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  • 1870
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For a few paces only he ran, and then stopped.

He was puzzled. He did not know in which direction it was best to go. He was at the west end of the island, but could not make out very well the direction of the sounds. He tried to think whether the steamer would pass the island on the north side or the south. He did not know, but it seemed to him that she would certainly go to the north of it. There was no time to be lost, and standing there to listen did not seem to be of any use, even if his impatience had allowed him to do so. Accordingly he hurried back by the way that he had come along the north side of the island.

For some time he ran along through the trees, and at length, in about fifteen or twenty minutes, he reached the place where the dense underbrush was, by the edge of the cliff. From this point a wide view was commanded. On reaching it he looked out, and then up the bay, towards the Straits of Minas. He could see almost up to the straits, but no steamer appeared. For a moment he stood bewildered, and then the thought came to him, that he had mistaken altogether the steamer’s course. She could not be coming down on the north side of the island, but on the south side. With a cry of grief he started back again, mourning over his error, and the time that he had lost. On reaching the more open wood, he thought that it would be better to hurry across the island to the south side, and proceeded at once to do so. The way was rough and tedious. Once or twice he had to burst through thickets of alder, and several times he had to climb over windfalls. At length, in his confusion, he lost his way altogether; he had to stop and think. The shadows of the trees showed him where the south lay, and he resumed his journey. At length, after most exhaustive efforts, he reached a part of the cliff, where a fringe of alders grew so thick, that he was scarce aware that he was at his destination, until the precipice opened beneath him. Here he stood, and, pressing apart the dense branches, he looked out.

There was the steamer, about two miles off, already below where he was standing, and going rapidly down the bay with the falling tide.

Another cry of grief burst from Tom. Where he was standing he could see the vessel, but he himself was completely concealed by the clustering bushes. He now lamented that he had left his first position, and saw that his only chance was to have remained there.

To stay where he was could not be thought of. There was scarce a chance now of doing anything, since the steamer was so far away; but what chance there was certainly depended on his being in some conspicuous position. He started off, therefore, to the west point, where he had watched the schooner for so long a time. He hurried on with undiminished energy, and bounded over windfalls, and burst through thickets, as before. But in spite of his efforts, his progress could not be more rapid than it had formerly been. His route was necessarily circuitous, and before he could find the desired point, many more minutes had elapsed.

But he reached it at last, and there, on the bare rock, springing forward, he waved his hat in the air, and sent forth a piercing cry for help. But the steamer was now as much as four or five miles away–too far altogether for his loudest cry to go. His screams and his gestures did not appear to attract the slightest attention. She moved on her way right under the eyes of the frantic and despairing boy, nor did she change her course in the slightest degree, nor did her paddles cease to revolve, but went rolling round, tossing up the foam, and bearing far, far away that boat on which poor Tom had rested his last hope.

As for Tom, he kept up his screams as long as he could utter a sound. He tore off his coat, and shook it up and down, and waved it backward and forward. But none of these things were heard or seen. The steamboat passed on, until, at length, even Tom became convinced that further efforts were useless.

This last blow was too much. Tom sank under it, and, falling on his face, he burst into a flood of tears.

Struggling up at length from this last affliction, Tom roused himself, and his buoyancy of soul began once more to assert itself.

“Come now, Thomas, my son,” said he, as he dried his eyes, “this sort of thing will never do, you know. You’re not a baby, my boy; you’ve never been given to blubbering, I think. Cheer up, then, like a man, and don’t make me feel ashamed of you.”

This little address to himself had, as before, the effect of restoring his equanimity, and he thought with calmness upon his recent disappointments.

He saw, by the passage of these vessels, what he had for a time lost sight of, namely, that this island, though uninhabited, was still in the middle of a bay which was constantly traversed by sailing vessels and steamboats. The latter ran regularly up to the Basin of Minas from St. John. As to the former, they were constantly passing to and fro, from the large ship down to the small fishing vessel. Inhabited countries surrounded him on every side, between the coasts of which there was a constant communication. If he only kept patient, the time must come, and that, too, before very long, when he would be delivered.

In order to secure this delivery, however, he saw that it would be necessary to arrange some way by which he might attract the notice of passing vessels. On this subject he meditated for a long time. It would be necessary, he thought, to have some sort of a signal in some conspicuous place. Among the drift-wood he might, perhaps, be able to find some sort of a pole or staff which he could set up. One might not be enough, but in that case he could put up two, or three, or half a dozen.

The next thing to decide about was the choice of a place. There was the east end, and the west end–which was the better? The west end, where he was standing, was high; but then it was surrounded by trees, and unless he could set up a very tall staff, it could scarcely be noticed. The east end, on the contrary, was lower; but then it was bare, and any kind of a signal which might be set up there could hardly fail to attract attention. He could also pile up a heap of drift-wood, and set fire to it, and, by this means, if a vessel were passing by, he could be certain of securing attention. It did not make much difference which end the signals were placed upon, as far as referred to the passing of vessels; for all that passed by would go along the island, so that both ends would be visible to them.

As to the signals, he felt confident that he could find a staff, or, if one would not be long enough, several could be fastened together. The coil of rope in the boat would enable him to do this. The sail would afford material for a flag.

All these plans came to his mind as he stood there; and the prospect of once more doing something which was to help him to escape from his prison drove away the last vestige of his grief. His courage again arose, hope revived, and he burst forth into a light and joyous song. Very different was he now from the despairing lad who, but a short time before, had been pouring forth his tears of sorrow; and yet but a few minutes had passed since then. The steamer was yet in sight down the bay, but Tom, who had lately been so frantic in his efforts to attract her attention, now cast a glance after her of perfect indifference.

And now it was necessary for him to return to the east end of the island, and look about for the means of putting into execution his plan for making a signal.

He started off on his return without any further delay. The path back was as rough and toilsome as the way down had been; but Tom was now full of hope, and his elastic spirits had revived so thoroughly that he cared but little for the fatigue of the journey. It was traversed at last, and he descended the slope to the place from which he had started.

His exploration of the island had been quite complete. It seemed to him to be about a mile and a half in length, and a half a mile or so in width. The east end, where he had first arrived, was the only place where it was at all desirable to stay.

Immediately on his arrival he examined the boat, and found it secure. To his surprise it was now about sunset. He had forgotten the lapse of time. He was hungry; so he sat down, ate his biscuit, drank his water, and rested from the toils of the day.

XVI.

A Sign for the outer World.–A Shelter for the Outcast’s Head.– Tom’s Camp and Camp-bed.–A Search after Something to vary a too monotonous Diet.–Brilliant Success.

Tom sat down after his eventful day, and took his evening meal, as has been said. He rested then for some time. His excessive labors had fatigued him less than the great excitement which he had undergone, and now he felt disinclined to exert himself. But the sun had set, and darkness was coming on rapidly; so he rose, at last, and went over to the drift-wood. Here, after a search of about half an hour, he found something which was very well suited to his purpose. It was a piece of scantling about twenty feet long, and not very thick; and to this he saw that he could fasten the pole that he had made up in the woods. These two pieces would make, when joined, a very good flag-staff. These he brought up to the bank. Then he collected an armful of dry chips and sticks, which he carried over to a spot near where the boat lay. A rock was there, and against one side of this he built a pile of the chips. He then tried a match, and found that it was quite dry, and lighted it without any difficulty. With this he kindled the fire, and soon saw, with great satisfaction, a bright and cheerful blaze.

He was so delighted with the fire that he brought up a dozen more loads of wood, which he laid near. Then he drew up the bit of scantling, and bringing the coil of rope, he cut a piece off, and proceeded to fasten to the scantling the pole which he had procured in the woods. He did this by winding the rope around in a close and even wind; and, finally, on concluding his task, he found that it was bound firmly enough to stand any breeze. It took a long time to finish this; but Tom had slept late in the morning, and, though fatigued, he was not sleepy. After this he sat down in front of the fire, and enjoyed its friendly light and its genial glow. He kept heaping on the fuel, and the bright flames danced up, giving to him the first approach to anything like the feeling of comfort that he had known since he had drifted away from the Antelope. Nor was it comfort only that he was mindful of while he watched and fed the fire. He saw in this fire, as it shone out over the water, the best kind of a signal, and had some hope of being seen and hailed by some passing vessel. In this hope he sat up till midnight, looking out from time to time over the water, and expecting every instant to see the shadow of some approaching vessel.

But midnight came, and Tom at length thought of sleep. The sail had dried thoroughly through the day; so now he used it once more as a coverlet, and, folding himself in it, he reclined, as before, against the mossy bank, and slept.

On awaking the next day, he arose and looked around. To his deep disappointment, he could see nothing. There was a fog over all the scene. The wind had changed, and his old enemy was once more besieging him. It was not so thick, indeed, as it had been, being light and dry, so that the ground was not at all moistened; but still the view was obscured, so that no vessel could be seen unless it came within half a mile; and that was rather closer than most vessels would care to come to his island.

This day was Sunday, and all Tom’s plans had to be deferred until the following day. However, it was not at all disagreeable to him to get rid of the necessity of work; and, indeed, never before did he fully appreciate the nature of the Day of Rest. The rest was sweet indeed to his exhausted and overworn frame, and he did not go far away from his fire. He had found some embers still glowing in the morning, and had kindled the fire anew from these, without drawing any more upon his precious store of matches. He resolved now to keep the coals alive all the time, by feeding the fire during the day, and covering it up with ashes by night.

It was Sunday,–the Day of Rest,–and Tom felt all the blessedness of rest. On the whole, it turned out to be the pleasantest day which he had known since he left the schooner. Left now to quiet reflection, he recalled the events of the last week, and had more leisure to feel thankful over the wonderful safety which he had met with. Even now on the island he was not without his comforts. He had food and warmth. So, on the whole, though he had his moments of sadness, yet the sadness was driven out by cheerfulness. It was not all dismal. The words of that poem which is familiar to every school-boy rang in his ears:–

“O, Solitude, where are the charms That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms Than reign in this horrible place.”

Yet these words were accompanied and counterbalanced by the more pleasing and consoling sentiments of others, which on this day accorded better with Tom’s mood:–

“There’s mercy in every place;
And mercy–encouraging thought!– Gives even affliction a grace,
And reconciles man to his lot.”

Nothing occurred during the day to disturb the quiet of the island, and Tom went to bed early that night, so as to have a long sleep, and fortify himself for the labors of the morrow. The ashes were raked carefully round the coals, which, when Tom waked in the morning, were easily kindled again.

He was up early on that Monday morning. He saw, with deep disappointment, that the fog still covered every thing, and that the wind was blowing quite brisk from the south-west, and raising rather a heavy sea. But he had a great deal to do now, and to this he turned his attention.

First of all, he had to finish his signal-staff and set it up. He was very much troubled about the proper material for a flag. The canvas was rather too heavy; but as he had nothing else, he had to take this. He fastened a bit of the rope to the head of the staff, so as to form a loop, and through this he ran a piece which was long enough to serve for halyards. Thus far he had not used up more than a quarter of the coil of rope; but he needed all that was left for other purposes. The next thing was to set up his staff. To do this required much labor. He had already selected the place which seemed most suitable. It was at the extreme point of a tongue of land which projected beside the brook, and only a little distance from his resting-place. Here the ground was soft; and choosing a sharp stone, he worked diligently for about a couple of hours, until at length he succeeded in digging a hole which was about eighteen inches in depth. Then he fastened ropes to the staff, where the pole joined it, so that four lines came down far enough to serve as stays. Having done this, he inserted the end of the staff in the hole, and thrust in the earth all around it, trampling it in, and beating it down as tight as he could with a stone. After this he procured some sticks from the drift-wood, and, sharpening the ends, he secured the stays by fastening them to these sticks, which he drove into the ground. The staff then seemed to be as secure as was necessary. It only remained now to hoist up his flag; and this he did without any difficulty, securing it at half mast, so that it might serve unmistakably as a signal of distress.

Upon completing this, Tom rested on the mound, and from that distance he contemplated the signal with a great deal of calm and quiet satisfaction. It was his own device, and his own handiwork, and he was very proud of it. But he did not allow himself a long rest. There yet remained much to be done, and to this he now directed his attention.

He had been thinking, during his last employment, upon the necessity which he had of some shelter. A plan had suggested itself which he felt confident that he could carry into execution without any very great trouble. The fog that now prevailed, and which was far different from the light mist of the previous day, accompanied also, as it was, by the damp south-west wind, made some sort of a shelter imperatively necessary, and that, too, before another night. To pass this night in the fog would be bad enough; but if it should happen to rain also, his situation would be miserable indeed.

He now set out for the beach, and found, without much difficulty, some pieces of wood which were necessary to his purpose. Bringing these back, he next looked about for a good situation. There was a rock not far from the fire, and in front of this was a smooth spot, where the land was flat, and covered with short grass. On the left it sloped to the brook. This seemed to him to be the best place on the island. It was sufficiently sheltered. It was dry, and in case of rain the water would not be likely to flood it. With all these it also possessed the advantage of being sufficiently conspicuous to any passing vessel which might be attracted by the signal-staff. Here, then, Tom determined to erect his place of residence.

His first work was to select two long and slender pieces of wood, and sharpen the ends of them. Then he drove each of them into the ground in such a way that their tops crossed one another. These he bound fast together. Two other stakes were driven into the ground, and secured in the same way, about six or seven feet off. Another long piece of scantling was then placed so as to pass from one to the other of the two crossed sticks, so that it rested upon them. This last was bound tight to the crossed sticks, and thus the whole structure formed a camp-shaped frame.

Over this Tom now threw the sail, and brought it down to the ground on either side, securing it there with pegs. At the back of the camp a piece of the sail was folded over and secured so as to cover it in; while in front another piece of the sail hung down until it nearly reached the ground. This could hang down at night, and be folded over the top by day. Tom now tore up some sods, and laid them over the edge of the canvas on each side, where it touched the ground, and placed on these heavy stones, until at length it seemed sufficiently protected from the entrance of any rain that might flow down the roof. His last task consisted in collecting a large quantity of moss and ferns from the woods, which he strewed over the ground inside, and heaped up at one end, so as to form a soft and fragrant bed. When this was accomplished the camp was finished.

It had taken a long time, and when at last the work was done, it began to grow dark. Tom noticed this with surprise. He had been working so incessantly that he was not mindful of the flight of time, and now the day was done, and the evening was upon him before he was aware. But there were other things still for him to do before he could rest from his labors. His fire was just flickering around its last embers, and if he wished to have a pleasant light to cheer the solitude and the darkness of his evening hours, it would be necessary to prepare a supply of fuel. To this he attended at once, and brought up several armfuls of drift-wood from the beach. Placing these near the fire, he kindled it up afresh, and flung upon the rising flames a generous supply of fuel. The fires caught at it, and crackled as they spread through the dry wood, and tossed up their forked tongues on high, till in the dusk of evening they illuminated the surrounding scene with a pleasant light. A few more armfuls were added, and then the work for the day was over. That work had been very extensive and very important. It had secured a means of communication with the outer world, and had also formed a shelter from the chill night air, the fog, and the storm. It was with a very natural pride that Tom cast his eyes around, and surveyed the results of his ingenuity and his industry.

The camp opened towards the fire, from which it was not so far distant but that Tom could attend to it without any very great inconvenience. The fire shone pleasantly before him as he sat down at his evening repast. As the darkness increased, it threw a ruddier glow upon all the scene around, lighting up field and hill, and sending long streams of radiance into the fog that overhung the sea. Tom had prepared an unusually large supply of fuel, this evening, for the express purpose of burning it all up; partly for his own amusement, and partly in the hope that it might meet the eyes of some passing navigator. It was his only hope. To keep his signals going by night and day was the surest plan of effecting a speedy escape. Who could tell what might be out on the neighboring sea? How did he know but that the Antelope might be somewhere near at hand, with his companions on board, cruising anxiously about in search after the missing boat? He never ceased to think that they were following after him somewhere, and to believe that, in the course of their wanderings, they might come somewhere within sight of him. He knew that they would never give him up till they assuredly knew his fate, but would follow after him, and set other vessels on the search, till the whole bay, with all its shores and islands, should be thoroughly ransacked.

Fortunate was it for him, he thought, that there was so large a supply of drift-wood at hand on the beach, dry, portable, and in every way convenient for use. Thanks to this, he might now disperse the gloom of dark and foggy nights, and keep up a better signal in the dark than he could do in the light. Thus the fuel was heaped on, and the fire flamed up, and Tom sat near, looking complacently upon the brilliant glow.

Thus far, for nearly a week, he had fed on biscuit only; but now, as he ate his repast, he began to think that it was a very monotonous fare, and to wonder whether it might not be possible to find something which could give a zest to his repasts. The biscuit were holding out well, but still he felt a desire to husband his resources, and if any additional food could in any way be procured, it would not only be a relish, but would also lessen his demand upon his one sole source of supply. He thought earnestly upon the subject of fish. He turned his thoughts very seriously to the subject of fish-hooks, and tried to think of some way by which he could capture some of the fish with which these waters abounded. But this idea did not seem to promise much. In the first place, he could think of no possible way in which he could procure any serviceable hook; in the second place, even if he had a hook and line all ready and baited, he did not see how he would be able to cast it within reach of any fish. His boat would not float him even for the little distance that was required to get into the places where fish might be. He could only stand upon the beach out of their reach.

But, in the course of his thoughts, he soon perceived that other sources of food were possible to him besides the fish that were caught by hook and line. His mind reverted to the populous realm of shell-fish. These were all before him. Round the rocks and amid the sea-weed there certainly must be mussels. At low tide, amid the ledges and the sand, there surely must be some lobsters. Before him there was an extensive mud flat, where there ought to be clams. Here was his fire, always ready, by night and by day. Why should he not be able to make use of that fire, not only for cheering his mind, and giving him warmth, and signaling to passers- by, but also for cooking his meals?

This was the question that he asked himself as he ate his biscuit. He could not see why he should not be able to accomplish this. As far as he could see, there ought to be plenty of shell-fish of various kinds on these shores. The more he thought of it, the more probable it seemed. He determined to solve the difficulty as soon as possible. On former occasions he had arranged his work on the evening for the succeeding day. On this evening he marked out this work for the morrow, and arranged in his mind a comprehensive and most diligent search for shell-fish, which should embrace the whole circuit of the island.

With this in his mind, he arranged the fire as usual, so as to keep it alive, and then retired to his camp for the night. The presence of a roof over his head was grateful in the extreme. He let down the canvas folds over the entrance, and felt a peculiar sense of security and comfort. The moss and ferns which he had heaped up were luxuriously soft and deliciously fragrant. Over these he stretched his wearied limbs with a sigh of relief, and soon was asleep.

So comfortable was his bed, and so secure his shelter, that he slept longer than usual. It was late when he awaked. He hurried forth and looked around. The fog still rested over everything. If possible it was thicker and more dismal than even on the preceding day. To his surprise, he soon noticed that it had been raining quite heavily through the night. Around, in many places, he saw pools of water, and in the hollows of the rocks he saw the same. This could only have been done by the rain. Going back to his camp, he saw that the canvas was quite wet. And yet the rain had all rolled off. Not a drop had entered. The moss and the fern inside were perfectly dry, and he had not the slightest feeling of dampness about him. His camp was a complete success.

He now went off to search for clams. The tide had been high at about six in the morning. It was now, as he judged, about ten or eleven, and the water was quite low. Selecting a piece of shingle from his wood-pile, he walked down over the mud flat that extended from the point, and, after going a little distance, he noticed the holes that give indications of the presence of clams beneath. Turning up the sand, he soon threw out some of them. He now dug in several different places, and obtained sufficient for the day. These he carried back to the bank in triumph. Then he stirred up his fire, heaped on plenty of wood, and arranged his clams in front so as to roast them.

In spite of Mrs. Pratt’s theories, the clams were found by Tom to be delicious, and gave such relish to the biscuit, that he began to think whether he could not make use of the baling dipper, and make a clam chowder.

This breakfast was a great success, and Tom now confidently expected to find other shell-fish, by means of which his resources might be enlarged and improved.

XVII.

Solomon’s solemn Tale.–A costly Lobster.–Off again.–Steam Whistles of all Sizes.–A noisy Harbor.–Arrival Home.–No News.

The shout of joy uttered by those on the top of the cliff at seeing old Solomon safe was responded to by those in the boat; and then, as the latter went on her way, Captain Corbet set out to return to the beach, followed by Phil and Pat. Soon they were all reunited, and, the boat being landed, they returned in triumph to the Antelope.

On their way back, Solomon told them the story of his adventures.

“Went out,” said he, “on a splorin scursion, cos I was termined to try an skewer somethin to make a dinnah to keep up de sperrit ob dis yah party. Ben trouble nuff, an dat’s no reason why we should all starb. I tought by de looks ob tings dar was lobstas somewhar long dis yah sho, an if I got a chance, I knowed I could get ’em. Dar was lots ob time too, ef it hadn’t ben fur dat ar pint; dat’s what knocked me. Lots o’ lobstas–could hab picked up a barl full, ony hadn’t any barl to pick up.”

“Well, but how did you happen to get caught?”

“Dat ar’s jes what I’m a comin to. You see, I didn’t tink ob dat ar pint when I went up de sho,–but knowed I had lots ob time; so I jes tought I’d make sure ob de best ob de lobstas. Wan’t goin to take back any common lobstas,–bet you dat,–notin for me but de best,–de bery best ones dar. Dat ar’s what kep me. It takes a heap ob time an car to get de best ones, when dar’s a crowd lyin about ob all sizes, an de water comin in too.”

“But didn’t you see that the tide was coming up to the point?”

“Nebber see a see,–not a see; lookin ober de lobstas all de time, an mos stracted wid plexity cos I couldn’t cide bout de best ones. Dar was lots an lots up dar at one place, dough I didn’t go fur,– but ef I’d gone fur, I’d hab got better ones.”

“How far did you go?”

“Not fur,–ony short distance,–didn’t want to go too fur away for feah ob not gittin back in time. An so I started to come back pooty soon, an walked, an walked. Las, jes as I got to de pint, I rose my ole head, an looked straight afore me, an thar, clar ef I didn’t fine myself shut in,–reglar prison,–mind I tell you,–an all round me a reglar cumferince ob water an rock, widout any way ob scape. Tell you what, if dar ebber was a ole rat in a trap, I was at dat ar casion.”

“Couldn’t you have waded through it before it got too high?”

“Waded? Not a wade; de water was rough an deep, an de bottom was stones dat I’d slipped oba an almost broke my ole head, sides bein drownded as dead as a herrin. Why, what you tink dis ole nigga’s made ob? I’m not a steam injine, nor a mowin machine, nor a life boat. I’m ony a ole man, an shaky in de legs too,–mind I tell you.”

“Well, how did you manage it?”

“Manage! Why, I didn’t manage at all.”

“How did you find that place where you were sitting?”

“Wasn’t settin. I was tied up in a knot, or rolled up into a ball. Any way, I wasn’t settin.”

“Well, how did you find the place?”

“Wal, I jes got up dar. I stood on de sho till de water drobe me, an I kep out ob its way till at las I found myself tied up de way you saw me.”

“Why didn’t you halloo?”

“Hollar? Didn’t I hollar like all possessed?”

“We didn’t hear you.”

“Wal, dat ar’s dredful sterious. An me a hollarin an a yellin like mad. Tell you what, I felt as ef I’d bust my ole head open, I did yell that hard.”

“Couldn’t you manage to climb up that cliff?”

“Dat cliff? Climb up? Me? What! me climb up a cliff? an dat cliff? Why, I couldn’t no more climb up dat ar cliff dan I could fly to de moon. No, sah. Much as I could do to keep whar I was, out ob de water. Dat was enough.”

“Don’t you know that we walked two miles up the shore?”

“Two miles! Two! De sakes, now, chil’en! did you, railly? Ef I’d a ony knowed you war a comin so near, wouldn’t I a yelled? I bet I would.”

“Why, you didn’t think we’d have left you.”

“Lef me? Nebber. But den I didn’t tink you’d magine anyting was wrong till too late. What I wanted was help, den an dar. De trouble was, when you did come, you all made dat ar circumbendibus, an trabelled clean an clar away from me.”

“We thought at first you could not be so near the point.”

“But de pint was de whole difficulty. Dat’s de pint.”

“Well, at any rate, you’ve saved the lobsters.”

“Yah! yah! yah! Yes. Bound to sabe dem dar. Loss my ole hat, an nearly loss my ole self; but still I hung on to dem dar lobstas. Tell you what it is now, dey come nigh onto bein de dearest lobstas you ebber eat. I’be done a good deal in de way ob puttin myself out to get a dinna at odd times for you, chil’en; but dis time I almost put myself out ob dis mortial life. So when you get your dinnas to-day, you may tink on what dat ar dinna come nigh to costin.”

“I wonder that you held on to them so tight, when they brought you into such danger.”

“Hole on? Why, dat ar’s de berry reason why I did hole on. What, let go ob dem arter all my trouble on dat count? No. I was bound to hab somethin to show whenebber I got back, if I ebber did get back; and so here I am, all alibe, an a bringin my lobstas wid me.”

“Well, Solomon,” said Bart, in a kindly tone, “old man, the lobsters have come near costing us pretty dear, and we felt bad enough, I can tell you, when we went up there along the shore calling for you and getting no answer.”

“What, you did car for de ole man, Mas’r Bart–did you?” said Solomon, in a tremulous voice. Tears started to his eyes as he said it, and all power of saying anything more seemed to depart from him. He fell back behind the others, and walked on for the rest of the way in silence, but at times casting upon Bart glances that spoke volumes, and talking to himself in inaudible tones.

In this way they soon reached the wharf where the schooner was lying.

The first thing that they noticed was, that the schooner was aground. The tide had gone out too far for her to float away, and consequently there was no hope of resuming their voyage for that day.

“We’re in for it, captain,” said Bruce

“Yes; I felt afeard of it,” said the captain. “We’ve got to wait here till the next tide.”

“We’ll leave to-night, of course.”

“O, yes. We must get off at the night’s tide, and drop down the bay.”

“How far had we better go?”

“Wal, I ben a thinkin it all over, an it’s my opinion that we’d better go to St. John next. We may hear of him there, an ef he don’t turn up we can send out some more vessels, an give warnin that he’s astray on the briny biller.”

“At what time will we be able to leave?”

“Wal, it’ll not be high tide till near one o’clock, but we can git off ef thar’s a wind a leetle before midnight.”

“Do you think the wind will hold on?”

The captain raised his head, and looked at the sky; then he looked out to sea, and then he remained silent for a few minutes.

“Wal,” said he, at last, slowly and thoughtfully, “it’ll take a man with a head as long as a hoss to answer that thar. It mought hold on, an then agin it moughtn’t.”

“At any rate, I suppose we can drift.”

“O, yes; an of the wind doosn’t come round too strong, we can git nigh down pooty close to St. John by mornin.”

“We’ll run down with the tide.”

“Percisely.”

“Well, I suppose we’ll have to put the time through the best way we can, and try to be patient. Only it seems hard to be delayed so much. First there was the fog, which made our search useless; and now, when there comes a bright day, when we can see where we’re going, here we are tied up in Quaco all day and all night.”

“It doos seem hard,” said Captain Corbet, gravely, “terrible hard; an ef I owned a balloon that could rise this here vessel off the ground, an convey her through the air to her nat’ral element, I’d hev it done in five minutes, an we’d all proceed to walk the waters like things of life. But I don’t happen to own a balloon, an so thar you air.

“But, boys,” continued the captain, in a solemn voice, elevating his venerable chin, and regarding them with a patriarchal smile,– “boys, don’t begin to go on in that thar old despondent strain. Methinks I hear some on you a repinin, an a frettin, cos we’re stuck here hard an fast. Don’t do it, boys; take my advice, an don’t do it. Bear in mind the stirrin an memiorable events of this here mornin. See what a calamity was a threatenin us. Why, I declare to you all, thar was a time when I expected to see our aged friend Solomon no more in the flesh. You could not tell it by my manner, for I presarved a calm an collected dumeanour; but yet, I tell you, underneath all that icy calm an startlin good-natur of my attitood, I concealed a heart that bet with dark despair. At that moment, when we in our wanderins had reached the furthest extremity that we attained onto, I tell you my blood friz, an my har riz in horror! Methought it were all up with Solomon; and when I see his hat, it seemed to me jest as though I was a regardin with despairin eye his tumestun whereon war graven by no mortial hand the solemn an despairin epigram, ‘Hic jacet!’

“So now, my friends,” continued the captain, as he brushed a tear- drop from his eye, “let us conterrol our feelins. Let us be calm, and hope for the best. When Solomon took his departoor, an was among the missin, I thought that an evil fortin was a berroodin over us, and about to consume us. But that derream air past. Solomon is onst more among the eatables. He cooks agin the mortial repast. He lives! So it will be with our young friend who has so mysteriously drifted away from our midst. Cheer up, I say! Them’s my sentiment. He’ll come to, an turn up, all alive–right side up– with care,–C. O. D.,–O. K.,–to be shaken before taken,–marked and numbered as per margin,–jest as when shipped, in good order an condition, on board the schooner Antelope, Corbet master, of Grand Pre.”

These words of Captain Corbet had a very good effect upon the boys. They had already felt very much cheered by the escape of Solomon, and it seemed to them to be a good omen. If Solomon had escaped, so also might Tom. And, as their anxiety on Solomon’s account had all been dispelled by his restoration, so also might they hope that their anxiety about Tom would be dispelled. True, he had been lost to them for a much longer time, and his absence was certainly surrounded by a more terrible obscurity than any which had been connected with that of Solomon. Yet this one favorable circumstance served to show them that all might not be so dark as they had feared. Thus, therefore, they began to be more sanguine, and to hope that when they reached St. John, some tidings of the lost boy might be brought to them.

Solomon’s exertions towards giving them a dinner were on this day crowned with greater success than had been experienced for some days past. Their exertions had given them an appetite, and they were able to eat heartily for the first time since Tom’s departure.

The rest of the day passed very slowly with them. They retired early, and slept until midnight. At that time they waked, and went on deck, when they had the extreme satisfaction of seeing the vessel get under way. A moderate breeze was blowing, which was favorable, and though the tide was not yet in their favor, yet the wind was sufficient to bear them out into the bay. Then the boys all went below again, full of hope. The night passed away quietly, and without any incident whatever. They all slept soundly, and the dreams that came to them were pleasant rather than otherwise.

Awaking in the morning by daylight, they all hurried up on deck, and encountered there a new disappointment; for all around them they saw again the hated presence of the fog. The wind also had died away, and the vessel’s sails flapped idly against her masts.

“Where are we now?” asked Bruce, in a despondent tone.

“Wal,” said Captain Corbet, “as nigh as I can reckon, we’re two or three miles outside of St. John harbor.”

“How is the tide?”

“Wal, it’s kine o’ agin us, jest now.”

“There doesn’t seem to be any wind.”

“Not much.”

“Shall we get into St. John to-day?”

“Wal, I kine o’ think we’ll manage it.”

“How soon?”

“Wal, not much afore midday. You see we’re driftin away jest now.”

“Don’t you intend to anchor till the next rise of tide?”

“O, yes; in about ten minutes we’d ought to be about whar I want to anchor.”

At this disheartening condition of affairs the boys sank once more into a state of gloom. In about ten minutes, as Captain Corbet said, the schooner was at anchor, and there was nothing to do but to wait.

“We’ll run in at turn o’ tide,” said he.

Breakfast came, and passed. The meal was eaten in silence. Then they went on deck again, fretting and chafing at the long delay. Not much was said, but the boys stood in silence, trying to see through the thick fog.

“It was so fine when we left,” said Bart, “that I thought we’d have it all the way.”

“Wal, so we did–pooty much all; but then, you see, about four this mornin we run straight into a fog bank.”

“Has the wind changed?”

“Wal, thar don’t seem jest now to be any wind to speak of, but it kine o’ strikes me that it’s somethin like southerly weather. Hence this here fog.”

After a few hours the vessel began to get under way again; and now, too, there arose a light breeze, which favored them. As they went on they heard the long, regular blast of a steam whistle, which howled out a mournful note from time to time. Together with this, they heard, occasionally, the blasts of fog horns from unseen schooners in their neighborhood, and several times they could distinguish the rush of some steamer past them, whose whistle sounded sharply in their ears.

As they drew nearer, these varied sounds became louder, and at length the yell of one giant whistle sounded close beside them.

“We’re a enterin o’ the harbure,” said Captain Corbet.

Hours passed away from the time the Antelope raised anchor until she reached the wharf. In passing up the harbor, the shadowy forms of vessels at anchor became distinguishable amid the gloom, and in front of them, as they neared the wharf, there arose a forest of masts belonging to schooners. It was now midday. Suddenly there arose a fearful din all around. It was the shriek of a large number of steam whistles, and seemed to come up from every side.

“Is that for the fog?” asked Bruce.

“O, no,” said Bart; “those are the saw-mills whistling for twelve o’clock.”

The boys had already completed their preparations for landing, and had changed their eccentric clothing for apparel which was more suited to making their appearance in society. Bart had insisted that they should go to his house, and wait until they might decide what to do; and the boys had accepted his hospitable invitation.

They stepped on shore full of hope, not doubting that they would hear news of Tom. They had persuaded themselves that he had been picked up by some vessel which was coming down the bay, and had probably been put ashore here; in which case they knew that he would at once communicate with Bart’s people. They even thought that Tom would be there to receive them.

“Of course he will be,” said Bart; “if he did turn up, they’d make him stay at the house, you know; and he’d know that we fellows would come down here in the hope of hearing about him. So we’ll find him there all right, after all. Hurrah!”

But, on reaching his home, Bart’s joyous meeting with his family was very much marred by the deep, dark, and bitter disappointment that awaited him and his companions.

They knew nothing whatever about Tom. Bart’s father was shocked at the story. He knew that no boy had been picked up adrift in the bay during the past week. Such an event would have been known. He felt exceedingly anxious, and at once instituted a search among the coasting vessels. The search was a thorough one, but resulted in nothing. There was no one who had seen anything of a drifting boat. All reported thick fog in the bay.

The result of this search plunged Bart and his friends into their former gloom.

Other searches were made. Inquiries were sent by telegraph to different places, but without result.

The fate of the missing boy now became a serious question

As for Bart and his friends, they were inconsolable.

XVIII.

Down the Bay.–Drifting and Anchoring.–In the Dark, morally and physically.–Eastport, the jumping-off Place.–Grand Manan.– Wonderful Skill.–Navigating in the Fog.–A Plunge from Darkness into Light, and from Light into Darkness.

It was Saturday when Bart reached home. As much was done on that day as possible. Bart was in the extreme of wretchedness, and so eager was he to resume the search for his friend, that his father gave his permission for him to start off again in the Antelope. The other boys also were to go with him. They determined to scour the seas till they found Tom, or had learned his fate.

Mr. Damer also assured Bart that he would take the matter in hand himself, and would send out two schooners to go about the bay. In addition to this, he would telegraph to different places, so that the most extensive search possible might be instituted. Every part of the coast should be explored, and even the islands should be visited.

All this gave as much consolation to Bart and his friends as it was possible for them to feel under the circumstances.

As much as possible was done on Saturday, but the next day was an idle one, as far as the search was concerned. Bart and the boys waited with great impatience, and finally on Monday morning they left once more in the Antelope. It was about five o’clock in the morning, the tide was in their favor, and, though there was a head wind, yet be fore the turn of tide they were anchored a good distance down the bay.

“My idee is this,” said Captain Corbet. “I’ll explore the hull bay in search of that driftin boy. I’ll go down this side, cross over, and come up on t’other. We’ll go down here first, an not cross over till we get as fur as Quoddy Head. I think, while we air down thar, I’ll call at Eastport an ask a few questions. But I must say it seems a leetle too bad to have the fog go on this way. If this here had ony happened a fortnight ago, we’d have had clear weather an fair winds. It’s too bad, I declar.”

They took advantage of the next tide to go down still farther, and by twelve o’clock on Monday night they were far down. Since leaving St. John they had seen nothing whatever, but they had heard occasionally the fog horns of wandering schooners, and once they had listened to the yell of a steamer’s whistle.

“I’ve allus said,” remarked Captain Corbet, “that in navigatin this here bay, tides is more important than winds, and anchors is more important than sails. That’s odd to seafarin men that ain’t acquainted with these waters, but it air a oncontrovartible fact. Most of the distressin casooalties that happen hereabouts occur from a ignorance of this on the part of navigators. They WILL pile on sail. Now, in clar weather an open sea, pile it on, I say; but in waters like these, whar’s the use? Why, it’s flyin clar in the face of Providence. Now look at me–do I pile on sail? Not me. Catch me at it! When I can git along without, why, I git. At the same time, I don’t think you’ll find it altogether for the good of your precious health, boys, to be a movin about here in the fog at midnight. Better go below. You can’t do no good a settin or a standin up here, squintin through a darkness that might be felt, an that’s as thick as any felt I ever saw. So take my advice, an go below, and sleep it off.”

It was impossible to gainsay the truth of Captain Corbet’s remarks, and as it was really midnight, and the darkness almost as thick as he said, the boys did go below, and managed to get to sleep in about a minute and a half after their heads touched the pillows.

Before they were awake on the following day the anchor was hoisted, and the Antelope was on her way again.

“Here we air, boys,” said the captain, as they came on deck, “under way–the Antelope on her windin way over the mounting wave, a bereasting of the foamin biller like all possessed. I prophesy for this day a good time as long as the tide lasts.”

“Do you think we’ll get to Eastport harbor with this tide?”

“Do I think so?–I know it. I feel it down to my butes. Eastport harbure? Yea! An arter that we hev all plain-sailin.”

“Why, won’t the fog last?”

“I don’t car for the fog. Arter we get to Eastport harbure we cease goin down the bay. We then cross over an steal up the other side. Then it’s all our own. If the fog lasts, why, the wind’ll last too, an we can go up flyin, all sails set; an I’ll remuve from my mind, for the time bein, any prejudyce that I have agin wind at sails.”

“Do you intend to go ashore at Eastport?”

“Yes, for a short time–jest to make inquiries. It will be a consolation, you know.”

“Of course.”

“Then I’ll up sail, an away we’ll go, irrewspective of tides, across the bay.”

By midday the captain informed them that they were in Eastport harbor.

“See thar,” said he, as he pointed to a headland with a light- house. “That thar is the entrance. They do call this a pootyish place; but as it’s this thick, you won’t hev much chance to see it. Don’t you want to go ashore an walk about?”

“Not if we can help it. Of course we’ll have to ask after poor Tom, but we haven’t any curiosity.”

“Wal, p’aps not–ony thar is people that find this a dreadful cur’ous place. It’s got, as I said, a pootyish harbure; but that ain’t the grand attraction. The grand attraction centres in a rock that’s said to be the eastest place in the neighborin republic,–in short, as they call it, the ‘jumpin-off place.’ You’d better go an see it; ony you needn’t jump off, unless you like.”

Sailing up the harbor, the fog grew light enough for them to see the shore. The town lay in rather an imposing situation, on the side of a hill, which was crowned by a fort. A large number of vessels lay about at the wharves and at anchor. Here they went ashore in a boat, but on making inquiries could gain no information about Tom; nor could they learn anything which gave them the slightest encouragement.

“We’ve got to wait here a while so as to devarsefy the time. Suppose we go an jump off?” said the captain.

The boys assented to this in a melancholy manner, and the captain led the way through the town, till at last he halted at the extreme east end.

“Here,” said he, “you behold the last extremity of a great an mighty nation, that spreads from the Atlantic to the Pacific, an from the Gulf of Mexiky to the very identical spot that you air now a occypyin of. It air a celebrated spot, an this here air a memorable momient in your youthful lives, if you did but know it!”

There was nothing very striking about this place, except the fact which Captain Corbet had stated. Its appearance was not very imposing, yet, on the other hand, it was not without a certain wild beauty. Before them spread the waters of the bay, with islands half concealed in mist; while immediately in front, a steep, rocky bank went sheer down for some thirty or forty feet to the beach below.

“I suppose,” said the captain, “that bein Pilgrims, it air our dooty to jump; but as it looks a leetle rocky down thar, I think we’d best defer that to another opportoonity.”

Returning to the schooner, they weighed anchor, set sail, and left the harbor. On leaving it, they did not go back the way they had come, but passed through a narrow and very picturesque channel, which led them by a much shorter route into the bay. On their left were wooded hills, and on their right a little village on the slope of a hill, upon whose crest stood a church.

Outside the fog lay as thick as ever, and into this they plunged. Soon the monotonous gray veil of mist closed all around them. But now their progress was more satisfactory, for they were crossing the bay, and the wind was abeam.

“Are you going straight across to Nova Scotia now?” asked Bart.

“Wal, yes; kine o’ straight across,” was the reply; “ony on our way we’ve got to call at a certain place, an contenoo our investergations.”

“What place is that?”

“It’s the Island of Grand Manan–a place that I allers feel the greatest respect for. On that thar island is that celebrated fog mill that I told you of, whar they keep grindin night an day, in southerly weather, so as to keep up the supply of fog for old Fundy. Whatever we’d do without Grand Manan is more’n I can say.”

“Is the island inhabited?” asked Bruce.

“Inhabited? O, dear, yas. Thar’s a heap o’ people thar. It’s jest possible that a driftin boat might git ashore thar, an ef so we’ll know pooty soon.”

“How far is it?”

“O, ony about seven or eight mile.”

“We’ll be there in an hour or so, then?”

“Wal, not so soon. You see, we’ve got to go round it.”

“Around it?”

“Yes”

“Why?”

“Cos thar ain’t any poppylation on this side, an we’ve got to land on t’other.”

“Why are there no people on this side?”

“Cos thar ain’t no harbures. The cliffs air six hundred feet high, and the hull shore runs straight on for ever so fur without a break, except two triflin coves.”

“How is it on the other side?”

“Wal, the east side ain’t a bad place. The shore is easier, an thar’s harbures an anchorages. Thar’s a place they call Whale Cove, whar I’m goin to land, an see if I can hear anythin. The people air ony fishers, an they ain’t got much cultivation; but it’s mor’en likely that a driftin boat might touch thar somewhar.”

The Antelope pursued her course, but it was as much as three hours before she reached her destination. They dropped anchor then, and landed. The boys had already learned not to indulge too readily in hope; but when they made their inquiries, and found the same answer meeting them here which they had received in other places, they could not avoid feeling a fresh pang of disappointment and discouragement.

“Wal, we didn’t git much good out of this place,” said Captain Corbet. “I’m sorry that we have sech a arrand as ourn. Ef it warn’t for that we could spend to-night here, an to-morry I’d take you all to see the fog mill; but, as it is, I rayther think I won’t linger here, but perceed on our way.”

“Where do we go next–to Nova Scotia?”

“Wal, not jest straight across, but kine o’ slantin. We head now for Digby; that’s about straight opposite to St. John, an it’s as likely a place as any to make inquiries at.”

“How long will it be before we get there?”

“Wal, some time to-morry mornin. To-night we’ve got nothin at all to do but to sweep through the deep while the stormy tempests blow in the shape of a mild sou-wester; so don’t you begin your usual game of settin up. You ain’t a mite of good to me, nor to yourselves, a stayin here. You’d ought all to be abed, and, ef you’ll take my advice, you’ll go to sleep as soon as you can, an stay asleep as long as you can. It’ll be a foggy night, an we won’t see a mite o’ sunshine till we git into Digby harbure. See now, it’s already dark; so take my advice, an go to bed, like civilized humane beings.”

It did not need much persuasion to send them off to their beds. Night was coming on, another night of fog and thick darkness. This time, however, they had the consolation of making some progress, if it were any consolation when they had no definite course before them; for, in such a cruise as this, when they were roaming about from one place to another, without any fixed course, or fixed time, the progress that they made was, after all, a secondary consideration. The matter of first importance was to hear news of Tom, and, until they did hear something, all other things were of little moment.

The Antelope continued on her way all that night, and on the next morning the boys found the weather unchanged. Breakfast passed, and two or three hours went on. The boys were scattered about the decks, in a languid way, looking out over the water, when suddenly a cry from Pat, who was in the bows, aroused all of them. Immediately before them rose a lofty shore, covered in the distance with dark trees, but terminating at the water’s edge in frowning rocks. A light-house stood here, upon which they had come so suddenly that, before they were over their first surprise, they were almost near enough to toss a biscuit ashore.

“Wal, now, I call that thar pooty slick sailin,” exclaimed Captain Corbet, glancing at the lighthouse with sparkling eyes. “I tell you what it is, boys, you don’t find many men in this here day an age that can leave Manan at dusk, when the old fog mill is hard at work, and travel all night in the thickest fog ever seen, with tide agin him half the time, an steer through that thar fog, an agin that thar tide, so as to hit the light-house as slick as that. Talk about your scientific navigation–wouldn’t I like to see what one of them thar scientific captings would do with his vessel last night on sech a track as I run over! Wouldn’t I like to run a race with him? an ef I did, wouldn’t I make a pile to leave and bequeath to the infant when his aged parient air buried beneath the cold ground?”

While Captain Corbet was speaking, the schooner sailed past the light-house, and the thick fog closed around her once more. On one side, however, they could see the dim outline of the shore on their right. On they sailed for about a quarter of a mile, when suddenly the fog vanished, and, with scarce a moment’s notice, there burst upon them a blaze of sunlight, while overhead appeared the glory of the blue sky. The suddenness of that transition forced a cry of astonishment from all. They had shot forth so quickly from the fog into the sunlight that it seemed like magic.

They found themselves sailing along a strait about a mile in width, with shores on each side that were as high as Blomidon. On the right the heights sloped up steep, and were covered with trees of rich dark verdure, while on the other side the slope was bolder and wilder. Houses appeared upon the shore, and roads, and cultivated trees. This strait was several miles in length, and led into a broad and magnificent basin.

Here, in this basin, appeared an enchanting view. A sheet of water extended before their eyes about sixteen miles in length and five in breadth. All around were lofty shores, fertile, well tilled, covered with verdurous trees and luxuriant vegetation. The green of the shores was dotted with white houses, while the blue of the water was flecked with snowy sails. Immediately on the right there appeared a circular sweep of shore, on which arose a village whose houses were intermingled with green trees.

Into this beautiful basin came the old French navigators more than two centuries ago, and at its head they found a place which seemed to them the best spot in Acadie to become the capital of the new colony which they were going to found here. So they established their little town, and these placid waters became the scene of commercial activity and of warlike enterprise, till generations passed away, and the little French town of Port Royal, after many strange vicissitudes, with its wonderful basin, remained in the possession of the English conqueror.

“Now,” said Captain Corbet, “boys, look round on that thar, an tell me of you ever see a beautifuller place than this. Thar’s ony one place that can be compared with this here, an that’s Grand Pre. But for the life o’ me, I never can tell which o’ the two is the pootiest. It’s strange, too, how them French fellers managed to pick out the best places in the hull province. But it shows their taste an judgment–it doos, railly.”

It was not long before the Antelope had dropped anchor in front of the town of Digby, and Captain Corbet landed with the boys as soon as possible. There was as good a chance of Tom being heard of here as anywhere; since this place lay down the bay, in one sense, and if by any chance Tom had drifted over to the Nova Scotia shore, as now seemed probable, he would be not unlikely to go to Digby, so as to resume his journey, so rudely interrupted, and make his way thence to his friends.

Digby is a quiet little place, that was finished long ago. It was first settled by the Tory refugees, who came here after the revolutionary war, and received land grants from the British government. At first it had some activity, but its business soon languished. The first settlers had such bright hopes of its future that they regularly laid out a town, with streets and squares. But these have never been used to any extent, and now appear grown over with grass. Digby, however, has so much beauty of scenery around it, that it may yet attract a large population. On landing here, Captain Corbet pursued the same course as at other places. He went first to one of the principal shops, or the post office, and told his story, and afterwards went to the schooners at the wharves. But at Digby there was precisely the same result to their inquiries as there had been at other places. No news had come to the place of any one adrift, nor had any skipper of any schooner noticed anything of the kind during his last trip.

“What had we better do next?”

“Wal,” said Captain Corbet, “we can ony finish our cruise.”

“Shall we go on?”

“Yes.”

“Up the bay?”

“Yes. I’ll keep on past Ile Haute, an I’ll cruise around Minas. You see these drifts may take him in a’most any direction. I don’t see why he shouldn’t hev drifted up thar as well as down here.”

It was Wednesday when they reached Digby.

On the evening of that day the Antelope weighed anchor, and sailed out into the Bay of Fundy.

It was bright sunshine, with a perfectly cloudless sky inside, but outside the Antelope plunged into the midst of a dense and heavy fog.

XIX.

Tom’s Devices.–Rising superior to Circumstances.–Roast Clams.– Baked Lobster.–Boiled Mussels.–Boiled Shrimps.–Roast Eggs.– Dandelions.–Ditto, with Eggs.–Roast Dulse.–Strawberries.–Pilot- bread.–Strawberry Cordial.

Meanwhile another day had passed away on Ile Haute.

When we last saw Tom he had succeeded in finding some clams, which he roasted in front of his fire, and made thus a very acceptable relish. This not only gratified his palate for the time, but it also stimulated him to fresh exertions, since it showed him that his resources were much more extensive than he had supposed them to be. If he had ever dreaded getting out of all his provisions, he saw now that the fear was an unfounded one. Here, before his eyes, and close beside his dwelling-place, there extended a broad field full of food. In that mud flat there were clams enough to feed him for all the rest of his life, if that were necessary. But what was more, he saw by this the possibility that other articles of food might be reckoned on, by means of which he would be able to relieve his diet from that monotony which had thus far been its chief characteristic. If he could find something else besides clams and biscuit, the tedium of his existence here would be alleviated to a still greater degree.

He spent some time in considering this subject, and in thinking over all the possible kinds of food which he might hope to obtain. Sea and land might both be relied on to furnish food for his table in the desert. The sea, he knew, ought to supply the following:–

1. Clams,
2. Lobsters,
3. Mussels,

in addition to other things which he had in his mind. The land, on the other hand, ought to furnish something. Now that his attention was fairly directed to this important subject, he could think of several things which would be likely to be found even on this island, and the search for which would afford an agreeable amusement.

The more he thought of all this, the more astonished he was at the number of things which he could think of as being likely to exist here around him. It was not so much for the sake of gratifying his appetite, as to find some occupation, that he now entered eagerly upon putting this new project into execution. Fish, flesh, and fowl now offered themselves to his endeavors, and these were to be supplied by land, sea, and sky. This sudden enlargement of his resources, and also of his sphere of operations, caused him to feel additional satisfaction, together with a natural self-complacency. To the ordinary mind Ile Haute appeared utterly deserted and forlorn–a place where one might starve to death, if he had to remain for any length of time; but Tom now determined to test to the utmost the actual resources of the island, so as to prove, to himself what one unaided boy could do, when thus thrown upon his own intelligent efforts, with dire necessity to act as a stimulus to his ingenuity.

First of all, then, there was his box of biscuit, which he had brought with him.

To this must be added his first discovery on the island, namely, the clams. Nothing could be of greater importance than this, since it afforded not merely a relish, but also actual food.

The next thing that he sought after was lobsters, and he went off in search of these as soon as he could on the following day.

He waited till the tide was low, which was at about twelve o’clock, and then went down along the beach. At high tide, the water came close up to the foot of the lofty cliff; but at ebb, it descended for some distance, so that there was some sort of a beach even in places that did not promise any.

The beach nearest to where Tom had taken up his abode was an expanse of mud and sand; but passing along beyond this, on the north side, it became gravelly. About a hundred yards to the west, on this side of the island, he came to the place where he had tied his boat, on that eventful time when he had drifted here. Below this, the beach extended down for a long distance, and at the lowest point there were rocks, and sharp stones, and pebbles of every size. Here Tom began his search, and before he had looked five minutes, he found several lobsters of good size. A little farther search showed him that there was a large supply of these, so that, in fact, sufficient support might have been obtained for a whole ship’s company. By the time that he had found a half dozen of these, and had brought them back to his hearth-stone, it had grown too dark to search for any more. Tom’s search, however, had been so successful, that he felt quite satisfied; and though the day had passed without any change in the weather or any lifting of the fog, though he had listened in vain for any sound over the waters which might tell of passers by, though his signal had not been seen, and his bright burning fire had not been noticed, yet the occupation of thought and of action which he had found for himself, had been sufficient to make the time pass not unpleasantly.

His evening repast was now a decided improvement on that of the preceding day. First of all, he spread some clams in the hot ashes to roast; and then, taking the dipper which had been used for baling, he filled it with water, and placing this on the fire, it soon began to boil. Into this he thrust the smallest lobster, and watched it as the water bubbled around it, and its scaly covering turned slowly from its original dark hue to a bright red color.

His success thus far stimulated him to make some attempts at actual cookery. Removing some of the lobster from its shell, he poured out most of the water from the pan, and into what remained he again put the lobster, cutting it up as fine as he could with his knife. Into this he crumbled some biscuit, and stirred it up all together. He then placed it over the fire till it was well baked. On removing it and tasting it, he found it most palatable. It was already sufficiently salt, and only needed a little pepper to make it quite equal to any scolloped lobster that he had ever tasted.

His repast consisted of this, followed by the roast clams, which formed an agreeable variety.

Tom now felt like a giant refreshed; and while sitting in front of the evening fire, he occupied his mind with plans for the morrow, which were all directed towards enlarging his supply of provisions.

He awaked late on the next morning, and found the weather unchanged. He tried to quell his impatience and disappointment, and feeling that idleness would never do, he determined to go to work at once, and carry out the plans of the preceding day. It was now Thursday, the middle of the second week, and the fog had clung pertinaciously around him almost all that time. It was indeed disheartening, and idleness under such circumstances would have ended in misery and despair; but Tom’s perseverance, and obstinate courage, and buoyant spirits enabled him still to rise above circumstances, and struggle with the gloom around him.

“O, go on, go on,” he muttered, looking around upon the fog. “Let’s see who can stand it longest. And now for my foraging expedition.”

Making a hearty repast out of the remnants of the supper of the preceding evening, he went first to the shore, so as to complete his search there while the tide should be low. It was going down now, and the beach was all before him. He wandered on till he came to where there was an immense ledge of sharp rocks, that went from the foot of the precipice down into the bay. Over these he clambered, looking carefully around, until at last he reached the very lowest point. Here he soon found some articles of diet, which were quite as valuable in their way as the clams and lobsters. First of all, he found an immense quantity of large mussels. These were entangled among the thick masses of sea-weed. He knew that the flavor of mussels was much more delicate than that of clams or lobsters, and that by many connoisseurs these, when good and fresh, were ranked next to oysters. This discovery, therefore, gave him great joy, and he filled his pan, which he had carried down, and took them back to the shore. He also took an armful of sea-weed, and, reaching his camping-place, he threw the mussels in a hollow place in the sand, placing the sea-weed around them. In this way he knew that they would keep fresh and sweet for any reasonable length of time.

Returning to the ledges of rock, he walked about among them, and found a number of pools, some of which were of considerable size. These had been left by the retreating water; and in these hollows he soon saw a number of small objects moving about. Some of them he caught without much difficulty, and saw that they were shrimps. He had hoped to find some of these, but the discovery came to him like some unexpected pleasure, and seemed more than he had any right to count on. Beside the shrimps his other discoveries seemed inferior. There was a large number, and they could be caught without much trouble. He soon filled his pan, and brought these also to his camping-place. These he deposited in a little pool, which was on the surface of some rocks that lay not far from the shore. Over these he also laid some sea-weed.

The tide was now coming up, but Tom made a further journey to the beach, so as to secure something which he had noticed during his previous expedition. This was a marine plant called dulse, which, in these waters, grows very plentifully, and is gathered and dried by the people in large quantities. It was a substance of which Tom was very fond, and he determined to gather some, and dry it in the sun. Collecting an armful of this, he took it to the shore, and spread it out over the grass, though, in that damp and foggy atmosphere, there was not much prospect of its drying.

It was now about three o’clock in the afternoon, and Tom’s researches along the shore were successfully terminated. He had found all the different articles that he had thought of and his new acquisitions were now lying about him.

These were,–

Clams,
Lobsters,
Mussels,
Shrimps,
Dulse.

As he murmured to himself the list of things, he smiled triumphantly.

But still there was work to be done. Tom intended to keep fashionable hours, and dine late, with only a lunch in the middle of the day. His explorations of the afternoon were to be important, and he hoped that they would be crowned with a portion of that success which had attended the work of the morning. He took, therefore, a hasty lunch of biscuit and cold lobster, washed down with water, and then set forth.

This time he turned away from the shore, and went to the top of the island. He carried in his hand a bit of rope, about a dozen feet in length, and went along the edge of the cliff as far as he could, turning aside at times to avoid any clumps of trees or bushes that grew too thickly. In front of him the line of cliff extended for some distance, and he walked along, until, at last, he came to a place where the gulls flew about in larger flocks than usual, almost on a line with the top of the rock. He had not noticed them particularly on his former walk along here; but now he watched them very attentively, and finally stood still, so as to see their actions to better advantage.

Tom, in fact, had made up his mind to procure some gulls’ eggs, thinking that these would make an addition to his repast of great importance; and he now watched the motions of these birds, so as to detect the most accessible of their nests. He did not have to watch long. A little observation showed him a place, just under the cliff, not far away from him. Hastening forward, he bent over, and, looking down, he saw a large number of nests. They had been constructed on a shelf of rock immediately below the edge of the cliff, and the eggs were within easy reach. The gulls flew about wildly, as the intruder reached down his hands towards their nests, and screamed and shrieked, while some of them rushed towards him, within a few feet of his head, as though they would assail him and beat him off. But Tom’s determination did not falter. He cared no more for the gulls than if they were so many pigeons, but secured as many eggs as he could carry. These he took with him back to his camp.

But he was not yet satisfied. He was anxious to have some vegetables; and over the open ground, among the grass, he had seen plants which were very familiar to him. There were dandelions; and Tom saw in them something that seemed worth more than any of his other acquisitions. Going forth in search of these, he managed to get his pan full of them. These he washed, and after cutting off the roots, he put them in the pan with water, and then set them over the fire to boil.

While they were boiling Tom went off once more, and found some wild strawberries. They were quite plentiful about here, and this was the season for them. He stripped a piece of bark from a birch tree, as the country people do, and formed from this a dish which would hold about a quart. This he filled after a moderate search.

He took the strawberries to his camp, and then, going back to the woods, he procured some more birch bark, out of which he made a half dozen dishes. It was now about five o’clock, and Tom thought it was time for him to begin to cook his dinner.

The dandelions were not quite cooked as yet; so Tom had to wait; but while doing so, he heated some stones in the fire. By the time they were heated, the dandelions were cooked; and Tom, removing the pan, put some shrimps and mussels in it, to boil over the fire. He then removed the stones, and placed one of the lobsters among them in such a way, that it was surrounded on every side in a hot oven. He then buried a few clams among the hot ashes, and did the same with three or four of the gulls’ eggs.

One of the hot stones was reserved for another purpose. It was the largest of them, and was red hot when he drew it from the fire, but soon cooled down enough to resume its natural color, although it retained an intense heat.

Over this he spread some of the wet dulse, which soon crackled and shrivelled up, sending forth a rich and fragrant steam. In roasting this dulse, a large piece would shrink to very small proportions, so that half of Tom’s armful, when thus roasted, was reduced to but a small handful.

After finishing this, he drew the gulls’ eggs from the fire, and taking off the shells, he cut them in slices, and put them with the dandelions. Then he took the shrimps and mussels from the fire, and removing them from the pan, he separated them, and put them into different bark dishes. The clams were next drawn forth, and though rather overdone, they were, nevertheless, of tempting appearance and appetizing odor. Finally, the lobster was removed, and Tom contented himself with one of the claws, which he placed on a dish, reserving the remainder for another time.

And now the articles were all cooked, and Tom’s repast was ready. He looked with a smile of gratification upon the various dishes which his ingenuity and industry had drawn forth from the rocks, and cliffs, and mud, and sand of a desert island, and wondered whether other islands, in tropical climates, could yield a more varied or more nutritious supply. He thought of other plants which might be found here, and determined to try some that seemed to be nutritious.

Here is the repast which Tom, on that occasion, spread before himself:–

1. Roast clams,
2. Baked lobster,
3. Boiled mussels,
4. Boiled shrimps,
5. Roast eggs,
6. Dandelions,
7. Dandelions with eggs,
8. Roast dulse,
9. Strawberries,
10. Pilot-bread.

In one thing only did Tom fall short of his wishes, and that was in the way of drinks. But before that dinner was finished, even this was remedied; for necessity, the great mother of invention, instigated Tom to squeeze about half of his strawberries into a little water. Out of this he formed a drink with a flavor that seemed to him to be quite delicious. And that made what Tom called,–

11. Strawberry cordial.

XX.

New Discoveries.–The Boat.–A great Swell.–Meditations and Plans.–A new, and wonderful, and before unheard-of Application of Spruce Gum.–I’m afloat! I’m afloat!

Tom sat there over his banquet until late. He then went down to the beach, and brought up a vast collection of driftwood, and throwing a plenteous supply upon the fire, he lay down beside it, and looked out over the water, trying, as usual, to see something through the thick mist. The flames shot up with a crackle and a great blaze, and the bright light shone brilliantly upon the water. The tide was now up, and the boat was full before him. Tom fixed his eyes upon this boat, and was mournfully recalling his unsuccessful experiment at making her sea-worthy, and was waiting to see her sink down to her gunwales as she filled, when the thought occurred to him that she was not filling so rapidly as she might, but was floating much better than usual. A steady observation served to show him that this was no fancy, but an actual fact; and the confirmation of this first impression at once drove away all other thoughts, and brought back all the ideas of escape which he once had cherished.

The boat was admitting the water, certainly, yet she certainly did not leak quite so badly as before, but was floating far better than she had done on the night of his trial. What was the meaning of this?

Now, the fact is, he had not noticed the boat particularly during the last few days. He had given it up so completely, that it ceased to have any interest in his eyes. Raising his signal, building his house, and exploring the island had taken up all his thoughts. Latterly he had thought of nothing but his dinner. But now the change in the boat was unmistakable, and it seemed to him that the change might have been going on gradually all this time without his noticing it until it had become so marked.

What was the cause of this change? That was the question which he now sought to answer. After some thought he found a satisfactory explanation.

For a number of days the boat had been admitting the water till she was full. This water had remained in for an hour or more, and this process of filling and emptying had been repeated every tide. The atmosphere also had been wet, and the wood, thus saturated with water so frequently, had no chance of getting dry. Tom thought, therefore, that the wooden framework, which he had constructed so as to tighten the leak, had been gradually swelling from the action of the water; and the planks of the boat had been tightening their cracks from the same cause, so that now the opening was not nearly so bad as it had been. Thus the boat, which once had been able to float him for a quarter of an hour or more, ought now to be able to float him for at least double that time.

Tom watched the boat very attentively while the tide was up; and, when at length it began to retreat, and leave it once more aground, he noticed that it was not more than half full of water. If any confirmation had been needed to the conclusions which he had drawn from seeing the improved buoyancy of the boat, it would have been afforded by this. Tom accepted this with delight, as an additional circumstance in his favor; and now, having become convinced of this much, he set his wits to work to see if some plan could not be hit upon by means of which the boat could once more be made sea-worthy.

Tom’s indefatigable perseverance must have been noticed by this time. To make the best of circumstances; to stand face to face with misfortune, and shrink not; to meet the worst with equanimity, and grasp eagerly at the slightest favorable change,–such was the character that Tom had shown during his experience of the past. Now, once more, he grasped at this slight circumstance that appeared to favor his hopes, and sought to find some way by which that half-floating boat could be made to float wholly, and bear him away to those shores that were so near by. Too long had he been submitting to this imprisonment; too long had he been waiting for schooners to pass and to bring him help; too long had he been shut in by a fog that seemed destined never to lift so long as he was here. If he could only form some kind of a boat that would float long enough to land him on the nearest coast, all that he wished would be gratified.

As he thought over this subject, he saw plainly what he had felt very strongly before–that the boat could not be sea-worthy unless he had some tar with which to plaster over the broken bow, and fill in the gaping seams; but there was no tar. Still, did it follow that there was nothing else? Might not something be found upon the island which would serve the purpose of tar? There must be some such substance and perhaps it might be found here.

Tom now thought over all the substances that he could bring before his mind. Would clay do? No; clay would not. Would putty? No, and besides, he could not get any. What, then, would serve this important purpose?

Tar was produced from trees. Were there no trees here that produced some sticky and glutinous substance like tar? There was the resin of pine trees, but there were no pines on the island. What then? These fir trees had a sort of sticky, balsamic juice that exuded plentifully from them wherever they were cut. Might he not make some use of that? Suddenly, in the midst of reflections like these, he thought of the gum that is found on spruce trees– spruce gum! It was an idea that deserved to be followed up and carried out. Thus far he had never thought of spruce gum, except as something which he, like most boys, was fond of chewing; but now it appeared before his mind as affording a possible solution of his difficulty. The more he thought of it, the more did it seem that this would be adapted to his purpose. The only question was, whether he could obtain enough of it. He thought that he might easily obtain enough if he only took the proper time and care.

With this new plan in his mind, Tom retired for the night, and awaked the next morning by the dawn of day. It was still foggy; but he was now so resigned, and was so full of his new plan, that it did not trouble him in the slightest degree. In fact, he was so anxious to try this, that the sight of a boat landing on the beach, all ready to take him off, would not have afforded him an unmixed satisfaction.

He took his tin dipper, and went up at once into the woods. Here he looked around very carefully, and soon found what he wanted. He knew perfectly well, of course, how to distinguish spruce trees from fir, by the sharp, prickly spires of the former, and so he was never at a loss which trees to search. No sooner had he begun, than he was surprised at the quantities that he found. To an ordinary observer the trunk of the spruce tree seems like any other tree trunk–no rougher, and perhaps somewhat smoother than many; but Tom now found that on every tree almost there were little round excrescences, which, on being picked at with the knife, came off readily, and proved to be gum. Vast quantities of a substance which goes by the name of spruce gum are manufactured and sold; but the pure gum is a very different article, having a rich, balsamic odor, and a delicate yet delicious flavor; and Tom, as he filled his pan, and inhaled the fragrance that was emitted by its contents, lamented that his necessities compelled him to use it for such a purpose as that to which this was destined. After four or five hours’ work, he found that he had gathered enough. He had filled his pan no less than six times, and had secured a supply which was amply sufficient to give a coating of thick gum over all the fractured place. The tide, which had already risen, was now falling, and, as soon as the boat was aground, and the water out of her, Tom proceeded to raise her bows, in precisely the same manner as he had raised the boat on a former occasion.

The next thing was to bring the gum into a fit condition for use. This he did by kindling the fire, and melting it in his tin pan. This would rather interfere with the use of that article as a cooking utensil, but now that Tom’s mind was full of this new purpose, cooking and things of that sort had lost all attractions for him. As for food, there was no fear about that. He had his biscuit, and the lobster and shell-fish which he had cooked on the preceding day were but partially consumed. Enough remained to supply many more meals.

The gum soon melted, and then a brush was needed to apply it to the boat. This was procured by cutting off a little strip of canvas, about a yard long and six inches wide. By picking out some of the threads, and rolling it up, a very serviceable brush was formed.

Taking the gum now in its melted state, Tom dipped his brush into it, and applied it all over the broken surface of the bow, pressing the hot liquid in close, and allowing it to harden in the cracks. His first coating of gum was very satisfactorily applied, and it seemed as though a few more coatings ought to secure the boat from the entrance of the water. The gum was tenacious, and its only bad quality was its brittleness; but, as it would not be exposed to the blows of any hard substances, it seemed quite able to serve Tom’s wants.

Tom now went down to the drift-wood and brought up a fresh supply of fuel, after which he melted a second panful of gum, and applied this to the boat. He endeavored to secure an entrance for it into all the cracks that did not seem to be sufficiently filled at the first application, and now had the satisfaction of seeing all of those deep marks filled up and effaced by the gum.

One place still remained which had not yet been made secure against the entrance of the water, and that was where the planks gaped open from the blow that had crushed in the bows. Here the canvas that was inside protruded slightly. Torn ripped up some of the canvas that was on the tent, and taking the threads, stuffed them in the opening, mixing them with gum as he did so, until it was filled; and then over this he put a coating of the gum. After this another pan, and yet another, were melted, and the hot gum each time was applied. This gave the whole surface a smooth appearance, that promised to be impenetrable to the water.

The gum which he had collected was enough to fill two more pans. This he melted as before, and applied to the bows. Each new application clung to the one that had preceded it, in a thick and quickly hardening layer, until at last, when the work was done, there appeared a coating of this gum formed from six successive layers, that was smooth, and hard, and without any crack whatever. It seemed absolutely water-tight; and Tom, as he looked at it now, could not imagine where the water could penetrate. Yet, in order to make assurance doubly sure, he collected two more panfuls, and melting this he applied it as before. After this was over, he made a torch of birch bark, and lighting this, he held the flame against the gum till the whole outer surface began to melt and run together. This served to secure any crevices that his brush might have passed by without properly filling.

The work was now complete as far as Tom could do it; and on examining it, he regretted that he had not thought of this before. He felt an exultation that he had never known in his life. If he, by his own efforts, could thus rescue himself, what a cause it would be always after to struggle against misfortune, and rise superior to circumstances!

As to the voyage, Tom’s plan was the same that it had been on a former occasion. He would float the boat at high tide, and then push off, keeping her near the shore, yet afloat until ebb tide. Then, when the tide should turn, and the current run up the bay, he would put off, and float along with the stream until he reached land.

According to his calculations it would be high tide about two hours after dark, which would be some time after ten. He would have to be up all night; for the tide would not turn until after four in the morning. But that did not trouble him. He would have too much on his mind to allow him to feel sleepy, and, besides, the hope which lay before him would prevent him from feeling fatigue.

One thing more remained, and that was, to bring up a fresh supply of fuel. The night would be dark, and while floating in the boat, he would need the light of the fire. So he brought up from the beach an ample supply of drift-wood, and laid it with the rest.

When Tom’s work was ended, it was late in the day, and he determined to secure some sleep before he began his long night’s work. He knew that he could waken at the right time; so he laid himself down in his tent, and soon slept the sleep of the weary.

By ten o’clock he was awake. He found the water already up to the boat. There was no time to lose. He carried his box of biscuit on board, and filled his pan with water from the brook, so as to secure himself against thirst in case the boat should float away farther than he anticipated. Then he took his paddle, and got into the boat.

The water came up higher. Most anxiously Tom watched it as it rose. The fire was burning low, and in order to make more light, Tom went ashore and heaped an immense quantity of wood upon it. The flames now blazed up bright, and on going back again to the boat, the water was plainly visible as it closed around the bows.

Most anxiously he now awaited, with his eyes fastened upon the bottom of the boat. He had not brought the old sail this time, but left it over his tent, and he could see plainly. Higher came the water, and still higher, yet none came into the boat, and Tom could scarce believe in his good fortune.

At last the boat floated!

Yes, the crisis had come and passed, and the boat floated!

There was now no longer any doubt. His work was successful; his deliverance was sure. The way over the waters was open. Farewell to his island prison! Welcome once more the great world! Welcome home, and friends, and happiness!

In that moment of joy his heart seemed almost ready to burst. It was with difficulty that he calmed himself; and then, offering up a prayer of thanksgiving, he pushed off from the shore.

The boat floated!

The tide rose, and lingered, and fell.

The boat floated still.

There was not the slightest sign of a leak. Every hour, as it passed, served to give Tom a greater assurance that the boat was sea-worthy.

He found no difficulty in keeping her afloat, even while retaining her near the shore, so that she might be out of the way of the currents.

At length, when the tide was about half way down, he found the fire burning too low, and determined to go ashore and replenish it. A rock jutted above the water not far off. To this he secured the boat, and then landing, he walked up the beach. Reaching the fire, he threw upon it all the remaining wood. Returning then to the boat, he boarded her without difficulty.

The tide fell lower and lower.

And now Tom found it more and more difficult to keep the boat afloat, without allowing her to be caught by the current. He did not dare to keep her bows near the shore, but turned her about, so that her stem should rest from time to time on the gravel. At last the tide was so low that rocks appeared above the surface, and the boat occasionally struck them in a very unpleasant manner. To stay so near the shore any longer was not possible. A slight blow against a rock might rub off all the brittle gum, and then his chances would be destroyed. He determined to put out farther, and trust himself to Providence.

Slowly and cautiously he let his boat move out into deeper water.

But slowness and caution were of little avail. In the deeper water there was a strong current, which at once caught the boat and bore her along. Tom struggled bravely against it, but without avail. He thought for a moment of seeking the shore again, but the fear that the boat would be ruined deterred him.

There was a little wind blowing from the southwest, and he determined to trust to the sail. He loosened this, and, sitting down, waited for further developments.

The wind filled the sail, and the boat’s progress was checked somewhat, yet still she drifted down the bay.

She was drifting down past the north shore of the island. Tom could see, amid the gloom, the frowning cliffs as he drifted past. The firelight was lost to view; then he looked for some time upon the dark form of the island.

At last even that was lost to view.

He was drifting down the bay, and was already below Ile Haute.

XXI.

Scott’s Bay and Old Bennie.–His two Theories.–Off to the desert Island.–Landing.–A Picnic Ground.–Gloom and Despair of the Explorers.–All over.–Sudden Summons.

It was on Wednesday evening that the Antelope passed from the sunshine and beauty of Digby Basin out into the fog and darkness of the Bay of Fundy. The tide was falling, and, though the wind was in their favor, yet their progress was somewhat slow. But the fact that they were moving was of itself a consolation. In spite of Captain Corbet’s declared preference for tides and anchors, and professed contempt for wind and sails, the boys looked upon these last as of chief importance, and preferred a slow progress with the wind to even a more rapid one by means of so unsatisfactory a method of travel as drifting.

At about nine on the following morning, the Antelope reached a little place called Wilmot Landing, where they went on shore and made the usual inquiries with the usual result. Embarking again, they sailed on for the remainder of that day, and stopped at one or two places along the coast.

On the next morning (Friday) they dropped anchor in front of Hall’s Harbor–a little place whose name had become familiar to them during their memorable excursion to Blomidon. Here they met with the same discouraging answer to their question.

“Wal,” said Captain Corbet, “we don’t seem to meet with much success to speak of–do we?”

“No,” said Bart, gloomily.

“I suppose your pa’ll be sendin schooners over this here same ground. ‘Tain’t no use, though.”

“Where shall we go next?”

“Wal, we’ve ben over the hull bay mostly; but thar’s one place, yet, an that we’ll go to next.”

“What place is that?”

“Scott’s Bay.

“My idee is this,” continued Captain Corbet: “We’ll finish our tower of inspection round the Bay of Fundy at Scott’s Bay. Thar won’t be nothin more to do; thar won’t remain one single settlement but what we’ve called at, ‘cept one or two triflin places of no ‘count. So, after Scott’s Bay, my idee is to go right straight off to old Minas. Who knows but what he’s got on thar somewhar?”

“I don’t see much chance of that.”