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Title: Terry's Trials and Triumphs
Author: Oxley, J. Macdonald (James Macdonald), 1855-1907
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 "Terry's Trials and Triumphs" ***

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

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: "_Down sank the gallant ship, driving her crew to the
spar-deck._"  Page 96.]






Author of "In the Wilds of the West Coast," "Diamond Rock,"
  "Up Among the Ice-Floes," "My Strange Rescue,"
  &c., &c.


London, Edinburgh, and New York





"Down sank the gallant ship, driving her crew to the spar-deck."

"On being lifted carefully in, Miss Drummond fainted for the moment."

"Terry, attired as never before, set out for Long Wharf."

"The whole ship had the appearance of being in readiness for an
expected foe."

"He succeeded in ingratiating himself with the driver of the train."




"Give it to him, Terry--that's the style!" "Punch his head!" "Hit him
in the face, Mike!" "Good for you, Terry--that was a daisy!" "Stick to
him, me hearty; ye'll lick him yet!"

The shouts came from a ring of ragged, dirty youngsters, who were
watching with intense excitement a hand-to-hand and foot-to-foot fight
between two of their own kind--a rough-and-tumble affair of the most
disorderly sort.

They were not well-matched combatants, the one called Terry being much
inferior in size and weight to the other; but he evidently had the
sympathy of the majority of the spectators, and he displayed an amount
of vigour and agility that went far to make up for his deficiencies in
other respects.

In point of fact, he was not fighting his own battle, but that of
little Patsy Connors, whose paltry, yet to him precious, plaything had
been brutally snatched away from him by Mike Hoolihan, and who had
appealed to Terry to obtain its return.

The contest had waged but a few minutes, and the issue was still
uncertain, when a shrill cry of, "The peelers! the peelers! they're
comin' up the street!" caused a dispersion of the crowd, so speedy and
so complete that the boys composing it seemed to vanish like spirits;
and when the big blue-coated, silver-buttoned policemen reached the
spot, there was nothing to arrest but a woebegone puppy, who regarded
them with an expression that meant as plainly as possible,--

"Please, sirs, it wasn't me; and I don't know where they've gone to."

So the guardians of the peace were fain, after giving an indignant
glance around, to retire in good order, but with empty hands.

      *      *      *      *      *

A life divided between Blind Alley and the Long Wharf could hardly have
had a hopeful outlook.  Blind Alley was the most miserable collection
of tumble-down tenements in Halifax.  It led off from the narrowest
portion of Water Street, in between two forbidding rows of filthy,
four-storied houses, nearly every window of which represented a family,
and brought up suddenly against the grim and grimy walls of a brewery,
whence issued from time to time the thick, oppressive vapours of
steaming malt.

The open space between the rows of houses was little better than a
gutter, through which you had to pick your way with careful steps if
you did not wish to carry off upon your boots and clothing unsavoury
reminders of the place.

Little wonder, then, that so soon as the children of Blind Alley were
big enough to walk they hastened to desert their repulsive playground,
in spite of the shrill summons back from their unkempt mothers, who,
though they made no attempt to keep them clean, loved them too much to
think with composure of their being exposed to the many dangers of
busy, bustling Water Street.

It is safe to say that you could not peer into Blind Alley during any
of the hours of daylight without hearing stout Mrs. M'Carthy, or
red-haired Mrs. Hoolihan, or some other frowsy matron with no less
powerful lungs, calling out from her window,--

"Patsy!  Norah! where are ye now, ye little villains?  Ye're the plague
of my life wid yer always gettin' out of me sight.  Come back wid ye
now, or I'll beat the very life out o' ye."

And if the poor little urchins had not managed to get around the corner
so as to be out of sight, they would slink dejectedly back to wait for
a more favourable opportunity.

Terry Ahearn's home, if so sweet a name could rightly be given to such
wretched quarters, was in the last house on the left-hand side, the two
squalid rooms which served all the purposes of kitchen, parlour, and
bedrooms being on the second floor, and right against the brewery wall.
Here he had been born, and had grown up pretty much as the weeds
grow--according to his own devices.  Although the only survivor of
several children, his father, who bore the unprepossessing nickname of
"Black Mike," hardly ever noticed him, unless it was to swear at him or
cuff him.  When sober, Black Mike was sulky, and when drunk,
quarrelsome, so that Terry had many excuses for not loving him.  As
most of Mike's earnings went over the bar at the Crown and Anchor, his
wife was obliged to go out scrubbing in order to provide the bread and
molasses which, with a few potatoes and an occasional bit of meat,
formed the staple of Terry's diet.

With anything like a fair chance, poor Peggy Ahearn would have made a
tolerably good mother.  But her married life had been one long
martyrdom, which had broken her spirit and soured her temper.  She
loved Terry with all her heart, and he loved her in return; yet an
observer of their mutual relations might well have thought otherwise.
He was very apt to be saucy to her if his father was not near, and she
rarely addressed him in terms of affection or gentleness.

From such surroundings Terry, naturally enough, was only too glad to
escape.  Even the public school was more endurable, especially during
the long cold winter.  In the bright long days of summer there was the
Long Wharf, on which his father worked, and where Terry's companions
gathered every day, rain or shine, from the beginning of May to the end
of October.

In Terry's general appearance there was nothing at first sight to
distinguish him from any of the other "wharf rats" who were his
constant companions.  They all wore battered hats, ragged clothes, and
dirty faces.  They all had a fine capacity for shirking work, and for
making a great deal of noise when they were enjoying themselves.

If you had occasion to talk with Terry, however, you would be a dull
observer if you did not notice certain qualities of character indicated
in his face and form which suggested the thought that there was good
stuff in the lad, and that if he had a chance he might turn out to be
of some use despite his unpropitious surroundings.

He had a bright, pleasant countenance of the genuine Irish type,
thickly dotted with deep-tinted freckles; a pair of frank, brown eyes;
a mop of hair with a decided tendency towards curls and redness; and a
well-knit, full-sized frame, whose every muscle was developed to its
utmost capacity, and within which there beat a big warm heart, although
that might seem to be doubtful sometimes when its owner was in a
particularly mischievous mood.

"Sure, an' I don't know what's ever to be the end of ye," said Mrs.
Ahearn one day, in a more thoughtful tone than was usual with her,
after scolding her son for one of his pranks which she had just found
out.  "Ye've got wits enough to be a gentleman, if ye only had a mind
to it; but never a bit do ye seem to care, so long as there's a bite
for ye to eat."

Terry's response was so surprising that it fairly took his mother's
breath away; for, drawing himself up to his full height, and putting on
a look of the utmost determination, he exclaimed,--

"And it's a gentleman I mean to be some day, and then it's yourself
that will ride in a carriage with glass sides, as fine as Miss

Mrs. Ahearn's eyes and mouth opened wide with astonishment.  What had
come over her boy that made him talk in that style?  Ride in a carriage
indeed!  Faith, the highest expectation she ever permitted herself to
entertain was of deliverance from the drudgery of the wash-tub.  If
that could only be accomplished in some other way than by dying, she
would be well content.

"Listen to him!" she cried.  "It's crazy the boy is.  Me ride in a
carriage!  Sure the only ride I'll ever get in a carriage with glass
sides will be when I'm going to the cimitry."

Then Terry did a still more remarkable thing.  Whether it was his
mother's reference to the hearse, or something in his own mind that
stirred him, can only be conjectured, but running up to Mrs. Ahearn he
caught her round the waist and gave her a hearty hug, saying,--

"Ye'll have many a ride in a carriage, and with glass sides too,
mother, before that."

Then he darted off down the stairs, whistling "St. Patrick's Day in the
Morning" with all his might, while his mother fell into a chair in
sheer bewilderment at her boy's utterly novel behaviour.

Certainly there had been nothing in Terry's past record to give ground
for hope of his ever attaining the status of a gentleman owning a
carriage.  To do as little work and to have as much play as possible
seemed to be his ideal of life.  More than once a situation as
errand-boy had been obtained for him; but he soon forfeited them by
neglect of duty, and returned rejoicing to his friends on Long Wharf.
Unless a decided change of disposition took place, he bid fair to turn
out nothing better than one more recruit for the wretched regiment of
"street loafers" that is characteristic of every maritime city.

Long Wharf, Terry's "happy hunting ground," so to speak, it must be
admitted, possessed a multitude of attractions for boys of his kind.
It held an unquestioned pre-eminence among the wharves of Halifax for
size and superiority of position, thrusting itself out prominently from
their midst into the heart of the harbour, while the rest curved away
on either hand in undistinguishable monotony.  From the foot of Long
Wharf you could comfortably command the whole water-line as from no
other vantage-ground.  Hence, in addition to being one of the busiest
places in the city during the day, it was in the summer evenings the
favourite resort of the whole neighbourhood--men, women, and children
gathering there to enjoy the cool breezes, and to watch the
pleasure-boats gliding past with their merry occupants.

The wharf was the centre of bustling activity all summer long.  From it
sailed lines of steamers to the bleak rugged coasts of Newfoundland and
to the fascinating fairy-land of the West Indies, while others voyaged
across the ocean to the metropolis of the world.  When they returned
laden with costly cargoes, the schooners and other sailing-vessels
gathered round with gaping holds that had to be filled, and what they
did not carry off went into the huge warehouses which stood in opposing
rows clear up to the street.

By virtue of his relationship to Black Mike, Terry had the freedom of
the wharf.  It was about the only benefit his father conferred upon
him, and he made the most of it, scraping acquaintance with the
sailors, especially the cooks of the steamers, running occasional
errands for the storekeeper, who might order him off the premises at
any time he saw fit, fishing for perch and tomcods, bathing in the
north dock at the risk of arrest by the first policeman who should
happen along, and having grand games of "I spy" among the maze of
stores and sheds.

Of course, this kind of life could not go on for ever, and there were
times when Terry paused in his eager quest for amusement long enough to
ask himself what he would like to be and to do for a living.  The
answers to the question were as various as Terry's moods.  He fain
would be a sailor, soldier, fireman, policeman, or coachman, according
as he had been most lately impressed with the advantages and
attractions of that particular occupation.  He even sometimes let his
thoughts aspire as high as the position of clerk in the offices of
Drummond and Brown, the owners of Long Wharf.  But that was only in
moments of exceptional exaltation, and they soon fell back again to
their wonted level.

This last idea, remote as the possibility of its fulfilment might seem,
had especial vigour imparted into it one morning by a few words that
Miss Kate Drummond, the only daughter of the senior partner, happened
to let fall.  She had driven down with her own pony to take her father
home to lunch, and the wharf being such a noisy place, had asked Terry,
who chanced to be lounging near by, wondering if he would ever be the
owner of so fine an equipage, if he would be good enough to hold the
pony's head while she sat in the carriage awaiting her father's coming.

Struck by Terry's prepossessing albeit somewhat dirty countenance, she
thought she might while away the time by asking him some questions
about himself.  Terry answered so promptly and politely that she became
quite interested in him, and finally began to sound him as to his plans
for the future.

"Do you know, Terry," said she, with a winning smile that sent a thrill
of pleasure clear down to the tips of the boy's bare toes, "I believe
something good might be made out of you.  Your face tells me that
you've got it in you to make your way in the world.  Many a rich and
famous man had no better start than you.  Wouldn't you like to try as
they did?"

Terry turned away his head to hide the blushes that glowed through the
tan and freckles on his cheeks, and shifted uneasily from one foot to
the other.

"I don't know, mum," said he at last.  "I'd like to be a gentleman, and
keep a carriage some day."

Miss Drummond gave a pleasant laugh; the answer was so frankly
characteristic.  To be a gentleman and to ride in a carriage seemed to
be the working people's highest ideal of earthly bliss.

"Well, Terry," she responded, taking care that there should be
sympathy, not ridicule, in her tone; "if that is your ambition, the way
is open to you to try to accomplish it.  My grandfather began as a
little office-boy, and he had more than one carriage of his own before
he died."

The look that Terry gave Miss Drummond on hearing these words made her
blush a little in her turn; it was such a curious blending of
bewilderment and joy.  That this radiant creature, who seemed almost as
far removed from him as an angel of heaven, should have had a
grandfather who was a mere office-boy, was a surprising revelation to
him.  At the same time, what a vista of hope it opened up!  If old Mr.
Drummond, whom he remembered seeing years before, had worked his way up
so well, could not others do it also?

Not knowing just what to say, Terry kept silence, and the situation was
presently relieved by the appearance of Mr. Drummond.  As Miss Drummond
gathered up the reins, she gave the boy another of her lovely smiles.

"Thank you very much, Terry," she said; "and you'll think over what
I've been saying to you, won't you?"

Terry pulled off his ragged cap in token of promise to do so, and the
light carriage whirled away, leaving him with thoughts such as had
never stirred his brain before.  Of course he knew that men had made
their way up from humble beginnings to high positions, but the fact had
hitherto never been so closely brought home to him; and it was while
under the excitement of this idea that he so astonished his mother as
related above.



The seed thus sown by Miss Drummond began to take root at once.  Terry
now gave more thought to getting a chance to make a start in life than
he did to having a good time.  And here, as it happened, fortune
favoured him in a most unusual way.  On the Saturday morning of the
week after the talk which had set him thinking, he was sitting at the
end of the Long Wharf watching a big steamer making her way slowly up
the harbour.  It being the noon hour, the wharf hands were all away at
dinner, and the place was almost deserted.

Suddenly he was startled out of his reverie by the sound of hoofs
beating with alarming rapidity upon the resounding planks, and turning
round he saw what caused him to spring to his feet with every nerve and
muscle athrill.  Thundering down the wharf in blind and reckless flight
came Miss Drummond's pony, while in the carriage behind sat the owner,
tugging desperately upon the reins, her face white and set with terror.

Acting upon the first impulse of the moment, Terry ran forward,
shouting and waving his cap.  Then, seeing that to be of no avail, he
sprang at the maddened creature's head, hoping to seize the reins.  But
by a quick swerve the pony eluded him, and the next moment plunged
headlong off the end of the wharf, dragging the carriage and its
helpless occupant after her.  There was a piercing shriek, a splash, a
whirl of seething foam, and then the clear green depths closed over all!

For the first moment, Terry, overcome by the startling suddenness of
the accident, knew not how to act.  Then the impulse to rescue welled
up mightily in his breast, and at once he leaped into the disturbed
waters, which closed over his curly head.

Rising almost instantly to the surface, he looked eagerly about him,
and caught sight of a hand thrust up in the agony of a struggle for
life.  A few quick strokes brought him to it, and then, taking in the
situation intuitively, he swerved round so as to grasp Miss Drummond at
the neck.  He had not spent his life about a wharf without learning
something of the difficulty of dealing with drowning persons, and that,
strong, expert swimmer as he was, he must not suffer those hands to
fasten their frantic grip upon him, or it would mean death for both.

So, deftly avoiding the girl's wild clutch, he took good hold of her
from the back, and saying beseechingly, "Keep ye still now, ma'am, and
I'll save ye all right," shoved her through the water in the direction
of the wharf.  Happily she was a young woman of rare self-possession.
As soon as she felt Terry's firm hand her terror gave way to trust.
She ceased her vain strugglings, and committed herself to her rescuer.
Otherwise, indeed, the poor boy could hardly have been equal to the
task.  As it was, his strength just lasted until he reached the first
row of barnacle-covered spiles; pressing Miss Drummond up to which he
hoarsely directed her--"Take good hold of that now, ma'am, and I'll
yell for somebody."

But he did not need to yell twice.  Already helpers had gathered above
them, and were shouting down words of encouragement; and a moment later
a boat darted round the corner of the wharf, propelled by eager oarsmen.

On being lifted carefully in, Miss Drummond, yielding to the reaction,
fainted for the moment; whereat Terry, who had never seen a woman faint
before, set up a wail of grief, thinking she must be dead.

[Illustration: "_On being lifted carefully in, Miss Drummond fainted
for the moment._"]

"Oh, the dear lady's dead!" he cried.  "Ye must be getting a doctor

But the others reassured him, and to his vast delight the blue eyes
opened again to give him a look of inexpressible gratitude ere the boat
touched the landing-steps.

Here Mr. Drummond, pale and trembling, the first thrill of numbing
horror having just given place to ecstatic joy, awaited them.  The
instant the boat was within reach he sprang into it, and, regardless of
her dripping garments, clasped his daughter to his breast, kissing her
again and again, while his quivering lips murmured, "My darling, my
darling!  God be thanked for your rescue!"

Releasing herself gently from his arms, Miss Drummond reached out her
hand for Terry, who was just scrambling awkwardly ashore.

"Don't forget to thank him too, father," she said, with a meaning smile.

Thus reminded, Mr. Drummond, blushing at the excess of feeling which
had caused him to forget everything save that his only daughter, the
joy and pride of his life, had been saved from death, laid hold of
Terry, and drew him back into the boat, where, taking both the boy's
hands in his, he said in tones of deep emotion,--

"My boy, you have done my daughter and me a service we can never
adequately repay.  But all that grateful hearts can do we will not fail
to do.  Tell me your name and where you live."

Poor Terry was so abashed at being thus addressed by the great Mr.
Drummond that his tongue refused its office.  But one of the bystanders
came to his relief.

"Sure and he's Black Mike's son, sur, and he lives up Blind Alley," was
the information volunteered.

Accepting it as though it came from Terry himself, Mr. Drummond, giving
the boy's hands another grateful shake, said,--

"Thank you.  You will hear from me before the day ends."

Then taking his daughter by the arm, he continued,--

"Come now, darling; we must make all haste up to my office, and see
what can be done for you."

Not until she stepped upon the wharf did Miss Drummond remember her
pony.  Then the question as to what had become of it flashed into her
mind, and she turned to look down the wharf, exclaiming,--

"Oh, but my pony!  Poor, dear Dolly!  What's become of her?"

"Never mind the pony, dear," said Mr. Drummond; "the men will look
after her.  Come, come; you'll catch your death of cold staying out
here in your dripping clothes."

Somewhat reluctantly Miss Drummond obeyed.  Reassuringly though her
father had spoken, she had misgivings as to her pony's fate--misgivings
which were in fact only too well founded; for, dragged to the bottom by
the weight of the carriage, the poor creature had been drowned in spite
of its desperate struggles.

When the Drummonds disappeared, Terry found himself the centre of a
circle of admirers, each of whom sought in his own way to give
expression to his admiration and envy.

"Sure and your fortune's made this day, Terry, me boy," said the
storeman, who wished in his heart that he had been lucky enough to
rescue his employer's daughter.  "Mr. Drummond's not the man to forgit
his word; and didn't he say he'd do anything in the world for ye?"

But Terry's triumph was complete when the appearance of his father
lounging sullenly back to work, with a short clay pipe between his
teeth, was hailed with shouts from the crowd of,--

"Mike!  Mike! come here wid ye, till we tell ye what yer boy's been
doin'.  Oh, but you're the lucky man to have a boy like Terry!"

Without a change in his dark countenance, or a quickening of his step,
Black Mike drew near, and silently awaited explanations.  When the
matter was made clear to him, his face did brighten a little; but
whether it was with pride at his son's achievement, or selfish pleasure
at the prospect of the benefits that might accrue from it, the keenest
observer would have been puzzled to say.

He managed, however, to get out something that more closely approached
praise than anything Terry had ever heard from his lips before, and
this delighted the boy so that he had to execute a few steps of his
favourite clog dance to relieve his feelings.  Then, bethinking himself
that he had stayed long enough inside his uncomfortably wet clothing,
he raced up the wharf, and made for his home in Blind Alley.

Here his mother received him with a shower of questions, in the
answering of which he found rare delight.

"Me blessed boy!" the excited woman exclaimed, her feelings strangely
divided betwixt horror at the thought of the risk her son had run and
joy at its successful issue.  "It's proud I am of you this day.  No
doubt but ye'll be your mother's comfort."

"And make ye ride in a carriage with glass sides, eh, mother?" said
Terry with a merry twinkle in his eye.

"Ah! now don't be talking such foolishness, Terry," returned Mrs.
Ahearn, in a tone that implied to do so was tempting Providence
perchance.  "If your old mother has only a bit and sup sure to the end
of her days, and a decent gown to put on, she'll be content enough
without the carriage."

That afternoon Mr. Drummond picked his way carefully through the perils
of Blind Alley to the grimy tenement where the Ahearns abode, and
inquired for Terry.  The latter, having exchanged his wet garments for
the only others his scanty wardrobe contained, had gone down again to
Long Wharf; so, after exchanging a few kind words with his mother, Mr.
Drummond followed him thither, saying to himself, as he cautiously
stepped from stone to stone, for the alley was little better than a
mere muddy gutter, "The boy must be detached from these surroundings if
anything is to be made of him.  And he has a bright face.  He ought to
have good stuff in him.  Certainly he shall have a fair trial at my
hands, for I owe him more than money can repay."

On reaching his office, Mr. Drummond sent one of the clerks out to hunt
Terry up, and presently he returned with the lad in tow, looking very
bashful and ill at ease.  He was attired in his "Sunday best," and
boasted a face and hands of unwonted cleanliness.  The merchant gave
him a warm greeting, and made him sit down in a chair in front of him,
while he scanned his countenance closely.

"My dear boy," said he after a pause, and seeming well satisfied with
the result of his inspection, "as I have already told you, I feel that
I am indebted to you for a service the worth of which cannot be put
down in money; and it is not by offering you money that I would prove
my gratitude.  The money would be soon spent, leaving you no better,
and possibly worse, than before it was given you.  No; you have saved
my daughter's life, and in return I want to save yours, though in a
somewhat different way.  Look me straight in the eyes, please."

For the first time since he had entered Mr. Drummond's presence Terry
lifted his big brown eyes, and looked full into his face, his freckles
being submerged in the warm flush that swept over his face as he did so.

"Ah!" said Mr. Drummond, "I was not mistaken.  Your face gives warrant
of many good qualities that you've had small chance to develop thus
far.  It will be my privilege and pleasure to give you the opportunity
circumstances have hitherto denied you.  How would you like to go to a
nice school?"

Terry had been listening with eager attention and brightening
countenance; but at the mention of the word "school" his face suddenly
fell, and from the restless twitching of his body it was very evident
that the idea had no attraction for him at all.

Mr. Drummond's keen eye did not fail to note the effect of his
question, and without stopping to argue the point he promptly put

"Well, then, how would you like to be taken into my office and taught
to be a clerk?"

Instantly the boy's face burst into bloom, so to speak, and giving the
merchant a look which said as plain as words, "I hope you really mean
it," he exclaimed,--

"Sure, sir, an' it's now ye're talkin'."

Mr. Drummond could not suppress a smile at Terry's quaint phrase that
went so straight to the mark.

"You shall have your own way then," he responded in his pleasantest
tone, "and you may begin as soon as you like.  Let me just say this to
you, my boy," he continued, drawing Terry towards him with one hand,
and placing the other on his shoulder.  "I want to be your friend for
life.  You can always rely upon that.  But I cannot do for you what you
alone can do for yourself.  You will meet with many trials and
temptations that you will have to fight all by yourself.  I will at all
times be glad to give you the best counsel I can.  But in the end you
must make your own way.  No one else can make it for you.  By being
faithful to my interests, Terry, you will most surely advance your own.
Never forget that.  And now, good-bye for the present.  Mr. Hobart in
the outer office has some business to do with you right away, and I
will look for you bright and early on Monday morning."

Rather relieved at the interview being over, and feeling as though he
would have to go prancing and shouting down the whole length of Long
Wharf to give vent to his delight at what Mr. Drummond had said, Terry
slipped out of the merchant's sanctum, and found a pleasant-looking
young man evidently awaiting him in the office.

"Come in here, Terry," said he, "and tell us your good-luck."

In the fulness of his heart Terry was only too glad to find a
confidant, and without reserve he related all that had been said, as
well as he could remember it.

"Phew!" whistled the clerk.  "You've got on the right side of the old
man, and no mistake.  No putting you off with a sovereign and a
paragraph in the papers.  Whatever he says goes, I can tell you.  Come
along now; I'm to have the pleasure of making a swell out of you."

In some bewilderment as to Mr. Hobart's meaning, Terry obediently
accompanied him up to Granville Street, where they entered a
gentleman's outfitting establishment, before whose broad plate-glass
windows the boy had often stood in covetous appreciation of the fine
things so dexterously displayed therein.  With an air of easy
self-possession that Terry profoundly admired, Mr. Hobart called upon a
brilliantly-arrayed clerk to show them their ready-made clothing.  They
went into the rear part of the shop, and then the purpose of their
coming was made clear.

"You're to have a complete outfit of good clothes, Terry," said Mr.
Hobart.  "And Mr. Drummond, knowing my good taste in such matters, has
put the business in my hands, so you'll please be good enough to
entirely approve of my selections."

His manner was so kind and pleasant that Terry felt as though there was
hardly anything on earth that he would not have been willing to do for
him, let alone approving of the benefactions he was the instrument of

"Indeed that I will, sir," he responded, with a warmth that made the
clerk smile in such a patronizing way that Mr. Hobart cut him short by
saying curtly,--

"Well, then, let me see something in the way of pepper-and-salt tweeds."

So the work of fitting Terry out began.  Mr. Hobart seemed no less
particular than if he were choosing the various articles for his own
wardrobe.  He had _carte-blanche_ from Mr. Drummond, and the matter of
cheapness was not to be taken into account.  It all seemed like a
beautiful dream to Terry.  A fine suit of clothes, that fitted him as
though they had been cut to order; a pair of scarlet braces with bright
brass clasps such as his heart had often vainly hungered for; three
good flannel shirts for week-day wear, and three lovely linen ones for
Sabbaths; a sheaf of collars and a roll of cuffs; and, finally, to top
it all, a hard felt hat, the like of which had never before been on his
head;--one after another were these fine feathers procured, and the
money for them paid down from a bundle of notes which Terry, in his
ignorance of money in that form, thought must contain at least a
thousand pounds.

It took over an hour to complete the business, Mr. Hobart evidently
enjoying it in no small degree himself.  At last, however, he seemed
satisfied with his work, and giving Terry a friendly clap on the back,
he said,--

"There, now; you're qualified to be a credit to Drummond and Brown's
office, so far as appearance goes at all events.  You can trot along
home now.  They'll send the things there for you."

Eager to tell his mother of the wonders of the day, Terry darted off,
and in a few minutes was at home in Blind Alley.  With many
exclamations of gratitude to the "blessed saints," and many interjected
questions, did Mrs. Ahearn listen to his wonderful story; and when the
parcels arrived, she spread out their contents upon the bed and fell
upon her knees before them.  For many years her life had known but
scant rays of sunshine, and this sudden outburst almost overwhelmed
her.  With trembling fingers she gently touched the different articles,
as though to assure herself that her eyes were not playing her false.
Then rising to her feet again, her eyes streaming and lips quivering,
she threw her arms around Terry and hugged him to her heart.

With a mother's fond prescience she grasped the fact that in him, and
in him alone, had she hope of redress for the sorrows which had so
deeply shadowed her life.  Terry's chance had come, and his future and
hers depended upon the way in which he availed himself of it.



It was with a queer jumble of feelings palpitating in his young bosom
that Terry, attired as never before in his life, set out for Long Wharf
on Monday morning.  Blind Alley seemed to swarm with women and
children, who first gazed in wild-eyed astonishment at his appearance,
and then proceeded to give vent to their admiration or envy in remarks
that would have sorely tried the composure of a stump orator hardened
by many campaigns.

[Illustration: "_Terry, attired as never before, set out for Long

"The blessed saints presarve us!  Did ye ever see the loike?" gasped
Mrs. O'Rafferty, with a side glance at the gutter, where her own Phelim
was hunting for a lost marble, and looking more like a mud-turtle than
a bit of humanity.

"Get on to the hat, will you?" shouted Tim Doolin, his fingers itching
to throw a handful of mud at it, but his head telling him that to do so
would insure a tremendous thrashing, for Terry's prowess with his fists
was not to be gainsaid.

"Sure he's got a place in front of Clayton's, and has to stand there
all day on exhibition," sneered sly Tony Butler, pretending that he
thought Terry was to play the part of a living advertisement for a
well-known ready-made clothing firm.

Through this ordeal Terry hastened with a deprecating smile, as though
to say, "Really, you're making an absurd fuss about a most trifling
matter;" and wisely refraining from any retort, he drew a deep breath
of relief when he reached Water Street, and became merged in the crowd
of well-dressed clerks hurrying to their offices.

On arriving at Long Wharf, he could not resist the impulse to take one
look over his beloved playground before reporting himself at Drummond
and Brown's.  He clearly realized that if he would take full advantage
of the opportunity now open to him, the dock would know him no more as
in the past; and besides that, he did want to let his playmates, who
would have his company no longer, see his fine feathers in their
pristine freshness.

The chorus of praise they elicited would have contented a much more
exacting heart than Terry's, and in answering the questions showered
upon him he ran the risk of not being "bright and early," as Mr.
Drummond had enjoined upon him.  Happily, however, the boom of the
market clock reminded him in time, and darting back up the wharf he
entered the big warehouse, the front part of whose ground floor was
given up to a suite of offices, in which many of the clerks had already
assembled for the day's work.

Terry's impulse carried him as far as inside the door, and then it
deserted him, leaving him completely stranded.  Now that he was in the
office, he had not the slightest idea what to do with himself.  The
clerks were busy getting their books out, and chaffing one another as
to the doings of the night before.  No one seemed to notice him, and
feeling acutely uncomfortable he shrank into a corner, a longing to run
off again coming over him with great force.  He could see nothing of
Mr. Hobart, and in his utter strangeness his heart sank in chill
despair.  How remote seemed the possibility of his ever taking his
place among that group of dashing young fellows, who had so much to
tell each other of enjoyments and exploits in spheres of society far
beyond his ken!

A movement that he made in his agitation at length attracted the
attention of a young lad about his own age, who, looking sharply at
him, asked in a rude tone,--

"Well, sonny, what is it you want?"

For a moment Terry was nonplussed for a reply.  How could he explain
his position to this saucy-looking inquirer?  Then by a happy
inspiration, it occurred to him to ask for his friend of Saturday
afternoon, and in a low, hesitating voice he said,--

"I want to see Mr. Hobart, please."

"Say, there, Walter!" shouted the clerk, in the direction of an inner
office, "there's a young kid asking for you here.  Did you forget to
pay your washer-woman on Saturday night?"

Mr. Hobart appeared quickly, and the moment his eyes fell upon Terry
(who even in the midst of his discomposure had his wits sufficiently
about him to take in the meaning of the clerk's impertinence, and his
eyes were brimming in consequence) he sprang towards the speaker, and
seizing him by the collar, gave him a vigorous shaking, saying
meanwhile in indignant tones,--

"See here, Morley: if you don't keep your sauce to yourself, you'll get
something worse than a shaking.  Do you know who that is?  It's the boy
who saved Miss Drummond's life, and he's got the makings of a better
man in him than you have, or I'm much mistaken."  Then turning to Terry
he continued, as he released his hold on Morley, "Come right inside
here, Terry, and I'll introduce you to the boys."

The appearance of his friend, and the warmth with which he took up his
cause, worked a complete revolution in Terry's feelings.  The tears
vanished from his eyes, and with a broad smile lighting up his
countenance he obeyed Mr. Hobart's bidding; while Morley, looking very
much crestfallen, and displaying a malignant scowl that boded no good
to the new-comer, went sullenly back to his desk.

Mr. Hobart introduced Terry to each of the clerks, and they all shook
hands with him cordially.  His gallant rescue of their employer's
daughter prepared them to like him, and his honest, good-humoured face
disarmed, for the time at least, any feelings of opposition to his
entry into their ranks.  There were nearly a dozen of them altogether,
from the senior book-keeper, gray-bearded and spectacled, down to Tom
Morley, whose work it was to look after collecting the wharfage.  Mr.
Hobart held the responsible post of finance-clerk.  He attended to all
the banking; paid the labourers on Friday evenings and made out the
salary cheques at the end of the month; and by virtue of the importance
of his duties, and the evident favour in which he was held by the firm,
stood next to the book-keeper in the estimation of his associates.
Terry was very fortunate in having his support at the start,
particularly as he had taken a decided liking to the boy, and was quite
willing to act as his patron, and to pilot him through the difficulties
of his new surroundings.

The Civil War in the United States was then at its height, and Halifax,
as a neutral port, open to the vessels of both contestants for
supremacy, occupied a peculiarly advantageous position.  Never before
in the history of the city had business been brisker or money more
plentiful.  Hardly a day passed without its quota of steamships or
sailing-vessels pressing into the splendid harbour, and willing to pay
almost any price in good gold for immediate attention.

Nor were these profitable customers of the harmless merchant class
only.  From time to time there appeared grim men-of-war, looking
terribly business-like with their rows of black-muzzled guns; and now
and then the whole city was thrown into excitement by the sudden advent
of one of the far-famed Confederate cruisers, which did such fearful
damage to Federal commerce--as, for instance, the renowned
_Tallahassee_, whose trim black form came dashing through the white
caps one fine summer morning, while far out in the offing a keen eye
could discern the dark shapes of her disappointed pursuers.

But most interesting of all such visitors were the blockade-runners,
the _Colonel Lamb_, the _Robert E. Lee_, and the like.  Marvels of
beauty and speed they were, their low, graceful hulls painted a soft
gray tint, so as to make them invisible at sea when only a few miles
distant; and in the eyes of the Halifax boys every man on board was a
hero, and the object of profound admiration.

This feeling, moreover, was by no means confined to the boys.  If at
any time during the war a poll of the Haligonians had been taken, the
majority in favour of the South would certainly have been very large.
Self-interest, no doubt, had much to do with this state of affairs;
and, besides that, there was current the belief that the South was
fighting for freedom rather than for the maintenance of slavery.

The firm of Drummond and Brown having had extensive business
connections with the Southern States for many years before the war, it
was but natural that Long Wharf should be the favoured resort of the
Confederate vessels.  The blockade-runners, without exception, docked
there; and, as a matter of course, from the heads of the firm down to
the humblest toiler on the wharf, everybody belonging to the
establishment was Confederate to the core.

As for Terry Ahearn, so fervent was his sympathy with the South, that
up to the time of his being taken into the office, had he ever received
any encouragement, he would have unhesitatingly joined himself to the
crew of a blockade-runner in any capacity they would have for him.
Happily for him they had no use for boys on board these vessels, and
his desires remained unrealized, until the opening up of a new life to
him through his being taken into Mr. Drummond's employment diverted his
thoughts into an altogether different channel.

Certainly he had much to think about during the first period of his
clerkship.  It was a big change for a boy to make in a day--from
careless, idle play in ragged clothes about a dock, varied by an
occasional trip coastward, when he could persuade the captain of one of
the many packet schooners to take him along as an extra hand, to
steady-going service in an office, with the accompanying requirements
of always being neat, well-dressed, and respectful in demeanour to
those about him.

And greatly as Terry rejoiced in the sudden advance, he would have been
more than mortal if he had not found his new environment bristling with
difficulties which neither the favour of Mr. Drummond nor the friendly
offices of Mr. Hobart could materially help him to overcome.  He did
not fail to feel keenly the marked contrast between his own speech and
manners and those of Tom Morley, for instance; nor was he blind to the
fact that his educational equipment was deplorably deficient.  How
bitterly he regretted that he had not taken more advantage of his
opportunities at school, and how fervently he vowed to do his best to
make up lost ground so far as might be possible!

It was no slight addition to his embarrassments that all unwittingly he
had at the very start incurred the enmity of Tom Morley, who
thenceforward did everything that he dared to annoy him.  Tom was a
clever boy himself, and had enjoyed many advantages in his bringing up.
He took to business as naturally as a duck to water, and but for
certain characteristics, would have been held in high esteem in the

Unhappily, however, he had a sly, jealous, selfish nature, that soon
revealed itself, because, forsooth, he made little attempt to conceal
it, and this effectually barred his way to popularity.

Even without the _contretemps_, for which he alone was responsible, on
the morning Terry first came to the office, Morley would have taken a
dislike to Terry simply because of his good fortune.  Now that there
was double cause for such a feeling, he let it have full play, and if
poor Terry had done him some mortal injury he could not have shown a
more vicious spirit towards him.  He mimicked his brogue for the
amusement of his fellow-clerks; he made sneering remarks about his
clothes; he played practical jokes upon him to raise a laugh at his
expense; in fact, he behaved so abominably towards him, that there were
times when only the restraining influence of his surroundings kept
Terry back from rushing upon him with clenched fists.  Being thus
beset, Terry found his lot far harder than he had conceived, and needed
all the help that came to him from his mother's sympathy, Mr.
Drummond's kindly interest, and Mr. Hobart's good-humoured helpfulness,
in order to keep up his courage.  It was, therefore, a welcome
inspiration to him when, on the Saturday following the rescue, Miss
Drummond appeared at the office, quite recovered from her startling
experience, and as soon as she arrived asked for her rescuer.

In some trepidation Terry went into Mr. Drummond's sanctum, where he
was warmly welcomed by the young lady.

"Why, Terry, how well you look!" she exclaimed, beaming radiantly upon
him.  "I'm so glad you're in my father's office.  I know you're going
to make a capital clerk."

Terry could find nothing to say; so Miss Drummond went on,--

"I believe, Terry, that an important thing in a clerk is to be always
in time, and as I want you to have no difficulty on that score, I got
this little timekeeper for you, and am going to ask you to wear it in
memory of to-day week, so that you won't forget the service that you
rendered me then."

While thus speaking she took from her reticule a small watch in a
silver case, with a neat silver charm attached, and opening the case
showed Terry where his name in full was engraved inside, and underneath
it the words, "In recognition of rescue," with the proper date appended.

Drawing Terry towards her, she secured the watch in his vest, while he
did his best to stammer out his gratitude.

"Never mind about thanks, Terry," said Miss Drummond.  "You may
consider it your medal for life-saving, you know.  And never forget,
Terry, that in business a good watch is the next best thing to a good

Terry went back to his place in a tumult of joy and pride.  Naturally
enough, the first thing he did was to show his new treasure to Mr.
Hobart and the others.  They all admired it, and congratulated him;
except Morley, who, professing to be very much engrossed in his work,
bent a scowling face over his desk.  Terry's good fortune had affected
him in the same way that Joseph's rather indiscreet relation of his
dreams affected his elder brethren, so that without any other cause of
offence he came to "hate him, and could not speak peaceably unto him."

As may be easily understood, Terry gave him many chances to vent his
baseless spite.  Everything about the office was utterly new to him.
The days were full of blunders, and whenever these were explained there
was Morley enjoying the poor boy's discomfiture, and, if Mr. Hobart did
not happen to be at hand, letting fall cutting remarks that made Terry
wince as though they were strokes of a whip.

Although none of the other clerks showed the same spirit as Morley,
still they did not attempt to interfere, partly because they thought
that Terry needed to be "licked into shape," and partly because they
did not approve of his advent quite as cordially as Mr. Hobart.  He was
of a different class from them, and they could not sympathize with him
in the same degree as if he were one of themselves.

Thus the new way that had been opened up to Terry proved to be set
thick with difficulties, which would severely test his qualities of
self-control and determination in order to their overcoming; and when
the boy's previous life and surroundings were taken into account, the
chances could hardly be said to be in his favour.

Mr. Hobart, it is true, showed every disposition to befriend him; but
he was a very busy man, the hardest worker on the whole staff, and
there were days when a kind, encouraging smile as he bustled about his
work was all the communication Terry had with him.

It soon became clear to Terry that he must fight his own battles--that,
as Mr. Drummond had said, he must make his own way--and it was with
many misgivings as to the result that he set himself to the undertaking.



By the end of his first month of service Terry had become somewhat
accustomed to the novelties of his position, and bid fair to prove a
useful acquisition to the staff.  His intimate knowledge of the
business portion of the city stood him in good stead.  He knew every
wharf in Halifax, and more than half the vessels that tied up at them,
and could always be counted upon to find any one of them that the
office wanted to communicate with.

There were many times when, being on some commission of this kind, he
was sharply tempted to indulge in a little dalliance with his old
playmates, who were more eager for his company than ever now that they
were deprived of it.  On a hot summer day, after a long forenoon of
tiresome tramping through the dusty streets delivering bills or getting
replies to inquiries, the longing to take a plunge into the cool green
water of the dock was very hard to resist.  At such times his fine
clothes were apt to feel like fetters, which it would be an
inexpressible relief to cast off and return to his former tatters.

Again and again he succeeded in withstanding the temptation; but one
sultry, oppressive afternoon in August proved too much for him, and he
yielded, though could he only have foreseen the consequences he would
surely have held firm.

He had been sent out to collect wharfage accounts.  They were usually
trifling as to amount, and the method was for the clerk paying the bill
to mark it down in a small book Terry carried as well as to take a
receipt, thus making a double record.

This fateful afternoon it happened that Terry's collections reached a
larger amount than usual, totalling up nearly fifty dollars.  He
finished his round away up at West's Wharf, and feeling very hot and
tired went down to have a look at the cool salt water.  He found there
a half-dozen boys, nearly all of whom he knew, just getting ready for a
hilarious swim in the dock.  They hailed him at once with pressing
requests to join them.

"Come along, Terry; off with your duds.  It's a great day for a duck,"
and so forth, growing more and more urgent as they perceived him to
waver in his resolution of refusal.  Finally, a couple of them, having
got rid of their own garments, rushed upon him, and seizing him on
either side, proceeded to pull off his hat and coat, and to unbutton
his vest; while the others, with loud shouts of, "Here she goes!  Who's
last?" dived joyously into the seductive depths.

This was more than Terry could stand.  Giving each of his captors a
smart slap that sent them capering off uttering feigned cries of pain,
he tore off his own clothes, flung them in a heap on the wharf, and
with a shout of "Here we are again!" described a graceful parabola in
the air ere he shot head first into the water.

He had what he would have called a "high old time."  Abandoning himself
entirely to the pleasure of the moment, the restraint of the preceding
weeks gave all the keener zest to his enjoyment.  He was the very last
to leave the water, and when he came out several of the boys had
already dressed and gone away.  He did not notice this until he took up
his clothes to put them on.  Then, to his surprise, he found that his
vest, containing the money that he had collected, was missing.

Thinking that this was merely an attempt at a joke on him, he said
good-humouredly, as he hastened to dress,--

"When you fellows have done with that vest, just bring it back, will

But the only response was a general protest of entire ignorance on the
part of those around him, and although, growing angry, he threatened
all sorts of vengeance upon the perpetrator of the joke if he did not
promptly make restitution, he was still met by persistent denials.
While in the very midst of this, Tom Morley came down the wharf looking
sharply about him.  On catching sight of Terry he first made as though
he would go up to him.  Then a thought flashed into his mind that
caused him to halt, and with a smile of malicious satisfaction playing
over his ugly face, he wheeled about and vanished up the wharf.

But threaten or coax as he might, Terry could learn nothing as to what
had become of his vest, save that it must have been carried off by one
of the boys who had gone ashore and dressed before any of the others,
and--what made matters worse--the latter did not seem to know anything
about him.  They had not seen him before that day, and they had no idea
whence he had come or whither he had gone.

When the full sense of his loss came to Terry he was in a sad state of
mind.  The thief, whoever he was, had got away not only with the fifty
dollars, but with the silver watch--Miss Drummond's gift.  Little
wonder then if the poor boy, going off to a corner where he would not
be observed, gave way to tears.

He felt himself to be in a very serious plight.  Had he been doing his
duty when robbed he need not have feared an explanation.  But he had
been neglecting his duty; and not only so, but Tom Morley, who, as he
well knew, would take only too much pleasure in telling on him, had
caught him in the act.

"I can never go back to the office," he sobbed.  "They'll not believe
me whatever I say.  They'll be thinkin' I've taken the money myself,
and made up a story to get out of the scrape.  Oh, if I could only lay
my hands this blessed minute on the villain that run off with my vest!
Just wouldn't I give him the worst licking he ever had in his life--bad
cess to him!"

The heat of his anger against the cause of his distress dried up his
tears, and feeling somewhat ashamed at having allowed them to flow, he
gave himself a shake, and without any definite purpose in mind strolled
over to the other side of the wharf, where a smart schooner was moored.

Now it chanced that the captain of this schooner was a friend of
Terry's, having taken some interest in the bright, energetic boy whom
he had seen at Long Wharf; and he happened to be sitting on the cabin
deck when Terry came along, looking very downcast.  "Hollo, Terry!" he
cried cheerily.  "You seem to be in the dumps.  What's the matter?"

Terry had no inclination to tell him the reason of his dejection, so he
evaded the question by responding--

"Nothin' much;" and then adding in a tone of decided interest, "Where
are you going? you seem near ready to start."

"So I am, Terry," replied the captain.  "I'll be off for Boston inside
of an hour.  Would you like to come?"

Terry's heart gave a sudden leap.  Here was a way out of his
difficulties.  If he stayed in Halifax, he might have the police after
him at any moment, and of the police he had a most lively dread; while,
if he slipped away to Boston, he would be rid of the whole trouble.

"Do you mean it, captain, or are you after foolin' me?" he asked,
peering eagerly into the mariner's honest countenance.

"I mean it right enough, Terry," was the reply.  "I'm wanting a
cabin-boy, and you'll do first-rate.  Can you come aboard at once?"

Terry reflected a moment.  He ought to tell his mother before he went.
She would be sure to worry about him.  But then if he did tell her
she'd make a fuss, and perhaps stop him altogether.  No; if he were
going, his best plan was to say nothing about it, but just go on board.

Noting his hesitation, the captain said,--

"I'll not be sailing for an hour yet, so if you want to get anything
you'll have time to if you'll be sharp about it."

With a quick toss of his head that meant he had made up his mind, Terry

"I'll go.  I've nothin' to get.  I'll go right on board now;" and
springing into the shrouds, he swung himself lightly on to the deck.

The die was cast.  Rather than face the consequences of his dereliction
of duty he would take refuge in flight, leaving Tom Morley free to put
as black a face upon his conduct as he pleased, thereby causing deep
disappointment to those who had befriended him, and sore grief to his
poor mother, who would be utterly at a loss to account for his strange

It never entered into Captain Afleck's easy-going mind to inquire
whether Terry ought to ask permission of somebody before taking service
as cabin-boy on board his schooner.  He himself had no family ties of
any kind, and he took it for granted that other people were in the same
position, unless they claimed something to the contrary.  So when Terry
jumped aboard the _Sea-Slipper_, thereby signifying acceptance of his
offer, that was an end of the matter so far as he was concerned.

Once committed to the going away, Terry was all impatience for the
schooner to start; and the stretching of the hour Captain Afleck had
just mentioned into two gave him a good deal of concern, as every
minute he dreaded the appearance of some clerk from Drummond's, perhaps
even Mr. Hobart himself, sent to look after him.

He would have liked very much to have hidden in the cabin until the
schooner had got well away from the wharf, but he was wise enough to
realize that so doing might arouse the captain's suspicions, and lead
him summarily to cancel the engagement.

However, at last his anxiety on this score was put at rest by the
_Sea-Slipper_ warping slowly out into the stream; and then, as the big
sails were hoisted, and they bellied out with the afternoon breeze, she
glided off on a tack across the harbour that soon put a wide distance
between her and the wharves.

No fear of being followed now.  Terry was as safe from that as though
he were already in Boston; and in the mingled feelings with which, from
the stern of the schooner, he watched the line of wharves losing their
distinctness, and the rows of houses melting into one dark mass against
the sloping, citadel-crowned hill, there was no small proportion of

He had solved the problem so suddenly presented that afternoon in a
very poor and unsatisfactory fashion, it is true.  Still, it was solved
for the present at least; and bearing in mind Terry's training and
opportunities for moral culture, he must not be too hardly judged for
the folly of his action.

By the time the fast-sailing schooner had passed Meagher's Beach Light,
and was beginning to rise and pitch in the long ocean billows, Terry,
with all the heedlessness of boyhood, had thrown his cares to the wind,
and given himself up to the enjoyment of the hour.

He was quite at home on the sea, having already had several trips along
the coast through the kindness of captains who had taken a fancy to
him.  Seasickness had no terrors for him.  He might have undertaken to
sail round the world without missing a meal; and at supper that evening
he showed so keen an appetite that Captain Afleck, who had allowed him
to sit down with him for the sake of hearing him talk, said jestingly,--

"Why, Terry, my boy, you eat so hearty that I ought to have laid in an
extra stock of food, so we mightn't run short before we get to Boston."

Not a bit disconcerted by this chaff, Terry went on busily munching the
food, which was much better than he got at home, and which he proposed
to enjoy thoroughly while he had the chance.

"Ah, you young monkey!" laughed the captain, shaking his knife at him,
"you know when you're well off, don't you, now?"

"It's yourself says it, captain," responded Terry, as well as he could
with his mouth full.  "I'm thinking I would like to hire with you for a
year, if ye'll always give me as good food."

"And is it only the food you care for, Terry?" asked the captain, the
smile on his face giving way to a serious look.  "You're not such a
poor creature as that, are you?"

Terry's countenance crimsoned, and his head dropped upon his breast,
while he worked his hands together nervously.  At last he managed to
stammer out,--

"Faith, captain, I didn't say so."

"No, Terry, you didn't," said the captain, in a soothing tone.  "Nor
did you mean it either.  I'm only testing you a bit.  Look here, Terry,
listen to me now.  What do you intend to do with yourself as you grow
older?  Do you think of following the sea?"

Once more the colour mounted high in Terry's face.  The question was a
home-thrust which he knew not how to parry, and so he simply kept
silence; while Captain Afleck began to wonder why his question, asked
in such an offhand way, should have so marked an effect upon the boy.
Getting no answer, he sought to ease the situation by saying kindly,--

"If you think I'm over-inquisitive, Terry, you needn't say anything.
It's none of my business any way."

Touched by the captain's genuine kindness of tone, Terry's Irish heart
opened towards him, and he impulsively began to tell him the whole
story of the past month.

Captain Afleck listened with unmistakable interest and sympathy,
interrupting but seldom, and then only to put a question to make the
matter clearer to his comprehension.

When the recital was finished, he stretched his big brown hand across
the table to Terry, and taking hold of his little freckled fist, gave
it a grip that made the boy wince, saying, with the full strength of
his deep, bass voice,--

"You're a brick, Terry, my boy, even if you have made a mistake in
running away with me instead of clearing up the whole thing with Mr.
Drummond.  But I'll see you through, Terry, as sure as my name's
Afleck.  You'll come back with me, and we'll go to see Mr. Drummond as
soon as we land."

Poor little Terry!  The kind action, and still kinder words and tone,
were too much for him altogether.  He covered his face with his hands
and burst into tears, while the captain said soothingly,--

"That's all right, Terry; I know just how you feel.  Cheer up now.
You'll be back in Mr. Drummond's office inside of a month."

As quickly as sunshine follows shower in April, Terry's bright spirit
reasserted itself, and he turned into his bunk that night in the
enjoyment of the cheerful frame of mind which was his wont.

He awoke next morning to see the last of the Nova Scotian coast
disappearing astern, and for the first time in his life to be entirely
out of sight of land.

The wind continued favourable all that day and the next, greatly to the
satisfaction of Captain Afleck, who wanted to lose no time in making
the round trip, as business was brisk between Halifax and Boston then,
and the more trips he could put in the better for his pocket.

Terry enjoyed the voyage thoroughly.  His duties were not onerous, and
out of love for the kind-hearted captain he fulfilled them promptly and
neatly.  When they were all attended to he had a good margin of time
for himself, and he found Captain Afleck ready to talk or to tell
stories from his own extensive experience at sea.  Then the seamen, of
whom there were four, proved very friendly, and seemed always glad of
his company; so that everything helped to render the short voyage a
real delight to the boy, who did everything in his power to pay his way
by good behaviour.

The evening of the fourth day was closing in when the _Sea-Slipper_
entered Massachusetts Bay; and if Captain Afleck had not been so eager
to save time, he would have been content with getting inside Boston
Light and anchoring there until morning.  But he knew the ship-channel
well, having often passed up it before, and he determined to push in,
although the wind was dropping fast.

The darkness fell before he had cleared Lovel's Island, and the sky
being overcast he had only the harbour lights to guide him.
Nevertheless he kept on, though it was little better than feeling his

The schooner thus crept up as far as Governor's Island, and the city
lights began to come into view.

"Ah!" exclaimed Captain Afleck, bringing the palm of his hand down with
a smart slap on his thigh as he stood at the wheel, "we'll make the
dock to-night yet, even if I have to hail a tug to tow me in."

He had hardly spoken when suddenly there loomed up on the port side the
dim form of a huge steamer bearing down on the schooner at full speed;
and then it flashed upon the captain that in his eagerness to get into
port he had omitted to put up the regulation lights.

There was no time to do it now.  The only chance of escaping a
collision was to go off on the other tack.  Round spun the wheel, and
swiftly the men sprang to the sails.  But the schooner refused to
answer her helm for lack of steerage way, and lay almost motionless
right in the steamer's path.

Leaping upon the bulwarks, Captain Afleck shouted with all his

"Ahoy, there!  Keep away, or you'll run us down!"

But even if his warning had been heard, it was too late to heed it; and
a minute later, with a tremendous shock, the steamer crashed into the
schooner just abaft of the fore-chains.



When the crash came, Terry was standing at the stern, a little in front
of Captain Afleck, who held the wheel.  The shock hurled him to the
deck; but he instantly leaped to his feet again, and as he did so the
captain's voice rang out,--

"Jump for the martingale, Terry! quick!"

The great bowsprit of the colliding vessel overhung the shattered and
sinking schooner like the outreaching branch of a tree.  It offered the
one possible chance of escape from death.  Already two of the sailors
were frantically striving for it.  Terry had not lost his wits despite
the suddenness of the catastrophe.  Just before him were the
main-shrouds, tense and taut with the tremendous strain upon them.
Springing into these, he climbed hand over hand with a celerity born of
frequent practice on vessels lying at the docks, until he reached the
angles made by the shackling of the martingale stays to the
dolphin-striker of the other vessel.  Into these he put his feet, and
clasping the dolphin-striker tightly with both arms he held on in
safety, while with a strange, grinding, crashing sound the big steamer,
having regained her impetus after the brief check, passed over the poor
_Sea-Slipper_, sending her down into the dark depths beneath!

The moment his own safety was assured, Terry thought of Captain Afleck,
and in the silence which for a moment followed the noise of the
collision, his clear, strong voice made itself hoard calling,--

"Captain Afleck, where are you? are you all right?"

It was too dark for him to see beyond the length of his arm, but he
hoped that the captain had, like himself, got hold of the steamer
somewhere, and thus saved his own life.

Nor was his hope unfounded.  Out of the darkness below came the
captain's answer,--

"I'm here, Terry, holding on for dear life.  Where are you yourself?"

Before Terry could answer there was a flashing of lights above, and
eager hands were stretched out holding ropes with a bight at the end,
one of which Terry caught, while another was grasped by the captain,
and presently they were both drawn up to the deck amid the cheers of a
crowd of sailors anxiously watching the operation.

Not only so, but in like manner two of the sailors were found clinging
to the bowsprit rigging.  The other two, unhappily, were in the
forecastle at the time of the collision, and before they could reach
the deck their chance was gone, and the poor fellows had been drawn
down to death with the ill-fated schooner.

As soon as Captain Afleck had got his feet firmly on the deck, he
looked about at the circle of smiling sailors, and with as cheerful an
expression as though being run down were quite a common experience, he

"Well, you did me up on short notice; and serve me well right too, I
suppose, for not having my lights up.  But who may you be, and where

A jaunty little midshipman who had just pressed his way through the
crowd responded at once,--

"We're the United States war-ship _Minnesota_, and we're extremely
sorry we ran you down; but you had no lights out, you know, and we
didn't see you until we were right upon you.  Are you all safe?  I'm
sure I hope so."

Captain Afleck looked round about him, and then, with a sorrowful shake
of his head, replied,--

"We're all here but two.  Joe and Alec were in the foc'sle when you
struck us, and I guess they hadn't time to get out.  Poor chaps! it's a
mean way to die, ain't it?--like rats in a hole."

The look of importance on the middy's face changed to one of genuine
concern at this, and with a courteous bow he said,--

"Will you please come astern and be presented to the captain?"

As they traversed the deck, Terry's keen eyes would have told him the
character of the vessel on board which he had been thus suddenly and
strangely flung, so to speak, even if the boyish officer, who seemed
little older than himself, had not already done so.

The long black cannon stood close together upon their heavy carriages,
with everything at hand, ready for immediate action if need be.  Stands
of rifles were ranged around the masts and the base of the funnels; and
the whole ship had the appearance, as revealed by the light of many
lanterns, of being in readiness for an expected foe.

[Illustration: "_The whole ship had the appearance of being in
readiness for an expected foe._"]

More than one ship similarly equipped had Terry seen in Halifax
harbour, and being, like all the other boys of the city, a fervent
sympathizer with the South in the lamentable Civil War, he had
cordially hated them, and heartily wished them at the bottom of the sea.

Now, by an odd stroke of fate, he found himself a waif on board one of
these very vessels, and he didn't like the idea at all.  Blinded by his
prejudice in favour of their antagonists, he had been wont to look upon
the Northern men as ruffians and bullies and cut-throats.  Naturally
enough, he felt some apprehensions as to his safety in their midst.

But there was no retreat for him now.  He had no alternative save to
accept the situation, which, to his credit be it told, he strove to do
with a brave countenance, even though it hid a beating heart.

Following in the wake of Captain Afleck, who on his part was troubled
with no such misgivings, his relations with the New England people
having always been so satisfactory that his sympathies leaned to their
side in the struggle, Terry presently was ushered into a roomy and
handsome cabin, brilliantly lit, where several officers in rich uniform
were seated at a table, listening to a report of the collision just
being presented by the navigating lieutenant, who had been on the
bridge at the time.

The entrance of two of the survivors of the disaster caused the
officers to rise to their feet, and the one who evidently held the
highest rank to say in a tone of sincere interest, as he held out his

"I presume you are the captain of the schooner we have been so
unfortunate as to collide with.  I assure you I profoundly regret the
mishap.  If the blame lies with us, you may rely upon my giving you
every assistance in obtaining due reparation.  Won't you please be

Not deeming himself included in this invitation, and finding the
atmosphere of the brilliant cabin by no means congenial, Terry beat a
retreat to the maindeck, leaving Captain Afleck to give his version of
the _Sea-Slipper's_ disaster.

On the deck he was soon surrounded by a number of the sailors, who
questioned him about the schooner, and why no lights had been hung out.
He felt very ill at ease amongst them for the reason indicated, but
knew better than to show it, and answered every question as promptly
and as fully as was possible; so that the sailors voted him quite a
bright chap, and one of them was moved to ask,--

"Say, young fellow, wouldn't you like to be one of us?  I reckon ye
could join all right, for there's none too many boys aboard just now,
and there's more wanted."

To this proposition Terry gave such an emphatic negative as to rather
raise the ire of the speaker, who, growing red with indignation,

"Consarn you, my young turkey-cock, you needn't be so touchy.  Better
boys than you would be glad enough of the chance."

Now it was not because he thought himself above the business that Terry
had so flatly declined the sailor's suggestion, although of course the
prospect that had opened out before him at Drummond and Brown's had
entirely banished the notion he once cherished of following the sea.
His reason was simply his antipathy to the North, which rendered the
idea of entering its service most unwelcome.

With a boy's rashness, he was about to say something in reply to the
sailor's taunt that would have made clear his mind in the matter, and
probably got him into trouble for being a "Secesh" sympathizer, when
happily at that moment Captain Afleck appeared and called him to him.

Terry instantly noted the gravity of his face, and felt sure that he
had some bad news to tell; and so indeed it proved for both of them.

The war-ship _Minnesota_, on which they were passengers in spite of
themselves, was on her way to Hampton Roads, Virginia, to strengthen
the Federal naval force there, it having been reported that some novel
and menacing additions had recently been made to the Confederate navy.
As an attack was expected any day, the _Minnesota_ had orders to
proceed with the utmost speed direct to Hampton Roads.  It was,
consequently, impossible for her to land the survivors of the
collision, and there was no alternative but for them to accompany her
to her destination, and get back to Boston from there as best they
might manage.

For both the captain and Terry this was a very distressing state of
affairs.  The former's presence would be required at once in Boston, to
prepare his claim against the company in which his vessel was insured;
while the latter burned with impatience to get back to Halifax, and
right himself at Drummond and Brown's.

"We're in a fix, and no mistake, Terry," said Captain Afleck, cracking
the knuckles of his big horny hands after a fashion he had when
perplexed of mind.  "Of course, the captain of this ship is not to
blame.  He's got his orders, and he's bound to obey them, particularly
seeing it's war time.  But it's mighty hard, all the same, for a fellow
to be lugged off like this against his will, and to run the risk of
being killed into the bargain."

"Bein' killed!" exclaimed Terry, with a startled look on his face.
"Sure, an' what do you mane by that?"

"There now, my boy, don't get scared," replied the captain soothingly.
"I didn't mean to tell you just now, but it slipped out unbeknownst to
me.  You see, it's this way.  This war-ship's bound for Hampton Roads,
where there's goin' to be a big fight right away, if it hasn't begun
already, and it's not likely she'll have a chance to land us before she
goes into the thick of it herself; consequently, if it all comes out as
the captain expects--and he spoke right to me like an honest man--why,
Terry, we're in for a battle, that's all, and not one of our own
choosin' either."

The dismay expressed on Terry's countenance would have been comical
enough but for the real gravity of the situation.  There would, of
course, be no call upon the two Nova Scotians to take any part in the
conflict.  But they would necessarily have to share the danger with the
others on board, and they could not expect the shot and shell or flying
splinters to make any distinction on their behalf.

"Oh, but that's terrible altogether!" lamented poor Terry.  "It's kilt
we'll be for sure, and"--here his voice suddenly took a note of
indignation, as if fate had been entirely too unkind--"on board a
Yankee man-of-war, too!  Now, if it might be on a--"

Captain Afleck's hand suddenly clapped over his mouth cut off the rest
of the sentence.

"Whist, you young imp," he said in a deep whisper; "keep that to
yourself, will you?  You'll get knocked on the head if you talk that
way here."

He was evidently alarmed at the boy's rashness, and looked anxiously
around to see if the words had been overheard.  As it chanced, the
sailor who had proposed to Terry to join the crew was passing at the
moment, and did catch his injudicious remark; but although he had
stopped to listen with pricked ears, he was somewhat in doubt as to the
boy's exact meaning, and would have liked to hear more.  Captain
Afleck's prompt action, however, having disappointed him in this, he
moved on, but with a scowl on his face that boded ill for Terry should
he be found expressing Southern sympathy in a more decided manner.

Having read his youthful companion a lecture upon the necessity of
keeping his own counsel, Captain Afleck proceeded to lay out the course
of action he proposed to follow.

"We've got to stay by this ship for the present, Terry, that's clear.
But I don't mean to go into action with her if I can any way help
myself.  So I'll just keep a sharp look-out for a chance to get ashore
as soon as we make Hampton Roads.  There'll be sure to be some
shore-boats coming off to us, and I'll get a passage in one of them."

"And leave me here?" cried Terry, laying hold of his arm with both
hands, as though he thought he were about to go at once.

"No, you young rogue," responded the captain, taking him by the collar
and shaking him just for fun; "of course not.  I won't go without you,
seein' that I'm mainly to blame for your being here."

Greatly relieved in his mind, and putting implicit faith in his big
friend's ability to get them both out of their present complications,
Terry, with the volatility of his race, dismissed all further concern
on that point from his mind, and stood ready for the next thing that
might turn up.

His was a happy nature in many ways.  He liked the idea that
"sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  He was not given to
taking much thought for the morrow.  To do this was one of the lessons
in life he had to learn.  In the meantime he lived in the present hour,
getting the most out of it he knew how, and leaving the future to take
care of itself.

That night he had nothing better than a coil of rope for a bed and a
bit of tarpaulin for a coverlet; but he slept as soundly as if on his
straw mattress at home, and woke up in the morning with an appetite
that many a millionaire might envy.

Awaking at dawn next morning, he hastened on deck to find the powerful
_Minnesota_ steaming at full speed southward, with the coast hardly
visible on the right.  His heart sank as he realized that every minute
was taking him further from home, and nearer the indefinite dangers
which he must share so long as he remained on board the war-ship.

He had gone up to the bow, and was leaning over the bulwarks lost in
perplexing thought, when a voice behind him said tauntingly,--

"Well, young 'un, have you been thinkin' over what I said about taking
service with us?"

And Terry turned round to face the sailor who had overheard his
interrupted utterance the night before.

He did not at all like the look of the man.  He had a crafty, cruel
face, and apparently relished the prospect of having a good chance to
tease the Bluenose boy who had been thrown in his way.  The North was
well aware how strongly sympathy with the South ran in Halifax; and as
Terry came from that city, the Yankee sailor would have taken it for
granted that the boy sided with the enemy, even though he had had no
other ground for the belief.

Not knowing what reply to make, Terry discreetly kept silence, and his
questioner continued,--

"You're kinder bashful, I reckon, and don't like to say how glad you'd
be of the chance."

Now this, of course, was far from being Terry's state of mind, as the
sailor well knew; yet the boy shrank from admitting it.  Had the place
been Long Wharf, he would not have hesitated for a moment to give a
Roland for the other's Oliver, and then trusted to his legs to carry
him out of danger.  But on the deck of the sailor's own ship it was an
altogether different matter.

His position was certainly calculated to teach him a fine lesson in
self-control.  But it is very doubtful if he would have been equal to
the strain.  Happily, before he was tempted overmuch, Captain Afleck
appeared upon the scene, and taking in the situation at a glance,
called him to him, as though he had something to communicate of

Glad of this diversion, Terry turned his back upon the sailor, and
joined the captain, who, when they had moved apart a little, proceeded
to say,--

"You mustn't be talkin' with the sailors, my boy, any more than you can
help, or you'll be puttin' your foot in it for sure.  They're a mighty
touchy lot, I can tell you; and if they find you letting on that you
want the Southerners to win, there's no sayin' how hot they'll make it
for you."

Terry promised to be careful, adding with a rueful face,--

"Oh! but it's meself that wants to be off the botherin' ship.  Sure I
never axed to be aboard her, and it's sick I am of her entirely."

Captain Afleck could not keep back a laugh.  The boy seemed so deeply
concerned about his perplexities whenever he stopped to think of them,
although he could forget them so completely when something else engaged
his mind.

"Keep your heart up, Terry," he said, in a cheering tone.  "We're on a
losin' tack now seemingly, but we may 'bout ship soon.  Come along with
me and see if they won't give us some breakfast."

They found a ready welcome at one of the sailors' messes, and a big
piece of bread washed down with steaming coffee perceptibly lightened
Terry's spirits, for the time being at all events.

All that day and the next the _Minnesota_ maintained her strenuous
speed; and as the afternoon wore on, the signs of bustle and excitement
on board, and the earnest way in which the men talked together, showed
that they were rapidly nearing their destination.

The approach of battle is a serious enough matter when the forces on
both sides are pretty well known, and the character of the undertaking
can be at least measurably estimated; but it is a very different matter
when neither of these things is known, and when the affair is very much
of a leap in the dark.

Now this was just the state of things on the _Minnesota_.  No one on
board, not even her captain, had any clear knowledge of the perils and
difficulties to be encountered.  The Confederate naval force might be
found overwhelmingly strong or miserably weak.  Moreover, there were
certain disturbing rumours afloat about an alarming novelty, in the way
of a naval monster, against which no wooden vessel would have the
slightest chance.  Of this mystery the Norfolk navy-yard still held the
secret, although it was generally believed to be about ripe for



To make entirely clear the position of the _Minnesota_ at this point,
some words of explanation are necessary here.  The American Civil War
was raging hotly, with the advantage if anything on the side of the
Southern Confederacy.  In the spring of the year 1861, the Federal
forces had hurriedly abandoned their great naval establishment at
Norfolk in the State of Virginia, why or wherefore it would be hard to
say; for they had completed an effective blockade of Hampton Roads, and
might have held their ground against all the forces likely to attack

But some sudden panic seizing them, they fled across Chesapeake Bay to
Fortress Monroe, leaving vast quantities of cannons and other munitions
of war to fall into the hands of their opponents.  They sought to
consign the navy-yard, together with a number of ships they could not
take away, to the flames, but the destruction was far from complete;
and the Southern soldiers appeared upon the scene in time to rescue
much precious material from the fire--among their spoils being twelve
hundred guns, that were afterwards distributed through their
fortifications from the Potomac to the Mississippi, where they did sore
damage to their former owners.

Among the war-ships burned and sunk at the navy-yard upon its
abandonment was the fine frigate _Merrimac_, of over three thousand
tons, and carrying forty guns.  On coming into possession of the
establishment, the Confederates raised this vessel and rebuilt her, but
not on the same plan as before.  Instead of being a handsome
three-masted ship, with swelling sails, heavy rigging, and black and
white checked sides, she became an extraordinary-looking ironclad, the
like of which the world had never seen before, and which was destined
to effect a complete revolution in the navies of the nations.

Vague rumours concerning this wonderful construction had found their
way northward, and it was in response to the call for a strengthening
of the blockading fleet in Chesapeake Bay that the _Minnesota_ had been
despatched in hot haste from Boston, and was ploughing her way towards
Old Point Comfort, that now showed upon the port bow.  At Fortress
Monroe, which crowned the Point, she would receive her orders; and the
thought of what these might be sent a thrill to the heart of every man
and boy on board, from the captain down to the youngest powder-monkey.

The sun had already sunk behind the western hills before the frigate
reached the Point; and the navigation of Hampton Roads being somewhat
difficult, her captain decided to anchor for the night and take on a
pilot in the morning.  In the meantime, he himself, accompanied by two
of his chief officers, went off in a launch to Fortress Monroe, to be
informed of the situation and to receive instructions.

As Terry saw the launch shoot away from the vessel's side, there came
over him a wild impulse to spring on board her, that he too might be
taken ashore.  He had already begged the boatswain to let him go, and
had been contemptuously rebuffed; but this, instead of quieting him,
only intensified his desire to get off the ship before there should be
any fighting.  He now saw what seemed to him his only chance, and
without pausing to consider the folly of his enterprise, darted past
the sailors at the gangway-ladder, bounded down the steps, and as the
boat swung clear, gathering all his strength into one supreme effort,
he sprang out towards her.

For a mere boy it was a grand attempt, but it failed nevertheless.
Just as he leaped, the boatswain shouted, "Give way now;" and, driven
by twelve brawny oarsmen, the launch shot forward so swiftly that
Terry's spring fell short, and he himself vanished in the swirling

But only for a moment.  Almost before the spectators realized what had
happened, his head appeared above the surface, and with skilful strokes
he made for the gangway, where a sailor was awaiting him with a
grinning face and a helping hand.

"Well, you are a daisy, and no mistake," he exclaimed, in an
unmistakable tone of admiration, as he drew the dripping boy up to the
platform.  "What on earth possessed you to do that?"

Terry gave a despairing glance at the departing boat, now fifty yards
away, whose occupants had taken no more notice of his plunge than if it
had been the jumping of a pollack, before replying.  Then he said with
a bitter sigh, as he blew the brine out of his mouth,--

"I wanted to go ashore in her.  The bosun wouldn't let me aboard, bad
cess to him, so I thought I'd jump for it."

By this time a number of the sailors had gathered round, while several
officers were looking over the bulwarks, and Terry's explanation was
received with a murmur of astonishment.  Standing in the awe they did
of the captain of the ship, the idea of this slip of an Irish lad
having the audacity to thrust himself on the launch not merely
uninvited, but after having been flatly refused, was nothing short of
astounding.  They had not taken much interest in the boy before, but
now they regarded him as quite a novel type, his proceeding had been so
utterly out of the ordinary.

"Come up on deck, my boy, and get some dry clothes on you," called put
one of the officers.  "That was certainly a dashing attempt of yours,
even if it didn't come off as you hoped."

Thus commanded, Terry ascended the gangway again, feeling sorely
crestfallen, yet as determined as ever to seize the next opportunity
that presented itself of getting away from the frigate.  When given a
sailor's suit that fitted him fairly enough, he at first refused to put
it on; but Captain Afleck insisted, and so he yielded, on condition
that he might resume his own garments as soon as they were dried.

Thanks to his being in uniform, he was allotted a hammock that night,
and forgot his disappointment in the most comfortable sleep he had
enjoyed since going on board the vessel, from which he was roused the
next morning by an unusual bustle on deck, which foretold the nearness
of some important enterprise.

When he came on deck, he found the _Minnesota_ already well under way,
making up Hampton Roads towards Newport News in company with two other
frigates, the _Roanoke_ and the _St. Lawrence_.  There was intense
excitement on board, and every one whose duty permitted him to be on
deck seemed to be watching eagerly for something to appear out of the
Elizabeth River to the southward.  Presently an officer who stood on
the main-truck with a powerful glass called out,--

"I see her!  She's coming down past Craney Island Flats."

All eyes were at once strained in the direction indicated; but it was
some time yet before there came into general view, just off Sewell's
Point, so strange a craft that it was at once agreed it could be none
other than the much-dreaded naval novelty of which such disturbing
stories had been in circulation.

So far as Terry could make out, this mysterious marine marvel was like
a queer-looking house afloat on a raft.  There were no masts; a short,
thick funnel explained how she was propelled.  The roof of the house
was flat, surrounded by a light iron railing, and boasting two slight
poles, from which floated Confederate flags.  The side walls sloped in
at a decided angle, and the two ends were rounded off into a
semicircular shape, the whole being heavily plated with iron.

From a single row of port-holes the muzzles of ten powerful rifled guns
projected, the entire effect being warlike in the extreme; for the
thing was evidently a fighting-machine, and nothing else, whose power
for harm had yet to be gauged by actual experience.

At first the new-comer's course was pointed straight in the direction
of the _Minnesota_, and there was not a man on board so indifferent to
danger that he did not feel a keen thrill of apprehension as this
strange and menacing antagonist came slowly onward.

The crew at once beat to quarters, and every preparation was made for a
desperate defence; but to the undeniable relief of all, the engagement
did not then take place, as the Confederate ironclad, after clearing
Sewell's Point, turned due west, and headed for Newport News, where the
wooden frigates _Congress_, of fifty guns, and _Cumberland_, of thirty
guns, were swinging lazily by their anchors.  Their boats were hanging
to the lower booms, and rows of washed clothing flapped in the rigging,
showing plainly that those on board were quite unconscious of their
danger and expecting no attack.

It was not until the _Merrimac_ had approached within three-quarters of
a mile of the two frigates that the boats were dropped astern, the
booms got alongside, and fire opened upon the intruder with the heavy
pivot-guns.  In this cannonade the batteries on Newport News also
joined lustily, and the ironclad was the target of many well-aimed

But although the solid shot were smiting her black sides and the shells
bursting upon her exposed deck, she kept steadily on, in sullen,
appalling silence, until within close range of the frigates.  Then her
forward pivot gun, a heavy seven-inch rifled piece, was fired right
into the stern of the _Cumberland_, and at almost the same instant the
_Congress_ received the starboard broadside, with dreadful damage in
both cases.

Terry had never before seen cannon used for any other purpose than the
firing of harmless salutes on the Queen's birthday and similar
occasions; and although the _Minnesota_ was still some distance from
the combat, and taking no part therein, still the almost continuous
roar of the cannon, the shrieking of the shells, and the jets of spray
springing up from the water where the balls ricochetted madly across
the waves, made him realize how utterly different were his surroundings

His first impulse was to seek the lowest recesses of the hold, and
there cower out of reach of cannon-ball and bullet until the firing had
ceased.  But curiosity got the better of this at the start, and
presently there came to its aid that love of battle which is in all
manly natures, and he determined to stay on deck and see the fight at
any risk.

In his heart he hoped for the success of the Confederate ironclad, ugly
and clumsy as she seemed.  But he had by this time learned to repress
his Southern sympathies, and he strove hard to seem a disinterested

Captain Afleck was so carried away by the extraordinary and splendid
spectacle before him that he forgot all his own troubles, and watched
the progress of the conflict with as keen an interest as if in some way
his own fate depended upon the issue.

"I tell you what it is, Terry," said he exultantly: "this is a great
bit of luck for us.  Won't we have a fine story to tell when we get
back to Halifax?"

"That we will, captain," responded Terry--"providin' we do get back.
But I'm thinkin' there's some chance of our gettin' smashed ourselves
by one of these murderin' cannon-balls that go skippin' about so
lively.  Just look at that, will you, captain?"

The _Congress_ had returned the broadside of the ironclad, and although
the range was close, only half the iron missiles had hit the mark, the
others playing a game of hop-skip-and-jump across the water, and
sending up the spray in snow-white spurts.

"It's fine, Terry, isn't it?" said the captain.  Then with a quick
change of tone he exclaimed, as he grasped the boy's arm in his
excitement, "But look there, Terry; what can that queer black thing be
up to now?  Does she think she can run that fine big frigate down, like
this ship did us in Boston Harbour?"

The tone of incredulous surprise was as marked in Captain Afleck's
voice as if the ironclad had seemed to be making preparations to fly;
yet he had only too correctly guessed the meaning of her next movement.
Indeed, before he finished speaking, it was manifest to all; for after
exchanging broadsides with the _Congress_, the _Merrimac_, paying no
heed to the land batteries that were vainly peppering her iron sides
with harmless balls, made straight for the _Cumberland_ at the top of
her speed, and struck her almost at right angles under the fore-rigging
on the starboard side, the heavy iron prow crashing through the wooden
sides as though they had been pasteboard, and making a great gaping
hole wide enough to admit a horse and cart.

A simultaneous shout of amazement, anger, and dismay went up from the
crowded deck of the _Minnesota_ at this startling and horrifying
manoeuvre, and in breathless suspense all watched the stricken ship as
her assailant withdrew a space and headed up the river, apparently
content with her terrific onslaught.

For a few minutes the _Cumberland_ showed no signs of disablement, her
guns continuing to be fired with a regularity that spoke volumes for
the splendid fortitude of her officers and men.

"She's not done for yet," cried one of the _Minnesota's_ lieutenants
exultingly.  "That rebel brute will have to try again."

He had hardly spoken when the _Cumberland_ listed badly over to port
and began to fill.  Down sank the gallant ship, driving her crew to the
spar-deck, where they dauntlessly continued to work the pivot-gun,
until, with a wild swaying of her tall masts and a sickening shudder of
her shattered frame, she plunged beneath the waves, carrying her brave
defenders down to an honourable death, yet leaving the Union colours
still floating defiantly from her topmast, which projected high above
the swirling water.

For the first moment after her disappearance there was an appalling
silence on board the _Minnesota_, and then there broke forth a wild
storm of groans, cheers, and curses, as the feelings of her crew found
expression.  They had witnessed a catastrophe without a parallel in the
history of naval warfare.  Never before had the tremendous power for
harm of the ironclad ram been displayed, and by that one blow the
_Merrimac_ had put out of date the navies of the world as then

Of course Terry neither knew nor cared anything about this; but he
could not help being profoundly impressed by the magnitude of the
disaster, and his warm Irish heart went out in sympathy towards the
gallant men who had stood by their ship to the last moment.  In his
admiration of their bravery he quite forgot his preference for their
victorious opponents.

"O captain," he exclaimed, in a tone of deepest concern, plucking at
his companion's arm, "will you look at the poor creatures?  Sure
they're doing their best to swim ashore, and it's a long way for them

His sharp eyes had discovered little bits of black bobbing on the
waves, which he took to be the heads of men swimming hard for the beach
at Newport News, and the lieutenant's glass confirmed the accuracy of
his vision.

"Wouldn't I like to be giving them a hand!" he continued, jumping up
and down in the heat of his excitement.  He felt so thoroughly at home
in the water, that he would not have hesitated a moment at any time to
go to the rescue of a full-grown man, and he would have thoroughly
enjoyed now going to the relief of the struggling sailors.

But the men of the _Minnesota_ had other work on hand than giving aid
to their imperilled countrymen.  For aught they knew the ironclad would
next be trying her terrible ram on them, and they had need to prepare
for her onset.

Having disposed of the ill-fated _Cumberland_, the _Merrimac_ now gave
her whole attention to the _Congress_, whose commander, realizing the
impossibility of resisting the assault of the ram, had, with notable
presence of mind, slipped his cables and run his ship aground upon the
shallows, where the deep-draught ironclad could not follow her except
with cannon-balls.

Although the _Congress_ had four times as many guns as the _Merrimac_,
and was well supported besides by the land batteries on Newport News,
it was an unequal contest; for while the projectiles showered upon the
ironclad glanced harmlessly off her cannon-proof walls, her powerful
rifled guns raked the _Congress_ from end to end with terrible effect.

There could be only one termination to such a struggle.  Gallantly as
the Northern sailors served their guns, their commander presently was
killed, and her decks were strewn with dead and dying.  At the end of
an hour her colours came down, and white flags appeared at the gaff and
mainmast in token of surrender.

Meanwhile the _Merrimac_ had been joined by a number of smaller vessels
that had come down the James River after running in gallant style the
gauntlet of the Federal batteries which lined the northern bank.  They
were only gunboats carrying ten guns at the most, and could not take
any prominent part in the battle, but they now proved useful in
completing the work of the ironclad.

Two of them steamed alongside the shattered _Congress_, to make
prisoners of the crew and set fire to the ship.  But they were unable
to accomplish either of these duties owing to the heavy fire kept up by
the land batteries, and had to beat a retreat; whereupon the _Merrimac_
sent hot shot into the frigate, that soon had her blazing fore and aft,
while her crew escaped on shore either by swimming or in small boats.

All this was watched with keen anxiety on board the _Minnesota_, and
the question her men asked themselves was,--

"Will the _Merrimac_ be content with the damage she has already done,
or will our ship share the same fate as the other two?"

They were not left long in uncertainty.  Swinging slowly around, the
huge ironclad, after pausing a few minutes as though to take breath,
came down the channel heading straight for the _Minnesota_.  Her day's
work was evidently not yet done.  She must have another victim before
returning to her moorings.



When Terry saw the ugly black ironclad bearing down upon the
_Minnesota_, he could not suppress a cry of consternation.

"Oh, whirra! whirra!" he burst forth, dancing from one foot to the
other, and swinging his arms about in the extremity of his excitement,
"the murderin' thing is coming right for us, and it's smashing us to
bits entirely she'll be."

That the captain of the frigate held the same opinion, however
differently he might have expressed it, was soon manifest from the
manoeuvring of his ship; for instead of remaining out in the north
channel, where there was sufficient depth of water for the _Merrimac_
to move freely, he turned his vessel's bow seaward, and kept on in that
direction until she had grounded on a shoal about midway between
Fortress Monroe and Newport News Point.

All danger from the irresistible ram was now over, as the ironclad
could not approach within some hundreds of yards without getting
aground herself, which would have put an end to her career; so those on
board the _Minnesota_ began to pluck up courage again.  Even Terry felt
more composed when he realized that the "murderin' thing," as he called
it, had to keep a respectful distance.

But they were not permitted to enjoy this little bit of comfort long.
The big frigate, towering high above the water, offered only too easy a
target to the rifled guns of the _Merrimac_, and presently their
destructive missiles began to come crashing through her wooden sides as
though they had been paper, inflicting fearful damage and slaughter.

Yet nothing daunted by the immediate presence of danger and death, the
men of the _Minnesota_ plied their own formidable battery; and although
the cannon-balls' bounced harmlessly off the impregnable sides of the
ironclad, they did their work against her attendant gunboats, so that
both had ere long to retire from the combat.

The decks of the frigate soon presented a pitiable sight.  The heavy
guns of the _Merrimac_ had again and again raked them with dreadful
effect, and the dead and the dying lay strewn about, confused with
splintered beams and shattered gun-carriages.  The ship's surgeons,
recking nothing of their own danger, were busy binding up wounds, and
having the poor sufferers borne below; while through the smoke-laden
air rang the shouts of those still serving the guns, mingled with the
groans of their comrades writhing in agony.

In the midst of it all was Terry.  When the first shot struck the
bulwarks of the frigate, and smashing its way through slew three
stalwart sailors and badly wounded two others, he threw himself flat on
the deck behind the foremast, completely overcome with sheer horror and
fright.  There he remained for some minutes, every boom of the cannon
sending fresh shudders through his boyish frame.

Presently, amid the occasional pauses in the thunder of the artillery,
a moaning cry reached his ear: "Water, water! for God's sake a drop of
water!"  He had heard it several times before, even in his warm fresh
heart, the impulse to help began to tell upon the paralyzing panic that
had smitten him.  But when, for the fourth time, the piteous wail
pierced its way to him, "Oh for water!  Won't some one bring me water?"
he could lie still no longer.

Getting upon his hands and knees--for he did not dare rise to his full
height--he crept across the deck to where the sufferer lay.  He found a
young sailor, not many years older than himself, dreadfully wounded by
a cannon-ball, and suffering agonies from thirst.  He was half-hidden
by an overturned gun-carriage, and had been overlooked by the surgeon
in the wild confusion.

"Water! water!" he panted, looking at Terry with imploring eyes, for he
could not move a limb.  "For the love of God, bring me some water!"

Terry knew well enough where the water-butts were, but to reach them
meant his running the gauntlet of shot and splinter, whose dreadful
effects lay all about him.  Naturally he shrank from the risk, and
looked around in hopes of seeing some of the crew who might undertake

But all who were not already _hors de combat_ had their hands full.
Whatever was to be done for the poor young fellow must be done by him.
The next wail for water decided him.  Bending his head as though he
were facing a snowstorm, he darted across the deck to the water-butts.
Right at hand was a pannikin.  Hastily filling it, he retraced his
steps, going more slowly now because of his burden, and had just got
half-way when a heavy ball smashed into the bulwarks at his left,
sending out a heavy shower of splinters, one of which struck the
pannikin from his hand, spilling its precious contents upon the deck.

It was a hair-breadth escape, and Terry dropped to the deck as though
he had been struck.  But this was the end of his panic.  So soon as he
realized that he was untouched, he sprang to his feet again, and
shaking his fist in the direction of the _Merrimac_, cried defiantly,
"You didn't do it that time.  Try it again, will ye?  I'll carry the
water in spite of ye!"  Then picking up the pannikin he refilled it,
and this time succeeded in bearing it safely to the sufferer, who, when
he had taken a long, deep draught, looked into the boy's face, saying

"God bless you for that, even if you are a little rebel at heart."

Not until then did Terry recognize in the man he was helping the sailor
whose ire he had aroused by refusing to enter into the ship's service,
and his heart glowed at the thought that he had shown him that he could
not refuse an appeal for aid even from him.

Throughout the rest of that awful afternoon Terry toiled like a beaver,
bearing water to the wounded and to those working the guns, and earning
countless blessings from the grateful sailors.  He seemed to bear a
charmed life.  Men fell all round him, while he went unscathed.  Again
and again the surgeon thanked him for his timely assistance.  In spite
of all the peril, he never felt happier in his life.  He was completely
lifted out of himself, and intoxicated with the joy of whole-souled
service for others.

As the afternoon advanced, the situation of the _Minnesota_ became
increasingly desperate.  Of course, being aground, she could not sink;
but the rifled guns of the _Merrimac_ had torn great gaping holes in
her high sides.  She had lost many of her men, and had once been set on
fire.  Indeed, her surrender or destruction seemed inevitable, when a
diversion took place which postponed either unhappy alternative for
that day at all events.

Besides the _Minnesota_, there were two other Federal frigates lying in
Hampton Roads, the _Roanoke_ and the _St. Lawrence_, and they likewise
had been run aground for fear of the terrible ram.  As if satisfied
with the damage done to the _Minnesota_, and confident that no escape
was possible for her, the _Merrimac_ now gave attention to her two
consorts, and proceeded to bombard them with her heavy guns.

They returned broadsides with great spirit, and the cannonade continued
vigorously on both sides, until an ebbing tide and oncoming darkness
warned those in command of the deep-draught ironclad that it was full
time to be taking her back towards Norfolk.  Accordingly she drew off,
and after a couple of parting shots from her stern pivot-guns, steamed
slowly back to Sewell's Point, where she anchored for the night.

Unspeakable was the relief on board the three frigates at her
withdrawal, and relieved from duty at the guns, their crews at once set
to work to repair damages as best they might, knowing full well that
they had respite only until daylight.

Terry continued his errands of mercy until his help was no longer
required; then, after getting something to eat, he went up to his
favourite place in the bow, utterly tired out, and threw himself down
to rest.

Here Captain Afleck found him, and together they talked over the events
of the day.  The captain had not been quite so fortunate as Terry,
having received a painful, though not serious, scalp wound.  He made
light of it, however, and had much to say in praise of his companion
for his brave service as a helper of the wounded.

"You'll be the talk of the town, my boy, when we get back to Halifax,"
said he.  "Ye've seen more than any lad of your age in the country, I
can tell you; and it's a great story you'll have to tell them at
Drummond and Brown's when you take your place there again."

A happy smile lit up Terry's face, so begrimed with powder smoke that
the multitudinous freckles were no longer distinguishable.  He had
quite forgotten Halifax and all belonging to it in the excitement of
the battle; but Captain Afleck's words brought his thoughts back, and
the idea of his being a kind of hero at Drummond and Brown's, where now
they probably considered him little better than a rascal, was
exceedingly grateful.

He was just about to say something in reply, when his attention was
claimed by the wonderful scene now before his eyes; and clasping
Captain Afleck's arm, he exclaimed, in a tone of mingled awe and
admiration, "Just look, will ye, captain! did ye ever see the like of
that in your life before?"

By this time night had fallen mild and calm.  The moon in her second
quarter was just rising over the rippling waters, but her silvery light
for those on board the _Minnesota_ paled in the presence of the
brilliant illumination proceeding from the burning frigate _Congress_.
As the flames crept up the rigging, every mast, spar, and rope flashed
out in fiery silhouette against the dark sky beyond.  The hull, aground
upon the shoal, was plainly visible, each porthole showing in the black
sides like the mouth of a fiery furnace, while from time to time the
boom of a loaded gun, or the crash of an exploded shell, gave startling
emphasis to the superb spectacle.

Having no duty to perform, the captain and Terry could give themselves
up to watching the destruction of the noble vessel, and they stayed at
the bow until presently a monstrous sheaf of flame rose from her to an
immense height.  The sky seemed rent in twain by a blinding flash, and
then came a loud, deafening report that told the whole story.  The
flames had reached the powder-magazine, and their work was complete.

In the silence that followed, Captain Afleck, taking Terry's hand, said
with a profound sigh, "Come, Terry, let us get to sleep.  It breaks my
heart to see a fine ship blown to bits like that."

They went below, and finding a quiet corner, threw themselves down to
get what rest they could before facing the dangers of another day.

On going on deck the next morning, Terry's attention was at once
attracted by the sailors bending over the bulwarks of the ship,
evidently much interested in something that lay alongside.  Following
their example, he saw below an extraordinary-looking craft, which might
not inaptly have been compared to a huge tin can set on a gigantic

It was none other than the famous _Monitor_, an even more remarkable
vessel than the _Merrimac_, which had come post-haste from New York,
and arrived just in time to do battle with the hitherto irresistible
rebel ram.

Little as Terry pretended to know about war-ships, he felt quite
competent not merely to wonder but to laugh at this latest addition to
the Federal fleet; she seemed so absurdly inadequate to cope with the
big powerful _Merrimac_.  A flat iron-plated raft with pointed ends,
bearing in the middle a round turret not ten feet high, also plated
with iron, and at the bow a small square iron hut for use as a
pilot-house; while from the round port-holes in the turret projected
the muzzles of two eleven-inch rifled guns, which constituted her
entire armament.  Such was the _Monitor_.

He was still engaged in studying this queer-looking craft, and feeling
sorely tempted to ask some questions of the men who were busy about her
decks getting her ready for action, when the crash of a heavy ball
against the other side of the _Minnesota_ told him that the _Merrimac_
had already come over from Sewell's Point to complete her unfinished

It was also the signal for the _Monitor_ to move out from her
hiding-place behind the lofty frigate.  Like some strange sea-monster,
she swung round the other's stern, and steaming forward so as to come
between her and her assailant, dauntlessly challenged the latter to
single combat.

Then there took place right before Terry's eyes a naval conflict
without parallel in the history of the world, in every respect the most
momentous battle ever waged upon the water.  Of course, Terry did not
realize this, but that did not in any wise lessen the breathless
interest with which he watched every move and manoeuvre of the struggle.

For the first few minutes there was a pause, as though the two
adversaries were surveying each other with a view of choosing the best
method of attack.  Then they began to advance cautiously until they had
got well within range, when almost simultaneously they opened fire.
This was at about eight o'clock in the morning, and thenceforward until
noon the cannonading continued furiously, with hardly any intermission.

The ironclads fought like two gladiators in an arena, now closing in on
each other until they were almost touching, then sheering off until
they were half-a-mile apart.  The _Monitor_ had a great advantage over
the _Merrimac_ in that she drew only half as much water, and was
consequently able to move about far more freely than her cumbrous
opponent, who had to confine herself to the deep-water channel.  Even
as it was she once ran aground, and was with the greatest difficulty
got afloat again.

Although Terry had come to Hampton Roads a warm little sympathizer with
the South, his feelings had undergone considerable change as he
observed the splendid bravery of the Northern sailors; and now, while
he watched the contending ironclads, he found his heart going out
towards the little _Monitor_ rather than towards the big black

"Sure it doesn't seem fair play at all," he exclaimed to Captain
Afleck, in a decided tone of indignation.  "That small little thing's
no match for the big fellow.  There ought to be two of them anyhow to
make it even."

But the captain, noting the advantage held by the _Monitor_, and the
fact that the bombardment of her antagonist had no more effect upon her
coat of mail than had hers upon the _Merrimac_, shook his head

"It's a more even fight than you think, Terry," said he, "and I'm not
saying but what I'd be willing to bet on the little one yet.  But see,
they must be going to try to run her down, like they did the

Sure enough, despairing of driving her doughty opponent off the field
with broadsides, the _Merrimac_ determined to try the effect of her
ram.  For nearly an hour she had been manoeuvring for a position, and
at last an opportunity offered.  Putting on full speed, she charged
forcibly down; but just in time the _Monitor_ turned aside, and the ram
glanced off without doing any damage.

At seeing this Terry clapped his hands as heartily as if he had been a
thorough-going Yankee.

"Sold again!" he cried, as the _Merrimac_ sullenly sheered off.
"You're not so smart after all."

The firing continued for some time longer, and then those on board the
_Minnesota_ were startled to see the _Monitor_ coming back towards them
with all the appearance of withdrawing from the fight.  The Merrimac
could not follow on account of the shallowness of the water, but
remained out in the channel awaiting the other's return.  Instead of
returning, however, the _Monitor_ swung round, and steamed off in the
direction of Fortress Monroe, leaving the helpless _Minnesota_ at the
mercy of the enemy.

"O Captain Afleck!" cried Terry, in keen alarm, "what will become of us
now?  That murderin' thing will smash us all to pieces, seein' there's
nothing to hinder it."

The situation of the _Minnesota_ certainly was as serious as it could
well be.  Many of the guns had been rendered useless in the conflict of
the preceding day.  Full half of the crew were killed or wounded, and
most of the officers were unfit for duty.  If the _Merrimac_ should
resume her work of destruction, there was slight chance of any one on
board surviving the catastrophe.



For some minutes the _Minnesota's_ men were kept in harrowing
uncertainty as the _Merrimac_ hung off to mid-stream, apparently
undecided as to what to do next.  Then, to their unspeakable relief,
she swung round, and turning her prow towards Norfolk, moved heavily
away.  She, too, like the _Monitor_, had had her fill of fighting for
that day.

At sight of this Terry tossed his cap in the air, and began an Irish
jig on the fore-deck, crying,--

"Be off with you now.  Sure, you've done mischief enough this blessed
day.  It's mighty glad I'd be never to see a sight of you again."

As it turned out he had his wish granted, for when the withdrawal of
the ironclad became known at Fortress Monroe, two of the gunboats in
refuge there ventured out, and, attaching themselves to the stranded
ship, succeeded with great difficulty, and the aid of a flood-tide, in
getting her afloat again, and towing her down-stream to safe quarters
under the guns of the fort.

The following morning both Terry and Captain Afleck were able to get
ashore; and, rejoiced at regaining their liberty, they at once set
about ascertaining how they might make their way back to Boston.

This was a problem by no means easily solved.  They were both penniless
and without friends, save such as they had made during their brief but
exciting stay on board the _Minnesota_.  Under other circumstances, no
doubt, the captain of the frigate, as some reparation for running down
the _Sea-Slipper_, would have exerted himself to send them forward; but
he, poor fellow, had been severely wounded in the fighting, and the
other officers were too deeply engrossed in the pressing duties of the
moment to give any attention to less important matters.

It was in this crisis that Terry's really daring and devoted services
to the wounded during the thick of the battle brought forth fruit.  He
was wandering disconsolately about the beach at Fortress Monroe,
wondering how he could make his way back to Halifax and set himself
right at Drummond and Brown's, when one of the _Minnesota's_
lieutenants came along, and hailed him pleasantly,--

"Where away, Terry?  You look kind of down on your luck this morning."

"Indeed that I am, sir," responded Terry promptly.  "I've just been
axin' myself how I'm to get back to Halifax, and faith I can't make it
out at all, at all."

"Oh, you want to get back to Halifax, do you?" said the lieutenant.
"Well, I can't say about that, but it's only fair you should be sent
back to Boston, for you would have been there long ago if we hadn't run
you down, wouldn't you?"

"It's the truth you're sayin', sir!" answered Terry; "and," here an
eager appealing look came into his face, "if you can say a word to the
captain, sir, and have Captain Afleck and myself given a lift that way,
it's more obliged than I can tell you we'd both be."

The lieutenant evidently took kindly to the suggestion, and clapping
the boy on the back, he said,--

"I'll do it, Terry.  You did us all a good turn on board the
_Minnesota_ by taking water round when nobody could attend to it.  Our
captain's in hospital, but I'll speak to the officer in command in his
place, and he'll do the square thing, I'm sure."

The lieutenant was as good as his word.  He took considerable pains to
press the matter, with the result that on the following day Captain
Afleck and Terry were provided with railroad passes clear to Boston,
and sufficient funds to pay their expenses _en route_.

They made a light-hearted pair, the big bronzed man and the
freckle-faced boy, as they set out for Baltimore, rejoicing in getting
away from the scenes of bloodshed and destruction, of which they had
grown profoundly weary.

They were more than satisfied with their first experience of war in all
its horrors, and quite content that it should be their last.  Terry
accurately expressed the feelings of both when he said, with a grunt of
disgust that made his companion smile,--

"If you ever catch me in a scrape like this again, you may call me as
many sizes of an idiot as you like.  It is bad enough to be kilt in a
row of your own raisin', but what's the sense of it when it's not your
fight at all?"

By which deliverance Terry showed himself to be a true philosopher,
with a very sound and practical theory of life.  But, like many other
mortals, Terry could teach a great deal better than he could practise,
the truth being that the impulse of his race to take a hand in any fun
or fighting that might be going was as strong in him as if he had been
born on the green sod.

However, he was sincere enough this time, and regarded with complacence
every additional mile of country that separated him from the scene of
the wonderful naval combat he had by so odd a chain of circumstances
been brought to witness.

As might be expected in time of war, when the whole country was more or
less upset, the train service was very imperfect.  The rate of speed
was poor, the stoppages many and prolonged, and the carriages fell far
short of being comfortable.

Yet none of these things troubled Terry.  It was the first long
railroad ride of his life, and he enjoyed it keenly despite its many
drawbacks.  He made friends with the conductors and brakesmen, who
could not resist his cheery humour.  He amused his fellow-passengers by
his quick observation of and shrewd comments upon the people and places
by the way.  He even succeeded in so ingratiating himself with the
driver of the train during a long stop at a junction, as to be invited
on to the engine for the remainder of that driver's run, and then he
returned to Captain Afleck grimy but triumphant.

[Illustration: "_He succeeded in ingratiating himself with the driver
of the train._"]

From Baltimore to Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia to New York, they
hurried on.  Under other circumstances, they would have been glad to
make a stay in each of these splendid cities; but Captain Afleck was
impatient to get back to Boston to prepare his claim against the
insurance company, while Terry was no less eager to return to Halifax,
that he might reinstate himself in Drummond and Brown's.

Yet in spite of their mutual anxiety they were both destined to another
delay which tried their spirits sorely.

The city of New York was at this time the centre of more interest and
excitement than Washington itself.  The issue of the war still seemed
in doubt, and there were divided counsels as to whether it should be
carried on to the bitter end, regardless of consequences, or whether
some sort of compromise should be arranged with the South before
further successes had inflated her hopes too high.

In the face of this uncertain state of the public mind, nevertheless,
the most earnest preparations for the prosecution of the struggle by
land and sea were going on, and this of course attracted to the place
wild and turbulent spirits from every quarter, eager to take advantage
of the opportunity to fill their pockets, honestly or dishonestly, with
a decided preference for the latter way as being more exciting.
Bounty-jumping was a favourite device, and the city fairly swarmed with
men guilty of this dishonourable action, and who, afraid to show
themselves in the light of day, prowled about the streets at night with
no very good intent.

It was late in the evening when the captain and Terry arrived in New
York, and as they had been without food, since mid-day, their first
proceeding was to set out in quest of a restaurant.  Captain Afleck
knew something of the city, having been there before, and soon found
his way to a quiet eating-house, where they obtained a comfortable meal
at a reasonable price.

They took their time over it, for they were weary of the train, and it
was quite a relief to be rid of the roar and rattle for a time.
Midnight was not far off when they went out into the street, and
feeling greatly refreshed, they were tempted into taking a stroll
before returning to the station, where they intended to pass the night,
so as to be on hand for the first train to Boston in the morning.

The night was fine and bright.  The captain lit his pipe, while Terry
munched some candy, and the two wandered on in a careless manner,
enjoying the cold air and the quiet of the hour.

"It's a big place this, isn't it, Terry?" said the captain as they
stood at an intersection of two streets, and looking north, south,
east, and west, saw the long lines of lights go twinkling 'off as far
as the eye could reach.  "All the same, I believe I'd rather live in
Halifax; wouldn't you?"

"That I would," responded Terry promptly.  "I'd be afraid of gettin'
lost here all the time.  Sure, there must be a sight of people here.
It's not much chance a poor chap like me 'ud have wid such a crowd."

Now that Terry's ambition had been so thoroughly aroused, he already
began to realize what the stress of competition meant, and it was clear
enough to him that the bigger the city the more there were ready to
fill every opening.  Miss Drummond's encouraging statement about her
grandfather had taken deep hold upon the boy's mind, and there were
times when he was bold enough to indulge in day-dreams having a similar

"I guess you'd stand as good a chance of holding your way as the most
of boys, Terry," said Captain Afleck, giving him a kindly pat on the
head.  "You've got lots of grit in ye, and that's the sort of thing
that counts in these big places.  But what's that?  There's mischief
going on down there.  Come, let's see what's up."

They were by this time on their way back to the railway station, and
were just crossing a narrow dark side street, when there came to them
through the stillness of the night a muffled cry for help, followed by
the sound of heavy blows.

Captain Afleck carried a stout stick, and grasping this firmly, he sped
down the street in the direction whence the sounds had come, Terry
keeping close at his heels.

In the very narrowest and darkest part of the street they almost fell
over a group of three men, one being prostrate on the ground, while the
other two bent over him, evidently engaged in rifling his pockets.

Shouting "Take that, you rascal!" the brawny captain struck one of the
highwaymen a sounding whack across the shoulders with his stick, and
the next instant tumbled the other over with his left fist.  The
astounded scoundrels as soon as they recovered themselves made off at
full speed; and when assured of their departure, Captain Afleck turned
his attention to the victim of their violence.

It was too dark at that spot to make out the extent of his injuries,
so, with Terry's aid, he was dragged towards a lamp-post.

They had just placed him upon some steps, and were endeavouring to
loosen his neckcloth, for he was quite insensible, when there suddenly
appeared two big policemen, who made haste to arrest them with great
show of zeal.

Neither protests nor explanations were of any avail.  A respectable
citizen returning quietly home had been brutally assaulted in the
public street.  The captain and Terry had been caught red-handed (as a
matter of fact they did both have blood upon their hands, got from the
wound on the poor man's head, which was badly cut), and they must
answer for it at the police court in the morning.

Other policemen were whistled for, and the still insensible man was
sent to hospital in a cab, while his two unlucky rescuers were marched
off to the station-house, where they spent a miserable night in
separate cells.

Not only that night but the whole of the next day were they kept in
confinement, the injuries of the "respectable citizen" being too severe
to permit of his appearing in court; and it was not until the following
day that they were brought up for examination.

Terry went before the police magistrate with quaking knees and beating
heart.  Not that any sense of guilt filled him with fear, but because
his whole past experience in Halifax had been such as to make the
minions of the law objects of terror to him; and now that he was in
their clutches in a foreign land, his lively imagination conceived all
sorts of dire consequences in spite of his big companion's attempts at

Captain Afleck, on the other hand, was in a state of furious
indignation.  The moment he got a chance to open his mouth he intended
to give the American authorities a piece of his mind, and threaten them
with the vengeance of the British nation for committing so
unwarrantable an indignity upon one of its honest and loyal members.

A number of cases had precedence of theirs, and they watched the
proceedings with very different feelings--Terry wondering, as he heard
sentence after sentence pronounced by the magistrate in his hard, dry,
monotonous voice, what penalty would be theirs if he and the captain
could not clear themselves; while the captain, nursing his wrath to
keep it warm, gave vent to a succession of wrathful grunts as he saw
the succession of miserable, unwashed, demoralized creatures with whom
he was for the time associated.

At length the rest of the docket had been cleared, and their case was
called.  It had been left to the last because of its being the most
serious on the list for the day.  Just as the captain and Terry were
being arraigned, there appeared in court a middle-aged man, whose
carefully-bandaged head, pale countenance, and general air of weakness
betokened him to be the victim of the assault.

As the two prisoners stood up to answer to their names and the charge
made against them by Policeman No. 399, it was evident that their
appearance created a good deal of surprise.  They certainly did not
look at all like the ordinary criminals.  The case promised to be one
of special interest, and the spectators adjusted themselves so as to
see and hear to the best advantage.

But if they expected an interesting hour of it they were doomed to be
disappointed; for no sooner had the injured man raised his eyes to look
at the accused of having waylaid him than he gave a start, and the
colour mounted to his pallid face.

"These are not the men," he exclaimed.  "There's some mistake.  The men
that assaulted me were short and stout, and they were both men--not a
man and a boy."

His words created a decided sensation.  The countenance of the zealous
bluecoats who had effected the arrest, and expected praise for their
efficient performance, grew suddenly long while the magistrate turned
upon them a look of stern inquiry, saying,--

"What's the meaning of this?  Have you been making some serious

Captain Afleck now had his opportunity, and he used it gloriously,
pouring forth the vials of his wrath as he told his story, until at
last the magistrate, entirely satisfied, stopped the stream of his
eloquence with uplifted hand, and proceeded to say, in a tone that
showed genuine feeling,--

"You have been the victims of a very unfortunate blunder, for which I
wish it were in my power to make some reparation.  As it is, all I can
do is to express my profound regret, and to put you at once at liberty."

Amid a buzz of applause the captain and Terry made their way out into
the street, the boy hardly able to restrain his impulse to leap and
shout for joy, but the man still grumbling and growling at the
aggravation he had been so undeservedly compelled to endure.

Once more in the open air, Terry's first thought was to get away as
fast as possible.

"Let us be off to the station," he cried.  "Mebbe there's a train goin'

This made the captain think of the railway passes, and he thrust his
hand into the pocket where he kept his wallet.  The pocket was empty!
He tried the other pockets, but they were in the same condition!  The
passes and the remainder of his money were gone, stolen by some clever
pickpocket that very morning perchance.  He turned upon Terry a face
full of consternation.

"I've been robbed, Terry," said he hoarsely.  "We can't go to Boston
to-day; I've lost the passes, and all my money too."



Terry's face when he heard Captain Afleck's startling news was verily a
study.  The joy which the moment before had irradiated it vanished like
a flash, and in its place came a look of blank despair that would have
touched a heart of stone.

"Whirra, whirra!" he moaned, shaking his head dolefully; "and what's to
be done now?  We can't walk all that way, can we?"

In spite of his mental distress the big seaman burst out into a laugh.

"Walk all the way, Terry!" he cried; "not a bit of us.  If I can't
manage better than that, you can put me down for a first-class booby."

At this moment a hand was laid gently on his shoulder, and turning
round he found at his side the gentleman who had been unintentionally
the cause of their mishap.

"Pardon my addressing you," said he courteously, "but I am really very
much grieved that you should have been put to so much inconvenience on
my account.  Won't you do me the favour to come home with me to lunch?
My carriage is waiting for me."

For a moment Captain Afleck hesitated.  Then, seeing that the
invitation was sincere, and feeling glad to find a friend in his time
of need, he looked at Terry, saying, "Shall we go with the gentleman,

Terry nodded a vigorous assent.  So the invitation was accepted, and
presently they were rolling up Fifth Avenue in a luxurious carriage,
wondering what good fortune awaited them.

The carriage stopped at a handsome residence, into which they followed
their host, and being shown by a servant into a dressing-room, were
enabled to make their toilet before going to lunch.

Mr. Travers had no family, and they were therefore spared the ordeal of
facing female society, while his genial manner soon put them both so
entirely at their ease, that almost unconsciously they told him their
whole story, since the collision in Boston Harbour.  Nor did their
confidence stop there; for Terry, his heart responding to the old man's
kindly interest, was moved to go further back, and tell his own
history, from the time he saved Miss Drummond's life.

"Oh, ho!" exclaimed Mr. Travers when he had finished--"Mr. Drummond, of
Drummond and Brown.  I know him well.  We've had business relations
these many years.  Now, Terry, my lad, I want to say that I believe you
fully, and that this very night I will take upon myself to write to Mr.
Drummond and say so; and when you go back to Halifax you'll find him
ready to receive your explanations, and to take you back into his

How Terry's heart leaped at this, and with what boyish ardour he
expressed his gratitude!  Halifax seemed very near now, and it was
brought still nearer when Mr. Travers proceeded:--

"As to your getting home, of course you will allow me to provide for
that--nothing else would be fair, and it will perhaps in some measure
make amends for what you have had to endure."

So the upshot of it was, that when the captain and Terry bade good-bye
to their new-found friend, the former had sufficient funds to pay all
expenses of the homeward journey, and with light hearts they made their
way to the station.

Once more in the train, and speeding towards Boston, they lolled about
on the cushion of the car in great good-humour.

"Well, Terry, my son," said the captain, bestowing upon him a look of
mingled affection and admiration, "you do have the greatest luck of any
fellow I ever saw.  I give you credit for the whole of it, seein' that
I've never had much of it myself.  No matter what sort of a scrape we
get into, out we come again smiling, and not a bit the worse.  If your
luck holds, you'll be a great man some day, Terry, and no mistake."

Terry laughed, and curled up still more comfortably on the crimson

"Faith, you make me proud, captain," he responded.  "But where do you
come in yourself?  Sure, it 'ud be no easy job to say where I'd be this
very minute if you'd not looked after me."

Much pleased in his turn, Captain Afleck leaned over and twitched
Terry's ear in a not ungentle fashion.

"I guess you can take pretty good care of yourself, my hearty," said
he.  "Some fine day you'll be one of the bosses at Long Wharf, wearing
a big gold chain, and fine black suit, and a tall shiny hat, while, if
I'm alive, I'll be nothing better than I am now, glad if I can knock
out a living with my schooner--if I ever get another one."

"No you won't, captain," cried Terry, springing up with eyes shining
with emotion; "nothing of the kind.  If ever I do get to be one of the
bosses, you shall be captain of the best ship the firm owns, and go
round the world in her, if you like."

Captain Afleck gave the boy a tender smile as he took hold of his hand.

"I know you mean every word of it, Terry; and, who knows, perhaps some
of it may come true some day."

And so they whiled away the time as the swift train sped northward.
Shortly after nightfall Terry went to sleep, and the captain, growing
weary of the confinement of the car, took advantage of a lengthy
stoppage at a junction to get out and stretch his legs.  There were
trains on both sides of the platform, and it fell out that the mariner,
little used to land travel, presently lost his bearings, with the
result that, hearing the shout, "All aboard," and seeing a train move
off, he jumped on to the rear car, thinking it was all right.

Not until he had passed through to the next car did he discover that he
was mistaken.  But by that time the train had gathered such speed that
to jump off was to risk life, so with a groan of, "Oh, but I'm the
dunderhead.  How is poor Terry to get along now?" he threw himself into
a seat to wait for the conductor, from whom he might learn how soon he
could leave this train and set off in pursuit of the right one.

When the conductor did appear the captain was dismayed to find that he
was flying off due west in the direction of Chicago, instead of due
north in the direction of Boston, and that it would not be possible for
him to retrace his way until the following morning, while the train
which carried Terry would reach Boston that very night.

"Well, it's no use crying over spilt milk," soliloquized Captain Afleck
on receiving this information.  "I must only make the best of it for
myself; but poor little Terry, who's to look after him? and he hasn't a
copper in his pocket."

It was some little time after the train had moved off without the
captain before Terry awoke.  When he did, and looked about him for his
companion, his first thought was,--

"Oh, he's gone into one of the other cars," and he gave himself no

Presently, however, beginning to feel lonely, he thought he'd go in
search of him, and accordingly he went through the four passenger cars,
looking eagerly for the stalwart sailor.

Discovering no signs of him, he grew anxious, and questioned the
brakesman.  But he could tell him nothing; and all the conductor knew
was that a man answering to Terry's description had been out on the
platform at the junction walking up and down while the train stopped.

"Do you think he's fallen under the cars, and been killed?" exclaimed
Terry, his eyes enlarged to their utmost extent at the awful notion.

"Not much," responded the conductor curtly.  "Guess he went to get a
drink in the restaurant, and let the train go off without him.  You
needn't worry.  He'll be along by the express."

This explanation, albeit not altogether satisfactory to Terry, for he
knew the captain was practically a teetotaller, nevertheless served, in
lieu of a better one, to allay his apprehensions somewhat; and, having
inquired when the express would be along, he went back to his seat,
determined not to let the other passengers see how deep was his

For, in spite of the conductor's suggestion, he could not dismiss from
his mind the idea of some harm having befallen his kind friend, and he
worried far more over this than he did over the fact of his being
without money to pay his way when he did arrive in Boston.

It was within two hours of midnight when the train rolled into the
station, and Terry, tumbling out on the platform, looked about him with
blinking eyes of bewilderment.

"Faith, it's a lost dog I am now, and no mistake," he said, gazing
around at the confusing crowds of people, the hurrying officials, the
shouting hack-drivers, and all the other elements of confusion at a
great railroad terminus.  "I'd like mighty well to know what to do now,
seein' I've never a copper in my pocket, and don't know a blessed soul
in the place."

In the hope of finding Captain Afleck, he waited until the express
train came in of which the conductor had spoken.  But there was no sign
of the strayed sailor; and realizing that there was nothing to be
gained by hanging about the station, Terry went out into the streets, a
waif in a fuller sense than ever before in his life.

Yet his brave bright spirit refused to be overwhelmed.  The night was
fine and warm; the streets were bright, and lined with fine buildings.
If the policemen would only let him alone, he would make a shift to get
through the night somehow, and trust to obtaining help from some
quarter in the morning.

So he strolled along through street after street, entertaining himself
with comments upon the people and buildings he passed, and keeping a
sharp eye open for any place that might promise a quiet haven for the

In this way he came to a cross-street between two important
thoroughfares, and turning into it, he knew not why, he was brought to
an open door, whence issued sounds of singing.

He loved music of every kind, and this singing was so sweet and fervent
that it drew him little by little further inside the door, until,
almost before he knew it, he found himself in a bright attractive hall,
set with chairs, and nearly filled by a gathering of men and women,
singing heartily a gospel song, the like of; which he had never heard

There was something so genial in the atmosphere of the place that the
homeless boy resolved to stay if he would be permitted, and so taking a
seat in the nearest corner he gave himself up to the enjoyment of the

Soon a young man espied him and came towards him.  Was he going to turn
him out?  Poor Terry's heart sank, and he felt his face becoming
crimson.  But his fears were all unfounded.  Instead of asking him to
leave, the young man held out his hand, saying with a cordial smile,--

"You're very welcome, my boy.  Come up nearer; and here's a hymn-book
to sing from."

Terry would have preferred his corner, but he felt it would be
ungracious to refuse so kind an invitation, and he therefore followed
obediently till he was assigned a seat not far from the desk, at which
stood a venerable man with long white beard, whose countenance seemed
to radiate tenderness and sympathy.

When the singing ended, the leader began to speak.  His theme was the
love of Christ for sinners, and he spoke with rare simplicity and
winning force.  Terry listened with every faculty attent.  It was all
strangely new to him.  What little religious instruction he had got in
the Roman Catholic Church was in no way a preparation for this earnest,
direct, personal gospel, which not only took a strong hold upon his
heart, but seemed to arouse some sort of response there, as though it
were awakening faculties which had been hitherto dormant.

The speaker evidently observed the boy's rapt attention, for he turned
upon him many a look of loving appeal, that made Terry feel as though
he were looking right down into his heart and reading all that was

Yet, strange to say, Terry had no disposition to resent this.  So
spell-bound was he that he could hardly have resisted any command the
old man might have laid upon him; and when, at the close of his
address, the leader invited all who wished to learn more about the
Saviour to remain for a little while after the meeting had been
dismissed, Terry was among those who stayed in their seats.

Not only so, but when this after-meeting came to an end Terry still
lingered, partly because he was loath to go out again into the strange
streets, which offered him no refuge for the night, and partly because
he wanted to hear something more about this Jesus, who seemed so
different from the only Son of Mary of whom he had any knowledge.

The venerable leader, the moment he was disengaged, went up to Terry,
and laying his hand kindly on his head, said in a tone of great

"Well, my dear boy, I am very glad to see you here; and do you love
Jesus too?"

The full purport of this question Terry hardly grasped, and not knowing
what answer to make he hung his head in silence, whereupon the leader
added gently,--

"Never mind answering that question just now.  Come with me.  I'm going
home, and you can tell me all your story there."

Completely won by the gracious charm of his manner, Terry lifted his
head, and looking up gratefully into the noble countenance bending over
him, said,--

"Indeed, sir, I'm glad you've asked me, for it's without a place to
sleep in I am this night."

"You shall be all right with me, then," was the cordial response.  "Let
us go now, and you can tell me about yourself as we walk along."

Passing on through the now deserted streets, Terry told his new-found
friend much of the story of his life, his narration being listened to
with deep sympathy and interest.  As they stopped at the door of a
comfortable-looking house the old gentleman said,--

"Providence has put you in my way, my boy, and it will be my joy to
assist you to the best of my ability.  Here is my home.  You shall
share it until the way opens for you to continue your journey."

A beautiful old lady gave them both a warm welcome and a bountiful
supper, to which Terry did full justice, for he had been fasting since

Then his host told him something of the place where they had met.  It
was a midnight mission carried on by himself, at his own expense, for
the benefit of fallen humanity.  This was his life-work, and he
rejoiced in it, because of the many opportunities it afforded him of
being both a temporal and a spiritual helper to the victims of vice or
of misfortune.  Terry felt irresistibly drawn towards Mr. Sargent and
his wife, whose hearts so overflowed with love; and when they proposed
that he should stay with them for a few days, in order that he might
try to find Captain Afleck, he gladly assented.

Thus it came about that he was with these kind good people for the
remainder of the week, looking about the streets and wharves for the
captain in the day-time, attending the mission meetings at night, and
all the time being more and more deeply influenced by the beautiful
piety of his friends.

Recognizing how much Terry had to learn of the very essentials of
religion, Mr. Sargent took abundant pains to make the matter clear to
the Irish boy, whose warm heart readily responded to the argument from
the infinite love of the Father, and he had his reward in finding his
pupil laying hold upon the truth with a grasp that would not be readily

Each day the attachment between them deepened, until Mr. Sargent began
to wish that he might keep Terry altogether; he discovered in him such
possibilities of good.

But, sincerely grateful as he was, Terry's anxiety to get back to
Halifax grew keener every day.  He seemed so near now, and there were
vessels sailing every day, on one of which he could without difficulty
obtain a passage.

Of Captain Afleck no trace could be found.  As a matter of fact, he,
too, on reaching Boston had spent some time hunting for Terry; but
being unsuccessful, concluded that Terry had gone on to Halifax, and
accordingly gave up the search until he should hear from that place.

It had just been arranged that Terry should take the train for Halifax
one afternoon, when, in the morning, walking along Tremont Street, he
caught sight of a familiar face over the way, and darting across the
street he cried delightedly,--

"Mr. Hobart! is it yourself?"



The gentleman whom Terry had thus startlingly accosted looked with
surprised inquiry for a moment upon the boy; then a bright smile of
joyful recognition breaking over his face, he caught him by both
shoulders, and shook him playfully, exclaiming,--

"Why, you young rascal! where on earth have you sprung from?  How glad
I am to see you!  Where have you been all this while?"

Mr. Hobart's tone was so thoroughly cordial that Terry for a moment
wondered whether he understood why he had run away; but as he hesitated
in uncertainty as to where to begin to answer the questions showered
upon him, the other went on,--

"Did you clear out because you were afraid you'd be suspected of
stealing that wharfage money?"

Terry had only time to nod before Mr. Hobart continued,--

"That's just what I said all along.  I felt sure it was nothing else,
although Morley tried hard to put other things on you; and a week after
you vanished the whole thing came out.  The chap that ran off with your
vest that day was arrested for stealing something else, and your watch
was found on him, and he was so scared that he owned up to everything.
So you see your reputation's all clear again."

To all this Terry listened in breathless delight.  It was far better
news than he had ever hoped to hear, for it meant that his explanation
would be accepted at once, and he would not have a cloud of suspicion
hanging over him, as had been his dread.

"O Mr. Hobart!" he cried, "sure it's great good news you're tellin' me,
that makes my heart as light as a feather.  I've been tryin' so hard to
get back to Halifax for ever so long, and everything's been agin me.
But now you'll take me back--won't you, Mr. Hobart?--and I'll tell Mr.
Drummond just how it happened."

"That I will, Terry," responded Mr. Hobart.  "And you just met me in
time too, for I'm off by train this very afternoon, for I've finished
the business which brought me here, and I'm in a hurry to get home

"And so was I meself," shouted Terry, dancing about on the pavement for
very joy.  "And now we'll go together.  Oh, but this is the lucky day
for me!"

In the excess of his delight Terry came near forgetting Mr. Sargent,
and the duty he owed him of telling the good news.  But happily in good
time the thought of his benefactor came to him, and on Mr. Hobart
hearing about him he said they must go off and see him at once.

The Sargents were very glad to hear of their protégé's good fortune,
and although manifestly reluctant to bid him good-bye, they gave him
their blessing with a warmth that showed how he had found the way into
their hearts.

"Remember, my dear boy," were the old gentleman's parting words, "the
truths I have sought to teach you in our brief sojourn together.  Lay
fast hold on eternal life; and although we may never meet again on
earth, I shall look for you above."

Deeply affected by these solemn words, Terry with tear-filled eyes
murmured, "I'll try my best, sir," as he turned to follow Mr. Hobart,
who had gone on a little in advance.

That afternoon the two set forth for Halifax, and on the way thither
Terry had time to tell his companion in full detail the wonderful
experiences which had been his during the past two months.  Mr. Hobart
was intensely interested, as may be imagined, and would often exclaim,--

"Why, Terry, you'll be the hero of the place for nine days at least.
If one of these newspaper men get hold of your story, they'll make a
great to-do over it.  I think I must tell the editor of the _Herald_ to
have you interviewed."

"Sure now and you're only joking, Mr. Hobart," was Terry's response to
this banter, for it never entered his mind that any doing of his could
be worth newspaper notice.

"Not a bit of it, Terry," Mr. Hobart insisted; "you'll see when we get
to Halifax."

They reached their destination without mishap in due time, and as it
was too late to go to the office that day they each went to their own
homes, Terry promising to be at Drummond and Brown's bright and early
the next morning.

It was not without some misgivings as to the kind of reception awaiting
him that Terry made his way to Blind Alley.  What would his mother say
to him?  And would his father strike him, as he had done more than once
before when he had been away from home for a time?

He passed and repassed the entrance to the alley several times before
he could make up his mind to enter its forbidding gloom.  But at last,
saying to himself, "Ah! what's the use of foolin' like this?  Here
goes," he pushed in with quickened pace until he was within ten yards
of the tenement house, when his progress was suddenly arrested by a
familiar voice falling upon his ear.  It was saying, in tones of
despairing grief,--

"No, no, Mrs. O'Rafferty, I'll never see his face again.  He's gone off
in one of those American ships, believe me, and he'll be kilt or
drownded or something by this time."

This was too much for Terry.  Darting forward, he sprang upon his
mother with a suddenness that would have startled a far less excitable
person, and clasping her tight about the neck, cried,--

"I'm nayther kilt nor drownded, mother darlin', but as well as I ever
was.  See if I'm not."

Poor Mrs. Ahearn!  The shock was really more than she could stand, and
she fainted dead away on the door-step, with Terry and Mrs. O'Rafferty
doing their best to hold her up.

But she soon regained her senses, and then ensued a scene of rejoicing
such as only a crowd of warm-hearted Irish folk could accomplish.
Terry was violently kissed by the women and clapped on the back by the
men, and pulled this way and that way by the boys, until there was
hardly any breath left in his body: and he was mighty glad at last to
escape with his mother up to their own room, where they could have a
quiet talk together.

A happy pair were they that night, and when Black Mike came in from his
tavern it fortunately happened that he was in one of his rare amiable
moods, and greeted his returned son with a show of affection that
filled the others' cup of joy to the full.

It was only natural that Terry should feel considerable nervousness in
regard to appearing at Drummond and Brown's, and this would have been
greater still but for his timely encounter with Mr. Hobart, who would
therefore be ready to make the way easy for him.

As it happened, the first one he encountered on entering the office was
Morley, who of course knew nothing of his return, and who had been
cherishing in his envious heart the hope that he might never see him
again.  He made no attempt to disguise his disappointment.

"Humph!" he grunted.  "Back again like a bad penny," and turning his
back on him went into another part of the office.

This was pretty hard for Terry to bear, particularly in view of his
sensitive state of mind; but by a great effort he controlled himself,
and kept back the hot words that rose to his lips.  He had learned a
better way than to return evil for evil since he last saw Morley, and
he was resolved to live up to it.

The next person he saw was Mr. Hobart, who welcomed him warmly, and
then put him at his ease while the other clerks crowded round with
questions, some asking merely for chaff, and others in genuine interest.

Terry bore the ordeal very well indeed, but felt quite relieved when it
came to an end and the clerks all took up their work for the day,
leaving him to await Mr. Drummond's arrival.

When he came down, and sent for Terry, the boy went before him with a
beating heart.  Although the fear of being thought guilty of stealing
the money was gone, still there were the neglect of duty and the
foolish running away from the consequences to be judged for; and he
knew that, kind as Mr. Drummond had been, he was no less just than kind.

But he did not know that Mr. Hobart had been at Mr. Drummond's house
the previous evening and told him Terry's story, and that therefore the
old gentleman was ready to receive him, not with stern words of
condemnation, but with kind words of encouragement.

Yet Mr. Drummond liked his joke, and when Terry presented himself
before him, trembling and blushing, he assumed an air of great gravity,
and said in his most impressive tone,--

"Well, sir, you've come back, I see; and now, what have you to say for

With brimming eyes and quivering lips, Terry began to express his
penitence, but had not got very far when Mr. Drummond's countenance
relaxed, and smiling pleasantly he held out his hand, saying,--

"You needn't mind, Terry; I know all about it already.  Mr. Hobart told
me last night.  Just tell me some of the things you saw in the United

And in this way the much-dreaded interview passed off, with the result
that at the close Terry felt himself fully restored to his former
standing in the office, and able to hold up his head once more among
his fellow-clerks.

He did not take long to settle down to work again.  He was full of
desire to atone for his errors, and gave his whole attention to
whatever was assigned him, bringing the whole strength of his really
unusual if untrained mental powers to bear upon the task in hand as he
had never done before.

As a natural consequence, he rapidly grew in favour with his superiors,
and had many an encouraging smile from Mr. Drummond, who heard good
reports of him from time to time.  One especially welcome outcome of
this improved state of affairs was that Morley's malice received such a
snubbing on all sides that he positively had to hold his bitter tongue
and leave Terry in peace, to the great relief of the latter, who now
had smooth going in every way, and was as happy a boy as walked the
streets of Halifax.

It was quite a week after his return before he heard anything more of
Captain Afleck, and then there came a letter from him at Boston to the
firm inquiring if they knew anything about Terry, as he had been
searching all over the city for him, but could find no trace of him

Terry was considerably amused when this was told him, and with the aid
of Mr. Hobart concocted quite a humorous reply, in which he poked fun
at the captain for not knowing how to take care of himself.  In
response to this the captain wrote expressing his relief at learning
that Terry was back in his place, and stating that now his mind was at
rest about him he would remain in Boston to complete his claim against
the insurance company, so that Halifax would not be likely to see him
for some little time.

One thing that gave Terry increasing concern was the squalor of their
abode in Blind Alley.  With the help of his wages much better quarters
could be obtained; but Black Mike would not stir, and of course Mrs.
Ahearn would not leave him, shamefully as he treated her.  So Terry had
perforce to be patient, awaiting the time when his father's mind might
change, or some other way out of the difficulty be found.

Matters had been going on in this pleasant fashion for a month or so,
when one afternoon in the early autumn the whole establishment of
Drummond and Brown, from the grave old partners down to Terry, was
thrown into a state of excitement by the news coming down from the
signal-station on the citadel that a blockade-runner had been chased
right to the mouth of the harbour, and was now steaming up at a
tremendous rate with all her flags flying in token of her fortunate

Long Wharf was quickly crowded with eager sightseers, and presently the
beautiful vessel came into view, the white foam curling back from her
sharp bow as she ploughed a deep furrow through the yielding water.
Coming off the wharf she slowed up, described a graceful semicircle,
and then glided smoothly into dock amid the cheers of the assembled
people, who were always glad to welcome a blockade-runner from motives
of interest no less than of sympathy.

Hearty responses came from the deck of the blockade-runner, which was
no other than the famous _Colonel Lamb_--the largest, costliest, and
swiftest of the whole fleet engaged in that dangerous work.  She had
brought her cargo of cotton through many perils, and great would be the
profit of those interested in the venture.

While the people were fraternizing with the crew, and asking them a
thousand questions about their run, the captain of the blockade-runner
came off, accompanied by his first officer, who bore a black bag
evidently filled with something heavy; and after greetings had been
exchanged with Mr. Drummond and Mr. Brown, the four men went on up to
the office.

Mr. Hobart, noticing this, called to Terry, who stood near him,
watching all that was going on with deep interest, and thinking of the
rebel steamers of a very different type that he had seen in Hampton
Roads, "Come along, Terry; we may be wanted at the office."  And so
they two followed.

At the office the four gentlemen had been closeted for nearly an hour,
when Mr. Hobart was called in to receive some instructions with
reference to the disposition of the black bag.  But just as Mr.
Drummond was about to give them, a shout of "Fire" came suddenly up
from the wharf, and there was a rush of men towards the end of the line
of warehouses.

Now, it chanced that in one of the warehouses was stored a quantity of
powder awaiting shipment on the blockade-runner, and at the thought of
this danger, Mr. Drummond, springing up in great alarm, thrust the bag
into his desk, locked it up, and directing Mr. Hobart to remain in the
office, hurried out, followed by the other three.

The fire proved to be rather a serious one, which took a couple of
hours to entirely master, but happily it did not reach the building
where the powder was stored.  When the peril had altogether passed, and
Mr. Drummond, very much wearied by the excitement and exertion,
returned to the office, it was long beyond the usual time for closing;
so, ordering a cab, he drove off home without another thought in regard
to the black bag, which, in view of its contents, ought to have been
locked up in the safe.

From his place in the outer office, Terry had got a glimpse of the bag,
and of how it had been put away, and in the talk he had with his mother
every night before going to bed he told her about it.

"Faith and it looked as if it might have a heap of money in it," he
concluded; "those great big gold pieces you know, mother, good for
twenty dollars every one of them, like them blockade-runners have in
their pockets.  Man dear, but they are beauties!" and his eyes opened
wide with admiration and longing.

As he finished speaking, a movement at the door behind the two rooms
caused him to turn round, and he saw his father, whom he had supposed
to be sound asleep in the other room, standing in the doorway with a
strange look in his eyes that Terry recalled afterwards with a sharp
thrill of apprehension.  Evidently Black Mike had been listening to the
talk, and understood its purport.  He made no remark, however, but
after standing there in silence for a moment, wheeled about and went
back to bed.

The next morning, shortly after Mr. Drummond's arrival at the office,
there were indications of some unusual occurrence having taken place.
The partners were seen to be in anxious consultation, and presently Mr.
Hobart was called in to their sanctum.  He came out shortly with a very
troubled countenance, and Terry ventured to inquire,--

"Is there anything the matter, Mr. Hobart?"

"I should say there was something the matter," was the reply.  "Mr.
Drummond's desk has been broken open, and that black bag which was full
of gold has been stolen."



Amid the anxious bustle that filled the office Terry sat at his desk
with strange and perplexing thoughts coursing through his brain.  He
had seen the bag just for one moment as Mr. Drummond was hastily
throwing it into his desk.  So far as he knew, only Mr. Hobart and
himself, of the office staff, had any knowledge of its existence.  That
Mr. Hobart should have taken it was a notion so absurd that his mind
refused to entertain it for an instant.  His kind friend was to him the
incarnation of every human virtue, and Terry would have resented hotly
the insinuation that he could possibly be guilty of any such

Who, then, could be the thief?  As he looked about the office, glancing
from one to the other of the countenances of the clerks, all of whom,
laying aside their work for the time, were exchanging conjectures as to
how the robbery had been managed, his eyes seemed drawn irresistibly
towards Morley.

The latter was not at his own desk, but stood near the window looking
out, as though not particularly interested in the earnest discussion,
yet every now and then he gave a glance towards the group which showed
that he was listening intently to all they said.

It was his expression when he did this which impressed Terry.  It had a
blending of anxiety, bravado, and cunning triumph that could not fail
to provoke curiosity, if not to arouse suspicion, in so keen an

Once he caught Terry studying him, and instantly his face flushed with
anger, and he gave back such a vicious scowl that Terry, apprehensive
of an outburst, took care not to meet his glance again.

Mr. Hobart had been in the inside office again for some time, when he
came out, seeming more troubled than ever, and beckoned Terry to him.

"Mr. Drummond wants to see you," he said, "although I told him you
couldn't know anything about it."

In no small perturbation Terry entered the sanctum.  The two partners
were sitting at their desks, both evidently greatly disturbed by what
had happened.

"Did you see anything of the bag that has been stolen, Terry?" asked
Mr. Drummond abruptly.

Terry hesitated for a moment.  Did Mr. Drummond mean before it was put
into the desk or after?

"Why don't you answer me at once?" demanded his questioner testily,
while Mr. Brown regarded Terry with a look of sharp inquiry.

"I--I--didn't see it since you put it in your desk, sir," stammered
Terry slowly, keeping his eyes fixed on the toes of his boots.

"Oh, ho!" cried Mr. Drummond in a tone that suggested he thought he was
getting some light on the mystery.  "Then you did see the bag before it
was put in my desk?"

"Yes, sir," answered Terry, the words coming more readily as he
regained his self-command.  "I saw the gentleman carrying it up the

"Was that all you saw of it?" asked Mr. Drummond, eying him narrowly.
"Tell me now exactly."

"No, sir," replied Terry, the colour mounting in his face as the
thought came that perhaps he would be suspected of prying into a matter
that did not concern him.  "I saw it when you were putting it into your

The partners exchanged significant glances.  Here now they seemed to be
finding a clue that might help them.  Recognizing the wisdom of being
more diplomatic in his mode of cross-examination, Mr. Drummond pursued
his inquiry in a much quieter tone.

"And how did you come to see the bag then?" he asked.

"The door of your office was open, sir," was the reply.

"And you were peeping, were you?" continued Mr. Drummond.

"Yes, sir.  I didn't mean any harm," pleaded Terry.

"Perhaps not, but maybe harm has come of it whether you meant it or
not," retorted Mr. Drummond in a half-sneering tone.  "Now tell me, was
that the last you saw of the bag?  Have you seen nothing of it since?
Look me straight in the face as you answer me."

Terry lifted his eyes, and looked full into his employer's face as he
responded earnestly, "No, sir; sure as I'm standing here, sir, I

The fervent frankness of his manner carried conviction, and there was a
perceptible change in Mr. Drummond's tone when he put the next

"From the way you say that, Terry, I believe it's the truth.  But tell
me this: did you mention to any person about having seen the bag?
Think now, before you answer."

The boy's countenance, which had assumed its natural colour, grew
flushed again, and he hesitated for a moment before he replied,--

"I did tell my mother about it when I went home, sir."

Once more the partners exchanged meaning glances, and Mr. Brown seemed
about to say something, when Mr. Drummond checked him by a warning
motion of his hand.

"That will do for the present, Terry," said he.  "I may want to ask you
some more questions afterwards.  Don't mention to any of the clerks
what I've been asking you, or what you have told me.  Just keep your
own counsel.  Do you understand?"

When Terry went out, the two men consulted earnestly together.  From
the signs left by the thief, whoever he was, it seemed clear that he
had a complete knowledge of the premises.  He had apparently entered
the warehouse by a back window, which in his haste he had forgotten to
close after him, broken open the desk with a large chisel, taken
nothing except the bag, and made off in the same way that he had come.

Terry's confession as to telling his mother of the bag was, to say the
least, suggestive.  Black Mike had not much reputation to lose.
According to the popular opinion of him, he would have small scruples
about taking the bag.  Of course he could not be arrested upon mere
suspicion.  Some more substantial grounds than that would have to be
found.  But, in the meantime, he was worth watching, and accordingly it
was decided to engage a detective to "shadow" him, in the hope of
obtaining further proof.

When Terry came out of Mr. Drummond's office, Mr. Hobart took him
aside, and questioned him as to what he knew of the affair; and Terry
told him as much as he could without disobeying Mr. Drummond's

His listener did not make any comments, although in his mind there
arose the same thought that had occurred to the partners.

Terry's quick instinct told him there was something significant in his
story which had made an impression on the members of the firm and upon
Mr. Hobart.  Yet, strange to say, its actual import did not occur to
him at the time.  Indeed he was too deeply troubled with the fear lest
he himself should be in some way regarded as an accomplice in the
robbery, to speculate much as to who really might be the guilty one.

He saw nothing of his father all day.  Black Mike had not shown up for
work, and the foreman took it for granted he was off on a spree.  But
for the fact that after a holiday of this kind he always seemed
determined to atone for his absence by increased exertion, and would
positively do the work of two ordinary men, thanks to his enormous
strength, his name would not have stood upon the Long Wharf pay-roll at
all.  As it was, he received wages for the time he actually worked, and
seemed quite content with the arrangement.

It was late at night before he reeled into Blind Alley, and stumbled up
the steep stairs to his squalid home.  Tired though Terry felt, owing
to the stress and strain of the day, he had, in spite of his mother's
protests, stayed up to keep her company.  Not a word did either speak
when the drunkard lurched into the room and fell heavily across the
bed.  They knew better than to arouse his anger by addressing either
himself or one another.

He rolled about uneasily on the hard bed, grunting and growling more
like some wild animal than a human being.  As he did so the clank of
coins in his pocket could be heard, and presently in his contortions
several of them worked out, and fell with a loud clang upon the floor.
He made as though he would get up to recover them; but the effort was
too much for him, and sinking back with a smothered oath, he fell into
the heavy stupor of the drunkard's sleep.

It was not until he felt perfectly sure of his father's helplessness
that Terry ventured to pick up the coins.  To his astonishment they
were not copper pennies, as he had supposed from the sound of their
fall, but great golden double-eagles of the value of twenty dollars

With a bewildered expression of countenance he laid them on his
mother's lap.

"Sure it's a heap of money," he whispered; "and how could father get
hold of so much?"

Mrs. Ahearn felt the splendid coins one by one as though to convince
herself that they were no optical illusion.

"The blessed saints preserve us, Terry!" she replied, crossing herself
almost mechanically.  "Maybe it's goblin gold, and we should not be
touchin' it at all."

Not only was Terry far less superstitious than his mother, but he had
enjoyed the advantage of a wider experience.  He had often seen Mr.
Hobart counting over precisely similar coins, and he felt pretty sure
that there was no goblin element about the contents of his father's

"Och! no, mother," he answered, "it's not goblin gold at all.  We often
have the same at the office."

There was a certain perceptible note of pride in his voice as he
brought out the last sentence, reassured by which Mrs. Ahearn took the
coins into her hands again, and permitted her sense of beauty to
indulge itself in admiring their perfection.

Neither spoke for the next minute; their brains were busy with
perplexing thoughts.  Meantime Black Mike lay motionless as a log, only
an occasional gurgling gasp showing that he was actually alive.  He was
now lying upon the broad of his back, thus leaving all his pockets
exposed.  Acting upon an impulse that he could not restrain, Terry went
over to him and made a thorough search of the pockets.  The result was
the discovery of three more double-eagles, making five in all.

One hundred dollars! more money by far than Black Mike had ever had at
once in his life before.  How could he have honestly come by it?
Unknown to each other the same thought was forming in the mind of the
mother and son, and they dared not look into one another's eyes lest it
should be revealed.  Mr. Hobart had told Terry that the black bag
contained a very large amount of money in gold, and this the boy had
duly repeated at home.

At last the silence became unendurable to both.  Unable to restrain
herself any longer, Mrs. Ahearn caught Terry by the arm, and drew him
towards her.

"Holy Mary!" she murmured, as though praying for strength; and then,
after a moment's pause, added in a hoarse whisper, "Could your father
have stolen it, Terry?"

Terry started as if he had been struck, for his mother had uttered the
very question that possessed his own mind.  He did not hold towards his
father a very warm affection.  Black Mike's treatment of him from his
babyhood had been too consistently unfatherly for that.  But the
thought of being arrested and sent to the grim granite penitentiary out
by the North-West Arm filled him with horror.

"Surely not, mother," he responded with a warmth that was increased by
his desire to convince himself as well as his mother.  "It's not the
likes of father to be stealing money; somebody must have given it to

The suggestion was a very unlikely one, yet they both sought to take
comfort from it.  Gold was very plentiful in Halifax in those days, and
the successful blockade-runners lavished it with a free hand.  Some one
of them, whose wits had been stolen away by strong drink, might have
filled Black Mike's pockets in a fit of reckless generosity.

But the more Terry thought over this the more improbable did it seem,
and he felt himself, however reluctantly, thrown back upon the only
other alternative to which almost unconsciously he gave expression.

"If father did steal the money," he said, keeping his eyes fixed on the
drunken form, "where do you think he could have got it?"

He put the question because, although he had already answered it in his
own mind, he shrank from expressing his thought, at least until he saw
whether the same had come into his mother's mind.

Mrs. Ahearn was silent for some moments.  Then, bending over towards
him as if afraid the sleeper might catch her words, she replied,--

"The black bag, Terry!"

Terry gave a groan of misery.  His own harrowing suspicion had found
expression in his mother's words, and instantly he saw himself
transfixed between the horns of a terrible dilemma.

Not only so, but just as his mother had hit upon, the same solution of
the mystery of the gold, so must she realize the position in which he
was placed by it.  That she did this was made clear the next moment;
for, as he remained silent, she drew him into her arms, and folding him
to her breast, sobbed out in plaintive tones,--

"Ye won't tell Mr. Drummond, will ye, Terry darlint?  Sure it would
break me poor heart entirely if they were to send the police after your
father, and have him put in the penitentiary."

It was long past midnight before sleep came to Terry's eyes.  He tossed
and tumbled about on his hard bed in a state of the most painful
perplexity.  The idea of informing upon his father seemed nothing short
of horrible to him, and yet did not duty to his employer and to the
truth demand it?  Mr. Drummond had been so good to him.  Here, now, was
an opportunity to prove his gratitude.  By prompt action a good part of
the stolen money might perhaps be recovered before it was squandered,
therefore the sooner he informed the better.  His mother had carefully
put away the gold coins, in order that they might be restored when they
knew for certain to whom they rightfully belonged.  Should he take them
to the office in the morning, and tell the whole story?

When he got up the next morning, a little later than usual, having
overslept himself, he found his father already gone out.  Black Mike
had apparently not missed the gold, and asked no questions, although
his drunkenness had disappeared.

Nothing was said between Terry and his mother while he ate his
breakfast quickly; but just as he was hurrying off, she threw her arms
around his neck and whispered in his ear,--

"Say nothin' about the gold to-day, Terry darlint.  Maybe it wasn't
your father took the bag at all."

At the office the clerks had settled down again to their regular
routine, and the distractions of the preceding day having caused some
arrears, they had to work all the harder to make them up.  Terry was
kept on his feet continually, and was left little time for quiet
thinking.  Mr. Hobart was absent, having been sent off by the firm on
an important mission to Windsor, whence he would not return until the
following day.  Terry's heart sank when he heard this, for he craved a
talk with his friend, although his mind was not yet made up as to
whether he would tell him about his father.

Another absentee was Morley.  A note had come from him, stating that he
was ill and confined to bed, but hoped to be at his desk in a day or
two.  For some inexplicable reason, when Terry learned this the thought
flashed into his mind that Morley might know something about the black
bag.  He could give himself no reason for it, yet there it stuck, and
by its presence helped to strengthen his reluctance to make known the
facts about his father.

In the afternoon the office was once more thrown into a state of
excitement by the news that the detectives had discovered the thief,
and already had him under arrest.  Terry was out on an errand when the
word came.

On his return he entered the office just behind Mr. Boggs, the
assistant book-keeper, at sight of whom one of the other clerks, eager
to be the first to tell the news, shouted out,--

"They've caught the burglar, Boggs.  Guess who it is?"

Terry's heart stopped beating, and an icy chill ran through his body,
as, pausing by the door, he waited in harrowing apprehension for the



Mr. Hobart was not the only friend Terry had among the employés at
Drummond and Brown's.  The storeman, John Connors, had always been kind
to him in his own rough way.  He pitied the boy because of his drunken
father, and liked him because of his pluck and energy.

Having no boys of his own, he had several times, half in jest, half in
earnest, offered to adopt him; and although his proposition could not
be considered, it strengthened the warm affection that Terry felt
towards the bluff "boss" of Long Wharf.

Intense, then, as was his relief that it was not his father who had
been arrested for the stealing of the black bag, there quickly followed
feelings of keen surprise and sorrow, for the suspected criminal proved
to be no other than John Connors, in whose possession had been found a
bag presumed to be the one taken from Mr. Drummond's desk.

Terry listened for a while to the conversation of the clerks as they
exchanged wondering conjectures in reference to the matter, and all the
time the conviction grew stronger within him that, however appearances
might be against him, Connors was no more guilty than he was himself.
At length he could not keep silence, and burst out with,--

"John Connors never stole the bag.  I'm sure he didn't."

His fervent declaration of faith in the storeman's innocence roused a
laugh, and one of the clerks turned upon him with the question,--

"What do you know about it any way that you're so sure as to who didn't
do it?"

Instantly there came up in Terry's mind the scene at home, and the
mysterious gold dropping from his father's pockets.  What did he know
about it indeed?  Far more perhaps than he cared to tell just then.
Regretting that he had spoken, he made no answer; and noticing his
confusion, the clerk, attributing it to his being so sharply
challenged, added good-humouredly,--

"Never mind, Terry; we're a good deal of the same opinion.  We don't
think Connors is the man to do such a thing, and there must be a
mistake somewhere."

As soon as he got home Terry told his mother of Connors' arrest, and
Mrs. Ahearn, eager to seize upon any other explanation of the affair
than one which would involve her husband, said persuasively,--

"Now then, Terry, ye'll not be saying anything about your father till
ye find out some more, will ye, darlint?"

Poor Terry was in a sadly perplexed state of mind.  He firmly believed
in Connors' innocence; yet he was by no means sure of his father's
guilt, and, without being able to explain to himself why, he had
haunting suspicions as to Morley.  How he longed to have a talk with
Mr. Hobart!  But his friend was away, and there was no one else in whom
he had the same confidence, or to whom he could go for the counsel he
so sorely needed.

Black Mike did not show himself in Blind Alley that night, greatly to
the relief of both Terry and his mother, for they dreaded seeing him in
their then state of mind.  The two had a long talk before going to bed;
but it did not make the future much clearer, although the more he
thought over the matter, the more strongly Terry felt that he was not
doing right in withholding the information about his father.

Immediately on his arrival at the office next morning he was told not
to go out anywhere, as he would soon be particularly wanted, and
presently he learned that he was to appear in the police-court as a
witness at the preliminary examination of Connors.  His heart sank
within him at the prospect of this ordeal, and he felt as though he
would give anything to run off and hide himself until the trial was

Shortly after eleven o'clock, Mr. Hobart, who had just got back that
morning, told him to accompany him to the police-court.  In profound
perturbation Terry obeyed.  It would be his first appearance as a
witness, and he had the vaguest possible notions as to what would be
required of him.

They found the court-room already crowded, for the case attracted a
good deal of attention.  It was a bare gaunt room, whose principal
virtue lay in its being well lit.  Along the farther end ran a dais,
upon which stood three desks, with a big black sofa behind; while over
all hung a canopy bearing the royal arms of Great Britain.

As the market clock sounded out eleven strokes, a door at the side of
the dais opened, and the stipendiary magistrate, the presiding genius
of the place, appeared.  He had rather an imposing port, which was
helped by his full gray beard and large gold spectacles.  Behind came
Mr. Drummond and Mr. Brown, who at his invitation took seats upon the

Having adjusted himself comfortably at the central desk, he directed
the clerk, who sat in an enclosure behind him, to open the court.

A number of "drunk and disorderly" cases, which were represented by a
row of men and women in various stages of rags and frowziness, had
first to be disposed of, the routine being to call up the policeman who
had made the arrest, listen to his statement, and without further
inquiry impose fines of "five dollars, or twenty days," or "ten
dollars, or forty days," according to the gravity of the offence.

At length the dock was cleared of its unsavoury tenants, and the clerk
called the case of "The Queen versus John Connors."

A perceptible stir and murmur ran through the crowd when Connors came
forward.  He certainly had not the appearance of a criminal, and
despite his evident distress at his situation, there was nothing in his
bearing to indicate guilt.  He had secured the services of Mr. Morton,
the leading criminal lawyer, and was permitted to take his seat beside
him, instead of being placed in the dock.  There seemed something
reproachful in the glance he gave his employers, as though to say, "You
ought to have had more faith in me than to put me here."

The preliminary formalities being gone through with, the examination of
the witnesses was entered upon.  Mr. Drummond, Mr. Brown, the officers
of the blockade-runner, and Mr. Hobart gave their evidence one after
another, while Terry listened to every question and answer as though
his own life depended upon the result.  His mind was in a state of the
utmost distress and indecision.  His turn would come soon.  How much
should he tell?  No one could have any idea of what he knew.  Must he
betray his father, or had he the right to maintain silence?

Never in his life before had he been brought face to face with so
perplexing a moral problem, and his early training was indeed a poor
preparation for its right solution.  Indeed, had he been left to decide
it by the standards of that training, it would have been quickly done;
but during his short stay with Mr. Sargent in Boston a new view of life
had come to him, in the light of which he saw his duty as he had never
done before.

He looked longingly at Mr. Hobart, for he felt that a good talk with
him would be a wonderful help in straightening matters out; but there
was no chance of that now, and he had come no nearer a decision when he
heard his name called by the clerk.

Dazed, and trembling in every limb, he entered the witness box, and
took tight hold of the front rail, for it seemed as though his knees
would sink under him.  In consideration of his youth and manifest
perturbation, the prosecuting attorney questioned him very gently and
briefly as to what he knew, and Terry having told about seeing the bag
locked up in the desk, hoped that the ordeal was over.

But to his dismay Mr. Morton now took him in hand, adjusting his gold
spectacles so as to look straight through them into the boy's face; and
assuming a very confident air, as though he knew all about it, the
renowned cross-examiner said,--

"Come now, Master Ahearn, you're a bright-looking lad, and no doubt you
think a good deal.  Have you been thinking much about this wonderful
black bag?"

Terry started, and the colour deepened on his already flushed cheeks.
Had he been thinking about it?  What else indeed had occupied his
thoughts since first he heard of the robbery?

His keen eye observing the boy's confusion, Mr. Morton, who as a matter
of fact had intended simply to play with him for a few minutes while he
collected his own thoughts, for the case seemed going hard against his
client, began to suspect that possibly the extent of Terry's knowledge
had not yet appeared; so, changing his manner from one of good-humoured
raillery to penetrating scrutiny, he put the question straight to him,--

"See here, Master Ahearn, don't you know more about this matter than
you have yet told us?"  Then raising his voice to a tone of command, he
pointed his long finger at him like the barrel of a revolver, as he
cried, "Out with it now.  Tell the court everything you know, or--"  He
did not finish the sentence, believing it would be more effective to
leave the consequences to be imagined.

The supreme crisis in Terry's life had come, and he had only an instant
in which to make his decision.  On the one side was duty to the truth
and to the accused man; on the other, fear for his father and for
himself, for he did not know but what his concealment of his father
having the gold would bring down punishment on his own shoulders.

To get out of the difficulty he had only to disclaim any further
knowledge, and who could gainsay him?  Glancing up for a moment at the
magistrate, his eyes went past him to Mr. Drummond, who sat at his
left.  There was a look of deep concern on the merchant's face that
touched Terry to the heart, and instantly his decision was made.  In a
voice scarcely audible he murmured,--

"Yes, sir, I do know something more."

Mr. Morton's face suddenly brightened.  Here perchance was something
that might help his client.

"Ah! ha!" he exclaimed, "I thought you did.  Come, then, let us have
it.  We're all waiting upon you."

In trembling tones and with many interruptions, Terry, helped out by
the lawyer's questions, related all that transpired the night his
father brought home the gold.  His story produced a profound sensation.
Although Black Mike had been placed under surveillance, it was without
result; but now, through his son's evidence, his complicity in the
crime seemed on the verge of being established.

A distinct air of relief pervaded the court-room.  Mr. Morton, looking
quite cheerful again, held a whispered consultation with Connors.  Mr.
Drummond and his partner did the same with the magistrate, while the
other spectators buzzed to one another about the new turn the case had

Feeling as though a fearful load had been taken off him, Terry, now
seeming very pale and tired, stood in the box awaiting further
questioning.  But to his great relief this was not required of him, as,
after some discussion, Mr. Morton asked for an adjournment until the
following morning, to enable Black Mike to be brought into court.  His
request was granted, and officers were sent out to find Black Mike.

When the proceedings were resumed the next day, not only Black Mike was
present, but also Tom Morley, and there were excited whispers current
of yet more surprising developments than Terry's evidence had
foreshadowed.  Before the day closed the whole mystery was unravelled,
and a strange story it made for, as it turned out, neither John Connors
nor Black Mike, in spite of the circumstantial evidence against them,
had any part whatever in the robbery, or share in its proceeds.  The
entire guilt lay upon Tom Morley, and to the cleverest detective in the
force was due the credit of bringing it home to him.

It seemed that Morley was in the warehouse above the office when the
officers brought in the black bag, and, peeping through a pipe hole in
the floor, he had witnessed its being thrust into the desk.  Then came
to him the thought of taking it, for he was sorely in need of money to
pay gambling debts.  He remained in the warehouse until long after
dark, broke open the desk, and carried off the bag, effecting his
escape through the window.

By chance Detective Power had learned of Morley being remarkably flush
with money, and while the other officers were following up clues which
led to the storeman being arrested, he devoted himself to tracking the
real criminal, with the result of running him down, and obtaining a
full confession from him, together with the greater portion of the

As to the grounds of suspicion against John Connors and Black Mike,
they proved to be easily explained away.  The black bag found in the
former's possession turned out to be another one altogether; and with
regard to the gold the latter had brought home, it belonged to an
officer of the _Colonel Lamb_, with whom he had been carousing, and
who, fearing he might be robbed, had handed it over to Black Mike for
safe keeping.

There was great rejoicing throughout the establishment of Drummond and
Brown over the complete clearing up of the robbery, and Terry was
warmly commended for his fidelity to the truth.  Mr. Drummond was
particularly pleased with him, for when he understood the whole matter
he realized how trying had been the boy's situation.

It was not long after this that Terry was once more called in to Mr.
Drummond's office, for his employer had something important to say to

"I have been thinking about you, my boy," said he, "and have decided to
give you the opportunity of making up for lost time in the way of
education; so I am going to send you off to a first-class commercial
academy, where you can stay two or three years if you will, and then
come back here qualified to make a valuable clerk.  How would you like

Now, not so many months before, Mr. Drummond had made Terry a somewhat
similar offer, and it had met with no encouragement.  But the boy saw
things with different eyes now.  He had been made to realize his
deficiencies so keenly that the great desire of his heart was to have
the opportunity of repairing them, and he was all ready to spring at
the chance offered him.

"Faith, sir," he replied with a happy smile, "there's nothing I'd like
better, if I may say so; and if you're pleased to send me, I'll do my
very best to learn all they'll teach me."

"I fully believe you will, my boy," said Mr. Drummond, smiling back at
him; "I'll have arrangements made without delay."

For two full years Terry toiled hard at the academy, overcoming one by
one many difficulties and temptations that beset his path, and making
such rapid improvement from every point of view that, when he returned
to his desk, the keenest eye could hardly have recognized in the
good-looking youth with so easy a bearing the ragged wharf boy of a
little while before.

During his absence Black Mike died in hospital, and kind-hearted Mr.
Drummond placed Mrs. Ahearn in a comfortable cottage far away from
Blind Alley.  Here Terry joined her, and the good woman had the
happiness of living to see her son become one of the most trusted and
highly-paid employés of Drummond and Brown.

Terry never forgot his own past.  His heart was always warm in sympathy
towards the boys that played about the wharves, and he lost no
opportunity of saying a kind word or doing a kind deed on their behalf;
and they had no better friend in Halifax than Mr. Terrence Ahearn, who,
in rising from their ranks to a position of honour and emolument,
showed no foolish pride, nor sought to conceal whence he had come.


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