Bibliographic Information

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


W. H. Macy

Ballou's Monthly Magazine
Vol. XXIX, No. 2 (Feb 1869)
pp. 160-167

160 Ballou's Monthly Magazine.



      "why do you abuse that boy so? What has he been guilty of?"

      "That's no affair of yours, so don't be getting yourself into trouble. I'll beat the boy as much as I like, and lick any man that takes his part! D'ye mind that? If there's any man in the forecastle that don't like it, let him take it up!" The speaker uttered these words of defiance in a loud, boastful tone, and glared round upon us all like a wild beast at bay.

      There is to be found in almost every ship's company, as indeed elsewhere where a considerable number of men are thrown together, some one who assumes the position of bully, and rules, for a time, over the rest with a rod of iron. In virtue of a victory or two, cheaply won at the outset of the voyage, and a vast amount of swagger, he holds this position for a longer or shorter period, till he is either put down by a combination of several of his shipmates, or until circumstances bring out a champion who defeats him, and puts an end to his tyranny. In the latter case, the champion is, in almost every instance, some quiet, good-tempered man, who has scarcely ever been known to quarrel with any of his shipmates, and who has, up to the time of throwing off the yoke, submitted to insult and abuse for the sake of peace. Of course the office of bully becomes vacant from that time forth; for a man of this class, after being once whipped, never recovers his lost ground; his prestige is gone, in that ship, at least; he must leave her and join another, if he desires again to hold the same position; while the victor, being usually a man of very different character, who fights only to resist oppression, there is no fear that he will presume at all upon his success.

      The bully on board the Madagascar was a tall, bony man, with a repulsive cast of countenance, who had joined us at Rarotonga several months before. Nothing was known of his previous history or his nationality. He had commenced his swaggering career very soon after coming on board, and had managed in two or three cases to put down his opponents by threats alone. No one had yet ventured to tackle to him seriously, with a determination to whip or be whipped. Thus emboldened by the apparent cowardice of all his shipmates, Ned Bowers, as he was called, had inaugurated himself the bully of the crew, and now hurled defiance in the teeth of any man who should dare to remonstrate against his brutal treatment of the boy Ben.

      Cromwell, the young man who had ventured to ask what the boy's offence was, evidently felt that a test of his manhood had come, when he heard the answer and challenge of Bowers; but still he hesitated ere he made any reply. He was a Martha's Vineyarder, a quiet, steady young man, and a genial companion, beloved and respected by us all. No one ever had a quarrel with John Cromwell; he never gave cause of offence to any one, and heretofore he had managed to avoid coming into direct collision with the bully.

      "You all understand me, I suppose?" said Bowers; "so, as there is no man feels able to take it up, of course no one will have any more lip about it;" at the same time giving another severe kick to the little fellow who had incurred his displeasure.

      "Stop!" said Cromwell, suddenly rising to his feet; "I take it up!"

      "O, you take it up, do you?" retorted Bowers. "You!

      "I said so," returned John, quietly, at the same time beginning to pull his shirt over his head.

      The bully was rather taken aback by the young man's coolness, but he was certainly not more astonished than the rest of us. I was but a boy myself at the time, and had met with my share of abuse from Bowers, while no one in the ship had been more uniformly kind and considerate with me than John Cromwell. It had never occurred to me that he, of all others, would be the man to face the hated bully in this way; but it was plain to me now, from his manner, that he really "meant business," as the sporting men have it.

      "And what do you mean to do about it?" asked Bowers, in his usual blustering style.

      "I mean to protect the boy from further abuse if I can," replied Cromwell. "Boys," he continued, addressing his shipmates generally, "you have all heard this man's chal-

The Bully of the Forecastle. 161

lenge, and I am ready to meet him, buff to buff, and ask no favors, If the rest of you will see that I have fair play."

      "You shall have it, Cromwell!" shouted five or six eager voices at once.

      "Come on deck then," cried Bowers, "where there's more room!

      "No," said Cromwell, "there is room enough here. I know that, by the rules of the ship, we are not allowed to fight at all, and if we go on deck, we shall be stopped by the officers. If we begin it, we must go through with it; and I shall either thrash you, or else be thoroughly thrashed myself before I have done with you."

      "Take away the ladder!" said two or three voices at once.

      No sooner said than done; the ladder was unshipped from the cleets, and stowed up by the after bulkhead, leaving a clear ring for the two men. All this occurred during the dinner hour, while all hands were present; for we were cutting a sperm whale at the time, and had a "piece raised," when we were knocked off with orders to get our dinners at once, and be ready for a call.

      Bowers, seeing that there was no backing out, prepared himself to do his best, though he was evidently troubled in mind by the perfect coolness of his antagonist. John Cromwell, when stripped to the waist, was not such a man as a connoisseur would be likely to bet his money on, appearing to have more flesh than muscular development. How my young heart beat as they stood up and faced each other! How I prayed, not aloud, but in secret, that John Cromwell might conquer him! How I trembled lest the longer-limbed and more wiry-looking Bowers might prove too much for him; for I knew that all depended on himself. No one could interfere to assist him, as "fair play" meant "fair play" for both men; no favors and no interference.

      Bowers led off, making his attack with great vigor, as if he thought to frighten his young opponent, at the same time saying, in a taunting way, "Why don't you hit out? You'll find no child's play with me; I don't give any more lip than I'm ready to maintain;" but nothing could throw our wary young champion off his guard. I was ready to cry with delight; for, boy that I was, I could see that Cromwell was no novice, and though he had as yet confined himself to warding off the blows of the other, he had done so with success, and would return them with interest when he thought the proper time had arrived. When Bowers paused to get breath, neither of them had yet received a mark; but John stood, cool and collected, with folded arms, waiting the next round, while the bully had evidently lost both strength and confidence in the first one. He saw no better way, however, than to force the fighting, and, after recovering his wind, he renewed the attack with the same fury as before, though he was careful not to waste his breath in tantalizing speeches. He became irritated at the coolness of his antagonist, and struck out blindly, exposing his face, and Cromwell, seeing his opportunity, "let out" for the first time, and planted a sounding blow in his forehead, which knocked him completely off his feet, and left him sitting on a chest which had brought him up as he staggered backward.

      "Turn to, there! Man the windlass!" shouted the mate, down the scuttle; then, as he perceived that the ladder was removed, and that something unusual was in progress, he leaned over and looked down among us.

      "What's the row here?" said he. He could see Cromwell, standing in fighting trim, the central figure of the group; but the other man was out of his range of vision.

      "For Heaven's sake, Mr. West," said one of the men who stood nearly under him, "give us a few minutes to finish this now! It wont take us long, and we'll work with a will to make it up."

      "Who's the other one?" asked Mr. West, in a low tone.

      "Bowers, sir," answered the man, with a look as if he thought the name was a sufficient excuse for breaking the rules of the ship.

      "O, that's it, is it?" said the mate, elevating his eyebrows. "Well, we can't be losing time now with a whale alongside."

      He was gone again, and we judged he had gone aft to report to the old man.

      "Come, Bowers," said Cromwell, "let's finish it up. We are keeping the whole duty of the ship waiting."

      "Time!" called out two or three impatient voices.

      Thus adjured, the bully stood up to his work again, and made desperate efforts to retrieve his lost ground, but in vain. He was hit three or four times in this round, and dropped, exhausted, into a seat, just as the mate's form again darkened the scuttle.

      "Forcastle there! Hurry up that matter,

162 The Bully of the Forecastle.

and man the windlass as soon as you get through!"

      "Ay, ay, sir!" responded a dozen eager voices.

      The shadow disappeared again, and there was no longer anything to interfere with an "honorable settlement" of the difficulty. Several voices called "Time!" again, and the men took their stations for the fourth round. This was a severe one, for Bowers was desperate, and John just getting warmed up to his work. He received two or three slight blows, but finished it by a tremendous one delivered full on the mouth of his adversary, which sent him spinning across the deck, "unshipping" some of his front teeth, and starting the blood freely from his upper lip.

      "Enough!" said Bowers, sullenly, seeing the hopelessness of playing longer at a losing game.

      "Ship that ladder, and pass down some water!" "Come on, let's turn to at once!" "Good for the old man, that he let us finish it out!" "That's the best job that's been done this cruise!" Everybody spoke up at once, as we all rushed on deck. Water was passed down for the late belligerents to wash themselves, and the rest of us mustered at our stations, ready for work.

      "Got through below there?" asked Mr. West.

      "Ay, ay, sir!"

      "Heave away at the windlass then!"

      John Cromwell soon made his appearance, looking none the worse, save a slight scratch or two, and went aft to the old man.

      "Captain Adams," said he, respectfully, "I have been guilty of breaking the rules of the ship; but I interfered to protect a boy from abuse, and I am willing to be punished without complaint if I deserve it."

      "I don't want to know anything about it," replied the old man, hastily, with a quizzical look. "I didn't see it, and don't know what you mean. Go to the windlass now, and let us make up for lost time."

      It was easy to see where his sympathies were, and, in fact, those of every one else in the after part of the ship; for officers can judge, by various little things that come under their observation, how matters are going in the forecastle, and, in most cases, are glad to find that any great wrong can be righted without their interference. This matter of forecastle brawls is a difficult one to deal with. The genera! principle of quarter-deck law is, "I'll do all the fighting myself, and if I find two men fighting, I shall punish them both." But it is often found necessary, or at least expedient, to depart from the rule, especially in cases like this, where there is reason to suppose that one of the parties is blameless, and must have been a very poltroon, a mere swab, so to speak, not to have acted just as he did. I have known cases where the two men were called aft on the maindeck, and allowed to "settle it" there, the captain himself seeing fair play; and again a hint would be given in this style: "I don't want to see any fighting on board my ship. Get out of my sight, both of you!" And a practical illustration would then be given of the old proverb, "Out of sight, out of mind." In the present instance, perhaps no other course could have been adopted which would have ended the difficulty so quickly, or so entirely to the satisfaction of all parties save one, and that one the only person guilty of any wrong.

      The windlass went round "slip-slop," and our work went forward with a will. The bully, or, more properly speaking, the exbully, "turned to" with the rest; for although his face was considerably battered, he was not seriously hurt, physically speaking; but it was plain that he brooded over his defeat, and nursed his revenge for an opportunity. Nothing was said directly to him, or in his hearing, by his shipmates, though some sly allusions were made, aside, to the appearance of his swelled mouth, as that "Bowers had got more lip than he could maintain," in which we merely parodied a favorite expression of his own.

      A few days after this occurrence, we were off Macauley's Island, commonly known among whalemen as Goat Island, and a grand hunting excursion was planned in conjunction with an accidental consort, the barque Favorite. This island is stocked with goats, running wild in large herds, and also with wild hogs, but is otherwise uninhabited. We went ashore with six boats, three from each ship, thus mustering thirty-six men all told, and it was agreed to work in concert, and divide the results of the day's work. In the course of the day, we of course got scattered in groups and small parties, and the two ships' crews mingled together. We had secured some fifty goats, which were as many as we cared to have, and had them all tied, some down on the beach, and others high on the rocks, and so distributed, that, in some places, we found it expedient to carry up

The Bully of the Forecastle. 163

lines, and lower them down steep precipices to the beach, rather than to back them down to the landing by long and circuitous routes.

      While some parties were engaged in this way, and others were in pursuit of wild pigs, a sudden squall was seen rising, and the order was given to muster to the boats as fast as possible, and shove out for the ships. Muskets were fired as signals to men who were not within hearing of the voice, and the foghorns were blown all along the beach; for the boats lay scattered at considerable distances apart for the better convenience of loading the captured animals, without being obliged to transport them all to one spot. Each boat got clear as soon as men enough could be collected to man her, not waiting for our proper respective crews; for the wind was rising fast, and the sky looked black and threatening. Whatever goats lay near at hand on the beach were tumbled into the boats, and the rest were abandoned, for the emergency admitted of no delay. Already the ships were clewing down their topsails, and preparing for the weather as fast as they could, short-handed as they were. We reached our ship without accident, and taking up the boats, shortened sail in time to save our spars and canvas; but we were none too soon, for before night it was blowing great guns, and we were lying to under storm-staysails. It was found that we had two of the Favorite's men on board, and had left two of our own, one of whom was John Cromwell. This was not important, however; if we became separated, we should rendezvous off the same island, and could then exchange the men. I could not help thinking of the poor goats left tied by the heels to starve to death on the rocks; but that could not be helped in some instances, though many had been cut adrift by different men where it was convenient to do so, after they found there was not time to get them down to the beach. All night and all the next day it blew a gale, and we lay to drifting, having lost sight of our consort during the night. We judged her to be to windward of us, as she was a much more weatherly vessel than the Madagascar.

      After the gale blew itself out, we made sail to work up for the island; but in doing so, we discovered that our foretopmast was badly sprung, in fact, almost gone at the sheavehole. This had probably been done when the squall first came on, by the combined power of the foretopsail and jib, as sail could not be reduced with so few men fast enough to meet the crisis, nearly all hands being on shore. Be that as it might, however, the spar was worthless, for no sail could be carried on it. To send it down and replace it at sea was a critical job, unless we could depend upon two days of calm weather, which was hardly to be expected. It was possible to do it, perhaps, but it would be much safer and easier to make a harbor. So we bore up for New Zealand, and a few days afterwards came to anchor in Mangonui, where we sent down the topmast, and sent a new one aloft, crossed the yards, and put everything in its place, making a stay of only two days there. When ready to sail, it was discovered that Ned Bowers was missing. He had, doubtless, deserted, and gone ashore among the Maories. We were not surprised at this circumstance, nor was any one inconsolable at the loss. We made no search for him, but found another man on the beach who was glad of a chance to ship, and took our anchor and went to sea, anxious to make our way back to Macauley's to fall in with our consort.

      We spoke the Favorite the second day after leaving Mangonui, and took her two men on board. We learned, to our astonishment, that Captain Braley had only one of ours. Cromwell was missing! The last boat that came off to the Favorite from the beach could muster only five men; but they had already waited as long as they dared, and all the signals in their power to make failed to find any more. They therefore shoved off, thinking that probably one of our boats must have had seven men, which would not be surprising under the circumstances. They lay to, like ourselves, that night and the next day, and when the weather moderated, made sail. They had hardly done so when they saw whales, and took one of them, and, as it was still rugged, they were detained all that day in cutting. But the next, being the third day after the gale came on, the ship was in near the land again, and lowered two boats, thinking to secure some of the goats which had been left tied on the rocks. On landing, they were surprised at not being able to find any. The goats had either broken their bonds, a case that could hardly be supposed to have occurred in every instance among so many, or, what was more probable, they had been liberated by some one. This last supposition was rendered a certainty by the discovery of the remains of a fire, and remnants of bones and meat near it, which, of course,

164 The Bully of the Forecastle.

satisfied Captain Braley that a man bad been there since his former visit, though of course he had no means of knowing, until he fell in with us, whether it was one of his own men or ours. He had scoured the island thoroughly, and fired signal guns in every direction; but no one was to be found, and the natural theory was, of course, that he had been taken off by some other ship, which might well have happened the day before, while he was delayed by cutting his whale.

      After learning these facts, we could not be satisfied till we had made another visit to the island, still hoping to pick up some clue to the fate of Cromwell, as we thought it not unlikely he might have left some record to inform us of his safety, if he had indeed left the island in another ship. So we stretched across to Macauley's again, the Favorite still in company, and both captains went on shore. The charred remains of the fire were still there, as before, and a few bones lay near it, picked clean by the birds; but it was evident that no man was there, and no other marks of more recent date could be found.

      We were about returning, disappointed, to the ship, when my attention was suddenly drawn to the appearance of a stone lying upon a still larger one, which looked as though it might have been lifted and placed there, rather than have found its present position by accidental causes. This lay directly in our track to and from the boat, and had been passed and repassed both by our men and the Favorite's; but now, as I glanced aside at it, I saw a piece of wood under it. I rolled over the stone, and found an old stave of a barrel, bleached and beachworn, on which was the inscription, in lead pencil, "J. Cromwell, of ship Madagascar, taken off by ship Cicero;" then followed the date, which was the day that Captain Braley took his whale. Here, then, was the whole story; he had remained only two days on the island; and with our minds now fully relieved as to his safety, we pushed off, taking the barrel-stave with us. We soon after parted company with the Favorite, and months passed away in the usual routine of a voyage of this kind. We had no bully in the forecastle now, and no cause for uneasiness about the fate of the young man who had humbled him, though we were all sorry to have lost so good a shipmate.

      It was nearly a year afterwards that we went into the Bay of Islands to make our last port in the Pacific before sailing for home. It was just at dark that we came to, and after furling the sails, I was standing in the waist, looking at a ship that lay anchored near us. She was a whaler, I knew; but I had not yet heard what ships were in port, and it was too dark when we anchored to make out her name. A boat put off from her, and pulled towards us. It was my first anchor-watch, and seeing no officer on deck, I went to the cabin door and reported to the mate, for the captain was on shore.

      "Boat coming alongside, Mr. West."

      "Where is she from?" he asked.

      "From this ship nearest to us."

      "All right," said he, coming up the stairs. "What boat is that?" he hailed, as she shot alongside of us.

      "From the Cicero of New Bedford," answered the officer at the steering oar.

      "The Cicero?" said Mr. West. "Have you got a man named John Cromwell on board?"

      "Yes sir, here he is," answered John Cromwell himself, from the head of the boat, recognizing the mate's voice. "How do you do, Mr. West? I did not know this was the Madagascar until now."

      Most hearty was the greeting that John received as he jumped in on deck; for all hands had got wind of it by this time, and crowded round him to hear his story.

      "You knew I was in the Cicero," said John. "I suppose you found my post-office, then?"

      "Yes," said I; "and I've got your letter now mailed up in the head of my trunk."

      "Well, John," said the mate, "you'll want to have a yarn with the boys, so I'll hear your story by-and-by, when we are at leisure; for of course you'll go home In the ship with us?"

      "Of course," he replied. "This is the ship that I belong to, though I can't say but I shall be sorry to leave the old Cicero."

      The two mates went below together, and Cromwell sat down on the main hatches, the centre figure of the group, who closed up round him.

      "Now, John," said I, "tell us how you came to be left on shore at Goat Island, for we've always wondered at that. You must have been a long way off not to have heard the guns and fog-horns."

      "I did hear them," said John; "but just then I was hardly able to crawl, much less walk, though I knew my life was almost depending upon it."

      "Why, were you hurt? You fell down

The Bully of the Forecastle. 165

the rocks, did you?" said several of his shipmates, eagerly.

      "Yes," said Cromwell, "I did fall; but the fall was not the result of accident"

      "How was that?" asked everybody at once.

      "Well, I may as well begin my story and go on with it."

      "O, I see!" said I, for the first time giving utterance to a thought that had many times occurred to me. "I see; that scoundrel Bowers had something to do with it. Do you know, John, he ran away from us a few days after we lost you?"

      "He's here ashore now," said Cromwell.

      "He's here? Bowers? Have you seen him?" I asked.

      "Yes," said John, "I have. But let me begin my story as I was going to do, when you interrupted me by jumping at conclusions. I came down to the boat, and got a coil of line to lower some of the goats down in certain places where the rocks were steep, and it was not easy to lug them down to the beach, and on my travels I fell in with Bowers alone. He had secured a fine old buck, and had tied him, and dragged him to the brow of a rock, where it rose perpendicularly about forty feet.

      "I did not stop to say anything to him, for I knew he didn't feel well disposed towards me, as he had never seemed to get over the bitterness he felt after the set-to we had here in the forecastle, but he hailed me, and asked me if I would bring my line, and lend him a hand to get his goat down to the beach. Of course I was willing, and indeed I was glad he had spoken to me, for I didn't want to hold any animosity against him and hoped he would feel as I did about it. So we bent on to the goat, and slung him over the edge of the precipice. There was no one below to receive and cast him off, but we thought as there was only one, we would lower him down and let go the line, and afterwards cast him off when we went down ourselves. We had perceived the bad weather coming on, and just as we were pushing the goat over the brow of the rock, we heard loud shouts from the direction of the boats. 'Well, we'll lower him down, anyhow,' said Bowers, 'now we've got started, it wont detain us but a minute.' Well, we both got hold of the line and lowered away, for he was a heavy animal, and we didn't want to let him go by the run, or, at least, I didn't; when all at once Bowers let go, throwing all the strain upon me. I sung out to him to lay hold with me, or else I would have to let run, for the line was spinning through my hands so as to burn the skin, and turning my head aside to look at him, and urge him to help me, I saw him with the most devilish look in his ugly face that can be imagined, in the act of throwing a bight of the 'coil of line over my head! I know that I saw this, and you may imagine the feelings that were crowded into that one second of time, for I had not time to let go, or even to cry out before the line encircled me, and over I went after the goat, for he was 'sounding' heavy, but he was almost down to the beach before I left the top of the rock."

      "One moment," said I. "I want to ask a question. Why did he throw the line round you, when he might have sent you over with the least push in the world, as you stood?"

      "That's a pertinent question," said Cromwell, "and is put in the right place, although it breaks the thread of the story. I suppose the scoundrel did it to strengthen the evidence of accidental death. For, if I had been found dead there with the bight of the line around my body, it would have been thought conclusive proof that I had carelessly stepped my foot into the coil, and any coroner's jury would have found a verdict accordingly."

      "That's true," said I. "But what a deliberating villain he must have been to think of that!"

      "Yes, that's true," assented John; "but I can never be too thankful that he did think of it, for that was what proved my salvation. If he had pushed me off I should have fallen well out on the stones of the beach and been dashed to pieces, but the jirk of the line gave me a start in a perpendicular direction, straight after the goat, so that I lauded square on top of him. The poor Billy was crushed to death but my life was saved, though I received a severe shock and must have lain insensible for a long time. When I became conscious, I heard a musket fired, and several loud blasts on a foghorn. Then all the noise ceased, and I suppose these signals must have been made by the last boat that pushed off. But it was certainly an hour or two before I recovered sufficiently to travel round a bend of the beach to a place where I could see the ships. They were then lying to under storm canvas, headed off shore, and it took both hands to hold my hat on my head."

      "Well, what did you do then?" we asked.

      "I made myself as comfortable as I could," said Cromwell. "I didn't feel very uneasy, for I kuew the ships must return in a few days.

166 The Bully of the Forecastle.

I had food enough, for there were the goats all tied by the heels, just as you left them. But one of the first things I did was to cut the poor things adrift, and let them run. I had matches in my pocket, thanks to my bad habit of smoking, so I had the means of making a fire, and I managed very well till the gale was over. The next day the Cicero hove in sight, and would have passed without stopping, but I built a fire up on the cliff, and made all the signals I could, till I drew their attention. They came ashore and took me off. I thought 'a bird in the hand was worth two in the bush,' and I had better not run the risk of waiting for my own ship."

      "Well, now, John," said I, "explain about Bowers being here. You said you had seen him, yourself."

      "Yes, I did," said Cromwell. "Last night I was ashore at the town of Korarika, below here, and I went into a little public house there and stayed a short time. When I came out again, I paused a moment under the lee of the house, to see if I could see any of the rest of the boat's crew, for they had scattered soon after we landed. It was very dark, and I could see no one. I struck a match against the side of the house to light my pipe, and, as the flame burst from it, it flashed full in the face of a man who was looking round the corner of the building. His body was hidden from sight, but the head was that of Ned Bowers. A startling change passed over his features as he recognized me; he glared fiercely upon me, and stepped out into view, drawing something from his shirt-front at the same time. He was dressed in ordinary seaman's rig, but by the set of his flannel shirt, I should judge that he had quite an array of concealed weapons under it. By the time I had made these observations, the flame of my match had died out, but I heard something like the cocking of a pistol, and darted back to the front of the house, not wishing to give him the opportunity which he seemed to want, of trying whether I was John Cromwell's ghost, or was really 'sensible to feeling as to sight' He seemed to think better of it, however, for I directly heard a muttered oath, and then the patter of retreating footsteps, and caught a glimpse of a shadowy form moving swiftly off into the darkness towards the hills back of the town. It might have been half an hour after this that we were pushing the boat out to go on board, when we heard three musket shots fired in quick succession and in that direction among the hills, but whether that had any connection with what I have been telling you I cannot say. You know there is a state of war existing between the mountain tribes and the English, and just now there is considerable anxiety felt by the whites down at Korarika, for the enemy are known to be prowling round in the vicinity, and the troops are sleeping on their arms up in the blockhouse there. I suppose there must be pickets posted over the hills yonder, night and day."

      "Well, John," said I, "I don't believe he would have hit you, if he had fired at you, for you seem to bear a charmed life, and your luck would have cleared you in some way."

      "I would rather not give him the chance," said John. "He's a desperate scoundrel, and wouldn't scruple to use any weapon or any means to work his revenge upon one he hates, though he doesn't mount many guns in a fist fight, as we have all seen."

      The next day John Cromwell brought his few traps on board the Madagascar, and took up his old quarters among us, his chest and contents having been safely kept for him. We went ashore in the afternoon, John and I, on duty, and while waiting on the beach, a barge from an English brig-of-war landed a short distance from us. The seamen remained near their boat, and in a few minutes, several soldiers appeared bearing a sick or wounded man on a stretcher. As they drew nearer, we saw that he had a leg amputated. With a natural feeling of curiosity we approached the boat, and asked one of the seamen what was to be done with the man.

      "O," said he, "we are going to carry him to a hospital further up the bay, where all the wounded are carried now, because we are expecting an attack here at Korarika every day."

      "Is he a soldier or a sailor?" I asked.

      "Well, he's neither one nor the other," answered the seaman, "though perhaps he's done something at both in his life, as well as some other callings not so honorable as either of them."

      "But where or how was he wounded?" inquired John.

      "He was shot by the pickets over the hill there last night He has been living among the Maories, and fighting on their side. He managed to get inside of the lines last night somehow, though I think," said he, lowering his voice, "they must have kept a lubberly kind of lookout to let him do it. But he wasn't so lucky in getting out again, he was

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brought to and didn't answer the hail rightly, and so he got his leg broken with a shot."

      By this time he was being lifted into the boat, and we approached and stooped over him; as his eyes opened and met those of Cromwell fixed upon him, he shuddered with terror.

      "What! again?" said he, in a voice husky with pain and rage. "Will you always haunt me? Are you alive or not?"

      "Yes. I'm alive, Bowers," said Cromwell, "thanks to your not having done your work too thoroughly. But I shall not haunt you long. Come," said he, aside to me, "let us go. I have seen enough."

      "It will be as well for him if he dies of the wound," said the landlord of the little public house, "for he'd be hung as a spy if he recovers, and besides he proves to be a man that the police have been on the lookout for these two years. He ran away from the convict station at Norfolk Island, got off in a vessel, and went down among the islands, but how he drifted back here nobody knows."

      Of course we knew, John and I, but we kept our own connsel. We heard within a week afterwards, that gangrene had set in, and Bowers had defrauded the gallows by dying of his wound.


Author: Macy, William Hussey
Title: The Bully of the Forecastle.
Publication: Ballou's Monthly Magazine.
Vol/No/Date: Vol 29, No. 2 (Feb 1869)
Pages: 160-167