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wards me, and what I would have done by you had you been stranded in a strange land. I feel that my last yarn's spun out, and my glass run down-only I should have liked better to have been laid under hatches in my own country, and along-side of my own kith and kin ; but there's no help for it! The old hull must break up somewhere, and its all one whether she lies stranded ashore or founders under the deep-sea waves. Tell them all about my mishap at home, if ever you reach it; and bid Will be kind to his poor mother and the little ones and now give me a drop of that pure water to quench my burning thirst fare ye well once more, and the blessing of Heaven go with you !” He died in the course of the afternoon, in the evening we dug his grave by the margin of the stream_laid him in--and departed on our way. We travelled eight nights in the same manner, avoiding every habitation, and living on such wild berries and field roots as we could gather till the ninth, when we reached St Malo just as day was beginning to dawn. We proceeded directly for the harbour, where seeing a fishing boat lying afloat with her nets on board, we jumped in-sang a French sea-song to deceive the centinel while we pulled past the batteries trimmed our sails to the wind, and stood out to sea.
Our good fortune still accompanied us ; the wind held fair, and the next day we were picked up by the Huntingdon West Indiaman, bound for Savannah-la-mer ; the captain of which purchased our boat ; and gladly received us on board.
On our arrival at port, we found the bloody Aux raging with such violence, that, during the time we were discharging the vessel, we buried the mate and two thirds of our crew. Upon this the captain offered me the birth, with orders to carry the ship round to Mondegobay; and take in the produce of two estates there belonging to the
Cuthbertson had also got charge of a schooner for Clyde, which had lost her master, and he accompanied me round, as she was lying there too. The evening previous to his sailing, he came on board the Huntingdon, that we might spend one night together before we separated. It was one of the loveliest evenings I ever beheld. The sun had set behind the Blue Mountains, but the reflection of his parting rays still tinged with purple and gold the edges of the few light clouds which floated round their summit. A gentle land-breeze had sprung up, insufficient to ripple the smooth surface of the water, but capable of diffusing a refreshing coolness through our frames, wearied and exhausted by the day's labour. All our hands were ashore at one of the plantations, for the ship was anchored up a nar. row creek; and the balmy fragrance of plants and flowers uniting with the solitude of the scene, shed a soothing influence over us. Insensibly I fell into a train of melancholy musing. My mind wandered to the home I had been so long absent from. The dear friends I had left there were they still in existence, and did they recal thoughts of their wandering sailor? We talked over our early days of our scattered school-fellows of our boyish adventures of our more recent perils—and now of our parting.
6 I wish I could persuade you, Jack,” said my companion, “ to give up your birth here, and go home with me. One of your late crew told me that this ship would never see old England again, for all the
rats had forsaken her, and you know as well as any of us, that it is a sure sign the ending of the vessel is not far distant when they leave
66 Well, let them go,” returned I, “ and a fair wind to their tails : I care not, though I never see a whisker of them again, we shall get the more beef and biscuit for ourselves in that case. I know it's a common superstition among seamen, but do you think I am such a swab as to believe that a parcel of vermin can foretell a vessel's fate ? No, 110, I have engaged to go the voyage, and if that's all, I'll 66. Aye, but hearken to me,” interrupted he, “ that's not all.” Many years ago, this ship left Nata, in the bay of Panama, with a quantity of specie for the merchants in London. They had not been long at sea, when the mate and crew agreed to kill the captain, share the money, and turn pirates. He was accordingly attacked when he came on deck, but being a stout man he resisted, until weakened by loss of blood, he retreated to the bows, where he was overpowered, murdered, and thrown overboard. The villains kept these seas in terror for some time; but at last, decoyed by a disguised sloop of war, which they mistook for a merchantman, they were captured, and the mate and five men run up to the fore-yard arm. Ever since that, the captain's ghost haunts the vessel, but is never seen except to foretell some disaster either to the ship or crew. The sailor who told me, saw him that night we arrived at Savannah ; and has not the prediction been fulfilled in the death of our men ?” I could not forbear laughing at the conclusion of this story to his great annoyance, for he gave implicit credit to such tales.' I declared my total unbelief of supernatural appearances, and tried to argue him out of his faith in them, but to no purpose. He remained firm and fast. We had much discussion on the subject, by which neither of us was convinced ; so, getting irly tired of the topic, I proposed taking supper and turning in. I do not know how long I had slept, when I was roused by Cuthbertson shaking me vio. lently, and exclaiming, 6 Rise, Jack; for God's sake, rise; I have seen him !” 1 immediately started up; “ Seen what ?" inquired 1, 66 what have you seen ?” but the poor fellow was in no condition to reply--he had become insensible. I lifted him up, and carried him on deck, where, by the application of a little water,' he soon recovered.
“ After turning in,” said he, “ I lay thinking on what we had been conversing about, till I worked myself up to such a state that I could not fall asleep. I tried repeatedly to banish it from my mind, but in spite of all my efforts to get rid of it, it still recurred. After tossing about for some hours, I got so heated that I could lie no longer, so I thought I would rise, and take a turn fore and aft to cool myself, and see how the night looked. The moon was dim and hazy, and her light much obscured by clouds driving with great swiftness across her surface. The wind was all a-peak-for the fly of the vane at the mast-head was motionless and drooping. Not a leaf rustled on the trees; and I almost fancied I heard the rushing of the clouds as they hurried over my head. I never felt myself so impressed with the awful stillness of nature. I walked a good while to and fro, and then stopt and leaned over the bulwarks at the waist, to watch the progress of the carries, wondering why they flew so rapidly above, when it was
such a dead calm below. While thus engaged I chanced to turn my head, and thought I saw something white standing behind me. I started, and rubbed my eyes to ascertain if I saw distinctly, for I had walked the length of the deck only a few minutes before, and knew that our men had not yet returned. The story of the captain haunting the vessel now flashed across my mind, and the idea that I stood in the presence of an unearthly being created a feeling I cannot describe my heart leaped to my mouth at the conviction, and a cold shivering thrilled through my body. I tried to shut out the vision, but my eyes were fascinated by some spell against which I had no power of resis
As I continued to gaze, it gradually became brighter and more defined, until I distinguished a human face, wan and ghastly—its eyes, lustreless and fixed, as those in the sockets of a dead man ; and gore streaming from a wound over its temple. I shuddered with horror at the sight, my knees bent beneath me, and I was on the point of sinking down, when, rallying all my fortitude, with an effort of desperation I threw myself forward and attempted to seize it but nothing met my grasp
Panting and breathless, a cold perspiration bursting through every pore, and with a feeling as if the scalp of my head was shrinking to nothing, I stopt and again looked on it. It stood without motion, with its dull and lifeless eyes still riveted upon me. I could endure their gaze no longer-I felt my brain maddening with terror: driven to frenzy, I again darted forward, and tried to grapple with it; but without any sensible motion it receded as I advanced, and, the moon suddenly becoming obscure, it vanished from my sight on the forecastle. A faintness came over me I thought the ship whirling round
I staggered to the companion, but how I got down to the cabin I know not." He ceased, and the agitation of his frame showed how deeply he was impressed with the reality of the apparition. I again ridiculed the notion of its having been a spirit, but rather some phantasy of the brain-a form conjured up by the force of an overwrought imagination ; and, perhaps, a particular reflection of moonlight might perfect the delusion : and I ended by swearing I would not trust the evidence of my senses, although my father should rise from the grave and present himself before me. 66 Well, Jack,” he returned, " I'll argue the matter no more. I don't pretend to guess at the purport of its visit_no trifle would occasion its becoming visible to human eyes ; but this I know, that all the powers on earth cannot shake my conviction of its reality, or prove it a mere delusion of sight. We are now about to part, perhaps for ever ; and if so, and I am permitted, I promise to be thrice visible to you before your death, if you are left in this world behind me." I laughed, and swore I should be glad to see him—that I should deem myself secure till the last visit ; and moreover, that I did not value all the rats and ghosts on earth a rotten rope yarn.
Here we ended. The boats came off with our men, we all went to help the schooner into the bay, bade him farewell as he got under-way, and returned to our ship.
A few weeks afterwards we loaded, and left Savannah ; and falling in with a Halifax brig, we were informed that war had been declared against the United States, whose privateers were swarming in all directions. One morning at day break we discovered a small cutter to windward; she was on the contrary tack, but in place of holding on her straight course, she kept yawing, and sheering, and gradually bearing down on us under English colours, and her foresail unset. Our men pronounced her to be American built, and seemingly a Charleston pilot-boat ; but the captain, on the contrary, thought her one of the mail-carriers which ply between the islands, and shortened sail to send a boat on board to get the news. The jolly-boat was therefore prepared ; but by way of precaution we cast loose our guns and prepared for engaging. As she neared us we could see but few men on board, which, with their manner of maneuvring, gave her such a suspicious appearance, that I proposed to fire a gun and bring her to : for at arm's length I knew our heavy metal was capable of blowing her out of the water ; but if she got under our guns she might easily carry us by boarding. The captain still hesitated, and desired me to have patience, but he had scarcely pronounced the words when a gust of wind blew aside the corner of the foresail, and disclosed the muzzle of a long swivel pointing out. There was no room for hesitation now I seized a trumpet, and desired them to haul their wind, or else we would fire into them. “ Fire, and be damned,” was the reply.
The sail was cast off, and the contents of the swivel, with a shower of small arms, poured on us. We returned the broadside ; but it was now too late to do any service, for she was so close, and so much under us, that our shot went clean over them. We had not time to exchange another, ere she was laid athwart our bows, and boarding us by the bow. sprit. I now left the gun I had been working, and called out for our men to stand fast ; but instead of obeying, they ran below for safety, with the captain at their head, leaving me alone on deck, and the colours flying. I saw there was nothing more to be done, so throwing away my cutlass, I was following their example, and had my back to the companion in the act of descending, when I was surrounded, and or. dered to stand. I cried out, that surely they wouldn't kill an unarmed
“ Then, why don't you haul down your colours ?” replied one of the fellows, and fired his pistol right in my face. I gave my head a sudden jerk to one side, by which means the ball only grazed my teeth and went through my cheek, while both eyes were scorched and driven full of powder from the closeness of the discharge. I was knocked over, and fairly thought I was shot through the head ; but in a little time I recovered, and finding the blood flowing from my mouth and cheek, I groped my way down the ladder, where,' getting hold of a sail, I scraped off some tow, thrust it into the wound, and bound it round with a handkerchief. I next extended my search for my chest, out of which I took all my money, hid it about me, and lay down in my bed.
I remained undisturbed for an hour, brooding over the disasters such a short time had brought about, when I heard some one enter the cabin, and recognized the voice of the captain. 6. We have run ourselves into a fine mess, Gilkison,” said he ; instead of our captors being Americans, I mistake much if they don't turn out a set of sea-sharks. They have been overhauling my papers above, and swear that there is money on board, and they threaten to make us walk the plank if it's not instantly delivered up. God only knows what I am to do! I
brought out some gold privately on account of my owners, which I left at Savannah, but, like a cursed idiot, I neglected to burn my private instructions. They have lost two men by our fire, and that makes them like so many devils, which, upon my soul, I believe they are, for I never saw such a set of cut-throat looking villains of all colours between the gunnels of a vessel.” “ You may thank yourself for the loss of your ship,” returned I; “ but I can guess, if she had'nt been fully covered she would'nt have been given up so easily. However, you know your own course best—as for me, I am done for already; and it's all one whether I'm hove overboard a few hours sooner or later." We were here cut short by a rough voice ordering us on deck. Know. ing there was no use in refusing, I rose, groped my way up, and stood holding by the companion-door.
“ Well, my lads," said the same person, whom I supposed to be the captain of the pirates, “ have you agreed to find the Spanish for us, or must we knock about for it ourselves ?” “ I told you before,” replied the captain, «« that there was no gold on board, we left it” “ None of your infernal lies !” interrupted the other ; “ do not your own papers tell us to the contrary ? and do you take us for such cursed fools, as to be gulled like a parcel of land swabs, with a long-spun yarn ? No, no, the devil a skulking I'll allow of in this ship !- It doesn't signify arguing the flash of a flint,-overhaul your secret stowing holes, and bowse out the dust, or, by I'll make you walk the plank in the turning of an hour-glass.” " I know I am completely in your power,” returned the captain, 6 to do with me as you will; but again I declare my utter inability to comply with your demands, since, to my knowledge, there is no gold on board ; but I am willing to give you a bill to any reasonable amount on the house in Savannah, for the ransom of the ship and cargo."
" And how the hell is it to be paid ?” rejoined the pirate; “ do you think we'll let you go ashore to send a cruiser on us ? or land and be kid-napped ourselves ? Never think of that !—The devil a ransom you would offer to pay if there was nothing in her ; so, once for all, either bear a hand and turn out the clink, or take yourself over the side. What! you won't start then ? we'll soon try that-hallo! Martinique, run out that plank there over the lee-gunnel, and balance it fair.” The command was speedily executed, and the captain was again desired to go forward, but instead of so doing, the poor man supplicated the more earnestly for his life. But he appealed to wretches devoid of feeling. Some of the pirates then laid hold of him to drag him to the plank. A trampling of feet ensued a struggling and shuffling along the deck, as if he was violently forced on, while he strove, with all the strength of desperation to retard the fulfilment of his doom; all the time praying for his life in a voice of agony I shall never forget. “ Stop the cowardly fellow's muzzle with the end of that marlin-spike, and belay his jaw !” roared out the commander, 6 sink me but you are a parcel of useless, good-for-nothing negers, without the pith of a louse, to let him hold on by those mainshrouds so long !-By I believe he'll master every soul of yemtake him over the fingers with a cutlass, and make him let go that clutch of his --that's it-there now, run him out on the plank- that's sea_away with him !”