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Homeward Bound by James Fenimore Cooper

Part 3 out of 10

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This characteristic explanation served to let the passengers understand
the real state of the case. No one remonstrated, for all preferred a race
to being taken; and even the Englishmen on board began again to take sides
with the vessel they were in, and this the more readily, as Captain Truck
freely admitted that their cruiser was too much for him on every tack but
the one he was about to try. Mr. Sharp hoped that they might now escape,
and as for Sir George Templemore, he generously repeated his offer to pay,
out of his own pocket, all the port-charges in any French, Spanish, or
Portuguese harbour, the master would enter, rather than see such an
outrage done a foreign vessel in a time of profound peace.

The expedient of Captain Truck proved his judgment, and his knowledge of
his profession. Within an hour it was apparent that, if there was any
essential difference in the sailing of the two ships under the present
circumstances, it was slightly in favour of the Montauk. The Foam now set
her ensign for the first time, a signal that she wished to speak the ship
in sight. At this Captain Truck chuckled, for he pronounced it a sign
that she was conscious she could not get them within range of her guns.

"Show him the gridiron," cried the captain, briskly; "it will not do to be
beaten in civility by a man who has beaten us already on so many other
tacks; but keep all fast as a church-door on a week-day."

This latter comparison was probably owing to the circumstance of the
master's having come from a part of the country where all the religion is
compressed into the twenty-four hours that commence on a Saturday-night at
sunset, and end at sunset the next day: at least, this was his own
explanation of the matter. The effect of success was always to make Mr.
Truck loquacious, and he now began to tell many excellent anecdotes, of
which he had stores, all of events that had happened to him in person, or
of which he had been an eye-witness; and on which his hearers, as Sancho
said, might so certainly depend as true, that, if they chose, they might
safely swear they had seen them themselves.

"Speaking of churches and doors, Sir George," he said, between the puffs
of the cigar, "were you ever in Rhode Island?"

"Never, as this is my first visit to America, captain."

"True; well, you will be likely to go there, if you go to Boston, as it is
the best way; unless you would prefer to run over Nantucket shoals, and a
hundred miles of ditto as Mr. Dodge calls it."

"_Ditter_, captain, if you please--_ditter_: it is the continental word
for round-about."

"The d---l it is! it is worth knowing, however. And what may be the
French for pee-jacket?"

"You mistake me, sir,--_ditter_, a circuit, or the longer way."

"That is the road we are now travelling, by George!--I say, Leach, do you
happen to know that we are making a ditter to America?"

"You were speaking of a church, Captain Truck," politely interposed Sir
George, who had become rather intimate with his fellow-occupant of the

"I was travelling through that state, a few years since, on my way from
Providence to New London, at a time when a new road had just been opened.
It was on a Sunday, and the stage--a four-horse power, you must know--had
never yet run through on the Lord's-day. Well, we might be, as it were,
off here at right angles to our course, and there was a short turn in the
road, as one would say, out yonder. As we hove in sight of the turn, I saw
a chap at the mast-head of a tree; down he slid, and away he went right
before it, towards a meeting-house two or three cables length down the
road. We followed at a smart jog, and just before we got the church abeam,
out poured the whole congregation, horse and foot, parson and idlers,
sinners and hypocrites, to see the four-horse power go past. Now this is
what I call keeping the church-door open on a Sunday."

We might have hesitated about recording this anecdote of the captain's,
had we not received an account of the same occurrence from a quarter that
left no doubt that his version of the affair was substantially correct.
This and a few similar adventures, some of which he invented, and all of
which he swore were literal, enabled the worthy master to keep the
quarter-deck in good humour, while the ship was running at the rate of ten
knots the hour in a line so far diverging from her true course. But the
relief to landsmen is so great, in general, in meeting with a fair wind at
sea, that few are disposed to quarrel with its consequences. A bright day,
a steady ship, the pleasure of motion as they raced with the combing seas,
and the interest of the chase, set every one at ease; and even Steadfast
Dodge was less devoured with envy, a jealousy of his own deservings, and
the desire of management, than usual. Not an introduction occurred, and
yet the little world of the ship got to be better acquainted with each
other in the course of that day, than would have happened in months of the
usual collision on land.

The Montauk continued to gain on her pursuer until the sun set, when
Captain Truck began once more to cast about him for the chances of the
night. He knew that the ship was running into the mouth of the Bay of
Biscay, or at least was fast approaching it, and he bethought him of the
means of getting to the westward. The night promised to be anything but
dark, for though a good many wild-looking clouds were by this time
scudding athwart the heavens, the moon diffused a sort of twilight gleam
in the air. Waiting patiently, however, until the middle-watch was again
called, he reduced, sail, and hauled the ship off to a south-west course,
hoping by this slight change insensibly to gain an offing before the Foam
was aware of it; a scheme that he thought more likely to be successful, as
by dint of sheer driving throughout the day, he had actually caused the
courses of that vessel to dip before the night shut in.

Even the most vigilant become weary of watching, and Captain Truck was
unpleasantly disturbed next morning by an alarm that the Foam was just out
of gun-shot, coming up with them fast. On gaining the deck, he found the
fact indisputable. Favoured by the change in the course, the cruiser had
been gradually gaining on the Montauk ever since the first watch was
relieved, and had indeed lessened the distance between the respective
ships by two-thirds. No remedy remained but to try the old expedient of
getting the wind over the taffrail once more, and of showing all the
canvas that could be spread. As like causes are known to produce like
effects, the expedient brought about the old results. The packet had the
best of it, and the sloop-of-war slowly fell astern. Mr. Truck now
declared he would make a "regular business of it," and accordingly he
drove his ship in that direction throughout the day, the following night,
and until near noon of the day which succeeded, varying his course
slightly to suit the wind, which he studiously kept so near aft as to
allow the studding-sails to draw on both sides. At meridian, on the fourth
day out, the captain got a good observation, and ascertained that the ship
was in the latitude of Oporto, with an offing of less than a degree. At
this time the top-gallant sails of the Foam might be discovered from the
deck, resembling a boat clinging to the watery horizon. As he had fully
made up his mind to run into port in preference to being overhauled, the
master had kept so near the land, with an intention of profiting by his
position, in the event of any change favouring his pursuers; but he now
believed that at sunset he should be safe in finally shaping his course
for America.

"There must be double-fortified eyes aboard that fellow to see what we are
about at this distance, when the night is once shut in," he said to Mr.
Leach, who seconded all his orders with obedient zeal, "and we will watch
our moment to slip out fairly into the great prairie, and then we shall
discover who best knows the trail! You'll be for trotting off to the
prairies, Sir George, as soon as we get in, and for trying your hand at
the buffaloes, like all the rest of them. Ten years since, if an
Englishman came to look at us, he was afraid of being scalped in Broadway
and now he is never satisfied unless he is astraddle of the Rocky
Mountains in the first fortnight. I take over lots of cockney-hunters
every summer, who just get a shot at a grizzly bear or two, or at an
antelope, and come back in time for the opening of Drury Lane."

"Should we not be more certain of accomplishing your plans, by seeking
refuge in Lisbon for a day or two? I confess now I should like to see
Lisbon, and as for the port-charges, I would rather pay them twice, than
that this poor man should be torn from his wife. On this point I hope,
Captain Truck, I have made myself sufficiently explicit."

Captain Truck shook the baronet heartily by the hand, as he always did
when this offer was renewed, declaring that his feelings did him honour.

"Never fear for Davis," he said. "Old Grab shall not have him this tack,
nor the Foam neither. I'll throw him overboard before such a disgrace
befall us or him. Well, this leech has driven us from the old road, and
nothing now remains but to make the southern passage, unless the wind
prevail at south."

The Montauk, in truth, had not much varied from a course that was once
greatly in favour with the London ships, Lisbon and New York being nearly
in the same parallel of latitude, and the currents, if properly improved,
often favouring the run. It is true, the Montauk had kept closer in with
the continent by a long distance than was usual, even for the passage he
had named; but the peculiar circumstances of the chase had left no
alternative, as the master explained to his listeners.

"It was a coasting voyage, or a tow back to Portsmouth, Sir George," he
said, "and of the two, I know you like the Montauk too well to wish to be
quit of her so soon."

To this the baronet gave a willing assent, protesting that his feelings
had got so much enlisted on the side of the vessel he was in, that he
would cheerfully forfeit a thousand pounds rather than be overtaken. The
master assured him that was just what he liked, and swore that he was the
sort of passenger he most delighted in.

"When a man puts his foot on the deck of a ship, Sir George, he should
look upon her as his home, his church, his wife and children, his uncles
and aunts, and all the other lumber ashore. This is the sentiment to make
seamen. Now, I entertain a greater regard for the shortest ropeyarn aboard
this ship, than for the topsail-sheets or best bower of any other vessel.
It is like a man's loving his own finger, or toe, before another person's.
I have heard it said that one should love his neighbour as well as
himself; but for my part I love my ship better than my neighbour's, or my
neighbour himself; and I fancy, if the truth were known, my neighbour pays
me back in the same coin! For my part, I like a thing because it is mine."

A little before dark the head of the Montauk was inclined towards Lisbon,
as if her intention was to run in, but the moment the dark spot that
pointed out the position of the Foam was lost in the haze of the horizon,
Captain Truck gave the order to "_ware_" and sail was made to the

Most of the passengers felt an intense curiosity to know the state of
things on the following morning, and all the men among them were dressed
and on deck just as the day began to break. The wind had been fresh and
steady all night, and as the ship had been kept with, her yards a little
checked, and topmast studding-sails set, the officers reported her to be
at least a hundred miles to the westward of the spot where she veered. The
reader will imagine the disappointment the latter experienced, then, when
they beheld the Foam a little on their weather-quarter, edging away for
them as assiduously as she had been hauling up for them, the night they
sailed from Portsmouth, distant little more than a league!

"This is indeed extraordinary perseverance," said Paul Blunt to Eve, at
whose side he was standing at the moment the fact was ascertained, "and I
think our captain might do well to heave-to and ascertain its cause."

"I hope not," cried his companion with vivacity. I confess to an _esprit
de corps_, and a gallant determination to 'see it out,' as Mr. Leach
styles his own resolution. One does not like to be followed about the
ocean in this manner, unless it be for the interest it gives the voyage.
After all, how much better is this than dull solitude, and what a zest it
gives to the monotony of the ocean!"

"Do you then find the ocean a scene of monotony?"

"Such it has oftener appeared to me than anything else, and I give it a
fair trial, having never _le mal de mer_. But I acquit it of this sin now;
for the interest of a chase, in reasonably good weather, is quite equal to
that of a horse-race, which is a thing I delight in. Even Mr. John
Effingham can look radiant under its excitement."

"And when this is the case, he is singularly handsome; a nobler outline of
face is seldom seen than that of Mr. John Effingham."

"He has a noble outline of soul, if he did but know it himself," returned
Eve, warmly: "I love no one as much as he, with the exception of my
father, and as Mademoiselle Viefville would say, _pour cause_."

The young man could have listened all day, but Eve smiled, bowed
graciously, though with a glistening eye, and hastily left the deck,
conscious of having betrayed some of her most cherished feelings to one
who had no claim to share them.

Captain Truck, while vexed to his heart's core, or, as he expressed it
himself, "struck aback, like an old lady shot off a hand-sled in sliding
down hill," was prompt in applying the old remedy to the evil. The Montauk
was again put before the wind, sail was made, and the fortunes of the
chase were once more cast on the "play of the ship."

The commander of the Foam certainly deprecated this change, for it was
hardly made before he set his ensign, and fired a gun. But of these
signals no other notice was taken than to show a flag in return, when the
captain and his mates proceeded to get the bearings of the sloop-of-war.
Ten minutes showed they were gaining; twenty did better and in an hour she
was well on the quarter.

Another day of strife succeeded, or rather of pure sailing, for not a
rope was started on board the Montauk, the wind still standing fresh and
steady. The sloop made many signals, all indicating a desire to speak the
Montauk, but Captain Truck declared himself too experienced a navigator to
be caught by bunting, and in too great a hurry to stop and chat by
the way.

"Vattel had laid down no law for such a piece of complaisance, in a time
of profound peace. I am not to be caught by that category."

The result may be anticipated from what has been already related. The two
ships kept before the wind until the Foam was again far astern, and the
observations of Captain Truck told him, he was as far south as the Azores.
In one of these islands he was determined to take refuge, provided he was
not favoured by accident, for going farther south was out of the question,
unless absolutely driven to it. Calculating his distance, on the evening
of the sixth day out, he found that he might reach an anchorage at Pico,
before the sloop-of-war could close with him, even allowing the necessity
of hauling up again by the wind.

But Providence had ordered differently. Towards midnight, the breeze
almost failed and became baffling, and when the day dawned the officer of
the watch reported that it was ahead. The pursuing ship, though still in
sight, was luckily so far astern and to leeward as to prevent any danger
from a visit by boats, and there was leisure to make the preparations that
might become necessary on the springing up of a new breeze. Of the speedy
occurrence of such a change there was now every symptom, the heavens
lighting up at the north-west, a quarter from which the genius of the
storms mostly delights in making a display of his power.

Chapter X

I come with mightier things;
Who calls mo silent? I have many tones--
The dark sky thrills with low mysterious moans,
Borne on my sweeping winds.


The awaking of the winds on the ocean is frequently attended with signs
and portents as sublime as any the fancy can conceive. On the present
occasion, the breeze that had prevailed so steadily for a week was
succeeded by light baffling puffs, as if, conscious of the mighty powers
of the air that were assembling in their strength, these inferior blasts
were hurrying to and fro for a refuge. The clouds, too, were whirling
about in uncertain eddies, many of the heaviest and darkest descending so
low along the horizon, that they had an appearance of settling on the
waters in quest of repose. But the waters themselves were unnaturally
agitated. The billows, no longer following each other in long regular
waves, were careering upwards, like fiery coursers suddenly checked in
their mad career. The usual order of the eternally unquiet ocean was lost
in a species of chaotic tossings of the element, the seas heaving
themselves upward, without order, and frequently without visible cause.
This was the reaction of the currents, and of the influence of breezes
still older than the last. Not the least fearful symptom of the hour was
the terrific calmness of the air amid such a scene of menacing wildness.
Even the ship came into the picture to aid the impression of intense
expectation; for with her canvas reduced, she, too, seemed to have lost
that instinct which had so lately guided her along the trackless waste,
and was "wallowing," nearly helpless, among the confused waters. Still she
was a beautiful and a grand object, perhaps more so at that moment than at
any other; for her vast and naked spars, her well-supported masts, and all
the ingenious and complicated hamper of the machine, gave her a
resemblance to some sinewy and gigantic gladiator, pacing the arena, in
waiting for the conflict that was at hand.

"This is an extraordinary scene," said Eve, who clung to her father's arm,
as she gazed around her equally in admiration and in awe; "a dreadful
exhibition of the sublimity of nature!"

"Although accustomed to the sea," returned Mr. Blunt, "I have witnessed
these ominous changes but twice before, and I think this the grandest of
them all."

"Were the others followed by tempests?" inquired the anxious parent.

"One brought a tremendous gale, while the other passed away like a
misfortune of which we get a near view, but are permitted to escape
the effects."

"I do not know that I wish such to be entirely our present fortune,"
rejoined Eve, "for there is so much sublimity in this view of the ocean
unaroused, that I feel desirous of seeing it when aroused."

"We are not in the hurricane latitudes, or hurricane months," resumed the
young man, "and it is not probable that there is anything more in reserve
for us than a hearty gale of wind, which may, at least, help us to get rid
of yonder troublesome follower."

"Even that I do not wish, provided he will let us continue the race on our
proper route. A chase across the Atlantic would be something to enjoy at
the moment, gentlemen, and something to talk of in after life."

"I wonder if such a thing be possible!" exclaimed Mr. Sharp; "it would
indeed be an incident to recount to another generation!"

"There is little probability of our witnessing such an exploit," Mr. Blunt
remarked, "for gales of wind on the ocean have the same separating
influence on consorts of the sea, that domestic gales have on consorts of
the land. Nothing is more difficult than to keep ships and fleets in sight
of each other in very heavy weather, unless, indeed, those of the best
qualities are disposed to humour those of the worst."

"I know not which may be called the best, or which the worst, in this
instance, for our tormentor appears to be as much better than ourselves in
some particulars, as we are better than he in others. If the humouring is
to come from our honest captain, it will be some such humouring as the
spoiled child gets from a capricious parent in moments o anger."

Mr. Truck passed the group at that instant, and heard his name coupled
with the word honest, in the mouth of Eve, though he lost the rest of
the sentence.

"Thank you for the compliment, my dear young lady," he said; "and I wish I
could persuade Captain Somebody, of his Britannic Majesty's ship Foam, to
be of the same way of thinking. It is all because he will not fancy me
honest in the article of tobacco, that he has got the Montauk down here,
on the Spanish coast, where the man who built her would not know her; so
unnatural and unseemly is it to catch a London liner so far out of her
track. I shall have to use double care to get the good craft home again."

"And why this particular difficulty, captain?" Eve, who was amused with
Mr. Truck's modes of speech, pleasantly inquired. "Is it not equally easy
to go from one part of the ocean, as from another?"

"Equally easy! Bless you, my dear young lady, you never made a more
capital mistake in your life. Do you imagine it is as easy to go from
London to New York, now, as to go from New York to London?"

"I am so ignorant as to have made this ridiculous mistake, if mistake it
be; nor do I now see why it should be otherwise."

"Simply because it is up-hill, ma'am. As for our position here to the
eastward of the Azores; the difficulty is soon explained. By dint of
coaxing I had got the good old ship so as to know every inch of the road
on the northern passage, and now I shall be obliged to wheedle her along
on a new route, like a shy horse getting through a new stable-door. One
might as well think of driving a pig from his sty, as to get a ship out of
her track."

"We trust to you to do all this and much more at need. But to what will
these grand omens lead? Shall we have a gale, or is so much magnificent
menacing to be taken as an empty threat of Nature's?"

"That we shall know in the coarse of the day, Miss Effingham, though
Nature is no bully, and seldom threatens in vain. There is nothing more
curious to study, or which needs a nicer eye to detect, than your winds."

"Of the latter I am fully persuaded, captain, for they are called the
'viewless winds,' you will remember, and the greatest authority we
possess, speaks of them as being quite beyond the knowledge of man: 'That
we may hear the sound of the wind, but cannot tell whence it cometh, or
whither it goeth.'"

"I do not remember the writer you mean, my dear young lady," returned Mr.
Truck, quite innocently; "but he was a sensible fellow, for I believe
Vattel has never yet dared to grapple with the winds. There are people who
fancy the weather is foretold in the almanack; but, according to my
opinion, it is safer to trust a rheumatis' of two or three years'
standing. A good, well-established, old-fashioned rheumatis'--I say
nothing of your new-fangled diseases, like the cholera, and varioloid, and
animal magnitudes--but a good old-fashioned rheumatis', such as people
used to have when I was a boy, is as certain a barometer as that which is
at this moment hanging up in the coach-house here, within two fathoms of
the very spot where we are standing. I once had a rheumatis' that I set
much store by, for it would let me know when to look out for easterly
weather, quite as infallibly as any instrument I ever sailed with. I never
told you the story of the old Connecticut horse-jockey, and the typhoon, I
believe; and as we are doing nothing but waiting for the weather to make
up its mind--"

"The weather to make up its mind!" exclaimed Eve, looking around her in
awe at the sublime and terrific grandeur of the ocean, of the heavens, and
of the pent and moody air; "is there an uncertainty in this?"

"Lord bless you! my dear young lady, the weather is often as uncertain,
and as undecided, and as hard to please, too, as an old girl who gets
sudden offers on the same day from a widower with ten children, an
attorney with one leg, and the parson of the parish. Uncertain, indeed!
Why I have known the weather in this grandiloquent condition for a whole
day. Mr. Dodge, there, will tell you it is making up its mind which way it
ought to blow, to be popular; so, as we have nothing better to do, Mr.
Effingham, I will tell you the story about my neighbour, the
horse-jockey. Hauling yards when there is no wind, is like playing on a
Jew's-Harp, at a concert of trombones."

Mr. Effingham made a complaisant sign of assent, and pressed the arm of
the excited Eve for patience.

"You must know, gentlemen," the captain commenced, looking round to
collect as many listeners as possible,--for he excessively disliked
lecturing to small audiences, when he had anything to say that he thought
particularly clever,--"you must know that we had formerly many craft
that went between the river and the islands--"

--"The river?" interrupted the amused Mr. Sharp.

"Certain; the Connecticut, I mean; we all call it the river down our
way--between the river and the West Indies, with horses, cattle, and
other knick-knacks of that description. Among others was old Joe Bunk, who
had followed the trade in a high-decked brig for some twenty-three years,
he and the brig having grown old in company, like man and wife. About
forty years since, our river ladies began to be tired of their bohea, and
as there was a good deal said in favour of souchong in those days, an
excitement was got up on the subject, as Mr. Dodge calls it, and it was
determined to make an experiment in the new quality, before they dipped
fairly into the trade. Well, what do you suppose was done in the premises,
as Vattel says, my dear young lady?"

Eve's eyes were still on the grand and portentous aspect of the heavens,
but she civilly answered,

"No doubt they sent to a shop and purchased a sample."

"Not they; they knew too much for that, since any rogue of a grocer might
cheat them. When the excitement had got a little headway on it, they
formed a tea society, with the parson's wife for presidentess, and her
oldest daughter for secretary. In this way they went to work, until the
men got into the fever too, and a project was set a-foot to send a craft
to China for a sample of what they wanted."

"China!" exclaimed Eve, this time looking the captain fairly in the face.

"China, certain; it lies off hereaway, you know, round on the other side
of the earth. Well, whom should they choose to go on the errand but old
Joe Bunk. The old man had been so often to the islands and back, without
knowing anything of navigation, they thought he was just their man, as
there was no such thing as losing him."

"One would think he was the very man to get lost," observed Mr. Effingham,
while the captain fitted a fresh cigar; for smoke he would, and did, in
any company, that was out of the cabin, although he always professed a
readiness to cease, if any person disliked the fragrance of tobacco.

"Not he, sir; he was just as well off in the Indian Ocean as he would be
here, for he knew nothing about, either. Well, Joe fitted up the brig; the
Seven Dollies was her name; for you must, know we had seven ladies in the
town, who were cally Dolly, and they each of them used to send a colt, or
a steer, or some other delicate article to the islands by Joe, whenever he
went; so he fitted up the Seven Dollies, hoisted in his dollars, and made
sail. The last that was seen or heard of the old man for eight months, was
off Montauk, where he was fallen in with, two days out, steering
south-easterly, by compass."

"I should think," observed John Effingham, who began to arouse himself as
the story proceeded, "that Mrs. Bunk must have been very uneasy all
this time?"

"Not she; she stuck to the bohea in hopes the souchong would arrive before
the restoration of the Jews. Arrive it did, sure enough, at the end of
eight months, and a capital adventure it proved for all concerned. Old Joe
got a great name in the river for the exploit, though how he got to China
no one could say, or how he got back again; or, for a long time, how he
got the huge heavy silver tea-pot, he brought home with him."

"A silver tea-pot?"

"Exactly that article. At last the truth came to be known; for it is not
an easy matter to hide anything of that nature down our way; it is
aristocratic, as Mr. Dodge says, to keep a secret. At first they tried Joe
with all sorts of questions, but he gave them 'guess' for 'guess.' Then
people began to talk, and finally it was fairly whispered that the old man
had stolen the tea-pot. This brought him before the meeting.--Law was out
of the question, you will understand, as there was no evidence; but the
meeting don't stick much at particulars, provided people talk a
good deal."

"And the result?" asked John Effingham, "I suppose the parish took the
tea-pot and left Joe the grounds."

"You are as far out of the way as we are here, down on the coast of Spain!
The truth is just this. The Seven Dollies was lying among the rest of
them, at anchor, below Canton, with the weather as fine as young girls
love to see it in May, when Joe began to get down his yards, to house his
masts, and to send out all his spare anchors. He even went so far as to
get two hawsers fastened to a junk that had grounded a little ahead of
him. This made a talk among the captains of the vessels, and some came on
board to ask the reason. Joe told them he was getting ready for the
typhoon; but when they inquired his reasons for believing there was to be
a typhoon at all, Joe looked solemn, shook his head, and said he had
reasons enough, but they were his own. Had he been explicit, he would have
been laughed at, but the sight of an old grey-headed man, who had been at
sea forty years, getting ready in this serious manner, set the others at
work too; for ships follow each other's movements, like sheep running
through a breach in the fence. Well, that night the typhoon came in
earnest, and it blew so hard, that Joe Bunk said he could see the houses
in the moon, all the air having blown out of the atmosphere."

"But what has this to do with the tea-pot, Captain Truck?"

"It is the life and soul of it. The captains in port were so delighted
with Joe's foreknowledge, that they clubbed, and presented him this pot as
a testimony of their gratitude and esteem. He'd got to be popular among
them, Mr. Dodge, and that was the way they proved it."

"But, pray, how did he know the storm was approaching?" asked Eve, whose
curiosity had been awakened in spite of herself. "It could not have been
that his 'foreknowledge' was supernatural."

"That no one can say, for Joe was presbyterian-built, as we say,
kettle-bottomed, and stowed well. The truth was not discovered until ten
years afterwards, when the old fellow got to be a regular cripple, what
between rheumatis', old age, and steaming. One day he had an attack of
the first complaint, and in one of its most severe paroxysms, when nature
is apt to wince, he roared three times, 'a typhoon! a typhoon! a typhoon!'
and the murder was out. Sure enough, the next day we had a regular
north-easter; but old Joe got no sign of popularity that time. And now,
when you get to America, gentlemen and ladies, you will be able to say you
have heard the story of Joe Bunk and his tea-pot."

Thereupon Captain Truck took two or three hearty whiffs of the cigar,
turned his face upwards, and permitted the smoke to issue forth in a
continued stream until it was exhausted, but still keeping his head raised
in the inconvenient position it had taken. The eye of the master, fastened
in this manner on something aloft, was certain to draw other eyes in the
same direction, and in a few seconds all around him were gazing in the
same way, though none but himself could tell why.

"Turn up the watch below, Mr. Leach," Captain Truck at length called out,
and Eve observed that he threw away the cigar, although a fresh one; a
proof, as she fancied, that he was preparing for duty.

The people were soon at their places, and an effort was made to get the
ship's head round to the southward. Although the frightful stillness of
the atmosphere rendered the manoeuvre difficult, it succeeded in the end,
by profiting by the passing and fitful currents, that resembled so many
sighings of the air. The men were then sent on the yards, to furl all the
canvas, with the exception of the three topsails and the fore-course, most
of it having been merely hauled up to await the result. All those who had
ever been at sea before, saw in these preparations proof that Captain
Truck expected the change would be sudden and severe: still, as he
betrayed no uneasiness, they hoped his measures were merely those of
prudence. Mr. Effingham could not refrain from inquiring, however, if
there existed any immediate motives for the preparations that were so
actively, though not hurriedly, making.

"This is no affair for the rheumatis'," returned the facetious master,
"for, look you here, my worthy sir, and you, my dear young lady,"--this
was a sort of parental familiarity the honest Jack fancied he had a right
to take with all his unmarried female passengers, in virtue of his office,
and of his being a bachelor drawing hard upon sixty;--"look you here, my
dear young lady, and you, too, ma'amselle, for you can understand the
clouds, I take it, if they are not French clouds; do you not see the
manner in which those black-looking rascals are putting their heads
together? They are plotting something quite in their own way, I'll
warrant you."

"The clouds are huddling, and rolling over each other, certainly,"
returned Eve, who had been struck with the wild beauty of their
evolutions, "and a noble, though fearful picture they present; but I do
not understand the particular meaning of it, if there be any hidden omen
in their airy flights."

"No rheumatis' about you, young lady," said the captain, jocularly; "too
young, and handsome, and too modern, too, I dare say, for that
old-fashioned complaint. But on one category you may rely, and that is,
that nothing in nature conspires without an object."

"But I do not think vapour whirling in a current of air is a conspiracy,"
answered Eve, laughing, "though it may be a category."

"Perhaps not,--who knows, however; for it is as easy to suppose that
objects understand each other, as that horses and dogs understand each
other. We know nothing about it, and, therefore, it behooves us to say
nothing. If mankind conversed only of the things they understood, half the
words might be struck out of the dictionaries. But, as I was remarking,
those clouds, you can see, are getting together, and are making ready for
a start, since here they will not be able to stay much longer."

"And what will compel them to disappear?"

"Do me the favour to turn your eyes here, to the nor'-west You see an
opening there that looks like a crouching lion; is it not so?"

"There is certainly a bright clear streak of sky along the margin of the
ocean, that has quite lately made its appearance; does it prove that the
wind will blow from that quarter?"

"Quite as much, my dear young lady, as when you open your window it
proves that you mean to put your head out of it."

"An act a well-bred young woman very seldom performs," observed
Mademoiselle Viefville; "and never in a town."

"No? Well, in our town on the river, the women's heads are half the time
out of the windows. But I do not pretend, ma'amselle, to be expert in
proprieties of this sort, though I can venture to say that I am somewhat
of a judge of what the winds would be about when they open _their_
shutters. This opening to the nor'-west, then, is a sure sign of something
coming out of the window, well-bred or not."

"But," added Eve, "the clouds above us, and those farther south, appear to
be hurrying towards your bright opening, captain, instead of from it."

"Quite in nature, gentlemen; quite in nature, ladies. When a man has fully
made up his mind to retreat, he blusters the most; and one step forward
often promises two backward. You often see the stormy petterel sailing at
a ship as if he meant to come aboard, but he takes good care to put his
helm down before he is fairly in the rigging. So it is with clouds, and
all other things in nature. Vattel says you may make a show of fight when
your necessities require it, but that a neutral cannot fire a gun, unless
against pirates. Now, these clouds are putting the best face on the
matter, but in a few minutes you will see them wheeling as St. Paul did
before them."

"St. Paul, Captain Truck!"

"Yes, my dear young lady; to the right about."

Eve frowned, for she disliked some of these nautical images, though it was
impossible not to smile in secret at the queer associations that so often
led the well-meaning master's discursive discourse. His mind was a strange
jumble of an early religious education,--religious as to externals and
professions, at least,--with subsequent loose observation and much worldly
experience, and he drew on his stock of information, according to his own
account of the matter, "as Saunders, the steward, cut the butter from the
firkins, or as it came first."

His prediction concerning the clouds proved to be true, for half an hour
did not pass before they were seen "scampering out of the way of the
nor'-wester," to use the captain's figure, "like sheep giving play to the
dogs." The horizon brightened with a rapidity almost supernatural, and, in
a surprisingly short space of time, the whole of that frowning vault that
had been shadowed by murky and menacing vapour, sporting its gambols in
ominous wildness, was cleared of everything like a cloud, with the
exception of a few white, rich, fleecy piles, that were grouped in the
north, like a battery discharging its artillery on some devoted field.

The ship betrayed the arrival of the wind by a cracking of the spars, as
they settled into their places, and then the huge hull began to push aside
the waters, and to come under control. The first shock was far from
severe, though, as the captain determined to bring his vessel up as near
his course as the direction of the breeze would permit, he soon found he
had as much canvas spread as she could bear. Twenty minutes brought him to
a single reef, and half an hour to a second.

By this time attention was drawn to the Foam. The old superiority of that
cruiser was now apparent again, and calculations were made concerning the
possibility of avoiding her, if they continued to stand on much longer on
the present course. The captain had hoped the Montauk would have the
advantage from her greater bulk, when the two vessels should be brought
down to close-reefed topsails, as he foresaw would be the case; but he was
soon compelled to abandon even that hope. Further to the southward he was
resolved he would not go, as it would be leading him too far astray, and,
at last, he came to the determination to stand towards the islands, which
were as near as might be in his track, and to anchor in a neutral
roadstead, if too hard pressed.

"He cannot get up with us before midnight. Leach," he concluded the
conference held with the mate by saying; "and by that time the gale will
be at its height, if we are to have a gale, and then the gentleman will
not be desirous of lowering his boats. In the mean time, we shall be
driving in towards the Azores, and it will be nothing out of the course of
nature, should I find an occasion to play him a trick. As for offering up
the Montauk a sacrifice on the altar of tobacco, as old Deacon Hourglass
used to say in his prayers, it is a category to be averted by any
catastrophe short of condemnation."

Chapter XI.

I, that shower dewy light
Through slumbering leaves, bring storms!--the tempest birth
Of memory, thought, remorse.--Be holy, Earth!
I am the solemn Night!


In this instance, it is not our task to record any of the phenomena of the
ocean, but a regular, though fierce gale of wind. One of the first signs
of its severity was the disappearance of the passengers from the deck, one
shutting himself in his room after another, until none remained visible
but John Effingham and Paul Blunt. Both these gentlemen, as it appeared,
had made so many passages, and had got to be so familiar with ships, that
sea-sickness and alarms were equally impotent as respects their
constitutions and temperaments.

The poor steerage-passengers were no exception, but they stole for refuge
into their dens, heartily repentant, for the time being, at having braved
the dangers and discomforts of the sea. The gentle wife of Davis would now
willingly have returned to meet the resentment of her uncle; and as for
the bridegroom himself, as Mr. Leach, who passed through this scene of
abominations to see that all was right, described him,--"Mr. Grab would
not wring him for a dish-cloth, if he could see him in his
present pickle."

Captain Truck chuckled a good deal at this account, for he had much the
same sympathy for ordinary cases of sea-sickness, as a kitten feels in the
agony of the first mouse it has caught, and which it is its sovereign
pleasure to play with, instead of eating.

"It serves him right, Mr. Leach, for getting married; and mind you don't
fall into the same abuse of your opportunities," he said, with an air of
self-satisfaction, while comparing three or four cigars in the palm of his
hand doubtful which of the fragrant plump rolls to put into his mouth.
"Getting married, Mr. Blunt, commonly makes a man a fit subject for
nausea, and nothing is easier than to set the stomach-pump in motion in
one of your bridegrooms; is not this true as the gospel, Mr. John

Mr. John Effingham made no reply,--but the young man who at the moment was
admiring his fine form, and the noble outline of his features, was
singularly struck with the bitterness, not to say anguish, of the smile
with which he bowed a cold assent. All this was lost on Captain Truck who
proceeded _con amore._

"One of the first things that I ask concerning my passengers is, is he
married? when the answer is 'no,' I set him down as a good companion in a
gale like this, or as one who can smoke, or crack a joke when a topsail is
flying out of a bolt-rope,--a companion for a category. Now, if either of
you gentlemen had a wife, she would have you under hatches to-day, lest
you should slip through a scupperhole,--or be washed overboard with the
spray,--or have your eye-brows blown away in such a gale, and then I
should lose the honour of your company. Comfort is too precious to be
thrown away in matrimony. A man may gain foreknowledge by a wife, but he
loses free agency. As for you, Mr. John Effingham, you must have coiled
away about half a century of life, and there is not much to fear on your
account; but Mr. Blunt is still young enough to be in danger of a mishap.
I wish Neptune would come aboard of us, hereaway, and swear you to be true
and constant to yourself, young gentleman."

Paul laughed, coloured slightly, and then rallying, he replied in the same

"At the risk of losing your good opinion, captain, and even in the face of
this gale, I shall avow myself an advocate of matrimony,"

"If you will answer me one question, my dear sir, I will tell you whether
the case is or is not hopeless."

"In order to assent to this, you will of course see the necessity of
letting me know what the question is."

"Have you made up your mind who the young woman shall be? If that point is
settled, I can only recommend to you some of Joe Bunk's souchong, and
advise you to submit, for there is no resisting one's fate. The reason
your Turks yield so easily to predestination and fate, is the number of
their wives. Many a book is written to show the cause of their submitting
their necks so easily to the sword and the bow-string. I've been in
Turkey, gentlemen, and know something of their ways. The reason of their
submitting so quietly to be beheaded is, that they are always ready to
hang themselves. How is the fact, sir? Have you settled upon the young
lady in your own mind or not?"

Although there was nothing in all this but the permitted trifling of boon
companions on ship-board, Paul Blunt received it with an awkwardness one
would hardly have expected in a young man of his knowledge of the world.
He reddened, laughed, made an effort to throw the captain to a greater
distance by reserve, and in the end fairly gave up the matter by walking
to another part of the deck. Luckily, the attention of the honest master
was drawn to the ship, at that instant, and Paul flattered himself he was
unperceived; but the shadow of a figure at his elbow startled him, and
turning quickly, he found Mr. John Effingham at his side.

"Her mother was an angel," said the latter huskily. "I too love her; but
it is as a father."

"Sir!--Mr. Effingham!--These are sudden and unexpected remarks, and such
as I am not prepared for."

"Do you think one as jealous of that fair creature as I, could have
overlooked your passion?--She is loved by _both_ of you, and she merits
the warmest affection of a thousand. Persevere, for while I have no voice,
and, I fear, little influence on her decision, some strange sympathy
causes me to wish you success. My own man told me that you have met
before, and with her father's knowledge, and this is all I ask, for my
kinsman is discreet. He probably knows you, though I do not."

The face of Paul glowed like fire, and he almost gasped for breath.
Pitying his distress, Effingham smiled kindly, and was about to quit him,
when he felt his hand convulsively grasped by those of the young man.

"Do not quit me, Mr. Effingham, I entreat you," he said rapidly; "it is so
unusual for me to hear words of confidence, or even of kindness, that they
are most precious to me! I have permitted myself to be disturbed by the
random remarks of that well-meaning, but unreflecting man; but in a moment
I shall be more composed--more manly--less unworthy of your attention
and pity."

"Pity is a word I should never have thought of applying to the person,
character, attainments, or, as I hoped, fortunes of Mr. Blunt; and I
sincerely trust that you will acquit me of impertinence. I have felt an
interest in you, young man, that I have long ceased to feel in most of my
species, and I trust this will be some apology for the liberty I have
taken. Perhaps the suspicion that you were anxious to stand well in the
good opinion of my little cousin was at the bottom of it all."

"Indeed you have not misconceived my anxiety, sir; for who is there that
could be indifferent to the good opinion of one so simple and yet so
cultivated; with a mind in which nature and knowledge seem to struggle for
the possession. One, Mr. Effingham, so little like the cold sophistication
and heartlessness of Europe on the one hand, and the unformed girlishness
of America, on the other; one, in short, so every way what the fondest
father or the most sensitive brother could wish."

John Effingham smiled, for to smile at any weakness was with him a habit;
but his eye glistened. After a moment of doubt, he turned to his young
companion, and with a delicacy of expression and a dignity of manner that
none could excel him in, when he chose, he put a question that for several
days had been uppermost in his thoughts, though no fitting occasion had
ever before offered, on which he thought he might venture.

"This frank confidence emboldens me--one who ought to be ashamed to boast
of his greater experience, when every day shows him to how little profit
it has been turned, to presume to render our acquaintance less formal by
alluding to interests more personal than strangers have a right to touch
on. You speak of the two parts of the world just mentioned, in a way to
show me you are equally acquainted with both."

"I have often crossed the ocean, and, for so young a man, have seen a full
share of their societies. Perhaps it increases my interest in your lovely
kinswoman, that, like myself, she properly belongs to neither."

"Be cautious how you whisper that in her ear, my youthful friend; for Eve
Effingham fancies herself as much American in character as in birth.
Single-minded and totally without management,--devoted to her duties,---
religious without cant,--a warm friend of liberal institutions, without
the slightest approach to the impracticable, in heart and soul a woman,
you will find it hard to persuade her, that with all her practice in the
world, and all her extensive attainments, she is more than a humble copy
of heir own great _beau idéal_."

Paul smiled, and his eyes met those of John Effingham--the expression of
both satisfied the parties that they thought alike in more things than in
their common admiration of the subject of their discourse.

"I feel I have not been as explicit as I ought to be with you, Mr.
Effingham," the young, man resumed, after a pause; "but on a more fitting
occasion, I shall presume on your kindness to be less reserved. My lot has
thrown me on the world, almost without friends, quite without relatives,
so far as intercourse with them is concerned; and I have known little of
the language or the acts of the affections."

John Effingham pressed his hand, and from that time he cautiously
abstained from any allusion to his personal concerns; for a suspicion
crossed his mind that the subject was painful to the young man. He knew
that thousands of well-educated and frequently of affluent people, of both
sexes, were to be found in Europe, to whom, from the circumstance of
having been born out of wedlock, through divorces, or other family
misfortunes, their private histories were painful, and he at once inferred
that some such event, quite probably the first, lay at the bottom of Paul
Blunt's peculiar situation. Notwithstanding his warm attachment to Eve, he
had too much confidence in her own as well as in her father's judgment, to
suppose an acquaintance of any intimacy would be lightly permitted; and
as to the mere prejudices connected with such subjects, he was quite free
from them. Perhaps his masculine independence of character caused him, on
all such points, to lean to the side of the _ultra_ in liberality.

In this short dialogue, with the exception of the slight though
unequivocal allusion of John Effingham, both bad avoided any farther
allusions to Mr. Sharp, or to his supposed attachment to Eve. Both were
confident of its existence, and this perhaps was one reason why neither
felt any necessity to advert to it: for it was a delicate subject, and
one, under the circumstances, that they would mutually wish to forget in
their cooler moments. The conversation then took a more general character,
and for several hours that day, while the rest of the passengers were kept
below by the state of the weather, these two were together, laying, what
perhaps it was now too late to term, the foundation of a generous and
sincere friendship. Hitherto Paul had regarded John Effingham with
distrust and awe, but he found him a man so different from what report and
his own fancy had pictured, that the reaction in his feelings served to
heighten them, and to aid in increasing his respect. On the other hand,
the young man exhibited so much modest good sense, a fund of information
so much beyond his years, such integrity and justice of sentiment, that
when they separated for the night, the old bachelor was full of regret
that nature had not made him the parent of such a son.

All this time the business of the ship had gone on. The wind increased
steadily, until, as the sun went down, Captain Truck announced it, in the
cabin, to be a "regular-built gale of wind." Sail after sail had been
reduced or furled until the Montauk was lying-to under her foresail, a
close-reefed main-top-sail, a fore-top-mast stay-sail, and a mizzen
stay-sail. Doubts were even entertained whether the second of these sails
would not have to be handed soon, and the foresail itself reefed.

The ship's head was to the south-south-west, her drift considerable, and
her way of course barely sufficient to cause her to feel her helm. The
Foam had gained on her several miles during the time sail could be
carried; but she, also, had been obliged to heave-to, at the same
increase of the sea and wind as that which had forced Mr. Truck to lash
his wheel down. This state of things made a considerable change in the
relative positions of the two vessels again; the next morning showing the
sloop-of-war hull down, and well on the weather-beam of the packet. Her
sharper mould and more weatherly qualities had done her this service, as
became a ship intended for war and the chase.

At all this, however, Captain Truck laughed. He could not be boarded in
such weather, and it was matter of indifference where his pursuer might
be, so long as he had time to escape, when the gale ceased. On the whole,
he was rather glad than otherwise of the present state of things, for it
offered a chance to slip away to leeward as soon as the weather would
permit, if, indeed, his tormentor did not altogether disappear in the
northern board, or to windward.

The hopes and fears of the worthy master, however, were poured principally
into the ears of his two mates; for few of the passengers were visible
until the afternoon of the second day of the gale; then, indeed, a general
relief to their physical suffering occurred, though it was accompanied by
apprehensions that scarcely permitted the change to be enjoyed. About
noon, on that day, the wind came with such power, and the seas poured down
against the bows of the ship with a violence so tremendous, that it got to
be questionable whether she could any longer remain with safety in her
present condition. Several times in the course of the morning, the waves
had forced her bows off, and before the ship could recover her position,
the succeeding billow would break against her broadside, and throw a flood
of water on her decks. This is a danger peculiar to lying-to in a gale;
for if the vessel get into the trough of the sea, and is met in that
situation by a wave of unusual magnitude, she runs the double risk of
being thrown on her beam-ends, and of having her decks cleared of
everything, by the cataract of water that washes athwart them. Landsmen
entertain little notion of the power of the waters, when driven before a
tempest, and are often surprised, in reading of naval catastrophes, at the
description of the injuries done. But experience shows that boats,
hurricane-houses, guns, anchors of enormous weight, bulwarks and planks,
are even swept off into the ocean, in this manner, or are ripped up from
their fastenings.

The process of lying-to has a double advantage, so long as it can be
maintained, since it offers the strongest portion of the vessel to the
shock of the seas, and has the merit of keeping her as near as possible to
the desired direction. But it is a middle course, being often adopted as
an expedient of safety when a ship cannot scud; and then, again, it is
abandoned for scudding when the gale is so intensely severe that it
becomes in itself dangerous. In nothing are the high qualities of ships so
thoroughly tried as in their manner of behaving, as it is termed, in these
moments of difficulty; nor is the seamanship of the accomplished officer
so triumphantly established in any other part of his professional
knowledge, as when he has had an opportunity of showing that he knows how
to dispose of the vast weight his vessel is to carry, so as to enable her
mould to exhibit its perfection, and on occasion to turn both to the
best account.

Nothing will seem easier to a landsman than for a vessel to run before the
wind, let the force of the gale be what it may. But his ignorance
overlooks most of the difficulties, nor shall we anticipate their dangers,
but let them take their places in the regular thread of the narrative.

Long before noon, or the hour mentioned, Captain Truck foresaw that, in
consequence of the seas that were constantly coming on board of her, he
should be compelled to put his ship before the wind. He delayed the
manoeuvre to the last moment, however, for what he deemed to be sufficient
reasons. The longer he kept the ship lying-to, the less he deviated from
his proper course to New York, and the greater was the probability of his
escaping, stealthily and without observation from the Foam, since the
latter, by maintaining her position better, allowed the Montauk to drift
gradually to leeward, and, of course, to a greater distance.

But the crisis would no longer admit of delay. All hands were called; the
maintop-sail was hauled up, not without much difficulty, and then Captain
Truck reluctantly gave the order to haul down the mizzen-stay-sail, to put
the helm hard up, and to help the ship round with the yards. This is at
all times a critical change, as has just been mentioned for the vessel is
exposed to the ravages of any sea, larger than common, that may happen to
strike her as she lies nearly motionless, with her broadside exposed to
its force. To accomplish it, therefore, Captain Truck went up a few
ratlines in the fore-rigging, (he was too nice a calculator to offer even
a surface as small as his own body to the wind, in the after shrouds,)
whence he looked out to windward for a lull, and a moment when the ocean
had fewer billows than common of the larger and more dangerous kind. At
the desired instant he signed with his hand, and the wheel was shifted
from hard-down to hard-up.

This is always a breathless moment in a ship, for as none can foresee the
result, it resembles the entrance of a hostile battery. A dozen men may be
swept away in an instant, or the ship herself hove over on her side. John
Effingham and Paul, who of all the passengers were alone on deck,
understood the hazards, and they watched the slightest change with the
interest of men who had so much at stake. At first the movement of the
ship was sluggish, and such as ill-suited the eagerness of the crew. Then
her pitching ceased, and she settled into the enormous trough bodily, or
the whole fabric sunk, as it were, never to rise again. So low did she
fall, that the foresail gave a tremendous flap; one that shook the hull
and spars from stem to stern. As she rose on the next surge, happily its
foaming crest slid beneath her, and the tall masts rolled heavily to
windward. Recovering her equilibrium, the ship started through the brine,
and as the succeeding roller came on, she was urging ahead fast. Still,
the sea struck her abeam, forcing her bodily to leeward, and heaving the
lower yardarms into the ocean. Tons of water fell on her decks, with the
dull sound of the clod on the coffin. At this grand moment, old Jack
Truck, who was standing in the rigging, dripping with he spray, that had
washed over him, with a naked head, and his grey hair glistening, shouted
like a Stentor, "Haul in your fore-braces, boys! away with the yard, like
a fiddlestick!" Every nerve was strained; the unwilling yards, pressed
upon by an almost irresistible column of air, yielded slowly, and as the
sail met the gale more perpendicularly, or at right angles to its surface,
it dragged the vast hull through the sea with a power equal to that of a
steam-engine. Ere another sea could follow, the Montauk was glancing
through the ocean at a furious rate, and though offering her quarter to
the billows, their force was now so much diminished by her own velocity,
as to deprive them of their principal danger.

The motion of the ship immediately became easy, though her situation was
still far from being without risk. No longer compelled to buffet the
waves, but sliding along in their company, the motion ceased to disturb
the systems of the passengers, and ten minutes had not elapsed before most
of them were again on deck, seeking the relief of the open air. Among the
others was Eve, leaning on the arm of her father.

It was a terrific scene, though one might now contemplate it without
personal inconvenience. The gentlemen gathered around the beautiful and
appalled spectatress of this grand sight, anxious to know the effect it
might produce on one of her delicate frame and habits. She expressed
herself as awed, but not alarmed; for the habits of dependence usually
leave females less affected by fear, in such cases, than those who, by
their sex, are supposed to be responsible.

"Mademoiselle Viefville has promised to follow me," she said, "and as I
have a national claim to be a sailor, you are not to expect hysterics or
even ecstasies from me; but reserve yourselves, gentlemen, for the

The _Parisienne_, sure enough, soon came out of the hurricane-house, with
elevated hands, and eyes eloquent of admiration, wonder and fear. Her
first exclamations were those of terror, and then turning a wistful look
on Eve, she burst into tears. "_Ah, ceci est décisif!_" she exclaimed.
"When we part, we shall be separated for life."

"Then we will not part at all, my dear mademoiselle; you have only to
remain in America, to escape all future inconveniences of the ocean. But
forget the danger, and admire the sublimity of this terrific panorama."

Well might Eve thus term the scene. The hazards now to be avoided were
those of the ship's broaching-to, and of being pooped. Nothing may seem
easier, as has been said, than to "sail before the wind," the words having
passed into a proverb; but there are times when even a favouring gale
becomes prolific of dangers, that we shall now briefly explain.

The velocity of the water, urged as it is before a tempest, is often as
great as that of the ship, and at such moments the rudder is useless, its
whole power being derived from its action as a moving body against the
element in comparative repose. When ship and water move together, at an
equal rate, in the same direction, of course this power of the helm is
neutralized, and then the hull is driven much at the mercy of the winds
and waves. Nor is this all; the rapidity of the billows often exceeds that
of a ship, and then the action of the rudder becomes momentarily reversed,
producing an effect exactly opposite to that which is desired. It is true,
this last difficulty is never of more than a few moments' continuance,
else indeed would the condition of the mariner be hopeless; but it is of
constant occurrence, and so irregular as to defy calculations and defeat
caution. In the present instance, the Montauk would seem to fly through
the water, so swift was her progress; and then, as a furious surge
overtook her in the chase, she settled heavily into the element, like a
wounded animal, that, despairing of escape, sinks helplessly in the grass,
resigned to fate. At such times the crests of the waves swept past her,
like vapour in the atmosphere, and one unpractised would be apt to think
the ship stationary, though in truth whirling along in company with a
frightful momentum.

It is scarcely necessary to say, that the process of scudding requires the
nicest attention to the helm, in order that the hull may be brought
speedily back to the right direction, when thrown aside by the power of
the billows; for, besides losing her way in the caldron of water--an
imminent danger of itself--if left exposed to the attack of the succeeding
wave, her decks, at least, would be swept, even should she escape a still
more serious calamity.

Pooping is a hazard of another nature, and is also peculiar to the process
of scudding. It merely means the ship's being overtaken by the waters
while running from them, when the crest of a sea, broken by the
resistance, is thrown in-board, over the taffrail or quarter. The term is
derived from the name of that particular portion of the ship. In order to
avoid this risk, sail is carried on the vessel as long as possible, it
being deemed one of the greatest securities of scudding, to force the hull
through the water at the greatest attainable rate. In consequence of these
complicated risks, ships that sail the fastest and steer the easiest, scud
the best. There is, however, a species of velocity that becomes of itself
a source of new danger; thus, exceedingly sharp vessels have been known to
force themselves so far into the watery mounds in their front, and to
receive so much of the element on decks, as never to rise again. This is a
fate to which those who attempt to sail the American clipper, without
understanding its properties, are peculiarly liable. On account of this
risk, however, there was now no cause of apprehension, the full-bowed,
kettle-bottomed Montauk being exempt from the danger; though Captain Truck
intimated his doubts whether the corvette would like to brave the course
he had himself adopted.

In this opinion, the fact would seem to sustain the master of the packet;
for when the night shut in, the spars of the Foam were faintly
discernible, drawn like spiders' webs on the bright streak of the evening
sky. In a few more minutes, even this tracery, which resembled that of a
magic-lantern, vanished from the eyes of those aloft; for it had not been
seen by any on deck for more than an hour.

The magnificent horrors of the scene increased with the darkness. Eve and
her companions stood supported by the hurricane-house, watching it for
hours, the supernatural-looking light, emitted by the foaming sea,
rendering the spectacle one of attractive terror. Even the consciousness
of the hazards heightened the pleasure; for there was a solemn and grand
enjoyment mingled with it all, and the first watch had been set an hour,
before the party had resolution enough to tear themselves from the sublime
sight of a raging sea.

Chapter XII.

_Touch._ Wast ever in court, shepherd?
_Cor._ No, truly.
_Touch._ Then thou art damn'd.
_Cor._ Nay, I hope----
_Touch._ Truly, thou art damn'd, like an ill-roasted egg, all on
one side.


No one thought of seeking his berth when all the passengers were below.
Some conversed in broken, half intelligible dialogues, a few tried
unavailingly to read, and more sat looking at each other in silent
misgivings, as the gale howled through the cordage and spars, or among the
angles and bulwarks of the ship. Eve was seated on a sofa in her own
apartment, leaning on the breast of her father, gazing silently through
the open doors into the forward cabin; for all idea of retiring within
oneself, unless it might be to secret prayer, was banished from the mind.
Even Mr. Dodge had forgotten the gnawings of envy, his philanthropical and
exclusive democracy, and, what was perhaps more convincing still of his
passing views of this sublunary world, his profound deference for rank, as
betrayed in his strong desire to cultivate an intimacy with Sir George
Templemore. As for the baronet himself, he sat by the cabin-table with his
face buried in his hands, and once he had been heard to express a regret
that he had ever embarked.

Saunders broke the moody stillness of this characteristic party, with
preparations for a supper. He took but one end of the table for his cloth,
and a single cover showed that Captain Truck was about to dine, a thing he
had not yet done that day. The attentive steward had an eye to his
commander's tastes; for it is not often one sees a better garnished board
than was spread on this occasion, so far at least as quantity was
concerned. Besides the usual solids of ham, corned-beef, and roasted
shoat, there were carcasses of ducks, pickled oysters--a delicacy almost
peculiar to America--and all the minor condiments of olives, anchovies,
dates, figs, almonds, raisins, cold potatoes, and puddings, displayed in a
single course, and arranged on the table solely with regard to the reach
of Captain Truck's arm. Although Saunders was not quite without taste, he
too well knew the propensities of his superior to neglect any of these
important essentials, and great care was had, in particular, so to dispose
of everything as to render the whole so many radii diverging from a common
centre, which centre was the stationary arm-chair that the master of the
packet loved to fill in his hours of ease.

"You will make many voyages, Mr. Toast,"--the steward affectedly gave his
subordinate, or as he was sometimes facetiously called, the steward's
mate, reason to understand, when they had retired to the pantry to await
the captain's appearance--"before you accumulate all the niceties of a
gentleman's dinner. Every _plat_," (Saunders had been in the Havre line,
where he had caught a few words of this nature,) "every _plat_ should be
within reach of the _convive's_ arm, and particularly if it happen to be
Captain Truck, who has a great awersion to delays at his diet. As for the
_entremets_, they may be scattered miscellaneously with the salt and the
mustard, so that they can come with facility in their proper places."

"I don't know what an _entremet_ is," returned the subordinate, "and I
exceedingly desire, sir, to receive my orders in such English as a
gentleman can diwine."

"An _entremet_, Mr. Toast, is a mouthful thrown in promiscuously between
the reliefs of the solids. Now, suppose a gentleman begins on pig; when he
has eaten enough of this, he likes a little brandy and water, or a glass
of porter, before he cuts into the beef; and while I'm mixing the first,
or starting the cork, he refreshes himself with an _entremet_, such as a
wing of a duck, or perhaps a plate of pickled oysters. You must know that
there is great odds in passengers; one set eating and jollifying, from the
hour we sail till the hour we get in, while another takes the ocean as it
might be sentimentally."

"Sentimentally, sir! I s'pose those be they as uses the basins uncommon?"

"That depends on the weather. I've known a party not eat as much as would
set one handsome table in a week, and then, when they conwalesced, it was
intimidating how they dewoured. It makes a great difference, too, whether
the passengers acquiesce well together or not, for agreeable feelings give
a fine appetite. Lovers make cheap passengers always."

"That is extr'or'nary, for I thought such as they was always hard to
please, with every thing but one another."

"You never were more mistaken. I've seen a lover who couldn't tell a sweet
potato from an onion, or a canvas-back from an old wife. But of all
mortals in the way of passengers, the bagman or go-between is my greatest
animosity. These fellows will sit up all night, if the captain consents,
and lie abed next day, and do nothing but drink in their berths. Now, this
time we have a compliable set, and on the whole, it is quite a
condescension and pleasure to wait on them."

"Well, I think, Mr. Saunders, they isn't alike as much as they might be

"Not more so than wenison and pig. Perfectly correct, sir; for this cabin
is a lobskous as regards deportment and character. I set all the
Effinghams down as tip-tops, or, A No. 1, as Mr. Leach calls the ship; and
then Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt are quite the gentlemen. Nothing is easier,
Mr. Toast, than to tell a gentleman; and as you have set up a new
profession,--in which I hope, for the credit of the colour, you will be
prosperous,--it is well worth your while to know how this is done,
especially as you need never expect much from a passenger, that is not a
true gentleman, but trouble. There is Mr. John Effingham, in particular;
his man says he never anticipates change, and if a coat confines his arm,
he repudiates it on the spot."

"Well, it must be a satisfaction to serve such a companion, I think Mr.
Dodge, sir, quite a feller."

"Your taste, Toast, is getting to be observable, and by cultivating it,
you will soon be remarkable for a knowledge of mankind. Mr. Dodge, as you
werry justly insinuate, is not werry refined, or particularly well suited
to figure in genteel society."

"And yet he seems attached to it Mr. Saunders, for he has purposed to
establish five or six societies since we sailed."

"Werry true, sir; but then every society is not genteel. When we get back
to New York, Toast, I must see and get you into a better set than the one
you occupied when we sailed. You will not do yet for our circle, which is
altogether conclusive; but you might be elevated. Mr. Dodge has been
electioneering with me, to see if we cannot inwent a society among the
steerage-passengers for the abstinence of liquors, and another for the
perpetration of the morals and religious principles of our forefathers. As
for the first, Toast, I told him it was sufficiently indurable to be
confined in a hole like the steerage, without being percluded from the
consolation of a little drink; and as for the last, it appeared to me that
such a preposition inwolwed an attack on liberty of conscience."

"There you give'd him, sir, quite as good as he sent," returned the
steward's mate, chuckling, or perhaps sniggering would be a word better
suited to his habits of cachinnation, "and I should have been glad to
witness his confusion. It seems to me, Mr. Saunders, that Mr. Dodge loves
to get up his societies in support of liberty and religion, that he may
predominate over both by his own inwentions."

Saunders laid his long yellow finger on the broad flat nose of his mate,
with an air of approbation, as he replied,

"Toast, you have hit his character as pat as I touch your Roman. He is a
man fit to make proselytes among the wulgar and Irish,"--the Hibernian
peasant and the American negro are sworn enemies--"but quite unfit for
anything respectable or decent. Were it not for Sir George, I would
scarcely descend to clean his state-room."

"What is your sentiments, Mr. Saunders, respecting Sir George?"

"Why, Sir George is a titled gentleman, and of course is not to be
strictured too freely. He has complimented me already with a sovereign,
and apprised me of his intention to be more particular when we get in."

"I feel astonished such a gentleman should neglect to insure a state-room
to his own convenience."

"Sir George has elucidated all that in a conversation we had in his room,
soon after our acquaintance commenced. He is going to Canada on public
business, and sailed at an hour's interval. He was too late for a single
room, and his own man is to follow with most of his effects by the next
ship. Oh! Sir George may be safely put down as respectable and
liberalized, though thrown into disparagement perhaps by forty

Mr. Saunders, who had run his vocabulary hard in this conversation, meant
to say "fortuitous;" and Toast thought that so many circumstances might
well reduce a better man to a dilemma. After a moment of thought, or what
in his orbicular shining features he fancied passed for thought,
he said,--

"I seem to diwine, Mr. Saunders, that the Effinghams do not much intimate
Sir George."

Saunders looked out of the pantry-door to reconnoitre, and finding the
sober quiet already described reigning, he opened a drawer, and drew forth
a London newspaper.

"To treat you with the confidence of a gentleman in a situation as
respectable and responsible as the one you occupy, Mr. Toast," he said, "a
little ewent has transpired in my presence yesterday, that I thought
sufficiently particular to be designated by retaining this paper. Mr.
Sharp and Sir George happened to be in the cabin together, alone, and the
last, as it suggested to me, Toast, was desirous of removing some of the
haughter of the first, for you may have observed that there has been no
conversation between any of the Effinghams, or Mr. Blunt, or Mr. Sharp,
and the baronet; and so to break the ice of his haughter, as it might be,
Sir George says, 'Really, Mr. Sharp, the papers have got to be so
personally particular, that one cannot run into the country for a mouthful
of fresh air that they don't record it. Now, I thought not a soul knew of
my departure for America, and yet here you see they have mentioned it,
with more particulars than are agreeable.' On concluding, Sir George gave
Mr. Sharp this paper, and indicated this here paragraph. Mr. Sharp perused
it, laid down the paper, and retorted coldly, 'It is indeed quite
surprising, sir; but impudence is a general fault of the age.' And then he
left the cabin solus. Sir George was so wexed, he went into his
state-room and forgot the paper, which fell to the steward, you know, on a
principle laid down in Wattel, Toast"

Here the two worthies indulged in a smothered merriment of their own at
the expense of their commander; for though a dignified man in general, Mr.
Saunders could laugh on occasion, and according to his own opinion of
himself he danced particularly well.

"Would you like to read the paragraph, Mr. Toast?"

"Quite unnecessary, sir; your account will be perfectly legible and

By this touch of politeness, Mr. Toast, who knew as much of the art of
reading as a monkey commonly knows of mathematics, got rid of the
awkwardness of acknowledging the careless manner in which he had trifled
with his early opportunities. Luckily, Mr. Saunders, who had been educated
as a servant in a gentleman's family, was better off, and as he was vain
of all his advantages, he was particularly pleased to have an opportunity
of exhibiting them. Turning to the paragraph he read the following lines,
in that sort of didactic tone and elaborate style with which gentlemen who
commence the graces after thirty are a little apt to make bows:

"We understand Sir George Templemore, Bart., the member for Boodleigh, is
about to visit our American colonies, with a view to make himself
intimately acquainted with the merits of the unpleasant questions by which
they are just now agitated, and with the intention of entering into the
debates in the house on that interesting subject on his return. We believe
that Sir George will sail in the packet of the first from Liverpool, and
will return in time to be in his seat after the Easter holidays. His
people and effects left town yesterday by the Liverpool coach. During the
baronet's absence, his country will be hunted by Sir Gervaise de Brush,
though the establishment at Templemore Hall will be kept up."

"How came Sir George here, then?" Mr. Toast very naturally inquired.

"Having been kept too late in London, he was obliged to come this way or
to be left. It is sometimes as close work to get the passengers on board,
Mr. Toast, as to get the people. I have often admired how gentlemen and
ladies love procrastinating, when dishes that ought to be taken hot, are
getting to be quite insipid and uneatable."

"Saunders!" cried the hearty voice of Captain Truck, who had taken
possession of what he called his throne in the cabin. All the steward's
elegant diction and finish of demeanour vanished at the well-known sound,
and thrusting his head out of the pantry-door, he gave the prompt
ship-answer to a call,

"Ay, ay, sir!"

"Come, none of your dictionary in the pantry there, but show your
physiognomy in my presence. What the devil do you think Vattel would say
to such a supper as this?"

"I think, sir, he would call it a werry good supper, for a ship in a hard
gale of wind. That's my honest opinion, Captain Truck, and I never deceive
any gentleman in a matter of food. I think, Mr. Wattel would approve of
that there supper, sir."

"Perhaps he might, for he has made blunders as well as another man. Go,
mix me a glass of just what I love when I've not had a drop all day.
Gentlemen, will any of you honour me, by sharing in a cut? This beef is
not indigestible, and here is a real Marylander, in the way of a ham. No
want of oakum to fill up the chinks with, either."

Most of the gentlemen were too full of the gale to wish to eat; besides
they had not fasted like Captain Truck since morning. But Mr. Monday, the
bagman, as John Effingham had termed him, and who had been often enough at
sea to know something of its varieties, consented to take a glass of
brandy and water, as a corrective of the Madeira he had been swallowing.
The appetite of Captain Truck was little affected by the state of the
weather, however; for though too attentive to his duties to quit the deck
until he had ascertained how matters were going on, now that he had fairly
made up his mind to eat, he set about it with a heartiness and simplicity
that proved his total disregard of appearances when his hunger was sharp.
For some time he was too much occupied to talk, making regular attacks
upon the different _plats_, as Mr. Saunders called them, without much
regard to the cookery or the material. The only pauses were to drink, and
this was always done with a steadiness that never left a drop in the
glass. Still Mr. Truck was a temperate man; for he never consumed more
than his physical wants appeared to require, or his physical energies knew
how to dispose of. At length, however, he came to the steward's
_entremets_, or he began to stuff what he, himself, had called "oakum,"
into the chinks of his dinner.

Mr. Sharp had watched the whole process from the ladies' cabin, as indeed
had Eve, and thinking this a favourable occasion to ascertain the state of
things on deck, the former came into the main-cabin, commissioned by the
latter, to make the inquiry.

"The ladies are desirous of knowing where we are, and what is the state of
the gale, Captain Truck," said the gentleman, when he had seated himself
near the throne.

"My dear young lady," called out the captain, by way of cutting short the
diplomacy of employing ambassadors between them, "I wish in my heart I
could persuade you and Mademoiselle V.A.V., (for so he called the
governess, in imitation of Eve's pronunciation of her name,) to try a few
of these pickled oysters; they are as delicate as yourselves, and worthy
to be set before a mermaid, if there were any such thing."

"I thank you for the compliment, Captain Truck, and while I ask leave to
decline it, I beg leave to refer you to the plenipotentiary Mademoiselle
Viefville" (Eve would not say herself) "has intrusted with her wishes."

"Thus you perceive, sir," interposed Mr. Sharp again, "you will have to
treat with me, by all the principles laid down by Vattel."

"And treat you, too, my good sir. Let me persuade you to try a slice of
this anti-abolitionist," laying his knife on the ham, which he still
continued to regard himself with a sort of melancholy interest. "No? well,
I hold over-persuasion as the next thing to neglect. I am satisfied, sir,
after all, as Saunders says, that Vattel himself, unless more unreasonable
at his grub than in matters of state, would be a happier man after he had
been at his table twenty minutes, than before he sat down."

Mr. Sharp perceiving that it was idle to pursue his inquiry while the
other was in one of his discursive humours, determined to let things take
their course, and fell into the captain's own vein.

"If Vattel would approve of the repast, few men ought to repine at their
fortune in being so well provided."

"I flatter myself, sir, that I understand a supper, especially in a gale
of wind, as well as Mr. Vattel, or any other man could do."

"And yet Vattel was one of the most celebrated cooks of his day."

Captain Truck stared, looked his grave companion steadily in the eye, for
he was too much addicted to mystifying, not to distrust others, and picked
his teeth with redoubled vigilance.

"Vattel a cook! This is the first I ever heard of it."

"There was a Vattel, in a former age, who stood at the head of his art as
a cook; this I can assure you, on my honour: he may not have been your
Vattel, however."

"Sir, there never were two Vattels. This is extraordinary news to me, and
I scarcely know how to receive it."

"If you doubt my information, you may ask any of the other passengers.
Either of the Mr. Effinghams, or Mr. Blunt, or Miss Effingham, or
Mademoiselle Viefville will confirm what I tell you, I think; especially
the latter, for he was her countryman."

Hereupon Captain Truck began to stuff in the oakum again, for the calm
countenance of Mr. Sharp produced an effect; and as he was pondering on
the consequences of his oracle's turning out to be a cook, he thought it
not amiss to be eating, as it were, incidentally. After swallowing a dozen
olives, six or eight anchovies, as many pickled oysters, and raisins and
almonds, as the advertisements say _à volonté_, he suddenly struck his
fist on the table, and announced his intention of putting the question to
both the ladies.

"My dear young lady," he called out, "will you do me the honour to say
whether you ever heard of a cook of the name of Vattel?"

Eve laughed, and her sweet tones were infectious amid the dull howling of
the gale, which was constantly heard in the cabins, like a bass
accompaniment, or the distant roar of a cataract among the singing
of birds.

"Certainly, captain," she answered; "Mr. Vattel was not only a cook, but
perhaps the most celebrated on record, for sentiment at least, if not
for skill."

"I make no doubt the man did his work well, let him be set about what he
might; and, mademoiselle, he was a countryman of yours, they tell me?"

"_Assurement_, Monsieur Vattel has left more distinguished _souvenirs_
than any other cook in France."

Captain Truck turned quickly to the elated and admiring Saunders, who felt
his own glory enhanced by this important discovery, and said in that
short-hand way he had of expressing himself to the chief of the pantry,

"Do you hear that, sir; see and find out what they are, and dress me a
dish of these _souvenirs_ as soon as we get in. I dare say they are to be
had at the Fulton market, and mind while there to look out for some
tongues and sounds. I've not made half a supper to-night, for the want of
them. I dare say these _souvenirs_ are capital eating, if Monsieur Vattel
thought so highly of them. Pray, mademoiselle, is the gentleman dead?"

"Hélas, oui! How could he live with a sword run through his body?"

"Ha! killed in a duel, I declare; died fighting for his principles, if the
truth were known! I shall have a double respect for his opinion, for this
is the touchstone of a man's honesty. Mr. Sharp, let us take a glass of
Geissenheimer to his memory; we might honour a less worthy man."

As the captain poured out the liquor, a fall of several tons of water on
the deck shook the entire ship, and one of the passengers in the
hurricane-house, opening a door to ascertain the cause, the sound of the
hissing waters and of the roaring winds came fresher and more distinct
into the cabin. Mr. Truck cast an eye at the tell-tale over his head to
ascertain the course of the ship, and paused just an instant, and then
tossed off his wine.

"This hint reminds me of my mission," Mr. Sharp re joined. "The ladies
desire to know your opinion of the state of the weather?"

"I owe them an answer, if it were only in gratitude for the hint about
Vattel. Who the devil would have supposed the man ever was a cook! But
these Frenchmen are not like the rest of mankind, and half the nation are
cooks, or live by food, in some way or other."

"And very good cooks, too, Monsieur le Capitaine," said Mademoiselle
Viefville. "Monsieur Vattel did die for the honour of his art. He fell on
his own sword, because the fish did not arrive in season for the dinner of
the king."

Captain Truck looked more astonished than ever. Then turning short round
to the steward, he shook his head and exclaimed,

"Do you hear that, sir? How often would you have died, if a sword had been
run through you every time the fish was forgotten, or was too late'? Once,
to a dead certainty, about these very tongues and sounds."

"But the weather?" interrupted Mr. Sharp.

"The weather, my dear sir; the weather, my dear ladies, is very good
weather, with the exception of winds and waves, of which unfortunately
there are, just now, more of both than we want. The ship must scud, and as
we go like a race-horse, without stopping to take breath, we may see the
Canary Islands before the voyage is over. Of danger there is none in this
ship, as long as we can keep clear of the land, and in order that this may
be done, I will just step into my state-room, and find out exactly
where we are."

On receiving this information, the passengers retired for the night,
Captain Truck setting about his task in good earnest. The result of his
calculations showed that they would run westward of Madeira, which was all
he cared about immediately, intending always to haul up to his course on
the first good occasion.

Chapter XIII.

There are yet two things in my destiny--
world to roam o'er, and a home with thee.


Eve Effingham slept little: although the motion of the ship had been much
more severe and uncomfortable while contending with head-winds, on no
other occasion were there so many signs of a fierce contention, of the
elements as in this gale. As she lay in her berth, her ear was within a
foot of the roaring waters without, and her frame trembled as she heard
them gurgling so distinctly, that it seemed as if they had already forced
their way through the seams of the planks, and were filling the ship.
Sleep she could not, for a long time, therefore, and during two hours she
remained with closed eyes an entranced and yet startled listener of the
fearful strife that was raging over the ocean. Night had no stillness, for
the roar of the winds and waters was incessant, though deadened by the
intervening decks and sides; but now and then an open door admitted, as it
might be, the whole scene into the cabins. At such moments every sound was
fresh, and frightfully grand,--even the shout of the officer coming to the
ear like a warning cry from the deep.

At length Eve, wearied by her apprehensions even, fell into a troubled
sleep, in which her frightened faculties, however, kept so much on the
alert, that at no time was the roar of the tempest entirely lost to her
sense of hearing. About midnight the glare of a candle crossed her eyes,
and she was broad awake in an instant. On rising in her berth she found
Nanny Sidley, who had so often and so long watched over her infant and
childish slumbers, standing at her side, and gazing wistfully in her face.

"'Tis a dread night, Miss Eve," half whispered the appalled domestic. "I
have not been able to sleep for thinking of you, and of what might happen
on these wide waters!"

"And why of me particularly, my good Nanny?" returned Eve, smiling in the
face of her old nurse as sweetly as the infant smiles in its moments of
tenderness and recollection. "Why so much of me, my excellent Ann?--are
there not others too, worthy of your care? my beloved father--your own
good self--Mademoiselle Viefville--cousin Jack--and--" the warm colour
deepened on the cheek of the beautiful girl, she scarcely knew why
herself--"and many others in the vessel, that one, kind as you, might
think of, I should hope, when your thoughts become apprehensions, and your
wishes prayers."

"There are many precious souls in the ship, ma'am, out of all question;
and I'm sure no one wishes them all safe on land again more than myself;
but it seems to me, no one among them all is so much loved as you."

Eve leaned forward playfully, and drawing her old nurse towards her,
kissed her cheek, while her own eyes glistened, and then she laid her
flushed cheek on that bosom which had so frequently been its pillow
before. After remaining a minute in this affectionate attitude, she rose
and inquired if her nurse had been on deck.

"I go every half-hour, Miss Eve; for I feel it as much my duty to watch
over you here, as when I had you all to myself in the cradle. I do not
think your father sleeps a great deal to-night, and several of the
gentlemen in the other cabins remain dressed; they ask me how you spend
the time in this tempest, whenever I pass their state-room doors."

Eve's colour deepened, and Ann Sidley thought she had never seen her child
more beautiful, as the bright luxuriant golden hair, which had strayed
from the confinement of the cap, fell on the warm cheek, and rendered eyes
that were always full of feeling, softer and more brilliant even
than common.

"They conceal their uneasiness for themselves under an affected concern
for me, my good Nanny," she said hurriedly; "and your own affection makes
you an easy dupe to the artifice."

"It may be so, ma'am, for I know but little of the ways of the world. It
is fearful, is it not, Miss Eve, to think that we are in a ship, so far
from any land, whirling along over the bottom as fast as a horse
could plunge?"

"The danger is not exactly of that nature, perhaps, Nanny."

"There is a bottom to the ocean, is there not? I have heard some maintain
there is no bottom to the sea--and that would make the danger so much
greater. I think, if I felt certain that the bottom was not very deep, and
there was only a rock to be seen now and then, I should not find it so
very dreadful."

Eve laughed like a child, and the contrast between the sweet simplicity of
her looks, her manners, and her more cultivated intellect, and the
matronly appearance of the less instructed Ann, made one of those pictures
in which the superiority of mind over all other things becomes
most apparent.

"Your notions of safety, my dear Nanny," she said, "are not precisely
those of a seaman; for I believe there is nothing of which they stand more
in dread than of rocks and the bottom."

"I fear I'm but a poor sailor, ma'am, for in my judgment we could have no
greater consolation in such a tempest than to see them all around us. Do
you think, Miss Eve, that the bottom of the ocean, if there is truly a
bottom, is whitened with the bones of shipwrecked mariners, as
people say?"

"I doubt not, my excellent Nanny, that the great deep might give up many
awful secrets; but you ought to think less of these things, and more of
that merciful Providence which has protected us through so many dangers
since we have been wanderers. You are in much less danger now than I have
known you to be, and escape unharmed."

"I, Miss Eve!--Do you suppose that I fear for myself? What matters it if a
poor old woman like me die a few years sooner or later or where her frail
old body is laid? I have never been of so much account when living as to
make it of consequence where the little which will remain to decay when
dead moulders into dust. Do not, I implore you, Miss Effingham, suppose
me so selfish as to feel any uneasiness to-night on my own account."

"Is it then, as usual, all for me, my dear, my worthy old nurse, that you
feel this anxiety? Put your heart at ease, for they who know best betray
no alarm; and you may observe that the captain sleeps as tranquilly this
night as on any other."

"But he is a rude man, and accustomed to danger. He has neither wife nor
children, and I'll engage has never given a thought to the horrors of
having a form precious as this floating in the caverns of the ocean,
amidst ravenous fish and sea-monsters."

Here her imagination overcame poor Nanny Sidley, and she folded her arms
about the beautiful person of Eve, and sobbed violently. Her young
mistress, accustomed to similar exhibitions of affection, soothed her with
blandishments and assurances that soon restored her self-command, when the
dialogue was resumed with a greater appearance of tranquillity on the part
of the nurse. They conversed a few minutes on the subject of their
reliance on God, Eve returning fourfold, or with the advantages of a
cultivated intellect, many of those simple lessons of faith and humility
that she had received from her companion when a child; the latter
listening, as she always did, to these exhortations, which sounded in her
ears, like the echoes of all her own better thoughts, with a love and
reverence no other could awaken. Eve passed her small white hand over the
wrinkled cheek of Nanny in kind fondling, as it had been passed a thousand
times when a child, an act she well knew her nurse delighted in, and

"And now, my good old Nanny, you will set your heart at ease, I know; for
though a little too apt to trouble yourself about one who does not deserve
half your care, you are much too sensible and too humble to feel distrust
out of reason. We will talk of something else a few minutes, and then you
will lie down and rest your weary body."

"Weary! I should never feel weary in watching, when I thought there was a
cause for it."

Although Nanny made no allusion to herself, Eve understood in whose behalf
this watchfulness was meant. She drew the face of the old woman towards
her, and left a kiss on each cheek ere she continued:--

"These ships have other things to talk about, besides their dangers," she
said. "Do you not find it odd, at least, that a vessel of war should be
sent to follow us about the ocean in this extraordinary way?"

"Quite so, ma'am, and I did intend to speak to you about it, some time
when I saw you had nothing better to think of. At first I fancied, but I
believe it was a silly thought, that some of the great English lords and
admirals that used to be so much about us at Paris, and Rome, and Vienna,
had sent this ship to see you safe to America, Miss Eve; for I never
supposed they would make so much fuss concerning a poor runaway couple,
like these steerage-passengers."

Eve did not refrain from laughing again, at this conceit of Nanny's, for
her temperament was gay as childhood, though well restrained by
cultivation and manner, and once more she patted the cheek of her
nurse kindly.

"Those great lords and admirals are not great enough for that, dear Nanny,
even had they the inclination to do so silly a thing. But has no other
reason suggested itself to you, among the many curious circumstances you
may have had occasion to observe in the ship?"

Nanny looked at Eve, and turned her eyes aside, glanced furtively at the
young lady again, and at last felt compelled to answer.

"I endeavour, ma'am, to think well of everybody, though strange thoughts
will sometimes arise without our wishing it. I suppose I know to what you
allude; but I don't feel quite certain it becomes me to speak."

"With me at least, Nanny, you need have no reserves, and I confess a
desire to learn if we have thought alike about some of our
fellow-passengers. Speak freely, then; for you can have no more
apprehension in communicating all your thoughts to me, than in
communicating them to your own child."

"Not as much, ma'am, not half as much; for you are both child and mistress
to me, and I look quite as much to receiving advice as to giving it. It is
odd, Miss Eve, that gentlemen should not pass under their proper names,
and I have had unpleasant feelings about it, though I did not think it
became me to be the first to speak, while your father was with you, and
mamerzelle," for so Nanny always styled the governess, "and Mr. John, all
of whom love you almost as much as I do, and all of whom are so much
better judges of what is right. But now you encourage me to speak my mind,
Miss Eve, I will say I should like that no one came near you who does not
carry his heart in his open hand, that the youngest child might know his
character and understand his motives."

Eve smiled as her nurse grew warm, but she blushed in spite of an effort
to seem indifferent.

"This would be truly a vain wish, dear Nanny, in the mixed company of a
ship," she said. "It is too much to expect that strangers will throw aside
all their reserves, on first finding themselves in close communion. The
well-bred and prudent will only stand more on their guard under such

"Strangers, ma'am!"

"I perceive that you recollect the face of one of our shipmates. Why do
you shake your head?" The tell-tale blood of Eve again mantled over her
lovely countenance. "I suppose I ought to have said _two_ of our
shipmates, though I had doubted whether you retained any recollection of
one of them."

"No gentleman ever speaks to you twice, Miss Eve, that I do not remember

"Thank you, dearest Nanny, for this and a thousand other proofs of your
never-ceasing interest in my welfare; but I had not believed you so
vigilant as to take heed of every face that happens to approach me."

"Ah, Miss Eve! neither of these gentlemen would like to be mentioned by
you in this careless manner, I'm sure. They both did a great deal more
than 'happen to approach you;' for as to--"

"Hist! dear Nanny; we are in a crowded place, and you may be overheard.
You will use no names, therefore, as I believe we understand each other
without going into all these particulars. Now, my dear nurse, would I give
something to know which of these young men has made the most favourable
impression on your upright and conscientious mind I?"

"Nay, Miss Eve, what is my judgment in comparison with your own, and that
of Mr. John Effingham, and--"

"--My cousin Jack! In the name of wonder, Nanny, what has he to do with
the matter?"

"Nothing, ma'am; only I can see he has his favourites as well as another,
and I'll venture to say Mr. Dodge is not the greatest he has in
this ship."

"I think you might add Sir George Templemore; too," returned Eve,

Ann Sidley looked hard at her young mistress, and smiled before she
answered; and then she continued the discourse naturally, as if there had
been no interruption.

"Quite likely, ma'am; and Mr. Monday, and all the rest of that set. But
you see how soon he discovers a real gentleman; for he is quite easy and
friendly with Mr. Sharp and Mr. Blunt, particularly the last."

Eve was silent, for she did not like the open introduction of these names,
though she scarce knew why herself.

"My cousin is a man of the world," she resumed, on perceiving that Nanny
watched her countenance with solicitude, as if fearful of having gone too
far; "and there is nothing surprising in his discovering men of his own
class. We know both these persons to be not exactly what they seem, though
I think we know no harm of either, unless it be the silly change of names.
It would have been better had they come on board, bearing their proper
appellations; to us, at least, it would have been more respectful, though
both affirm they were ignorant that my father had taken passage in the
Montauk,--a circumstance that may very well be true, as you know we got
the cabin that was first engaged by another party."

"I should be sorry, ma'am, if either failed in respect."

"It is not quite adulatory to make a young woman the involuntary keeper of
the secrets of two unreflecting young men; that is all, my good Nanny. We
cannot well betray them, and we are consequently their confidants _par
force_. The most amusing part of the thing is, that they are masters of
each other's secrets, in part at least, and feel a delightful awkwardness
in a hundred instances. For my own part I pity neither, but think each is
fairly enough punished. They will be fortunate if their servants do not
betray them before we reach New York."

"No fear of that, ma'am, for they are discreet, cautious men, and if
disposed to blab, Mr. Dodge has given both good opportunities already, as
I believe he has put to them as many questions as there are speeches in
the catechism."

"Mr. Dodge is a vulgar man."

"So we all say, ma'am, in the servants' cabin, and everybody is so set
against him there, that there is little chance of his learning much. I
hope, Miss Eve, mamerzelle does not distrust either of the gentlemen?"

"Surely you cannot suspect Mademoiselle Viefville of indiscretion, Nanny;
a better spirit, or a better tone than hers, does not exist."

"No, ma'am, 'tis not that: but I should like to have one more secret with
you, all to myself. I honour and respect mamerzelle, who has done a
thousand times more for you than a poor ignorant woman like me could have
done, with all my zeal; but I do believe, Miss Eve, I love your shoe tie
better than she loves your pure and beautiful spirit."

"Mademoiselle Viefville is an excellent woman, and I believe is sincerely
attached to me."

"She would be a wretch else. I do not deny her attachment, but I only say
it is nothing, it ought to be nothing, it can be nothing, it shall be
nothing, compared to that of the one who first held you in her arms, and
who has always held you in her heart. Mamerzelle can sleep such a night as
this, which I'm sure she could not do were she as much concerned for
you as I am."

Eve knew that jealousy of Mademoiselle Viefville was Nanny's greatest
weakness, and drawing the old woman to her, she entwined her arms around
her neck and complained of drowsiness. Accustomed to watching, and really
unable to sleep, the nurse now passed a perfectly happy hour in holding
her child, who literally dropped asleep on her bosom; after which Nanny
slid into the berth beneath, in her clothes, and finally lost the sense of
her apprehensions in perturbed slumbers.

A cry on dock awoke all in the cabins early on the succeeding morning. It
was scarcely light, but a common excitement seized every passenger, and
ten minutes had not elapsed when Eve and her governess appeared in the
hurricane-house, the last of those who came from below. Few questions had
been asked, but all hurried on deck with their apprehensions awakened by
the gale, increased to the sense of some positive and impending danger.

Nothing, however, was immediately apparent to justify all this sudden
clamour. The gale continued, if anything with increased power; the ocean
was rolling over its cataracts of combing seas, with which the ship was
still racing, driven under the strain of a reefed fore-course, the only
canvas that was set. Even with this little sail the hull was glancing
through the raging seas, or rather in their company, at a rate a little
short of ten miles in the hour.

Captain Truck was in the mizzen-rigging, bare-headed, every lock of hair
he had blowing out like a pennant. Occasionally he signed to the man at
the wheel which way to put the helm; for instead of sleeping, as many had
supposed, he had been conning the ship for hours in the same situation, As
Eve appeared, he was directing the attention of several of the gentlemen
to some object astern, but a very few moments put all on deck in
possession of the facts.

About a cable's length, on one of the quarters of the Montauk, was a ship
careering before the gale like themselves, though carrying more canvas,
and consequently driving faster through the water. The sudden appearance
of this vessel in the sombre light of the morning, when objects were seen
distinctly but without the glare of day; the dark hull, relieved by a
single narrow line of white paint, dotted with ports; the glossy
hammock-cloths, and all those other coverings of dark glistening canvas
which give to a cruiser an air of finish and comfort, like that of a
travelling carriage; the symmetry of the spars, and the gracefulness of
all the lines, whether of the hull or hamper, told all who knew anything
of such subjects, that the stranger was a vessel of war. To this
information Captain Truck added that it was their old pursuer the Foam.

"She is corvette-built," said the master of the Montauk, "and is obliged
to carry more canvas than we, in order to keep out of the way of the seas;
for, if one of these big fellows should overtake her, and throw its crest
into her waist, she would become like a man who has taken too much
Saturday-night, and with whom a second dose might settle the purser's
books forever."

Such in fact was the history of the sudden appearance of this ship. She
had lain-to as long as possible, and on being driven to scud, carried a
close-reefed maintop-sail, a show of canvas that urged her through the
water about two knots to the hour faster than the rate of the-packet.
Necessarily following the same coarse, she overtook the latter just as the
day began to dawn. The cry had arisen on her sudden discovery, and the
moment had now arrived when she was about to come up, quite abreast of her
late chase. The passage of the Foam, under such circumstances, was a grand
but thrilling thing. Her captain, too, was seen in the mizzen-rigging of
his ship, rocked by the gigantic billows over which the fabric was
careering. He held a speaking-trumpet in his hand, as if still bent on his
duty, in the midst of that awful warring of the elements. Captain Truck
called for a trumpet in his turn, and fearful of consequences he waved it
to the other to keep more aloof, The injunction was either misunderstood,
the man-of-war's man was too much bent on his object, or the ocean was too
uncontrollable for such a purpose, the corvette driving up on a sea quite
abeam of the packet, and in fearful proximity. The Englishman applied the
trumpet, and words were heard amid the roaring of the winds. At that time
the white field of old Albion, with the St. George's cross, rose over the
bulwarks, and by the time it had reached the gaff-end, the bunting was
whipping in ribbons.

"Show 'em the gridiron!" growled Captain Truck through his trumpet, with
its mouth turned in board.

As everything was ready this order was instantly obeyed, and the stripes
of America were soon seen fluttering nearly in separate pieces. The two
ships now ran a short distance in parallel lines, rolling from each other
so heavily that the bright copper of the corvette was seen nearly to her
keel. The Englishman, who seemed a portion of his ship, again tried his
trumpet; the detached words of "lie-by,"--"orders,"--"communicate," were
caught by one or two, but the howling of the gale rendered all connexion
in the meaning impossible. The Englishman ceased his efforts to make
himself heard, for the two ships were now rolling-to, and it appeared as
if their spars would interlock. There was an instant when Mr. Leach had
his hand on the main-brace to let it go; but the Foam started away on a
sea, like a horse that feels the spur, and disobeying her helm, shot
forward, as if about to cross the Montauk's forefoot.

A breathless instant followed, for all on board the two ships thought they
must now inevitably come foul of each other, and this the more so, because
the Montauk took the impulse of the sea just as it was lost to the Foam,
and seemed on the point of plunging directly into the stern of the latter.
Even the seamen clenched the ropes around them convulsively, and the
boldest held their breaths for a time. The "p-o-r-t, hard a port, and be
d---d to you!" of Captain Truck; and the "S-t-a-r-b-o-a-r-d, starboard
hard!" of the Englishman, were both distinctly audible to all in the two
ships; for this was a moment in which seamen can speak louder than the
tempest. The affrighted vessels seemed to recede together, and they shot
asunder in diverging lines, the Foam leading. All further attempts at a
communication were instantly useless; the corvette being half a mile ahead

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