          They both look glum,
            And watch the ebbing tide.
          Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
            At the admiral's house looked she,
          To thoughts that were in limbo,
            She now a vent gave free.
          You've got a turkey I'll be bound,
            With which you will be crammed,
          I'll give you a bit of my mind, old hound,
            Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     _Chorus_.--I'll give you a bit of my mind, old hound,
            Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     I'm sure that in this weather they cannot cook their meat,
     To eat it raw on Christmas-day will be a pleasant treat;
     But let us all go home, girls, it's no use waiting here,
     We'll hope that Christmas-day to come, they will have better cheer.

          So Bet and Sue
          Don't stand here too,
            A shivering by my side,
          Don't keep so dumb,
          Don't look so glum,
            Nor watch the ebbing tide.
          Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
            At the admiral's house looked she,
          To thoughts that were in limbo,
            She now a vent gave free.
          So while they cut their raw salt junks,
            With dainties you'll be crammed,
          Here's once for all my mind, old hunks,
            Port Admiral, you be d----d.

     _Chorus_.--So once for all our mind, old hunks,
            Port Admiral you be d----d.

"Mein Gott! but dat is rank mutiny, Mynheer Shemmy Tucks," observed
Corporal Van Spitter, who had come upon the deck unperceived by Jemmy,
and had listened to the song.

"Mutiny, is it?" replied Jemmy, "and report this also.

     "I'll give you a bit of my mind, fat thief,
     You, corporal, may be d----d."

"Dat is better and better--I mean to say, worser and worser," replied
the corporal.

"Take care I don't pitch you overboard," replied Jemmy, in wrath.

"Dat is most worse still," said the corporal, stalking aft, and leaving
Jemmy Ducks to follow up the train of his own thoughts.

Jemmy, who had been roused by the corporal, and felt the snow
insinuating itself into the nape of the neck, thought he might as well
go down below.

The corporal made his report, and Mr Vanslyperken made his comments, but
he did no more, for he was aware that a mere trifle would cause a
general mutiny. The recovery of Snarleyyow consoled him, and little
thinking what had been the events of the preceding night, he thought he
might as well prove his devotion to the widow, by paying his respects in
a snow-storm--but not in the attire of the day before--Mr Vanslyperken
was too economical for that; so he remained in his long threadbare
great-coat and foul-weather hat. Having first locked up his dog in the
cabin, and entrusted the key to the corporal, he went on shore, and
presented himself at the widow's door, which was opened by Babette, who
with her person barred entrance: she did not wait for Vanslyperken to
speak first.

"Mynheer Vanslyperken, you can't come in. Frau Vandersloosh is very ill
in bed--the doctor says it's a bad case--she cannot be seen."

"Ill!" exclaimed Vanslyperken; "your dear, charming mistress ill! Good
heavens! what is the matter, my dear Babette?" replied Vanslyperken,
with all the pretended interest of a devoted lover.

"All through you, Mr Vanslyperken," replied Babette.

"Me!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

"Well, all through your nasty cur, which is the same thing."

"My dog! I little thought that he was left here," replied the
lieutenant; "but, Babette, let me in, if you please, for the snow falls
fast, and--"

"And you must not come in, Mr Vanslyperken," replied Babette, pushing
him back.

"Good heavens! what is the matter?"

Babette then narrated what had passed, and as she was very prolix, Mr
Vanslyperken was a mass of snow on the windward side of him before she
had finished, which she did, by pulling down her worsted stockings, and
showing the wounds which she had received as her portion in the last
night's affray. Having thus given ocular evidence of the truth of what
she had asserted, Babette then delivered the message of her mistress; to
wit, "that until the dead body of Snarleyyow was laid at the porch where
they now stood, he, Mr Vanslyperken, would never gain re-admission." So
saying, and not feeling it very pleasant to continue a conversation in a
snow-storm, Babette very unceremoniously slammed the door in Mr
Vanslyperken's face, and left him to digest the communication with what
appetite he might. Mr Vanslyperken, notwithstanding the cold weather,
hastened from the door in a towering passion. The perspiration actually
ran down his face, and mingled with the melting snow. "To be or not to
be"--give up the widow or give up his darling Snarleyyow--a dog whom he
loved the more, the more he was, through him, entangled in scrapes and
vexations--a dog whom every one hated, and therefore he loved--a dog
which had not a single recommendation, and therefore was highly
prized--a dog assailed by all, and especially by that scarecrow
Smallbones, to whom his death would be a victory--it was impossible. But
then the widow--with such lots of guilders in the bank, and such a good
income from the Lust Haus, he had long made up his mind to settle in
possession. It was the haven which, in the vista of his mind, he had
been so long accustomed to dwell upon, and he could not give up
the hope.

Yet one must be sacrificed. No, he could part with neither. "I have it,"
thought he; "I will make the widow believe that I have sacrificed the
dog, and then, when I am once in possession, the dog shall come back
again, and let her say a word if she dares; I'll tame her; and pay her
off for old scores."

Such was the determination of Mr Vanslyperken, as he walked back to the
boat. His reverie was, however, broken by his breaking his nose against
a lamp-post, which did not contribute to his good-humour. "Yes, yes,
Frau Vandersloosh, we will see," muttered Vanslyperken; "you would kill
my dog, would you? It's a dog's life I'll lead you when I'm once secure
of you, Madame Vandersloosh. You cheated me out of my biscuit--we shall
see;" and Mr Vanslyperken stepped into his boat and pulled on board.

On his arrival he found that a messenger had come on board during his
absence, with the letters of thanks from the king's loving cousins, and
with directions that he should return with them forthwith. This suited
the views of Vanslyperken; he wrote a long letter to the widow, in which
he expressed his willingness to sacrifice everything for her--not only
to hang his dog, but to hang himself if she wished it--lamented his
immediate orders for sailing, and hinted that, on his return, he ought
to find her more favourable. The widow read the letter, and tossed it
into the grate with a Pish! "I was not born yesterday, as the saying
is," cried the widow Vandersloosh.



Chapter XIII

In which the ship's company join in a chorus, and the corporal goes on a
cruise.


Mr Vanslyperken is in his cabin, with Snarleyyow at his side, sitting
upon his haunches, and looking in his master's face, which wears an air
of anxiety and discomfiture; the fact is, that Mr Vanslyperken is
anything but content; he is angry with the widow, with the ship's
company, with the dog, and with himself; but his anger towards the dog
is softened, for he feels that, if anything in this world loves him, it
is the dog--not that his affection is great, but as much as the dog's
nature will permit; and, at all events, if the animal's attachment to
him is not very strong, still he is certain that Snarleyyow hates
everybody else. It is astonishing how powerful is the feeling that is
derived from habit and association. Now that the life of his cur was
demanded by one, and, as he was aware, was sought for by many,
Vanslyperken put a value upon him that was extraordinary. Snarleyyow had
become a precious jewel in the eyes of his master, and what he suffered
in anxiety and disappointment from the perverse disposition of the
animal, only endeared him the more. "Yes, my poor dog," apostrophised
the lieutenant, "they would seek your life--nay, that hard-hearted woman
demands that you should be laid--dead at her porch. All conspire against
you, but be not afraid, my dog, your master will protect you
against all."

Vanslyperken patted the animal on the head, which was not a little
swelled from the blows received from the broom of Babette, and
Snarleyyow rubbed his nose against his master's trousers, and then
raised himself up, by putting his paw upon his master's knee. This
brought the dog's head more to the light, and Vanslyperken observed that
one eye was swelled and closed. He examined it, and, to his horror,
found that it had been beaten out by the broom of Babette. There was no
doubt of it, and Mr Vanslyperken's choler was extreme. "Now, may all the
curses of ophthalmia seize the fagot," cried the lieutenant; "I wish I
had her here. My poor, poor dog!" and Vanslyperken kissed the _os
frontis_ of the cur, and what perhaps had never occurred since
childhood, and what nothing else could have brought about, Mr
Vanslyperken _wept_--actually wept over an animal, which was not, from
any qualification he possessed, worth the charges of the cord which
would have hanged him. Surely the affections have sometimes a bent
towards insanity.

After a short time the lieutenant rang his bell, and ordered some warm
water, to bathe the dog's eye. Corporal Van Spitter, as Smallbones was
in his hammock, answered the summons, and when he returned aft with the
water, he made known to Mr Vanslyperken the mutinous expressions of
Jemmy Ducks. The lieutenant's small eye twinkled with satisfaction.
"Damned the Admiral, did he!--which one was it--Portsmouth or Plymouth?"

This, Corporal Van Spitter could not tell; but it was certain that Jemmy
had damned his superior officer; "And moreover," continued the corporal,
"he damned me." Now Mr Vanslyperken had a great hatred against Jemmy
Ducks, because he amused the ship's company, and he never could forgive
any one who made people happy; moreover, he wanted some object to visit
his wrath upon: so he asked a few more questions, and then dismissed the
corporal, put on his tarpaulin hat, put his speaking-trumpet under his
arm, and went on deck, directing the corporal to appoint one of the
marines to continue to bathe the eye of his favourite.

Mr Vanslyperken looked at the dog-vane, and perceived that the wind was
foul for sailing, and moreover, it would be dark in two hours, so he
determined upon not starting till the next morning, and then he thought
that he would punish Jemmy Ducks; but the question occurred to him
whether he could do so or not. Was James Salisbury a boatswain by right
or not? He received only the pay of a boatswain's mate, but he was
styled boatswain on the books. It was a nice point, and the balance was
even. Mr Vanslyperken's own wishes turned the scale, and he resolved to
flog Jemmy Ducks if he could. We say, if he could, for as, at that time,
tyrannical oppression on the part of the superiors was winked at, and no
complaints were listened to by the Admiralty, insubordination, which was
the natural result, was equally difficult to get over; and although on
board of the larger vessels, the strong arm of power was certain to
conquer, it was not always the case in the smaller, where the superiors
were not in sufficient force, or backed by a numerous party of soldiers
or marines, for there was then little difference between the two
services. Mr Vanslyperken had had more than one mutiny on board of the
vessels which he had commanded, and, in one instance, his whole ship's
company had taken the boats and gone on shore, leaving him by himself in
the vessel, preferring to lose the pay due to them, than to remain
longer on board. They joined other ships in the service, and no notice
was taken of their conduct by the authorities. Such was the state of
half discipline at the period we speak of in the service of the king.
The ships were, in every other point, equally badly fitted out and
manned; peculation of every kind was carried to excess, and those who
were in command thought more of their own interest than of anything
else. Ship's stores and provisions were constantly sold, and the want of
the former was frequently the occasion of the loss of the vessel, and
the sacrifice of the whole crew. Such maladministration is said to be
the case even now in some of the continental navies. It is not until a
long series of years have elapsed, that such regulations and
arrangements as are at present so economically and beneficially
administered to our navy, can be fully established.

Having settled the point so far, Mr Vanslyperken then proceeded to
debate in his own mind, whether he should flog Jemmy in harbour, or
after he had sailed; and feeling that if there was any serious
disturbance on part of the men, they might quit the vessel if in
harbour, he decided that he would wait until he had them in blue water.
His thoughts then reverted to the widow, and, as he turned and turned
again, he clenched his fists in his great-coat pockets, and was heard by
those near him to grind his teeth.

In the meantime, the news had been imparted by the marine, who came up
into the galley for more warm water, that the dog had had one of his
eyes put out, and it was strange the satisfaction which this
intelligence appeared to give to the ship's company. It was passed round
like wildfire, and, when communicated, a beam of pleasure was soon
apparent throughout the whole cutter, and for this simple reason, that
the accident removed the fear arising from the supposition of the dog
being supernatural, for the men argued, and with some reason, that if
you could put out his eye, you could kill him altogether; for if you
could destroy a part, you could destroy the whole. No one ever heard of
the devil's eye being put out--_ergo_, the dog could not be a devil, or
one of his imps: so argued a knot of the men in conclave, and Jansen
wound up by observing, "Dat de tog was only a tog after all."

Vanslyperken returned to his cabin and stated his intentions to his
factotum and confidant, Corporal Van Spitter. Now, in this instance, the
corporal did not adhere to that secrecy to which he was bound, and the
only reason we can give is, that he had as great a dislike to Jemmy
Ducks as his lieutenant--for the corporal obeyed orders so exactly, that
he considered it his duty not to have even an opinion or a feeling
contrary to those of his superior officer. He was delighted at the idea
of flogging Jemmy, and communicated the lieutenant's intention to the
most favoured of his marines, who also told the secret to another, and
thus in five minutes, it was known throughout the cutter, that as soon
as they were in blue water, the little boatswain was to be tied up for
having damned the admiral in a snow-storm. The consequence was, as the
evening was clear, that there was a very numerous assemblage upon the
forecastle of the cutter _Yungfrau_.

"Flog Jemmy," said Bill Spurey. "Why, Jemmy's a hofficer."

"To be sure he is," observed another; "and quite as good a one as
Vanslyperken himself, though he don't wear brass on his hat."

"D--n it--what next--heh, Coble?"

Coble hitched up his trousers. "It's my opinion he'll be for flogging
_us_ next, Short," said the old man.

"Yes," replied Short.

"Shall we allow Jemmy to be flogged?"

"No," replied Short.

"If it warn't for them 'ere marines, and the lumpy beggar of a
corporal," observed one of the seamen.

"Pish," quoth Jemmy, who was standing among them.

"Won't he make it out mutiny?" observed Spurey.

"Mein Gott! it was mutiny to flog de officer," said Jansen.

"That's very true," observed another.

"But Jemmy can't stand against the fat corporal and the six marines,"
observed Bill Spurey.

"One up and t'other down, I'll take them all," observed Jemmy, expanding
his chest.

"Yes, but they'll all be down upon you at once, Jemmy."

"If they lays their hands upon an officer," observed Coble, "it will be
mutiny; and then Jemmy calls in the ship's company to protect him."

"Exactly," observed Jemmy.

"And den, mein Gott, I zettle for de corporal," observed Jansen.

"I'll play him a trick yet."

"But now, it's no use palavering," observed Spurey; "let's come to some
settlement. Obadiah, give us your opinion as to what's best to be done."

Hereupon Coble squirted out a modicum of 'baccy juice, wiped his mouth
with the back of his hand, and said, "It's my opinion, that the best way
of getting one man out of a scrape, is to get all the rest in it. Jemmy,
d'ye see, is to be hauled up for singing an old song, in which a wench
very properly damns the admiral for sending a ship out on a
Christmas-day, which, let alone the unchristian-like act, as you may
know, my lads, always turns up on a Friday, a day on which nothing but
being blown out from your anchors can warrant any vessel sailing on.
Now, d'ye see, it may be mutiny to damn a live admiral, with his flag
hoisted--I won't say but what it is--but this here admiral as Jemmy
damned, is no more alive than a stock fish; and, moreover, it is not
Jemmy as damns him, but Poll; therefore it can be no mutiny. Now, what I
consider best is this, if so be it be against the articles--well, then,
let's all be in for it together, and then Vanslyperken will be puzzled,
and, moreover, it will give him a hint how matters stand, and he may
think better of it; for although we must not have Jemmy touched, still
it's quite as well not to have a regular breeze with the jollies; for if
so be that the _Scarborough,_ or any other king's ship, be in port when
we arrive, Vanslyperken may run under the guns, and then whip the whole
boiling of us off to the Ingies, and glad to get us, too, and that's no
joke. Now, that's my idea of the matter."

"Well, but you've not told us how we are all to get into it, Coble."

"More I have--well, that's funny; left out the whole burden of my song.
Why, I consider that we had better now directly sing the song over
again, all in chorus, and then we shall have damned the admiral a dozen
times over; and Vanslyperken will hear us, and say to himself, 'They
don't sing that song for nothing.' What do you say, Dick Short, you're
first hofficer?"

"Yes," replied Short.

"Hurrah! my lads, then," cried Bill Spurey; "now then, strike up, Jemmy,
and let us give it lots of mouth."

The song which our readers have already heard from the lips of Jemmy
Ducks, was then sung by the whole of the men, _con animo e strepito_,
and two verses had been roared out, when Corporal Van Spitter, in great
agitation, presented himself at the cabin door, where he found Mr
Vanslyperken very busy summing up his accounts.

"Mein Gott, sar! dere is de mutiny in de _Yungfrau_," cried the
corporal.

"Mutiny!" cried Vanslyperken, catching at his sword, which hung up on
the bulk-head.

"Yaw, mynheer--de mutiny--hear now de ship's company."

Vanslyperken lent his ears, when the astounding chorus came rolling aft
through the door of the cabin,

     "I'll give you a bit of my mind, old hunks,
     Port Admiral--you be d---d"

"Bow, wow, wow," barked Snarleyyow.

"Why, it's the whole ship's company!" cried Vanslyperken.

"All but de Corporal Van Spitter, and de six marines," replied the
corporal, raising his hand up to his head _a la militaire_.

"Shut the door, corporal. This is indeed mutiny and defiance," cried
Vanslyperken, jumping up from his chair.

"It is von tyfel of a song," replied the corporal.

"I must find out the ringleaders, corporal; do you think that you could
contrive to overhear what they say after the song is over? they will be
consulting together, and we might find out something."

"Mynheer, I'm not very small for to creep in and listen," replied the
corporal, casting his eyes down upon his huge carcass.

"Are they all forward?" inquired the lieutenant.

"Yes, mynheer--not one soul baft."

"There is the small boat astern; do you think you could get softly into
it, haul it up to the bows, and lie there quite still? You would then
hear what they said, without their thinking of it, now that it is dark."

"I will try, mynheer," replied the corporal, who quitted the cabin.

But there were others who condescended to listen as well as the
corporal, and in this instance, every word which had passed, had been
overheard by Smallbones, who had been for some hours out of his hammock.
When the corporal's hand touched the lock of the door, Smallbones made
a hasty retreat.

Corporal Van Spitter went on the quarter-deck, which he found vacant; he
hauled up the boat to the counter, and by degrees lowered into it his
unwieldy carcass, which almost swamped the little conveyance. He then
waited a little, and with difficulty forced the boat up against the
strong flood-tide that was running, till at last he gained the chesstree
of the cutter, when he shortened in the painter (or rope that held the
boat), made it fast to a ringbolt without being perceived, and there he
lay concealed, not daring to move, for fear of making a noise.

Smallbones had, however, watched him carefully, and as the corporal sat
in the middle thwart, with his face turned aft, catching but imperfectly
the conversation of the men, the lad separated the painter with a sharp
knife, and at the same time dropping his foot down, gave the bow of the
boat a shove off, which made it round with the stream. The tide was then
running five or six miles an hour, and before the corporal, in the utter
darkness, could make out what had occurred, or raise his heavy carcass
to assist himself, he was whirled away by the current clear of the
vessel, and soon disappeared from the sight of Smallbones, who was
watching his progress.

It is true that the corporal shouted for assistance when he found
himself astern, and also that he was heard by the men, but Smallbones
had leaped among them, and in a few words told them what he had done; so
of course they took no notice, but rubbed their hands with delight at
the idea of the corporal being adrift like a bear in a washing-tub, and
they all prayed for a gale of wind to come on that he might be swamped,
and most of them remained on deck to hear what Mr Vanslyperken would say
and do when the corporal's absence was discovered. Mr Vanslyperken
remained nearly two hours without sending for the corporal; at last,
surprised at not seeing him return, he went on deck. The men on the
forecastle perceiving this, immediately disappeared gently down the
fore-hatchway. Mr Vanslyperken walked forward and found that every one
was, as he supposed, either in bed or below; for in harbour the corporal
kept one of the watches, and this night it was his first watch.
Vanslyperken looked over the side all round the cutter, and could see no
boat and no Corporal Van Spitter, and it immediately occurred to him
that the corporal must have gone adrift, and he was very much puzzled
how to act. It would be flood-tide for two hours more, and then the
whole ebb would run before it was daylight. Corporal Van Spitter would
traverse the whole Zuyder Zee before they might find him. Unless he had
the fortune to be picked up by some small craft, he might perish with
cold and hunger. He could not sail without him; for what could he do
without Corporal Van Spitter, his protection, his factotum, his
distributer of provisions, &c. The loss was irreparable, and Mr
Vanslyperken, when he thought of the loss of the widow's favour and the
loss of his favourite, acknowledged with bitterness that his star was
not in the ascendant. After some reflection, Mr Vanslyperken thought
that as nothing could be gained by making the fact known, the wisest
thing that he could do was to go to bed and say nothing about it,
leaving the whole of the ulterior proceedings until the loss of the boat
should be reported to him in the morning. Having arranged this in his
mind, Mr Vanslyperken took two or three turns more, and then went down
and turned in.



Chapter XIV

In which some new characters appear on the stage, although the corporal
is not to be heard of.


The loss of the boat was reported by Obadiah Coble at daylight, and Mr
Vanslyperken immediately went on deck with his spy-glass to ascertain if
he could distinguish the corporal coming down with the last of the
ebb-tide but he was nowhere to be seen. Mr Vanslyperken went to the
mast-head and surveyed in every direction, but he could neither see
anything like the boat or Corporal Van Spitter. His anxiety betrayed to
the men that he was a party to the corporal's proceedings, and they
whispered among themselves. At last Mr Vanslyperken came down on deck,
and desired Corporal Van Spitter to be sent to him. Of course, it was
soon reported to him that Corporal Van Spitter was nowhere to be found,
and Mr Vanslyperken pretended to be much astonished. As the lieutenant
took it for granted that the boat had been swept out with the ebb, he
determined to get under weigh in pursuance of his orders, pick up the
corporal, if he could find him, and then proceed to Portsmouth, which
was the port of his destination. Smallbones attended his master, and was
so unusually active that the suspicious Mr Vanslyperken immediately
decided that he had had a finger in the business; but he took no notice,
resolving in his own mind that Smallbones should some day or another be
adrift himself as the corporal was, but with this difference, that there
should be no search made after him. As soon as the men had finished
their breakfasts, the cutter was got under weigh and proceeded to sea.
During the whole day Vanslyperken cruised in the Zuyder Zee looking for
the boat, but without success, and at last he unwillingly shaped his
course for England, much puzzled and perplexed, as now he had no one to
act as his steward to whom he could confide, or by whose arrangements he
could continue to defraud the ship's company; and, farther, he was
obliged to put off for the present all idea of punishing Jemmy Ducks,
for, without the corporal, the marines were afraid to move a step in
defiance of the ship's company. The consequence was, that the three days
that they were at sea, Mr Vanslyperken confined himself altogether to
his cabin, for he was not without some fears for his own safety. On his
arrival at Portsmouth, he delivered his letters to the admiral, and
received orders to return to his cruising ground after the smugglers as
soon as he had replaced his lost boat.

We have observed that Mr Vanslyperken had no relations on this side of
the water; but in saying that, we referred to the epoch that he was in
the service previous to the accession of King William. Since that, and
about a year from the time we are now writing about, he had brought over
his mother, whom he had not, till the peace, seen for years, and had
established her in a small apartment in that part of the town now known
by the name of the Halfway Houses. The old woman lived upon a small
pension allowed by the Dutch court, having been employed for many years
in a subordinate capacity in the king's household. She was said to have
once been handsome, and when young, prodigal of her favours; at present
she was a palsied old woman, bent double with age and infirmity, but
with all her faculties as complete as if she was in her prime. Nothing
could escape her little twinkling bloodshot eyes, or her acute ear; she
could scarcely hobble fifty yards, but she kept no servant to assist
her, for, like her son, she was avaricious in the extreme. What crime
she had committed was not known, but that something lay heavy on her
conscience was certain; but if there was guilt, there was no repentance,
only fear of future punishment. Cornelius Vanslyperken was her only
living child: she had been twice married. The old woman did not appear
to be very fond of him, although she treated him still as a child, and
executed her parental authority as if he were still in petticoats. Her
coming over was a sort of mutual convenience. She had saved money, and
Vanslyperken wished to secure that, and also have a home and a person to
whom he could trust; and she was so abhorred, and the reports against
her so shocking where she resided, that she was glad to leave a place
where every one, as she passed, would get out of her way, as if to avoid
contamination. Yet these reports were vague, although hinting at some
horrid and appalling crimes. No one knew what they exactly were, for the
old woman had outlived her contemporaries, and the tradition was
imperfect, but she had been handed down to the next generation as one to
be avoided as a basilisk.

It was to his mother's abode, one room on the second floor, to which Mr
Vanslyperken proceeded as soon as he had taken the necessary steps for
the replacing of the boat. As he ascended the stairs, the quick ear of
the old woman heard his footstep, and recognised it. It must be
observed, that all the conversation between Vanslyperken and his mother
was carried on in Dutch, of which we, of course, give the translation.

"There you come, Cornelius Vanslyperken; I hear you, and by your hurried
tread you are vexed. Well, why should you not be vexed as well as your
mother, in this world of devils?"

This was a soliloquy of the old woman's before that Vanslyperken had
entered the room, where he found his mother sitting over a few cinders
half ignited in a very small grate. Parsimony would not allow her to use
more fuel, although her limbs trembled as much from cold as palsy; her
nose and chin nearly met; her lips were like old scars, and of an ashy
white; and her sunken hollow mouth reminded you of a small, deep, dark
sepulchre; teeth she had none.

"How fare you, mother?" said Vanslyperken on entering the room.

"I'm alive."

"And long may you live, dear mother."

"Ah," replied the woman, as if doubting.

"I am here but for a short time," continued Vanslyperken.

"Well, child, so much the better; when on board you save money, on shore
you must spend some. Have you brought any with you?"

"I have, mother, which I must leave to your care."

"Give it me then."

Vanslyperken pulled out a bag and laid it on the lap of his mother,
whose trembling hands counted it over.

"Gold, and good gold--while you live, my child, part not with gold. I'll
not die yet--no, no, the devils may pull at me, and grin at me, but I'm
not theirs yet."

Here the old woman paused, and rocked herself in her chair.

"Cornelius, lock this money up and give me the key:--there, now that is
safe, you may talk, if you please, child: I can hear well enough."

Vanslyperken obeyed; he mentioned all the events of the last cruise, and
his feelings against the widow, Smallbones, and Jemmy Ducks. The old
woman never interrupted him, but sat with her arms folded up in
her apron.

"Just so, just so," said she, at last, when he had done speaking; "I
felt the same, but then you have not the soul to act as I did. I could
do it, but you--you are a coward; no one dared cross my path, or if they
did--ah, well, that's years ago, and I'm not dead yet."

All this was muttered by the old woman in a sort of half soliloquy: she
paused and continued, "Better leave the boy alone,--get nothing by
it;--the woman--there's work there, for there's money."

"But she refuses, mother, if I do not destroy the dog."

"Refuses--ah, well--let me see:--can't you ruin her character, blast her
reputation; she is yours and her money too;--then, then--there will be
money and revenge--both good;--but money--no--yes, money's best. The dog
must live, to gnaw the Jezebel--gnaw her bones--but you, you are a
coward--you dare do nothing."

"What do I fear, mother?"

"Man--the gallows, and death. I fear the last, but I shall not die
yet:--no, no, I _will_ live--I will _not_ die. Ay, the corporal--lost in
Zuyder Zee--dead men tell no tales; and he could tell many of you, my
child. Let the fish fatten on him."

"I cannot do without him, mother."

"A hundred thousand devils!" exclaimed the old mother, "that I should
have suffered such throes for a craven. Cornelius Vanslyperken, you are
not like your mother:--your father, indeed"

"Who was my father?"

"Silence, child,--there, go away--I wish to be alone with memory."

Vanslyperken, who knew that resistance or remonstrance would be useless,
and only lead to bitter cursing and imprecation on the part of the old
woman, rose and walked back to the sallyport, where he slipped into his
boat and pulled on board of the _Yungfrau_, which lay at anchor in the
harbour, about a cable's length from the shore.

"Here he comes," cried a tall bony woman, with nothing on her head but a
cap with green faded ribbons, who was standing on the forecastle of the
cutter. "Here he comes;--he, the willain, as would have flogged my
Jemmy." This was the wife of Jemmy Ducks, who lived at Portsmouth, and
who, having heard what had taken place, vowed revenge.

"Silence, Moggy," said Jemmy, who was standing by her.

"Yes, I'll hold my tongue till the time comes, and then I'll sarve him
out, the cheating wagabond."

"Silence, Moggy."

"And as for that 'peaching old Corporal Blubber, I'll _Wan Spitter_ him
if ever he turns up again to blow the gaff against my own dear Jemmy."

"Silence, Moggy--there's rowed of all, and a marine at your elbow."

"Let him take that for his trouble," cried Moggy, turning round, and
delivering a swinging box of the ear upon the astonished marine, who not
liking to encounter such an Amazon, made a hasty retreat down the
fore-hatchway.

"So there you are, are you?" continued Moggy, as Vanslyperken stepped on
the deck.

"Silence, Moggy."

"You, that would flog my own dear darling duck--my own Jemmy."

"Silence! Moggy, will you?" said Jemmy Ducks, in an angry tone, "or I'll
smash your peepers."

"You must climb on the gun to reach them, my little man," replied his
wife. "Well, the more I holds my tongue now, the more for him when I
gets hold on him. Oh! he's gone to his cabin, has he, to kiss his
Snarleyyow:--I'll make _smallbones_ of that beast afore I'm done with
him. Flog my Jemmy--my own, dear, darling Jemmy--a nasty lean--"

"Go down below, Moggy," said Jemmy Ducks, pushing her towards the
hatchway.

"Snivelling, great-coated--"

"Go below," continued Jemmy, shoving her.

"Ferret-eyed, razor-nosed--"

"Go down below, will you?" cried Jemmy, pushing her near to the
hatchway.

"Herring-gutted, bare-poled--"

"Confound it! go below."

"Cheating rip of a wagabond! Lord, Jemmy, if you a'n't a shoved me down
the hatchway! Well, never mind, my darling, let's go to supper;" and
Moggy caught hold of her husband as she was going down, and with
surprising strength lifted him off his legs and carried him down in her
arms as she would have done a child, much to the amusement of the men
who were standing on the forecastle.

When it was dusk, a boat dropped alongside of the cutter, and a man
stepped out of it on the deck, when he was met by Obadiah Coble, who
asked him, "What's your pleasure?"

"I must speak with the commander of this vessel directly."

"Wait a moment, and I'll tell him what you say," replied Coble, who
reported the message to Mr Vanslyperken.

"What sort of a person is he?" demanded the lieutenant.

"Oh, I don't know,--sort of half-bred, long-shore chap--looks something
between a bumbailey and a bum-boatman."

"Well, you may show him down."

The man, who shortly after entered the cabin, was a short, punchy little
fellow, with a red waistcoat, knee-breeches, and a round jacket of green
cloth. His face was covered with carbuncles, some of them so large that
his small pug-nose was nothing more in appearance than a larger blotch
than the others. His eyes were small and keen, and his whiskers of a
deep red. As soon as he entered the cabin, he very deliberately locked
the door after him.

"Nothing like making sure," observed he.

"Why, what the devil do you want?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, rather
alarmed; while Snarleyyow walked round and round the thick calves of the
man's legs, growling, and in more than two minds to have a bite through
his blue worsted stockings; and the peculiar obliquity with which he
carried his head, now that he surveyed with only one eye, was by no
means satisfactory.

"Take your cur away, and let us proceed to business, for there is no
time to lose," said the man coolly, taking a chair. "Now there can be no
eavesdropping, I trust, for my life may be forfeited, if I'm
discovered."

"I cannot understand a word of all this," replied Vanslyperken, much
surprised.

"In a few words, do you want to put some five thousand pounds in your
pocket?"

At this question Vanslyperken became attentive. He beat off the dog, and
took a chair by the side of the stranger.

"Ah! interest will always bring civility; so now to the point. You
command this cutter, do you not?"

"I do," replied Vanslyperken.

"Well, you are about to cruise after the smugglers?"

"Yes."

"I can give information of a cargo to be landed on a certain night worth
ten thousand pounds or more."

"Indeed!" replied Vanslyperken.

"Yes, and put your boats in such a position that they must seize the
whole."

"I'm very much obliged to you. Will you take something, sir, any
scheedam?" said Vanslyperken, unlocking one of his cupboards, and
producing a large stone bottle, and a couple of glasses, which
he filled.

"This is very good stuff," observed the man; "I'll trouble you for
another glass."

This was one more than Mr Vanslyperken intended; but on second thoughts,
it would make his new acquaintance more communicative, so another was
filled, and as soon as it was filled, it was emptied.

"Capital stuff!" said he of the rubicund face, shoving his glass towards
Vanslyperken, by way of hint; but the lieutenant would not take the
hint, as his new guest had already swallowed as much as lasted himself
for a week.

"But now," observed Vanslyperken, "where is this cargo to be seen, and
when?"

"That's tellings," replied the man.

"I know that; but you have come to tell, or what the devil else?"
replied Vanslyperken, who was getting angry.

"That's according," replied the man.

"According to what?"

"The snacks," replied the man. "What will you give up?"

"Give up! How do you mean?"

"What is my share to be?"

"Share! you can't share--you're not a king's officer."

"No, but I'm an informer, and that's the same thing."

"Well, depend upon it, I'll behave very liberally."

"How much, I ask?"

"We'll see to that afterwards; something handsome, depend upon it."

"That won't do. Wish you good-evening, sir. Many thanks for the
scheedam--capital stuff!" and the man rose from his chair.

But Mr Vanslyperken had no intention to let him go; his avarice induced
him at first to try if the man would be satisfied with his promise to
reward him--a promise which would certainly never have been adhered to.

"Stop! my dear sir, do not be in such a hurry. Take another glass."

"With pleasure," replied the man, re-seating himself, and drinking off
the scheedam. "That's really prime; I like it better every time I taste
it. Now, then, shall we go to business again? I'll be plain with you.
Half is my conditions, or I don't inform."

"Half!" exclaimed Vanslyperken; "half of ten thousand pounds? What, five
thousands pounds?"

"Exactly so; half of ten is five, as you say."

"What, give you five thousand pounds?"

"I rather think it is I who offer you five thousand, for the devil a
penny will you get without me. And that I will have, and this bond you
must sign to that effect, or I'm off. You're not the only vessel in
the harbour."

Vanslyperken tried for some time to reduce the terms, but the man was
positive. Vanslyperken then tried if he could not make the man
intoxicated, and thus obtain better terms; but fifteen glasses of his
prime scheedam had no effect further than extorting unqualified praise
as it was poured down, and at last Mr Vanslyperken unwillingly consented
to the terms, and the bond was signed.

"We must weigh at the ebb," said the man, as he put the bond in his
pocket. "I shall stay on board; we have a moonlight night, and if we had
not, I could find my way out in a yellow fog. Please to get your boats
all ready, manned and armed, for there may be a sharp tussle."

"But when do they run, and where?" demanded Vanslyperken.

"To-morrow night at the back of the Isle. Let me see," continued the
man, taking out his watch; "mercy on me! how time has flown--that's the
scheedam. In a couple of hours we must weigh. I'll go up and see if the
wind holds in the same quarter. If you please, lieutenant, we'll just
drink success to the expedition. Well, that's prime stuff, I
do declare."



Chapter XV

In which the crew of the _Yungfrau_ lose a good prize, and Snarleyyow
loses his character.


The next morning the _Yungfrau_ was clear of St Helens, and sounding the
eastern part of the Isle of Wight, after which she made sail into the
offing, that she might not be suspected by those on shore waiting to
receive the cargo. The weather was fine, and the water smooth, and as
soon as she was well out, the cutter was hove-to. In the hurry of
weighing, Mr Vanslyperken had not thought, or had not known perhaps,
that the wife of Jemmy Ducks was still on board, and as he was turning
up and down on the quarter-deck, he perceived her on the forecastle,
laughing and talking with the men.

"What woman is that?" said he to Jansen, who was at the wheel.

"De frau, mynheer. Dat is de frau of Shimmy Duk."

"How dare she come on board? Send her aft here, marine."

The marine went forward and gave the order; and Jemmy, who expected a
breeze, told his wife to behave herself quietly. His advice did not,
however, appear to be listened to, as will be shown in the sequel.

"How came you on board, woman?" cried Vanslyperken, looking at her from
top to toe several times, as usual, with his hands in his great-coat
pockets, and his battered speaking-trumpet under his arm.

"How did I come on board! why, in a boat to be sure," replied Moggy,
determined to have a breeze.

"Why did you not go on shore before the cutter sailed?" replied
Vanslyperken, in an angry tone.

"Why, just for the contrary reason, because there was no boat."

"Well, I'll just tell you this, if ever I see you on board again, you'll
take the consequences," retorted Vanslyperken.

"And I'll just tell you this," replied Moggy; "if ever you come on shore
again you shall take the consequences. I'll have you--I give you
warning. Flog my Jemmy, heh! my own dear darling Jemmy." Hereupon Moggy
held out one arm bent, and with the palm of her other hand slapped her
elbow--"_There!_" cried she.

What Jemmy's wife meant by this sign, it is impossible for us to say;
but that it was a very significant one was certain, for Mr Vanslyperken
foamed with rage, and all the cutter's crew were tittering and laughing.
It was a species of free-masonry known only to the initiated at the
Sallyport.

"Send the marines aft here. Take this woman below," cried Vanslyperken.
"I shall put all this down to your husband's account, and give him a
receipt in full, depend upon it."

"So you may. Marines, keep off, if you don't wish your heads broken; and
I'll put all this down to your account; and as you say that you'll pay
off on my pet, mark my words, if I don't pay off on yours--on your nasty
cur there. I'll send him to cruise after Corporal Van Spitter. As sure
as I stand here, if you dare to lay a finger on my Jemmy, I'll kill the
brute wherever I find him, and make him into _saussingers_, just for the
pleasure of eating him. I'll send you a pound as a present. You marine,
don't be a fool--I can walk forward without your hoffering your arm, and
be d----d to you." So saying, Moggy stalked forward and joined the men
on the forecastle.

"D'ye know much of that strapping lass?" said Mr Vanslyperken's new
acquaintance.

"Not I," replied Vanslyperken, not much pleased at the observation.

"Well, look out for squalls, she'll be as good as her word. We'll draw
the foresheet, and stand in now, if you please."

It was about dusk, for the days were now short, and the cutter was eight
miles off the land. By the directions of the informer, for we have no
other name to give him, they now bore up and ran along the island until
they were, by his calculations, for it then was dark, abreast of a
certain point close to the Black Gang Chyne. Here they hove-to, hoisted
out their boats, three in number, and the men were sent in, well armed
with pistols and cutlasses. Short had the charge of one, Coble of the
second, the stern-sheets of the third was occupied by Vanslyperken and
the informer. As soon as all was ready, Jemmy Ducks, who, much against
Vanslyperken's wish, was left in charge of the cutter, received his
orders to lie-to where he was, and when the tide made flood, to stand
close in-shore; and all was prepared for a start, when it occurred to
Vanslyperken that to leave Snarleyyow, after the threat of Jemmy's wife,
and the known animosity of Smallbones, would be his death-warrant. He
determined, therefore, to take him in the boat. The informer protested
against it, but Vanslyperken would not listen to his protestations. The
dog was handed into the boat, and they shoved off. After they had pulled
a quarter of an hour in-shore, they altered their course, and continued
along the coast until the informer had made out exactly where he was. He
then desired the other two boats to come alongside, told the crews that
they must keep the greatest silence, as where they were about to proceed
was directly under where the smugglers would have a party to receive the
goods, and that the least alarm would prevent them from making the
capture. The boats then pulled in to some large rocks, against which the
waves hoarsely murmured, although the sea was still smooth, and passing
between them, found themselves in a very small cove, where the water was
still, and in which there was deep water.

The cove was not defended so much by the rocks above water, for the
mouth of it was wide; but there appeared to be a ridge below, which
broke off the swell of the ocean. Neither was it deep, the beach not
being more than perhaps fifty feet from the entrance. The boats, which
had pulled in with muffled oars, here lay quietly for nearly an hour,
when a fog came on and obscured the view of the offing, which otherwise
was extensive, as the moon was at her full, and had shone bright.

"This is all the better," whispered the informer, "they will fall into
the trap at once. Hark! hist! I hear oars."

They all listened; it was true, the sound of oars was heard, and the men
prepared their arms.

The splash of the oars was now more plain. "Be silent and ready,"
whispered the informer, and the whisper was passed round. In another
minute a large lugger-built boat, evidently intended for sailing as well
as pulling, was seen through the fog looming still larger from the mist,
pulling into the cove.

"Silence, and not a word. Let her pass us," whispered the informer.

The boat approached rapidly--she was within ten fathoms of the entrance,
when Snarleyyow, hearing the sound, darted forward under the thwarts,
and jumping on the bow of the boat, commenced a most unusual and
prolonged baying of Bow wow, bow wow wow wow!

At the barking of the dog the smugglers backed water to stop their way.
They knew that there was no dog with those they expected to meet, it was
therefore clear that the Philistines were at hand. The dog barked in
spite of all attempts to prevent him, and acting upon this timely
warning, the lugger-boat pulled short round, just as lights were shown
from the cliffs to notify an enemy at hand, for the barking of the dog
had not escaped the vigilance of those on shore, and in a few seconds
she disappeared in the mist.

"Blast your cur! Five thousand pounds out of my pocket;" exclaimed the
informer. "I told you so. Chuck him overboard, my men, for your pockets
would have been lined."

Vanslyperken was as savage, and exclaimed, "Give way, my men, give way;
we'll have them yet."

"Send a cow to chase a hare," replied the informer, throwing himself
back in the stern-sheets of the boat. "I know better; you may save
yourself the trouble, and the men the fatigue. May the devil take you,
and your cursed dog with you! Who but a fool would have brought a dog
upon such an occasion? Well, I've lost five thousand pounds; but there's
one comfort, you've lost too. That will be a valuable beast, if you put
all down to his account."

At this moment Vanslyperken was so much annoyed at the loss of what
would have been a fortune to him, that he felt as angry as the informer.
The boats' crew were equally enraged, the dog was pommelled, and kicked,
and passed along from one to the other, until he at last gained the
stern-sheets, and crouched between the legs of his master, who kicked
him away in a rage, and he saved himself under the legs of the informer,
who, seizing a pistol, struck him with the butt-end of it such a blow,
that nothing but the very thick skull of the dog could have saved him.
Snarleyyow was at a sad discount just then, but he very wisely again
sought protection with his master, and this time he was not noticed.

"What are we to do now?" observed Vanslyperken.

"Go back again, like dogs with their tails between their legs; but
observe, Mr Lieutenant, you have made me your enemy, and that is more
serious than you think for."

"Silence, sir, you are in a king's boat."

"The king be d--d," replied the informer, falling back sulkily against
the gunnel of the boat.

"Give way, men, and pull on board," said Vanslyperken, in equally bad
humour.

In equally bad humour the men did give way, and in about an hour were on
board of the cutter.

Every one was in a bad humour when the affair was made known; but
Smallbones observed, "that the dog could be no such great friend, as
supposed, of Vanslyperken's, to thwart his interests in that way; and
certainly no imp sent by the devil to his assistance." The ship's
company were consoled with this idea, and Jansen again repeated, "that
the _tog_ was but a tog, after all."



Chapter XVI

In which we change the scene, and the sex of our performers.


We must now leave the cutter to return to Portsmouth, while we introduce
to our readers a new and strange association. We stated that the boats
had been ensconced in a very small cove at the back of the Isle of
Wight. Above these hung the terrific cliff of the Black Gang Chyne,
which, to all appearance, was inaccessible. But this was not the case,
or the smugglers would not have resorted there to disembark their cargo.
At that time, for since that period much of the cliff has fallen down,
and the aspect is much changed, the rocks rose up from the water nearly
perpendicularly, to the height of fifty or sixty feet. At that height
there was a flat of about one hundred feet square in front of a cave of
very great depth. The flat, so called in contradistinction to the
perpendicular cliff, descended from the seaward to the cave, so that the
latter was not to be seen either by vessels passing by, or by those who
might be adventurous enough to peep over the ridge above; and fragments
of rocks, dispersed here and there on this flat, or platform, induced
people to imagine that the upper cliff was a continuation of the lower.
The lower cliff, on which this platform in front of the cave was
situated, was on the eastern side as abrupt as on that fronting the sea
to the southward; but on the western side, its height was decreased to
about fifteen feet, which was surmounted by a ladder removed at
pleasure. To this means of access to the cave there was a zigzag path,
used only by the smugglers, leading from the small cove, and another
much more tedious, by which they could transport their goods to the
summit of this apparently inaccessible mass of rocks. The cave itself
was large, and with several diverging galleries, most of which were dry;
but in one or two there was a continual filtering of clear pure water
through the limestone rock, which was collected in pits dug for that
purpose on the floor below; these pits were always full of water, the
excess being carried off by small open drains which trickled over the
eastern side of the platform. Some attention to comfort had been paid by
the inhabitants of these caverns, which were portioned off here and
there by sail-cloth and boards, so as to form separate rooms and
storehouses. The cookery was carried on outside at the edge of the
platform nearest the sea, under an immense fragment of rock, which lay
at the very edge; and by an ingenious arrangement of smaller portions of
the rock neither the flame was to be distinguished, nor was the smoke,
which was divided and made to find its passage through a variety of
fissures, never in such a volume as to be supposed to be anything more
than the vapours drawn up by the heat of the sun.

In this abode there were at least thirty people residing, and generally
speaking, it might be called a convent, for it was tenanted by women.
Their husbands, who brought over the cargoes, returning immediately in
their boat to the opposite shore, for two reasons; one, that their boats
could only land in particular seasons, and could never remain in the
cove without risk of being dashed to pieces; and the other, that the
absence of all men prevented suspicion; the whole of the interior
smuggling being carried on by the other sex, who fearlessly showed
themselves on every part of the island, and purchased their necessary
supplies of provisions here and there, without exciting any misgivings
as to the nature of their employment. A few isolated cottages, not far
from the beetling brow of the cliff above, were their supposed abodes;
but no one ever troubled them with a visit, and if they did, and found
that they could gain no admittance, they imagined that the occupants had
locked their doors for security, while they were busied with their
labours in the field. Accustomed to climb up the tortuous path from the
cave to the summit, the women would, on the darkest night, carry up
their burdens and deposit them in the cottages above, until they had an
opportunity of delivering their contraband articles into the hands of
their agents; and this traffic had been carried on for many years,
without the government or excise having the slightest suspicion by what
means the smuggling was accomplished. As we before observed, the great
articles in request, and which were now smuggled from France, were
alamodes and lutestrings. The attention of government had been called to
check the admission of these goods, but hitherto their attempts had not
been attended with much success.

At the grey of the morning after the attempt to seize the smugglers had
been defeated by the instrumentality of Snarleyyow, upon the top of the
immense fragment of the rock which we have described as lying upon the
sea-edge of the platform, was perched a fair, slight-made little girl,
of about twelve years of age. She was simply clad in a short worsted
petticoat and bodice of a dark colour; her head was bare, and her hair
fluttered with the breeze; her small feet, notwithstanding the severity
of the weather, were also naked, and her short petticoat discovered her
legs half way up to the knee. She stood there, within a few inches of
the precipice below, carelessly surveying the waves as they dashed over
the rocks, for she was waiting until the light would enable her to see
further on the horizon. By those who might have leaned over the ridge
above, as well as by those who sailed below, she might have been taken,
had she been seen to move, for some sea bird reposing after a flight, so
small was her frame in juxtaposition with the wildness and majesty of
nature which surrounded her on every side. Accustomed from infancy to
her mode of life, and this unusual domicile, her eye quailed not, nor
did her heart beat quicker, as she looked down into the abyss below, or
turned her eyes up to the beetling mass of rock which appeared, each
moment, ready to fall down and overwhelm her. She passed her hand across
her temples to throw back the hair which the wind had blown over her
eyes, and again scanned the distance as the sun's light increased, and
the fog gradually cleared away.

"A sharp look out, Lilly, dear; you've the best eyes among us, and we
must have a clue from whence last night's surprise proceeded."

"I can see nothing yet, mother; but the fog is driving back fast."

"It's but a cheerless night your poor father had, to pull twice across
the channel, and find himself just where he was. God speed them, and may
they be safe in port again by this time."

"I say so too, mother, and amen."

"D'ye see nothing, child?"

"Nothing, dear mother; but it clears up fast to the eastward, and the
sun is bursting out of the bank, and I think I see something under
the sun."

"Watch well, Lilly," replied the woman, who was throwing more wood on
the fire.

"I see a vessel, mother. It is a sloop beating to the eastward."

"A coaster, child?"

"No, mother, I think not. No, it is no coaster--it is that king's
vessel, I think, but the glare of the sun is too great. When he rises
higher I shall make it out better."

"Which do you mean, the king's cutter on the station, the _Yungfrau_?"

"Yes, mother," replied Lilly, "it is. I'm sure it is the _Yungfrau_."

"Then it is from her that the boats came last night. She must have
received some information. There must be treachery somewhere; but we'll
soon find that out."

It may appear singular that Lilly could speak so positively as to a
vessel at a great distance; but it must be remembered that she had been
brought up to it, nearly all her life. It was her profession, and she
had lived wholly with seamen and seamen's wives, which will account for
her technical language being so correct. What Lilly said was true; it
was the _Yungfrau_, which was beating up to regain her port, and having
to stem a strong ebb-tide during the night, had not made very
great progress.

"There are three other vessels in the offing," said Lilly, looking
round, "a ship and two brigs, both going down channel:" and as she said
this, the little thing dropped lightly from rock to rock till she stood
by her mother, and commenced rubbing her hands before the now
blazing fire.

"Nancy must go over to Portsmouth," observed the mother, "and find out
all about this. I hardly know whom to suspect; but let Nancy alone,
she'll ferret out the truth--she has many gossips at the Point. Whoever
informed against the landing, must know of this cave."

But we must introduce the mother of Lilly to the reader. She was a tall,
finely-featured woman, her arms beautifully moulded, and bare. She was
rather inclined to be stout, but her figure was magnificent. She was
dressed in the same costume as her daughter, with the exception of a net
worsted shawl of many colours over her shoulders. Her appearance gave
you the idea that she was never intended for the situation which she was
now in; but of that hereafter. As the reader may have observed, her
language was correct, as was that of the child, and proved that she had
not only been educated herself, but had paid attention to the bringing
up of Lilly. The most perfect confidence appeared to subsist between the
mother and daughter: the former treated her child as her equal, and
confided everything to her; and Lilly was far advanced beyond her age in
knowledge and reflection; her countenance beamed with intelligence;
perhaps a more beautiful and more promising creature never existed.

A third party now appeared from the cave; although not in canonicals,
his dress indicated his profession of a priest. He approached the
mother and daughter with, "Peace be with you, ladies."

"You forget, good father," replied the elder of the females, "my name is
Alice--nothing more."

"I crave pardon for my forgetting who you were. I will be more mindful.
Well, then, Alice--yet that familiar term sounds strangely, and my
tongue will not accustom itself, even were I to remain here weeks,
instead of but two days--I was about to say, that the affair of last
night was most untoward. My presence is much wished for, and much
required, at St Germains. It was unfortunate, because it proves that we
have traitors among us somewhere; but of that, and of the whole affair,
I will have cognizance in a few days."

"And should you discover the party?"

"His doom is sealed."

"You are right."

"In so important and so righteous a cause, we must not stop at aught
necessary to secure our purpose. But, tell me, think you that your
husband will soon be here again?"

"I should think not to-night, but to-morrow or the next he will be off;
and if we can show the signals of surety he will land, if the weather
will permit."

"'Tis indeed time that I were over. Something might now be done."

"I would so too, father; it is a tedious time that I have spent here."

"And most unfitting for you, were it not that you laboured in a great
cause; but it must soon be decided, and then that fair lily shall be
transplanted, like a wild flower from the rock, and be nurtured in a
conservatory."

"Nay, for that, the time is hardly come. She is better here, as you see
her, father, than in the chambers of a court. For her sake I would still
remain; but for my husband's sake, and the perils he encounters, I wish
that one way or the other it were decided."

"Had there been faith in that Italian, it had been so before how,"
replied the priest, grinding his teeth, and turning away.

But the conversation was closed at the appearance of some women who came
out of the cave. They were variously clothed, some coarsely, and others
with greater pretensions to finery: they brought with them the
implements for cooking, and appeared surprised at the fire being already
lighted. Among them was one about twenty-five years of age, and although
more faded than she ought to have been at that early age, still with
pretensions to almost extreme beauty. She was more gaily dressed than
the others, and had a careless, easy air about her, which suited to her
handsome, slight figure. It was impossible to see her without being
interested, and desiring to know who she was.

This person was the Nancy mentioned by Alice in her conversation with
Lilly. Her original name had been Nancy Dawson, but she had married one
of the smugglers, of the name of Corbett. Her original profession,
previous to her marriage, we will not dwell upon; suffice it to say,
that she was the most celebrated person of that class in Portsmouth,
both for her talent and extreme beauty. Had she lived in the days of
King Charles II., and had he seen her, she would have been more renowned
than ever was Eleanor Gwynne; even as it was, she had been celebrated in
a song, which has not been lost to posterity. After a few years of
dissipated life, Nancy reformed, and became an honest woman, and an
honest wife. By her marriage with the smuggler, she had become one of
the fraternity, and had taken up her abode in the cave, which she was
not sorry to do, as she had become too famous at Portsmouth to remain
there as a married woman. Still she occasionally made her appearance,
and to a certain degree kept up her old acquaintances, that she might
discover what was going on--very necessary information for the
smugglers. She would laugh, and joke, and have her repartee as usual,
but in other points she was truly reformed. Her acquaintance was so
general, and she was such a favourite, that she was of the greatest use
to the band, and was always sent over to Portsmouth when her services
were required. It was supposed there, for she had reported it, that she
had retired to the Isle of Wight, and lived there with her husband, who
was a pilot, and that she came over to Portsmouth occasionally, to
inquire after her old friends, and upon business.

"Nancy Corbett, I must speak to you," said Alice. "Come aside: I wish
you, Nancy, to go over immediately. Can you go up, do you think, without
being perceived?"

"Yes, Mistress Alice, provided there is no one to see me."

"The case is so important, that we must run the risk."

"We've run cargoes of more value than that."

"But still you must use discretion, Nancy."

"That's a commodity that I've not been very well provided with through
life; but I have my wits in its stead."

"Then you must use your wit, Nancy."

"It's like an old knife, well worn, but all the sharper."

Alice then entered into a detail of what she would find out, and gave
her instructions to Nancy. The first point was, to ascertain whether it
was the cutter which had received the information; the second, who the
informer was.

Nancy, having received her orders, tied the strings of her bonnet,
caught up a handful of the victuals which were at the fire, and bidding
the others a laughing good-bye, with her mouth full, and one hand also
occupied, descended the ladder, previously to mounting the cliff.

"Nancy," said Lilly, who stood by the ladder, "bring me some pens."

"Yes, dear; will you have them alive, or dead?"

"Nonsense, I mean some quills."

"So do I, Miss Lilly; but if you want them dead, I shall bring them in
my pocket--if alive, I shall bring the goose under my arm."

"I only want the quills, Nancy," replied Lilly, laughing.

"And I think I shall want the feathers of them before I'm at the top,"
replied Nancy, looking up at the majestic cliff above her. "Good-bye,
Miss Lilly."

Nancy Corbett again filled her handsome mouth with bread, and commenced
her ascent. In less than a quarter of an hour she had disappeared over
the ridge.



Chapter XVII

In which there is a great deal of plotting, and a little execution.


We will follow Nancy Corbett for the present. Nancy gained the summit of
the cliff, and panting for breath, looked round to ascertain if there
was any one in sight, but the coast was clear: she waited a minute to
recover herself a little, and then set off at a brisk pace in the
direction of the hamlet of Ryde, which then consisted of a few
fishermen's huts. It was an hour and a-half before she gained this
place, from whence she took a boat, and was safely landed at the Point.
The fisherman who brought her over was an old acquaintance of Nancy's,
and knew that he would have to remain to take her back, but he was well
paid for his trouble, and it was a lucky day for him when Nancy required
his services. The _Yungfrau_ had rounded St Helen's, and was standing
into Spithead, when Nancy landed, and the first door at which she
knocked was at the lodgings of Moggy Salisbury, with whom she was well
acquainted, and from whom she expected to be able to gain information.
On inquiry, she found that Moggy had not come on shore from the cutter,
which had sailed during the night very unexpectedly.

This information pleased Nancy, as Moggy would in all probability be
able to give her important information, and she took up her quarters in
Moggy's apartments, anxiously awaiting her arrival, for Nancy was not at
all desirous to be seen. In due time the cutter was again anchored in
the harbour, and the first order of Mr Vanslyperken's was, that Moggy
Salisbury should be sent on shore, which order was complied with, and
she left the vessel, vowing vengeance upon the lieutenant and his dog.
The informer also hastened into a boat, and pulled on shore on the
Gosport side, with a very significant farewell look at Mr Vanslyperken.
Moggy landed, and hastened, full of wrath, to her own lodgings, where
she found Nancy Corbett waiting for her. At first she was too full of
her own injuries, and the attempt to flog her dear darling Jemmy, to
allow Nancy to put in a word. Nancy perceived this, and allowed her to
run herself down like a clock; and then proposed that they should send
for some purl and have a cosy chat, to which Moggy agreed, and as soon
as they were fairly settled, and Moggy had again delivered herself of
her grievances, Nancy put the requisite questions, and discovered what
the reader is already acquainted with. She requested, and obtained a
full description of the informer, and his person was too remarkable, for
Nancy not to recognise immediately who it was.

"The villain!" cried she; "why, if there was any man in whom we thought
we could trust, it was--him;" for Nancy had, in her indignation, nearly
pronounced his name.

"Nancy," said Moggy, "you have to do with the smugglers, I know, for
your husband is one of them, if report says true. Now, I've been
thinking, that the cutter is no place for my Jemmy, and that with this
peak-nosed villain, he will always be in trouble. Tell me, will they let
him in, if he volunteers."

"I can't exactly say, Moggy; but this I can tell you, that you may be
very useful to them in giving us information, which you may gain through
your husband."

"Ay, and not only through my husband, but from everybody on board the
cutter. I'm yours, Nancy--and here's my hand on it--you'll see what I
can do. The wagabond, to attempt to flog my own dear, darling duck--my
own Jemmy. Only tell me what you want to know, and if I don't ferret it
out, my name's not Moggy. But hear me, Nancy; I join you now hand and
heart, though I gain nothing by it; and when you choose to have him,
I'll bring you my little duck of a husband, and he will be worth his
weight in gold, though I say it that shouldn't say it."

"Thanky, Moggy; but you shall not work for nothing;" and Nancy laid a
gold Jacobus on the table.

"This for your present information. Be secret and cautious, and no
gossiping, and you'll find that you shall have all you wish, and be no
loser in the bargain. And now, good-night--I must be away. You shall see
me soon, Moggy; and remember what I have told you."

Moggy was astonished at the sight of the gold Jacobus, which she took up
and examined as Nancy departed. "Well," thought she, "but this smuggling
must be a pretty consarn; and as sure as gold is gold, my Jemmy shall be
a smuggler."

Nancy turned down the street, and passed rapidly on, until she was clear
of the fortifications, in the direction of South Sea Beach. A few
scattered cottages were at that time built upon the spot. It was quite
dark as she passed the lines, and held her way over the shingle. A man
was standing alone, whose figure she recognised. It was the very person
that she wished to find. Nancy watched him for awhile, and observed him
pull out a paper, tear it in two, and throw it down with gesticulations
of anger and indignation. She then approached.

"What's o'clock?" said Nancy.

"Do you want the right time?" replied the man.

"To a minute," replied Nancy, who, finding that the password was given
correctly, now stopped, and faced the other party. "Is that you,
Cornbury?"

"Yes, Nancy," replied the man, who, was the same person who went on
board of the cutter to give the information.

"I have been seeking you," replied Nancy. "There has been some
information laid, and the boats were nearly surprised. Alice desires
that you will find out what boats entered the cove, whom they belonged
to, and, if possible, how they obtained the information."

"Boats nearly surprised!--you don't say so," replied Cornbury, with
affected astonishment. "This must indeed be looked to. Have you
no idea--"

"None," replied Nancy. "There was no vessel to be seen the next
morning--the fog was too thick. Have you seen Wahop?"

"No; I thought he was on the Isle."

"He ought to have been, but has not come; I have been at the oak-tree
for three nights running. It's very strange. Do you think that he can
have played false?"

"I never much liked the man," replied Cornbury.

"Nor I either," replied Nancy; "but I must go now, for I must be back at
the crags before daylight. Find out what you can, and let us know as
soon as possible. I shall be over again as soon as the cargo is run; if
you find out anything, you had better come to-morrow night."

"I will," replied Cornbury; and the parties separated.

"Traitor," muttered Nancy, when she was once more alone. "If he comes,
it shall be to his death;" and Nancy stooped down, picked up the pieces
of paper which Cornbury had torn up, and put them in the basket she
carried on her arm.

It will be observed that Nancy had purposely thrown out hints against
Wahop, to induce Cornbury to believe that he was not suspected. Her
assertion that Wahop was not on the island was false. He had been three
days at Ryde, according to the arrangement. The bait took. Cornbury
perceiving that the suspicion was against Wahop, thought that he could
not do better than to boldly make his appearance at the cave, which
would remove any doubts as to his own fidelity.

Nancy hastened down to the Point, and returned that night to Ryde, from
whence she walked over to the cave, and was there before daylight. She
communicated to Alice the intelligence which she had received from
Moggy Salisbury, and the arrangements she had proposed to her, by which
the motions of the cutter could be known.

"Is that woman to be trusted, think you, Nancy?" inquired Alice.

"Yes, I believe sincerely she may be. I have known her long; and she
wishes her husband to join us."

"We must reflect upon it. She may be most useful. What is the character
of the officer who commands the vessel?"

"A miser, and a coward. He is well known--neither honour nor conscience
in him."

"The first is well, as we may act upon it, but the second renders him
doubtful. You are tired, Nancy, and had better lie down a little."

Nancy Corbett delivered the pens to Lilly, and then took the advice of
her superior. The day was remarkably fine, and the water smooth, so that
the boats were expected that night. At dusk two small lights, at even
distances, were suspended from the cliff, to point out to the boats that
the coast was free, and that they might land. Alice, however, took the
precaution to have a watch on the beach, in case of any second surprise
being attempted; but of this there was little fear, as she knew from
Nancy, that all the cutter's boats were on board when she entered the
harbour. Lilly, who thought it a delight to be one moment sooner in her
father's arms, had taken the watch on the beach, and there the little
girl remained perched upon a rock, at the foot of which the waves now
only sullenly washed, for the night was beautifully calm and clear. To a
passer on the ocean she might have been mistaken for a mermaid who had
left her watery bower to look upon the world above.

What were the thoughts of the little maiden as she remained there fixed
as a statue? Did she revert to the period at which her infant memory
could retrace silken hangings and marble halls, visions of splendour,
dreamings of courtly state, or was she thinking of her father, as her
quick ear caught the least swell of the increasing breeze? Was she, as
her eye was fixed as if attempting to pierce the depths of the ocean,
wondering at what might be its hidden secrets, or as they were turned
towards the heavens, bespangled with ten thousand stars, was she
meditating on the God who placed them there? Who can say?--but that that
intellectual face bespoke the mind at work is certain, and from one so
pure and lovely could emanate nothing but what was innocent and good.

But a distant sound falls upon her ear; she listens, and by its measured
cadence knows that it is the rowers in a boat: nearer it comes and more
distinct, and now her keen eye detects the black mass approaching in the
gloom of night. She starts from the rock ready to fly up to the cave to
give notice of an enemy, or, if their anticipated friends, to fly into
the arms of her father. But her alarm is over, she perceives that it is
the lugger, the boat dashes into the cove, and the first who lands
strains her to his bosom.

"My dearest Lilly, is all well?"

"Yes, all is well, father; but you are well come."

"Run up, dearest, and let the women be ready to assist. We have that
here which must soon be out of sight. Is the Father Innis here?"

"Since Thursday last."

"'Tis well, dear; you may go. Quick, my lads, and beach the cargo:--see
to it, Ramsay; I must at once unto the cave." Having given these
directions, the father of Lilly commenced his ascent over the rough and
steep rocks which led up to the cavern, anxious to obtain what
information could be imparted relative to the treachery which had led to
their narrow escape two nights preceding.

He was met by Alice, who cordially embraced him; but he appeared anxious
to release himself from her endearments, that he might at once enter
upon matters to him of more serious importance. "Where is the Father
Innis, my dear?" said he, disengaging himself from her arms.

"He sleeps, Robert, or, at least, he did just now, but probably he will
rise now that you are come. But in the meantime, I have discovered who
the traitor is."

"By all the saints, he shall not escape my vengeance!"

Alice then entered into the particulars related by Nancy Corbett, and
already known to the reader. She had just concluded when Father Innis
made his appearance from the cave.

"Welcome, thrice welcome, holy father."

"Welcome, too, my son. Say, do we start to-night?"

"Not till to-morrow night," replied the husband of Alice, who having
ascertained that in all probability Cornbury would come that night,
determined, at all risks, to get possession of him: "we could well be
over before daylight, and with your precious person, I must not risk too
much. You are anxiously expected."

"And I have important news," replied the priest; "but I will not detain
you now; I perceive that your presence is wanted by your men."

During this colloquy the women had descended the ladder, and had been
assisting the men to carry up the various packages of which the boat's
cargo consisted, and they now awaited directions as to the stowing away.

"Ramsay," said the leader, "we do not return to-night; take the men, and
contrive to lift the boat up on the rocks, so that she may not
be injured."

An hour elapsed before this was effected, and then the leader, as well
as the rest of the smugglers, retired to the cave to refresh themselves
with sleep after their night of fatigue. As usual, one woman kept watch,
and that woman was Nancy Corbett. The ladder had been hauled up, and she
was walking up and down, with her arms under a shawl, to a sort of
stamping trot, for the weather was frosty, when she heard a low whistle
at the west side of the flat.

"Oh, ho! have I lured you, you traitorous villain?" muttered Nancy, "you
come in good time:" and Nancy walked to the spot where the ladder was
usually lowered down, and looked over. Although the moon had risen, it
was too dark on that side of the platform to distinguish more than that
there was a human form, who repeated the whistle.

"What's o'clock?" said Nancy, in a low tone.

"Do you want the right time to a minute?" replied a voice, which was
recognised as Cornbury's. Nancy lowered down the ladder, and Cornbury
ascended the platform.

"I am glad you are come, Cornbury. Have you heard anything of Wahop?"

"No one has seen or heard of him," replied the man, "but I have found
out what boats they were. Did the lugger come over to-night?"

"Yes," replied Nancy, "but I must go in and let Mistress Alice know that
you are here."

Nancy's abrupt departure was to prevent Cornbury from asking if the boat
had remained, or returned to the French coast; for she thought it not
impossible that the unusual circumstance of the boat remaining, might
induce him to suppose that his treachery had been discovered, and to
make his immediate escape, which he, of course, could have done, and
given full information of the cave and the parties who frequented it.

Nancy soon re-appeared, and familiarly taking the arm of Cornbury, led
him to the eastern side of the platform, asking him many questions. As
soon as he was there, the leader of the gang, followed by half a dozen
of his men, rushed out and secured him. Cornbury now felt assured that
all was discovered, and that his life was forfeited. "Bind him fast,"
said the leader, "and keep watch over him;--his case shall soon be
disposed of. Nancy, you will call me at daylight."

When Cornbury had been secured, the men returned into the cave, leaving
one with a loaded pistol to guard him. Nancy still remained on
the watch.

"Nancy Corbett," said Cornbury, "why am I treated thus?"

"Why?" replied Nancy, with scorn; "ask yourself why. Do you think that
I did not know when I sought you at the beach that you had sailed in the
cutter, had brought the boats here, and that if it had not been for the
lieutenant taking his dog in the boat, and its barking, you would have
delivered us all into the hands of the Philistines?--wretched traitor."

"D--n!" muttered Cornbury; "then it is to you, you devil, that I am
indebted for being entrapped this way."

"Yes, to me," replied Nancy, with scorn. "And, depend upon it, you will
have your deserts before the sun is one hour in the heavens."

"Mistress Nancy, I must beg you to walk your watch like a lady, and not
to be corresponding with my prisoner anyhow, whether you talk raison or
traison, as may happen to suit your convanience," observed the man who
was guard over Cornbury.

"Be aisy, my jewel," replied Nancy, mimicking the Irishman, "and I'll be
as silent as a magpie, anyhow. And, Mr Fitzpatrick, you'll just be
pleased to keep your two eyes upon your prisoner, and not be staring at
me, following me up and down, as you do, with those twinklers of yours."

"A cat may look at a king, Mistress Nancy, and no harm done either."

"You forget, Mr Fitzpatrick," replied Nancy, "that I am now a modest
woman."

"More's the pity, Mrs Nancy, I wish you'd forget it too, and I dying of
love for you."

Nancy walked away to the end of the platform to avoid further
conversation. The day was now dawning, and as, by degrees, the light was
thrown upon the face of Cornbury, it was strange to witness how his
agitation and his fear had changed all the ruby carbuncles on his face
to a deadly white. He called to Nancy Corbett in a humble tone once or
twice as she passed by in her walk, but received no reply further than a
look of scorn. As soon as it was broad daylight, Nancy went into the
cave to call up the leader.

In a few minutes he appeared, with the rest of the smugglers.

"Philip Cornbury," said he, with a stern and unrelenting countenance,
"you would have betrayed us for the sake of money."

"It is false," replied Cornbury.

"False, is it?--you shall have a fair trial. Nancy Corbett, give your
evidence before us all."

Nancy recapitulated all that had passed.

"I say again, that it is false," replied Cornbury. "Where is the woman
whom she states to have told her this? This is nothing more than
assertion, and I say again, it is false. Am I to be condemned without
proofs? Is my life to be sacrificed to the animosity of this woman, who
wishes to get rid of me, because--"

"Because what?" interrupted Nancy.

"Because I was too well acquainted with you before your marriage, and
can tell too much."

"Now, curses on you, for a liar as well as a traitor!" exclaimed Nancy.
"What I was before I was married is well known; but it is well known,
also, that I pleased my fancy, and could always choose. I must, indeed,
have had a sorry taste to be intimate with a blotched wretch like you.
Sir," continued Nancy, turning to the leader, "it is false, and whatever
may be said against me on other points, Nancy Dawson, or Nancy Corbett,
was never yet so vile as to assert a lie. I put it to you, sir, and to
all of you, is not my word sufficient in this case?"

The smugglers nodded their heads in assent.

"And, now that is admitted, I will prove his villany and falsehood.
Philip Cornbury, do you know this paper?" cried Nancy, taking out of her
bosom the agreement signed by Vanslyperken, which she had picked up on
the night when Cornbury had torn it up and thrown it away. "Do you know
this paper, I ask you? Read it, sir," continued Nancy, handing it over
to the leader of the smugglers.

The paper was read, and the inflexible countenance of the leader turned
towards Cornbury,--who saw his doom.

"Go in, Nancy Corbett, and let no women appear till all is over."

"Liar!" said Nancy, spitting on the ground as she passed by Cornbury.

"Bind his eyes, and lead him to the western edge," said the leader.

"Philip Cornbury, you have but few minutes to live. In mercy, you may
see the holy father, if you wish it."

"I'm no d----d papist," replied Cornbury, in a sulky tone.

"Lead him on then."

Cornbury was led to the western edge of the flat, where the cliff was
most high and precipitous, and then made to kneel down.

"Fitzpatrick," said the leader, pointing to the condemned.

Fitzpatrick walked up to the kneeling man with his loaded pistol, and
then the others, who had led Cornbury to the edge of the cliff, retired.

Fitzpatrick cocked the lock.

"Would you like to say, 'God have mercy on my treacherous sinful sowl,'
or anything short and sweet like that?" said Fitzpatrick; "if so, I'll
wait a couple of seconds more for your convanience, Philip Cornbury."

Cornbury made no reply. Fitzpatrick put the pistol to his ear, the ball
whizzed through his brain, the body half raised itself from its knees
with a strong muscular action, and then toppled over and disappeared
down the side of the precipice.

"It's to be hoped that the next time you lave this world, Master
Cornbury, it will be in a purliter sort of manner. A civil question
demands a civil answer anyhow," said Fitzpatrick, coolly rejoining the
other men.



Chapter XVIII

The whole of which has been fudged out of the History of England, and
will therefore be quite new to the majority of our readers.


Were we in want of materials for this eventful history, we have now a
good opportunity for spinning out our volumes; but, so far from this
being the case, we hardly know how to find space for what it is now
absolutely necessary that the reader should be acquainted with. Our
friends may probably recollect, when we remind them of the fact, that
there was a certain king, James II., who sat upon our throne, and who
was a very good Catholic--that he married his daughter, Mary, to one
William of Orange, who, in return for James's kindness in giving him his
daughter, took away from him his kingdom, on the plea, that if he was a
bad son-in-law, at all events, he was a sound Protestant. They may also
recollect, that the exiled king was received most hospitably by the
grand monarque, Louis XIV., who gave him palaces, money, and all that he
required, and, moreover, gave him a fine army and fleet to go to Ireland
and recover his kingdom, bidding him farewell with this equivocal
sentence, "That the best thing he, Louis, could wish to him was, never
to see his face again." They may further recollect, that King James and
King William met at the battle of the Boyne, in which the former was
defeated, and then went back to St Germains and spent the rest of his
life in acts of devotion and plotting against the life of King William.
Now, among other plots real and pretended, there was one laid in 1695,
to assassinate King William on his way to Richmond; this plot was
revealed, many of the conspirators were tried and executed, but the
person who was at the head of it, a Scotchman, of the name of Sir George
Barclay, escaped. In the year 1696, a bill was passed, by which Sir
George Barclay and nine others who had escaped from justice, were
attainted of high treason, if they did not choose to surrender
themselves on or before the 25th day of March ensuing. Strange to say,
these parties did not think it advisable to surrender themselves;
perhaps it was because they knew that they were certain to be hung; but
it is impossible to account for the actions of men: we can only lay the
facts before our readers.

Sir George Barclay was by birth a Scotchman, of high family, and well
connected. He had been an officer in the army of King James, to whom he
was strongly attached. Moreover, he was a very bigoted Catholic. Whether
he ever received a commission from King James, authorising him to
assassinate King William, has never been proved; but, as King James is
well known to have been admitted into the order of the Jesuits, it is
not at all unlikely. Certain it is, that the baronet went over to St
Germains, landed again in England, and would have made the attempt, had
not the plot been discovered through some of the inferior accomplices;
and it is equally sure that he escaped, although many others were
hung--and few people knew what had become of him. The fact was, that
when Barclay had fled to the sea-side, he was assisted over the water by
a band of smugglers, who first concealed him in the cave we have
described, which was their retreat. This led to a communication and
arrangement with them. Sir George Barclay, who, although foiled in his
attempt at assassination, never abandoned the cause, immediately
perceived what advantages might be derived in keeping up a communication
by means of these outlaws. For some time the smugglers were employed in
carrying secret despatches to the friends of James in England and
Scotland; and, as the importance of the correspondence increased, and it
became necessary to have personal interviews instead of written
communications, Sir George frequently passed over to the cave as a
rendezvous, at which he might meet the adherents of the exiled king. In
the course of time he saw the prudence of having the entire control of
the band, and found little difficulty in being appointed their leader.
From the means he obtained from St Germains, the smuggling was now
carried on to a great and very profitable extent, and by the regulations
which he enacted, the chance of discovery was diminished. Only one point
more was requisite for safety and secrecy, which was, a person to whom
he could confide the charge of the cave. Lady Barclay, who was equally
warm in the cause, offered her services, and they were accepted; and at
the latter end of the year 1696, about one year after the plot had
failed, Lady Barclay, with her only child, took up her abode in this
isolated domicile; Sir George then first making the arrangement that the
men should always remain on the other side of the water, which would be
an additional cause of security. For upwards of four years, Lady Barclay
had remained an inmate, attending to the instruction of her little
Lilly, and carrying on all the correspondence, and making all the
necessary arrangements with vigour and address, satisfied with serving
the good cause, and proving her devoted allegiance to her sovereign.
Unfortunate and unwise as were the Stuart family, there must have been
some charm about them, for they had instances of attachment and fidelity
shown to them, of which no other line of kings could boast.

Shortly after the tragical event recorded in the last chapter, the
Jesuit came out of the cave and went up to Sir George, who coolly
observed, "We have just been sending a traitor to his account,
good father."

"So may they all perish," replied the priest. "We start this evening?"

"Certainly. What news have you for St Germains?"

"Much that is important. Discontent prevails throughout the country. The
affair of Bishop Watson hath brought much odium on the usurper. He
himself writhes under the tyrannical commands of the Commons, and is at
issue with them."

"And, in Scotland, father?"

"All is there ripe and ready--and an army once landed, would be joined
by thousands. The injustice of the usurper in wishing to sacrifice the
Scotch Settlement, has worked deep upon the minds of those who advanced
their money upon that speculation--in the total, a larger sum than ever
yet was raised in Scotland. Our emissaries have fanned the flame up to
the highest pitch."

"To my thoughts, good father, there needed not further discontent. Have
we not our king dethroned, and our holy religion persecuted?"

"True, my son--true; but still we must lose no means by which we may
increase the number of our adherents. Some are swayed by one feeling,
and some by another. We have contrived to throw no small odium upon the
usurper and betrayer of his wife's father, by exposing and magnifying,
indeed, the sums of money which he has lavished upon his courtesan,
Mistress Villiers, now, by his heretic and unsanctified breath, raised
into the peerage by the title of Countess of Orkney. All these items
added together, form a vast sum of discontent; and could we persuade his
Catholic majesty to rouse himself to assert once more his rights by
force of arms, I should not fear for the result."

"Had I not been betrayed," observed Sir George, musing, "before this the
king would have had his own again."

"And thrice blessed would have been the arm that had laid the usurper
low," rejoined the Jesuit; "but more of this hereafter. Your lady hath
had much converse with me. She thinks that the character of the man who
commands that cutter, is such as to warrant his services for gold--and
wishes to essay him."

"The woman Corbett is of that opinion, and she is subtle. At all events,
it can be tried; for he would be of much utility, and there would be no
suspicion. The whole had better be left to her arrangement. We may
employ, and pay, yet not trust him."

"That is exactly what Lady Alice had proposed," replied the Jesuit. Here
Lilly came out to tell her father that the morning meal was ready, and
they all returned to the cave.

That evening the boat was launched, and the Jesuit went over with Sir
George, and landed at Cherbourg, from whence they both proceeded with
all expedition to the court of King James.

We have entered into this short detail, that the reader may just know
the why and the wherefore these parties in the cave were introduced, and
now we shall continue our most faithful and veracious history.



Chapter XIX

In which Smallbones is sent to look after a pot of black paint.


We must now return to the cutter, which still remains at anchor off the
Point in Portsmouth harbour. It is a dark, murky, blowing day, with
gusts of rain and thick fog. Mr Vanslyperken is more than usually
displeased, for, as he had to wait for the new boat which he had
demanded, he thought this a good opportunity of enlivening the bends of
the _Yungfrau_ with a little black paint--not before it was required,
most certainly, for she was as rusty in appearance as if she had been
built of old iron. But paint fetched money, and as Mr Vanslyperken
always sold his, it was like parting with so much of his own property,
when he ordered up the paint-pots and brushes. Now the operation of
beautifying the _Yungfrau_ had been commenced the day before, and the
unexpected change in the weather during the night, had washed off the
greater portion of the paint, and there was not only all the trouble,
but all the expense, to be incurred again. No wonder that Mr
Vanslyperken was in a bad humour--not only in a bad humour, but in the
very worst of humours. He had made up his mind to go on shore to see his
mother, and was pacing the quarter-deck in his great-coat, with his
umbrella under his arm, all ready to be unfurled as soon as he was on
shore. He was just about to order his boat to be manned: Mr
Vanslyperken looked up at the weather--the fog was still thick, and the
rain fell. You could not even make out the houses on the point. The wind
had gone down considerably. Mr Vanslyperken looked over the gunnel--the
damage was even greater than he thought. He looked over the stern, there
was the stage still hanging where the painters had been standing or
sitting, and, what was too bad, there was a pot of paint, with the brush
in it, half full of rain water, which some negligent person had left
there. Mr Vanslyperken turned forward to call somebody to take the paint
below, but the decks were empty, and it was growing dark. A sudden
thought, instigated no doubt by the devil, filled the brain of Mr
Vanslyperken. It was a glorious, golden opportunity, not to be lost. He
walked forward, and went down into his cabin again, where he found
Smallbones helping himself to biscuit, for the lad was hungry, as well
he might be; but on this occasion Mr Vanslyperken took no notice.

"Smallbones," said he, "one of the men has left his paint-pot on the
stage, under the stern, go and bring it in immediately."

"Yes, sir," replied Smallbones, surprised at the unusually quiet style
of his master's address to him.

Smallbones ran up the ladder, went aft, and slid down by the rope which
held the plank used as a stage by the painters. Mr Vanslyperken seized
his carving-knife, and following softly on deck, went aft. He took a
hurried look forward--there was no one on deck. For a moment, he
hesitated at the crime; he observed the starboard rope shake, for
Smallbones was just about to shin up again. The devil prevailed. Mr
Vanslyperken sawed through the rope, heard the splash of the lad in the
water, and, frightened at his own guilt, ran down below, and gained his
cabin. There he seated himself, trembling like an aspen leaf. It was the
first time that he had been a _murderer_. He was pale as ashes. He felt
sick, and he staggered to his cupboard, poured out a tumbler of
scheedam, and drank it off at a draught. This recovered him, and he
again felt brave. He returned on deck, and ordered his boat to be
manned, which was presently done. Mr Vanslyperken would have given the
world to have gone aft, and to have looked over the stern, but he dared
not; so, pushing the men into the boat, he slipped in, and was pulled on
shore. Without giving any directions to the men he stepped out, and felt
a relief when he found himself on terra firma. He walked away as fast as
he could--he felt that he could not walk fast enough--he was anxious to
arrive at his mother's. The rain fell fast, but he thought not of his
umbrella, it remained under his arm, and Mr Vanslyperken, as if he were
chased by a fiend, pushed on through the fog and rain; he wanted to meet
a congenial soul, one who would encourage, console him, ridicule his
fears, and applaud the deed which he would just then have given the
world to have recalled.

Where could he seek one more fitted to the purpose than his mother? The
door of the house where she lodged was common to many, and therefore
opened with a latch. He went in, and upstairs, tried the door of his
mother's room, and found it fastened within. He knocked, heard the
grumbling of the old woman at her being obliged to rise from her chair:
she opened the door, and Vanslyperken, as soon as he was in, slammed it
to, and exhausted with his emotions, fell back in a chair.

"Hey day! and what's the matter now?" cried the old woman, in Dutch;
"one would think that you had been waylaid, robbed, and almost
murdered."

"Murdered!" stammered Vanslyperken; "yes--it was murder."

"What was murder, my child?" replied the old woman, reseating herself.

"Did I say murder, mother?" said Vanslyperken, wiping the blended rain
and perspiration from his brow with a cotton handkerchief.

"Yes, you did, Cornelius Vanslyperken; not that I believe a craven like
you would ever attempt such a thing."

"But I have, mother. I have done the deed," replied Vanslyperken.

"You have!" cried his mother; "then at last you have done something, and
I shall respect you. Come, come, child, cheer up, and tell me all about
it. There is a slight twinge the first time--but the second is nothing.
Did you get gold? Hey, my son, plenty of gold?"

"Gold! no, no--I got nothing--indeed I lost by it--lost a pot full of
black paint--but never mind that. He's gone," replied Vanslyperken,
recovering himself fast.

"Who is gone?"

"The lad, Smallbones."

"Pish," replied the old woman, rocking her chair. "Ay, well, never
mind--it was for revenge, then--that's sweet--very sweet. Now,
Cornelius, tell me all about it."

Vanslyperken, encouraged by the sympathy, if we may use the term, shown
by his mother, narrated what he had done.

"Well, well, child, 'tis a beginning," replied the old woman, "and I'll
not call you craven again."

"I must go back," said Vanslyperken, starting up from his chair.

"Go, child, it is late--and dream it over. Vengeance is sweet, even in
sleep. I have had mine--and for years have I dwelt on it--and shall for
years to come. I shall not die yet--no, no."

Vanslyperken quitted the house; the weather had cleared up, the breeze
was fresh and piercing, and the stars twinkled every now and then, as
the wild scud which flew across the heavens admitted them to view.
Vanslyperken walked fast--he started at the least sound--he hurried by
everyone whom he met, as if fearful to be recognised--he felt relieved
when he had gained the streets of Portsmouth, and he at last arrived at
the Point; but there was no cutter's boat, for he had given no orders.
He was therefore obliged to hire one to go on board. The old man whom he
engaged shoved into the stream; the tide was running in rapidly.

"A cold night, sir," observed the man.

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, mechanically.

"And a strong tide, with the wind to back it. He'd have but a poor
chance, who fell overboard such a night as this. The strongest swimmer,
without help, would be soon in eternity."

Vanslyperken shuddered. Where was Smallbones at this moment? and then,
the mention of eternity!

"Silence, man, silence," said Vanslyperken.

"Hope no offence, Mr Lieutenant," replied the man, who knew who his fare
was.

The boat pulled alongside of the _Yungfrau_, and Vanslyperken paid his
unusual fare, and stepped on the deck. He went down below, and had the
precaution to summon Smallbones to bring lights aft. The word was passed
along the lower deck, and Vanslyperken sat down in the dark, awaiting
the report that Smallbones could not be found.

Snarleyyow went up to his master, and rubbed his cold nose against his
hand, and then, for the first time, it occurred to Vanslyperken, that in
his hurry to leave the vessel, he had left the dog to the mercy of his
enemies. During the time that Vanslyperken waited for the report of the
lights, he passed over in his mind the untoward events which had taken
place--the loss of the widow's good-will, the loss of Corporal Van
Spitter, who was adrift in the Zuyder Zee, the loss of five thousand
pounds through the dog, and, strange to say, what vexed him more, the
loss of the dog's eye; and when he thought of all these things his heart
was elated, and he rejoiced in the death of Smallbones, and no longer
felt any compunction. But a light is coming aft, and Vanslyperken is
waiting the anticipated report. It is a solitary purser's dip, as they
are termed at sea, emitting but feeble rays, and Vanslyperken's eyes are
directed to the door of the cabin to see who carries it. To his horror,
his dismay, it is brought in by the drowned Smallbones, who, with a
cadaverous, and as he supposes, unearthly face and vacant look, drawls
out, "It's a-blowed out twice, sir, with the wind."

Vanslyperken started up, with his eyes glaring and fixed. There could be
no mistake. It was the apparition of the murdered lad, and he fell back
in a state of unconsciousness.

"You've a-got it this time," said Smallbones, chuckling as he bent over
the body of the lieutenant with his purser's dip, and perceived that he
was in a state of insensibility.

Had Mr Vanslyperken had the courage to look over the stern of the cutter
when he re-ascended on the deck, he would have discovered Smallbones
hanging on by the rudder chains; for had the fog not been so thick, Mr
Vanslyperken would have perceived that at the time that he cut
Smallbones adrift it was slack water, and the cutter was lying across
the harbour. Smallbones was not, therefore, carried away by the tide,
but being a very fair swimmer, had gained the rudder chains without
difficulty; but at the time that Smallbones was climbing up again by the
rope, he had perceived the blade of the carving-knife working at the
rope, and was assured that Vanslyperken was attempting his life. When he
gained the rudder chains, he held on. At first he thought of calling for
assistance; but hearing Vanslyperken order his boat to be manned, the
lad then resolved to wait a little longer, and allow his master to think
that he was drowned. The result was as Smallbones intended. As soon as
the lad saw the boat was out of hearing he called out most lustily, and
was heard by those on board, and rescued from his cold immersion. He
answered no questions which were put to him till he had changed his
clothing and recovered himself, and then with great prudence summoned a
council, composed of Short, Coble, and Jemmy Ducks, to whom he narrated
what had taken place. A long consultation succeeded, and at last it was
agreed that Smallbones should make his appearance as he did, and future
arrangements to be taken according to circumstances.

As soon as Smallbones had ascertained the situation of his master, he
went forward and reported it to Dick Short, who with Coble came aft in
the cabin. Short looked at Vanslyperken.

"Conscience," said Short.

"And a d----d bad un, too," replied Coble, hitching up his trousers.
"What's to be done, Short?"

"Nothing," replied Short.

"Just my idea," replied Coble; "let him come to if he pleases, or die
and be d----d. Who cares?"

"Nobody," replied Short.

"My eyes, but he must have been frightened," said Smallbones; "for he
has left the key in the cupboard. I'll see what's in it for once
and away."

Snarleyyow, when Smallbones opened the cupboard, appeared to have an
intuitive idea that he was trespassing, so he walked out growling from
under the table; Short saluted him with a kick in the ribs, which tossed
him under the feet of Coble, who gave him a second with his fisherman's
boots, and the dog howled, and ran out of the cabin. O Mr Vanslyperken!
see what your favourite was brought to, because you did not come to.

At this time Smallbones had his nose in the stone jar of scheedam--the
olfactory examination was favourable, so he put his mouth to it--the
labial essay still more so, so he took down a wine glass, and, without
any ceremony, filled a bumper, and handed it to Coble.

"We'll drink to his recovery," said Obadiah, tossing off the contents.

"Yes," replied Short, who waited till the glass was refilled, and did
the same.

"Here's bad luck to him in his own good stuff," said Smallbones, tossing
off a third glass, and, filling it again, he handed it to Coble.

"Here's reformation to him," said Coble, draining the glass again.

"Yes," replied Short, taking the replenished vessel.

"Here's d----n to him and his dog for ever and ever, Amen," cried
Smallbones, tippling off his second allowance.

"Who's there?" said Vanslyperken in a faint voice, opening his eyes
with a vacant look.

Smallbones replaced the bottle in the cupboard, and replied, "It's only
Smallbones, sir, and the mates, come to help you."

"Smallbones!" said Vanslyperken, still wandering. "Smallbones is
drowned--and the whole pot of black paint."

"Conscience," said Short.

"Carving-knife," rejoined Coble.

"Carving-knife!" said Vanslyperken, raising himself up; "I never said a
word about a carving-knife, did I? Who is it that I see? Short--and
Coble--help me up. I've had a sad fall. Where's Smallbones? Is he
alive--really alive?"

"I believe as how I bees," replied Smallbones.

Mr Vanslyperken had now recovered his perfect senses. He had been raised
on a chair, and was anxious to be rid of intruders, so he told Short and
Coble that he would now do very well, and they might go; upon which,
without saying a word, they both quitted the cabin.

Mr Vanslyperken collected himself--he wished to know how Smallbones had
been saved, but still dared not broach the subject, as it would be
admitting his own guilt.

"What has happened, Smallbones?" said Vanslyperken. "I still feel very
faint."

"Take a glass of this," replied Smallbones, opening the cupboard, and
bringing out the scheedam. He poured out a glass, which Vanslyperken
drank, and then observed, "How did you know what was in that
cupboard sirrah?"

"Because you called for it when you were in your fits," replied
Smallbones.

"Called for scheedam?"

"Yes, sir, and said you had lost the carving-knife."

"Did I?" replied Vanslyperken, afraid that he had committed himself. "I
have been ill, very ill," continued he, putting his hand up to his
forehead. "By-the-bye, Smallbones, did you bring in that pot of paint?"
said Vanslyperken, adroitly.

"No, sir, I didn't, because I tumbled overboard, pot and all," replied
Smallbones.

"Tumbled overboard! why, I did not leave the ship till afterwards, and I
heard nothing about it."

"No, sir, how could you?" replied Smallbones, who was all prepared for
this explanation, "when the tide swept me past the saluting battery in
a moment."

"Past the saluting battery?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, "why, how were you
saved?"

"Because, thanks to somebody, I be too light to sink. I went out to the
Nab buoy, and a mile ayond it."

"The Nab buoy!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

"Yes, and ayond it, afore the tide turned, and then I were swept back
again, and came into harbour again, just half-an-hour afore you
come aboard."

Mr Vanslyperken looked aghast; the lad must have had a charmed life.
Nine miles at least out to sea, and nine miles back again.

"It's as true as I stand here, sir," continued Smallbones; "I never were
so cold in all my life, a-floating about like a bit of duck-weed with
the tide, this way and that way."

"As true as you stand here!" repeated Vanslyperken; "but do you stand
here?" and he made a desperate grasp at the lad's arm to ascertain
whether he held substance or shadow.

"Can I do anything more, sir?" continued Smallbones; "for I should like
to turn in--I'm as cold as ice, even now."

"You may go," replied Vanslyperken, whose mind was again becoming
confused at what had passed. For some time, the lieutenant sat in his
chair, trying to recollect and reason; but it was in vain--the shocks of
the day had been too great. He threw himself, dressed as he was, upon
his bed--never perceived the absence of his favourite--the candle was
allowed to burn itself to the socket, and Vanslyperken fell off into a
trance-like sleep.



Chapter XX

In which Mr Vanslyperken proves false to the Widow Vandersloosh, and
many strange things take place.


Mr. Vanslyperken was awakened, the next morning, by the yelping of his
dog, who, having been shut out of the cabin, had ventured up the ladder
in the morning when the men were washing the deck, and had a bucket
shied at him by Jemmy Ducks, with such excellent precision, that it
knocked him over, and nearly broke his hind leg, which he now carried
high up in the air as he howled upon the other three at the cabin door.
Mr Vanslyperken rose, and tried to recollect what had passed; but it was
more than a minute before he could recall the circumstances of the day
before. He then tried to call to mind how he had gone to bed, and by
what means Snarleyyow was left outside, but he could make nothing of it.
He opened the cabin door, and let in the dog, whose lame leg instantly
excited his indignation, and he then rang his bell for Smallbones, who
soon made his appearance.

"How came the dog out of the cabin, sir?"

"I'm sure I don't know, sir; I never put him out."

"Who is it that has hurt him?"

"I'm sure I don't know, sir; I never touched him."

Vanslyperken was about to vent his anger, when Smallbones said, "If you
please, I don't know what's a-going on. Why here, sir, the men washing
the decks have found your carving-knife abaft, by the traffrail.
Somebody must have taken it there, that's sartain."

Vanslyperken turned pale.

"Who could have taken it?"

"That's what I said, sir. Who dare come in the cabin to take the knife?
and what could they have taken it for, but unless it was to cut summut?"
And Smallbones looked his master full in the face. And the lieutenant
quailed before his boy. He could not meet his gaze, but turned away.

"Very odd," continued Smallbones, perceiving the advantage he had
gained.

"Leave the cabin, sir," cried Vanslyperken.

"Sha'n't I make no inquiries how this ere knife came there, sir?"
replied Smallbones.

"No, sir, mind your own business. I've a great mind to flog you for its
being found there--all your carelessness."

"That would be a pretty go," murmured Smallbones, as he shut the cabin
door.

The feeling of vengeance against Smallbones, was now redoubled in the
breast of his master; and the only regret he felt at the transactions of
the day before was, that the boy had not been drowned.

"I'll have him yet," muttered the lieutenant; but he forgot that he was
shaving himself, and the involuntary movements of his lips caused him to
cut a large gash on his right cheek, from which the blood trickled fast.

"Curses on the"--(razor he was going to say, but he changed it
to)--"scoundrel!"

A slice with a razor is certainly a very annoying thing. After a certain
time, Mr Vanslyperken finished his toilet, called for his breakfast,
went on deck, and as the day was fine, ordered the paint to be renewed,
and then went on shore to ascertain if there were any commands for him
at the admiral's office.

As he walked up the street in a brown study, he at last observed that a
very pretty woman dogged him, sometimes walking a-head and looking back,
at others dropping astern, and then again ranging up alongside. He
looked her in the face, and she smiled sweetly, and then turned her head
coquettishly, and then looked again with eyes full of meaning. Now,
although Mr Vanslyperken had always avoided amours on account of the
expense entailed upon them, yet he was, like a dry chip, very
inflammable, and the extreme beauty of the party made him feel unusual
emotions. Her perseverance too--and her whole appearance so very
respectable--so superior to the class of people who generally accosted
him. He thought of the widow and her money-bags, and thought, also, how
infinitely more desirable the widow would be, if she possessed but the
beauty of the present party.

"I do believe I've lost my way," exclaimed the young person. "Pray, sir,
can you tell me the way to Castle Street, for I'm almost a stranger?
And" (added she, laughing) "I really don't know my way back to my
own house."

Castle Street was, at that time, one of the best streets in Portsmouth,
as Mr Vanslyperken well knew. This assured him of her respectability. He
very gallantly offered his arm which, after a little demur, was
accepted, and Mr Vanslyperken conveyed her to her house. Of course she
could do no less than ask him to walk up, and Mr Vanslyperken, who had
never been in anything approaching to good society, was in astonishment
at the furniture. All appeared to denote wealth. He was soon in an
interesting conversation, and by degrees found out that the lady was a
young widow of the name of Malcolm, whose husband had been factor to the
new company, called the East India Company; that she had come down to
Portsmouth expecting him home, and that she had learnt that he had died
on shore a few days before his intended embarkation for England. Since
which, as she liked the place and the society, she had thoughts of
remaining here.

"They say that gold in India is to be had for nothing."

"It must be very plentiful," replied the widow, "if I am to judge by the
quantity my poor husband sent me home, and he was not out more than
three years. He left me a week after our marriage."

Here the lovely widow put her handkerchief up to her eyes, and Mr
Vanslyperken attempted to console her.

"It's so very unpleasant to be left without any one to advise you, and
exposed to be cheated so dreadfully. What can a poor lone woman do? Did
you ever see me before, sir?"

"I never did," replied our lieutenant. "May I ask the same question, for
I thought you appeared to know me?"

"O yes! I've seen you very often, and wished to know who you were, but I
was ashamed to ask. One cannot be too particular in my situation."

Mr Vanslyperken was much pleased, but he had remained some time, and he
thought it right to depart, so he rose and made his adieus.

"I hope I shall see you again," cried the widow, earnestly. "You will
call again, sir, won't you?"

"Most certainly, and with the greatest pleasure," replied Vanslyperken.

The lady extended her gloved hand, and as it was closed in that of
Vanslyperken, he thought he felt a slight, a very slight pressure, which
made his heart leap. And then, as he shut the door, she gave him such a
look--O those eyes!--they pierced right through the heart of
Vanslyperken.

The reader may not, perhaps, be aware who this gay widow might be. It
was Nancy Corbett, who had, by the advice of Lady Alice, taken this step
to entrap Mr Vanslyperken. Nancy had obtained from Moggy all the
particulars of the lieutenant's wooing of the widow Vandersloosh, and
his character as a miser and a coward. Had he been a miser only, she
would have attacked by gold alone, but being a coward, it was decided
that he should have some further stimulus to betray his country, and
enlist himself among the partisans of King James.

Beauty, joined with wealth, the chance of possessing both, with the
attractive arts of Nancy, were considered necessary to sway him. Indeed
they were so far right, that had any one made the bold proposal to
Vanslyperken of joining the other party, and offered him at the same
time ample remuneration, he would have been too suspicious or too
timorous to run the risk. It was necessary to win him over by means
which appeared accidental rather than otherwise. The difficulty of
correspondence was very great; and as the cutter constantly was
despatched to the Hague, and the French had agents there, not only
letters, but even messengers, might be sent over without risk and
without suspicion; for open boats being then the only means of
communication, during the wintry part of the year, the correspondence
was very precarious, and at long intervals.

Thus was Nancy Corbett changed into a buxom widow, all for the good
cause, and well did she perform her part; for there was no lack of money
when such services were required. Vanslyperken left the house quite
enchanted. "This will do," thought he, "and if I succeed, Frau
Vandersloosh may go to the devil." He returned on board, unlocked his
cabin, where Snarleyyow had been secured from the machinations of
Smallbones and other malcontents, and sat down to enjoy the
castle-building which he had commenced after he left the house. He
patted his dog, and apostrophised it. "Yes, my poor brute," said
Vanslyperken, "your master will get a rich widow, without it being
necessary that you should be laid dead at her porch. D--n Frau
Vandersloosh."

The widow was more enchanting when Vanslyperken called on the ensuing
day, than she was on the first. Her advances to the lieutenant were no
longer doubtful to him. She entered freely into the state of her
affairs, asked his advice upon money matters, and fully proved to his
satisfaction that, independent of her beauty, she would be a much
greater catch than Frau Vandersloosh. She spoke about her family; said
that she expected her brother over, but that he must come _incog._, as
he was attached to the court of the exiled king, lamented the difficulty
of receiving letters from him, and openly expressed her adherence to the
Stuart family. Vanslyperken appeared to make very little objection to
her political creed; in fact, he was so fascinated that he fell blindly
into the snare; he accepted an invitation to dine with her on that very
day, and went on board to dress himself as fine for her as he had for
the widow Vandersloosh. The lovely widow admired his uniform, and gave
him many gentle hints upon which he might speak: but this did not take
place until a _tête-à-tête_ after dinner, when he was sitting on a sofa
with her (not on such a fubsy sofa as that of Frau Vandersloosh, but one
worked in tapestry); much in the same position as we once introduced him
in to the reader, to wit, with the lady's hand in his. Vanslyperken was
flushed with wine, for Nancy had pushed the bottle, and, at last, he
spoke out clearly what his aspirations were. The widow blushed, laughed,
wiped her eyes as if to brush away a falling tear, and eventually, with
a slight pressure of the hand, stammered that she did not know what to
say, the acquaintance was so short--it was so unexpected--she must
reflect a little: at the same time, she could not but acknowledge, that
she had been taken with him when she first saw him; and then she laughed
and said, that she did really begin to believe that there was such a
thing as love at first sight, and then--he had better go now, she wished
to be alone--she really had a headache. Oh! Nancy Corbett! you were,
indeed, an adept in the art of seduction--no wonder that your name has
been handed down to posterity. Mr Vanslyperken perceived his advantage,
and pressed still more, until the blushing widow declared that she would
really think seriously about the matter, if on further acquaintance she
found that her good opinion of him was not overrated.

Vanslyperken returned on board intoxicated with his success. On his
arrival, he was informed that a messenger had been sent for him, but no
one knew where to find him, and that he must be at the admiral's early
the next morning, and have all ready for immediate sailing. This was
rather annoying, but there was no help for it. The next day Vanslyperken
went to the admiral's, and received orders to sail immediately to the
Hague with despatches of consequence, being no less than an answer from
King William to the States General. Mr Vanslyperken proceeded from the
admiral's to the charming widow, to whom he imparted this unwelcome
intelligence. She, of course, was grave, and listened to his
protestations with her little finger in her mouth, and a pensive,
down-cast eye.

"How long will you be away?" inquired she.

"But a week or ten days at the farthest. I shall fly back to see you
again."

"But, tell me the truth, have you no acquaintances there?--now, tell me
the truth. I don't mean men."

"Upon my honour, fair widow, I don't know a single woman there," replied
Vanslyperken, pleased with this little appearance of jealousy; "but I'm
afraid that I must leave you, for the admiral is very severe."

"Will you do me one favour, Mr Vanslyperken?"

"Anything:--ask what you will."

"I want this letter forwarded to my brother--I am very anxious about it.
The French agent there will send it on;--it is enclosed to him. Will you
do me that favour, my dear sir?--I'm sure you will if----"

"If what?"

"If you love me," replied the widow, laying her hand upon Vanslyperken.

"I will, most certainly," said Vanslyperken, taking the letter and
putting it in his pocket.

"Then I shall ask you another," said the widow. "You will think me very
foolish, but there may be an opportunity--will you write to me--just a
few lines--only to tell me that you have given the letter, that's
all--and to say how you are--don't you think me very foolish?"

"I will write, dearest, since you wish it--and now, good-bye."

Vanslyperken took the widow round the waist, and after a little
murmuring and reluctance, was permitted to snatch a kiss. Her eyes
followed him mournfully till he shut the door and disappeared, and then
Nancy Corbett gave way to unbounded mirth.

"So the fool has bit already," thought she; "now if he only writes to
me, and I get his acknowledgment of having delivered the letter, the
beast is in my power, and I can hang him any day I please. Upon his
honour, he did not know a single woman there:--Lord have mercy!--what
liars men are--but we can sometimes beat them with their own weapons."
And Nancy's thoughts reverted to her former life, which she now dwelt
upon with pain and sorrow.

Mr Vanslyperken returned on board; the anchor was weighed immediately
that the boats had been hoisted up, and the _Yungfrau_ ran out with a
fair wind, which lasted until the evening, when it fell almost calm, and
the cutter made but little way through the water. Many of the men were
conversing on the forecastle as usual, and the subject of their
discourse was the surmising what had become of Corporal Van Spitter. In
one point they all appeared to agree, which was, that they hoped he
would never return to the cutter.

"If he does I owe him one," observed Jemmy Ducks. "It's all through him
that my wife was turned out of the vessel."

"And a little bit from her tongue, Jemmy," observed Coble.

"Why, perhaps so," replied Jemmy; "but what was it set her tongue loose
but the threat of _him_ to flog me, and what made him threaten that but
the 'peaching of that fat marine?"

"Very good arguments, Jemmy. Well, I will say that for your wife, Jemmy,
she does love you, and there's no sham about it."

"Never mind Jemmy's wife, let's have Jemmy's song," said Spurey; "he
hasn't piped since he was pulled up by the corporal."

"No: he put my pipe out, the hippopotamus. Well, I'll give it you--it
shall be about what we are talking of, Obadiah." Jemmy perched himself
on the fore-end of the booms, and sang as follows:

     "I suppose that you think 'cause my trousers are tarry,
         And because that I ties my long hair in a tail,
     While landsmen are figged out as fine as Lord Harry,
         With breast-pins and cravats as white as old sail;
     That I'm a strange creature, a know-nothing ninny,
         But fit for the planks for to walk in foul weather;
     That I ha'n't e'er a notion of the worth of a guinea,
         And that you, Poll, can twist me about as a feather,--
             Lord love you!!

     "I know that this life is but short at the best on't,
        That Time it flies fast, and that work must be done;
     That when danger comes 'tis as well for to jest on't,
        'Twill be but the lighter felt when it do come:
     If you think, then, from this that I an't got a notion
        Of a heaven above, with its mercy in store,
     And the devil below, for us lads of the ocean,
        Just the same as it be for the landsmen on shore,--
             Lord love you!!

     "If because I don't splice with some true-hearted woman,
        Who'd doat on my presence, and sob when I sail,
     But put up with you, Poll, though faithful to no man,
        With a fist that can strike, and a tongue that can rail;
     'Tis because I'm not selfish, and know 'tis my duty
        If I marry to moor by my wife, and not leave her,
     To dandle the young ones,--watch over her beauty,
        D'ye think that I'd promise and vow, then deceive her?--
            Lord love you!!

     "I suppose that you think 'cause I'm free with my money,
        Which others would hoard and lock up in their chest,
     All your billing and cooing, and words sweet as honey,
        Are as gospel to me while you hang on my breast;
     But no, Polly, no;--you may take every guinea,
        They'd burn in my pocket, if I took them to sea;
     But as for your love, Poll, I indeed were a ninny,--
        D'ye think I don't know you cheat others than me?
            Lord love you!!"

"Well, that's a good song, Jemmy, and he can't pull you up for that,
anyhow."

Mr Vanslyperken appeared to think otherwise, for he sent a marine
forward to say, that no singing would be permitted in future, and that
they were immediately to desist.

"I suppose we shall have a song considered as mutiny soon," observed
Coble. "Ah, well, it's a long lane that has no turning."

"Yes," replied Jemmy, in an under tone, "and for every rogue there's a
rope laid up. Never mind, let us go below."

Mr Vanslyperken's dreaming thoughts of the fair widow were nevertheless
occasionally interrupted by others not quite so agreeable. Strange to
say, he fully believed what Smallbones had asserted about his being
carried out by the tide to the Nab buoy and he canvassed the question in
his mind, whether there was not something supernatural in the affair, a
sort of interposition of Providence in behalf of the lad, which was to
be considered as a warning to himself not to attempt anything further.
He was frightened, although his feeling for revenge was still in all its
force. As for any one suspecting him of having attempted the boy's life,
he had recovered from that feeling; even if they did, who dare say a
word? There was another point which also engrossed the moody
Vanslyperken, which was how he should behave relative to the widow
Vandersloosh. Should he call or should he not? he cared nothing for her,
and provided he could succeed with the Portsmouth lady, he would pitch
her to the devil; but still he remembered the old proverb, "You should
never throw away dirty water before you are sure of clean." After some
cogitation he determined upon still pressing his suit, and hoped at the
same time that the widow would not admit him into her presence. Such
were the different resolves and decisions which occupied the mind of Mr
Vanslyperken until he dropped his anchor at Amsterdam, when he ordered
his boat to go on shore, and gave positive directions to Dick Short that
no one was to leave the cutter on any pretence, for he was determined
that as the widow would not have his company, she should not have the
profits arising from his men spending their money at her house.

"So," cried Coble, after the boat shoved off, "liberty's stopped as well
as singing. What next, I wonder? I sha'n't stand this long."

"No," replied Short.

"Stop till he makes friends with the widow," observed Bill Spurey;
"she'll get us all leave."

"Mein Gott, he nebber say anyting before," observed Jansen.

"No; we might almost go and come as we wished. We must not stand this."

"We won't," replied Jemmy Ducks.

"No," replied Short.

While the crew of the cutter were in this incipient state of mutiny,
Vanslyperken bent his steps to deliver up to the authorities the
despatches with which he was charged; and having so done, he then took
out the letter intrusted to him by Nancy Corbett and read the address.
It was the same street in which lived the Frau Vandersloosh. This was
awkward, as Vanslyperken did not want to be seen by her; but there was
no help for it. He trusted to her not seeing him, and he proceeded
thither: he ran down the numbers on the doors until he came to the right
one, which was exactly opposite to the widow's house:--this was more
unfortunate. He rang the bell; it was some time before the door was
opened, and while he was standing there he could not help looking round
to see if any one saw him. To his annoyance, there stood the widow
filling up her door with her broad frame, and Babette peeping over her
shoulder. Mr Vanslyperken, as there was only the canal and two narrow
roads between them, could do no less than salute her, but she took no
notice of him farther than by continuing her stare. At last, upon a
second pulling of the bell, the door opened, and on Mr Vanslyperken
saying that he had a letter for such an address, he was admitted, and
the door immediately closed. He was ushered into a room, the
window-panes of which were painted green, so that no one outside could
look in, and found himself in the presence of a tall man, in a clerical
dress, who motioned to him to sit down.

Vanslyperken delivered the letter, and then took a seat. The gentleman
made a graceful bow, as if to ask permission to break the seal, and then
opened the letter.

"Sir, I am obliged to you for charging yourself with these
packets--infinitely obliged to you. You are in command of a sloop here,
I believe."

"A king's cutter, sir," replied Vanslyperken, with importance; "I am
Lieutenant Vanslyperken."

"I thank you, sir. I will take down your name. You expect, I presume, to
be rewarded for this small service," continued the gentleman, with a
bland smile.

"Why, she must have told him," thought Vanslyperken; who replied with
another smile, "that he certainly trusted that he should be."

Upon which reply, the other went to an escritoire, and taking out a bag,
opened it and poured out a mass of gold, which made Vanslyperken's mouth
water, but why he did so Vanslyperken did not give a thought, until
having counted out fifty pieces, the gentleman very gracefully put them
into his hand, observing,

"A lieutenant's pay is not great, and we can afford to be generous. Will
you oblige me by calling here before you sail for England, and I will
beg you to take charge of a letter."

Vanslyperken was all amazement: he began to suspect what was the fact,
but he had the gold in his hand, and for the life of him, he could not
have laid it down again on the table. It was too great a sacrifice, for
it was his idol--his god. He therefore dropped it into his pocket, and
promising to call before he sailed, bowed and took his leave. As he went
out, there were the Frau Vandersloosh and Babette still watching him at
the door, but Vanslyperken was in a state of agitation, and he hurried
off as fast as he could. Had he known why they watched so earnestly, and
what had occurred, his agitation would have been greater still. As soon
as Mr Vanslyperken had arrived on board, he hastened down into his
cabin, and throwing the money down on the table, feasted his eyes with
it, and remained for nearly half-an-hour in a state of deep cogitation,
during which he often asked himself the question, whether he had not
been a traitor to the king and country in whose pay he was employed. The
answer that he gave to himself was anything but satisfactory: but the
prospect of possessing the fair Portsmouth widow, and the gold displayed
upon the table, were very satisfactory, and the balance was on the
latter side: so Vanslyperken gradually recovered himself, and had risen
from his chair to collect the gold and deposit it in a place of safety,
when he was interrupted by a tap at the door. Hastily sweeping off the
gold pieces, he cried, "Come in;" when who, to his surprise, should
appear, in excellent condition and fresh as a peony, but the lost and
almost forgotten Corporal Van Spitter, who, raising his hand to his
forehead as usual, reported himself man-of-war fashion, "Vas come on
board, Mynheer Vanslyperken." But as the corporal did not tell all the
facts connected with his cruise in the jolly-boat to Mr Vanslyperken,
for reasons which will hereafter appear, we shall reserve the narrative
of what really did take place for another chapter.



Chapter XXI

In which are narrated the adventures which took place in the corporal's
cruise in the jolly-boat.


Corporal Van Spitter, so soon as he had expended all his breath in
shouting for help, sat down with such a flop of despair on the thwart of
the boat, as very nearly to swamp it. As it was, the water poured in
over the starboard-gunnel, until the boat was filled up to his ankles.
This alarmed him still more, and he remained mute as a stockfish for a
quarter of an hour, during which he was swept away by the tide until he
was unable to discover the lights on shore. The wind freshened, and the
water became more rough, the night was dark as pitch, and the corporal
skimmed along before the wind and tide. "A tousand tyfels!" at last
muttered the corporal, as the searching blast crept round his fat sides,
and made him shiver. Gust succeeded gust, and, at last, the corporal's
teeth chattered with the cold: he raised his feet out of the water at
the bottom of the boat, for his feet were like ice, but in so doing, the
weight of his body being above the centre of gravity, the boat careened
over, and with a "Mein Gott!" he hastily replaced them in the cold
water. And now a shower of rain and sleet came down upon the unprotected
body of the corporal, which added to his misery, to his fear, and to
his despair.

"Where am I?" muttered he; "what will become of me? Ah, mein Gott!
twenty tousand tyfels--what had I to do in a boat--I, Corporal Van
Spitter?" and then he was again silent for nearly half an hour. The wind
shifted to the northward, and the rain cleared up, but it was only to
make the corporal suffer more, for the freezing blast poured upon his
wet clothes, and he felt chilled to the very centre of his vitals. His
whole body trembled convulsively, he was frozen to the thwart, yet there
was no appearance of daylight coming, and the corporal now abandoned
himself to utter hopelessness and desperation, and commenced praying. He
attempted the Lord's Prayer in Dutch, but could get no further than "art
in heaven," for the rest, from disuse, had quite escaped the corporal's
memory. He tried to recollect something else, but was equally
unsuccessful; at last, he made up a sad mixture of swearing and praying.

"Mein Gott--a hundred tousand tyfels--gut Gott--twenty hundred tousand
tyfels! Ah, Gott of mercy--million of tyfels! holy Gott Jesus! twenty
millions of tyfels--Gott for dam, I die of cold!" Such were the
ejaculations of the corporal, allowing about ten minutes to intervene
between each, during which the wind blew more freshly, the waves rose,
and the boat was whirled away.

But the corporal's miseries were to be prolonged; the flood-time of
water was now spent, and the ebb commenced flowing against the wind and
sea. This created what is called boiling water, that is, a contest
between the wind forcing the waves one way, and the tide checking them
the other, which makes the waves to lose their run, and they rise, and
dance, and bubble into points. The consequence was, that the boat, as
she was borne down by the tide against them, shipped a sea every moment,
which the wind threw against the carcass of the corporal, who was now
quite exhausted with more than four hours' exposure to a wintry night,
the temperature being nearly down to zero. All the corporal's stoicism
was gone; he talked wildly, crouched and gibbered in his fear, when he
was suddenly roused by a heavy shock. He raised his head, which had sunk
upon his chest, and beheld something close to him, and to the gunnel of
the boat. It was a thin, tall figure, holding out his two arms at right
angles, and apparently stooping over him. It was just in the position
that Smallbones lay on the forecastle of the cutter on that day morning,
when he was about to keel-haul him, and the corporal, in his state of
mental and bodily depression, was certain that it was the ghost of the
poor lad whom he had so often tortured. Terror raised his hair
erect--his mouth was wide open--he could not speak--he tried to analyse
it, but a wave dashed in his face--his eyes and mouth were filled with
salt water, and the corporal threw himself down on the thwarts of the
boat, quite regardless whether it went to the bottom or not; there he
lay, half groaning, half praying, with his hands to his eyes, and his
huge nether proportion raised in the air, every limb trembling with
blended cold and fright. One hour more, and there would have been
nothing but corporal parts of Corporal Spitter.

The reason why the last movement of the corporal did not swamp the boat,
was simply that it was aground on one of the flats; and the figure which
had alarmed the conscience-stricken corporal, was nothing more than the
outside beacon of a weir for catching fish, being a thin post with a
cross bar to it, certainly not unlike Smallbones in figure, supposing
him to have put his arms in that position.

For upwards of an hour did the corporal lie reversed, when the day
dawned, and the boat had been left high and dry upon the flat. The
fishermen came down to examine their weir, and see what was their
success, when they discovered the boat with its contents. At first they
could not imagine what it was, for they could perceive nothing but the
capacious round of the corporal, which rose up in the air, but, by
degrees, they made out that there was a head and feet attached to it,
and they contrived, with the united efforts of four men, to raise him
up, and discovered that life was not yet extinct. They poured a little
schnappes into his mouth, and he recovered so far as to open his eyes,
and they having brought down with them two little carts drawn by dogs,
they put the corporal into one, covered him up, and yoking all the dogs
to the one cart, for the usual train could not move so heavy a weight,
two of them escorted him up to their huts, while the others threw the
fish caught into the cart which remained, and took possession of the
boat. The fishermen's wives, perceiving the cart so heavily laden,
imagined, as it approached the huts, that there had been unusual
success, and were not a little disappointed when they found that instead
of several bushels of fine fish, they had only caught a corporal of
marines; but they were kind-hearted, for they had known misery, and Van
Spitter was put into a bed, and covered up with all the blankets they
could collect, and very soon was able to drink some warm soup offered to
him. It was not, however, till long past noon, that the corporal was
able to narrate what had taken place.

"Will your lieutenant pay us for saving you and bringing him his boat?"
demanded the men.

Now, it must be observed, that a great revolution had taken place in the
corporal's feelings since the horror and sufferings of the night. He
felt hatred towards Vanslyperken, and good-will towards those whom he
had treated unkindly. The supernatural appearance of Smallbones, in
which he still believed, and which appeared to him as a warning--what he
had suffered from cold and exhaustion, which by him was considered as a
punishment for his treatment of the poor lad but the morning before, had
changed the heart of Corporal Van Spitter, so he replied in Dutch,

"He will give you nothing, good people, not even a glass of schnappes, I
tell you candidly--so keep the boat if you wish--I will not say a word
about it, except that it is lost. He is not likely to see it again.
Besides, you can alter it, and paint it."

This very generous present of his Majesty's property by the corporal,
was very agreeable to the fishermen, as it amply repaid them for all
their trouble. The corporal put on his clothes, and ate a hearty meal,
was freely supplied with spirits, and went to bed quite recovered. The
next morning, the fishermen took him down to Amsterdam in their own
boat, when Van Spitter discovered that the _Yungfrau_ had sailed; this
was very puzzling, and Corporal Van Spitter did not know what to do.
After some cogitation, it occurred to him that, for Vanslyperken's sake,
he might be well received at the Lust Haus by widow Vandersloosh, little
imagining how much at a discount was his lieutenant in that quarter.

To the Frau Vandersloosh accordingly he repaired, and the first person
he met was Babette, who finding that the corporal was a Dutchman, and
belonging to the _Yungfrau_, and who presumed that he had always felt
the same ill-will towards Vanslyperken and Snarleyyow, as did the rest
of the ship's company, immediately entered into a narrative of the
conduct of Snarleyyow on the preceding night, the anger of her mistress,
and every other circumstance with which the reader is already
acquainted. Corporal Van Spitter thus fortunately found out how matters
stood previous to his introduction to the widow. He expatiated upon his
sufferings, upon the indifference of his lieutenant in sailing as to
what had become of him, and fully persuaded Babette not only that he was
inimical, which now certainly he was, but that he always had been so,
to Mr Vanslyperken. Babette, who was always ready to retail news, went
up to the widow, and amused her, as she dressed her, with the corporal's
adventures, and the widow felt an interest in, before she had seen,
Corporal Van Spitter, from the account of his "moving accidents by flood
and field."

But if prepossessed in his favour before she saw him, what did she feel
when she first beheld the substantial proportions of Corporal Van
Spitter! There she beheld the beau ideal of her imagination--the very
object of her widow's dreams--the antipodes of Vanslyperken, and as
superior as "Hyperion to a Satyr." He had all the personal advantages,
with none of the defects of her late husband; he was quite as fleshy,
but had at least six inches more in height, and, in the eyes of the
widow, the Corporal Van Spitter was the finest man she ever had beheld,
and she mentally exclaimed, "There is the man for my money;" and, at the
same time, resolved that she would win him. Alas I how short-sighted are
mortals; little did the corporal imagine that the most untoward event in
his life would be the cause of his being possessed of ease and
competence. The widow received him most graciously, spoke in no measured
terms against Vanslyperken, at which the corporal raised his huge
shoulders, as much as to say, "He is even worse than you think him," was
very violent against Snarleyyow, whom the corporal, aware that it was no
mutiny, made no ceremony in "damning in heaps," as the saying is.

The widow begged that he would feel no uneasiness, as he should remain
with her till the cutter returned; and an hour after the first
introduction, Corporal Van Spitter had breakfasted with, and was
actually sitting, by her request, on the little fubsy sofa, in the very
place of Vanslyperken, with Frau Vandersloosh by his side.

We must pass over the few days during which the cutter was away. Widows
have not that maiden modesty to thwart their wishes, which so often
prevents a true love tale from being told. And all that the widow could
not tell, Babette, duly instructed, told for her, and it was understood,
before the cutter's arrival, that Corporal Van Spitter was the accepted
lover of the Frau Vandersloosh. But still it was necessary that there
should be secrecy, not only on account of the corporal's being under the
command of the lieutenant, who, of course, would not allow himself to be
crossed in his love without resenting it, but also, because it was not
advisable that the crew of the _Yungfrau_ should not be permitted to
spend their money at the Lust Haus. It was therefore agreed that the
lieutenant should be blinded, as to the real nature of the intimacy, and
that nothing should take place until the cutter was paid off, and
Corporal Van Spitter should be a gentleman at large.

Independent of the wisdom of the above proceedings, there was a secret
pleasure to all parties in deceiving the deceiver Vanslyperken. But
something else occurred which we must now refer to. The corporal's
residence at the widow's house had not been unobserved by the Jesuit,
who was the French agent in the house opposite, and it appeared to him,
after the inquiries he had made, that Corporal Van Spitter might be made
serviceable. He had been sent for and sounded, and it was canvassed with
the widow whether he should accept the offers or not, and finally it was
agreed that he should, as there would be little or no risk. Now, it so
happened, that the corporal had gone over to the Jesuit's house to agree
to the proposals, and was actually in the house conversing with him,
when Vanslyperken arrived and knocked at the door. The corporal
ascertaining who it was by a small clear spot left in the painted window
for scrutiny, begged that he might be concealed, and was immediately
shown into the next room by a door, which was hid behind a screen. The
Jesuit did not exactly shut the door, as he supposed he did, and the
corporal, who wondered what could have brought Vanslyperken there, kept
it ajar during the whole of the interview and the counting out of the
money. Vanslyperken left, and as he shut the other door the corporal
did the same with the one he held ajar, and took a seat at the other end
of the room, that the Jesuit might not suspect his having overheard all
that had passed.

Now the Jesuit had made up his mind that it was better to treat with the
principal than with a second, and therefore did not further require the
services of Corporal Van Spitter. He told him that the lieutenant having
received private information that one of the people of the cutter had
been seen at his house, and knowing that he was the French agent, had
come to inform him that if he attempted to employ any of his men in
carrying letters, that he would inform against him to the authorities.
That he was very sorry, but that after such a notice he was afraid that
the arrangements could not proceed. The corporal appeared to be
satisfied, and took his final leave. No wonder, therefore, that the
widow and Babette were on the watch, when they saw Vanslyperken enter
the house, at the very time the corporal was there also.

The corporal went over to the widow's, and narrated all that he had
heard and seen.

"Why, the traitor!" exclaimed the widow.

"Yes, mein Gott!" repeated the corporal.

"The villain to sell his country for gold."

"Yes, mein Gott!" repeated the corporal.

"Fifty guineas, did you say, Mynheer Van Spitter?"

"Yes, mein Gott!" repeated the corporal.

"Oh, the wretch!--well," continued the widow, "at all events he is in
your power."

"Yes, mein Gott!"

"You can hang him any day in the week."

"Yes, mein Gott!"

"Ho, ho! Mr Vanslyperken:--well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we will see,"
continued the widow, indignant at the lieutenant receiving so large a
sum, which would otherwise have been, in all probability, made over to
Corporal Van Spitter, with whom she now felt that their interests were
in common.

"Tousand tyfels!" roared the corporal, dashing his foot upon one of the
flaps of the little table before them with so much force, that it was
broken short off and fell down on the floor.

"Hundred tousand tyfels!" continued the corporal, when he witnessed the
effects of his violence.

Although the widow lamented her table, she forgave the corporal with a
smile; she liked such proofs of strength in her intended, and she,
moreover, knew that the accident was occasioned by indignation at
Vanslyperken.

"Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, you'll pay me for that," exclaimed she; "I
prophesy that before long you and your nasty cur will both swing
together."

The corporal now walked across the little parlour and back again, then
turned to the widow Vandersloosh, and with a most expressive look
slowly muttered,

"Yes, mein Gott!"

After which he sat down again by the side of the widow, and they had a
short consultation; before it was over, Corporal Van Spitter declared
himself the deadly enemy of Lieutenant Vanslyperken; swore that he would
be his ruin, and ratified the oath upon the widow's lips. Alas! what
changes there are in this world!

After which solemn compact the corporal rose, took his leave, went on
board, and reported himself, as we have stated in the preceding chapter.



Chapter XXII

In which Snarleyyow proves to be the devil, and no mistake.


That the corporal mystified his lieutenant, may easily be supposed; but
the corporal had other work to do, and he did it immediately. He went up
to Jemmy Ducks, who looked daggers at him, and said to him quietly,
"That he had something to say to him as soon as it was dusk, and they
would not be seen together." Vanslyperken ordered the corporal to resume
his office, and serve out the provisions that afternoon: and to the
astonishment of the men, he gave them not only full, but overweight; and
instead of abusing them, and being cross, he was good-humoured, and
joked with them; and all the crew stared at each other, and wondered
what could be the matter with Corporal Van Spitter. But what was their
amazement, upon Snarleyyow's coming up to him as he was serving out
provisions, instead of receiving something from the hand of the corporal
as usual, he, on the contrary, received a sound kick on the ribs from
his foot which sent him yelping back into the cabin. Their astonishment
could only be equalled by that of Snarleyyow himself. But that was not
all; it appeared as if wonders would never cease, for when Smallbones
came up to receive his master's provisions, after the others had been
served and gone away, the corporal not only kindly received him, but
actually presented him with a stiff glass of grog mixed with the
corporal's own hand. When he offered it, the lad could not believe his
eyes, and even when he had poured it down his throat, he would not
believe his own mouth; and he ran away, leaving his provisions,
chuckling along the lower deck till he could gain the forecastle, and
add this astonishing piece of intelligence to the other facts, which
were already the theme of admiration.

"There be odd chops and changes in this here world, for sartin,"
observed Coble. (Exactly the same remark as we made at the end of the
previous chapter.)

"Mayn't it all be gammon?" said Bill Spurey.

"Gammon, for why?" replied Jemmy Ducks.

"That's the question," rejoined Spurey.

"It appears to me that he must have had a touch of conscience," said
Coble.

"Or else he must have seen a ghost," replied Smallbones.

"I've heard of ghosts ashore, and sometimes on board of a ship, but I
never heard of a ghost in a jolly-boat," said Coble, spitting under
the gun.

"'Specially when there were hardly room for the corporal," added Spurey.

"Yes," observed Short.

"Well, we shall know something about it to-night, for the corporal and I
am to have a palaver."

"Mind he don't circumwent you, Jimmy," said Spurey.

"It's my opinion," said Smallbones, "that he must be in real arnest,
otherwise he would not ha' come for to go for to give me a glass of
grog--there's no gammon in that;--and such a real stiff 'un too,"
continued Smallbones, who licked his lips at the bare remembrance of the
unusual luxury.

"True," said Short.

"It beats my comprehension altogether out of nothing," observed Spurey.
"There's something very queer in the wind. I wonder where the corporal
has been all this while."

"Wait till this evening," observed Jemmy Ducks; and, as this was very
excellent advice, it was taken, and the parties separated.

In the despatches it had been requested, as important negotiations were
going on, that the cutter might return immediately, as there were other
communications to make to the States General on the part of the King of
England; and a messenger now informed Vanslyperken that he might sail as
soon as he pleased, as there was no reply to the despatches he had
conveyed. This was very agreeable to Vanslyperken, who was anxious to
return to the fair widow at Portsmouth, and also to avoid the Frau
Vandersloosh. At dusk, he manned his boat and went on shore to the
French agent, who had also found out that the cutter was ordered to
return, and had his despatches nearly ready. Vanslyperken waited about
an hour; when all was complete he received them, and then returned
on board.

As soon as he had quitted the vessel, Corporal Van Spitter went to
Jemmy Ducks, and without letting him know how matters stood on shore,
told him that he was convinced that Vanslyperken had sent him into the
boat on purpose to lose him, and that the reason was, that he, Van
Spitter, knew secrets which would at any time hang the lieutenant. That
in consequence he had determined upon revenge, and in future would be
heart and hand with the ship's company, but that to secure their mutual
object, it would be better that he should appear devoted to Vanslyperken
as before, and at variance with the ship's company.

Now Jemmy, who was with all his wits at work, knew that it was
Smallbones who cut the corporal adrift; but that did not alter the case,
as the corporal did not know it. It was therefore advisable to leave him
in that error. But he required proofs of the corporal's sincerity, and
he told him so.

"Mein Gott! what proof will you have? De proof of de pudding is in de
eating."

"Well, then," replied Jemmy, "will you shy the dog overboard?"

"Te tog?--in one minute--and de master after him."

Whereupon Corporal Van Spitter went down into the cabin, which
Vanslyperken, trusting to his surveillance, had left unlocked, and
seizing the cur by the neck, carried him on deck, and hurled him several
yards over the cutter's quarter.

"Mein Gott! but dat is well done," observed Jansen.

"And he'll not come back wid de tide. I know de tide, Mein Gott!"
observed the corporal, panting with the exertion.

But here the corporal was mistaken. Snarleyyow did not make for the
vessel, but for the shore, and they could not in the dark ascertain what
became of him, neither was the tide strong, for the flood was nearly
over; the consequence was, that the dog gained the shore, and landed at
the same stairs where the boats land. The men were not in the boat, but
waiting at a beer-shop a little above, which Vanslyperken must pass when
he came down again. Recognising the boat, the cur leapt into it, and
after a good shaking under the thwarts, crept forward to where the men
had thrown their pea-jackets under the bow-sheets, curled himself up,
and went to sleep.

Shortly afterwards the lieutenant came down with the men, and rowed on
board but the dog, which, exhausted with his exertion, was very
comfortable where he was, did not come out, but remained in his
snug berth.

The lieutenant and men left the boat when they arrived on board, without
discovering that the dog was a passenger. About ten minutes after the
lieutenant had come on board, Snarleyyow jumped on deck, but, as all the
men were forward in close consultation, and in anticipation of Mr
Vanslyperken's discovery of his loss, the dog gained the cabin,
unperceived not only by the ship's company, but by Vanslyperken, who was
busy locking up the letters entrusted to him by the French agent.
Snarleyyow took his station under the table, and lay down to finish his
nap, where we must leave him for the present in a sound sleep, and his
snoring very soon reminded Vanslyperken of what he had, for a short time
unheeded, that his favourite was present.

"Well, it's very odd," observed Spurey, "that he has been on board
nearly half-an-hour, and not discovered that his dog is absent
without leave."

"Yes," said Short.

"I know for why, mein Gott!" exclaimed the corporal, who shook his head
very knowingly.

"The corporal knows why," observed Jemmy Ducks.

"Then why don't he say why?" retorted Bill Spurey, who was still a
little suspicious of the corporal's fidelity.

"Because Mynheer Vanslyperken count his money de guineas," replied the
corporal, writhing at the idea of what he had lost by his superior's
interference.

"Ho, ho! his money, well, that's a good reason, for he would skin a
flint if he could," observed Coble; "but that can't last for ever."

"That depends how often he may count it over," observed Jemmy
Ducks--"but there's his bell;" and soon after Corporal Van Spitter's
name was passed along the decks, to summon him into the presence of his
commanding officer.

"Now for a breeze," said Coble, hitching up his trousers.

"Yes," replied Short.

"For a regular _shindy_," observed Spurey.

"Hell to pay and no pitch hot," added Jemmy, laughing; and they all
remained in anxious expectation of the corporal's return.

Corporal Van Spitter had entered the cabin with the air of the
profoundest devotion and respect--had raised his hand up as usual, but
before the hand had arrived to its destination, he beheld Vanslyperken
seated on the locker, patting the head of Snarleyyow, as if nothing had
happened. At this unexpected resuscitation, the corporal uttered a
tremendous "Mein Gott!" and burst like a mad bull out of the cabin,
sweeping down all who obstructed his passage on the lower deck, till he
arrived to the fore-ladder, which he climbed up with tottering knees,
and then sank down on the forecastle at the feet of Jemmy Ducks.

"Mein Gott, mein Gott, mein Gott!" exclaimed the corporal, putting his
hands to his eyes as if to shut out the horrid vision.

"What the devil is the matter?" exclaimed Coble.

"Ah! mein Gott, mein Gott!"

As it was evident that something uncommon had happened, they all now
crowded round the corporal, who, by degrees, recovered himself.

"What is it, corporal?" inquired Jemmy Ducks.

Before the corporal could reply, Smallbones, who had been summoned to
the cabin on account of the corporal's unaccountable exit, sprang up the
ladder with one bound, his hair flying in every direction, his eyes
goggling, and his mouth wide open: lifting his hands over his head, and
pausing as if for breath, the lad exclaimed with a solemn sepulchral
voice, "By all the devils in hell he's come again!"

"Who?" exclaimed several voices at once.

"Snarleyyow," replied Smallbones, mournfully.

"Yes--mein Gott!" exclaimed Corporal Van Spitter, attempting to rise on
his legs.

"Whew!" whistled Jemmy Ducks--but nobody else uttered a sound; they all
looked at one another, some with compressed lips, others with mouths
open. At last one shook his head--then another. The corporal rose on his
feet and shook himself like an elephant.

"Dat tog is de tyfel's imp, and dat's de end on it," said he, with alarm
still painted on his countenance.

"And is he really on board again?" inquired Coble, doubtingly.

"As sartin as I stands on this here forecastle--a-kissing and slobbering
the lieutenant for all the world like a Christian," replied Smallbones,
despondingly.

"Then he flare fire on me wid his one eye," said the corporal.

"Warn't even wet," continued Smallbones.

Here there was another summons for Corporal Van Spitter.

"Mein Gott, I will not go," exclaimed the corporal.

"Yes, yes, go, corporal," replied Smallbones; "it's the best way to face
the devil."

"Damn the devil!--and that's not swearing," exclaimed Short--such a long
sentence out of his mouth was added to the marvels of the night--some
even shrugged up their shoulders at that, as if it also were
supernatural.

"I always say so," said Jansen, "I always say so--no tog, no tog, after
all."

"No, no," replied Coble, shaking his head.

Corporal Van Spitter was again summoned, but the corporal was restive as
a rhinoceros.

"Corporal," said Smallbones, who, since the glass of grog, was his
sincere ally, and had quite forgotten and forgiven his treatment, "go
down and see if you can't worm the truth out of him."

"Ay, do, do!" exclaimed the rest.

"Smallbones--Smallbones--wanted aft," was the next summons.

"And here I go," exclaimed Smallbones. "I defy the devil and all his
works--as we said on Sunday at the workhouse."

"That lad's a prime bit of stuff," observed Spurey, "I will say that."

"Yes," replied Short.

In a few seconds Smallbones came hastily up the ladder.

"Corporal, you must go to the cabin directly. He is in a devil of a
rage--asked me why you wouldn't come--told him that you had seen
something dreadful--didn't know what. Tell him you saw the devil at his
elbow--see if it frightens him."

"Yes, do," exclaimed the others.

Corporal Van Spitter made up his mind; he pulled down the skirts of his
jacket, descended the ladder, and walked aft into the cabin. At the
sight of Snarleyyow the corporal turned pale--at the sight of the
corporal, Mr Vanslyperken turned red.

"What's the meaning of all this?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, in a rage.
"What is all this about, corporal? Explain your conduct, sir. What made
you rush out of the cabin in that strange manner?"

"Mein Gott, Mynheer Vanslyperken, I came for orders but I no come keep
company wid de tyfel."

"With the devil!--what do you mean?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, alarmed.
The corporal, perceiving that the lieutenant was frightened, then
entered into a detail, that when he had entered the cabin he had seen
the devil sitting behind Mr Vanslyperken, looking over his shoulder, and
grinning with his great eyes, while he patted him over the back with
his left hand and fondled the dog with his right.

This invention of the corporal's, "whom Mr Vanslyperken considered as a
stanch friend and incapable of treachery, had a great effect upon Mr
Vanslyperken. It immediately rushed into his mind that he had attempted
murder but a few days before, and that, that very day he had been a
traitor to his country--quite sufficient for the devil to claim him
as his own.

"Corporal Van Spitter," exclaimed Vanslyperken with a look of horror,
"are you really in earnest, or are you not in your senses--you
really saw him?"

"As true as I stand here," replied the corporal, who perceived his
advantage.

"Then the Lord be merciful to me a sinner!" exclaimed Vanslyperken,
falling on his knees, at the moment forgetting the presence of the
corporal, and then recollecting himself, he jumped up--"It is false,
Corporal Van Spitter; false as you are yourself--confess," continued the
lieutenant, seizing the corporal by the collar, "confess, that it is
all a lie."

"A lie," exclaimed the corporal, who now lost his courage, "a lie,
Mynheer Vanslyperken! If it was not the tyfel himself it was one of his
imps, I take my Bible oath."

"One of his imps," exclaimed Vanslyperken; "it's a lie--an infamous lie,
confess," continued he, shaking the corporal by the collar--"confess
the truth."

At this moment Snarleyyow considered that he had a right to be a party
in the fray, so he bounded forward at the corporal, who, terrified at
the supernatural beast, broke from Vanslyperken's grasp, and rushed out
of the cabin, followed, however, the whole length of the lower deck by
the dog, who snapped and bayed at him till he had gained the
fore ladder.

Once more did the corporal make his appearance on the forecastle,
frightened and out of breath.

"Mein Gott! de man is mad," exclaimed he, "and de tog is de tyfel
himself." The corporal then narrated in broken English what had passed.
For some time there was a confused whispering among the men; they
considered the dog's reappearance on this occasion even more wonderful
than on the former, for the men declared positively that he never came
off in the boat, which, had he done, would have unravelled the whole
mystery; and that a dog thrown overboard, and swept away by the tide
should be discovered shortly after perfectly dry and comfortable, not
only on board of the cutter, which he could not have got on board of,
but also in his master's cabin, which he could not get into without
being seen, proved at once that the animal was supernatural. No one was
now hardy enough to deny it, and no one appeared to have the least idea
of how to proceed except Smallbones, who, as we have shown, was as full
of energy as he was deficient in fat. On all occasions of this kind the
bravest becomes the best man and takes the lead, and Smallbones, who
appeared more collected and less alarmed than the others, was now
listened to with attention, and the crowd collected round him.

"I don't care for him or for his dog either," exclaimed Smallbones, with
a drawling intrepid tone; "that dog I'll settle the hash of some way or
the other, if it be the devil's own cousin. I'll not come for to go to
leave off now, that's sartain, as I am Peter Smallbones--I'se got
a plan."

"Let's hear Smallbones,--let's hear Smallbones!" exclaimed some of the
men. Whereupon they all collected round the lad, who addressed the crew
as follows. His audience, at first, crowded up close to him, but
Smallbones, who could not talk without his arms, which were about as
long and thin as a Pongo's are in proportion to his body, flapped and
flapped as he discoursed, until he had cleared a little ring, and when
in the height of his energy he threw them about like the arms of a
windmill, every one kept at a respectable distance.

"Well, now, I considers this, if so be as how the dog be a devil, and
not a dog, I sees no reason for to come for to go for to be afraid; for
ar'n't we all true Christians, and don't we all fear God and honour the
king? I sartainly myself does consider that that ere dog could not a
have cummed into this here vessel by any manner of means natural not by
no means, 'cause it's very clear, that a dog if he be as he be a dog,
can't do no more than other dogs can; and if he can do more than heither
dog or man can, then he must be the devil, and not a dog--and so he
is--that's sartain. But if so be as he is the devil, I say again, I
don't care, 'cause I sees exactly how it is,--he be a devil, but he be
only a sea-devil and not a shore-devil, and I'll tell you for why.
Didn't he come on board some how no how in a gale of wind when he was
called for? Didn't I sew him up in a bread-bag, and didn't he come back
just as nothing had happened; and didn't the corporal launch him into a
surge over the taffrail, and he comes back just as if nothing had
happened? Well, then, one thing is clear; that his power be on the
water, and no water will drown that ere imp, so it's no use trying no
more in that way, for he be a sea-devil. But I thinks this: he goes on
shore and he comes back with one of his impish eyes knocked out clean by
somebody or another somehow or another, and, therefore, I argues that he
have no power on shore not by no means; for if you can knock his eye
out, you can knock his soul out of his body, by only knocking a little
more to the purpose. Who ever heard of any one knocking out the devil's
eye, or injuring him in any way?--No; because he have power by sea and
by land: but this here be only a water-devil, and he may be killed on
dry land. Now, that's just my opinion, and as soon as I gets him on
shore, I means to try what I can do. I don't fear him, nor his master,
nor anything else, 'cause I'm a Christian, and was baptised Peter; and I
tells you all, that be he a dog, or be he a devil, I'll have a shy at
him as soon as I can, and if I don't, I hope I may be d--d, that's all."

Such was the oration of Smallbones, which was remarkably well received.
Everyone agreed with the soundness of his arguments, and admired his
resolution, and as he had comprised in his speech all that could be said
upon the subject, they broke up the conference, and everyone went down
to his hammock.



Chapter XXIII

In which Mr Vanslyperken finds great cause of vexation and satisfaction.


In the meanwhile Mr Vanslyperken was anything but comfortable in his
mind. That Corporal Van Spitter should assert that he saw the devil at
his shoulder, was a matter of no small annoyance any way; for either the
devil was at his shoulder or he was not. If he was, why then it was
evident that in consequence of his having attempted murder, and having
betrayed his country for money, the devil considered him as his own, and
this Mr Vanslyperken did not approve of; for, like many others in this
world, he wished to commit every crime, and go to heaven after all. Mr
Vanslyperken was superstitious and cowardly, and he did believe that
such a thing was possible; and when he canvassed it in his mind, he
trembled, and looked over his shoulder.

But Corporal Van Spitter might have asserted it only to frighten him. It
was possible--but here again was a difficulty: the corporal had been his
faithful confidant for so long a while, and to suppose this, would be to
suppose that the corporal was a traitor to him, and that, upon no
grounds which Vanslyperken could conjecture, he had turned false: this
was impossible--Mr Vanslyperken would not credit it; so there he stuck,
like a man between the horns of a dilemma, not knowing what to do; for
Mr Vanslyperken resolved, had the devil really been there, to have
repented immediately, and have led a new life; but if the devil had not
been there, Mr Vanslyperken did not perceive any cause for such an
immediate hurry.

At last, an idea presented itself to Mr Vanslyperken's mind, which
afforded him great comfort, which was, that the corporal had suffered so
much from his boat adventures--for the corporal had made the most of his
sufferings--that he was a little affected in his mind, and had thought
that he had seen something. "It must have been so," said Mr
Vanslyperken, who fortified the idea with a glass of scheedam, and then
went to bed.

Now, it so happened, that at the very time that Mr Vanslyperken was
arguing all this in his brain, Corporal Van Spitter was also cogitating
how he should get out of his scrape; for the Corporal, although not very
bright, had much of the cunning of little minds, and he felt the
necessity of lulling the suspicions of the lieutenant. To conceal his
astonishment and fear at the appearance of the dog, he had libelled Mr
Vanslyperken, who would not easily forgive, and it was the corporal's
interest to continue on the best terms with, and enjoy the confidence of
his superior. How was this to be got over? It took the whole of the
first watch, and two-thirds of the middle, before the corporal, who lay
in his hammock, could hit upon any plan. At last he thought he had
succeeded. At daybreak, Corporal Van Spitter entered the cabin of Mr
Vanslyperken, who very coolly desired him to tell Short to get all ready
for weighing at six o'clock.

"If you please, Mynheer Vanslyperken, you think me mad last night 'cause
I see de tyfel at your shoulder. Mynheer Vanslyperken, I see him twice
again this night on lower deck. Mein Gott! Mynheer Vanslyperken, I
say twice."

"Saw him again twice!" replied the lieutenant.

"Yes, Mynheer Vanslyperken, I see twice again--I see him very often
since I drift in de boat. First, I see him when in de boat--since that I
see him one time, two times, in de night."

"It's just as I thought," said Mr Vanslyperken, "he has never got over
his alarm of that night.--Very well, Corporal Van Spitter, it's of no
consequence. I was very angry with you last night, because I thought you
were taking great liberties; but I see now how it is, you must keep
yourself quiet, and as soon as we arrive at Portsmouth, you had better
lose a little blood."

"How much, Mynheer Vanslyperken, do you wish I should lose?" replied the
corporal, with his military salute.

"About eight ounces, corporal."

"Yes, sir," replied the corporal, turning on his pivot, and marching out
of the cabin.

This was a peculiarly satisfactory interview to both parties. Mr
Vanslyperken was overjoyed at the corporal's explanation, and the
corporal was equally delighted at having so easily gulled his superior.

The cutter weighed that morning, and sailed for Portsmouth. We shall
pass over the passage without any further remarks than that the corporal
was reinstated into Mr Vanslyperken's good graces--that he appeared as
usual to be harsh with the ship's company, and to oppress Smallbones
more than ever; but this was at the particular request of the lad, who
played his own part to admiration--that Mr Vanslyperken again brought
up the question of flogging Jemmy Ducks, but was prevented by the
corporal's expressing his fears of a mutiny--and had also some secret
conference with the corporal as to his desire of vengeance upon
Smallbones, to which Van Spitter gave a ready ear, and appeared to be
equally willing with the lieutenant to bring it about. Things were in
this state when the cutter arrived at Portsmouth, and, as usual, ran
into the harbour. It may be supposed that Mr Vanslyperken was in all
haste to go on shore to pay his visit to his charming widow, but still
there was one thing to be done first, which was to report himself to
the admiral.

On his arrival at the admiral's, much to his dissatisfaction, he was
informed that he must hold himself ready for sailing immediately, as
despatches for the Hague were expected down on the next morning. This
would give but a short time to pay his addresses, and he therefore made
all haste to the widow's presence, and was most graciously received. She
almost flew into his arms, upbraided him for being so long away, for not
having written to her, and showed such marks of strong attachment, that
Vanslyperken was in ecstasies. When he told her that he expected to sail
again immediately, she put her handkerchief up to her eyes, and
appeared, to Vanslyperken at least, to shed a few bitter tears. As soon
as she was a little more composed, Vanslyperken produced the packet with
which he was entrusted, which she opened, and took out two letters, one
for herself, and the other addressed to a certain person in a house in
another street.

"This," said the widow, "you must deliver yourself--it is of
consequence. I would deliver it, but if I do, I shall not be able to
look after my little arrangements for dinner, for you dine with me of
course. Besides, you must be acquainted with this person one time or
another, as it will be for OUR advantage."

"OUR advantage!" how delightful to Mr Vanslyperken was that word! He
jumped up immediately, and took his hat to execute the commission, the
injunction of the widow to be soon back hastening his departure.
Vanslyperken soon arrived at the door, knocked, and was admitted.

"Vat vash you vant, sare?" said a venerable looking old Jew, who opened
the door to him.

"Is your name Lazarus?" inquired the lieutenant.

"Dat vash my name."

"I have a letter for you."

"A letter for me!--and from vare?"

"Amsterdam."

"Shee! silence," said the Jew, leading the way into a small room, and
shutting the door.

Vanslyperken delivered the letter, which the Jew did not open, but laid
on the table. "It vas from my worthy friend in Billen Shaaten. He
ist veil?"

"Quite well," replied Vanslyperken.

"Ven do you sail again, mynheer?"

"To-morrow morning."

"Dat is good. I have the letters all ready; dey come down yesterday--vil
you vait and take them now?"

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, who anticipated another rouleau of gold on
his arrival at Amsterdam.

"An den I will give you your monish at de same time."

More money, thought Vanslyperken, who replied then, "With all my heart,"
and took a chair.

The Jew left the room, and soon returned with a small yellow bag, which
he put into Vanslyperken's hand, and a large packet carefully sealed.
"Dis vas of de hutmost importance," said the old man, giving him the
packet. "You will find you monish all right, and now vas please just put
your name here, for I vas responsible for all de account;" and the Jew
laid down a receipt for Vanslyperken to sign. Vanslyperken read it over.
It was an acknowledgment for the sum of fifty guineas, but not
specifying for what service. He did not much like to sign it, but how
could he refuse? Besides, as the Jew said, it was only to prove that the
money was paid; nevertheless he objected.

"Vy vill you not sign? I must not lose my monish, and I shall lose it if
you do not sign. Vat you fear--you not fear that we peach; ven peoples
pay so high, they not pay for noting. We all sall hang togeder if de
affair be found."

Hang together! thought Vanslyperken, whose fears were roused, and he
turned pale.

"You are vell paid for your shervices--you vas vell paid at doder side
of de vater, and you are now von of us. You cannot go back, or your life
vill be forfeit, I can assure you--you vill sign if you please--and you
vill not leave dis house, until you do sign," continued the Jew. "You
vill not take our monish and den give de information, and hang us all.
You vill sign, if you please, sare."

There was a steadiness of countenance and a firmness in the tone of the
old man, which told Vanslyperken that he was not to be trifled with, and
assured him that he must have help at hand if requisite. If left to
himself, the Jew would have been easily mastered by the lieutenant, but
that such was not the case, was soon proved, by the old man ringing a
small silver bell on the table, and shortly afterwards there was a
rustling and noise, as if of several persons, heard in the passage.
Vanslyperken now perceived that he was entrapped, and he also felt that
it was too late to retreat. Actuated by his fear of violence on the one
hand, and his love of gold on the other, he consented to sign the
voucher required. As soon as this was done, the old Jew was all
civility. He took the paper, and locked it up in a large cabinet, and
then observed,

"It is for your own shafety, sare lieutenant, dat we are obliged to do
dis. You have noting to fear--we are too much in want of good friends
like you, to lose them, but we must be safe and shure; now you are von
of us--you cannot tell but we can tell too--we profit togeder, and I
vill hope dat we do run no risk to be hang togeder. Fader Abraham! we
must not think of that, but of de good cause, and of de monish. I am a
Jew, and I care not whether de Papist or de Protestant have de best of
it--but I call it all de good cause, because every cause is good which
brings de monish."

So thought Vanslyperken, who was in heart a Jew.

"And now, sare, you vill please to take great care of de packet, and
deliver it to our friend at Amsterdam, and you vill of course come to me
ven you return here."

Vanslyperken took his leave, with the packet in his pocket, not very
well pleased; but as he put the packet in, he felt the yellow bag, and
that to a certain degree consoled him. The old Jew escorted him to the
door, with his little keen gray eyes fixed upon him, and Vanslyperken
quailed before it, and was glad when he was once more in the street. He
hastened back to the widow's house, full of thought--he certainly had
never intended to have so committed himself as he had done, or to have
positively enrolled himself among the partisans of the exiled king; but
the money had entrapped him--he had twice taken their wages, and he had
now been obliged to give them security for his fidelity, by enabling
them to prove his guilt whenever they pleased. All this made Mr
Vanslyperken rather melancholy--but his meditations were put an end to
by his arrival in the presence of the charming widow. She asked him what
had passed, and he narrated it, but with a little variation, for he
would not tell that he had signed through a fear of violence, but, at
the same time, he observed, that he did not much like signing a receipt.

"But that is necessary," replied she; "and besides, why not? I know you
are on our side, and you will prove most valuable to us. Indeed, I
believe it was your readiness to meet my wishes that made me so fond of
you, for I am devotedly attached to the rightful king, and I never would
marry any man who would not risk life and soul for him, as you have
done now."

The expression "life and soul," made Vanslyperken shudder, and his flesh
crept all over his body.

"Besides," continued the widow, "it will be no small help to us, for the
remuneration is very great."

"To us!" thought Vanslyperken, who now thought it right to press his
suit. He was listened to attentively, and at last he proposed an early
day for the union. The widow blushed, and turned her head away, and at
last replied, with a sweet smile, "Well, Mr Vanslyperken, I will neither
tease you nor myself--when you come back from your next trip, I consent
to be yours."

What was Vanslyperken's delight and exultation! He threw himself on his
knees, promised, and vowed, and thanked, kissed hands, and was in such
ecstasies! He could hardly imagine that his good fortune was real. A
beautiful widow with a handsome fortune--how could he ever have thought
of throwing himself away upon such a bunch of deformity as the Frau
Vandersloosh? Poor Mr Vanslyperken! Dinner put an end to his
protestations. He fared sumptuously, and drank freely to please the
widow. He drank death to the usurper, and restoration to the King James.
What a delightful evening! The widow was so amiable, so gentle, so
yielding, so, so, so--what with wine and love, and fifty guineas in his
pocket, Mr Vanslyperken was so overcome with his feelings, that at last
he felt but so so. After a hundred times returning to kiss her dear,
dear hand, and at last sealing the contract on her lips, Mr Vanslyperken
departed, full of wine and hope--two very good things to lay in a
stock of.

But there was something doing on board during Mr Vanslyperken's absence.
Notwithstanding Mr Vanslyperken having ordered Moggy out of the cutter,
she had taken the opportunity of his being away to go on board to her
dear, darling Jemmy. Dick Short did not prevent her coming on board, and
he was commanding officer, so Moggy once more had her husband in her
arms; but the fond pair soon retired to a quiet corner, where they had a
long and serious conversation; so long, and so important, it would
appear, that they did not break off until Mr Vanslyperken came on board,
just before dark. His quick eye soon perceived that there was a
petticoat at the taffrail, where they retired that they might not be
overheard, and he angrily inquired who it was, his wrath was not
appeased when he heard that it was Salisbury's wife, and he ordered her
immediately to be put on shore, and sent for Corporal Van Spitter in his
cabin, to know why she was on board. The corporal replied, "That Mr
Short had let her in; that he had wished to speak on the subject, but
that Mr Short would not speak," and then entertained his superior with a
long account of mutinous expressions on the lower deck, and threats of
doing him (Mr Vanslyperken) a mischief. This conversation was
interrupted by a messenger coming on board with the despatches, and an
order to sail at daylight, and return immediately without waiting for
any answers.

The reader may wish to know the subject of the long conversation between
Jemmy Ducks and his wife. It involved the following question. Moggy had
become very useful to Nancy Corbett, and Nancy, whose services were
required at the cave, and could not well be dispensed with, had long
been anxious to find some one, who, with the same general knowledge of
parties, and the same discrimination, could be employed in her stead. In
Moggy she had found the person required, but Moggy would not consent
without her husband was of the same party, and here lay the difficulty.
Nancy had had a reply, which was satisfactory, from Sir Robert Barclay,
so far as this. He required one or two more men, and they must be
trustworthy, and able to perform the duty in the boats. Jemmy was not
very great at pulling, for his arms were too short as well as his legs,
but he was a capital steersman. All this had been explained to Nancy,
who at last consented to Jemmy being added to the crew of the smuggler,
and Moggy had gone off to the cutter to persuade Jemmy to desert, and to
join the smugglers.

Now, as to joining the smugglers, Jemmy had not the least objection: he
was tired of the cutter, and being separated from his wife had been to
him a source of great discontent; but, as Jemmy very truly observed, "If
I desert from the vessel, and am ever seen again, I am certain to be
known, and taken up; therefore I will not desert, I will wait till I am
paid off, unless you can procure my discharge by means of your friends."
Such had been the result of the colloquy, when interrupted by the
arrival of Vanslyperken, and the case thus stood, when, on the next
morning, at daylight, the cutter weighed, and steered her course for
the Texel.



Chapter XXIV

In which Mr Vanslyperken has nothing but trouble from the beginning to
the end.


So soon as the cutter had sailed, Moggy hastened to the pretended widow
to report the answer of her husband. Nancy considered that there was
much sound judgment in what Jemmy had said, and immediately repaired to
the house of the Jew, Lazarus, to whom she communicated her wishes. At
that time, there were many people high in office who secretly favoured
King James, and the links of communication between such humble
individuals as we are treating of, with those in power, although
distant, were perfect.

In a few days, an order came down for the discharge of James Salisbury
from the cutter _Yungfrau_, and the letter the same day was put into the
hands of the delighted Moggy.

Mr Vanslyperken made his short passage to the Zuyder Zee, and anchored
as usual; and when he had anchored, he proceeded to go on shore.
Previously, however, to his stepping into the boat, the ship's company
came aft, with Jemmy at their head, to know whether they might have
leave on shore, as they were not very well pleased at their liberty
having been stopped at Portsmouth.

Mr Vanslyperken very politely told them that he would see them all at
the devil first, and then stepped into his boat; he at once proceeded to
the house of the Jesuit, and this time, much to his satisfaction,
without having been perceived, as he thought, by the widow Vandersloosh
and Babette, who did not appear at the door. Having delivered his
despatches, and received his customary fee, Mr Vanslyperken mentioned
the difficulty of his coming to the house, as he was watched by some
people opposite, and inquired if he could have the letters sent under
cover to himself by some trusty hand, mentioning the ill-will of the
parties in question. To this the Jesuit consented, and Vanslyperken took
his leave; but on leaving the house he was again annoyed by the broad
form of the widow, with Babette, as usual, at her shoulder, with their
eyes fixed upon him. Without attempting a recognition, for Vanslyperken
cared little for the opinion of the Frau Vandersloosh, now that he was
accepted by the fair widow of Portsmouth, Mr Vanslyperken walked
quietly away.

"Ah, very well, Mr Vanslyperken--very well," exclaimed the Frau
Vandersloosh, as he pursued his way at a rapid rate; "very well, Mr
Vanslyperken--we shall see--three times have you entered those doors,
and with a fifty guineas in your pocket, I'll be bound, every time that
you have walked out of them. Treason is paid high, but the traitor
sometimes hangs higher still. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall
see--we are evidence, Mr Vanslyperken--and I'll not be married before I
see you well hanged, Mr Vanslyperken. Deary me, Babette," exclaimed the
widow, altering her tone, "I wonder how the corporal is: poor dear man,
to be ruled by such a traitorous atomy as he."

"Perhaps he will come ashore, madam," replied Babette.

"No, no, he will never let him; but, as you say, perhaps he may. Put
half a dozen bottles of the best beer to the stove--not too near,
Babette--he is fond of my beer, and it does one's heart good to see him
drink it, Babette. And, Babette, I'll just go up and put on something a
little tidier. I think he will come--I know he will if he can."

We must leave the widow to decorate her person, and follow Vanslyperken
down to the boat, and on board. On his arrival, he went down into the
cabin to lock up his money. When Corporal Van Spitter went to the
cabin-door, the corporal heard the clanking of the pieces as
Vanslyperken counted them, and his bile was raised at the idea of
Vanslyperken possessing that which should have been his own. The
corporal waited a little, and then knocked. Vanslyperken put away the
rest of his money, shut the drawer, and told him to come in.

The corporal saluted, and made a request to be allowed to go on shore
for an hour or two.

"Go on shore! _you_ go on shore, corporal? why you never asked to go on
shore before," replied the suspicious Vanslyperken.

"If you please, sir," replied the corporal, "I wish to pay de people
who gave me de board and de lodging ven I vas last on shore."

"Ah, very true, I forgot that, corporal. Well, then, you may go on
shore; but do not stop long, for the people are much inclined to mutiny,
and I cannot do without you."

The corporal quitted the cabin and was put on shore by two of the men in
the small boat. He hastened up to the widow's house, and was received
with open arms. Seated on the squab sofa, with a bottle of beer on the
table, and five others all ready at the stove, the widow's smiles
beaming on him, who could be more happy than the Corporal Van Spitter?
The blinds were up at the windows, the front door fast to prevent
intrusion, and then the widow and he entered into a long colloquy,
interrupted occasionally by little amorous dallyings, which reminded you
of the wooings of a male and female elephant.

We shall give the substance of the conversation. The widow expressed her
indignation against Vanslyperken, and her resolution not to be married
until he was hanged. The corporal immediately became an interested
party, and vowed that he would assist all in his power. He narrated all
that had passed since he had left the widow's, and the supernatural
appearance of the dog after he had thrown it overboard. He then pointed
out that it was necessary that Vanslyperken should not only be blinded
as to the state of matters between them, but that, to entrap him still
more, the widow should, if possible, make friends with him. To this the
widow unwillingly consented; but as the corporal pointed out that that
was the only chance of her occasionally seeing him, and that by his
pretending to be in love with Babette, Vanslyperken might be deceived
completely, she did consent; the more so, that the greater would be his
disappointment at the end, the more complete would be her vengeance.
Their plans being arranged, it was then debated whether it would not be
better to send some message on board to Vanslyperken, and it was agreed
that it should be taken by the corporal. At last all was arranged, the
six bottles of beer were finished, and the corporal having been
permitted to imprint as many hearty smacks upon the widow's thick and
juicy lips, he returned on board.

"Come on board, Mynheer Vanslyperken," said the corporal, entering the
cabin.

"Very well, corporal; did you do all you wanted? for we sail again at
daylight."

"Yes, mynheer, and I see somebody I never see before."

"Who was that, corporal?" replied Vanslyperken, for he had been feasting
upon the recollections of the fair Portsmouth widow, and was in a very
good humour.

"One fine Frau, Mynheer Vanslyperken--very fine Frau. Babette came up to
me in the street."

"Oh, Babette--well, what did she say?"

Hereupon the corporal, as agreed with the widow, entered into a long
explanation, stating his Babette had told him that her mistress was very
much surprised that Mr Vanslyperken had passed close to the door, and
had never come in to call upon her; that her mistress had been quite
satisfied with Mr Vanslyperken's letter, and would wish to see him
again; and that he, the corporal, had told Babette the dog had been
destroyed by him, Mr Vanslyperken, and he hoped he had done right in
saying so.

"No," replied Vanslyperken, "you have done wrong; and if you go on shore
again, you may just give this answer, that Mr Vanslyperken don't care a
d--n for the old woman; that she may carry her carcass to some other
market, for Mr Vanslyperken would not touch her with a pair of tongs.
Will you recollect that, corporal?"

"Yes," replied the corporal, grinding his teeth at this insult to his
betrothed, "yes, mynheer, I will recollect that. Mein Gott! I shall not
forget it."

"Kill my dog, heh!" continued Vanslyperken, talking to himself aloud.
"Yes, yes, Frau Vandersloosh, you shall fret to some purpose. I'll
worry down your fat for you. Yes, yes, Madam Vandersloosh, you shall
bite your nails to the quick yet. Nothing would please you but
Snarleyyow dead at your porch. My dog, indeed!--you may go now,
corporal."

"Mein Gott! but ve vill see as well as you, Mynheer Vanslyperken."
muttered the corporal, as he walked forward.

After dark, a man came alongside in a small boat, and desired to see Mr
Vanslyperken. As soon as he was in the cabin and the door shut, he laid
some letters on the table, and without saying a word went on deck and on
shore again. At daybreak the cutter weighed, and ran with a fair wind to
Portsmouth.

With what a bounding heart did Mr Vanslyperken step into the boat
attired in his best! He hardly could prevail upon himself to report his
arrival to the admiral, so impatient was he to throw himself at the fair
widow's feet, and claim her promise upon his return. He did so, however,
and then proceeded to the house in Castle Street.

His heart beat rapidly as he knocked at the door, and he awaited the
opening with impatience. At last it was opened, but not by the widow's
servant. "Is Mrs Malcolm at home?" inquired Vanslyperken.

"Malcolm, sir!" replied the woman; "do you mean the lady who was living
here, and left yesterday?"

"Left yesterday!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, hardly able to stand on his
feet.

"Yes, only yesterday afternoon. Went away with a gentleman."

"A gentleman!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, all amazement.

"Yes, sir; pray, sir, be you the officer of the king's cutter?"

"I am!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, leaning against the door-jamb for
support.

"Then, sir, here be a letter for you." So saying, the woman pulled up
her dirty apron, then her gown, and at last arrived at a queer fustian
pocket, out of which she produced the missive, which had been jumbled in
company with a bit of wax, a ball of blue worsted, some halfpence, a
copper thimble, and a lump of Turkey rhubarb, from all of which
companions it had received a variety of hues and colours. Vanslyperken
seized the letter as soon as it was produced, and passing by the woman,
went into the dining-parlour, where, with feelings of anxiety, he sat
down, brushed the perspiration from his forehead, and read as follows:

     "_My dear, dear, ever dear Mr Vanslyperken,_

     "Pity me, pity me, O pity me! Alas! how soon is the cup of
     bliss dashed from the lips of us poor mortals. I can hardly
     write, hardly hold my pen, or hold my head up. I cannot bear
     that, from my hand, you should be informed of the utter
     blight of all our hopes which blossomed so fully. Alas! alas!
     but it must be. O my head, my poor, poor head--how it swims!
     I was sitting at the fireside, thinking when you would
     return, and trying to find out if the wind was fair, when I
     heard a knock at the door. It was so like yours, that my
     heart beat, and I ran to the window, but I could not see who
     it was, so I sat down again. Imagine my surprise, my horror,
     my vexation, my distress, my agony, when who should come in
     but my supposed dead husband! I thought I should have died
     when I saw him. I dropped as it was, down into a swoon, and
     when I came to my senses, there he was hanging over me;
     thinking, poor fool, that I had swooned for joy, and kissing
     me--pah! yes, kissing me. O dear! O dear! My dear Mr
     Vanslyperken, I thought of you, and what your feelings would
     be, when you know all this; but there he was alive, and in
     good health, and now I have nothing more to do but to lie
     down and die.

     "It appears that in my ravings I called upon you over and
     over again, and discovered the real state of my poor bleeding
     heart, and he was very angry: he packed up everything, and he
     insisted upon my leaving Portsmouth. Alas! I shall be buried
     in the north, and never see you again. But why should I, my
     dear Mr Vanslyperken? what good will come of it? I am a
     virtuous woman, and will be so: but, O dear! I can write
     no more.

     "Farewell, then, farewell! Farewell for ever! Dear Mr
     Vanslyperken, think no more of your disconsolate, unhappy,
     heart-broken, miserable

     "ANN MALCOLM.

     "_P.S._--For my sake you will adhere to the good cause; I
     know you will, my dearest."

Mr Vanslyperken perused this heart-rending epistle, and fell back on his
chair almost suffocated. The woman, who had stood in the passage while
he read the letter, came to his assistance, and pouring some water into
his mouth, and throwing a portion of it over his face, partially revived
him. Vanslyperken's head fell on the table upon his hands, and for some
minutes remained in that position. He then rose, folded the letter, put
it in his pocket, and staggered out of the house without saying a word.

O Nancy Corbett! Nancy Corbett! this was all your doing.

You had gained your point in winning over the poor man to commit
treason--you had waited till he was so entangled that he could not
escape, or in future refuse to obey the orders of the Jacobite
party--you had seduced him, Nancy Corbett--you had intoxicated him--in
short, Nancy, you had ruined him, and then you threw him over by this
insidious and perfidious letter.

Vanslyperken walked away, he hardly knew whither--his mind was a chaos.
It did so happen, that he took the direction of his mother's house, and,
as he gradually recovered himself, he hastened there to give vent to his
feelings. The old woman seldom or ever went out; if she did, it was in
the dusk, to purchase in one half-hour enough to support existence for a
fortnight.

She was at home with her door locked, as usual, when he demanded
admittance.

"Come in, child, come in," said the old beldame, as with palsied hands
she undid the fastenings. "I dreamt of you, last night, Cornelius, and
when I dream of others it bodes them no good."

Vanslyperken sat down on a chest, without giving any answer. He put his
hand up to his forehead, and groaned in the bitterness of his spirit.

"Ah! ah!" said his mother "I have put my hand up in that way in my time.
Yes, yes--when my brain burned--when I had done the deed. What have you
done, my child? Pour out your feelings into your mother's bosom. Tell me
all--tell me why--and tell me, did you get any money?"

"I have lost everything," replied Vanslyperken, in a melancholy tone.

"Lost everything! then you must begin over again, and take from others
till you have recovered all. That's the way--I'll have more yet, before
I die. I shall not die yet--no, no."

Vanslyperken remained silent for some time. He then, as usual, imparted
to his mother all that had occurred.

"Well, well, my child; but there is the other one. Gold is gold, one
wife is as good--to neglect--as another. My child, never marry a woman
for love--she will make a fool of you. You have had a lucky escape--I
see you have, Cornelius. But where is the gold you said you took for
turning traitor--where is it?"

"I shall bring it on shore to-morrow, mother."

"Do, child, do. They may find you out--they may hang you--but they shall
never wrest the gold from me. It will be safe--quite safe, with me, as
long as I live. I shall not die yet--no, no."

Vanslyperken rose to depart; he was anxious to be aboard.

"Go, child, go. I have hopes of you--you have murdered, have you not?"

"No, no," replied Vanslyperken, "he lives yet."

"Then try again. At all events, you have wished to murder, and you have
sold your country for gold. Cornelius Vanslyperken, by the hatred I bear
the whole world, I feel that I almost love you now;--I see you are my
own child. Now go, and mind to-morrow you bring the gold."

Vanslyperken quitted the house, and walked down to go on board again;
the loss of the fair widow, all his hopes dashed at once to the ground,
his having neglected the widow Vandersloosh and sent her an insulting
message, had only the effect of raising his bile. He vowed vengeance
against everybody and everything, especially against Smallbones, whom he
was determined he would sacrifice: murder now was no longer horrible to
his ideas; on the contrary, there was a pleasure in meditating upon it,
and the loss of the expected fortune of the fair Mrs Malcolm only made
him more eager to obtain gold, and he contemplated treason as the means
of so doing without any feelings of compunction.

On his arrival on board, he found an order from the Admiralty to
discharge James Salisbury. This added to his choler and his meditations
of revenge. Jemmy Ducks had not been forgotten; and he determined not to
make known the order until he had punished him for his mutinous
expressions; but Moggy had come on board during his absence, and
delivered to her husband the letter from the Admiralty notifying his
discharge. Vanslyperken sent for Corporal Van Spitter to consult, but
the corporal informed him that Jemmy Ducks knew of his discharge.
Vanslyperken's anger was now without bounds. He hastened on deck, and
ordered the hands to be turned up for punishment, but Corporal Van
Spitter hastened to give warning to Jemmy, who did not pipe the hands
when ordered.

"Where is that scoundrel, James Salisbury?" cried Vanslyperken.

"Here is James Salisbury," replied Jemmy, coming aft.

"Turn the hands up for punishment, sir."

"I don't belong to the vessel," replied Jemmy, going forward.

"Corporal Van Spitter--where is Corporal Van Spitter?"

"Here, sir," said the corporal, coming up the hatchway in a pretended
bustle.

"Bring that man, Salisbury, aft."

"Yes, sir," replied the corporal, going forward with assumed eagerness.

But all the ship's company had resolved that this act of injustice
should not be done. Salisbury was no longer in the service, and although
they knew the corporal to be on their side, they surrounded Jemmy on the
forecastle, and the corporal came aft, declaring that he could not get
near the prisoner. As he made this report a loud female voice was heard
alongside.

"So, you'd flog my Jemmy, would you, you varmint? But you won't though;
he's not in the service, and you sha'n't touch him; but I'll tell you
what, keep yourself on board, Mr Leeftenant, for if I cotches you on
shore, I'll make you sing in a way you don't think on. Yes, flog my
Jemmy, my dear darling duck of a Jemmy--stop a minute--I'm
coming aboard."

Suiting the action to the word, for the sailors had beckoned to Moggy to
come on board, she boldly pulled alongside, and skipping over, she went
up direct to Mr Vanslyperken. "I'll just trouble you for my husband, and
no mistake," cried Moggy.

"Corporal Van Spitter, turn that woman out of the ship."

"Turn me, a lawful married woman, who comes arter my own husband with
the orders of your masters, Mr Leeftenant!--I'd like to see the man. I
axes you for my Jemmy, and I'll trouble you just to hand him here--if
not, look out for squalls, that's all. I demand my husband in the king's
name, so just hand him over," continued Moggy, putting her nose so close
to that of Mr Vanslyperken that they nearly touched, and then after a
few seconds' pause, for Vanslyperken could not speak for rage, she
added, "Well, you're a nice leeftenant, I don't think."

"Send for your marines, Corporal Van Spitter."

"I have, Mynheer Vanslyperken," replied the corporal, standing erect and
saluting; "and if you please, sir, they have joined the ship's company.
You and I, mynheer, are left to ourselves."

"I'll just trouble you for my little duck of a husband," repeated Moggy.
Vanslyperken was at a nonplus. The crew were in a state of mutiny, the
marines had joined them--what could he do? To appeal to the higher
authorities would be committing himself, for he knew that he could not
flog a man who no longer belonged to the vessel.

"I wants my husband," repeated Moggy, putting her arms a-kimbo.

Mr Vanslyperken made no reply. The corporal waited for orders, and Moggy
waited for her husband.

Just at this moment, Snarleyyow, who had followed his master on deck,
had climbed up the small ladder, and was looking over the gunnel on the
side where the boat lay in which Moggy came on board. Perceiving this,
with the quickness of thought she ran at the dog and pushed him over the
side into the boat, in which he fell with a heavy bound; she then
descended the side, ordered the man to shove off, and kept at a short
distance from the cutter with the dog in her possession.

"Now, now," cried Moggy, slapping her elbow, "hav'n't I got the dog, and
won't I cut him up into sassingers and eat him in the bargain, if you
won't give me my dear darling Jemmy and all his papers in the bargain?"

"Man the boat," cried Vanslyperken. But no one would obey the order.

"Look here," cried Moggy, flourishing a knife which she had borrowed
from the man in the boat. "This is for the cur; and unless you let my
Jemmy go, ay and directly too--"

"Mercy, woman!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, "Do not harm the poor dog, and
your husband shall go on shore."

"With his papers all ready to receive his pay?" inquired Moggy.

"Yes, with his papers and everything, if you'll not harm the poor
beast."

"Be quick about them, for my fingers are itching, I can tell you,"
replied Moggy. "Recollect, I will have my Jemmy, and cut the dog's
throat in the bargain if you don't look sharp."

"Directly, good woman, directly," cried Vanslyperken, "be patient."

"Good woman! no more a good woman than yourself," replied Moggy.

Vanslyperken desired the corporal to see Jemmy Ducks in the boat, and
went down into the cabin to sign his pay order. He then returned, for he
was dreadfully alarmed lest Moggy should put her threats in execution.

Jemmy's chest and hammocks were in the boat. He shook hands with his
shipmates, and receiving the papers and his discharge from Corporal Van
Spitter, and exchanging an intelligent glance with him, he went down the
side. The boat pulled round the stern to take in Moggy, who then ordered
the waterman to put the dog on board again.

"My word's as good as my bond," observed Moggy, as she stepped into the
other boat, "and so there's your cur again, Mr Leeftenant; but mark my
words: I owe you one, and I'll pay you with interest before I have done
with you."

Jemmy then raised his pipe to his lips, and sounded its loudest note:
the men gave him three cheers, and Mr Vanslyperken in a paroxysm of
fury, ran down into his cabin.



Chapter XXV

In which Mr Vanslyperken proves that he has a great aversion to cold
steel.


Mr Vanslyperken had been so much upset by the events of the day, that he
had quite forgotten to deliver the letters entrusted to him to the care
of the Jew Lazarus; weighty indeed must have been the events which could
have prevented him from going to receive money.

He threw himself on his bed with combined feelings of rage and
mortification, and slept a feverish sleep in his clothes.

His dreams were terrifying, and he awoke in the morning unrefreshed. The
mutiny and defection of the ship's company, he ascribed entirely to the
machinations of Smallbones, whom he now hated with a feeling so intense,
that he felt he could have murdered him in the open day. Such were the
first impulses that his mind resorted to upon his awaking, and after
some little demur, he sent for Corporal Van Spitter, to consult with
him. The corporal made his appearance, all humility and respect, and was
again sounded as to what could be done with Smallbones, Vanslyperken
hinting very clearly what his wishes tended to.

Corporal Van Spitter, who had made up his mind how to act after their
previous conference, hummed and ha'ed, and appeared unwilling to enter
upon the subject, until he was pushed by his commandant, when the
corporal observed there was something very strange about the lad, and
hinted at his being sent in the cutter on purpose to annoy his superior.

"That on that night upon which he had stated that he had seen the devil
three times, once it was sitting on the head-clue of Smallbones'
hammock, and at another time that he was evidently in converse with the
lad, and that there were strange stories among the ship's company, who
considered that both Smallbones and the dog were supernatural agents."

"My dog--Snarleyyow--a--what do you mean, corporal?"

The corporal then told Mr Vanslyperken that he had discovered that
several attempts had been made to drown the dog, but without success;
and that among the rest, he had been thrown by Smallbones into the
canal, tied up in a bread-bag, and had miraculously made his
appearance again.

"The villain!" exclaimed Vanslyperken. "That then was the paving-stone.
Now I've found it out, I'll cut his very soul out of his body."

But the corporal protested against open measures, as, although it was
known by his own confession to be the case, it could not be proved, as
none of the men would tell.

"Besides, he did not think that any further attempts would be made, as
Smallbones had been heard to laugh and say, 'that water would never hurt
him or the dog,' which observation of the lad's had first made the
ship's company suspect."

"Very true," exclaimed Vanslyperken; "he floated out to the Nab buoy and
back again, when I--" Here Mr Vanslyperken stopped short, and he felt a
dread of supernatural powers in the lad, when he thought of what had
passed and what he now heard.

"So they think my dog--"

"De tyfel," replied the corporal.

Vanslyperken was not very sorry for this, as it would be the dog's
protection; but at the same time he was not at all easy about
Smallbones; for Mr Vanslyperken, as we have observed before, was both
superstitious and cowardly.

"Water won't hurt him, did you say, corporal?"

"Yes, mynheer."

"Then I'll try what a pistol will do, by heavens!" replied Vanslyperken.
"He threw my dog into the canal, and I'll be revenged, if revenge is to
be had. That will do, corporal, you may go now," continued Vanslyperken,
who actually foamed with rage.

The corporal left the cabin, and it having occurred to Vanslyperken that
he had not delivered the letters, he dressed himself to go on shore.

After having once more read through the letter of the fair widow, which,
at the same time that it crushed all his hopes, from its kind tenour,
poured some balm into his wounded heart, he sighed, folded it up, put it
away, and went on deck.

"Pipe the gig away," said Mr Vanslyperken.

"No pipe," replied Short.

This reminded Mr Vanslyperken that Jemmy Ducks had left the ship, and
vexed him again. He ordered the word to be passed to the boat's crew,
and when it was manned he went on shore. As soon as he arrived at the
house of Lazarus, he knocked, but it was some time before he was
admitted, and the chain was still kept on the door, which was opened two
inches to allow a scrutiny previous to entrance.

"Ah! it vash you, vash it, good sar? you may come in," said the Jew.

Vanslyperken walked into the parlour, where he found seated a young man
of very handsome exterior, dressed according to the fashion of the
cavaliers of the time. His hat, with a plume of black feathers, lay upon
the table. This personage continued in his careless and easy position
without rising when Vanslyperken entered, neither did he ask him to
sit down.

"You are the officer of the cutter?" inquired the young man, with an air
of authority not very pleasing to the lieutenant.

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, looking hard and indignantly in return.

"And you arrived yesterday morning? Pray, sir, why were not those
letters delivered at once?"

"Because I had no time," replied Vanslyperken, sulkily.

"No time, sir; what do you mean by that? Your time is ours, sir. You
are paid for it; for one shilling that you receive from the rascally
government you condescend to serve and to betray, you receive from us
pounds. Let not this happen again, my sir, or you may repent it."

Vanslyperken was not in the best of humours, and he angrily replied,
"Then you may get others to do your work, for this is the last I'll do;
pay me for them, and let me go."

"The last you'll do; you'll do as much as we please, and as long as we
please. You are doubly in our power, scoundrel! You betray the
government you serve, but you shall not betray us. If you had a thousand
lives, you are a dead man the very moment you flinch from or neglect our
work. Do your work faithfully, and you will be rewarded; but either you
must do our work or die. You have but to choose."

"Indeed!" replied Vanslyperken.

"Yes, indeed! And to prove that I am in earnest, I shall punish you for
your neglect, by not paying you this time. You may leave the letters and
go. But mind that you give us timely notice when you are ordered back to
the Hague, for we shall want you."

Vanslyperken, indignant at this language, obeyed his first impulse,
which was to snatch up the letters and attempt to leave the room.

"No pay, no letters!" exclaimed he, opening the door.

"Fool!" cried the young man with a bitter sneer, not stirring from his
seat.

Vanslyperken opened the door, and to his amazement there were three
swords pointed to his heart. He started back.

"Will you leave the letters now?" observed the young man.

Vanslyperken threw them down on the table with every sign of
perturbation, and remained silent and pale.

"And now perfectly understand me, sir," said the young cavalier. "We
make a great distinction between those who have joined the good cause,
or rather, who have continued steadfast to their king from feelings of
honour and loyalty, and those who are to be bought and sold. We honour
the first, we despise the latter. Their services we require, and
therefore we employ them. A traitor to the sovereign from whom he
receives his pay, is not likely to be trusted by us. I know your
character, that is sufficient. Now, although the government make no
difference between one party or the other, with the exception that some
may be honoured with the axe instead of the gibbet, you will observe
what we do: and as our lives are already forfeited by attainder, we make
no scruple of putting out of the way any one whom we may even suspect of
betraying us. Nay, more; we can furnish the government with sufficient
proofs against you without any risk to ourselves, for we have many
partisans who are still in office. Weigh now well all you have heard,
and be assured, that although we despise you, and use you only as our
tool, we will have faithful and diligent service; if not, your life is
forfeited."

Vanslyperken heard all this with amazement and confusion: he immediately
perceived that he was in a snare, from which escape was impossible. His
coward heart sank within him, and he promised implicit obedience.

"Nevertheless, before you go you will sign your adherence to King James
and his successors," observed the young cavalier. "Lazarus, bring in
writing materials." The Jew, who was at the door, complied with
the order.

The cavalier took the pen and wrote down a certain form, in which
Vanslyperken dedicated his life and means, as he valued his salvation,
to the service of the exiled monarch. "Read that, and sign it, sir,"
said the cavalier, passing it over to Vanslyperken.

The lieutenant hesitated. "Your life depends upon it," continued the
young man coolly; "do as you please."

Vanslyperken turned round; the swords were still pointed, and the eyes
of those which held them were fixed upon the cavalier awaiting his
orders. Vanslyperken perceived that there was no escape. With a
trembling hand he affixed his signature.

"'Tis well:--now, observe, that at the first suspicion, or want of zeal,
even, on your part, this will be forwarded through the proper channel,
and even if you should escape the government, you will not escape
us:--our name is Legion. You may go, sir;--do your work well, and you
shall be well rewarded."

Vanslyperken hastened away, passing the swords, the points of which were
now lowered for his passage. Perhaps he never till then felt how
contemptible was a traitor. Indignant, mortified, and confused, still
trembling with fear, and, at the same time, burning with rage, he
hastened to his mother's house, for he had brought on shore with him the
money which he had received at Amsterdam.

"What, more vexation, child?" said the old woman, looking Vanslyperken
in the face as he entered.

"Yes," retorted Vanslyperken, folding his arms as he sat down.

It was some time before he would communicate to his mother all that
happened. At last the truth, which even he felt ashamed of, was drawn
out of him.

"Now may all the curses that ever befell a man fall on his head!"
exclaimed Vanslyperken as he finished. "I would give soul and body to be
revenged on him."

"That's my own child--that is what I have done, Cornelius, but I shall
not die yet awhile. I like to hear you say that; but it must not be yet.
Let them plot and plot, and when they think that all is ripe, and all is
ready, and all will succeed--then--then is the time to revenge
yourself--not yet--but for that revenge, death on the gallows would
be sweet."

Vanslyperken shuddered:--he did not feel how death could in any way be
sweet;--for some time he was wrapped up in his own thoughts.

"Have you brought the gold at last?" inquired the old woman.

"I have," replied Vanslyperken, who raised himself and produced it. "I
ought to have had more,--but I'll be revenged."

"Yes, yes, but get more gold first. Never kill the goose that lays the
golden egg, my child," replied the old woman, as she turned the key.

So many sudden and mortifying occurrences had taken place in forty-eight
hours that Vanslyperken's brain was in a whirl. He felt goaded to do
something, but he did not know what. Perhaps it would have been suicide
had he not been a coward. He left his mother without speaking another
word, and walked down to the boat, revolving first one and then another
incident in his mind. At last, his ideas appeared to concentrate
themselves into one point, which was a firm and raging animosity against
Smallbones; and with the darkest intentions he hastened on board and
went down into his cabin.

What was the result of these feelings will be seen in the ensuing
chapter.



Chapter XXVI

In which Mr Vanslyperken sees a ghost.


Before we acquaint the reader with the movements of Mr Vanslyperken, we
must again revert to the history of the period in which we are writing.
The Jacobite faction had assumed a formidable consistency, and every
exertion was being made by them for an invasion of England. They knew
that their friends were numerous, and that many who held office under
the ruling government were attached to their cause, and only required
such a demonstration to fly to arms with their numerous partisans.

Up to the present, all the machinations of the Jacobites had been
carried on with secrecy and dexterity, but now was the time for action
and decision. To aid the cause, it was considered expedient that some
one of known fidelity should be sent to Amsterdam, where the projects
of William might be discovered more easily than in England: for, as he
communicated with the States General, and the States General were
composed of many, secrets would come out, for that which is known to
many soon becomes no longer a secret.

To effect this, letters of recommendation to one or two of those high in
office in Holland, and who were supposed to be able to give information,
and inclined to be confiding and garrulous, had been procured from the
firm allies of King William, by those who pretended to be so only, for
the agent who was about to be sent over, and this agent was the young
cavalier who had treated Vanslyperken in so uncourteous a manner. He has
already been mentioned to the reader by the name of Ramsay, and second
in authority among the smugglers. He was a young man of high family, and
a brother to Lady Alice, of course trusted by Sir Robert and his second
in command. He had been attainted for non-appearance, and condemned for
high treason at the same time as had been his brother-in-law, Sir Robert
Barclay, and had ever since been with him doing his duty in the boat and
in command of the men, when Sir Robert's services or attendance were
required at St Germains.

No one could be better adapted for the service he was to be employed
upon. He was brave, cool, intelligent, and prepossessing. Of course, by
his letters of introduction, he was represented as a firm ally of King
William, and strongly recommended as such. The letters which
Vanslyperken had neglected to deliver were of the utmost importance, and
the character of the lieutenant being well known to Ramsay, through the
medium of Nancy Corbett and others, he had treated him in the way which
he considered as most likely to enforce a rigid compliance with
their wishes.

Ramsay was right; for Vanslyperken was too much of a coward to venture
upon resistance, although he might threaten it. It was the intention of
Ramsay, moreover, to take a passage over with him in the _Yungfrau_, as
his arrival in a king's vessel would add still more to the success of
the enterprise which he had in contemplation.

We will now return to Mr Vanslyperken, whom we left boiling with
indignation. He is not in a better humour at this moment. He requires a
victim to expend his wrath upon, and that victim he is resolved shall be
Smallbones, upon whom his hate is concentrated.

He has sent for the corporal, and next ordered him to bring him a pistol
and cartridge, which the corporal has complied with. Vanslyperken has
not made the corporal a further confidant, but he has his suspicions,
and he is on the watch. Vanslyperken is alone, his hand trembling as he
loads the pistol which he has taken down from the bulkhead where it
hung, but he is nevertheless determined upon the act. He has laid it
down on the table, and goes on deck, waiting till it is dusk for the
completion of his project. He has now arranged his plan and descends;
the pistol is still on the table, and he puts it under the blanket on
his bed, and rings for Smallbones.

"Did you want me, sir?" said Smallbones.

"Yes, I am going on shore to sleep a little way in the country, and I
want you to carry my clothes; let everything be put up in the blue bag,
and hold yourself ready to come with me."

"Yes, sir," replied Smallbones; "am I to come on board again to-night?"

"To be sure you are."

Smallbones put up as desired by his master, whose eyes followed the
lad's motions as he moved from one part of the cabin to the other, his
thoughts wandering from the recollection of Smallbones having attempted
to drown his dog, to the more pleasing one of revenge.

At dusk, Mr Vanslyperken ordered his boat to be manned, and so soon as
Smallbones had gone into it with the bag, he took the pistol from where
he had hid it, and concealing it under his great-coat, followed the lad
into the boat.

They landed, and Vanslyperken walked fast; it was now dark, and he was
followed by Smallbones, who found difficulty in keeping pace with his
master, so rapid were his strides.

They passed the half-way houses, and went clear of the fortifications,
until they had gained five or six miles on the road to London.

Smallbones was tired out with the rapidity of the walk, and now lagged
behind. The master desired him to come on. "I does come on as fast as I
can, sir, but this here walking don't suit at all, with carrying a bag
full of clothes," replied Smallbones.

"Make haste, and keep up with me," cried Vanslyperken, setting off again
at a more rapid pace.

They were now past all the buildings, and but occasionally fell in with
some solitary farmhouse, or cottage, on the road side; the night was
cloudy, and the scud flew fast; Vanslyperken walked on faster, for in
his state of mind he could feel no bodily fatigue, and the lad
dropped astern.

At last the lieutenant found a spot which afforded him an opportunity of
executing his fell purpose. A square wall, round a homestead for cattle,
was built on the side of the footpath. Vanslyperken turned round, and
looked for Smallbones, who was too far behind to be seen in the
obscurity. Satisfied by this that the lad could not see his motions,
Vanslyperken secreted himself behind the angle of the wall so as to
allow Smallbones to pass. He cocked his pistol, and crouched down,
waiting for the arrival of his victim.

In a minute or two he heard the panting of the lad, who was quite weary
with his load. Vanslyperken compressed his lips, and held his breath.
The lad passed him; Vanslyperken now rose from behind, levelled the
pistol at the lad's head, and fired. Smallbones uttered a yell, fell
down on his face, and then rolled on his back without life or motion.

Vanslyperken looked at him for one second, then turned back, and fled
with the wings of the wind. Conscience now appeared to pursue him, and
he ran on until he was so exhausted, that he fell; the pistol was still
in his hand, and as he put out his arm mechanically to save himself, the
lock of the pistol came in violent contact with his temple.

After a time he rose again, faint and bleeding, and continued his course
at a more moderate pace, but as the wind blew, and whistled among the
boughs of the trees, he thought every moment that he beheld the form of
the murdered lad. He quickened his pace, arrived at last within the
fortifications, and putting the pistol in his coat-pocket, he somewhat,
recovered himself. He bound his silk handkerchief round his head, and
proceeded to the boat, which he had ordered to wait till Smallbones'
return. He had then a part to act, and told the men that he had been
assailed by robbers, and ordered them to pull on board immediately. As
soon as he came on board he desired the men to assist him down into his
cabin, and then he sent for Corporal Van Spitter to dress his wounds. He
communicated to the corporal, that as he was going out in the country as
he had proposed, he had been attacked by robbers, that he had been
severely wounded, and had, he thought, killed one of them, as the others
ran away; what had become of Smallbones he knew not, but he had heard
him crying out in the hands of the robbers.

The corporal, who had felt certain that the pistol had been intended for
Smallbones, hardly knew what to make of the matter; the wound of Mr
Vanslyperken was severe, and it was hardly to be supposed that it had
been self-inflicted. The corporal therefore held his tongue, heard all
that Mr Vanslyperken had to say, and was very considerably puzzled.

"It was a fortunate thing that I thought of taking a pistol with me,
corporal, I might have been murdered outright."

"Yes, mynheer," replied the corporal, and binding the handkerchief round
Vanslyperken's head, he then assisted him into bed. "Mein Gott! I make
no head or tail of de business," said the corporal, as he walked
forward; "but I must know de truth soon; I not go to bed for two or
three hours, and den I hear others."

It is needless to say that Mr Vanslyperken passed a restless night, not
only from the pain of his wound, but from the torments of conscience;
for it is but by degrees that the greatest villain can drive away its
stings, and then it is but for a short time, and when it does force
itself back upon him, it is with redoubled power. His occasional
slumbers were broken by fitful starts, in which he again and again heard
the yell of the poor lad, and saw the corpse rolling at his feet. It was
about an hour before daylight that Mr Vanslyperken again woke, and found
that the light had burnt out. He could not remain in the dark, it was
too dreadful; he raised himself, and pulled the bell over his head. Some
one entered. "Bring a light immediately," cried Vanslyperken.

In a minute or two the gleams of a light were seen burning at a distance
by the lieutenant. He watched its progress aft, and its entrance, and he
felt relieved; but he had now a devouring thirst upon him, and his lips
were glued together, and he turned over on his bed to ask the corporal,
whom he supposed it was, for water. He fixed his eyes upon the party
with the candle, and by the feeble light of the dip, he beheld the pale,
haggard face of Smallbones, who stared at him, but uttered not a word.

"Mercy, O God! mercy!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, falling back, and
covering his face with the bedclothes.

Smallbones did not reply; he blew out the candle, and quitted the cabin.



Chapter XXVII

In which Mr Vanslyperken is taught a secret.


We are anxious to proceed with our narrative, but we must first explain
the unexpected appearance of Smallbones. When Corporal Van Spitter was
requested by Vanslyperken to bring a pistol and cartridge, the corporal,
who had not forgotten the hints thrown out by Vanslyperken during their
last consultation, immediately imagined that it was for Smallbones'
benefit. And he was strengthened in his opinion, when he learnt that
Smallbones was to go on shore with his master after it was dusk. Now
Corporal Van Spitter had no notion of the poor lad's brains being blown
out, and when Mr Vanslyperken went on deck and left the pistol, he went
into the cabin, searched for it, and drew the bullet, which
Vanslyperken, of course, was not aware of. It then occurred to the
corporal, that if the pistol were aimed at Smallbones, and he was
uninjured, it would greatly add to the idea, already half entertained by
the superstitious lieutenant, of there being something supernatural
about Smallbones, if he were left to suppose that he had been killed,
and had reappeared. He, therefore, communicated his suspicions to the
lad, told him what he had done, and advised him, if the pistol were
fired, to pretend to be killed, and when left by his master, to come on
board quietly in the night. Smallbones, who perceived the drift of all
this, promised to act accordingly, and in the last chapter it will be
observed how he contrived to deceive his master. As soon as the
lieutenant was out of hearing, Smallbones rose, and leaving the bag
where it lay, hastened back to Portsmouth, and came on board about two
hours before Vanslyperken rang his bell. He narrated what had passed,
but, of course, could not exactly swear that it was Vanslyperken who
fired the pistol, as it was fired from behind, but even if he could
have so sworn, at that time he would have obtained but little redress.

It was considered much more advisable that Smallbones should pretend to
believe that he had been attacked by robbers, and that the ball had
missed him, after he had frightened his master by his unexpected
appearance, for Vanslyperken would still be of the opinion that the lad
possessed a charmed life.

The state of Mr Vanslyperken during the remainder of that night was
pitiable, but we must leave the reader to suppose, rather than attempt
to describe it.

In the morning the corporal came in, and after asking after his
superior's health, informed him that Smallbones had come on board, that
the lad said that the robbers had fired a pistol at him, and then
knocked him down with the butt end of it, and that he had escaped but
with the loss of the bag.

This was a great relief to the mind of Mr Vanslyperken, who had imagined
that he had been visited by the ghost of Smallbones during the night: he
expressed himself glad at his return, and a wish to be left alone, upon
which the corporal retired. As soon as Vanslyperken found out that
Smallbones was still alive, his desire to kill him returned; although,
when he supposed him dead, he would, to escape from his own feelings,
have resuscitated him. One chief idea now whirled in his brain, which
was, that the lad must have a charmed life; he had floated out to the
Nab buoy and back again, and now he had had a pistol-bullet passed
through his skull without injury. He felt too much fear to attempt
anything against him for the future, but his desire to do so was
stronger than ever.

Excitement and vexation brought on a slow fever, and Mr Vanslyperken lay
for three or four days in bed; at the end of which period he received a
message from the admiral, directing him to come or send on shore (for
his state had been made known) for his despatches, and to sail as soon
as possible.

Upon receiving the message, Mr Vanslyperken recollected his engagement
at the house of the Jew Lazarus, and weak as he was, felt too much
afraid of the results, should he fail, not to get out of bed and go on
shore. It was with difficulty he could walk so far. When he arrived he
found Ramsay ready to receive him.

"To sail as soon as possible:--'tis well, sir. Have you your
despatches?"

"I sent to the admiral's for them," replied Vanslyperken.

"Well, then, be all ready to start at midnight. I shall come on board
about a quarter of an hour before; you may go, sir."

Vanslyperken quailed under the keen eye and stern look of Ramsay, and
obeyed the uncourteous order in silence; still he thought of revenge as
he walked back to the boat and re-embarked in the cutter.

"What's this, Short?" observed Coble: "here is a new freak; we start at
midnight, I hear."

"Yes," replied Short.

"Something quite new, anyhow:--don't understand it: do you?"

"No," replied Dick.

"Well, now Jemmy's gone, I don't care how soon I follow, Dick."

"Nor I," replied Short.

"I've a notion there's some mystery in all this. For," continued Coble,
"the admiral would never have ordered us out till to-morrow morning, if
he did not make us sail this evening. It's not a man-of-war fashion, is
it, Dick?"

"No," replied Short.

"Well, we shall see," replied Coble. "I shall turn in now. You've heard
all about Smallbones, heh! Dick?"

Short nodded his head.

"Well, we shall see: but I'll back the boy 'gainst master and dog too,
in the long run. D--n his Dutch carcass, he seems to make but small
count of English subjects, heh!"

Short leant over the gunwale and whistled.

Coble, finding it impossible to extract one monosyllable more from him,
walked forward, and went down below.

A little before twelve o'clock a boat came alongside, and Ramsay stepped
out of it into the cutter. Vanslyperken had been walking the deck to
receive him, and immediately showed him down into the cabin, where he
left him to go on deck, and get the cutter under way. There was a small
stove in the cabin, for the weather was still cold; they were advanced
into the month of March. Ramsay threw off his coat, laid two pair of
loaded pistols on the table, locked the door of the cabin, and then
proceeded to warm himself, while Vanslyperken was employed on deck.

In an hour the cutter was outside and clear of all danger, and
Vanslyperken had to knock to gain admittance into his own cabin. Ramsay
opened the door, and Vanslyperken, who thought he must say something,
observed gloomily,

"We are all clear, sir."

"Very good," replied Ramsay; "and now, sir, I believe that you have
despatches on board?"

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken.

"You will oblige me by letting me look at them."

"My despatches!" said Vanslyperken with surprise.

"Yes, sir, your despatches; immediately, if you please--no trifling."

"You forget, sir," replied Vanslyperken angrily, "that I am not any
longer in your power, but on board of my own vessel."

"You appear not to know, sir, that you are in my power even on board of
your own vessel," replied Ramsay, starting up, and laying his hand over
the pistols, which he drew towards him, and replaced in his belt. "If
you trust to your ship's company you are mistaken, as you will soon
discover. I demand the despatches."

"But, sir, you will ruin me and ruin yourself," replied Vanslyperken,
alarmed.

"Fear not," replied Ramsay; "for my own sake, and that of the good
cause, I shall not hurt you. No one will know that the despatches have
been ever examined, and----"

"And what?" replied Vanslyperken, gloomily.

"For the passage, and this service, you will receive one hundred
guineas."

Vanslyperken no longer hesitated; he opened the drawer in which he had
deposited the letters, and produced them.

"Now lock the door," said Ramsay, taking his seat.

He then examined the seals, pulled some out of his pocket, and compared
them; sorted the letters according to the seals, and laid one
corresponding at the heading of each file, for there were three
different government seals upon the despatches. He then took a long
Dutch earthen pipe which was hanging above, broke off the bowl, and put
one end of the stem into the fire. When it was of a red heat he took it
out, and applying his lips to the cool end, and the hot one close to the
sealing-wax, he blew through it, and the heated blast soon dissolved the
wax, and the despatches were opened one after another without the
slightest difficulty or injury to the paper. He then commenced reading,
taking memorandums on his tablets as he proceeded.

When he had finished, he again heated the pipe, melted the wax, which
had become cold and hard again, and resealed all the letters with his
counterfeit seals.

During this occupation, which lasted upwards of an hour, Vanslyperken
looked on with surprise, leaning against the bulk-head of the cabin.

"There, sir, are your despatches," said Ramsay, rising from his chair:
"you may now put them away; and, as you may observe, you are not
compromised."

"No, indeed," replied Vanslyperken, who was struck with the ingenuity of
the method; "but you have given me an idea."

"I will tell you what that is," replied Ramsay. "You are thinking, if I
left you these false seals, you could give me the contents of the
despatches, provided you were well paid. Is it not so?"

"It was," replied Vanslyperken, who had immediately been struck with
such a new source of wealth; for he cared little what he did--all he
cared for was discovery.

"Had you not proposed it yourself, I intended that you should have done
it, sir," replied Ramsay; "and that you should also be paid for it. I
will arrange all that before I leave the vessel. But now I shall retire
to my bed. Have you one ready?"

"I have none but what you see," replied Vanslyperken. "It is my own, but
at your service."

"I shall accept it," replied Ramsay, putting his pistols under his
pillow, after having thrown himself on the outside of the bedclothes,
pulling his roquelaure over him. "And now you will oblige me by turning
that cur out of the cabin, for his smell is anything but pleasant."

Vanslyperken had no idea of his passenger so coolly taking possession of
his bed, but to turn out Snarleyyow as well as himself, appeared an
unwarrantable liberty. But he felt that he had but to submit, for Ramsay
was despotic, and he was afraid of him.

After much resistance, Snarleyyow was kicked out by his master, who then
went on deck not in the very best of humours, at finding he had so
completely sold himself to those who might betray and hang him the very
next day. "At all events," thought Vanslyperken, "I'm well paid for it."

It was now daylight, and the cutter was running with a favourable
breeze; the hands were turned up, and Corporal Van Spitter came on deck.
Vanslyperken, who had been running over in his mind all the events which
had latterly taken place, had considered that, as he had lost the
Portsmouth widow, he might as well pursue his suit with the widow
Vandersloosh, especially as she had sent such a conciliating message by
the corporal; and perceiving the corporal on deck, he beckoned to him to
approach. Vanslyperken then observed, that he was angry the other day,
and that the corporal need not give that message to the Frau
Vandersloosh, as he intended to call upon her himself upon his arrival.
Van Spitter, who did not know anything about the Portsmouth widow, and
could not imagine why the angry message had been given, of course
assented, although he was fully determined that the widow should be
informed of the insult. The question was now, how to be able to go on
shore himself; and to compass that without suspicion, he remarked that
the maid Babette was a very fine maid, and he should like to see
her again.

This little piece of confidence was not thrown away. Vanslyperken was
too anxious to secure the corporal, and he replied, that the corporal
should go ashore and see her, if he pleased; upon which Corporal Van
Spitter made his best military salute, turned round on his heel, and
walked away, laughing in his sleeve at having so easily gulled
his superior.

On the third morning the cutter had arrived at her destined port. During
the passage Ramsay had taken possession of the cabin, ordering
everything as he pleased, much to the surprise of the crew. Mr
Vanslyperken spoke of him as a king's messenger, but still Smallbones,
who took care to hear what was going on, reported the abject submission
shown to Ramsay by the lieutenant, and this was the occasion of great
marvel; moreover, they doubted his being a king's messenger, for, as
Smallbones very shrewdly observed, "Why, if he was a king's messenger,
did he not come with the despatches?" However, they could only surmise,
and no more. But the dog being turned out of the cabin in compliance
with Ramsay's wish, was the most important point of all. They could have
got over all the rest, but that was quite incomprehensible; and they all
agreed with Coble, when he observed, hitching up his trousers, "Depend
upon it, there's a screw loose somewhere."

As soon as the cutter was at anchor, Ramsay ordered his portmanteau into
the boat, and Vanslyperken having accompanied him on shore, they
separated, Ramsay informing Vanslyperken that he would wish to see him
the next day, and giving him his address.

Vanslyperken delivered his despatches, and then hastened to the widow
Vandersloosh, who received him with a well-assumed appearance of mingled
pleasure and reserve.

Vanslyperken led her to the sofa, poured forth a multitudinous compound
composed of regret, devotion, and apologies, which at last appeared to
have melted the heart of the widow, who once more gave him her hand
to salute.

Vanslyperken was all rapture at so unexpected a reconciliation; the name
of the cur was not mentioned, and Vanslyperken thought to himself, "This
will do,--let me only once get you, my Frau, and I'll teach you to wish
my dog dead at your porch."

On the other hand the widow thought, "And so this atomy really believes
that I would look upon him! Well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see
how it ends. Your cur under my bed, indeed, so sure do you never--. Yes,
yes, Mr Vanslyperken."

There is a great deal of humbug in this world, that is certain.



Chapter XXVIII

In which we have at last introduced a decent sort of heroine, who,
however, only plays a second in our history, Snarleyyow being
first fiddle.


But we must leave Mr Vanslyperken, and the widow, and the _Yungfrau_,
and all connected with her, for the present, and follow the steps of
Ramsay, in doing which we shall have to introduce new personages in our
little drama.

As soon as Ramsay had taken leave of Vanslyperken, being a stranger at
Amsterdam, he inquired his way to the Golden Street, in which resided
Mynheer Van Krause, syndic of the town, and to whom he had obtained his
principal letters of introduction. The syndic's house was too well
known not to be immediately pointed out to him, and in ten minutes he
found himself, with the sailors at his heels who had been ordered to
carry up his baggage, at a handsomely carved door painted in bright
green, and with knockers of massive brass which glittered in the sun.

Ramsay, as he waited a few seconds, looked up at the house, which was
large and with a noble front to the wide street in face of it, not, as
usual with most of the others, divided in the centre by a canal running
the whole length of it. The door was opened, and led into a large paved
yard, the sides of which were lined with evergreens in large tubs,
painted of the same bright green colour; adjoining to the yard was a
small garden enclosed with high walls, which was laid out with great
precision, and in small beds full of tulips, ranunculuses, and other
bulbs now just appearing above the ground. The sailors waited outside
while the old gray-headed servitor who had opened the gate, ushered
Ramsay through the court to a second door which led into the house. The
hall into which he entered was paved with marble, and the staircase bold
and handsome which led to the first floor, but on each side of the hall
there were wooden partitions and half-glass doors, through which Ramsay
could see that the rest of the basement was appropriated to warehouses,
and that in the warehouse at the back of the building there were people
busily employed hoisting out merchandise from the vessels in the canal,
the water of which adjoined the very walls. Ramsay followed the man
upstairs, who showed him into a very splendidly-furnished apartment, and
then went to summon his master, who, he said, was below in the
warehouse. Ramsay had but a minute or two to examine the various objects
which decorated the room, particularly some very fine pictures, when
Mynheer Van Krause made his appearance, with some open tablets in his
hand and his pen across his mouth. He was a very short man, with a
respectable paunch, a very small head, quite bald, a keen blue eye,
reddish but straight nose, and a very florid complexion. There was
nothing vulgar about his appearance, although his figure was against
him. His countenance was one of extreme frankness, mixed with
considerable intelligence, and his whole manner gave you the idea of
precision and calculation.

"You would--tyfel--I forgot my pen," said the syndic, catching it as it
fell out of his mouth. "You would speak with me, mynheer? To whom have I
the pleasure of addressing myself?"

"These letters, sir," replied Ramsay, "will inform you."

Mynheer Van Krause laid his tablets on the table, putting his pen across
to mark the leaf where he had them open, and taking the letters begged
Ramsay to be seated. He then took a chair, pulled a pair of hand-glasses
out of his pocket, laid them on his knees, broke the seals, and falling
back so as to recline, commenced reading. As soon as he had finished the
first letter, he put his glasses down from his eyes, and made a bow to
Ramsay, folded the open letter the length of the sheet, took out his
pencil, and on the outside wrote the date of the letter, the day of the
month, name, and the name of the writer. Having done this, he laid the
first letter down on the table, took up the second, raised up his
glasses, and performed the same duty towards it, and thus he continued
until he had read the whole six; always, as he concluded each letter,
making the same low bow to Ramsay which he had after the perusal of the
first. Ramsay, who was not a little tired of all this precision, at last
fixed his eyes upon a Wouvermann which hung near him, and only took them
off when he guessed the time of bowing to be at hand.

The last having been duly marked and numbered, Mynheer Van Krause turned
to Ramsay, and said, "I am most happy, mynheer, to find under my roof a
young gentleman so much recommended by many valuable friends; moreover,
as these letters give me to understand, so warm a friend to our joint
sovereign, and so inimical to the Jacobite party. I am informed by these
letters that you intend to remain at Amsterdam. If so, I trust that you
will take up your quarters in this house."

To this proposal Ramsay, who fully expected it, gave a willing consent,
saying, at the same time, that he had proposed going to an hotel; but
Mynheer Van Krause insisted on sending for Ramsay's luggage. He had not
far to send, as it was at the door.

"How did you come over?" inquired the host.

"In a king's cutter," replied Ramsay, "which waited for me at
Portsmouth."

This intimation produced another very low bow from Mynheer Van Krause,
as it warranted the importance of his guest; but he then rose, and
apologising for his presence being necessary below, as they were
unloading a cargo of considerable value, he ordered his old porter to
show Mr Ramsay into his rooms, and to take up his luggage, informing his
guest that, it being now twelve o'clock, dinner would be on the table at
half-past one, during which interval he begged Ramsay to amuse himself,
by examining the pictures, books, &c., with which the room was well
furnished. Then, resuming his tablets and pen, and taking the letters
with him, Mynheer Van Krause made a very low bow, and left Ramsay to
himself, little imagining that he had admitted an attainted traitor
under his roof.

Ramsay could speak Dutch fluently, for he had been quartered two years
at Middleburg, when he was serving in the army. As soon as the sailors
had taken up his portmanteau, and he had dismissed them with a gratuity,
the extent of which made the old porter open his eyes with astonishment,
and gave him a favourable opinion of his master's new guest, he entered
into conversation with the old man, who, like Eve upon another occasion,
was tempted, nothing loth, for the old man loved to talk; and in a house
so busy as the syndic's there were few who had time to chatter, and
those who had, preferred other conversation to what, it must be
confessed, was rather prosy.

"Mein Gott, mynheer, you must not expect to have company here all day.
My master has the town business and his own business to attend to: he
can't well get through it all: besides, now is a busy time, the schuyts
are bringing up the cargo of a vessel from a far voyage, and Mynheer
Krause always goes to the warehouse from breakfast till dinner, and then
again from three or four o'clock till six. After that he will stay
above, and then sees company, and hears our young lady sing."

"Young lady! has he a daughter then?"

"He has a daughter, mynheer--only one--only one child--no son, it is a
pity; and so much money too, they say. I don't know how many stivers and
guilders she will have by-and-bye."

"Is not Madame Krause still alive?"

"No, mynheer, she died when this maiden was born. She was a good lady,
cured me once of the yellow jaundice."

Ramsay, like all young men, wondered what sort of a person this lady
might be; but he was too discreet to put the question. He was, however,
pleased to hear that there was a young female in the house, as it would
make the time pass away more agreeably; not that he expected much.
Judging from the father, he made up his mind, as he took his clothes out
of his valise, that she was very short, very prim, and had a
hooked nose.

The old man now left the room to allow Ramsay to dress, and telling him
that if he wanted anything, he had only to call for Koops, which was his
name, but going out, he returned to say, that Ramsay must call rather
loud, as he was a little hard of hearing.

"Well," thought Ramsay, as he was busy with his toilet, "here I am safe
lodged at last, and everything appears as if it would prosper. There is
something in my position which my mind revolts at, but stratagem is
necessary in war. I am in the enemy's camp to save my own life, and to
serve the just cause. It is no more than what they attempt to do with
us. It is my duty to my lawful sovereign, but still I do not like it.
Then the more merit in performing a duty so foreign to my inclinations."

Such were the thoughts of Ramsay, who like other manly and daring
dispositions, was dissatisfied with playing the part of a deceiver,
although he had been selected for the service, and his selection had
been approved of at the Court of St Germains.

Open warfare would have suited him better; but he would not repine at
what he considered he was bound in fealty to perform, if required,
although he instinctively shrank from it. His toilet was complete, and
Ramsay descended into the reception-room: he had been longer than usual,
but probably that was because he wished to commune with himself; or it
might be, because he had been informed that there was a young lady in
the house.

The room was empty when Ramsay entered it, and he took the advice of his
host, and amused himself by examining the pictures, and other articles
of _virtu_, with which the room was filled.

At last, having looked at everything, Ramsay examined a splendid clock
on the mantelpiece, before a fine glass, which mounted to the very top
of the lofty room, when, accidentally casting his eyes to the
looking-glass, he perceived in it that the door of the room, to which
his back was turned, was open, and that a female was standing there,
apparently surprised to find a stranger, and not exactly knowing whether
to advance or retreat. Ramsay remained in the same position, as if he
did not perceive her, that he might look at her without her being aware
of it. It was, as he presumed, the syndic's daughter; but how different
from the person he had conjured up in his mind's eye, when at his
toilet! Apparently about seventeen or eighteen years of age, she was
rather above the height of woman, delicately formed, although not by any
means thin in her person: her figure possessing all that feminine
luxuriance, which can only be obtained when the bones are small, but
well covered. Her face was oval, and brilliantly fair. Her hair of a
dark chestnut, and her eyes of a deep blue. Her dress was simple in the
extreme. She wore nothing but the white woollen petticoats of the time,
so short, as to show above her ankles, and a sort of little jacket of
fine green cloth, with lappets, which descended from the waist, and
opened in front. Altogether, Ramsay thought that he had never in his
life seen a young female so peculiarly attractive at first sight: there
was a freshness in her air and appearance so uncommon, so unlike the
general crowd. As she stood in a state of uncertainty, her mouth opened,
and displayed small and beautifully white teeth.

Gradually she receded, supposing that she had not been discovered, and
closed the door quietly after her leaving Ramsay for a few seconds at
the glass, with his eyes fixed upon the point at which she had
disappeared.

Ramsay of course fell into a reverie, as most men do in a case of this
kind; but he had not proceeded very far into it before he was
interrupted by the appearance of the syndic, who entered by
another door.

"I am sorry to have been obliged to leave you to your own company,
Mynheer Ramsay, so soon after your arrival; but my arrangement of time
is regular, and I cannot make any alteration. Before you have been with
us long, I trust that you will find means of amusement. I shall have
great pleasure in introducing you to many friends whose time is not so
occupied as mine. Once again let me say how happy I am to receive so
distinguished a young gentleman under my roof. Did the cutter bring
despatches for the States General, may I enquire?"

"Yes," replied Ramsay, "she did; and they are of some importance."

"Indeed?" rejoined Mynheer inquisitively.

"My dear sir," said Ramsay, blushing at his own falsehood, "we are, I
believe, both earnest in one point, which is to strengthen the good
cause. Under such an impression, and having accepted your hospitality, I
have no right to withhold what I know, but with which others are not
acquainted."

"My dear sir," interrupted Krause, who was now fully convinced of the
importance of his guest, "you do me justice; I am firm and steadfast in
the good cause. I am known to be so, and I am also, I trust, discreet;
confiding to my tried friends, indeed, but it will be generally
acknowledged that Mynheer Krause has possessed, and safely guarded, the
secrets of the state."

Now, in the latter part of this speech, Mynheer Krause committed a small
mistake. He was known to be a babbler, one to whom a secret could not be
imparted, without every risk of its being known; and it was from the
knowledge of this failing in Mynheer Krause that Ramsay had received
such very particular recommendations to him. As syndic of the town, it
was impossible to prevent his knowledge of government secrets, and when
these occasionally escaped, they were always traced to his not being
able to hold his tongue.

Nothing pleased Mynheer Krause so much as a secret, because nothing gave
him so much pleasure as whispering it confidentially into the ear of a
dozen confidential friends. The consequence was, the government was
particularly careful that he should not know what was going on, and did
all they could to prevent it; but there were many others who, although
they could keep a secret, had no objection to part with it for a
consideration, and in the enormous commercial transactions of Mynheer
Krause, it was not unfrequent for a good bargain to be struck with him
by one or more of the public functionaries, the difference between the
sum proposed and accepted being settled against the interests of Mynheer
Krause, by the party putting him in possession of some government
movement which had hitherto been kept _in petto_. Every man has his
hobby, and usually pays dear for it, so did Mynheer Krause.

Now when it is remembered that Ramsay had opened and read the whole of
the despatches, it may at once be supposed what a valuable acquaintance
he would appear to Mynheer Krause; but we must not anticipate. Ramsay's
reply was, "I feel it my bounden duty to impart all I am possessed of to
my very worthy host, but allow me to observe, mynheer, that prudence is
necessary--we may be overheard."

"I am pleased to find one of your age so circumspect," replied Krause;
"perhaps it would be better to defer our conversation till after supper,
but in the meantime, could you not just give me a little inkling of what
is going on?"

Ramsay had difficulty in stifling a smile at this specimen of Mynheer
Krause's eagerness for intelligence. He very gravely walked up to him,
looked all round the room as if he was afraid that the walls would hear
him, and then whispered for a few seconds into the ear of his host.

"Indeed!" exclaimed Krause, looking up into Ramsay's face.

Ramsay nodded his head authoritatively.

"Gott in himmel!" exclaimed the syndic; but here the bell for dinner
rang a loud peal. "Dinner is on the table, mynheer," continued the
syndic, "allow me to show you the way. We will talk this over to-night.
Gott in himmel! Is it possible?"

Mynheer Krause led the way to another saloon, where Ramsay found not
only the table prepared, but, as he had anticipated, the daughter of his
host, to whom he was introduced. "Wilhelmina," said Mynheer Krause, "our
young friend will stay with us, I trust, some time, and you must do all
you can to make him comfortable. You know, my dear, that business must
be attended to. With me, time is money; so much so, that I can scarcely
do justice to the affairs of the state devolving upon me in virtue of my
office. You must, therefore, join with me, and do your best to amuse
our guest."

To this speech, Wilhelmina made no reply, but by a gracious inclination
of her head towards Ramsay, which was returned with all humility. The
dinner was excellent, and Ramsay amused himself very well indeed until
it was over. Mynheer Krause then led the way to the saloon, called for
coffee, and, so soon as he had finished it, made an apology to his
guest, and left him alone with his beautiful daughter.

Wilhelmina Krause was a young person of a strong mind irregularly
cultivated; she had never known the advantage of a mother's care, and
was indeed self-educated. She had a strong tinge of romance in her
character, and, left so much alone, she loved to indulge in it.

In other points she was clever, well read, and accomplished; graceful in
her manners, open in her disposition, to a fault; for, like her father,
she could not keep a secret, not even the secrets of her own heart; for
whatever she thought she gave utterance to, which is not exactly the
custom in this world, and often attended with unpleasant consequences.

The seclusion in which she had been kept added to the natural timidity
of her disposition--but when once intimate, it also added to her
confiding character. It was impossible to see without admiring her, to
know her without loving her; for she was nature herself, and, at the
same time, in her person one of Nature's masterpieces.

As we observed, when they retired to the saloon, Mynheer Krause very
shortly quitted them, to attend to his affairs below, desiring his
daughter to exert herself for the amusement of his guest; the contrary,
however, was the case, for Ramsay exerted himself to amuse her, and very
soon was successful, for he could talk of courts and kings, of courtiers
and of people, and of a thousand things, all interesting to a young girl
who had lived secluded; and as his full-toned voice, in measured and low
pitch, fell upon Wilhelmina's ear, she never perhaps was so much
interested. She seldom ventured a remark, except it was to request him
to proceed, and the eloquent language with which Ramsay clothed his
ideas, added a charm to the novelty of his conversation. In the course
of two hours Ramsay had already acquired a moral influence over
Wilhelmina, who looked up to him with respect, and another feeling which
we can only define by saying that it was certainly anything
but ill-will.

The time passed so rapidly, that the two young people could hardly
believe it possible that it was past six o'clock, when they were
interrupted by the appearance of Mynheer Krause, who came from his
counting-house, the labours of the day being over. In the summer-time it
was his custom to take his daughter out in the carriage at this hour,
but the weather was too cold, and, moreover, it was nearly dark. A
conversation ensued on general topics, which lasted till supper-time;
after this repast was over Wilhelmina retired, leaving Ramsay and the
syndic alone.

It was then that Ramsay made known to his host the contents of the
despatches, much to Mynheer Krause's surprise and delight, who felt
assured that his guest must be strong in the confidence of the English
government, to be able to communicate such intelligence. Ramsay, who was
aware that the syndic would sooner or later know what had been written,
of course was faithful in his detail; not so, however, when they
canvassed the attempts of the Jacobite party; then Mr Krause was
completely mystified.

It was not till a late hour that they retired to bed. The next morning,
the syndic, big with his intelligence, called upon his friends in
person, and much to their surprise told them the contents of the
despatches which had been received--and, much to his delight, discovered
that he had been correctly informed. He also communicated what Ramsay
had told him relative to the movements of the Court of St Germains, and
thus, unintentionally, false intelligence was forwarded to England as
from good authority. It hardly need be observed, that, in a very short
time, Ramsay had gained the entire confidence of his host, and we may
add also, of his host's daughter; but we must leave him for the present
to follow up his plans, whatever they may be, and return to the
personages more immediately connected with this narrative.



Chapter XXIX

In which Jemmy Ducks proves the truth of Moggy's assertion, that there
was no one like him before or since--Nancy and Jemmy serenade the
stars.


As soon as Moggy landed at the Point with her dear darling duck of a
husband, as she called him, she put his chest and hammock on a barrow
and had them wheeled up to her own lodgings, and then they went out to
call upon Nancy Corbett to make their future arrangements; Moggy
proceeding in rapid strides, and Jemmy trotting with his diminutive legs
behind her, something like a stout pony by the side of a large horse. It
was in pedestrianism that Jemmy most felt his inferiority, and the
protecting, fond way in which Moggy would turn round every minute and
say, "Come along, my duck," would have been irritating to any other but
one of Jemmy's excellent temper. Many looked at Jemmy, as he waddled
along, smiled and passed on; one unfortunate nymph, however, ventured to
stop, and putting her arms a-kimbo, looked down upon him and exclaimed,
"Vell! you are a nice little man," and then commenced singing the
old refrain--

     "I had a little husband no bigger than my thumb,
     I put him in a pint pot, and there I bid him drum:"

when Moggy, who had turned back, saluted her with such a box on the ear,
that she made the drum of it ring again. The young lady was not one of
those who would offer the other cheek to be smitten, and she immediately
flew at Moggy and returned the blow; but Jemmy, who liked quiet, caught
her round the legs, and, as if she had been a feather, threw her over
his head, so that she fell down in the gutter behind him with a violence
which was anything but agreeable. She gained her legs again, looked at
her soiled garments, scraped the mud off her cheek--we are sorry to add,
made use of some very improper language, and finding herself in the
minority, walked off, turning round and shaking her fist at every
twenty paces.

Moggy and her husband continued their course as if nothing had happened,
and arrived at the house of Nancy Corbett, who had, as may be supposed,
changed her lodgings and kept out of sight of Vanslyperken. Nancy was no
stranger to Jemmy Ducks; so far as his person went he was too remarkable
a character not to be known by her who knew almost everybody; and,
moreover, she had made sufficient inquiries about his character. The
trio at once proceeded to business: Jemmy had promised his wife to join
the smugglers, and it was now arranged, that both he and his wife should
be regularly enlisted in the gang, she to remain at the cave with the
women, unless her services were required elsewhere, he to belong to the
boat. There was, however, one necessary preliminary still to be taken,
that of Jemmy and his wife both taking the oath of fidelity at the house
of the Jew Lazarus; but it was not advisable to go there before dusk, so
they remained with Nancy till that time, during which she was fully
satisfied that, in both parties, the band would have an acquisition, for
Nancy was very keen and penetrating, and had a great insight into
human nature.

At dusk, to the house of Lazarus they accordingly repaired, and were
admitted by the cautious Jew. Nancy stated why they had come, and there
being, at the time, several of the confederates, as usual, in the house,
they were summoned by the Jew to be witnesses to the oath being
administered. Half-a-dozen dark-looking bold men soon made their
appearance, and recognised Nancy by nods of their heads.

"Who have we here, old Father Abraham?' exclaimed a stout man, who was
dressed in a buff jerkin and a pair of boots which rose above his knees.

"A good man and true," replied Nancy, caking up the answer.

"Why, you don't call that thing a man!" exclaimed the fierce-looking
confederate with contempt.

"As good a man as ever stood in your boots," replied Moggy in wrath.

"Indeed: well, perhaps so, if he could only see his way when once into
them," replied the man with a loud laugh, in which he was joined by his
companions.

"What can you do, my little man?" said another of a slighter build than
the first, coming forward and putting his hand upon Jemmy's head.

Now Jemmy was the best-tempered fellow in the world, but, at the same
time, the very best-tempered people have limits to their forbearance,
and do not like to be taken liberties with by strangers: so felt Jemmy,
who, seizing the young man firmly by the waistband of his trousers just
below the hips, lifted him from the ground, and with a strength which
astonished all present, threw him clean over the table, his body
sweeping away both the candles, so they were all left in darkness.

"I can douse a glim anyhow," cried Jemmy.

"That's my darling duck," cried Moggy, delighted with this proof of her
husband's vigour.

Some confusion was created by this manoeuvre on the part of Jemmy, but
candles were reproduced, and the first man who spoke, feeling as if this
victory on the part of Jemmy was a rebuke to himself, again commenced
his interrogations.

"Well, my little man, you are strong in the arms, but what will you do
without legs?"

"Not run away, as you have done a hundred times," replied Jemmy,
scornfully.

"Now by the God of War you shall answer for this," replied the man,
catching hold of Jemmy by the collar; but in a moment he was tripped up
by Jemmy, and fell down with great violence on his back.

"Bravo, bravo!" exclaimed the rest, who took part with Jemmy.

"That's my own little duck," cried Moggy; "you've shown him what you can
do, anyhow."

The man rose, and was apparently feeling for some arms secreted about
his person, when Nancy Corbett stepped forward.

"Do you dare?" cried she; "take what you have received, and be thankful,
or--" and Nancy held up her little forefinger.

The man slunk back among the others in silence. The old Jew, who had not
interfered, being in presence of Nancy, who had superior commands, now
read the oath, which was of a nature not to be communicated to the
reader without creating disgust. It was, however, such an oath as was
taken in those times, and has since been frequently taken in Ireland. It
was subscribed to by Jemmy and his wife without hesitation, and they
were immediately enrolled among the members of the association. As soon
as this ceremony had been gone through, Nancy and her protegés quitted
the house and returned to her lodgings, when it was agreed that the next
night they should go over to the island, as Jemmy's services were
required in the boat in lieu of Ramsay, whose place as steersman he was
admirably qualified to occupy, much better, indeed, than that of a
rower, as his legs were too short to reach the stretcher, where it was
usually fixed.

The next evening the weather was calm and clear, and when they embarked
in the boat of the old fisherman, with but a small portion of their
effects, the surface of the water was unruffled, and the stars twinkled
brightly in the heavens; one article which Jemmy never parted with, was
in his hand, his fiddle. They all took their seats, and the old
fisherman shoved off his boat, and they were soon swept out of the
harbour by the strong ebb tide.

"An't this better than being on board with Vanslyperken, and your leave
stopped?" observed Moggy.

"Yes," replied the husband.

"And I not permitted to go on board to see my duck of a
husband--confound his snivelling carcass?" continued Moggy.

"Yes," replied Jemmy, thoughtfully.

"And in company with that supernatual cur of his?"

Jemmy nodded his head, and then in his abstraction touched the strings
of his violin.

"They say that you are clever with your instrument, Mr Salisbury,"
observed Nancy Corbett.

"That he is," replied Moggy; "and he sings like a darling duck. Don't
you, Jemmy, my dear?"

"Quack, quack," replied Jemmy.

"Well, Mr Salisbury, there's no boat that I can see near us, or even in
sight; and if there was it were little matter. I suppose you will let me
hear you, for I shall have little opportunity after this?"

"With all my heart," replied Jemmy; who, taking up his fiddle, and
playing upon the strings like a guitar, after a little reflection, sang
as follows:

     Bless my eyes, how young Bill threw his shiners away,
       As he drank and he danced, when he first came on shore!
     It was clear that he fancied that with his year's pay,
       Like the Bank of Old England, he'd never be poor.
     So when the next day, with a southerly wind in
       His pockets, he came up, my rhino to borrow;
     "You're welcome," says I, "Bill, as I forked out the tin,
       But when larking to-day--_don't forget there's to-morrow_."

     When our frigate came to from a cruise in the west,
       And her yards were all squared, her sails neatly furled,
     Young Tom clasped his Nancy, so loved, to his breast,
       As if but themselves there was none in the world.
     Between two of the guns they were fondly at play,
       All billing and kissing, forgetting all sorrow;
     "Love, like cash," says I, "Nan, may all go in a day,
       While you hug him so close--_don't forget there's to-morrow_."

     When a hurricane swept us smack smooth fore and aft,
       When we dashed on the rock, and we floundered on shore,
     As we sighed for the loss of our beautiful craft,
       Convinced that the like we should never see more,
     Says I, "My good fellows," as huddled together,
       They shivered and shook, each phiz black with sorrow,
     "Remember, it's not to be always foul weather,
       So with ill-luck to-day--_don't forget there's to-morrow_!"

"And not a bad hint, neither, Mr Salisbury," said Nancy, when Jemmy
ceased. "You sailors never think of to-morrow, more's the pity. You're
no better than overgrown babies."

"I'm not much better, at all events," replied Jemmy, laughing: "however,
I'm as God made me, and so all's right."

"That's my own darling Jemmy," said Moggy, "and if you're content, and
I'm content, who is to say a word, I should like to know? You may be a
rum one to look at, but I think them fellows found you but a rum
customer the other night."

"Don't put so much rum in your discourse, Moggy, you make me long for a
glass of grog."

"Then your mouth will find the water," rejoined Nancy; "but, however,
singing is dry work, and I am provided. Pass my basket aft, old
gentleman, and we will find Mr Salisbury something with which to whet
his whistle." The boatman handed the basket to Nancy, who pulled out a
bottle and glass, which she filled, and handed to Jemmy.

"Now, Mr Salisbury, I expect some more songs," said Nancy.

"And you shall have them, mistress; but I've heard say that you've a
good pipe of your own; suppose that you give me one in return, that will
be but fair play."

"Not exactly, for you'll have the grog in the bargain," replied Nancy.

"Put my fiddle against the grog, and then all's square."

"I have not sung for many a day," replied Nancy, musing, and looking up
at the bright twinkling stars. "I once sang, when I was young--and
happy--I then sang all the day long; that was really singing, for it
came from the merriness of my heart;" and Nancy paused. "Yes, I have
sung since, and often, for they made me sing; but 'twas when my heart
was heavy--or when its load had been, for a time, forgotten and drowned
in wine. That was not singing, at least not the singing of bygone days."

"But those times are bygone too, Mistress Nancy," said Moggy; "you have
now your marriage lines, and are made an honest woman."

"Yes, and God keep me so, amen," replied Nancy mournfully.

Had not the night concealed it, a tear might have been seen by the
others in the boat to trickle down the cheek of Nancy Corbett, as she
was reminded of her former life; and as she again fixed her eyes upon
the brilliant heavens, each particular star appeared to twinkle
brighter, as if they rejoiced to witness tears like those.

"You must be light o' heart now, Mistress Nancy," observed Jemmy,
soothingly.

"I am not unhappy," replied she, resting her cheek upon her hand.

"Mistress Nancy," said Moggy, "I should think a little of that stuff
would do neither of us any harm; the night is rather bleak."

Moggy poured out a glass and handed it to Nancy; she drank it, and it
saved her from a flood of tears, which otherwise she would have been
unable to repress. In a minute or two, during which Moggy helped herself
and the old boatman, Nancy's spirits returned.

"Do you know this air?" said Nancy to Jemmy, humming it.

"Yes, yes, I know it well, Mistress Nancy. Will you sing to it?"

Nancy Corbett who had been celebrated once for her sweet singing, as
well as her beauty, immediately commenced in a soft and melodious tone,
while Jemmy touched his fiddle.

     Lost, stolen, or strayed,
     The heart of a young maid;
     Whoever the same shall find,
     And prove so very kind.
     To yield it on desire,
     They shall rewarded be,
     And that most handsomely,
     With kisses one, two, three.
         Cupid is the crier,
         Ring-a-ding, a-ding,
         Cupid is the crier.

     O yes! O yes! O yes!
     Here is a pretty mess!
     A maiden's heart is gone,
     And she is left forlorn,
     And panting with desire;
     Whoever shall bring it me,
     They shall rewarded be.
     With kisses one, two, three.
         Cupid is the crier,
         Ring-a-ding, a-ding,
         Cupid is the crier.

     'Twas lost on Sunday eve,
     Or taken without leave,
     A virgin's heart so pure,
     She can't the loss endure,
     And surely will expire;
     Pity her misery.
     Rewarded you shall be,
     With kisses one, two, three.
         Cupid is the crier,
         Ring-a-ding, a-ding,
         Cupid is the crier.

     The maiden sought around,
     It was not to be found,
     She searched each nook and dell,
     The haunts she loved so well,
     All anxious with desire;
     The wind blew ope his vest,
     When, lo! the toy in quest,
     She found within the breast
         Of Cupid, the false crier,
         Ring-a-ding, a-ding-a-ding,
         Cupid the false crier.

"Many thanks, Mistress Corbett, for a good song, sung in good tune, with
a sweet voice," said Jemmy. "I owe you one for that, and am ready to pay
you on demand. You've a pipe like a missel thrush."

"Well, I do believe that I shall begin to sing again," replied Nancy.
"I'm sure if Corbett was only once settled on shore in a nice little
cottage, with a garden, and a blackbird in a wicker cage, I should try
who could sing most, the bird or me."

"He will be by-and-bye, when his work is done."

"Yes, when it is; but open boats, stormy seas, and the halter, are
heavy odds, Mr Salisbury."

"Don't mention the halter, Mistress Nancy, you'll make me melancholy,"
replied Jemmy, "and I sha'n't be able to sing any more. Well, if they
want to hang me, they need not rig the yard-arm, three handspikes as
sheers, and I shouldn't find soundings, heh! Moggy?"

Nancy laughed at the ludicrous idea; but Moggy exclaimed with vehemence,
"Hang my Jemmy! my darling duck! I should like to see them."

"At all events, we'll have another song from him, Moggy, before they
spoil his windpipe, which, I must say, would be a great pity; but Moggy,
there have been better men hung than your husband."

"Better men than my Jemmy, Mrs Corbett! There never was one like him
afore or since;" replied Moggy, with indignation.

"I only meant of longer pedigree, Moggy," replied Nancy soothingly.

"I don't know what that is," replied Moggy, still angry.

"Longer legs, to be sure," replied Jemmy. "Never mind that, Moggy. Here
goes, a song in two parts. It's a pity, Mistress Nancy, that you
couldn't take one."

     "When will you give up this life of wild roving?
       When shall we be quiet and happy on shore?
     When will you to church lead your Susan, so loving,
       And sail on the treacherous billows no more?"

     "My ship is my wife, Sue, no other I covet,
       Till I draw the firm splice that's betwixt her and me;
     I'll roam on the ocean, for much do I love it--
       To wed with another were rank bigamy."

     "O William, what nonsense you talk, you are raving;
       Pray how can a ship and a man become one?
     You say so because you no longer are craving,
       As once you were truly--and I am undone."

     "You wrong me, my dearest, as sure as I stand here,
       As sure as I'll sail again on the wide sea;
     Some day I will settle, and marry with you, dear,
      But now 'twould be nothing but rank bigamy."

     "Then tell me the time, dear William, whenever
       Your Sue may expect this divorce to be made;
     When you'll surely be mine, when no object shall sever,
       But locked in your arms I'm no longer afraid."

     "The time it will be when my pockets are lined,
       I'll then draw the splice 'tween my vessel and me,
     And lead you to church, if you're still so inclined--
       But before, my dear Sue, 'twere rank bigamy."

"Thank you, Mr Salisbury. I like the moral of that song; a sailor never
should marry till he can settle on shore."

"What's the meaning of big-a-me?" said Moggy.

"Marrying two husbands or two wives, Mrs Salisbury. Perhaps you might
get off on the plea that you had only one and a half," continued
Nancy, laughing.

"Well, perhaps she might," replied Jemmy, "if he were a judge of
understanding."

"I should think, Mistress Nancy, you might as well leave my husband's
legs alone," observed Moggy, affronted.

"Lord bless you, Moggy, if he's not angry, you surely should not be; I
give a joke, and I can take one. You surely are not jealous?"

"Indeed I am though, and always shall be of anyone who plays with my
Jemmy."

"Or if he plays with anything else?"

"Yes, indeed."

"Yes, indeed! then you must be downright jealous of his fiddle, Moggy,"
replied Nancy; "but never mind, you sha'n't be jealous now about
nothing. I'll sing you a song, and then you'll forget all this." Nancy
Corbett then sang as follows:

     Fond Mary sat on Henry's knee,
     "I must be home exact," said he,
       "And see, the hour is come."
     "No, Henry, you shall never go
     Until me how to count you show;
       That task must first be done."

     Then Harry said, "As time is short,
     Addition you must first be taught;--
       Sum up these kisses sweet;

     "Now prove your sum by kissing me:--
     Yes, that is right, 'twas three times three--
       Arithmetic's a treat.

     "And now there is another term,
     Subtraction you have yet to learn;
       Take four away from these."
     "Yes, that is right, you've made it out,"
     Says Mary, with a pretty pout,
       "Subtraction don't me please."

     Division's next upon the list;
     Young Henry taught while Mary kissed,
       And much admired the rule;
     "Now, Henry, don't you think me quick?"
     "Why, yes, indeed, you've learned the trick;
       At kissing you're no fool."

     To multiply was next the game,
     Which Henry by the method same,
       To Mary fain would show;
     But here his patience was worn out,
     She multiplied too fast I doubt,
       He could no farther go.

     "And now we must leave off, my dear;
     The other rules are not so clear,
       We'll try at them to-night;"
     "I'll come at eve, my Henry sweet;
     Behind the hawthorn hedge we'll meet,
       For learning's my delight."

"That's a very pretty song, Mistress Corbett, and you've a nice
collection, I've no doubt. If you've no objection, I'll exchange another
with you."

"I should be most willing, Mr Salisbury; but we are now getting well
over, and we may as well be quiet, as I do not wish people to ask where
we are going."

"You're right, ma'am," observed the old fisherman, who pulled the boat.
"Put up your fiddle, master; there be plenty on the look out, without
our giving them notice."

"Very true," replied Jemmy, "so we break up our concert."

The whole party were now silent. In a quarter of an hour the boat was
run into a cut, which concealed it from view; and, as soon as the
fisherman had looked round to see the coast clear, they landed and made
haste to pass by the cottages; after that Nancy slackened her pace, and
they walked during the night over to the other side of the island, and
arrived at the cottages above the cave.

Here they left a portion of their burdens and then proceeded to the path
down the cliff which led to the cave. On Nancy giving the signal, the
ladder was lowered, and they were admitted. As soon as they were upon
the flat, Moggy embraced her husband, crying, "Here I have you, my own
dear Jemmy, all to myself, and safe for ever."



Chapter XXX

In which Mr Vanslyperken treats the ladies.


On the second day after his arrival, Vanslyperken, as agreed, went up to
the syndic's house to call upon Ramsay. The latter paid him down one
hundred pounds for his passage and services, and Vanslyperken was so
pleased, that he thought seriously, as soon as he had amassed sufficient
money, to withdraw himself from the service, and retire with his
ill-gotten gains; but when would a miser like Vanslyperken have amassed
sufficient money? Alas! never, even if the halter were half round his
neck. Ramsay then gave his instructions to Vanslyperken, advising him to
call for letters previously to his sailing, and telling him that he must
open the government despatches in the way to which he had been witness,
take full memorandums of the contents, and bring them to him, for which
service he would each time receive fifty pounds as a remuneration.
Vanslyperken bowed to his haughty new acquaintance, and quitted
the house.

"Yes," thought Ramsay, "that fellow is a low, contemptible traitor, and
how infamous does treason appear in that wretch! but--I--I am no
traitor--I have forfeited my property and risked my life in fidelity to
my king, and in attempting to rid the world of a usurper and a tyrant.
Here, indeed, I am playing a traitor's part to my host, but still I am
doing my duty. An army without spies would be incomplete, and one may
descend to that office for the good of one's country without tarnish or
disgrace. Am I not a traitor to her already? Have not I formed visions
in my imagination already of obtaining her hand, and her heart, and her
fortune? Is not this treachery? Shall I not attempt to win her
affections under disguise as her father's friend and partisan? But what
have women to do with politics? Or if they have, do not they set so
light a value upon them, that they will exchange them for a feather?
Yes, surely; when they love, their politics are the politics of those
they cling to. At present, she is on her father's side; but if she leave
her father and cleave to me, her politics will be transferred with her
affections. But then her religion. She thinks me a Protestant. Well,
love is all in all with women; not only politics but religion must yield
to it; 'thy people shall be my people, and thy God shall be my God,' as
Ruth says in the scriptures. She is wrong in politics, I will put her
right. She is wrong in religion, I will restore her to the bosom of the
church. Her wealth would be sacrificed to some heretic; it were far
better that it belonged to one who supports the true religion and the
good cause. In what way, therefore, shall I injure her? On the
contrary." And Ramsay walked down stairs to find Wilhelmina. Such were
the arguments used by the young cavalier, and with which he fully
satisfied himself that he was doing rightly; had he argued the other
side of the question, he would have been equally convinced, as most
people are, when they argue without any opponent; but we must leave him
to follow Vanslyperken.

Mr Vanslyperken walked away from the syndic's house with the comfortable
idea that one side of him was heavier than the other by one hundred
guineas. He also ruminated; he had already obtained three hundred
pounds, no small sum, in those days, for a lieutenant. It is true that
he had lost the chance of thousands by the barking of Snarleyyow, and he
had lost the fair Portsmouth widow; but then he was again on good terms
with the Frau Vandersloosh, and was in a fair way of making his fortune,
and, as he considered, with small risk. His mother, too, attracted a
share of his reminiscences; the old woman would soon die, and then he
would have all that she had saved. Smallbones occasionally intruded
himself, but that was but for a moment. And Mr Vanslyperken walked away
very well satisfied, upon the whole, with his _esse_ and _posse_. He
wound up by flattering himself that he should wind up with the savings
of his mother, his half-pay, the widow's guilders, and his own
property,--altogether it would be pretty comfortable. But we leave him
and return to Corporal Van Spitter.

Corporal Van Spitter had had wisdom enough to dupe Vanslyperken, and
persuade him that he was very much in love with Babette; and
Vanslyperken, who was not at all averse to this amour, permitted the
corporal to go on shore and make love. As Vanslyperken did not like the
cutter and Snarleyyow to be left without the corporal or himself, he
always remained on board when the corporal went, so that the widow had
enough on hand--pretending love all the morning with the lieutenant, and
indemnifying herself by real love with the corporal after dusk. Her fat
hand was kissed and slobbered from morning to night, but it was half for
love and half for revenge.

But we must leave the corporal, and return to Jemmy Ducks. Jemmy was two
days in the cave before the arrival of the boat, during which he made
himself a great favourite, particularly with Lilly, who sat down and
listened to his fiddle and his singing. It was a novelty in the cave,
anything like amusement. On the third night, however, Sir R. Barclay
came back from Cherbourg, and as he only remained one hour, Jemmy was
hastened on board, taking leave of his wife, but not parting with his
fiddle. He took his berth as steersman, in lieu of Ramsay, and gave
perfect satisfaction. The intelligence brought over by Sir Robert
rendered an immediate messenger to Portsmouth necessary, and, as it
would create less suspicion, Moggy was the party now entrusted in lieu
of Nancy, who had been lately seen too often, and, it was supposed, had
been watched. Moggy was not sorry to receive her instructions, which
were, to remain at Portsmouth until Lazarus the Jew should give her
further orders; for there was one point which Moggy was most anxious to
accomplish, now that she could do it without risking a retaliation upon
her husband, which was, to use her own expression, to pay off that
snivelling old rascal, Vanslyperken.

But we must leave Moggy and the movements of individuals, and return to
our general history. The _Yungfrau_ was detained a fortnight at
Amsterdam, and then received the despatches of the States General and
those of Ramsay, with which Vanslyperken returned to Portsmouth. On his
arrival, he went through his usual routine at the admiral's and the
Jew's, received his douceur, and hastened to his mother's house, when he
found the old woman, as she constantly prophesied, not dead yet.

"Well, child, what have you brought--more gold?"

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, laying down the one hundred and fifty
guineas which he had received.

"Bless thee, my son--bless thee!" said the old woman, laying her palsied
hand upon Vanslyperken's head. "It is not often I bless--I never did
bless as I can recollect--I like cursing better. My blessing must be
worth something, if it's only for its scarcity; and do you know why I
bless thee, my Cornelius? Because--ha, ha, ha! because you are a
murderer and a traitor, and you love gold."

Even Vanslyperken shuddered at the hag's address.

"What do you ever gain by doing good in this world? nothing but laughter
and contempt. I began the world like a fool, but I shall go out of it
like a wise woman, hating, despising everything but gold. And I have had
my revenge in my time--yes--yes--the world, my son, is divided into only
two parts, those who cheat, and those who are cheated--those who
master, and those who are mastered--those who are shackled by
superstitions and priests, and those who, like me, fear neither God nor
devil. We must all die; yes, but I shan't die yet, no, no."

And Vanslyperken almost wished that he could gain the unbelief of the
decrepit woman whom he called mother, and who, on the verge of eternity,
held fast to such a creed.

"Well, mother, perhaps it may be you are right--I never gained anything
by a good action yet."

_Query_. Had he ever done a good action?

"You're my own child, I see, after all; you have my blessing, Cornelius,
my son--go and prosper. Get gold--get gold," replied the old hag, taking
up the money, and locking it up in the oak chest.

Vanslyperken then narrated to his mother the unexpected interview with
Smallbones, and his surmise that the lad was supernaturally gifted. "Ah,
well," replied she, "those who are born to be hung will die by no other
death; but still it does not follow that they will not die. You shall
have your revenge, my child. The lad shall die. Try again; water, you
say, rejects him? Fire will not harm him. There is that which is of the
earth and of the air left. Try again, my son; revenge is sweet, next
to gold."

After two hours' conversation, it grew dark, and Vanslyperken departed,
revolving in his mind, as he walked away, the sublime principles of
religion and piety, in the excellent advice given by his aged mother. "I
wish I could only think as she does," muttered Vanslyperken at last; and
as he concluded this devout wish, his arm was touched by a
neatly-dressed little girl, who curtsied, and asked if he was not
Lieutenant Vanslyperken, belonging to the cutter. Vanslyperken replied
in the affirmative, and the little girl then said that a lady, her
mistress, wished to speak to him.

"Your mistress, my little girl?" said Vanslyperken, suspiciously; "and
pray who is your mistress?"

"She is a lady, sir," replied the latter; "she was married to Major
Williams, but he is dead."

"Hah! a widow; well, what does she want? I don't know her."

"No, sir, and she don't know you; but she told me if you did not come at
once, to give you this paper to read."

Vanslyperken took the paper, and walking to the window of a shop in
which there was a light, contrived to decipher as follows:--

     "SIR,

     "The lady who lived in Castle Street has sent me a letter,
     and a parcel, to deliver up into your own hands, as the
     parcel is of value. The bearer of this will bring you to
     my house.

     "Your very obedient,

     "JANE WILLIAMS."

     _Two o'clock_.

"Where does your mistress live, little girl?" enquired Vanslyperken, who
immediately anticipated the portrait of the fair widow set in diamonds.

"She lives in one of the publics on the hard, sir, on the first floor,
while she is furnishing her lodgings."

"One of the publics on the hard; well, my little girl, I will go with
you."

"I have been looking for you everywhere, sir," said the little girl,
walking, or rather trotting by the side of Vanslyperken, who
strided along.

"Did your mistress know the lady who lived in Castle Street?"

"O yes, sir, my mistress then lived next door to her in Castle Street,
but her lease was out, and now she has a much larger house in William
Street, but she is painting and furnishing all so handsome, sir, and so
now she has taken the first floor of the 'Wheatsheaf' till she can get
in again."

And Mr Vanslyperken thought it would be worth his while to reconnoitre
this widow before he closed with the Frau Vandersloosh. How selfish
men are!

In a quarter of an hour Mr Vanslyperken and the little girl had arrived
at the public-house in question. Mr Vanslyperken did not much admire the
exterior of the building, but it was too dark to enable him to take an
accurate survey. It was, however, evident, that it was a pot-house, and
nothing more; and Mr Vanslyperken thought that lodgings must be very
scarce in Portsmouth. He entered the first and inner door, and the
little girl said she would go upstairs and let her mistress know that he
was come. She ran up, leaving Mr Vanslyperken alone in the dark passage.
He waited for some time, when his naturally suspicious temper made him
think he had been deceived, and he determined to wait outside of the
house, which appeared very disreputable. He therefore retreated to the
inner door to open it, but found it fast. He tried it again and again,
but in vain, and he became alarmed and indignant. Perceiving a light
through another keyhole, he tried the door, and it was open; a screen
was close to the door as he entered, and he could not see its occupants.
Mr Vanslyperken walked round, and as he did so, he heard the door closed
and locked. He looked on the other side of the screen, and, to his
horror, found himself in company with Moggy Salisbury, and about twenty
other females. Vanslyperken made a precipitate retreat to the door, but
he was met by three or four women, who held him fast by the arms.
Vanslyperken would have disgraced himself by drawing his cutlass; but
they were prepared for this, and while two of them pinioned his arms,
one of them drew his cutlass from its sheath, and walked away with it.
Two of the women contrived to hold his arms, while another pushed him in
the rear, until he was brought from behind the screen into the middle of
the room, facing his incarnate enemy, Moggy Salisbury.

"Good evening to you, Mr Vanslyperken," cried Moggy, not rising from
her chair. "It's very kind of you to come and see me in this friendly
way--come, take a chair, and give us all the news."

"Mistress Salisbury, you had better mind what you are about with a
king's officer," cried Vanslyperken, turning more pale at this mockery,
than if he had met with abuse. "There are constables, and stocks, and
gaols, and whipping-posts on shore, as well as the cat on board."

"I know all that, Mr Vanslyperken," replied Moggy, calmly; "but that has
nothing to do with the present affair: you have come of your own accord
to this house to see somebody, that is plain, and you have found me. So
now do as you're bid, like a polite man; sit down, and treat the ladies.
Ladies, Mr Vanslyperken stands treat, and please the pigs, we'll make a
night of it. What shall it be? I mean to take my share of a bottle of
Oporto. What will you have, Mrs Slamkoe?"

"I'll take a bowl of burnt brandy, with your leave, Mrs Salisbury, not
being very well in my inside."

"And you, my dear?"

"O, punch for me--punch to the mast," cried another. "I'll drink enough
to float a jolly-boat. It's very kind of Mr Vanslyperken."

All the ladies expressed their several wishes, and Vanslyperken knew not
what to do; he thought he might as well make an effort, for the demand
on his purse he perceived would be excessive, and he loved his money.

"You may all call for what you please," said Vanslyperken, "but you'll
pay for what you call for. If you think that I am to be swindled in this
way out of my money, you're mistaken. Every soul of you shall be whipped
at the cart's tail to-morrow."

"Do you mean to insinuate that I am not a respectable person, sir?" said
a fierce-looking virago, rubbing her fist against Vanslyperken's nose.
"Smell that!"

It was not a nosegay at all to the fancy of Mr Vanslyperken; he threw
himself back, and his chair fell with him. The ladies laughed, and Mr
Vanslyperken rose in great wrath.

"By all the devils in hell," he exclaimed, whirling the chair round his
head, "but I'll do you a mischief!"

But he was soon pinioned from behind.

"This is very unpolite conduct," said one; "you call yourself a
gentleman?"

"What shall we do, ladies?"

"Do," replied another; "let's strip him, and pawn his clothes, and then
turn him adrift."

"Well, that's not a bad notion," replied the others, and they forthwith
proceeded to take off Mr Vanslyperken's coat and waistcoat. How much
further they would have gone it is impossible to say, for Mr
Vanslyperken had made up his mind to buy himself off as cheap as
he could.

Be it observed, that Moggy never interfered, nor took any part in this
violence; on the contrary, she continued sitting in her chair, and said,
"Indeed, ladies, I request you will not be so violent, Mr Vanslyperken
is my friend. I am sorry that he will not treat you; but if he will not,
I beg you will allow him to go away."

"There, you hear," cried Mr Vanslyperken; "Mrs Salisbury, am I at
liberty to depart?"

"Most certainly, Mr Vanslyperken; you have my full permission. Ladies, I
beg that you will let him go."

"No, by the living jingo! not till he treats us," cried one of the
women; "why did he come into this shop, but for nothing else? I'll have
my punch afore he starts."

"And I my burnt brandy." So cried they all, and Mr Vanslyperken, whose
coat and waistcoat were already off, and finding many fingers very busy
about the rest of his person, perceived that Moggy's neutrality was all
a sham, so he begged to be heard.

"Ladies, I'll do anything in reason. As far as five shillings--"

"Five shillings!" exclaimed the woman; "no, no--why, a foremast man
would come down with more than that. And you a lieutenant? Five
guineas, now, would be saying something."

"Five guineas! why I have not so much money. Upon my soul I hav'n't."

"Let us see," said one of the party, diving like an adept into
Vanslyperken's trousers-pocket, and pulling out his purse. The money was
poured out on the table, and twelve guineas counted out.

"Then whose money is this?" cried the woman; "not yours on your soul;
have you been taking a purse to-night? I vote we sends for a constable."

"I quite forgot that I had put more money in my purse," muttered
Vanslyperken, who never expected to see it again. "I'll treat you,
ladies--treat you all to whatever you please."

"Bravo! that's spoken like a man," cried the virago, giving Vanslyperken
a slap on the back which knocked the breath out of his body.

"Bravo!" exclaimed another, "that's what I call handsome; let's all kiss
him, ladies."

Vanslyperken was forced to go through this ordeal, and then the door was
unlocked, but carefully guarded, while the several orders were given.

"Who is to pay for all this?" exclaimed the landlady.

"This gentleman treats us all," replied the woman.

"Oh! very well--is it all right, sir?"

Vanslyperken dared not say no: he was in their power, and every eye
watched him as he gave his answer; so he stammered out "Yes," and, in a
fit of despair at the loss of his money, he threw himself into his
chair, and meditated revenge.

"Give Mr Vanslyperken his purse, Susan," said the prudent Moggy to the
young woman who had taken it out of his pocket.

The purse was returned, and, in a few minutes, the various liquors and
mixtures demanded made their appearance, and the jollification
commenced. Every one was soon quite happy, with the exception of Mr
Vanslyperken, who, like Pistol, ate his leek, swearing in his own mind
he would be horribly revenged.

"Mr Vanslyperken, you must drink my health in some of this punch."
Vanslyperken compressed his lips, and shook his head. "I say yes, Mr
Vanslyperken," cried the virago, looking daggers; "if you don't, we
quarrel--that's all."

But Vanslyperken argued in his mind that his grounds of complaint would
be weakened, if he partook of the refreshment which he had been forced
to pay for, so he resolutely denied.

"Von't you listen to my harguments, Mr Vanslyperken?" continued the
woman. "Vell, then, I must resort to the last, which I never knew fail
yet." The woman went to the fire and pulled out the poker, which was red
hot, from between the bars. "Now then, my beauty, you must kiss this, or
drink some punch;" and she advanced it towards his nose, while three or
four others held him fast on his chair behind; the poker, throwing out a
glow of heat, was within an inch of the poor lieutenant's nose: he could
stand it no more, his face and eyes were scorched.

"Yes, yes," cried he at last, "if I must drink, then, I will. We will
settle this matter by-and-bye," cried Vanslyperken, pouring down with
indignation the proffered glass.

"Now, Susan, don't ill-treat Mr Vanslyperken: I purtest against all
ill-treatment."

"Ill-treat, Mrs Salisbury! I am only giving him a lesson in
purliteness."

"Now, Mr What-the-devil's-your-name, you must drink off a glass of my
burnt brandy, or I shall be jealous," cried another; "and when I am
jealous I always takes to red-hot pokers." Resistance was in vain, the
poker was again taken from between the bars, and the burnt brandy
went down.

Again and again was Mr Vanslyperken forced to pour down his throat all
that was offered to him, or take the chance of having his nose
burnt off.

"Is it not wrong to mix your liquors in this way, Mr Vanslyperken?"
said Moggy, in bitter mockery.

The first allowance brought in was now despatched, and the bell rung,
and double as much more ordered, to Vanslyperken's great annoyance; but
he was in the hands of the Philistines. What made the matter worse, was,
that the company grew every moment more uproarious, and there was no
saying when they would stop.

"A song--a song--a song from Mr Vanslyperken," cried one of the party.

"Hurrah! yes, a song from the jolly lieutenant."

"I can't sing," replied Vanslyperken.

"You shall sing, by the piper who played before Moses," said the virago;
"if not, you shall sing out to some purpose;" and the red-hot poker was
again brandished in her masculine fist, and she advanced to him, saying,
"suppose we hargue that point?"

"Would you murder me, woman?"

"No; singing is no murder, but we ax a song, and a song we must have."

"I don't know one--upon my honour I don't," cried Vanslyperken.

"Then, we'll larn you. And now you repeat after me."

"'Poll put her arms a-kimbo.' Sing--come, out with it." And the poker
was again advanced.

"O God!" cried Vanslyperken.

"Sing, or by Heavens I'll shorten your nose! Sing, I say," repeated the
woman, advancing the poker so as actually to singe the skin.

"Take it away, and I will," cried Vanslyperken, breathless.

"Well then, 'Poll put her arms a-kimbo.'"

"'Poll put her arms a-kimbo,'" repeated Vanslyperken.

"That's saying, not singing," cried the woman. "Now again. 'At the
admiral's house looked she.'"

"'At the admiral's house looked she,'" replied Vanslyperken, in a
whining tone.

Thus, with the poker staring him in the face, was Vanslyperken made to
repeat the very song for singing which he would have flogged Jemmy
Ducks. There was, however, a desperate attempt to avoid the last stanza.

     "I'll give you a bit of my mind, old boy,
     Port Admiral, you be d----d."

Nothing but the tip of his nose actually burnt would have produced these
last words; but fear overcame him, and at last they were repeated. Upon
which all the women shouted and shrieked with laughter, except Moggy,
who continued sipping her port wine.

"Your good health, Mr Vanslyperken," said Moggy, drinking to him.

Vanslyperken wiped the perspiration off his forehead, and made no reply.

"You call yourself a gentleman, and not drink the health of the lady of
the house!" cried virago Mrs Slamkoe. "I'll hargue this point with
you again."

The same never-failing argument was used, and Mr Vanslyperken drank Mrs
Salisbury's health in a glass of the port wine which he was to have the
pleasure of paying for.

"I must say, Mr Vanslyperken," said Moggy, "it was very hard for to wish
to flog my poor Jemmy for singing a song which you have just now been
singing yourself."

"Did he want to flog your Jemmy for that?"

"Yes, he did indeed, ladies."

"Then as sure as I stand here, and may this punch be my poison, if he
sha'n't beg your pardon on his knees. Sha'n't he, girls?" cried
Mrs Slamkoe.

"Yes, yes, that he shall, or we'll poke him with the poker."

This was a dreadful threat, but the indignity was so great, that
Vanslyperken attempted to resist. It was, however, in vain; he was
forced to go on his knees, and ask Mrs Salisbury's pardon.

"Indeed, ladies, I do not wish it," said Moggy; "no, pray don't. Well,
Mr Vanslyperken, pardon granted; so now kiss and make friends."

Mr Vanslyperken, surrounded now by furies rather than Bacchanalians,
kissed Mrs Salisbury.

"What in the world would you have me do, you she-devils?" cried he at
last, driven to desperation.

"This is language for a gentleman," said Mrs Slamkoe.

"They shall make you do nothing more," replied Moggy. "I must retire,
ladies, your freak's up. You know I never keep late hours. Ladies, I
wish you all a very good-night."

"Perhaps, Mr Vanslyperken, you would wish to go. I'll send for the woman
of the house that you may settle the bill; I think you offered to treat
the company?"

Vanslyperken grinned ghastly. The bell was rung, and while Mr
Vanslyperken was pulling out the sum demanded by the landlady, the
ladies all disappeared.

Vanslyperken put up his diminished purse. "There is your sword, Mr
Vanslyperken," said Moggy; who, during the whole of the scene, had kept
up a _retenue_ very different from her usual manners.

Vanslyperken took his sword, and appeared to feel his courage
return--why not? he was armed, and in company with only one woman, and
he sought revenge.

He rang the bell, and the landlady appeared.

"Landlady," cried Vanslyperken, "you'll send for a constable directly.
Obey me, or I'll put you down as a party to the robbery which has been
committed. I say, a constable immediately. Refuse on your peril, woman;
a king's officer has been robbed and ill-treated."

"Lauk-a-mercy! a constable, sir? I'm sure you've had a very pleasant
jollification."

"Silence, woman; send for a constable immediately."

"Do you hear, Mrs Wilcox?" said Moggy, very quietly, "Mr Vanslyperken
wants a constable. Send for one by all means."

"Oh! certainly, ma'am, if you wish it," said the landlady, quitting the
room.

"Yes, you infamous woman, I'll teach you to rob and ill-treat people in
this way."

"Mercy on me! Mr Vanslyperken, why I never interfered."

"Ay, ay, that's all very well; but you'll tell another story when you're
all before the authorities."

"Perhaps I shall," replied Moggy, carelessly. "But I shall now wish you
a good-evening, Mr Vanslyperken."

Thereupon Mr Vanslyperken very valorously drew his sword, and flourished
it over his head.

"You don't pass here, Mrs Salisbury. No--no--it's my turn now."

"Your turn now, you beast!" retorted Moggy. "Why, if I wished to pass,
this poker would soon clear the way; but I can pass without that, and I
will give you the countersign. Hark! a word in your ear, you wretch. You
are in my power. You have sent for a constable, and I swear by my own
Jemmy's little finger, which is worth your old shrivelled carcass, that
I shall give you in charge of the constable."

"Me!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

"Yes, you--you wretch--you scum. Now I am going, stop me if you dare.
Walls have ears, so I'll whisper. If you wish to send a constable after
me, you'll find me at the house of the Jew Lazarus. Do you understand?"

Vanslyperken started back as if an adder had come before him, his sword
dropped out of his hand, he stood transfixed.

"May I go now, Mr Vanslyperken, or am I to wait for the constable?
Silence gives consent," continued Moggy, making a mock courtesy, and
walking out of the room.

For a minute, Vanslyperken remained in the same position. At last,
bursting with his feelings, he snatched up his sword, put it into the
sheath, and was about to quit the room, when in came the landlady with
the constable.

"You vants me, sir?" said the man.

"I did," stammered Vanslyperken, "but she is gone."

"I must be paid for my trouble, sir, if you please."

Vanslyperken had again to pull out his purse; but this time he hardly
felt the annoyance, for in his mind's eye his neck was already in the
halter. He put the money into the man's hand without speaking, and then
left the room, the landlady courtesying very low, and hoping that she
soon should again have the pleasure of his company at the Wheatsheaf.



Chapter XXXI

In which Snarleyyow again triumphs over his enemies.


But we must return to the cabin, and state what took place during this
long absence of the commander, who had gone on shore about three
o'clock, and had given directions for his boat to be at the Point at
sunset. There had been a council of war held on the forecastle, in which
Corporal Van Spitter and Smallbones were the most prominent; and the
meeting was held to debate, whether they should or should not make one
more attempt to destroy the dog; singular that the arguments and
observations very nearly coincided with those made use of by
Vanslyperken and his mother, when they debated how to get rid of
Smallbones.

"Water won't touch him, I sees that," observed Smallbones.

"No. Mein Gott, dat was to trow time and de trouble away," replied the
corporal.

"Hanging's just as natural a death for a cur," observed Spurey.

"Yes," observed Short.

"I'm afeard that the rope's not laid that's to hang that animal,"
observed Coble, shaking his head. "If water won't do, I'm persuaded
nothing will, for did not they use, in former days, to lay all spirits
in the Red Sea?"

"Yes," quoth Short.

"But he ban't a spirit yet," replied Smallbones; "he be flesh and blood
o' some sort. If I gets fairly rid of his body, d----n his soul, I say,
he may keep that and welcome."

"But then, you know, he'll haunt us just as much as ever--we shall see
him here just the same."

"A spirit is only a spirit," observed Smallbones; "he may live in the
cabin all day and night afore I care; but, d'ye see, there's a great
difference between the ghost of a dog, and the dog himself."

"Why, if the beast ar'n't natural, I can't see much odds," observed
Spurey.

"But I can feel 'em," replied Smallbones. "This here dog has a-bitten me
all to bits, but a ghost of a dog can't bite anyhow."

"No," replied Short.

"And now, d'ye see, as Obadiah Coble has said as how spirits must be
laid, I think if we were to come for to go for to lay this here hanimal
in the cold hearth, he may perhaps not be able to get up again."

"That's only a perhaps," observed Coble.

"Well, a perhaps is better than nothing at all," said the lad.

"Yes," observed Short.

"That depends upon sarcumstances," observed Spurey. "What sort of a
breakfast would you make upon a perhaps?"

"A good one, perhaps," replied Smallbones, grinning at the jingling of
the words.

"Twenty dozen tyfels, Smallbones is in de right," observed Jansen, who
had taken no part in the previous conversation. "Suppose you bury de
dog, de dog body not get up again. Suppose he will come, his soul come,
leave him body behind him."

"That's exactly my notion of the thing," observed Smallbones.

"Do you mean for to bury him alive?" inquired Spurey.

"Alive! Gott in himmel--no. I knock de brains out first, perry
afterwards."

"There's some sense in that, corporal."

"And the dog can't have much left anyhow, dog or devil, when his brains
are all out."

"No," quoth Short.

"But who is to do it?"

"Corporal and I," replied Smallbones; "we be agreed, ban't we,
corporal?"

"Mein Gott, yes!"

"And now I votes that we tries it off-hand; what's the use of
shilly-shally? I made a mortal vow that that 'ere dog and I won't live
together--there ban't room enough for us two."

"It's a wide world, nevertheless," observed Coble, hitching up his
trousers; "howsomever, I have nothing to say, but I wish you luck; but
if you kill that dog, I'm a bishop--that's all."

"And if I don't try for to do so, I am an harchbishop, that's all,"
replied the gallant Smallbones. "Come along, corporal."

And here was to be beheld a novel scene. Smallbones followed in
obedience by his former persecutor and his superior officer; a bag of
bones--a reed--a lath--a scarecrow; like a pilot cutter ahead of an
Indiaman, followed in his wake by Corporal Van Spitter, weighing twenty
stone. How could this be? It was human nature. Smallbones took the lead,
because he was the more courageous of the two, and the corporal
following, proved he tacitly admitted it.

"He be a real bit of stuff, that 'ere Peter Smallbones," said one of the
men.

"I thinks he be a supernatural himself, for my part," rejoined Spurey.

"At all events, he ar'n't afeard of him," said another.

"We shall see," replied Coble, squirting out his tobacco-juice under the
gun.

"Come, men, we must go to work now. Shall we, Mr Short?"

"Yes," replied the commanding officer, and the conference broke up.

In the meantime the consultation was continued between Smallbones and
the corporal. The latter had received instruction to take on shore Mr
Vanslyperken's dirty linen to the washerwoman, and of course, as a
corporal, he was not obliged to carry it, and would take Smallbones for
that purpose. Then he could easily excuse taking the dog on shore, upon
the plea of taking care of it. It was therefore so arranged; the dog
would follow the corporal in the absence of his master, but no one else.
In a few minutes the corporal, Smallbones, Snarleyyow, and a very small
bundle of linen, were in the boat, and shoved off with as many good
wishes and as much anxiety for their success, as probably Jason and his
followers received when they departed in search of the Golden Fleece.

The three parties kept in company, and passed through the town of
Portsmouth. The washerwoman lived outside the Lines, and there they
proceeded, Snarleyyow very much in spirits at being able to eat the
grass, which his health very much required. They walked on until they
arrived at a large elm-tree, on the side of the road, which lay between
two hedges and ditches.

"This will do," observed the corporal solemnly. "Mein Gott! I wish it
was over," continued he, wiping the perspiration from his bull-forehead.

"How shall we kill him, corporal?" inquired Smallbones.

"Mein Gott! knock him head against de tree, I suppose."

"Yes, and bury him in the ditch. Here, dog--Snarleyyow--here, dog," said
Smallbones; "come, a poor doggy--come here."

But Snarleyyow was not to be coaxed by Smallbones; he suspected
treachery.

"He won't a-come to me, corporal, or I'd soon settle his hash," observed
Smallbones.

The corporal had now got over a little panic which had seized him. He
called Snarleyyow, who came immediately. Oh! had he imagined what the
corporal was about to do, he might have died like Cæsar, exclaiming, "Et
tu Brute," which, in plain English means, "and you--you brute."

The corporal, with a sort of desperation, laid hold of the dog by the
tail, drawing him back till he could swing him round. In a second or two
Snarleyyow was whirling round the corporal, who turned with him,
gradually approaching the trunk of the elm-tree, till at last his head
came in contact with it with a resounding blow, and the dog fell
senseless. "Try it again, corporal, let's finish him." The corporal
again swung round the inanimate body of the dog; again, and again, and
again, did the head come in contact with the hard wood; and then the
corporal, quite out of breath with the exertion, dropped the body on the
grass. Neither of them spoke a word for some time, but watched the body,
as it lay motionless, doubled up, with the fore and hind feet meeting
each other, and the one eye closed.

"Well, I've a notion that he is done for, anyhow," said Smallbones, "at
last."

"Mein Gott, yes!" replied the corporal. "He never get on his legs again,
be he tog or be he tyfel."

"Now for to come for to go for to bury him," said Smallbones, swinging
the dog by the tail, and dragging him towards the ditch. "I wonder if we
could get a spade anywhere, corporal."

"Mein Gott! if we ask for a spade they will ask what for, and
Vanslyperken may find it all out."

"Then I'll bury him and cover him up, anyhow; he'll not come to life
again, if he does may I be knocked on the head like him, that's all."
Smallbones dragged the body into the ditch, and collecting out of the
other parts of the ditch a great quantity of wet leaves, covered the
body a foot deep. "There, they won't find him now, because they won't
know where to look for him. I say, corporal, I've a notion we had better
not be seen here too long."

"No," said the corporal, wiping his forehead, putting his handkerchief
in his cap, and his cap on his head; "we must go now."

They went to the washerwoman's, delivered the bundle, and then returned
on board, when the whole crew were informed of the success of the
expedition, and appeared quite satisfied that there was an end of the
detested cur; all but Coble, who shook his head.

"We shall see," says he; "but I'm blessed if I don't expect the cur back
to-morrow morning."

We must now return to Vanslyperken, who left the public-house in a state
of consternation. "How could she possibly know anything about it?"
exclaimed he. "My life in the power of that she-devil" And Vanslyperken
walked on, turning over the affair in his mind. "I have gone too far to
retreat now. I must either go on, or fly the country. Fly, where? What a
fool have I been!" but then Vanslyperken thought of the money. "No, no,
not a fool, but I am very unfortunate." Vanslyperken continued his
route, until it at last occurred _to_ him that he would go to the Jew
Lazarus, and speak with him; for, thought Vanslyperken, if all is
discovered, they may think that I have informed, and then my life will
be sought by both parties. Vanslyperken arrived at the Jew's abode,
knocked softly, but received no answer: he knocked again, louder; a
bustle and confusion was heard inside, and at last the door, with the
chain fixed, was opened a couple of inches, and the Jew stammered out,
"Wot vash there at this late hour of the night?"

"It is me, the lieutenant of the cutter," replied Vanslyperken. "I must
speak with you directly."

The door was opened, several figures, and the clatter of arms, were
heard in the dark passage, and as soon as Vanslyperken had entered it
was relocked, and he was left in the dark.

In a minute the Jew, in a woollen wrapper, made his appearance with a
light, and led Vanslyperken into the room where he had been
shown before.

"Now then, Mishter Leeftenant, vat vash de matter?"

"We are discovered, I'm afraid!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

"Holy father Abraham!" exclaimed the Jew, starting back. "But tell me vy
you shay sho."

"A woman told me this night that she knew why I came to your house--that
I was in her power."

"Vat woman?"

"A hell-cat, who hates me as she does the devil."

"A hell-cat vould not hate de divil," slowly observed the Jew.

"Well, perhaps not; but she will ruin me if she can."

"Vat vash her name?" said Lazarus.

"Moggy Salisbury."

"Paah! is dat all? vy, my good friend, she is one of us. Dere, you may
go vay--you may go to bed, Mr Vanslyperken."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean dat she laughed at you, and frighten you--dat she is one of us,
and so is her husband, who vas in your chip. Ven you hang, she and I
vill all hang together; now you comprehend?"

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, "I do now: but how could you trust such
people?"

"Trust such people, Mr Vanslyperken? If you prove as true as those
peoples, vy all de bitter; now go avay--go to bed--you have vaked up all
the peoples here. Good night, Mr Leeftenant;" and the Jew led the way to
the door, and let Vanslyperken out.

"So then," thought Vanslyperken, as he pursued his way down to the
Point, "that woman and her husband are--damnation, but I've a great mind
to discover all, if it's only to hang them." But on second thoughts,
Vanslyperken thought that it was not worth while to be hanged himself,
just for the pleasure of hanging others. It was a great relief to his
mind to know that there was no fear of discovery. The tip of his nose
itched, and he rubbed it mechanically; the rubbing brought away all the
skin. He remembered the hot poker--the money he had been forced to
pay--his being made to sing and to beg pardon on his knees; and he
cursed Moggy in his heart, the more so, as he felt that he dare not take
any steps against her.

When he came to the Point, he stood on the shingle, looking for his
boat, but the men had waited till twelve o'clock, and then presuming
that their commander did not intend to come at all that night, had
pulled on board again. He was looking round for a waterman to pull him
off, when something cold touched his hand. Vanslyperken started, and
almost screamed with fear. He looked, and it was the cold nose of
Snarleyyow, who now leaped upon his master.

"Snarleyyow, my poor dog! how came you on shore?"

But the dog not being able to speak, made no answer.

While Vanslyperken was wondering how the dog could possibly have come on
shore, and what Corporal Van Spitter could be about to have allowed it,
the small casement of a garret window near him was opened, and a head
was thrust out.

"Do you want to go on board, sir?" said a tremulous voice.

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken.

"I will be down directly, sir," replied the old boatman, who in a minute
or two appeared with his sculls on his shoulder.

"Not easy to find a boat at this time of the morning, sir," said the
man; "but I heard you speaking, for I've had such a toothache these two
nights that I can't shut my eyes."

The old man unlocked the chain which fastened his wherry, and in a few
minutes Vanslyperken was on the deck of the cutter, but he found there
was no one to receive him,--no watch kept.

"Very well," thought he, "we'll talk about this to-morrow morning. Short
or Coble, I wonder which of the two--pretty neglect of duty,
indeed--report to the admiral, by heavens!"

So saying, Mr Vanslyperken, with Snarleyyow at his heels, went down
into the cabin--undressed in the dark, for he would not let anyone know
that he was on board. It being about three o'clock in the morning, and
Mr Vanslyperken being well tired with the events of the day, he was soon
in a sound sleep. There will be no difficulty in accounting for the
return of the dog, which had a skull much thicker than even the
corporal's. He had been stunned with the heavy blows, but not killed.
After a certain time he came to himself in his bed of leaves, first
scratched with one paw, and then with another, till his senses returned:
he rose, worked his way out, and lay down to sleep. After he had taken a
long nap, he rose recovered, shook himself, and trotted down to the
beach, but the boat had shoved off, and the cur had remained there
waiting for an opportunity to get on board, when his master came down
with the same object in view.

But as every soul is fast asleep, we shall now finish the chapter.



Chapter XXXII

Listeners never hear any good of themselves.


Vanslyperken was awakened three hours after he had fallen asleep by the
noise of the buckets washing the decks. He heard the men talking on
deck, and aware that no one knew that he was on board, he rose from his
bed, and opened one of the sliding sashes of the skylight, that he might
overhear the conversation. The first words he heard were from
Bill Spurey.

"I say, Coble, I wonder what the skipper will say when he comes on
board, and finds that the dog is gone?"

"Hoh! hoh!" thought Vanslyperken.

"I arn't convinced that he is gone yet," replied Coble.

"Smallbones swears that he's settled, this time," replied Spurey.

"So he did before," replied Coble.

"Smallbones again," thought Vanslyperken. "I'll--Smallbones him, if I
hang for it."

"Why, he says he buried him two feet deep."

"Ay, ay; but what's the use of burying an animal who's not a human
creature? For my part, I say this, that the imp belongs to his master,
and is bound to serve him as long as his master lives. When he dies the
dog may be killed, and then----"

"Then what?"

"Why, with the blessing of God, they'll both go to hell together, and I
don't care how soon."

"Kill me, you old villain!" muttered Vanslyperken, grinding his teeth.

"Well, anyhow, if the dog be not made away with, no more be Smallbones.
He ar'n't afeard of the devil himself."

"No, not he; I'm of opinion Smallbones wa'n't sent here for nothing."

"He's escaped him twice, at all events."

"Then they know it," thought Vanslyperken, turning pale.

"Ay, and I will take you any bet you please, that the skipper never
takes that boy's life. He's charmed, or I am a gudgeon."

Vanslyperken felt that it was his own suspicion, and he trembled at the
idea of the lad being supernatural.

"Out of the way, Coble, or I'll fill your shoes," cried out one of the
men, slashing a bucket of water.

"That's not quite so easy, 'cause I've got boots on," replied Coble.
"However, I'll take up another berth."

The men walked away, and Vanslyperken could hear no more; but he had
heard quite enough. The life of the dog had been attempted by
Smallbones, it was evident. Mr Vanslyperken, after a little agitation,
rang the bell.

"By all that's blue, the skipper's on board!" exclaimed the men on deck.

"When the devil did he come?"

"Not in my watch, at all events," replied Coble. "Did he come in yours,
Short?"

"No," replied Short.

"Then it must have been in the corporal's."

"The corporal never called me, nor was he 'on deck," replied Coble.
"I've a notion he never kept his watch."

The ring at the bell particularly concerned two people, the two
culprits, Smallbones and Corporal Van Spitter.

The latter made his appearance; but previous to his answering the bell,
Mr Vanslyperken had time to reflect. "So they think my dog is
supernatural," said he; "so much the better. I'll make them believe it
still more." Mr Vanslyperken called the dog, and pointed to his bed. The
dog, who was fond of a warm berth, and but seldom allowed to get on the
bed, immediately jumped up into it when invited, and Mr Vanslyperken
patted him, and covered him up with the bedclothes. He then drew the
curtains of the bed, and waited to see who would answer the bell.
Corporal Van Spitter made his appearance.

"Corporal, I came on board very late, where have you put the dog? Bring
him into the cabin."

Here the corporal, who was prepared, shook his head, smoothed down the
hair of his forehead, and made a very melancholy face.

"It was all my fault, Mynheer Vanslyperken; yet I do for the best, but
de tog be lost."

"How is that, corporal?"

The corporal then stated that he had taken the precaution to take the
dog on shore, as he was afraid to leave it on board when he went to the
washerwoman's, and that he was not long there, but while he was, the dog
disappeared. He had looked everywhere, but could not find it.

"You took Smallbones with you?" said Vanslyperken.

"Yes, mynheer, to carry de linen."

"And where was he when you were at the washerwoman's."

"He was here and dere."

"I know that it was he who killed and buried the dog, corporal."

Corporal Van Spitter started, he thought he was discovered.

"Kilt and perryed, mein Gott!" said the corporal, obliged to say
something.

"Yes, I overheard the men say so on deck, corporal. He must have taken
the opportunity when you were in the house counting the linen."

Now the corporal had time to recover himself, and he argued that
anything was better than that he should be suspected. Smallbones was
already known to have attempted the life of the dog, so he would leave
the lieutenant in his error.

"Mein Gott' he is von d----d kill-dog feller," observed the corporal. "I
look everywhere, I no find te tog. Den de dog is dead?"

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, "but I'll punish the scoundrel, depend upon
it. That will do, corporal; you may go."

As Snarleyyow remained perfectly quiet during this conversation, we must
give Vanslyperken great credit for his manoeuvre. The corporal went to
Smallbones, and repeated what had passed. Smallbones snapped
his fingers.

"He may keel-haul, or hang me, for all I care. The dog is dead. Never
fear, corporal, I won't peach upon you. I'm game, and I'll die so--if so
be I must."

Vanslyperken sent for Smallbones. Smallbones, who was worked up to the
highest state of excitement, came in boldly.

"So, you villain, you've killed my dog, and buried it."

"No, I ar'n't," replied Smallbones. "I knows nothing about your dog,
sir."

"Why, the men on deck said so, you scoundrel, I heard them."

"I don't care what the men say; I never killed your dog, sir."

"You rascal, I'll have your life!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

Smallbones grinned diabolically, and Vanslyperken, who remembered all
that the men had said in confirmation of his own opinion relative to
Smallbones, turned pale. Smallbones, on his part, aware from Corporal
Van Spitter, that the lieutenant had such an idea, immediately took
advantage of the signs in the lieutenant's countenance, and drawled
out,--"That's--not--so--easy!"

Vanslyperken turned away. "You may go now, sir, but depend upon it you
shall feel my vengeance!" and Smallbones quitted the cabin.

Vanslyperken finished his toilet, and then turned the dog out of the
bed.

He went on deck, and after he had walked a little while, sent for
Corporal Van Spitter to consult as to the best method of ascertaining
what had become of Snarleyyow. Having entered apparently very earnestly
into the corporal's arrangements, who was to go on shore immediately, he
desired the corporal to see his breakfast got ready in the cabin.

It so happened, that the corporal went into the cabin, followed by
Smallbones; the first object that met his view, was Snarleyyow, sitting
upon the chest, scratching his ragged ear as if nothing had happened.

"Gott in himmel!" roared the corporal, turning back, and running out of
the cabin, upsetting Smallbones, whom he met in the passage, and
trotting, like an elephant, right over him. Nor was Smallbones the only
one who suffered; two marines and three seamen were successively floored
by the corporal, who, blinded with fear, never stopped till he ran his
head butt against the lining in the forepeak of the cutter, which, with
the timbers of the vessel, brought him up, not all standing, in one
sense of the word, for in his mad career his head was dashed so
violently against them, that the poor corporal fell down, stunned to
insensibility.

In the meantime Smallbones had gained his feet, and was rubbing his
ribs, to ascertain if they were all whole. "Well, I'm sure," said he,
"if I ar'n't flattened for all the world like a pancake, with that 'ere
corporal's weight. One may as well have a broad-wheel waggon at once go
over one's body; but what could make him come for to go to run away
bellowing in that ere manner? He must have seen the devil; or, perhaps,"
thought Smallbones, "that imp of the devil, Snarleyyow. I'll go and see
what it was, anyhow."

Smallbones, rubbing his abdomen, where the corporal had trod hardest,
walked into the cabin, where he beheld the dog. He stood with his mouth
wide open.

"I defy the devil and all his works," exclaimed he, at last, "and you be
one of his, that's sartain. I fear God, and I honour the king, and the
parish taught me to read the bible. There you be resurrectioned up
again. Well, it's no use, I suppose. Satan, I defy you, anyhow, but it's
very hard that a good Christian should have to get the breakfast ready,
of which you'll eat one half; I don't see why I'm to wait upon the devil
or his imps."

Then Smallbones stopped, and thought a little. "I wonder whether he
bee'd dead, as I thought. Master came on board last night without no one
knowing nothing about it, and he might have brought the dog with him, if
so be he came to again. I won't believe that he's hal-together not to be
made away with, for how come his eye out? Well, I don't care, I'm a good
Christian, and may I be swamped if I don't try what he's made of yet!
First time we cuts up beef, I'll try and chop your tail, anyhow, that I
will, if I am hung for it."

Smallbones regained his determination. He set about laying the things
for breakfast, and when they were ready he went up to the quarter-deck,
reporting the same to Mr Vanslyperken, who had expected to see him
frightened out of his wits, and concluding his speech by saying, "If you
please, sir, the dog be in the cabin, all right; I said as how I never
kilt your dog, nor buried him neither."

"The dog in the cabin!" exclaimed Mr Vanslyperken, with apparent
astonishment. "Why, how the devil could he have come there?"

"He cummed off, I suppose, sir, same way as you did, without nobody
knowing nothing about it," drawled out Smallbones, who then walked away.

In the meantime the corporal had been picked up, and the men were
attempting to recover him. Smallbones went forward to see what had
become of him, and learnt how it was that he was insensible.

"Well, then," thought Smallbones, "it may have been all the same with
the dog, and I believe there's humbug in it, for if the dog had made his
appearance, as master pretends he did, all of a sudden, he'd a been more
frightened than me."

So reasoned Smallbones, and he reasoned well. In the meantime the
corporal opened his eyes, and gradually returned to his senses, and then
for the first time, the ship's company, who were all down at their
breakfast, demanded of Smallbones the reason of the corporal's conduct.

"Why," replied Smallbones, "because that 'ere beast, Snarleyyow, be come
back again, all alive, a'ter being dead and buried--he's in the cabin
now--that's all."

"That's all!" exclaimed one. "All!" cried another. "The devil!" said a
third.

"I said as how it would be," said Obadiah Coble--"that dog is no dog, as
sure as I sit here."

The return of the dog certainly had a strong effect upon the whole of
the ship's company. The corporal swore that he was not in the cabin, and
that Mr Vanslyperken had arranged for his going on shore to look for
him, when all of a sudden the dog made his appearance, no one knew how.
Smallbones found himself so much in the minority, that he said nothing.
It was perfect heresy not to believe that the dog was sent from the
lower regions; and as for any further attempts to destroy it, it was
considered as perfect insanity.

But this renewed attempt on the part of Smallbones, for Vanslyperken
was convinced that an attempt had been made, although it had not been
successful, again excited the feelings of Mr Vanslyperken against the
lad, and he resolved somehow or another to retaliate. His anger overcame
his awe, and he was reckless in his desire of vengeance. There was not
the least suspicion of treachery on the part of Corporal Van Spitter in
the heart of Mr Vanslyperken, and the corporal played his double part so
well, that if possible he was now higher in favour than ever.

After a day or two, during which Mr Vanslyperken remained on board, he
sent for the corporal, determining to sound him as to whether he would
make any attempts upon Smallbones; for to such a height had
Vanslyperken's enmity arrived, that he now resolved to part with some of
his darling money, to tempt the corporal, rather than not get rid of the
lad. After many hints thrown out, but not taken by the wily corporal,
who was resolved that Vanslyperken should speak plainly, the deed and
the reward of ten guineas were openly proclaimed, and Vanslyperken
waited for the corporal's reply.

"Mein Gott, Mynheer Vanslyperken! suppose it vas possible, I not take
your money, I do it wid pleasure; but, sir, it not possible."

"Not possible!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

"No, mynheer," replied the corporal, "I not tell you all, tousand tyfel,
I not tell you all;" and here the corporal put his hand to his forehead
and was silent, much to Vanslyperken's amazement. But the fact was, that
Corporal Van Spitter was thinking what he possibly could say. At last, a
brilliant thought struck him--he narrated to the lieutenant how he had
seen the ghost of Smallbones, as he thought, when he was floating about,
adrift on the Zuyder Zee--described with great force his horror at the
time of the appearance of the supernatural object, and tailed on to what
he believed to be true, that which he knew to be false, to wit, that the
apparition had cried out to him, that "_he was not to be hurt by mortal
man_." "Gott in Himmel," finished the corporal, "I never was so
frightened in my life. I see him now, as plain as I see you, mynheer.
Twenty tousand tyfels, but the voice was like de tunder--and his eye
like de lightning--I fell back in one swoon. Ah, mein Gott, mein Gott!"

So well did the corporal play his part, that Vanslyperken became quite
terrified; the candle appeared to burn dim, and he dared not move to
snuff it. He could not but credit the corporal, for there was an
earnestness of description, and a vividness of colouring, which could
not have been invented; besides, was not the corporal his earnest and
only friend? "Corporal," said Vanslyperken, "perhaps you'll like a glass
of scheedam; there's some in the cupboard."

This was very kind of Mr Vanslyperken, but he wanted one himself, much
more than the corporal. The corporal produced the bottle and the glass,
poured it out, made his military salute, and tossed it off.

"Give me another glass, corporal," said Vanslyperken, in a tremulous
tone. The lieutenant took one, two, three glasses, one after another, to
recover himself.

The corporal had really frightened him. He was convinced that Smallbones
had a charmed life. Did he not float to the Nab buoy and back
again?--did not a pistol ball pass through him without injury?
Vanslyperken shuddered; he took a fresh glass, and then handed the
bottle to the corporal, who helped himself, saluted, and the liquor
again disappeared in a moment.

Dutch courage is proverbial, although a libel upon one of the bravest of
nations. Vanslyperken now felt it, and again he commenced with the
corporal. "What were the words?" inquired he.

"Dat he was not to be hurt by mortal man, mynheer. I can take mine piple
oath of it," replied the corporal.

"Damnation!" cried Vanslyperken; "but stop--mortal man--perhaps he may
be hurt by woman."

"Dat is quite anoder ting, mynheer."

"He shan't escape if I can help it," retorted Vanslyperken. "I must
think about it." Vanslyperken poured out another glass of scheedam, and
pushed the stone bottle to the corporal, who helped himself without
ceremony. Mr Vanslyperken was now about two-thirds drunk, for he was not
used to such a quantity of spirits.

"Now, if I had only been friends with that--that--hell-fire Moggy
Salisbury," thought Vanslyperken, speaking aloud to himself.

"Mein Gott, yes, mynheer," replied the corporal.

Vanslyperken took another glass--spilling a great deal on the table as
he poured it out; he then covered his eyes with his hand, as if in
thought. Thereupon the corporal filled without being asked, and, as he
perceived that his superior remained in the same position, and did not
observe him, he helped himself to a second glass, and then waited till
Vanslyperken should speak again; but the liquor had overpowered him, and
he spoke no more.

The corporal, after a few minutes, went up to his superior; he touched
him on the shoulder, saying, "Mynheer," but he obtained no reply. On the
contrary, the slight touch made Mr Vanslyperken fall forward on the
table. He was quite insensible.

So the corporal took him up in his arms, laid him in his bed, then
taking possession of the lieutenant's chair, for he was tired of
standing so long, he set to work to empty the bottle, which, being large
and full at the time that it was produced from the cupboard, took some
time, and before it was accomplished, the Corporal Van Spitter had
fallen fast asleep in the chair. Shortly afterwards the candle burnt
out, and the cabin was in darkness.

It was about three o'clock in the morning when Mr Vanslyperken began to
recover his senses, and as his recollection returned, so were his ears
met with a stupendous roaring and unusual noise. It was, to his
imagination, unearthly, for he had been troubled with wild dreams about
Smallbones, and his appearance to the corporal. It sounded like thunder,
and Mr Vanslyperken thought that he could plainly make out, "_Mortal
man! mortal man!_" and, at times, the other words of the supernatural
intimation to the corporal. The mortal man was drawn out in lengthened
cadence, and in a manner truly horrible. Vanslyperken called out,
"Mor--tal--man," was the reply.

Again Vanslyperken almost shrieked in a perspiration of fear. The sound
now ceased; but it was followed up by a noise like the rattling of
glasses, tumbling about of the chairs and table, and Vanslyperken buried
his face under the clothes. Then the door, which had been shut, was
heard by him to slam like thunder; and then Snarleyyow barked loud and
deep. "Oh! God forgive me!" cried the terrified lieutenant. "Our
Father--which art in heaven--save me--save me!"

Shortly afterwards the corporal made his appearance with a light, and
inquired if Mr Vanslyperken had called. He found him reeking with
perspiration, and half dead with fear. In broken words he stated how he
had been visited, and how the same intimation that no mortal man could
hurt Smallbones had been rung into his ears.

"It was only one dream, Mynheer Vanslyperken," observed the corporal.

"No--it was no dream," replied Vanslyperken. "Stay in the cabin, good
corporal."

"Yes, mynheer," replied the corporal, drawing the curtains of the bed;
and then quietly picking up the various articles on the floor, the table
and chairs which had been overturned.

Alas! Fear is the mate of guilt. All this horrid visitation was simply
that Mr Vanslyperken had heard the corporal's tremendous snoring, as he
slept in the chair, and which his imagination had turned into the words,
"Mortal man." The first exclamation of Mr Vanslyperken had awoke the
corporal, who, aware of the impropriety of his situation, had attempted
to retreat; in so doing he had overturned the table and chairs, with the
bottles and glasses upon them.

Fearful of discovery upon this unexpected noise, he had hastened out of
the cabin, slammed the door, and waked up Snarleyyow; but he knew, from
the exclamations of Vanslyperken, that the lieutenant was frightened out
of his wits; so he very boldly returned with a candle to ascertain the
result of the disturbance, and was delighted to find that the lieutenant
was still under the delusion.

So soon as he had replaced everything, the corporal took a chair, and
finding that he had fortunately put the cork into the stone bottle
before he fell asleep, and that there was still one or two glasses in
it, he drank them off, and waited patiently for daylight. By this time
Vanslyperken was again asleep and snoring; so the corporal took away all
the broken fragments, put the things in order, and left the cabin.

When Vanslyperken awoke and rang his bell, Smallbones entered.
Vanslyperken got up, and finding the cabin as it was left the night
before, was more than ever persuaded that he had been supernaturally
visited. Fear made him quite civil to the lad, whose life he now
considered, as the ship's company did that of the dog's, it was quite
useless for him, at least, to attempt, and thus ends this chapter
of horrors.



Chapter XXXIII

In which there is nothing very particular or very interesting.


We must now change the scene for a short time, and introduce to our
readers a company assembled in the best inn which, at that time, was to
be found in the town of Cherbourg. The room in which they were assembled
was large in dimensions, but with a low ceiling--the windows were
diminutive, and gave but a subdued light, on account of the vicinity of
the houses opposite. The window-frames were small, and cut diamond-wise;
and, in the centre of each of the panes, was a round of coarsely-painted
glass. A narrow table ran nearly the length of the room, and, at each
end of it, there was a large chimney, in both of which logs of wood were
burning cheerfully. What are now termed _chaises longues_, were drawn to
the sides of the table, or leaning against the walls of the room, which
were without ornament, and neatly coloured with yellow ochre.

The company assembled might have been about thirty in number, of which
half a dozen, perhaps, were in the ecclesiastical dress of the time;
while the others wore the habiliments then appropriated to cavaliers or
gentlemen, with very little difference from those as worn in the times
of the Charleses in England, except that the cloak had been discarded,
and the more substantial roquelaure substituted in its place. Most of
the party were men who had not yet arrived to middle age, if we except
the clericals, who were much more advanced in life; and any one, who had
ever fallen in with the smuggling lugger and its crew, would have had no
difficulty in recognising many of them, in the well-attired and
evidently high-born and well-educated young men, who were seated or
standing in the room. Among them Sir Robert Barclay was eminently
conspicuous; he was standing by the fire conversing with two of the
ecclesiastics.

"Gentlemen," said he at last, "our worthy Father Lovell has just arrived
from St Germains; and, as the most rapid communication is now necessary,
he is empowered to open here and before us, every despatch which we
bring over, before it is transmitted to head-quarters, with permission
to act as may seem best to the friends of his Majesty here assembled."

The fact was, that King James had lately completely given himself up to
religious exercises and mortification, and any communication to him was
attended with so much delay, that it had been considered advisable to
act without consulting him; and to avoid the delay consequent on the
transmission of communications to Paris, the most active parties had
determined that they would, for the present, take up their residence at
Cherbourg, and merely transmit to their friends at St Germains, an
account of their proceedings, gaining, at least, a week by this
arrangement. The party assembled had many names of some note. Among the
ecclesiastics were Lovell, Collier, Snatt, and Cooke; among the
cavaliers were those of Musgrave, Friend, and Perkins, whose relatives
had suffered in the cause; Smith, Clancey, Herbert, Cunningham, Leslie,
and many others.

When Sir Robert Barclay approached the table, the others took their
seats in silence.

"Gentlemen," said Sir Robert, laying down the despatches, which had been
opened, "you must be aware that our affairs now wear a very prosperous
appearance. Supported as we are by many in the government of England,
and by more in the House of Commons, with so many adherents here to our
cause, we have every rational prospect of success. During the first
three months of this year, much has been done; and, at the same time, it
must be confessed that the usurper and the heretics have taken every
step in their power to assail and to crush us. By this despatch, now in
my hand, it appears that a Bill has passed the Commons, by which it is
enacted, 'that no person born after the 25th March next, being a Papist,
shall be capable of inheriting any title of honour or estate,
within the kingdom of England, dominion of Wales, or town of
Berwick-on-the-Tweed.'"

Here, some of the ecclesiastics lifted up their eyes, others struck
their clenched hands on the table, and the cavaliers, as if
simultaneously, made the room ring, by seizing hold of the handles of
their swords.

"And further, gentlemen, 'that no Papist shall be capable of purchasing
any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, either in his own name, or in
the name of any other person in trust for him.'"

The reader must be reminded, that in those days, there was no _Times_ or
_Morning Herald_ laid upon the breakfast table with the debates of the
House--that communication was anything but rapid, there being no
regular post--so that what had taken place two months back, was very
often news.

"It appears then, gentlemen, that our only chance is to win our
properties with our own good swords."

"We will!" was the unanimous reply of the laity present.

"In Scotland, our adherents increase daily; the interests of so many
have been betrayed by the usurper, that thousands of swords will start
from their scabbards so soon as we can support the cause with the
promised assistance of the court of Versailles: and we have here
intelligence that the parliament are in a state of actual hostility to
the usurper, and that the national ferment is so great as to be almost
on the verge of rebellion. I have also gained from a private
communication from our friend Ramsay, who is now at Amsterdam, and in a
position to be most useful to us, that the usurper has intimated to his
own countrymen, although it is not yet known in England, that he will
return to the Hague in July. Such, gentlemen, is the intelligence I have
to impart as respects our own prospects in our own country--to which I
have to add, that the secret partition treaty, which is inimical to the
interests of the French king, has been signed both in London and the
Hague, as well as by the French envoy there. A more favourable
occurrence for us, perhaps, never occurred, as it will only increase the
already well-known ill-will of his Catholic Majesty against the usurper
of his own father-in-law's crown. I have now, gentlemen, laid before you
our present position and future prospects; and, as we are met to consult
upon the propriety of further measures, I shall be most happy to hear
the suggestions of others."

Sir Robert Barclay then sat down.

Lovell, the Jesuit, first rose. "I have," said he, "no opinion to offer
relative to warlike arrangements, those not being suitable to my
profession. I leave them to men like Sir Robert, whose swords are always
ready, and whose talents are so well able to direct their swords; still,
it is well known, that the sources of war must be obtained, if war is
to be carried on; and I have great pleasure in announcing to those
assembled, that from our friends in England, I have received advice of
the two several sums of ninety-three thousand pounds and twenty-nine
thousand pounds, sterling money, having been actually collected, and now
held in trust for the support of the good cause; and, further, that the
collections are still going on with rapidity and success. From his most
Catholic Majesty we have received an order upon the minister for the sum
of four thousand louis, which has been duly honoured, and from our
blessed father, the Pope, an order for five hundred thousand paolis,
amounting to about thirteen thousand pounds in sterling money, together
with entire absolution for all sins already committed, and about to be
committed, and a secure promise of paradise to those who fall in the
maintenance of the true faith and the legitimate king. I have, further,
great expectations from Ireland, and many promises from other quarters,
in support of the cause which, with the blessing of God, I trust will
yet triumph,"

As soon as Lovell sat down, Collier, the ecclesiastic, rose.

"That we shall find plenty of willing swords, and a sufficient supply of
money for our purposes, there can be no doubt; but I wish to propose one
question to the company here assembled. It is an undoubted article of
the true faith, that we are bound to uphold it by any and by every
means. All human attempts are justifiable in the service of God. Many
have already been made to get rid of the usurper, but they have not been
crowned with success, as we too well know; and the blood of our friends,
many of whom were not accessories to the act, has been lavishly spilt by
the insatiate heretic.

"But they have, before this, received immortal crowns, in suffering as
martyrs in the cause of religion and justice. I still hold that our
attempts to cut off the usurper should be continued; some hand more
fortunate may succeed. But not only is his life to be taken, if
possible, but the succession must be cut off root and branch. You all
know that, of the many children born to the heretic William, all but one
have been taken away from him in judgment for his manifold crimes. One
only remains, the present Duke of Gloucester, and I do consider that
this branch of heresy should be removed, even in preference to his
parent, whose conduct is such as to assist our cause, and whose death
may weaken the animosity of his Catholic Majesty, whose hostility is
well known to be personal. I have neither men nor money to offer to you,
but I have means, I trust, soon to accomplish this point, and I dedicate
my useless life to the attempt."

It would occupy too much of our pages, if we were to narrate all that
was said and done at this conference, which we have been obliged to
report, as intimately connected with our history. Many others addressed
the meeting, proposals were made, rejected, and acceded to. Lists of
adherents were produced, and of those who might be gained over.
Resolutions were entered into and recorded, and questions debated.
Before the breaking up, the accounts of the sums expended, and the
monies still on hand, were brought forward; and in the former items, the
name of Vanslyperken appeared rather prominent. As soon as the accounts
were audited, the conference broke up.

We have said that, among those who were at the conference, might be
observed some persons who might be recognised as part of the crew of the
lugger. Such was the case; Sir Robert Barclay and many others were men
of good family, and stout Jacobites. These young men served in the boat
with the other men, who were no more than common seamen; but this was
considered necessary in those times of treachery. The lugger pulled
eighteen oars, was clinker built, and very swift, even with a full
cargo. The after-oars were pulled by the adherents of Sir Robert, and
the arm-chest was stowed in the stern-sheets: so that these young men
being always armed, no attempt to betray them, or to rise against them,
on the part of the smugglers, had they been so inclined, could have
succeeded. Ramsay's trust as steersman had been appropriated to Jemmy
Salisbury, but no other alteration had taken place. We have entered into
this detail to prove the activity of the Jacobite party. About an hour
after the conference, Sir Robert and his cavaliers had resumed their
seamen's attire, for they were to go over that night; and two hours
before dusk, those who had been at a conference, in which the fate of
kingdoms and crowned heads was at stake, were to be seen labouring at
the oar, in company with common seamen, and urging the fast boat through
the yielding waters, towards her haven at the cove.



Chapter XXXIV

Besides other Matter, containing an Argument.


We left Ramsay domiciliated in the house of the syndic Van Krause, on
excellent terms with his host, who looked upon him as the mirror of
information, and not a little in the good graces of the syndic's
daughter, Wilhelmina. There could not be a more favourable opportunity,
perhaps, for a handsome and well-informed young man to prosecute his
addresses and to gain the affections of the latter, were he so inclined.
Wilhelmina had been brought up in every luxury, but isolated from the
world. She was now just at the age at which it was her father's
intention to introduce her; but romantic in her disposition, she cared
little for the formal introduction which it was intended should take
place. Neither had she seen, in any of the young Dutch aristocracy, most
of whom were well known to her by sight, as pointed out to her by her
father when riding with him, that form and personal appearance which her
mind's eye had embodied in her visions of her future lover. Her mind was
naturally refined, and she looked for that elegance and grace of
deportment which she sought for in vain among her countrymen, but which
had suddenly been presented to her in the person of Edward Ramsay.

In the few meetings of her father's friends at their house, the
conversation was uninteresting, if not disgusting; for it was about
goods and merchandise, money and speculation, occasionally interrupted
by politics, which were to her of as little interest. How different was
the demeanour, the address, and the conversation of the young
Englishman, who had been bred in courts, and, at the same time, had
travelled much! There was an interest in all he said, so much
information blended with novelty and amusement, so much wit and
pleasantry crowning all, that Wilhelmina was fascinated without her
being aware of it; and, before the terms of intimacy had warranted her
receiving his hand on meeting, she had already unconsciously given her
heart. The opportunities arising from her father's close attention to
his commercial affairs, and the mutual attraction which brought them
together during the major part of the day, she, anxious to be amused,
and he attracted by her youth and beauty, were taken advantage of by
them both, and the consequence was that, before ten days, they were
inseparable.

The syndic either did not perceive the danger to which his child was
exposed, provided that there was any objection to the intimacy, or else,
equally pleased with Ramsay, he had no objection to matters taking
their course.

As for Ramsay, that he had at first cultivated the intimacy with
Wilhelmina more perhaps from distraction than with any definite purpose,
is certain; but he soon found that her attractions were too great to
permit him to continue it, if he had not serious intentions. When he had
entered his own room, before he had been a week in the house, he had
taxed himself severely as to the nature of his feelings, and he was then
convinced that he must avoid her company, which was impossible if he
remained in the house, or, as a man of honour, make a timely retreat;
for Ramsay was too honourable to trifle with the feelings of an innocent
girl. Having well weighed this point, he then calculated the probability
of his being discovered, and the propriety of his continuing his
attentions to the daughter of one whom he was deceiving, and whose
political opinions were at such variance with his own--but this was a
point on which he could come to no decision. His duty to the cause he
supported would not allow him to quit the house--to remain in the house
without falling in love was impossible.

Why should his political opinions ever be known? and why should not
Wilhelmina be of the same opinion as he was?--and why--Ramsay fell
asleep, putting these questions to himself, and the next morning he
resolved that things should take their chance.

It was about a fortnight since the cutter had left for England. Ramsay
was rather impatient for intelligence, but the cutter had not yet
returned. Breakfast had been over some time, Mynheer Van Krause had
descended to his warehouses, and Ramsay and Wilhelmina were sitting
together upon one of the sofas in the saloon, both reclining and free
from that restraint of which nothing but extreme intimacy will
divest you.

"And so, my Wilhelmina," said Ramsay, taking up her hand, which lay
listless at her side, and playing with her taper fingers, "you really
think William of Nassau is a good man."

"And do not you, Ramsay?" replied Wilhelmina, surprised.

"However I may rejoice at his being on the throne of England, I doubt
whether I can justify his conduct to the unfortunate King James; in
leaguing against his own father-in-law and dispossessing him of his
kingdom. Suppose now, Wilhelmina, that any fortunate man should become
one day your husband: what a cruel--what a diabolical conduct it would
be on his part--at least, so it appears to me--if, in return for your
father putting him in possession of perhaps his greatest treasure on
earth, he were to seize upon all your father's property, and leave him
a beggar, because other people were to invite him so to do."

"I never heard it placed in that light before, Ramsay; that the alliance
between King William and his father-in-law should have made him very
scrupulous, I grant, but when the happiness of a nation depended upon
it, ought not a person in William's situation to waive all minor
considerations?"

"The happiness of a nation, Wilhelmina? In what way would you prove that
so much was at stake?"

"Was not the Protestant religion at stake? Is not King James a bigoted
Catholic?"

"I grant that, and therefore ought not to reign over a Protestant
nation; but if you imagine that the happiness of any nation depends upon
his religion, I am afraid you are deceived. Religion has been made the
excuse for interfering with the happiness of a nation whenever no better
excuse could be brought forward; but depend upon it, the mass of the
people will never quarrel about religion if they are left alone, and
their interests not interfered with. Had King James not committed
himself in other points, he might have worshipped his Creator in any
form he thought proper. That a Protestant king was all that was
necessary to quiet the nation, is fully disproved by the present state
of the country, now that the sceptre has been, for some years, swayed by
King William, it being, at this moment, in a state very nearly
approaching to rebellion."

"But is not that occasioned by the machinations of the Jacobite party,
who are promoting dissension in every quarter?" replied Wilhelmina.

"I grant that they are not idle," replied Ramsay; "but observe the state
of bitter variance between William and the House of Commons, which
represents the people of England. What can religion have to do with
that? No, Wilhelmina; although, in this country there are few who do not
rejoice at their king being called to the throne of England, there are
many, and those the most wise, in that country, who lament it quite
as much."

"But why so?"

"Because mankind are governed by interest, and patriotism is little more
than a cloak. The benefits to this country, by the alliance with
England, are very great, especially in a commercial point of view, and
therefore you will find no want of patriots; but to England the case is
different; it is not her interest to be involved and mixed up in
continental wars and dissensions, which must now inevitably be the case.
Depend upon it, that posterity will find that England will have paid
very dear for a Protestant king; religion is what everyone is willing to
admit the propriety and necessity of, until they are taxed to pay for
it, and then it is astonishing how very indifferent, if not disgusted,
they become to it."

"Why, Ramsay, one would never imagine you to be such a warm partisan of
the present government, as I believe you really are, to hear you talk
this morning," replied Wilhelmina.

"My public conduct, as belonging to a party, does not prevent my having
my private opinions. To my party, I am, and ever will be steadfast; but
knowing the world, and the secret springs of most people's actions, as I
do, you must not be surprised at my being so candid with you,
Wilhelmina. Our conversation, I believe, commenced upon the character of
King William; and I will confess to you, that estimating the two
characters in moral worth, I would infinitely prefer being the exiled
and Catholic James than the unnatural and crowned King William?"

"You will say next, that you would just as soon be a Catholic as a
Protestant."

"And if I had been brought up in the tenets of the one instead of the
other, what difference would it have made, except that I should have
adhered to the creed of my forefathers, and have worshipped the Almighty
after their fashion, form, and ceremonies? And are not all religions
good if they be sincere?--do not they all tend to the same object, and
have the same goal in view--that of gaining heaven? Would you not prefer
a good, honest, conscientious man, were he a Catholic, to a mean,
intriguing, and unworthy person, who professed himself a Protestant?"

"Most certainly; but I should prefer to the just Catholic, a man who was
a just Protestant."

"That is but natural; but recollect, Wilhelmina, you have seen and
heard, as yet, but one side of the question; and if I speak freely to
you, it is only to give you the advantage of my experience from having
mixed with the world. I am true to my party, and, as a man, I must
belong to a party, or I become a nonentity. But were I in a condition so
unshackled that I might take up or lay down my opinions as I pleased,
without loss of character--as a woman may, for instance--so little do I
care for party--so well balanced do I know the right and the wrong to be
on both sides--that I would, to please one I loved, at once yield up my
opinions, to agree with her, if she would not yield up hers to agree
with mine."

"Then you think a woman might do so? that is no compliment to the sex,
Ramsay; for it is as much as to assert that we have not only no weight
or influence in the world, but also that we have no character or
stability."

"Far from it; I only mean to say that women do not generally enter
sufficiently into politics to care much for them; they generally imbibe
the politics of those they live with, without further examination, and
that it is no disgrace to them if they change them. Besides, there is
one feeling in women so powerful as to conquer all others, and when once
that enters the breast, the remainder are absorbed or become obedient
to it."

"And that feeling is"

"Love, Wilhelmina; and if a woman happens to have been brought up in one
way of thinking by her parents, when she transfers her affections to her
husband, should his politics be adverse, she will soon come round to his
opinion, if she really loves him."

"I am not quite so sure of that, Ramsay."

"I am quite sure she ought. Politics and party are ever a subject of
dispute, and therefore should be avoided by a wife; besides, if a woman
selects one as her husband, her guide and counsellor through life, one
whom she swears to love, honour, cherish, and obey, she gives but a poor
proof of it, if she does not yield up her judgment in all matters more
peculiarly his province."

"You really put things in such a new light, Ramsay, that I hardly know
how to answer you, even when I am not convinced."

"Because you have not had sufficient time for reflection, Wilhelmina;
but weigh well, and dwell upon what I have said, and then you will
either acknowledge that I am right, or find arguments to prove that I am
wrong. But you promised me some singing. Let me lead you into the
music-room."

We have introduced this conversation between Wilhelmina and Ramsay, to
show not only what influence he had already gained over the artless, yet
intelligent girl, but also the way by which he considerately prepared
her for the acknowledgment which he resolved to make to her on some
future opportunity; for, although Ramsay cared little for deceiving the
father, he would not have married the daughter without her being fully
aware of who he was. These conversations were constantly renewed, as if
accidentally, by Ramsay; and long before he had talked in direct terms
of love, he had fully prepared her for it, so that he felt she would not
receive a very severe shock when he threw off the mask, even when she
discovered that he was a Catholic, and opposed to her father in religion
as well as in politics. The fact was, that Ramsay, at first, was as much
attracted by her wealth as by her personal charms; but, like many other
men, as his love increased, so did he gradually become indifferent to
her wealth, and he was determined to win her for his wife in spite of
all obstacles, and even if he were obliged, to secure her hand, by
carrying her off without the paternal consent.

Had it been requisite, it is not certain whether Ramsay might not have
been persuaded to have abandoned his party, so infatuated had he at last
become with the really fascinating Wilhelmina.

But Ramsay was interrupted in the middle of one of his most favourite
songs by old Koops, who informed him that the lieutenant of the cutter
was waiting for him in his room. Apologising for the necessary absence,
Ramsay quitted the music-room, and hastened to meet Vanslyperken.

Mr Vanslyperken had received his orders to return to the Hague a few
days after the fright he had received from the nasal organ of the
corporal. In pursuance of his instructions from Ramsay, he had not
failed to open all the government despatches, and extract their
contents. He had also brought over letters from Ramsay's adherents.

"You are sure these extracts are quite correct?" said Ramsay, after he
had read them over.

"Quite so, sir," replied Vanslyperken.

"And you have been careful to seal the letters again, so as to avoid
suspicion?"

"Does not my life depend upon it, Mr Ramsay?"

"Very true, and also upon your fidelity to us. Here's your money. Let me
know when you sail, and come for orders."

Vanslyperken then took his bag of money, made his bow, and departed, and
Ramsay commenced reading over the letters received from his friends.
Mynheer Van Krause observed Vanslyperken as he was leaving the house,
and immediately hastened to Ramsay's room to inquire the news. A portion
of the contents of the despatches were made known to him, and the syndic
was very soon afterwards seen to walk out, leaving his people to mark
and tally the bales which were hoisting out from a vessel in the canal.
The fact was, that Mynheer Van Krause was so anxious to get rid of his
secret, that he could not contain himself any longer, and had set off to
communicate to one of the authorities what he had obtained.

"But from whence did you receive this intelligence, Mynheer Krause,"
demanded the other. "The despatches have not yet been opened; we are
waiting for Mynheer Van Wejen. I suppose we shall learn something there.
You knew all before we did, when the cutter arrived last time. You must
have some important friends at the English court, Mynheer Van Krause."

Here Mynheer Krause nodded his head, and looked very knowing, and
shortly afterwards took his leave.

But this particular friend of Mynheer Krause was also his particular
enemy. Krause had lately imparted secrets which were supposed to be
known and entrusted to none but those in the entire confidence of the
government. How could he have obtained them unless by the treachery of
some one at home; and why should Mynheer Krause, who was not trusted by
the government there, notwithstanding his high civil office, because he
was known to be unsafe, be trusted by some one at home, unless it were
for treacherous purposes? So argued Mr Krause's most particular friend,
who thought it proper to make known his opinions on the subject, and to
submit to the other authorities whether this was not a fair subject for
representation in their next despatches to England; and in consequence
of his suggestion, the representation was duly made. Mynheer Krause was
not the first person whose tongue had got him into difficulties.

So soon as Vanslyperken had delivered his despatches to Ramsay, he
proceeded to the widow Vandersloosh, when, as usual, he was received
with every apparent mark of cordial welcome, was again installed on the
little sofa, and again drank the beer of the widow's own brewing, and
was permitted to take her fat hand. Babette inquired after the corporal,
and, when rallied by the lieutenant, appeared to blush, and turned her
head away. The widow also assisted in the play, and declared that it
should be a match, and that Babette and herself should be married on the
same day. As the evening drew nigh, Vanslyperken took his leave, and
went on board, giving permission to the corporal to go on shore, and
very soon the corporal was installed in his place.

This is a sad world of treachery and deceit.



Chapter XXXV

In which the agency of a red-herring is again introduced into our
wonderful history.


We are somewhat inclined to moralise. We did not intend to write this
day. On the contrary, we had arranged for a party of pleasure and
relaxation, in which the heels, and every other portion of the body
upwards, except the brain, were to be employed, and that was to have a
respite. The morning was fair, and we promised ourselves amusement, but
we were deceived, and we returned to our task, as the rain poured down
in torrents, washing the dirty face of mother earth. Yes, deceived; and
here we cannot help observing, that this history of ours is a very true
picture of human life--for what a complication of treachery does it
not involve!

Smallbones is deceiving his master, Mr Vanslyperken--the corporal is
deceiving Mr Vanslyperken--the widow is deceiving Mr Vanslyperken, so is
Babette, and the whole crew of the _Yungfrau_. Ramsay is deceiving his
host and his mistress. All the Jacobites, in a mass, are plotting
against and deceiving the government, and as for Mr Vanslyperken; as it
will soon appear, he is deceiving everybody, and will ultimately deceive
himself. The only honest party in the whole history is the one most
hated, as generally is the case in this world--I mean Snarleyyow. There
is no deceit about him, and therefore, _par excellence_, he is fairly
entitled to be the hero of, and to give his name to, the work. The next
most honest party in the book is Wilhelmina; all the other women, except
little Lilly, are cheats and impostors--and Lilly is too young; our
readers may, therefore, be pleased to consider Snarleyyow and
Wilhelmina as the hero and the heroine of the tale, and then it will
leave one curious feature in it, the principals will not only not be
united, but the tale will wind up without their ever seeing each other.
_Allons en avant_.

But of all the treachery practised by all the parties, it certainly
appears to us that the treachery of the widow was the most odious and
diabolical. She was like a bloated spider, slowly entwining those
threads for her victim which were to entrap him to his destruction, for
she had vowed that she never would again be led to the hymeneal altar
until Mr Vanslyperken was hanged. Perhaps, the widow Vandersloosh was in
a hurry to be married, at least, by her activity, it would so
appear--but let us not anticipate.

The little sofa was fortunately like its build, strong as a cob, or it
never could have borne the weight of two such lovers as the widow
Vandersloosh and the Corporal Van Spitter; there they sat, she radiant
with love and beer, he with ditto; their sides met, for the sofa exactly
took them both in, without an inch to spare; their hands met, their eyes
met, and whenever one raised the glass, the other was on the alert, and
their glasses met and jingled--a more practical specimen of hob and nob
was never witnessed. There was but one thing wanting to complete their
happiness, which, unlike other people's, did not hang upon a thread, but
something much stronger, it hung upon a cord; the cord which was to hang
Mr Vanslyperken.

And now the widow, like the three fates rolled into one, is weaving the
woof, and, in good Dutch, is pouring into the attentive ear of the
corporal her hopes and fears, her surmises, her wishes, her
anticipations, and her desires--and he imbibes them all greedily,
washing them down with the beer of the widow's own brewing.

"He has not been to the house opposite these two last arrivals," said
the widow, "that is certain; for Babette and I have been on the watch.
There was hanging matter there. Now I won't believe but that he must go
somewhere; he carries his letters, and takes his gold as before, depend
upon it. Yes, and I will find it out. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, we will
see who is the 'cutest--you, or the widow Vandersloosh."

"Mein Gott, yes!" replied the corporal.

"Now he landed a passenger last time, which he called a king's
messenger, and I am as sure as I sit here that he was no king's
messenger, unless he was one of King James's as was; for look you,
Corporal Van Spitter, do you suppose that King William would employ an
Englishman, as you say he was, for a messenger, when a Dutchman was to
be had for love or money?"

"No, no, we must find out where he goes to. I will have some one on the
look out when you come again, and then set Babette on the watch; she
shall track him up to the den of his treachery. Yes, yes, Mr
Vanslyperken, we will see who gains the day, you or the widow
Vandersloosh."

"Mein Gott! yes," replied the corporal.

"And now, corporal, I've been thinking over all this ever since your
absence, and all you have told me about his cowardly attempts upon that
poor boy's life, and his still greater cowardice in believing such stuff
as you have made him believe about the lad not being injured by mortal
man. Stuff and nonsense! the lad is but a lad."

"Mein Gott! yes," said the corporal.

"And now, corporal, I'll tell you something else, which is, that you and
the _Yungfraus_ are just as great fools as Mynheer Vanslyperken, in
believing all that stuff and nonsense about the dog. The dog is but
a dog."

This was rather a trial to the corporal's politeness; to deny what the
widow said, might displease, and, as he firmly believed otherwise, he
was put to a nonplus; but the widow looked him full in the face,
expecting assent, so at last the corporal drawled out, "Mein Gott! yes a
tog is but a tog."

The widow was satisfied, and not perceiving the nice distinction,
continued.

"Well, then, corporal, as a lad is but a lad, and a dog is but a dog, I
have been setting my wits to work about getting the rascally traitor in
my power. I mean to pretend to take every interest in him, and to get
all his secrets, and then, when he tells me that Smallbones cannot be
hurt by mortal man, I shall say he can by woman, at all events; and then
I shall make a proposition, which he'll accept fast enough, and then
I'll have more hanging matter for him, besides getting rid of the cur.
Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, match a woman if you can. We'll see if your
dog is to take possession of my bedroom again."

"Mein Gott! yes," replied the corporal again.

"And now I'll tell you what I'll do, Mr Corporal; I will prepare it
myself; and, then, Mr Vanslyperken shall have it grilled for his
breakfast, and then he shall not eat it, but leave it for Smallbones,
and then Smallbones shall pretend to eat it, but put it in his pocket,
and then (for it won't do to do it on board, or he'll find out that the
lad has given it to the dog) he shall bring it on shore, and give it to
the dog here in the yard, so that he shall kill the dog himself, by
wishing to kill others. Do you understand, corporal?"

"Mein Gott! yes, I understand what you say; but what is it that you are
to prepare?"

"What? why, a red-herring to be sure."

"But how will a red-herring kill a body or a dog?"

"Lord, corporal, how stupid you are; I'm to put arsenic in."

"Yes; but you left that out till now."

"Did I? well, that was an oversight; but now, corporal, you understand
it all?"

"Mein Gott! yes; but if the lad does not die, what will he think?"

"Think! that he can take poison like pea-soup, without injury, and that
neither man nor woman can take his life; be afraid of the lad, and leave
him alone."

"Mein Gott! yes," replied the rather obtuse corporal, who now
understood the whole plot.

Such was the snare laid for Mr Vanslyperken by the treacherous widow,
and before the cutter sailed, it was put in execution. She received the
lieutenant now as an accepted lover, allowed him to talk of the day,
wormed out of him all his secrets except that of his treason, abused
Smallbones, and acknowledged that she had been too hasty about the dog,
which she would be very happy to see on shore. Vanslyperken could hardly
believe his senses--the widow forgive Snarleyyow, and all for his sake,
he was delighted, enchanted, threw himself at her feet, and vowed
eternal gratitude with his lips--but vengeance in his heart.

Oh! Mr Vanslyperken, you deserved to be deceived.

The dislike expressed by the widow against Smallbones was also very
agreeable to the lieutenant, and he made her his confidant, stating what
the corporal had told him relative to the appearance of Smallbones when
he was adrift.

"Well then, lieutenant," said the widow, "if mortal man can't hurt him,
mortal woman may; and for my love for you I will prepare what will rid
you of him. But, Vanslyperken, recollect there's nothing I would not do
for you; but if it were found out--O dear! O dear!"

The widow then informed him that she would prepare a red-herring with
arsenic, which he should take on board, and order Smallbones to grill
for his breakfast; that he was to pretend not to be well, and to allow
it to be taken away by the lad, who would, of course, eat it
fast enough.

"Excellent!" replied Vanslyperken, who felt not only that he should get
rid of Smallbones, but have the widow in his power. "Dearest widow, how
can I be sufficiently grateful? Oh! how kind, how amiable you are!"
continued Vanslyperken, mumbling her fat fingers, which the widow
abandoned to him without reserve.

Who would have believed that, between these two, there existed a deadly
hatred? We might imagine such a thing to take place in the refinement
and artificial air of a court, but not in a Dutch Lust Haus at
Amsterdam. That evening, before his departure, did the widow present her
swain with the fatal herring; and the swain received it with as many
marks of gratitude and respect, as some knight in ancient times would
have shown when presented with some magical gift by his
favouring genius.

The red-herring itself was but a red-herring, but the charm consisted in
the two-pennyworth of arsenic.

The next morning Vanslyperken did not fail to order the red-herring for
his breakfast, but took good care not to eat it.

Smallbones, who had been duly apprised of the whole plan, asked his
master, as he cleared away, whether he should keep the red-herring for
the next day; but Mr Vanslyperken very graciously informed him that he
might eat it himself. About an hour afterwards Mr Vanslyperken went on
shore, taking with him, for the first time, Snarleyyow, and desiring
Smallbones to come with him, with a bag of biscuit for the widow. This
plan had been proposed by the widow, as Smallbones might be supposed to
have eaten something on shore. Smallbones took as good care as his
master not to eat the herring, but put it in his pocket as a _bonne
bouche_ for Snarleyyow. Mr Vanslyperken, as they pulled on shore,
thought that the lad smelt very strong of herring, and this satisfied
him that he had eaten it; but to make more sure, he exclaimed, "Confound
it, how you smell of red-herring!"

"That's all along of having eaten one, sir," replied Smallbones,
grinning.

"You'll grin in another way before an hour is over," thought his master.

The lieutenant, the dog, and the biscuit were all graciously received.

"Has he eaten it?" inquired the widow.

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, with a nod. "Empty the bag, and I will send
him on board again."

"Not yet, not yet--give him half an hour to saunter, it will be better.
That poor dog of yours must want a little grass," said the widow,
"always being on board. Let him run a little in the yard, he will find
plenty there."

The obedient lieutenant opened the back-door, and Snarleyyow, who had
not forgotten either the widow Or Babette, went out of his own accord.
Mr Vanslyperken looked to ascertain if the yard-door, which led to the
street, was fast, and then returned, shutting the back-door after him.

Smallbones was waiting at the porch as usual.

"Babette," cried the widow, "mind you don't open the yard-door and let
Mr Vanslyperken's dog out. Do you hear?"

Smallbones, who understood this as the signal, immediately slipped
round, opened the yard-door, took the herring out of his pocket, and
threw it to Snarleyyow. The dog came to it, smelt it, seized it, and
walked off, with his ears and tail up, to the sunny side of the yard,
intending to have a good meal; and Smallbones, who was afraid of Mr
Vanslyperken catching him in the act, came out of the yard, and hastened
to his former post at the porch. He caught Babette's eye, coming down
stairs, and winked and smiled. Babette walked into the room, caught the
eye of the mistress, and winked and smiled. Upon which, the widow
ordered Babette to empty the bread-bag and give it to Smallbones, to
take on board,--an order repeated by Vanslyperken. Before he returned to
the boat, Smallbones again passed round to the yard-door. Snarleyyow was
there, but no signs of the red-herring. "He's a eaten it all, by gum,"
said Smallbones, grinning, and walking away to the boat, with the
bread-bag over his shoulder. As soon as he had arrived on board, the lad
communicated the fact to the crew of the _Yungfrau_, whose spirits were
raised by the intelligence, with the exception still of old Coble, who
shook his head, and declared, "It was twopence and a red-herring
thrown away."

Mr Vanslyperken returned on board in the afternoon, fully expecting to
hear of Smallbones being very ill. He was surprised that the man in the
boat did not tell him, and he asked them carelessly if there was
anything new on board, but received a reply in the negative. When he
came on board, followed by Snarleyyow, the eyes of the crew were
directed towards the dog, to see how he looked; but he appeared just as
lively and as cross-grained as ever, and they all shook their heads.

Vanslyperken sent for Smallbones, and looked him hard in the face.
"Ar'n't you well?" inquired he.

"Well, sir!" replied Smallbones: "I'd a bit of a twinge in my stummick
this morning, but it's all gone off now."

Mr Vanslyperken waited the whole day for Smallbones to die, but he did
not. The crew of the vessel waited the whole day for the cur to die, but
he did not. What inference could be drawn. The crew made up their minds
that the dog was supernatural; and old Coble told them that he told them
so. Mr Vanslyperken made up his mind that Smallbones was supernatural,
and the corporal shook his head, and told him that he told him so.

The reason why Snarleyyow did not die was simply this, that he did not
eat the red-herring. He had just laid it between his paws, and was about
to commence, when Smallbones, having left the yard-door open in his
hurry, the dog was perceived by a dog bigger than he, who happened to
pass that way, and who pounced upon Snarleyyow, trampling him over and
over, and walked off with the red-herring, which he had better have left
alone, as he was found dead the next morning.

The widow heard, both from the corporal and Vanslyperken, the failure of
both their projects. That Smallbones was not poisoned she was not
surprised to hear, but she took care to agree with Vanslyperken that all
attempts upon him were useless; but that the dog still lived was indeed
a matter of surprise, and the widow became a convert to the corporal's
opinion that the dog was not to be destroyed.

"A whole two-pennyworth of arsenic! Babette, only think what a cur it
must be!" And Babette, as well as her mistress, lifted up her hands in
amazement, exclaiming, "What a cur indeed!"



Chapter XXXVI

In which Mr Vanslyperken, although at fault, comes in for the brush.


Vanslyperken having obtained his despatches from the States General,
called at the house of Mynheer Krause, and received the letters of
Ramsay, then, once more, the cutter's head was turned towards England.

It may be as well to remind the reader, that it was in the month of
January, sixteen hundred and ninety-nine, that we first introduced Mr
Vanslyperken and his contemporaries to his notice, and that all the
important events, which we have recorded, have taken place between that
date and the month of May, which is now arrived. We think, indeed, that
the peculiar merit of this work is its remarkable unity of time and
place; for, be it observed, we intend to finish it long before the year
is out, and our whole scene is, it may be said, laid in the channel, or
between the channel and the Texel, which, considering it is an
historical novel, is remarkable. Examine other productions of this
nature, founded upon historical facts, like our own, and observe the
difference. Read Scott, Bulwer, James, or Grattan, read their historical
novels, and observe how they fly about from country to country, and from
clime to clime. As the Scythians said to Alexander, their right arm
extends to the east, and their left to the west, and the world can
hardly contain them. And over how many years do they extend their pages?
while our bantling is produced in the regular nine months, being the
exact period of time which is required for my three volumes. It must,
therefore, be allowed that in unity of time, and place and design, and
adherence to facts, our historical novel is unique.

We said that it was the month of May--not May coming in as she does
sometimes in her caprice, pouting, and out of humour--but May all in
smiles. The weather was warm, and the sea was smooth, and the men of the
cutter had stowed away their pea-jackets, and had pulled off their
fishermen's boots, and had substituted shoes. Mr Vanslyperken did not
often appear on deck during the passage. He was very busy down below,
and spread a piece of bunting across the skylight, so that no one could
look down and see what he was about, and the cabin-door was almost
always locked. What could Mr Vanslyperken be about? No one knew but
Snarleyyow, and Snarleyyow could not or would not tell.

The cutter anchored in her old berth, and Vanslyperken, as usual, went
on shore, with his double set of despatches, which were duly delivered;
and then Mr Vanslyperken went up the main street, and turned into a
jeweller's shop. What could Mr Vanslyperken do there? Surely it was to
purchase something for the widow Vandersloosh--a necklace or pair of
ear-rings. No, it was not with that intention; but nevertheless, Mr
Vanslyperken remained there for a long while, and then was seen to
depart. Seen by whom? By Moggy Salisbury, who had observed his entering,
and who could not imagine why; she, however, said nothing, but she
marked the shop, and walked away.

The next day, Mr Vanslyperken went on shore, to put into his mother's
charge the money which he had received from Ramsay, and narrated all
that had passed--how Smallbones had swallowed two-pennyworth of arsenic
with no more effect upon him than one twinge in his stomach, and how he
now fully believed that nothing would kill the boy.

"Pshaw! child--phut!--nonsense!--nothing kill him?--had he been in my
hands, old as they are, and shaking as they do, he would not have lived;
no, no--nobody escapes me when I am determined. We'll talk about that,
but not now, Cornelius; the weather has turned warm at last, and there
is no need of fire. Go, child, the money is locked up safe, and I have
my mood upon me--I may even do you a mischief."

Vanslyperken, who knew that it was useless to remain after this hint,
walked off and returned on board. As he pulled off, he passed a boat,
apparently coming from the cutter, with Moggy Salisbury sitting in the
stern-sheets. She waved her hand at him, and laughed ironically.

"Impudent hussy!" thought Vanslyperken, as she passed, but he dared not
say a word. He turned pale with rage, and turned his head away; but
little did he imagine, at the time, what great cause he had of
indignation. Moggy had been three hours on board of the cutter talking
with the men, but more particularly with Smallbones and the corporal,
with which two she had been in earnest conference for the first hour
that she was on board.

Moggy's animosity to Vanslyperken is well known, and she ridiculed the
idea of Snarleyyow being anything more than an uncommon lucky dog in
escaping so often. Smallbones was of her opinion, and again declared his
intention of doing the dog a mischief as soon as he could. Moggy, after
her conference with these two, mixed with the ship's company, with whom
she had always been a favourite, and the corporal proceeded to
superintend the cutting up and the distribution of the fresh beef which
had that morning come on board.

The beef block was on the forecastle, where the major part of the crew,
with Moggy, were assembled; Snarleyyow had always attended the corporal
on these occasions, and was still the best of friends with him; for
somehow or another, the dog had not seemed to consider the corporal a
party to his brains being knocked out, but had put it all down to his
natural enemy, Smallbones. The dog was, as usual, standing by the block
close to the corporal, and picking up the fragments of beef which
dropped from the chopper.

"I vowed by gum, that I'd have that ere dog's tail off," observed
Smallbones; "and if no one will peach, off it shall go now. And who
cares? If I can't a kill him dead, I'll get rid of him by bits. There's
one eye out already, and now I've a mind for his tail. Corporal, lend me
the cleaver."

"Bravo, Smallbones, we won't peach--not one of us."

"I'm not sure of that," replied Moggy; "some won't, I know; but there
are others who may, and then Smallbones will be keel-hauled as sure as
fate, and Vanslyperken will have right on his side. No, no,
Smallbones--you must not do it. Give me the cleaver, corporal, I'll do
it; and anyone may tell him who pleases, when he comes on board. I don't
care for him--and he knows it, corporal. Hand me the cleaver."

"That's right, let Moggy do it," said the seamen.

The corporal turned the dog round, so as to leave his tail on the block,
and fed him with small pieces of meat, to keep him in the same position.

"Are you all ready, Moggy?" said Smallbones.

"Back him a little more on the block, corporal, for I won't leave him an
inch if I can help it," said Moggy; "and stand farther back, all
of you."

Moggy raised the cleaver, took good aim--down it came upon the dog's
tail, which was separated within an inch of its insertion, and was left
bleeding on the block, while the dog sprang away aft, howling most
terribly, and leaving a dotted line of blood to mark his course upon
the deck.

"There's a nice skewer-piece for anyone who fancies it," observed Moggy,
looking at the dog's tail, and throwing down the cleaver. "I think Mr
Vanslyperken has had enough now for trying to flog my Jemmy--my own duck
of a husband."

"Well," observed Coble, "seeing's believing; but, otherwise, I never
should have thought it possible to have divided that ere dog's tail in
that way."

"He can't be much of a devil now," observed Bill Spurey; "for what's a
devil without a tail? A devil is like a sarpent, whose sting is in
his tail."

"Yes," replied Short, who had looked on in silence.

"But, I say, Moggy, perhaps it's as well for him not to find you on
board."

"What do I care?" replied Moggy. "He is more afraid of me than I of him;
but, howsomever, it's just as well not to be here, as it may get others
in trouble. Mind you say at once it was me--I defy him."

Moggy then wished them good-bye, and quitted the cutter, when she was
met, as we have already observed, by Vanslyperken.

"Mein Gott! vat must be done now?" observed the corporal to those about
him, looking at the mangy tail which still remained on the beef-block.

"Done, corporal," replied Smallbones, "why, you must come for to go for
to complain on it, as he comes on board. You must take the tail, and
tell the tale, and purtend to be as angry and as sorry as himself, and
damn _her_ up in heaps. That's what must be done."

This was not bad advice on the part of Smallbones--the ship's company
agreed to it, and the corporal perceived the propriety of it.

In the meantime, the dog had retreated to the cabin, and his howlings
had gradually ceased; but he had left a track of blood along the deck,
and down the ladder, which Dick Short perceiving, pointed to it, and
cried out "Swabs."

The men brought swabs aft, and had cleaned the deck and the ladder down
to the cabin door, when Mr Vanslyperken came on board.

"Has that woman been here?" inquired Mr Vanslyperken, as he came on
deck.

"Yes," replied Dick Short.

"Did not I give positive orders that she should not?" cried
Vanslyperken.

"No," replied Dick Short.

"Then I do now," continued the lieutenant.

"Too late," observed Short, shrugging up his shoulders, and walking
forward.

"Too late! what does he mean?" said Vanslyperken, turning to Coble.

"I knows nothing about it, sir," replied Coble. "She came for some of
her husband's things that were left on board."

Vanslyperken turned round to look for the corporal for explanation.

There stood Corporal Van Spitter, perfectly erect, with a very
melancholy face, one hand raised as usual to his cap, and the other
occupied with the tail of Snarleyyow.

"What is it? what is the matter, corporal?"

"Mynheer Vanslyperken," replied the corporal, retaining his respectful
attitude, "here is de tail."

"Tail! what tail?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, casting his eyes upon the
contents of the corporal's left hand.

"Te tog's tail, mynheer," replied the corporal, gravely, "which de dam
tog's wife--Moggy--"

Vanslyperken stared; he could scarcely credit his eyesight, but there it
was. For a time he could not speak for agitation; at last, with a
tremendous oath, he darted into the cabin.

What were his feelings when he beheld Snarleyyow lying in a corner
tailless, with a puddle of blood behind him.

"My poor, poor dog!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, covering up his face.

His sorrow soon changed to rage--he invoked all the curses he could
imagine upon Moggy's head--he vowed revenge--he stamped with rage--and
then he patted Snarleyyow; and as the beast looked wistfully in his
face, Vanslyperken shed tears. "My poor, poor dog! first your eye--and
now your tail--what will your persecutors require next? Perdition seize
them! may perdition be my portion if I am not revenged. Smallbones is at
the bottom of all this; I can--I will be revenged on him."

Vanslyperken rang the bell, and the corporal made his appearance with
the dog's tail still in his hand.

"Lay it down on the table, corporal," said Vanslyperken, mournfully,
"and tell me how this happened."

The corporal then entered into a long detail of the way in which the
dog had been _de_tailed--how he had been cutting up beef--and how while
his back was turned, and Snarleyyow, as usual, was at the block, picking
up the bits, Moggy Salisbury, who had been allowed to come on board by
Mr Short, had caught up the cleaver and chopped off the dog's tail.

"Was Smallbones at the block?" inquired Vanslyperken.

"He was, mynheer," replied the corporal.

"Who held the dog while his tail was chopped off?" inquired
Vanslyperken, "some one must have held him."

This was a home question; but the corporal replied, "Yes, mynheer, some
one must have held the dog."

"You did not hear who it was, or if it were Smallbones?"

"I did not, mynheer," replied the corporal; "but," added he with a
significant look, "I tink I could say."

"Yes, yes, corporal, I know who you mean. It was him--I am sure--and as
sure as I sit here I'll be revenged. Bring a swab, corporal, and wipe up
all this blood. Do you think the poor animal will recover?"

"Yes, mynheer; there be togs with tail and togs without tail."

"But the loss of blood--what must be done to stop the bleeding?"

"Dat d----n woman Moggy, when I say te tog die--tog bleed to death, she
say, tell Mynheer Vanslyperken dat de best ting for cure de cur be de
red hot poker."

Here Vanslyperken stamped his feet and swore horribly.

"She say, mynheer, it stop all de bleeding."

"I wish she had a hot poker down her body," exclaimed Vanslyperken,
bitterly.

"Go for the swab, corporal, and send Smallbones here."

Smallbones made his appearance.

"Did you come for--to want me, sir?"

"Yes, sir. I understand from the corporal that you held the dog while
that woman cut off his tail."

"If so be as how as the corporal says that ere," cried Smallbones,
striking the palm of his left hand with his right fist, "why I am
jiggered if he don't tell a lie as big as himself--that's all. That ere
man is my mortal henemy; and if that ere dog gets into trouble I'm a
sartain to be in trouble too. What should I cut the dog's tail off for,
I should like for to know? I arn't so hungry as all that, any how."

The idea of eating his dog's tail increased the choler of Mr
Vanslyperken. With looks of malignant vengeance he ordered Smallbones
out of the cabin.

"Shall I shy this here overboard, sir?" said Smallbones, taking up the
dog's tail, which lay on the table.

"Drop it, sir," roared Vanslyperken.

Smallbones walked away, grinning with delight, but his face was turned
from Mr Vanslyperken.

The corporal returned, swabbed up the blood, and reported that the
bleeding had stopped. Mr Vanslyperken had no further orders for him--he
wished to be left alone. He leaned his head upon his hand, and remained
for some time in a melancholy reverie, with his eyes fixed upon the
tail, which lay before him--that tail, now a "bleeding piece of earth,"
which never was to welcome him with a wag again. What passed in
Vanslyperken's mind during this time, it would be too difficult and too
long to repeat, for the mind flies over time and space with the rapidity
of the lightning's flash. At last he rose, took up the dog's tail, put
it into his pocket, went on deck, ordered his boat, and pulled on shore.



Chapter XXXVII

In which Mr Vanslyperken drives a very hard bargain.


We will be just and candid in our opinion relative to the historical
facts which we are now narrating. Party spirit, and various other
feelings, independent of misrepresentation do, at the time, induce
people to form their judgment, to say the best, harshly, and but too
often, incorrectly. It is for posterity to calmly weigh the evidence
handed down, and to examine into the merits of a case divested of party
bias. Actuated by these feelings, we do not hesitate to assert, that, in
the point at question, Mr Vanslyperken had great cause for being
displeased; and that the conduct of Moggy Salisbury, in cutting off the
tail of Snarleyyow was, in our opinion, not justifiable.

There is a respect for property, inculcated and protected by the laws,
which should never be departed from; and, whatever may have been the
aggressions on the part of Mr Vanslyperken, or of the dog, still a tail
is a tail, and whether mangy or not, is _bond fide_ a part of the living
body; and this aggression must inevitably come under the head of the
cutting and maiming act, which act, however, it must, with the same
candour which will ever guide our pen, be acknowledged, was not passed
until a much later period than that to the history of which our
narrative refers.

Having thus, with all deference, offered our humble opinion, we shall
revert to facts. Mr Vanslyperken went on shore, with the dog's tail in
his pocket. He walked with rapid strides towards the half-way houses, in
one of which was the room tenanted by his aged mother; for, to whom else
could he apply for consolation in this case of severe distress? That it
was Moggy Salisbury who gave the cruel blow, was a fact completely
substantiated by evidence; but that it was Smallbones who held the dog,
and who thereby became an active participator, and therefore equally
culpable, was a surmise to which the insinuations of the corporal had
given all the authority of direct evidence. And, as Mr Vanslyperken felt
that Moggy was not only out of his power, but even if in his power, that
he dare not retaliate upon her, for reasons which we have already
explained to our readers; it was, therefore, clear to him, that
Smallbones was the party upon whom his indignation could be the most
safely vented: and, moreover, that in so doing, he was only paying off a
long accumulating debt of hatred and ill-will. But, at the same time, Mr
Vanslyperken had made up his mind that a lad who could be floated out to
the Nab buoy and back again without sinking--who could have a bullet
through his head without a mark remaining--and who could swallow a whole
twopenny-worth of arsenic without feeling more than a twinge in his
stomach, was not so very easy to be made away with. That the corporal's
vision was no fiction, was evident--the lad was not to be hurt by mortal
man; but although the widow's arsenic had failed, Mr Vanslyperken, in
his superstition, accounted for it on the grounds that the woman was not
the active agent on the occasion, having only prepared the herring, it
not having been received from her hands by Smallbones. The reader may
recollect that, in the last interview between Vanslyperken and his
mother, the latter had thrown out hints that if she took Smallbones in
hand he would not have such miraculous escapes as he had had, as, in all
she undertook, she did her business thoroughly. Bearing this in mind, Mr
Vanslyperken went to pour forth his sorrows, and to obtain the
assistance of his much-to-be-respected and venerable mother.

"Well, child, what is it--is it money you bring?" cried the old woman,
when Vanslyperken entered the room.

"No, mother," replied Vanslyperken, throwing himself on the only chair
in the room, except the one with the legs cut off half-way up, upon
which his mother was accustomed to rock herself before the grate.

"No, mother; but I have brought something--and I come to you for advice
and assistance."

"Brought no money--yet brought something!--well, child, what have you
brought?"

"This!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, throwing the dog's tail down upon the
table.

"This!" repeated the old beldame, lifting up the tail, and examining it
as well as she could, as the vibration of her palsied members were
communicated to the article--and pray, child, what is this?"

"Are you blind, old woman," replied Vanslyperken in wrath, "not to
perceive that it is my poor dog's tail?"

"Blind old woman! and dog's tail, eh! Blind old woman, eh! Mr Cornelius,
you dare to call me a blind old woman, and to bring here the mangy tail
of a dog--and to lay it on my table! Is this your duty, sirrah? How dare
you take such liberties? There, sir," cried the hag in a rage, catching
hold of the tail, and sending it flying out of the casement, which was
open--"there, sir--and now you may follow your tail. D'ye hear?--leave
the room instantly, or I'll cleave your craven skull. Blind old woman,
forsooth--undutiful child--"

Vanslyperken, in spite of his mother's indignation, could not prevent
his eyes from following the tail of his dog, as it sailed through the
ambient air surrounding the half-way houses, and was glad to observe it
landed among some cabbage-leaves thrown into the road, without
attracting notice. Satisfied that he should regain his treasure when he
quitted the house, he now turned round to deprecate his mother's wrath,
who had not yet completed the sentence which we have quoted above.

"I supplicate your pardon, my dear mother," said Vanslyperken, who felt
that in her present humour he was not likely to gain the point with her
that he had in contemplation. "I was so vexed--so irritated--that I knew
not what I was saying."

"Blind old woman, indeed," repeated the beldame.

"I again beg you to forgive me, dearest mother," continued Vanslyperken.

"All about a dog's tail cut off. Better off than on--so much the less
mange on the snarling cur."

This was touching up Vanslyperken on the raw; but he had a great object
in view, and he restrained his feelings.

"I was wrong, mother--very wrong--but I have done all I can, I have
begged your pardon. I came here for your advice and assistance."

"What advice or assistance can you expect from a blind old woman?"
retorted the old hag. "And what advice or assistance does so undutiful a
child deserve?"

It was some time before the ruffled temper of the beldame could be
appeased: at last, Vanslyperken succeeded. He then entered into a detail
of all that had passed, and concluded by observing, "that as Smallbones
was not to be injured by mortal man, he had come to her for assistance."

"That is to say--you have come to me to ask me to knock the lad's brains
out--to take away his life--to murder him, in fact. Say, Cornelius, is
it not so?"

"It is exactly so, my dearest mother. I know your courage--your--"

"Yes, yes, I understand all that; but, now hear me, child. There are
deeds which are done, and which I have done, but those deeds are only
done upon strong impulses. Murder is one, but people murder for two
reasons only--for revenge and for gold. People don't do such acts as are
to torture their minds here, and perhaps be punished hereafter--that is,
if there be one, child. I say, people don't do such deeds as these,
merely because a graceless son comes to them, and says, 'if you please,
mother.' Do you understand that, child? I've blood enough on my hands
already--good blood too--they are not defiled with the scum of a parish
boy, nor shall they be, without--"

"Without what, mother?"

"Have I not told you, Cornelius, that there are but two great
excitements--revenge and gold? I have no revenge against the lad. If you
have--if you consider that a dog's, tail demands a human victim--well
and good--do the deed yourself."

"I would," cried Vanslyperken, "but I have tried in vain. It must be
done by woman."

"Then hear me, Cornelius; if it must be done by woman, you must find a
woman to do it, and you must pay her for the deed. Murder is at a high
price. You apply to me--I am content to do the deed; but I must have
gold--and plenty too."

Vanslyperken paused before he replied. The old woman had charge of all
his money--she was on the verge of the grave--for what could she require
his gold?--could she be so foolish?--it was insanity. Vanslyperken was
right--it was insanity, for avarice is no better.

"Do you mean, mother," replied Vanslyperken, "that you want gold from
me?"

"From whom else?" demanded the old woman sharply.

"Take it, then, mother--take as many pieces as you please."

"I must have all that there is in that chest, Cornelius."

"All, mother?"

"Yes, all; and what is it, after all? What price is too high for blood
which calls for retribution? Besides, Cornelius, it must be all yours
again when I die; but I shall not die yet--no, no."

"Well, mother," replied Vanslyperken, "if it must be so, it shall all be
yours--not that I can see what difference it makes, whether it is called
yours or mine."

"Then why not give it freely? Why do you hesitate to give to your poor
old mother what may be again yours before the leaf again falls? Ask
yourself why, Cornelius, and then you have my answer. The gold is here
in my charge, but it is not _my_ gold--it is yours. You little think how
often I've laid in bed and longed that it was all _mine_. Then I would
count it--count it again and again--watch over it, not as I do now as a
mere deposit in my charge, but as a mother would watch and smile upon
her first-born child. There is a talisman in that word _mine_, that not
approaching _death_ can wean from _life_. It is our natures, child--say,
then, is all that gold _mine_?"

Vanslyperken paused; he also felt the magic of the word; and although it
was but a nominal and temporary divestment of the property, even that
gave him a severe struggle; but his avarice was overcome by his feelings
of revenge, and he answered solemnly, "As I hope for revenge, mother,
_all_ that gold is _yours_, provided that you do the deed."

Here the old hag burst into a sort of shrieking laugh. "Send him here,
child;" and the almost unearthly cachinnation was continued--"send him
here, child--I can't go to seek him--and it is done--only bring
him here."

So soon as this compact had been completed, Vanslyperken and his mother
had a consultation; and it was agreed, that it would be advisable not to
attempt the deed until the day before the cutter sailed, as it would
remove all suspicion, and be supposed that the boy had deserted. This
arrangement having been made, Vanslyperken made rather a hasty retreat.
The fact was, that he was anxious to recover the fragment of Snarleyyow,
which his mother had so contemptuously thrown out of the casement.



Chapter XXXVIII

In which Mr Vanslyperken is taken for a witch.


Mr Vanslyperken hastened into the street, and walked towards the heap of
cabbage-leaves, in which he observed the object of his wishes to have
fallen; but there was some one there before him, an old sow, very busy
groping among the refuse. Although Vanslyperken came on shore without
even a stick in his hand, he had no fear of a pig, and walked up boldly
to drive her away, fully convinced that, although she might like
cabbage, not being exactly carnivorous, he should find the tail in
_status quo_. But it appeared that the sow not only would not stand
being interfered with, but, moreover, was carnivorously inclined; for
she was at that very moment routing the tail about with her nose, and
received Vanslyperken's advance with a very irascible grunt, throwing
her head up at him with a savage augh; and then again busied herself
with the fragment of Snarleyyow. Vanslyperken, who had started back,
perceived that the sow was engaged with the very article in question;
and finding it was a service of more danger than he had expected, picked
up one or two large stones, and threw them at the animal to drive her
away. This mode of attack had the effect desired in one respect; the sow
made a retreat, but at the same time she would not retreat without the
_bonne bouche_, which she carried away in her mouth.

Vanslyperken followed; but the sow proved that she could fight as well
as run, every minute turning round to bay, and chumping and grumbling in
a very formidable manner. At last, after Vanslyperken had chased for a
quarter of a mile, he received unexpected assistance from a large dog,
who bounded from the side of the road, where he lay in the sun, and
seizing the sow by the ear, made her drop the tail to save her
own bacon.

Vanslyperken was delighted; he hastened up as fast as he could to regain
his treasure, when, to his mortification, the great dog, who had left
the sow, arrived at the spot before him, and after smelling at the not
one bone, but many bones of contention, he took it in his mouth, and
trotted off to his former berth in the sunshine, laid himself down, and
the tail before him.

"Surely one dog won't eat another dog's tail," thought Vanslyperken, as
he walked up to the animal; but an eye like fire, a deep growl, and
exposure of a range of teeth equal to a hyena's, convinced Mr
Vanslyperken that it would be wise to retreat--which he did, to a
respectable distance, and attempted to coax the dog. "Poor doggy,
there's a dog," cried Vanslyperken, snapping his fingers, and
approaching gradually. To his horror, the dog did the same thing
exactly: he rose, and approached Mr Vanslyperken gradually, and snapped
his fingers: not content with that, he flew at him, and tore the skirt
of his great-coat clean off, and also the hinder part of his trousers
for Mr Vanslyperken immediately turned tail, and the dog appeared
resolved to have his tail as well as that of his darling cur. Satisfied
with about half a yard of broadcloth as a trophy, the dog returned to
his former situation, and remained with the tail of the coat and the
tail of the cur before him, with his fierce eyes fixed upon Mr
Vanslyperken, who had now retreated to a greater distance.

But this transaction was not unobserved by several of the people who
inhabited the street of cottages. Many eyes were directed to where Mr
Vanslyperken and the sow and dog had been at issue, and many were the
conjectures thereon.

When the dog retreated with the skirt of the great-coat, many came out
to ascertain what was the cause of the dispute, and among others, the
man to whom the dog belonged, and who lived at the cottage opposite to
where the dog had lain down. He observed Vanslyperken, looking very much
like a vessel whose sails have been split in a gale, and very rueful at
the same time, standing at a certain distance, quite undecided how to
act, and he called out to him, "What is it you may want with my
dog, man?"

Man! Vanslyperken thought this designation an affront; whereas, in our
opinion, Vanslyperken was an affront to the name of man. "Man!"
exclaimed Vanslyperken; "why your dog has taken my property!"

"Then take your property," replied the other, tossing to him the skirt
of his coat, which he had taken from the dog.

By this time there was a crowd collected from out of the various
surrounding tenements.

"That's not all," exclaimed Vanslyperken; "he has got my dog's tail
there."

"Your dog's tail!" exclaimed the man, "what do you mean? Is it this
ragged mangy thing you would have?" and the man took the tail of
Snarleyyow, and held it up to the view of the assembled crowd.

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, coming towards the man with eagerness;
"that is what I want," and he held out his hand to receive it.

"And pray, may I ask," replied the other, looking very suspiciously at
Vanslyperken, "what can you want with this piece of carrion?"

"To make soup of," replied another, laughing; "he can't afford ox-tail."

Vanslyperken made an eager snatch at his treasure; but the man lifted it
up on the other side, out of his reach.

"Let us have a look at this chap," said the first, examining
Vanslyperken, whose peaked nose and chin, small ferret eyes, and
downcast look were certainly not in his favour; neither were his old and
now tattered habiliments. Certainly no one would have taken Vanslyperken
for a king's officer--unfortunately they took him for something else.

"Now tell me, fellow, what were you going to do with this?" inquired the
man in a severe tone.

"I sha'n't tell you," replied Vanslyperken.

"Why that's the chap that I sees go in and out of the room where that
old hell-fire witch lives, who curses all day long."

"I thought as much," observed the man, who still held up the cur's tail.
"Now I appeal to you all, what can a fellow want with such as this--ay,
my good people, and want it so much too, as to risk being torn to pieces
for it--if he arn't inclined to evil practices?"

"That's sartain sure," replied another.

"A witch--a witch!" cried the whole crowd.

"Let's duck him--tie his thumbs--away with him--come along, my lads,
away with him."

Although there were not, at the time we write about, regular
witch-finders, as in the time of James I., still the feeling against
witches, and the belief that they practised, still existed. They were no
longer handed over to summary and capital punishment, but whenever
suspected they were sure to meet with very rough treatment. Such was the
fate of Mr Vanslyperken, who was now seized by the crowd, buffeted, and
spit upon, and dragged to the parish pump, there being, fortunately for
him, no horse-pond near. After having been well beaten, pelted with mud,
his clothes torn off his back, his hat taken away and stamped upon, he
was held under the pump and drenched for nearly half-an-hour, until he
lay beneath the spout in a state of complete exhaustion. The crowd were
then satisfied, and he was left to get away how he could, which he did,
after a time, in a most deplorable plight, bare-headed, in his shirt and
torn trousers. He contrived to walk as far as to the house where his
mother resided, was admitted to her room, when he fell exhausted on the
bed. The old woman was astonished; and having some gin in her cupboard,
revived him by administering a small quantity, and, in the course of
half-an-hour, Vanslyperken could tell his story; but all the consolation
he received from the old beldame was, "Serve you right too, for being
such an ass. I suppose you'll be bringing the stupid people about my
ears soon--they've hooted me before now. Ah, well--I'll not be pumped
upon for nothing--my knife is a sharp one."

Vanslyperken had clothes under his mother's charge, and he dressed
himself in another suit, and then hastened away, much mortified and
confounded with the latter events of the day. The result of his
arrangements with his mother was, however, a balm to his wounded spirit,
and he looked upon Smallbones as already dead. He hastened down into his
cabin, as soon as he arrived on board, to ascertain the condition of
Snarleyyow, whom he found as well as could be expected, and occasionally
making unavailing attempts to lick the stump of his tail.

"My poor dog!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, "what have you suffered, and what
have I suffered for you? Alas! if I am to suffer as I have to-day for
only your tail, what shall I go through for your whole body?" And, as
Vanslyperken recalled his misfortunes, so did his love increase for the
animal who was the cause of them. Why so, we cannot tell, except that it
has been so from the beginning, is so now, and always will be the case,
for the best of all possible reasons--that it is _human nature_.



Chapter XXXIX

In which is recorded a most barbarous and bloody murder.


We observed, in a previous chapter, that Mr Vanslyperken was observed by
Moggy Salisbury to go into a jeweller's shop, and remain there some
time, and that Moggy was very inquisitive to know what it was that could
induce Mr Vanslyperken to go into so unusual a resort for him.

The next day she went into the shop upon a pretence of looking at some
ear-rings, and attempted to enter into conversation with the jeweller;
but the jeweller, not perhaps admiring Moggy's appearance, and not
thinking her likely to be a customer, dismissed her with very short
answers. Failing in her attempt, Moggy determined to wait till Nancy
Corbett should come over, for she knew that Nancy could dress and assume
the fine lady, and be more likely to succeed than herself. But although
Moggy could not penetrate into the mystery, it is necessary the reader
should be informed of the proceedings of Mr Vanslyperken.

When Ramsay had shown him how to open the government despatches, and had
provided him with the false seals for the re-impressions, he forgot that
he also was pointing out to Vanslyperken the means of also opening his
own, and discovering his secrets, as well as those of government; but
Vanslyperken, who hated Ramsay, on account of his behaviour towards him,
and would with pleasure have seen the whole of his party, as well as
himself, on the gibbet, thought that it might be just as well to have
two strings to his bow; and he argued, that if he could open the letters
of the conspirators, and obtain their secrets, they would prove
valuable to him, and perhaps save his neck, if he were betrayed to the
government. On his passage, therefore, to Amsterdam, he had carefully
examined the seal of Ramsay, and also that on the letters forwarded to
him; and, having made a drawing, and taken the impression in wax, as a
further security, he had applied to the jeweller in question to get him
seals cut out with these impressions, and of the exact form and size.
The jeweller, who cared little what he did, provided that he was well
paid, asked no questions, but a very high price, and Vanslyperken,
knowing that they would be cheap to him at any price, closed with him on
his own terms, provided that they were immediately forthcoming. In the
week, according to the agreement, the seals were prepared. Mr
Vanslyperken paid his money, and now was waiting for orders to sail.

The dog's stump was much better.

On the ninth day, a summons to the admiral's house was sent, and
Vanslyperken was ordered to hold himself in readiness to sail the next
morning at daylight. He immediately repaired to the Jew's, to give
intimation, and from thence to his mother's to prepare her for the
arrival of Smallbones that evening a little before dusk.

Vanslyperken had arranged that, as soon as the murder had been
committed, he would go to the Jew's for letters, and then hasten on
board, sailing the next morning at daylight; so that if there was any
discovery, the whole onus might be on his mother, who, for all he cared,
might be hung. It is a true saying, that a good mother makes a good son.

When Vanslyperken intimated to Smallbones that he was going on shore in
the evening, and should take him with him, the lad did not forget the
last walk that he had in company with his master, and, apprehensive that
some mischief was intended, he said, "I hope it arn't for to fetch
another walk in the country, sir?"

"No, no," replied Vanslyperken, "it's to take some biscuit up to a poor
old woman close by. I don't want to be robbed, any more than you do,
Smallbones."

But the very quick reply of his master only increased the apprehension
of Smallbones, who left the cabin, and hastened to Corporal Van Spitter,
to consult with him.

Corporal Van Spitter was of the same opinion as Smallbones, that
mischief was intended him, and offered to provide him with a pistol; but
Smallbones, who knew little about fire-arms, requested that he might
have a bayonet instead, which he could use better. He was supplied with
this, which he concealed within his shirt, and when ordered, he went
into the boat with Vanslyperken. They landed, and it was dark before
they arrived at the half-way houses. Vanslyperken ascended the stairs,
and ordered Smallbones to follow him. As soon as they were in the room,
Mr Vanslyperken said, "Here is the biscuit, good woman, and much good
may it do you."

"It's very kind of you, sir, and many thanks. It's not often that people
are charitable now-a-days, and this has been a hard winter for poor
folk. Put the bag down there, my good little fellow," continued the old
hypocrite, addressing Smallbones.

"And now, good woman, I shall leave my lad with you, till I come back. I
have to call at a friend's, and I need not take him. Smallbones, stay
here till I return; get the biscuit out of the bag, as we must take that
on board again."

Smallbones had no objection to remain with a withered, palsied old
woman. He could have no fear of her, and he really began to think that
his master had been guilty of charity.

Mr Vanslyperken departed, leaving Smallbones in company with his mother.

"Come now, my lad, come to the chair, and sit down by the fire," for a
fire had been lighted by the old woman expressly, "sit down, and I'll
see if I can find you something in my cupboard; I have, I know, a drop
of cordial left somewhere. Sit down, child; you have had the kindness to
bring the bread up for me, and I am grateful."

The tones of the old beldame's voice were very different from those she
usually indulged in; there was almost a sweetness about them, which
proved what she might have effected at the period when she was fair and
young. Smallbones felt not the least disquietude; he sat down in the
chair by the fire, while the old woman looked in the cupboard behind him
for the cordial, of which she poured him a good allowance in a tea-cup.

Smallbones sipped and sipped, he was not in a hurry to get rid of it, as
it was good; the old woman went again to the cupboard, rattled the
things about a little, and then, on a sudden, taking out a large hammer,
as Smallbones unconsciously sipped, she raised it with both her hands,
and down came the blow on his devoted head.

The poor lad dropped the cup, sprang up convulsively, staggered, and
then fell. Once he rolled over, his leg quivered, and he then moved
no more.

The beldame watched him with the hammer in her hand, ready to repeat the
blow if necessary, indeed she would have repeated it had it not been
that after he fell, in turning over, Smallbones' head had rolled under
the low bedstead where she slept.

"My work is sure," muttered she, "and _all_ the _gold_ is _mine_."

Again she watched, but there was no motion--a stream of blood appeared
from under the bed, and ran in a little rivulet towards the fire-place.

"I wish I could pull him out," said the old woman, lugging at the lad's
legs; "another blow or two would make more sure." But the effort was
above her strength, and she abandoned it. "It's no matter," muttered
she; "he'll never tell tales again."

But there the old hag was mistaken; Smallbones had been stunned, but not
killed; the blow of the hammer had fortunately started off, divided the
flesh of the skull for three inches, with a gash which descended to his
ear. At the very time that she uttered her last expressions, Smallbones
was recovering his senses, but he was still confused, as if in a dream.

"Yes, yes," said the old woman, after some minutes' pause, "all the gold
is mine."

The lad heard this sentence, and he now remembered where he was, and
what had taken place. He was about to rise, when there was a knocking at
the door, and he lay still. It was Vanslyperken. The door was opened by
the old beldame.

"Is it done?" said he, in a loud whisper.

"Done!" cried the hag; "yes, and well done. Don't tell me of charmed
life. My blows are sure--see there."

"Are you sure that he is dead?"

"Quite sure, child--and all the gold is mine."

Vanslyperken looked with horror at the stream of blood still flowing,
and absorbed by the ashes in the grate.

"It was you did it, mother; recollect it was not I," cried he.

"I did it--and you paid for it--and all the gold is mine."

"But are you quite sure that he is dead?"

"Sure--yes, and in judgment now, if there is any."

Vanslyperken surveyed the body of Smallbones, who, although he had heard
every word, lay without motion, for he knew his life depended on it.
After a minute or two the lieutenant was satisfied.

"I must go on board now, mother; but what will you do with the body?"

"Leave that to me; who ever comes in here? Leave that to me, craven,
and, as you say, go on board."

Vanslyperken opened the door, and went out of the room; the old hag made
the door fast, and then sat down on the chair, which she replaced by the
side of the fire with her back to Smallbones.

The lad felt very faint from loss of blood, and was sick at the stomach,
but his senses were in their full vigour.

He now was assured that Vanslyperken was gone, and that he had only the
old woman opposed to him. His courage was unsubdued, and he resolved to
act in self-defence if required; and he softly drew the bayonet out of
his breast, and then watched the murderous old hag, who was rocking
herself in the chair.

"Yes, yes, the gold is mine," muttered she--"I've won it, and I'll count
it. I won it dearly;--another murder--well, 'tis but one more. Let me
see, what shall I do with the body? I must burn it, by bits and
bits--and I'll count the gold--it's all mine, for he's dead."

Here the old woman turned round to look at the body, and her keen eyes
immediately perceived that there was a slight change of position.

"Heh'" cried she, "not quite dead yet; we must have the hammer again,"
and she rose from her chair, and walked with an unsteady pace to pick up
the hammer, which was at the other side of the fire-place. Smallbones,
who felt that now was his time, immediately rose, but before he could
recover his _feet_, she had turned round to him: with a sort of low
yell, she darted at him with an agility not to be imagined in one of her
years and decrepit appearance, and struck at him. Smallbones raised his
left arm, and received the blow, and with his right plunged the bayonet
deep into the wrinkled throat of the old woman. She grappled with him,
and the struggle was dreadful; she caught his throat in one of her bony
hands, and the nails pierced into it like the talons of a bird of
prey--the fingers of the other she inserted into the jagged and gaping
wound on his head, and forced the flesh still more asunder, exerting all
her strength to force him on his back; but the bayonet was still in her
throat, and with the point descending towards the body, and Smallbones
forced and forced it down, till it was buried to the hilt. In a few
seconds the old hag loosed her hold, quivered, and fell back dead; and
the lad was so exhausted with the struggle, and his previous loss of
blood, that he fell into a swoon at the side of the corpse.

When Smallbones recovered, the candle was flickering in the socket. He
rose up in a sitting posture, and tried to recollect all that
had passed.

The alternating light of the candle flashed upon the body of the old
woman, and he remembered all. After a few minutes he was able to rise,
and he sat down upon the bed giddy and faint. It occurred to him that he
would soon be in the dark, and he would require the light to follow up
his intended movements, so he rose, and went to the cupboard to find
one. He found a candle, and he also found the bottle of cordial, of
which he drank all that was left, and felt himself revived, and capable
of acting. Having put the other candle into the candlestick, he looked
for water, washed himself, and bound up his head with his handkerchief.
He then wiped up the blood from the floor, threw some sand over the
part, and burnt the towel in the grate. His next task was one of more
difficulty, to lift up the body of the old woman, put it into the bed,
and cover it up with the clothes, previously drawing out the bayonet. No
blood issued from the wound--the hemorrhage was all internal. He covered
up the face, took the key of the door, and tried it in the lock, put the
candle under the grate to burn out safely, took possession of the
hammer; then having examined the door, he went out, locked it from the
outside, slid the key in beneath the door, and hastened away as fast as
he could. He was not met by anybody, and was soon safe in the street,
with the bayonet, which he again concealed in his vest.

These precautions taken by Smallbones, proved that the lad had conduct
as well as courage. He argued that it was not advisable that it should
be known that this fatal affray had taken place between the old woman
and himself. Satisfied with having preserved his life, he was unwilling
to be embroiled in a case of murder, as he wished to prosecute his
designs with his companions on board.

He knew that Vanslyperken was capable of swearing anything against him,
and that his best safety lay in the affair not being found out, which it
could not be until the cutter had sailed, and no one had seen him
either enter or go out. There was another reason which induced
Smallbones to act as he did--without appealing to the authorities--which
was, that if he returned on board, it would create such a shock to Mr
Vanslyperken, who had, as he supposed, seen him lying dead upon the
floor. But there was one person to whom he determined to apply for
advice before he decided how to proceed, and that was Moggy Salisbury,
who had given her address to him when she had gone on board the
_Yungfrau_. To her house he therefore repaired, and found her at home.
It was then about nine o'clock in the evening.

Moggy was much surprised to see Smallbones enter in such a condition;
but Smallbones' story was soon told, and Moggy sent for a surgeon, the
services of whom the lad seriously required. While his wound was
dressing, which was asserted by them to have been received in a fray,
Moggy considered what would be the best method to proceed. The surgeon
stated his intention of seeing Smallbones the next day, but he was
requested to leave him sufficient dressing, as it was necessary that he
should repair on board, as the vessel which he belonged to sailed on the
following morning. The surgeon received his fee, recommended quiet and
repose, and retired.

A consultation then took place. Smallbones expressed his determination
to go on board; he did not fear Mr Vanslyperken, as the crew of the
cutter would support him--and, moreover, it would frighten Mr
Vanslyperken out of his wits. To this Moggy agreed, but she proposed
that instead of making his appearance on the following morning, he
should not appear to Mr Vanslyperken until the vessel was in the blue
water; if possible, not till she was over on the other side. And Moggy
determined to go on board, see the corporal, and make the arrangements
with him and the crew, who were now unanimous, for the six marines were
at the beck of the corporal, so that Mr Vanslyperken should be
frightened out of his wits. Desiring Smallbones to lie down on her bed,
and take the rest he so much needed, she put on her bonnet and cloak,
and taking a boat, pulled gently alongside the cutter.

Vanslyperken had been on board for two hours, and was in his cabin; the
lights, however, were still burning. The corporal was still up,
anxiously waiting for the return of Smallbones, and he was very much
alarmed when he heard Moggy come alongside. Moggy soon detailed to the
corporal, Dick Short, and Coble, all that had taken place, and what it
was proposed should be done. They assented willingly to the proposal,
declaring that if Vanslyperken attempted to hurt the lad, they would
rise, and throw Mr Vanslyperken overboard; and everything being
arranged, Moggy was about to depart, when Vanslyperken, who was in a
state of miserable anxiety and torture, and who had been drowning his
conscience in scheedam, came on deck not a little the worse for what he
had been imbibing.

"Who is that woman?" cried Vanslyperken.

"That woman is Moggy Salisbury," cried Moggy, walking up to
Vanslyperken, while the corporal skulked forward without being detected.

"Have I not given positive orders that this woman does not come on
board?" cried Vanslyperken, holding on by the skylight. "Who is
that--Mr Short?"

"Yes," replied Short.

"Why did you allow her to come on board?"

"I came without leave," said Moggy. "I brought a message on board."

"A message! what message--to whom?"

"To you," replied Moggy.

"To me--from whom, you cockatrice?"

"I'll tell you," replied Moggy, walking close up to him; "from Lazarus
the Jew. Will you hear it, or shall I leave it with Dick Short?"

"Silence--silence--not a word; come down into the cabin, good Moggy.
Come down--I'll hear it then"

"With all my heart, Mr Vanslyperken, but none of your attacks on my
vartue; recollect I am an honest woman."

"Don't be afraid, my good Moggy--I never hurt a child."

"I don't think you ever did," retorted Moggy, following Vanslyperken,
who could hardly keep his feet.

"Well, there's Abacadabra there, anyhow," observed Coble to Short, as
they went down.

"Why she turns him round her finger."

"Yes," quoth Short.

"I can't comprehend this not no how."

"No," quoth Short.

As soon as they were in the cabin, Moggy observed the bottle of scheedam
on the table. "Come, Mr Vanslyperken, you'll treat me to-night, and
drink my health again, won't you?"

"Yes, Moggy, yes--we're friends now, you know;" for Vanslyperken, like
all others suffering under the stings of conscience, was glad to make
friends with his bitterest enemy.

"Come, then, help me, Mr Vanslyperken, and then I'll give my message."

As soon as Moggy had taken her glass of scheedam, she began to think
what she should say, for she had no message ready prepared; at last a
thought struck her.

"I am desired to tell you, that when a passenger, or a person disguised
as a sailor, either asks for a passage, or volunteers for the vessel,
you are to take him on board immediately, even if you should know them
in their disguise not to be what they pretend to be--do you understand?"

"Yes," replied Vanslyperken, who was quite muddled.

"Whether they apply from here, or from the other side of the channel, no
consequence, you must take them--if not--"

"If not, what?" replied Vanslyperken.

"You'll swing, that's all, my buck. Good-night to you," replied Moggy,
leaving the cabin.

"I'll swing," muttered Vanslyperken, rolling against the bulkhead.
"Well, if I do, others shall swing too. Who cares? damn the faggot!"

Here Mr Vanslyperken poured out another glass of scheedam, the contents
of which overthrew the small remnant of his reasoning faculties. He then
tumbled into his bed with his clothes on, saying, as he turned on his
side, "Smallbones is dead and gone, at all events."

Moggy took leave of her friends on deck, and pushed on shore. She
permitted Smallbones, whom she found fast asleep, to remain undisturbed
until nearly three o'clock in the morning, during which time she watched
by the bedside. She then roused him, and they sallied forth, took a
boat, and dropped alongside of the cutter. Smallbones' hammock had been
prepared for him by the corporal. He was put into it, and Moggy then
left the vessel.

Mr Vanslyperken was in a state of torpor during this proceeding, and
was, with great difficulty, awoke by the corporal, according to orders
given, when it was daylight, and the cutter was to weigh anchor.

"Smallbones has not come off, sir, last night," reported the corporal.

"I suppose the scoundrel has deserted," replied Vanslyperken, "I fully
expected that he would. However, he is no loss, for he was a useless,
idle, lying rascal." And Mr Vanslyperken turned out; having all his
clothes on, he had no occasion to dress. He went on deck, followed by
the tail-less Snarleyyow, and in half an hour the cutter was standing
out towards St Helen's.



Chapter XL

In which a most horrid spectre disturbs the equanimity of Mr
Vanslyperken.


Two days was the cutter striving with light winds for the Texel, during
which Mr Vanslyperken kept himself altogether in his cabin. He was
occasionally haunted with the memory of the scene in his mother's
room.--Smallbones dead, and the stream of blood running along the floor,
and his mother's diabolical countenance, with the hammer raised in her
palsied hands; but he had an instigator to his vengeance beside him,
which appeared to relieve his mind whenever it was oppressed; it was the
stump of Snarleyyow, and when he looked at that he no longer regretted,
but congratulated himself on the deed being done. His time was fully
occupied during the day, for with locked doors he was transcribing the
letters sent to Ramsay, and confided to him.

He was not content with taking extracts, as he did of the government
despatches for Ramsay; he copied every word, and he replaced the seals
with great dexterity. At night his mind was troubled, and he dare not
lie himself down to rest until he had fortified himself with several
glasses of scheedam; even then his dreams frightened him; but he was to
be more frightened yet.

Corporal Van Spitter came into the cabin on the third morning with a
very anxious face.--"Mein Gott! Mynheer Vanslyperken, de whole crew be
in de mutinys."

"Mutiny!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, "what's the matter?"

"They say, sir, dat dey see de ghost of Smallbones last night on de
bowsprit, with one great cut on his head, and de blood all over
de face."

"Saw what? who saw him?"

"Mein Gott, mynheer! it all true, I really think I see it myself at de
taffrail, he sit there and have great wound from here down to," said the
corporal, pointing to his own head, and describing the wound exactly.
"The people say that he must have been murdered, and dey kick up
de mutiny."

"I did not do it, corporal, at all events," replied Vanslyperken, pale
and trembling.

"So Smallbones tell Dick Short, when he speak to him on bowsprit."

"Did it speak to Short?" inquired Vanslyperken, catching the corporal's
arm.

"Yes, mynheer; Mynheer Short speak first, and den the ghost say dat you
not do it, but dat you give gold to old woman to do it, and she knock
him brain out vid de hammer."

To portray Vanslyperken's dismay at this intelligence would be
impossible. He could not but be certain that there had been a
supernatural communication. His knees knocked and trembled, and he
turned sick and faint.

"O Lord, O Lord! corporal, I am a great sinner," cried he at last, quite
unaware of what he was saying. "Some water, corporal." Corporal Van
Spitter handed some water, and Vanslyperken waved his hand to be left
alone; and Mr Vanslyperken attempted to pray, but it ended in
blaspheming.

"It's a lie, all a lie," exclaimed he, at last, pouring out a tumbler of
scheedam. "They have frightened the corporal. But--no--he must have seen
him, or how could they know how he was murdered. He must have told them;
and him I saw dead and stiff, with these own eyes. Well, I did not do
the deed," continued Vanslyperken, attempting to palliate his crime to
himself; but it would not do, and Mr Vanslyperken paced the little cabin
racked by fear and guilt.

Remorse he felt none, for there was before his eyes the unhealed stump
of Snarleyyow. In the evening Mr Vanslyperken went on deck; the weather
was now very warm, for it was the beginning of July; and Mr
Vanslyperken, followed by Snarleyyow, was in a deep reverie, and he
turned and turned again.

The sun had set, and Mr Vanslyperken still continued his walk, but his
steps were agitated and uneven, and his face was haggard. It was rather
the rapid and angry pacing of a tiger in his den, who has just been
captured, than that of a person in deep contemplation. Still Mr
Vanslyperken continued to tread the deck, and it was quite light with a
bright and pale moon.

The men were standing here and there about the forecastle and near the
booms in silence and speaking in low whispers, and Vanslyperken's eye
was often directed towards them, for he had not forgotten the report of
the corporal, that they were in a state of mutiny.

Of a sudden, Mr Vanslyperken was roused by a loud cry from forward, and
a rush of all the men aft. He thought that the crew had risen, and that
they were about to seize him, but, on the contrary, they passed him and
hastened to the taffrail with exclamations of horror.

"What! what is it?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, fully prepared for the reply
by his own fears.

"O Lord! have mercy upon us," cried Bill Spurey.

"Good God, deliver us!" exclaimed another.

"Ah, Mein Gott!" screamed Jansen, rushing against Vanslyperken and
knocking him down on the deck.

"Well, well, murder will out!--that's sartain," said Coble, who stood by
Vanslyperken when he had recovered his legs.

"What, what!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, breathless.

"There, sir,--look there," said Coble, breathless, pointing to the
figure of Smallbones, who now appeared from the shade in the broad
moonshine.

His head was not bound up, and his face appeared pale and streaked with
blood. He was in the same clothes in which he had gone on shore, and in
his hand he held the hammer which had done the deed.

The figure slowly advanced to the quarter-deck, Vanslyperken attempted
to retreat, but his legs failed him, he dropped down on his knees,
uttered a loud yell of despair, and then threw himself flat on the deck
face downwards.

Certainly, the pantomime was inimitably got up, but it had all been
arranged by Moggy, the corporal, and the others. There was not one man
of the crew who had not been sworn to secrecy, and whose life would not
have been endangered if, by undeceiving Vanslyperken, they had been
deprived of such just and legitimate revenges.

Smallbones disappeared as soon as Vanslyperken had fallen down.

He was allowed to remain there for some time to ascertain if he would
say anything, but as he still continued silent, they raised him up and
found that he was insensible. He was consequently taken down into the
cabin and put into his bed.

The effect produced by this trial of Mr Vanslyperken's nerves, was most
serious. Already too much heated with the use of ardent spirits, it
brought on convulsions, in which he continued during the major part of
the night. Towards the morning, he sank into a perturbed slumber.

It was not till eleven o'clock in the forenoon that he awoke and
perceived his _faithful_ corporal standing by the side of the bed.

"Have I not been ill, corporal?" said Mr Vanslyperken, whose memory was
impaired for the time.

"Mein Gott! yes, mynheer."

"There was something happened, was not there?"

"Mein Gott! yes, mynheer."

"I've had a fit; have I not?"

"Mein Gott! yes, mynheer."

"My head swims now; what was it, corporal?"

"It was de ghost of de poy," replied the corporal.

"Yes, yes," replied Vanslyperken, falling back on his pillow.

It had been intended by the conspirators, that Smallbones should make
his appearance in the cabin, as the bell struck one o'clock; but the
effect had already been so serious that it was thought advisable to
defer any further attempts. As for Smallbones being concealed in the
vessel for any length of time there was no difficulty in that; for
allowing that Vanslyperken should go forward on the lower deck of the
vessel, which he never did, Smallbones had only to retreat into the eyes
of her, and it was there so dark that he could not be seen. They
therefore regulated their conduct much in the same way as the members of
the inquisition used to do in former days; they allowed their patient
to recover, that he might be subjected to more torture.

It was not until the fourth day, that the cutter arrived at the port of
Amsterdam, and Mr Vanslyperken had kept his bed ever since he had been
put into it; but this he could do no longer, he rose weak and emaciated,
dressed himself, and went on shore with the despatches which he first
delivered, and then bent his steps to the syndic's house, where he
delivered his letters to Ramsay.

The arrival of the cutter had been duly notified to the widow
Vandersloosh, before she had dropped her anchor, and in pursuance with
her resolution she immediately despatched Babette to track Mr
Vanslyperken, and watch his motions. Babette took care not to be seen by
Mr Vanslyperken, but shrouding herself close in her cotton print cloak,
she followed him to the Stadt House, and from the Stadt House to the
mansion of Mynheer Van Krause, at a short distance from the gates of
which she remained till he came out. Wishing to ascertain whether he
went to any other place, she did not discover herself until she
perceived that he was proceeding to the widow's--she then quickened her
pace so as to come up with him.

"Oh! Mynheer Vanslyperken, is this you? I heard you had come in and so
did my mistress, and she has been expecting you this last half-hour."

"I have made all the haste I can, Babette. But I was obliged to deliver
my despatches first," replied Vanslyperken.

"But I thought you always took your despatches to the Stadt House?"

"Well, so I do, Babette; I have just come from thence."

This was enough for Babette, it proved that his visit to the syndic's
was intended to be concealed; she was too prudent to let him know that
she had traced him.

"Why, Mr Vanslyperken, you look very ill. What has been the matter with
you? My mistress will be quite frightened."

"I have not been well, Babette," replied Vanslyperken.

"I really must run home as fast as I can. I will tell my mistress you
have been unwell, for otherwise she will be in such a quandary;" and
Babette hastened ahead of Mr Vanslyperken, who was in too weak a state
to walk fast.

"The syndic's house--heh!"--said the widow, "Mynheer Van Krause. Why he
is thorough king's man, by all report," continued she. "I don't
understand it. But there is no trusting any man now-a-days.

"Babette, you must go there by-and-bye and see if you can find out
whether that person he brought over, and he called a king's messenger,
is living at the syndic's house. I think he must be, or why would
Vanslyperken go there? and if he is, there's treason going on--that's
all! and I'll find it out, or my name is not Vandersloosh."

Shortly after, Mr Vanslyperken arrived at the house and was received
with the usual treacherous cordiality; but he had not remained more than
an hour when Coble came to him (having been despatched by Short), to
inform Mr Vanslyperken that a frigate was coming in with the royal
standard at the main, indicating that King William was on board of her.

This intelligence obliged Mr Vanslyperken to hasten on board, as it was
necessary to salute, and also to pay his respects on board of
the frigate.

The frigate was within a mile when Mr Vanslyperken arrived on board of
the cutter, and when the batteries saluted, the cutter did the same.
Shortly afterwards the frigate dropped her anchor and returned the
salute. Mr Vanslyperken, attired in his full uniform, ordered his boat
to be manned and pulled on board.

On his arrival on the quarter-deck Vanslyperken was received by the
captain of the frigate, and then presented to King William of Nassau,
who was standing on the other side of the deck, attended by the Duke of
Portland, Lord Albemarle, and several others of his courtiers, not all
of them quite as faithful as the two whom we have named.

When Mr Vanslyperken was brought forward to the presence of his Majesty,
he trembled almost as much as when he had beheld the supposed spirit of
Smallbones, and well he might, for his conscience told him as he bowed
his knee that he was a traitor. His agitation was, however, ascribed to
his being daunted by the unusual presence of royalty. And Albemarle, as
Vanslyperken retreated with a cold sweat on his forehead, observed to
the king with a smile,

"That worthy lieutenant would show a little more courage, I doubt not,
your Majesty, if he were in the presence of your enemies."

"It is to be hoped so," replied the king, with a smile. "I agree with
you, Keppel."

But his Majesty and Lord Albemarle did not know Mr Vanslyperken, as the
reader will acknowledge.



Chapter XLI

In which is shown how dangerous it is to tell a secret.


Mr Vanslyperken received orders to attend with his boat upon his
Majesty's landing, which took place in about a quarter of an hour
afterwards, amidst another war of cannon.

King William was received by the authorities at the landing-stairs, and
from thence he stepped into the carriage, awaiting him, and drove off to
his palace at the Hague; much to the relief of Mr Vanslyperken, who felt
ill at ease in the presence of his sovereign. When his Majesty put his
foot on shore, the foremost to receive him, in virtue of his office, was
the syndic Mynheer Van Krause, who, in full costume of gown, chains, and
periwig, bowed low, as his Majesty advanced, expecting as usual the
gracious smile and friendly nod of his sovereign; but to his
mortification, his reverence was returned with a grave, if not stern
air, and the king passed him without further notice. All the courtiers
also, who had been accustomed to salute, and to exchange a few words
with him, to his astonishment turned their heads another way. At first,
Mynheer Van Krause could hardly believe his senses, he who had always
been so graciously received, who had been considered most truly as such
a staunch supporter of his king, to be neglected, mortified in this way,
and without cause. Instead of following his Majesty to his carriage,
with the rest of the authorities, he stood still and transfixed, the
carriage drove off, and the syndic hardly replying to some questions put
to him, hurried back to his own house in a state of confusion and
vexation almost indescribable. He hastened upstairs and entered the room
of Ramsay, who was very busy with the despatches which he had received.
"Well, Mynheer Van Krause, how is his Majesty looking," inquired Ramsay,
who knew that the syndic had been down to receive him on his landing.

Mynheer Krause threw himself down in a chair, threw open his gown, and
uttered a deep sigh.

"What is the matter, my dear sir, you appear ruffled," continued Ramsay,
who from the extracts made by Vanslyperken from the despatches, was
aware that suspicions had been lodged against his host.

"Such treatment--to one of his most devoted followers," exclaimed
Krause, at last, who then entered into a detail of what had occurred.

"Such is the sweet aspect, the smile, we would aspire to of kings,
Mynheer Krause."

"But there must be some occasion for all this," observed the syndic.

"No doubt of it," replied Ramsay--"some reason--but not a just one."

"That is certain," replied the syndic, "some one must have maligned me
to his Majesty."

"It may be," replied Ramsay, "but there may be other causes, kings are
suspicious, and subjects may be too rich and too powerful. There are
many paupers among the favourites of his Majesty, who would be very glad
to see your property confiscated, and you cast into prison."

"But, my dear sir,--"

"You forget also, that the Jacobites are plotting, and have been
plotting for years; that conspiracy is formed upon conspiracy, and that
when so surrounded and opposed, kings will be suspicious."

"But his Majesty, King William,--"

"Firmly attached, and loyal as I am to my sovereign, Mynheer Krause, I
do not think that King William is more to be relied upon than King
James. Kings are but kings, they will repay the most important services
by smiles, and the least doubtful act with the gibbet. I agree with you
that some one must have maligned you, but allow me to make a remark that
if once suspicion or dislike enters into a royal breast, there is no
effacing it, a complete verdict of innocence will not do it; it is like
the sapping of one of the dams of this country, Mynheer Krause, the
admission of water is but small at first, but it increases and
increases, till it ends in a general inundation."

"But I must demand an audience of his Majesty and explain."

"Explain--the very attempt will be considered as a proof of your guilt;
no, no, as a sincere friend I should advise you to be quiet, and to take
such steps as the case requires. That frown, that treatment of you in
public, is sufficient to tell me that you must prepare for the event.
Can you expect a king to publicly retract?"

"Retract! no--I do not require a public apology from my sovereign."

"But if having frowned upon you publicly, he again smiles upon you
publicly, he does retract. He acknowledges that he was in error, and it
becomes a public apology."

"God in heaven! then I am lost," replied the syndic, throwing himself
back in his chair. "Do you really think so, Mynheer Ramsay?"

"I do not say that you are lost. At present, you have only lost the
favour of the king; but you can do without that, Mynheer Krause."

"Do without that--but you do not know that without that I am lost. Am I
not Syndic of this town of Amsterdam, and can I expect to hold such an
important situation if I am out of favour?"

"Very true, Mynheer Krause; but what can be done? you are assailed in
the dark, you do not know the charges brought against you, and therefore
cannot refute or parry with them."

"But what charges can they bring against me?"

"There can be but one charge against a person in your high situation,
that of disaffection."

"Disaffection! I who am and have always been so devoted."

"The most disaffected generally appear the most devoted, Mynheer Krause,
that will not help you."

"My God! then," exclaimed Krause, with animation, "what will, if loyalty
is to be construed into a sign of disaffection?"

"Nothing," replied Ramsay, coolly. "Suspicion in the heart of a king is
never to be effaced, and disaffection may soon be magnified into
high treason."

"Bless me!" exclaimed Van Krause, crossing his hands on his heart in
utter despair. "My dear Mynheer Ramsay, will you give me your opinion
how I should act?"

"There is no saying how far you may be right in your conjectures,
Mynheer Krause," replied Ramsay: "you may have been mistaken."

"No, no, he frowned--looked cross--I see his face now."

"Yes, but a little thing will sour the face of royalty, his corn may
have pinched him, at the time he might have had a twinge in the
bowels--his voyage may have affected him."

"He smiled upon others, upon my friend, Engelback, very graciously."

This was the very party who had prepared the charges against Krause--his
own very particular friend.

"Did he?" replied Ramsay. "Then depend upon it, that's the very man who
has belied you."

"What, Engelback? my particular friend?"

"Yes, I should imagine so. Tell me, Mynheer Krause, I trust you have
never entrusted to him the important secrets which I have made you
acquainted with, for if you have, your knowledge of them would be quite
sufficient."

"My knowledge of them. I really cannot understand that. How can my
knowledge of what is going on among the king's friends and councillors
be a cause of suspicion?"

"Why, Mynheer Krause, because the king is surrounded by many who are
retained from policy and fear of them. If these secrets are made known
contrary to oath, is it not clear that the parties so revealing them
must be no sincere friends of his Majesty's, and will it not be
naturally concluded that those who have possession of them, are equally
his open or secret enemies."

"But then, Mynheer Ramsay, by that rule you must be his Majesty's
enemy."

"That does not follow, Mynheer Krause, I may obtain the secrets from
those who are not so partial to his Majesty as they are to me, but that
does not disprove my loyalty. To expose them would of course render me
liable to suspicion--but I guard them carefully. I have not told a word
to a soul, but to you, my dear Mynheer Krause, and I have felt assured
that you were much too loyal to make known to anyone, what it was your
duty to your king to keep secret; surely, Mynheer Krause, you have not
trusted that man?"

"I may have given a hint or so--I'm afraid that I did; but he is my most
particular friend."

"If that is the case," replied Ramsay, "I am not at all surprised at the
king's frowning on you: Engelback having intelligence from you, supposed
to be known only to the highest authorities, has thought it his duty to
communicate it to government, and you are now suspected."

"God in heaven! I wish I never had your secrets, Mynheer Ramsay. It
appears then that I have committed treason without knowing it."

"At all events, you have incurred suspicion. It is a pity that you
mentioned what I confided to you, but what's done cannot be helped, you
must now be active."

"What must I do, my dear friend?"

"Expect the worst and be prepared for it--you are wealthy, Mr Van
Krause, and that will not be in your favour, it will only hasten the
explosion, which sooner or later will take place. Remit as much of your
money as you can to where it will be secure from the spoilers. Convert
all that you can into gold, that you may take advantage of the first
opportunity, if necessary, of flying from their vengeance. Do all this
very quietly. Go on, as usual, as if nothing had occurred--talk with
your friend Engelback--perform your duties as syndic. It may blow over,
although I am afraid not. At all events you will have, in all
probability, some warning, as they will displace you as syndic before
they proceed further. I have only one thing to add. I am your guest, and
depend upon it, shall share your fortune whatever it may be; if you are
thrown into prison, I am certain to be sent there also. You may
therefore command me as you please. I will not desert you, you may
depend upon it."

"My dear young man, you are indeed a friend, and your advice is good. My
poor Wilhelmina, what would become of her."

"Yes, indeed, used to luxury--her father in prison, perhaps his head at
the gates--his whole property confiscated, and all because he had the
earliest intelligence. Such is the reward of loyalty."

"Yes, indeed," repeated the syndic, "'put not your trust in princes,'
says the psalmist. If such is to be the return for my loyalty--but there
is no time to lose. I must send this post, to Hamburgh and Frankfort.
Many thanks, my dear friend for your kind council, which I shall
follow," so saying, Mynheer Krause went to his room, threw off his gown
and chains in a passion, and hastened to his counting-house to write his
important letters.

We may now take this opportunity of informing the reader of what had
occurred in the house of the syndic. Ramsay had, as may be supposed,
gained the affections of Wilhelmina; had told his love, and received her
acknowledgment in return; he had also gained such a power over her, that
she had agreed to conceal their attachment from her father; as Ramsay
wished first, he asserted, to be possessed of a certain property which
he daily expected would fall to him, and, until that, he did not think
that he had any right to aspire to the hand of Wilhelmina.

That Ramsay was most seriously in love there was no doubt; he would have
wedded Wilhelmina, even if she had not a sixpence; but at the same time,
he was too well aware of the advantages of wealth not to fully
appreciate it, and he felt the necessity and the justice to Wilhelmina,
that she should not be deprived, by his means, of those luxuries to
which she had been brought up. But here there was a difficulty, arising
from his espousing the very opposite cause to that espoused by Mynheer
Krause, for the difference of religion he very rightly considered as a
mere trifle compared with the difference in political feelings. He had
already weaned Wilhelmina from the political bias, imbibed from her
father and his connections, without acquainting her with his belonging
to the opposite party, for the present. It had been his intention as
soon as his services were required elsewhere, to have demanded
Wilhelmina's hand from her father, still leaving him in error as to his
politics; and by taking her with him, after the marriage, to the court
of St Germains, to have allowed Mynheer Krause to think what he pleased,
but not to enter into any explanation; but, as Ramsay truly observed,
Mynheer Krause had, by his not retaining the secrets confided to him,
rendered himself suspected, and once suspected with King William, his
disgrace, if not ruin, was sure to follow. This fact, so important to
Ramsay's plans, had been communicated in the extracts made by
Vanslyperken from the last despatches, and Ramsay had been calculating
the consequences when Mynheer Krause returned discomfited from the
presence of the king.

That Ramsay played a very diplomatic game in the conversation which we
have repeated is true; but still it was the best game for Krause as well
as for his own interests, as the events will show. We must, however,
remind the reader that Ramsay had no idea whatever of the double
treachery on the part of Vanslyperken, in copying all the letters sent
by and to him, as well as extracting from the government despatches.

"My dearest Edward, what has detained you so long from me this morning,"
inquired Wilhelmina when he entered the music-room, about an hour after
his conversation with the syndic.

Ramsay then entered into the detail of what had occurred, and wove in
such remarks of his own as were calculated to disgust Wilhelmina with
the conduct of King William, and to make her consider her father as an
injured man. He informed her of the advice he had given him, and then
pointed out to her the propriety of her enforcing his following it with
all the arguments of persuasion in her power.

Wilhelmina's indignation was roused, and she did not fail, when speaking
with her father, to rail in no measured tones against the king, and to
press him to quit a country where he had been so ill-used. Mynheer
Krause felt the same, his pride had been severely wounded; and it may be
truly said, that one of the staunchest adherents of the Protestant king
was lost by a combination of circumstances as peculiar as they were
unexpected.

In the meantime, the corporal had gone on shore as usual and made the
widow acquainted with the last attempt upon Smallbones, and the revenge
of the ship's company. Babette had also done her part.

She had found out that Ramsay lived in the house of the syndic, and
that he was the passenger brought over by Vanslyperken in the cutter.

The widow, who had now almost arranged her plans, received Vanslyperken
more amicably than ever; anathematised the--supposed defunct Smallbones;
shed tears over the stump of Snarleyyow, and asked Vanslyperken when he
intended to give up the nasty cutter and live quietly on shore.



Chapter XLII

In which is shown the imprudence of sleeping in the open air, even in a
summer's night.


The _Yungfrau_ was not permitted to remain more than two days at her
anchorage. On the third morning Mr Vanslyperken's signal was made to
prepare to weigh. He immediately answered it, and giving his orders to
Short, hastened, as fast as he could, up to the syndic's house to inform
Ramsay, stating, that he must immediately return on board again, and
that the letters must be sent to him: Ramsay perceived the necessity of
this, and consented. On his return to the boat, Mr Vanslyperken found
that his signal to repair on board the frigate had been hoisted, and he
hastened on board to put on his uniform and obey this order. He received
his despatches from the captain of the frigate, with orders to proceed
to sea immediately. Mr Vanslyperken, under the eye of his superior
officer, could not dally or delay: he hove short, hoisted his mainsail,
and fired a gun as a signal for sailing; anxiously looking out for
Ramsay's boat with his letters, and afraid to go without them; but no
boat made its appearance, and Mr Vanslyperken was forced to heave up his
anchor. Still he did not like to make sail, and he remained a few
minutes more, when he at last perceived a small boat coming off. At the
same time he observed a boat coming from the frigate, and they arrived
alongside the cutter about the same time, fortunately Ramsay's boat the
first, and Mr Vanslyperken had time to carry the letters down below.

"The commandant wishes to know why you do not proceed to sea, sir, in
obedience to your orders," said the officer.

"I only waited for that boat to come on board, sir," replied
Vanslyperken to the lieutenant.

"And pray, sir, from whom does that boat come?" inquired the officer.

"From the syndic's, Mynheer Van Krause," replied Vanslyperken, not
knowing what else to say, and thinking that the name of the syndic would
be sufficient.

"And what did the boat bring off, to occasion the delay, sir?"

"A letter or two for England," replied Vanslyperken.

"Very well, sir, I wish you a good morning," said the lieutenant, who
then went into his boat, and Vanslyperken made sail.

The delay of the cutter to receive the syndic's letters was fully
reported the same evening to the commandant, who, knowing that the
syndic was suspected, reported the same to the authorities, and this
trifling circumstance only increased the suspicions against the
unfortunate Mynheer Van Krause; but we must follow the cutter and those
on board of her. Smallbones had remained concealed on board, his wounds
had been nearly healed, and it was now again proposed that he should, as
soon as they were out at sea, make his appearance to frighten
Vanslyperken; and that, immediately they arrived at Portsmouth, he
should go on shore and desert from the cutter, as Mr Vanslyperken would,
of course, find out that his mother was killed, and the consequences to
Smallbones must be dangerous, as he had no evidence, if Vanslyperken
swore that he had murdered his mother; but this arrangement was
overthrown by events which we shall now narrate. It was on the third
morning after they sailed, that Vanslyperken walked the deck: there was
no one but the man at the helm abaft. The weather was extremely sultry,
for the cutter had run with a fair wind for the first eight-and-forty
hours, and had then been becalmed for the last twenty-four, and had
drifted to the back of the Isle of Wight, when she was not three leagues
from St Helen's. The consequence was, that the ebb-tide had now drifted
her down very nearly opposite to that part of the island where the cave
was situated of which we have made mention. Vanslyperken heard the
people talking below, and, as usual, anxious to overhear what was said,
had stopped to listen. He heard the name of Smallbones repeated several
times, but could not make out what was said.

Anxious to know, he went down the ladder, and, instead of going into his
cabin, crept softly forward on the lower deck, when he overheard Coble,
Short, and Spurey in consultation.

"We shall be in to-morrow," said Spurey, "if a breeze springs up, and
then it will be too late: Smallbones must frighten him again to-night."

"Yes," replied Short.

"He shall go into his cabin at twelve o'clock, that will be the best
way."

"But the corporal."

"Hush!--there is someone there," said Spurey, who, attracted by a slight
noise made by Vanslyperken's boots, turned short round.

Vanslyperken retreated and gained the deck by the ladder; he had hardly
been up when he observed a face at the hatchway, who was evidently
looking to ascertain if he was on deck.

These few words overheard, satisfied Vanslyperken that Smallbones was
alive and on board the cutter; and he perceived how he had been played
with. His rage was excessive, but he did not know how to act. If
Smallbones was alive, and that he appeared to be, he must have escaped
from his mother, and, of course, the ship's company must know that his
life had been attempted. That he did not care much about; he had not
done the deed; but how the lad could have come on board! did he not see
him lying dead? It was very strange, and the life of the boy must be
charmed. At all events, it was a mystery which Mr Vanslyperken could not
solve; at first, he thought that he would allow Smallbones to come into
the cabin, and get a loaded pistol ready for him. The words, "But the
corporal," which were cut short, proved to him that the corporal was no
party to the affair; yet it was strange that the ship's company could
have concealed the lad without the corporal's knowledge. Vanslyperken
walked and walked, and thought and thought; at last he resolved to go
down into his cabin, pretend to go to bed, lock his door, which was not
his custom, and see if they would attempt to come in. He did so, the
corporal was dismissed, and at twelve o'clock his door was tried and
tried again; but being fast, the party retreated. Vanslyperken waited
till two bells to ascertain if any more attempts would be made; but none
were, so he rose from his bed, where he had thrown himself with his
clothes on, and, opening the door softly, crept upon deck. The night was
very warm, but there was a light and increasing breeze, and the cutter
was standing in and close to the shore to make a long board upon next
tack. Vanslyperken passed the man at the helm, and walked aft to the
taffrail; he stood up on the choak to ascertain what way she was making
through the water, and he was meditating upon the best method of
proceeding. Had he known where Smallbones' hammock was hung, he would
have gone down with the view of ascertaining the fact; but with a crew
so evidently opposed to him, he could not see how even the ascertaining
that Smallbones was on board, would be productive of any good
consequences. The more Vanslyperken thought, the more he was puzzled.
The fact is, that he was between the horns of a dilemma; but the devil,
who always helps his favourites, came to the aid of Mr Vanslyperken. The
small boat was, as usual, hoisted up astern, and Mr Vanslyperken's eyes
were accidentally cast upon it. He perceived a black mass lying on the
thwarts, and he examined it more closely: he heard snoring; it was one
of the ship's company sleeping there against orders. He leant over the
taffrail, and putting aside the great-coat which covered the party, he
looked attentively on the face--there was no doubt it was Smallbones
himself. From a knowledge of the premises, Vanslyperken knew at once
that the lad was in his power.

The boat, after being hauled up with tackles, was hung by a single rope
at each davit. It was very broad in proportion to its length, and was
secured from motion by a single gripe, which confined it in its place,
bowsing it close to the stern of the cutter, and preventing it from
turning over bottom up, which, upon the least weight upon one gunnel or
the other, would be inevitably the case. Smallbones was lying close to
the gunnel next to the stern of the cutter. By letting go the gripe,
therefore, the boat would immediately turn bottom up, and Smallbones
would be dropped into the sea. Vanslyperken carefully examined the
fastenings of the gripe, found that they were to be cast off by one
movement, and that his success was certain; but still he was cautious.
The man at the helm must hear the boat go over; he might hear
Smallbones' cry for assistance. So Vanslyperken went forward to the man
at the helm, and desired him to go down and to order Corporal Van
Spitter to mix a glass of brandy-and-water, and send it up by him, and
that he would steer the vessel till he came up again. The man went down
to execute the order, and Vanslyperken steered the cutter for half a
minute, during which he looked forward to ascertain if any one was
moving. All was safe, the watch was all asleep forward, and
Vanslyperken, leaving the cutter to steer itself, hastened aft, cast off
the gripe, the boat, as he calculated, immediately turning over, and the
sleeping Smallbones fell into the sea. Vanslyperken hastened back to the
helm, and put the cutter's head right. He heard the cry of Smallbones,
but it was not loud, for the cutter had already left him astern, and it
was fainter and fainter, and at last it was heard no more, and not one
of the watch had been disturbed.

"If ever you haunt me again," muttered Vanslyperken, "may I be hanged."

We particularly call the reader's attention to these words of Mr
Vanslyperken.

The man returned with the brandy-and-water, with which Vanslyperken
drank _bon voyage_ to poor Smallbones. He then ordered the cutter to be
put about, and as soon as she was round, he went down into his cabin and
turned in with greater satisfaction than he had for a long time.

"We shall have got rid of him at last, my poor dog," said he, patting
Snarleyyow's head. "Your enemy is gone for ever."

And Mr Vanslyperken slept soundly, because, although he had committed a
murder, there was no chance of his being found out. We soon get
accustomed to crime: before, he started at the idea of murder; now, all
that he cared for was detection.

"Good-night to you, Mr Vanslyperken."



Chapter XLIII

In which Smallbones changes from a king's man into a smuggler, and also
changes his sex.


If we adhered to the usual plans of historical novel writers, we should,
in this instance, leave Smallbones to what must appear to have been his
inevitable fate, and then bring him on the stage again with a _coup de
théâtre_, when least expected by the reader. But that is not our
intention; we consider that the interest of this our narration of bygone
events is quite sufficient, without condescending to what is called
claptrap; and there are so many people in our narrative continually
labouring under deception of one kind or another, that we need not add
to it by attempting to mystify our readers; who, on the contrary, we
shall take with us familiarly by the hand, and, like a faithful
historian, lead them through the events in the order in which they
occurred, and point out to them how they all lead to one common end.
With this intention in view, we shall now follow the fortunes of
Smallbones, whom we left floundering in about seven fathoms water.

The weather was warm, even sultry, as we said before; but
notwithstanding which, and notwithstanding he was a very tolerable
swimmer, considering that he was so thin, Smallbones did not like it. To
be awoke out of a profound sleep, and all of a sudden to find yourself
floundering out of your depth about half a mile from the nearest land,
is anything but agreeable; the transition is too rapid. Smallbones
descended a few feet before he could divest himself of the folds of the
Flustering coat which he had wrapped himself up in. It belonged to
Coble, he had purchased it at a sale-shop on the Point for seventeen
shillings and sixpence, and, moreover, it was as good as new. In
consequence of this delay below water-mark, Smallbones had very little
breath left in his body when he rose to the surface, and he could not
inflate his lungs so as to call loud until the cutter had walked away
from him at least one hundred yards, for she was slipping fast through
the water, and another minute plainly proved to Smallbones that he was
left to his own resources.

At first, the lad had imagined that it was an accident, and that the
rope had given way with his weight; but when he found that no attention
was paid to his cries, he then was convinced that it was the work of Mr
Vanslyperken.

"By _gum_, he's a done for me at last. Well, I don't care, I can die but
once, that's sartin sure; and he'll go to the devil, that's
sartin sure."

And Smallbones, with this comfortable assurance, continued to strike out
for the land, which, indeed, he had but little prospect of ever making.

"A shame for to come for to go to murder a poor lad three or four times
over," sputtered Smallbones, after a time, feeling his strength fail
him. He then turned on his back, to ease his arms.

"I can't do it no how, I sees that," said Smallbones, "so I may just as
well go down like a dipsey lead."

But, as he muttered this, and was making up his mind to discontinue
further exertions,--not a very easy thing to do, when you are about to
go into another world, still floating on his back, with his eyes fixed
on the starry heavens, thinking, as Smallbones afterwards narrated
himself, that there wa'n't much to live for in this here world, and
considering what there could be in that 'ere, his head struck against
something hard. Smallbones immediately turned round in the water to see
what it was, and found that it was one of the large corks which
supported a heavy net laid out across the tide for the taking of
shoal-fish. The cork was barely sufficient to support his weight, but it
gave him a certain relief, and time to look about him, as the saying is.
The lad ran under the net and cork with his hands until he arrived at
the nearest shoal, for it was three or four hundred yards long. When he
arrived there, he contrived to bring some of the corks together, until
he had quite sufficient for his support, and then Smallbones voted
himself pretty comfortable after all, for the water was very warm, and
now quite smooth.

Smallbones, as the reader may have observed during the narration, was a
lad of most indisputable courage and of good principles. Had it been his
fortune to have been born among the higher classes, and to have had all
the advantages of education, he might have turned out a hero; as it was,
he did his duty well in that state of life to which he had been called,
and as he said in his speech to the men on the forecastle, he feared
God, honoured the king, and was the natural enemy to the devil.

The Chevalier Bayard was nothing more, only he had a wider field for his
exertions and his talents; but the armed and accoutred Bayard did not
show more courage and conduct when leading armies to victory, than did
the unarmed Smallbones against Vanslyperken and his dog. We consider
that _in his way_, Smallbones was quite as great a hero as the
Chevalier, for no man can do more than his best; indeed, it is
unreasonable to expect it.

While Smallbones hung on to the corks, he was calculating his chances of
being saved.

"If so be as how they comes to take up the nets in the morning, why then
I think I may hold on; but if so be they waits, why they'll then find me
dead as a fish," said Smallbones, who seldom ventured above a
monosyllable, and whose language if not considered as pure English, was
certainly amazingly Saxon; and then Smallbones began to reflect, whether
it was not necessary that he should forgive Mr Vanslyperken before he
died, and his pros and cons ended with his thinking he could, for it was
his duty; however he would not be in a hurry about it, he thought that
was the last thing that he need do; but as for the dog, he wa'n't
obliged to forgive him that was certain--as certain as that his tail was
off; and Smallbones, up to his chin in the water, grinned so at the
remembrance, that he took in more salt water than was pleasant.

He spit it out again, and then looked up to the stars, which were
twinkling above him.

I wonder what o'clock it is, thought Smallbones, when he thought he
heard a distant sound. Smallbones pricked up his ears and
listened;--yes, it was in regular cadence, and became louder and louder.
It was a boat pulling.

"Well, I am sure," thought Smallbones, "they'll think they have caught a
queer fish anyhow:" and he waited very patiently for the fisherman to
come up. At last he perceived the boat, which was very long and pulled
many oars. "They be the smuglars," thought Smallbones.

"I wonder whether they'll pick up a poor lad? Boat ahoy!"

The boat continued to pass towards the coast, impelled at the speed of
seven or eight miles an hour, and was now nearly abreast of Smallbones,
and not fifty yards from him.

"I say, boat ahoy!" screamed Smallbones, to the extent of his voice.

He was heard this time, and there was a pause in the pulling, the boat
still driving through the water with the impulse which had been given
her, as if she required no propelling power.

"I say you arn't a going for to come for to leave a poor lad here to be
drowned, are you?"

"That's Smallbones, I'll swear," cried Jemmy Ducks, who was steering the
boat, and who immediately shifted the helm.

But Sir Robert Barclay paused; there was too much at stake to run any
risk, even to save the life of a fellow-creature.

"You takes time for to think on it anyhow," cried Smallbones--"you are
going for to leave a fellow-christian stuck like a herring in a fishing
net, are you? you would not like it yourself, anyhow."

"It is Smallbones, sir," repeated Jemmy Ducks, "and I'll vouch for him
as a lad that's good and true."

Sir Barclay no longer hesitated: "Give way, my lads, and pick him up."

In a few minutes, Smallbones was hauled in over the gunnel, and was
seated on the stern-sheets opposite to Sir Robert.

"It's a great deal colder out of the water than in, that's sartain,"
observed Smallbones, shivering.

"Give way, my lads, we've no time to stay," cried Sir Robert.

"Take this, Smallbones," said Jemmy.

"Why, so it is, Jemmy Ducks!" replied Smallbones, with
astonishment--"why, how did you come here?"

"Sarcumstances," replied Jemmy; "how did you come there?"

"Sarcumstances too, Jemmy," replied Smallbones.

"Keep silence," said Sir Robert, and nothing more was said until the
lugger dashed into the cave.

The cargo was landed, and Smallbones who was very cold was not sorry to
assist. He carried up his load with the rest, and as usual the women
came half-way down to receive it.

"Why, who have we here?" said one of the women to whom Smallbones was
delivering his load, "why, it's Smallbones."

"Yes," replied Smallbones, it is me; "but how came you here, Nancy?"

"That's tellings, but how came you, my lad?" replied Nancy.

"I came by water anyhow."

"Well, you are one of us now, you know there's no going back."

"I'm sure I don't want to go back, Nancy; but what is to be done?
nothing unchristianlike I hope."

"We're all good Christians here, Smallbones; we don't bow down to idols
and pay duty to them as other people do."

"Do you fear God, and honour the king?"

"We do; the first as much as the other people, and as for the king, we
love him and serve him faithfully."

"Well, then I suppose that's all right," replied Smallbones; "but where
do you live?"

"Come with me, take your load up, and I will show you, for the sooner
you are there the better; the boat will be off again in half-an-hour, if
I mistake not."

"Off, where?"

"To France, with a message to the king."

"Why, the king's in Holland! we left him there when we sailed."

"Pooh! nonsense! come along."

When Sir Robert arrived at the cave, he found an old friend anxiously
awaiting his arrival; it was Graham, who had been despatched by the
Jacobites to the court of St Germains, with intelligence of great
importance, which was the death of the young Duke of Gloucester, the
only surviving son of King William. He had, it was said, died of a
malignant fever; but if the reader will call to mind the address of one
of the Jesuits on the meeting at Cherbourg, he may have some surmises as
to the cause of the duke's decease. As this event rendered the
succession uncertain, the hopes of the Jacobites were raised to the
highest pitch: the more so as the country was in a state of anxiety and
confusion, and King William was absent at the Hague. Graham had,
therefore, been despatched to the exiled James, with the propositions
from his friends in England, and to press the necessity of an invasion
of the country. As Nancy had supposed, Sir Robert decided upon
immediately crossing over to Cherbourg, the crew were allowed a short
time to repose and refresh themselves, and once more returned to their
laborious employment; Jemmy Ducks satisfied Sir Robert that Smallbones
might be trusted and be useful, and Nancy corroborated his assertions.
He was, therefore, allowed to remain in the cave with the women, and Sir
Robert and his crew, long before Smallbones' garments were dry, were
again crossing the English Channel.

Now, it must be observed, that Smallbones was never well off for
clothes, and, on this occasion, when he fell overboard, he had nothing
on but an old pair of thin linen trousers and a shirt which, from dint
of long washing, from check had turned to a light cerulean blue: what
with his struggles at the net and the force used to pull him into the
boat, the shirt had more than one-half disappeared--that is to say, one
sleeve and the back were wholly gone, and the other sleeve was well
prepared to follow its fellow, on the first capful of wind. His trousers
also were in almost as bad a state. In hauling him in, when his head was
over the gunnel, one of the men had seized him by the seat of his
trousers to lift him into the boat, and the consequence was, that the
seat of his trousers having been too long set upon, was also left in his
muscular gripe. All these items put together, the reader may infer,
that, although Smallbones might appear merely ragged in front, that in
his rear he could not be considered as decent, especially as he was the
only one of the masculine sex among a body of females. No notice was
taken of this by others, nor did Smallbones observe it himself, during
the confusion and bustle previous to the departure of the smugglers; but
now they were gone, Smallbones perceived his deficiencies, and was very
much at a loss what to do, as he was aware that daylight would discover
them to others as well as to himself: so he fixed his back up against
one of the rocks, and remained idle while the women were busily employed
storing away the cargo in the various compartments of the cave.

Nancy, who had not forgotten that he was with them, came up to him.

"Why do you stay there, Smallbones? you must be hungry and cold, come in
with me, and I will find you something to eat."

"I can't, Mistress Nancy, I want your advice first. Has any of the men
left any of their duds in this here cavern?"

"Duds, men! No, they keep them all on the other side. We have nothing
but petticoats here and shimmeys."

"Then what must I do?" exclaimed Smallbones.

"Oh, I see, your shirt is torn off your back. Well, never mind, I'll
lend you a shimmey."

"Yes, Mistress Nancy, but it be more worse than that, I an't got no
behind to my trousers, they pulled it out when they pulled me into the
boat. I sticks to this here rock for decency's sake. What must I do?"

Nancy burst into a laugh. "Do, why if you can't have men's clothes, you
must put on the women's, and then you'll be in the regular uniform of
the cave."

"I do suppose that I must, but I can't say that I like the idea much,
anyhow," replied Smallbones.

"Why, you don't mean to stick to that rock like a limpit all your life,
do you? there's plenty of work for you."

"If so be, I must, I must," replied Smallbones.

"You can't appear before Mistress Alice in that state," replied Nancy.
"She's a lady bred and born, and very particular too, and then there's
Miss Lilly, you will turn her as red as a rose, if she sees you."

"Well then, I suppose I must, Mistress Nancy, for I shall catch my death
of cold here, I'm all wet and shivery, from being so long in the water,
and my back against the rock, feels just as ice."

"No wonder, I'll run and fetch you something," replied Nancy, who was
delighted at the idea of dressing up Smallbones as a woman.

Nancy soon returned with a chemise, a short flannel petticoat, and a
shawl, which she gave to Smallbones, desiring him to take off his wet
clothes, and substitute them. She would return to him as soon as he had
put them on, and see that they were put tidy and right.

Smallbones retired behind one of the rocks, and soon shifted his
clothes, he put everything on the hind part before, and Nancy had to
alter them when she came. She adjusted the shawl, and then led him into
the cave where he found Mistress Alice, and some of the women who were
not busy with the cargo.

"Here's the poor lad who was thrown overboard, madam," said Nancy,
retaining her gravity. "All his clothes were torn off his back, and I
have been obliged to give him these to put on."

Lady Barclay could hardly repress a smile. Smallbones' appearance was
that of a tall gaunt creature, pale enough, and smooth enough to be a
woman certainly, but cutting a most ridiculous figure. His long thin
arms were bare, his neck was like a crane's, and the petticoats were so
short as to reach almost above his knees. Shoes and stockings he had
none. His long hair was platted and matted with the salt water, and one
side of his head was shaved, and exhibited a monstrous half-healed scar.

Lady Barclay asked him a few questions, and then desired Nancy to give
him some refreshment, and find him something to lie down upon in the
division of the cave which was used as a kitchen.

But we must now leave Smallbones to entertain the inhabitants of the
cave with the history of his adventures, which he did at intervals,
during his stay there. He retained his women's clothes, for Nancy would
not let him wear any other, and was a source of great amusement not only
to the smugglers' wives, but also to little Lilly, who would listen to
his conversation and remarks which were almost as naive and
unsophisticated as her own.



Chapter XLIV

In which Mr Vanslyperken meets with a double defeat.


It was late in the evening of the day after Smallbones had been so
satisfactorily disposed of that the cutter arrived at Portsmouth; but
from daylight until the time that the cutter anchored, there was no
small confusion and bustle on board of the _Yungfrau_. When
Vanslyperken's cabin door was found to be locked, it was determined that
Smallbones should not appear as a supernatural visitant that night, but
wait till the one following; consequently the parties retired to bed,
and Smallbones, who found the heat between decks very oppressive, had
crept up the ladder and taken a berth in the small boat that he might
sleep cool and comfortable, intending to be down below again long before
Mr Vanslyperken was up; but, as the reader knows, Mr Vanslyperken was up
before him, and the consequence was that Smallbones went down into the
sea instead of the lower deck as he had intended.

The next morning it was soon ascertained that Smallbones was not to be
found, and the ship's company were in a state of dismay. The boat, as
soon as Smallbones had been turned out, had resumed her upright
position, and one of the men when busy washing the decks, had made fast
the gripe again, which he supposed had been cast off by accident when
the ropes had been coiled up for washing, Smallbones not being at that
time missed. When, therefore, the decks had been searched everywhere and
the lad was discovered not to be in the ship, the suspicion was very
great. No one had seen him go aft to sleep in the boat. The man who was
at the wheel stated that Mr Vanslyperken had sent him down for a glass
of grog, and had taken the helm for the time; but this proved nothing.
His disappearance was a mystery not to be unravelled. An appeal to Mr
Vanslyperken was, of course, impossible, for he did not know that the
lad was on board. The whole day was spent in surmises and suppositions;
but things all ended in the simple fact, that somehow or another
Smallbones had fallen overboard, and there was an end of the
poor fellow.

So soon as the cutter was at anchor, Mr Vanslyperken hastened to perform
his official duties, and anxious to learn how Smallbones had contrived
to escape the clutches of his mother, bent his steps towards the
half-way houses. He arrived at the door of his mother's room, and
knocked as usual, but there was no reply. It was now the latter end of
July, and although it was past seven o'clock it was full daylight.
Vanslyperken knocked again and again. His mother must be out, he
thought; and if so, she always took the key with her. He had nothing to
do but to wait for her return. The passage and staircase was dark, but
there was a broad light in the room from the casement, and this light
streamed from under the door of the room. A shade crossing the light
attracted Vanslyperken's attention, and to while away the tediousness of
waiting he was curious to see what it was; he knelt down, looked under
the door, and perceived the key which Smallbones had placed there; he
inserted his finger and drew it forth, imagining that his mother had
slid it beneath till her return.

He fitted it to the lock and opened the door, when his olfactory nerves
were offended with a dreadful stench, which surprised him the more as
the casement was open. Vanslyperken surveyed the room, he perceived that
the blood had been washed from the floor and sand strewed over it. Had
he not known that Smallbones had been on board of the cutter the day
before, he would have thought that it had been the smell of the dead
body not yet removed. This thought crossing his imagination, immediately
made the truth flash upon him, and, as if instinctively, he went up to
the bed and pulled down the clothes, when he recoiled back with horror
at uncovering the face of his mother, now of a livid blue and in the
last stage of putrefaction.

Overcome with the horrid sight, and the dreadful stench which
accompanied it, he reeled to the casement and gasped for breath. A
sickness came over him, and for some time he was incapable of acting and
barely capable of reflection.

"She is gone then," thought he at last, and he shuddered when he asked
himself _where_. "She must have fallen by the hands of the lad,"
continued he, and immediately the whole that had happened appeared to be
revealed to him. "Yes, yes, he has recovered from the blow--killed her
and locked the door--all is clear now, but I have revenged her death."

Vanslyperken, who had now recovered himself, went softly to the door,
took out the key and locked himself in. He had been debating in his mind
whether he should call in the neighbours; but, on reflection, as no one
had seen him enter, he determined that he would not. He would take his
gold and leave the door locked and the key under it, as he found it
before her death was discovered: it would be supposed that she died a
natural death, for the state of the body would render it impossible to
prove the contrary. But there was one act necessary to be performed at
which Vanslyperken's heart recoiled. The key of the oak chest was about
his mother's person and he must obtain it, he must search for it in
corruption and death, amongst creeping worms and noisome stench. It was
half an hour before he could make up his mind to the task! but what will
avarice not accomplish!

He covered up the face, and with a trembling hand turned over the
bedclothes. But we must not disgust our readers, it will suffice to say,
that the key was obtained, and the chest opened.

Vanslyperken found all his own gold, and much more than he had ever
expected belonging to his mother. There were other articles belonging to
him, but he thought it prudent not to touch them. He loaded himself with
the treasure, and when he felt that it was all secure, for he was
obliged to divide it in different parcels and stow it in various manners
about his person, he relocked the chest, placed the key in the cupboard,
and quitting the room made fast the door, and like a dutiful son, left
the remains of his mother to be inhumed at the expense of the parish.

As he left the house without being observed, and gained the town of
Portsmouth, never was Mr Vanslyperken's body so heavily loaded, or his
heart lighter. He had got rid of Smallbones and of his mother, both in a
way perfectly satisfactory to himself.

He had recovered his own gold, and had also been enriched beyond his
hopes by his mother's savings. He felt not the weight which he carried
about his person, he wished it had been heavier. All he felt was, very
anxious to be on board and have his property secured. His boat waited
for him, and one of the men informed him his presence was required at
the admiral's immediately; but Mr Vanslyperken first went on board, and
having safely locked up all his treasures, then complied with the
admiral's wishes. They were to sail immediately, for the intelligence of
the Duke of Gloucester's death had just arrived with the despatches,
announcing the same to be taken to King William, who was still at the
Hague. Vanslyperken sent the boat on board with orders to Short, to
heave short and loose sails, and then hastened up to the house of
Lazarus, the Jew, aware that the cutter would, in all probability, be
despatched immediately to the Hague. The Jew had the letters for Ramsay
all prepared. Vanslyperken once more touched his liberal fee, and, in an
hour, he was again under way for the Texel.

During the passage, which was very quick, Mr Vanslyperken amused himself
as usual, in copying the letters to Ramsay, which contained the most
important intelligence of the projects of the Jacobites, and, from the
various communications between Ramsay and the conspirators, Vanslyperken
had also been made acquainted with the circumstance hitherto unknown to
him, of the existence of the caves above the cove, where he had been
taken to by the informer, as mentioned in the early part of this work,
and also of the names of the parties who visited it.

Of this intelligence Vanslyperken determined to avail himself
by-and-bye. It was evident that there were only women in the cave, and
Mr Vanslyperken counted his gold, patted the head of Snarleyyow, and
indulged in anticipations of further wealth, and the hand of the widow
Vandersloosh.

All dreams! Mr Vanslyperken.

The cutter arrived, and he landed with his despatches for the
government; and his letters to Ramsay being all delivered, Vanslyperken
hastened to the widow's, who, as usual, received him, all smiles. He now
confided to her the death of his mother, and astonished her by
representing the amount of his wealth, which he had the precaution to
state, that the major part of it was left him by his mother.

"Where have you put it all, Mr Vanslyperken?" inquired the widow. And
Vanslyperken replied that he had come to ask her advice on the subject,
as it was at present all on board of the cutter. The widow, who was not
indifferent to money, was more gracious than ever. She had a scheme in
her head of persuading him to leave the money under her charge; but
Vanslyperken was anxious to go on board again, for he discovered that
the key was not in his pocket, and he was fearful that he might have
left it on the cabin table; so he quitted rather abruptly, and the widow
had not time to bring the battery to bear. As soon as Mr Vanslyperken
arrived on board, Corporal Van Spitter, without asking leave, for he
felt it was not necessary, went on shore, and was soon in the arms of
his enamoured widow Vandersloosh. In the meantime, Mr Vanslyperken
discovered the key in the pocket of the waistcoat he had thrown off, and
having locked his door, he again opened his drawer, and delighted
himself for an hour or two in re-arranging his treasure; after which,
feeling himself in want of occupation, it occurred to him, that he might
as well dedicate a little more time to the widow, so he manned his boat
and went on shore again.

It is all very well to have a morning and afternoon lover if ladies are
so inclined, just as they have a morning and afternoon dress, but they
should be worn separately. Now, as it never entered the head of Mr
Vanslyperken that the corporal was playing him false, so did it never
enter the idea of the widow, that Mr Vanslyperken would make his
appearance in the evening, and leave the cutter and Snarleyyow, without
the corporal being on board to watch over them.

But Mr Vanslyperken did leave the cutter and Snarleyyow, did come on
shore, did walk to the widow's house, and did most unexpectedly enter
it, and what was the consequence?--that he was not perceived when he
entered it, and the door of the parlour as well as the front door being
open to admit the air, for the widow and the corporal found that making
love in the dog days was rather warm work for people of their
calibre--to his mortification and rage the lieutenant beheld the
corporal seated in his berth, on the little fubsy sofa, with one arm
round the widow's waist, his other hand joined in hers, and, _proh
pudor!_ sucking at her dewy lips like some huge carp under the
water-lilies on a midsummer's afternoon.

Mr Vanslyperken was transfixed--the parties were too busy with their
amorous interchange to perceive his presence; at last the corporal
thought that his lips required moistening with a little of the beer of
the widow's own brewing, for the honey of her lips had rather glued them
together--he turned towards the table to take up his tumbler, and he
beheld Mr Vanslyperken.

The corporal, for a moment, was equally transfixed, but on these
occasions people act mechanically because they don't know what to do.
The corporal had been well drilled, he rose from the sofa, held himself
perfectly upright, and raised the back of his right hand to his
forehead, there he stood like a statue saluting at the presence of his
superior officer.

The widow had also perceived the presence of Vanslyperken almost as soon
as the corporal, but a woman's wits are more at their command on these
occasions than a man's. She felt that all concealment was now useless,
and she prepared for action. At the same time, although ready to
discharge a volley of abuse upon Vanslyperken, she paused, to ascertain
how she should proceed. Assuming an indifferent air, she said--"Well, Mr
Vanslyperken?"

"Well!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, but he could not speak for passion.

"Eaves-dropping, as usual, Mr Vanslyperken?"

"May the roof of this house drop on you, you infernal----."

"No indelicate language, if you please, sir," interrupted the widow, "I
won't put up with it in my house, I can tell you--ho, ho, Mr
Vanslyperken," continued the widow, working herself into a rage, "that
won't do here, Mr Vanslyperken."

"Why, you audacious--you double-faced----"

"Double-faced!--it's a pity you wer'n't double-faced, as you call it,
with that snivelling nose and crooked chin of yours. Double-faced,
heh!--oh! oh! Mr Vanslyperken--we shall see--wait a little--we shall
see who's double-faced. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken--that for you, Mr
Vanslyperken--I can hang you when I please, Mr Vanslyperken. Corporal,
how many guineas did you see counted out to him at the house opposite?"

During all this the corporal remained fixed and immovable with his hand
up to the salute; but on being questioned by his mistress, he replied,
remaining in the same respectful attitude.

"Fifty golden guineas, Mistress Vandersloosh."

"A lie! an infamous lie!" cried Vanslyperken, drawing his sword.
"Traitor, that you are," continued he to the corporal, "take your
reward." This was a very critical moment. The corporal did not attempt
the defensive, but remained in the same attitude, and Vanslyperken's
rage at the falsehood of the widow, and the discovery of his treason was
so great, that he had lost all command of himself. Had not a third party
come in just as Vanslyperken drew his sword, it might have gone hard
with the corporal; but fortunately Babette came in from the yard, and
perceiving the sword fly out of the scabbard, she put her hand behind
the door, and snatched two long-handled brooms, one of which she put
into the hands of her mistress, and retained the other herself.

"Take your reward!" cried Vanslyperken, running furiously to cut down
the corporal. But his career was stopped by the two brooms, one of which
took him in the face, and the other in the chest. The widow and Babette
now ranged side by side, holding their brooms as soldiers do their arms
in charge of bayonets.

How did the corporal act? He retained his former respectful position,
leaving the defensive or offensive in the hands of the widow
and Babette.

This check on the part of Vanslyperken only added to his rage. Again he
flew with his sword at the corporal, and again he was met with the
besoms in his face. He caught one with his hand, and he was knocked back
with the other. He attempted to cut them in two with his sword, but
in vain.

"Out of my house, you villain!--you traitor--out of my house," cried
the widow, pushing at him with such force as to drive him against the
wall, and pinning him there while Babette charged him in his face which
was now streaming with blood. The attack was now followed up with such
vigour, that Vanslyperken was first obliged to retreat to the door, then
out of the door into the street, followed into the street he took to his
heels, and the widow and Babette returned victorious into the parlour to
the corporal. Mr Vanslyperken could not accuse him of want of respect to
his superior officer; he had saluted him on entering, and he was still
saluting him when he made his exit.

The widow threw herself on the sofa--Corporal Van Spitter then took his
seat beside her. The widow overcome by her rage and exertion, burst into
tears and sobbed in his arms.

The corporal poured out a glass of beer, and persuaded her to drink it.

"I'll have him hanged to-morrow, at all events. I'll go to the Hague
myself," cried the widow. "Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see who
will gain the day," continued the widow, sobbing.

"You can prove it, corporal?"

"Mein Gott, yes," replied the corporal.

"As soon as he's hung, corporal, we'll marry."

"Mein Gott, yes."

"Traitorous villain!--sell his king and his country for gold!"

"Mein Gott, yes."

"You're sure it was fifty guineas, corporal?"

"Mein Gott, yes."

"Ah, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see," said the widow, drying her
eyes. "Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, you shall be hanged, and your cur with
you, or my name's not Vandersloosh."

"Mein Gott, yes," replied the corporal.



Chapter XLV

In which Mr Vanslyperken proves his loyalty and his fidelity to King
William.


Mr Vanslyperken hastened from his inglorious conflict, maddened with
rage and disappointment. He returned on board, went down into his cabin,
and threw himself on his bed. His hopes and calculations had been so
brilliant--rid of his enemy Smallbones--with gold in possession, and
more in prospect, to be so cruelly deceived by the widow--the
cockatrice! Then by one to whom he fully confided, and who knew too many
of his secrets already--Corporal Van Spitter--he too!--and to dare to
aspire to the widow--it was madness--and then their knowledge of his
treason--the corporal having witnessed his receiving the gold--with such
bitter enemies what could he expect but a halter--he felt it even now
round his neck, and Vanslyperken groaned in the bitterness of
his spirit.

In the meantime, there was a consultation between the widow and the
corporal as to the best method of proceeding. That the corporal could
expect nothing but the most determined hostility from Vanslyperken was
certain; but for this the corporal cared little, as he had all the crew
of the cutter on his side, and he was in his own person too high in rank
to be at the mercy of Vanslyperken.

After many pros and cons, and at least a dozen bottles of beer--for the
excitement on the part of the corporal, and the exertion of the widow,
had made them both dry--it was resolved that the Frau Vandersloosh
should demand an audience at the Hague the next morning, and should
communicate the treasonable practices of Mr Vanslyperken, calling upon
the corporal as a witness to the receipt of the money from the Jesuit.

"Mein Gott!" exclaimed the corporal, striking his bull forehead as if a
new thought had required being forced out, "but they will ask me how I
came there myself, and what shall I say?"

"Say that the Jesuit father had sent for you to try and seduce you to do
his treason, but that you would not consent."

"Mein Gott, yes--that will do."

The corporal then returned on board, but did not think it worth while to
report himself to Mr Vanslyperken.

Mr Vanslyperken had also been thinking over the matter, and in what way
he should be able to escape from the toils prepared for him. That the
widow would immediately inform the authorities he was convinced. How was
he to get out of his scrape?

Upon mature reflection, he decided that it was to be done. He had copies
of all Ramsay's letters, and those addressed to Ramsay, and the last
delivered were very important. Now, his best plan would be to set off
for the Hague early the next morning--demand an interview with one of
the ministers, or even his Majesty himself--state that he had been
offered money from the Jacobite party to carry their letters, and that,
with a view to serve his Majesty by finding out their secrets, he had
consented to do it, and had taken the money to satisfy them that he was
sincere. That he had opened the letters and copied them, and that now as
the contents were important, he had thought it right to make them
immediately known to the government, and at the same time to bring the
money received for the service, to be placed at his Majesty's disposal.

"Whether she is before or after me," thought Vanslyperken, "it will then
be little matter, all I shall have to fear will be from Ramsay and his
party, but the government will be bound to protect me."

There certainly was much wisdom in this plan of Vanslyperken, it was the
only one which could have been attended with success, or with any
chance of it.

Mr Vanslyperken was up at daylight, and dressed in his best uniform; he
put in his pocket all the copies of the Jacobite correspondence, and
went on shore--hired a calash, for he did not know how to ride, and set
off for the Hague, where he arrived about ten o'clock. He sent up his
name, and requested an audience with the Duke of Portland, as an officer
commanding one of his Majesty's vessels: he was immediately admitted.

"What is your pleasure, Mr Vanslyperken?" said the duke, who was
standing at the table, in company with Lord Albemarle.

Vanslyperken was a little confused--he muttered, and stammered about
anxiety, and loyalty, and fidelity, and excess of zeal, &c.--

No wonder he stammered, for he was talking of what he knew nothing
about--but these two noblemen recollecting his confusion when presented
to his sovereign on board of the frigate, made allowances.

"I have at last," cried Vanslyperken, with more confidence, "been able
to discover the plots of the Jacobites, your grace."

"Indeed! Mr Vanslyperken," replied the duke, smiling incredulously, "and
pray what may they be? you must be as expeditious as possible, for his
Majesty is waiting for us."

"These letters will take some time to read," replied Vanslyperken; "but
their contents are most important."

"Indeed, letters--how have you possession of their letters?"

"It will be rather a long story, sir--my lord! I mean," replied
Vanslyperken; "but they will amply repay an hour of your time, if you
can spare it."

At this moment, the door opened and his Majesty entered the room. At the
sight of the king, Vanslyperken's confidence was again taking
French leave.

"My lords, I am waiting for you," said the king, with a little asperity
of manner.

"May it please your Majesty, here is Lieutenant Vanslyperken, commanding
one of your Majesty's vessels, who states that he has important
intelligence, and that he has possession of Jacobite papers."

"Indeed!" replied King William, who was always alive to Jacobite
plotting, from which he had already run so much risk.

"What is it, Mr Vanslyperken? speak boldly what you have to
communicate."

"Your Majesty, I beg your gracious pardon, but here are copies of the
correspondence carried on by the traitors in England and this country.
If your Majesty will deign to have it read, you will then perceive how
important it is--after your Majesty has read it, I will have the honour
to explain to you by what means it came into my possession."

King William was a man of business, and Vanslyperken had done wisely in
making this proposal. His Majesty at once sat down, with the Duke of
Portland on the one side and Lord Albemarle on the other: the latter
took the letters which were arranged according to their dates, and read
them in a clear distinct voice.

As the reading went on, his Majesty made memorandums and notes with his
pencil on a sheet of paper, but did not interrupt during the whole
progress of the lecture. When the last and most important was finished,
the two noblemen looked at his Majesty with countenances full of
meaning. For a few moments his Majesty drummed with the second and third
finger of his left hand upon the table, and then said--

"Pray, Mr Vanslyperken, how did you obtain possession of these papers
and letters, or make copies of these letters?"

Vanslyperken, who had been standing at the other side of the table
during the time of the reading, had anxiously watched the countenance of
his Majesty and the two noblemen, and perceived that the intelligence
which the letters contained, had created a strong feeling, as he
expected. With a certain degree of confidence, he commenced his
explanation.

He stated that the crew of the cutter had been accustomed to frequent
the Lust Haus of a certain widow Vandersloosh, and that he had made her
acquaintance, by several times going there to look after his seamen.

That this widow had often hinted to him, and at last proposed to him,
that he should take letters for some friends of hers--at last she had
told him plainly that it was for the Jacobite party, and he pretended
to consent.

That he had been taken by her to the house of a Jesuit, 169, in the Bur
street, nearly opposite to her Lust Haus, and that the Jesuit had given
him some letters and fifty guineas for his trouble.

He then stated, that he had opened, copied, and resealed them; further,
that he had brought over one of the confederates, who was now residing
in the house of the syndic, Van Krause. That he should have made all
this known before, only that he waited till it was more important. That
the last letters appeared of such consequence, that he deemed it his
duty no longer to delay.

"You have done well, Mr Vanslyperken," replied his Majesty.

"And played a bold game," observed Lord Albemarle, fixing his eyes upon
Vanslyperken. "Suppose you had been found out co-operating with
traitors, before you made this discovery!"

"I might have forfeited my life in my zeal," replied Mr Vanslyperken,
with adroitness; "but that is the duty of a king's officer."

"That is well said," observed the Duke of Portland.

"I have a few questions to put to you, Mr Vanslyperken," observed his
Majesty.

"What is the cave they mention so often?"

"It is on the bank of the Isle of Wight, your Majesty. I did not know of
its existence, but from the letters--but I once laid a whole night in
the cove underneath it, to intercept the smugglers, upon information
that I had received, but the alarm was given, and they escaped."

"Who is their agent at Portsmouth?"

"A Jew of the name of Lazarus, residing in little Orange Street, at the
back of the Point, your Majesty!"

"Do you know of any of the names of the conspirators?"

"I do not, your Majesty, except a woman, who is very active, one Moggy
Salisbury--her husband not a month back, was the boatswain of the
cutter, but by some interest or another, he has obtained his discharge."

"My Lord of Portland, take a memorandum to inquire who it was applied
for the discharge of that man. Mr Vanslyperken you may retire--we will
call you in by-and-bye--you will be secret as to what has passed."

"I have one more duty to perform," replied Vanslyperken, taking some
rouleaus of gold out of his pocket; "this is the money received from the
traitors--it is not for a king's officer to have it in his possession."

"You are right, Mr Vanslyperken, but the gold of traitors is forfeited
to the crown, and it is now mine, you will accept it as a present from
your king."

Mr Vanslyperken took the gold from the table, made a bow, and retired
from the royal presence.

The reader will acknowledge that it was impossible to play his cards
better than Mr Vanslyperken had done in this interview, and that he
deserved great credit for his astute conduct. With such diplomatic
talents, he would have made a great prime minister.

"The council was ordered at twelve o'clock, my lords. These letters must
be produced. That they are genuine appears to me beyond a doubt."

"That they are faithful copies, I doubt not," replied Lord Albemarle,
"but--"

"But what, my Lord Albemarle?"

"I very much suspect the fidelity of the copier--there is something more
that has not been told, depend upon it."

"Why do you think so, my lord?"

"Because, your Majesty, allowing that a man would act the part that Mr
Vanslyperken says that he has done to discover the conspiracy, still,
would he not naturally, to avoid any risk to himself, have furnished
government with the first correspondence, and obtained their sanction
for prosecuting his plans? This officer has been employed for the last
two years or more in carrying the despatches to the Hague, and it must
at once strike your Majesty, that a person who can, with such dexterity,
open the letters of others can also open those of his own government."

"That is true, my lord," replied his Majesty, musing.

"Your Majesty is well aware that suspicions were entertained of the
fidelity of the syndic, suspicions which the evidence of this officer
have verified. But why were these suspicions raised? Because he knew of
the government secrets, and it was supposed he obtained them from some
one who is in our trust, but inimical to us and unworthy of the
confidence reposed in him.

"Your Majesty's acuteness will at once perceive that the secrets may
have been obtained by Mynheer Krause, by the same means as have been
resorted to, to obtain the secrets of the conspirators. I may be in
error, and if I do this officer wrong by my suspicions, may God forgive
me, but there is something in his looks which tells me----"

"What, my lord?"

"That he is a traitor to both parties. May it please your Majesty."

"By the Lord, Albermarle, I think you have hit upon the truth," replied
the Duke of Portland.

"Of that we shall soon have proof--at present, we have to decide whether
it be advisable to employ him to discover more, or at once to seize upon
the parties he has denounced. But that had better be canvassed in the
council-chamber. Come, my lords, they be waiting for us."

The affair was of too great importance not to absorb all other business,
and it was decided that the house of Mynheer Krause, and of the Jesuit,
and the widow Vandersloosh should be entered by the peace-officers, at
midnight, and that they and any of the conspirators who might be found
should be thrown into prison. That the cutter should be despatched
immediately to England, with orders to seize all the other parties
informed against by Vanslyperken, and that a force should be sent to
attack the cave, and secure those who might be found there, with
directions to the admiral, that Mr Vanslyperken should be employed both
as a guide, and to give the assistance of the cutter and his crew.

These arrangements having been made, the council broke up, King William
had a conference with his two favourites, and Vanslyperken was sent for.

"Lieutenant Vanslyperken, we feel much indebted to you for your
important communications, and we shall not forget, in due time, to
reward your zeal and loyalty as it deserves. At present, it is necessary
that you sail for England as soon as our despatches are ready, which
will be before midnight; you will then receive your orders from the
admiral, at Portsmouth, and I have no doubt you will take the
opportunity of affording us fresh proofs of your fidelity and
attachment."

Mr Vanslyperken bowed humbly and retired, delighted with the successful
result of his manoeuvre, and, with a gay heart he leaped into his
calash, and drove off.

"Yes, yes," thought he, "Madam Vandersloosh, you would betray me. We
shall see. Yes, yes, we shall see, Madam Vandersloosh."

And sure enough he did see Madam Vandersloosh, who in another calash was
driving to the palace, and who met him face to face.

Vanslyperken turned up his nose at her as he passed by, and the widow
astonished at his presumption, thought as she went on her way, "Well,
well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see, you may turn up your snivelling
nose, but stop till your head's in the halter--yes, Mr Vanslyperken,
stop till your head's in the halter."

We must leave Mr Vanslyperken to drive, and the widow Vandersloosh to
drive, while we drive on ourselves.

The subsequent events of this eventful day we will narrate in the
following chapter.



Chapter XLVI

In which there is much bustle and confusion, plot and counter-plot.


About two hours after the council had broken up, the following
communication was delivered into the hands of Ramsay by an old woman,
who immediately took her departure.

"The lieutenant of the cutter has taken copies of all your
correspondence and betrayed you. You must fly immediately, as at
midnight you and all of you will be seized. In justice to Mynheer
Krause, leave documents to clear him.

"The cutter will sail this evening--with orders to secure your friends
at Portsmouth and the cave."

"Now, by the holy cross of our Saviour! I will have revenge upon that
dastard; there is no time to lose; five minutes for reflection, and then
to act," thought Ramsay, as he twisted up this timely notice, which, it
must be evident to the reader, must have been sent by one who had been
summoned to the council. Ramsay's plans were soon formed, he despatched
a trusty messenger to the Jesuit's, desiring him to communicate
immediately with the others, and upon what plan to proceed. He then
wrote a note to Vanslyperken, requesting his immediate presence, and
hastened to the morning apartment of Wilhelmina. In a few words, he told
her that he had received timely notice that it was the intention of the
government to seize her father and him as suspected traitors, and throw
them that very night in prison.

Wilhelmina made no reply.

"For your father, my dearest girl, there is no fear: he will be fully
acquitted; but I, Wilhelmina, must depart immediately, or my life is
forfeited."

"Leave me, Edward?" replied Wilhelmina.

"No, you must go with me, Wilhelmina, for more than one reason; the
government have ordered the seizure of the persons to be made in the
night, to avoid a disturbance; but that they will not be able to
prevent; the mob are but too happy to prove their loyalty, when they can
do so by rapine and plunder, and depend upon it that this house will be
sacked and levelled to the ground before to-morrow evening. You cannot
go to prison with your father; you cannot remain here, to be at the
mercy of an infuriated and lawless mob. You must go with me, Wilhelmina;
trust to me, not only for my sake, but for your father's."

"My father's, Edward, it is that only I am thinking of; how can I leave
my father at such a time?"

"You will save your father by so doing. Your departure with me will
substantiate his innocence; decide, my dearest girl; decide at once; you
must either fly with me, or we must part for ever."

"Oh no, that must not be, Edward," cried Wilhelmina, bursting into
tears.

After some further persuasions on the part of Ramsay, and fresh tears
from the attached maiden, it was agreed that she should act upon his
suggestions, and with a throbbing heart, she went to her chamber to make
the necessary preparations, while Ramsay requested that Mynheer Krause
would give him a few minutes of his company in his room above.

The syndic soon made his appearance; "Well, Mynheer Ramsay, you have
some news to tell me, I am sure;" for Mynheer Krause, notwithstanding
his rebuff from the king, could not divest himself of his failing of
fetching and carrying reports. Ramsay went to the door and turned
the key.

"I have, indeed, most important news, Mynheer Krause, and, I am sorry to
say, very unpleasant also."

"Indeed," replied the syndic, with alarm.

"Yes; I find from a notice given me by one of his Majesty's council,
assembled this morning at the Hague, that you are suspected of
treasonable practices."

"God in heaven!" exclaimed the syndic.

"And that this very night you are to be seized and thrown into prison."

"I, the syndic of the town! I, who put everybody else into prison!"

"Even so; such is the gratitude of King William for your long and
faithful services, Mynheer Krause! I have now sent for you, that we may
consult as to what had best be done. Will you fly? I have the means for
your escape."

"Fly, Mynheer Ramsay; the syndic of Amsterdam fly? Never! they may
accuse me falsely; they may condemn me and take off my head before the
Stadt House, but I will not fly."

"I expected this answer; and you are right, Mynheer Krause; but there
are other considerations worthy of your attention. When the populace
know you are in prison for treason, they will level this house to
the ground."

"Well, and so they ought, if they suppose me guilty; I care little for
that."

"I am aware of that; but still your property will be lost; but it will
be but a matter of prudence to save all you can: you have already a
large sum of gold collected."

"I have four thousand guilders, at least."

"You must think of your daughter, Mynheer Krause. This gold must not
find its way into the pockets of the mob. Now, observe, the king's
cutter sails to-night, and I propose that your gold be embarked, and I
will take it over for you and keep it safe. Then, let what will happen,
your daughter will not be left to beggary."

"True, true, my dear sir, there is no saying how this will end: it may
end well; but, as you say, if the house is plundered, the gold is gone
for ever. Your advice is good, and I will give you, before you go,
orders for all the monies in the hands of my agents at Hamburgh and
Frankfort and other places. I have taken your advice my young friend,
and, though I have property to the amount of some hundred thousand
guilders, with the exception of this house they will hold little of it
which belongs to Mynheer Krause. And my poor daughter, Mynheer Ramsay!"

"Should any accident happen to you, you may trust to me, I swear it to
you, Mynheer Krause, on my hope of salvation."

Here the old man sat down much affected, and covered his face.

"Oh! my dear young friend, what a world is this, where they cannot
distinguish a true and a loyal subject from a traitor. But why could you
not stay here,--protect my house from the mob,--demand the civic guard."

"I stay here, my dear sir, why I am included in the warrant of treason."

"You?"

"Yes; and there would be no chance of my escaping from my enemies, they
detest me too much. But cheer up, sir, I think that, by my means, you
may be cleared of all suspicions."

"By your means?"

"Yes; but I must not explain; my departure is necessary for your safety:
I will take the whole upon myself, and you shall be saved."

"I really cannot understand you, my dear friend; but it appears to me,
as if you were going to make some great sacrifice for my sake."

"I will not be questioned, Mynheer Krause; only this I say, that I am
resolved that you shall be proved innocent. It is my duty. But we have
no time to lose. Let your gold be ready at sunset: I will have
everything prepared."

"But my daughter must not remain here; she will be by herself, at the
mercy of the mob."

"Be satisfied, Mynheer Krause, that is also cared for, your daughter
must leave this house, and be in a safe retreat before the officers come
in to seize you: I have arranged everything."

"Where do you propose sending her?"

"Not to any of your friends' houses, Mynheer Krause, no--no, but I'll
see her in safety before I leave, do not be afraid; it must depend upon
circumstances, but of that hereafter, you have no time to lose."

"God in heaven!" exclaimed Mynheer Krause, unlocking the door, "that I,
the syndic, the most loyal subject!--well, well, you may truly say, 'put
not your trust in princes.'"

"Trust in me, Mynheer Krause," replied Ramsay, taking his hand.

"I do, I will, my good friend, and I will go to prison proudly, and like
an innocent and injured man."

And Mynheer Krause hastened down to his counting-house, to make the
proposed arrangements, Ramsay returning to Wilhelmina, to whom he
imparted what had taken place between him and her father, and which had
the effect of conforming her resolution.

We must now return to the widow Vandersloosh, who has arrived safely,
but melting with the heat of her journey, at the Palace of the Hague.
She immediately informed one of the domestics that she wished to speak
with his Majesty upon important business.

"I cannot take your name into his Majesty, but if you will give it me, I
will speak to Lord Albemarle."

The widow wrote her name down upon a slip of paper; with which the
servant went away, and then the widow sat down upon a bench in the hall,
and cooled herself with her fan.

"Frau Vandersloosh," said Lord Albemarle, on reading the name.

"Let her come up,--why this," continued he, turning to the Duke of
Portland, who was sitting by him, "is the woman who is ordered to be
arrested this night, upon the evidence of Lieutenant Vanslyperken; we
shall learn something now, depend upon it."

The Frau Vandersloosh made her appearance, sailing in the room like a
Dutch man-of-war of that period, under full sail, high pooped and broad
sterned. Never having stood in the presence of great men, she was not a
little confused, so she fanned herself most furiously.

"You wish to speak with me," said Lord Albemarle.

"Yes, your honour's honour, I've come to expose a snivelling traitor to
his Majesty's crown. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see now,"
continued the widow, talking to herself, and fanning away.

"We are all attentive, madam."

Mistress Vandersloosh then began, out of breath, and continued out of
breath till she had told the whole of her story, which, as the reader
must be aware, only corroborated all Vanslyperken had already stated,
with the exception that he had denounced the widow. Lord Albemarle
allowed her to proceed without interruption, he had a great insight into
character, and the story of the widow confirmed him in his opinion of
Vanslyperken.

"But my good woman," said Lord Albemarle, "are you aware that Mr
Vanslyperken has already been here?"

"Yes, your honour, I met him going back, and he turned his nose up at
me, and I then said, 'Well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see; wait a
little, Mr Vanslyperken.'"

"And," continued Lord Albemarle, "that he has denounced you as being a
party to all these treasonable practices."

"Me--denounced me--he--O Lord, O Lord, only let me meet
him face to face--let him say it then if he dares, the
snivelling--cowardly--murdering wretch."

Thereupon Mrs Vandersloosh commenced the history of Vanslyperken's
wooing, of his cur Snarleyyow, of her fancy for the corporal, of his
finding her with the corporal the day before, of her beating him off
with the brooms, and of her threats to expose his treason. "And so, now,
when he finds that he was to be exposed, he comes up first himself;
that's now the truth of it, or my name's not Vandersloosh, your honour,"
and the widow walked up and down with the march of an elephant, fanning
herself violently, her bosom heaving with agitation, and her face as red
as a boiled lobster.

"Mistress Vandersloosh," said Lord Albemarle, "let the affair rest as
it is for the present, but I shall not forget what you have told me. I
think now that you had better go home."

At this dismissal the widow turned round.

"Thank your worship kindly," said she, "I'm ready to come whenever I'm
wanted. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken," resumed the widow, as she walked to
the door, quite forgetting the respect due to the two noblemen, "we
shall see; yes, yes, we shall see."

"Well, my lord, what think you of this?" said Lord Albemarle to the
duke, as the widow closed the door.

"Upon my soul I think she is honest; she is too fat for a traitor."

"I am of your opinion. The episode of the corporal was delightful, and
has thrown much light upon the lieutenant's conduct, who is a traitor in
my opinion, if ever there was one; but he must be allowed to fulfil his
task, and then we will soon find out the traitor; but if I mistake not,
that man was born to be hung."

We must now return to Mr Vanslyperken, who received the note from
Ramsay, just as he was going down to the boat. As he did not know what
steps were to be taken by government, he determined to go up to Ramsay,
and inform him of his order for immediately sailing.

He might gain further information from his letters, and also remove the
suspicion of his having betrayed him. Ramsay received Mr Vanslyperken
with an air of confidence.

"Sit down, Mr Vanslyperken, I wish to know whether there is any chance
of your sailing."

"I was about to come up to you to state that I have orders to sail this
evening."

"That is fortunate, as I intended to take a passage with you, and what
is more, Mr Vanslyperken, I have a large sum in specie, which we must
contrive to get on board. Cannot we contrive it, I cannot go
without it."

"A large sum in specie?" Vanslyperken reflected. "Yes, he would secure
Ramsay as a prisoner, and possess himself of the specie if he could.
His entrapping Ramsay on board would be another proof of his fidelity
and dexterity. But then Vanslyperken thought of the defection of the
corporal, but that was of no great consequence. The crew of the cutter
dare not disobey him, when they were ordered to seize a traitor."

While Vanslyperken was meditating this, Ramsay fixed his eyes upon him
waiting for his reply.

"It will be difficult," observed Vanslyperken, "to get the specie on
board without being seen."

"I'm afraid so too, but I have a proposition to make. Suppose you get
under way, and--heave to a mile outside, I will then come off in the
syndic's barge. I can have the use of it. Then nothing will be
discovered."

Vanslyperken appeared to reflect again.

"I shall still run a great risk, Mr Ramsay."

"You will run some little perhaps, but you will be well paid for it, I
promise you."

"Well, sir, I consent," replied Vanslyperken. "At what hour do you
propose to embark?"

"About eleven or a little earlier. You will have a light over the stern;
hail the boat when you see it coming, and I shall answer, 'King's
messenger, with despatches;' that will be a blind to your crew--they
supposed me a king's messenger before."

"Yes, that will be prudent," replied Vanslyperken, who then took his
leave with great apparent cordiality.

"Villain," muttered Ramsay, as Vanslyperken shut the door, "I know your
thoughts."

We must pass over the remainder of this eventful day. Wilhelmina had
procured the dress of a boy, in which disguise she proposed to elope
with Ramsay, and all her preparations were made long before the time.
Mynheer Krause was also occupied in getting his specie ready for
embarkation, and Ramsay in writing letters. The despatches from the
Hague came down about nine o'clock, and Vanslyperken received them on
board. About ten, he weighed and made sail, and hove-to about a mile
outside, with a light shown as agreed. About the time arranged, a large
boat appeared pulling up to the cutter. "Boat, ahoy!" "King's messenger
with despatches," was the reply. "All's right," said Vanslyperken, "get
a rope there from forward."

The boat darted alongside of the cutter. She pulled ten oars, but, as
soon as she was alongside, a number of armed men sprang from her on the
decks, and beat the crew below, while Ramsay, with pistols in his belt,
and his sword in his hand, went aft to Vanslyperken.

"What is all this?" exclaimed the terrified lieutenant.

"Nothing, sir, but common prudence on my part," replied Ramsay. "I have
an account to settle with you."

Vanslyperken perceived that his treachery was discovered, and he fell
upon his knees. Ramsay turned away to give orders, and Vanslyperken
darted down the hatchway, and gained the lower deck.

"Never mind," said Ramsay, "he'll not escape me; come, my lads, hand up
the boxes as fast as you can."

Ramsay then went to the boat, and brought up Wilhelmina, who had
remained there, and conducted her down into the cabin. The boxes were
also handed down, the boat made fast, and the conspirators remained in
possession of the deck. The helm was taken by one of them; sail again
made on the cutter, and the boat with a boat-keeper towed astern.



Chapter XLVII

Which is rather interesting.


Mr Vanslyperken's retreat was not known to the crew, they thought him
still on deck, and he hastened forward to secrete himself, even from his
own crew, who were not a little astonished at this unexpected attack
which they could not account for. The major part of the arms on board
were always kept in Mr Vanslyperken's cabin, and that was not only in
possession of the assailants, but there was a strong guard in the
passage outside which led to the lower deck.

"Well, this beats my comprehension entirely," said Bill Spurey.

"Yes," replied Short.

"And mine too," added Obadiah Coble, "being as we are, as you know, at
peace with all nations, to be boarded and carried in this way."

"Why, what, and who can they be?"

"I've a notion that Vanslyperken's at the bottom of it," replied Spurey.

"Yes," said Short.

"But it's a bottom that I can't fathom," continued Spurey.

"My dipsey line arn't long enough either," replied Coble.

"Gott for dam, what it can be!" exclaimed Jansen. "It must be the
treason."

"Mein Gott! yes," replied Corporal Van Spitter. "It is all treason, and
the traitor be Vanslyperken." But although the corporal had some
confused ideas, yet he could not yet arrange them.

"Well, I've no notion of being boxed up here," observed Coble, "they
can't be so many as we are, even if they were stowed away in the boat,
like pilchards in a cask. Can't we get at the arms, corporal, and make a
rush for it."

"Mein Gott! de arms are all in the cabin, all but three pair pistols and
the bayonets."

"Well, but we've handspikes," observed Spurey.

"Got for dam, gif me de handspike," cried Jansen.

"We had better wait till daylight, at all events," observed Coble, "we
shall see our work better."

"Yes," replied Short.

"And, in the meantime, get everything to hand that we can."

"Yes," replied Short.

"Well, I can't understand the manoeuvre. It beats my comprehension, what
they have done with Vanslyperken."

"I don't know, but they've kicked the cur out of the cabin."

"Then they've kicked him out too, depend upon it."

Thus did the crew continue to surmise during the whole night, but, as
Bill Spurey said, the manoeuvre beat their comprehension.

One thing was agreed upon, that they should make an attempt to recover
the vessel as soon as they could.

In the meantime, Ramsay with Wilhelmina, and the Jesuits, had taken
possession of the cabin, and had opened all the despatches which
acquainted them with the directions in detail, given for the taking of
the conspirators at Portsmouth, and in the cave. Had it not been to save
his friends, Ramsay would, at once, have taken the cutter to Cherbourg,
and have there landed Wilhelmina and the treasure; but his anxiety for
his friends, determined him to run at once for the cave, and send
overland to Portsmouth. The wind was fair and the water smooth, and,
before morning, the cutter was on her way.

In the meantime, the crew of the cutter had not been idle; the ladders
had been taken up and hatches closed. The only chance of success was an
attack upon the guard, who was stationed outside of the cabin.

They had six pistols, about two hundred pounds of ammunition, but with
the exception of half-a-dozen bayonets, no other weapons. But they were
resolute men, and as soon as they had made their arrangements, which
consisted of piling up their hammocks, so as to make a barricade to fire
over, they then commenced operations, the first signal of which, was a
pistol-shot discharged at the men who were on guard in the passage, and
which wounded one of them. Ramsay darted out of the cabin, at the report
of the pistol, another and another was discharged, and Ramsay then gave
the order to fire in return. This was done, but without injury to the
seamen of the cutter, who were protected by the hammocks, and Ramsay
having already three of his men wounded, found that the post below was
no longer tenable. A consultation took place, and it was determined
that the passage on the lower deck and the cabin should be abandoned, as
the upper deck it would be easy to retain.

The cabin's skylight was taken off, and the boxes of gold handed up,
while the party outside the cabin door maintained the conflict with the
crew of the _Yungfrau_. When all the boxes were up, Wilhelmina was
lifted on deck, the skylight was shipped on again, and, as soon as the
after hatches were ready to put on, Ramsay's men retreated to the
ladder, which they drew up after them, and then put on the hatches.

Had not the barricade of hammocks prevented them, the crew of the
_Yungfrau_ might have made a rush, and followed the others on deck; but,
before they could beat down the barricades, which they did as soon as
they perceived their opponents' retreat, the ladder was up, and the
hatches placed over the hatchways.

The _Yungfraus_ had gained the whole of the lower deck, but they could
do no more; and Ramsay perceived that if he could maintain possession of
the upper deck, it was as much as he could expect with such determined
assailants. This warfare had been continued during the whole morning,
and it was twelve o'clock before the cabin and lower deck had been
abandoned by Ramsay's associates. During the whole day the skirmishes
continued, the crew of the _Yungfrau_ climbing on the table of the
cabin, and firing through the skylight, but in so doing, they exposed
themselves to the fire of the other party who sat like cats watching for
their appearance, and discharging their pieces the moment that a head
presented itself. In the meantime, the cutter darted on before a strong
favourable breeze, and thus passed the first day. Many attempts were
made during the night by the seamen of the cutter to force their way on
deck, but they were all prevented by the vigilance of Ramsay; and the
next morning the Isle of Wight was in sight. Wilhelmina had passed the
night on the forecastle, covered up with a sail; none of his people had
had anything to eat during the time that they were on board, and Ramsay
was most anxious to arrive at his destination.

About noon, the cutter was abreast of the Black Gang Chine: Ramsay had
calculated upon retaining possession of the cutter, and taking the whole
of the occupants of the cave over to Cherbourg, but this was now
impossible. He had five of his men wounded, and he could not row the
boat to the cave without leaving so few men on board, that they would be
overpowered, for his ammunition was expended, with the exception of one
or two charges, which were retained for an emergency. All that he could
do now, was, therefore, to put his treasure in the boat, and with
Wilhelmina and his whole party make for the cave, when he could send
notice to Portsmouth for the others to join them, and they must be
content to await the meditated attack upon the cave, and defend it till
they could make their escape to France. The wind being foul for the
cutter's return to Portsmouth, would enable him to give notice at
Portsmouth, over land, before she could arrive.

There was a great oversight committed when the lower deck was abandoned,
the despatches had been left on Mr Vanslyperken's bed. Had they been
taken away or destroyed, there would have been ample time for the whole
of his party to have made their escape from England, before duplicates
could arrive. As it was, he could do no more than what we have already
mentioned.

The boat was hauled up, the boxes of specie put in, the wounded men laid
at the bottom of the boat, and having, at the suggestion of one of the
men, cut the lower riggings, halyards, &c., of the cutter to retard its
progress to Portsmouth, Ramsay and his associates stepped into the boat,
and pulled for the cave.

Their departure was soon ascertained by the crew of the _Yungfrau_ who
now forced the skylight, and gained the deck, but not before the boat
had entered the cave.

"What's to be done now?" said Coble. "Smash my timbers, but they've
played old Harry with the rigging. We must knot and splice."

"Yes," replied Short.

"What the devil have they done with Vanslyperken?" cried Bill Spurey.

"Either shoved him overboard, or taken him with them, I suppose," cried
Coble.

"Well, it's a nice job altogether," observed Spurey.

"Mein Gott! yes," replied the corporal; "we will have a pretty story to
tell de admiral."

"Well, they've rid us of him at all events; I only hope they'll hang
him."

"Mein Gott! yes."

"He'll have his desarts," replied Coble.

"Got for tam! I like to see him swing."

"Now he's gone, let's send his dog after him. Hurrah, my lads! get a
rope up on the yard, and let us hang Snarleyyow."

"Mein Gott! I'll go fetch him," cried the corporal.

"You will--will you?" roared a voice.

The corporal turned round, so did the others, and there, with his drawn
sword, stood Mr Vanslyperken.

"You d----d mutinous scoundrel," cried Vanslyperken, "touch my dog, if
you dare."

The corporal put his hand up to the salute, and Vanslyperken shook his
head with a diabolical expression of countenance.

"Now where the devil could he come from?" whispered Spurey.

Coble shrugged up his shoulders, and Short gave a long whistle expending
more breath than usual.

However, there was no more to be said; and as soon as the rigging was
knotted and spliced, sail was made in the cutter; but the wind being
dead in their teeth, they did not arrive until late the next evening,
and the admiral did not see despatches till the next morning, for the
best of all possible reasons, that Vanslyperken did not take them on
shore. He had a long story to tell, and he thought it prudent not to
disturb the admiral after dinner, as great men are apt to be very
choleric during the progress of digestion.

The consequence was, that when, the next morning, Mr Vanslyperken
called upon the admiral, the intelligence had been received from the
cave, and all the parties had absconded. Mr Vanslyperken told his own
tale, how he had been hailed by a boat purporting to have a messenger on
board, how they had boarded him and beat down himself and his crew, how
he and his crew had fought under hatches and beat them on deck, and how
they had been forced to abandon the cutter. All this was very plausible,
and then Vanslyperken gave the despatches opened by Ramsay.

The admiral read them in haste, gave immediate orders for surrounding
and breaking into the house of the Jew Lazarus, in which the military
found nobody but an old tom-cat, and then desired Mr Vanslyperken to
hold the cutter in readiness to embark troops and sail that afternoon;
but troops do not move so fast as people think, and before one hundred
men had been told off by the sergeant with their accoutrements,
knapsacks, and sixty pounds of ammunition, it was too late to embark
them that night, so they waited until the next morning. Moreover, Mr
Vanslyperken had orders to draw from the dock-yard three large boats for
the debarkation of the said troops; but the boats were not quite ready,
one required a new gunnel, another three planks in the bottom, and the
third having her stern out, it required all the carpenters in the yard
to finish it by the next morning. Mr Vanslyperken's orders were to
proceed to the cave, and land the troops, to march up to the cave, and
to cover the advance of the troops, rendering them all the assistance in
his power in co-operating with the major commanding the detachment; but
where the cave was, no one knew, except that it was thereabouts.

The next morning, at eight o'clock, the detachment, consisting of one
hundred men, were embarked on board of the cutter, but the major
commandant finding that the decks were excessively crowded, and that he
could hardly breathe, ordered section first, section second, and section
third, of twenty-five men each, to go into the boats and be towed.
After which there was more room, and the cutter stood out for
St Helen's.



Chapter XLVIII

In which there is a great deal of correspondence, and the widow is
called up very early in the morning.


We must now return to Mynheer Krause, who, after he had delivered over
his gold, locked up his counting-house and went up to the saloon,
determining to meet his fate with all the dignity of a Roman senator. He
sent for his daughter, who sent word back that she was packing up her
wardrobe, and this answer appeared but reasonable to the syndic, who,
therefore, continued in his chair, reflecting upon his approaching
incarceration, conning speeches, and anticipating a glorious acquittal,
until the bell of the cathedral chimed the half-hour after ten. He then
sent another message to his daughter, and the reply was that she was not
in the room, upon which he despatched old Koop to Ramsay, requesting his
attendance. The reply to this second message was a letter presented to
the syndic, who broke the seal and read as follows:

     "MY DEAR AND HONOURED SIR,

     "I have sought a proper asylum for your daughter during the
     impending troubles, and could not find one which pleased, and
     in consequence I have taken the bold step, aware that I might
     not have received your sanction if applied for, of taking her
     on board the cutter with me; she will there be safe, and as
     her character might be, to a certain degree, impeached by
     being in company with a man of my age, I intend, as soon as
     we arrive in port, to unite myself to her, for which act, I
     trust, you will grant me your pardon. As for yourself, be
     under no apprehension, I have saved you. Treat the
     accusation with scorn, and if you are admitted into the
     presence of his Majesty, accuse him of the ingratitude which
     he has been guilty of; I trust that we shall soon meet again,
     that I may return to you the securities and specie of which I
     have charge, as well as your daughter, who is anxious once
     more to receive your blessing.

     "Yours ever, till death,

       "EDWARD RAMSAY."

Mynheer Krause read this letter over and over again, it was very
mystifying. Much depends in this world upon the humour people are in at
the time; Mynheer Krause was, at that time, full of Cato-like devotion
and Roman virtue, and he took the contents of the letter in true
Catonic style.

"Excellent young man--to preserve my honour he has taken her away with
him! and, to preserve her reputation he intends to marry her! Now, I can
go to prison without a sigh. He tells me that he has saved me--saved
me!--why, he has saved everything; me, my daughter, and my property!
Well, they shall see how I behave! They shall witness the calmness of a
stoic; I shall express no emotion or surprise at the arrest, as they
will naturally expect, because I know it is to take place--no fear--no
agitation when in prison, because I know that I am to be saved. I shall
desire them to bear in mind that I am the syndic of this town, and must
receive that respect which is due to my exalted situation," and Mynheer
Van Krause lifted his pipe and ordered Koop to bring him a stone jug of
beer, and thus doubly-armed like Cato, he awaited the arrival of the
officer with all the stoicism of beer and tobacco.

About the same hour of night that the letter was put into the hands of
Mynheer Krause, a packet was brought up to Lord Albemarle, who was
playing a game of put with his Grace the Duke of Portland; at that time
put was a most fashionable game; but games are like garments, as they
become old they are cast off, and handed down to the servants. The
outside of the despatch was marked "To Lord Albemarle's own hands.
Immediate and most important." It appeared, however, as if the two noble
lords considered the game of put as more important and immediate, for
they finished it without looking at the packet in question, and it was
midnight before they threw up the cards. After which, Lord Albemarle
went to a side table, apart from the rest of the company, and broke the
seals. It was a letter with enclosures, and ran as follows:

     "MY LORD ALBEMARLE,

     "Although your political enemy, I do justice to your merits,
     and to prove my opinion of you, address to you this letter,
     the object of which is to save your government from the
     disgrace of injuring a worthy man, and a staunch supporter,
     to expose the villany of a coward and a scoundrel. When I
     state that my name is Ramsay, you may at once be satisfied
     that, before this comes to your hands, I am out of your
     reach. I came here in the king's cutter, commanded by Mr
     Vanslyperken, with letters of recommendation to Mynheer
     Krause, which represented me as a staunch adherent of William
     of Orange and a Protestant, and, with that impression, I was
     well received, and took up my abode in his house. My object
     you may imagine, but fortune favoured me still more, in
     having in my power Lieutenant Vanslyperken. I opened the
     government despatches in his presence, and supplied him with
     false seals to enable him to do the same, and give me the
     extracts which were of importance, for which I hardly need
     say he was most liberally rewarded; this has been carried on
     for some time, but it appears, that in showing him how to
     obtain your secrets, I also showed him how to possess himself
     of ours, and the consequence has been that he has turned
     double traitor, and I have now narrowly escaped.

     "The information possessed by Mynheer Krause was given by
     me, to win his favour for one simple reason, that I fell in
     love with his daughter, who has now quitted the country with
     me. He never was undeceived as to my real position, nor is he
     even now. Let me do an honest man justice. I enclose you the
     extracts from your duplicates made by Mr Vanslyperken,
     written in his own hand, which I trust will satisfy you as to
     his perfidy, and induce you to believe in the innocence of
     the worthy syndic from the assurance of a man, who, although
     a Catholic, a Jacobite, and if you please an attainted
     traitor, is incapable of telling you a falsehood. I am, my
     lord, with every respect for your noble character.

     "Yours most obediently,

       "EDWARD RAMSAY."

"This is corroborative of my suspicions," said Lord Albemarle, putting
down the papers before the Duke of Portland.

The duke read the letter and examined the enclosures.

"Shall we see the king to-night?"

"No, he is retired, and it is of no use, they are in prison by this
time; we will wait the report to-morrow morning--ascertain how many have
been secured--and then lay these documents before his Majesty."

Leaving the two noble lords to go to bed, we shall now return to
Amsterdam at twelve o'clock at night precisely; as the bell tolled, a
loud knock was heard at the syndic's house. Koop, who had been ordered
by his master to remain up, immediately opened the door, and a _posse
comitatus_ of civil power filled the yard.

"Where is Mynheer Krause?" inquired the chief in authority.

"Mynheer, the syndic, is upstairs in the saloon."

Without sending up his name, the officer went up, followed by three or
four others, and found Mynheer Krause smoking his pipe.

"Ah, my very particular friend, Mynheer Engelback, what brings you here
at this late hour with all your people? Is there a fire in the town?"

"No, Mynheer Syndic. It is an order I am very sorry to say to arrest
you, and conduct you to prison."

"Arrest and conduct me to prison--me the syndic of the town--that is
strange--will you allow me to see your warrant--yes, it is all true and
countersigned by his Majesty; I have no more to say, Mynheer Engelback.
As syndic of this town, and administrator of the laws, it is my duty to
set the example of obedience to them, at the same time protesting my
entire innocence. Koop, get me my mantle. Mynheer Engelback, I claim to
be treated with the respect due to me, as syndic of this town."

The officers were not a little staggered at the coolness and _sang
froid_ of Mynheer Krause, he had never appeared to so much advantage;
they bowed respectfully as he finished his speech.

"I believe, Mynheer Krause, that you have some friends staying with
you?"

"I have no friend in the house except my very particular friend, Mynheer
Engelback," replied the syndic.

"You must excuse us, but we must search the house."

"You have his Majesty's warrant so to do, and no excuse is necessary."

After a diligent search of half an hour, nobody was found in the house,
and the officers began to suspect that the government had been imposed
upon. Mynheer Krause, with every mark of attention and respect, was then
walked off to the Hotel de Ville, where he remained in custody, for it
was not considered right by the authorities, that the syndic should be
thrown into the common prison upon suspicion only. When he arrived
there, Mynheer Krause surprised them all by the philosophy with which he
smoked his pipe.

But, although there was nobody to be found, except the syndic in the
syndic's house, and not a soul at the house inhabited by the Jesuit,
there was one more person included in the warrant, which was the widow
Vandersloosh; for Lord Albemarle, although convinced in his own mind of
her innocence, could not take upon himself to interfere with the
decisions of the council; so, about one o'clock, there was a loud
knocking at the widow's door, which was repeated again and again before
it awoke the widow, who was fatigued with her long and hot journey to
the Hague. As for Babette, she made a rule never to wake at anything,
but the magical No. 6, sounded by the church clock, or by her
mistress's voice.

"Babette," cried the widow Vandersloosh, "Babette."

"Yes, ma'am."

"There's a knock at the door, Babette."

"Only some drunken sailors, ma'am--they go away when they find they
cannot get in."

Here the peals were redoubled.

"Babette, get up, Babette--and threaten them with the watch."

"Yes, ma'am," replied Babette, with a terrible yawn.

Knocking and thumping with strokes louder than before.

"Babette, Babette!"

"I must put something on, ma'am," replied Babette, rather crossly.

"Speak to them out of the window, Babette."

Here poor Babette came down to the first floor, and opening the window
at the landing-place on the stairs, put her head out and cried,

"If you don't go away, you drunken fellows, my mistress will send for
the watch."

"If you don't come down and open the door, we shall break it open,"
replied the officer sent to the duty.

"Tell them it's no inn, Babette, we won't let people in after hours,"
cried the widow, turning in her bed and anxious to resume her
sound sleep.

Babette gave the message and shut down the window.

"Break open the door," cried the officer to his attendants. In a minute
or two the door was burst open, and the party ascended the staircase.

"Mercy on me! Babette, if they arn't come in," cried the widow, who
jumped out of her bed, and nearly shutting her door, which had been left
open for ventilation, she peeped out to see who were the bold intruders;
she perceived a man in black with a white staff.

"What do you want?" screamed the widow, terrified.

"We want Mistress Vandersloosh. Are you that person?" said the officer.

"To be be sure I am. But what do you want here?"

"I must request you to dress and come along with me directly to the
Stadt House," replied the officer, very civilly.

"Gott in himmel! what's the matter?"

"It's on a charge of treasonable practices, madam."

"Oh, ho! I see: Mr Vanslyperken. Very well, good sir; I'll put on my
clothes directly. I'll get up any hour in the night, with pleasure, to
bring that villain--. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see. Babette,
take the gentleman down in the parlour, and give them some bottled beer.
You'll find it very good, sirs; it's of my own brewing. And Babette, you
must come up and help me."

The officer did not think it necessary to undeceive the widow, who
imagined that she was to give evidence against Vanslyperken, not that
she was a prisoner herself. Still, the widow Vandersloosh did not like
being called up at such an unseasonable hour, and thus expressed herself
to Babette as she was dressing herself.

"Well, we shall see the ending of this, Babette.--My under petticoat is
on the chair.--I told the lords the whole truth, every word of it; and I
am convinced that they believed me, too.--Don't pull tight all at once,
Babette; how often do I tell you that. I do believe you missed a
hole.--The cunning villain goes there and says that I--yes,
Babette--that I was a traitor myself; and I said to the lords, 'Do I
look like a traitor?'--My petticoats, Babette; how stupid you are, why,
your eyes are half shut now; you know I always wear the blue first,
then the green, and the red last, and yet you will give me the first
which comes.--He's a handsome lord, that Duke of Portland; he was one of
the _bon_--before King William went over and conquered England, and he
was made a lord for his valour.--My ruff, Babette. The Dutch are a brave
nation.--My bustle now.--How much beer did you give the officers? Mind
you take care of everything while I am gone. I shall be home by nine, I
dare say. I suppose they are going to try him now, that he may be hanged
at sunrise. I knew how it would be. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken, every dog
has his day; and there's an end of you, and of your cur also, I've
a notion."

The widow being now duly equipped, walked down stairs to them, and
proceeded with the officers to the Stadt House. She was brought into the
presence of Mynheer Engelback, who held the office of provost.

"Here is the widow Vandersloosh, mynheer."

"Very well," replied Engelback, who was in a very bad humour at the
unsuccessful search after the conspirators, "away with her."

"Away! where?" exclaimed the widow.

Engelback did not condescend to make a reply. The officers were mute;
but one stout man on either side seized her arm and led her away,
notwithstanding expostulation, and some resistance on her part.

"Where am I going? what is all this?" exclaimed the, widow, terrified;
but there was no answer.

At last they came to a door, held open already by another man with a
bunch of keys. The terrified woman perceived that it was a paved stone
cell, with a brick arch over it; in short, a dungeon. The truth flashed
upon her, for the first time. It was she who had been arrested for
treason. But before she could shriek she was shoved in, and the door
closed and locked upon her; and the widow sank down into a sitting
posture on the ground, overcome with astonishment and indignation. "Was
it possible? Had the villain prevailed?" was the question, which she
asked herself over and over again, changing alternately from sorrow to
indignation: at one time wringing her hands, and at others exclaiming,
"Well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we shall see."



Chapter XLIX

In which is related much appertaining to the "pomp and glorious
circumstance" of war.


The arrival of Ramsay and his party was so unexpected, that, at first,
Lady Barclay imagined they had been betrayed, and that the boat was
filled with armed men from the king's cutter, who had come on shore with
a view of forcing an entrance into the cave. In a minute every
preparation was made for defence; for it had long been arranged, that,
in case of an unexpected attack, the women should make all the
resistance in their power, and which the nature of the place enabled
them to do.

But, as many observed, the party, although coming from the cutter, and
not badly armed, did not appear to advance in a hostile manner. After
waiting some time near the boat, they advanced, each with a box on his
shoulder; but what those boxes might be was a puzzle; they might be
hand-grenades for throwing into the cave. However, they were soon down
to the rock at which the ladder was let down, and then Smallbones stood
up with a musket in his hands, with his straddling legs and short
petticoat, and bawled out, "Who comes there?"

Ramsay, who was assisting Wilhelmina, looked up surprised at this
singular addition to the occupants of the cave. And Wilhelmina also
looked at him, and said, "Can that be a woman, Ramsay?"

"At all events, I've not the honour of her acquaintance. But she is
pointing her musket,--we are friends," cried Ramsay. "Tell Mistress
Alice it is Ramsay."

Smallbones turned round and reported the answer; and then, in obedience
to his orders from Mistress Alice, he cried out, in imitation of the
sentinels, "Pass, Ramsay, and all's well!" presented his arms, and made
a flying leap off the rock where he stood, down on the platform, that he
might lower the ladder as soon as Ramsay was up, who desired everybody
might be sent down to secure the boxes of specie as fast as they could,
lest the cutter's people, releasing themselves, should attempt an
attack. Now, there was no more concealment necessary, and the women as
well as the men went down the precipitous path and brought up the
treasure, while Ramsay introduced Wilhelmina to Lady Barclay, and, in a
brief, but clear narrative, told her all that had passed, and what they
had now to expect. There was not a moment for delay; the cutter's people
might send the despatches over land if they thought of it, and be there
as soon, if not sooner than themselves. Nancy Corbett was summoned
immediately, and her instructions given. The whole of the confederates
at Portsmouth were to come over to the cave with what they could collect
and carry about their persons; and, in case of the cutter sending over
land, with the precaution of being in disguise. Of arms and ammunition
there was sufficient in the cave, which Ramsay now felt was to be
defended to the last, until they could make a retreat over to the other
side of the channel. In half an hour, Nancy was gone, and that very
night had arrived at Portsmouth, and given notice to the whole of the
confederates. Upon consultation, it was considered that the best
disguise would be that of females; and, in consequence, they were all so
attired, and before morning had all passed over, two or three in a boat,
and landed at Ryde, where they were collected by Moggy Salisbury, who
alone, of the party, knew the way to the retreat. They walked across the
island by two and three, one party just keeping sight of the next ahead
of them, and arrived without suspicion or interruption, conducted by
Moggy Salisbury, Lazarus the Jew, and sixteen stout and desperate men,
who had remained secreted in the Jew's house, ready to obey any order,
however desperate the risk might be, of their employers.

When they were all assembled at the brow of the precipice, with the
exception of Lazarus, who looked like a little old woman, a more
gigantic race of females was never seen; for, determined upon a
desperate resistance if discovered, they had their buff jerkins under
their female garments. They were soon in the cave, and very busy, under
Ramsay's directions, preparing against the expected attack. Sir Robert
Barclay, with his boat, had been over two days before, and it was not
known when he would return. That his presence was most anxiously looked
for may be readily conceived, as his boat's crew would double their
force if obliged to remain there; and his boat would enable them, with
the one brought by Ramsay, to make their escape without leaving one
behind, before the attack could be made.

Nancy Corbett, as the reader may have observed, did not return to the
cave with the conspirators. As she was not suspected, she determined to
remain at Portsmouth till the last, and watch the motions of the
authorities.

The cutter did not arrive till the evening of the second day, and the
despatches were not delivered to the admiral till the third morning,
when all was bustle and preparation. Nancy Corbett was everywhere, she
found out what troops were ordered to embark on the expedition, and she
was acquainted with some of the officers, as well as the sergeants and
corporals; an idea struck her which she thought she could turn to
advantage. She slipped into the barrack-yard, and to where the men were
being selected, and was soon close to a sergeant whom she was
acquainted with.

"So, you've an expedition on hand, Sergeant Tanner."

"Yes, Mistress Corbett, and I'm one of the party."

"I wish you joy," replied Nancy, sarcastically.

"Oh, it's nothing, Mistress Corbett, nothing at all, only some smugglers
in a cave; we'll soon rout them out."

"I've heard a different account from the admiral's clerk."

"Why, what have you heard?"

"First, tell me how many men are ordered out."

"A hundred rank and file--eight non-commissioned officers--two
lieutenants--one captain--and one major."

"Bravo, sergeant, you'll carry all before you."

"Why, I hope so, Mistress Corbett, especially as we are to have the
assistance of the cutter's crew."

"Better and better still," replied Nancy, ironically. "I wish you joy of
your laurels, sergeant, ha, ha, ha."

"Why do you laugh, Mistress Corbett, and what is that you have heard at
the admiral's office?"

"What you may hear yourself, and what I know to be true; there is not a
single smuggler in the cave."

"No!" exclaimed the sergeant. "What, nobody there?"

"Yes, there is somebody there, the cave has been chosen by the smugglers
to land their goods in."

"But some of them must be there in charge of the goods."

"Yes, so there are, but they are all women, the smugglers' wives, who
live there; what an expedition! Let me see:--one gallant major, one
gallant captain, two gallant lieutenants, eight gallant non-commissioned
officers, and a hundred gallant soldiers of the Buffs, all going to
attack, and rout, and defeat a score of old women."

"But you're joking, Mistress Nancy."

"Upon my life I'm not, sergeant, you'll find it true; the admiral's
ashamed of the whole affair, and the cutter's crew swear they won't fire
a single shot."

"By the god of war!" exclaimed the sergeant, "but this is cursed bad
news you bring, Mistress Corbett."

"Not at all; your regiment will become quite the fancy, you'll go by the
name of the lady-killers, ha, ha, ha. I wish you joy, sergeant, ha,
ha, ha."

Nancy Corbett knew well the power of ridicule, she left the sergeant,
and was accosted by one of the lieutenants; she rallied him in the
same way.

"But are you really in earnest, Nancy?" said Lieutenant Dillon, at
last.

"Upon my soul I am; but, at the same time I hear, that they will fight
hard, for they are well-armed and desperate, like their husbands, and
they swear that they'll all die to a woman, before they yield; so now we
shall see who fights best, the women or the men. I'll back my own sex
for a gold Jacobus, lieutenant: will you take the bet?"

"Good God, how very annoying! I can't, I won't order the men to fire at
women; I could not do so if they were devils incarnate; a woman is a
woman still."

"And never the worse for being brave, Lieutenant Dillon; as I said to
Sergeant Tanner, your regiment, after this, will always go by the name
of the lady-killers."

"D--n!" exclaimed the lieutenant; "but now I recollect there must be
more there; those who had possession of the cutter and who landed in
her boat."

"Yes, with forty boxes of gold they say; but do you think they would be
such fools as to remain there and allow you to take their money--that
boat started for France yesterday night with all the treasure, and are
now safe at Cherbourg. I know it for a fact, for one of the men's wives
who lives here, showed me a letter to that effect, from her husband, in
which he requests her to follow him. But I must go now, good-bye, Mr
Lady-killer."

The lieutenant repeated what Nancy had told him to the officers, and the
major was so much annoyed, that he went up to the admiral and stated
what the report was, and that there were only women to contend with.

"It is mentioned in the despatches, I believe," observed the admiral,
"that there are only women supposed to be in the cave; but the smugglers
who were on board the cutter--"

"Have left with their specie yesternight, admiral; so that we shall gain
neither honour nor profit."

"At all events, you will have the merit of obeying your orders, Major
Lincoln."

The major made no reply, but went away very much dissatisfied. In the
meantime, the sergeant had communicated with his non-commissioned
officers and the privates ordered on the duty, and the discontent was
universal. Most of the men swore that they would not pull a trigger
against women, if they were shot for it, and the disaffection almost
amounted to mutiny. Nancy, in the meantime, had not been idle, she had
found means to speak with the boats' crews of the _Yungfrau_, stated the
departure of the smugglers with their gold, and the fact that they were
to fight with nothing but women, that the soldiers had vowed that they
would not fire a shot, and that Moggy Salisbury, who was with them,
swore that she would hoist up her smock as a flag, and fight to the
last. This was soon known on board of the _Yungfrau_, and gave great
disgust to every one of the crew, who declared to a man, that they would
not act against petticoats, much less fire a shot at Moggy Salisbury.

What a mountain of mischief can be heaped up by the insidious tongue of
one woman!

After this explanation, it may be supposed that the zeal of the party
despatched was not very great. The fact is, they were all sulky, from
the major downwards, among the military, and from Vanslyperken
downwards, among the naval portion of the detachment. Nancy Corbett,
satisfied with having effected her object, had crossed over the night
before, and joined her companions in the cave, and what was extremely
fortunate, on the same night Sir Robert Barclay came over in the lugger,
and finding how matters stood, immediately hoisted both the boats up on
the rocks, and taking up all the men, prepared with his followers for a
vigorous resistance, naturally to be expected from those whose lives
depended upon the issue of the conflict.

Next morning the cutter was seen coming down with the boats in tow,
hardly stemming the flood, from the lightness of the breeze, when Nancy
Corbett requested to speak with Sir Robert Barclay. She stated to him
what she had done, and the dissatisfaction among the troops and seamen
in consequence, and submitted to him the propriety of all the smugglers
being dressed as women, as it would operate more in their favour than if
they had fifty more men to defend the cave. Sir Robert perceived the
good sense of this suggestion, and consulted with Ramsay, who strongly
urged the suggestion being acted upon. The men were summoned, and the
affair explained to them, and the consequence was, that there was a
scene of mirth and laughter, which ended with every man being fitted
with woman's attire. The only one who remained in the dress of a man was
a woman, Wilhelmina Krause, but she was to remain in the cave with the
other women, and take no part in the coming fray.



Chapter L

In which the officers, non-commissioned officers, and rank and file, are
all sent to the right about.


About noon the _Yungfrau_ hove-to off the cave, and the troops were told
off into the boats.

About half-past twelve the troops were in the boats all ready.

About one Mr Vanslyperken had hoisted out his own boats, and they were
manned. Mr Vanslyperken, with his pistols in his belt, and his sword
drawn, told Major Lincoln that he was all ready. Major Lincoln, with his
spy-glass in his hand, stepped into the boat with Mr Vanslyperken, and
the whole detachment pulled for the shore, and landed in the small cove,
where they found the smugglers' boats hoisted up on the rocks, at which
the men appeared to be rejoiced, as they took it for granted that they
would find some men to fight with instead of women. The major headed his
men, and they commenced a scramble up the rocks and arrived at the foot
of the high rock which formed the platform above at the mouth of the
cave, when the major cried "Halt!"--a very judicious order, considering
that it was impossible to go any further. The soldiers looked about
everywhere, but could find no cave, and after an hour's strict search,
Major Lincoln and his officers, glad to be rid of the affair, held a
consultation, and it was agreed that the troops should be re-embarked.
The men were marched down again very hot from their exertions, and thus
the expedition would have ended without bloodshed, had it not been for
the incautious behaviour of a woman. That woman was Moggy Salisbury,
who, having observed that the troops were re-embarking, took the
opportunity, while Sir Robert and all the men were keeping close, to
hoist up a certain under-garment to a pole, as if in derision, thus
betraying the locality of the cave, and running the risk of sacrificing
the whole party in it. This, as it was going up, caught the eye of one
of the seamen in the boat, who cried out, "There goes the ensign up to
the peak at last."

"Where?" exclaimed the major, pulling out his telescope, "Yes, by
heavens! there it is--and there then must be the cave."

Neither Sir Robert nor any of the conspirators were aware of this
manoeuvre of Moggy's; for Smallbones, perceiving what she had done,
hauled it down again in a minute afterwards. But it had been hoisted,
and the major considered it his duty to return, so once more the troop
ascended the precipitous path.

Moggy then went into the cave. "They have found us out, sir," said she,
"they point to us, and are coming up again. I will stand as sentry. The
men won't fire at me, and if they do I don't care."

Sir Robert and Ramsay were in close consultation. It appeared to them
that by a bold manoeuvre they would be able to get out of their scrape.
The wind had gone down altogether, the sea was as smooth as glass, and
there was every appearance of a continued calm.

"If we could manage it--and I think we may--then the sooner the affair
is brought to an issue the better."

Moggy had now taken a musket on her shoulder, and was pacing up and
down the edge of the flat in imitation of a sentry. She was soon pointed
out, and a titter ran through the whole line: at last, as the major
approached, she called out,

"I say, soger, what are you doing here? keep off, or I'll put a bullet
in your jacket."

"My good woman," replied the major, while his men laughed, "we do not
want to hurt you, but you must surrender."

"Surrender!" cried Moggy, "who talks of surrender?--hoist the colours
there."

Up went the chemise to the end of the pole, and Smallbones grinned as he
hoisted it.

"My good woman, we must obey our orders."

"And I must obey mine," retorted Moggy. "Turn out the guard there."

All the women now made their appearance, as had been arranged, with
muskets on their shoulders, headed by little Lilly, with her
drawn sword.

The sight of the child commanding the detachment was hailed with loud
cheers and laughter.

"That will do, that will do," cried Sir Robert, fearful for Lilly, "let
them come in again."

"They'll not fire first at all events," cried Moggy, "never fear, sir.
Guard, turn in," continued she; upon which, Lilly and her squadron then
disappeared.

"Upon my honour this is too ridiculous," said Lieutenant Dillon.

"Upon my soul I don't know what is to be done," rejoined the major.

"Moggy, we must commence hostilities somehow or another," cried Sir
Robert from within. Smallbones here came out with his musket to release
Moggy, and Moggy retired into the cave.

The major, who imagined that there must be a path to the cave on the
other side, now advanced with the determination of finding it out, and
somehow or another putting an end to this unusual warfare.

"If you please you'll keep back, or I'll fire," cried Smallbones,
levelling his musket.

The major went on, heedless of the threat. Smallbones discharged his
piece, and the major fell.

"Confound that she-devil!--Are you hurt, major?" cried Lieutenant
Dillon.

"Yes, I am--I can't move."

Another shot was now fired, and the sergeant fell.

"Hell and flames! what must we do?"

But now the whole party of smugglers poured out of the cave as women
with bonnets on, and commenced a murderous fire upon the troops who fell
in all directions. The captain who had assumed the command, now
attempted to find his way to the other side of the cave, where he had no
doubt he should find the entrance, but in so doing the soldiers were
exposed to a most galling fire, without being able to return it.

At first, the troops refused to fire again, for that they had to deal
with the smugglers' wives, they made certain of: even in the thickest of
the smoke there was nothing masculine to be seen; and those troops who
were at a greater distance, and who could return the fire, did not. They
were rather amused at the character of the women, and not being aware
that their comrades were falling so fast, remained inactive. But there
is a limit to even gallantry, and as the wounded men were carried past
them, their indignation was roused, and, at last, the fire was as warmly
returned, but before that took place, one half of the detachment were
_hors de combat_.

All the assistance which they might have received from the covering
party of sailors on the beach, was neutralised; they did not know how
much the soldiers had suffered, and although they fired in pursuance of
orders, they would not take any aim.

For some time the soldiers were forced on to the eastern side of the
rock, which, as the reader may recollect, was much more precipitous
than the western side, where it was descended from by the ladder. Here
they were at the mercy of the conspirators, who, concealed below the
masses of the rock on the platform, took unerring aim. The captain had
fallen, Lieutenant Dillon was badly wounded and led back to the boats,
and the command had devolved upon a young man who had but just joined
the regiment, and who was ignorant of anything like military tactics,
even if they could have been brought into play upon the service.

"Do you call this fighting with women, Sergeant Tanner?" said one of the
men. "I've seen service, but such a murderous fire I was never in. Why,
we've lost two-thirds of our men."

"And shall lose them all before we find out the mouth of this cursed
cave. The regiment has lost its character for ever, and I don't care how
soon a bullet settles my business."

Ramsay now detached a party of the men to fire at the covering party of
seamen who were standing by the boats in the cove and who were
unprotected, while his men were concealed behind the masses of rocks.
Many fell, wounded or killed; and Vanslyperken, after shifting about
from one position to another, ordered the wounded men to be put into his
boat, and with two hands he pulled off as he said to procure more
ammunition, leaving the remainder of his detachment on shore, to do as
well as they could.

"I thought as how this work would be too warm for him," observed Bill
Spurey.

"Yes," replied Short, who, at the moment received a bullet in his thigh,
and fell down among the rocks.

The fire upon the seamen continued to be effective. Move from their post
they did not, but one after another they sank wounded on the ground. The
soldiers who were now without any one to command them, for those who had
forced their way to the western side of the rock, finding that advance
or retreat was alike impossible, crawled under the sides of the
precipice to retreat from a murderous fire which they could not return.
The others were scattered here and there, protecting themselves as well
as they could below the masses of stone, and returning the fire of the
conspirators surely and desperately. But of the hundred men sent on the
expedition, there were not twenty who were not killed or wounded, and
nearly the whole detachment of seamen had fallen where they stood.

It was then four o'clock, the few men who remained unhurt were suffering
from the extreme heat and exertion, and devoured with thirst. The
wounded cried for water. The sea was still, calm, and smooth as a
mirror; not a breath of wind blew to cool the fevered brows of the
wounded men, and the cutter, with her sails hanging listless, floated
about on the glassy water, about a quarter of a mile from the beach.

"Now is our time, Sir Robert."

"Yes, Ramsay--now for one bold dash--off with this woman's gear, my
men--buckle on your swords and put pistols in your belts."

In a very short time this order was complied with, and, notwithstanding
some of the men were wounded in this day's affair, as well as in the
struggle for the deck of the cutter, the three bands from Amsterdam,
Portsmouth, and Cherbourg mustered forty resolute and powerful men.

The ladder was lowered down, and they descended. Sir Robert ordered
Jemmy Ducks and Smallbones to remain and haul up the ladder again, and
the whole body hastened down to the cove, headed by Sir Robert and
Ramsay, seized the boats, and shoved off for the cutter.



Chapter LI

In which the Jacobite cause is triumphant by sea as well as by land.


The great difficulty which Sir Robert Barclay had to surmount, was to
find the means of transport over the channel for their numerous friends,
male and female, then collected in the cave: now that their retreat was
known, it was certain that some effective measures would be taken by
government, by which, if not otherwise reduced, they would be surrounded
and starved into submission.

The two boats which they had were not sufficient for the transport of so
numerous a body, consisting now of nearly one hundred and fifty
individuals, and their means of subsistence were limited to a few days.

The arrival of the cutter with the detachments was no source of regret
to Sir Robert, who hoped, by the defeat of the troops, to obtain their
boats, and thus make his escape; but this would have been difficult, if
not impossible, if the cutter had been under command, as she carried
four guns, and could have prevented their escape, even if she did not
destroy the boats; but when Sir Robert observed that it had fallen calm,
it at once struck him, that if, after defeating the troops, they could
board and carry the cutter, that all their difficulties were over: then
they could embark the whole of their people, and run her over to
Cherbourg.

This was the plan proposed by Sir Robert, and agreed to by Ramsay, and
to accomplish this, now that the troops were put to the rout, they had
made a rush for, and obtained the boats. As for the women left in the
cave, they were perfectly secure for the time, as, without
scaling-ladders, there was no possibility of the remaining troops, even
if they were rallied, being able to effect anything.

That part of the crew of the _Yungfrau_ who had perceived them rush down
to the beach, reported it to Mr Vanslyperken, who had gone down to his
cabin, not choosing to take any further part in the affray, or to risk
his valuable life. Vanslyperken came on deck, where he witnessed the
manning of the boats, and their pushing out of the cove.

"They are coming to attack us, sir," said Coble, who had been left in
charge of the cutter when Mr Vanslyperken went on shore.

Mr Vanslyperken turned pale as a sheet; his eyes were fixed upon the
form of Ramsay, standing up on the stern-sheets of the first boat, with
his sabre raised in the air--he immediately recognised him, panted for
breath, and could make no reply.

The crew of the cutter, weakened as they were by the loss of most of
their best men, flew to their arms; Coble, Cornelius, and Jansen, and
Corporal Van Spitter were to be seen in the advance, encouraging them.

"Gott for dam--let us have one slap for it," cried Jansen.

"Mein Gott, yes," shouted the corporal.

Vanslyperken started up. "It's no use, my men--it's madness--useless
sacrifice of life; they are two to one--we must surrender. Go down
below, all of you--do you hear, obey my orders?"

"Yes, and report them, too, to the admiral," replied Coble; "I never
heard such an order given in my born days, and fifty odd years I have
served in the king's fleet."

"Corporal Van Spitter, I order you below--all of you below," cried
Vanslyperken; "I command here--will you obey, sir?"

"Mein Gott, yes," replied the corporal, walking away, and coolly
descending the ladder.

The boats were now within ten yards of the cutter, and the men stood
irresolute; the corporal obeying orders had disheartened them: some of
them followed the corporal.

"It's no use," said Coble, "I sees now it's of no use; it's only being
cut to pieces for nothing, my men; but I won't leave the deck." Coble
threw away his cutlass, and walked aft; the other men did the same, all
but Jansen, who still hesitated. Coble caught the cutlass out of his
hand, and threw it overboard, just as the boats dashed alongside.

"Gott for dam," muttered Jansen, folding his arms and facing the men who
jumped on the cutter's decks. Ramsay, who was first on board when he
perceived that the men were standing on the decks without making any
opposition, turned and threw up the points of the swords of some of his
men who were rushing blindly on, and, in a minute all was quiet on the
decks of the _Yungfrau_. Mr Vanslyperken was not to be seen. At the near
approach of the boats he had hastened into his cabin and locked himself
in; his only feeling being, that Ramsay's wrath must cool, and his life
be spared.

"My lads," said Sir Robert to the crew of the cutter, "I am very glad
that you made no resistance to a force which you could not resist, as I
should have been sorry if one of you had lost his life; but you must now
go down below and leave the cutter's deck in our possession. Perhaps it
would be better if some of you took one of your boats and went on shore
to pick up your messmates who are wounded."

"If you please, sir, we will," said Coble, coming forward, "and the
cutter is yours, as far as we are concerned. We will make no attempts to
retake her, at all events, for your kindness in thinking of our poor
fellows lying there on the beach. I think you will promise that, my
lads," continued Coble, turning to the men.

"Yes, we promise that," said the men.

Coble then took the crew with him and pulled on shore to the cove, on
the margin of which they found all their men lying either killed or
wounded. Dick Short, Spurey, and nine others were taken on board: those
that were quite dead were left upon the sand. Leaving only ten men on
board the cutter, which, however, was sufficient to cope with the few of
the _Yungfrau_ remaining on board, had they been inclined to forfeit
their word, Sir Robert and Ramsay then returned with the rest of the
party to-the boats, and pulled on shore, for the rest of their
assailants were not subdued; about twenty of the soldiers still remained
unhurt and were sitting down on the rocks.

Ramsay, as soon as he landed, showed a white handkerchief on a bayonet
fixed to the muzzle of a musket.

"Sergeant Tanner," said one of the men, "there's a flag of truce."

"Is there? I'm not sorry for it,--they are two to one even now. I'll go
forward to meet it."

The sergeant advanced to meet Ramsay.

"We might, if we pleased, oblige you to surrender or cut you to
pieces--that you must own; but we have no wish to hurt you--there are
too many good men dead already."

"That's true," replied the sergeant, "but it's one comfort you have
turned out at last to be men and not women."

"We have; but to the terms. You were sent to take possession of the
cave,--you shall have possession as soon as we are gone, if you will
draw off your party higher up this cliff and allow us to embark without
molestation. If you do not immediately accept these terms, we shall
certainly attack you, or you may do better if you please--pile your
muskets, collect your wounded men, bring them down to the beach all
ready to put into the boats, which, as soon as we are safe, we will give
you possession of--now is it a truce or not?--you must be immediate."

"Yes, then, it is a truce, for I see no chance of better terms. I am
commanding officer, and you have the faith of Sergeant Tanner."

The sergeant then returned, and when half way, called to his men:

"Party fall in--pile arms." The soldiers, worn out by the long conflict,
and aware that they had no chance against such superior numbers, gladly
obeyed, and were now divided in sections of three and four, collecting
the wounded and carrying them down to the cove.

Sir Robert and his men hastened to the rock--the ladder was lowered, and
all was on the alert for embarkation--Lady Barclay and Lilly flew into
his arms, while Wilhelmina hung on Ramsay; but they allowed but a short
time for endearment--time was too precious. The luggage had all been
prepared and the chests of specie were lowered, the bundles thrown down,
and, in a quarter of an hour, the cave was cleared of all that they
could take away with them.

The women then descended, and all hands were employed carrying away the
specie and luggage down to the boats. As soon as one boat was loaded
with the boxes of money, Lady Ramsay, Lilly, and Wilhelmina were put in
it, and one half of the men went with them on board of the cutter where
Coble had already arrived with the wounded seamen. Ramsay remained with
the other boat to embark the women and luggage; when all was in, he
called the sergeant, pointed out to him the ladder, and told him that he
might find something worth his trouble in the cave.

"Is there a drop of anything to drink, sir? for we who are whole are
dying with thirst, and it's cruel to hear the poor wounded fellows beg
for water."

"You will find both water and spirits in plenty there, sergeant, and you
may tell your own story when you arrive at Portsmouth, we shall never
contradict you."

"The list of killed, wounded, and missing, will tell the story fast
enough," replied the sergeant; "but run up there, my lads, and get some
water for these poor fellows. Good-bye, sir, and many thanks."

"Good-bye to you, Sergeant Tanner," said one of the women in the boat.

"Nancy Corbett, by all that's wonderful!" cried the sergeant.

"I told you so, sergeant--you'll never lose the name of lady-killer."

"Pretty lady killing," muttered the sergeant, turning away in a rage.
Ramsay took the boats on board, and, as soon as they were cleared, they
were towed on shore to the cove by some of the _Yungfrau's_ men.

During this time the ladies, as well as the women, had remained aft on
deck, Vanslyperken having locked himself up in his cabin; but Sir Robert
now ordered his men to force the cabin door, and take Mr Vanslyperken
forward on the lower deck. When the door was opened, Vanslyperken was
found in his bed more dead than alive: he was pulled out and dragged
forward. The ladies were then handed below, and, as soon as the specie
had been put down, and the luggage cleared from the upper deck, the
women were ordered to go down on the lower deck, and Mr Vanslyperken
ordered to be brought up.



Chapter LII

In which a great deal of loyalty is shown to counterbalance the treason
of Vanslyperken.


We must not, however, forget the syndic and the widow Vandersloosh, whom
we left in confinement at Amsterdam. We left Mynheer Krause smoking his
pipe, and showing to those about him how great a great man always proves
himself when under adversity. The widow also, had she performed in
public, would have been acknowledged to have been a great woman. She
could not but lament the present, for she was on the floor of a dungeon,
so she occasionally wrung her hands; but she looked forward to the
future, and to better times, not abandoning herself to despair, but
comforting herself with hope, as might have been clearly proved by her
constant repetition of these words: "Well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we
shall see."

That the night appeared long to both parties is not to be denied, but
the longest night will have its end, so long as the world continues to
turn round; the consequence was, that the morning came as usual to the
syndic, although the widow from the peculiarity of her situation, had
not the same advantage.

After morning, comes breakfast, in the natural order of mundane affairs,
and kings, being but men, and subject to the same wants as other
mortals, his Majesty, King William, sat down, and despatched a very
hasty meal, in company with his Grace the Duke of Portland, and the
Right Honourable the Lord Albemarle. History does not record, as it
sometimes does in works of this description, by what viands his
Majesty's appetite was stimulated; we must therefore pass it over, and
as his Majesty did on that occasion, as soon as breakfast was over,
proceed to business.

"Have you received information, my Lord Albemarle, how many of the
conspirators have been seized?"

"May it please your Majesty, I am sorry to inform you, that all who were
innocent have been imprisoned, and all who were guilty, have escaped."

Upon this intelligence his Majesty looked very grave.

"How do you mean, my lord?" said he, after a pause.

"The conspirators have all received some friendly notice, and the only
two who are in custody are the syndic, Mynheer Krause, and the woman who
keeps the Lust Haus."

"And you put the syndic down as an innocent person, my lord?"

"If your Majesty will be pleased to read this communication," replied
Lord Albemarle, presenting Ramsay's letter and enclosures, "you will
then be of my opinion."

King William took the letter and read it. "What Ramsay--he who was
attainted with Sir Robert Barclay?"

"The same, your Majesty."

"So near us, and escaped--but what credence would you place in him?"

"Every credence, may it please your Majesty. I believe him to be
incapable of a lie."

"A traitor, like him!"

"A traitor to your Majesty, but most true to his Catholic Majesty, King
James that was. But if I venture to point out to your Majesty, the
enclosures prove that Lieutenant Vanslyperken's word is not of much
value. He, at least, is a double traitor."

"Yes, a little hanging will do him no harm--you are sure this is his
writing?"

"There can be no doubt of it, your Majesty, I have compared it."

"You will see to this, my lord: and now to the syndic."

"He has, as your Majesty will perceive, been grossly deceived, and
suspected without reason."

"And the woman?"

"Was here yesterday, and fully convinced me that Vanslyperken was a
traitor, and that she was innocent. His Grace of Portland was present."

"Well, my lord, you may give orders for their release; of course a
little surveillance will be advisable. You will justify the proceedings
to the council, this afternoon."

"But may I presume to submit to your Majesty, that the public affront
offered to the syndic should be repaired."

"Certainly--send for him," replied his Majesty, carelessly. "I will
receive him to-morrow morning," and his Majesty left the room.

Lord Albemarle immediately despatched a courier with an order for the
release of the syndic and the Frau Vandersloosh, with a note to the
former, stating that his Majesty would receive him on the following day
at noon. But while this act of justice had been preparing at the palace
of the Hague, there were other acts, not quite so justifiable performing
at the town of Amsterdam.

The sun made its appearance more than an hour, before the troops of the
royal Guard. Mobs were collected in knots in the street, and in front of
the Hotel de Ville, or Stadt House, and the object of their meeting,
was to canvas the treason and imprisonment of the syndic, Mynheer Van
Krause. "Shame--shame,"--"Death to the traitor,"--"Tear him to
pieces,"--and "Long life to King William," were the first solitary
remarks made--the noise and hubbub increased. The small knots of people
gradually joined together, until they formed a large mob, all burning
with loyalty, and each individual wishing to give a practical evidence
of it--again were the cries of "Long live the King!" and "Death to
traitors!" to be heard, with loud huzzas. A confused din followed, and
the mob appeared, as if simultaneously, to be all impelled in one
direction. At last the word was given, which they all waited for. "To
his house--to his house--down with it--death to the traitor!" and the
loyal mob hastened on, each individual eager to be first to prove his
loyalty, by helping himself to Mynheer Krause's goods and chattels.

In the low countries, this species of loyalty always has been, and is
now very much the fashion. In ten minutes, the gates were forced
open--old Koop knocked down, and trod under foot till he was dead--every
article of value that was portable, was secured; chairs, tables,
glasses, not portable, were thrown out of the window; Wilhelmina's harp
and pianoforte battered to fragments; beds, bedding, everything flew
about in the air, and then the fragments of the furniture were set fire
to, and in less than an hour Mynheer Krause's splendid house was burning
furiously, while the mob cheered and cried, "Long live King William!"

Before the courier could arrive from the Hague, all that was left of Mr
Krause's property was the bare walls. Merchandises, everything was
consumed, and part of the building had fallen into the canal and choked
it up, while fifteen schuyts waiting to be discharged of their cargoes
had been obliged to retreat from the fury of the flames, the phlegmatic
skippers looking on with their pipes in their mouths, and their hands in
their wide breeches-pockets.

The loyal mob having effected their object, gradually retired. It is
singular, that popular feeling is always expressed in the same way. Had
the mob collected for disloyal purposes, they would have shown their
disloyalty just in the like manner, only it would have been the Stadt
House instead of that of Mynheer Krause.

But now there was a fresh impetus given to the feelings of the mob. The
news had been spread like wildfire, that Mynheer the syndic had been
proved innocent, and ordered to be immediately liberated, and was sent
for by his Majesty; upon which, the mob were undecided, whether they
should prove their indignation, at this unjust imprisonment of their
worthy magistrate, by setting fire to some public building, or by
carrying him in triumph to his own house, which they forgot they
had burnt down. Fortunately they decided upon the latter, they
surrounded the Stadt House with cries of "Long life to our worthy
syndic--prosperity to Mynheer Krause," and rushing up stairs, they
caught him in their arms, and carried him triumphantly through the
streets bringing him at last to the smoking ruins of his own house, and
there they left him; they had done all they could, they had carried him
there in triumph, but, as for building the house up again, that was
impossible; so, as Mynheer Krause looked with dismay at the wreck of all
his property, the loyal mob dispersed, each feeling that he had been a
little too hasty in possessing himself of a small share of it. What a
fine thing is loyalty! Mynheer Krause found himself alone; he looked
with scorn and indignation upon the scene of violence, and then walked
away to an hotel, particularly disgusted with the loyal cry of "Long
live King William."

In the meantime, the door of the dungeon where the widow Vandersloosh
was incarcerated was thrown open, and she was informed that she was no
longer a prisoner. The widow indignant that she should have been
confined for her loyalty, raved and walked majestically out of the Stadt
House, not deigning to answer to the compliments offered to her by some
of the inferior officers. Her bosom swelled with indignation, and she
was determined to tell his Majesty a bit of her mind, if she should
obtain access to him; and the next day she took the trouble to go all
the way to the Hague, again to see his Majesty, but his Majesty wasn't
at home, and Lord Albemarle to whom she sent in, was indisposed, and his
Grace the Duke of Portland was particularly engaged; so the widow had
the journey for nothing, and she declared to Babette, that she never
would put her foot under the palace roof again as long as she lived.

But, although Madam Vandersloosh was not received at court that day, the
syndic Mynheer Krause was; when he sent in his name, Lord Albemarle led
the syndic by the hand to his Majesty.

"We have been too hasty, Mynheer Krause," said his Majesty, with a
gracious smile.

Mynheer bowed low.

"I regret to hear that the populace in their loyalty have burnt down
your house, Mr Krause--they were too hasty."

Mynheer Krause made another low bow.

"You will continue your office of syndic of the town of Amsterdam."

"Pardon me, your Majesty," replied Mynheer Krause respectfully, but
firmly, "I have obeyed your summons to appear in your presence, but will
request that your Majesty will release me from the burden. I have come
to lay my chain and staff of office at your Majesty's feet, it being my
intention to quit the town."

"You are too hasty, Mynheer Krause," replied his Majesty with
displeasure.

"May it please your Majesty," replied Krause. "He who has been confined
as a prisoner in the Stadt House, is not fit to exercise his duties
there as a judge; I have served your Majesty many years with the utmost
zeal and fidelity. In return, I have been imprisoned and my property
destroyed, I must now return to a station more suitable to my present
condition, and once more with every assurance of loyalty, I beg to be
permitted to lay my insignia of office at your Majesty's feet."

Mynheer Krause suited the action to the word. The king frowned and
turned away to the window, and Mynheer Krause perceiving that his
Majesty's back was turned upon him, walked out of the door.

"Too hasty," thought Mynheer Krause, "I am loyal and thrown into prison,
and am expected to be satisfied with the plea of being too hasty. My
house is burnt down, and the plundering mob have been too hasty.
Well--well--it is fortunate I took Ramsay's advice, my house and what
was in it was a trifle; but if all my gold at Hamburgh and Frankfort,
and in the charge of Ramsay had been there, and I had been made a
beggar, all the satisfaction I should have received would have been a
smile, and the excuse of being too hasty. I wonder where my daughter and
Ramsay are? I long to join them."

From which mental soliloquy, it will be evident to the reader, that
Mynheer Krause's loyalty had been considerably diminished, perhaps
thinking that he had paid too dear for the commodity.

Upon his return, Mynheer Krause publicly announced that he had resigned
the office of syndic, much to the astonishment of those who heard of it,
and much to the delight of his very particular friend Engelback, who,
the next morning set off for the Hague, and had an interview with his
Grace the Duke of Portland, the result of which was, that upon grounds
best known to the parties; for history will not reveal everything,
Mynheer Engelback was recommended to fill the office of syndic of the
town of Amsterdam, vacant by the resignation of Mynheer Krause; and that
in consequence of this, all those who took off their hats to Mynheer
Krause but two days before, and kept them on when they met Mynheer
Engelback, now kept them on when they met Mynheer Krause, and pulled
them off very politely to Mynheer Krause's very particular friend,
Mynheer Engelback.



Chapter LIII

Trial and execution of two of the principal personages in our history.


We left Sir Robert Barclay on the deck of the cutter, the ladies and
women sent down below, and Mr Vanslyperken on the point of being dragged
aft by two of Sir Robert's men. The crew of the _Yungfrau_, at the time,
were on the lower deck, some assisting the wounded men, others talking
with Jemmy Salisbury and his wife, whom they were astonished to find
among the assailants.

"Why, Jemmy, how did you get a berth among those chaps?"

"I'll tell you," said Moggy, interrupting: "when he was last at
Portsmouth, they heard him playing his fiddle and singing, and they took
such a fancy to him, that they were determined to have him to amuse them
in the cave. So one evening, they _kidnapped_ him, took him away by main
force, and kept him a prisoner ever since."

"That's carrying the joke rather too far," observed one of the men.

"Mein Gott! yes," replied the corporal.

"But I am at liberty again now at all events," replied Jemmy, taking the
cue from his wife; "and if that chap, Vanslyperken, don't command the
cutter any more, which I've a notion he will not, I shall enter as
boatswain--heh, Dick."

"Yes," replied Short, who was swinging in his hammock.

"Well--when I found that Jemmy couldn't be found, that my dear darling
duck of a husband--my jewel, a box of diamonds (arn't you my Jemmy),
didn't I tear my hair, and run about the streets, like a mad woman,"
continued Moggy. "At last I met with Nancy Corbett, whose husband is one
of the gang, and she told me where he was, fiddle and all, and I
persuaded her to let me go to him, and that's why we both are here."

This was a good invention of Moggy's, and as there was nobody who took
the trouble to disprove it, it was received as not the least apocryphal.
But now Mr Vanslyperken was dragged past them by two of the
conspirators, and all the men of the _Yungfrau_ followed on deck, to see
what was to take place.

When Mr Vanslyperken had been brought aft, his legs tottered, and he
could hardly stand. His face was livid, and his lips white with fear,
and he knew too well that he had little mercy to expect.

"Now, sir," said Sir Robert, with a stern air, "hear the accusation
against you, for although we may be lawless, we will still be just. You
voluntarily entered into our service, and received our pay. You were one
of us, with only this difference, that we have taken up the cause from
principle and loyalty, and you joined us from mercenary motives. Still
we kept our faith with you; for every service performed, you were well
and honourably paid. But you received our money and turned against us;
revealed our secrets, and gave information to your government, by which
that gentleman" (pointing to Ramsay) "and many others, had not they
fortunately received timely notice, would have perished by the gibbet.
Now, sir, I wish to know, what you can bring forward in your defence,
what have you to urge that you should not die the death which you so
traitorously prepared for others."

"Die!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, "no--no--mercy, sir--mercy. I am not fit
to die."

"Few are--but this is certain--that a villain like you is not fit to
live."

"On my knees, I ask mercy," cried the frightened wretch, dropping down.
"Mr Ramsay, speak for me."

"I will speak," replied Ramsay, "but not for you, I will show you, that
even if you were to escape us, you would still be hung; for all your
extracts of the despatches, I have, with full explanation, put into the
hands of the English government. Do you expect mercy from them--they
have not showed much as yet."

"O God--O God!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, throwing himself down on the
deck in despair.

"Now, my lads, you have heard the charges against this man, and also
that he has no defence to offer, what is your sentence?"

"Death!" exclaimed the conspirators.

"You men, belonging to the cutter, you have heard that this man has
betrayed the present government of England, in whose pay and service he
was at the time--what is your opinion?"

Hereupon, Obadiah Coble hitched up his trousers, and said, "Why, as a
matter of opinion, I agrees with you, sir, whomsoever you may be."

"Mein Gott! yes, sir," exclaimed the corporal.

And all the crew cried out together, "Death--death!" which, by-the-bye,
was very mutinous.

"You perceive that you are doubly condemned as a double traitor," said
Sir Robert. "So prepare to die; the religion you profess I know not, but
the time you will be allowed to make your peace with your God is
fifteen minutes."

"Oh!" groaned Vanslyperken, with his face to the deck.

"Up there, my lads, and get a whip on the yard-arm," said Ramsay.

Some of his party went to obey the order, and they were assisted by the
seamen of the _Yungfrau_. But while they were getting the whip ready on
the starboard, Jemmy Ducks was very quietly employed getting another on
the larboard yard-arm, which nobody took notice of.

As soon as the whip, and the cord with the hangman's noose made fast to
it, were all ready, it was reported to Sir Robert by Corporal Van
Spitter, who stepped up to him with his usual military salute. Sir
Robert took off his hat in return. His watch had been held in his hand,
from the time that he had passed sentence upon Vanslyperken, who still
remained prostrate on the deck.

"It is my duty to inform you, sir, that but five minutes are left of
the time awarded to you," said Sir Robert to Vanslyperken.

"Five minutes!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, jumping up from the deck, "but
five minutes--to die in five minutes," continued he, looking up with
horror at the rope at the yard-arm, and the fatal noose at the end of
it, held in the hand of Corporal Van Spitter. "Stop, I have gold--plenty
of gold--I can purchase my life."

"Kingdoms would not purchase it," said Sir Robert, scornfully.

"Oh!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, wringing his hands, "must I leave all my
gold?"

"You have but two minutes, sir," observed Sir Robert. "Let the rope be
put round his neck."

This office was performed by Corporal Van Spitter. The corporal was
quite an amateur.

"Mercy, mercy," cried Vanslyperken, again falling on his knees, and
holding up his hands.

"Call upon Heaven for mercy, you have but one minute left."

But here an interruption took place.

A female made her appearance on the other side of the deck, dragging, by
a cord, the hero of our novel, Snarleyyow, who held back with all his
power, jerking his head to the right and to the left, but it was of no
use, he was dragged opposite to where Vanslyperken knelt. As the reader
may guess, this person was Smallbones, who had tied on a bonnet, and
muffled up his face, so as not to be observed when he first went on
board. Jemmy Ducks now assisted, and the whip on the larboard yard-arm
was made fast to a cord with a running noose, for the hanging of
the cur.

The sight roused Vanslyperken. "My dog!" exclaimed he, "woman, leave
that dog alone--who are you that dare touch my dog?"

The female turned round, threw off her bonnet and handkerchief and
exhibited to the terrified lieutenant, the face of the supposed departed
Smallbones.

"Smallbones!" exclaimed the crew of the _Yungfrau_ in a breath.

"God of mercy--help me, God of mercy!" cried Vanslyperken, aghast.

"I suppose that you do come for to go to know me now, anyhow," said
Smallbones.

"Hath the sea given up its dead?" replied Vanslyperken, in a hollow
voice.

"No, it arn't, 'cause why? I never was a drowned," replied Smallbones;
"no thanks to you, though; but if so be as I supposes, you be a going to
be hung--as I'm a good Christian, I'll forgive you--that is, if you be
hung, you know."

Vanslyperken, who now perceived that Smallbones had been by some miracle
preserved, recovered himself.

"If you forgive me," replied Vanslyperken, "then pray do not ill-treat
my dog."

"I'se not forgiven him, anyhow--I owes him enough, and now I'll have his
account settled, by gum. When you goes up there, he goes up here, as
sure as I'm Peter Smallbones."

"Be merciful!" exclaimed Vanslyperken, who, strange to say, forgot his
own miseries in pleading for his darling cur.

"He be a convicted traitor, and he shall die, by gum!" cried Smallbones,
smacking his fist into the palm of his hand.

During the conversation, the time allotted to Vanslyperken had long
expired, but the interest occasioned by it had inclined Sir Robert to
wait till it was over.

"Enough," cried Sir Robert, "your time is too long expired. Commend your
soul to God--let the rope be manned."

"Now Jemmy, stand by to toddle forward," cried Smallbones.

"One moment--I ask but one moment," cried Vanslyperken, much agitated,
"only one moment, sir."

"For what?"

"To kiss my poor dog," replied Vanslyperken, bursting into tears;
strange and almost ridiculous as was the appeal, there was a seriousness
and a pathos in Vanslyperken's words and manner, which affected those
who were present like a gleam of sunshine, this one feeling which was
unalloyed with baser metal shone upon the close of a worthless and
wicked life, Sir Robert nodded his head, and Vanslyperken walked with
his rope round his neck over to where the dog was held by Smallbones,
bent over the cur and kissed it again and again.

"Enough," cried Sir Robert, "bring him back."

Corporal Van Spitter took hold of Vanslyperken by the arm, and dragged
him to the other side of the deck. The unfortunate wretch was wholly
absorbed in the fate of his cur, who had endeavoured to follow his
master. His eyes were fixed upon Snarleyyow, and Snarleyyow's were fixed
upon his master, thus they were permitted to remain for a few seconds,
when Sir Robert gave the signal. Away went the line of men who had
manned the starboard whip, and away went Jemmy Ducks on the larboard
side, and, at the yard-arms' of the cutter were suspended the bodies of
Vanslyperken and Snarleyyow.

Thus perished one of the greatest scoundrels, and one of the vilest
curs, which ever existed. They were damnable in their lives, and in
their deaths they were not divided.

By the manuscript records, found in the Jacobite papers, it appears that
the double execution took place on the 3rd of August in the year of our
Lord, 1700.



Chapter LIV

In which affairs begin to wind up.


There are few people whose vindictive feelings are not satisfied with
the death of the party against whom those feelings have been excited.
The eyes of all on deck (that is all except one) were at first directed
to the struggling Vanslyperken, and then, as if sickened at the sight of
his sufferings, were turned away with a feeling very near akin to
compassion.

One only looked or never thought of Vanslyperken, and that one was
Smallbones, who watched the kicking and plunging of his natural enemy,
Snarleyyow. Gradually, the dog relaxed his exertions, and Smallbones
watched, somewhat doubtful, whether a dog who had defied every other
kind of death, would condescend to be hanged. At last, Snarleyyow was
quite still. He appeared nearly to have gone to--"Where the wicked cease
from troubling, and the weary are at rest."

"He won't a cum to life any more this time," said Smallbones; "but I'll
not let you out of my hands yet. They say a cat have nine lives, but, by
gum, some dogs have ninety."

There was a dead silence on the deck of the cutter for a quarter of an
hour, during which the bodies remained suspended. A breeze then came
sweeping along and ruffled the surface of the water. This was of too
great importance to allow of further delay. Sir Robert desired the
seamen of the _Yungfrau_ to come aft, told them he should take their
cutter to Cherbourg, to land the Women and his own people, and that then
they would be free to return to Portsmouth; all that he requested of
them was to be quiet and submissive during the short time that he and
his party were on board. Coble replied for the ship's company--"As for
the matter of that 'ere--there was no fear of their being quiet enough
when there were more than two to one against them; but that, in fact,
they had no animosity: for even if they did feel a little sore at what
had happened, and their messmates being wounded, what was swinging at
the yard-arm made them all friends again. The gentleman might take the
cutter where he pleased, and might use her as long as he liked, and when
he had done with her it was quite time enough to take her back to
Portsmouth."

"Well, then, as we understand one another, we had now better make
sail," said Sir Robert. "Cut away that rope," continued he, pointing to
the whip by which Vanslyperken's body was suspended.

Jansen stepped forward with his snickasee, the rope was divided at once,
and the body of the departed Vanslyperken plunged into the wave and
disappeared.

"They mayn't cut this tho'!" cried Smallbones. "I'll not trust
him--Jemmy, my boy, get up a pig of ballast. I'll sink him fifty fathoms
deep, and then if so be he cum up again, why then I give it up for a
bad job."

Jemmy brought up the pig of ballast, the body of Snarleyyow was lowered
on board, and, after having been secured with divers turns of the rope
to the piece of iron, was plunged by Smallbones into the wave.

"There," said Smallbones, "I don't a think that he will ever bite me any
more, anyhow; there's no knowing though. Now I'll just go down and see
if my bag be to be found, and then I'll dress myself like a Christian."

The cutter flew before the breeze which was on her quarter, and now that
the hanging was over the females came on deck. One of the Jesuit priests
was a good surgeon, and attended to the wounded men, who all promised to
do well, and as Bill Spurey said,

"They'd all dance yet at the corporal's wedding."

"I say corporal, if we only could go to Amsterdam instead of going to
Portsmouth."

"Mein Gott, yes;" replied the corporal, and acting upon this idea, he
went aft and entered into conversation with Ramsay, giving him a detail
of the affair with the widow and of her having gone to the Hague to
accuse Vanslyperken, ending with expressing his wish of himself and the
crew that they might go to the Hague instead of going to Portsmouth.
Nothing could please Ramsay better. He was most anxious to send a letter
to Mynheer Krause to inform him of the safety of his daughter, and he
immediately answered that they might go if they pleased.

"Mein Gott--but how, mynheer--we no have the excuse."

"But I'll give you one," replied Ramsay--"you shall go to the Hague."

The corporal touched his hat with the greatest respect, and walked
forward to communicate this good news. The crew of the _Yungfrau_ and
the conspirators or smugglers were soon on the best of terms, and as
there was no one to check the wasteful expenditure of stores and no one
accountable, the liquor was hoisted up on the forecastle, and the night
passed in carousing.

"Well, he did love his dog after all," said Jemmy Ducks.

"And he's got his love with him," replied one of the smugglers.

"Now, Jemmy, let's have a song."

"It must be without the fiddle then," replied Jemmy, "for that's jammed
up with the baggage--so here goes,"

     I've often heard the chaplain say, when Davey Jones is nigh,
     That we must call for help in need, to Providence on high,
     But then he said, most plainly too, that we must do our best,
     Our own exertions failing, leave to Providence the rest.

     I never thought of this much till one day there came on board,
     A chap who ventur'd to join as _seaman_ by the Lord!
     His hair hung down like reef points, and his phiz was very queer,
     For his mouth was like a shark's, and turn'd down from ear to ear.

     He hadn't stow'd his hammock, not much longer than a week,
     When he swore he had a call, and the Lord he was to seek.
     Now where he went to seek the Lord, I can't at all suppose,
     'Twas not on deck for there I'm sure, he never show'd his nose.

     He would not read the Bible, it warn't good enough for him,
     The course we steered by that he said, would lead us all to sin;
     That we were damn'd and hell would gape, he often would us tell,
     I know that when I heard his jaw, it made me gape like hell.

     A storm came on, we sprung a leak, and sorely were we tired,
     We plied the pumps, 'twas spell and spell, with lots of work beside;
     And what d'ye think this beggar did, the trick I do declare,
     He called us all to leave the pumps and join with him in prayer.

     At last our boatswain Billy, who was a thund'ring Turk,
     Goes up to him and says, "My man, why don't you do your work?"
     "Avaunt you worst of sinners, I must save my soul," he cried,
     "Confound your soul," says Billy, "then you shall not save your hide."

     Acquaintance then he made soon with the end of the fore-brace,
     It would have made you laugh to see his methodisty face;
     He grinn'd like a roast monkey, and he howl'd like a baboon,
     He had a dose from Billy, that he didn't forget soon.

     "Take that," said Billy, when he'd done, "and now you'll please
          to work,
     I read the Bible often--but I don't my duty shirk,
     The pumps they are not choked yet, nor do we yet despair,
     When all is up or we are saved, we'll join with you in player."

"And now we'll have one from the other side of the house," said Moggy,
as soon as the plaudits were over.

"Come then, Anthony, you shall speak for us, and prove that we can sing
a stave as well as honester men."

"With all my heart, William;--here's my very best."

The smuggler then sang as follows:

       Fill, lads, fill;
       Fill, lads, fill.
     Here we have a cure
       For every ill.
     If fortune's unkind
     As the north-east wind,
     Still we must endure,
     Trusting to our cure,
       In better luck still.

       Drink, boys, drink;
       Drink, boys, drink.
     The bowl let us drain
       With right good will.
     If women deceive
     Why should we grieve?
     Forgetting our pain,
     Love make again,
       With better luck still.

       Sing, lads, sing;
       Sing, lads, sing.
     Our voices we'll raise;
       Be merry still;
     If dead to-morrow,
     We brave all sorrow.
     Life's a weary maze--
     When we end our days,
       'Tis better luck still.

As the wounded men occupied the major part of the lower deck, and there
was no accommodation for the numerous party of men and women on board,
the carousing was kept up until the next morning, when, at daylight, the
cutter was run into Cherbourg. The officers who came on board, went on
shore with the report that the cutter belonged to the English
government, and had been occupied by Sir Robert and his men, who were
well known. The consequence was, an order for the cutter to leave the
port immediately, as receiving her would be tantamount to an aggression
on the part of France. But this order, although given, was not intended
to be rigidly enforced, and there was plenty of time allowed for Sir
Robert and his people to land with their specie and baggage.

Ramsay did not forget his promise to the corporal. He went to the French
authorities, stated the great importance of his forwarding a letter to
Amsterdam immediately, and that the way it might be effected would be
very satisfactory. That, aware that King William was at the Hague, they
should write a letter informing him of the arrival of the cutter; and
that his Majesty might not imagine that the French government could
sanction such outrages, they had sent her immediately on to him, under
the charge of one of their officers, to wait upon his Majesty, and
express their sentiments of regret that such a circumstance should have
occurred. The authorities were aware that, to obey Sir Robert would not
be displeasing to the court of Versailles, and that the excuse for so
doing could only be taken as a compliment to the English court,
therefore acted upon this suggestion. A French officer was sent on board
of the cutter with the despatch, and Ramsay's letter to Mynheer Krause
was committed to the charge of the corporal.

Before the sun had set, the _Yungfrau_ was again at sea, and, on the
third morning, anchored in her usual berth off the town of Amsterdam.



Chapter LV

In which we trust that everything will be arranged to the satisfaction
of our readers.


The French officer who was sent to explain what had occasioned the
arrival of the cutter in the port of Cherbourg, immediately set off for
the Hague, and was received by Lord Albemarle.

As soon as his credentials had been examined, he was introduced to his
Majesty, King William.

"It appears," said his Majesty to Lord Albemarle, after the
introduction, "that these Jacobite conspirators have saved us one
trouble by hanging this traitor, Vanslyperken."

"Yes, your Majesty, he has met with his deserved punishment," replied
Lord Albemarle.

Then addressing himself to the officer, "We will return our
acknowledgments for this proof of good will on the part of the French
government," said his Majesty, bowing. "My Lord Albemarle, you will see
that this gentleman is suitably entertained."

The officer bowed low and retired.

"This is an over politeness which I do not admire," observed his Majesty
to Lord Albemarle. "Let that person be well watched, depend upon it the
letter is all a pretext, there is more plotting going on."

"I am of your Majesty's opinion, and shall be careful that your
Majesty's commands are put in force," replied his lordship, as King
William retired into his private apartments.

The cutter had not been half-an-hour at anchor, before Obadiah Coble
went on shore with the corporal. Their first object was to apply to the
authorities, that the wounded men might be sent to the hospital, which
they were before the night; the next was to deliver the letter to
Mynheer Krause. They thought it advisable to go first to the widow
Vandersloosh, who was surprised at the sight of her dear corporal, and
much more enraptured when she heard that Mr Vanslyperken and his cur had
been hanged.

"I'll keep my word, corporal," cried the widow, "I told you I would not
marry until he was hung, I don't care if I marry you to-morrow."

"Mein Gott, yes, to-day."

"No, no, not to-day, corporal, or to-morrow either, we must wait till
the poor fellows are out of the hospital, for I must have them all to
the wedding."

"Mein Gott, yes," replied the corporal.

The widow then proceeded to state how she had been thrown into a
dungeon, and how she and Mynheer Krause, the syndic, had been released
the next day, how Mynheer Krause's house had been burnt to the ground,
and all the other particulars with which the reader is already
acquainted.

This reminded the corporal of the letters to the Mynheer Krause, which
he had for a time forgotten, and he inquired where he was to be found;
but the widow was too prudent to allow the corporal to go himself--she
sent Babette, who executed her commission without exciting any
suspicion, and made Mynheer Krause very happy. He soon made his
arrangements, and joined his daughter and Ramsay, who had not, however,
awaited his arrival, but had been married the day after they landed at
Cherbourg. Mynheer Krause was not a little surprised to find that his
son-in-law was a Jacobite, but his incarceration and loss of his
property had very much cooled his loyalty. He settled at Hamburgh, and
became perfectly indifferent whether England was ruled by King William
or King James.

Ramsay's marriage made him also less warm in the good cause; he had
gained a pretty wife and a good fortune, and to be very loyal a person
should be very poor. The death of King James in the year following,
released him from his engagements, and, as he resided at Hamburgh, he
was soon forgotten, and was never called upon to embark in the
subsequent fruitless attempts on the part of the Jacobites.

As it was necessary to write to the Admiralty in England, acquainting
them with the fate of Mr Vanslyperken, and demanding that another
officer should be sent out to take the command of the _Yungfrau_, a
delay of three or four weeks took place, during which the cutter
remained at Amsterdam; for Dick Short and Coble were no navigators, if
they had wished to send her back; and, moreover, she had so many of her
crew at the hospital, that she was weak-handed.

It was about a month after her arrival at Amsterdam, that every soul
belonging to the cutter had gone on shore, and she was left to swing to
the tide and foul her hawse, or go adrift if she pleased, for she had to
take care of herself. This unusual disregard to naval instructions arose
from the simple fact, that on that day was to be celebrated the marriage
of widow Vandersloosh and Corporal Van Spitter.

Great, indeed, had been the preparations; all the ingenuity and talent
of Jemmy Ducks, and Moggy, and Bill Spurey, for he and all the others
were now discharged from the hospital, had been summoned to the
assistance of the widow and Babette, in preparing and decorating the
Lust Haus for the important ceremony, which the widow declared King
William himself should hear of, cost what it might. Festoons of flowers,
wreaths of laurel garlands from the ceiling, extra chandeliers, extra
musicians, all were dressed out and collected in honour of this
auspicious day.

The whole of the crew of the cutter were invited, not, however, to feast
at the widow's expense; neither she nor the corporal would stand
treat;--but to spend their money in honour of the occasion. And it must
be observed, that since their arrival in port, the _Yungfrau_ had spent
a great deal of money at the widow's; which was considered strange, as
they had not, for some time, received any pay. And it was further
observed, that none appeared so wealthy as Smallbones and Corporal Van
Spitter. Some had asserted that it was the gold of Mr Vanslyperken,
which had been appropriated by the crew to their own wants, considering
themselves as his legitimate heirs. Whether this be true or not, it is
impossible to say; certain it is, that there was no gold found in Mr
Vanslyperken's cabin when his successor took possession of it. And
equally certain it was, that all the _Yungfraus_ had their pockets full
of gold, and that the major part of this gold did ultimately fall into
the possession of the widow Vandersloosh, who was heard to say, that Mr
Vanslyperken had paid the expenses of her wedding. From these facts
collected, we must leave the reader to draw what inference he
may please.

The widow beautifully dressed;--a white kersey petticoat, deep blue
stockings, silver buckles in her shoes, a scarlet velvet jacket, with
long flaps before and behind, a golden cross six inches long, suspended
to a velvet ribbon, to which was attached, half-way between the cross
and her neck, a large gold heart, gold ear-rings, and on her head an
ornament, which, in Holland and Germany, is called a _zitternabel_,
shook and trembled as she walked along to church, hanging on the arm of
her dear corporal. Some of the bridges were too narrow to admit the
happy pair to pass abreast. The knot was tied. The name Vandersloosh was
abandoned without regret, for the sharper one of Van Spitter; and
flushed with joy, and the thermometer at ninety-six, the cavalcade
returned home, and refreshed themselves with some beer of the Frau Van
Spitter's own brewing.

Let it not, however, be supposed, that they dined _tête-à-tête_; no,
no--the corporal and his wife were not so churlish as that. The dinner
party consisted of a chosen set, the most particular friends of the
corporal. Mr Short, first officer and boatswain, Mr William Spurey, Mr
and Mrs Salisbury; and last, although not the least important person in
this history, Peter Smallbones, Esquire, who having obtained money
somehow, was now remarkable for the neatness of his apparel. The fair
widow, assisted by Moggy and Babette, cooked the dinner, and when it
was ready came in from the kitchen as red as a fury and announced it:
and then it was served up, and they all sat down to table in the little
parlour. It was very close, the gentlemen took off their jackets, and
the widow and Moggy fanned themselves, and the enormous demand by
evaporation was supplied with foaming beer. None could have done the
honours of the table better than the corporal and his lady who sat
melting and stuck together on the little fubsy sofa, which had been the
witness of so much pretended and so much real love.

But the Lust Haus is now lighted up, the company are assembling fast;
Babette is waddling and trotting like an armadillo from corner to
corner: Babette here, and Babette there, it is Babette everywhere. The
room is full, and the musicians have commenced tuning their instruments;
the party run from the table to join the rest. A general cheer greets
the widow as she is led into the room by the corporal--for she had asked
many of her friends as well as the crew of the _Yungfrau_, and many
others came who were not invited; so that the wedding day, instead of
disbursement, produced one of large receipt to the happy pair.

"Now then, corporal, you must open the ball with your lady," cried Bill
Spurey.

"Mein Gott, yes."

"What shall it be, Madam Van Spitter?"

"A waltz, if you please."

The musicians struck up a waltz, and Corporal Van Spitter, who had no
notion of waltzing, further than having seen the dance performed by
others, seized his wife by the waist, who, with an amorous glance,
dropped her fat arm upon the corporal's shoulder. This was the signal
for the rest--the corporal had made but one turn before a hundred couple
more were turning also--the whole room seemed turning. The corporal
could not waltz, but he could turn--he held on fast by the widow, and
with such a firm piece of resistance he kept a centrifugal balance, and
without regard to time or space, he increased his velocity at a
prodigious rate. Round they went, with the dangerous force of the two
iron balls suspended to the fly-wheel which regulate the power of some
stupendous steam-engine.

The corporal would not, and his better half could not, stop. The first
couple they came in contact with were hurled to the other side of the
room; a second and a third fell, and still the corporal wheeled on; two
chairs and a table were swept away in a moment. Three young women, with
baskets of cakes and nuts, were thrown down together, and the contents
of all their baskets scattered on the floor; and "Bravo, corporal!"
resounded from the crew of the _Yungfrau_--Babette and two bottles of
ginger beer were next demolished; Jemmy Ducks received a hoist, and
Smallbones was flatted to a pancake. Every one fled from the orbit of
these revolving spheres, and they were left to wheel by themselves. At
last, Mrs Van Spitter finding that nothing else would stop her husband,
who, like all heavy bodies, once put in motion, returned it in
proportion to his weight, dropped down, and left him to support her
whole weight. This was more than the corporal could stand, and it
brought him up all standing--he stopped, dropped his wife, and reeled to
a chair, for he was so giddy that he could not keep his legs, and so out
of breath that he had lost his wind.

"Bravo, corporal!" was shouted throughout the room, while his spouse
hardly knew whether she should laugh, or scold him well; but, it being
the wedding night, she deferred the scolding for that night only, and
she gained a chair, and fanned and wiped, and fanned and wiped again.
The corporal, shortly afterwards, would have danced again, but Mrs Van
Spitter having had quite enough for that evening, she thanked him for
the offer, was satisfied with his prowess, but declined on the score of
the extreme sultriness of the weather; to which observation, the
corporal replied, as usual,

"Mein Gott, yes."

The major part of the evening was passed in dancing and drinking. The
corporal and his wife, with Babette, now attending to the wants of their
customers, who, what with the exercise, the heat of the weather, and the
fumes of tobacco, were more than usually thirsty, and as they became
satisfied with dancing, so did they call for refreshments.

But we cannot find space to dwell upon the quantity of beer, the variety
of liquors which were consumed at this eventful wedding, with which we
wind up our eventful history; nor even to pity the breathless, flushed,
and overheated Babette, who was so ill the next day, as to be unable to
quit her bed; nor can we detail the jokes, the merriment, and the songs
which went round, the peals of laughter, the loud choruses, the antic
feats performed by the company; still more impossible would it be to
give an idea of the three tremendous cheers, which shook the Lust Haus
to its foundations, when Corporal and Mistress Van Spitter, upon their
retiring, bade farewell to the company assembled.

The observation of Jemmy Salisbury, as he waddled out, was as correct as
it was emphatic:

"Well, Dick, this _has been_ a spree!"

"Yes," replied Dick Short.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Snarleyyow" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home