The Project Gutenberg eBook of Arthur Brown, The Young Captain

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Title: Arthur Brown, The Young Captain

Author: Elijah Kellogg

Release date: May 9, 2015 [eBook #48904]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Giovanni Fini, David Edwards and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)



—Obvious print and punctuation errors were corrected.













Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Copyright, 1898, by Elijah Kellogg.


All Rights Reserved.


Arthur Brown.

Norwood Press:
Berwick & Smith, Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.




Notwithstanding kindness is at times rewarded with ingratitude, and even positive injury, it is by no means so frequent an occurrence as persons naturally censorious, or whose minds have been soured by an unblest experience, would have us suppose.

Benefits conferred usually excite gratitude, and sometimes, when the donors have passed away are repaid, with interest, to their posterity.

The story of Arthur Brown presents a striking illustration of this principle. Lashed to a raft, perishing with cold and hunger in the edge of the surf, he is rescued by Captain Rhines, who, when a boy, poor and unable either to read or write, had been instructed and started in business[6] by Arthur’s father, who was afterwards lost at sea. The old captain, discovering, in the person he had perilled his life to save, the only son of his benefactor, receives him with open arms, with a nobility of soul that strengthens our faith in human nature, freely bestowing both time and property to aid the son and family of his benefactor, and repay the old debt. His efforts in this direction, together with those of the young man to help himself, at a most stirring period of our country’s history, the adventures growing out of those efforts, and the consequent development of character, will, we trust, prove interesting, and not without instruction.

Some references have necessarily been made to characters of the “Elm Island Series,” the reasons for which are given in the introductory chapter, and the references so explained as to render the connection plain to the reader.



Introductory. 9
The Wreck and the Rescue. 16
A Glad Surprise. 30
Captain Rhines manifests his Gratitude. 44
We were put into this World to help one Another.“” 60
The Young Captain under Fire. 74
Little Ned and his Mother. 94
Moonlight Conversation by the Brook. 106
[8]The Griffins. 122
Where the Hard Streak came from. 137
Reconnoitring. 155
Did I bear it like a Man, Walter? 169
The Basket-maker. 181
A Strange Discovery. 191
Homeward bound. 204
Dear-bought Wit. 223
Death and Burial of Tige Rhines. 240
The Meeting. 253
Ned among the Griffins. 272
A Mysterious Disappearance. 283







IN the series of books denominated the “Elm Island Stories” (commencing at the period when the old “Continental Congress,” which had fought the war of the revolution, was superseded by the Federal Government, and running through successive years) were introduced certain characters in whom our juvenile readers became so much interested, that they have assured us they could not abruptly surrender their acquaintance, at least not without some slight knowledge of their future prospects, especially as we were compelled to conclude our tale when most of them were on the very threshold of manhood. Desiring[10] to gratify, and, at the same time, render them somewhat familiar with the history and progress of their native land in those snapping times included between the outbreak of the French revolution and the embargo, so prolific in gain and adventure to those possessing the enterprise, and daring to profit by them, and during which American commerce took such mighty strides, we must of necessity, at the commencement of this volume, make some slight reference to persons and places previously described. For the benefit of those who have not read the former series, we introduce a brief sketch, referring those who may desire more accurate knowledge to those books.

Our old acquaintances can pursue, with this chapter, the course we used to adopt, when compelled to read one of Buckminster’s sermons aloud to the family, after having been twice to meeting, brought home the texts and heads of the sermon, and to Sabbath school—skip, skipped all we dared to, skipped all we could.

The scene of the “Elm Island Stories” is laid in eastern Maine, when it was little better than a forest, save a rim of clearings and incipient towns along the sea-shore.


Captain Rhines, who lived on the shore at a place named from him and his ancestors Rhineville, but then a plantation unincorporated, was a noble specimen of a sea captain—shrewd, kindly, self-made, of a daring nature, controlled by clear, cool judgment.

His son Ben, possessing all the sterling qualities of his father, is a giant in strength, and in the very prime of life. Though in general of most even temper, and only by long provocations excited to wrath, yet, when thoroughly roused, he was terrible; hence his name, Lion Ben. Becoming enamoured of Sally Hadlock, who will only marry him on condition that he relinquishes the sea, he buys Elm Island, situated among the breakers, six miles from the main land, and inaccessible at some periods by reason of the surf; fertile as to soil, and covered with a heavy growth of timber. With nothing to depend upon but their hands, and obliged to mortgage the island at the outset, this resolute pair sit down among the woods to achieve independence. He is greatly assisted in all his plans and purposes by Uncle Isaac Murch, a man in middle life, who, in boyhood, was captured by the Penobscot Indians, and adopted into[12] their tribe—a most shrewd, resolute, genial being, with very strong attachment to youth, their unfailing friend and ally in every good purpose.

While Lion Ben is cutting off the spars and raising crops to pay for the island, some plunderers from the British Provinces, seeing but one house on the island, and supposing they had but little resistance to encounter, landed and insulted Ben’s wife. She flies to her husband, who is at work near by in the woods, who encounters and nearly kills the intruders. Among them is an English orphan boy, by the name of Charlie Bell, who had shipped with them as cook, being ignorant of their character. He remains, and is adopted by Lion Ben. He turns out to be a boy of most excellent principle, of remarkable mechanical genius, and learns the trade of a ship carpenter; makes the acquaintance of Captain Rhines’s youngest boy, John, and of Fred Williams, the miller’s son.

Fred is a boy naturally smart, and inclined to mischief. By associating with a miserable wretch by the name of Pete Clash, an importation from the Provinces, and another by the name of Godsoe, a home production, he is led into evil courses. These boys, while in the woods one day, plotting[13] mischief against Uncle Isaac, being surprised by John Rhines, and finding that he will expose them, attempt to flog him; but he is rescued by his dog Tige, who tears Pete and Fred, injuring Fred so severely that he is at the point of death, which brings him to reflection and reform.

Pete Clash, attempting to meddle with Uncle Isaac’s fish flakes, is caught by the old hunter in a wolf trap, and so threatened and frightened by him, that he leaves the place, together with Godsoe. John, Fred, and Charlie now became fast friends, and Uncle Isaac their mutual friend and adviser.

John Rhines becomes a blacksmith, Fred works with his father in the mill. Charlie and John accumulate money by labor and ventures sent to the West Indies, and set up Fred in trade. These three boys, with another by the name of Isaac Murch, a protégé of Captain Rhines, undertake to build a vessel, and do build her, and send her to the French West Indies, calling her the Hard-scrabble, in commemoration of the desperate nature of the undertaking. She arrives at Martinique at a lucky moment, and pays for herself, and more too. They afterwards build another[14] called the Casco, of larger dimensions, of which Isaac Murch becomes the master, surrendering the Hard-scrabble to another captain. Joe Griffin, to whom reference is made, is a friend of Lion Ben, a mighty man with an axe, a great wrestler, and kind-hearted, but a most inveterate practical joker.

Walter Griffin, a younger brother of Joe, inheriting all the grit of this rugged race, enters the store of Fred Williams as a clerk; but the Griffin blood rebels under the monotony and constraint, and he takes to the water. Peterson, the black pilot, was for many years addicted to intemperance. During that period some roguish boys got him into a store when intoxicated, poured molasses on his head, then applied flour, alternating the layers, till his head was as large as a half bushel; for many years after which he was known by the nickname of Flour, but, having become a sober and industrious man, has accumulated property, is respected by the whole community, and the nickname is forgotten.

The period at which this series commences is after the French revolution, when the star of Nelson was rising above the horizon, and Napoleon[15] Bonaparte, a colonel of the artillery, was planting batteries at Toulon, and giving the English blockading fleet a taste of his quality.

These young men are now in possession of capital. John Rhines is living at home with his father; Fred is engaged in trade, and just married to a daughter of Captain Rhines. Charlie Bell is living on a farm in a most beautiful spot, called “Pleasant Cove,” upon which he chanced to stumble one lovely night in summer while sailing, became enraptured with and bought it, married another daughter of the captain, and settled down on it in a log house, while it was a forest, has one child, now a babe, and having built the Casco on his own shore, hopes to be able to cultivate the soil (an occupation he dearly loves), and to carry out those ideas of taste and beauty which in childhood he had gathered from the vales and ancestral homes of his native land.




IT was the middle of October, about ten o’clock in the forenoon; there was no rain falling, but it was blowing—O, how it was blowing!—a tearing gale from the south-west, which roared through, the tree tops, and there was a tremendous sea in the bay. But under the lee of Pleasant Point, entirely sheltered from the wind by the high land and the woods, a shooting match had just been abruptly broken off by Sol Chase (a boy of sixteen, who put up the turkeys) declaring that it was no kind of use to set up, if such marksmen as Joe Griffin and Uncle Isaac were going to shoot.

“Well, Sol, we won’t fire any more,” said Joe; “you boys may do your own shooting.”

“Let us do something we can all do,” said Charlie. “Uncle Isaac, let us play knives. I’ll blaze this pine tree for a mark.”


“Blaze a pine tree! Half of you won’t be able to hit the tree. Take the barn door.”

“We haven’t got knives,” said Ricker.

“I’ve got my hunting knife,” said Uncle Isaac; “one knife will do for the whole of us.”

“I’ve got an Indian tomahawk in the house,” said Charlie; “one that you gave me, Uncle Isaac, long ago.”

A bull’s eye was marked out on the barn door; the knife was held by the point of the blade, and flung. Uncle Isaac, when, after the first two trials, he had ascertained his distance, hit the centre of the target every time; Joe Griffin nearly as often; Charlie, Fred, and John, who had at other times practised a good deal with Uncle Isaac and each other, twice out of three times.

“It takes Walter Griffin to throw a knife. He’d hit that mark every time.”

“I wish he was here,” said Fred. “I feel, since he went to sea, as though about half of me was gone.”

As to the rest, some hit within six inches; others didn’t hit the door; and others flung the knife so that it struck flatways, or on the end of the handle.


“Now let’s throw the tomahawk,” said Charlie.

In this game none of them could approach Uncle Isaac, who flung it with a force and precision that would soon have made a breach in Charlie’s barn door; but as the rest could not fling it with any accuracy, they soon tired of it.

“I’ll put up a mark for you, Uncle Isaac,” said Joe Bradish.

He had a soft hat, bran new; put it on for the first time that day.

“What will you give me for a shot at my hat, at six hundred yards?”

“Three shillings.”


Bradish rolled his hat carefully up, and thrust it into a mortise in the post of a rail fence.

“I thought I was to have the whole bigness of the hat to fire at; that’s a small mark for such a long distance.”

“That’s just like him,” said Charlie; “always doing some mean, underhand trick.”

“You was to fire at the hat. There’s the hat. Now measure off the six hundred yards,” said Bradish.

“Don’t measure it that way,” said Uncle Isaac[19] to the boys, who were about to measure in the direction that the hat was shoved into the hole.

“What difference does it make?” asked Bradish.

“’Cause it does. I’ve a right to fire in any direction I like, at six hundred yards.”

Uncle Isaac fired, and the ball, just grazing the edge of the post, went through every fold of the hat crossways, the rifle ball whirling as it went, cutting it all to pieces.

“You’ve spoilt my new hat,” said Bradish, with a rueful face, holding it up, all full of holes, like a colander.

“That’s what you get by trying to cheat: good enough for you,” was the cry.

Scarcely had the laugh subsided, when Will Griffin was seen coming on horseback at full speed, and as he drew near, he bawled out, “Uncle Isaac, Joe, Master Bell, Captain Rhines wants you to come just as quick as you can; there’s a vessel cast away—folks going to be drowned on the Brant rocks.”

When they reached the cove, they found Captain Rhines, in the Perseverance, her sails close reefed and set, hatches fastened down, and the vessel hauled in against a perpendicular ledge, while he was holding her by a rope fast to a tree.


“Jump aboard!” he cried. “There’s people on a raft, coming right in before the wind and sea, and they will go right into the breakers on the Brant rocks, except we can get them off. I happened to be looking with the glass, and saw them.”

“We’ll do what men can do,” said Uncle Isaac. “Hadn’t we better call at the island, and get Ben? It’s right on our road.”

“That’s a good thought. Wonder I didn’t think of it.”

Ben had not noticed the raft, but he saw the schooner coming, and knew that it must be a matter of life and death that would bring men to the island in such a gale. Both he and Sally met them at the shore.

“I want you, my little boy,” cried Captain Rhines, as the schooner luffed up beside the wharf, in the still water of Elm Island harbor. “There’s a raft coming before the wind and sea, with people on it, and a signal of distress flying. It’s breaking thirty feet high on the Brant rocks, and they will soon be in that surf, unless we take them off.”

No more was said. Ben jumped aboard, and the schooner, close hauled, stood boldly out into[21] that tremendous sea. The men all commenced to lash themselves. Charlie was forward. He had made the end of a rope fast to the foremast, and put it around his waist; but, before he could secure the other end, she shipped a sea over the bows, that filled her all full, and bore Charlie before it like a feather. In another instant it would have taken him overboard, when nothing could have saved him; but Joe caught him as he was going over the rail.

“A miss is as good as a mile,” said Captain Rhines. “She shakes off the water like a Newfoundland dog. Ben, take the axe, and knock off the waist boards, and then the sea can have a fair chance to get out as fast as it comes in.”

They were now nearing the raft, as it came rapidly down before the sea, while the crew of the schooner were endeavoring to cut athwart its path. Catching glimpses of it in moments when the raft and the schooner both chanced to be on the top of a sea at the same instant, they perceived that it was constructed of the yards and smaller spars of a vessel, with an elevation amid-ships, where an upright spar was secured by shrouds, on which an English flag was flying. On[22] this elevation were dark objects, that Captain Rhines (at home) had made out, with his glass, to be human beings.

“If they are people, father,” said Ben, who, confident to hold himself against the sea, had gone into the bows, “they are dead; for there’s nothing moves, only as the sea moves it.”

“Perhaps not, Ben. They are lashed, chilled, and most dead, but I’ve seen men brought to that apparently had but a few more breaths to draw.”

In a few moments Ben shouted, “There’s folks there, four or six, I can’t tell which. I see one move his arm a little.”

“What are we going to do?” asked Captain Rhines. “I thought there would be some one able to take a line and make it fast, and then we might tow them clear of the breakers and into some lee, where we could get them off; but if there’s nobody to take a line, we’ve got to carry one ourselves.”

“Let the raft go by us,” said Ben, “and follow it up astern with the schooner. I’ll take a line in the canoe.”

“I’ll go with you,” said Joe; but Charlie insisted[23] upon sharing the peril with his father. They took in all but the foresail, reefed to the smallest possible dimensions, leaving only a little of the peak, as it was difficult to make the schooner go slow enough to keep from running on to the raft and knocking her to pieces; but by luffing into the wind they managed to keep her clear till Ben and Charlie got into the canoe, and with a small line reached the raft, to which was made fast a larger one, which they hauled to them and secured.

There was no such thing as returning against that sea; they must take their chance with those they came to save. If the rope parted, or the little vessel failed to tow her charge clear of the surf, they were lost. During the interval occupied in fastening to the raft, it had made fearful progress towards the rocks, that could now be plainly seen ahead, the sea breaking on them in sheets of foam. Never was the clear judgment and resolute nature of Captain Rhines put to a severer test than now. He must carry sail enough to drive the Perseverance through the water with sufficient speed to clear the rocks. On the other hand, there was danger,[24] if he carried too much sail, of either parting the rope, in which case Ben and Charlie, with those they went to save, would perish, or of taking the masts out of the schooner; and also danger of the seas boarding her over the stern.

It was most fortunate for the crew of the schooner, that when they grappled to the raft they were a long distance off, and well over to the edge of the breakers, consequently had to work the raft but very little to windward. Every time the little vessel rose on one of those tremendous seas, when the raft was perhaps in the hollow of another, she quivered and trembled, and it seemed as if she must be crushed bodily down beneath the sea.

“Isaac,” said the captain, who had one hand on the rope, “I think this will bear more strain. Unless we go ahead a little faster, we shall hardly clear that ragged point making out to the leeward.”

“I’m afraid, Benjamin, it will take the mast out of her.”

“So am I, but we must risk it. There’s no other way. It’s sartain death to go into that surf.”

There was one other way. A stroke of the axe upon the “taut” rope, and the schooner, freed[25] from her encumbrance, would have gone off like a bird from the ragged reef and boiling surf, leaving their comrades to perish; but no such thought could find lodgment in the bosoms of the men on board the Perseverance.

“Give her the sail, Isaac,” said the captain; “it’s the only way.”

Beneath the increased canvas, the schooner plunged and quivered, as though every timber would part company.

They were near the breakers; the roar of the surf was terrible; every time the great wave rolled back, the black, ragged points of the rock could be seen for a moment. It was now but a couple of gunshots from them, and they were in the outer edge of the breaker. Not a word was spoken. Captain Rhines coolly eyed the surf, while he managed the helm with consummate skill. Slowly the noble little vessel drew along by the reef, but the raft was the length of the hawser farther in.

“If that sea breaks on them, they are gone,” cried Captain Rhines, as a huge wall of water, thirty feet in height, came sweeping along, its overhanging edge white with foam.


Ben and Charlie each seized one edge of the canoe, evidently hoping, that though full of water, its buoyancy might support and aid them in swimming; but the wave broke just before it reached them, lifting the raft almost on end, flooding it with spray, buried them to their necks in water, and almost tore them from the raft, to which they clung by the shrouds of the upright spar, while the canoe was swept away. So near were they to the reef, that one end of the wave broke upon the rock, and the raft was covered with kelp torn from it by the force of the sea. While they were yet in the very edge of the broken water, the foremast breaking off four or five feet above deck, went over the bows.

“Thank God!” exclaimed Captain Rhines; “had it gone three minutes sooner, we had all been lost.”

Drifting along before the wind and sea, they gradually came into smoother water, when Ben, flinging himself overboard, swam to the schooner. With his aid they raised the broken spar, lashed it to the stump, and contrived to spread a portion of the sail.

“Ben,” asked his father, “what have you got on the raft? Are they dead or alive?”


“There’s four of them, father; one a black man, the cook or steward, for his hands are soft, a sailor, a boy fifteen or sixteen, and a young man, I should judge about twenty, who, I think, was mate of the vessel, by his dress. They have got just the breath of life in them; starved with cold and hunger, and nothing but skin and bones. I thought that sea would have killed them, but they are alive yet.”

“God help them, but we can’t get to the island, or my cove, with this broken spar. We must run for Charlie’s.”

“Let us run under the lee of Smutty Nose,” said Ben, “get rid of this raft, and take the bodies on board, then we can go faster, else they will be dead before we get there.”

They luffed up under the island in smooth water, took Charlie on board, the dead and the living, and permitting the raft to go adrift, made all the sail they could spread for Pleasant Cove. They carried the nearly lifeless bodies into the cuddy, put them in berths, and covered them with clothes. There were flint, steel, and tinder aboard, but no wood. They took the bottom boards out of a berth and split them up to kindle, and Ben[28] cut up the handspikes, which were white oak, and split up the windlass.

“Father,” said Charlie, “I’ll make a new and better one.”

With this supply they soon had the little place warm enough. When they reached the cove they found John Rhines there. He had been away, and arriving home just after the party set out, had kept watch of their movements. It was twelve o’clock at night when they landed. The gale was over, the clouds had disappeared, and a clear moonlight made it nearly as light as day. The wet clothing was instantly stripped from the chilled limbs of the seamen; they were put into warm blankets, and hot applications made. So affecting was the sight of these living skeletons that Mary burst into tears.

“Poor creatures! What they must have suffered!” she exclaimed. “They will die; they are as good as dead now.”

“No, they ain’t,” replied the captain, who had been putting cold water down their throats with a spoon, and found that they swallowed. “Kill a chicken, Charlie; we’ll give them some broth by and by; too much would kill them as dead as a[29] stone. Now, Mary, a little supper or breakfast, whichever you call it, wouldn’t hurt the rest of us, after all we’ve been through this day and night.”

The rising sun was pouring its light into the windows, as with grateful hearts they sat down to eat, the captain rising every few minutes to administer a spoonful of the warm broth to his patients. The clergyman and neighbors were sent for, and funeral services performed. Then the American flag was put over the coffins, and they were borne to the grave.

“I wish we could have saved them,” said the captain; “but we will do all we can—give them Christian burial.”

Charlie and Uncle Isaac made the coffins for the two who died, and Captain Rhines and John dug their graves. On the eastern side of the cove a perpendicular cliff rose abruptly from the soil, with a little strip of green turf between it and the beach. Here they were buried. The white man had the name of “J. Watts” tattooed on his right arm; the name of the black was afterwards ascertained to be John Davis, and Charlie cut the names into the cliff—a most enduring memorial.




IN the course of three hours, it was evident that both of the rescued persons were reviving fast. Though unable to speak, they swallowed eagerly all that Captain Rhines thought proper to give; the expression returned to their eyes and features, and their limbs twitched with convulsive starts.

“Charlie,” said the captain, “I’ll take these people home in the schooner.”

“Leave them here, we can take care of them; and leave the schooner too. I’ll make a new mast and windlass for her.”

“It is too much for Mary, with a young child,—two invalids to take care of.”

“No, it ain’t, father; they will be all right, as soon as it will do to let them eat and drink.”

“I’ll take the young man, at any rate, and you may have the boy.”


They wrapped him in a blanket, and he was so emaciated that Charlie took him in his arms as though he had been an infant, and put him into the whale boat.

“Wife,” said the captain, the next morning, as he sat watching his charge, as he lay sleeping, after having eaten more than he had allowed him at one time before, “do you know that since this young man has come to himself a bit he looks very natural to me. I’ve seen him, or some of his folks, before.”

“It wouldn’t be at all strange if you had, for you have been a traveller all your life.”

“It beats all how familiar his features look; and the more I look at him, the more the likeness grows upon me. He’s the very image of somebody I’ve known and loved right well, but to save me, I can’t tell who. He’ll be strong enough to talk when he wakes, and I’ll know who he is, and all about it. Only see, Mary, how the color has come into his lips! they are not drawn apart as they were. See how his eyeballs are filled out, and his fingers; and his nose is not so sharp as it was. He’s doing first rate.”

As the captain had predicted, the young man,[32] who had been within a hair’s breadth of eternity, awoke a few minutes before noon, extremely weak, but free from stupor, and in partial possession of his faculties, and inquired where he was.

“You are among friends, young man, and safe; make yourself easy. Where are you from?”


“Salem! Was you born and brought up in Salem?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What is your name?”

“Brown, sir.”

“What is your father’s business?”

“He was a shipmaster, but he is not living.”

“Was his name Arthur?” cried the captain, more eagerly, his face flushing, and then becoming very pale.

“Yes, sir.”

“And was he cast away in the Roanoke on Abaco, and all hands lost?”

“Just so, sir.”

“God bless you, my son,” shouted the captain, leaping from his chair, and grasping both hands of the seaman, while tears of gladness, streaming[33] from his eyes, fell thick and fast on the pale features of his wondering guest; “your father was one of God Almighty’s noblemen; the first and best friend I ever had. All I am and all I’ve got in the world I owe to him. Didn’t you never hear him tell about Ben Rhines, the long-legged boy just out of the woods, with pine pitch sticking to him, that had to make his mark on the ship’s articles, that he learned to read and write, and made a shipmaster of?”

“O, yes, sir, a great many times.”

“Well, I’m Ben Rhines, what there is left of him. Is your mother living? and what family did your father leave?”

“My mother is living in Salem. Father left three children, two girls and myself; he also took a nephew to bring up after his father died.”

“Did he leave property?”

“No, sir. He owned a large part of the Roanoke, and there was no insurance on her. My mother was left poor; father wasn’t a man to lay up money.”

“No, he had too large a heart. I’m glad of it. I’ve got enough for both, thank God! I thought I’d got enough to take me well through, and[34] shouldn’t try to make any more,—but I will. I’ll just give my mind to making money. I’ll make lots of it. I’ll go to sea again. I’ve got a glorious use for money now. But how came you in an English ship? Among all the friends your father had, and the hundreds whom, to my certain knowledge, he helped into business, was there not one who thought enough of his obligations to do for his son?”

“Yes, sir. After father was lost, mother kept a boarding-house for masters and mates of vessels, and many of his former friends boarded with her, and set up our girls in a dry goods store. My cousin went into a grocery store. I was the youngest. When I left school I went on board a ship, belonging to a friend of father’s, as a cabin boy. He put me right along. I am only twenty-one last July, the fourteenth. The ship was sold in Liverpool; and by the captain’s good word, I got a mate’s berth in an English ship, knowing if I got across to Halifax, I could easily get home from there. The ship sprung a leak: the crew and second mate took the boats, nautical instruments, and nearly all the provisions, and left. They didn’t like the captain; he was[35] a hard man, and there had been quarrelling all the voyage. Finally they put on their jackets (they might have kept the ship free), and told him they had as many friends in hell as he had, and left. They offered to take me with them; but I thought it my duty to stick by the captain and the ship.”

“But how came the cook, the seaman, and the boy to stick by you. Why didn’t they join the strongest party?”

“The black was a slave in Jamaica. The captain took a liking to him, bought him when he was nineteen, and gave him his liberty. He wouldn’t leave the captain. The sailor was a townie and shipmate of mine in the other ship; the boy belongs in Salem, the son of one of our neighbors, and was also with me in the other ship, and a better boy never stepped on a vessel’s deck. We three stuck together. Captain Rhines, is there any way I can get a letter to my mother, to inform her of my safety, and also of the boy’s? She knows I was on my passage in the Madras to Halifax, and that it is time for the ship to arrive there, and if the crew are picked up or get ashore they will report us as lost.”


“We have a mail now once a week. It will go day after to-morrow.”

At this period of the conversation Mrs. Rhines came into the room, when the captain, rushing at her, half smothered her with kisses.

“Why, what is the matter, Benjamin?” she exclaimed, noticing his flushed face, and the traces of tears on it.

“Matter, Molly!” bursting out afresh; “the matter is, we’ve got another boy. You know, wife, how much you have heard me tell about Mr. Brown, the mate of the first square-rigged vessel I went to sea in, that did everything, and more too, for me?”

“Indeed, Benjamin, I guess I have.”

“This is his boy, lying here on this lounge!—his only son, named for him.”

“How glad I am, Benjamin!—glad on your account, and on my own, for the sake of his mother.”

“Don’t you think, wife, when I took his father by the hand, to bid him good by, as I was about to step aboard the James Welch as first officer (through and only through his means), I said, with a full heart, ‘Mr. Brown, how can I ever repay[37] you?’ His reply was, ‘Ben, do by other young men you may fall in with, and who are starting in the world with nobody to help them, as I have by you.’ And now a kind Providence has put it in my power to save the life of his son, so help me God, if ever a debt was paid, principal, interest, and compound interest, this shall be. Kiss him, wife.”

Mrs. Rhines kissed the wasted cheek of the young man, and assured him that she was, equally with her husband, interested in his welfare, and rejoiced to receive him as a member of their household.

“Now, Arthur,” said the captain, “you are our boy. You are just as much at home in this house as we are ourselves, and the more we can do for you the better we shall like it. John, here is your brother.”

This whole-souled declaration elicited no reply. The young man, exhausted by the long and exciting conversation, had fallen asleep.

“Poor boy! he is weak. Only see the great sores on him. See what a sight of little boils are coming out all over his arms.”

“That, wife, is soaking in salt water so long;[38] and the sores are where the ropes he was lashed with chafed him.”

Utterly unable to keep the discovery confined to himself and family any longer, he mounted his horse, and rode full speed to tell Uncle Isaac and Charlie. When he reached Charlie’s, he found the boy (who was less accustomed to exposure) had recovered strength much more slowly than the mate. The moment he saw the captain, he wanted to know how Mr. Brown was getting along.

“You like Mr. Brown?” said the captain, after replying to his question.

Like him, sir! You can’t help liking him. Every man on board liked him. The men wanted him to go with them in the boats; but they wouldn’t have the captain, and he thought it was his duty to stick by him.”

“Do you think you will want to go to sea any more?”

“I shall go if Mr. Brown goes. How can I get home, sir, when I get my strength again?”

“It will be some time before you will be fit to go. When that time comes, I’ll get you home.”

“Could I send a letter, when I am able to write?”


“Mr. Brown’s going to write to-morrow to his folks and yours. What is your name, my boy?”

“Edward Gates, sir. They call me Ned on board ship.”

“You are from Salem, too?”

“Yes, sir. Mr. Brown and I live on the same street—King Street. His house is only four doors from mine.”

“Then you’ve always known him?”

“O, yes, sir. I went to school with him. He was one of the big boys, and I was a little one. I used to say my lessons to him when the master was busy, and sometimes he kept school when the master was sick. Sometimes, when his father’s ship was in port, he would get her yawl boat, and give us little fellows a sail.”

After the building of the Casco, Charlie had been enabled to gratify his taste for cultivating the soil and improving his place. The Hard-scrabble, under the command of Seth Warren, and the Casco, under that of Isaac Murch, had made profitable voyages. Charlie and John found themselves in possession both of means and leisure. Charlie had built a large house, roomy enough to contain his men whenever he wanted to build[40] more vessels, a barn, workshop, and other out-buildings. Hard wood stumps soon decay, white pine will last fifty years, and oak much longer than beech, maple or birch. The slope in front of the house presented a most enchanting view. Directly in front of the house was a most noble growth of forest trees, where the birch, beech, maple, and oak, in associate beauty, intermingled their huge trunks, covered with moss, and of such majestic height as to permit the buildings to be seen between their stems. A footpath wound among them to the outer edge, where, between their gnarled and twisted roots, gleamed the clear waters of Silver Spring.

Almost any summer or autumn morning, about nine o’clock, you might see a gray squirrel sitting on one of the great tree roots, viewing himself in the transparent water, washing his face, and making his toilet by its aid. Scattered all along on the surface of the slope margining the beach were clumps and single trees, of peculiar beauty and vast size, which Charlie, by abstaining from the use of fire, had spared; thus preserving what it would have required seventy years, and a large outlay, to have obtained by planting.


Neither the mill nor the shop could be seen, except in one direction; that is, when you were directly in front, they were so embosomed in foliage, Charlie having left the growth around them, for he was in possession of ideas of taste and beauty, of which neither Captain Rhines, Uncle Isaac, or John had the least conception. It was a pleasant sight, as you sailed away in the summer, to obtain indistinct glimpses of the water between the tree trunks as it poured off the dam, listen to the click of the saw, and catch through the leaves the gleams of the carpenters’ axes; while far beyond, as the land gradually rose, large fields of corn and grain, with their vivid green, presented a most singular and beautiful contrast to the black limbs and barkless trunks of the girdled trees among which they lay, their hollow trunks—some standing upright, others fallen—affording a most excellent roost for the crows, who paid their respects to Charlie’s corn when it was in the blade.

At the lower edge of an immense forest of maple and birch, from which every vestige of underbrush had been removed, were seen the walls of a sap camp; while, instead of a path leading to[42] the house, marked by spotted trees, a carriage road had been made, so that Captain Rhines could ride back and forth in his wagon, and Parson Goodhue in his chaise—for he had arrived to that dignity. It was not, however, much like the vehicle bearing that appellation at the present time. The wheels and arms were large enough for a modern team wagon; the frame of the top was made of iron; instead of leather, it was covered with painted canvas, and on the sides were projections, like the wings of a bird, to throw off the mud.

Charlie and Joe cut a footpath through the forest, between their farms, and put logs across the gullies and sloughs, so that they could go back and forth conveniently.

Two other notable events occurred this year. You know Uncle Isaac was not a whit like most elderly people, any more than chalk is like cheese. There was nothing stereotyped about him. He made a cider mill, to replace his white oak beam and wooden maul. When he went to Thomaston to see General Knox’s mills, he saw a cider press, in which the cheese was pressed with wooden screws. The apples, also, instead of being[43] pounded to pieces in a trough, with a wooden maul, were ground between nuts, made with grooves and projections fitting into each other, and turned by a horse. Uncle Isaac took the pitch of the thread of the screws, and when he came home made press and mill.

Ben also, that fall, brought over to his father and Charlie a bushel of apples apiece, which he had raised from his young orchard.

“What do you think now about making cider on Elm Island?”

Charlie said, “I think, when you get ready, there will be a mill for you;” and told him what Uncle Isaac had done.

Uncle Isaac didn’t stop here. He made his wife and Sally Rhines a cheese-press, with screws. The way they pressed cheese before this was, to put a lever under the sill of the house, place the cheese under it, and then put rocks on the other end of the lever. At Ben’s suggestion, he also made a press to press hay. Before this, they carried it loose on board vessels, and couldn’t take any great amount, although, in Massachusetts, presses had come in use, and Ben had seen them.




NED and the mate now began to mend rapidly. In the enjoyment of abundant food and rest, inhaling the bracing air of autumn, and with all the fruit they chose to eat, their sunken cheeks filled out, the flesh covered their limbs, their muscles assumed their wonted vigor, and they rapidly regained all that buoyancy which pertains to youth and high health. Mrs. Rhines, Hannah Murch, and Mrs. Ben Rhines made them clothes. And thus arrayed, as the evenings were now getting of considerable length, they went around on social visits, with Charlie and John, among the neighbors, and over to Elm Island; made friends, and won good opinions every day.

Captain Rhines, instead of manifesting any disposition to take them to Salem in the Perseverance, as he had promised at their arrival, said[45] not a word about it. Instead he seemed very earnest in laying plans, and inventing amusements to make them contented where they were. One day it was a gunning excursion by water; again hunting in the woods. At another time he wanted them to help him about some harvesting, which they were more than willing to do, and seemed never so happy as when they were doing something for their benefactor.

The captain’s line of conduct was a sore puzzle to John and Charlie, and indeed to all the family. The Perseverance must have a new mast and windlass before she could go to Salem. But although Charlie had made both, the captain would not let him put them in.

One day Charlie, John, and Ben were together on the island, and this fruitful subject of conjecture came up.

“Ben,” said John, “what do you suppose the reason is father don’t take Ned and Mr. Brown home? He said, when they were first picked up, that he would take them to Salem in the Perseverance as soon as they were fit to go. They are all right now, and want to see their folks.”


“He seems,” said Charlie, “to have forgotten all about it. I don’t believe he wants to take them, for I’ve had the mast and windlass made these three weeks, and he won’t let me put them in.”

“I’m sure I don’t know,” said Ben. “Father ain’t like most old folks. He likes to have young people around him. Mother says he talks hours and hours with Brown. Perhaps he don’t like to lose their company. If you want to know, Charlie, why don’t you and John ask him?”

“I don’t like to.”

“Well, get Uncle Isaac to. He will ask in a moment; indeed, if there’s a special reason, I’ll warrant he knows it now.”

“What seems more singular to me,” said Charlie, “is, that after telling how much he thought of Arthur’s father and mother, how much he was willing to do for his children, even to cut the last piece of bread in two, that he don’t do something—build him a vessel. I have got out board and ceiling plank at the mill, and deck plank all sawed out. It would be a capital time now to get a frame and set her up this fall, let her season through the winter, finish[47] her in the summer, and rig her before cold weather.”

“Benjamin,” said Uncle Isaac (as they shot into a thickly wooded cove to rest their backs, on their way home from a fowling excursion), laying his paddle across the float, and leaning both elbows on it, “why don’t you take these boys home? they want to go.”

“Do they want to go?”

“To be sure. Isn’t it natural they should want to see their parents and friends, after being at death’s door?”

“But their parents know they are comfortable, and they hear from each other every week.”

“That isn’t like seeing them. There’s another thing; the boys want to build a vessel for this young man, and so does Ben.”

“Ben wants to, does he?”



“He seems to be a nice, steady, well-informed young man.”

“Is that the way it strikes you, Isaac?”


“The fact is, Isaac,” beginning to pick the[48] leaves of a beech limb, which hung over the float, and chew them up, “I am ready and willing, and count it a privilege to do all I can for this boy, and his father’s family; but whether building a vessel, and putting him in her, is the best way to do it, I am not clear.”

While they were engaged in this conversation, the boat had drifted under the limbs of a birch, that had never regained its upright position after being bent down by the ice and snow of the previous winter.

“What have you got that’s good in that red box, Isaac?”

“I’ve got a chicken, boiled eggs, bread, butter, cheese, and doughnuts,” he replied, placing the box on the middle thwart of the boat, and removing the cover.

“There’s something to wash it down,” said the captain, unrolling a jug, carefully wrapped in the folds of his long jacket. “That’s some of the coffee I brought home in the Ark; it’s warm, too. We might as well eat now as any time, for by the tide it can’t be far from noon.”

Uncle Isaac twisted one of the long, slender limbs of the birch into a string, and making it[49] fast to a thole-pin hole, it held the boat stationary, while the two friends, sitting face to face in the warm sunshine, gossipped and ate; and having eaten nothing since three o’clock that morning, evidently enjoyed the repast, the warm sunshine, and the sheltered nook, so highly as to wish to prolong the pleasure, and ate very deliberately, till the meal was brought to an abrupt termination by the entire consumption of the contents of both box and jug.

“We were speaking, Isaac,” said the captain, “about this young man, and about building him a vessel. If I was able to build him one, fit her for sea, load her, and say to him, ‘Here, my boy, take her, and do the best you can for yourself and me;’ and then if he made a ‘funger,’ pocket the loss, I would lay the keel to-morrow. But in doing that, I must be concerned with others, and risk other people’s money. Here are Ben, Fred, John, and Charlie, all ready to strike, only waiting for me to say the word; and Mr. Welch would take hold in a moment if I should say to him, ‘Here is a young man, who I think capable, wants a vessel built.’ Now, how do I know he is capable of taking charge of a vessel[50] and managing business in these squally times, with the English and French pitching into our commerce, and pirates to boot? A master of a vessel must have grit and cool judgment—qualities that don’t always nor often go together. He’s very young, has been only one voyage and part of another as mate; of course has had but little experience. Some men make first-rate mates, but poor masters; others poor mates, but excellent masters. Then, if he should make a losing voyage of it, I should feel very bad, and the rest (though they did not say it) might feel that they had been brought into difficulties, and lost money through me.”

“He is as old, and has had as much experience as Isaac had when he became master. You was keen enough for putting him ahead; far more than I was, though he is my own nephew, and has done splendidly. This young man has had the best of schooling, and ten times the privileges Isaac ever had.”

Schooling! privileges!” cried the captain; “I wouldn’t give that (snapping his fingers) for the schooling and privileges. What do they amount to, if the man hasn’t got Indian suet,—hasn’t[51] got the articles in him? They help, but they can’t put anything into a man. I knew Isaac from the egg. I watched him as he grew up. There’s a great deal in the blood. I knew the breed he came of, both sides. He sailed with me. I taught him, and knew him through and through,—knew he had the root of the matter in him. But in regard to this young man, I know only the father. If he takes after his father in mind, as he does in looks, he will be all right. But he may look like the father, and take after the mother. I don’t know anything about her or her people.”

“You mean to help him, don’t you?”

“Reckon I do, if my life is spared. But I could help him without building him a vessel, or involving other folks. I might give him a couple of thousand dollars in cash, and let him help himself; or say to him, ‘Arthur, go to Salem; see if some of your father’s friends, and the people you’ve sailed for, won’t build you a vessel. I’ll take an eighth or a fourth.’ I can help the mother,—that will be my own concern, and nobody’s business,—and I shan’t involve others, and risk their hard earnings.”

“But he’s been here some time. You’ve had[52] him in your house all the time, with opportunities for talking with him, and making up your mind. What do you think?”

“I think well of him. I like him all round, think him capable, and, to tell the truth, that is what I’ve been backing and filling for so long, and keeping the boys back. I wanted time to make up my mind, and have you and the neighbors see and get acquainted with him, and find what you all thought of him.”

“As far as my opinion is worth anything, I shouldn’t hesitate a moment. There’s one little thing just settles the matter in my mind.”

“What is that, Isaac?”

“Why, his sticking by that captain. Here is a crew of men, the sweepings of Liverpool; they take the boats, compass, and other instruments, and shove off,—they’ve had trouble with the captain, and are down on him, and mean to have their revenge,—leaving him to shift for himself; the mate they like, and offer to take him with them—even coax him to go; they have provision, water, and instruments, and are not overloaded. In the boats, there’s no great risk; to remain, is almost certain death. He is under no particular obligations[53] to the captain, who is an Englishman and a stranger, yet he sticks by him, because he thinks it his duty. If that ain’t pluck, principle, and Christianity,—if that ain’t real manhood, I wonder where you’d find it! There’s not one man in a hundred—no, not in a thousand—would or could have done it. And, Benjamin, ‘twill take a great deal to make me believe that a man who has got all that in him hasn’t all the other qualities that go to make up a man.”

“It’s just what his father would have done. Well, Isaac, I’ll take them to Salem. I’m acquainted there; have an old shipmate that knew his father. I’ll see the captain he’s been mate with, and if they speak well of him, we’ll go ahead.”

“John,” said his father, on his return home, “clap the saddle on the horse, ride over to Charlie’s, and tell him he may get the schooner ready as soon as he likes; and tell Fred to get his fish and potash ready, for I’m going to Salem, and will take a freight to Boston, and bring back any goods he wants.”

Captain Folger was sitting in his store just before noon, frequently looking at his watch, for the demands of appetite were pressing,—he had set[54] up a ship-chandler’s store, after having spent the greater part of life at sea,—when Captain Rhines entered, and most agreeably surprised him.

“Why, Captain Ben!” exclaimed the old seaman, grasping his friend by the hand, “what good wind has blown you hither?”

“I had business in Boston, and so called in here. It’s long since we’ve met. I hardly thought you’d know me so readily.”

Know you! Old shipmates don’t forget each other.”

“So you’ve left off going to sea, and turned storekeeper!”

“Yes; it’s the most natural thing an old shipmaster can do to turn ship-chandler, and have vessels and rigging to look after. I couldn’t be contented ashore in any other business. I own some navigation, and have that to look after. My shop is a loafing place for the old captains, and we fight our battles over again, spin our yarns, plan voyages, and keep each other’s spirits up. We heard about your going to Cuba on a raft, and it was agreed on all hands it was the smartest thing ever done in these parts, or anywhere. You ran a confounded risk, but they say you made your Jack out of it.”


“Yes, I made something.”

“You knew Captain Brown, Arthur, who was lost on Abaco?”

Knew him! I guess I did. He was the means of putting me into business.”

“He was the means of putting a great many into business.”

“Do you know his son?”

“What, young Arthur?”


“To be sure. We’ve been much worried about him. The vessel he was in foundered, but he has been picked up, so his mother tells me.”

“I picked him up, and brought him here not two hours ago. What kind of a young man is he?”

“As fine a one as ever the sun shone upon; he is thought a great deal of here, both upon his father’s account and his own.”

“Is there business in him, or only goodness?”

“Both; as much of one as the other.”

“Do you know Captain Bates, who he was mate with?”


“Will you introduce me to him?”


“Yes; he’ll be in here about two o’clock, with half a dozen more old web feet, that you know, or who have heard of you, and we’ll have a jolly time of it. But come,” looking at his watch, “it is grub time; go up to the house; you belong to me while you are here.”

“I will dine with you; but I made an engagement with young Brown to meet me here at five o’clock, and I am to take tea with him.”

Captain Rhines met Captain Bates at three o’clock, who, in reply to his questions in relation to young Brown, replied, “If you’ve got a frigate, give it to him.” When Arthur came, according to appointment, Ned Gates came with him.

“Captain Rhines,” said Ned, “father and mother want you to come to our house, and stop with us while you are here.”

“He’s going to stay with us,” said Arthur.

“No, he ain’t,” said Captain Folger; “he belongs to me. He can go to supper with Arthur, and he can dine to-morrow with you, Ned; but we are old shipmates, and the rest of the time he belongs to me.”

Captain Rhines, while at Mrs. Brown’s, proposed that the whole family should go down and live[57] with him. But Mrs. Brown, who was a capable, energetic woman, many years younger than her husband, would by no means consent. She told him, in reply, that her daughters were doing well in their store; that though her husband left her no money, he had left the house clear of debt. That his nephew was learning a trade, and she was doing well keeping boarders, and could not consent, by any means, to live upon him, as she could not be happy in so doing; but as he had announced his intentions of helping Arthur to a vessel, she should feel under the greatest obligations.

Before leaving, he compelled her to accept a check upon Mr. Welch for two thousand dollars, made the girls a present of five hundred more, and a hundred to George Ferguson, the nephew, without which, he declared, he could not sleep nights.

Having accomplished this, he felt quite satisfied and happy; and began to talk with Arthur in relation to the intended vessel.

“What kind of a vessel do you want, Arthur, and what trade do you want to go into?”

“I should prefer, sir, always with submission to your better judgment, a sharp vessel, that will[58] outsail the English cruisers, run the gantlet, and carry provisions and supplies to France. There will be risk, but I have an idea there will be corresponding profit.”

“That’s the talk, my boy,” cried the captain, delighted with a proposal so congenial to his own hardy and enterprising nature. “I only wish I was young enough to go into it myself. Now, if there’s a man in these United States that can build a clipper that will show a clean pair of heels to anything that swims, that man is Charles Bell.”

It was just after dinner, of a pleasant afternoon, Charlie and his wife were seated in the sun, in the barn-door, husking corn, the sharp click of a horse’s feet that overreached was heard.

“That’s father,” said Mary. “I know the click of the mare’s shoes.”

“Charlie!” shouted the captain, never stopping, till the mare’s feet struck the heap of corn in the floor, sending the kernels in Mary’s face, “grind your broad-axe. Arthur Brown wants a vessel that will show her heels to the English frigates, run the blockade, and make the sweat stand on a dolphin’s nose to keep up.”

“I am thankful,” cried Charlie, delighted, “that[59] after so long a time I am to build something that is not a box.”

“You can’t find a better model than the Hard-scrabble.”

“Than the Hard-scrabble?”

“No; she sails well when she is light, and with a free wind in ballast, Isaac says there’s nothing will catch her. Just give her more depth, so she can hold on, and put the sail on her, and I tell you she would streak it. You must have breadth to carry sail.”

“Well, I’ll do the best I can.”




IT was about eight o’clock Saturday night. Captain Rhines had sailed that morning for Boston.

Mrs. Brown had finished her household business for the day, and was seated before a bright fire in a cosy little sitting-room, reserved for her private use. Her children were with her, the girls having closed the store earlier than usual, and with the beloved and rescued son and brother in the midst, they were talking over the exciting events of the week.

“When I look back upon what has happened for the past two or three weeks,” said the happy mother, “it seems like a dream. There I was, day after day, and week after week, watching the papers, and no news of the vessel, a short[61] passage too. Then I got Captain Folger to write to Halifax, and the consignee wrote that they supposed the vessel was lost, as one of her boats, bottom up, had been found, and a bucket that had the vessel’s name on it. A husband and son both buried in the ocean. It tore open the old wounds, and they bled afresh; brought up all the anguish of your father’s loss anew. I felt it was more than I could bear. How I begged and plead with my heavenly Father for your life, Arthur, the widow’s only hope! And some how, whenever I rose from my knees, I felt better than when I knelt down; a feeling as though, some how or other, the cup would pass from me, seemed to take possession of me, and this feeling kept me, for the most part of the time, on my knees. I felt better and happier there than anywhere else.”

“Don’t you think, mother, when I came to be on that raft, provisions and water all gone, the captain raving mad and jumping overboard, my shipmates dying one after another, that I didn’t think of you, and that you were praying for me? Poor little Ned and I, our throats were so dry and parched we couldn’t speak so as to be heard[62] by each other above the winds and waves. I fell into a doze, and dreamed I saw a most beautiful grove of apple trees all in blossom, and a great long table spread under them, covered with piles and piles of meat, and great goblets, that held a gallon, full of the clearest water; and you was sitting at it, and saying, ‘Come, Arthur, this is all for you.’ I tried so hard to move towards you, it woke me; and I heard a shout, ‘Raft, ahoy! Is there anybody can take a line?’ Then I knew there was help. I tried to shout, but couldn’t. I could only raise my arm. Soon I heard something strike the raft; a voice shouted, ‘All fast!’ and two men stood over us. They were Mr. Ben Rhines and Charlie Bell. They told me to keep my heart up, for they would stick by me; but I was so overcome I fainted away.”

“Brother,” said Ellen, “didn’t you suffer terribly before you got so low as that?”

“Tongue can’t describe it; but the thirst was the worst. But here I am now, sitting before this comfortable fire, in this old room where we have spent so many happy hours, with you all around me. I’m sure, as mother says, it seems like a dream to me.”


“I hope,” said the widow, “such trials and such mercies will make us better; they certainly should.”

“I feel that it has been good for me,” said Eliza. “I thought, when we were in that agony of uncertainty, ‘O that I, too, could pray with mother! that I had a right to, as I felt she had! But when Captain Rhines’s letter came, I did go to God with tears of thankfulness, and trust I was accepted.”

“I thought, if my poor boy’s life could only be spared, even if he was a cripple, or injured for life, I could ask no more. And then to have him come home so well and happy, with such a friend as God has raised up for us all in Captain Rhines! Yet I can never think upon him and his kindness but it makes me reflect upon myself.”

“Why so, mother?” said Arthur.

“Your father was of most open and generous nature, far too much so for his own interest, and, as I then thought, for that of his family, while my disposition was very different. My parents were poor, and I was brought up by a relative, early taught hardship, knew the value[64] of money, and was naturally prudent. Your father would take the clothes off his back to put on anybody else. I used to go to sea with him, when we were first married; and when sailors came on board without clothes, he would give them clothing, fix them all up, and make them comfortable. I used to tell him, sometimes, that if they drank, gambled, and threw all their money away, they ought to suffer the consequences, and his first duty was to his family. But it was no use to reason with him; he couldn’t help it—couldn’t bear to see anybody suffer; and at length I refrained from saying anything on the subject, but tried to economize all I could, to offset his liberality. He never concerned himself about household matters, was gone a great part of the time, and left everything to me.

“He would come home, and bring barrels of sugar and molasses for family use, and bags of coffee, and have them hauled up to the house; and also quantities of fine cloths from Europe and the East Indies for me and the children, and material for towels, curtains, and bedding. After he was gone, I would live as prudently as possible, sell a great part of the things sent home, and put by the money against time of need.


“After our third child was born, he began to alter gradually, and seemed to have different ideas, became more prudent, and, as he was a man of great business talent, began to accumulate, and soon owned a good part of the vessel, and, had he lived, would have become a wealthy man, but was taken away in a moment. There was no insurance on the ship or cargo, and all he had accumulated was gone, except this house. Then, being left a widow, with a young family, I found the benefit of the little I had saved.”

“I’m sure, mother,” said Eliza, “I don’t see what you have to reflect on, except with satisfaction. You were not saving for yourself, but for us children, and for father, had he lived to be old, and past labor.”

“Ah, but I was so anxious that your father should lay up something for his family, that after he was gone, I felt that perhaps I had said more than I ought; sometimes, too, I would discourage him from doing for others, when it did not consist in giving money; when he would spend a great deal of time at sea in teaching some young man navigation, when, as I thought, he ought to have been asleep in his berth, or resting; often, when[66] he was on shore, and I wanted him to go with me, he would be running here and there, night and day, to get a vessel built for somebody, and oftentimes get small thanks for it, as I told him. Then he would say, ‘Harriet, we were put into this world to help each other; we ought not to feel vexed or disappointed if we do not always receive gratitude from those we have befriended, when we consider how ungrateful we are ourselves to our Maker, but do our duty.’ These things often came up in memory, after he was taken away, and I would have given anything if I had not said some things, and could have taken them back.”

“But, mother,” said Ellen, “I don’t think you ought to feel so. You meant it for his good.”

“I thought I did, at the time; but since then I have felt there was a good deal of selfishness at the bottom, that ought not to have been there; that your father felt it, and it pained him, for I could see a shade of sadness flit across his face, like a cloud across the sun in a spring morning.”

“Don’t cry, mother,” said Arthur, putting his arm around her, and wiping away the tear that trembled on her cheek.

“But when,” she continued, in a voice broken[67] with emotion, “in the midst of my anguish about you, that letter came from Pleasant Cove, telling me your life had been saved by Captain Rhines (one of the very boys your father had worked so hard to help), so full of sentiments of affection for your father, and gratitude for the favors he had received from him, and a few days later your letter, telling me of their kindness to you and Ned, I was overcome.”

“O, mother, I can’t tell you one half they did for me, because it can’t be told; for it was not only what they did, but the way they did it. It came so right out of the heart. They seemed to love to do it, and it was done with such looks and tones of love.”

“Yes; and when that noble man came up here, and couldn’t do enough—wanted to take us all home with him—insisting upon it, didn’t I feel condemned for trying to hinder your father from helping others, and telling him he got small thanks for it? Here, now, is one of those very persons, becoming a father to his son, putting him right into business at once.”

“Well, mother, I’ve made up my mind to one thing—I’ll try to show myself my father’s son,[68] and practise that which I approve of so much in others. I’ll let Captain Rhines, Mr. Ben, Charlie, John, and the others see that I am not deficient in gratitude. If God gives me life and strength, the grass shan’t grow on that vessel’s bottom. I’ll make her a happy vessel for sailors, and help every young man I can, as father told Captain Rhines to do when he asked him how he could repay him. And as he has helped me, whether I get any thanks for it or not, I’ll look higher than that for my reward,—I’ll get it in doing my duty. I’ll begin with my shipmate, little Ned Gates.”

“I am glad to hear you talk thus, Arthur. Your father’s principle was the true one,—do right because it is right,—and from all I have seen, it generally bears the best fruit even in this life. There was your uncle David, just the opposite of your father; always saving for his children; so close as to be on the edge of dishonesty, if not actually dishonest; never had a thought or care for any one but himself or his own, and, just as he had amassed a large property, went into a great speculation in his old age for the sake of getting more, when he had more than enough already risked the whole, and lost the whole. Now, worn[69] out, and broken down, without a house over his head, everybody says, ‘Served him right,’ and his children all poor, while your father’s good name and deeds have been money at interest for his family, and the bread he cast upon the waters has come back after many days.”

“Mother, there’s one thing I want you to do before I go to sea.”

“What is that, Arthur?”

“Just send off these boarders,—no longer make a slave of yourself,—and take some comfort. The girls are doing well in the store; George supports himself; I am going to have business, and Captain Rhines has given you and the girls money; so there’s no need of working, and wearing your life out now.”

“I couldn’t feel right, Arthur, if I were not earning something; a thousand dollars would soon be spent, come to sit down and live upon it; you may have hard luck at sea; the girls are doing well, to be sure, but they have got to return the money that friends loaned them to start with. I have put that thousand dollars in the bank, against a rainy day; besides, I have another reason for wishing to earn something.”


“What is it?” asked Ellen.

“I want to atone for past selfishness, and follow your father’s example in doing what little I can to help those poorer than myself. It’s but little I can do, to be sure, but I mean to do that little cheerfully, and I trust ‘twill be accepted. There is the mother of poor James Watts, who was on the raft, and died. She is poor, and bereft of all her dependence, for he was a good boy, and gave her all his earnings, while my child was spared, and friends raised up to help me; and I mean to do all I can to help and comfort her. I mean to act on your father’s principle, ‘Harriet, we were put into this world to help each other.’”

“At any rate, mother, you need not have so large a family and work so hard; you can keep more help; you must gratify me in that.”

“Well, I will, my son.”

At this period of the conversation, the servant announced that a young man wanted to see Arthur.

“It is Ned; tell him to come in here. Good evening, Edward; sit down beside me; this is more comfortable than the raft.”

“Indeed it is, sir.”


“I suppose you hardly care to sail salt water any more, you’ve had such bad luck this time.”

“O, yes, sir; old Captain Osborne tells me some people have all their bad luck at once, and that it’s a good sign when a man falls overboard before the vessel leaves the wharf, or is wrecked at the first going off. He says that ship was cursed.”

“Was cursed!” said Mrs. Brown; “what did he mean by that?”

“He says, marm, that he knew that captain; that he was a cruel man to sailors, abused and starved them (that I know to be true); that it was thought he had murdered men. Are you going again, Mr. Brown?”

“Yes, Edward. Captain Rhines and his folks are building me a vessel; I expect the keel is laid by this time.”

“Can I go with you, sir?”

“Yes, if your parents are willing.”

“They are willing I should go with you, sir.”

“It will be some months before the vessel is ready; now, you better go to school, and get all the learning you can.”

“Yes, sir; shall I study navigation?”

“No; I’ll teach you that on board ship. Study[72] arithmetic and book-keeping, learn to keep accounts and write a business hand, and study trigonometry and geography. If we live to get to sea in the ship, we won’t starve, or abuse anybody, nor pass any wrecks, and try not to have the vessel cursed. We know what it is, my boy, to starve, and to be helped in distress, and will do as we have been done by.”

“Mr. Brown, don’t you think the folks at Pleasant Cove and round there are the best folks that could be?”

“Yes, Ned.”

“But don’t you think Charlie is handsome,—the handsomest man that ever was?”

“I think Captain Rhines is handsome.”

“Yes, sir; but Charlie Bell; is it any hurt for me to call him Charlie? They all down there call each other so, and somehow I seem to love him more when I don’t put the handle on.”

“No, indeed; do you love me better when you don’t put on the handle?”

“No, sir; because I have been used to calling you Mr. Brown, and it comes natural, and I couldn’t love you any better than I do.”

“I suppose, Ned, Charlie looks handsome to[73] you, and Captain Rhines to me, because we had the most to do with them; but they are both really fine-looking men. Most people would think John Rhines a finer specimen of a man than Charlie. I have seen a great many men, but I never in all my life saw so fine a proportioned young man as John Rhines; if he lives, he’ll be almost as strong as Ben. Charlie is the handsomest, John the most manly.”

“But, sir, do you know what I thought (I suppose I was wandering) after they took us off the raft, and I kind of came to? I opened my eyes, and Charlie was bending over the bed. I looked him right in the face; such a beautiful face, so much goodness in it, I thought I had got to heaven, and that an angel was hovering over me; and then, when I came to myself, he was so kind,—fed me with a spoon, took me in his arms, and put me in a chair, just as my mother would; and Ben Rhines, though he ain’t handsome, he is just as good as the rest. Uncle Isaac and Fred Williams, they are all just as good as they can be. I mean to go down there, and stay a month at Pleasant Cove, and Elm Island. They asked me to.”




THE day is breaking. A vessel of two hundred and fifty tons lies completely enveloped in a dense, damp fog, and becalmed, off the coast of France, in the Mediterranean.

It is impossible to discern an object twice the length of the vessel. Let us go alongside, and see if we can arrive at any conclusion respecting her character and business. She is evidently of American build, though she shows no colors; but spreading a cloud of canvas, modelled and rigged entirely with reference to speed, and though unarmed, with a much larger crew than would be required in the ordinary pursuits of commerce. The appearance of the crew as to dress is quite in contrast to that of a ship’s crew at the present time, for during the last forty years there has been a gradual change in the clothing of seafaring[75] men, rendering it not only more comfortable, but much lighter.

At that time, sailors wore, for head covering, tarpaulins. These were generally made by the men themselves at leisure moments on board ship. The process was this: as the course of trade in those days was chiefly to the West Indies, they procured the leaves of the dwarf palm, which they split into proper widths and platted, making the button, in the middle of the crown, of the same material, though some, as a matter of fancy, took the lead tags that came on bolts of canvas, and some a piece of money, and punching holes in the rim, began their work on that. After the braid was made, it was sewed together with ravellings of duck; then, if there was a pig killed on board, or a porpoise harpooned, they soaked the hat in the blood and let it dry, to make it stiff (this was sailors’ paste), then covered it with canvas, then mixed tar, grease, and salt water together, and daubed it with the composition to render it water-proof; but after a while they found that black paint was just as good, and much lighter. Then tarpaulins gave way to peaked red caps, Scotch[76] caps, and finally the present dress was adopted. But the crew of the brigantine wore tarpaulins of still more ancient dates, and of enormous weight, made by covering thick wool hats with tar and canvas. The dress of landsmen at that time was breeches and long hose, but sailors wore trousers very wide at the bottom of the legs, the rule for the width, being the length of the foot; on their feet, for dress-up to go ashore, slippers that showed the joint of the great toe. Sheath knives were not worn, except occasionally by some Spanish sailor; they used large, square-pointed jack-knives of English manufacture, slung to the neck by a lanyard. The officers, both captain and mate, wore at sea short jackets. If a mate then had worn a long-tail coat, the sailors would have cut the tails off with their jack-knives. Every one of the ship’s company wore his hair in a cue, which was wound, when at sea, with an eel-skin, but with a ribbon when going ashore, and hung down the back. When at work it was frequently coiled around the top of the head and covered with the hat. Men prided themselves on the length of their cue, and in their watch below, watchmates combed[77] out and tied up each other’s cues, and the cook or steward took care of the captain’s.

She looks, for all the world, like a slaver. The use of copper on the bottom of vessels was scarcely known then, and as she rolls to windward, little spots of grease are seen floating on the water, and we perceive that her bottom is covered with a coat of tallow and soap, to increase her speed to the utmost.

There is something in the appearance of the man who is climbing the main rigging that seems familiar. Looking more closely, we are delighted to recognize our old acquaintance Walter Griffin, now growing into a lithe, fine-looking young man. He is acting as second mate, that officer being sick with a carbuncle on the back of his neck, the pain of which made him nearly frantic.

Walter was remarkably keen of sight and quick of hearing, and therefore went aloft as lookout, instead of a sailor. Although there was no possibility of discerning anything from the deck at any considerable distance, yet as the fog hung low, it was somewhat clearer aloft. There was also a probability that the fog might scale when the sun rose, or a breeze springing up sweep it away.


There is evidently great anxiety among the ship’s company to gain intelligence, for all hands are on deck, the men clustered as thick as bees on the forecastle. The mate, a stranger, paces the quarter-deck. As Walter goes aloft aft, and another man forward, he cautions them, if they see or hear anything, not to hail the deck, but make a signal. A real racer, and no mistake, this craft. Lashed to the bulwarks are huge sweeps, with which the numerous crew (for they are evidently picked men of large proportions) can move her with considerable speed in a calm. But what is she? Some slaver from the French islands, built in Baltimore, and trying to get home? But how comes Walter Griffin there? To increase our surprise, as we look at the men grouped together on the forecastle, we recognize, seated on the heel of the bowsprit, our old friend Peterson, the largest man of the crew, and just behind him his son, who is fast emulating the massive proportions of his sire; but the usually cheerful face of the black was clouded with anxiety. On the end of the windlass, with one arm flung over the bitt, sits Sydney Chase, on the shank of the best bower anchor George Warren,[79] a brother of Seth; and leaning against the stock of the anchor, in whispered conversation with him, is another old acquaintance, Danforth Eaton, recalling Elm Island, with all its home-like associations and interests. We almost expect to see Uncle Isaac and Captain Rhines make their appearance next. Between the knight-heads is Enoch Hadlock, a brother of Sally Rhines. The rest of the crew are Pettigrews, Godsoes, Merrithews, Lancasters, Warrens, Athertons, and Elwells, all belonging to Rhinesville, Pleasant Cove, or thereabouts. While thus perplexed, we gaze, seeking for some clew to guide us and unravel the mystery, the vessel, having no steerage-way, swings lazily round in the tide, presenting her stern to full view, where we read “Arthur Brown, Pleasant Cove,” and recognize in the boy sitting on the foretop-gallant-yard, little Ned, and the next moment the manly, handsome face of Arthur Brown appears in the companion way.

It is all out now. Charlie has ground his broad-axe to some purpose. This is the vessel built by the Hard-scrabble boys and Captain Rhines for Arthur Brown, the noble offering of a manly,[80] grateful heart, repaying to the son the debt incurred to the deceased parent, and bearing on her stern the name of him whose body sleeps beneath the waves that wash the cliffs of Abaco. What a contrast to the Hard-scrabble! what a testimony of the energy and progressive ideas of her builders! She is a model of symmetry and beauty; yet you can plainly see the lines of the West Wind, of famous memory. Charlie has put his whole soul in her; give her wind, she has evidently little to fear from the clumping British men-of-war.

But there is not a breath of wind; she lies helpless off the port of Marseilles, which the English are blockading, deeply laden with a cargo, every article of which is contraband of war.

It is the period when, after the outbreak of the French revolution, England had declared war against France, and, supreme at sea, was capturing the French West Indies, and blockading their home ports. The great majority of the people in this country, especially all the mercantile portion of the community, sympathized with France; they cherished a feeling of gratitude[81] to her as our ally in the war of the revolution, a bitter hatred against England, growing out of the right of search, which she exercised in the impressment of seamen, which eventually led to the war of 1812.

It was all the government could do, aided by the great personal influence of Washington, to restrain the country from entering into alliance with France against England, and coming to open hostilities. In this state of things, sharp vessels, manned by resolute men, conducted by skilful pilots, influenced by motives of friendship and self-interest on one side, and a bitter sense of oppression on the other, broke the blockade which Great Britain (whose fleets were scattered over a vast extent of ocean) attempted to maintain in respect to the French coasts and West Indies, and supplied them with both arms and provisions.

This is the errand of the Arthur Brown to run the blockade of Marseilles, and accounts for the feeling of anxiety evident upon the faces of both officers and crew, since their fortunes are alike at stake, as each one, in lieu of wages, receives a share in the profits of the voyage,[82] and if captured breaking the blockade both ship and cargo would be confiscated. There was also another and more terrible cause for anxiety—the dread of impressment. The commanders of English ships were accustomed to take men by force from American vessels, claiming them as British, disregarding the custom-house protection, which declared them to be American citizens, sometimes even tearing them up, and they were dragged away to spend their lives in the British fleets. A terrible instance is on record, illustrating the dread which in the minds of seamen was connected with impressment. A fine, stalwart, young American seaman, being about to be taken by force from an American merchantman, under pretence that he was an Englishman, seeing no way of escape from a bondage worse than death, clasped the boarding officer in his arms and leaped overboard with him, when both sank, to rise no more till the great day of account.

In the course of half an hour, in obedience to a signal from Walter, a man ascended the rigging, and, coming down, reported that Griffin was sure he heard a rooster crow, and also the sound of oars in a rowlock.


The tide, which was at the flood, had drifted the vessel to the neighborhood of a large rock, that was dimly seen through the fog. The captain called Peterson aft. “What rock is that, Peterson?” The black gave him the French name, and pointed it out to him on the chart.

“Then we are right in with the land?”

“Yes, massa cap’n; there’s another one inside this, right abreast the harbor.”

Peterson, who was getting somewhat in years, having broken off his intemperate habits, and obtaining good and constant employment at home, had given up all thoughts of ever again going to sea; but Captain Rhines persuaded him to go in the “Arthur Brown” as pilot and interpreter. Peterson’s parents were Guinea negroes; but the boy was born in Martinique, where his parents were slaves, and was sold, when a child, to the master of a vessel that traded to Marseilles, during which time he became perfectly acquainted with the harbor. The French captain finally sold him to Captain Hadlock, the father of Sally Rhines, who sold him to Peterson, with whom he remained till slavery was abolished in New England.

Captain Rhines had frequently availed himself[84] of his knowledge as pilot, well knew his worth and reliability, and therefore insisted upon his going with Arthur Brown. No other person on board could speak a word of French, except Walter Griffin, and he not fluently, as he had learned it but a short time before, but was daily improving by conversation with Peterson.

There was now a signal from the foremast, Ned Gates reporting that he heard blows as of a hammer on iron; and while all hands were anxiously listening, the sound of a boatswain’s whistle was faintly audible.

“Man the sweeps,” cried the captain, running to the compass to note the quarter from which the sound came. Taking the helm himself, while the whole ship’s company applied their force to the sweeps, he steered in a direction opposite to that from which the sound that had so alarmed them proceeded. An hour thus passed without any repetition of the sounds, when the fog suddenly lifted, the sun broke out, and they found themselves almost within range of an English frigate on the port bow, while a sloop of war lay some miles off on the other quarter. The crew redoubled their efforts at the oars.


“It’s no use, boys,” said the mate; “you might as well put on your jackets; the frigate is getting out her boats; they’ll be alongside of us before we can sweep half a mile.”

“Sweep away, men,” cried the young captain, who was coolly watching the clouds; “something may yet turn up in our favor.”

The man-o’-war’s-men, well aware of the character of the chase by the efforts put forth to escape, and anticipating a rich prize, strained every nerve, coming down upon their helpless victim with the speed of an arrow. The sound of the oars in the rowlocks could now be distinctly heard as the two leading boats diverged, one making for the fore and the other for the main chains of the “Arthur.”

An expression of bitter anguish passed over the face of Arthur, as he felt that all his fair prospects, the hopes of Captain Rhines and others who had so nobly stepped forth to aid and start him in life, were to be blighted in the bud.

The boats were now close aboard, and the bowmen stood up to grapple the prize.

“Pull, men, for your lives!” shouted the captain,[86] whose eye caught the sails; “there’s a breeze coming; her length, only her length ahead.”

They exerted themselves to the utmost, while, in pure recklessness, Peterson burst into a song used by whalemen when towing a whale.

Despite their efforts, the foremost boat gained the quarter, and flung a grappling; it caught. Just then a light air filled the loftier sails, although there was not a breath of wind on deck. Slight as it was, it was sufficient to shoot the swift craft ahead with accelerated speed, leaving one boat far astern, towing and well nigh upsetting the other. A sharp axe in the hand of Peterson descended upon the grappling warp, and the boat was left astern, as the increasing breeze filled, partially, the larger sails of the “Arthur.”

A broadside burst from the side of the frigate; but the shot all fell far short, covering the water with foam.

The breeze now sensibly increased. The direction in which it sprung up brought the frigate dead to windward.

“Dis be a bully grappling,” said Peterson, taking up the now harmless implement. “Me take[87] him home to Massa Rhines, to moor his boat with.”

The light breeze, which propelled the swift brigantine with considerable velocity, was scarcely felt by the frigate; but as it gradually freshened she began to move through the water, and picking up her boats, crowded all sail in pursuit. But she had, during the light wind, lost much precious time, profiting by which the brigantine had increased the distance between them.

But now the situation of things was entirely reversed. The frigate, though no match for the swift, sharp-built American, close-hauled on a wind; yet dead before it, her great bulk and vast cloud of sail rendered her superior; besides, as she could carry sail much longer, and the wind was every moment increasing, she would, after a while, drown the smaller vessel out. She was too near, at the outset, for the brigantine to haul on the wind, and endeavor to cross her bows, as already the shots from her guns began to fall uncomfortably near. The wind was blowing in squalls; when the squall struck, the frigate would gain, and almost heave her shot on board; when the wind slacked, the brigantine would gain. Directly ahead lay a cluster of islands, reefs,[88] and outlying rocks; one island was called Pomegues, the other Rataneau. These islands are now connected by a breakwater; then they were not. The brow of the young captain now wore an expression of great anxiety; he called the mate and Peterson to his councils.

“We are doing all we can,” said the captain to his subordinates, “and as the wind increases we bury and she gains; her shot will soon be coming aboard.”

“I see no way,” replied the mate, “but to haul our sheets aft, and endeavor to cross her bows. If we could once get him on a wind, we could shake him off.”

“Then,” replied the captain, “she would run square down on us; it is useless to attempt that. What is your advice, pilot?” addressing himself to the black, who was too modest to obtrude his opinion upon his superiors.

“Massa cap’n,” said the black, “dis darky know all dese rocks jes as little boy know his letters in de book. Dis island on de starboard hand, he Rataneau; bold water close along shore, till get down to de pint; den he shoal, many rocks, bad place. It low water now; we luff right round de pint ob de island, right in among de shoals and rocks.”


“Then we shall go ashore.”

“Nebber you fear. Dis chile carry you clear. Dis darky know frigate no dare come in. We drew leben feet ob water. ‘Spose he draw twenty-fibe; he stand off good way; his shot no reach us. Den you be on de wind, close-hauled, beat up ’twixt de islands and de main, hab smooth water; ’spose frigate he try beat up too; he no do any ting; wid dis vessel on de wind, he nowhar. ’Spose he beat up toder side; den he hab rough water; he do noting at all.”

There was not much time for deliberation, for, even while they were speaking, a shot carried away the port davit, and splintered the planks of the stern.

“If that shot had struck the main boom,” said the mate,—“and it did not lack much of it,—all had been up with us.”

“You are right, pilot. Mr. Rogers, brace up the yards.”

While this manœuvre was being executed, a succession of terrible screams arose from the forward part of the ship.

“Some poor fellow is struck,” cried the captain; “run forward, Mr. Rogers, and see who it is.”


The second mate was now heard singing out, “Avast hauling on that fore-brace. Slack it off handsomely.” Four or five men were at the same time seen running up the fore-rigging.

In those days iron trusses to lower yards by (which they swing in all directions as easily as a door on its hinges) were not known; but they were made of rope, covered with leather, and very stiff. A man must be sent up to overhaul them when the yards were swung.

Danforth Eaton went up to overhaul the weather-truss. The wind blew the end of his cue—he had the longest cue on board—into the hole of the cleat; it jammed fast, and the men bracing the yard hauled it in, pulling out the hair by the roots, starting the skin from the flesh, and well nigh breaking his neck.

“Cut the blasted thing off,” cried the sufferer (his eyes bloodshot, and the tears streaming down his cheeks) to Walter, who was the first to reach him.

Eaton never wore another cue, and his example was followed by a few of his shipmates; and at length cues went out of fashion altogether.

The next shot fell wide; but as both vessels[91] were now brought nearer to the wind, it was evident, by the balls falling short, that the brigantine was increasing the distance between them, which became still greater as the man-of-war, afraid of the shoals, gave the island a wider berth, while the brigantine, under the skilful pilotage of the black, running as near as possible to the rocks, rounded the point of the island, gradually coming up more and more to the wind, till, having passed the last shoal, at a signal from Peterson, the yards were braced sharp, the main sheet hauled flat aft, and she shot out into a clear channel.

“Dere,” cried the black (who had stood on the bow, with his eye glancing alternately from the water to the sails), as he flung his tarpaulin upon the deck, and wiped the sweat from his forehead, “where dat frigate now? Dis chile no see her,” he exclaimed, looking straight to windward. “You ole man, Peterson, you lose de eyesight.”

A merry laugh went round, as the captain exclaimed, “You are looking the wrong way, Peterson. Look to leeward. Well done, my old pilot; reckon on a suit of clothes for yourself, and a dress for the old woman. I see you are all Captain Rhines recommended you to be, and more too.”


“Me tank you, massa cap’n; tank you, sar. Cap’n Rhines he know dis chile well as he know hisself; wind blow awful; big sea; take two men hold toder man’s hair on; ship scudding; Massa Rhines, he come on deck; ‘Mr. Strout!’ ‘Ay, ay, sar.’ ‘Who got de helm?’ ‘Flour, sar.’ (Dey call me Flour den.) He say, ‘Den I go below. Gib me call, any change in de weder.’ ‘Ay, ay, sar.’”

“Here comes another,” said the mate, as a hundred gun ship, aroused by the firing, stood out from the roadstead of Marseilles.

“Here comes Grandfather Bull,” cried the captain, proud of the sailing qualities of his craft. “On a taut bowline I wouldn’t fear their whole navy. Come along, old gentleman.”

The fleets of Great Britain were at this time so fully occupied in all parts of the world, that but a small number of vessels could be spared to blockade the most important of the French ports, the heavier ships lying just out of range of the forts, and patrolling the roadstead with boats, while the lighter vessels scoured the coast. In bad weather they were obliged to ride it out in an open roadstead, or run to sea—a time always improved by the blockade-runners who were inside to get out,[93] and by those outside, while the fleet was scattered, to run in.

It was of the greatest importance for blockade-runners to ascertain the position of the fleet in the daytime, and, eluding the outside vessels, run by the others in the night, taking the chance of an attack from their boats, and a broadside. In making the coast in thick weather, they were always liable to find themselves, as in the present instance, in the very jaws of the enemy.

Nothing but her sweeps saved the “Arthur Brown,” by preventing the boats from boarding her, till the breeze came. The frigate, finding the chase was hopeless, tacked ship, and returned to the coast; but so far were the crew of the brigantine from relinquishing their purpose, that they kept in sight, and the moment the twilight came on, stood in for the land, guided by the frigate’s lights, while all was dark on board the brigantine.




WHEN Walter Griffin flung down the yard-stick, and jumped over Fred Williams’s counter for the last time, he went directly on board the Casco, and made several voyages to Cadiz with Isaac Murch, who valued his services highly, and offered him promotion to remain with him; but arriving from a voyage while the “Arthur Brown” was building, the temptation to go in her on shares, and engage in all the perils and excitements attendant upon running the gauntlet of the enemy’s cruisers, proved perfectly irresistible to a boy of Walter’s sanguine, fearless nature; and, as the vessel would be launched and away before he could make another voyage and return, he resolved to wait for her.

In order to make the most of his time, he went over to Elm Island to study navigation with Lion[95] Ben, and then, by Captain Rhines’s advice, to Salem, where was a French family, who, having fled from their native country, during the revolution, in poverty, leaving their property behind, supported themselves by teaching French, giving music lessons, and employing themselves in any way which would bring the means of subsistence. They also found no lack of sympathy among the inhabitants, who, being a seafaring community, not only shared in the universal good will at that time felt towards the French, but also were naturally touched by the miseries of those who, having seen better days, and accustomed to every comfort, found themselves, in old age, poor and in a strange land.

Fred Williams had an uncle in Salem, a tanner. Walter boarded with him, doing work enough in the tan-yard to defray the expense of his board. Thus, under the instruction of persons of culture, and in daily contact with them, he not only obtained a knowledge of the language, but learned to speak it properly, and in a manner quite different from the patois of Peterson, which, picked up from the lower class of people, was, however, fluent, coarse, and vulgar.


Salem, as our readers will recollect, was the home of Ned Gates, who, ready to like anybody who came from the neighborhood of Pleasant Cove, received Walter with open arms, insisted upon having him at his house to tea, and to stay all night, about half the time, and spent every spare moment he could get with him.

Ned would go down to the yard and help Walter break bark, pull hides out of the pits, take out the spent tan, and hang up the sides of leather to dry, in order that his friend might have more time to study French, and stuck to him like his skin. Were they not going to be shipmates together, and share in perils?

Ned’s parents never wanted him to go to sea, and did all in their power to prevent it; but finding his heart set upon it to such an extent that he was utterly indifferent to everything else, and unhappy, they yielded with the best grace possible. But when he was shipwrecked, and came so near perishing with hunger on the raft, they were greatly encouraged, thinking it would incline him to comply with their wishes and abandon the sea. Ned’s mother was not only a most affectionate parent, but a warm-hearted Christian[97] woman. Like all Christian mothers, she had been accustomed to hear her little boy say his prayers, and continued the practice after he came to be a large boy. Ned would leave the light burning, and his mother would come up, sit by his bedside, hear him repeat the Lord’s Prayer, then kneel down beside the bed and pray herself. Ned was a good boy, and loved his mother dearly, but was full of life, and sometimes would do something out of the way, so much so, that his mother, after hearing him say his prayer, would get up, take the candle in her hand as though about to leave the room, observing, “Edward, you have been a bad boy, to-day; I don’t know as I ought to pray with you to-night.” This never failed to bring Ned to terms. He would own up, if it was any concealed mischief, confess, and promise amendment, for he could not bear to go to sleep till his mother had prayed with him; yet he was nearly sixteen years old, as smart a boy as ever went aloft to furl a royal or reeve signal halyards. When the crew abandoned the sinking ship, Ned, as we have before stated, preferred to stick by the captain.


Who says vulgarity, coarseness, and profanity are necessary concomitants of courage?

“Edward,” said his mother, as he took the candle to go to bed, the first night after getting home from Pleasant Cove, “leave the light; I’ll come and get it.”

“Mother,” said he, after saying his prayers, “how nice it seems to be once more in the old bed, and say my prayers to you, as I used to do!”

“I hope, Edward, you didn’t forget them while you were away from me.”

“I never turned in a night without it; but I didn’t have any mother to come and get the light and kiss me when I got through.”

“I hope, my child, you did more than that. I hope, when you were undergoing such misery on that dreadful raft, you prayed to God in your own words, and out of your own heart.”

“No, I didn’t, mother.”

“Not pray, when there seemed nothing but death before you—a child instructed as you have been?”

“No, mother. I suppose you want me to tell you just as it was.”

“Certainly, my child; but didn’t the captain, James Watts, or Arthur Brown?”


“The captain was swearing part of the time, and crying the rest. One minute he’d say he knew some vessel would come along and take us off, and seem quite cheerful; the next minute he would wring his hands, and swear, and cry, and say we should all starve to death on that raft. After the little water and provision the men left us was gone, he took to drinking salt water. It made him crazy, just as Mr. Brown told him it would, for he said he had heard his father say so. Then he ran off on the idea that we were going to kill and eat him. If he saw us talking together, he would say we were plotting to kill him and drink his blood. Mr. Brown said the second mate told him that he passed a crew of men once on a wreck, and wouldn’t take any notice of their signals, though they hoisted a signal of distress, and now he was getting his pay for it. I suppose it was the idea he took in his head, that we would kill and eat him, that made him jump overboard in the night, when we were all asleep.”

“That was awful; but didn’t Arthur Brown or James Watts ever call upon God?”

“Not as I know of; what they did inside I don’t know, but I never heard them.”


“It seems very strange to me that a boy brought up to know and respect all good things taught in the Catechism, and who never went to bed a night in his life, till he went from home, without saying his prayers, and having his mother pray with him, should be on a raft in the ocean, starving, death staring him in the face, and not call upon God. I can’t understand it; I should think that would be just the time, if ever in the world.”

“Well, it ain’t, mother, though it may seem strange to you. It seems strange to myself now; but I suppose, if I was in the same place, I should do just so again. I did think of my prayers, and said them, as I told you; but whenever I thought of doing anything more, it seemed to me so mean to pray to God because I was in a hard place, when I never did it when I wasn’t, that I couldn’t—I didn’t dare to. Then I was thinking, most of the time, about being taken off, watching for some vessel, or dreaming and thinking about eating and drinking.”

“Dreaming about eating?”

“O, yes, mother, that was the worst of it; when my tongue was so swelled, as big as two tongues,[101] and I was so weak from hunger that I could hardly move, I’d fall into a doze, and dream that there was a great table set full of everything that I loved, and then wake up, and find it all a dream. One time I dreamed I was travelling on a road in a real hot day, and saw a little wood on the side of a hill. I went to it, and right between two great maple trees was a barrel sunk down in the ground, and full of clear, cold water. It was a boiling spring, and a flat stone right beside it. I thought I knelt down on the stone, and looked way down into the clear, beautiful water, saw grains of sand rolling over and over in it, and tried to drink; but whenever I got my parched lips close to the water, it went away, and in my struggles to reach it I woke; and there right before me was poor James Watts’s dead face, and Mr Brown looking so pale and ghostly I thought he was dead, and I all alone on the wide ocean. When I saw it was all a dream, I burst into tears; after that, began to grow stupid and wandering, and didn’t sense anything more till I found myself in a bed, and somebody putting water in my mouth; and don’t you think, mother, I went right back where I left off in my dream, and thought I[102] was drinking out of that spring? but it was Charlie Bell’s wife putting water in my mouth. I tell you what it is, mother; people may think so who don’t know; but if they were in such a place, they would find it wasn’t a very nice time to be good.”

“My dear boy,” replied his mother, affected to tears by the narration, “now that God has restored you to us, you have suffered so much, and seen what the life of a sailor is, and what they are exposed to, I hope you will never leave us again. You are all the son I have got—do stay with us and your sisters. You have had a good education; your father will take you right into the store with him, or he will set you up in business, when you are old enough. There is Henry Bradshaw, that you used to sit with in school; your old playmate; you used to love him, and was just like a brother with him. He is going into business soon. You can go with him, or you can learn a trade. Your father will send you to college—he will do anything for you to keep you at home. If you could only know what we underwent, after we heard the vessel was lost, and thought you were lost in her, and what a thanksgiving there was in[103] the house after we got Captain Rhines’s letter, you certainly never would leave us again.”

Ned was not taken by surprise, for he knew his mother’s heart, and loved her. It was no easy task to deny the plea of such a mother, under such circumstances, and the very first night of getting home, too. He lay a long time silent, with eyes shut fast. His mother saw the tears come out from under the closed lids, and, as she wiped them away, began to hope her desires were to be realized.

“Mother,” at length he said, “you will think I am the worst, most hard-hearted boy that ever was in the world.”

The mother trembled, but made no reply.

“Mother, I must go to sea. I can’t, indeed, I can’t stay at home.”

“But only think what you suffered, and how near you were to death.”

“But I didn’t die, mother. I’m all right now, and heavier than I ever was in my life. I was weighed in Mr. Williams’s store the day before I left, and weighed ten pounds more than I ever did before, without my coat or waistcoat. Only think of that.”


“But only think what you suffered!”

“Don’t people suffer at home, mother? Just see what Will Webb has suffered, all tied up in knots with rheumatism; and Tom Savage, with the spine complaint. I do believe, if I knew I should go through all I have been through the next voyage, I should have to go. Ain’t I a fool, mother?”

“I think you are very foolish to leave a good home and kind parents without any necessity for such hardships. Only think of your cousin, poor James Ross, who fell from the main-mast and was killed, the very first day out.”

“Well, mother, perhaps he would have died if he had been at home. Captain Rhines says, when God wants a man, he’ll call him; and anybody is just as safe on the royal yard as on deck, or at home in his bed. Isn’t that so, mother?”

“I don’t know, my dear; I think I should a great deal rather have you at home in this bed. Suppose you are sick at sea. There is no one to take care of you.”

“Yes, mother, Captain Brown and Walter will.”

Mrs. Gates knelt down beside the bed, and prayed for submission to bear what she felt to be[105] a bitter trial—resigning a beloved, affectionate boy to the hardships and chances of a life at sea.

“Mother,” said Ned, as she took the light in her hand to go down stairs, “isn’t Walter Griffin a splendid boy?”

“Yes; too good a boy to go to sea.”




WALTER well deserved the praise lavished upon him by Ned. He had little resemblance to his brother Joe, or indeed any other member of the family, except in size. He was of large frame; Joe had great square jaws, high cheek bones, his hair coarse and bristling, and his joints large,—he was what is termed, in common parlance, double-jointed,—and, though exceeding agile, was loose-limbed, and somewhat awkward in his movements.

Walter, on the other hand, was compactly built, graceful in all his movements; fair complexion, regular features, fine hair, that curled upon the least exertion, and something in the expression of his face that inspired confidence and attracted at once; though full of humor, he possessed not a particle of Joe’s fondness[107] for practical jokes. Every whit as resolute and fond of rough sports as any of his race, he had what none of the rest possessed—imagination and sentiment; he was thoughtful, reflective, and a vein of almost feminine delicacy ran through his whole nature.

All that Joe thought of, when he looked upon a noble maple, was, how much potash it would make, whether a keel-piece could be got out of it; or upon a majestic pine, how many boards it would scale.

But Walter looked upon them with other eyes; the murmur of the streams and the glance of the river through the green foliage appealed to susceptibilities that did not exist in the breast of the other. In all other respects he was Griffin to the backbone. He was a universal favorite; all the boys loved Walter Griffin, and he loved them in return. He loved John Rhines, Fred Williams, and Uncle Isaac, but Charlie Bell was his ideal of perfection, and, though so much his senior, seemed nearer than all the rest. The thoughtful tenderness of Charlie’s nature touched an answering chord in that of Walter; he found something there, he could not find among his mates.


Charlie, trading with Fred, and owning a portion of the goods, was often in the store, and brought a good deal in contact with Walter; they naturally grew together.

When he found Charlie was going to be married, he told John he was real sorry, because he knew he shouldn’t see so much of him, and he was afraid he wouldn’t love him so much. But he soon found, to his great gratification, that “the more angels in the heart, the more room.”

No sooner was Charlie married than he bought a pew in the meeting-house, and asked Walter to sit with him (as Mr. Griffin had a large family, and their pew was always crowded), and frequently invited him to tea; he soon began to feel at home there, and found that he saw a great deal more of Charlie than when he was obliged to go on to Elm Island to see him, or met him occasionally at the store.

Charlie’s religion was not something put upon him like lacker upon metal, but it was a part of him, as much so as the very blood in the chambers of his heart, or the pulse in his veins; it made him happy, and it was an instinct with him to communicate that which so blessed himself[109] to those he loved. It was not a task; he could not help it. ‘Twas just as much a part of his nature, as to press the hand or kiss the lips of those he loved.

The period occupied by our narrative was long before the era of Sabbath schools, notwithstanding young people by no means grew up, in the days of our fathers, without religious instruction, and that of the most substantial kind; since parents then discharged, in respect to their children, the duties which are now but too often surrendered to Sabbath school teachers, and the material for mission schools, now so abundant, did not then exist.

Parson Goodhue was accustomed, once a month, to assemble all the children, as also the older boys and girls, in the school-house on Saturday afternoon, and to put them the questions contained in the Westminster Catechism, previously committed to memory.

Walter Griffin had made all his preparations for going to sea, as a green hand, in the Casco, with Isaac Murch; the ship was ready to sail Monday, for Cadiz. Walter having attended the catechising for the last time, when he saw all his schoolmates, and received a parting blessing from the[110] good minister, started up to Pleasant Cove, to take leave of Charlie, whom he met coming from the barn, where he had been tying up his oxen.

“Good evening, Mr. Bell.”

“Good evening, Walter. I was afraid you would go away without coming to see me.”

“I couldn’t think of that, sir; I came up to the school-house, and then kept on.”

“Then you are all dressed for Sabbath, and I shan’t let you go from here to-night; stop right here, and go to meeting with us in the morning.”

“I fear I shall hinder you, sir.”

“Not a whit. Uncle Isaac has been helping me break up, and has just gone from here; we’ve done work enough for one day. I’m going to clean up and rest; come, go in; supper is about ready.”

Walter assisted Charlie to milk, and do his chores, and as the twilight came on, they sat down together beneath a tree near the edge of a bank, where the brook met the waters of the bay.

It was a most picturesque, lovely spot, one that Charlie dearly loved, and to which he never took any one who he knew was incapable of appreciating it; he didn’t like to have his chosen spots like an unfenced common, for everybody and everything to trample on.


It was a warm evening, the first of September; the season had been moist and shady; not a leaf gave token of decay. Just above them they saw the white foam of the water, as it fell in broken wreaths of foam over the precipice, and caught again the gleam of it through the leaves, as with tranquil current it met the waters of the bay, rolling with a low ripple upon the white sand of the beach.

They sat with their backs against a large oak that grew double, forking just above their heads, and thus, being rather flat than round, offered a convenient rest.

“Walter,” said Charlie, putting his arm around the boy, and drawing his head on to his breast, “how do you like this spot?”

“I think it is most beautiful. I could sit here all night and listen to that waterfall, and watch the moonbeams glancing on the water.”

“The first time I ever saw this place, I came here alone, on very much such a night as this. I loved it then, and have loved it more and more ever since. I shall miss you very much, Walter; only think how many Sabbath days we’ve sat side by side in meeting; I hope there’s some good come of it all. Walter, do you ever pray?”


There was no reply, but a tear fell on Charlie’s hand; at length he said, “No, sir; I never did.”

“But you say the Lord’s Prayer?”

“No, sir.”

“Didn’t your mother learn you to say it when a child?”

“No, sir; there ain’t any goodness in our folks; we are a hard, rough set; ain’t like other people; only think about wrestling, shooting, and falling timber. When Joe became religious, he wanted to have prayers Sabbath night; but father wouldn’t hear to it. Now he’s got a house of his own, he can do as he likes.”

“But you are not a rough, thoughtless boy, Walter; you are a gentle, loving boy, and you think; all the Griffin there is in you, is on the outside; you love the woods, flowers, the waters, and this beautiful spot touches you, just as it does me.”

Walter made no reply, but pressed Charlie’s hand.

“And you love me?”

“I do, Mr. Bell, with all my heart and soul.”

“Then how can you help loving God, who made everything and everybody that you love and admire?”


“I know I ought.”

“Perhaps you don’t like to have me talk to you in this way.”

“Yes, sir, I do; I could hear you talk forever.”

“Walter, I don’t believe there was ever a boy in the world had more friends than you have.”

“That is just what I was thinking myself, this very afternoon, when all the boys and girls came round me at the catechising, and seemed sorry to have me go away.”

“Don’t you think you owe a good deal to your Maker? and ought you not to tell him so?”

“Yes, sir, I know I ought to; but I can’t.”

“You could ask me to speak to the captain, and get you a chance to go in the Casco.”

“O, sir, you, Mr. Rhines, and Uncle Isaac are so good, I don’t feel afraid to ask you anything.”

“God is better.”

“But he seems a great way off.”

“He would seem near if you would go to him, and try to get acquainted. Besides, he has spoken first, and asked you to come.”

“I’m afraid you will think I am a very rude boy.”

“You are like all boys, and all the rest of us,[114] before we begin to think of better things. Now, Walter, there’s just one thing I want you to do.”

“What is that, sir?”

“You know I have been on the ocean somewhat, and know what it is to be there, and how sailor men feel, although you will soon know much more about the matter than I do. There is no time, as you will soon learn, when a sailor man spends his time so well as in the middle watch of a pleasant night, when it is fair weather and moderate—everything going along smooth. It is then, if a man has any conscience, it wakes up; if he has had good bringing up, and good instructions, they come to his mind; it is then his thoughts are homeward bound, and he thinks of parents, brothers, sisters, and all he loves best on earth. Then he travels over the whole ground, from childhood clear along. You’ll find it so.”

“I expect I shall spend many an hour in that way, and then I shall think of you and all your kindness to me.”

“It isn’t kindness, Walter; it is more than that. I have enjoyed it as much as you. There are some beautiful nights at sea, as well as dark and dismal ones. There will be nights just like this,[115] when the moon will glance on the long swell just as it now does on the little ripple on that beach, and the stars will seem like so many eyes looking down upon you, and the royal will look in the shadow as if it reached the sky.”

“I know I shall enjoy such nights, and wish them longer.”

“They make up for a good many rough ones, and you can live them over many times. Well, when such a night comes, I want you, as you look on the moon and stars, to remember that as the same moon is shining on me, looking down on this little brook, and into the cove, so the same good heavenly Father is over us both; that then I shall look at that moon, and think of you; this little nook, the trees, and all we’ve said to one another here will travel out on the ocean to meet you; then perhaps you may think, I wonder if some good friend is not thinking of and praying for me; ought I not to do something for myself?”

“I thank you for all these pleasant thoughts. I never thought of such things before. It is not the way Parson Goodhue talks to us about religion.”

“Well, he is a wise man. I can only talk in a[116] simple way, as it comes to me, and out of my heart.”

“But you don’t talk to me like as anybody else does. Captain Rhines often gives me good advice, and so does Uncle Isaac, about not drinking, and getting into bad company, or being profane, and about saving my money. But you don’t, somehow, seem to give me advice, or ever mention those things. I like to have them take notice of me, and always thank them; but when you talk with me,—for you don’t seem to talk at me,—I want to put my arms right round your neck.”

“Don’t spoil a good mind, Walter.” And the boy actually embraced him. “People have different ways of looking at the same thing,” continued Charlie; “you wouldn’t want all your friends to be just alike—would you?”

“No, indeed, sir, any more than I would want all the flowers to be of one form and color, or all the birds to look alike and sing the same song.”

“Well, if you only love Him who made and gave you everything half as well as you love me, who have done, and can do, very little for you, all these other matters will take care of themselves.”

“Please talk some more, sir.”


“It is time to go. We’ve been here a great while. They will all be a-bed.”

“O, sir, we haven’t been here but a little while.”

“How long do you think?”

“Half an hour.”

“We’ve been here an hour and a half; I know by the tide. It was high water when we sat down here. You see that white rock just breaking the water?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, when that rock is fairly out, it is two hours ebb. Walter, what makes you so bent upon going to sea? You might do well on a farm. Fred would, in the course of another year, take you in as partner. If you want money, I will lend it to you. Then you can be at home among your friends. Is it because you think you can make money faster?”

“No, sir; I don’t think money is everything. There’s Isaac Murch, as straightforward, kind-hearted a fellow as ever lived,—as smart a man as was ever wrapped up in skin; but he thinks money is everything. He’ll give, too, especially to a good cause; but it comes hard. He’ll go[118] through a deal to get a dollar. I mean to have a good living,—I think that’s for every one who strives for it,—and earn my wages, wherever I am. I don’t believe in wasting, or any of your low stuff, but I had rather have friends who love me for my own sake, good health, enjoy myself, and have others enjoy themselves with me, than all the money in the world.”

“Money won’t buy happiness, Walter.”

“You know, sir, you were saying just now that you hoped you shouldn’t have to grind your broad-axe again for six years; you did so long to turn over some of this wild land, plant an orchard, have grain, fruit and flowers, and cattle in the pastures.”

“Yes, and I felt more than I said.”

“But haven’t you made pretty much all the property you have out of the sea?”


“Yet you want to work on the land.”

“Because I love to. I love to work with tools, but I want some time to plant and sow, and see things grow, whether I make anything or not; it’s my nature.”

“So it’s my nature to go to sea. I wish you[119] could see all the boats Flour (I mean Peterson) has made and rigged for me. I wouldn’t care if there was only land enough to build wharves to tie vessels up, to clean and grave their bottoms, and all the rest was water.”

“But it is a hard life, and rude company. You are a quiet, thoughtful boy, and as affectionate as a woman.”

“There’s a hard streak in all us Griffins; so I suppose there must be in me.”

This was the boy Ned Gates was so much attached to, and helped do his work at the tan-yard, and respecting whom Mrs. Gates said he was too good to go to sea (this good lady seeming to think it best to have only bad men at sea).

Naturally adapted to sea life, he was already (but little more than a boy) acting as second mate, and, by his keenness of perception, was the first to discern the whereabouts of the enemy.

To say that Walter and Ned were intimate, and enjoyed themselves together, would be superfluous. They were fortunately in the same watch, slept in the same berth, and became more attached to each other every day. Ned was smart and ambitious, but light. He always aspired to furl the[120] royal, which he could do well enough, when it was dry, at any rate, by furling the yard-arms first; but when it was wet, and a gale of wind, it was rather more than a match for him. At such times, Walter, who knew the ambition and grit of his little shipmate, and was unwilling to mortify him before the crew, would wait till he saw the sail blow away from him once or twice, and then run up and help him.

Ned was very desirous of raising a cue, and even had dim visions of a beard. He sported a concern about three inches in length, and which very much resembled the appendage of a Suffolk pig. It was so short that Walter, who combed and dressed it for him when the rest of the watch were asleep, found it very difficult to make the eel-skin stay on, even with a clove hitch, and, to Ned’s great indignation, suggested that he should put some tar on it, in order to make the string stick. Walter, on the other hand, boasted a cue nearly a foot in length, and the rudiments of a beard.

Whenever he shaved (which luxury he sometimes indulged in, by the solicitations of Ned, on[121] Sunday morning in port, when the rest were ashore, to avoid disparaging remarks), Ned sat looking at him with the greatest reverence, and indulging in visions of the future, although, as yet, his lip was guiltless even of down.




THOSE of our readers who are familiar with the Elm Island stories have already known a good deal of the Griffin family in the persons of Joe and Henry, with a slight introduction to Walter and Will.

Suppose, now, for the better understanding of Walter’s declaration, “there’s a hard streak in all of us Griffins,” we accompany Parson Goodhue (who is a great friend of the Griffins, and for whom Walter is named) in one of his parochial visits to the homestead.

The good man, like most of the ministers of that day, had a farm of eighty acres, kept a horse, sheep, three cows, and a yoke of oxen, and did considerable work himself, always feeding his own cattle. He had, in addition, a wood lot of fifty acres. The parishioners were in the[123] habit of getting together in the fall, cutting his year’s stock of wood, and piling it up in the woods; when snow came they put their teams together and hauled it to the door, when the boys and young men assembled and cut it for the fire; on such occasions they came about noon, and had supper and a grand time at the parsonage in the evening, the girls coming about two o’clock, bringing with them abundant supplies and preparing the repast.

The Griffin family consisted of eight persons—the parents and six children, all boys, Joseph, Henry, Walter, William, Edmund, and Winthrop. One hot forenoon, about eleven o’clock, and just after haying, Parson Goodhue, in all the glory of the snow-white wig, silk stockings, and polished silver shoe-buckles (which Lion Ben of Elm Island had presented to him after his adventure with the wild gander), was wending his way by a road that skirted the bank of the river, to Edmund Griffin’s. He was mounted on a very finely proportioned, snug built, calico-colored mare, a pacer. A large blue saddle-cloth protected his garments from the hairs (as he was quite fastidious about his dress), and he was provided[124] with a capacious pair of saddle-bags, long experience having convinced the good man that it was a most proper precaution, when visiting the Griffins, to be well provided with saddle-bags.

It is said, we know not with how much truth, that dappled horses are of superior intelligence, and can more easily be taught all kinds of tricks; and for this reason they are often found in the circus. However this may be, one thing is sure—that Parson Goodhue’s mare was intelligent enough, and vexed his soul to that extent he sometimes feared she received diabolical aid. But Dapple, as he called her, was such a capital roadster, carried him so easily, and was sound in wind and limb, that the parson, who dearly loved a good animal, bore it patiently.

In those days the doors of all out-buildings were universally fastened with wooden latches, or buttons, as also a great proportion of the doors of the dwellings.

There was not a door or gate upon the premises of her master, or any of his neighbors, but Dapple could and would open, a fence she could not get over, or a pair of bars she could not take down (unless they were pinned), provided[125] a sufficient motive presented itself. Notwithstanding she had been reared from a colt in the family of a clergyman, under the very droppings of the sanctuary, received the best of instruction, and the best examples had been proposed for her imitation, she would appropriate without the least scruple; in short, though we grieve to say it, she was a downright, incorrigible, sneaking thief; she was no respecter of persons or character, but would steal from saint or sinner, rich or poor; she would even take from the widow Hadlock and Aunt Molly Bradish (that good old soul, when she was alive), walk right into poor Mrs. Yelf’s cornfield right before her eyes, because she knew that Robert was at sea, and the old lady could not get at her for rheumatism.

Parson Goodhue lived so near to the meeting-house that he and his family always walked to meeting, thus Sabbath was a leisure day to her; and even on that day, when all other horses and good people were at meeting, and her good master was inculcating morality, she would (if she could get loose) take the opportunity to commit trespass; in short, she was the grief of her[126] master and the pest of the parish, was covered with scars she had received for her misdeeds, and would have been killed had she belonged to any other person than Parson Goodhue, whom everybody loved. She would back up against a door and turn the buttons, would lift the latch or pull the string of one with her teeth, and break or get off any yoke or clogs that were put on her. The most singular part of the whole matter was, that she would sometimes go for a month peaceably, in the pasture, and the good parson would feel quite encouraged, hoping it was a radical reformation; when just as he began to solace himself with this idea, and accord her larger liberty, she would abuse it to act worse than ever. At one time Dapple had gone quietly in the pasture for nearly six weeks, and the hopes of her master were raised to the highest pitch. Adjoining the pasture was a most excellent piece of wheat, just full in the milk, belonging to Jotham Lancaster. Dapple had not been permitted for a long time to go out of a Sabbath day; but her conduct had been so unexceptionable, that her master determined to trust her, especially as there was a high[127] stone wall in good repair around the pasture. So, before going to meeting, he turned her out; when he returned at noon, he found her quietly feeding, and told Captain Rhines he verily believed Dapple had got over her tricks.

“Hang her,” was his reply, “I wouldn’t trust her.”

When the parson came home at night, there she was, in that beautiful field of wheat. If she had merely eaten what she wanted in one place, it might have been borne; but she had gone all over it, trampling down here and there, then lain down, and rolled in half a dozen places; and when found, was quietly feeding out in the grass. She had, with her teeth, flung off the top pole, pushed over the top rocks with her breast, and then jumped over.

The next week John Rhines made a pair of iron fetters, to fasten one of her hind legs to one of her fore ones, permitting her to scuffle along and feed, but not to jump, and made a present of them to Mr. Goodhue, saying, “She can’t jump with these, I know.”

Dapple now went quietly for some time. Captain Rhines said to her master, “I guess you’ve got her this time.”


Vain delusion! she was probably meditating, in the “recesses of a mind capacious of such things,” upon the means and methods of evading this new device; that her meditations bore fruit was soon manifest. Parson Goodhue, returning from meeting in the afternoon, found her in the midst of his own corn. There was not a length of fence down; the bars were all up, and pinned, so that she could not remove them with her teeth. There was not a stone displaced in the wall, and the fetters were fast to her feet. As her master took down the bars to lead her out, he gazed upon her almost with fear; he was not superior to the superstitions of his day, and was almost apprehensive of some satanic agency.

The story got abroad; John and Fred determined to watch her. They shut her up in the barn with nothing to eat, till she was very hungry, then turned her into the pasture just at night, and concealing themselves, kept watch. Dapple went to feeding, stopping every once in a while to look around and listen; at length, seeing or hearing no one, she made directly for the bars, and attempted to take them down with her teeth; but they were pinned at each end. She then tried to[129] push them over by backing up against them; but they were braced by stakes nailed to the posts, and set in the ground; she then put her head between the lower bar and the one next to it above, sprung the two sufficiently to insert her shoulders, then her whole body, and shoved herself through, coming down whack on her side, while the bars sprung together as before; then getting up and shaking herself, with a look of profound satisfaction, was making for the corn, when she was accosted in not very flattering terms by her observers. John said he never saw anybody look more silly, or more worked, than she did.

It was a matter of great surprise to the neighbors, and the town talk, that the mare never paid her respects to Joe Griffin, as in the fields of all others (except Captain Rhines’s, where Tige kept watch and ward) she ran riot; while Joe’s (whose land was new, just taken from the forest, and raised splendid crops of corn and grain) were unmolested by the common enemy; they were passed by to commit depredations on the fields of Charlie Bell, that adjoined.

We will let our readers into the mystery. The second year after Joe worked his place, he got up[130] very early one morning, just as the day broke, to go out gunning; there was Dapple in the corn for the first time. As Joe had recently moved into the neighborhood, she probably, as an old resident, felt it would be polite to call. Joe well knew the character of his visitor, and what he might expect in future. He, however, manifested not the least sign of anger; didn’t even throw a stone, or hit her with a stake; but turned her out, put up the fence, and went off gunning; not even mentioning the matter to his wife, who had not yet risen.

Dapple, who had made up her mind to receive a pounding, thought Mr. Griffin was one of the best of men, and resolved to cultivate his acquaintance.

Three nights after, she paid him another visit, and going along the fence, found the old gap but very indifferently mended; taking off some small poles with her teeth, she cleared the great bottom log at a jump; but the instant she touched the ground on the other side, it gave way beneath her feet, and she found herself in a pit. Bitter were her reflections; she accused herself of imbecility for not interpreting aright such forbearance in a Griffin; and awaited, with fear and trembling, the[131] approach of morning. Just as the day broke, she heard footsteps, and Joe made his appearance. A smile of satisfaction passed over his face, as he gave one look, and disappeared, returning soon with a shovel in one hand, and a bundle of long, tough beech withes in the other. Then, standing on the edge of the pit, he began most unmercifully to apply them, with all the strength and endurance of an arm that had scarcely its rival in the community. On head, rump, and ribs the horrible tempest fell. In vain poor Dapple kicked, and reared, and ran round the pit, which was not large enough for her to get out of reach of the blows. For an hour, without intermission, this terrible scourging continued, when, reeking with perspiration, Joe threw down the rod, and took up the shovel.

Dapple expected nothing less than to be buried alive, and with death staring her in the face, remembered with compunction the manner in which she had abused the kindness of the good old man, and despised all his wise counsels. But her quick discernment soon discovered that Joe was about to dig the earth at one end to an inclined plane to let her out, and instantly all her[132] remorse and resolutions for a better life were at an end.

When he had graded the pit, as he thought, sufficiently, he administered a few blows with the flat of the shovel, and an energy that sent Dapple flying from the pit like a hen from a hawk, observing, as he went leisurely to work to fill up the hole, “Much obliged to you, neighbor, for this visit; call again the first opportunity.”

When Joe had filled up the pit, he flung some brush over, took the pail, and went to milking, never mentioning the matter, even to his wife, till years afterwards.

The mare never found opportunity to comply with Joe’s kind invitation. He might have left his crops out of doors for all her.

Dapple mended her pace as she approached the rising ground on which the Griffin homestead was located, for she had often proved the hospitality of its stable and pastures. The buildings were situated on the summit of a hill, which rose quite abruptly from the river. The blazing sun poured down upon a house of enormous size, the lower rooms finished, the rest a shell. Not a tree or a bush, save one old stub, stood near it. There was[133] not the least attempt at a garden, but, far out in the field, in the midst of the corn, cabbage, beets, carrots, and onions were growing, and peas now ripe in the pod.

On one side of the front door was a goose-pen; on the other a molasses hogshead, into which an upright board conducted the rain water from the eaves. The only approach to anything in the shape of plants was some house leek (then considered a sovereign remedy for corns), in an old skillet.

At a short distance from the end door was a small enclosure, made by driving stakes into the ground, in which were roots of wormwood, tansy, comfrey, lovage, and sweet agrimony, while an enormous hop-vine covered a great part of the front of the house. All about the door-yard were shingle bolts, bunches of shingles, old yokes, logs, sticks of hewn timber, drags, sleds, with the stakes in, broken and whole, and a brush-harrow was tipped up against the house, right under one of the front windows, while between them the skin of a bear, recently killed, was stretched and nailed to the clapboards.

Beside the end door stood a leech, that had[134] been set up in the spring, to make soap, and suffered to stand through the summer, as Mrs. Griffin liked to have weak lye to scour with. Within a gun-shot of the western end of the house stood the stub of a massive pine, which had been broken off about twenty-five feet from the ground, and was hollow, having the opening on the north-west side. In the cavity were augers, planes, saws, chisels, shovels, axes, and canting dogs, thrown together in most admirable confusion. The tools were of English make, and evidently of excellent temper, but covered with rust. From the dead limbs on the outside hung rusty scythes and a grain cradle. This was the Griffin tool-chest. An eighth of a mile from the house, down under the hill, was the well.

In the rough climate of New England, the inhabitants were solicitous to place their buildings in a lee, either under the side of a hill, the protection of a wood, or to dispose the buildings themselves in such a manner as to give them a sheltered and sunny door and barn-yard. But here the barn was a great distance from the house, the buildings disposed without the least reference to shelter, as though the occupants were insensible[135] to wind or weather. Yet in other respects everything betokened plenty and thrift; the walls were well built of rocks of great size, and handsomely laid up; the barns were large, and through the open doors the hay could be seen, brought so far over the floors that the mows nearly touched each other, leaving barely room to swing a flail.

An immense log crib, the top covered with boards and shingles, where the long yellow ears of corn showed through the chinks, attested that the thrifty owner kept a year’s stock of bread on hand. On a scaffold of poles, laid over the high beams, bundles of last year’s flax were visible, while the number of milking-stools, hanging on the barn-yard fence, gave token of a large dairy.

To complete the picture, four great hogs were rooting in the chips after thistle roots, and a white mare, with a sucking colt and two half-grown ones, was standing in the shade, on the north side of the house. As Parson Goodhue gained the summit of the hill, and was not far from the old stub, he saw approaching some one whose form was nearly concealed by a huge back-load of spruce poles, from twenty to twenty-five feet in length, and bearing in one hand an axe. As he flung[136] the poles from his shoulder, and stood erect, he caught sight of the minister.

“Halloo, parson! Good morning. Glad to see you. Hot—ain’t it?”

“Good morning, Edmund,” replied his visitor, apparently not the least disconcerted by the rudeness of the reception, and extending his hand, which the other enclosed in his great palm, and shook with a heartiness that caused the good man to reel in his saddle.

“How are you, Elizabeth, and all the children?”

“Well, so’s to be crawling. Lizzy always keeps herself worked down. ‘Tain’t so much the work,—though we milk seven cows, for Lizzy’s a master hand to turn off work, and real rugged,—but she’s forever scrubbing and scouring. I tell her ‘tain’t a bit of use, but she will do it. Then father’s a good deal of care.”

“How is the old gentleman?”

“He’s real strong at the stomach; eats and sleeps as well as ever he did; but he sometimes has the rheumatics.”




THIS was Edmund Griffin, the proprietor of seven hundred acres of excellent land, a very large stock of cattle, and money besides—the strongest man in town (leaving out Lion Ben, who was an exception to everybody), now that Captain Rhines and Uncle Isaac were getting in years. He was not remarkably tall, being barely six feet in his boots, but of vast proportions. There was no beauty about Edmund; his hair was coarse as rope-yarn, inclining to red, and, where it was not confined by a cue, bristling; his waist was small in proportion to the great breadth of his shoulders and hips, his joints large, his lips and teeth very prominent, which gave him the appearance of coming at you. The whole expression of his face was extremely rugged, and would have been fierce, had it not been neutralized by the kindly expression[138] of a clear, mild eye. His voice, also, was rather loud and hearty than harsh in its tones. A skein of woollen yarn was tied round him for a belt, his breeches of dye-pot blue, and a flannel shirt that had once been bright red, but so bleached by the sun and perspiration as not to show any red save under the armpits and below the girdle, from a pocket in the breast of which stuck out the end of a purse made of a sheep’s bladder; his open collar revealed a finely-formed throat, and a breast covered with a thick mass of curling brown hair. This great, brawny man was possessed of remarkable mechanical genius. With those great fingers of his he could execute the nicest jobs, and he was constantly resorted to by the neighbors; and yet there was not a sled or cart on the premises that had a decent tongue in it; they were all made by cutting down a forked tree, and sticking in the fork with the bark on.

“You’re getting fat, parson—fat as a porpoise; you don’t do work enough; you ought to have been in the woods with me this forenoon; ‘twould make the gravy run, and take some of the grease out of you.”

“What are you going to do with those poles, Edmund?”


“Make pike-poles to drive logs with, in the fall freshet.”

Parson Goodhue was much attached to Edmund Griffin, who had grown up under him, and whom he had married when he was but twenty and his wife nineteen, and, though now surrounded by a large family, was in the very maturity of his strength; for he well knew that, though the outside was as rough as the coat of the alligator, there was a noble and generous nature within, and a kindly heart throbbed beneath that hairy bosom and faded shirt.

For many a long year he had been seeking his good, and striving in vain to impress him with religious ideas; but it was like lifting a wet cannon ball; he eluded all his efforts; he could find no chink in his armor. He was always at meeting with his family, rain or shine, and an attentive hearer. Anything, everything he would do for Parson Goodhue, except listen to religious conversation; that he would always avoid. He had no sympathy in that direction, nor his wife either, and the children naturally grew up with the same ideas. Even the old father, ninety years of age, and tottering on the verge of eternity, seemed to[140] have no notions beyond the present; and all his talk was about lifting, wrestling, and the Indian fights, in which he had played a most conspicuous part, and, though he could with difficulty get across the room, would, every few weeks, have his rifle brought to him, and clean and oil the lock.

“Lizzy,” shouted Mr. Griffin, in a voice that might be heard a mile.

This brought to the door a woman of a noble form, dark-brown hair, and one of the sweetest faces the eye ever rested upon, and, though evidently just from the cheese-tub, very neatly dressed.

“Lizzy, here’s Parson Goodhue come to stay to dinner, and a fortnight longer, I hope.”

“So do I,” was the reply of his wife, as she welcomed the visitor.

“Let the mare go, parson; she knows the way to the barn; come, let’s go into the house.”

“I rather think, Edmund, I had better hitch her to this stub; if she goes to the barn alone, she will certainly be in mischief;” but as the minister stepped forward, with the bridle in his hand, to execute his design, Griffin caught him by the shoulders, and exclaiming, “Bless me! where is[141] the man going?” lifted and set him aside, as though he had been a feather; at the same time dropping a stone upon the trencher of a bear trap, the great jaws sprung together with a clang that caused Parson Goodhue to jump clear from the ground in mortal fear.

“Goodness, Edmund, do you set bear-traps for your friends?”

“No, parson; I’m sorry for your fright, but you see, we caught a bear last night, and the boys have been playing with the trap, and left it set. If you had got into it, ‘twould have broken your leg.”

What a contrast between the outside and the inside of the house, where Elizabeth Griffin held undisputed sway! Silver was not brighter than the pewter on the shelves, and white as the snow flake were dressers and the nicely-sanded floor of the best room into which the visitor was ushered, where, seated in his arm-chair, was Joseph Griffin, the grandfather, a vast ruin, the great bones and cords of the old Indian-killer standing out in bold relief through the shrunken flesh.

“Father’s master hard of hearing, and his eyesight[142] has failed him a good deal,” said his son; “but otherways he’s just as bright as he ever was; knows all that’s going on, and all the young folks.”

“Father,” he shouted, as they entered the room, “here’s Mr. Goodhue, come to see you.”

“Glad to see him; give him a cheer.”

“Good morning, Mr. Griffin,” said the minister, placing his chair close to the old gentleman; “you have been spared to a great age.”

Spared! I never spared myself. I allers took the but-end of a log, and the bunt of a topsail. Nobody can say that Joe Griffin ever spared himself. Young man (Mr. Goodhue was on the wrong side of sixty), when I was of your age, I had more strength than I knew what to do with.”

“I said you had lived to a great age.”

“Yes; I’ve been here a good while. I was through the French and Indian wars. I was at the takin’ of Quebec, in ‘59, but I was too old for this last one.”

“I trust, sitting here alone so much as you do, and knowing that you are living on borrowed time, that you often think on your latter end, and endeavor to prepare for it.”


“Leetle end; leetle end of what?”

“I say, I hope you are prepared to go.”

“I don’t go anywhere; I can’t for the rheumatics, only to town meetin’, and then they put me into Isaac Murch’s wagin; before he had that, they hauled me on an ox sled.”

“I mean, I hope you are prepared to die, and meet your Maker.”

“O, die, is it? I never killed nobody (except in fair fight), and nobody ever killed me. I never abused my neighbors, or the cattle, and I think it’s everybody’s duty to live just as long as they kin. It’s an awful thing to kill yourself; when anybody has sich thoughts, they ought to put ‘em right out o’ their minds.”

“Do you think that is all the preparation you need?”

“I allers kept up good line fence, and give good weight and measure. I s’pose the less we do, the less there’s charged to us.”

Mr. Goodhue now relinquished the effort in despair; as Uncle Isaac would have said, he could find nothing to nail to. The old man had grown up, like the beasts he hunted, without culture, and could neither read nor write. But, although[144] he found great difficulty in hearing, he could talk fast enough, and however impervious to religious sentiment, was shrewd enough in other matters.

The subject which at that period most divided the opinions and agitated the minds of the people, was the state of affairs in France, and our relations to that nation. That nation having dethroned their king, and proclaimed liberty and equality, naturally expected to receive fraternal sympathy and aid from this country, and from the people whom they had aided in their recent struggle for liberty.

The members in Congress were divided in sentiment on the subject. The people at large, especially the mercantile portion of the community (who were very much embittered against England on account of the impressment of seamen and the right of search), felt that the movement in France was resistance to arbitrary power, a struggle for self-government against oppression, and a mere carrying out of the principles of our own revolution, that we owed it to the cause of liberty, and were obligated in gratitude to aid them to the extent of entering into an offensive and defensive alliance, and declaring war with[145] Great Britain. The party espousing these sentiments was large and influential, and a strong pressure was brought to bear upon the administration. To complicate matters still more, Genet, the French minister, a hot-headed, overbearing man, appealed to the prejudices and sympathies of the people, and, without the sanction or knowledge of the government, attempted to raise men and arms, and fit out privateers to prey on British commerce, and sell their prizes in American ports.

On the other hand, Washington, and those of cooler heads and calmer judgment, shocked at the excesses of the French revolution, and having no confidence in the capacity of the French people for self-government, were as resolutely opposed to any interference. Old Mr. Griffin, in opposition to his son and the great majority of his neighbors, was of the latter party, and Mr. Goodhue was of the same opinion.

“What’s that rapscallion’s name, parson, that’s come over here, and is kickin’ up sich a dust, and tryin’ to get us into a quarrel with the old country?”

“Genet, the French minister,” replied Mr. Goodhue, rejoiced at the introduction of a topic[146] in respect to which their sympathies were in unison.

“A minister goin’ about tryin’ to stir up people agin their government, and to git up a war!”

“He’s not a minister of the gospel, but a sort of ambassador.”

“Wal, I wish my eye was as quick and my hand as steady as ‘twas once, and I had him within range of my rifle; I’d put an eend to his trampin’;” at the same time striking his cane violently on the floor. Captain Rhines was here t’other day, settin’ right where you set, and sayin’ we never should got our liberty, if’t hadn’t been for them are French; that one good turn deserved another; and all that. I ups and tells him, I does, says I, the French waited till they see how the cat was goin’ to jump, and that we were like to wear the old bull-dog out, and then comes in to bet on the winnin’ horse. I telled him the French were well enough, but it wasn’t so much for any love to us they come; England had took Canada, and robbed ‘em of their colonies, and now they wanted to pay her in her own coin, and help us get clear on ‘em; they’ll eny time send over troops to help the Irish when they undertake to rise.”


“I think you are right in that, Mr. Griffin.”

“If we should go into war with England now, it would make an eend of our leetle commerce; but if we go on as we’ve begun, in a few years we shall be able to fight our own battles, no thanks to eny on ‘em.”

“I’m perfectly willing to abide by the judgment of General Washington, Hamilton, and those who have carried us thus far. I believe Washington was raised up and divinely appointed to carry us through the revolutionary war, as evidently as Moses was to lead the children of Israel to the promised land.”

“That’s the talk, parson. I don’t know enything ‘bout Moses, and them old characters, but I know ‘bout Gineral Washington, cause I fought under him, when he was kernel; yes, I go in for the old horse that never balked at the steepest hill, but allus pulled, whether the load went, or whether other horses pulled or not.”

“Yes, my old friend, the heart of the country rests safely on Washington.”

“Then, parson, he’s a prayin’ man. Isaac Murch told me that; he said, that winter at Valley Forge, when the soldiers were barefoot, and suffered[148] so much, there was an hour at noon when he couldn’t be seen; if an express came, he wouldn’t be disturbed; it was allers thought and said among the men, that he was at prayer. I allers thought them are the sort of men to foller.”

“Certainly; because in following them we may hope for the aid of Him by whom they are guided.”

“There’s a great many in this place, parson, if you allow that there’s any good thing in an Englishman, cry out, ‘Tory’!”

“That’s too much the case, I know.”

“I don’t want to swaller an Englishman whole. I know they press our seamen, and are overbearin’; but, then, they press their own likewise, take a man from his own doorstep; but ‘tain’t the people, it’s the government, does that. They say this new man that’s come up—What’s his name?”


“That he’s goin’ to lick the English into shoe-strings.”

“Then he’ll do what has not been done for the last two hundred years.”

“I tell you it ain’t in ‘em, parson; it’ ain’t in the men that live on frogs and soup to lick the men that eat beef and pork, I don’t care who[149] they’re led by. When I was payin’ for my place, I follered the sea a good deal. I have been in English ports and French ports; fought side by side with Englishmen, and aginst Frenchmen; and I don’t care who knows it, I like an Englishman better’n a Frenchman eny day. When it’s good weather at sea, and everything goin’ well, an Englishman is a grouty chap; he’ll growl at the wind, the ship, the grub, and the usage; but let there come a gale of wind, a raal tryin’ time, the lee riggin’ hangin’ in bights, men three or four hours on a yard tryin’ to smother a sail, or the ship sprung a leak and like to go down, I tell you, John Bull is there. The harder it blows, the blacker it looks, and the tougher it comes, the higher his spirit rises; then they’re a Protestant people, and that’s a thing goes a good ways with me.”

Our readers may suspect that the old gentleman was not so obtuse in relation to religious matters as he appeared; an idea of this kind seemed to cross the mind of Mr. Goodhue, for he instantly attempted to introduce a religious conversation; but the old man shrunk from it as speedily as a turtle draws his head into the shell when apprehensive of danger.


When Edmund Griffin returned to the kitchen, he said, “Come, wife, ain’t you going to do something? There ain’t a speck of fire on the hearth.”

“What of that? I’ve got baked beans, brown bread, pies, and an Indian pudding in the oven, and I must put this cheese in press.”

Baked beans! I want to kill some chickens, make a smother, and give the old gentleman a good tuck out.”

“Well, then, make me up a fire; the boys are all in the field.”

He brought in a great log, and threw it on the hearth; then, bringing in a huge armful of wood, the moment he was inside the door, let drive right into the middle of the room, at the same time kicking the door to with his feet. Proceeding to put on the log, instead of using the great kitchen shovel to rake forward the ashes from the back, he put in his foot, and, after scraping out a hole, flung on the log with such force that the coals and ashes flew all over the room.

“Edmund, what a splutter you do make! Do go and get the chickens. I had rather make two fires than clean up after you.”

Taking the mare’s bridle on his arm, he put[151] her in the barn; returning with the bridle in one hand, and a dish of corn in the other, he threw it among the fowls; as they were busily eating, he brought down the bridle on the flock with such force as to prostrate half a dozen, and picking them up, cut off their heads, and soon transferred them to the kitchen table.

“Why, Edmund,” cried his wife, looking them over, “what a careless creature you are! Half of these are old hens; and, as sure as I live, you’ve killed Winthrop’s setting hen. She was just ready to hatch. He will cry his eyes out. I do wish I’d gone myself; the chickens are all lost, and we shall have to throw the hen away. She’s all skin and bone.”

“Never mind, wife; the boy can set another. Have you got everything you want now?”

“No. I want you to wash yourself, and put on a clean shirt and clothes. They’re on the bed.”

“What’s the use, wife? I’m well enough.”

“I tell you, you shan’t come to dinner looking so!” she exclaimed, pushing him into the bedroom, and pulling the skein of yarn from his waist.

With a groan he obeyed, and, making him sit[152] down on the edge of the bed, she combed out his cue, and tied it up with a black ribbon, instead of the eel-skin.

Mr. Goodhue, who had a large family of his own, was very fond of children, and it was a curious sight to see Winthrop Griffin tugging the stately old minister by the hand, to see his fowl and playthings, his tame crow, and the woodchuck he had caught. The good man also sincerely sympathized with him respecting the loss of his hen and expected brood of chickens.

Mrs. Griffin would have persuaded the minister to lie down after dinner; but as the boys were going to work in the field, he wished to read the Scriptures and have prayers before they went away, it being his constant custom. The parents and children all listened with the greatest respect and attention, but all attempts to engage the seniors in conversation of a religious nature were useless.

After the evening meal, when Parson Goodhue prepared to depart, Dapple, true to her instincts, was found in a chamber over the stable where Griffin kept grain. She had gone up a flight of stairs, but all attempts to induce her to go down by the same were unavailing.


“Look here, parson,” said Edmund; “let me knock her on the head, and take her for wolf bait—there’s a bounty on wolves,—and I’ll give you my roan colt, that’s worth a dozen of her.”

But Mr. Goodhue entreated for the life of his beast. Griffin, then putting a great pile of hay on the stable floor beneath, took up the boards of the floor above, and forced her to jump down.

“What a strange family,” said the good man to himself as he returned, his saddle-bags stuffed to their utmost extent. “I would be content with less respect and kindness shown to myself if they would only manifest some respect for my Master. How sad to see that old man so thoughtless! Well, the children are different. Joe is a good man,—there is certainly encouragement there,—and Walter takes after his mother; if she was anywhere else, she would be different.”

In the course of the autumn, Dapple ended her eventful life; in trying to get over a fence with the fetters on, she got cast, and beat herself to death, thus dying as she had lived. Two days after, the parson, on going to his barn to feed his cattle, found a noble-looking roan horse in Dapple’s stall, a present from Edmund Griffin.


In this slight glance at the Griffins, we have seen where the hard streak came from. That old grandfather’s was gradually diluted as it mingled with other and more kindly blood, till in Walter rudeness had become attempered to firmness, and nothing more.




IT was an overcast night; there was no moon; the stars were bright overhead, but around the edge of the horizon they were obscured by thin clouds, through which a star occasionally shone.

The brigantine, with all sail set, was running in for the land, the dark outline of which could be dimly seen in the distance. The French had put out the light on Planier Island, and removed all the buoys from the shoals and reefs, that they might not be of advantage to the enemy; but the lights of the English frigate could be seen far ahead, as she also stood in for the land, her commander not dreaming he was followed by the vessel, so nearly his prize, and which he supposed effectually frightened from that locality.


“It would have been a very valuable prize to us, could we have taken her,” said the captain of the frigate to his lieutenant; (”and at one time I thought she was ours,) not merely as far as the value of her cargo was concerned; but we could have put a few guns aboard of her, and a crew, and she is so fast she would have taken everything on the coast; our prize-money would soon have amounted to something very handsome.”

“Where did the Yankees learn to build such vessels? Before the war they couldn’t make their own mouse-traps.”

“It was the war taught them; they wanted privateers to prey on our merchantmen and supply ships. They wanted sharp vessels to run into neutral ports, and escape our frigates, and they built them. Since they set up for themselves, they make rigging and duck, roll iron, and forge anchors, and there’s no telling where they will stop.”

“We may catch her yet, if we could get her before the wind, where she could not run into shoal water, or have the good fortune to come across her in a calm.”

“He’ll not come here again; he’s run too great[157] a risk. He will be more likely to try Toulon; perhaps go round into the Bay of Biscay, to some of the ports on the other side.”

The wind, which had blown very fresh all through the afternoon and first part of the night, had moderated to a good working breeze.

As the watch on board the brigantine that brought twelve o’clock came on deck, a large rock was discovered right ahead; the topsail was hove to the mast, and the vessel became stationary. The captain, calling the whole crew aft, said to them, “Boys, I want to put a man on that rock, to watch this frigate and the sixty-four, see which way they stand in the morning, and where they go; also to look into the roadstead, and see what vessels are there, and how they lie; in short, to keep himself concealed, and get all the information he can. To-morrow night I’ll run in, and take him off. Who’ll volunteer?”

Before the words were fairly out of his mouth, or any other could reply, Walter Griffin exclaimed, “I will go, sir.”

Peterson had from Walter’s childhood cherished a great affection for him, and Walter loved the black with all his heart. It was at first[158] a childhood liking (as children care very little about color), which increased as he grew older; and Peterson, by reforming his habits, became deserving of respect.

Peterson was not merely a finished sailor and first-rate calker, but was also exceedingly ingenious in making kites, windmills, boats, sleds, carts, squirts, popguns, sawyers, and all those things that children and boys want; and no one but Uncle Isaac could equal him in the manufacture of bows and arrows.

Peterson lived not far from Walter’s father. Every leisure day Walter was there; everything he wanted Peterson made, and, as he outgrew kites and bows, instructed him in wrestling, making sailor knots, and built him a skiff; when, therefore, he came to be shipmate with him, he felt that the boy was in a manner committed to him, and under his protection, and instantly interfered.

“Massa cap’n, dat boy no fit to go; he too young; s’pose come gale ob wind; vessel driben to sea; no get him off long time; boy be frightened, die, p’rhaps starve. Hab to show hisself; den English man-o’-war take him; nebber see his farder or mudder no more. Boy no ‘sperience to know what to look for; me go, meself.”


Walter, however, insisted upon going; he had a right to go; the captain called for volunteers, and he had volunteered, and was going.

“But you too young, chile, for such ting.”

Young,” replied Walter, in high dudgeon; “I shipped before the mast, and have a man’s wages, and can steer my trick, and do my duty.”

“I can’t do without you, pilot,” said the captain.

Several others had also intended to volunteer, and now came forward; but Walter had been too quick for them, and claimed his right.

“Captain,” said Fred Williams, as he took leave of Arthur Brown, “you’ll find one of our young men aboard, Walter Griffin (he’s not much more than a boy, but he’s a choice one); I know him through and through. He never should have left me if I could have helped it; but he seems one of those made to go to sea. Put him anywhere, trust him with any matter, and he will give a good account of himself. You will find him better, on an emergency, than many older persons; for he belongs to an iron-sided race, and what he lacks in experience he will make up in mother wit.”

All that the captain had seen of Walter went to corroborate Fred’s statement, and he determined to try him.


Little Ned now besought the captain to permit him to share the adventure with Walter, but he refused, telling him he had promised his mother not to expose him unnecessarily; that one was enough, and two would be more likely to attract attention.

Ned turned away, with a tear in his eye, and walked forward. Flinging his arms round his friend’s neck, he said, “He won’t let me go, Walter. It’s too bad; we might have such a good time!”

The boat was manned, and beef, bread, water, and raw pork put into her. The raw pork was in addition, as that could, on occasion, be eaten raw; and if the vessel should be blown off the coast, he might be left there a good while, and no fire could be made to cook, without attracting notice.

The captain, after giving him his instructions, put into his hands a spy-glass. “There,” said he, “is a glass with which you can read letters three inches long a mile away.” He then shook hands with him at the side, bidding him take care of himself, and keep a bright lookout, while the tender-hearted black fairly shed tears.

“Look out for de man-o’-war, sonnie. S’pose he[161] ketch you, Peterson chase you all ober de world but he git you.”

“Good by, dear Walter,” cried Ned, throwing his arms around his friend’s neck, as he stood up in the stern sheets to step on the rock.

“Good by, Ned,” said Walter, returning the embrace.

The provision and water were landed, and the boat pulled rapidly away. Walter sat down upon the rock, listening to the sound of the oars in the rowlocks, and watching the phosphorescence of the water as it flashed on their blades. All these tokens of departure, of little moment on ordinary occasions, now possessed not a little interest. He marked the ring of the iron, as the hook of the davit-fall went into the ring-bolt, and heard the man say, “Hoist away,” the creak of the blocks, and the slat of the canvas, as the sails filled, then the low, rushing sound of the vessel’s bow as it parted the water. It was a lonely moment to the brave boy, when the last low sound betokening companionship was lost in the dash of midnight waves, the gleam of her white canvas faded from his view, and he was left on the wild rock alone. He had never been taught to breathe a petition for[162] protection, or to depend upon aught but himself. His conversation with Charlie by the brook constituted the only appeal of a religious nature ever made to his heart.

He knew not the nature or extent of the rock on which he had been so unceremoniously deposited, and, clambering up to where he was above the flow of the tide, placed his provisions beside him, and determined to keep watch till the day broke, that he might have time to examine the place before he could be observed from any passing boat or vessel. Fearing, if he went to sleep, he might sleep too long, and finding a flat place on the rock, he paced back and forth, to keep himself awake.

Little Ned, feeling very lonely in the absence of his watch-mate, attached himself to Peterson, between whom and Walter there was such a good understanding, in order that he might talk about Walter, Pleasant Cove, the Griffins, and all the people and boys he had become acquainted with there.

The rock on which Walter was placed might have been, at low water, half an acre in extent, and irregular in its form, the eastern end rising[163] in a high bluff, with deep water around and close to it; but the western end sloped into long, ragged ridges, honeycombed by the everlasting dash of surf, and terminating in long reefs, upon which the sea broke with a continuous roar. Between these ridges were openings or coves, quite wide at the extremities of the reefs, shoaling and narrowing as they ran up into the main portion of the rock, in such a manner that it was easy to enter them in a boat between the breaking points, and land, in good weather, with perfect safety.

The heads of these coves were filled with those materials the sea usually flings up—sea-weeds, shells, barrel staves, chips, planks, and broken pieces of vessels.

On the eastern end of the rock was a patch of turf extending from the edge of the bold cliffs along the heads of the coves, covered with bushes and scrub trees, dwarfed by the sea winds, and thickly matted together.

The sun had risen clear, bringing with it a moderate easterly breeze. The English frigate before referred to is passing within musket shot of the eastern extremity of the rock. A close observer might have noticed the branches of a pine bush[164] move in a direction opposite to the wind, and in a few moments the head of a man is cautiously thrust through the branches. It is Walter Griffin. He watches with keen eyes the course of the man-o’-war, and, as she increases the distance between them, crawls to the shelter of a ledge, and, resting his glass over it, watches her till she disappears from view. From his position he can command a view of the roadstead, the men-of-war lying at anchor in it, the forts, and the entrance to the port.

At the head of one of the coves, in which there was a little beach of white sand, a portion of the stern frame of a vessel had, by the conjunction of a high tide and a gale of wind, been flung high on the rocks, extending from one side to the other, leaving a space of several feet between it and the beach. Here Walter had bestowed his water and food.

Having made all the observation possible, he retired to this place, and, with some dry sea-weed for a bed, lay down for a nap, as he had been up the entire night.

When he awoke, he espied a French fisherman, fishing among the kelp for rock-fish. Looking[165] cautiously around, to be sure that no vessel was in sight, he, after a while, succeeded in attracting his attention, and prevailing upon him to row into one of the passages between the rocks, where he met him.

“Who are you?” asked the fisherman, resting upon his oars, and surprised to be addressed in his own language by one who, he perceived, was of another nation.

“An American.”

“Have you run away from the man-o’-war?” asked the Frenchman, taking him for some impressed American seaman, who had swum off from a British vessel.

“No; I was put ashore here last night from an American vessel, that is trying to run the blockade, to watch the fleet; she will stand in for the land again to-night.”

“The vessel they were chasing yesterday?”


“We thought you were gone.”

“We thought so ourselves, till the wind came.”

“Men sometimes swim ashore from the fleet. I thought you had swam to the rock. I’ve got an Englishman in my house now who ran away a week ago.”


“Why don’t they take you prisoner?”

“They don’t trouble the fishermen, and when they want fish, they pay for them; but our vessels and the Spaniards take ‘em without thanks or money.”

“What time in the day is it?”

“By the tide, about eleven o’clock.”

“Could you take me ashore in your boat, so that I could have a good look at the fleet and harbor, and see the Englishman you spoke of, and bring me back after dark?”

“I can take you ashore well enough, but bringing you back is another matter; the English have boats rowing around the roadstead in the night; if they saw me going out after dark, they would suspect something, and stop me.”

“I would give a good deal to get inside the roadstead, and to see that deserter.”

“I’ll do all I can to help you. I’ll take you along shore to one of the creeks where there is no watch kept, and set you off from there.”

The Frenchman made Walter lie down in the bottom of the boat, covered him with sea-weed, and flung fish over him; he then put up his sail, and steered boldly into the roadstead. As he[167] passed one of the English ships, he was hailed and asked for a mess of fish; he went alongside, and flung the fish on the grating of the side ladder, and receiving his money, kept on.

“If they had known who was under these fish,” said the fisherman to Walter, pulling the sea-weed off from him, as they came under the guns of the French castle, “it would have put an end to my fishing.”

He now conducted Walter to the observatory, situated on very high ground, in which was a powerful telescope, and from which he could track the frigate and sloop of war as they ran along the coast, and see perfectly the position of the ships in the roadstead. He found the flag-ship lay the farthest in, just out of range of the forts, and so moored as to completely command the channel. Having taken careful note of all these things, and made a rough draft on paper, he went to the fisherman’s house, where he found the English sailor, who informed him of many particulars that were important, and among other things, that a supply ship was daily expected on the coast and was eagerly looked for, as provisions were growing short in the fleet.


“What is her name?” asked Walter.

“The Severn.”

“Where has that frigate probably gone?”

“To Toulon.”

“And the sixty-four?”

“Round the other side, to carry despatches.”

“How big is the flag-ship?”

“A hundred guns.”

“Do they keep a keen lookout?”

“Yes; it is no use to try to run by her at night; she wouldn’t leave you a stick to do it with.”




IT was nearly one o’clock at night, when the brigantine hove to, off the rock, a boat put off, and the sharp voice of Ned, crying, “Are you there, Walter?” came over the waves. But it was now blowing fresh, the sky obscured by clouds, and no possibility of landing on the rock, which was white with foam, it being so small that the sea ran all round it. The boat, pulled by men who had been all their lives brought up among the surf, and accustomed to working around breakers, was backed in within two seas of the rock, and held there by the oars, while she stood almost on end.

“Now, shipmate,” said Danforth Eaton, standing up in the stern sheets, with a coil of rope in his hand, “look out for the line, and jump for it.”

Walter caught the line, and making it fast round his waist, flung himself into the surf, and was[170] hauled aboard, where he was joyfully received by Ned, to whom one day and a portion of two nights had seemed a week.

When the young captain had received Walter’s information, he complimented him very much for the shrewdness he had manifested; and as all were equally interested (the profits of the voyage being divided in this manner, the vessel, that is, the owners, drew a certain proportion, the captain, mates, and crew another, according to their rank), he spread the whole matter before the ship’s company.

Said the young captain to his crew, “The wind is fair, and plenty of it; the tide also is with us, and sets up the harbor; we should go like a shot; the frigate and sixty-four are out of the way; there is no moon, and it is overcast; if they fire at us, they will have to fire by guess, for they can’t sight over the black cannon; probably we shall not have so many things in our favor again. I am in for trying it to-night; but I want your opinions, for we must run the risk of their broadsides.”

“I reckon,” said Danforth Eaton, “that when we shipped aboard this craft, we knew what we had to kalkerlate on; we expect to get our profit out of our risk; I’m for trying it now.”


His opinion being assented to by the crew, the brigantine, with a spanking breeze and every sail set, was steered directly for the roadstead, a little over two miles distant. It seemed but a moment, so rapid was her progress, before the high lands of Marseilles were throwing their shadows before her path. Walter acting as second mate, his station was in his watch on deck, aft. He, however, still shared Ned’s berth, as the second mate was sick in his own. It was now his watch below; but in the present circumstances, no one felt any inclination to sleep, and he was, with all the rest of the crew, forward. At such a time, it is natural for those most acquainted to get together, and the men were divided into little knots, conversing in low tones. Walter, Enoch Hadlock, and Ben Peterson, having been schoolmates, and grown up together, formed one group, with Ned nestled close to the side of Walter.

“Walter,” said Ben, “do you expect, if we make the run, and a heap of money, to have the second mate’s share, while he’s off duty?”

“No, indeed; I have no right to it. He can’t help having a carbuncle. I wouldn’t take it if it was offered me. I wouldn’t be so mean.”


“But if you’re doing second mate’s duty—”

“The honor pays for that.”

“Perhaps you think it is a stepping-stone. I hope it is.”

“I don’t know about that.”

“We shall soon see what our young captain is made of,” said Eaton, as the dark hull and long masts of the ship of the line began to appear; “I only wish we were well through it.”

A man-o’-war cutter was now seen on the lee bow.

“What ship is that?” was the hail.

“The Severn, supply.”

Thus boats and ships were passed, the night being too dark, and the brigantine going too quick to admit of a close scrutiny. The name of the expected store-ship being given, also completely disarmed suspicion. They were now rapidly nearing the flag-ship, of a hundred guns—the last and most fearful ordeal. A death-like stillness now pervaded the brigantine, broken only by the rushing of the vessel through the water, the straining of the cordage, and the moan of the wind through the rigging.

“Walter,” whispered Ned, “do you feel afraid?”


“No, Ned; do you?”

“I guess not; but I feel as I never did before. I wish we were doing something, and it was not so dreadfully still,” said the boy, putting his arm round his companion’s waist, as they sat side by side on the windlass, gazing through the darkness at the lights of the man-of-war. “Kiss me, Walter.”

He put his arms round his friend, and pressed his lips to his cheek. So dark was the night now grown, and so rapid the passage of the vessel, that the stern lights of the ship bore over the cat-head of the brigantine.

The young captain now took the helm, when a hail came from the ship that thrilled the blood of every man on board.

“What ship is that? Reply, or I’ll sink you.”

“The Severn, store vessel.”

The ports of the man-of-war were triced up, and by the gleam of the battle lantern, the gunners could be seen standing by their pieces.

“Ay, ay. Come to, under the stern, and report on board at six o’clock in the morning.”

“Ay, ay,” was the reply; and “Hard a-lee! Haul aft the main sheet!” were shouted, in loud tones, on board the brigantine.


The officer of the deck, who could distinguish nothing, hearing these orders, was for an instant deceived—an instant that was the salvation of the brigantine, going twelve knots under the combined force of wind and tide. Perceiving immediately that it was a ruse, he gave orders to fire. The horizon was lit up by the flash of guns, and the midnight stillness broken by the roar of cannon. But so well had the brigantine improved her opportunity, that but one or two of the forward guns were brought to bear on her.

As the iron shower came hurtling on, and passed, a groan was heard near the foot of the main-mast. It came from little Ned, who was struck as he came aft with an order from the pilot.

“Bear it like a man, Neddie,” cried Walter, as he held him in his arms. “Are you hurt much?”

“Yes, bad, Walter.” And he fainted.

“Take care of him,” said the captain, “till the vessel is brought to.”

For a few moments every one was exerting himself to the utmost, in order to bring the vessel, under such a press of sail, to anchor under the guns of the castle of St. Nicolas.

She was somewhat disabled, a round shot having[175] cut off her main boom at the jaws to such an extent that it broke and fell on deck, carrying away the rail. Several shot had passed through the sails and bulwarks, one had cut off the tiller-head, and the mate had received a wound in the leg; so that the attention of the captain was fully occupied in taking care of the vessel.

During this period, which, though really but a short time, seemed an age to Walter, he sat with his back against the main-mast, his arms around Neddie’s waist, and felt the warm blood oozing slowly through his fingers.

The artillery now began to thunder from the castle at the boats of the fleet, which, enraged at the audacity and success of the enterprise, endeavored to follow and cut out the brigantine, but, finding the enemy aware of their designs, relinquished it.

A boat was immediately sent to the castle for a surgeon, who, having restored Ned by stimulants, proceeded to examine his hurts, and ascertained that he had received a severe flesh wound in the thigh from a splinter, parts of which still remained in the wound. He had also received a musket ball in the groin, which, passing round the body[176] without breaking the bone, could be felt in the flesh of the back, near the spine. Being just beneath the skin, he pronounced neither of the wounds mortal.

“Thank God for that!” exclaimed the captain.

The surgeon wished to fasten him to the cabin table while he performed the operation; but Ned resisted this, declaring he could bear it if the captain would stand beside him, and Walter would hold his hand. The extraction of the splinters was more painful than even the cutting for the ball; but the little fellow bore it all with firmness, scarcely uttering a groan, and without aid from any of the means now in use to produce insensibility, they being at that period unknown.

“Didn’t I bear it like a man, Walter?” asked Ned, when the operation was over.

“Bravely,” answered Walter.

The captain would not send Ned to the hospital, but hired a room for him in the house of Jacques Bernoux, the fisherman whose acquaintance Walter made on the rock, and sent Walter and Peterson alternately to take care of him, going daily himself to see him.

Ned, who was as sweet-tempered as ambitious,[177] had always been the pet of the crew, most of whom he had known while at Pleasant Cove; they were, therefore, always ready to watch of a night whenever needed, and there were so many of them that the duty was not at all burdensome.

Boys of Ned’s age learn a language with great rapidity, and he soon began to pick up words, and talk with the people of the house. Nothing could exceed the kindness of Peterson to the little wounded fellow. He was so strong he could lift him easily, and, as he gradually recovered, made him many little messes (being a skillful cook) that were very grateful to the convalescent. Ned began to love his black friend dearly, and always called him James.

To the surprise of all but the surgeon, Ned recovered a great deal faster than the first mate, Mr. Rogers, who was only wounded in the leg, the ball passing through. The wound continued to run, and seemed as if it never would heal, while Ned could walk across the floor with the aid of Walter.

One day Ned was sitting in a chair, propped up with pillows, and eating, with the greatest[178] relish, a nice breakfast Peterson had prepared for him. “James,” said he, laying down his knife and fork, “I’m glad I was wounded.”

“Glad you wounded! Glad you hab so much pain, be sick so long, make de cap’n so much trouble, all ob us feel bad! Nebber hear sich ting afore.”

“I didn’t mean I was glad of that, or that I should want to be wounded again; but I’m glad, now it’s over, I’ve been through it.”

“I know what you tink; you tink, when you git home to Salem, farder, mudder so glad cause you wasn’t killed; den, when you walks in de street, all de people say, ‘Dere Ned Gates; he one smart boy; he been shipwrecked, almost starve on a raft; been wounded two times runnin’ de blockade; see what dat boy been through.’ Den all de boys dey open dere eyes wide and stare, say notin’.”

“That is it, James. I have been through a good deal—haven’t I, for a boy no older than I am?”

“Dat de Lord; he carry you through dat cause you good boy.”

“I ain’t a very good boy, James.”


“What de reason? Cap’n say you good boy, mate say you good boy, eberybody say so.”

The brigantine, as she lay under the guns of the fort, was recognized by the officers of the blockading fleet as the vessel they had chased, and so nearly taken, and they determined she should not escape them a second time, therefore kept incessant watch.

The roadstead of Marseilles is exposed to severe gales, during which, the blockading fleet were compelled to run to sea. The captain of the brigantine had made too much money to run any unnecessary risk in getting home; he, therefore, determined to wait for a gale of wind that should drive his antagonists to sea, before he attempted to run out. This gave time for Ned to recover sufficiently to go in the vessel. As the mate, Mr. Rogers, was not well enough to do duty, Walter was put in his place, which offended the second mate very much, who thought, and said to the captain, that the place belonged to him; to which the captain replied, that Griffin had run some risk in volunteering to go on the rock; that it was principally, if not entirely, due to his shrewdness in getting hold of the fisherman, and obtaining[180] the information he did from the English sailor, that their adventure succeeded, and they were not sunk by the man-of-war. He therefore considered promotion no more than a suitable reward, especially as the second mate, though a good seaman, was not a navigator. Thus Walter experienced at the outset the benefit of knowledge, as well as of pluck and principle.




IT was a glad day to Ned, when he had so far recovered that the surgeon, yielding to his solicitations, told him he might go on board the vessel, spend most of the day, and come back at night.

The fisherman’s house was not far from the pier. Walter and Peterson made a chair, by taking hold of each other’s wrists, and Ned, seated on it, with an arm round each of their necks, was taken on board.

The weather was warm, and some blankets from Walter’s berth were spread on the hen-coop, and a pillow placed so that Ned could lie down or sit up, as he chose, see what was going on, and chat with his shipmates, who were all rejoiced to see him on board again. Peterson prepared his dinner, but Ned wanted to eat with the rest, it[182] seemed so much more sociable, having been compelled for so long a time to eat alone.

It was just after dinner; Ned was sitting, propped up with pillows, the captain seated near by, watching him, when he noticed an old man, apparently over sixty years of age, in seaman’s dress, coming along the gangway plank. His hair, where it came outside his tarpaulin, was gray; he stooped very much, appearing feeble, and bore on his back a large number of articles manufactured of willows, and strung together by a cord.

Approaching the captain, he deposited the bundle on the deck, evidently much fatigued, and asked, in English, if he would like to buy any of his work—market-baskets, knife-baskets, table-mats, ladies’ work-baskets, and many articles, merely ornamental, of superior workmanship and most beautifully stained.

There was something in his whole demeanor that was both modest and prepossessing—quite the reverse of street-venders in general.

“There,” said he, “is a market-basket that would be very handy on board ship; and here,”—producing a basket nearly square, and with partings in it for tumblers,—“is an article that would[183] be very convenient on a cabin table, or in a ship’s pantry. Many of my articles are made for vessels’ use, as I deal much with seafaring men.”

Arthur Brown, who was of quick sympathies, was interested in the old gentleman, and touched by seeing a man of his years, apparently infirm, thus employed, felt inclined to converse, especially as he spoke English.

“This is beautiful work,” he observed. “I have seen a great deal of it in England and Germany, where excellent work is made, but never any superior to this. You are surely master of your business.”

“I should be, considering I have been at it for the greater part of my life since I was twelve years old, and we have no knowledge that any of our ancestors were ever anything but weavers of sallies,—that’s what we call the rods the baskets are made of.”

“You seem infirm. Have you been sick?”

“No, captain; I am worn down with wounds and hardships, but, most of all, with a sore heart.”

“Then you’ve been a soldier?”

“No, sir; a sailor. I was born in Lincolnshire, England, in the fens. There my forefathers all[184] lived and followed their trade. A happier man, sir, the sun never shone upon than myself. I had an affectionate wife,—a right godly woman, and thrifty,—and three children. I employed four, sometimes five men. My oldest child was a boy. He worked in the shop. We paid our rent easy, and were getting along nicely, when, in the midst of all this happiness, I was pressed, torn from my family, and put aboard a hulk. Wouldn’t you think, sir, that would break a man down?”

“I should, indeed, my friend,” replied Captain Brown, greatly moved, “and I feel for you, from the bottom of my heart.”

The tears were running down little Ned’s cheeks as he sat propped up on the hen-coop.

“It must have been long ago,” continued the captain.

“Not so very long, sir. Only about ten years.”


“How old might you take me to be, sir?”

“Sixty, or thereabouts.”

“I am but forty-seven. Ought to be in my prime. But O, sir, to have a wife and family, and be forever separated from them, in a strange land, and not know whether they are dead or alive, or[185] whether they are in distress or not,—only to know that they are dead to you, and you to them,—it keeps gnawing at the heart-strings.”

“It must, indeed. But how did you get clear from the navy?”

“It was near the close of the American war. The frigate I belonged to was in action with a French seventy-four. I was wounded and flung overboard for dead. The cold water revived me, and I clung to the wreck of our spars, which were shot away. The French vessel won the battle, being a much heavier ship. I was picked up, brought ashore at Toulon, and lay a long time in the hospital, wishing for death; but I recovered, and since then have, though feeble, made a living by my trade. The people here are very kind.”

“What is your name, my friend?”

“Bell—John Bell, sir.”

“Why, that is the name of the man who built this vessel, and is part owner.”

“Indeed, sir, I hope he is a happier man than I am.”

“He is a happy man, and deserves to be, for he tries to make others happy.”

The captain bought a good many articles of the[186] basket-maker, and then sent him forward among the crew, who purchased so largely that there remained but very little to carry away. Peterson bought a work-basket for Captain Rhines’s wife, and Enoch Hadlock another for old Mrs. Yelf.

Walter was away, for, as he could speak French, the captain had sent him to make some purchases for him. Walter, indeed, had plenty of business in this way, being spokesman for all hands.

The captain insisted upon the basket-maker stopping to supper; but something in his appearance prevented him from offering him money as a gift,—he felt it might wound his feelings,—but he gave him a cordial invitation to come on board and eat or sleep, whenever his business led him in that direction. The next night, when Walter went over to see Ned, he mentioned the circumstance of the basket-maker’s coming on board, showed him his purchases, and told him he was an Englishman, and that his name was Bell. This excited Walter’s curiosity. He inquired further about it, and Ned, who had been deeply touched by the man’s pitiful story, repeated the whole conversation between him and the captain, word for word. When he concluded, Walter sat for a few[187] moments, with his hands clasped over his knees, as though striving to recall something.

At length he said, “Ned Gates, as sure as you are lying on that bed, the basket-maker is our Charlie Bell’s father.”

“Charlie Bell’s father?” said Ned, sitting bolt upright, and then screaming at the twinge the effort occasioned, because of his wound.

“Yes, Charlie Bell’s father.”

“But the man is an Englishman.”

“So is Charlie Bell.”

“I never knew that before.”

“He was an English boy; came to Elm Island as poor as he could be, with some bad men,—but he didn’t know they were bad when he started,—that came to rob; but they came to the wrong place, for Lion Ben most killed ‘em, kept the boy, and brought him up. I’ve heard our Joe and Mr. Williams tell about it a thousand times.”

“What if it should turn out to be so?”

“I tell you it is so; I’m certain sure it is. His father was a basket-maker, and was pressed; I heard Mr. Williams say so; and when they were boys, Charlie, Mr. Bell, and John Rhines used to make baskets, and Mr. Williams sold ‘em at the mill;[188] and when I first went to tend store for him, there were some of ‘em in the store.”

“If your Joe or Mr. Williams were only here, we could ask them, and know all about it.”

“Yes, Joe, they said, used to live on Elm Island half the time before he was married. I remember another thing Joe said.”

“What is that?”

“He said he made baskets of willows, and colored them red, blue, and green, real handsome, and said that was the way they did in England.”

“But the basket-maker said, if I remember right, that it was about ten years ago, and that his son was large enough to work in the shop at light work. O, Walter, wouldn’t I be glad, and wouldn’t the captain be glad (when Mr. Bell saved our lives), to be the means of taking his father home to him?”

“Don’t you think somebody else would be glad too, you little monkey, you?”

“The boys didn’t sleep much that night, having worked each other up to such a state of excitement. In the morning Walter went on board, full of the news, and opened the whole matter to the captain, who was as much astonished as Ned; being[189] entirely ignorant of the antecedents of Charlie, he supposed him a native of the country. After patiently listening with the deepest interest to all that Walter had to say, he acknowledged that the probabilities were very strong, but, much less sanguine, did not express a very decided opinion.

“He said he had a wife and three children,” observed the captain; “what became of them? were they ever at Elm Island?”

Walter had never heard them mentioned; but he was very young when Charlie came to Elm Island, and might not have heard half that occurred. Captain Brown turned the matter over in his mind, and conversed with Walter, who daily recollected some fresh corroborating circumstance, till at length he determined, the next time the basket-maker came on board, to broach the matter to him, even at the risk of exciting unfounded hopes. Day after day they expected his appearance; but he came not. Walter searched the streets and piers, but in vain.

The time of year now drew on when periodical gales were expected, and the vessel would be likely to go to sea.


“He may be sick, Walter,” said Ned; “for he looked pale and half sick the day he was aboard.”

“He may be dead,” said Walter; “and we never should know it, in this great city. I wish I had seen him; if he was Charlie Bell’s father, I could tell; I know I could see something of the look.”

“I saw, when he pulled his hat off,” said Ned, “that his hair, where it was not gray, is the same color as Charlie’s.”




CAPTAIN BROWN had employed Jacques Bernoux, the French fisherman, to get the spy-glass Walter had forgotten and left on the rock, and he came on board, one morning, to bring it.

“Do you know a man who goes about the piers and streets selling baskets? an old man, and an Englishman?” said Walter.

“John Bell?”

“That’s the name.”

“Yes; pass his place every day going to my boat.”

“Will you ask him to come on board the vessel to-morrow?” asked the captain.

“Yes, sir.”

Early the next morning the basket-maker made his appearance with a large burden of baskets; he had been so engaged manufacturing[192] that it kept him out of the streets—the reason that Walter couldn’t find him.

The captain, taking him into the cabin, said, “My friend, when you was here, a few days ago, you gave me some particulars of your life. This young man, Mr. Griffin, my mate, was not present; but having heard what then passed between us, he has not a doubt but that Charles Bell, who built and is part owner of this vessel, is your oldest son. As for myself, residing in another part of the country, I have no personal knowledge of the circumstances; but I must say that as related by him, they seem to me most probable. But you can hear what he has to say about it, and judge for yourself.”

While the captain was speaking, the basket-maker became very pale, trembled, and big tears rolled down his hollow cheeks.

“For the sake of Heaven, captain,” he exclaimed, “do not raise in this sad heart hopes that may have no foundation. I’ve made up my mind to endure the worst, as God shall give me strength, till I lay these bones in the grave.”

“I am the last person to do that; but I have been turning the subject over in my mind ever[193] since you were here last, and the more I reflect upon the young man’s story, the more the probability of it grows upon me.”

The basket-maker, hearing these words, made a sign to Walter, who gave him substantially the same statement he had made to Ned and the captain. The old man was deeply affected; he evidently saw strong grounds for believing the person described was his child, but was fearful of cherishing a premature hope.

“I can bear what I have borne,” he said, “but the disappointment would drive me mad. You say, young man, that you have known this person intimately?”

“Yes, sir, as well as it’s possible for one person to know another.”

“And that his name is Charles?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What’s his age?”

“I think about twenty-three.”

“My son, if living, would be twenty-three next Michaelmas. What sort of a looking man is this Charles Bell?”

“Hair, eyes, and complexion just like yours, but he is not so large a man as you are.”


“Those are the features of my boy,” replied the old man, evidently gaining confidence as he continued his inquiries.

“You say you didn’t know this Charles Bell when he first came to Elm Island, and this Mr. Rhines and his wife took him.”

“No, sir; I was too young; but I’ve heard my brother talk about it.”

“My boy,” said the old man, “was a most loving boy, very much attached to his mother. I don’t believe he would leave her and his brother and sister. You never heard him mention his parents or family—did you?”

“This Charles Bell’s mother is dead. I never heard him speak of any brother or sister.”

“How do you know his mother is dead?”

“Because, sir, he went to St. John’s two or three years ago, brought her body from there, and buried it on his place, under an elm tree—a beautiful spot. I’ve seen it a hundred times.”

The old man’s countenance fell. “It cannot be,” he said, “that my wife, with young children and small means, would leave England, and all her and my relations, and go to the colonies; and yet the time, circumstances, and personal appearance of the young man tally precisely.”


“I know it’s your son,” said Walter; “nobody can make me believe it ain’t. He looks as much like you as my two hands look alike, saving the difference in age, and his voice is like yours.”

“Do you expect to come here again, captain?”

“Yes, if we get off clear this time, and can run the gantlet. You know it is all luck and chance with us.”

“I can send a letter by you, and that will remove all doubts, and settle the whole matter.”

“But I hoped you would feel sure enough to take passage with us. You can do better in the States than here.”

“I could not bear to go over there expecting to meet a son, and be disappointed. I’m making a very good living here.”

“I think you’d better go.”

“Well, captain, I’ve about as much as I can carry at present, and am somewhat confused. I will go about my regular business the rest of the day; that will steady my mind; and perhaps I may think of some question that this young man can answer, that will throw more light on the matter; and I will be on board again in the morning.”


Resisting all solicitations to stop to dinner, the old man departed with his load.

“I know it’s his son,” said Walter, as they were eating dinner. “I feel it in my bones, and I think we ought to persuade him to go.”

“I have not much doubt,” replied the captain. “People are always emigrating from England to St. John’s and Canada. Her relatives might have gone, and taken her with them. I shall persuade him in the morning to go, if I can.”

The second mate, who was a Marblehead man, and had listened to the conversation, now inquired, “Don’t all this crew belong right there? and wouldn’t they be likely to know more about it than Mr. Griffin? Most of them are much older than he is.”

“To be sure they would,” cried Walter. “There’s Danforth Eaton helped clear Elm Island when Charlie Bell first came there; then there’s Peterson, and Enoch Hadlock,—what a ninny I was not to think of that before he went away!—there’s not one of them but knows more about his first coming there than I do.”

Leaving his dinner, Walter ran forward, and soon returned, saying that Eaton knew all about it.


When John Bell came on board the next morning, he seemed calm, collected, and much more hopeful. Sending for Eaton, the captain said to him, “Eaton, I want you to tell us all you know about Charles Bell’s coming to Elm Island, and about his parents, if you know or have heard anything about them, and I want you to begin at the bottom.”

“What I know, cap’n, isn’t hearsay, but I had it all from his own lips.”

“So much the better.”

“You see, cap’n, about that time there was some Tories come up from the provinces—”

“We know,” said the captain, interrupting him, “how he got to the island; but what we are most concerned to ascertain is, who his parents were, and how he came into the hands of those pirates (for they were no better) who brought him to Elm Island. Can you tell us anything about that?”

“Reckon I kin tell you all about it; but I must tell it in my own way. If you keep putting in and interrupting me, I shall get all mixed up.”

“Well, go on.”

“You see, arter this boy come on the island,[198] Lion Ben he hires me and Joe Griffin, the next winter, to cut spars and clear land. Charlie Bell was a little, slender, half-starved, pitiful-looking creatur’, then, but he was willing and clever, and soon begun to pick up. Most of the winter he drove the team; but along in March, when it was bad hauling, he helped me chop. I tapped a maple, to have sap to drink while I was chopping. One day we comes into the woods arter dinner, and before we went to work, sot down by the sap tree, in the sun. I sets on a stump, same as where that stool is, and he on another, same as where that old gentleman is setting. I takes a good drink of the sap, and hands the dipper to him; says I, ‘Charlie, tell me your history, or part of it, like as you did Joe and Fred Williams.’ He didn’t want ter, but I coaxed him. Then he said, the way his father come to be pressed, was all through another man, that courted his mother when she was a gal, but she liked his father better; he couldn’t give her up, and allers hild that old grudge agin his father. He said his father had agreed to work for the government, and if he had only got his name on the roll, couldn’t have been touched any more than if he had been a peer of the kingdom.[199] This feller, I forget his name—” “Robert Rankin,” said the basket-maker. “That’s it, old man, by jingo,—who thought, if he was out of the way, he could get her, after all,—told the press-gang, and they took him as he was on the road to the place where he would have been safe.”

The tears were streaming down John Bell’s cheeks, and his hands were lifted in gratitude to Heaven; but he would not interrupt Eaton by a question.

“He said, soon arter his father was gone, he was killed in an action, and his mother carried on the business for a while; but this feller kept prosecutin’ her, and wantin’ her to have him, till she couldn’t stand it any longer. So she packed up everything, and went to St. John’s, where she had a brother; but when she got there, he’d gone to furrin parts, and she took sick and died. Then the boy, destitute and wandering about the streets and docks to pick up a living, fell inter the hands of them are reprobates, thinking they were honest fishermen, and went cook for them. The rest you say you know. Good as a story-book—ain’t it?”

“Eaton,” said the captain, sternly, “this is Mr. Bell’s father.”


“His father! Then he wasn’t killed. I didn’t dream of that, or I shouldn’t have spoken like as I did. I see now he favors him.”

“Did he tell you,” asked the father, “what became of the other children?”

“I axed him if there was any more of ‘em. He said his mother’s relations took ‘em.”

There was an oppressive pause in the conversation after Eaton had gone forward. John Bell sat with his handkerchief over his face, while the others, respecting his emotions, were silent.

“No doubt, there can be none,” he said, at length, “that my poor wife is dead—God only knows what she suffered, in poverty and among strangers; that two of my children—whether alive or dead I know not—are in England, and that the other is in America. I may yet see him. I ought to be thankful for that.”

“Your son, Mr. Bell,” said the captain, “is well to do; able to provide you with every comfort; and, what is more, respected and beloved.”

“And he owns land?”

“Yes; six hundred acres.”

“That seems like a dream to me, for none of our folks ever owned a foot of land. I always loved[201] the earth, and loved to work on it, even when it was the freehold of another. I feel there may yet be some happiness in store for me.”

“You are not an old man yet, Mr. Bell,” said the captain, “and good news and good spirits will make you ten years younger; so bring all your things on board, and prepare to go with us, the first gale that scatters the blockaders.”

“I don’t suppose there is any doubt now. I know there can’t be. Still, you know a person in my situation feels they can’t be too certain; and there is just one thing more that has come to mind since I was here. I would like to ask of this young man whether he ever noticed any scar on my son’s face.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Walter; “it is on his right jaw, and close to his ear,—runs up behind the ear, into his hair.”

“Then I’ll indulge no more in doubt. It would be ungrateful. I never shall forget when he received the cut that made that scar, it frightened me so. Though it was long ago, it seems but the other day.”

“How did it happen, Mr. Bell?” asked Walter.

“I suppose you never saw any basket rods growing?”


“No, sir.”

“In England, we plant them in rows, three feet apart, and as straight as an arrow. They grow seven or eight feet high, and make a nice place for the children to play. I was cutting the sallies with a large knife, as sharp as a razor. My little children, with their cousins, who had come to see them, were playing hide-and-seek among the rows, when Charlie ran in the way of my knife, and I cut a dreadful gash in his cheek, that made that scar. And now I will leave you, and make my preparations for the voyage.”

“Not till you have taken dinner with us,” said the captain; “and, Mr. Bell, I expect you to make the vessel your home, and sleep here whenever it suits your convenience.”

“Thank you, captain. My quarters on shore are not so spacious or elegant that I should feel inclined to refuse so handsome and hearty an offer.”

When the meal was concluded, Mr. Bell went on shore.

“Only see,” said Walter, looking after him, as he went up the pier, “how quick he steps, and how much straighter he is.”


“There’s a new heart in him,” said the captain. “He’s something to live for and look forward to now. In a week’s time he’ll be another man. As far as I am concerned, I had rather carry him home, than the richest cargo. And now, Mr. Griffin, run up and tell the good news to Ned.”




NED had of late recovered rapidly, could walk quite well, and was on board the vessel very often, and went about the city some; but the doctor advised that he should not go on board the vessel to live till she was ready to sail. Ned had not seen Walter since his promotion, but Peterson had been up and informed him of it.

“Well, Ned,” said Walter, as he entered the room, “it has turned out just as I told you it would; the basket-maker is Charlie’s father, and no mistake.”

“I am so glad, Mr. Griffin! and he will go back with us—won’t he?”

“Ned, my boy, just leave that handle off, and call me Walter, as you always did. It makes me sick.”

“But you are mate now; Peterson told me so.”


“What of that? When we are on board ship, call me what you like; but not when we are alone, as we are now, you little monkey,” patting his cheek.

“We shan’t sleep together any more,” said Ned, in a desponding tone.

“No, Ned, I shall have to live aft; and that is not the worst of it; we shall now be in different watches.”

“I know it. I shall be in Mr. Baxter’s watch. And we used to have such good times in our watch on deck, talking about home, Pleasant Cove, and all the folks there. Walter, who do you like best of all the folks there, out of your own family?”

“Charlie Bell.”

“So do I, and well I might. He saved my life. Ain’t he handsome?”

“Yes; and just as good as he is handsome. A first rate wrestler—there’s none of the young ones can throw him but John Rhines and Ben Peterson.”

“What, this Ben aboard here?”


“I’m afraid, if I call you Walter all the time[206] when we are alone, that I shall forget to put the Sir on sometimes before the men.”

“If you do, I shan’t hit you on the head with a belaying pin.”

“I tell you what I could do, Walter.”


“I might swap watches with Enoch Hadlock. He is in your watch.”

“Yes, you could, but I wouldn’t.”

“Why not? Then we should be in the same watch again, and we could walk the deck, and talk, and have good times together, as we used to.”

“I’ll tell you, Ned; if you should swap watches with Hadlock, and get into my watch, it would make trouble. If I happened to give you a soft job, and somebody else a hard one, they would say I was partial—made fish of one, and flesh of another.”

“I never thought of that.”

“We shouldn’t be together any more for being in the same watch. You would be forward, and I should be aft.”

“Shouldn’t we be together when it was my trick at the helm?”

“Yes, but we couldn’t talk. It is against the[207] rules of the ship, and very unseamanlike, for an officer, or anybody, to make talk with a man at the helm. You couldn’t come aft to talk with me, and if I should go forward to talk with you, it would make growling directly, and set all the men against you.”

“I see how it is,” said Ned, sadly. “The good times are all over. There’s going to be a great, high, solid wall, reaching clear up to the sky, built right up between us.”

“O, not so bad as that, Ned. There will be cracks and chinks in it, where we can peek through, and boys must change into men some time or other.”

“I suppose so, Walter; but I wish the change had not come quite yet.”

“I wish so, too. There’s time enough for me these some years yet. But it would never have done for me to refuse the berth when it was offered me. It would have looked as though I did not know how to appreciate kind treatment, and I should never have had another offer. We can’t have everything and keep everything.”

The ambitions, cares, and responsibilities of practical life lay a ruthless hand upon the sympathies[208] and yearnings of young hearts, and the conversation of the boys may, to the minds of older persons who read these pages, recall similar experiences, when the relations of master and servant were rudely thrust between playfellows and near friends.

“Cheer up, Ned,” said Walter, noticing the downcast looks of his friend; “we will sleep together once more, at any rate. I’m going to stay here to-night, and take you aboard with me in the morning; that’s the order.”

When they were snug in bed, Ned lay for a long time silent. Walter thought him asleep, and had just begun to doze himself, when he was roused by Ned exclaiming, abruptly, “I’m sure I shouldn’t want to be a king.”

“Nor I either; I don’t believe in ‘em; but what in the world has put that into your head just now?”

“Well, I have been thinking over all the good times we’ve had when we were in the same watch, slept in the same berth, and ate out of the same kid. In good weather we could sit side by side under the lee of the boat, or under the rail, and talk and enjoy ourselves. In our forenoon[209] watch below, we could comb each other’s hair, tie our cues, read and study navigation; then, being in the same watch, we always got liberty ashore together. Right in the midst of all these good times comes up this chief mate’s affair, takes you right away from me, and sticks you up on the quarter-deck. It’s no longer Ned and Walter; O, no; it’s Mr. Griffin and Gates. I can’t speak to you, for fear the men should think I was currying favor; you can’t speak to me, lest there should be growling about partiality. O, I shouldn’t want to be a king, to be stuck up for everybody to look at, and nobody to love. If people obeyed me, I should know it was because they couldn’t help it; if they pretended to love me, I should be sure they lied.”

“But I ain’t a king, Ned.”

“No; but you are a mate, and if just being a mate is going to make such an awful gap, what must being a king make? It must be a lonesome thing to be a king.”

“What a queer fellow you are, Ned! I always thought you were about as spunky and ambitious a boy as I ever knew. You wouldn’t want to be a boy always—would you?”


“No; I don’t know as I should want to be always a boy; but I don’t like stepping over the edge all of a sudden; at any rate, I don’t like to see everybody else stepping over, and leaving me to be boy alone.”

“Perhaps you’ll get to be second mate next voyage, and then we can be together again.”

“I might if I was older, or if I was only a Griffin, or a Murch, or a Rhines, who are as big when they are seventeen as others when they are men grown. Here you are, a great fellow, your feet sticking out of bed, while my toes are only down to your knees.”

“But you are growing all the time; you can steer a good trick now, and do anything that your strength is equal to, as well as any man in the vessel; you must be patient, Ned.”

“O, if I was only a little bigger, so that I could furl the royal in wet weather, or when it blows hard! I didn’t use to care so much for you, but I should so hate to have any of the crew come up to help me!”

“I’ll have a bunt-line rove for it.”

“O, thank you; then I can handle it any time.”

“Ned, do you think it is the beef makes the man?”


“Not altogether; but I think there must be more beef than I’ve got.”

“That is a fault that will be daily mending: see how much you’ve done since you left home; you have obtained a very good knowledge of navigation.”

“I shouldn’t have done so much, if I had not been wounded. I have had lots of time to study since I have been getting better; so there’s some good come out of it. That’s just what mother’s always saying—every thing is for the best. I wonder if she’d been here the night I was hit, if she would have thought that was for the best.”

“I’ll warrant she’ll think it is all for the best, Ned, when you get home safe and sound.”

“That she will, when she gets me in that old bed again, prays with me and kisses me. Ain’t I a great baby, Walter?”

“Not a bit of it, Ned; you’re just right.”

“I wish I was good, Wal, just to please my mother, it’s all she thinks about.”

“I wish I was, just to please Charlie Bell; at any rate, we’ll do the best we can.”

“O, Wal, it’s nothing at all to be good here,[212] with such a crew as this, all nice, steady men, well brought up. You never sailed in an old country vessel—did you?”

“No; I have only sailed with just such a crew as we have here, and part of them are the same men.”

“Then you don’t know anything about it. Such a set of reprobates as we had in that ship I was cast away in, cursing, swearing, fighting all the time; the captain never came on deck without his pistols in his pockets; half the crew didn’t know who their father or mother was; the crew were fighting among themselves, and the captain quarrelling with his mates, full of liquor all the time; and such deviltry as they tried to put into my head! I tell you, Walter, there was not the least need of that ship being lost (and I heard Mr. Brown tell Captain Rhines the same thing); the men might have kept her free just as well as not; we were not far from land.”

“Why didn’t they, then?”

In the first place, the men were harassed to death, kept out of their watch, working up jobs all the time, and half starved; the captain’s idea seemed to be to keep them so used up that they[213] wouldn’t have strength or pluck to rise and take the ship from him, and it came back on his own head; they hadn’t strength enough, when the ship sprung a-leak, to work the pumps; and besides, they were so worn out, and hated him so, that they were desperate, thought it was their turn now, and if they could only drown him, they didn’t care what became of themselves. I tell you, Wal, I think, when a boy is away from home, and thrown into bad places and bad company, it makes a good deal of difference how he’s been brought up, and whether he’s come of nice folks.”

“I guess it does, Ned, because he has a good character to sustain, and thinks, when he’s tempted, ‘How can I disgrace my folks? what would my parents, brothers and sisters say? and how would they feel if I should do this thing?’ Then there’s another thing comes of being well brought up.”

“What is that, Wal?”

“A boy that has been well brought up, and has learning, has hopes; he knows he can make something of himself, and means to; whereas those poor fellows, who, as you say, didn’t know[214] who their fathers and mothers were, had no ambition or hope of ever rising, and so made up their minds to enjoy themselves after their own fashion.”

“That’s so, for I’ve heard them say so. There was one of them, my watch-mate, Dick Cameron, a very decent fellow when the rum was out of him, and I used to talk with him; but all he would say was, ‘It’s all well for you, who have learning, and friends, and a chance to be something; but it’s no use for me.’”

“How big a man was Dick Cameron?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Why, I mean, how much did he weigh?”

“O, he was a stout, thick-set man—the strongest man in the ship, and always took the bunt of a sail. I shouldn’t wonder if he weighed nearly two hundred.”

“Now, see; it’s just as I told you a while ago. It isn’t beef that makes a man, but it’s pluck, knowledge, and good principles.”

“And friends.”

“He’ll have friends if he has those things. They will raise him up friends anywhere. Here you are, fretting because you don’t weigh two hundred, like Dick Cameron, and are not twenty-one.[215] But if anything should happen to the officers of this vessel, all this crew of twenty great, stout men, second mate and all, couldn’t get this vessel home. They would have to fall back on Ned Gates, if he hasn’t got any cue to speak of, and can’t furl the royal when it blows hard, and the sail is wet and heavy.”

“I won’t whine any more, Walter.”

“It wouldn’t make one farthing’s difference as to age or size, with such a crew as this, all neighbors. If you are only modest, and know your duty, they would take pride in seeing you go ahead.”

“Well, I won’t feel so any more. Let us talk about something else.”

“I’ll tell you when we can get together, and it will be nobody’s business.”


“When the voyage is up, then you can go home with me to my house.”

“But shall we have time before the vessel goes again?”

“Plenty. They will have to pick up a cargo. The articles to carry, many of them, have to be imported from other countries—the salt-petre from England or the East Indies.”


“Wouldn’t I like it? Wouldn’t I have the best time that ever was in this world?”

“You better believe it.”

“I shall see Charlie Bell and his wife, and the baby, Lion Ben, Uncle Isaac, and old Tige.”

“Yes, and I’ll get Uncle Isaac, our Joe, and Charlie Bell to go hunting with us. It will be right in bear time, and about town-meeting time, and they’ll have a wrestling match. Our Joe is champion, but father can throw him; only he’s done wrestling in the ring. But I suppose, if any stranger came along, as Ricker did, he’d take hold, for the credit of the place. But father never saw the day he was so stout as grandfather. Did you ever see my grandsir?”

“No, I never saw any of your folks but Joe.”

“Well, he’s an old man now, but you can see, by his great bones and cords, as big as an ox’s, what he was once. When Hen, and I, and Will were little boys, he used to get us up in the floor, and set us to wrestling.”

“I shouldn’t think an old man would care about wrestling and such things.”

“He ain’t old inside; no older than ever he was. O, I’ll tell you the funniest thing. You must[217] know, we milk seven cows, and have awful big churnings. One rainy day mother had our great churn, full of cream, sitting in the chimney corner, because it was a rainy day, and father was going to churn for her. Grandsir he ties a string to the churn handle, sat in his chair, and held the end of it, and told us boys to jump over it, and see which could jump the highest. Every little while he would put the string up a little higher. It was Hen’s turn to jump, and just as he was going over, grandsir twitched up the string, and caught his feet. Over went the churn, the cover came out, and there was that cream all over the floor. Grandsir was too old to get out of the way; it filled his shoes full, ran into the fireplace, and soaked Hen all through in front before he could get up. The dog lay asleep before the fire. It ran all over him. He jumped up, and went all round the room, switching his tail, and flinging the cream over everything. We laughed; it frightened the baby; he began to scream, and you never saw such a scrape.”

“What did your mother say?”

“She didn’t say much. She is one of the best mothers that ever was, always one way. She isn’t[218] religious, like your mother, ‘cause there ain’t any religion in our folks. She is too good to have such a tearing set of boys round her.”

“Will you go in the woods, and camp out? I never was in the big woods. There ain’t any woods round Salem.”

“Well, there’s woods enough round our way. It’s all woods. You can get bear’s grease enough to make your cue grow three inches a night, and eat bear’s meat till you grow big enough to fill up the boots of a second mate. Come, let’s go to sleep.”

When they went on board in the morning, the wind was blowing fresh, and the sea beginning to heave into the roadstead.

The captain made his way to the observatory (taking Walter with him), from which he enjoyed a view of the roadstead and all in it. Here he sat, watching the blockading fleet with all the interest with which a beleaguered rat contemplates the movements of his enemy, the cat. Ned Gates had been despatched to find Mr. Bell, and tell him to get his things on board the vessel, accompanied by the fisherman’s boy as pilot. Ned traversed alleys and by-ways, till, in the dark, damp basement[219] of a squalid tenement he found the object of his search. It was a wretched place, the walls low and dripping with moisture; in one corner was a large trough, nearly full of water, in which the willow rods lay soaking, in order to make them pliable to work; the floor was littered with pieces of willows, of all colors, which had been trimmed off; the walls were hung all round with willows, stripped into thin shavings, and made into skeins. In another corner was a rough berth, built up like those on shipboard, where the old gentleman slept, and on a shelf, at the head of it, his Bible; evincing that, in his loneliness and sorrow, he found consolation in the Word of God. There was also a rusty stove, a few cooking utensils, a rickety table, and some rough chairs, made of willow with the bark on.

The old gentleman was seated on a wooden platform, a little inclined, with his back against the wall, employed in finishing a basket of such delicate workmanship, such tastefully arranged and beautiful colors, as to elicit the most unbounded expressions of admiration from Ned.

The old gentleman was evidently highly gratified with the praise bestowed upon his work.


“I am glad you like it,” said he; “I have spent a vast deal of time and work upon it; indeed, it is all I have done since I heard my son was living. I design it as a present for my daughter, if I am ever permitted to see her. It is said, self-praise goes but little ways; yet, when I was working at my trade in England, I had the reputation of doing the best work of any man in the fens, and that is saying a good deal. I used to think, when Charles was growing up, he would make a first-rate workman; but he has found better business than making baskets.”

“He can do anything,” said Ned. “He can make a ship, a bedstead, or a fiddle.”

“He takes that from his mother’s folks. They were shipwrights and joiners; but mine were all basket-makers, from the beginning. I’m going to take my tools, some basket-rods, and dye-stuffs; the rest I have given to a young man who learned his trade of me.”

He then drew from a chest a pair of nice broad-cloth breeches, silk hose, and other things to correspond, a nice pair of shoes, with silver buckles, and, arraying himself, accompanied Ned on board the vessel.


The gale increased as the day wore away.

“There they go,” said the captain, as one of the frigates loosed her topsails and made sail.

“I reckon,” said Walter, “they’ll find that when the cat’s away the mice will play.”

The frigate was soon followed by another, till at length only the line-of-battle ship remained. Long she held on against a tremendous sea, till, at length, Walter, who had taken her bearings over a projecting point, exclaimed, “She drags; she will have to go.”

In a few moments the men were seen mounting the rigging, and she also joined the rest. She, under short sail, drifted very fast to leeward. The frigates, carrying all the sail they could smother to, and sharper built, made desperate efforts to keep to windward, and did better, especially one which had been taken from the French, that outsailed all the rest; but they all gradually fell to leeward, leaving a clear offing.

“Good by, dear friends,” said Captain Brown, highly elated with the turn matters were taking; “sorry to part, but your room is better than your company.”

When the basket-maker made his appearance[222] with Ned, he was scarcely recognized by the captain and Walter, so changed was his appearance, and so sprightly were his looks. Noticing their astonishment, he observed to the captain, “I had contrived to lay by a little, by prudence and hard work, for I couldn’t bear the thought of being a pauper in a foreign land, and that I might have somewhat to give me Christian burial; and I thought I would fix myself up a bit, that my son might not be ashamed of me, should I be spared to see him.”

By twelve o’clock at night the gale moderated, the brigantine got under way, and as the sun rose was far beyond the reach of her enemies.




NED had been accustomed, in all ordinary weather, to take his trick at the helm with the rest; but the captain would not permit it for the first fortnight out, greatly to the annoyance of Ned, who prided himself very much on being able to steer. Wheels were not in use then, and the old-fashioned tiller with which vessels were steered came against the hips, sometimes with a good deal of force, and the captain was fearful of causing Ned’s wound to break out again; neither would he permit him to stand his watch. All day he was on deck, pulled and hauled with the rest, and went aloft.

As Ned didn’t care for turning in till nine, ten, or even twelve o’clock, of a pleasant night, when he had not been fatigued through the day, Mr. Bell—who was naturally inclined to make all the[224] inquiries possible about his son, and the new country to which he was going—sought out Ned in the pleasant evenings, and whiled away many an hour in conversation most interesting to both. Ned described the personal appearance of the son to his father, and also that of Lion Ben, told all the stories he had ever heard of his enormous strength, and his encounter with the pirates, recounted the beauties of Elm Island, of Charlie’s farm, and sketched the characters of Captain Rhines and Uncle Isaac. No doubt the virtues and attractions of Charlie received their just due in the description of so enthusiastic an admirer.

“You say, Ned, that my son owns six hundred acres of land.”

“Yes, sir; and a saw-mill on it; and the machinery came from England,—that is, the crank, saw, and mill chain.”

“Why, a man must be immensely rich to own so much land. There must be some mistake about it.”

“No, sir, there ain’t; for Mr. Griffin, the mate’s brother, his next neighbor, told me so, and I’ve been in the mill. He owns more than that, sir; he owns part of this vessel, and part of the Casco[225] (a great mast ship of seven hundred tons), and one fourth of the Hard-scrabble; and he built the whole of them.”

“I can’t understand how he came by so much money at his age, for he’s not much more than a boy now.”

“Perhaps Lion Ben, Uncle Isaac, and Captain Rhines gave it to him, they think so much of him.”

“I don’t believe that. People are not so fond of giving away money. There must be some mistake. All my forefathers have been prudent, hard-working people, and never one of them owned a foot of land.”

“Well, sir, I don’t know how it is, but I know it is so. I will call Danforth Eaton. He can explain it all, I dare say.”

“Do, young man.”

Eaton told Mr. Bell about the ventures that Charlie sent in the Ark, which gave him the first money he ever possessed; also about his learning the ship carpenter’s trade; and astonished the old gentleman by telling him that Charlie’s land cost only seventy-five cents an acre. He also told him about the building of the Hard-scrabble, and how much money she made. Upon these matters[226] Eaton was an authority, as he had worked on all the vessels Charlie had built, and knew the whole matter from the beginning, whereas Walter Griffin was too young to be familiar with the events of Charlie’s boyhood, and the information of Ned was all second hand.

As the voyage approached its termination, the excitement of the father increased. Ned was now able to stand his watch, and often, at twelve o’clock, the old gentleman would come on deck, and spend the remainder of the night talking with him and Eaton, and also with Peterson, whose acquaintance he had now made.

When, by the captain’s reckoning, the vessel was nearly up with the land, and men were sent aloft to look out for it, he became quite nervous, thinking, perhaps, the happiness of possessing and meeting such a son was too great a boon. Again, he imagined that he might die before the vessel arrived, or that, after all, there might be some mistake. “God only knows what is in store for me,” he said, brushing the tear from his eye, as a joyous scream from the royal yard, in the shrill tones of Ned, proclaimed, “Land, O!”

Let us now see what the unconscious object of[227] all this solicitude is doing. He is about half way between his house and Uncle Isaac’s, walking at a smart pace, and with the air of one bound upon a long walk. It was early autumn. As he approached the house, he saw Uncle Isaac in the barn floor, winnowing grain in the primitive fashion.

“Good afternoon, Charlie. Go into the house. I’ll be there in a moment. I’m almost through.”

“I can’t stop, Uncle Isaac. I’m going farther.”

“Where to?”

“Over to Mr. Colcord’s, to look at a cow. He’s got seven. He told me I might have my pick of them for fifteen dollars.”

“What! Jim Colcord?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I wouldn’t have anything to do with him.”

“Why not?”

“Because he’s the most narrow-contracted creetur that ever lived. He soaks out mackerel, and then takes the water to make hasty-pudding, in order to save the salt. Robert Yelf worked for him one year in haying time. Didn’t you never hear him tell about his jumping into the loaf of hot rye and Indian bread?”


“No, sir; what did he do that for?”

“I’ll tell you. One day, his wife had cooked all her dinner in the brick oven, except some potatoes that she had baked in the ashes. She had baked beans, Indian pudding, a hind quarter of lamb, and a great loaf of rye and Indian bread in an iron pan that would hold a peck. He had a number of hands at work for him, getting hay. He’s rich the old screw, but so mean that he never allows himself or his family decent clothes, and always goes barefoot. He’s got a noble woman for a wife, too, as ever God made, and a nice family of children.”

“I believe such men always get the best of wives.”

“It’s a good deal so, Charlie, I guess. Well, as I was saying, coming into the house that day, just afore twelve o’clock, and seeing no pots or kettles on the fire, he took it into his head that his wife had made no preparation for dinner; that the men would come in at twelve, have to wait, and he should lose some time.”

“Whereas,” said Charlie, “the dinner was all in the oven, and ready to be put on the table.”

“Just so. He instantly began to jump up and[229] down on the hearth, and curse and swear. His wife, who was scared to death of him, began to take the victuals out of the oven, to let him see it was all right. The first thing she came to was the great iron pan of rye and Indian bread, which she put down on the hearth. Thinking, in his passion, that this was all, he jumped right into it with his bare feet.”

“I guess it burnt him some.”

“I guess you’d think so; if there’s anything in this world that’s hot, or holds heat, it’s rye and Indian bread. It stuck between his toes, and scalded to the bone. He ran round the room, howling and swearing, and the tears running down his cheeks.”

“Served him right.”

“I think so. Now, if I were you, I wouldn’t have anything to do with him; he’ll cheat you, sure.”

“I reckon I can tell a good cow when I see her.”

“Perhaps you can; but he’s cheated as smart men as you are. Let me go and trade for you.”

Charlie would by no means consent to that, but set off on his errand.


“Well,” said Uncle Isaac, as they parted, “it is said, bought wit is good; perhaps it is, if you don’t buy it too dear.” When, at length, at the place, he was received by Colcord with the greatest cordiality; but Charlie saw that the house and all the surroundings accorded precisely with Uncle Isaac’s description of his character.

Colcord himself was a meagre-looking being; although in years, he was barefoot, and so was his wife. Charlie also noticed that the small quantity of wood at the door seemed to be rotten windfalls and dead limbs of trees, though he possessed a large extent of very heavily timbered woodland. Three boys, whose dress barely served the purposes of decency, completed this singular family. The youngest, notwithstanding his rags and a certain timidity of expression (the result of hard usage), was a most intelligent, noble-looking boy, with whose face Charlie instantly fell in love; his heart went out to these boys.

“I have known hardship and poverty,” he said to himself, “but I thank God I never had a father who, when I asked him for an egg, would give me a scorpion. My poor father did all in his power to give me schooling, and make my childhood[231] happy.—You remember,” said Charlie to Mr. Colcord, “the talk we had some time since about cows, when you told me that for fifteen dollars I should have my pick out of seven. This is the day set, and I have come to look them over.”

“Andrew,” said Colcord, to the oldest boy, “drive the cows into the yard.”

After Charlie had examined each cow in succession, he said, “Mr. Colcord, here are but six cows; I was to have my choice of seven.”

“It is true, Mr. Bell, I did say so; but when I came home and told my wife, she took on at such a rate about my selling that cow, that I’ve tied her up in the barn. She won’t consent to part with her; it would break her heart. You must excuse me there.”

Charlie’s suspicions were roused in an instant. All that Uncle Isaac had told him in respect to the sharp practice of the man rushed at once to his recollection. He was determined to have that cow, at any rate, and instantly asked to see Mrs. Colcord, intending to make her a present, to reconcile her to the loss of the cow; but he was told she had gone away to spend the day.

“The old rascal,” soliloquized Charlie, “has shut[232] up his best cow, thinking I wouldn’t notice there were but six in the yard.—Mr. Colcord,” he said, “it was a fair contract between us. You agreed to let me take my pick of seven cows. I am here, according to agreement, with the cash. I’ll have that cow, or none.”

“Well, if I must, I must,” said the old man; “but my wife will cry her eyes out;” and he flung open the cow-house.

Charlie felt so sure that this was the best cow of the herd, that he never stopped to examine her closely, asked no questions, didn’t even take hold of her teats, to see if she milked easy, or to examine the quality of the milk, but put a rope on her head, and drove her off, congratulating himself, all the way along, that he had outwitted the old sneak.

“Guess Uncle Isaac won’t say any more about bought wit,” thought he. “Couldn’t have done better than that himself.”

It was about the middle of the afternoon when Charlie reached home. At the usual time his wife went to the barn to milk, and began with the new comer.

“She has got nice teats, and milks easy, at any rate,” said Mrs. Bell.

The Kicking Cow. Page 233.


The words were scarcely out of her mouth when the cow gave the pail a kick so vicious as to send it spinning over the floor, spattering her with milk.

“It is because she is in a strange place, and is afraid of a stranger,” said Mrs. Bell; and, holding the pail in one hand, she continued to milk with the other. The cow began to kick, first with one leg and then the other, without an instant’s intermission, so that to milk was impossible.

Charlie, who was in the barn-yard, milking the other cows, now came to the rescue. “I never saw a cow I couldn’t milk,” he said; and taking up one of her fore legs, fastened it to the rack with a rope. “Kick now, if you can.” Placing the pail on the floor, he began to milk with both hands; but the vicious brute, springing from the floor, fell over upon him, spilling the milk, breaking the bail of the pail, upsetting Charlie’s milking-stool, and leaving him at full length on the floor, in not the most amiable mood (for his wife could not refrain from laughing). He beat her to make her get up, but she was sullen, and get up she wouldn’t. He twisted her tail, but she wouldn’t start. He then, with both hands, closed her[234] mouth and nostrils, strangling her till she was glad to jump up. Thinking she had got enough of it, he began again to milk, when away went the pail into the manger, and the milk into Charlie’s face. Provoked now beyond endurance, he beat her till she roared; but the moment he touched her teats, she began to kick as bad as ever. In short, all the way he could milk her at all was to fasten her to the stake next the side of the barn, build a fence on the other side, so that she couldn’t run around either way, then tie her hind legs together, milk her till she threw herself down, and then finish the operation as she lay.

While all this was going on, the dog kept up a furious barking.

“What is that dog barking about, Mary?”

“I’m sure I don’t know. Perhaps there’s a skunk or a woodchuck under the barn.”

If it was a skunk, he was peeping through a knot-hole in the back barn-door.

As they came in with their milk, Joe Griffin was approaching the door, having come to borrow a chain and canting dog.

Charlie now perceived that the cunning old wretch had shut up this pest, and feigned reluctance[235] to part with her, on purpose to draw him on.

“I don’t believe,” said Mrs. Bell, “but what his wife was at home all the time. He knew, if you spoke to her, she would tell you the whole truth, for she is an excellent woman.”

Charlie resolved to keep the thing from the knowledge of every one, especially of Uncle Isaac, whose assertion, “He has cheated as smart men as you are,” recurred most unpleasantly to his recollection.

“Mary,” said he,” we must not breathe a word of this to any soul,—father’s folks, Joe Griffin, or, above all, Uncle Isaac. I had rather pocket the loss than have it known that I got so taken in. I’ll dry her up, and fat her. She’s a large cow, and will make a lot of beef.”

But such things will always, in some way or other, leak out. While Charlie imagined that himself and wife alone possessed the secret, it was known to half the town, and they were chuckling over it. Indeed, it had come to the ears of Lion Ben, on Elm Island, whose adopted son he was.

A fortnight after the occurrences related, Fred Williams and Joe Griffin were standing in the[236] doorway of Fred’s store, when they espied Lion Ben coming from Elm Island in his big canoe, which he was forcing through the water with tremendous strokes.

Landing, and dragging the heavy craft out of the water as though she was an egg-shell, he merely nodded to Joe and Fred, and proceeded with rapid strides in the direction of Charlie Bell’s.

“What can that mean, Joe?” asked Fred. “He never spoke to us.”

Fred was his brother-in-law, Joe one of his most intimate friends.

“It means that he is angry. Didn’t you notice his face? I never saw him angry, though I’ve known him ever since I was a boy; but I’ve heard say he is awful when he rises. A common man would be no more in his hands now than a fly in the clutch of a lion.”

Ben went directly into Charlie’s pasture, avoiding him, hunted around there till he found the kicking cow, and pulling a rope from his pocket, put it over her horns, and led her in the direction of Colcord’s. Uncle Isaac was butchering a lamb at his door when Ben came along with the cow,[237] and was just about to speak to him; but catching one glimpse of his face, he dropped his knife, and pretending not to see him, walked into the barn.

“Isaac,” cried his wife from the window. “Isaac, Ben has just gone by.”

“I saw him.”

Saw him; then why didn’t you speak to him, and ask him to come in, and stop to dinner?”

“He’s got the cow Jim Colcord sold to Charlie. I guess he’s on his way to call the old viper to account for his trick. When he is in one of those rages you’d better go near a she catamount than him.”

“Will he murder him?”

“I hope not.”

“It is some ways there. Ben can’t hold his passion long, and will most likely get over it somewhat before he gets there.”

“If he don’t, much as I abhor the old creetur, I pity him.”

When Ben arrived at Colcord’s the family were at dinner; seeing an ox cart in the barn-yard, he tied the cow to it. He entered the kitchen without knocking, where the family were seated at the dinner-table, seized old Colcord by the nape of the[238] neck, carried him, pale as a ghost, with eyes starting from their sockets, and too nearly strangled to scream, into the barn-yard; here Ben sat down upon the cart-tongue, flung his victim across his knees, and while he was alternately screaming murder, and begging for mercy, slapped him with his terrible paw, till the blood came through his breeches, while the family looked on, crying and trembling.

Ben, as a redresser of wrongs, considered it his duty, not only to inflict punishment for his knavery in the matter of the cow, but likewise for the abuse he had for years inflicted upon his uncomplaining wife and children.

When he had finished the castigation, he ordered him to bring the money Charlie paid him for the cow, and ten dollars additional for his trouble in whipping him. Colcord brought the money, but, fearing to approach Ben, put it on the cart tongue.

After counting it, Ben called for a basin of water, soap, and a towel, observing, that he was accustomed to wash his hands after handling carrion, and informing him (after wiping his hands, as he hung the towel on the wheel of the cart)[239] that, if compelled to come there again, he should most probably make an end of him.

That night Charlie hunted the pasture over in vain for the cow; but the next morning Uncle Isaac came over, told him where the cow was, and handed him the money, which Ben had left with him on his return.

“How did father find it out?” asked Charlie.

“Captain Rhines told him.”

“Who told Captain Rhines?”

“I did.”

“Who told you?”

“Joe Griffin.”

“How in the world came he, or anybody else, to know anything about it?”

“That’s more than I know; but he said you had to build a fence round her, and tie her hind legs together to milk her, and when she couldn’t kick, she’d lie down.”

“I bought wit pretty dear, Uncle Isaac.”

“Not quite so dear as Jim Colcord did. They say he can’t sit down, and won’t be able to till snow flies.”




THERE is no animal that seems to be so closely allied to man as the dog. He lives in his master’s smiles, defends his person, guards his property, and is grateful for the smallest favors.

In respect to other animals, they are naturally shy; we must attach them to us by food and caresses.

Take, for instance, a kitten, born in the house, and her parents before her for generations; yet the moment it gets its eyes open, it will round up its back, and spit at the little boy or girl who approaches to fondle it, and must be wonted; but a puppy, why, the moment his eyes are open, he’s right on to you, and you have hard work to keep him from licking your face.

When the family leaves the house, the cat will seldom, if ever, follow them, because she cares[241] more about the place than the people; but the dog’s home is where his master is.

John Rhines’s dog, Tige, a Newfoundland of the largest size, possessed—as those who have read the Elm Island stories know—a sagacity greater than that which generally pertains even to that noble breed.

Tige Rhines, as he was called, was known and loved by both young and old, the protector and playmate of all the children, and bore on his neck a broad brass collar, on which were inscribed the date of the year and the day on which he pulled little Fannie Williams from the bottom of the mill-pond, and many other things that he had done.

For many years Tige had been gradually losing his activity, and was quite infirm with age. He had never been accustomed to leave the home of his master, except when sent upon some errand, with a basket or letter in his mouth, unless with some of the family; but after Mary and Elizabeth were married, he would once in a while go to visit each of them in the forenoon, stop to dinner and tea, see the babies, and go home at night. He would also go down to the[242] cove in front of the house, and play with the children of the neighborhood by the hour together. All through Fannie Williams’s childhood (whose life he saved) he was, whenever she came up to see him, which was generally once a month, sent home with her by Captain Rhines. But age, which comes alike upon dogs and men, had compelled him to relinquish all these pleasant excursions. His legs had grown stiff and crooked; his glossy black coat had become a dirty yellow, except along the back and at the roots of the tail; his intelligent eye was dim; and all around his eyes and nose gray hairs were plentifully scattered. It was with great difficulty he could walk; he would attempt sometimes to follow John to the barn, go part way there, and moan because he could get no farther; then John would go back and pat and comfort him. Everything that care and affection could do to render him comfortable and happy in his old age, was done by Captain Rhines and John.

As the weather grew cooler, John made him a bed of sheep-skins with the wool on; for though once apparently insensible to cold, never hesitating in the dead of winter to plunge into the[243] waves, he now trembled before every blast. Captain Rhines would catch smelts and bring to him, for Tige was a dear lover of fish; John would put him in the cart, haul him down in the field, and put him in the sun, at the end of the piece where he was digging potatoes, and as the sun went down, cover him with his jacket. The children around brought him titbits, and all the dogs in the neighborhood came to visit him. He at length became so feeble it was with difficulty he could get out of his kennel. Mornings when John went to the barn to feed the cattle, he would bid him good morning; Tige would wag his tail and look wistfully in his face, unable to rise.

One morning, John, as he passed the kennel, spoke, as usual; but not hearing the noise of Tige’s tail striking against the side of the house, he went back and looked in; he was stretched out, apparently asleep; he put his fingers in his mouth; there was no warmth. “He is dead! poor old Tige,” cried John; “there never was such a dog in this world, and never will be again. I never will love another dog;” and he burst into tears; “I don’t care if I do cry,” he said, at length,[244] wiping away the tears; “he’s been my playmate, ever since I was a boy; has saved my life; and nobody sees me; but if Charlie and Fred were here, they would cry, too.”

Captain Rhines was not yet up. John fed the cattle, and then went to the door of his bedroom.


“What is it, John?”

“Tige’s dead.”

“I’m sorry; poor fellow! I’d give the best cow I’ve got in the barn to have him back as smart as he was once.”

I’d give them all, father.”

“Well, we’ve done all we could for him, John, and he’s gone where the good dogs go. It will make Ben feel bad; he and Tige were great friends.”

“And Fannie, father.”


It was soon known in the neighborhood. About nine o’clock, Fannie Williams came in, now grown to be, by universal consent, the prettiest girl in town; industrious, capable, and, as Captain Rhines was accustomed to say, as good as she was handsome.


“Is Tige dead, John?” she asked, taking the chair he proffered her.

“Yes, Fannie.”

She was silent for a few minutes, then began to cry.

“Don’t cry, Fannie,” said John.

“I know it’s foolish, but I can’t help it; you know he saved my life.”

“That he did,” said the captain; “for I took you from his jaws, when he brought you to the shore. I would cry as much as I had a mind to.”

“I’m sure,” said Mrs. Rhines, “I don’t see what anybody could be made of, not to feel bad to lose such a good creature as Tige, even if he was a dumb animal. I used to feel just as safe with him, when Captain Rhines was at sea, and I left alone with the children, as though the men folks were round. When Captain Rhines was about home, or we had a hired man, he would lie under the big maple, or, if it was cold weather, in his house; but the very first night I was left alone, he would (without my saying a word to him) come right into the house, and, after I went to bed, stretch himself out before my bedroom door; it seemed as if he knew.”


Knew! I guess he did know,” said John; “only think how long he smelt us before we got here, when Charlie and I came from Portland, and how glad he was to see us! I thought he would have jumped out of his skin.”

John persuaded Fannie to stop to dinner, as Tige was to be buried in the afternoon.

“Where would you bury him, father?”

“I’ll tell you, John. Under the big maple, where he loved so much to lie in the hot summer days.”

While this conversation was going on at Captain Rhines’s, Joe Griffin, Charlie, and Fred were expatiating upon the merits of Tige, and regretting his loss, in Fred’s store. Joe Bradish came in, and after listening a while to their conversation, broke in with, “Such a fuss about a dog—an old dog, that ought to have been knocked on the head years ago. Anybody would think it was a Christian you was lamenting about.”

Fred was naturally of a warm temper, shared in the universal feeling of dislike to Bradish, and this rough remark, in his present state of feeling, was more than he could bear.

“There was more Christianity in him than there[247] ever was in you,” retorted Fred; “more in one of his nails than in your whole body. He saved the lives of three of us, when we went to sleep in the tide’s way, at Indian Cave. If it hadn’t been for him, I should have been as miserable to-day as Pete Clash. It will be news to me when I hear of your lifting a finger to help anybody. You may keep still or leave the store.”

Bradish, without making any reply, went out.

“You’ve lost his custom, I reckon,” said Charlie.

“It won’t be much loss. He came in here the other day, lolling round, and upset the inkstand upon a whole piece of muslin. I was out of doors, and before I could get in, it went through the whole piece. He said he was master sorry, supposed he ought to buy something, and would take a darning-needle.”

The three friends, with Fannie and Captain Rhines’s family, buried Tige beneath a large rock maple that stood on the side of the hill, in the edge of the orchard. It was all full of holes, where Ben and John had tapped it. Between its roots they had made many a hoard of apples; and here Tige had loved to lie, as it was a cool place, and from it he could see everything that moved[248] upon the water. They put a stone at the grave, on which his noble deeds were recorded.

John Rhines had long cherished a secret attachment to Fannie Williams; but the death of Tige occasioned a mingling of sympathies that brought matters to a focus, and after a short engagement they were married. Captain Rhines and his wife, with whom Fannie had been a favorite from childhood, were highly gratified; for since their daughters had married and gone, the large house seemed lonely, and this beautiful, lively, sweet-tempered girl was to them a perfect treasure.

A week after the occurrences narrated, a stranger, in the dress of a working man, with his coat on his arm, came into Fred’s store, and called for some crackers and cheese, and half a pint of new rum.

Fred placed before him the crackers and cheese, but told him he must go to the other store for the liquor. He then called for a quart of cider. After eating, drinking, and resting a while, and smoking his pipe, he took a piece of chalk from his pocket, and drew a line across the floor. “There,” said he, “the first man that steps over that line has got to take hold of me.”


This was altogether too much for Fred, who instantly stepped over the line. They went out before the door, and the stranger threw Fred in a moment, and several others who came in. The thing was noised abroad, and quite a crowd assembled, but they were careful not to step over the line. Fred sent for Charlie, and the stranger threw him. The matter was now getting serious; the reputation of the town was at stake.

“Send for Joe Griffin,” said Uncle Isaac.

Joe had gone up river after logs.

“Then send for Edmund Griffin.”

He had gone with Joe. A boy was now despatched for Joel Ricker, who brought back word that he was on Elm Island, doing some joiner-work for Lion Ben.

“Then,” said Uncle Isaac, “we must send for the Lion. This fellow shan’t go off and make his brags that he has stumped the place, and got off clear. I’ll take hold of him myself first, though I haven’t wrestled these twenty-five year.”

“Why haven’t we thought of John Rhines?” said Fred.

“Sure enough,” said Uncle Isaac; “he’ll handle him.”


“John,” said the captain, “has gone to Tom Stanley’s to buy a yoke of oxen; but I’ve got a horse that will go there and back in three quarters of an hour, if anybody will drive him.”

“I’ll go,” said Fred.

By the time John arrived, half the town was there. A ring was made before the door.

“You’ve brought a man big enough this time,” said the stranger, looking up at John, who towered far above him.

They took hold. John threw him as easily as he had thrown Fred, while shout after shout went up from the crowd, who had been holding their breath, in anxious suspense.

“You crushed me down by main strength,” said the stranger; “but I would like to try you at arms’ length.”

They took hold at arms’ length, and although the grapple was longer, John threw him twice.

“You have stout men up in this place,” said he. “I am thirty years old next July, and this is the first time I’ve been thrown since I was nineteen.”

Men!” said Uncle Isaac. “You have as yet wrestled only with boys. Our men all happen to be away.”


“If you call these boys, I should like to see your men.”

“Here comes one of them,” said Uncle Isaac, pointing towards the water.

The eyes of the stranger, following the direction of his finger, rested upon the massive shoulders of Lion Ben, who was approaching the shore in his big canoe, pulling cross-handed, while Joel Ricker, with his tools in his lap, was sitting in the stern.

They landed, wondering much at the crowd assembled. Ricker walked up the beach with his tools, while Ben followed, dragging the canoe with one hand over the gravel.

The stranger gazed with dilating eyes, as he straightened up to his full proportions. Then he went to the canoe, but found himself unable to move it, even down hill.

“What may I call your name, friend?” asked Uncle Isaac, approaching.

“Libby—Lemuel Libby, from Black Pint, in Scarboro’.”

Uncle Isaac then introduced him to Captain Rhines, John, and Lion Ben, at the same time informing him that they were the father and two[252] sons. Libby gazed a moment upon these superb specimens of manly vigor, and resuming his clothes, said, “This is no place for common men, like me. I’ll make tracks for home.”

“Not so, friend Libby,” said John. “Everything has been done fair and above-board. There’s no occasion for hardness. Spend the night with me. I’ll take the horse, and start you on your way in the morning.”

“Neighbors,” said Captain Rhines, who was greatly delighted at the triumph of his son, “I invite you all to take dinner at our house to-morrow, at twelve o’clock; and Mr. Libby will stop and eat with us.”

“The house won’t hold us, Benjamin,” said Uncle Isaac.

“Well, the barn will. We’ll make two crews, and set two tables.”

“John,” said Charlie, after the crowd had dispersed, “do you remember what you said so long ago?”

“No. What was it?”

“That you meant to be the greatest wrestler, and marry the handsomest girl. I don’t see but you are in a fair way to do both, if all tales are true.”




LITTLE dreaming of the happiness in store for him, Charlie, having gathered in his harvest and husked his corn, now occupied himself in preparing to put a hedge around his mother’s grave.

A hedge. How significant that word to him, reared amid the vales of Lincolnshire! It recalled all the associations of his childhood, and of the sunny spring mornings, when, sitting beneath the shelter of the hedge-rows, he watched the ducks sport in the pools below, while beside him the hens were scratching and burrowing in the warm earth beneath the bank for worms and grubs, and he, a happy, careless boy, was pounding a willow stick on his knee with the handle of his knife, to make the bark slip, for a whistle; listening to the birds in the hedge above him, and watching the mimic[254] waves produced by the wind as it swept over the osiers.

His intention was to surround the little promontory (around whose sides murmur the clear waters of the brook and the majestic elm that shadows it, whose pendent branches, with their extremities, approached within a few feet of the grave-stone) with hedge.

Mr. Welch, several years before, had imported plants from England, and also ivy. It was from him he expected to obtain his plants—“quicks” Charlie called them—for he was no novice in hedging. The ivy he purposed to plant at the roots of the great elm.

This occupation had revived all the associations of his boyhood, and fond recollections of other days, often bringing tears to his eyes.

“A beautiful land is England,” said he, as he wiped the sweat from his brow and rested upon his spade; “and those sweet spots in the fens I shall never forget; but this is sweeter, for it is my own. What I do here, I do for myself, my wife, and little one.”

That evening, as he sat with the babe in his lap, while his wife was clearing off the supper[255] table, he said to her, “Mary, it don’t seem to look, or to be, just right that I should have a grave-stone for my mother, and none for my father, brother, and sister.”

“But they are not buried here. You wouldn’t wish to put stones where there are no bodies.”

“But I might have something. I’ve seen in the churchyards at home monuments with the names of people on them who were not buried under them, but had died at sea, or been killed in battle, as father was. I might do that.”

“Why don’t you?”

“I think I will; and the very next time the schooner goes to Boston, when I send for my quicks and ivy, I’ll inquire of Mr. Welch about it.”

Here the conversation was interrupted by the entrance of John Rhines, with a letter in his hand.

“Just give me that baby, and read this.”

“If ever I was glad of anything in my life, I am of this,” said Charlie, when he had read the letter; “not on our account altogether, but Captain Brown’s, he was just starting in life, and there were so many looking at him; and how handsomely he speaks of Walter and little Ned!”


“Ain’t it great?”

“Yes; she’s paid for herself with the freight she carried out.”

“I know it; and the back freight is all clear gain. There’s no loss, except the main boom and a boat.”

“I’ll build another boat. I’ve got the stuff in the ship-yard, all seasoned. The boom won’t be much; he can buy the stick, and Danforth Eaton can make it. What did your father say? He was a long time making up his mind whether it would do to trust him with a vessel or not, and I know he’s been very anxious, though he said nothing.”

Say! I only wish you could have seen him when I brought in the letter. Mother was just going to tie his cue; he glanced over it, jumped up, and cut round the house like a boy of sixteen; made me put the saddle on the mare, and in spite of all mother could do, went over to tell Uncle Isaac, with his hair all flying in the wind. Won’t they have a good time, talking it over?”

“Yes; and I know just what they’ll say.”


“They’ll say he’s turned out just as they expected, when it was all you, father, and I could do to get them started to build the vessel for him.”


“Don’t be too confident, Charlie; the old folks know a thing or two; remember the cow trade.”

Charlie blushed, and in order to turn the conversation, remarked, as he looked again at the letter, “It seems he wants some beef and fish to make up his next cargo.”

“Fred has got a lot on hand, just packed; father is going up in the Perseverance to take it up, settle up the voyage, and bring home the money. Have you heard the news, Charlie, Tom Bannister brought?”

“No; what is it?”

“Pete Clash and John Godsoe have turned up.”

“They have?”

“Yes; Tom saw ‘em on board a Guineaman in Havana; they pretended not to know him, but he knew them. Just the place for them. Father says these Guineamen have a long gun in the hold, and mount it when they get outside, and are all pirates in disguise.”

The country, especially around the sea-coast, was now in a prosperous condition. The settlements were pushed back to the head waters of the streams, roads made, townships surveyed, town incorporated, and vessels built; the timber[258] trade assumed vast proportions, and money was abundant, men began to break away from the rigid manners of the primitive times, and ape the style of dress and living that prevailed in England, which they had either seen or heard of.

Great numbers of cattle were raised on the lands newly burnt over. Instead of driving the cattle to Brighton or Cambridge, as at the present day in seaport towns and country villages, they were butchered, and the beef packed at home, shipped to Spain and other countries of Europe, and smuggled into Cuba for the use of the Spanish slavers. Fred had added to his other business that of packing beef, and Uncle Isaac and Joe Griffin bought the cattle for him. He had imported a cooper, by the name of Wallace, from Standish, to make the barrels, who had taken three boys as apprentices, thus increasing the business of the place.

Charlie, who as our readers know, was strongly attached to the cultivation of the soil, had neither engaged in vessel or boat building since the Arthur Brown was launched. John Rhines likewise found plenty of employment upon the home farm, occasionally working in the yard of Reed[259] and Atherton, who came from Massachusetts, and set up ship-building, built vessels, and took them to Massachusetts for sale.

Charlie, Fred, and John intended only to build vessels as they wanted them, and repair old ones, or aid some industrious, enterprising young man, who wanted a vessel.

They were influenced to this line of conduct very much by the opinions of Uncle Isaac, who had a most wonderful power of making people think as he did; one reason of which was, that he never manifested the least assumption, and another, that he always placed matters in such a light that those with whom he conversed seemed to convince themselves.

One day Uncle Isaac and the boys went pigeon shooting together; as they were sitting by the fire after dinner, he said. “Where did that corn come from that Seth Warren carried last vige in the Hard-scrabble?”

“From North Carolina,” replied Fred.

“Yes, and where did that cargo you are grinding now, that’s going into the logging camps, come from?”

“From Baltimore.”


“Do you take in any corn now from round here?”

“When I first began to trade, I used to take in a great deal; but now, except from yourself, Captain Rhines, Ben, Joe Griffin, and one or two more, I don’t get five bushels in a year; but I sell lots to the people round here.”

“It seems to me, when a people get so much taken up with building vessels, fishing, cutting masts and ton timber, to send to England, that they have to go to the southerd to buy corn to export, feed their cattle in the logging swamps, bread their families, and fat their hogs, they are in rather a poor way; that there’s more talk than cider; that they ain’t getting rich so fast as they appear to be; when they raise but little except on burns, never hauling out their dressing, or ploughing the land, but keep going over and over, skimming and skimming, that by and by they will have a very poor set of carcasses left, and that if there should come a war, and all this exportation be stopped, there would be pretty blue times. I don’t pretend to know, but it appears to me that’s about the way things are done round here, and all over the District of Maine.”


“I never thought of that before,” said Charlie.

“Nor I either,” said John.

“It’s just as Uncle Isaac says,” said Fred, “just to a T. When I first began to trade, almost everybody had a few bushels of corn to sell, some a good deal; and I never sold a bushel of corn, or meal, except to fishermen from some other place; if any of our people wanted corn, wheat or barley, they went to their neighbors.”

“I have thought a good deal about it,” said Uncle Isaac, “and I’ve talked the matter over with Captain Rhines and Benjamin; it strikes them pretty much as it does me; they ought to be better judges than me, because they’ve had greater privileges. I helped about the Hard-scrabble and the Casco, because I wanted to start you boys, build up the place, and make business; but it never will do to have the eggs all in one basket, for all to be ship-builders, lumbermen, or fishermen. A ship don’t produce anything; she is herself a product, manned from the land, and victualled from the land; everything comes from the ground; we ourselves were made out of it; there must be farmers to feed the rest. I mean, for the future, to put my money into the land, except I see special reasons for helping somebody.”


When the Hard-scrabble was built, Captain Rhines and Ben rigged her, and made the sails, as also those of the Casco, and the Arthur Brown; but after Reed and Atherton began to build, a rigger and sail-maker came into the place. Charlie Bell built the first pair of cart wheels, that had an iron tire. Uncle Isaac and Captain Rhines for some time had the only wagons; but in a few years, carts and wagons were more common, and a blacksmith from Roxbury, who could do carriage work and make edge tools, bought out Peter Brock.

The meeting between Captain Rhines and Arthur (his boy, as he called him), in Boston, was a most interesting one. The old captain was jubilant that all the owners were more than satisfied, and his own judgment, in respect to the capacity of the young captain, borne out by facts.

Though by no means given to the melting mood, he met his protégé with moistening eyes. It is not within the province of language to describe the joy that thrilled the breast of Arthur Brown, and shone in every feature, as he put his hand in that of the captain, resulting from the consciousness that he had more than answered the expectations[263] and justified the confidence reposed in him by his own friends and those of his father, especially of Captain Rhines, Charlie, Lion Ben, and the others who had risked their own lives to save his, and, not satisfied with this, had also jeopardized their property, to open before him a path to usefulness and honor.

“Where are the boys?” asked Captain Rhines, after he had talked half an hour with Arthur.

“They started for home in a coaster yesterday. I have shipped them all for the next voyage.”

“Where is Peterson?”

“Gone with them.”

“Walter and little Ned?”

“They went to Salem together after the vessel was discharged; are coming back to-morrow, expecting to go home with you, or whoever came up. Then you’re fully satisfied with me, captain?”

Satisfied! My dear boy, I should have been satisfied if you had done half as well. There’s not a shipmaster in the country but would be proud of much less than you have done.”

“Mr. Bell and your sons are satisfied?”

“Why, to be sure they are. I don’t know what they could be made of, if they are not.”


“Well,” said Arthur, laying both his hands on the captain’s shoulders, “I have brought home in this vessel that which will afford greater satisfaction to Mr. Bell, yourself and family, than all the money I have made this passage. I have brought home Mr. Bell’s father.”

“You must be jesting, or have been deceived. His father has been in his grave for years.”

“No; he was not killed, as was supposed, but carried a prisoner to France. He has told Eaton and Peterson the whole story of his impressment, just as they say Charlie told it; told his son’s age, looks, and the scar on his face. There’s no mistake—can’t be. You’ll say so when you see him.”

“God ‘a mercy! Well, this is news indeed. But you didn’t mention it in your letter.”

“His father didn’t want me to.”

“Where is he?”

“He’s gone to ride with Mr. Welch. I am to meet him there, and take tea, and then he is coming aboard.”

“I’ll go there to tea. I have a standing invitation. Well, if I ain’t glad! What do you suppose Charlie was about when I came away?”


“I’m sure I don’t know.”

“He was getting ready to put a hedge round the spot where his mother lies; sent up by me to get the plants of Mr. Welch, and wanted me to talk with him about a monument that he wanted to put up to his father’s memory, and a brother and sister that he has heard died in England; and also to get some plans and bring home to him. And now, instead of the monumental plans, he’ll have the man himself.”

[The Mr. Welch referred to here is a wealthy merchant and ship owner, an intimate friend of Captain Rhines, in whose employ he had sailed the greater part of his life. His son James, a young man of singular promise, but broken down by intemperance, was sent by his father to Elm Island in order to get him out of the way of temptation, and restored by the influence of Uncle Isaac.]

“But,” continued Captain Rhines, “the boys will be home before us, will see Charlie, and let the cat out of the bag.”

“No, they won’t; I’ve told them not to.”

The Perseverance had now been away ten days, and Charlie was expecting to receive his “quicks[266]” at her return. He had, in the spring, ploughed the ground intended for his hedge, and planted it with potatoes, to subdue the tough sward. Having dug the potatoes, and spaded in a heavy coating of manure, he was busily engaged (on one of those delightful autumn mornings when the hoar frost is melting from the grass, and dripping from the extremity of the leaves, and the muscles feel that joyous thrill which the season of the year inspires) in levelling the surface with a rake, removing the stones, twigs, and bark that had fallen from the elm. Feeling a hand laid lightly upon his shoulder, he raised his eyes, and looked Walter Griffin full in the face.

“Why, Walter,” he exclaimed, taking both his hands, and struck with the expression of heartfelt joy which pervaded every feature, “how happy you look!”

“I hope so. I’m sure I ought to.”

“He ain’t any happier than I am,” said a voice that Charlie well knew; and stepping from behind the great tree, Ned Gates ran into his arms.

“Why, Ned, how you have grown! I should hardly know you.”

“Have I, truly, Mr. Bell?” replied Ned, excessively pleased.


“Yes; and see what a cue he’s got,” said Walter, turning him round.

“Be still, Wal; how you do like to poke fun at me.”

“Mr. Bell,” asked Walter, “can you bear good news?”

“I guess so.”

“But you never had any such news as this.”

“I stood it pretty well when the Ark made her great voyage, and when Isaac Murch made so much money in the Hard-scrabble. I guess I can stand this,” replied Charlie, thinking Walter was about to tell him how much the Arthur Brown had made.

“O, it ain’t about money at all, but it’s something that will make you gladder than if you had a pile of gold as big as Elm Island.”

“Then it must be that you have given your heart to God, Walter.”

The tears came into Walter’s eyes in a moment.

“And do you think so much of me, Mr. Bell?”

“Just so much.”

“Well, it is not that. Your father has come.

“My father, Walter, is dead, and I am preparing to put up a monument to his memory, right where we stand.”


“You needn’t put up any monument, for he’s alive and well, and in Captain Rhines’s house this minute.”

Charlie turned pale, staggered, and would have fallen to the ground, but was so near the elm that he fell against it. Walter put his arm around him, and he leaned his head on his friend’s shoulder.

“What made you tell him that way?” asked Ned.

“I didn’t mean to; but when he spoke to me about giving my heart to God, I didn’t know what I said.”

“It’s over, now,” said Charlie, lifting his head from Walter’s shoulder.

“He wasn’t killed, Mr. Bell,” said Ned, “though he was flung overboard for dead. The French picked him up, and we found him in Marseilles, selling baskets.”

“I will go right up to Captain Rhines’s,” said Charlie. “You stop at the house till I come back.”

“I must go home,” said Walter; “and Ned is going with me. I haven’t been home yet. I didn’t want anybody to bring this news but myself and Ned.”


When Charlie—his pale features still manifesting traces of the feelings which had mastered him—entered the sitting-room, the captain, taking him by the hand, pointed to the door of the parlor, which stood ajar.

We will draw a veil over the meeting of father and son; but when, at the expiration of half an hour, they came out together, traces of tears were on the cheeks of both, but they were tears of joy. When Charlie presented his wife to his father, and placed the child in his arms, “I can now,” said the happy grand-parent, “say, in the words of old Jacob, ‘I had not thought to see thy face, and lo! God hath also showed me thy seed.’”

As they sat side by side, the old gentleman with the child on his knee, Captain Rhines said,—

“I don’t see how anybody who ever saw Charlie could harbor any doubt about Mr. Bell’s being his father—they favor each other so much.”

“Ah, captain,” was the reply, “put an old, faded, red shirt on me, all stained up with osier sap, a tarpaulin hat, a bundle of baskets on my back, and, more than all, the heart-broken look I wore then, you yourself couldn’t have found much resemblance.”


As they returned to Pleasant Cove by the road that wound along the slope of land towards the house, skirting the sugar orchard, the sun, which was now getting low, illuminated with its level rays the whole declivity, falling off in natural terraces to the shore, and flashed upon the foliage of the rock-maples, now red as blood. Indian Island, with its high cliffs rising up from the glassy bosom of the bay, the white trunks and yellow leaves of its masses of tall birch contrasting with the darker hues of the oak and ash, with which the edges of the bank were fringed, presented a mingling of tints most delightful.

Mr. Bell, upon whom the glories of a New England forest in autumn produced all the effect of novelty, was, for a while, silent with wonder and delight.

He at length exclaimed, “How grand, how beautiful! And is all this land and forest yours, my son?”

“Yes, father, and a great deal more than you can see from here. I bought four hundred acres first, and two hundred more afterwards. Father, do you see that large island, with a cleared spot on the side of it?”


“With a house on it, that looks as though it were on fire, the sun is shining so bright on the windows?”

“Yes, that’s the one; that is Elm Island, where Lion Ben and his wife live, who have been a father and mother to me. God bless you, old Elm Island. What happy years I have spent on you!”

They next proceeded to the little promontory, and Mr. Bell stood beside the grave of her from whom he parted, in bitterness of heart, when he was pressed on board the hulk at Sheerness.

“Poor Mary! She starved—saw poverty and sorrow enough in this world; but I believe she is now experiencing infinitely more happiness than would be hers, were it in our power to call her from the grave to join us. I am glad, my son, that you have not set these quicks; we’ll make the hedge together. When I am gone, you can lay me in this beautiful spot beside her.”

They sat together beneath the elm, talking, till the stars began to come out one after another; and when that night Charlie knelt down to pray, it was with a heart full to overflowing with gratitude and joy.




IF a boy ever enjoyed himself in this world, Ned Gates did among the Griffins. Their rough, but kindly, rollicking ways just suited his sanguine temperament, and he suited them, from the youngest to the oldest, and got through the crust at once. Indeed, there was everything a wide-awake boy would naturally like. There was a charm, in itself, about such a jolly house-full. Ned thought Edmund Griffin was a splendid man, his wife one of the best of women, and as for the old grandfather, despite his rough ways, he was a perfect treasure. Evenings, Ned would nestle to his side, and coax him to tell him stories about river driving, hunting, wrestling, and the Indian wars, in which he had taken a prominent part.

Captain Brown had rewarded Jacques Bernoux very handsomely for the assistance he had rendered[273] Walter, and induced him to come to the States, paying him seaman’s wages, and Walter brought him home with him. Three or four more never made any difference at Edmund Griffin’s. Jacques afforded much amusement by his attempts to speak English.

Being a leisure time of year, and the harvest in, it was hunting, fishing, going to Elm Island,—Ned and Captain Rhines carried the news of Mr. Bell’s arrival to Ben and Sally,—going with Edmund Griffin and Joe up river, and coming down on the raft, breaking colts; and, to fill his cup of happiness to the brim, Ned shot a moose. The boys caught a bear in the trap, and Ned had an opportunity to taste of the meat, and grease his cue with the fat.

There was another older person having a good time, and that was Mr. Bell. His things having been brought to the house, he drew from the recesses of an enormous chest the beautiful work-basket, and some articles of household use, that he had made while in Marseilles, and which had so excited the admiration of Ned. Mary was delighted—she had never seen anything half so beautiful.


“You can’t come up to that, Charlie,” said his father.

“No, father, I can’t. I never saw any of your work so beautiful as this.”

“I never had quite so strong a motive before,” said the old gentleman, smiling.

The next day Charlie was called from home to run out a piece of land, and was absent nearly a week. Finding lumber and tools in the shop, his father made a trough to soak willow, a bench, and having cut some native willows by the brook for the frame, in order to economize the osiers, made a chair for the baby, and when Charlie returned, was busily at work making one high enough for the child to sit at table in.

He was so much occupied with his work as not to notice his son, who stood in the door watching him.

“Father,” said he, “I should think I had got back to Lincolnshire.”

“This is a better place than the fens, Charles. I’ll tell you what I’ve been thinking about while at work here.”

“What is it, father?”

“All through my life, at home, I have been accustomed[275] to look up to the quality, and the country squires who owned lands, with a sort of awe; and I have been thinking what a pleasant feeling it must be to own a piece of land that God made, and that I should, before I die, like to experience the feeling. Now, I have got a few pounds, that I managed to lay up while in France. Why couldn’t I buy a little piece of land, and have a little garden, and plant it? It would seem so pleasant to eat anything that grew on my own land. But perhaps you’ll think I’m getting childish, and that it’s an old man’s whim.”

“That’s just the way I used to feel at home, father; and when I came to this country, I couldn’t rest for thinking how I should ever come to own a piece of land. I would do it. Sam Edwards has a piece right on the shore he wants to sell. Part of it’s cleared. There’s a small piece between it and me that belongs to heirs, and is to be sold. I’ll buy it, and then yours will join mine.”

“And I shall be a freeholder in my old age, after living a tenant all the best of my life,” said the old gentleman, highly gratified.

“I’ll tell you what you can do, father. Next time the vessel goes to Marseilles, get Jacques to[276] procure some sallies for you, set them on your land, and then you can have an osier holt, grow your own rods, and make all the baskets you like, to pass away the time in the long winters we have in this country.”

“Do you think they would grow here?”

“Anything will grow here, and there’s a swale on that place will suit them exactly.”

The marriage of John Rhines and Fannie Williams added to the general satisfaction. The infare, or second-day wedding, took place at Captain Rhines’s, upon which occasion half the town were invited.

Uncle Isaac and Joe Griffin met Walter and Ned at the infare, and there made an agreement to start the next week for the woods. Ned, who had been kept quite closely at school till he went to sea, and had never in his life shot anything larger than a pigeon or squirrel till he came to Pleasant Cove, was perfectly wild with the anticipation, and kept Walter awake so long talking about it, that he averred, if he didn’t keep still, he wouldn’t sleep with him.

Charlie lent Ned a splendid gun, and they were busily employed running balls and making preparations.


While the whole family at Edmund Griffin’s were spending an evening in playing “blind man’s buff” in the great kitchen, the old grandfather looking on and enjoying the sport as much as the rest, Joe, his face bathed in tears, came to announce that Uncle Isaac was dreadfully hurt, and could not live.

“How did it happen?” inquired the grandfather, the first to recover from the effect produced by these sad tidings.

“You know what a hand Uncle Isaac always was to work alone. He went into the woods to haul a large log, laid a skid, one end on the ground, the other on a stump, calculating to roll the log up with the cattle, so as to run the wheels under. He’s got a yoke of cattle that will do anything he tells them to. He stood behind the log, and spoke to the cattle, calculating to trig the log when it was up; but the chain broke, and the log came back on him.”

“How did they know about it?” asked Edmund.

“He spoke to the cattle, threw chips at them, and started them home with a part of the chain hanging to them; his wife knew something was[278] wrong, got some of the neighbors to go, and they brought him home.”

“He’s a very strong man; he may get over it.”

“No, he can’t, father; both legs are broken, and he’s hurt otherways; the doctor says he can’t, though he may live some time. I must go, for I’m going to watch with him to-night.”

“Tell ‘em, Joe, to send here, night or day; anything that we can do, it will be a privilege to do it.”

As is the case when people feel deeply, little was said, and one after another silently slipped off to bed. As soon as Lion Ben and Sally heard of it, they came over and stopped at Captain Rhines’s. Ben, his father, and Joe Griffin gave up everything to take care of and watch with Uncle Isaac; for although the whole neighborhood offered and pressed their services, he preferred that they should take care of him. For some days he suffered intense pain, and was at times delirious; but as death approached, the pain subsided, his mind became perfectly clear, and the same hearty, kindly interest in the young that had ever been a prominent trait of his character, resumed its wonted sway. A few days before his death, he[279] sent for John Rhines, Charlie, Fred Williams, Walter, and Ned, preferring, as he was not able to talk with each one separately, to see them together.

“Boys,” said he, “you have come to see the last of Uncle Isaac. John, won’t you turn that hour-glass. The sand is run out. We have spent a great many pleasant hours together; they are all over now; but I want to tell you that they have been as pleasant to me as to you. It is a great comfort to me that I have been spared to see my children, and you, who seem as near to me as my own children, grow up to be God-fearing, useful men in the world, and settled in life. It would have been a comfort to me to have seen Isaac once more; but you must tell him that his Uncle Isaac did not forget him in his last hours. I have been a strong and a tough man in my time. I never was thrown, seldom pulled up; very few could lift my load, plan work better, or bring more to pass with an axe or scythe. I never saw but one man who could outdo me in trapping game or with a rifle, and that was a Penobscot Indian, and my foster-brother, John Conesus. I have left my rifle with the walnut[280] stock to him. I don’t fetch up these things in any kind of a boasting way, but only to say to you that all these matters that appeared great to me once, and no doubt do to you, seem very small now. What I like most to think about ain’t what I’ve done for myself, but to help others, especially to start young men, and get ‘em canted right, because any good done to the young always seemed to me to go a great ways. I always did love to set a scion in a young stock; it ain’t like grafting an old hollow tree, which, if it bears a little fruit, soon rots down or blows over. If, at your time of life, you feel and do thus, like as when you caught the fish and gave them to poor Mrs. Yelf, and when you tried to make a good boy of Fred here—”

“We never should have done either,” said John, “if you hadn’t put it into our heads.”

“More especially, if you should be owned of the Lord as a means of grace to some fellow-creetur, you will find they will be the pleasantest things to look back on, when you come to be where I am; more so than chopping, wrestling, and getting property, though they are all good in their place; such thoughts smooth a sick pillow wonderfully. Not[281] that I put any dependence in them, but in the marcy of Him who gave me the heart to do them.”

After resting a while, and taking some stimulant, he motioned for Walter and Ned to come near.

“I hear that Captain Brown gives you a good name, Walter, and that you came home his first officer. We were about to go into the woods together when I was hurt. I used to think you loved to go into the woods with me.”

“O, Uncle Isaac, the happiest hours of my life have been spent in the woods with you.”

“We never shall go there again; I am going to a better place—to heaven. Walter, I hope we shall meet there. I haven’t strength to say more; but you will remember the talks we’ve had at the camp fire. So this is the little boy we took off the raft; he is not very little now, though. Don’t cry, my son,” he said, laying his hand upon Ned’s head, who had buried his face in the bed-clothes, and was sobbing audibly. “It seems to me I am the best off of the two.”

“How can that be, Uncle Isaac, when you are hurt so dreadfully, while I am well?”

“Because, my son, I have got about through; I[282] have run all the risk, while you have just begun, have all the risk to run, and may be shipwrecked. I know what is before me—a better world; you don’t know what is before you. I have had all my trials; yours are to come. Captain Rhines tells me you have a Christian mother.”

“Yes, Uncle Isaac, she’s the best mother that ever was.”

“I had a praying mother; when I was younger than you I was torn from her, and carried away by the Indians. I never forgot her words; in the great woods, all alone, they came to mind, and through them I sought and found the Lord.”

After parting with the boys, he seemed prostrated, fell into a doze, and passed away without a struggle.

A few days after, Uncle Jonathan Smullen died, from decay of nature—a very clever man, and kind neighbor; and it was said of him, he never did anybody any harm; but Uncle Isaac was missed, and mourned by the whole community. The seed of good principles he had sown in the minds of young men kept coming up for years after he was in his grave, and was resown by those who received it from them, a hundred times; nor will their influence ever cease.




SCARCELY had Uncle Isaac been committed to the earth, when the nephew he had so longed to see arrived in the Casco, sick with the fever and ague. As the owners wished to send the vessel with despatch to one of the French West India islands, they, at Isaac’s request, put Ezra Aldrich in her as master. He was a native of the place, and relative of Isaac, but never much liked by his schoolmates, being an overbearing fellow.

In his youth he went two voyages with Captain Rhines, and afterwards in English ships from Liverpool to Halifax.

“I don’t see,” said Captain Rhines, “what Isaac wants to put him in her for.”

The first mate was an acquaintance and shipmate of Aldrich, by the name of Percival, and, as Captain Rhines told his wife, as great a rascal as[284] the captain. There was some difficulty in getting a crew, but, through the influence of Captain Rhines, who prevailed on Peterson and Danforth Eaton to ship, a crew was mustered. Being all young men from the neighborhood, who knew their duty and were able and willing to do it, they were at first rather amused than otherwise with the consequential airs and bluster of their new captain, in such strong contrast to the manners of Captain Rhines and Captain Murch.

Aldrich seemed very much inclined to quarrel with Peterson, but having a wholesome dread of the strength of the black, restrained himself. By continual abuse, he at length irritated the good-natured negro to such a degree, that he said to him, “Lookee ‘ere, Massa Aldrich; ‘member when you little picaninny, runnin’ ‘bout barefoot; shirt flap he stick out behind; your farder haul staves on a hand-sled, your mudder dig clams; spose you gib me any more your jabber-juice, fling you ober de rail.”

A week passed, when the captain, offended with Danforth Eaton, caught up the end of a rope to flog him. Eaton took up another.

“What use do you intend to make of that rope, Eaton?” asked the captain.


“Just the same use that you make of yours.”

The captain was a school-mate of Eaton, and knew very well the result of a collision with him. But as they approached the land, the deportment of the captain entirely changed. While the vessel was being discharged, he bought soft bread, fresh meat, vegetables, and even fruit, for the men. Seamen are little disposed to remember injuries, and all old scores were now rubbed out.

The cook having gone to the hospital sick, Peterson had taken his place.

One evening, just as the men were about to turn in, the captain sent Peterson ashore with some letters. In the morning, when the crew turned out, he was among the missing. There was a good fire in the fireplace,—stoves were not in use then,—the tea-kettle on, coffee pounded in the mortar, some raw potatoes and onions peeled and sliced, slices of raw pork in the frying-pan, salt beef chopped in a kid,—everything prepared to make lob-scouse.

“Was he not a drinking man?” inquired the captain.

“He was once,” said Hurd, “but left it off years ago.”


“Halloo! What’s this?” said George Hoyt.

A handkerchief lay on the fender. They brought it aboard on the point of a boat-hook.

“It’s Peterson’s,” said Elwell; “there’s his name on it.”

“It’s just as I thought,” said the captain. “He drank last night; that waked up the old appetite, and as soon as he turned out this morning he went for more, and fell off the gangway plank.”

A grappling was procured ashore, and the crew, under the direction of the captain, who was deeply moved, grappled for the body the greater part of the day, without success. In the meanwhile, the mate was making inquiries on shore.

“The tide runs strong here,” said the captain; “it has swept him to sea.”

“Poor Jim has gone, boys,” said Eaton, as, weary and dispirited, they sat down to supper.

“Anybody wouldn’t have thought,” said Savage, “he’d a broke through, after being a steady man so long. The captain feels bad, but he’s done all a man could do.”

“Jim Peterson,” said Eaton, brushing away a tear with the back of his hand, “was a black fellow, raal coal black, too,—a Guinea nigger, if you[287] please; but if he’d been washed overboard, I’d a risked my life to save him quicker than for any shipmate I ever had; and I’m not all the one would have done it.”

“That’s so, Dan. I’m sure I never thought anything about his color.”

“But I don’t believe anything about his getting drunk (though I’ve no doubt the captain thinks so); for I’ve seen him tried and tempted hard to weather, by old shipmates, time and time again. He went ashore to get something to put in the stew; a sober man might make a misdeal in a hurry. No power on earth will ever make me believe Jim was drunk.”

“Then why didn’t he sing out?”

“He might strike his head on something, and stun him. There’s a good many will feel bad when we carry the news home, besides his own folks.”

“That’s so,” said Savage; “there’s nothing in the world that the Rhineses wouldn’t do for Peterson, and always would; and it was just so with the Griffins. I’ve heard that Peterson saved the captain’s life once. I remember one time a parcel of us boys got some withes, tied them together, and got a turn round Peterson’s waist when he[288] was so drunk he couldn’t chase us, and began to pull him round. First thing I knew, I got a clip side of my head that sent me a rod; when I picked myself up, I saw the boys, some on the ground, some runnin’, and Lion Ben right among ‘em. I put her for home, and never stopped till I got under mother’s bed; but the rim of my ear was cut through, and my head was swelled for a week. I tell you, I looked sharp for Lion Ben after that, whenever I wanted to have any fun with Peterson.”

When the vessel arrived home, Captain Murch took charge, and Aldrich went back to Liverpool.

Percival, the mate, got to drinking, and became a miserable fellow; went to Boston, and sailed before the mast, sometimes second mate, and after his brief elevation, again before the mast; till, becoming so notorious a drunkard that no captain would have him, he was employed as a lumper about the wharves in Boston.

The next volume of this series, “The Young Deliverers,” will explain the mystery attending the disappearance of Peterson, and present the characters of Walter and Ned in an entirely new light.



Ninety-five copyright books for boys by noted American Authors

The books selected for this series are all thoroughly American, by such favorite American authors of boys’ books as Oliver Optic, Elijah Kellogg, P. C. Headley, Captain Farrar, George M. Towle, and others, now made for the first time at a largely reduced price, in order to bring them within the reach of all. Each volume complete in itself.

Uniform Cloth Binding New Cover Design Illustrated Price per volume $1.00

1. Adrift in the Ice Fields By Capt. Chas. W. Hall

2. All Aboard, or Life on the Lake By Oliver Optic

3. Ark of Elm Island By Elijah Kellogg

4. Arthur Brown the Young Captain By Elijah Kellogg

5. Boat Club, The, or the Bunkers of Rippleton By Oliver Optic

6. Boy Farmers of Elm Island, The By Elijah Kellogg

7. Boys of Grand Pré School By Prof. James DeMille

8. “B. O. W. C.,” The By Prof. James DeMille

9. Brought to the Front, or the Young Defenders By Elijah Kellogg

10. Burying the Hatchet, or the Young Brave of the Delawares By Elijah Kellogg

11. Cast Away in the Cold By Dr. Isaac I. Hayes

12. Charlie Bell the Waif of Elm Island By Elijah Kellogg

13. Child of the Island Glen By Elijah Kellogg

14. Crossing the Quicksands By Samuel W. Cozzens

15. Cruise of the Casco By Elijah Kellogg

16. Fire in the Woods By Prof. James DeMille

17. Fisher Boys of Pleasant Cove By Elijah Kellogg

18. Forest Glen, or the Mohawk’s Friendship By Elijah Kellogg

19. Good Old Times By Elijah Kellogg


20. Hard-scrabble of Elm Island By Elijah Kellogg

21. Haste or Waste, or the Young Pilot of Lake Champlain By Oliver Optic

22. Hope and Have By Oliver Optic

23. In School and Out, or the Conquest of Richard Grant By Oliver Optic

24. John Godsoe’s Legacy By Elijah Kellogg

25. Just His Luck By Oliver Optic

26. Lion Ben of Elm Island By Elijah Kellogg

27. Little by Little, or the Cruise of the Flyaway By Oliver Optic

28. Live Oak Boys, or the Adventures of Richard Constable Afloat and Ashore By Elijah Kellogg

29. Lost in the Fog By Prof. James DeMille

30. Mission of Black Rifle, or On the Trail By Elijah Kellogg

31. Now or Never, or the Adventures of Bobby Bright By Oliver Optic

32. Poor and Proud, or the Fortunes of Kate Redburn By Oliver Optic

33. Rich and Humble, or the Mission of Bertha Grant By Oliver Optic

34. Sophomores of Radcliffe, or James Trafton and His Boston Friends By Elijah Kellogg

35. Sowed by the Wind, or the Poor Boy’s Fortune By Elijah Kellogg

36. Spark of Genius, or the College Life of James Trafton By Elijah Kellogg

37. Stout Heart, or the Student from Over the Sea By Elijah Kellogg

38. Strong Arm and a Mother’s Blessing By Elijah Kellogg

39. Treasure of the Sea By Prof. James DeMille

40. Try Again, or the Trials and Triumphs of Harry West By Oliver Optic

41. Turning of the Tide, or Radcliffe Rich and his Patients By Elijah Kellogg

42. Unseen Hand, or James Renfew and His Boy Helpers By Elijah Kellogg


43. Watch and Wait, or the Young Fugitives By Oliver Optic

44. Whispering Pine, or the Graduates of Radcliffe By Elijah Kellogg

45. Winning His Spurs, or Henry Morton’s First Trial By Elijah Kellogg

46. Wolf Run, or the Boys of the Wilderness By Elijah Kellogg

47. Work and Win, or Noddy Newman on a Cruise By Oliver Optic

48. Young Deliverers of Pleasant Cove By Elijah Kellogg

49. Young Shipbuilders of Elm Island By Elijah Kellogg

50. Young Trail Hunters By Samuel W. Cozzens

51. Field and Forest, or the Fortunes of a Farmer By Oliver Optic

52. Outward Bound, or Young America Afloat By Oliver Optic

53. The Soldier Boy, or Tom Somers in the Army By Oliver Optic

54. The Starry Flag, or the Young Fisherman of Cape Ann By Oliver Optic

55. Through by Daylight, or the Young Engineer of the Lake Shore Railroad By Oliver Optic

56. Cruises with Captain Bob around the Kitchen Fire By B. P. Shillaber (Mrs. Partington)

57. The Double-Runner Club, or the Lively Boys of Rivertown By B. P. Shillaber (Mrs. Partington)

58. Ike Partington and His Friends, or the Humors of a Human Boy By B. P. Shillaber (Mrs. Partington)

59. Locke Amsden the Schoolmaster By Judge D. P. Thompson

60. The Rangers By Judge D. P. Thompson

61. The Green Mountain Boys By Judge D. P. Thompson

62. A Missing Million, or the Adventures of Louis Belgrave By Oliver Optic

63. A Millionaire at Sixteen, or the Cruise of the “Guardian Mother” By Oliver Optic

64. A Young Knight Errant, or Cruising in the West Indies By Oliver Optic

65. Strange Sights Abroad, or Adventures in European Waters By Oliver Optic


66. Facing the Enemy The Life of Gen. Wm. Tecumseh Sherman By P. C. Headley

67. Fight it Out on This Line The Life and Deeds of Gen. U. S. Grant By P. C. Headley

68. Fighting Phil The Life of Gen. Philip Henry Sheridan By P. C. Headley

69. Old Salamander The Life of Admiral David G. Farragut By P. C. Headley

70. Old Stars The Life of Gen. Ormsby M. Mitchell By P. C. Headley

71. The Miner Boy and His Monitor The Career of John Ericsson, Engineer By P. C. Headley

72. The Young Silver Seekers By Samuel W. Cozzens

73. Drake the Sea King of Devon By George Makepeace Towle

74. Magellan, or the First Voyage around the World By G. M. Towle

75. Marco Polo, His Travels and Adventures By G. M. Towle

76. Pizarro, His Adventures and Conquests By George M. Towle

77. Raleigh, His Voyages and Adventures By George M. Towle

78. Vasco da Gama, His Voyages and Adventures By G. M. Towle

79. The Heroes and Martyrs of Invention By George M. Towle

80. Live Boys, or Charlie and Nasho in Texas By A. Morecamp

81. Live Boys in the Black Hills By Arthur Morecamp

82. Down the West Branch By Capt. C. A. J. Farrar

83. Eastward Ho! By Capt. C. A. J. Farrar

84. Up the North Branch By Capt. C. A. J. Farrar

85. Wild Woods Life By Capt. C. A. J. Farrar

86. Child of the Tide By Mrs. E. D. Cheney

87. The Boys of Thirty-Five By E. H. Elwell

88. Perseverance Island By Douglas Frazar

89. Going West By Oliver Optic

90. Little Bobtail By Oliver Optic


91. Fore and Aft By Robert B. Dixon

92. Pocket Island By Charles Clark Munn

93. Donald’s School Days By Gen. O. O. Howard

94. Henry in the War By Gen. O. O. Howard

95. All Adrift By Oliver Optic



Practical and Profitable Ideas for a Boy’s Leisure Hours


Illustrated with over 400 diagrams and working drawings 8vo Price, $2.00

EVERY real boy wishes to design and make things, but the questions of materials and tools are often hard to get around. Nearly all books on the subject call for a greater outlay of money than is within the means of many boys, or their parents wish to expend in such ways. In this book a number of chapters give suggestions for carrying on a small business that will bring a boy in money with which to buy tools and materials necessary for making apparatus and articles described in other chapters, while the ideas are so practical that many an industrious boy can learn what he is best fitted for in his life work. No work of its class is so completely up-to-date or so worthy in point of thoroughness and avoidance of danger. The drawings are profuse and excellent, and every feature of the book is first-class. It tells how to make a boy’s workshop, how to handle tools, and what can be made with them; how to start a printing shop and conduct an amateur newspaper, how to make photographs, build a log cabin, a canvas canoe, a gymnasium, a miniature theatre, and many other things dear to the soul of youth.

We cannot imagine a more delightful present for a boy than this book.—Churchman, N.Y.

Every boy should have this book. It’s a practical book—it gets right next to the boy’s heart and stays there. He will have it near him all the time, and on every page there is a lesson or something that will stand the boy in good need. Beyond a doubt in its line this is one of the cleverest books on the market.—Providence News.

If a boy has any sort of a mechanical turn of mind, his parents should see that he has this book.—Boston Journal.

This is a book that will do boys good.—Buffalo Express.

The boy who will not find this book a mine of joy and profit must be queerly constituted.—Pittsburgh Gazette.

Will be a delight to the boy mechanic.—Watchman, Boston.

An admirable book to give a boy.—Newark News.

This book is the best yet offered for its large number of practical and profitable ideas.—Milwaukee Free Press.

Parents ought to know of this book.—New York Globe.




Cloth, 12mo Illustrated by Charles Copeland Price per volume, $1.25


HERE is an up-to-date story presenting American boarding-school life and modern athletics. Of course football is an important feature, but this is far more than a football book. It is a story of character formation told in a most wholesome and manly way. In this development athletics play an important part, to be sure, but are only one feature in carrying the hero, “Dick Melvin,” on to a worthy manhood.

“Mingled with the story of football is another and higher endeavor, giving the book the best of moral tone.”—Chicago Record-Herald.


THIS story is lively and worth telling, and the life presented is that of a real school, interesting, diversified, and full of striking incidents, while the characters are true and consistent types of American boyhood and youth. The athletics are technically correct, abounding in helpful suggestions, soundly and wisely given, and the moral tone is high and set by action rather than preaching.

“The story is healthful, for, while it exalts athletics, it does not overlook the fact that studious habits and noble character are imperative needs for those who would win success in life.”—Herald and Presbyter, Cincinnati.


TELLS how a stalwart young student won his position as guard, and at the same time made equally marked progress in the formation of character. It introduces the leading arguments for and against football in connection with the difficulties to be overcome before the hero’s father finally consents to allow his son to represent his academy in this way.

“The book gives boys an interesting story, much football information, and many lessons in true manliness.”—Watchman, Boston.



By Martha James Illustrated by Charles Copeland Large 12mo $1.00

JACK TENFIELD is a bright Boston boy, who, while preparing for college, is brought to face the fact that his father, a benevolent physician, and supposed to be well-to-do, had really left no estate. Jack resolutely defends his father’s memory, and makes the best of it. Circumstances bring much travel and many adventures, in all of which his generous, manly character rings true. That Jack is capable of being his “own star” well expresses the excellent thought of the book, which is remarkable for variety of well-told incidents.

“A clean, wholesome, enjoyable book.”—The American Boy, Detroit, Mich.

Tom Winstone, “Wide Awake”

By Martha James Large 12mo Illustrated by W. Herbert Dunton $1.00

WE have often wished that we could secure a book for boys like the undying ones written by J. T. Trowbridge, and in “Tom Winstone” we have a young hero whose story is told in a way well worthy to be compared with the work of the older writer referred to. The sterling quality shown in “My Friend Jim” is all here, and “Tom,” an older boy, equally efficient in baseball, a foot race, or a noble action, is well worth knowing.

“Any healthy boy will delight in this book.”—Living Church, Milwaukee, Wis.

My Friend Jim

A Story of Real Boys and for Them

By Martha James Large 12mo Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill $1.00

JUST the book to place in the hands of bright, active boys, and one that the most careful parents will be glad to use for that purpose. The loyal friendship springing up between Jim, the son of a mechanic, and a wealthy man’s son who is at Sunnyside farm for his health, has made the basis for some of the cleanest, brightest, and most helpful descriptions of boy life that we have ever read.

“It is a book that boys will like and profit by.”—Universalist Leader, Boston.




By ALVAH MILTON KERR Illustrated $1.25

HERE is a rattling good story; a tale of mystery, mechanism, and getting on in the world that will be a boy’s favorite for years. Two youths, both born inventors, make each other’s acquaintance as a result of misfortunes attending a Minnesota cyclone. Their efforts to perfect a flying-boat that shall not only skim the water, but rise into the air, result in the securing of a mechanical education. Mr. Kerr has solved the problem of a book that shall be intensely exciting and yet thoroughly wholesome.

“The ingenuity and pluck of these two worthy heroes supply just the right material for the encouragement of ambitious youth.”—Boston Beacon.

“The book is full of life, incident, and stirring success.”—Watchman, Boston.

“The book is deeply interesting, at times intensely exciting, and yet thoroughly clean and wholesome throughout.”—Portland Express.


By ALVAH MILTON KERR Illustrated 12mo Cloth $1.25

THE place which the sea once held in supplying thrilling tales of heroism and peril is now being largely usurped by that powerful agent of progress, the railway service, and with no lessening of interest. It is also very attractive to know how those who bear the vast responsibilities of this service perform their work and meet the fearful emergencies that may arise at any time.

“The tone of the work is healthful and inspiring.”—Boston Herald.

“They are calculated to inspire boys to become manly, and incidentally they contain considerable valuable information.”—Newark News.

“An ideal book for a young boy is ‘Young Heroes of Wire and Rail.’”—Episcopal Recorder, Philadelphia.



By Emma Lee Benedict Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill 12mo $1.25

A YOUNG man of wealth is trustee for a fund to help boys and chooses six to pass the summer at his home on an island near New York. These lads of widely different temperaments in true boy fashion form a “club,” whose highest purpose it is to watch over the property and interests of their benefactor, and to which they give his name. All profit in great measure from a summer that is a turning point in their lives. A story of reaping good by doing good, bright and entertaining and full of life, incident, and good sense.

“It is a story along novel lines, and may be warmly commended.”—St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

The Young Vigilantes

A Story of California Life in the Fifties

By Samuel Adams Drake Illustrated by L. J. Bridgman Price $1.25

FEW men now remain who can describe the “Forty-Niners” from personal knowledge and experience, and the very best one of them is the noted historical writer, Col. Drake. One of two young chums in Boston yields to the excitement of the day and goes to California, partly at his friend’s expense. Later, the hero of the story is driven by injustice to make his way thither via the route across Nicaragua, befriended by an old sailor. A reunion and exciting experiences in San Francisco follow.

“The book is a bright, able, and wholesome contribution to the knowledge of our country’s progress.”—Religious Telescope, Dayton, O.

Joe’s Signal Code

By W. Reiff Hesser Illustrated by Frank T. Merrill $1.25

THIS book tells of the abandoning of a fine ship with its cargo in the Pacific Ocean. The leading characters, who are to leave in the last boat, had their escape cut off by its destruction, but succeed in saving the ship and lead a most interesting life for more than a year on a hitherto unknown island.

“The boys will enjoy it from cover to cover. The book is many degrees above the ordinary story.”—American Boy, Detroit.



“Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime.”

The volumes included in this series tend to inculcate the spirit of patriotism and good citizenship. The boys and girls of to-day are here made acquainted with the lives and characters of many noble men and women of this and other countries. The information is pleasantly and vividly imparted in the form of popular biography as well as fiction by well-known and popular writers.

Uniform Cloth Binding New and Attractive Dies Illustrated Price per volume $1.00

1. Bobbin Boy The Early Life of Gen. N. P. Banks

2. Border Boy A Popular Life of Daniel Boone By W. H. Bogart

3. Daring Deeds of the Revolution By Henry C. Watson

4. Dora Darling or the Daughter of the Regiment By Jane G. Austin

5. Dora Darling and Little Sunshine By Jane G. Austin

6. Father of his Country A Popular Life of George Washington By Henry C. Watson

7. Friend of Washington A Popular Life of General Lafayette. By Henry C. Watson.

8. Great Men and Gallant Deeds By J. G. Edgar

9. Great Peacemaker A Popular Life of William Penn By Henry C. Watson

10. Great Expounder Young Folks’ Life of Daniel Webster

11. Good and Great Men Their Brave Deeds and Works By John Frost, LL.D.

12. Little Corporal Young Folks’ Life of Napoleon Bonaparte By John Frost, LL.D.

13. Mill Boy of the Slashes Life of Henry Clay By John Frost

14. Noble Deeds of American Women Edited by J. Clement

15. Old Bell of Independence By Henry C. Watson

16. Old Hickory Life of Andrew Jackson By John Frost

17. Old Rough and Ready Young Folks’ Life of Gen. Zachary Taylor By John Frost, LL.D.

18. Pioneer Mothers of the West Daring and Heroic Deeds of American Women By John Frost, LL.D.

19. Printer Boy or How Ben Franklin made his Mark

20. Poor Richard’s Story A Popular Life of Ben Franklin By Henry C. Watson

21. Paul and Persis or the Revolutionary Struggle in the Mohawk Valley By Mary E. Brush

22. Quaker among the Indians By Thomas C. Battey

23. Swamp Fox Life of Gen. Francis Marion By John Frost

24. Women of Worth whom the World Loves to Honor

25. Young Invincibles or Patriotism at Home. By I. H. Anderson


Newly arranged Standard Collection of History, Biography, Heroism, and Adventure

Thirty favorites in new series New uniform cover design Attractive dies Fine cloth binding Illustrated Price per volume 75 cents.

This series can truly be said to cover the world in its scope, as it chronicles heroic and daring exploits in all climes, told by an exceptionally strong list of authors. It is just the library to entertain and inform a live boy, and, while composed of books that arouse eager interest, is wholly free from cheap sensationalism.

1. Adventures of Dick Onslow among the Redskins By W. H. K. Kingston

2. African Crusoes, The By Mrs. R. Lee

3. Among the Brigands By Prof. James DeMille

4. Anthony Waymouth By W. H. K. Kingston

5. Arctic Crusoe, The, Adventures on the Sea of Ice By Percy B. St. John

6. Around the World in Eighty Days By Jules Verne

7. Australian Crusoes, The By Charles Rowcroft

8. Australian Wanderers By Mrs. R. Lee

9. Cabin on the Prairie, The By Dr. C. H. Pearson

10. Cruise of the Frolic, The By W. H. K. Kingston

11. Ernest Bracebridge; or School Boy Days By W. H. K. Kingston

12. French Robinson Crusoe, The By Alfred de Brehat

13. Golden Hair, a Tale of the Pilgrim Fathers By Sir Lascelle Wraxhall

14. Life Boat, The By R. M. Ballantyne

15. Lily and the Cross, The By Prof. James DeMille

16. Planting the Wilderness By James D. McCabe, Jr.

17. Prairie Crusoe, The; or Adventures in the Far West By Sir Lascelle Wraxhall

18. Sand Hills of Jutland, The By Hans Christian Andersen

19. Twice Taken, a Tale of Louisburg By Capt. Charles W. Hall

20. Twelve Nights in a Hunter’s Camp By Rev. William Barrows

21. Whales We Caught, The, and How We Did It By William H. Macy

22. Wild Scenes of a Hunter’s Life By John Frost, LL.D.

23. Willis the Pilot, a Sequel to the Swiss Family Robinson By Sir Lascelle Wraxhall

24. Winged Lion, The, or Stories of Venice. By Prof. James De Mille

25. Winter in the Ice, A By Jules Verne

26. Wreck of the Chancellor, The By Jules Verne

27. Yarns of an Old Mariner By Mary Cowden Clarke

28. Young Crusoe, The; or Adventure of a Shipwrecked Boy By Dr. Harley

29. Young Middy, The By F. C. Armstrong

30. Young Pioneers of the Northwest By Dr. C. H. Pearson


Famous Children

By H. Twitchell Illustrated $1.25

WE have here a most valuable book, telling not of the childhood of those who have afterwards become famous, but those who as children are famous in history, song, and story. For convenience the subjects are grouped as “Royal Children,” “Child Artists,” “Learned Children,” “Devoted Children,” “Child Martyrs,” and “Heroic Children,” and the names of the “two little princes,” Louis XVII., Mozart, St. Genevieve, David, and Joan of Arc are here, as well as those of many more.

The Story of the Cid For Young People

By Calvin Dill Wilson Illustrated by J. W. Kennedy $1.25

MR. WILSON, a well-known writer and reviewer, has prepared from Southey’s translation, which was far too cumbrous to entertain the young, a book that will kindle the imagination of youth and entertain and inform those of advanced years.

Jason’s Quest

By D. O. S. Lowell, A. M., M. D. Master in Roxbury Latin School Illustrated $1.00

NOTHING can be better to arouse the imagination of boys and girls, and at the same time store in their minds knowledge indispensable to any one who would be known as cultured, or happier than Professor Lowell’s way of telling a story, and the many excellent drawings have lent great spirit to the narrative.

Heroes of the Crusades

By Amanda M. Douglas Cloth Fifty full-page illustrations $1.50

THE romantic interest in the days of chivalry, so fully exemplified by the “Heroes of the Crusades,” is permanent and properly so. This book is fitted to keep it alive without descending to improbability or cheap sensationalism.




Six volumes Cloth Illustrated by A. B. Shute Price per volume reduced to $1.25

No American writer for boys has ever occupied a higher position than Dr. Tomlinson, and the “War of 1812 Series” covers a field attempted by no other juvenile literature in a manner that has secured continued popularity.

The Search for Andrew Field

The Boy Soldiers of 1812

The Boy Officers of 1812

Tecumseh’s Young Brave

Guarding the Border

The Boys with Old Hickory



Being the third volume of the “St. Lawrence Series” Cloth Illustrated Price $1.50

Our old friends, “Bob,” “Ben,” “Jock,” and “Bert,” having completed their sophomore year at college, plan to spend the summer vacation cruising on the noble St. Lawrence. Here they not only visit places of historic interest, but also the Indian tribes encamped on the banks of the river, and learn from them their customs, habits, and quaint legends.



Or, On the Trail of the Early Discoverers

Cloth Illustrated $1.50


Or, Following Frontenac

Cloth Illustrated $1.50



First and Second Series Cloth Illustrated $1.00 each


The Tide-Mill Stories



Six Volumes. Cloth. Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25


Phil and His Friends.

The hero is the son of a man who from drink got into debt, and, after having given a paper to a creditor authorizing him to keep the son as a security for his claim, ran away, leaving poor Phil a bond slave. The story involves a great many unexpected incidents, some of which are painful and some comic. Phil manfully works for a year cancelling his father’s debt, and then escapes. The characters are strongly drawn, and the story is absorbingly interesting.

The Tinkham Brothers’ Tide-Mill.

“‘The Tinkham Brothers’ were the devoted sons of an invalid mother. The story tells how they purchased a tide-mill, which afterwards, by the ill-will and obstinacy of neighbors, became a source of much trouble to them. It tells also how, by discretion and the exercise of a peaceable spirit, they at last overcame all difficulties.”—Christian Observer, Louisville, Ky.

The Satin-wood Box.

“Mr. Trowbridge has always a purpose in his writings, and this time he has undertaken to show how very near an innocent boy can come to the guilty edge and yet be able by fortunate circumstances to rid himself of all suspicion of evil. There is something winsome about the hero; but he has a singular way of falling into bad luck, although the careful reader will never feel the least disposed to doubt his honesty.”—Syracuse Standard.

The Little Master.

This is the story of a schoolmaster, his trials, disappointments, and final victory. It will recall to many a man his experience in teaching pupils, and in managing their opinionated and self-willed parents. The story has the charm which is always found in Mr. Trowbridge’s works.

“Many a teacher could profit by reading of this plucky little schoolmaster.”—Journal of Education.

His One Fault.

“As for the hero of this story ‘His One Fault’ was absent-mindedness. He forgot to lock his uncle’s stable door, and the horse was stolen. In seeking to recover the stolen horse, he unintentionally stole another. In trying to restore the wrong horse to his rightful owner, he was himself arrested. After no end of comic and dolorous adventures, he surmounted all his misfortunes by downright pluck and genuine good feeling. It is a noble contribution to juvenile literature.”—Woman’s Journal.

Peter Budstone.

“Mr. J. T. Trowbridge’s ‘Peter Budstone’ is another of those altogether good and wholesome books for boys of which it is hardly possible to speak too highly. This author shows us convincingly how juvenile reading may be made vivacious and interesting, and yet teach sound and clean lessons. ‘Peter Budstone’ shows forcibly the folly and crime of ‘hazing.’ It is the story of a noble young fellow whose reason is irreparably overthrown by the savage treatment he received from some of his associates at college. It is a powerful little book, and we wish every schoolboy and college youth could read it.”—Philadelphia American.


The Silver Medal Stories



Six Volumes. Cloth. Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.25


The Silver Medal, and other Stories.

There were some schoolboys who had turned housebreakers, and among their plunder was a silver medal that had been given to one John Harrison by the Humane Society for rescuing from drowning a certain Benton Barry. Now Benton Barry was one of the wretched housebreakers. This is the summary of the opening chapter. The story is intensely interesting in its serious as well as its humorous parts.

His Own Master.

“This is a book after the typical boy’s own heart. Its hero is a plucky young fellow, who, seeing no chance for himself at home, determines to make his own way in the world.... He sets out accordingly, trudges to the far West, and finds the road to fortune an unpleasantly rough one.”—Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bound in Honor.

This story is of a lad, who, though not guilty of any bad action, has been an eye-witness of the conduct of his comrades, and felt “Bound in Honor” not to tell.

“A capital book in all respects, overflowing with all sorts of fun and adventure; just the sort of book, in short, that the young folks will be anxious to read and re-read with as much continuous interest as the most favored of their storybooks.”—Philadelphia Leader.

The Pocket Rifle.

“A boy’s story which will be read with avidity, as it ought to be, it is so brightly and frankly written, and with such evident knowledge of the temperaments and habits, the friendships and enmities of schoolboys.”—New York Mail.

“This is a capital story for boys. It teaches honesty, integrity, and friendship, and how best they can be promoted. It shows the danger of hasty judgment and circumstantial evidence; that right-doing pays, and dishonesty never.”—Chicago Inter-Ocean.

The Jolly Rover.

“This book will help to neutralize the ill effects of any poison which children may have swallowed in the way of sham-adventurous stories and wildly fictitious tales. ‘The Jolly Rover’ runs away from home, and meets life as it is, till he is glad enough to seek again his father’s house. Mr. Trowbridge has the power of making an instructive story absorbing in its interest, and of covering a moral so that it is easy to take.”—Christian Intelligencer.

Young Joe, and other Boys.

“Young Joe,” who lived at Bass Cove, where he shot wild ducks, took some to town for sale, and attracted the attention of a portly gentleman fond of shooting. This gentleman went duck shooting with Joe, and their adventures were more amusing to the boy than to the amateur sportsman.

There are thirteen other short stories in the book which will be sure to please the young folks.


The Toby Trafford Series




Three Volumes Cloth Illustrated
Price per volume. $1.25


The Fortunes of Toby Trafford.

“A new story by J. T. Trowbridge, is, like all Mr. Trowbridge’s fiction, the good wine that needs no bush. The plot is full of interest, and is still so natural that it all might happen in a thousand places. Its scenes and its people are everywhere; only few writers have Trowbridge’s eyes to see them. The hero is not an impossibly good boy, but he has manly instincts; and he is kept from follies and mistakes by the counsels of an excellent mother, and of his wise and noble-hearted schoolmaster. Boys will follow his career and his good and bad fortune with genuine interest.”—Boston Budget.

Father Brighthopes; An Old Clergyman’s Vacation.

“To the many friends which this book will doubtless gain it may be well to say that Father Brighthopes of the story gains that cheery name by his readiness to always see the bright and not the dark side of any difficulty, great or small. The few weeks which he spent with his friends, the Roydons, wrought a change in their daily life as marked as it was pleasant. The writings of Trowbridge are too well known to require comment, since almost everyone is familiar with his straightforward, simple style, underlying which there is not a little humor as well as pathos.”—Chicago Times.

Woodie Thorpe’s Pilgrimage, and other Stories.

“The scenes are full of human interest and lifelikeness, and will please many an old reader, as well as the younger folks, for whose delectation it is intended. As in all the books of this author the spirit is manly, sincere, and in the best sense moral. There is no “goody” talk and no cant, but principles of truthfulness, integrity, and self-reliance are quietly inculcated by example. It is safe to say that any boy will be the better for reading books like this.”—St. Botolph.


For sale by all booksellers or sent postpaid on receipt of price
by the publishers. Our Illustrated Catalogue sent free.


Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., Boston