Contents
––
Source

The Plough Boy Journals

The Journals and Associated Documents

The Plough Boy Anthology

19th Century American Whaling

Bonin Islands

Pitcairn's Island

Dictionaries & Glossaries

Ashley's Glossary of
Whaling Terms

Dana's Dictionary of
Sea Terms

The First Whale. Page 67.

THERE SHE BLOWS!

OR,

THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

BY

CAPT. W. H. MACY.

OF NANTUCKET.

BOSTON

LEE & SHEPARD, PUBLISHERS


NEW YORK:

CHARLES T. DILLINGHAM

Copyright, 1877,
BY
LEE & SHEPARD.

THE AUTHOR TO HIS READERS.


      The story embodied in these pages is not to be regarded as a mere "yarn." It is rather a series of illustrated sketches of actual life on the ocean, made up of real incidents and introducing for the most part real characters, many of which will be recognized. Indeed the author may truly say that in writing these "Leaves," he felt himself simply telling a story — not making one.

      Since its first publication in serial form, nine years ago, he has been stricken with one of the heaviest of physical infirmities. Doomed to life-long blindness, the recollection of years spent at sea in the prime of manhood, come crowding upon him more thickly than ever, and he finds his chief solace in having still retained the ability to write them down for the benefit and amusement of others. His seafaring friends, as they overhaul the log of their own experience, will at once recognize the truthfulness of the pictures he has drawn here.

W. H. M.     

Nantucket, Mass., August, 1877.

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.
  PAGE.
From Peck Slip to Nantucket Bar 1
CHAPTER II.
In and Out over the Bar 12
CHAPTER III.
From the Bar Round Great Point 24
CHAPTER IV.
Fairly at Sea. — The First Lookout. — Introduction 38
CHAPTER V.
The Western Islands. — "Yarns" and Anecdotes 50
CHAPTER VI.
The First Whale 62
CHAPTER VII.
"Cutting In" 73
CHAPTER VIII.
Boiling. — Cutting the Line. — Dutch Courage. — "Man Overboard" 85

vi CONTENTS.
CHAPTER IX.
"Gamming" with a "Homeward-Bounder" 98
CHAPTER X.
Whaling Near the Falklands. — Death of Mr. Johnson 112
CHAPTER XI.
Promotion. — "Cooper's Novels." — The Mate Moralizes. — Cape Horn 125
CHAPTER XII.
Fishing at Juan Fernandez. — Fight with an Ugly Whale 139
CHAPTER XIII.
Talcahuana 153
CHAPTER XIV.
The Bill-Fish. — The Marquesas. — A Prisoner among the Savages 167
CHAPTER XV.
Escape from the Savages. — Recovery of the Boat. — Magical Effects of Lynch Law 181
CHAPTER XVI.
The Cooper "Romances". — Incidents. — Byron's Island 197
CHAPTER XVII.
Kingsmill's Group. — Singular Whaling Incident. — Hard and Fast. — A Perilous Position 211
CHAPTER XVIII.
Off the Rocks Again. — A Bad Leap. — Anecdotes. — The Run to the Caroline islands 225

CONTENTS. vii
CHAPTER XIX.
Strong's Island 238
CHAPTER XX.
On Japan. — Ormsbee's Peak. — Whaling Incidents. — A Yankee Trick 253
CHAPTER XXI.
Radack Chain. — Watering at Ocean Island. — Incidents on the Run to Sydney, N. S. W. 267
CHAPTER XXII.
Sydney. — Up Anchor for Home. — "Galway Mike." 280
CHAPTER XXIII.
Homeward. — The Episode of Galway Mike. — Cape Horn. — The Last Whale 294
CHAPTER XXIV.
Homeward. The Whale Recognized as an Old Acquaintance. — Incidents of the Run Home. — Nantucket Again 307


LEAVES

FROM THE

ARETHUSA'S LOG.


CHAPTER I.

FROM PECK SLIP TO NANTUCKET BAR.

      "Wanted — 500 able-bodied, enterprising young men, to go on whaling voyages of from twelve to twenty months' duration in first class ships. All clothing and other necessaries furnished on the credit of the voyage. To coopers, carpenters and blacksmiths, extra inducements offered."

      This announcement, on a gigantic placard, in staring capitals, arrested my attention, and brought me to a stand, as I was strolling along South Street, near Peck Slip. I had just attained the susceptible age of eighteen, and had left my country home with the consent of my parents, to visit the great city of Gotham, like a modern Gil Blas, in quest of employment and adventures. As the old story-books have it, I had come "to seek my fortune." I have sought it ever since, but it has kept ahead of me, like an ignis fatuus. Like old Joe Garboard, I began the world with nothing, and have held my own ever since.

      I had always a predilection for the sea, and had cul-

2 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

tivated my adventurous propensities by the study of all books of voyages and travels that I had access to. All the wanderings of famous navigators, from the days of Sinbad down to the present era, had been perused with delight, and I had always affected the sailor, as well as I knew how, in manner and dress. I had discovered, since I arrived in the city, however, that I was a miserable amateur; and not a ragged boy along the piers but would have spotted me for a "green one" at sight, while Jack himself, the real article, would have found my verdancy really refreshing after a long cruise.

      Above the attractive placard to which I have alluded, in the form of a hanging sign projecting over the sidewalk, was a most stirring nautical piece, illustrating one of those agreeable little episodes which diversify the life of the whaleman. The principal figure in the foreground of this masterpiece of art was a huge sea monster, intended, doubtless, to represent something "very like a whale," but which, in truth, bore rather more resemblance to a magnified codfish with a specific gravity something less than that of a cork, as he floated on the water instead of in it. Fragments of a devoted whaleboat, which had been nearly pulverized by a blow of his tail, filled the air, and rained back in showers upon the unfortunate leviathan, at the imminent hazard, as it seemed, of inflicting serious splinter wounds, while several sailors, apparently dressed for the occasion in span new blue and red shirts, cut pirouettes among the wreck at various altitudes between sky and water, and made spread eagles

FROM PECK SLIP TO NANTUCKET BAR. 3

of themselves for the special diversion of a gaping public. From the head of the sea monster was ejected a stream of blood, which rose in a solid column to a height but little exceeding that of the topmasts of the ship, which appeared standing under all sail, in fearful proximity to the fast boats, and having no apparent intention of starting tack or sheet to avoid a collision. Hogarth's famous "Perspective" was quite eclipsed by this effort.

      I stood, for a time, regarding this picture in silent admiration, and especially commiserating the situation of one luckless mariner, for whom the fate of Jonah seemed inevitable, as he appeared suspended in mid-air, directly over the jaws of the whale, which were widely distended in his agony.

      "Now," said I to myself, "why wouldn't this be the sort of cruise for me? A long voyage, full of adventure and excitement. The very thing. I'll stop in here, and get some information about this business."

      Following the direction of a hand painted on a tin sign, the finger of which, as well as the inscription, indicated that Ramsay's shipping office was "up stairs," I entered a room where a middle-aged gentleman, with a florid countenance, evidently the great Ramsay himself, was seated at a desk fenced in by a railing, while a shabby clerk, who looked as if he had been kept up all night, hovered, like a familiar spirit, near his elbow. Two youths, fresh from the country like myself, were negotiating for enlistment with the elder gentleman, who was all smiles and affability, and who, at my entrance, elevated his eyebrows, and said something,

4 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

sotto voce, to the sleepy clerk, whereat the latter smiled knowingly, and then, seeming fatigued by the exertion, relapsed into his former apathy.

      "Take a seat, sir," said Mr. Ramsay. "I'm happy to see you, sir; and the fact of your being early in the day argues well for your success in life. I presume you would like to try a pleasant voyage, to see the world, and make some money at the same time."

      "Yes, sir," said I; "I did think of trying a sea voyage, but I would like to make a few inquiries first."

      "Quite right, sir," said Mr. Ramsay, lighting a cigar; "quite right. 'Look before you leap,' as the saying is. Have a cigar, sir?" at the same time extending a handful of cheap sixes, with a general invitation to the company present. "I shall be happy to afford you any information in my power, sir. I have never been whaling myself, but from my long experience in this business, and my extensive acquaintance with whalemen and shipowners, I may say that you could hardly have applied, in this city, to a better source; and, as I was observing to these two young gentlemen just before you entered, there is the finest opening just at this time that I have ever known. Indeed, I do not remember any period since I have been in the business when such inducements were offered to enterprising young men as now. A packet leaves this afternoon for Nantucket, and there are crews wanted there for four new ships, just launched, and all to be commanded by experienced captains. There will be more ships fitted this year than any previous

FROM PECK SLIP TO NANTUCKET BAR. 5

one; and, owing to the increased demand for young men, the lays are uncommonly high."

      "The what, sir?" asked one of the country youths.

      "The lays, sir; that is to say, the shares. You will understand that in this business no one is paid wages by the day or month, but each receives a certain part, or lay, as it is called, of the proceeds of the cruise. By this arrangement, you will see, at once, that every one, from the captain to the cabin boy, has a personal interest in the success of the voyage. The lay is, of course, proportioned to his rank or station on board, and to his experience in the business. The lays, as I before observed, are high this season, uncommonly so."

      "And what may be the lay of a new hand — one who has never been by water," I asked.

      "Well, sir, the lays of green hands have ranged, in times past, from a two hundredth to a two hundred and fiftieth, but they are paying now a hundred and seventieth, and even as high as a hundred and fiftieth. By the way, have you any mechanical trade?" pursued the shipping-master, with the greatest urbanity.

      "Well — yes, sir; I have served some time at the blacksmith's trade, though I can hardly call myself a finished workman," I answered.

      "A blacksmith! ah, indeed! The very thing, sir. That reminds me that I have a special demand, at this time, for three or four blacksmiths, and as many carpenters. As to your being a finished workman, that is not at all essential, sir. If you can botch a little and do an indifferent sort of job, that is quite

6 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

sufficient. I may safely promise an able-bodied young man like you with some knowledge of the blacksmith's trade, as good as the hundred and thirtieth. That, however, is a matter to be arranged with the agent of the ship when you sign the articles. I shall mention the subject to my correspondents, Messrs. Brooks & Co., at Nantucket, and they will use their influence for you."

      "The voyage, you say, will not be more than twenty months, sir?" I asked.

      "Ye — no, sir — that is, they are seldom absent beyond that length of time, and, if very fortunate, you may finish a voyage in a year. Then your chances of promotion! Consider, sir — a young man of your ability ought certainly to command a third mate's berth on the second voyage, in which case, of course, your pay is more than doubled; and so on each successive voyage as you advance still higher on the ladder. That is, of course, supposing you should wish to follow the business. If not, why, a year or a year and a half is not much at your time of life. You would still be young enough to turn your attention to something else."

      "How's the victuals on these whaling boats?" inquired one of the verdant youths.

      "Excellent, sir," returned the voluble Mr. Ramsay. "I have reason to believe there are no ships on the ocean where the living is so good as in whalers. Even the luxuries of life are to be found in abundance. Cows are generally kept on board, so that the supply of milk and fresh beef scarcely ever fails."

FROM PECK SLIP TO NANTUCKET BAR. 7

      Here the sleepy clerk knocked the ashes from his cigar, gave another knowing smile, and distended his cheek with his tongue, in keen enjoyment of the game. This action was not lost upon me, and, inexperienced though I was, I had already begun to surmise that the statements of his eloquent employer were to be received cum grano salis. Still, making due allowance for exaggeration, I thought this sort of voyage, from its very nature, full of excitement and adventure, would suit me better than any other.

      "Do you furnish the outfit of clothes here, sir?" I inquired.

      "No, sir," answered Mr. Ramsay, "that is not in my line. My correspondents, Messrs. Brooks & Co., will attend to that; and, from their perfect knowledge of the articles required, and their extensive facilities, cannot fail to give you satisfaction."

      The sleepy clerk had the pleasure of registering the names of all three of us on the list of recruits to go on board the "Lydia Ann," and at four o'clock that afternoon, I found myself, in company with a score or more of others, on board the old sloop, with the mainsail hoisted, and dropped down to an outside berth; and, after the most affectionate farewells and hand-shaking from Mr. Ramsay and the sleepy clerk, the whole party were mustered and counted, and the roll being found correct, the Lydia Ann slipped the only fast by which she rode to the pier, and was fairly under way for Nantucket, amid the shouts and hurrahs of her passengers, who seemed to have bid adieu to all care and sorrow, and to consider themselves fairly enrolled in the ranks of the elect.

8 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      After taking our last looks at the great metropolis, I found ample amusement in studying human nature, and observing the peculiarities of my several companions, who were a motley crowd, composed of men of every stamp, from the fresh and innocent country youth, like myself, who had just left his mother and sisters, to the city rowdy, who had run himself "hard up" on a spree, and, unable longer to raise the wind, had shipped for a sea voyage as a last resort. It was surprising to note, now that we were brought together, and all bound on the same mission, how quickly we became acquainted with each other, and how quickly all distinctions were levelled. Many of my companions were more or less in liquor at starting, and some had brought suspicious bottles with them, and now were clustered in groups about the deck, roaring snatches of songs, breaking out into boisterous merriment, and cracking jokes on the old skipper, who only shook his head, and joined in the laugh, muttering:

      "Hold on, my lads, till I get you out off Pint Judy, with a good stiff breeze and chopping sea on to shake up your stomachs, and I'll bet some of you will laugh out of the other side of your mouths."

      The old gentleman was not at all averse to taking a stout pull at the bottles with those who offered them; and, after two or three applications of this sort, he grew communicative, and volunteered much information for our special behoof, touching the business in which we were about embarking. Many of his statements differed widely from those of the shipping-master, which is not strange; for it is well known

FROM PECK SLIP TO NANTUCKET BAR. 9

that two witnesses are seldom found to agree to their accounts of the same matter.

      The Lydia Ann was an old time-worn and battered sloop, which ran as a regular transport between Nantucket and New York, having no accommodations for any considerable number of passengers, though she had carried so many human cargoes to the same consignees, all bound on the same errand, that she had acquired the pet name of "the Slaver."

      When night came on, we were constrained to find lodgings in the hold as best we could; and, selecting the softest spots and most eligible corners among the casks and boxes which composed the freight list, we passed part of the night in much the same manner as before. But, as the skipper had predicted, the breeze freshened during the night, and the old sloop, feeling the benefit of it, and diving smartly into a head sea, furnished the majority of us employment in casting up our accounts, and admonished us that all bodies, not excepting the solid earth, are subject to upheavings when shaken to their centres. Some of us, who had crawled on deck to get the fresh air, furnished, by our own rueful and woe-begone appearance, rare food for merriment to the old mate, a veteran of nearly the same date as his commander, who in a rough pea-jacket and slouched sou'wester, stood, statue-like, braced up against the tiller, apparently as immovable as the rock of ages.

      "Ah, boys," said the jolly old salt, "so the Liddy Ann is breaking you in, eh? Well, you've got to go through it, all of ye, and it's better to have it over

10 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

now, when you've got no duty to attend to, than to begin it in the Gulf stream, when there'll be, maybe, topsails to reef, and a slatting jib to be got in on a slippery boom."

      He advised us, moreover, to try the experiment of attaching a piece of fat pork, previously dipped in molasses, to a string, swallowing the precious morsel and pulling it up again, repeating the operation as often as the symptoms returned, which mode of proceeding, he solemnly assured us, had been proved to be an invaluable specific, in cases of this kind, as could be attested by the experience of thousands of sufferers. The victims were slow to avail themselves of this information, not so much from any doubt of its efficacy, as from sheer inability to make the necessary exertion to prepare the medicine.

      The utter prostration of all energy which attends sea-sickness is well known to those who have passed the ordeal. I was a sufferer with the rest, but not to the same extent as many others. When daylight broke, I was on deck, and stirring, and became accustomed to the Lydia Ann's antics with so little difficulty that the old skipper noticed me particularly; and finding I was the only one who could do full justice to an "able-bodied breakfast," he complimented me by averring his belief that I would be a sailor yet before my mother would. Which prophecy seemed in a fair way of fulfilment; for I gained so rapidly that before the sloop went in over Nantucket Bar, I was able to take an interest in all I saw and even to lend a hand about decks. I was rather vain of the

FROM PECK SLIP TO NANTUCKET BAR. 11

comparatively easy victory which my stomach had gained over old Neptune's medicine chest, and lost no opportunity of cracking jokes upon others, whose course of initiation had been more severe. Some of the boys who came over in the Lydia Ann will never forget the martyrdom they endured from this intolerable malady, which, when violent, makes even life and death seem a matter of indifference, and not the least irritating peculiarity of which is that it is a standing subject for joking by those who have passed through it, and that even the very pity which the initiated traveller bestows upon us is akin to ridicule.

CHAPTER II.

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR.

      Two whaleships were lying at anchor outside the "bar" as the Lydia Ann passed in — one lately arrived from a long voyage, her rusty sides and rough bends nearly naked of copper, with the long grass clinging to the bare sheathing; her stump topmasts and general half-dismantled appearance presenting a striking contrast to the trim, newly-painted outward-bounder, which had just completed her preparations for sea, and, with everything aloft in its place, mainroyal yard crossed, and a full quota of showy, white-bottomed boats on the cranes and overhead, was to weigh anchor for the Pacific next morning. Loud rose the cheerful, measured sound of the hoisting song from the gang on board the inward-bound ship, as the heavy casks of oil were seen to rise slowly from her hatchway, and were discharged into the schooner lashed alongside of her to receive them, while another lighter, deeply loaded, had dropped astern, and was hoisting her mainsail.

      "I thought the 'Pandora' had sailed before this time," said the old skipper, as we passed just out of hail of the ships. "They have been a long time fitting her for sea. I wonder," said he to his mate, "who that

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR. 13

is that has got in since we left. Get the glass, and see if you can make out her name when we cross her stern."

      The mate brought an old battered telescope from a cleet in the companionway, and, after squinting for some time, muttered:

      "P — her stern is so rusty that hang me if I can make out the letters — the name begins with a P; I can see that. There's a T in it, and the last letter looks like an H."

      "Yes, that's all right," said the skipper. "That's the old 'Plutarch.' She has been expected some time, and has had a long passage home; but she is one of the old Anno Dominy ships, and sails about as fast as you can whip a toad though tar. I was in her two v'y'ges myself in my young days, and we never could drive more than six knot out of her in a gale of wind. She seems to have a foul bottom, too. But she has crawled home at last, and she has brought a good load of ile, too. She had twenty-one hund'ed at last accounts, and that ain't to be sneezed at, nowadays."

      "No, indeed, it ain't," returned his partner. "But when was you in the Plutarch? Who had her then?"

      "Old Hosea Coffin had her; that's when she was new, and was called a dandy ship at that time. Then I steered a boat in her next v'y'ge with 'Bimelech Swain — you knew him?"

      "Yes, I remember; that's when I was in the 'Viper' on the Brazeel Banks."

      I could not but look with admiration upon these old

14 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

veterans, who talked about long voyages round Cape Horn and on the "Banks" as though they had been mere pleasure trips across a harbor and back, or any such trifling matter. Two or three years in these old fellows' lives seemed like the same period in the history of nations, occupying but a line or two of the chronicler. But the vessel was rapidly drawing in round "Brant Point," and all my comrades, many of whom had not yet fully recovered from sea-sickness, had mustered on deck to see the low, sandy island and busy little town of Nantucket, which now lay fairly before us. Several more whaleships were lying at the wharves, some of them dismantled, and stripped to a girtline, others partly rigged for sea, and two or three hove down for coppering. This was in the summer of 1841, when Nantucket may be said to have been in the zenith of its prosperity. More new ships were built than in any previous season, and the general impression appeared to be that the partisan cries of "two dollars a day and roast beef to the laboring man" were to be literally fulfilled, and that the price of oil was to reach a standard positively fabulous. And so it did — fabulously low, as every poor whaleman can testify, who arrived in 1842-3, and sold his sperm oil for fifty or sixty cents a gallon.

      As the sloop warped in alongside the wharf, a spruce young man jumped on deck, and, saluting the skipper, asked him when he left New York, and, in the same breath, how many men he had brought. "Twenty-five," said the old man. And, having thus satisfied himself that the cargo delivered corresponded with the

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR. 15

invoice, he invited us all to come up to "the store." Then, mounting into a one-horse cart — a sort of green box on two wheels — which stood in waiting, he called upon us to "jump up." We jumped up till the box was full of us, standing in solid phalanx, and the rest followed, as infantry of the rear guard; and thus, the admired of all beholders, we proceeded up the central or "Straight Wharf," and up Main Street to the store. The spruce young man informed us that his name was Richards, and that he was connected with the establishment as a sort of out-door clerk.

      The store of Messrs. Brooks & Co. fronted directly on the square or grand plaza of Nantucket. They dealt in all kinds of ready-made clothing and dry goods, infitting as well as outfitting goods; and the store was a grand resort and rendezvous of seafaring men. At the time of our arrival, it was enlivened by the presence of numerous whalemen, of various grades in rank, from chief mates of ships, sedate, dignified-looking men, dressed in long togs in neat style, who sat smoking, comparing notes about matters and things, "round the other side of land," and re-killing, at a safe distance, many "forty barrel bulls," which they had years ago slaughtered, at imminent peril of life and limb, down to overgrown boys, who had made one voyage, aspirants for boatsteerers' berths, who wore fine blue round jackets and low-quartered morocco pumps, with a great superabundance of ribbon, as was the fashion at that period, carried flaming red handkerchiefs either awkwardly in their hands or hanging half out at their jacket pockets, masticated tobacco

16 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

in prodigious quantities, and in various ways aped the tar, to the great amusement of their elders, who passed remarks to each other in confidential tones.

      "Here comes young Folger, rolling down to St. Helena, eighteen cloths in the lower studdingsail, and no change out of a dollar."

      "What ship was he in?" asked another.

      "In that plum pudd'ner that got in last week — what's her name?"

      "O, that old brig over at the New North Wharf? The 'Sphynx.'"

      "He wants a bilge pump in each pocket to pump the salt out."

      "Yes — Lot's wife never was half as salt as some of these boys."

      "They'll outgrow that after they have made two or three more voyages, and got the feather-edge rubbed off."

      "Yes, they'll find it isn't all fun to come and go, 'happy go lucky,' when they have more to think about. Well, we've all had our thoughtless days."

      The last speaker had lately married a young wife, and was to sail the next morning, mate of the Pandora.

      "Well, Gardner, your time is getting short," said his next neighbor, with a careless laugh, slapping him on the back. "I'm sorry for you, boy, but it can't be helped, and I wish you a good voyage," continued the rough sympathizer, a powerful young man, who had just arrived second mate of the Plutarch, and had not yet begun to wear the bronze off his face.

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR. 17

      "Never mind, Chase; you can blow for a short time, but you'll be travelling the same road soon."

      "Not this winter," returned Chase, with a triumphant shake of the head. "I'll set my foot down on that."

      "Don't be too sure of that," said Gardner. "I'll bet you'll be out again this fall."

      "Not I."

      "Well, I expect to see you in Talcahuano in the spring, and I'll put you in mind of this."

      "If you see me there as soon as that, I'll stand treat."

      "I see the old slaver has brought a lot of bran new sailors from New York to-day. I suppose, Gardner, you'll have the training of some of these young fellows," said another.

      "No, not this lot; ours are all on board. These are to go in the Fortitude and the Arethusa."

      "Well, Grafton's going in the Arethusa. They'll all find their right places there."

      "There's a fellow will make a slashing midship oarsman," said one.

      "Yes, and here's another for a bowman," replied his neighbor, with a glance at me, as I stood within ear shot, and overheard this colloquy.

      I had no chance to hear more at present; for the whole party, after their names had been registered, were handed over to the tender mercies of the boarding-house keeper, and the procession moved off, in straggling order, "down under the bank" to dinner.

      Mr. Loftus, the boarding-master, was an elderly

18 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

gentleman of pompous appearance, who had been whaling himself in his younger days, and thought himself quite an oracle in his way. He entertained his boarders with many thrilling reminiscences of his youth, interspersed with sage advice how to conduct ourselves so as to get ahead, and rise in our profession, as he himself had done, and regretted that ill health had prevented him from following it up until he got command of a ship, which must inevitably have been the case in a few more years. He informed us that the majority of us would probably be shipped the next day in the Arethusa, and we might consider ourselves truly fortunate in getting this opportunity, as the Arethusa was a new ship, with all the modern improvements, and a crack appointment, so that we might look upon the voyage as already made, before the ship left home. Furthermore the ship carried three maints' gall'nt sails, and had more backstays than any other ship in port, which fact, he said, had a material bearing on the success of the cruise.

      All this produced a feeling of anxiety in the minds of the newly enlisted to be chosen on the roll of the Arethusa rather than to be left for the Fortitude and other less desirable ships.

      The next day we were all mustered at the store, and introduced in the aggregate, to the agent of the ship, and Captain Upton, the future commander, a middle-sized man, all bone and muscle, with keen eyes, and a peculiar stride in his gait, which might admit of a small wheelbarrow being driven between his legs without touching either. He seemed to have

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR. 19

his own way in the selection of his crew, the agent leaving the matter in his hands; and twelve of us having been called out, of whom I was flattered to find myself one, the rest were left for Captain Wyer, of the Fortitude, who, being a young man, just entering on his first command, was fain to content himself with what he could get in many particulars, where Captain Upton would have what he wanted. We were catechised, in brief, concerning our nativity and previous occupation, and the build and physical points of each were looked to, not forgetting the eyes, for a sharp-sighted man was a jewel in the estimation of the genuine whaling captain.

      A formidable document lay on the desk, awaiting our signatures, and, almost before I knew it, I found myself entered on the Arethusa's articles, with the hundred an fiftieth, as blacksmith and green hand. Our outfits of "clothing and other necessaries" were put into our chests for us at the store; and most of us now donned some articles to replace such of our clothing as was in a dilapidated condition, while the best garments of which we happened to stand possessed were still retained in wear. The result was an incongruity in the various parts of our attire, which occasioned much merriment. Thus, one wore a check shirt under the shade of a glossy beaver; another a "claw-hammer" or dress-coat over bright red flannels; while tarpaulin hats surmounted with white shirts and dickeys, and patent leather peeped out under voluminous duck trowsers. The whalemen criticised us as "half-Jack half-gentlemen," as we took a stroll down

20 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

the busy wharves, to look at the shipping generally, and especially to inspect the noble vessel which was to be our future home.

      We wound our tortuous way down through a labyrinth of old anchors and trypots, spars, timber and oil-casks, now diving under a capstan bar, and again making a detour to double a long pair of trucks or skids, backed up at a tier of oil to parbuckle its load on. We all fell in love with the Arethusa at sight, which might, in our case, be termed an illustration of "love after marriage," seeing that our names were already on her papers. She was indeed a fine specimen of naval architecture, and her model was much admired at that time, for this was before the day of extreme clippers. She was painted with the bright waist, a style more in vogue then than now, consisting of a broad yellow streak, relieved by narrow white moulding or ribbons. She appeared to justify all that the boarding-master had said of her; and, in the simplicity of our hearts, we had no doubt that his enumeration of her mainto'gall'nt-s'ls and backstays was perfectly correct.

      It being a holiday afternoon, there was a crowd of boys on the wharf, who appeared to me to be quite a distinctive class of juveniles, accustomed to consider themselves as predestined mariners. Their fathers and grandfathers before them had spent the whole period of their lives "round Cape Horn;" their elder brothers were even now serving their apprenticeship in the same manner, and, as regarded themselves, it was only a question of time how soon they should

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR. 21

start. They climbed ratlines like monkeys — little fellows of ten or twelve years — and laid out on the yardarms with the most perfect nonchalance, shouting and laughing at our awkward attempts to perform the same feats. They ridiculed us as "greenies," and there was no help for it but to take it all in good part, and bear with their boyish impudence as philosophically as might be. Hostile advances were useless, for we might as well have kicked at the empty air.

      We certainly could not complain of want of attention during our stay among these plain-hearted people. We could hardly turn a corner but we were saluted with the war-cry of some of these embryo circumnavigators. "See the greenies, come to go ileing;" while the smiles of beauty were extorted by our amphibious costumes wherever we strolled about town.

      I understood that two of the boys were going with us in the ship. Wishing to know something of my future shipmates, I made inquiry of the landlord's daughter. Of course she knew them both. One was Kelly's son who lived away in Egypt, and the other was Obed B.

      "And who is Obed Bee?" I asked.

      "Why, he's a second cousin of ours."

      "And does Mr. Bee live in Egypt, too?"

      "Who?" she asked, with surprise.

      "Why, Mr. Bee, Obed's father," said I innocently.

      "Mr. Hoeg, you mean," said she, as soon as she could suppress her laughter so as to speak. "I forgot to tell you that his name was Obed B. Hoeg. No, he don't live in Egypt; he lives over in Guinea."

22 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      I was more and more mystified; I thought of Ledyard and Mungo Park, and pursued my African researches by inquiring:

      "What part of the world is this where you live — Nubia or Abyssinia?"

      "Neither," answered the young lady, now fairly screaming with laughter. "Why this is Newtown."

      "Indeed!" said I. "And have you an 'Oldtown,' too?"

      "Not in Nantucket," she replied; "that's on the Vineyard."

      I did not learn, till long afterwards, that the name was universally used among the Nantucketers for Edgartown.

      But our stay in this quaint old town was short, indeed, for the next afternoon we all reported ourselves on board, under the fatherly care and escort of Messrs. Brooks and Richards; and the Arethusa, with only topmasts aloft, and topsail yards crossed, dropped out from the wharf, in tow of the "Telegraph" steamer, for her station outside of the bar, there to complete rigging and loading for sea. She was at this time in charge of a pilot, and a superannuated whaling captain, who, having outlived active service, now found employment as chief stevedore and temporary captain, in cases where the regular officers preferred to pay for "lay days," and remain with their friends till the ship was quite ready for sea.

      Directly on getting clear of the wharf, we poor bewildered green hands, whose senses had gone wool-gathering amid the confusion of unintelligible orders

IN AND OUT OVER THE BAR. 23

connected with "hooking on," were set to work to heel the ship by rousing the chain cables and other ponderous articles all on one side, in order to lessen her draught of water; and this being accomplished, the ship, after rubbing for a few minutes on the flats, went over clear, and about dark came to, with both anchors ahead, in the berth vacated by the Pandora which had gone to sea the day before.


CHAPTER III.

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT.

      When the ship was righted, and all was made snug for the night, we proceeded to arrange the chaotic mass of sea-chests, bedding, kegs of oil soap, and miscellaneous sea-stores, and to perform the apparently impossible task of condensing sixteen men, with all their real and personal estate, into a little triangular space, called (by courtesy) the forecastle, so as to leave standing and dancing room at the foot of the ladder. This problem, however knotty it might seem to the uninitiated, was successfully solved, under the superintendence of the four "salts" who had been to sea before, two of whom were Portuguese from the Azores, one a gigantic negro who had been three voyages in the same employ, and the fourth a white American of some little intelligence — one of those sea-lawyers or "clock-setters," who are to be found in all sorts of ships, and who make more mischief then can well be imagined by people not conversant with matters of this sort. The stowage being completed, each one fitted up his own "bunk," the four veterans having, of course, appropriated the choice ones by marking them with their own hieroglyphics before the ship left

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 25

the wharf. Supper was then passed down, and a smart show of new tin-ware brought into requisition. Old Jeff swore at the tea, called it "frightened water" (it did certainly appear to have been mixed on homœopathy principles), and avowed his determination to have his brother African, the cook, over the windlass end before he had been a week in blue water, unless a decided improvement should be observed in this respect. In which threat he was ably seconded by Burley, the sea-lawyer, and the two Ghees, we green hands merely eating with eyes wide open, not yet daring to advance our opinions.

      The remains of the banquet cleared away, most of us lighted our "half-Spanish" outfit cigars, but Old Jeff, disdaining such flummeries, produced his approved narcotic solace, in the shape of a well-worn and blackened "chunk," which being duly loaded and set on fire, he settled himself in a sort of Sir Oracle attitude, and prepared to give the attentive novices the benefit of his long experience.

      "Now, boys," said Jeff, between the puffs, "you'll find you've got to toe the mark here. Our old man's a hard one, I can tell ye, for I've sailed with him afore. I can get along well enough with him, 'cause I know him, and he knows me, too, like a book. I haven't sailed ten years with him for nothing. Why, bless your souls, he wouldn't know how to get under way without me." This was one of Jeff's delusions — that he considered himself a necessary fixture or part of the ship. "He's a hard one," he continued, "and you lads will have to stand round when he gets among

26 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ye. He wont trouble me, you know,'cause I know my duty, chock to the handle; but he's down on any man that don't know his duty."

      "But, surely," I ventured to say, "he cannot be so unreasonable as to expect a green hand to know a seaman's duty by intuition. We don't profess to know anything; we come our first voyage to learn, and if we show ourselves willing to learn, we do all that can be reasonably expected of us."

      "I don't know nothing about your inter-ition," returned Old Jeff, showing the whites of his eyes to a frightful extent. "That's further into the booktionary that ever I overhauled. But I know this old man, and it's no use for a lad like you to argy about things that you don't understand. If you and me was going to talk in 'long-shore company, now, I s'pose I'd have to strike my flag, 'cause you could launch some three-deckers, like that one just now; but here, you know, I'm to home. You just hold on a bit; he'll let you know who's who, when he gets you off soundin's!"

      "I aint afraid he'll do me anything," said the sea-lawyer, Burley, his voice coming with a sepulchral sound from the depths of the bunk, where he was already stretched at full length. "I don't allow any live man to do me anything. I've been in all sorts of ships, men-of-war, merchantmen, and — well, I wont say what else. But I always stood up for my rights."

      "That's all well enough, you know," replied the negro, speaking with less assumption of superiority now that he was addressing a man of experience. "That's all well enough to stand up, if all hands would

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 27

hang together standin' up" — (quite unconscious of the bull, of course). "But they wont, 'cause they don't know their duty. Now, you see, you and me's got to do 'bout all the duty here — "

      "What you talk about?" said one of the two Ghees, a swarthy, big-whiskered fellow, with that restless eye so common among his countrymen. "What you talk about — do all dutee? I no want you do my work. S'pose you do your own work, me all e' same."

      "Ah, well! I don't mean nothin' 'bout you and Antone, of course!" said Jeff, turning nearly white at the interruptions. "I s'pose you two can do your duty well enough. What I mean to say is," thus ingeniously shifting his ground, "there'll be only two of us in each watch to do all the duty. 'The doctor' he don't count nobody, 'cause he don't stand watch, and he's got enough to do to look after his galley. Now, when I first went a whaling, they used to have some men aboard of a ship; but now-a days they send them out filled with a lot of children. I expect if I go two or three voyages more, I'll see 'em bring their mothers out with 'em. I don't know, for my part, what they ship such spindle-legged boys for!"

      "I do!" shouted the clock-setter, from the recesses of the bunk. "Because they can do just what they like with 'em, and they don't know their rights. If they were to ship a whole crew of old hands that knew their rights and stood up for them, they'd get brought up with a round-turn."

      "R-r-r-ights!" muttered Manoel the Portuguese.

28 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

"What that you talk 'bout r-r-rights? What for you begin gr-r-owl now, no got ship out sea yet? Time enough gr-r-owl, s'pose old man no do r-r-right by-'m-by."

      "But it's always well enough to have these things understood in the beginning," insisted Burley. "I want a man to use me like a man, and I mean he shall, too. I don't know what you Dagos mean to do, but I'll have my rights."

      "R-r-rights!" echoed Manoel, with infinite contempt. "All 'e time r-r-rights!"

      "I tink s'pose have row 'board dis ship — you no do more's 'nother mans," said the little Portuguese, Antone, with that quick perception of character, which, in many of his class, seems to supply the place of both theoretical knowledge and worldly experience.

      "Well, you'll see," returned the sea-lawyer. "Time will show. I sha'n't ask any Dago to tell me what to do."

      "Dago no tell you, s'pose you ask," answered the quiet little Portuguese, sarcastically.

      He had already conceived a disgust for one, at least, of his shipmates. Though having no desire, at present, to quarrel with him, he took in good part the epithet of "Dago," which Burley had always at his tongue's end.

      "Well," said I, "I shall not believe that the captain — "

      "Who's the captain?" interrupted Old Jeff.

      "Why, Captain Upton."

      "O! the old man you mean. If you was talking

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 29

about the skipper of another ship, it might do to say the cap'n, but ours is always the old man — mind that."

      "Very well — the old man, then," I resumed. "I shall not believe that he will misuse or ill-use a man for not knowing what he can't be expected to know without some practice and experience. It's an old saying that the devil is not so black as he is painted; and the only way for us new hands is to go to work cheerfully, and try to learn our duty. I'm sure I am willing to learn, and would be obliged to any one who would teach or help me."

      This view of the matter, and my expression of it, at once found an echo from all the other youngsters, while, at the same time, it secured for me the better opinion of Old Jeff himself; who, though a notorious growler, was not a bad-hearted man in the main. In deed, this negro was a specimen of a class which every seaman will recognize at once, who growl rather from confirmed habit than from any evil motive; and nothing could be further from his mind than to be the intentional cause of trouble on board any ship in which he served. Not so with Burley, whom I set down at once as a man to be instinctively avoided and distrusted. Growling, with Old Jeff, was a weakness, and, from long indulgence in the practice had become, as it were, an essential part of his existence; but the sea-lawyer was a deliberate mischief-maker. In one respect, as I afterwards discovered, they were much on a par, being both arrant cowards when put to the test.

      The cook now made his appearance down the ladder — a merry, simple-hearted African, of a shining bottle-

30 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

green complexion, between whom and Old Jeff a harmless sort of skirmishing feud existed, they having sailed together on the previous voyage with Captain Upton, and contracted a habit of cracking coarse jokes upon each other to such an extent that a stranger might have supposed them to be in a towering rage at times, when they were in reality fast friends.

      "Halloo, Jeff, aint you turned in yet?" said the cook, showing his ivory from ear to ear. "Here you be, boys; all de bunks taken up, and I's left like dey say de Son o' Man in de Scriptur', nowhere to lay my head. De old man says he's going to have an extra bunk put up for me in de steerage. S'pose he wont do it till after we get out to sea."

      "Take your black mug out of this!" thundered Old Jeff, who was stripping off preparatory to retiring for the night. "You make the fo'castle so dark a man can't see to turn in. You'll put the lights out if you stay here five minutes."

      "Now don't trouble yourself to get in a puncheon when a hogshead's big enough to hold ye," retorted the "doctor" in a tantalizing way. "Some people might think you's dangerous, if dey didn't know ye as well as I do. You can't frighten Kentucky Sam, you know. Lord sakes! You might run loose till kingdom come, 'thout any muzzle; you wouldn't bite nobody. Might bark some, though."

      "I'll bark your crooked shins for you, if you don't shut up. I'm goin' to turn in; we shall have two lighters alongside to-morrow morning and Uncle Brock will be turning us to, as soon as he can see daylight through a ladder."

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 31

      "Well, now, don't be flyin' off de handle, altogedder," said the cook with provoking coolness, "'cos I's goin' to turn in myself, soon's I fix up a bed on dese two donkeys." (Sea chests.)

      "I'll settle your hash for you to-morrow," roared Jeff, extending his herculean fist from the bunk, and shaking it apparently in a state of great excitement.

      "All right. Call at my office any time before dinner. Sha'n't have no hash to settle tho'. 'Taint hash day to-morrow, anyhow."

      By this time the sable functionary was stretched at his ease on his temporary shake down, and the sparring ended for the night. Some of the boys were already snoring off the fatigues of the day, and the rest were making a movement bedward; so I had leisure to reflect a little upon the sudden change in my situation and the new and strange society into which I was thrown. Yet though my meditations kept me wakeful for some time, they were by no means of a despondent cast. I was on board a first-rate ship, new and stanch, and as I had every reason to believe, well appointed for a successful voyage; and though I had already found out that the chances were in favor of three years' absence instead of one (the statements of the polite Mr. Ramsay to the contrary notwithstanding), even this did not deter me from following my bent. I should see much of the Pacific side of the world in that length of time, would so conduct myself as to ensure promotion, and my calculations as well as my observation at Nantucket, had satisfied me that the business must prove quite lucrative to captains and

32 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

officers who could command high lays. As for my shipmates they were probably an average of rough men, and I could soon adapt myself to their humors.

      I fell asleep, dreamed of piles of gold doubloons, all besmeared with whale oil, but shining the brighter for it, and was roused at the first peep of dawn by the stentorian voice of Uncle Brock exhorting us to "muster up and get the lighter alongside." Old Jeff brought his immense flat feet from his bunk to the deck with a bound, calling to us youngsters to "show a leg!" and also administering a smart kick to his ebony friend the cook, by way of a gentle hint to "bear a hand and get the grub under way." Burley, to support consistently his character as an old man-of-wars man, asserted his "rights" by standing three or four calls.

      The first sound that greeted my ears, as I emerged from the scuttle, was an invocation from the leathern lungs of the skipper of the lighter. "Arethusa aho-o-oy! Rouse and bitt, you youngsters! I know you've got strong constitutions. You can stand more sleep than a polar bear in winter time! Get your lines ready. I'm coming alongsi-i-de!" and the gruff response of old Captain Brock mounted on the rail. "What the devil ails you, Uncle Dan? You've turned out wrong end foremost! That polar bear of yours has got a sore head by the way he growls! You talk about sleeping! Why, anybody knows that you can sleep twenty-two hours out of twenty-four, and then d — n the dogwatch."

      But the war of words between these old salts was

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 33

quite as harmless as that of the two black shipmates; and the sloop being soon lashed alongside, the noisy old skipper came on board the ship to breakfast. The hands were then turned to again, and the work of taking in stores and provisions, and filling salt-water ballast in the ground tier went briskly on. I was selected, with one other green hand, to work in the hold under the direction of another old whaleman, who filled the second mate's place pro tempore, and the boatsteerers, two of whom were promising young men, natives of the island, and the third, or captain's boatsteerer, was a mulatto, who was ex-officio, third mate, and had the handle to his name, being addressed as Mr. Johnson. These worthies all messed in the cabin, as well as the cooper, who had not yet come on board. There were no bunks in the steerage; the Arethusa being, in this respect, an exception to the generality of ships at that time. But it was a favorite expression with Captain Upton, "that he had but two ends to his ship, and wanted every man to keep in his own end." I succeeded so well in satisfying the petty officers, that, before we had finished loading the ship, they were all agreed that it was expedient to retain me as one of the regular "hold gang," provided no objection should be raised by those higher in authority.

      The quantity of stores put on board a whaleship, for a long voyage, would astonish any one not acquainted with the business. A ship is literally crammed full when she sails, and one is tempted to ask, "Where is the oil to be put when we get it?" Every

34 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

cranny and crevice is filled with wood or lumber of some sort, and to add to the puzzle, the ship carries from a thousand to fifteen hundred barrels or casks in the form of shooks, or packed bundles of staves, which, in the event of a successful voyage, are all, of course, to be set up, filled with oil and stowed away. But, as the gradual consumption of provisions and stores keeps pace with the gradual accumulation of oil, and as some space is gained in restowing, each time, it is managed, somehow, and a whaleship is always full, or nearly so, all the voyage. Still it seems, in some sort, a mystery, even to old whalemen themselves.

      In about ten days the stowage was completed, the topgallant-masts and yards sent aloft, in which process we boys found opportunity to display our agility in fetching and carrying, as well as to acquire some knowledge of seamanship, and to unravel other puzzling questions as to "how those long poles were to be put up so high?" and "what kept them there when up?", the spare sails, boats, etc., received on board, and the ship reported ready for a start. Mr. Richards, the out-door agent of Messrs. Brooks & Co., had never relaxed his fatherly vigilance, visiting his protégés every day, praising and encouraging us, and prophesying a short voyage and "greasy luck" to the Arethusa.

      The day of departure arrived, with a fair wind and plenty of it; the last boats came alongside at three o'clock in the morning, bringing the captain and officers, with their luggage, and the agent of the ship, with several other friends, who had come to "see us

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 35

off" and return in the pilot-boat; and who, of course, burst into enthusiastic praises of the new ship, and the arrangement of all on board, protesting that it almost made them wish they were going themselves. The windlass was soon after manned; the topsails loosed (not exactly in man-of-war style, with a simultaneous fall), green hands were hurried here and there, ropes pointed out to them and put into their hands; the anchors slowly but steadily rose to the bows; and, by sunrise, the gallant Arethusa, feeling the impulse of the fresh breeze, was fairly underway, and her course shaped to clear Great Point.

      I had anticipated another course of martyrdom from sea-sickness; but I soon found that the gallant Lydia Ann had broken me in completely, and I was destined to suffer no more from that intolerable malady. It was a great relief to feel that my stomach had gained the victory in the conflict with old Neptune's medicine chest. There was something exhilarating in the sensation of feeling the lively ship springing under my feet, and driving onward under the impulse of her distended wings; in looking back at the low, receding island, the cradle whence had issued so many stout hearts and strong arms to vex every sea with their fisheries, and feeling that I, too, was now embarking in this adventurous and romantic business; and in observing how Captain Upton, with his mate and the owner, grouped together on the quarterdeck, watched the behavior and movements of the new vessel, from time to time commenting, as they found occasion for so doing, and comparing her

36 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

qualities and merits with those of other time-worn and well-tried ships. I myself began to feel a little of that pride in my floating home springing up within me, which every seaman feels for his vessel. Then, as I looked again astern, at the dim outline of Nantucket, fast sinking towards the horizon, my thoughts reverted to my pleasant country home, to my parents and my much loved sister left there, and a prayer went up — yes, a prayer; a silent one, but none the less sincere. A glance of the captain's eye aloft; a word, "Port!" to Old Jeff at the wheel; another word in an under tone to the mate; and then the loud order, "Square in the yards!" chased away these gentle thoughts, and recalled my mind to the voyage before me.

      As we had rounded Great Point, the ship was kept away with the wind nearly aft, and standing more stiffly up to her work, went booming off at a rate which promised to leave home far out of sight before nightfall. Old Jeff, when relieved by Manoel, came forward in ecstacies. He had quite forgotten his growling propensity, in the excitement of the moment, and vowed she was the most perfect beauty that ever swam under his flat feet; that she steered like a pilot-boat; and, as for sailing! why she'd go round and round the old Colossus (his last ship), and not half try herself.

      "Now," said the negro, "I only want to see her work on a wind, and go in stays once or twice. But I know — confound it — I know she'll tack in a pint of water. I can tell by the way she feels under me. If

FROM THE BAR ROUND GREAT POINT. 37

we don't get a load of oil this time, it wont be the ship's fault. Hurrah! twenty-five months — twenty-five hundred barrels! that's all we want to give her a bellyful! that's all! twenty-five;" — and went off into a shuffle step of cadence.

CHAPTER IV.

FAIRLY AT SEA. — THE FIRST LOOKOUT. — INTRODUCTIONS.

      By noon the ship had run the land nearly down to the horizon line, and having sufficient offing, with the open sea before her, and all being well satisfied with her performance, she was brought to the wind with the maintopsail thrown aback for the pilot-boat; and after the most affectionate leave-takings and handshakings, the owner and the rest of our shore friends left us; many of them with, literally, very turbulent feelings. Mr. Richards was not so indisposed but that he was able to take the hand of each of his young friends in turn, and bid us godspeed, at the same time leaving in our hands copies of our outfit bills (receipted in full by order on the owners), as a parting token of his esteem. Three cheers were given as they shoved off from the ship — or rather attempted, with but indifferent success, and somewhat more feeble returned by the stay-at-homes; and in a few minutes we again filled away on our course to the eastward. The anchors were stowed and well secured, the chain cables run down into the lockers, and the breeze freshen-

FAIRLY AT SEA. 39

ing in the afternoon, the ship was brought down to double-reefed topsails; an operation requiring considerable time for its performance, with new sails and running gear, and a green crew; and one adapted to develop not only our agility, but the power of grip in our hands; while the rigging was embraced so affectionately that I had no reason to wonder at the complaint of the second mate that we had robbed all the tar from it, and transferred it to our clothes. Jeff had his fill of growling at the "children," as if they were to blame that they had not been born able seamen, or trained as "reefers" in the district school; while Manoel was kind enough to undo all my part of the work and do it over again, instructing me at the same time how not to tie a "gr-r-r-annee-knot," enunciating the r with a noise like that made in tearing a strong rag.

      At sundown, all hands were called aft, and requested to "spread" ourselves in full view of the officers, and the process of choosing watches was gone through with, the mate and second mate selecting a man alternately, till all were disposed of except the "idlers," such as the cook, steward, cooper, etc. As we were chosen, we were formed in two divisions, one each side of the deck, according as we were billeted in the starboard or larboard watch. Next came the choice of oarsmen for the respective boats, a still more important matter in a whaler; and here there was much competition among the officers, and evidently some anxiety, with a little ill-concealed jealousy of feeling. I found myself a member of the larboard watch, and

40 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

also assigned to the bow oar of the larboard, or chief mate's boat.

      When we all understood our places, Captain Upton introduced his officers in form, as Mr. Grafton, his mate, Mr. Dunham his second mate, and Johnson, his third mate.

      "These are my officers," said he, "and I look for you all to respect and obey them as you do myself; and remember that when either of them is on deck in charge of the ship, he represents me, and his orders are mine."

      He told us he should allow no fighting among ourselves, he wanted to see no sogering, and, above all, to hear no "back answers." He wound up with a peroration after the most approved and stereotyped form, which has been handed down from ancient sea-captains; indeed, it is supposed to date back to the patriarchal system of government, and to have originated with Noah when he first closed the doors of the ark:

      "All you've got to do is, go when you are sent, and come when you are called; and if you don't have enough to eat, come aft and let me know. Set the watch, Mr. Grafton."

      The starboard watch had eight hours on deck, following the established seaman's rule that the captain must take the ship out, and the mate take her home. When our watch was summoned at eleven o'clock, the ship was still under double reefs, but the wind had hauled round to the northward-and-east-ward, causing an ugly cross sea, and she was braced sharp on the

FAIRLY AT SEA. 41

port tack, and plunging into it smartly. The weather was quite chilly, and as our end of the deck was "all afloat," we naturally made our way aft to explore for drier quarters. Mr. Grafton was on hand to meet and count us at the mainmast. Being satisfied the quota was full:

      "Now, boys," said he, "you will remember this. In your watch on deck, you are expected to stay on deck; and so that you are all ready for a call when I want you, you may pass the time about as you please, and make yourselves as comfortable as you can — except one man at the wheel and one looking out ahead. I shall want one of you always on the lookout at night, and you must arrange the tricks among yourselves so that I may always find one there. I want him mounted up somewhere where he can see all around on both bows, and where I can see him if I come forward. If I find him asleep, I'll — never mind — I'll fix him so that he will keep his eyes open next time. Now go forward, one of you; and mind, all the rest of you keep above deck. You understand the wheel and lookout are to be relieved every two hours, and whoever has the next trick, I expect him to be travelling along at once when the bell rings; if he don't — he'll hear from me."

      I volunteered to take the first lookout, and my offer was accepted with enthusiasm. I struggled forward, clutching at the weather-rail, and finding some difficulty in keeping my equilibrium on the wet, slippery deck, as the buoyant ship rose and fell, rolling at times heavily, and righting with a sudden recoil. I

42 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

looked at the station between the knight-heads; but just at that moment she made a heavy pitch forward, and meeting a head sea in full career, sent it flying high over the bows, and rushing down the heel of the bowsprit, inboard; giving ocular evidence that I should be more than half drowned as the reward of my temerity, if I ventured up there. The foretopsail sheet bitts presented the next eligible place, and here I "mounted guard." Planting myself in a Colossus-of-Rhodes attitude, with my back against the foremast, and one arm round each chain sheet for a firm hold, I stared intently into the black void ahead of the ship, regardless of the drenching sprays which every now and then flew over the weather bow upon my head, rattling down my sou'wester, and penetrating my new monkey jacket, which, so far from being water-proof, might have been aptly classified with Mr. Weller's hat, as "wentilatin' gossamer." I was the possessor of an oil-cloth suit, but it was below in the forecastle; and so profoundly was I impressed with a sense of the responsibility resting upon me, that I would not for an instant have stirred from my post until relieved, for anything short of an earthquake; a contingency not likely to occur so far out in the Atlantic Ocean, in this latitude. No one came near me during the two hours, but I had been reconnoitred from time to time by Mr. Johnson, who was skilled in working traverses round the tryworks, and saw a great deal without being seen himself. At one o'clock the relief bell struck, and soon after a voice issued from the darkness:

FAIRLY AT SEA. 43

      "Hallo! Blacksmith, where you?"

      "Here!" I answered, turning half round.

      "Come down! I 'lieve you!" hailed Antone, from the fore-hatches.

      "Leave me? what for? I've been left here two hours now."

      "No, I 'lieve you! I take you place!" shouted the Portuguese. "You wet, no?"

      Just at the moment a gush of water came flying in over the galley, and I jumped down on deck, gasping for breath, and streaming from every thread. The Portuguese roared with laughter.

      "What for you stop up dere? You no sabe stand lookout. By'mby you see me no all e' same," continued Antone, who was favoring himself under the lee of the foremast, and all ready for a rapid retreat, if necessary.

      But this was my first lookout. I proved myself, in time, an apt scholar, and learned to "favor myself" in many particulars; and while I obeyed orders, and gave satisfaction to my superiors, to leave responsibility, like a true Jack, to those who were better paid for it, and to cultivate close acquaintances with the softest planks about the decks on all convenient occasions.

      Those who predicted a good voyage for the Arethusa did not, in this instance, as in many others, do so without reason; and they did no more than justice to Captain Upton and his officers when they pronounced her well appointed. The captain himself was a man of great energy and undaunted courage, still in the

44 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

prime of life, who always headed his own boat, and took the initiative himself in whaling. He was rather taciturn, saying little more than was really necessary on any occasion, but possessed great firmness and an iron will. There was nothing of the Tartar about him, and very little to justify Old Jeff's bugbear statement as to his being "a hard one." He had his peculiarities, however, not to say failings. No man could study more closely the interest of his owners; and as he was now identified with them, being a part owner himself in the new ship, we felt the effects of it in the commissariat department. Moreover, he was very proud of his vessel; so much so as to be old-maidish in regard to the neatness of her appearance, and devoted more time and labor to this end than was at all agreeable either to his crew or officers. On the whole, however, he was justly regarded as a most efficient man for his station, and ranked A. 1. on the list of crack whaling captains.

      His chief-executive and prime minister, Mr. Grafton, was a tall, massive-looking man, of fine personal appearance, something older than his superior. He had made three voyages in the same capacity, being one of those choice mates, who, by some chance, never get command of a ship, perhaps in virtue of a saying much in vogue among shipowners, and in many instances acted upon, "that it is a pity to spoil a good mate by making him master." A man of rather thoughtful cast of mind, of much intelligence, and possessed of an extensive stock of information upon many subjects, with a habit of generalizing and a clear-

FAIRLY AT SEA. 45

ness, of expression which rendered him an agreeable companion to all with whom he came in contact. Though a good whaleman, Grafton was not what is known to the connoisseur as a "fishy man;" he had no lungs to blow his own trumpet, and sometimes distrusted his own powers, though generally found equal to any emergency after it arose. This want of confidence sometimes led him to hesitate, where a more impulsive or less thoughtful man would act at once. In the course of his career he had seen many "fishy" young men lifted over his head; but as he was very highly esteemed in his station, and received nearly a captain's pay, he was well contented as he was. He was devotedly attached to his family at home, personated the gentleman in all he said and did, and well sustained the character.

      Dunham, the second officer, was a smart young fellow of two-and-twenty, active, strong, and "fishy to the backbone." His chief fault, as an officer, lay in his being an inveterate sleeper; he could never, upon any consideration, keep awake a whole four-hour watch.

      The mulatto Johnson had steered a boat with Captain Upton before in the Colossus, and was well known in Nantucket as "a long-dart man." He was somewhat of the Shanghai build — tall and long-shanked, with great strength of limb, and could plug a whale better if four fathoms distant than he could "wood and blackskin." He had an eye like a hawk, and could see a spout as far with his natural optics as most men could through a telescope. He

46 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

was ignorant of everything out of his own immediate line, and sometimes rather overbearing. He was not disliked, in the main, by the crew, if we except Jeff and the cook, who being old shipmates of his, and themselves of the pure blood, were averse to tolerating anything of a mongrel description, or "milk-and-molasses color," as they termed it. "No compromise" was their platform, on this particular issue.

      The cooper of the Arethusa was an important personage, as, indeed, the cooper always is in a whaler. The duties of this functionary are of a peculiar character, and about as independent of all the rest as those of a surgeon in a man-of-war. He is neither officer nor man, strictly speaking, his lay or pay being nearly equal to that of a second mate. He lives aft with the officers, but makes himself at home in all parts of the ship, occupying a sort of neutral ground — a kind of connecting link between republicanism and oligarchy, neither too high nor too low to consort or joke with anybody and everybody. As a general rule, he stands no watch, but does his day's work and sleeps all night, and in many ways evinces consciousness of his own value, and of the indispensable character of his services. For a whaler may, and, in fact, often does, go to sea without a blacksmith or without a carpenter; but the cooper is an essential part of her equipage. An officer or a boatsteerer may, in case of emergency, be created at sea, by promotion; but the cooper is not so easily replaced.

      The cooper in question was a stout, grave-looking man of forty or thereabouts, with a shaggy mass of

FAIRLY AT SEA. 47

grey hair, and a patriarchally long beard. His mechanical work was of excellent quality, what little he accomplished; for he always worked on the principle of the tortoise in the race — "slow and sure." He scraped indifferently well on the violin, but delighted especially in drawing a longer bow. In virtue of this latter accomplishment, he might have claimed near relationship with a certain gentleman known in classic lore as Thomas Pepper, without having his title questioned for a moment. He always told his yarns as gospel truth, and would back them with any oath, if required.

      The two young boatsteerers, Bunker and Fisher, with the Portuguese steward, completed the "afterguard." In the forecastle there was, in addition to the personages already mentioned, the usual variety of character and disposition to be found among a dozen young men, recruited at random in this manner. Now that we were getting initiated to a sea life, we were beginning to have opinions, and to express them, no longer leaving the whole field to Jeff and the sea-lawyer. As for the Nantucket boys, Kelly and Hoeg (or Obed B., as I still persisted in calling him), they made rapid progress in knowledge and confidence. As I have before intimated, these young "natives to the manor born" seemed to look upon this life with the eye of fatalists. It was foreordained that they should be sailors, and nothing in their new way of life seemed to surprise or disturb them for a moment. Everything took place as a matter of course with them. They never seemed to think they could, by

48 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

any possibility, have followed any other business for a livelihood; and each new event or circumstance of the voyage was merely another link in the chain of their inevitable destiny. They were born to go whaling and a station on the quarterdeck was the goal of their ambition.

      They had not been more than a week at sea before they had taken some of the starch out of the sea-lawyer, who had attempted to assert his "rights" by hazing them about, and calling upon them to perform various menial services for him, which he said it was a "boy's place to do."

      One morning he ordered Kelly, in a very arbitrary way, to go on deck and bring him down some water, which Kelly flatly refused to do. The sea-lawyer declared he would "make him do it;" and upon Kelly's expressing a doubt as to his ability to perform that feat, he proceeded to enforce his command, vi et armis. But he was met by the boy with a spirit that he had not looked for, and before he could get a good hold upon the youngster, so as to chastise him, as he expected easily to do, he was attacked in the rear by Obed B., who arrived on the field just in time to reinforce his chum and schoolmate. This gave Kelly a chance to rally and assume the offensive; and Burley, who was a most arrant coward, finding himself roughly handled between the two, was fain to call for an armistice. A parley ensued, and the boys gave him to understand that they did not come to sea to be boys, but to make themselves men, and that they would not submit to be bullied by him. And the upshot of the

FAIRLY AT SEA. 49

matter was, that the champion of "rights" made rather an ignominious retreat from the field, as compared with the vigor of his first attack. All this was nuts, of course, to the rest of us youngsters, who desired nothing more earnestly than to see the bully humbled a little; while the emotion of Manoel was too powerful to find utterance — in intelligible English. He patted the two boys on the shoulder, in the exuberance of his spirits, while his tongue rattled until I thought all his teeth were loose in the jaws; but to save my life, I could not have told what he was trying to say.

      There was plenty of work for all hands on the passage out, as every one will understand who has ever performed a voyage in a new ship. We found our duties very fatiguing, as we were kept at work all day, and had a watch to stand at night. There was all the new rigging to be stretched and set up over and again, in addition to the thousand and one other matters to be attended to, to put everything in trim for whaling against the opening of the campaign. The old salts growled night and day in the forecastle about having no "watch below;" but as we verdant ones had but a vague idea of what they meant by it, we had but little to say about this grievance.

CHAPTER V.

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. — "YARNS" AND ANECDOTES.

      On the eighteenth day out from Nantucket, the high peak of Pico was visible from the masthead, and having a fair breeze, we were lying off and on at the port of Fayal the same afternoon. The captain, with the starboard boat's crew, went ashore, and the ship made short boards to await his return, the Pandora and two whaleships from New Bedford in company. Two more ships were at anchor having taken some oil on the outward passage and put in to land it to be shipped home. Several Portuguese boats came alongside, of the most clumsy and primitive construction imaginable, characteristic of a people who are a couple of centuries behind the times. The boatmen appeared to be, "like Captain Copperthorne's crew, all officers," and jabbered and shouted all at once, in most admirable discord, and at such a furious rate that I found myself wondering whether they really could understand each other or not, and certainly never contemplated the possibility of any American having the remotest idea what they were talking about. But I found that Mr. Grafton could converse with them quite fluently whenever he could make himself heard in the din and confusion. These boats brought

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. 51

a few inferior oranges, sour enough to make a pig squeal (if he would touch them at all, which of course he wouldn't, if a sensible pig), with some miniature cheeses, which, with a little more drying, might have been made available as sheaves for small blocks without much alteration in size, form or consistency of material. These they either sold for money or bartered for various articles of ship's provisions, and were perfect Jews at a bargain.

      Just before sundown a large launch, deeply loaded, was seen coming out, with a rag hoisted on a pole as a signal. This launch was of even more primitive appearance than the smaller ones. She might have been the longboat of one of Vasco de Gama's fleet, of four centuries ago; at any rate, if his ship had any longboats, they were exactly of this model. We stood well in to meet her, and wearing off shore with the maintopsail aback, took her alongside. Her cargo of potatoes, onions and live stock was to be taken on board and stowed away, and, as the captain arrived soon afterwards, with his boat laden to the gunwale streak with vegetables, it was quite dark before she was again in her place on the cranes, and sail made on the ship.

      Among the live stock brought on board was a handsome little boy, who was to help the steward in the cabin, much to the enhancement of that functionary's importance, as he could now attend to many calls by deputy which before he was compelled to answer in person; and would also have some one to lay all little mishaps to, such as dishes broken and lamps untrimmed.

52 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      The Pandora braced full about the same time as the Arethusa, but it was soon apparent that she could not compete in sailing qualities with the new ship, and she gradually dropped astern. The breeze was light from the north-west, with fine weather, and we now had leisure to get supper, and to listen, to the yarns of those who had been ashore.

      Manoel and Antone had seen their relatives and friends — meeting them after years of absence, to part again in an hour or two — and had found time to visit the priest and get full absolution, balancing the account up to date, and opening a new page, ready to run up another score. Farrell, a young Irishman who pulled the captain's bow oar, had become considerably elevated by imbibing too much sour wine and aguardiente, and was full of stories of his own prowess in knocking over a "Portinghee" who had dared to remonstrate against his kissing a pretty, black-eyed girl, his sister, he supposed; for, like a true Milesian, he had been the hero of a drinking bout, a love intrigue and a knockdown row, all within half an hour after he landed.

      "I jist took him a nate clip betwane the eyes," said Farrell, "and laid him out foreninst the door of his shanty. Thin you see, five or six murtherin' Portinguese pitched intil me, and was afther carryin' me off, body and sowl, to the lock-up; but the ould man interfared, and settled it somehow. Afther he'd paid me fine, he tould me I'd betther go down to the boat, and not lave her again. So I went and got int'l her and shoved her off the length of her tather, and there was a crowd

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. 53

of the nagurs jabberin' and squintin' at me wid their corkindile eyes; but I knowed I was in sanctyeary thin. I'd half a bottle of that blackguard potteen what they call dent, so I jist sot and looked at 'em back again, and dhrank their healths. I suppose the ould man'll be chargin' me the fine on the ship's books."

      "Yes, you can bet high on that," said Jeff, "and the interest, too."

      "Yes," said the sea-lawyer, "but you needn't be fool enough to pay it. If every man stood up for his rights, they wouldn't gouge him in that style. A man can't go ashore and drink a drop, and have a bit of a time — and that's what he goes ashore for, of course — but he must have a long bill of calaboose fees tacked to his account; and that d — d twenty-five per cent added on. If they charge it to me, they'll never get it, that's all. I know what they've got a right to do."

      "I don't know nothin' about the rights," said Jeff, "but I know the old man will charge it to you, and make you pay it, too."

      "Well, you'll see," said Burley. "I'll have my rights."

      "What are you blowing about your rights?" put in the cooper, who had just come forward with his pipe freshly loaded, an indication that some ridiculous lie was also charged and ready to be fired with the tobacco. "You've got no rights. The rights are all in one end of the ship, and the wrongs in the other. Why, when I was out in the old Deucalion," pausing to clear his pipe, and thereby fixing the attention of all his auditors,

54 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

"we had a black fellow called Sam. He had a head harder than Rock Redonda. We used to put pieces of tobacco on top of the windlass-bitts, and then let him butt the bitts till he brought the tobacco down and put it in his pocket. He would let a man split a serving mallet on his head any time, for a drink of grog. But most of the serving mallets were soft wood or ash, made out of old oar looms, so they'd split quite easily. Well, I come it over him once. I was to give him a whole bottle of liquor to stand up under any wooden mallet that I chose to use. I had a white oak one down in my chest, and I brought it up and struck him about ten blows as tight as I could spring before I shivered it. The darkey stood his ground like a rock, and won the bottle of liquor, and drank it, too. His skull wasn't hurt a bit, but his eyes were knocked all asquint, and he never got 'em straight afterwards!"

      "Here, Cooper, take my hat. It's the only one I've got, but you've earned it," said Jeff.

      "No, no," said the indignant disciple of Pepper. "I don't want your old jug. Maybe you think I'm romancing, but I'm just telling you the plain truth. But you've put me out, and I haven't finished my story. The point I was going to illustrate was, that the rights were all in one end of the ship, and the wrongs in the other. Well, on the passage home, one day we were reefing the maintopsail, and this black Sam fell on the yard, and went smack through the bottom of the waist boat, head first, overboard. We lowered a boat and managed to save him.

He wasn't

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. 55

much hurt, but the boat was ruined. She was a boat that we had bought out of an English colonial whaler, and was built of that sweet-scented yellow wood that grows in Van Diemen's land. You've seen it, Jeff, and you know just how brittle it is. Well, when Sam's head struck in the bottom of the boat, the splits flew in all directions, just like throwing a stone in the middle of a pane of glass. So the boat was past all repairing. Well, when we got home, would you believe it? Old Captain Harper had charged Sam sixty dollars, the whole value of a new boat, and Sam had to pay it out of his voyage! He made inquiries, and found it would be cheaper to pay the bill than to stand a lawsuit about it."

      "O, I've heard that story, or something like it, in Nantucket," said the boy Kelly.

      "Yes, so have I," said Obed B.

      "But you boys never believed it was true, did you?" asked the cooper.

      "No, of course not," protested both the boys at once.

      "You may do so hereafter," said the cooper, gravely. "You may say that you had it from an eye-witness." And having finished his yarns for the night, he went puffing away aft, leaving all hands staring at each other in blank astonishment.

      "That be hanged for a yarn," growled Burley, after he was gone. "Even if it had been true, the man needn't have paid a cent, if he had stood up for his rights."

      "Well, dere, it aint no use to talk any after dat

56 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

story," said the cook, with a meditative shake of the head, "We's heard enough. I guess Cooper can take de belt."

      It was my trick at the wheel from nine to eleven, and when I went aft, I found the captain still on deck, leaning over the companionway on our side, with "Father Grafton," as we had fallen into the habit of calling him, on the other; and I am afraid I did not steer the ship so accurately as I might have done under other circumstances. Their conversation, however, served to distract their attention from my shortcomings, as well as to distract mine from the proper management of the helm.

      "I was thinking," said the mate, reflectively, as he looked at the high peak looming astern, "one can hardly believe that the Portuguese were once a great maritime nation, taking the lead in navigation and discovery. I was thinking, too, that it must have required some pluck and nerve to make the voyages that they used to make, with no more tools than they had to work with. Just imagine, now, we are steering south-west from these islands, with no chart of the sea ahead of us, and no nautical instrument better than a rude cross-staff to get a latitude with, in a vessel not as big as one of our sloop-rigged coasters, and not decked over at that. And the island astern of us is, so far as we know, the very Ultima Thule of western discovery."

      "It is just like you, Mr. Grafton, to be thinking of those things," returned the captain. "Yes, it's true, as you say, there must have been anxious hearts and

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. 57

vigilant eyes on board of those little caravels. And yet there was a romantic excitement about those voyages, too, that I think would have been fascinating to me, if I had lived in that age. I have often thought I should have enjoyed a voyage like that of Columbus, or perhaps better, with the ships and facilities of a later period, say those of Anson or Cook. But we were born too late for that, Mr. Grafton; the work is nearly all done for us."

      "Yes, sir," replied the mate, "and we are obliged to complain, like Alexander of Macedon, that there are no more worlds to discover. I cannot help wishing, every voyage that I visit these Azores, that they belonged to some more liberal and progressive people than the Portuguese. With their position and climate, they might be a station of some importance, if in different hands."

      "Yes, I have often thought the same thing; for, however enterprising the Portuguese might have been in the days of De Gama and Columbus, it must be admitted they have made no progress since, but rather gone astern. Well, we have had a fine day for our work, Mr. Grafton, and we have got recruits enough to carry us round Cape Horn, I think, without fear of the scurvy. I am rather disappointed in one respect," continued Captain Upton. "I had hoped to have taken some oil on the passage, to send home from here. I have been lucky enough, every voyage before this, to get a whale or two near these islands."

      "The Pandora has got nothing yet," said Father Grafton, "by the looks of the paint in her waist."

58 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "No," replied the captain, "but she has seen whales twice on the passage, and has been fast, and had a boat stove. I saw Captain Worth ashore."

      "I have a presentiment," said the mate, "that we shall get a whale yet before we get far from the islands. We shall hardly run Pico out of sight between now and morning, with this little breeze, and we have a promise of a fine whaling day to-morrow."

      "The voyage that I was mate of the Colossus," said the captain, "we took two large whales at one fare — more to the westward. We had Flores and Corvo both in sight when we were cutting them. It came on very rugged weather, and we had a hard time saving them. We muckled them after a fashion, but I suppose we lost thirty or forty barrels of oil on the two, and the deficiency, of course, was mostly on the head matter. I know that the oil we shipped home did not bring full price, because there was not the full proportion of head. Ever since that, I always meant to make the full proportion, anyhow," said the captain, with a sly laugh.

      "Yes, sir," said Father Grafton. "I don't blame you for that, but it wont do to smuggle too much. Now, when I was on my first voyage, with Hosea Coffin, he used to pile it on rather too steep. He wasn't satisfied with one third head: he was famous for working in the core of the hump, and other fat parts with it; and if we came out with an ullage cask of head on the stowdown, he'd be sure to fill it up with body oil, and scratch a big H. on it. So that we had a large quantity of head oil, but the quality

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. 59

wasn't well up to the standard. Well, when he was going out in the same ship next voyage, 'Cousin Ephraim,' the old Quaker owner, said to him:

      "'Hosea, there's one thing I'd advise thee not to do, this voyage.'

      "'What's that?' asked Captain Coffin.

      "'I think,' said Cousin Ephraim, in his sly, chuckling way, 'thee'd better not cut off thy whale's heads abaft the hump!'"

      They both laughed so heartily at this story that I had a quiet laugh, too, in sympathy with them, though I did not then appreciate the point of it as well as I afterwards did.

      "There's a deal of sly fun in some of those old Quakers," said Captain Upton. "I recollect when I went down to ship in the Poor Richard, as boatsteerer, 'Uncle Peleg' offered me the eightieth lay, but I struck for the seventieth. I knew I could get it in another ship, though I rather preferred to go in this one for the same lay. So I was as independent as a woodsawyer's clerk, and wouldn't budge tack nor sheet. After chaffering for some time, Uncle Peleg began to scratch the sand with his ivory-headed cane, in a meditative way. Said he:

      "'James I want thee to go in the ship, and I will give thee — '

      Here he marked a 7 in the sand, and then slowly carried his cane round in a circle, and resting the point of it, looked in my face.

      "'Yes,' said I, 'I'll go for that.'

      "But as I spoke, with a slight movement of the

60 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

wrist he finished the last figure, by swinging a tangent to the circle. As I looked down again, it read 79.

      "'No,' said I, indignantly, 'I'll see you hanged first!'

      "'James, James,' said Uncle Peleg, 'don't lose thy temper. Thee shall go in the Poor Richard, and,' — nudging me in the ribs,'we'll have no tail to the matter at all.'

      "'All right,' I answered. He rubbed it out again with his foot.

      "'Now,' said he, 'come right up to the store and put thy name down. Thee must go in the ship; but really, James, I didn't think thee would ask me such a lay as that. Thee needn't tell the other boatsteerers what thee gets.'"

      Father Grafton shook his sides with merriment at this anecdote, and the captain now rose to go below.

      "Well, Blacksmith," said he, "you are making rather a crooked wake. If you don't keep her straighter, the Pandora will overhaul us. Well, what do you think of these Portuguese?"

      "I didn't go ashore, sir," answered I. "I only saw the boatmen that came off, and I thought they had all broken out of a lunatic asylum."

      "I don't wonder at that," he said. "They were all talkers and no listeners. But did you notice any of them with a finger cut off?"

      "Yes, sir, I saw two, and I thought it a little remarkable; and now I remember, our Antone has lost his, too."

THE WESTERN ISLANDS. 61

      "Yes," said he, "about every third man has his forefinger amputated. That's to escape military service, by disabling themselves from pulling a trigger. You see there's a certain proportion of them conscripted every year, and sent off to Portugal to serve in the army."

      "Do you mean, sir," I asked, "that they cut the forefinger off, or have it cut off, designedly?"

      "Certainly," said the captain. "I suppose the treatment is not very good in their army, and there is not much to excite patriotic feeling, as they seldom do any fighting except among themselves; so these young 'Guese will make a sacrifice of a finger to escape service. But I wonder that they are allowed to escape in that way. In the English or French service, they would be held; and if they couldn't fire a musket, they would have to serve as pioneers or something else. That is, if it was known that they maimed themselves intentionally. But it is time to go below," said he abruptly. "I have strong hopes of seeing whales to-morrow, and I will give five dollars to the man that 'raises' a large whale; that is, if we get him."

      "But how large a one?" I asked.

      "Say over fifty barrels. I will give five dollars bounty for fifty barrels of oil. Pass the word among all hands, when the watch is called. Good-night, Mr. Grafton. Let her go south-by-west through the night."

      "South-by-west, sir," answered Father Grafton. "Good-night."

62 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

CHAPTER VI.

THE FIRST WHALE.

      The next morning, having the first masthead, I was in the fore-topgallant crosstrees at sunrise, thinking, of course, of the five dollars' bounty all the way up the rigging. The dim outline of the peak was still visible, and the topsails of the Pandora just in sight astern, the wind still continuing moderate at W. N. W. both ships steering S. by W. As I looked astern, when I first got my footing aloft, I caught sight of something like a small puff of steam or white smoke, rising a little and blowing off on the water. Looking intently, at the same spot, after a short interval, another puff rose like the former, satisfying me, from the descriptions I had heard, that some sort of whale was there, and I instinctively shouted:

      "There she blows!"

      "Where away?" hailed Mr. Johnson, who was just climbing the maintopmast rigging. "O yes! I see him! sperm whale, I believe — hold on a bit till he blows again — yes — thar' sh' blo-o-ows! large sperm whale! two points off the larboard! Blo-o-ows! headed to windward!"

      "How far off?" shouted Mr. Grafton, from the deck.

      "Three miles! 'Ere sh' blo-o-ows!"

THE FIRST WHALE. 63

      By this time the old man was on deck, and ready for action. "Call all hands out, Mr. Grafton! Hard a starboard, there! Stand by to brace round the yards. Cook! get your breakfast down as fast as you can. Keep the run of him, there, aloft! Maintop bowline, boat steerers! Sure it's a sperm whale, eh, Mr. Johnson? Steward! give me up the glass — I must make a cleet in the gangway for that glass soon. Muster 'em all up, Mr. Grafton, and get the lines in as fast as you can (mounting the shearpole). Sing out when we head right, Mr. Johnson! Mr. Grafton, you'll have to brace sharp up, I guess (just going over the maintop). See the Pandora, there? O yes! I see her (half way up the topmast rigging). Confound him! he's heading just right to see the whale, too! ('There goes flukes!' shouted the mulatto.) Yes! yes! I see him — just in time to see him (swinging his leg over the topmast crosstrees), a noble fan, too! a buster! Haul aboard that maintack! We must have that fellow, Mr. Johnson. Steady-y! Keep her along just full and by. We mustn't let the Pandora get him, either!"

      The Arethusa bent gracefully to the breeze, as, braced sharp on the port tack, she darted through the water, as though instinctively snuffing her prey. The whale was one of those patriarchal old bulls, who are often found alone, and would probably stay down more than an hour before he would be seen again. Meantime, the two ships were rapidly nearing each other; and the Pandora's lookouts were not long in discovering that "something was up," as was evinced by her setting the main royal and foretopmast studdingsail,

64 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

though they could not possibly have seen the whale yet. But the whale was apparently working slowly to windward, and the Pandora coming with a flowing sheet, all of which was much in her favor. The old man remained aloft, anxiously waiting the next rising, from time to time hailing the deck to know "what time it was?" and satisfying himself that the boats were in readiness, and breakfast served out to those who wanted it. As three quarters of an hour passed, he grew more anxious and fidgety, shifting his legs about in the cross trees, and clutching the spyglass in his nervous grasp.

      "Are you all ready, Mr. Grafton?"

      "Ay, ay, sir," answered the mate from the maintop, where he had mounted to get a look at the whale when he should rise again.

      "Let them hoist and swing the boats."

      "Ay, ay, sir."

      "I think I saw a ripple then," said the second mate, from the topsail yard directly beneath him.

      "Where?" demanded the captain.

      "Four points off the lee bow."

      "O! no, you didn't, he won't come there. He'll rise right ahead or a little on the weather-bow. I don't think he'll go much to windward — good gracious! see that Pandora come down! She'll be right in the suds here, directly! I think we've run far enough, eh, Mr. Grafton? Haul the mainsail up, then! and square the main yard!"

      Silence for a few minutes after this evolution was performed.

THE FIRST WHALE. 65

      "He can't be far off when he comes up again. Look at the men old Worth has got aloft there, his crosstrees swarming, and every rattlin manned. — Look sharp! all of ye! We must see that whale when he first breaks water. That helm eased down? Haul the foresail up? and let the jib-sheets flow a little more. It can't be possible that whale has been up — no, we couldn't help seeing him, some of us — I know 'twas a sperm whale. I saw his fan; besides, there's Mr. Johnson — best eyes in the ship. What time is it, there? An hour and ten minutes that whale has been down — a long-winded old dog! We shall have to wear round, I'm afraid we shall forge. Blo-o-ows! right ahead, not one mile off! Down there and lower away! Now, Mr. Grafton, work carefully — Mr. Dunham, too; if you don't strike this rising, spread your chances well, and don't crowd each other — but don't you let the Pandora get him!" The captain was by this time in the stern of his own boat. "All ready, Mr. Johnson? Where's Old Jeff at my midship oar? O, here you are, eh? You aint turned white yet — lower away! Cooper! Where's Cooper? As soon as we are all clear, wear round — Let run that davit fall? — Wear round and make a short board — haul up your tackle, boy. Keep to windward all you can, Cooper! Pull a little off the weather-bow, Mr. Grafton, and then set your sail! Haul in these gripes towing over the quarter — By thunder, there's Worth's boats all down! coming with fair wind, too! Out oars, lads."

      The Pandora had luffed to and dropped her boats a

66 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

mile to windward, and they were coming down before the breeze, wing-and-wing, with their paddles flashing in the sunlight, and their immense jibs guyed out on the bow-oar as studdingsails, promising to stand about an equal chance for the whale with ourselves. The larboard boat to which I belonged proved the fastest of the three, and had a little the lead. After pulling a few quiet strokes to windward, Father Grafton set his sails, and, as he gave the order to "peak the oars and take the paddles," seemed as cool and calm as when engaged in the most ordinary duty on board. There was no confusion or bustle in his boat, but with his practised eye fixed upon the huge spermaceti, he kept encouraging us in a low, dry tone, as he conned the steering oar with such skill, that he seemed to do it without effort.

      "Now, lads, you face round to paddle, you can all see him. I declare, he's a noble fellow — ninety barrels under his hide, if there's a drop. Bunker, do you see that fellow? he's got a back like a ten-acre lot — paddle hard, lads — if you miss him, go right overboard yourself, and don't come up again — long and strong stroke, boys, on your paddles. See that boat coming? that's Ray, the second mate of the Pandora — three or four more spouts, and we'll have him — he's ours sure! they can't get here in time — scratch hard, boys! don't hit your paddles on the gunwale. Stand up, Bunker, and get your jibtack clear! Don't let them 'gally' you, if they shout in that boat."

      "All right!" said his boatsteerer, with his eager hand resting on the iron pole. "Never fear, sir."

THE FIRST WHALE. 67

      "Paddle hard, lads, a stroke or two. That's right, Bunker. Keep cool, my boy. Keep cool, and make sure of him."

      A wild and prolonged shout rang on the air from six sturdy pairs of lungs in the Pandora's waist-boat, as Mr. Ray, seeing that he was baffled, let fly his sheets and rounded to, a ship's length to windward. It was too late, however.

      "All right," said Father Grafton, in the same dry, quiet tone, as before. "Hold your hand, Bunker. Hold your hand, boy, till you're past his hump — another shoot, lads — way enough, in paddles. Now, Bunker! give it to him! Down to your oars the rest. Give him t'other one, boy! Well done! both irons to the hitches. Hold water, all! Bear a hand, now, and roll up that sail. Wet line, Tom! wet line! Where's your bucket? All ready with your sail, Bunker? Let her come then — all right. Come aft here, now, and let me get a dig at him."

      The line was spinning round the loggerhead with a whizzing noise, and a smoking heat, as the huge leviathan, stung to the quick, darted down into the depths of the ocean. Bunker threw on the second round turn to check him, and jamming the bight of the line over the stern sheets, watched it carefully as it flew through his grasp; while the mate cleared his lance, and got ready to renew the attack. Every moment his anxiety increased as he kept turning his head, and looking at the tub of line, rapidly settling, as the whale ran it out. "I declare, I believe he'll take all my line. Blacksmith! pass along the drug! Check him hard, Bunker!"

68 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

then, seeing the other boats near at hand, he opened his throat, and, for the first time, we learned the power of Father Grafton's lungs.

      "Spring hard, Mr. Dunham! I want your line! Cast off your craft, and stand by to throw your line to me! Spring hard! Do!"

      The ash sticks in the waist-boat were doing their best, as the loud "Ay, ay!" was borne back o'er the water from Dunham, while the old man could be seen in the rear of the picture, wildly straining every nerve to be "in at the death," and heaving desperately at the after oar, with his hat off, his hair flying loosely in the breeze, and his whole frame writhing with eager excitement. Our line was going, going; already there was but one flake in the tub, when the waist-boat ranged up on our quarter, and Fisher, with the coil gathered in his hand, whirled it over his head, making ready for a cast. At this instant, the strain was suddenly relieved, and the line slacked up.

      "Never mind!" roared Mr. Grafton. "Hold on Fisher! All right, he's coming! Never mind your line, Mr. Dunham, he's coming up! pull ahead and get fast! Get a lance at him if you can! Haul line, us! Face round here, all of ye, and haul line! Careful, Bunker, about coiling down! He'll be up now, in a minute, haul lively!"

      The waist-boat had shot ahead under a fresh impulse of her oars, and the captain came drawing up abreast of the fast boat.

      "Are you well fast, Mr. Grafton?"

      "Ay, ay, sir; both irons chock to the socket."

THE FIRST WHALE. 69

      "That's the talk! Got 'most all your line, hasn't he."

      "Yes, sir."

      "Well, gather in as fast as you can. Spring hard, us! Spring! I want to grease a lance in that fish! There he is up!" he shouted as the tortured monster broke water, shoving his whole head out in his agony, and started to windward.

      Fisher had bent on his craft again, and was about two ships' lengths from the whale when he rose.

      "Haul quick, my lads!" said the mate, "and get this stray line in! There's Mr. Dunham going on, and the old man will be with him in a minute. There he brings to!" as the whale suddenly stopped short in his mad career, and lay swashing up and down, as if rallying his strength for a fresh effort.

      "There's 'stand up' in the waist-boat! There he darts! Hurrah! two boats fast! Haul lively, us, and get this line in!"

      The whale seemed staggered by this accumulation of cold iron in his system, and lay wallowing in the trough of the waves. It was a critical moment for him; for Mr. Dunham was getting his lance on the half-cock, ready for darting, and, as the whale suddenly "milled short round" to pass across the head of his boat, the young man saw his advantage, and cried:

      "Pull ahead! Pull ahead, and we'll get a 'set' on him! Lay forward, Fisher! Lay forward hard, my lad! right on for his fin! Pull ahead! So, way enough — hold water, all;" and, driven by a strong arm,

70 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

the sharp lance entered his "life," its bright shank disappearing till the pole brought it up.

      "Hold her so!" said the second mate. "Way enough! just hold her so till he rises again!" as the whale hollowed his back under the sea, now crimsoned with his life-tide, and again rising, received the lance anew in his vitals; but the first "set" was enough, and the gush of clotted blood from his spiracle told how effectually it had done its work.

      "There," said Father Grafton, who had just got his line gathered in, and was ready to renew the assault, "there's the red flag flying at his nose! Blacksmith, we may as well put up our lance, we sha'n't want it to-day. Well done, Mr. Dunham! Thick as tar the first lance! Hold on line, Bunker! heave on a turn!" as the whale, making a dying effort, started up to windward, passing among the Pandora's boats within easy hail.

      "Give us your warp, Pitman, if you want a tow," said Bunker in passing to Mr. Ray's boatsteerer.

      "Every dog has his day," growled Pitman, in reply.

      "Yes. Come aboard to-morrow and I'll give you a 'scrap' for luck."

      The whale went in his "flurry," and turned up under the stern of the Pandora, as she luffed to for her boats; but Captain Worth could not afford to lose the breeze long, and, by the time the last boat was on the cranes, his helm was up and his mizzen-topsail shivering. The old ship fell off to her former course, and setting her royal and studding sails, left her more fortunate consort "alone in her glory."

THE FIRST WHALE. 71

      Captain Upton had no occasion to "grease his lance," but seeing that the work was done, and the victory won, made the best of his way on board. He made a short stretch, fetching to windward of us, and then stood along under easy sail, till Mr. Grafton, having "cut a hole" and got his line all clear for running, set a waif for the ship. She then ran down for us, and luffing to handsomely with the head yards aback, and the foretopsail on the cap, the line was "streamed," and led into the "chock." The jib being run down, and the helm lashed a-lee, so as completely to deaden the ship's way, the whale was hauled down to the ship, with the inspiring and time-honored chorus of "Cheerly, men!" the burden being led off by Old Jeff; and at ten o'clock, the monster, who when the sun rose appeared like a monarch of the deep sporting in all the consciousness of sovereign power, lay securely chained up alongside the good ship Arethusa.

      "Well, Bunker," said the old man to the blushing young boatsteerer, "you plugged this fellow solid, at any rate, if you never do another. The Pandora's crew tried to gally you, didn't they?"

      "Yes, sir," said Bunker, "either me or the whale, I don't know which. But they were too late with their yells."

      "Well, I don't know as I can blame Mr. Ray," said the captain. "I suppose he thought, if he could gally you of the whale, he would stand as good a chance as any of us next rising, as there is no telling,

72 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

with any certainty, where a gallied* whale will come up."

      "I don't think Worth feels in very good-humor to-day," continued the old man, turning to Mr. Grafton. "I'm sure I shouldn't, if he had got this whale right under my nose. But it's our turn to crow to-day, and perhaps at another time it may be his. I was mighty afraid at one time he would take all your line before we could get to you. And when I saw the strain slack up suddenly, I was more anxious than ever, for I feared you were loose from him. But it's all right as it is. Couldn't be better — and the weather is promising for taking care of him. The new ship will get her christening now, and she will work all the better for being greased. It is too late to ship the oil home, for I shall not put back to the Western Islands now."


      *This word "gallied" is in constant use among whalemen in the sense of frightened or confused. It is perhaps, a corruption of the obsolete verb, gallow, to be found in old writers. Thus Shakespeare has in King Lear, "The wrathful skies gallow the deep wanderers of the dark."

CHAPTER VII.

"CUTTING IN."

      The necessary operations on the new ship's rigging had somewhat encroached upon the progress of other duties, connected with the whaling gear, during the few days since we left home. The cutting pendants were to be got over the masthead, not yet having been sent aloft; the falls were new and wiry; but few cutting-spades rigged or ground, and the best part of the afternoon was consumed in getting all things in readiness for cutting; and, as there was every prospect of fine weather, it was determined not to hook on until the next morning. Boat's crew-watches were set, as is common when lying under short sail, boatsteerers being in charge of the deck by turns, each with his own boat's crew, thus making three, or in large ships, four watches. This was a grand occasion for yarning in the first watch, as every one was up, looking at the leviathan alongside, swashing with every heave of the sea, and tugging at the stout fluke chain as the rise of the ship brought a strain upon it; as though still instinct with life and impatient of his bonds.

      "Well, Jeff," said the ebony doctor, as he stood leaning over the rail after having finished his work for the night, "how much ile you tink dat whale make?"

74 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "That whale," returned Jeff, measuring his dimensions with his eye, with a look of most profound sagacity, "that whale will stow down a hund'ed barrels, if we save him clean."

      "Save him clean? Save him fast enough," said the cook. "Fine weather."

      "Yes, 'tis now, but you don't know how long it will be so," said Old Jeff, who was in one of his "blue-lights" humors. "You don't know what the weather'll be to-morrow."

      "Guess it'll be good enough."

      "You've got no business to guess. Who shipped any such black ghost as you to guess about the weather?"

      "Black ghost, eh! You know what the pot called the kettle, Jeff? Yah! yah! You aint more'n a half-price nigger, nohow. You wouldn't fetch more'n fifty dollars in Kentucky, if you be big. Sh' think you might be big, too; you eats 'bout six men's allowance. Look o' me, now; I don't eat nothin' hardly."

      "You've no business to eat anything. The cook's always 'lowed to live on the smell."

      "Smell, eh! 'spects dats de reason dey always ships black man for cook. Carry his own smell wid him eh? Not strong like Samson but like billy-goat. Now, you see, Jeff, you'm strong bofe ways."

      "Am I?" said Jeff, seizing the unfortunate doctor by the leg and the back of his neck, and holding him suspended over the whale in his Herculean grasp. "I've a good mind to give you an overboard bunk

"CUTTING IN." 75

on this whale, just to show you the difference between a cook's berth and a boatsteerer's."

      "O Lord!" gasped the cook, when he was released, and once more found soundings with his feet on the deck, "you'm pretty strong one way, anyhow. Well, now, Jeff, how much did you ever see a whale make?"

      "A hund'ed and eighty barrels."

      "What! a sparm whale?"

      "Didn't say nothin' bout sparm whale. No, a right whale; the first voyage I went on Pattygoney."

      "O! I mean a sparm whale."

      "Well, I seen one make a hund'ed and fifteen barrels, that's the most. Now, here comes Cooper. Got his pipe loaded, too. I'll bet he's seen bigger one than that. Ask him now."

      The boys began to rally to a focus along the starboard-waist, as they saw the cooper coming forward.

      "Cooper," said I, "where's your fiddle to-night? Are you going to fetch her up?"

      "No, guess not to-night. Plenty of work for all of us to-morrow without shaking a leg over night."

      "Yes, plenty of work and no grog," growled Burley. "That's the worst of these temperance ships. They expect a man to work like a dog, and give him nothing to warm his heart. If men stood up for their rights, they'd have it. A man's entitled to two glasses a day, anyhow."

      "Not without he ships for it," said Jeff.

      "Yes, I say he is," said the sea-lawyer.

      "How's that?"

      "Why, by the natural rights of man."

76 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "What the plague do you call the natural rights of man?" said the cooper, among whose crooked traits intemperance was not included. "I don't want to see grog served out in any ship where I am."

      "Well, I wish the ould man would jist ask me to take a dhrop wid him," said Farrell. "Of course, I'd refuse; but, then, 'twould be doin' the nate thing on his part."

      "I've seen so much of the bad effects of liquor," said the cooper, "that I don't want to be shipmates with it at all. It does a man no good in the long run. Sometimes, it's true, he can get steam up, and work faster for a short time, but he feels all the worse after the liquor dies in him. In such a case as cutting a whale in bad weather, where you want to gain time, it's convenient to have some; but I think it does more harm in the long run than will balance these temporary benefits. The trouble is, human nature is weak, and it isn't every shipmaster that can have charge of it without crooking his own elbow too often. Then again, all men can't stand it alike; and though some of us might bear two glasses well enough, others will get drunk and make difficulty on the same quantity, for, of course, you must serve all hands alike. We haven't all got systems like old Captain Harper, in the Deucalion. He could drink a deck-bucketful of New England rum, and stand up under it and back it round. I've seen him do it many a time."

      "Now, Cooper," said I, "go it now, you've got started."

      "Maybe you don't believe it, youngster," said the

"CUTTING IN." 77

cooper, shaking his immense beard with the gravity of a sage. "But you have seen very little of the world yet. What I've seen, I know."

      "Sh' think he'd burn hisself all up," said the cook, extending his mouth in a grin, till the upper part of his head formed a peninsula.

      "Had no more effect than pouring it into a leaky cask," continued the cooper, who had now mounted his hobby. "Perfect salamander! I always believed he was coppered inside. Why, I've seen that old man make many a meal off of red peppers, and wash them down with raw brandy."

      "Why not say aquafortis?" I suggested.

      "No, I don't want to deviate from the truth," said the conscientious cooper. "I don't mean aquafortis, but I mean good Cognac brandy. Drink a potful of boiling tea right out of the cook's copper, just as natural as I'd take a drink of water from the scuttlebutt."

      "Dere, Cooper, dat'll do," said the astonished African. "He must been some relation to dat Sally Mander, or somebody else wuss'n her. I was going to ask you how much you ever see a sparm whale make? Jeff says he seen one make a hund'ed and fifteen barrels."

      "That isn't much," said the cooper, quietly. "When I was in the old Bajazet, we got a sperm whale in sight of French Rock, and it came on to blow, and we had an ugly job to cut him. We lost all his case; it got pretty old and mellow alongside, and 'shot' before we got hooked on it to. We got the junk in by cutting

78 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

it in two pieces, for the old man wouldn't risk the mainmast to lift the whole on it. Well, we saved a hundred and sixty-four barrels, and I suppose we lost about forty."

      "Tell that for anybody to believe it, Cooper?" asked Old Jeff. "I can't get up tackles enough to h'ist in the yard. It's heavier than that junk was."

      "Took the gauges of every cask myself," said the cooper.

      "Must be you made a mistake in addin' on 'em up. How long was that whale, now, on a guess?"

      "Well, I don't know; the Bajazet was a ship of three hundred and fifty tons, about the length of this one, I suppose; we brought the fluke-chain in at the hawse hole, and hauled it short up and down, and the mate had his cutting-stage over the stern to cut around the nib end; the head worked in under the counter sometimes and bothered him!"

      "And did ye's have much throuble to kill that chap?" asked Farrell.

      "None at all; laid like an island, you might have thrown a whole blacksmith's shop into him."

      "Do they often get whales as easily as we got this one to-day?" I inquired.

      "Yes, a great many are taken as easy as that. But not always, as you'll find out by and by; for there's all kinds of manœuvres with whales, and hardly any two of 'em will act just alike."

      "Did you ever see any very bad ones taken?" I inquired.

      "Well — no — not very bad," returned the cooper,

"CUTTING IN." 79

evasively; for, much as he felt disposed to draw the long bow on this sonorous string, he was by no means regardless of the interest of the voyage, and well knew the bad policy of telling frightful yarns to green hands concerning fighting whales. It would be time enough for that when they had acquired some experience, and seen a few ugly whales themselves. He was not to be drawn out on this subject.

      "Well, Cooper, how moosh you tink dis one he make?" inquired Manoel.

      "About ninety barrels."

      "Well, how moosh my part?"

      "What's your lay?"

      "Hun'n forty."

      "Well, about two-thirds of a barrel."

      "I s'pose you get 'bout two bar-r-r-eels. Diabo! you make too moosh mon-ee, Cooper."

      "Got half a dozen mouths to feed," returned the cooper. "But that's nothing to do with turning in; my pipe's out, and I guess I'll turn flukes, for the old man will have us all out at daylight, and there'll be no cats but what catch mice to-morrow."

      Following his example, the boys all dropped off to their bunks, till only the watch were left, and they were stretched round on the windlass, or wherever they could find quarters, for the deck was lumbered with casks, cutting-falls, hooks, toggils, and various gear necessary for securing the blubber from the whale.

      The weather continued fine through the night, and at the first peep of daylight Captain Upton was out

80 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

and stirring. "Who's got the watch here? Call all hands out, and overboard hook! I want that head off before breakfast. Clap on there, the watch, and haul out this starboard guy a little more! Whose overboard is it?"

      "Mine, Sir!" answered Bunker, who was equipping himself in an old short-sleeved shirt, a relic of "last voyage," and an old pair of woollen drawers, preparatory to jumping over on the whale to put in the blubber-hook, a part of the boatsteerer's duty far more desirable within the tropics than in higher latitudes, and especially to be eschewed on a cold, rugged morning in the Arctic regions.

      "Over hook!" shouted Father Grafton, as soon as the crew began to muster along. "Bear a hand, boys, and stand by the windlass! Overhaul your fall well! Now then, Bunker, where are you? Now's your chance — smooth time! Here, Blacksmith, you belong to the hold gang. I shall put you in the waist gang, too. Stay here in the gangway, and lend a hand with the boatsteerers."

      The hook was soon in, and Mr. Grafton in his stage under the main chains with a long spade, the second mate in the forward stage with another. The old man had become ubiquitous, and was in twenty places at one and the same time.

      "Here, Kelly, I shall appoint you captain of the scoop-net. Get a strap-tub along here ready to sling by the backstays, and get your net all ready. When they cut round the head, stand by to save all the slivers, and if you let a piece of fat go astern as big as a half-dollar, I shall stop it out of your lay. Hoist

"CUTTING IN." 81

away that fall! Heave the windlass some of ye, and get the slack in! Here, Collins, go aft there, and stay with the carpenter to turn grindstone. Keep your ears peeled for the word 'sharp spade!' from over the side, and don't make them sing out a dozen times or I shall be hunting you up myself. Boatsteerers! get the short spades all ready to use in the waist? That's right. Hook take well, Mr. Grafton? Here, pick up that monkey-rope, Fisher, and keep it out of the grease. Heave away that windlass? Where are you, Jeff, with the song? Open your throat — Mr. Dunham, be careful and don't cut your blanketpiece too wide. Sharp spade into the after stage! Mr. Johnson, let me whet this boarding-knife for you. I used to be a good hand at it. Avast heaving, there! Keep your ears open, and mind the word!"

      All circumstances being favorable, the head was cut off before breakfast, and the body all in the blubber-room by nine o'clock, Captain Upton driving a spade into it with a perfect gusto, and slashing it into horse pieces almost as fast as it was stowed in the hatchway. The windlass went round "slip slop" to the lively strains chanted by Old Jeff, and chorused by all hands in various keys, making the clear air vocal with discord. I made considerable progress in the technicalities of "Board O!" and "In strap and toggle!" as well as in the equally important mystery of preserving my aplomb on the greasy deck, having been on my beam ends only twice during the whole operation. To the startling hail from the old man, "What are you doing down on deck? That's my place!" I made no aud-

82 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ible reply but a laugh; but mentally responded, that if that were the old man's place, he was quite welcome to keep it.

      The heaviest work was to come in getting the junk inboard. It was roused forward into the waist, and after considerable "overhauling" and "rounding up," and some hard service for Bunker in getting a chain strap through the "junk," it was at last cut from the "case" and fairly hung in the tackles. All hands went to the windlass; the waist gang, the third and second mates found room with the rest; even Father Grafton lent a hand, and encouraged the others to lay out their strength on the bars. The captain again pervaded the whole deck, glancing anxiously aloft at his masthead pendants and tacklefalls to see how they bore the immense strain, and from time to time breaking forth in a sort of exhortation, half-command, half-entreaty, "Heave hard, men! Heave and raise him! Few squares more and we'll have him!"

      The good cordage of the falls groaned under the tension, as each ropeyarn seemed to yield a little to assist the rest, and the Arethusa heeled lower and lower at each additional "downpawls!" of the windlass, till her starboard plankshear was but little above the surface of the water. Slowly but steadily, by almost imperceptible degrees, the ponderous junk rose from its watery bed, its scarred black skin showing, in the ragged furrows and white streaks on its surface the marks of many a shock received in angry encounters with other sea monsters, and the mingled oil and water streaming at every pore and running in a gush

"CUTTING IN." 83

from the hole where the chain-strap was cutting and jamming into the fat under the fearful strain. The mainmast-head itself could be seen to "give" sensibly to the weight, and the larboard main-shrouds to stiffen like bars of iron.

      "Heave, boys! Square or two more!" said the captain, as the mighty mass began to cant inboard. "That's lively! Downpawls again! That watchtackle ready boatsteerers? High enough! Lay aft here, and get this tackle ready! There he swings lower! Lower away! Hook on and rouse him aft! What time is it? Slide him well aft, Mr. Grafton, out of the way! Steward! pass up my quadrant? We'll get dinner, Mr. Grafton, before we sling the case."

      "An' sure," said Farrell, as he came sliding and tumbling aft with the rest, to haul the tackle, "and is that his head, now?"

      "Head? no!" growled Old Jeff, "that's only a small piece of it."

      The other "small piece" was hooked on immediately after dinner, and after another struggle at the windlass brakes was raised half out of water, and suspended in the tackles with the "root end" at the plankshear, for baling. A block and whip were rigged over it and we now cleared up the mystery of a certain long vessel of peculiar shape, which we had seen the cooper making a few days before, and which that worthy had solemnly assured us was a sine qua non in navigating the ship; the sun and moon being brought down with a sextant till their images could be seen in contact at the bottom of the bucket. We

84 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

were lost in admiration as load after load of spermaceti was "whipped" out of the "case," and discharged into tubs placed ready to receive it, and found great amusement in being set to work to pull to pieces, by hand, the fibrous part of the head matter, and squeeze it out ready for the pots. We contrived ingeniously to get saturated with oil from head to foot, to the great enjoyment of Mr. Dunham, who protested we had already appropriated our lays of this whale, and vowed he would try out all our duds when the fare was over.

      "Let's see, Cooper," said the fun-loving second mate, "you didn't save the case of that big whale I heard you telling about?"

      "In the old Bajazet? No, sir; I wish we had."

      "How much do you suppose it would have made?"

      "From thirty to forty barrels."

      "That's nothing," said Mr. Dunham. "We saw a Sydney whaler last voyage that baled sixty barrels from a case not as big as this one in the tackles."

      "How could he do that?" demanded the cooper, innocently.

      "Hooked it nib end up, and cut chock through the root. Baled salt water a couple of hours before he found it out."

      The cooper turned away, and became suddenly industrious with his hammer and driver, to drown the roar of laughter that saluted him from all quarters.

CHAPTER VIII.

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE. — DUTCH COURAGE. — "MAN OVERBOARD."

      The "case" having been stripped of its oleaginous treasures, was cut adrift, and the Arethusa, with the yards again trimmed to the breeze, stood on her course to the southward. The "junk" was then cut up and thrown into casks, to save all the oil that was continually oozing from it, and the fires were started for boiling. "Try-watches" were set at night, by dividing the time into two equal portions, each watch taking the whole five or six hours on one stretch. The Portuguese Manoel and myself were appointed to work in the blubber-room, which is, perhaps, the best station in trying out, as the fortunate incumbent has but one department to attend to, and being under deck, is not exposed to the weather. Besides, he is much of the time "out of sight out of mind," and, by cutting fast for an hour or two, may gain upon his work so as to find time for "slants" of sleep or "catnaps," so termed, till roused again by the cry of "horsepieces!" at the hatchway. Now and then, Father Grafton, in going the rounds, would stoop over the hatchway, and peer in between decks, with a call to the sleepers:

86 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Halloo, Blacksmith! Manoel, what are you doing away in there?"

      "Leaning, sir!" would be the ready reply of the Portuguese; which was strictly true. He was "leaning" against a cask, sound asleep.

      A whaleship trying out at night presents one of the most weird and striking pictures that can well be imagined. But to enjoy it in full, the observer must take his station near the mainmast, looking forward, and this during his watch below, as his duties would otherwise subject him to certain interruptions which sadly mar the poetry of the thing. Alone, on the face of the waters, rides your floating home; the darkness around her intensified and rendered more opaque by the glare of light from the try-fires, and utterly impervious on the lee-beam and quarter from the thick clouds of smoke continually floating off in that direction. The brawny forms of the boatsteerers, thrown into strong relief in the centre group, as they tend the fires and the seething caldrons, which require their constant care and attention to ensure a fine quality of oil; the "mincer" on the left, industriously flourishing his broad, keen knife in the firelight; the cooper, fudging at a leaky cask, half hidden in darkness under the lee of the "cooler;" the deckhands flitting about at their various duties, appearing and vanishing in gloom, like spirits dancing in an ever-changing light, now livid, now lurid; now dying away till the smoke pall seems almost to envelop the whole picture, then suddenly bursting forth again with startling brightness, as the boatsteerer throws a fresh

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE, ETC. 87

greasy scrap on the "back arches," and runs his long pike under the fires to stir up "Old Hallett;" the brilliant glare upon the rigging and sails of the foremast, seeming to reveal each lay of the cordage, each thread of the canvas, with a fidelity and minuteness of detail far exceeding that produced by daylight; all together form a scene to which no description can do justice, but of which every whaleman must acknowledge having felt the influence. The captain and the officers who are not on duty on the first watch seem to loiter round the mainmast, as though unwilling to lose the pleasure of the view even to seek necessary rest; and to enjoy their pipes with more than ordinary zest, as they call up reminiscences of large fares taken on former voyages, or count the tiers of sturdy ironbound casks already filled and lashed along the rail, and glancing between decks at the blubber yet uncut, make calculations and estimates of the probable yield of the whale. All is cheerfulness and hope at such times, and the prospects of the voyage seemed to partake of the brightness of the caboose fires. Wives and children are remembered with new affection at such moments; and each feels nearer to home and friends at each recurring sound of the light-driven bung, and the inspiring cry, "Away cask!" Truly is it remarked by old whalemen that the most delightful parts of a voyage are "boiling" and arriving home.

      The weather continued fine during the whole time occupied in boiling and stowing down, so that I may say I saw the first whale killed and taken care of un-

88 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

der very favorable circumstances, and treating lightly the croaking hints of the oldsters, thus formed an opinion of whaling in general which subsequent experience did not altogether confirm.

      Our good ship sped merrily on her voyage, and, after taking the trade winds, still more rapid progress was made. The equator was crossed without any of those time-honored ceremonies of initiation into old Neptune's realms which have formed the staple of so many yarns by old voyagers. Indeed, it is hardly to be supposed that the green hands would be subjected to much abuse or rough treatment from their equals in rank, where they themselves form the majority of the ship's company. Mr. Dunham, however, did not let the occasion pass without attempting a practical joke. Having the first watch on deck, he came forward, and calling a young greenhorn from Connecticut, who rejoiced in the ironical appellation of "Black Hawk," perhaps from his utter want of resemblance, in any one particular, to that illustrious chieftain:

      "Black Hawk," said he, confidentially, "I want you to get the cook's axe, and go out on the martingale, and stand by to cut the line. I expect we shall be up with it now in about half an hour, and you must look sharp and cut it quick, or it will bring the ship up all standing."

      "How big round is it?" asked the apparently innocent Black Hawk.

      "About as thick as your arm; but if you get a good lick at it, you'll cut it in time, or at least cut some of

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE, ETC. 89

the strands, so the ship will break it without stopping her."

      "Do ships always have to cut the line when they pass along here, sir?" inquired the youngster, who was not half so green as his appearance indicated.

      "Yes, certainly they do."

      "And how does it get j'ined together again?"

      "Why, old Neptune and his crew pick up the ends and splice it, after the ship has passed by," said Mr. Dunham, who was rather puzzled by this catechism, and did not quite understand the drift of it.

      "And how long does it take 'em to get it j'ined again?"

      "Well — I suppose it would take two or three hours to get the strands all tucked, and put it in good order."

      "Well, sir, when I came down from aloft (you know I had the sundown masthead, sir), there was a ship in sight ahead, and I guess she must have cut it about an hour ago; so they haint got through j'inin' on it yet. I guess we can slip through, sir, while the bars are down." And the baffled second mate went aft with a flea in his ear.

      Black Hawk, with all his apparent verdancy, was probably his superior in general knowledge; and though he had seen the black equator on the maps, had a pretty clear idea of the meaning of the words "imaginary line."

      We had light and baffling weather after crossing the line, and made but little progress for some days. We fell in company with several merchant vessels, all

90 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

bound to the southward; but as they were always making the best of their way to a port of destination, they held no intercourse with us, beyond showing their national flags, and, if near enough for it to be seen, their longitude, chalked upon a blackboard, we responding in each case by showing ours. In one instance, however, we communicated with a stranger, which led to incidents both serious and ludicrous, to break the monotony of our sea life. A bark had been in sight of us all day, steering on the same course as ourselves. She had shown Dutch colors, but the wind being very light in the afternoon, the old man ordered his boat lowered, and pulled alongside of her. He was absent about a couple of hours, and returned with some Dutch cheese and other small matters. I noticed that some of the boat's crew appeared unusually jolly and demonstrative when they came alongside; but the boat was hoisted and they went forward, no attention being paid to them. It was surmised, of course, that they had been treated to a glass while on board the Dutchman. I asked Farrell, who was as happy as a lord, what the bark's name was.

      "Divil a name of her I can tell ye," said Farrell; "but she belongs to some dam place or other; there's a dam about it, anyhow, 'pon my soul. I think it's Rotterdam. But they've got the good stuff there that'll warm your heart and loosen your tongue. Come here till I show ye." And dodging behind the galley, he produced from the capacious folds of his shirt a bottle of schnapps!

      "Dhrink," said Farrell. "Dhrink a health to the rotten-dam Dutchman."

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE, ETC. 91

      "But how did you manage to smuggle this on board, Farrell?"

      "Ah, lave Corny Farrell alone for that! Don't say a word; Burley has the twin to it."

      I was fearful we should have some trouble before the two bottles were disposed of. However, I had no idea of turning informer, but even took a small drink from Farrell's bottle, thinking there would be the less for some one else, and the more it was subdivided, the less effect it would have on any one man.

      The bottles were passed round the forecastle, and there was enough to make all hands a little lively and talkative, but not enough to produce any ill effect, except in the case of the two proprietors of the bottles themselves, who had taken the lion's share at starting, and had preserved the remnants for private consumption. Old Jeff said to me, during our watch on deck, on coming out of the forecastle where he had been to light his pipe:

      "Blacksmith, there'll be fun, I think, when the starboard watch is called. Farrell is pretty noisy and happy; he wont make any trouble unless it's by some wild freak; but Burley is as tight as a brick, and it's his turnout wheel. He's blowing about his rights, and swears he wont go to the wheel, nor he wont stand a watch; so I think there'll be fun, for Mr. Dunham wont stand much nonsense with him."

      "Well, I guess his blowing wont amount to much," said I. "He'll cool down as soon as the second mate comes."

      "Think so?" said Jeff anxiously.

92 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Yes," spoke up Obed B. "There'll be no great trouble with him."

      "I hear that you and Kelly wound him up and set him back. Was that so Hoeg? I didn't see that fun, for I was at the masthead. I only heard of it afterwards."

      "Well, he hasn't tried to bully either of us since," said Hoeg. "It's my opinion he's a great coward."

      Six bells struck, and the watch was called. Mr. Dunham came on deck, and, as usual, looked to see if the wheel was relieved. Finding it was not, he came forward.

      "Antone, do you know whose wheel it is?" he asked.

      "Burley's, sir."

      "Why isn't he there?"

      "He say he no goin' to stand watch to-night, sir."

      "Why not? is he sick?"

      "I don't know 'f he call sick. I call drunk, sir."

      "O that's it? Well, we'll see about that."

      The second mate put his head over the scuttle, and listened a moment. Burley was laying down law and logic at a terrible rate, in spite of the remonstrances of his watchmates, who entreated him either to go on deck or else turn in, and let others have rest and quiet.

      "I know my rights, and I'm the man to stand up for 'em!" said Burley. "I'm not going to stand a watch to-night, and I'd just like to see the live man that would make me go on deck!"

      "Here he is then!" said Mr. Dunham, as, clearing the ladder with a swing of his body, he landed on his feet by the side of the astonished sea-lawyer.

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE, ETC. 93

      "On deck, sir, at once, before I put you there!"

      Burley turned his head and caught the second mate's eye. His Dutch courage failed him altogether. He found the upper deck so quick that the officer would not have found it easy to overtake him, had he been disposed to assault him; though he evidently did not consider him worth wasting wrath upon.

      "What did I tell you?" said Obed B., quietly.

      "Now," said Mr. Dunham, "you keep above deck the next four hours, and don't put your head below the scuttle. I don't want you at the wheel now; you are not fit to be there. Antone, go to the wheel. I'll see that he stands your next trick and his own too."

      "Arrah, Misther Burley! and where's your rights that you've been blowin' about?" said Farrell. "You've only been making Billy Fitzgibbons's mother of yerself, and yer perfarmances don't come up to yer promises, at all."

      I fell asleep with Farrell rattling away at him over my head; but I was sure the contemptible scamp was nearly powerless now as to any influence over the youngsters; for we had all set him down as a very Bob Acres, whose courage would ooze out at his fingers' ends, when brought to the scratch.

      I had just got into a sound sleep, when we were all brought out of our bunks on the jump by the thrilling cry — I almost think I hear it now — "Man overboard!"

      All was dark; the light in the forecastle had gone out; but, guided by the little patch of sky showing down the scuttle, I was on deck in an instant, with my

94 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

trousers in my hand. Here, all was confusion; the ship was coming up to the wind with everything slatting; the watch were clearing away the starboard boat, Fisher having already cut the gripes, and I was in her before she was half way down the side. I remember asking "Who is it?" and some one, I did not know who, said, "Farrell." I remember thinking that I had heard Farrell say he could swim a little. We shoved clear of the ship, and got our oars out; she had taken aback, and was going round, but we pulled out as near as possible in her old wake — nothing was to be seen! With anxious eyes and heavy hearts we looked about us. Here is something floating; we lay round for it; it is the life-preserver which has been cut adrift from the taffrail; but where is the man?? We pull still further out in the wake of the ship, and heave up again; something ripples here abeam of us. "Lay round quick!"

      We pass the spot. I think I can see a white pool or ring on the surface, and I involuntarily thrust my arm deep down; it touches something — the hair of my shipmate, sinking for the last time.

      "Help here!" And Fisher and Black Hawk are at my side. They seize his shoulders and he is roused into the boat, and laid, face down, across the thwarts.

      "Give way for the ship!" And we are quickly alongside, for she is now lying with the head yards aback, and lights set to tell us her whereabouts.

      All has passed so quickly that I seem to have dreamed it all, and to have woke now for the first time. He soon shows signs of life, under the active

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE, ETC. 95

treatment he is receiving, and he has revived sufficiently to sit up and look about him before the question is asked, by the old man:

      "How did he fall overboard?"

      No one seems to know. Black Hawk answers that he heard the splash in the water, and a cry immediately after, and running to the side, saw a head bob up abreast the fore-chains, and gave the alarm.

      By this time, Farrell enlightens us himself, by pointing forward with his arm, gasping out the single word "Parrp'ses," then is taken with retching again, brings up another pint of sea-water, and can give no further information at present.

      I ran forward. The porpoise line (which was kept ready rove in tail-block on the bowsprit) was towering under the bow. I seized and rounded it in, and brought up the "iron," or rather the pole and socket thereof, the shank being broken off close up. It would seem that Farrell, having the lookout, and all the rest being comfortably snoozing, had discovered porpoises playing under the bow, and being in the humor for a lark, determined to strike one "on his own hook," without calling for reinforcements until after he was "fast." But neither his head nor his heels being very trustworthy at the time, he darted the iron in one direction from the martingale guy, and himself in another. The porpoise must have been struck most effectually, and while we were busily engaged in saving the man, he had writhed in his agony under the bows, till he had wrung the shank of the iron off.

96 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Well, Farrell, my boy," said Mr. Grafton, "how do you feel after your Baptism?"

      "Well, sir, I feel pretty well bothered, but I'll warrant the parr'pus is nearer dead than I am."

      "Yes, you struck him solid, at any rate," said the mate.

      "An' sure, sir," returned Farrell, "don't you always stern all, sir, as soon as you're fast?"

      "Yes, that's according to rule; but circumstances may alter cases. It was a narrow squeak for you, at any rate. You'll be in no hurry to catch porpoises again in a dark night, alone."

      "Bad luck to the soaking I got?" said Farrell, as he went forward. "It's taken all the snap out o' me — and the schnapps too."

      Manifold were the jokes cracked at the young Irishman's expense, after this adventure; for with seamen, as with soldiers, a miss is as good as a mile, always, and that which is almost a tragedy becomes the very ideal of a farce.

      But the redoubtable Burley was effectually stripped of his teeth and claws. He was as harmless as an old blunderbuss, which after having been apparently well loaded, primed and schnapped, has flashed in the pan. The captain said nothing to indicate that he knew any thing of the liquor having been brought on board. He was not a man to say much to his crew, except in the way of necessary duty; and he probably resolved to be silent and more watchful in the future. But I overheard him telling the mate, the next night, as I stood at the wheel, that Farrell seemed a smart young

BOILING. — CUTTING THE LINE, ETC. 97

fellow, and he thought he would make a slashing boatsteerer, if one should be wanted, "especially," he added, dryly, "if we could always speak a Dutchman just before we lowered."

98 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

CHAPTER IX.

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER."

      When in the latitude of Cape St. Augustine, being close-hauled, with light breezes at east-south-east a ship was "raised" in the afternoon, under a cloud of light canvas, steering to the northward. As she gradually neared us, she was made out by her boats and other significant marks to be a homeward-bound whaler, and by altering her course a little, showed her intention of passing within hail and speaking us. The order was given to haul the mainsail up and square the mainyard, and the good ship, arrested in her course, seemed to sit in state, like a hostess, to receive company. The decks were cleared up, and work knocked off at an earlier hour than usual; and the slowly approaching stranger now became the centre of attraction, and the subject of much argument and speculation, each of the old hands recognizing her as some ship he knew or had sailed in, so that in half an hour, she had been christened by more names than would have fitted half the Nantucket fleet, which at that period was no inconsiderable number. Old Jeff knew it was the Colossus by something peculiar about her spritsail-yard; a very reasonable supposition, inasmuch as the Co-

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 99

lossus was only four months from Nantucket, outward bound, while the copper, or rather the want of it, on the stranger's bottom, showed unmistakable signs of at least three years' wear and tear. The cooper was morally certain it was the Deucalion, for no other ship ever had, or possibly could have, a pair of anchor-stocks of that shape; but when reminded that she was only one year out, and her voyage probably not completed, compromised the matter by the hypothesis that the ship in sight must have spoken the Deucalion, and bought her anchor; a case which was voted to be far more possible than probable. The old man and his mates were thinking of all the ships that ought to be homeward-bound at that time, and calling her first one and then another; but the conclusion arrived at was that she must be some "outlandishman," as the islanders then termed the New London and Sag Harbor whalers, who defiled their ships with "right whale glue," rather than cruise four years exclusively for sperm.

      The meeting of two ships at sea is a beautiful and imposing affair. I was deeply interested in the sight, as the stranger drew nearer and nearer. He had hauled in his studdingsails, and brailed up both courses, seeming at times to slide down to leeward on a declivity, and then to stop suddenly, as if arrested by some unseen power. The breeze was light, and the sea comparatively smooth, but I was surprised to see how considerable her rolling motion was, even under these circumstances. Rough-looking men, clad in garments of more colors than the coat of Joseph ever boasted, could

100 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

be seen clustered round the bows, and stretching their heads over the bulwarks, and two or three had climbed into the waist-boat, to get a better view. The skipper, a large, dark-looking man, sat in the head of the labored quarter-boat, from time to time turning his head to speak to his helmsman, and waving his brass trumpet to enforce the order. Captain Upton, with a similar instrument, was mounted on the taffrail, his mates standing near him, a little in the background. The stillness, as the ships neared each other, was unbroken now, save by the occasional rustle of a sail aloft, or the slight washing of the water under the bows of the stranger. Some one was seen to run forward with a spyglass, and, after bringing it to bear for a moment upon our stern, to hurry aft again with a report to the strange captain. The ship appeared at this moment to be heading directly into us, as though bent on striking us amidships and running us down. Some of us, clustered at the weather rail, involuntarily began to draw back, fearing a collision; but again, at a wave of the dark man's trumpet the ship, obedient to her helm, fell slowly off, so as to pass just clear, across our stern. Silence more profound than ever.

      "Who commands the Arethusa?" shouted a hoarse voice, through the brass tube.

      "Upton!" responded the other brass tube.

      "Hope you're very well, Captain Upton!" said brass tube number one, obscuring the face of the speaker like a total eclipse.

      "Very well, thank you," answered tube number two in the same style. "What ship is that, pray?"

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 101

      "Mandarin, of Nantucket."

      "Hope to see you well, Captain Barney."

      Much muttering now ensued among our wiseacres, each of whom had known it was the Mandarin all along, and had told all the rest so, half an hour ago. Anybody might have known that was the Mandarin's figure-head. All which somewhat interfered with the clear understanding of the rest of the dialogue, which was now carried on between the brass tubes at a furious rate. "What success? — Sixteen hundred. — What port are you from last? — Oahu. — How long are you from home? — Forty-five days. — Got any letters for us? — Yes. Come aboard. — Thank you, I will." A flourish of the trumpet, and the Mandarin's crew are seen running to the braces, as her helm is clapped a starboard, and she rounds to the wind at a handsome distance under our lee, with her maintopsail thrown aback for an old-fashioned "gam."

      Supper is delayed for the guests to arrive; several of us dive below, embracing the opportunity to write a few lines to our friends at home; Old Jeff growls at us for being in such a hurry, and says there's plenty of time between now and midnight; for we are sure to "gam" till that time.

      "Captain Barney and the old man are cronies, and they'll have to kill all the whales in the ocean across the cabin table, before they part company."

      A light whaleboat is presently seen to drop from under the Mandarin's lee-quarter, and comes bounding to windward under the powerful impulse of her oars, the sturdy and regular strokes telling of old and trained

102 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

hands who wield them. A petty officer is steering, while his majesty the captain stands firmly planted in the stern sheets, with his legs spread apart in an attitude suggestive of an inverted letter Y, and benignly regards his loyal subjects at the oars, who stretch to their work in gallant style, as if conscious that they "bear Cæsar and his fortunes." The principal impelling motive, however, is their eagerness to levy contributions upon the "greenies." Already they imagine themselves returning with bundles of books and papers tied up with rope-yarns, and shirt-bosoms corpulent with new tobacco, a luxury to which their teeth have been strangers for many a day.

      "Ship in, harp'neer! way enough! Look out for the warp in the waist!"

      "Halloo, old man!" says Captain Barney, as he recognizes Father Grafton at the man-ropes, "you out here again?"

      Then as his head rises above the rail, "How goes it, Upton? S'pose you've got a crack ship here by the look of things. Well, how did you leave old Nantucket? 'Taint sunk yet, has it?" A common question with whalemen when they meet, and asked with as much gravity as that of the noble Thane, Macduff, "Stands Scotland where it did?" or as though islands were in the habit of submerging themselves every day in the week.

      A hearty greeting and hand-shaking follows, with a few hurried questions and replies, an introduction to the other officers, and an invitation to our mate to go on board and spend the evening with Mr. Joy.

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 103

      "Do you swap boats' crews, Upton?"

      "Yes, I don't care; let them go."

      So the boat is manned with a crew of Arethusas, myself among the number, and Mr. Grafton steers himself, not yet having arrived at the dignity of a body guard. It was nearly dark when we arrived alongside, and as soon as the boat was on the cranes and secured, all hands made a "grand forward movement" to supper, and I now had leisure to look about me, and to compare the vessel and her veteran looking crew with the Arethusa and my own shipmates.

      The forecastle of the Mandarin was small, dingy and dark, even in the daytime, having only two small decklights and no sidelights, a modern luxury which had not then come into general use. She had boasted a steerage in the early part of the voyage, but this had been broken up, and all hands quartered in the forecastle — sixteen men in twelve bunks, some of them turning in and out, watch and watch. An old battered blubber-room lamp hung from a beam overhead, and gave just sufficient light to make darkness visible. Two little ones, of the kind known as "petticoat lamps," were now added, and each furnished light enough to see that the other was burning. The old adage that "a farrier's mare and a cobbler's wife are always slipshod" is fully verified in the case of a whaleman's lamp; for those who supply the world with oil burn it in its crude state.

      There was room enough in the forecastle, small as it was; for not half the crew had chests, and their goods and chattels could be compressed into a very

104 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

small compass. The supper was not exactly what would have tempted a gourmand; still it was all that could be expected on board a ship forty-four months from home. The cows must have gone astray, for the supply of milk had failed: domestic coffee, compounded of burnt peas and corn, had usurped the place of the imported article; while it was evident that the visitors, if in time for supper, had come too late for tea. The bread was thickly colonized, and the salt junk better adapted for the manufacture of fancy carved work and articles of virtu than for purposes of mastication. It was, of course, a point of honor with us green hands to overlook these little drawbacks, and even to affect an eccentric taste for the ancient viands; but our hosts were not at all backward in expressing their dissatisfaction with this state of things.

      This crew were mostly "beach-combers," men who had joined the ship during the voyage, many of them in the last port, and knew little and cared less about the history of the voyage previous to the time they shipped. They were full of tales of their adventures in other vessels from which they had deserted or been discharged, and of encounters with consuls, captains of the port, vigilantes, and other functionaries, commonly regarded as Jack's natural enemies; while those luckless shipmasters who had availed themselves of their services must have lived in perpetual jeopardy during the time they remained on board.

      I inquired of the man upon whom I was quartered at supper, "how long the ship was out."

      "That's more than I can tell you," returned the

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 105

cruiser. "I've been only four months in this hooker. There's Dan and 'Shorty,' they are the only two men in the fo'c'stle that came from home in her. They can tell you; all the rest of us are cruisers."

      "Where did you join her?" I asked.

      "In Oahu. I ran away from the Cambridge, of New Bedford, and stowed away here in the fore peak. The 'kikos' came aboard three times, hunting for runaway men; but I'll defy any kiko to catch me."

      "What's a kiko?" I inquired.

      "That's what they call the Kanaka policemen. They used to come down and take off the fore peak scuttle, and look down, and shove their sticks in; but you see they don't have but one pair of white trousers apiece, and don't mean to get 'em dirty. But if any kiko had crawled in where I was, he wouldn't have got out again alive."

      "Why not?" I inquired, innocently.

      "'Cause I'd have let daylight through him!"

      I looked at the speaker reflectively, and involuntarily hitched a little further from him on the chest, feeling somewhat doubtful of close companionship with so dangerous a character. Yet the probability is, this man was as arrant a Falstaff as could be found in a day's journey.

      "What made you run away from the Cambridge?"

      "O, me and the old man had a row. Besides, I had been eight months in her, and that's long enough to be in one craft. I'd like to see the —— hooker that would keep me a year."

106 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      The speaker prefixed to the word hooker a sanguinary adjective, which is not applicable to ships except after a hard-fought action.

      "Do you expect to stay out the voyage in that hooker?" inquired the beach-comber.

      "Yes," said I, "I think I shall. I've been well used so far, and have nothing to complain of. I don't see any reason to leave the ship, with the chance of getting into a worse one."

      "Ah, my lad, you're green yet. Wait awhile till you've seen more service, and you'll get tired of staying so long in one craft. I say, shift about and go by the cruise. Six months is plenty long enough in one hooker."

      Some of the green hands were swallowing this kind of poison by wholesale; each one listening to a yarn of how the narrator had humbugged a shipping master, or bullied an American "counsle," or knocked over an officer of a ship in the discharge of his duty. The pleasures of a drunken spree and row with the police of a foreign port were duly set forth, and the peculiar delights of life in a calaboose depicted in glowing colors. But this species of conversation flagged after a time. The Mandarins boasted no musical instrument; but that curse and abomination of the forecastle, a greasy pack of cards, was produced, and furnished pastime for a small knot in one corner for a short time.

      Dan and "Shorty," the two "voyagers," brought up from the depths of their chests some canes, busks, and other fancy articles or "scrimshonting," as it is

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 107

termed by whalers, ingeniously fabricated from whales' teeth and jaw bones, some of which they were willing to exchange for tobacco, the principal necessary of life among seamen on long voyages, and their universal circulating medium and standard of value. An article of traffic at sea, instead of being estimated at so many dollars and cents, is rated at so many pounds of tobacco; a thing which is nearly worthless is "not worth a chaw of tobacco;" a disputed question is generally settled by betting a certain quantity of tobacco, and a notorious romancer is often interrupted in the midst of a thrilling story, with the inquiry, "How much tobacco have you got?" meaning, "How much can you give us to believe it? We'll believe anything, if you've got tobacco enough to put it through."

      And yet, through all the rough entertainment there shone a vein of politeness and deference to their guests, a certain delicacy which never deserts the sailor, and which might be studied with profit by many accustomed to the most courtly circles. A man who should overstep certain bounds in his intercourse with visitors from a strange ship, or be guilty of the slightest breach of a certain etiquette, not defined by Chesterfield's laws, but natural and of spontaneous growth, as it were, would be taken to task unmercifully by his shipmates; and slights which would pass current in a fashionable evening party, with both nobs and snobs, would never be overlooked in a whalemen's "gam."

      A song was called for by somebody; the motion

108 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

was seconded and carried, nem. con.; cards were thrown aside, "scrimshonting" articles returned to their depositories; and after some little clamor, it was decided that "Old Scotty," a tall, sunburned salt, who had served, according to his own statement, in one of the maintops of his most nautical majesty William the Fourth, should open the musical programme with that delectable chorus, "The stormy winds how they blow, blow, blow," which he executed after the most approved and orthodox style, rolling up the whites of his eyes at the carlines overhead, as though he expected that the roaring chorus in which all lands joined, would lift the deck off, and afford him a view of the heavens. A burst of applause followed the last verse, which I must confess I construed to be a manifestation of joy that it was finished, and of gratitude that there was no more of it to be endured. The Arethusas were now called upon to respond, and after some comparing of notes and prompting each other, Farrell struck up the time-honored confession of the misguided Irish youth who committed matrimony at the tender age of sixteen, and "died forlorn on Steven's Green," and afterwards wrote his autobiography in common metre, his last earthly request being that his pall might be borne by six disconsolate young ladies, all dressed in white gowns and pink ribbons. This song is a stock article with Irish and seamen, for what reason it would be hard to tell. A stout, jolly-looking Mandarin next electrified the auditors with the sentimental refrain of "O no, we never mention her!" with original quavers

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 109

and variations, chanted in a voice of thunder; and was followed by Old Scotty, who rolled his eyes higher than ever as he poured himself out in a heartrending ballad, describing the fate of a certain Miss Caroline of Edinboro town, who at an untimely age "shuffled off this mortal coil," and "plunged her body down," after giving precisely three shrieks for Henry, neither more nor less. This pathetic outbreak again brought up the Arethusas in force, and the entertainment was sustained with great vigor on both sides, the songs being of various descriptions, and some, like newspaper novelettes, broken off in the middle of a verse, "to be continued hereafter." Some of the volunteer performers would have passed for good singers where tunes were not in fashion, while others, if they had fitted all the snatches together into one, might have furnished a medley of a highly original character. The veritable history of that unfortunate mariner, William Taylor, who was sent to his last account by the contents of a brace of pistols in the hands of his slighted "ladie love," having been caught in flagrante delicto, basking in the smiles of another fair one, was interrupted at a most thrilling crisis by the cry of "Brace forward the mainyard!" for the Arethusa had forged considerably ahead, while both ships were lying aback. It took some time to do this, as by a singular fatality, nobody had a watch on deck; all the men who should by any possibility have had one had gone gamming. The denouement of the fickle Taylor's story was lost, as the helm required the singer's services.

      The last act of the evening partook much of the

110 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

nature of the first, being filled with marvellous tales of exploits, and "moving accidents by flood," and comparison of notes touching the respective merits of ships, captains and officers. The cry of "Haul aback" cut short several half-finished stories, and brought everybody on deck to look at the Arethusa, now running to leeward with a light set as a signal of recall for her mate and boat's crew. A murmur of admiration went round among us, at the appearance of the crack ship looming in the clear moonlight, as, having assumed the lee position, she rounded gracefully to again, when the boat was cleared away and manned, with hearty farewells on both sides.

      "Good-night, Joy," said Father Grafton, as he descended the man-ropes. "Short passage home to you. Deliver my letter yourself when you get there."

      "Ay, ay," returned the Mandarin's mate. "Greasy luck to you!"

      "Thank you," said Grafton. "A large whale for you to-morrow," with the additional reservation, "and two for us. Let go the warp! out oars — pull ahead!"

      We arrived on board our own ship to find a scene similar to that we had just left. Some of the Mandarins had found a congenial spirit in the sea-lawyer Burley, and others had fulfilled their mission by "bumming" considerable quantities of tobacco and literature from the younger lads. Manoel and Antone had monopolized a Portuguese boatsteerer, and formed a trio aside for a conference highly interesting to themselves and possessing the additional merit of being unintelligible to all the rest.

"GAMMING" WITH A "HOMEWARD-BOUNDER." 111

      The Mandarin having run to leeward in her turn, the word was passed to "man the boat;" and, for a wonder, they waited alongside only three quarters of an hour. But Captain Barney was an uncommonly prompt man in his movements; the usual standard in such cases being one hour and a quarter.

      In a few minutes, the rusty-looking ship was off on her northerly course for "home, sweet home," bearing messages to gladden the hearts of many interested in the fate of those on board her late consort, who was again standing by the wind to the southward.

      The first inoculation of what may be designated "salt poison" had taken effect among our crew, and much mischief had been done by this apparently harmless visit. Those who had hitherto been cheerful and satisfied with all around them, now began to discover flaws and defects, viewing things and actions through new and distorted lenses; instituting parallels between the methods of doing the most trifling duties on board different vessels, and discoursing nautical wisdom at second hand with all the gravity and dogmatism of experienced tars. Truly may it be said in connection that "comparisons are odious."

112 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

CHAPTER X.

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. — DEATH OF MR. JOHNSON.

      No more whales were seen till the Arethusa had passed the latitude of 48 degrees south, and was nearly up with the Falklands. The wind was fresh from south-west, and the ship close-hauled on the south-south-east tack, diving into a head sea under whole topsails, making wet weather of it; while the aspect of the heavens was threatening, and indicated more wind before night. Mr. Dunham, who went to the masthead in the forenoon, reported a large "breach" on the weather quarter five miles distant. The ship stood on for a short time, and then going about, headed up nearly in the direction where the breach was seen. In an hour after tacking, spouts were seen, and were soon made out beyond question to be those of three large sperm whales going slowly to leeward. When they went down again they were not more than two miles from us; but it was by this time high noon, and the wind and sea had increased, so that the ship was brought down to double-reefed topsails. The chances were not at all favorable for chasing whales with much prospect of success. But Captain Upton and his officers were not to be daunted by trifles, with sperm

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. 113

whales in sight; and their doctrine was, that as long as a boat could live she could tackle a whale and kill him. So everything was cleared for action, and after standing on till he judged the ship near enough, the captain ordered the maintopsail hauled aback, and the boats hoisted and swung. This was hardly accomplished when the whales broke water within half a dozen ship's lengths of the lee-beam.

      "Lower away!" was the word, and down went all three boats, the starboard boat having the advantage in this case from being on the lee quarter, and getting clear of the ship in advance of the rest.

      The whales were as yet apparently undisturbed, and the chance of striking what would be considered a sure one, as they would not readily take the alarm in such weather. There was no need of spreading a sail to a breeze like this; it was only necessary to head the boat off before the wind and sea, and giving her a slight impetus with the paddle-strokes, to drive quietly down upon the prey.

      The two mates, as they shoved astern of the ship, saw the exact state of things, and merely suffered their boats to run to leeward, without effort, so as to be at hand to support the captain if he should strike, without interfering with his chance by competition. Seated at the bow thwart next the boatsteerer, I had a fair view of the advance to the attack, and regarded the progress of the starboard boat with eager interest, not unmixed with anxiety, as I thought of the difficulty and danger of grappling with these monsters in such weather. Mr. Johnson stood up in the head

114 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

of his boat grasping the bight of the warp in his left hand, the right resting on his "iron poles," while the other four continued dipping their paddles to add to the speed of the lively boat, which was sliding down to leeward, as it were, at a rate that promised soon to place her within striking distance. Already she was within a ship's length of the right hand one, for which the captain was steering, when the off whale of the three took the alarm, as was evinced by his elevating his head rather more than usual, and then cutting out a corner of his flukes with that peculiar movement known to whalemen as indicative of an intention to leave soon. The panic spread to the others instantly, by that sort of magnetic communication which whales seem to employ even when miles apart. A sudden and convulsive movement was observed in all three of them at the same instant. It was evident that like Macbeth's guests, they would "stand not upon the order of their going." The left-hand whale, who had first perceived the danger, was gone like a flash, his tail skimming out just above the surface; his next neighbor shot ahead half his length with a sudden effort, and threw his flukes high in air; the third, who had just blown off his spout, attempted the same manœuvre, but it was too late; the boat was shooting too quick for him. As he threw up his body, the head of the boat was just abreast of his "small," rushing down the declivity of a wave.

      "Dart!" cried Captain Upton, in a voice that rose high above the roaring of the wind and sea; "dart, and try him!"

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. 115

      Quick as thought the flashing iron sped on its mission from the long, sinewy arms of the mulatto, and its sudden stoppage, and the quiver of the pole in the "suds" as his keen eye noted it, told him it had found its mark. Already the second one was drawn back for a dart; Father Grafton had roared, "Spring ahead! He's fast!" when the air was darkened by the ponderous tail of the infuriated monster, which seemed to hang poised for an instant — a cry of "Stern! stern hard!!" — a crash — and the starboard boat was buried in a cloud of foam. "Spring, men! he stove!" shouted the mate, and with the heave of the next sea the wreck seemed to struggle up through the boiling vortex, the crew striking out for their lives to meet the approaching boats. No whale was to be seen; but what struck a chill to every heart, only five heads could be counted!

      "Spring, men, do! they're all swimming for it! Peak your oar, Bunker, and stand by to lend them a hand! Don't look for the whale now! Two — three — four — five — O God! where's Mr. Johnson?"

      The oath must have been overlooked by the recording angel. The third mate had sunk to rise no more till the great day of reckoning. The whole head of the boat, as far as the bow-thwart, was crushed to splinters by the fearful blow; and the bowman seemed to have escaped by a miracle. The half-drowned men were pulled into the other two boats; and the line was found to be cut, but no one seemed clearly to know how, when, or by whom. Anxious eyes peered round, hoping against hope, to see the

116 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

head of the lost man; but a moment's reflection served to convince Captain Upton of the impossibility of his having escaped. He was silent for a short space after he stood by the side of his mate; then pointing significantly at the crushed fragments of the boat's bow, "He must have been killed instantly, Mr. Grafton," he said, and a tear started from the eye of the strong man, and was lost among the briny drops that were streaming from every thread of his clothing.

      Father Grafton answered only by a nod of assent, showing his full conviction of the worst. A moment and the captain was himself again! he had paid the tribute of a full heart, and was once more the whaling captain, alive to the emergency of the moment.

      "Pull ahead, and pick up the wreck! We'll save all the craft we can, Mr. Dunham, but never mind the boat. We must let her go, and bear a hand aboard — it's breezing on all the time, and I expect we shall have it harder to-night. Don't stop for small matters; save the oars and line — boat's sail if you can. Set your waif, Mr. Grafton, for the ship — never mind, he's coming; I see her falling off now. Lay off a little from the wreck, boys; don't, for Heaven's sake, stave another boat now. There, that'll do; stand by to pull ahead. What's 'Cooper' running so far for? I wonder if he'll think to come to on the starboard tack, so as to hoist these boats to leeward. Yes! all right! there he braces up his mizzen topsail! Pull ahead, and let's get snug before night!"

      The Arethusa came flying up to the wind with her

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. 117

topsails run down on the caps, and the jib at the boom-end slatting at a furious rate, as the overloaded boats pulled alongside under her lee.

      "Keep your tackles up clear till we give the word! Look out on deck for some of this lumber! Bear a hand — what are you all staring at?" for the ship-keepers seemed to be paralyzed with dread, at not seeing the third mate in either of the boats.

      "Light out now, all but two to hook on! Here, come to the falls, everybody, and stand by to run the boat up. Now's your time, Mr. Grafton — hook on — all ready, Bunker? Fore and aft! Quick, boys, and take her out of water!"

      The boats were fortunately secured in the cranes, without accident. The wind was piping on to a gale and a thick, driving mist, bringing an icy sensation with it from the southward, gave evidence that we were approaching the Cape Horn latitudes.

      "Clew the fore and mizzentopsails right up, Mr, Grafton! Send some hands out to stow the jib — never mind hauling down the foretack — we shall have to reef the foresail soon. Make all snug as fast as you can, and have some small tackles ready for securing the lee-boats to-night." And the "old man" went below to find some dry clothing, and to indulge his feelings now that he had leisure to reflect upon the loss of Mr. Johnson.

      The Arethusa was soon careening to the blast under her close-reefed maintopsail and staysails, the whole heavens shrouded in gloom, and, as the shades of night drew down upon the wild scene, each one

118 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

seemed to realize that we had cause of congratulation in the fact of our timely arrival on board, and shuddered to think what might have been our fate, if exposed an hour or two longer in open boats, had the whale run us some distance from the ship before the thick weather shut down hiding her from view. It is at such times that the seaman feels his own nothingness, and realizes his dependence on the mercy of Heaven. The whaleman, in particular, has frequent cause to feel how narrowly he has escaped such dangers. Even other mariners have little idea of the risks encountered by this class of men; for whalemen form the only branch of the profession who may be truly said to make their home on the ocean; to "go down to the sea in ships," while others skim across it; and in a literal sense, to "do business on the great waters."

      Little was said among the officers about the dreadful casualty which had so suddenly removed one of their number, but many a thrilling story went round the forecastle that night from the old hands, the more impressive from the circumstance of the speakers lying in their berths, with the darkness relieved by only one dimly-burning lamp, swaying and flickering with the motion of the ship in the gale — of men who had met violent deaths in various ways, and of hairbreadth escapes of others, in most of which latter cases, the narrator was, of course, himself the hero of the adventure.

      Morning broke upon the stout ship still lying to under short canvas, the wind howling through the rigging, the decks drenched with spray, and everything

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. 119

cold and cheerless. The gale, however, now came in fitful gusts, with lulls between; in evidence that it had spent its force, and was breaking up. The morning watch were collected aft on the lee side of the deck, while Father Grafton, wrapped in pilotcloth, stood holding on by the weather quarter rail, and gazing at the sky to windward, observing the signs of better weather. As he turned and threw his glance casually off to leeward, a sudden lighting up of his countenance told that something had arrested his attention. He changed his position for a better view, and, in a moment more, spoke:

      "There it is again. Blo-o-ows! Sperm whale — there's white water! wounded whale, too — I know by the way he spouts. That must be the whale we struck yesterday — Blo-o-ows! Steward! tell Captain Upton there's a sperm whale off the lee-beam!"

      It was unnecessary to tell him, for he was just stepping out of the cabin at the moment.

      "Where away, Mr. Grafton?" Then, as his quick eye caught the smoke of the spout blowing off, "Ah! yes! I see him — there's white water. Yes, that's the whale that killed Mr. Johnson. O, if we only had good weather to pay him off for it!"

      Then looking to windward, "How is the weather, anyhow? Can't we go down and have a dig at him? No, no, it's no use to put boats down into, this sea. By thunder! how he lies there, aggravating us! badly hurt, too; he can't go much. Got both irons in him, I expect — I couldn't tell about the second iron. Can't we keep the run of him till the weather moderates?"

120 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "I think we can," said the mate, "if he don't work to windward — and I don't think he will. He must have gone just about the drift of the ship through the night. We might kill him from the ship, but then we couldn't secure him afterwards, and we should drift to leeward of him."

      "I'd like to have the killing of him!" said the captain, eagerly. "I want a little revenge on that whale, and I would rather kill him than any other one in the ocean." Another impatient look to windward, "No, no, we can't use the boats. The-e-ere's white water again! We'll try him with the ship anyhow. Get some lances ready, and we'll run down there and have a fling at him — if we lose a lance or two it's no great matter — we'll have revenge at any rate. It's moderating every minute, eh, Mr. Grafton?"

      "Yes, sir; and there's the sun trying to break through the clouds yonder. I think we shall have good weather in an hour or two."

      "Yes, but it will take some time for the sea to go down. Get your lances ready! Here, Blacksmith, bend the end of that line to the lance warp. We mustn't check too short, Mr. Grafton, or we'll lose all our lances."

      The whale was not more than a quarter of a mile off, bearing a little abaft the beam, or nearly dead to leeward, and appeared to be too badly hurt to go down. All hands were on deck to assist in the sport, and lances were hastily prepared at various points along the starboard side of the ship.

      "Hard up your helm, there!" shouted the captain.

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. 121

"Run down the mizzen-staysail, and shiver in the mainyard! Here, Jeff, I want you at the wheel, and mind the word, quick. See the whale now, Mr. Dunham? Yes, there he is — let her go off more yet. Well, the mainyard! Belay that — haul taut the lee-braces. Stead-y! meet her quick, Jeff — stand by your lances now." And Captain Upton ran to his place by the starboard fore-swifter, and Mr. Grafton into the fore-chains abaft him, while the second mate stood ready in the waist, and the boatsteerers, armed with similar weapons, found eligible stations still further in reserve.

      The ship was now booming off under good headway, rolling heavily in the trough of the sea. "Starboard a little, Jeff — so, steady! meet her, quick, meet her. Port a little — so, steady as you go now!" said the eager and excited captain, coursing the ship so as to shave just clear of the whale, who lay "sogging" up and down in his element, and occasionally blowing, the spout having a faint and broken appearance as if forced from him by a painful effort.

      As we drew near, the iron could be distinctly seen in his back, the pole hanging down by his side, and soon as he raised his flukes to thrash the sea in his agony, the other one was discovered in his "small." The last effort of a dying man had driven it home!

      "Now, then, stand by, all of you," said the captain, in a suppressed voice. "We shall have a good chance, but it's awkward darting, if we don't catch the roll of the ship right. If I miss him, Mr. Grafton, don't you!"

      At the moment the whale was abreast the martin-

122 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

gale, he moved his hand to port the helm, and stand by the braces.

      "Now's our time!" as the next roll of the ship brought her fore-channels nearly into the water just at the right moment, and both lances entered the whale's body at the same instant, driven to the socket.

      "Hard a port! Brace up the mainyard! Bear a hand, and let her come to the wind!"

      The whale had buried himself beneath the surface, on receiving the deadly steel. The captain's lance drew out, but Mr. Grafton's warp was snapped like a thread, and the lance was left in his body. The reserves had no chance to grease their weapons.

      "Run up that mizzen-staysail!" shouted the "old man," as the ship was brought rapidly to the wind, shipping a considerable body of water forward, which luckily did no damage.

      "Where's the whale? I see the bloody water here on the quarter. Up aloft, two or three of ye, and keep a sharp eye out for him!"

      The order was superfluous, for half a dozen were already in the rigging at different points.

      "Loose the foresail, Mr. Grafton, fore and mizzentopsails, too. We mustn't drift off any more — it's going to moderate; and we may be able to keep the run of him. There he blo-o-ows! right astern! blood thick as tar!" roared Captain Upton, wild with excitement, as the immense spermaceti rose in the ship's wake, and the blood-red cloud blown off to leeward from his spiracle, told that the death of Mr. Johnson was avenged.

WHALING NEAR THE FALKLANDS. 123

      The weather had materially improved by the time the topsails were sheeted home and set. Vigilant eyes at the masthead observed the whale's movement, and in time the ship wore round and stood along near him in time to see him go in his dying "flurry" within a short distance of his relentless enemies. The sea would not admit of a boat being lowered to take possession; but he was kept in sight by watching the "slick," and manœuvring on short tacks all the forenoon.

      After dinner, the gale having abated to a whole topsail breeze, and the sea gone down so that a boat with a picked crew and careful management might venture to cut a hole, the larboard boat was lowered, and after considerable difficulty he was hauled alongside and fluked. The cutting gear was got up, and the work driven with all possible expedition, for moderate weather was not to be depended upon for any length of time in these latitudes. Still, it was three o'clock by the time we got fairly hooked on, and what with surging and parting, and tearing out hooks, little progress was made, and at dark we "lashed down," and knocked off our arduous duty with one blanket piece in the blubber-room, the whale's body riding by the large fluke.chain, and the head cut off and secured alongside by the small chain and two parts of a large new hawser. The wind was hauling to the westward, and blowing on another gale. All sail was taken in, and the watches set; darkness shut down its dread pall around, and the howling of the night storm was rendered more dismal by the screams of thousands of rav-

124 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

enous albatrosses sitting in the "slick" to windward of the ship, and the clanking and surging of the fluke-chain as it quivered under the terrific strain. At midnight the small chain attached to the head parted, but by veering away a longer scope on the ropes the ponderous mass seemed to ride easier than before. The ropes held bravely till four o'clock, when weakened by long-continued stretch, strain and chafe, they gave way; and the valuable head, containing at least forty barrels of sperm, went dancing off upon a mountain wave, and could be seen from time to time flashing up through the darkness, till it was lost to view in the gloom to windward.

      The fluke-chain still hung, but the gale and sea increasing every moment, the strain at last became too powerful even for its great strength, and it snapped about daylight with the report of a gun. The wind had hauled round gradually by north-west, and was now nearly at north, and fair for the course on which we were bound. Captain Upton was on deck when the chain parted, and looked with longing eyes off the weather quarter at the lost prize till it could be seen no longer; then, satisfied no more could be done to save it, he ordered the helm up, and, setting the foresail and close-reefed fore and maintopsails, the proud ship once more bounded before the favorable gale, laying her course inside of the Falklands for Cape Horn.

CHAPTER XI.

PROMOTION. — "COOPER'S NOVELS." — THE MATE MORALIZES. — CAPE HORN.

      The vacancy occasioned by the death of Mr. Johnson was filled by the promotion of Bunker to be third mate; and the next matter for consideration was the selection of a boatsteerer for the larboard boat. The two Nantucket boys were not, as yet, old enough or stout enough for this duty. Old Jeff and the two Portuguese, from their experience, were eligible candidates; but it seems Father Grafton had determined, so far as he was concerned, to promote his bowman to that office. Captain Upton, as I afterwards learned, was disposed to leave the choice in the mate's hands, merely reminding him of the necessity of due consideration in a matter so important. "You know," said he, "we can't afford to have whales missed. However, 'Blacksmith' seems a likely young man about the ship, and as for his conduct in a boat you are better qualified to judge than I am, as he has been at your bow oar. So, if you think he will do his work, try him. Let him have one chance, at any rate; we must run a risk with somebody."

      The weather had moderated at this time so that the ship was running under whole topsails; and a new

125           

126 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

boat had already been taken from overhead, and was in process of fitting for service to take her place on the starboard cranes.

      The word was passed for "Blacksmith" to appear on the quarter deck. The old man and Father Grafton were in consultation as I came aft and stood under their lee, respectfully waiting for orders.

      "Blacksmith," asked the captain, turning suddenly upon me, "can you strike a whale?"

      "I think I could, sir, if I was within reach of him," I answered.

      "Do you want to try yourself?" he asked.

      "Yes, sir," said I quietly, and yet confidently, too.

      "Remember," said the old man, "if you fail once, with a good chance, you must give it up and let somebody else come in. We can't affort to have any 'foopaws.'* Mr. Grafton thinks you will do it well, and has said a good word for you."

      I bowed my acknowledgments to the mate for his good opinion, and said something I cannot tell what, to the effect that I would endeavor to justify it. Had I been previously notified, I might have had a "neat and appropriate speech" prepared for the occasion.

      "I want you to remember," resumed the old man, "when you go alongside of a whale, that the voyage is depending upon you. Get a good scote, and grit the ends of your front teeth right off! If you do your work, I'll see that you are paid the lay. You may


      * The general reader may not be aware that the word "foopaw." in nautical parlance, means a failure or bungling performance of any duty. Evidently a corruption of the French "faux pas."

PROMOTION — "COOPER'S NOVELS," ETC. 127

take charge of the larboard boat's craft, and rig the irons to suit your own hand. Bring your traps aft to-night, and take up your quarters in the cabin; and understand, if you live aft, I expect to find you aft, except when your duty calls you forward."

      "Thank you, sir," I answered, "I'll do the best I can."

      "That's all I want," said the captain, with a wink of intelligence to his mate, as if to say, "he'll do."

      The change was soon made. I transferred myself and my effects to the region of forks and dishes, and became, at short notice, a petty officer, and member of the House of Lords, after only three months' actual service at sea. My companions in the "bull-room" were more select and less numerous than in the forecastle, consisting of young Fisher, the boatsteerer, the veracious cooper, and the Portuguese steward and cabin-boy. I had now the full benefit of the cooper's yarns, and he did not fail to entertain me with some choice specimens of Munchausenism during the first watch below that evening.

      "Well, Blacksmith," said he, "you've seen a little of the other side of the picture, and you are satisfied that all whales are not taken so easily as that first one off the Western Islands. Not that I think this last one was a bad whale at all, but any whale is liable to get an unlucky clip at a boat when he feels the iron. Then you see, it was rugged weather, and the boat was going to leeward under good headway, so it was awkward work to keep clear of him."

      "'Twas all an accident," said Fisher, who had come

128 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

down to light his pipe, "as it always is, I think. Of course, if you throw an iron into a whale, he'll kick and struggle just as you or I would; and if a boat happens to be right in his way, why, the hardest fends off. And that's the way all boats are stove, I believe. I never saw a whale that I thought meant to stave a boat."

      "Didn't you?" inquired the cooper. "Well, hold on, Fisher, perhaps you'll go another voyage and still not see a regular fighting whale. I hope so, at any rate. But it's no use for you to tell me there aint any, because I know better. I could tell you about a scrape we had in the Deucalion, only I don't want to scare you young fellows."

      "O, fire away!" said Fisher. "You wont frighten me nor Blacksmith. What was it, that same whale that was so long you had to sling stages over the stern to cut his head off?"

      "No, indeed," replied the cooper, "that was in the Bajazet. No, this was only a forty-barrel bull, and the worst of it was, we didn't cut him in at all. He stove all four boats for us, and chawed them up into splinters. We got out the last boat we had from overhead, and picked up the men, and the whale chased us all the way to the ship. We pulled all we knew, and got alongside, hooked on, and had the boat raised out of the water, when the old fellow shoved his jaw out and grabbed her right out of the tackles! Such a crashing and splintering of cedar boards you never saw or heard as when he shut down upon her. The two men that were hooking on grabbed the tackles

PROMOTION — "COOPER'S NOVELS," ETC. 129

and shinned for dear life. But he wasn't satisfied with that mouthful, for he undertook to chaw the ship. But old Captain Harper hadn't forgotten the Essex story, and we made all sail to get out of his way; for, mind ye, if he had started a leak in the old ship, we hadn't a boat left to save ourselves in. He chased us about four hours, but he was somewhat weakened from loss of blood, for he had seven irons and four lances sticking in him. We were in hopes he would turn up in the ship's wake, but he seemed to find out at last that a stern chase was a long one, and gave it up. The last we saw of him he was going to windward, spouting clear. About a fortnight afterwards, we spoke the Termagant, and they gave us our craft. They had picked him up, dead, and when we came to compare reckonings, we found it was about three hundred and fifty miles from where we lost sight of him!"

      "How long was it before they found him?" asked Fisher.

      "The second day after we struck him," replied the cooper, not seeing the drift of the question.

      "Well, he must have picked up his strength amazingly after he started to windward. You say he couldn't go fast enough to leeward to overtake the ship, and yet he went three hundred and fifty miles to windward in a matter of thirty-six hours: that's about ten knots an hour."

      "I don't care if it is; he couldn't keep up with the old Deucalion when we put her off with the wind on her quarter."

130 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Why, how fast would she go?"

      "Seventeen knot, easy," answered the cooper with the utmost gravity.

      "There, that'll do," said Fisher. "It's time I went on deck. Whenever I can believe that old wagon of a ship went seventeen knots, then I shall be ready to believe in these eating whales. But you haven't got tobacco enough to make me hoist in either."

      "It's no use for him to talk," said the cooper after Fisher was gone. "If he goes whaling as long as I have been, perhaps he'll see an eating whale. I reckon it's breezing on by the sound on deck. Yes, down goes the coil of the maintopsail halyards, and here they come stamping aft. I think the wind will haul ahead before morning, and then we may as well make out our log for three or four weeks, beating and banging to get round the horn. Well, it's all in the course of a voyage. I was seventy days off the Cape in the Bajazet, and it never lulled enough to get the fore and mizzen topsails on her."

      "Must have been pleasant," I muttered, half asleep.

      "Pleasant! yes. Plenty to eat, and nothing to do but wear round now and then. The worst of it was, the ship was so crank we had to travel on our ankles altogether, and when it did moderate, we'd lost the power of using our feet like human — "

      I was by this time fast locked, and I presume that my snoring reminded the inveterate yarn-spinner that he might as well follow suit as to waste his breath.

      His predictions proved more reliable that his narratives; for when our watch turned out, the ship was

PROMOTION — "COOPER'S NOVELS," ETC. 131

under double reefs with the wind at south-west, and squally. There was nothing to do, however, unless it "breezed on" harder. So, after seeing that the watch were all within call and the lookout set, we made ourselves comfortable under the hurricane house for the new ship boasted that appendage among her modern improvements.

      "When I first went to sea," said Father Grafton, "we would have laughed at the notion of building such a covering as this, as we would at many other things which are now quite common, and which, a few years hence, will be looked upon as necessary. There's the patent windlass: it's the first one that I have been shipmate with, but I suppose after I have been this voyage, I should hardly know how to go to sea again with an old-fashioned back-breaker. Why, on my first voyage, we didn't even have purchase bars at the windlass ends; nothing but the handspikes, and it was heave, Dick, and heave, Tom, for I hove last."

      "And yet you used to get large whales and cut them in," said Mr. Bunker.

      "Yes, that's true. Some people will tell you that they did it as quickly and as easily then as we do nowadays; but I can't confirm that. We used to manage it, after a fashion. It is true enough, there's no knowing what men can do till they are put to it. There is a great deal of nonsense talked by some old-school sailors about the good old fashions and good old days when we made short voyages, and got full ships in almost every instance; and they pretend to

132 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

say that there were better whalemen in those days than now. But that's all moonshine. There were more whales to be seen, and they were easier struck than now. If we struck one and lost him, why, ten to one, we saw another next day and got him; and so the lost one was forgotten. But now we see them so seldom we can't so well afford to lose one, and, with our improved gear and increased knowledge, it is unreasonable to suppose that we lose as many as our fathers did. I think, if the statistics of voyages could be collected and compared, we should prove that we are better whalemen than they were; that is to say, that we get much more oil in proportion to the opportunities we meet with. I know that such has been the fact in my own experience of twenty-five years."

      "You would find it rather hard to make some of the old retired shipmasters believe that," said Mr. Bunker.

      "I know it. Some of them have an idea even now, that they could come out with a ship, and turn them up on Peru and Chili just as fast as they used to. And every now and then some heroic old gentleman takes a start, and comes out here to show us how it's done, and goes home again with half a cargo of oil, and a flea in his ear. More than one instance occurs to me at this moment. Whales are not so plenty now that we can practice the game that Cooper tells us about on his first voyage."

      "What was that, sir?" I inquired.

      "Cooper tells that they used to throw bricks at them to see whether they would kick, before they

PROMOTION — "COOPER'S NOVELS," ETC. 133

went on to strike them. By the way, he was spinning you a tough yarn to-night. My room door was open and I could hear most of it. What do you think about that eating whale, Blacksmith?"

      "I hardly know how much of it to believe," said I. "Are there really any such whales as he tells of, sir?"

      "Why, yes, now and then one; though I think the cases are very rare where whales make a deliberate attack. I have never yet seen one myself, but I have sailed with others who have. Captain Upton tells me he has seen two or three in his life, and I don't think he can be mistaken. We have all heard of the Essex affair to which the cooper alluded, and the dreadful sufferings of the crew. I remember it well, for I was cruising on Chili at that time in the Plutarch, and from the statements of the survivors, it is plain enough that that whale went to work deliberately and with malice prepense, as the lawyers would say, to destroy the ship. The cooper's yarn is, doubtless, partly true; but you know by this time, that a story loses nothing in his telling. He has, very likely, seen two or even three boats stoven by one whale, so that his romance is, like many others, 'founded on facts.'"

      "Do you think he believes his own stories, sir?" I asked.

      "I really can't say. It is a phenomenon that has puzzled me for many years. I don't mean in his particular case, for he is only one of a class, and I myself have sailed with two or three others who could equal him in drawing the long bow. Sensible men

134 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

they were, too, in other respects, and, even remarkably free from some other vices to which seamen are addicted; but lying seemed to be constitutional with them, or else they had cultivated the habit till they had lost all control of themselves. And they seemed impervious to shame in this one particular only. You have read Peter Simple, I suppose?"

      "Yes, sir," I answered. "You are thinking of Captain Kearney, sir?"

      "Yes. When I first read it, I thought Marryatt had sketched a very extravagant character in Captain Kearney, but I have since become more reconciled to it, and don't think it much caricatured after all. I think that a man may contract an absorbing passion for lying as well as for strong drink, and be ready to go all lengths to gratify it. We see every day instances of men, with a thousand noble qualities, who are slaves to liquor, and seem to have lost all self-control in that one respect. Now the cooper is a steady, sober man and a capital fellow, aside from this singular propensity; but I firmly believe that, like Captain Kearney, he will die with a lie in his throat. How do you head, Kelly?"

      "South-east, sir."

      "Knocking off, eh? Well — stand by to wear ship!"

      The conversation was broken off, and was not resumed again for this watch.

      The next morning, it being more moderate, spouts were seen to leeward, and the ship kept off for them. The new boat was pronounced ready for action at

PROMOTION — "COOPER'S NOVELS," ETC. 135

short notice, and all was excitement and expectation for a few minutes; but the cry of "forked spout!" put a damper on our hopes.

      "Right whales!" said the old man. "Brace up and let her come to again!"

      "Let's go down and try 'em?" petitioned Mr. Dunham.

      "No, I sha'n't bother with 'em. If we can't get sperm oil, we'll go home empty-handed. Keep her along full and by! Look sharp there aloft for another kind. These whales have got too many spout-holes for my use."

      It was even so with Nantucket whalemen at the period of which I am writing. A whale who showed evidence of having two spiracles was not worth bothering about. And even for years after the great North-west whaling grounds were opened, and rich returns were pouring into New Bedford, New London and other whaling ports, the islanders, the pioneers of whaling, still clung to their old faith and plodded on over their old grounds, picking up a sperm whale now and then, and spending four years or more to get, in most instances, about half a cargo. They ignored the great Nor'west; it was a myth; the very sound of it a great bugbear. "Spermaceti or empty casks" was their platform for many years; and then at last they woke from this delusion, it was too late; the cream had been skimmed from the northern grounds, and the palmiest days of right whaling were over.

      "Have you ever been right whaling, Cooper?" I asked after the stir was over and all was quiet again.

136 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Right whaling? yes, two voyages on the Banks. Talk about fighting whales! You ought to see one of those fellows pick his teeth with the corner of his flukes."

      "How's dat, when dey's got no teeth?" asked the cook, who stood within hearing.

      "They've no teeth, strictly speaking, that's true; but they've slabs of bone which amounts to the same thing for all the purposes of the story. I've seen 'em do it many a time — slat their flukes from eye to eye. Whip-lashes are nothing to 'em."

      "Make more oil than sperm whales, don't they?" I asked.

      "Yes, such as 'tis — make four or five hundred barrels sometimes!"

      "Do they ever eat up boats?" I inquired.

      "No, never fight with their heads; they wear 'bonnets' on their heads, and I suppose they don't like to rumple them."

      "What are they made of?" asked Fisher. "Gauze and ribbons?"

      "No — lice and barnacles," said the cooper.

      "Do the bulls wear bonnets, too?"

      "Yes, of course."

      "Do they have new bonnets as often as the fashions change?"

      The only answer was a warlike demonstration with a squilgee that lay at hand; and Fisher beat a retreat.

      We met the strong westerly winds as we approached the latitude of the dreaded Horn, which is seldom

PROMOTION — "COOPER'S NOVELS," ETC. 137

to be caught asleep on the outward passage, the prevailing winds having almost the regularity of trades as to direction; and for three weeks they blew south-west and west, so that all hands were well initiated to the beauties of this delectable corner of the world. We were obliged to keep mostly on the starboard tack, and stretch to the southward nearly to the latitude of sixty degrees, which brought us completely out of the track of homeward-bound ships, who, with the same winds would hug the land and give it the go-by under a press of canvas. "Begins with strong gales from west-south-west and rugged sea," became a standing form of entry in our journals till we tired of the sight of the words; and day by day our stout ship struggled, and wallowed and tumbled about, till our patience was well-nigh exhausted. Heavy squalls, accompanied by a peculiar, sharp hail, which cut our flesh like small shot, sometimes varied the entertainment. Yarns, as usual, whiled away the dreary night watches; the experiences of former voyages were referred to, and the changes rung upon them; the cooper drew his bow with a strong hand and heaped Pelion upon Ossa in the way of falsehood; while Father Grafton entertained us with more reliable stories, not only of his own experiences, but of those of other voyagers, going back to the days of LeMaire and Schouten, who gave the cape its name, and coming down through the eras of Anson and Cook to the voyage of the little ship Beaver, of Nantucket, the pioneer of Pacific whaling, which doubled the Horn in 1791, and made her voyage in seventeen months. His memory was well stored with facts of

138 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

this kind, and so arranged that he could draw freely upon them as they were wanted. A most entertaining companion was our worthy chief officer, and the night watches slipped away much more pleasantly to me since my change of station had brought me nearer to him.

      After standing so far south, we could do something on the other tack, taking the advantage of slants of wind. Our progress was slow and wearisome; but perseverance at last prevailed over all obstacles, the redoubtable headland was doubled without further accident than the loss of another boat washed off the waist cranes in a gale, and a few days more saw the gallant Arethusa doing her best to make up for her lost time; as, seemingly conscious of her tardiness, and rejoicing in her freedom from Antarctic thraldom, she went rolling down the coasts of Patagonia and Chili before a "long and strong souther."

CHAPTER XII.

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ. — FIGHT WITH AN UGLY WHALE.

      "Blacksmith, how long is it since you read Robinson Crusoe?" asked the mate, as he stopped in his walk near the mainmast, and leaned against the top-sail-sheet bitts. "Some years, I suppose?"

      "No, sir," said I. "The last time I read it was less than one year ago, and I found it as fresh and entertaining as ever."

      "No doubt of it," replied Father Grafton. "Nothing connected with my schoolboy days has so firmly stamped itself on my memory as the appearance of the old copy of Crusoe, that I owned for many years; indeed, I carried it to sea with me on my first voyage, and it was accidentally lost overboard. I can see the brown paper and the quaint old type with its f and long s so dangerously alike, and its horrible woodcuts! for it was a copy of a very old edition, and had, no doubt, delighted two or three generations of boys before it fell into my hands. But what reminded me of it to-night is the fact that we shall probably make Juan Fernandez to-morrow."

      "Yet this island is not mentioned in the story, I believe," said I.

139           

140 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "No, the scene of the romance lies on the Atlantic side, somewhere near the mouth of the Orinoco; but it is probable that De Foe got the idea from the story of a Scotchman who lived three years on this island."

      "O yes," said I, "I remember the soliloquy of this Selkirk that I used to read and declaim at the country school,

"'I am Monarch of all I survey.'

      Then I suppose this Selkirk story is really true, is it?"

      "Yes, there is no good reason to doubt it. He was taken off the island by the English circumnavigator, Rogers, in 1709, if I remember right."

      "Is there any one living on it now?" I asked.

      "I don't know. There was no one there the last visit I made to it. But I have heard since that the Chilian government made use of it as a penal settlement, or something of the kind. But we shall not probably land there. What we want is a good haul of fresh fish, and this is just the place to find it. We must muster all the fishing-lines in the ship; the old man has got plenty of hooks; and, by the way, I want you in the morning to get an iron hoop from the cooper and net it across with ropeyarn ('Cooper' will know just what I want), to catch some crawfish."

      "What sort of fish are they?" asked I.

      "Why, they are a species of the lobster family, and fully equal to any of our lobsters in flavor."

      "Juan Fernandez," resumed the mate, "is a name that more correctly belongs to both islands, some

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ, ETC. 141

seventy or eighty miles apart. The Spaniards called them Mas a tierra and Mas a fuera, from their relative positions, 'more inshore,' and 'more off-shore.' The westernmost is still known by its name of Masa fuera, but this one seems to have taken 'Juan Fernandez' as its distinctive title."

      We stood in near this beautiful island, which is invested with a sort of romantic interest from the circumstances to which the mate alluded; and certainly, I thought, if a man must load a solitary life for a series of years, this would not be the last place he would select for his hermitage. The larboard and waist-boats were equipped and lowered for the fishing excursion, and we shoved off in high feather. We were provided with convenient anchors which we dropped within a short distance of the rocks, where the water was alive with fish of various kinds, which could be plainly seen darting and winding below us. The lines were hardly down among them when some one hauled a fish into the boat; some one else followed with another; and the sport was fairly begun. Pieces of pork furnished bait to start with; then the fish supplied tempting morsels of their own flesh for the hook, to allure their cannibalic brethren to share their captivity. O ye amateur anglers who sit with a rod and fly, tempting little innocent fish to nibble and thinking it not bad sport if you get two or three nibbles an hour, come to Juan Fernandez and find good, hearty, muscular sport, that you will not fall asleep at.

      "Halloo!" shouted Obed B., as he recoiled from

142 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

the haul he had made, staring with disgust, "what the deuce have I got on my hook now?"

      "Conger eel!" said the mate, with a roar of laughter. "That's not the kind you used to spear in Nantucket docks, or stay all night for at Maddaket ditch. Let's see you get clear of him, now you've caught him," for the eel had wriggled and twisted himself into a hopeless snarl with the line, after swallowing the hook firmly; and defied all his attempts to release him, for, as Hoeg expressed it, he "wouldn't be handled."

      Manoel, the Portuguese, being better acquainted with eels of that sort, soon got him clear. He said they were good eating; but Hoeg slung him overboard again with, "Who in thunder do you suppose wants to eat that flat-headed snake?"

      And now every one began to haul more or less of these eels, which created much merriment and boisterous laughter, while it consumed much time in clearing lines and getting rid of them.

      The first haul of my impromptu net brought up one crustaceous monster of the kind I wanted, among a snarl of eels who had writhed and squirmed into and through the meshes of the net, with their teeth fastened among the rope-yarns, and clinging with a pertinacity and muscular power of jaw, which plainly said, "nought but death shall part us." Over it went again, eels and all; and I caught several more crawfish, great, ugly-looking fellows, who added greatly to the confusion under our feet by flinging their claws and feelers about among the fish at the bottom of the boat.

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ, ETC. 143

      A loud hail from Mr. Dunham, whose boat was anchored at some distance from us, suddenly interrupted the sport upon which we had been so intent; and looking up with one accord, we saw that his crew were hauling in their lines for a start, while he himself was gesticulating with his arm extended in the direction of the ship. The ensign was flying at the gaff; a signal of recall.

      "He sees whales!" said Mr. Grafton. "In lines, boys! Make them up at once. Haul in your net, Blacksmith, or cut it adrift, and set the sail, as soon as you can get the anchor aweigh!" The orders were obeyed with all speed, and the two boats were soon nearing the ship as fast as the sails and oars would carry us. The small flag was already up at the main; and the extended "pointer" (a light pole with a black ball on the end of it, to be used at the masthead, when the boats are down) told us that the whale was off the ship's lee bow.

      "There he hauls aback!" said Father Grafton, "and I declare, there goes the starboard boat down. The whale must be in range of the ship from us, and pretty near the ship too, for the old man can't wait for us, and is going to try him alone — Look! Here's another ship hove in sight round that point, and coming under all sail. Spring hard men, and get alongside! If we only had our line tub in, I wouldn't go to the ship at all, I'd take the fish with me, or else throw them overboard."

      The second mate was but little ahead of us in getting alongside the ship, and we both strove to outdo

144 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

each other in getting the lumber out of the boat and the lines in. Fish flew in on deck with the fury of a bombardment; fishing-lines and boat anchors were bundled in among them; we sung out for our line at the same moment Mr. Dunham was shouting for his, and the cooper in the maintopgallant-crosstrees excited us to still greater exertions, by the cry "The old man's most on! If he spouts twice more, he'll have him!"

      "Bear a hand with that tub!" said Father Grafton. "Be careful to keep it upright, and don't break the coil! So; lower handsomely now! Let go! Shove off, and get your oars out as fast as you can!"

      As we swung out by the stern of the ship, the cooper roared again:

      "There's white wate-e-er! The old man's fast!"

      "Bend on your craft, Blacksmith, as fast as you can," said the mate, "and be sure you have everything clear. Pull ahead, the rest of you."

      The two boats were pretty equally matched for a pull; for, though ours was a little the fastest when under sail, Mr. Dunham's crew were rather heavier than ours, and the excess of muscular power counterbalanced the slight difference in the models of the two boats. We diverged a little so as to give each other full swing, and then "hooked down" to our work; for the whale was spinning off to leeward at a smart pace, and a stern chase is proverbially a long one.

      "He stays up well," said the mate, who kept his clear eye fixed upon the fast whale; "he hasn't

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ, ETC. 145

sounded yet, but he runs so that the old man can't haul up to him. There he 'mills!' he's headed along on a wind now," said he, rapidly altering the boat's course with the steering oar, so as to forereach on him. "Stretch hard men! he's milling more yet! coming to windward! right at us now! All right, we'll take him 'head and head!'"

      The two boats now converged again, both aiming for the same point of attack, and steering for the nib-end of the whale. The general reader may be surprised at this mode of approaching him, unless informed that the sperm whale cannot see directly ahead of him, but if a boat pulls for his broadside, he is much more liable to take the alarm.

      "Stand up, Blacksmith, and get your craft ready," said the mate, quietly. "See that everything is clear. Be sure and keep cool, and don't dart too soon. Ease pulling, all! He's coming quick enough; there's no need to pull, but stand by your oars, all ready at the word."

      He was indeed coming, with a vengeance! As I stood up, he was just in the act of rounding his immense back above the water, after blowing, and the white water was flying from his sides in clouds, as he forced himself to windward. The muscular power of an animal like this is fearful to think of; and I must confess to anxious feelings, nay, to a feeling of dread, even, at the novel position in which I had been so suddenly placed. I remembered Father Grafton's injunction to keep cool, and then thought of the old man's expressive and characteristic words, "Get a good scote,

146 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

and grit the ends of your front teeth off." I had not time to think of much more, for as his spout-hole made its next appearance above the surface, I saw that he had lessened the distance between us fully one half. He blew off his spout, clear and strong, and as his back rose again, I saw that the captain's boat was but slightly fast by one iron. He had his second iron in the crotch, having hauled it in, but had not yet been able to haul near to the whale, so as to use it.

      "Look out next time," said Mr. Grafton in a low, anxious tone. "Don't be in a hurry to dart till you are past his head."

      I glanced round; the other boat was waiting the crisis like ourselves, on the other side, just giving room for the whale to pass handsomely between us. Fisher stood balancing his first iron, all eagerness for the fray.

      A roar saluted my ears, and a cloud of spray was blown into the air like very fine rain, so near as to envelop me in its cool shower. I grasped my iron; all feelings of fear or dread had vanished. Not so the feeling of anxiety, but it was only anxiety lest the prey might yet escape me.

      "Steady, my boy!" said the mate again, "Hold your hand!"

      His massive head drew swiftly towards me; the boat rocked in the swell forced off from his glossy side: and his broad back lay temptingly before me. It was a sure thing.

      "Now Blacksmith!" said the mate, throwing the boat's head off as he spoke.

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ, ETC. 147

      I needed no second bidding; my first iron went in to the socket, and the second followed it, though not quite so deeply.

      "Good!" said Father Grafton. "Heave your box-line overboard!"

      With his shout was mingled a cry of "Stern! Stern hard!" from the other boat; I saw Fisher's iron cleave its way through the shining blackskin opposite my own, there was a convulsive heaving and rocking of everything about us, then a loud crash and splintering sound. The waist-boat's crew were all swimming amid the chaotic wreck of their frail craft. Her broadside was crushed in clear fore and aft. The whale had thrown himself over towards her, and we had escaped without injury.

      The monster had disappeared instantly, but was evidently not far beneath us, as all the lines hung slack. The second mate had, of course, cut his, as soon as he could get at it. We sterned off out of the slick where the whale had gone down, and lay just at the outer rim of the bloody water.

      "You are well fast, Mr. Grafton, with both irons; you hold on!" said the old man. "I'll cut off and pick up the crew. Never mind, we'll divide 'em. Take three men into your boat, and we'll both hold on. Never mind the stoven boat; we can't bother about her now."

      The dripping crew were all rescued; for, by a good fortune which seems almost miraculous in hundreds of similar cases, no one was hurt; and we now prepared for a fresh attack with nine men in each boat;

148 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

though reinforcements of this kind were not at all desirable as the boats were overloaded, and every one was in every one else's way. But the ship had run down, and was close by us, in case of further accident; we had yet three hours to sundown, and the strange ship was also near, watching our movements, and had hoisted her private or owner's signal, by which we knew her to be the Fortitude; which lay at the "Bar" when we sailed and had shortly followed us.

      "Where is the whale?" said the old man. "Our line is all slack." Then suddenly he roared, "Look out! Stern all! stern, out of the way!"

      The ponderous head of the whale was standing erect above the water like a milestone; it swayed for a moment, and then seeming to fall over backwards, the lower jaw, with its ugly display of ivory, was thrust up, nearly at right angles with the upper.

      "Stern! Stern hard, and give him room! He'll bear watching, Mr. Grafton. We shall have to look out for slants. I would like to get my second iron in, but I'm afraid he wont give me a chance soon."

      But he did, however; for after impotently gnashing his jaw two or three times, he rolled over and straightened out, spouting, apparently, as strong as ever. It was plain that he had plenty of fight in him yet, and was fairly brought to bay. He did not intend to run any more.

      The starboard boat pulled up carefully within dart, and as she did so, leviathan rolled up sidewise to meet her. Captain Upton was not to be daunted, however, but crying "Stern all!" he pitched his second iron in

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ, ETC. 149

near the fin, and as the whale continued rolling, followed it up with his lance in the breast, between the fins. Quick as lightning, down settled the monstrous body, and the whale again stood on end with his jaw out. He flung the jaw over with a desperate sweep, which would have dealt destruction to the boat and all hands had the range been a little shorter. The starboard boat fell back to her former position with the loss of her midship oar and the gunwale split, but that was a trifle. The whale had received two more severe wounds, at any rate; and it was our turn to take the next round with him, when he should straighten again, which he immediately did, still spouting clear, though not so strong as before.

      In the language of the ring, Mr. Grafton "was on hand at the call of time;" but the whale "played the drop game on us," and with partial success. He went down like a stone; sinking so quickly that he received the mate's lance much higher in the body than was hoped or intended.

      "He's an ugly customer, Mr. Grafton," said the captain as we sheered off again. "Keep your eyes peeled! there's no telling where he'll come next."

      But I soon had reason to know where he was. There was a light rippling under the stern of our boat, then a rise of the sea, lifting her a little; and that fatal lower jaw stood like a small tower on one side of the boat, with its double tier of ivory cones towards me, while the tremendous head, full of scars, overshadowed me on the other. I did not stop to investigate their beauties; but, while the tub and stroke oarsmen van-

150 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ished over the gunwales, one each side, I vaulted a sort of back somersault over the steering strap, just as the monster "shut pan" upon her, crushing her stern up like an egg-shell. This "steel-trap" manœuvre had proved a perfect success, and nine men were swimming for their lives while the captain's boat was already overloaded with the other nine!

      But reinforcements were not far off. As I looked about me when I rose, the captain's waif was set for help, and the Fortitude's three boats were already splashing into the water. The old man had cut adrift from the whale, and had already thirteen men in his boat formed in close column, the other five clinging to the wreck of the larboard boat, when the three boats of our consort, all abreast, got within hail.

      "Pick up, my men, Wyer, and let some of your boats strike the whale!" said the old man. "You shall have half of him, and welcome, if we can manage to muckle him out before night. But work shy with him, or you will lose some of your boats, too."

      "All right!" answered Captain Wyer. "Come, Grafton, light into my boat here. Jump in, my boys, all of you. Look out for the whale, Mr. Swain," to his own mate, "and if you get a chance, pitch in. Be a little careful, though, and you too, Mr. Russell, don't go harem-scarem! Where is the whale, Upton?"

      "Somewhere under us," returned the old man, as coolly as if he had said he was two miles off. "There he is!" he continued, as the whale broke water within a ship's length of the Fortitude's waist-boat, and Rus-

Fight with an Ugly Whale. Page 150.

FISHING AT JUAN FERNANDEZ, ETC. 151

sell's boatsteerer jumped up and down in the excitement of the moment.      A few strokes sent the boat alongside of him, going on "quartering," but both Russell and his boatsteerer were a little too eager, or "harem-scarem" as his captain termed it. A blow from the monster's immense "fan" swept the two oars from the port side of his boat, ripping out the peak-cleets and splitting his gunwale, while his bowman was considerably hurt by one of the oars striking him in the head. His boat was still tight, however, and the injured man was transferred to Captain Wyer's boat, and I took his place to "bow on" if a chance offered.

      "Never mind, Mr. Russell, try him again!" said our captain. "Here's spare oars, if you want, pick 'em up, all round here. Hold on a bit, though; let Swain have a try, he's got the chance now."

      The mate of the Fortitude was one of those long-limbed, powerful men, who seemed to have been built expressly to "straighten ten fathom of lance-wrap and do execution." He was wary too, in his approach, and waited for what he thought was a "good time in." He hurled his iron when four fathoms distant, and put it well in, calling, "Stern, stern hard!" As he drew back his lance for a long dart, it seemed to me impossible that he could reach him, as he poised it in his hands, still backing with his oars. When he judged himself at a safe distance, it sped for its mark with a momentum that was positively fearful. He drew it back; a quiver was perceptible in the sides of the vast body of the monster who had fought so val-

152 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

iantly for his life; and thirty-six voices greeted the thick clots of blood now faintly gushing from his spout-hole, with glad shouts of victory.

      "He's throwing up the sponge," said Mr. Swain, quietly. "A child can take care of him now."

      We picked up and secured the wrecks of our boats and gear, while the whale was hauled alongside the Fortitude. It was agreed that Captain Wyer should cut and boil him, and we would divide the oil in Talcahuana, as we both expected to be there soon. We bought a boat of the Fortitude, rigged the spare one overhead, and thus were enabled to lower the complement of three. We stretched across to Massafuera and back, cruising between the two islands, till one more large whale rewarded our efforts; and bore away for the rendezvous, our consort having left the ground the day before. The cooper had added one to his stock of yarns which would require but little embellishment to make it marvellous. Mr. Grafton and Fisher were converts to the "eating whale" theory; and "the doctor" listened with delight as we rehearsed the incidents of the capture of "the Juan Fernandez whale;" displaying, as he listened, an array of ivory almost as formidable as that of the redoubtable whale himself.

CHAPTER XIII.

TALCAHUANA.

      We passed the Fortitude, tack and tack, beating up to the anchorage of Talcahuana, and let go our anchors nearly at the same moment. Fifty-five barrels was our share of "the Juan Fernandez whale," which made us up to two hundred and thirty, all told; not so bad a start, as we were hardly five months from home.

      Talcahuana, or "Turkeywarner," as old Jeff and the cook persisted in Anglicizing the name, is like many other places on the Spanish Main, merely the port to a large city; the cities along this coast being pushed up into mountains, at a considerable distance from the seaboard. The place itself is not much to look at, or to discourse about. A description would present no points of marked interest to the general reader, and what whaleman needs a description of Talcahuana?

      Here were anchored some dozen or fifteen whaleships, mostly from Nantucket and New Bedford; some lately from home bringing letters for those long absent, while two or three were making their last port homeward-bound, and ready to take the answering

153           

154 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

epistles; for at that time the process of annihilation of time and space which has made such strides within the last quarter of a century, was, comparatively speaking, in its infancy. Yankee enterprise had not yet pushed its way over the Sierras, and the ponchoed Mexican still lounged at his ease, and drawled his quien sabe? where now great commercial cities have started up as if by magic. No ocean steamers then vexed the waters of "the Gulf" and the Caribbean; overland mails were rather a "proposed" innovation than a fixed fact, and the electric telegraph was as yet hidden in the womb of time. To us in the Pacific, news from home even a year old was heartily welcomed; while the advent of a whaler five or six months out was a perfect windfall.

      Good fellowship and jollity presided at the reunions or "gams" on board the various whalers at anchor; music and dancing held high carnival every evening; old friendships were renewed and new ones formed; unexpected recognitions were of frequent occurrence; and even members of the same family, separated for a long series of years, were here reunited, though but temporarily. A striking instance of this sort occurred two or three days after our arrival. A bark was beating in for anchorage, and Mr. Swain was seen to shove off his boat from the Fortitude, and pull out towards her. She had a private signal flying, and Father Grafton, after consulting a list which he kept tacked on the inside of his chest-lid, told me she was the Clio, of New Bedford, and added, indifferently, "Swain's brother is mate of her." The brothers were both on

TALCAHUANA. 155

board the Arethusa in the evening, and I heard the question casually asked, "how long it was since they saw each other last?" "Let me see," said Swain of the Clio. "I sailed on my first voyage to the Brazil Banks in 1820, and Joe had been gone about a year then in the Good Success. It's a little over twenty-three years."

      "It was quite time to shake hands, then," said our mate. I stared in amazement at the coolness with which they treated the matter! Here were two brothers, both pursuing the same business for a livelihood, and both residing, with their families, in the same town, who had not seen each other's faces since they were schoolboys. And among this knot of Nantucket officers present, the fact was not looked upon as being very remarkable, and was dismissed with merely a passing word of comment. I was speaking of this matter aside to the young third mate, Mr. Bunker, "Why," said he, "we islanders don't think much of that. It's matter of course in our business. Young as I am, it is eight years since I saw my eldest brother who is now second mate of a ship cruising 'on New Zealand,' and I am not likely to get a sight at him for many years to come, unless one of us makes an unusually long or short voyage so as to bring us both at home at the same time. It is not that we are wanting in natural affection that we treat the matter so coolly. I think I love my brother, and I suppose if we should accidentally meet, we should do just as the Swain brothers do: give each other a hearty greeting, make the most of each other's company while it lasted,

156 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

and part again in a day, perhaps in an hour, for another series of years, and that is all about it."

      We have taken in our water and recruits; received on board the oil from the Fortitude and stowed it down; the heavy work is all finished, and not much remains to be done but to paint the ship; and now the "liberty" begins. The word is passed for the watch to get ready to go ashore. Now the "finery" is roused out from the depths of sea-chests, that is, if we have any; and, if we have only one article of "long-shore toggery," it must be worn, though perhaps not strictly in keeping with other parts of our attire, which gives us a slight touch of the amphibious appearance of which I have before spoken at Nantucket. Farrell is with us, having "swapped" into the larboard watch for the occasion, and sports a neat pair of velveteens of the peculiar color and cut that no man who speaks without the brogue, ever did, or by any possibility could wear. Where he got them is a mystery, for no one of his shipmates ever saw them before. The two boys, Kelly and Hoeg, are resplendent in round jackets of green flannel, at that time an indispensable part of the outfit of every "native" below the rank of chief mate; but which have fallen into disuse, and passed away to oblivion with the stiff tarpaulin hat, it is to be hoped never to return.

      "Come aft, and get your money."

      The old man has a pile of Spanish dollars on the cabin-table, and serves them out with one hand, while he makes entries in his memorandum-book with the other; the watch pass in and out again, one at a time,

]
TALCAHUANA. 157

like voters at the polls, each getting his two dollars, and a rough word of advice to "behave himself, and not break his liberty, nor bring any money off with him." We take our places in the boat, but not at the oar; for we are but passengers to be ferried ashore by the other watch.

      Jack's liberty is perfect while it lasts, that is, so far as the ship's duty is concerned. Twenty-four hours is our limit, and the boat will be sent in next morning to bring us off, unless we prefer to hire other conveyance, which we can do if we choose — and have money enough left. Other boats with "liberty men" are to be seen leaving various ships, among the rest the Fortitude's, in which are several of my former comrades in the gallant Lydia Ann. We pull into the rude wharf or mole, and all jump on terra firma with a feeling of outgushing freedom, a Fourth-of-July feeling, uncontrollable, boiling over. We invite our unfortunate, shipmates, the ferrymen, to "come up and take a drink," and do so with an air, too. They accept, asking the officer's permission, poor fellows! It matters not that we shall have to do the same thing to-morrow, "sufficient unto the day" is our motto now; and each man carries a Declaration of Independence to his pocket, ay, two of them jingling.

      It is not to be wondered at, if the seaman after being cooped up and subjected to strict discipline for months at sea, thinks it hard that he cannot follow his bent, and do precisely as he pleases for twenty-four hours on shore, and revolts at the idea of submitting to the local authorities and conducting himself like a law-abiding

158 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

citizen. We all take a drink together at the nearest pulperia, officers and all, and glance condescendingly at our ferrymen ignominiously going down to the boat to pull her back again.

      "Well, where next?" We gradually separate into knots of two or three, seeking adventures. Some will care for little else but to cast anchor in a pulperia and soak themselves with liquor; others will patronize a ten-pin alley or a billiard table if they can find one; while none are insensible to the blandishments of the graceful and seductive Chilian women. Mr. Bunker assumes the office of Mentor for me, for he has been here "last voyage," and knows some of the ropes. So we are not long in finding good quarters, and enjoy the day very pleasantly, drinking only enough to keep our wits sharp and make us lively company for each other. We drop in at a dance hall which is occupied only by a few loungers at present, but the fellow behind the bar, who, it strikes me has a very "Rule Britannia" look for a Spaniard, tells us "there'll be fun in the hevening," and kindly invites us to participate. We pursue our rambles, occasionally encountering small parties of our shipmates among the many sailors to be found in various stages of exhilaration as we investigate the beauties of "Jibboom Street," and pry a little into the mysteries of the classic precincts of the "Devil's Pocket."

      But here's a row! Let us see what it is! Sailors and idlers gather from all quarters with surprising quickness, for there is perhaps nothing which exerts a greater centripetal force than a street row or brawl.

TALCAHUANA. 159

It seems bad blood had been engendered between two of the Fortitude's boys on the outward voyage, and they have decided to knock a little of it out, while the liquor is in. Two or three harmless cracks are interchanged, and a "hook" ensues, when a vigilante unhappily appears on the field and insists upon making himself a third party in the business, contrary to all seaman-like laws of fair play; their shipmates say they shall finish their set-to if they like; another vigilante appears to assist his colleague, and each seizing a belligerent, they start them in the direction of the calaboose; large reinforcements of sailors gather to the rescue, and the police also rally in the same direction with their espadas drawn; one of the pugnacious youths is by this time in the melting mood, and goes like a lamb to the slaughter; but the other proving refractory, receives a persuader or two with the flat of the "cheese-knife," a very Spanish substitute for a policeman's baton. This is the feather that breaks the camel's back; a general attack is made by the infuriated mariners, the policemen are knocked over and the cheese-knives taken from them; two or three sailors are slightly cut, but no one is seriously injured. Farrell is conspicuous in the melee, flourishing a stout stick, with his neat velveteens very much defiled, and his shirt showing through in some "thin places." The two original combatants are released, and the sailors have the field to themselves. But fire-arms now make their appearance — a platoon of scare-crow looking troops are drawn up in line and serious bloodshed is threatened. But the alarm has spread; the

160 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

American captains and officers make their appearance, and the consul makes a speech to the seamen who are already half-frightened at their own victory so cheaply won. The captains and officers exert their influence in particular quarters at the same time; oil is poured upon the troubled waters; the captured weapons are given up; and the two young fellows who have found themselves so unexpectedly popular and notorious are persuaded to go quietly to prison under guard for the present. The outraged majesty of the Chilian Republic is vindicated, and the wrath of the officials appeased. The pulperias again do a thriving business, much to the relief of the proprietors, for the liquor law has been in force two hours, pending the negotiations.

      We go back to our comfortable quarters and enjoy a siesta as well as we can for the fleas, whose name is legion. We sally out again towards night and drop in at the dance hall; two violins are tuning up, and the seamen gathering to a focus, while pretty women pass in and out with an easy grace, peculiar, so far as my observation has extended, to females with more or less admixture of Castilian blood. Truly has Benjie Brail remarked in that fascinating sea-story, "The Cruise of the Midge," that though females of other nationalities may have various methods of locomotion to be called by various impertinent names, no woman but a Spaniard can walk. The crowd increases after the hall is lighted, and the fun grows fast and furious. The bar, of course, does a rushing business; officers of all grades drop in, and even captains honor us with

TALCAHUANA. 161

their presence. Vigilantes are near at hand to preserve order, but every one is in good-humor now, and there is little fear of any outbreak. The dancers enjoy themselves, and the admiring lookers-on drink and applaud. Mr. Grafton is near me, thoughtful and observant as usual.

      "Well, Blacksmith, what do you think of Chilian women?"

      "I admire them very much," said I, "and yet I can hardly tell why. Perhaps because I am partial to brunettes."

      "Simplicity of toilet has much to do with it," said the mate. "You see no elaborate fashion of 'doing up' the hair, to torture and disfigure that which nature has made so beautiful. Then when they go out, you observe their heads are either exposed or else covered with a shawl or mantle falling gracefully over the shoulders. No such abomination as a bonnet disfigures them. Then again, their walk is the 'poetry of motion.' No Spanish woman ever cultivates a slight stoop of the shoulders and considers it graceful, but walks 'erect and free,' and yet without stiffness."

      I could not help smiling at the worthy mate's enthusiasm on the subject, and suggested that perhaps the practice of carrying burdens on the head might have some effect in producing this erect and easy carriage.

      "Of course it has much to do with it," said the mate. "But, though it would improve the carriage and walk of any woman, or man either, for that matter, it cannot create that grace of movement which is

162 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

essentially Spanish, and which is to be found in ladies whose position and wealth place them above the necessity of carrying burdens at all, and, in fact, render it unlikely that they would do so. Again, the same practice prevails to a great extent all over South America, and in many of the South Sea Islands; yet who ever saw a Portuguese woman of Brazil, or a Kanaka woman of any island in the Pacific, whose walk would compare with that of a Chilian or Mexican girl?"

      My attention was again directed to Farrell, who was "setting" to a pretty, black-eyed girl in the dance, his step having more of the Irish jig in it than of the "chengana," as it called here, a dance in which certain coquettish movements of a handkerchief in the hand play an important part. He was armed with an immense red cotton one which he flourished with far more vigor than grace, and, as the dance ended, he obeyed the figurative order from the first fiddler to "Square the mainyard and let the jibs run down!" by leading his pretty partner up to the bar. "I say, darlin'," said Farrell, "would ye tell me what's yer sweet name, now?"

      "My name? Juanita," answered the girl.

      "Whon-eater? an' is that yer name indade; an' sure your lingo is for all the warld like pourin' music out of a jug. Whon-eater — an' what can be sweeter? — I'll take her up and treat her — I will, by the houly St. Pether!" said Farrell, by way of climax; for he was now in his poetical stage of inebriation — in which he would "rhyme you" like a very Touchstone.

TALCAHUANA. 163

      I turned away to laugh, and soon after left the dance hall with Mr. Bunker. As I passed out of the door I saw Farrell repeating his dose at the bar, and was apprehensive that he would get into trouble, for I knew that with him the transition was short and easy from the poetical mood into the pugilistic.

      It was even as I feared. When the ship's boat came in, the watch were all on hand but Farrell, and on inquiry I found he was in "durance vile." It seems a Chileno had taken the liberty to address some words to "Whon-eater," which Farrell resented as an undue familiarity. He hadn't, of course, the remotest idea what was said, but he was in the warlike stage then and spoiling for a row. So he struck out from the shoulder, and was at once seized and marched off to the lock-up. He came off about the middle of the forenoon, having been taken before the magistrate and fined for assault. The old man had, of course, paid it and sent him on board. He had found pretty rough quarters, he said, in the lock-up, and had been nearly "flayed alive by the murderin' flays."

      One day's liberty was much like another, and the same old haunts were visited and revisited. We had four days on shore for each watch, and when the starboard watch came off the last time, Burley, the sea-lawyer, was missing, having doubtless deserted. He had been long enough in one ship, I suppose; and, besides, he had lost his prestige among his shipmates, and was looked upon with contempt. We all felt that we could spare him without a pang. To fill the vacancy, a Sandwich Island native called Peter was

164 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

shipped, a man who had seen considerable service, having steered a boat in two or three ships, and who murdered English tolerably well. We took our anchor in the afternoon with a smart breeze from the southward, and before the sun went down we were once more tossing on the long swells of the broad Pacific.

      "Well," said old Jeff, as we were stowing the anchors, "I reckon that's the last we'll see of Turkeywarner this v'y'ge. I think the old man'll work off to the westward, and finally go down to 'the Groups.'"

      "What makes you think so?" said I.

      "Why, the old man as good as told me before we left home that he should work down that way. He never was down there before nor I neither. I've been three v'y'ges with the old man, and we've always got our oil on Peru, and Chili, and the Galleypaguses. We never went no further'n the off-shore ground."

      "Why should he go so far out of his old tracks where he has always been successful?" I inquired.

      "Well, you see, Father Grafton he's been down there last voyage, and Mr. Dunham, too, and they have great faith in the 'Groups,' and that starts the old man. Another thing makes me think so; he's fetched out a big stock of tobacker this v'y'ge. I never knew him to have so much before, and he hasn't sold a pound of it yet. It's all there in the run, and that means he's keepin it to trade down among the 'Groups.' He hasn't said nothin' to me about it lately, though; I've kept thinking he would,' cause he generally lets me know beforehand where he's going."

      It was one of Jeff's harmless peculiarities to pretend

TALCAHUANA. 165

to considerable knowledge of cabinet secrets, and to affect to be "high in the confidence of the administration," as the newspaper correspondents have it.

      "Well," said he, "Burley he's given us the slip and I reckon nobody'll mourn much about the loss of him. I must say I got disappointed in that man. I thought he was a good sailor man, and all I was fearful of was that he would do something desprit. I thought he had courage enough to make good his words. But it turned out that he was more of a coward than I am, and that's needless," said Jeff with a grin; "and as for his duty, he was neither sailor nor soger."

      "He'll go on board of some other ship," said I, "where he can blow his gas for a while, but he wont wear well anywhere."

      "No," said Jeff, "only as long as it takes to find him out and take his measure. This Peter that came aboard to-day is a smart-looking Kanaka, but I don't think much of Kanakas anyhow." Here came in the prejudice of color again. "But I never told you, did I," continued Jeff, with a greenish kind of blush, "that I ran away myself in Turkeywarner, once?"

      "No," I answered. "I thought you were a fixture of the ship you sailed in."

      "That was the first v'y'ge I was in the Colossus. This old man was mate with us then. I trusted to an old 'Cholo' here; he said he'd stow me away where all creation couldn't find me. Well, he did till the old man offered, twenty dollars bounty for me, for you see he couldn't go to sea without me nohow, and then the old mongrel sold me to get the reward. He just went

166 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

out and informed where I was, and the mate (that's the old man now) came and roused me out of my hiding-place, and told me I'd be wiser next time than to trust one of them yaller scoundrels. And so I have been. Gi'me white or black, I say; for where you mix 'em, you spile two good things."

CHAPTER XIV.

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS. — A PRISONER AMONG THE SAVAGES.

      Down the coasts of Chili and Peru we pursued our voyage, and then off-shore among the Galapagos, or "Galleypaguses" as my ebony friends Jeff and the doctor would say. Here we took one large whale, but the fleet was numerous, and, from all that we could learn, they not were doing wonders, and the old man expressed his opinion that there was not more than a whale apiece for all those ships; so we carried sail again to the westward, running down the equator to the longitude of 120 to 130 degrees west. Here we met with good success, taking some four hundred barrels in the next four months. We spoke perhaps a dozen ships during that time, and all were doing a fair season's work.

      No incident of note occurred during this pleasant cruise, till near the end of it; in fact, we had already kept off to make a port at one of the Marquesas Islands, which lay conveniently under our lee. A school of bonitas or "skipjacks," as we more commonly call them, had attached themselves to us, and kept company for several days. These fish cannot be said to follow a ship, but rather lead, for they almost

167           

168 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

invariably keep ahead of her, sporting around the bow. We were running perhaps four or five knots an hour with moderate trades, and the fish were gambolling ahead of us, as usual, when Manoel, in the fore-topgallant crosstrees, sung out:

      "Bill-fish!"

      "Whereaway?" asked the mate.

      "Little on weather bow," said Manoel. "He come this way. Chase that skeepshack."

      "O, I see him!" said Father Grafton. "Give me an iron here! Never mind, here's the porpoise-iron, all rigged! Get another iron, Blacksmith, and look out for him!"

      The bonitas had taken alarm, and were darting here and there, and leaping into the air to escape their natural enemy, whose method of attack is to make a sudden dart at his victim and impale him upon his bill or sword, which projects in a straight line ahead of him. All the watch on deck were collected at the bow to witness the sport, and the irons were ready, if the opportunity offered, to transfix him, even as he would the bonita. Suddenly, after having paused a moment as if to make sure of his aim, he made a dart towards the ship with the speed of lightning; the wily bonita eluded him by leaping above the surface just in time, and the bill-fish disappeared in the swash under the ship's bows. Father Grafton darted at him as he flew past, but missed him; a slight jar was perceptible to us on deck, as though the ship had hit some small, hard object, and the fish rose to the surface under the fore-chains, quivering in the agony of death,

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS, ETC. 169

his bill broken off short up to his head! No time was lost in bringing the ship to the wind, and lowering a boat; and we soon secured the fish and took him in on deck.

      "How did he break his bill off so short?" I asked, innocently.

      "He has run it into the ship, of course," said Father Grafton. "His bill is probably sticking in our bows under water. I hope it will caulk its own hole tight. Rig the pump there, a couple of ye, and try her."

      We did so, and found we had started a small leak; at least, we found more water than usual, though it was difficult to tell immediately. A few hours hence we could judge better. The mate and I went into the forepeak with a light, and after moving a lot of wood and empty breakers, we found what we were in search of; the end of the bill, projecting full six inches through the ceiling or inside planking of the bows: the bone, bare and smooth as if polished with sand paper. Of course we could tell nothing about the leak from the inside, except that we could hear the water trickling down between the timbers. The old man came down and had a look at it and estimated it to be about three feet below the water line.

      "If so," said he, "we can stop the leak ourselves in any smooth harbor where we can get her head up and trim her stern down. There is no fear of its working loose as long as the wood is new and sound round it. The leak is not a serious one, to be sure, but it is enough to annoy us all the time and make considerable work, and a kind of work, too, that no sailor is

170 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

fond of. We must try, when we get in, and see what we can do with it."

      It was found after a few hours' trial, that the leak was about a hundred and fifty strokes an hour. Of course, the conversation, in our hours of leisure at night, turned upon the occurrence of the day, and several instances were cited which were known to have occurred, of a character similar to this. The mate had known two or three cases of the kind, and had seen a section of timber preserved in a museum at home just as it was sawed out when the ship was repaired, the bill still in the wood and projecting both sides. The cooper, of course, had known numerous instances; in fact, his experience went to show that it was quite an ordinary thing for ships to be "stabbed," as he termed it. And as for the leak, that was a mere trifle, "hardly enough to keep her sweet," the cooper said. "Why, when I was on the Banks," said he, "in the old Harbinger, she leaked so that the pumps were going all the time, and the crew got completely worn out; and at last the old man, who was a sort of natural mechanic, invented and rigged a kind of windmill up in the maintop, that would keep both pumps in operation as long as there was any breeze."

      "And how did you manage it in a calm?" I asked.

      "That's the beauty of it," replied the cooper. "We attached a crank to the shaft of the mill, and a long iron rod came down on deck, and was worked by a couple of men on a big treadle."

      "And how did you like the treadmill exercise?" inquired the mate.

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS, ETC. 171

      "That was pretty hard work; and you may depend we were glad enough to see a breeze coming to drive the vanes. But it was better than working brakes by hand, which would have kept four men at work, to man both pumps."

      "Then you mean to say that both pumps were going all the time?" said Mr. Bunker.

      "Certainly," returned the cooper. "And she leaked at the same rate all the time; no more when pitching in a gale of wind than when lying becalmed in smooth water; and no more at the end of the voyage than when six weeks out from home, which was the time that the leak first started. Why, she leaked so that when we were crossing the tropical latitudes, we used frequently to pump live flying fish! and once or twice the pumps got completely choked with Portuguese men-of-war!"

      "That's nothing at all!" put in the second mate, who happened to be within hearing. "I've heard say that, on board the old Yorkshire, they used to take off the lower-deck hatches, sit on the combings, and fish for skipjacks and albicore in the hold!"

      "Yes! fish for them, indeed," said the cooper, "but did they catch any?"

      "I've heard say they did," said Mr. Dunham. "I didn't see this myself."

      "O, you've heard say!" returned the cooper, with a sneer. "Well, I did see this myself, that I've been telling you; and what I've seen I know."

      A few days' run brought us among the Marquesas, and, after sending a boat to reconnoitre, we took the

172 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ship in, and came to anchor in the bay of Hanayapa on the north side of Ohevihoa, an island better known by the name of Dominica, given to it by the Spanish discoverer, Mendana, in 1597. We found good anchorage in thirteen fathoms, and a convenient watering place. A native came on board while we were yet outside, who had served some time on board a whaleship, and spoke English tolerably well. He made a pressing offer of his services as interpreter and trading-master, which position he had filled for many other ships, and produced a dirty bundle of certificates and recommendations, signed by various whaling captains, some of which were highly satisfactory, and others, to say the least, somewhat equivocal; as the thus:

      "This may certify that the bearer, Jack Bailey, has been interpreter and trading-master for me during my stay at this place, and I would recommend all other shipmasters who may anchor here to employ him — if they cannot do better." Or, again, "The bearer, Jack Bailey, has worked for me as interpreter and go-between with the natives for these ten days past; and those shipmasters who may hereafter employ him for the same length of time — will know him as well as I do."

      He was equally proud of all these testimonials, and as none of them gave him a positively bad name, and there appeared to be no opposition candidate in the field, his services were engaged, and he brought with him four young natives to row the boat about for him on trading excursions, etc. He seemed to have

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS, ETC. 173

a realizing sense of the dignity of his official position, and was very desirous of being addressed as Mr. Bailey.

      "All right," said the old man. "If you'll serve me any the better for it, I'll call you Captain Bailey, or even Admiral Bailey."

      Our first business, after landing a large lot of empty casks to be filled with water, was to find our leak and stop it. We "broke out" everything of a heavy nature from the forehold, and stowed it away aft, roused the bights of the chain cables aft; the six-pounder gun, the blubber-hooks and other ponderous articles were collected as near the taffrail as possible, and heavy casks of water were hoisted and slung to the stern. We finally succeeded in raising her head so as to bring the leak out of water, and, taking advantage of a smooth time, we cut out a piece of the planking, which was split and shattered somewhat, and replaced it by a new piece, caulking round it so as to make all fair and tight as ever. It was found that the bill, after passing, of course, through the copper, sheathing-boards and outside planking, had pierced obliquely through the corners of two timbers, and then through the ceiling, also of heavy plank, and into the hold, as before mentioned. The muscular power necessary to pierce a ship in this manner seems hardly credible in an animal no larger than the bill-fish, but the facts are well attested in numerous similar cases. In our case, it must be remembered that the ship was moving in an opposite direction, meeting the fish "head to head," which, of course, greatly increased the momentum.

174 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      We had finished the job, repaired the sheathing and copper as well, and were about ready to stow back the forehold, and begin trimming the ship to her old bearings, when a canoe came alongside containing two natives and a white man, from a settlement called Hanarora, a few miles to leeward. This white man represented to Captain Upton that they had some hogs and fowl to dispose of at his village, as well as plenty of fruit and cocoanuts, and persuaded the old man to go down there with the boat. It was observable that from the arrival of this white man, Mr. Bailey became a victim of ill-concealed jealousy, and evidently disliked the idea of the captain going down to the leeward with this interloper, instead of going up to Hanaca-oa, as had been arranged. This was the village where Bailey lived, and the old man had been there with him two or three times and made some traffic with his tribe, but was not so successful as he wished, and it appeared that the natives were disposed to hold back their "truck" to get higher prices. He now pacified him as well as possible, telling him he wished him to go, as promised, up to his own settlement, and would send an officer with him; while he himself would go down to Hanarora in another boat, with the white "beach-comber." He appeared well satisfied with this arrangement; and, not wishing to spare either of the mates from the ship at the time, the captain ordered me to go with Bailey up to Hana-ca-oa: and, said he;

      "Take the Kanaka, Peter, with you; he understands the language pretty well, and likes to go on these boat

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS, ETC. 175

cruises. That will be enough, with Admiral Bailey and his crew."

      The two boats left the ship about the same time, the captain setting his sail after we passed out of the mouth of the harbor, and running down to the leeward, while we took to our oars, pulling up along shore against the trade-wind. It might have been three miles by water up to Hana-ca-oa, and rounding the rocky bluff, we pulled into a bend or bight of no great depth, and having no shelter to make a safe and convenient ship harbor. There was a handsome beach at the head of the bay, but the surf rolled in upon it with considerable force. Still there was no danger at this time in landing a whaleboat, if she were well handled. Mr. Bailey had the steering-oar, and as the boat rose upon the roller, she sheared nearly broadside on. I sprung to help Bailey, and succeeded in heading her in for the beach again, so that she was thrown ashore without damage beyond shipping a little water. We soon pulled her up high and dry on the rise of the beach, and passed out the articles of traffic that we had brought with us. I noticed that Bailey seemed much vexed at the manner of landing the boat, but supposed the boat had taken a shear, and got the advantage of him; an accident liable to have happened to myself or to any other man.

      At his suggestion, we carried the articles taken from the boat up to a shady spot among a grove of cocoanut trees but a short distance from the water. This was the trading-ground, or market where the barter was to be carried on. Very few natives had made

176 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

their appearance, and these few brought nothing to sell. But Bailey gave me to understand that they would not bring their hogs or fruit for sale till after the sun went down more, for it was then but little after noon; and suggested that we should carry the articles up to his house, which he pointed out at no great distance. So we gathered up the "trade," and backed the whole up to the "thatched cottage," where an old man was sitting in the doorway, whom Bailey introduced to me as his father. There was no disputing the family resemblance; I had no doubt that he was Mr. Bailey, senior. We passed all the things into the house; and I entered with Bailey to see that they were all right and ready for market. We had two old flintlock muskets which might have done good service at Bunker Hill or the Cowpens, and could perhaps be discharged now by putting a live coal of fire into the "pan," though I have no doubt the butt was the most dangerous end of them considered as weapons; about a dozen "cast steel" hatchets, three or four pieces of cheap cottons and prints, and some thirty pounds of very ancient "nigger-head" tobacco. I accepted a very cordial invitation from Mr. Bailey to take a seat upon the mat between him and his venerable parent, whose dim eyes were, for the most part, fixed in speechless admiration upon the treasures I have mentioned. Bailey had closed the door after us, and taken a seat on the mat; and now for the first time he threw aside the mask.

      "What for cap'n go Hanarora," said he, "with white man?"

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS, ETC. 177

      "I don't know," said I. "Because he wanted to, I suppose. He has a roving commission, I presume, to go where he likes."

      "Well," said Mr. Bailey, pointing to the heap of goods on the floor, "I got these tings, now, I goin' keep 'em."

      The old gentleman nodded his head in silent approval.

      "I got you here too. I goin' keep you."

      "The deuce you are!" said I, without waiting for the old man's opinion on this point. "We'll see about that."

      I made a dash for the door; my would-be jailor did the same; we both seized it, pulling opposite ways, but I proved the stronger! I pushed him aside, flung the door open, and bounded out into the footpath. The whole thing had flashed upon me at once! I now understood that his intention had been to capsize the boat in the surf, making it appear accidental; and his vexation arose from his failure to beach her broadside on, as he had meant to do. As I struck into the path leading towards the landing I encountered Peter, the Mani Kanaka, coming out of the bypath through the bushes. He, too, had smelt treachery in the air.

      "Where Bailey?" said he.

      "In his house," said I, as I hurried along the path. "Come on, let's go to the boat."

      "Where four Kanaka pull boat?" asked Peter.

      "I don't know," said I. "I haven't seen 'em."

      "Where trade? gun — hatchet — tobacker?"

178 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "In Bailey's house. He has taken that. He tried to take me, too."

      Just then a single savage, evidently a person of note, hideously tattooed, dashed diagonally across the path ahead of us, and into the bushes, heading for the beach by a short cut. Peter whipped out his sheath-knife, and gave chase, I followed, shouting to him to stop; which he did, seeing that pursuit was hopeless.

      "What would you do with that knife, Peter?" I said.

      "Cut him," answered my Kanaka, dryly.

      "If you did so our lives would not be worth a straw. Put up your knife, Peter; we can do nothing fighting against a whole tribe of these scoundrels."

      As we emerged from the bushes upon the open sward, we came in full view of a crowd of savages, numbering two or three hundred, collected around and near our boat, which had been hauled up still higher on the beach. It was ominous of evil that no women or children were to be seen. Nearly all the men were armed, some with weapons of their own manufacture, and a few with guns; but I was surprised at the number of whale-lances, broken off in the shank and fitted into poles. We held our way directly to the boat, and seizing the gunwale, I made signs for help to shove her into the water. Several laid hold with me, but a still larger number pulled up the beach instead of down, and it was soon evident that the stronger party were in favor of keeping the boat. I had hoped that they would have been content with seizing the goods at Bailey's house, and letting us go with our boat; for Peter and

THE BILL-FISH. — THE MARQUESAS, ETC. 179

myself could have worked our way back to the ship; but I now gave up this hope; and gave my attention to their noisy conference, trying to make out by my own observation, as well as by what Peter could understand and interpret, the intention of the savages in regard to ourselves. They seemed to be much divided in opinion; some wished to shove the boat off for us, and let us go; some few warriors of the old school were in favor of killing us; but the large majority advocated the middle course of holding both men and boat for ransom. My feelings may be imagined, as I sat on the ground, waiting to know my doom at the hands of the yelling savages, who were gesticulating furiously around me, and brandishing their ugly weapons in the excitement of controversy. I was, from time to time, assured of my safety by Peter, who took the matter more coolly than I did, as he understood not only the language, but the character of the people much better than I.

      "He no kill," said Peter. "He no hurt. He keep boat, keep man — make old man pay plenty gun — hatchet — tobacka."

      But now a new motion seemed to have been made, and to have been received with favor, and Peter himself entered warmly into the discussion. After expressing himself in a very decided manner, he suddenly threw himself down on the beach by my side, seized my hand in his, still protesting in his own guttural tongue. The Marquesans and Hawaians both speak dialects of the same language, and have no difficulty in understanding each other.

180 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "What's the matter, Peter? What do they want now?" I inquired, anxiously of course.

      "He say let me go ship — see old man — keep you here — me no like — me tell him you all'e same my brother; spose keep you keep me, too."

      I could not fail to be touched by this proof of devotion in Peter, who having his own personal safety assured him, refused to abandon me; and I endeavored, as far as possible, to make him understand my feelings. I congratulated myself that he was with me. His stubborn firmness, in so stoutly refusing to go to the ship and leave me in their hands, again threw them back upon their old disputes, and the discord became greater than before. A large number favored letting both of us go free, to return to the ship by land; and this party was evidently gaining ground.

CHAPTER XV.

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES. — RECOVERY OF THE BOAT. — MAGICAL EFFECTS OF LYNCH LAW.

      This division of opinion among the barbarians was a circumstance in our favor; and some of them made signals aside to us to go, slyly swinging their hands in the direction of Hanayapa, where the ship lay. Indeed, we were even then gradually edging away from the crowd; for Peter had seized the right moment, while the confusion was at its height, and saying to me "Come," we continued moving carelessly along the beach, and, as we perceived we were not followed, we almost insensibly quickened our pace, looking behind us anxiously, and then starting on, satisfied from the violence of the clamor, that the natives would not soon agree upon their plan of action, and knowing that each moment was precious to us. Some still waved us on; while others beckoned us back again, and even made starts in pursuit, but were accompanied and headed off by men of the other party, when all would again come to a halt, and renew the war of words and gestures. In this way we had increased our distance to perhaps three hundred yards, when I said to Peter:

      "Don't you think we could make a push over the mountains inland, and find our way to the ship?"

181           

182 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "No good," said my companion shortly. "Keep on beach — climb over rock — come to 'noder beach — follow water."

      I relied upon his judgment. Indeed this was the safer course for us, for, as soon as we gained the summit of the rocky bluff, or spur, which rose in our path, we should have the ship in sight, and could shape our course with some certainty. We pushed on at a jog-trot now, not daring yet to break into a run, and wishing to reserve our strength for the time when we should be obliged to climb the rocks. We had nearly reached the foot of the cliff when Peter suddenly said to me, "Look! he come!" I turned my head, and saw that we had no time to lose. The savages were starting in pursuit, and the party who were determined on our captivity appeared to be now in the ascendancy, as we knew by the proud bearing of their leader and chief-spokesman, a tall, athletic chief, who, with his highly polished lance poised in air was striding in advance of all the rest. Loud yells rose from the throats of the party, as they beckoned for us to halt, and come back; but neither I nor my Kanaka shipmate could see the propriety of again placing ourselves voluntarily at their mercy, now that we had so much the start in the race.

      "Now," said Peter as we reached the end of the beach, "keep close togedder. We go up rock — go alongside of it — keep near water."

      We sprang up the hill, and followed round the face of the bluff, making sometimes rapid progress for a minute or two and then obliged to ascend and descend

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 183

and pass places where there was but little foothold. Our pursuers, seeing themselves cheated of their prey, redoubled their efforts to overtake us; and I had the satisfaction of knowing that they were especially anxious to capture me; as being a white man, and withal a petty officer, they could demand a high ransom. I was determined they should have no easy task of it, and I could see that the Hawaian was equally resolved not to be taken without making a desperate fight. Our zigzag route had carried us gradually upward till we were now some three hundred feet above the sea, and had got among bushes which grew thickly in some spots; while here and there a stunted cocoanut-tree forced itself up, seeming to grow almost from a foundation of rocks. I looked round to survey the situation. The greater number of the yelling devils had halted at the base of the cliff, and with loud cries were urging on a few of the fastest and strongest, who still continued the chase. The tall chief was still further in the lead than before, having distanced all others, and it was plain that he was rapidly gaining. I could see his lance gleam in the sunshine, and this was the weapon I most feared. The man next in rear of him was armed with a musket, but I gave myself little uneasiness about their fire-arms, as I held the quality of both guns and marksmen in contempt.

      We pushed on, doing our best, and taking every possible advantage of the nature of the ground; but, ever and anon, as I glanced over my shoulder, the lance gleamed brighter, and the tall savage was lessen-

184 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ing the little distance that separated us. I saw Peter's hand feel for his sheath-knife, to assure himself that it was ready for action; his breath came short and quick from his exertions, and still more from excitement at the certainty of being soon brought to bay. Suddenly his face lighted, and his nostrils seemed to be doubled in size.

      "See rock ahead?" said he, pointing with his hand.

      "Yes," answered I, pantingly. "What then?"

      "Fight there. Odder side of it."

      Volumes could not have said more. His whole plan was at once unfolded, as he picked up a sapling of convenient size to be used as an offensive weapon.

      The rock of which he spoke projected outward from the face of the hill, which was here steeply inclined, and, to double round it, it was necessary to descend a short distance, and after passing it, to climb up again. We passed it, and Peter turning the corner, halted short, and struck an attitude showing that he meant to meet the enemy with the end of his sapling, to harpoon him, as it were, instead of swinging a blow at him. He crouched close to the rock, saying in a low, quick tone:

      "Stand behind me — give me room for dart; get nodder stick — big stone all 'e same. If I miss him, stand by to give it to him."

      Nothing could have been better planned; as the pursuing savage could not see him until their faces were close together, Peter having all the advantage of the higher position. Arming myself with a fragment of rock of convenient weight, I crouched a little up the hill in rear of my comrade, just giving him room to draw back his heavy pole.

Escape from Savages. Page 185.

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 185

      We had not long to wait, ere the hard breathing of the infuriated chief was audible as he struggled round under the lee of the projecting boulder. Peter drew back his weapon at a poise, and planted his feet more firmly, while I closed up a little with my stone in reserve. The horrible tattooed face rose into view like Banquo's ghost. Too late he perceived the ruse of the wily Hawaian, and vainly struggled to bring his lance to bear; the sapling met him full in the face with terrific force, and he was hurled backwards down the declivity, receiving my stone full in his naked breast as he fell. He did not go far, for a ledge some ten feet below, brought him up; but I can never forget the appearance of his crushed and bleeding face upturned to us. His lance, thrown from his hand, had stuck in a turfy spot, and seizing this weapon, I now felt tolerably safe from direct pursuit, though I was still a little apprehensive of some flank movement from the mountain above.

      We struggled on, but as we advanced, we found we were coming where the face of the precipice was impassable, and there was no course for us but to make our way upward to the summit of the mountain. We soon after heard voices, as of men cowering above us, and presently we were hailed to "come up there!" I understood thus much of the Marquesan gibberish; but the idea of a flank attack instantly recurred to my mind, and I dreaded lest we had now fallen into a snare where the advantages were with the enemy, he

186 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

being above instead of beneath us. But Peter had already answered the hail, and after a few sentences were interchanged, he started directly upward, saying to me, "All right! Come on!" Again I trusted to his knowledge and sagacity, and followed without further question; though still keeping my lance ready for immediate use, if necessary to defend myself.

      My fears were soon allayed, however; for four men dressed in shirts and trousers like seamen, emerged into view on a ledge or terrace above us, whom I recognized as the boat's crew, whom Bailey had employed. Up to this time nothing had been seen of these men, or of Bailey himself, since I pushed my way out of his house.

      These men all belonged to the tribe of Hanayapa, where the ship lay, and were now on their way home to their own village, bearing some of the hatchets, cloth and tobacco with them, and filled with indignation at their employer, who had failed to satisfy them in the distribution of the plunder. They were, of course, ready to befriend us, and to pilot us back to the ship; taking every occasion to make their peace with us, and to vent their virtuous indignation by denouncing all the tribe to windward for their perfidy. "Hanaca-oa no good," was the burden of their tale, so far as they could render it into English; but they doubtless ran through their whole vocabulary of guttural adjectives for the benefit of my companion. They, of course, knew nothing of our fight with the colossal chief on the cliff, and we did not enlighten them at present; but when they inquired where I got the

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 187

lance, Peter gave them to understand that I had seized it from the ground when we first started to make our escape. They had come by a path which wound over the mountain inland, but hereabouts it struck nearer the brow of the cliff, and through the openings in the bushes they had seen us beneath them some time before they could be seen themselves.

      A short distance further on, the path wound over a high pinnacle from which we could look down upon the bay of Hanayapa, and the gallant Arethusa riding at anchor; while our boat could be seen like a speck, coming round the bluff that formed the other side of the harbor's mouth, pulling up from Hanarora. A rugged and circuitous route carried us down into the valley, and a canoe was soon found by our four friends. Before sundown we were once more on the deck of our floating home.

      The old man was highly indignant on hearing the particulars of our story, and it would have fared hard with the traitor Bailey, could he have laid hands on him at that time. The goods carried ashore for traffic were of no great value, and were doubtless, ere this time, divided up and scattered beyond all hope of recovery; but the boat was of more importance to us, and was not to be relinquished without an effort to recover her. In the mean time, as it was uncertain what trouble might grow out of the affair, all haste was made to get the forehold stowed off, and trim the ship so as to be in working condition. We worked like beavers the greater part of the night, and were ready before morning to get under way, except that our

188 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

water casks were still on shore, most of them being ready filled. We knew not how far to trust the chief or king of the tribe of Hanayapa. It was uncertain whether he would use his influence to assist us in recovering our boat, or whether he would sustain his brother potentate at Hanaca-oa in keeping her from us. His canoe was alongside of us bright and early in the morning, and he expressed the greatest indignation at the other tribe, and professed his willingness to aid us in recovering the boat, even by force, if necessary.

      While the king was on board, the boats were sent in to the watering-place to fill and raft off as fast as possible, as we should be perfectly secure from attack while the king and his suite were detained on board as hostages. Our water was all off and hoisted in on deck, in a couple of hours; and now the boat was manned for Hanaca-oa, taking the king with us in the boat, and his canoe following us. We learned from the king that the chief whom Peter had knocked down the cliff was still alive, and would probably recover; but I felt certain that, if he did, the lines of beauty in the ornamental work of his face were forever spoiled, and its former hideousness was intensified tenfold.

      We did not leave the ship without taking some precautionary measures, notwithstanding the apparent friendship of the king. If he really was acting in good faith, we desired to remain two or three days more at the anchorage, as we had not yet obtained what we wanted in the way of provisions. But preparations had been made for immediate departure in

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 189

case it should be found that we were deceived in him. The chain had been hove in nearly short during the night, and the six-pounder had been loaded, and was ready for use if needed. The fore and maintopsails had been loosed in the morning while the king was on board; but this attracted no attention, as we had been in the habit of loosing some one or two of the sails every dry day, furling them again at sundown. Several women were on board when we left the ship, though it was observed that the number was smaller than usual; for the females came and went without question at all hours, having small canoes which they managed themselves.

      Strict orders had been left with Mr. Grafton, that if the boat was not seen returning within two hours, he was to get underway and stand out, beating up towards Hanaca-oa; and if, before that time, any suspicious circumstance should occur, he was to fire the six-pounder as a signal to us, and, at the same time trip his anchor and stand out. I was in the cabin, and heard these instructions given; and it was plain to me that the old man did not intend to waste much time in parley to recover the boat. He had no doubt of the power of our pretended friend, as the king of the stronger tribe, and in some sense, ruler over both (as we had learned both from Bailey and from the white man); and a very few minutes would suffice to show whether he really meant to get her back for us or not.

      We shoved off, I being at the steering-oar, with the captain and the king seated in front of me on a

190 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

movable thwart; the king's canoe and body-guard of six men keeping along with us. As we opened the bay of Hanaca-oa but few natives were seen on the beach, and all appeared quiet as usual. Our boat could be seen away up in the cocoanut-grove, as we judged by the form of the object, though she was covered with mats to shield her from the sun's rays. We pulled in leisurely, and with wary eyes about us; the king seeming unusually talkative with the old man, and sporting to the best advantage what little English he was master of.

      About half-way up the bay, on the eastern or weather side, an irregular point of rocks made out, forming a sort of cove, opening seaward, and observing this, I had edged the boat up towards that side of the bay. The old man half-turned his head towards me, as he noticed this change of course, but catching my glance, also turned his own in the same direction. The king could not conceal his uneasiness, as he asked, with a constrained laugh. "What for no keep off in middle? Dere good place — land boat," not knowing that we had no intention of landing at all. At this instant, the point of a paddle was raised above the low rocks near the mouth of the cove, but a short distance from us. All three of us caught sight of it; the king half-sprung to his feet in confusion, and waved to his men in the canoe, but was seized by the old man, and forced back to his seat, while a pistol was held at his ear. "Lay round!" shouted the captain; but I was already anticipating the order, and throwing her head out to sea again. As I tossed the mast and

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 191

sail into the bowman's hands, two canoes containing about thirty armed men shot out from the cove and gave chase for a short distance, but, seeing that we held the sovereign completely at our mercy, and that he would be our first victim, if attacked, they rested on their paddles. The king's canoe paddled in our wake, fast dropping astern, as we were now moving swiftly through the water under the double impulse of the sail and oars.

      A dull report, muffled by the intervening land, was borne to our ears; the signal agreed upon in case of any suspicious movements at Hanayapa; and the sound lent new strength to the arms of the five oarsmen, while the cowering king shook in his skin with fear.

      "Give way, hard, men!" cried Captain Upton; "the ship will be underway before we get there! Keep quiet, you murdering scoundrel!" he added, to the ugly representative of fallen majesty, who had here manifested a disposition to throw himself overboard. "If there is any blood spilled in this matter, I'll take care that a part of it shall be royal," he added, pushing the muzzle of the pistol fairly into his ear.

      "Hurrah! here she comes!" I cried with enthusiasm, as the flying jibboom of our noble ship projected beyond the headland now at no great distance from us, and the graceful hull drew slowly out into view; then moving more swiftly as she met the full power of the fresh trade wind, a few minutes gave her a safe offing to back the maintopsail for us to come alongside. She was under her three topsails, spanker and jib;

192 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

but hands were already aloft to loose the lighter sails, and the courses were hanging in the buntlines.

      "Keep this arch-devil secure!" said the captain, as we pushed his royal person rather disrespectfully up the side. "As long as he is in our hands, we hold the best card in the pack. Didn't have any harm done, did you, Mr. Grafton?"

      "No, sir; we gave 'em the slip too quick," answered the mate. "Look up in the head of the bay there!"

      We looked; sure enough, there lay a large fleet of canoes all filled with armed men, resting, like baffled hounds; while on our weather quarter, at a safe distance, the small canoe of the king held way with us, uncertain whether to venture any nearer.

      "Brace full and down tacks!" said the old man, as soon as the boat was hoisted up. "Sheet home the to'gallantsails, and make sail as fast as you can! We'll make a good stretch off shore, Mr. Grafton, so as to fetch to windward of Hana — what's-his-name, there, Admiral Bailey's place, I mean."

      Two hours off shore under a press of canvas, and we went in stays, "looking" well up for the eastern point of the entrance to Hanaca-oa. The six-pounder was loaded with ball, and roused into the waist, the gangway-board unshipped, and a block and whip rigged at the fore-yardarm.

      "What the devil is that for?" asked the cooper, of the second mate, who was superintending these operations.

      "To make fools ask questions," returned the second

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 193

mate, dryly. "There'll be another yarn for you, cooper, when we get through the scrape."

      "The yarn will be well stretched, whether the king's neck is or not," said Mr. Grafton, aside to me.

      "Haul the mainsail up!" shouted the old man, as we drew in shore.

      "We'll stand close in under the weather-point here, and luff to in full view of those devils on the beach there. Take that old traitor forward to the cat-head! Haul the foresail up, so the audience can all get their money's worth! I hope I sha'n't have to commit regicide," he added, in his low dry tone, "but I want to scare him almost to death."

      We hove to, so as to bring our starboard "battery" to bear fairly upon the landing-place. A plank was rigged out, the king was mounted upon it in full sight of his subjects, and the slip-noose adjusted round his neck. These operations produced a magical effect on shore; the savages could be seen running distractedly about the beach, and the air was vocal with wild yells. Presently a large party of them made a rush for the mat-covered object up in the cocoanut-grove.

      "That's the idea!" said the old man, who had his glass bearing upon them. "Give them a shot, Mr. Dunham, to quicken their movements! We can't afford to lie here long, waiting."

      The smart report of the six-pounder rang out over the water, echoing and re-echoing round the concave of the bay. Some thirty or forty of the frightened barbarians picked up the boat, and started upon the run for the beach.

194 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "That makes them 'step lightly!'" said the old man. "Load up again, Mr. Dunham! Powder and wad will be enough this time. Don't waste any balls upon them."

      At the second snap of the gun, our boat was coming out through the rollers, and two canoes with her to take her in tow. The trembling wretch was released, shorn of all his majesty for the time being. We waifed his canoe, which was still hovering round, to come alongside. Our boat was hoisted up on one side, while the king went down the other.

      "Brail up the spanker!" said the captain. "Put your helm up there! We'll run down to Hanarora now, and lie off and on for what we want. I think I see Jim's canoe coming up along shore now."

      It was indeed, the white man, Jim, who had come up to warn us against treachery; but found he was too late as we had already left the anchorage.

      On coming on board, he informed us that the chief whom Peter had punched in the face with the sapling, died the same night of his injuries; and that the chiefs, actuated by the double motives of revenge and plunder, had planned to get possession of the ship, and had sent envoys to the chief at Hanarora, who declined cooperating. The arch-traitor had accompanied us to Hanaca-oa thinking we would land without suspicion; or, if not, he himself could go ashore there, under pretence of getting the boat for us, and as soon as he was safe on the beach, the attack was to be made at both places. We who were isolated from the ship could be easily disposed of; and if we took the alarm and tried to escape, we should be headed

ESCAPE FROM THE SAVAGES, ETC. 195

off by the canoes stationed in the cove. The crews of these last had betrayed themselves by showing the paddle in the air, but whether through carelessness, or whether this was a signal intended only for the king's eye, Jim could not tell. As soon as he learned this much, he had started for the ship to inform Mr. Grafton of the danger, but was too late, the ship being under way before he arrived.

      Mr. Grafton, soon after we left the ship, feeling uneasy, went aloft into the topmast crosstrees to make observations. On the weather side of the bay, towards Hanarora a small river flowed down and emptied itself, the banks of which, beyond the first bend, were overhung by bushes of no great height, but sufficient to conceal anything in the creek from the deck. But from his elevated perch it was possible to overlook them; and the mate saw enough to excite his apprehension. Several canoes passed across the creek filled with men, while he was on the lookout, and went out of view behind the screen of bushes. He came down on deck, and fired the gun as had been agreed upon, manning the windlass at the same time. The anchor was just breaking ground and the topsail-sheets being hauled home, when a shrill whistle was heard on the beach, and looking about him, the last three women who had remained on board were getting into their canoe. It was too late to think of detaining them; the ship's head was swinging, and, as she gathered headway, the flotilla of canoes hove in sight at the mouth of the creek, making the welkin ring with the cries of baffled rage.

196 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Now," said the mate, "they must have known at that moment that the plan was frustrated, and that the captain's boat had put back for the ship. And by the way, Jim, you must have known it, too, by the time I was under way. What kind of telegraph do you make use of here?"

      "The human telegraph," said Jim. "That same whistle that you heard is repeated along the mountain paths, all the way down to Hanarora, and on some occasions, all round the island. The men are stationed at proper distances so as to be within sound of each other's whistles, and the whistle has certain variations to suit different circumstances."

"I see," said the old man, "like Nelson's repeating frigates off Cadiz, to signalize when the French took their anchors; the main body of his fleet being sixty miles off shore."


We finished our business at Hanarora the next day, and once more made all sail to the westward for a cruise among "The Groups."

CHAPTER XVI.

THE COOPER "ROMANCES." — INCIDENTS. — BYRON'S ISLAND.

      "What did you value your life at, when the cannibals were holding their powwow over you, the other day to Dominica?" asked the cooper, who was whittling a charge for his pipe from a long twist of "nigger-head."

      "At a very low figure," said I. "At one time I'd have been glad to sell out at a nominal price. But do you really suppose they are cannibals?"

      "Of course they are," returned the cooper. "Probably one of the points they were disputing about was, how it was best to cook and dress you."

      "But Peter says they had no intention of killing us at all, and as he understands the language, I suppose he knows best. But I confess, that in spite of his assurances, I felt anything but safe; for at any moment some impulsive child of nature might have driven a lance through me, just to end the controversy."

      "And don't you see," said Fisher, "that Peter's view of the matter would partially spoil the poetry of Cooper's yarn, that he means to found on the facts?"

      "Of course," said the cooper. "There's not half as much romance in knowing that you are to be cooped

197           

198 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

up in a bamboo calaboose, and ransomed for old Revolutionary muskets, as there is in the other view of the matter."

      "And what may be your other view of the matter?" I asked.

      "Why, in the absence of any positive knowledge, you can let the imagination run free," said the cooper, rising to light his pipe at the hanging lamp, and striking an attitude. "You may just suppose yourself neatly transfixed by the javelin of a barbaric chieftain, and your spirit passing gently away to the music of tomtoms, blending with melodious voices chanting the wild 'hula-hula.' Then," he continued, shaking his immense beard, as he warmed with his subject, "you are laid out in state in the halls of the Marquesan Cæsars (or Montezumas, if you prefer that), to grace a 'Kava feast' of princes of the blood; you are done to a turn at the hands of the chief doctor of the palace; and served up in curry as the leading dish at a right royal banquet, flanked by immense bunches of the golden banana at one end, and pyramids of bread-fruit at the other."

      "Delightful!" said I. "There's nothing in Fox's Book of Martyrs half as satisfactory — to the narrator. But, being the hero of the adventure myself, I should vote for the calaboose and the ransom. Besides, it would be some satisfaction to know one's precise value in this market; just how many old flint-locks you are worth, or whether you could be quoted at par, with old nigger-head tobacco, pound for pound."

      "But, joking aside," said the cooper, "I don't, of

THE COOPER "ROMANCES," ETC. 199

course, know whether that particular tribe are cannibals or not, but it is pretty well established that there are tribes on this Marquesan group, who deserve that name. The tribe of Taipi, in the island of Nukahiva, are somewhat notorious in that line."

      "That is the island where the French are planting a colony now, or trying to, isn't it?" said I.

      "Yes," answered the cooper. "Jim, the white man, told me they had quite a force of troops there, and a frigate or two on this station. But I think they will have their hands full, for these islanders are a naturally savage race, particularly so, and warlike, too. It will not be an easy thing to civilize them, or to subdue them either, in their native mountains."

      "Did you ever, in your own experience, have any proofs that they really eat men at any of this group?" I asked.

      "No," he replied, "I can't say that I ever did, I only give the reports at second-hand."

      "Well, Cooper," said I, "I am disappointed in you this time. I had made up my mind to listen to marvellous tales of

'Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
 Do grow beneath their shoulders,'"

      "No," said the cooper conscientiously, "I cannot swear to the cannibals, and I have never seen men with their heads under their shoulders; but I've seen a tribe in New Holland with their faces looking behind them, or the spinal column in front of them, which ever you choose to have it."

200 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Which way did they walk?" I asked.

      "Both ways, equally well. Like these canoes down at the groups, they just shift their sail, and the stern becomes the bow. You should see those Yohos out in the bush, hunting with the face turned over one shoulder, prepared to run either way, at the shortest notice. But I think the most diverting thing was a grand war-dance that I saw there, a sort of forward-and-back movement that displayed their double-ender qualities to the best advantage."

      "There, that'll do, Cooper," said Fisher. "Dry up now, and turn in."

      "Fact!" replied the cooper, with the utmost gravity. "You may laugh and you may doubt, but what I've seen, I know."

      The next landfall after leaving the Marquesas, was Starbuck's Island, low and dangerous, where the captain lowered his boat and went ashore, but found nothing of interest but an old trypot, some staves and hoops of decayed casks, and a few other mementoes of the wreck of the Independence, of Nantucket, which ran ashore here in the night under full headway a few years before. The crew lived some time on this island, being obliged to construct a substitute for a still and make water for use from sea-water. A part of them finally made their way to Otaheite in boats, and the rest were taken off the island by a passing ship.

      Nearly on the meridian we saw a "school of cows and calves," and here, for the first time, I had an opportunity of seeing sperm whales "bring to" handsomely.

THE COOPER "ROMANCES," ETC. 201

The second mate struck first, and his whale, after running a short distance, stopped, and all the rest came up around him, and lay for some time, blowing, "heads and points," while we in the other two boats pulled on and fastened at our leisure, selecting the largest cows. After we were well fast, instead of immediately killing our whales, we lanced loose ones, and the sport was very exciting, as the whales were up and down in all directions among the boats, and some difficulty was met with from the fast whales crossing each other's course, and thus fouling the lines. Of course many of the loose whales which we killed were lost, as it was quite impossible to keep the run of them all, and a freshly-killed whale cannot be seen at any considerable distance, without a waif to indicate his whereabouts. And here for the first time I saw the use of a contrivance called a "waif-drug," for attaching the tell-tale flag to a whale while still alive. A short toggle of oak is fitted firmly in the centre of a square piece of plank, one end of the toggle is bored to step the waif-pole in, and the other is loaded with iron sufficiently to balance but not to sink it. This is attached by a few fathoms of line to a harpoon, which being darted into a whale after he has been mortally wounded with the lance, the plank drug rests flat on the surface, and the pole and waif are kept in an upright position. Eight whales were collected and secured as the reward of our exertions, though the whole eight yielded but little more oil than the one taken off Juan Fernandez.

      Not wishing to run too fast over the ground, we

202 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

hauled on a wind while boiling these whales; and the next day after "cooling down," we ran to the westward and made an island, low but well wooded; the top-branches of the beautiful cocoanut-tree being the first object to break the horizon line. This, the mate informed me, was Byron's Island, the weathermost of Kingsmill's Group. Very soon the sails of numerous canoes were to be seen approaching, for a ship can be discovered almost as soon as she makes the land, all the islands of this group being low. The fleet of canoes was constantly receiving fresh accessions as we drew nearer the land, the number increasing till more than a hundred could be counted from the deck. They worked to windward rapidly, having immense triangular sails of matting. The first canoe that neared us came boldly alongside, throwing a line which was caught by eager hands on deck, for we were all on the tiptoe of curiosity to cultivate closer acquaintance with this singular people.

      "Here he comes, stem on for Dover Castle!" said the second mate, as the canoe's bow struck in the waist with considerable force, and then, snubbed by her warp, she swung fore and aft, while the savages, taking the line in to one of the thwart timbers, "bowed her off" with much skill, for the ship was going at a smart rate through the water. By this time other canoes were crowding upon the first one, all anxious to be the first to make a trade with us; each with a line of its own ready to throw to us, or else clamoring for a rope's end to be thrown from the ship. Some fell short, and the ship flew past them; but, nothing daunted, they

THE COOPER "ROMANCES," ETC. 203

fell into her wake, knowing that she would heave to soon. Some ran into others, doing considerable damage to their frail structures and increasing the clamor and confusion. I noticed one strapping fellow in the first canoe, who, with both hands full of "truck," was making the most urgent signs and cries for a rope to be thrown to him. Curious to see how he would manage, I flung him one which he seized with his teeth, and without hesitation threw himself overboard, still holding his wares in both hands and five or six "sennit" hats upon his head. He swung alongside towing by the vice-like grip of his teeth upon the rope, the ship moving at a rate that I should suppose would have torn any white man's jaws out of his head, unless he opened them and let go his hold. I jumped into the chains and reaching down, managed to relieve one of his hands of its load, so that he could have one arm and his teeth to tow by, for it was hardly possible to get him on board until the ship's way was stopped. A canoe was now driving right upon him, having swung in against the ship in consequence of collision with another, but he paid little heed to her, simply diving under and rising again the other side of her, seemingly as much at home in the water as a porpoise.

      Faster and faster the reinforcements of canoes gather, and the Babel of guttural shouts and yells exceeds all descriptive powers. Each canoe contains at least one representative of the gentler sex; some of them two or three; but the women, contrary to all rules among civilized communities, have but little to

204 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

say. Crash! I run to the other side of the deck to see what has happened; an unfortunate canoe has filled and swamped alongside, torn her thwart out by the strain upon the warp, and the apparent wreck is drifting into our wake, the crew swimming off with her, for the women are as amphibious as the men, their yells rise louder than ever, while screams of derisive laughter greet them on every side from their unsympathizing consorts. As Manoel the Portuguese expressively says, it is "every man for myself" in this crowd. Anxious to know how they will conduct under these circumstances, I jump up on the shearpole and follow them with my eye. As soon as they wind their way out of the thickest crowd of the pursuing canoes, they seize their own by the head and stern, and shooting her violently fore and aft a few times, she slops about half the water out over the two ends; a man then jumps lightly into her, and commences baling; soon she will bear another man; and it is not many minutes ere she takes her place in the fleet, though now occupying a rear position, a bit of seizing stuff completes her repairs, and they are after us again, joining in the general laugh, and eager as ever.

      "Haul the mainsail up! and square the main yard!" cries the old man with a desperate effort to make himself heard above the clamor and din.

      The orders are repeated by the mates, and the ship is soon hove to, the canoes closing up around us. Everything of a portable nature has been picked up about the decks, and stowed away out of reach, for all savages are known to be adepts at thieving; indeed

THE COOPER "ROMANCES," ETC. 205

their exploits in this way would do honor to the most expert "professionals" in England or America.

      Some caution against treachery is also necessary at all times in dealing with these people, though, as a general rule, where they come without arms, and accompanied by women and children, no danger is to be apprehended.

      As soon as the ship's way was stopped, the islanders poured in over the rail in vast numbers, and a brisk traffic was carried on for cocoanut, mats, hats, shells, etc. Tobacco was the precious metal and root of all evil with this people. Iron they seemed to care very little for, unless an opportunity offered to steal it, but "tabahky" was the very goal of their desires, and for this they would barter soul and body. Articles of clothing were in no request; indeed they offered some for sale for bits of tobacco, having probably stolen them from previous visitors. The costumes of these natives are exceedingly light and airy, the men having absolutely no covering beyond what Nature has provided; while the females were restricted to a single garment not unlike the Highland philibeg, the material being grass or seaweed.

      More canoes kept paddling up alongside, and attaching themselves to the offside of the first comers, till the ship was surrounded with them several tiers deep, extending to a considerable distance; for these crafts occupy much space in beam, not so much from the size of the boat itself, as of the bulky "outrigger" built out one side to balance her when carrying sail. These islands produce no trees suitable for making

206 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

"dug-outs" of any considerable size, and the canoes are built of little pieces of wood, hundreds of pieces in a single craft, holes being made near the edges, and the pieces lashed together with innumerable little "seizings," a sort of mortar or white cement is plastered on to fill up the numerous joints, and the still more numerous little holes for the lashings. This only partially answers the purpose; for though the boats are not deficient in the qualities of speed and buoyancy, they are never tight, and one man is kept almost constantly baling. The lashings, as well as all their ropes, some of considerable size, are ingeniously twisted from the fibrous outside or husk of the cocoanut.

      Two white men came on board, one of whom had been here several years, and had become quite domesticated. He seemed to have considerable influence among the natives, and doubtless was as arrant a savage as any of them when on shore. This man told me that the work of building canoes was constantly going on at their naval dockyard, and that he could hardly perceive the progress made from day to day; several months being consumed in finishing one of them. And no more work is done to them than is absolutely necessary to fit them for service, for the people evince none of the artistic skill and taste in ornamenting their vessels, for which many other of the Polynesian tribes are noted.

      The man whom I had assisted by throwing him a rope, and relieving him of a part of his load, attached himself particularly to me, and we drove a smart barter trade, highly satisfactory to both parties. He

THE COOPER "ROMANCES," ETC. 207

soon gave me further evidence of his powers of jaw, as, laughing at my bungling attempts to husk a cocoanut with an axe, he seized the whole bunch of nuts, and jerked the husks all off with his teeth, in less time than I should have taken to finish one, considering his services amply rewarded with a morsel of "tabahky." I bought all his stock of mats, and as many of the hats as I could adapt to my very accommodating head, in other words, all which were not more than eleven sizes too big for me. The next thing produced for my inspection was a cocoanut shell, filled with a sort of syrup, into which he run his finger and sucked it with infinite gusto, at the same time tempting me to do likewise.

      "Id-id-ee tikee-moee-moee!" he yelled.

      "What the devil is that?" said I.

      "Tikee-moee-moee?" he repeated. "Tabahky!"

      I found this a very nice article, light in color, clear and thick, not unlike honey. I bought it eagerly, and gave my friend to understand I would like to have more. In less than ten minutes he had brought me more than a dozen, which I purchased at sight of the shells, and carried below. I discovered the next day when too late, that only the first one was worth eating, the rest appearing to be about equally compounded of very black molasses and sea-water.

      I made my out-door agent understand that I wanted to collect shells, showing him one as a specimen. He rushed to the side, shouting to his comrade in the canoe, "Teroot!" and returned with a few which were not worth much. My "wants" having been

208 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

thus advertised, I was beset with cries of "Teroot!" for the next half-hour; for every barbarian pedler who had a beech-worn shell or fragment of a shell to dispose of, pushed it into my face with the same war-cry. I selected a few, which I thought worthy to be added to my collection. But I was by no means rid of the rest, after so doing; for I was pursued from post to pillar, and the same specimens, transferred to different hands, loomed before my eyes dozens of times, with the savage cry "Teroot! Tabahky!"

      "I'm sayin', ould chap, what's the matter wid y'er leg?" said the voice of Farrell near me.

      I turned and saw an elderly, grave looking man climbing in over the rail. As he landed on deck, he presented a singular phenomenon; having one well-proportioned leg of the natural size, while the other one at the calf would have filled a deck-bucket.

      "Say, ould chap, what ails y'er leg?" repeated the Irishman.

      "Ididee tikee-nut!" shouted the old man, holding up over his head a bunch of nuts, knotted together by strips of the husk.

      "Ah! the divil take your tikeenuts, it's your leg I'm looking at. Who ever saw the likes?"

      "Tabahky!" roared the venerable savage, keeping an eye to business.

      "What made y'er leg swell that big?" pursued Farrell.

      "Tikee moee moee!" was the answer, in a voice of thunder.

      "An' sure, I'll ate none of it, if it has that effect."

THE COOPER "ROMANCES," ETC. 209

      "Why," said the cooper, "don't you see, he's got the 'fay-fay.' There's plenty of that disease on these islands. There's a man in that canoe under the quarter there with one of his arms puffed up bigger than my body; you can see it wobble every time he moves. Now, twig this old gentleman when he walks."

      "Isn't it painful, do you think?" I asked.

      "No, they say not, after it's swelled, and set to its full size, for I believe it's never cured. It is common on many islands in the Pacific, and at Rotumah, particularly so. Most of the white men have it there, that is, those who have lived there any length of time. It is caused by the diet, I suppose."

      "Yes, that's what the ould chap tould me, 'twas the tikeenuts and that swate tracle stuff made it swell," said Farrell.

      "Mr. Grafton, we must get rid of these canoes now as fast as possible. We can't afford to drift any more. Brace full the mainyard and down tacks!" said the captain. "They must take care of their own canoes."

      This manœuvre produced some commotion among the visitors, and scattered the greater part of them. Some who had not been fortunate enough to dispose of all their wares, still hung on, offering goods at very low prices to close out the stock.

      "Keep cool, don't drive them," said the mate. "I'll get clear of them all, in a minute."

      He went down below, and soon returned with a musket, which he pointed in the air over their heads, and pulled the trigger. A stampede ensued, and a

210 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

rapid succession of plunges overboard as well as into the canoes, soon cleared the deck of all the frightened savages; and the fleet were soon standing in for the land, presenting a picturesque and beautiful view, as the declining sun shone upon the numerous triangular sails and flashing paddles; while we hugged the wind under all sail to hold our weather position.

CHAPTER XVII.

KINGSMILL's GROUP. — SINGULAR WHALING INCIDENT. — HARD AND FAST. — A PERILOUS POSITION.

      We now made our cruising-ground for a time among the islands of Kingsmill's group, setting the starboard and larboard watches again, as it was necessary to keep sail on the ship day and night, to avoid drifting off the ground altogether. This necessity is owing not only to the prevalence of the trade wind which blows in the same general direction at all times, except when replaced for very short periods by the "westerly monsoons," so called; but also to a current, varying more or less in force, which sets to the westward all through this chain of islands. These circumstances, in connection with the low and dangerous character of some of the islets, as well as their uncertain position on the charts, demanded great vigilance in the night watches, and the strictest orders were given to the officers in this particular.

      The scenes at Byron's Island were repeated at others with little variation in general outline; for, almost as soon as land was seen, the triangular sails would also make their appearance; and but few days passed without communication and traffic with some of them. I soon learned to judge of the age of a

211           

212 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

cocoanut before buying it, for, as there is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous, so it requires but a short stage in the growth of the nut to change the milk from Olympian nectar into the most insipid slops; while I was careful not to rush blindly into tikee moee-moee speculations without investigating the matter to the very bottom. My little stock of rarities in conchology was much augmented by small additions made at various times; and I had rather more hats, as well as bigger ones, hung up in my bunk, than the Arethusa had in her slopchest; for some of my first purchases in this line would have set loosely on Daniel Lambert.

      These little episodes, interspersed with the excitement of whaling adventures, served effectually to break the monotony of a long cruise at sea, and to make the time pass quickly and pleasantly. Sperm whales are frequently seen, and we were successful, as a general thing, in taking them. The whales here ran small in size; the cows seldom yielding above twenty barrels, oftener fifteen or sixteen. Now and then a school would be met with, accompanied by one old eighty-barrel patriarch, or schoolmaster, as he might be not inaptly termed. Of course, our principal efforts were directed to capturing this fellow, if possible. In one instance, we succeeded quite unexpectedly, and in a very singular manner.

      We lowered in pursuit of a school of small whales, no large one having been seen among them before we left the ship. The whales in some way took the alarm before we got up to them, and when the mate

KINGSMILL'S GROUP, ETC. 213

called me up, they had all gone down but one cow with a small calf. I drew back my iron for a dart, but the cow had already pitched, and was too far from me to make a safe thing of it. "Strike the calf!" said Mr. Grafton; and, with a twinge of conscience at the cruelty of the deed, I threw an iron at the infant whale, who seemed hardly able to carry it off in his back. However, down he went, and we gave him line freely, as we were fearful of drawing the iron. We felt pretty sure that when he rose again, we should have a chance at the mother; and that chance was good of the rest of the school "bringing to." In such a case, we might get a good "cut" of oil, by striking a whale which, alone, was of little or no value. He had "sounded out" forty or fifty fathoms of line, when the strain suddenly relaxed, and the line hung slack. "We are loose!" cried the mate, "haul in line!" then shouted to the other two boats, who were hovering near us, to "Pull ahead!" They sprang to their oars to take the next chance at the school when they should rise, while we gathered in our stray line quite leisurely. Presently our line seemed to be foul of something, which offered a strange kind of resistance to our efforts; it did not bring up firmly, but seemed to be grating or chafing against something, so that we still gained on it, though making slow progress.

      "What can be the matter?" I asked.

      "I don't know," said Father Grafton. "I can't account for the line acting this way." Just then there was another heavy surge upon it, then that peculiar

214 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

grating and slipping, and we got in two or three more fathoms of it. "Something is under us," said he. "Slack line and stand by your oars!"

      We slacked away and sterned off a little. Presently there was a commotion and lifting of the sea as it were, close ahead of us, and with a roar as he broke water, the ponderous "junk" of a "ninety-barreller" was forced up into view; he straightened, showing us his vast breadth of beam, and then with a thundering flap of his immense flukes upon the water, which half-drowned us all in the spray, he started to windward, towing us after him! Astonishment held us all mute for a moment, but the mate, seeing that he was fairly "harnessed," soon recovered his usual coolness.

      "Clear away my lance!" said he to the bowman, as he placed the second iron in the crotch ready for darting. "We're fast to him, Blacksmith, but how, the Lord knows, I don't. If that's the whale that you struck, he has grown out of all knowledge within a quarter of an hour!"

      The old man and second mate were coming to the rescue, having soon perceived the state of affairs. They were as much puzzled, of course, as we were; but, if we had hooked to the schoolmaster, that was enough for the present. The second boat was soon fast, and when we hauled up to lance, the mystery was explained. The large whale had fouled the line with his lower jaw, and the strain had drawn the iron from the little one. The monster in his struggles had rolled over and we had been hauling the line across his

KINGSMILL'S GROUP, ETC. 215

jaw, till we had got the slack all in, and the harpoon and pole had formed a toggil across his "jole" at the corner of his mouth. In an hour's time we hauled him alongside the ship, well pleased with the exchange we had involuntarily made of a calf for a full-grown bull.

      We had cruised this ground over, working down to leeward of Ocean and Pleasant Islands, which lie somewhat detached from the main cluster of the group, and, then taking the advantage of a westerly monsoon, which brought us back to Byron's Island, we cruised it all over again. We had taken about six hundred barrels of sperm oil, and it was nearly time for us to be making a port, as we intended to take the next season "on Japan."

      We had been in sight of one of the islands one afternoon, and several canoes came off for a short time, but the weather had been overcast and rainy, and we had no observations of the sun; and as we had but an indifferent one the day before, we were in doubt from what island the canoes came. We knew we must be somewhere in the vicinity of Simpson's and Henderville's Islands. The wind was light the first part of the night, and we stood on the southern tack till midnight, when we wore ship, and headed back to the northward. This was done in our watch, and when we went below at three in the morning, it was cloudy weather with light rain squalls. Nothing had been seen; the wind was light and the sea unusually smooth, as it seemed to us, indicating that we were under the lea of one of the islands. The second

216 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

mate was cautioned to keep a good lookout ahead and off the lee bow, and we went below, feeling no uneasiness as it would be daylight in an hour. The captain had been on deck at about two, and he thought from appearances and from the strength of the current, that we must be to the westward of our reckoning, and now under the lee of Woodle's Island, and, if so, we had sea-room enough for the present.

      The heat kept me awake for some time after I turned in, or rather lay down on my chest-lid, for I could not endure the temperature in the bunk, and the weather was too damp to take my jacket and pillow on deck, or into one of the quarter-boats as I was in the habit of doing when it was fine and dry. I could hear Mr. Dunham and Fisher moving about and talking over me, for a short time; then all was still, and overcome by drowsiness I fell asleep.

      A trembling movement of the ship with a grinding sound beneath me brought my feet to the floor with a bound; my trousers and hat were seized at the same instant, and the mate, Mr. Bunker, and myself reached the deck all at once, crowding each other on the stairs. The captain was already there. None of us asked another what was the matter; we seemed to wake with an instinctive understanding of the whole truth in its painful aggregate; and our first glances around were merely to take in the details of the situation.

      Cocoanut trees were looming on the starboard bow, seeming in the gray light to overhang the ship, and gradually receding along the beam and quarter, as the land trended to the south-east. All was clear blue

KINGSMILL'S GROUP, ETC. 217

water off the lee bow, but day had broken, and a line of cocoanut trees against the western skies indicated another island within a few miles off the lee beam. We had run on the lee end of one of the islands, for the line of the reef, as marked by the color of the water, was only one point off the port bow. A quarter of a mile more off would have carried us all clear, and into the channel between the two. The wind was very light, and partially embayed as we were it was so smooth that there was little or no breaker near the ship, and she scarcely moved after the first shock of running on the reef.

      I had taken these few hasty notes while we were hauling everything in aback, with the hope of forcing her astern, but the power of her sails was not sufficient with so light a breeze. The pumps were tried, but showed no leak, and the hand lead was passed along for sounding. No questions were asked, no fault found, though we all understood well enough how it happened. As I have before intimated, the second mate, though so good an officer in all other respects, had the fatal weakness of falling to sleep at his post. I knew as well as if I had seen it myself, that after stirring about a short time and setting a lookout, he had sat down and dropped off into the land of Nod. Of course, if the officer of the deck sleeps, all the rest will be likely to follow his example; Jack not being disposed to take upon himself any cares for which an other is better paid. I have no doubt to this day, that, at the moment the ship struck, every man was asleep, both above and below deck, but the captain, who was just coming up the stairs.

218 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      The hand lead gave eight feet of water under the bow on the starboard side. From this depth it was evident the reef rose abruptly; as, ten feet ahead of us the rock was dry and our martingale was almost touching it. Under the larboard bow we got ten feet, and a boat's length from the ship the lead indicated five fathoms. The kedge anchor was being prepared for service, for we could hear the voices of natives on the beach, and doubtless the canoes would surround us as soon as daylight should arrive, and the alarm be spread; so that whatever was to be done must be done soon or we should have to fight an army of hostile savages. But soundings taken thirty yards from the ship gave sixty fathoms off the port bow, and at fifty yards distance no bottom was reached with a hundred and fifty fathoms. No kedging could be done in that direction to swing her bow off. We sent the boat astern with no better success. The deep sea line failed to find any bottom, and it was evident the ship hung by her bow only, on the very angle of a reef which rose boldly from the depths of the ocean. Under the fore-chains we had fourteen feet, which was enough to have floated the ship. We had the satisfaction of knowing that a pull of a couple of fathoms in either of two directions would place her in her native element, but how were we to get it? Our kedge anchor was useless, owing to the great depth of water on the off side and astern of us. A strong breeze acting upon the head sails thrown aback would probably have done the work for us.

      Daylight, while it gave us a clear view of our posi-

KINGSMILL'S GROUP, ETC. 219

tion, also brought new dangers, for several canoes were already hovering near, and others could be seen shoving out all along the beach. We could see that the men were all armed, and that no women were in any of the canoes. This was sufficient evidence that they meant mischief, and would venture an attack upon us in our crippled position, which they would not dare make if we were under way. However, we knew their wholesome dread of fire-arms, and trusted to be able to keep them at bay, if we could contrive any purchase to haul the ship off the ledge. But one way of doing this presented itself; and we at once set about the necessary preparations for availing ourselves of it.

      About two hundred yards from us, in a line nearly astern, a point or projection of the coral reef made out in a south-west direction, the rock being but little more than dry at high water; and in the scanty soil on this point, three cocoanut trees had firmly rooted themselves, one of them inclining so much seaward, that its lofty tuft of branches must have almost brushed the sails of the ship as she passed in by it. If a line could be carried to these trees, and brought in at the taffrail to the capstan or windlass, we could heave the ship off, without doubt; but the undertaking involved considerable risk. The two cutting falls were unrove from the blocks and connected by a bend, which formed a rope long enough for our purpose, and of sufficient strength to bear all the strain that we should want to heave. This was all placed in one boat, in two large coils well spread out on top of the

220 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

thwarts. Only one man was to go in this boat, at the steering oar, and the position was assigned to me. The other two boats were lowered, and manned with full crews, the second and third mates being placed in command. All the fire-arms had in the mean time been loaded, six-pounder and all; and most of the muskets were distributed in the boats, as there was no fear of the savages making an attack on the ship at present. They would wait to concentrate all their fighting force before doing so.

      When we had completed our preparations there were not more than twenty canoes assembled, averaging about five men to each; and these were, thus far, acting only as a squadron of observation; but two had made their appearance ahead of the ship coming round the end of the reef, being the advance guard of another fleet from the north side of the island, while the number of triangular sails momentarily increasing off the lee beam and quarter promised large reinforcements from the other island. It was low tide when the ship ran ashore, and the flood was now beginning to make; a couple of hours would, doubtless, give us water enough to haul her off.

      The second mate's boat, pulled in advance, towing the boat in which I was steering, loaded with the hawser. Mr. Bunker, with the third boat, followed close in my wake, as rear guard, carrying the end of a light whale line which was paid out from the ship. The six-pounder was trained for a covering fire, but no fire-arms were to be used, nor any violence offered, except in case of the last necessity. The natives in

KINGSMILL'S GROUP, ETC. 221

the canoes intently watched our movements, paddling a little towards us, but resting again, as they saw the number of muskets in the two boats. They, of course, understood our manœuvre, but to oppose our landing would involve more risk from the guns than they cared to run. Thus holding them in awe, the operation was performed without a shot, the first boat only being beached. The crew jumped out, pulled the end of the hawser ashore by a piece of small line, hitched it securely round two trees which grew close together, while the end of the whale line was being bent to the other end of the coil; a wave of my hat gave the signal to "haul away!" I laid the boat round, was taken in tow by the third mate, and we returned to the ship paying out the hawser from both coils at once.

      When about midway between the shore and the ship, having paid all out and thrown the bight clear of the boat, I was startled by a man under water swimming towards the hawser. I called to Mr. Bunker to "heave up," for it instantly occurred to me what his purpose was. He was nearly under the head of my boat, and gradually rising towards the surface as he approached his object. My boat-spade, keen as a razor, with a light warp attached to it, lay convenient to my hand. I seized it with a nervous grasp, feeling that it had fallen to my duty to shed the first blood in this affair. The savage was coming up; already his arm was outstretched to grasp the hawser. I could see a knife gleaming in his other hand. My spade descended with careful aim upon his right arm, his ugly head rose to the surface in a pool of blood, and with an

222 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

unearthly yell he struck out with one arm towards the canoes, holding aloft the stump of the other, cut clear off between the shoulder and the elbow!

      The hawser was safe for the present; another minute and it was hauled taut and taken to the windlass, the tension bringing it above the surface. A boat's crew, well armed, remained on the point to protect that end; and in order to divide it at any point, the person attempting it must raise his head out of water and expose himself to almost certain death; for keen eyes were sighting loaded muskets both from the taffrail and the beach. We hove a severe strain at the windlass, but it was evident we could not start her yet; we must wait the rise of the tide, and, in the mean time, our chief attention must be devoted to the protection of our hawser. If our enemies could divide this, they would gain time and assemble a large force so as to overpower and massacre the whole of us. The division from the north side of the island were apparently all in sight now, and were forming a junction with their comrades, the whole force amounting to about forty canoes with two hundred fighting men, their arms being clubs and spears of wood, set thickly with rows of shark's teeth. We made no attempt to prevent the junction of the two fleets, for we did not mean to waste a charge of powder, but reserve it for an emergency. If we could protect our hawser and get another hour or two of flood tide, we did not fear a legion of them when under way; and this we hoped to effect before the arrival of the fleet from Woodle's island, which numbered some thirty canoes more.

KINGSMILL'S GROUP, ETC. 223

      The women and children of the island, with a few old men whose fighting days were gone by, had all assembled on the beach at a short distance from the ship, anxiously waiting the progress of events. They kept up a terrible yelling and shouting to the warriors in the canoes, apparently urging them on to attack us. After a time, becoming emboldened by impunity, a party of them ran down on the rocks ahead of the ship, and saluted us with a volley of stones, some of which came in over the bows, falling among us. To get rid of this annoyance the six-pounder, with only a charge of powder and wad was now trained in that direction and fired over their heads. The effect was all we could have desired; the rabble retreated to what they considered a safe distance, and ventured no more within range.

      From time to time we tried a little additional strain on the hawser, and at length had the satisfaction of feeling the ship tremble and waver a little under our efforts. On sounding now we found thirteen feet as far forward as the fore-swifter, and it was evident we hung by only a few feet of the keel from the cutwater aft.

      "The hawser does not pull in the direction that we could wish it did," said the old man, now in consultation with the mate at the taffrail. "It'll pull her off without doubt if we can wait half an hour or more. But in that time, those devils will get here from Woodle's, and we shall be surrounded with enemies. Besides, I am getting anxious about Mr. Dunham and his crew, who are held at bay there on the point. You see, the

224 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

hawser pulls rather too much to seaward and grinds her starboard bow hard against the ledge. I think by the feeling of her, that if that could be slacked up suddenly her stern would swing in, and perhaps she might slide off sideways."

      "I think so too," said Mr. Grafton. "But it's a ticklish thing, because, as soon as that hawser is slacked into the water, they'll make an attempt to cut it, if they've got another knife among them, which is doubtful. It would be bungling work cutting it with any of their own instruments."

      "We must risk it, at any rate," said the old man, after considering a moment. "Those canoes will be here in a few minutes, and then we shall have a general attack. We'll try it, and if she does not swing as we expect we'll heave right in again, and wait the tide as we have been doing. Stand by to come up that hawser at the windlass! Sharp eyes out now at the taffrail! Keep your guns ready, and if you see a head come up near that hawser, don't miss him!"

      He waved his hand to the windlass bits; the fall "rendered" round the barrel with a heavy surge, and the ship swung, as he had expected. Her stern trended in shore till she was about half broadside on; and her bow, sliding and grinding on the rocks, forced itself partly off, but hung again, now without motion.

CHAPTER XVIII.

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN. — A BAD LEAK. — ANECDOTES. — THE RUN TO THE CAROLINE ISLANDS.

      "We shall have to heave taut again, Mr. Grafton, and give her another swing," said the old man. "O, if we only had another hawser to hold her stern where it is, and take this one in on the port bow! But I don't like to risk her to swing broadside on."

      At this moment a hand grasping a knife emerged from the water, near the middle of the hawser, and a shaggy head rose partly above the surface. Five or six muskets cracked simultaneously both from the ship and shore. The head and arm disappeared, and the water was discolored where they went down. Another savage had met the reward of his rashness and the hawser was saved again.

      "They wont try that move again right away," said the old man, coolly. "But those canoes are almost here and I am fearful for those men who are on the point, guarding the shore end of the hawser. There she slips a little! Do you feel that, Mr. Grafton? We must risk it. Come up the hawser all together! Lay aft here, every man! Take the bight round outside and lead in on the port bow! Lively, men! You're working for your lives!"

      We knew it, and needed no urging; the heavy rope

225           

226 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

was passed swiftly from hand to hand, and brought in forward to the fore-rigging; a turn was thrown round the windlass and the brakes were instantly in motion. As she lay now, this was the very pull she wanted. Hardly had we brought a strain when she began to slide and rumble under us, and a wild hurrah burst from all our lips as she settled into her element, and her head paid briskly off, under the power of her foretopsail. But as she did so, her stern swung in violently, and a projecting spur of the rock beneath the water met her under the counter, with a kind of dull, cracking sound that came ominously to our ears.

      We could not stop to think of this now. We looked astern; Mr. Dunham was coming! He had already cut the hawser at the shore end, and his crew were pulling the boat off by it, hand over hand, while he and Fisher stood with muskets keeping their foes at bay; for, maddened with rage and disappointment, they were now beginning to close in upon him.

      "Brace round the yards!" roared the captain. "Steady! meet her with the helm! Keep her right in the channel! All the muskets here now, and open a covering fire for this boat! Pull boys! pull! We'll have you all safe in another minute!"

      We no longer thought of saving powder, but fired away among the thickest of them. A dozen of them were killed or wounded and they soon found the work too hot. They hauled off with hideous yells, and we took all our men safely on board, though Fisher had a bad cut from one of the serrated spears, and the

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN, ETC. 227

second mate and young Black Hawk were both severely wounded by stones, which had been hurled in great numbers from the canoes, when they closed up around the boat.

      "Is that gun loaded with ball?" asked the old man.

      "Ay, ay, sir!" responded Mr. Grafton. "Say the word!"

      "Luff hard, there!" said the captain. "Let her come up and shiver! Stand by, now, when she bears right — fire! Hard up, and keep full!"

      The old "persuader" did her work as effectually as at Dominica. Two canoes were struck by the discharge, and the yells that rose from the terrified barbarians, now joined by the advance division of the Woodle's Island fleet, rang in our ears, but with no terrors for us, now that we were fairly standing seaward.

      "Try the pumps, now, Mr. Grafton, while I look after these wounded men," said the captain. "I'm afraid we may have started a leak, under the counter, but I hope not a very bad one."

      The first strokes of the pump told us that his fears were not without good foundation. The water gushed from the scuppers bright and clean!

      "Get me a dry ropeyarn," said Father Grafton, quietly. "Draw the boxes, and let's sound the well."

      A plummet was soon extemporized, and lowered into the pump-well. It was drawn carefully up again. O, how anxiously all eyes were riveted upon it, as with suspended breath we awaited the mate's words. "Twenty-five inches."

228 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "That's not so bad as it might be," he said cheerfully. "It's some time since she struck there. Rig the other pump and man them both!"

      We kept both pumps going fast and strong till they sucked. We then timed her, and when we pumped her again, we made the leak about fifteen hundred strokes an hour.

      "That will keep us pretty busy pumping," said the old man, "until we get in somewhere where we can stop it. However, we may thank God we came off as well as we did. We can keep the leak under till we reach one of the Carolines, and as for the three men, I don't consider either of them wounded seriously, though they may be disabled from duty for some days. We'll break out in the starboard side of the run this afternoon, and see if we can make any discoveries."

      We broke out, accordingly, and judging by the sound, where the leak was, we cut out a piece of the ceiling. We found a place crushed in two planks in width, the broken wood still remaining, though much shattered, and forced out of its place. With a "fothering" of canvas and oakum, and some boards nailed to the timbers to hold all in place, we reduced the leak considerably. This was all that could be done to it from the inside, but we were satisfied that we could get at it, by careening the ship in a smooth harbor, and repair it, as we did the former leak at Hanayapa; as the timbers did not appear to be materially injured. We timed her again in our watch that night, and found we pumped only about nine hundred strokes an hour.

Off the Rocks again. Page 227.

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN, ETC. 229

      "Well," said Father Grafton, "that's much better than fifteen hundred, for it's a kind of labor that seamen abominate, and no wonder at it. There's a sameness about it that is not at all agreeable. I must say that I dislike such jobs as pumping, sawing wood, and turning grindstones."

      Of course I agreed with him entirely in this antipathy.

      "I don't think," continued the mate, "that there is any other leak in her beside that one under the counter. It's likely that the copper and sheathing are much torn up under the bows, but the ledge appeared to be pretty smooth, and the pumps threw no water, up to just before the time we hauled her afloat."

      "I suppose," said I, "the cooper will admit now that she leaks enough to keep her sweet. Ah! here he is, on deck, and his pipe loaded, too. Say, Cooper, have you seen any flying fish come from the pump yet?"

      "No," answered the cooper, gruffly. "She don't leak much, now, that is, comparatively speaking. She's tight, compared to the old Harbinger. But we didn't mind it so much in those days, as we should now."

      "No, that's true," said the mate, "and, to go twenty or thirty years still further back, they minded it still less, and seemed to look upon pumping as a matter of course, a part of the regular routine of ship's duty. I recollect a case in point. When I was a young fellow, I happened to be present in court when a case

230 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

was being tried involving the insurance on the ship Tarquin, sunk at sea on her homeward passage. It appeared that the Tarquin, when off Cape Horn, leaked a smart thousand strokes an hour; that after getting down into the trades on the Atlantic side, they had tinkered some of their leaks, and also, being in lighter weather, she made less water, so that they pumped only three or four hundred strokes an hour when off Cape St. Augustine. Well, they held on their course, and, between there and home, she gave out entirely, and sunk from under 'em. The underwriters refused to pay, and the ground taken by them was, that the captain ought to have gone into a port in Brazil, and overhauled his ship. Well, several old sea-captains were called on the stand to give their opinions. I remember one in particular, who is still living. The question was put to him, whether, in his judgment, it was prudent for the captain of the Tarquin, with his ship leaking some three or four hundred strokes, and Pernambuco under his lee, to continue on towards home? 'Prudent!' said the old gentleman. 'Yes, why not? Why,' said he, proudly, 'I sailed out of New Bedford in a ship leaking five hundred strokes an hour to start on a voyage!'"

      "Yes, that was in what they call, 'the good old times,'" said the cooper. "And that reminds me of a circumstance that happened many years ago in which an uncle of mine was one of the parties concerned. He was homeward bound in an old ship, I think it was the Criterion. They got in on the coast, made Block Island, and took a pilot. It came on to blow

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN, ETC. 231

very heavily from the northward, and they were blown off the coast and the ship leaked so that they found it impossible to free her, and decided that the only safety for them was to put her off before it and run her — somewhat. Well, they let her slide to leeward with both pumps going, and when the weather moderated, they found themselves so far to the southward that they kept on, and made a port at the French island of Martinique. Here they discharged the oil, hove the ship out, stopped the leaks, and took in their cargo again. In those days, you will remember, communications with the West Indies was not an every-day thing as it is now, and nothing was heard from that particular island for a long time. Well, in the mean time the pilot-boat reported putting a pilot on board ship Criterion, off Block island, such a date. Of course, it was supposed she had foundered in the gale, and all had perished. Well, four months afterwards, away along in the summer, the Criterion came down to the bar, and when my uncle went ashore he found his wife in mourning, having given him up for dead long before."

      "I believe that's a true yarn, Cooper, if you did tell it," said the mate — "This way the watch! Pump ship!"

      We still held on our course to the westward, to make a port at one of the Carolines or Ladrones, and made good progress with the trade winds in our favor. Our men soon recovered from their injuries, and resumed their duties, rather priding themselves upon the ugly scars received in the conflict. Whether the old man

232 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ever said anything in the way of reprimand to the second mate, I never knew. If he did, the whole matter was kept to themselves; and, indeed, it was not his habit to find fault with an officer in the presence or hearing of any subordinate. Perhaps he thought it best to overlook his almost fatal want of vigilance, in view of his gallant conduct afterwards in charge of the forlorn hope on the point, and trusted that the peril through which he had just passed would prove a salutary lesson to him for the future. If so, he judged correctly, for the young officer's eyes were opened to his own carelessness; and, in a literal sense, he kept them open the remainder of the voyage. As I learned from others in his watch, he never was known, after this affair, to sit down during his hours of duty at night.

      "We are drawing down near to the Carolines," said the mate to me one evening, about a week after the accident. "I think we shall make Strong's Island to-morrow."

      "Have you ever been there, sir?" I asked.

      "Not to go ashore," said Mr. Grafton. "I have passed in sight of it, and I have been in and anchored at Ascension, which is beyond it to the northward and westward. I hear that ships visit Strong's Island quite frequently of late. I suppose the people are similar in appearance and character to those of Ascension. We shall reconnoitre there a little, and perhaps the old man will decide to go in, if he finds it a good harbor to stay our leak in; if not, we shall keep on to Ascension or Guam."

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN, ETC. 233

      "Are these people anything like those at Kingsmill's Group?"

      "Not at all," replied the mate. "Neither in appearance, language nor general character. There is something very interesting about them; at least, those that I have seen at Ascension. They are handsomer, and lighter in color than those islanders we have left behind; and they are also more intelligent and ingenious. The women, especially, are more delicate, with good figures; some of them are really pretty. Then, in place of the gibberish of uncouth sounds spoken in most parts of Polynesia, these people have a musical language, full of soft liquids and ringing consonants, that seems more like Chinese than like anything we are accustomed to recognize as a 'Kanaka language.'"

      "Are they safe people to deal with?" I asked.

      "Well, no more so than the generality of savages. Indeed I think they are quite as treacherous, though not as hardy and warlike as Marquesans or New Zealanders. None of these races are to be trusted, and we must be always on our guard in our intercourse with them; treating them well, but never placing ourselves entirely in their power."

      "Power makes right, with them, as it does with civilized nations," I answered, "and the same rule of diplomacy which you have mentioned will apply to our dealings with the best of them, I think."

      "That's true," said Father Grafton, reflectively. "I suppose, after all, we are no better than they are, only we have a more genteel way of doing things

234 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

and do them on a larger scale. We should not kill and eat a man or two whom we caught on board our ship; but if it suited our purposes, we should very likely take possession of a whole island or group of islands, and kill the people in a legal way, if they resisted; as is being done even now, by enlightened France, at the Marquesas and Society Islands."

      "And if they don't take possession of all Oceanica," said I, "it is only because it is not worth their while, or as we Yankees would say, 'it wont pay.'"

      "Just so," assented the mate. "And if, as some think, England will protest against this occupation by the French, it will not be because of any injustice done to the natives but because it might be thought dangerous to her interests to permit France to have these naval stations in the Pacific."

      "It is a delicate matter, any way," he resumed, "to do justice in dealing with these savages. We must secure the safety of our own lives, if possible, and of our property, too. Of course I am speaking, now, of the case of isolated ships, like our own. It seems cruel to kill or wound a savage for pilfering, especially when we remember that a plug of tobacco or a knife may appear as great a treasure to his simple mind, as a mine of gold or a fertile province to our more enlightened capacities. And yet how else are we to prevent the annoyance, and secure our property? We cannot reason with them, nor can we punish them according to any civilized form of law. And if we kill or maltreat them, it's ten to one they will retaliate upon some other white men who may be thrown in

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN, ETC. 235

their way at a future time. It's a difficult subject, to make the best of it," said the mate, dismissing the matter in an unsatisfied way, as hundreds of others have done; and taking up another.

      "There is evidence to prove," said he, "that the Caroline Islands were once inhabited by a race of people far superior to those now found here. The ruins of a large stone building, apparently a religious temple of some sort, still stand on the island of Ascension, away up in the interior, showing beyond all question that those who reared it possessed a knowledge of arts and of mechanical powers far beyond the capacity of the present owners of the soil. I am told that similar evidences are to be found at Strong's Island, in the form of stone walls, running in various directions about the island, which never could have been built by the present inhabitants."

      "What account do they give of them?" I asked.

      "So far as I can learn, it is as great a mystery to the present generation of them as it is to us; and I have never heard that they have even any traditions to account for them. But there they are," said he, dismissing this subject, like the other, unsatisfied.

      "But it is time to set these faithful pumps going again; that's a practical matter, with not much of interesting speculation about it. Pump ship!"

      We made Strong's Island the next day, as expected, and running down for it, saw two ships lying at anchor in a bay on the weather side of it, making in from the south-east. The old man lowered his boat and went in, leaving us to lie off and on for his return. Soon

236 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

afterwards a canoe was seen coming out with three men. They paddled alongside very quietly, in marked contrast with the jabbering barbarians whom I had been accustomed to hear at the other group, or even to the Portuguese boatmen at the Azores. I was looking at them over the rail in the waist, and wondering how the first words of their language would sound in my ears, when the man in the head of the canoe spoke up, in clear and distinct English, "Give us a rope, if you please." The crew of the Topez could hardly have been more surprised when they discovered Pitcairn's Island, and were addressed in their own language by the descendants of the Bounty mutineers, than were we at hearing this polite request.

      The men came on board, and it appeared that they all spoke a good smattering of English, though the first speaker took the lead, he having made a short cruise in a whaler. He told us one of the ships in the bay was American and the other English. The mate asked him if he knew the name of either of the ships, thinking at most, that he might get some clew to guess from; but, to our further astonishment, he replied, "Ship Leonidas, of New Bedford, Captain Taber, and Ship Seringapatam, of London, Captain Courtenay," pronouncing all the names with the greatest care and distinctness. He already knew the name of our ship and captain, having spoken the boat going into the bay.

      "Well," said Mr. Grafton, "they ought to establish a newspaper here, and secure this man as marine news reporter. It's not one white man in twenty could

OFF THE ROCKS AGAIN, ETC. 237

have given us these particulars, and done it in as good shape;" for we had learned how much oil these ships has taken, where they were bound, and many other things of interest concerning them.

      "Why, either of these men talk better English than any ordinary Kanaka who has made a four years' voyage in a whaler."

      Our boat was seen returning, and the old man came on board with a favorable report. He gave orders to get the chains up and the anchors off the bow at once, having made up his mind to go in.

      "It's a snug harbor," I heard him telling the mate, "and it's easy getting into it. I have some doubts about getting out again as easy, but I guess we shall have a slant of wind. Taber went in only yesterday and is bound on Japan too. He wants a consort, and will stay as long as we do, in case our job of stopping the leak should detain us. The Englishman is all ready for sea, now, but he can't get out with this wind."

      Within an hour we were riding quietly at anchor in six fathoms, but a short distance from the beach, and in a convenient place for heeling the ship to repair the injury which had caused us so much monotonous and fatiguing labor at the pumps.

CHAPTER XIX.

STRONG'S ISLAND.

      The first duty that engaged our attention after coming to anchor was, of course, to stop the leak; which was done much in the same manner as in the former case at Dominica, except that it was necessary to stow all the heavy articles forward, and bring the ship down by the head, instead of the stern. We also attached a purchase to the mainmast head, and to a tree on the shore, to assist in careening the ship.

      The natives appeared to watch all these operations with great interest; and our decks were alive with them, both men and women, the day after our arrival. Compared with the savages, whom we had previously visited, these people might be called gentle and quiet in their habits. Nothing could exceed the eagerness and the perseverance displayed, particularly by the women, in acquiring a thorough knowledge of our language. Every word that could be picked up to add to their English vocabularies seemed to afford them a peculiar source of delight. "What name o' this? What name man?" were questions put to us at every turn, and our answers were echoed and repeated over

238           

STRONG'S ISLAND. 239

and over, till the sound was fully mastered. Thus the English spoken by these women was not murdered, for each word was thoroughly learned before passing on to the next.

      Suddenly a muttered signal or countersign passes from mouth to mouth; all noise and conversation cease; and each remains fixed to the spot, as if struck by an enchanter's wand. Not immediately seeing any adequate cause for this, I asked, in great surprise, what it meant? One of the girls ventured to whisper an answer to me:

      "You see? King George come!"

      I looked over the sail. Our boat, which had been ashore, was just coming alongside, and, seated with the old man in the stern sheets, was this potent autocrat, "King George," a rather goodlooking, portly barbarian, whose royal robes consisted of nothing less — or more — than a common sailor's checkshirt, his legs disdaining any covering whatever. He had doubtless received his title from some ironical Englishman, and his subjects had adopted it as proudly, as it is said our ancestors did, the music of "Yankee Doodle."

      As his majesty's head appeared above the quarter-rail, every one of his submissive subjects, man, woman and child, fell upon deck in a kneeling or crouching attitude, with bowed heads, and thus remained till their sovereign had completed his survey of matters above board, and passed below with the captain. During this time they rigidly maintained their positions, however uncomfortable, as immovable as a well drilled

240 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

battalion of troops at "parade rest." As soon as he was invisible, everything resumed its former status, and the stir and bustle went on as before. The same etiquette, I afterwards observed, was necessary at the advent of any chief of high rank, or any of the juvenile princes of the blood royal.

      Courtenay, the English captain, had visited this island several times before, and was on very intimate terms with King George. He told us to be on our guard against treachery; and informed us that an English whaleship, called the Harriet, had been taken and burnt in the other harbor on the lee side of the island about eighteen months previous, though her fate had been a mystery until quite recently, as the natives, adopting the motto of ancient sea-rovers, that "Dead men tell no tales," had massacred every man of her crew. For more than a year she had been a "missing ship," when another English whaler, touching at this island, short-handed, shipped two natives, who, a few days after getting to sea, incautiously let out the secret. The ship at once put back and came to anchor in the lee harbor, and as Captain Courtenay happened to be there at the time, the two ships, acting in concert, succeeded in fishing up the Harriet's anchor and chain, with the charred remains of her bow, still attached. The two captains, by stratagem, secured the persons of some of the chiefs, and they confessed the truth, but no punishment had yet been inflicted by the English, though there was good reason to believe that other vessels had been cut off here, at more remote dates, and no one left alive to tell the

STRONG'S ISLAND. 241

tale. They had even destroyed the ship's chronometers, supposing them to be alive; for King George when questioned by Captain Courtenay concerning the chronometer of the Harriet, answered expressively, "Kill him. Take big stone, kill him."

      The Seringapatam still lay wind-bound for two or three days after our arrival, but at last, taking advantage of a morning when the air was quite light, though blowing directly into the bay, we put the boats of all three ships ahead of her, and assisted by the whole flotilla of canoes we towed her to sea, keeping the sails furled, and the yards pointed to the wind. We thought King George seemed rather relieved when he got rid of her. He professed great friendship for Captain Courtenay. But his regard was, doubtless, based on the wholesome fear in which he stood of him; for the ship mounted eight guns in regular broadside, besides small swivels on her topgallant forecastle and taffrail, and even had her arm-chests in her tops.

      We were successful in reaching and repairing the injury under our counter, and, on righting and trimming the ship, had the satisfaction to find her bottom perfectly tight. We could not, of course, tell how much external injury she had received under the bow.

      I did not fail, on going ashore, to notice the stone walls of which I had heard, and in which I observed some stones of great size and weight, at such heights from the ground as would indicate that the builders must have made use of mechanical power to raise

242 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

them. I could get no information as to how long they had been there, or for what purpose they had been raised.

      On showing ourselves near the door of a house, we were always invited to enter and take a seat among the family on the floor, and the women immediately put us through a catechism, commencing, according to established form, with the question, "Name o' you?" This question must be answered, and the name repeated by the whole family, until they have the pronunciation perfect. But instead of following this up by asking "Who give you that name?" the next query is, "Name o' ship?" and then, "Name o' captain?" We thought it very remarkable that we found sufficient knowledge of English in every family to conduct these exercises, in view of the fact that so few ships had visited the place, and no white man was then living among them. After these points are all settled, a pipe is produced, with the request, usually made by one of the younger women in her most seductive tones, "You fill pipe belong to me?" Of course you feel bound to honor this draft upon your pocket store of tobacco, and, if you intend to make many calls while on shore, your pockets must be well filled. It is observable that the pipe produced on these occasions is invariably one with a large bowl, while those used for smoking are always small.

      We strolled into a large building near the beach abreast of our anchorage, which appeared to be a feast-home, a royal banqueting hall. It may, perhaps have been used also as a hall of council, if so absolute

STRONG'S ISLAND. 243

a monarch as King George can be supposed to consult with any one on affairs of state. I should suppose, from what I saw of this despot, that he might have had that peculiarity for which the first Napoleon is said to have been famous, of making up his mind first, and asking the advice of his generals afterwards. In this building, in a line extending nearly the whole length of it, flat stones, slightly hollowed so as to form basins, were set into the ground, and at each of these was seated a man, pounding kava-root with a smooth stone of convenient weight to be swung in his hand. The right arms of all these men, perhaps twenty in number, rose and fell in concert, with a slow and measured stroke, uniting the sounds produced by the twenty stone hammers upon the basins into one loud clang. Outside, fires had been built, and mysterious processes of cookery were being carried on. I inquired the meaning of all this preparation, and learned that this was a funeral feast. A woman of some rank, the wife of a chief, had died, and all the high dignitaries were then attending the burial, after which they would return to the feast-house, and "partake of a grand collation," as the celebration programmes have it. I was too late to see anything of the funeral ceremonies, for they were even now on their return. The kava-root, after being pounded to a fibrous mass, is mixed with clear water in the stone basins, and the infusion is strained, or rather wrung, through a sort of coarse cloth of grassy appearance, into calabashes, and is ready for the banquet. The first strength goes to the king and chiefs; it is "spliced" two or three times,

244 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

the common natives being glad to get a very indifferent article. At many of the islands of Polynesia, the kava, instead of being beaten with stones, is chewed, and the masticated mass is ejected from the mouth into a vessel, and then water added to it; this chewing operation being performed chiefly by the women. But at Strong's Island, no woman is allowed to take any part in its preparation, or even to be present at the ceremony of preparing or drinking it.

      His majesty and suite being at hand, the "funeral-baked meats" were brought in, with piles of roasted bread-fruit and large bunches of bananas, and all the natives sat or squatted in their proper places, according to rank. The king, seeing us whites looking on, beckoned us to take seats near his royal person, and personally saw that we were liberally supplied with meat and fruit. We did ample justice to the fare, as became distinguished guests, and made a hearty meal. The remains of the feast were being cleared away, and we were about to leave in quest of further adventures, when the cooper made his appearance among us, with his pipe in full blast.

      "Well, boys," said he, "you've been having a glorious wake, I suppose, for the old duchess, or marchioness, or whatever her rank may be. You won't get drunk on kava, though, after the aristocracy have had the first wringing of it. You might drink a deck bucketful of the slops that's handed around afterwards. How did they feed you, pretty well?"

      "Yes, cooper," said I, "you should have been here sooner. You lost a good dinner by being too late for it."

STRONG'S ISLAND. 245

      "Why what did you have for dinner?" he asked.

      "Something that we sailors don't get every day in the week;" I answered. "We can appreciate roast pig when we do get it."

      "Did you have roast pig for dinner?" asked the cooper.

      "Certainly, we did," said I, triumphantly.

      "Well, I presume you did — all but the pig," said he, dryly.

      "What do you mean by that?" I inquired, dubiously. There was no smile on the cooper's face, but that twinkling of his beard was perceptible, which always denoted a high state of inward enjoyment.

      "Why, pigs that are raised down our way," said he, "have a different tone of voice in expressing themselves. They don't bark."

      "Bark!" I exclaimed, as light began to dawn upon me, while some of my companions already began to look a little qualmish. "You don't mean to say that — "

      "I don't mean to say anything," returned the cooper. "Come outside and see the sacrificial altar, and its trimmings."

      We followed him a short distance back from the house till he halted, and pointed significantly to an ensanguined block of wood, near which lay four sets of paws, and four heads, unmistakably canine, corresponding in number to the four "roast pigs" at the banquet.

      "I acknowledge the corn," said I. "I suppose if I had known the fact before dinner, I shouldn't have relished it, but it is too late to repent."

246 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "But you might say," said one of boys from the Leonidas, unwilling yet to admit that he had been sold, "that we don't know what animals we had for dinner."

      "It needs no naturalist to tell us what animals have suffered at the block;" said I, laughing. "We may as well face the music, for there's hardly 'a loop to hang a doubt upon.' And, as another link in the chain of evidence, I now recollect that those pigs had been decapitated before they were served up, though I hadn't thought of it before. I never knew that these people were in the habit of eating dogs."

      "Yes, I could have told you that," said the cooper, "that is to say, as regards another island of this group. I know they do at Ascension, and they prefer them to pigs."

      "Well," said I, "I suppose all of us can now testify that they are as good as pigs, if eaten with a sauce of ignorance."

      "After the collation comes the ball;" said the cooper. "You see those fellows backing down wood, and getting ready to make a bonfire. They will light up the fire after dark, and then dance and sing round it. But here's another game going on. Let's go and see what this means."

      The natives were all gathering on a large plat of greensward, near the feast-house, and the young men were seating themselves in a circle on the ground, several ranks deep, so as to leave an arena of convenient size in the centre. The women, children and old men closed up outside of this ring as spectators, a

STRONG'S ISLAND. 247

space being kept clear for King George and the principal chiefs, where they could overlook the whole scene. It was evident some sort of gladiatorial show or sparring exhibition was now to begin.

      At a signal from the king, an athletic young man sprang lightly from his seat in the circle to the centre of the ring, bringing his hands together with a loud clap of defiance. He was instantly confronted by another, and the sparring was commenced. Passes were rapidly made and warded off, no harm being done to the combatants, as all blows were struck open-handed. Great dexterity was displayed on both sides, the object aimed at by all this, being, for some little time, a mystery; but at length the challenger, watching his opportunity, rushed under the other's guard and seized him at the waist, which closed the combat, amid tumultuous applause from king, court and spectators. Both fell back to their places in the circle, the victor to be petted and patted by his delighted comrades, and instantly a fresh champion bounded into the arena to be met by another. Thus the entertainment continued, till nearly every young man had put in at least one appearance, and some particularly smart fellows had come off victors in several matches, so that their challenges were not readily accepted. Sometimes a careless or over-confident youth would be caught almost instantly, calling down upon himself the jeers and uproarious mirth of the whole assembly; and, on the other hand, when two of the most skilfull of the gladiators were about equally matched, the struggle would be prolonged

248 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

amid the eager and breathless attention of the excited audience. Everything was expected to be done with the most perfect good humor; and if, as was sometimes the case, the vanquished party lost his temper, he was greeted with such yells of derisive laughter, that he was soon glad to join in the laugh against himself, in order to escape further ridicule. The men were naked, with the sole exception of a broad belt about the hips, and their eager attitudes and quick movements displayed their figures and the development of their muscle to the best advantage. We all agreed that the exhibition was a most beautiful one, possessing all the wholesome excitement that belongs to athletic sports of this kind, without the drawbacks of brutality and smothered hatred.

      We remained on shore in the evening to see the dance round the fire, which is accompanied with wild chants or recitations, and has no very striking points about it. There is but little variety in the movements, and the interest depends simply upon the almost perfect concert of voice and gesture among a large number of performers. Its scenic effect is heightened by the uniform system of tattooing, the chief point in which is a stripe running the whole length of the arm on the outside, and a wider one up and down the leg, like those worn by sergeants in our army. But on the whole, the display is inferior in variety and vigor to the Marquesan "hula hula," or to the war-dances of the North American tribes. An incident occurred during this performance, which forcibly illustrated the absolute control over the lives of his subjects pos-

STRONG'S ISLAND. 249

sessed by the irresponsible despot, King George. One of the young men engaged in the dance failed to give satisfaction to the critical eye or ear of the king, being, as I thought, a little out of time in the chant, when, without a word, the king picked up a stone, and hurled it at him, striking full in his breast, and effectually knocking him out of the ranks, while the dance went on without interruption, as if this was merely an ordinary recreation, in which the monarch was wont to indulge when the humor seized him. A shudder and murmur of indignation ran through us visitors from the ships at this cruelty, but what could we do or say about it? The poor delinquent gathered himself up and slunk away, evidently suffering dreadful pain. He must have been severely, if, indeed, not dangerously injured; but it seemed a matter of indifference to his royal master whether he lived or died.

      "I suppose," said Mr. Grafton, who was standing near me, "you feel just as I do about that affair; as if you'd like to hurl that same rock back at the king's breast with a will."

      "Yes sir," I replied; "but it wouldn't be policy for us to attempt anything of that kind."

      "Hardly;" returned the mate. "We should have a hornet's nest about our ears in short order, if we touched his sacred person. I presume these young men consider it all right, and a mere matter of course, each one feeling that it may be his turn next. I have no doubt that the old savage has killed more than one of them in getting them up to their present state of drill. He holds his subjects' lives at his own disposal,

250 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

as much as the Czar of all the Russias, or even more so; and, as a general rule, these savage races are very reckless of human life, seeming to attach but little value to it."

      "Didn't you admire the sparring match, this afternoon?" I asked.

      "I didn't see it;" the said mate. "I took my gun, and went out in the woods pigeon shooting. I had pretty good luck. I got about twenty pigeons, and saw a great deal of sport besides the shooting. The old chief Seelic went with me, he is the second in rank below King George, as near as I can get at it. He took another chief of lower rank with him, and a couple of boys of no rank at all. Old Seelic and I kept company, the petty chief fell into our wake at a short distance, and the two youths jogged along astern of him. Whenever we stopped a moment down they went on their beam-ends right into the mud or wherever they chanced to be, and waited there till we started on again, keeping their stations in line. When we got into the woods, they were signalled to keep in close order, but it was amusing to see manœuvres when one of the youngsters got the first sight of a pigeon. You see, he could not speak to his superior in a standing position, nor speak to old Seelic at all, until commanded or invited to do so. So he would go down on his marrow-bones and tell the petty chief, and then he would go down the same way with his head almost in the mud, to tell old Seelic, and sometimes while all this etiquette was going on, the pigeon would take the alarm and leave the tree, before

STRONG'S ISLAND. 251

old Seelic could bring his gun to bear on him. The old fellow is a good shot and would drop his bird almost every time. But the war dance is about finished for to-night, and it's time to muster the boys and shove off."

      We got all our water and wood on board, and a good stock of fruit, though the only recruits to be got to serve as sea stores for any length of time were yams, and these of indifferent quality. When ready for sea, we lay wind-bound two days, but on the third the trades were so far to the northward that we could lay our course through the passage in the reef, and both ship's windlasses were at once manned to take advantage of the start. It was observed that, as we began to get under way, nearly all the natives left us, and that very few were in sight even on the beach. As our anchor made its appearance at the surface it brought with it the bight of a small chain, which had caught across the stock. The few natives about the ship got sight of it as quick as we did, and, as conscious guilt needs no accuser, in the twinkling of an eye, they were off for the shore, some in canoes and others jumping overboard. It was a critical moment for us, as the ship was swinging, and we could not afford to lose the wind, so we "hooked cat," and secured our anchor, the bight of the chain slipping off the anchorstock, and falling back to its submarine bed, where it had probably lain for several years. It might have been the cable to a vessel of a hundred and fifty to two hundred tons. In a few minutes both ships were standing out through the narrow passage, the Leonidas lead-

252 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

ing, as the increased strain on our windlass in lifting the anchor had given her the start.

      It was barely possible that the chain might have been slipped or accidentally lost by some vessel; but probabilities were strong to the contrary. The evident uneasy feeling of the natives, when we were about taking up our anchor, was a significant circumstance. Could we have let go the other anchor, and taken time to investigate the matter by underrunning the small chain, we should, no doubt, have found positive evidence of treachery, and might have shed light upon the fate of some long-missing vessel.

      We ran to leeward of the island and shaped our course to the northward and westward, not sighting any other island of the Caroline group. In a few days we parted company with the Leonidas, and went our way alone toward the Japan cruising-ground.

CHAPTER XX.

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK. — WHALING INCIDENTS. — A YANKEE TRICK.

      The words, "on Japan," as used by sperm whalemen, do not necessarily indicate the near vicinity of the islands of that name, but indicate all that part of the North Pacific Ocean to the eastward of them, even to the meridian of 180 degrees, between the parallels of twenty-five and forty degrees. The "Japan Sea," lying between the islands and the main coast of Asia, had not, at the time of which I write, been penetrated by whalers, though it has since become well known as a right whaling ground.

      The season "on Japan," as usually made, was from April or May to September, and the usual route was to run well to the westward in the early part of the season, and then work back again, making the autumn port at one of the Sandwich Islands; a group which has derived great importance from its position, seeming to have been providently dropped midway in the North Pacific, as a "half-way house," between the two continents, as well as a haven of refuge for the belated whalemen from all the northern cruising grounds.

      The first part of our cruise we visited the Bonin

253           

254 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

Islands, where we added somewhat to our stock of vegetables, and in this vicinity we took considerable oil. At an uninhabited island of this group we also made a good haul of green turtle, which afforded us high living for the time being. We stood to the northward, cruising up the east coast of Niphon, one of the principal of the Japan Islands, and saw the walls of the great city of Jeddo, but, at that period, this great empire was a sealed book to all foreigners except the Chinese and Dutch, and even to these favored nations but few pages were opened. We met with a junk now and then, but they shunned all communication with us, and, by putting off dead before the wind, their best point of sailing, generally managed to keep clear of us, as we did not care to devote all day to a stern chase. The class of "junks" of which we were now especially in search were not to to be found here, the cetaceous monsters which bear them not appearing to frequent the immediate vicinity of this coast. So we hauled to the southward again and soon fell in with sperm whales, and with numerous ships, among which were our old consorts, the Fortitude and the Pandora, both of them having met with fair success.

      An accident happened while on this cruising ground, which had well-nigh terminated the career of our worthy chief officer. We lowered and struck a large whale, having a new line in our boat, which had been stretched and coiled down only a few days before, and was somewhat wiry, as any whale line is liable to be when first used. The whale sounded heavily, and I

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK, ETC. 255

watched the tub anxiously as the line ran spinning and smoking round the loggerhead. Already half our line was out and had run clear thus far when I noticed a lifting of the centre or "heart" of the coil in the tub; it was rising up through the larger bights; the alarm was cried, "Foul line! Cut!" but it was too late. I writhed myself clear of it, as it flew by me in a snarl and whizzed between the heads of the oarsmen as they leaned outboard to escape the danger. The snarl was gone, and the mate with it! The bowman seized the hatchet and divided the line as quickly as possible. There was a moment of anxious suspense which seemed an hour. The head of Father Grafton rose to the surface nearer the old man's boat than ours; he was seized by strong hands before he could sink again, though I could see that he was almost at the last agony, and, as they pulled him in, the blood started from his nose, and eyes, and even from his ears! The whale went to windward, spouting clear, and we soon gave up the pursuit as hopeless. But we had saved our mate, and a few hours sufficed to bring him all right again.

      "It seemed to me," said he, "that I must have passed half an hour under water, though, of course, I know that the whole transaction did not occupy more than a minute, from the time I went out of my boat till I was in the captain's. I was to blame myself for being caught so much off my guard, for knowing that my new line was dangerous, I ought to have had the hatchet or boatknife in my hand the whole time the whale was sounding. But after the alarm was

256 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

shouted, I hadn't time to pull the knife out of the becket before I was overboard. I was caught with a round turn round my thigh, though, of course, I cannot tell how it got there. I know that I made a grab for the boat knife, but was hurried away out of the reach of it; that I felt in my pocket for my jackknife, and drew it partly out; that I then felt the strain suddenly ease up at the moment the line was cut inboard; that I seized it with my hands and shoved it off my leg; but from that time I can tell nothing till I began to revive in the other boat on my way to the ship. I can give you no idea, in words, of how I felt while I was being dragged through the water by the leg, but I should say there was a resistance like passing through a solid wall that seemed to flatten me, as it were, and that a thousand sledge-hammers were clanging right in my ears. We lost our second mate in that way, when I was in the Plutarch," continued Mr. Grafton, thoughtfully; "and many another good man has met his death in the same manner, gone past help almost before he could see the danger."

      "Ah! Misther Grafton," said Farrell, "I may say that's the only time I ever felt glad to get my fist clutched in yer hair, was when I see it bobbing up close to our boat, sir. But, I'm thinking ye had about as narrow a chance for yer life as meself had, the night I went after the parr-puses, bad luck till 'em."

      The next morning, Fisher, who was at the masthead, reported four sails in sight, three to the leeward of us, and one off the weather beam running down for us under all sail.

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK, ETC. 257

      "Look sharp!" cried the old man, "he must see something if he is running off. Don't let him get a large whale right under our noses!"

      I observed that he and the mate exchanged significant glances, and I thought too that there was a merry twinkle in his eye. I relieved Fisher at the masthead after breakfast, and not long afterwards, the captain, who had been getting sights to determine his longitude by chronometer, hailed me from the deck.

      "How does that sail to windward bear now?"

      "Two points abaft the beam, sir," I answered.

      "Is he running off yet?"

      "Yes, sir; headed right at us," said I.

      "We ought to see him from deck by this time, then," said the old man.

      "I don't think you can, sir," I answered. "He don't seem to near us much."

      I heard a loud laugh from the mate, but supposed, of course, it was called forth by something transpiring on deck; and a few minutes afterwards perceived the captain coming up the rigging, with the spyglass slung over his neck. He took a comfortable seat on the crosstrees (which was more than he allowed me to do, for I was required to stand the whole two hours), and, bringing his telescope to bear on the strange ship, said to me:

      "So you think he don't near us much, eh?"

      "I cannot perceive that he nears us at all," said I. "And yet there he is, coming right at us with to'gal'antsails set, and the breeze on his quarter."

258 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Well," said he, "by all accounts, you are not the first one by dozens who has been mystified by that same craft. According to our observation, that is Ormsbee's Peak; a rock that rises out of the sea like a tower, at a considerable distance, too, from any other land. It tapers upward very much like the sails of a ship. I never saw it before, myself, but I am told that it is almost always raised from the masthead as a sail. So you needn't take any further note of Ormsbee's manœuvres, for he won't come down near enough to us to-day. Keep a sharp eye on those fellows under our lee. If a whale comes up among the fleet here, we want to be in the suds as quick as any of 'em.

      "This ship off the lee quarter," said he, after a good look through his glass, "is the Pandora, I know by that new cloth in his mainsail, and the paint of his starboard boat, too. That one I don't know," he muttered, "but the farthest one, nearly ahead of us, looks very much like our Strong Island partner, the Leonidas, though I can't swear to her at that distance."

      He soon after went down on deck, after again enjoining upon me to keep my eyes about me. My trick was nearly out, and I had as yet seen nothing to attract especial attention, the four ships still maintaining about the same relative positions, all on the starboard tack. I was getting tired, and wondering why the relief bell did not strike, when I noticed the Pandora was nearer the wind than she should be. I thought for a moment that this was merely the effect

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK, ETC. 259

of carelessness on the part of the helmsman, but determined not to be caught napping, I hailed the deck, that "the Pandora was coming in stays."

      "No, he isn't," said the old man. "He has got too nigh the wind, that's all. There, he is filling again."

      But, as he spoke, the maintopsail of the next ship, the stranger, swung in to the mast, and his lee quarter boat could be seen projecting from under his counter.

      "He sees whales!" I shouted; but the old man was already shaking me on my perch, as he strided up the rigging, two ratlines at each step.

      "Hard up your helm!" said he. "Square in the after yards, Mr. Grafton, and get the boats ready as fast as possible. Call all hands there, one of ye!"

      The Pandora showed as yet no manœuvres, having filled again on the same tack, and his starboard boat was still in its place on the cranes; but three boats were down from our next neighbor, and the supposed Leonidas was in the act of wearing round to close with the rest of us.

      "Where's the whale?" asked the captain, as he appeared by my side. "Steady, there!"

      "I've seen no whale yet, sir," I answered, "and I can't see any boats down from the Pandora."

      "Perhaps the stranger has lowered his boats, blackfishing," he suggested. "Worth has got no extra men aloft, and keeps his course as usual. If that is all, we may as well luff to again."

      He gave no order to that effect, however, and we continued running off, rapidly nearing the other ships. A few minutes of puzzled suspense followed, when

260 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

the Pandora's main tack, sheet and lee braces were all let go at once, and she, also, lay hove-to, just as her two boats shot out of range of their ship under her lee, fast to a whale, as was evident from the white water flying, and from the speed at which they were moving.

      "Pretty well done, Worth!" said Captain Upton, his keen admiration of his brother whaleman getting the better of his vexation. "Luff to the wind there, and stand by to lower away! There may be other whales, though, if there's only one, I'll sell out my share at a low figure."

      Further concealment was unnecessary; down went Captain Worth's boat, and down went all of ours, pell-mell, but before we got very near the fast boats it was plain that the whale was in his flurry, and we "hove up," seeing that there was no other one for us to attack.

      "Now, I shouldn't be at all surprised," said Mr. Grafton, "if that was the game whale that dragged me so far on the road to Davy's locker. They've killed him so quick that I think he must have been more than half-dead when they struck him; and besides, that would account for his not being seen by any of us, as his spout would be very faint and broken. She must have been very near to the whale herself, before she raised him."

      "I have no doubt it was a wounded whale," answered the old man; "and if so, it may or may not be ours. If our iron is not in him of course we have no claim; and I presume they'll take care that it sha'n't

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK, ETC. 261

be in him, when they take him alongside. But you and Mr. Dunham may as well go aboard and keep company, and I'll make Worth a visit when he flukes the whale, and see what discoveries I can make."

      "There's our boat to windward coming down," said the mate, "and that's Captain Taber in the stern of her, or else I don't know him. So that's the Leonidas. Come, pull ahead, boys, and let's get home again, we can do no good here. It'll be Worth's turn to blow now, as it was ours off the Western Islands."

      We jogged leisurely to windward, and by the time we had our boats secured, the Pandora was hauling her whale alongside, while all the captains' boats were clustered round her, to learn the particulars of the affair, the others returning to their respective ships. One of the stranger's boats pulled across our stern just within hail, and the mate asked what ship it was. The officer answered us without stopping his boat, and all we could make out of the sound was "Arrowroot."

      "Hard up and let her go off!" said the mate to the man at the helm. "We'll run to leeward, so the old man wont have to pull up hill. Arrowroot," said he, musingly, "what name can it be that sounds like that? O, I know now who it is," with a laugh, as the truth occurred to him, "it's the Lalla Rookh, of New Bedford. I knew she was on the ground here somewhere."

      It was evening before the old man returned, and lights were set by all the ships; for the four captains

262 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

had improved this occasion for a gam, and much time was consumed in detailed accounts of their adventures during the season, and in examining the Pandora's "medical stores" and testing their quality. The only effect upon our worthy captain was to make him rather more talkative than usual.

      "I could not lay any claim to the whale," he said, "though I have little doubt that it is the same that towed you over the bows by the leg. The whale floated, jaws towards the ship, when he was fluked, and there was the iron hole in his starboard side, just about as it was in our whale. The whale was badly wounded when they raised him, and spouting very faintly. He dropped his two lee boats in the water when he saw his sails shivering, and they went right down to leeward with their paddles, not setting any sails, and, keeping in range of the ship, we knew nothing till after they were fast. The Lalla Rookh being more out ahead of him, could see the boats, and, of course, lowered hers, but they could see no sport at that distance when they lowered. Well, I cornered Mr. Ray up pretty sharp, and he admitted there was an iron hanging in the whale when he struck him, but he says it worked out before they got him fluked. Perhaps it did, and perhaps they helped it a little. I think I should have been sorely tempted to do so under similar circumstances. As it is, he has got eighty or ninety barrels of oil, and no one else can touch it, as there is no 'craft' to claim it by."

      The general rule, as established among whalemen is, that "marked craft claims the fish so long as he is

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK, ETC. 263

in the water, dead or alive." The irons are usually marked with the ship's name, or a convenient abbreviation of it, cut with a small chisel on the flat of the shank, near the head, and if this be found it claims the whale, provided the claimant arrives before the whale is peeled of his blubber. But if another ship has succeeded in cutting him in, no claim can be made. In case the claimant appears during the process of cutting, and a mark is found, he has a right to cut off the blubber square with the plankshear, and take what is below it, but can claim nothing that has been raised above it. Such is whaler's law, as settled by established usage; and perhaps nothing could be devised that would be more just than this.

      A few days after this, we played another of those tricks that are so amusing to talk of, being perfectly justifiable in this as in any other business where there is competition and the rule is to "take care of number one." It was a calm day, one of those hot calms that every whaleman must have experienced who has been "on Japan" in July and August, and which sometimes last unbroken for a period of several days, during which the heat seems more fierce and unendurable than one has ever found it within the tropics. One ship was in sight about two miles distant from us, showing marks of an Englishman about her rig and general appearance. She had shown her signal, but as there was no wind to open it we were none the wiser for seeing it.

      We raised a large whale about three miles off, and had the run of his movements two or three risings

264 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

before we put our boats in the water, so that we knew pretty nearly where to "prick for him." We took our paddles after we had pulled about half the distance we wished to go, and jogged more slowly in this way, but with less noise. Meanwhile the strange ship had put four boats down, and they were coming with their oars pulling with a will, so as to stand an equal chance with us. The whale had one rising after we had lowered, and again "turned flukes" undisturbed, and now the crisis was to come on his next appearance. We had spread our chances so as to be ready for him, knowing very nearly where he would appear. The strange boats came on, "smashing in" with their oars, and showing no intention of heaving up or of taking their paddles. The old man took to his oars and pulled near to us.

      "Mr. Grafton," said he, "they'll gally the whale if they come pulling over him when he is about coming up. I think we are far enough, and would like to lie still where we are. But we must get rid of these four boats, and if it's pulling they want, they shall have it. Do you take your oars and pull hard right on in the same direction we have been going. The whale won't be up for twenty minutes yet, and no harm will be done. Speak to Mr. Dunham as you pass, and tell him to pull ahead too. This will toll those four boats off, so that they will lose the scent. But keep your eyes on me when the whale comes up."

      The strange boats come on, and seeing two of us pulling with might and main, while the third had apparently abandoned the chase, three of them followed

ON JAPAN. — ORMSBEE'S PEAK, ETC. 265

the lead of the majority, and "gave way," with a laudable ambition to outpull us, which we were quite willing to allow them to do, while the fourth hove up to speak the old man. He inquired the name of our ship, and reported himself as first officer of ship Bermondsey, of London. The captain, he said, was on board, not being in the habit of going in the boat himself. He asked Captain Upton what he thought of the chance for the whale.

      "Well," said our captain, "I don't think I shall chase him any further. I shall let my mates try him a spell, but I don't think much of my chance, for I see that your boats pull so much faster than mine, they will have a long start of them before the whale comes up again."

      "O, yes sir," said John Bull, "our boats can houtpull any bl——y boats on the ground."

      "No doubt of it; indeed I can see that myself," said the old man, seeing how eagerly his flattery was swallowed.

      "Well, pull ahead, boys!" said the English mate, "and let's show them fellows how we can pass them."

      The result was, fifteen minutes later we were about a mile from the spot where we received orders to pull; the English boats a smart mile and a half, except the mate who was just triumphantly passing us; the whale up within a ship's length of the old man, and he just shooting alongside of him. Our shouts of laughter as we laid round to pull to the assistance of the fast boat, gave the English mate the first intimation

266 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

of the Yankee trick by which he had been humbugged. An hour later the breeze struck us, and we hauled the largest whale of our season's work alongside, while the Bermondsey down tacks and stood away from us, in spite of our signals inviting communication.

CHAPTER XXI.

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING AT OCEAN ISLAND. — INCIDENTS OF THE RUN TO SYDNEY, N. S. W.

      We continued working to the eastward until we were in longitude 170 degrees east, but the captain, not wishing to visit the Sandwich Islands, determined to leave this ground early, and finish out the season among the groups, recruiting at some island where he could drive a barter trade, in which our stock of tobacco and cloth could be made available. Up to the middle of August we had taken about five hundred barrels since leaving Strong's Island. In company with our old consort, the Leonidas, we steered to the southward, working down through those intricate and dangerous archipelagoes known as the Radack and Ralick chains of islands, where we carried sail days, and lay to nights with two men in the foretopmast crosstrees, and all the rest of the watch above the rail. Ragged reefs of coral, little more than flush with the surface of the sea, stretched here and there in unexpected directions, and sunken rocks waylaid us at every turn. At times we seemed to be embayed among these dangers, seeming the more formidable from the unpronounceable Russian names on the charts, while ever and anon a green islet with cocoanut trees popped into view, as if it had been forced up

267           

268 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

from the depths of the sea, while we had been looking for hidden dangers in another quarter of the horizon, and two or three canoes would dodge out from a lagoon, whence the only passage of egress seemed to us to have been by a submarine route under the reef of rocks. The old saying among us, "Where there's a cocoanut tree there's a Kanaka," though not infallible, held good through all this labyrinth. Sperm whales were seen several times, and in one instance we took two small whales and cut them with canoes alongside of us from a pretty little island, nestled among ugly reefs which stretched out like antennæ to draw luckless mariners into destruction. What it was called by the Russian officers I cannot now remember, but the name itself was ragged enough to bring a ship up all standing. We were not sorry when we had wound our way clear of these perils without accident, and emerged into a comparatively open sea.

      We struck the equator between the longitudes of Ocean and Pleasant Islands, where we got a "cut" of a hundred and fifty barrels, and stood in under the lee of Ocean Island to get a few casks of water. We bargained with one of the white "beach-combers" to fill them by contract at so many heads of tobacco for each cask. I went ashore in the boat, with the second mate, having the casks in tow. We rolled them up on the reef and then high and dry on the beach. I was conscious all the time of a strange, giddy feeling, which seemed to be occasioned by the odors from the land, and as I went up from the reef to the soil and drew near to the cocoanut grove near the landing, this feel-

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING, ETC. 269

ing overpowered me, my strength seemed to have left me all at once, I felt a tingling pain in my legs, and fell helpless to the ground. I was surprised, and rather indignant withal, to perceive that Mr. Dunham was laughing at me.

      "Ah!" said he, "it's well for you that you came ashore. It's time we all had a land cruise and a good run among the fruit trees. We shall all be better for this day's work."

      "Why," I asked, "what do you suppose ails me?"

      "It's the scurvy working out of you, I suppose," said he. "That's what we call it. I have seen the same phenomenon once or twice before in men who had shown no symptoms of the disease while at sea, but the first contact with the land affected them as it does you now. That will soon pass off and you will feel better than ever."

      His prediction proved true. In a few minutes a slight attack of vomiting relieved me, and I rose to my feet. The dizziness gradually passed away, and I felt stronger and fresher than when I landed.

      The casks, in the mean time, had been rolled in a tier with the bungs out, I saw no watering-place from which they were to be filled. I naturally asked, "where is the water?"

      "O," said Dan, the white man, "the water here is away up inland, in a sort of cave under ground."

      "Is that the only fresh water here?" I inquired.

      "That's all," said he. "I shall put on my gang to bring it down. Here's some of 'em; they're beginning to muster now."

270 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      To my further astonishment, his "gang," as he termed them, were all of the female "persuasion."

      "You don't mean to say that these woman are going to lug all this water two or three miles?"

      "Yes, certainly," said he. "The men are too lazy to do any such drudgery, and think women were born expressly for it, and not fit for much else. Besides, only women are allowed to enter the water-cave. Gentlemen are not admitted."

      Each of these women brought some half a dozen cocoanut shells, slung with short strings, so as to be carried, two or three in each hand.

      "Why don't you get the ship's buckets?" I asked.

      "O, they don't want buckets," said Dan: "they wouldn't use 'em if they had 'em. You must let 'em work in their own way."

      They did work their own way; and all day long, and day after day, for it took them several days to fill twenty casks. The battalion of women, in Indian file, could be seen on their winding way as they carried their burdens to the beach, inverted their cocoanut shells over the tunnel, and retraced their weary steps to the subterranean pool, while the men looked complacently on, and Dan, the contractor, lay drunk the best part of the time on fire-water of his own manufacture.

      As a consequence of his carelessness, he was obliged to fill four or five casks the second time, as we found the water salt on taking it on board, and the captain refused to pay the tobacco until he had fulfilled his contract. It was evident the women had gone astray

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING, ETC. 271

in their wanderings, and filled some of their shells at the ocean instead of at the inland lake.

      The manufacture of intoxicating liquor follows close upon the advent of white men as settlers or dwellers among savage tribes; indeed the sight of a whiskey still would have been as satisfactory evidence to the shipwrecked mariner of the presence of civilized men, as, it is said, was that of the gallows. With a rude apparatus, a liquor is distilled from the sap of the cocoanut tree, which is warranted to "kill at as many yards" as any article of tangle-foot dispensed over the bar of the most notorious "chainlocker" in New York or London. The exhilarating cordial, known among seamen by the name of "dent" (the word being a contraction of the Spanish aguardiente), is smuggled on board at almost every island where a white man has located himself; and it is well known that Jack will "suck the monkey" in whatever form or wherever he presents himself, as well in the Pacific as at the West Indies.

      Here we parted company with our friends of the Leonidas, she being bound to Otaheite, to examine the head of her mainmast, which had been discovered to be rotten to a considerable depth. We worked slowly down to the westward, hauling to the wind during the night, and running off under easy sail in the daytime, so as to look the ground over carefully. We picked up another hundred barrels of oil before we reached the parallel of 160 degrees east, and as we had now twenty-one hundred, the remainder of our voyage was a sort of running cruise towards our last port and home.

272 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      In this longitude we hauled on the southern tack, running near Lord Howe's group and through the Solomon Archipelago. We took three small whales so near to one of the former, that, when the third one turned up, he was within less than a hundred yards of the reef, the savages yelling at us from the shore. The ship was about a mile and a half from us, with two whales fluked alongside, and carrying sail to hold her position. As the old man dared not run off to take the third whale alongside, he sent the other two boats to our assistance, with orders to tow the whale on a wind. We set our sails and took the oars, and accompanied by howling barbarians both on shore and in canoes, we towed the whale about ten miles to the southward, until clear of the island and adjacent reefs, so that the ship could come down to us without danger. During the four or five hours that we were thus employed, those in the canoes kept within a short distance outside of us, while their comrades on the beach, women, children, and all, travelled along shore abreast of us, an infernal serenade rising on both sides of us without cessation. They would have attacked us if they had dared; but, though of course constantly on our guard, we did not much fear them. They mustered about fifty canoes, containing between two and three hundred warriors, but dared not venture within reach of our whaling weapons. They at one time seemed to be making preparations to give us a volley of stones, at long shot, but the captain, seeing a suspicious movement among them, fired the six-pounder, which was kept trained upon them all

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING, ETC. 273

the time, and sent a shot whizzing over their heads, which had the effect of cooling their ardor. They were more wary after this, and made no further hostile demonstrations, but escorted us the whole distance, and lay on their paddles until the ship had approached quite near us, evidently waiting in the hope that some accident or turn of fortune would place us in their power. As a general rule, savages will not make an attack, unless all the circumstances are overwhelmingly in their favor. We saved our three whales, and made a safe offing with the ship, before night, but the wild din of their voices seemed to ring in my ears for a week afterwards. These people had the gristles of their noses split, and many of them had inserted large ornaments (?) of shell or bone, which hung down, so as in a great measure to hide their mouths. They were a hideous looking race, and I confess to a decided reluctance to becoming a subject of their tender mercies.

      At San Cristoval, one of the Solomon Islands, we drove a smart trade for yams and fruit, the currency used here being hoop-iron, cut into pieces a few inches long, like the money of the ancient Spartans in the days of Lycurgus. Here, for the first time, we met with people possessing the characteristic of the African, for there are two great families of races in Polynesia. These Ethiops of the Pacific, or Oceanic negroes as they are called, are even more repulsive in appearance than the wearers of the ponderous nasal ornaments at Lord Howe's group. Their hair, or wool, has the true African kink in it, both ends seeming to grow

274 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

into the skull, and is turned a dull reddish color by the application of lime, or something of that nature, giving them the appearance of having the head protected by what seamen call a "thrummed mat." The teeth are colored or discolored by the use of the betel-nut, till they are darker than their skins; in fact those of men past middle age are jet black. But they seem well-disposed to whites, and inoffensive, and our intercourse with them was marked by no unpleasant occurrence. The canoes used by these people are very light, and neatly ornamented, giving evidence of considerable taste and skill in their construction, while the dexterity of the natives in balancing and managing them seems perfectly miraculous, as they have no beam to spare and no outriggers; yet they come off several miles to sea in them, keeping their equilibrium seemingly without difficulty, and jeered and shouted with true negro delight at our bungling attempts to manage them.

      We pressed through Indispensable Straits, continuing our running cruise towards the coast of Australia, but without taking any more oil till we reached the latitude of twenty-two degrees, being about midway between Booby Shoal and Cato's Bank, when two large sperm whales were raised in the morning, and down we went in pursuit. The waist boat got the lead and was soon fast to one of them and her line going out of the tub at a rate that promised soon to empty it. Seeing this state of things, our line was cast off from the craft, and I stood ready to throw the end into the other boat; but the second mate, anxious to "drown

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING, ETC. 275

him out" without bending on another line, snubbed him too hard and parted. We pulled ahead in pursuit of the whale, but when he came up again he was pushing to the windward much faster than any boat could pull. There was nothing for us but to return to the ship and take the boats up, very ill-satisfied with our forenoon's work, for we had lost an iron and nearly a tubful of line, and had nothing to show for it.

      We made sail on a wind, and soon after raised a whale on the weather beam coming to leeward. From his actions, as at times he lashed the water into foam, we were satisfied that it was the same whale that we had struck. Soon another was seen off the lee beam coming to windward. We hauled aback and lowered away again, spreading our chances well. The two whales came together, and jogged to leeward in company. The next chance fell to our boat, and, as the mate called me up to dart, I perceived that the whale with the iron hanging at his side was farthest from me, and, seeing not much choice in them for size, I pitched my iron into the other one. The other boats were on hand to assist us, and we soon killed and secured this whale, while the wounded one again escaped, spouting strong and clear.

      We had light airs for three or four days succeeding this, and were not slow to express our discontent, as we made but little progress towards Sydney, the port we were all so anxious to see. We had cut and boiled out our first whale, and still the wind was lighter than ever, almost gone entirely, while our ship, seeming as impatient as ourselves, lay rolling on the glassy sea,

276 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

when a black object was seen from the masthead, five or six miles off, abeam of us, tossing into view on the swell, and disappearing again; and, after examining it through the spyglass, we were satisfied that it was a dead whale. So our boat was lowered away to examine him, and found a large whale, but little blasted, having been dead, apparently about forty-eight hours. We cut out the iron from his side and found, as we expected, the name "Arethusa," underrun our line, and saved the whole of it, set a waif for the other boats, and towed him down to the ship in triumph. We now had reason to congratulate ourselves upon the light airs that had been the occasion of so much growling, and instead of having lost a line, with nothing to show for it, as at one time seemed to be the result of our attack upon these two whales, we had saved it, and added a hundred and fifty barrels of sperm oil to our cargo.

      The next day we got the breeze, and trimmed to it as soon as we had finished cutting. A few days found us running down the coast of New Holland, with the land well aboard and a fair wind, only thirty miles between us and the entrance to our port, and every prospect of being at anchor before night. But we were doomed to disappointment, for the wind suddenly shifted to the southward, heading us off, and blew up a gale about as fast as we were able to strip the canvas off the ship. Noon saw us lying to, on the off-shore tack, under a goose-winged maintopsail and storm staysails. The wind still increased, and we rode out a wild night under this short sail, while the wind,

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING, ETC. 277

meeting a counter current which sets to the southward along this coast, occasioned a short, chopping sea, which knocked us about rather roughly, and, in one of her heavy lurches, the waist boat was rolled under and lost. This was the only accident we met with, however; the gale blew out in twenty-four hours and the wind having settled light from the southward, we were compelled to make out our log for four or five days at least. So we made all sail, and boarded our tacks, standing off and on.

      While we were beating here, having stood well in on the inshore stretch, a small steamer, which plied as a packet between Sydney and Newcastle, passed us, shearing nearer as she approached, enough to read the name on our stern. The sight of a steamboat was, of itself, a sufficient novelty to fix the attention of every man on deck, but what a burst of emotion greeted the appearance of a woman on the deck of the steamer! The word was passed below, and the other watch were all on deck in a twinkling to look at her. She appeared to be the only lady passenger on board, or at least the only one who was able to show herself on the upper deck. At that distance, it was difficult to say whether she was young and beautiful, or otherwise, but she was at least a white woman in a civilized dress, an object which had not greeted our eyes for more than two years. We had taken our last look at a phenomenon of this kind when we left Talcahuano, four months out.

      "Well, Mr. Grafton," said the old man, as they both drew a long breath after the vision had passed out of view, "how do you feel? homesick?"

278 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Well, yes, sir," replied the mate; "I suppose that's what you may call it. The sight of a woman of our own color and race, after we have been outcasts so long, does have a humanizing influence, and starts up associations of home, and of near and dear ones left there."

      "Yes, that's true," said the captain. "That lady, who ever she is, may safely boast that she has created a sensation at least once in her life. Here's Mr. Dunham has lost half his watch below on her account, and Cooper has dropped a shook that he had half-raised in the hoop, and seems in no hurry to pick up the staves again. There are two boys up in the fore-rigging, trying to get another look at her yet."

      The two boys, still so called, were Obed B. and Kelly; no longer boys, but broad-chested, muscular young men, worthy representatives of the ocean chivalry of their native island, and still as inseparable as ever, the very Pythias and Damon of our little circle.

      We got a slant of wind the next day after this incident, and worked up near the headlands of Port Jackson, so that we took a pilot. But having the wind light, it was late in the day before we passed inside the heads, and from there we had seven miles to work up, to the anchorage before the town. The whole British navy might find ample room to moor in this beautiful bay, and might all ride in safety, under any ordinary circumstances. It was a fine moonlight evening when we went in, and as we shot handsomely into our berth among the fleet of vessels, it was

RADACK CHAIN. — WATERING, ETC. 279

difficult to realize that we had actually arrived among civilized white men. The whole thing seemed like enchantment, coming, as we did, from recent contact with howling savages, the echo of whose infernal gibberish had hardly ceased ringing in our ears. Our anchor rattled merrily to the bottom for the first time in eight months, and we furled our sails leisurely, lingering on the yards to look wonderingly on the numerous lights in the town, and to listen to the pealing of a sweet chime of bells, for it was Sunday evening on shore, though Saturday by our reckoning.

      As the reality of it all came home to our minds, as we gradually became assured that the unwonted sounds and sights were no dream, but tangible truth, a good influence was exerted upon all. No noisy demonstrations hailed the event so ardently looked forward to, but a feeling of tranquil happiness and gratitude seemed to pervade the whole ship's company. No night of the voyage was spent more quietly on board the Arethusa, certainly none more happily, than the first night after her canvas was furled in the last Pacific port.

CHAPTER XXII.

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME. — "GALWAY MIKE."

      What a change in their bill of fair awaited our crew the morning after our anchor went down in this beautiful harbor; the change from the eternal salt junk and yams, and unrelenting hard-tack, to the luxuries of a Sydney bumboat! The sailor, to be sure, is no great connoisseur in matters of this sort; nevertheless, as our observant cook pithily expressed it, "he likes good grub better than he does poor." A very small sum of money was sufficient to spread a table (or a sea-chest, either,) with baker's loaves, fresh butter and cheese, new milk, eggs, and various other "manavelins," as Jack terms them. I write the word as it is pronounced, but my researches in etymology, are, thus far, all at fault. Neither Noah Webster nor Nat Bowditch throws any light on the matter.

      Prices of fresh meats, except pork, were almost nominal. Beef could be bought at a penny a pound, mutton at three farthings; for this was long before the gold discoveries in Australia or California. No flood-tide of emigration had yet set in that direction; no yellow-metal fever had yet raged to inflate prices to a fictitious standard. Australia possessed peculiar advantages as a grazing country, and stock could be

280           

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 281

raised almost without trouble or expense. Thousands were slain merely for the hides, horns and tallow, and extensive shipments of these articles, as also of wool, were made to the mother country. Several large ships were loading at the time of our arrival, forcing the bales of wool into their places with jack-screws, much after the manner of our cotton-droghers in southern ports.

      Sydney impressed us as rather a handsome town, though not showy or glaring in appearance, most of the buildings being of a crumbly sandstone, which is quarried in the immediate neighborhood, and worked out by convict labor. We inferred, from what we saw, that stone might be cheaper than lumber for building purposes. The convicts who worked in quarrying stone appeared to be the most finished illustrations of laziness reduced to a system that I have ever met with, and to accomplish the least amount of work that it was possible for men to perform who kept steadily at it all day. This was what they called "working government stroke;" and they might have all taken diplomas at the great Circumlocution Office in the science of, How not to do it. They were not allowed to stop work entirely, nor were they ever hurried up. Sentinels in scarlet paced back and forth near them, but this was merely to preserve order and to prevent escape. The convicts themselves were all in uniform of stout, coarse cloth, with the name of the gang or division to which they belonged conspicuously stenciled on the leg of the pants, and across the back of the frock-shirt. Thus some were labelled "Chain

282 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

Gang," others "Hyde Park Barracks," and so on. They were scarcely ever called convicts here, I observed, being spoken of either politely, as "government men," or else, in slang phrase, as "lags."

      One of the striking features of Sydney, as of all British seaport towns of any size, was the taverns, or "publics," the name of which was legion, each having its distinctive sign. Here were to be found the Red Cross, the Blue Cross, and crosses of all hues of the rainbow; the Red Rose and the White Rose as rivals, typical of the ancient houses of Lancaster and York; the Thistle and the Shamrock both rivalling the Rose, and again a more compromising publican bore aloft a trinity of all three; Red Lions, Green Boars, Blue Elephants, and other impossibilities in zoology, boldly asserted the reality of their existence, while Swans and Magpies on one side of the street eyed Crooked Billets and Wheels of Fortune on the other, and the Jolly Tar near the landing swung his tarpaulin aloft, and kicked up his heels at the whole 'long shore tribe' of them. The landlord of this house was especially gracious to us all, and found his account in it, as our men spent much of their time and money in his establishment, so that the Jolly Tar was, for the time being, even more jolly than was his wont.

      The advent of an American whaleship at Sydney was a rare occurrence at that day, though, two or three years later, it became a fashionable port of resort for Nor'westmen, the exorbitant port-charges to foreign ships having been taken off, as also the duties on oil sold under a certain quantity. As we had a good

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 283

voyage in the ship, and came on shore with substantial linings to our pockets, we were always welcome visitors at the "publics," taking the wind out of the sails of all wool-droghers, soldiers, and bar-room loungers generally. It was "Get up, Jack, and let John sit down," when the Yankee whaler's men were coming. I made the acquaintance of an intelligent seaman at the Jolly Tar, a Philadelphian, who had been here some time, having been left sick in the hospital from an American brig, and was anxious to ship and go home with us if possible. Speaking of the landlord of the house, this Ashton said to me:

      "You would hardly believe, would you, that this man was sent here with two pen'worth of lag?"

      "Two pen'orth of lag!" said I, considerably mystified, "What do you mean by that?"

      "It means," explained Ashton, "in the slang phrase used here, that he was transported for fourteen years. A term of seven years is called a pen'orth of lag, fourteen years two pen'orth, and so on."

      "But you don't mean to say that he is a convict, now?" said I.

      "Certainly," he returned, "but you must not use that word here; or, if you do, don't speak it so loud. Say a 'government man.' He is still under sentence. I don't know what his offence was, but a few years ago a small matter was enough to transport a man. The law is changed now, and the system is, I think, abolished altogether. No new ones are brought, and these you see here are old stock whose term of service has not yet run out."

284 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "But can a convict, then, go into business for himself?"

      "Yes, after he gets his ticket of emancipation, which is generally granted to him after two or three years of good behavior. He can then go to work for himself, and is, to all intents and purposes, free, except that he cannot go out of the colony. In most cases, they don't want to, as they are infinitely better off here than they would be in England. I am told that some of the wealthiest men in the colony are 'lags.'"

      "But why was the system abolished?" I asked.

      "Because, in its practical working, it proved worse than a failure. In fact, instead of checking crime, it was setting a premium upon it. It is said that men, who would like to emigrate to this country but could never accumulate money enough to pay their passage, would commit a theft, so as to be sent here at government expense. They would then conduct themselves well, so as to get their tickets of emancipation, go to work for themselves, and send home the means to bring their families out. Indeed, it is said there were not a few cases where the wife, too, committed theft in order to join her husband, for women were transported as well as men."

      "But the system, if it did not prevent crime, answered the purpose of peopling the colony, I suppose?"

      "Hardly that," said Ashton, "except with rogues and felons; for the really honest and industrious classes who form the great bulk of those who come to Australia, would hardly desire to emigrate to a penal settle-

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 285

ment, full of desperadoes and thieves. The colony has not grown as fast in population under the system, as it would without it, or as it will hereafter. But here comes some of the crew of that whaling bark that got in this morning. She got seven hundred barrels, and left the ground, with whales plenty, because the men's time was up."

      "Do they ship for a fixed length of time, then?"

      "Yes, it is specified in the articles; and not only the length of the voyage, but the price they are to receive for their oil when they arrive. I went down to see the agents of the Lady Blackwood, that sailed yesterday. I had some idea of shipping, but they had already as many foreigners on the articles as the law allowed. They were ready to ship me if I would make oath that I was a British subject, but, of course, I declined doing so, and that was an end of the negotiation. We were to sign for eighteen months, and to have fifty pounds a tun for our oil, to have two glasses of grog a day and lime-juice, pursuant to the Act of Parliament, and the devil knows what else," said Ashton, with a laugh; "but come, let's go up to the 'Royal Victoria Theatre,' and spend the evening. The seamen will all rally there to-night, for 'Black-eyed Susan' is announced on the bills."

      After the play was over, we came down to the Jolly Tar, and stepped in to take a parting glass, as I intended going on board in one of the wherries, several of which were moored near by, the watermen having a little watch-house, or shanty, where they could make themselves comfortable and where one or more of

286 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

them could be found, ready for a job, at all hours of the night. It was getting late, and the public house was deserted and quiet, though not yet closed. There was no one in the bar when we entered, but a single small lamp was burning on a shelf. As Ashton was a boarder in the house, he was perfectly at home there, and he passed through into a back room to call some one to attend to our wants at the bar. While waiting for him, I saw the form of a stout man pass across the doorway, and disappear by a narrow entry or passage leading towards the back of the house. I saw that he had on a blue flannel shirt, such as English seamen usually wear, and supposing him to be a boarder about retiring for the night, gave no further thought to the matter. The landlord made his appearance to wait upon us, and, after taking our parting nip, we lingered a moment outside under the little veranda in front.

      "There's a strange sail in these waters," said Ashton. "Did you see the man who went out at the back door while you stood in the bar?"

      "Yes, I saw a man," I answered; "but thought he was one of the regular crew of the house. I shouldn't know him again if I met him, for I only had a glimpse of him for a moment, and that by a dim light."

      "Well, that," said he, "is a runaway convict — I beg his pardon — a government man. He doesn't know me, but his face is familiar to me, for I have seen him several times at work; in the chain-gang, too. I suppose our landlord is hiding him, and he will lurk round here till he gets a chance to escape into the

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 287

bush, or else to get on board of some vessel. However, it is none of my business. If he can make his escape, why, let him, I say."

      "Well, so do I," I replied. "I don't think either of us would turn informer for the sake of the reward that may be offered for him. Well, good-night." I hailed a waterman, and in a few minutes was on board the Arethusa.

      We were ready for sea within a few days after this occurrence, and, though we had enjoyed our stay at this port, we were all impatient to lift our anchor for the last time, as we hoped, before dropping it off Nantucket Bar. Peter, the Mani Kanaka, took his discharge here, as he had no desire to go to America, and had been offered a chance as boatsteerer in a Sydney whaler. I could not help feeling deeply at parting with the brave fellow, who had stood by me so faithfully in the adventure at Dominica, and whom I should probably never see again. My friend Ashton was shipped to fill this vacancy.

      It was a fine morning when we hove short and loosed our foretopsail, with the stars and stripes flying at the mizzen peak, and waited for the police-boat which we saw pushing off to board us, as is done in the case of every vessel leaving this port. The first order of the officer in charge of the boat was to have the crew mustered. We were all drawn up on the quarter and main deck, our number counted, and our names called and responded to. We remained as we had been drawn up, while the police, armed with pistols and swords, proceeded to search the ship. This form

288 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

is always gone through with on board of every outgoing vessel; but in our case the search was more rigidly conducted than usual. The cabin and forecastle were examined; the hatches were taken off, and the between decks rummaged by armed men in every direction; the galley, the round house, the boats, and every place above deck capable of concealing a man, were visited; and the cover was lifted off the tryworks to get a look into the pots. The result was satisfactory to the officer that all were on board who ought to be, and no others.

      "Captain," said he, "I have detained you to make a strict search, for the reason that a notorious criminal, known as 'Galway Mike,' made his escape from the chain-gang a few days ago, and is still at large. He has probably gone back into the bush, for he got away once before, and was nearly two years a bushranger, and you know, I suppose, what sort of a life that is. It is but a few weeks since he was captured, and he has managed to get off again. But our search of your ship has been thorough, and I presume that you and your officers are willing to give your word of honor that there is no concealed man on board, to your knowledge."

      Of course they were ready to do so.

      "That is sufficient," said the boarding officer. "You can take up your anchor now, understanding, of course, that you are to hold no communication with the shore by boats after doing so. I am sorry to have delayed you so long, but my duty must be done. I wish you good-morning, and a pleasant voyage."

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 289

      He had hardly landed at the pier, before our anchor was being bowsed up to the cat-head with the roaring chorus of "Time for us to go!" and, under our three topsails and jib, we were shooting out of our berth and threading our way among the fleet of shipping. The pilot left us when near "the Heads," and the long Pacific waves again tossed our noble ship along with her cutwater pointed homeward. We were busied in securing the anchors, and getting everything in sea trim generally, and, with a fresh breeze on our quarter, we had run the coast of New South Wales well into the dim distance before getting our meridian observation.

      "Mr. Grafton," said the captain, as he took his quadrant from the case, "you may set the foretopmast-staysail. It will do some good with the wind out here on the quarter."

      "Ay, ay, sir," answered the mate. "Stand by to hoist the staysail," said he, as he came forward. "Jump out there, Kelly, and cast that stop off."

      The staysail had been furled ever since the night we let go our anchor in Sydney, being stowed flat down on the netting, and stopped with a short piece of small rope. Kelly had cast off the stop, and sung out "Hoist away!" when he nearly lost his balance and fell overboard, as the folds of the canvas opened before him, and a powerful, sun-browned man, with hair and beard close shaven, leaped out on the bowsprit, and stood staring into his astonished eyes.

      "Hillo!" shouted the mate; "Who the devil is this

290 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

boarding us over the bows? Here, this way, you, sir! Where did you come from?"

      The strange man had by this time jumped in on deck, and casting a glance astern at the dim outline of the land melting in the horizon, muttered:

      "All right, he wont put back now to land me."

      "That's the very man who was lurking round the Jolly Tar," said Ashton to me, as he came aft with the mate.

      "Who are you?" asked Captain Upton. "A convict, I suppose, or you wouldn't be shaved and shingled so closely. Either an escaped convict, or a deserter from the army. Are you the man they were searching for this morning?"

      The stranger folded his arms, and answered boldly:

      "Yes, sir; I'm an escaped convict, as you call it, or as I should say, a runaway lag. I am the very man they were looking for this morning. My name is — never mind what it really is — I am best known as Galway Mike."

      I observed that there was no Irish accent in his speech. The title by which he was known was evidently a misnomer.

      "And how long have you been stowed away in the staysail?"

      "Since last night, sir;" he replied.

      "Did any of my crew help you, or stow you away?"

      "No, sir. No one of them knew I was there until now, and you would not have known it till to-morrow, if you hadn't had occasion to hoist the sail."

      "And what do you expect me to do with you now?"

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 291

asked the captain, who was evidently impressed by the man's speech and bearing, and who had that repugnance that all seamen feel to delivering up to justice any man who has thrown himself on their protection. The certainty of a hundred pounds reward, would not, probably, have tempted a man of the ship's company to vote for putting back to land him, though none of us really wanted him as a shipmate.

      "You'll do what you please with me, of course," answered the convict, coolly. "I don't care much what it is, so that you don't carry me back to the chain-gang. I hope you won't do that, sir."

      "No, I'm sure I shall not do that, with a forty miles offing, a strong westerly wind, and homeward bound;" said the old man.

      "Well, sir, I'm willing to do duty and act a man's part on board the ship," said Galway Mike. "I'm not much of a sailor, but I've been a short time at sea, and I'm strong and willing."

      "But I don't want you;" replied the captain. "My crew list is full, and I shall not carry you to America, for no one there would thank me for it, if what is said of your past life is true."

      "Never mind what is said of my past life, now, sir," he interposed; "I shall neither confirm nor deny anything. What is to be done with me, then?"

      "I shall be obliged to land you somewhere in New Zealand, though I suppose that amounts to nearly the same thing as carrying you back to Sydney," said the old man, with a shade of regret.

      "Not at all, sir," said Mike, "unless you put me

292 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

directly into the hands of the authorities. If you will land me so that I can have a few hours start of them, they may whistle for me. I'm quite willing to take my chance among the Maories."

      "All right!" returned the captain, glad to be able to compromise with his sympathies in this way. "I shall make the land in a few days, and will set you ashore there somewhere. How did you get on board? by swimming?"

      "Yes, sir. I swam under the bows, and climbed up the chain cable."

      "Well, I must say you showed good judgment in selecting a hiding-place," said the captain, with a laugh. "What would you have done if we had set the staysail when we first got under way?"

      "I say nothing about what I would have done under circumstances that did not occur," answered the man quietly. "I should have done all that could be done. It's not the first runaway business that I've had to do with."

      "I presume not;" the captain replied, laughing again, for he was amused at the stranger's oddity and perfect coolness. "Well, go forward and tell the cook to give you some dinner with the rest, for you must be sharp-set by this time. I will do as well as I can by you, but I must get rid of you at New Zealand, anyhow."

      "Thank you, sir!" answered Galway, as he passed forward among the crew.

      "What do you think of him, Mr. Grafton?" said the old man.

SYDNEY. — UP ANCHOR FOR HOME, ETC. 293

      "He's no Irishman. There's no Mike about him, nor Galway either," said the mate. "My honest belief is, that he is an American, though how he got out here as a transported convict I expect would be a long story. It's useless to ask him about it, that's evident."

      "Quite so," answered the captain. "But, come, I have lost my latitude, talking with him, and the steward is waiting dinner for us."

CHAPTER XXIII.

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE OF GALWAY MIKE. — CAPE HORN. — THE LAST WHALE.

      The inspiring cry of "There she blows!" greeted our ears the third day after leaving Sydney, and two sixty-barrel bulls, tugging at the fluke-chains that night, were the rich reward of our hard day's labor, putting us all in high spirits, for another hundred barrels would fill the ship, and this we hoped to get somewhere on the passage. Our progress was somewhat delayed, of course, as we were obliged to lose the fair wind while cutting. We had the last "junk" in the tackles, when a sail was seen to windward running down across us, and, on drawing nearer, was made out to be a small hermaphrodite brig. He seemed to recognize us, for, instead of running down across us, he rounded to windward and lowered his boat. As he came up to the wind, exposing his broadside to view, we had no difficulty in recognizing a little brigantine that lay a little inshore of us, while in Sydney. "That's the Paramatta!" said a dozen voices at once, and no one knew her better than our supernumerary shipmate. He said not a word to those near him, but went aft to the captain. He stood respectfully on the lee side of the quarter deck, waiting till the old man

294           

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE, ETC. 295

should be at liberty to notice him. Nothing in his manner or appearance indicated that he was at all disturbed or alarmed.

      "Well, Mike," said the old man, as, shutting up his spyglass and turning round, he, for the first time, perceived him. "What's the word? You know that fellow, I suppose?"

      "O, yes, sir. That's the Paramatta, bound to Auckland. I suppose it's all up with me."

"How so?" asked the old man. "Do you mean to go on board and give yourself up?"

      "No, sir, not I; I shall never go unless I am carried by force; but I thought perhaps you might give me up, as it would save you the trouble and delay of landing me at New Zealand. Perhaps I did you injustice in thinking so. I hope I did, sir."

      "Of course you did, Mike," said the captain, severely. "I gave you my word that I would land you, and I shall keep it. Perhaps you had better keep out of sight for the present, as I don't care to have it known that you are on board my ship, and some of the boat's crew might recognize you."

      "All right, sir," replied the convict. "I'll be all snug before they get here. His crew wouldn't be likely to blow upon me any more than yours would, but old Pickering himself would sell me at sight to get the reward. He would like nothing better than to take me to Auckland. You see he isn't a regular-built seaman, sir; he's a sort of 'long shore trader."

      "I see," said the old man. "Well, he won't be much the wiser for his visit to me. But here he is,

296 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

close under our quarter. You wont need any instruction about hiding yourself, for you are qualified to teach me," he added, with a laugh, as Mike passed forward and vanished below the deck.

      "It's very likely," said the old man, walking to the mainmast, and raising his voice for the benefit of all who might be within hearing, "that some inquiries will be made about that man who is not down by name on the ship's articles. As for myself, I don't mean to know anything about him. The rest of you, of course, are at liberty to turn informers, if you wish to. I should be sorry to think any of my men would do so, but I have no authority to dictate what subjects you shall talk about."

      He had said enough; Mike's secret was perfectly safe. Pickering, the skipper of the brigantine, a "comfortable" looking Englishman, with thin side whiskers, and a general roast-beef appearance, stepped on deck and shook hands with Captain Upton.

      "Ah! captain, you've got a good cut, I see."

      "Yes," answered the old man. "We've had greasy luck, and got a couple of nice whales. When did you leave Sydney?"

      "The same day that you did, in the afternoon. Have you got a strange man on board, captain?"

      "I don't see any," said our conscientious skipper, glancing innocently forward among the groups of men. "Your harbor police overhauled me pretty severely before I tripped my anchor, and they didn't see any, either."

      "Yes, I noticed they spent some time on board of

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE, ETC. 297

you. But there was a mighty stir among them within two hours after you left. The keeper of that public near the landing was arrested for having harbored and concealed him. Some one informed against him, and it was proved that this Galway Mike had been seen near the house the evening before, and so, instead of putting back into the bush, it was thought he had gone on board some vessel."

      "The Jolly Tar is fallen into melancholy, then, I suppose."

      "Yes," replied Pickering; "the landlord had his 'ticket' revoked, for he was a lag himself. He was lugged up to Hyde Park Barracks and put into uniform. He will have to serve out his time in the stone quarry."

      "But don't you think," asked the old man, "that if that convict had been on board the ship, he would have shown himself before this time?"

      "Yes, he would," said the Englishman, "unless some of your men are parties to his concealment, and furnish him with food. In that case he might be concealed for some time."

      "So he might," said our captain, dryly. "That's true."

      "He may be hid somewhere on board at this moment," observed Pickering, in a low and mysterious tone.

      "I shouldn't wonder," answered Captain Upton, in the same manner. "Or he may be on board the Paramatta."

      "He wouldn't be likely to run from New South

298 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

Wales to New Zealand, if he could get any other voyage. There's thirty pound reward offered for his apprehension," said Pickering.

      "Is there, indeed? That's quite an object. But, come, let's go below and take something. I'm too busy to hunt for the man now, but if I should find him on board before I get to New Zealand, I'll land him there."

      They reappeared in a few minutes, and Pickering manned his boat and left us. The brigantine was soon running off on her course, and the convict was again at work among the rest.

      "His fingers are itching for that thirty pounds, Mr. Grafton," said the old man. "He didn't make anything by coming here. I didn't tell him any lies though — or, at least, nothing but Quaker lies," said he, compromising with his conscience. The mate laughed, evidently understanding what he meant; but Mr. Dunham inquired his meaning.

      "Well," said the captain, in explanation, "you don't remember Uncle Reuben the shoemaker, but Mr. Grafton does. I went there to be measured for a pair of boots, and, of course, I asked him when they would be done? 'Well,' said he, 'thee may come in seventh-day night.' So at the appointed time, I went for my boots, and he hadn't begun on them yet. I was much disappointed, for I expected to have worn them on Sunday, and I said to him, indignantly: 'You told me they would be done Saturday night.' 'O, no!' said Uncle Reuben, in his mild way; 'I didn't tell thee so. I told thee, thee might come seventh-day night,

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE, ETC. 299

and that was just what I meant. If they were done, thee could have them; if not, I would tell thee when to come again.' Now that was as near a lie as anything that I said to Captain Pickering."

      We finished boiling and stowing down our oil, and again cracked sail on the ship. On the twelfth day after leaving our port we made the North Cape of New Zealand, and the islands named, by Tasman, "The Three Kings." We stood in near the coast, looking for an eligible place to set our man ashore, and the old man said to him:

      "I suppose, Mike, you wouldn't want to be landed very near the Bay of Islands?"

      "No," said the convict, "I would rather not. Put me among the Maories, and that is all I want. There is a headland here not far off. I'll tell you when we come to it. There, I can see it now," said Mike, who appeared to be better acquainted with the coast than any one on board. "There is the entrance to a snug, land-locked bay called by the natives, Wangaroa. It's not generally known to whalers yet, but will be visited more, by and by. Put me on the rocks, anywhere within the entrance, and I'll give you no more trouble. I am known among that tribe there. The English authorities will not find me, there. The Maories are in a state of war with the English, and they are not to be despised when they fight in their own way, among their native mountains."

      We hove to off the place indicated, and lowered our boat, taking the convict himself as our pilot. He shook hands heartily with everybody, seeming neither elated

300 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

nor despondent, but self-collected and impassible as he always was. He took with him nothing but an old musket and some ammunition which the old man had given him. We rounded a point of rocks and pulled a short distance into the bay, when two Maories, on an elevation a short distance from us, hailed us, at the same time bringing their muskets up to the shoulder. We ceased pulling and lay on our oars. The convict rose and answered them in their own dialect, seeming to speak it quite fluently. They answered again, and a short conference seemed to produce satisfactory results, for they lowered their guns and descended the hill towards us, after giving a louder shout than any before, to which we could hear a responsive yell from voices further up the bay.

      "They'll pass the word all the way over those mountains," said our cool and ready companion. "There's a chain of sentinels and pickets on every hill. It's all right; these fellows know me well. Lay right in for that flat rock, and I'll land there."

      We did so; he jumped out on the ledge of rock, and with a single "good-by" to us, he rushed up to meet the two natives half-way. They seemed to greet each other as former acquaintances might, and the three disappeared over the brow of the hill together, as we pulled out at the mouth of the bay. This was the last that any one of us ever saw of our "government man;" but some two years afterwards, I read, by accident, in a Sydney newspaper, an account of a smart and bloody skirmish between the English troops and the Maori tribes, and among the slain had been

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE, ETC. 301

found the body of a white man, tattooed in the face like a chief of rank, and it was recognized as that of a desperado long known in the colonial settlements as Galway Mike. Thus read the statement in the Gazette, and this is all I know of his history.

      The passage across the South Pacific Ocean is monotonous and barren of incident. From New Zealand to Cape Horn we had rugged weather and strong winds, for the most part fair for running on our course, at times blowing, day after day, with the regularity of trades, again hauling a few points so as to trim for it on the other quarter, and in one or two instances increasing to a gale, so violent as to compel us to heave to for the safety of the ship. As we approached Cape Horn we again encountered the cutting hail squalls which seem almost peculiar to this part of the world, but with the wind aft, we did not mind them so much as when outward bound. Rolling off before the westerly gales with sufficient press of canvas on the ship to keep her well clear of the mountainous seas in chase of her, with everything well secured, and careful men at the wheel, we laughed at the weather now, and wondered at our own progress, as we counted off five, six, or seven degrees of longitude each day, and reckoned how many more days at this rate of sailing ere we should have room to edge away to the northward and begin to steal towards a milder climate. Degrees of longitude are short ones in this latitude, and we seem to be "putting a girdle round about the earth," if not, like Puck, "in forty minutes," yet still at a rate that appears to us marvellous, as we find our

302 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

clock nearly half an hour behind the sun each day at meridian, and push her ahead to keep her up to our flying rate of progress.

      Land ho! most welcome to our eager eyes, rough, barren and uninhabitable though it be, the storm-beaten rock of Diego Ramirez, for it tells us where we are, better than the whole slateful of figures. "Shake out another reef!" she'll bear it! another day's run, and we can shove her off north-east on the "home side of the land" — the towering seas gather and roll on after us — but keep the canvas on her and she will keep ahead of them — every one of them shoots her on towards "Home, sweet home" — Diego Ramirez fades into the dark squall astern, and if the wind stands where it is, we shall catch Cape Horn asleep. That squall has passed — it is not so heavy as it promised to be — "Give her the mainto'gallantsail!" We must make the most of the breeze while we have it, for we're homeward bound! The sun rises brightly this morning, and the wind is fresh yet, and canting to the southward — "Never mind! let her slide off two points, east-north-east now!" for we've plenty of sea room — we're in the Atlantic!

      We passed to the eastward of the Falklands, and were nearly on the ground where we lost our third mate, when outward-bound. Of course the melancholy circumstance was recalled, and talked over, and the captain mentioned that some twelve years previous, when mate of the Colossus, he had struck a whale in this vicinity, and lost him in consequence of his iron breaking.

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE, ETC. 303

      "I hope," said he, "to see whales yet in crossing this ground. It bids fair to be a good day to-morrow, and I think we will shorten sail at night and let her jog easy, so as to take a good look along here. One large whale would be all we want to chock us off, and we would go home with flying colors."

      The next morning we had hardly got the reefs shaken out, when whales were raised. There were several of them, but they did not appear to run together, but were seen here and there in different directions, and were also irregular in their time of rising and going down.

      "These whales have been gallied," said the old man, "and have not got regular yet. Some ship has been whaling here yesterday, I think. But here is one off the lee quarter that I think can be struck, Mr. Grafton. You and Mr. Dunham lower away and go down there and try him, and I will wait a while and take the ship's chance. If you get fast, I'll come down there to you."

      Away we went off to leeward, but it soon appeared that his whaleship was too shy for us, and was playing a dodge game with us. In vain we tried to "prick for him;" we spread our chances, and used our best judgment, but all to no purpose. He always rose in some unexpected quarter, and spouting but a few times, was down again before we could get near enough to "stand up." At length he took a start and went off to leeward at a round pace, and led on by our ardor in the chase we pursued it until we were full three miles from the ship, when it became evident

304 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

that he was moving faster and faster at each rising, and we abandoned the chase, especially as the ship showed no signs of running off, but still lay aback in the same position as when we lowered. We laid round the heads of our boats towards the ship, and pulled to windward, wondering why the old man still kept his luff, when up went the ensign at the peak, and the small signal at the main was run up and down several times in rapid succession.

      "Give way hard, boys!" said the mate. "We are wanted in a hurry. The old man must have lowered and struck a whale to windward, and wants help. Perhaps he's stove! spring hard and shoot her up there!"

      We put our strength to the oars with a will, the second mate keeping way with us, and, though doing our best, it seemed in our anxiety and impatience, that he did not make any headway. The signal was now and then run up and down again hurriedly, speaking the most urgent language of which it was capable. We saw men on the bearers, apparently trying to clear away the lashings of the spare boat which was turned up overhead, but soon this seemed to be abandoned. We could make out now, as we drew nearer, that the cooper was on the hurricane house, waving with all his might to us and thus stimulated to greater exertion, we toiled away at our oars, the boats jumping into the head sea, and sending the spray all over us. We could hear them hailing us from the ship, long before we could make out the words. We could see them pointing to windward, as if to tell us we were needed there. Up across the

HOMEWARD. — THE EPISODE, ETC. 305

stern we held our long and strong stroke, receiving the information as we passed, that the old man had struck a whale off the weather bow, and he had run him into the "sun-glaze," so that they could not see him from the ship, and they thought he must be stoven. He could not be far off, however, as he was not more than a mile from the ship when last seen.

      "Give way hard, boys!" said the mate again. "Brace forward, Cooper, and down tacks!" but he was already mustering his small force for this purpose. We "laid back" on our oars, the mates heaving at the stroke oars, and keeping a sharp look out, not pulling directly at the glare of the sun, but in a direction abaft it so as to look broad off the bow and beam of the boat. Soon the mate's countenance lighted, and he threw her head suddenly off with the steering oar.

      "Here they are!" said he, "and not far from us, either! Spring hard, men! They're all on the wreck — two, four, five, six — all safe yet!"

      They were, indeed, all safe as yet; but we were none too soon, for they were nearly exhausted, as there was a smart sea on, washing over them, and they had all they could do to keep their positions, the strongest assisting and encouraging the others. My friend Ashton was almost gone when I dragged him into our boat; a few minutes more would have finished him. The whole bottom of their boat was crushed, she had filled and rolled over with them, and they had all clung to the bottom.

      "Never mind the boat," said the old man, "she

306 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

isn't worth picking up. Set a waif for the cooper to tack and stand towards us. Let's get on board, some of us and get the spare boat out. I think we shall see the whale again if we work up to windward a tack or two."

      The ship went about, and soon hove to again close to us. We shot alongside, put the half-drowned men on board, and had hardly done so when the whale came up in the ship's wake, distance less that half a mile. "Shove off!" was the word, and we were after him again with two boats, while the captain with his force were already rousing the third one off the bearers. The second mate got the lead this time and was fast a few minutes after pushing astern of the ship. The whale rounded to, and "showed good play," and we were quickly on hand to let more blood from him. He was already weakened from his wounds, and a few touches of the lance made him our prize. The spare boat was not called into service; but another short tack with the ship, and with shouts of triumph that rang loud and clear over the sea, we hauled alongside our last whale, that was to "chock off" the between decks and fill all our spare casks. Our perils in the attack of these monsters were over, for this voyage. No more hard pulls to windward — no involuntary sea-bathing — no more tedious "mastheads" to be stood. Well might we shout over this "last but not least" of our hard-earned prizes.

CHAPTER XXIV.

HOMEWARD.

The whale recognized as an old acquaintance. — Incidents of the run home. — Nantucket again.

      The last whale! How many pleasant recollections are associated with this landmark in the voyage! How many congratulations were exchanged among us, and how many smart things said! Sweethearts and wives are especially remembered, for both married and single are in high feather, and this is emphatically a red-letter day in the Arethusa's calendar. The work of cutting goes bravely on, amid a running fire of good-natured remarks and spicy jokes, which, of course, between the regular "natives" bear something of a personal character; for every true knight of the island chivalry in those days had his "ladie-love," whose image, held in fond remembrance, fired his heart and nerved his arm in his perilous encounters with leviathan. Each of our Nantucketers, on occasions like this, called to mind some fair face and form, his life-partner, either in esse or in posse; all had either wives to maintain or wives to obtain. The captain himself is not slow to take part in this badinage, for we are cutting the last whale now, and it is a time to waive the little restraints of rank.

307           

308 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "This is a noble whale, and, being the last one, of course, the blubber is uncommonly fat," said he, as he drove his sharp spade into it, and slashed it into convenient pieces with true professional pride; "this is the one that pays for the bridal outfits and town clerk's fees. Let's see, Mr. Grafton, we shall get invitations to three weddings, certain. I don't know but more, but we may count on three."

      "Mr. Bunker thinks we needn't count on him," said the mate.

      "Nonsense!" returned the old man. "He thinks we Newtowners don't know his cruising-grounds, because the first landfall he means to make is away up North Shore Hill. But he can't throw any dust in my eyes."

      "You didn't mean to count me, sir," said Fisher, "for I never have anything to do with the women."

      "No, of course not," said the captain. "I'll bet that within forty-eight hours after we all get our new sails bent, I shall meet you, head and head, coming down the fashionable side of Orange Street, with studdingsails out both sides — sweeping common folks like me right off into the gutter."

      "Well, I've got sisters, you know, sir," said Fisher with a half-blush. "I must show them round."

      "Yes, I know it; but, if the Fortitude gets home ahead of us, one of your sisters wont want your services."

      "That's so," put in the second mate. "You can set a new studdingsail on that boom, Fisher."

      "There, you haven't a word to say, Mr. Dunham,"

HOMEWARD. 309

replied the captain. "If you were landed there to-day, there would be an invasion of 'Egypt,' and a 'rush to arms' in that quarter of the world that would equal anything in the days of Bonaparte. A-a-ah! my spade!" said he, suddenly changing his tone. "I've struck a ringbolt — no, it isn't — it's something in the blubber — head of an iron — somebody has had a crack at this whale before."

      He pulled it out, and wiped it off with a piece of canvas, scraped it lightly with his jackknife, and examined it with an incredulous look.

      "Eureka!" he shouted at last, holding up the fragment of the harpoon. "Here's my iron! Who says he isn't my own whale, when he has carried my mark these twelve years!"

      It was even as he said. There was little more than the barbed head left, for it must have been long before the wound cicatrized, and the small part of the shank had been reduced to a mere shred of iron from the effects of long attrition and corrosion; but fairly legible on the thick centre-piece of the head were the marks boldly cut with a chisel, S. COL'S. L. B.

      "Ship Colossus's Larboard Boat," said the old man, triumphantly. "Shouldn't want any more evidence in case of life and death. It's twelve years since I struck that fish — the first time, I mean."

      The last round of blubber has been "piked off;" the last pot of oil "baled down;" the last pipe stowed that "chocks off betwixt decks," and Old Jeff's immense "plantations" displayed in a triumphant double-

310 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

shuffle on the main hatches. Now comes the expected and welcome order. "Overboard tryworks!" Crowbars, hammers, or whatever else will serve the purpose, are seized, and rapidly the cumbrous pile of greasy bricks and mortar disappears under our vigorous blows, the pots alone being saved for the next voyage; the deck is washed and planed off where it had stood; and the old strainer, shattered by hard service, and half-charred by the fire, travels the same road, overboard. We are all astonished that our ship has such a spacious maindeck; and she herself, by her more buoyant and elastic movement, seems to share in the general joy, at being relieved of this unsightly burden.

      Still onward, homeward, she bounds along! down into the south-east trades, where the duty of dressing her up for home begins; where the operations of fitting, rattling down and tarring down furnish ample employment for us all; where outward-bound merchantmen are met, and passed every day, and longitudes compared by chalking them in gigantic figures on boards, like showmen's posters; where the south-east trades haul to north-east, and knock us off into the "bight of Brazil," compelling us to beat off and on for several days; where catamarans, or triangular rafts, fully officered and manned by one Portuguese, come off several miles to sea, to catch fish, and to sell them, too, if a passing ship comes conveniently near; where a big, black steamer, evidently of Yankee build, but wearing the gorgeous Brazilian flag, and showing the name "Bahiana," passes almost within hail of us. We

HOMEWARD. 311

are favored with a slant of wind at last; Cape St. Augustin is doubled and left astern, the towers of Pernambuco are seen, with ships in the roadstead, and now the coast again trends to the westward, and is soon lost to our view.

      "Sail ho!" a whaler, too, right from home! Now for a gam, for newspapers, perhaps letters, too, for some of us, for books, for tobacco! She hails us, and gives her name as the "Delta, of Greenport." No letters for us there; but we get bundles of New York papers, and peruse them, all four pages, from "clew to earring," advertisements and all. They are filled with politics, for this is campaign year (1844), and of course, we are highly competent, after nearly three years' absence, to understand the issues of the hour! Not a word is said about the National Bank, or the Sub-Treasury, or any of the old bones of contention which are familiar to us, but everything is Texas or no Texas. Henry Clay's name is prominent, and excites no wonder, for his fame has long been national; but "who is James K. Polk?"

      The equator is crossed, and now how we check off the degrees of latitude, day by day, as we run them up in the north-east trades, for we are on the home side of the line! Our rigging is all fitted and tarred down, and a coat of paint from the mastheads down to the water-line, inside and out, works a wonderful change in the appearance of our noble ship. How eagerly we hail the first patches of gulf-weed! and as we plough through immense quantities of it, day after day, and haul great snarls of it in on deck.

312 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

wonder what is the use of it, and what becomes of it all, finally?

      We pass Bermuda without the usual heavy squalls characteristic of that locality, but off Hatteras we lie to a couple of days, and ride out a "clear nor'wester," which seems to blow out of the sun and stars, rather than the clouds. Block Island is our first landfall; and, leaving this on our port bow, we shape our course for the Vineyard Sound. It is nearly night when we see a pilot-boat coming for us, and every heart leaps with joy at the thought of soon being at anchor in a home port. Merrily we rouse up the chain cables from their rusty lockers, and tumble the anchors off the bow; our maintopsail is thrown aback, and the pilot-boat shoots up within hail."What ship is this?" he asks.

      "The Arethusa, of Nantucket."

      "O yes! how d'ye do, Captain Upton? You look deep," says the pilot.

      "Full ship," replies the old man, rather proudly. "What's sperm oil worth?"

      "'Bout eighty-five cents. Haint you got a piece of salt pork to spare, captain?"

      "Yes, half a dozen," answers the captain, who, knowing the ropes, has it all prepared beforehand. "Here, pass this meat into the boat."

      "Now, haint you got a few fathoms of second-hand towline that you can spare as well as not? You see my peak-halyards, they're about worn out."

      "Here it is, waiting for you," says the old man, with a laugh. "It's the most remarkable thing, that

HOMEWARD. 313

a Sound pilot-boat's peak-halyards always are about worn out! Here, pass this coil of line into the boat. I suppose you can get us into Oldtown to-night, can't you pilot?"

      "Well, I guess you don't want to go in there, captain. I can get you in to-night as far as Holmes' Hole, anyhow, and if it's fair weather in the morning I'll take you right down to the Bar, and the camels will take you in."

      "Ah, yes, the camels; they're a new institution that we've never seen yet. They've been built since we were away. Do they work well?"

      "O, yes, indeed," says the pilot, "pick the ship right up, cargo and all, and back her into the harbor and drop her alongside of the wharf."

      "Good," says Captain Upton; "those are the very animals that I want to see."

      "I reckon the folks down to Nantucket are getting worried a little about you, captain. They heard from you on Japan, somewhere in the middle of the season, but they didn't hear of your being at the islands in the fall, when we got the reports from the fleet. 'Spose you made a port in some out-of-the-way place?"

      "Yes, I made a running cruise of it, and didn't anchor till I made my last port in Sydney; so I've brought my own report from there."

      We ran into Holmes' Hole and anchored at nine o'clock among a large fleet of coasting vessels, who had made a harbor for the night like ourselves. Before daylight in the morning we were heaving up again, and, with a fair wind, we ran down for Nantucket Bar

314 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

with all our bunting flying. Down goes our anchor again in the old berth which we left three years ago, the sails are rolled up to the yards in a hurry, and a boat is lowered to pull the captain ashore. The owner is seen with his horse and the inevitable green box on wheels, waiting on the cliff shore to receive him, and take him to the arms of his family. The boat pulls square in, and lands him on the north beach, and returns to the ship, for an immense black Noah's-ark-looking craft is already seen moving out of the docks in the harbor, which the pilot tells us is "the camels." Several boats soon arrive, with friends and relatives of the Nantucket men. Here is our worthy mate's son in one of them, a stout, well-grown lad and evidently a "chip of the old block;" and here in another boat is an embryo "Cape Horner," a young brother of Obed B., who is already shipped, and is to sail in a fortnight.

      "Ah, Obed;" he says, as he hops in over the rail, with hands outstretched, and his nut-brown, young face lighted up with pleasure and excitement, "I'm going in the Ranger; and if you hadn't got home just as you did, you wouldn't have seen me for I don't know how many years. Yes, the folks are all well at home, and the camels will have you into the wharf before night. The steamer will be along soon. We've got a new steamboat, too, since you went away. Say, Obed, I got the dollar from Captain Upton's wife this morning. I was the first boy that knew it was the Arethusa. One of the men came down out of the old south tower, and told me what signal the ship had set,

HOMEWARD. 315

and I put for the captain's house. I got the dollar, and then I dug for another, for I knew where the mate's wife lived, too; but some other boys had found it out by that time, and I had a tight race for it with Jack Manter, but I was tired then, I had run so far, and Manter got ahead of me, and sung out first, as he rushed into the front entry, but I tumbled right in after him. Mrs. Grafton was scared half to death at first, till she understood what the matter was, and then she laughed and cried both at once, and handed out a dollar, and said we might divide it, if we liked, but it belonged to Jack, for he was a little ahead of me, and I didn't care much, for I'd got one. Some mates' wives don't give but half a dollar," said he, pausing to get breath.

      I cannot stop to hear any more, for here is Richards, still out-door clerk of Messrs. Brooks & Co., and he is the only man likely to have any news for us "off islanders." He is ready with a hearty greeting and hand-shaking, and is prepared to "infit" us with clothing of any style, price or quality, as soon as we land. He produces a bunch of letters which have been directed to various ships expected to arrive soon, "care of Brooks & Co.," and rapidly shuffles them over. Yes! there is my loved sister's handwriting, and here is another from my parents. I tear them open with a beating heart; all is well with those nearest and dearest to me. That is enough for the present. I will read the details when more at leisure, and in a few days I will be with them. I shall not write in reply, but, like the ship, I will bring home my own report.

316 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

      "Here comes the camels round Brant Point!" cries the mate, running with the spyglass to look at the clumsy, floating dock which is creeping slowly at us, without any visible means of propulsion, so far as we can see, for the propellers are under the stern. It looks like nothing in the way of naval architecture that we have ever seen, but might serve as an immense floating battery, to be moored for the defence of a harbor. As it draws nearer, we can see that it is built in two parts, being divided lengthwise. The inside of each section or half is built concave to receive the hull of the ship, and to fit round her sides, and under her bilge and floor, as nearly as possible to its general form. The two parts are connected by several heavy chains, which are secured on the deck of one "camel," passing down through it under the keel of the ship, and up through the other, where they are hove taut with windlasses.

      The camels having taken up their position near the ship, the plugs are drawn, allowing them to fill with water and sink. Being now ready to receive the ship, our anchor is hove up, lines streamed, and she is hauled in between them. The connecting chains are then hove taut by the windlasses, and thus the ship is completely docked, her bottom resting fairly on the concave inner surfaces of the camels, and the chains passing under her keel. She is now ready to be raised, and as soon as the steamboat heaves in sight, returning from her regular trip to New Bedford the steam pumps are set in operation throwing out the water from the camels. The steamer passes

HOMEWARD. 317

within hail, and goes on into the harbor to land her mails and passengers, the captain promising to return at once and hook on to us. Meanwhile the steampumps work steadily on, throwing out the water, and the whole fabric is seen gradually to rise, inch by inch, till the water is all out, and the ship is lifted out of the water, the camels themselves being flat and the draft very light. We are just in time for the returning steamboat, hawsers are run to us, she takes us in tow, and after a short struggle to overcome the vis inertiæ of the immense arklike contrivance, we move along under good headway. We round Brant Point and steam up nearly to the end of the wharf, when the steamer leaves us, the camels are filled and sink down again, the ship is dropped out from between them, lines run to the pier, and, in a few minutes, she is tied up head and stern alongside her wharf, and ready to discharge her oil. "Hurrah for the camels!" is the sentiment of every man on board, and of nearly every one on shore, too, except the lightermen whose "occupation is gone."

      Our old landlord is on hand to furnish us board and lodging at the old rates; Messrs. Brooks & Co. are in the same place, the same business operations are going on now as three years ago, and the same knots of seafaring men, or, at least, their very counterparts, pervade "the store," and pass their time in much the same manner. No one seems to have changed or grown any older. There is nothing new under the sun but the camels and the steamer "Massachusetts."

      Of course, we could not be paid off until the oil was

318 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

discharged on the wharf, gauged, and filled up, so that our "lays" could be calculated exactly. This detained me several days; for, although I might have drawn money from the owners, or from Brooks & Co., yet I preferred to settle up the whole matter before going home to my friends, rather than to be under the necessity of returning to Nantucket. I, of course, took my place among the veteran whalemen, now. I had earned the right to wear a fine, blue roundabout, and morocco pumps, with long streamers of ribbon, to roll and swagger as becomes the "ancient mariner," and to patronize the green hands who formed the last cargo of the Lydia Ann, for that gallant craft is still running as good as new.

      The newly-arrived seaman, if he be man enough to keep himself sober, finds the time hang heavily on his hands. A restless activity is observable in all his movements, and some sort of excitement must be found to drive away the blues. It is found, at least so long as the money lasts. We patronized the livery stables extensively; for every day a string of carriages might be seen bound at racing speed to or from Siasconset, or "South Shore," the occupants urging the smoking horses to their greatest efforts, in desperate rivalry to "outsail" each other; and the cruise is a dull one, and wanting in interest, unless there is either a capsize, a breakdown, a runaway, or a collision. Jack is no horseman, though he is prone to think himself an excellent one. His courage and coolness in emergencies, perhaps, stand him in as good stead as would a better acquaintance with the management of the

HOMEWARD. 319

animal, for he never becomes excited after the danger arrives, and never loses his self-possession at the very moment it is needed. It is owing perhaps to this fact, that he never gets hurt in these little equestrian diversions, though he often has heavy bills to pay for repairs, to the livery-stable proprietors.

      The bowling-alley is another of the seaman's favorite resorts, where he can strip to his shirt sleeves, select the heaviest balls, and sling them at the pins with a perfect abandon or "looseness," as he would term it. The game is muscular and boisterous, and these are its recommendations; for, it is notable that the whaleman, or at least, the young whaleman, never affects billiards. Gentle exercise, such as can be taken with the coat buttoned, is not to his taste, until after he arrives at the rank of chief mate, and has more sedateness, and more dignity to maintain.

      But few days are allowed me to participate in the rough sports of my brother Cape Horners, for the stevedore's gang, and the laborers, with the gauger on the wharf have not been idle, and the "figurer," as he is called here (and who, by the way, is not one of the owners of the ship, but a disinterested party), is ready to settle up and pay us off. The next morning sees a goodly number of us on board the steamer, bound for our respective homes. We take our last look at the ship that has borne us in safety over so many thousand miles of ocean, as she now lies at the next wharf, high out of water, and in process of being stripped to a girtline, for she is to be fitted out again as fast as possible under command of Mr. Grafton. He

320 THE LOG OF THE ARETHUSA.

has offered me a good berth in her, but I have not committed myself yet by any decided answer. Kelly and Hoeg are both going with him, as boatsteerers, of course, and perhaps some of the others. But I must visit my home in the country, and look about me a little before I make up my mind for another whaling cruise. In the meantime, I bid them a hearty farewell, as to all others who have accompanied me, either in the good ship herself, or in these sketches, through the pleasures and perils, the lights and shades of my checkered cruise in the Arethusa.


THE END.

Source:

Author: William Hussey Macy, 1826-1891.
Title: There she blows! or, The log of the Arethusa
Publisher: Boston: Lee & Shepard; New York, C.T. Dillingham, 1877.
Description:vii, 320 pages : illustrations, frontispiece, plates ; 18 cm.