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Snarleyyow by Captain Frederick Marryat

Part 2 out of 9

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collected, that you might have imagined it a masquerade. It was,
however, getting late, and Frau Vandersloosh had received the intimation
of the people of the police who superintend these resorts, that it was
the time for shutting up; so that, although the widow was sorry on her
own account to disperse so merry and so thirsty a party as they were now
becoming, so soon as the waltz was ended the musicians packed up their
instruments and departed.

This was a signal for many, but by no means for all, to depart; for
music being over, and the house doors closed, a few who remained,
provided they made no disturbance, were not interfered with by the
police. Among those who stayed were the party from the _Yungfrau_, one
or two American, and some Prussian sailors. Having closed up together,

"Come," cried Jemmy, "now that we are quiet again, let's have another
song; and who is it to be--Dick Short?"

"Short, my boy, come, you must sing."

"No," replied Short.

"Yes, yes--one verse," said Spurey.

"He never sings more," replied Jemmy Ducks, "so he must give us that.
Come, Short."

"Yes," replied Short, taking the pipe out of his mouth, and wetting his
lips with the grog.

_Short_ stay apeak was the anchor,
We had but a _short_ minute more,
In _short_, I no longer could banker,
For _short_ was the cash in my store.
I gave one _short_ look,
As Poll heaved a _short_ sigh
One _short_ hug I took,
_Short_ the matter cut I,
And off I went to sea.

"Go on, Dick."

"No," replied Short, resuming his pipe.

"Well, then, chorus, my boys."

Very good song, and very well sung,
Jolly companions every one;
We all are here for mirth and glee,
We all are here for jollity.
Very good song, and very well sung,
Jolly companions every one;
Put your hats on, and keep your heads warm,
A little more liquor will do us no harm.

"Now then, Jemmy Ducks, it's round to you again. Strike up, fiddle and

"Well, here goes," said Jemmy Ducks.

The captain stood on the carronade--first lieutenant, says he,
Send all my merry men aft here, for they must list to me:
I havn't the gift of the gab, my sons--because I'm bred to the sea,
That ship there is a Frenchman, who means to fight with we.
Odds blood, hammer and tongs, long as I've been to sea,
I've fought 'gainst every odds--but I've gained the victory.

That ship there is a Frenchman, and if we don't take _she,_
'Tis a thousand bullets to one, that she will capture _me_;
I havn't the gift of the gab, my boys, so each man to his gun,
If she's not mine in half an hour, I'll flog each mother's son.
Odds bobs, hammer and tongs, long as I've been to sea,
I've fought 'gainst every odds--and I've gained the victory.

We fought for twenty minutes, when the Frenchman had enough,
I little thought, said he, that your men were of such stuff;
The captain took the Frenchman's sword, a low bow made to he,
I havn't the gift of the gab, Mounsieur, but polite I wish to be.
Odds bobs, hammer and tongs, long as I've been to sea,
I've fought 'gainst every odds--and I've gained the victory.

Our captain sent for all of us; my merry men, said he,
I havn't the gift of the gab, my lads, but yet I thankful be;
You've done your duty handsomely, each man stood to his gun,
If you hadn't, you villains, as sure as day, I'd have flogged
each mother's son.
Odds bobs, hammer and tongs, as long as I'm at sea,
I'll fight 'gainst every odds--and I'll gain the victory.

_Chorus_--Very good song, and very well sung,
Jolly companions every one;
We all are here for mirth and glee,
We all are here for jollity.
Very good song, and very well sung,
Jolly companions every one;
Put your hats on to keep your heads warm,
A little more grog will do us no harm.

"Now, Coble, we must have yours," said Jemmy Ducks.

"Mine! well, if you please: but half my notes are stranded. You'll think
that Snarleyyow is baying the moon: howsomever, take it as it is."

Oh, what's the use of piping, boys, I never yet could larn,
The good of water from the eyes I never could disarn;
Salt water we have sure enough without our pumping more,
So let us leave all crying to the girls we leave on shore.

They may pump,
As in we jump
To the boat, and say, "Good-bye;"
But as for men,
Why, I say again,
That crying's all my eye.

I went to school when quite a boy, and never larnt to read,
The master tried both head and tail--at last it was agreed
No larning he could force in me, so they sent me off to sea,
My mother wept and wrung her hands, and cried most bitterly.

So she did pump,
As I did jump
In the boat, and said, "Good-bye;"
But as for me,
Who was sent to sea,
To cry was all my eye.

I courted Poll, a buxom lass; when I returned A B,
I bought her ear-rings, hat, and shawl, a sixpence did break we;
At last 'twas time to be on board, so, Poll, says I, farewell;
She roared and said, that leaving her was like a funeral knell.

So she did pump,
As I did jump
In the boat, and said, "Good-bye;"
But as for me
With the rate A B,
To cry was all my eye.

I soon went back, I shoved on shore, and Polly I did meet,
For she was watching on the shore, her sweetheart for to greet,
She threw her arms around me then, and much to my surprise,
She vowed she was so happy that she pumped with both her eyes.

So she did pump,
As I did jump
To kiss her lovingly,
But, I say again,
That as for men,
Crying is all my eye.

Then push the can around, my boys, and let us merry be;
We'll rig the pumps if a leak we spring, and work most merrily:
Salt water we have sure enough, we'll add not to its store,
But drink, and laugh, and sing and chat, and call again for more.

The girls may pump,
As in we jump
To the boat, and say, "Good-bye;"
But as for we,
Who sailors be,
Crying is all my eye.

"Bravo, Obadiah! now one more song, and then we'll aboard. It won't do
to bowse your jib up too tight here," said Jemmy; "for it's rather
dangerous navigation among all these canals--no room for yawing."

"No," replied Dick Short.

"Then," said Jemmy, jumping off the table with his fiddle in his hand,
"let's have the roarer by way of a finish--what d'ye say, my hearties?"

Up they all rose, and gathered together in the centre of the room, save
Jemmy Ducks, who, flourishing with his fiddle, commenced.

Jack's alive and a merry dog,
When he gets on shore,
He calls for his glass of grog,
He drinks, and he calls for more.
So drink, and call for what you please,
Until you've had your whack, boys;
We think no more of raging seas,
Now that we've come back, boys.

"Chorus, now--"

With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
_Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
Huzza, my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

All the seamen joined in the chorus, which they accompanied both with
their hands and feet, snapping their fingers at _whip_ and _snip_, and
smacking their hands at _smack_ and _crack_, while they danced round in
the most grotesque manner, to Jemmy's fiddle and voice; the chorus ended
in loud laughter, for they had now proved the words of the song to be
true, and were all alive and merry. According to the rules of the song,
Jemmy now called out for the next singer, Coble.

Jack's alive and merry, my boys,
When he's on blue water,
In the battle's rage and noise,
And the main-deck slaughter.
So drink and call for what you please,
Until you've had your whack, boys;
We'll think no more or angry seas,
Until that we go back, boys.

_Chorus_.--With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
_Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
Huzza my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

Jansen and Jemmy Ducks, after the dancing chorus had finished,

Yack alive and merry, my boys,
Ven he get him _frau_,
And he vid her ringlet toys,
As he take her paw.
So drink, and call for vat you please.
Until you hab your vack, boys;
Ve'll think no more of angry seas,
Till ve standen back, boys.

Chorus and laughter

With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
_Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
Huzza, my lads, we'll keep the pot boiling.

Bill Spurey--

Jack's alive and merry, boys,
When he's got the shiners;
Heh! for rattle, fun, and noise,
Hang all grumbling whiners.
Then drink, and call for what you please,
Until you've had your whack, boys;
We think no more of raging seas,
Now that we've come back, boys.

_Chorus_.--With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
_Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
Huzza, my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

"Dick Short must sing."

"Yes," replied Dick.

Jack's alive and full of fun,
When his hulk is crazy,
As he basks in Greenwich sun,
Jolly still though lazy.
So drink, and call for what you please,
Until you've had your whack, boys;
We'll think no more of raging seas,
Now that we've come back, boys.

_Chorus_.--With a _whip, snip_, high cum diddledy,
The cog-wheels of life have need of much oiling;
_Smack, crack_--this is our jubilee;
Huzza, my lads! we'll keep the pot boiling.

As this was the last chorus, it was repeated three or four times, and
with hallooing, screaming, and dancing in mad gesticulation.

"Hurrah, my lads," cried Jemmy, "three cheers and a bravo."

It was high time that they went on board; so thought Frau Vandersloosh,
who trembled for her chandeliers; so thought Babette, who had begun to
yawn before the last song, and who had tired herself more with laughing
at it; so thought they all, and they sallied forth out of the Lust Haus,
with Jemmy Ducks having the advance, and fiddling to them the whole way
down to the boat. Fortunately, not one of them fell into the canal, and
in ten minutes they were all on board; they were not, however, permitted
to turn into their hammocks without the important information being
imparted to them, that Snarleyyow had disappeared.

Chapter X

In which is explained the sublime mystery of keel-hauling--Snarleyyow
saves Smallbones from being drowned, although Smallbones would have
drowned him.

It is a dark morning; the wind is fresh from the northwest; flakes of
snow are seen wafting here and there by the wind, the avant-couriers of
a heavy fall; the whole sky is of one murky grey, and the sun is hidden
behind a dense bank. The deck of the cutter is wet and slippery, and
Dick Short has the morning watch. He is wrapt up in a Flushing
pea-jacket, with thick mittens on his hands; he looks about him, and now
and then a fragment of snow whirls into his eye; he winks it out, it
melts and runs like a tear down his cheek. If it were not that it is
contrary to man-of-war custom he would warm himself with the
_double-shuffle_, but such a step would be unheard of on the
quarter-deck of even the cutter _Yungfrau_.

The tarpaulin over the hatchway is pushed on one side, and the space
between the coamings is filled with the bull head and broad shoulders of
Corporal Van Spitter, who, at last, gains the deck; he looks round him
and apparently is not much pleased with the weather. Before he proceeds
to business, he examines the sleeves and front of his jacket, and having
brushed off with the palm of his hand a variety of blanket-hairs,
adhering to the cloth, he is satisfied, and now turns to the right and
to the left, and forward and aft--in less than a minute he goes right
round the compass. What can Corporal Van Spitter want at so early an
hour? He has not come up on deck for nothing, and yet he appears to be
strangely puzzled: the fact is, by the arrangements of last night, it
was decided, that this morning, if Snarleyyow did not make his
appearance in the boat sent on shore for fresh beef for the ship's
company, the unfortunate Smallbones was to be _keel-hauled_.

What a delightful morning for a keel-hauling!

This ingenious process, which, however, like many other good old
customs, has fallen into disuse, must be explained to the non-nautical
reader. It is nothing more nor less than sending a poor navigator on a
voyage of discovery under the bottom of the vessel, lowering him[2] down
over the bows, and with ropes detaining him exactly in his position
under the kelson, while he is drawn aft by a hauling line until he makes
his appearance at the rudder-chains, generally speaking quite out of
breath, not at the rapidity of his motion, but because, when so long
under the water, he has expended all the breath in his body, and is
induced to take in salt water _en lieu._ There is much merit in this
invention; people are very apt to be content with walking the deck of a
man-of-war, and complain of it as a hardship, but when once they have
learnt, by experience, the difference between being comfortable above
board, and the number of deprivations which they have to submit to when
under board and overboard at the same time, they find that there are
worse situations than being on the deck of a vessel--we say privations
when under board, for they really are very important:--you are deprived
of the air to breathe, which is not borne with patience even by a
philosopher, and you are obliged to drink salt water instead of fresh.
In the days of keel-hauling, the bottoms of vessels were not coppered,
and in consequence were well studded with a species of shell-fish which
attached themselves, called barnacles, and as these shells were all
open-mouthed and with sharp cutting points, those who underwent this
punishment (for they were made by the ropes at each side, fastened to
their arms, to hug the kelson of the vessel) were cut and scored all
over their body, as if with so many lancets, generally coming up
bleeding in every part, and with their faces, especially their noses, as
if they had been gnawed by the rats; but this was considered rather
advantageous than otherwise, as the loss of blood restored the patient
if he was not quite drowned, and the consequence was, that one out of
three, it is said, have been known to recover after their submarine
excursion. The Dutch have the credit, and we will not attempt to take
from them their undoubted right, of having invented this very agreeable
description of punishment. They are considered a heavy, phlegmatic sort
of people, but on every point in which the art of ingeniously tormenting
is in request, it must be admitted that they have taken the lead of much
more vivacious and otherwise more inventive nations.

[Footnote 2: The author has here explained keel-hauling as practised in
those times in small _fore and aft_ vessels. In large and square-rigged
vessels, the man was hauled up to one main-yard arm, and dropped into
the sea, and hauled under the bottom of the vessel to the other; but
this in small fore and aft vessels was not so easily effected, nor was
it considered sufficient punishment.]

And now the reader will perceive why Corporal Van Spitter was in a
dilemma. With all the good-will in the world, with every anxiety to
fulfil his duty, and to obey his superior officer, he was not a seaman,
and did not know how to commence operations. He knew nothing about
foddering a vessel's bottom, much less how to fodder it with the carcass
of one of his fellow-creatures. The corporal, as we said before, turned
round and round the compass to ascertain if he could compass his wishes;
at last, he commenced by dragging one-rope's end from one side and
another from the other; those would do for the side ropes, but he wanted
a long one from forward and another from aft, and how to get the one
from aft under the cutter's bottom was a puzzle; and then there was the
mast and the rigging in his way;--the corporal reflected--the more he
considered the matter, the more his brain became confused; he was at a
nonplus, and he gave it up in despair: he stood still, took out a blue
cotton handkerchief from the breast of his jacket and wiped his
forehead, for the intensity of thought had made him perspire--anything
like reflection was very hard work for Corporal Van Spitter.

"Tousand tyfels!" at last exclaimed the corporal, and he paused and
knocked his big head with his fist.

"Hundred thousand tyfels!" repeated the corporal after five minutes'
more thought.

"Twenty hundred tousand tyfels!" muttered the corporal, once more
knocking his head: but he knocked in vain; like an empty house, there
was no one within to answer the appeal. The corporal could no more: so
he returned his pocket-handkerchief to the breast of his jacket, and a
heavy sigh escaped from his own breast. All the devils in hell were
mentally conjured and summoned to his aid, but they were, it is to be
presumed, better employed, for although the work in hand was diabolical
enough, still, Smallbones was such a poor devil, that probably he might
have been considered as remotely allied to the fraternity.

It may be inquired why, as this was _on service_, Corporal Van Spitter
did not apply for the assistance of the seamen belonging to the vessel,
particularly to the officer in charge of the deck; but the fact was,
that he was unwilling to do this, knowing that his application would be
in vain, for he was aware that the whole crew sided with Smallbones; it
was only as a last resource that he intended to do this, and being now
at his _wit's_ end, he walked up to Dick Short, who had been watching
the corporal's motions in silence, and accosted him.

"If you please, Mynheer Short, Mynheer Vanslyperken give orders dat de
boy be keel-hauled dis morning:--I want haben de rope and de way."

Short looked at the corporal, and made no reply.

"Mynheer Short, I haben tell de order of Mynheer Vanslyperken."

Dick Short made no reply, but leaning over the hatchway, called out,

"Ay, ay," replied Jemmy Ducks, turning out of his hammock and dropping
on the lower deck.

Corporal Van Spitter, who imagined that Mr Short was about to comply
with his request after his own Harpocratic fashion, remained quietly on
the deck until Jemmy Ducks made his appearance.

"Hands," quoth Short.

Jemmy piped the hands up.

"Boat," quoth Short, turning his head to the small boat hoisted up

Now as all this was apparently preparatory to the work required, the
corporal was satisfied. The men soon came up with their hammocks on
their shoulders, which they put into the nettings, and then Jemmy
proceeded to lower down the boat. As soon as it was down and hauled up
alongside, Short turned round to Coble, and waving his hand towards the
shore, said,


Coble, who perfectly understood him, put a new quid into his cheek, went
down the side, and pulled on shore to bring off the fresh beef and
vegetables for the ship's company; after which Dick Short walked the
deck and gave no further orders.

Corporal Van Spitter perceiving this, went up to him again.

"Mynheer Short, you please get ready."

"No!" thundered Short, turning away.

"Got for dam, dat is mutiny," muttered the corporal, who immediately
backed stern foremost down the hatchway, to report to his commandant the
state of affairs on deck. Mr Vanslyperken had already risen; he had
slept but one hour during the whole night, and that one hour was so
occupied with wild and fearful dreams that he awoke from his sleep
unrefreshed. He had dreamed that he was making every attempt to drown
Smallbones, but without effect, for, so soon as the lad was dead he came
to life again; he thought that Smallbones' soul was incorporated in a
small animal something like a mouse, and that he had to dislodge it from
its tenement of clay; but as soon as he drove it from one part of the
body it would force its way back again into another; if he forced it out
by the mouth after incredible exertions, which made him perspire at
every pore, it would run back again into the ear; if forced from thence,
through the nostril, then in at the toe, or any other part; in short, he
laboured apparently in his dream for years, but without success. And
then the "change came o'er the spirit of his dream;" but still there was
analogy, for he was now trying to press his suit, which was now a liquid
in a vial, into the widow Vandersloosh, but in vain. He administered it
again and again, but it acted as an emetic, and she could not stomach
it, and then he found himself rejected by all--the widow kicked him,
Smallbones stamped upon him, even Snarleyyow flew at him and bit him; at
last, he fell with an enormous paving-stone round his neck, descending
into a horrible abyss head foremost, and, as he increased his velocity,
he awoke trembling and confused, and could sleep no more. This dream was
not one to put Mr Vanslyperken into good humour, and two severe cuts on
his cheek with the razor as he attempted to shave, for his hand still
trembled, had added to his discontent, when it was raised to its climax
by the entrance of Corporal Van Spitter, who made his report of the
mutinous conduct of the first officer. Never was Mr Vanslyperken in such
a tumult of rage; he pulled off some beaver from his hat to staunch the
blood, and wiping off the remainder of the lather, for he put aside the
operation of shaving till his hand was more steady, he threw on his coat
and followed the corporal on deck, looked round with a savage air, spied
out the diminutive form of Jemmy Ducks, and desired him to pipe "all
hands to keel-haul."

Whereupon Jemmy put his pipe to his mouth, and after a long flourish,
bawled out what appeared to Mr Vanslyperken to be--all hands to _be
heel-hauled;_ but Jemmy slurred over quickly the little change made in
the order, and, although the men tittered, Mr Vanslyperken thought it
better to say nothing. But there is an old saying, that you may bring a
horse to the pond, but you cannot make him drink. Mr Vanslyperken had
given the order, but no one attempted to commence the arrangements. The
only person who showed any activity was Smallbones himself, who, not
aware that he was to be punished, and hearing all hands piped for
something or another, came shambling, all legs and wings, up the
hatchway, and looked around to ascertain what was to be done. He was met
by the bulky form of Corporal Van Spitter, who, thinking that
Smallbones' making his appearance in such haste was with the intention
of jumping overboard to avoid his punishment, immediately seized him by
the collar with the left hand, turned round on a pivot towards Mr
Vanslyperken, and raising his right hand to his foraging cap, reported,
"The prisoner on deck, Mynheer Vanslyperken." This roused the lieutenant
to action, for he had been walking the deck for a half minute in
deep thought.

"Is all ready there, forward?" cried Mr Vanslyperken.

No one replied.

"I say, boatswain, is all ready?"

"No, sir," replied Jemmy; "nobody knows how to set about it. I don't,
anyhow--I never seed anything of the like since I've been in the
service--the whole of the ship's company say the same." But even the
flakes of snow, which now fell thick, and whitened the blue jacket of Mr
Vanslyperken, could not assuage his wrath--he perceived that the men
were refractory, so he summoned the six marines--who were completely
under the control of their corporal.

Poor Smallbones had, in the meantime, discovered what was going on, and
thought that he might as well urge something in his own defence.

"If you please, what are you going for to do with me?" said the lad,
with a terrified look.

"Lead him forward," said Mr Vanslyperken; "follow me, marines;" and the
whole party, headed by the lieutenant, went before the mast.

"Strip him," cried Mr Vanslyperken.

"Strip me, with the snow flying like this! An't I cold enough already?"

"You'll be colder when you're under the bottom of the cutter," replied
his master.

"O Lord! then it is keel-hauling a'ter all; why what have I done?" cried
Smallbones, as the marines divested him of his shirt, and exposed his
emaciated body to the pitiless storm.

"Where's Snarleyyow, sir?--confess."

"Snarleyyow--how should I know, sir? it's very hard, because your dog is
not to be found, that I'm to be dragged under the bottom of a vessel."

"I'll teach you to throw paving-stones in the canal."

"Paving-stones, sir!" and Smallbones' guilty conscience flew in his
face. "Well, sir, do as you please, I'm sure I don't care; if I am to be
killed, be quick about it--I'm sure I sha'n't come up alive."

Here Mr Vanslyperken remembered his dream, and the difficulty which he
had in driving Smallbones' soul out of his body, and he was fearful that
even keel-hauling would not settle Smallbones.

By the directions of Mr Vanslyperken, the hauling ropes and other
tackle were collected by the marines, for the seamen stood by, and
appeared resolved, to a man, to do nothing, and, in about half an hour,
all was ready. Four marines manned the hauling line, one was placed at
each side-rope fastened to the lad's arms, and the corporal, as soon as
he had lifted the body of Smallbones over the larboard gunnel, had
directions to attend the bow-line, and not allow him to be dragged on
too fast: a better selection for this purpose could not have been made
than Corporal Van Spitter. Smallbones had been laid without his clothes
on the deck, now covered with snow, during the time that the lines were
making fast to him; he remained silent, and as usual, when punished,
with his eyes shut, and as Vanslyperken watched him with feelings of
hatred, he perceived an occasional smile to cross the lad's haggard
features. He knows where the dog is, thought Vanslyperken, and his
desire to know what had become of Snarleyyow overcame his vengeance--he
addressed the shivering Smallbones.

"Now, sir, if you wish to escape the punishment, tell me what has become
of the dog, for I perceive that you know."

Smallbones grinned as his teeth chattered--he would have undergone a
dozen keel-haulings rather than have satisfied Vanslyperken.

"I give you ten minutes to think of it," continued the lieutenant; "hold
all fast at present."

The snow storm now came on so thick that it was difficult to distinguish
the length of the vessel. Smallbones' naked limbs were gradually
covered, and, before the ten minutes were expired, he was wrapped up in
snow as in a garment--he shook his head occasionally to clear his face,
but remained silent.

"Now, sir," cried Vanslyperken, "will you tell me, or overboard you go
at once? Will you tell me?"

"No," replied Smallbones.

"Do you know, you scoundrel?"

"Yes," replied Smallbones, whose indignation was roused.

"And you won't tell?"

"No," shrieked the lad--"no, never, never, never!"

"Corporal Van Spitter, over with him," cried Vanslyperken in a rage,
when a sudden stir was heard amongst the men aft, and as the corporal
raised up the light frame of the culprit, to carry it to the gunnel, to
the astonishment of Vanslyperken, of the corporal, and of Smallbones,
Snarleyyow appeared on the forecastle, and made a rush at Smallbones, as
he lay in the corporal's arms, snapped at his leg, and then set up his
usual deep baying, "bow, bow, bow!"

The re-appearance of the dog created no small sensation--Vanslyperken
felt that he had now no reason for keel-hauling Smallbones, which
annoyed him as much as the sight of the dog gave him pleasure. The
corporal, who had dropped Smallbones on the snow, was also disappointed.
As for Smallbones, at the baying of the dog, he started up on his knees,
and looked at it as if it were an apparition, with every demonstration
of terror in his countenance; his eyes glared upon the animal with
horror and astonishment, and he fell down in a swoon. The whole of the
ship's company were taken aback--they looked at one another and shook
their heads--one only remark was made by Jansen, who muttered, "De tog
is no tog a'ter all."

Mr Vanslyperken ordered Smallbones to be taken below, and then walked
aft; perceiving Obadiah Coble, he inquired whence the dog had come, and
was answered that he had come off in the boat which he had taken on
shore for fresh beef and vegetables. Mr Vanslyperken made no reply, but,
with Snarleyyow at his heels, went down into the cabin.

Chapter XI

In which Snarleyyow does not at all assist his master's cause with the
Widow Vandersloosh.

It will be necessary to explain to the reader by what means the life of
our celebrated cur was preserved. When Smallbones had thrown him into
the canal, tied up, as he supposed, in his winding-sheet, what Mr
Vanslyperken observed was true, that there were people below, and the
supposed paving-stone might have fallen upon them: the voices which he
heard were those of father and son, who were in a small boat going from
a galliot to the steps where they intended to land; for this canal was
not like most others, with the water in it sufficiently high to enable
people to step from the vessel's gunnel to the jetty. Snarleyyow fell in
his bag a few yards ahead of the boat, and the splash naturally
attracted their attention; he did not sink immediately, but floundered
and struggled so as to keep himself partly above water.

"What is that?" exclaimed the father to his son, in Dutch.

"Mein Gott! who is to know?--but we will see;" and the son took the
boat-hook, and with it dragged the bread-bags towards the boat, just as
they were sinking, for Snarleyyow was exhausted with his efforts. The
two together dragged the bags with their contents into the boat.

"It is a dog or something," observed the son.

"Very well, but the bread-bags will be useful," replied the father, and
they pulled on to the landing-stairs. When they arrived there they
lifted out the bags, laid them on the stone steps, and proceeded to
unrip them, when they found Snarleyyow, who was just giving signs of
returning animation. They took the bags with them, after having rolled
his carcass out, and left it on the steps, for there was a fine for
throwing anything into the canal. The cur soon after recovered, and was
able to stand on his legs; so soon as he could walk he made his way to
the door of the widow Vandersloosh, and howled for admittance. The widow
had retired: she had been reading her book of _prieres_, as every one
should do, who has been cheating people all day long. She was about to
extinguish her light, when this serenade saluted her ears; it became
intolerable as the dog gained strength.

Babette had long been fast asleep, and was with difficulty roused up and
directed to beat the cur away. She attempted to perform the duty, arming
herself with the broom; but the moment she opened the door Snarleyyow
dashed in between her legs, upsetting her on the brick pavement. Babette
screamed, and her mistress came out in the passage to ascertain the
cause; the dog not being able to run into the parlour, bolted up the
stairs, and snapping at the widow as he passed, secured a berth
underneath her bed.

"Oh, mein Gott! it is the dog of the lieutenant," exclaimed Babette,
coming up the stairs in greater dishabille than her mistress, and with
the broom in her hand. "What shall we do--how shall we get rid of him?"

"A thousand devils may take the lieutenant, and his nasty dog, too,"
exclaimed the widow, in great wrath; "this is the last time that either
of them enter my house; try, Babette, with your broom--shove at
him hard."

"Yes, ma'am," replied Babette, pushing with all her strength at the dog
beneath the bed, who seized the broom with his teeth, and pulled it away
from Babette. It was a struggle of strength between the girl and
Snarleyyow--pull, Babette--pull, dog--one moment the broom, with
two-thirds of the handle, disappeared under the bed, the next the maid
recovered her lost ground. Snarleyyow was first tired of this
contention, and to prove that he had no thoughts of abandoning his
position, he let go the broom, flew at Babette's naked legs, and having
inserted his teeth half through her ankle, he returned growling to his
former retreat. "O dear, mein Gott!" exclaimed Babette, dropping her
broom, and holding her ankle with both hands.

"What shall we do?" cried the widow, wringing her hands.

It was indeed a case of difficulty. Mynheer Vandersloosh, before he had
quitted this transitory scene, had become a personage as bulky as the
widow herself, and the bed had been made unusually wide; the widow still
retained the bed for her own use, for there was no knowing whether she
might not again be induced to enter the hymeneal state. It occupied more
than one half of the room, and the dog had gained a position from which
it was not easy for two women to dislodge him; and, as the dog snarled
and growled under the bed, so did the widow's wrath rise as she stood
shivering--and it was directed against the master. She vowed mentally,
that so sure as the dog was under the bed, so sure should his master
never get into it.

And Babette's wrath was also kindled, now that the first pain of the
bite had worn off; she seized the broom again, and made some furious
lunges at Snarleyyow, so furious, that he could not regain possession
with his teeth. The door of the room had been left open that the dog
might escape--so had the street-door; and the widow stood at the foot of
the bed, waiting for some such effect being produced by Babette's
vigorous attacks; but the effects were not such as she anticipated; the
dog became more enraged, and at last sprang out at the foot of the bed,
flew at the widow, tore her only garment, and bit her in the leg. Frau
Vandersloosh screamed and reeled--reeled against the door left half
open, and falling against it, slammed it to with her weight, and fell
down shrieking. Snarleyyow, who probably had intended to make off,
seeing that his escape was prevented, again retreated under the bed, and
as soon as he was there he recommenced an attack upon Babette's legs.

Now, it appears, that what the united courage of the two females could
not accomplish, was at last effected by their united fears. The widow
Vandersloosh gained her legs as soon as she could, and at first opened
the door to run out, but her night dress was torn to ribbons in front.
She looked at her situation--modesty conquered every other feeling--she
burst into tears, and exclaiming, "Mr Vanslyperken! Mr Vanslyperken!"
she threw herself in an ecstasy of grief and rage on the centre of the
bed. At the same moment the teeth of the dog were again fixed upon the
ankles of Babette, who also shrieked, and threw herself on the bed, and
upon her mistress. The bed was a good bed, and had for years done its
duty; but you may even overload a bed, and so it proved in this
instance. The united weights of the mistress and the maid coming down
upon it with such emphasis, was more than the bed could bear--the
sacking gave way altogether, and the mattress which they lay upon was
now supported by the floor.

But this misfortune was their preservation--for when the mattress came
down, it came down upon Snarleyyow. The animal contrived to clear his
loins, or he would have perished; but he could not clear his long mangy
tail, which was now caught and firmly fixed in a new species of trap,
the widow's broadest proportions having firmly secured him by it.
Snarleyyow pulled, and pulled, but he pulled in vain--he was fixed--he
could not bite, for the mattress was between them--he pulled, and he
howled, and barked, and turned himself every way, and yelped; and had
not his tail been of coarse and thick dimensions, he might have left it
behind him, so great were his exertions; but, no, it was impossible. The
widow was a widow of substance, as Vanslyperken had imagined, and as she
now proved to the dog--the only difference was, that the master wished
to be in the very situation which the dog was now so anxious to escape
from--to wit, tailed on to the widow. Babette, who soon perceived that
the dog was so, now got out of the bed, and begging her mistress not to
move an inch, and seizing the broom, she hammered Snarleyyow most
unmercifully, without any fear of retaliation. The dog redoubled his
exertions, and the extra weight of Babette being now removed, he was at
last able to withdraw his appendage, and probably-feeling that there was
now no chance of a quiet night's rest in his present quarters, he made a
bolt out of the room, down the stairs, and into the street. Babette
chased him down, threw the broom at his head as he cleared the
threshold, and then bolted the door.

"O the beast!" exclaimed Babette, going up stairs again, out of breath;
"he's gone at last, ma'am."

"Yes," replied the widow, rising up with difficulty from the hole made
with her own centre of gravity; "and--and his master shall go too. Make
love indeed--the atomy--the shrimp--the dried-up stock-fish. Love,
quotha--and refuse to hang a cur like that. O dear! O dear! get me
something to put on. One of my best chemises all in rags--and his nasty
teeth in my leg in two places, Babette. Well, well, Mr Vanslyperken, we
shall see--I don't care for their custom. Mr Vanslyperken, you'll not
sit on my sofa again, I can tell you;--hug your nasty cur--quite good
enough for you. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken."

By this time the widow had received a fresh supply of linen from
Babette; and as soon as she had put it on she rose from the bed, the
fractured state of which again called forth her indignation.

"Thirty-two years have I had this bed, wedded and single, Babette!"
exclaimed the widow. "For sixteen years did I sleep on that bed with the
lamented Mr Vandersloosh--for sixteen years have I slept in it, a lone
widow--but never till now did it break down. How am I to sleep to-night?
What am I to do, Babette?"

"'Twas well it did break down, ma'am," replied Babette, who was
smoothing down the jagged skin at her ankles; "or we should never have
got the nasty biting brute out of the house."

"Very well--very well. Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken--marriage, indeed, I'd
as soon marry his cur."

"Mein Gott!" exclaimed Babette. "I think madame, if you did marry, you
would soon find the master as cross as the dog; but I must make
this bed."

Babette proceeded to examine the mischief, and found that it was only
the cords which tied the sacking which had given way, and considering
that they had done their office for thirty-two years, and the strain
which had been put upon them after so long a period, there was not much
to complain of. A new cord was procured, and, in a quarter of an hour,
all was right again; and the widow, who had sat in the chair fuming and
blowing off her steam, as soon as Babette had turned down the bed,
turned in again, muttering, "Yes, yes, Mr Vanslyperken--marriage indeed.
Well, well, we shall see. Stop till to-morrow, Mr Vanslyperken;" and as
Babette has closed the curtains, so will we close this chapter.

Chapter XII

In which resolutions are entered into in all quarters, and Jemmy Ducks
is accused of mutiny for singing a song in a snow-storm.

What were the adventures of Snarleyyow after this awkward interfence
with his master's speculations upon the widow, until he jumped into the
beef boat to go on board of the cutter, are lost for ever; but it is to
be supposed that he could not have remained the whole night without
making himself disagreeable in some quarter or another. But, as we
before observed, we know nothing about it; and, therefore, may be
excused if we do not tell.

The widow Vandersloosh slept but little that night: her soul was full of
vengeance; but although smarting with the imprints of the cur's teeth,
still she had an eye to business; the custom of the crew of the cutter
was not to be despised, and, as she thought of this, she gradually
cooled down. It was not till four o'clock in the morning that she came
to her decision; and it was a very prudent one, which was to demand the
dead body of the dog to be laid at her door before Mr Vanslyperken
should be allowed admittance. This was her right, and if he was sincere,
he would not refuse; if he did refuse, it was not at all clear that she
should lose the custom of the seamen, over the major part of whom
Vanslyperken then appeared to have very little control; and all of whom,
she knew, detested him most cordially, as well as his dog. After which
resolution the widow Vandersloosh fell fast asleep.

But we must return on board, where there was almost as much confusion as
there had been on shore. The reappearance of Snarleyyow was considered
supernatural, for Smallbones had distinctly told in what manner he had
tied him up in the bread-bags, and thrown him into the canal.
Whisperings and murmurings were heard all round the cutter's decks.
Obadiah Coble shrugged up his shoulders, as he took an extra quid--Dick
Short walked about with lips compressed, more taciturn than ever--Jansen
shook his head, muttering, "Te tog is no tog"--Bill Spurey had to repeat
to the ship's company the legend of his coming on board over and over
again. The only persons who appeared not to have lost their courage were
Jemmy Ducks and poor Smallbones, who had been put in his hammock to
recover him from his refrigeration. The former said, "that if they were
to sail with the devil, it could not be helped, pay and prize-money
would still go on;" and the latter, who had quite recovered his
self-possession, "vowed that dog or devil, he would never cease his
attempts to destroy him--if he was the devil, or one of his imps, it was
his duty as a Christian to oppose him, and he had no chance of better
treatment if he were to remain quiet." The snow-storm continued, and the
men remained below, all but Jemmy Ducks, who leaned against the lee side
of the cutter's mast, and, as the snow fell, sang, to a slow air, the
following ditty, it probably being called to his recollection by the
state of the weather.

'Twas at the landing-place that's just below Mount Wyse,
Poll leaned against the sentry's box, a tear in both her eyes,
Her apron twisted round her arms, all for to keep them warm,
Being a windy Christmas-day, and also a snow-storm.

And Bet and Sue
Both stood there too,
A-shivering by her side,
They both were dumb,
And both looked glum,
As they watched the ebbing tide.
Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
At the admiral's house looked she,
To thoughts before in limbo,
She now a vent gave free.
You have sent the ship in a gale to work,
On a lee shore to be jammed,
I'll give you a piece of my mind, old Turk,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

_Chorus_.--We'll give you a piece of our mind, old Turk,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

Who ever heard in the sarvice of a frigate made to sail
On Christmas-day, it blowing hard, with sleet, and snow, and hail?
I wish I had the fishing of your back that is so bent,
I'd use the galley poker hot unto your heart's content.

Here Bet and Sue
Are with me too,
A shivering by my side,
They both are dumb,
And both look glum,
And watch the ebbing tide.
Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
At the admiral's house looked she,
To thoughts that were in limbo,
She now a vent gave free.
You've got a roaring fire I'll bet,
In it your toes are jammed,
Let's give him a piece of our mind, my Bet,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

_Chorus_.--Let's give him a piece of our mind, my Bet,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

I had the flour and plums all picked, and suet all chopped fine,
To mix into a pudding rich for all the mess to dine;
I pawned my ear-rings for the beef, it weighed at least a stone,
Now my fancy man is sent to sea, and I am left alone.

Here's Bet and Sue
Who stand here too,
A shivering by my side,
They both are dumb,
They both look glum,
And watch the ebbing tide.
Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
At the admiral's house looked she,
To thoughts that were in limbo,
She now a vent gave free.
You've got a turkey I'll be bound,
With which you will be crammed,
I'll give you a bit of my mind, old hound,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

_Chorus_.--I'll give you a bit of my mind, old hound,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

I'm sure that in this weather they cannot cook their meat,
To eat it raw on Christmas-day will be a pleasant treat;
But let us all go home, girls, it's no use waiting here,
We'll hope that Christmas-day to come, they will have better cheer.

So Bet and Sue
Don't stand here too,
A shivering by my side,
Don't keep so dumb,
Don't look so glum,
Nor watch the ebbing tide.
Poll put her arms a-kimbo,
At the admiral's house looked she,
To thoughts that were in limbo,
She now a vent gave free.
So while they cut their raw salt junks,
With dainties you'll be crammed,
Here's once for all my mind, old hunks,
Port Admiral, you be d----d.

_Chorus_.--So once for all our mind, old hunks,
Port Admiral you be d----d.

"Mein Gott! but dat is rank mutiny, Mynheer Shemmy Tucks," observed
Corporal Van Spitter, who had come upon the deck unperceived by Jemmy,
and had listened to the song.

"Mutiny, is it?" replied Jemmy, "and report this also.

"I'll give you a bit of my mind, fat thief,
You, corporal, may be d----d."

"Dat is better and better--I mean to say, worser and worser," replied
the corporal.

"Take care I don't pitch you overboard," replied Jemmy, in wrath.

"Dat is most worse still," said the corporal, stalking aft, and leaving
Jemmy Ducks to follow up the train of his own thoughts.

Jemmy, who had been roused by the corporal, and felt the snow
insinuating itself into the nape of the neck, thought he might as well
go down below.

The corporal made his report, and Mr Vanslyperken made his comments, but
he did no more, for he was aware that a mere trifle would cause a
general mutiny. The recovery of Snarleyyow consoled him, and little
thinking what had been the events of the preceding night, he thought he
might as well prove his devotion to the widow, by paying his respects in
a snow-storm--but not in the attire of the day before--Mr Vanslyperken
was too economical for that; so he remained in his long threadbare
great-coat and foul-weather hat. Having first locked up his dog in the
cabin, and entrusted the key to the corporal, he went on shore, and
presented himself at the widow's door, which was opened by Babette, who
with her person barred entrance: she did not wait for Vanslyperken to
speak first.

"Mynheer Vanslyperken, you can't come in. Frau Vandersloosh is very ill
in bed--the doctor says it's a bad case--she cannot be seen."

"Ill!" exclaimed Vanslyperken; "your dear, charming mistress ill! Good
heavens! what is the matter, my dear Babette?" replied Vanslyperken,
with all the pretended interest of a devoted lover.

"All through you, Mr Vanslyperken," replied Babette.

"Me!" exclaimed Vanslyperken.

"Well, all through your nasty cur, which is the same thing."

"My dog! I little thought that he was left here," replied the
lieutenant; "but, Babette, let me in, if you please, for the snow falls
fast, and--"

"And you must not come in, Mr Vanslyperken," replied Babette, pushing
him back.

"Good heavens! what is the matter?"

Babette then narrated what had passed, and as she was very prolix, Mr
Vanslyperken was a mass of snow on the windward side of him before she
had finished, which she did, by pulling down her worsted stockings, and
showing the wounds which she had received as her portion in the last
night's affray. Having thus given ocular evidence of the truth of what
she had asserted, Babette then delivered the message of her mistress; to
wit, "that until the dead body of Snarleyyow was laid at the porch where
they now stood, he, Mr Vanslyperken, would never gain re-admission." So
saying, and not feeling it very pleasant to continue a conversation in a
snow-storm, Babette very unceremoniously slammed the door in Mr
Vanslyperken's face, and left him to digest the communication with what
appetite he might. Mr Vanslyperken, notwithstanding the cold weather,
hastened from the door in a towering passion. The perspiration actually
ran down his face, and mingled with the melting snow. "To be or not to
be"--give up the widow or give up his darling Snarleyyow--a dog whom he
loved the more, the more he was, through him, entangled in scrapes and
vexations--a dog whom every one hated, and therefore he loved--a dog
which had not a single recommendation, and therefore was highly
prized--a dog assailed by all, and especially by that scarecrow
Smallbones, to whom his death would be a victory--it was impossible. But
then the widow--with such lots of guilders in the bank, and such a good
income from the Lust Haus, he had long made up his mind to settle in
possession. It was the haven which, in the vista of his mind, he had
been so long accustomed to dwell upon, and he could not give up
the hope.

Yet one must be sacrificed. No, he could part with neither. "I have it,"
thought he; "I will make the widow believe that I have sacrificed the
dog, and then, when I am once in possession, the dog shall come back
again, and let her say a word if she dares; I'll tame her; and pay her
off for old scores."

Such was the determination of Mr Vanslyperken, as he walked back to the
boat. His reverie was, however, broken by his breaking his nose against
a lamp-post, which did not contribute to his good-humour. "Yes, yes,
Frau Vandersloosh, we will see," muttered Vanslyperken; "you would kill
my dog, would you? It's a dog's life I'll lead you when I'm once secure
of you, Madame Vandersloosh. You cheated me out of my biscuit--we shall
see;" and Mr Vanslyperken stepped into his boat and pulled on board.

On his arrival he found that a messenger had come on board during his
absence, with the letters of thanks from the king's loving cousins, and
with directions that he should return with them forthwith. This suited
the views of Vanslyperken; he wrote a long letter to the widow, in which
he expressed his willingness to sacrifice everything for her--not only
to hang his dog, but to hang himself if she wished it--lamented his
immediate orders for sailing, and hinted that, on his return, he ought
to find her more favourable. The widow read the letter, and tossed it
into the grate with a Pish! "I was not born yesterday, as the saying
is," cried the widow Vandersloosh.

Chapter XIII

In which the ship's company join in a chorus, and the corporal goes on a

Mr Vanslyperken is in his cabin, with Snarleyyow at his side, sitting
upon his haunches, and looking in his master's face, which wears an air
of anxiety and discomfiture; the fact is, that Mr Vanslyperken is
anything but content; he is angry with the widow, with the ship's
company, with the dog, and with himself; but his anger towards the dog
is softened, for he feels that, if anything in this world loves him, it
is the dog--not that his affection is great, but as much as the dog's
nature will permit; and, at all events, if the animal's attachment to
him is not very strong, still he is certain that Snarleyyow hates
everybody else. It is astonishing how powerful is the feeling that is
derived from habit and association. Now that the life of his cur was
demanded by one, and, as he was aware, was sought for by many,
Vanslyperken put a value upon him that was extraordinary. Snarleyyow had
become a precious jewel in the eyes of his master, and what he suffered
in anxiety and disappointment from the perverse disposition of the
animal, only endeared him the more. "Yes, my poor dog," apostrophised
the lieutenant, "they would seek your life--nay, that hard-hearted woman
demands that you should be laid--dead at her porch. All conspire against
you, but be not afraid, my dog, your master will protect you
against all."

Vanslyperken patted the animal on the head, which was not a little
swelled from the blows received from the broom of Babette, and
Snarleyyow rubbed his nose against his master's trousers, and then
raised himself up, by putting his paw upon his master's knee. This
brought the dog's head more to the light, and Vanslyperken observed that
one eye was swelled and closed. He examined it, and, to his horror,
found that it had been beaten out by the broom of Babette. There was no
doubt of it, and Mr Vanslyperken's choler was extreme. "Now, may all the
curses of ophthalmia seize the fagot," cried the lieutenant; "I wish I
had her here. My poor, poor dog!" and Vanslyperken kissed the _os
frontis_ of the cur, and what perhaps had never occurred since
childhood, and what nothing else could have brought about, Mr
Vanslyperken _wept_--actually wept over an animal, which was not, from
any qualification he possessed, worth the charges of the cord which
would have hanged him. Surely the affections have sometimes a bent
towards insanity.

After a short time the lieutenant rang his bell, and ordered some warm
water, to bathe the dog's eye. Corporal Van Spitter, as Smallbones was
in his hammock, answered the summons, and when he returned aft with the
water, he made known to Mr Vanslyperken the mutinous expressions of
Jemmy Ducks. The lieutenant's small eye twinkled with satisfaction.
"Damned the Admiral, did he!--which one was it--Portsmouth or Plymouth?"

This, Corporal Van Spitter could not tell; but it was certain that Jemmy
had damned his superior officer; "And moreover," continued the corporal,
"he damned me." Now Mr Vanslyperken had a great hatred against Jemmy
Ducks, because he amused the ship's company, and he never could forgive
any one who made people happy; moreover, he wanted some object to visit
his wrath upon: so he asked a few more questions, and then dismissed the
corporal, put on his tarpaulin hat, put his speaking-trumpet under his
arm, and went on deck, directing the corporal to appoint one of the
marines to continue to bathe the eye of his favourite.

Mr Vanslyperken looked at the dog-vane, and perceived that the wind was
foul for sailing, and moreover, it would be dark in two hours, so he
determined upon not starting till the next morning, and then he thought
that he would punish Jemmy Ducks; but the question occurred to him
whether he could do so or not. Was James Salisbury a boatswain by right
or not? He received only the pay of a boatswain's mate, but he was
styled boatswain on the books. It was a nice point, and the balance was
even. Mr Vanslyperken's own wishes turned the scale, and he resolved to
flog Jemmy Ducks if he could. We say, if he could, for as, at that time,
tyrannical oppression on the part of the superiors was winked at, and no
complaints were listened to by the Admiralty, insubordination, which was
the natural result, was equally difficult to get over; and although on
board of the larger vessels, the strong arm of power was certain to
conquer, it was not always the case in the smaller, where the superiors
were not in sufficient force, or backed by a numerous party of soldiers
or marines, for there was then little difference between the two
services. Mr Vanslyperken had had more than one mutiny on board of the
vessels which he had commanded, and, in one instance, his whole ship's
company had taken the boats and gone on shore, leaving him by himself in
the vessel, preferring to lose the pay due to them, than to remain
longer on board. They joined other ships in the service, and no notice
was taken of their conduct by the authorities. Such was the state of
half discipline at the period we speak of in the service of the king.
The ships were, in every other point, equally badly fitted out and
manned; peculation of every kind was carried to excess, and those who
were in command thought more of their own interest than of anything
else. Ship's stores and provisions were constantly sold, and the want of
the former was frequently the occasion of the loss of the vessel, and
the sacrifice of the whole crew. Such maladministration is said to be
the case even now in some of the continental navies. It is not until a
long series of years have elapsed, that such regulations and
arrangements as are at present so economically and beneficially
administered to our navy, can be fully established.

Having settled the point so far, Mr Vanslyperken then proceeded to
debate in his own mind, whether he should flog Jemmy in harbour, or
after he had sailed; and feeling that if there was any serious
disturbance on part of the men, they might quit the vessel if in
harbour, he decided that he would wait until he had them in blue water.
His thoughts then reverted to the widow, and, as he turned and turned
again, he clenched his fists in his great-coat pockets, and was heard by
those near him to grind his teeth.

In the meantime, the news had been imparted by the marine, who came up
into the galley for more warm water, that the dog had had one of his
eyes put out, and it was strange the satisfaction which this
intelligence appeared to give to the ship's company. It was passed round
like wildfire, and, when communicated, a beam of pleasure was soon
apparent throughout the whole cutter, and for this simple reason, that
the accident removed the fear arising from the supposition of the dog
being supernatural, for the men argued, and with some reason, that if
you could put out his eye, you could kill him altogether; for if you
could destroy a part, you could destroy the whole. No one ever heard of
the devil's eye being put out--_ergo_, the dog could not be a devil, or
one of his imps: so argued a knot of the men in conclave, and Jansen
wound up by observing, "Dat de tog was only a tog after all."

Vanslyperken returned to his cabin and stated his intentions to his
factotum and confidant, Corporal Van Spitter. Now, in this instance, the
corporal did not adhere to that secrecy to which he was bound, and the
only reason we can give is, that he had as great a dislike to Jemmy
Ducks as his lieutenant--for the corporal obeyed orders so exactly, that
he considered it his duty not to have even an opinion or a feeling
contrary to those of his superior officer. He was delighted at the idea
of flogging Jemmy, and communicated the lieutenant's intention to the
most favoured of his marines, who also told the secret to another, and
thus in five minutes, it was known throughout the cutter, that as soon
as they were in blue water, the little boatswain was to be tied up for
having damned the admiral in a snow-storm. The consequence was, as the
evening was clear, that there was a very numerous assemblage upon the
forecastle of the cutter _Yungfrau_.

"Flog Jemmy," said Bill Spurey. "Why, Jemmy's a hofficer."

"To be sure he is," observed another; "and quite as good a one as
Vanslyperken himself, though he don't wear brass on his hat."

"D--n it--what next--heh, Coble?"

Coble hitched up his trousers. "It's my opinion he'll be for flogging
_us_ next, Short," said the old man.

"Yes," replied Short.

"Shall we allow Jemmy to be flogged?"

"No," replied Short.

"If it warn't for them 'ere marines, and the lumpy beggar of a
corporal," observed one of the seamen.

"Pish," quoth Jemmy, who was standing among them.

"Won't he make it out mutiny?" observed Spurey.

"Mein Gott! it was mutiny to flog de officer," said Jansen.

"That's very true," observed another.

"But Jemmy can't stand against the fat corporal and the six marines,"
observed Bill Spurey.

"One up and t'other down, I'll take them all," observed Jemmy, expanding
his chest.

"Yes, but they'll all be down upon you at once, Jemmy."

"If they lays their hands upon an officer," observed Coble, "it will be
mutiny; and then Jemmy calls in the ship's company to protect him."

"Exactly," observed Jemmy.

"And den, mein Gott, I zettle for de corporal," observed Jansen.

"I'll play him a trick yet."

"But now, it's no use palavering," observed Spurey; "let's come to some
settlement. Obadiah, give us your opinion as to what's best to be done."

Hereupon Coble squirted out a modicum of 'baccy juice, wiped his mouth
with the back of his hand, and said, "It's my opinion, that the best way
of getting one man out of a scrape, is to get all the rest in it. Jemmy,
d'ye see, is to be hauled up for singing an old song, in which a wench
very properly damns the admiral for sending a ship out on a
Christmas-day, which, let alone the unchristian-like act, as you may
know, my lads, always turns up on a Friday, a day on which nothing but
being blown out from your anchors can warrant any vessel sailing on.
Now, d'ye see, it may be mutiny to damn a live admiral, with his flag
hoisted--I won't say but what it is--but this here admiral as Jemmy
damned, is no more alive than a stock fish; and, moreover, it is not
Jemmy as damns him, but Poll; therefore it can be no mutiny. Now, what I
consider best is this, if so be it be against the articles--well, then,
let's all be in for it together, and then Vanslyperken will be puzzled,
and, moreover, it will give him a hint how matters stand, and he may
think better of it; for although we must not have Jemmy touched, still
it's quite as well not to have a regular breeze with the jollies; for if
so be that the _Scarborough,_ or any other king's ship, be in port when
we arrive, Vanslyperken may run under the guns, and then whip the whole
boiling of us off to the Ingies, and glad to get us, too, and that's no
joke. Now, that's my idea of the matter."

"Well, but you've not told us how we are all to get into it, Coble."

"More I have--well, that's funny; left out the whole burden of my song.
Why, I consider that we had better now directly sing the song over
again, all in chorus, and then we shall have damned the admiral a dozen
times over; and Vanslyperken will hear us, and say to himself, 'They
don't sing that song for nothing.' What do you say, Dick Short, you're
first hofficer?"

"Yes," replied Short.

"Hurrah! my lads, then," cried Bill Spurey; "now then, strike up, Jemmy,
and let us give it lots of mouth."

The song which our readers have already heard from the lips of Jemmy
Ducks, was then sung by the whole of the men, _con animo e strepito_,
and two verses had been roared out, when Corporal Van Spitter, in great
agitation, presented himself at the cabin door, where he found Mr
Vanslyperken very busy summing up his accounts.

"Mein Gott, sar! dere is de mutiny in de _Yungfrau_," cried the

"Mutiny!" cried Vanslyperken, catching at his sword, which hung up on
the bulk-head.

"Yaw, mynheer--de mutiny--hear now de ship's company."

Vanslyperken lent his ears, when the astounding chorus came rolling aft
through the door of the cabin,

"I'll give you a bit of my mind, old hunks,
Port Admiral--you be d---d"

"Bow, wow, wow," barked Snarleyyow.

"Why, it's the whole ship's company!" cried Vanslyperken.

"All but de Corporal Van Spitter, and de six marines," replied the
corporal, raising his hand up to his head _a la militaire_.

"Shut the door, corporal. This is indeed mutiny and defiance," cried
Vanslyperken, jumping up from his chair.

"It is von tyfel of a song," replied the corporal.

"I must find out the ringleaders, corporal; do you think that you could
contrive to overhear what they say after the song is over? they will be
consulting together, and we might find out something."

"Mynheer, I'm not very small for to creep in and listen," replied the
corporal, casting his eyes down upon his huge carcass.

"Are they all forward?" inquired the lieutenant.

"Yes, mynheer--not one soul baft."

"There is the small boat astern; do you think you could get softly into
it, haul it up to the bows, and lie there quite still? You would then
hear what they said, without their thinking of it, now that it is dark."

"I will try, mynheer," replied the corporal, who quitted the cabin.

But there were others who condescended to listen as well as the
corporal, and in this instance, every word which had passed, had been
overheard by Smallbones, who had been for some hours out of his hammock.
When the corporal's hand touched the lock of the door, Smallbones made
a hasty retreat.

Corporal Van Spitter went on the quarter-deck, which he found vacant; he
hauled up the boat to the counter, and by degrees lowered into it his
unwieldy carcass, which almost swamped the little conveyance. He then
waited a little, and with difficulty forced the boat up against the
strong flood-tide that was running, till at last he gained the chesstree
of the cutter, when he shortened in the painter (or rope that held the
boat), made it fast to a ringbolt without being perceived, and there he
lay concealed, not daring to move, for fear of making a noise.

Smallbones had, however, watched him carefully, and as the corporal sat
in the middle thwart, with his face turned aft, catching but imperfectly
the conversation of the men, the lad separated the painter with a sharp
knife, and at the same time dropping his foot down, gave the bow of the
boat a shove off, which made it round with the stream. The tide was then
running five or six miles an hour, and before the corporal, in the utter
darkness, could make out what had occurred, or raise his heavy carcass
to assist himself, he was whirled away by the current clear of the
vessel, and soon disappeared from the sight of Smallbones, who was
watching his progress.

It is true that the corporal shouted for assistance when he found
himself astern, and also that he was heard by the men, but Smallbones
had leaped among them, and in a few words told them what he had done; so
of course they took no notice, but rubbed their hands with delight at
the idea of the corporal being adrift like a bear in a washing-tub, and
they all prayed for a gale of wind to come on that he might be swamped,
and most of them remained on deck to hear what Mr Vanslyperken would say
and do when the corporal's absence was discovered. Mr Vanslyperken
remained nearly two hours without sending for the corporal; at last,
surprised at not seeing him return, he went on deck. The men on the
forecastle perceiving this, immediately disappeared gently down the
fore-hatchway. Mr Vanslyperken walked forward and found that every one
was, as he supposed, either in bed or below; for in harbour the corporal
kept one of the watches, and this night it was his first watch.
Vanslyperken looked over the side all round the cutter, and could see no
boat and no Corporal Van Spitter, and it immediately occurred to him
that the corporal must have gone adrift, and he was very much puzzled
how to act. It would be flood-tide for two hours more, and then the
whole ebb would run before it was daylight. Corporal Van Spitter would
traverse the whole Zuyder Zee before they might find him. Unless he had
the fortune to be picked up by some small craft, he might perish with
cold and hunger. He could not sail without him; for what could he do
without Corporal Van Spitter, his protection, his factotum, his
distributer of provisions, &c. The loss was irreparable, and Mr
Vanslyperken, when he thought of the loss of the widow's favour and the
loss of his favourite, acknowledged with bitterness that his star was
not in the ascendant. After some reflection, Mr Vanslyperken thought
that as nothing could be gained by making the fact known, the wisest
thing that he could do was to go to bed and say nothing about it,
leaving the whole of the ulterior proceedings until the loss of the boat
should be reported to him in the morning. Having arranged this in his
mind, Mr Vanslyperken took two or three turns more, and then went down
and turned in.

Chapter XIV

In which some new characters appear on the stage, although the corporal
is not to be heard of.

The loss of the boat was reported by Obadiah Coble at daylight, and Mr
Vanslyperken immediately went on deck with his spy-glass to ascertain if
he could distinguish the corporal coming down with the last of the
ebb-tide but he was nowhere to be seen. Mr Vanslyperken went to the
mast-head and surveyed in every direction, but he could neither see
anything like the boat or Corporal Van Spitter. His anxiety betrayed to
the men that he was a party to the corporal's proceedings, and they
whispered among themselves. At last Mr Vanslyperken came down on deck,
and desired Corporal Van Spitter to be sent to him. Of course, it was
soon reported to him that Corporal Van Spitter was nowhere to be found,
and Mr Vanslyperken pretended to be much astonished. As the lieutenant
took it for granted that the boat had been swept out with the ebb, he
determined to get under weigh in pursuance of his orders, pick up the
corporal, if he could find him, and then proceed to Portsmouth, which
was the port of his destination. Smallbones attended his master, and was
so unusually active that the suspicious Mr Vanslyperken immediately
decided that he had had a finger in the business; but he took no notice,
resolving in his own mind that Smallbones should some day or another be
adrift himself as the corporal was, but with this difference, that there
should be no search made after him. As soon as the men had finished
their breakfasts, the cutter was got under weigh and proceeded to sea.
During the whole day Vanslyperken cruised in the Zuyder Zee looking for
the boat, but without success, and at last he unwillingly shaped his
course for England, much puzzled and perplexed, as now he had no one to
act as his steward to whom he could confide, or by whose arrangements he
could continue to defraud the ship's company; and, farther, he was
obliged to put off for the present all idea of punishing Jemmy Ducks,
for, without the corporal, the marines were afraid to move a step in
defiance of the ship's company. The consequence was, that the three days
that they were at sea, Mr Vanslyperken confined himself altogether to
his cabin, for he was not without some fears for his own safety. On his
arrival at Portsmouth, he delivered his letters to the admiral, and
received orders to return to his cruising ground after the smugglers as
soon as he had replaced his lost boat.

We have observed that Mr Vanslyperken had no relations on this side of
the water; but in saying that, we referred to the epoch that he was in
the service previous to the accession of King William. Since that, and
about a year from the time we are now writing about, he had brought over
his mother, whom he had not, till the peace, seen for years, and had
established her in a small apartment in that part of the town now known
by the name of the Halfway Houses. The old woman lived upon a small
pension allowed by the Dutch court, having been employed for many years
in a subordinate capacity in the king's household. She was said to have
once been handsome, and when young, prodigal of her favours; at present
she was a palsied old woman, bent double with age and infirmity, but
with all her faculties as complete as if she was in her prime. Nothing
could escape her little twinkling bloodshot eyes, or her acute ear; she
could scarcely hobble fifty yards, but she kept no servant to assist
her, for, like her son, she was avaricious in the extreme. What crime
she had committed was not known, but that something lay heavy on her
conscience was certain; but if there was guilt, there was no repentance,
only fear of future punishment. Cornelius Vanslyperken was her only
living child: she had been twice married. The old woman did not appear
to be very fond of him, although she treated him still as a child, and
executed her parental authority as if he were still in petticoats. Her
coming over was a sort of mutual convenience. She had saved money, and
Vanslyperken wished to secure that, and also have a home and a person to
whom he could trust; and she was so abhorred, and the reports against
her so shocking where she resided, that she was glad to leave a place
where every one, as she passed, would get out of her way, as if to avoid
contamination. Yet these reports were vague, although hinting at some
horrid and appalling crimes. No one knew what they exactly were, for the
old woman had outlived her contemporaries, and the tradition was
imperfect, but she had been handed down to the next generation as one to
be avoided as a basilisk.

It was to his mother's abode, one room on the second floor, to which Mr
Vanslyperken proceeded as soon as he had taken the necessary steps for
the replacing of the boat. As he ascended the stairs, the quick ear of
the old woman heard his footstep, and recognised it. It must be
observed, that all the conversation between Vanslyperken and his mother
was carried on in Dutch, of which we, of course, give the translation.

"There you come, Cornelius Vanslyperken; I hear you, and by your hurried
tread you are vexed. Well, why should you not be vexed as well as your
mother, in this world of devils?"

This was a soliloquy of the old woman's before that Vanslyperken had
entered the room, where he found his mother sitting over a few cinders
half ignited in a very small grate. Parsimony would not allow her to use
more fuel, although her limbs trembled as much from cold as palsy; her
nose and chin nearly met; her lips were like old scars, and of an ashy
white; and her sunken hollow mouth reminded you of a small, deep, dark
sepulchre; teeth she had none.

"How fare you, mother?" said Vanslyperken on entering the room.

"I'm alive."

"And long may you live, dear mother."

"Ah," replied the woman, as if doubting.

"I am here but for a short time," continued Vanslyperken.

"Well, child, so much the better; when on board you save money, on shore
you must spend some. Have you brought any with you?"

"I have, mother, which I must leave to your care."

"Give it me then."

Vanslyperken pulled out a bag and laid it on the lap of his mother,
whose trembling hands counted it over.

"Gold, and good gold--while you live, my child, part not with gold. I'll
not die yet--no, no, the devils may pull at me, and grin at me, but I'm
not theirs yet."

Here the old woman paused, and rocked herself in her chair.

"Cornelius, lock this money up and give me the key:--there, now that is
safe, you may talk, if you please, child: I can hear well enough."

Vanslyperken obeyed; he mentioned all the events of the last cruise, and
his feelings against the widow, Smallbones, and Jemmy Ducks. The old
woman never interrupted him, but sat with her arms folded up in
her apron.

"Just so, just so," said she, at last, when he had done speaking; "I
felt the same, but then you have not the soul to act as I did. I could
do it, but you--you are a coward; no one dared cross my path, or if they
did--ah, well, that's years ago, and I'm not dead yet."

All this was muttered by the old woman in a sort of half soliloquy: she
paused and continued, "Better leave the boy alone,--get nothing by
it;--the woman--there's work there, for there's money."

"But she refuses, mother, if I do not destroy the dog."

"Refuses--ah, well--let me see:--can't you ruin her character, blast her
reputation; she is yours and her money too;--then, then--there will be
money and revenge--both good;--but money--no--yes, money's best. The dog
must live, to gnaw the Jezebel--gnaw her bones--but you, you are a
coward--you dare do nothing."

"What do I fear, mother?"

"Man--the gallows, and death. I fear the last, but I shall not die
yet:--no, no, I _will_ live--I will _not_ die. Ay, the corporal--lost in
Zuyder Zee--dead men tell no tales; and he could tell many of you, my
child. Let the fish fatten on him."

"I cannot do without him, mother."

"A hundred thousand devils!" exclaimed the old mother, "that I should
have suffered such throes for a craven. Cornelius Vanslyperken, you are
not like your mother:--your father, indeed"

"Who was my father?"

"Silence, child,--there, go away--I wish to be alone with memory."

Vanslyperken, who knew that resistance or remonstrance would be useless,
and only lead to bitter cursing and imprecation on the part of the old
woman, rose and walked back to the sallyport, where he slipped into his
boat and pulled on board of the _Yungfrau_, which lay at anchor in the
harbour, about a cable's length from the shore.

"Here he comes," cried a tall bony woman, with nothing on her head but a
cap with green faded ribbons, who was standing on the forecastle of the
cutter. "Here he comes;--he, the willain, as would have flogged my
Jemmy." This was the wife of Jemmy Ducks, who lived at Portsmouth, and
who, having heard what had taken place, vowed revenge.

"Silence, Moggy," said Jemmy, who was standing by her.

"Yes, I'll hold my tongue till the time comes, and then I'll sarve him
out, the cheating wagabond."

"Silence, Moggy."

"And as for that 'peaching old Corporal Blubber, I'll _Wan Spitter_ him
if ever he turns up again to blow the gaff against my own dear Jemmy."

"Silence, Moggy--there's rowed of all, and a marine at your elbow."

"Let him take that for his trouble," cried Moggy, turning round, and
delivering a swinging box of the ear upon the astonished marine, who not
liking to encounter such an Amazon, made a hasty retreat down the

"So there you are, are you?" continued Moggy, as Vanslyperken stepped on
the deck.

"Silence, Moggy."

"You, that would flog my own dear darling duck--my own Jemmy."

"Silence! Moggy, will you?" said Jemmy Ducks, in an angry tone, "or I'll
smash your peepers."

"You must climb on the gun to reach them, my little man," replied his
wife. "Well, the more I holds my tongue now, the more for him when I
gets hold on him. Oh! he's gone to his cabin, has he, to kiss his
Snarleyyow:--I'll make _smallbones_ of that beast afore I'm done with
him. Flog my Jemmy--my own, dear, darling Jemmy--a nasty lean--"

"Go down below, Moggy," said Jemmy Ducks, pushing her towards the

"Snivelling, great-coated--"

"Go below," continued Jemmy, shoving her.

"Ferret-eyed, razor-nosed--"

"Go down below, will you?" cried Jemmy, pushing her near to the

"Herring-gutted, bare-poled--"

"Confound it! go below."

"Cheating rip of a wagabond! Lord, Jemmy, if you a'n't a shoved me down
the hatchway! Well, never mind, my darling, let's go to supper;" and
Moggy caught hold of her husband as she was going down, and with
surprising strength lifted him off his legs and carried him down in her
arms as she would have done a child, much to the amusement of the men
who were standing on the forecastle.

When it was dusk, a boat dropped alongside of the cutter, and a man
stepped out of it on the deck, when he was met by Obadiah Coble, who
asked him, "What's your pleasure?"

"I must speak with the commander of this vessel directly."

"Wait a moment, and I'll tell him what you say," replied Coble, who
reported the message to Mr Vanslyperken.

"What sort of a person is he?" demanded the lieutenant.

"Oh, I don't know,--sort of half-bred, long-shore chap--looks something
between a bumbailey and a bum-boatman."

"Well, you may show him down."

The man, who shortly after entered the cabin, was a short, punchy little
fellow, with a red waistcoat, knee-breeches, and a round jacket of green
cloth. His face was covered with carbuncles, some of them so large that
his small pug-nose was nothing more in appearance than a larger blotch
than the others. His eyes were small and keen, and his whiskers of a
deep red. As soon as he entered the cabin, he very deliberately locked
the door after him.

"Nothing like making sure," observed he.

"Why, what the devil do you want?" exclaimed Vanslyperken, rather
alarmed; while Snarleyyow walked round and round the thick calves of the
man's legs, growling, and in more than two minds to have a bite through
his blue worsted stockings; and the peculiar obliquity with which he
carried his head, now that he surveyed with only one eye, was by no
means satisfactory.

"Take your cur away, and let us proceed to business, for there is no
time to lose," said the man coolly, taking a chair. "Now there can be no
eavesdropping, I trust, for my life may be forfeited, if I'm

"I cannot understand a word of all this," replied Vanslyperken, much

"In a few words, do you want to put some five thousand pounds in your

At this question Vanslyperken became attentive. He beat off the dog, and
took a chair by the side of the stranger.

"Ah! interest will always bring civility; so now to the point. You
command this cutter, do you not?"

"I do," replied Vanslyperken.

"Well, you are about to cruise after the smugglers?"


"I can give information of a cargo to be landed on a certain night worth
ten thousand pounds or more."

"Indeed!" replied Vanslyperken.

"Yes, and put your boats in such a position that they must seize the

"I'm very much obliged to you. Will you take something, sir, any
scheedam?" said Vanslyperken, unlocking one of his cupboards, and
producing a large stone bottle, and a couple of glasses, which
he filled.

"This is very good stuff," observed the man; "I'll trouble you for
another glass."

This was one more than Mr Vanslyperken intended; but on second thoughts,
it would make his new acquaintance more communicative, so another was
filled, and as soon as it was filled, it was emptied.

"Capital stuff!" said he of the rubicund face, shoving his glass towards
Vanslyperken, by way of hint; but the lieutenant would not take the
hint, as his new guest had already swallowed as much as lasted himself
for a week.

"But now," observed Vanslyperken, "where is this cargo to be seen, and

"That's tellings," replied the man.

"I know that; but you have come to tell, or what the devil else?"
replied Vanslyperken, who was getting angry.

"That's according," replied the man.

"According to what?"

"The snacks," replied the man. "What will you give up?"

"Give up! How do you mean?"

"What is my share to be?"

"Share! you can't share--you're not a king's officer."

"No, but I'm an informer, and that's the same thing."

"Well, depend upon it, I'll behave very liberally."

"How much, I ask?"

"We'll see to that afterwards; something handsome, depend upon it."

"That won't do. Wish you good-evening, sir. Many thanks for the
scheedam--capital stuff!" and the man rose from his chair.

But Mr Vanslyperken had no intention to let him go; his avarice induced
him at first to try if the man would be satisfied with his promise to
reward him--a promise which would certainly never have been adhered to.

"Stop! my dear sir, do not be in such a hurry. Take another glass."

"With pleasure," replied the man, re-seating himself, and drinking off
the scheedam. "That's really prime; I like it better every time I taste
it. Now, then, shall we go to business again? I'll be plain with you.
Half is my conditions, or I don't inform."

"Half!" exclaimed Vanslyperken; "half of ten thousand pounds? What, five
thousands pounds?"

"Exactly so; half of ten is five, as you say."

"What, give you five thousand pounds?"

"I rather think it is I who offer you five thousand, for the devil a
penny will you get without me. And that I will have, and this bond you
must sign to that effect, or I'm off. You're not the only vessel in
the harbour."

Vanslyperken tried for some time to reduce the terms, but the man was
positive. Vanslyperken then tried if he could not make the man
intoxicated, and thus obtain better terms; but fifteen glasses of his
prime scheedam had no effect further than extorting unqualified praise
as it was poured down, and at last Mr Vanslyperken unwillingly consented
to the terms, and the bond was signed.

"We must weigh at the ebb," said the man, as he put the bond in his
pocket. "I shall stay on board; we have a moonlight night, and if we had
not, I could find my way out in a yellow fog. Please to get your boats
all ready, manned and armed, for there may be a sharp tussle."

"But when do they run, and where?" demanded Vanslyperken.

"To-morrow night at the back of the Isle. Let me see," continued the
man, taking out his watch; "mercy on me! how time has flown--that's the
scheedam. In a couple of hours we must weigh. I'll go up and see if the
wind holds in the same quarter. If you please, lieutenant, we'll just
drink success to the expedition. Well, that's prime stuff, I
do declare."

Chapter XV

In which the crew of the _Yungfrau_ lose a good prize, and Snarleyyow
loses his character.

The next morning the _Yungfrau_ was clear of St Helens, and sounding the
eastern part of the Isle of Wight, after which she made sail into the
offing, that she might not be suspected by those on shore waiting to
receive the cargo. The weather was fine, and the water smooth, and as
soon as she was well out, the cutter was hove-to. In the hurry of
weighing, Mr Vanslyperken had not thought, or had not known perhaps,
that the wife of Jemmy Ducks was still on board, and as he was turning
up and down on the quarter-deck, he perceived her on the forecastle,
laughing and talking with the men.

"What woman is that?" said he to Jansen, who was at the wheel.

"De frau, mynheer. Dat is de frau of Shimmy Duk."

"How dare she come on board? Send her aft here, marine."

The marine went forward and gave the order; and Jemmy, who expected a
breeze, told his wife to behave herself quietly. His advice did not,
however, appear to be listened to, as will be shown in the sequel.

"How came you on board, woman?" cried Vanslyperken, looking at her from
top to toe several times, as usual, with his hands in his great-coat
pockets, and his battered speaking-trumpet under his arm.

"How did I come on board! why, in a boat to be sure," replied Moggy,
determined to have a breeze.

"Why did you not go on shore before the cutter sailed?" replied
Vanslyperken, in an angry tone.

"Why, just for the contrary reason, because there was no boat."

"Well, I'll just tell you this, if ever I see you on board again, you'll
take the consequences," retorted Vanslyperken.

"And I'll just tell you this," replied Moggy; "if ever you come on shore
again you shall take the consequences. I'll have you--I give you
warning. Flog my Jemmy, heh! my own dear darling Jemmy." Hereupon Moggy
held out one arm bent, and with the palm of her other hand slapped her
elbow--"_There!_" cried she.

What Jemmy's wife meant by this sign, it is impossible for us to say;
but that it was a very significant one was certain, for Mr Vanslyperken
foamed with rage, and all the cutter's crew were tittering and laughing.
It was a species of free-masonry known only to the initiated at the

"Send the marines aft here. Take this woman below," cried Vanslyperken.
"I shall put all this down to your husband's account, and give him a
receipt in full, depend upon it."

"So you may. Marines, keep off, if you don't wish your heads broken; and
I'll put all this down to your account; and as you say that you'll pay
off on my pet, mark my words, if I don't pay off on yours--on your nasty
cur there. I'll send him to cruise after Corporal Van Spitter. As sure
as I stand here, if you dare to lay a finger on my Jemmy, I'll kill the
brute wherever I find him, and make him into _saussingers_, just for the
pleasure of eating him. I'll send you a pound as a present. You marine,
don't be a fool--I can walk forward without your hoffering your arm, and
be d----d to you." So saying, Moggy stalked forward and joined the men
on the forecastle.

"D'ye know much of that strapping lass?" said Mr Vanslyperken's new

"Not I," replied Vanslyperken, not much pleased at the observation.

"Well, look out for squalls, she'll be as good as her word. We'll draw
the foresheet, and stand in now, if you please."

It was about dusk, for the days were now short, and the cutter was eight
miles off the land. By the directions of the informer, for we have no
other name to give him, they now bore up and ran along the island until
they were, by his calculations, for it then was dark, abreast of a
certain point close to the Black Gang Chyne. Here they hove-to, hoisted
out their boats, three in number, and the men were sent in, well armed
with pistols and cutlasses. Short had the charge of one, Coble of the
second, the stern-sheets of the third was occupied by Vanslyperken and
the informer. As soon as all was ready, Jemmy Ducks, who, much against
Vanslyperken's wish, was left in charge of the cutter, received his
orders to lie-to where he was, and when the tide made flood, to stand
close in-shore; and all was prepared for a start, when it occurred to
Vanslyperken that to leave Snarleyyow, after the threat of Jemmy's wife,
and the known animosity of Smallbones, would be his death-warrant. He
determined, therefore, to take him in the boat. The informer protested
against it, but Vanslyperken would not listen to his protestations. The
dog was handed into the boat, and they shoved off. After they had pulled
a quarter of an hour in-shore, they altered their course, and continued
along the coast until the informer had made out exactly where he was. He
then desired the other two boats to come alongside, told the crews that
they must keep the greatest silence, as where they were about to proceed
was directly under where the smugglers would have a party to receive the
goods, and that the least alarm would prevent them from making the
capture. The boats then pulled in to some large rocks, against which the
waves hoarsely murmured, although the sea was still smooth, and passing
between them, found themselves in a very small cove, where the water was
still, and in which there was deep water.

The cove was not defended so much by the rocks above water, for the
mouth of it was wide; but there appeared to be a ridge below, which
broke off the swell of the ocean. Neither was it deep, the beach not
being more than perhaps fifty feet from the entrance. The boats, which
had pulled in with muffled oars, here lay quietly for nearly an hour,
when a fog came on and obscured the view of the offing, which otherwise
was extensive, as the moon was at her full, and had shone bright.

"This is all the better," whispered the informer, "they will fall into
the trap at once. Hark! hist! I hear oars."

They all listened; it was true, the sound of oars was heard, and the men
prepared their arms.

The splash of the oars was now more plain. "Be silent and ready,"
whispered the informer, and the whisper was passed round. In another
minute a large lugger-built boat, evidently intended for sailing as well
as pulling, was seen through the fog looming still larger from the mist,
pulling into the cove.

"Silence, and not a word. Let her pass us," whispered the informer.

The boat approached rapidly--she was within ten fathoms of the entrance,
when Snarleyyow, hearing the sound, darted forward under the thwarts,
and jumping on the bow of the boat, commenced a most unusual and
prolonged baying of Bow wow, bow wow wow wow!

At the barking of the dog the smugglers backed water to stop their way.
They knew that there was no dog with those they expected to meet, it was
therefore clear that the Philistines were at hand. The dog barked in
spite of all attempts to prevent him, and acting upon this timely
warning, the lugger-boat pulled short round, just as lights were shown
from the cliffs to notify an enemy at hand, for the barking of the dog
had not escaped the vigilance of those on shore, and in a few seconds
she disappeared in the mist.

"Blast your cur! Five thousand pounds out of my pocket;" exclaimed the
informer. "I told you so. Chuck him overboard, my men, for your pockets
would have been lined."

Vanslyperken was as savage, and exclaimed, "Give way, my men, give way;
we'll have them yet."

"Send a cow to chase a hare," replied the informer, throwing himself
back in the stern-sheets of the boat. "I know better; you may save
yourself the trouble, and the men the fatigue. May the devil take you,
and your cursed dog with you! Who but a fool would have brought a dog
upon such an occasion? Well, I've lost five thousand pounds; but there's
one comfort, you've lost too. That will be a valuable beast, if you put
all down to his account."

At this moment Vanslyperken was so much annoyed at the loss of what
would have been a fortune to him, that he felt as angry as the informer.
The boats' crew were equally enraged, the dog was pommelled, and kicked,
and passed along from one to the other, until he at last gained the
stern-sheets, and crouched between the legs of his master, who kicked
him away in a rage, and he saved himself under the legs of the informer,
who, seizing a pistol, struck him with the butt-end of it such a blow,
that nothing but the very thick skull of the dog could have saved him.
Snarleyyow was at a sad discount just then, but he very wisely again
sought protection with his master, and this time he was not noticed.

"What are we to do now?" observed Vanslyperken.

"Go back again, like dogs with their tails between their legs; but
observe, Mr Lieutenant, you have made me your enemy, and that is more
serious than you think for."

"Silence, sir, you are in a king's boat."

"The king be d--d," replied the informer, falling back sulkily against
the gunnel of the boat.

"Give way, men, and pull on board," said Vanslyperken, in equally bad

In equally bad humour the men did give way, and in about an hour were on
board of the cutter.

Every one was in a bad humour when the affair was made known; but
Smallbones observed, "that the dog could be no such great friend, as
supposed, of Vanslyperken's, to thwart his interests in that way; and
certainly no imp sent by the devil to his assistance." The ship's
company were consoled with this idea, and Jansen again repeated, "that
the _tog_ was but a tog, after all."

Chapter XVI

In which we change the scene, and the sex of our performers.

We must now leave the cutter to return to Portsmouth, while we introduce
to our readers a new and strange association. We stated that the boats
had been ensconced in a very small cove at the back of the Isle of
Wight. Above these hung the terrific cliff of the Black Gang Chyne,
which, to all appearance, was inaccessible. But this was not the case,
or the smugglers would not have resorted there to disembark their cargo.
At that time, for since that period much of the cliff has fallen down,
and the aspect is much changed, the rocks rose up from the water nearly
perpendicularly, to the height of fifty or sixty feet. At that height
there was a flat of about one hundred feet square in front of a cave of
very great depth. The flat, so called in contradistinction to the
perpendicular cliff, descended from the seaward to the cave, so that the

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