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´╗┐Title: Haste and Waste; Or, the Young Pilot of Lake Champlain. A Story for Young People
Author: Optic, Oliver, 1822-1897
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Haste and Waste; Or, the Young Pilot of Lake Champlain. A Story for Young People" ***

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HASTE AND WASTE

OR

THE YOUNG PILOT OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN

A STORY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

BY

OLIVER OPTIC



BIOGRAPHY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY

William Taylor Adams, American author, better known and loved by
boys and girls through his pseudonym "Oliver Optic," was born July
30, 1822, in the town of Medway, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, about
twenty-five miles from Boston. For twenty years he was a teacher in
the Public Schools of Boston, where he came in close contact with boy
life. These twenty years taught him how to reach the boy's heart and
interest as the popularity of his books attest.

His story writing began in 1850 when he was twenty-eight years old
and his first book was published in 1853. He also edited "The Oliver
Optic Magazine," "The Student and Schoolmate," "Our Little Ones."

Mr. Adams died at the age of seventy-five years, in Boston, March
27, 1897.

He was a prolific writer and his stories are most attractive and
unobjectionable. Most of his books were published in series. Probably
the most famous of these is "The Boat Club Series" which comprises
the following titles:

"The Boat Club," "All Aboard," "Now or Never," "Try Again," "Poor
and Proud," "Little by Little." All of these titles will be found in
this edition.

Other well-known series are his "Soldier Boy Series," "Sailor Boy
Series," "Woodville Stories." The "Woodville Stories" will also be
found in this edition.



CHAPTER I

THE SQUALL ON THE LAKE


"Stand by, Captain John!" shouted Lawry Wilford, a stout boy of
fourteen, as he stood at the helm of a sloop, which was going before
the wind up Lake Champlain.

"What's the matter, Lawry?" demanded the captain.

"We're going to have a squall," continued the young pilot, as he
glanced at the tall peaks of the Adirondacks.

There was a squall in those clouds, in the judgment of Lawry
Wilford; but having duly notified the captain of the impending danger
to his craft, he did not assume any further responsibility in the
management of the sloop. It was very quiet on the lake; the water was
smooth, and the tiny waves sparkled in the bright sunshine. There was
no roll of distant thunder to admonish the voyagers, and the youth at
the helm was so much accustomed to squalls and tempests, which are of
frequent occurrence on the lake, that they had no terrors to him. It
was dinner-time, and the young pilot, fearful that the unexpected
guest might reduce the rations to a low ebb for the second table, was
more concerned about this matter than about the squall.

Captain John, as he was familiarly called on board the
_Missisque,_ which was the name of the sloop, was not a man to
be cheated out of any portion of his dinner by the approach of a
squall; and though his jaws may have moved more rapidly after the
announcement of the young pilot, he did not neglect even the green-apple
pies, the first of the season, prepared with care and skill by
Mrs. Captain John, who resided on board, and did "doctor's" duty at
the galley. Captain John did not abate a single mouthful of the meal,
though he knew how rapidly the mountain showers and squalls travel
over the lake. The sloop did not usually make more than four or five
miles an hour, being deeply laden with lumber, which was piled up so
high on the deck that the mainsail had to be reefed, to make room for
it.

The passenger, Mr. Randall, was a director of a country bank,
journeying to Shoreham, about twenty miles above the point where he
had embarked in the _Missisque_. He had crossed the lake in the
ferry, intending to take the steamer at Westport for his destination.
Being a man who was always in a hurry, but never in season, he had
reached the steamboat landing just in time to see the boat moving
off. Procuring a wherry, and a boy to row it, he had boarded the
_Missisque_ as she passed up the lake; and, though the sloop was
not a passenger-boat, Captain John had consented to land him at
Shoreham.

Mr. Randall was a landsman, and had a proper respect for squalls and
tempests, even on a fresh-water lake. He heard the announcement of
Lawry Wilford with a feeling of dread and apprehension, and
straightway began to conjure up visions of a terrible shipwreck, and
of sole survivors, clinging with the madness of desperation to broken
spars, in the midst of the storm-tossed waters. But Mr. Randall was a
director of a country bank, and a certain amount of dignity was
expected and required of him. His official position before the people
of Vermont demanded that he should not give way to idle fears. If
Captain Jones, who was not a bank director, could keep cool, it was
Mr. Randall's solemn duty to remain unmoved, or at least to appear to
remain so.

The passenger finished the first course of the dinner, which Mrs.
Captain John had made a little more elaborate than usual, in honor of
the distinguished guest; but he complained of the smallness of his
appetite, and it was evident that he did not enjoy the meal after the
brief colloquy between the skipper and the pilot. He was nervous; his
dignity was a "bore" to him, and was maintained at an immense
sacrifice of personal ease; but he persevered until a piece of the
dainty green-apple pie was placed before him, when he lacerated the
tender feelings of Mrs. Captain John by abruptly leaving the table
and rushing on deck.

This hurried movement was hardly to be regarded as a sacrifice of
his dignity, for it was made with what even the skipper's lady was
compelled to allow was a reasonable excuse.

"Gracious!" exclaimed Mr. Randall, as the tempting piece of green-apple
pie, reeking with indigenous juices was placed before him.

At the same moment the bank director further indicated his
astonishment and horror by slapping both hands upon his breast in a
style worthy of Brutus when Rome was in peril.

"What's the matter, squire?" demanded Captain John, dropping his
knife and fork, and suspending the operation of his vigorous jaws
till an explanation could be obtained.

"I've left my coat on deck," replied Mr. Randall, rising from his
chair.

"It's just as safe there as 'twould be on your back, squire," added
the skipper.

"There's six thousand dollars in the pocket of that coat," said the
bank director, with a gasp of apprehension. "Where's my coat?"
demanded he.

"There it is," replied Lawry Wilford, pointing to the garment under
the rail. "We had a flaw of wind just now, and it came pretty near
being blowed overboard."

"Gracious!" exclaimed Mr. Randall, as he clutched the coat. "I'm too
careless to live! There's six thousand dollars in a pocket of that
coat."

"Six thousand dollars!" ejaculated Lawry, whose ideas of such a sum
of money were very indefinite. "I should say you ought not to let it
lie round loose in this way."

"I'm very careless; but the money is safe," continued the director.

"Stand by, Captain John!" suddenly shouted Lawry, with tremendous
energy, as he put the helm down. The squall was coming up the lake in
the track of the _Missisque_; a dull, roaring sound was heard
astern; and all the mountain peaks had disappeared, closed in by the
dense volume of black clouds. The episode of the bank director's coat
had distracted the attention of the young pilot for a moment, and he
had not observed the rapid swoop of the squall, as it bore down upon
the sloop. He leaped over the piles of lumber to the forecastle, and
had cast loose the peak-halyard, when Captain John tumbled up the
companionway in time to see that he had lingered too long over the
green-apple pie, and that one piece would have been better for his
vessel, if not for him.

"Let go the throat-halyard!" roared he. "Down with the mainsail!
down with the mainsail!"

Lawry did not need any prompting to do his duty; but before he could
let go the throat-halyard, the squall was upon the sloop. Mr. Randall
had seized hold of the rail, and was crouching beneath the bulwark,
expecting to go to the bottom of the lake, for he was too much
excited to make a comparison of the specific gravities of pine boards
and fresh water, and therefore did not realize that lumber would
float, and not sink.

The squall did its work in an instant; and before the bank director
had fairly begun to tremble, the rotten mainsail of the
_Missisque_ was blown into ribbons, and the "flapping flitters"
were streaming in the air. Piece after piece was detached from the
bolt-rope, and disappeared in the heavy atmosphere. The sloop, in
obedience to her helm, came about, and was now headed down the lake.
The rain began to fall in torrents, and Mr. Randall was as
uncomfortable as the director of a country bank could be.

"Go below, sir!" shouted Captain John to the unhappy man.

"Is it safe?" asked Mr. Randall.

"Safe enough."

"Won't she sink?"

"Sink? no; she can't sink," replied the skipper. "The wu'st on't's
over now."

The fury of the squall was spent in a moment, and then the fury of
Captain John began to gather, as he saw the remnants of the sail
flapping at the gaff and the boom. The _Missisque_ and her cargo
were safe, and not a single one of the precious lives of her crew had
been sacrificed; but the skipper was as dissatisfied as the skipper
of a lake sloop could be; more so, probably, than if the vessel had
gone to the bottom, and left him clinging for life to a lone spar on
the angry waters, for men are often more reasonable under great than
under small misfortunes.

"Why didn't you let go that throat-halyard?" said he, as he walked
forward to where the young pilot stood.

"I did," replied Lawry quietly.

"You did! What was the use of lettin' it go after the squall had
split the sail? Why didn't you do it sooner?"

"I did it as soon as I saw the squall coming down on us."

"Why didn't you see it before then?" growled Captain John.

"I told you the squall was coming half an hour ago. Why didn't you
come on deck, and attend to your vessel?"

"Don't be sassy," said Captain John.

"I'm not the skipper of this craft. If I had been, that sail would
have been safe. I told you the squall was coming, and after that I
did the best I could."

"You ain't good for nothin' 'board a vessel. I thought you knew
enough to take in sail when you saw a squall comin'."

"I should have taken in sail long ago if I had thought the captain
didn't know enough to come on deck when there was a squall coming
up," replied Lawry.

"I don't want nothin' more of you."

"And I don't want anything more of you," added Lawry smartly. "I've
got almost home."

"What do you s'pose I'm goin' to do here, eighty mile from
Whitehall, with the mainsail blowed clean out?" snarled Captain John,
as he followed Lawry.

"Mind your vessel better than you have, I hope."

"Don't be sassy, boy."

"You needn't growl at me because you neglected your duty. I did
mine. I was casting off the halyards when the squall came."

"Why didn't you do it before? That's what I want to know."

"I had no orders from the captain. Men on board a vessel don't take
in sail till they are told to do so. When I saw the squall coming,
half an hour ago, I let you know it; that was all I had to do with it."

"I don't want you in this vessel; you are too smart for me,"
continued Captain John.

"I'll leave her just as soon as we get to Port Rock," said Lawry,
sitting down on the rail.

The rain ceased in a few moments, and the skipper ordered the jib,
which had before been useless, to be set. At the invitation of Mrs.
Captain John, Lawry went below and ate his dinner, to which he felt
himself entitled, for he was working his passage up from Plattsburg.
By the time he had disposed of the last piece of green-apple pie on
board, the _Missisque_ was before Port Rock, which was the home
of the young pilot, and he saw his father's ferry-boat at the shore
as he came on deck.

"Will you put me ashore here, Captain John?" asked Lawry.

"Yes, I will; and I'm glad to get rid of you," replied the captain
testily.

"I think I will land here, also," added the bank director. "Now you
have lost your sail, I'm afraid you won't get along very fast."

"I don't expect I shall. I sha'n't get to Shoreham till to-morrow
morning with this wind. I'm sorry it happened so; but that boy didn't
mind what he was about."

"The captain didn't mind what he was about," added Lawry. "He
needn't lay it to me, when it was all his own fault."

"I will cross the lake, and get a horse at Pointville, so that I
shall be in Shoreham by five o'clock," continued the bank director.

Captain John ordered one of the men to pull Mr. Randall and Lawry
ashore in the boat, and in a few minutes they were landed at Port Rock.



CHAPTER II

THE PORT ROCK FERRY


Lawrence Wilford was a full-fledged water-fowl. From his earliest
childhood he had paddled in Lake Champlain. His father had a small
place, consisting of ten acres of land with a small cottage; but it
was still encumbered with a mortgage, as it had been for twenty
years, though the note had passed through several hands, and had been
three times renewed. John Wilford was not a very sagacious nor a very
energetic man, and had not distinguished himself in the race for
wealth or for fame. He wanted to be rich, but he was not willing to
pay the price of riches.

His place was a short distance from the village of Port Rock, and
John Wilford, at the time he had purchased the land and built his
house, had established a ferry, which had been, and was still, his
principal means of support; for there was considerable travel between
Port Rock and Pointville, on the Vermont side of the lake.

The ferryman was a poor man, and was likely to remain a poor man to
the end of his life. Hardly a day passed in which he did not sigh to
be rich, and complain of the unequal and unjust distribution of
property. He could point to a score of men who had not worked half so
hard as he had, in his own opinion, that had made fortunes, or at
least won a competence, while he was as poor as ever, and in danger
of having his place taken away from him. People said that John
Wilford was lazy; that he did not make the most of his land, and that
his ferry, with closer attention to the wants of passengers, might be
made to pay double the amount he made from it. He permitted the weeds
to grow in his garden, and compelled people to wait by the hour for a
passage across the lake.

John Wilford wondered that he could not grow rich, that he could not
pay off the mortgage on his place. He seldom sat down to dinner
without grumbling at his hard lot. His wife was a sensible woman. She
did not wonder that he did not grow rich; only that he contrived to
keep out of the poorhouse. She was the mother of eight children, and
if he had been half as smart as she was, prosperity would have smiled
upon the family. As it was, her life was filled up with struggles to
make the ends meet; but, though she had the worst of it, she did not
complain, and did all she could to comfort and encourage her
thriftless husband.

The oldest son was as near like his father as one person could be
like another. He was eighteen years old, and was an idle and
dissolute fellow. Lawrence, the second son, inherited his mother's
tack and energy. He was observing and enterprising, and had already
made a good reputation as a boatman and pilot. He had worked in
various capacities on board of steamers, canal-boats, sloops, and
schooners, and in five years had visited every part of the lake from
Whitehall to St. Johns.

Speaking technically, his bump of locality was large, and he was as
familiar with the navigation of the lake as any pilot on its waters.
Indeed, he had occasionally served as a pilot on board steamers and
other vessels, which had earned for him the name of the Young Pilot,
by which he was often called. But his business was not piloting, for
there was but little of this work to be done. Unlike his father, he
was willing to do anything which would afford him a fair
compensation, and in his five years of active life on the lake he had
been a pilot, a deck-hand, a waiter, and a kitchen assistant on board
steamers, and a sailor, helmsman, and cook on board other craft. He
picked up considerable money, for a boy, by his enterprise, which,
like a good son with a clear apprehension of domestic circumstances,
he gave to his mother. At the time of his introduction to the reader,
Lawry had just piloted a canal-boat, with movable masts, from
Whitehall to Plattsburg, and was working his passage home on the
"_Missisque_.

"Captain John feels bad about the loss of his sail," said Mr.
Randall, as the sloop's boat pulled off from the shore.

"Yes, he does; but it was his own fault," replied Lawry. "He paid
too much attention to his dinner at the time."

"That's true; he was very fond of the green-apple pies."

"Well, they were good," added the young pilot.

"I'm sorry he lost his sail."

"It wasn't worth much, though it was a bad time to lose it."

"He lost his temper, too. I wanted to land on the other side, but
the captain was so cross I didn't like to ask him when we were so
close to this shore. Your father is the ferryman, I believe."

"Yes, sir."

"Will you ask him to take me over?"

"He's going right over in the large boat, for there's a team waiting
for him," replied Lawry, pointing to a horse and wagon, the owner of
which had sounded the horn just as the passengers from the boat landed.

"Ask him to be as quick as possible, for I'm in a hurry," added the
bank director.

"Won't you come into the house, sir?"

"No, I will sit down under this tree."

Lawry went into the house, where the family were at dinner, the meal
having been delayed by the absence of the ferryman on the other side
of the lake. The youth was greeted coldly by his father, and very
warmly by his mother.

"I'm glad you've got home, Lawry, for Mr. Sherwood has been after
you three times," said Mrs. Wilford, when the young pilot had been
duly welcomed by all the family.

"What does he want?" asked Lawry.

"His little steamboat is at Port Henry, and he wants you to go up
and pilot her down."

"The _Woodville?_"

"Yes, that's her name, I believe."

"Well, I'm all ready to go."

"Sit down and eat your dinner.

"I've been to dinner."

"Mr. Sherwood wanted you to go up in the _Sherman_; but it is
too late for her, and he may go in the night boat."

"I'm ready when he is. Father, there is a gentleman outside who
wants to go over the lake; and there is a team waiting in the road,"
continued Lawry.

"They must wait till I've done my dinner," replied the ferryman.
"Who is the gentleman?"

"Mr. Randall; he is a director in a bank, and has six thousand
dollars with him."

"I suppose so; every man but me has six thousand dollars in his
pocket. Where's he going to?"

"To Shoreham, and he wants to get there by five o'clock, if he can."

"What's he traveling with so much money for?"

"I don't know. It is in his coat pocket, and it would have gone
overboard if it hadn't been for me."

The ferryman finished his dinner in moody silence. He seemed to be
thinking of the subject always uppermost in his mind, his thoughts
stimulated, no doubt, by the fact that his expected passenger carried
a large sum of money on his person.

"Mr. Randall is in a hurry, father," interposed Lawry, when the
ferryman had sat a good half-hour after his son's arrival.

"He must wait till I get ready. He's got money, and I haven't; but
I'm just as good as he is. I don't know why I'm poor when so many men
are rich. But I'm going to be rich, somehow or other," said he, with
more earnestness than he usually exhibited. "I'm too honest for my
own good. I'm going to do as other men do; and I shall wake up rich
some morning, as they do. Then I sha'n't have to go when folks blow
the horn. They'll be willing to wait for me then."

"Don't keep the gentleman waiting, father," added Mrs. Wilford.

"I'm going to be rich, somehow or other," continued the ferryman,
still pursuing the exciting line of thought he had before taken up.
"I'm going to be rich, by hook or by crook."

"This making haste to get rich ruins men sometimes, husband; and
haste makes waste then."

"If I can only get rich, I'll risk being ruined," said John Wilford,
as he rose from the table and put on his hat.

He looked more moody and discontented than usual. Instead of
hastening to do the work which was waiting for him, he stood before
the window, looking out into the garden. Mrs. Wilford told him the
gentleman would be impatient, and he finally left the house and
walked down to the ferry-boat.

"I wonder what your father is thinking about," said Mrs. Wilford, as
the door closed behind him.

"I don't know," replied Lawry; "he don't seem to be thinking that
people won't wait forever for him. I guess I'll go up to Mr.
Sherwood's, and see when he wants me."

"You must fix up a little before you go," replied the prudent
mother. "They are very grand people up at Mr. Sherwood's, and you
must look as well as you can."

"I'll put on my best clothes," added Lawry.

In half an hour he had changed his dress, and looked like another
boy. Mrs. Wilford adjusted a few stray locks of his hair, and as he
put on his new straw hat, and left the house, her eye followed him
with a feeling of motherly pride. He was a good boy, and had the
reputation of being a very smart boy, and she may be pardoned for the
parental vanity with which she regarded him. While he visits the
house of Mr. Sherwood, we will follow his father down to the ferry,
where the bank director was impatiently waiting his appearance.

After the shower the sun had come out brightly, and the wind had
abated so that there was hardly breeze enough to ruffle the waters of
the lake. It was intensely warm, and Mr. Randall had taken off his
coat again, but he was careful to keep it on his arm. At the approach
of the ferryman he went into the boat, where he was followed by the
vehicle that had been waiting so long for a passage across the lake.

John Wilford pushed off the boat with a pole, and trimmed the sail,
which was the motive power of the craft when there was any wind. The
ferry-boat was a large bateau, or flatboat, the slope at the ends
being so gradual that a wagon could pass down over it to the bottom
of the boat. This inclined plane was extended by a movable platform
about six feet wide, which swung horizontally up and down, like a
great trap-door. When the ferry-boat touched the shore, this platform
was let down upon the ground, forming a slope on which carriages were
driven into and out of the bateau.

The wind was very light, and the clumsy craft moved very slowly--so
slowly that the passage promised to be a severe trial to the patience
of Mr. Randall, who hoped to reach Shoreham by five o'clock. He was
not in a very amiable frame of mind; he was angry at the delay in
starting, and he was vexed because the wind would not blow. He walked
nervously from the forward platform to the after one, with his coat
still on his arm.

"We shall not get over to-night," said he impatiently, as he stopped
by the side of the ferryman, and threw his coat down upon the
platform, while he wiped the perspiration from his brow.

"Yes, I guess we shall," replied John Wilford.

"I'll give you a dollar if you will land me at Pointville by three
o'clock."

"I can't make the wind blow, if you would give me a hundred dollars."

"Can't you use the pole or the oars?" said the bank director
petulantly; "you kept me waiting half an hour before you started."

"I couldn't help that," replied John Wilford.

Mr. Randall walked to the forward platform, fretting with impatience
at the indifference of the ferryman. He stood for a few moments
gazing at the Vermont shore, and appeared to be engaged in estimating
the distance yet to be accomplished. The calculation was not
satisfactory, and the bank director's wrath was on the increase. With
hasty step he walked aft again.

"I think we shall have more wind in a minute," said John Wilford, as
he stepped down from the platform and adjusted the sheet.

"If we don't, I shall go crazy," replied Mr. Randall.

When he had placed one foot on the platform, by some means the drop,
true to its name, went down and splashed in the water. The bank
director stepped back in season to save himself from a cold bath or a
watery grave, as the case might be.

"My coat! save my coat!" shouted Mr. Randall, as the garment rolled
off the platform into the water.

"Why didn't you hold on to it?" said John Wilford.

"Save my coat! There is six thousand dollars in the pocket," groaned
the unhappy bank director.



CHAPTER III

SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS


Within half a mile of the ferryman's cottage, at Port Rock, was the
summer residence of Mr. Sherwood, who, two years before, had become
the husband of Bertha Grant, of Woodville. The scenery in the
vicinity was beautiful, and the mansion commanded a splendid view of
the Adirondack Mountains and of the lake.

Mr. Sherwood was an enthusiastic admirer of the scenery of Lake
Champlain. His constant visits at Woodville had given him a taste for
aquatic sports, in which he was disposed to indulge on a larger scale
than ever had been known at Woodville. He had been remarkably
fortunate in his financial operations, and was already a wealthy man.
Though he did not retire from active business, he had taken a
partner, which enabled him to spend a part of his time during the
summer at his country house on the lake.

Mr. Grant had gone to Europe a second time, to be absent during the
summer, and Miss Fanny and Fanny Jane had accepted Bertha's
invitation to spend a few weeks at Port Rock. A splendid time had
been promised them by Mrs. Sherwood, who had made extensive
preparations for their visit. The arrangements included a novelty
which offered a very brilliant prospect to the party, and excited the
imagination even of the older ones to the highest pitch.

This novelty was nothing less than a miniature steamboat, which had
already been christened the _Woodville_, in honor of the home of
the owner's lady. She was a splendid little craft, and as perfect in
her machinery and appointments as any steamer that ever floated. She
was a side-wheel boat, sixty feet in length, by twelve feet beam.
Forward there were a regular wheel-house, a small kitchen, and other
rooms usually found in a steamer. Abaft the wheels there were a
saloon and two staterooms. Of course all these apartments, as well as
the cabin below, were very contracted in their dimensions; but they
were fitted up in the most elegant style.

The _Woodville_ had cost a great deal of money; but her owner
expected to realize a full return for it in the enjoyment she would
afford him, his wife, and their friends. She had been sent up the
Hudson, and through the canal to Whitehall, and thence to Port Henry,
where she had arrived on the day before Lawry Wilford's return to
Port Rock.

On board of the little steamer there is an old friend of our
readers. He may be found in the engine-room; and as he rubs up the
polished iron of the machinery, he is thinking of Fanny Jane Grant,
with whom he escaped from the Indians in Minnesota, and whom he
expects on board with Mr. Sherwood's party. The young man, now
sixteen years of age, is the engineer of the _Woodville_. Though
he has been but two years learning the trade of machinist, he is as
thoroughly acquainted with every part of a marine-engine as though he
had spent his lifetime in studying it.

The engine of the _Woodville_ was built at the works where
Ethan French was learning his trade, and he had been employed in its
construction. As he was a frequent visitor at Woodville, he had
petitioned for the situation he now held. At first, Mr. Sherwood was
not willing to trust him; but Ethan's employers declared that he was
a man in everything but years, and was fully competent to manage the
engine, and even to build one after the designs were made. He had
come up from New York in the steamer. He had seen Mr. Sherwood at
Port Henry, on his arrival, and had been ordered to have the boat in
readiness to start on the following morning, when the family would be
passengers.

Mr. Sherwood had already selected Lawry Wilford as the pilot of the
_Woodville_. He was small in stature, and would look better in
the wheel-house than a full-grown man. He had often met the young
pilot, and had been greatly pleased with his energy and decision.
Lawry had been employed by Miss Fanny several times to row her on the
lake; and he had served her so faithfully that her influence was not
wanting in procuring for him the situation.

Lawry, not yet informed of the honorable and responsible position
which had been awarded to him, walked up to Mr. Sherwood's house. He
had heard Miss Fanny speak of the _Woodville_, while in the boat
with him, and had listened with delight to her enthusiastic
description of the beautiful craft. He was quite as anxious to see
her as any of the party who were more directly interested in her.

"Can I see Mr. Sherwood?" asked Lawry.

"He has gone away," replied the man.

"Where has he gone?"

"To Port Henry; he went in the carriage, and is coming back in the
new steamboat."

"Has he got a pilot?" continued Lawry anxiously.

"I don't know; he expected you, I believe; but when you didn't come
back, he couldn't wait any longer. I heard him say he could pilot her
himself, and I suppose he is going to do so."

"I'm sorry I didn't see him; I have but just got home," replied Lawry.

He wanted to pilot the beautiful little steamer up from Port Henry.
He wanted to see her; wanted to make her acquaintance, for she
promised to be the belle of the lake. He was sorry to lose the
chance, for it might prove to be a valuable one to him. Mr. Sherwood
was very liberal, and he hoped he would not engage another pilot. It
was no use to complain, and Lawry walked back to the ferry, where he
could see the steamer when she arrived. When he reached the landing-place,
the ferry-boat was about halfway across the lake, and his
attention was attracted by the strange movements of those on board of
her. His father was laboring at the steering-oar with a zeal which
indicated that some unusual event had occurred. The ferry-boat was
thrown up into the wind, and while Lawry was waiting to ascertain
what the matter was, his father leaped into the water.

It was now evident to Lawry that something serious had happened, and
he sprang into the small keel-boat, used for conveying foot-passengers
across the lake, which was fastened to a stake on the shore. Taking
the oars, he pulled with all his might toward the ferry-boat. He
was a stout boy, and handled his oars very skillfully; but before
 he could reach the scene of the excitement, his father had
returned to the bateau.

"There's your coat," said John Wilford.

Mr. Randall seized the garment with convulsive energy, and with
trembling hands felt for the pocketbook in which the six thousand
dollars had been kept.

"It is gone!" gasped he; and he seemed ready to sink down in the
bottom of the boat when he discovered his loss.

"Gone!" exclaimed John Wilford.

"What's the matter?" asked Lawry.

"I've lost my pocketbook with six thousand dollars in it," groaned
the bank director.

"How did you lose it?" demanded Lawry.

"That drop came down and let my coat into the lake; but I don't see
how my pocketbook could get out of the coat."

"I don't believe the money was in the pocket," added the ferryman.

"Yes, it was," persisted Mr. Randall.

"I don't see how it could fall out of the pocket," said John Wilford.

"Nor I; but the money is gone," answered the bank director, with a
vacant stare. "I'm ruined!"

"Well, I can't help it. I've done all I could for you. I tried to
save it; and if I get the rheumatism for a month or two, it will be a
bad job for me."

"Wasn't the pocketbook in the pocket when you picked up the coat?"
asked Mr. Randall, walking up to the ferryman.

"How should I know?" replied John Wilford. "I gave you the coat just
as I found it."

"I don't believe the pocketbook would sink," added the director.
"There was nothing but paper in it."

"Of course it wouldn't sink, then," interposed the owner of the
vehicle in the ferry-boat.

"I don't think it would," said Mr. Randall.

"I know it wouldn't," protested the stranger. "I dropped my
pocketbook into the lake once, and it floated ten minutes before I
could get it again."

"Then it must be floating about on the water," added Lawry. "I will
try to find it."

"I'll go with you," said Mr. Randall.

They got into the boat, and Lawry pulled about the spot where the
coat had fallen into the water for half an hour without discovering
the pocketbook.

"I suppose I must give it up," sighed the director.

"I'm sure it's not on the water," replied Lawry.

"Do you suppose it would sink?"

"I don't know; the gentleman in the ferry-boat says it wouldn't."

"Stop a minute, boy, and I will soon find out," continued the
unfortunate loser of the money.

He took all the money and papers out of his wallet, and stuffed it
with pieces of newspaper which Lawry gave him. Having thus prepared
the wallet, which he said was of the same material as the lost
pocketbook, he placed it on the surface of the water, holding his
hand underneath to save it, in case the trial should result
differently from his anticipations. It floated, and he removed his
hand from under it to exhibit his confidence in the law he had tested.

"That's plain enough," said he. "My pocketbook hasn't gone to the
bottom."

"It certainly has not," replied Lawry.

"Then where is it?--that's the next question."

"Are you sure it was in your pocket when you got into the ferry-boat?"

"Just as sure as I am that I sit here."

"You were very careless about your coat on board of the sloop."

"I know I was."

"I don't see how a man could throw down his coat with six thousand
dollars in the pocket," said Lawry.

"I know I'm careless; but I'm so used to carrying money that I don't
think much about it. I always carry it in a pocket inside of my
vest," continued the director, putting his hand in the place
indicated; "but this is a new vest, and hasn't any such pocket.
Things don't look all right to me. Is the ferryman your father?"

"Yes, sir; he is."

"Well, the money's gone," added Mr. Randall. "We will go back to the
ferry-boat."

"Did you find it?" asked John Wilford, as the bank director stepped
into the bateau.

"No; but I'm certain it has not gone to the bottom."

"Where is it, then?"

"I don't know; can you tell me?"

Mr. Randall looked at the ferryman very sharply. His manner
indicated that he had some suspicions.

"How can I tell you?" replied John Wilford.

"The money was in the coat pocket when you picked it up in the
water--I know it was."

"Do you mean to say I took it out?" demanded the ferryman angrily.

"If you didn't, I don't see what has become of it."

"Do you mean to accuse my father of stealing?" said Lawry indignantly.

"I don't accuse him of anything; but here are the facts, and you can
all see for yourselves."

"You throw your coat down anywhere. It would have gone overboard
from the sloop if I hadn't saved it; and it won't do for so careless
a man as you are to accuse anybody of stealing your money," added
Lawry angrily.

"Very likely you lost it out of the pocket before you got into the
ferry-boat."

"Never mind him, Lawry. I haven't got his pocketbook," interposed
the ferryman.

"I know you haven't, father; and it makes me mad to hear him accuse
you of stealing it."

"Mr. Randall, if you think I've got your money, I want you to
satisfy yourself on the point at once," continued John Wilford,
turning to the director.

"I hope you haven't."

"But you think I have. Search me, then."

Greatly to the indignation of Lawry, Mr. Randall did search the
ferryman; turned out his pockets, and examined every part of his wet
garments. The pocketbook was not upon his person; and the loser, in
spite of the laws of specific gravity, which he had just
demonstrated, was almost compelled to believe that his money had gone
to the bottom of the lake.



CHAPTER IV

THE STEAMER "WOODVILLE"


Mr. Randall, now that his money was lost, declared that he had no
business in Shoreham, and it was useless for him to go there. The six
thousand dollars belonged to his bank, and, having an opportunity to
put this sum in circulation, where it would be "kept out" for several
weeks, he was making this journey to accomplish the business. He
facetiously remarked that it was likely to be kept out longer than
was desirable.

Lawry was so sure Mr. Randall had dropped the pocketbook on the
shore before he got into the ferry-boat, that he insisted upon
returning to Pork Rock and having the ground searched. Though the
bank director was satisfied that the pocketbook was safe in his
possession when he entered the bateau, he was willing to return,
since the object of his journey had been defeated, and Lawry pulled
him back to the landing-place. The ground under the tree, and over
which Mr. Randall had walked while waiting for the ferryman, was
carefully examined, but the lost pocketbook could not be found.

The bank director had very little to say after he left the ferry-boat;
but he was very thoughtful, as a man who had lost six thousand
dollars might reasonably be. After the search on shore was completed,
he walked off toward the village without mentioning his intentions,
but he looked as though he purposed to do something.

"What's the matter, Lawry?" asked Mrs. Wilford, who had been
watching the movements of Mr. Randall and her son from the window, as
she came out of the house.

"The gentleman has lost his money--six thousand dollars," replied
Lawry.

"Lost it!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilford, recalling the conversation with
her husband at dinner.

"His coat fell overboard, and the pocketbook dropped out."

"Fell into the lake," added she, with a feeling of relief.

"Yes; father swam out and got the coat, but the money was gone."

Mrs. Wilford returned to the house. Perhaps she had some misgivings,
and felt more than before that those who make haste to be rich are
often ruined; but she said nothing. Lawry was perplexed at the
disappearance of the money. Mr. Randall had proved that a pocketbook
with nothing but paper in it would not sink within a reasonable time.
If the lost treasure had fallen into the water, he would certainly
have found it. If it had been dropped on shore or in the ferry-boat,
it would not have disappeared so strangely.

Lawry was so positive that the pocketbook was still in the ferry-boat,
or on the shore, that he renewed the search, and carefully scrutinized
every foot of ground between the house and the landing-place, but
with no better success than before. By this time the ferry-boat,
which had been favored by a good wind during the last half-hour,
returned.

"What do you suppose became of that pocketbook, father?" asked
Lawry, as he stepped into the boat.

"I don't know. I don't believe he lost any pocketbook," replied John
Wilford.

"He says he did, and I saw it myself."

"Perhaps you did, but I don't believe there was any six thousand
dollars in it. If there had been, he wouldn't have thrown it about as
he did."

"He says there was six thousand dollars in the pocketbook."

"I don't believe it. It's a likely story that a man would throw down
his coat, with all that money in the pocket, on the drop. In my
opinion it's some trick to cheat his creditors out of their just due."

"It don't seem possible."

"That's the truth, you may depend upon it. That's the way men make
money."

Lawry was by no means satisfied with this explanation. He went into
the boat, and carefully searched every part of it. His father watched
him with considerable interest, declaring that it was useless to look
for what had not been lost.

"You had better go up and see Mr. Sherwood now," said Mr. Wilford.

"I have been up, and he was not at home."

"You better go again, then."

"He has gone to Port Henry after the new steamer."

"Has he got a pilot?"

"Not that I know of."

"He can't get one at Port Henry," said the ferryman.

"I suppose he is going to pilot her himself."

"He will pilot her on the rocks, then. He don't know anything about
Lake Champlain. Why don't you row up the lake till you meet the boat?"

"I was thinking of doing so, but I can't keep this money out of my
mind."

"Why need you trouble yourself about that?" demanded the father
impatiently.

"It was lost in your boat, and I am very anxious that it should be
found. I'm sure Mr. Randall thinks you've got it."

"Well, he searched me, and found out that I hadn't got it--didn't
he?" added Mr. Wilford, with a sickly smile.

"I don't like to have you suspected of such a thing, and for that
reason I want to find the money."

"You can't find it, and I tell you he hasn't lost any money. He's
going to cheat the bank or his creditors out of six thousand dollars."

"I don't believe he would do such a thing as that."

"We have looked everywhere for the money, and it can't be found.
It's no use to bother any more about the matter. It's gone, and
that's the end of it--if he lost it at all. You have looked all over
the ferry-boat, and it isn't there. If it had been floating in the
lake, you couldn't help seeing it. Now, you better take your boat and
row up the lake till you meet the steamer."

"I'm going pretty soon."

"Better go now. I'm going up after a drink of water. If you don't go
pretty soon, you will be too late to do any good on board the
steamer," said Mr. Wilford, hoping, if he left the spot, his son
would depart also.

Lawry hauled in the rowboat, ready to embark; but, before he did so,
he made one more search in the bateau for the pocketbook. The timbers
of the ferry-boat were ceiled over on the bottom, leaving a space for
the leakage between the inner and the outer planking. Near the mast
there was a well, from which, with a grain-shovel, the water was
thrown out. Lawry examined this hole, feeling under the planks, and
thrusting the shovel in as far as he could. This search was
unavailing, and he gave it up in despair. As he stepped on shore, his
curiosity prompted him to look under the platform outside of the boat.

The pocketbook was there!

In a space between the planks, a foot above the surface of the
water, and the same distance from the side, the pocketbook was thrust
in. It could not be seen from the inside of the boat, nor from the
platform; and it could not have got there of itself.

Lawry's face turned red, and his heart bounded with emotion, for the
situation of the pocketbook pointed to but one conclusion. It had
been placed there by his father, who had evidently taken it from the
pocket of the coat, and concealed it, either before or after the
garment had fallen into the water. He was appalled and horrified at
the discovery. He knew that his father was discontented with his lot;
that he was indolent and thriftless; but he did not think him capable
of committing a crime.

He reached under the platform, and took the pocketbook from its
hiding-place. It was perfectly dry; it had not been in the water.
John Wilford had probably taken it from the coat pocket, and after
thrusting it into the aperture beneath the drop, had let the platform
fall into the water for the purpose of dislodging the coat, and
making it appear that the money had been lost in the lake.

The pocketbook seemed to burn in Lawry's fingers, and he returned it
to the place where he had found it; for he was confused, and did not
know what to do. He stood, with flushed face and beating heart, on
the shore, considering what course he should take. He could not think
of exposing his father's crime, on the one hand, or of permitting him
to retain the money, on the other.

After long and painful deliberation, he decided to take the
pocketbook, follow Mr. Randall, and return it to him, telling him
that he had found it under the drop of the boat. He was about to
adopt this course when his father came out of the house, and walked
down to the ferry-boat.

"Not gone yet?" said Mr. Wilford.

"No, sir; that money has troubled me so much that I could not go,"
replied Lawry.

"What's the use of bothering your head about that any longer?" added
the father petulantly.

"It troubles me terribly."

"Let it go; it can't be found, and that's the end of it."

"But it can be found."

"Why don't you find it, then?"

"I have found it, father!"

"What!"

"It's in a crack under the platform," replied Lawry.

"You don't mean so!" exclaimed the ferryman.

"It's no use to talk round the barn, father; the pocket-book is just
where you put it."

"Where I put it? What do you mean, Lawry?"

"There it is in the crack under the drop, a foot above the water. It
did not wash in there of itself. Oh, father!"

Lawry, unable longer to control his feelings, burst into tears.

"What are you crying about, Lawry? Do you think I hid the pocketbook?"

"I know you did, father," sobbed Lawry.

"Do you accuse me of stealing?" demanded Mr. Wilford, with a weak
show of indignation.

"I don't accuse you of anything, father; but there it is."

"You mean to say that I stole it?"

"Oh, father!"

"Stop your whining, Lawry! What possessed you to poke round after
what did not concern you? Now, shut up, and go off about your
business."

"You will not keep it, father?"

"I haven't got it. If you have found it, I suppose there is time
enough to think what is best to be done."

"I don't want any time to think of it," replied Lawry; and before
his father could prevent him, he took the pocketbook from its place
of concealment.

"What are you going to do with it?" demanded Mr. Wilford.

"I'm going to find Mr. Randall, and give it back to him, as quick as
I can."

"What's the use of doing that?"

"Because it's the right way to do."

"That isn't the way to get rich."

"But it's the way to keep honest."

"Give it to me, Lawry."

"What are you going to do with it, father?"

"That's my business."

"I shall give it back to the owner."

"No, you won't, Lawry. Do you want to get me into trouble--to have
me sent to jail?"

"If I give it back to Mr. Randall, there will be no trouble."

"Lawry, I've been poor and honest long enough. I'm going to do as
other men do. I'm going to get rich."

"By keeping this money?" exclaimed the son.

"You needn't talk any more about it; I put the money where you found
it."

"I know you did."

"Give it to me."

"I will not, father, if you mean to keep it."

"I do mean to keep it. Do you think I have run all this risk for
nothing? Give me the pocketbook."

"Don't think of such a thing as keeping it, father," pleaded Lawry.

"I'm going to be rich," replied the father doggedly.

"You know what mother said about making haste to be rich: 'Haste
makes waste.'"

"It will make waste if you don't give me the pocket-book."

"Mr. Randall will not be satisfied till he gets his money, and you
will certainly be found out."

"No, I shall not be found out. I'll go to New York and change off
the money this very night."

"But only think of it, father. You will be a thief. You never will
have a moment's peace as long as you live."

"I never did have, and I shall not be any worse off," said Mr.
Wilford coldly. "There comes your steamer. She hasn't got any pilot
on board; I know by the way she steers. You had better go and see to
her, for she is running right for the Goblins."

Lawry glanced at the _Woodville_, as she appeared rounding a
point, two miles distant.

"If you will go and find Mr. Randall, I will give you the
pocketbook, father," replied Lawry.

"Well, I guess you are right, Lawry, and I'll do it."

"He has gone up to the village," added Lawry, as he handed the money
to his father.



CHAPTER V

HASTE AND WASTE


Lawry, satisfied that his father had come to his senses, and would
restore the pocketbook to Mr. Randall, hastened into the boat, and
pulled toward the _Woodville_. He was afraid Mr. Sherwood had
been too venturesome in attempting to pilot the little steamer in
waters with which he was entirely unfamiliar; but he hoped for the
best, and rowed as hard as he could, in order to give him timely
warning of the perils which lay in the path of the beautiful craft.

About half a mile above the landing at Port Rock there was a
dangerous ledge, called the Goblins, some of whose sharp points were
within a foot of the surface of the water when the lake was low. They
were some distance from the usual track of steamers, and there was no
buoy, or other mark, on them. The _Woodville_ was headed toward
the rocks, as the ferryman had said, and it was impossible for Lawry
to get within hailing distance of her before she reached them. He
pulled with all his strength, and had hoped to overhaul her in season
to avert a catastrophe.

Occasionally, as he rowed, he looked behind him to observe the
course of the steamer. She was almost up to the Goblins, while he was
too far off to make himself heard in her wheel-house. He was appalled
at her danger, and the cold sweat stood on his brow, as he saw her
hastening to certain destruction. He could no longer hope to reach
her, and he ceased rowing.

Standing up in his boat, he waved his hat, and made other signs to
warn the imprudent pilot of his danger. With one of the oars he tried
to signify to him that he must keep off; but no notice was taken of
his warning. On the forward deck of the little craft stood three
ladies, who, taking the boatman's energetic gestures for friendly
salutations, were waving their handkerchiefs to him.

"Hard aport your helm!" shouted Lawry.

Mr. Sherwood sounded the whistle, evidently taking the shout as a
cheer of congratulation at his safe arrival.

"Keep off!" roared Lawry.

Again the whistle sounded, and the ladies waved their handkerchiefs
more vigorously than before. The young pilot was in despair. The
_Woodville_ was going at full speed directly upon the rocks,
whose sharp points would grind her to powder if she struck upon them.

"Hard aport!" repeated Lawry desperately.

Once more the supposed cheer was answered by the whistle and the
waving of the ladies' handkerchiefs, and still the fairy craft dashed
on toward the rocks.

"By gracious! she's on them, as sure as the world!" exclaimed Lawry
to himself, hardly able to breathe.

He had hardly uttered the words before he heard the crash which
announced the doom of the _Woodville_. Her sharp bow slid upon
the ledge, and she suddenly stopped in her mad flight.

Lawry bent on his oars again, horrified by the accident. He pulled
as he had never pulled before. A moment or two after the steamer
struck, he was startled by a succession of shrill shrieks from the
ladies, and he turned to see what had happened. The _Woodville_
had filled, rolled off the rock, and sank in deep water, leaving her
passengers floating helplessly on the lake. The upper half of her
smokestack was all that remained in sight of the beautiful craft
which three minutes before had been a thing of beauty.

The young pilot did not pause an instant to contemplate the scene of
destruction. He saw only the helpless persons struggling for life in
the water, and he renewed his labors with a vigor and skill which
soon brought him to the sufferers. Mr. Sherwood was supporting his
wife; but both of them were nearly exhausted. Lawry helped Bertha
into the boat, and told her husband to hold on at the rail.

Ethan French, with his arm around the waist of Fanny Jane, was
holding on at the smokestack, where also the fireman of the boat was
supporting himself.

"Where is Fanny?" gasped Mr. Sherwood.

"I'm afraid she has gone down," replied Ethan French. "I saw her
just there a moment since."

"I see her!" said Lawry, as he dived into the lake.

Fanny, exhausted by her struggles, had sunk, and Lawry, with a
strong arm, bore her to the surface again; but she was too large and
heavy for him, and he could not support her.

Before the arrival of the boat, Ethan was in the act of transferring
his helpless burden to the arms of the fireman, that he might go to
the assistance of Miss Fanny; and, as soon as Lawry appeared, he swam
out to help him. With the aid of the young engineer, the exhausted
lady was lifted into the boat. Fanny Jane was next taken in, but
there was no room for any more.

Though Miss Fanny was in a worse condition than the other ladies,
she still had her senses; and none of the party was in danger. Mr.
Sherwood, Ethan, and the fireman were still in the water, holding on
at the rail of the boat. Lawry took the oars and pulled toward the
ferry-landing.

"Thank God, we are all safe!" said Mr. Sherwood.

"Some of us must have been drowned if Lawry had not come to our
assistance," added Miss Fanny. "I had given up, and was sinking to
the bottom. My senses were leaving me, when I felt his grasp on my
arm."

"You have done bravely, Lawry," added Bertha.

But the party did not feel much like talking. They were all grateful
to God, who had, through the agency of the young pilot, saved them
from their perilous situation. When the boat reached the landing-place,
the ladies were conducted to the cottage of John Wilford,
where everything was done by Mrs. Wilford to promote their comfort.
Lawry hastened up to Mr. Sherwood's house to procure the carriage,
which had fortunately just returned from Port Henry, and the party
were soon conveyed to their home.

Dry clothing and a little rest soon restored Mr. Sherwood and the
ladies to their wonted spirits, and all of them wished to see their
brave deliverer. He was sent for, and presented himself to the ladies
in the drawing-room. Lawry, anxious to learn the condition of the
ladies after their cold bath, and their terrible fright, had followed
the carriage up to the house, and was telling the coachman the
particulars of the catastrophe when he was summoned to the presence
of the family.

Never was a young man more earnestly and sincerely thanked for a
brave and noble deed; and Mr. Sherwood hinted that something more
substantial than thanks would be bestowed upon him.

"Thank you, sir; I don't need anything more," replied Lawry,
blushing. "What will be done with the steamer, now?" he asked.

"I have got enough of her," said Mr. Sherwood. "She has given me a
shock I shall never forget."

"I don't think it was the fault of the boat, sir," suggested Lawry.
"I did all I could to have you keep off the rocks."

"We all thought you were crazy, you shook so in your boat."

"I was trying to warn you of your danger."

"Was that what you meant? We thought you were cheering the
_Woodville_."

"I saw you were going on the rocks, and I shouted and made signs for
you to keep off."

"You certainly did all you could for us, both before and after the
accident," added Mr. Sherwood. "When did you get home, Lawry?"

"To-day noon, just after you went to the house for me. I came right
up to see you; but I found you had gone."

"Yes; I was so impatient to get that little steamer up here, that I
couldn't wait any longer."

"And what a waste your haste has made!" laughed Mrs. Sherwood.
"There is our fine little steamer at the bottom of the lake."

"She may lie there, for all me," added Mr. Sherwood.

"I should not dare to put my foot on board of her again," said Miss
Fanny.

"Nor I," chimed in Fanny Jane.

"She isn't to blame, Mr. Sherwood," interposed Ethan French. "She
worked as though she had been alive."

"No steamer could stand such a thump on the Goblins," added Lawry.

"I don't blame the boat, of course," replied Mr. Sherwood; "but this
adventure has cured me of my love for steamboating. I don't want to
see another one."

"Shall you let the _Woodville_ lie there?" asked Lawry.

"She's a wreck now, stove in and ruined."

"But she can be raised and repaired, and be as good as ever, or
nearly so," continued Lawry.

"She is good for nothing to me now. I will give her to any one who
wants her."

"There are plenty who will want her," said Lawry.

"It will cost them a fortune to raise and repair her--almost as much
as she is worth, if she is to be used as a plaything. But I have come
to the conclusion that she is a dangerous machine for me, and I don't
want anything more to do with her. I came very near drowning my wife
and my friends with her; and this fills me with disgust for the boat
and for myself."

"Just now you spoke of a reward for what I had the good luck to do
for you, Mr. Sherwood," continued Lawry.

"I did; and you may be assured I shall never forget your noble
conduct," replied Mr. Sherwood warmly.

"If you are going to give the _Woodville_ away, sir--"

"Well, what?" asked Mr. Sherwood, as the young pilot paused.

"I don't know as I ought to say what I was going to say."

"Say it, Lawry, say it," added Mr. Sherwood kindly.

"You said you would give the steamer to any one who wanted her,"
continued Lawry, hesitating.

"And you want her?" laughed the wealthy gentleman.

"Yes, sir; that is what I was going to say."

"Then she is yours, Lawry; but I might as well give you the fee
simple of a farm in Ethiopia. I don't feel as though I had given you
anything, my boy."

"Indeed you have, sir! I feel as though you had made my fortune for
me; and I am very much obliged to you, sir."

"I don't believe you have anything to thank me for, Lawry. As I
understand it, the _Woodville_ lies on the bottom of the lake,
with her bow stove in, and her hull as useless as though the parts
had never been put together. The engine and the iron and brass work
are worth a good deal of money, I know; but it will cost all they
will bring to raise them."

"I don't think the steamer is ruined, sir. I hope you are not giving
her away believing that she is not worth anything," said Lawry.

"I don't think she is worth much."

"I think she stove a great hole in her bow, and that is all that
ails her. If we can get her on the ways, she can be made as good as
ever she was in a week."

"Whatever her condition, Lawry, she is yours. I will give you a bill
of sale of her at once."

Mr. Sherwood executed the paper in due form, affixed the stamp, and
gave the document to the young pilot.

"I can hardly help weeping when I think of the beautiful little
steamer," said Mrs. Sherwood. "She was a perfect little fairy. How
elated we were as we moved up the lake in her! What fine times we
were promising ourselves on board of her! Now the dear little craft
lies on the bottom of the lake, broken and spoiled!"

"I shouldn't dare to put my foot in her again," added Miss Fanny. "I
shudder when I think of her."

"I shudder when I think of you, Fanny. You were sinking when Lawry
dived down after you," said Mr. Sherwood.

"We ought all to be grateful to God for His mercy in saving us,"
added Fanny Jane.

"I trust we are grateful to Him; and I am sure we shall never forget
what Lawry has done to-day," responded the gentleman.

"Never!" exclaimed Fanny warmly.

"It was all my fault," continued Mr. Sherwood. "I am ashamed of
myself, and disgusted with the boat."

"The boat is not to blame, sir," said Ethan French. "She behaved
like a lady."

"I know she is not to blame. It was my silly impatience. I was in
such a hurry to try the steamer that I could not wait for a pilot.
Bertha, do you know what your father used to say to me when I was in
a hurry?"

"I don't know; but I have heard him say that you were too impatient
for your own good."

"'Haste and Waste' was his maxim, when I was not disposed to wait
the natural development of events. By neglecting this precept, I have
nearly sacrificed the lives of my best friends. Lawry, if you are
going to be a steamboat man, let me give you this maxim for your
government--'Haste and Waste.'"



CHAPTER VI

THE SHERIFF'S VISIT


Lawry put the bill of sale of the _Woodville_ in his pocket,
and felt like a steamboat proprietor; for the fact that his steamer
lay at the bottom of the lake did not seem to lessen her value. She
was in a safe place, and there was no danger of her "blowing up" or
drifting away from him. The haste of Mr. Sherwood had been "a
windfall" to him, though Lawry would not willingly have purchased the
steamer at the peril of so many precious lives. He was ready to
accept the moral and prudential deductions from the catastrophe, and
really believed that the rich man's maxim was a safe and valuable one.

In his own limited experience, Lawry could recall many instances
where haste had made waste; but the foolish conduct of Mr. Sherwood
in attempting to navigate the _Woodville_ in water with which he
was totally unacquainted was the most impressive example of the worth
of the proverb, and he felt that the steamer, in his own possession,
would always mean "haste and waste" to him.

"I have often heard my father speak of the folly of unconsidered
action and blind haste," said Bertha. "He lost a valued friend in the
steamship _Arctic_, which was sunk, and hundreds of lives
sacrificed, by running at full speed in a dense fog. In her case,
haste was not only a terrible waste of property, but of life."

"That will be worth remembering, Lawry, when you are in command of a
steamer," added Mr. Sherwood.

"I don't think I ever shall be in such a position," replied Lawry
modestly.

"I am afraid you never will be on board of the _Woodville_."

"I'm pretty sure she can be raised, though I may not have the means
to do it myself," continued Lawry.

"You shall have all the means you want, my boy," replied Mr.
Sherwood. "We owe you a debt of gratitude which we shall never be
able to pay, and if you want anything, don't fail to call upon me."

"If you need any help, Lawry, I'm with you," said Ethan French.

"Thank you; I dare say I shall want all the help I can get,"
answered Lawry, as he took his leave of the family.

"I'm the owner of a steamboat!" thought he. "I'm a lucky fellow, and
I shall make my fortune in the _Woodville_. I can take out
parties, or I can run her on a day route from Burlington up the lake;
and there is towing enough to keep me busy all summer."

Excited by the brightest visions of the future, he came in sight of
his father's cottage. It looked poorer and meaner than it had ever
looked before; and perhaps he thought it was hardly a fit abode for a
steamboat proprietor. When he saw the tall mast of the ferry-boat,
with the sail flapping idly in the wind, he was reminded of the
events which had occurred on board of her that afternoon. It was
mortifying to think that his father had even been tempted to steal;
but he was rejoiced to know that he had been induced to return the
six thousand dollars to the owner.

Lawry had not seen his father since he left the landing-place to
board the _Woodville_. He was not at the house when the party
landed, after the catastrophe, and Lawry was glad he was not there,
for his absence assured the anxious son that he had gone in search of
Mr. Randall. Amid the exciting events which had followed the painful
discovery that his father intended to steal the six thousand dollars,
the young pilot had not thought of the matter, for his mind was
entirely relieved by Mr. Wilford's promise to give up the money.

Lawry went into the house; his father had not yet returned, and his
mother asked him a hundred questions about the steamboat disaster, as
she set the table for supper. When the meal was ready, Mrs. Wilford
went to the door and blew a tin horn, which was intended to summon
the ferryman to his tea.

"I think father has not got back yet," said Lawry.

"Where has he gone?"

"Up to the village, I believe," replied Lawry, who had determined
not to tell his mother of the great temptation to which his father
had almost yielded.

"What has he gone up there for?" inquired Mrs. Wilford, who perhaps
saw in the anxious looks of her son that something had been concealed
from her.

"He had a little business up there," answered the young pilot. "I
think we had better not wait for him, for he may not be back for some
time. I haven't shown you this paper, mother," he continued, wishing
to draw off her attention from his father, as he handed her the bill
of sale of the _Woodville_, and seated himself at the table.

"What is it, Lawry?"

"It is a bill of sale of the little steamer."

"A what?" demanded Mrs. Wilford, as she paused with the teapot
suspended over a cup.

"A bill of sale of the new steamer."

"What, the one that was sunk?"

"Yes; Mr. Sherwood has given her to me, just as she lies."

"Humph! He might as well have given you a five-acre lot at the
bottom of the lake. What in the world can you do with a steamboat
smashed to pieces and sunk?"

"I can raise her."

"You may as well think of raising the Goblins on which she sank."

"She can be raised, mother."

"Perhaps she can, but you can't raise her."

"I shall try, at any rate," replied Lawry confidently.

The conversation was interrupted by the arrival of the ferryman. The
son cast an anxious glance at his father, as the latter took his
accustomed place at the table. A forced smile played about the lips
of Mr. Wilford; but Lawry interpreted it as an effort to overcome the
sense of humiliation his father must feel at having his dishonest
intentions discovered by his son.

"Well, Lawry, I found him," said Mr. Wilford.

"Did you? I'm very glad you did," replied the son.

"Who?" asked Mrs. Wilford.

"The bank man--the one that lost the money," replied the ferryman.

"What did you want of him?"

"We found his money after he had gone."

"Did you? I'm so glad! And neither of you said a word to me about it."

"I gave it back to him, and it's all right now."

Unhappily, it was not all right; and the ferryman had scarcely
uttered the words before a knock was heard at the door. Without
awaiting the movements of Mrs. Wilford, who rose from the table to
open the door, the visitors entered. Mr. Wilford turned deadly pale,
for the first person that passed the threshold was the sheriff, whose
face was familiar to the ferryman. He was followed by Mr. Randall and
a constable.

Lawry's heart sank within him when he saw who the visitors were. He
feared that his father, in spite of his statement to the contrary,
had been led to appropriate the six thousand dollars. It was a moment
of agony to him, and he would have given his right, title, and
interest in the sunken steamer for the assurance that his parent was
an honest man.

"I come on rather unpleasant business, Mr. Wilford," the sheriff
began; "but I suppose I may as well speak out first as last."

"Goodness! what can you want here!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilford.

"Don't be alarmed, Mrs. Wilford," said the sheriff. "It may be all
right, for what I know. Mr. Randall, here, has lost a large sum of
money, and he thinks he has been robbed. I'm sure I hope it's all
right."

"Why, husband!" ejaculated Mrs. Wilford; "didn't you just say--"

"I didn't say anything," interposed the ferryman.

Lawry was quite as pale as his father. He would rather have been
accused of the crime himself than had it charged upon his father; he
would rather have gone to prison himself than had him dragged away on
such an infamous accusation. The sheriff's encouraging words that it
might be all right, had no force or comfort for him. Lawry knew that
his father was guilty, and he was in despair.

Mrs. Wilford had only heard that the money was lost, at first; and
then, from her husband, that it had been found and restored to the
owner. It was plain that he had told her a falsehood; that if he had
found the money, it was still in his possession. The case was too
plain to need much reflection. Mr. Randall and the sheriff knew less
than the ferryman, less than his wife and his son; but in the good
woman's estimation, it was far worse to be guilty than it was to be
detected.

It would be difficult to fathom the motives which induced John
Wilford to tell his wife and son that the money had been restored to
the owner. Perhaps he had some plan by which he hoped to escape
detection and punishment for his crime; or it may be that he told the
falsehood to satisfy Lawry for the present moment. His calculations,
whatever they may have been, were exceedingly stupid and ill
digested. There was an utter want of skill and judgment in his
operations. He was not a strong-minded man, and his guilt seemed to
have paralyzed his weak faculties. His failure to be rich in the path
of dishonesty was even more signal than his honest but weak efforts
in a legitimate business.

"What did he just say?" asked the sheriff, whose attention was
attracted by Mrs. Wilford's words, but more by the sharp manner of
her husband as he interrupted her.

"What is your business with me?" demanded the ferryman of the
sheriff, earnestly.

"What did he say?" repeated the sheriff.

"If my husband has been doing anything wrong, I'm sorry for it,"
replied Mrs. Wilford.

"Mr. Randall thinks he has taken his money," added the sheriff. "If
you can tell me what your husband just said, it might throw some
light on the matter."

"Oh, husband!" cried the poor wife, throwing herself into a chair
and weeping bitterly.

"Mr. Randall knows I haven't taken his money," protested the
ferryman stoutly.

"Don't cry, marm," said the sheriff, moved by the distress of the
afflicted wife. "Nothing has been proved yet, and for all I know,
your husband may be as honest as any man in Essex County."

"I've always been an honest man, and I always expect to be," added
the culprit. "I haven't got the money. If any of you think I have,
why don't you do something about it--not try to frighten my wife?"

Mr. Wilford was searched by the sheriff and constable, but the money
was not upon his person. The house was then carefully examined, but
with no different result.

"Do you know anything about this business, Lawry?" said the sheriff,
when the search was completed.

"I don't think he had anything to do with it," interposed Mr.
Randall. "The boy helped me look for the pocketbook, and behaved very
handsomely; but I didn't like the looks of his father."

"What did your father say just before we came?" asked the sheriff.

Lawry was stupefied with grief and shame. He knew not what to say,
and he dropped his head upon the table, and sobbed like a little child.

"Things look bad, Mr. Wilford. Your wife and Lawry know more than
they are willing to tell," continued the officer.

"You have scared them half out of their wits," replied the ferryman,
trying to smile.

"It isn't likely we can find out anything here," said the constable.
"If he has got the money, he has hid it round the house somewhere."

Adopting this suggestion, the officers, followed by Mr. Randall,
left the cottage to examine the vicinity. The constable was a shrewd
man, and for a country locality, quite distinguished as a thief-taker.
The shower early in the afternoon had left the ground in
condition to receive the tracks of every individual who had been near
the ferry.

The sharp officer examined all the marks in the earth, and finally
followed the footsteps of John Wilford, through a corn-field, above
the cottage.

Mrs. Wilford and Lawry wept as though their hearts would break,
while the ferryman, trembling with apprehension, paced the kitchen.

"What are you crying for?" said he impatiently.

"Oh, John!" sobbed his wife.

"Nothing has been proved."

"Yes, there has. You told me you had given the money to Mr. Randall."

"You told me you would restore it to the owner, when I gave you the
pocketbook," added Lawry.

"Lawry, if you say a word about it, you shall go to jail with me,"
said Mr. Wilford angrily.



CHAPTER VII

"THE FERRYMAN'S CRIME"


Mr. Wilford, in spite of his faults and peculiarities, was a kind
father, and never before had been heard to utter such terrible words
as those which had just passed his lips. It was a consolation to
Lawry and his mother to believe that the words were only a threat
which was never intended to be executed, and only made to awe the
youth into silence. It was needless; for, right or wrong, the son
would have died rather than betray his father.

John Wilford's operations in hiding the money were as transparent as
his efforts to quiet the suspicions of his family. The constable
followed his tracks in the soft ground of the corn-field till he came
to a stump in one corner of the lot. It was decayed and hollow, and
in one of the cavities the pocketbook was discovered. Mr. Randall
laughed for joy when it was handed up to him. Its contents were
undisturbed, and not a dollar of the money was missing. The party
walked back to the house, having been absent less than half an hour.
The ferryman was just coming out as they entered the gate.

"I hope you are satisfied," said he, confident that the officers
would never think of crossing the corn-field in search of the lost
treasure.

"I'm satisfied, Mr. Wilford," said the sheriff.

"Don't you think it is a mean thing to come here and accuse me of
robbing one of my passengers?" continued the ferryman.

"I don't think so."

"In my opinion, Mr. Randall hasn't lost any money. I don't believe a
man would throw his coat down anywhere if there was six thousand
dollars in the pocket."

"But the money was lost, whether you believe it or not," interposed
the bank director, irritated by this charge.

"I've heard of such a thing as men losing money to cheat their
creditors, or something of that sort," added the ferryman.

"Don't talk so, husband," said Mrs. Wilford, who, with Lawry, had
come out of the house when they heard the voice of the sheriff,
anxious to learn the result of the search.

"Don't you think that's mean, to accuse a man of cheating his
creditors, after you have stolen his money?" retorted Mr. Randall.

"What right have you to say I stole your money?" demanded Mr.
Wilford, with a show of intense indignation.

"Because you did."

"Can you prove it?"

"I think I can."

"No, you can't. I don't believe you lost any money. It's only a
trick to cheat the bank or your creditors."

"We shall see."

"Don't talk so, husband," repeated Mrs. Wilford.

"Keep still, wife. When a man hasn't done anything, it's hard to be
charged with stealing six thousand dollars. They can't prove anything."

"Yes, we can, Mr. Wilford," interposed the sheriff. "It becomes my
duty to arrest you, though I would rather have done it when your
family were not present."

"Arrest me! What for?" exclaimed John Wilford. "You can't prove
anything."

"Yes, we can," replied the sheriff.

"What can you prove?"

"I think it would be better for you not to talk so much," added the
sheriff, in a low tone. "Come with me, and I will do my duty as
quietly as possible."

"Come with you! What for?" said Mr. Wilford, in a loud tone. "I
didn't steal the money."

"It's a plain case. It's no use for you to deny it any longer."

"But I didn't."

"We have found the money, just where you put it."

"Found--what!" stammered the guilty man.

"Oh, husband!" groaned Mrs. Wilford.

"Oh, father!" sobbed Lawry.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Wilford," said the kind-hearted officer; "but it's
all as plain as daylight. He took the money and hid it in a stump in
the corn-field, where we found it."

"What shall we do?" cried Mrs. Wilford.

"It's a bad business, marm, but I can't help it. I must do my duty."

Mr. Wilford leaned on the garden-fence, with his gaze fixed upon the
ground. He could not look the loved ones in the face, after the crime
he had committed. The smaller children, who had been at play around
the house, were now gathered about the group, unable fully to
comprehend the terrible misfortune which had befallen them; though,
as they gazed on Lawry and their mother, they could not help
realizing that something very sad had happened.

"I'm ready to go with you," said John Wilford to the sheriff, for
the scene was too affecting and humiliating.

"Oh, husband, why did you do it?" exclaimed Mrs. Wilford, as she
grasped one of his arms, clinging to him like a true woman, in spite
of his shame and infamy.

"I don't know why I did it. I was crazy. I wanted to be rich,"
replied the unhappy man.

"I wish you had given back the money, as you said you did."

"I wish I had now."

"Can nothing be done?" continued Mrs. Wilford, appealing to the
sheriff. "Must he go with you?"

"He must; my duty is as plain as it can be."

The poor woman suggested various expedients to avoid the fearful
consequences; she appealed to the bank director, and begged him not
to prosecute her husband. Mr. Randall, though he had been greatly
irritated by the cruel insinuations of the culprit, was not a
malignant man; and he was disposed to grant the petition of the
disconsolate wife. He had recovered his money, and had no malice
against the ferryman. But the sheriff declared that no such
arrangement could be tolerated. The matter had been placed in his
hands, and, as a sworn officer of the law, he should be obliged to
arrest the offender.

In vain Mrs. Wilford pleaded for her husband; in vain Lawry pleaded
for his father; the sheriff, kind and considerate as he had shown
himself to be, was inexorable in the discharge of his duty. There was
no alternative; and John Wilford must go to jail. The poor wife, when
she found that her tears and her pleadings were unavailing, submitted
to the stern necessity. She insisted that her husband should be
allowed to change his dress, which the sheriff readily granted; and
in a short time the culprit appeared in his best clothes. It was a
sad parting between him and his family, and even the ferryman wept as
he passed out from beneath his humble roof, not again to come beneath
its friendly shelter for many, many weary months.

Mrs. Wilford and Lawry were stunned by the heavy blow. The light of
earthly joys seemed suddenly to have gone out, and left them in the
gloom and woe of disgrace. There was nothing to be said at such a
time, and they sobbed in silence, until the sound of the ferry-horn
roused Lawry from his lethargy of grief. Some one wished to cross the
lake, and had given the usual signal with the tin horn, placed on a
post for the purpose, at the side of the road.

"There is no ferryman here now," said Mrs. Wilford gloomily.

"I will go, mother," replied Lawry.

"It may be many a day before your father comes back," added Mrs.
Wilford, as she wiped away her tears. "It is a great deal worse than
a funeral."

"We can't help it, mother, and I suppose we must make the best of it."

"I suppose we must; but I don't know what we are going to do."

"We shall do well enough, mother. I will attend to the ferry; but
poor father--"

Lawry, finding he could not speak without a fresh flow of tears,
hastened out of the house. There were two wagons waiting for him; and
when they were embarked in the boat, he pushed off, and trimmed the
sail for the gentle breeze that was blowing up the lake. The
passengers asked for his father; but Lawry could only tell them that
he had gone away: the truth was too painful for him to reveal. He
returned to his desolate home when he had ferried the wagons over the
lake. There was nothing but misery in that humble abode, and but
little sleep for those who were old enough to comprehend the sadness
and shame of their situation.

Before morning the news of John Wilford's crime had been circulated
through the village of Port Rock and its vicinity. Some knew that the
ferryman was lazy and thriftless, and wondered he had not robbed
somebody before. Others had always regarded him as a person of no
sagacity or forethought, but did not think he would steal. Many
pitied his family, and some said that Lawry was "as smart as two of
his father," and that his mother and the children would be well
provided for.

The intelligence went to the mansion of Mr. Sherwood, and there it
touched the hearts of true friends. Though none of them knew much
about the ferryman and his family, yet for Lawry's sake they were
deeply interested in them.

After breakfast Mr. Sherwood went down to the ferry-house; and the
young pilot, with many tears and sobs, told him the whole of the sad
story of his father's crime. The rich man was full of sympathy, but
nothing could be done. He volunteered to be the culprit's bail, and
to provide him with the best counsel in the State. But John Wilford
was guilty, and nothing could wipe out this terrible truth.

Mr. Sherwood did all he had promised to do; but the ferryman, after
he had been examined and fully committed for trial, declined to
furnish bail, declaring that he did not wish to be seen at Port Rock
again. At the next session of the court, two months after his
committal, he pleaded guilty of the robbery and was sentenced to
three years' imprisonment in the penitentiary at Sing Sing.

After the sentence the prisoner was permitted to see his family for
the last time for many months. It was a sad and touching interview;
but from it Lawry and his mother derived much consolation. John
Wilford was penitent; he was truly sorry for what he had done, and
declared that, when he had served out his time, he would be a better
man than he had ever been before. It was comforting to the mother and
son to know that the wanderer was not hardened and debased by his
crime and the exposure; and they returned to their home submissive to
their lot, sad and dreary as it was.

From the day his father had been arrested, Lawry felt that the care
of the family devolved upon him. His older brother was away from
home, and was indolent and dissipated. The ferry and the little farm
must be cared for, as from them came the entire support of his mother
and his brothers and sisters. Though he was oppressed by the burden
of sorrow which his father's crime cast upon him, he did not yield to
despair.

Half a mile below the ferry-landing he could see the smokestack of
the _Woodville_ projecting above the water. She was his property;
and if she had seemed to be a prize to him before the calamity had
fallen upon his father's household, she was doubly so now. As he
crossed the ferry, he gazed up at the Goblins, with less of exultation,
but more of hope, than before. In his opinion, as he expressed it to his
mother, there was "money in her." Mrs. Wilford was in great tribulation
lest the man who now held the mortgage upon the little farm should
insist upon being paid, as there was now no hope that, the debtor, in
prison, would be able to do anything. Lawry told her that the steamboat
would enable them to pay all claims upon his father.

Mrs. Wilford had but little confidence in her son's schemes, but she
did not discourage them; and Lawry racked his brain for expedients to
accomplish the task he had imposed upon himself. He had no money, and
he was too proud to ask Mr. Sherwood for the assistance which that
gentleman would so gladly have rendered. Ethan French came down to
see him every day, and the prairie boy was so kind and considerate
that they soon became fast friends.

"When are you going to work on the steamer, Lawry?" asked Ethan. "I
suppose you don't feel much like meddling with her yet."

"I don't; but she ought to be raised as soon as possible," replied
Lawry. "I am going to work upon her right off. I went down to see how
she lies this morning, and I have got my plans all laid."

"Have you?"

"I have."

"Do you think you can get her up?"

"I know I can."

"Well, how are you going to do it?" inquired Ethan.

"Do you know Mr. Nelson, over at Pointville? I suppose you don't.
Well, he is a great oil man; he has got some oil-wells down on the
St. Johns River. He is getting together all the barrels and hogsheads
he can find, to send down to his works. He has as many as a hundred
at his place in Pointville. I'm going to borrow a lot of these casks,
if I can, and raise the _Woodville_ with them."

"How are you going to manage with them?" asked Ethan, deeply
interested in the plan.

"Sink them round the boat, and fasten them to her hull, till there
is enough to float her."

"But how are you going to sink them?"

"There's some one to go over the ferry," replied Lawry, as a blast
of the tin horn was heard. "If you will go over with me, I will tell
you all about it, and we will call and see Mr. Nelson while we are at
Pointville."

Ethan embarked with his friend, and when the boat started the
subject was resumed.



CHAPTER VIII

RAISING THE "WOODVILLE"


Ethan French, during the two years he had been a resident of the
State of New York, had been an earnest and diligent student. His mind
was even more improved than his manners. His taste for mechanics had
prompted him to study the various subjects included in this science,
and as he stood by his companion, the pilot, he talked quite
learnedly about the specific gravity of wood and iron, about
displacement, buoyancy, and similar topics.

"The hull of the steamer--that is, the woodwork--will not float
itself, but it will sustain considerable additional weight," said he.

"Yes, I understand all that," replied Lawry. "If there had been no
iron in the _Woodville_ she would not have gone down."

"The iron in her engines is seven or eight times as heavy as the
same bulk of water. Its weight carried the hull down with it."

"Then we must put down empty casks enough to float the engine,"
added Lawry.

"No; the woodwork of the hull will hold up a portion of the weight
of the engine, and we must furnish buoyancy enough to sustain the
rest of it."

"It will not take a great many casks, then--will it?"

"Not a great many; but the difficulty is to get them down to the
bottom, and fasten them to the hull."

"I can do that," replied Lawry confidently.

Ethan approved the method, and promised to ascertain what weight
each of the casks would sustain in the water, when he had obtained
their dimensions. The ferry-boat reached the other side of the lake,
and the young men went to see Mr. Nelson, the owner of the casks. He
did not wish to use the hogsheads till October, and was willing they
should be employed for the purpose indicated, if Lawry would give him
security for their safe return.

"Mr. Sherwood will do that for you, Lawry," said Ethan.

"That's a good name," added the oil speculator. "If he will
guarantee the safe return of the casks, that is all I ask. I wonder
if Mr. Sherwood don't want some shares in the Meteor Oil Company."

"I don't know; I'll ask him," replied Ethan.

"If you will, I won't charge you anything for the use of the casks,"
added Mr. Nelson.

Mr. Sherwood was consulted in the evening. He was very willing to
furnish the required security for the use of the oil-casks, but he
did not seem to have the same confidence in the "Meteor" which Mr.
Nelson exhibited, though he promised to consider the matter.

It required three days to complete the preparations for raising the
_Woodville_. All the ropes and rigging in the neighborhood,
including many hay-ropes and clothes-lines, had been collected; the
oil-casks had been conveyed over the lake in the ferry-boat, and
secured within a "boom" composed of four long timbers, lashed
together at the ends, forming a square, which was moored close to the
Goblins; and a raft had been built, upon which the operations were to
be conducted.

Mr. Sherwood had offered to furnish as many men as could be employed
to assist in the work; but the young engineers had so arranged their
plans that no help was needed. At sunrise in the morning the boys ran
down to the Goblins in the ferry-boat, which was necessary for the
transportation of sundry heavy articles. The raft was already there,
moored in the proper place for commencing the labors of the day. The
engineers were deeply interested in the operations before them, for
there was a difficult problem to be solved, which required all their
skill and ingenuity; and Lawry felt that his future prosperity and
happiness depended upon the success of the undertaking.

Their plans and their machinery were yet to be tried, and there was
a degree of excitement attending the execution of the project which
was as agreeable as it was stimulating to their enthusiastic natures.
People had laughed at the idea of two boys raising a steamer burdened
with heavy machinery, and both of them felt that their reputations
were at stake.

"Now, Lawry, we shall soon find out what we can do," said Ethan, as
they made fast the ferry-boat to the raft.

"I know what we can do," replied the young pilot confidently. "If
the casks will float her, she shall come to the top of the water
before to-morrow night. Now, Ethan, the first thing is to get a rope
under her."

"That's easy enough."

"It's all easy enough, if you only believe in yourself."

A rope of six fathoms in length was selected from the mass of
rigging on the raft, and a stone just heavy enough to sink the line
attached to the middle of it. Lawry took it in the wherry, sculled to
the stern of the sunken steamer, and dropped it into the water. He
then carried one end to Ethan, on the raft, while he returned with
the other in his boat, which he moored to the opposite side of the
_Woodville_. The middle of the rope was kept on the bottom of
the lake by the stone, while the two ends were carried forward by the
boys until the bight was drawn under the keel of the steamer, as far
as her position on the rocks would permit it to go. Lawry's end was
made fast around the smokestack, and Ethan's to the raft.

One of the hogsheads was next floated out of the boom enclosure, and
hauled upon the raft, Lawry adjusted the hogshead slings to the cask.
In the middle of the raft an aperture had been left, large enough for
a hogshead to pass through, over which a small derrick had been
built. A stone post, about the length of the casks, and just heavy
enough to sink one of them, had been brought down on the bateau. This
"sinker," as the young engineers called it, had been weighed, and it
exactly conformed to the requirement of Ethan's figures; it was just
sufficient to overcome the flotage power of the cask.

"Now, keep cool, Ethan, and we shall find out whether your figures
are correct, or not," said Lawry.

"Figures won't lie," replied Ethan; "I know they are correct, and
that hogshead will go to the bottom as quick as though it were made
of lead."

"We shall soon see," added Lawry, as he placed a couple of skids
across the "well." "Now we must place the sinker on those skids."

By the aid of the derrick, which was provided with a rude windlass,
constructed by Ethan, the stone post was hoisted up, and then dropped
down on the skids. The sinker had been rigged with slings, and the
hogshead was attached to it by a contrivance of Lawry, upon which the
success of the operation wholly depended, and which it will be very
difficult to describe with words. The sinker would carry the cask to
the bottom of the lake, where its buoyancy was to assist in bringing
the steamer to the surface of the water; but it was necessary, after
the cask had been sunk and fastened to the hull, to detach it from
the sinker; and this had been a problem of no little difficulty to
Lawry, who managed the nautical part of the enterprise.

Fastened to the slings on the sinker was a rope ten fathoms in
length. A loop was formed in this line, close to the sinker, and the
bight passed through the slings on the hogshead. The loop was then
laid over the two ropes, one of which was fast to the sinker, and the
other was the unattached end of the line, and "toggled" on with a
marline-spike. If the young reader does not quite understand the
process, let him take a string, with one end fastened to a flatiron;
double it, and pass the loop--which sailors call a _bight_--upward
between the thumb and forefinger; bring the loop down to meet
the two parts of the string on the palm of the hand; then take the
two lines into the loop, and put a pencil under the two parts drawn
through the loop. The flatiron will correspond to the stone sinker,
and the thumb to the slings on the hogshead. Lift up the flatiron, so
that the weight will bear on the thumb; then pull out the pencil, and
the iron will drop.

The marlinespike was thoroughly greased, and a small line attached
to the head of it, so that it could be easily drawn out of the loop,
when the cask had been secured to the hull of the steamer.

"There, we are all right now," said Lawry, after he had tried the
marlinespike several times to satisfy himself that it could be easily
drawn from its place. "Now we will make fast the rope which runs
under the keel to the hogshead."

"Here it is," added Ethan.

"We want to have the cask under the guard of the steamer when we get
it down."

"That will be easy enough."

"Perhaps it will; but I'm afraid the rope will bind on the keel."

"If it does, we must take the raft round to the other side of the
_Woodville_, and pass it round the windlass; we can haul it up
in that way."

"That will take too much time. I think you and I both will be strong
enough to haul the cask into place."

"Now, give us a turn at the windlass, Ethan," said Lawry, when he
was ready.

"Aye, aye," replied Ethan, as he turned the crank, and raised the
sinker and the cask, so that the skids which supported them could be
removed.

"Lower away!" added Lawry, highly excited; and the sinker began to
descend into the water, carrying with it the hogshead. "That works
first-rate. Now hold on till I get hold of the other end of the
guide-rope."

Lawry jumped into the wherry, and sculled round to the other side of
the sunken steamer, where he detached the end of the line passing
under the keel from the smoke-stack, where it had been secured. He
hauled on the rope till he got it clear of the stone with which it
had been sunk.

"Lower away!" shouted Lawry.

"Lower, it is," answered Ethan.

"Slowly," added the pilot, as he hauled in the rope.

"It is going to the right place. I can see it in the water."

"Hold on!" cried Lawry; and the wherry was so unsteady beneath him
that it was with great difficulty he "kept what he had got" on the
rope.

In order to overcome this disadvantage he passed the rope around the
smokestack.

"I have it now!" shouted he. "This gives me a splendid purchase;"
and he hauled in the rope, bringing the hogshead chock up to the hull
of the sunken craft.

"We are growing wiser every moment," laughed Ethan.

"So we are. Lower away, slowly. That's it," said Lawry. "Lower away."

"The sinker is on the bottom," replied Ethan.

"All right; can you see the hogshead?"

"Yes; you have hauled it completely under the guard. The water is as
clear as crystal," answered Ethan.

"Hold on a moment till I make fast this line!"

Thus far the experiment had been entirely successful, and Lawry's
bosom bounded with emotion. The plan for raising the _Woodville_
was his own, though he had been greatly assisted by Ethan, who had
designed and constructed the derrick and windlass, thus diminishing
the labor of the enterprise. The young pilot felt like a conqueror
when he had placed the first cask in position.

Sculling the wherry back to the raft, he pulled the string attached
to the toggle, and drew it out of the noose.

"Hoist away," said he.

"Hoist, it is," replied Ethan, as he took hold with him.

"All right!" shouted the young nautical engineer. "I feel like
giving three cheers," he added.

"So do I; and we'll do it, when we get the sinker on the raft."

The stone post came up "in good order and condition," and the skids
were placed under it, to keep it in position for the sinking of the
second hogshead. The three cheers were given with a will, and they
came from the hearts of the boys. They had labored patiently for
three days in gathering the material and constructing the machinery
for the raising of the steamer, and their first success was a real joy.

"Breakfast-time," said Lawry, as the horn sounded from the ferry-house.

"I don't want any breakfast," answered Ethan. "I don't feel as
though we could spare the time for eating."

"Haste and waste," added Lawry, laughing. "We have got a great deal
of hard work to do, and we must keep our strength. For my part, I'm
hungry."

"I'm not; and I'm so interested in this job that I don't like to
leave. We ought to have brought our breakfast down with us."

"I don't think we shall make anything by driving the work too hard.
We must keep cool, and do it well. Besides, I'm liable to be called
off a dozen times a day."

"What for?"

"To take people over the ferry."

"Oh, bother!" exclaimed Ethan impatiently. "Have we got to leave the
work to paddle everybody that comes along over the lake?"

"We have," said Lawry. "I must look out for the family now."

There was a good wind, and the boys returned to the ferry-house in
the bateau. Before they had finished their breakfast, the ferry-horn
sounded, and Lawry was obliged to take a team over to Pointville
before the work could be resumed. Ethan was rather impatient under
this delay; but he was too kind-hearted to make any unpleasant remark
which would remind his friend of his father's crime.



CHAPTER IX

BEN WILFORD'S PLAN


While Lawry was ferrying the team over the lake, Ethan occupied
himself in making a long-handled boat-hook, which might be useful in
the operation of raising the steamer. While he was thus engaged, a
young man, about eighteen years of age, coarsely dressed, and with a
very red face, came down the road and stopped at the place where he
was at work.

"What you making?" asked the young man.

"A boat-hook," replied Ethan.

"Do you belong here?" continued the stranger nodding his head toward
the ferry-house.

"No; I'm only helping Lawry Wilford for a few days."

"The old man's got into hot water, they say."

"Yes."

"Well, he was always preaching to me about doing the right thing;
and now he's fallen off the horse-block himself," added the young
man, with a slight chuckle.

"It's bad for Mr. Wilford and his family."

"That's so. Where's Lawry now?"

"He has gone over with the ferry-boat."

"I reckon Lawry has to run the machine now."

"He has to run the ferry-boat."

"Well, he knows how. Lawry's smart--he is. I suppose you don't know
me."

"I do not."

"I'm Lawry's brother; and that makes it that Lawry is my brother."

"Then you are Benjamin Wilford?"

"That's my name; but Ben Wilford sounds a good deal more natural to
me. I heard the old man had got into trouble, and I came up to see
about it, though I'm out of a job just now, and couldn't do anything
better. I hear that Lawry owns a steamboat, and I didn't know but
he'd want some help. Where is she?"

"She's on the bottom, out there by the Goblins," answered Ethan,
pointing to the raft. "We are at work raising her."

"Can you get her up, do you think?"

"Yes; I have no doubt we shall have her at the top of the water by
to-morrow night."

"I've come just in time, then," added the young man. "I think I know
something about a steamboat."

Ethan did not like the looks of Lawry's brother. His bloated face
was against him, and the young engineer, without knowing anything
more about him than his swaggering manner and red face revealed,
wished he had stayed away a few days longer.

"I'll go in and see the old woman, and get some breakfast; then I'll
go up with you and see what you are doing," said Ben Wilford.

"We are going up as soon as Lawry comes back," answered Ethan,
pointing to the ferry-boat.

The dissolute young man, who had just been discharged from his
situation as a deck-hand on one of the steamers, for intemperance and
neglect of duty, sauntered into the house; and the fresh breeze soon
brought the impatient Lawry to the shore.

"Lawry, we have got some help," said Ethan.

"Who?"

"Your brother has just come."

"Ben?" asked the young lad, a troubled expression gathering on his
face.

"Yes; he has gone into the house to get his breakfast."

"I'll go in and see him," added Lawry, who did not seem to be at all
pleased with the news of his brother's arrival.

It is a sad thing for a brother to behave so badly that he cannot be
welcome at his own home.

Mrs. Wilford shook hands with Benjamin as he entered. She was glad
to see him, and her mother's heart went out toward him; but she was
filled with doubts and fears. The young man only laughed while his
mother wept at the story of the father's crime. He sat down to his
breakfast, and declared that he had come home to take care of the
family.

"I hope you are able to take care of yourself, Benjamin," replied
his mother, as she glanced at his bloated face.

"I always did that, mother. The old man and I couldn't agree very
well, but I reckon you and I can get along together. Lawry, how are
you?" continued the returned wanderer, as his brother entered the room.

"Very well; how are you, Ben?" answered Lawry, as he shook hands
with his brother.

"First-rate. How about the steamboat, Lawry?"

"She's all right; or, she will be, when we get her up."

"Do you think you can raise her?"

"I know we can."

"Well, I heard all about her up in the village, and I have come home
to help you. I know all about steamboats, you know."

"What did you leave your place for?"

"The captain and I couldn't agree. I'm going to run an opposition
line."

"Are you?"

"I am; bet your life I am."

"Where will you get your boats?"

"Don't want but one; and they say your boat is the finest little
craft that ever floated on the lake."

"She is, without a doubt."

"Well, we can take some money out of the captain's pocket, at any
rate. We'll make a fortune out of your boat, Lawry, if we get her up."

"I shall get her up by tomorrow night."

"I'll help you, Lawry."

"We don't need any help at present. I must go now, for Ethan is
waiting for me."

"Who's Ethan?"

"Ethan French; he is the engineer of the steamer," answered the
young pilot, moving toward the door.

"Hold on a minute, Lawry, and I'll be ready to go with you. I can
show you how to do the business."

"I know now."

"You're smart, Lawry; but you're not so old as I am."

"I'm old enough to do this job."

"You haven't seen so much of steamboats as I have."

"Now, Benjamin, you mustn't interfere with Lawry's work," interposed
Mrs. Wilford. "He knows what he is about."

"I'm not going to interfere with him; I'm only going to help him."

"If you really want to help me, I'll tell you what you can do," said
Lawry.

"What's that?"

"You can run the ferry."

"Run the ferry!" exclaimed Ben. "Why, I know more about steamboats
than you and your engineer put together. Do you suppose I'm going to
run a ferry-boat when there's a job of this sort on hand?"

"You can help more in this way than in any other," persisted Lawry.

"Run a ferry-boat!" sneered Ben; "that isn't my style."

"We don't need any help on the steamer."

"Yes, you do. At any rate, I'll go down and see what you are about."

"What's that rock for?" he demanded, pointing to the sinker which
lay on the skids.

"To sink the casks with," replied Ethan; and he explained the
process by which the hogsheads were attached to the hull of the
_Woodville_.

"Well, Lawry, if you had been studying seven years to get up the
stupidest thing that could be thought of, you could not have got up a
more ridiculous idea than this," said Ben, laughing contemptuously.

"How would you raise her?" asked Lawry quietly.

"Well, I wouldn't do it in this way, I can tell you. If you want me
to take this job in hand for you, I'll do it. You might as well try
to raise the Goblins as the steamer in this way."

"It is very easy to condemn the method," added Ethan indignantly;
"but it isn't so easy to find a better one."

"You say you don't want any help from me," said Ben.

"If you can tell me any better way, I should like to hear it,"
replied Lawry.

"If you want me to raise your steamer, say the word."

"Let me know how you intend to do it, first," persisted Lawry. "It's
easier to talk than it is to do."

"You're smart, Lawry; but you can't raise that steamer with those
casks in seven years."

"I'll have her on the top of the water by to-morrow night," said the
young pilot.

"No, you won't."

"You see! But we must go to work, Ethan."

"That's just my idea," said the engineer.

"Then you don't want me to do the job?" added Ben.

"No, I think not," replied Lawry, rather coldly.

"I think my way is the best."

"Perhaps it is; but I don't know what your way is."

"I'll tell you, Lawry, for I don't like to have you waste your time
and strength doing nothing; besides, we want the steamer as soon as
we can get her, or the season will be over."

"What do you mean by we, Ben?" asked Lawry quietly.

"Why, you and me, of course. I know something about steamers, and
perhaps I should be willing to go captain of your boat, if you ever
get her into working order."

"Perhaps you would," answered Lawry.

"Of course you mean to use the boat for the benefit of the family,
now the old man is jugged and can't do anything more for them."

"To be sure I do."

"I'm willing to do my part. You can be the pilot, and the other
fellow can be the engineer."

"And we can both of us have the privilege of obeying your orders,"
laughed Lawry.

"Well, I shouldn't be likely to interfere with you; your place would
be in the wheel-house."

"And yours in the cabin, Captain Wilford. I can't stop to talk about
this now. There comes Ethan with the cask."

"You might as well stop this foolish work first as last," sneered
the would-be captain of the _Woodville_. "I was going to tell
you how to raise her."

"Go on; we'll hear you, and work at the same time," said Ethan.

"I should get two of those canal-boats, having about eight feet
depth of hold," continued Ben.

"Where would you get them?" demanded Lawry.

"Get them? Hire them, of course. You can get plenty of them at Port
Henry."

"Have you any money in your pocket?"

"They wouldn't cost more than a hundred dollars."

"I haven't got even fifty dollars," said Lawry.

"They would trust you on the security of your steamer."

"I don't want to be trusted for any such purpose. What would you do
with your canal-boats when you had got them?" asked Lawry.

"I would moor one on each side of the steamer, put a couple of
timbers across them, pass a chain under the bow and stern of the
sunken hull, and make fast to the timbers. Then I would let the water
into the canal-boats, and sink them down to the rails. When I got
them down as deep as I could, I would tighten the chains, till they
bore taut on the timbers. Do you understand it, Lawry?"

"Certainly; I know all about the plan," replied the young pilot,
with a smile.

"I don't believe you do," said Ben incredulously. "What would you do
next?"

"Pump the water out of the two canal-boats, which would take about
two days' time."

"You could rig extra pumps."

"Three of us, with three pumps, couldn't pump them out in two days."

"Well, the job is done when you have pumped them out."

"When you get the water out of the boats, you will have raised the
steamer but three or four feet at most."

"Six feet, at least, for the canal-boats will come up where they
were before."

"No; they won't; the weight of the steamer will press them down two
or three feet."

An excited discussion followed upon this question; but Lawry and
Ethan carried their point. It was plain that the buoyant powers of
the two boats, as the water was pumped but of them, would raise the
steamer three or four feet, leaving her suspended half-way between
the surface and the bottom of the lake. Lawry wanted the aspirant for
the captaincy of the _Woodville_ to tell him what he would do
next, for she could not be repaired while she was under water; but
Ben was "nonplussed" and unable to answer.

"I can finish that job for you," said Lawry.

"She could be moored on the ways, and then hauled up."

"Perhaps she might, but I should rather put her on the ways from the
top of the water. When I got her three feet from the bottom, I should
move her toward the shore till she grounded."

"What then?" asked Ben.

"I should sink the canal-boats again, pump them out once more, and
thus raise her three feet more; but it would take about three days
every time we lifted her three feet. Ben, I think we could get her to
the top of the water in about a fortnight by your plan. By mine, I
shall have her up by to-morrow night."

"I'll bet you won't; or in a month, either. You know too much,
Lawry," said Ben.

"I don't bet; but you shall see her at the ferry-landing by seven
to-morrow evening if you are there."

The older brother, finding himself only a cipher on the raft, had
consented to run the ferry in the afternoon, when the horn sounded;
and the pilot and engineer were thus enabled to continue their labor
without interruption.



CHAPTER X

HARD AT WORK


When Lawry and Ethan returned to the Goblins in the afternoon, they
were delighted to find that the casks, all of which had been placed
under the guards abaft the wheel, had actually produced an effect
upon the steamer. The smokestack stood up more perpendicularly,
indicating that the stern had been lifted from the bottom. Ethan was
sure that the casks would bring the _Woodville_ to the surface;
but a very serious difficulty now presented itself.

About two-thirds of the length of the steamer's keel rested on a
flat rock, whose surface was inclined downward toward the body of the
lake, leaving the third next to the stern unsupported, under which
the ropes had been easily drawn to retain the casks in their places.
Of course it was impossible to draw any lines under the forward part
of the keel, which rested on the flat rock, and it was necessary to
devise some means for securing the casks to this portion of the hull.

"I have it," said Lawry.

"What is it?"

"We must sink more casks under the stern."

"But that will bring one end up, and leave the other on the rock."

"That isn't what I mean. If we put, say, two more hogsheads under
the stern, they will raise it so we can get the ropes under the
forward part of the hull."

"I understand; you are right, Lawry," replied Ethan.

When they returned to the ferry-house, they found Mr. Sherwood and
the ladies there, who had come down to ascertain what progress had
been made in the work. Ben Wilford had freely expressed his opinion
that the enterprise would end in failure.

"Those boys know too much; that's all the trouble," said Ben.

"I was in hopes they would succeed in their undertaking," added Mr.
Sherwood.

"So was I, sir; but there's no chance of their doing anything. I
know something about steamboats, for I've been at work on them for
three years."

"And you are quite sure they will fail?" asked Mr. Sherwood.

"Just as sure as I am of anything in this world. I told them what
the trouble would be; but they know so much they won't hear me. I
told them how it ought to be done."

"Here they come; they can speak for themselves," said Mr. Sherwood.
"How do you get along, Lawry?"

"First-rate, sir."

"Indeed! Your brother thinks you are going to make a failure of the
job."

"Perhaps we are, sir; but we don't believe it yet--do we, Ethan?"

"We don't."

"Lawry, wouldn't you be willing to sell out your interest in the
_Woodville_ at a small figure?" laughed Mr. Sherwood.

"No, sir!"

"Your brother, who seems to be a person of some experience in such
matters, thinks you will not be able to raise the steamer. If that is
likely to be the case, I don't want you to waste your time and
strength for nothing. I should be glad to employ some men to raise
the _Woodville_ for you."

"Thank you, sir. You are very kind," replied Lawry.

"If you like, we will ride down to Port Henry to-night, and employ a
man to do the job."

"I think we shall succeed, sir."

"What's the use of talking, Lawry?" interposed Ben. "You'll not get
her up in seven years."

"Don't you think you had better give it up, Lawry?" asked Mr.
Sherwood.

"Not yet, sir."

"What do you think, Lawry? Hadn't you better let me employ a man to
do the work?"

"Ethan and I can do it very well, sir."

"Perhaps you can; but we wish to have the steamer in working order
as soon as possible, and we may hasten the joy by employing men of
experience to do it."

"Haste and waste," said Lawry, laughing. "Mr. Sherwood, I am
satisfied we can raise the _Woodville_. We don't want any help.
If we don't get her up by to-morrow night, I will let some one else
take hold; but it will cost a heap of money."

"It shall not cost you anything, Lawry. I haven't half paid the debt
of gratitude I owe you."

"Oh, never mind that, sir! I only want one more day."

"You are very confident, my boy, and I hope you will succeed," added
Mr. Sherwood, as he turned to depart.

"Take him up, Lawry," said Ben. "Let him raise her. He will do it at
his own expense, and perhaps he will give me the job."

"Not to-night."

"You are a fool, Lawry!" exclaimed Ben.

"Perhaps I am. Time will tell."

"He offered to pay for raising her, and you wouldn't let him do it!"

"He has made me a present of the steamer as she lies; and I don't
ask anything more of him."

"Take all you can get, Lawry. That's the only way to get along in
this world."

Ethan slept with his fellow workman at the cottage that night, and
at daylight in the morning they were on their way to the Goblins. At
breakfast-time two casks had been sunk under the bow of the steamer,
for they had become so familiar with the work that it was carried on
with greater rapidity than at the first.

At breakfast they were laughed at again by Ben Wilford; but they
chose to keep still, made no replies, and gave no information in
regard to the progress of the work. At the earnest request of Lawry,
seconded by Mrs. Wilford, Ben consented to run the ferry that day,
and the young engineers took their dinners with them when they went
down to the Goblins. They were full of hope, and confidently expected
to return to the landing at night with the _Woodville_.

At eleven o'clock four more hogsheads had been placed under the
guards. The steamer swayed a little in the water; the stern had risen
about two feet; and it was evident that she was on the point of
floating. The boys were intensely excited at the bright prospect
before them.

"Lawry, the work is nearly done," said Ethan.

"That's so; I think a couple of those barrels will finish it,"
answered the young pilot. "I see two anchors at her bow."

"Yes, there are two anchors and about forty fathoms of small
chain-cable on board of her."

"I see them; and I think we had better fish them up."

"That's a good idea."

With the long boat-hook which Ethan had made, the cables were hauled
up and coiled away on the raft, which had been placed over the bow of
the sunken vessel. When the chains, which were bent onto the anchors,
were hauled taut, the sinker rope, still in the block, and wound on
the windlass of the derrick, was made fast to one of them, and the
anchor drawn up. The operation was then repeated on the other anchor.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" shouted Lawry, as they began to turn the windlass.
"She's coming up."

"Hurrah!" repeated Ethan, and the faces of both boys glowed with
excited joy, as the sunken vessel followed the anchor up to the
surface of the water.

It was necessary to move the raft, and the anchor was hauled out
over the top of the bulwarks. The _Woodville_ rose till her
plank-sheer was even with the surface of the water. The boys shouted
for joy; they were almost beside themselves with the excitement of
that happy moment. They had conquered; success had crowned their
labors.

"The job is done!" cried Lawry.

"That's so! Where is your brother now?" exclaimed Ethan.

"We have got her up sooner than I expected. I move you we have our
dinner now."

"I don't feel much like dinner."

"I do."

"What is to be done next?"

"We must get her up a little farther out of the water. We can easily
get some more casks under her now; but let us have some dinner first."

They sat down on a timber on the raft, and ate the dinner they had
brought with them. They could not keep their eyes off the steamer
during the meal, and they continued to discuss the means of
completing the work they had begun.

After dinner the labor was renewed with redoubled energy. Four more
casks were attached to the bow, and four removed from the stern; the
effect of which was to lift the bow out of the water, while the deck
at the after part was again submerged. This was Lawry's plan for
ascertaining the extent of the injury which the hull had received. It
now appeared that, when the _Woodville_ struck the Goblins, she
had slid upon a flat rock, while a sharp projection from the reef had
stove a hole, not quite three feet in diameter, just above her keel.

"Now we must stop this hole," said Lawry; "and we may as well do it
here as anywhere."

"That's just my idea," responded Ethan. "There's a painted floor-cloth
in the kitchen, which will just cover it. I will get it."

"Have you any small nails on board?"

"Plenty of them."

The kitchen and the engineer's storeroom were now out of water, so
that Ethan had no difficulty in procuring the articles needed in
stopping up the hole. A couple of slats were placed over the aperture
to prevent the floor-cloth from being forced in by the pressure of
the water. Both of the boys then went to work nailing on the carpet,
which was new and very heavy. The nails were put very close together,
and most of them being carpet-tacks, with broad heads, they pressed
the oilcloth closely down to the wood-work. It was not expected
entirely to exclude the water; but the leakage could be easily
controlled by the pumps.

Several of the casks were now removed from the bow to the stern,
until the hull sat even on the water. All the heavy articles on deck,
including the contents of the "chain-box," were transferred to the
raft, and the laborers were ready to commence the long and trying
operation of pumping her out. It was now six o'clock, and it was
plain that this job could not be finished that night. The wind was
beginning to freshen, and there were indications of bad Weather.
Lawry had at first intended to move the _Woodville_ up to the
ferry-landing as soon as she floated; but Ethan, for certain reasons,
which were satisfactory to his fellow laborer, wished to pump her out
where she was; and it was found to be a very difficult thing to tow
her up to the ferry in her water-logged condition.

It was not safe to leave her, with the prospect of a heavy blow, so
near the Goblins, and they carried out the anchors in the wherry, and
with the assistance of the capstan on the forward deck heaved her out
into a secure position. The _Woodville_ was safe for the night,
and the supper-horn was sounding at the ferry-house. Nearly exhausted
by their severe exertions, the boys returned to the cottage.

"I'm so glad that you have done it!" exclaimed Mrs. Wilford, when
they went in to supper.

She had been a deeply interested observer of the operations of the
young engineers, and her heart had bounded with emotions of joy, in
unison with theirs, when she saw the steamer rise to the surface of
the lake.

"I knew we should do it, mother," replied Lawry. "Where is Ben?"

"I don't know where he is. He went away just after dinner, and I
haven't seen him since," added the mother.

"But I saw the ferry-boat go over in the middle of the afternoon."

"I know you did."

"But who went over with her?"

"I did," answered Mrs. Wilford quietly.

"You, mother?"

"Yes, Lawry; there was no one else to go, unless I called you, and I
couldn't bear to take you away from your work. I've been over in the
ferry times enough to know how to manage the boat."

"Ben said he would take care of the ferry."

"He doesn't always do as he promises," said Mrs. Wilford sadly.

Lawry thought it was very kind of his mother to run the ferry-boat,
rather than disturb him at his work; but he did not like to have her
do such labor. When he went out after supper, he found the wind was
still quite fresh, and he was afraid that some accident might happen
to the steamer in the night. If the casks got loose, she would sink
again. While he and Ethan were talking about it, Ben Wilford returned
home; and it was evident from his looks and actions that he had been
drinking too much.



CHAPTER XI

ME. SHERWOOD AND PARTY


"Well, Lawry, I don't see the steamer at the ferry-landing," said
Ben Wilford. "You know, you promised to have her up here to-night;
but I knew you wouldn't."

"We thought we wouldn't bring her up to-night," replied Lawry coldly.

"I knew you wouldn't, my boy. You didn't keep your promise."

"And you didn't keep yours."

"I didn't make any. If I'd promised to fetch that steamer up, she'd
been here."

"You promised to run the ferry, and you left it."

"No, I didn't, Lawry. Don't you talk so to me. You know too much,"
added Ben angrily. "You never will raise that steamer in two thousand
years."

"There she is," replied Lawry quietly, as he pointed in the
direction of the Goblins.

Ben looked at her; he did not seem to be pleased to find her on the
top of the water. His oft-repeated prophesy had been a failure, and
Lawry was full as smart as people said he was.

"Humph!" said he. "She isn't much of a steamboat if those barrels
brought her up."

"There she is; and I have done all I promised to do."

"What are you going to do next, Lawry?"

"I'm going to pump her out next."

"You'd better do it pretty quick, or she'll go to the bottom again,"
added Ben, as he walked into the house.

"There comes Mr. Sherwood, with the ladies," said Lawry, as he
glanced up the road.

"I congratulate you, boys," said Mr. Sherwood, as he grasped Lawry's
hand. "We gave three cheers for you on the hill, when we saw that you
had raised the _Woodville_."

"Thank you, sir. We worked pretty hard, but we were successful."

"You have done bravely," said Mrs. Sherwood. "We thought, from what
your brother said last night, that you would fail."

"Ethan and I didn't think so."

"I suppose you wouldn't sell very cheap to-night, Lawry," added Mr.
Sherwood.

"No, sir; the _Woodville_ is a gift, and I should not be
willing to sell her at any price."

"Well, Lawry, I am as glad as you are at your success. Do you want
any help yet?"

"No, sir; we are just going on board of her to stay overnight, for
we are afraid the heavy wind will do mischief."

"I wouldn't do that. You must rest to-night."

"I'm afraid something will happen if we don't look out for her."

"Are you going to pump her out to-night?"

"We may begin pretty early in the morning," said Lawry, with a smile.

"Haste and waste, my boy. If you stay on board of her to-night, and
get sick, you will not make anything by your labor."

"If the wind goes down, we shall sleep ashore as usual. I don't
think it blows quite so hard as it did."

"I don't," added Ethan.

"Boys, you mustn't overdo this thing," added Mr. Sherwood seriously.

His wife whispered to him just then.

"Yes, Bertha," he continued. "I'll tell you what I'm going to do,
Lawry. I have four men at work for me. I can spare them one day, and
they shall pump out the _Woodville_ for you."

"You needn't object," interposed Mrs. Sherwood.

"Indeed you must not, Lawry," added Miss Fanny. "I am afraid you
will both be sick if you work so hard."

"We can easily pump her out ourselves," said Ethan.

"You needn't say a word, Ethan," added Fanny Jane.

"I suppose we shall have to submit," replied Lawry, laughing. "We
can't oppose the ladies."

"Just as you say, Lawry," said Ethan.

"You shall have the men to-morrow, boys. Now you must go to bed, and
not think of the steamer till morning," continued Mr. Sherwood.

As the wind seemed to be subsiding, the boys went into the house;
and though it was not quite dark, they "turned in," tired enough to
sleep without rocking. Ben was at his supper, in no pleasant frame of
mind. He was dissatisfied with himself, and with his brother, who had
succeeded in his undertaking contrary to his prophecy. He was envious
and jealous of Lawry. Now that his father was away, he thought he
ought to be the chief person about the house, being the oldest boy.

"I'm not going to stay at home, and be a nobody," said he angrily.

"We don't wish you to be a nobody," replied his mother.

"Yes, you do; Lawry is everybody, and I'm nobody."

"You've been drinking, Benjamin."

"What if I have! I'm not going to stay here, and play second fiddle
to a little boy."

"What are you talking about, Benjamin? Lawry has not interfered with
you. He will treat you kindly and respectfully, as he treats
everybody."

"He don't mind any more what I say than he does the grunting of the
pigs."

"What do you want him to do?"

"I want him to pay some attention to what I say," snarled Ben. "I
suppose he thinks that steamboat belongs to him."

"Certainly he does," replied Mrs. Wilford.

"I don't."

"Don't you? Whom does it belong to, then?"

"I'm not a fool, mother; I know a thing or two as well as some
others. Lawry is not of age."

"Neither are you."

"I know that, but I'm older than he is."

"You are old enough to behave better."

"How do you expect me to be anybody here, when I have to knock under
to my younger brother? I say the steamer don't belong to Lawry any
more than she does to me. I have just as much right in her as he has."

"What do you mean by talking so, Benjamin? You know that Mr.
Sherwood gave the steamer to Lawry, and the bill of sale is in
Lawry's name."

"I don't care for that! she's just as much mine as she is his, and
he'll find that out when she gets to running. Lawry's a minor, and
can't hold any property; you know that just as well as I do."

"What if he is? I think he will be permitted to hold the steamboat,
and run her."

"I don't think so. I was talking with Taylor, who holds the mortgage
on this place, and he don't think so," added Ben, in a tone of triumph.

"What did he say?"

"Well, he means to attach the steamboat on the note he holds against
father."

"He will not do that!" replied Mrs. Wilford.

"He says so, anyhow."

"He will foreclose the mortgage on the place if he wants to get his
money."

"The place will not sell for enough to pay his note, and he knows
it. No matter about him--the steamboat belongs to father, just as
much as the ferry-boat does; and I think I ought to have something to
say about her."

"If you want to do anything for the family, why can't you run the
ferry-boat, Benjamin?"

"And let Lawry run the steamboat? Not if I know myself!" replied
Ben, with savage emphasis. "He may run the ferry-boat, and I'll run
the steamer."

"That would be neither fair nor right. The steamer belongs to Lawry,
and I will never consent that he shall be turned out of her."

"I don't want to turn him out of her. I'll take charge of her, and
he may go pilot; that's all he's good for."

"You mean that you'll be captain?"

"That's what I mean."

"I don't think Lawry will want any one to be captain over him.

"If I don't run that steamer, nobody shall!" said Ben angrily, as he
rose and left the house.

"Good evening, Mrs. Wilford," said Mr. Sherwood. "Has Lawry gone to
bed?"

"Yes, an hour ago."

"Is he asleep?"

"I suppose he is."

"All right, then."

"What in the world are you going to do with such a crowd of men, Mr.
Sherwood?"

"I'm going to help the boys finish their job. Ethan told me they had
stopped the leak, and it only remained to pump out the steamer. I am
going to do this job; and I have men enough to finish it in a couple
of hours."

"I should think you had," added Mrs. Wilford.

"I have gathered together all the men I could find. Don't say a word
to the boys, if you please. I intend to surprise them. They will find
the steamer free of water in the morning."

"You are very kind, Mr. Sherwood, to take so much trouble."

"The boys have worked so well that they deserve encouragement. May I
take the ferry-boat to convey my men up to the steamer?"

"Certainly, sir."

Mr. Sherwood encouraged the men to work well by the promise of extra
pay; and the laborers seemed to regard the occasion as a grand
frolic. They exerted themselves to the utmost, and the buckets flew
along the lines, while the pumps rolled out the water in a continuous
flow. As the steamer, relieved of the weight that pressed her down,
rose on the surface of the lake, it was only necessary to lift the
water from below and pour it upon the deck, from which it would run
off itself.

The job did not last long before such a strong force; and in two
hours the work of the bailers was done. Ethan had fully described the
method by which the hole in the hull of the _Woodville_ had been
stopped; but Mr. Sherwood had some doubts in regard to the strength
of the material, and he went below to examine the place. Lawry and
his fellow laborer had had no opportunity to test the strength and
fitness of the work they had done, while the boat was full of water.

On examination, Mr. Sherwood found several small jets of water
streaming through the seams between the planks, outside of the canvas
carpet, which he stopped with packing from the engineer's storeroom.
The braces which the boys had put over the hole kept the oilcloth in
position, and when the packing had been driven into the open seams
with a chisel and mallet, hardly any water came in around the
aperture. The boys were warmly commended by their partial friend for
the skill they had displayed in stopping the leak; and some of the
men, who were familiar with vessels, that the steamer would not
leak ten strokes an hour.

It was therefore safe to leave her; and Mr. Sherwood was satisfied that
the boys would not find the water up to the bottom of the cabin floor
in the morning. He carefully examined every part of the steamer to
assure himself that everything was right before he left her. The
pumps were tried again, just before they embarked for home, but they
yielded only a few strokes of water.

The party returned to the landing, and Mr. Sherwood cautioned the
men not to make any noise as they passed the cottage, fearful that
the boys might be awakened and the delightful surprise in store for
them spoiled. But Lawry and Ethan, worn out by the fatigue and
excitement of the day, slept like logs, and the discharge of a
battery of artillery under their chamber window would hardly have
aroused them from their slumbers. The men went to their several
homes, and all was quiet at the ferry.



CHAPTER XII

FROM DESPONDENCY TO REJOICING


Ben Wilford made his way to the deck of the steamer, and in the
darkness stumbled against the cables, with which the boat was
anchored. He was bent on mischief, and he unstoppered the cables,
permitting them to run out and sink to the bottom of the lake. The
wind was blowing, still pretty fresh, from the west, and the steamer,
now loosened from her moorings, began to drift toward the middle of
the lake.

"They'll find I'm not a nobody," whined he. "She'll go down in the
deep water this time."

The drunken villain then stumbled about the deck till he found the
lines which kept the hogsheads in place under the guards. Groaning,
crying, and swearing, he untied and threw the ropes overboard. Some
of the casks, relieved of the pressure on them by the removal of the
water from the interior of the hull, came out from their places and
floated off. Ben rolled into the wherry again, and with the boat-hook
hauled the others out. Satisfied that he had done his work, and that
the _Woodville_ would soon go down in the middle of the lake, he
pulled as rapidly as his intoxicated condition would permit toward
the ferry-landing.

"They'll find I'm not a nobody," he repeated, as he rowed to the
shore. "They can't raise her now; and they'll never see her again."

Intoxicated as he was, he had not lost his sense of caution. He knew
that he had done a mean and wicked action, which it might be
necessary for him to conceal. As he approached the landing, he wiped
his eyes, and choked down the emotions that agitated him. He tried to
make no noise, but his movements were very uncertain; he tumbled over
the thwarts, and rattled the oars, so that, if those in the cottage
had not slept like rocks, they must have heard him. He reeled up to
the house, took off his shoes, and crept upstairs to his room. He
made noise enough to wake his mother; but Lawry and Ethan were not
disturbed.

The wretch had accomplished his work. He was satisfied, as he laid
his boozy head upon the pillow, that the _Woodville_ was even
then at the bottom of the lake, with a hundred feet of water rolling
over her. It was two o'clock in the morning; but the vile tipple he
had drank, and the deed he had done, so excited him that he could not
sleep. He tossed on his bed till the day dawned, and the blessed
light streamed in at the window of the attic.

"Four o'clock!" shouted Lawry, as the timepiece in the kitchen
struck the hour. "All hands ahoy, Ethan!"

His enthusiastic fellow laborer needed no second call, and leaped
out of bed. Ben was still awake, and the lapse of the hours had in
some measure sobered him.

"It's a fine day, Ethan," said Lawry.

"Glad of that. How long do you suppose it will take to pump her out?"

"All day, I think; but we are to have four men to help us. I was
considering that matter when I went to sleep last night," replied
Lawry. "I was thinking whether we could not rig a barrel under the
derrick so as to get along a little faster than the pumps will do it.

"Perhaps we can; we will see."

"Where is your steamer?" asked Ben, rising in bed.

"We anchored her near the Goblins," replied Lawry.

"She isn't there now," added Ben.

"How do you know?" demanded the pilot.

"I've been sick, and couldn't sleep; so I got up and went outdoors.
She isn't where you left her, and I couldn't see anything of her
anywhere."

"Couldn't see her!" exclaimed Ethan.

"I knew very well she wouldn't stay on top of the water. Casks
wouldn't keep her up," said Ben maliciously.

Lawry rushed out of the room to the other end of the house, the
attic window of which commanded a full view of the lake. As his
brother had declared, the _Woodville_ was not at her anchorage
where they had left her; neither was she to be seen, whichever way he
looked.

"She is gone!" cried he, returning to his chamber.

"Of course she is gone," added Ben.

"I don't understand it."

"She has gone to the bottom, of course, where I told you she would
go. You were a fool to leave her out there in the deep water. She has
gone down where you will never see her again."

"It was impossible for her to sink with all those casks under her
guards," said Ethan.

"I guess you will find she has sunk. I told you she would. If you
had only minded what I told you, she would have been all right, Lawry."

Both of the boys seemed to be paralyzed at the discovery, and made
no reply to Ben. They could not realize that all the hard labor they
had performed was lost. It was hard and cruel, and each reproached
himself because they had not passed the night on board of the
steamer, as they had purposed to do.

"Well, it's no use to stand here like logs," said Lawry, "If she has
sunk, we will find out where she is."

"I reckon you'll never see her again, Lawry. Those old casks leaked,
I suppose, and when they were full of water the steamer went down
again; or else they broke loose from her when the wind blew so hard."

"It didn't blow much when we went to bed. What time did you come
home, Ben?"

"I don't know what time it was," he answered evasively.

"Come, Ethan, let's go and find out what the matter is," continued
Lawry, as he led the way downstairs.

Mrs. Wilford was not up, but she was awake, and was anticipating
with great satisfaction the pleasure of the surprise which awaited
the boys, when they discovered that the steamer had been freed from
water. They left the house, and went down to the ferry. The
_Woodville_ certainly was not where they had left her; not even
the top of her smokestack could be seen peering above the water to
inform them that she still existed.

"Well, Lawry, we may as well go out to the place where we left her.
If she has sunk, we may be able to see her," said Ethan.

They got into the boat; but one of the oars was gone. Ben had lost
it overboard when he landed, and it had floated off. There was
another pair in the woodshed of the house, and Lawry went up for
them. As he entered the shed, he met his mother, who had just risen,
and gone out for wood to kindle the fire. The poor boy looked so sad
and disconsolate that his long face attracted her attention.

"What's the matter, Lawry?" she asked.

"The steamer has sunk again," replied the son.

"Sunk again!" exclaimed his mother.

"She is not to be seen, and Ben says she has gone down."

"Ben says so?"

"Yes; he told us of it before we came down. We are going to look for
her now," answered Lawry.

What Lawry had said excited the suspicion of his mother, as she
thought of the malicious words of her older son on the preceding
evening. She was excited and indignant; she feared he had executed
the wicked purpose which she was confident he had cherished. She went
into the house, and upstairs to the room where Ben still lay in bed.

"Benjamin, what have you done?" demanded she.

"I haven't done anything. I'm a nobody here!" replied the inebriated
young man, with surly emphasis.

"What did you mean last night when you said that you should run that
steamer, or nobody should?" asked Mrs. Wilford.

"I meant just what I said. You and Lawry both said I shouldn't run
her--and she has gone to the bottom again; she'll stay there this
time."

"Oh, Benjamin!" said his mother, bursting into tears. "How could you
be so wicked?"

"Did you think I'd stay round here, and be a nobody?" growled the
wretched young man.

"Did you sink that steamer?"

"What if I did?"

"Oh, Benjamin!"

"You needn't cry about it. Next time, you'd better not try to make a
nobody out of me."

"Don't you think I've had trouble enough, without trying to make
more for me?" sobbed the distressed mother.

"If you had told Lawry to give me the charge of the steamer, he
would have done it," whined Ben.

"I shouldn't tell him any such thing!" replied Mrs. Wilford
indignantly. "A pretty captain of a steamboat you would make! You are
so tipsy now you can't hold your head up!"

"I'm as sober as you are."

Mrs. Wilford knew that it was useless to talk to a person in his
condition, and she left him to sleep off the effect of his cups if he
could, after the evil deed he had done. Full of sympathy for Lawry,
under his great affliction, she left the house, and hastened down to
the landing, to learn, if possible, the condition of the
_Woodville_. Lawry and Ethan were in the wherry, returning to
the shore, when she reached the landing.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" shouted both of the boys, in unison, as Mrs.
Wilford came in sight.

"What now?" asked the anxious mother.

"She's safe, mother! She has not sunk," replied Lawry.

"Where is she? I don't see her anywhere," added Mrs. Wilford,
scanning the lake in every direction.

"Over on the other side," replied Lawry.

"What's the reason she didn't sink?" continued his mother.

"The casks kept her up, of course. We want something for breakfast
and for dinner, mother, for she is so far off we can't come home till
we have pumped her out, and I won't leave her again till I am sure
she's all right."

"What shall I do about the ferry, mother?" asked Lawry. "Will Ben
run the boat to-day?"

"Don't trouble yourself about the ferry, Lawry. If Benjamin won't
take care of it, I will."

"I don't want you to do it, mother."

"I think your brother will run the boat; at any rate, you needn't
give it a thought."

Mrs. Wilford was quite as happy as the boys to find that the steamer
was not at the bottom of the lake again; and she returned to the
cottage with a light heart, when she had seen the wherry leave the
shore.

From the deepest depths of despondency, if not despair, the young
engineers had been raised to the highest pinnacle of hope and joy
when the _Woodville_ was discovered on the other side of the
lake. She had drifted in behind a point of land, and could not be
seen from the ferry. They had gone out to the place where she had
been anchored, near the Goblins; and while they were gazing down into
the deep water in search of her, Ethan happened to raise his eyes and
saw her on the other side of the lake. What a thrill went through his
heart as he recognized her! And what a thrill he communicated to
Lawry when he pointed her out to him!

"Why, the casks are all gone!" exclaimed Ethan.

"All gone!" replied Lawry.

"She must be aground," added Ethan; "but she sets out of water a
great deal farther than when we left her."

"We shall soon find out what the matter is," continued Lawry. "She
is safe, and on the top of the water; that's enough for me at the
present time."

"What does this mean?" he exclaimed.

"I don't know. The water couldn't have run out of her without some
help," replied Ethan.

"I don't understand it," added Lawry. "The casks are all gone, and
the steamer has been pumped out. Somebody must have done this work."

"That's true," said Ethan. "Somebody has certainly been here."

"There's no doubt of that; but I can't see, for the life of me, what
they wanted to set her adrift for."

"Nor I; they were good friends to pump her out for us, whoever they
were. In my opinion, Mr. Sherwood knows something about this job."

"But slipping the cables looks just as though they intended to have
her smashed up on the shore," added Lawry. "The anchors are not here,
and, of course, they are on the bottom of the lake. I don't see
through this business."

"Nor I, either; but one thing we can see through; the steamer is
safe, with the water all pumped out of her. We may as well go to
work, and get her over to the ferry."

This was good counsel, and without losing any more time in attempts
to fathom what was dark and strange, they commenced the labors of the
day.



CHAPTER XIII

GETTING UP STEAM


A survey of the position of the _Woodville_ showed that she was
slightly aground at the stern; but Ethan was confident that a few
turns of the wheels would bring her off. The boys then tried the
pumps; but after less than a hundred strokes they refused to yield
any more water. They then carefully examined every part of the
interior below the decks.

"She's all right," said Lawry. "What shall we do now?"

"Get up steam," replied Ethan. "I have a couple of hours' work to do
on the engine; but we will start the furnaces at once."

"Can't I make the fire?" asked Lawry.

"Yes, if you know how."

"You can show me. I don't know much about steam-boilers and engines."

"We will get our dry wood out of the wherry, and I will help you
start the fire. While I am at work on the engine, you will have to
overhaul your steering-gear, and see that it is all right. The chains
and pulleys will need to be oiled."

Lawry got into the wherry, and threw the dry wood on deck. Ethan had
not expected to kindle the fires till night, when he hoped the water
would be below the furnaces. It was a grateful surprise to be able at
once to go to work on the engine. He was enthusiastic in his fondness
for machinery, and that of the _Woodville_ was his particular pet.

After he had tried the valves on the boiler, and assured himself
that it contained the proper supply of water, the fires were started
in the furnaces. There was plenty of wood and coal on board, though
the former was so wet that it would not burn without some assistance,
which was furnished by the dry fuel brought off in the wherry. In a
little while the furnaces were roaring with the blaze from the wood,
and the coal was shoveled in. Ethan, having dried a quantity of the
wet packing, commenced rubbing down and oiling the machinery. He was
in his element now, and never was a young man in a higher state of
keen enjoyment.

While he was thus engaged, Lawry overhauled the steering apparatus,
rubbed down the wheel, oiled the pulleys, and satisfied himself that
everything was in working order. The situation and the work were in
the highest degree exhilarating. It was not labor to clean and adjust
the gear; it was a pleasure such as he had never realized from the
most exciting sports. He could hardly repress the rapture he felt
when he saw the black smoke from the pine wood pouring out of the
smokestack.

"This is my steamer," said he to himself. "I am the owner of her."

The thought made him laugh with joy. He stood up at the wheel, and
though he could not turn it, because the rudder was fast in the sand,
he knew exactly how he should feel when he stood in this position
with the _Woodville_ gliding swiftly over the bright waters of
the lake.

The steering-gear was in perfect order, so far as he could judge
without using it, and Ethan was still busy at the engine. Lawry could
not deny himself the pleasure of a survey of the steamer, for the
purpose of admiring her comforts and conveniences. He walked up and
down the main-deck, entered the saloon and the cabin, visited the
forehold, and opened the doors of the various apartments forward of
the paddle-boxes. It is true, everything was in a state of "confusion
worse confounded." Carpets were soaked with water, curtains were
drabbled and stained, sofas and chairs upset in the cabin and saloon;
while in the kitchen and storerooms, shelves and lockers had been
emptied, and their contents strewed in wild disorder about the
apartments.

But Lawry knew how order could be brought out of chaos, and the
derangement of furniture and utensils did not disturb him. It would
be a delightful occupation to restore harmony to these shelves and
lockers, to bring order and neatness out of the confusion which
reigned in every part of the steamer. When he had completed his
survey, he went to the engine-room, and offered his services to Ethan
for duty in his department. As the engineer had nothing for him to
do, he returned to the kitchen, and busied himself in putting things
to rights there, foreseeing that this apartment would soon be needed.
He made a fire in the galley, in order to dry the room more speedily,
and then occupied his time in picking up the tins and the kettles,
and putting them in their places.

While he was examining the lockers and shelves, he found part of a
leg of bacon, and some potatoes, which had been left from the stores
used by the crew on the passage from New York up to the lake. There
were coffee and tea in the canisters, sugar in the buckets, butter
and salt in the boxes; though all these articles had been more or
less soaked in the water, depending upon the tightness of the vessels
that held them. There was a good fire in the stove, and a bright
thought entered Lawry's excited brain; he and his companion would
breakfast on fried ham and potatoes, flanked with hot coffee!

Lawry was a cook of no mean accomplishments, and he immediately went
to work in carrying out his brilliant idea. Somehow, it is a singular
fact that boys have a special delight in "getting up something to
eat" in the woods, on the water, and generally in all out-of-the-way
places. A dinner at Parker's or Delmonico's is not to be compared
with baked potatoes and roasted ears of corn in the woods, or with
fried fish and potatoes in a boat or on an island. The young pilot
was no exception to the common rule, and in a state of rapture known
only to the amateur cook of tender years, he put on the teakettle,
pared and sliced the potatoes, and put a quantity of the brown mud
from the canister into the coffeepot.

Things were hissing and sizzling on the stove in the most
satisfactory manner, and Lawry presided over the frying-pan with a
grace and dignity which would have been edifying in a professional
cook. While the ham was cooking, he wiped the dishes with a cloth he
had dried at the fire, and set the table on the broad bench at the
end of the kitchen. The meat and the potatoes were "done to a turn,"
but the coffee had a suspicious look, owing to the absence of the
fish-skin, or other ingredient, for settling it. The contents of the
basket brought from home were tastily disposed in dishes on the
table, and breakfast was ready. We will venture to say that, in spite
of the disadvantages under which this meal was prepared, many
steamboat men have sat down to a less satisfactory banquet.

Lawry, chuckling with delight at what he had done, rang the hand-bell
he found in the kitchen, at the door. If Ethan had smelled the
savory viands in the course of preparation for him, he had made no
sign; but he was probably too busy to heed anything but the darling
engine he was so affectionately caressing with handfuls of packing
and spurts of oil.

"What's that bell for, Lawry?" shouted he.

"Breakfast's ready," replied Lawry.

"I wouldn't stop to eat now--would you?"

"Things will be cold if you don't."

"Cold?" laughed Ethan.

"Yes--cold. What's the use of having a kitchen if you don't use it?"

"You're a good one!" shouted Ethan. "Why didn't you tell me what you
were about?"

"I didn't want to spoil your appetite."

"You are a first-rate fellow, Lawry. Your breakfast looks tip-top,
and I shall do full justice to it; but I must go and look at the
boiler and the fires before I eat."

They sat down to breakfast when Ethan had returned and washed the
smut from his face and hands. Lawry poured out the coffee, and helped
his companion to ham and potatoes. The engineer ate with good relish.

"Your ham and potatoes are first-rate, Lawry; but I've seen better
coffee than this," said he.

"I had nothing to settle it, and there is no milk on board."

"We had some fish-skin, and there is plenty of condensed milk on
board," replied Ethan.

The coffee was subjected to a new process, and the condensed milk
prepared for use. By the time the substantials of the feast had been
discussed, some pretty good coffee was ready for them. The boys ate
their breakfast with a zest they had never known before.

"Ethan!" exclaimed Lawry.

"What, Lawry?"

"Hold me down!" shouted the proprietor of the _Woodville_.

"What's the matter?"

"Hold me down! I shall go up if you don't. I can't hold in any
longer. I'm so tickled, I feel as though I should fly away."

"Don't do it," laughed Ethan. "But I must go and look after the
engine, or we may both go up, in a way that won't suit us;" and Ethan
hurried down into the fire-room.

After taking a turn up and down the deck, Lawry curbed down his
superfluous enthusiasm, and returned to the kitchen, where he
extinguished the fire in the galley, and put away the dishes and
kettles which had been used in getting breakfast. By this time Ethan
had finished his work on the engine, and the steam gage indicated a
sufficient pressure to work the machinery.

"All ready, Lawry!" shouted he.

"Is everything all right?"

"Yes, as good as new. Now, if you will go into the wheel-house, we
will see what she will do."

"Hurrah!" shouted Lawry.

He pulled the bell for starting her, and with a thrill of delight he
heard the wheels splashing in the water; and the great splurges began
to roll up on the shore.

"Does she move?" asked Ethan, through the speaking-tube which
communicated with the engine-room.

"No, she sticks fast," replied Lawry. "Give her a little more of it."

The wheels of the steamer turned rapidly for a moment, and the
_Woodville_ slid off the ground into deep water.

"Hurrah!" shouted Lawry, as he rang the bell to stop her. "She's all
right now," he added, through the tube.

"Go ahead, then," replied the engineer.

"As soon as I make fast the wherry astern."

Before he went to the wheel-house he sounded the pumps again, and
visited the forehold to examine the oilcloth over the aperture in the
bow. There was but little water in the well, and the canvas carpet
was faithful to its duty. There was nothing to fear, though Lawry
couldn't help fearing.

"Are you all ready, Ethan?" called the pilot through the tube.

"All ready; but don't you think we had better hoist the flags, and
go over in good style?" responded the engineer.

"Aye, aye."

The small American flag and the union jack, which had been taken
from the poles the night before, and deposited in the locker of the
wherry, were displayed, and Lawry returned to his post.

The pilot rang his bell to start, and the wheels turned slowly as
Ethan opened the valve. The _Woodville_ moved off from the
shore, and Lawry's heart bounded as though it had been part of the
engine. He grasped the spokes, and heaved the wheel over; the
beautiful craft obeyed her helm.

"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" shouted Lawry, at the mouth of the
speaking-tube.

"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" echoed back from the engine-room.

Lawry stood at the wheel, looking through the open window in front
of him. It was his hour of triumph. As he gazed at the shore, he saw
the ferry-boat start out from the landing. There was no vehicle in
her, and as the steamer approached nearer to her, he saw that Mr.
Sherwood and the ladies were on board of her. They were coming out to
welcome and congratulate Ethan and himself upon the triumphant
success of the enterprise. Mrs. Wilford was with them, and Ben held
the steering oar.

Lawry informed his friend, through the tube, of the approach of the
party. The ladies in the ferry-boat were waving their handkerchiefs,
and Mr. Sherwood was swinging his hat.

"Whistle, Lawry!" shouted the engineer, as the pilot informed him
what was taking place.

"Hurrah!" shouted the pilot, as he pulled the string.

As the _Woodville_ came up to the bateau, Lawry rang to stop,
and, swinging his hat out the window, gave three cheers all alone,
while the ladies waved their handkerchiefs in reply.



CHAPTER XIV

CAPTAIN LAWRY


The bateau ran up to the steamer, and Ben made her fast at the
forward gangway. Mr. Sherwood still cheered, and the ladies continued
to wave their handkerchiefs.

"Won't you come on board?" said Lawry to the party.

"I shall, for one," replied Mr. Sherwood.

"I'm afraid of her," added Miss Fanny.

"There is nothing to fear, ladies. She is safe, and we are running
her very slowly," continued the young pilot.

"Lawry knows where the rocks are," said Mrs. Wilford, "and I'll
warrant you there is no danger."

With some misgivings, the ladies, who had suffered by the
catastrophe when the _Woodville_ was wrecked, permitted themselves
to be handed to the deck of the steamer.

"I congratulate you on your success, Lawry," said Mr. Sherwood, as
he stepped on board after the ladies. "You have worked bravely, and
succeeded nobly;" and he grasped the hand of the pilot.

"Thank you, sir. I knew I could raise her, if I had fair play. I
don't know but you are sick of your bargain, sir, in giving her to me."

"By no means, Captain Lawry," replied the rich man, laughing. "If
the ladies succeed in overcoming their terror of steamboats, I
suppose I can charter the boat for our party when we wish to use her."

"She's at your service always, sir," replied Lawry.

"Oh, I shall take her on the same terms that others do. When I use
her, I shall pay you."

"That wouldn't be fair, sir. I couldn't take any money from you for
the use of her," added Lawry, blushing.

"We will not talk about that now. When she is in condition for use,
we will consider these questions. How did you find her this morning?"
asked Mr. Sherwood, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

"We found the water all pumped out of her; and we didn't know what
to make of it," answered Lawry.

All the visitors burst out laughing, and heartily enjoyed the
astonishment and confusion of the young pilot.

"I don't understand it," exclaimed Lawry.

"The fairies, knowing what a good boy you are, Lawry, must have
pumped her out for you," said Miss Fanny.

"Perhaps they did."

Mr. Sherwood then explained what he had done the preceding night,
and the reason why he had done it. Ben Wilford, after fastening the
ferry-boat at the stern of the steamer, had come on deck, and
listened to the explanation. He saw in what manner his malice had
been defeated, and he looked very much dissatisfied with himself and
everybody on board.

"You were very kind, Mr. Sherwood, to take so much trouble upon
yourself," said Lawry.

"It was no trouble at all; it was a great pleasure to me. But I
don't understand how the steamer happened to be on the other side of
the lake."

"I supposed the persons who bailed her out set her adrift. The casks
were all knocked out from under the guards, and they are scattered
all along the shore."

"Before my men left her last night, I went all over the boat to
satisfy myself that everything was right. I examined the cables very
carefully, and I am sure they were well stoppered at twelve o'clock,
when we went on shore."

"I fastened the cable myself, and I don't think she could have
broken loose herself."

Ben Wilford listened in sullen silence to this conversation, and his
mother could hardly keep from crying as she thought of the guilt of
her oldest son. She was not willing to tell Lawry what his brother
had done, fearful that his indignation would produce a quarrel where
brotherly love should prevail. She believed that Ben had attempted,
while under the influence of liquor, to sink the _Woodville_,
and that he would not do such a thing in his sober senses.

Neither Lawry nor Mr. Sherwood could explain in what manner the
steamer had broken from her moorings and the oil-casks been removed
from their fastenings; so they were obliged to drop the matter,
congratulating themselves upon the present safety of the boat.

"We will go ashore with you, Captain Lawry, when you are ready,"
said Mr. Sherwood, after the question had been disposed of in this
unsatisfactory manner.

"Captain Lawry!" sneered Ben.

"Certainly; he is the captain of the steamer--isn't he?" laughed Mr.
Sherwood.

"It sounds big for a boy," growled Ben.

"He will make a good captain."

Ben turned and walked away, disgusted with the idea.

"I'm ready, sir," said Lawry.

"Where are you bound next, Captain Lawry?" asked Mr. Sherwood.

"I'm going to fish up the anchors we lost, and then to pick up the
oil-casks," replied Lawry.

"Where do you intend to keep your steamer?"

"I hadn't thought of that, sir."

"You will need a wharf."

"We need one; but I think we shall have to get along without one."

"Where would be a good place to have one?"

"The deepest water is just below the ferry-landing. We could get
depth enough for this boat by running a pier out about forty feet.
Ethan and I can build some kind of a wharf, when we have time."

Mr. Sherwood said no more about the matter, and Ben landed the
visitors in the ferry-boat. The _Woodville_ then ran down to the
Goblins, and towed the raft out to the spot where the anchors lay. A
boat grapnel was dragged over the spot, the cables hooked, and the
anchors hauled up with the derrick on the raft, from which they were
transferred to the steamer.

Having obtained these necessary appendages of the steamer, they
returned to the landing for the ferry-boat, in which they intended to
load the oil-casks, and convey them to Pointville. Ben was at the
landing when she arrived, and without any invitation, stepped on
board the ferry-boat, and thence to the steamer.

"Don't you want some help, Lawry?" asked Ben.

"Yes; we should be glad of all the help we can get," replied Lawry
pleasantly.

"Well, I'll help you."

"We have a good deal of hard work to do to-day," added the pilot. "I
would like to get the boat on the ways at Port Henry to-night."

"That can be done easy enough."

Ben Wilford seemed now to have adopted a conciliatory policy, but it
was evidently done for a purpose. When the _Woodville_ reached
the Goblins, he worked with good will in loading the ferry-boat,
which was towed over to Pointville, and her cargo discharged. The
casks, which had drifted over to the eastern shore of the lake, were
then picked up, and landed at the same place. The man who had carted
them down to the shore was engaged to convey them back to the barn of
the oil speculator. It was noon by the time this work was all
accomplished; and the _Woodville_ again crossed the lake, and
came to anchor in the deep water above the ferry-landing, as close to
the shore as it was prudent for her to lie. Ethan banked his fires,
and the boys went on shore to dinner, one at a time; for after the
experience of the preceding night they would not leave the steamer
alone for a single moment.

After dinner, Mr. Sherwood, who appeared to be as much interested in
the little steamer as though she had not changed her ownership, came
on board again, accompanied by the ladies. It had before been decided
that the carpets should be taken up, the muslin curtains removed, and
such portions of the furniture and utensils as had been injured by
the water should be conveyed on shore to be cleaned, and put in
proper order for use. In this labor Mr. Sherwood's party and Mrs.
Wilford assisted, and by the middle of the afternoon everything had
been removed. Ben Wilford aided very zealously, and his mother
hopefully concluded that he was sorry for what he intended to do, and
wished to remove any suspicion of evil intentions on his part.

The _Woodville_ was now going down to Port Henry, where the
repairs on her hull were to be made, and the pilot and engineer were
to remain on board. Ben promised faithfully to run the ferry during
Lawry's absence; and, cheered by the party on the shore, the
_Woodville_ departed for her destination. She ran at half speed,
but reached the port before sunset. The next morning she went on the
ways, and her repairs commenced. During that time Ethan was
constantly employed on the engine, and when the steamer was restored
to her native element there was not a suspicion of rust on the
machinery.

Lawry was also as busy as a bee all the time, scrubbing the floors,
cleaning the paint, and polishing the brass-work. When the boat was
ready to return to Port Rock, she was in condition to receive her
furniture. She was launched early in the morning, and Ethan proceeded
at once to get up steam. Both of the boys were in the highest state
of expectancy and delight; and when Lawry struck the bell to start
her, he was hardly less excited than when he had done so for the
first time after the water had been pumped out of her. All the
bunting was displayed at the bow and stern, and the _Woodville_
now plowed the lake at full speed. Her happy owner realized that she
was good for ten miles an hour, which, for so diminutive a craft, was
more than he had a right to expect.

"Hello!" shouted Lawry to himself, as the steamer approached the
ferry-landing; "what's that?"

In the deep water which the young pilot had indicated as the best
place for a wharf, a pier was in process of erection. A score of
bridge-builders were sawing, hammering, and chopping, and Mr.
Sherwood stood in their midst, watching their operations. The
structure was not complete, but the mooring posts were set up, so
that the _Woodville_ could be made fast to them. Mr. Sherwood
and the workmen gave three cheers as the steamer approached.

"Run her up here, Lawry!" shouted his wealthy friend. "Aye, aye, sir."

"You have taken this job out of my hands, sir," said Lawry, as he
glanced at the wharf.

"Yes; I thought I could do it better than you could, as your time
will be fully occupied."

"I think I should have found time enough to do what I intended; but
of course I couldn't have built any such wharf as this."

"It is none too good."

"But I ought to pay for it out of the money I may earn with the boat."

"Never mind that, Lawry," added Mr. Sherwood.

The young captain explained what had been done during his absence,
and informed his interested friend that the steamer was in condition
to receive her furniture.

"Shall you have her ready for a trip by to-morrow?" asked Mr.
Sherwood.

"Yes, sir."

"Because I have taken the liberty to engage her, in your name, for
several parties."

"You are very kind, sir," replied Lawry.

"Have you fixed upon any price for her?"

"Ethan and I were talking over the matter. We shall need some help
on board, and that will cost money. Coal is pretty high up here on
the lake."

"Well, how much did you intend to charge for her by the day, or the
hour?"

"We thought about three dollars an hour," replied Lawry, with much
diffidence.

"Three dollars an hour! You are too modest by half," laughed Mr.
Sherwood. "Make it five, at least. I told the parties I engaged for
you that the price would not be less than fifty dollars a day."

"I'm afraid I shall make money too fast at that rate," added Lawry.

"No, you won't. It will cost a great deal of money to run the boat.
What do you pay your engineer?"

"I don't know, sir; we have made no bargain yet."

"If Ethan does a man's work, you must pay him a man's wages. I
suppose he wants to make his fortune."

"What do you think he ought to have?" asked Lawry.

"Three dollars a day," replied Mr. Sherwood promptly. "I dare say
Ethan would not charge you half so much; but that is about the wages
of a man for running an engine in these times."

"I am satisfied, if that is fair wages; though it is a great deal
more than I ever made."

"Engineers get high wages. Then you want a fireman."

"I can get a boy, who will answer very well for a fireman."

"I think not, Lawry. You need a man of experience and judgment. He
can save his wages for you in coal. The man whom I employed as a
fireman is just the person, and he is at the village now."

"What must I pay him, sir?"

"Two dollars a day. Then your parties will want some dinner on
board, and you will need a cook, and two stewards. A woman to do the
cooking, and two girls to tend the table, will answer your purpose.
You can obtain the three for about seven dollars a week; but your
passengers must pay extra for their meals, and you need not charge
the expenses of the steward's department to the boat."

"If you expect to succeed, Lawry, you must do your work well. Your
boat must be safe and comfortable, and your dinners nice and well
served. You will want two deck-hands. Your expenses, including coal,
oil for machinery, and hands, will be about twenty dollars a day. If
you add repairs, of which steamboats are continually in need, you
will run it up to twenty-five dollars a day."

"That will leave me a profit of twenty-five dollars a day," added
Lawry, delighted at the thought.

"If you are employed every day, it will; but you cannot expect to do
anything with parties for more than two months in the year."

"I can get some towing to do; and I may make something with
passengers."

"Parties will pay best in July and August, and perhaps part of
September; but you must be wide-awake."

"I intend to be."

"I advise you to get up a handbill of your steamer, announcing that
she is to be let to parties by the day, at all the large ports on the
lake. There are plenty of wealthy people, spending the summer in this
vicinity, who would be glad to engage her, even for a week at once."

"Will you write me a handbill, Mr. Sherwood?"

"Yes, and get it printed."

"Thank you, sir."

"The _Woodville_ is engaged to me for to-morrow," added Mr.
Sherwood.



CHAPTER XV

THE NEW CAPTAIN


Lawry was bewildered by the magnificence of the arrangements
suggested by Mr. Sherwood; but if the _Woodville_ was to be
employed in taking out parties of genteel people, nothing less
magnificent would answer the purpose. His influential friend, it
appeared, had already exerted himself to procure employment of this
kind for the steamer, and the proprietor of the beautiful craft was
not only willing to conform to his ideas, but was grateful for the
kindly interest he manifested in the prosperity of the enterprise.

Mrs. Wilford had engaged a cook, and two girls for the steward's
department; the fireman was sent for; and two boys were employed as
deck-hands.

Now, Lawry thought it was quite necessary that his crew should be
trained a little before any passengers were received on board, and
after Mr. Sherwood and his party had gone home, the fires were
revived, and a short trip down the lake determined upon. As soon as
there was steam enough for the purpose, the pilot, now the captain,
rang his bell to back her, and the deck-hands were instructed in
getting the fasts on board. Ben Wilford, who was standing on the
wharf, cast off the hawsers, and then jumped aboard, himself. The
bells jingled for a few moments, and then the _Woodville_ went
off on her course.

"This is all very fine," said Ben.

"First-rate," laughed Lawry.

"What am I to do?" demanded Ben, rather gruffly.

"You?" said the pilot.

"Everybody seems to have something to do with her except me."

"What do you want to do?"

"I suppose you think I'm not fit for anything."

"I had an idea that you would stay at home, and run the ferry-boat."

"Did you?" sneered Ben.

"Some one must do that; and of course I can't now."

"Hang the ferry-boat!"

"It must be run, or we shall forfeit the privilege."

"I shall not run it, whatever happens."

"I don't see how I can."

"Lawry, I don't think you are using me right," added Ben sourly.

"Why, what have I done?"

"You've got this boat, and though you know I'm a steamboat man, you
don't say a word to me about taking any position on board of her."

"I don't know what position there is on board for you, unless you
take a deck-hand's place."

"A deck-hand!"

"That is what you have always been."

"Do you think I'm going to be bossed by you?"

"Ben, if you will tell me just what you want, I shall understand you
better," said Lawry, rather impatiently.

"You know what I want. There is only one place in the boat I would
be willing to take."

"You mean captain."

"Of course I do."

"I intended to be captain myself."

"I thought you were going to be pilot of her."

"So I am; and captain, too."

"Then you mean to leave me out entirely."

"Ben, I don't want to have any row; and I won't quarrel with my
brother; but I don't think it is quite fair for you to ask so much of
me."

"Don't I know all about a steamboat?"

"Can you pilot one up and down the lake?"

"Well, no; I never did that kind of work."

"Can you run an engine?"

"No; and you can't, either. The captain doesn't have to be a pilot,
nor an engineer."

"What must he do, then?"

"He must look out for everything, make the landing, and see that the
people on board are comfortable."

"I intend to do all that."

"How can you do it, and stay in the wheel-house?"

"I shall not stay there all the time. The deck-hands know how to
steer. I want to do what's fair and right, Ben. The steamer was given
to me; and I don't exactly like to have any one to boss me on board."

"The captain don't have much to do with the pilot, and I sha'n't
boss you."

"Suppose the question should come up, whether or not the boat should
take a certain job; who would decide the question--you or I?"

"I'm the oldest, and I think I ought to have the biggest voice in
the matter."

"But the boat is mine," added Lawry, with emphasis.

"As to that, she is just as much mine as she is yours."

"I'm willing to do what's fair and right; but I shall not have any
captain over me in this boat," replied Lawry.

"Lawry, you are my brother," said Ben angrily; "but I don't care for
that. You set yourself up above me; you make me a nobody. I won't
stand it!"

"I don't set myself up above you, Ben."

"Yes, you do. You offered me the place of deck-hand!"

"I didn't ask you to take any place. I'll tell you what I will do,
Ben. I'll talk with mother and Mr. Sherwood about the matter, and if
they think you ought to be captain of the _Woodville_, you shall
be."

"Mr. Sherwood don't know everything."

"I think he would know what is right in a case like this."

"He thinks you are a little god, and I know what he would say."

"I will do as mother says, then."

"What do women know about these things?"

"I don't think Mr. Sherwood or mother would like it if I should give
up the command of this boat to any one."

"Let them lump it, then," replied Ben, as he rushed out of the
wheel-house, incensed beyond measure at Lawry's opposition to his
unreasonable proposal.

Captain Lawry was sorely disturbed by the conduct of his brother. He
could not enjoy his pleasant position at the wheel, and he put the
steamer about, heading her toward Port Rock.

"Lawry," said Ben, returning to the wheel-house, "I want you to tell
me what you are going to do. I'm older than you, and I have seen more
steamboating than you have. I think it's my right to be captain of
this boat."

"I don't think so."

"I don't want to jaw any more about it."

"I'm sure I don't."

"All I've got to say is, that if I don't run this boat no one will."

"What do you mean by that, Ben?" demanded Lawry.

"No matter what I mean. I'm going to have what belongs to me. Once
for all, am I to be captain, or not?"

"No," replied Lawry firmly.

Ben went out of the wheel-house, and the pilot did not see him again
till after the _Woodville_ reached her wharf. Lawry was sadly
grieved at the attitude of his brother; and if Ben had been a
reliable person, fit for the position he aspired to obtain, he would
have yielded the point. But the would-be captain was an intemperate
and dissolute fellow, as unsuitable for the command as he would have
been for the presidency of a bank.

Early on the following morning the supplies for the _Woodville_
were taken on board, and at eight o'clock everything was in readiness
for the reception of Mr. Sherwood's party. The steam was merrily
hissing from the escape-pipe; Ethan was busy, as he always was, in
rubbing down the polished parts of the engine, and Lawry was walking
up and down the forward deck. Quite a collection of people had
assembled on the unfinished wharf and the shore to witness the
departure of the steamer. As Captain Lawry paced the deck, there was
a slight commotion in the crowd, and three persons passed through,
making their way to the deck. One of them was the sheriff who had
arrested the ferryman a few days before. He was followed by Mr.
Taylor, his father's creditor, and Ben Wilford.

"I'm sorry to trouble you, Lawry," said the official; "but I suppose
I must do my duty."

"What's the matter, sir?" asked Lawry. "What have I done?"

"Nothing, my boy. I think this is rather mean business; but I can't
help it," replied the sheriff, as he produced certain documents.
"Your father owes Mr. Taylor a note of nine hundred and fifty
dollars, on which the interest has not been paid for two years,
making the debt ten hundred and sixty-four dollars."

"But the place is mortgaged for that," replied Lawry.

"I have just foreclosed the mortgage; and now I must attach this
steamboat."

"Attach it!" groaned Lawry.

"Such are my orders; your father's place would hardly sell for
enough to pay the debt."

"But this boat is mine," pleaded Lawry.

"You are a minor, Lawry; and your father is entitled by law to all
your earnings, as you have a claim on him for your support. I can't
stop to explain this matter. The steamer is in my possession now,
subject to the decree of the court. I shall appoint a person to take
charge of her and run her for the benefit of the parties in interest."

"That's too bad!" exclaimed Lawry.

"I know it is; but I can't help it," replied the sheriff. "I shall
appoint your brother, and from this time he has full control of her."

It was evident even to Lawry, who had not been informed of his
brother's worst intentions, that Ben was at the bottom of this
conspiracy. Such was indeed the truth. Mr. Taylor was a young man who
had recently inherited a large fortune, which, it was plain, would
soon be squandered, for he was both intemperate and reckless. Ben had
helped him home one night after a drunken carousal, which had been
the beginning of an intimacy between them, for the younger tippler
was not one to neglect an opportunity to secure a wealthy friend.

They had talked together about the _Woodville_ on several
occasions, and Ben had suggested in what manner he might obtain the
debt due him. On the night before the visit of the sheriff to the
steamer, the malignant and jealous brother had repeated to his
dissipated patron the story of his grievances--that he was a "nobody"
at home, and that Lawry wanted to make a deck-hand of him. Though not
a badly disposed man in the main, Taylor listened with interest and
sympathy to the exaggerated and distorted narrative, and the plan by
which Ben was to be put in possession of the steamer was matured.

The creditor went to a lawyer, one of his boon companions, who was
quite willing to make business for himself; and he had looked up the
law and arranged the facts, by which he expected to hold the steamer.
Doubtless it was a very ingenious scheme, and perhaps it is
unfortunate that the case never came to trial, for it involved some
interesting legal points. Thus far the design had been carried out,
and Ben was in command of the steamer, as an employee of the sheriff.

"I won't be as hard with you, Lawry, as you were with me," said Ben,
as he walked up to Lawry in the wheel-house, to which he had
retreated to hide his confusion.

"This is your work, Ben," replied the youth bitterly.

"I was bound to have the command of this steamer, and I have got
it," added Ben, with malignant triumph.

"I know you have; you put Mr. Taylor up to this, or he never would
have done it."

"Don't snarl about it, Lawry; the thing is done, and you can't help
yourself. The sheriff has given me the command of the boat."

"And he has attached the place. Mother will be turned out of house
and home!" cried Lawry, unable to repress his tears.

"No, she won't; that will be all right."

"Oh, Ben! How could you do it?"

"You drove me to it. It is all your fault, Lawry; so you needn't
whine about it. Don't make a fuss; here comes Taylor."

"I don't want to see him," said Lawry, moving toward the door.

"Don't go off; I'm going to take Taylor and his friends up the lake,
to give them a sail."

"The boat is engaged to Mr. Sherwood, to-day."

"I can't help it; he will not have her to-day. Come, Lawry, be a
man. I won't be as hard with you, I say, as you were with me. I don't
ask you to be a deck-hand. You shall be the pilot still."

"No, I won't."

"Won't you?"

"I will not," said Lawry firmly, as he dried his tears. "The boat is
engaged to Mr. Sherwood, and he has invited a party to go with him.
They were to start at nine o'clock, and they will be down here soon."

"Can't help it. I promised to take Taylor and his friends out, and
they are all here now. There are the stores for his party," replied
Ben, as a couple of men brought a large basket on board, from the top
of which protruded the necks of a demijohn and several bottles.

"I shall not go with that party," added Lawry.

"But I want a pilot," said Ben.

"What's the trouble, Wilford?" demanded Taylor.

"Let me tell him you will go, Lawry?" whispered Ben. "He may be hard
on you if you don't."

"I will not. I must see Mr. Sherwood at once."

"What's the matter?" asked Ethan.

Lawry was explaining what had happened, when Ben came down with
Taylor.

"I shall not go in her till I have seen Mr. Sherwood," added Lawry,
as he finished his brief statement.

"Then I shall not," said Ethan.

"I can steer her myself," said Ben to Taylor.

"Certainly you can."

"Mr. Sherwood will be down soon, and we must be off before he gets
here."

"Go up, and start her then," added Taylor.

Without noticing Lawry and Ethan, Ben rushed up to the wheel-house,
and ordered the deck-hands to cast off the fasts, which was done. He
knew how to steer a boat, and understood the bells, having had
considerable experience on board the large steamers. He rang to back
her, supposing Ethan was at his post in the engine-room.

She did not back, and he rang again, but with no better success than
before.

"Back her!" shouted he, through the speaking-tube.

There was no answer; and, filled with anger, the new captain rushed
down to the engine-room to "blow up" the engineer. He found Ethan on
the main-deck.

"What are you doing there?" demanded Ben. "Don't you hear the bells?"

"I heard them," replied Ethan quietly.

"Why don't you start her, then?"

"I've nothing to do with her."

"Don't you run that engine?"

"I don't."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that I will have nothing to do with the engine as things are
now."

Ben raved and stormed at Ethan; then he tried to coax him to take
his place; but the engineer was as firm as the pilot had been. Taylor
offered him ten dollars if he would run the engine that day; but he
positively refused. The new captain then went down to the fire-room,
where the man in charge of the furnaces was promoted to the position
of engineer.

"Now we can go it," said Ben.

"No; don't start her," said the sheriff.

"Why not?"

"I am responsible for the safety of this boat, and she shall not go
with neither pilot nor engineer."

Taylor and the new captain swore terribly; but the sheriff was
immovable.



CHAPTER XVI

THE EXCURSION TO WHITEHALL


Lawry was no lawyer, and was therefore unable to form an opinion in
regard to the legality of the steps by which the _Woodville_ had
been taken from him. It was an accomplished fact, and he was as
disconsolate as though he had lost his best friend. He went on shore,
and until the peremptory order of the sheriff was given, he expected
to see the steamer shoot out from the wharf and disappear beyond the
point, in charge of another person than himself.

He had refused to pilot the steamer under the new order of things,
not because he wished to be spiteful to his brother, but because he
was smarting under a sense of injustice, which unfitted him for the
duty. Though he did not comprehend the legal measures which had been
taken, he felt that there was something wrong. The _Woodville_
belonged to him, not to his father; and though he was willing to give
all his earnings for the support of the family, and even to pay off
the mortgage on the place, he felt that it was not right to take the
steamer from him.

He stood on the wharf, paralyzed by the calamity which had overtaken
him. He wanted to do something, but he did not know what to do. The
sheriff, by his caution, had defeated the plans of the new captain,
and Lawry was waiting to see what would happen next. He wished to see
Mr. Sherwood, and he would have hastened up to his house if he could
have endured the thought of losing sight of the steamer even for a
moment. Ethan was still on deck, for though he refused to run the
engine, he felt it to be his duty to stand by and see that no
accident happened, for the steam was up, and the fireman was an
unskillful person.

Ben Wilford and Taylor were disappointed and chagrined at their
failure to get off. They stormed and swore, till it was apparent that
storming and swearing would not start the steamer. The sheriff
positively refused to let the boat depart without a competent pilot
and engineer.

"What shall we do, Wilford?" said Taylor. "Can't you persuade your
brother to take hold again?"

"He's as obstinate as a mule; but I'll try," replied Ben.

"Offer him twenty dollars for his day's work," added Taylor.

"I may be able to compromise with him, if you're willing."

"Anything you please, if you can make him and the other fellow go
with us."

"Lawry, Mr. Taylor will give you twenty dollars if you will pilot
the steamer to-day," said Ben.

"I wouldn't go for a hundred," replied the young pilot. "I won't go
with you at any rate."

"Don't be so obstinate, Lawry."

"I engaged the boat to Mr. Sherwood, and I will not go with anybody
else."

"Mr. Sherwood won't care when he finds out that you are not to
blame. You can't resist the law, and it isn't your fault."

"Ben, I wouldn't do what you have done for all the steamers on the
lake. You have got this man to attach the property, and take the
house away from mother, just because you wanted to be captain of this
steamer."

"What's the use of talking about that, Lawry?" replied Ben
impatiently. "I'm going to be captain of this steamer, anyhow; and
the sooner you make up your mind to it, the better it will be for you."

"I can't help myself."

"I know you can't, and for that reason you had better submit with a
good grace. If you will take your place in the wheel-house, Mr.
Taylor will remove the attachment."

"Will he?"

"I will," replied Taylor.

"And put everything where it was before?" asked Lawry.

"Of course I am to be captain, and Mr. Taylor is to have the boat
to-day," added Ben.

"Mr. Taylor can't have her to-day," said Lawry firmly. "I engaged
her to Mr. Sherwood, and if anybody has her to-day, he must. That's
all I want to say about it now."

The young pilot turned on his heel and walked away. His brother and
the creditor were conspirators, and he wanted nothing to do with
them. He might have been less resolute, if he had not seen Mr.
Sherwood's carriage stop at the head of the wharf.

"Are you all ready, Lawry?" asked Mr. Sherwood.

The poor boy could make no reply; he burst into tears, and turned
away from his kind friend.

"What's the matter, Lawry?" demanded Mr. Sherwood.

"I suppose he feels bad, sir," interposed the sheriff. "The boat has
been attached for his father's debts."

"For his father's debts!" exclaimed the rich gentleman.

The officer gave him a full explanation of the case.

"This will never do," added Mr. Sherwood indignantly. "This boat is
Lawry's property in his own right."

"I think not," added Taylor. "Here's my lawyer; he can explain the
matter to you."

"No explanation is needed," replied Mr. Sherwood.

"The boy is a minor," said the legal gentleman.

"He may need a guardian, nothing more, to enable him to hold the
property."

"Perhaps you are more familiar with the law than I am, Mr.
Sherwood," said the legal gentleman pompously. "You gave this boat to
the boy."

"I did."

"While she lay at the bottom of the lake she was worth nothing. She
was an abandoned wreck. If you had any property at all in her, it was
subject to the salvage. Lawry Wilford raised her. I suppose you are
willing to believe that the boy's father is entitled to his earnings?"

"I grant that."

"Well, sir, whatever the boy earned in the way of salvage belongs to
his father; and we sue to recover that."

"This is a ridiculous suit!" exclaimed Mr. Sherwood.

"Perhaps it is, sir, but we shall hold the boat, subject to the
decision of the court."

Mr. Sherwood was vexed and perplexed; for, whether the claim could
be substantiated or not, the _Woodville_ could be held until a
decision was reached. Lawry then took him aside, and told him what
his brother had done, in order to make himself captain of the steamer.

"Is that it, Lawry? I'm more sorry for your brother's sake than I am
for yours. I pity him, because he has been capable of doing so mean a
thing. Don't distress yourself, my boy. We will make this all right
in the course of ten minutes."

"But they have taken the steamer away from me, and given her up to
Ben, who is to take charge of her."

"Never mind, Lawry. They shall give her back to you," replied the
rich man, as he walked up to the lawyer. "How much is your claim
against Mr. Wilford?"

"One thousand and sixty-four dollars," answered the legal gentleman.

"Will you take my draft or check for the amount?"

"No, sir."

"I see you are not disposed to be accommodating."

"We intend to have the first sail in this steamer," sneered Taylor.

"I intend you shall not," said Mr. Sherwood.

Unfortunately he had not money enough with him to discharge the
claim against the ferryman, which, as it was a just debt, whatever
might be said of the means taken to recover it, he had decided to
pay, rather than give bonds for the steamer, and contest the
attachment. He had invited several gentlemen to accompany him up the
lake in the _Woodville_, who were now on the wharf, and from
them he borrowed enough to make up the sum required. The money was
given to Mrs. Wilford, with instructions to go to a certain lawyer
and employ him to see that the mortgage on the house and land was
properly canceled.

"When we get our money, the attachment on the boat can be dissolved,
not before," said the lawyer. "Mr. Sheriff, the debt is not paid yet."

"I will put the money in your hands, if you desire," added Mr.
Sherwood to the sheriff.

"I am satisfied. You may go where you please with the boat, and as
soon as you please," replied the official.

"She will not go till this claim is settled, Mr. Sheriff,"
remonstrated the legal gentleman.

"She may go now," responded the officer. "Ben Wilford, your services
will not be needed. Now, gentlemen, we will go up to the village and
settle the bills."

The lawyer protested that the attachment could not be removed till
the debt had been paid, but the sheriff was willing to take the
responsibility of releasing the boat.

"All aboard, Lawry!" shouted Mr. Sherwood.

"I didn't expect you to do this, sir," said the young pilot; "but I
will pay you every dollar, if the steamer ever earns so much."

"We will talk about that some other time, my boy. We are all ready
to be off now."

Lawry, with a light heart, sprang to his place in the wheel-house;
Ethan was already at his post in the engine-room, and the ladies and
gentlemen of the party hastened on board.

"Put that basket ashore," said Lawry to the deckhands, as he pointed
to the "stores" of the party.

The basket was tumbled on the wharf, to the imminent peril of the
glassware it contained. Ben Wilford stood on the pier, leaning
against one of the posts to which the steamer was fastened. He looked
sour and disappointed.

"Cast off the bow-line," said Lawry, when all was ready.

At this moment Ben jumped on board.

"Stop her!" said Mr. Sherwood sharply, as Lawry rang the bell to
back her.

"What's the matter, sir?" asked the pilot.

"Young man," said Mr. Sherwood, stepping up to Ben Wilford, "you
will oblige me by going on shore."

"What for?" demanded Ben crustily.

"We do not need your company."

"But I want to go."

"I do not wish you to go."

"I think it is rather steep for you to tell me I can't go in my
brother's boat."

"Steep as it may seem, you can't go," added Mr. Sherwood firmly.

"Can't I go, Lawry?" continued Ben.

"It is not for him to say. I have engaged this boat for my party to-day,
and, beyond his crew, it is not for him to say who shall go."

"I'm going, anyhow," replied Ben stubbornly.

"No, you are not."

"Yes, I am! if you want to fight, I'm all ready."

"Young man, you wanted to be captain of this boat; you have made a
mistake."

"No, I haven't. You and Lawry can't make a nobody out of me."

"You will do it yourself."

"You see."

"Will you go on shore?"

"No, I won't."

The sheriff stood on the wharf with Mrs. Wilford, waiting to see the
departure of the _Woodville_. Ben's mother begged him to come on
shore; but he was in that frame of mind which seemed to make
opposition a necessity to him. "Do you want any assistance, Mr.
Sherwood?" asked the sheriff, as he stepped on deck.

The reckless young man would have been very glad to have Mr.
Sherwood put his hand upon him, for it would have afforded him an
opportunity to revenge himself for his disappointment. It was another
thing to raise his hand against an officer of the law, and he
sullenly walked up the gangplank when that formidable individual
intimated his readiness to relieve the boat of her unwelcome passenger.

"Haul in the plank, and cast off the bow-line," said Lawry.

He rang the bell to back her, and when her bow pointed out from the
shore, the stern-line was cast off, and she moved slowly away from
the wharf.

"I'm sorry your brother behaves so badly, Lawry," said Mr. Sherwood,
after the steamer started.

"It makes me sick to think of it, sir," replied the pilot. "I'm
really afraid of him, for I don't know what he will do next."

"Do your duty, faithfully; that is all you need do."

"I feel almost sorry I didn't let him be captain, when I think the
matter over."

"He is not fit to be captain; and you did quite right in not
consenting to it. I'm sorry for you, Lawry, and sorry for your
mother, for he must be a sore trial to both of you."

"If he wasn't my brother I wouldn't care," added Lawry, restraining
the tears.

"Never mind it, my boy; we won't say anything more about it. Let us
hope your brother will grow better."

"I hope he will, sir."

The _Woodville_ was now going at full speed up the lake. The
party on board consisted of twenty-four ladies and gentlemen, most of
whom were summer visitors at Port Rock. They were delighted with the
beautiful little craft, and glad to know that she could be obtained
for pleasure-parties during the summer. They wandered about the deck,
saloon, and cabin till they had examined every part of her, and then
they gave themselves up to the enjoyment of the sail, and of the
magnificent scenery on the borders of the lake. They seated
themselves on the forward deck, and Lawry pointed out the objects of
interest as the steamer proceeded; and in this occupation he forgot
the conduct of Ben, and was as happy as the happiest of the party
before him. The ladies and gentlemen sang songs and psalm tunes, in
which the sweet voice of Fanny Jane Grant was so prominent that Ethan
was once enticed from the fascinating engine which occupied all his
thoughts.

In the meantime, Mrs. Light was busy with the dinner. Captain Lawry
was a little uneasy on this subject, for it was out of his line of
business. In the middle of the forenoon he gave the wheel to one of
the deck-hands, and went down into the kitchen to satisfy himself
that this important matter was receiving due attention. The cook was
so confident and enthusiastic that he was quite sure she would
realize the expectations of the passengers. In the cabin he found the
girls busy at the tables. Both of them had seen service in hotels,
and there was no danger of a failure in their department. At one
o'clock dinner was on the table, and the young captain went down
again to assure himself that it was all right.

"Come, Lawry, can't you dine with us?" said Mr. Sherwood, when the
bell had been rung.

"I can't leave the wheel, sir."

"But don't you want some dinner?"

"I'll have my dinner when we get to Whitehall. Haste makes waste,
you know; and if I should be in a hurry to eat my dinner we might get
aground, or be smashed up on the rocks."

"I suppose you are right, Lawry, and I will do the honors of the
table for you," laughed Mr. Sherwood.

The dinner was not only satisfactory, but it was warmly praised; and
Mrs. Light was made as happy as the captain by the enthusiastic
encomiums bestowed upon her taste and skill in the culinary art.

The _Woodville_ reached Whitehall at two o'clock, where the
party went on shore to spend an hour. While they were absent Lawry
and all hands had their dinner, the cabins and the deck were swept,
and everything put in order. Quite a number of people visited the
little steamer while she lay at the pier; and a gentleman engaged her
to take out a party the next Saturday, with dinner for twenty-four
persons. When Mr. Sherwood returned, he had let her for another day.

At three o'clock the _Woodville_ started for Port Rock. The
party were still in high spirits, and the singing was resumed when
the wheels began to turn. On the way down, she stopped at
Ticonderoga, while her appearance so delighted a party of
pleasure-seekers that she was engaged for another day, and a dinner
for twenty spoken for.

"Lawry, you must have an engagement-book, or you will forget some of
your parties," said Mr. Sherwood, who stood by the pilot, in the
wheel-house, when the steamer started.

"I have put them all down on a piece of paper, sir. I will get a
book when I go to Burlington."

"Which will be to-morrow. I had engaged her for four days when you
came up with her from Port Henry; but I'm afraid we shall work you
too hard."

"No fear of that, sir. I only hope I shall be able to pay you that
money you advanced this morning."

"Don't say a word about that. Let me see: you are engaged in
Burlington to-morrow, to me the next day, and in Whitehall on the
following day."

"I will get a book and put them down, sir."

"But you must be in Burlington by eight o'clock tomorrow morning."

"We can run up to-night."

"You will get no sleep if you run all night."

"I think we shall want another fireman."

"You will: for in order to keep your engagements you will
occasionally have to run nights."

At eight o'clock the _Woodville_ landed her passengers at Port
Rock, and as the gentlemen went ashore, they gave three cheers for
the little steamer and her little captain.



CHAPTER XVII

BURLINGTON TO ISLE LA MOTTE


On his way home, Mr. Sherwood went to the ferry-house and satisfied
himself that the mortgage on the place had been canceled. Mrs.
Wilford was profuse in the expression of her gratitude to him for his
kindness to the family, and hoped that Lawry and his father would be
able to pay him back the whole sum.

"Mrs. Wilford, so far as gratitude and obligation are concerned, the
balance is still largely against me. Millions of dollars would not
pay the debt I owe to your son."

"Oh, Lawry don't think anything of that, sir!"

"But I do. Madam, if your son had been five minutes later than he
was when the little steamer went down, Miss Fanny Grant would
certainly have been drowned, and my wife would doubtless have shared
her fate. And when I think that this exposure of their precious lives
was my own fault; that my wife and her sister had nearly perished by
my foolish haste and recklessness, I feel like giving every dollar I
have in the world to Lawry. You don't understand this matter as I do,
Mrs. Wilford."

"I didn't think you were in any great danger."

"Miss Fanny would certainly have been drowned; and I don't think it
would have been possible for me to save my wife, for I was nearly
exhausted when Lawry came. Now, Mrs. Wilford, do you suppose I shall
mind one, two, or ten thousand dollars, where my brave deliverer is
concerned? In one word, I will never take a dollar which I have
expended for Lawry or the family. Your son is a manly and independent
boy, and I don't like to hurt his feelings; so I shall not say
anything about this money at present."

"Lawry is a good boy," said Mrs. Wilford proudly.

"He is worth his weight in gold. I am sorry your oldest son is not
more like him."

"I don't know what to think of Benjamin."

"Where is he now?"

"I don't know; I haven't seen him since the steamer left, this
morning."

"Lawry is a good deal troubled about the ferry-boat."

"He needn't be."

"Can you hire a man to run the boat?"

"Yes; I can get a boy who will do it for half a dollar a day, and be
glad of the chance. I will engage one."

"Lawry goes to Burlington to-night to take out a party to-morrow."

"To-night?"

"Yes; he must be there by eight in the morning."

Mrs. Wilford thought her son was having a hard time with the
steamer; but she knew he would be satisfied as long as he was doing
well. Mr. Sherwood, assured that there was nothing at home to detain
the young pilot, left the house. Lawry soon after entered; but he had
not time to tell his mother the particulars of his first trip on the
_Woodville_. He could remain but a few moments, while the hands
were "coaling up," from a cargo of coal deposited on the wharf that
day, by the order of Mr. Sherwood.

At nine o'clock everything was ready for the departure. The fireman
grumbled at being called upon to work at night; but Lawry promised to
get another man to keep watch as soon as he could. It was a long
day's work for all hands. When the young captain had gone to the
wheel-house to start the boat, Mr. Sherwood rushed down the wharf,
and jumped aboard.

"I was afraid I should be too late," said he, as Lawry met him on
the main-deck. "I have been all over the village to find you another
fireman, and I have succeeded in getting you a first-rate one--an old
hand at the business."

"Thank you, sir; you are taking a great deal of trouble for me."

"There's another thing I quite forgot; I didn't pay you for the trip
nor the dinners. Here is the money."

"I can't take it, Mr. Sherwood," protested Captain Lawry.

"But you must take it; if you don't I can't engage the boat again."

"Not from you, sir."

"I am more interested than any other person in your success with the
steamer, and I insist that you take the money."

"I owe you for this cargo of coal, now."

"That was a present from Miss Fanny Grant."

"She is very generous."

"Generous! If she doesn't do more than that for you, I shall be
ashamed of her. By the way, captain, she paid the bill for repairing
the steamer at Port Henry."

"Indeed!" exclaimed Lawry, who had intended to discharge this debt
with the first money he earned. "She is very kind. I don't deserve so
much from her and you."

"More, my boy. We haven't done anything at my house but talk about
you for a week. Now, you must be reasonable. We intended to give you
a good start. Miss Grant wishes to put an upright pianoforte in the
saloon. There is just room for it at the end of the stateroom on the
starboard side. When that is put in, we shall let you alone. Now,
Lawry, take this money; if you don't, I shall be offended."

"I don't like to do so," pleaded Lawry. "It makes me feel mean."

"It need not; take it, Lawry, for you will want money to provision
your boat in the morning."

Captain Lawry took it, though it seemed to burn his fingers.

"Now, my boy, you shall have your own way. I will force nothing more
on you, except what I fairly owe you, and you shall make your fortune
without any help or hindrance from anybody."

"I owe you now---"

"Silence, Lawry!" laughed Mr. Sherwood. "There comes your second
fireman."

As the man came down the gangplank, he handed Mr. Sherwood a long
package, done up in brown paper.

"One thing more, Lawry," said his munificent friend, as he led the
way to the engine-room, which was lighted by a lantern. "Will you let
me put this sign up over the front windows in the wheel-house?"

"Certainly, sir. What is it?"

"It is the motto of the steamer, and fully explains how I lost the
boat," replied Mr. Sherwood, as he unrolled the package.

It was a small sign, about three feet in length, elegantly painted
and gilded, on which was the motto:

HASTE AND WASTE.

"While you were at Port Henry, repairing the boat, I went up to
Burlington, where I ordered this to be done. It came down to-day, and
I want it put up in the wheel-house, where it will be constantly
before your eyes, as the best axiom in the world for a steamboat man.
It will be the history of the _Woodville_ to you, and I hope you
will always act upon it, never running your boat above a safe speed,
nor leave your wharf when it is imprudent to do so."

"I shall be very glad to have those words always before me," replied
Lawry.

"When you are ready to go, captain, we are," said Mr. Sherwood.

"I'm all ready, sir."

Lawry turned, and to his astonishment saw Mrs. Sherwood and Miss
Fanny, who had been looking over his shoulder at the pretty sign.

"We are going with you, Captain Lawry," added Mr. Sherwood; "that
is, if you won't charge us anything for our passage."

"I am very happy to have you as passengers," stammered Lawry.

"We are so much in love with your boat, Lawry, that we could not
stay away from her," added Mrs. Sherwood.

"And her captain," said Miss Fanny.

Lawry was good for nothing at complimentary speeches, and he went
aft to give the girls directions to light up the cabin and the two
staterooms for the accommodation of his unexpected passengers.

"Where's Fanny Jane?" asked Ethan, when Mr. Sherwood had gone to the
wheel-house to put up the motto.

"She is going to keep house for us while we are gone," replied Miss
Fanny mischievously. "You were so unsocial to-day she would not come
with us."

"I had to look out for the engine," pleaded Ethan.

"That was not the reason, Ethan," interposed Mrs. Sherwood. "You
behaved splendidly."

"If you were twenty, instead of sixteen, Ethan, I should say you
were in love with Fanny Jane," laughed Miss Fanny.

"Oh, nonsense!" exclaimed Ethan, blushing beneath his smutty face.
"I like her, and after what we went through out West, I don't think
it is very strange I should."

"You are right, Ethan. She is a good girl, and I hope you will like
her more, rather than less."

"The saloon is ready for you, ladies," said Lawry, interrupting this
pleasant conversation--very pleasant to Ethan, for without entering
into an analysis of the young engineer's feelings, it is quite
certain he thought a great deal of the companion of his wanderings in
Minnesota; but fortunately he is not the hero of this book, and this
interesting suggestion need not be followed out any further.

The little captain conducted the ladies to the saloon, and then
hastened to the wheel-house, where Mr. Sherwood, by the light of a
lantern in the hands of one of the boys, had screwed up the sign.

"Haul in the plank!" shouted Lawry, "Cast off the bow-line."

The _Woodville_ backed till she was dear of the wharf, and then
went ahead. Lawry knew the lake by night as well as by day, and he
was perfectly at home at the wheel, not withstanding the darkness
that lay in the steamer's path. One of the deck-hands was a boy of
sixteen, who had served in a similar capacity on board the lake
steamers, and was a good wheelman, though he knew nothing of the
navigation of the lake, and steered only by the directions given him
from time to time. Captain Lawry called this hand, and gave him the
wheel, with orders to run for a certain headland several miles distant.

The young captain went below with Mr. Sherwood, to make his
arrangements for the night. The second fireman had already been
installed in the fire-room by Ethan, and the first had gone forward.
A portion of the forehold of the steamer had been fitted up for the
accommodation of the crew. It contained four berths, and was well
ventilated by a skylight in the forecastle. In building the boat, Mr.
Sherwood had insisted upon having everything put into her that was to
be found in larger craft; and these quarters for the hands were now
very convenient, if not indispensable.

Lawry gave one of these berths to the first fireman, and
appropriated the other to the use of the second and the two deck-hands.
The second boy was gaping fearfully on the forward deck, and
was quite delighted when the captain told him he might turn in. On
the starboard side of the steamer, forward of the wheels, were two
very cunning little staterooms, the corresponding space on the port
side being occupied by the kitchen and storerooms. One of these was
for the engineer, and the other for the captain. Abaft the wheels, on
each side, was a small stateroom, one of which had been designed for
the captain. Both of these rooms had been appropriated to the cook
and the two waiter girls. Mrs. Light, in the apartment of the
commander, was quite delighted with her accommodations; but Mr.
Sherwood declared that she deserved a princely couch for the good
dinner she had served that day.

The two staterooms to be occupied by the passengers were taken out
of the space that would otherwise have been park of the saloon, and
were entered by doors on each side of the passageway leading to it.
They were beautiful little rooms, though ladies in full crinoline
might have been somewhat perplexed at their contracted dimensions.
They were elegantly furnished, and Miss Fanny declared that her room
made her think of the fairy palaces for little people, of which she
had read in her childhood. There were twelve berths in the lower
cabin, but these were not needed.

Having disposed of his crew for the night, Lawry returned to the
wheel-house, where he was soon joined by his passengers, who spent an
hour with him before they retired. At half-past ten they went to
their rooms, and Lawry was alone. Not a sound was to be heard except
the monotonous clang of the engine, and the lake was as silent in the
gloom as though the shadow of death was upon it. There was a
solemnity in the scene which impressed the young pilot, even
accustomed as he was to the night and the silence. He was worn out by
the labors and the excitement of the day, but he could not resist the
inspiration which came from the quiet waters and the gloomy shores.

The _Woodville_ sped on her way, and at midnight she was
approaching the steamboat wharf at Burlington. Lawry rang to "slow
down," and informed Ethan that the boat was close to the wharf. The
"fires were drawn," and in a few moments more the steamer was made
fast to the wharf. After satisfying himself that everything was
secure on board, the exhausted pilot went to his stateroom, and was
soon fast asleep. Ethan followed him, after instructing the first
fireman to get up steam early in the morning.

Both the pilot and the engineer slept till seven o'clock; but when
they came out of their rooms, blaming themselves for sleeping so
late, they found the decks washed down, the cabins in order, steam
up, and breakfast ready. Those who had "turned in" early had
faithfully performed the duties belonging to them, as they had been
instructed the evening before. Mrs. Light, who was steward as well as
cook, had been to the market, and purchased the supplies for
breakfast and dinner. Mr. Sherwood and the ladies had risen early,
and taken a walk, which gave them a keen appetite for the excellent
breakfast prepared for them. The passengers insisted that Captain
Lawry should sit at the head of the table with them, as this was the
proper place for the commander of the steamer.

During his walk Mr. Sherwood had purchased three blank books, and a
double slate, for which Lawry, agreeably to the arrangement that
nothing more should be forced upon him, paid the cash on the spot, to
the great amusement of the ladies. The memoranda of each trip,
including the time of arrival and departure, and of reaching or
passing the principal points on the lake, were to be entered on the
slate in the wheel-house, and afterward copied into the largest of
the blank books. These were called the log-slate and the log-book.
The second was the engagement-book, and the third an account-book, in
which the receipts and expenses of the steamer were to be kept.

After breakfast Mr. Sherwood assisted his young friend in opening
these books, and explained to him the best method of keeping his
accounts. By this time the party for the day's excursion had begun to
arrive. The ladies and gentlemen were friends of Mr. Sherwood, and he
and his wife and Miss Fanny were to join them. A small band had been
provided for the occasion, consisting of six pieces.

Precisely at eight o'clock the _Woodville_ left the wharf, amid
the inspiring strains of the "Star-spangled Banner," performed by the
band. The scene was in the highest degree exhilarating; and the
little captain was the happiest person on board, where all was
merriment and rejoicing. The boat was to go down the lake as far as
Isle La Motte, where the party would spend a couple of hours on
shore, and return by six o'clock in the afternoon. This program was
carried out to the letter, without any accident, or any nearer
approach to one than a thunder-shower and squall. When the little
captain saw the tempest coming down upon him, he put the boat about
and run her up into the teeth of the squall. The ladies and gentlemen
saw the commotion on the water, and some of them were very much
alarmed; but the _Woodville_, under the good management of
Lawry, did not careen a particle, being headed into the wind.

In three minutes it was over, the steamer returned to her former
course, and the party wondered that she made no more fuss about it.
While the rain continued, the excursionists were compelled to remain
in the saloon; but they were full of glee, after their terror had
subsided, and the shower was hardly regarded as a detriment to the
pleasure of the trip.

At the appointed hour the _Woodville_ was at the wharf in
Burlington. Before the party left the boat, they met in the saloon,
and passed a vote of thanks to the little captain, in which the
dinner, the steamer, and her commander were warmly praised. It was
written out, a copy was given to Lawry, and it was to be published in
the Burlington papers. While the boat was stopping at the wharf, Mr.
Sherwood went up to a printing office, where he had left an order for
a job in the morning, and returned bringing with him a few copies of
the handbill, which was to announce the _Woodville_ more generally
to the public. It was posted in various parts of the steamer, and read
aloud with mischievous delight by Miss Fanny. It was printed in colors,
ornamented with a cut of a steamer, and read as follows:

MOST DELIGHTFUL EXCURSIONS ON THE LAKE!

THE NEW AND SPLENDID MINIATURE STEAMER

_WOODVILLE_,

Captain Lawrence Wilford,

With elegant and luxurious accommodations for thirty passengers, is
now ready to convey pleasure-parties to any part of the lake.

Breakfasts, dinners, and suppers provided on board; and the tables
will be supplied with the best the market affords.

Apply by letter, or otherwise, to

CAPTAIN LAWRENCE WILFORD,

Port Rock, N. Y.

By seven o'clock the _Woodville_ was under way for Port Rock.
Lawry gave the helm to one of the deck-hands, and went below to make
some entries in his account-book. He had been paid, that day, fifty
dollars for the boat, and thirty dollars for dinners. Mrs. Light had
expended twenty-six dollars for provisions and groceries, but he
still had one hundred and twenty-eight dollars. It was a large sum of
money for a boy of fourteen to have, and he counted it with a pride
and pleasure which made him forget the fatigue of his severe labors.

At half-past ten the steamer was moored to her wharf at Port Rock.
Mr. Sherwood and the ladies bade the little captain good-night, and
went home.



CHAPTER XVIII

TEN THOUSAND IN GOLD


It was fortunate for Lawry that he was able to sleep well in the
midst of the excitement in which he lived; otherwise his bodily frame
must have yielded to the pressure to which it was subjected. He did
not wake till seven the next morning, which invigorated his powers
and prepared him for the duties of another day. As soon as he turned
out, he went up to see his mother, and gave her a hundred dollars of
the money he had earned, reserving the balance for the expenses of
the boat.

At nine Mr. Sherwood and his party came on board. It had been his
intention to visit Ticonderoga; but business letters which he found
waiting his arrival the evening before compelled him to change his
destination to Burlington.

Just before the party appeared, Ben Wilford had been seen lounging
about the wharf. He had complained bitterly to his mother of the
treatment he had received from Lawry, and did not seem to be
conscious that he had ever been engaged in a base and mean conspiracy
against the peace and happiness of the whole family. Mrs. Wilford had
spoken plainly to him, which had only increased his irritation. The
little steamer was a sore trial to him, for she was the indication of
Lawry's prosperity.

Ben had fully persuaded himself into the belief that he, and not
Lawry, ought to be captain of the _Woodville_. She was a family
affair, and he could not regard his brother as the actual owner of
her. He had imagination enough to understand and appreciate the
pleasure of being in command of such a fine craft. His conspiracy had
signally failed; in his own choice phrase, Mr. Sherwood "carried too
many guns for him," and it was useless to contend against money.

The envious brother had so far progressed in his views as to believe
that a subordinate position in the _Woodville_ was better than
no position at all. He had heard of the fine times the parties had on
board of her, of the splendid dinners, and the inspiring music; and
he was very anxious to have a situation in her. He was afraid of Mr.
Sherwood, and dared not again take his place boldly on board. At a
favorable moment, when Lawry and the deck-hands were employed on the
after part of the deck, he slipped down the plank and into the
forecastle, concealing himself in the berth of one of the firemen.
This trick might insure him a passage with the excursion-party, if
nothing more.

When the ladies and gentlemen had all arrived, the boat left the
wharf, and commenced her voyage down the lake. After she had gone a
couple of miles Ben Wilford came out of his hiding-place, and
proceeded directly to the wheel-house, feeling that he had nothing to
fear from his kind-hearted brother, and hoping to conciliate him
before Mr. Sherwood discovered that he was on board. He entered the
open door of the wheel-house as coolly as though he belonged there.

"Ben!" exclaimed the little captain, when he saw him. "I didn't know
you were on board."

"I didn't mean you should till I got ready," replied Ben.

"I don't know as Mr. Sherwood will like it when he sees you," added
Lawry.

"If you like it, he will."

"I'm sure I've no objection to your going with me."

"I knew you hadn't."

"But the steamer belongs to Mr. Sherwood to-day."

"Don't you want some help, Lawry? Mother thinks you are working
rather too hard."

"I don't think I shall hurt myself," answered Lawry, laughing; and
he was really pleased to find Ben in such good humor. "I don't see
that you can help me any."

"I can steer."

"So can Rounds," replied Lawry, referring to the deckhand whom he
called to the wheel when he left his post.

"Lawry, you are my brother--ain't you?"

"Of course I am."

"And I am your brother--am I not?"

"Without a doubt you are."

"Then there are two good reasons why we should not quarrel."

"I'm very sure I don't wish to quarrel, Ben," added Lawry earnestly.

"And I'm just as sure I don't," continued Ben. "This is a splendid
little boat, and we might make a first-rate thing of it. I still
think I ought to be captain of her; but I won't quarrel about that
now. I'll take any place you have a mind to give me."

This was certainly very kind and condescending on the part of the
elder brother, after what had occurred; and Lawry really felt happy
in the excellent spirit which Ben appeared to manifest.

"You might give me a chance as mate, if you like," added Ben, as he
perceived the smile on his brother's face.

"I will speak to Mr. Sherwood about it."

"What do you want to speak to him for? Don't you own this boat?"

"I do; but he has been very kind to me, and I want to take his
advice when I can. I wish you hadn't got into that scrape the other
day."

"What scrape?"

"Why, causing the boat to be attached for father's debts."

"I didn't mean anything by it, Lawry," answered Ben, in apologetic
tones. "You must acknowledge that you provoked me to it."

"How, Ben?"

"I can't get it out of my head that I ought to be captain of this
boat. I think it would be a good deal better for you, Lawry. Just
look at it one minute! You are a pilot, and you have to leave the
wheel to see to everything on board. You ought to have nothing to do
but to navigate the steamer; while I, as captain, could take the
money, see to the dinners, and keep the deck and cabins in good order."

"We get along very well," replied Lawry.

"But it will wear you out in a month. Mother is afraid you will kill
yourself, running the boat night and day."

"If you were captain I should have to be in the wheelhouse all the
time, just the same."

"Well, I don't insist on it, Lawry," replied Ben, with becoming
meekness. "I was only saying what would be best for all concerned."

"I will talk with Mr. Sherwood."

"Whatever you say, he will agree to. Now, give me the wheel, Lawry,
and you go and see your passengers."

Ben took hold of the wheel, and the young pilot involuntarily
released his grasp on the spokes. The older brother was certainly in
a very amiable frame of mind, and it was perfectly proper to
encourage him; but there was no more need of a mate than there was of
another captain. Rounds, as the older of the two deck-hands, now
performed the duties of that office. There was no freight to be
received and discharged, which the mate superintends; and there was
nothing for him to do but attend to the gangplank and the mooring
lines, and see that the decks were washed down when required.

Lawry was not quite willing to leave the wheel in charge of his
brother, for he was painfully conscious that he could not always be
trusted. Ben was not often in so pliable a frame of mind, and the
little captain could not help suspecting that he had some object in
view which was not apparent, for he had twice declared, that if he
was not captain of the _Woodville_ no one should be. He was not
prepared to believe that Ben would run the boat on the rocks, or set
her on fire; but he deemed it prudent to keep his eye on him, and on
the course of the steamer.

Ben steered very well, and Lawry left the wheel-house. At the door
he met Mr. Sherwood, just as that gentleman had discovered who was at
the helm.

"How's this, Lawry? Have you got more help?" asked his friend.

"I didn't know Ben was on board till we were two miles from the
wharf. I hope you don't object, sir."

"Certainly not, Lawry. If you are satisfied, I have no reason to be
otherwise."

"Ben talks very fair this morning; and I'm sure I don't want to
quarrel with him."

"Of course not."

"He still thinks he ought to be captain, and that it would be better
for me;" and Lawry stated his brother's argument.

"That's all very pretty," replied Mr. Sherwood. "If you wish to give
your brother the command of your steamer, it is not for me to
interpose any objection."

"But I want to follow your advice."

"I think you had better let things remain as they are, for the
present, at least. Do as you think best, Lawry. I don't want to
influence you."

This conversation took place near the door of the wheel-house, and,
though the parties had not so intended, Ben heard every word of it.

"Do as you think best, Lawry," continued Mr. Sherwood.

"I want to do what you think is best, sir."

"You know my opinion. Your brother's habits--I am sorry to say it--are
not good. I should not be willing to trust him. You cannot place
much confidence in a young man who is in the habit of getting drunk.
I don't want to hurt your feelings, Lawry, but I must be frank with
you."

Ben ground his teeth with rage, as he listened to this plain
description of himself, and, in accordance with his usual practice in
such cases, vowed to be revenged upon the man who had traduced him,
which was his interpretation of Mr. Sherwood's candid statement of
the truth.

"I think you are right, sir," replied Lawry, realizing that Ben was
not fit for the command of the _Woodville_, even if he was
disposed to give it to him.

"Lawry, I have been compelled to change this excursion into a
partial business trip. I am going to buy the surplus-gold of a bank
in Burlington, and you must leave me there and go on to Port Kent. On
your return, you can stop for me," continued Mr. Sherwood. "What is
your engagement for to-morrow."

"At Whitehall, sir."

"Capital! You can convey my gold through, so that I can take the
morning train at Whitehall for New York."

"If we get back to Port Rock by six, we can reach Whitehall by
twelve."

"Well, that is sooner than I wish to arrive," added Mr. Sherwood
thoughtfully. "I shall have ten thousand dollars in gold with me,
which, at the present rate, is worth about twenty-five thousand
dollars in currency. It would be a great temptation to any rogues,
who might find out the specie was on board. How would it do to start
from Port Rock at midnight?"

"It will do just as well, sir."

"Then I shall reach Whitehall just in time for the train. But,
Lawry, I see that you must have another pilot on board."

"I think I can get along, sir."

"You will wear yourself out. You have run a portion of the last two
nights, and this arrangement will make the third."

"I can sleep just as well at Port Rock as at Whitehall. To-morrow
will be Saturday, and my engagements for Monday and Tuesday are at
the upper end of the lake, so that I shall have no more night work at
present. I can stand it well enough."

"I'm afraid it will be too much for you; but if you have to engage
an extra pilot, you must raise your price to sixty dollars a day."

"I think we shall need another engineer at the same time. Ethan has
just as hard a time of it as I do."

"You had better raise your price; people will not object."

"I was thinking, sir, that Ben would make a good pilot. He is a good
wheelman, and it wouldn't take him long to learn the courses on the
lake."

Mr. Sherwood shook his head.

"Would you be willing to trust him with the boat?--go to sleep
yourself, while he is at the helm?" asked he.

"I think I would, after he had learned the navigation."

"He is your brother, Lawry, and I don't like to say anything to
wound you; but I feel that your brother is not a reliable person. You
must be very prudent. Even a trifling accident, resulting from
mismanagement, might ruin your business; for people will not expose
their lives needlessly. If Ben will run the ferry the rest of the
year, keep sober, and behave well in every respect, you might make a
pilot of him, or even captain, another season."

Doubtless this was good advice, and the little captain had so much
confidence in his friend and benefactor that he could not help
adopting it. Mr. Sherwood went into the cabin again, without any
conversation with the subject of his severe but just comments. Lawry
was on the point of leaving the hurricane-deck, where he had talked
with his adviser, when he noticed that the boat was headed toward the
shore, and in a moment more would be aground in the shoal water off
Barber's Point. He rushed into the wheel-house, and found that Ben
had abandoned the helm. Grasping the wheel, the pilot brought her up
to her course, and then turned to his brother.

"What do you mean, Ben, by leaving the wheel?" demanded Lawry,
filled with indignation at his brother's treachery.

"Don't talk to me," growled Ben.

"The boat would have been aground in a minute more."

"I wish she was."

"What's the matter, Ben?"

"I thought you were my brother; but you are not."

"I'm sorry to hear you talk so; and I didn't think you would do so
mean a thing as to run the boat ashore."

"I'll do anything now. I heard what Sherwood said to you, and what
you said to him. I didn't think you would let any man talk about your
brother as he did. Do you suppose I would let any man talk like that
about my brother? I'll bet I wouldn't! I'd knock him over before the
words were out of his mouth."

"Why, what did he say, Ben?"

"What did he say! Didn't you hear what he said? Didn't he tell you I
was a drunken fellow, and couldn't be trusted?"

"Well, he certainly did," replied Lawry moodily.

"And you heard him! And you didn't say a word!" said Ben furiously.

"What could I say when Mr. Sherwood spoke only what I know is true?"

"Then you think I'm a drunken fellow, and can't be trusted?"
demanded Ben, with an injured look.

"Don't you drink too much sometimes?"

"No, I don't! I drink what I want; but no one ever saw me the worse
for liquor. Who says I can't be trusted?"

"When I gave you the wheel, at your own request, you left it, and
the boat would have been ashore in another minute. Does that look as
though you could be trusted?" added Lawry.

"That was because you wouldn't trust me. I was mad."

"One who would expose the lives of twenty or thirty persons when he
got mad ought not to be trusted."

"Lawry, you are no longer my brother. You and your mother, and
Sherwood here, have been trying to put me down, and make a nobody of
me. You can't do it. I'm your enemy now. You have made me mad, and
you must take the consequences. I'll burn or smash this boat the
first chance I get! As for Sherwood, I'll teach him to talk about me!"

The angry young man rushed out of the wheel-house. If Mr. Sherwood
had heard his insane threats he would probably have insisted that he
should be immediately put on shore; but Lawry did not think his
brother capable of the madness of malice his speech indicated; he was
in a passion, and when he cooled off he would be reasonable again.

Ben sat down on the forecastle where the pilot could see him, and
nursed his wrath till the _Woodville_ arrived at Burlington. He
was in deep thought all the time, and did not heed the singing or
other amusements of the party on board, who were enjoying themselves
to the utmost. Apparently with no perception of his own faults and
shortcomings, he regarded himself as a deeply injured young man. His
mother and his brother had turned against him, and were persecuting
him to the best of their ability. He had come on board to gain his
purpose by conciliation; he had failed, and, in his own view, there
was nothing left for him but revenge.

The boat touched at Burlington, and to the great relief of Lawry,
his brother followed Mr. Sherwood on shore. At three o'clock the
_Woodville_ returned from Port Kent with the happy excursionists.
While the steamer lay at the wharf, waiting for Mr. Sherwood, many
persons, moved by curiosity to inspect the beautiful craft, came
aboard; and whenever she stopped, she had plenty of visitors of this
description. Among them Lawry saw his brother, accompanied by two
men, who, from the remarks they made, were evidently familiar with
the machinery and appointments of steamers.

Mr. Sherwood presently appeared attended by a bank messenger with
the precious coin he had purchased at 2.44, the telegraphic quotation
from New York for that day.

"Where shall I put this gold. Captain Lawry?" asked Mr. Sherwood.

"I don't know, sir; I'm really afraid of it," replied the captain
nervously. "Can't you carry it in your pockets?"

"It weighs about thirty-seven pounds," laughed Mr. Sherwood. "I will
lock it up in my stateroom. I shall sleep on board to-night, and it
will be safe enough after we leave the wharf, for no one but you and
me knows there is any specie on board."

The man of gold went aft with the coin, which was contained in two
bags.

"I suppose I can go home with you--can't I, Lawry?" asked Ben, as
the little captain started for the wheel-house.

Lawry could not refuse this request, though his brother was
evidently a little excited by the liquor he had drank. He hoped Ben
had not heard anything about the treasure on board; for he feared
that revenge, if not dishonesty, might prompt him to commit a crime.

The visitors were warned ashore, and the _Woodville_ departed
for Port Rock, where she arrived at about six o'clock. The
excursion-party went on shore, after the usual compliments to the
steamer and her commander.

"Now, Lawry, I must go up to the house for my valise; but I will
return in an hour," said Mr. Sherwood, whose carriage was waiting for
him at the head of the wharf.

"But the gold, sir?" whispered Lawry anxiously.

"You or Ethan may watch the stateroom till I return, if you please;
but there is no danger here. You must turn in at once, Lawry, so as
not to lose your sleep."

"I shall be gone four or five days, this time, and I must go home
after some clean clothes."

"Very well; I will get Ethan to keep his eye on the stateroom,"
replied Mr. Sherwood; and Lawry ran up to the cottage.

Ethan, who had ordered the fires to be banked in furnaces, and was
letting off the superfluous steam, consented to watch the room
containing the gold. Rounds, the deckhand, and the first fireman
turned in, that they might be ready for duty at midnight, when the
boat would start for Whitehall.



CHAPTER XIX

CAPTURED AND RECAPTURED


Unfortunately for Ben Wilford, he had heard Mr. Sherwood inform
Lawry of his intentions in regard to the purchase and transportation
of the gold. Before the _Woodville_ reached Burlington, the
dissolute young man had resolved to obtain the money if possible,
prompted partly by revenge, and partly by the desire to possess so
large a sum, with which he could revel in luxury in some distant
party of the country. It must be confessed that this resolve to
commit a crime was not simply an impulse, for the young man who leads
a life of indolence and dissipation is never at any great distance
from crime. Ben had been schooling himself for years for the very
deed he now determined to do.

With more energy and decision, Ben was, in other respects, the
counterpart of his father. His moral perceptions were weak, and the
dissolute life he led had not contributed to strengthen them. He was
the antipode of Lawry, who had been more willing to listen to the
teachings of his mother.

Ben had resolved to commit a crime, but he had not the skill or the
courage to do it alone. When he went on shore at Burlington, he met
two of his former boon companions, with whom he had often tippled,
gambled, and caroused. One of them had been a fireman, and the other
a deck-hand, on board a steamer with Ben, and he knew them
thoroughly. By gradual approaches he sounded them, to ascertain their
willingness to join him in the robbery. The gold converted into
currency would give them seven or eight thousand dollars apiece, and
the temptation was sufficiently strong to remove all prudential
obstacles.

While the _Woodville_ was absent on her trip to Port Kent, the
details of the robbery had been settled. The confederates sat on the
corner of the wharf and arranged their plans, which were mainly
suggested by the one who had been a fireman. The scheme was to be
executed while the boat lay at Port Rock, and the two men whom Lawry
had seen with his brother were his associates in the intended crime.
Ben had concealed them in the forehold of the steamer. While the
excursion-party were going on shore at the gangway abaft at the
wheels, and all hands had gone aft to witness their departure, Ben
had called them from their hiding-place, and sent them on the wharf,
where he soon joined them. From a point near the head of the pier,
where they were not observed, they waited till Mr. Sherwood and Lawry
had gone, and all was quiet on board of the steamer.

"Now is our time," said Ben nervously; for he was not familiar
enough with crime to be unmoved by the desperate situation in which
he had placed himself.

"Is the coast clear?" asked the fireman.

"Yes," replied Ben, whose teeth actually chattered with apprehension.

"Who is there on board now?"

"No one but the engineer and the fireman, except two boys," answered
Ben. "They were all going to turn in as soon as they got to the wharf."

"The firemen are both men, but I reckon they won't fight; all the
rest are boys."

"One fireman and two boys have turned in by this time," added Ben.

"Then there is no one up but the engineer and one fireman?"

"No."

"Where is the gold, Ben?"

"In the starboard saloon stateroom."

"All right; have your pistols ready, but don't use them, for it will
be bad for us if we have to kill any one."

The party walked down to the _Woodville_. All was still on
board of her, except the sound of escaping steam. Ethan stood sentry
at the door of the stateroom containing the gold, and the man on
watch in the fire-room was busy reading a newspaper. It was not
sunset yet, but the crew of the _Woodville_ had been worked so
hard for three days that those off duty could sleep without an opiate.

"Put on that hatch," said the fireman, who became the leading spirit
of the party, as he pointed to the companion-way of the forehold,
where the hands slept.

Ben obeyed the order without making any noise, and then the party
went aft, where Ethan was keeping guard over the treasure.

"Good evening, Ethan," said Ben, with more suavity than he was in
the habit of using.

"Good evening," replied the engineer.

"Haven't turned in yet?" continued Ben.

"No."

"Going to start at midnight, I hear."

"Yes."

"Some friends of mine wanted to look over the boat; I suppose I can
show them through."

"I don't know; Captain Lawry can tell you," answered Ethan, who did
not like Ben, and was not favorably impressed by the appearance of
the other men.

Ben walked aft into the saloon, followed by his companions. Ethan
was sitting in a chair by the side of the stateroom door. The fireman
passed round behind, and suddenly fell upon him, throwing him on the
floor and pinioning his arms to his back.

"What are you about?" cried Ethan, struggling to release himself.
"Help! help!"

"Stop his mouth!" said Ben fearfully.

Vainly poor Ethan endeavored to shake off his assailants; his arms
were tied together behind him, and a handkerchief stuffed into his
mouth. In this condition he was lashed to a stanchion, so that he
could move neither hand nor foot.

The commotion of this outrage attracted the attention of Mrs. Light
and the two waiter-girls, who were employed in the lower cabin. The
fireman exhibited a pistol to them, drove them below again, and
threatened to shoot them if they made any noise. A similar
demonstration quieted the fireman, and compelled him to return to the
fire-room.

"The job is done," said Baker, the leader of the enterprise.

"But we haven't got the money," added Flint, the deckhand.

"We don't want that yet. It is safe where it is. Now both of you to
your stations," continued Baker; and he went down into the fire-room.

Ben's station was in the wheel-house, Flint's at the fasts, and
Baker's at the engine, as it appeared from their subsequent
movements; and it was evident, from the operations in progress, that
the villains intended to make their escape in the steamer. Baker
stopped the hissing steam which was going to waste, and compelled the
fireman to renew the fires.

"Be lively!" shouted Ben, from the wheel-house, as he discovered
Lawry on the shore, hastening back to the steamer with his bundle of
clothes.

"All ready!" replied Baker, finding there was steam enough to start
the boat.

Flint had already cast off the fasts, without waiting for orders,
and was standing on the forecastle, as impatient to be off as a man
can be who is engaged in the commission of a crime.

Ben rang the bell to back her; the wheels turned, but as the stern-line
had been cast off, her bow was not carried out from the wharf.
By this time Lawry had discovered that the _Woodville_ was in
motion. He was astonished and alarmed, though he was far from
surmising that his boat had been captured by robbers. Running with
all his speed, he reached the head of the wharf just as the boat had
backed far enough to permit Ben to see him, and for him to see that
Ben was at the wheel. Then he realized that his brother was engaged
in another conspiracy.

Notwithstanding his extensive knowledge of "steam-boating" in
general, Ben Wilford was a very unskillful pilot. If he had
understood the management of a boat half as well as Lawry, the
nefarious scheme might have been successful. He saw his brother; he
did not wish to have him come on board, for Lawry might be so
obstinate as to induce one of his dissolute companions to fire at
him. He rang the bell to stop her, and then to go ahead, at the same
time putting the helm hard aport.

The _Woodville_ went forward, and as she met the helm her bow
came round, and she was headed out into the middle of the lake. As
she went ahead, her stern swept in a circle within a few feet of the
wharf, just as Lawry, breathless with haste and alarm, reached the
end of the pier. The little captain knew nothing of the state of
things on board, except that his brother Ben was at the wheel, which,
however, was a sufficient explanation to him. The _Woodville_
was going, and he could not let her depart without him. Dropping his
bundle, he leaped to the plankshear, grasping the rail with both
hands. Jumping over the bulwark, he stood on the guard from which
opened the windows of the saloon.

Neither of the three conspirators were in a situation to see this
movement on the part of Lawry. Ben was too much occupied in
steering--for he was not a little fearful of getting aground in some
shoal water between the ferry and the wharf--to notice anything; but
as soon as he had obtained his course, he looked for his brother on
the pier. He was not there; but Ben did not suspect that he was on
board the _Woodville_. Baker, who knew just enough about an engine to
stop and start it, was working the valves with the bar; and he could
think of nothing else. Doubtless he was conscious by this time that
he had "taken a big job," in assuming the control of the engine.

Lawry was bewildered by the situation. When his feet struck the
deck, his first impulse was to rush up to the wheel-house, and
confront the difficulty as the case might require. He started to
carry out his purpose, when he happened to look through one of the
saloon windows, and discovered Ethan, with the handkerchief in his
mouth, tied to the stanchion. Deeply as he sympathized with his
friend in his unpleasant position, he was still cheered by the sight,
for it assured him that the engineer had been faithful to his duties,
and was not a party to the conspiracy.

The little captain went round and entered the saloon by the door,
without being seen by either of the conspirators. He removed the gag
from Ethan's mouth, and proceeded to unfasten the cords with which he
was bound.

"What does all this mean, Ethan?" demanded Lawry, in excited tones,
and almost crying with vexation.

"Hush! Do they know you are here?" asked the engineer.

"I think not; I don't know."

"Keep still, then. They are after the gold."

"Who are they?"

"Ben and two other fellows. I don't know them."

"We'll stop this thing very quick," said Lawry.

"They are armed with pistols, and threatened to shoot all hands. Be
careful, Lawry, or you will get a bullet through your head."

"What shall we do?" demanded the young pilot.

Ethan was an accomplished strategist. He led the way to the lower
cabin, where the terrified women had been driven by the ruffians.

"If any of those men ask for me, tell them I got loose, jumped
overboard, and swam ashore," said Ethan.

"Law sake!" exclaimed the cook.

"Don't tell them I am here, at any rate."

"I won't. Massy sake! What are we comin' to?"

"Don't be alarmed; we will take care of these villains before we
have done with them," added Ethan.

"Hush! There's some one coming," said one of the girls; and the
heavy tread of a man was heard on the deck above them.

Ethan and Lawry had only time to crawl into one of the berths, where
Mrs. Light covered them with bedclothes, before Flint came down into
the cabin.

"See here; we haven't been to supper, and we want some," said the
ruffian, as he descended the steps.

"What are you goin' to do with us?" demanded Mrs. Light.

"Don't be scart; we won't hurt you," replied Flint.

"But where you goin'?"

"Up to Whitehall. When we get there, you can go where you please.
Now, get us some supper; the best there is on board--beefsteak and
coffee."

"Well, I suppose I can get you some supper; but I don't like such
carryin's on," replied Mrs. Light.

Flint left the cabin, after he had given his order. On his way
forward he looked into the saloon, and discovered that their prisoner
was missing. Search was immediately instituted; but Mrs. Light, as
instructed by Ethan, declared that he had got loose and swam ashore;
she had seen him through the stern-lights. The rascals finally
accepted this explanation, after searching on deck for him.

Mrs. Light went to the kitchen to get supper for the rogues, while
the girls set the table. The cook presently returned to the cabin,
and told Ethan where each of the robbers was stationed; but being
unarmed, there seemed to be no way of making an attack upon them
where the ruffians could not rally to the support of each other.

"We must settle this business down here, Lawry," said Ethan, when
they had come out of their hiding-places.

"They will have to come to supper one at a time," added the little
captain.

"Exactly so; and this will be the safest place to do the job. We
want a rope," added the engineer, with a businesslike air.

"I'll fetch you a rope," said Mrs. Light.

"Do; bring me the small heave-line, on the guard by the saloon doors."

The cook went on deck, and after a visit to the kitchen, returned to
the cabin with the line indicated under her apron. In about half an
hour supper was ready for the villains, and one of the girls informed
Baker, who was still on duty in the engine-room, that it was waiting
for them. The engineer called Flint, and told him, as the boat was
out in the middle of the lake, the engine would need nothing done to
it, and directed him to stand at the door, so that the fireman below
should not attempt to defeat their plans. He then went to the cabin
for his supper.

Ethan and Lawry had concealed themselves behind the curtains of a
tier of berths, directly in the rear of the chair where Baker was to
sit at the table. In his hand Ethan held the heave-line, at one end
of which Lawry had made a hangman's noose. Mrs. Light and the girls
had been instructed to rattle the chairs, make as much noise as they
could, and otherwise engage the attention of the robber, as soon as
he sat down to the table.

Baker came down the stairs, and one of the girls began to rattle the
chairs, Mrs. Light to move a pile of plates, and the other girl to
arrange the dishes on the table. "Will you have some coffee?"
demanded Mrs. Light, without giving him time to notice anything in
the cabin.

"Of course I will," growled Baker.

"Shall I give you some beefsteak?" asked one of the girls.

"I'll help myself."

"If you want some fried eggs I'll get some for you," added the cook,
rattling the dishes again.

Baker was not permitted to say whether he would have any fried eggs
or not, for at that moment Ethan crept from his concealment, whatever
noise he made being drowned by the clatter of the dishes and the
rattling of the chairs. Stealing up behind Baker, who was intent only
on beefsteak and coffee, he slipped the hangman's noose over his
head, and hauled it tight. The robber attempted to spring to his
feet, but Ethan hauled him over backward on the floor. At the same
time Lawry threw the end of the line over a deck beam, extended
across the skylight, and began to "haul in the slack."

The villain attempted to cry out; but the sound only gurgled in his
throat. He grasped the rope with both hands; but the choking already
received had taken away his strength, and he was unable to make any
successful resistance. While Lawry kept the rope so taut that Baker
could not move, Ethan tied his hands behind him, though the man's
struggles were fierce, and the engineer was obliged to use a rolling-pin,
supplied by Mrs. Light, before the conquest was complete. The
ruffian was securely bound and gagged; but the cook and the girls had
nearly fainted while the struggle was going on.

Baker, thus gagged and bound, was rolled into one of the lower
berths. He had been nearly choked to death by the rope, and several
hard knocks he had received on the head had rendered him partially
insensible, so that he was not in condition to make any further
resistance. Ethan had taken possession of his pistol, and, as a
matter of precaution, threatened to blow out his brains if he made
any noise.

"Massy sake!" groaned Mrs. Light. "I never did see! You've taken my
breath all away!"

"Don't make a noise," said Ethan.

"I couldn't have struck that man as you did," added Lawry.

"If you had been through what I have, out West, it would come easier
to you," replied the engineer. "We must go through the whole of it
once more."

One of the girls was then sent to call Flint, and directed to assure
him that such was the order of Baker, who had gone to the wheel-house
for a moment, and would immediately return to the engine-room. The
deck-hand was too much in a hurry for his supper to question the
order, and went directly to the cabin. The noise made by Mrs. Light
and the girls prevented him from hearing the heavy breathings of
Baker, and he was an easier victim than his companion in crime had
been. He was choked, gagged, bound, and his pistol taken from him. By
this time these two ruffians, if they could think at all, could not
help believing that the way of the transgressor is hard.

From regard to the feelings of Lawry, Ethan decided that Ben should
not be subjected to this harsh treatment. He was still in the
wheel-house, not suspecting that his nefarious scheme had been wholly
defeated.

The work was accomplished, and the pilot and engineer went on deck.
Ethan repaired to his post and stopped the engine. Ben half a dozen
times demanded, through the speaking-tube, what the matter was; but
receiving no answer, he came down himself to ascertain the cause of
the sudden stoppage of the boat.



CHAPTER XX

THE LITTLE CAPTAIN AND HIS MOTTO


As Ben Wilford, fearful that some accident to the machinery would
defeat his criminal enterprise, entered the engine-room on one side,
Lawry left it at the other. As the little captain went forward, he
heard a noise in the forecastle, and saw that the companionway was
closed and fastened. Releasing the firemen and deck-hands confined
there, he directed them to follow him to the wheel-house, where he
explained to them what had happened.

"What are you stopping for?" demanded Ben Wilford, before he
discovered that Baker was not present.

"I think it is about time to go back, now," replied Ethan, holding
one of the pistols in his hand.

"How came you here, Ethan?" exclaimed Ben, starting back with
astonishment when he saw who was in charge of the engine.

"I run this machine, and this is the right place for me," replied
Ethan coolly.

"Where's Baker?"

"He's safe; if you mean the man you left in charge of the engine."

Ben was bewildered by the present aspect of affairs. It was clear
that there had been a miscarriage somewhere; but he was unable to
tell how or where the scheme had failed. Before he could decide what
step to take next, Captain Lawry rang the bell to go ahead.

"Who rang the bell?" asked Ben.

"Captain Lawry."

"Is he on board?"

"He is," replied Ethan, as he started the engine. "Ben Wilford, you
have got about to the end of your rope."

"What do you mean?"

"You have done a job which will send you to Sing Sing for the next
ten years."

"No, I haven't," said Ben, backing out of the engine-room.

"Stop where you are," interposed Ethan, peremptorily, as he raised
his pistol.

"Two can play at that game," added Ben.

"Two can; but two won't. Drop your hands, or I'll fire!"

Ben obeyed; he had felt that the game was up the moment he saw Ethan
at his post, and he had not the courage to draw his pistol upon one
who had shot two Indians in one day.

"Sit down there," continued Ethan, pointing to the bench in the
engine-room, and the culprit took his seat with fear and trembling.

"What shall I do?" groaned the wretched young man, as he thought of
the consequence of his crime.

"Jump overboard and drown yourself. That would save your friends a
great deal of trouble," replied Ethan. "Give up your pistol!"

Ben gave it up, and began to plead with Ethan to let him escape,
declaring that it would kill his mother, and Lawry never would get
over it, if he was sent to the penitentiary. Though the engineer
dreaded the day when his friend would be compelled to testify in
court against his own brother, he would not yield to the culprit's
entreaties, and did not intend that he should escape the penalty of
his crime.

When the _Woodville_ reached her wharf, having been absent but
little more than an hour, Mr. Sherwood and the ladies were on the
wharf. While Ethan was working the engine with the bar, Ben slipped
out of the room. The engineer saw him, and gave the alarm; but he
could not leave his post at that moment. As soon as the boat was
moored, search was made; but Ben could not be found. He certainly was
not on board.

Mr. Sherwood was astonished when he was told what had occurred. He
sent his coachman after the sheriff at once, and directed that the
search for Ben Wilford should be renewed. The stateroom was found
locked, as he had left it, and the gold undisturbed. Mrs. Light and
the girls, the firemen and the deck-hands, had their own stories to
tell, to all of which Mr. Sherwood listened very patiently.

"You have done well, Lawry," said he. "You have saved my gold."

"It was Ethan, sir, that did the business. I don't believe I could
have done anything alone," replied the little captain.

"Lawry did his share," added Ethan, with due modesty.

"I'm sure they both fit like wildcats in the cabin," said Mrs.
Light. "I was e'en a'most scart to death."

When the sheriff came, he took Baker and Flint into custody, and
sent the constable who had come with him to find Ben Wilford. The two
robbers in the cabin were in bad condition. The choking they had
received had been a terrible shock to their nerves, which, with the
hard knocks given by Ethan with the cook's rolling-pin, had entirely
used them up, and there was neither fight nor bravado in them. Flint
said they had been induced to engage in the enterprise by Ben
Wilford; that they intended to proceed to the vicinity of Whitehall
in the _Woodville_, where the instigator of the affair had
declared his purpose to burn the boat. From this point they were
going to the West, disposing of the gold in small sums as they
proceeded.

The two robbers were marched off by the sheriff; but nothing was
heard of Ben for two hours, when the boy who ran the ferry-boat,
returning from Pointville, informed Mrs. Wilford that he had gone
over with him. The constable followed, as soon as he heard in what
direction the fugitive had gone. He was not taken that night, and the
search was renewed the next day, but with no better result. It was
afterward ascertained that he had crossed the country to the
railroad, and taken a night train. Having worked his way to New York,
he shipped in a vessel bound to the East Indies.

It cannot be denied that Lawry and his mother, and even Mr.
Sherwood, were glad of his escape, though he was more guilty than the
two men who had been captured and were afterward tried and sent to
Sing Sing. The little captain and the engineer of the _Woodville_
were warmly congratulated upon the safety of the steamer, when it was
known that Ben intended to burn her in revenge for having been made
a "nobody"; but Mr. Sherwood declared that, if the boat had been
destroyed, he would have built another, and presented her to Lawry
and Ethan, for he was too much interested in the steamboat experiment
to have it abandoned.

Mrs. Wilford trembled when she learned that the robbers had been
armed with pistols. Many laughed as they, listened to the account of
the choking operation in the cabin, and everybody was satisfied with
the result.

Lawry and Ethan were too much excited to sleep that night, though
they turned in at ten o'clock. At midnight the fireman on duty called
them, and the steamer soon started for Whitehall with Mr. Sherwood
and his gold, where she arrived in season for the morning train. As
the party did not start till nine o'clock, the exhausted pilot and
engineer obtained a couple of hours' sleep, while the steamer lay at
the wharf, which enabled them to get through the day without sinking
under its fatigues.

The following day was Sunday; and though Lawry and Ethan went to
church in the forenoon, as both of them were in the habit of doing,
the day was literally a day of rest to them, and there was a great
deal of "tall sleeping" done. On Monday morning, at six o'clock, the
boat went to Ticonderoga, arriving in good season to keep her
engagement.

Our limits do not permit us to follow Captain Lawry and the
beautiful little steamer any farther. The young pilot has redeemed
the fairy craft from the bottom of the lake, and overcome all
obstacles in his path to prosperity. He was not again disturbed by
the envy and jealousy of his brother. He was sad when he thought of
his father in prison, and Ben an exile, banished by his misdeeds; but
their errors only made him the stronger in the faith he had chosen,
that fidelity to principle is the safest and happiest course, under
all circumstances.

Lawry had all the business he could do with the _Woodville_. On
the following week, another pilot and another engineer were obtained,
and the price raised to sixty dollars a day, in conformity with the
suggestion of Mr. Sherwood. This was especially necessary, as, during
the bright moonlight evenings, in the latter part of the month, the
_Woodville_ was employed every night in taking out parties. The
boat lay hardly an hour at a time at the wharf. The money came in so
fast that Mrs. Wilford was bewildered at the riches which were
flowing in upon them. By the advice of Mr. Sherwood the money was
invested in government stocks; but he resolutely refused to accept
payment for what he had advanced on the place or for the boat.

Early one evening, after Lawry had landed Mr. Sherwood's party at
Port Rock, he started for Burlington, where he had an engagement on
the following day. Half a mile above the wharf, he came up with a
schooner, which on examination proved to be the _Missisque_. It
was a dead calm, and her new mainsail hung motionless from the gaff.
The little captain had not seen her skipper since the day on which
the old sail had been blown from the bolt-ropes by the squall; and he
ran the Woodville alongside of her, in order "to pass the time of
day" with him.

"How are you, Captain John?" shouted the young pilot.

"Why, Lawry! How are you?" replied the skipper of the sloop.

"What are you doing here?" continued Lawry.

"Waitin' for a breeze of wind. I had a good freight promised to me
if I got to Burlington by to-morrow morn-in', but I guess I sha'n't
quite fetch it."

"Rounds, heave a stern-line to the sloop, and make fast to her,"
added Lawry to his mate.

"Oh, thank ye, Lawry," replied the grateful skipper.

"You and your wife must take supper with me."

"Well, Lawry, I always knowed you was smart," said Captain John.

"If I didn't get that mainsail down," laughed Lawry.

"Oh, never mind the mainsail, Lawry," added the skipper, blushing.
"I was a leetle riled that time, and it wan't your fault."

"I think the green-apple pies made the mischief. Mrs. Light makes
very nice ones, and we will have some for supper," continued Lawry,
as he conducted his guests to the cabin, where they sat down at the
table.

Captain John and his wife were bewildered at the splendors which
surrounded them, and at the grandeur of Captain Lawry; but they
passed a pleasant evening on board till ten o'clock, when the
_Woodville_ cast off her "tow" in Burlington Bay.

The upright piano, the gift of Miss Fanny, had been placed in the
saloon, and its sweet strains added to the enjoyment of every party
that employed the steamer. Ethan French, now relieved of part of his
duties by the employment of a second engineer, was never in better
humor than when Fanny Jane, seated at this instrument, sang the songs
she had sung to Wahena and himself on the lake island in Minnesota.

In September, the business of the _Woodville_, as an excursion
boat, began to fall off, and by the middle of the month it was at an
end. The season had been very profitable, and Lawry's account-book
showed that the boat had been employed forty-one days, besides nine
evenings, the net profits of which were nearly fifteen hundred
dollars, all of which was in the bank, or invested in government
securities.

While Captain Lawry was considering the practicability of running
the _Woodville_ between certain places on the lake as a passenger-boat,
he was startled by receiving a huge government envelope, containing a
liberal offer for the use of his steamer as a despatch boat on southern
rivers. An army officer, of high rank, who had been a member of one
of the excursion parties in August, had been delighted with the
performance of the little craft, and had spoken to Captain Lawry on this
subject; but the matter had been quite forgotten when the offer came. Mr.
Sherwood and Mrs. Wilford were consulted, and an affirmative answer
returned. Ethan was delighted at the prospect of going South, for
he desired to visit the scene of hostilities, and, if possible, to be
employed in active operations.

The _Woodville_ went in October, and returned in April, when
the war was finished. Of Captain Lawry's voyage out and back, and his
adventures far up in the enemy's country, we have no space to speak;
but the steamer and her little commander gave perfect satisfaction.

In June, when the _Woodville_ had been thoroughly repaired and
painted, after her hard service at the South, there was a demand for
her as an excursion boat; and it continued through the season. With
one of Mr. Sherwood's parties, in July, there was an eminent member
of the State Government, who was greatly pleased with Lawry's past
history, as well as with his agreeable manners, and his close
attention to his business. Through this gentleman, an effort, warmly
seconded by Mr. Randall, the bank director, was made to obtain the
pardon of John Wilford. It was successful, and the ferryman returned
to his home a wiser and a better man.

He was astonished at the operations of his son, and surprised at the
prosperity which had attended his family during his absence. The
cottage had been enlarged, repaired, painted, and partly refurnished.
It was a new home to him; and, profiting by the experience of the
past, he resumed his labor as a ferryman, striving to be contented
with his lot.

Ethan French does not tire of his pet, the engine of the
_Woodville,_ though it must be acknowledged that he has a
divided heart when Fanny Jane is on board.

Mrs. Wilford, her confidence in her "smart boy" fully justified, and
rejoicing in the prosperity which attends him, is still happy and
contented in doing a mother's whole duty to her large family of
little ones, hoping that all of them will "turn out" as well as her
second son.

During the _Woodville's_ second business season, she was
employed by a party of wealthy gentlemen, for a week, in going round
the lake. She had descended the Richelieu to St. Johns, from which
the party ran up to Montreal for a day, returning to the boat in the
evening. Though the time for which the boat was engaged was not up
till the next evening, some of the gentlemen were very anxious to be
in Burlington on the following morning, and insisted that the steamer
should immediately proceed up the river on her return. It was a very
dark and foggy night, and Lawry declined to start, declaring that he
could not run with safety to the boat and passengers.

The party continued to insist upon their point, adding that if he
was a competent pilot there could be no difficulty in complying with
their wishes. They were gentlemen of wealth and influence, and the
little captain did not like to disoblige them. He argued the question
with them, and pointed to the motto in the wheel-house. They laughed
at him and his motto. There was to be a "trot" between two celebrated
horses, at Burlington, and they were too anxious to witness the race
to be entirely reasonable.

Captain Lawry was firm, and the gentlemen were angry and indignant.
While they were debating the question in excited tones, another
steamer left the wharf, bound up the river. Her departure seemed to
spoil the young pilot's argument. The party tried to hail the steamer
in the fog, wishing Lawry to put them on board of her; but her people
did not hear their demand, or would not stop for them, and the party
were highly incensed at what they called the obstinacy of Lawry.

"Haste and waste, gentlemen," replied the little captain. "The river
is narrow and crooked, and there is great danger of getting aground
if I attempt to run in this fog."

"That other steamer has gone, and if she can run, you can, if you
know your business," replied one of the gentlemen.

"I'm very sorry; but I don't think we should gain anything by
starting now," added Lawry.

Finding it was useless to insist any longer, the party took supper,
and turned in, when their anger had partially subsided. The little
captain did not retire that night; he "planked the deck," and watched
the weather. It was a seven hours' run to Burlington, and the "trot"
was to come off at nine o'clock in the forenoon. He still hoped that
he should be able to satisfy his unreasonable party.

At midnight the wind chopped round to the westward, and blew the fog
over. At one o'clock the _Woodville_ was going up the river at
full speed. At three o'clock she came up with the steamer which had
started from St. Johns four hours before, hard and fast aground. She
hailed the little _Woodville_, and requested assistance. Lawry
took a hawser on board, and gave her a few pulls; but she was too
hard on the sand to be started, and he was compelled to abandon her.
The commotion caused by these operations awoke some of the gentlemen
in the cabin of the _Woodville_, and they came on deck to learn
the occasion of it.

"What's the trouble, Captain Lawry?" asked one of them.

"Haste and waste," replied the young pilot sententiously.

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing, only the boat which left St. Johns four hours before us is
aground, and can't get off."

"Well, haste and waste does mean something, after all," laughed the
speaker.

The gentlemen went to bed again; the _Woodville_ continued on
her course, and when the party came on deck, at seven in the morning,
she was in sight of Burlington. Of course, the excursionists were
delighted to be able to attend the "trot." At four o'clock in the
afternoon, the steamer which had grounded reached Burlington. Some of
Lawry's party came on board in the evening to settle their accounts
with the boat. They were gentlemen, and they acknowledged their
error, and apologized for the strong language they had used.

"Well, gentlemen, I am very glad you are satisfied," said Lawry, as
he put their money in his pocket. "I shall still believe in and
follow my motto--HASTE AND WASTE."


THE END





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