• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 In the Navy
 Learning the ropes
 Squaring the yards
 A midnight alarm
 A discomfited rebel
 Frank's first exploit
 On a gun-boat
 The struggle between the lines
 A union family
 A spunky rebel
 Frank a prisoner
 The escape
 The faithful Negro
 Chased by blood-hounds
 The rescue
 Conclusion
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: Gunboat series books for boys by a gunboat boy
Title: Frank on a gun-boat
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015106/00001
 Material Information
Title: Frank on a gun-boat
Series Title: Gunboat series books for boys by a gunboat boy
Alternate Title: Frank on a gunboat
Physical Description: vi, 256, <2>, 32 p., <3> leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Castlemon, Harry, 1842-1915
Kilburn & Mallory ( Engraver )
Franklin Type Foundry ( Stereotyper )
R.W. Carroll & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: R.W. Carroll & Co.
Place of Publication: Cincinnati
Manufacturer: Stereotyped at the Franklin Stereotype Foundry
Publication Date: 1865, c1864
Copyright Date: 1864
 Subjects
Subject: Youth -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Gunboats -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sailors -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Naval battles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Youth and death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- United States -- Civil War, 1861-1865   ( lcsh )
War fiction -- 1865   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1865   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1865   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1865
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
War fiction   ( rbgenr )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Ohio -- Cincinnati
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Harry Castlemon.
General Note: Added series title page, engraved by Kilburn & Mallory.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Series no. from publisher's catalogue.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015106
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7557
notis - ALZ6154
oclc - 48914935
alephbibnum - 002391264

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter 1
        Front Matter 2
    Half Title
        Page i
        Page ii
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    In the Navy
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Learning the ropes
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Squaring the yards
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    A midnight alarm
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    A discomfited rebel
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
    Frank's first exploit
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 74a
        Page 74b
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    On a gun-boat
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    The struggle between the lines
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    A union family
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
    A spunky rebel
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    Frank a prisoner
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
    The escape
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    The faithful Negro
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Chased by blood-hounds
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 176a
        Page 176b
        Page 177
    The rescue
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    Conclusion
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Advertising
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
    Back Cover
        Page 241
        Page 242
    Spine
        Page 243
Full Text






























The Baldwin Library
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goodS fox 330YS
ev~~ yaBo
Bor

FRAqME


ON A GUNBOAT.






Rq-A


..... -



















THE GUN-BOAT SERIES.





FRANK, THE YOUNG NATURALIST,

FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT, AND

FRANK IN THE WOODS,


Will be followed by two more volumes, at an early day,
making, when completed, one of the most charming of
JUVENILE LIBRARIES.









THE GUN-BOAT SERIES.













ON A GUN-BOAT.





BY
H. C. CASTLEMON,
"THE GUN-BOAT BOY."




WITH ILLUSTRATIONS.





CINCINNATI:
R. W. CARROLL & CO., PUBLISHERS,
OPERA-HOUSE BUILDING,
73 West Fourth Street.
1865.





































Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by
R. W. CARROLL & CO,,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the
Southern District of Ohio.


STEREOTYPED AT THE
FRANKLIN TYPE FOUNDRY,
CINCINNATI, O.
















(fnhtnts.





CHAPTER I. PAGE
In THE NAVY............................. . ............ .. ....... 7

CHAPTER II.
LEARNING THE ROPES................................1.........7.......... ............... 17

CHAPTER III.
SQUAIG THE YARDS.................................................................................. 30

CHAPTER IV.
A MIDN GHT ALAR ............................................................................ 42

CHAPTER V.
A DISCO 7PITED REBEL. ...........................3............................... 3

CHAPTER VI.
FbANK'S FIRST EXPLOIT................................. ........... .... 64

CHAPTER VII.
ON A GUN-BOAT ............................................................. ................. 78

CHAPTER VIII. .
THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE LINES.............................................. 89

CHAPTER IX.
A UNION FAMILY.......................................................................... 99

CHAPTER X.
A SPUNKY REBEL...... ............................. ............................. 112
(v)









vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XI. PAGE
FRANK A PRISONER................................ ... ......................... 124

CHAPTER XII.
THE ESCAPE............................... .... ... .......... .................... .. 134

CHAPTER XIII.
THE FAITHFUL NEGRO............................................... ........ .......... 152

CHAPTER XIV.
CHASED BY BLOOD-HOUNDS................... ........................................... 166

CHAPTER XV.
THE RESCUE......................................... ............................. .. 178

CHAPTER XVI.
CONCLUSION...................................................................................... 195












FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.



CHAPTER I.




ELL, Frank, did you bring home the
evening's paper? inquired Mrs. Nel-
son, as her son entered the room
where she was sitting.
"Yes, ma'am. Here it is !" an-
swered Frank, producing it. "But
there is no news in it. The Army
of the Potomac has not moved yet. I do n't see
what makes them wait so long. Why don't
McClellan go to work and thrash the rebels?"
"You must remember that the rebels have about
as many men as we have," answered his mother.
" Perhaps, if McClellan should undertake to 'thrash'
the rebels, as you say, he would get whipped him-
self."
(7)






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"That makes no difference," answered Frank.
"If I was in his place, and the rebels should whip
me, it wouldn't do any good, for I'd renew the
battle every day, as long as I had a man left."
It was toward the close of the first year of
the war, during the "masterly inactivity" of the
Army of the Potomac. For almost eight months
McClellan had been lying idle in his encampment,
holding in check that splendid army, which, with
one blow, could have crushed out the rebellion, and
allowing the rebels ample time to encircle their
capital with fortifications, before which the blood of
loyal men was to be poured out like water. The
people of the North were growing impatient; and
"On to Richmond!" was the cry from every part
of the land.
From the time Fort Sumter had fallen, Frank
had been deeply interested in what was going on.
The insults which had -been heaped upon the flag
under which his grandfather had fought and died,
made the blood boil in his veins, and he often
wished that he could enlist with the brave de-
fenders of his country. He grew more excited
each day, as the struggle went on, and the news of
a triumph or defeat would fire his spirit, and he






IN THE NAVY.


longed to be standing side by side with the soldiers
of the Union, that he might share in their triumphs,
or assist in retrieving their disasters.
He was left almost alone now, for many of the
boys of his acquaintance had shouldered their
muskets and gone off with the others; and that
very day he had met Harry Butler, who had en-
listed as a private, wearing the uniform of a lieu-
tenant, which he had won by his bravery at Fort
Donelson.
He had never said one word to his mother about
enlisting, for he was an only son, and he dreaded
to ask her permission. But that mother's quick
eye easily read what was going on in her son's
mind. She had Puritan blood in her veins; her
ancestors had fought in the war of the Revolution,
and she had resolved that, if Frank wished to go,
she would give her full consent. A mother's heart
alone can tell the struggle it had cost her to come
to this determination.
"I've got a letter from Archie, also," said
Frank.
His mother took it from his hand, and read as
follows:








FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


SPORTLAND, March 18, 1862.
DEAR COUSIN:
I am about to tell you something which you will call
strange news. Father has at last given his consent to my
going to war, provided you will go too. He says that if
I go, I must have you with me, to take care of me, and
keep me straight. I suppose he thinks I will never go if
I am obliged to wait for you, for he says your mother
will not consent to your going. You can ask her, any
way. You know you always wanted to have a hand in
putting down this rebellion.
* If we go at all, I think the best plan is to enter the
navy. It is a much better branch of the service than the
army-the discipline is better; there are no long marches
to endure; and, wherever you go, your house goes with
you.
Now, be sure and do your best, for now is our chance,
if ever. Please write immediately, for I am afraid father
will change his mind.
Yours, in haste, ARCHIBALD WINTERS.

When Mrs. Nelson had read the letter, she
handed it back to her son without saying a word.
."Well, mother, what do you think of it?" in-
quired Frank.
"The matter rests entirely with you, my son,"
answered Mrs. Nelson, dropping her sewing into
her lap. Do just as you think best."
"Do you say I may go ?" inquired Frank, joy-
fully.


10







IN THE NAVY.


"Certainly. You have my full consent to go,
if you wish to."
"Oh, mother," exclaimed Frank, springing up
and throwing his arms around her neck, "I wish
I had known, long ago, that you were willing to
have me go."
Where are you going, Frank ? inquired Julia,
who had a vague suspicion of what was going on.
"I'm off to the war," answered her brother.
SI am going into the navy with Archie."
Oh, Frank," she exclaimed, bursting into tears,
"you must not go. There's enough in the army
without you. You will certainly get shot."
"I'll never be shot in the back," said Frank;
"you may rely on that. But you don't suppose
that every one who goes to war gets shot, do you?
I may be one of the lucky ones; so do n't cry
any more."
But Julia could not control her feelings. The
thought that her brother was to be exposed to the
slightest danger was terrible; and Frank, seeing
that it would do no good to talk to her, left the
room, and went into his study, where he wrote to
Archie, stating that he would start for Portland
the next day. He spent the forenoon in wander-


11






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


ing about the house and orchard, taking a long and
lingering look at each familiar object. He locked
the museum, and gave the key to Julia, who was
close at his side wherever he went. Even Brave
seemed to have an idea of what was going on, for
he followed his master about, and would look into
his face and whine, as though he was well aware
that they were about to be separated.
Immediately after dinner, the carriage which was
to convey Frank and his baggage to the Julia
Burton drew up before the door. The parting
time had come. "Good-by, mother," said Frank,
as he stood at the door, ready to go.
"Good-by, my son," said Mrs. Nelson, strain-
ing him to her bosom, and struggling hard to keep
back a sob. "We may never see you again, but
I hope I shall never hear that you shrunk from
your duty."
Frank could not reply-his breast was too full
for utterance: and hastily kissing.his sister, and
shaking Hannah's hand, he hurried down the walk
toward the gate. He had not gone far before
Brave came bounding after him.
"Go back, old fellow," said Frank, caressing the
faithful animal; "you can't go with me this time.


12






IN THE NAVY.


It will be a long while before you and I will go
any-where together again. Go back, sir."
Brave understood his master perfectly; and he
turned and trotted toward the house, looking back
now and then, and whining, as if urging his master
to allow him to go too. Frank did not stop to
look back, but sprang into the carriage, and the
driver closed the door after him, and mounted to
his seat and drove off. He had scarcely time to
get his baggage on board the steamer before she
moved off into the stream. And Frank was glad
it was so, for the longer he remained in sight of
the village, the harder grew the struggle to leave
it. But, at length, every familiar object was left
behind, and being surrounded by new scenes, Frank
gradually recovered his usual spirits.
In two days he arrived at Portland, and as he
was getting off the cars, he was seized by Archie,
who had come to the depot to meet him.
"I'm glad to see you," said the latter; "it is
lucky that you wrote just as you did, for father
has said a dozen times that I can't go. But I
gness he will not refuse me, now that you are
here."
"I hope not," said Frank; "we can go.as well


13







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


as any one else. If every one was to stay at home,
we should n't have any army at all."
"That's just what I told father; but he didn't
seem to see it. He says there are some who
ought to go, for they are of no earthly use here;
but he thinks that boys like you and me ought to
stay at home until we know enough to take care
of ourselves."
But Mr. Winters did not raise many objections
when he found that Frank had obtained his moth-
er's consent; and, on the next day but one after
Frank's arrival, he accompanied the boys on board
the receiving-ship, where they were speedily exam-
ined and sworn in. Each was then supplied with a
bag and hammock, and two suits of clothes; and,
when they were rigged out in their blue shirts and
wide pants, they made fine-looking sailors. At
Mr. Winters' request they were granted permis-
sion to remain on shore until a draft of men was
ready to be sent away. The boys were allowed to
do pretty much as they pleased while they re-
mained, for, as they were to leave so soon, Mr.
Winters could not find it in his heart to raise any
objections to the plans they proposed for their
amusement. Besides, he knew that Archie was in


14






IN THE NAVY.


good hands, for Frank was a boy of excellent
habits, and possessed sufficient moral courage to
.ay no, when tempted to do wrong; and, as he
ad: great influence over his cousin, Mr. Winters
knew their conduct would be such as he could
.approve.
At length, one morning, when they went on
board the receiving-ship to report as usual, they
were ordered to present themselves at the depot
fttwo o'clock that afternoon, with their bags and
hammocks, in readiness to take the train for the
West. The boys were a good deal disappointed
When they heard this, for the idea of serving out
their year on the Mississippi River was not an
agreeable one. They had hoped to be ordered to
the coast. But, as Archie remarked, it was "too
late to back out," and they were obliged to submit.
When Archie came to bid farewell to his parents,
he found it to be a much more difficult task than
he had expected. The tears would come to his
eyes, in spite of himself, as he embraced his
mother; and, as soon as he could disengage himself
from her arms, he seized his bag and hammock,
and rushed out of the house to conceal his emo-
tion. When they reached the depot, they found


15







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


that the draft to which they belonged numbered
nearly two hundred men, some of whom were old
sailors, while others, like themselves, were entirely
unacquainted with the life they were about to lead.
The journey to Cairo-which was then the naval
depot of the Western rivers-was a long and tedi-
ous one. They were treated with the greatest
kindness by the officers who accompanied them,
and at almost every station the people would flock
around the cars with baskets of provisions, which
were freely distributed.
Early on the fifth morning they reached their
destination, and were immediately marched on
board a small steamer which lay alongside of the
naval wharf-boat, and carried to the receiving-ship,
which lay anchored in the middle of the river.


16







LEARNING THE ROPES.


CHAPTER II.




S they came on board the receiving-
ship they were all drawn up in a
line, -the roll was called, and they
were divided off into messes. The
mess to which Frank and his cousin
belonged was called "Number Twenty-
five." As they were about to be dis-
missed, the officer who had called the roll said to
Archie:
"You will be cook of this mess."
"Sir? said Archie, in surprise.
"You will be cook of this mess," repeated the
officer, in a louder tone. But what is the matter
with you? Are you hard of hearing ?"
"No, sir; but I can't cook."
"Never mind; you can try. You may go be-
liw, lads."
2


17







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


The men did as they were ordered, and our
heroes seated themselves on one of the broadside
guns, and Archie said:
"I'm in a nice fix, ain't I? I do n't know any
more about cooking than a hog does about gun-
powder."
"I will assist you all I can," said Frank; "but
I wonder what we shall have for dinner? I' hope
it will be something good, for I'm as hungry as a
bear."
At this moment the whistle of the boatswain's
mate sounded through the ship, and that person-
age passed them and called out, in a low voice:
Mess cook Number Twenty-five! "
He means me, do n't he ?" inquired Archie,
turning to his cousin.
"I do n't know, I'm sure. Ask him."
"Mess cook Number Twenty-five," again shouted
the mate.
Here I am," said Archie.
"Well, you ought to be somewhere else," said
the mate, sharply. "Why do n't you go and draw
your rations?"
"I do n't know where I should go," answered
Archie.


18






LEARNING THE ROPES.


Then fly around and find out;" and the mate
turned on his heel and walked away.
"Now, that's provoking," exclaimed Archie.
" Why could n't he tell a fellow where to go? I '11
tell that officer that I did n't ship for a cook; I
shipped to fight. I wish I was at home again."
But regrets were worse than useless, and Archie
began to look around to find some one who could
tell him where to go to draw his rations. At
length he met one of the men who belonged to his
mess, whose name was Simpson, who told him that
he must go to the paymaster's store-room, and
offered to show him the way; and, as he saw that
Archie was entirely unacquainted with life on
shipboard, Simpson told him to come to him when-
ever he wanted any advice.
As Archie entered the store-room, the paymas-
ter's steward, a boy about his own age, who was
serving out the provisions, after inquiring the
number of his mess, said:
"It's lucky that you came in just as you did, for
I have sent the master-at-arms after you. If you
do n't attend to your business better than this, I
hall have you put on the black-list for a week or
two."


19







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


Now, Archie had never' been accustomed to be-
ing "ordered about by any boy of his size," as he
afterward remarked, and he felt very much like
making an angry reply. But he knew it would
only get him into trouble, and, choking down his
wrath, he answered:
"If any one will tell me what my duty is, I
shall be glad to do it."
You have n't been in the navy a great while,
have you ?" inquired the steward, with a laugh.
"No; this is my first attempt at learning to be a
sailor."
"Well, all I have got to say," continued the
steward, "is, that you.will soon be sorry that you
ever made the attempt."
I am sorry now," said Archie; and if I ever
get home again, you '11 never catch me in another
scrape like this. I do n't like the idea of having
everybody order me around, and talk to me as
though I was a dog."
"No reflections," said the steward sharply.
"Better keep a civil tongue in your head. But
now to business. In the first place, here are your
dishes," and he handed Archie a number of tin
pots and plates, a large pan, and a mess-kettle.


20







LEARNING THE ROPES.


"What shall I do with these?" asked Archie.
S"Why, eat out of them, to be sure," answered
'the steward; "what else would you do with them?
I shall hold you responsible for them," he contin-
ved; "and if any of them are lost, they will be
charged to your account. Now go and put them
away in your mess-chest, which you will find on
the berth-deck, and then come back, and I will give
you your rations."
Archie accordingly picked up his dishes, and
started-he knew not whither, for he had no
idea to which part of the vessel he should go in
order to find the berth-deck. But he had often
boasted that he would have no difficulty in getting
along in the'world while he had a tongue in his
head; so he made inquiries of the first man he met,
who told him to go up to the captain, who was al-
wiys ready to send the executive officer to show
landlubbers over the ship. If there was any joke
in this, Archie was too angry to notice it, and he
was about to make a suitable rejoinder, when a
voice close behind him said:
"Now, shipmate, what 's the use o' being so hard
on the boy?"
Archie turned, and found Simpson at his side.







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"The youngster hain't been to sea as long as
you and I have," continued the latter. "If we
were ashore, he would stand a better chance of
getting' along than you nor me."
"Then, shiver his timers, why did n't he stay
ashore, where he belongs ?" asked the man, gruffly.
"Oh, he's got the right stuff in him, and will soon
learn the ropes," answered Simpson. "' Come, now,
my little marlinspike," he continued, turning to
Archie, "follow in my wake, and I'll show you
where our mess-chist is;" and the kind-hearted
sailor led the way to the berth-deck, and showed
Archie the mess-chest, which had "No. 25" painted
on it. Archie put all his dishes into it, with the
exception of the mess-kettle and two plates, which,
according to Simpson's directions, he took back to
the store-room, to put his rations in. The steward
then gave him a large piece of salt beef, some cof-
fee, sugar, butter, and sea-biscuit.
"Is this all we have to eat ?" inquired Archie, as
he picked up his rations and followed Simpson back
to his mess-chest.
"All!" repeated Simpson; "yes, my hearty, and
you may thank your lucky stars that you have
got even this.- You'll have to live on worse grub


22






LEARNING THE ROPES.


nor this afore your year is out. But I see you
don't like the berth of cook, so I'II take it off
your hands. Give me the key of the chist."
Archie accordingly handed it over, and then
went in search of his cousin, whom he found
perched upon a coil of rope, engaged in writing a
letter.
"Well," exclaimed the latter, as Archie came up,
"how do you get along ?"
"I do n't get along at all," said Archie; "I tell
you, we've got ourselves in a fix. What do you
suppose we are going to have for dinner ?"
"I do n't know," answered Frank.
"Well, we will have a chunk of salt beef, coffee
without any milk, butter strong enough to go alone,
and crackers so hard that you could n't break them
with an ax. I tell you, the navy is played out."
"Well, it can't be helped," said his cousin.
"We are in for it. But we 'll soon get accus-
tomed to the food; we are seeing the worst of our
year now."
"I certainly hope so," said Archie; "but I know
I can stand it if any one else can; and when I
fairly get started, I won't ask favors of any one."
Frank made no reply, but went on with his let-


23







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


ter, and Archie leaned on one of the guns and
gazed listlessly into the water. At length they
were interrupted by the boatswain's whistle, blown
three times in succession, long and loud.
"What's the matter now, I wonder," said Frank,
as the sailors commenced running about the ship
in all directions.
"I know," answered Archie, as he saw Simpson
dive into the cook's galley and reappear bearing
the mess-kettle, filled with steaming coffee, in one
hand, and a large pan, containing the salt beef, in
the other-" dinner is ready."
The cousins walked aft to their mess-chest, and
found the berth-deck filled with men, who were sit-
ting around the chests, brandishing their sheath-
knives over plates full of salt beef and "hard-tack."
Coming directly from home, where they had been
accustomed to luxurious living, our young sailors
thought they could not relish this hard fare; but,
as they had eaten no breakfast, they were very
hungry, and the food tasted much better than they
had expected.
When dinner was ended, Simpson began to
gather up the dishes belonging to his mess, pre-
paratory to washing them. Frank and Archie


24







LEARNING THE ROPES.


offered their assistance, and Simpson directed the
former to take the mess-kettle and go up to the
galley after some hot water. When he was re-
turning, he saw a man stealing around the deck,
holding something behind him that looked very
much like a bundle of rope, and keeping a close
watch on every one he met. Frank did not know
what to make of this, and stepping up to the boat-
swain's mate, he inquired:
"What is that man doing with that bundle of
rope behind him?"
"That ain't a bundle of rope, you landlubber,"
replied the mate; "that's a swab."
"Well, what is he doing with it?"
"The best way for you to learn would be for
you to spill some of that water you have got in
your kettle on the deck."
Frank, without stopping to think, tipped up his
kettle, and turned out some of the water; and the
man, who had been watching his every movement,
sprang toward him and threw down the swab, ex-
claiming,
"I've caught you, my hearty; now you may log
this bit of rope for awhile."
"What do you mean?" inquired Frank, amid a


*25







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


roar of laughter from! every sailor who had wit-
nessed the performance.
"What does he mean?" repeated the mate;
" why, he means that you have got to wipe up that
water you have spilt on deck, and carry that swab
until you can catch some one else doing the same
thing."
For the benefit of the uninitiated, we will make
an explanation. It often happens on shipboard,
especially receiving-ships, that the men become
very careless; and in carrying water, paint, or
grease about the ship, frequently spill some of it
on deck. While this state of things continues, it
is impossible to keep a ship clean, and, in order to
break up this habit, the culprits are obliged to wipe
up whatever they have spilled, and then carry a
swab about the deck until they can detect some one
else equally unfortunate. This is not a pleasant
task; for, as soon as this rule is put in force, the
men become very careful, and the luckless offender
is sometimes obliged to walk the decks the entire
day before he can detect any one in the act of vio-
lating it.
Frank, of course, did not understand this, and the
mate had got him into the scrape for the purpose


26







LEARNING THE ROPES.


6f getting the man who first had the swab, who was
a particular friend of his, out of his unpleasant
position.
'"Come, youngster, drop that mess-kettle and
*pick up that swab," commanded the mate.
Frank knew he had no alternative; so he set
his mess-kettle on deck out of the way, and picking
up the swab, walked aft to the place where he had
epft Simpson.
"Hullo, there," exclaimed the latter, as Frank
approached, "what's the matter with you ?"
Frank related the whole circumstance, and Simp-
ion could scarcely restrain his indignation.
"That bo'son's mate ought to be mast-headed
for a whole week," he exclaimed. "But I'll
square yards with him some day. I'm sorry
you have got into this scrape, but it can't be
helped. I've seen many a good fellow, in my
time, in the same fix. Now you must walk around
the ship, and if you see any one spill the least drop
of water, or any thing else, on deck, rush up and
give him the swab. There are a good many land-
lubbers on board, who do n't know the rules, and
you won't have any trouble in catching them. Al-


27







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


ways be careful to keep the swab behind you, out
of sight."
Frank was a good deal mortified at being the
victim of this novel mode of punishment; but he
consoled himself with the thought that he would.
soon learn his duty, and be enabled to avoid all
such scrapes. He walked about the vessel for an
hour, trailing the swab along the deck behind him;
but it seemed as though every one was particularly
careful.
Meanwhile Archie, who had learned the par-
ticulars of the case from Simpson, was acting as a
sort of scout, hoping to be of some assistance to
his cousin. But he looked and waited in vain for
some one to violate the rule, and finally he resolved
to make use of a little strategy in releasing
Frank.
Discovering a man coming out of the galley with
a pail of water, Archie walked rapidly down the
deck, and jostled him with sufficient force to empty
half the contents of his pail on the deck. Archie
did not, of course, stop to apologize, but hurried
on, and before the man could look up to see who
had caused the mischief, he had disappeared.
Frank, who had been watching his cousin's mo-


28







LEARNING THE ROPES. 29

tions, immediately stepped up and dropped the
swab before the man, and walked away, laughing
in his sleeve, when he thought how cleverly his
release had been accomplished.
When the hour of bedtime arrived, the boys
were instructed how to get into their hammocks,
and laughed at for tumbling out on the opposite
side. But, after a few attempts, they succeeded in
gaining the center of their suspended beds, and
were soon in a sound sleep.







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


CHAPTER III.




Y degrees the boys became accus-
Stomed to their new situation, and
began to feel much more contented.
The only thing that troubled them was
the food they received. It consisted,
for the most part, of salt pork and beef,
and hard crackers, with now and then a little
flour and dried apples. Simpson, who had been
in the navy nearly all his life, and had become
well acquainted with its rules and regulations,
asserted that they did not receive half their al-
lowance, and promised that, if he could detect
the paymaster's steward in the act of cheating
them, he would pay him back in his own coin.
Now Blinks, for that was the steward's name, was
a notorious cheat; he never gave the men their
full rations. On the contrary, he often boasted


80







SQUARING THE YARDS.


that he cleared not less than a hundred pounds
of provisions every day. He was the caterer of
the steerage mess, and many a pound of flour and
apples, which should have been given to the men,
found its way to his table, in the shape of pies and
puddings. Blinks always rose early, and as soon
as he was dressed, the steerage steward, every
morning, brought to his room a lunch, consisting
of coffee and apple-pie. He was very fond of
pies, and had several made every day. Every
time the men passed the galley, they saw long
rows of them set out to cool. Many a midnight
plundering expedition had been planned against
the galley, but without success. The door and
windows were securely fastened at sundown, and
all attempts to effect an entrance were unavailing.
It was also useless to attempt to bribe the cook,
for Blinks, who was a strict accountant, always
knew how many pies were made every day, and if
any of them were missing, the cook was sure to
suffer. One evening, while Frank and Simpson
were engaged in washing up the supper-dishes, the
latter inquired:
Would you like one of those pies we saw in
he galley to-day ?"


31







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"Yes," answered Frank; "they looked very
tempting."
"Well," said Simpson, lowering his voice to a
whisper, we 'll have some of them to-night."
How will we get them?" inquired Frank.
"Why, we 'll steal them. We can't beg or buy
them. Besides, the stuff they are made of right-
fully belongs to us. I do n't care a snap for the
pies, but I do n't want to see that rascally steward
growing fat off our grub."
"I 'm in for it," answered Frank, who had long
wanted an opportunity to revenge himself on
Blinks.
"Will that cousin of yours lend us a hand?"
inquired Simpson.
"Yes, without any coaxing. He does not like
the steward any better than I do. But I'd like
to know how we are going to work to get at the
pies? The doors and windows are all fastened."
"We will pry up the galley, so that one of us
can crawl under it. I've put a handspike where I
can find it in a moment. We shall have no trouble
at all."
As soon as the dishes were washed and stowed
away in the mess-chest, Frank went to find his
0


32






SQUARING THE YARDS.


cousin, who was always ready for any mischief of
that kind, and readily agreed to the proposal.
When bedtime came, the three slung their ham-
mocks together, and, to all appearances, were soon
fast asleep. At nine o'clock the ship's corporal
put out all the berth-deck lights, which left the
place alrouded in darkness. As soon as he had
gone forward again, Simpson raised himself on his
elbow, and whispered:
"Turn out, lads. Now 's our time."
The boys crept noiselessly out of their ham-
mocks, and followed the sailor, who led the way
directly to the galley, which was, in fact, a small
house, about ten feet square, built on the deck, to
which it was insecurely fastened. Simpson found
his handspike without any difficulty, and placing
one end of it under the galley, easily raised it from
the deck,while Archie threw himself on his hands
and knees, and crawled in under it. It was as dark
as pitch inside the galley, but he knew exactly
where the pies were kept, and had no difficulty in
finding them. He handed three of them to his
cousin, and then crawled, out again, and the galley
was lowered to its place. After stowing the pies
safely away in their mess-chest, they again sought


33







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


their hammocks. The next morning, when the
steward entered the galley to prepare the usual
lunch for Blinks, he was surprised, and a good deal
terrified, to find that some of the pies were missing.
He immediately went on deck, and reported it to
Blinks, who furiously asked:
"Where have they gone to, you rascal ?
"I do n't know, sir, I'm sure," answered the
steward, while visions of double-irons danced be-
fore his eyes. "There were eight pies in the gal-
ley when I locked it up last night."
"I do n't believe it, you scoundrel. You sold
the pies, and think that, by telling me they are
missing, you can make me believe that they were
stolen."
"I have never done any thing of the kind since
I have been your steward, Mr. Blinks," said the
man, with some spirit. "I have always been as
careful of your interests as I would be of my own.
Did you ever detect me in a mean or a dishonest
act ?"
No; but I have often caught the cook stealing
things. I '11 report you to the executive officer,
and have you punished. Go below."
The man sullenly withdrew, and Blinks hurried


34







SQUARING THE YARDS.


to the executive officer's room and reported the
affair. *
"Are you sure the steward stole the pies, Mr.
Blinks?" inquired the officer; "perhaps some one
broke into the galley. It would be well for you
to go down and see, before punishing the steward."
Blinks hurried below, and commenced a thorough
examination of the locks and window-fastenings,
but all to no purpose; and he was still more sur-
prised when the steward affirmed that he had
found all the doors and windows closed, just as he
had left them. This was also reported to the ex-
ecutive officer, who advised Blinks to say nothing
about the affair, but to set a watch over the galley,
and, if possible, discover the offender.
Blinks resolved to act upon this suggestion;
and, the following evening, he posted a sentry over
the galley, with instructions to arrest any one who
might be discovered prowling around. After fast-
'ening the doors and windows himself, he put the
keys in his pocket and walked away.
At half-past nine o'clock our young sailors and
Simpson were apain on hand. After a careful re-
connoissance, the sentry was discovered fast asleep
at his post. They immediately set to work as be-


35






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


fore-the galley was raised up, and three more pies
secured. It was all done in a moment, and the
sentinel was not awakened; and as they retreated
to their hammocks, they could scarcely refrain
from laughing outright, when they thought how
nicely the trick was performed.
The next morning Blinks opened the galley at
an early hour, and was surprised and enraged to
find that some of his pies were again missing.
He carefully examined every nook and corner of
the galley, but failed to discover a place where any
one could effect an entrance.
For four nights more, in succession, Frank and
his accomplices visited the galley, each time taking
pies enough to last them a whole day; and Blinks,
in the mean time, was making unavailing efforts
to discover the offenders. On the fifth night,
Archie, who was the one that always went into the
galley, was much longer than usual in finding the.
pies. At length he whispered,
"I say, Simpson!"
"Ay, ay, my hearty; what is it?"
"I can't find but one pie."
"You can't, hey?" said Simpson; "I smell a
rat. Bring the pie out here."


36







SQUARING THE YARDS.


Archie accordingly handed it out, saying, as he
did so-
I'm hungry as-blazes; I believe I'll eat a
piece of that pie to-night."
"Not in a hurry," said Simpson, as they began
to orcsd back toward their hammocks; "not in a
harry; I've been in such scrapes as this before,
amd can't be fooled easy."
"OWhat do you mean?" inquired Frank.
"Why, I mean that this pie was made on pur-
pose for us," said Simpsoh; "it has got some
kind of medicine in it that will make a fellow sick.
If we should eat it, they would not be long in find-
ing out who stole the pies."
I'll tell you what to do with it," said Frank,
suddenly; "let's give it to Jenkins, the boat-
swain's mate; he's a mean fellow, and I should n't
be sorry to see him sick.'
"That's just what I was going to do with it,"
said Simpson. "Now, you go back to your ham-
mocks, and I'll carry him the pie."
"As Simpson had taken particular notice of the
place where Jenkins was in the habit of slinging
his hammock, he had no difficulty whatever in find-
ing it.


37







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"I say, shipmate," he whispered, shaking the
mate by the shoulder.
"What do you want?" he growled.
Wake up," said Simpson; I've got a nice pie
for you; do you want it?"
Of course I do," answered the mate, taking it
from Simpson's hand. But who are you ?" he
inquired, for it was so dark that he could not
have recognized the features of his most intirhate
friend.
I'm Jack Smith,"' answered Simpson; "but I
can't stop to talk with you, for some one may dis-
cover me;" and before Jenkins could detain him,
he had slipped off quietly in the darkness.
It was as Simpson had said-the pie had been
made "on purpose for them." When Blinks saw
that it was impossible to discover the guilty party,
he ordered his steward to make a nice, large pie,
into which heaput two doses of jalap. It was his
intention to make the offender sick; and he told
the doctor what he had done, and requested him to
keep an eye on all who came to him for medicine.
The next morning Jenkins was not heard blow-
ing his whistle, but was seen moving slowly about
the ship, with a pale, woe-begone countenance;


38







SQUARING THE YARDS.


and as soon as the doctor appeared, he made ap-
plication to go on the sick-list."
"What's the matter with you?" inquired the
doctor.
Jenkins then explained how he had been sud-
denly taken very ill during the night, and was
afraid he was going to die. The doctor, who knew
int moment that it was the effect of the medicine
contained in the pie, exclaimed:
Why, you're just the man Mr. Blinks has been
wanting to see for the last week. Orderly, ask
Mr. Blinks if he will have the kindness to come
here a moment."
The orderly disappeared, and Jenkins stood,
looking the very picture of despair, too sick to
know or care what was going on.
"Mr. Blinks, I 've found your man," said the
doctor, when the paymaster's steward made his
appearance.
"Well, my fine fellow," said Blinks, turning to
the mate, and smiling grimly, "how do you feel by
this time? Very pleasant morning, is n't it? I
knew I'd catch you, you scoundrel," he exclaimed,
suddenly changing his tune; "I'll teach you to
steal my pies!"


39







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"I--I-do n't know what you mean, sir !' said
the mate, in surprise.
"Do n't talk to me, you villain," said Blinks,
savagely; "did n't you eat a pie last night?"
"Yes, sir," answered Jenkins, hesitatingly,
"but "-
"I knew you did, you rascal."
"But the pie was given to me, sir," said the
mate.
"Oh, that story won't do at all. I'll fix you.
Go below."
In a short time the mate, who was so weak that
he was scarcely able to stand alone, was sum-
moned before the captain, who gave him a severe
reprimand, and disrated him. He came down on
deck, looking very forlorn indeed; and as he
passed by Simpson, who, with Frank and Archie,
was standing in the starboard gangway, the former
exclaimed:
"That's what I call squaring the yards; I'm
even with him now."
As soon as Jenkins had recovered from the ef-
fects of the physic, he began to make efforts to
find Jack Smith. One day he approached Simp-
son, who was seated on a coil of rope, spinning


40







SQUARING THE YARDS. 41

one of his forecastle yarns to Frank and Archie,
and said:
"Shipmate, do you know any one aboard here
named Jack Smith ?"
"No," answered Simpson, with the utmost grav-
ity, "I do n't know any one who goes by that
name."
"Well, there is a chap here by that name," said
Jenkins, "and I wish I could find him. He got
me into a bad scrape."
But, it is needless to say, he never found Jack
Smith.







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


CHAPTER IV.




N the afternoon of the following day,
as Frank and his cousin were walk-
> ing up and down the deck, talking over
old times, Simpson hurriedly approached
them, exclaiming,
"Boys, do you want to leave this
ship ?"
"Yes," answered Frank; "we're tired of stay-
ing here."
"Well, it's all right, then. I volunteered to go,
and I had both your names put down. The ex-
ecutive officer says if you want to go, just get your
donnage and go forward."
"Where are we to go?" inquired Archie.
"On board of the Illinois," answered Simpson.
"She is a magazine-ship, and is lying half-way


42







A MIDNIGHT ALARM.


between here and Mound City. No work at all
to do. I'm going.'
"Then we'll go, of course," said Frank; "for
we do n't want to lose you."
They immediately got down their hammocks
and bags, and went forward, where they found the
executive officer standing on the forecastle, wait-
ing for them.
"Well, lads, do you volunteer to go on the Illi-
nois?" he asked.
"Yes, sir."
"Jump down into that dingy, then," said the
officer, pointing to a small boat that lay along-
side.
The boys did as they were ordered, and just
as they had finished storing away their bags and
hammocks under the thwarts, a man dressed in the
uniform of a sailor sprang down into the boat,
exclaiming:
"Man your oars, lads, and shove off-you 've
a long pull before you."
Archie took one of the oars, Frank the other;
Simpson stowed himself away in the bow of the
boat, and the sailor took his seat at the helm.
The cousins were both good oarsmen, and they


43







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


made the little boat dance over the water like a
duck. It was full five miles to the place where
the Illinois lay, and they soon found that it was
indeed "a long, hard pull." The current was
very strong, and it reminded the boys of many a
tough struggle they had had around the head of
Strawberry Island, in the Kennebec River.
In about two hours they reached the Illinois,
and, as they sprang on board, their baggage was
seized by willing hands, and carried to the cabin,
which had been stripped of nearly all its furniture,
and presented, altogether, a desolate appearance.
After a few moments' conversation with one of
their new messmates, they learned that there were
only fifteen men on board the vessel, including one
sergeant and two corporals. These were the only
officers; and they were, in fact, no officers at all,
for they were all rated, on the books of the receiv-
ing-ship, as landsmenn."
They soon discovered that there was no disci-
pline among the crew-there could not be, under
the circumstances. Each stood a two-hour watch,
at night, and assisted in pumping out the ship,
morning and evening. With the exception of these
duties, there was no work to be done on board the


44






A MIDNIGHT ALARM.


vessel. The remainder of the day was spent as
suited them best. Some passed the time in hunt-
ing and fishing, some in reading, and some lounged
about the decks, from morning until night.
Frank and Archie were very much pleased with
their new situation. There was no boatswain's
mate to trouble them, and they were in no danger
of rendering themselves liable to punishment for
some unintentional offense.
After stowing away their bags and hammocks,
they amused themselves in strolling about the boat,
until a neat-looking little sailor stepped up, and
informed them that supper was ready. They fol-
lowed him into the cabin, and took their seats at
the table, with the rest, and one of the sailors, who
went by the name of Woods, exclaimed:
Now, boys, pitch in, help yourselves, for if you
do n't, you won't be helped at all. Every one that
comes here has to learn to take care of himself."
"You will not find us at all bashful," answered
Frank, and he began helping himself most boun-
tifully to every thing on the table.
It did not take them long to become acquainted,
and the boys found that their new shipmates were
much better educated than the majority of the


45







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


sailors they had met. They were a good-natured,
jovial set of fellows, and the meal-hour passed
away quickly and pleasantly.
Immediately after supper the corporal ordered
all hands below to pump out the ship. In a quar-
ter of an hour this was accomplished, and as they
were ascending to the boiler-deck, Woods re-
marked:
I wish I was back in Wisconsin again for a
little while."
"Are you tired of the navy? inquired Frank.
Oh, no!" answered Woods; "but I should like
to see my friends again, and try my hand at quail-
shooting."
Are you fond of hunting ?"
"Yes, indeed; I spend all my spare time in the
woods, when I am at home."
This was the very man, of all others, that Frank
would have chosen for a companion, and he in-
formed Woods that he also was very fond of rural
sports. They seated themselves on the boiler-
deck railing, and each related some of his hunting
and fishing adventures, and, finally, Woods pro-
posed that they should go over the rivqr into Ken-
tucky, on the following morning, on a squirrel-


46






A MIDNIGHT ALARM.


hunt. Frank, of course, readily agreed to this.
He immediately started in search of his cousin and
Simpson, and informed.them of the proposed excur-
sion. When he returned to the place where he had
left Woods, he found him with a musket on his
shoulder, and a cartridge-box buckled about his
waist, pacing up and down the deck.
"I 'm on watch, you see," he said, as Frank
came up. "You will go on at midnight; so you
had better go and turn in. If we go hunting to-
morrow, we must start by four o'clock at least, for
we have a good way to walk before we reach the
hunting-ground. Good night." And Woods, set-
tling his musket more firmly on his shoulder, con-
tinued his beat, while Frank sought his hammock.
About midnight he was awakened by a hand laid
on his shoulder, when, starting up, he found one
of the corporals standing beside his hammock,
holding a lantern in his hand.
"Is your name Nelson?" he inquired.
Frank answered in the affirmative, and the cor-
poral continued:
"Roll out, then, for it is time for you to go on
watch. But be careful when you come out, or
you 'll be shot."


47






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"Shot!" exclaimed Frank. "Who 'll shoot
me? Are there any rebels around here?"
"Yes, plenty of them. There are some out on
the bank now. I was walking with Woods, when I
happened to look up, and saw two men, with their
muskets pointed straight at us; but we got out of
the way before they had time to shoot. Hurry up,
now, but do n't expose yourself," and the corporal
hurried aft, hiding his lantern under his coat as he
went.
What Frank's feelings were, we will not attempt
to say. He was not a coward, for we once saw
him alone in the forest, standing face to face
with a wounded wild-cat, with. no weapon in his
hands but an ax; but fighting a wild-cat and a rebel
sharp-shooter were two widely different things. He
had never heard the whistle of a hostile bullet, nor
had he ever seen a rebel; and it is not to be won-
dered at, if his feelings were not of the most envi-
able nature. But he was not one to shrink from
his duty because it was dangerous; and he drew on
his clothes as quickly as possible, and seizing a
musket and cartridge-box that stood in a rack close
by the cabin door, he hurried aft, where he found
Woods concealed behind the port wheel-house, and


48







A MIDNIGHT ALARM.


the corporal behind a chicken-coop. They both
held their guns in readiness, and were peering into
the woods, as if trying to pierce the thick darkness
that enshrouded them. The Illinois was tied up
close to the bank, which, as the water in the river
was low, was about thirty feet in hight; and as the
moon was shining very brightly, a person hidden
in the bushes could distinctly see every thing on
deck.
"Keep close there," said Woods, as Frank came
up. "The corporal says he saw some guerrillas
on the bank."
Frank accordingly concealed himself behind a
stanchion, and his hand trembled considerably as
he cocked his musket and brought it to his shoul-
der. They remained in this position for nearly a
quarter of an hour, when, suddenly, something
stirred in the bushes.
There they are," whispered the corporal, draw-
ing himself entirely out of sight, behind the
chicken-coop. "Look out, they'll shoot in a
moment."
Frank kept a close watch on the bushes, and
presently discovered a white object moving about
among them.
4


49







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"I see something, boys," he said; but it do n't
look to me like a man."
"Yes, it is a man," exclaimed the corporal,
excitedly. "Shoot him."
In obedience to the order, Frank raised his gun
to his shoulder, and an ounce ball and.a couple of
buckshot went crashing through the bushes. The
commotion increased for a moment, and then
ceased, and something that sounded very much
like a groan issued from the woods.
By gracious, you hit one of them," exclaimed
the corporal. That was a good shot. We'll
teach these rebs that it is n't healthy to go prowl-
ing about here at night."
Frank hastily reloaded his musket, and they
waited, impatiently, for nearly an hour, for the
other guerrilla to show himself, but the woods
remained as silent as death.
"I gifess that shot finished them," said the cor-
poral; so I will go and turn in. Keep a good
look-out," he added, turning to Frank, and do n't
expose yourself too much."
Woods and the corporal then went into the
cabin, and Frank was left to himself. A feeling
of loneliness he had never before experienced came


50







A MIDNIGHT ALARM.


over him. At first he determined to go and call
his cousin to come and stand watch with him, so
that he would have some one to talk with; but, on
second thought, he remembered that Archie was
to come on watch at two o'clock, and probably
would not like to be disturbed. Besides, if he
called him, it would look as though he was a cow-
ard, and afraid to stand his watch alone; so he
gave up the idea, and remained in his place of
concealment. Once he thought he discovered the
sheen of a musket among the bushes; but it was
only his imagination, and after waiting half an
hour without hearing any thing suspicious, he shoul-
dered his gun, and commenced pacing the deck,
in full view of the woods. But he was not mo-
lested, and when two o'clock came he saw a figure
steal cautiously out of the cabin, and creep along
toward him, under cover of the wheel-house. As
he approached nearer, Frank recognized his cousin.
"Where are the rebs ? inquired tlie latter.
"The corporal said he saw two of them out
there in the woods," answered Frank, pointing to
a thick clump of bushes that stood on the edge of
the bank; "and there was something out there,
and I shot at it. But I've been on deck here,


51







W FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.

in plain sight, for the last hour, and have n't seen
any thing."
"I hope there are no rebs in there," said
Archie; but I '11 keep dark for awhile. I shipped
to fight, but I do n't like the idea of having a fel-
low send a bullet into me when I can't see him,"
and he began to settle himself into a comfortable
position behind the chicken-coop.
"I don't think there is any danger," said
Frank; "but perhaps it is well to be careful at
first. Be sure and call us when you come off
watch," and he shouldered his rifle and walked
leisurely into the cabin.







A DISCOMFITED REBEL.


CHAPTER V.




RCHIE stood his watch without see-
ing or hearing any thing of the reb-
S eels, and when he was relieved, at four
o'clock, he aroused Simpson, Woods,
S and his cousin, and after they had tied
up their hammocks, and stowed them
away in the nettings, Woods went to
the sergeant's room to obtain his consent to their
proposed excursion. This was easily accomplished,
and while they were filling their pockets with
musket-cartridges, Frank proposed that they should
go out and see what it was that had occasioned the
alarm during the night; so they leaned their mus-
kets up in one corner of the cabin, and ran out
on the bank, and there, weltering in his blood, lay,
not a rebel, but a white mule. He it was that,
while feeding about in the woods, had occasioned


53







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


the disturbance in the bushes, and Frank's shot
had done its work. The two men with muskets
had existence only in the corporal's imagination.
Simpson burst into a loud laugh.
"A nice set of fellows you are," he exclaimed.
"I shouldn't want you stationed at my gun in
action."
"Why not ?" inquired Frank.
"Why, because you can't tell the difference
between a mule and a secesh."
Frank made no reply to this, for, although he
was very much relieved to find that it was a mule,
and not a man, that he had killed, he was a good
deal mortified at first, for he expected to be made
the laughing-stock of his companions. But he
consoled himself with the thought that he was not
to blame. The corporal had said that he had seen
guerrillas in the woods, and he had, as in duty
bound, done his best to drive them away; besides,
he would not have fired his gun had he not been
ordered to do so.
"It's no matter," said Simpson, who noticed
that Frank looked a little crest-fallen; "It was
the corporal's fault."
"I know it," said Frank. "But that's poor


54







A DISCOMFITED REBEL.


consolation. I killed the mule, and shall probably
be laughed at for it."
"What's the odds?" asked Simpson. "I've
seen many a better man than you laughed at. But
let us be going, for we have a long way to walk."
They accordingly retraced their steps to the
vessel, and Woods awoke one of the corporals, who
had volunteered to row them over into Kentucky.
The dingy, which was kept fastened to the stern of
the Illinois, was hauled alongside, and, in a few
moments, they reached the opposite shore. Our
four hunters sprang out, and, bidding the corporal
good-by, shouldered their muskets, and disap-
peared in the forest. Woods, who was well ac-
quainted with the "lay of the land," led the way.
Just at sunrise they reached a ridge covered with
hickory and pecan-trees.
"Here we are," he exclaimed, as he leaned on
his gun, and wiped his forehead with his coat"
sleeve. "There are plenty of squirrels around
here. But I'm hungry; we have plenty of time
to eat some breakfast before we begin,"
They seated themselves under the branches of
some small hickories, and Simpson produced from
a basket some salt pork, hard crackers, and a


55







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


bottle of cold coffee. Their long walk had given
them good appetites, and the meal, homely as it
was, was eaten with a relish. After they had
rested a few moments, they started off in different
directions, to commence the hunt. As Frank
walked slowly along, with his gun on his shoulder,
he could not help thinking of the many times he
had been on such excursions about his native vil-
lage. What a change a year had made! The
"Boys of Lawrence" were no longer amateur
sportsmen. They were scattered all over the
country, engaged in the work of sustaining the
integrity of the best government on earth. Would
they ever all meet again? It was not at all likely.
Perhaps some had already been offered up on the
altar of their country; and if he should ever live to
return home, there would be some familiar faces
missing. In short, Frank was homesick. Finding
himself once more in his favorite element had made
him think of old times. He wandered slowly
along, recalling many a fishing frolic and boat-race
he had engaged in, until a loud chatter above his
head roused him from his reverie. He looked up
just in time to see a large squirrel striving to hide
himself among the leaves on a tree that stood close


56






A DISCOMFITED REBEL.


by. Frank's gun was at his shoulder in a moment,
and taking a quick aim at the squirrel, he pulled
the trigger. But the old Springfield musket was
not intended for fine shooting; for, though the
shot cut the leaves all around, the squirrel escaped
unhurt, and, running up to the topmost branch,
again concealed himself. While Frank was reload-
ing, Archie came up, and stood leaning on his gun,
with rather a dejected air.
What's the matter with you ?" inquired Frank.
"I wish I was down to the river," answered
Archie.
"What would you do there? go fishing?"
"No, but I 'd sink this musket so deep that no
one would ever find it again. It don't shoot
worth a row of pins. If I was standing twenty
feet from the side of a barn, I could n't hit it. I
wish I had my shot-gun here."
"So do I," answered Frank; "I would very
soon bring down that squirrel. I'm going to try
him again;" and going around to the side of the
tree where the squirrel had taken refuge, he fired
again, but with no better success. The squirrel,
not in the least injured, appeared amid a shower
of leaves, and speedily found a new hiding-place.


57







58 FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.

"It's no use, I tell you," said Archie; "you
can't hit any thing with that musket."
"It does look a little that way. But I must
have that squirrel, if I have to shoot all day.
Have n't you got a load in your gun?"
"Yes; but I might as well have none. I can
kill as many squirrels by throwing the musket at
them, as I can by shooting at them."
Never mind, fire away-the ammunition does n't
cost us any thing."
"I know it; but another thing, this musket kicks
like blazes. I had as soon stand before it, as be-
hind it. But I'11 try him;" and Archie raised
his gun and blazed away. This time there was no
mistake; the squirrel was torn almost to pieces by
the ball; and when the smoke cleared away, Frank
saw his cousin sitting on the ground, holding both
hands to his nose, which was bleeding profusely.
"You've killed the squirrel," he said.
"Yes," answered Archie; "but I hurt myself
as much as I did him."
Frank was a good deal amused, and could scarcely
refrain from laughing at his cousin's misfortune.
He tried to keep on a sober face, but the corners
of his mouth would draw themselves out into a







A DISCOMFITED REBEL.


smile, in spite of himself. Archie noticed this,
and exclaimed:
"Oh, it's a good joke, no doubt."
"If you would hold your gun firmly against your
shoulder," said Frank, "it would n't hurt half so
bad. But hadn't we better go on?"
Archie raised himself slowly from the ground,
and they moved off through the woods. The
squirrels were very plenty; but it required two or
three, and, sometimes, as many as half a dozen
shots, to bring one down.
At length, after securing four squirrels, their
shoulders became so lame that they could scarcely
raise their guns; so they concluded to give up
shooting, and start in search of Woods and Simp-
son, who had gone off together. About noon they
found them, sitting on the fence that ran between
the woods and a road. Simpson had three squir-
rels in his hand.
"We are waiting for you," he said, as Frank
and Archie came up; "it's about time to start for
the boat."
"I'm hungry," said Frank; "why can't we go
down to that house and hire some one to cook our
squirrels for us?"







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


".That's a good idea," said Woods; "come
along;" and he sprang off the fence, and led the
way toward the house spoken of by Frank, which
stood about a quarter of a mile down the road,
toward the river.
As they opened the gate that led into the yard,
they noticed that a man, who sat on the porch in
front of the house, regarded them with a savage
scowl on his face.
"How cross that man looks!" said Archie, who,
with his cousin, was a little in advance of the others;
"maybe he's a reb."
"How do you do, sir?" inquired Frank, as he
approached the place where the man was sitting.
"What do yees want here?" he growled, in
reply.
"We came here to see if we could n't hire some
one to cook a good dinner for us," answered Frank.
"'No, ye can't," answered the man, gruffly; "get
out o' here. I never did nothing' for a Yank, an'
I never will. I 'd like to see yer all drove from
the country. Get out o' here, I tell yer," he
shouted, seeing that the sailors did not move, "or
I'11 let my dogs loose on yer!"
Why, I really believe he is a reb," said Archie;







A DISCOMFITED REBEL.


"he's the first one I ever saw. He looks just
like any body else, don't he, boys?"
If yees dan't travel mighty sudden, I'11 make
a scatterin' among yer," said the man, between his
clenched teeth; "I'll be dog-gone if I do n't shoot
some o' yer;" and he reached for a long double-
barrel shotguan that stood behind his chair.
Avast, there, you old landlubber," exclaimed
Simpson; "just drop that shooting' iron, will you.
We're four to your one, and you do n't suppose
that we are going to stand still and be shot down,
like turkeys on Thanksgivin' morning, do you?
No, sir, that would be like the handle of a jug, all
on one side. Shootin' is a game two can play at,
you know. Come, put that we'pon down;" and
Simpson held his musket in the hollow of his arm,
and handled the lock in a very significant manner.
The man saw that the sailors were not to be in-
timidated, and not liking the way Simpson eyed
him, he leaned his gun up in the corner again, and
muttered something about Yankee mudsills and
Abolitionists.
"Just clap a stopper on that jaw of yours, will
you," said Simpson; "or, shiver my timbers, if
we do n't try man-o'-war punishment on you. Now,


61







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


Frank," he continued, "you just jump up there,
and shoot off the old rascal's gun; and then keep
an eye on him, and do n't let him get out of his
chair; and the rest of us will look around and see
what we can find in the way of grub."
Frank sprang up the steps that led on to the
porch, and fired both barrels of the gun into the air,
and then, drawing a chair to the other end of the
porch, coolly seated himself, and deposited his feet
on the railing; while the others went into the house,
where they secured a pail of fresh milk and a loaf
of bread. From the house they went into the
wood-shed, where they found a quantity of sweet
potatoes. They then returned to the place where
they had left Frank.
"Come on, now," said Woods; "we 'll have a
tip-top dinner, in spite of the old secesh."
Hold on," said Frank; where are you going?
I move we cook and eat our dinner here. There's
a stove in the house, and every thing handy."
The mln was accordingly invited into his own
house by the boys, and requested to take a seat,
and make himself perfectly at home, but to be
careful and not go out of doors. They deposited
their muskets in one corner of the room; and while


62






A DISCOMFITED REBEL.


Archie started a fire in the stove, Frank dressed
the squirrels, and washed some of the sweet pota-
toes, and placed them in the oven to bake. Woods
drew the table out into the middle of the room;
and Simpson, after a diligent search, found the cup-
board, and commenced bringing out the dishes.
Frank superintended the cooking; and, in half an
hour, a s plendid dinner was smoking on the table.
When the meal was finished, they shouldered their
muskets, and Simpson said to the man:
"Now, sir, we 're very much obliged to you for
your kindness; but, before we go, we want to give
you a bit of advice. If you ever see any more
Yankee sailors out this way, do n't try to bully them
by talking treason to them. If you do, just as
likely as not you'll get hold of some who won't
treat you as well as we have. They might go to
work and clean out your shanty. Good day, sir;"
and Simpson led the way toward the boat.


68







FRANK ON A GUtN-BOAT.


CHAPTER VI.


rank irst sis*.

URING the three months following
that Frank and Archie were at-
Stached to the Illinois, they met
with no adventure worthy of notice.
They passed nearly every day in the
woods, and, after considerable practice,
had become splendid shots with their
muskets; and as game was abundant, their table
was kept well supplied.
At length, the new magazine-boat, which had for
some time been building at Cairo, was towed along-
side the Illinois, and a detachment of men from the
receiving-ship were set to work to transfer the am-
munition. The crew of the Illinois were not at all
pleased with this, for they knew that the easy life
they had been leading was soon to be brought to
an end.


64







PRANK'S FIRST EXPLOfT.


When the ammunition had all been removed into
the new boat, the steamer Champion came along-
side, and the Illinois was towed down to Columbis,
where she was to undergo repairs, and her crew was
transferred to the receiving-ship again.
The day after they arrived on board, while Frank
and his cousin were seated on a coil of rope, as
usual, talking over old times, and wondering how
George and Harry Butler liked the army, and why
they had not written, the boatswain's mate came
along, and, called out, in a loud voice:
"Archie Winters !"
"Here I am," said Archie.
"Well, go up on deck," said the mate; "the
captain wants to see you."
The captain wants to see me!" repeated Archie,
in surprise.
"Yes; and you had better bear a hand, too, for
the captain is n't the man to wait long when he
sends after any one."
Archie accordingly went on deck, trying all the
while to think what he had done that was wrong,
and expecting a good blowing up for some unin-
tentional offense. Perhaps the captain had by
tnae means learned who it was that had made the
5


65








FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


descent on the cook's galley, and had called him up
for the purpose of punishing him.
Finding the captain on deck, talking with the
executive officer, he very politely remained out of
hearing, holding his hat in his hand, and waited
for a chance to speak to him. At length the cap-
tain inquired:
"Has n't Winters come up yet ?"
"Yes, sir," answered Archie, stepping up with
his best salute.
"Is this your writing?" inquired the captain,
holding out to Archie a letter addressed, in a
splendid business hand, to James Winters, Esq.,
Boston.
Yes, sir," answered Archie; that's a letter
I wrote to my father."
"Well," continued the captain, "I have got a
splendid position for you, as second clerk in the
fleet paymaster's office. Would you like to take it ?"
"Yes, sir," answered Archie; "but-but"-
"But what?" inquired the captain.
"I do n't like to be separated from my cousin.
We shipped together, and I should like to remain
with him as long as possible."
"Oh, as to that," said the captain, "you can't







FRANK'S FIRST EXPLOIT.


expect to be together long; there is no certainty
that you will be ordered to the same ship. You
might as well separate one time as another. I
think you had better accept this position."
"I should like to speak with my cousin before
-I decide, sir."
"Very well; look alive, and do n't keep me
waiting."
Archie touched his hat, and hurried below.
"What did he want with you ?" inquired Frank,
who was sitting with Simpson on their mess-chest.
Archie told his story, and* ended by saying:
I do n't believe I '11 take it; for I do n't want
to leave you."
"You're foolish," said Simpson; "for, as the
captain said, you can't expect to remain together
a great while. To-morrow one of you may be
ordered to a vessel in the Cumberland River, and
the other to the lower fleet. Better take it; Frank
can take care of himself."
"Yes," said Frank, "I should certainly take it,
if I were in your place. You '11 be an officer then,
you know."
"Yes, I shall be an officer," said Archie, con-
temptuously; "and if I meet one of you any-


67







S FANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


where, I mustn't associate with you at all. No,
sir; I 'll go and tell the captain I can't take it."
"But, hold on a minute," said Frank, as his
cousin was about to move away; "perhaps you
may find that there is another good place, and
then you can recommend me."
That's so," said Archie; I did not think of
that; I believe I '11 take it;" and he hurried on
deck again.
"Well, what conclusion have you come to?"
inquired the captain. "Will you take it?"
Yes, sir, with many thanks for your kindness."
"What is your cousin's name?"
Archie told him, and the captain continued:
I '11 keep an eye open for him. I do n't for-
get that I was young once myself; and I know
that a sailor's life is rather tough for one who is
not accustomed to it; and when I find a deserving
young man, I like to help him along. Mr. Tyler,"
he continued, turning to the officer of the deck,
"please send this young man over to the fleet pay-
master's office in the first boat that leaves the ship.
You need not take your donnage," he said, turn-
ing to Archie again; "if you suit the paymaster,
you can come over for it at any time."


68






FRANK'S FIRST EXPLOIT.


"Very good, sir," answered Archie; and he
went below again.
Whei the ten o'clock boat was called away,
Archie, in obedience to the captain's order, was
sent over to the paymaster's office; and Frank was
left alone, I e watched the boat until it reached
the landing, and he saw his cousin spring out. He
hten walked aft, and seated himself on the mess-
chest, and commenced writing a letter to his mother.
While he was thus engaged, he heard the order
passed, in a loud voice: "All you men that be-
longed to the Illinois, muster on the forecastle with
your bags and hammocks."
As Frank hastened to obey. the order, he met
Simpson, who exclaimed:
"We 're off again, my hearty; and I 'm glad of
it. I do n't like to lay around here."
"Where are we going?" inquired Frank.
"I do n't know for certain; but I suspect we are
to be the crew of the stoxe-ship Milwaukee, now
lying alongside the wharf-boat."
Simpson's surmise proved to be correct. The
entire crew of the Illinois, with the exception of
Archie, was mustered around the capstan; and after
answering to their names, they were crowded into






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


a cutter that lay alongside, and, in a few moments,
were landed on board the Milwaukee.
She had steam up; her stores were on board,
and she was all ready to sail; and the crew had
scarcely time to stow away their bags and ham-
mocks, when the order was passed: "All hands
stand by to get ship under way."
The gang-planks were quickly hauled in; the
line with which she was made fast to the wharf-
boat was cast off, and the Milwaukee was soon
steaming down the river, and Cairo was rapidly
receding from view.
The Milwaukee, which was now dignified by the
name of "store-ship," was an old river packet.
She was loaded with clothing, provisions, and small
stores, with which she was to supply the fleet. It
was not, of course, intended that she should go
into action; but, in order that she might be able to
defend herself against the guerrillas, which infested
the river between Cairo and Helena, she mounted
a twelve-pound howitzer on her boiler-deck, and
was well supplied with muskets. Her destination
was Helena.
They reached that place without any adventure,
and, after supplying the fleet with stores, started





FRANK'S FIRST EXPLOIT.


to return to Cairo. One pleasant afternoon, as
they were passing through Cypress Bend, the offi-
cer of the deck discovered a man standing on the
bank, waving a flag of truce. A bale of cotton
lay near him; and the man, as soon as he found
that he had attracted their attention, pointed to the
cotton, and signified, by signs, that he wished it car-
ried up the river.
The Milwaukee was immediately turned toward
the. shore, and as soon as they arrived within
speaking distance, the captain called out:
"What do you want?"
"I would like to have you take this cotton to
Cairo for me," answered the man.
"Are you a loyal citizen?" asked the captain.
"Yes, sir; and here is a permit from Admiral
Porter to ship my cotton;" and, as the man spoke,
he held up a letter to the view of the captain.
ringg her into the bank, Mr. Smith," said
the -captain, addressing the pilot; "and, Mr.
O'Brien," he continued, in a lower tone, turning to
an officer who stood near, "go down and stand by
that howitzer. Perhaps there is no treachery in-
tended, but it is well to be on the safe side."
As soon as the Milwaukee touched the bank,


71






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


Frank and Simpson, with two others, sprang ashore
with a line, and, after making it fast to a tree,
returned on board, and commenced pushing out a
plank, so that the cotton could be easily rolled on,
when, suddenly, several men rose from behind the
levee, and the quick discharge of their rifles sent
the bullets around those standing on the fore-
castle, like hailstones; and Simpson, who was
standing directly in front of Frank, uttered a sharp
cry of pain, and sank heavily to the deck. The
next moment the guerrillas, with loud yells, sprang
down the bank in a body, intending to board the
boat and capture her. But they had not taken
her so much by surprise as they had imagined, for
a shell from the howitzer exploded in their very
midst, and one of the rebels was killed, and three
disabled. The others turned and hastily retreated
behind the levee. Frank took advantage of this,
and lifting the insensible form of his friend, re-
treated under cover, and laid him on a mattress
behind a pile of coal, where he would be safe
from the bullets of the guerrillas, which now be-
gan to come through the sides of the boat in
every direction.
This was the first time Frank had ever been


72






FRANK'S FIRST EXPLOIT.


under fire, and he was thoroughly frightened; but
he knew that it was his duty to resist the rebels,
and to do them as much damage as possible; so,
instead of looking round for a safe place to hide,
his first impulse was to run up on deck after a
gun. This he knew was a dangerous undertaking,
for the vessel lay close to the bank, the top of
which was on a level with the boiler-deck; and
behind the levee, scarcely half a dozen rods dis-
tant, were the guerrillas, who were ready to shoot
the first man that appeared. Nevertheless, Frank
resolved to make the attempt, for he wanted
to take revenge on then for shooting Simp-
son. But, just as he was about to start out, he
heard the captain shout down through the trum-
pet which ran from the pilot-house to the engine-
room:
"Back her, strong! We must get away from
the bank, or they will pick us all off."
In obedience to the order, the engineers let on
the steam, and a heavy puffing .told Frank that
the powerful engines were doing their utmost to
break the line which held them to the bank.
Here was another thing that Frank knew he ought
to do; he knew that he ought to cut that line, for


73






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


it would be an impossibility to break it. There
was an ax handy, and a sudden rush and a couple
of lusty strokes would put the vessel out of dan-
ger. But, at short intervals, he heard the bullets
crashing through the side of the boat, and he
knew that the guerrillas were on the watch. If
he made the attempt he could scarcely hope to
come back alive; and he thought of his mother
and Julia, how badly they would feel when they
heard of his death. But even where he stood he
was in danger of being struck by the bullets that
were every moment coming through the vessel;
and would not his mother much rather hear that
he fell while performing his duty, than that he was
shot while standing idly by, taking no part in the
fight? He did not wait to take a second thought,
but seized the ax, and, with one bound, reached the
gangway that led out on to the forecastle. Here
he hesitated again, but it was only for a moment.
Clutching his ax with a firmer hold, and gathering
all his strength for the trial, he sprang forward,
and a few rapid steps brought him to the capstan,
to which the line was made fast. He raised his
ax, and one swift blow severed the line, and the
Milwaukee swung rapidly out from the bank.


74






FRANK'S FIRST EXPLOIT.


Without waiting an instant, Frank turned and
retreated; but, instead of going back to the place
where he had left Simpson, he bounded up the
steps that led to the boiler-deck, and the next
moment was safe behind a pile of baled clothing.
His sudden appearance had taken the rebels com-
pletely by surprise, and before they could recover
themselves, the line had been cut, and the young
hero was safe. But they had seen where he had
taken refuge, and, with loud yells of disappoint-
ment and rage, sent their bullets about his
hiding-place in a perfect shower. Frank, how-
ever, knowing that he was safe, was not in the
least alarmed. Waiting until the fire slackened a
little, he sprang up, and, snatching a musket and
cartridge-box from the rack which stood close by
the door of the cabin, was back to his hiding-
place in a moment.
"Now," he soliloquized, "we are on more
equal terms. Better keep close, or I'll drop
some of you."
In his cool, sober moments, Frank would have
shuddered at the thought of taking the life of a
fellow-being; but he had seen Simpson shot down


75






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


before his eyes-perhaps killed; and is it to be
wondered that he wished to avenge his fall?
It was some time before Frank could get an
opportunity to use his musket; for if he exposed
the smallest portion of his body, it was the signal
for his watchful enemies, who sent the bullets
about him in unpleasant proximity. In spite of
his dangerous situation, he could not help think-
ing that the rebels were very proficient in "In-
dian fighting," for, with all his watchfulness, he
could not get an opportunity to put in a shot. All
he could see of his enemies would be, first, a rifle
thrust carefully over the levee, then a very small
portion of a head would appear, and the bullet
would come straight to the mark.
In the mean time the Milwaukee was working
her way out into the stream, and the rebels, finding
that their fire was not returned, grew bolder by
degrees, and became less careful to conceal them-
selves. This was what Frank wanted; but he
reserved his fire until a tall rebel rose to his full
hight from behind the levee, fired his gun, and
stood watching the effect of the shot. Frank's
musket was at his shoulder in an instant, his finger


76







'ASK'I PITBT EXPLOIT. 77

pressed the trigger, and the rebel staggered for a
moment, and disappeared behind the levee.
"There," said Frank to himself, "that's what
Simpson would call 'squaring the yards.' I'm
evn with the riscais now."
The rebels answered the shot with loud yells,
land their bullets fell thicker than ever; but the
Milwaukee was almost out of range, and, in a few
la ti the firing ceased altogether.







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


CHAPTER VII.




SHEN the Milwaukee was fairly out
of range of the bullets of the guer-
S rillas, Frank put his gun back in the
rack, and started in search of the
doctor's steward. He ran into the
cabin without ceremony, and was
about to enter the steward's room,
when he discovered a pair of patent-leather boots,
which he thought he recognized, sticking out from
under a mattress which lay on the cabin floor; and,
upon examination, he found that it concealed the
steward, who was as pale as a sheet, and shaking
as though he had been seized with the ague.
What do you want here ?" he asked, in a trem-
bling voice, as Frank raised the mattress.
"Simpson is shot," answered Frank, "and I
would like to have you come down and see him."


78







ON A GUN-BOAT.


Do you suppose I am fool enough to go out on
deck, and run the risk of being shot? No, sir; I '11
stay here, where I am safe;" and the steward made
an effort to draw his head under the mattress again.
," There's no danger now," said Frank; "the
rebels have stopped firing. Besides, we are out
of"-
"Go away, and let me alone," whined the stew-
ard. "I am not going to expose myself."
You're a coward," exclaimed Frank, now fairly
aroused. "But I guess the captain can "-
"Oh, do n't," entreated the steward; "I have n't
been here a minute. I started to get a gun, to pay
the rebels back in their own coin; but the bullets
came through the cabin so thick that I thought it
best to retreat to a safe place;" and the steward
threw off the mattress, and arose, tremblingly, to
his feet.
"You went after a gun, did you?" inquired
Frank, in a tone of voice which showed that he did
not believe the steward's story.
"Yes; and I would have given them fits, for I
am a dead shot."
"Where did you put your gun when you found
that you had to retreat?"


79








FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"I put it back in the rack again."
This was a likely story; for a person as badly
frightened as was the steward would not have
stopped to put the gun back in its place; and, in
his heart, Frank despised the man who could be
guilty of such a falsehood.
As they were about to go out on deck, the steward
drew back, exclaiming:
"I do n't hardly believe it is safe to go out there
just yet. Let us wait a few moments."
"I shan't wait an instant," said Frank. "Simp-
son has been neglected too long already. You can
come down and attend to him, or not, just as you
please." So saying, he opened the cabin door,
and walking rapidly out, descended the stairs that
led to the main deck.
The steward dreaded to follow; but he knew
that, if he did not attend the wounded sailor, he
would be reported to the captain, who, although a
kind-hearted man, was a strict disciplinarian, and
one who always took particular pains to see that
his crew was well provided for. He dared not
hesitate long; so, drawing in a long breath, he
ran swiftly out on deck, and disappeared down the
stairs like a shot.


80







ON A GUN-BOAT.


Frankffound Simpson sitting upon the mattress
where he had been lain, with his elbows on his
knees, and his head supported by his hands. As
Frank came up, he said, in a weak voice:
"I came very near losing the number of my
mess, did n't I? The rascals shot pretty, close to
me ;" and he showed Frank an ugly-looking wound
in the back of his head, from which the blood was
flowing profusely.
By this time the steward arrived. After exam-
ining, the wound, he pronounced it very severe,
and one that would require constant attention.
Simpson was speedily conveyed to the sick bay,
and every thing possible done to make him com-
fortable. Although the Milwaukee was completely
riddled by the bullets of the guerrillas, he was the
only one hurt. Frank was excused from all duty,
that he might act as Simpson's nurse; and he
scarcely left him for a moment during the two
weeks of fever and delirium that followed. By the
time they reached Cairo, however, he was pro-
nounced out of danger.
Frank wanted very much to see his cousin; but
the Milwaukee was anchored out in the river, and
no one was allowed to go ashore. One afternoon,


81








FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


as he sat by his friend's hammock, reading aloud a
letter from Harry Butler, in which he gave a vivid
description of a late battle in which his regiment
had participated, the orderly entered and informed
him that the captain wished to see him. He fol-
lowed the orderly, and, as he entered the cabin, the
captain said:
"Please help yourself to a chair, Mr. Nelson;
I shall be at liberty in a moment. I should like to
finish this letter before the mail-steamer sails. You
will excuse me, will you not?"
Certainly, sir," answered Frank; and he seated
himself, lost in wonder.
The captain had addressed him as Mr. Nelson,
while heretofore he had always been called, by the
officers, Nelson, or Frank. What could it mean ?
The captain had always treated him with the great-
est kindness; but, since the engagement with the
guerrillas,,all the officers had shown him more con-
sideration than ever. He had noticed the change,
and wondered at it.
At length the captain, after hastily directing the
letter he had written, and giving it in charge of the
orderly, took an official document from his desk,
saying, as he did so:


82







ON A GUN-BOAT.


"I am greatly pleased, Mr. Nelson, to be able
to give you this, for you deserve it;" and after
unfolding the letter, he gave it to Frank, who read
as follows:

NAvY DEPARTMENT,
WASHINGTON, D. C., Dec. 18, 1862.
SIR: For your gallantry in the late action at Cypress
Bend, on the 1st inst., you are hereby appointed an Acting
Master's Mate in the Navy of the United States, on tempo-
rary service. Report, without delay, to Acting Rear-Ad-
miral David D. Porter, for such duty as he may assign you.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GIDEON WELLES,
Secretary of the Navy.
Acting Master's Mate FRANK NELSON,
B. B. Milwaukee, Mississippi Squadron.

"Well," said the captain, after Frank had read
the letter over three times, to make sure that he
was not dreaming, and that he was really an officer,
"what do you think of it ?"
."I hardly know what to think, sir," answered
Frank. It is an honor I did not expect."
Very likely," said the captain, with a laugh;
"but you deserve it. If it hadn't been for you,
- we should all have been captured. I saw the
whole of the transaction from the pilot-house,"
."It was my duty to do it, sir."


83







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


"It was a brave act, call it what else you will.
Now go and give this to the paymaster," contin-
ued the captain, handing Frank an order for the
settlement of his accounts, "and then go imme-
diately and report to the Admiral."
Frank left the captain, a good deal elated at his
success; and when he approached Simpson, the
latter exclaimed:
"What is it, my hearty? Your promotion?"
"Yes," answered Frank; "read that ;" and he
handed his appointment to his friend, who said:
"I knew you would get it. The captain is n't
the man to let such a thing as you did at Cypress
Bend pass unnoticed. Give us your flipper, my
boy; I 'm glad to see you an officer." And the
brave fellow actually shed tears, as he shook
Frank's hand. "Now, when you are ordered to
your ship," he continued, I wish you would speak
a word for me. I am very well contented here,
but I had much rather sail with you."
Frank promised to do his best, and, after put-
ting on his shore togs," as Simpson called them,
and giving the captain's order to the paymaster, he
started off to report to the Admiral.
When he arrived on board the flag-ship, he was


84







ON A GUN-BOAT.


met by the officer of the deck, who inquired his
business.
"I wish to see the Admiral, sir," answered
Frak.; '"I am ordered to report to him."
Tho officer immediately led the way aft, and
showed Frank a marine standing at the door of
the cabin, who took his name and disappeared. In
moment he returned, and informed Frank that the
Admiral was waiting to see him.
He entered the cabin, and handed his appoint-
ment to the Admiral, who, after reading it, said:
"So, you are the young man that saved the Mil-
raukee, are you ? Take a chair, sir."
In a few moments his orders to report, without
delay, on board the Ticonderoga, were ready; and
as the Admiral handed them to him, he said:
Now, young man, you will be on a ship where
.you will have a chance to distinguish yourself. I
shall expect to hear a good account of you."
"I shall always endeavor to do my duty, sir,"
answered Frank; and he made his best bow and
retired.
When he returned to the Milwaukee, his accounts
had all been made out. After the paymaster
had paid him up in full, Frank started for the


85







IO FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.

nearest clothing-store, and when he came out, he
was changed into a fine-looking officer.
He immediately directed his steps toward the
naval wharf-boat, where he found a lively little
fellow, who seemed full of business, superintending
the loading of a vessel with provisions. It was
Archie Winters; but it was plain that he did not
recognize his cousin in his new uniform, for Frank
stood close behind him, several moments, and
Archie even brushed against him, as he passed.
"Can you tell me, sir, where I can find Mr.
Winters?" inquired Frank, at length.
Yes, sir," answered Archie, promptly, looking
his cousin full in the face; I 'm the-why, Frank,
how are you?" and he seized his cousin's hand,
and shook it heartily. I've been on board the
Milwaukee twice this morning, but you were off
somewhere. I heard you had a fight down the.
river, with the rebels. But what are you doing?
What boat are you ordered to?"
"I am not doing any thing at present," an-
swered Frank; "but I am ordered to report on
board the Ticonderoga."
"There she is," said Archie, pointing to a long,
low, black vessel that lay alongside of the wharf-






OK A GUN-BOAT.


boat. "I am just putting provisions on board of
her. I 'U come and see you as soon as I get my
work done."
Frank went on board his vessel, where he was
received by the officer of the deck, who showed him
the way into the cabin. After the captain had in-
dorsed his orders, he strolled leisurely about the
ship, examining into every thing, for as yet he
knew nothing of gun-boat life.
The Ticonderoga was a queer-looking craft.
She was not exactly a Monitor; but she had a tur-
ret forward, and mounted two eleven-inch guns
and four twelve-pounder howitzers. She had a
heavy, iron ram on her bow, and the turret was
protected by three inches of iron, and the deck
with two inches. It did not seem possible that a
cannon-ball could make any impression on her
thick armor.
The officers' quarters were all below decks; and,
although it was then the middle of winter, Frank
found it rather uncomfortable in his bunk.
During the two weeks that elapsed before the
ship was ready to sail, the time was employed in
getting every thing in order-in drilling at the
great guns, and with muskets and broad-swords.


87






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


Most of the crew were old seamen, who under-
stood their duty; and by the time their sailing
orders came, every thing moved like clock-work.
In the mean time Frank had been assigned his
station, which-being the youngest officer on board
the ship-was to command the magazine. He
learned very rapidly, and, as he was always atten-
tive to his duties, he grew in favor with both officers
and men.
At length, one afternoon, the anchor was weighed,
and the Ticonderoga steamed down the river. Her
orders were to report to the Admiral, who had
sailed from Cairo about a week previous. They
found him at Arkansas Post, where they arrived
too late to take part in the fight. In a few days
a station was assigned to her in the Mississippi
River; and the Ticonderoga immediately set sail,
in obedience to orders.






THE STJAViUL BETWEEN THE LINES. 89


CHAPTER VIII.




NE day, about two weeks after they
came out of Arkansas River, the Ti-
conderoga stopped at Smith's Landing
to take on wood, as her supply of coal
had run short. The vessel was made
fast to the-bank, and, while the seamen
were bringing in the wood, the paymas-
ter's steward called Frank's attention to some cat-
tle which were feeding on the bank, and remarked:
I wish we could go out and shoot one of them."
"So do I," said Frank; "I've eaten salt pork
until I am tired of it. Let's go and ask the cap-
tain."
"I 'm agreed," said the steward.
The captain was walking on deck at the time,
pd his permission was readily obtained, for he
Oiself had grown tired of ship's pork; Frank,






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


accompanied by the steward, and a seaman who
was an expert butcher, started out. They were
armed with muskets, and, as they were all good
shots, and did not wish to kill more than enough
to feed the ship's company once, they took with
them no ammunition besides what was in the guns.
At the place where the Ticonderoga was lying, the
levee-an embankment about six feet high, built to
prevent the water from overflowing-ran back into
the woods about half a mile, then, making a bend
like a horse-shoe, came back to the river again,
inclosing perhaps a dozen acres of low, swampy
land; and it was in this swamp that the cattle
were. They proved to be very wild; but, after a
considerable run, Frank succeeded in bringing
down one, and the steward and seaman finally
killed another. The question now was, how to get
the meat on board the vessel. While they were
debating on the matter, they were startled by the
clatter of horses' hoofs on the levee; and, instead
of drawing back into the bushes, out of sight,
they very imprudently waited to see who the
horsemen were. Presently, a party of guerrillas,
to their utter amazement-for they had not dreamed
that the rebels were so near .them-galloped up.


90







THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE LINES. 91


The rebels discovered them at the same moment,
and one of them exclaimed:
"I'll be dog-gone if thar ain't a Yank;" and,
not knowing how many there might be of the
Yanks," they very prudently drew up their
Shores. One of them, however, who appeared to
be the leader of the band, comprehended their sit-
uation at a glance, and exclaimed:
Throw down your arms, and you shall be
treated like men!"
This brought them to their senses, and they
turned and ran for their lives. They had scarcely
made a dozen steps before the bullets and buck-
shot began to rattle about their ears; but the
trees and bushes were so thick that they escaped
unhurt. Frank reached the vessel far in advance
of the others; as he came over the side, panting
and excited, the captain, who was still on deck,
inquired:
"What's the matter, Mr. Nelson?"
"We ran foul of some guerrillas out there in
the woods, sir," replied Frank.
How many of them did you see ?"
"They didn't give us much of a chance to
judge of their numbers, sir; but I should say







FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


that there were at least a dozen of them, and they
were coming this way. I should n't wonder if they
intended to pick off some of the men who are car-
rying in wood."
Mr. Hurd," said the captain, turning to the
executive officer, "take thirty men, who are good
shots, and go out there and keep those fellows off.
Mr. Nelson will go with you."
Frank accordingly ran below, and armed himself
with a revolver and musket, and buckled on a
cartridge-box. When the men were ready, he led
the way, along the levee, so that, if the guer-
rillas were advancing, they would be certain to
meet them. But they saw no signs of them until
they came within sight of a barn which stood in
the woods, about a mile from the river. The rebels
were gathered before it, as if in consultation, and
greeted the approach of the sailors with a scatter-
ing volley of musketry, which whistled harmlessly
over their heads, or plowed up the ground before
them.
Give 'em a shot, boys," said the executive
officer, "and then scatter, and let each man take
to a tree and fight Indian fashion."
The sailors wheeled into line with all the prompt-


92






THE STUGOGLE BETWEEN THE LINES. 93

fiess and regularity of veteran troops; and before
the smoke of their muskets cleared away, they had
disappeared, like a flock of young partridges. The
rebels had also treed, and the skirmish was con-
tinued for half an hour, without any damage being
done to either party.
This style of fighting did not suit Frank, and he
began to urge the executive officer to advance, and
drive them from their position. But the officer did
not think it safe to attempt it; for, although he had
seen but a small number of the rebels, he did not
know how many there might be hidden away in the
bushes.
"Well, then," said Frank, after thinking a mo-
ment, I have another proposition to make. If
you will give me ten men, and engage the rebels
warmly in front, I'11 go and get that fresh beef."
"Where did you leave it?" inquired the officer.
In the woods, about three hundred yards to the
left of where the rebels now are."
"Very well; pick out your men, and go ahead."
Frank accordingly selected the boatswain's mate,
an old, gray-headed man, who had been in the navy
from boyhood, as his first lieutenant, and ordered
him to call for volunteers.






FRANK ON A GUN-BOAT.


If there is any thing a sailor. admires, it is
bravery in an officer. Every one on board the Ti-
conderoga, from the captain down, was acquainted
with Frank's gallant behavior at Cypress Bend,
although he himself had never said a word about
it; and this, together with his uniform kindness
toward the men under his command, and the re-
spect he always showed his brother officers, had
made him very popular with the ship's company;
and when the mate-who was never better pleased
than when he could do Frank a service-passed
the word along the line that Mr. Nelson had called
for volunteers, the men flocked around him in all
directions. The mate quickly selected the required
number, and Frank led them toward the place
where they had left the beef.
The woods were very thick, and, of course, the
rebels, who were hidden in the bushes, on the other
side of the levee, knew nothing of what was going
on. Frank sent two of his men to the levee, to
watch the motions of the rebels, with orders not to
fire unless they attempted to advance; and then
pulled off his coat, and set to work, with the others,
cutting up the beef. This was soon accomplished;
and, after getting it all ready to carry to the vessel,


94




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