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Title: Frank Nelson in the Forecastle - Or, The Sportman's Club Among the Whalers
Author: Castlemon, Harry
Language: English
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[Illustration: ARCHIE, FRED, AND EUGENE ON THE MAIN-CROSS-TREES
OF THE STRANGER.]


Frank Nelson Series.

FRANK NELSON IN THE FORECASTLE;

Or, The Sportsman's Club Among the Whalers.

by

HARRY CASTLEMON,

Author of "The Sportsman's Club Series," "Gunboat Series," "Rolling
Stone Series," &c.



Philadelphia:
Porter & Coates.

Cincinnati:
R. W. Carroll & Co.


      *      *      *      *      *      *

                        FAMOUS CASTLEMON BOOKS.


 =GUNBOAT SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 6 vols. 16mo.
 Cloth, extra, black and gold.

FRANK THE YOUNG NATURALIST. FRANK ON A GUNBOAT. FRANK IN THE WOODS.
FRANK BEFORE VICKSBURG. FRANK ON THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI. FRANK ON THE
PRAIRIE.

 =ROCKY MOUNTAIN SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 3 vols.
 16mo. Cloth, extra, black and gold.

  FRANK AMONG THE RANCHEROS.
  FRANK AT DON CARLOS' RANCHO.
  FRANK IN THE MOUNTAINS.

 =SPORTSMAN'S CLUB SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 3 vols.
 16mo. Cloth, extra, black and gold.

  THE SPORTSMAN'S CLUB IN THE SADDLE.
  THE SPORTSMAN'S CLUB AFLOAT.
  THE SPORTSMAN'S CLUB AMONG THE TRAPPERS.

 =GO-AHEAD SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 3 vols. 16mo.
 Cloth, extra, black and gold.

TOM NEWCOMBE. GO-AHEAD. NO MOSS.

 =FRANK NELSON SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 3 vols. 16mo.
 Cloth, extra, black and gold.

SNOWED UP. FRANK IN THE FORECASTLE. BOY TRADERS.

 =BOY TRAPPER SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 3 vols. 16mo.
 Cloth, extra, black and gold.

  THE BURIED TREASURE; OR, OLD JORDAN'S HAUNT.
  THE BOY TRAPPER; OR, HOW DAVE FILLED THE ORDER.
  THE MAIL-CARRIER.

 =ROUGHING IT SERIES.= By HARRY CASTLEMON. Illustrated. 16mo. Cloth,
 extra, black and gold.

GEORGE IN CAMP.

                    _Other Volumes in Preparation._

      *      *      *      *      *      *


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1876 by
R. W. Carroll & Co.,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



                               CONTENTS.


                              CHAPTER I.

                  A Backwoodsman's Ideas        Page 5

                              CHAPTER II.

                "Man Overboard"                     24

                             CHAPTER III.

                A Sea Lawyer                        41

                              CHAPTER IV.

                "Shanghaied"                        61

                              CHAPTER V.

                The Trapper's Adventure             82

                              CHAPTER VI.

                A Scamp on his Dignity              99

                             CHAPTER VII.

                Too late                           118

                             CHAPTER VIII.

                Gentleman Black                    141

                              CHAPTER IX.

                "There she Blows"                  159

                              CHAPTER X.

                Frank's first Whale                178

                              CHAPTER XI.

                Cutting In and Trying Out          198

                             CHAPTER XII.

                How Frank saw the Consul           218

                             CHAPTER XIII.

                Turned Adrift                      241

                             CHAPTER XIV.

                Old Times Revived                  262

                              CHAPTER XV.

                Frank on the Quarter-deck          285

                             CHAPTER XVI.

                Conclusion                         310



                             FRANK NELSON

                          IN THE FORECASTLE;

                                OR, THE

                  SPORTSMAN'S CLUB AMONG THE WHALERS.



CHAPTER I.

A BACKWOODSMAN'S IDEAS.


"I DECLARE this is almost like coming into another world, isn't it?"

"Yes, and I, for one, am glad to get back. I like a good horse, and no
one enjoys a few days' shooting and fishing better than I do; but when
I get tired of the saddle and the woods, I like to see the blue water
and feel the solid planks of a yacht's deck under my feet once more. We
had a good time though, in spite of all our adventures and mishaps."

"We certainly did. I am like Perk, who, after he had been down into the
Cave of the Winds, under Niagara Falls, said he would do it again for
no money, but seeing that he _had_ been down, he would not sell his
experience at any price. I couldn't be hired to make that same trip
to Fort Bolton again--being "snowed up" was the worst part of it to
me--but since it is all over and we are safely out of it, I am glad we
went."

This was a portion of the conversation carried on by our friends
Archie, Fred and Eugene, as they sat in the main-cross-trees of the
Stranger, swinging their feet in the air and looking out over the
shipping anchored off North Point Dock, in the harbor of San Francisco.
They had only just arrived that day, their trip across the mountains
being happily ended. They had discarded the half-savage, half-civilized
costumes they had worn during their sojourn in the wilderness and
substituted pea-jackets for their hunting-shirts, light shoes for their
high-top boots, and natty tarpaulins for their slouch hats. They looked
as though they had just come out of some lady's band-box, and one and
all declared that it was most refreshing to find themselves dressed up
like white folks once more.

The first thing these three uneasy youngsters did after they had donned
their "shore clothes," and put the suits they had worn in the mountains
carefully away in their trunks for safe-keeping, was to run all over
the vessel, looking into every locker and corner, just as they had done
when they first saw her on the stocks at New Orleans, and the next to
mount to the cross-trees to survey the harbor. Here they had sat for
half an hour, enjoying the prospect spread out before them, and talking
over their recent adventures and exploits. The other members of the
Club, Walter, Frank Nelson, George Le Dell and the rest, were seated
on the quarter-deck with Uncle Dick, talking to Dick Lewis and old Bob
Kelly.

Dick and Bob were objects of great interest to the sailors who composed
the Stranger's crew. They stared at everything with wide-open eyes, and
were as much out of place on the schooner's deck as the jolly tars
would have been in the mountains from which the backwoodsmen had just
arrived.

The Club had had a varied and eventful experience during the
comparatively short time that they had been absent from the Stranger,
and even now the hearts of some of them would beat a trifle faster
whenever they thought of what they had passed through. Walter drew a
long breath every time he recalled his experience in Potter's rancho;
Fred and Eugene shivered and drew their collars up around their ears
when they thought of the sight presented to their gaze on the day
they set out from their camp under the cliffs, to show the Pike and
his family the way to Fort Bolton, and imagined that they could see
the air filled with driving snow, and could hear the roaring of the
wind as it swept the prairie, just as they had seen it and heard it on
that long-to-be-remembered afternoon. Archie grew excited and elated
whenever he thought of the way he had captured the wild horse, and
then exasperated when he remembered how he had lost him before he had
had a chance to try even one race with his cousin. Frank shrugged his
shoulders when any of his companions called him "Chinny Billy," as they
often did, and thanked his lucky stars that he was well out of the
predicament which the genuine Chinny Billy had so nearly got him into,
when he denounced him as an impostor and spy in the presence of all the
members of Potter's gang; and even Uncle Dick Gaylord, hardened as he
was by a long life of adventure, did not like to recall the feelings of
anxiety and suspense that he had experienced on more than one occasion,
during the journey to Bolton and back. The two trappers were probably
the only ones in the party for whom the last few months had no especial
interest. Their lives were made up of just such scenes and incidents,
and they never thought of them again, unless something happened to
bring them vividly to their recollection.

The last night that the friends passed at Fort Bolton was given up
to enjoyment. The colonel and major entertained Uncle Dick at their
quarters, and the younger officers took charge of the boys. After
supper it was noticed that some of the officers and their guests
distributed themselves in little groups about the room, that the
members of each group carried on a very earnest conversation in a low
tone of voice, and that various little keepsakes were passed from one
to the other, which each promised to preserve in remembrance of the
giver. The gifts that passed between Frank and Lieutenant Gaylord
were the most valuable of any. These two young fellows had been fast
friends and almost constant companions ever since the night on which
the lieutenant recaptured Dick Lewis after his flight from the guard
house, and arrested Frank for assisting him to make his escape. Frank
had something he knew the lieutenant wanted, and that was the splendid
horse which Potter had given him. Frank could not take the animal
around the world with him, and besides he was already the happy owner
of a steed which was just as handsome and swift, and which held a much
higher place in his affections. That was Roderick. It was Uncle Dick's
intention to travel on horseback until the party reached a point from
which they could continue their journey by stage or railroad, and then
sell off their stock--their wagon, which would have been an almost
useless encumbrance to them, now that the roads were blocked with snow,
having been exchanged for pack mules--Frank would then have no further
use for his horse, so he offered him to the lieutenant, who was glad to
accept him.

The journey to San Francisco was made without the occurrence of any
exciting or noteworthy incidents. Among them all they managed to shoot
a few black-tails, and one grizzly bear, whose skin and claws were
preserved by the old members of the Club as trophies. They found the
snow fully as deep as they expected, the travelling difficult, and the
weather extremely cold; but their progress was steady, although slow,
until they reached the railroad, and then in a few hours they found
themselves in an almost tropical climate.

When they reached the railroad, Dick and Old Bob would have taken leave
of them, but the boys would not listen to it. They were determined
that, if they could have their own way, the trappers should remain
with them for a long time to come. They owed much to these two men, and
as they could not repay them in any other way, they would take them
around the world, introducing them to scenes and people of which they
had never dreamed. Of course this idea originated with rattle-brained
Eugene Gaylord, and Uncle Dick, who could not find it in his heart
to refuse his nephews anything they asked for, consented to the
arrangement, though not without a good deal of grumbling.

"They'll only be in the way, Eugene," said the old sailor. "They just
fit the mountains and the prairie--they were made for them; but how
will they look on the deck of the Stranger? There isn't room enough
aboard our little craft for that giant, Louis."

"O, Uncle, there are two or three empty bunks in the forecastle, and
they can sleep there as well as not," replied Eugene.

"But they will be so uneasy that they'll not enjoy themselves in the
least," continued Uncle Dick. "They will be frightened to death when
they find themselves out of sight of land, and the men will be playing
tricks on them all the while."

"But the men mustn't play tricks on them. We won't let them; and
besides it would be dangerous. As for being out of sight of land, that
need not trouble them. They'll not be in half as much danger as they
were while they were with Potter's gang. Then think of the fun we'll
have, Uncle! Didn't you notice how they opened their eyes the other
night when Bab was telling them of the elephants we expect to see in
India?"

"Well, well! do as you please," said the old sailor. "If they are
foolish enough to go, I shall have a fine time of it among you all; I
can see that plainly." And then he turned away to hunt up Frank Nelson,
to whom he always went when he had anything on his mind.

Eugene having gained his point went straight to Archie and Fred, who
declared that it was the best thing they ever heard of. The matter was
laid before the trappers with as little delay as possible, and the
proposition almost took their breath away. They opened their mouths and
eyes and looked wonderingly at each other, but said nothing. Archie
thought that was enough for one day, and although his friends wanted an
immediate answer, he succeeded in inducing them to retire and leave the
trappers to themselves. He thought it best to give them leisure to turn
the matter over in their minds (it seemed to be more than they could
grasp at once) and go to them for an answer at some future time.

Dick and old Bob seemed to grow timid as they approached the confines
of civilization, but they were coaxed on board the train, and when
the party reached San Francisco, they were taken off to the Stranger.
The matter of the voyage around the world had been brought for up
discussion a few times, but Dick had found his tongue at last, and
declared that it was not to be thought of. The boys knew better than to
press the subject, and hoped that time would accomplish what arguments
could never do. A few hours on board the Stranger in the harbor,
where vessels were constantly coming and going, might increase their
confidence, while it familiarized them in some slight degree with
life on ship-board, and perhaps they could then be induced to change
their minds. Archie had tried to persuade Dick to follow him and his
companions to the cross-trees; but the trapper, after glancing down at
his colossal proportions, and then up at the ratlines, which looked no
larger than so many threads, declared that the ropes wouldn't bear his
weight, and remained below.

"Now, this feels natural!" exclaimed Featherweight swinging back
and forth on his dizzy perch with such apparent recklessness that
Dick Lewis, who now and then looked up at him, fairly shook in his
moccasins; "and I am ready for new adventures and new sights beyond the
seas. Our fellows can say, what the books tell us comparatively few
American travellers can say, and that is, we have seen the most of the
wonders of our own country. I never expect to see anything grander than
the Yo Semite Valley. I wonder how long it will be before Uncle Dick
will hoist the signal for sailing?"

"Just as soon as the stores are aboard," said Eugene. "We may get off
to-morrow."

"Will Dick and Bob go with us?"

"No," said Archie. "We might as well give that up. And since I have
come to think of it, I don't want them to go unless they are perfectly
willing to do so."

"Nor I," said Eugene. "If it frightens them so badly to travel on
a railroad train, what would be their feelings when they found the
schooner tossing about on such waves as we saw coming around the Horn?
I shall urge them no more."

"They have been talking to Frank about it," continued Fred. "They
always go to him and believe every word he says--that is, almost every
word."

"Ah! yes; I was going to put that in," said Archie. "They don't like to
believe that the world is round. They don't say so with their mouths,
but they do with their eyes."

"And they don't know what to think about elephants as large as that
house of Potter's, and lions and tigers, and snakes twenty feet long,"
said Fred.

"And a whale bothers them," chimed in Eugene; "and Dick laughed the
other day when I told him about a flying-fish."

"What's going on down there?" asked Archie, as the sound of voices in
animated conversation came up from the deck.

The boys looked below and saw that the group, which they had last seen
scattered over the quarter-deck, were gathered about Dick Lewis, who
appeared to be making them a speech. Now and then he illustrated his
remarks by pointing to something he had placed at his feet; but the
boys could not see what it was, for the Club were crowded about it and
hid it from view. They were missing something, that was evident; but
they did not intend to miss any more of it, and it was but the work
of a few seconds to swing themselves out of the crosstrees on to the
ratlines, and descend to the deck. They ran up to the group, and found
that the object over which the trapper was holding forth was simply a
mess-pan filled with water.

"Them stories you've been a tellin' seems wonderful to me an' ole Bob,
who never heard the like afore," Dick was saying as the boys came up.
"We don't conspute 'em, 'cause bein' unedicated men, we never had no
book larnin', an' don't know nothing outside the mountains an' the
prairy. Now, you tell me that thar's three times as much water on the
'arth as thar is ground; that you're goin' to start from Fr'isco an'
sail clean around it in this yere little boat, an' that if me an' ole
Bob'll go with you, we won't even know that we're sailing round the
world. Won't we know when we come to the edge?"

"There isn't any edge to it," said Frank.

"Sho! Thar can't help bein' an edge if the world is round, can thar?
This yere," said Dick, pointing to the pan of water, "is the sea;
an' this yere," he continued, fumbling in the pockets of his hunting
shirt, "is the 'arth."

As he spoke he drew out a piece of hard tack, which he had rudely
shaped with his knife to represent his idea of the rotundity of the
earth. The corners were cut off, making the biscuit nearly round, and
there was a piece clipped out of the side of it, in shape something
like a bottle with a very short neck and wide body, to represent the
Golden Gate and the harbor of San Francisco. This miniature world Dick
placed in the middle of the pan of water, and then straightened up and
looked triumphantly at his audience. Eugene glanced at it, choked back
a laugh and then rushed off to find the steward, while the trapper went
on with his illustration.

"Now, thar's the 'arth," said he, placing his finger on the biscuit,
"flat like a pan-cake, as anybody can see it is, that's ever been out
on the prairy, an' round like _you_ say it is. Here is the sea all
around it, an' here's Fr'isco. Now, after you go out of the Golden Gate
an' start to sail round the 'arth," said Dick, moving his long finger
through the water around the biscuit, "can't you see the edge all the
way round? I can understand that, which wasn't so very plain to me a
few days ago, but now comes something I can't see into. You say the
'arth turns over onct every day, but that don't by no means stand to
reason, 'cause jest see what would happen,"--he went on, placing his
finger under the biscuit and raising one edge of it out of the water.
"If it turned over, one side of it would keep gettin' higher an' higher
all the time, an' finally the houses, an' trees, an' mountains, an'
folks would get to slidin' an' slidin', an' when they come to the edge,
they'd all slip off into the water; an' when the 'arth turned _cl'ar_
over"--here he flopped the biscuit up side down in the pan--"whar would
we all be?"

None of his auditors had attempted to interrupt the trapper, and the
reason was because there was not one among them who could trust himself
to speak, not even Uncle Dick. Believing from their silence that he
had got the better of all of them, the trapper said he was more firmly
convinced than he had ever been before, that all the learning in the
world was not to be found in books, and was about to throw the contents
of his mess-pan over the side, when Eugene came elbowing his way into
the group, carrying an apple in one hand and a small magnet in the
other.

"Now, Dick," said he, "let me talk a minute. You haven't quite got the
idea. In the first place, that piece of hard tack doesn't represent the
shape of the earth, but this apple does, pretty nearly. In the next
place, the globe doesn't revolve through water, for the water forms
part of the earth and turns with it."

"Sho!" exclaimed the trapper. "It would all spill out."

"Hold on a minute, and I'll show you that it can't spill out. The world
revolves through the air. Don't you fellows criticise now," continued
Eugene, turning to his companions. "If, when I get through, you want
to explain that the earth really revolves through space, and that the
air goes with it, except such portions as are left behind and form the
trade-winds, you are welcome to do it; but it is quite beyond me."

Eugene handed the magnet to Archie to hold until he was ready to use
it, and with the point of his knife rudely traced upon the apple the
shape of the continents and the principal oceans. This done, he went
on with his explanation, which was simply a repetition of what every
boy learns when he first begins the study of geography. He described
the motions of the earth as well as he could, and used the magnet to
illustrate the attraction of gravitation. Dick listened attentively,
and when Eugene finished, took the apple from his hand and looked at
it with a great deal of interest. He turned it over several times, and
appeared to be meditating upon something.

"They're goin' to sail round the 'arth this way," said he, moving
his finger slowly around the circumference of the apple, and talking
more to himself than to the boys standing about, "an' when they get
around here"--he stopped and thought a moment, holding the end of his
finger under the apple--"when they get around here, they'll be--Human
natur'!" he cried suddenly, as if frightened at the discovery he had
made. "When you get around here, on the under side of the 'arth,
you'll be walkin' with your heads downwards, won't you? Bob can do
as he likes, but _I_ won't go. Mebbe that little red hoss-shoe aint
strong enough to hold the boat fast to the 'arth--don't look as if it
was--an' some dark night she'll get to fallin' an' fallin'--Whew! I'm
as near that place now as I want to be, an' I'm off fur the mountains
to-morrow, bright an' 'arly."

Dick turned away, fairly trembling with excitement, and the boys
scattered as if some one had suddenly sent a charge of bird-shot among
them.



CHAPTER II.

"MAN OVERBOARD."


THE trappers were badly frightened, there could be no doubt about
that, and it was a spectacle the Club had never expected to witness.
That these two men, who had time and again faced death in almost every
shape in which he presents himself on shore, who had lived in the very
midst of danger from their youth up, and who sought and delighted in
perilous exploits, should be so nearly overcome with terror by hearing
of things with which every schoolboy is familiar, was surprising; and
there was something so ludicrous in the manner in which they exhibited
their alarm, that the boys could scarcely restrain their laughter until
they could get out of sight. Old Bob glared wildly about him, seemingly
on the point of jumping overboard and swimming ashore, and Dick
Lewis leaned against the rail, drawing his breath in quick gasps and
looking altogether as if he did not yet fairly understand the startling
discovery he had made. Uncle Dick Gaylord took one glance at him and
then went to the stern and looked over into the water, while the boys
dived down into the cabin and threw themselves into chairs, or leaned
up in corners, holding their handkerchiefs over their mouths--all
except Archie, who never could control himself when he wanted to laugh.
He ran into his state-room, shut the door and buried his head in the
pillows. The funny part of it was, that Dick should suppose, that those
who attempted the reckless task of sailing around the world, should be
obliged to take a magnet with them, in order to keep themselves and
their vessel from falling off when they reached the "under side of the
earth."

At the end of five minutes Archie made an attempt to come out into the
cabin, but he was still bubbling over with laughter, and the sight
of him created a fresh explosion, and set Archie himself to going
again at such a rate that he was obliged to go back. It is hard to
tell how long it would have been before the boys could have controlled
themselves sufficiently to talk the matter over, had it not been that a
commotion which suddenly arose on deck, drew their attention to other
affairs.

"Fore rigging, there," exclaimed Uncle Dick. "What do you see?"

"A man overboard, sir," replied the voice of the boatswain's mate. "He
jumped off that whaler, sir."

"And he's swimming this way, sir," said another voice, "and making
signals of distress."

"Have the cutter called away, Mr. Baldwin," said Uncle Dick, to his
first mate, "and send a crew out to pick him up."

The boys waited to hear no more. They crowded up the companion ladder
with such haste that they ran some risk of sticking fast in the narrow
passageway, and reached the deck just as the crew of the cutter were
tumbling into their boat which lay along side moored to a swinging
boom, man-of-war fashion.

"Where is Mr. Parker?" said Uncle Dick, looking around for his second
officer.

"O, let me go in charge of the boat, Uncle," exclaimed Eugene,
snatching Fred's hat from his head, for he had left his own in the
cabin.

"Away you go, then," said the old sailor. "Don't let him sink before
you reach him."

"They're sending out a boat from the whaler, sir," said the foremast
hand, who was at work in the forward rigging, and who had been the
first to discover the man in the water.

"Does he appear to be all right?"

"O, yes, sir. He swims like a duck, but he's waving his hand to us."

"Hold on a minute, Eugene."

Uncle Dick sprang upon the rail and supporting himself by the shrouds
looked towards the man, and then toward the boat that was coming out
to pick him up, while the boys, all except Eugene, who stood ready
to take his place in the cutter at a moment's warning, swarmed up
the rigging and looked on with no little interest. They saw at once
that the man had no trouble in keeping afloat, for he swam over the
waves as buoyantly as a cork. They saw, too, that he did not want to
be overtaken by the whaler's boat, if he could help it, for he looked
back at her occasionally to see if she was gaining on him, and then
redoubled his efforts to reach the schooner.

"He is trying to desert," said Uncle Dick, "and I think we had better
have nothing to do with him."

"Quartermaster, pass up that spy-glass," said Frank.

The petty officer handed the instrument to Featherweight, who happened
to be lowest in the shrouds, and he passed it to George Le Dell,
who handed it up to Frank. The latter mounted to the crosstrees and
levelled the glass at the swimmer. He held it to his eye for a few
minutes, and then passing it back to George, said:

"That man has either met with a severe accident, or been roughly
handled. His face is bleeding."

"Help! help!" cried a faint voice.

"Go and pick him up," said Uncle Dick.

"Shove off," commanded Eugene, before he was fairly seated in the
stern-sheets of the cutter. "Remember, men, that you are racing with a
whale-boat, and that you don't want to be beaten."

The cutter swung around with her bow toward the swimmer, and propelled
by eight strong oarsmen, who seemed to lift her fairly out of the
water at every stroke, flew over the waves like a duck. A boat race
was something in which Eugene took especial delight, but the one that
came off that morning between the cutter and the whale-boat was not as
exciting or as closely contested as he had hoped it would be. In fact
it was no race at all; for when the officer, whoever he was, who had
charge of the deck of the whaler, saw that the cutter was likely to
reach the swimmer first, he hailed his boat, which turned around and
went back.

"In bow," commanded the coxswain of the cutter, who was sitting just
behind Eugene.

The two sailors who were seated in the bow raised their oars from the
water, placed them on the thwarts between them, and then one stood up
with the boat-hook in his hand, while the other threw himself flat on
his face and extended his arm out over the water.

"Way enough! Toss, and stand by," said the coxswain.

The other oars were all thrown up into the air at the same moment,
laid upon the thwarts, and every man leaned over the side to be ready
to seize the swimmer as the cutter moved past him. She retained
steerage-way enough to carry her within a few feet of him, and then the
coxswain, with one movement of the tiller, turned the bow aside, and
the boat-hook was thrust out within reach of his hands. It was a matter
of some difficulty to haul the rescued man aboard, for he was too
nearly exhausted to help himself, and his clothing, being thoroughly
saturated with water, was as heavy as so much lead. Besides, his
forehead was badly cut and bruised, and no doubt he was suffering from
the hurt.

[Illustration: RESCUING THE DESERTER.]

"Did you fall overboard?" asked Eugene, after the man had been pulled
into the boat and had taken his seat in the bow.

"No, sir; I jumped overboard on purpose."

"You hit your head against something, didn't you?"

"The cap'n hit it for me, sir. It was a belaying pin that made that
mark."

Eugene looked wonderingly at the coxswain, who nodded his head, as if
to say that he didn't doubt it at all.

"Why, the officers aboard our vessel don't find it necessary to do such
things," said Eugene.

"But all vessels ain't like the Stranger, sir, nor are all shipmasters
like Cap'n Gaylord," said the coxswain. "Do you s'pose there's a
sailorman aboard of us that would do what this chap has done--try to
desert? No, sir, you couldn't kick 'em off if you wanted to. When we
get back to Bellville we'll have every man we brought away with us,
unless some of 'em are in Davy's locker."

The cutter was soon alongside the schooner, and the rescued man, by
dint of hauling from above and pushing from below, was got upon the
deck. He was a pitiable object when one came to look at him, and Uncle
Dick's first order was: "Take him below, some of you, and give him
something fit to put on. Be in a hurry about it."

The sailors were only too glad to obey. They led the dripping man
into the forecastle, from which he emerged a few minutes later with a
clean face, a suit of dry clothes, and a handkerchief bound about his
forehead. In his appearance, which was very much improved, he would
have compared favorably with any of the seamen on board the Stranger,
and they were the very best that Uncle Dick could find in the port of
New Orleans. He had evidently had plenty of time to tell at least a
portion of his story, for the faces of the sailors were as black as so
many thunder clouds.

The rescued man at once made his way aft, accompanied by the
boatswain's mate, who, presuming for this once upon his captain's
good-nature, and his own position as ranking petty officer on board the
Stranger, took the liberty to go where he knew he had no right except
he was in performance of his duties. The men saluted, removed their
caps and waited for Uncle Dick to speak to them.

"Well, Lucas, what do you want here?" asked the old sailor.

"I ax your pardon, cap'n, for coming on the quarter-deck at this time
without an invite," replied the boatswain's mate, "but I just wanted to
say to you, sir, that this man is black and blue from his head to his
feet, so he is."

"How did he get that way?" asked Uncle Dick, while the boys ranged
themselves behind him so that they could hear all that passed, "and why
is he trying to desert?"

The mate stepped back and moved his hand toward the rescued man, as if
to say that he would tell his own story, and the latter said:

"I don't want to desert my ship, cap'n. I am an able seaman, know my
duty and am ready to do it, if I can only have plenty to eat and am
allowed a wink of sleep now and then. I am trying to get ashore for
protection ag'in' them tyrants aboard the Tycoon, and I hope you won't
send me back to them, sir."

"Go on," said Uncle Dick. "What has happened aboard that ship?"

"She is nearly two years out of Nantucket, on a whaling course, sir,"
said the man, "and there isn't a foremast hand aboard of her that she
brought out with her. They've all deserted. She has to get a new crew
at every port, and when she can't get 'em honest, she kidnaps 'em, sir.
I shipped aboard of her, along with a lot of others, at Callao. We've
been out only four months, and two of the men jumped overboard rather
than stand the hard treatment they received. On the first day out the
officers began on us and never let up. They kept us at work till we
were ready to drop, brought us out of bed at night and made us walk the
deck, and if we fell asleep as we walked, they knocked us down with a
handspike or belaying-pin. They starved us almost to death, and then,
because my boat's crew were too weak to save a whale we made fast to,
they put us all in irons and pounded us with ropes' ends till we were
insensible."

This was only the introduction to the long story the man had to tell,
and to which his auditors listened with breathless interest. According
to his account, the Tycoon was a horrible place, and the cruelties
that were practised by the officers upon the defenceless seamen, were
shocking. The man certainly bore unmistakable evidence of brutal
treatment, and added weight to his story by declaring that he was not
only willing but anxious to meet his persecutors in a court of justice.
Everybody who listened to him was indignant.

"The men on board that vessel have a remedy in their own hands--two
of them, if they only knew it," said Frank. "Why didn't they demand
an interview with the American consul at the first port at which they
touched?"

"It wouldn't have done no good, sir," said the sailor. "The cap'n
wouldn't never let 'em see him, sir."

"He couldn't help himself," returned Frank. "The law compels him to
allow his men to go ashore at every port at which the ship may touch to
lay their complaints, if they have any, before our representative; or,
if there is any good reason why the men cannot go ashore, the captain
must bring the consul aboard to see them, if they demand it."

If there was anything in which Frank was particularly well posted,
it was the law governing the duties of consuls, as some of our
representatives in foreign countries are called. The attorney with
whom he had been studying in Lawrence, had political aspirations, and
had at one time expected to be appointed consul for some port in the
Mediterranean. If he had succeeded in his object Frank would have
gone with him as assistant and clerk. He did not wish to accept any
situation with whose duties and responsibilities he was not familiar,
and in order to fit himself for it, he had obtained a copy of the
Consular Regulations, which he had thoroughly mastered. It is a part
of the consul's duty to care for destitute, discharged and deserting
seamen, to stand between foremast hands and tyrannical officers, to
protect officers from and punish mutinous sailors, and Frank knew the
law bearing upon every case that could possibly arise.

"The consul is obliged to listen to any and all complaints," continued
Frank. "He measures them by the law bearing upon them, and he can
discharge the crew on complaint of the officers, or he can discharge
the officers themselves on a well-founded complaint from the crew."

The sailors opened their eyes and looked at one another. They had never
dreamed that they had so many rights, or that there was a law enacted
on purpose to protect them.

Just then the whale-boat came in sight again, rounding the stern of the
Tycoon. She turned her bow toward the Stranger, and the quartermaster,
after looking at her through his spy-glass, said there was a man in
the stern-sheets dressed in gray. "That's the cap'n," exclaimed the
deserter, in great alarm. "You won't let him take me back, sir?" he
added, in a pleading voice.

"I can't prevent your lawful captain from taking you wherever he may
find you," answered Uncle Dick; "but hold on, now, till I get through,"
he added, as the man began to back toward the rail as if he were about
to take to the water again. "I'll give you a chance to save yourself.
Call away the cutter, Mr. Baldwin, and send this man ashore."

"Thank you, cap'n, thank you," said the sailor gratefully, and with
tears in his eyes. "A prosperous and pleasant voyage to you and your
mates, sir. What shall I do when I get ashore, sir?" he continued,
looking at Frank.

"Go to the nearest justice and take out a warrant against those
officers for assault and battery," was the reply.

The boatswain's mate and the rescued man looked as if they did not
quite understand. "You must know, sir," said the latter, doubtfully,
"that all this beating and pounding was done on the high seas."

"Well, what of it? When one man, without any provocation, handles
another as roughly as you have been handled, he is answerable to the
law, no matter whether the offence was committed on the high seas or on
the land."

"Come now, off you go, my man," said Uncle Dick. "The cutter is
ready, and you've no time to lose. Yes, go with him and take charge
of the boat, Lucas," he added, anticipating the request that the old
boatswain's mate was about to make.

"And whatever you do, don't let those blubber-hunters catch you," said
Eugene, in a low voice. He wanted to say it aloud, so that the cutter's
crew could hear it; but knowing that Uncle Dick did not allow any
interference with his men, he checked himself just in time.

The cutter's crew were all in their places, and there was a determined
look on each man's face which said as plainly as words that the
"blubber-hunters," even if they succeeded in overhauling them--which
was not at all unlikely, seeing that the whale-boat was built for
speed, and was pulled by a crew who were kept in excellent training by
almost daily practice at the oars--the deserter should never be taken
from them. Uncle Dick seemed to read the thoughts that were passing
through their minds, and as he looked at the sturdy fellows, who had
thrown off their caps and rolled up their sleeves in preparation for a
long, hard pull, he remarked to Frank that he would not care to be in
that whale-boat if she succeeded in coming up with the cutter.



CHAPTER III.

A SEA LAWYER.


THE cutter's bow swung away from the schooner as soon as the
boatswain's mate and the rescued man were fairly seated, the oars
dropped into the water, and then began a race that promised to be as
exciting as even Eugene could have wished it. The boys once more ran up
the rigging, so that they could watch both contestants. The whale-boat
certainly had the better crew, and, although she was propelled by only
five oars to the cutter's eight, she seemed to move two feet to the
other boat's one. Especially was this the case when the man in gray,
who was standing in the stern-sheets holding the steering-oar, became
aware of what was going on. As soon as he saw the cutter moving away
from the Stranger he comprehended the situation, and giving utterance
to some heavy adjectives, which by the time they came to the boys' ears
sounded a good deal like oaths, ordered his crew to "Pick her up and
run right along with her." They responded promptly, and sent their boat
through the water at such a rate that Uncle Dick became uneasy at the
prospect of a collision between her crew and the cutter's.

"I shouldn't think there would be any danger," said Frank. "There are
eleven men in our boat, counting the deserter, and only six in his."

"But there is no officer in our boat," said Uncle Dick, "and this man
being a captain, will expect our crew to obey his orders. I am really
afraid he will be disappointed."

Frank, remembering the savage and determined expression he had seen on
the face of every one of the cutter's crew, was quite sure he would be.

In a few minutes the whale-boat came close aboard the schooner, and
dashed by under her bows. Her captain was furious, his face showed
that. He ran his eye over the men on the Stranger's deck, and picking
out Uncle Dick at once as the commanding officer, said, as he nodded
his head to him--

"Fine business you're in, sir! helping men to desert. If there is a law
on shore I'll see you again, my good fellow!"

Uncle Dick simply smiled and touched his hat, and the whale-boat passed
on. As she was going by, the sailors enacted a little pantomime of
their own. They had clambered out on the bowsprit to see the race, and
when the captain of the whaler was through threatening Uncle Dick,
they glanced toward the quarter-deck, to make sure that none of their
officers were observing them, and then leaned over and shook their
fists at the angry man. One of them hugged his cap under his arm and
beat it furiously with his clenched hand, nodding pleasantly to the
captain the while, as if to indicate that it would have afforded him
infinite satisfaction if the captain's head had been in the place of
the cap. The boys, from their lofty perch in the main rigging, saw all
that passed, and smiled at one another, but said nothing; for they
knew that if the performance came to the ears of Uncle Dick, who was a
very strict disciplinarian, every one of the sailors who took part in
it would be sent to the mast.

[The "mast" is to a sailor on board ship, what the "library" is to
a refractory boy on shore. It is there that culprits are sent to be
reprimanded, if their offence be a slight one, or sentenced if they
have done something deserving of punishment.]

Although he might laugh over it afterward in the privacy of his cabin,
he was not the one to pass lightly over an insult to a shipmaster when
in performance of his duty, no matter how great the provocation.

All this while the cutter's crew had been exceedingly busy, and now
loud calls were heard from the boys on the cross-trees for their
field-glasses. They did not want to miss a single incident of the race.
Frank, who up to this time had remained below with Uncle Dick, went
into the cabin after the glasses, and mounting the rigging, joined the
group on the cross-trees. "Who's ahead?" he asked.

"O, the cutter," replied George Le Dell. "There is more in that crew
than I thought. They'll land their man safe enough."

And George was right. The cutter reached the wharf while the whale-boat
was yet twenty yards away, and no sooner did she swing broadside to
it than the deserter was lifted in the strong arms of the coxswain
and boatswain's mate and fairly thrown ashore. He jumped to his feet
and disappeared in less time than it takes to tell it. A few seconds
later the whale-boat landed and the captain sprang out and started in
pursuit, not, however, without saying a few words to the cutter's crew,
which he emphasized by shaking his fist at them. If any of the men
replied, our young friends at the cross-trees saw nothing to indicate
it.

The sailors pulled back slowly, for their long, hard pull had wearied
them, and when they reached the schooner and clambered over the side,
the boys saw that their faces were flushed, and that some portions of
their clothes looked as though they had been dipped in the bay. The
boatswain's mate went aft demurely enough to report the safe return of
the boat, but when he made his way forward again, and glanced up at the
boys, with whom he was an especial favorite, they saw that his jolly
countenance was wreathed with smiles, and that his broad shoulders were
shaking with suppressed mirth. He and the cutter's crew were proud
of the exploit they had performed. The fun and excitement being all
over now, the boys seated themselves in a circle on the cross-trees to
discuss the incidents that had just transpired.

"Now just listen to me a moment, Frank, and I'll ask you a question,"
said Perk. "Can that brutal fellow do anything to Uncle Dick for
assisting his man to escape?"

"If you should see me assaulted by ruffians who were getting the better
of me, and should rescue me from their clutches, could they do anything
to you in law?" asked Frank, in reply.

"Certainly not."

"The same law holds good on the sea. Some people have a very mistaken
idea of things. They insist on a landsman's right of self-defence, but
deny the same to a sailor. Even sailors themselves think that because
they follow the sea for a livelihood, they are debarred from exercising
the very first law of our nature."

"Hear! hear!" cried Archie.

"Silence in the court-room!" exclaimed Featherweight, assuming a
fierce frown. "Hurrah for free trade and sailors' rights, the motto
on--on--somebody's flag! Proceed, brother Nelson. State the case to the
jury."

Frank laughed as heartily as the rest for a few minutes, and continued:

"Sailors know that resistance to an officer, or even an attempt to
spread dissatisfaction among the crew of a vessel, is called mutiny;
and they know, too, that men have been hanged in the American navy for
that very offence."

"See Cooper's Naval History for an account of the mutiny on board the
United States brig-of-war Somers, in 1842," said Bab.

"That was the very circumstance I had in my mind," returned Frank.
"Sailors know all this, as I was saying, and consequently they are
afraid to call their souls their own. They suffer in silence, unless
they are driven to commit suicide during the voyage, and when they get
ashore forget it all, or make a feeble attempt to punish their tyrants
by process of law, but they soon give it up, for at the very outset
they find an insurmountable obstacle in their way. Before they can
convict they must prove three things--that the punishment they received
was cruel and unusual; that it was inflicted without any just cause;
and that the occasion of it was malice, hatred, or a desire for revenge
on the part of the officer who punished them. Now, no living being can
prove this last accusation against another, for in order to do it he
must be able to read his fellow-men as he would an open book, and see
what is passing in their minds; and even that would do him no good
unless he possessed the power to make the judge and jury who try the
case see the matter just as he does."

"Suppose this deserter could prove his complaints against the master
of that whaler," said Walter; "what would be the penalty?"

"One thousand dollars fine and five years in the state prison."

"And I hope he will get it all," said Eugene.

"Well, if it is so hard for a seaman to obtain satisfaction at law,
what ought he to do when he is abused at sea?" asked Bab. "I understood
you to say he had two remedies, and you have given only one."

"Well, there is another," said Frank. "He and his companions ought
to club together, take the ship out of the hands of her officers,
confine them in the cabin, and make for the nearest port, if they are
navigators enough to find their way there."

"Yes," exclaimed Archie, "and swing for it the moment they reach the
shore."

"No, sir. The case has been tried in the courts more than once, and
would be tried oftener if sailors only knew their rights. As far as any
risk I might run is concerned, I would not be afraid to belong to such
a crew and take part in just such a proceeding."

"Well, I don't want you to get into any such scrape," said Archie; "I
should never expect to see you again."

"I have no desire to win notoriety as a mutineer, I assure you,"
replied Frank, with a laugh. "As his Honor remarked"--here he waved his
hand towards Featherweight, who bowed gravely--"I was only discoursing
on sailors' rights."

"There," said George, as the boatswain's whistle rang through the
schooner, followed by the order, given in a very hoarse voice, "Away,
you gigs, away!"--"the captain is going ashore. Hadn't we better go
down and keep Dick Lewis and Bob company? The old fellows will be
lonely."

"That means business," said Eugene. "Uncle Dick is going ashore to
see about the stores. It will not be long now before we take leave of
Fr'isco."

"And what will be our next port?" asked George.

This was something that had not yet been decided, and if one might
judge by what the boys said while they were descending to the deck,
there was a prospect of a lively debate if the matter were left to
them. Eugene wanted to go straight to Alaska. Bab, who had lately
been reading "Reindeer, Dogs and Snow-shoes," was in favor of that,
provided they could afterward go across to some port in Siberia and
stay there long enough to see a little of the wild life in which he
had been so much interested. Perk would agree to all that, in case
they could stop on the way and give him a chance to try his hand at
salmon-fishing in the tributaries of the Columbia river. Fred had seen
quite enough of snow and ice, and thought he could have more sport in a
warm country. He wanted to go to Japan. Walter said he was strongly in
favor of that, for after they had seen all the sights in that country
they would probably go to India, and that was what he wanted. He was
impatient to ride on an elephant and see the famous Indian jugglers and
serpent-charmers. Every boy wanted to go somewhere, but the trouble was
that no two of them wanted to go to the same place; and Frank wondered
how the matter would be decided. How astonished he would have been to
know that the man in gray, who had just gone by in the whale-boat, was
destined to decide it for them!

The boys spent the rest of the day in company with the trappers.
Nothing more was said on the subject which had for a long time been
uppermost in their minds, for the tone in which Dick's answer had been
given satisfied them that it was final. The boys were all sorry, for
they had become greatly attached to these two good-natured, ignorant
fellows. They had been of great service to them--beyond a doubt they
had saved Walter's life--and they could not but miss them when they
were gone. The cousins especially would have been glad to postpone the
parting moment had they possessed the power. It was not at all likely
that they would ever see the mountains or the prairie again, and even
if they did, the chances that they would find their old friends, the
trappers, were not one in a thousand. Their meeting with them had
been purely accidental this time, and it was not probable that such a
combination of circumstances would ever occur again.

About supper-time Uncle Dick returned and reported that all
arrangements had been made. The schooner was to be hauled alongside the
dock in the morning, and they would go out with the turn of the tide.
Where were they going? He didn't care. The world was before them, and
when the boys had made up their minds what portion of it they wanted to
see first, they could come to him with their decision. He wasn't going
to bother his head about it, for he had other matters to think of.
Eight o'clock the next evening would see the Stranger under way, and if
the boys had any business ashore they had better attend to it the first
thing in the morning.

Uncle Dick retired at an early hour, as he always did, and the boys
had the quarter-deck all to themselves until eleven o'clock--or rather
they had it in company with the second mate and the quartermaster on
watch. A few "primary meetings" had been held immediately after supper,
but they amounted to nothing. Each boy knew upon whom he could rely
to second any motion he might make, but he was not so certain of the
number of votes he could raise in support of it. During the two hours'
conversation that took place after Uncle Dick went to bed, Fred Craven
arose six times--that is, once every twenty minutes--and said gravely,

"I move you, Mr. President, that the captain of this schooner be
requested to take her directly to some port in Japan."

"I second the motion," said Frank, who was speaking for Walter.

"Gentlemen, you have heard the motion," said Walter. "Are you ready for
the question?"

"Mr. President," said Eugene, "I move to amend by striking out Japan
and substituting Alaska."

"Second the motion," said Bab.

"You have heard the amendment. Are you ready to take action upon it?"

"Now just listen to me a minute, Mr. President, and I'll tell you
what's a fact," said Perk. "I move to amend by striking out Alaska and
substituting Astoria in Oregon."

"I second the motion," said George, who, being a devoted disciple of
old Izaac Walton, was as fond of fishing as he was of sailing.

"Mr. President," said Archie, "I move to amend----"

"The gentleman is out of order. An amendment to an amendment is proper,
but not an amendment of an amendment to an amendment."

When affairs reached this pass a hearty roar of laughter would come up
through the open cabin windows, showing that there was an interested
and amused listener in the person of Uncle Dick, who having gone to
bed, leaving his state-room door ajar, could hear all that was said.
Then speeches were made, some long and others witty, and all showing
the training the boys had received in their debating societies. Eugene
was particularly long-winded. According to Featherweight "he talked
all manner of what," and spouted away on subjects that had not the
slightest connection with the question under discussion. He talked
eloquently about the American eagle, the war of 1812, and the stars and
stripes, and dwelt long on the rights of sailors and other free-born
citizens. He said afterward that if he couldn't gain his point any
other way, he would tire his audience out, and compel them to vote for
his amendment just to get rid of him. But the boys listened patiently
and without once interrupting him, except by applause when he grew
particularly eloquent, and the young orator finally tired himself
out and took his seat in disgust. Everything was voted down; so they
were no nearer a decision than they were before. There was one point,
however, on which they were all agreed when the meeting broke up at
eleven o'clock, and that was, that they had enjoyed themselves, and
that their jaws and sides would be sure to ache for a week to come.

During the afternoon the boys had held a consultation with the
boatswain's mate, who had promised to take the trappers under his
especial charge during the night, and to report the first man who
attempted to play any tricks upon them. After the meeting broke up the
boys went forward with their friends to see them safely stowed away in
the forecastle. The sailors were all up and waiting for them--not a
man had yet turned in. The best bunks in the forecastle had been given
up for their use, and the beds that were made up in them would have
looked very inviting to almost anybody except our two backwoodsmen.
Having been all their lives accustomed to sleeping on the hard ground,
with nothing but a blanket or the spreading branches of some friendly
tree for protection, they wanted plenty of air and elbow-room. They
hesitated when they looked into the little forecastle, and drew back
and shook their heads when invited to enter. Archie finally effected a
compromise by bringing up a couple of blankets and spreading them on
the deck near the windlass. This being perfectly satisfactory, the boys
bade the trappers good-night, and went away, leaving them to the tender
mercies of the sailors.

There was not much sleeping done among those foremast hands that night.
They did not play any tricks upon their guests--indeed there were not
many among them who would have had the hardihood to attempt it, after
taking a good look at the stalwart fellows--but they crammed them
"chock-a-block" with such wild stories of the sea that the trappers
grew more alarmed than ever, and wondered greatly at the recklessness
of the men who would willingly encounter such dangers. They told about
mermaids, sea-dragons and serpents; of Vanderdecker's ghostly ship,
the Flying Dutchman, which was rushing about the ocean with the speed
of a railroad train, running down and sinking every craft that came in
her way; of monstrous cuttle-fish which would sometimes arise suddenly
out of the depths, and twining their long arms about a ship, sink with
it and all the crew to the bottom; and one of the men declared that he
had actually met and been swallowed by the same whale that took Jonah
in out of the wet, hundreds and thousands of years before, and to
prove it, exhibited the tobacco-box which had dropped out of Jonah's
pocket when the whale threw him ashore. This is a staple forecastle
yarn, and every one who has had an hour's conversation with a sailor,
has probably heard it; but it was new to the trappers, who listened
with all their ears and with unmistakable signs of terror on their
faces. The simple-hearted fellows believed every word, and when the
conversation lagged for a moment, spoke of the magnet Eugene had shown
them, and the use for which they supposed it was intended.

This started the sailors on a new tack, and the stories that followed
were more wonderful than those which had just been told. There was not
a sailor on board the Stranger who had not seen some unlucky vessel
tumble off the under side of the earth, her magnet proving too weak to
sustain her weight; and there were two or three who had belonged to the
crews of those very vessels, and who had been saved by a miracle.

The night was passed in this way, and it was daylight before the
trappers lay down on their blankets to rest, but not to sleep. They
could not sleep after hearing of such wonderful adventures and talking
face to face with the men who had taken part in them. If they had not
already made up their minds to lose no time in seeking safety among
their native mountains, they would have done so now.



CHAPTER IV.

"SHANGHAIED."


THE morning broke bright and clear, and all hands were astir at an
early hour. The first thing was to hoist the anchor and haul the
schooner alongside the dock. This being done, breakfast was served,
and the boys having put on their shore-clothes, started out to take a
good look at the city which they might never see again, and to make
purchases of various articles they needed. Fred and Eugene each wanted
a rifle and a brace of revolvers, their own weapons having been stolen
from them by the hunters who robbed the Pike. Some of the others needed
a few articles of clothing, and Frank's Maynard required some repairs.
They set out together, but before an hour had passed, were scattered
all over the city. Fred, Archie and Eugene hired a carriage and went
for a ride, taking old Bob with them, while Dick Lewis stuck close
to Frank and Walter. Knowing that the time for parting was not far
distant, he did not seem willing to allow them out of his sight.

A few years before men like Dick were often met with in the streets
of the city; but now a genuine trapper was not seen every day, and he
created something of a sensation wherever he went. Almost every one
he met stared at him and turned to look at him after he had passed;
and Dick, finally becoming nettled by the interest and curiosity his
appearance excited, begged the boys to take him back to the schooner
and leave him there. He would stay on board until she was ready to
sail, he said, and then he and Bob would bid a long farewell to
civilization, and make the best of their way back to Fort Bolton. He
hoped that neither of them would ever see a paved street or a brick
house again.

At six o'clock in the evening the boys, and the few sailors who had
been allowed shore liberty, began to retrace their steps toward the
dock where the Stranger was lying. At seven they were all on board
except two--Lucas, the boatswain's mate, and Barton, the coxswain of
the cutter. These men had not been seen since noon, and they were to
have been back at three o'clock. Preparations were already being made
for getting under way, and Uncle Dick began to grow impatient. "I don't
see what keeps those fellows," said he to Frank. "I have always found
them trustworthy, and I hope they will not fail me now."

"I must go ashore again after my rifle, you know," replied Frank--"it
was to be done at half-past seven--and I'll go along the dock and keep
an eye out for them."

"All right. Hurry them up, if you see them, and be sure that you are in
time yourself."

Frank went ashore accompanied by the trapper--Dick was not afraid of
attracting so much attention now that it was growing dark--and hurried
away toward the gunsmith's. He followed the wharves as long as they
led him in the direction he wanted to go, looking everywhere for the
missing sailors, but without finding them. The actions of himself and
his companion attracted the attention of two men, who were walking
along the dock behind them. They watched them for some time, and then,
after whispering together a few minutes, one of them came up and tapped
Frank on the shoulder. "Who are you looking for?" said he.

Frank turned and fastening his eyes on the man took a good survey
of him before he answered. He was a flashily-dressed person, with a
sneaking, hang-dog cast of countenance, and the grimy hand he placed
upon Frank's shoulder, and which the latter promptly shook off, was
heavily loaded with bogus jewelry.

"Don't be quite so familiar, if you please!" said Frank.

"Beg pardon," said the man, stepping back and straightening up his
battered plug hat which he had thus far worn cocked over his left ear.
"I thought you belonged to the Stranger."

"And what if I do?" asked Frank.

"I thought maybe you were looking for them two men."

"What two men?"

"Why, one of 'em is a short, thick-set fellow, and carries a silver
whistle in the breast pocket of his shirt. The other is tall and
slender, wears some kind of a badge on his arm--a petty officer's badge
I took it to be--and has light hair and whiskers."

The man gave an accurate description of the missing sailors of whom
Frank was in search. No doubt they had got into trouble and found
their way into some station-house; and this fellow was some little
pettifogger, who hoped to make a few dollars by helping them out.

"I thought maybe you were looking for 'em," continued the man, as he
turned to go away; "but seeing you ain't, I am sorry I pestered you."

"One moment, please," said Frank. "Where are these men now?"

"They're aboard my ship."

"O, you're a sailor, are you?" exclaimed Frank, again running his eye
over the man, who looked about as much like a sailor as Dick Lewis
did. "What is the name of your ship, and where is she?"

"She's the Sunrise, and she is at anchor out here in the bay."

"How came our men aboard of her?"

"Well, you see, they've got some friends and acquaintances among my
crew, and when we were lying alongside the dock they came aboard to see
them. While they were skylarking about, one of them, the boatswain,
fell into the hold and broke his leg. We hauled out into the bay just
after that, and did it in such a hurry--you see there was another
ship waiting to take our berth at the dock as soon as we were out of
it--that we didn't have time to put him ashore. We've had a doctor to
see him, and maybe it would be a good plan to get an ambulance and take
him back where he belongs."

"I think so too," said Frank, who became interested at once; "that is,
if he can bear removal. But whatever we do, must be done at once. Our
vessel is all ready to sail."

"I guess he can stand it to be moved. You might come aboard and
see--you and your pardner here. I've got a boat close by."

Frank assenting to this proposition, he and Dick Lewis followed the
man, who led the way along the wharf, and finally showed them a yawl
manned by two oarsmen. They climbed down into it, their companion took
his seat at the helm, and the boat was pushed off into the darkness.
The man talked incessantly, answering all Frank's questions, and going
so fully into the particulars of the accident that had befallen the
boatswain's mate, and telling so straight and reasonable a story, that
not a shadow of a doubt entered Frank's mind. He remarked that the ship
was a long way from the wharf, and that the two men who were pulling
the oars looked more like "dock rats" than sailors; but still he
scarcely bestowed a second thought upon these matters, for his mind was
fully occupied with the injured man to whose relief he was hastening.
At last the hull and rigging of a ship loomed up through the darkness,
and a hoarse voice hailed the yawl.

"Sunrise!" replied the man at the helm.

The answer was perfectly right and proper. It conveyed to them on board
the ship the information that their captain was in the approaching
boat; but it seemed to Frank that his presence brought very little show
of respect from the officer in charge of the deck, for he ordered no
lanterns to light him aboard. Indeed there were no lights to be seen on
the deck, as Frank found when he clambered over the side, the only ones
visible being those in the rigging, which were placed there to point
out the position of the ship, so that passing vessels might not run
into her.

The captain, who was the first to board the ship, talked rapidly in a
low tone to some one who hurried aft to meet him, and when Frank came
up, he said aloud:--

"Take this gentleman into the forecastle and give him all the help he
needs to remove that man. This one," he added, pointing to Dick, "can
go with a couple of you to get a stretcher."

"Ay! ay! sir," replied a voice. "Step right this way, sir."

Frank followed the speaker toward the forecastle, and when he came
within sight of the ladder that led into it, was surprised to see that
it was as dark as a dungeon below. Then for the first time the thought
that things did not look just right began to creep through his mind.
His companion descended the ladder, but Frank halted at the top. "Look
here, my friend," said he; "if you want to get me below there you had
better light up first."

"Come on," said the man, in a tone of command.

"Where's that sailor with the broken leg?" demanded Frank.

"Are you going to come on?" asked the man.

"Well, that depends---- I want to hear from that man of ours first. If
you are down there, Lucas, sing out!"

There was no response. In an instant it flashed upon Frank that he and
Dick had been led into a trap. The man in the battered plug hat was
no captain at all. Probably he was a shipping-agent. Having persuaded
Frank and the trapper to accompany him on board the ship, he made
a very plausible excuse for separating them for a moment, so that
they could not assist each other, and now they were to be overpowered
and confined until the vessel was well out to sea, when they would
be brought out and compelled to act with the crew. While Frank was
thinking about it, his conductor, who had gone half way down the
ladder, turned around and started to come back. Frank's ears told him
this and not his eyes, for they were of no use to him in that intense
darkness. "Avast, there!" he cried, with emphasis. "If you come a step
nearer to me I'll send you down that ladder quicker than you ever went
down before. You have picked up the wrong men this time. Where is that
scoundrel who called himself the master of this ship?"

"Here I am," replied that worthy, in tones very different from those he
had thus far used in addressing Frank.

"Well, if you are wise, you will undo this half-hour's work with the
least possible delay. Call away that boat and leave us a clear road to
get to it, or----"

Frank was interrupted by the sounds of a fierce struggle which just
then arose from the quarter-deck. He heard the sound of stamping and
scraping feet, muttered oaths and blows, and then Dick's voice rang out
clear above the tumult. "Keep off, the hul on you," said he, "fur I'm a
leetle wusser nor a hul parsel of wild-cats!" And then followed a sound
such as might be made by somebody's head coming in violent contact with
the deck.

"Stand your ground, Dick!" shouted Frank. "I'll be there in a minute!"

With these words he sprang forward, intending to run to his friend's
assistance; but before he had made half a dozen steps his heels flew
up and he was sent at full length on the deck, which he no sooner
touched than two men, whom he had not yet seen, sprang up from behind
the windlass and threw themselves across his shoulders. He had been
entirely deceived as to the number of enemies with whom he had to deal.
He had seen but four men on deck and there proved to be a dozen of
them--more than enough to render resistance useless. Almost before
he realized the fact he was powerless, a pair of irons being slipped
over his wrists and another about his ankles. When he was helped to his
feet, he found that the struggle on the quarter-deck had ended in the
same way. Dick Lewis was led up, and by the light of a lantern which
one of the crew drew from under a tarpaulin, Frank saw that he was
ironed like himself.

The man who carried the lantern held it up so that its rays fell full
on the prisoners, and gave them a good looking over, bestowing his
attentions principally upon their arms and shoulders, as if trying to
judge of the amount of muscle they might contain. "They'll do," said
he, at last, "and now we're all ready to be off. Can you pull an oar?"
he added, flashing his lantern in Frank's face.

"I can," was the reply.

"I can! Is that the way you talk to me? I am mate of this vessel and
there's a handle to my name."

"I did not know that you were an officer," replied Frank, "and neither
am I aware that I am under any obligations to put a handle to your
name."

"Well, you'll find it out pretty sudden. It shall be my first hard work
to teach you manners, my fine gentleman. Take 'em below."

The mate handed the lantern to one of the crew, who moved toward the
forecastle, followed by the prisoners, who never uttered a word of
complaint or remonstrance. Frank knew it would do no good, and Dick
was so bewildered that he could not have spoken if he had tried. He
kept as close to his young companion as he could. He seemed to think
that Frank, powerless as he was, could in some way protect him. They
followed their conductor into the forecastle, and the latter, after
hanging the lantern to one of the carlens, went on deck again, closing
the hatch after him.

Frank and the trapper looked about them before they spoke. The very
first objects their eyes rested on were the two missing seamen, the
coxswain and the boatswain's mate, who lay side by side in one of the
bunks, snoring at the rate of ten knots an hour. They were there,
sure enough--the bogus captain told the truth on that point--and
Frank was glad to see that they were all right, or would be as soon
as the effects of the drug they had swallowed had been slept off.
There were three other men in the forecastle, and they were in irons
like themselves. They lay in their bunks and looked sullenly at the
new-comers. "What's the matter with you?" asked Frank. "What have you
been doing to get yourselves in this fix?"

"Trying to desert," growled one of the sailors, in reply. "What's the
matter with _you_?"

"Shanghaied," answered Frank. "What ship is this, and where is she
bound?"

"She's the Tycoon, and I expect she's off for the Japan station."

Frank's heart seemed to stop beating. His situation was even worse than
he had supposed. He recalled the story of the man he had seen desert
that same ship on that very day, and shuddered when he thought of what
might be in store for him.

"What did you say was the matter with us, Master Frank?" asked the
trapper, leaning against a bunk by his friend's side and speaking in a
low voice.

"I say we have been shanghaied--that is, kidnapped," replied Frank.

"But what fur?" said Dick, who did not understand the matter at all.
"We hain't been a doin' of nothing."

"I know that; but you see--in the first place, Dick, there's no use
in denying that we are in serious trouble. You might as well know it
first as last and make up your mind to stand it, for there is no way
of escape. This is the same ship that that man we picked up to-day
deserted from, and that red-faced man in gray whom we saw in the
whale-boat is the captain of her. He and his officers treat their men
so harshly that they run away every chance they get. The captain must
have men to handle his vessel, and as he can't get them in the regular
way, he kidnaps them."

"But what do I know 'bout a ship?" exclaimed Dick.

"Nothing whatever; but that is no matter. You have good strong arms,
and it will not take long to break you in."

"Whar--whar----"

The trapper could not ask the question he was most anxious to have
answered. It seemed to stick in his throat.

"I know what you mean," said Frank. "This man says we are bound for
Japan, and that is nearly three thousand miles from here."

Dick was frightened almost out of his senses. His face grew as pale as
death, great drops of perspiration stood on his forehead, and he tugged
and pulled at his irons with the strength of desperation. But they
had been put on him to stay, and all his efforts to free himself were
unavailing. Frank knew what he stood in fear of, and he knew, too, that
anything he could say would not set the poor fellow's mind at rest.
The wrong ideas he had formed of things and the ridiculous stories he
had heard in the forecastle of the Stranger, had made an impression
on him so deep and lasting that even Frank, in whom the trapper had
every confidence, could not remove it. The real dangers he was
likely to encounter would be but small things comparatively; but the
imaginary evils which he would look for every day, would cause him much
suffering. Frank thought more of his friend than he did of himself.
How would Dick behave when he found himself dancing over the waves of
the Pacific in a small boat in pursuit of a whale? What would he think
if he saw one of those monsters of the deep--as Lucas, the boatswain's
mate, said he had often seen them--come up on a breach, shoot up forty
or fifty feet into the air, and then fall down into the water with
a noise like the roar of Niagara? No doubt he would refuse duty. No
doubt, too, when the captain or his officers attempted to punish him
for disobedience there would be a desperate fight--for Dick stood not
in fear of anything that walked on two feet--which would not end until
the trapper had been severely injured and perhaps permanently disabled.

"Human natur'! What'll I do?" cried Dick, after he had exhausted
himself in his efforts to pull off his irons.

"Watch, me and do as I do, as nearly as you can," replied Frank. "We
are completely in the power of these men, and there is no way to get
out of it. While on our voyage from Bellville, I took particular pains
to learn all I could of a seaman's duties, and perhaps I shall be able
to be of some assistance to you. What we don't know Lucas and Barton
will teach us. But, whatever you do, don't refuse duty or talk back, no
matter what is said or done to you. It will only be worse for you if
you do."

"And bear another thing in mind," said one of the sailors, who had been
listening to this conversation, "and that is, you take rank next below
the cap'n's dog, and hain't got no rights of your own!"

The trapper looked toward Frank, and while the latter was explaining
that, according to a sailor's creed, those who follow the sea take rank
in this way: first the captain, then the mates, then the captain's
dog, and lowest of all, the foremast hands--while Frank was explaining
this, there was the sound of a commotion on the deck over their heads,
and after listening a moment the sailors declared that the vessel was
about to be taken to sea. And so it proved. The anchor was hove up, the
sails spread one after the other, and finally the prisoners below began
to feel the increasing motion of the ship. Just then the hatch was
thrown open and the first mate came down the ladder. He walked straight
up to Dick, unlocked his irons and slapping him on the back ordered him
to go on deck and lend a hand. Even this simple order was Greek to the
honest trapper; but he understood the word "go," and he went, delighted
to find himself in possession of his liberty once more. Frank would
have been glad to go with him, for it was anything but agreeable to his
feelings to be confined below like a felon; but the officers wanted to
get a little farther away from shore before they allowed too many of
their unwilling crew the free use of their hands and feet.

The first order Dick heard when he reached the deck was: "Let fall and
sheet home;" and the mate giving him a push by the shoulder and a kick
at the same time, commanded him to "Grab hold of that rope and pull as
if the sweetheart he left in the backwoods was at the other end of
it." Or, we ought rather say that that was the order the mate intended
to give, but he never finished it, for he was knocked down so promptly
that it seemed as if his foot and the trapper's right arm were both
put in motion at the same instant. Dick's hot blood, which was already
at fever heat, boiled over completely when he felt the weight of the
mate's boot, and he wiped out the insult as soon as it was given.

Of course there was a tumult at once. The second mate caught up a
handspike and the captain descended from his quarter-deck, flourishing
a rope's end as he came. They advanced upon the trapper from opposite
sides, but he was ready and waiting, and they must have been astonished
at the rough reception they met at his hands. With one single twist,
which was so sudden and powerful that it almost dislocated the second
mate's shoulder, Dick wrenched the handspike out of his grasp and threw
it to the deck. Then his long arms swung in the air like the shafts
of a windmill, one huge clenched hand, as heavy as a sledgehammer,
fell full in the captain's face, the other alighted on the top of the
mate's head, and both these worthies sank to the deck on the instant.

The first mate by this time recovered his feet, and picking up a
handspike looked all around for the trapper; but he was not to be seen
anywhere on deck. Nor indeed was he to be found about the ship. He was
gone.



CHAPTER V.

THE TRAPPER'S ADVENTURE.


"WHAT time is it now, Eugene?"

"Just nine o'clock. What do you suppose is the matter, Uncle?"

"I wish I knew. They are all of them old enough and large enough
to take care of themselves, but I can't help thinking that there's
something wrong."

"I have half a mind to go ashore and look for them."

"I don't know what good that would do. You don't know where to look,
and if they should happen to come aboard while you were gone, we should
have to send some one in search of you, and that would cause another
delay."

The stores were all aboard, the Stranger was ready to sail, and had
been for more than an hour, but three of her company were missing,
and so was the trapper. Uncle Dick and the boys had been impatient
at first, but this gradually gave way to a feeling of uneasiness and
anxiety. Everybody had some explanation to offer for Frank's absence,
and the prevailing opinion seemed to be that the sailors, having got
themselves into trouble during the day, had been arrested, and that
Frank was trying to effect their release. Old Bob was more uneasy than
the rest, and couldn't make up his mind what to think about it, not
knowing the dangers which one might encounter while roaming about the
city after dark. His kit and Dick's were packed and lying at the head
of the companion-way, and the old fellow was in a hurry to be off. Had
they been in the mountains the trapper's absence would have caused
him no anxiety. There Dick knew all about things, and was abundantly
able to take care of number one; but in the settlements he was like a
child, and almost as incapable of looking out for himself. Old Bob was
afraid something had happened to him or Frank, and the others began to
think so too as the hours wore away and their missing friends did not
appear. Uncle Dick finally gave up all hopes of seeing them that night,
and ordering one watch below, went to bed himself, leaving instructions
with the officer of the deck to call him the moment Frank arrived. The
impatient boys remained on deck an hour or two longer; but at last they
also grew weary and turned in and went to sleep.

Just at daylight they were awakened by hasty steps on the
companion-ladder, and the officer of the watch hurried into the cabin
and pounded loudly on the captain's door. "Ay! ay!" replied Uncle Dick.

"That trapper is coming back, sir," said the officer, "and he's having
a fuss out there on the dock."

"He is having what?" asked Uncle Dick.

"He's in a rumpus of some kind, sir. He's got somebody on his back and
is lugging him along as if he were a bag of potatoes."

"It isn't Captain Nelson or one of the men, is it?" asked Uncle Dick,
anxiously.

"O no, sir. It is a landsman and a stranger."

This conversation was carried on in a tone of voice loud enough to
be heard by all the boys, who were out on the floor in an instant. It
was but a few seconds' work to jump into their trowsers and boots, and
catch up their coats and hats, and they were on deck almost as soon as
the officer himself. A strange sight met their eyes. A short distance
up the dock was Dick Lewis, running at the top of his speed, and
carrying on his shoulder a man almost as large as himself, who kicked
and struggled in vain to escape from the strong grasp that held him.
The load was undoubtedly a heavy one, but the trapper moved with it
plenty fast enough to leave behind two ill-looking fellows, who carried
bludgeons in their hands, and who were trying to overtake him. About
two hundred yards farther up the dock were two more men, one supporting
the other, who was limping along half doubled up as if in great pain.

The boys, wondering greatly, sprang ashore and ran up the wharf to meet
Dick. The latter, to quote from Featherweight, looked as though he had
been somewhere. His buckskin suit, soaked with water, clung close to
his person; his hat was gone, and his face wore an expression that the
old members of the club had never seen there before. Archie had seen
it, however, and that was on the day when, seated at the camp-fire near
the Old Bear's Hole, years before, Frank related to himself and Uncle
James the particulars of his meeting with Black Bill and his party, and
the manner in which he had been treated by them.

Dick grinned the delight he felt at meeting the boys once more, but did
not stop to speak to them. He went straight on board the schooner and
threw off his burden, at the same time seizing his man by the collar
and jerking him upon his feet in front of Uncle Dick Gaylord, who
looked at him in amazement.

"Here's the mean chap that done it all," said the trapper, throwing his
full strength into his arm and giving the bogus captain--for it was
he--such a shaking that his teeth fairly rattled. "Now if thar's any
law in the settlements set it a-going."

"What did he do?" demanded the boys, who had followed close at his
heels. "Where's Frank?"

"He's round on the other side of the 'arth by this time, I reckon,"
replied Dick, drawing his hand across his forehead and looking about as
if he were overjoyed to find himself among friends once more.

"I hope they've got a horse-shoe big enough to hold 'em on, but I'm
'most afeard, 'cause she's a heap bigger nor this little boat o'
your'n."

"What is?" asked the captain, and the boys grew anxious when they saw
the expression that settled on his face. "Begin at the beginning and
tell us all about it."

Thus adjured, the trapper launched at once into his story, without
wasting any time in explanatory remarks, and for ten minutes held his
auditors spellbound. He told how he and Frank had been enticed on board
the Tycoon, described the manner in which they had been overpowered and
confined, repeated the conversation that took place between Frank and
himself in the forecastle, and ended by relating the particulars of his
"scrimmage" with the officers of the ship, with all of which the reader
is already acquainted; but he does not know what happened afterward,
so from this point we will tell the story in our own words.

The reason Dick could not be found on board the ship after his fight
with the officers was ended, was because he was not there--he had
jumped overboard; and what was rather singular, none of the crew on
deck had seen him when he did it. The last time they saw him he was
clambering into one of the bowboats, and that was the first place they
looked for him, his concealment being pointed out to the officers by
a man who was looked upon as the "black sheep" of the crew, and of
whom we shall probably hear more as our story progresses. But when the
officers came to search the boat, Dick was not there; he had dropped
unseen into the water.

The trapper was a famous swimmer, and entertained no doubt of his
ability to reach the shore; but even had the vessel been twenty miles
at sea, he would have trusted himself to the waves rather than run the
risk of encountering the terrible dangers that awaited the ship and
her crew on the "under side of the earth." The worst thing he would
have to contend with in case he were recaptured, would be the tyranny
of the captain and his brutal officers; but the sturdy trapper gave
not one thought to that, for during a life of excitement and adventure
he had more than once demonstrated his ability to protect himself;
but he _did_ think of that ghostly ship, the Flying Dutchman, the big
cuttle-fish, the mermaids and sea-dragons, the whale that swallowed
Jonah, and which was still roaming about seeking whom he might devour,
and, worse than all, the awful danger of the ship falling off when she
came to the under side of the earth and was sailing along with her
masts pointing downward and the crew walking with their feet upward.
Dick thought of all these dangers and swam as if he saw them looming up
close behind him; but with all his exertions he could not make headway
fast enough to suit him. His wet clothing hung upon him like lead and
deadened his progress through the water; so the first thing he did when
the ship was out of sight, was to stop and relieve himself of this
encumbrance. He took off moccasins and all, and wrapping them up in
his hunting-shirt put the bundle on his back and tied it around his
neck with the sleeves of the shirt. After that he made better headway.

It is hard to tell what would have been the result of the trapper's
adventure, had it not been for some assistance which fortunately came
in his way. Had there been light enough so that he could see to direct
his course, the swim would have been nothing; but there was danger of
moving in a circle in the darkness, and so tiring himself out without
making any headway at all. There were no lights in front to guide him,
but there were some behind, and after looking at them two or three
times the swimmer became convinced that they were coming toward him.
There was a vessel of some kind approaching, and Dick, changing his
course a little to intercept her, had the satisfaction of hearing his
hail answered, and of seeing the little fishing-smack which carried the
lights thrown up into the wind within a few yards of him.

"Hello, there!" cried a gruff voice.

"Hello, you!" shouted Dick. "Here I am."

"Well, what do you want?" asked the captain of the fishing boat,
peering out into the darkness and trying to discover whence the hail
came.

"Is civilized folks human enough to lend a sufferin' feller-man a
helpin' hand?" asked Dick, who after his recent experience had some
serious doubts on this point.

This question was not immediately answered, for the skipper did not
quite understand it. He held a consultation with one of his men and
then called out--

"If you want help, pull this way. I've got no boat to send out after
you!"

Dick was pulling that way with all his might, and guided by the
lanterns that were held over the side, at last reached the boat,
which sat so low in the water that he could lay hold of her rail. The
astonishment of her crew as they hauled aboard a man who carried all
his wearing apparel around his neck, was unbounded. They gave him time
to put on his clothes and then directed him to the captain who was
waiting to see him.

The very first question that gentleman propounded to him aroused a
thousand fears in Dick's mind. The skipper wanted to know where he
came from, and how he happened to be out there in the water, five
miles from land; and the trapper, fearful that if he told the truth
and acknowledged himself to be a deserter, the captain might follow
the Tycoon and compel him to go aboard of her again, whether he wanted
to or not, did something he had never done before--he made up a story
all out of his own head, as he told Uncle Dick Gaylord, and queer work
he made of it. He entered into the particulars of a fearful shipwreck
that had just occurred. The waves were as high as the Rocky Mountains,
he said, the wind blew so hard that the sailors had to stop all work
and hold their hair on (this was a quotation from one of the stories
the trapper had heard in the forecastle of the Stranger); his ship
was capsized no less than three times, always coming right side up
again, and doing it so quickly that she did not even wet her sails
or her deck, and none of the crew had a chance to drop off into the
water (another quotation); but finally the wind came in such furious
gusts that it took the masts right out by the roots (still another
quotation), and the ship filled and went down like lead. The trapper
said that all this happened not five minutes before, and that set the
crew of the fishing-boat into a roar of laughter, for they had been
out all day, and knew there had scarcely been wind enough to raise any
white caps. The captain used some hard words, and called Dick anything
but a truthful man; but the latter affirmed so solemnly that it was all
so, that the skipper thought that perhaps something had happened after
all, and spent a long time in cruising about the place where Dick had
been picked up.

This delay added to the trapper's fears. What if the Tycoon should
come back in search of him? Alarmed by the thought, he labored hard to
convince the captain that every soul on board the wrecked ship, except
himself, had gone down with her; but finding that the skipper paid no
attention to him, he changed his story altogether, and declared that he
had jumped overboard on purpose, and that he had done it because he
had taken passage on the wrong vessel. He wanted to go to Sacramento,
he said, but by mistake had boarded a craft bound for the "under side
of the earth;" and as she would not turn back and put him ashore, he
had no alternative but to take to the water and get back as best he
could. Then the skipper was angry in earnest. Ordering Dick to get as
far forward as the length of the little vessel would allow, and not to
open his head again as long as he remained on board of her, he filled
away for the city.

The trapper was very glad to be let off so easily. He had induced the
captain to turn his vessel toward the shore, and that was all he cared
for. He crouched down in the bow and meekly submitted to the jokes and
tricks of the sailors, who never allowed him a moment's peace. He was
too completely cowed to take offence at anything. He had seen enough of
civilized life and people to take all the courage out of him.

The moment the fishing boat touched the dock he was out and ashore.
Then he was himself again. When he felt something solid under his feet
his courage all returned, and he was in just the right mood to carry
out the exploit he afterward performed. Almost the first man he saw on
the dock was the bogus captain, who had enticed Frank and himself on
board the Tycoon. Dick's blood began to boil as soon as his eyes rested
on him. His first thought was to take summary vengeance on him, but he
was checked in time by the reflection that he was not in the mountains
now, and that there were laws in the settlements strong enough to
punish evil-doers of every description. He did not know how to set the
law in motion, but the captain of the Stranger did, and he would take
the culprit before him at once.

The bogus captain, whose business was that of shipping-agent and
boarding-house keeper, was standing in the midst of a group of friends,
half a dozen of them perhaps, and all men like himself; but this did
not deter the trapper, who strode up and confronted him. The talking
and laughing were hushed at once, and all eyes were turned upon the
new-comer, who stood before them with dripping garments, his tall
figure drawn up to its full height, his eyes flashing and his bony
fingers working nervously. He looked dangerous. The bogus captain
stared at him a moment doubtfully and then a gleam of intelligence
crossed his face and he tried to smile.

"Why, I thought I had seen you before," said he, thrusting out his
hand. "Come in! come right into the house. Where you been?"

"Whar do you reckon you seed me last?" demanded Dick, holding his arms
behind his back, for the man seemed determined to shake hands with him
whether he wished it or not. "You can't shut up my eyes with none of
your palaverin', now. Whar do you reckon you seed me last, I axes you?"

"Why, let me think a minute," said the man, pulling off his plug hat
and digging his fingers into his head, at the same time backing away
from the enraged giant. "I see so many of you fellows that I can't call
you all by name the minute I meet you."

"My name's--my name's----" Dick stopped and looked all around, trying
to think what he should call himself. He did not have a very extensive
circle of acquaintances, and he couldn't make up a name "all out of
his own head," as he made up the story he told the captain of the
fishing-smack. "My name's Colonel Gaylord," said he, giving the first
one that came into his mind.

"Ah! yes; I know you now," said the bogus captain, making another
effort to take the trapper by the hand. "You're the chap I found a good
berth for a few days ago, ain't you? Seems to me--you know----"

"Yes," roared Dick, who could control himself no longer, "I know, an'
'tain't likely I'll ever forget, nuther. I'm the man you wanted to send
round to the other side of the 'arth, to be chawed up by whales an'
dropped off into the clouds, consarn you--that's who _I_ am, an' you'll
remember me afore you see the last of me, I tell you. Human natur'! I
wish I could tote you out to the mountains fur about ten minutes. But
I'll set the law a-goin' agin you afore you see another day; that's
what I'll do. Come along here, you meanest man the 'arth ever saw, not
even exceptin' Black Bill--come along! Stand out o' the way, the rest
on you, or I'll claw you all up like a painter!"

With these words the trapper seized the bogus captain by the collar
and began pushing him toward the Stranger, which he could see still
lying in her berth where he had left her. The man remonstrated and
threatened, but all to no purpose. Then he resisted and called upon
his companions for help. One of them responded, but was disposed of so
quickly and effectually that the others thought it best to keep at a
safe distance.

Finding that his man was possessed of more strength, activity and
determination than he had calculated on, the trapper seized him with
both hands, and swinging him upon his shoulder started for the schooner
at a rapid run. He brought his prisoner in triumph, and stood him up on
the deck where all could see him.



CHAPTER VI.

A SCAMP ON HIS DIGNITY.


"THIS yere is the mean chap that done it all," continued the trapper.
"Thar's none of us that'll ever see Frank ag'in. He's gone round on
t'other side of the 'arth, an' some dark night, when he's sailin' along
thinkin' of nothing, one of them big quids (the sailors had called the
cuttle-fish 'squids') will rise outen the water all on a sudden, wrap
his arms, two hundred feet long, all about the ship, an' that'll be the
last of Frank. When be you goin' to hang this feller, cap'n?"

Dick had an interested and anxious crowd of listeners. The officers of
the schooner and the boys stood ranged in a circle in front of him, and
behind were the sailors, who at first invaded the sacred precincts
of the quarter-deck with much hesitation, holding their caps in their
hands and momentarily expecting an order to retire; but growing bolder
by degrees, when they found that the captain, although he looked their
way now and then, had nothing to say to them, they crowded up close
behind the trapper, so that they could hear every word. There were also
two other listeners--the men with the bludgeons, who had followed Dick
Lewis in the hope of rescuing his prisoner. When these two worthies
first came up, they acted as if they were about to board the vessel
without ceremony; but changed their minds when they saw half a dozen
broad-shouldered seamen, in obedience to a sign from the officer of the
deck, move up into the waist to receive them. The sailors, who had a
pretty good idea of what had been going on, even before they had heard
the trapper's story, would have been delighted to have the opportunity
to toss these men ashore neck and heels; and the latter must have seen
it in their countenances, for they backed away from the edge of the
wharf and took up a position from which they could hear and see all
that passed on the Stranger's deck.

Had Frank been as safe out of his troubles as Dick Lewis was, the boys
would have been highly amused by the latter's description of the scenes
through which he had passed; but it was far from being a laughing
matter now. Frank had been kidnapped ("shanghaied" the sailors called
it) by the captain of the Tycoon or his agent, and there was no knowing
what might become of him. Perhaps the hard fare and harder treatment
he was certain to receive, might drive him to do something desperate.
Uncle Dick Gaylord, however, was not troubled by any such misgivings.
He knew that Frank possessed courage and prudence in no ordinary
degree, and besides there were Lucas and Barton, the coxswain, on the
same vessel. The former was an old whaleman, and the assistance he
could render Frank in the way of teaching him his duties, might enable
the boy to keep out of any very serious difficulties. But could he help
him in any way? That was the momentous question, and Uncle Dick walked
up and down his quarter-deck with his hands behind his back while he
pondered upon it.

"Every word this man has uttered, as far as it concerns me and my
doings, is false from head to tail," declared the bogus captain.

This was the first time he had spoken since he was brought on board
the vessel. At first he was badly frightened, but while the trapper
was telling his story, he had time to think over his situation and
determine upon his line of defence.

"I don't know anything about this man and the other fellow he speaks
of," he continued; "I never seen him before this morning, and I never
tried to pass myself off as the captain of any ship."

Dick Lewis eyed him savagely while he was speaking, and when he ceased
drew back his clenched hand. In a moment more the man would have
measured his length on the deck, had not the captain interposed.

"Get ashore!" said he, shortly.

"O no, cap'n," replied the man, with an impudent smile. "This is a
nice way you have of doing business, I do think! One of your friends
commits an assault on me and drags me away from my peaceful home, and
then you wash your hands of the matter by telling me to go ashore. That
won't go down, by no means. Twenty dollars for damages will get rid of
me, but not a cent less!"

"I can bring a dozen witnesses to prove that that man wasn't once
outside of his house last night," said one of the ruffians on the dock.
"I'm one of 'em, for I was with him all the evening and know everything
he done."

"Rodgers!" exclaimed Uncle Dick.

"Here, sir," came the prompt response.

A stalwart sailor stepped quickly out from among his companions, and
dashing his cap upon the deck stood behind the bogus captain pushing
back his sleeves. A simple look from Uncle Dick would have sent the
man flying over the schooner's side as if he had been thrown from a
catapult.

"This is the last time I shall speak to you," continued Uncle Dick.
"Get ashore!"

The bogus captain thought it best to obey, and that too without a
moment's hesitation. Once on the dock he was safe, and there he stopped
long enough to say a parting word to Uncle Dick. "This matter will be
settled in the court-room," said he, with a threatening shake of his
head. "That man shall be arrested before he is an hour older."

With these words he walked off, followed by his companions. The boys
looked first at him, then at the captain and finally at Dick Lewis, who
stood the very picture of astonishment. "Why didn't you set the law
a-goin'?" the trapper managed to ask at last.

"It would have been of no use," answered the master of the schooner.
"Didn't you hear what that man on the dock said? That indicated the
defence they would bring up. We would find a court-room full of
witnesses to prove an alibi--that is, that this man was somewhere else
when the kidnapping was done."

"But it wouldn't be true, Uncle Dick," said Archie, who, like all
the rest of the Club, invariably addressed the old sailor by this
affectionate title. "If they swore to that, they would be guilty of
perjury, and that is a state prison offence. Dick has told the truth."

"I know it. I am just as certain that everything he has described to us
really happened, as I would be had I seen it all with my own eyes; but
a justice would not take his unsupported word against that of a dozen
men. And as for perjury, how would you fasten the crime upon these
false witnesses that would be produced? If Frank, Lucas and Barton were
here, we would have the game in our own hands; but they are miles away.
This man knows we can prove nothing, and that is what makes him so
impudent."

"I wish you had told Rodgers to throw him overboard, or else let Dick
knock him down," said Eugene.

"And afterward had the satisfaction of paying a fine and costs," said
the old sailor, with a laugh. "By the time your hair is as white as
mine, Eugene, perhaps you will have learned something. I've got one
fine to pay now."

"Why, how is that?" asked all the boys at once.

"Didn't you hear what that man said just as he went away? There'll be a
policeman down here directly."

The boys looked toward the trapper. The expression of alarm which they
had so often seen of late, had settled on his face again. He backed up
against the rail for support, and looked wildly about as if he had half
a mind to take to his heels. He stood more in fear of the law than he
did of a grizzly bear. He had always thought that there was something
wrong about it, and now he was firmly convinced of the fact. The law,
as he understood it, was to restrain bad people, who were disposed to
take advantage of their neighbors whenever an opportunity was offered;
but he found that it was likely to prove a means of punishment to the
innocent. It would have been just as impossible to give him a clear
idea of its workings, as it would to make him understand the causes of
the trade-winds or the theory of the ocean-currents.

"I've said a million times, an' Frank says that more'n a thousand,
that I'd never put my old moccasins inside a city again, an' now I
say it onct more an' I'll stick to it," said the trapper, solemnly,
raising his hand toward the mast-head to give emphasis to his words.
"I get skeared to death by cars an' steamboats, an' something's allers
happenin'."

"Shoulder your rifle an' kit, Dick, an' let's be off," said old
Bob, who up to this time had been a silent and amazed spectator and
listener. "I'm afeared."

"So am I, Bob, but I dasen't. I dasen't go; the law will ketch me.
I wish I was to the ole Bar's Hole, so't I could crawl in an' hide
myself."

Dick leaned back against the rail again, rubbing his hands together and
groaning as men sometimes do when they are sadly troubled in spirit.
The boys tried hard to set his mind at rest. They assured him that no
harm should come to him, for they and Uncle Dick were not only able but
ready and willing to stand between him and all difficulties; but the
trapper said he didn't want them to do it. If anybody was to go to jail
(thrusting people into jail and hanging them Dick thought were the only
punishments in vogue in civilized communities) it should be himself
and nobody else. Furthermore, he did not see why it was necessary that
any one should be called upon to stand between him and difficulty. He
had only been following out his natural impulses in trying to bring
the bogus captain to justice, and now he must suffer for it. He shook
his head, refusing to be comforted, and showed a desire to be alone
with his own thoughts; so the boys left him and turned to Uncle Dick,
who was once more pacing his quarter-deck, after holding a short
consultation with his officers.

"I know what you want," said the old sailor, as the boys approached him
in a body. "You are anxious to know what I am going to do for Frank. I
can only guess at the best plan, and follow it out to the best of my
judgment. What do you think ought to be done?"

The boys had no suggestions to offer. One thing was certain, and that
was that Frank would not long submit to harsh treatment. A young man
who had commanded a fine vessel in Uncle Sam's navy would not consent
to take rank next below the captain's dog, as the sailors in the
Tycoon's forecastle had assured him he would do as long as he remained
in that ship. If the opportunity were ever offered, he would lay his
case before the consul of the first port at which the vessel touched;
and failing that he would probably be driven to desert. In either case
the boys did not expect to see him again. If the consul protected him,
he would be sent to the nearest port in the United States free of
expense, and he had money enough in his pocket--about twenty dollars,
Archie thought--to support him until he could receive a remittance from
home. If he was compelled to desert he would probably ship on the first
vessel he could find, just as Chase had done, and she might take him to
the remotest corner of the earth. All this would sadly interfere with
the Club's arrangements. They thought as much of Frank as his cousin
did--so much that they one and all declared that they did not care to
continue their voyage without him. They couldn't enjoy themselves,
for they would worry about him all the while, and if they were to be
separated from him they would rather go home and stay there. If their
pleasant party and their cruise were to be broken up, they had the
boarding-house keeper to thank for it, and Walter declared that there
was no punishment known to the law half severe enough for him.

Uncle Dick listened while the boys were talking, and said he fully
agreed with them. "Even if Frank should succeed in escaping from the
Tycoon, and had a vessel at his command or money enough to take him
just where he wanted to go, he would not know which way to steer to
find us," said he, "for you boys will remember that you did not decide
upon anything definite, and Frank doesn't know whether we are going to
Alaska or Japan."

"And all through my foolishness," said Eugene, bitterly. "I wish I had
given up, and gone where the others wanted to go."

"So do I," said Bab.

"Don't reproach yourselves," replied Uncle Dick. "You had plenty of
sport during your debates, and you were not supposed to know that
such an emergency as this was about to arise. But perhaps we can do
something by following the Tycoon."

"Yes, if we only knew where she is going."

"I have an idea that I do know. She is bound for the Japan station,
so the sailors in her forecastle told Dick Lewis. Well, now, she is
short-handed. She must be, for her mate released Dick from his irons
and brought him on deck to help make sail. She'll never go on her
station without a full crew, and the nearest place at which she can get
it is the Sandwich Islands. There she will undoubtedly ship Kanakas
enough to make up her complement. Then she'll go out for a three or
four months' cruise, and come back and fit out for the Japan station.
Now, if we can reach Honolulu before she leaves, we shall probably be
able to effect the release of our men. If it were not for this incident
that has just happened I would sail at once."

"Why can't you do it any way?" asked Walter, who did not like to waste
even a moment.

"Because we must see Lewis out of his trouble. If he goes ashore
without some one to protect him, he will be sure to fall into the
hands of those sharpers, who will frighten him out of the last article
of value he's got."

"Cap'n," said Dick, suddenly, "will you take us with you--me and Bob?"

The old sailor looked in astonishment, and so did the boys.

"I'm afeared to go ashore," continued the trapper, who had been holding
a council of war with his chum, "an' so is Bob. 'Sides it's a thing we
never done yet--run off an' leave Frank in trouble, an' we've knowed
him too long to do it now!"

"My good fellow," said Uncle Dick, with a smile, "if Frank were lost
in the woods, you and Bob would be just the men to assist him; but you
can't help him in any way now."

"Mebbe we can, cap'n. An' even if we can't, we don't want to go back
hum without knowing what's come on him. We shouldn't see no peace of
mind."

Uncle Dick did not speak for several minutes. He knew just how much
these rude men thought of Frank, and told himself that their desire to
see him safe among friends again before they took leave of him for
ever, was perfectly natural; but there were the dangers they expected
to meet on the "under side of the earth"--the Flying Dutchman, the
whales, the monstrous "quids"--could they stand all these? "Lewis,"
said he, suddenly, "have you and your companion fully made up your
minds on this point?"

"Yes, an' we won't never change 'em nuther. We allers stand to what we
say."

"That settles the matter. Mr. Baldwin, while I am gone to the custom
house, hail the first tug you see and stand by to get under way."

The boys would have been delighted by this arrangement a few hours
before, but their feelings were different now. They had something to
think of besides the amusement they expected the trappers to furnish
them.

Uncle Dick went ashore and walked rapidly away, leaving the boys to
themselves. Although they were impatient to be off, the time did not
hang heavily on their hands, for they had much to talk about. They
fully expected the trappers to change their minds when they saw the
preparations that were being made for getting under way, but Dick
and Bob were not that sort. There was a dogged expression on their
faces, such as might have been seen there had the backwoodsmen been
in the power of savage foes who were making ready to torture them at
the stake. It said that they fully realized the dangers before them,
and were prepared to meet them like men who had never shown the white
feather.

"Now, if Frank were only here, and if Dick and Bob would get rid of
some of their foolish notions, we could look forward to some fun,
couldn't we?" said Eugene.

"_If_ and _if_!" said Walter. "It is surprising how often that little
word stands in our way."

"I have been thinking that Dick's short sojourn on the Tycoon has made
matters worse for Frank than they would otherwise have been," said Bob,
anxiously. "The three principal officers have felt the weight of his
arm, and of course they'll have to take satisfaction out of somebody."

"Dick," said Archie, suddenly, "why don't you encourage us by saying
that Frank will be sure to come out all right? That's what you used to
tell us whenever he got into trouble."

"But he was on the prairie then, an' now he's among civilized folks,"
replied the trapper.

"Which means, I suppose, that this is the worst scrape he ever got
into."

Dick nodded his head.

"I don't know about that," said George Le Dell. "I think if he had
his choice, he would rather be where he is now than in the prison
at Shreveport, if he had to go through what he did when he made his
escape. Frank has been in some tight places, but somehow he has always
managed to squeeze through without much trouble."

"And he never was hurt that I remember, except when he burned that
house in which Colonel Harrison made his headquarters," said Archie.

"When _you_ burned it, you mean," said George. "_You_ did that, and
if you had been a line instead of a staff officer, you would have got
another stripe around your arm for it, too. I told the Colonel all
about it after you left our house."

"Why did you do that?" exclaimed Archie, hastily. "Now I shall never
dare to meet him again."

"Ha! ha!" laughed George. "Why, he is one of your warmest friends. I
told him because I wanted him to know that the boy who killed that bear
and beat Somers in a fair race through the woods, had something in him.
The Colonel scolded me for not telling him before. He said if he had
known it while you were in our neighborhood, you wouldn't have got away
from his house for one good long month at least. He would have kept you
if he'd had to put a guard over you."

"Well, I shouldn't have enjoyed the visit."

"You couldn't have helped yourself, if plenty of hunting, riding and
good company are aids to enjoyment."

From this subject the boys gradually got back to the one that occupied
the most of their minds and thoughts, and that was Frank's sudden
disappearance. They asked the trapper a multitude of questions, but
learned nothing new, for he had already told his story in detail. While
they were talking Uncle Dick returned, and the tug being alongside and
the pilot aboard, the lines were cast off and the Stranger swung slowly
around until her bow pointed toward the headlands at the entrance to
the bay. In the bustle and hurry that followed the boys found time to
turn an eye toward the trappers now and then, but they saw no signs
of regret or alarm on their faces; and when the lines that held the
tug were let go, and the steamer with a farewell shriek of her whistle
turned back toward the city, and the schooner unfolded her white
wings one after the other, and the Golden Gate was passed, and the
broad expanse of the Pacific was fairly spread out before them, there
were still no signs of backing out. But it was too late now. The die
was cast, and Dick and old Bob were bound for the "under side of the
earth!"



CHAPTER VII.

TOO LATE.


THE very presence of Uncle Dick was enough to infuse new life and
comfort into the boys, who were disposed to make themselves miserable
over the absence of their genial companion. The old sailor believed in
looking on the bright side of things, and thought there was no use in
worrying over the matter that they could not just then better in any
way. His example made a great change in the feelings of the Club.

"Now, Walter," said he, briskly, "we are fairly afloat again, and our
sailing-master having deserted us, we are compelled to call on you to
fill his place. Suppose you work out a course for us. We're bound for
the Sandwich Islands, Eugene; which way are they from here?"

"Oh, you can't catch me on that," replied the boy, "for I posted myself
only a few days ago. The twentieth parallel runs through them. They're
in the same latitude as Vera Cruz, in Mexico."

"Well, I want to make the run in as short a time as may be, so what
shall I do?"

"Stand to the southwest to get the benefit of the northeast trades,
and the equatorial current. The same route would take you to China or
Japan."

"Suppose, now, we were in China and wanted to come back to the States:
would I follow the same course?"

"No, sir. You would steer in a northerly direction until you got
between the parallels of thirty-five and forty-five degrees north
latitude, and there you would find strong westerly winds to help you
along. Perhaps you'd get some assistance from the North Pacific drift
current, but on that point I am not sure."

"Well, it is just as well you are not," shouted Walter from the cabin,
where he was busy with his chart. "The North Pacific drift current
might help you if you wanted to go to Alaska from China. When it
strikes the shores of our continent it divides, part of it flowing on
down the coast and forming the California coast current, and the rest
bending back across the Pacific again; so it would retard your progress
rather than help you."

"Well, I am not the sailing-master of this craft, am I?" replied
Eugene. "If I was, I'd keep posted. Besides, almost anybody with a
chart before him, could clatter away as though his tongue was hung
in the middle. Wait till Frank gets back if you want to talk about
navigation."

"He's a good one, that's a fact," said Uncle Dick. "He's as fit to
command a vessel as I am."

Just then Walter came up, having worked out a course, which being
approved by the captain and given to the officer of the deck, the bow
of the Stranger was brought around a point or two, and the voyage
was fairly begun. There was nothing to be done now, but to await
developments with all the patience they possessed.

But few incidents worthy of record happened during the voyage,
which, after they struck the trade winds became monotonous enough.
The schooner bowled along before a fine breeze, and as it was never
necessary to change the sails, there was no work to be done except
ordinary ship's duty. The Club passed the time mostly in reading and
conversation with the trappers, who, as soon as they fully recovered
from their sea-sickness, kept a constant lookout for some of those
terrible dangers which had been so graphically described to them. By
dint of much talking and argument the boys finally succeeded in making
them take a more sensible view of their situation, and as the days wore
away without bringing with them any of the perils they had expected to
encounter, the backwoodsmen began to act a little more like themselves.
But when an ignorant person once gets hold of an idea it is almost
impossible to make him let go of it, and the trappers' minds could not
be set wholly at rest. They steadily refused to go into the forecastle
at night, and always slept on deck. The boys found the reason for this
in a remark they heard Bob make to his companion. They wanted plenty
of elbow room when they reached the under side of the earth, the old
fellow said, so that when the schooner dropped off among the clouds,
they could take to the water. They saw sharks, dolphins and flying-fish
(the trappers began to put more faith in what the boys said after they
had seen one of the latter rise from the water and sail through the air
like a bird on the wing), and one day the sailors pointed out to them
an object which made them believe that their time had come. It first
showed itself while the boys were at dinner. They were summoned on deck
by the officers of the watch, and found themselves close alongside
the first whale they had ever seen. The monster was taking matters
very leisurely, moving along about a hundred yards from the schooner,
lifting his huge head out of the water now and then and spouting a
cloud of spray into the air, and although the vessel was running at a
rate of eight miles an hour, he kept pace with her without the least
exertion. The boys were all disappointed.

"This must be a small one," said George.

"Small!" echoed Uncle Dick. "How big do you think a whale is, any
how--as big as the Rocky Mountains?"

"No, sir; but I have read that they have been found sixty and seventy
feet long," replied George.

"Well, this fellow is every inch of eighty, and I shouldn't wonder if
he was ninety feet in length."

"I wish some whaler would come along and pitch into him," said Eugene.
"I'd like to see the operation of catching a whale."

"If fifty whalers should come along they would not trouble this
fellow," said Uncle Dick.

"Why not?"

"Because he is neither a sperm nor a right whale. He belongs to the
species known as finbacks. He would not yield oil or bone enough to pay
for the trouble of lowering the boats, and besides he is so swift and
strong that it would be dangerous to meddle with him."

The finback kept alongside the schooner for nearly a mile, and during
that time the boys had ample opportunity to take a good view of him.
He sank and rose at regular intervals, executing the manoeuvre with
an ease and grace that was astonishing, and now and then he showed so
much of his huge bulk above the water that the boys opened their eyes
in amazement, and Featherweight declared that there was no end to him.
The longer they looked at him the larger he seemed to grow. At length
he began to edge away from the schooner, and finally disappeared. Then
each boy turned and looked at his neighbor to see what he thought about
it.

"What makes you look so sober?" demanded Featherweight of Archie, who
stood by pulling his chin, and gazing fixedly at the spot where the
whale had last been seen.

"I was just thinking," was the reply.

"And I'll warrant we can all tell what you were thinking about," said
George. "I guess there is no one in this small party who would like to
be ordered into a small boat to attack a beast of that size, and you
were wondering what Frank's feelings will be the first time he tries
it. Well, I don't want to know them by experience."

Archie walked to the side and looked over into the water, while George
turned to Dick and Bob, who just then came up. Their faces were very
white.

"Well, Dick," said George, "you have seen your first whale, and it
isn't such a terrible looking object after all, is it?"

"I dunno," replied the trapper. "If the babies look like that, what
must the ole ones be?"

"The babies?" repeated George.

"One of the fellows showed that thing to me when it fust come in sight,
and I showed it to Rodgers, but he couldn't see it. Rodgers, he called
another of the sailors, and he said he could see something, but it was
so small he couldn't tell whether it was a whale or not."

"Now, Dick, don't you believe a word those men in the forecastle say
to you," said Eugene, indignantly. "Uncle Dick says that is one of the
largest whales he ever saw."

"Wal, Rodgers he couldn't see it at fust 'cause it was so small, but
when he _did_ see it, he said mebbee it was a baby. He said the ole one
will be along purty soon lookin' fur it, an' then we'll see a whale. If
the ole one don't find the baby, she'll think we've done something to
it, an' she'll brush us off'n the 'arth like a feller would brush a fly
off his Sundy trowsers."

The trappers were frightened again, and for the rest of the day kept
close company with their young friends, no doubt feeling safer in their
presence than anywhere else. The boys, one and all, exerted themselves
to correct the wrong impressions they had received, but the foremast
hands had had the first chance at them, as Fred remarked, and it was
a matter of impossibility to set their fears at rest. For a week
afterward Dick and his companion kept a sharp lookout, expecting every
minute to see the old whale coming in search of her young one; but
she did not appear, and the next thing that happened to relieve the
monotony of the voyage, was the discovery of land, dead ahead. Walter
had been anxiously looking for it for the last twenty-four hours.
Having taken Frank's place as sailing-master, he was eager to earn a
reputation as a navigator, and he was not a little elated to find that
he had made no mistake.

The discovery of land set the sailors going again. Rodgers and a
few of his companions, who, when the trappers were in hearing, were
continually talking about mermaids and dragons and other sea monsters,
and the awful sights that would be presented when they came to the
under side of the earth, looked through their hands at the dim outline
in advance, and after comparing notes in a tone of voice loud enough
for Dick and Bob to hear, declared that it wasn't land after all--that
the man at the mast was mistaken.

"That's no more land nor I be," declared Rodgers. "If my head is worth
a tar-bucket, it is the old whale. She can't find her baby, and so
she's coming down to ask the skipper what he's done with it. She's
coming like lightning too. Can't you see the water a boiling up under
her bows? I can."

"Now, mate, I think it's a squid," said another, "and he's waiting
there to gobble up something. I can see his long arms resting on the
water, and ready to catch the first moving thing that comes within
reach. I hope the cap'n 'll keep away a few points."

"Mebbe he don't know what it is," said a third, "and I think Lewis had
better go aft and tell him about it--I do indeed!"

"'Taint a whale nor a squid neither," said an old gray-headed seaman,
who, using his hands for a spy-glass, had been looking at the island
ever since they first came in sight of it. "It's the equator. I can see
the waves rolling over it!"

"Well, Jack, you've been to sea longer nor me and ought to know about
these things," said Rodgers. "I seen the waves, but I thought they was
the bone the whale was carrying in her teeth. When we get over it, if
we ever do, we're on the under side of the earth, ain't we?"

"That's what's the matter," said the gray-headed sailor.

Dick fairly jumped, as each one of these opinions was solemnly
advanced, and hurried off to speak to the boys. The latter, especially
Eugene and Archie, could hardly refrain from laughing outright at his
ludicrous display of terror, but they quieted his fears as well as
they could, and by giving him a solemn promise that they would see him
safely through any danger that might arise if he would remain close by
them, they succeeded in keeping him out of the company of the foremast
hands all the rest of the day. But it was not until nearly sunset that
the fears the sailors had conjured up were entirely banished. By that
time the object that had excited his alarm was so plainly visible that
Dick could see for himself that it was land and nothing else.

The boys did not see many of the new and novel sights that were
presented to their gaze, as the Stranger made her way through the
strait that runs between the islands of Hawaii and Mani. They had eyes
for nothing but the whale ship they expected to find there. The huge
fishing canoes they saw the next day; the natives that came aboard
in swarms while they were running about in the light, baffling winds
they found under the lee of the land, the fruits they offered for
barter--none of these things possessed the interest for them that they
would under almost any other circumstances. They paid little attention
to anything but the vessels that now and then passed them. But the
Tycoon was not among them.

Uncle Dick took time, as he passed along, to look into every bay and
inlet where the Tycoon was likely to be, and it was not until nearly a
week after they first sighted the Sandwich Islands that the Stranger
dropped anchor outside the coral reef that marks the entrance to the
harbor of Honolulu. As the wind came strong down the mountain gorges,
everything was made snug, and then the gig was called away and the
captain set out for the town, leaving the boys to enjoy themselves as
best they could during his absence. But it was dull business, this
trying to pass away the time when they were so impatient and anxious.
They kept up their spirits by telling one another that something would
surely happen to restore their friend Frank to them, but the face that
Uncle Dick brought back with him, when he returned six hours later,
dashed all their hopes to the ground. No sooner was the gig fairly
hoisted at the davits, than he gave the order to heave up the anchor
and go to sea. The boys stood around and looked at one another in
silence while these orders were being executed, and when Uncle Dick
went into the cabin, they followed him.

"Too late, boys," said he.

"Has the Tycoon been here?" asked Walter.

"Yes; she has done just what I thought she would do. She shipped a crew
of natives and has gone out for a three months' cruise. When that is
ended she will come back and fit out for Japan."

"And what about Frank?"

"Haven't heard a word of him. The consul saw only the captain, and he
was here just long enough to ship his crew. We missed our object by
just three days."

"I don't understand how we missed it at all," said Eugene. "We
certainly lost no time."

"But you must remember that the Tycoon is a large ship, and that she
probably carries as much canvas in her courses and spanker as we can
spread on all our masts and yards. We can't expect to sail with her."

"What are we going to do now?" asked Bab.

"We are going to see if we can find her. It will be almost like
searching for a needle in a haystack, but we don't want to remain here
idle for three months."

"Of course not," said Eugene, quickly. "That would never do. While we
are moving about we shall feel that we are doing something for Frank,
even if we don't find him."

"Exactly," said Uncle Dick.

"What will you do if we find the Tycoon?" inquired Walter.

"I shall probably be able to present the matter to her captain in such
a way that he will be willing to release Frank and make him some amends
for what he has done--I _think_ I shall be able to do so," said the old
sailor, with a look in his eye that spoke volumes. "But if I should
fail, he will be arrested as soon as he comes back here."

This was all Uncle Dick had to say, and it afforded the boys very
little satisfaction. They had confidently expected that Frank would be
restored to them when they reached the Sandwich Islands, and this was
a sore disappointment. Where was he now? Where was he while the Tycoon
was lying in the harbor of Honolulu? What was the reason he had not
done as he advised the deserter to do--insisted on seeing the American
consul? The boys could only speculate upon these points, and they had
ample leisure to do it--almost six weeks. During that time every ship
they could come up with was spoken, but the Tycoon was not among them,
and neither could they gain any information concerning her. The boys
were getting discouraged and very down-hearted, and had it not been
for Uncle Dick there is no telling how they would have lived through it.

One night the officer of the deck reported that there was a whaler
a few miles distant "trying out"--that is, rendering out the oil of
a whale she had recently captured. The Stranger's bow was at once
pointed toward her, and at sunrise the two vessels were within speaking
distance.

"Now just listen to me a minute and I'll tell you what's a fact," said
Perk, who with the rest of the Club stood in the waist, attentively
regarding the ship as she came toward them carrying a huge bone in her
teeth, "there's something about that craft that looks familiar."

"I was just thinking so myself," said Eugene.

He glanced toward Uncle Dick, who, during the last quarter of an hour
had kept his glass levelled at the ship, and edged away toward the
officer of the deck. "It can't be that that is the vessel we're looking
for, is it, Mr. Baldwin?" said he.

"If it isn't her, it's her sister," replied the officer, with some
excitement.

Before Eugene could carry this news to his companions the ship
backed her main topsail, and as Uncle Dick, with an exclamation of
astonishment that had a good deal of meaning in it, seized his trumpet,
her captain appeared upon her bulwarks. The boys, through their
glasses, had a plain view of him, and the general verdict was that he
was a rough-looking fellow--one who, judging by his appearance, was
capable of almost anything.

"It is the same man we saw in the whale-boat," declared Eugene, his
voice rendered husky by excitement. "I know him, even if he hasn't got
his gray suit on."

"I confess that I can't see any resemblance," said Bab, taking his
glass down from his eyes long enough to bring it to a better focus.

It would have required a person with a very lively imagination to
recognise anybody at that distance, especially in such clothes as those
in which the captain was dressed. He wore a tarpaulin on his head, a
red shirt open at the throat, and a pair of coarse trowsers, which were
thrust into the tops of heavy sea boots; and as some of these articles
had been made for larger, and others for smaller men than himself, they
fitted him oddly enough.

"Ship ahoy!" roared Uncle Dick.

"Ay, ay, sir!" shouted the captain of the whaler.

"What ship is that?" asked Uncle Dick.

The answer was given in a loud tone of voice, but the words were
indistinct. The captain talked as if he had a mouthful of something.
The only part of the reply that the Stranger's crew understood was that
the ship was seventeen months out of Nantucket, and that she had nine
hundred barrels of oil in the hold.

"What does he say is the name of his ship, Mr. Baldwin?" asked Uncle
Dick.

"I understood him to say Eli Coon, sir," said the officer.

"That sounds wonderfully like Tycoon, doesn't it?" whispered George.

"And what does he call himself, Mr. Baldwin?" continued Uncle Dick.

"Captain Hank Wilson, were the words I caught, sir."

"What schooner is that?" shouted the captain of the whaler.

"The Stranger, Captain Richard Gaylord, just out of Honolulu," answered
Uncle Dick; and the words were so plain and distinct that the master of
the whaler could have heard them if he had been twice as far away.

"I'll send a boat aboard of you."

"Very good, sir," replied Uncle Dick. "There is something strange about
this, Mr. Baldwin," he added. "That is the Tycoon if I ever saw her,
but that isn't the scoundrel who commanded her while she was in the
harbor of San Francisco. Stand by, now, and if any of our men come off
in his boat we'll see that they don't go back."

There was no confusion on board the Stranger--there never was, for the
discipline was too perfect for that--but everybody was highly excited.
And the excitement was increased when the second mate went forward with
the order, which he gave in a low voice: "All hands stand by, and
be ready to jump when you hear the word." The sailors knew what that
meant, and while some pushed back their sleeves, others laid handspikes
where they could find them again at a moment's warning; and having
thus prepared for any emergency, they moved to the side in a body, and
awaited the coming of the whaler's boat with no little impatience. She
came in sight at length, rounding the stern of the ship. Presently one
of the men whispered something, which was passed along from one to
another, until it reached the ears of the boys in the waist:

"I see Lucas in that boat, and Barton too!"

"But where is Frank?" said Archie, anxiously. "If he is aboard that
ship now is his time to jump overboard and swim out to us."

"Look at Dick Lewis," whispered Bab, suddenly.

The boys with one accord turned their eyes toward the trapper. He stood
on the forecastle with his hands on the rail, over which he was leaning
as far as he could without losing his balance, and his eyes were
fastened upon the approaching boat with a gaze such as a hawk might
bestow upon the prey it was about to seize. As the boat approached
nearer and veered round to come alongside, Dick gradually drew back out
of sight and walked toward the stern to meet her.

"If that is the captain of the Tycoon standing in the stern of that
boat," said Archie, "he will be a well-thumped man before he gets
fairly on deck, unless Uncle Dick interferes in time."

"It isn't he," said Eugene. "I was mistaken. But he's a hard-looking
customer all the same."

The boat came nearer with every stroke of its crew, but the boys could
not see any one in it whom they recognised. The backs of the oarsmen
were turned toward them, and the captain kept his tarpaulin drawn low
over his forehead, while the wind had turned the collar of his shirt up
about his ears, so that his face was most effectually concealed.

With a few strokes more the boat was alongside, and the red-shirted
captain's head appeared above the Stranger's rail. Then Dick began
to bestir himself. With a bound like a tiger he sprang forward and
grasped the captain by the shoulders.

"Avast there, Lewis!" roared Uncle Dick. "What are you about? If you
attempt any violence I'll throw you over to the whales!"

"No, I reckon not," replied the trapper. "This feller can't fool ole
Dick Lewis, no matter what sort o' clothes he's got onto him!"

As he said this he dragged the captain bodily over the rail, and
lifting him in his arms as he would an infant, carried him toward the
quarter-deck.



CHAPTER VIII.

GENTLEMAN BLACK.


"GO on deck now, and let me give you fair warning that if you don't
behave yourselves you'll go overboard before you can think twice!"

It was the mate of the Tycoon who spoke, and who gave this order to
Frank and the three sailors in the forecastle, after he had released
them from their irons. The officer did not look much as he did the last
time Frank saw him. He wore a handkerchief about his head and over
his left eye, but it did not wholly conceal his face, which was badly
swollen and discolored. He was in a fair way to remember his meeting
with the trapper for some time to come.

During the hour that Frank was confined in the forecastle his mind
was exceedingly busy. His companions in trouble civilly answered all
the questions he asked them, but did not seem inclined to talk, so
Frank had opportunity to think over his situation and try to determine
upon some course of action. The first thing he did was to congratulate
himself on the fact that none of his companions were with him on the
Tycoon. Had Walter, Bab, Archie or any of the rest gone ashore with
him when he went after his rifle, they would now have been in the same
predicament as himself; and according to Frank's way of thinking that
would have been a calamity indeed. He expected to suffer--his mind was
fully made up to that,--but he was strong and healthy and better able
to endure hardship than any of the young friends he had left on board
the Stranger. He had no fears for Dick Lewis. The trapper was as tough
as a pine knot--nothing seemed to make any impression on him--and if
he could only be induced to keep his temper under control, and pay no
attention to the blows and insults he was sure to receive, he would get
on well enough. Still he thought more of him than he did of Lucas and
Barton, who were sleeping soundly in their bunk. These two were old
sailors and could stand anything. They were not likely to have as easy
times as they had had on board the Stranger, but they were accustomed
to hard work and hard treatment, and when safe off the Tycoon they
would have another story to help while away the lonely hours of the mid
watch.

Thus it will be seen that Frank was disposed to make the best of his
misfortunes, and to look on the bright side of things. But there was
one fact that troubled him not a little, and that was, his connection
with the Club was severed. He did not expect to see any of its members
again, not even Archie, for years to come. He would be released from
the Tycoon some day--just as soon as he could gain the ear of some
American consul for a moment--but he would not know which way to
turn to find the Stranger, and so would have nothing left him but
to make the best of his way back to Lawrence. That would be a great
disappointment to him. He had anticipated much pleasure from his
visit to foreign countries, and it was hard to abandon the voyage,
just as his expectations were about to be realized, and go back to
the monotonous, hum-drum routine of village life. But as there was no
help for it, it was useless to repine, Frank told himself. He would do
his duty as well as he could while he remained on board the Tycoon,
but he was under no obligations to stay with her any longer than he
was compelled to do so; and the first time she dropped anchor in port
there would be one of her crew missing, unless the officers took the
precaution to deprive him of his liberty.

While Frank was meditating in this way the mate came into the
forecastle, and after taking off his irons, ordered him on deck.
Ascending the ladder he found a small crew engaged in setting things
to rights. The third mate, who met him as he came up, put him to work
with the rest, and for the next hour Frank was kept so busy that he did
not have time to see much of his surroundings. He took a look around
now and then for Dick Lewis, and wondered what sort of work the clumsy
trapper would make in doing sailor's duty.

"Was you looking for your pardner, sir?" asked a seaman who was busy
at his side. (The "sir" came out almost involuntarily, as if the man
instinctively felt that Frank was in some way entitled to that show of
respect.)

"Yes; I was looking for that tall, broad-shouldered man in buckskin who
came aboard with me."

"Well, sir, he's gone!"

"Gone! Where?"

"I don't know, for he can't be found alow nor aloft. He must have
jumped overboard."

"O, I hope not!" said Frank anxiously.

"If he has, it is all right, sir, because he'd a done it sooner or
later. I'll not stay aboard here much longer, unless there's a great
change for the better. Things couldn't be worse."

"Don't do anything desperate," said Frank. "It won't pay. But what made
this man of whom we were speaking jump overboard?"

"I don't know, sir. I was busy when he came up. The first thing I knew
there was a rumpus; the cap'n and two of the mates were laid out as
flat as slap-jacks, and the man hasn't been seen since."

"Were we far from shore?"

"Only about three or four miles."

"O, then it is all right. Dick is safe. He can swim double that
distance."

"Well, I can't; but I wish I could have gone with him. I've seen two
men go overboard since I've been on this craft, and if I was with 'em
now among the sharks, my troubles would all be over."

Here was direct confirmation of the story the deserter had told on
board the Stranger. Frank drew a long breath, and from that moment a
settled determination took possession of him.

The work was all done at last, the watches told off and one of them
ordered below. The one to which Frank belonged remained on deck to
handle the ship, which was making long boards to gain an offing. Two
or three times every hour they were called upon to trim the sails as
the ship changed her course and stood off on another tack, and the rest
of the time the crew lounged about the windlass. But there was none
of that story-telling in which the crew of the Stranger engaged on
such occasions, to make the time hang less heavily on their hands. The
men sat sullen and silent, and as they were no company for Frank, he
strolled aft to make an inspection of the craft which was likely to be
his home for long weeks and perhaps months to come. She was different
from other ships he had seen only in the number of boats she carried
at her davits, and in her try-works, which were fitted up amidships.
These were built of masonry, contained three large kettles, and were
so constructed that a body of water could be kept under the furnace to
prevent the fire from burning the deck.

Having seen all he cared to see, Frank went forward again, and leaning
over the windlass thought of the friends he was fast leaving behind
him and of the trapper. He hoped from the bottom of his heart that
Dick had jumped overboard. If such was the case he had saved himself
many an hour of suffering, and had placed himself in no danger. It was
but a short distance to the shore for such a swimmer as he knew the
trapper to be, and besides there were vessels constantly passing in
and out of the harbor, so that on a calm night like that he had only
to call for help to get it. The trapper had learned enough from the
three men in the forecastle, if he could only remember it, to put Uncle
Dick Gaylord on the track of the Tycoon, and perhaps matters might not
turn out so badly after all. If the Stranger followed the Tycoon to
Japan, his release would certainly be effected; but how would he fare
in the meantime? He wished that some discontented boy who had read
yellow-covered novels until he had become thoroughly disgusted with
home and all its surroundings, and sighed for the wild, free, romantic
life of a sailor, could be in his place just then.

A short time before Frank's watch on deck was ended, he heard a
rustling in one of the bunks below, and looking into the forecastle
saw that the boatswain's mate, having come to his senses, was sitting
up and staring about him in great bewilderment. The old-sea dog did
not know where he was, but he quickly became aware that he was aboard
some craft that was in motion, and catching up his cap he sprang out
of his bunk and ran up the ladder. At the top he found Frank, whom he
recognised at once.

"Where are we, cap'n?" he exclaimed; "and how long have we been under
way?"

The sailors belonging to the Stranger's crew were pretty well
acquainted with the history of their captain and his passengers. They
conceived a great respect for Frank when they learned that he had been
all through the late war, and that he had, by his own unaided efforts,
worked his way from the forecastle to the quarter-deck, and falling
into Uncle Dick's habit, they invariably addressed him by his old naval
title, and were as careful to salute him whenever they passed him as
they were to salute their commander.

Before Frank had time to reply, the boatswain's mate had glanced about
the deck of the whaler, and some faint suspicions seemed to creep into
his mind. "This ain't the Stranger, cap'n!" said he.

"Who are you talking to?" demanded the first mate, who just then came
forward.

"I was speaking to Cap'n Nelson, sir," was the reply.

"Who is he? Where is he?" asked the mate, roughly.

"There he stands, sir."

"Well, you just drop all that," said the officer, who was plainly very
much surprised, "and hereafter bear in mind that there is only one
captain aboard this ship and only one first mate. Get on deck, here.
You belong to this watch!"

"Ay, ay, sir," replied Lucas. "Now here's a lubberly go, cap'n," he
added in a low tone, as the mate went aft out of earshot.

"Be careful," said Frank, quickly. "Remember the mate's order and drop
that title and all others when you speak to me. Just recollect that I
occupy a lower position aboard this craft than you do, for you are an
able seaman and I am not."

"But what craft is this and what's happened us?" asked the boatswain's
mate, earnestly--"shanghaied?"

"Yes, and this ship is the Tycoon."

"I knew it," said the old sailor, striking his open palm with his
clenched hand. "Serves me right."

"I don't know how you came here. Perhaps you can tell."

"I took a drink, sir," said Lucas, hanging his head.

"Ah! yes; and you didn't get it out of the scuttle-butt either, did
you? Pure water would not have robbed you of your senses."

Then Frank went on to tell of his meeting with the bogus captain and
the manner in which he and the trapper had been enticed on board the
whaler. The old sailor was greatly distressed to know that it was
through him that Frank had been brought into trouble. He offered to
make amends by jumping overboard, and seemed to be hurt because Frank
would not consent to it. While he was trying to comfort the mate the
watch was called and Frank and the rest ordered below.

Thus far things seemed to be working as well as could be expected under
the circumstances. Frank had heard a few hard words from the officers,
but he had seen no blows struck. This, however, was only the calm that
preceded the storm. The next morning the captain made his appearance on
deck, just as the crew were ordered to turn to, and then the trouble
began. Frank recognised him at once, for he wore the same clothes he
had on when he passed the Stranger in the whale-boat. He proved to be
quite as brutal as he looked, and a constitutional grumbler. He found
fault with everything. Nothing could be done to suit him. He swore at
the officers, and they in turn swore at the men, and struck right and
left with whatever came first to their hands--that is, the first and
second mates did. The third mate, whom Frank had heard addressed as
Mr. Gale, took no part in the swearing and striking. He did not speak
to the men as if they were dogs, but his orders were just as emphatic,
just as readily understood and quite as promptly obeyed. Frank took a
liking to the man at once. Like himself, he seemed very much out of
place on board the Tycoon.

The captain was anxious to get his small crew into shape for work
before he reached the fishing-grounds, and almost the first thing he
did was to order out a "dummy whale," which was a spar towed over the
stern. Then the boats' crews were selected. There proved to be enough
to man two boats, leaving a sufficient number of the crew on board to
act as ship-keepers. Frank and Lucas were assigned to the captain's
boat, the former being seated at the bow oar. This was a position of
responsibility, as Frank very soon learned. A whale when struck by a
harpoon sometimes starts to run; and in such a case it is the duty of
the bow oar to seize the line, draw the boat up alongside the whale,
and hold it there while the captain uses his lance.

Everything being in readiness, the boats were lowered, and for the
next three hours were manœuvred about the spar, until it seemed to
Frank that the inside of his hands was all in a blaze. To make matters
worse, the captain swore at him for his awkwardness, and took him to
task for answering "Very good, sir!" in response to an order, when he
should have said "Ay, ay, sir!" An officer in the navy is required to
answer "Very good, sir," when receiving a command from a superior, to
show that he understands it; but Frank was not in the navy now, and
neither was he an officer. He was a foremast hand on board a whaler,
occupying a position a good deal lower than the captain's dog, he began
to think.

The boats were finally ordered back to the ship, and after they had
been hoisted at the davits, the falls laid down in Flemish coil on
deck, and the spar hauled aboard, Frank heard the order passed--

"Send that gentleman in the black suit aft here."

Frank knew in a moment that he was the one designated. He claimed to be
a gentleman and he wore a suit of black clothes--he was the only one
on board who did--so he promptly answered to the summons. "Here, sir,"
said he.

When he reached the quarter-deck he removed his hat and waited for the
captain to speak to him.

"So you know your name, do you?" exclaimed the skipper, gruffly.

"My name is Nelson, sir."

"But it suits me to call you Gentleman Black."

"Very--ay, ay, sir," replied Frank, who knew that he was expected to
say something.

"Shoulder that handspike," continued the captain, pointing out the
implement, "and march up and down the deck like a soger as you are.
Carry it until you learn not to say 'very good' to me. What business is
it of yours whether my orders are very good or very bad? I'll soon take
them airs out of you."

Frank picked up the handspike, and placing it on his shoulder, began
walking up and down the deck like a sentry on his beat. A landsman
would have seen no significance in this punishment, but the sailors
did, and the boatswain's mate and the coxswain (the latter had
recovered his senses and gone to work with the rest) were highly
indignant. A seaman regards it as an insult to be called a soldier. It
implies that he is a "skulker"--that he shirks his duty.

This was the second time that Frank had been punished on board ship.
His first offence, as we know, was committed while he was in the navy,
on board the receiving ship. He spilled some water on deck, and was
obliged to wipe it up and carry a swab about the vessel until he saw
some one else doing the same thing. He might have carried that swab
all day, had not Archie taken pity on him and effected his release.
His jolly little cousin was not at hand to help him now. Frank was
glad that he was far away, and in no danger of ever being placed in a
situation like his own.

Frank found that even a handspike grows heavy after a while, and when
he had carried it four long hours, he would have been glad to put it
down and rest; but his release did not come until his watch was called
at twelve o'clock that night. From noon until midnight he paced the
deck without a moment's pause, a bite to eat or a drop to drink. He
was tired and sleepy, but was obliged to remain on deck four hours
longer, or until the watch to which he belonged was ordered below.
It was pretty hard, Frank told himself, and provoking, too, to find
somebody ready to make sport of him, as one of the sailors in his watch
did when he went forward. It was the "black sheep" of the crew--the
same one who pointed out the trapper's supposed hiding-place in the
bow-boat. His name was Gardener, but some one had christened him
Calamity, and that was what he was generally called. Some of the crew
had warned Lucas and Barton to be very careful what they said in this
man's presence. He was the captain's pet. He was never punished like
the rest, and the reason probably was because he made it his business
to keep the officers posted in everything that was said and done in the
forecastle.

"Well, Gentleman Black," said Calamity, as Frank approached the
windlass around which the watch were gathered, "how do you like
the taste you have had of the Tycoon's discipline? You can't come
soldiering aboard here with your airs and your graces----"

"Belay that!" cried the coxswain, jumping to his feet. "You're a
soldier yourself and a tale-bearer besides, Calamity, and any more such
language as that will breed a row that'll have to be settled by you and
me the very first time we get ashore. That's a word with a bark on it!"

Calamity, like the coward he was, slunk back out of sight immediately,
and in a few minutes got up and walked away.



CHAPTER IX.

"THERE SHE BLOWS."


IT soon became evident to all on board the Tycoon that Captain
Barclay--that was the name of the master of the ship--was in a great
hurry. Whaling captains, while on fishing-grounds, generally try to
get over as much space as they can while daylight lasts, and to remain
as nearly in one spot as possible during the night. By following this
plan they can hunt over every mile of the ground, and lose no chance
of finding the game of which they are in search. Captain Barclay,
however, carried all the sail he could crowd, both night and day. The
old sailors, Lucas and Barton among the rest, knew where he was going,
and when Frank heard them express their opinions he had new cause for
uneasiness.

"He's bound for the Sandwich Islands," said Lucas, one day. "He hasn't
got men enough aboard here to do anything, and he's going after a crew."

"Then we can make up our minds that we have seen the last of the
Stranger," said Frank.

"Why, bless you," said Lucas, "I never did expect to see her again. I
never said so before because I saw that you kept hankering after her,
and I wanted you to keep your spirits up as long as you could."

Frank's last hope was gone now, and it was only by a great effort of
will that he kept himself from giving away utterly to his despondent
feelings. "I have seen the last of my friends," thought he. "I have no
one to rely on except myself. I must drag out a miserable existence
here till I see a chance to escape, and then get home as best I can. I
might just as well make up my mind to it."

And he did. He accepted what he believed to be the inevitable, as
gracefully as he could, and worked hard to keep his thoughts from
wandering back to the pleasant little cabin of the Stranger, in which
he had spent so many happy hours. He learned rapidly when once he made
up his mind to it, and won many a word of praise and encouragement from
Lucas and Barton, who declared that he was as handy as a pocket in a
shirt. His services speedily attracted the attention of the mate, who
one day addressed him something after this fashion, only using much
stronger language--

"I have half a mind to trice you up, Gentleman Black!"

It happened just after a sudden squall, which struck the ship and
threw her over almost to her beam ends. The topsails were clewed up,
and when the crew were ordered aloft, Frank was the first to mount the
rigging. He made his way to the main royal, and stowed it as quickly
and neatly as if he had been accustomed to the business all his life.
He had learned this part of a seaman's duty more readily than the
rest, because he took the most interest in it. He felt excited and
exhilarated when he found himself clinging to the swaying yard, with
the wind whistling about his ears and the white-caps rolling beneath
him, while the ship lay over at such an angle that, had he lost his
hold, he would have fallen into the water thirty feet from her side.
He was always among the first to respond to an order to reef or furl
topsails, and perhaps he liked this duty best because there was danger
in it.

Having performed the work of stowing the royal, Frank descended to the
deck, where he was met by the first officer, who had kept his eye on
him while he was aloft. "Yes, sir, I've the best notion in the world to
trice you up!" he repeated.

"What for, sir?" asked Frank, opening his eyes in great surprise.

The young sailor was well satisfied with the work he had just
performed, and wondered what he had done that was wrong. By strict
attention to his work he had thus far succeeded in keeping out of any
serious difficulty since the affair of the handspike. True, he had been
sworn at, had been sent aloft several times to slush down the masts,
and had worked industriously for three hours knocking the rust off the
anchor, and all because the mate thought he was a trifle too "airy"
sometimes; but these were light punishments compared with those which
some of the men received. He had seen a sailor knocked down with a
belaying pin as fast as he could get up, and another hauled up by the
wrists until he swung clear of the deck, and a fifty-pound snatch-block
made fast to his feet.

"I am not conscious of having done anything out of the way," continued
Frank.

"O, your conscience don't trouble you, then," angrily exclaimed the
officer, who did not understand Frank's fine language. "Well, your back
will trouble you in less than a minute if you use any jaw to me."

"I meant, sir, that I didn't know I had done anything wrong," exclaimed
Frank.

"Then why didn't you say so?" growled the mate. "You're a nice lad, I
do think, to come aboard here with your smooth, oily tongue, and talk
us all into believing that you are a landsman! You told me that you
didn't know anything about a ship."

"Yes, sir, and I told you the truth. I have had time to learn something
since then."

"So have I," said the mate. "Now listen to me, my hearty," he added,
shaking his finger at Frank. "You can't soldier any longer. You'll
stand your trick at the wheel and do an able seaman's duty from this
hour, or I'll haze you till you'll be glad to jump overboard. Go
forward, where you belong."

"Ay, ay, sir! Now I have got myself into a scrape, sure enough,"
thought Frank. "The very first time I receive an order I don't
understand, I shall catch it. I wish I had let that royal alone."

Frank went forward and shortly afterward the first mate followed him,
holding in his hand two short pieces of rope. "Gentleman Black," said
he, "I need something to larrup these fellows with, when they don't
act like men, and I want you to put a long splice in these ropes and a
Turk's head at each end."

"Ay, ay, sir!" answered Frank. "You can't catch me in this way, my
man," he added, as the mate went aft again. "If it should ever become
necessary to send down the topmasts, you will find out just how much
I know about a sailor's work. I expect I shall be the first one to be
'larruped' with this when it is done."

Frank knew that such a rope as that he was at work upon, could not be
used anywhere about the ship, unless it was for the purpose of beating
the men. The mate gave him the task merely to try him; and he stationed
himself, too, where he could watch Frank in order to make sure that he
did the work himself. If he had been unable to do it, the officer would
have accused him of soldiering, and that would have furnished him with
an excuse for punishing Frank in some way. But he missed his object
that time. The work was neatly and quickly performed, and Frank carried
it to the mate, who, after closely examining it, grasped it with both
hands and raised it in the air. "Let me see how it will answer the
purpose for which it is intended," said he.

If Frank had flinched or dodged, it is probable that he would have felt
the weight of the rope over his shoulders; and it is probable, too,
that the mate would have been flat on his back the very next instant.
The deck of the Tycoon was never so near being the scene of a mutiny as
it was that day; and just so surely as the rope fell, just so surely
would there have been trouble, and serious trouble, too--Frank did not
know how serious until afterward. He little dreamed that he had eight
good men to back him up. He thought he would have to depend entirely on
himself, but he stood his ground as if he had had the whole crew of his
old vessel, the Boxer, at his command.

The mate eyed him savagely for a moment, and then lowering the rope and
telling Frank that he thought he was a very nice lad to come soldiering
aboard there, when he was as able to do seaman's duty as anybody,
called him some hard name and ordered him to go forward. The young
sailor obeyed, glad indeed to be let off so easily; but his heart beat
rapidly for a long time after that, and now and then he cast toward the
officer a glance that was full of meaning.

That night all sail was made again, and while Frank was at work on the
topsail yard, Lucas, who was busy at his side, poked him with his elbow
and whispered hurriedly--

"Why didn't you knock him down, cap'n?"

"Be careful," whispered Frank, in reply.

"No harm done, sir," answered the boatswain's mate. "There's nobody
near us except good men and true, and I'd as soon they would hear me
as not. Why didn't you knock that mate down when he raised the rope on
you?"

"I had no reason for doing it," replied Frank; "but I believe I should
have tried it if he had struck me. I don't think I could take a blow
without resenting it. I came pretty near going in the brig that time."

"No, you didn't, not by a long sight, sir, begging your pardon for
speaking so plainly," said the old sailor, with a knowing shake of
his head. "If you'd a done it, you'd a been walking up and down the
quarter-deck now with your thumbs in the arm-holes of your vest. You'd
a been master of the Tycoon, sir!"

Frank looked at Lucas in amazement.

"Fact, sir," said the old boatswain's mate, earnestly. "Me and Barton
got you into this scrape, all unbeknown to us who did it, and we're
bound to bring you out with flying colors, I tell you!"

"Look here, Lucas," said Frank. "Now don't you or anybody else
attempt----"

"Belay what I have told you and listen to more," interrupted the
sailor, hastily; "and don't be breaking in on me in that way, if you
please, sir, because we hain't got much time to talk. You'll never be
struck, sir, I don't think, but if you are, you'll see a tidy row. The
officers know who you are--me and Barton told it to the other fellows
in Calamity's hearing, and he carried it back to the cabin, as we knew
he would--and the cap'n would give all his old boots and throw in a
pair of new ones into the bargain, if he was well rid of you. He don't
want you here; you know too much."

"Well, he can easily be rid of me and you and Barton, too," said Frank.
"Let him put us ashore at the Sandwich Islands. We are willing to go."

"He'll never do that, sir. You wouldn't go ashore with a stopper on
your jaw, would you?"

"No, I would not," replied Frank, emphatically. "I'd tell the consul
all I know about this ship and the way men are treated here, and have
the captain and all his officers, except Mr. Gale, arrested. I could
not be hired to keep my mouth shut."

"Ah, ha! I thought so. The cap'n knows it, too."

"What is he going to do with us?"

"None of us know. The men don't want you to leave if they've got to
stay, because they say that things ain't half as bad as they were
before you came aboard. We know what we're going to do, and I've been
waiting for a good chance to tell you. We're going to take the ship
out of the hands of these villains, and put you in command. Hold on a
bit, sir," he added, seeing that Frank was about to speak; "I know just
what I am saying, and it is too late to find fault, for everything is
fixed. Me and Barton spoke to some of the men about it, and there's
six good men besides us that you can depend on every time. We know that
you've got the brains and the book-learning to see us safe through the
consul's court, and we'll do just whatever you say, all except one
thing: when we get the ship, Calamity and the first mate have got to go
overboard. That we've struck hands on. Lay in from the yard now, sir.
Keep a stiff upper lip, and don't take no slack from nobody. When you
get a good ready, sing out; and while me and Barton makes a dash for
the cap'n's pistols--Calamity told us where he keeps 'em--the other six
will take care of the officers on deck. We've got everything fixed, as
I told you, and we're just aching to begin the work."

The old boatswain's mate followed his remarks with sundry winks, nods
and contortions of his face which Frank could not understand, but which
no doubt meant a good deal.

Frank descended to the deck and went through the rest of his duties
like one in a dream. He had told his friends on board the Stranger
that, had he been in the deserter's place, he would not have been
restrained, by any fear of falling into the clutches of the law, from
joining with his companions and taking the vessel out of the control of
her officers. Now he was placed in a similar situation, and had only to
"sing out" to make himself monarch of all he surveyed. Eight sturdy,
determined men stood ready to obey his orders--a sufficient number to
overpower the captain and his two tyrannical mates before they could
think twice. Lucas did not have time to tell him who his friends were,
but Frank believed that he could pick them all out. He had wondered
at the respect which the foremast hands had shown him ever since his
advent among them, and rightly attributed it to the influence of Lucas
and Barton. Frank wondered if the third mate, Mr. Gale, was one of
them. That officer always treated him with the utmost consideration,
and once, while he was serving Frank with some clothing from the
slop-chest, he so far forgot himself as to address him as "sir." He
noticed the mistake as soon as he made it, but he did not recall the
word. The old boatswain's mate and coxswain were indeed resolved to
bring him out of his troubles with flying colors. They meant to promote
him rapidly. Did anybody ever hear of a person creeping in at the
hawsehole, and working his way into the captain's berth in three weeks?
Frank laughed at the idea.

"I'm a nice specimen to be put in command of a ship," he thought. "I
hardly know the topsail halliards from the jib downhaul. But I feel
better than I did an hour ago. If my presence here really acts as a
restraint upon the captain, I am glad of it. As long as that state of
affairs continues he and his officers are secure in their positions;
but now that I have the power to prevent it, no one shall be triced
up by the wrists with a fifty-pound weight at his feet, or beaten as
unmercifully as that man was beaten the other day."

Frank carried a light heart from that day forward, and often wondered,
when he saw the captain in one of his angry, swearing moods, what that
gentleman would think if he knew that he was treading on a mine that
was liable to be exploded at any moment. He did not have a chance to
talk to Lucas again, but the sailor looked whole volumes at him every
time they met, and Frank thought the old fellow meant to reproach him
because he did not "sing out."

Frank by this time began to feel and look like a sailor. He had
discarded his black suit and drawn a full seaman's rig from the
slop-chest--red shirts, coarse trowsers, woollen stockings, heavy boots
and tarpaulin. His hands were becoming hardened, so that he could
haul on the ropes or take a three hours' pull about the ship, without
setting his palms on fire as he had done at first. There was one thing
he could not bring himself to do, and that was to go barefooted, like
the rest of the crew. There was something too slovenly about that to
suit Frank, who, during his experience on ship-board, had always been
accustomed to see men neatly and completely dressed.

Although Captain Barclay was in a great hurry, he did not neglect to
keep himself and crew in readiness to seize upon the first opportunity
that was presented for adding to his stock of oil in the hold. The
boats were always ready for lowering, the mast-head had been manned
for two weeks; and Frank took his turn with the rest. He did his
duty faithfully while acting as lookout, hoping to be the first to
discover a whale. He wanted to see one; but when it came to getting
into a small boat and pulling out to attack him--well, Frank wasn't
so anxious for that. He drew a long breath and his heart would beat a
little faster than usual whenever he thought of it. He had heard many
thrilling stories related during the night-watches, and had come to the
conclusion that a sperm whale was made to be looked at from a distance
and not to be approached in a small boat.

One bright day Frank was sitting on the fore-royal yard, his back
braced against the shroud-stay, one hand grasping the halliards and his
feet swinging in the air a hundred feet above the deck. There was not
a sail in sight--nothing but the ocean beneath and the blue sky above.
The old boatswain's mate, who now held the position of boat-steerer,
was sitting on the main-royal yard behind him, and both were keeping a
bright lookout for whales. A prize of a pair of boots had been offered
to the first man who raised a whale, and that to a sailor who, out of
small wages, has to pay high prices for everything he draws from the
slop-chest, is an object worth working for. Frank did not care for the
boots--he hoped to be safely off the Tycoon long before the pair he
then had on was worn out--but he did care for the honor of discovering
the first spout, so he kept his eyes roaming everywhere. But half his
watch had expired and he had seen nothing yet.

"Hem! hem!" said a voice behind and above him.

Frank looked around, and saw the old boatswain's mate winking and
nodding at him as he always did both before and after making any
confidential communication. More than that, he was holding his clenched
hand against his breast, and pointing with his thumb out over the
water. His meaning flashed upon Frank in an instant. His eyes scanned
almost every inch of the watery waste that lay between him and the
horizon, but he could see nothing that he thought looked as a spout
ought to look.

"Sing out, sir!" whispered the old sailor, excitedly. "There's grease!"

"I don't see it," whispered Frank, in reply.

"What's the odds? I do. Sing out, sir!"

"There she blows!" shouted Frank, taking the old sea-dog at his word.

The flapping of the sails below him showed that his wild yell
had reached the ears of at least one of the sailors on deck--the
wheelsman--and that it had excited him so that he forgot for a moment
to attend to his business. Then the captain's hoarse voice was heard.
"Keep her steady there, can't you? Where away?"

"I am sure I don't know," said Frank, in a low tone, as he looked
impatiently around.

"Three points off the weather bow!" shouted the boatswain's mate.
"Three miles off and coming this way. Sperm whale. Flukes! flukes!" he
added, as the whale went down with a farewell flourish of his tail.

"Dear me, I wish I could see it," thought Frank.

"Lay down from aloft!" commanded the captain. "See the boats all clear
and stand by to lower."

When Frank descended to the deck in obedience to this order, he found
the captain and all his mates in the rigging, the former sweeping the
horizon with his glass. "There she blows!" he cried, gleefully. "Close
aboard! Back the main topsail and lower away!"

Frank sprang to the falls of the boat to which he belonged, and by
the time it was fairly settled in the water, he was in his seat with
his oar in his hand. Much scrambling and confusion followed; but a
few oaths from the captain restored order, and almost before he knew
it Frank was flying over the waves in pursuit of his first whale--the
whale he had raised, but which he had not yet seen.



CHAPTER X.

FRANK'S FIRST WHALE.


ALL this happened in much less time than we have taken to describe it.
To Frank, whose brain was in a great whirl, it seemed that scarcely
half a minute had elapsed after the raising of the whale, before he was
in the boat and pulling for dear life. He afterwards recalled every
exciting incident of that hour, and wondered that he did not feel any
fear. Perhaps it was because he was too busy to think. He was not so
busy, however, but that he could take note of and marvel at one thing,
and that was the great change that had suddenly come over the captain.
He looked and acted like a different man. He even smiled, and that was
something Frank had never seen him do before. Holding the steering-oar
with one hand and assisting the stroke-oar with the other, he kept up
a running fire of small-talk to encourage his men.

"Now, my good sons," said he, in a low voice and in much such a tone
as an affectionate father might use, "all my 'lay' in that whale will
go straight to your credit just as soon as we get back to the ship, if
you will only put me alongside of him so that I can get one chance at
him with the lance. I declare, it has been so long since I used a lance
that I don't know how it seems, and I shall get all out of practice if
you don't take pity on me. We must beat that other boat anyhow, and if
you pull this way, you are sure to do it. That's it; pick her right up
out of the water and walk along with her. She isn't a feather's weight
to such long-armed, broad-shouldered fellows as you are. That's the way
to do it; only raise her just an inch higher, my lads. She touched that
wave; I felt it, didn't you? There! she didn't touch that one and I
know it. Keep her there, my good lads. She's in the air now. Talk about
your balloons! Give me this boat and crew and I'll go anywhere they
can!"

For the first time since he came on board the Tycoon, Frank felt like
laughing. The captain reminded him of Hans Breitman's velocipede,
which, even before it became frightened and started to run away with
its rider, went so fast that it

  "----didn't touch the dirt, by shinks,
        Not once in half a mile."

"Bless me, what muscles those two fellows in the bow have got!"
continued the captain, still working at the stroke-oar with all his
strength. "And how they do twist them oars about, just as if they were
feathers! I've got to have stronger and heavier oars made for them, I
can see that, for they're bound to break them they've got now. Ah! she
touched that wave. Lift her up in the air again, where she belongs, and
hold her there. You fellows in the bow needn't think you can pull your
end of the boat so fast that we in the stern can't keep up with you. By
the way, is that sharp-eyed, good-looking son of mine, who raised this
whale, in the boat?"

"Yes, sir. It was Nelson," replied Lucas, promptly.

Frank, who did not believe in sailing under false colors, was about
to protest that it wasn't he at all--that Lucas himself was the lucky
man--but knowing the captain's uncertain disposition, and fearing that
there might be some after-settlement that would prove unpleasant for
the old boatswain's mate if the truth were known, he kept silent and
heard himself praised for an act that he did not perform.

"Ah! it is just like him," said the captain. "I knew there was lots in
him the first time I saw him. You can't fool me in a man. I can look
in his eye and read him like an open book. There's a boatsteerer's
berth ahead for you, Nelson," continued the captain, too excited and
impatient to think of the name he always applied to Frank in derision.
"Those boots belong to you, and when we get back to the ship you go
straight down to the slop-chest--I'll give you the key--and pick out
whatever you want. Take everything you find there--boots, breeches,
shirts and--no, no! Take the ship. She's yours! That's the way Daddy
Barclay treats his sons when they do their duty by him. Now, my lads,"
he added, in a thrilling whisper, "he's right here somewhere below us.
Lay on your oars now; keep your eyes peeled and don't let me hear so
much as an eye-wink from any of you."

Frank's heart fairly came up into his mouth. The captain's harangue
being ended (he had a suspicion that the skipper had kept it up on
purpose to divert the minds of his crew, one of whom was as green as
Frank himself), there was nothing to occupy his attention, and he had
leisure to ponder upon the dangers he was about to encounter. Of course
all the stories he had heard in the Tycoon's forecastle concerning the
perils to which whalemen are constantly exposed, came into his mind,
and to save his life he could think of nothing else. He felt as he had
often felt on going into action. After the crew are called to quarters
there is almost always a delay, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter,
before the first gun is fired, and to most men that is worse than the
battle itself. They are glad when it is over and the fight begins. The
interval of inactivity that came now gave the boat's crew a chance to
rest after their long, hard pull, but Frank could scarcely endure it.
He wanted the whale to show himself at once. If he was going to cut the
boat in two with his jaw or smash it into kindling wood with his tail,
Frank wished he would be about it and not keep him in suspense.

The whale was down a long time--so long that even the captain became
impatient. He and the boat's crew, Frank among the rest, arose to their
feet one after the other to obtain a wider view, and holding their oars
in their hands, kept a bright lookout in every direction. The first
mate's boat was lying about half a mile to windward, and her crew were
also standing up. The Tycoon had come to directly in the path the whale
was pursuing, and the third officer was at the mast-head, ready to
signal to the boat's crews if the whale arose beyond the range of their
vision. Frank's eyes were everywhere, and at last something induced him
to turn them into the water close alongside the boat. He saw something
there--an immense dark-blue object, which contrasted plainly with the
paler blue of the water. He looked again, and then glanced into the
water on the opposite side of the boat to make sure that his eyes had
not deceived him. The sea on that side was all the same color, and
that proved that there was something under the boat. He nudged Lucas
with his elbow and pointed to it. The old sailor looked, and instantly
every particle of color fled from his face. But he had nerve, if he was
frightened, plenty of it, too, and it showed itself in the firm grasp
he laid upon his harpoon. The time for action had arrived.

"He's coming," thought Frank, while the oar he held in his grasp seemed
to turn into lead, so heavy did it feel to his weakened arm. "I always
supposed a whale was black."

The boat header's action attracted the attention of the captain, who,
following the direction of his gaze gave a sudden start and waved his
hand to the crew. The men quickly seated themselves and dropped their
oars softly in the row-locks. The temptation to look over his shoulder
was almost irresistible, but fearing that if he did, his courage, which
was rapidly oozing out at the ends of his fingers, would give away
altogether, Frank resolutely controlled himself and kept his eyes fixed
on the captain's face.

"There he is," cried the skipper, a moment afterward. "Throw it at him
and go overboard if you miss him."

The old sailor obeyed the order to the very letter. He threw his
harpoon, missed his object and went overboard. Whether it was for the
reason that the boat was unsteady, or because the seaman was too badly
frightened to stand firmly on his feet, or because his hand had lost
its skill during the years that had passed since he struck his last
whale, it is hard to tell. Perhaps all these things combined operated
to bring about the events that followed. At any rate the iron went wild
and the old boatswain's mate turned a complete back somersault and
disappeared over the side. He rose immediately, however, and Frank
catching sight of him as a wave carried him past the boat, promptly
thrust his oar out to him.

The captain was almost beside himself with fury. He did not act or
talk quite so much like an affectionate father as he did a short time
before. He tore off his hat, trampled it under his feet and shook all
over with rage. "He missed him as sure as I'm a sinner," he sputtered,
hardly able to speak plainly. "If I had him aboard the ship I would
trice him up for a week. Let the fool go," he roared with a long string
of heavy adjectives, as Frank tried to place the blade of his oar in
the old sailor's grasp. "A man that'll get up on his legs and tumble
overboard while the boat is standing still, is of no use aboard a
vessel of mine; so let him go down among the sharks, where he belongs.
We're well rid of--Stern all! Stern for your lives! Well done, my son.
You've been in this business before, and you are my boat-header from
this day out."

The change in the captain's tone was brought about by an action on
Frank's part that was unexpected, even to himself. He scarcely knew he
did it until after it was done. Lucas, having missed his first throw
and gone overboard, had no chance for a second attempt, and unless
somebody took his place on the instant, the game was likely, if he did
not escape altogether, to lead them a long, hard race before they could
come up with him again. It required an emergency to show what Frank was
made of. He never waited to take a second thought, but throwing his oar
to the boatswain's mate--he knew it would keep him afloat until the
boat could pick him up--he jumped to his feet, catching up the extra
harpoon as he arose.

When his face was turned toward the bow of the boat, Frank saw a sight
that was well calculated to shake stronger nerves than his--a sperm
whale coming up on a breach almost within an oar's length of him. His
huge bulk was shooting up into the air, and he did not even make a
ripple in the water as he arose. But when he fell on his side, as he
did a moment later, he created something more than a ripple. He raised
waves that threatened to swamp the boat, and made a noise that would
have given Frank some idea of the immense weight of the monster, if he
had not been too highly excited and alarmed to have any ideas at all.

As the whale fell into the water--fortunately he fell away from the
boat--Frank's harpoon was launched into the air, and being thrown
with all the force his sinewy arms could give it, and flying true to
its aim, was buried to the socket in the side of the whale. The next
instant the young harpooner was thrown flat among the thwarts by the
sudden start backward which the crew gave the boat in obedience to the
captain's order "Stern all!" He heard something whistling through the
air, and looked up just in time to see the whale's flukes disappearing
in a pile of foam. How he opened his eyes at the sight of them! They
would have measured more feet across than the boat measured in length.
The whale gave the water an angry slap, raising a sea that would have
filled the boat had not the bow been promptly brought around toward
it, and then started down into the depths at the rate of a mile in six
minutes, the line fairly smoking as it whizzed through the lead-lined
groove. Frank held his breath while he gazed at it. It looked like
a streak of blue flame, so swiftly did it run out. If it caught on
anything, the boat and all her crew would be a hundred feet under water
in an instant's time.

The young harpooner did not hear any of the words of praise and
promises of reward which the delighted skipper shouted at him. He did
not hear anything but the hissing of the line as it ran through the
groove in the bow. He lay on the bottom perfectly stupefied, until he
was aroused by the touch of somebody's hand.

When the captain gave the order to "Stern all," the crew sent the boat
within reach of Lucas, who laid hold of the gunwale, and worked his
way along to the bow, where he belonged. Attracting Frank's attention
by a pull at his trowsers, he was hauled into the boat, and took his
seat, looking not a little crestfallen. He caught up a hatchet lying
near, and held it in his hand in readiness to cut the line in case it
fouled while running out. Frank also seated himself, and then began to
think about what he had done. No one in the boat could have been more
surprised at it.

"I don't want any more of this," said he, mentally. "It is just awful.
I can't stand it. While that fellow was shooting up toward the clouds
he looked like a church-steeple turned wrong end up. He must be a
hundred and fifty feet long--perhaps more. Who would have thought that
I had courage enough to send that harpoon at him?"

Here Frank looked over his shoulder as if to satisfy himself that he
had really performed the feat. There could be no mistake about it. The
line was still running out, and Lucas was watching it while hauling in
the harpoon with which he had missed the whale.

"I believe I did do it," thought Frank. "He is black after all. It was
the water that made him look so blue. I wouldn't do it again to be made
owner of the finest fleet of ships that ever floated!"

"Nelson," said the captain, and now that Frank's mind was settled a
little he was able to pay attention to him, "whatever I've got that you
want, just ask for it and it is yours. Don't be bashful or stand on
ceremony with your Daddy Barclay. Take a big bite if you want to."

"I have only one favor to ask, captain," replied Frank, suddenly
tempted to strike while the iron was hot, although he knew it would be
quite useless, "and that is----"

"Well, slack away lively, and let it come out on the run," said the
captain, as Frank hesitated a moment, wondering how he could word the
request so that the skipper would not get angry at him. "Speak it out."

"I should be greatly obliged if you would set me and the two men who
were shanghaied with me, ashore at the first port we make," said Frank.
"We shall use the right the law gives us, and ask to see the consul as
soon as we get there."

Frank's only motive in saying this was to let the captain know that he
understood the law applying to the rights of seamen; and he said it
at that time because he did not know that he would ever have another
chance, this being the first opportunity he had ever had to exchange
a word with the master of the Tycoon. If there is anything an officer
thoroughly detests it is a "sea lawyer" among his crew. One of these
gentry will keep a ship's company in hot water from the time the voyage
begins until it is ended; and his presence acts as a restraint upon
the captain and his mates, who, if they are disposed to be tyrannical,
expect to escape the consequences through the sailor's ignorance of
their rights. Frank knew this, and he was in hopes that if he let the
captain see that he knew what his privileges were, and that he intended
to insist on having them, the skipper would be glad to get rid of him
with as little delay as possible.

The master of the Tycoon had not a word to say in reply to this
request, but the look he gave Frank satisfied the latter that if he
had not spoken at the right time to further his own interests, he had
spoken at the right time to make the captain angry. He did not offer
Frank any more rewards after that.

The line continued to run out with great rapidity for a few minutes,
then the speed gradually decreased until it remained motionless, and
the actions of the captain and his crew indicated that the whale was
soon expected to make his appearance at the surface again. He came very
speedily, and much too close to the boat for the comfort and safety of
its crew. Seen through Frank's frightened eyes, his head looked like
a small mountain rising out of the water. His mouth was wide open,
showing a milk-white cavity large enough to take in the boat and all
its crew, and Frank gathered from something Lucas said that he was
ugly and had made up his mind to do some mischief. The sequel proved
that the old sailor was right. The monster began operations at once
by striking out with his long, sword-like jaw, which to Frank's great
amazement he worked sideways, instead of up and down, and followed
it up with a tremendous sweep of his tail that, had he succeeded in
planting the blow where he wanted it, would have made an end of his
enemies in a hurry. But both these dangers were escaped. His jaw just
touched the bow of the boat, and the blow from his flukes was avoided
by the vigilance of the captain and the prompt obedience of the crew,
who quickly backed the boat out of his reach. Apparently satisfied with
the demonstrations he had made, the whale got under way and made off at
an astonishing rate of speed, the harpoon which Frank had planted still
fast in his side.

The bow-oarsman now had a duty to perform, and he set about it without
waiting for orders. It was to overhaul the line and draw the boat up
alongside the whale, so that the captain, who stood ready to change
places with the harpooner, could use his lance. He rapidly drew in the
line, taking care to lay it down clear of everything, so that it would
not kink or get foul in case the whale sounded again, and soon had the
slack all in. Then he felt a strain upon it, and an instant afterward
the line was whipped out of the water with such force that it was
drawn as tight as a bow-string, and the spray flew from it in a perfect
shower.

"Hold fast to it, my son," yelled the captain. "Keep every inch you
get, and get every inch you can. We'll have a sleigh-ride now, and such
a one as landsmen know nothing about."

For a moment the strain was fearful, and Frank's power of muscle was
tested to the utmost. It seemed to him that if the harpoon did not
draw or the line break, his arms would be pulled off. Letting go was
something he did not think of; but he knew he could not retain his hold
much longer, so in spite of the old mate's warning gestures, he passed
a bight of the line around a thwart and held it there. By this time the
boat began to move, and the strain was somewhat lessened.

Now began a novel ride, which Frank thought he could have enjoyed if he
had only had leisure to give his attention to it. A whale can move at
tremendous speed for a short distance, and this one went at such a rate
that the boat buried her bow in the waves, and rolled back great masses
of foam, which, spreading out over the surface of the water, gave it
the appearance of a bank of snow. Perhaps it was this that first caused
the sailors to call a ride of this kind a sleigh-ride. But Frank had no
time to see what was going on around him. He had work to perform; and
it _was_ work to haul a heavy boat containing six men through the waves
against such resistance as the whale created by the high rate of speed
he kept up. The line was wet and slippery, and Frank's hands, which he
had fondly hoped were pretty well hardened by this time, soon began to
feel the effects of it.

In the first lesson he received while manœuvring about the "dummy
whale," Frank had been instructed how to adjust the line to make the
boat move side by side with a running whale and at a short distance
from it, and he struggled hard to bring the boat in that position; but
the line came in very slowly, and sometimes when he was almost on the
point of accomplishing his object, an unusually large wave striking the
bow or a sudden spurt on the part of the frantic beast in front, would
tear the line from his hands in spite of all he could do to prevent it.

At length, after Frank had worked his best for nearly an hour without
once pausing for breath, and the line had been drawn through his hands
for the third time, the captain's small stock of patience was all
exhausted, and he began to relieve his mind by uttering heavy oaths.
"Coward!" he yelled, stamping his feet as if he were trying to knock
a hole through the bottom of the boat. "If you are afraid to put me
alongside that whale, jump overboard and give place to a better man.
You're fixing your back for a rope's end as soon as you get aboard the
ship!"

Frank and the old boatswain's mate exchanged quick glances, one
elevating his eye-brows, and the other drawing his down. The first
meant: "If he tries it will you sing out?" and Frank by his answering
scowl meant: "I will." Not a word was passed, but each understood the
other perfectly.



CHAPTER XI.

CUTTING IN AND TRYING OUT.


THE high-spirited Frank, smarting under a sense of injustice, and
hardly able to bear the pain occasioned by his lacerated hands,
suddenly became very reckless. The captain had no excuse for talking to
him in that style after what he had done. A coward would not have been
likely to take a defeated harpooner's place and plunge an iron into the
first whale he had ever seen, and neither would he have worked as hard
as Frank did to bring the boat into position; and that he _did_ work,
the crimson stains his hands left on the rope abundantly proved.

"I have had this boat alongside that whale three times," said Frank, to
himself, "and if I get her there again she'll stay, unless something
breaks. I'll make all fast; and if the whale goes down and takes us to
the bottom with him, it can't be helped. I'll see who will be the first
to act like a coward, the captain or I."

Had Frank carried this reckless resolve into execution, and had the
whale sounded as soon as the line was made fast, the boat would not
have been emptied of her crew more quickly than she was a moment later.
The whale threw his flukes about in the most spiteful manner, but
finding that he could not reach the boat with them, he gave signs of a
change of tactics which created a panic among all the crew except Frank
and the old boatswain's mate. Frank was not frightened because he did
not understand them--in his case ignorance was bliss--but the sailor
did, and he did not turn white this time either. He was about to be
given an opportunity to make amends for his previous defeat, and he was
ready to improve it.

"He's going to 'mill,'" said he in a low tone as he picked up his
harpoon. "Don't slack an inch till I get a dart at him."

Before Frank could ask an explanation the whale raised his huge head
from the water, dropped his jaw at right angles with his body and
turning as quickly as a flash, started off across the course he had
been pursuing. Frank, who was sitting with face forward so that he
had a fair view of the whale and could see every move he made, stared
at him in amazement; and while awaiting the issue of events with a
calmness that surprised himself, eagerly responded to the harpooner's
entreaty to haul in faster, although he believed that certain death
awaited him. It seemed as if the boat would run squarely into the
whale's mouth.

"Slack that line!" roared the captain, suddenly stopping his swearing
and speaking in an imploring tone of voice. "Slack that line, and may
Heaven have mercy on us! Stern all, for life!"

[Illustration: THE AIR SEEMED TO BE LITERALLY FILLED WITH PIECES OF
PLANKS, HARPOONS, ROPES, AND LANCES.]

Frank dropped the line, which seemed like a coal of fire in his hands,
and the men laid out their strength on the oars till they fairly
snapped. The first stroke stopped the boat's headway and the second
started her on the back track, but not in time to escape the danger
that threatened her. Before Lucas could throw his harpoon the whale's
jaw swept around like a scythe, and striking the boat in the side
overturned her in an instant, smashing in the planks as if they had
been pasteboard, and tumbling those of the crew who did not jump out
into the water.

From the crest of a wave on which he struck, Frank turned to look at
the whale and see what had become of his companions. The monster was
bringing his tail into play now. With one fierce upward sweep of his
huge flukes he lifted the battered boat out of the water, and the
captain, who had clung to the wreck, was going up with it. The air
seemed to be literally filled with pieces of planks, harpoons, ropes
and lances. The crew had all escaped without injury--at least they
were all able to swim, for Frank counted four frightened faces bobbing
about on the waves near him. He had some idea now of the strength and
ferocity a whale could display when he once set about it. He made
up his mind, too, that men must be simply foolhardy to willingly
follow any such business as whaling. Otherwise how could they bring
themselves to engage with such a monster as this, against whose
tremendous power, which he had just seen exerted with such telling
effect, their strength was as nothing?

To say that Frank was frightened would not begin to tell how he felt.
How helpless he was! How completely the waves baffled his mad efforts
to get out of the reach of his dangerous foe, and how like straws they
seemed in the path of the whale which skimmed through them as easily as
a bird passes through the air! Then how frightened everybody else was,
if he might judge by the pale faces he saw about him, and the frantic
attempts the men made to swim away. If those who were accustomed to
such scenes and such dangers were so nearly overcome with terror, it
was time for a novice to show signs of fear.

"Look out, Nelson!" cried Lucas, suddenly. "Look out! He's----"

The old boatswain's mate no doubt meant to say something else, but he
did not stay on top of the water long enough to say it. He ducked
his head and went down like lead, making desperate struggles to go
faster. Frank cast one frightened glance over his shoulder and went
down too. The whale had turned again and was coming directly toward
him, rolling from side to side and slashing from right to left with his
jaw, describing at each stroke a circle thirty-two feet in diameter.
There was no time to swim out of his reach. His only chance for life
was to go below him. How Frank blessed his lucky stars at that moment
that deep diving and swimming long distances under water were two of
his accomplishments! He went as far down as he could, stayed under as
long as he could hold his breath, and came up almost strangled. He was
out of danger. The battered boat was twenty feet away and the whale a
hundred feet still farther off, and moving rapidly toward the ship. The
men were all clinging to the boat to keep themselves afloat, and Frank
swam up and joined them.

All this while the men in the mate's boat had been doing their best
with sail and oars to get near enough to the whale to take part in
the fight, but without success. Now, however, they had an opportunity
offered them, for the whale had doubled on his course, and if he did
not take it into his head to turn again, he would pass their boat
at such a distance that they would have a chance at him with their
harpoons. The mate prepared for it by ordering one man to take down
the sail while the rest still tugged at the oars. He did not even look
toward the disabled boat or ask if the crew wanted assistance.

"These whalemen are a heartless lot," thought Frank. "If I were in
command of that boat I think I should save my shipmates first; but I
suppose that officer thinks we are not worth as much as the whale. Men
can be had any day for the asking, and if a few of them lose their
lives what's the odds? Nobody misses them. But whales are not as plenty
as they used to be, and if one of them is lost it is something to be
sorry for."

Frank's meditations were interrupted and his attention called from the
chase by the actions of one the men near him, who suddenly began to
make desperate efforts to climb into the boat. He persisted in spite of
the angry orders and oaths of the skipper, who stormed and threatened
to no purpose. The man was almost beside himself with fear.

"What has come over him all at once?" asked Frank, of the man at his
side. "He was quiet enough a moment ago."

"He had a narrow escape from a shark once," replied the sailor, "and I
guess he has just thought of it."

"Well, I wish from the bottom of my heart that he hadn't thought of it
at all," said Frank, "or else that I had not asked you any questions,
for I have new cause for alarm now. I wonder if a sailor can turn in
any direction without finding himself confronted by some deadly peril?"

"He might if he's a merchantman, but not if he is a whaler," was the
comforting reply.

"If I had thought of sharks I never could have dived under that whale,"
continued Frank.

"O, 'tain't time for 'em to be on hand yet; but you'll see 'em coming
like a flock of sheep just as soon as that fellow begins to spout
blood."

"Ay, that you will," said another. "I was hanging on to a stove boat
once, just as we are now, and the sharks, I never see the beat of 'em
in all my born days, come up----"

"Well, if they got hold of anybody, I don't want to know it,"
interrupted Frank, with a shudder. "Can't you talk about something
else?"

"Take that!" shouted the captain, who was narrowly watching the chase.
"And that!" he added, a moment afterward. "He's fast again, and we are
sixty barrels of grease ahead."

Frank looked up to see what had called forth these exclamations from
the captain, and was just in time to catch a glimpse of the mate's
harpooner as he threw his second iron into the whale. He had three
harpoons in him now, and Frank gathered from the remarks the men made
that his capture was considered certain. He lashed the water furiously
with his tail, raising an immense pile of spray and foam, and when it
disappeared he was out of sight.

"Now look out for breakers," said Lucas, "for there's no knowing where
he will come up, and he's ugly if he is little. We know that, don't we?"

"Little!" repeated Frank, who remembered that he had compared the beast
to a church-steeple, and estimated his length at one hundred and fifty
feet; "how big is he?"

"The cap'n says sixty barrels."

"I mean, how long is he?"

"O, I don't know. I never took the measure of one. I ain't a tailor."

"Did you ever know of one larger than this?"

"Many a one. I heard of one once that ran a hundred and thirty-five
barrels, but I didn't see him. The biggest one I ever struck or saw
struck turned out a hundred and fifteen barrels."

"Almost twice as large as this one," thought Frank, hardly able to
believe his ears. "Whew! I will never sail another foot in the Tycoon
after we reach the Sandwich Islands. If a youngster can kick up a row
like this, what could a full grown one do? What _wouldn't_ he do if he
got mad?"

Frank was greatly relieved to hear one of the men say at that moment
that the ship was coming down to pick them up. It was anything but
pleasant to be placed in such a situation as that in which he and his
companions were placed just then, immersed to their necks in salt
water, every wave making a clean breach over them, nothing but a
battered boat to keep them afloat, an enraged and ugly whale in close
proximity, and a school of hungry sharks expected to arrive every
moment. On the contrary, it was a situation well calculated to inspire
terror.

The good ship never seemed to move so slowly before, but she came up
with them at last, a boat pulled by two men came out to their relief,
and in ten minutes more the wrecked boat was on deck in possession of
the carpenter, and the exhausted men were in the forecastle, exchanging
their wet clothes for dry ones. When Frank went on deck again the whale
was in his "flurry," which, upon inquiry, he found to be a sailor's
way of saying "death struggle." The mate and his crew had made short
work of him, and Frank came up too late to see the lance used. The
whale was swimming in a circle at a surprising rate of speed, pounding
the sea with his flukes, spouting blood from his blow-hole, and rolling
from side to side as if trying to reach his enemies with his jaw. His
fury increased for a few seconds, then gradually lessened, and finally
the captured monster rolled over and lay motionless on the water.
"Fin out!" cried all the sailors on the Tycoon, which was equivalent
to saying, "he is dead." Then all joined in a yell of triumph, except
Frank. He could not help feeling sorry for the conquered leviathan, who
had battled so strongly for his life, and told himself that it was a
mean business altogether.

"Men who can torture a beast like that to death and feel no remorse
over it, would serve their fellow creatures the same way if they had
a good chance," was what he said to himself. "I know now how it comes
that the captain and his two mates are so brutal. They have practiced
on whales so long that they have no feeling left."

Now came the work of making fast to the whale, which was begun as soon
as the ship was brought alongside of it. Frank did not see how it was
done, for he was kept busy at something else. When he had leisure to
look over the side he found the game secured by a chain, one end of
which was fastened just above the tail, and the other led through a
hawsehole to the bitts. He could see the whole length of him now, and
had it not been for the three harpoons sticking in his back and side,
he could hardly have brought himself to believe that it was the same
whale that smashed his boat. He looked very much smaller, and the
reason was because he had something to compare him with.

And now came the most disagreeable part of a whaleman's duties--the
cutting in and trying out. The first consists in removing the blubber
from the body of the whale, cutting off the head and bailing out the
spermaceti; and the next in rendering out the oil in the try-kettles.
Lucas said that, as the day was far spent, the work ought not to be
commenced until the next morning. The crew could then have a good
night's sleep after their hard work in the boats, and be fresh and
ready for the laborious duties before them; but Captain Barclay thought
differently. He never cared for the comfort of his men, so he ordered
them to begin at once.

How long it took to do the work Frank never knew, for he was too busy
and too completely tired out to keep track of the days. The crew was
so small that every man was required to handle the blubber as it was
hauled aboard by the tackles; and when that was all stowed, and the
carcass cut adrift, the watches were lengthened into six (they were
often nearer eight) hours each, and the trying out began. Frank did
not wonder that the men grew quarrelsome, and that more than one of
them had to be driven to his work with a rope's end, being compelled,
as they were, to work almost twenty hours out of the twenty-four. He
thought often of what he had read concerning the fiendish ingenuity
displayed by the Chinese in inventing modes of torture for those who
disobey their laws, and told himself that some of them must have served
their time in a whale-ship, and there learned by experience the misery
to which a person is subjected when deprived of sleep. Frank would not
have resented a blow himself now, he was too weak and dispirited; but
he would have given all he ever hoped to possess, if he could have lain
down in all the oil and dirt of the blubber-room, and had a good sound
nap. The work was made harder by the captain's great desire to fill up
the hold as soon as possible. He kept the mast-head manned all day by
some of the crew who ought to have been allowed to go below to rest,
and swore at them roundly because they did not raise another whale;
although it is hard to tell what good it would have done if they had
discovered a school of them, for in their exhausted condition they
never could have endured a lengthened struggle with one. Frank often
thought, after it was all over, that the only thing that sustained him
during that week, was the sweet, sound sleep he had every time he
acted as lookout. Seated on the royal yard, a hundred and more feet
in the air, with his back against the stay and a rope passed about
his waist to keep him from falling off, he would slumber like a log,
leaving the whales, if there were any, to spout in peace. The rest of
the crew being equally sleepy and careless, no more whales were raised,
and Frank was glad of it.

"I can't stand this, Mr. Gale," said Frank one day, when the third
officer came into the blubber-room where he was at work, "and I won't."

"You won't?"

"No, sir. I have never done any soldiering since I have been aboard
here, but I shall do it hereafter."

"Do you know that you are talking to the third mate of this ship?"
demanded Mr. Gale, who seemed surprised at Frank's strong language.

"I do, sir, and I am not afraid to speak to you more plainly still."

"Why ain't you?"

"Because I know that you will neither get angry at what I say nor
repeat it."

"Well, I suppose I ought to give you a good blowing-up for your
impudence," said the mate, who had to smile in spite of himself, "but I
can't."

"No, of course you can't. You know I have cause to be down on every
officer of this ship except you, and that I will some day be in a
position to make them smart for it. You know what they have done."

"Well, we'll drop that. It ain't for me to talk about the doings of my
superiors. I came down here to tell you something that'll liven you up
a bit, may be. We shall sight the Islands in a few days, and the old
man is going to put you ashore."

"Good for him," exclaimed Frank, who was wide awake in an instant. "How
about Lucas and Barton?"

"Don't talk so loud. The masts, bulkheads and everything else have ears
in this ship. I don't know about them. He didn't say."

"They must go if I go," said Frank. "I shall need them for witnesses."

"But you mustn't call any witnesses. If you go ashore at Honolulu, you
must keep still and say nothing."

"O, I must! Do you think that's the sort of fellow I am? Must I let a
man kidnap me, carry me away from my friends to some out-of-the-way
part of the world, and then, in order to gain the liberty of which
he has deprived me and which rightfully belongs to me, promise him
that he shall go scot free? Must he be allowed to run at large to try
the same game upon somebody else, and perhaps abuse and maltreat him
until he jumps overboard, as those two men did shortly before you
reached Fr'isco? No, sir! He be jerked as high as the strong arm of
the law can lift him, and that's pretty high. A thousand dollars fine
and a long term in the penitentiary are the rewards that surely await
him, and perhaps he can be tried for manslaughter. I am bound to have
my liberty, Mr. Gale, and I shall get it without entering into any
such agreement as that. If anybody makes promises, it will be Captain
Barclay."

Frank, being thoroughly aroused, clattered away in spite of all the
officer's attempts to interrupt him. He could not have told why he said
what he did toward the last. Perhaps he had a prophetic vision, during
which the thrilling scenes that were so soon to be enacted were plainly
portrayed. At any rate the words came into his mind, and he uttered
them regardless of consequences. He was about to say something more,
but an emphatic and warning gesture from the mate stopped him.

Frank looked up and saw Calamity's sinister face peering down the
hatchway. His first impulse was to knock him over with the handle of
the blubber-knife for playing eavesdropper; but the vacant expression
on the man's countenance induced the hope that perhaps he had only just
come there, and had heard nothing he could make use of.

"Look here," exclaimed Mr. Gale suddenly, doubling up his huge fist
and shaking it at Frank, "I am an officer of this ship and you must
respect me, or I'll teach you manners. Put a 'sir' in when you speak
to me. As for Cap'n Barclay promising you them boots, I reckon you'll
get 'em when this work is done; and if I hand 'em to you you'll get 'em
over your head for your impudence!"

"O, is that you down there, Mr. Gale?" exclaimed Calamity. "It is so
dark I couldn't see you. The captain wants you on deck."

The officer lingered a moment to add a few words to what he had already
said, and then mounted the ladder leading to the deck, while Frank went
on separating the fleshy fibres from the blubber.



CHAPTER XII.

HOW FRANK SAW THE CONSUL.


FRANK knew why it was that Mr. Gale changed his tone and manner so
suddenly. It was Calamity's presence that made him do it. The mate knew
that if this man had overheard any of the conversation between himself
and Frank he would go straight to the captain with it; and it would
never do to let the skipper know that one of his officers had been so
familiar with a foremast hand. It would not only make it unpleasant
for himself, but Frank would most likely be punished for daring to
express himself so plainly. Mr. Gale hoped that by speaking roughly and
flourishing his fists in the most approved quarter-deck style, he could
put Calamity on the wrong scent, and make him believe that he had been
taking Frank to task for something. But the eavesdropper understood
all that, and was much too smart to be deceived by any such artifice.

"They can't shut up my eyes in no such way as that," said he, with
a knowing shake of his head. "I heard it all, and see through their
backing and filling as plainly as they do. I've got a chance to square
yards with both of them now, and I knew it would come if I only waited
long enough and kept my eyes and ears open. That Gentleman Black is so
stuck up that he won't notice a common fellow like me, and Mr. Gale
jawed me the other day and called me a soldier and a lubber. Won't
there be a healthy old row here directly? I guess yes."

There certainly would be if this man was able to bring it about, for
he took great delight in such things, especially when he knew that he
was out of danger himself. He hunted up the captain without delay, and
the latter saw at a glance that he had something to tell him. "What is
it, Gardner?" said he. (Behind his back the captain always called him
Calamity, and in his heart despised him as cordially as any of the crew
did.) "Your face is full of news."

"You said you would put Nelson ashore at the Sandwich Islands if he'd
keep still and say nothing, didn't you, cap'n?" began Calamity.

"Yes, I did," replied the skipper, interested at once. "Have you been
pumping him?"

"No, but Mr. Gale has, and he says he'll hang you as high as the strong
arm of the law can hist you. He can't be hired to keep his mouth shut.
He told Mr. Gale so, and him and Mr. Gale were talking mighty familiar
and friendly like--too much so, for it don't look well for an officer
to do such things."

"What did Mr. Gale say?"

"I didn't hear what he said at first, but I saw him winking and
nodding, and when he saw me looking down the hatchway, he began to jaw
Nelson about them boots you promised him for raising that whale. But he
did it just to fool me."

"Then Nelson is going to hang me, is he?"

"Yes, and he wants Barton and Lucas for witnesses. He says he'll tell
the consul everything that's been done aboard this ship, and you shan't
be let loose any longer to haze men till they jump overboard."

"Go for'ard; go for'ard," said the captain, hastily.

"Aha!" thought Calamity, as he returned to his duties, "that was a
home-thrust. I must say he took it easier than I thought he would.
I must say this too for Gentleman Black, that since he's been on
board, there haven't been so many men triced up or knocked down with
handspikes, and the grub has been better than it ever was before. Now
I'll tell you what's the truth," added Calamity, slapping his knee
as he leaned over and looked under the try-pots, "Gentleman Black is
master here, if he is nothing but a foremast hand, and that's what's
the matter. That's the reason the old man takes things so easy, and
don't go ripping and tearing around the way he used to. I wonder if I
hadn't better make friends with him!"

Meanwhile the work of trying-out went slowly on, and contrary to
Calamity's expectations, though not much to his surprise, the captain
took no steps to punish Mr. Gale and Frank for the conversation they
had had in the blubber-room. Indeed he thought he could see a change
in the skipper and in the two mates. The former very rarely went off
into one of his fits of rage now, and the mates seemed to treat the
men a trifle more like human beings. Every one of the crew noticed it,
and Lucas, after sundry winks and nods, told Frank in confidence that
something was going to happen very shortly. And sure enough, something
did happen, but it was not just what the old sailor thought it would be.

Finally the last barrel of oil was lowered into the hold, and the
captain, to the surprise of his men, who had never known him to be
guilty of an act of kindness before, sent all the crew except a
boatsteerer's watch below to sleep. And a glorious sleep they had too
after their days and nights of labor. Frank felt like another person
when he came on deck in the morning, and went to work with a light
heart to assist in cleaning up the ship. This required perseverance and
the outlay of a good deal of strength, but it was done in good time,
and when the deck was wiped down and the brightwork cleaned, the Tycoon
looked as though she had never been near a whale. By this time land was
in plain sight, and Frank and Lucas found opportunity to hold several
whispered consultations as to the course they ought to pursue to secure
their release. On two points Frank had made up his mind: If he went
ashore, Lucas and Barton must be permitted to go also; and he would not
purchase his freedom by entering into any agreement whatsoever with the
captain of the Tycoon. The last one of these consultations was broken
up by the sudden appearance of the third mate.

"Nelson," said he, "the old man wants to see you in the cabin."

"Ay, ay, sir!" replied Frank.

"And you had better take a friend's advice," continued the officer, in
a low tone, as the young sailor was about to pass him, "and agree to
what he has to propose."

Frank did not say whether he would or not. He wanted first to hear what
it was that the captain had to propose. He went into the cabin and
found the skipper and his two mates seated at a table there. The former
had some shipping articles before him, and the first mate was reading
a well-thumbed copy of Bowditch. This was encouraging. If the three
officers had been examining the law, they no doubt learned that they
were liable to some heavy penalties for what they had done.

"Nelson," said the captain, as Frank came in, "you haven't signed
articles yet."

"No, sir," said Frank.

"Well, just put your name to them now," continued the captain, pushing
them across the table. "There's a chair and there's a pen."

"I beg to be excused, sir," replied Frank.

"Won't you do it?"

"I'd rather not, sir."

"Suit yourself," said the captain indifferently. "I am only advising
you as a friend. You will lose your work if you don't. You can't
collect a cent from the ship if you stay aboard of her ten years."

"I am sorry to differ with you, sir, but I know better than that."


"Be careful how you speak," said the captain, starting up in his chair.
"I have stood a good deal from you, and you don't want to say too much.
You are not talking to Mr. Gale now."

"You haven't stood more than I have, sir," returned Frank. "It is high
time I should speak plainly, as I never had the chance before and may
never have it again. I know that when seamen are shipped on American
whaling vessels without the rate of their pay being specified, they are
entitled on their discharge in a foreign port, to the sum of twenty
dollars a month as extra wages."

"How do you happen to know so much about law, Nelson?" asked the first
mate.

"The way I happen to know so much about these matters is because I read
up, expecting at one time to go as consul's clerk to some port in the
Mediterranean."

The captain and his mates opened their eyes and looked at one another.
Here was a foremast hand who must hold a high social position when he
was ashore, else he would not number among his friends those who had
influence enough to secure government appointments.

"Then you won't sign these articles?" continued the captain, after
thinking a moment.

"By no means, sir. I don't want to go to sea for two or three years. I
want to go ashore."

"I am willing you should go, if you will promise not to enter any
complaints."

"If I should promise that, captain, I should tell a falsehood, and that
is something I'll not do."

"Will a hundred dollars be any inducement to you?"

"Not the slightest."

"A hundred dollars besides your wages, I mean."

"No, sir," repeated Frank. "You are liable for two hundred dollars for
every foremast hand aboard this vessel, except Calamity."

"How do you make that out?"

"You carried them to sea without making a contract with them."

"That'll do. You can go on deck," said the captain.

"But before I go, sir, I demand to see the American consul of the first
port at which we touch," said Frank.

"Very well, you can see him, but you can't go ashore. If one goes all
must go, and the first thing I know the ship will be deserted. I'll
bring the consul aboard to see you."

"That will be perfectly satisfactory, sir. Victory!" whispered Frank
to himself as he went up the ladder. "The people triumphant! The ring
broken all to smash! A captain cowed in his own cabin by a foremast
hand! Hurrah for sailors' rights! We're going to see the consul, Lucas!"

"Aha!" exclaimed the old sailor, with an admiring glance at Frank. "I
knew you had the brains, sir. But I'm sorry we're going to get off so
easy. Me and the rest wanted to see you on that quarter-deck."

"And a pretty figure I'd make up there, wouldn't I?" returned Frank.
"I'm glad you didn't have a chance to carry out your plans."

"What do you think of him, any how?" asked the first mate, after Frank
had left the cabin.

"I think I've got an elephant on my hands," answered the captain. "I
don't want to keep him, and I don't know how to get rid of him. I wish
Billings had been in Guinea before he brought him aboard here."

"You don't intend to let him see the consul?"

"Am I as green as that?" cried the skipper. "He's got too smooth a
tongue in his head and swings it about too loose and reckless. He and
them two men who were shipped with him must be kept close while I am
ashore after a crew."

"And what will you do with them then? They can raise a row with one
consul as well as another."

"I know it. Shall I turn them adrift in a boat or put them on some
vessel bound for the States, or set them ashore on some island, and let
them shift for themselves?"

"You might transfer them to Gale's boat, and some day when they are off
after a whale, clear out and leave them," suggested the third mate.
"Gale is a milk-and-water fellow, and not the man at all to get along
with a hard crew."

"Well, I must put one of those plans into execution," said the captain,
"and circumstances shall decide which it shall be. I am in as great a
hurry to see the last of Nelson as he is to see the last of me. I'd
knock him overboard if I had a good chance."

"Don't do that, cap'n," said the mate, hastily. "The first one of us
who lays an ugly hand on him is booked for Davy's Locker, sure!"

"That's what I am afraid of," said the captain, who being unable to
control himself any longer, began to relieve his mind by swearing. "I
know how things are going, and besides, Calamity has kept his eyes and
ears open."

Two days after this conversation took place between the captain and
his mates, the Tycoon dropped her anchor near the spot where the
Stranger lay three days afterward. One of the boats was called away at
once, a crew selected for her, and the captain started for the shore.
Frank felt jubilant when he saw him go off, but Lucas looked rather
down-hearted. "He hasn't got a single one of our friends in that boat,
sir," said the sailor.

"Of course not," replied Frank. "He wouldn't take them if he knew who
they were, for he wants the first chance at the consul himself."

"Yes, and he'll have the last chance too, sir. We'll never see him."

"Very well, if he doesn't bring him off as he promised, I'll jump
overboard and swim ashore. I can make the island very easily. You won't
pull a boat in pursuit of me."

"No, sir, and nobody else shall. Neither shall the mudhook be hove up
till you've had a chance to say a word for us."

"Nelson, the first mate wants to see you in the cabin," said Mr. Gale,
coming forward at this moment. "He is going to offer you something to
keep still, and you had better take it."

"If that is all he wants it will be of no use for me to go," answered
Frank, "for my mind is made up."

"Go and talk to him, anyhow," said the officer. "Perhaps you can strike
some sort of a bargain. I want to see you safe off this craft, and now
is your chance, if ever."

"Nelson!" shouted the mate, from the top of the companion ladder.

"Coming, sir," replied Frank.

He went, and was not a little astonished at the reception he met as he
entered the cabin. The door was suddenly closed behind him, and before
he could think twice he was powerless, his ankles and wrists being
heavily ironed. "Not a word out of you," said the first mate, covering
Frank's head with a cocked revolver. "You'll find out now who controls
this ship--you or her proper officers."

"You ain't as smart as some folks seem to think," said the second
mate, with a grin. "If you were bound to blab, why didn't you take the
hundred dollars the cap'n offered you, and wait till you got ashore
before you began to swing your chin?"

Frank made no reply, and could offer no resistance, as the two mates
dragged him out of the cabin along a narrow passageway that led to
the hold. They stowed him away among the oil casks and left him to
his meditations. This was the way Frank saw the consul at the port of
Honolulu.

Having disposed of Frank, the officers made their way back to the
cabin, and one of them mounting the companion ladder, called out: "Mr.
Gale, tell Lucas that Nelson has got his money, and ask him to come
down and get his!"

Lucas came, wondering what arguments the mates had brought to bear
upon Frank to work so great a change in his feelings all at once, and
when he reached the foot of the ladder he found out what they were--a
revolver and a pair of handcuffs. The former held him passive while the
irons were slipped on, and then he also was carried to the hold and
stowed away, but at such a distance from Frank that the two could hold
no conversation. Barton was served in the same manner, and the officers
having secured the men of whom they stood the most in fear, breathed
freely once more, and told each other that they were still masters of
the Tycoon.

The prisoners were kept in the hold almost twelve hours--long enough
for the captain to bring his crew of natives on board and get his
vessel well out to sea. Then they were released and ordered on deck.
Frank was disposed to make the best of his disappointment, knowing that
he could not help himself, but Lucas was inclined to smash things. He
hunted up his friends as soon as he could--those who had promised to
stand by him and Frank through thick and thin--and laid down the law
to them in stronger language than we care to quote. "Why, what's the
matter?" asked the sailors, as soon as their angry mate gave them a
chance to speak. "Where have you been so long?"

"That's what's the matter," replied Lucas, showing his wrists.

"That's where I've been so long," he added, tapping the marks the irons
had left. "Sailed the blue water, man and boy for thirty-five years,
I have, and never had the darbies on me before. Me and Cap'n Nelson's
both been there, and Barton too; and here you chaps stood around like
so many bumps on a log, and never lifted a hand to help us!"

"What could we have done, even if we had known that you were in
trouble, while the mates were walking around with their pistols
strapped to their waists and holding us tight to our work?" asked one
of the sailors.

Lucas opened his eyes at this. Did the mates know of the plans that had
so often been discussed in the forecastle? It looked like it.

"Somebody's been talking while Calamity was about," said the
boatswain's-mate. "Never mind; we've missed one chance, but we'll have
better luck next time. The ship's going to Japan, and she'll have
another man on her quarter-deck when she comes back."

And so she did, but Lucas did very little toward bringing about the
change. It was Captain Barclay himself; but of course he did not intend
to do it.

Almost the first man Frank saw when he came on deck after his release
was the third mate. "Nelson," said he, earnestly, "I had no hand in
this business. If I had known what those men intended to do, I should
have warned you."

"I believe you, sir," replied Frank. "I lay nothing to your charge, as
you will find when the day of settlement comes."

Frank looked toward the Islands which the ship was fast leaving behind,
then at the dusky, muscular Kanakas who thronged the deck, and went
to work with a heavy heart. He had already had more than enough of
whaling. He did not mind the dangerous, laborious duties he had to
perform so much as he did the life he led in the forecastle. Of course
it was kept neat and clean, like the rest of the ship, but it smelled
horribly of tar and bilge water, and the men into whose company he
was thrown there, were not just the sort he would have selected for
associates had he been permitted to choose. It was bad enough before,
but now here were a score and more of heathen with whom he had to bunk.
Frank did not know how he could stand it. The only thing that had kept
him up thus far was the belief that all this would end very shortly;
but that hope was gone now, and time only would show what was in store
for him.

Frank worked hard while on duty and talked a good deal when on watch,
to keep himself from thinking too much. He had the satisfaction of
seeing that the captain and his two mates did not treat the crew with
any more severity than they had always done, and some of the old
members of the ship's company were often heard to declare that they did
not act like the same men. As for the natives, Frank very soon found
reason to change the opinions he had formed of them. They had all seen
service in whalers, and proved to be the neatest and most peaceable
portion of the crew. More than that, they did not swear, and it was
some relief to work by the side of men who could talk without putting
an oath or two in every sentence they uttered.

As soon as the ship was fairly under way the mast-head was manned, and
the sailors set about preparing themselves for the real business of the
voyage. A complete change was made in the boats' crews, and Frank, to
his delight, found himself with Lucas, Barton, and two other foremast
hands, assigned to the third mate's boat. Frank held his old position
as bow-oarsman, and Lucas was boat-steerer. He soon proved himself to
be a good one too. He did not fall overboard again, or give Frank any
more opportunities to take his place and strike a whale he had missed.
During the next three weeks nine whales were added to the stock already
in the hold, and of this number four were captured by Mr. Gale's boat.
Frank very soon got over his nervousness, and as a consequence went
just as far the other way, and was inclined to be a little too daring.
He had an uncomfortable habit of wrapping a line about a thwart when he
could not hold it, and Lucas, after repeatedly telling him never to do
it again, got out of patience, and Frank was moved toward the other end
of the boat--"promoted backward." He was seated at the stroke-oar, and
the bow-oar given into the hands of Barton, who knew too much of the
nature of the game they were hunting to run any risks.

Meanwhile the Tycoon was rapidly approaching her cruising grounds, and
one morning the captain told his officers that the Mangrove Islands lay
directly in their course two hundred miles distant, and that it was
his intention to stop there for water and terrapins. That same day a
whale was raised, and the captain and the third mate set off to capture
it. The two boats pulled side by side for a mile or more, and then the
whale took the alarm and made off. "Never mind, Mr. Gale," shouted the
captain. "You keep on after him, and I'll follow you with the ship."

Mr. Gale promptly hoisted his sail and went in pursuit. The whale led
them a long chase, but getting a little over his fright at last, he
allowed the boat to approach within striking distance, and gave Lucas
a chance to throw his harpoons into him. Then a most terrific fight
ensued, which was so long and so stubbornly contested that Frank began
to think he had never seen an ugly whale before. The monster seemed
determined to destroy his enemies; but the mate kept at him, and by his
excellent management succeeded in taking his boat through the struggle
without the loss of any of her crew, and with so little damage that an
hour's work by the ship's carpenter would make her fit for sea again.
When it was ended and the whale rolled over with his fin out, the mate
seized one of the flags, and turned to signal his triumph to the ship.

"It's lucky you wasn't in the bow," said Lucas, drawing his hand across
his dripping forehead and nodding to Frank. "If you'd been here with
the line wrapped around a thwart when he sounded the last time, there
wouldn't have been one of us left to tell the story of this fight!"

"Pass that bucket aft and I'll bail her out," said Frank, drawing a
long breath and glad that the danger was over. "He hit us a pretty
hard blow with his jaw, and the water is running in here like a small
Niagara. What's the matter, Mr. Gale?"

This question was called forth by an exclamation of wonder from the
third mate. When he turned to signal the ship he stopped suddenly,
looked all around the horizon, and then the flag dropped from his
hands. The Tycoon was almost hull down--nothing but her topsails were
visible. During the five hours that the brave officer had been pursuing
and battling with the whale, the ship was standing away from him
instead of coming to his relief, and he had been too busy to see it
until this moment.

"What's the matter, sir?" repeated Frank.

Mr. Gale sat down, his face whiter now than it had been at any time
during the deadly fight he and his men had just passed through, and
pointed toward the Tycoon's receding topsails.



CHAPTER XIII.

TURNED ADRIFT.


FRANK looked, and was not a little surprised to find that the Tycoon,
which he had all the while supposed was following the boat, was almost
out of sight. He did not understand it at first, but a single glance at
the faces of his companions explained it all. Even Lucas, who had shown
so much courage a few minutes before, betrayed the utmost consternation
now.

"Well, Nelson," said Mr. Gale, in a tone of resignation, "Captain
Barclay has got rid of you at last."

"Why, you don't suppose that he intends to desert us!" cried Frank.

The mate shrugged his shoulders and pointed with his thumb toward the
ship, as if to say that Frank could see what she was doing as well as
he could, and might interpret her actions to suit himself.

"It can't be possible!" said Frank. "No man on earth could be guilty of
an act of treachery like this."

"A captain who will allow his men to be abused until they jump
overboard to put themselves out of his way, will do anything," returned
Mr. Gale, quietly. "Hoist the sail, Lucas; you had better bail her out,
Nelson. We must keep her afloat until she carries us two hundred miles."

"Is there any water, sir?" asked Barton.

"Yes, the keg is full, and we need a taste of it after our hard work;
but we must touch it lightly, for there is no telling when we shall get
any more. The Mangrove Islands are the nearest land, and, as I said,
they are two hundred miles away. It is lucky that I know the course."

The sail having been hoisted, the men took a refreshing drink all
around, and settled back on their seats to think over their situation.
Frank could not yet believe that Captain Barclay had sent them out
there alone, with no other object in view than to desert them. He kept
telling himself that the ship must have raised another whale and gone
in pursuit of it, and he watched her closely, expecting every moment
to see her shorten sail and come-to to wait for them; but she kept on,
with all her canvas spread, and very soon nothing but her royals were
visible above the horizon. Frank was obliged to believe it now, and
shuddered when he thought of what was yet to come. With a leaky boat
under them, not a mouthful of anything to eat, and with only a very
small supply of water to allay the raging thirst caused by their five
hours' work under a broiling sun, their situation was one calculated
to frighten anybody. But still it might have been worse, and in this
thought Frank found a little consolation. The mate knew which way
to steer to find land, and if they could only keep the boat afloat
twenty-four hours they would be safe. But suppose the boat had been
stove during the fight with the whale! Suppose he had cut it in two
with his jaw, or smashed it in pieces with his flukes, as he had tried
so hard to do, and left the crew struggling in the water: what then!
Captain Barclay would have deserted them all the same, and they would
have been left powerless. Surrounded by an army of hungry sharks (Frank
now and then caught a momentary glimpse of a sharp fin cutting the
water as one of these voracious monsters hurried toward the whale they
had just left, being attracted no doubt by the blood he had spouted
during his flurry), their sufferings would have been ended, and there
would have been none left to tell the story of the captain's treachery.

"Come, come, boys! This will never do in the world," said Mr. Gale,
suddenly breaking the silence that had reigned for the last half hour.
"Wake up, there! What's the matter with you that you look so sober? If
we were eight or nine hundred miles out at sea, we'd have something to
worry over; but if the wind holds this way, we shall be all right by
to-morrow at this time. The Tycoon is going to the Mangrove Islands for
water, and maybe we shall be lucky enough to catch her there. If we
can't stand it to do without food for that length of time we had better
jump overboard at once, for we've no business to be sailors. Come,
Lucas, begin there in the bow, and sing a song or tell a story!"

"I can't, sir!" replied the sailor.

"All right. You shan't have any water the next time it is passed
around. Go on, Barton. Sing a song or tell a story--a lively one, mind."

"Hold on a bit, sir!" exclaimed Lucas. "I'll do almost anything to get
another drink of that water."

This order soon brought about a great change in the feelings of the
men. Their minds being diverted from the dangers of their situation,
something like merriment soon began to prevail. As it was understood
that each one must do his share toward entertaining his companions,
and that the first one who failed to tell a story or sing a song when
his turn came, should forfeit his next drink of water, this trial of
memory and ingenuity was kept up until far in the night. It would seem
as though men who had spent their lives amid scenes of danger and
excitement could never be at a loss for something to talk about, but
even the oldest among the sailors ran short of stories at last, and
when this happened they did not hesitate to make up one as they went
along; and some of those they told were as ridiculous as the story
Dick Lewis told the captain of the fishing boat. Frank drew on his
experience among the mountains and in the woods, and his stories must
have been worth listening to, for when his turn came the men were all
wide awake.

At last when the crew began to show signs of drowsiness, Mr. Gale
ordered four of them to make themselves as comfortable as they could
and go to sleep, while he and Frank looked out for the boat. Mr. Gale
steered by a compass, the face being lighted up by a small lantern
with which whale-boats are always provided, and Frank talked to him
to keep him awake, and bailed out the water as fast as it ran in. He
did not learn anything encouraging during the four hours that he and
Mr. Gale kept watch. The mate said they were sure to reach the Islands
unless a storm blew them out of their course or swamped them, but he
did not like to think of the way they would fare after they got there.
The largest of the Islands was often visited by whalers, he continued,
but it was almost a land unknown. It was a good place to go to get
water and fresh meat in the shape of terrapins, but he had never yet
heard of a boat's crew, who, leaving the beach to explore the island,
had ever returned to tell what they saw there. Many a fine whale ship
which, when last spoken, had her hold nearly filled with oil and was
almost ready to set out on her return voyage, had suddenly disappeared,
leaving no trace behind. It was supposed that some of them had gone to
the Islands for water, and had either been wrecked on the treacherous
shoals and reefs with which they were surrounded, or been captured and
plundered by the natives. He had seen men who had been held captive
there for years, and had only escaped at last by smuggling themselves
on board some vessel whose crew was too strong to be successfully
attacked. But if they succeeded in getting there they would find an
abundance to eat and plenty of water to drink, and that was better
than being tossed about on the waves of the Pacific in an open boat.

Frank now began to understand Captain Barclay's plans. There was more
in them than he had at first supposed. The skipper wanted to be rid
of Frank and his friends, and the whale they had killed and deserted,
furnished him with an excuse for sending the boat away from the ship.
When he arrived in port he could say that she had been smashed in
pieces by the whale, and all her crew sent to the bottom. He took his
chances on this. If the event really happened, so much the better; but
if they came through the fight in safety, and succeeded in reaching the
Islands, the natives would detain them as prisoners. In either case he
was clear of them, and they could never appear against him in a court
of justice.

"I can understand all that," said Frank, after he had explained this to
the mate, "but there is one thing I can't quite see through: Why did he
send you off with us? You never said you would prosecute him, did you?
And there are two other men in the boat who never made any threats of
that kind. I am very sorry that the friendship you have exhibited for
me should have brought you into this trouble. I shall never be able to
repay you."

"It wasn't that at all," said the mate, in reply. "The captain has
always been afraid of me, and he was just as anxious to get me off the
vessel as he was to get you off. I'm not the sort of officer that suits
him. I have been a foremast hand myself, and I can't see the beauty of
banging men about as if they had no more feeling than so many logs of
wood. As for sending these two other men with us, he had to give the
boat a full crew, you know, and he put in those against whom he had a
grudge."

Frank and the mate talked in this way until almost daylight, and then
the former called Lucas and Barton, who steered the boat and kept her
bailed out, while Frank and Mr. Gale lay down on the thwarts and slept
until the sun grew too warm for them. It was then nine o'clock. As they
had no breakfast to serve up they took a drink of water all around,
which seemed to aggravate rather than relieve their thirst, the supply
the mate allowed them being so small; and at one o'clock by Mr. Gale's
watch, when the Mangrove Islands were in plain sight, they emptied the
keg.

Propelled by a favorable breeze the boat rapidly approached the land,
and finally the outlines of the shore and the trees on the hill-sides
could be easily distinguished. Suddenly Mr. Gale arose, and standing
erect in the stern-sheets, gazed steadily into the little bay toward
which the boat was heading. "She's there!" said he, a moment later.

"The Tycoon?" asked Frank, running his eye along the shore in the vain
effort to find the object that had attracted the officer's attention.

"Yes, the Tycoon!"

"Will we go aboard of her, Mr. Gale?" asked one of the crew.

"Certainly, just as straight as we can go. We belong to her, don't we?"

The men said nothing in reply, but their actions told what was passing
in their minds. Some seemed delighted, while others beat their open
palms with their clenched hands, and banged the oars violently down
on the thwarts. It was plain that Captain Barclay had some men in his
ship's company who would give him serious trouble if they ever found
the opportunity.

"There's something wrong with her," continued the mate, still gazing
earnestly at the ship, which Frank had at last been able to discover.

"So I was thinking," said the latter. "She's close in shore and has her
topsails aback. She can't be lying-to in there."

"No, she's aground," replied the mate, "and they are trying to work her
off."

All eyes were now turned toward the ship which came rapidly into view
as the boat approached the shore. It was plain that she was hard and
fast aground. The crew were running about the deck, pulling the yards
first one way and then the other, in the hope of getting the sails full
enough to work her off; but the breeze was not sufficiently strong,
and besides the tide was running out, so that the ship was every moment
sinking more firmly into her bed on the sand bar. Presently one of the
crew discovered the approaching boat. It was one of the Kanakas. He
gazed at it a moment, then jumped up and clapped his hands, calling
out "Galickhee!" or some such tongue-twisting name which he and his
people had bestowed upon the third officer. That brought all the crew
to the side, where they stood waving their hats and shouting out words
of welcome. Frank and the rest were astonished at this reception. Where
were Captain Barclay and his mates that they permitted the crew to act
in this way?

"O, Mr. Gale, you're just in time," cried one of the men, who answered
to the name of Boson, "only I wish you had come a little sooner. We're
up to our necks in trouble."

"Not an officer aboard--all gone--the ship a thousand miles from
water--or she might as well be, she's so hard a-ground, six men dead
and the niggers thicker than blackberries," chimed in Tully, another
of the crew, stamping about the deck and swinging his arms wildly in
the air.

The men in the whale-boat were greatly amazed. They clambered over
the side with all possible haste, each one demanding to know what was
the matter. The crew shook each of them by the hand as if they were
overjoyed to meet them once more, and then silently directed their
attention to different parts of the deck, as if telling them to see
for themselves what was the matter. Frank stood speechless while he
looked. The deck was in the greatest confusion. Harpoons, spades,
lances and handspikes were scattered about, and with them were mingled
curious weapons and ornaments that he had never seen before, and
blubber-knives, cutlasses and muskets with the bayonets attached. These
last came from the ship's armory, and their presence on deck was enough
to prove that there had been a fight, even had other indications been
wanting.

A feeble attempt had been made to clear up things a little, but the
traces that were left of the recent contest proclaimed that it had been
a severe and by no means a bloodless one. Frank ran his eye hastily
over the crew gathered about him, and saw that there were some familiar
faces missing--among them those of the captain, his two mates and his
old enemy, Calamity. What if he had been there when the fight came
off? Might not he also have been among the missing? Perhaps Captain
Barclay's attempt to get him off his vessel had been the means of
saving his life.

"What's been going on here, any how?" demanded the mate, as soon as he
could speak.

A chorus of hoarse voices arose in reply, each one trying to give his
version of the story, and to make himself heard above his companions;
but Mr. Gale, finding that there was nothing to be learned in that way,
commanded silence, and pointing to one of the crew ordered him to speak
for all. The man complied, telling his story in regular sailor lingo
which we put into English as follows:--

The Tycoon arrived at the island that morning about three o'clock,
and came to anchor two miles outside the bar. The captain, knowing
the treacherous character of the natives, kept one watch on deck
until morning, but nothing suspicious being seen, the ship stood close
in at daylight, and came to; after which the water-barrels were got
overboard, and the captain and first mate set out in their boats to tow
them ashore. No sooner had the crews touched the beach than they were
assailed by a swarm of natives, who had been lying in ambush waiting
for them. Almost at the same moment two large war canoes filled with
savages made their appearance, coming from one of the numerous little
inlets which set into the land from the bay. They headed straight for
the ship, their crews brandishing their lances and clubs, and yelling
at the top of their lungs.

The sailors on board the Tycoon, who had witnessed the massacre of
their shipmates without the power to aid them, now found themselves
called upon to provide for their own safety. The second mate, who
was in command, made an effort to bring the ship about and run out
of the bay; but she struck the bar in going around, running on with
sufficient force to knock all the crew off their feet. They could not
run, and their only chance for life was to beat off their assailants,
who outnumbered them five to one. The weapons that were left in the
arm-chest were quickly brought up, muskets, pistols and cartridges to
put into them were distributed among the crew, lances, harpoons and
spades placed about the deck in convenient nooks, so that they could
be readily seized, and by the time these preparations were completed,
their foes were upon them. They made the attack at two different
points, one canoe running under the bow and the other coming alongside
at the starboard quarter. The sailors met them at both places, and
the first assault was repulsed. The seamen, having the advantage of
position, knocked their assailants over the side as fast as they could
climb to the top of the bulwarks, but the natives persevered, and
overwhelming numbers began to tell. They succeeded in gaining a footing
on deck, and drove the sailors before them toward the waist.

Almost in the beginning of the fight the second mate had been struck
down by a lance, and as there was no one to direct the movements of the
sailors, each man fought on his own hook, and did just what he thought
best, without paying any attention to his neighbors. Boson probably
saved the day. While the sailors were retreating he caught up the
mate's revolver, which was lying on deck, and turning fiercely on his
foes fired all the barrels in quick succession, every shot striking a
native and bringing him dead or wounded to the deck. That was more than
the enemy could endure. Appalled by the havoc the six-shooter created,
they beat a hasty retreat, followed by the sailors, who thinned their
ranks very perceptibly before they could clamber over the side into
their boat. As they were about to push off, Boson and Tully added a
grand finale to the victory. The former threw a harpoon at one of the
natives, which, missing its object, passed through the bottom of the
boat, knocking a hole in her that would have caused her to sink long
before she could reach the shore, even had Tully not followed it up,
as he did, with the heavy snatch-block, which made a complete wreck of
her.

The enemy being beaten at the quarter, the sailors who defended that
part of the ship ran to the assistance of their friends in the bow; but
the fight was over there, also. The natives, failing to gain the deck,
became discouraged, and dropping back into their boat, made all haste
to reach the shore. Some succeeded, others did not. The sailors rushed
for their muskets and pistols, which they had thrown to the deck after
firing their contents at the foe, and hastily ramming down cartridges,
opened fire on the natives. Those of their companions who were not
provided with these weapons, employed themselves in clearing the deck
of the dead and wounded the savages had left behind them, tumbling them
all unceremoniously over the side, and never looking to see what became
of them afterward.

The battle being ended, the crew began to look about them and make
an estimate of their losses. They found that six of their number had
fallen beneath the war-clubs and lances of their assailants, which,
counting in the twelve that had gone ashore in the boats, made eighteen
men they had lost out of thirty-five. Greatly alarmed, disheartened by
the loss of all their officers, and afraid to risk another encounter
with their diminished numbers, they hastily committed the bodies of
their dead companions to the deep, and set to work to get the ship
afloat. They had kept hard at it for more than six hours. They had
moved her a little, but the tide began to fall just at the wrong time,
and there she was as fast as if she had been nailed to the ground.

The new-comers listened to this story with breathless attention. If any
evidence was needed to convince them of its truthfulness, they found
it in the frightened faces of the men and the disordered state of the
deck, which bore unmistakable signs of the conflict. Their assailants
had left some of their property behind them in the shape of lances,
war-clubs and head-dresses, and close alongside the ship floated the
wreck of the canoe, which was slowly moving out to sea with the tide. A
moment later additional and most unexpected evidence was produced. A
warning exclamation uttered by Lucas, under his breath, drew all eyes
toward him. Frank saw him pick up a lance that happened to be lying
near, and following the direction of his gaze, saw that it was fastened
upon a head which was slowly rising above the combings of the fore
hatch--a head covered with a mass of shaggy hair. It was one of the
natives, who had no doubt been knocked into the hold during the fight,
and was now coming up to see if the coast was clear, so that he could
make his escape. Not a man moved. Every one held his breath as Lucas
raised the long, slender whale-lance in the air and held it poised in
both hands.

The head was raised slowly, cautiously, inch by inch, above the
combings of the hatchway, and presently a dark-brown forehead and then
a pair of eyes appeared. At that instant the lance whistled through
the air. Thrown by a practised hand and flying true to its aim, its
keen point was buried in the combings exactly in range with the spot
where the head had been a second before. Its owner had seen the weapon
coming and dodged just in time, but his escape was a narrow one.

"Avast, there!" cried a voice from the hold. "Ain't you Christians
enough to give a white man a chance for life and liberty?"

The sailors stood and looked at one another without speaking.



CHAPTER XIV.

OLD TIMES REVIVED.


"I SAY! on deck, there!" continued the voice. "Don't throw any more of
them things at me, and I'll come up!"

These words aroused the crew. They made a rush for the fore-hatch,
and when they reached it found the owner of the head crouching among
the oil barrels. Frank looked at him in astonishment, and could
scarcely believe that he was a white man. His only clothing was a pair
of tattered trowsers, and those portions of his person which were
unprotected were as brown as sole-leather, made so, no doubt, by long
exposure to the sun and weather. Moreover, his body was profusely
tattooed, so that at the distance Frank stood from him, he looked as
though he had on a tight-fitting under-shirt of some dark-colored
material, with light blue slashings.

"Who are you, and where did you come from?" demanded the mate.

"I'm Chips," replied the man. "I used to be carpenter of the whale-ship
Mary Starbuck, that was wrecked here long ago. It was so long ago," he
added, putting his hand to his forehead in a bewildered sort of way,
"that I have almost forgot how it happened."

"Come on deck," said the mate, in a very different tone of voice, "and
tell us all about it."

A dozen pairs of ready hands were stretched down to the prisoner--for
such Frank now knew him to be--and in a moment more he was hoisted out
of the hold to the deck. Frank had a good view of him then, and saw
that he really was a white man. His long, matted beard, which hung down
nearly to his waist, had afforded some protection to his breast, and
the skin beneath it was almost as white as his own. The man pulled his
forelock when he found himself standing in the presence of the mate,
and gave his trowsers a regular sailor hitch.

"I remember hearing of the loss of the Starbuck," said Mr. Gale. "The
news reached Nantucket just before I sailed; but it wasn't so very long
ago--not quite two years."

"Is that all, sir? It seems a longer time to me," said the man, whom we
will call by the name he had given. "You're the first white men I've
set eyes on since then, except those on the island, and you can't call
them white now. Some of them are blacker than I am."

"Do you mean to say that there are men on that island held as
prisoners?" asked Frank.

"Four more of 'em, sir, and one has been here, as near as he can
calculate, about ten years. I hope you won't sail without trying to do
something for 'em, sir. They lead a hard life here."

"How do you happen to be aboard my ship?" asked the mate.

"I came off in one of the canoes, sir, and watching my chance jumped
into the hold. I was willing to fight for my liberty, but I was afraid
that if I tried to join in with you, you would kill me, not knowing who
I was, and if you didn't the natives would, when they saw me trying to
desert 'em; and I was so anxious to see my home and family once more
that I didn't dare run any risks."

Chips then went on to tell how he came to be a prisoner in the hands
of the islanders. His narrative would make an interesting chapter
by itself; but as it has no bearing on our story, and nothing to do
with the events that happened afterward, we condense it into a few
sentences. The ship to which he belonged was wrecked while lying at the
island to fill up with water. A furious storm first disabled her, so
that she could not make an offing, and then drove her high and dry upon
the bar. Only two of the crew succeeded in reaching the shore, Chips
and another, and they were immediately pounced upon by the natives, who
carried them in triumph to their principal village, which was hidden
away among the rocky gorges in the interior of the island. They found
four other prisoners there, and it was owing to their influence that
Chips was so well received. He was a carpenter, and just the man the
natives wanted. His companion, however, was nothing but a foremast
hand, and not being of any particular use, he was harshly treated,
and was often in danger of his life. Being driven desperate at last,
he seized the first opportunity for escape that presented itself, and
succeeded, at very great risk, in swimming off to a ship that came
there for water. He warned the captain off, most likely, for the vessel
went away at once, and it was probably through him that the news of the
loss of the Mary Starbuck was carried to Nantucket. The five prisoners
who were left were constantly on the alert to elude the vigilance of
their captors, but this was the first opportunity that Chips had ever
found. He and his companions were allowed the freedom of the island
until a vessel hove in sight, and then they were hurried to the village
and kept under guard as long as she remained.

Being satisfied at last that there was but one way to accomplish his
object, Chips made himself perfectly at home on the island, acted
quite contented, and finally succeeded in making the natives believe
that he had no desire to leave them. He became a savage to all intents
and purposes. He took part in their dances and pow-wows, joined in
their debates, tried to teach them the use of the fire-arms they found
on the vessels that fell into their hands, and so won their confidence
that they permitted him to take part in the attack on the Tycoon.
Watching his chance, while the fight was in progress, he slipped into
the hold, and there he was among his own kind once more.

"And now I hope you'll lend a hand to them poor fellows I left behind,
sir," said Chips, in conclusion. "It can be easy done now, but
to-morrow it'll be too late. There ain't more'n a hundred fighting men
on the island, but to-night they'll send off canoes after help, and in
the morning, if you're here, you will have an army of 'em howling about
you."

"How far is it to the village?" asked Mr. Gale.

"O, you'll not have to go back to the principal town, sir," answered
Chips. "There's a little fishing village right here on the beach, and
the natives will all be there to-night, holding a grand pow-wow and
waiting for the help that's coming to-morrow. If we can get close to
them and give them a volley before they know it, they'll run like deer!"

"Why I thought you said they had fire-arms," exclaimed the mate.

"So they have, sir, but it would make you laugh to see them use them,"
said Chips. "They take the butt of a gun under their arms, shut their
eyes and turn away their heads before they pull the trigger. They
seem to think it is the noise that does the damage. All we want, you
understand, sir, is to drive 'em at the start. They won't run far
before they'll turn on us, and then they'll fight; but by the time
they do that, the prisoners will have had a chance to take care of
themselves, and we can be back to our boats. I know just where the
village is, and can lead you to it in ten minutes after we touch the
beach."

"I suppose you don't know anything about those boats' crews that went
ashore?" said the mate.

"No, sir. Those who were not killed are prisoners, and we'll find them
at the village."

The man's proposition was well worth thinking over, the mate told
himself. He felt that he had a duty to perform toward the prisoners
in the hands of the savages, and he was not the one to shrink from
it. True, he had a small force to work with, but if he acted with
promptness and decision when the time for action arrived, much might be
done. "Boys, turn to and straighten up here," said he, after a moment's
reflection. "Let's make the old Tycoon look a little more like herself.
Nelson, come with me."

The men went to work with a will--all except Lucas, Barton and Chips,
who disappeared in the forecastle for a few minutes. When they came on
deck again Chips could hardly have been told from the rest of the crew,
his tattooed body being clothed in a full sailor's rig, and his matted
hair covered with a new tarpaulin. He lent a hand with the rest, and
soon proved that he had not forgotten how to do a seaman's duty.

Frank followed Mr. Gale to the quarter-deck. "What do you think of
this?" asked the mate. "Shall we risk it?"

"By all means," answered Frank, quickly. "How would you and I feel if
we were held captives by these heathen, and some of our own countrymen
should come here, and, after learning our situation, go off without
making an effort to help us? We may be able to rescue the captain or
some of his men, if they are still alive."

Mr. Gale looked at his companion a little doubtfully.

"O, I mean it," said Frank, who knew what was passing in the officer's
mind. "I have no reason to like Captain Barclay, and if I could once
bring him before a court of justice he would suffer for what he has
done. But this is a different thing. If I get the chance, I'll try just
as hard to help him as I would to help you."

"Well, I suppose that is the right sort of feeling," said the mate,
"but it isn't my style, I am free to say. A man who has the heart to
turn a boat's crew adrift on the ocean, doesn't deserve any help when
he's in difficulty. It's the others I want to work for, but here's the
trouble: I don't know anything about this fighting business."

"I've had a little experience in it," said Frank, "and so have Lucas
and Barton. They are old men-of-war's men, and I know you can depend on
them. I'll give you all the help I can."

"Won't you boss the job?"

"No, I'd rather not. The men will yield you more prompt obedience."

"I know a story worth two of that, sir. I ain't blind or deaf, either."

After some more conversation it was decided that the Tycoon's crew
could not leave the island with clear consciences unless they made some
sort of a demonstration in favor of the captives, and Frank was finally
prevailed upon to take command of the expedition. This being settled,
the first thing the young sailor did was to call Chips aft. He and Mr.
Gale spent an hour in conversation with him, and when the man went
forward again Frank held in his hands a map of the island, on which
the position of the fishing village, the situation of every hut in it,
the shape of the jungle that surrounded it, and the location of all
the paths that led to it were plainly marked. Frank also had a short
consultation with Lucas, who, when it was over, made his way forward
again, winking and nodding as he always did when he had anything on his
mind. His companions tried hard to find out what had passed between him
and the captain, as everybody called Frank now; but Lucas, while he
seemed to grow in size under the pressure of the secret that had been
committed to his keeping, remained as dumb as a tar-bucket.

Everything had now been done that could be done before dark--except
getting the boats and weapons in readiness--and Frank recollected
that he had been at sea for twenty-four hours in an open boat without
anything to eat, and that he was very hungry. Perhaps the savory odors
that now and then came from the galley recalled this fact to his mind.
At any rate they brought his appetite back to him, and he did ample
justice to the abundant meal that was soon served up. The captain was
not there now to superintend the drawing of the provisions, so the
doctor went into the store-room and helped himself. The consequence
was that some articles which rightfully belonged to the men, but which
they had never tasted since leaving port, such as beans, flour, dried
apples and molasses, found their way into the forecastle. Each man got
an extra cup of coffee--strong coffee, too--an extra tablespoonful of
sugar in it, and all he wanted to eat besides. Mr. Gale and Frank dined
in the cabin and the captain's steward waited on them.

"That's all right," said Lucas, when the steward told him of it
afterward. "Cap'n Nelson's a cap'n just as much as Cap'n Barclay, and
just as good a one, too. Don't I know? He belongs in the cabin and at
the head of the table, and he's got to stay there now. He shan't never
come into this forecastle again!"

After dinner two of the boats were overhauled and put in readiness for
the expedition, which was to leave the ship as soon as darkness settled
down to hide her from the watchful eyes of those on shore, the muskets
and pistols were loaded, and a dozen rounds of cartridges provided
for each man. Of course these preparations did not escape the notice
of the sailors, who knew by them that there was work to be done. It
soon got abroad that Frank was at the head of the affair, and that set
Lucas and Barton in ecstacies. This made them think of old times; and
so eager were they for the fight, that they almost got up a row with
Boson and Tully just to get their hands in. They did not neglect, too,
to make sundry little arrangements with their companions in regard to
the treatment the captain and first mate were to receive in case they
were found among the prisoners. They would do their best to rescue
the friends of Chips, but Captain Barclay should not come back to the
ship, no matter what happened. All this, however, was upset by a simple
order from their wide-awake leader, who seemed to see everything, know
everything and who neglected nothing.

The boats and weapons being in readiness, all the crew were ordered
below to rest and sleep, except a boatsteerer's watch, who remained on
deck to look out for the ship. Even these were permitted to lie down on
deck, with the exception of one man, whose duty it was to keep an eye
on the shore, and report anything suspicious that he might see going on
there.

The men were allowed to sleep until nine o'clock, when they were called
on deck to prepare for action. An abundant and well-cooked supper was
served up and eagerly devoured by the grateful foremast hands, who
told one another that if Captain Nelson and Mr. Gale were the officers
of the ship, they'd never have any trouble with their crew, but they
wouldn't catch much grease. They'd feed their men so high that they
would get too fat to see a spout or pull an oar.

Supper over, the men were mustered on the quarter-deck to listen to
Frank's plan of the campaign. He had made up his mind what ought to be
done and assigned each man a particular duty, giving him his orders so
plainly that there was no possible chance for a misunderstanding. One
order was, that every hut in the village was to be set on fire--they
wanted a light to fight by--but it must first be searched to make
sure that it contained no prisoners. Some of the boats' crews might
be bound or severely wounded and unable to help themselves; and
such unfortunates needed especial care and must be looked after by
trustworthy men. If any wounded were discovered, they must be turned
over to Lucas and Barton, who would assist them back to the boats and
remain there to guard them. The men thus designated raised their hands
to their caps and said, "Ay, ay, sir!" but when Frank turned to another
sailor to give him his orders, they looked at each other and scowled
fiercely.

"Now here's a go," muttered Barton. "Suppose we find the first mate
with a lance or something through his leg! Eh?"

"Or the cap'n," whispered Lucas, in great disgust.

"Must we bring him to the boat, carry him like he was a blessed little
baby, and then watch to see that the niggers don't slip around and send
him to Davy's Locker, where he belongs?" added Barton.

"Them's the orders."

"I don't care. I won't do it."

"Avast, there! Better not go agin orders when they come from _him_,"
whispered Lucas, jerking his thumb towards Frank. "Besides, didn't he
say we was men as could be trusted?"

"Ay, so he did," answered Barton, after thinking a moment. "So he did.
We can't go back on him after that."

Having given his instructions in the plainest language he was master
of, Frank went back to the head of the line and made each man repeat
what he had said to him, to make sure that he fully understood what
was required, and then he distributed the weapons and ammunition. The
Kanakas, although as eager for the fight as their white companions,
declined to accept the muskets that were offered them, preferring to
use the lances and war-clubs the natives had left behind them. It was a
motley-looking company altogether, Frank told himself, after they were
all armed and stood awaiting his orders--very unlike the well-provided
and well-disciplined bluejackets he had been accustomed to command on
expeditions similar to this.

Everything being in readiness, Frank nodded to Mr. Gale, who ordered
the boats to be lowered away and the crews to tumble into them. Frank
took every man, knowing that the natives would not attack the ship
while their homes were in danger. When every one was in his place he
clambered down into one of the boats, Mr. Gale having charge of the
other, and led the way toward the beach. Arriving within a few rods
of it the boats were brought to a stand still, and Chips slipped
noiselessly into the water and struck out for the beach, accompanied by
Lucas, who carried a blubber-knife between his teeth. Chips might have
been astonished to know that Lucas had orders to use the blubber-knife
at the very first sign of treachery. This was the secret the old
boatswain's mate had been carrying all the afternoon. Frank believed
the story Chips had told him, but he was so wary that he neglected no
precautions to insure the success of the expedition and the safety of
the men composing it.

At the end of half an hour the two men made their appearance again,
coming alongside so silently that Frank did not see them until they
laid hold of the gunwale. They reported the coast clear. The natives,
not dreaming of danger, were all at the village, going through some
sort of a ceremony intended to bring them success in the next attack
they made on the ship, and which Chips said would not be delayed longer
than daylight. Frank breathed easier now. Chips was not trying to lead
him into an ambush, and that was one thing off his mind.

Slowly and noiselessly the boats approached the shore, and when their
bows touched the sand the crews disembarked. The two men selected
to guard them promptly took their positions, and the rest fell in
behind Chips, who led them along a narrow path through darkness so
intense that Frank, who followed close at his heels, was obliged to
take hold of his clothing in order to keep track of him. Ten minutes'
walk brought them within sight of a bright fire, which they could see
shining through the trees in front of them. There they stopped. Frank
whispered to the men as they came up one after another, showed them
the position of the village, and they lost no time in taking up the
positions he assigned them. When they had all moved off to the right
and left, Frank, Mr. Gale and Chips were left alone. They waited and
listened for a few minutes, and then moved down the path until they
obtained a view of the fire. It was a large one, and threw out so
much light that every hut in the village could be distinctly seen.
There were about two hundred of the natives in sight, men, women and
children, and some were seated in a circle about the fire, while others
stood erect, looking intently toward the jungle where Frank knew the
right of his line was taking up its position. Their quick ears warned
them of the approach of an enemy.

At this moment Frank caught the gleam of a bayonet on the extreme left
of the line. That told him that some of his men were in position, and
he decided to begin operations at once. He nodded to his companions,
and instantly three muskets were levelled and belched forth their
contents in quick succession. This was the signal for the attack, and
it was promptly obeyed. Muskets and pistols roared all along the line,
and such a chorus of hoarse voices arose from the jungle that Frank,
had he not known just how many men he had at his command, would have
supposed that there was a small army hidden there.

The natives behaved just as Chips said they would. The most of them
took to their heels at once, while the bravest among them lingered long
enough to fire their muskets. But they discharged them any how--just
as they happened to pick them up--and Frank saw that the muzzles of
the most of them were pointed into the air. No sooner were the weapons
emptied than the owners threw them down and ran for life.

In two minutes' time the sailors were all in the now deserted village,
and two of the huts had been fired by Chips, who showed himself as
active as a cat. He ran about with a fire-brand in each hand, calling
loudly on the captives to make all haste to reach the beach, telling
them they would find boats there and men to protect them.

Frank remained in the centre of the line, so that he could see all
that was going on and direct the movements of his men, and it was with
no little satisfaction that he noted the care with which each member
of his small company took to carry out the instructions given him.
Frank did not see that any of the natives were killed, but he did see
one prisoner rescued. He did not get a glimpse of his face or of his
clothing, but a remark Lucas made as he and Barton carried him by in
their arms, told him who it was. "This ain't such a nice piece of
business as it might be, sir," said the former, touching his cap.

"It's the captain," thought Frank. "That was a lucky thought of mine,
appointing two of his worst enemies to take care of him, for they
wouldn't injure him now for the world. He's badly hurt, too. Will he
act more like a man now, or be a worse tyrant than ever?"

In a very short space of time the whole village was in a blaze. The
huts being built of bamboo and their cone-shaped roofs thatched with
dry grass, they burned like so much tinder. There was nothing more to
be done now--nothing more they could do. They had rescued one prisoner,
given the others a chance to run if they were able to do it, and now
he must take care of his own men before the natives turned on them.
The signal to retreat, a long, shrill whistle, was as promptly obeyed
as the signal to attack. The men hurried toward him, and throwing
their weapons on their shoulders fell in behind Chips, who led the way
toward the beach at a dog trot. Frank ran his eye over the line as it
moved passed him to see if there was anybody missing, and found to his
delight that not only were the men all there, but also two more rescued
prisoners, the captain's harpooner and bow-oarsman, who saluted him
as they went by. When the last man was in the path, Frank and Mr. Gale
fell in and brought up the rear. A few minutes' rapid run brought them
to the beach, and after seeing the wounded captain stowed away as
comfortably as circumstances would permit, Frank ordered the crews into
the boats, which were pushed off toward the ship. There was no pursuit
attempted, the natives being too badly frightened to rally immediately.
By the time their expected reinforcements arrived, the Tycoon was safe
out of their reach.



CHAPTER XV.

FRANK ON THE QUARTER-DECK.


THE expedition was ended and well ended too, Frank told himself. Three
men were rescued, and that was something to feel glad over. The attack
was so well planned, and all the details carried out so faithfully
and energetically, that it was entirely successful, and there was not
a man missing. All the ship's company could be accounted for except
Gardner--Frank could not bring himself now to think of him by the
name he generally bore--and he had doubtless been killed and thrown
overboard when the natives made their attack on the vessel.

While on the way back to the Tycoon Frank had much to think about, the
principal object of his thoughts being the wounded captain. Frank was
sorry to see him in his present situation, and he reproached himself
when he reflected that he had so long cherished feelings of revenge
toward him. He had all the while told himself that his feelings were
not actuated by any desire for vengeance--that he wanted to have the
skipper shut up for a while, merely to prevent him from serving others
as he had served himself; but now he knew that behind all this was the
belief that the captain deserved punishment for the offences of which
he had been guilty, and that he would breathe a good deal easier if he
could assist in bringing it about. That was all past now, however. The
skipper needed assistance, and that was enough for the generous Frank,
who felt almost as tender toward him as he would have felt toward his
cousin Archie, had he been in the same situation.

Meanwhile an animated conversation was going on between Mr. Gale and
Lucas, who were in the other boat with Barton, the coxswain. The third
mate had been silent and thoughtful for a long time, and Lucas asked
the reason for it.

"I was just thinking of what's to come," replied Mr. Gale. "Here we
have been risking our lives to free these men, and what are we going to
do with them now that we have got them?"

"Take them aboard the ship, sir," said Lucas.

"And what's to be done with the ship? The cap'n is of no use now, the
first and second mates are gone, and so, of course, the ship falls to
my hands; but she's a bigger load than I can carry."

"Don't worry about that, sir," returned Lucas, quickly. "Cap'n Nelson's
shoulders are broad, and he can carry her."

"Was he ever master of a vessel?" asked Mr. Gale.

"Of course he was, sir. Didn't you know it?"

"I heard something about it, but I didn't believe it. He don't look
like a sailor."

"No more'n he looks like a lawyer or a fighting man, sir; but he's
all three. When the war was going he commanded as fine a brig as ever
sailed in Farragut's fleet."

"A brig!" echoed Barton. "A ship, you mean. Haven't I seen her often?
Didn't I see her and him too down there in Mobile Bay, the time we had
the fight with the forts and gunboats? You're right I did. The Admiral
was going to put him in command of a frigate, only the war closed and
Cap'n Nelson wouldn't stay in the navy."

"I knew it was something of that kind," said Lucas, who knew just
nothing at all about it. He and Barton were working to put Frank on the
Tycoon's quarter-deck, and they did not care how many falsehoods they
told or what means they used to get him there. "He went into a fight
once and licked the rebels three to one," continued Lucas.

"Five to one, you mean," corrected Barton, who did not think his friend
was saying quite as much as could be said in Frank's favor.

"I knew it was big odds," returned Lucas, "and under them
circumstances, sir, you mustn't feel hard if we say that we won't serve
on the Tycoon under nobody but Cap'n Nelson."

"I don't feel hard toward you," said the mate, "for I don't want to
command her. I am not fit."

"No more you be, sir," said Barton, bluntly; "but Cap'n Nelson is. We
can call him cap'n now, and nobody can't say no to us without getting
his head broke."

Frank, little dreaming of what was passing in the other boat, was being
carried rapidly ahead by the stalwart Kanakas who pulled him, and
reached the ship a long distance in advance of Mr. Gale. As he came
alongside he saw two men looking over the rail, both of whom Chips
recognised, dark as it was. They proved to be two wrecked sailors who
had been held prisoners by the natives, and who had taken advantage
of the attack on the village to run to the beach and swim off to
the vessel. They were overjoyed to find themselves among their own
countrymen once more, and almost overwhelmed Frank by their exhibition
of gratitude. But he had no time to listen to them. He simply shook
hands with them, and then turned his attention to the captain.

The wounded man groaned whenever any one touched him; but a whip being
quickly rigged he was hoisted aboard as tenderly as possible, and in
obedience to Frank's directions was carried into the cabin and placed
in his bunk. When the steward lighted the lamp Frank had a good view of
him for the first time, and he could hardly bring himself to believe
that this wreck of humanity was the same man he had so often seen on
the quarter-deck. He was no surgeon, but knowing that something ought
to be done at once to relieve the captain and stop the flow of blood,
he set to work to do what he could. He cut off the sufferer's coat and
shirt with his knife, and found three gaping wounds, which were enough
to have left the life out of any but a man of iron, as the captain was.
While he was bathing them with warm water brought from the galley the
third mate came in, and Frank was surprised to see him remove his hat.

"Is it necessary for me to apologize for coming in here under such
circumstances as these, without an invitation?" asked the amateur
doctor.

"I guess not, sir," answered the officer, with a smile. "From all I can
learn you've got the best right here."

"How is that? I don't understand you."

"Why, the men have put you in as cap'n, and say they won't do duty
under anybody else."

"Well, they have no right to do anything of the kind. They don't know
what they are talking about."

"No, they don't. I'm master of this ship," murmured the wounded man,
looking about with the old savage glare in his eyes and trying to raise
his head. "Trice 'em all up, and hang the snatch-block to their--Mr.
Gale!" he ejaculated, recognising the third mate.

"Yes, sir; it's Mr. Gale, come back safe and sound, and just as ready
to do duty as he was before you turned him adrift in that boat,"
replied the officer.

"Send the first mate here," said the captain, sinking back on his
pillow and closing his eyes.

"I can't, sir. He went ashore with you and hasn't come back yet. The
natives made an end of him, most likely."

"The second mate, then."

"Can't send him either, sir, because he and the first are keeping
company now somewhere besides on board this ship. The natives harpooned
him. There's nobody left but me."

"And you ain't worth nothing. You don't know how to flog a man."

"If I did, I couldn't do it now, sir. The men have taken the ship and
put Cap'n Nelson in command. I looked for 'em to do it long ago."

"Nelson!" groaned the captain, opening his eyes again. "I sent him----"

He seemed to recognise the face bending over him, and stopped suddenly.

"I know you did, sir," said Mr. Gale, "You sent him adrift with me; but
he's back again, and so are Lucas and Barton and all the rest of the
boat's crew. But I say, cap'n, if you are able to do duty, you'd best
be giving some orders, for the tide is about turning, and if the ship
is to be worked off the bar, now's the time."

The captain made no reply, and neither could Mr. Gale induce him to
speak again. He lay with his eyes closed, and groaned every time
a question was asked him. The mate scratched his head in great
perplexity. "What shall I do, sir?" said he, looking at Frank.

"Do just what you think best," was the reply. "This man is in no
condition to give orders. Go ahead on your own hook."

The mate clapped his hat on his head and hurried up the ladder. He
found the crew gathered in the waist waiting, no doubt, to hear from
some one in the cabin. "Turn to, lads," said Mr. Gale, briskly. "Bear a
hand, and get up that small kedge for'ard."

"Who give them orders, sir, begging your pardon for being curious?"
said Lucas. "Did Cap'n Barclay or Cap'n Nelson?"

"Cap'n Nelson," replied the mate. "Cap'n Barclay ain't fit to command
now."

"No more was he ever fit to command, sir!" said Lucas, who was speaking
for all of the men. "But, asking your pardon again, sir, I'd just like
to have a peep at Cap'n Nelson, and see why he don't come up and give
his own orders, like the master of a ship had ought to do. You know
that he went into that cabin once and didn't come out again very soon,
don't you? We don't think as much of you, by no means, as we did before
you had a hand in that business."

The mate made no reply. He had set himself right with Frank, who was
perfectly satisfied that he was not to blame for anything that had
happened, and he would leave him to make the matter straight with the
men. He stepped aside to allow Lucas to pass, and the latter, running
down the companion-ladder, was amazed to find Frank acting the part of
Good Samaritan to one whom he had hitherto regarded as an enemy. He
opened his eyes wide at the sight, and Frank thought he was displeased.
"It's all time wasted, sir," said he.

"Well, we must do the very best we can for him," was Frank's reply.
"If he can only hold out till we fall in with some ship carrying a
surgeon, he will perhaps pull through all right."

"Did you give orders to have the ship worked off the bar, cap'n?" asked
the boatswain's mate.

"We want to get her off, don't we?" answered Frank. "She musn't lie
here and be pounded to pieces, as she will be if the wind rises."

Lucas went out of the cabin satisfied. He knew what ought to be done
as well as anybody, but he wanted to be sure that the orders came from
the right source. The men were satisfied too, and went to work to get
the ship out of her dangerous situation, while Frank kept busy with his
patient, although he believed, with Lucas, that his efforts to save the
captain's life would be useless. He had nothing to work with--no lint
or bandages, and no medicine to allay the fever. But the sequel proved
that Frank did not know what the old sailor meant by his remark. The
wounded skipper was threatened by another danger from which no one on
board the Tycoon but Frank could protect him--- the fury of the men he
had wronged.

At the end of two hours the Tycoon was in deep water and standing away
from the inhospitable Islands with all her canvas spread. Frank had
been equally successful with the work to which he had devoted himself,
and now the captain was in a sound sleep. While Frank stood watching
him, wondering; what was to be done when he awoke, since there were no
medicines aboard except calomel and salts, nothing to eat except coarse
ship's fare, and nothing to drink but the miserable stuff called tea
and coffee which the cook served up twice each day--while Frank was
thinking about this, and wishing he could get inside the Stranger's
pantry long enough to secure some of the delicacies he knew to be
stowed away there, he was aroused by a great hubbub which suddenly
arose on deck. He heard the stamping of feet and loud yells of triumph,
mingled with cries of, "Here's one of 'em. Pitch him overboard!" A
moment later the mate's voice was heard in tones of remonstrance, to
which some one replied: "If you don't go aft where you belong and mind
your own business, you'll go over too!"

Mr. Gale evidently thought that the man, whoever he was that said this,
was in earnest, for Frank heard him running along the deck, and saw his
pale face appear at the top of the companion ladder. "Come up, cap'n,"
he cried, in great excitement; "the men are going to throw Calamity
overboard!"

Frank lingered just long enough to slap his pockets, to make sure that
the pistols he had carried during the attack on the village were still
there, and then went up the stairs in three jumps. He saw a group of
men in the waist, who were pushing and crowding one another about, and
caught just one glimpse of the pale face of Gardner, who was in the
midst of them, and resisting to the utmost the efforts that were being
made to drag him to the side. He saw at a glance that Boson and Tully
were the ringleaders, and the ones who had seized the frightened man;
and he was sorry to see, too, that Lucas and Barton were there and
making no effort to restrain their companions, although they took no
part in the proceeding. The peaceable Kanakas were standing in a body
on the forecastle and looking on in great amazement.

With three jumps more Frank was in the waist, standing between the men
and the rail, and Mr. Gale was at his side. "Lucas! Barton!" he cried,
"come over to this side the deck."

"Why, cap'n?" began Lucas.

"No words," interrupted Frank. "You and Barton come over to this side
of the deck, and be quick about it."

The sailors obeyed, and the change in their positions seemed to make a
corresponding change in their feelings, for the next order Frank gave
was responded to without an instant's hesitation. "Lucas, take hold
of Boson. Barton, grab Tully and drag him away. Gardner, go into the
cabin!"

It was wonderful how quickly and easily one calm, determined spirit
controlled those angry men. The trouble was ended at once. Boson let
go his hold and slunk away at the sight of Lucas's big fist, which was
brandished before his eyes, and Tully was equally active in giving
ground before the broad-shouldered Barton. Gardner, finding himself at
liberty, went down the companion-ladder like a flash, banging the door
behind him.

"I am surprised at you, men," said Frank, sternly, and there was not
one among them who could look him in the eye. "If you had succeeded in
accomplishing your object, what would you have said for yourselves when
you got ashore? Boson, you are the largest and strongest man in the
crew. Take your stand at the top of that ladder and knock the first one
down who attempts to go into the cabin without Mr. Gale's permission."

This stroke of policy on Frank's part won him a fast friend on the
spot--one who might otherwise have been an enemy, and kept the crew
in a constant uproar. He was a turbulent fellow, this Boson, and one
of the few sailors Frank had met who seemed to need a handspike or
belaying-pin over his head about once a day to keep him in order. His
appearance was enough to frighten some men, and was a good index of his
character. He had a most repulsive countenance, a small bullet-shaped
head, always kept closely cropped and set on a thick, muscular neck,
and a form betokening immense physical power. And indeed he possessed
it. He could handle an eighteen-foot oar as if it were a feather, and
when he laid out his strength, he fairly made things snap. His whole
body was seamed and scarred by wounds he had received in fights and
from the officers he had sailed under, and Frank had seen him knocked
flat with a handspike which seemed to make no more impression on his
thick skull than it would on the mast. This was the man of whom Frank
had been wise enough to make a friend.

Boson looked at him in amazement, evidently at a loss to decide whether
Frank was in earnest or not; but making up his mind at last that he
was, he marched off, and taking the position assigned him, looked
defiantly at the crew, as if daring them to come on.

Frank was surprised at the ease with which the disturbance had been
quelled, and so was Mr. Gale. It leaked out afterward that the
former's prompt action had prevented serious trouble. Lucas made no
idle threat when he said that the captain and Calamity were both to
go overboard. The latter had been hiding in the hold among the oil
barrels. He went there when he saw the natives approaching to make
their attack on the ship, and no one missed him until the fight was
over, and the sailors began to look around to see how many they had
lost. Not finding Calamity among the slain, they concluded that he had
either jumped overboard, or been wounded and thrown over; but he had
been safely concealed in the hold all the while. Finding at last that
the ship was in motion, he came out of his hiding-place to see what
was going on, and must have been astonished at the reception extended
to him. After he had been disposed of, the skipper's turn was to come
next. The desperate men counted on meeting with opposition and perhaps
resistance from Mr. Gale and Frank, but expected to overcome it very
easily. They knew Mr. Gale, but found they did not know Frank. Had the
latter been as easily cowed as the third mate was, something certainly
would have happened.

Quiet being restored, Mr. Gale and Frank walked aft together, and the
crew seeing them in earnest conversation, leaned over the rail and
waited to learn what would come next. "I suppose the first business is
to decide who we want for officers," said Frank.

"I suppose so, sir," replied Mr. Gale.

"You are entitled to the captain's berth, of course. That's settled."

"No it ain't, sir," returned the mate, quickly. "This is the first
voyage I ever made as an officer, and I know no more about navigation
than I do about the moon."

"Then let me act as your sailing-master."

"The men won't agree to it, sir. They said so."

Then the mate went on to repeat the conversation that had taken place
between Lucas, Barton and himself, at which Frank laughed heartily.
"Why they are very much mistaken," said he. "The largest sailing
vessel I ever commanded was a pleasure yacht."

"No odds, sir. They've got it in their heads that you must command them
now that the old man is done for, and there'll be a row if you don't.
You have seen what they are when they get started."

"Then I'll tell you what we'll do," said Frank, after thinking a
moment. "We'll leave it to them; and after they have selected their
officers we'll draw up a paper containing a full history of everything
that has happened since leaving Honolulu, and ask them to sign it.
These matters must be looked into by the consul, and we want to be all
right in law, you know."

In accordance with this suggestion, the mate mustered the men on the
quarter-deck and made them a little speech. He told them that there
must be somebody at the head of affairs, and that as the officers were
all gone except himself, others must be selected. In the first place
they must all agree to be bound by the decision of the majority, and
faithfully promise to obey those placed over them.

"We'll all obey Cap'n Nelson," exclaimed Boson, before the mate was
fairly done speaking.

"Yes, Cap'n Nelson! Cap'n Nelson!" cried a chorus of hoarse voices.
"Nobody else!"

There was not a dissenting voice; so Frank could no longer refuse to
accept the responsibility. He was amused to see that Lucas and Barton,
while supporting Boson's nomination, looked savagely at him, as if they
would have been glad to knock him down for speaking in such a hurry.
They wanted to bring Frank forward themselves.

"Cap'n Nelson, I give place to you, sir," said Mr. Gale.

The men greeted the young commander with cheers as he stepped forward,
no doubt expecting him to make them a speech; but Frank did nothing of
the kind. He told them that the next business was to select a first
mate, and at his suggestion Mr. Gale was chosen by a unanimous vote.
Lucas was put in for second, and Boson, who was a fine sailor, if
he was a quarrelsome fellow, for third mate; and when the men were
dismissed every one of them seemed satisfied.

[Illustration: FRANK CHOSEN CAPTAIN OF THE TYCOON.]

Frank at once went below to look at his patient, leaving Mr. Gale in
charge of the deck. The captain lay with his eyes closed, rolling his
head from side to side, and Calamity was fanning him with his hat. The
latter started up in alarm as Frank entered.

"It is no one who is going to harm you," said he. "I hope you see now
what you have brought upon yourself by your way of doing business. Let
it be a lesson to you."

"I shall never dare to go into the forecastle again," whined Calamity.

"You needn't go in there. You will stay here as the captain's nurse."

This order seemed to relieve the frightened man. Through the open
skylights he had heard all that passed on deck, and he was afraid that
Frank, having the authority to do so, would order him to go forward
where he belonged.

Frank slept but little that night. The responsibilities of his new
position weighed on his mind, and he came on deck every hour to see
that things were going straight. The first real duty he performed as
captain was to ascertain whereabouts in the wide world the ship was,
and this he did the next day by an observation. She was directly in
the track of vessels bound from Australia to the Pacific ports of the
United States, and he decided to cruise about for a few days in the
hope of meeting some ship that carried a surgeon. Without medical
assistance he was afraid that the captain might not live until the ship
reached Honolulu, which, according to his calculations, was more than
fifteen hundred miles distant.

The observation made, dinner over and the table cleared away, Frank
busied himself for an hour or two in drawing up papers for the men
to sign; and when that was done, he took a few minutes to think over
the various incidents that had operated to place him in his present
position. The most exacting old sea-dog could hardly have found
fault with the way affairs were going now. The weather-side of the
quarter-deck was reserved for the captain, who for an hour paced up and
down there with his hands behind his back, and as free from intrusion
as a monarch on his throne. The officers were alert and watchful, the
crew seemed to have settled down to the new order of things as if they
had been accustomed to them all their lives, and never in her best days
under her old commander had the Tycoon looked more ship-shape. Frank
wished the crew had put Mr. Gale in his place, and left him to act
as sailing-master; but since they had seen fit to do differently, he
would perform his duty as best he could. He knew every rope and sail
in the ship, was possessed of excellent judgment, which was the one
great thing needed, and the captain's sextant came as handy to him as
a fishing-rod or double-barrel; so he was not so very unfit for the
position he held after all. How Archie and the rest of the friends he
had left on the Stranger would open their eyes if they could see him in
that dress and know that he was the master of that fine ship! For the
first time in a long while Frank allowed his thoughts to wander back to
them, and the consequence was he became homesick. Yes, homesick; for
the cabin of the Stranger had been his home for almost eight months,
and had he kept out of the way of the bogus captain, it might have been
his home yet. Where was the schooner now, and what were those aboard
of her doing? Perhaps she was sailing about over the Pacific in search
of the Tycoon! This thought aroused Frank from his reverie, and caused
him to straighten up and look about as if he expected to see something.
If the Stranger followed the Tycoon to the Sandwich Islands, would not
Uncle Dick ascertain when he got there that she had shipped a crew and
started for the Japan station? And would he not sail again immediately
and try to find her?

"Sail ho!" shouted the man at the mast-head. "Where away?" demanded the
captain, greatly excited.

"Two points off the lee bow, sir. Steamer."

"Dear me! why did he say steamer?" thought Frank. "I'd rather he'd have
said topsail schooner."

No doubt he would, especially if the schooner proved to be the
Stranger. Still he was glad to know that there was a steamer near,
for he would be relieved of one cause of anxiety if he could only
intercept her. He would bring her doctor aboard, and perhaps he could
do something for the captain.



CHAPTER XVI.

CONCLUSION.


Frank went aloft with his glass, and after watching the steamer for a
few minutes made up his mind that if he held on his way she would cross
his path at such a distance that he could not speak her; so he altered
the Tycoon's course a few points, and for several miles ran almost
parallel with the approaching craft. This manœuvre was successful, and
by sunset the two vessels were within hailing distance. After seeing
one of the boats cleared for lowering and the crew ready to tumble into
her, Frank came to while the steamer was yet a half a mile away; and
this attracting the attention of her captain, he ran under a slow bell
until within speaking distance, when he stopped his engines. His vessel
was a fine large mail steamer, and her promenade deck was crowded with
passengers.

"Steamer ahoy!" yelled Frank, through his trumpet. "Will you wait for
me to send a boat aboard of you? We are in need of medical assistance."

A reply in the affirmative promptly came back, and five minutes
afterward a whale-boat, manned by a sturdy crew steered by Frank, was
pulling toward the steamer.

Up to this time Frank's mind was fully occupied with thoughts of the
wounded captain; but now it occurred to him that he was not in just
the right dress to present himself before a company of ladies and
gentlemen. Clothed in a red shirt, coarse trowsers, heavy boots, all
plentifully spattered with oil, a tarpaulin, which, although but a
short time out of the slop-chest, began to show signs of wear, and with
hands and face browned by exposure, he was not the most attractive
looking young man in the world, and he thought he looked worse when in
the presence of the dapper young officer who met him at the gangway.
The well-dressed people on deck gave him plenty of room as he walked
along, but the gray-headed captain came forward and greeted him
cordially. "What did you say you wanted, sir?" said he. "A doctor?"

"Yes, sir. There's a man aboard that ship in a critical condition. We
had some trouble with the natives at the Mangrove Islands, and he's
badly wounded."

A chorus of ejaculations and questions arose from the passengers who
crowded eagerly forward, and Frank could have told his story to a
most attentive and interested audience if he had only had time; but
the captain sent off at once for the surgeon, who made his appearance
before he was fairly begun. To him Frank described the nature of the
captain's injuries as well as he could, and when he had heard all Frank
could tell him, he provided himself with medicine and instruments, got
into the whale-boat and was taken on board the Tycoon. He remained
there nearly three hours--so long that some of the gentlemen among the
steamer's passengers became impatient at the delay, called on Frank
for a boat, and came off to see what the "blubber-hunter" looked like.
The young captain met them as they came over the side, and was amused
at the look of astonishment that settled on their faces when they found
themselves fairly on her deck.

"Why, if I had known that you kept your craft as neat as this, I should
have brought my wife and daughter along," said one of the gentlemen,
running his finger over the rail and closely examining it to make sure
that there was no oil on it. "I expected to find myself knee-deep in
grease. I have seen whalers come into port before now, and they were
such horrible looking things outside, that I supposed, they could not
be very tidy on deck."

"They are not always, sir," said Frank, "especially when they are
cutting in and trying out. They often spend eight months and more out
of sight of land, and the men are so busy with other work that they
can't find time to keep the ship as neat and trim as a merchantman or
man-of-war."

The visitors having satisfied themselves that they were in no danger
of soiling their good clothes, began to exhibit a lively interest in
what they saw about them. Frank showed them over the ship, explained
the use of the try-works, harpoons, lances and all the other implements
connected with a whaler's calling, and related the particulars of
the fight they had had with the natives at the Mangrove Islands; and
so engrossed did his listeners become that they were sorry when the
doctor came out of the cabin and announced that he was ready to depart.
He told Frank what he had done for the wounded man, and said that,
although he was so badly used up that it might take him some months to
fully recover from the effects of his injuries, there were no bones
broken, and his life was in no danger, if the remedies he left for him
were faithfully administered according to the directions he had given
the captain's attendant. The doctor and the passengers were then taken
on board their vessel by one of the whale-boats, and when it returned
and was hoisted at the davits, the Tycoon filled away for the Sandwich
Islands.

It was wonderful what a change the doctor's visit made in the wounded
man! He seemed to grow better immediately. Frank found him in earnest
conversation with Calamity. When it was ended the latter came out with
the request that Mr. Gale might be sent to the captain when he was off
duty, if Frank had no objection. Of course he had none. The first mate
was sent for at once, and remained in conversation with the captain for
more than an hour. When he came out he went straight to Frank, who was
pacing the quarter-deck. "How is he now?" asked the latter.

"O, he's all right that is, his tongue is as lively as ever. He wants
me to act as mediator between you and him."

"There is no occasion for it," answered Frank. "There are no hard
feelings on my part."

"I was sure of it, sir. Calamity has told him everything, and he would
be perfectly satisfied with the way matters have been arranged, if it
wasn't for the fear that you helped rescue him from the natives, and
brought the doctor off to save his life, so that you might have the
chance to take him before the court at Honolulu."

"Perhaps if he knew me better he would not have so poor an opinion of
me," returned Frank. "I don't deny that if I could have got him there
two days ago, I should have made trouble for him. Indeed I told him so
to his face. But that is all over now."

"He has been punished enough, hasn't he, sir?"

"I think he has. You may assure him for me, in the plainest language
you can command, that I shall not trouble him in any way. On the
contrary, I will do what I can to make him comfortable."

"I'll tell him, sir. He wanted me to ask two favors of you: one is,
that you will put him on board the first ship you meet bound for the
States. He's afraid of the men, sir. Calamity told him that they were
going to throw him overboard."

"He has nothing to fear from them, but I'll respect his wishes all the
same. What else does he want me to do?"

"He hopes that while you are looking out for a sail, you will keep
an eye open for whales and lose no chance for filling up. We stow
twenty-five hundred barrels, and here we have been out nearly seventeen
months and haven't taken a quarter of that quantity. It looks now as
though we were not going to make a paying voyage."

"I'll do the best I can," replied Frank.

And he did. The ship lay-to that night with only a boatsteerer's watch
on deck, and the next morning business began in earnest. A whale was
discovered before breakfast, and three boats in command of Mr. Gale,
Lucas and Boson were sent out after him, Frank remaining in charge
of the ship. The prize was secured without much trouble, and while
it was lying alongside, and the men, having prepared themselves for
work by eating a good breakfast, were about to begin the cutting in,
another was raised, and by three o'clock that also was alongside, and
the carpenter was at work on a stove boat. This whale fought hard, but
there was nobody hurt.

This was only the beginning. The blubber-room was never entirely
empty, and during the next three weeks four hundred barrels of oil were
added to those in the hold. Of course the labor was severe, the crew
being small, but the men had plenty to eat, were kindly treated and
the amount of work they turned off was surprising. Calamity kept the
captain posted in all that was going on, and he growled lustily--being
an old sailor he couldn't help it--and wondered why he had not been
blessed with such luck, and why the crew had not worked as well for him
as they did for the new captain.

One bright morning, following a hard night's work at trying-out, while
Frank was leaning over a water-bucket, rubbing his hands and face with
a piece of hard soap, the man at the mast-head announced that there was
a sail in sight, and in response to the usual inquiry, added: "Broad
off the wheather beam. Topsail schooner. Sets low in the water and
spreads lots of canvas."

"Do you hear that, Lucas?" cried Frank, gazing about through eyes that
were almost hidden in soap suds. "Jump up there, quick!"

The latter cleared his eyes by the aid of a piece of canvas that served
him for a towel, and watched the movements of the old boatswain's mate
as he hurried aloft. He saw him level his glass, hold it to his eye for
a moment and then begin to scramble down again. That was enough for
Frank. "Mr. Gale," said he, so delighted and excited, that he could
hardly stand still, "my connection with the Tycoon is nearly ended now.
My friends are close by."

"I am glad for your sake, sir, and sorry for my own," replied the mate.
"We've had a pleasant ship and the best of luck since you've been on
the quarter-deck."

"And I have been very well contented," said Frank; "but I wasn't while
I was in the forecastle, I tell you. It isn't often that a shanghaied
man becomes master of the ship that runs away with him, is it?"

"I never heard the like before, sir."

"And probably you never will again. Well, Lucas!"

"It's the Stranger, sir! I can tell her among a million!" replied the
second mate, no less delighted than his captain.

"Breakfast is on, sir," announced the steward.

Frank did not want any, but he made a show of eating nevertheless. He
drank a cup or two of a decoction of parched beans which the steward
called coffee, swallowed a few mouthfuls of salt horse and hard-tack,
and then hurried on deck to tell the officer on watch to see one of
the boats clear for lowering, and to have a crew, whom he mentioned by
name, ready to pull him off to the schooner. After that he gave his
black suit a good overhauling; but it had seen pretty hard service
before he drew any clothing from the slop-chest, and he decided that it
would not do to put on. Then he took a look at himself in the little
mirror that was screwed fast to one of the bulkheads in the cabin, and
told himself that Boson was a beauty compared to him.

"Well, what's the difference?" thought Frank. "If any of those boys had
been in my boots they would look just as rough and weather-beaten as I
do."

With this reflection to console him Frank hurried on deck again, and
taking the glass Lucas offered him, levelled it at the schooner, which
was now close aboard. Almost the first man he saw was Dick Lewis.
Frank's heart leaped at the sight of him. He had supposed that the two
trappers were safe in the mountains long before this time, but now he
would have a chance to shake them by the hand once more before he bade
them good-by for ever. He wondered how they had conquered their fears
sufficiently to venture out to sea. He saw Uncle Dick Gaylord and his
two officers on the quarter-deck, and the Club gathered in the waist,
every one of them with his field-glass in his hand.

"Of course they will recognise the ship, but they will never know me in
this dress," thought Frank. "And I don't think they'll be able to make
much out of my hail either."

Frank kept out of sight until the ship's main yard was backed and the
schooner thrown up into the wind; then he showed himself.

"What ship is that?" yelled a stentorian voice, that Frank could have
recognised anywhere.

"The whale ship Eli Coon, Hank Wilson master. Seventeen months out
of Nantucket and nine hundred barrels of oil in the hold. I think
that bothered them a little, Mr. Gale. I see they are talking very
earnestly. Is that crew ready? I'll send a boat aboard of you," he
added, hailing the schooner.

"Ay, ay, sir!" answered Uncle Dick, in a tone of voice which indicated
that he did not understand the matter at all.

Lucas, Barton, Boson and Tully, all good oarsmen, comprised the boat's
crew, and they were not long in taking their captain alongside the
schooner. Seeing that the Club and Uncle Dick kept their glasses
levelled at him, Frank drew his hat low over his forehead, and thanked
the wind for turning the collar of his shirt up around his ears. He
laughed to himself when he thought how amazed his friends would be
to see him in those clothes and learn that he was the captain of the
Tycoon--he who had been shanghaied and thrust into her forecastle to
do duty as a common sailor! He thought he could have some sport with
the schooner's company, and run no risk of being recognised. After
comparing his reckoning with Uncle Dick's, he would slap the boys on
the back and take all sorts of liberties with them, and see what they
would do about it. But Dick Lewis upset all these calculations in short
order. His sharp eyes penetrated Frank's disguise, and no sooner did
his head appear above the schooner's rail than he was hauled aboard,
lifted bodily from the deck and carried aft. He struggled hard to free
himself, but the trapper held him fast, and finally stood him on his
feet in front of Uncle Dick, just as he had done with the bogus captain.

"What do you mean?" demanded Frank, in a gruff voice. "If this is the
way you treat your visitors, sir, I'll go back where I belong!"

Uncle Dick stared at Frank, who tried to look angry, but his eyes
laughed in spite of himself. "Nelson!" he exclaimed, at a venture.

"That's jest who he are, cap'n," cried the trapper, bringing his heavy
hand down on Frank's shoulder with such force that he shook all over.
"Whiskers and all, that's him."

It was all out now, and Frank's little plan was exposed. Of course
a great hubbub arose at once, and Frank judged by the greeting he
received that his friends were just as glad to see him as he was to see
them. Lucas and Barton met with an equally cordial reception from their
friends in the forecastle, who were not a little surprised to find that
one of them had worked his way to the quarter-deck during his absence.

Frank had a long story to tell, and it took him a long time to tell it.
When it was ended, Uncle Dick and the Club had a good many questions to
ask, and it took a long time to answer them; so that the two vessels
remained alongside the greater part of the day. During that time boat's
crews were exchanged, some of the schooner's company going off to
visit the ship, and some of her crew coming back to visit the Stranger.

As soon as the conversation began to flag Frank spoke of the needs of
the wounded captain, asking for some of the good things with which the
Stranger was so amply provided; but Uncle Dick had something better
to propose. "Write an order to your mate to send him off here," said
he. "I have a medicine-chest, plenty of lint and bandages, and long
experience has made me a passable physician and surgeon. I can take
better care of him than you can, and perhaps he will feel easier when
he is out of reach of his men."

Frank was only too glad to accept this kind offer, for he knew that the
wounded man would be benefited by the change. He sent off an order to
Mr. Gale, and half an hour afterward Captain Barclay was comfortably
settled in the Stranger's cabin. He was delighted with his elegant
quarters, and repeatedly declared that he did not deserve the treatment
he received. If he was ever able to take the quarter-deck again he
would be a different man.

His story told and all questions asked and answered, the young captain
made ready to return to his ship. Of course all the boys went with
him. Frank warned them that he could not give them such food or such
quarters as they had on board the Stranger, but they didn't care for
that. They wanted to see the Tycoon, and they made Frank promise, over
and over again, that if the opportunity were offered, he would show
them the operation of catching a whale. The Club tried to induce the
trappers to go with them, but their entreaties and arguments fell on
deaf ears. Dick and Bob knew that the Stranger was a safe boat, but
they did not like to trust the Tycoon, and so thought it best to remain
where they were.

"Brace for'ard main yard," said Frank, when all the whaler's boats had
been hoisted at the davits. "Eugene, you said you couldn't understand
how it came that you reached the Sandwich Islands three days after we
did. Now I'll show you. Set studding sails, Mr. Gale."

Eugene very soon found out why it was. The Stranger was considered to
be remarkably swift for a small vessel, but the big Tycoon sailed two
miles to her one, and at daylight the next morning the schooner was out
of sight.

Frank being impatient to reach Honolulu, did not go out of his way to
find whales. According to promise he kept the mast-head manned, but
to no purpose. The boys watched and waited in the hope of hearing the
welcome cry, "There she blows!" but not a whale was to be seen. Mr.
Gale told them that the reason was because they offered no inducement.
It was the practice of whalers under such circumstances as these, he
said, to put up a prize of some kind to go to the man who discovered
the first spout. He had known a whale to rise in less than two minutes
after a pair of trowsers had been hung up in the rigging.

"O, if that's the trouble, we'll raise so many that you won't know
which to go after first," said Archie; "who's got any money?"

All the boys happened to have a little in their pockets, and by
clubbing together they raised sufficient to purchase one of the best
suits of clothing in the slop-chest--hat, boots and all--which was hung
up in plain view of the crew. But the offer of a dozen suits would not
have enabled the men to see whales where there were none, and Frank
took the ship into Honolulu without having the opportunity to gratify
his friends, who were greatly disappointed. The Stranger was not in
port, but she came shortly afterward, and by that time the Tycoon's
business was settled. She passed through the consul's hands, the crew
were paid off and discharged and a new captain assumed command and made
ready to take her to the States. As soon as the Stranger came in, Uncle
Dick's charge was carried to the hospital, and Frank never heard of him
afterward. He never heard of Mr. Gale either after he took leave of
him. The last time he saw him he was second mate of the Tycoon.

One incident happened on board the Stranger that is worth recording. It
was noticed that after Captain Barclay was brought on board, Dick Lewis
acted more like himself than he had done for many a day.

It was observed, too, that he often went through a most expressive
pantomime, which was easily understood by those who witnessed it. One
morning the captain came out of his cabin and found him standing at the
top of the companion ladder, where he had been often seen of late. "Why
do you hang around here so much?" asked Uncle Dick.

The trapper pushed his hat on the back of his head, shoved up his
sleeves until his brawny arms were bare to the elbow, spread out his
feet, placed his hands on his hips and looked at the captain. "When is
that mean varmint comin' up?" said he. "I owe him a leetle something,
an' I'm in an amazin' hurry to pay it!"

"Now, Lewis, you needn't worry about him," said Uncle Dick. "He's
having as much punishment as he can stand. Frank heaped hot coals of
fire on his head every day for three weeks, and I am following up the
same treatment."

"Sho!" exclaimed the trapper, looking doubtfully at Captain Gaylord.

"It is as true as gospel."

Dick could not refuse to believe it after so strong an affirmation as
this. He grinned all over with delight, and taking the sailor's sturdy
palm in his long, bony fingers, gave it a shake and a squeeze that made
the captain wince and lift one of his feet a little way from the deck.
Then Dick hurried off to find his chum.

"It's all right, Bob," said he, gleefully. "I didn't know civilized
folks done sich things, but the cap'n's scalpin' that feller in a way
the Injuns never thought of. He's pilin' fire on his head every day."

This piece of news, while it greatly surprised both the trappers,
afforded them the liveliest satisfaction. The kidnapper was being
fearfully punished for what he had done, and they told one another
that he deserved it. Dick did not hang around the cabin door any more,
but he kept his eyes open, and as he never saw any fire carried below,
he began to grow suspicious.

When the Stranger arrived in the port of Honolulu and he saw
preparations being made to take the captain ashore, he resolved to
investigate things a little, just to satisfy himself. Watching his
chance, while the wounded man was being carried across the deck to be
lowered into the boat, he dashed forward and lifted the hat from his
head. To his intense surprise and chagrin the captain's scalp was all
there, and his hair did not look as if it had ever been near a fire.
Knowing nothing of the Christian principle of returning good for evil,
the trapper supposed that Captain Gaylord had been piling literal coals
on his patient's head every day. It took Uncle Dick a long time to
explain things, and the backwoodsman never had as much faith in him
after that.

Having restored Frank to the society of his friends once more, we will
take leave of him for the present, promising to say more of him soon
in the concluding volume of this series, which will be entitled: "THE
BOY TRADERS; OR, THE SPORTSMAN'S CLUB AMONG THE BOERS."



      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber's note:

—Obvious errors were corrected.





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