Part 5 out of 5
"Because, if he had drifted into the Straits of Minas, he'd manage
to get ashore."
"I don't see that."
"Why, it's so narrow."
"Narrer? O, it's wider'n you think for; besides, ef he got stuck
into the middle of that thar curn't, how's he to get to the shore?
an him without any oars? Answer me that. No, sir; the boat
that'll drift down Petticoat Jack into the bay, without gettin
ashore, 'll drift up them straits into Minas jest the same."
"Well, there does seem something in that. I didn't think of his
drifting down the Petitcodiac."
"Somethin? Bless your heart! ain't that everythin?"
"But do you think there's really a chance yet?"
"A chance? Course thar is. While thar's life thar's hope."
"But how could he live so long?"
"Why shouldn't he?"
"He might starve."
"Not he. Didn't he carry off my box o' biscuit?"
"Think of this fog."
"O, fog ain't much. It's snow an cold that tries a man. He's
"But he's been so exposed."
"Exposed? What to? Not he. Didn't he go an carry off that ole
"I cannot help thinking that it's all over with him?"
"Don't give him up; keep up; cheer up. Think how we got hold of
ole Solomon after givin him up. I tell you that thar was a good
"He's been gone too long. Why, it's going on a fortnight?"
"Wal, what o' that ef he's goin to turn up all right in the end? I
tell you he's somewhar. Ef he ain't in the Bay of Fundy, he may be
driftin off the coast o' Maine, an picked up long ago, an on his
way home now per steamer."
Bart shook his head, and turned away in deep despondency, in which
feeling all the other boys joined him. They had but little hope
now. The time that had elapsed seemed to be too long, and their
disappointments had been too many. The sadness which they had felt
all along was now deeper than ever, and they looked forward without
a ray of hope.
On Friday evening they landed at Scott's Bay, and, as old Bennie
Griggs's house was nearest, they went there. They found both the
old people at home, and were received with an outburst of welcome.
Captain Corbet was an old acquaintance, and made himself at home at
once. Soon his errand was announced.
Bennie had the usual answer, and that was, that nothing whatever
had been heard of any drifting boat. But he listened with intense
interest to Captain Corbet's story, and made him tell it over and
over again, down to the smallest particular. He also questioned
all the boys very closely.
After the questioning was over, he sat in silence for a long time.
At last he looked keenly at Captain Corbet.
"He's not ben heard tell of for about twelve days?"
"An it's ben ony moderate weather?"
"Ony moderate, but foggy."
"O, of course. Wal, in my 'pinion, fust an foremust, he ain't
likely to hev gone down."
"That thar's jest what I say."
"An he had them biscuit?"
"Yes--a hull box."
"An the sail for shelter?"
"Wal; it's queer. He can't hev got down by the State o' Maine;
for, ef he'd got thar, he'd hev sent word home before this."
"Course he would."
Old Bennie thought over this for a long time again, and the boys
watched him closely, as though some result of vital importance hung
upon his final decision.
"Wal," said Bennie at last, "s'posin that he's alive,--an it's very
likely,--thar's ony two ways to account for his onnat'ral silence.
Them air these:--
"Fust, he may hev got picked up by a timber ship, outward bound to
the old country. In that case he may be carried the hull way
acrost. I've knowed one or two sech cases, an hev heerd of
"Second. He may hev drifted onto a oninhabited island."
"An oninhabited island?" repeated Captain Corbet.
"Wal," said Captain Corbet; after a pause, "I've knowed things
stranger than that."
"So hev I."
"Air thar any isle of the ocean in particular that you happen to
hev in your mind's eye now?"
"Wal, now, railly, I declar--ef I wan't thinkin o' that very spot
myself. An I war thinkin, as I war a comin up the bay, that that
thar isle of the ocean was about the only spot belongin to this
here bay that hadn't been heerd from. An it ain't onlikely that
them shores could a tale onfold that mought astonish some on us.
I shouldn't wonder a mite."
"Nor me," said Bennie, gravely.
"It's either a timber ship, or a desert island, as you say,--that's
sartin," said Captain Corbet, after further thought, speaking with
strong emphasis. "Thar ain't a mite o' doubt about it; an which o'
them it is air a very even question. For my part, I'd as soon bet
on one as t'other."
"I've heerd tell o' several seafarin men that's got adrift, an lit
on that thar isle," said Bennie, solemnly.
"Wal, so hev I; an though our lad went all the way from Petticoat
Jack, yet the currents in thar wandorins to an fro could
effectooate that thar pooty mighty quick, an in the course of two
or three days it could land him high an dry on them thar
"Do you think there is any chance of it?" asked Bruce, eagerly,
directing his question to Bennie.
"Do I think? Why, sartin," said Bennie, regarding Bruce's anxious
face with a calm smile. "Hain't I ben a expoundin to you the
"Well, then," cried Bart, starting to his feet, "let's go at once."
"Let's what?" asked Captain Corbet.
"Why, hurry off at once, and get to him as soon as we can."
"An pray, young sir, how could we get to him by leavin here jest
"Can't we go straight to Ile Haute?"
"Scacely. The tide'll be agin us, an the wind too, till nigh
Bart gave a deep sigh.
"But don't be alarmed. We'll go thar next, an as soon as we can.
You see we've got to go on into Minas Basin. Now we want to leave
here so as to drop down with the tide, an then drop up with the
flood tide into Minas Bay. I've about concluded to wait here till
about three in the mornin. We'll drop down to the island in about
a couple of hours, and'll hev time to run ashore, look round, and
catch the flood tide."
"Well, you know best," said Bart, sadly.
"I think that's the only true an rational idee," said Bennie. "I
do, railly; an meantime you can all get beds here with me, an you
can hev a good bit o' sleep before startin."
This conversation took place not long after their arrival. The
company were sitting in the big old kitchen, and Mrs. Bennie was
spreading her most generous repast on the table.
After a bounteous supper the two old men talked over the situation
until bedtime. They told many stories about drifting boats and
rafts, compared notes about the direction of certain currents, and
argued about the best course to pursue under certain very difficult
circumstances, such, for example, as a thick snow-storm, midnight,
a heavy sea, and a strong current setting upon a lee shore, the
ship's anchor being broken also. It was generally considered that
the situation was likely to be unpleasant.
At ten o'clock Bennie hurried his guests to their beds, where they
slept soundly in spite of their anxiety. Before three in the
morning he awaked them, and they were soon ready to reembark.
It was dim morning twilight as they bade adieu to their hospitable
entertainers, and but little could be seen. Captain Corbet raised
his head, and peered into the sky above, and sniffed the sea air.
"Wal, railly," said he, "I do declar ef it don't railly seem as ef
it railly is a change o' weather--it railly doos. Why, ain't this
rich? We're ben favored at last. We're agoin to hev a clar day.
The boys could not make out whether the captain's words were
justified or not by the facts, but thought that they detected in
the air rather the fragrance of the land than the savor of the salt
sea. There was no wind, however, and they could not see far enough
out on the water to know whether there was any fog or not.
Bennie accompanied them to the boat, and urged them to come back if
they found the boys and let him rest in Scott's Bay. But the fate
of that boy was so uncertain, that they could not make any promise
It was a little after three when the Antelope weighed anchor, and
dropped down the bay.
There was no wind whatever. It was the tide only that carried them
down to their destination. Soon it began to grow lighter, and by
the time that they were half way, they saw before them the dark
outline of the island, as it rose from the black water with its
The boys looked at it in silence. It seemed, indeed, a hopeless
place to search in for signs of poor Tom. How could he ever get
ashore in such a place as this, so far out of the line of his
drift; or if he had gone ashore there, how could he have lived till
now? Such were the gloomy and despondent thoughts that filled the
minds of all, as they saw the vessel drawing nearer and still
nearer to those frowning cliffs.
As they went on the wind grew stronger, and they found that it was
their old friend--the sou-wester. The light increased, and they
saw a fog cloud on the horizon, a little beyond Ile Haute. Captain
Corbet would not acknowledge that he had been mistaken in his
impressions about a change of weather, but assured the boys that
this was only the last gasp of the sou-wester, and that a change
was bound to take place before evening. But though the fog was
visible below Ile Haute, it did not seem to come any nearer, and at
length the schooner approached the island, and dropped anchor.
It was about half past four in the morning, and the light of day
was beginning to be diffused around, when they reached their
destination. As it was low tide, they could not approach very
near, but kept well off the precipitous shores on the south side of
the island. In the course of her drift, while letting go the
anchor, she went off to a point about half way down, opposite the
shore. Scarce had her anchor touched bottom, than the impatient
boys were all in the boat, calling on Captain Corbet to come along.
The captain and Wade took the oars.
It was a long pull to the shore, and, when they reached it, the
tide was so low that there remained a long walk over the beach.
They had landed about half way down the island, and, as they
directed their steps to the open ground at the east end, they had a
much greater distance to traverse than they had anticipated. As
they walked on, they did not speak a word. But already they began
to doubt whether there was any hope left. They had been bitterly
disappointed as they came near and saw no sign of life. They had
half expected to see some figure on the beach waiting to receive
them. But there was no figure and no shout of joy.
At length, as they drew nearer to the east end, and the light grew
brighter, Bart, who was in advance, gave a shout.
They all hurried forward.
Bart was pointing towards something.
It was a signal-staff, with something that looked like a flag
hoisted half mast high.
Every heart beat faster, and at once the wildest hopes arose. They
hurried on over the rough beach as fast as possible. They
clambered over rocks, and sea-weed, and drift-wood, and at length
reached the bank. And still, as they drew nearer, the signal-staff
rose before them, and the flag at half mast became more and more
Rushing up the bank towards this place, each trying to outstrip the
others, they hurried forward, full of hope now that some signs of
Tom might be here. At length they reached the place where Tom had
been so long, and here their steps were arrested by the scene
On the point arose the signal-staff, with its heavy flag hanging
down. The wind was now blowing, but it needed almost a gale to
hold out that cumbrous canvas. Close by were the smouldering
remains of what had been a huge fire, and all around this were
chips and sticks. In the immediate neighborhood were some bark
dishes, in some of which were shrimps and mussels. Clams and
lobsters lay around, with shells of both.
Not far off was a canvas tent, which looked singularly comfortable
Captain Corbet looked at all this, and shook his head.
"Bad--bad--bad," he murmured, in a doleful tone. "My last hope,
or, rayther, one of my last hopes, dies away inside of me. This is
wuss than findin' a desert place."
"Why? Hasn't he been here? He must have been here," cried Bart.
"These are his marks. I dare say he's here now--perhaps asleep--in
the camp. I'll go--"
"Don't go--don't--you needn't," said Captain Corbet, with a groan.
"You don't understand. It's ben no pore castaway that's come here--
no pore driftin lad that fell upon these lone and desolate coasts.
No--never did he set foot here. All this is not the work o'
shipwracked people. It's some festive picnickers, engaged in
whilin away a few pleasant summer days. All around you may
perceive the signs of luxoorious feastin. Here you may see all the
different kind o' shellfish that the sea produces. Yonder is a
luxoorious camp. But don't mind what I say. Go an call the
occoopant, an satisfy yourselves."
Captain Corbet walked with the boys over to the tent. His words
had thrown a fresh dejection over all. They felt the truth of what
he said. These remains spoke not of shipwreck, but of pleasure,
and of picnicking. It now only remained to rouse the slumbering
owner of the tent, and put the usual questions.
Bart was there first, and tapped at the post.
He tapped again.
Still there was no answer.
He raised the canvas and looked in. He saw the mossy interior, but
perceived that it was empty. All the others looked in. On
learning this they turned away puzzled.
"Wal, I thought so," said Captain Corbet. "They jest come an go as
the fancy takes 'em. They're off on Cape d'Or to-day, an back here
As he said this he seated himself near the tent, and the boys
looked around with sad and sombre faces.
It was now about half past five, and the day had dawned for some
time. In the east the fog had lifted, and the sun was shining
"I told you thar'd be a change, boys," said the captain.
As he spoke there came a long succession of sharp, shrill blasts
from the fog horn of the Antelope, which started every one, and
made them run to the rising ground to find out the cause.
Astounding Discovery.--The whole Party of Explorers overwhelmed.--
Meeting with the Lost.--Captain Corbet improves the Occasion.--
At the sound from the Antelope they had all started for the rising
ground, to see what it might mean. None of them had any idea what
might be the cause, but all of them felt startled and excited at
hearing it under such peculiar circumstances. Nor was their
excitement lessened by the sight that met their eyes as they
reached the rising ground and looked towards the schooner.
A change had taken place. When they had left, Solomon only had
remained behind. But now there were two figures on the deck. One
was amidships. The schooner was too far away for them to see
distinctly, but this one was undoubtedly Solomon; yet his gestures
were so extraordinary that it was difficult to identify him. He it
was by whom the blasts on the fog horn were produced. Standing
amidships, he held the fog horn in one hand, and in the other he
held a battered old cap which supplied the place of the old straw
hat lost at Quaco. After letting off a series of blasts from the
horn, he brandished his cap wildly in the air, and then proceeded
to dance a sort of complex double-shuffle, diversified by wild
leaps in the air, and accompanied by brandishings of his hat and
fresh blasts of the horn. But if Solomon's appearance was somewhat
bewildering, still more so was that of the other one. This one
stood astern. Suddenly as they looked they saw him hoist a flag,
and, wonder of wonders, a black flag,--no other, in short, than the
well-known flag of the "B. O. W. C." That flag had been mournfully
lowered and put away on Tom's disappearance, but now it was hoisted
once more; and as they looked, the new comer hoisted it and lowered
it, causing it to rise and fall rapidly before their eyes.
Nor did the wonder end here. They had taken away the only boat
that the schooner possessed in order to come ashore, leaving
Solomon alone. They had noticed no boat whatever as they rowed to
land. But now they saw a boat floating astern of the Antelope,
with a small and peculiarly shaped sail, that now was flapping in
the breeze. Evidently this boat belonged to the new comer. But
who was he? How had he come there? What was the meaning of those
signals with that peculiar flag, and what could be the reason of
They stood dumb with astonishment, confused, and almost afraid to
think of the one cause that each one felt to be the real
explanation of all this. Too long had they searched in vain for
Tom,--too often had they sunk from hope to despair,--too confident
and sanguine had they been; and now, at this unexpected sight, in
spite of the assurance which it must have given them that this
could be no other than Tom, they scarce dared to believe in such
great happiness, and were afraid that even this might end in a
disappointment like the others.
But, though they stood motionless and mute, the two figures on
board the Antelope were neither one nor the other. Solomon danced
more and more madly, and brandished his arms more and more
excitedly, and there came forth from his fog horn wilder and still
wilder peals, and the flag rose and fell more and more quickly,
until at last the spectators on the shore could resist no longer.
This cry burst from Captain Corbet.
It was enough. The spell was broken. A wild cry burst forth from
the boys, and with loud, long shouts of joy they rushed down the
bank, and over the beach, back to their boat. The captain was as
quick as any of them. In his enthusiasm he forgot his rheumatism.
There was a race, and though he was not even with Bruce and Bart,
he kept ahead of Pat, and Arthur, and Phil, and old Wade.
And hurrah again!
Yes, and hurrah over and over; and many were the hurrahs that burst
from them as they raced over the rocky beach.
Then to tumble into the boat, one after another, to grasp the oars,
to push her off, to head her for the schooner, and to dash through
the water on their way back, was but the work of a few minutes.
The row to the schooner was a tedious one to those impatient young
hearts. But as they drew nearer, they feasted their eyes on the
figure of the new comer, and the last particle of doubt and fear
died away. First, they recognized the dress--the familiar red
shirt. Tom had worn a coat and waistcoat ashore at Hillsborough on
that eventful day; but on reaching the schooner, he had flung them
off, and appeared now in the costume of the "B. O. W. C." This
they recognized first, and then his face was revealed--a face that
bore no particular indication of suffering or privation, which
seemed certainly more sunburnt than formerly, but no thinner.
Soon they reached the vessel, and clambered up; and then with what
shouts and almost shrieks of joy they seized Tom! With what cries
and cheers of delight they welcomed him back again, by turns
overwhelming him with questions, and then pouring forth a torrent
of description of their own long search!
Captain Corbet stood a little aloof. His face was not so radiant
as the faces of the boys. His features were twitching, and his
hands were clasped tight behind his back. He stood leaning against
the mainmast, his eyes fixed on Tom. It was thus that he stood
when Tom caught sight of him, and rushed up to shake hands.
Captain Corbet grasped Tom's hand in both of his. He trembled, and
Tom felt that his hands were cold and clammy.
"My dear boys," he faltered, "let us rejice--and--be glad--for this
my son--that was dead--is alive agin--"
A shudder passed through him, and he stopped, and pressed Tom's
Then he gave a great gasp, and, "Thar, thar," he murmured, "it's
too much! I'm onmanned. I've suffered--an agonized--an this--
And with these words he burst into tears.
Then he dropped Tom's hand, and retreated into the cabin, where he
remained for a long time, but at last reappeared, restored to
calmness, and with a smile of sweet and inexpressible peace
wreathing his venerable countenance.
By this time the boys had told Tom all about their long search; and
when Captain Corbet reappeared, Tom had completed the story of his
adventures, and had just reached that part, in his wanderings,
where he had left the island, and found himself drifting down the
bay. As that was the point at which Tom was last lost sight of in
these pages, his story may be given here in his own words.
"Yes," said he, "you see I found myself drifting down. There was
no help for it. The wind was slight, and the tide was strong. I
was swept down into a fog bank, and lost sight of Ile Haute
altogether. Well, it didn't matter very much, and I wasn't a bit
anxious. I knew that the tide would turn soon, and then I'd come
up, and fetch the land somewhere; so I waited patiently. At last,
after about--well, nearly an hour, the tide must have turned, and I
drifted back, and there was wind enough to give me quite a lift;
and so all of a sudden I shot out of the fog, and saw Ile Haute
before me. I was coming in such a way that my course lay on the
south side of the island, and in a short time I came in sight of
the schooner. I tell you what it is, I nearly went into fits--I
knew her at once. A little farther on, and I saw you all cutting
like mad over the beach to my camp. I was going to put after you
at first; but the fact is, I hated the island so that I couldn't
bear to touch it again, and so I concluded I'd go on board and
signal. So I came up alongside, and got on board. Solomon was
down below; so I just stepped forward, and put my head over the
hatchway, and spoke to him. I declare I thought he'd explode. He
didn't think I was a ghost at all. It wasn't fear, you know--it
was nothing but delight, and all that sort of thing, you know.
Well, you know, then we went to work signaling to you, and he took
the fog horn, and I went to the flag, and so it was."
"I don't know how we happened not to see your boat," said Bruce.
"O, that's easy enough to account for," said Tom. "I was hid by
the east point of the island. I didn't see the schooner till I got
round, and you must have been just getting ashore at that time."
During all this time Solomon had been wandering about in a
mysterious manner; now diving below into the hold, and rattling the
pots and pans; again emerging upon deck, and standing to listen to
Tom and look at him. His face shone like a polished boot; there
was a grin on his face that showed every tooth in his head, and his
little twinkling black beads of eyes shone, and sparkled, and
rolled about till the winking black pupils were eclipsed by the
whites. At times he would stand still, and whisper solemnly and
mysteriously to himself, and then, without a moment's warning, he
would bring his hands down on his thighs, and burst into a loud,
long, obstreperous, and deafening peal of uncontrollable laughter.
"Solomon," said Tom, at last, "Solomon, my son, won't you burst if
you go on so? I'm afraid you may."
At this Solomon went off again, and dived into the hold. But in a
minute or two he was back again, and giggling, and glancing, and
whispering to himself, as before. Solomon and Captain Corbet thus
had each a different way of exhibiting the same emotion, for the
feeling that was thus variously displayed was nothing but the
purest and most unfeigned joy.
"See yah, Mas'r Tom--and chil'n all," said Solomon, at last. "Ise
gwine to pose dat we all go an tend to sometin ob de fust portance.
Hyah's Mas'r Tom habn't had notin to eat more'n a mont; an hyah's
de res ob de blubbed breddern ob de Bee see double what been a
fastin since dey riz at free clock dis shinin and spicious morn.
Dis yah's great an shinin casium, an should be honnad by great and
strorny stivities. Now, dar ain't no stivity dat can begin to hole
a can'l to a good dinna, or suppa, or sometin in de eatin line. So
Ise gwine to pose to honna de cobbery ob de Probable Son by a rale
ole-fashioned, stunnin breakfuss. Don't be fraid dar'll be any
ficiency hyah. I got tings aboard dat I ben a savin for dis
spicious an lightful cobbery. Ben no eatin in dis vessel ebber
sence de loss chile took his parter an drifted off. Couldn't get
no pusson to tetch nuffin. Got 'em all now; an so, blubbed
breddern, let's sem'l once more, an ole Solomon'll now ficiate in
de pressive pacity ob Gran Pandledrum. An I pose dat we rect a
tent on de sho oh dis yah island, and hab de banket come off in
fust chop style."
"The island!" cried Tom, in horror. "What! the island? Breakfast
on the island? What a horrible proposal! Look here, captain.
Can't we get away from this?"
"Get away from this?" repeated the captain, in mild surprise.
"Yes," said Tom. "You see, the fact is, when a fellow's gone
through what I have, he isn't over fond of the place where he's had
that to go through. And so this island is a horrible place to me,
and I can't feel comfortable till I get away out of sight of it.
Breakfast! Why, the very thought of eating is abominable as long
as that island is in sight."
"Wal, railly, now," said Captain Corbet, "I shouldn't wonder if
thar was a good deal in that, though I didn't think of it afore.
Course it's natral you shouldn't be over fond of sech, when you've
had sech an oncommon tough time. An now, bein' as thar's no uthly
occasion for the Antelope to be a lingerin' round this here isle of
the ocean, I muve that we histe anchor an resume our vyge. It's
nigh onto a fortnight sence we fust started for Petticoat Jack, and
sence that time we've had rare and strikin vycissitoods. It may
jest happen that some on ye may be tired of the briny deep, an may
wish no more to see the billers bound and scatter their foamin
spray; some on ye likewise may be out o' sperrits about the fog.
In sech a case, all I got to say is, that this here schooner'll be
very happy to land you at the nighest port, Scott's Bay, frincense,
from which you may work your way by land to your desired haven.
Sorry would I be to part with ye, specially in this here moment of
jy; but ef ye've got tired of the Antelope, tain't no more'n's
natral. Wal, now,--what d'ye say--shall we go up to Scott's Bay,
or will ye contenoo on to Petticoat Jack, an accomplitch the
riginal vyge as per charter party?"
The boys said nothing, but looked at Tom as though referring the
question to him.
"As far as I am concerned," said Tom, who noticed this reference to
him, "it's a matter of indifference where we go, so long as we go
out of sight of this island. If the rest prefer landing at Scott's
Bay, I'm agreed; at the same time, I'd just as soon go on to
"An what do the rest o' ye say?" asked the captain, somewhat
"For my part," said Bruce, "I think it's about the best thing we
The others all expressed similar sentiments, and Captain Corbet
listened to this with evident delight.
"All right," said he, "and hooray! Solomon, my aged friend, we
will have our breakfast on board, as we glide past them thar
historic shores. Pile on what you have, and make haste."
In a few minutes more the anchor was up, and the Antelope was under
In about half an hour Solomon summoned them below, where he laid
before them a breakfast that cast into the shade Tom's most
elaborate meal on the island. With appetites that seemed to have
been growing during the whole period of Tom's absence, the joyous
company sat down to that repast, while Solomon moved around, his
eyes glistening, his face shining, his teeth grinning, and his hips
moving, as, after his fashion, he whispered little Solomonian
pleasantries to his own affectionate heart. At this repast the
boys began a fresh series of questions, and drew from Tom a full,
complete, and exhaustive history of his island life, more
particularly with regard to his experience in house-building, and
housekeeping; and with each one, without exception, it was a matter
of sincere regret that it had not been his lot to be Tom's
companion in the boat and on the island.
After breakfast they came up on deck. The wind had at length
changed, as Captain Corbet had prophesied in the morning, and the
sky overhead was clear. Down the bay still might be seen the fog
banks, but near at hand all was bright. Behind them Ile Haute was
already at a respectful distance, and Cape Chignecto was near.
"My Christian friends," said Captain Corbet, solemnly,--"my
Christian friends, an dear boys. Agin we resoom the thread of our
eventfool vyge, that was brok of a suddent in so onparld a manner.
Agin we gullide o'er the foamin biller like a arrer shot from a
cross-bow, an culleave the briny main. We have lived, an we have
suffered, but now our sufferins seem to be over. At last we have a
fair wind, with a tide to favor us, an we'll be off Hillsborough
before daybreak to-morrer. An now I ask you all, young sirs, do
you feel any regretses over the eventfool past? I answer, no. An
wan't I right? Didn't I say that that thar lad would onst more
show his shinin face amongst us, right side up, with care, in good
order an condition, as when shipped on board the Antelope, Corbet
master, from Grand Pre, an bound for Petticoat Jack? Methinks I
did. Hence the vally of a lofty sperrit in the face of
difficulties. An now, young sirs, in after life take warnin by
this here vyge. Never say die. Don't give up the ship. No
surrender. England expects every man to do his dooty. For him
that rises superior to succumstances is terewly great; an by
presarvin a magnanumous mind you'll be able to hold up your heads
and smile amid the kerrash of misfortin. Now look at me. I affum,
solemn, that all the sufferins I've suffered have ben for my good;
an so this here vyge has eventooated one of the luckiest vyges that
you've ever had. An thus," he concluded, stretching out his
venerable hands with the air of one giving a benediction,--"thus
may it be with the vyge of life. May all its storms end in calms,
an funnish matter in the footoor for balmy rettuspect. Amen!"
It was a close approach to a sermon; and though the words were a
little incoherent, yet the tone was solemn, and the intention good.
After this the captain dropped the lofty part of a Mentor, and
mingled with the boys as an equal.
This time the voyage passed without any accident. Before daybreak
on the following morning they reached Hillsborough, where Mrs.
Watson received them with the utmost joy. In a few days more the
boys had scattered, and Bart arrived home with the story of Tom's