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Title: Under Sail
Author: Riesenberg, Felix
Language: English
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New York
The Macmillan Company
All rights reserved

Copyright, 1918
by the Macmillan Company

Set up and Electrotyped. Published, September, 1918





  INTRODUCTION                                 1

  OUTWARD BOUND                               12

  THE OUTWARD PASSAGE                         29


  THE FIGHT                                   65

  NEPTUNE COMES ON BOARD                      77

  LIFE IN THE FO'C'SLE                        90

  CAPE HORN                                  102

  ROUNDING THE HORN                          115

  INTO THE PACIFIC                           123

  CABIN AND FO'C'SLE                         133


  MAKING PORT                                154

  IN HONOLULU TOWN                           168


  HAWAIIAN HOSPITALITY                       187

  HONOLULU OF THE OLD DAYS                   200

  A DINNER ASHORE                            212

  BRITISH NEIGHBORS                          223

  THE MATE KEEPS US BUSY                     233

  THE LAND OF LANGUOR                        245

  LOADING SUGAR                              253

  GOOD-BYE TO HONOLULU                       268

  HOMEWARD BOUND                             280

  HAWAIIAN SHIPMATES                         291

  DRIVING SOUTHWARD                          303

  CAPE HORN AGAIN                            318

  MAN LOST OVERBOARD                         332

  AUSTRALIA'S STORY                          342

  STORMY DAYS                                356

  HEADED NORTH                               366

  FO'C'SLE DISCUSSIONS                       377

  THROUGH THE TRADES                         388

  APPROACHING HOME                           399

  THE END OF THE VOYAGE                      408

  THE LONG-LOOKED-FOR PAYDAY                 420



  Old Smith                                   19

  Frenchy                                     26

  Deck Plan of Ship _A. J. Fuller_            31

  Jimmy Marshall                              41

  Fred                                        49

  Joe                                         61

  Skouse                                      70

  Martin                                     108

  Cape Horn                                  114

  At Brewer's Wharf                          175

  Charlie Horse                              196

  Watching the Shore When In the Stream      235

  Brenden Reading Letter                     265

  Jack Hitchen                               270

  Australia                                  343

  Sketches of Diego Ramirez                  357

  Axel                                       382

  Watching Shore at Delaware Breakwater      405



America is again facing forward to the sea. The ancient thrill of the
wide salt spaces, of the broad horizon beyond which adventure beckons
us, appeals once more to the youth of America. We are living in times
when the great importance of the sea as a career comes home to us at
every turn. The sea is the great bulwark of our liberty, and by the
sea we must persevere or perish in the world struggle of Anglo-Saxon
democracy against the powers of autocratic might.

When America returns to her own, she builds upon foundations of
tradition that have their footings on the solid bed rock of the
republic. One glorious era of our sea history was followed by another,
and as times progressed the breed of seamen ever rose capable and
triumphant to the necessities that called them forth.

The Revolutionary sailors, and those of 1812, were followed by the
great commercial seamen of the clippers. The mighty fleets of the
Civil War astonished the world, and in the period just previous to our
seafaring decline of a score of years past, the great sailers flying
the Stars and Stripes spread their white cotton canvas on every sea.

Their story has never been adequately told. They are not to be measured
in terms of tonnage, or in the annals of swift passages from port to
port. Their contribution to the legends of the sea remains obscure.
They carried a tradition of hard driving, and were a phase of our sea
life that formed and forged the link between the old and the new,
between the last days of sail and the great new present of the America
of steam and steel.

Men who go to sea today in our merchant marine, in positions of
command, are, in many instances, graduates of the ships of these latter
days of sail.

Looking back, and as time goes it is not so very far away; we can,
in our mind's eye, see the great wood-built craft that lined the
waterfront of South Street. These were the last of the American sailing
ships, entering from, and clearing to, every sea port under heaven.
They were not the famous California clippers of an earlier day, or the
swift Western Ocean packet ships, or the storied tea ships of the China
trade, but they were their legitimate successors. The ships of this
last glorious burst of sail, under the Stars and Stripes, were larger
craft, vessels built for the long voyage haul, for the grain trade, for
the sugar trade, and as carriers of general cargo to the Orient and the
western coast of North America.

Most of these ships were laid down in the eighties, and left the yards
of Maine to find adventure and preferment in the longer routes of
commerce. The Horn and the Cape of Good Hope were their turning points,
and they smoked through the hum of the Roaring Forties, as they beat
from the Line to Liverpool, laden with California grain, or they ran
before the westerly winds, from Table Bay to Melbourne--_Running Their
Easting Down_--black hulled, white winged ships, with New York, Boston,
Baltimore, or Philadelphia standing out in golden letters on their

Only the strongest and best found ships, and the most skilful and
daring seamen were fit to carry the flag across the world-long ocean
courses about the storm-swept Horn, and here again America more than
held her own in competition with the mariners of the old seafaring
nations of Europe.

Winthrop Lippitt Marvin in his valuable work, "The American Merchant
Marine,"[1] pictures this last Titanic struggle of the sea in stirring

 "It was a contest of truly Olympian dignity,--of the best ships of
 many flags with each other and with the elements. Out through the
 Golden Gate there rode every year in the later seventies and the
 eighties, southward bound, the long lean iron models of Liverpool
 and Glasgow, the broader waisted, wooden New Englanders, with their
 fine Yankee sheer and tall, gleaming skysails, the sturdy, careful
 Norwegian and German ships, often launched on the Penobscot or
 Kennebec, and here and there a graceful Frenchman or Italian. The
 British were the most numerous, because the total tonnage of their
 merchant marine was by far the greatest. Next came the Americans. The
 other flags looked small by comparison. In this splendid grain trade
 there sailed from San Francisco for Europe in 1881-85, 761 British
 iron ships and 418 American wooden ships. The Americans were the
 largest vessels. Their average registered tonnage was 1,634 and of
 the fourteen ships above 2,000 tons that sailed in 1880-1, twelve flew
 the Stars and Stripes. The average tonnage of the British iron ships
 was 1,356.

 [1] Chas. Scribner & Sons, N. Y.

 "The wooden yards of Maine had seen their opportunity and built
 in quick succession many great ships and barks of from 1,400 to
 2,400 tons, very strongly constructed on models happily combining
 carrying capacity with speed, loftily sparred, and clothed with the
 symmetrical, snow-white canvas for which Yankee sailmakers were famous
 the world around. These new vessels were not strictly clippers, though
 they were often called so. They were really medium clippers; that
 is, they were less racer-like and more capacious than the celebrated
 greyhounds of the decade before the Civil War. They could not compete
 with steam; their owners knew it. But they were launched in confident
 hope that they were adapted for the grain trade and for some other
 forms of long-voyage, bulky carrying, and that they could find a
 profitable occupation during their lifetime of fifteen or twenty
 years. They were just as fine ships in their way as the extreme
 clippers, and in all but speed they were more efficient. They were
 framed with oak, and ceiled and planked with the hard pine of the
 South. They were generously supplied with the new, approved devices in
 rig and equipment."

In the last years of the nineties there were many survivors of this
noble fleet of American sailers still in the long voyage trade.
Ships like the _El Capitan_, the _Charmer_, the _A. J. Fuller_, the
_Roanoke_, and the _Shenandoah_, were clearing from New York for deep
water ports, and South Street was a thoroughfare of sailors, redolent
of tar, and familiar with the wide gossip of the seas, brought to the
string pieces of the street by men from the great sailing ships.

Then the crimp still throve in his repulsive power, and the Boarding
Masters' Association owned the right to parcel out, fleece and ship,
the deepwater seamen of the port. The Front Street House and a score
of others held the humble dunnage of the fo'c'sle sailor as security,
_cashed_ his "advance" and sent him out past the Hook with nothing
but a sparse kit of dog's wool and oakum slops, a sheath knife and a
donkey's breakfast.

Those were the hard days of _large_ ships and _small_ crews. In clipper
days, a flyer like the _Sovereign of the Seas_ carried a crew of
_eighty_ seamen, and most of them were as rated--A.B. The ship _A. J.
Fuller_, in the year 1897, left the port of New York, for the voyage
around Cape Horn to Honolulu with _eighteen_ seamen, counting the boy
and the carpenter, the _Fuller_ being a three skysail yard ship of
1,848 tons register.

It may be interesting to compare the size and crew of the _Sovereign of
the Seas_, as given by Captain Clark in his great book, "The Clipper
Ship Era,"[2] with the dimensions and crew of the ship _A. J. Fuller_.

  _Ship_                Sovereign of the Seas    A. J. Fuller

  Length                      258 ft.               229 ft.
  Beam                         44 ft.                41.5 ft.
  Draft                        23.5 ft.              18 ft.
  Register Tonnage          2,421 tons            1,848 tons

        Master              1         Master              1
        Mates               4         Mates               2
        Boatswains          2         Carpenters          1
        Carpenters          2         Able Seamen        16
        Sailmakers          2         Boys                1
        Able Seamen        80                          ----
        Boys               10                            21

  [2] G. P. Putnam and Sons.

This condition, of small crews and large ships, brought to the seven
seas a reputation for relentless driving and manhandling that has clung
to the minds of men as nothing else. The huge American ships were the
hardest afloat, and that remarkable booklet, "The Red Record," compiled
by the National Seamen's Union of America, in the middle nineties,
carries a tale of cruelty and abuse on the high seas that must forever
remain a blot upon the white escutcheon of sail.

These ships bred a sea officer peculiar to the time--the bucko mate of
fact as well as fiction. These were hard fisted men, good sailors and
excellent disciplinarians, though they lacked the polish acquired by
sea officers of an earlier day when the sailer was often a passenger
carrier, and intercourse with people of culture had its effect upon the
men of the after guard. Also, the sea had become less attractive as a
career. The boasted "high pay" of the American Merchant Marine, was $60
per month for the Chief Mate; $30 per month for the Second Mate, and
$18 per month for an A.B.--at least such were the magnificent wages
paid on the _A. J. Fuller_ of New York in the year 1897.

The mate, to earn his two dollars a day, and keep, had to be a seaman
of the highest attainments. His was a knowledge won only after a long
hard apprenticeship at sea. He had to have the force of character of a
top-notch executive, combined with ability and initiative. Then too,
he was supposed to be a navigator, a man having at least a speaking
acquaintance with nautical astronomy. In addition to this he might be
as rough and as foul mouthed as he saw fit, and some of them were very
liberal in this respect.

Then men still signed articles, voyage after voyage, for the long
drill around the Horn, or, to vary the monotony, if such it could be
called, made the voyage to Australia, or to China or Japan. In the
main, however, American ships clearing from New York carried cargoes to
the West Coast of the United States, or to the Hawaiian Islands, where
they came under the protective ruling of the coastwise shipping laws,
and were not compelled to meet the stringent insurance rates of Lloyd's
that barred American sailing bottoms from fair competition with the

The sailor men of that day were still real seamen, at least a large
number of real seamen still clung to the remaining ships. They were
experts, able to turn in a dead eye in wire or hemp, and could cast
a lanyard knot in the stiff four-stranded stuff that was later on
replaced by screws and turn buckles when metal hulls succeeded those of

With the passing of the wooden ship--the wooden square rigged
sailer--went the American sailor, for comparatively few steel sailing
ships were built in the United States. With the sailor went the romance
of bulging canvas and of storm stripped humming bolt ropes. The
tragedy, and the hardships of the long voyages passed away, and with
that passing is gone much of the actual physical struggle with the wind
and sea that made the sailor what he was.

The square rigged breed of sailors, while not dead yet, for the
old salts die hard, has, by force of circumstances, failed to rear
a younger generation to take its place. But the old spirit of sea
adventure is as strong as ever; the ocean rages as loud, and lies as
calm, as in the days of departed glory. It is still the world route
to foreign trade, and a more ample domestic prosperity. Americans are
again turning toward the sea, are heeding its age old wisdom, and are
building and handling the newer craft of steam, and coal, and oil, with
as much skill and success as they did the sailing craft of old.

On the following pages is recorded for the seamen and landsmen of
today, a personal story of one of the last voyages around Cape Horn in
a wooden ship propelled by sail alone--a ship without a donkey engine,
a wooden Bath-built packet at her prime in point of age and upkeep.
The advance notes have been cashed by the boarding masters, who have
left the crew in tow of their crimps, and, after deducting for board
and slops, the last remaining dollars have been blown in on the Bowery
under the watchful eyes of the runners, who see to it that the men are
delivered on board.

Our ship is the _A. J. Fuller_ of New York, Captain Charles M. Nichols,
and she waits her crew, ready to cast off from her berth in the East
River at the turn of the tide, at daybreak on December 5, 1897, having
cleared for the port of Honolulu, capital of the Republic of Hawaii,
with a general cargo consigned to the old island house of Brewer and



    "Oh for a fair and gentle wind,"
      I heard a fair one cry;
    But give to me the roaring breeze,
      And white waves beating high;
    And white waves beating high, my boys,
      The good ship tight and free,
    The world of waters is our own,
      And merry men are we.

                    _Jacob Faithful._

"Cook!" bawled a deep voice from a door that burst open with a flood of
yellow light under the break of the poop, "serve a round of hot _cafay
nore_ to them passengers! And Mr. Stoddard," added the mate from whom
these orders issued, addressing the second officer who strode from the
edge of light toward the group of men tumbling on board, "turn all
hands to in five minutes! Stand by to cast off lines!"

Some of the shore crowd from the boarding houses helped to pass up the
chests and bags of dunnage, and the bundles of "donkey's breakfast"
as we clambered to the ice-encrusted deck of the ship _A. J. Fuller_,
lying at her wharf near the foot of Maiden Lane. A flickering light,
and the rattle of stove lids in the galley, as we passed forward to the
fo'c'sle, told us that the cook was stirring, and the snorting of a tug
under the starboard quarter gave notice of an early start.

It was dark when we came aboard; a cold December wind rippled the black
waters of the East River, chilling to the marrow those few stragglers
who walked the cobble stones of South Street at that early morning hour.

An odd lot of humanity dumped their few belongings on the fo'c'sle
deck; strangers all, excepting a few who had just deserted from the
British bark _Falls of Ettrick_, men jumbled together by strange fate,
and destined to long months of close companionship, of hard knocks, and
endless days and nights of unremitting labor.

No time was lost, however, in sentimental mooning; the chill morning
air was charged with activity, the "after guard" was all astir and an
ebb tide flowed, ready to help us on our way. Gulping down the "cafay
nore" that presently was passed forward in a bucket, all hands dipping
in with hook pots and pannikins, hastily dug from chest and bag, we
were barely able to stow away this refreshment before a heavy fist
thumped the fo'c'sle doors.

"Turn to! Turn to! This ain't a private yachting tour!" was the
sarcastic invitation that sent us scrambling to the deck.

"Here! You, I mean!" yelled the mate, "come forward!" for I had headed
aft, and, at this command, I found myself with some others hauling a
heavy water-soaked hawser aboard the fo'c'sle head.

"All clear?" came the query from aft.

"Aye, aye! All clear!"

A long whistle sounded from our tug, as we backed slowly from the
wharf; the escort of boarding house runners shivering on the string
piece of the dock, gave us a dismal cheer, and the voyage around Cape
Horn had fairly begun.

The first level rays of morning light began to filter over the house
tops on the Brooklyn side, the misty span of the bridge loomed above
the river, and a dozen bloodshot eyes among the crew forward cast their
farewell glances at the Tom and Jerry signs in the saloon windows on
historic South Street.

We were a lumbering lot, pushed and cuffed from station to station, our
best men acting like dolts, until the exercise and crisp morning air,
zipping above the river, wore off the effects of a last night spent at
the Atlantic Garden. South Street, at that day still a forest of spars,
with here and there a bald spot marking the advent of the coastwise
steamers, slid past us, Governor's Island, the Statue, the Narrows, and
the Hook, were passed unnoticed in the ceaseless hustle on our decks.
The running gear, left by the shore riggers in a hopeless tangle, had
to be put to rights, and the mates worked us like demons to get things
in some sort of shape before we should be called upon to work the
vessel under sail.

Gradually order of some sort issued from the chaos, and as the day wore
on we set our fores'l, all tops'ls, main t'gan'sl, jib and stays'ls,
before a stiff off-shore breeze that caused the towline to slacken, and
orders were given to cast off the tug.

The new steam pilot boat _New York_ rode the swell ahead of us, ready
to take off the pilot.

"Weather main braces!" came the order; the yards were braced aback,
a yawl from the _New York_ touched our side for an instant, as we
surged ahead slowly against the back push from the main, and the pilot,
hanging from a Jacob's ladder, dropped into his boat.

"See you in Liverpool!" shouted the pilot, standing in the yawl and
waving a final farewell to Captain Nichols.

"Brace up main yards, sir!" ordered the skipper, addressing the mate,
and we swung them around with a will.

The day was well advanced by then, a low bank of cloud over the land
shut in the sunset, and a spanking breeze from no'east by nor' brought
our port tacks to the deck. The _Fuller_ heeled easily beneath the
force of the wind. Off to leeward, and rapidly falling astern, was the
American ship _Tam O'Shanter_, bound for China; we heard afterward that
she was lost.

Up to the first dog watch all hands had labored without a moment's
rest, and at eight bells in the afternoon the courses and all plain
sail to royals were drawing nicely. As soon as the gear was shipshape
and coiled on the pins, all hands were mustered aft. There was a
feeling of uncertainty among the crew as we filed aft to the waist,
standing in an awkward group about the main fife rail, a nondescript,
hard-fisted, weatherbeaten lot of men.

Above towered the vast expanse of snowy canvas, looming out of all
proportion in the dark half light of the winter evening; beneath us
was the rolling, palpitating sweep of deck, yielding and swaying in
the constant balance 'tween the wind and sea. To windward, above the
line of bulwark, a ragged mackerel sky drove across the cloud rack of
scattered cirrus, touched with dull red from the high shafts of the
setting sun. The black backs of the shoreward rollers swept to leeward
and astern, passing us as if frightened by the lofty figure of the ship.

The watches were about to be chosen. The two mates came down into the
waist, and Captain Nichols stood at the break of the poop to observe
this time-honored ceremony of the sea. For better or for worse, in
sunshine or in storm, we were to be parceled off to our respective
task-masters for the long months of the voyage ahead. The fate of
friendships was to be decided, for watchmates are far closer than mere
shipmates, and a general desire to escape the clutches of the mate made
all of us anxious for the ordeal to be concluded. Most of the men were
in favor of the second mate, Mr. Stoddard. The mate, Mr. Zerk, was a
driver, a bully, and what not, but the second mate seemed to be easier,
in spite of the fact that he lost no opportunity to bawl out everyone
that came across his path.

"He'll be all right when we get outside," was the remark that voiced
the general opinion. Old Smith, perhaps the wisest of the real
sailor-men on board, came as near to hitting the relative values of the
mates as was possible. "I don't see no choice between them," he said.
"One may be easier, but give me the best sailor. A good sailor aft
saves work for his watch forward. See if I don't figger it right. Take
it any way you like, there's no choosing between them rotten apples
aft, and let it go at that."

Mr. Zerk, a man of about forty, medium in height, broad shouldered,
bull necked, with close cropped yellow hair--grey eyes set in a very
red, smooth-shaven face, except for a sweeping blond mustache, was a
native of Nova Scotia, brought up in "blue nose" ships. He eyed us with
the cold look of a surgeon about to amputate. Walking up to the group
just abaft of the mainmast, he made his first choice without a moment's

"Frenchy, come here," and Victor Mathes, of Dunkirk, went to the port
watch, chosen by the mate.

"Smith," was the laconic reply of Mr. Stoddard to the first choice of
the mate. Honors were even, for it was a toss up between the two men.

Brenden, a husky, well-set-up sailor, trained in the sailing ships out
of Hamburg, with plenty of beef and a good head, was the next choice of
the mate. [Illustration: Old Smith]

"Axel," said the second mate, scoring the first advantage in the
choosing of the watches. Axel proved to be one of the best men in the
crew, a big, boyish Swede, a sailor and a gentleman.

"Roth, come here," and John Roth, late of the opal mines in Australia,
one of the deserters from the _Falls of Ettrick_, and the artist of
the crew, went to port. We soon dubbed him "Australia." The mate sent
"Australia" to relieve the wheel, and the second mate paused a moment
weighing the merits of the remaining men.

"Tom," was his choice, and another sailor, Tom Morstad, also a deserter
from the _Ettrick_, went to starboard.

Things were fining down, and the remaining victims in this heartless
process of elimination were becoming increasingly apprehensive, while
those who had been chosen grinned at us with aggravating humor. The
mates were getting less and less sure of their choice as the pickings
became more and more undesirable. It was getting to be a question of
brains versus brawn. Husky young clodhoppers shipped as A.B. by the
greedy boarding masters; young mules with nothing but their thick
hides and an abundance of main strength and stupidity to recommend
them, placed in the balance with such old fellows as Jimmy Marshall and
Jack Hitchen. Jimmy, who claimed to be sixty-five, a wizened little old
sea-horse, but a wonderful "chantey man," won the next choice and was
taken by the mate.

Hitchen was called to starboard, and the honors still remained about
even in the contest of wit and experience, for both mates had studied
the paces of each individual with critical eyes during that eventful

The next choice was a painful one. There was a short pause; it seemed
to us that "Charlie Horse," who had once been mate on a coaster in the
oyster trade, or Dago Tony, would surely be chosen next.

"Felix, come here," said the mate, running his eye over the Dago and
Charlie, and lighting on me. I stepped over to the boys lined up on the
lee side, a weight lifted from my mind, as Frenchy, destined to be my
chum, moved near me.

It was getting on by then. Chips went aft carrying the side lights, and
Captain Nichols was stumping the poop with some impatience, as a hint
to his officers to bring things to a close.

The second mate chose Charlie, and George Krug, or "Scouse" as we
called him, was taken by the mate. Dago Tony went to the second mate,
and Fred Erricson, a good sailor, also an _Ettrick_ deserter, went to

Mike, the wood turner, went to starboard, and Joe Johnson, one time
a cobbler's apprentice, and general all round husky favorite of
misfortune, was taken by the mate.

The left-overs, Martin, and Peter the boy, were divided by the call
of Peter to the starboard watch, and Martin fell to the mate. Peter,
an American, ex-reporter on a Worcester paper, one time foreman in
a corset factory, and a bright, wideawake boy of something over
twenty-one, had shipped for eight dollars a month _and his health_. The
voyage netted him his payday many times over, for he was endowed with
brains and, starting out a wreck, he came back a toughhanded deepwater

It was close to six bells by that time. Chips had set out the running
lights and was getting the big pump ready, having sounded the well and
reported a foot of water.

"Starboard watch below for tucker!" ordered the mate; and then turning
to the men of his watch, he ordered, "Man the pump!"

It was dark as we bent to the cranks of the big pump, and with the
hum of wind and the swish of water in our ears we realized that we
were truly at sea, insignificant mortals riding on the low deck of a
vast fabric of wood and canvas, venturing far from land on the mighty
stretches of the Western Ocean.

That first night at the pump, forerunner of many, many other nights,
our little band of watch mates toiled in silence, except for a few
monosyllables. Four men to each crank, two on a side, facing each
other, our tired arms and backs reciprocated to the action of rotation
like so many toy figures actuated by some hidden clockwork; the new
labor was almost a rest after the constant pulling and hauling of the
day. Finally the low, raucous wheezing of the valves told us we were
sucking air, and the mate, from the darkness of the poop, called out,
"Belay pump!"

It is the custom of the sea, handed down from time immemorial, that
"The captain takes her out and the mate brings her back." That is,
the first regular watch at sea is taken by the captain's watch on the
outward passage, and the same watch is taken by the port, or mate's
watch, on the start for home. Of course the second mate stands the
starboard watch, except in case of emergency.

Accordingly, at four bells, we went below, and after a hasty supper
we sought our bunks for a brief rest before turning out for the watch
from eight to midnight. We were tired--some of us, to the point of
utter exhaustion--and a few of the older men claimed that we were being
cheated out of our right to the first four-hour watch below, ours
having merely been a dog watch of 2 hours from 6 to 8. Anyhow, whatever
we thought about that, nothing was said above a mild growling in the
fo'c'sle, and as we tumbled out at eight bells, and both watches lined
up in the waist to muster, the chill wind cut through us, and a moment
later we were greeted by an order from aft.

"Hands aloft to overhaul the t'gallant and royal buntlines!"

Up I went on the mizzen, never caring to lag behind on an order to
lay aloft, a piece of twine in my pocket. The gear was overhauled and
stopped just below the blocks, so the buntlines would not chafe the
sails, and at the same time the stops of cotton twine were frail enough
to be easily broken. When at times they were not, some unlucky wight
would clamber aloft at the critical moment of taking in sail amid the
slatting of canvas and the most profuse showers of artistic abuse.

Coming down from this task, I was in time to witness a burst of
profanity on the part of the mate. "Keep moving, you beach-combing
---- ---- ----! Every lousy ---- ---- ---- ----! I won't have no 'lime
juice' sleeping on deck this voyage. D'ye hear that?" All heard, for
there was a shuffle of weary feet about the main hatch, where several
of the watch had perched comfortably in the dark, and, after a moment
of indecision, sprinkled with derogatory mutterings, we paired off in
little groups of twos, walking the swaying deck wherever we could find
places free from the back draft of the sails.

Frenchy was my first chum on the _Fuller_, and though for periods we
drifted apart, through sheer mutual exhaustion of our interchangeable
ideas, yet we always came together again. Somehow, on the very start of
the voyage, when the crimps and runners bade us that sad farewell from
the port of New York, we were drawn together. The night that we paired
off, on our first watch at sea, it seemed natural that Frenchy and I
should elect to stump the deck in company. We preempted a path from the
lee main pin rail to the after end of the forward house. "It's better
here than anywhere," remarked Frenchy, and I soon found he was right,
as we missed the draft from the mains'l and were partly sheltered by
the house on the forward leg of our walk.

[Illustration: Frenchy]

Frenchy was a heavy-whiskered, ruddy specimen, sporting the square-cut
beard of the French sailor. He was an ex-naval man, and one time prison
guard in the penal settlement of New Caledonia. Trained to the sea
since boyhood, in the fishing fleet of Dunkirk, for many years a rigger
in the naval yards at Brest, a sailor man on every type of craft from
the Mediterranean ybeck to a ship. Victor Mathes was one of the finest
types of the Gallic seaman.

His life was a vague and many folded nebula of romance. He was full of
stories of the life in New Caledonia, of the discipline on the outlying
islands, of punitive expeditions, and of the intrigues and jealousies
among the checkered lives that wear themselves away in those distant

Night after night we paced the deck during the long, cold watches,
and between the calls to man this rope or that, and the horsing and
rustling about that was always indulged in, we swapped information of
all kinds, related all sorts of experiences, truthful and otherwise,
and each man explored his mental storehouse for the amusement and
benefit of his chum. For hours at a time Frenchy would talk of good
things to eat; this was a hobby, in fact a sort of passion, with him
and often drove me to the verge of distraction. He would go into the
minutest detail of how his sister Madeleine, back in Dunkirk, prepared
some particular dish, telling not only of the delightful flavor and
succulent qualities, but he would go into the subject of the way things
smelled, roast fowl, with all sorts of fancy stuffing. My mouth would
water at these cruel recitals and I know that Frenchy suffered as much
as I did at the poignant recollections of gastronomic joys long past.



When well clear of the coast we roused the bower anchors up on the
fo'c'sle head and lashed them. "A sure sign, sonny, that you are off
soundings," said Brenden; "these wind wagons don't take no chances
till they get a safe offing." The cables were unshackled, and the ends
stoppered abaft the wildcats. Canvas coats were put on to them, just
over the chain pipes leading to the locker. "Jackasses" were then
bowsed into the hawse holes _for fair_, taking the "tails" to the
windlass. With the ground tackle secured, the "cat" and "fish" were
unrove, and this gear stowed away in the fore peak. We had entered upon
the real deepwater stage of the voyage, with lee shores, and soundings,
many miles away.

The _Fuller_[3] carried a complement of sixteen hands forward, and
a "boy," not counting the "idlers"--that is, the carpenter, cook and
cabin steward--a small enough crew for a vessel displacing in the
neighborhood of 2,500 tons, dead weight, a craft 229 feet between
perpendiculars, 41-1/2 feet beam and 23 feet depth of hold, ship
rigged, with skysails, royals, single t'gans'ls, double tops'ls, and
courses. Her main yard was 90 feet from tip to tip. A crojik was
carried as well as a spanker. On her stays, she carried flying jib,
jib tops'l, jib and fore topmast stays'l, main t'gallant stays'l, main
topmast stays'l. Mizzen t'gallant stays'l and a main spencer completed
her spread of canvas. When on a wind, in a whole-sail breeze, with
crojik furled, and spanker set, the ship _Fuller_ spread twenty-five
kites to the wind.

  [3] Data re _A. J. Fuller_.

  Ship _A. J. Fuller_.
  Flint and Co. The California Clipper Line, Owners.
  Signal letters J.V.G.B. International Code.
  Built at Bath, Maine, 1881, of wood.

  Gross tonnage        1,848.76
  Net      "           1,781.88
  Length                 229.3 ft.
  Breadth                 41.5  "
  Draft (mean)            17.8  "
  Depth of hold           23.0  "

Now think of the handsome way in which they manned their ships in the
olden days of the tea clippers when a vessel half her size would carry
_forty_ men forward! And a vessel of equal size would carry from 80 to
90 _seamen_. As it was, we were hard put to it in an emergency and "all
hands" was the rule on every occasion demanding quick work, in going
about, or in making or taking in sail. When tacking it was "all hands,
and the cook at the fore sheet." One watch could not hoist the main
upper tops'l, except in the finest kind of weather, and then only by
taking the halyards to the main deck capstan, and "inching" the great
yard up in slow and painful fashion with much singing and "_yo ho_"ing.


  _Built at Bath Maine 1881_


Captain Nichols shaped a course well to the eastward, fetching almost
to the Azores, before hauling his wind aft and squaring away for an
easy run through the N. E. trades. Skysails and flying jib were up and
down a score of times a day at this restless stage of the voyage, for
every rag was kept drawing to the last moment. In squally weather,
and we had plenty of it, the ship would race along, her lee scuppers
boiling in white water as she heeled to the blast, hands standing by
at the halyards, which were always flaked down clear for running, and
every mother's son keyed to a high pitch, ready for quick work at
braces, clewlines and buntlines.

To have a "wheel" or a "lookout" during the night watch was a rest,
although the trick at the helm was a wideawake job, whether on a
course, or "by the wind." I had a fondness for steering and often
stood the wheel for Frenchy or Brenden, especially during the daytime
when they were employed on sailor jobs that no one else of our watch
was able to do. The mate winked at this practice, and as they often
let me take their tricks at night, I was able to side step a lot of
the skysail climbing that would ordinarily have fallen to me as the
youngster of the watch.

My training on the old _St. Mary's_ now stood me in good stead, and by
remembering a lot of the advice given me by that prince of sailor-men,
old Bos'un Dreilick of the schoolship,[4] I found myself rated with the
best men in the ship, and far ahead of such fellows as Scouse, and Joe,
and Martin, who were strong as bulls, but knew nothing. In between us
ranged Australia and Fred, good ordinary sailors who knew the ropes,
could hand, reef, and steer, but lacked that finished technique so
essential to the proper able seaman. I must admit that in classing
myself with men like Marshall, Frenchy, and Brenden, I am doing so at
the tail end of this trio, and then only because of my skill at the
helm, at heaving the "blue pigeon," and at sailing and handling boats,
accomplishments that, except for steering, are rare among deep water

  [4] Now Boatswain of the Schoolship _Newport_.

"You seem to stand the wheel a lot," the Skipper remarked one night,
having noted me by the dim light of the binnacle, for I also had done a
trick in the first dog watch when he happened to change the course.

The Old Man grinned, "Well, I suppose you like to be aft. Keep at it,
boy, and you'll get there. But it's a lonesome life; dammit, I would
rather be a farmer any day."

Captain Nichols thought this a great joke, the idea of being a farmer
pleased him so he had a good laugh as he surveyed the great spread of
canvas bowling along under his command. I felt sure he was joking.
Since then, I have often pondered over his remark and am now of the
opinion that he was in dead earnest.

Standing lookout on the fo'c'sle head was a favorite duty that no one
delegated. Finally, however, when we were well clear of the coast,
the mates began to pull down the lookout whenever there was any work
to be done. There always was considerable, for the mates would start
something as soon as they felt the least bit sleepy and would horse
their watches about even though it was absolutely unnecessary to start
a single rope.

Our fare on the _Fuller_ was of the regular deep water variety, made
palatable by the fact that we were living the open air life of a lot of
human gorillas. Our labors were torture, to me at least, until at last
the outraged muscles adjusted themselves to the unaccustomed work. Poor
Peter, he was a hundred times harder hit than I, and the four hours
below were barely enough to keep him alive. One night, a few days after
leaving port, when we mustered at midnight, Peter was not to be found.
"Was he called?" thundered the mate, as Old Smith reported him "not
present," doing so in a hesitating sort of way. "Was that ---- ----
called?" again thundered the mate. "By ---- I'll call him!" he shouted,
and strode forward, the second mate following. Peter lay half out of
his bunk, one leg over the edge. He had fallen back exhausted as soon
as he got his trousers on; he was dead to the cruel, hard world.

Mr. Zerk grabbed him by the leg, and, swinging him like a bag of meal,
he yanked Peter clear through the fo'c'sle door, landing him on the
deck with a thud, amid a shower of curses and the startled cry of the

This type of brutality was calculated to "put the fear of God into
us," as they say, and to strengthen discipline, and add snap and
vigor to our movements. It certainly had the effect of showing us how
important it was to be in the waist when the watch was mustered.

At the morning washdown the black slops that went by the name of coffee
tasted like the very nectar of the gods. We dipped in with our hook
pots, drinking it with relish, and the fact that it possessed mild
cathartic properties, may have had something to do with the excellent
state of our health. Cockroaches were not mentioned in the old scale
of provisions[5] adopted by a kind Congress for the nourishment of
the simple sailor-man. This was no doubt an oversight on the part of
some bucolic "sailor's friend," for they might have specified that "one
ounce of cockroaches may be substituted for an ounce of tea."

 [5] The following is the Scale of Provisions allowed and served out to
 the Crew during the voyage in addition to the daily issue of lime and
 lemon juice and sugar, or other antiscorbutics in any case required by

           |Bread|Beef |Pork |Flour|Peas |Rice |Barley|Tea|Coffee|Sugar|Water
           | lb. | lb. | lb. | lb. | pt. | pt. | pt.  |oz.| oz.  | oz. | qt.
  Sunday   |  1  |1-1/2| ... | 1/2 | ... | ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3
  Monday   |  1  | ... |1-1/4| ... |1-1/8| ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3
  Tuesday  |  1  |1-1/2| ... | 1/2 | ... | ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3
  Wednesday|  1  | ... |1-1/4| ... |1-1/8| ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3
  Thursday |  1  |1-1/2| ... | 1/2 | ... | ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3
  Friday   |  1  | ... |1-1/4| ... |1-1/8| ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3
  Saturday |  1  |1-1/2| ... | ... | ... | ... | ...  |1/8| 1/2  |  2  |  3


 One ounce of coffee or cocoa or chocolate may be substituted for one
 quarter ounce of tea; molasses for sugar, the quantity to be one
 half more; one pound of potatoes or yams; one half pound of flour or
 rice; one third pint of peas or one quarter pint of barley may be
 substituted for each other.

 When fresh meat is issued, the proportion to be two pounds per man,
 per day, in lieu of salt meat.

 Flour, rice, and peas, beef and pork, may be substituted for each
 other, and for potatoes onions may be substituted.

 NOTE BY AUTHOR.--The above is from the fo'c'sle card of the ship
 _A. J. Fuller_, taken when I left her. This scale of provisions was
 greatly amplified a few years later. It was found that a shipmaster
 sticking close to the law in the matter of provisioning could easily
 starve a crew, as there was no control over quality. On the _Fuller_,
 the owners were liberal in provisioning. Such trouble as we had was
 due to the conditions of deep water voyages.

Our tea was never without these disgusting vermin and none of us was
ever able to tell what gave it the peculiar flavor that we came to
relish--the twigs and leaves floating about in the brown liquor, or the
roaches lying drowned in the bottom of the can.

"They's no worse nor shrimps," philosophized Jimmy Marshall, and we
tried to believe him.

The cook, an ancient Celestial named Chow, hailing from Hong Kong, had
evidently put all of his gods behind him. His pigtail was gone, and
with it all sense of decency, so far as preparing food for sailor-men
was concerned. Those human precepts that all cooks are supposed to act
upon, the ethics, if you will, of the noble profession, that Marryat
tells us entitled the practitioner to wear a sword, in those good old
days when the Admiralty recognized the cook, were lacking in the breast
of Chow. He was a typical deepwater cook. What went aft was right, so
far as looks count anyway, but the kids that left for the fo'c'sle
often contained the most unsavory messes that ill-fortune can concoct.
Some of the men had words with Chow about this but the result was
increased carelessness and decreased portions.

"It don't do no good to scrap with the cook," was Jimmy Marshall's sage
advice. "If the dirty bum wants to be dirty he can fix us all up. I
knowed a cook once wot ---- in the soup an' bully on a English bark.
The skipper, he caught him at it, an' puts him in irons. The cook had
to be let out though because he was the only one wot could do the work,
an' they was mighty careful aft not to rile him after they knowed wot
he was. You got to leave them cooks alone."

We left Chow severely alone, and some of the crowd, Joe and Tommy
especially, constituted themselves his volunteer assistants, and almost
every first dog watch, one of them would be around the galley helping
out. Chow rewarded them by allowing the use of the oven to make "dandy
funk," a mess of broken hard tack and molasses, baked to a crisp.

When ten days had elapsed, after the final rations of fresh provisions
had been issued, a tot of lime juice, that reeked suspiciously
of vinegar, was served each day--by Act of Congress--to keep the
sailor-man from getting scurvey. At the same time the "harness casks,"
beef to starboard, and pork to port, did their duty nobly and each week
or so we would lift the forehatch and rouse up a slimy, wooden hooped
barrel, and roll it aft to the galley door, alternating to the port and
starboard harness casks.

After a month of chumming it with Frenchy, talking steadily from
three to four hours a night, we were both pretty well cleaned out
of experiences and ideas. Other groups had long before reached that
deplorable state, and new combinations were formed in the night walks
on deck. One night as we came on deck in the midwatch, Frenchy and
I noticed Jimmy Marshall and Martin standing at the lee of the main
hatch, in silence, after the watch had been mustered. The absence of
their usual animated discussions of everything temporal and mundane
attracted our attention. Soon we found ourselves at the lee of the
hatch; Martin and Jimmy warmed up to us and presently Jimmy and myself
were walking just aft of the forward house, and Martin and Frenchy
began to pace the deck to windward.

Jimmy was a new sort of chum and the poorest listener I have ever met,
which may have accounted for the peculiar one sided lay of his mind.
The hard knocks of experience were alone accountable for his knowledge,
varied and picturesque in the telling. He was chockful of religion and
was constantly repenting the bad deeds of his youth, telling them at
great length, and with such relish, that it seemed they had come to be
his one unfailing source of enjoyment. A terrible drunk in his day, he
had also indulged in robbery, having looted a house in Australia while
tramping overland to Sydney from Port Hunter, where he had "jumped" a
schooner, leaving everything behind, because of a row with the mate, in
which he felled him with a handspike.

"Walked away with a piece o' change an' a whole kit o' dunnage," was
the way he put it.

And also, according to his story, Jimmy had been a lightweight fighter
in his youth, many, many years before. He was the best chantey-man in
the crew; to hear him "sing" a rope was an inspiration to tired arms
and backs.

[Illustration: Jimmie Marshall]

While memory lasts, the picture of our first chantey, a few days after
leaving port, will remain with me as one of the great thrills that
have come my way. A heavy squall in the forenoon watch sent all of our
tops'l yards to the caps, everything coming down by the run, to hang
slatting in the gear. Sky sails, royals, flying jib, t'gans'ls, jib
tops'l, jib, fore topmast stays'l, and then the upper tops'ls were
lowered, the latter thrashing and straining against the downhauls as
the ship heeled to it almost on her beam ends, gaining headway with
a rush, and righting herself as we spilled the wind from the bulging

Passing as quickly as it came, the squall left us wallowing under lower
tops'ls, the courses hanging in their gear.

All hands were called to make sail, and as we manned the main tops'l
halyards Jimmy Marshall jumped to the pin rail, and with one leg over
the top of the bulwark, he faced the line of men tailing along the deck.

"A chantey, boys!" shouted Mr. Stoddard as he took his place
"beforehand" on the rope. "Come now, run her up, lads. _Up! Up!_" and
the heavy yard commenced to creep along the mast to the sound of the
creaking parral, the complaining of the blocks, and the haunting deep
sea tune of "Blow the Man Down," greatest of all the two haul chanteys.

  Jimmy--"Now rouse her right up boys for Liverpool town,"
  Sailors--"Go way--way--blow the man down."
  Jimmy--"We'll blow the man up and blow the man down,"
  Sailors--"Oh, give us some time to blow the man down."
  Jimmy--"We lay off the Island of Mader_de_gascar."
  Sailors--"Hi! Ho! Blow the man down."
  Jimmy--"We lowered three anchors to make her hold faster,"
  Sailors--"Oh, give us some time to blow the man down."


  All hands--"Then we'll blow the man up,
              And we'll blow the man down,
              Go way--way--blow the man down.
              We'll blow him right over to Liverpool town,
              Oh, give us some time to blow the man down.
              Ho! Stand by your braces,
              And stand by your falls;
              Hi! Ho! Blow the man down,
              We'll blow him clean over to Liverpool town,
              Oh, give us some time to blow the man down."

Old Marshall faced to windward, his mustache lifting in the breeze, the
grey weather worn fringe of hair bending up over his battered nose. He
always sang with a full quid in his cheek, and the absence of several
front teeth helped to give a peculiar deep-sea quality to his voice.

"We have a man-o-war crew aboard, Mr. Zerk!" shouted the Captain from
the top of the cabin, where he had come out to see the fun.

"Aye, aye, sir! Some crew!" returned the Mate, looking over us with a
grim smile.



Life was not always so pleasant on board the _Fuller_. Hard words were
the common run of things and the most frightful and artistic profanity
often punctuated the working of the ship. Given a ship's company barely
strong enough to handle a two thousand five hundred ton three-skysail
yarder, even had they all been seasoned able seamen, our officers had
to contend with a crew over half of which rated below that of the
"ordinary" classification of seamanship, thick skinned clodhoppers,
all thumbs on a dark night, and for many weeks after leaving port,
as useless as so much living ballast. The kicking and moulding into
form of this conglomerate mass of deep sea flotsam, gathered for the
ship by the boarding masters, and duly signed on the ship's articles
as A.B., called for all but superhuman efforts. The curse is far more
potent than the gentle plea, especially when hard fists and hobnailed
sea boots are backed by all of the age old authority of the sea. To
work a ship of the proportions of the _Fuller_, with seventeen hands
forward, called for man driving without thought of anything but the
work required.

The latter days of the sailing ship as a carrier, before invoking the
aid of steam auxiliary apparatus, in the hoisting and hauling, brought
forth the brute sea officer aft, and the hardened fo'c'sle crowd, half
sailor and half drudge, forward. The "bucko mate" walked her decks,
and the jack tar, stripped of his pigtail, his bell mouthed canvas
trousers, his varnished sailor hat, and his grog, remained in plain
dungaree and cotton shirt to work the biggest sailing craft in the
history of the world on the last hard stages of their storm tossed

Mixed with our real sailors were the worthless (so far as sea lore
went) scrapings of the waterfront. Shipped by the boarding masters for
the benefit of their three months' "advance," and furnished for sea
with rotten kits of dunnage, as unreliable and unfitted for the work
as the poor unfortunate dubs who were forced by an unkind fate to wear

On the other hand, the real sailor-men of the crew were valued
accordingly, and I can hardly remember an instance where either one
of the mates singled out for abuse those men who had shipped as A.B.
and were so in fact. My schoolship training (_St. Mary's_ '97) stood
by me, and though barely turned eighteen, I was saved from most of the
drudgery meted out to the farmers of the watch.

After washing through the heavy seas we encountered for the first few
weeks of the voyage, while beating off the coast on the long reach
eastward to the Azores, the long hard pine sweep of the main deck
became slippery with a deposit of white salt-water slime. The sheen
of this scum, in the moonlight, under a film of running water, gave
the decks a ghastly "Flying Dutchman" like appearance, and the footing
became so precarious that something had to be done.

"They have the 'bear' out," Scouse announced, as he trudged into the
fo'c'sle carrying a "kid" of cracker hash, ditto of burgoo, a can of
coffee, and a bag of hard tack, this cargo of sustenance being our
regulation breakfast menu.

"The bear?" I asked, as we gathered about this appetizing spread.

"Yes, the bear," volunteered Brenden, grinning with the rest of the
sailors. "The bear for Scouse, and Joe, and Martin, and Fred."

At eight bells, as we mustered aft, a subdued banter went on among
the men. The starboard watch were all grinning, and as they went below
four sheepish looking fellows of the other side turned the "bear" over
to the farmers of our watch. "Keep that jackass baby carriage moving
now. D'ye hear me? Keep it moving!" bellowed the mate, for there was
some reluctance in taking hold, and as Scouse and Martin tailed on,
opposed to Joe and Fred, the doleful scrape of the bear mingled with
the general laughter at the mate's sally.

The bear consisted of a heavy box, a thick thrum mat lashed on the
bottom of it, and the inside loaded with broken holy stones and charged
with wet sand. Four stout rope lanyards were rigged to the corners and
served to haul the thing back and forth while the sand filtered down
through the mat, providing the necessary scouring agent. A day or two
with the bear in constant service, both day and night, cleaned up the
decks and provided us with considerable amusement, that is, those of us
who were lucky enough to be kept at more dignified jobs.

Ships leaving the Atlantic Coast in the winter months bend their best
suit of sails. The severe weather usually encountered in working clear
of the land, and the chance of having to ratch off from a lee shore,
make this precaution one of great importance. The fact that green crews
are bound to be more or less slow in taking in sail during squalls may
also account for the "storm suit" under which we sailed from port.

[Illustration: Fred]

On our first night out, shortly before one bell in the mid watch,
our crowd having just gone below, the fore topmast stays'l blew from
the bolt ropes with the report of a cannon. We had already clambered
into our bunks, dog tired, when this occurred, and muttered oaths,
anticipating a call of "all hands," came from untold depths of
weariness within the fo'c'sle. On deck there was the hurried tramping
of feet, and the shouting of the second mate. We could hear the long
wail of the men at brace and downhaul, the "Ah-hee-Oh-hee-ah-Ho!" with
all of its variation as the slaves of the ropes launched their age-old
complaint on the whipping winds. I lapsed into slumber with the dim
consciousness that the second mate was handling the situation alone,
and a heartfelt thanks for the warmth of the blankets in my narrow
bunk; a foot above me the cold rain pattered against the roof of the
fo'c'sle house, its music mingling with the swish of the water under
the fore channels.

After three weeks of beating to the eastward, having fetched almost as
far across as the Azores, and being in the region of the northern limit
of the N. E. trades, the captain hauled his wind and squared away for
the run through the trade wind belt to the doldrums and the line. Fine
weather became the order of the day and life on board settled down to a
more regular routine.

On a Saturday morning, the day having broken remarkably fine, a
brilliant red sunset followed by a cold grey dawn, assuring us of the
settled weather that the steady "glass" made more certain, all the
world seemed ready to rejoice, for it was Christmas Day. Word was
passed into the fo'c'sle by the other watch, as we turned out for our
breakfast, "We shift sail today."

"All hands on deck for us, me boys!" piped Australia. "An' the first
watch on deck tonight," chipped in Jimmy Marshall, "an' a hell of a
Christmas Day!"

Jimmy lit his pipe for a morning puff; climbing into his bunk, he
dangled his short legs over the frowsy head of big Scouse who sat with
his dejected poll bent under the upper bunk board, a fair sample of the
despondent crowd of farmers who faced a Christmas Day of labor.

    "A hell of a Christmas Day, boys,
     A hell of a Christmas Day,
     For we are bound for the bloody Horn
     Ten thousand miles away."

Jimmy rendered this little ditty of cheerfulness as Fred picked up the
breakfast kids and started for the galley, while we turned out on the
sun-splashed planks as the last of eight bells vibrated over the ship.
She lay still in a near calm like a scene by Turner, all of her canvas
hanging in picturesque festoons from the jackstays, where the starboard
watch had cast off the courses and tops'ls, leaving them depending in
their gear. The decks had not been washed down, in order to keep them
dry, and the mate himself had turned out at four bells to start the
ball rolling.

Long bundles of the fine weather canvas were stretched on the decks
ready for swaying aloft. Working like demons in the forenoon, and with
all hands on deck after dinner, which was dispatched in haste, we had
the courses, and in turn the tops'ls and light sails, lowered to the
deck, and the gantlines rigged to hoist the summer canvas; this we
sent aloft in record time. These old sails, soft and mellow, veterans
of a dozen voyages, patched and repatched, with whole new cloths of
a lighter grade here and there streaking the dull white-weathered
surface, were as smooth and pliable as a baby's bonnet.

On some of them, the fore upper tops'l especially, we found records of
the many crews who had handled them before. "James Brine, Liverpool. On
his last voyage," was one inscription. I hope Brine achieved his end
and stayed ashore. A date under this was hardly decipherable but may
have been Jan., June, or July, the day the eighth, and the year 1893.

Bending a sail calls for the nicest knowledge; the passing of the head
earing must be done in a certain manner, so the head of the sail will
hold well up on the yard arm; the gear, consisting of tacks, sheets,
clew garnets, and buntlines, in the case of a "course," not to mention
the leechlines, and bowlines, must all be rove and rigged just so. The
"robands" or pieces of rope yarn, are all looped through the "head
holes" ready for bending the sail to the iron jackstay on the yard, and
when a sailor does the job, all goes as smooth as a wedding when the
parson knows his job.

After the labors of a busy day, the ship presented the comfortable
well-patched appearance of a man in the woods, free from the stiffness
of new white linen, and naturally fitting into the familiar folds of
old duds, unconventional but plenty good enough. The bright spars
still attested to her "smartness," but we were in easy trade wind
weather and dressed accordingly. The fores'l was particularly large,
with extra clothes in the leeches, made to catch and hold every breath
of wind blowing over the deck.

The sail locker was re-stowed with our "best suit," and between the
coils of canvas we liberally spread a bundle of old newspapers brought
out by the mate. "To give the rats something to chew on," he remarked,
as we ran the stiff new canvas in, tier upon tier.

One thing that Frenchy called my attention to in the stowing of the
locker was the fact that the storm canvas, lower tops'ls and stays'ls,
were placed handy for immediate removal, the mate assuring himself
of this fact by personal supervision; indeed he knew just where each
particular sail was located in the locker, and could go in and lay his
hand upon it in the darkest night, as he more than once demonstrated
during the course of the voyage.

That night a tired lot of men sat down to supper. The cold salt beef,
the hard bread and the can of tea came from the galley in their usual
order. Fred, who was mess cook for that week, went back to the galley,
after depositing the regulation Saturday night grub. As he left the
fo'c'sle door he turned back at us with a grin on his wide good natured
face, bristling with uneven outcroppings of yellow stubble. Fred
reminded me of an amiable plodder hulking out in his dungaree jacket,
while the watch fell to on the beef and tack.

"I guess he forgot to thank the cook for putting so many bugs in the
tea," ventured Brenden.

"Maybe he's going aft to take Christmas Dinner with the captain in the
cabin. They have a real plum pudding there; I saw it in the galley,"
said Joe.

Plum pudding! Christmas! The thoughts of loved ones far away, and of
those distant homes that perhaps were remembering some of us out on the
broad bosom of the deep waters, came as a pang. All of us, I believe,
felt this. For a moment or two silence ensued, then Fred burst through
the fo'c'sle door with the big surprise.

"_Pie, boys! Pie!_" he shouted, depositing three tin plates on the
fo'c'sle deck, for we dined with the deck as a table, sitting about
the kids on low benches. The precious pie was cut with the greatest
regard for equality by no less an expert hand than that of Frenchy,
assisted by Australia, who showed us how to cut a pie into three parts
by measuring across the diameter with a knife, adding a little to this,
and then this length went three times into the circumference.

Jimmy Marshall failed to agree with this theory, but was fairly beaten
in the result, for Australia was right. The pie certainly was cut into
three very equal parts.

"An engineer in the mines showed me this," said Australia. "He says,
'Pie times across the pie, is all the way around.' Mathematics is wot
he calls this." Australia was nearly right at that, and the marks he
made on the crust of the confections baked by Chow served as a reliable
guide for Frenchy, also bolstering him immensely in the eyes of the
more humble members of the port watch. That Australia chap certainly
knew a thing or two, even if he was not the best sailor in the world.

But Jimmy Marshall's comment was simply, "Rats!"

After supper, when pipes were glowing, and most of us sought our
bunks for the hour or so that remained to us in the last dog watch,
a discussion arose as to what kind of pie it was. Frenchy, the great
gastronomic authority, claimed it was English currant pie. "They taste
so bitter, that's why I know," he added with an air of finality.

Others differed with him. Scouse said it was red crabapple pie.
Martin claimed it was nothing but plum pie. I thought it tasted like
cranberry, but was not sure. At last, to settle the matter, and at the
earnest request of the crabbed Jimmy, Fred trudged aft to the galley to
consult Chow and wind up the argument. He returned in triumph with a
large tin can done up in a gaudy red label marked "Pie Fruit."

Shortly after entering the N. E. trades we encountered the region of
tropic rains, of daily thunder storms, and of abundant drinking and
washing water. We rigged an old sail over the gallows frame in the
main deck to catch the rain, which was teemed through a canvas pipe to
the main tank, a large upright iron cylinder standing on the keelson
blocks in the main hold just abaft of the main mast. Our allowance of
three quarts a day, per man, was anything but satisfying in the tropic
atmosphere of the torrid zone. At least half of this "whack" of water
went to the galley for use in the preparation of food and the rest
was divided between the scuttle butt and the water barrel, from which
it was drawn sparingly for washing purposes; usually a mere rinse to
clean off the salt of a sea water scrub.

In the extreme heat, during the frequent periods of calm, our suffering
through the lack of water became intense. The _Fuller_, like many other
ships sailing from New York, put to sea with her water tank barely a
quarter full, relying on the tropic rains to replenish the supply. When
the rains did finally come we fairly reveled in the luxury of abundant
fresh water, drinking, washing clothes, bathing, and just plain
wasteful wallowing in the refreshing element. With the first douse of
rain all hands turned out on deck to fill their pannikins under the
spouting drains from the forward house.

The conduct of a deep water sailing voyage in the old days of wooden
ships called for what today would be considered the highest type of
scientific management. In the maintenance of the vessel, each part of
the complicated fabric received its due attention at some particular
point in the voyage where the weather was favorable for that certain
operation. So in the entry to the rainy belt, that uncertain region
of the doldrums where almost constant precipitation takes turn about
with calm or light baffling winds, we were turned loose on the job of
scrubbing paintwork. The work was started aft and each watch did its
own side of the ship, there being much rivalry as to who was doing the
most work. Everybody took a hand in this and Brenden and Marshall would
curse unmercifully at the job when well out of earshot of the after
guard. Our hands became wrinkled with the constant wet, the calloused
flesh getting soft and cheesy, while our oilskins, in which we worked
during the worst downpours, became soaked and clammy through constant

We were not allowed the bucket of classic "_sewgee_" of the steam
ship sailor, a mixture of caustic soda, soft soap and water, but
were provided with nothing but a small tin of brick dust and a rag
of burlap; a rope handled deck bucket and a small swab completed
the outfit. Add to this formula an abundance of "elbow grease," and
slithers of tropic rain, and you get paintwork polished smooth and
white as ivory. A week or so, with all hands on the paintwork, whenever
the working of the ship would permit, transformed her into a model of
neatness. Woe to the luckless wretch who by any chance marred the deck
or paintwork with a drop of grease or tar.

About this time we made our acquaintance with the flying fish, these
swift travellers often shooting over our deck at night and being
caught in the belly of one of the courses or the spanker. A flying
fish for breakfast is not bad, and many were caught by the men on deck
keeping a sharp lookout for them. The mates were also watching for the
bag of flying fish and whenever one landed on the poop or in the waist,
one or the other of the mates would call out and have a hand bring the
fish aft.

One night a fish landed somewhere in the waist. We could hear the
wet splatter of the flying fins, as it was calm and the deck quiet.
Mr. Zerk, who was leaning against the weather swifter of the mizzen
shrouds, roused himself and called out for someone to bring the fish

Several of the watch started to search for the visitor, for we also had
heard him land, but without success.

"How about that fish?" shouted the mate, after a decent interval, while
the search was going on.

"Can't find it, sir," Joe piped up.

"The hell you can't!" thundered the mate. "There he is," and again we
heard a faint "splash, splash" of the wings.

"Get a light, you damn fools," was the order, for it was mighty dark.
"Come now quick. _Pronto_!" and as Scouse banged on the door of the
deck room occupied by Chips, in order to get him to open the lamp
locker, we thought we heard the "splash, splash" again.

[Illustration: Joe]

With the aid of a lantern and all of the watch the entire deck was
searched. Finally, Jimmy Marshall let out a whoop, "_Here he was! Here
he was!_" Some water on the deck, near the coils of rope hanging from
the main pin rail, looked as though Jimmy was close to the flying fish.

"_Here he was!_" again shouted the excited Jimmy, grabbing the lantern
from the hand of Scouse.

"Here he _what_?" demanded the mate, coming down into the waist. The
mate bent over the wet spot and exploded in a string of oaths. "No
flying fish ever made that! Here, you!" and he grabbed Jimmy. "This is
some of your damn monkey shines, you old dried up bundle of sea tripe!
---- ---- your gray hairs, I'll flying fish you! Lay aloft to the main
skysail yard and watch the stars! I'll call you down on deck whenever
we need you!"

For several nights after that Jimmy spent his time climbing up and down
the main rigging, for no sooner would he get up than the mate would
think of something to do that required his presence on deck.

The flying fish episode furnished us with something to talk about in
the fo'c'sle, and while Jimmy always tried to leave the impression that
the joke was on the mate and the rest of us, we felt that his over
zeal in discovering the puddle of water in which his clever hand had
simulated the nervous flapping of the fins of a flying fish had turned
the tables. My idea was that Jimmy, after seeing how well the thing was
taking, could not resist the temptation to get the credit.

We also harpooned our first bonita, a very active, virile fish, shaped
like a short double ended spindle buoy, and striped lengthwise. These
fish are exceedingly lively and jump about with terrific energy when
brought on deck. Before taking this fish to the galley, Old Smith of
the other watch, and Frenchy, and of course Jimmy Marshall, tested the
meat with a silver coin, to see if it was of the poison variety.

"If the silver turns black the fish is poison," explained Frenchy. In
this case the bonita was pronounced "good to eat," and a great feast
was on that night; however, I never cared much for fish anyway and
did not touch it. Chow had certainly made an ill looking mess of it,
garnished with broken tack, and basted with pork fat.

"You'll wisht you had a bit of this tucker afore we get to Honolulu,"
was the comment of Joe, who proceeded to help himself liberally.



An undercurrent of trouble had been running for some time, finding
expression in much subdued comment and criticism, at odd moments, when
small groups of the watch would foregather about the fo'c'sle during
the dog watch below. These dog watch hours were, during fine weather,
given over largely to yarning, smoking, reading, or playing cards, or
checkers, and to the performance of such odd jobs as sailors do during
their few leisure moments. Big George, or Scouse, as we called him,
had become something of a bully, and Joe, the most independent of his
subjects, had on several occasions taken pains to let Scouse understand
that he resented the way in which the big fellow carried on among the
farmers of the watch. Of course Scouse never dared open his mouth to
any of the real sailors, but he had gradually set himself up as a sort
of autocrat among the pushers of the "bear."

The development of this condition was so long in process of evolution,
that several times Frenchy and Brenden threatened to clean things up
and put an end to the stumbling block that threatened our fo'c'sle
democracy. Always, however, Jimmy Marshall intervened. "Leave 'em
alone. Things will break, see if they don't, an' 'e'll get it good, 'e

Following our siege of paint-scrubbing, we started to tar down the
standing rigging, work that devolved largely upon Scouse and his gang
of understrappers, making them the bright particular stars in the
firmament of wrath whenever, by any chance, they happened to drop so
much as a pin point of tar on the immaculate paintwork or deck.

The mate on these occasions outdid himself, and by the fluency of his
language and the surprising richness of his imagery he afforded a
certain amusement to those of us who were the listeners. The targets of
these profane outbursts had no redress, and, if they lost none of their
self respect, it was simply because none of that useless commodity
was left clinging to their devoted hides. Scouse, Fred and Martin had
received recent broadsides, and with half an eye we could see that Mr.
Zerk was watching Joe with a view to exercising a few new epithets.

It was our afternoon watch on deck; we turned out at seven bells to
get our dinner, and Joe, who was mess carrier for that week, turned
out lively to get the "kids" of cracker hash from the galley. A gentle
sea was rolling in on our quarter and Joe entered the fo'c'sle door,
the kid of cracker hash under his arm, the bread bag full of hard tack
in one hand, and a large can of steaming hot tea in the other, the
_Fuller_ gave one of her corkscrew twists, and Joe stumbled over the
sill, dousing Scouse with about half of the hot tea.

Scouse was furious, and at the same time half of our whack of tea was
running in the scuppers.

Little things assume monstrous proportions after a group of men have
been in close quarters for a long time. This is particularly so when
they have to live in such intimate and trying proximity as that in the
fo'c'sle of a sailing ship. On a deepwaterman, months at sea without
even a smell of land, let alone a sight of it, the community life is
bound to wear thin the edges of daily intercourse. Every small incident
is magnified far beyond its worth, and only a trifle is needed to
start a racket of some kind. Brenden and Frenchy cursed the luckless
Joe for a clumsy lout. Jimmy called him a "bloody rum cat," a favorite
expression of the little sailor, and Scouse, foaming with rage,
was only restrained by the rest of us from sailing right into Joe,
regardless of the cracker hash, the remaining tea, or anything else.
Joe was equally furious. He refused to touch the tea, saying he had
spilled his whack, and the rest of us might shut up our talk about it.

At this Australia and Fred insisted that Joe have his tea, sharing with
the rest. Talk became loud, and in the midst of the whole affair eight
bells struck and we tumbled on deck, our dinner half finished. Scouse
and Joe went to their work in the main rigging; some were to leeward
of the deckhouse stitching sails, while I passed a ball of marline for
Frenchy, who was serving the wire bolt rope of the foot of an old lower
tops'l that we were repairing.

He was facing aft toward the main shrouds, when suddenly he started,
his eyes seemed to bulge from his head, and he dropped his serving
mallet, while at the same time there was a bump behind me on the deck,
and Frenchy gasped, "_Ma foi!_ Look, Felix!"

I turned quickly and there on the white deck below the main rigging was
a big black greasy splotch of tar, and Joe's tar pot rolling into the

The silence that followed was painful. Mr. Zerk came forward from the
weather quarterbitt where he was smoking his after dinner pipe, and Joe
dropped down the Jacob's ladder to the deck under a fire of insulting
profanity from the mate. Whipping off his dungaree jacket, he started
to swab up the defiling tar before it could soak well into the deck

Scouse, whom Frenchy saw unhitch the lanyard of the pot as he worked
above Joe, went on with his tarring without batting an eye. Trouble was
on foot, however, in the port watch.

We went below at eight bells, four o'clock in the afternoon, but
Joe remained on deck to remove the last vestiges of tar, and Scouse
entered the fo'c'sle, speaking to no one. The trick played on Joe was
so contemptible that, so far as the common feeling went, Scouse had
placed himself beyond the pale, and no man cared to break the ice by
addressing him. That big Scouse felt this was certain, and the fact
that it hurt at least attested a few remaining embers of decent feeling.

The first dog watch that day was unusually quiet, all hands mending and
reading and wondering what the outcome would be when Joe got the tar
cleaned up on deck. At five bells Joe returned to the fo'c'sle with
the supper, a kid of salt pork and cabbage. Martin, who had busied
himself in the galley, brought in a pan of "dandy funk," a baked mass
of hard tack and molasses, a great delicacy with us and only possible
at rare intervals when Chow would permit us to take up the space in
his galley range. However, the dandy funk went begging. Joe was sullen
and refused to touch it. Scouse ignored it, and so did everyone else
with the exception of Martin, who for once enjoyed a complete meal of
our favorite dessert. Conversation during supper was strained to the
breaking point, and we were all glad to be away as soon as possible and
get out on deck.

[Illustration: Skouse]

The second dog watch went by without incident, as we were rushed about
the braces, sweating up for the night, trimming yards, and laboring at
the bilge pumps. It was clear, but with no moon, and at eight bells
we went forward to the square under the fo'c'sle head. The starboard
watch were called aft by the second mate, to some task of horsing up
this yard or that, and everything was propitious for the coming battle.
Blood alone could wipe out the feud between Scouse and Joe.

"And I hope he gets a damn good lickin'," confided Martin to me as we
went forward, referring to Scouse.

"Too heavy, Mart," was my opinion.

"But Australia says as how Joe can handle his self. That boy ain't no
slouch, and he's mad. You bet he's mad," insisted Martin.

That Joe was mad, fighting mad, went without saying. He had the
stinging insults from the mate still ringing in his ears, and the vile
tactics of Scouse, culminating in the tar pot trick, had steeled Joe to
the point of desperation. Scouse, on the other hand, faced the question
of fighting for his right to exist in the fo'c'sle. For a man to be
ostracized by the crowd forward is a living hell, as has been proven on
other voyages.

Aggravated as the situation was by the hedging discipline of the ship,
the preparations for the battle were as secret as though we were
an illegal boxing club operating in some blue-stocking community.
Jimmy Marshall decided all the details, jumping around as busy as a
field louse at harvest time. He elected himself referee and told off
Australia and Brenden to look after Scouse, while Martin and myself
were detailed to take care of Joe.

Our men stripped to the waist, bare knuckles and bare feet, with the
"ring" bounded by the fore pinrail to leeward, the fife rail, the
knight heads, and the fore side of the fo'c'sle, all dimly lighted by
the fo'c'sle lamp, moved to the doorway by Jimmy, and shedding a faint
yellow gleam over the space on deck.

Aft, the watch under the second mate were going through the first half
hour of trimming yards, and the general shake up of things with which
the officers usually "woke up" their crowd. No time had been lost by
Jimmy, for he know just what to do, and Joe was facing Scouse with
blood in his eyes, a very few minutes after eight bells.

"Not much room, but good enough for a fight, if it's fight you want,"
said Jimmy, buzzing around the men to see that all was in order. Two
buckets were filled with water from over side, hand swabs were got from
the deck chest, and our men lined up for work.

Scouse weighed about two hundred pounds, topping Joe by twenty pounds,
but for all that they were well matched, as Joe had the advantage of
agility and the better chance to dodge the hard knocks of the very
substantial deck fixtures all about.

Jimmy brought out a big silver watch and announced that the rounds
would be three minutes, "An' no punchin' in a clinch, an' no noise.
These is the Mark o' Queensberry rules," said Jimmy with great emphasis.

The fo'c'sle lookout of the other watch came aft to the break of the
fo'c'sle head and stood by the mast, ready to warn us of a surprise
from aft. It was to be a silent fight, a desperate, uncompromising
battle for the freedom of the fo'c'sle slaves, and the general
edification of all hands, long wearied by the bickering between Joe and
the red head.

The men backed off in the gloom.

"Go to it!" cried Jimmy.

They clashed with the hard thuds of calloused fists. Both men were in
the prime of condition. Both were crazy to fight. Big Scouse swung at
Joe, landing a fraction before Joe connected with the big fellow's
wind. The blow brought blood spurting from Joe's nose and cut his lip.
"_Play for his wind, Joe! The bread basket, Joe! Bat 'im in the eye!
Kill him!_" The side lines, hid in the shadow of the fo'c'sle, were
with Joe.

For a minute or two there was a rapid exchange of blows without thought
of guard or parry. To get in as many and as strong a lot of blows as
possible was the simple system.

Jimmy cried out "time," but no account of time or rounds was
contemplated in the scheme of things. Fight was the business, and to a

"Biff!" They slammed against the side of the deck house; a splotch of
blood, dimly visible in the night, smeared the white paint. Once again
they swung back, when the ship gave a sudden roll, as a blow from Joe's
right landed on Scouse's nose, toppling him backward against the fife
rail. An iron pin, the one used to belay the chain sheets of the lower
tops'l, caught Scouse behind the ear and, with a grunt, he was "out."

Fortunately, nothing but rumors of the fight got aft. Scouse was well
beaten, and came to in his bunk, after Australia and Brenden had doused
him with salt water. Joe was badly battered up, and both men carried
"shiners." As Jimmy Marshall said, "Honors is even, but it was a wery
wery ragged fight."

The mate next morning greeted the watch with a broad grin, and the
story of the mill, told to the starboard watch by their lookout Tommy,
lost nothing in the telling. As for the port watch, we were glad it
was over and once again the atmosphere below returned to normal. A few
nights later Joe and Scouse chummed together, and from that day to the
night in Honolulu, when Joe deserted and went out on the barkentine
_Irmgard_ to Frisco, he and Scouse were inseparable.



We were then in about five degrees of North Latitude, the trades had
failed us, and the doldrums claimed their share of bracing and hauling,
giving us little time for any other work. Every ripple on the brazen
sea called for a different angle of the yards, and in dead calm we lay
with our head yards braced sharp up and the after yards square, the
courses guyed out from the masts by slap lines and bowlines. During the
day a vertical sun beat down on our bare deck in unmerciful fashion,
lifting the scorching pitch from the seams and all but addling our
senses with the heat. The mates became more and more exacting, every
job palled, and the stuffy, unpalatable food of the fo'c'sle stuck in
our throats. The vessel was a chip of hell floating on the unforgiving
ocean; riveted for days, that stretched to weeks, amid the patches of
rusty sea weed, a thousand feet across, that tangled about the rudder
post, great sun-scorched fragments of the dead Sargasso Sea.

And all of this time we knew that the Southern branch of the Equatorial
Current was sending us back to the W. N. W. at the rate of several
miles a day!

In watch below, choking with the heat, we lay tossing sleeplessly in
our bunks while the sickly smell of the bilges came up from the fore
peak through the wind sails let down to ventilate the hold. Cockroaches
throve in added millions, and we were treated to our first rations
of weevily tack. The little white worms seemed to be everywhere. The
cracker hash was riddled with them as Chow selected the rottenest bread
for this purpose. Most of us developed boils, and the dark brown taste,
left by the vile food, resulted in a general loss of appetite. The heat
even forced the rats from the hold and on a dark night we could hear
them scampering about under the fo'c'sle head. The healthy sea tan of
the temperate zone left our faces, and we became peevish and morose.

Some of us tried to forget our misery by reading the books sent aboard
by the Seamen's Friend Society, others whiled away the hot watches
below, when sleep was impossible, by making wonderful models of ships
in bottles, almost a lost art nowadays, and revived on board the
_Fuller_ by Frenchy. Most of these works of art found resting places
behind the bars of waterfront saloons in Honolulu.

One blessing that came to us in this hell afloat was the fact that the
mates winked at the snatching of a few hours' sleep during the night
watches on deck, otherwise there is no telling how some of us would
have survived.

Our fo'c'sle scuttle butt soured, and Old Smith of the starboard watch
emptied it one Sunday morning and charred the inside with a bundle of
rope yarns to which he set fire. He told us how water gets bad in the
tropics, and then how its own impurities destroy themselves. "The bugs
scoff each other and die," and, went on Smithy, "they drops to the
bottom of the butt, like white skeletons, and the water is as clean and
good as ever."

About this time considerable activity went on forward among the old
sailors in both watches. One dog watch, men from both sides of the
fo'c'sle went aft and interviewed the captain.

"We are near the line," said Frenchy to me shortly afterward. "Don't
make any fuss about what goes on, and you'll get off easy," he

There were quite a few of us who had never crossed the equator, and
the preparations in the dog watches augured ill for those who chose to
resist the just tribute demanded by Father Neptune of all green sailors
who, in those days, ventured across the magic bounds.

A fair slant of wind had helped us along for a few days, when the Old
Man called Jimmy aft and imparted important information.

At eight bells in the afternoon watch, as all hands were mustering in
the waist, a hoarse hail from forward greeted us.

"_Ship Ahoy! Ship Ahoy!_" came the deep bass summons from a point
beneath the bow.

"Forward, there! Who hails us?" answered the captain, who stood out on
the poop, replying to the voice from forward.

"Father Neptune hails us, Captain," answered Hitchen, returning from
the bow. "He asks if there are any of his children on board who would
receive his blessing on their heads."

"Aye, bring him on board," ordered the skipper, a broad grin lighting
his features, and the two mates reflected the feeling aft by joining in
the smiles.

A noise of trudging along the deck followed, the King of the Sea, his
own whiskers hidden behind a broad beard of rope yarns, a bright red
harpoon in his right hand serving as a trident, and a large razor, made
of hoop iron, stuck in his belt, walked aft. He was draped in the folds
of an old boat sail, and for all of his regal trimmings we recognized
the famous Jimmy. A retinue followed, rigged out in true deepwater
style, and carrying a tub between them, which was deposited on deck
just aft of the mainmast.

"Captain," said Neptune, "I am told as 'ow you 'ave green 'ands on
board who 'ave to be shaved."

"Yes, Your Majesty, we have some with the hayseed still in their
whiskers," answered the skipper.

"Bring 'em forth!" thundered the King, unlimbering his razor and
passing the trident to the safe keeping of his wife, Amphitrite, in the
person of Axel, who towered two feet above the head of the King.

However, what Jimmy lacked in stature he made up in efficiency, and in
the imperious glance of scorn with which he greeted eight of us who
were lined up for his inspection.

Old Smith grabbed me by the neck; I was seated on the bottom of an
upturned bucket at the feet of the King.

"Your name?" demanded His Majesty, and as I was about to answer a
filthy swab of soapsuds and grease was thrust in my mouth and smeared
over my face and the shaving began, ending by a back somersault into
the tub of water behind.

"Next!" called Neptune in true barber shop style, and so, in turn, each
of the green hands went through the ordeal; the least willing getting
the most attention. Scouse and Joe were among the lubbers, and were
accorded special rites to the vast amusement of all hands. Australia
wound up the entertainment by handing Scouse and Joe pieces of gunny
sack, smeared with black paint, with which to wipe their faces.

"All right now!" called the mate, after the skipper had left the deck.
"Turn to and clean up," and we were back again to the rigid discipline
of the sea, relaxed for a brief hour to let King Neptune hold his sway.

After crossing the line we picked up the first whisperings of the S.
E. trades, that soon began to blow steadily and ushered in another
busy stage of the voyage. The refreshing wind and falling temperature
brought renewed vigor to our jaded crew. Although we had commenced to
feel the lack of fresh provisions, scurvy did not bother us, possibly
owing to the regular issue of lime juice, but the constant repetition
of salt pork and salt beef, the weevily hard tack, and the abominable
slumgullion, a stew made from canned mutton, made us crave for
something decent to eat.

Frenchy often drove us to the verge of distraction with his stories of
the cooks at home in Dunkirk, until we finally had to put the ban on
that sort of discourse. Again, we landed several bonitas teeming with
energy, and, after the silver coin test, all hands fell to with a will,
myself included. We also hooked a shark and hauled him on board by a
"handy billy" snatched to the fore rigging.

The regular routine of setting up shrouds and stays preparatory to
entering the heavy weather off the Horn, now began in earnest. We
had left New York with a full set of new hemp lanyards in our lower
rigging. The lanyard knots were turned in in a slovenly manner, with a
lubberly disregard for appearances, that proved an eyesore to Captain
Nichols. We cast new knots in these, and set up all standing rigging
anew; a long, interesting job that initiated us into the mysteries of
"rackings" and the "Spanish windlass," and the practical workings of
the various "purchases" and "burtons"; the "luff tackles," and the "gun

The mate was the leading spirit in these proceedings, staying on deck
practically all day to supervise the work. As we would set up one pair
of shrouds to port and another to starboard, bringing them to a "full
due," the mate was always there to say when to clap on the racking and
"come up" on the rigging luffs.

How the mate stood it often amazed me, for he was very lively at night,
but toward the end of this work the second mate would stand his last
dog watch for him, giving our first officer a six hour spell of sleep
every other day. What this means on a watch and watch racket, sailors
who have traveled the long voyage route will know.

The real sailors came to the fore during this time in both watches,
and Frenchy, Brenden, and Marshall, of our side, with Smith, Axel, and
Hitchen of the starboard watch, proved their rightful claim to the full
rating of A. B. Mr. Stoddard, who was a bit weak on his marline spike
seamanship, though a good watch officer, made up for things by the way
he bawled about and hurried and scurried his watch during the time the
mate was on deck. His men hated him thoroughly and we were glad that
he had very little to do with us.

Aboard a real shipshape and Bristol fashion deepwaterman of the old
school, if there be any such left today, everything is done according
to the custom of the sea. From the main truck to the keel, from the
outermost end of the flying jibboom to the last band on the spanker,
the ancient art of seamanship has decreed the exact way in which
certain things shall be done. The deadeyes carry their knots inboard,
forward to starboard, and aft to port. The lanyard lengths are justly
proportioned to the length of the stay they extend, so the required
"give" will be right, and the shroud pairs, stays, and backstays, are
passed over the mast heads and rest upon the trestle trees, in due and
proper form; the same in all ships worthy of the name.

Nations differ in their customs, and likewise in their rigs. No Italian
ship can sail the sea with a straight martingale, and no other ship
would venture forth with one that was anything but true.

For weeks at a time, after our entry into the southern trades, it was
hardly necessary to touch a brace except for the sweating up each night
in the last dog watch, when a swig or two on the ropes would bring
back any slack that had worked around the pins. The job of setting up
standing rigging completed, we turned our attention to the running
gear. We rove off new whips on all the braces, using an eye splice
that was a favorite with the mate, being tucked after the manner of a
sailmaker's splice, that is, the continuity of the strands of the rope
was preserved, the appearance of the whips being very trim.

The tops'l downhauls were rove off with new rope, and the gear of
all the lower stays'ls, lower tops'ls and courses was overhauled and
replaced where needed.

As we began to lift the Southern Cross and the trades left us, we again
shifted sail, an all day job that this time fell on a Sunday, and when
completed found us under our best suit of canvas ready for that storm
corner of the voyage, Cape Horn. We overhauled the rudder tackles,
reeving new purchases "with the sun," as indeed all purchases are
rove. Oil bags were made, shaped like beech nuts, bound with ratline
stuff, and fitted with a stout becket. By filling these with heavy
non-freezing animal or vegetable oil and puncturing them with a sail
needle, they afforded the best means for spreading oil on the waters
in time of storm.

One sail in particular that we bent at this time made a great
impression on me; this was a heavy storm spencer made of dark hemp
canvas, soft and pliable even when wet, unlike the stiff white American
cotton stuff that rips out your finger nails when fighting the bellying
folds, tough as sheet iron, as it slams out from a bucking yard. The
main spencer was evidently an acquisition from some Asiatic or European
voyage. It bent to an iron jackstay, and furled in to the mast with a
set of brails, being cut "leg-o'-mutton," the sheet hauling aft to big
eyebolts on either side of the waist.

Double lashings were passed on all of the lifeboat gripes. Rolling
and jumper tackles were got ready for the lower and tops'l yards,
to relieve the stress on yards and parrals, and straps and whips
were prepared, and laid aside, for use as preventer braces should
the necessity arise. In these preparations on the _Fuller_ we had a
foresight of what to expect when off the dreaded Cape; at the same time
we were certain that no vessel was ever better or more intelligently
groomed for heavy weather.

These preparations carried us well down to the latitude of the River
Plate; here we were warned by the wise ones to expect some weather,
which was not long in coming.

Our watch had just gone below at midnight, when a sou'wester zipped in
from the distant land, a live whole gale, sweetened with the breath of
the Patagonian prairies that stretched for leagues beneath its origin.
The starboard watch started to shorten sail, but by four bells in the
midwatch things were getting so far ahead of them that all hands were
called, and we tumbled out in the midst of a Bedlam of thrashing gear
and general confusion.

Most of the port watch were ordered aloft to take in the fore upper
tops'l, thrashing in its gear, while the ship plunged ahead under lower
tops'ls, reefed fore course and stays'ls. The starboard watch were
completing the job of furling the main tops'l, and with two of our men
to help, were about to tackle the mains'l.

I was on the fore upper tops'l yard, with Frenchy at the lee yardarm,
and Scouse in between me and the mast. We were just passing the last of
the sea gaskets, when the lower tops'l yard seemed to lift up in the
air with a sudden jump for we were standing on it, instead of on the
footropes of the upper tops'l. A great smashing below us, and the loud
impact of something big and hard banging against the yard under our
feet, sent us clambering to the upper stick for our lives.

"_Lee fore sheet's adrift!_" someone shouted. There was a rush in to
the mast to escape the heavy spectacle iron, and the cluster of flying
clew garnet blocks, and the next thing we knew we were ordered to lay
out on the fore yard and secure the sail.

"_Lay down and secure fores'l!_" came the order from the mate, who
stood on the fo'c'sle head, back to the gale, bellowing up his

Six of us slid down to the top and out on the jumping foreyard. The
buntlines and leechlines were finally hauled home, and we got our
gaskets about the flying iron. A weird morning light was then breaking
in the east and as our watch below was gone, all hands remained on deck
for morning coffee after we hove her to under lower tops'ls, fore and
main storm stays'ls, and trys'l.

The Pampero gave us a taste of real weather, and came as an actual
relief after the long monotonous passage through the trades and



With livelier weather of the Southern latitudes we were often exercised
in tacking and wearing ship, and soon became a very well drilled
company, sending the big three-sticker about in record time. The
_Fuller_ was lively in stays and with our small crew required the
smartest kind of work in handling.

With all hands, including the "idlers," that is, the carpenter,
cook and cabin steward, we mustered twenty men forward, hardly a
man-o'-war complement, but enough, when driven and directed by superior
seamanship, to send the long braces clicking through the sheaves of the
patent blocks with a merry chatter.

"Hands about ship!" meant all hands, _and the cook at the fore sheet_,
a time honored station filled by the Celestial with all the importance
in the world. It was all the work that Chow ever did on deck and the
heathenish glee with which he would "let go" at the proper time, added
a certain zest to our movements, particularly as we always hoped to
have a sea come over and douse him, which often happened.

At the order, "Ready! Ready!" the gear of the main and cro'jik was
thrown down from the pins, clear for running. The command "Ease down
the helm!" and the order "Spanker boom amidships!" would quickly
follow, the vessel running rapidly into the eye of the wind with
everything shaking, and then flat aback.

"Rise tacks and sheets!" and the hands at the clew garnets would
sway up on the courses, lifting them clear of the bulwarks. Then all
hands would jump like monkeys to the main and cro'jik braces, at the
order, "Weather main, lee cro'jik braces!" the second mate, and Chips,
standing by to cast off on the other sides. By then, the wind being a
point on the weather bow, would come the hearty warning, "Haul taut!"
and "Now, boys, mainsail haul!" and the after yards, aback, with the
wind on their weather leeches, would spin about, the gear running
through the blocks like snakes afire, and the men on deck pawing it in
at the pins with feverish haste, belaying as the yards slammed back
against the lee swifters on the other tack.

By that time the ship would be practically about, with head yards and
head sails aiding in the evolution. As soon as the wind was on the bow,
all hands would spring to the lee fore braces. "Haul taut--_let go and
haul_!" thundered the order from aft. Chow would let out a wild yell as
he unhitched the fore sheet, and around would go the head yards. Then
with jib sheets shifted over, and the spanker eased off, as the tacks
were boarded, and the sheets hauled aft, we would pause to get our
breath amid the tangle of gear on deck.

"Steady out the bowlines--go below, watch below!" and as the watch
below would leave the deck, the order "Lay up the gear clear for
running," was the signal for the crowd on deck to get busy while the
good ship raced away on the new tack with the wind six points on the
bow, a bone in her teeth, and a half point of leeway showing in the

"I hope she holds this tack for a month," was a wish often expressed
after one of these frantic evolutions; but such hopes were vain with
the variable nature of the strong winds between the Plate and Staten
Land, that often sent us about a half dozen times a day, insuring us
plenty of healthful exercise and a minimum amount of sleep.

On a wind was the _Fuller's_ best point of sailing, so far as handling
was concerned, and she was as easy with the helm as a catboat.

"Keep the weather cloth of the mizzen skys'l shaking," was the order
for "full and by," and, under all plain sail, a spoke of the wheel
would hold her for hours, with a quarter turn of weather helm.

While our port watch crowd had at first thought themselves the losers
in the choice of officers, we soon realized that we were being favored
in many ways, mainly because of the superior ability of the mate. He
cursed unmercifully and made no bones about cuffing some of the crew
in a playful sort of fashion, accompanied with some ribald jest that
was meant to carry off the sting of a heavy blow, yet he managed to
give us the advantage in most operations requiring all hands. He never
hesitated to rouse out the starboard watch an hour ahead of time when
a sudden shortening of sail demanded all hands. On these occasions we
would work like fury and get below with the loss of a half hour's less
sleep than the other watch.

Ill feeling among the men of the second mate's watch became more and
more apparent as these tactics continued, and the talk in the fo'c'sle
had it that the second mate was afraid to stand up for his rights.
He was accordingly blamed for every trouble forward, so far as his
own watch was concerned. Things culminated in the wake of a squall
that struck us soon after passing the River Plate. The tops'l yards
having been lowered to the caps, we were called out near the end of the
afternoon watch to man tops'l halyards.

Tony, of the starboard watch, was "beforehand" with Axel and the second
mate, on the main tops'l halyards. The rest of the ship's company
tailed along the deck from the lead block bending their "beef" on the
rope to the refrain of "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo." The deck was slippery with
the wet, and a high sea, in which the _Fuller_ wallowed without sail
enough to steady her, made footing precarious.

At the order "Belay!" given by the mate, and the sharp "Come up behind"
of the second officer, Tony failed to hold on to the rope, and the
consequence was a slight loss as the man next the lead block hitched
the halyard over the pin.

"You lazy dago ---- ---- ---- ----! Why did you let go that rope?"
shouted Mr. Stoddard, at the same time making a lunge for Tony and
smashing him on the side of the face with his fist. The Dago blocked
as best he could, and the second mate drove home a second blow on the
Dago's nose. Tony clinched, the blood spurted right and left as they
went to the deck, rolling over and over, first one on top and then the

"What's this?" shouted the mate. "You dirty bum, ---- ---- you!" he
exploded, jumping into the scramble, while all hands lined up in a
threatening attitude, determined to see some sort of fair play.

The mate grabbed Tony by the shirt, as he was on top, and yanked him
over. The fact that the Dago had Mr. Stoddard down seemed to rile the
mate beyond all reason. He ripped off the shirt of the Dago, and as he
threw him across the deck a knife flashed and the mate kicked it into
the scuppers, at the same time digging his heavy sea boots into the
side of the Italian. The second mate staggered to his feet, a jagged
streak of blood on his face where Tony had landed, and his jacket
covered with gore.

This scene, common enough perhaps in the annals of the sea, made a
deep impression on us. His watchmates carried the Italian forward, and
Mr. Stoddard went to his room under the starboard side of the poop.
Bad as the feeling had been toward our officers, up to this time it
had mingled with it a certain element of respect. Artistic and fluent
profanity never hurt anybody, and was almost always justified by some
bungling piece of work on the part of the lubbers who "gummed up"
their action whenever the least chance was afforded them. But in the
attack of the second mate on Tony there was something that looked like
deliberate planning, and in the mixup a number of us saw the mate jerk
the knife from the Dago's belt.

As Mr. Zerk went aft he picked up the knife from the scuppers. "Irons
for you!" he hissed at the Dago as they took him to the fo'c'sle.

But we heard nothing more of it. The captain had come out on deck in
the height of the excitement, following the fight, and called the mate
to his side; he was wise in his day, and knew a thing or two about the
tactics of his officers.

Soon we were tailing again to the halyard, tautening out the leeches
of the tops'l, an embittered crowd who but a few moments before were
singing at the ropes. Peter, in the meantime, was swabbing up the
bloody deck.

One who has never been there can hardly realize the absolute
subjugation under which a crew may be placed by their officers,
especially if they are on a deep-sea voyage under sail. None of us is
perfect, and the humble sailor-man as well as the rest of the human
race is prone to take things as easy as the law of the craft on which
he sails will allow. This fact, coupled with the hard circumstances
under which a small crew is compelled to work a very large ship, may,
in a measure, condone the tactics which have for their object the
putting the "fear of God" into a crew.

Young officers at times are inclined to be a bit "easy" with men,
thinking it will result in more willingness. The more seasoned members
of the cloth, men who have sailed as merchant officers for many years,
realize that the maintenance of discipline aboard ship is only possible
under a rule of autocratic severity, demanding instant obedience to
orders and quick punishment for the first departure from the iron
bonds. This is as necessary as life itself. The least hesitation, the
slightest possibility of argument, when ordering men to places of
danger or extreme difficulty, would soon result in disaster.

At sea we have the sharp distinction of caste--the wonderful potency
of _Mister_ So and So. He is an officer, if not always a gentleman. To
forget the "_sir_" when addressing one of our mates would have been a
dangerous thing to do. In fact only one man ever did it, but he was a
Kanaka and signs on later in the story.

In many ships, captain and mates never fail to use their "handles"
in addressing each other, and this was so on the _Fuller_, in fact
there was as little familiarity aft, in the personal relations of our
officers, as one might expect to find between the representatives of
two armies meeting to arrange a truce. And the wonderful part of it was
that they left the ship at the end of the voyage as coldly distant as
the day they stepped aboard; that is all but the second mate, which is
again running me ahead of the lawful progress of this yarn.

However, to get back to the deck and to the lives of our particular
little sea community, plowing their painful way over the cruel surface
of the many wrinkled ocean, we resented the underhanded flavor of the
affair between the mates and Tony. With all the excuses for hazing
granted and allowed for, there is nothing to be said in favor of lying
about a fight. The imputation of the knife, held as evidence by the
mate, and the whole character of the mixup left a bad taste in our
mouths for many weeks.

From that time on we entered upon a stage of the voyage notable for
its hardship. The officers were drivers from the time we dropped
the Navesink Highlands, but for a long time after the incident off
the River Plate, nothing but harsh words found any place in their
vocabulary. Weather conditions became more unsettled and severe and one
blow followed close on the heels of another. We were in oilskins for
weeks at a time, soaked to the skin through the worn out "slickers."
Most of us developed salt water boils and one formed on my left wrist,
through the constant chafing, and has left a scar to this day, as I
had the habit of stopping the sleeves of my coat with a few turns of
marline to keep the water out. It was impossible to dry things in
the brief four hours below, and the "slop chest" was soon depleted
of its stock of new oil clothing. It would be hard to picture a more
depressing period than that through which we passed just before
entering the real weather off Cape Horn.

In one of our brief periods below some of us were patching the tears
in our oilskin coats and pants, resulting from a tussle with the fore
upper tops'l, the downhauls having carried away, and left the sail
a bellying fighting mess of canvas that four of us were ordered to
subdue. Sewing oiled cloth is a poor job, and a loosened finger nail on
my right thumb, added nothing to the cheerfulness of the sewing party.

"I'll bet few lads would go to sea if they could look in here for a
half hour," I remarked, following a turn of thought that revolved more
or less about my own folly.

"An' I don't think you would stay in 'ere or out on deck or anywhere
else in this leaky old bucket if you knowed what is afore us," chipped
in Jimmy. "You 'aven't never gone round the Horn yet, so God 'elp you,
is wot I says."

"Yes, Gott help all of us," said Scouse with a heartfelt grunt from
the sea chest at the forward end of the fo'c'sle where he and Joe
were playing checkers on a new "heavy weather" board just made by the
resourceful Joseph. This board was covered with a piece of canvas,
the squares being marked off with pencil. The checkers (and here is
where Joe prided himself) were made by sawing pieces from an old broom
handle, and Joe had driven a sharp brad through each one of them so
they would cling to the canvas on the checker board.

On deck chanties had ceased to enliven us, and we went through the hard
watches in a dogged spirit of endurance. We felt like martyrs, a state
of mind not altogether without its compensations. In the watch below,
in a steaming atmosphere of gloom, lighted by a single oil lamp set
into a hole in the partition bulkhead between the two sides of the
fo'c'sle, we slept as much as possible, which was not half enough, ate
our rude meals, and had our dreams of happier days to come. Each man
respected the rights of his neighbors and each bunk was a sort of damp
narrow castle. Here in the smelly air, in the dim light, cold, tired,
and often hungry, we lived, or rather, existed.



On a clear Monday morning, the seventh of February, 1898, to be exact,
the captain, after working up his A. M. sight, came on deck and
announced a good observation. It was the first time the sun had been
visible in some days, and by working a Sumner he found we were on a
line cutting close past Cape St. John, on Staten Land, having sailed
the ship down between the Falkland Islands and Cape Virgins by dead
reckoning. We were coiling down the gear after the morning washdown,
and I was busy at the monkey rail when he came on deck with his
results, and imparted the above information to the mate in my hearing.

"Better send a hand to the main skys'l yard, Mr. Zerk," said the
captain, in conclusion.

I was handy, and at a nod from the mate sprang up the Jacob's ladder
and onto the ratlines, going up like a monkey, out over the futtock
shrouds, up the topmast rigging, narrowing to the topmast crosstrees,
in through the horns of the crosstrees, and on farther up the t'gallant
and royal rigging, on the slight rope ladders abaft the mast. Coming to
the skysail mast, hardly larger round than the stick of a fair catboat,
I shinned up with the help of the halyards, and swung myself astride of
the yard, my arm about the aerie pinnacle of the main truck. From my
vantage point the sea was truly an inspiring sight; clear as crystal,
the limpid air stretched free to the distant horizon without a mist or
cloud to mar the panorama of vast blue ocean. I felt as though I had
suddenly been elevated to a heaven far above the strife and trouble of
the decks below.

For the moment I forgot the object of my climb in the contemplation of
the sparkling scene stretching as far as eye could reach. I glanced
down to the narrow deck far beneath, white in the sun, the black top
of the bulwarks outlining the plan of the ship against the deep blue
waters; my eye followed the easy curves of the squared canvas on the
main, the great breadth of the yards extending to port and starboard,
and I wondered that so small a ship could support such an avalanche of
sail as bowled along under my feet. Aft, a foamy wake stretched for a
mile or two, for we were sailing at a fairish speed with the wind from
the north, a point on the port quarter.

I saw the men flaking down the fore tops'l halyards, clear for running,
on the top of the forward house, and I saw the mate watching me from
the weather fore pinrail, his head thrown back as he gazed aloft;
something told me to get busy, and I looked far ahead to the south.

A faint blue streak on the horizon held my eyes. Accustomed to the
sight of land from out at sea, through my voyages in the schoolship;
still I hesitated to name it land. We were sixty-two days out, and
land looked strange. Again I brought my sight to bear upon the distant
skyline ahead; there was no mistaking the dim outline of land rising
from the sea at a point immediately to the south of us and reaching

"_Land ho!_" I hailed the deck.

"Where away?" came the voice of Captain Nichols.

"A point on the lee bow, sir!"

"All right! Lay down!" shouted the mate, evidently not intending that I
should further enjoy my lofty perch on the skysail yard.

We raised the land rapidly, the breeze increasing slightly as the day
advanced. At noon Staten Land was visible from the deck, and by eight
bells in the afternoon watch we were sailing past the bold shores, some
ten miles distant, and drawing the land well abeam. Running south for a
good offing, and taking in our light sails with the coming of darkness,
we hauled our wind to the starboard quarter at the end of the last dog
watch and headed bravely for old "Cape Stiff."

Captain Nichols might have ventured through the Strait of Le Maire,
with the weather we were having, though at the best it is taking
chances to keep the land too close aboard when in the troubled
latitudes of Terra Del Fuego. Countless ships, with the fine _Duchesse
de Berry_ among the last of them, have ground their ribs against the
pitiless rocks that gird those coasts. However, we were enjoying the
rarest of Cape Horn weather--sunshine, fair wind, and a moderate sea.

For the first time in many weary days we livened things up with a
chantey as we swigged away on the braces and tautened every stitch of
canvas with well stretched sheets and halyards.

Jimmy Marshall had just started "Whiskey for my Johnnie," and the
captain came forward on the break of the poop and joined in the chorus
in a funny, squeaky voice--but none of us dared laugh at him. He was
so delighted with the progress we were making and the chance that we
might slip by the "corner" in record time, that nothing was too good
for us. The mate came down from his high horse and with Mr. Stoddard
and Chips, who had just finished their supper and were stepping out on
deck, to join them, the full after guard took up the refrain--and the
words rose in a great volume of deep sea song.

    "Oh, whiskey--my Johnnie;
     Yes, whiskey made me sell my coat
     Whiskey, my Johnnie.
     Oh, whiskey's what keeps me afloat,
     Oh whiskey for my Johnnie."

When we pumped her out that night at the main pump, for the ship was
almost on an even keel, we noted the skipper had begun to stump the
quarter deck in a very excited way, constantly ducking up and down the
companion, and scanning the horizon with an anxious eye. Cape pigeons
were circling close to the ship with an endless chatter, and far above
us swung a huge, dun-colored fulmar gull, its white belly clean against
the grey sky.

"There is something doing with the glass," remarked Frenchy, eyeing
the skipper. "We'll have some weather to look out for before long,"
and all of us watched the gull with fascinated eyes. Jimmy and Brenden
agreed with Frenchy that we were in for heavy weather.

But in spite of these dire predictions, and in spite of a "red dawn,"
the day broke and continued fair, and we were again regaled with a
glimpse of land, jagged somber peaks, jutting into the sky to the north
like the cruel teeth of a ragged saw, grey blue above the far horizon.

I was aft flaking down the mizzen tops'l halyards on the morning
following the landfall when Captain Nichols stumped past me from the
break of the poop to the companion. He had been up all night, and the
continuation of fine weather evidently pleased and surprised him. He
had a pair of binoculars in his hand, and, in passing, he stopped and
offered the glasses to me, pointing to the southernmost promontory, a
cold blue knob rising from the sea.

"That's Cape Horn over there, Felix. Take a good look at it. You may
never see it again, if you were born lucky."

Almost staggered by this sudden good fortune, I brought the captain's
glasses in focus on the dreaded cape, my whole being thrilled with
the pleasure of looking through those excellent binoculars at that
distant point of rock, the outpost of the New World, jutting far into
the southern ocean. I doubt if the gallant old Dutchman, Schouten, who
first "doubled" it, experienced half the exhilaration that I did on
first beholding that storied headland. At four bells in the morning
watch I went to the wheel, and while the watch swabbed down the decks
after the morning washdown, I was privileged to look at the Cape out of
the corner of my eye, between times; keeping the "lubber's line" of the
compass bowl on sou'west by sou', for the skipper had shaped a course a
point or so further off shore, as the currents had evidently set us in
toward the land during the night and he wished to keep his safe offing.

[Illustration: Martin]

The wind in the meantime had veered round to west-nor'-west, blowing
directly off the land and with increasing force. The light sails were
taken in again, and by eight bells we were under t'gans'ls, upper and
lower tops'ls, reefed fores'l, reefed mains'l, spanker, jib and topmast

As I left the wheel and went forward, I determined to attempt a pencil
sketch of Cape Horn, the weather being too dull for a photograph,
even if the land were not too distant. The result, after some trials,
and the loss of my breakfast, which was nothing, resulted in a fair
representation of what we saw of the Cape, and I turned into my bunk
with a feeling of satisfaction. After all, it was worth a good deal to
have actually set eyes upon the Horn.

When we turned out at one bell, for dinner, we found the wind had
veered farther to the west, we were sailing by the wind with the
starboard tacks aboard, the cold spray from a rising sea, breaking over
the fo'c'sle head, and spattering against the fo'c'sle door.

Jimmy sat up and rubbed his eyes as the watch was called and swore
gently under his breath. Brenden went out on deck to take a look at the
weather. "Hell, we got it now. I have seen this before. D'you feel the
ice?" he asked.

Indeed we all felt the drop in temperature, and the short snappy jerk
of the ship, as she met the new direction of the sea, was anything but

Coffee was served out to us that noon instead of lime juice, and the
warmth was welcome; it helped wash down the last cooked meal that Chow
was able to prepare for ten days.

Mustering on deck at eight bells, we found we were driving south under
a leaden sky. Cape Horn, still dimly visible, was soon shut off,
vanishing in a cloud cap over the land astern. We were sailing due
south, the wind having headed us, and at four bells, the wind rapidly
increasing in violence, the starboard watch turned out to help in
shortening down. We at once took in the t'gans'ls, mains'l, and jib,
and these were followed in quick succession by other canvas until at
eight bells we had the _Fuller_ stripped to her lower tops'ls, close
reefed main upper tops'l, and storm stays'ls. The sea rose to mammoth
proportions, fetching as it did from the very edge of the Antarctic ice

The canvas aloft soon became stiff with ice and all gear on the ship
was coated with frozen rain, as we were swept by a succession of rain
and hail storms. At nightfall we were hove to, on the starboard tack
under goose winged main lower tops'l, reefed main trys'l, and storm
stays'l. The oil tank forward was dripping its contents on the sea, and
two oil bags were slung from the fore and main weather channels.

The storm, for the wind had now increased to fully sixty miles an hour,
held steady from the west until midnight. Then it suddenly went to
nor'west, and in the squalls, when the wind rose to hurricane force,
the _Fuller_ lay over on her beam ends. A vicious cross sea added
its danger to the situation. All hands were then on deck, remaining
aft near the mizzen rigging. The fo'c'sle, galley, and forward cabin
were awash. Four men braced themselves at the spokes of the wheel,
under the eye of the second mate, and relieving tackles were hooked to
ease the "kick" of the tiller. Preventer braces and rolling tackles,
got up earlier in the day, were hove taut to steady the heavy spars
aloft. All loose gear was streaming to leeward, washing in the sea,
through the open scuppers and freeing ports. A fierce boiling of
white phosphorescent wave caps lit the sea as it broke over the ship,
intensifying the black pandemonium overhead. The sleet-laden spume shot
over the prostrate vessel in a continuous roar, drowning all attempts
at shouting of orders.

It was during the wild but fascinating hours of this night that I
realized the high quality of seamanship that had prepared us for an
ordeal such as we were going through. The consummate skill with which
the great wooden craft was being handled came home to me with a force
that could not be denied. How easily a bungling lubber might have
omitted some precaution, or carried sail improperly, or have done, or
not done, the thousand things that would have spelled disaster!

The captain and mate stood at the lee of the mizzen mast, each with a
turn of the tops'l sheets about him, and hitched over the monkey rail.
The rest of us, crouching at the lee of the cabin trunk, knee deep in
the water when she went over in the heavier squalls, held our places
wondering what turn things would take next. Looking through one of
the after cabin ports, on my way to the wheel, I saw Chow and Komoto,
the cabin boy, packing a box by the light of the small lamp swinging
in its gimbals. They were evidently getting ready to leave--where
to--themselves and their gods alone knew.

All things have an end, and the Stygian blackness of the night gave
way to gray streaks of dawn that broke upon us, revealing a scene of
utmost desolation. A note of order was given to the wild confusion of
the gale-wracked fabric, when Chips, his lanky figure skimming along
the life line, and his sounding rod sheltered under his long oil coat,
ventured to the main fife rail to sound the well. As for the crew, we
were soaked with salt water and frozen to the marrow. The main lower
tops'l had blown from the bolt ropes during the night; we never missed
it until morning. Twenty feet of the lee bulwark--the port side--was
gone, and a flapping rag of canvas at the main hatch told us that the
tarpaulin was torn. Looking forward through the whistle of wind and
spume that cut across the sharply tilted rigging, the scene was one
of terrific strife, as though some demon ruler of the sea had massed
his forces, and was making a desperate drive for the destruction of
the wooden handiwork of man upon which he dared to venture over those
forbidden wastes.




No matter how miserable one may be, action of some kind always comes
as a relief. Our hard lot on the _Fuller_ was positively made more
bearable by the added hardships of the storm, and when the night was
past we were glad to force our chilled limbs and hungry bellies to some
sort of effort. Anything was better than to hang to the mizzen rigging
and slowly freeze to death. The torn hatch tarpaulin was a serious
matter. The merchant service holds no higher duty, where passengers are
not carried, than the duty toward cargo. This is often forgotten by men
who lack the true traditions of the sea. But our officers were well
alive to the importance, not only of bringing our ship around the Horn,
but of bringing her cargo through in good condition.

The mate, followed by Axel, Brenden, Frenchy, and Mike, a husky,
well-set-up sailor of the starboard watch, went into the waist and
worked their way along the deck at great peril. After much trouble
they managed to wedge down the flapping canvas, which was under a
constant deluge of blue water, whole seas coming aboard in quick

By noon the weather abated somewhat, and we got the ship under fore
and mizzen lower tops'ls, and close reefed main upper tops'l. Before
nightfall we had sent down what remained of the main lower tops'l, and
bent a new sail. That afternoon we experienced an adventure fraught
with much excitement to us of the port watch. The jib having worked
loose from the gaskets, by constant dipping into the sea, as the ragged
crests of blue water buried the bowsprit and jibboom, six of us were
ordered out to secure the sail by passing a three-inch manila line
around the sail and boom.

Brenden, Scouse, Frenchy and I were on the weather side, and Joe and
Martin went out on the boom to leeward. The job was almost finished,
two seas had already drenched us, and we were chilled with the dip in
the cold water, when the ship rose to a heavy roller, her bow lifted
high into the eye of the wind, and then plunged down into the deep
trough between two seas. The momentum was so great that she failed to
rise quickly enough, and her jibboom stabbed right into the heart of
the onrushing wall of cold blue water, regardless of the half dozen
luckless wretches clinging to the furled canvas with all their might.
The great sea went on over us, thundering down on the fo'c'sle head,
and rushing aft along the deck in a noisy white cataract of foam. When
she shook free we were left clinging to the jibboom like drowned rats,
that is, all of us but Joe.

Aft on the poop, the mate heard our cries, and, springing to the lee
rail, he yanked a bight of line from a pin and hove it overboard,
catching Joe just in time as he rose close along side. When she heeled
to leeward, ready hands hauled the half-drowned Joe on board. Captain
Nichols had come up on the first cry, and taking Joe into the cabin,
he poured out a liberal hooker of whiskey from the medicine chest. The
funny part of the whole thing was that Joe was more thankful for the
drink than for his escape from certain death, for we never could have
lowered a boat in that sea.

We got a watch below that night, and the cook managed to heat some
coffee, but cold salt beef and hard tack were all that the kids
contained when we went below for supper. Wrapped in our damp clothes
we managed to peg in a few hours of necessary sleep. Life, for a week
afterward, was not worth living, unless one held some latent strain of
the old berserker flowing through his veins. It was a fight, and the
elements charged us and flanked us in midnight fury, increasingly cold
as we edged farther to the south in our attempt to round the meridian
of Cape Horn.

In latitude 56° 29' S. and longitude 68° 42' W. from Greenwich, about
sixty sea miles S. W. by W. from Cape Horn, lies the island of Diego
Ramirez, a weather-worn rock jutting from the black waters of the
sub-antarctic. Ten days after fetching away from the Cape, we beat
south and sighted this grim sentinel, the outpost of the tempest and
the gale--ten days of such seagoing as seldom falls to the men who
nowadays go down to the sea in steamers.

Under conditions of the kind we experienced, every man was put to
the test, and his worth as a member of the crew clearly established.
Fortunately for us, and for the races representative in our small
company--of which we boasted quite a few--no strain of yellow fear
developed during the days and nights when the work aloft called for
the performance of duty dangerous in the extreme. Not one of us but
had been shipmates with men lost overboard, or maimed for life in
accidents to sail or spars. Never was there a moment's hesitation to
lay aloft, or out on a swaying bucking yard in the black cover of
night, to grapple with canvas hard and unruly. No work was too trying,
and no hours of labor too long. We thought nothing of the eternal
injustice of a fate that sent us out to sea to fight for our very lives
on a ship far too big for so small a crew to handle safely, if indeed
any crew of mere men could ever _safely_ handle so large a ship.

Never was there a suspicion of holding back, and through it all,
the discipline of the disgruntled warmer latitudes was dropped and
orders were quickly obeyed as a matter of course; yes, as a matter of
self-preservation. The disgusting profanity of warmer climes was laid
in the discard for a while, and we were men doing men's work.

Wet and hunger were the rule; to be chilled with the cold was normal,
and our salvation was the constant struggle with the working of the
ship. Accidents occurred, and old Jimmy lay in his bunk with his right
arm in a bandage from a dislocation due to a fall on the slippery deck.
This was roughly set by the captain with the help of the mate and the
carpenter. The galley fire had hardly been lighted an hour at a time as
the seas flooded everything forward. Cold salt junk--from the harness
casks to the kids--comprised the mainstay of our ration, not to mention
the daily whack of mouldy, weevily hard tack. Had it not been for an
occasional steaming hot can of slops called tea and coffee, we should
have surely perished.

Our oilskins were in shreds, boots leaked, and every stitch of clothing
in the ship was damp, except when dried by the heat of our bodies.
Had I been told of this before starting out--well, I suppose I would
not have believed it--and, when I say that during it all we had a
fairly good time and managed to crack jokes and act like a lot of
irresponsible asses, it goes to prove that man was born to be kicked;
be he on a sailing ship around the Horn, on the hard edge of the Arctic
littoral, or in the bloody trenches; fate is always there to step in
and deliver the necessary bumping.

When south of Diego Ramirez, we passed the American ship _Shenandoah_,
Captain "Shotgun" Murphy, bound from 'Frisco to Liverpool, with a cargo
of grain. She was racing two English four-masted barks, and we were
told that she dropped her hook in the Mersey a month ahead of them.

When sighting the _Shenandoah_ we were close to the wind on the
starboard tack, standing about due west; the _Shenandoah_ was running
free, with the wind two points abaft her port beam, carrying everything
to t'gans'ls, stays'ls, and jigger, a truly magnificent sight and the
first sail we had seen close aboard since leaving the _Tam O'Shanter_
off Sandy Hook.

When abeam we exchanged the courtesies of the sea, dipping our ensign
from the monkey gaff, and running aloft our "number," the gay string
of lively colored flags, pennant, and burgee--J. V. G. B. of the
International Code--the universal language of the sea.

The _Shenandoah_ also ran up her number, a spot of color in the
beautiful spread of white cotton canvas on her yards. The sky was dull,
but the clear air set her off with cameo like distinctness against the
grey background of the horizon. The deep blue of the sea smothered
white under her bow and, as she rolled gracefully, the yellow gleam of
her copper flashed along under her sleek black side, or else we caught
a glimpse of her white decks over the line of her bulwarks, as she
dipped to leeward.

We had sighted the sail ahead, and, having our starboard tacks aboard,
were accorded the right of way. Hitchen, of the other watch, gathered
with a group of us on the fo'c'sle head to watch the stranger drive
past us. Being somewhat of a scholar, the little Englishman delivered
himself of the following verse:

    "If close hauled on the starboard tack,
     No other ship can cross your track;
     If on the port tack you appear,
     Ships going free must all keep clear;
     While you must yield when going free,
     To sail close hauled or on your lee.
     And, if you have the wind right aft,
     Keep clear of every sailing craft."

In obedience to this Law of the Sea, the four-masted ship _Shenandoah_
starboarded a point, passing the _Fuller_ well to windward, and some
five miles south of the Island of Diego Ramirez.



After close to two and a half months at sea we had reached the turning
point on the long course to Honolulu. The Atlantic with its trials lay
behind us, and just in our wake the sullen waters of the Horn lashed
themselves against the coast of Terra Del Fuego. Ahead stretched the
broad Pacific, greatest of oceans, and fraught with every angle of
adventure that comes to the men who sail. Indeed the sailing of a great
ship like the _Fuller_ is the rarest kind of sport from the standpoint
of seamanship, where every stitch of canvas is made to draw to its full
capacity in every wind that blows. From the cold latitudes of the Cape
up to abreast of Valparaiso, we had good lively sailing. Great rollers
followed us, for the winds were mostly fair, and, as the seas overtook
us and expended themselves to the north, we drove onward, cutting down
the latitude in record time; the cape pigeons were left behind, but
several albatross formed a convoy almost to the edge of Capricorn.

During these weeks of strenuous weather a favored few of us were told
off to lay up sennet for use in making chafing mats, and as "service"
on the backstays, where subject to the wear of gear. We would perch
ourselves on the coils of rope stowed on the fore hatch tarpaulin under
the fo'c'sle head, where we were sheltered from the weather and at the
same time within easy call from aft.

Frenchy was the leading sailor in these arts and taught us to lay up
_round_, _flat_, and _French sennet_. The less skilled men busied
themselves in making _nettles_ and _foxes_, using the primitive
"spinning jinney," and rubbing down the small stuff with canvas to
"smooth" it before balling. Here, too, we were initiated into the fine
points of marling spike work, Frenchy, Brenden, and Jimmy Marshall
showing the less knowing ones how to turn in many a splice and knot.
Turk's heads of three, five, and seven strands were made, and the
more difficult series of four, six and eight strands were mastered by
some of us. Jimmy worked a wonderful set of manropes for the after
companion, crosspointing them in red, white and blue, and topping them
with rose knots.

I was delighted to pick up a vast amount of interesting and useful
knowledge about the different knots and hitches used at sea. How many
sailors today can properly cast a _carrick bend_, turn in a _mariner's
splice_, or a _Flemish eye_, or work a _cringle_ into a _Bolt rope_?
Hitchen, of the starboard watch, taught us how to make the _English bag
knot_, an intricate and beautiful formation cast in the bight of a line.

Our work under the fo'c'sle head got all hands started, and during many
a dismal wet dog watch we practiced the forming of every knot from the
_bowline_ down; Peter, the boy, and myself trying to outdo each other
in the variety of our achievements. Frenchy taught us a new way to
form that "king of knots," the _bowline_, in which the loop is passed
through the gooseneck twice, forming a double loop, a most useful knot
employed in the French Navy. When a man is to be lowered over side, he
sits in one of the loops and the other is passed under his arm pits,
the gooseneck coming against his chest. His weight tautens the part
under the arms, and it is impossible for a man to drop out of this
bowline, even though he becomes unconscious.

In this manner much of the unrecorded lore of the sea was passed on to
us in the _Fuller_ as the same things have been handed down through
the ages since the Phoenicians, the Norsemen, and the more ancient
sailors of Cathay first rigged their barks, fashioning their bends and
hitches in the same manner as the sailors of today. Where the marvelous
knots originated, no one can tell. Who invented them, no one knows;
but we do know that the rope craft of the sea is standard and defies
improvement. It takes time to learn the knots, bends, hitches, and
splices; how much longer it must have taken to discover them can only
be imagined.

In time, much of this will be entirely superseded by wire and steel, as
indeed all lower standing rigging is already of wire. But turnbuckles
and riveted plates are part of the metal ships, unyielding and stiff,
that buckle the hollow steel masts, or sheer the channel plates clean
from the hull, when wrenched by the resistless power of the sea.

In the days of wood, of tough live oak, and tarred hemp lanyards, with
their "give" and "spring," the old style rigging knots and splices
endured for thousands of years. Can steel and steam resist the hands of
time as well?

On the _Fuller_ we were taught that everything had to be done just so
to be "shipshape and Bristol fashion," as the old sea phrase has it.
It was always:

    Worm and parcel with the lay,
    Then turn and serve the other way.

And the humblest tools have had their form decreed since the art
of seamanship began. The _serving board_ and the _serving mallet_
used by Noah; the _fid_, the _marling spike_, the sewing _palm_,
and the _caulking iron_, are the ultimate tools of the most ancient
handicraft; the art of building and rigging ships. We used all of these
implements with industry as the blustery weather sent us up from the
Horn to Honolulu. We saw how able sailors fit a cringle to the tough
four-stranded hempen bolt ropes on the storm canvas; we learned the
proper way to _strop_ a block, with the splice _where it belongs_, as
every sailor knows, and the throat seizing _frapped_ and _hitched_ in
sailor fashion.

The hours spent under the fo'c'sle head during those days of the voyage
were not so tedious. The Horn was behind us and the prospect of fine
weather ahead. Yarning was always going on, and often we spent the dog
watches in making fancy plaitings and knottings for sea chest covers
and the like. I realized that such men as Marshall, Old Smith, Hitchen,
Axel, Brenden, and Frenchy were of a dwindling breed, soon to be as
rare as the makers of stone axes, or the seamen of the Roman galleys.

One other sailor of the ship's company asked odds of no one in the
range of his knowledge of the sea. Whatever else we may have thought
of him, we were forced to acknowledge Mr. Zerk a seaman of the most
accomplished sort. Versed in the art of wire splicing and up to every
dodge in sailmaking and rigging, he combined the ability of the marling
spike man with the gift of the larger seamanship involved in the
handling of a vessel under all conditions. If his eye ever lights on
this, and I hope it will, I herewith accord to him the full measure
of my admiration, for the combination of these two types of sailor is
rare; as rare as the few remaining ships of the school that brought him

The _Fuller_ was a wooden vessel, Bath built, and coppered, not with
the beautiful "red copper" we read about in Clark Russell, but with a
composition resembling brass, tough, yellow, and antifouling; a less
expensive sheathing than the pure copper, and, to my mind, every bit
as good a color, the bright yellow, between the deep blue sea and the
black hull, striking a pleasing line that glints like gold when the
sun just hits it at the proper angle.

Our ship was a full-bodied model, really a medium clipper, surprisingly
sharp, and with a clean run aft that gave her a handy pair of heels
in any kind of a favorable wind. Like most ships "of a certain age,"
the old girl was troubled with her timbers and joints. These had an
uncomfortable way of sliding over each other and complaining in a truly
agonizing manner.

"She has lots of 'give' to her," one of the men remarked on our running
into the first sea after leaving port.

The working of the vessel's timbers kept her bilge "sweet" by admitting
a liberal quantity of nice cool sea water seeping in all the way from
the garboard strake to the channels, a circumstance that necessitated
constant pumping, back breaking labor that in heavy weather continued
during the whole of the twenty-four hours, with two hands bending over
the lee bilge pump. The wheel, the lookout at night, and the bilge
pump, were taken in rotation by all hands. For back breaking, soul
destroying labor, nominate the bilge pump. I had a standing offer in
the fo'c'sle to stand two wheels for one bilge pump, Scouse and Fred
and Martin being my best customers until I was dated up so far in
advance on the steering that I had to take this on as well as the
pumping, which came along oftener as it called for two men.

In the matter of small trading we did a thriving business in the
fo'c'sle, some of us even branching out into foreign trade with the
starboard watch. I was the one to introduce this practice on board the
_Fuller_, a relic of my schoolship days, when pools were formed in the
different messes and five and ten rations of cold corned beef traded
off for potatoes, or potatoes and butter paid out as rental for the use
of the precious frying pans of which there were a few on board. When
I worked out a system of credits for different kinds of grub on the
_Fuller_ it was found to be a source of diversion and made possible
some adjustment along the lines of personal taste, in the matter of
our meals. We had stock fish every once in a while, no doubt as a
concession to the Scandinavian contingent, to be found in every ship
that sails the seas. I invariably passed off my share of this delicacy
to Fred or Martin and would be credited with their rations of apple
jack, a stew of musty dried apples; or I would contract for half of
their whack of lime juice and vinegar.

Mr. Zerk, with whom I always was a favorite, that is until we got to
Honolulu, occasionally gave me a jar of preserves, of which he had a
large store. These were home-made pickles and jams, and when brought
into the fo'c'sle caused quite a commotion.

"Rats with 'im and 'is rotten marmerlade," declared Jimmy in great
dudgeon when I brought forward the first fruits of my "stand in."

"Eat it yerself but don't ast no self-respectin' man to touch it," was
the sarcastic way in which the haughty Marshall voiced his sentiments.
"Wot do you say?" he demanded, glaring about the fo'c'sle to see if
anyone dared dispute him.

"Righto," piped up Joe. "That rotten skunk aft has poisoned the stuff,
I'll bet."

"No, it's good," I declared, dipping in with the tip of my sheath
knife. It was a jar of very red cherry jam. It also had a very pleasant
aroma as well as a pleasing taste. I purposely took a second very large
helping and could see that the temptation to fall was great.

"Here, Frenchy, don't eat any, now. Just _taste_ it, perhaps it does
taste a little funny." Frenchy tasted. "I don't know. It does taste
funny," he said.

"Here, gimme a piece o' tack," and Joe was sampling the jam very

In a moment all hands, including Jimmy, were tasting it, and all
declared it tasted funny. As a matter of fact it did taste very funny
if we accepted apple jack as a standard.

As the last smear of jam was cleaned from the jar the hypercritical
Jimmy had the nerve to remark, "That was the rottenest marmerlade I
ever tasted."

However, after that no questions were raised when I brought a donation
forward, though to tell the truth these treats were scarce, as the
mate's private stock ran out long before we got to Honolulu.



Captain Nichols was a good deal of a mystery to us forward. He seldom
came on deck except for a few moments of a fine morning, when he would
bob up, "take a sight" and stump deliberately down the companion to
the chronometer, counting the seconds out loud on his way. At noon he
"took the sun" alone in solitary scientific grandeur; only once do I
remember seeing the mate take an observation. One noon, I was at the
wheel at the time, our first officer came aft shortly before eight
bells, carrying an ancient "hog yoke." His sleeves were rolled up,
and a greasy shine on the arc of his instrument told of efforts at
polishing. Somehow he could not get the sun to behave, for the curious
relic seemed sadly in need of adjustment. He retired in disgust when
the captain "made eight bells," and stumped forward without answering,
when the skipper asked him what he had for altitude.

Tipping me the shadow of a wink, the captain went below to work up the

The captain on the other hand was quite regular in his methods of
navigation. He watched the course closely, having a particularly fine
tell-tale compass swung beneath the skylight in his private cabin, as
every one of us had evidence by the uncanny way in which he would pop
up out of the companion at the most unheard of hours of the night and
walk quickly to the binnacle, and seldom except when the helmsman was
off his course.

I met the captain a number of years afterward in Philadelphia. He was
then in command of a fine steamer and I was second mate of another
vessel of the same line. In the course of a pleasant visit talking
over old times on the _Fuller_, I asked him how he managed to keep
such close watch on the navigation of his ship without any particular
assistance from his officers.

"By staying awake nights, sir," was his laconic reply.

At any rate, whatever his method, Captain Nichols knew pretty well
where we were at all times.

On the old ships, and the _Fuller_ was a very good example of her
class, the master was housed in truly palatial style. On our ship the
captain's quarters were spacious, taking up two-thirds of the cabin and
running the whole width of the vessel, and fore and aft from the mizzen
mast to the lazarette. The captain's stateroom was most commodious; he
enjoyed the comfort of slumber in a large mahogany bunk built after
the lines of a Dutch galiot, as broad as it was long. This room took
up the space of three ordinary staterooms on the starboard quarter. At
the foot of the companion was a cozy after cabin luxuriously paneled
in mahogany between fluted columns of the same wood picked out with
gold leaf at base and capital. Other rare woods of a lighter shade were
inlaid on the center panels, and the whole furnishing of cushioned
lockers, round table, and skylight, with its tell-tale compass, book
and chart cases, gave it the air of a costly yacht cabin.

His bathroom, connected with a large salt-water tank, filled each
morning by the deck washers, was on the port side, and two spare
staterooms opened into the after cabin from port. A bulkhead divided
these private quarters from the forward or mess cabin, off which were
the pantry, storeroom, steward's room and slop chest. The mates were
berthed in two staterooms on either side of the after cabin, but their
doors opened into a sort of thwart ship vestibule running the width of
the after cabin just below the break of the poop. The mizzen mast came
down through the after end of the mess cabin, and a large brass lamp
swung in gimbals just below the long skylight.

A repeating rifle in a rack above the captain's bunk, and two revolvers
on each side of the chart table, composed the offensive battery. A long
brass telescope reposed in a rack in the companion, and at the foot of
this was slung a very good mercurial barometer. Typical of the best
traditions of the sea, such were the quarters of the after guard.

Forward we were not done so well. The fo'c'sle took up the forward part
of the deck house and was sheltered from the force of the sea and wind
by the high break of the fo'c'sle head. These quarters were divided by
a bulkhead running fore and aft, to separate the watches, and plain
unpainted bunks lined the sides. Light was afforded by a poor lamp set
in a hole in the wall between the two sides, a cheap expedient thought
of, no doubt, by some thrifty soul who knew that this was far better
than the traditional whale oil, or slush dip, of the hoary days when
sailor men were shoved below decks in reeking quarters just over the
fore peak.

However, the fo'c'sle was home to us. We lived there and had our being
amid an atmosphere not altogether bad; what we lacked in conveniences
we made up for in ingenuity. Above a few of the bunks were rough
calendars marked on the woodwork, some of them from previous voyages.
Brenden kept track of our position by notching each day on the
scantling overhead. Under these marks he had signs that stood for the
N. E. trades, the Line, the S. E. trades, etc. All sorts of little
shelves were rigged up to hold tobacco, matches, ditty bags, well
thumbed books, old newspapers, and what not. Lines of marline were
stretched above the bunks for drying clothes.

The scheme of society within the sacred walls of our castle was a sort
of despotic democracy. The ruling class, the able seamen of the watch,
Marshall, Frenchy, Brenden, were the arbiters of all matters temporal
and mundane. This was by mutual consent and should be so. In addition
to this, Jimmy was the autocrat of the crowd and ruled us with an
iron hand, though there was not a man forward but could have hove him

Scouse, after the balance of power had been reestablished in the
conflict with Joe, became one of the common folks again, and was
glad of it. The bunks were arranged in order of desirability, the
able seamen taking the best bunks on the upper tier and near the two
ports or the lamp. Australia and I were about on a par as far as
social standing went, and when it came to talking about the mines or
discussing matters other than those relating to the sea, we often took
the center of the stage.

Martin, who had been a wood turner in his youth, and Fred, who was a
good average sailor with a discharge from the Revenue Cutter Service,
generally acted as spear carriers in our little fo'c'sle comedy. They
were excellent eaters, both of them, standing well up in the forefront
with Scouse and Joe; the rottenest cracker hash or the most greasy
salt pork never phased them. To the mate these men were a constant
inspiration in his flights of blasphemy, and hardly a day passed but
that he vented his wrath on one of them.

Never once during the entire voyage did any member of the crew miss a
single bit of personal property. Add to this the fact that the general
moral tone of conversation among us was far above the average of men
who would consider themselves superior, and we have to at least respect
the crew of the _Fuller_ as they respected themselves.

Chips, a melancholy Norwegian, a long, lanky, cadaverous knight of the
caulking iron and the carpenter's bench, berthed in a little room next
to the lamp locker. He was kept busy sounding the well, and making
the constant repairs that a well groomed wooden ship requires. In the
intervals of this duty he looked after the hatch tarpaulins sheltering
the precious cargo, tended the running lights, served out the daily
whack of water, oiled the tiller tackles, and sat down to dinner with
the second mate. Poor Chips! A gentleman of the lower caste, eating aft
and living forward. He was a good fellow, but far too gloomy for us,
who were of the "people," light hearted ourselves and ready to crack a
joke at the least opportunity.

Chips had one other duty which he performed twice on our voyage round
the Horn. On these occasions he was called upon to "salt the masts." A
small plug was taken out of the lower mast heads, and salt filled into
the hollow core of these great "sticks." The fore and main masts were
"built up," that is, made up of four quadrantal pieces, scarfed full
length, and banded by stout iron hoops. At the outside juncture of the
built-up pieces they were beveled, forming the "chapels" of the mast,
the latter being painted white and giving the lower masts on the fore
and main a checkerboard appearance.

Each morning of the voyage, and particularly during the fair weather
part of it, we were exercised at the washdown. This is more than a mere
part of the work at sea; it is an established institution, a sacred
rite that is carried on through all conditions of wind and weather. In
the tropics the washdown is a pleasure, and also a necessity, as it
alone keeps the decks tight and the ship sanitary.

A "water spar" would be rigged over the side to leeward at a point in
the waist abreast of the main hatch. A clump block and a single whip
with a canvas water bucket, the rim weighted with a ring of lead, was
used to haul aboard the water which was dumped into a deck barrel. Coir
brooms, wooden buckets, and much slopping about in bare feet would
usher in the day, no part of the deck being neglected.

The routine was: At four o'clock in the morning, "Get your gear on
the pins," everything being laid up clear of the deck. "Rig water
spar," and then old Chow would run out of the galley with a bag of hard
bread and a big can of slops, while the Japanese steward would hurry
along the deck with a cup _and saucer_; coffee--cabin style, for the
refreshment of the mate, who would sing out: "Get your coffee," and for
a few minutes we would all sit on the main hatch, in fine weather, or
crowd in the lee of the forward house if it was stormy, and dip into
the steaming chicory.

Then--"Get out your washdeck gear! Wash down!" and the day's work would



The rough passage around the Horn--seagoing with the bark on--worked
the discontent out of our systems, and with the return of fine weather,
all hands cheered up and life became more and more worth living. The
dog watches were lively, with hotly contested arguments on all topics
under heaven. The less the debaters knew about a subject, the more they
would have to say about it; resembling in this regard large numbers
of more sophisticated folk ashore. Some of the discussions would
last for days, being carried on as a serial story, from dog watch to
dog watch, with overflow sessions on deck at night. As none of the
contenders would ever budge an inch from their positions, the points at
issue always remained undecided except in the fish argument, which was
settled by the mate.

For a long time Martin, Joe and Scouse indulged in heated discussion
as to whether fish was meat, or whether it was something else. Joe
contended for the negative, that fish was not meat, while Martin and
Scouse insisted that fish and meat were the same thing.

Joe had two against him, but being quicker with his tongue he was able
to hold Scouse and Martin pretty well in check.

"If fish ain't meat, wot is it?" demanded Martin. "Is it wegetables, or

This always stumped Joe, but he stuck to his guns and came back
stronger each time: "It's fish, that's wot it is, F-I-S-H--FISH!" his
voice rising above everything else in the heat of argument.

The debate finally closed in a particularly violent session that
continued as our side went aft to muster in the second dog watch.

"Fish you say!" shouted the mate at the unheard of disrespect on the
part of Joe, who was frothing at the mouth in the defense of his
contention. "I'll fish you, you thick-headed ass," and as Joe woke up
to the fact that a new champion had come into the field, the whole
watch broke into a laugh at the sequel. "Fish, is it? Well, I'll
fish you good and proper. Get a pot of slush and rub down the mizzen
topmast. Drop a spot, and you stay on deck tomorrow forenoon, _you
fisherman!_" The last with biting sarcasm.

Joe lay aloft with his slush pot, and as a bright moon gave him plenty
of light at his work, it also enabled the mate to watch him closely.
However, this ended the argument, much to the satisfaction of all of
us, for it was a bit wearing.

Jimmy Marshall had a large dog-eared Bible in his possession; a red
stamp on the title page read as follows: "Property of Seamen's Bethel,
Sydney. _Do not take from chapel._" While lying up with his arm in a
sling, having been tossed between the spare main yard and the after
bitts, by a sea, he delved industriously into the lore of the good
book; and when he was back on deck again Jimmy refused to chantey to
the tune of "Whiskey," and his verses, when singing a rope to "Molly
Brown," were painfully proper.

Each night in the dog watch he insisted on reading from the Old
Testament, starting at the very beginning. Jimmy had a pair of
steel-rimmed spectacles, and to further his missionary work, he changed
bunks with Scouse, so that he could be directly under the lamp, while
the big red-head moved into the best bunk in the fo'c'sle right next to
an open port.

Jimmy worked his way through Genesis and got well started on Exodus
by the time we picked up the S. E. trades. His pronunciation of the
hard names was truly wonderful and required much careful wiping of his
spectacles. By the time he was within hailing distance of Leviticus we
were again approaching the doldrums and once more we unbent our storm
canvas and shifted into the easy weather sails.

Australia, one of the most consistent chronologists of the fo'c'sle,
working by the brad-hole-and-peg method, using the stumps of burnt
matches, pegged a hole around which he had scratched a circle.

"The 'dead horse' is worked off," announced Australia, as we turned out
for breakfast one morning, springing a surprise, as it had been more
than a week since the subject was broached last in the fo'c'sle. March
5th, three months since leaving the wharf at South Street! It seemed a
year in point of experiences.

"Well," ventured Martin, "the boarding masters are smiling today."

"Yes, the lousy squeezers, I'll bet the Front Street House has a good
dinner for the boss on my advance."

"I hope he chokes, Joe," chipped in Fred.

"Choking is too good for them; burning is wot they want," went on Joe,
almost forgetting his breakfast in the heat of his indignation. "They
take in Australia and Martin and Fred and me, and wot do we get? Wot do
we get? Why, a few days' grub and a lousy, dirty bed, wot ain't fit to
sleep on, and then they send us out. We go down and sign, and the next
day out to sea for us in this bloody hell wagon. A half a kit of dog's
wool and oakum slops, took from some dead sailor, maybe, and rotten
poor oilskins, and sea boots that is no good. A big bargain, and all
for six quid--that's all--only six quid for the lot; a mess of fine
wearin' rags. And today they collect their hard earned money and all we
has to do is to ride down here on a yachtin' toor round Cape Stiff."

"It ain't right. It's hell, that's it--hell!" agreed Australia. "Lookit
me and Fred, and Mike, we was only in port two days. Just two days
board and no advance money. Said the British Consul would get us sent
back to the _Ettrick_. And that cost us six quid!"

"Nothing ain't right," it was Jimmy who spoke. "You booze, and worse,
you sells out your manhood an' your rights to low livin' pigs wot
lives off o' the likes o' us. Its principles wot you needs. Young men,
take my advice and get principles. 'Ard? O' course it's 'ard to get
principles, but they saves you a lot o' trouble an' you can put away a
bit. I say live right and you'll be right."

"How old are you, anyway?" demanded Brenden.

"Old enough to know my own bloody business," rejoined Jimmy, scenting a
comeback on his reform precepts.

"Well, now that _your_ dead horse is worked off you can start in and
save until _you_ hit New York again."

"Well, if I do save a bit, it's none o' the likes o' a Dutchman like
you wot'll 'elp me spend it," and Jimmy hopped out of the fo'c'sle at
eight bells sharp. The mate was so surprised to see him leading the
watch aft that he promptly sent him up to the fore skysail to loose
sail, for the night had been squally and the second mate had taken in
the kites, a thing he was prone to do, while the mate always promptly
set them again.

After the argument about the advance, we all made up our minds to work
off no more dead horses. As Australia put it, "A year at sea and a week
in port, and nothing to show for it."

Most of us had slop accounts to clear off with the skipper, and then
the velvet would pile up at the rate of eighteen dollars a month, at
that time standard wages out of the port of New York for deepwater

None of the men had shaved for at least a month, and the crew forward
presented a truly deep sea appearance; "Rooshin Jews on a ocean
picnic," was the comment of Jimmy, who never shaved, and whose whiskers
also failed to increase but rather diminished in their moth-eaten way.

On the first Sunday of real fine weather, when the bushes were
beginning to get uncomfortable, the fo'c'sle barbers got busy in both
watches. Frenchy and Australia were the tonsorialists of our watch and
after taking on all hands, Frenchy shaved Australia and trimmed his
mustache. Hair cuts were had by all and the effect was good. Perhaps
the feeling of cleanliness due to the trimming had something to do with
the desire for a "field day"; at any rate, two of the men, Old Smith,
of starboard, and Frenchy, went aft and got permission from the mate to
have a celebration.

The coming Wednesday was named, and as we were then on the edge of the
S. E. trades, the day broke fine. Accordingly after breakfast that
morning the watch on deck, all but the helmsman, were allowed to go
forward and assist in removing the contents of the fo'c'sle.

The watch below also turned to, and green and blue sea chests with
wonderful "tumble home" sides and fancy canvas tops; plain canvas
bags, "the sailor's round-bottomed trunk"; bags with fancy eyelets and
elaborate grommets; well-worn blankets; knobby straw mattresses, the
"donkey's breakfast" of the sea; and all of the humble furnishings of
the fo'c'sle of a deepwater merchantman, were hauled out on deck in
the light of day. The fore rigging, the bottoms of the upturned boats
on the forward house and the fo'c'sle head, were littered with these
things as box and bag yielded up their contents to the purifying action
of the sun. All of our salt encrusted gear was rinsed out in a barrel
of rain water, saved for the purpose, until free from salt, as most of
our clothing was so highly hygroscopic that the least fall of dew would
make them damp and clammy.

We then rigged the water spar, and with a liberal supply of sand and
canvas and with "_ki-yi_" brooms we scrubbed our home until the place
fairly radiated. The scuttle butt was cleaned out and re-charred, the
fo'c'sle lamp taken down and polished, and two hands got busy and gave
the ceiling a fresh coat of white paint, brightening up things to a
wonderful extent, for this had not been done for some years.

All doors and ports were left open to allow the fo'c'sle to dry out,
and at noon both watches lunched together, "al fresco," under the
shade of the fores'l. A hamper of chicken sandwiches, a case of cold
beer, and a box of cigars would have delightfully rounded out our
dinner of pork and pea soup. However, we were in a merry mood and
the unaccustomed company of the other watch made the simple fare and
weevil-ridden tack taste particularly good. Besides, relations with the
after-guard were becoming more and more pleasant. The fight between
Tony and Mr. Stoddard had faded from mind in the trying weeks that had
intervened and the feeling of anticipation, as we neared the end of the
passage, helped to make us receptive to better things.

By gradual stages, without in any way compromising their dignity, our
experienced officers assumed a less harsh way of speaking; orders were
mandatory to the last degree, of course, but less liberally spiced with
profanity. An occasional joke on the part of those aft would send a
ripple of laughter among the men pulling at sheet or halyard. The cook
also felt the mysterious balmy influence of the Pacific sunshine, and
every other day we would be delighted with a big pan of ginger bread in
the fo'c'sle. On Sundays we would have duff with real raisins in it.

Honolulu was drawing near; none of us had more than a few dollars of
pay on the books, and crews among the island and coast traders were
hard to get, with pay correspondingly high. Perhaps this had something
to do with the change of atmosphere. Even those who had the most reason
to complain were beginning to cheer up and forget their troubles of the

A clean fo'c'sle, dry, well aired bedding, and smiling skies, ushered
us into the region of the equatorial rains. The flying fish began to
zip through the air again with increasing frequency and the mates as
usual gathered them up, but, strangest of strange things, the cook was
told to send half of the catch forward. The daily thunderstorms came
with their accustomed regularity. At about eight bells in the afternoon
watch it would cloud up suddenly, any sails spread out on deck, in the
course of repair, would be hastily dragged to the sail locker or under
the fo'c'sle head, and presto!--a rumble of thunder would follow the
first faint flashes of lightning. Then several bright jagged discharges
would come in quick succession, a clap of Jove's artillery, and a
douse of rain, followed by the golden rays of the sun streaming through
such rainbows as are seldom seen anywhere but in those latitudes.

During a tropic storm at night, just after leaving the trades, we were
roused out at midnight and ordered aloft to take in the t'gans'ls. The
yards and rigging were soaked with rain, and, as we got to the tops,
St. Elmo's fires started to flicker on the yard arms with a pale blue
light. The night was black, and oppressive with the hot humid wind, we
were wet and clammy, and the sleep was in our eyes when----

    "And sudden breaking on their raptured sight,
     Appeared the splendor of St. Elmo's light."

Jimmy Marshall, fear clutching at his heart, refused to mount the
futtock shrouds; springing to the forward leg of the main topmast
backstays, he slid to the deck while the rest of us went aloft. The
stoutest of us, however, were touched with superstitious feelings.
The "corposants," as the men called them, started us on a series of
ghost stories in the night watches on deck. A few days later we were
becalmed in a dense fog, such as sometimes is encountered in the warm,
damp region bordering the line. Joe went aft to relieve the wheel just
after listening to a gruesome tale. A giant man out in the fog over
the quarter reached for Joe when abreast of the open door of the wheel
house. Joe nearly fainted with fright, at the sight of his own shadow
thrown on the fog wall by the naked binnacle light that the helmsman
had taken from the cowl to trim.



One hundred and seven days out from Sandy Hook, we crossed the line for
the second time in longitude 122° west from Greenwich. The grooming for
port then started in grim earnest. Holystones were brought out and the
time-honored couplet of the sea,

    Six days shalt thou labor and do all that thou art able,
    And on the seventh holystone the deck and scrape the cable.

became a matter of routine on board the _Fuller_. Captain Nichols had
never been in the islands before, in fact none of us had, and we were
to make our acquaintance with them dressed up and polished in Yankee

The art of holystoning, as practiced on American deepwater ships,
deserves a special niche in the archives of the sea. No more thorough
proceeding can be imagined. To the steamship hand who holystones like
a gentleman, at the end of a long handle, the art has lost its fine
points. On the _Fuller_ we dug into the work in deep sea fashion. Our
knees became sore from constant "praying" and the skin on our hands
was worn down thin, making us tender in hauling at the braces or going
aloft. To overcome the hardness of the deck, we rigged up pieces of
board to which three cleats were nailed and a strip of old canvas
stretched over them. This afforded a yielding cushion to kneel on and
kept our legs out of the water swishing about with the rolling of the

We worked in gangs, sawing away with the stones and wearing a scum of
wood from the deck. Each man soon became jealous of the work done by
his shipmates and we were careful to keep all hands going, as there
was a certain amount of deck to be gone over, and the sooner finished
the better. In holystoning we used two sizes of stones, the larger
ones called "bibles" and the small pieces, useful for getting into the
corners and along the edges of paintwork, known as "prayer books."

From the time of commencing to holystone, and slick up for port, there
was no more watch below in the afternoon; the watch coming on deck at
eight in the morning would stay on deck until six in the evening with a
half hour below at noon for dinner. Going below at six, supper would
be had and at eight the watch that had been on deck all day would turn
out for the first watch at night.

Thus, every other day, a watch coming on in the morning would have
eighteen hours of duty on deck during the following twenty-four. On
the other hand, the other watch would merely have the usual watch and
watch. Of all diabolical inventions for working men this afternoon on
deck was best designed.

While still in the doldrums, and after the holystoning had been
completed, we were set to cleaning the sides of the ship where the rust
had worked through, and where the dirt from the scum rubbed off the
decks had streaked long lines down from the scuppers. We liked this
work, scrubbing the black sides, and painting. It always seemed to me
like a vacation to get outside of the ship and off of the familiar
deck. Scaffolds were rigged and sometimes our feet would dangle in the
cool water on the shady side of the hull.

One day there was a commotion as Brenden and I worked away on a plank
slung beneath the mizzen channels. The water under us surged up and
a great black object rose beneath our feet, for all the world like a
submarine boat coming to the surface. Outcries brought all hands to
the ship's side. A huge whale had come up in the shadow of the ship.
Some hands ran forward, and presently big Scouse came aft on the run
carrying a harpoon from the bosun's locker and a coil of heaving line.

As he was mounting the rail the mate jumped after him, yanked the
harpoon from his grasp and sent the red head scurrying forward.

"You damned mutton-headed ass!" he cried. "Do you want to send us all
to the bottom? That's a _razorback_. He'll ram us, quick as hell, if we
rile him."

The whale sank from sight as suddenly as he appeared, and, razorback or
not, we had no opportunity to try his temper.

The sight of the whale started all hands forward looking for ambergris.
This was described as a grayish amberlike substance to be found
floating on the unsuspecting surface of the sea in large chunks of
fortune, the finding of which would set a man up on a cosy farm for
life, or enable him to see a snug retirement behind his own bar and
beer kegs. Frenchy and Jimmy both had seen ambergris, and for a while
regaled us with many tales of its origin, value and uses.

One of the results of the prospecting overboard for ambergris as we
lazed along in the tropic seas of the Pacific was the better knowledge
we obtained of the abounding life in the sea. In after years when at
sea on the decks of swiftly moving steamers, I have often pondered over
the sights that were given us of the queer inhabitants of the deep as
we slowly worked our way across the ocean in the _Fuller_. From her low
decks, when becalmed, or when sailing along at from four to five knots
in fine weather, especially in the tropic seas, the teeming life in the
depths below was brought very close to us.

The glint of queer fins, the vivid flash of some big fish rising near
the surface in hot pursuit of prey, and the common sight of a school of
flying fishes rising from the water just in time to miss the cruel jaws
of their pursuers, gave us a faint idea of the ruthless rule of might
below. Often the smother of white mist as the cloud of flyers would
rise, and the swift black demons in hot chase under them, like avenging
torpedoes tearing through the blue, would show glimpses of other and
larger fish after the pursuers.

Time and again we would lie out on the martingale and look under the
fore foot of the ship to see if there was a pilot fish around. These
queer customers would swim along just under the stem of the ship,
convict garbed, in thwartship black and white stripes, and about two
feet long. The presence of a pilot fish under the bow was evidence of a
shark under the bottom of the vessel, swimming along in the hope that
something edible would be thrown overboard, or that the vessel would
founder and disgorge her human freight into the deep.

Whole flotillas of the dainty nautilus would sail by us for days. These
"Portuguese men-o'-war," as sailors call them, spread a shell-like sail
to the wind, pink and airy, gliding gaily before the gentle zephyrs of
the line. They truly teach us a lesson, as Pope has it:

    "Learn of the Little Nautilus to sail
     Spread the thin oar, and catch the driving gale."

With the picking up of the N. E. trade wind a few degrees north of the
line, we knew that the main haul to Honolulu was on its last stages.
There was more easting in the wind than is generally the case, and we
made good progress, holding a course well to windward of Hawaii. For a
week at a time we cut through the water at an average speed above ten
knots, going it night and day. The sailing was glorious and we all felt
the thrill of it. Were we not rushing forward to a paradise set in the
middle of the broad Pacific for our rest and refreshment? We hungered
for fresh provisions and for a decent sleep of more than a shade over
three and a half hours at a stretch. The afternoons on deck had worn us
down and the cooler winds bringing such speed and hope were a wonderful

"Will I take in the skysails?" Mr. Stoddard asked of the captain one
night as he came on deck to take the midwatch. I was at the wheel
turning over the course to Axel, who came aft to relieve me. The
_Fuller_ was boiling along, everything taut, the white water in her lee

"No, leave them blow away," said the skipper, laughing. However, we
found him on deck still at four in the morning and he took coffee with
the mate before going below for a nap. But the skysails "stayed put"
and indeed every bit of rag was doing noble duty.

"The Honolulu girls have us in tow," was the slogan on board.

At brace and sheet and halyard, we sung our ropes with a will, and a
cheerier crowd of weather-worn, under-fed and half-rested humanity
would be hard to find. Man is an adaptable animal, more rugged than
the beasts of burden, and cheaper than machinery, and in the lesson
taught us on the clean white decks of the _Fuller_ is to be found the
remaining hope for the survival of sail. _It is cheaper_, and with the
advent of iron boxes rigged by means of screws, and bolts, and nuts,
the sailor of the marling spike days will not be needed. Crews can be
recruited, and fed for less than it takes to make steam, and men can
be found to sail them, to drive them, as we were driven, and if they,
too, are past masters at the art, to lull the crews into a state of
contentment, and even happiness, after experiences that would cause a
revolt in the worst penitentiary of the land.

When in 154 degrees of west longitude, and 21 degrees north latitude,
Captain Nichols up helm and shaped a course direct for the northeast
point of the Island of Molokai, the leper island of the Hawaiian group.
We made the land just before nightfall. Anchors were got over the bow
ready for letting go in case of emergency, and the dipsea lead was
placed handy on the fo'c'sle head, the line being carried aft, outside
of all gear, to the tub at the taffrail, in which the bulk of it was
coiled. A small snatch block on the weather mizzen t'gallant backstay
was ready for hauling in should we have to take a cast. The hand lead,
or _blue pigeon_, was coiled in the mizzen chains; I was told by
the mate to stand by in case we should have to use it, my schoolship
training having made me a good leadsman.

All was excitement on board as we closed in with the land, the good
smell of it coming out to us as we raced into the Kaiwi Strait, lying
between Molokai and Oahu, upon the southern shore of which Honolulu is

At midnight we were abreast of Koko Head, a peak near the eastern end
of Oahu. We put down our helm and hauled our wind ahead, bracing sharp,
under easy canvas, on the starboard tack, the ship heading north.
Skysails, royals, and flying jib were allowed to hang in their gear,
while we hauled up the mains'l, and furled the crojik, at the same time
setting the spanker.

At four bells in the midwatch, closing in with the land faster than was
comfortable to sailors accustomed to large sea room, we wore ship, and
headed her back toward Molokai.

We wore ship again before daybreak in order to hold the weather gauge
off Diamond Head, and at the first streak of dawn we squared away and
the _Fuller_ was put under full sail as we bore down past Diamond Head
for the entrance to Honolulu Harbor.

A whale boat put out from the land carrying the pilot, followed by a
wheezy tug of diminutive build. We put down our helm, paid a hawser out
over the bow to the tug, and as we horsed up on her the Kanakas started
a panic cry on her decks, while the captain on the poop shouted rapid
orders to both mates and we let our yards down by the run and swayed up
on the courses, manning the clew garnets, clewlines and buntlines in
feverish haste.

"Take the lead!" the mate shouted to me, and at a nod from Captain
Nichols, I sent the blue pigeon shooting out ahead into the clear blue
water of the harbor entrance as we ran down between the barrel and spar
buoys that mark the fairway.

"And a half, six!" I felt sand. "Hard bottom!"

The pilot came over to me and looked curious. "No need of this,
captain," he said.

"Oh, give the lad some exercise, pilot," the skipper answered. "It
won't hurt him."

"By the mark, five!"

We were running past the sea wall and the boathouse to starboard. I
could see the lighthouse over the deck on the port bow. The tug was
whistling, and as we swung to port, into the harbor proper, I noted the
marine railway and the Pacific Mail Wharf with a lot of people on the
Esplanade watching us come in.

"Mark under water, five!" I shouted.

"All right, Felix, come in; that'll do," said the skipper, and a few
minutes later I found myself on the mizzen skysail, furling sail. We
were brought to in the stream by letting go the port anchor and casting
off the tug at the same time, and, as the chain rattled through the
hawse pipes in a smoke of rust, a whistle on a factory ashore blew a
long blast of welcome. It was noon, the harbor life suddenly stopped,
for we missed the faint rattle of steam winches and the shouting of the
Kanaka stevedores at the railroad wharf.

"Now give us a harbor furl, boys," called up the mate. And as we worked
away, we noted the captain going ashore in the whale boat with the
pilot. Below us stretched the most beautiful city in the world; cool
looking green palm trees lined the streets, the fat squat outline of
the Punchbowl rose gratefully verdant behind the little city, a restful
sight to our sea-weary eyes, and far beyond we looked up into the misty
vista of the Nuuanu Valley. Stranger still, on the wharves we noted
native and white women in their fresh looking white dresses, and we
could hear the cries of children at play.

Laying down from aloft we squared yards, and went below for our dinner
of pea soup and pork, with a kid of cabin tack--a piece of strategy on
the part of Chow that was truly an inspiration. The sight of weevils,
and the near view of the clean sweet shore, would have been too great a

We opened hatches that afternoon, ready for the port warden's
inspection, ripping out the caulking of oakum and taking off the three
layers of tarpaulin, but not lifting the covers. We also sent down the
fore and main courses and tops'ls, and cockbilled the main yard for
a cargo boom, rigging the cargo pendant from the main topmast head,
the same being stayed out over the main hatch by a fall from the fore
topmast cross trees.

At four o'clock the captain returned with a boatload of fresh
provisions, joints of clean red meat, fresh vegetables, onions, green
stuff, bananas and pineapples, and a big basket of real baker's bread,
the loaves rich and mellow in the sunlight, like bricks of gold. How
our eyes popped out at the sight and smell of this treasure cargo from
the shore! Our salt ridden senses were starved for something fresh
and clean. A dozen hands rushed to the side to help unload the boat,
passing the grub up the ladder and carrying it in to Chow.

Captain Nichols also announced that we would go alongside at Brewer's
Wharf the next day.

At six, in the evening glow of the harbor, we pumped her out and went
below for supper. Vegetable soup, floating with fresh green things and
rich in meat extract; steak, onions, _and potatoes_! Have you ever
been without potatoes for three months? If you have you will know how
it feels to crave them. The fresh bread and the delicious ripe bananas
topped off the meal.


We were too full to speak, all hands together at our feast under the
break of the fo'c'sle head. Millionaires cannot buy such appreciation,
and our bellies were stretched to the utmost limit.

An anchor watch was set, by lot, of one hour tricks, and I was
fortunate enough to escape. Before eight o'clock the fo'c'sle was heavy
with slumber as we dreamed away the hours in such heaven sent rest as
only the angels can understand; we were one hundred and twenty-one days
out from the port of New York, and our first night of unbroken sleep
ahead of us.



  We have had enough of action, and of motion; we
  Rolled to starboard, rolled to larboard, when the surge was seething free
  Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam fountains in the sea.

  Let us swear an oath and keep it with an equal mind
  In the hollow lotus-land to live and die reclined,
  On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.

"Well, now that we are here, what?" Joe put the universal question. "I
hopes we has it a bit easy for a change," he went on, seeing that no
one rose to his query, and no doubt some dim, subconscious yearning
must have stirred in the recesses of Joe's mind; perhaps the sight of
the palms may have wakened this, for in his clumsy way he voiced the
spirit of the poet. Indeed we had all of us sensed the languor of that
lotus-land in the humid morning vistas of heavy tropical foliage lining
the avenues of the city, and stretching far beyond into the blue-green
richness of the Nuuanu Valley. After months of deep sea existence,
the smell and feel of the ripe, luxurious land came to us with a
powerful appeal. All of us felt this, but, sailor-like, the feeling was
disguised in various ways.

"I hope them bulls aft gives us a fair deal," went on Joe. We were at
breakfast, both watches together, assembled outside the fo'c'sle doors.

"Fair deal!" snapped Old Smith as he speared a spud. "Say, you young
heifer, do you think you was brung all the way out to Honolulu for to
loll back at your ease and eat the bread fruit, that we reads about,
offen the fatness of the land, without no toil nor trouble? You'll get
your damned good whack of sweatin' here. I know these ships, and it
won't be just because the weather is hot, neither."

This was followed by dire predictions of hard grinding to come, ghastly
prospects fathomed from the depth of experience by such masters of
discouragement as Jimmy Marshall and Australia.

"Say, shut up, will you! Maybe it won't be so bad," piped Frenchy, who
never liked to have his meals interrupted, especially when we were
breakfasting on dry hash made with potatoes and onions, a real feed
much needed by our hungry crowd. We had turned out at dawn for a hasty
washdown, had put the long boat over the side, and rousing out a number
of large manila hawsers, had flaked them down in the boat ready for
warping. The cable was hove short and the quarter moorings were taken
in. In addition to this a number of the men under the second mate had
completed the rigging of the cargo gear. The carpenter, with me helping
him, had rigged the _dolly_, wedging it under the pinrail on the
starboard side just forward of the main hatch with blocks of wood and
a small jackscrew. The large cargo blocks had been hooked and moused
to the pendants, and the falls were rove, all for the starboard side,
as the skipper had inspected the berth and that was to be our side for
discharging at the Brewer Wharf.

Breakfast came as a rest, a breathing and a talking spell with a good
day's work already to our credit. The change in routine, however, made
the work seem easy enough, for we arose from our full night of rest
with a feeling of wonderful vitality. Word came out that an island
steamer would hold the berth at the Brewer Wharf until noon, and we
were to warp in to the Oceanic Steamship landing to allow the port
warden and the agents the opportunity to inspect the hatches and make a
survey of the condition of the cargo, at the same time bringing us that
much nearer our berth.

A plunge overboard in the early dawn, the last man on anchor watch
having called me a half hour before the rest, put me in fine fettle.
All hands were eager to get foot ashore and the prospect of tying
up to the beach filled us with expectancy. The fresh grub, the full
night in, and the electric atmosphere of contact with human affairs,
gave us a keen sense of being again in the world of the living. After
breakfast we sat around for a few precious moments smoking and yarning
as we gazed toward the shore. News filtered out that the battleship
_Maine_ had been blown up in Havana harbor on the night of February
15th. War with Spain was imminent and the port of Honolulu was pregnant
with impending world affairs, made even more intense by the fact that
there was no cable in those days and news came only at intervals with
the arrival of the mail steamers. War might be declared at any moment
and rumor had it that a squadron of raiders from the Philippines might
descend on the port.

The gunboat _Bennington_ lay in the harbor with the old training ship
_Mohegan_ and constant gun drills were being gone through.

We "turned to" promptly after breakfast, and while one watch carried
out the lines the other manned the capstan bars and broke out the
hook as soon as the warp was thrown over a cluster of piles on the
Esplanade. When the anchor came up dripping with gray mud, the long
warp was carried in over the fo'c'sle head and taken to the main deck
capstan and we walked the ship alongside in the good old-fashioned way.

At the string piece of the wharf there was a misunderstanding as
to orders. The mate being in command took occasion to deliver his
compliments to the second mate in no uncertain tones. So refreshing was
the spectacle of wrath descending upon the head of the hated second
mate that all hands stood idle grinning at the show. The old saying,
"trouble aft; good times forward," at once went into effect. Mr. Zerk,
seeing his mistake, ordered Mr. Stoddard to his room, and then turned
his attention to "the people" as we hustled out the breast lines and
adjusted the springs. We got the gangway over in jig time, to the great
amusement of the dock loafers, and crowds of curious citizens, who had
heard that a Yankee hell wagon was alongside with the bucko mate in
full action.

When the gangway was lowered, Mr. Stoddard walked ashore with as much
dignity as he could muster, garbed in a wrinkled brown suit and a
rusty, dented derby that struck a ludicrous note amid the straw-hatted
natives on the wharf.

"I hope he never come back," growled Tony, no doubt thinking of the day
off the River Plate. "If ever I get him ashore----" but the Italian did
not finish, for we were hustled about lifting hatch covers and setting
things to rights, the deck being littered with long bights of the wet

Native boys offered to dive for pennies, but we had none to give,
and enterprising Chinamen crowded on board with baskets of fruit and
hampers full of bottled pop, the whole gang being driven ashore by Mr.
Zerk with his best delivery of picturesque profanity. The Kanakas on
the shore started to mock him, and that made matters worse, as none
of us dared crack a smile. Later on Mr. Zerk was to learn that the
happy, carefree natives were an independent lot, who would work under
persuasion, but were stubborn as mules when driven.

Captain Nichols came aboard with the port warden, and the top layer
of cargo was examined. We carried a hundred tons of blacksmith coal on
top of a general cargo, the coal being separated from what was below
by old canvas and tarpaulins. One of the inspectors jumped down and
tasted the coal for salt. Indeed it would have been mighty hard to
tell whether the cargo had been damaged or not and, in a way, it was a
bit of strategy on the part of the South Street stevedores. After some
discussion, the state of things seemed to pass muster, and a great many
smart looking young men from the offices of the agent came down and
looked over the ship. Most of them carried papers of some sort, and
in their white duck trousers and their fancy silk shirts, brilliant
neckties, and spotless shoes, we seemed to behold some favored species.
No doubt they looked at us too, though without interest, we being
merely a lot of lean and leathery deepwater sailors dressed in common

The captain himself was no slouch when it came to dressing and on this
occasion he upheld the dignity of the ship, and the great American
Merchant Service, by sporting a wine colored cutaway suit. His shoes
were shined like the galley stove on a Sunday afternoon, and his heavy
watch chain and fob dangled across his vest, which was buttoned to
the very top in spite of the heat. Of course he wore a boiled shirt,
and his black derby was of a square topped model, conservative and

Inspection over and the island steamer out of our berth at the Brewer
Wharf, we cast off and again warped our ship across the harbor. This
took up the remainder of the first day. The boss stevedore came aboard
and we learned that the crew was to work aboard ship, breaking out and
slinging the cargo. The "hatch man" and the "dolly man" were to be
natives of the shore gang; two important posts, as upon them depended
largely the speed of unloading.

[Illustration: AT BREWER'S WHARF]

Word was passed forward that the captain would allow those of us who
wished to, to draw against their pay on Saturday afternoon. In the
meantime, it being Wednesday, we were alongside and free to explore
the city in so far as such investigation could be carried on without
the expenditure of coin. However we found the Chinamen ready to take
"chits" for modest amounts.

After pumping out, and before knocking off for supper, the mate called
Charlie Horse aft and appointed him night watchman. He was delighted
with this billet, and except for a good deal of grumbling about not
being told earlier and having a chance to get some sleep in the
afternoon, he was well pleased. Charlie Horse had once been mate on
a schooner, a fact that he never allowed us to forget, much to the
amusement of such men as Australia and Hitchen. Jimmy Marshall resented
all mention of it and more than once made cracks about the kind of
"schooner" Charlie Horse was most familiar with. Charlie Horse, and
no one ever forgot the Horse part of his name, which I believe was
Horstman or something like that, never ventured an opinion without a
great deal of deliberation, a trait that has much to recommend it,
especially when at times he was referred to during heated arguments.

The long night shifts in Honolulu were well suited for one inclined to
secluded thinking and deep contemplation. Besides this, Charlie Horse
was to have the laugh on us after our second night in port.

That first blessed night of supreme rest while our ship lay in the
stream, swept by a cool sea breeze, was followed by a sweltering night
of discontent. Most of us turned in early, after a short stroll ashore,
and in our ignorance of the customs of the place, slumbered in innocent
exhaustion without a thought of the perils of the night.

Parts of New Jersey and Long Island are noted for their mosquitoes.
Alaska is also somewhat remembered on this account by unfortunates who
have summered along the southern shores, but Honolulu in the historic
year 1898 could boast of one of the most vicious swarms of torturers
lining the shores of the seven seas. We were ripe for them, our skins
spiced with the salt horse and pea soup fluid that coursed through our
veins. We were tired from the labors of the day, and slumbered unmoved
while the enemy put all that was exposed of us to the bayonet. I lay
stripped in my bunk gasping for breath, and in the morning found I was
a mass of bumps, red and unsightly. The next day the china merchants
along Nuuanu Street did a big business in mosquito bars, supplying
us on the strength of our "chits" after the captain had verified the
statement that each man was to be paid five dollars, on account, at the
end of the week.



All hands working together made us better acquainted with the men of
the starboard watch. Axel and I developed a lasting friendship, and
of course Old Smith joined the higher councils of our watch. Hitchen
and Mike and Tommy proved to be a great team of kidders, and with
Australia, of our side, formed a dandy quartette, singing such old
time favorites as "Tom Bowling" and "All in the Downs." Hitchen, a
very superior sort of sailor, an Englishman, reticent about himself,
but a volume of information about the ports of the world, was a great
addition to our life aboard. In fact the men of both watches were sea
worn and tired of each other, and we welcomed the new contact with our
shipmates. Add to this the unusual sights of the shore and the fresh
provisions, as well as the possibility for rational sleep, and sailors
will know what I mean when I say that we were a very happy lot of men
aboard the _Fuller_.

Scouse had a large mouth organ, "Made in Germany," a gaudy tin affair
well fitted for his capacious maw. Tony had an accordion, and no one
could deny that we were a lively crowd forward. On the other hand the
people aft were shrouded in gloom. The mate lived very much alone and
Captain Nichols was separated by more than a bulkhead from his first
officer. Chips was also a lonesome figure, dining in dreary state at
the second table. Tommy said that since the second mate had gone, the
Jap boy felt it beneath his dignity to wait on Chips, and the lanky
carpenter found the table set with all that he was to have at one load,
soup, meat, dessert, etc. "I wisht they'd let me at it once," said Joe,
his mouth watering at the mention of dessert.

The second mate did not return on board the night following his racket
with the mate, and we were in hopes he would quit the ship. Our wishes
were realized, for the afternoon of the second day in port, while
we were in the midst of breaking out the coal in the main hatch,
Mr. Stoddard came to the coaming and looked down on the grimy crowd
shoveling coal. He carried a dilapidated satchel and had evidently been
paid off by the skipper.

"So long, you dirty bums!" he called down, sending a squirt of tobacco
juice into the midst of the coal-dust and sweat-covered gang.

Tony, who was in the hatch, dropped his round-nosed shovel, and picking
up a lump of coal hove it at Mr. Stoddard, just missing him as he
dodged back from the coaming.

"Wait until I get you ashore, you dirty ---- ---- ---- ----," shouted
our ex-officer, shaking his fist at the hatch as he ran over the

"Thank heaven he's gone," I remarked to Frenchy, both of us looking
down at the play from our perch on the fore tops'l yard where we were
unreeving the downhauls.

"A good thing he's done with us, and the ship saves thirty dollars a
month while we are in port," was Frenchy's wise comment.

That night Tony and Tommy went ashore for the purpose of finding Mr.
Stoddard and beating him up. The ex-second mate was boarding in a
Chinese house in Beretania Street, according to reports from some of
the Kanakas, and the two avengers trailed him from that place to the
Criterion saloon.

The true story of what happened was long obscured, for both Tony and
Tommy came aboard very late and turned in refusing to say anything
until the next morning, when they were given the third degree by
the exacting masters of fo'c'sle affairs in the persons of Jimmy and

The stories did not tally and for a long time it was thought that Mr.
Stoddard had given them more than they counted on. The truth came out
when Chips told the yarn to some cronies on the beach. It seems that
Mr. Stoddard met Tony and Tommy as he was leaving the saloon. Their
determined manner, and clenched fists, at once warned him of trouble.
With a knowledge of sailor psychology, nothing short of masterly, he
advanced toward them in true "come on" style, greeting them with a
warmth of cordiality entirely unexpected, and a moment later Tony and
Tommy were with him at the bar drinking imported beer at two bits a
glass, and wondering how they had ever been so mistaken in him.

No doubt Mr. Stoddard would have got his licking had he remained in
port, but we learned that he shipped before the mast on the bark _W. H.
Dimond_ bound for San Francisco.

A day at the coal got us rid of that objectionable part of the cargo,
and when we took up the tarpaulins we found a large consignment of
case oil filling most of the 'tween decks. Case oil, let it be known,
is kerosene in large square cans, packed two in a case, and nicely
calculated as to weight so that a good husky sailor man can just about
lift one of them without straining himself too much. However, I can
vouch for the fact that these cases are very hard to handle and get
heavier and heavier as the exercise is continued.

The stevedores ashore, so we learned later, were Republicans, a jolly
lot of progressive Kanakas, demons for work and constantly chattering
like crazy brown magpies. On the other hand, the donkey crew, the
man at the dolly, and the hatch man, a lively Kanaka named Nigger,
were Royalists of the bluest strain compatible with their swarthy
complexions. The Royalists did their level best to send the case oil
out on the wharf so fast that the lowly Republicans could not handle
it. Below decks, in the stifling heat, we labored in gangs, running the
cases to the square of the hatch from two sides, while Old Smith and
Frenchy adjusted the slings about the stacks of twelve cases and up
they would shoot. It seemed that the cargo hook was constantly dangling
in the hatch like a hungry black worm while that demon Nigger raised a
hell of sweat and hurry with his constant shouting to "_Hook her up!
Hook her up!_" and every few minutes the mate would bend over the
hatch and roar down his bit of encouragement.

My job was to help hand the cases down from the tiers, lifting them to
small trucks upon which we rushed them to the hatch opening. A half day
of this exertion found us pretty well blown, and when the noon whistle
sounded over the harbor we got on deck, bolted our dinner and stretched
out on anything that was handy and relaxed. Some of the boys slept, but
I was too sore to sleep and had a feeling that it was better to stay
awake, anyhow, as the rest would seem longer.

When we turned to at one o'clock the gang on the wharf started to howl
defiance at Nigger and his men, and the cruel ball began again with the
mate, as king driver, egging along the performance. Being rid of the
second mate and with the captain ashore, he was thoroughly enjoying

The cases of oil were hard to grab hold of, and as I have said, got
heavier and heavier as the weary day advanced. Cursing and sweating in
hot 'tween deck, we strove like mad to keep up our end of the fight.

"Don't let them niggers beat us," shouted Brenden, as he dug in with
renewed energy, the sweat dripping into his eyes as he began slinging
down the cases like a madman.

"The dirty black bastards!" shouted Jimmy. "I hopes they croaks afore I
sees the last o' this place."

By the time the afternoon was half over my arms and back were numb with
pain. I had ceased to sweat and every effort was made by super-force
of will. We were red-eyed with the labor and the heat; swearing had
ceased, and we plugged along doggedly as the damnable Nigger kept up
his constant bawling to "_Hook her up!_" or "_Liki! Liki!_" (meaning
"the same").

Frenchy, who was under the hatch, suddenly brought us to our senses.
"_Rain, boys! Rain!_" he shouted.

In our torture we had not noticed how dark it was getting, and when
the first large cool drops pattered down on the 'tween deck hatches
covering the cargo in the hold, we knew that relief was at hand. A
minute more and the rain came down in tropical torrents while we
struggled to get the big strongback into place, the hatch covers on,
and the tarpaulin spread. Our black tormentors had fled to cover under
a nearby shed, and the donkey engine crew were drawing the fire from
beneath their boiler. Nigger, too, had disappeared, for Scouse came up
determined to take a fall out of "that black ---- ----."

To say that we were thankful for the rain is mild; we were saved by
it, nothing less, and as we went to the fo'c'sle that night we were as
badly beaten a lot of men as ever cumbered the port of Honolulu.

"Say, Smith!" yelled Joe, shouting through the partition that separated
the fo'c'sles.

"Well, what do you want?"

"You was right when you said sumthin' about me workin' here."

"I told you you'd sweat, didn't I?" shouted back Old Smith.

"Say, Smith," in a chastened tone.


"Was you sweatin', too?"

"Shut up! Shut up!" cried Jimmy in alarm. "If you wants to start a
fight, do it tomorrow, an' let your betters get some rest."



On a fateful Saturday night, the one when we drew five dollars apiece
against our payday, Peter, the boy, and I decided to go ashore and
have our hair cut by a regular barber and then indulge in the pleasure
of a luxurious bath with plenty of soap and a good big tub of hot
water. After the hair cut the bath--and this took us to a Japanese
establishment that was conducted upon true oriental lines. As a bath
house it was A1, but in addition to the supply of hot water, which was
drawn by a female attendant, I found that she (the attendant) was ready
to remain and assist in the scrubbing. Being of a modest turn of mind
myself, and unable to converse with this would-be helper, I finally
made known my desire for her removal by pushing her through the door.
The floor was slippery and in my embarrassment I may have given her
too hearty a shove, for she lost her footing and shot out in a most
undignified manner, "cutting the star" as we used to call it when
skating. Peals of laughter sounded through the flimsy walls, the Japs
taking the whole thing in good part.

However, in the native Japanese quarter, this sort of thing was
considered proper, and, as I afterward learned more of the Japanese,
while in their islands, I found that it was all a simple matter of
point of view and nothing at all extraordinary.

Of Peter a great deal might be said. He was a type of the young
American who will, when circumstances force him into it, go to sea.
However, I have only touched upon him lightly, as he in no way
represented that bygone breed of sailor that made history on the hard
square riggers of that day.

Peter had a delightful voice that passed in Honolulu in lieu of real
coin, at least among the Kanakas, where his wit and general good nature
won him many friends. We attended a luau up in the Nuuanu Valley, a
real native feast where we were received royally because of the high
regard in which Peter was held by the Kanakas. Poi, one finger stuff,
and none of your poverty stricken watery three and two finger poi of
the stevedores and little island traders, was on the bill of fare.
Pork, fish, and fruits of all kinds afforded by the islands were
served to us on _ti_ leaves, while _swipes_ flowed freely.

Peter sang "Hawaii Ponoi" over and over again with our hosts, and we
wound up late at night with the native girls dancing the Hula Hula.
All very decent, of course, but calculated to impress one with the
broader range of vision accorded simple strangers traveling in that
land of song and sunshine when without the stodgy hall mark of smug
respectability to hamper them in their enjoyment. Peter astonished the
natives by sleight of hand tricks with a pack of worn playing cards,
and before we left them had dated us up for another engagement. My head
the following morning was something to be remembered with respect,
and I swore off all further indulgence in the Kanaka's wonderful

On board, our routine became more established. After the consignment of
case oil was put over, we found the work less trying and were better
able to meet it as we accustomed ourselves to the new labor, although
the Republican-Royalist feud continued to the end of our stay. In the
main hold, directly below the hatch, we carried a locomotive boiler.
Getting this overboard called for some seamanship on the part of the
mate. He strengthened the main yard support by extra tackles, and
hoisted the fish fall up to the cargo pendant, which in turn was backed
by several parts of wire rope. The yard purchase was replaced by a
fourfold tackle rove off with new gear. Once ready, we sent the boiler
over the side in good style, setting it squarely on a flat car.

While this special gear for getting over the heavy freight was being
rigged, the remaining running gear of the braces was unrove, coiled and
marked for stowing while old stuff was sent up to take its place, as
all such untarred rope deteriorates rapidly when exposed to the dust
of the port for any length of time. Following the discharge of the
boiler we roused out a large number of cases of heavy machinery, all
to be assembled as a complete locomotive. The _Fuller_ was stowed with
a very mixed cargo, her manifest containing every kind of agricultural
and household implement imaginable. Castle and Cook, a large importing
house in the Islands, got a lot of our cargo and as we would unload a
consignment of stuff for them they would run an advertisement in the
daily papers--

 CASTLE AND COOK, Large assortment of the best fruit jars with patent
 screw tops just received from the States by Ship _A. J. Fuller._

Had we been wrecked on a desert island, our freight would have set us
up as a very respectable lot of Robinson Crusoes, for we brought the
most general of general cargoes.

After a week in port, my mosquito mottled face having subsided to
normal, I presented a letter of introduction to Mr. William H.
McInerny, at his place of business on Fort Street. Mr. McInerny, his
mother, sister and brothers, were most kind to me, and I enjoyed
their hospitality with an appreciation made extra keen by the life of
the ship. Clean table linen and all of the ordinary necessities of
civilized existence seemed extra good. On the other hand I had sense
enough to appreciate the life aboard ship. This was never dull, and was
soon destined to become particularly strenuous.

Mr. McInerny called for me frequently of a Sunday and took me driving
behind a pair of fast horses. His first appearance on the ship aroused
the gravest sort of suspicions in the mind of the mate. He eyed me
critically when I went ashore in my best Sunday suit, pressed the night
before by a Chinaman on Nuuanu Street. As we drove off, so Peter told
me afterward, the mate shook his head as much as to say, "Another young
fellow gone wrong."

The next morning there was considerable coldness in the manner of
the mate, but nothing actively malignant. He gave me no harder work
to do than before, but he did not condescend to his customary gruff

When Mr. McInerny called for me again on the following Sunday with
a different rig and another pair of high steppers, Mr. Zerk became
thoroughly disgusted. On Monday he called me aft just before we turned
to after the washdown, and made some very sarcastic remarks about my
"dude friend."

"I suppose you will be getting out of the ship?" he ventured.

"I have never thought of getting out," I answered.

"Well, I was just thinking that you might have a chance to get out.
Maybe your friends with their horses and carriages would not like to
see you working too hard."

"I suppose they would hate to see me work hard, seeing what an easy
time I am having now."

"Damn your hide, they will hate to see you work before I get through
with you. Call that thick ass Scouse aft and that ---- ---- ---- ----

When these unfortunates arrived they found Mr. Zerk under a heavy
pressure of bottled-up wrath. The whole silly business had so
exasperated him that he fairly sizzled with madness. Heretofore his
outbursts were mostly impersonal, at least they always seemed so to me;
merely a part of the day's work. We were now turned over to Chips and
found that he had received instructions to clean out the limbers of the
ship, starting in the fore peak and working aft as the bottom of the
hold was uncovered. From that time on until the ship was discharged I
was kept at the most disgusting work of the voyage. Bucket after bucket
of a thick sludge, the results of a previous voyage to the Orient, when
the _Fuller_ loaded some filthy cargo in Hong Kong, was lifted out. Of
course she was never cleaned in New York, where the crew was always
discharged as soon as the hook went down, and no longshore laborer
would do the work we were set to.

After three days of this Joe said to me as we came up out of the hold
covered with filth: "Here is where I quits. To hell with this. That
rotten bull aft thinks he can work anything off on us. Some may be soft
an' easy, but," and here Joe came in strong, "I can get thirty dollars
a month in the coasters, an' I won't be leavin' much. To hell with the
rotten skunk, says I."

That night Joe found a chance to go out on the barkentine _Irmgard_ due
to sail in two days for San Francisco. Like most of the craft trading
to the Islands from the coast, the _Irmgard_ was glad to pick up a
deepwater sailor. Joe agreed to work his passage to Frisco and would
then sign on regularly before the U. S. Commissioner. Joe wanted Scouse
to join him but the big fellow shook his head as Joe urged him, during
the next two days down in the bilge dirt. All conversation on the
subject of Joe's departure was taboo in the fo'c'sle, though Joe worked
hard to have Scouse join him, even going so far as to see that it would
be all right for him to ship in Frisco.

"No, Choe, I don't do no more pilge cleaning when I ged back. Dere
ain't no rotten pilges on farms, ant you never knows what rotten
backets you ship on. I stand dis ant, den, no more."

The night that Joe left we got his clothes ashore over the bow. All
he had was a round bottomed sailor's trunk--a canvas bag. Joe was a
favorite with all of us, and his bag bulked large with parting gifts
of clothing. In addition to this we all chipped in, at the suggestion
of Old Smith, and at a tarpaulin muster, though it was near the end
of the week, we managed to find five dollars. Let it here be said that
after the first generous advance of five each, the Captain cut us down
to two dollars each week, and held down on the slop chest. Of course
five dollars was out of the question, as the pay per month was only

Also, in the details of Joe's departure we had to keep everything from
Charlie Horse. As watchman he would undoubtedly be blamed for not
reporting the desertion. As it was, Charlie Horse was given a hard call
by Captain Nichols, and later on he thanked us for keeping him in the
dark. Charlie was a decent sort and said he was glad he did not have to
lie about the affair when called aft.

"Joe's going," Frenchy whispered this to me. It was near midnight and
Joe had returned as he promised, after depositing his dunnage in the
fo'c'sle of the _Irmgard_, only a few wharves away.

"Good-bye, boys."

"So long, Choe. Goot-luck. Goot py," the last from Scouse. Joe slid
down one of the bowlines and we watched his dark figure walking along
the wharves. Under a street lamp on Nuuanu Street Joe waved back at us
on the strength that we were watching him.

[Illustration: Charlie Horse]

We all felt sorry to lose Joe. Scouse was especially gloomy over his
departure, and I missed the happy-go-lucky fellow in our work below.

Next morning when Joe failed to show up at the wash down, Mr. Zerk was
furious. Charlie Horse came in for a round of abuse and all hands in
general were cursed fore and aft and athwartship. In it all I seemed to
detect a certain note of insincerity. In fact the mate was glad that
Joe had left; it seemed to please him that the drill in the limbers was
tough enough to have had that result.

No one was assigned to take Joe's place, but after a week of it Scouse
was relieved and Tony became my partner in filth.

"I suppose we will have other deserters," said the mate, coming down
and looking us over. His words were evidently intended for me.

"I don't think so, sir. Scouse doesn't mind this a bit," which was a
foolish remark, but at least resulted in giving the red-head a relief.

I kept fit by getting up an hour earlier each morning than the rest of
the crowd and taking a plunge overboard as a bracer, swimming about the
ship. In the evening, being too dirty to give a hand in pumping out,
I had the pleasure of a plunge into the cool waters before supper. I
always washed out my dungarees as soon as I came up, and alternated,
leaving the ones last worn to have a good sunning.

Captain Nichols saw me one noon looking rather dirty. He may have
remarked the fact that he had seen me in the same state some ten days
before, when the grind first started.

"What are you doing?" he asked.

"Cleaning out the limbers, sir."

"How do you like it?" grinning.

"Fine; wish the ship had four instead of two, sir."

This seemed to tickle the old man, and whatever he did I don't know,
but the next day the mate came below and lifted a horrible fuss about
the way things were dragging, with Chips at his heels saying "Yes, sir,
yes, sir," so fast that the mate turned on him and asked him if he had
St. Vitus's dance. "Yes, sir," answered Chips, before he realized his
mistake. "Well, then, get the hell out of here and let me finish this."
Four extra men were sent down and the job cleaned up the next day.

I was mighty glad when the drill was over, for to tell the truth my
health was beginning to suffer from the nasty grind and the constant
breathing of foul air. In the fo'c'sle, too, the boys were more than
decent about it. "Well, you stuck it out," was the opinion.



Honolulu harbor in 1898 retained more than a trace of its old time
flavor of romance. In later years, when I again visited the port, the
improvements had entirely eliminated many old landmarks that spoke
so clearly of the historic past. At the time we were there in the
_Fuller_, the remains of the hulk that once was the famous, or perhaps
I should say infamous, Hawaiian man o' war, _Kaimiloa_, lay bedded in
the mud flats at the delta of the Nuuanu River, a shallow part of the
harbor between the railroad wharf and the waterfront of the city.

The _Kaimiloa_, a vessel of 170 tons, had once been called the
_Explorer_, and was then engaged in the copra trade. King Kalakaua
purchased her (she was a wooden steamer, by the way) for $20,000, and
had her refitted as a ship of war. On the 17th of May, 1887, she was
dispatched to Samoa to strengthen the hands of the embassy. Robert
Louis Stevenson wrote, "The history of the _Kaimiloa_ is a story of
debauchery, intrigues, and waste of government property."

On this memorable cruise she was under the command of a half-pay
British naval officer who must have been possessed of a keen sense of
humor. "The Primacy of the Pacific" was King Kalakaua's dream, and the
H. M. S. _Kaimiloa_ was the apple of his eye. Her armament, so far as
I could find out, consisted mainly of a heavy silver service boasting
several large caliber punch bowls. In every way she was appointed with
a view to the pleasure of the monarch.

In Samoa she got into difficulties. German men o' war in the port
refused to recognize her colors, or return her salute, and she finally
departed, returning to Honolulu by way of Pago Pago (what's in a
name?), where her half-pay commander exchanged her small arms for gin,
and had a month's debauch, as a sort of bracer, before reporting home
to the Kanaka Admiralty. This cruise is said to have disgusted King
Kalakaua with his navy, and further support was withdrawn. What became
of the silver service, the armament, or the half-pay commander, cannot
be recorded by the writer.

The forlorn remnant of this royal hulk, with planks bleaching in the
sun, centered upon an interesting sector of the harbor. Here in the
shallow weed-grown water numerous native women, wearing extremely
proper Mother Hubbard wrappers (when dry), were always fishing
industriously. No lines or nets were used, but the finny unfortunates
were caught between the toes of the fishers. The fact that the natives
of the islands relish live fish only added to the fascination with
which we observed their operations. The harbor was also the scene of
much active fishing by the Japanese, who employed a seine and several
small sampans. So changed was all this when the writer returned to
Honolulu, some eight years later, that it was with a pang of regret he
recalled those old romantic, inefficient days.

Not far from the _Fuller_ was the berth of the _Morning Star_. We could
look over her decks as our ship rose higher with the discharge of her
cargo. This famous missionary craft was a yacht-like three-masted
schooner with auxiliary steam, the mizzen being built of steel and
serving her as a funnel. The comings and goings of the missionary folk,
male and female, for they busied themselves mightily on board the
pretty craft, furnished us with something to look and wonder at when we
were not otherwise engaged on board.

We established friendly relations with her crew, meeting some of them
ashore at the concerts. Frenchy made the acquaintance of her cook and
the "doctor" presented him with a can of curry powder. But no matter
how friendly the crew of the _Morning Star_ might be when ashore, they
were careful to never go aboard the _Fuller_; also the moral atmosphere
of this vessel was so strong that it pervaded the clothing of the whole
ship's company, for none of them ever was seen in any of the barrooms
frequented by sailors. However, Peter had met them while attending
lauas and they were as fond of swipes as the next man, quite human,
even to the extent of getting gloriously drunk.

One class of visitors on board the _Morning Star_, who seemed
in the majority, were the army officers. And by the word "army" as
generally used in the capital of the Hawaiian Republic at that time,
was meant the Salvation Army. The Salvationists were very influential
in affairs along the waterfront. We had been in port about a week
when their advance guard came over our rail, sort of spiritual Uhlans
descending upon us, after dusk, as we sat about between the time of
clearing away the supper kids and lighting our pipes for a stroll
ashore. And let it here be said that whatever good they may do in
other fields, and there is no denying this, they were working in ground
already fairly moral when they boarded the _Fuller_. My observation
has been that the moral index, if I may coin a term, is inversely
proportional to the amount of work. Hard workers, physical and mental,
are as a rule fairly moral.

On the ship _Fuller_ was gathered at that time as decent a lot of men
as ever sailed the seas. I have listened to more obscenity in a short
space of time among men who held themselves educated than fouled our
ears during the whole voyage about which I am writing. For one thing,
we always had something interesting to talk about, and our few leisure
hours were too precious to throw away.

The head scouts of the army were no doubt attracted by the rather
cheerful noises coming from our band, an organization making use of all
the typical sailor instruments, the accordion, several mouth organs, a
jew's-harp, and a drum made by Jimmy Marshall out of a small paint keg
with canvas stretched on both ends. The missioners from the good ship
_Morning Star_ were very much interested, no doubt scenting talent for
their concerts, and the party came aboard on what might be called a
cutting out expedition.

"Yes, we were getting lots to eat." "No, the ship was not particularly
hard. The captain was all right." "Yes, the mate did swear a lot; in
fact he was a bad man, but we had seen worse." "Yes, the life of a
sailor is a hard one. We all liked Honolulu. Etc. Etc." Old Smith had
the party in tow, and acted as spokesman while the parley was going on.
Jimmy in the meantime buzzed around, all eagerness to get in his fine
work at panning the ship, the grub, and everything else.

One of the visitors noticed this. He was a tall thin man wearing the
fatigue uniform of nothing less than a Major, and was evidently a
student of the genus sailor, that is, a student of the sailor man going
through his paces ashore; a down trodden unfortunate, sleeping in a
bunk innocent of woven wire springs, without clean linen sheets, and
having to wash himself in a common deck bucket, all of which of course
is true enough. The tall man was drawn aside by Jimmy, his grizzled
monkey face working like a nutcracker. Jimmy talked to such good
purpose that the tall army officer handed him a card and asked him to
call when ashore. Our band then struck up, and nobody could help but
notice that Jimmy Marshall was a most proficient drummer.

The upshot of this was that a week later Jimmy took to his bunk sick.
"Contusion of the liver," he called it. "Too much work an' the rotten
grub 'as got me at last." There was much groaning in his bunk, and when
Captain Nichols looked him over he shook his head.

The following day several army authorities came aboard to visit Jimmy,
a mighty fine looking captain among them, for we all admired her. Two
days after this Jimmy rose from his bunk with great effort and went aft
while the captain paid him off. Kanakas came aboard for his dunnage,
and Jimmy Marshall joined the Salvation Army. We saw him on the corner
of Fort and Hotel Streets soon afterward beating a brand-new drum and
utterly ignoring us. How the army did it remained a mystery until a
young man from Brewer's office let fall the hint that army influence
was exerted through the agents. Whatever it was, it worked, and for
many a day we missed Jimmy. His "beef" on a rope was negligible, but he
was clever at every sailor art and his singing was in a class by itself.

Scouse summed up the fo'c'sle opinion when he said, "Dot's a smart
feller, dot Chimmy."

While the efforts of the Salvation Army were directed with vigor and
enjoyed the support of the powers that were in the city, the devil
was also well represented in the thriving little nest of humanity,
way out there in the middle of the Pacific. This was before the time
of the great fire that swept away the Japanese quarter, and before
the yoshiwara had been established. Saloons had a pleasant ingenuous
fashion of advertising in the daily papers. Such items as, "Drink at
the Criterion Saloon," "Visit the Louvre Saloon, for your rickeys,"
were displayed in bold type. Intoxicated men reeled along the streets
at night in the region bordering the waterfront, and assaults of
various kinds were not infrequent. All nations were represented in
the motley crew who formed the floating cosmopolitan conglomeration
drifting about the port. The new republic being the eddy in the middle
of the transpacific lanes where human flotsam gravitated, like Hong
Kong and Port Said, it had become a nodal point of adventure.

Of course Honolulu itself rose serene and beautiful above this mess of
wreckage that washed up on her beach. Beautiful homes were there, on
the long avenues lined by royal palms, set in fine grounds, bordered
by hibiscus hedges alive with flaming red. The date palm and the fan
palm all added to the natural beauty surrounding her public buildings
and her dwellings. The solid worth of the place far outweighed the
ribald doings of the beach combers, not all of them, let it be said,
in dungaree. Well-dressed adventurers were even more numerous, and no
doubt far more dangerous, than the unattached sailors of the port.

The life in the Chinese and Japanese quarters, with their hundreds of
small shops supplying the modest needs of their countrymen, was most
interesting to us. In fact we were compelled to do most of our trading
with these merchants, as two dollars per week was of little account in
attempting to go shopping on Fort Street in the American or English
stores. As for having a regular blowout, with drinks of civilization,
at two bits per glass, it was simply not to be thought of. Watermelons,
bananas, pineapples, soda pop, and ginger ale were our refreshments
after an evening spent at the concert in Emma Square, or Thomas Square,
and very often I went to a small Chinese coffee house on Beretania
Street for a cup of Kona coffee and a plate of sinkers. If a steamer
had arrived it was the custom to have a concert at the Royal Hawaiian
Hotel; the band, by the way, being a particularly fine one under
direction of Professor Henry Berger, and supported by the Government.
King Kalakaua during his famous tour of the world conceived the idea
of having such an organization in Honolulu. It was composed of native
Hawaiians, all excellent musicians, and he secured Professor Berger to
lead it. The frequent concerts inaugurated by King Kalakaua have been
continued ever since. Bad as the old king may have been, the band will
always remain a large item to his credit. Without it, Honolulu would
be a bad place in which to live; many a poor devil has enjoyed the
treat of the best music under conditions calculated to conserve its
influence, who would otherwise have spent his evening in some hideous

The concerts in the grounds of the Royal Hotel were a sort of dual
function so far as I was concerned. When attending them in the company
of Mr. Mclnerny I walked boldly into the lobby of the hotel and lolled
about on the verandah like a gentleman. When out with Hitchen, Frenchy,
Axel, or Tommy, and on the single occasion when we induced Old Smith
to forsake the waterfront, I stopped on the lowly outskirts of the
crowd among the natives, and the groups of Chinamen, Portuguese,
and Japs. We enjoyed the music and had as good a time as the folks
on the verandah; in fact we were more comfortable, for we dressed in
cool clean dungaree with our cotton shirts unstarched and open at the
throat. Pipes were always in order, lavish conversation was indulged
in, and we got to be accepted on an equal footing by many of the
natives. Nigger, the hatch man, a sort of top boss among these people,
was one of the best of Kanakas, which is saying much; a white man under
his skin, and a gentleman every inch of him. He introduced us to as
exclusive a society as there is in the islands, and we always swore by
him in spite of the way he treated us the first few days of our stay in
port, but then, as he explained, it was the Republicans he was after,
and of course us white fellows could look out for ourselves.

On Sundays, when I was not out driving with Mr. Mclnerny, Frenchy and
Axel and myself would wander about the city looking at the strange
sights. Tommy got to be one of the sightseers later on, and in our
different excursions on foot we covered the place pretty well. The
Palace (from the outside), the statue of Kamehameha I, the Museum, and
the cottage in which Stevenson lived at Waikiki, were some of the
points of interest visited. We also made a long hike out to the Pali.
All of this is uninteresting but simply spread upon the record to show
that the sailor-man of the old deepwater days, of which I write, was
liable at times to enjoy many of the milder forms of dissipation now
almost exclusively indulged in by Cook tourists and the winners of
voting contests sent abroad by enterprising newspapers.



With all due respect to Chow, and he moved in the best silk-shirted
circles of oriental society, we could never say that his regular bill
of fare on board the _Fuller_ was exactly epicurean. He was bound to
remember that sailors were the ultimate destination of his efforts and
he guided himself accordingly.

When the ship was at the end of her discharging, and my trials with
the mate had come to a close, so far as the bilge was concerned at
least, Frenchy suggested that we have a dinner ashore. I felt like
celebrating and readily agreed. At first we thought of having this
feast alone, but after due deliberation, and consideration of all of
the questions involved, we decided to invite a third shipmate. Frenchy
figured this out on the basis of the size of the bird that he held to
be the necessary central feature of the proposed banquet. The kind of a
bird Frenchy had in mind was a three-man bird--indeed many a family of
twice that number would have considered it sufficient. Then again, in
his way the Frenchman was quite a philosopher, and realized that in a
three-cornered celebration the whole affair would take on a better air.
Three may be a crowd under certain circumstances, but where shipmates
get together, three of them generally manage to have a better time than
when they travel in pairs.

Now as to the third man. I suspected that Frenchy had already selected
him when we went out on the fo'c'sle head to talk the matter over, a
few nights before the event was to come off. He urged me to suggest
candidates. I did, possibly more on their merits as sailors than
anything else, forgetting that the man who knows best how to stow a
fore t'gan'sl may not be the handiest shipmate with a knife and fork.
Hitchen or Axel were named by me.

"No, Felix, that Hitchen always laughs at me when I tell about the way
we cook things in France. Axel is all right but he eats stock fish. Let
us ask Tommy. Tommy knows a good dinner when he smells it. Let's ask

Thereupon Tommy was asked, and of course accepted. We were to pool our
week's allowance, two dollars apiece, and by the ready way in which
Tommy and Frenchy got together on the proposition I knew that they had
already thrashed out all the details. Frenchy merely started the ball
rolling my way by true fo'c'sle diplomacy, the boys imagining perhaps
that I would want someone besides Tommy as the third man, for somehow
or other Tommy and I had never chummed to any extent since our arrival
in Honolulu.

The matter of Tommy disposed of, Frenchy took the arrangements in
hand, going ashore with Tommy Saturday night to perfect the details,
for these archconspirators had already selected the place at which we
were to dine. It transpired that Nigger, who was a warm friend of mine
host, had highly recommended the place, so I agreed to put myself in
the hands of my friends after the time-honored custom of more exalted
candidates, turning over to them the two silver dollars received from
Captain Nichols, and that night I followed my routine of many other
evenings of enforced economy, and repaired to the reading room of the
Y. M. C. A.

When I came aboard Frenchy and Tommy were there to meet me. They had
seen the proprietor of a little restaurant on Fort Street a few doors
north of Hotel. A table had been reserved for Sunday, at one o'clock,
and the final specifications of that dinner minutely laid down.
Frenchy was enthusiastic. I would now see what a real dinner was like;
I was to tell him frankly if it was not better than the dinners I had
had ashore with my friends. The proprietor, a Portuguese, was a man of
taste ready to welcome us as friends of Nigger; his wife was to cook
the dinner herself. Clean white tablecloth, napkins, and everything
right, had been ordered by Frenchy.

We did not tell the rest of the crowd forward of our plans, for like
enough they would only ridicule the idea. As a matter of fact it did
seem like an extravagance, but we were having so much fun out of it
before we ever came to the actual disposition of the dinner, that it
was well worth the sacrifice entailed. "A man likes to have things good
once in a while," was the justification of Frenchy.

Sunday morning, after the washdown, which was always particularly
thorough on that day, lasting an hour or so longer than usual, we
partook of a very light breakfast. We then shaved carefully, that is,
Tommy and I did, and got out our best clothes, brushing them with great

"Are you going riding today?" asked Martin with a grin.

"No, Mart, I expect to dine at the Palace with President Dole."

"Is Tommy and Frenchy going with you?"

"You guessed it. By special invitation, Mart, Tommy and Frenchy have
been asked up to dine and to advise the President as to the cut of his
whiskers. Some say he should shave like Tommy, on account of the heat,
others contend he should let them grow like Frenchy, on account of the
mosquitoes; so you see he is asking us up to dinner in order to settle
the matter," at which both Tommy and Frenchy expanded perceptibly, and
Mart, muttering "Rats," went out on deck to escape the jibes of the
crowd. It was certain that something unusual was up, but after the
manner of a free fo'c'sle, the men kept their own counsel, only such
goats as the wood-turner Martin having the crust to edge in.

Frenchy broke out his best--a blue suit, very square cut in the
shoulders, double breasted, and of substantial cloth, rather heavy, but
undoubtedly good. He told me proudly that it had been made to order in
Dunkirk two years before when he was home on a visit. He also polished
the leather visor on his blue cloth cap, a petty officer's cap, a relic
of the old days in the navy. Of course Frenchy had on a stiff white
shirt, one with a very small bosom, which made it necessary for him to
keep his coat buttoned, for he decided not to wear a vest. This shirt
was a work of art, hand made by sister Madeleine, and having collar and
cuffs attached. In place of a tie he wore a loosely knotted scarf of
black silk.

Tommy had a gray sack suit, not new, but well brushed and neat. The
edges of the vest, which he insisted on wearing, were lined with black
braid, and he had worked black silk triangles at the corners of the
pocket slits. Tommy wore a very shiny boiled shirt, a low wing collar,
a fancy butterfly tie of the very latest South Street pattern, held in
place by an elastic band, and a gray felt hat.

I donned my visiting clothes, and the three of us turned out in the
height of perfection, scrubbed, polished, and rubbed down to the last
turn; Beau Brummel, had he ever shipped deep water, would have had
nothing on us.

"Well, I hope you has a good time," called out Brenden as we headed aft
for the gangway, just as the smelly kids from the galley were coming
forward, in the hands of Fred and Tony, masses of greasy potroast
unappetizing and uncouth.

The mate sighted us as we went over the gangway. He stood in the
shadow under the after awning giving us a thorough looking over.

"Three gentlemen of Verona!" he cried after us in derision, for let it
be known Mr. Zerk was something of a scholar in his way and not without
a sense of inaccurate but racy humor.

Glad to be clear of the ship, we headed up Nuuanu Street to King, put
our helms hard to port and ran east under the shadow of the substantial
concrete stores and offices, with their heavy iron shutters closed for
the Sabbath day. From King Street we turned northerly into Fort Street
and, with yards squared, and three abreast, we bore up to the haven in
which we were to dine, as well pleased a trio of low degree mariners as
ever sailed.

The proprietor, swarthy, stout, and smiling, and wearing a white apron,
greeted us at the door; while his wife peeked from behind a curtain
in the rear, as he ushered us to a nice round table next to a window
overlooking a cool shady garden. We were the only diners in this cozy
room, the private parlor of mine host. The trades were blowing rather
strong that day and a pleasant breeze came in through the open window.
The lace curtains still linger in my memory, with other details of the
feast, and I had to tuck them back, for they threatened the soup.

When I say that a small vase of flowers decorated the white linen, or
perhaps it was only cotton, but at any rate fresh and clean, the fine
hand of Frenchy will be recognized, for, let us say so again, and if
necessary, again and again, he had planned the dinner from first to
last in every detail.

The soup, for of course we started with soup and not with any of
the exotic indigestible frippery often attempted by ambitious but
ill-informed caterers, was _cold consommé!_ "Hey, wot's this?" demanded
Tommy, "are we late?" "No, Tommy, you eat this cold. Try it." "Say,
that's all to the all right!"

Well, it certainly was "all to the all right," and real cold, in fact
chilly would be the proper word. The host fluttered about; he was
doing things right, and to entertain guests such as we, who knew _and
demanded_ that every detail be carried out; for such appreciative
guests were rare indeed in the vicinity of Fort Street, not far from

The fish course was a dainty morsel of some native species, flaky and
white. It would take a connoisseur, and few of them shipped at sea in
those days, to describe that meal.

The roast was a fat fowl, but not too fat, a plump bird of the genus

When this rare bird appeared on the table Frenchy insisted upon
congratulating the cook, the proprietor's wife, who blushed with
pleasure at the gracious compliments showered upon her, and the bird,
with equal facility. Of course Frenchy carved. He carved exactly as
he had often carved before in the long hungry night watches off the
coast of North America when we first chummed together. Only now he was
dismembering a real plump drumstick done to a golden brown, and not
one of the imaginary mouth-watering tantalizers of the cold high seas.
Dressing was there too, and mighty good, and a big dish of mealy mashed
potatoes, white and satisfying.

"Have some gravy," said Tommy, passing around the gravy boat, a vessel
he was well able to command.

We wound up with a salad of lettuce, and Frenchy mixed the dressing at
the table. It will not stretch the imagination of the reader to believe
that by this time our shipmate was in a highly satisfactory mood. Tommy
and I were having the time of our lives, and as far as dinners go I
have never enjoyed a better. Since then it has been my fortune to kick
heels beneath the same table with a prince of the royal blood, to have
broken bread with school-men and with men of the old world who feel
themselves of noble strain; I have speared spuds with the fishermen of
the north and have shared my bacon and corn pone with the niggers in
the swamps of Florida; I have dined in state and have taken my chances
in a college commons, but never can I remember a better or a merrier

Some guava tart and cream cheese, the latter served on small green
leaves, and large generous plebeian cups of clear Kona coffee,
completed the dinner.

Our host had a surprise for us. He opened, and passed around, a box of
good cigars, urging us to help ourselves to extra ones, which we did.
He then took off his apron and, drawing a chair up to the table, joined
our well satisfied company. We talked of all things under the heavens
and upon the land and waters. More coffee was called for at intervals,
and when our host learned that I had been in Horta, his native town in
the Azores, a new bond of interest was established.

Finally, with regret, the time came to depart. A fine touch worthy of
that finished sailor, Victor Mathes of Dunkirk, God rest his soul and
grant him all prosperity, was the fact that the meal had been paid for
in advance and we left our host without the sordid jingling of change
or offering of a pauperizing tip, this worthy bowing us to the door,
three contented sailors, with extended belts, and empty pockets, and
nothing but a ship to call our home.



The memory of our famous dinner ashore, a feast that was enjoyed over
and over again in reminiscences during the succeeding months of the
voyage, brings to mind, by very contrast, the sad picture of a body of
men who were constantly hungry. These unfortunates were the crew of the
iron ship _British Monarch_. We became very friendly with the crowd on
the Britisher during our stay in port, finding them there when we came
and leaving them behind when we put to sea. These poor devils talked of
food, thought of food, and dreamt of food; they did everything but eat
it in anything like satisfying quantities.

They were a typical English ship's company in this case, carrying a
larger number of Britons than was generally the rule. The Dutchman,
that is anything hailing from the north of Europe, of course

"Bli me if she ain't the 'ungriest bloody tawnk hout o' Lunnon. Arsh
thy calls hit. Sye, hif arsh hever tysted like that, so 'elp me. And
they arsts me to heat me fill, the rotters! Blarst 'em! _The bloody

The speaker, a native of parts near London, a vivacious and interesting
lad named Parker Tweedy, treated us to this and much more in the same
vein. Tweedy elected himself a "Hextra 'and" at our mess and helped
clean up the kids on many an occasion. In fact many a pocket full of
tack and many a half pan of dry hash went from the _Fuller_ to the
_British Monarch_.

Two very youthful apprentice boys, fair haired and rosy faced, with
china-blue eyes, were among her complement. These children, they were
nothing more, gloried in the most awful command of profanity. The boys
were to be seen wandering about ashore of an evening, their faded blue
uniform caps proclaiming them the sons of doting parents who were
willing to pay a bonus of fifty pounds in order that their boys might
learn the rudiments of seamanship and navigation on the clipper ship
_British Monarch_, late of the China and Australia trade. "Uniform is
worn--meaning the caps--and the young gentlemen are berthed in separate
quarters in the cuddy house." So read the tale that snared them.
However, nothing except hunger ever seemed to happen to these lads,
and as they flattened their noses against the confectioner's windows
ashore, they were unconsciously absorbing lessons that might be of
value to them in after life.

Like most English ships of this class, the _British Monarch_ was a
disgrace to the sea and in no way representative of the best traditions
of the English service. The system in vogue in ships of her kind may
be epitomized as one of _least work_ and _less food_. Day after day
the crew would sling a scaffold plank over her side and chip her rusty
plates in a languid, melancholy way, interspersing their half-hearted
labors by lengthy discussions. Small patches of the chipped surface
would be coated with red lead and the _British Monarch_ looked like a
tattered sea rover wearing a very much torn coat through which patches
of red undershirt were visible.

Her gear aloft was most slovenly, Irish pendants hanging from every
yard, and her spars taking any direction in which they happened to be
at the time the braces were belayed. Her skipper, a youngish man and
very unassuming, would scull about the harbor in a small jolly boat
visiting his friends. Why the crew stayed by the ship was a mystery,
with good billets going begging for sailor-men to hold them; however,
when we learned that they had a year's payday on the books and were
looking forward to some happy distant time when that rusty ark would
drop her anchor in the Thames or Mersey, the reason for their staying
by was plain.

Hitchen and I went on board of her after we had been in port for
several weeks and I was surprised to have him take me aft into the
cabin. All he would say was that he had met Mr. Gore, the mate, back
in England; they were old friends, "so what's the difference if I
am before the mast so long as it's in another ship?" which was true
enough. The cabin of the ship was very elaborately appointed, though
not well taken care of. The _British Monarch_ had been in the East
India trade at one time and was fitted to carry a limited number of
cabin passengers.

Mr. Gore, the mate, was a taciturn man of about forty, much given to
study and reflection, for which he had ample opportunity, as the care
and working of the ship never seemed to bother him. The second mate,
Mr. Hauton, a lad of less than twenty, was most hospitable. He was a
graduate of an English schoolship, and as I was from the _St. Mary's_,
we had a lot to talk about, comparing notes on all matters relating
to the profession of the sea. He was a "Wrinkles" fan and exhibited a
thumbed copy of the first edition. As I had a copy of the latest, much
enlarged, Hauton made me promise to loan it to him.

One thing that was notable was the fact that they had the run of things
aft, going into the captain's room for books, and freely inviting their
friends on board to partake of such hospitality as the vessel afforded.
The social equality aft was better balanced than in the _Fuller_, and
deservedly so. On the other hand, our mate was a far better sailor than
either of these men, yet he was as far removed from the captain, as we
were from the sacred shelter of the forward cabin.

Hauton and I made a number of interesting excursions about Honolulu
and its vicinity. We visited the Oahu prison, whose white walls loomed
over the green meadows beyond the railroad wharf. Another trip took us
out to the great Ewa Plantation. Hauton was keen on visiting the coast
traders as they came in from California, and having more or less of a
fixture during the long stay in port of the _British Monarch_, he was
able to make many friends. His reason for staying by the ship was the
fact that the time in port, he being signed on as a regular officer,
was telling toward his sea service. On their return, if they ever did
return, he would go before the examiners of the Board of Trade as a
candidate for the First Mate's Certificate of Competency.

They do this sort of thing much better in England, and in fact in
all of the European countries, than we do. There an ambitious lad
of seventeen, who has had his service and possesses the necessary
knowledge of navigation, can pass for second mate. In the United States
the young man must be twenty-one, an age at which they commanded ships
in the good old days, before the Local Inspectors of Steam Vessels can
examine him for a second mate's license.[6] This foolish rule kept me
roughing at sea, in subordinate billets, for three years before I could
qualify and go to sea as an officer, that is, three years more than
were necessary, as I was qualified by service and knowledge at the age
of eighteen.

  [6] Changed in 1916 to admit men of 19 years, having the required sea
  experience, to examination for third or second mate.

Another thing, and here is as good a place to say it as any, the
whole system of examining merchant officers is wrong. The U. S. Local
Inspectors of Steam Vessels are earnest, capable officers, but must
work with the laws and regulations as they find them. The examinations
are even less rigid now[7] than formerly, owing to the great need for
officers to man our ships.

  [7] 1918.

One of the worst features of the thing is the fact that they give a man
a "_license_." I have no desire to quarrel about mere words, but why
not be consistent? As we "license" our merchant marine officers, let
us do the whole thing in the same hayseed fashion and give our naval
officers "permits" instead of "commissions," or perhaps include them in
the scheme of licenses. An old sailor once told me that he would rather
have a liquor license than a license to sail the oceans as master. Dog
licenses, peddler's licenses, and what not, all confused in the average
mind with merchant officer's licenses are the result of ignorance
founded on a political system, that, originating ashore, has bungled
the laws governing our sea service since the fatal time when it was
taken under the present system of control.

To end this "backwash of wrath" let us give our merchant officers "A
Certificate of Competency" or any old thing but a "license." As a
matter of fact the officer's license looks very much like the license
displayed in saloon windows, permitting them to do business by virtue
of their payment of internal revenue taxes.

The yawl of the Britisher was an able, fine modeled boat, sported a
leg-o'-mutton rig and frequently, of a moonlight evening, the breeze
being fair, Hitchen and I would go out sailing with the mates of the
_British Monarch_. On one occasion Hauton and I took the yawl out
through the harbor entrance and beat our way as far east as Waikiki
Beach, expecting to sail back before it with a fair breeze. It fell
calm and we were compelled to beach her and leave the boat in charge
of a native, as she was too big an order for us to row back alone,
especially as we carried only one oar. This taught us a lesson, for
we had to walk back, not having a cent in our pockets. The next night
we went out by car with the two apprentice boys and a number of our
Hawaiian friends, who brought their ukuleles. The sail back into the
harbor was most enjoyable. These people have excellent voices, as a
rule, and sing with a haunting plaintive strain of sadness that can
never be forgotten.

In the undertow of human flotsam that circulated about the wharves and
waterfront saloons, there was considerable talk about the smuggling
of opium. It seemed a profitable business to engage in, judging by
the talk we heard. A leak in the customs, or some loophole in the
restrictions on the trade, allowed a lot of the drug to get into
Honolulu. Often, as we sailed about the harbor in the evening, we would
notice the small schooners coming in and out, many of these being
consigned to Chinese and Japanese merchants. The cleverest of the
smugglers would come into the port with their shipment of opium slung
under the keel of the vessel. Bearings would be taken at some point,
perhaps some time before letting go the anchor, and the contraband
tripped to the bottom. All that was necessary then was to deliver the
bearings; the consignee could go out and pick up his freight in a
fishing net when most convenient.

Going to sea breeds a garrulous curiosity among sailors. The shipping
in the harbor was a constant source of discussion aboard the _Fuller_.
Of fine trim sailing craft, Honolulu held more than her share in those
days. Such craft as the barkentine _Irmgard_, the bark _Nuuanu_, and
the _Foohing Suey_ were a delight to the eye. The bark _Rhoderick Dhu_
was also one of them, and eight years later I saw her come slambanging
into the broad harbor of Hilo, all sail set and a crowd of gaily
dressed women on her poop. She was still popular as a passenger
carrier, and came to anchor with the precision of a man-o'-war.

The island steamer, a typical product of Hawaii, is a cross between
a steam schooner, only shorter, and a New England boarding house and
factory combination. A black tin smokestack rises above the front
porch, two stump masts are fitted with leg-of-mutton sails to steady
her, and a large crew of Kanakas complete the maritime mess.



News that war with Spain had been declared reached us on April 27th,
coming by the U. S. _Mariposa_ from Sydney. On the same day we
discharged the last piece of cargo in the hold of the _Fuller_ and
hauled into the stream to get ready for our return loading of sugar.
This ended our shore liberty for a few nights, but it really came as
a relief to us. Three busy weeks along shore, weeks that seemed like
months when we thought of all that had happened, sickened us of the
dust and smell, the latter emanating largely from the Chinese houses
with their peculiar odor of rancid sweetened grease. The chatter of
the Kanakas wearied us and the mosquito pest along shore was enough to
discourage even the most pronounced optimist. We were glad, indeed, for
a few days of comparative quiet while in the stream; at least it was
three days of quiet that we looked forward to.

Before hauling away from the wharf we took aboard a lot of rough
pine and spruce lumber, material to be used in lining the ship. Shore
carpenters came out, men thoroughly versed in the work, and in an
incredible time had fitted a complete inner skin throughout the hold.
This was kept at least a foot away from the sides of the vessel and
some two feet above the bilges, and the ceiling next the keelson, the
ceiling being at the bottom and not at the top of the hold, as landsmen
might imagine. The boarding of this inner skin was cleverly laid,
clinker fashion, like the clapboards on a house, so that any sweat or
leak water in the hold would be shed and run down clear to the bilges
without wetting the precious cargo.

A cargo of sugar such as was to be carried by the _Fuller_ was worth
at that time in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million, and the
greatest precautions were taken to safeguard it. In addition to
guarding against wet, all places where the sugar bags might, by any
chance, come in contact with iron, as the bolt heads in the heavy
knees that jutted through the inner lining, were wrapped with extra
thicknesses of gunny sack. When this job was completed the lower hold
looked like the inside of a gigantic melon, nicely hollowed out.
There was a clean sweep from the fore peak to the lazarette, only
interrupted by the mainmast and the upright water tank, a simple hold
such as was considered safe and proper in the days of Columbus and of


The 'tween decks of the _Fuller_ was rather fancy. Her voyage previous
to the one we were on had taken her to China and while in Shanghai the
'tween decks was scraped bright. The under side of the spar deck, the
lining, knees, and waterways, were all in natural wood and coated with
a varnish made of shellac and oil. The heads of bolts, and all iron
work, had been painted with aluminum paint and then varnished. When we
first noted this it brought forth some caustic comment.

"They do the cargo a damn sight better than they do us," remarked
Australia. And this was right and proper. The cargo pays freight and
should be considered, whereas we were a part of the expense, to be cut
down as low as possible both in numbers and wages.

Captain Nichols, too, was glad to get away from the wharf and all the
annoyances incident to discharging. The dust and unavoidable dirt
tracked aboard ship by the people from shore were a constant vexation
to his soul. I have often seen the skipper bob up from the companion
and chase some unsuspecting visitor ashore without ceremony; some poor
deluded mortal without a proper reverence for the sacred character
of those spotless after decks that we had holystoned and scrubbed so
carefully every day of the voyage.

When we got in the stream a comfortable deck chair was brought out for
the captain and placed on top of the cabin and several times we saw him
actually recline at his ease in this concession to luxury. The skipper
also wore wonderful white clothing with double blue stripes; this was
really silk, but looked for all the world like the standard pattern
for bedticking. It must have been cool, and after all that is why he
wore them. Coming out to the ship a few days after we had hauled out,
the captain had his boatman row him around the vessel while he eyed
her carefully. Evidently everything was right aloft, yards square and
all gear snug, for of course the mate had seen to that, but he was not
pleased with the appearance of the hull. The following morning we got
busy and all that day half of us were over the side scrubbing her. We
took long brooms and cleaned off the high wall of copper, for being
light she showed some six feet of it, and when we got through, the
_Fuller_ looked something like her old self.

During all of our time in Honolulu the mate remained very much to
himself. I only remember seeing him go ashore a few times and none of
us ever met him when off the ship. He led a lonesome life, and after
the hard day of driving us with all duties devolving on him alone, I
have no doubt he was pretty well done. Thinking it over, I have since
come to the conclusion that the terrible Mr. Zerk, the bully and the
slave-driver, with a curse always ready on his lips, and a heavy fist
prepared to enforce his mandates, was a sort of Mr. Hyde to a very
domestic Zerk saving his payday at the rate of a paltry sixty dollars
a month against the time of his return home to the wife and kids. His
supply of home-made jams and preserved pickles, so sparingly given
me on the passage out, confirms this conclusion. True, I hated him
cordially during those trying days in Honolulu, but then I was very
much of an ass, and no doubt deserved all that was given me. When we
went into the stream, things got better; the mate slackened up to the
extent of allowing me to tally aboard the lumber for the lining.

About this time talk in the fo'c'sle was much concerned with
speculation as to who would be our second mate. Martin said he had
overheard the mate tell someone from the shore that a man was coming
out from Frisco to take the billet.

"Not on yer life," said Australia; "they will pick something easy from
forward. This mate likes to run things hisself and all he wants is some
boy to stay awake nights to call the captain if a squall blows up. They
will pick one of us, but whoever he is, he will be a fool."

In fact not long afterward judicious soundings were taken forward by
that left-handed diplomat, the gloomy Chips. Whoever sent him on his
fruitless errand must have received an enlightening message. Chips
cornered one man after another and in a deliberate fashion got his
ideas as to who was willing to go aft. We were all of one opinion as to
who was most fitted for the billet; Old Smith of course was the man.
Although he was known as _Old_ Smith, it was more a matter of respect,
his age being only about forty or forty-five. He had sailed before the
mast since boyhood, most of this time deepwater, back and forth around
the Horn, sailing as second mate many times but always going back to
the fo'c'sle as his choice.

Smith never drank to excess while in Honolulu, was a clean-cut, able
seaman, a type as scarce in those days and unknown now.

Some hitch ashore occurred in regard to our cargo, for we lay in the
stream three days after we were ready to load. In the interval the mate
hit upon a brilliant idea. Why he thought of this piece of hazing, for
such it was, is merely a guess on my part, but the growing cheerfulness
forward must have annoyed him. The band was particularly active after
we left the wharf, the concerts on the fo'c'sle head, of an evening,
lasting well into the night.

The day after the hold was finished we were horsed about unmercifully
at the washdown. Fred, Martin and I had put large batches of clothing
to soak the night before, expecting to find time during the day for
scrubbing, as we looked forward to a rather easy time.

"Hey! Put them swabs up. Never mind that, Smith; break out a couple
of barrels of sand. Leave the water spar," this last to Frenchy and
Charlie Horse, who were about to unrig it; for Charlie Horse always
helped at the morning washdown after his night of watching, "to give
him an appetite for breakfast," as the mate said.

"Wot in hell is the racket?" asked Australia in alarm. "So help me--is
that busher going to start something new?"

"Dot's it. Something's new again. Maybe the 'bear' in port, or
something," chimed in Scouse.

"Get your breakfast!" shouted the mate as soon as the sand was on deck,
and we went forward with the whole ship in a mess--gear on the pins,
deck wet, and two barrels of mysterious sand at the main hatch.

"By ----, he's got me," confessed Hitchen; "whatever the bloody bitch
has up his sleeve is a new one."

"Joe was wise; that's what he was, wise. And say, that little
hipercrite Jimmy, was _he_ wise? Well, ast me, will you, after tonight?
I'll bet something is doing, and something very fine. We been having
our fling too much. The hell with these American working wagons!"

"Aw, shut up, Brenden, will you? For Gawd's sake, have some feelin's
for us. Look at Fred; he's too tired to eat."

The reaction from our high spirits of the last few days was complete.
We sat around dejected after breakfast, and it was with a feeling
of relief that we heard the bull-like roar of the mate urging us to
turn to. This summons reverberated across the harbor, and must have
advertised us as a packet of strife.

Things were not long in abeyance. We were ordered to wet down decks
again and spread the sand on the main deck as far forward as the
windlass. Old Smith, Frenchy, Brenden, and Martin were told off to lend
a hand to Chips. The first lengths of the chain cables were stoppered
just abaft the wild cats, and by means of handy billys and chain hooks
we roused up long bights of the rusty cables and ranged them along
the deck, constantly wetting down and sprinkling sand to protect the
planks. This was no easy job; in fact we worked like slaves at the
back-breaking labor, having something like a hundred fathoms to handle
on each anchor. The night after this started our band went out of
business, for we all turned in.

Mr. Zerk was positively cheerful during the second and last day of this
job. When we had completed hauling out the chain, made of great links a
half foot long, and strengthened by a heavy stud, he descended to the
chain locker, while I went with him carrying the lantern. We found very
little dirt in the locker, and that also seemed to please the mate. The
whole operation, aside from furnishing us considerable exercise, did no
particular good, nor for that matter harm.

I was glad of the opportunity to see the thing done, an interesting
piece of work from the standpoint of the student of seamanship. The
ends of the cables were passed through heavy ring bolts on the keelson
and then were carried _up_ and secured by a stout lashing to rings in
the knight heads. This method of securing made it possible to slip the
cables by casting off the ends and letting them go by the run, as the
ends are always in sight. The necessity for slipping cables comes very
seldom, but when it does have to be done the safety of the ship and
all on board depends upon the ability to let go quickly and without a
hitch. During this work we examined the markings on the chain. At the
links next to the shackles, that separate the different shots of the
cable, turns of wire are placed on the studs so that in running out the
cable the shackles can be examined as they go over the wild cats, and
the length of chain out determined. Large swivels are also provided for
taking out the turns when a vessel swings completely around in a tide
way. Where two anchors are out, and the chains become twisted, we have
the necessity for "clearing the hawse," an old time honored operation
performed by the voyagers in the days of Columbus when hawsers were
used. The hawse pipes still retain their name though great chain cables
are now employed.

The labor of stowing the cables was less painful than that of rousing
them up as gravity worked with us.

On the night we finished this job we received word that the ship was to
go alongside again the next day, and again we were glad of the change.
That the system on board was a good one cannot be denied. We were
always glad that some disagreeable piece of work was done, and, except
for the croakers, who were always predicting trouble--and were always
right--we were a very contented lot of men. It also happened that in
the scheme of things no part of the ship was ever neglected, and the
owners received full value in the care of their vessel for the wages
that were slowly accruing to us.



The month in port had pulled us together in a remarkable manner. The
ship's company forward were as one large family gathered by strange
chance from the ends of the earth, and, because of the wonderful
adaptability of human nature, we were working and living our life in
pleasant harmony. Of course it might as well be said that if anything
otherwise had occurred, if constant fighting had taken place, our well
trained masters of the cabin would have put the disturbances down with
little delay.

On the _Fuller_ we mustered an imposing array of nationalities; besides
Americans, we had Norwegians, a Swede, an Italian, two Germans, and an
Englishman. The mate, an American, had "Blue Nose" written all over
him. He was one of those hard men, originating in Nova Scotia, who
have added their bit to the consummate seamanship of New England and
New York. The Chinese cook, and Japanese boy, and later on our Kanaka
sailors, helped to make us as conglomerate as any melting pot. The one
man we lacked, and it was the only place in my career of much work and
poor pay, that I did not find him, was the Irishman. We missed Paddy;
he should have been there.

The amount of the pay day coming to us, some time in the distant
future, was a constant source of computation. Figuring the time since
the working off of the dead horse, and deducting the slop chest
account, also the money advanced while in port, and while the figures
were often disappointing, there was still the possibility of a tidy
pay day looming far ahead. Unlike the poor whaleman with the prospect
of nothing but his "Iron Dollar" and escape from slavery, we did have
a show to collect. The captain in American ships is allowed to charge
a profit of ten per cent on his slop chest account. I doubt if Captain
Nichols did even this. He had the steward serve out such things as were
wanted, and the prices were lower than the cost of similar articles
on South Street. When Peter dipped in too strong, getting, or rather
attempting to get expensive things from the slops, the captain refused
to let him have them. Peter once wanted some tobacco, he was going very
heavy on this item as he regularly gave it away. Captain Nichols shut
down on him and after that handed him cigars whenever he happened to
see Peter.

Scouse was one of the principal calculators of the pay day. He had
a frugal mind and was planning great things with his money when he
should once more get back to New York. With Joe gone, Scouse became a
different man. He was a sobered Scouse, a deep thinking plodder who
gave himself up to day dreams that must have been of vast extent.
Scouse announced that he intended to get married. He planned to meet
and marry some good obliging German girl, "Just over; dot's the one." A
girl not averse to a big lumbering Dutchman with a shock of coarse red
hair, and a terrible appetite; however a man not afraid to work. His
idea was to go west. "No more from dis rotten sailor's humbug by me. I
was going to be somepody ant get respect ant lif like decent people."
Also he figured on a nest egg of a little over one hundred dollars.
But then, families have been founded on less, though of course the
founders were not destined to be welcomed home by a band of crimps and

Frenchy too had great plans. He was going back to Dunkirk. To be sure
he even talked of going back to Havre, in the French Line, paying his
steerage passage. Then he planned to get spliced, and his scheme was to
go out in the fishing fleet, or else back to New Caledonia, where he
knew the country, and start life afresh.

Axel was going back to Sweden, to Stockholm, so he said, and never more
out on the briny billows of discontent. Fred was also a prospective
homeward bounder. Trondhjem was his destination, and the fishing fleets
of the town the means for his living. Tony and Charlie Horse intended
to join Scouse in so far as they were bound for the interior of the U.
S. A.

During these many discussions, the wise sailor-men like Hitchen,
Brenden, and Smith, the seasoned shellbacks, full of the cruel
furrows of time spent before the mast, and God alone knows what other
outlandish callings that roving men may follow, kept their counsel and

"Sonny, I guess I am down on the books of some ship that sails a few
weeks after we get back. Another crowd, another skipper and mates, and
another voyage." Old Smith was as nearly sentimental as it was possible
for him to be, and still be Old Smith. "Yes, I like this ship, but how
in hell are we all going to sign on again when more than half the
crowd is going to get married?"

It was strange how thoughtful the hard days of hauling that chain made
all of us. Besides this, the Honolulu climate was gradually getting
under our hardened hides. They can say what they like about the
Hawaiian Islands being a "white man's country." It is if you mean a
white man who never has anything harder to do than to tell a Kanaka or
a Jap to lift the burden. The trades do blow, and it is lucky for the
inhabitants that they do, otherwise, the Isthmus of Panama would be
duplicated out in the broad Pacific. In spite of the pleasing winds and
the beautiful clear weather, things are a bit too balmy for continued
physical exertion. Lifting a gin rickey is good enough exercise, and if
you lift them often enough, out at Sans Souci, for instance, you can
imagine anything you like about the Islands.

Working men stay home, if you are white, let the coolies shoulder the
physical burdens; but if you are wealthy and also lucky, you will very
likely own stock in a sugar plantation. They were paying seventy-five
per cent dividends in those days, and this is so even now, I believe.
Also if one is ambitious to put pep and fire into things, seek a cooler
clime. It is a fact that the white people of the Islands, who can do
so, spend a part of their time on the coast and whenever possible,
prospective mothers go to the coast during the time of their pregnancy,
as the Hawaiian climate seems to rob them of much of the necessary
vitality for the ordeal of birth.

But the Islands do hold a magic, all pervading charm, they are as
unlike any other islands as it is possible for them to be. Honolulu,
with its beautiful villas, with its modern setting amid a glory of
tropical verdure, springing from an age old fertile humus, bathed in
tropic sun, cannot be duplicated.

On getting alongside the railroad wharf, which we did by the economical
and laborious process of warping across the harbor by use of a kedge
anchor, we found that the greater part of the day had gone by, a day
that started at four o'clock in the morning with the regular washdown
to begin things, when we were ordered to carry out the kedge and pick
up our moorings.

Time was plentiful with us in those days, for the eight hour schedule
had never been heard of. Mr. Furuseth and Senator La Follette were
not there to shield us from cruel fate, and besides, whatever extra
drilling was done, was simply at the expense of sleep, a thing under
the complete control of the mate. We got up when we were told to by
the mate, as Charlie Horse went aft for his orders each evening, and
when extra work was to be done he was instructed accordingly.

Once alongside, we took aboard the long hardwood sugar chutes, worn
smooth by endless polishing of the gunny sack, in which the partly
refined sugar is shipped. These chutes were arranged very cleverly by
Nigger who came aboard with a shore gang of stevedores. The inclination
must be just right, and the chutes must be placed just so, in order
to prevent spilling, where it is necessary to cut corners in order to
reach the farther parts of the hold. We were glad that natives were
to stow the ship; in fact this work is mighty technical, and we never
would have been able to do so with our crew. Working with the natives,
we picked up a lot of knowledge about the handling of sugar, points
that were to be of much use to me in later years when I returned to the
islands as mate of a steamer.

On the Railroad Wharf there were several lines of track and some
turnouts carrying short flat cars loaded with sugar bags all safe under
huge tarpaulins. We also found the warehouse pretty well stocked with
it, and were told that when we once started to load, the sugar would
pour into the ship in a constant stream.

That night we again put up our mosquito bars against the enemy from
which we had mercifully been saved during the few days in the stream.
Tired but strangely content, we sat on the fo'c'sle head in the evening
glow or walked out on the stringpiece of the railroad wharf, which then
jutted far into the harbor, and watched the lights aboard the U. S. S.
_Bennington_. Except Peter, we had made no friends aboard the gunboat.
They seemed like men of a different world, as indeed they were. The
sounding of "taps" over the water, the clear plaintive notes of the
bugle, ended our day. We were to load on the morrow; at last we were to
start on the final half of our voyage, with the taking aboard of our
first bag of sugar.



Loading a deep water ship with sugar in the port of Honolulu during the
golden summer days of the young Republic was a lively business.

"Hi there! On the dock! Bear a hand with that sugar! Shake it up now!
Shake it up! Do you think we have a year to load this ship? By ----!
I'll shake you up! Yes, me! You lazy black ----!"

"_Pau! Pau! Kaliopoulie! kaue Ki! Ki! O ---- ooo maloue baue Pau. Likee
Pau ----! Pau! pau! pau! Oh--ee hakau! pau! pau!_" or words to that
effect, according to the phonetic rendering. A violent protest of many
tongues, bristling with exclamation points, and heated Kanaka epithets,
rose from the indignant dock gang. Glances of the utmost withering
scorn were shot up out of the hold at the mate standing abreast of
the main hatch, and all over the dock shirts were being slipped back
onto the silky brown backs, stripped in readiness for the work to
start, The uproar of indignation was spontaneous, and on the outskirts
of the racket the stocky Japanese coolies from the sugar plantation
gangs, and from the railroad gang, stood around in sullen enjoyment of
the situation. Aboard ship we of the crew were circumspect, but our
appreciation of the situation was keen.

"What's this?" A smart looking chap in a suit of khaki, and wearing a
panama hat, stepped out of the office on the dock. He was sun browned
and efficient; springy in his movements, a natural commander of men.

"_Pau_ ---- ---- ----!" cried a dark skinned perspiring stevy, pointing
at the mate, and sending forth another shower of island rhetoric. The
gang foreman of the shore crowd was explaining, brown face shining and
eyes flashing black and white.

"All right! I'll see about it." The railroad superintendent climbed
aboard and took Mr. Zerk aft, out of earshot, where they got things
settled. Then the superintendent went back on the dock, the gang
foreman got an earful of second hand apologies, explanations and
promises. Important details of same were passed on to independent
Kanaka citizens by their boss, and the steam winch started as the
shirts again were slipped off of the silky brown backs of the workers.
We are off. The first sling of sugar bags shot over the bulwark and
landed on the platform abreast the hatch and four Kanakas started
sending it down the chutes like lightning. Bing! Another sling dripped
on the platform, and down it went. The action became automatic, the
brown bodies swayed rapidly, surely, and on the wharf we heard them
shouting as the Jap coolies inched along another car with their crow
bars. I was stationed at a point where two chutes met at an angle, and
the yellow bags passed me in rapid succession, slapping the chute with
a smart patter as they jumped the corner. Soon the whole thing became
a matter of easy routine. This was living! What an easy job! The dusky
gang below, working in the half light of the hold, and assisted by the
crew, were placing a bottom layer of sugar bags and forward stacking
and stepping back the tiers, "boulking" it, as sailors say, for the
ends of the hold to be kept clear.

The Hawaiian sugar is only partly refined, and of a dull golden color
when the sun strikes it. It is largely granular, the particles being
almost the size of a small pea. The sacks, made of gunny, are stamped
with the names of the various plantations; Ewa, Laie, Halawa, Holua
Loa, Kilauea, Makee, Wailuku, and a dozen others, all of them the
mystic symbols spelling wealth to their fortunate owners.

They weigh in the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty pounds of the
limpest, deadest, weight in the world and without decent "ears" at the
end of the sack to afford a hold. Frequently a sack would break, and we
would help ourselves to the sugar. The taste is pleasant at first, and
we were remarkably liberal in our indulgence, perhaps no more so than a
crew of girls would be if they were loading a cargo of chocolate creams.

The sugar as it comes from the island refineries is about twice as
sweet as the white granulated article. To a crowd accustomed to
black jack molasses as a sweetener for their coffee, the sugar was a
wonderful delicacy, for a time. Soon we became cloyed with the taste,
and for weeks after my first gorging of sweets, I took my coffee and
tea without it, though we always had a small keg of the stuff on hand
forward during the remainder of the voyage. The sweet overpowering
smell of the sugar soon permeated the ship, and in the heat of midday,
became nauseating to us who were not used to it.

The Kanaka workers, splendid specimens, would toss the heavy sacks with
apparent ease, the muscles rippling under their smooth skins as they
worked. The greatest good feeling prevailed in the hold, and the men
constantly referred to our mate amid sallies of laughter for it was
considered a great victory for them when the superintendent smoothed
matters out.

On deck, at the hatch, and on the wharf, the tally men checked the
loading of every sling and bag of sugar that went into the hold. The
plantation, the railroad, and the ship's agents had their independent
checkers. These chaps, mostly sedate older men, well educated,
apparently well paid, kept the neatest tally books I have ever seen.
They made the cleanest little marks with very sharp pencils, which
they were always sharpening with very sharp pen knives; little marks
four in a row, and a cross for every fifth bag. Before the end of each
day's loading these very independent tally men would get together under
the fo'c'sle head, or behind a convenient freight car on the dock,
and reconcile all differences, thus proving themselves brothers under
their skins to independent folk in higher stations. Years afterward,
I recognized some of these same tally men, still at the job of making
very neat little marks and crosses, an easy job no doubt and well worth
while if it contributed toward the upkeep of a happy family; most of
them looked like settled benedicts.

As we cleaned out the warehouse, the sugar began to come in on the
railroad and was slung right aboard from the cars, the Japs sending
the loaded cars along by pushing, getting them started by short crow
bars, used as levers under the wheels. These Japs were a husky lot
with very able bodies, small heads, black cropped hair, often wound
with a red or white head band. Most of them had dazzling white teeth
which they constantly exposed by expansive grins; altogether they were
a testimonial to a rice and fish diet, so far as physical wellbeing is

The days at the sugar wharf were among the most pleasant of our stay
in Honolulu, and like all good things they raced away with disquieting
swiftness. Having lighter duties to perform, we were not so dog tired
at night and enjoyed our leisure that much more. Peter continued to
make progress with the native population and on one eventful night was
presented with a large jug of swipes, as a token of esteem.

Brenden, Axel and I were up on Nuuanu Street, in the vicinity of
Merchant, watching the shifting crowds as we wandered aimlessly about.
Presently we spied Peter, coming toward us, carrying his jug. The
street was fairly crowded, and going ahead of us, toward Peter, was
a one-legged man; a pugnacious individual who brought down his iron
shod peg with loud determination. The wooden leg yawed badly, sailing
at least three sheets in the wind, and the flag sidewalk was none too
wide for him. Coming up to Peter, he lurched suddenly to port, taking
our shipmate squarely on the bow, and the three of them, all carrying
cargo, Peter, the Peg Leg, and the Jug of Swipes, rolled into the dusty

A fight started right there. The Peg, to give him a proper name,
attacking, and Peter defending himself from the strange fury of the
indignant cripple.

"Separate 'em! Don't you see the man's got only one leg?"

"Hi! The bloat wi' the wooden pin is fightin'! Blarst 'im!--look at
'im!" Sailors, beach combers, natives, and Orientals were gathering and
taking voice.

We closed to render assistance as the crowd formed under the circle
of light from a street lamp. The two combatants sat back in the gutter
after a second exchange, both having fought sitting down.

"What are we fighting for?" cried Peter, covered with dirt and sweat.

"I dunno," admitted the stunned Peg.

"To hell with this, let's quit!"

"Naw. I wanna fight!" Peg was getting back his belligerent wind. "Wash
in that jug?" he demanded, seeing the prize.

"Swipes!" cried Peter, trying to retrieve the jug.

"Lesh fight fer swipsh. Al ri! Fight fer swipsh!" he screamed with

The Peg made another lunge at Peter, as our boy jumped up with
surprising energy, and we grabbed our shipmate and hauled him out of
the crowd of riff raff that was rapidly increasing. Some blue-jackets
from the _Bennington_ came up, scenting fun, and Axel was just in time
to beat them to the jug of swipes that lay neglected in the dust. He
passed this to a Kanaka standing near, a boy we recognized as one of
the loading gang, who rapidly departed with his unexpected present,
while we hurried off with Peter in the direction of Fort Street. What
became of Peg is unknown. On Fort Street we were attracted by the
melody of Salvation Army music, and to wind up the night, watched our
famous Jimmy rouse things up in his new uniform, his chest expanding
visibly as he ignored us and pounded his drum with added zest.

On nights such as this, warm and sultry, when the trade wind was not
over strong, the smell from the Chinese and Japanese stores would come
out into the streets with added intensity. The Chinese merchants, in
the shadow of their open front stores, would entertain their families
and friends of an evening with interminable jabberings that must
have been mighty interesting to them. I used to wonder what these
industrious law abiding citizens found to talk about; now I realize
that, except to those who were blind or deaf, the Honolulu nights could
hardly be long enough for them to discuss half of the peculiar doings
of the daffy white people residing in that busy little town, in those
stirring days of the Republic.

To a foremast hand, a common sailor in the fo'c'sle of a deepwaterman,
the point of view is almost on a level with that of the perpetually
unassimilated Oriental. The sailor sees, he hears, and if he is gifted
with brains that think, he must needs wonder at the strange ways of
folks who dress themselves so well, who live on the most appetizing
foods, perform very little hard work, and who do themselves to the
height of their ability. That we had a few philosophers among the crowd
forward goes without saying; men who had lived, and who had had their
fling, and for all I know to the contrary are having it again. I wager
Hitchen, if not killed by this time, has mounted to more enlightened
planes; perhaps back to a station from which he temporarily stepped
down to sign articles in the ship _A. J. Fuller_ for the voyage around
Cape Horn.

We did a lot of swapping of books and magazines among the craft in the
harbor. The poor starved crowd from the _British Monarch_ were first
over the side with bundles of old magazines, paper covered novels,
and mind destroying sheets called "Tit Bits," and "Snappy Bits,"
periodicals of a peculiar type. After reading one of them for an hour
(and the funny part is you keep on reading and reading), it is a sort
of mental dope, nothing remains but a vague idea of a lot of short
paragraphs full of piffle.

We got a number of Clark Russell stories in this exchange, though we
really had little to give in return. All hands read these yarns and
while there was much grumbling about "too much skirt," the sailor was

Hitchen and Old Smith were the best read among the crowd, with
Australia a close second; leaving out of course that biblical student,
the dear departed Jimmy. Frenchy also was entitled to a place among
the intellectuals of the fo'c'sle; he read Voltaire, had several
copies of his works in the original, as well as shopworn copies of
Les Miserables, and the Toilers of the Sea. Frenchy read English with
difficulty. Axel also was handicapped in literary discussions by his
lack of English though he waded through books in that language, having
been taught it at school; of course he spoke English well, as indeed
all did, barring a bit of slack here and there, that merely served to
give the fo'c'sle individuality.

One thing I will always remember with a great deal of pleasure is the
fact that Axel was the first one to give me a definite story of the
Andree North Pole Expedition, he having tried for, and almost succeeded
in going along. A university professor took the place he wanted at the
last moment, the scholar going to perform the duties of a common jack
in order to be with Andree. I recall the fo'c'sle discussion of this
ill fated venture, the final outcome of which was still in doubt. I
felt at that time that Andree had a good chance to accomplish his end,
and I still think so; the luck simply ran against him. Nine years later
it was to be my fortune to have a part in a similar expedition under
Wellman, except that a dirigible balloon, of which I was navigator,
was employed. We were more fortunate in so far as we got back. Andree,
Strindberg, and Fraenkel were not fools as some think, but fearless
scientists who took a legitimate chance to explore the unknown polar
regions; fate was against them, but even so, they have left the memory
of a brave deed inscribed on the bright scroll of Swedish honor.

Old Smith had a dog-eared copy of Marcus Aurelius that had served its
noble duty in discussions with Jimmy Marshall, while the latter was
deep in the wisdom of King Solomon. I don't know what Brenden read,
but he was a great letter writer, and often received mail. When taking
pictures one day, Brenden asked me to take a picture of him reading a
letter from his girl Hilda. The Letters of One Brenden, Able Seaman
on the ship _A. J. Fuller_, would certainly make quaint reading,
could they be got at and translated, for Brenden conducted his
correspondence in German.


Mike, and Martin and Fred were mere fillers in. Beef on a rope, and
able eaters, they remain as memories, indistinct and still quite clear;
they never succeeded in making an impression on the life of the ship
but were the background of that distant time, seldom saying anything
that was listened to. Of Tommy, or the more dignified Tom, we will
learn more later on. He was a man with a past, and I hope a future,
for he certainly earned the right to a very bright one while on the
_Fuller_; that future, however, did not lie on the sea. As high admiral
of a pickle barge and fleet commander of a whole flotilla of shelf
jugs full of vinegar and preserved edibles, in his own delicatessen
store, he may have risen to success.

Scouse never read anything; he was too busy thinking, and as he did
less and less talking as the voyage lengthened, we concluded he must be
a very deep fellow. Scouse had points, and I have no doubt after all
the hazing afloat and skinning ashore, he learned and digested lessons
of the utmost value.

Peter, of whom so much has been said and so little told, was in a
way the most interesting character on board. He was, and no doubt
still is, one of the most generous souls alive. If he is rich, it is
certainly for no lack of a wild desire to share his last cent with any
unfortunate that might cross his path. Peter started to sea in deep
water sail for reasons that do him credit. He saw a way to recoup his
health and at the same time bring to a conclusion an intense amour that
seemed to lead directly to an early grave. He shipped on the _Fuller_,
leaving a large wash behind in the tender care of his sweetheart. No
boarding master captured part of his advance, and for a week afterward
at least, so Peter said, two coffee pots must have stood on a certain
N. Y. kitchen window, as a signal that his laundry was ready to be
taken away. The lady's husband was a night clerk in the post office.

The career of Peter would serve as a theme for a first class
psychological novel with the plots of half a dozen red-hot problem
plays added by way of good measure. He started life with the curse of
good looks, of the romantic type, dark and interesting, his rather long
silky locks, curled slightly, and his regular features were classic.
Deep brown eyes, and a very fine, rich voice completed his downfall.
As reporter on a country paper, Peter told us how he would write up
the stories of the socialist meetings, by sending a boy around to the
local hall to see if the lights were lit. His adventures as foreman
in a corset factory, as cadet in the American Line, and as a social
worker in the humble ranks of those who uplift the sailor ashore, were
chapters in the start of a busy life.



As the hold began to fill up, the top of the sugar was brought inboard
from the wings to an apex, and the lower cargo space not quite filled.
The 'tween deck was then loaded in order to carry the dead weight
sufficiently high to prevent the ship from being stiff; to make her
more "sea kindly" as sailors say. Theoretical questions of metacentric
height, of the center of buoyancy, and their relation to stability
never bothered the captain or Mr. Zerk. But as the loading progressed
they paid a lot of attention to her trim and in the placement of the
last part of the cargo, the mate assumed complete charge. The _Fuller_
sailed best trimmed a few feet by the stern, but in the final loading
this extra depth aft was cut down to a single foot as a matter of
experiment, the mean draft loaded being seventeen feet eight inches,
giving her the usual freeboard of about four feet or three inches to
every foot of draft, according to the old rule. Draft is shown by
figures cut into the stem and stern post; these are six inches high and
the figure rests on the mark it indicates.

In addition to the sugar from the railroad, we had steamers of the
inter-island trade come along side and discharge their cargoes right
onto our deck. These craft have been touched upon before. The _Mauna
Loa_, one of the largest at that time, was quite a passenger carrier.
As I think of the inter-island steamers they always appear to have been
somewhat out of drawing, when compared with the beautiful sailers of
those days.

During the final week of loading, when we had closed the 'tween deck
hatches to the lower hold and were putting down the finishing tiers of
cargo, we paid our last visits ashore. I bid "good-bye" to Mr. McInerny
and the good friends I had made, both in society and out. We went over
to the _British Monarch_, Hitchen and I, for a last visit. The mates
had a bit of a "blow" for us, hot toddy, which tasted right in spite of
the warm weather, cigars, and some Huntley and Palmer biscuits broken
out of their stores for this special occasion. Of course we promised
to write, and never did, and Mr. Gore gave me an old copy of Raper, he
having two of them, as a parting gift. To Hitchen he gave a tin of
navy cut that had been sent out to him from England. They were hoping
for word of a charter to be on their way, and thought they might load
sugar for New York, when we planned to meet again as sailors sometimes

[Illustration: Jack Hitchen]

With what little change we had left, we laid in a few stores for the
voyage home, a few bunches of bananas, odds and ends of clothing, and
the like. I purchased a pair of mittens, after a search in that tropic
city, as mine had worn out in hauling at the gear. The most startling
addition to our life forward was a green parrot that Frenchy brought
aboard, having swapped him at the Union saloon for a small brig,
rigged in a bay rum bottle. This brig had been a long time making, and
Frenchy only let go of it when he was assured of a prize. The bird,
hailing from God knows where, as I don't believe they are native to the
islands, was to be a present to his sister Madeleine. Frenchy named
him Jaques, at once vulgarized to common Jake, and he was hung in his
wooden cage under the fo'c'sle head.

Just before hauling into the stream, Captain Nichols shipped three
Kanakas to take the places left vacant by Mr. Stoddard, Jimmy, and
Joe. This made it certain that someone from the crew would be taken
aft as second mate. The Kanakas were a rare assortment. Kahemuku, a
lanky, poetical looking fellow with long hair and dreamy eyes, hailed
from Tahiti. The two others, both of them short and somewhat stout,
were from Honolulu and should have known better than to ship around
the Horn. John Aahee was assigned to the starboard watch; he was clean
shaven and dull, a poor devil who merely existed after we got to sea.
Black Joe, so the mate called him, since his name was beyond ordinary
understanding, was fully whiskered with a bunch of fuzz that looked
like the stuffing of an old hair mattress. Joe had a peculiar idea
about the relation between officers and men, and never could get this
straightened out. Black Joe and Kahemuku were assigned to the port
watch to take the place of Jimmy and Joe.

Some of the men thought that I would be called aft as second mate.
Ambitious as I was for preferment, I realized that the billet would be
about the worst thing that could happen to me. Whatever the captain
may have thought about it, the mate was against me, as we remained at
loggerheads while I visited with my "dude friends," which I did at
intervals as long as we were in port.

Old Smith was the logical candidate for the job, and the mate wanted
him. Others were like Barkis, but the strange part was that the real
sailors in the crew, the men who knew enough to stand a watch at sea
and work the ship, were the most anxious to side step the honor.

Having loaded our sugar, the chutes were sent ashore, and we again
hauled out into the stream, this time for good. We at once battened
down the hatches, putting on triple tarpaulins, and, having taken
down the cargo pendants, we again rove the seagoing running gear;
after a day of scrubbing, during which the spars were washed clean of
dust, we then began to bend sail. This took us the greater part of
two days while we sent aloft the fine weather canvas. Then followed
another general washing down and cleaning over the side, and the ship
_A. J. Fuller_ looked herself again. Loaded to her deep sea trim,
with yards squared to a hair and canvas furled with a harbor stow, we
were as flash a ship as ever hailed from the port of New York--clean,
and seamanlike in every detail. Fancy manropes were got out for the
gangways, the galley smoke stack was given a coat of black paint,
making "Charlie Noble," as this piece of humble but necessary sea
furniture is called, as sporty as any part of the old girl.

In the meantime, while our busy little ship world revolved within its
restricted orbit, events of historic importance were happening in the
great arena beyond the seas. Dewey had captured Manila and the first
troops to go out from the United States were expected in Honolulu, en
route to the Philippines. Preparations to welcome them of a gigantic
nature were carried out by the enthusiastic citizens of Honolulu,
the American element being in the ascendant. A tremendous flag was
got ready, to be raised over the railroad wharf, and huge stores of
sandwiches were made and held in readiness for the soldiers. Also
every barrel and bottle of beer in the place was put on ice against
an emergency. The citizens were determined that hunger should not
outflank the U. S. forces, if by any means it could be prevented, nor
was old General Thirst to be allowed to down a single man. It was also
decided that U. S. legal tender was not to be accepted when offered for
refreshment by a man wearing the uniform of Uncle Sam, showing how war
fever (for a time) upsets the commercial mind.

The transports _City of Pekin_, _City of Sydney_, and _Australia_,
came into the harbor on June first carrying twenty-two hundred troops.
These vessels were under convoy of the U. S. S. _Charleston_. The day
was a gala one and in the midst of the excitement we received our
orders to sail for Delaware Breakwater. This came as a surprise as we
expected to be sent to Frisco because of the possibility of our being
picked up by a Spaniard in view of the uncertain state of affairs in
the Atlantic. We were then in the stream, wistful gazers at the harbor
activities and the glimpses of great times ashore afforded by the pier
heads and the esplanade.

With the coming of our orders, Captain Nichols sent out such fresh
provisions as deep water ships usually take to sea with them. A potato
bin had been constructed under the fo'c'sle head in a place that
would be fairly dry and having a good circulation of air. Into this
we put about a ton of the tubers. Some fresh meat was sent aboard,
and a few bunches of bananas strung in the after wheel house for the
cabin mess. A number of our men had been offered billets on coasters,
and this was specially so during the last few weeks of our loading.
The pay day of close to fifty dollars already on the books, and the
prospect of landing in New York with almost eighty dollars added
to it, was a prospect hard to leave, especially since the plans for
great futures depended absolutely upon these prospective nest eggs.
The fact, however, was that we were a well selected crowd and liked to
sail together. The captain was absolutely square and the mate was a
sailor from his toes to his truck; we were too much accustomed to the
routine on the _Fuller_ to want to change. As far as I was concerned,
I was happy to remain on board and work back around old Cape Stiff
again. Mr. McInerny had offered to have me released from the articles
and wanted me to take up my residence in the islands, telling me of the
many advantages, much after the manner of Robinson Crusoe's old father,
when that wilful lad determined upon the sea as a career. I, too, had
old Crusoe's trouble pretty well soaked into my system. I was really an
enthusiast about going to sea, in spite of the hard knocks, so I made
up my mind to complete the voyage.

On Sunday, five days before we sailed, the captain called Old Smith aft
and formally offered him the billet as second mate. Old Smith refused
to move out of the fo'c'sle, and came forward with a fat cigar in his
teeth, saying, "The skipper's all right. He sure is all right."

After that we were too busy to think anything more of the vexed
problem, being horsed about at bending sail and preparing for sea. On
the eve of our departure we were sitting on the fo'c'sle head watching
the crowded harbor, the comings and goings from the men o' war and
transports, and listening to the bugle calls. We had washed up after
the day's work, and the mess cooks had gone to the galley for the kids.

"We'll sleep our last night in, tonight," ventured Frenchy, as we
perched on the heel of the starboard cathead. It was a thought that
came to all of us.

"Grub O!" called Fred from the space about the fore pin rail, where
both watches ate together while in port. We sat around the kids, under
the tall gear of the foremast rising overhead, the faint peppering of
stars showing between the yards as we began our supper.

"Here comes the mate," said Martin, who was perched on the short ladder
leading to the fo'c'sle head, from the port side of the house.

"Wot of it, let him come."

Presently Mr. Zerk stood in the gangway looking at us, he bulked big,
and smoked a strong cigar. This was the first time he had ever intruded
upon our meals during our stay in port.

"Where's the second mate?" he asked pleasantly.

Most of us looked around anxiously, half expecting the old second mate
would bob up from some dark corner.

"Come on, where is he?" The mate was evidently enjoying his little
game. "Where is he now?" came the question again, but in a sharp tone
such as we usually associated with coming trouble. "Come on, where is
he?" Suddenly he started to laugh; of course we all joined him in a
sort of nervous chorus.

"Ho, there he is hiding behind the kid! Our new second mate, Mr.
Morstad! _Well, well, well!_" and this is how Tommy, most unexpected of
candidates, became Mr. Morstad, second mate of the ship _A. J. Fuller_.

"Lay aft," said the mate, as he turned to go, "the steward has your
dinner ready, and don't forget to bring your napkin."

Tommy was choking with astonishment, speechless, and miserable. None of
us laughed at the last cruel thrust; in fact we felt sorry for Tommy,
but as soon as we saw him stop eating the fo'c'sle grub, with the quick
perception that better things awaited him aft, a lively discussion

"Call him _Mr. Morstad_!" thundered Australia. "I won't have no
disrespect here just because _Mr. Morstad_ ain't had the bringin' up
you an' me has. No, sir, I have some respect for the officers of this
ship, I have."

There was a lot more in a similar vein. Volunteers offered to carry his
chest aft, and did every thing but lift it, poor Tommy having to drag
it along the deck until he got to the waist, when Chips came out of
his den and helped him the rest of the way. It was dark then, and the
gong for the second cabin table no doubt compensated Tommy for all the
tortures of his departure.

"I'm damn glad he ain't in my watch," said Brenden, and all of us to
port felt the same way. Before Tommy had time to adjust himself to his
new condition, the kicking started to starboard.

In this particular episode of the voyage Mr. Zerk departed as far
from the traditions of the sea as it was possible for him to go. The
next morning, as we got under way to sea, Captain Nichols made it a
point to show public respect to the new second officer. It was "Mr.
Morstad, this," and "How do you head, _sir_?" all of which pleased Tom
immensely, and was the right and proper thing to do.



  And we're off to Mother Carey
  (Walk her down to Mother Carey!)
  Oh, we're bound for Mother Carey where she feeds her chicks at sea!


Bare feet, gripping the cool deck of the fo'c'sle head, still wet with
the washdown, pattered in rhythmic circles to the music of the pawls,
sounding over the early morning stillness of Honolulu Harbor. We were
heaving up the anchor, having already taken in our quarter moorings.
The pilot was aboard; Captain Nichols stumped the poop with his
characteristic jerky stride, all business; second mate Tom was aloft
with a half dozen hands, and the pleasant swish of falling canvas,
and the rattle of blocks and running gear, sounded above as they cast
off the long sea gaskets. About us in the harbor the men o' war and
transports lay silent to their moorings, sleeping off the effect of a
day and night of revelry ashore. Mr. Zerk stood out over the bow on
the port cathead, his hand on the catfall, as he leaned far over.

"Five fathom shackle at the water!" he sung out.

"All right! Bring her short!" came the order from the poop.

"Aye, aye, sir! Walk her up, up, boys! Walk her up, _and wake her up_."

Old Smith got the tune and presently the dirge of an anchor chantey
echoed across the water as we bent our weight against the capstan bars.

    "Paddy come back and turn in your slack,
     Heave round the capstan, heave a pawl, heave a pawl.
     We're leavin' Honolulu girls, and never will come back,
     Heave round the capstan, heave a pawl, heave a pawl.
     An' happy days all lie behind, good-bye to swipes and rum,
     Heave round the capstan, heave a pawl, heave a pawl."

"Short stay, sir!" bawled the mate, and we stopped our song. The faint
echo of a cheer wafted across the harbor; we recognized the hail from
our friends on the _British Monarch_, watching to see us off.

"Break her out, sir!" answered the captain, sending his voice along
the length of the ship in sharp, snappy syllables.

"Aye, aye, sir!"

At "_short stay_," I was ordered to the wheel and as I slipped the
spokes from the beckets, the crowd at the bars again put their beef to
the cable, and the anchor left bottom. The tug fastened to our quarter
got her signal from the pilot; we heard the jangle of bells in her
engine room; we commenced to move.

"Hard a port!" ordered the pilot.

"Hard over, sir!"

"Steady so! Steady so!" We were heading toward the old marine railway,
the line of the Esplanade having swung under the jib guys with
remarkable swiftness, as I turned the wheel to meet her.

"Port handsomely!" I gave her wheel. "Port, I say! _Hard a port!_"

"Hard a port, sir!" Again the shore shot past her bow, and then the
blue water of the harbor mouth lay fair ahead.

"Steady! Starb'd a point! Steady so!"

We were pointing out through the narrow entrance of Honolulu Harbor.
Forward they had hooked the cat and the fall was brought "_two
blocks_" while the great hook hung upright, dripping the slimy harbor

The mate then assumed charge of the deck, sheeting home and hoisting
away as fast as the men could man the ropes. A light off shore breeze
on the port quarter bellied out the canvas. The buoys, barrel buoy
to starboard, spar buoy to port, slipped past us. Presently the tug
started to drag her head to port, as the ship's way increased, and I
had to give her wheel to meet her.

"Guess we are all right now, Pilot."

"All right, Captain. All clear ahead and plenty of water from here to
the Horn. Good luck and a quick passage."

They shook hands, the pilot waved a farewell to the mate down in the
waist, then jumped onto the wheel house of the tug from our mizzen
channels. A few squeaky toots by way of a salute as she cast off, and
the tug swung sharply about and headed back to port; the last link
binding us to Honolulu had been severed.

At eight bells, breakfast time, I was relieved and, on my way forward,
I stopped for a parting glance back at Honolulu. What was my surprise
when I found it well down on the horizon, the Island of Oahu stretching
a mere blur of bluish green across our wake. A lump rose in my throat
for I did wish to have another look at that fair city of dreams, but it
was already a thing of the hazy past; a figment of memory; the port of
phantasmagoria; a jumble of many colored people, of smells, of music;
of green and restful bowers, of feverish energy and of indolence, of
days of dirty, sweaty labor, and of nights of romantic adventures. And
what of Jimmy Marshall, I wondered, left behind with his uniform and

Yes, we were out to sea again, the cool breeze wafting us along, out
on the restless ocean as before, months and months ago too numerous to
remember, when we sailed to the eastward with the Navesink Highlands
dropping far behind us in the sunset. Now the only difference was the
fact that the Island of Captain Cook, the first port of Stevenson on
his retirement to the Pacific, and that vivid stage upon which Father
Damien lived and died, was fading away far to the north.

At breakfast we again separated into watches but with orders to turn to
again, as the first day was to be one of "all hands." We were glad to
a man that the homeward passage had commenced. The drop in temperature
put snap into us and Australia celebrated our departure by tearing
down the dingy mosquito bar triced above his bunk. He balled this up
and hove it over the side with the remark, "Here goes me night cage;
good-bye forever."

The breeze was blowing strong, a splendid northeast trade, and the
smooth sea made our progress something very cheering. At two bells I
was called aft and, with Brenden and Frenchy, helped heave the log chip
under direction of Captain Nichols.

The log line, soaked with water, was wound on a large reel. Brenden
stood on one side of the wheel house and held this over his head, each
hand gripping a handle of the reel as he faced squarely aft. He was far
enough forward from the taffrail so we could tend the line. The log
chip, a small quadrant of wood weighted on its circular side to make it
swim upright in the water, was attached to the line by a triple bridle,
the two parts from the ends of the circle being seized to a small
wooden plug that fitted snugly to a wooden socket seized to the part
of the log line running from the apex of the chip. This arrangement
holds the chip upright and perpendicular to the direction of the log
line; when the line is given a sharp jerk, the plug disengages, the
chip capsizes, and can be easily hauled aboard. It is really a sort of
miniature sea anchor.

Captain Nichols stood by with the sand glass. Frenchy was told to cast
the chip overboard, while I stood at the rail to see the line run
clear. Twenty fathoms of the "stray line" went over first, the end
being marked by a piece of red bunting. As this ran over the taffrail
the skipper called out "Turn," at the same time turning the glass
himself. He was greatly pleased with the whole proceeding and danced
around much after the manner of a small boy with a new kite. The sand
glass was a twenty-eight second one, and the captain had dried it out
in the galley that morning and then compared it with his chronometer.

The line was tearing over the rail like wild and as the captain called,
"Up!" Frenchy grabbed the line.

Examining the line we found we were making 10.2 knots.

At the time of shouting "Up!" Captain Nichols stepped over to the Bliss
taffrail log trailing on the weather quarter and noted the dial. An
hour later we again hove the old-fashioned log and checked our reading
on the patent log. For the information of landsmen, it may be well
to say that a knot on the log line--and here is where the term comes
from--is a distance of forty-seven feet, four inches (for a 28-second
glass), the same proportional part of a sea mile or "knot" of 6,080
feet that 28 seconds is of an hour. The different knots along the line
are distinguished by fish line tucked into the strands and a knot cast
for each mark away from the start. Tenths are estimated, the length
between knots being divided by shreds of white bunting into five parts.
If sailing fast, as we were, a _short glass_ is sometimes used; this
registers fourteen seconds and the readings on the log line must be
doubled. In passing it may be well to mention that the old-fashioned
log chip, where speeds are not over, say fifteen knots, is the most
reliable method of measurement of rate of speed through the roster ever
devised. Also, the fact that the sea mile or "knot" is six thousand
and eighty feet, and not five thousand two hundred and eighty feet as
ashore, is due to the fact that in navigating a ship over the sea it is
necessary to have a standard of measurement bearing a simple relation
to the size and shape of the earth. One sea mile is the length of one
minute of arc measured on the meridian, 6,080 feet. This is the mean
value, for, owing to the flattening at the poles, the minute of arc
varies slightly from the poles to the equator.

Ten knots and over is fair going for any sailer, and extra fine for
trade wind sailing. Our hopes for a quick passage were high. The water
boiled past us in a smother of swishing foam, a cheerful chatter when
homeward bound, while aloft every inch of sail was doing its full duty.
Before noon we got the anchor scrubbed clean and at once unshackled the
cables and sent them below, bowsing the jackasses into the hawse pipes,
as on the passage out. Both bower anchors were then secured inboard and
lashed to heavy ring bolts on the fo'c'sle head, the cat and fish falls
were unrove, stopped up and stowed below.

We put in the afternoon rousing up this rope and that, tautening every
stitch of canvas to its full extent. Our new second mate was given his
first lessons in the handling of a watch at sea, and did well enough,
considering the fact that Chief Mate Zerk kept the center of the stage,
as was his habit whenever anything transpired on the deck. At four
bells the starboard watch went below, and we stood the first dog watch.
In the second dog watch we sat around yarning, still being too full
of rational rest to seek our bunks. We watched Tommy handle things
alone--but for all that Captain Nichols was always to be seen far aft,
stumping the poop, and keeping a mighty watchful eye on the progress of
events. During the night watches he was particularly in evidence. Tommy
gained confidence faster than he did experience and assumed a certain
air of superiority that was galling to his former watchmates. Old Smith
was the one to carry things along by setting a correct example to the
men. Often when Tom did not know just what to do, Old Smith would start
things by jumping to the proper rope and the order would tally along
afterward. On the other hand, things got so that when Tom gave the
wrong orders the watch would disregard them and do what they thought
was right. Old Smith, Hitchen, Axel and Charlie Horse knew as much
about sailing as any second mate, and the result was not disastrous,
although at times a trifle ragged.

The captain shaped a course due south, magnetic, running along the
meridian of one hundred and fifty-eight degrees west from Greenwich.
This carried us to the eastward of Karatoo Island and we then put more
easting in the course and sailed past the Walker Islands, crossing the
equator when five days out from Honolulu; a fair bit of travelling
for a vessel of the latter sailing ship days. Here the trades failed
us and again we were to wallow in the stagnant latitudes that try
the spirit and vex the soul. But the ship's company forward were in
excellent humor and anything but sea weary. We employed the time below,
not given over to sleeping, in sewing our much worn clothing, in
scrubbing clothes, an art in which we were expert, and in yarning about
the times gone by.

As the days spread into weeks we thought more and more of the times to
come, and of course discussed them at great length. Much of our mental
intercourse had a hopeful, speculative trend. Being wholly human and
with all the weaknesses that sailor flesh abounds in, it is not to be
wondered at if the ambitions of that voyage never fully materialized;
judging by my own, I can say they did not. I wanted to command another
such ship as the _Fuller_, to stump to windward and set the course,
to have all night in, and eat delicious viands at the cabin table.
Stranger fate was to await me before I cast my anchor in the fair cove
called home, with kids to crawl upon my knee and call me "Dadda," and a
wife to remind me now and then that I am not captain here.



"Damn these rotten oilskins. By ---- what's this?" "Oh, _hell_!" It was
black as a pocket on deck and a sudden douse of rain sent us scrambling
for our oil clothing. "Damn it I'm lousy, sure as you're born. Ugh!"
and similar forceful if inelegant expressions punctuated the night as
we struggled into these smelly, sticky rags. They were as paper to the
rain; we were wet before we knew it. In the pockets and in every fold
millions of cockroaches, whole nations of them, debouched upon the
streaming decks. Some of us stole forward and in the light from the
fo'c'sle examined things. On the fo'c'sle deck, where we had knocked
them in hastily, unhooking the oiled clothing from the bulkhead behind
the water butt, were several regiments of roaches.

During our two months in Honolulu we had never used oilskins,
and, sailor-like, left them hang. In the warm atmosphere the bugs
multiplied amid luxurious surroundings with unlimited supplies of
delicious linseed-oil to thrive upon. Fortunately we were in the
tropics and a wet back did not matter, especially as we always doused
ourselves with a bucket of salt water after a wetting by rain, a sure
way to prevent colds. As for the evicted roaches, they were no doubt
as mad as we were. In the next fine spell we rubbed our oilskins
with fresh mixtures of raw oil and a little melted beeswax from the
sailmaker's stores.

The first job of any magnitude started, after leaving port, was to
scrape all bright work, that is, all varnished woodwork, masts and
light spars. We then rubbed them down with boiled linseed-oil. This
work was done from bo'sun's chairs, using pieces of broken glass as
scrapers. The fine shavings fluttered into every crook and corner of
the ship, lodging in the coils of rope and providing a constant job of
cleaning while the work was under way. Scouse was again elected to the
drudgery, but in this instance he became a man of some importance, for
Kahemuku and Black Joe were assigned to work with him. He jollied them
in a rough, uncouth way and they sat at his feet in respectful worship.
They were permanently constituted the knockabout gang of our watch and
cleaned out the head every other morning when we were on deck for the
washdown. Getting up coal for the galley of a Sunday morning was one
of their regular jobs, and after the washdown they were the boys who
handled the big deck swabs while the rest of us got the gear off the
pins and stowed the washdeck utensils.

As for myself, a change had come over the mate, or I too would have
been of this crowd. Our relations were fairly cordial again, becoming
increasingly so when I loaned him copies of "Midshipman Easy" and
"Commodore Junk," books given me by my father when I left home.

Of the three Kanakas we had the prize winner in Black Joe. In the first
place Black Joe never said "sir" to an officer, but he applied this
mark of distinction to every hand forward. At first some of the boys
wanted to make Black Joe permanent messman of the watch. He was willing
enough, for he knew nothing about a ship and felt his shortcomings and
wanted to help out.

"Be fair with him. How would you like that job regular?" Frenchy put in
the good word and we decided that Black Joe was to get a square deal
forward anyhow.

His failure to properly respond to orders from aft caused a lot of
suppressed amusement. The mate bawled him unmercifully but to no
purpose, for Black Joe simply had things set in his mind and there was
no changing him. Finally, the mate worked out a satisfactory solution
of the problem, so far as he was concerned, though Black Joe could
hardly be termed a third-rate success as a sailor.

"Here you! Fred, take that baboon and loose the fore upper tops'l!"
was his method of horsing him. In working the gear on deck he would
shout, "Get that Kanaka coon and hook him on the lee fore brace!" In
working ship Black Joe was pushed and pulled from station to station.
He could not coil down a rope properly no matter how often the trick
was explained to him; every other time he would lay the gear down
left-handed as like as not. If he hitched a coil on the fife or pin
rails it was an even chance that a fid would be needed to get it down.
Black Joe was all thumbs and his slow mind worked backward. His best
performance was at the kids, but his table manners would have disgraced
him at a luau.

Kahemuku was of a different type. He was sentimental, a dreamer and
all for himself when aloft. The way he would strangle the stick when
out on a yard was a sight for the angels. His long arms were as good
as three turns of a sea gasket, and his bare feet would grip the foot
ropes with brown prehensile toes. Life was made more bearable for him
by the fact that he was constantly looking forward to a shining goal.

"Pilladelpia" was the burden of his song. He intended to see the great
city of "Pilladelpia" and asked interminable questions about it,
sitting on the edge of his bunk, a great dusky six footer, with the
wistful brown eyes of a trusting child. When told we would probably
go to New York, he would answer, "No, I wanna go Pilladelpia." Poor
Kahemuku, whatever became of you God only knows. You most certainly
never fell from aloft, but your passage around the Horn in the
Antarctic winter must have prepared you for any fate.

Sailors, like other mortals, are as jealous of their little rights
and privileges as any of us ashore. To stand a trick at the wheel in
regular turn, to see that everyone stood his lawful share of this duty,
was a strong incentive to silence on the part of those who were wise to
the fact that Kahemuku and Black Joe knew nothing about steering. They
could not box the compass, and in fact knew nothing about the action
of the helm or the use of the wheel.

Black Joe stood a trick nevertheless between Australia and Fred,
and Ivahemuku followed Fred and was relieved in turn by able seaman
Brenden. That these three worthies, Australia, Fred and Brenden, knew
about the Kanaka's lack of proficiency was proven by the fact that
they always passed the course over the head of the Kanaka to the man
following. For the first few days out of port the steering was easy.
The wind held on the port quarter and the sea was smooth. It also
happened that the blacks had their tricks during the day watches while
the captain slumbered. The mate, as was his custom, seldom bothered
with the course during the day, devoting all of his energy to directing
the work on deck.

On the third day out Australia went to the wheel in the first night
watch and at four bells Black Joe headed aft to assume complete charge
of the steering, being shunted on his way by watchful shipmates.
Presently a terrible commotion aloft startled us, we were brought by
the lee with a slamming and slatting like thunder. Mr. Zerk jumped to
the break of the poop and started to bawl orders.

"Hard up, hell_um_! Weather fore braces! _Lively there!_"

Everything was shaking, with the yards pointing into the wind, and the
ship started to roll. "How do you head?" There was no response. "How do
you head, _damn you_!"

Forward we were swinging the head yards, and she started to box off,
while aft a secondary commotion centered about the wheelhouse, with
Captain Nichols acting the part of Satan, in yellow silk pajamas, and
Black Joe performing duty as the Butt of All Evil.

"What are you steering?" roared the captain. "_Mr. Zerk!_" never had
we heard him so sharp before. The mate was already aft, and to change
the course of wrath, he grabbed Joe and tossed him headlong out on the
deck, holding the wheel himself while he added to the din. "Lay aft!
Lay aft, _a man!_" Frenchy responded. In a few more moments we were
back on the course again and the captain held a drumhead court at the
break of the poop.

"Keep those black monkeys forward," he ordered, "and don't let this
happen again. By God, sir, these waters are full of coral reefs, and I
have got to hold my course, sir," he added, turning to the mate.

The next morning the three Kanakas were mustered in the waist and the
captain found that none of them had the least idea about steering,
either by compass or by the wind. John Aahee of the starboard watch was
denser even than Joe. Later on these simple fellows made up for their
lack of steering by doing additional turns at the back-breaking bilge

After the generous way in which we lived in Honolulu, the return to sea
grub was sudden and disappointing. A week or so saw the end of fresh
provisions and we were back again on the salt horse of the passage out.
Lime-juice was given us at noon, and with the exception of spuds, we
were on the regulation lay. The tack was weevily, the tea even more
flavored with roach content than before, and the old drill of cracker
hash, slumgullion, salt horse, and pea soup, with occasional helpings
of applejack, or rare treats of Chow's gingerbread, carried us along.

About this time the parrot, Jake, came in for his share of attention.
Frenchy planned to take the bird home to Madeleine, and as his sister
would have no use for him otherwise, our careful shipmate guarded the
moral tone of the green bird with great care. He also made a screen of
ravensduck for the cage and was much worried over how the bird would
weather the cold in high southern latitudes. A month of this care on
the part of Frenchy was rewarded by the usual result in cases of that
kind, whether with dogs, birds, or children. Jake cut loose in a most
extraordinary manner, after one of his French lessons, and the outburst
would have been a credit to Mr. Zerk. Frenchy was grieved beyond all
hope of recovery and one and all we swore to our own innocence. The
upshot of it was that Frenchy lost interest in the parrot and the
profane Jake became a prime favorite with the crew forward. He was
really started on his downward path by Hitchen, of starboard, who took
him in hand while his master slept.

"Here comes the grub!" was one of his respectable parts of speech,
varied later on by "To hell with the grub," under the tutelage of

After crossing the line, and working our way through the doldrum belt
of daily showers, calms and baffling winds, we held a course that
carried us between the Marquesas and Tuamotu, or the Low Archipelago.
During this time we kept a special lookout at night and sighted several
islands, giving them a wide berth. We were instructed to keep our
eyes peeled for "white water" and had a number of false alarms. On a
dark night, in this region, the sea is particularly black, of a blue
blackness that defies description. The seas are very phosphorescent,
especially so under a cloudy sky, and the breaking of a number of
rollers leaves a white wake that is disturbing to a lookout on the edge
for breakers. One imagines that breakers are ahead every few minutes.

Light rain squalls and brilliant floods of sunshine alternating in
the neighborhood of the Marquesas resulted in our witnessing the most
remarkable phenomenon of the voyage. We lay becalmed late in the
afternoon of a humid hot day, odd jobs were going on all over the ship,
iron work was being chipped, service renewed, and Australia and Brenden
were rattling down, everyone being busy. Frenchy and I, for we usually
worked together at "nice" jobs, were cutting and fitting the canvas for
a new mast coat on the mizzen, the old one having cracked and started a
leak into the cabin. This was a job that required expert fitting and we
were all attention to the work. All hands were so occupied that we did
not notice the black rain squall that suddenly came upon us in a puff
of cold air. A few minutes of this, while we manned the weather main
and lee crojik, to get whatever push there was in it, was followed by
the sun breaking through more scorching than before, while the wind,
such as was left, was distinctly up and down. A beautiful rainbow
formed under the receding cloud, and then we saw that we were near an
island, close aboard off the starboard bow, while the rain pall drifted
rapidly to port. We came upon it with such suddenness that for a moment
most of us lost our heads.

"Hard starb'd!" shouted the skipper, and then there was a laugh on deck
in which he joined heartily. We were as stationary as the island except
for the little way upon us given by the passing rain squall. "Lay aloft
and take a look at that." Captain Nichols addressed Frenchy and me, and
we skinned up the mizzen while he went to the companion and took the
long glass from the rack. That land certainly looked strange!

When going over the top, I stopped. Frenchy was ahead of me and almost
at the crosstrees. He was looking around in a bewildered sort of a
way; he was glancing around the entire horizon, thinking the ship had
changed her head. I too looked all about but could see nothing.

"What do you make out?" called up the skipper.

"Nothing in sight, sir!"

"All right. Lay down!"

It was a fine mirage; a remarkably clear one. When we got to the deck
the "island" had assumed grotesque shapes: the green faded out and the
palm trees began to look like young waterspouts. Suddenly the whole
picture melted from view.



The mirage served as a subject for conversation during many succeeding
days and the captain warned us to be more than ever on the lookout for
islands. He seemed to take especial pains with his navigation, testing
the patent log repeatedly by use of the chip log, and coming up at all
sorts of hours during the day and night when by any chance the lubber
line was as much as a quarter point off the course. When on a wind,
during this period, he practically lived on deck, turning in "all
standing" for short naps during the day.

A lookout on the fore t'gallant yard was also stationed during the
daytime. Several more small islands were passed, the distant palm trees
seeming like a low broken comb upon the horizon, for we gave them
plenty of offing as the atoll formation often throws its reefs far out.
Several times our course was altered to do this.

In the fo'c'sle we had a round of mystery stories about islands
mainly. One by Frenchy took the prize for heavy ghost atmosphere and
when told in the dusk of a last dog watch with only the stars overhead
to wink at its absurdity, the effect was all that could be desired.
This tale had to do with an invisible island, situated somewhere about
the Loyalty Group near New Caledonia. The island was invisible by day
but could be found by a night landfall, and indeed was so discovered
by that tight little brig the _Père Duchêsne_, owned and sailed by no
less a person than the notorious Jean Ravail, who did not, as Frenchy
assured me, perish in the sewers of Paris, as was supposed. Ravail was
a pirate, of course, though he sailed as a peaceful trader, exchanging
cognac and rum for bêche-de-mer, through the southern islands of
Polynesia. Driving onto the ghostly island in the blackness of the
night, anchor was let go just in time to prevent the brig from running
up the beach, and then, to the tune of entrancing music, the whole
crew, led by Ravail himself, were decoyed ashore by women in flowing
robes of white. They left to a man, even old Pouly, the mate, who held
out to the last until a scantily draped siren came aboard and carried
him ashore in her canoe. The story is supposed to have been found
entered by Pouly in the logbook of the brig when she was picked up by
the frigate _La Perouse_, drifting with her cable chafed through by
the coral reef. Many weeks of cruising failed to locate the island.
I always liked this story, for Frenchy enjoyed telling it and did it
remarkably well.

The starboard watch also stirred uneasily after the mirage and as a
direct result of it Charlie Horse got religion. Not that he had not
always had it, but these singular events merely brought it to the
surface as it were. Charlie Horse began where our late shipmate Jimmy
left off. He was extremely rigorous in his beliefs and did not hesitate
to preach infant damnation, advising all of us who had not been duly
baptized to rectify this mistake as soon as possible. He paid special
attention to John Aahee of his watch, and to that simple-minded native
the awful creed of Charlie Horse was a throbbing reality. The existence
of purgatory was assured; hell was a positive fact, a hot and terrible
place of torture. Often during a brief dog watch of a Sunday, the port
side would get some of the overflow, which we listened to with varying
tolerance; his own watchmates had arrived at the point of active

With Charlie Horse preaching religion of the hell-fire-and-damnation
brand, Frenchy and other less expert story-tellers filling the
intervals of the night watches on deck with ghostly discourse, and
adding to this the appearance of St. Elmo's fires at the yard arms
after one of the tropic disturbances, it was no wonder that we were a
bit on edge where anything that smacked of the supernatural occurred.
Talk had been rather reminiscent in one of the last dog watches, the
weather was fine and we were sailing along before a gentle quartering
breeze without having started a sheet or brace for several days--calm
of spirit prevailed on board for a time, there was little hazing and,
except for the growing rottenness of the tucker, we were content.
The mind must therefore cast about for something new to seize upon.
The name of Jimmy Marshall had been mentioned a great deal during
the watch referred to, Axel having told of meeting Jimmy on his last
night ashore, while returning to the ship. Jimmy was sneaking up the
dark side of Nuuanu Avenue--there was a moon out--and bumped into Axel
before he knew it.

"What! Down to the ship, Jimmy?"

"Naw, jest took a look at 'er. I 'ears you was sailin' an' jest walked
down past the _Monarch_ an' looked over. 'Ow's 'ell on board?"

"Same old wagon, Jimmy. How are they treating you?"

"They's slowly killin' me, Axel, so help me Gawd, they is. Talk erbout
yer rotters! Say, if you knowed as 'ow they does me along of some other
poor Gawdfersooken fellers. Well, what ov it? They looses Jimmy afore
long, that's wot they does."

"I'll bet they prays the liver out of him, and starves the little faker
to boot," was Australia's opinion.

At about one bell, in the first watch, we had just got to the stage of
half sleep, and were dropping off for our precious three and a quarter
hours, when we were all sitting up as well as we could, in our bunks.
Fred was terror stricken. "By ---- It's Jimmy. I see him!"

"What in hell's bitin' you?" Australia demanded.

"Jimmy Marshall's in here! He spoke to me!"

"Spoke? Say, you big stiff, if you don't shut up I'll speak a few words
you'll remember!" Australia was mad clean through. There was a silence.
Something stirred over Australia's bunk, next to Fred's.

"Who's that?"

"Jimmy Marshall?" shouted the thoroughly frightened Fred, and then a
voice near the top of the fo'c'sle, in the familiar tones of our late
shipmate, very cracked and lifelike, added to the fear.

"Gawd have mercy. Gawd have mercy!" came the words.

"It's Jimmy! Take him away! Take him away!" shouted several, Martin
and Scouse among them. We were all tumbling out of our bunks. Frenchy
shot through the open door of the fo'c'sle and Scouse close after
him. Suddenly there was a wild mixture of screams and screeches and
Australia exploded in a loud, whole-souled oath of relief. He held the
struggling Jake by the tail feathers. The parrot had recently been
about the only consistent listener to the doctrines of Charlie Horse,
and his appearance in our fo'c'sle at night gave him a chance to retail
some of his new line of talk. Someone had evidently left his cage open
and he came in to get out of the draft. From this time on the bird got
to be a nuisance as well as a reminder of our folly. Frenchy sold him
to Chips for a suit of oilskins.

During these days of the voyage we overhauled our best suit of sails
preparatory to bending them for the heavy weather off the Cape. I
had by that time become fairly proficient in the use of the palm
and needle and could sew a presentable flat seam, or round seam, as
occasion demanded. Frenchy was the best sailmaker in our watch, and
with Brenden and myself, constituted the sailmaker's gang to port. Old
Smith, Hitchen and Axel were the starboard complement in this kind of
work. We had our benches in the most comfortable part of the deck and
of a morning, after the washdown, while we were getting the canvas out,
the rest of the crowd would wipe the deck dry with pieces of old sugar
bags, getting right down on their shin bones and rubbing the planks.
We put in new tabling, renewed lining cloths, sewed on new leather at
the clews, wetting it so that when dry the leather would shrink tight,
gripping the bolt ropes so the strands would show through. In some of
the older sails we sewed an extra line of stitching down the middle of
the double flat seam where the cloths join.

I learned to properly work the reef and head holes. The canvas was cut
with a "stabber" and a small fish line grommet laid over the edge, the
hole then being finished off with a fencing of heavy waxed and double
laid twine. In these later degenerate days, a brass eyelet ring is
often crimped around the hole, a much quicker job and about one-third
as strong.

In all of the lore of cutting canvas for sails, and we made a set of
skysails on the voyage, the mate was a past master. The "roaching," the
proper way to allow for gores in the cloths, the fact that "square"
sails are anything but square; all such old-time knowledge was handed
down and eagerly assimilated. We talked of the "hoist" of this sail,
meaning sails that spread by hoisting the yard; and the "drop" of that
sail, referring to the courses and lower tops'ls.

On the _Fuller_ the mains'l and crojik (corrupted from the "crossjack"
of the ancients) were fitted with "cross leeches" and a "midship rope."
These were stout hemp ropes sewed to tabling clothes on the forward
side of the sail, the cross leeches running from the head earings to
the middle of the foot, and the "midship rope" from the head to the
foot of the sail also on the forward side. This left the after side
of the sail smooth so as to draw best when flattened on a wind. At
the foot of the sail, and hooked into a stout thimble where the cross
leeches and midship rope joined, the "slap line" led aft, and the
"midship tack" led forward. With wind a point or two on the quarter,
the weather clew garnets of the main and crojik would be hauled up and
these sails set perfectly by the midship tack and the weather cross
leech, in this way allowing a good share of the breeze to distend
the great foresail for all it was worth. Sailors who have not been
shipmates with this method of fitting the after courses will appreciate
the utility.

One thing Mr. Zerk always harped upon was the necessity of making
canvas set flat, whether on the wind or before it.

A large sail, the main course, for instance, is fitted with what at
first blush appears to be a useless amount of gear. The sail being bent
to the yard by means of the _head earings_ and _robands_ is handled
by use of the following ropes: the _tacks_ leading forward from the
clews, the _sheets_ leading aft. When before the wind the sail is held
to the deck by the two _sheets_, the _tacks_ being idle. When on a
wind, that is, close hauled, the weather _tack_ is boarded and the lee
sheet hauled aft. To reef, the tacks and sheets are started and the
reef band hauled up on the yard by the _reef tackles_. To furl, the
_clews_ are hauled up to the quarter of the yard by means of the _clew
garnets_ while the body of the sail is gathered in by the _leechlines_
and the _buntlines_. Add to this _bowline bridles_ for steadying out
the weather leech when on a wind, _slap line_ for keeping the foot of
the sail away from the mast in light winds and calm, the _midship
tack_ used when sailing with the weather leech hauled up, and we have a
very respectable lot of rigging on our sail. Upper tops'ls are almost
as bad. Now this means nothing to the landsman, but a lot of queer
names, yet the gear has come down through long ages of elimination and
represents the utmost efficiency in handling sailing canvas. A main
sail is a mighty spread on a large modern ship and may show to the wind
as much as four thousand square feet of surface. Our mainsail on the
_Fuller_ was approximately of this size. Given a heavy press of wind,
say twenty pounds to the square foot, and we have the sail urging our
ship along to some purpose.

To get back to the voyage, after a reminiscent ramble with
technicalities for which we ask forgiveness, though old, and perhaps
new, "shells" may read it, I will add that the working of canvas is one
of the best jobs aboard ship. We were excused from jumping up at every
order to do some bit of pulling or hauling, and knowledge of the tricks
of palm and needle stamped a man as of the real salt.

Australia, Charlie Horse, Tony, and a few others were kept busy
renewing chafing gear, fitting sword mats and helping Chips, who was
constantly employed about the ship at repair and renewal of the wooden
fittings. The battens on the "swifters" were always being broken by the
clew garnets, and had to be renewed, the pump leathers were overhauled
at frequent intervals, hatch wedges were constantly inspected and "set
up," and Chips was the man to do these things.

Martin, Mike, Fred and Peter were given a large job of overhauling all
spare blocks. The pins were knocked out and turned over so that the
least worn side of the pin would bear against the bushing. Iron straps
were chipped and red leaded and all the deck and emergency tackles
were treated in the same way, the blocks, thimbles, and falls being
put in fine shape; nothing was spared in the quality of the material
with which we worked. Whips and gear aloft might be turned end for
end, but after that they were unrove and put to humbler uses; never
spliced except in an emergency. On a ship, the odds and ends of rope
yarn, oakum, and old wornout gear is headed up in barrels and sold as
"shakings." This is often the perquisite of the mate.

Scouse, as usual, was in for the drudgery, with Kahemuku and Black Joe
tailing along as his assistants. He did not seem to mind it and got on
famously with the Kanakas. It was always "sir" to Scouse, from Black
Joe, who looked upon the big Dutchman as a sort of hero. The red thatch
may have had something to do with this attitude, but whatever the
cause, Scouse would have got at least two votes had he ever become a
candidate for President of Hawaii.

Just before shifting sail, this taking place during a lull between the
S. E. trades and the counter trades, we sent down the main lower tops'l
yard and rigged and sent up a spare spar that we had on deck. This
was a regular seaman's job and called for all hands during an entire
day. The old yard had a slight spring, a fault developed in the heavy
weather off the Cape on the passage out. We unbent the sail, leaving
it stopped on the main yard, all the gear, clewlines, buntlines, etc.,
being carried into the top and the quarter blocks hooked to the main
cap. The yard was sent down by means of a stout burton from the topmast
pendant, and the upper tops'l sheets, downhauls, etc., were unrove and
carried into the main top. The upper tops'l was hung in its gear and
the yard steadied out by the braces alone. As we had a fair sailing
breeze, the t'gan's'l and upper canvas was kept set.

As soon as the long yard was down, we unhooked the burton and fastened
onto the new stick, swaying this aloft, when the braces were hooked.
The lifts were then attached and, as soon as the yard was up, the
standard was keyed, and all running gear rove. We bent sail in record
time, had everything shipshape again and sheeted home before two bells
in the afternoon watch.

A few days after this, on a Sunday, of course, we shifted sail and we
knew that we were in for some more dirty weather. "Well, this will be
the last," was the feeling voiced more than once by the men in the

During the time of many jobs, of fine weather, and much activity of
a sailor kind, the Kanaka Kahemuku astonished us by his skill in
tattooing. Of a Sunday he was always busy. His first subject was
Scouse, and we watched the progress of art with great interest.
Kahemuku offered to fix me up, but I had in mind the advice of my
father and decided to remain undecorated by anchor or star.

"You are wise, kid," Australia agreed. "Them marks never come off and
they are a hard thing to get by with. Many a poor bloke has gone to the
gallows because he carried a bright red star of hope tattooed on his

While not altogether complimentary in his allusion, Australia was
right. Scouse, however, showed his honest contempt for this point of
view by having a Hula Hula dancer done on his chest. For a while he
looked as if he had been crusted by a growth of barnacles.

As we ran past the little islands of the South Pacific, that lay
sparsely scattered along our track, Kahemuku would gaze at them with
intense longing. His desire for "Pilladelpia" alone compensated him
for their loss. But, after a while, the increasing chill overcame all
thoughts of that wonderful city of "Pilladelpia," and Kahemuku, Black
Joe and the melancholy Aahee turned a shade of ghastly gray. They lay
shivering in their bunks during the watch below, objects of compassion
to the rest of us who were hardened to the cold sea.

The rapidly dropping temperature, it was then the last week of June and
the middle of the Antarctic winter, served to remind us that we might
expect a colder and perhaps stormier time of it than on the passage out
when we rounded Cape Horn in the middle of the southern summer. One
thing that would be in our favor, and all of the old sailors mentioned
this, was the fact that for the most part we would have fair winds, the
prevailing storms coming from the west, sweeping eastward along the
edge of the Antarctic Continent, Cape Horn shoving its nose into the
very center of the storm path.

The sting of the cold, crisp nights, as we increased our latitude,
warned us that we were in for weather not far ahead. The Kanakas became
more and more inert at each drop in temperature. They were so poorly
provided for in the way of warm clothing that all hands dug into chest
and bag, contributing from wardrobes none too large. The Kanaka boys
did everything they could to show their gratitude. Our two of the port
watch worked at the bilge pumps each night until they were utterly
done. "It keeps them warm, and no one died working yet," said Brenden.
"As long as they keep going they're still alive," added Australia, and
this was true enough, so we were ready to accept their sacrifice at the
back-breaking job.



As the strength of the winds increased and we were mostly always before
it, Captain Nichols concluded the ship would sail better if she was a
trifle further down by the stern. We had loaded on an evener keel in
Honolulu than on the passage out and now it was decided by the skipper
to shift some weight aft. This was done by breaking out two hundred
bags of sugar from the fore part of the hold and dragging it aft to the
extreme end of the lazarette. The weight shifted, about fifteen tons,
certainly made her steer better than before.

On June twenty-third we rove off a new main tops'l halyard purchase,
and overhauled the tops'l tye. The weather was getting more and more
severe, and we ran before it under fore lower tops'l, close reefed
fores'l, reefed main upper tops'l, main lower tops'l, and mizzen lower
tops'l, all other sail being on the yards and furled with the exception
of fore topmast stays'l and jib, both hauled amidships as a precaution
against broaching to. The seas rose gradually and the ship rolled
heavily. On June twenty-fifth our cargo shifted in the fore part of the
'tween deck, giving us a nasty list to leeward of about five degrees,
and all hands were called at two in the mid watch to trim cargo. This
was a devil of a job, except that it was warm, and kept us steadily
employed for a stretch of twelve hours with only a short spell for
grub. Captain Nichols himself came into the 'tween decks, and later on
Mr. Zerk, myself and two of the men, Frenchy and Axel, if I remember
right, went through the lower hold on top of the heaped-up sugar, where
the sweet, sticky smell, slightly sour, mingled with the odors of the
riled-up bilge, and the complaining of the hull. I carried a lantern
and the rays, against the knees and beams, cast weird shadows. The hold
was a fearsome place, pitching and rolling as if in mortal agony.

We found it increasingly necessary to keep the pumps going as the
water worked in rapidly when running. A ship under such conditions of
wind and sea is alternately lifted with her midship section carried
on the back of a roller, her ends more or less tending to droop, or
she is in the trough between two wave crests with her ends buried and
the midship section hanging. Oftentimes a poorly built craft becomes
"hogged," that is, the midship is permanently lifted up and her sheer
thrown out.

A constant repetition of stresses such as we were experiencing on the
_Fuller_, made intense by the dead weight of the cargo and the urge
of the masts carrying their spread of sail, is bound to result in
damage to the vessel. While working in the hold, the complaining of her
timbers seemed worse than ever before on the voyage. We often wondered
if she was going to pieces, as indeed many unreported ships have done.
The sensation below gave one an impression of being at sea on a very
uncertain proposition; a great leaky wooden box, with every solitary
frame, scantling, hook, knee, and plank, complaining bitterly at the
hard fate that had wrought them in the shape of a ship.

"I wish the bloody owners was down here for a day or two," said Old
Smith, as we were shifting cargo in the hold, and I heartily agreed
with him.

A few days later, when on deck, we forgot the forbidding pandemonium
below; purposely forgot it, as so many people do with other things,
and, as the ship did not wrack herself to pieces that voyage, we at
least were saved a lot of unnecessary worry.

On July first we were still plowing before it under reefed canvas. All
work on deck was at a standstill except that required for sailing the
ship, and by way of exercise and safety, the "farmers" dragged the
"bear." Cape pigeons were everywhere and we caught a number of them for
their wings by trailing a fish line overboard and hooking them. These
birds are beautifully marked and when taken on deck invariably vomit
their dinners; it almost looks as though the motion of the ship made
them seasick. High overhead gray molly-hawks and fulmar gulls soared
white-bellied and noisy against the leaden sky.

Oil bags were trailed over the side as the high seas surged past us
like race horses, their white crests crinkling dangerously under our
transom, and along the full sweep of the bulwarks, slopping aboard
as we rolled, filling the gangways and main deck with tons of cold,
blue water. Often, at the braces, we would be buried in these seas, a
strange sensation that for the moment, as the weight of water lifted
the feet from the deck, gave one the sensation of being detached from
the ship, of being out in the midst of it all thousands of miles from
shore; a funny feeling is this, entirely devoid of fear, though, of
course, one held on like blazes to whatever was most handy, usually the
pin rail or other substantial deck fitting.

Much has been written about the height of waves, and as we approached
the southern limit of our course and headed to the east, well below
the parallel of Cape Horn, we got the full benefit of those constant
westerly winds that blow around the world. Here the heaviest straight
line gales are to be met with and the great fetch of deep water helps
to produce magnificent waves of the first magnitude.

Lecky, in his "Wrinkles," a book no sailor should be without, and a
book no lover of the sea who likes to "be up" on things nautical should
neglect to read, quotes Mr. Thomas Stevenson as the authority for an
empirical formula that approximates the possible maximum height of
waves, the same being considered as a function of the "fetch."

This is given as a matter of interest, for working it backward it shows
how tremendous the sea spaces through which the rollers that followed
us had their being. The Stevenson formula is as follows:

Height of wave in feet equals the square root of the "fetch" in
nautical miles multiplied by the constant 1.5.

Or, backward: the distance a wave has come equals its height, divided
by 1.5, and the quotient squared.

As the wind increased in strength the waves mounted until immense
billows were formed that measured from 50 to 60 feet in a vertical
line from hollow to crest. This was easily determined by mounting the
shrouds and watching until the ship was in the trough, then noting
the height of eye on a level with the wave crests. In reversing the
Stevenson formula we find that for a 60-foot wave a fetch of at least
1,600 miles is necessary.[8]

 [8] Dr. G. Schott, as the result of studying the form and height of
 sea waves, claims that under a moderate breeze their velocity was 24.6
 feet per second, or 16.8 miles per hour, which is about the speed of a
 modern sailing vessel. (Some speed!) As the wind rises, the size and
 speed of the waves increase. In a strong breeze their length rises to
 260 feet and their speed reaches 36.0 to 36.4 feet per second. Waves
 the period of which is 9 seconds, the length 400 or 425 feet, and the
 speed 28 nautical miles per hour, are produced only in storms. During a
 southeast storm in the southern Atlantic, Dr. Schott measured waves 690
 feet long, and this was not a maximum; for in latitude 28 degrees south
 and longitude 39 degrees west, he observed waves of fifteen seconds'
 period, which were 1,150 feet long with a velocity of 78.7 feet per
 second, or 46-1/8 nautical miles per hour. Dr. Schott does not think
 that the maximum height of the waves is very great. Some observers
 have estimated it at 30 or 40 feet in a wind the force of which is
 represented by 11 on the Beaufort scale (the highest number of which
 is 12); and Dr. Schott's maximum is 32 feet. He believes that in great
 tempests waves of more than 60 feet are rare, and even those of 50
 feet are exceptional. In the ordinary trade winds the height is 5 or 6
 feet. The ratio of height to length is about 1:33 in a moderate wind,
 1:18 in a strong wind, 1:17 in a storm; from which it follows that the
 inclination of the waves is respectively about 6, 10, and 11 degrees.
 The ratio to the height of the waves to the force of the wind varies
 greatly.--_Scientific American._

 _Note on Above by Author._--It would seem that the late Dr. Schott, if
 quoted correctly, did not consider the "fetch" as an element in the
 process of wave formation at sea; but his maximum waves were observed
 at a point where there was plenty of sea room.

Enough sail had to be carried to give the ship ample steerage way when
the walls of rushing water passed us, for incredible as it may seem
to those who have not had the experience, the waves of the sea run at
a speed far greater than anything afloat that sails. The tidal wave,
theoretical at least, must have a speed of one thousand miles per hour
in order that the tides may follow the attraction of the moon and
girdle the earth each twenty-four hours; _some speed_ even in these
days of rapid travel. Here we have a vertical translation of motion and
not a horizontal shifting of water at that terrific speed. In the sea
waves caused by wind friction, there is also simply a translation of up
and down motion, except for the rearing crest; if the sea waves moved
bodily it would be extremely dangerous to live near the seashore and
the coasts would soon be worn away; also, ships would not dare venture
upon the ocean.

This statement about the possible destructive effect of the sea waves
were they to move bodily started one of the hottest arguments ever
contested in the fo'c'sle of the _Fuller_. Tired and worn as we were,
the greater part of an afternoon watch below was taken up in assailing
my position. Australia could not see that I was right; even my staunch
pal Frenchy doubted it. Finally I brought out my trusty "Wrinkles in
Practical Navigation" by that sailor's friend, the late Captain S. T.
S. Lecky, who added laurels to the name of the English merchant sailor
that will never fade, and put them all to rout. The passage on Great
Sea Waves is worth giving, and I here include it.

"The term 'Great Sea Wave' is used in contradistinction to 'Great Earth
Wave,' which latter is the name given to the disturbance experienced on

"An earthquake may have its center of impulse either inland or under
the bed of the ocean. In the first case, when the 'Great Earth Wave,'
or superficial undulation, coming from inland, reaches the shores of
the sea (unless these be precipitous, with deep water) it may lift
the water up, and carry it out on its back, as it were; for the rate
of transit of the shock is sometimes so great that the heap of water
lifted up has not time to flow away toward the sides.

"At Arica, in Peru, and other places, this sudden going out of the sea
has made bare the bottom of the bay, and left ships aground which only
a few minutes before were riding quietly at anchor in several fathoms
of water.

"As soon as the shock is over, the body of water thus forced out to sea
returns as a huge wave, and, on approaching a sloping shore, rears up
like a wall, and breaks with overwhelming force. Sometimes, however,
its volume, height, and velocity are so great that it comes ashore
bodily, and breaks far inland, causing even greater destruction to
life and property. At Arica, the _Wateree_--a 'double-ender' belonging
to the United States Navy--was carried inland quite a distance by the
reflux, and remained as evidence for many years. If the writer's memory
is not at fault, she was carried clean over the railway embankment.

"When the seat of the disturbance is beneath the ocean, the 'Great Sea
Wave' rushes in upon the land as before--with this difference, that it
is not preceded by the water retiring from the foreshore, as in the
first case....

"About the most notable instance of a 'Great Sea Wave' occurred during
the stupendous and ever-memorable eruption in August, 1883, which had
for its center the Island of Krakatoa, in the Straits of Sunda. On this
occasion the loss of life amounted to 37,000, caused chiefly by the sea
waves, one of which attained the almost incredible height of 135 feet.
Its effects were traced to all the principal tide gauges of the world,
and were even observed at Havre, some 11,000 miles from the source of

"A full account of this eruption, which was investigated in detail by
committees and sub-committees of the Royal Society, comprising many of
the leading scientists of the day, has been published in a volume of
nearly 500 quarto pages, under the editorship of Mr. G. T. Symons. In
this book every branch of the phenomenon and its effects have been most
thoroughly dealt with, and is consequently well worth perusal."

What Captain Lecky has said may well cause us to pause and wonder
how a "Great Sea Wave" would affect Coney Island of a hot Sunday in

However, on the ship _Fuller_, to get back to our muttons, we thought
of no Coney Island. We were very much at sea, and thankful for the fact
that the waves could grow no larger. For it is a fact that the rapid
rate of progress of waves serves to limit their height, for as soon as
the speed of the wave becomes about half that of the speed of the wind
the accelerating effect of the wind action remaining is absorbed by the
friction of the water particles, and the waves are at their maximum.

We had a splendid opportunity to study the waves, and it was with a
never-failing fascination that I always looked for the occasional
grouping of three or four large rollers, rising above the rest, due to
a piling up because of differences in rate of progress. On the ships
of an earlier day, the fear of being "pooped" was always uppermost in
the minds of timid helmsmen, but on the _Fuller_ we were protected in
a measure by the wheelhouse. This structure, right aft against the
taffrail, served as a shelter, and at the same time housed the tiller,
the tiller shackles, and the relieving tackles. The fore part was given
over to the wheel and was quite fancy, immaculate white gratings
under foot, bright wood panelling inside and brass fittings wherever
possible. A sliding shutter overhead was thrown back, when on the
wind, to allow the helmsman a sight of the weather cloth of the mizzen
skysail. Just forward of the binnacle, and taking in the whole front of
the wheelhouse, was a window fitted with sliding shutters. At least one
of these was always open, for the officer of the deck never came into
the wheelhouse when on duty, merely shouting his orders to the man at
the helm. The good sense that finally provided wheelhouses on sailers
was amply justified. Comparative warmth and protection from wind and
sea helped just that much in steering, and a far better course was held
through the long, strenuous watches of heavy weather. The wheelhouse
was always one of the most comfortable spots aboard ship.

To my mind, steering was a lot of fun. This was specially so in good
lively weather. The direct pull of the rudder, the "kick" and the
"feel" of the ship never failed to thrill me with a sense of power.
Just as handling "the stick" on a good able boat in fine brisk weather
is a sport of never-ending delight, so the trick at the wheel aboard
the _Fuller_ always made me feel that I was the man who sailed the

The pointer by old Bo'sun Dreilick, of the _St. Mary's_, and now of the
_Newport_, that ancient mariner of many, many voyages, filled with the
accumulated wisdom of the seven seas, stood me in good stead. "When
at the wheel, work the ship in your mind as if you had charge of the
watch," was his advice. Doing this aboard the _Fuller_ with such a
consummate sailor as Mr. Zerk in charge was an instructive exercise.
During daytime tricks I could see where sails needed trimming, or where
a shift of canvas would help her, and would often have everything
settled in my mind before the mate would notice things. At night it was
different. The least shift of wind or the slightest change of weather
always found him on the alert. To an ambitious lad, anxious to master
the hoary art of conducting a ship across the surface--decidedly,
surface--of the many wrinkled ocean, this practice can be recommended;
the only trouble is that such ambitious lads are now scarce, and the
ships are scarcer still.

Captain Nichols had a pleasant way of coming up, especially during the
second dog watch, after the mellowing influence of a Chow dinner, cabin
style, and conversing for a minute or two. He would let drop a hint as
to where we were and sometimes give me sights to work out. While we
were making such heavy weather of it and the wheel was hard to manage,
he told a story calculated to make me anything but cheerful. The ship
had yawed and the slap of the rudder sent the wheel over against all
the "beef" I could bring to bear. Then suddenly, when the pressure
shifted to the other side, the wheel came back with the kick of a
stubborn mule, and I was bodily lifted off my feet, saving my head by
doubling about the spindle.

"Look out, son!" shouted the Old Man. "I had a sailor thrown up against
the top of the wheelhouse once and his skull bashed in. That was his
last trick at the wheel. You better be careful."



At this stage of the voyage hardship had become a habit; rotten tack
and half-cooked cracker hash all went the same way; we were toughened
to the grind. A mess of weevil-ridden hard bread was disposed of by
knocking the worms out and eating what was left, the crumby, mealy
stuff, soggy with damp, was often made more palatable by heating in
the galley with a sprinkle of molasses or a coating of our abundant
sugar. The working of the ship was done in grilling discomfort of
wet clothing, and the cold added its quota to our troubles day after
day. But for all that we were living. The scenes of wild fury that
only those who have run before it in the latitudes of Cape Horn can
understand, spread about us in a fitting panorama to the tragedy
of suffering on our half-drowned deck. Surely the angels must have
wondered at the vast ambition of men who dared such dangers and
lived such hardships; all of which vast ambition could be summed up
in one sentence--the pay of an able seaman out of the port of New
York--eighteen dollars per month, minus "advance" and the deduction for
"slops," leaving the net earning in the neighborhood of ten or eleven

We were getting our romance in the raw, however, and, like most things
in this world, we were paying for the show--working our way--through
experiences that only those who go down to the sea in deepwater sailing
ships know anything about.

Endless rows of mighty snarling combers, the howl of sleet-laden wind
tearing through the glistening gear aloft, and the blind rush of
snowstorms, crusting everything with a powdering of white, gave us a
real taste of weather such as I had never experienced before.

"Thank God we are going before it, and not trying to beat back," said
Hitchen to me one night, as he came aft to relieve me at the wheel.

John Aahee, of the starboard watch, disappeared and we thought he had
been lost overboard. For two days we missed him and kept the news from
Black Joe and Kahemuku, who were in a state of low spirits, where the
loss of Aahee would have well-nigh proved fatal. On the third day after
the absence of John he suddenly reappeared, when the boys of our
watch heard a loud knocking on the under side of the forehatch. Having
enjoyed a two days' sleep on the sugar in the 'tween deck, he climbed
in by way of the forepeak, which had been opened in order to rouse up a
barrel of saltpork.

The mate threatened to put him in irons for shirking duty and promised
all sorts of dire punishment. However, the poor Kanaka was so far gone
that it seemed he never would survive, and I believe he was positively
numb when the mate made him finish out the last two hours of the watch
on deck by bending over the bilge pump, "to get the sleep out of your
eyes, you ---- black."

July Fourth found us nearing the end of our southing. We experienced
a moderation in the weather, and set the fore and main t'gans'ls. The
fore t'gans'l split during a squall that blew up before it had been set
an hour, and we at once got busy in sending down this rag and bending
another sail which went with a loud "bang!" during the midwatch, Second
Mate Tom being on deck and Captain Nichols pacing up and down on the
forward side of the wheelhouse.

"There she goes again!" we heard them shouting out on deck, amid the
din of wind and the booming of the seas as they fanned away from the
flare of our bows, when her head doused down into the back of a roller.
The report as the new canvas split was sharp and characteristic, waking
most of us, as it was directly overhead.

"I hope they don't call us out," was the thought expressed by all; we
plunked down in our blankets with a will as though we were going to
wring every last fraction of sleep out of each precious second of the
few hours of the watch.

Our days were becoming more than merely strenuous, they were of that
dead level of sustained hardship where the senses cease to register
the added kicks, but go on in a sort of merciful anesthesia, no doubt
brought about by the toxic action of prolonged fatigue.

On the glorious Fourth, Chow had spread himself to the extent of
favoring the fo'c'sle mess with two large pans of gingerbread, nicely
cut into squares, so that everyone would get his lawful whack. This
gingerbread was a special stunt in baking such as I have never seen
its like before or since. The top crust was flexible, and leathery,
of a deep seal brown. The bottom was hard and usually well burnt. By
grabbing the top crust and the bottom, the middle portion could be made
to stretch at least twice its size and then broken apart, but long
strings like cobwebs would connect the two halves. We blamed it for the
boils that appeared on most of us toward the end of each passage, for
Chow liked to bake it, and we had it at least once a week or oftener.

Poor Frenchy was taken sick during those dismal days, and when he
mustered aft one dog watch, and promptly swooned, we picked our
shipmate up and carried him to his bunk with heavy hearts. If gloom
could kill a man, Frenchy would have cashed in his record during the
next few days. The fo'c'sle was as sad a hole as a man could think of.
Captain Nichols came forward and examined Frenchy during our watch on
deck. This was a sort of concession to the proprieties, as he only
came forward of the main hatch one other time on the voyage that I can
recall. After his professional visit the steward called me aft and
handed me a large tumbler full of a dark liquid called "black draft" by
Australia; it had marvelous cathartic power. I was instructed to give
this to Frenchy at one dose. What it did to him in his weakened state
can be imagined.

The next day the mate came to the fo'c'sle and examined the sick man
and reported aft. Frenchy had said he was much better, which was a
lie, but a wise one. I then prevailed upon Chow to give me some cabin
stew that he was preparing, and with this under his belt and a hook pot
of coffee, cabin style, Frenchy felt better. I also broke out a set of
brand-new underwear that I had been saving against an emergency. It was
extra heavy, and with this on him and the good food, he felt like a new
man. Chow fed Frenchy for three days, and fed him well, after I had
prevailed upon Chips to give him the parrot, Jake. Fortunately Frenchy
recovered before Jake got in his fine work in the galley, for in less
than a week the latter was back under the fo'c'sle head again, having
started his talk about "to hell with the grub," etc. This was more than
Chow could stand, and one night his cage shot out of the lee door of
the galley amid a series of quirks and screeches, and Fred rescued the
bird from a comber that was about to curl over the bulwark.

Our precautions in the way of preventer gear and rolling tackles were
employed as on the passage out, and the relieving tackles were hooked
to the tiller in the after wheelhouse. Captain Nichols also had two
heavy hawsers bighted about the base of the mizzen mast and flaked down
on the cabin top ready to pay out through the quarter chocks should
we by any chance broach to. At the end of these we had constructed two
improvised sea anchors or drags. Under ordinary circumstances we would
have been hove to in such weather as we were having, but the wind was
fair and the captain determined to run before it as long as possible.

Discomfort and hardship on board were not altogether confined to the
fo'c'sle. The after cabin was washed out a number of times and the
mate was swamped by the seas backing up in the waist and running over
the sills of the cabin doors. Mr. Zerk was much less violent during
the stormy days. The hard drive to the south and east put a feeling of
common danger into the minds of all; it had a very beneficial effect.
So far as the psychic aspects of the voyage went, we were happy.

Also, we were, with the possible exception of Black Joe and Kahemuku
of our watch, and the unfortunate Aahee of starboard, a very ready and
smart crowd. When I say possible exception in referring to the Kanakas
I mean that these unhappy people were always running with the crowd,
and while always in the way they bent what beef they had to any gear
we might be hauling on. Sailors have a weird wail, or dirge, without
words, to which they sway at brace or halyards and Black Joe became
proficient in this, throwing his whole spirit into the thing. Even in
those days of actuality the perfect picture of glistening oilskins and
the splashing sea, with the human cry of labor mounting above the snap
of the storm, was driven home to me--and I was mighty wet and tired,

On July tenth we were still going large before a heavy sea. Second Mate
Tom was on deck in the afternoon watch and, the wind having moderated
some, his crowd were aloft shaking the reef out of the fore upper
tops'l. Aahee was on the lee yardarm and as the sail dropped a squall
of wind slapped along suddenly, and he, holding on to the jackstay with
all of his might, turned a complete somersault as his heavy boots shot
up from the footrope. He was wrenched from the yard, his body struck
the belly of the reefed foresail and dashed into the sea. Some claimed
he also struck one of the jib boom guys.

All hands were called and the ship hove to. Mr. Zerk stormed out on
deck mad clean through, and Captain Nichols conned the wheel, myself
and another man from starboard being at the spokes. A half barrel of
oil was broached into the sea as we braced sharp and put down the
helm, manning the lee fore braces with great speed. The main spencer
was hauled out and reefed spanker set while we braced sharp forward.
Mr. Morstad had thrown over two life buoys, but we could not see either
one of them. As we hove to the seas swept over us with redoubled fury,
the racket aloft being frightful. We then realized how hard it was
blowing. Captain Nichols estimated it at from 9 to 10 on the Beaufort
Scale,[9] and the _Fuller_ bore down almost on her beam ends.

  [9] The Beaufort Notation, to indicate the force of the wind.

   0 Calm.
   1 Light airs: just sufficient to give steerage way.
   2 Light breeze.   Ship under all plain sail 1 to 2 knots.
   3 Gentle breeze.   "     "    "    "    "   3 to 4   "
   4 Moderate breeze. "     "    "    "    "   4 to 5   "
   5 Fresh breeze.  Ship close hauled can carry Skysails.
   6 Strong breeze.  "     "     "     "    "   Topgallant sails.
   7 Moderate gale.  "     "     "     "    "   Reefed topsails.
   8 Fresh gale.     "     "     "     "    "   Lower topsails, courses.
   9 Strong gale.    "     "     "     "    "   Lower topsails; reefed courses.
  10 Whole gale. Hove to, under main lower topsail and reefed foresail.
  11 Storm.       "    "  under storm staysails.
  12 Hurricane.   "    "  under bare poles.

To launch a boat would have been madness and we watched the sea for a
sight of Aahee or of the life buoys, all, however, without success, as
no doubt he had drowned at once and the buoys were several miles to
windward, while we were drifting off faster than they.

Once hove to we shortened down for the night under lower tops'ls and
storm stays'ls. The death of Aahee was tragic in the extreme; Kahemuku
cried in his bunk, and no means could be found to stop him. Black Joe
said nothing, he ate in silence, and when we went below he turned in
without a word.

They were one less to starboard; only a weak brown man gone, a poor
piece of human wreckage washed loose from that plaything of the storm,
a ship at sea.



Following Frenchy's sickness, Australia and I chummed together as
Frenchy, by common consent, was allowed to perch on a coil of rope on
the main hatch just forward of the mast during the night watches, the
mate winking at this whenever the weather was not too bad.

On such nights Australia and I would stump the wet deck and we got
to be very good friends. Unlike so many of the crew, I remember his
name, John Roth, and from what he told me at various times I knew
that he had come from a good family, as such things go, people in
easy circumstances. His grandfather had settled in England, coming
originally from southern Germany, and his father had taken over and
extended a business founded at that time. Roth had received a good
education, evidently, though he was of a shiftless temperament and
his talk savored of the fo'c'sle and not the schools. He unburdened
himself as we tramped the deck and I found him to be a charming
companion and much deeper than was my idea of the devil-may-care
deserter from the _Falls of Ettrick_, who had impressed me as a sort of
scatterbrained ne'er-do-well, when we first bumped against each other
in the fo'c'sle of the _Fuller_, for my bunk was ahead of his, as we
settled down in that first mixup, months before.

[Illustration: Australia]

"I'll tell you, Felix, there's lots of blokes who have had less chances
than me, and is well off today. I always got in the way of trouble and
you bet trouble never missed me once."

This sounded like something new, so I kept my mouth closed instead of
replying after the usual manner of deck chums making conversation.

"When my father died," went on Australia, after a long pause, "my
brother took the management of the business. He was in the building
trade and doing very well at it, supporting mother, two sisters,
brother and myself. My brother James had quit school and was helping
father at the time of his death. I was at school near Winchester, much
to my disgust, for I hated school and wanted to go to sea." Australia
paused. He was strangely sober and we paced on deck for a turn or two
in silence. Then he continued, and I remember how his words came
slowly but with a long-forgotten attention to choice and grammar.

"On the settlement of the estate of my father a small legacy of four
hundred pounds was left me, and with the business safe in the care
of my brother I felt at liberty to quit school and go to sea. I had
an idea that I would settle down somewhere with my money and be a
gentleman planter, or something like that. At any rate, I cashed in
and, with more money in my pocket than was good for me, put to sea in
the fo'c'sle of a ship out of London bound for Melbourne. I'll call
her the _Iverclyde_, that's near enough. They shipped me 'ordinary,'
and when I handed the mate a five-quid note, as I asked for the job,
he was sure he had hooked a fool, or a lunatic. The rest of my fortune
I carried in a wallet in the bottom of my chest, a place no one would
ever think of searching for money.

"The _Iverclyde_ was an iron ship, a wet ship, if you know what I mean.
We was drowned and we was starved, but never overworked. Once the crowd
went aft and told the mate they wanted to put the main topgans'l on
her, as she was rolling so. The mate he says, 'All right, Bo'sun, set
the main topgallant sail,' and that is the way we worked.

"We ran into Table Bay, with a sprung bowsprit, lifted loose of the
gammoning when she was taken aback while the mate was sleeping against
the binnacle. This was my chance, and by use of another note, I got
smuggled ashore with a suit of dirty dungaree and a big bundle of
damp Bank of England notes, leaving the rest of my kit behind. I soon
got some decent clothes, and put up at the Royal Hotel. The life in
Cape Town suited me, I made friends among a fast bunch, spent the
filthy, and enjoyed the air of mystery that surrounded me. No one ever
suspected that I was from the _Iverclyde_, though I saw our captain
walk by the hotel once; in fact I was very safe there.

"Shortly after the ship left, I found that I was being shadowed. Some
bloke was always in my wake. I tried to get him and blow him to a dog
watch of drinks and find out his game, but it was no use. When they
saw I was on to them, for they watched every move I made, and I was
spending free, the gentleman aft gives the signal and I am arrested.
It seems that an embezzler was wanted and they had me spotted for
the game. Not knowing the lay they was on, I did not get my story
straight at first, thinking they was still after me for deserting the
_Iverclyde_. This was bad. They chucked me in jail and kept me there
for three months, lifting what was left of my wad. 'I say, is this all
that's left?' the officer exclaims, counting the notes. They expected
to pick up about ten thousand pounds.

"When the correctness of my story was proved, they let me go. I heard
that the blackleg they was after was caught in Calcutta.

"Sure, they let me out and gave me what was left of my wad. Almost half
gone, but then I had three months of lodging and tucker free and a
little over two hundred saved. I was a wiser one after that, but I was
still a fool, which was something I did not find out till later.

"In order to get away from Cape Town, and at the same time follow my
idea of settling down in some warm climate where a man can become a
planter and have a lot of blacks do the work for him, I shipped before
the mast on the Dutch bark _Java_, out of Amsterdam, bound for Batavia.
This craft had put in short of water and several hands who had died on
the passage down to the Cape. The _Java_ was unlucky. The most unlucky
tub that ever sailed, except the _Flying Dutchman_, but unlucky enough
for any real ship. We winds up in a typhoon, a hundred miles west of
the Sunda Strait. The masts went by the board and at the end of the
blow, after two days of pumping and praying, a steamer picks us up. She
was bound for Singapore. The second mate of the steamer, a young fellow
from London, decided he wanted to work the _Java_ into port, his idea
being Anjer. The skipper says 'all right' and he called for volunteers.
As I said, I was still a fool, so I joined five other men and with the
young second mate we was put on board the _Java_; I was the only one of
her own crew and this scared me. Them Dutchmen knew when they were well
off; and they stayed aboard the steamer.

"The second mate of the steamer did not know exactly what to do. He
said, 'We will get up a jury mast,' but there was nothing to make a
jury mast out of. The steamer was far down on the horizon when we found
by sounding the well that the old tub was gaining water fast. After
that we did nothing but pump. We pumps for the best part of a week. I
don't remember what we ate, or if we did not eat. The crowd on board
curses our young skipper, and pumps. They kept on pumping because we
found the long boat that we depended upon stove in and all of the
thwarts smashed.

"At the end of the week another blow comes up from the West. 'So
long, good old London Town,' one of our fellows sings out. 'The hell
with dyin' tired,' and he drops the pump handle and sits down. We all
do the same, and the second mate, who took his trick along with the
rest, says, 'I guess you are right; we might as well rest a bit before

"We rested all afternoon and till late at night. I had my wad in a
pouch at my belt and each of us had two life belts. We ate a little;
the young second mate found a small beaker of rum in the cabin and we
had some of that, and some hard bread and a hunk of cheese. I drank
very little rum; I was afraid of going to sleep.

"At about midnight we caught the beach. We were in the breakers before
we knew it and when she struck, the sea breached over her and away we
went. I lost my two life belts the first thing and made up my mind to
die, but I held my breath. Might as well die with my lungs full of air
I figured as I went over and over. The water was warm, and I did not
mind it. Before I knew where I was, I washed up on the beach and was
lucky enough to get clear of the undertow. All I had on was a pair of
torn pants and my belt with the soaked notes. Not a sign was to be
had of any of the salvage crew, and the beach for miles was strewn
with bits of wreckage. At daylight I was met by a man coming out from
behind a clump of small trees. He was dressed in dirty white clothes
and had a young beard. I told him the yarn of the wreck and asked him
where I was. He directed me to Anjer, about thirty miles east along the
coast. I asked him if he could give me some clothes. He said yes, if I
would wait where I was he would be back in about two hours.

"Well, to make a long story short, as they say, I waited, being a
natural born fool and not knowing any better. Still," and Australia
paused in his extraordinary tale, "I don't think anyone else would
have done different. I was so glad about meeting this man that I
carefully unrolled a wet five-pound note and set it out on a rock to
dry, weighting it with a little stone. I wanted to square him for his

"About noon my man shows up. He has a suit of white cotton clothes that
were not any too new, a pair of shoes, brogans, they call them, and a
straw sun helmet. He also gave me a half loaf of bread, after I handed
him the five-quid note. This took his breath away, so he got reckless.

"About two miles out of Anjer I was met by two constables. They ran at
me so fast that I knew there was something wrong and before I could
say Jack Robinson they had the bracelets on me, and was going through
my pockets for weapons. They got the wad, and that settled me. 'Gawd,'
I says, 'what am I in for now?' My clothes was stripped off of me in
the jail, and took as evidence, I found out later. When my shoes came
off, my left foot, for I wore no sox, was a dull red, like rust--this
was blood.

"'You are charged with murdering the keeper of the Fourth Point Light!'

"'Great Gawd!' I cries, 'what next!'

"Well, they has me, and no mistake. I am a British subject and I set
up a roar. The Consul was called, and I tried my best to get him to
believe my story. It was no go. 'Bally rot!' he says.

"I was sent to Batavia, and held for murder. Fortunately my story
about what happened in Cape Town was verified in an unexpected manner
or things would have gone hard with me. What saved me was a newspaper
story of my jail term in that port, my belt of money, and my hard
luck in being taken for the crook. This tallied with my yarn when I
gave an account of myself, and the fact that the _Java_ had sailed,
as I said, and the story of the salvage crew put on her, sent on from
Singapore when the steamer arrived, helped me. The British Consul
took up matters, and by spending the greater part of what I had left,
funds that were again at my disposal, I cleared myself. However, in the
meantime, my people in England had got the story of my being a murderer
with full details of the horrible deed. It killed my mother, who was
in feeble health. Nothing of the clearing up ever reached the other
members of my family and to them I am a murderer to this day.

"I left Batavia on a tramp steamer bound for Sydney, a wiser young
fellow than ever before, also a much poorer one, for I had just two
pounds in my pocket when I went ashore.

"My narrow escapes had the effect of making me restless. In the next
two years I worked at every trade and calling that I could lay my hands
to. I tried sheepherding, I went into the bush and tried farming,
working as a laborer. I worked as a blacksmith in Sydney after picking
up something of the trade travelling with a small circus. In Melbourne
I started a very good business in peddling milk. I gave this up as soon
as it began to pay me and I could afford the help to make it easier.
Again I shipped to sea. News of my mother's death had reached me, and I
worked my way back to England. My brother had married and would have
nothing to do with me. My name was never mentioned in his home. Both
of my sisters had married and moved away, one to Scotland and one to
America--Canada, I think. Then I went to Liverpool and shipped on the
iron bark _Falls of Ettrick_. Now that is my story. Rotten, eh? Well,
I hope some day to settle down, and quit this thing for good. I have
cheated the rope out of a good stiff by helping along the murderer with
five-quid, and nearly paid for it with my own neck; I almost got mine a
number of times before and since. If I had a decent chance I could make
good, if I only could settle down and stick."

"You ought to get married; that would settle you, Australia, old boy,"
I offered, somewhat taken aback at the recital, for it was poured out
from the heart. I knew that a strange sort of adventurer was telling me
the things closest to his soul. What I said jarred.

"Married? Say, kid, I've tried that game. Yes, sir, I've been married
twice, and I suppose they could jail me for that, too."


"You bet. Once in Melbourne, and again in London, when I came home and
found I was a murderer yet."

"What happened to your wives?"

"I don't know. Guess they are married again, leastways the one in
London is. She was no good. Thought I was a rich bushman and wanted to
get in on the wad. But the wife in Melbourne was decent. I should have
stuck; that was when I was in the milk business." Australia paused.
"I hope she sold that for a decent figure. You see she was expecting
something, and--oh, rats--what am I saying----"

"Weather main brace!" sang out the mate, and in a moment we were
tailing to the rope, and Fred and Black Joe were wailing in the night
as we swigged at it. The watch was nearly over and Mr. Zerk was working
the sleep out of us. As for me, I was wide awake. Australia never
mentioned his story again, except to say in an offhand way that it was
all a lie about being married twice. "I just wanted to see how far I
could go with you," he said.

Australia was a wiry chap of medium size, full of life and a distinct
ornament to the fo'c'sle. He was never at a loss for a witty retort
and his sallies at the expense of the mate--during the watch below of
course--furnished endless amusement. He always shaved in port except
for a diminutive mustache, but at sea he sported a growth of beard,
merely trimming this with a large pair of scissors such as tailors use
for cutting heavy cloth, a murderous weapon that he carried in a canvas
sheath nailed to the inside cover of his sea chest.

Unlike sailors on shorter runs, and that hybrid animal, the deckhand
in steam, the sailor on board a deepwater ship has a sense of home. He
occupies the same bunk for a year or more at a time, and in spite of
the way he is robbed, or perhaps I should say, was robbed, he carried
a small accumulation of household goods, things that the crimps and
boarding masters did not consider worth while stealing. Every bunk in a
measure reflected the personal taste of the owner.

Australia was one of the few men on board the _Fuller_ who owned a
mirror. When he wanted to nail this up under the lamp in the fo'c'sle,
there was a storm of protest, and the damning implement of an effete
civilization was again restored to his chest. A mirror was only
permissible on rare occasions when a man shaved; otherwise it was



"Diego Ramirez ahead, a point on the port bow!" This was the news that
greeted us as we turned out on the morning of July 17th, 1898. It
was Sunday, cloudy, but clear, one of the first days without snow or
hail since the fourth of July. Off to the E. S. E. was a sail and by
the long time it took us to raise her we knew she too was a homeward

The morning watch had set all of the tops'ls, shaking the reefs out of
the fore and main, and we were sent aloft to loose the main t'gans'l,
sheeting home and hoisting away with a will. As we raced along under
the lowering gray, the rocky islands of Diego Ramirez stood out with
the distinctness of cameos cut against the light skyline to the
northeast. The breaking and dashing of the white frothy seas marked
them well and served to remind us that we were plowing in a fairish
sort of a seaway ourselves. Our added sail made the riding better and
we hove the log after getting the t'gans'l on, showing a speed of ten

As it was Sunday, there was no objection to our doing some sightseeing;
I got the ship's head from the wheelhouse and went forward and made
sketches of the island, the first one, bearing north, magnetic. This
gave a continuous line with a cleft near the eastern side. A few
minutes more and the cleft opened up, showing Diego Ramirez to be at
least two separate islands. My sketches were made on N.; N.N.W.; and

[Illustration: SHIP'S HEAD N.E. × E. Var. 1-1/2 Pt E. ISLAND THREE

[Illustration: ISLAND BEARING N.N.W. (Magnetic)]

[Illustration: ISLAND BEARING N.W. (Magnetic) DISTANT 4 MILES]

Australia also got busy with his case of crayons, for he was an artist
as well as a story-teller, and his sketch of Diego Ramirez is one of
the most cherished souvenirs in my scrapbook.

All hands gazed at that bit of weather-scarred rock jutting up from the
troubled waters, with a feeling of reverence. It was the turning point,
the high tide of distress on many a hard voyage into those stormy
waters. Kahemuku and Black Joe watched it with a sort of fascination.
No green-capped cliffs with white cataracts dashing into a warm deep
sea as at their native islands of Hawaii. Not a scrap of verdure, not a
ray of hope, only black-blue water and sullen sky with between them the
primal crags rearing their worn heads above the sea.

Since John Aahee was lost, the brown-skinned brothers had merely
suffered to exist. They talked much together, and Aahee was mentioned
constantly. We did our best to cheer them, though to tell the truth we
all felt the death keenly. To starboard they missed him more than we.
Second Mate Tom was of course blamed by the fo'c'sle judges, though he
had nothing to do with the accident any more than having been on deck
at the time.

As we quickly dropped Diego Ramirez on the quarter, we went below at
noon for our dinner. The day was incredibly fine for that season and
we made the most of it. We were then tearing past the south point and
would soon get some northing into the course. Cape Horn lay far below
the horizon to the north, and from the progress we were making we had
hopes of establishing a record, for the _Fuller_ at least. We had made
the run from Honolulu to Diego Ramirez in forty-five days; as a matter
of advance information to the reader, it took us sixty-three days more
to sail from Ramirez to the Delaware Capes, our passage as a whole
merely proving a very fair one of one hundred and eight days, against
one hundred and twenty-one on the passage out. This difference of
thirteen days in favor of going east can be attributed to the westerly
winds off Cape Horn. From this it will be seen that the ship _A. J.
Fuller_ was not the fastest craft afloat, and yet she was far from
being the slowest.

The sail ahead of us proved to be a Norwegian bark. We came up to her
in handsome style, our ensign snapping from the monkey gaff, and as her
colors went up, we "dipped" in the long graceful salute of the sea.
The bark made her number and asked to be reported. She was droughing
along at a slow pace under reefed main upper tops'l, lower tops'ls, and
reefed fores'l, showing a leg-o'-mutton sail on the mizzen. We were
then under all plain sail to royals, and must have made a glorious
picture to the sailors lining the sides of the square-head craft.
Moments like that make one tingle with pride at the sight of the
colors, a sort of pride that seldom comes to those who sail under the
flag in these degenerate days.

From Diego Ramirez we shaped a course to take us well clear of Staten
Land; the familiar sound of this name was like home, and I found myself
talking about it in the dog watch with peculiar relish. Old Smith of
starboard joined us, and told of having run through the Strait of Le
Maire on the passage to the eastward. This is safe enough, though
careful skippers like Captain Nichols prefer the wider reaches of the
Atlantic to the Le Maire Strait, dividing Staten Land from the larger
island of Terra del Fuego.

As we brought the wind about two points abaft the port beam, the
sky started to thicken and during the early watches of the night we
were again treated to real Cape Horn weather. At midnight we took
in the lighter canvas, reefing the main t'gans'l. By eight bells in
the midwatch we had her staggering under reefed fore and main upper
tops'ls, lower tops'ls and reefed fores'l, fore topmast stays'l, and
reefed spanker. We were making heavy weather of it, the seas dashing
high over the fo'c'sle head as she buried her nose whenever a big
roller tumbled in under the counter.

There was no warm breakfast, Chow having been flooded that morning by a
heavy sea. The door to the carpenter shop was stove in and poor Chips
was in a state bordering on hysteria, with all of his tools wet. To
add to our woe, and looked upon as a sign of bad luck by all hands,
the parrot was drowned when his cage unshipped from the hook under the
fo'c'sle head and he was deposited in the scuppers. He lay there all
night and was picked up by the starboard watch in the morning. Poor
Jake, of all the sad birds that ever cruised on stormy water, you were
the unluckiest as well as the most profane.

Everything was afloat fore and aft. The fo'c'sle was swimming and the
after cabin was also washed out when a storm shutter carried away on
one of the ports. Brenden, Frenchy and I were called aft during our
watch below on Monday forenoon and told to swab up the captain's
quarters. We worked the better part of an hour in these palatial
spaces, our caps respectfully tucked into our pockets. The captain gave
us a large tin of cabin roast beef, and a half can of fine pilot bread,
as a reward for our trouble. Of course we shared this forward and we
had a rather elaborate spread that noon--a clammy cracker hash which we
threw overboard, hot slops, and the grub from aft.

"Give me meat like this and they can take my watch below any day," was
Frenchy's opinion of the canned roast beef. At about the same time, no
doubt many of our soldiers were dying of this stuff under the hot sun
of Cuba,--they called it embalmed beef.

Ramirez is in 56 degrees 29 minutes south, corresponding in latitude to
the Wrangell Astronomical Station just south of Sitka, Alaska. When we
remember that the Antarctic winter is even more severe than that of the
northern hemisphere, it will be possible to get some idea of the state
of the sea through which we were racing. Running north between Staten
Land and the Falklands we encountered a succession of storms that
were calculated to impress us with the quality of the Cape. We were
under shortened canvas most of the time, and as the winds became very
unsteady, we were compelled to wear ship frequently, the great seas
making it difficult to attempt to put her about in the eye of the wind.

My journal entries follow, covering the last two weeks of heavy
weather, shifting winds, and great cross seas; a period of cold and wet
without parallel on the voyage:

 July 18th, 1898. Wind hauled to S.E. at end of day. Yards sharp up on
 starboard tack. Heavy snow at nightfall. Cold. Saw some small cakes of
 pan ice. Wind stronger.

 July 19th. Snow, hail, and ice, all over decks. Wind moderate,
 from S.E. as before, veering a point at noon. Braced in yards. Set
 topgallant sails. Overhauled another homeward bound bark; could not
 make out her colors.

 July 20th. No snow today, but very cold. Are heading N.N.W. Wheel from
 four to six during washdown, glad to get out of it. Passed between
 Falkland Islands and mainland today, no land in sight. Wind holding

 July 21st. Colder today. Wind freshening. Furled fore and main upper
 topsails in the midwatch. Heading N.N.W., starboard tack. Looks bad.
 Rigged life lines today.

 July 22nd. Wore ship in morning watch, set fore upper topsail and
 mainsail. Ship under fore and main upper topsails and two courses,
 fore topmast staysail and spanker.

 July 23rd. Warmer, but still cold enough for my monkey jacket. Weather
 puzzling. Old Man seems worried. Told me we were a long way from home;
 I know it.

 July 24th. Sunday. Wind unsteady. At braces most of day. Calm in
 afternoon. Got orders to shorten down to reefed topsails. Caught two
 Cape Pigeons in dog watch. Let one go and took wings of best one.
 Glass falling. Got up rolling tackles. Steadied out life lines. All
 hands forward hope the skipper has made a mistake. Funny sky to south.

 July 25th. Wind jumped out of the south last night. Heavy sea running.
 Colder than before. Sleet in the wind. Under lower topsails and reefed
 foresail. Running fast. Shipping blue water.

 July 26th. Running with wind one point on starboard quarter. Sea came
 aboard in midwatch and carried away the freeing ports on port side,
 from mainmast to the poop. After cabin flooded again. Colder, hail all

 July 27th. Wind abating. Got sail on her to topgallant sails. High sea
 running. All hands standing by. Ship yawing badly. Took in mizzen
 topgallant. Blowing up again at end of day, started to shorten down.

 July 28th. All hands took in the mainsail at six this evening. Called
 all hands at six bells in first night watch and took in foresail.
 Living gale. Under lower topsails and fore topmast staysail.

 July 29th. We hove to at daybreak. Got her around in the smooth and
 used a lot of oil to windward. Under fore and main lower topsails. We
 took in the mizzen lower as soon as she came around and set the mizzen
 storm sail. Fore lower topsail blown out of bolt ropes at noon. All
 hands on deck, aft on poop. Everything streaming to leeward. Captain
 rates wind at 11. Hail and sleet all night. Very cold.

 July 30th. Still blowing hard. Sent down remains of fore lower
 topsail and bent new one. Set this at four bells in afternoon. Wind
 moderating. Warmer.

 July 31st. Sunday. Gale dropped, day broke fine. Set all sail to
 royals. Warm. Had plum duff. Drying clothes. Are making ten knots
 and going faster as sea goes down. Deck wet, rigging forward full of



"Well, for one I am damn glad we are through with it," said Brenden
during a discussion of Cape Horn weather that went on forward as we
cleared out the damp fo'c'sle that wonderful Sunday following the
gales. "This makes five times around for me and I hope to God the last."

"How far to Pilladelpia?" chirped up Kahemuku, his face again
approaching its natural brown, though lean and worn beyond all
resemblance of his Honolulu poi-fed chubbiness.

"Ha! The Kanaka is coming to life!" kidded Australia. "Well, me brown
brother and fellow shipmate, if I do call you that, even though you are
not white, Pillerdelpia is a long way off yet. The walking is bad and
if I was you I would stay aboard a while longer. In fact you will have
to ride all the way with nothing to do but work, me hearty, work."

All hands were feeling good. Black Joe hung around the galley all
Sunday helping Chow and for supper that night he was rewarded by a
large sea pie, one of the bright-red confections made of the mysterious
"pie fruit." A chemist might analyze it as a composition of apple
peelings, glucose, acetic acid and aniline dye. My, but how good it did
taste! The human system demands its poison. Folks ashore prefer theirs
in the most expensive form, while we poor sailors on the ship _Fuller_,
on that memorable voyage in the year of the great war with Spain,
took our weevils, which are no worse than Roquefort, only larger, and
relished them. We ate many cockroaches browned in the cracker hash and
dandy funk, and drank their extract in the tea and coffee, beverages,
so called, for want of other names. As for the sea pie, it acted as a
corrective to the gingerbread. When Shakespeare asked, "What's in a
name?" he had certainly never experienced such a voyage as ours.

Following our dose of weather we entered upon a spell of work that
carried us well up to the latitude of Cape Frio. The gear had to be
overhauled in all of its details; whips of braces shifted end for end,
new chafing mats and battens seized on to the stays taking the place
of those worn through, and the slack standing rigging set up.

Our own gear, the clothing of the crew, was sadly in need of attention
and every dog watch found the fo'c'sle busy with thread and needle.
Frenchy was our top notch sailor man at sewing. He could ply a needle
with the best housewife that ever swapped a bit of scandal at a sewing
bee. He did not use a thimble, but handled a long coarse needle,
pushing it through with the calloused end of his thumb, a simple and
effective method for those gifted with the necessary toughness of
cuticle. I had always wanted a pair of real seagoing canvas pants such
as Robinson Crusoe must have worn, before he skinned the historic goat,
pants wide in the legs, and fashioned of well weathered stuff, soft and
comfortable. My good shipmate constructed them for me. They were not
beautiful, but being what was left of an old skysail, a veteran of many
voyages, a romantic piece of canvas that had swept the starry paths on
many a balmy night, dew-bleached and mellow, they meant much to me.
These pants were very homelike, and I never was able to wear them out.

In patching and sewing we managed to do wonders with old rags that at
first seemed beyond all hope of redemption. Also, owing to the near
approach of the payday, we begrudged the slop chest any further inroads
upon the accumulated wealth that was to belong to us; the sailor's pot
of gold, sitting so brightly, way beyond to the north, where our dream
rainbow ended in cynical old New York.

About this time Peter came in for a lot of joshing by the men of his
watch. He had an old long-tailed oilskin coat given him by Chips. Such
a garment is never worn by sailor-men who have to go aloft, it being
the sole prerogative of officers and idlers who never venture above the
sheer pole. However, with Second Mate Tom on deck, many strange things
happened in the starboard watch, and Peter, the stiff tails of his long
coat sticking out in the wind, would go up the rigging as unconcerned
as if it was the recognized and proper thing for a sailor-man to wear.

It happened that during a rain squall at the latter part of his watch
on deck, he was sent up to furl the main skysail, and we tumbled out
just in time to see him going up the weather rigging with his long
yellow tail sticking out above his legs for all the world like a huge
pale cockroach. At the same time First Mate Zerk stood aghast at the
unusual spectacle.

"Come down out of that! Hey you! _Lay down!_" Peter heard and obeyed.
"Lay aft!" "Yes, sir!" "Hey, Chips!" "Aye, aye, sir!" from Chips.
"Bring a knife aft. Cut the tail off of this. Now!" Chips had trimmed
a good two feet off of Peter. "That looks fine. Now take off another
foot, we want to have this fine fellow in style."

When Chips got through, after a lot of sarcastic criticism by the
mate, and laughter by all hands mustered in the waist, Peter looked
like a well trimmed bird. His jacket was so short that the drip from
its end went into the top of his trousers. He made a move to pick up
the discarded tail, no doubt thinking it would do to sew on as an
extension. "No, you don't!" shouted the mate. "Throw that overboard,
Chips! Now, go forward, watch below. No, you don't," to Peter; "you lay
aloft and furl that sail, my fine fellow, and show us what a starboard
watch hand can do."

Poor Peter lay up in a dismal manner and after a lot of shouting from
the deck, he came down and went below with a good half hour of his
watch gone, all on account of the offending garment, showing that even
at sea the correct thing in dress is essential; at least it was so in
those strict old days.

Officers in the old ships were very precise as a rule in matters of
this kind. A number of years after the coat incident, I was serving
under Captain Geo. D. Morrison, one of the old-time sailing-ship
masters. We were on the bridge of a fine steamer. Eight bells had just
been made and a quartermaster, an important little man, came up out
of the fo'c'sle where he had his quarters, and as he walked aft along
the forward well deck he drew a huge silver watch out of his pocket as
though to verify the correctness of the bells on the bridge.

"Great Scott!" exclaimed the skipper. "What in thunder are we coming to
with sailors carrying watches? I suppose they will carry walking sticks
next. But, sir," turning to me, "not on my ship! Send that man down to
the chart room!"

When Erricson, the quartermaster, arrived on the bridge, I sent him
down to the skipper. The old man closed the chart room door, he was a
very religious man, and after a short session, the quartermaster came
out looking much scared. When we got to San Francisco, he was paid off,
and Captain Morrison handed me an envelope to give to the man; this
contained a heavy turnip-like object that no doubt was the offensive

As soon as warm weather struck us, the last remnant of our potato
bin went bad, and some of them were thrown overboard. This ended a
duty that had helped to pass away many an hour for the farmers of
the watch when they were sent forward to pick the sprouts off of the
spuds and discard those that were too bad. Chow always picked out the
bad ones anyway, and for the most part we subsisted on concoctions of
half-rotten potatoes. Someone, Old Smith, I believe, said that raw
potatoes were good for the scurvy. We all tried eating them. Scouse and
the Kanakas were the only ones who could stomach the raw tubers. They
always picked out the best sound potatoes and seemed to relish them; at
any rate they robbed the cabin table of a good many messes of selected

When the old potato bin was knocked down, we had a general clean up
under the fo'c'sle head, a scrubbing and overhauling of the bo'sun's
lockers, the paint locker, and the oil stores. The short half deck
forming the fo'c'sle head was not high enough for a man to stand
upright under it, the lockers being arranged along the sides up into
the bow. In the very nose, next to the hawse pipes, were the toilets
of the ship, that is, those for the crew. These were very wet and
uncomfortable in heavy weather. They were kept scrupulously clean,
however. Large oil tanks were provided above these, fitted with small
copper tubes leading into the sea alongside of the forefoot of the
ship. Small cocks provided for the release of oil in heavy weather.

The bo'sun's locker contained everything necessary for carrying on the
marling-spike work of the ship; fids, serving mallets, iron spikes,
and the like. The tar pots were strung along a beam in the top of the
locker and the shelves at the sides held the deck stores of small
stuff, _marline_, _spun yarn_, _rope yarn_, _houseline_, _hambroline_,
_roundline_, _ratline stuff_, etc. Several new coils of various sizes
of rope, untarred hemp and manila were always carried in the bo'sun's
locker against an emergency. Another compartment of the locker held the
deck tackles, the "handy billys" and all emergency gear. This locker
also carried the _straps_, rope circles used in attaching tackles to
spars and rigging. Of such straps we had hundreds, always in apple-pie
order. Small "_salvagees_" for clapping a fall onto a stay, large
three-inch rope straps for hooking the rolling tackles onto the mast
doublings. The compartment for blocks was also kept in fine shape, so
we could lay our hands on things in the darkest night. Great _snatch
blocks_ for carrying a tack or sheet to the main or fo'c'sle head
capstan, or for taking the fore or main tops'l halyards to the same;
_secret blocks_ for _bunt jiggers_, a small round block about the size
of a soup plate, with the sheave completely covered, the whip, for it
is a single block, reeving through small holes in the edge of the shell
to prevent the canvas fouling between the rope and the sheave as is
possible in an ordinary block. _Clump blocks_, small and "clumpy" like
a roly-poly baker's loaf. These are very strong blocks and are used at
the ends of the staysail and jib sheets for the reeving of the whips.
These sheets, as sailors know, are always in two branches and the clump
block makes it easy to haul the weather sheet, block and whip over the
stay without catching, as the lee sheet is hauled aft. There are others
called _sister blocks_, _double_ and _treble blocks_, _fiddle blocks_,
great _jeer blocks_ for sending up and down heavy spars, stepping
masts, etc. Many of the blocks aboard ship take their names from the
particular use to which they may be put, such as _quarter blocks_,
_brace blocks_, _hanging blocks_, _clewline blocks_.

When we were cleaned up forward, and ready for the last long spell
of fine weather, with its round of marling-spike work, chipping,
painting, tarring and holystoning, we were treated to a few hours of
excitement that was different from the usual thing of that kind aboard
the _Fuller_, as we had a chance to enjoy the show like spectators at
the rail, and not, as on most occasions, when we saw the circus in the
same way that the performers see it, namely, dangling from the flying
trapeze near the top of the tent.

It was on a wet Friday morning; we were scrubbing deck paintwork when
the "wheel" sang out, "Steamer ahoy!"

This was unusual, and all hands were astonished at the closeness of a
cloud of smoke that was tearing toward us from somewhere to windward.
Captain Nichols came out on deck and got the long telescope to bear. He
pronounced her a cruiser.

She was coming for us fast; suddenly she altered her course fully four
points and came in under our stern. She was a dirty white, streaked
with rust, a fair-sized armored cruiser, two funnels with a military
mast between them.

"Break out the ensign, Mr. Zerk. Might as well show her who we are."
Indeed, the cruiser was reading our name and hailing-port on the broad
transom in letters of shining gold.

"She's a Spaniard, one of them has a mast between two funnels," someone
said. I remembered this, having in mind the pictures of the Spanish
ships in West Indian waters, published in the magazines while we were
in Honolulu.

"All out for Barcelona!" shouted the mate. The ensign went up, and we
dipped. The cruiser ran up the Argentine colors, answered our salute
and resumed her course.

"Hey, you loafers, get back on that paint work; this ain't no Spanish

Of course we all grinned at the great humor of the joke, and began to
rub with our brick dust rags; the starboard watch went below at once,
for it was unhealthy to be seen standing around on deck during a watch
below. We all knew that the afternoon below would soon be gone and
hoped to stall off the day of doom as long as possible.



Frenchy, Brenden, Australia, and myself were told off as a special
gang, in the port watch, to set up the topmast and topgallant shrouds,
worked slack by the heavy weather we had just encountered. We were in
the tops most of the watch, as the wind held fairly steady, and passed
the time pleasantly, yarning as we worked; talking in sotto voce of
course, and busy as monkeys in a jungle. The tops, as some landsmen
may not know, are not exactly at the top of things, but they are the
platforms about a fourth of the distance up the masts where the heel of
the topmast rests on the trestle trees of the lower mast.

The top consists of a platform, semicircular in shape, the curved
side forward. The topmast shrouds are led to the edges of the top,
giving them a certain "spread." The historic "lubber's hole" is to be
found in this piece of ship's furnishing, and one can hardly pick up
an old-time volume of sea adventure without some reference to it,
or I should say "them," for there are two lubber's holes in each top
platform. The lower rigging runs up through the lubber's hole, passes
around the lower mast head resting on the "_bolsters_," which in turn
rest on the _trestle trees_, which in turn rest partly on the _hounds_
and on the _bibbs_. The hounds are formed on the mast where it is
squared at the point where the _doubling_ begins. Just below this the
bibbs are bolted on on each side,--now, I suppose we all know how it
is done. It is certainly as clear as crystal to a sailor, who knows
all about it already but merely likes to read over the familiar names,
no doubt recalling many hours spent in the tops of old-time ships. The
pull on the topmast shrouds is taken by the _futtock shrouds_, iron
rods running down from the lower dead eyes of the topmast rigging,
through the rim of the top, to an iron band around the lower mast
fitted with eye bolts, some six feet below the top platform; this is
the _futtock band_.

In an interesting book called "The Sailor," the hero, Henry Harper,
"slides" down the futtock shrouds to the deck. As he is still going
strong on page 450 and the "slide" occurs on page 48, we conclude that
Henry was a pretty tough lad.

The futtock shrouds run up from the mast and out board to the rim of
the top. A sailor going aloft must go out on the futtock ratlines
hanging like a fly. This is easy enough and the quickest way up. The
lubber's hole provides a safer way, but as its name implies, it is
considered an unworthy method of going aloft. At least such was the
opinion in those good old days.

Where these futtock shrouds pass down between the lower mast shrouds is
a stout oaken or hickory batten seized to the lower rigging. This is
the _futtock staff_.

The tops have been getting smaller as the art of rigging has
progressed. At one time they were very large, affording room for a
numerous company, the topmen, and in the old days they served as
fighting platforms for the small-arm men. On the old schoolship _St.
Mary's_, the tops were very commodious; a top chest was provided abaft
the mast for the small gear and spikes, tar and slush pots, etc., that
might be required aloft. I remember a tired boy going aloft in the fore
top on his way to the fore tops'l lookout, and lying down behind the
top chest for a nap. A half hour afterward, when he was missed on the
yard, a general alarm failed to find him, and the ship was mustered and
every crook and corner searched. Finally another hand was sent aloft,
and spied the culprit. What happened to him the next morning when he
was brought to the mast can be imagined.

In the top we were very comfortable, the shadow of the lower topsail,
and the pleasant back draft of the canvas, making it ideal for work. We
set up the topmast rigging, the burtons being led to the deck, where
the men at work chipping iron deck fittings, or scraping the bright
work, would tail onto the falls when we sang out, the mate telling
them when to "come up," as we clapped on our rackings and seizings in
shipshape style.

Aloft with these men I picked up a lot of the fine points of rigging.
Discussions between Frenchy and Brenden were frequent, and not often
they differed beyond all hope of agreement on matters that might seem
trivial. Brenden had sailed in the Rickmer's ships, the great German
drivers that hold so many of the present day sailing records for iron
ships. His seamanship was of a more modern type. He was the best wire
splicer in the crew, and gave us many pointers. Frenchy, though, was
far better on the old-time seamanship brought to such a high state of
perfection in the sailing craft of the French navy; vessels used for
the purpose of training their naval seamen.

Often when being relieved by Hitchen, Old Smith, and Axel, the
starboard watchers, who carried on the work while we were below,
we would stay aloft with them during the first dog watch until our
supper was ready, spending the time yarning. The second mate never
said anything and we were always careful not to let the mate catch
us. Hitchen had sailed in the large ship rigged yacht _Valhalla_ when
she came out. She was the finest yacht afloat manned by a complement
of ex-naval men. Hitchen, however, claimed he had never been in the
navy. We often deferred to Hitchen, who was a student of seamanship,
and carried a dog-eared copy of "Tinmouth's Inquiry Into Points on
Seamanship," a learned book going into the intricacies of throat
seizings, or the advantages and disadvantages of turning in _cutter
stay_ fashion with reference to the attachment of dead eyes.

But most of our knowledge was not to be found within the covers of
books. An enthusiast even then, I retain some of it, still what would I
not give to have at hand a stenographic record of our "gamming" in the
broad tops of the good ship _A. J. Fuller_?

[Illustration: Axel.]

Of the merits and demerits of various ships and rigs we had plenty of
tales on this part of the passage by men who had served in them through
long, hard voyages. "The average British sailing ship is a disgrace to
the red ensign," was the way Hitchen put it when speaking of the ships
of his native island. "She feeds poor, very little is spent to maintain
her, the running gear is one mess of splices before it is picked into
oakum, and very little work is done. The _British Monarch_ was a fair
sample of this class of vessel. I wouldn't say anything if we did
not know how to do things better. Take Lord Brassey's ships; the old
sailers of the White Star Line, in which they trained their officers
for the liners; these vessels are a credit to the flag. But too many of
our ships are run on the cheap. I don't say that they are hard on the
crew, in fact they are easy, but it's rotten poor grub and no pride.
You hate them at sea and are ashamed of them in port."

"The bounty ships are good; they carry a good crew, and do a lot of
sailing. Not much laying in port. You see they must cover miles to get
their subsidy from the government. Sailors is what the French people
want. The pay is too little for me. Anyhow, I'm going to quit," was
Frenchy's contribution.

"For hard work and hell, give me the Rickmer's ships out of Bremen.
Next to the American ships, they are the worst; regular German army
discipline on the water. They feed and pay better than most Dutchmen,
but they don't care how many men they kill on a passage." Brenden's
opinion was authoritative.

We all, however, agreed, that the Yankee sailing ship was driven as
hard as any ship afloat, and that the grub, in port at least, was the
best fed to sailors on any sea.

"Say, if our grub is good, what in thunder do you call bad grub?" I
asked one day, after one of our learned discussions.

"My boy, bad grub," and Hitchen, to whom I had put the question, dwelt
lovingly on the words, "bad grub"! "Bad grub is Act of Parliament
rations of so much, or I should say, so little, meat, either salt pork
or beef taken from the pickle in the harness casks and weighed on a
rusty scales by the second greaser each day, and given out to the crew.
So much flour, so much pease, and so much hard tack. All rationed out
with the whack of water, and carried to a filthy galley where the
unappetizing slops is cooked up in some tropic region, and served to
the British merchant sailor with a regulation dram of lime juice, just
calculated to keep the scurvy out of his knuckle joints. That is bad
grub. Yes, we have about the same scale here, but you don't see them
follow it so close. The American shipowner knows better, he wants to
get a lot of work out of his crew, to keep his ship up and to make fast
passages; he knows he must feed the gang to make them do it without
chucking overboard a lot of corpses. I tell you, lad, bad grub is a
rotten dish, but not a rare one. When your meat sours, and the filthy
flour is full of blue mold, say, you are getting it rich then. Did you
ever drink sour goat's milk? No? Well, bad grub is as bad as that."

"That sounds bad, but how about the weevils?" I asked, thinking he had
forgotten our white worms.

"Weevils! Why, weevils are a sign of good grub. Grub fit to feed
weevils is tip-top fodder. See how nice and fat they get. A mess of
fresh weevils is simply another way of getting your game with the taste
of white plump meat."

"You make me sick, Hitchen," I burst out, as I dropped over the edge
of the top and down onto the futtock shrouds. I gained the deck fairly
nauseated--a near seasickness, a malady that otherwise never troubled
me. My stomach was as empty as the famous cupboard, and with the keen
sea air and the healthy appetite of a boy of eighteen, I was famished
as I went forward to supper, but Hitchen's philosophy of food values
so upset me that I could eat nothing but a piece of selected tack, one
free from holes that I was fortunate enough to find in the bread barge.

After that I steered clear of food discussions, and tried to forget
the whole subject; it was hardly worth while talking about anyhow.
We confined ourselves to talk about _timenocles_, _catharpins_, and
of the best way to _thoroughfoot_ a rope. Frenchy, who had sailed in
the Mediterranean a good deal, told us of the strange craft called a
_ybeck_, her mainsail having a large button in the belly of it, to hold
in the bulge of the sail, somewhat after the manner of our midship tack.

We talked of _bonnets_, and of _Jimmy Greens_, and of the ancient curse
of _stunsails_. These men had sailed in the East, and knew the queer
rigs of the great junks and seagoing sampans of the Yellow Sea and the
Inland Sea of Japan, places I was later on to visit, and to verify the
stories told me on the _Fuller_. There were tales of paper flareups,
and on the part of Frenchy, who had chased them in a frigate, of
Chinese pirate junks armed with stink-pots, and smooth-bore carronades.

Of our own rigging, and of what went before it, we were of course amply
reminded by our work. In the older ships, when tophamper was not as
refined as on the _Fuller_, the royal yards, and higher, if crossed,
would be sent down on the approach of heavy weather. In some ships,
men-o'-war especially, the sending down of royal yards at night was a
regular custom. In some of the old Dutch East Indiamen, it was also the
custom to shorten down for the night, and make all snug; a comfortable
way of doing things in keeping with large well-fed crews, Edam cheese,
and waistlines of ample proportions.

On the later ships, the Yankee sailers of the day whereof we write,
nothing was ever sent down. Yards might blow down, but they never came
down by the free will of the master. The extensive use of wire in
rigging, and the more secure type of metal fittings, bands, etc., made
the old precautions unnecessary. Besides, time had to be considered as
an important element in the profits of the voyage. As freight rates
became lower, the rate of driving increased, and speed was more and
more necessary to success.



While still in the S.E. trades we started our last long drill of all
hands on deck in the afternoon; the final clean-up for port was to be
a thorough one. Paintwork was scrubbed and, when clean as new ivory,
it was given a coat of fresh white paint, stroked on with the greatest
care. This done, the decks were again holystoned fore and aft; a most
thorough job. We then knocked about in the doldrums for a week or ten
days, and on Sunday, August 21st, we crossed the line for the last time
on that voyage.

Ordinarily one might suppose that this last leg of the long passage
home would be the most pleasant of all and that as port loomed ahead we
would once more feel the genial glow of good fellowship that blossomed
so warm upon our approach to Honolulu. But we were apparently nearing
a bleak coast; a hard material country where the sailor-man was on a
strictly commercial basis of so little per month, and more men than
billets; the crew would go, of course, and no one cared how much they
cursed the ship, for they would do that anyway. The grub was worse
because it was older; weevils were more in evidence than before, not to
mention other pests such as rats and cockroaches, and we were feeling
the effect of too close associations, a period of discontent, soon to
change, but at that time most trying. Also, it was hot, as hot as it
ever gets on the sea; our irritation became worse with every delay of
head wind or of calm.

Mr. Zerk, for reasons unknown to us, became exceedingly brash; he went
about looking for trouble, and always found it, working us without
mercy in the heat of the day, and horsing us about at night. His
relations with the second mate were strained more than ever, and some
of the men of the starboard watch came forward with a tale of a big row
between the skipper and the mate, the sounds having come up from the
after companion; of course, anything like that would never take place
upon those well-disciplined decks.

This succession of troubles had its climax one morning when the mate
set upon Chips, that most gloomy and industrious of all carpenters.
The lanky one, in returning from the poop with the running lights, had
through some carelessness allowed several drops of oil to smirch the
spotless planks.

"You dirty low-down bum! What do you mean by spilling that grease all
over the deck?"

"Ay spill nothing!" shouted Chips, his slow soul riled to the point of
protest at this latest insult.

"You didn't, hey? Well, _I'll_ spill something!" The mate jumped down
the ladder from the poop and made after Chips, who was in the waist.
Chips saw him coming, and as he had a heavy brass side light in each
hand, he was helpless. Realizing this, he started to run and reached
the door of the lamp locker as the mate came up to him. Chips turned,
dropping the lights, and as he faced the furious first officer, that
gentleman let drive a terrific crack with his right, fetching Chips
just below the ear, and lifting him clean over the sill into the lamp
locker. The mate went in after Chips and for a few minutes the place
was in an uproar. The mate stepped out, his hands covered with blood.

We were taking down the gear from the pins, after the washdown, and a
number of us stood horrified in the waist, a feeling of deep repulsion
coming over us. A big splotch of blood on the shirt front of the mate
must have come from Chips' nose.

The mate looked at us. He opened his mouth as if to bawl some order, or
hurl some epithet at the men of his watch who had witnessed the brutal
assault. Suddenly he turned round, and looked into the door of the lamp
locker, a small room in the after end of the forward house.

"Get a bucket of water and clean up this mess. It's a lucky thing you
didn't bust them lights when you dropped them." He was addressing
Chips, who came out of the door a moment later, hobbling to his room.
The mate went aft, washing off his hands in a bucket of water that
stood on the main hatch.

No one said anything, even in a whisper, but when we went below at
eight bells and were assembled around the kids, one of the boys spoke

"Chips is cleaning up the lamp locker."

"I hope he reports Mr. Zerk to the Shipping Commissioner," I said. "If
he does enter a complaint he has plenty of witnesses. It will mean jail
for that bully, and he deserves it."

"Sure, he deserves to be hung," said Brenden. "But Chips will keep his
mouth shut."

"Why?" I asked.

"If he makes a squeal, this will be his last ship. Chips has seen worse
than he got, and should have kept his mouth shut. He gets forty dollars
a month, ten more than the second mate. The Squarehead's no fool."

"Well, I call it a dirty piece of work."

"Righto!" agreed Australia. "That rotten bull ought to be hung by his

While little was said about this particularly raw piece of brutality,
it made a great difference to us in so far as we seemed to realize, of
a sudden, that the fo'c'sle was apart from things aft, and that it was
just as well that we felt a little more agreeable toward each other.

The constant rubbing noses over the stinking grub, and the continued
driving, with no rest in the afternoons, made life anything but
pleasant while we lingered in the tropics. But the blood spilled by the
mate, as I have said, clarified our atmosphere forward.

Talk of the days to come again waxed plenty, and plans were gone over
and over in the night watches. In calm, we fretted and fumed, watching
and whistling for a breeze as though our very lives depended upon the
blowing of a gale. Hitchen, one calm Sunday afternoon, cut a cross in
the mainmast in order to bring on a wind; as this piece of vandalism
was done in the second mate's watch, and in a place where it could not
be seen without a search, no evil consequences ensued.

As on Sunday we got our watch below in the afternoon, word was passed
to us of the port watch, about the cross on the main mast, and in the
first dog watch I went aft and inspected it, pretending to hitch up a
coil of rope that hung inside of the fife rail. We lay with our head
yards sharp up to starboard, and the after yards back against the
starboard rigging, on the other tack, the courses were guyed out by
slap lines, and as the ship yielded to the gentle roll of the swell,
the reef points would ripple against the canvas in a way that sounds
different from anything else in the world.

We were speculating upon the efficacy of the cross.

"We will have a wind before midnight," declared Frenchy with positive
conviction, and during the dog watches we talked of nothing else.

Charlie Horse came out on deck in the second dog watch carrying his
Bible, with a quotation about the wind. "Thou hearest the sound, but
canst not tell whence it cometh," he read, "for the wind bloweth where
it listeth." Charlie Horse placed a deep significance upon the cutting
of the cross in the mast. The faithful became more and more perturbed
as the sun set and no sign of wind rewarded their belief in the cross.

We came on deck for the first night watch, and it was still dead calm,
the sky clear and the stars shining with extraordinary brilliancy. A
slight dew began to settle as the watch wore on and presently a sound
aloft of the flapping of a skysail started us to attention. Wind! But
where from?

Aft the mate and Captain Nichols were holding up wetted fingers trying
to feel the direction of the airs, that were undoubtedly stirring from

Frenchy used a different method, one I prefer to the wetted finger, as
it gives a more accurate sense of direction. He held his hand, palm
down, and with fingers slightly spread. By pointing the fingers around
the horizon, the slightest breeze will make itself felt against the
sensitive skin between the bases of the fingers.

"There!" cried Frenchy, his hand pointing broad abeam to starboard. I
tried it, and sure enough, I felt the slightest coolness between my
fingers. Indeed our paws were none too sensitive, being calloused and
hardened by many moons of hauling at gear, and from much anointing in
slush and tar pots. Presently things were moving aft.

"Port main; starboard crojik braces!" sung out the mate, and we walked
the yards around lively. The canvas began to belly out, and in a few
minutes our hot faces were fanned by a refreshing breeze. This was
the first touch of the N.E. trades, and by midnight we had our yards
trimmed with the wind close hauled on the starboard tack and the
_Fuller_ heading well on her course toward home.

When the starboard watch came on deck, Hitchen was all smiles, and the
wise prognosticators of both watches were well pleased with themselves.
They had got away with it by a narrow margin.

"I predicts that it's colder tomorrow," chipped in Australia.

"We got bean soup tomorrow, I bets," Scouse ventured, for in spite of
the vindication of Frenchy, Hitchen and the others, we let it be known
that luck was given the credit--luck _and the cross_. Most sailors of
those days believed certain things, and a cross in the mainmast was as
sure to bring wind, as a ring around the moon was a sign of rain.

During our last spell in the tropics, with our clear nights of calm,
Australia astonished us by his remarkable familiarity with the names
and constellations of the brightest stars. As I had a fair knowledge of
these from my studies on the schoolship, and also had my Lecky, with
the wonderfully simple star charts prepared by that master mariner, we
passed some profitable and interesting hours. Even today I never miss a
chance to glance at the clear sky at night and renew acquaintance with
the great stars of the heavens.

Australia had picked up his knowledge from a sheepherder in that far
country and knew the southern constellations better than I did. We all
know the Southern Cross, or at least have heard of it, and by the way
it is not much of a cross, though one of the two large stars pointing
toward it, _Alpha Centauri_, is said to be the nearest to the earth
of all the fixed stars. This is also a double star, but a powerful
telescope is needed to distinguish the separate bodies.

_Canopus_, another whopper of the southern heavens, ranks next to the
Dog Star, _Sirius_, and we never tired looking at these magnificent
gems of the night as they shone with living fire in the clear deep
blue of the tropic heavens. As I gaze from time to time at the
constellations, at _Cassiopeia's_ _Chair_, the _Great_ and _Little
Bear_, the _Swan_, and the giant _Vega_, at _Orion_, _Leo_, or the
_Sickle_, and _The Cutters' Mainsail_, I think of those days on the
_Fuller_ when we conned them in mute wonder, as sailors have in
countless ages gone before, and listened to the names by one more
learned than the rest. _Altair!_ _Regulus!_ _Aldebaran!_ _Arcturus!_
_Capella!_ _Procyon!_ _Sirius!_ _Spica!_ _Antares!_ _Fomalhaut!_
_Achernar_ and _Adara!_ what do these names mean to the modern human
calling himself educated? Since those days I have spent four years at a
university, and have drilled through the technical course in astronomy,
given to civil engineers, but I don't recall what was taught about
the great stars of the heavens that we learned to know by their first
names on that far off voyage. Of the present rank and file, who discuss
anything and everything smart folk busy themselves about, how many can
identify this company of noble names of the great blazing suns that
swing across the heavens?

And black nothingness is also to be found in the heavens, in the _Coal
Sack_, a blank space of the night sky, near the _Southern Cross_, in
the black depth of which no telescope has yet revealed a star.



Once well in the trades we sailed along with great regularity, running
up our latitude with the precision of a steamer. While still within the
belt of thunder showers I had an experience that cured me of a habit
of long standing. I would, whenever possible, if on lookout, strip
on the approach of a shower while in mild weather, and enjoy a fresh
water bath. I usually pulled off my shirt and trousers, and balling
them in a knot would tuck them around the clapper of the great bell on
the foremast, this kept them dry, and left me to enjoy the refreshing
rain. Of course lookouts were only stood at night. This last time, a
beautiful black cloud came down with the wind, we were close hauled
under all plain sail, and it did not look like a job that would need
me down from my station. Accordingly, I stripped and going to the
bowsprit, caught hold of the fore stay and started some gymnastics in
anticipation of a real douse from aloft. It was not long in coming,
and with the coldness of it, and the look of the white caps lashed up
under the cloud as it bore down on the ship, I felt that I had made a
mistake. It was hail and not rain that came and while I was dragging my
clothes out from under the bell and getting into them, I underwent a
pummelling that left me sore from head to foot.

Of course we always went barefoot, except in real cold weather, and
on the clean decks of a ship, this has much to recommend it. On the
_St. Mary's_ the order to go barefoot was always given when at sea
during warm weather, and on the _Fuller_ I found that all hands forward
did this as a rule. How beautifully simple it makes things cannot be
imagined, except by those who are lucky enough to be able to look back
at barefoot boyhood days.

While working up in the trades, we again shifted to better canvas,
and also got our cables up and shackled to the anchors, these being
sent off the fo'c'sle head and hung under the catheads, the flukes, of
course, gripped into the bill boards.

We had a lot of rain at this stage of the voyage, and as the wind was
strong the rigging would dry out rapidly after each wetting. Manila
rope shrinks very much when wet, and this sort of weather always kept
us on the go "checking" ropes to prevent damage to gear aloft, and then
as the stuff dried out we would have to take in the slack all round.
The remarkable strength of this shrinking process is shown in the grip
of lashings put on dry, and then wet just before taking up their work.
Rafts put together on deck and hove overboard are a good example of
this sort of thing.

September 10th, found us one hundred days out from Honolulu. This
was on a Saturday, and that afternoon we were permitted to have a
last field day. Also we sighted a steamer, a welcome indication of
approaching shore lines.

"Here, Felix, take this." Australia handed me a sheath knife that I had
always admired. "Remember me by it," he said. We were digging among our
personal belongings, and as Australia passed around a number of things
among the watch, the crowd all looked over their gear and there was a
general exchange of remembrances. Scouse gave me a tintype he had taken
in Honolulu, and Frenchy gave me a handsome pair of beckets with turks
heads, that he had worked for my sea chest. Pipes, and even tobacco,
changed hands.

The weather was much cooler, though far from uncomfortable, and as
we neared port, talk about the future again came to the fore, there
having been a lapse of several weeks, almost a month, following the
great revival of interest when we had put the Horn safely behind us.
Work kept up incessantly, and as a final splurge, we scrubbed the ship
over the side down to her copper composition, and painted her fore and
aft, finishing off with a white stripe in the line of her sheer. As the
scroll work forward, under the bowsprit, that did duty in place of a
figurehead, and the scroll work aft, had been gilded only the voyage
before, the _Fuller_ presented a very neat appearance.

The brass work lining the pin rails, and aft on the poop, was polished
to perfection, and every last turn and corner was done to the final
satisfaction of the mate. Aloft we were as trim as a ship ever got. No
loose ends, all mats and chafing gear neatly stopped in position, masts
scraped clean and rubbed with just enough grease to keep the parrals
from sticking, yards scrubbed and painted, and the tops and doublings
bright as a new pin. We were to go into port with the old girl
reflecting a well spent voyage, for the critical eye of Captain Burnham
would appraise her, and rate his captain and mate acccordingly, for he
was a most knowing old ship manager.

A week of rains and blows with fair wind was followed by a day of calm,
a heavy fog settling down. We had been sighting vessels constantly,
schooners and steamers, and knew we were close to our port. The old
mechanical fog horn, an ancient device worked by hand, was set croaking
on the fo'c'sle head, a job as bad as the bilge pumps, and we lay
flapping our idle wings in the mist. Several casts were taken with the
deep sea lead; we were in soundings.

The following day, Sunday, it cleared a bit, with a warm sun on the
waters, but the wind was still up and down and a rim of mist shut us
in, for our horizon was very dim.

"Keep that horn barking!" shouted the mate after the washdown. I was on
the fo'c'sle head breaking my back over the ancient contraption, when
an echo seemed to come in over the bow. The fog had shut down again.

"Steamer off port bow!" I shouted, for I recognized the deep tones of a

"Aye, aye! Give her the horn!"

I pumped down hard, and a moment later a tug shoved her nose through
the mist, a stumpy craft with the typical high pilot house of the
American tug boat; we were home at last!

"Where bound, Captain?" came the hail.

"Delaware Breakwater!"

"Want a tow?"

"How far are we?"

"About three miles!"

"All right, give us your line!"

As the tug ranged ahead and took our heaving line, we read her name;
she was the _Atkins Hughes_, of Philadelphia.

Droughing slowly through the heavy fog, we furled sail and toward noon
were at anchor behind the Delaware Breakwater. A launch came out and
we found the war with Spain was over, the date of our landfall being
September 18th, 1898.

We heard of the great battle off Santiago, and that the Hawaiian
Islands had been annexed. Peter and I got the surviving Kanakas,
Kahemuku and Joe, up on the fo'c'sle head and made them give three
cheers for their new country. After several starts they did this very
well, much to our amusement.

"Where is Pilladelpia?" Kahemuku wanted to know.

"Right up there, Kahee," said Peter, pointing up the Delaware. "Now
that you are an American citizen you will have a fine time when you get

That Sunday afternoon we sat about yarning; anchor watches were chosen,
and a full night in was before us. We were tired and sea worn and a
trifle sad. Back of us the hard days of the voyage, ahead of us, what?
We were soon to part and no one mentioned this important fact. We were
glad, of course, happy to so soon collect that long looked forward to
payday, and to carry out the great plans so long in the making. I felt
a hollow homesickness that had to be suppressed with a firm hold and,
as we rested, smoking and yarning, I have no doubt many wondered if
they were really to act upon the good resolutions so bravely determined.

Axel and Frenchy joined me on the fo'c'sle head and we talked of many
things. I was going home, but they wanted me to surely write them. Both
were to ship as soon as possible for their native shores. Old Smith was
as quiet as it is possible for a sailor of the old school to be. He sat
on the forehatch smoking. "What are you going to do?" I asked Smith.

"Well, if what I have done before is any criterion," he said grandly,
"I guess I am going to sea again as soon as my pay is spent and I get
a ship. China for me next, I am through with the Horn."


The light on Cape May, the twinkle of lights ashore, and the clear
autumn night following the day of fog, came as a welcome relief. We
needed sleep; we were tired and we were on the eve of parting. I
remember during my anchor watch, from two to four in the mid watch, I
stumped the deck in a highly reminiscent mood. Several times I went to
the fo'c'sle doors and looked in; bad as the drill had been, I hated to
leave it.

On Monday, Captain Nichols went ashore and sent out fresh provisions,
but there was no mail for us forward. Orders were to come soon and we
spent the time polishing and cleaning as if our salvation depended upon
the brilliance of the ship. The day passed without word, and we kept at
our brass and paintwork until Wednesday, when orders were received for
New York. The _Hughes_ was notified, and on Thursday noon, a break in
her engine having delayed her, the tug took us in tow for Sandy Hook.
We found the wind favorable off the Five Fathom Bank lightship and set
all plain sail to top-gallant-sails. At midnight it started to rain,
and the wind freshening, we were startled by a commotion under our bows
and found we were bearing down on the _Atkins Hughes_, her smoke pipe
sheering off to one side of our flying jibboom, and her steam whistle
protesting in strident blasts.

We at once shortened down to lower tops'ls and topmast stays'ls, and as
we gathered in her wings the old ship lay back on the hawser; for the
last time that voyage she had felt the independent urge of her canvas.



A gray dawn broke to seaward, and as the flash of the Navesink Light
dimmed, and the bulk of the land defined itself in the lifting haze to
the west, we picked up our pilot. In past the low spit of the Hook, up
through the main ship channel and past the Narrows, we labored aloft,
furling sail, giving it a harbor stow, while Mr. Zerk watched us with
critical eyes.

The day was fine, warm sunshine welcoming us, and a strange unnatural
brightness seeming to radiate from every nook and corner of the
_Fuller_--she was groomed, polished, and triple polished for this very
day. We brought up near Bedloe's Island, under the lee of the great
statue, anchoring shortly after noon. The glitter of the tall buildings
on Manhattan, and the busy harbor scenes, constantly called to our sea
weary eyes. All hands went forward to a dinner of cracker hash, and a
pale looking duff to which Chow had added an extra ration of molasses,
black like tar, and a huge can of coffee; all of the tack in the bread
barge was broken and mealy as if it had been searched for weevils
before coming forward.

"To hell with this grub," growled Old Smith, as he filled his pannikin
with coffee and lit his pipe. "I'm eating white man's tucker tonight.
To hell with this, I can wait."

However, most of us were too hungry to wait; but the near approach of
human victuals made our mouths water. All about the fo'c'sle bags and
chests were hauled out from under bunks and benches and were being

"That looks like them!" Australia at the starboard fore channels was
scanning several small boats coming out toward the ship. "I bet old
pedlar O'Brien is coming out to make me a present of a watch," he said,
at which we all laughed.

"Where are they?" a half dozen got up to watch the boats coming out
from the Battery with interest.

"Are you going to stay by?" asked Frenchy. "If you've got any place to
go to, don't leave, but stay by."

"Guess I'll stick," I said, "as I am going to my uncle's house. Why
don't you stay by?"

"They make it tough for you if you do," said Frenchy, nodding at the
boats which were now coming alongside with a spurt, the runners, for it
was they, racing to see who would get over the side first.

At that time there was a gentlemen's agreement--if we may call it
such--between the boarding house keepers, in the business of fleecing
sailors in the port of New York, whereby all victims were parcelled out
according to an impartial schedule, so many sailors to each house. When
a rich deep waterman came in, the boarding houses in the combine would
each get two or three men, stripping them of the greater part of their
payday. When a crew was wanted for a vessel outward bound, they would
supply the men in the same manner, taking the advance notes in payment
for board, clothes, and what not. Sometimes a sailor beat a boarding
master but not often, for Jack generally came in fat and went out under
bare poles, with nothing but a kit of second hand slops, as the sole
increment from his previous voyage.

As the runners bumped alongside, with a great show of rivalry and
cheery greetings, for they all knew just who was on board, we were
treated to an exhibition of rapid fire generosity and open-handed
welcome, by gentlemen of the waterfront, men wearing derby hats and
stiff shiny collars, watch chains, and flashy pins stuck into bright
neckties. These worthies scrambled up the fore channels like monkeys
and onto the deck. The game was to get a sailor to accept a card. As
soon as one of the boarding house cards was in the horny fist, that man
was marked and belonged to that particular house. This rushing at first
consisted in a scramble for the most desirable victims, that is the
weakest and most easily fleeced.

An evil-looking, pimply-faced runner backed me against the forward
house and thrust a card into my hand. He insisted, and I protested.
He had a breath that was strong, and told me how well his house could
take care of me. Good grub, a good crowd there, and he even mentioned
other advantages. He tried to put a five dollar bill into my hands. He
was most insistent; finally he saw that he was wasting precious time,
and darted after an easier victim. The runners swarmed about the decks,
two and three men from each house. In the two sides of the fo'c'sle the
crimps were assisting the men in the final roping of their dunnage,
bottles of whisky were being sampled. Some of the men proudly handled
showy watches, Australia surely got his watch, a big gilt turnip which
he showed me with pride.

"See, I got it."

"How much?" I asked.

"Only ten dollars--take it off my pay day. This watch is worth half of
that," and Australia winked at me. He had a bottle of whisky in his
jacket pocket.

All hands were becoming hilarious. The runners seemed uneasy, for
the _Fuller_ was known as a bit of a rough ship, and it was strictly
against the law for them to be on board. But a pay-off of close to
three thousand dollars forward was too tempting to allow around loose
in the harbor.

"No more of this work wagon for me," shouted Australia. Snatches of
song were interrupted by an order of unmistakable force.

"Lay aft, all hands!" It was Mr. Zerk who came forward and bellowed at
the gang about the fore fife rail.

We mustered aft, the shore harpies watching us from the sides of the
forward house.

"All here?"

"All aft, sir," Old Smith answered.

Captain Nichols stepped out on the break of the poop.

"Men," he began, "the voyage is over, but we will lay in the bay and
strike t'gallant masts before we go under the bridge. You can do this
if you want to, or you can go ashore now. I have found you a good
crew, ready, and sober. Those who want to go ashore step over to port."
All hands did, including Second Mate Tom, who now stood with his old
messmates, after a brief four months as an officer aft.

"Peter, come back, and you, Felix. You two stay aboard till we dock.
The rest of you can go. I want to say 'good-bye' and wish you good
luck. Be careful where you go and what you do."

As the skipper finished the longest speech we had ever heard him make,
he turned sharply and walked aft to the companion. We felt like giving
a cheer, but the cold eye of the mate was on us. There was a shuffle
and hesitation as to what was next.

"Lay forward and get your dunnage, mind that paintwork when you go over
the side." Mr. Zerk had given his last order to our crowd.

With discipline a thing of the past, with the hasty donning of wrinkled
shore clothes, and the ever present tempters, plying them with whisky,
the crew became a strange, wild-eyed crowd. Old Smith, Hitchen, and
Axel seemed to know what they were about. Scouse was belligerent, half
tipsy, and wild with the knowledge that he was at last to step from
those hated decks. Frenchy, of all the gang, showed the most sense.
"I am saving all I can out of this," he said. "I will ship across to
England or France, as soon as possible."

"Come on, stay aboard," I urged.

"If I do, I'll never get a ship out of New York," and he knew what he
was talking about.

Brenden was frankly drunk, _soused_ was his condition, and as fine
a sailor-man as there was. I had a lump in my throat when the boats
pulled away. There was much hand shaking and waving. Peter and I stood
on the fo'c'sle head watching them row ashore. Scouse got up in his
boat time and again and shook his fist at the ship.

Among the departed ones, Kahemuku and Black Joe were in tow of a
colored mission that had sent a boat for them. These poor Kanakas had
very little coming to them, and they offered no temptation to the
greedy runners. On the other hand, Tommy, for a brief term second
mate, at thirty dollars per month, presented the juiciest picking,
and strangely enough fell to the lot of the most inexperienced of the
crimps who picked him up by accident after the struggle was supposed to
be over as he emerged from his exalted cabin under the poop. Tom also
departed from the immaculate decks with a feeling of genuine relief.

"Well, they're gone," said Peter.

"I wish they were back," I said.

"Me too," was his reply.

When the last boat had vanished beyond the South Ferry slip, we entered
the deserted fo'c'sle. The disorder incident to such hurried departure
was everywhere evident. Small personal belongings of no intrinsic
value, but speaking eloquently of their owners on the long voyage past,
were scattered about, Brenden's calendar over his bunk attracted my
eye, and I saw that he had carried it along to the last day and had
evidently made a calculation of his payday on the beam over his bunk.
Names were scratched over most of the bunks. Frenchy, always neat, had
left behind a small canvas pouch in which he kept his tobacco and pipe,
this was empty, however; a few old burnt pipes, easily identified, were
abandoned in favor of the more effluvious five cent cigars so liberally
passed around by the runners. In the starboard fo'c'sle, Charlie Horse
and Tony had cleaned up their bunks before leaving, but Old Smith left
his a sight. Odd playing cards were scattered about, and the smell of
whisky, from recent spillings, gave this austere den the air of a
blind pig. Old oilskins that had been cast off, by the advice of some
of the crimps, were all missing. Peter remembered seeing one of the
shore gang bundle these up and take them, no doubt to help outfit the
poor fellows again in exchange for their advance; not an item seemed to
have escaped the plundering crowd from the beach. The fo'c'sle on my
side was populated with ghosts; I was glad when the mate called us aft
and ordered the decks swept down.

"Cabin grub for supper tonight," announced Peter, coming from the
galley. Sure enough, we were given two plates of corned beef hash,
made with real potatoes, while some letters that had come aboard were
sent forward. I was happy to learn that my folks were well and knew
of our arrival, having received the report from Delaware Breakwater.
We were particularly happy in all this, but in spite of good news, of
good food, and our approaching liberty, we were sad. The _Fuller_ was
peopled with the spirits of those so recently departed. Somewhere on
shore among the twinkling lights that began to flicker as the dusk
crept over the bay, our shipmates were carousing in the wicked city,
laying the foundation for another voyage of endless hardship and

Peter and I, with Chips, who remained on board, were told off as anchor
watch during the night, each taking a three-hour shift; three hours
that to me passed very quickly as I tramped the decks of memory on that
haunted ship, and thought of that first night watch when Frenchy and I
paired off to stump from the pin rail to the forward house, and spin
our yarns, and lay the foundation for a friendship that I have never

In the morning the shore riggers came on board, taking complete charge.
Mr. Zerk walked the deck but never gave an order, and those rough and
ready men struck the topgallant masts in jig time, lowering the skysail
masts so the tall trucks of the _Fuller_ would clear the span of the
Brooklyn Bridge. How they went rough-shod over the decks with their
spiked boots, while we had to submit all of our shoes to the mate for
inspection before wearing them so he could satisfy himself that no
nails remained in the soles.

By two that afternoon, the topgallant masts were lowered and a tug came
alongside, making fast to our quarter; we slowly headed up the East
River, past the South Ferry, and our starting berth at the foot of
Maiden Lane, then under the Brooklyn Bridge. The rattle of the trains,
the near approach of the life and hum of the great city filled me
with a strange wonder. As we came alongside at Williamsburgh, Mr. Zerk
said we might pack up and go when we pleased. Captain Nichols called
Peter and me aft and handed us each a letter; mine was to serve me two
years later--when I was twenty-one--as part of the required service
testimonials for admission to the examination for second mate in sail
and steam vessels. The letter read:

                                       NEW YORK, Sept. 24th, 1898.

 This is to certify that Felix Riesenberg has made the voyage in the
 Ship _A. J. Fuller_ from New York to Honolulu and back to New York,
 and I have found him to be a smart, steady, and faithful young man.

                                             C. M. NICHOLS,
                                      Master, Ship _A. J. Fuller_.

I am as proud of this letter now as I was on the day it was given me,
and with this precious paper in pocket, our chests trundling along
behind on an express wagon, Peter and I walked up the wharf, two
sea-tanned, hard-fisted youngsters in a land of strange activity,
noise, cobblestones, and freedom. We parted at the Brooklyn Bridge,
he going to friends in Brooklyn, and I to the home of my uncle in
Manhattan. Behind us lay one of life's great experiences--a voyage
around Cape Horn in an American three skysail yarder, a last proud
example of the fine sailing ships that once carried the starry ensign
to the four quarters of the globe.



On Monday, Sept. 26th, 1898, three days after our arrival in the bay,
we were paid off before the United States Shipping Commissioner, the
short interval having worked a deplorable change in the crew. Whoever
was responsible for a condition so well calculated to cause the
downfall of the returning deepwaterman, has a great weight of iniquity
resting against his eternal soul; no doubt this responsibility was so
well divided that each and every one of those guilty felt that his
individual part in the great scheme of debauchery would go unnoticed.

I like to believe that all of them, boarding masters, crimps, runners,
politicians, shipping officials, owners, managers, and masters who were
parties to the fate that befell the men of the _Fuller_, have long
since received their due reward in full consciousness of its meaning.
Nowadays things are managed better, thanks to the greater influence
of such noble establishments as the American Seamen's Friend Society,
the Seamen's Christian Association in West Street, and the Seamen's
Church Institute, on South Street, clubs where sailors are given room
and board, are outfitted, and are able to bank their payday. Healthful
amusements and recreation are provided, without that sanctimonious
atmosphere that seems to curdle many well-meaning attempts of this
sort and most of the shipping companies secure their crews through the

But in 1898, the deepwater sailor was at the mercy of the hungry sharks
who had full sway in the vile business of ruining the souls and health
of sailors in order to rob them of the few dollars earned during a year
or more of cruel labor on the sea.

I have forgotten just where the shipping office was located, but it
was somewhere near Beaver Street and the waterfront. I was on hand
bright and early, anxious to see the crowd. The three days of rest and
good food, and wholesome amusement, those happy days at the home of my
uncle, had put me in fine condition; I never felt better in my life,
and I was looking forward to a visit with the old gang. I wanted to
take a trip around the waterfront with Frenchy and Australia, as we
had often planned, and have a good dinner ashore, such as Frenchy and
Tommy and I enjoyed in Honolulu.

The shipping office, as I remember it, had a dingy outer room in which
the crew to be paid off awaited the pleasure of the haughty officials.
One must be a sailor about to receive the scant reward for a year of
toil, to fully appreciate the high and mighty character of such minor
public officers as waited upon us on that bluest of all blue Mondays.

A gruff understrapper told me where to wait, and in the course of a
half hour the crew, in tow of the crimps, appeared on the scene; I
would like to draw a veil over this part of the story and leave the
reader the simple picture of the men rowing toward the Battery, with
Scouse shaking his fist at the ship, but realism, which in itself
constitutes the highest romance, bids me tell things as I saw them, and
the final tragedy is a part of the old days under sail that none of us
wish to see return.

I looked for Frenchy, but hardly knew him. His beard was trimmed
close to his chin, he wore his old cap but had on a cheap new suit of
clothes, wrinkled as though he had slept in them, and his eyes were
bloodshot. He seemed to avoid me, as he hung in the rear of the crowd.
For every man to be paid off, at least two crimps were on hand.

All were more or less under the weather, the smell of cheap whisky
permeated the room, and the ribald jests of the crimps, the constant
whooping up of an ill-sustained merriment, gave the gathering a ghastly
character that drove home to me with peculiar force. No doubt the close
approach to the money caused the robbers more than a passing thrill.
A couple of special bouncers from the inner office appeared when the
gathering became too obstreperous, and I had a chance to say "hello"
to the gang. Peter was there, sober, and wide-eyed with astonishment,
having come from the house of Mrs. Burdick, the good angel of the
waterfront. Australia, in a new rig, derby, watch, and soiled linen,
kept bursting into song; not the songs of the sea, but some cheap new
airs picked up along the Bowery.

"I owe them half of what's coming to me," he whispered, as if this was
something to be proud of; a crimp slid up, and he at once ceased his
confidences; all hands acted as though they were in charge of jailers,
which in fact they were.

Brenden, Charlie Horse, and Tommy sat in a corner, sullen, and I judge
partly sober.

Their attendants were anything but friendly. Martin, Fred, Tony, and
Old Smith had given themselves over body and soul. Smith was already
promised a ship, to sail in a week, so he had seven more days of
hilarious living to look forward to, and then another drill, around
the Horn or the Cape of Good Hope; another such voyage as we had just
passed through.

Axel and Hitchen were in their old clothes; they had seen the sights,
but seemed far steadier than the rest.

I cornered Frenchy. "What are you going to do when you get your pay?" I

"I will pay up what I owe and ship for England or France."

"Better buy a steerage passage for Havre," I reminded him, when the
crimp who owned him closed in, and a bull voice from the back room
ordered us to line up for our pay.

My name was one of the last to be called, and as I got my pay,
something over one hundred and twenty-five dollars, with slops and
allowance given in Honolulu deducted, I returned to the outer room and
found most of the men gone. As fast as they had got their money, the
crimps had hurried them off to their respective boarding houses. The
Kanakas came in, still in charge of the colored mission, or whatever
it was, that had them in tow, apparently the only honest people there,
and I bid those simple fellows good-bye; whether Kahemuku ever got to
"Pilladelpia," I don't know; I hope he did.

Presently I was on the street. The crew of the _Fuller_ had vanished.
I looked for Peter; he was gone. I stood alone and strangers passed,
bumping into me, no doubt thinking me a sunburned country yokel,
stranded in those busy, narrow streets.

That afternoon I saw Captain Shackford, of the American Line, and was
promised a billet as cadet on the _St. Louis_, just returned to the
passenger service after her brief career as an auxiliary cruiser during
the war with Spain. My service in sail was completed, and I was to
experience eighteen months, as quartermaster, for I was soon promoted,
on the _St. Louis_, during her golden age, when for a brief period it
looked as though the Stars and Stripes were again to come into their
own upon the Western Ocean.

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      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Obvious printer errors have been corrected. Otherwise, the author's
original spelling, punctuation and hyphenation have been left intact.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Under Sail" ***

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