SI knew I was very wicked to leave-my mother as I did,"
he answered.--p. 4T
WILLIAM H. G. KINGSTON.
GALL & INGLIS.
Lonbon: I Ebinurgl):
30 PATERNOSTER ROW. 6 GEORGE STREET.
[The right of Translation is reserved.j
Archibald Hughson, a young Shetland lad, having a strong
desire to go to sea, and his mother withholding her con-
sent, determines to run from home.-He is treacherously
assisted by Max Inkster, a wicked sailor, who succeeds in
getting him stowed away on board the 'Kate,' a Greenland
whaler, p. 9
Appearing on deck, Archy is severely reprimanded by the
captain, a strict, yet a kind and religious man.-His first
Sunday at sea.-Among the icebergs and ice.-Capture of
a whale, p. 21
The Kate' encounters a fearful gale amid icebergs, and nar-
rowly escapes a falling berg.-Calm after storm.-Though
scoffed at by his shipmates, Archy tries, unsuccessfully, to
follow the advice given him by Captain Irvine, p. 36
Archy, wishing to be present when a whale is struck, against
orders goes off in one of the boats.-Attack a whale and
her calf, but lose both, and the boat's bows are stove
against a floe.-The crew escape by landing on it, and
dragging the boat after them.-Preparations made to wait
for the arrival of the ship in search of them, p. 47
Andrew Scollay, a religious old man, encourages his shipmates
in their fearful position without food, fire, or shelter.-
Archy distinguishes between his false and real friend.-
He takes a run over the ice with Andrew, when a sail is
seen, and at last a boat approaches, p. 56
Rescued!-On board the 'Laplander' whaler, which is nearly
full, and expects soon to return home.-Max Inkster tries
to undermine Archy's good resolutions, but the latter re-
members that 'a friend ih need is a friend indeed.'-Sail
for home.--A tempting channel appearing, it is entered,
but the ship is nipped, and the 'Laplander is abandoned.
-Escape to the floe with only a few clothes and provi-
sions, when a plan is formed for reaching the coast of
Greenland, p. 67
Mutiny!-Most of the crew, carrying the greater part of the
provisions, set off without the others.-Proposals for pur-
suit, but not carried out, and at last the remainder commence
their journey across the ice, meeting with great difficul-
ties.-The captain becomes ill, but is cheered by Andrew.
-He at length dies, after Andrew has placed before
him the truth, which he accepts.-He is buried in a snow
tomb, p. 78
Proceeding on against many difficulties, Archy and his com-
panions at last discover land ahead, and camp in a snow
hut.-At daybreak, seeing no traces of the mutineers, they
push on and arrive at the edge of the floe.-Cross a chan-
nel, and getting on an opposite floe build a snow hut, but the
water rising, leave it and build another, which also is
washed away.-Build a third, and are awoke by a bear.-
Two men frost-bitten are left behind, p. 90
Archy has a mask to protect his eyes from snow-blindness,
from which all the rest suffer.-He leads them by a string,
when an Esquimaux is discovered searching for seals, who
builds an igloo, and melting some snow, bathes the blind
men's eyes, and provides for them, p. 103
The Esquimaux leaves and does not return.-All are able to see
and proceed. Find bears before them, and at the same
time the masts of a ship are discovered.-Push on, and at
last assistance arriving, the bears are killed, and Captain
Irvine takes Archy on board the Kate,' the rest following.
Adventures of the Kate.'-Shut up in the ice -Short of
provisions.-Captain dies.-Ice opens, when sail is set, and
the crew, enduring much suffering, the Kate' arrives off
Unst, an island of Shetland.-Archy, now repentant, writes
to his mother, and when all on board have recovered,
starts for home.-His arrival and reception, p. 111
gtt~ Uoung %ibrtfanbe r.
Archibald Hughson, a young Shetland lad, having a strong
desire to go to sea, and his mother withholding her con-
sent, determines to run from home.-He is treacherously
assisted by Max Inkster, a wicked sailor, who succeeds in
getting him stowed away on board the Kate,' a Greenland
' HERE are you going, Archy?' asked
Maggie Hughson, as she ran after her
brother, who was stealing away from
the house, evidently not wishing to be
The young Hughson's home stood high up on
the slope of a hill on the small island of Bressay,
one of the Shetland group. Hence the eye ranged
over the northern ocean, while to the eastward
appeared the isle of Noss, with the rocky Holm of
10 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
Noss beyond, the abode of numberless sea-fowl, and
to be reached by a rope-way cradle over a broad
chasm of fearful depth. The house, roofed with
stone, and strongly built, as it needed to be to
withstand the fierce gales blowing over that wild
sea, was surrounded by patches of cultivated
ground, without trench or bank, or a tree to be
seen far or near.
Archy stopped when he heard his sister's voice;
for, though headstrong and obstinate, he loved her
more than any other human being.
'I am going over to Lerwick to see Max Ink-
ster,' he answered, looking back at her. 'The
"Kate" sails to-morrow, and I promised him a
visit before he goes.'
'Oh, surely you don't forget that our mother
told you she wished you would not have any-
thing to say to that man!' exclaimed Maggie.
'He is bad in many ways, and he can only do you
'I am not going to be led by any one,' an-
swered Archy. I like to hear his tales of the sea,
and his adventures when chasing the whale, or
hunting white bears, and those sort of things away
in Greenland, and perhaps some day I may go to
sea myself, and I want to know what sort of a
life I am likely to lead. I am not going to be
kept digging potatoes, and tending cattle and sheep
all my life.'
AROHY RUNS OFF. 11
'Oh Archy don't think of it,' said Maggie. It
would break our mother's heart to have you go.
You know that our father was lost at sea, and so
was uncle Magnus, and many other relations and
friends. God will bless you, and you will be far
happier, if, in obedience to her, you give up your
wild notions and stay at home.'
'I am not going to be dictated to, Maggie, by
mother or you,' exclaimed Archy. Max is a fine
fellow, notwithstanding what you say. He is ex-
pecting me, and I am not going to break my en-
gagement; so, good-bye, Maggie. Go back home,
and look after mother-that's your duty, which
you are so fond of talking about.'
'Maggie, finding that her arguments were of
no avail, returned home, as she could not ven-
ture longer to leave her mother, who was ill in
Archy took his way till he was out of sight of
the house, and then from beneath a large stone, he
pulled out a bundle, which he slung at the end of a
stick over his shoulder, and proceeded across the
island till he came to the shore of the sound which
divides it from the mainland. Several large black
high-sided ships lay at anchor, with numerous
boats hanging to the davits, and mostly barque-
rigged. They were whalers, belonging to Hull
and other English and Scotch ports, on their way
to Baffin Bay, or the shores of Greenland.
12 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
Archy found a boat just about to cross the
sound to Lerwick, and, asking for a passage, he
jumped in. On landing, he made his way to the
house where Max Inkster lodged. The door was
open. Archy walked in. Max was alone in a little
room on one side of the passage; he was smoking,
and a bottle and glass were on the table.
Glad to see you, lad,' he said. Sit down. I
doubted that you would come.'
'Why?' asked Archy.
'I thought your mother and sister would advise
you to keep away from a fellow like me,' answered
Max, looking hard at his young guest. He was a
strongly-built broad-shouldered man, with an un-
pleasant expression in his weather-beaten coun-
'My mother is ill, and did not know I was
coming, and I am not going to be dictated to by
Maggie,' said Archy.
'That's the right spirit, boy,' said Max. If
they suspect what you intend doing, they will take
good care to prevent you.'
'I don't intend to let them know,' replied
Archy. 'But I wish mother was not ill. I am
half inclined to stop at home till next season, and
then I'll do what I choose, whatever they may
'I see how it is,' observed Max, with a sneer
on his lips. 'You are beginning to think we lead
MAX AND ARCHY. 13
too hard a life for you, and you would rather be
looking after the cows, and being at the beck
and call of mistress Maggie. I thought you had
more spirit. You are afraid-that's the truth of
'No one shall say I am afraid,' exclaimed
Archy. 'I have asked several captains to take
me, but they refused without my mother's leave,
and that she won't give, just because my father
and uncle Magnus were lost at sea, and so she has
taken it into her head that I shall be lost also. If
you can help me to go in the Kate," I am ready.
There's my bundle of clothes.'
'No great stock for a voyage to the Arctic Seas;
but we must rig you out when you get on board,'
observed Max, taking up Archy's bundle, and
stowing it away in a large seaman's bag which
stood in the corner of the room. You will have
to keep pretty close till we are well clear of the
land, or the captain will be for putting you on
shore again. Here, take a glass of grog, it will
help to keep up your courage.' Max. mixed a
strong glass of whisky and water, and pushed it
across the table to Archy.
Archy's scruples soon vanished. He now only
thought of the adventures he hoped to meet with
among the icebergs.
Max had gained his object. From a quarrel
which had occurred years before, he had long
14 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
harboured an ill-feeling towards the IHughson's;
and, for the purpose of thwarting and annoying
Mrs Hughson, he was ready to encourage Archy
in his disobedience to her. When once a person
yields to the suggestions of Satan, he knows not
into what crimes he may be hurried. Those who
associate with unprincipled people run a fearful
risk of being led astray by them. Archy, notwith-
standing his mother's warnings, had persisted in
visiting Max Inkster, for the sake of hearing his
long yarns of nautical adventure, and he would at
first have been excessively indignant had he been
told that he was likely, in consequence, to be led
into any further act of disobedience.
'Did any one see you come in here?' asked
Max. No; Nanny Clousta was out, and no one
was passing at the time,' answered Archy.
Well, then, stay quiet here till dark, and I'll
take you on board, and stow you away in the
hold,' said Max. 'You must remain there till I
give you a signal to come out; but, remember,
that you are not to tell the captain or any one else
that I had a hand in helping you. Just say that
you slipped on board in a shore boat, and hid your-
self of your own accord. You will promise me
Archy had not been in the habit of telling false-
hoods; but he had already made one step in the
downward course, and though he hesitated, he at
ARCHY ON BOARD SHIP. 15
last said, I promise. I needn't tell that I knew
who took me on board, and I can find my own
way below, so there's no necessity to mention
That's it,' said Max. You will want some
food, though. Here, just fill your pockets with
this bread and cheese.' He took some from a cup-
board. And here is a flask of whisky and water.
You may have to lie hid for a couple of days, or
more, may be; so you must manage your pro-
Max went out, and Archy fell asleep, with his
head on the table. It was late at night before his
evil councillor returned.
Rouse up, boy,' he whispered. 'It's time
we were aboard. I have got a man to take us
off, and he will think you belong to the ship.
Here, shoulder my bag, and come along.'
Max placed his heavy sea-bag on his young
companion's shoulder. Archy staggered on under
it till he reached the boat. The boatman, who had
been paid before, pulled away, and they were
soon alongside the whaler. Max clambered up
the side, and hoisted his bag by a rope after him.
Archy followed. The officer of the watch was
aft, and as the crew and their friends were con-
stantly coming and going, no notice was taken of
them. Max took up his bag, and as he passed
up the main hatchway, which was open, having
16 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
ascertained that there was no one below, he made
a sign to Archy to slip down the ladder.
SI'll be with you in a few minutes,' he
whispered. No one is likely to go there at this
Archy did as he was bid, and felt his way in
the dark, till he found himself among the empty
casks in the hold, which were stowed ready for
use. There were certain spaces between the tiers
which would afford him room to hide himself away.
Into one of these he crept, and lay down waiting
for MIax. He fancied that where he was he should
not be seen by anyone moving about the hold, un-
less expressly looking for him. He thought that
Max was a ,.,ii, tii.nv in coming, and perhaps would
not come at all. On the return of daylight, which
would stream down through the open L..-.: .-
should he not be discovered? he thought. The
crew would certainly be at work at an early hour,
and he i. -.Li not have time to find a more secure
hiding-place. Then he would have to ,.1. i ..
the annoyance and disgrace of being put on shore,
and severely reprimanded by the captain, a very
severe man, he had been told. At last he heard
some one moving, and i. -.:- ."-, a light fell on his
eyes. He was afraid to stir, almost to breathe,
lest he -L..i... be discovered.
'AW. :. if I had not come you would have
been hauled out to a certainty in the morning,'
STOWED AWAY. 17
said Max, who had only just then been able to pay
him his promised visit. You must come down
lower than this. Here, keep after me. Now
crawl in there, and don't come out till you hear
three blows, which I'll give on the casks above
your head. You will know by the movement of
the ship when we have been at sea a couple of
days or so. There; now you have got your will.
Here's your bundle; it will serve as a pillow, and,
remember, don't take any notice of me. I am
your friend, but I am not a fnan who chooses to
be trifled with.' Saying this, Max, putting out
the lantern, crept away, and Archy was left in
solitude and total darkness. The liquor his evil
councillor had given him made him sleepy, so he
could not think. Otherwise his conscience might
have been aroused, and he might have recollected
his poor mother lying on a bed of sickness, and his
affectionate sister watching for his return. Satan
knows that he has his victims secure when they
are in that condition.
Archy Hughson was at length awakened by
the loud tramp of the crew on deck, the boats
being hoisted in, the anchor hove up. He could
hear the ripple of the water against the sides of
the ship. The Kate' was under way, but she
was not yet even out of Bressay Sound. The
hours passed by. He began to grow very weary
of his imprisonment, and to long for the expected
18 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
signal from Max, even though he should soon
afterwards have to face the captain, and perhaps
be punished for having concealed himself on board.
As he thought of this, he began to wish he had
waited till he had overcome his mother's objections,
and been able to go sea, like other lads, with a
proper outfit. Now and then a better feeling, akin
to remorse, stole over him, when he thought of the
sorrow and anxiety his absence must cause his
mother, who, though over-indulgent, had ever been
affectionate and kind to him. Still he did not per-
ceive the wickedness of his own heart, or'the cruel
ingratitude of which he had been guilty. 'She
should have let me go, it's her own fault,' he re-
peated, hardening himself. 'It's too late now to
draw back. I should look very foolish if I was to
be set on shore on Unst, and have to find my way
home by myself.'
Unst is the most northern of the Shetland
Islands, and Archy guessed that by that time the
SKate' was not far off it.
He had little appetite to eat the food he had
brought, but he soon drank up the contents of the
flask. The mixture was somewhat strong, and
sent him off to sleep again. Once more Satan had
him at an advantage, for even then, had he gone
to the captain, he would have been sent on shore,
and retrieved his fault by returning home and re-
lieving his mother's anxiety. Undo it he could not;
for a sin, once committed, can never by man's power
be undone, never forgiven. All sin is commit-
ted against God-the slightest evil thought, the
slightest departure from truth, is sin against God's
pure and holy law, and He alone can forgive sin.
He forgives it only according to the one way
He has appointed. He blots it out altogether
from remembrance. That way is through faith in
the perfect and complete atonement of Jesus
Christ, whose blood, shed for man, cleanseth
from all sin.' There is no other way. He accepts
no other recompense for sin. There is no undoing
a sin, no making amends. All sins, from such as
those which men call the smallest to the greatest,
are registered, to be brought up in judgment
against the sinner, and the all-cleansing blood of
Jesus can alone blot them out. Man, as a proof
of his living faith in Christ's atonement,-of his
sorrow for sins committed,-of his hatred of sin,
of his repentance,-will, of necessity, do all he
can to make amends to his fellow-man for the
wrong he has done him; he will restore what
he has taken; he will explain the truth where he
has spoken falsely; he will be kind and gentle
to those he has treated harshly; he will give to
those of his substance, or forward their interests
whom he has injured in any way. But all this
cannot blot out one letter in the eternal register
of accusations to be brought against him at the
20 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
day of judgment. Oh! that people did but know
this, and would remember that when they sin
they sin not only against their fellow-man, but
against the all-pure, all-holy God, who can by no
means overlook iniquity; in whose sight even the
heavens are unclean, without whose knowledge
not a sparrow falls to the ground, and by whom
the very hairs of our head are numbered.
-* '- 7:V
Appearing on deck, Archy is severely reprimanded by the
captain, a strict, yet a kind and religious man-His first
Sunday at sea-Among the icebergs and ice-Capture of a
RCHY HUGHSON felt very weak and
very wretched. The ship had for some
hours been tumbling fearfully about, so
it seemed to him, now pitching into the
seas, which struck her stout bows with heavy
blows, now rolling from side to side. He knew
that a strong gale was blowing, and he could not
help dreading that the casks might break loose, and
come down upon him. He longed to escape from
his prison, and began to think that Max must have
forgotten him altogether. At length he again fell
asleep. He was awakened by three'heavy knocks
above his head, Max's promised signal. He waited
the time agreed on, and then began to crawl out,
and grope his way upwards. At last he saw day-
light above him, and scrambling along, he reached
the foot of a ladder. Climbing up with uncom-
fortable feelings at his heart as to the reception he
might meet with, he gained the upper deck.
The first person he encountered was an old
man with weather-beaten features, but a kind ex-
pression of countenance, Andrew Scollay by name,
a boat-steerer, who was at that moment about to
'Why, lad, where do you come from ? ask-
ed old Andrew, putting his hand on the boy's
'I wanted to come to sea; so I hid myself
away,' answered Archy. I hope I have not done
'You have not done right, boy, or you would
not have needed to hide yourself away,' said An-
drew, scanning his features. I think I have seen
you before. What is your name ?'
Archy told him.
What, widow Hughson's son ? Oh, boy, boy,
you have acted a cruel part towards your poor
mother. Anyhow, I would we had found you out
two days ago. However, come along with me to
the captain-you'll hear what he has to say.'
Andrew led Archy aft, where Captain Irvine
was standing, and explained in a few words what
he knew of him. Captain Irvine, looking sternly
at him, inquired how he had managed to conceal
himself so long on board? On that point Archy
gave a truthful reply.
ARCHY ON DECK. 23
'How did you know you could find a place where
you could hide yourself ?' asked the captain.
'I have often before been on board whalers, and
knew how the casks were stowed,' answered Archy,
hoping that he should avoid further questions which
might implicate Max Inkster.
You are deserving of severe punishment for
coming on board without my leave,' said the cap-
tain. I must consider how I shall treat you. If
we fall in with a homeward-bound ship, I shall put
you on board. If not, see how you behave your-
self. Had your mother asked me to take you I
would have done so, and you would have come in
for a share of profits; but you have done more
wrong to her than you have to me; and though I
might flog you, as you deserve, I shall let your
own conscience punish you. I hope you have got
one, which will make you mourn for your fault.
Now go forward. You must not eat the bread of
idleness, and Mr Scollay will put you to some
work or other. I must speak to you again about
this, and let me see, as you have chosen to come
on board, that you do your best. to learn your
Archy's conscience was not aroused. He went
forward, well pleased at having, as lie thought, got
off so cheaply; yet he did not feel at his ease. He
looked, indeed, very pale and sick, and miserable.
Old Andrew's kind heart was touched, as he re-
24 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
marked his woe-begone appearance. He took him
below, and got the steward to give him some food.
He then sent him.to wash himself.
I must see about rigging you out,' he said.
'The clothes you have on are not fit for the work
you will have to do.'
Archy felt grateful to old Andrew, and thanked
'Don't speak about that, boy,' remarked An-
drew. It's not that you deserve what I may
do for you; but you are poor, and helpless, and
wretched, and that's just the state man was in
when Christ came down from heaven to help him;
and so I have a notion that it becomes His disciples,
who desire to be like Him, to assist the helpless
The crew generally did not treat Archy as
kindly as old Andrew had done. They attacked
him, as soon as he got among them, with all sorts of
questions, laughing and jeering at his folly. No
one laughed at him more than Max Inkster. Archy
felt inclined to retort, but he remembered his promise
to Max, and gave him no sign of recognition. He
was treated as one of the ship's boys, and was put
to do all sorts of drudgery and dirty work. Often
and often he wished that he had remained at home,
to look after his mother's farm, and help Maggie in
attending to her.
Several days passed by-Archy was beginning
OLD ANDREW AND ARCHY. 25
to find himself at home among the crew-Max at
length spoke to him as if to a stranger.
'We must make a sailor of you, boy, as you
have chosen to come to sea,' he said, when the
order had just been given to reef topsails. 'Lay
out on the yard with me, and I'll show you what
Archy had several times been aloft, but had
never assisted in reefing. He now followed Max
up the rigging. There was a heavy sea running,
and the ship was pitching violently.
'Now, don't be afraid-come out on the yard,'
said Max. There-lean over, and catch hold of
those reef points. Cling tight though, with your
knees and elbows, or you will pitch down on deck,
and have your brains dashed out.'
Archy did as he was bid. He felt very nervous,
though, and was thankful when he was safe off the
yard. It was coming on to blow harder and harder,
and the canvas was still further reduced. Max did
not again invite him to go aloft-none but practised
seamen could have ventured on the yards. At
length, all the canvas was taken off the ship, ex-
cept a close-reefed main-topsail, when the helm was
put down, and she was hove to. The wind whistled
shrilly through the bare poles and rigging. It was
blowing a perfect hurricane. All around appeared
mountains of heaving water, each succeeding sea
threatening to swallow up the labouring ship.
26 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
Archy was surprised at the calmness of the officers
and crew, when he expected every moment that
one of those tremendous seas would come on board,
and send the ship to the bottom. He wished that he
could pray, as his mother had taught him to do,
but he dared not; yet he trembled at the thought
of what would happen.
Night came on-the gale seemed to increase.
He, with all except the watch on deck, had gone
'What, lad, art afraid ?' asked Max, who ob-
served his pale countenance. You thought a life
at sea was all sunshine and calm.'
I have found out what it is, and I wish that 1.
had not been fool enough to come,' answered Archy,
with some bitterness.
Max laughed. 'Many a lad thinks like you,'
he said. 'They get accustomed to it, and so
must you, though the training is not pleasant, I'll
While Max was speaking, a tremendous blow
was felt, as if the ship had struck a rock, and then
came a sound of rending and crashing timbers,
while the water rushed down the hatchway.
'The ship's on her beam ends,' cried several
voices, and all hands sprang on deck. Archy fol-
lowed. A scene of wreck and destruction met his
sight. The sea had swept over the ship, carrying
away the staunchions, bulwarks, and rails, the
A GALE. 27
binnacle, and the chief portion of the wheel. A
fearful shriek reached his ears, and he caught sight
for an instant of a man clinging to the binnacle.
No help could be afforded him-the poor fellow
knew that too well; still he clung to life; but in a
few seconds a sea washed over him and he disap-
The captain was on deck, calmly issuing his
orders,-the crew flew to obey them, while Archy
clung to the main-mast, expecting every moment to
be his last. Things.were at length put to rights;
spare spars were lashed to the remaining staunchions
-life lines were stretched along the deck, fore and
aft. The names of the crew were then called over
-two did not answer, another, it was found, had
unseen been carried to his dread account.
The next day was the Sabbath. The gale
had moderated, and the ship was again put on
her course. On that day the captain invariably
invited all not on duty to assemble for service in
his cabin; Max and a few others generally made
excuses for not attending. The captain took this
occasion to speak of the uncertainty of human
'The fate of our shipmates may be that of any
one of us, my lads,' he observed. 'I do not ask
how they were prepared to meet their God, but
how are you prepared? Even if you are living
pure and blameless lives, have you made peace with
28 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
Him according to the only way He has offered to
reconcile you to Himself ? Have you a living faith
in the atoning blood of Jesus shed for you ? He
wishes you to be reconciled to Him, and He has
offered to you the easiest and simplest way, the
only way by which you can be so. Remember,
" now is the accepted time," now is the day of
salvation." It is God tells you this. If you put
off that day it may be too late-for He says no-
thing about to-morrow. Some of you may say that
you lead hard lives, have little enjoyment, and
much suffering, and that that must satisfy God and
give you a right to heaven. God does not tell you
that; but He says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and thou shalt be saved. He that believeth
not is condemned." Oh lads, if you knew of the
love of Jesus for you, and how He longs for you
all to be saved, you could not stand aloof from Him
as you do, and try to keep Him out of your thoughts,
and do nothing to please or serve Him. I speak to
young and old, for He loves the youngest boy on
board here as well as the oldest, and His blood,
which cleanseth from all sin, will wash away the
sins of the greatest criminal as completely as it
will cleanse the most harmless youngster, though
he, too, needs to be washed as much as the
other.' Such was the substance of Captain
Irvine's discourse on the Sunday after the storm.
Archy had attended, and the words were con-
ARCHY'S FIRST SUNDAY AT SEA. 29
tinually haunting him. Max, as usual, had kept
'I wonder you can stand that sort of thing,' he
said to Archy, when he next met him. I have no
fancy for those discourses of the skipper; but if you
want to curry favour with him, by all means go, just
as old Andrew and Dr Sinclair, and some others do.
They have prayers with him every morning in his
cabin. You will not turn psalm-singer, I hope, lad.'
'I don't suppose I shall,' answered Archy.
'But still I should not like to be washed overboard,
as Bill and Ned were the other night.'
'As to that, you must run your chance as
others do,' answered Max. I don't let such things
Archy could not help letting them trouble him,
The next day the whole crew were busily em-
ployed in getting the whale boats ready and the
gear fitted. There were seven boats in all-three
slung to the davits on each side, and one over the
stern, with a harpooner to each. The whale lines
were spliced and coiled away in the stern of the
boats; the harpoons were spanned, that is, fastened
to the ends of the lines, and various articles were
stowed away in the boats, so that they were all
ready to be lowered, and to shove off at a moment's
notice, should a whale appear. The crow's nest
was also got up to the main topgallant mast-head.
30 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
It is like a tall cask with a seat in it, where the
officer can take his station and look out far and
wide over the ocean to watch for the spouting of
the monsters of the deep.
Next morning, when Archy went on deck, he
saw at no great distance from the ship a vast white
towering mass, glittering like alabaster in the rays
of the sun. At the lower part were projecting
points and curious arches, and a deep cavern, with
numberless columns and long icicles hanging from
the roof, while the summit was crowned with pin-
nacles and towers of every possible shape. From
the higher points, as the ice melted under the
rays of the hot sun, came down two or three tiny
cascades of bright water, leaping from ledge to
ledge till they fell with a splash into the calm
Archy had often heard of icebergs, but he had
formed little conception of what they really were.
He stood gazing at it for some minutes, lost in
'Well, boy, what do you think of it asked
Andrew Scollay, who was passing at the time.
'It's very wonderful,' said Archy.
All God's works are wonderful,' observed old
Andrew. You will see thousands of such bergs
as this where we are going, all formed by God's
will, just as He forms everything else in the world;
and yet if all the kings of the earth and their people
AMONG THE ICEBERGS.
were to try and build up one like them, they could
not succeed. Now, Archy, I put it to you, whether
it is not wise to try and be friends with such a
God-to know that you are under His care and
protection, instead of disobeying Him and daring
His power ? The time may come before long when
you will feel how helpless you are to take care of
yourself, boy. I have seen stout ships crushed in
a moment between masses of ice, as if they had
been made of paper, and once I saw one of those
large bergs come down and overwhelm a passing
ship, not a soul on board escaping. Aye, and I
have known numbers of poor fellows, when their
ships have gone done, wandering over the ice till
they have been frozen or starved to death. I don't
tell you these things to frighten you, but that you
may learn to put your trust in God. The person
who truly trusts Him is never frightened. It is a
blessed thing to know that He cares for us.'
Archy was unable to make any reply; but the
old man's words were not forgotten.
The next day many more icebergs were
seen, and as the ship passed near some of them,
Archy could not help dreading that they might
topple over and carry her and all on board to the
In a short time the ship made the ice. As far
as the eye could reach, the whole ocean was covered
with broken sheets of ice,-some several miles in
32 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
extent, others of smaller size, which the seamen
called floes,-huge icebergs towering up among
them. The ship sailed along the edge of a large
floe for some distance, till an opening appearing,
her head was pointed towards it. She entered and
sailed onwards for a considerable distance, the
water being as smooth as in the most sheltered
harbour. The captain, or an officer, was continually
stationed in the crow's-nest to look out for the
widest openings. Into these she forced her way,
now and then being impeded by pieces of ice,
against which her bow was driven to turn them
aside. At length, after running through a narrow
passage, her further progress was stopped by a
sheet of ice through which she could not force her
way, while beyond the water appeared perfectly
open. The sails were furled; the ice-saws got out,
and the crew commenced sawing out large blocks,
so as to form a passage towards the open water.
The work was very laborious; for, in addition to the
operation of sawing, each block had to be towed
out into the wider channel. At length a canal was
formed, and the ship glided through it. Once
more the sails were set and she steered to the
northward. Again, however, she had to encounter
similar obstructions. Still the captain pushed on,
eager to get to a part of the bay where whales
were plentiful. Generally there was a breeze, and
she made good progress through the open water,
ON THE LOOK OUT FOR WHALES. 66
but sometimes she lay becalmed, with her sails
hanging against the masts. All the time a sharp
look out was kept for whales, but hitherto, although
a few had been seen, the wary monsters- had
escaped the harpoons of their pursuers.
At that season, in those northern regions, when
the sun but just sinks below the horizon ere it rises
again, night and day are much alike.
Archy, with the watch below, had turned in.
He was awakened by a loud stamping on the deck,
and the cry of a fall, a fall.' The men rushed up
on deck, carrying their clothes with them, and dress-
ing as they went. Instantly running to the boats,
they began to lower them. In the distance was a
boat with a flag flying, a signal that a whale had
been struck, and was fast. The boats shoved off,
and away they went at a rapid rate to the assistance
of their friends. The monster soon appeared on the
surface. The boats pulled towards it, and num-
berless lances were darted at its body. Again it
sounded, to reappear shortly still closer to the ship.
Once more the boats dashed on-the water around
the animal was dyed red with blood, mixed with
oil, which issued from its wounds and blow-holes.
The boats again drew near, and more lances were
hurled at it. Suddenly the creature reared its tail
high in the air, whirling it round with a loud noise,
which reached the ship. At the same moment the
nearest boat was thrown upwards several feet,
34 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
while the crew were sent flying on every side into
the water, the boat itself being reduced to a mass
of wreck. Their companions went forward to rescue
the drowning men, who were seen to be hauled
into the boats; but whether any had perished could
not be discovered by those who, with Archy, were
eagerly watching what was taking place, from the
deck of the ship. Directly afterwards the whale
rolled over on its side, and remained perfectly quiet.
The flag was lowered, and the men, standing up in
the boats, gave three loud huzzas, which were
echoed by those on board. Two holes being made
in the tail of the whale, ropes were passed through
them, which being made fast to the boats, they
towed their prize in triumph to the ship. The ani-
mal now being secured alongside, the process of
flensing or cutting off the blubber commenced.
Tackles were rigged with hooks, which were fixed
in the blubber. This was cut by means of spades.
and the tackle being worked by a windlass, as the
blubber was cut off in long strips, it was hoisted
on board. Here it was cut into pieces, and stowed
in casks in the hold. Thus, as the whale was
turned round and round, the blubber was stripped
off, till the whole coat was removed. The whale-
bone, of which the gills are formed, being then ex-
tracted, the carcase was cast adrift, when it was
seen to be surrounded by vast numbers of fish and
wild sea-birds, coming from all directions to banquet
CAPTURE OF A WHALE.
on the remaining flesh. The operation, which
lasted five. hours, being concluded, the crew were
piped to supper.
'There, Archy, you have seen our first whale
killed,' observed Max. I hope we shall have
many more before long, and soon be back home
again; and if you are tired of the life, you can go
on shore and look after your mother's farm.
The 'Kate' encounters a fearful gale amid icebergs, and narrowly
escapes a falling berg.-Calm after storm.-Though scoffed
at by his shipmates, Archy tries, unsuccessfully, to follow
the advice given him by Captain Irvine.
APTAIN IRVINE was anxious to reach
the northern point of Baffin Bay, where
whales were said to abound. He used,
therefore, every exertion to force the ship
through the ice. Sometimes she threaded her way
through narrow passages, at the risk of being caught
and nipped by the floes pressing together; at others,
to avoid this catastrophe, she had to take shelter in
a dock, cut out as rapidly as the crew could use their
saws, in one side of a floe. Scarcely had she been
thus secured when another floe, with a sullen roar,
pressed on by an unseen power, would come grind-
ing and crashing against the first with irresistible
force, and the before level surface, rent and broken
asunder, would appear heaved up into large hillocks,
and huge masses, many hundred tons in weight,
would be lifted on to the opposing barrier, threat-
ening to overwhelm the ship. Suddenly the whole
field of ice would be again in motion, the broken
A GALE. 37
fragments would be thrown back on each other or
pressed down beneath the surface, and a lane of
water would appear, edged on each side by a wall of
ice. The boats would then be lowered to tow the
ship along, or, should the wind be favourable, the
sails were set, and in spite of the blows she might
receive from the floating fragments, she would force
her way onwards towards the open water.
Often and often as Archy watched what was
taking place, he fully expected to find the ship
crushed to fragments, and wondered that Captain
Irvine could venture into so fearfully dangerous a
position. Still the ship, escaping all dangers, made
her way to the north, and by degrees Archy grew
accustomed to the scenes he witnessed, and viewed
them with the same indifference as the rest of the
For a whole day she had made her way through
open water, with a strong breeze. The weather
began to lour--the wind blew stronger and stronger
-numerous icebergs appeared ahead-in a short
time the ship was surrounded by them. Now one
was passed by, now another. It seemed often as if
no power could save her from being dashed against
their precipitous sides. Perhaps the captain ex-
pected the gale to moderate, if so, he was mistaken.
It soon blew fiercer than ever. At length the ship
got under the lee of a large berg, which towered
up a hundred feet or more above the mast heads.
38 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
The sails were furled-the boats carried out ice
anchors and made them fast to the foot of the
berg. There the ship rode, sheltered from the gale,
in smooth water, while the wind howled and roared,
and the sea, hissing and foaming, dashed with fury
against the bergs, which were observed at a distance
on either side.
Archy recollected the account Max had given
him some time before of icebergs suddenly over-
turning, and as he looked up at the frozen moun-
tain above him, he could not help thinking what
their fate might be, should the gale, which blew on
the other side, force the berg over. Still he had
not learned to put his trust in God. Fear made
his heart sink within him, but he dared not con-
template the future. All he could say to himself
was, I hope it will not. How dreadful it would
be. What would become of us !' He had no one
to whom he could go for consolation. Max, he
knew, would only laugh at him and call him a
coward. He wished that Old Andrew would speak
to him, but he was on duty on deck, and had the
ship to attend to.
Several hours passed by, still the gale did not
abate. Archy thought the captain and officers
looked more serious than usual. Several of them
turned their eyes ever and anon towards the sum-
mit of the berg. At length the chief mate came
forward. He had just reached the forecastle, when
AMONG ICEBERGS. 39
a small piece of ice, the size of a bullet it seemed,
fell splashing into the water just ahead of the ship.
Another and another followed. With a startling
cry, the captain shouted, Cut the hawser, loose the
jib and fore-staysail, hands aloft for your lives lads.'
The head sails were hoisted, the fore-topsail sheeted
home. The ship, coming round, shot away from
the berg. The after sails were speedily loosed. In
another instant, with a crashing thundering noise,
down came vast masses of ice, falling into the water,
with loud splashes, close astern, while numerous
smaller pieces fell with fearful force on deck.
Happily no one was struck, but a piece went right
through one of the quarter boats. The ship, as if
aware of her danger, flew on. Downwards came
the vast mountain of ice with a crashing roar, louder
than any thunder, directly on the spot where she
had just before floated, sending the spray in thick
sheets flying over her poop. Had she remained a
moment longer she must have been overwhelmed.
Many a cheek of the hardy crew was blanched with
horror. Even now it seemed that they had scarcely
escaped the fearful danger, for the berg astern of
them rocked to and fro as if still intent on their de-
struction. The first mate and one of the best hands
were at the helm; the wind whistled loudly, the sails
appeared as if about to fly from the bolt ropes, as
the ship heeled over to the gale. Numerous other
bergs appeared ahead, and as she rushed onwards,
40 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
it seemed impossible that she could avoid them. No
sooner was one weathered than another appeared in
her course. The yards were braced sharp up. She
dashed by a huge berg, her masts, as she heeled
over, almost touching its sides. Now an opening
appeared between two large ice mountains. The
only way to escape was by passing between them.
The ship dashed into the passage, now she glided
onward in comparatively smooth water. The bergs
were moving. Nearer and nearer they drew to
each other. In a short time they might meet and
crush the hapless vessel into a thousand fragments.
To escape by the way she had entered the passage
was impossible. The wind came aft. The yards
were squared, more sail was set, faster and faster
she flew onwards, yet fast as she went, it seemed
as if the masses of ice would catch her ere she could
escape them in their deadly embrace. Every man
and boy was at his station, ready to clew np and
haul down directly the ship should be free, and
again exposed to the fury of the gale. No one
could tell but that other bergs might be ahead, or
in what direction it might be necessary to steer.
Archy, as he held on to a rope he had been ordered
to tend, looked up at the vast ice-cliffs with horror
in his eyes, expecting every moment to see them
falling over upon the ship. He glanced aft, and
saw the captain standing calm and undismayed,
ready to issue whatever orders might be necessary.
SUNDAY PRAYERS. 41
The channel seemed interminable, for, fast as the
vessel glided on, still those terrible cliffs frowned
down upon her. At length the open water appeared
ahead, with fewer bergs than had before been seen
floating on it. The ship glided out into the heaving
ocean; and as she heeled over, Archy thought the
masts would go over the side; but sail (though not
without difficulty) was rapidly shortened, and the
masts stood firm. Onwards, as before, she flew in
her course; several other bergs were weathered,
till at length all present dangers were passed, and
she was now hove-to to await the termination of
the storm. In a few hours the gale ceased, and
once more she proceeded on her course.
A calm succeeded the storm. The ship floated
on the smooth water. It was the Sabbath-day;
the captain as usual had summoned the crew to
prayers, the greater number went willingly, for
they were well aware of the imminent danger they
had escaped, and were glad to express their grati-
tude to Him who had preserved them. Max
Inkster, with a few others, made excuses for stay-
What, lad, are you going to hear the old man
preach ?' he asked, with a sneer, as he saw Archy
making his way aft. 'For my part, I think we
have too much of that sort of thing aboard here. I
have made up my mind to cut and run from.the ship
if I could find a few brave fellows to accompany me.
42 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
We should have more liberty and a larger allowance
of grog, with less psalm-singing, on board other
vessels I know of, and reach home sooner again
into the bargain. But don't you go and tell others
what I say; I only ask you, if we go, will you
join us ?'
'I'll think about it, Max,' answered Archy,
'but I promised old Andrew that I would attend
Much good may your prayers do you,' sneered
Max. You are the fellow who sneaked off from
his dying mother, and now you talk of praying.'
'I did, I did,' groaned Archy, and I feel how
wicked I was to do so.'
As all the other men had by this time collected
in the cabin, Archy could stay no longer, and hur-
ried off, the words last spoken by Max ringing in
his ears. He thought of them all the time the cap-
tain was offering up prayer, and returning thanks
to God for having mercifully preserved him and his
crew from the danger to which they had been ex-
posed, and humbly petitioning for protection for the
When the service was over, as Archy was leav-
ing the cabin, Captain Irvine called him back.
The old captain had been ill for some days.
Archy was struck with his peculiarly grave and
solemn manner. He kindly took the young boy's
CAPTAIN IRVINE'S ADVICE. 43
'I have a few words to say to you, lad,' he said.
'I knew your father; he was a God-fearing man,
and I believe he is in heaven. Your mother, too,
is a Christian woman, and she, when she leaves
this world, will join him there. Now lad, I have
to ask you what is your hope ? There is but one
way to go there, remember that. Have you sought
Archy hung down his head. I know I was
very wicked to leave my mother as I did,' he an-
swered, 'and I could not help thinking the other
day, when the iceberg was about to come down
upon us, where I should go to.'
Ah, lad, it's a great thing to see your sin, but
God wants you to do more than that. You must
acknowledge it to Him and seek His way for blot-
ting it out. Do you know that way, laddie, which
only a God of infinite love and mercy could have
devised for saving weak fallen man from the con-
sequences of sin? Have you sought the Saviour ?
Sorrow will not wash away sin. The blood of the
Saviour, which He shed when He suffered instead
of man on Calvary, can alone do it. Only those who
seek Him and trust in Him can benefit by that blood.
Have you earnestly sought him, laddie ? I am sure
if you do seek Him, desiring to turn away from
your sins, that you will find Him.'
Archy could only repeat, 'I am very sorry I
ran away from mother and hid myself aboard the
44 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
ship, and I thought when we were so near being
destroyed the other day, what would become of
Archy exactly described his state, and the
captain knew he spoke truly. There are too many
like him, who only think of their sins at the ap-
proach of danger.
Ah, laddie I should be thankful if you could
honestly tell me that you mourn for your sins,
because you have grievously offended our loving
Father in heaven, and that you have sought forgive-
ness from Him, through the all-cleansing blood of
His dear Son, shed for you on Calvary,' said Captain
Irvine. Do you ever pray ?'
'Not since I came aboard here,' answered
'And I am afraid not for some time before,
either,' observed the captain. 'For if you had
prayed that God's Holy Spirit would guide and
direct you, and keep you out of temptation, you
would not have run away from home as you did.
Now, laddie, what I want you to understand is, that
you are weak and helpless in yourself, that you can
neither walk aright nor do any good thing by your-
self ; but that if you seek the aid of the Holy Spirit
you will walk aright, you will be able to withstand
temptation, and to do God's will. If you do not
pray and seek His aid, you cannot expect to find
it; yet if you do seek it, you will assuredly find it,
CAPTAIN IRVINE'S ADVICE. 45
for He hath said, Ask and it shall be given you,
seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened
Archy listened attentively to what the captain
said, and tried to understand it, but the danger
which had alarmed his conscience had passed away,
and when he went forward and mixed again with
his careless shipmates, he forgot much that had been
said. Still, when he turned into his bunk, he did
try to pray; but he dared not bravely kneel down
in the sight of others lest they should laugh at him,
and he had been so long unaccustomed to offer up
prayer, that he could not even think of what words
to say. Captain Irvine, however, did not forget
him, and day after day he called him into the cabin,
or spoke to him on deck. He gave him a Bible
also, and marked many passages in it, which Archy
promised to read. The captain had also a library
of books on board, which were lent to the men, and
two or three of these he put into Archy's hands as
likely to be useful to him. Old Andrew also fre-
quently took an opportunity of speaking to him, but
his work occupied most of the day, and when he
went below he was generally too sleepy to sit long
over a book. Max and others also did their utmost
to interrupt him, and he made but little progress
either in reading the Bible or any other of the books
which had been lent him. Still, in some respects,
he was trying to follow the good advice which the
46 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
captain had given him. Weak, however, are all
our efforts when we trust to our own strength.
Archy did not seek assistance from the only source
which can give it, and, consequently, his good reso-
lutions were soon scattered to the wind.
Archy wishing to be present when a whale is struck, against
orders goes off in one of the boats.-Attack a whale and
her calf, but lose both, and the boat's bows are stove against
a floe.-The crew escape by landing on it, and dragging
the boat after them. Preparations made to wait for the
arrival of the ship in search of them.
HE ship had for some time been off the
western shore of the bay, and several
Whales had been taken-every one was
actively engaged, for when the operation
of flensing was not going on, the boats were gene-
rally away in chase of their prey.
Archy had hitherto always remained on board.
He had long wished, however, to be present at one
of the exciting scenes he had only witnessed from
a distance. How to manage it was the difficulty.
He knew that it would be of no use asking leave
from the captain, or any of the boat-steerers,
for idlers were not allowed in the boats. He
had thought that he should at once engage in
all the adventures described by Max, and was
48 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
one day expressing his disappointment in his pre-
'They will come time enough,' observed Max.
'But if you have a fancy to see some sport, and
may be to get tossed in the air, or drowned, or
have to spend a night on a floe, and be well nigh
frozen, as I have more than once, I'll give you a
chance. You know that I am your friend, or I
would not do it. Now, the next time a fall is
called, do you tumble into my boat; I'll rail away
if old Andrew sees you, but pretend you have hurt
your leg and lie still, and depend upon it he will
be in too great a hurry to shove off to put you on
board again, and as the captain did not punish you
for hiding away, he will not say much to you on
Archy knew very well that he ought to have
suspected Max's advice, but he was so eager to see
a whale struck, that he forgot all other considera-
tions. Hoping therefore that he might soon have
the opportunity he desired, he turned into his bunk
with his clothes on, ready to slip into the boat at a
moment's notice. The ship was standing some
distance off the land, and though the sea was
generally open, here and there masses of ice were
to be seen floating about from enormous icebergs
down to small pieces of a few feet in diameter.
Archy hoped that before long the boats would be
lowered to go in chase of a whale. He tried to
MAX'S ADVICE TO ARCHY. 49
keep awake, but sleep soon overpowered him. He
was aroused by hearing the sound of stamping
overhead, and the looked for cry of a fall, a fall.'
He sprang on deck, and without waiting to see
whether he was observed, slipped into old An-
drew's boat, in which Max pulled one of the oars,
and throwing himself down in the bottom, re-
mained perfectly still. The rest of the crew fol-
lowed. Old Andrew was the last, having been
detained longer than usual. The boat shoved off,
and only then Max pretended to have discovered
him. Andrew, on seeing the lad, was about to
put back, but at that moment the spout of an-
other whale was observed at no great distance.
The crew, bending to their oars, pulled towards
it; and Andrew, in the excitement of the mo-
ment, forgot all about Archy. The boat dashed
on. A sucking whale was seen playing near the
'We shall have her boys, we shall have her,'
The whale discerned the approach of her foes,
and diving down with her calf, disappeared.
'Give way lads, give way,' cried Andrew,
'she will not desert the young one.'
He was right, though had the old whale been
alone, she would soon have been miles away. The
boat continued in the direction the whale had been
seen to take, and in a short time the small animal
50 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
again came to the surface to breathe. The boat
was soon up to the animal, when its faithful mother
rose also to afford it protection. The boat dashed
up to it, and Andrew, going forward, plunged his
unerring harpoon deep into its side No sooner
did the monster feel the wound than away she
darted, towing the boat, the young whale keeping
up with her. The crew pulled-with might and
main, hoping to get up alongside again in order to
fix another harpoon, and to pierce her with their
lances. They had nearly succeeded, when up went
her tail in the air, and down she dived into the
depths of ocean, her calf following her example.
Immediately the whale line was allowed to run
out; and, as the end was approached, another
was fastened on. That too had nearly been drawn
out, when the crew, lifting up their oars, made
a signal for assistance from their companions, but
they were already too far off to be seen, indeed
the other boats were engaged with the whale first
'Hold on,' shouted Andrew. 'Though she
might not come up by herself, the young one will,
and she will follow.'
He was right; for at the moment that the bow
of the boat seemed about to be drawn under water,
and the knife was lifted to cut the line, it slackened,
and the young whale came to the surface some
way ahead, followed immediately afterwards by its
HARPOONING THE WHALE. 51
mother. Remaining stationary a short time to
breathe, during which a portion of the line was
hauled in, the monster again began to make her
way along the surface.
'Rare fun!' exclaimed Archy, who was sitting
near Max. I would not have missed this on any
We shall not be merry long if that bank'of
clouds to the north brings a gale with it,' growled
Archy looked around; the sea, hitherto calm,
was already ruffled with waves, and an icy breeze
swept over the surface. Still no whaler, with a
fish fast, would have thought of giving up the
pursuit. Already the monster, wearied by its exer-
tions, was slackening its speed; the crew began to
haul in the line, the first was got in. They were
already in the hopes of-again wounding the animal
mortally before she could once more sound, when
inspired with a mother's instinct to do her utmost
for the preservation of her young one, she again
darted forward. A large floe appeared ahead, out
of which arose several hummocks. The whale made
rapid way towards it. The crew pulled with might
and main, still hoping to reach her before she could
dive below the ice. In vain were all their efforts.
Still she went on. She reached the edge of the
floe. It was possible she might turn or make her
way along it, rather than venture with her young
52 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
one below its surface, where they might be un-
able to find an opening for breathing. Again she
stopped; as Andrew had expected. The crew
continued to haul in the line, when once more she
moved on, and it was necessary to secure it round
'She is ours,' cried Andrew; she will not
venture under the ice.' The crew bent to their
oars, hoping in another instant to be up with her,
when, with a sudden start, she dashed forward.
With great presence of mind Andrew cut the line,
just in time to prevent the boat from being dragged
under the floe, but not sufficiently soon to save her
bows from being stove. The water came rushing
in through the fearful rent that had been made.
The crew leaped out on the ice, old Andrew seizing
Archy, who, bewildered at the occurrence, had sat
still. Already the boat was half full of water, and
not without great difficulty she was hauled up on
the ice, against which the sea was beating violently,
and several articles were washed out of her. Archy
had instinctively clutched a bucket by his side, to
which he held when he was dragged out. It con-
tained a tinder box and powder flask.
There the whole party stood on the exposed
floe by the side of their shattered boat. They
looked around. Neither the ship nor the boats were
to be seen, while the thick mist, which came driving
over the ocean, concealed even some of the nearest
ON THE FLOE.
icebergs from view. Two or three of the men
loudly expressed their anxiety. Max's countenance
exhibited the alarm he felt. Old Andrew alone
preserved his usual equanimity.
'My lads,' he said, 'I'll allow we are in bad
case, but don't let us give way to despair. We
must do our best to repair the boat; and if the
ship does not come to look for us, we must set
out to look for her.'
The injuries, however, that the boat had re-
ceived were very severe, and it was evident that
no means they had at their disposal were sufficient
to repair her. Even a piece of canvas would have
been of value, but they had no canvas and no
nails. The sea, too, which had rapidly got up,
now dashed furiously against the sides of the
floe, threatening to sweep over it, and break it to
pieces beneath their feet. Andrew looked around,
and observing a large hummock at some dis-
tance, urged his companions to drag the boat to-
'Yonder ice hill will afford us some shelter,' he
said. And if we make a signal from the top, it
will be more readily seen than one down on the
The men exerting all their strength dragged
the boat along, Archy helping, till they reached the
hummock, she was then turned bottom uppermost
under its lee. An axe having been saved, one of
54 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
the oars was cut into lengths, which served to prop
her up and afford them some shelter from the freez-
ing wind. Two oars were also lashed together to
serve as a flagstaff, and all the handkerchiefs that
could be mustered were joined to form a flag. A
hole, after much labour, was dug with the axe in
the top of the hummock, and the flagstaff was
planted, but the furious wind threatened every
moment to blow it down again. The gale was
increasing, and already they felt almost perished,
but their great want was food. They had come
away without breakfast, and no provisions had been
put in the boat. Even should they be able to resist
the gale, and should the floe continue together, they
ran a fearful risk of perishing of hunger. The
snow falling heavily formed a bank round the boat,
and assisted to keep out the wind, -here they all
collected, crouching down as close together as pos-
sible, for the sake of obtaining warmth from each
'If we had but a fire we might do pretty well
till the ship comes to take us off,' observed Max.
'We have got some wood, at all events, and when
that's gone we must burn the boat and form a roof
of snow over our heads instead, after Esquimaux
No sooner was the proposal made than the re-
maining oars, boat-stretchers, and every piece of
wood that could be found was cut up. Archy pro-
ON THE FLOE. 55
duced the tinder-box from the bucket, and in a
short time a fire was blazing up, which served to
warm their chilled limbs, and slightly to raise their
spirits. Few of them, however, were disposed to
Andrew Scollay, a religious old man, encourages his shipmates
in their fearful position, without food, fire, or shelter.-
Archy distinguishes between his false and real friend.-HKo
takes a run over the ice with Andrew, when a sail is seen,
and at last a boat approaches.
0UR after hour passed by, and still there
was no abatement of the storm. Loud
noises meantime were heard around, de-
noting the breaking up of the floe on
which they floated, and they could not tell.how
soon the portion on which they had taken refuge
might be rent from the main body and floated away.
Often did Archy wish that he had remained on
board, and not exposed himself to the fearful danger
in which he was placed. At length old Andrew
spoke to him.
Are you happy, boy?' he asked. But you
need not tell me-I know you are not. I am sorry
to find you placed in this fearful position, but it was
through your own fault-you chose to come against
orders. It is bad for us, but then we came because
it was our duty.'
ANDREW SCOLLAY. 57
'I am sure I am very sorry I did come,' an-
swered Archy. 'But I didn't think this would
'People never know what will happen when
they do what is wrong,' said Andrew. Satan tempts
them to sin, and then leaves them to take the
consequences. Lads, I speak to you all as I
speak to this boy. Are you prepared to meet your
Why do you say that ?' said Max, in a husky
'Because I think, before many hours are over
our heads, the summons will come,' said Andrew,
solemnly. Any moment the ice may break up,
and the sea may wash over us, or we may sit here
till we die of cold and hunger.'
'You are croaking,' said Max. Our captain
is not the man to desert us.'
'I am speaking the solemn truth,' said Andrew.
'The captain will do his best to search for us, but
the gale will have driven the ship miles away by
this time, and before she can get up to us we may
be dead. I don't speak thus to frighten you, lads,
but because I wish to see your souls saved. You
may say that you are such sinners that there is no
hope of that. I wish you did know that you are
sinners. You heard the captain read to you the
other day the account of the thief on the cross.
He knew that he was a sinner, but he found the
58 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
Saviour even at the last moment of his life. He
trusted to Jesus, who saved him; and he had the
assurance from the lips of that loving One, that he
was saved. Jesus will say to you what He said
to the thief on the cross, if you will even now turn
to Him: Now is the day of grace, now is the day
of salvation." Oh, lads, I pray you to throw your-
selves on His mercy, to trust to Him. His blood
cleanseth from all sin.'
The seamen listened attentively to what Andrew
said: they had often heard similar words from the
lips of the captain, but they were in safety then on
board their stout ship, and they had allowed them
to pass away unheeded. Now, although they still
hoped to escape, they could not help acknowledging
that they were in a fearfully perilous position.
Still no one replied. What was passing in their
minds Andrew could not tell. He continued, ad-
dressing them in the same strain for- some time.
Again and again he told them of the Saviour's love,
and how earnestly He desired them to come to Him
and be saved.
Archy, however; had drunk in every word
Andrew had said.
'But would Jesus pardon me, who has so grie-
vously offended Him he asked at last-' me, who
have so often been told of His loving kindness and
SYes, lad, that He will,' said Andrew, taking
SHIPMATES IN A FEARFUL POSITION. 59
Archy's hand, He has promised it, and His word
is sure. He has sent us this blessed message:-
" The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin."
He does not say from some sins, or from only slight
sins, but from all sins.'
Oh, then, I'll try and give Him my heart,' ex-
claimed Archy. I'll trust to Him.'
Yes, do that, Archy; but give Him your
heart now-trust to Him now,' said Andrew, ear-
nestly. We will pray, lad, that the Holy Spirit
will help you, for He alone can carry out the work
in your heart;' and the pious old man, kneeling down
on the ice, lifted up his voice in prayer; and surely
that prayer was not uttered in vain. Still, although
the rest of the party made no response to his exhor-
tations, he persevered; and from the loud crashing
roar of the ice, as the broken fragments were dashed
together, it seemed too likely that the day of grace
for all would ere long be past. Hour after hour
went by, and yet the portion of the floe on which
they had taken refuge kept together. The storm
continued to rage, and the snow still fell heavily.
Piece after piece of the boat had been cut away
its place being supplied with a wall and roof of
snow, which the seamen gradually built up. They
were beginning to feel the pangs of hunger, and
they could scarcely get sufficient warmth from
the small fire they were able to maintain to keep
themselves from being frozen. It was near mid-
summer. Had it been the winter they could not
thus have existed many hours. Every now and
then one of the party ran to the summit of the
hillock in the hopes of seeing the ship. Still the
falling snow shut out all but the nearest ob-
jects from view, and here and there alone a tall
iceberg could be seen rising dimly amid the foam-
ing seas. No hope, no hope,' was the mournful
cry of one after the other, as they returned to the
Don't say there's no hope,' observed old An-
drew. God can send us help, though we can't
help ourselves. Oh, lads, I again say, and it may
be for the last time, put your trust in Him. I don't
tell you that He will send us relief. It may be
His will that our bodies should perish on the spot
where we are sitting; but I do tell you, that He
offers to rescue your souls, and will certainly, if
you put your trust in Him, not allow them to
Archy sat close to old Andrew, listening atten-
tively to what he said. He had now learned to
distinguish between his real and false friend. How
earnestly he wished that he had not been led astray
by the evil counsel of the latter. The rest of the
party sat silent, their countenances exhibiting the
despair which had taken possession of their hearts.
Their fuel was well nigh exhausted, and suffering
from hunger, they knew that they could not hold
TAKES A RUN ON THE ICE. 61
out long against the cold. Andrew proposed that
they should let the fire out for a time, and warm
themselves by exercise.
'We will then light it again, and it will enable
us to lie down and rest without fear of being frozen,'
To this wise advice the men would not
If die we must, we will keep warm while we
can,' growled out Max.
'Then, Archy, you and I will try and keep our
blood flowing by using our limbs,' said Andrew.
See, the snow has ceased falling, and there's less
wind than there was.'
This was said after they had spent many hours
on the ice. How many they could scarcely tell,
for no sun appeared to mark the progress of the
Andrew, taking his young companion's hand,
rose, and together they went to the top of the
hummock, and gazed around for a minute, though
they could now see much further than before. No
sail appeared to cheer their sight. They quickly
descended, and Andrew, with the activity of a
young man, ran backwards and forwards under the
lee of the hummock. Archy felt the benefit of the
exercise; but though .his hunger had increased, his
blood circulating freely, made him feel better able
to endure the cold than before.
62 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
When at length they returned to the hut, they
found the remaining pieces of wood burning, and
that in a short time they would be left without any
'If you had followed my advice it would have
been better for us all,' observed Andrew.
The men made no reply; they all appeared to
have fallen into a state of stupor, and to have be-
come indifferent to their fate. Andrew and Archy
sat down to rest, and to enjoy the warmth of the
fire, anxiously watching the last few pieces of wood
as they were gradually consumed. The embers
which they scraped together afforded them heat
for some time longer-then, by degrees, those died
'It- is our duty to hold out while we can,
boy,' said Andrew, when the last spark of the
fire was extinguished. Come and take another
Archy felt very-weak and faint from want of
food, still he endeavoured to exert himself. Again
they visited the top of the hummock, but still no
sail was to be seen. The sea tumbled and foamed,
and the surrounding masses of ice ground and
crashed against each other, and the floe on which
they were appeared to have decreased in size, while
huge blocks, thrown up by the waves, rested on
its weather side. Even Andrew was unable to
run backwards and forwards as fast as before, and
A SAIL IS SEEN.
again they sought shelter within the hut. No
questions were asked them; indeed most of their
companions appeared to be asleep. Andrew in
vain tried to arouse them. Archy felt that he, too,
should like to lie down and go to sleep; but from
doing this Andrew used every effort to prevent
him, and in a short time proposed that they should
take another run to the top of the hummock. With
difficulty Archy followed him.
For some time the old man stood looking round
in every direction, then his eyes rested on a parti-
cular spot to the northward, and Archy saw him
raise his hands as if in prayer.
'Lad,' he said suddenly, 'look between those
two icebergs. What do you see?'
Archy gazed with beating heart. 'A sail! a
sail!' he exclaimed.
'Yes-of that there's no doubt,' said Andrew,
calmly, and may God direct her course towards
us. She is at present standing this way; but
should a whale be seen, she may steer in a different
direction.' They anxiously watched the approach-
ing ship for some minutes.
We will tell our companions,' said Andrew-
'the news will rouse them if they are not too far
Archy forgetting his hunger, and no longer
feeling his weakness, rushed back to the hut,
shouting, a sail! a sail!' Max, and two of the
64 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
other men, started as the sound reached their ears,
but before they had gained their feet they again
sank down on the ice. After making several efforts,
they were at length able to walk, having in the
meantime aroused their companions, who, sitting
up, looked around with bewildered glances, as if
not comprehending the news they heard. Archy
again ran back, Max and the rest, with tottering
steps, trying to follow him. They succeeded at
length, and as they saw the ship, almost frantic
with joy, they shook each other's hands, and
shouted and danced like mad people, their suffer-
ings, their fears of death, were in a moment for-
gotten, and so probably also were any good resolu-
tions they might have formed. How different
was their behaviour to that of Andrew. Archy
The ship came on with a strong breeze, thread-
ing her way amid the masses of ice in her course.
She had got within a couple of miles. Still, unless
the eyes of those on board were directed in their
direction, the flag flying from the hummock might
not be seen. She came nearer and nearer.
She will not pass us now,' cried Max.
'We will pray to God that she may not,' said
Andrew; but at that moment the vessel was seen
to haul her wind, and to stand to the westward. A
loud groan of bitter disappointment was uttered by
Max and the other men.
'God's will be done,' said Andrew. See,
mates, she has hove to, she is lowering her boat.
They are after a fish.'
With what eagerness did the eyes of the starv-
ing seamen watch the ship. It was impossible to
say in what direction she might next steer. They
no longer felt cold or hunger.
SSee, see, what is that ?' cried one of the men,
as a dark object was discovered darting out from
behind the nearest iceberg.
Directly afterwards a boat ivas seen fast to a
whale, and following in its wake. The whale ap-
proached the floe, but while still at some distance
its flukes were seen to rise in the air, and down it
shot into the ocean. Although those on the ice
knew that they were too far off to be heard, they
shouted again and again, their voices sounding
strangely hollow in each other's ears. The first
line had apparently been run out from the boat; a
second had been bent on; that, too, came to an
end. They could see the four oars lifted up as a
signal for assistance from the ship. Once more
the boat approached them at a rapid rate, drag-
ged on by the whale. It was evident she was
in great distress, and that her crew dreaded the
fate they themselves had suffered. Suddenly she
stopped-the line had been cut. Would they
turn away? No, the crew bend to their oars
-the boat-steerer stands up and waves. They
66 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
are seen-help will come to them. Again they
Let us thank God, for HIe has sent yonder boat
to our assistance,' said Andrew.
Rescued!-On board the 'Laplander' whaler, which is nearly
full, and expects soon to return home.-Max Inkster tries
to undermine Archy's good resolutions, but the latter re-
Smembers that 'a friend in need is a friend indeed.'-Sail for
home.-A tempting channel appearing, it is entered, but the
ship is nipped, and the 'Laplander' is abandoned.-Escape
to the floe with only a few clothes and provisions, when a
plan is formed for reaching the coast of Greenland.
E boat had some distance to pull before a
spot could be found where she could safely
approach the ice on the lee side of the
Max and the two other men, regardless of their
almost dead companions in the hut, were hurrying
down towards her, when Andrew called them back.
Shame on you,' he exclaimed. Would you
leave the poor fellows to perish for the sake of
sooner putting food into your own mouths ? Come,
help them along, they want it more than we do.'
The men thus summoned, returned and assisted
Andrew and Archy, who were dragging their nearly
insensible shipmates over the ice. At length they
reached the edge, and were cordially welcomed by
the crew of the boat, who made all speed to return
68 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
to their ship the Laplander.' She was almost full,
they said, and they hoped soon to return home.
The rescued men, on being lifted on board, were at
once put under the doctor's care,-for even Andrew
and Archy, who had hitherto held out so bravely,
felt all their strength leave them directly they
reached the boat. They, however, in a couple of
days were sufficiently recovered to go on deck and
mix with the crew.
Archy found the Laplander' a very different
vessel to the Kate.' The captain was a bold brave
seaman, but he was nothing else. There were no
Sunday services, no prayer-meetings, no lending
library of religious books, but there was much
swearing and ungodliness among the crew.
Max, who quickly forgot the fearful danger in
which he had been placed, and his providential pre-
servation, did his utmost to laugh Archy out of his
'I wonder a lad of spirit like you can listen to
the long sermons of old Andrew,' he said to him
one day while Andrew was out of hearing. I
never could stand those preaching fellows.'
'But Andrew kept his courage up, and did his
best to preserve my life, while you and the rest
gave way to despair,' answered Archy. You can-
not say that he is not a brave man, though he does
preach long sermons.'
'Yes, he is brave, I'll allow,' said Max.
ON BOARD THE 'LAPLANDER.' 69
'Then tell me, what do you think makes him
brave ?' asked Archy.
He is naturally brave, I suppose,' replied Max.
'Now, I think that it is because he trusts in
God, and believes that God will take care of him,'
said Archy firmly. And he knows that if he should
lose his life that he will go to heaven. That's my
opinion of the matter.'
Your opinion, indeed,' exclaimed Max scorn-
fully. 'I should like to know what business a
fellow like you has to form an opinion,' and Max
turned away, unable further to answer the boy,
whom he had hitherto so easily led. He took every
opportunity after this of annoying Archy, and in-
cited his godless companions to do the same.
Archy often wished that he was on board the
' Kate' again, and anxiously looked out in the hopes
of falling in with her. The captain had been much
put out by the loss of the whale and two lines when
they had been rescued, and seemed to associate
them in some way with the circumstance. A- few
days afterwards the watch below were aroused
with the welcome cry of 'a fall! a fall!' a whale
was fast. The remaining boats pulled away, and
in a few hours the captain's good humour was re-
stored by having the whale alongside. All hands
were now in high spirits. One fish more, and
hurrah for old England,' was the cry.
Several days passed away without any further
70 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
success. In vain Andrew and Archy looked out
for the Kate.' The season was advancing, still
the captain of the Laplander,' anxious to get a
full ship, cruised backwards and forwards in the
hopes of killing one fish more. At length that
object was attained, but one of the boats was
knocked to pieces, and two of her crew drowned.
The huge monster was secured alongside with all
haste, the blubber was got on board, and the in-
stant the carcase was cut adrift, the crew giving
three shouts of joy at being full, sail was made,
and the ship stood to the southward.
The ice, as she proceeded, gathered thickly
around her. Boldly, however, she pushed on
through the passages which appeared between the
floes. Now she was threading a narrow lane of
water, now sailing across an open lake, but still on
every side appeared those threatening fields of ice,
which might at any moment enclose her in their
deadly embrace. The captain, or one of the mates,
was constantly in the crow's nest, looking out for
the most open passages ahead, through which the
ship might be steered.
They had sailed on for some distance, when the
ice on either side was seen to be moving. A tempt-
ing channel, however, appeared before them. The
'Laplander' sailed into it. She had scarcely entered
when the opposite floes began to approach each
other. Still the breeze was strong and fair, and
THE 'LAPLANDER' IN DANGER. 71
the captain hoped that he might be able to push
through into an open space beyond before they
could close. Nearer and nearer they came to each
other, till the broad passage assumed the appear-
ance of a narrow canal. It was at length seen that
escape was impossible. The sails were furled, the
ship was secured to the floe on one side, and an
attempt was made to cut a dock in which she
might remain while the inevitable concussion took
place. Almost before the ice saws could be got
out and set to work, a loud crashing roaring sound
was heard. The floes meeting with terrific force,
vast masses rose up in the air, huge fragments
being thrown upon each other, till in one instant a
ridge, reaching almost to the height of the ship's
tops, was formed. The seamen, not waiting for
the captain's orders, seized their bags and bedding,
and whatever they could lay hands on, and leaped
out on the ice.
'Follow me, Archy,' cried Andrew, seizing a
bag of biscuits, and throwing a couple of blankets
over his shoulder. 'In another minute the ship
may be crushed to fragments.'
Archy lowered himself down with Andrew on to
the ice, and with the rest of the crew they hurried
away from the ship. Scarcely had they left her
when the floes closed in, and vast masses of ice were
seen rising up around her, the rending and crashing
sound of her stout timbers telling them too plainly
72 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
of her fate. Not till they had got some distance
did the fugitives venture to stop and watch what
was going forward. The masts were seen to totter,
and large fragments of wreck were thrown on either
side over the surface. The captain, as he saw the
destruction of his vessel, wrung his hands with
despair, while dismay was depicted on the coun-
tenances of his crew. So sudden had been the nip,
that except the clothes on their backs and the bed-
ding they carried under their arms, nothing had been
saved. As yet too, the danger of approaching the
wreck was too great to allow of the attempt being
made, for the ice, pressing closer and closer, con-
tinued to throw up vast slabs, beneath which any
one going near the spot might in an instant have
been crushed. Suddenly the tall masts fell with a
crash, and the whole upper part of the ship was
cast in fragments on to the ice. For several mi-
nutes the seamen stood aghast, till the floes having
accomplished their work, remained at rest. Andrew
was the first to speak.
'Lads,' he said, I have seen this sort of thing
occur before, and I and all with me reached home
in safety, so may we now if we exert ourselves;
may be the boats have escaped, and the provisions
and stores may have been thrown up on the ice. I
for one am ready to go back to the wreck and see
what has been saved.'
Several of the men agreed to accompany Andrew,
THE LAPLANDER' NIPPED. 73
and they made their way among the masses of ice
which strewed the surface. Their search was in
part satisfactory.' Two of the boats had escaped
injury, while their chests and a large portion of the
provisions and stores which had been on the upper
deck, were found scattered about. The officers,
arousing themselves, now followed the example
which Andrew had set. While one party were
employed in collecting provisions, another cut the
sails from the yards, which had been thrown on
the ice, and erected tents in which they might
shelter themselves from the piercing wind. Others
chopped up wood, and fires were lighted. Some
time was thus occupied, and at length an encamp-
ment was formed, with all the stores and provisions
which had been collected piled up around, and the
weary seamen were able to rest from their labours.
A consultation was now held as to the means to be
taken for preserving their lives. The boats could
only carry a portion of their number, even should
the ice again open and allow them to escape. As
far as could be seen, it had closed in on every side,
and probably they would have to drag them many
long leagues before the open water could be gained.
The land, by the captain's calculation, was upwards
of fifty miles away, but the Danish settlements,
where they could obtain assistance, were much
further off. At the same time, it was possible that
they might find another vessel fast in the ice nearer
74 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
at hand, which might afford them shelter. One
thing only was certain, that they must lose no
time in making preparations for their journey.
Unhappily, the captain, disheartened by the de-
struction of his ship, was incapable of exerting
himself. Although a good seaman, he was desti-
tute of that higher courage which a confidence in
God's superintending care can alone give. He sat
in his tent, with his head resting on his hands, for
many hours, gazing toward the wreck, without
issuing any orders. The officers differed from
each other as to what was best to be done, while
many of the crew exhibited a mutinous disposition,
and assembled altogether in a tent which they had
erected for themselves. Collecting a quantity of
the smaller fragments of the wreck, they made up
a large fire within, around which they sat, cooking
some of the provisions which they had appropriated
from the common store.
Archy, from the time of leaving the ship, had
kept close to Andrew, and assisted him in whatever
work he was engaged on. While, however, he was
collecting wood at a short distance from the camp,
Max came up to him.
'Well, Archy,' he said, I see old Andrew in-
tends to make you work for him; that's his reason
for keeping you by his side. Now, boy, if I were
you I would not be led by the nose. Come and
join us. I'll own I had a hand in getting you into
SIGNS OF MUTINY. 75
this scrape, and I wish to help you out of it. I and
some of the other men have formed a plan to make
our escape, and it's my opinion that those who re-
main herewill lose their lives. That can't be helped,
you see, for it's impossible that all should be saved,
and as I am your friend I don't wish to leave you
behind. Come along now, we have got a roaring
fire inside there, and the fellows will let you join
them if I ask them.' Max pointed to the tent of
'I promised to stay by Andrew,' said Archy.
' Unless he goes I can't join you.'
'I'll see about asking him by-and-bye,' said Max.
'What do you propose doing, then?' asked
'Making off with the boats,' answered Max.
SIt's the only chance we have of saving our lives,
and we shall be sure to reach one of the Danish
places on the coast.'
What, you would not desert old Andrew ?' ex-
'Oh, of course not,' answered Max, in a tone
which made Archy suspect him, especially when he
added, Mark me, my lad, if you let old Andrew or
any of the rest know of what I have been saying
to you, there are some among us who would not
scruple a moment to knock you on the head. Re-
member my words. I ask you again, will you
come with us ?'
76 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
'No,' answered Archy firmly. 'I promised to
stick by Andrew, and I am not going to desert
'Then take the consequences,' exclaimed Max
.angrily, 'and remember, hold your tongue, or it
will be the worse for you.'
Archy saw him return to the tent; but the men
who crowded round the fire seemed very unwilling
to allow him a place among them, and Archy sus-
pected that had he listened to Max he should have
had very little chance of getting near it either.
On rejoining Andrew, Archy refrained from
mentioning what Max had said, as there were
several other persons within hearing, and, indeed,
not till some time afterwards did he find his friend
alone. Andrew, with some of the better disposed
men, and a few'of the officers, had taken up their
quarters in a tent, and were now collected round a
fire in the centre of it, though a much smaller one
than that formed by the men. Andrew made room
for Archy by his side. While they were discussing
their supper, they agreed that they would form a
number of sledges with runners for the boats, and
placing the provisions and tents, with guns and
ammunition on them, and such other stores as they
might require, set off without further delay for the
land. No one seemed to suspect the treachery
meditated by Max and his party. The carpenter's
chest had fortunately been saved, and while one
PREPARATIONS TO START. 77
party assisted him in collecting -wood and forming
the sledges and runners, others were engaged in
doing up the provisions and stores in packages of a
size suitable for being carried on the sledges. The
mutineers even assisted, and were especially busy
in fitting runners to the boats.
Some progress had been made in the work, when
night coming on compelled them to desist from their
labours, and take shelter in their respective tents.
Archy, as he lay down to sleep, began to think that
in spite of the threats of Max he ought to have told
Andrew what he had said.
'To-morrow morning will be time enough,' he
thought, and he was soon asleep.
S*^ W y
Mutiny! Most of the crew carrying the greater part of the
provisions, set off without the others.-Proposals for pur-
suit, but not carried out, and at last the remainder com-
mence their journey across the ice, meeting with great
difficulties.-The captain 'becomes ill, but is cheered by
Andrew.-He at length dies, after Andrew has placed
before him the truth, which he accepts. He is buried in a
RCHY was awakened by hearing one of
the officers, who had gone out of the
tent, exclaim, Why, what have become
of the boats ?'
The rest of the inmates of the tents were
quickly on foot. They looked around. Far away
in the distance two dark spots could be seen on
the ice. Andrew and several others ran to the
tent of the mutineers-it was empty. The fire
had burnt a hole in the ice and disappeared. Had
it not been for those objects far off they might
have supposed that the sleepers had gone in with
it and been drowned. The provisions were next
CHANGE OF CAMP. 79
examined-the packages prepared for travelling
had greatly diminished. Several, indignant at be-
ing thus deserted, proposed setting off in pursuit
of the fugitives.
They have fire-arms with them, and you will
not get them to come back, lads,' said the captain,
who had come out of his tent.
In spite of his warnings, and the advice of
Andrew, who urged that it was better to let
them go, a number of men, and two of the officers,
started away, vowing that they would bring
back the mutineers, and punish them for their
At first, the party thus deserted seemed in-
clined to give way to despair, and Archy more
than ever regretted that he had not warned his
friends of the intended treachery.
'Come along, lads, to the wreck,' exclaimed
Andrew. 'Perhaps we may find another boat,
which we may be able to repair, and some more
provisions to replace those carried off.'
Thus appealed to, the carpenter, with several
men, set off with Andrew to the wreck, Archy ac-
companying his friend. After climbing over a num-
ber of huge masses of ice, they made their way to
the opposite floe, which was now firmly united to
the one it had struck. Here they found a quantity
of the wreck, scattered about, as well as several
casks of meat and biscuits, and wedged between
two slabs, the smallest boat, which had hung at
the stern. The carpenter, on examining her, ex-
pressed his hopes that by fastening canvas round
her, he could make her float sufficiently to enable
them to pass from one floe to another, should they
meet any open channels in their course. This dis-
covery raised their spirits. The party immediately
hastened back to their companions with the news.
It was agreed that they should at once move across
to the floe, with the tents and provisions, and form-
ing a new encampment, go on with the work of
preparing the sledges. Frequently as they went
backwards and forwards, they looked out for the
return of the party who had gone in pursuit of the
mutineers. The latter had got far out of sight be-
fore they could have been overtaken. What had
become of' the pursuers no one could say. Some
supposed that the two parties had united and gone
on together, while others fancied that they had
fought, and that those who had been defeated had
been left alone on the ice, while the victors had
pushed on with the boats.
The whole day was occupied in moving to the
new encampment, and it was nearly dark before
their tents were erected and other preparations
made for passing the night. The wind had latterly
increased greatly, and clouds had been collecting
to the north. Scarcely had they got under shel-
ter when the snow began to fall heavily, and the
PREPARATIONS TO START. 81
sharp wind swept across the icy plain with terrific
'Archy, we may be thankful that we are not
with those poor fellows who deserted us,' observed
Andrew as they sat together round the fire in their
tent. 'It will be a mercy if any of them escape
even if they reached the open water before night-
fall, and it's my opinion that they will not have
'They deserve their fate, whatever it may be,'
growled out one of the men.
'Ah, friend, we all deserve far more than we
receive,' said Andrew. 'If God was to treat us
according to our merits, the best of us could only
look for punishment. Let us pray that He will
have mercy on them as well as on us. Oh, mates,
I wish you could all understand the great love
which God has for us poor sinners. We exposed
ourselves of our own free choice to the danger
and hardship we have to endure, but He in His
mercy offers us free salvation and eternal happi-
ness for our souls. He gave Jesus Christ to
suffer instead of us, and it's our own fault if we
do not accept His precious gift. All He asks us
to do is to trust to His love, and believe that Jesus
died for us and that His blood washes away all our
Several of Andrew's companions listened with
deep earnestness to his words, and on that bleak
82 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
floe, and amid those arctic snows, believed to the
salvation of their souls.
All night long the wind swept by them, the
snow fell faster and faster, but they heeded not the
tempest. A bright light had burst upon them, and
they could look forward with hope to the future,
trusting to that God of love and mercy whom
they had hitherto only known as a stern and severe
When morning broke all hands set to work to
clear away the snow, which had covered up the
boat and everything left outside the tents. The
wind, however, had ceased, and they were able to
go on with their labours, and by the evening the
sledges were completed and the boat prepared and
placed on runners. They were then loaded, that
the party might be ready to start the following
morning on their journey. Twice during the day,
Andrew with several of the other men had gone
over to the old encampment to ascertain if any of
those who had deserted them had come back. They
cast their eyes in vain over the wide snow-cover-
ed plain,-not a trace of a human being could be
seen. It was too probable that all had perished.
More than half the ship's company had thus been
The night was passed in comparative comfort.
They had well-formed tents, abundance of bedding,
and ample fires. All knew that in future the case
ANDREW CHEERS THE CAPTAIN. 83
would be very different. The sledges were chiefly
loaded with provisions. They were obliged to re-
duce their tents to the smallest possible size, and
they could carry but a limited supply of fuel. There
were five sledges in all, each drawn by four men,
while six men were harnessed to the boat, in which
the old captain, who was unable to walk, was
placed. Andrew joined the latter party, and Archy,
on account of his youth, was excused from dragging
a sledge,-he, however, carried his blankets and
some provisions on his back, each man being also
loaded in the same way. The snow having par-
tially melted under the still hot rays of the sun,
had again frozen, and had filled up all inequalities
in the ice. This enabled the party to drag the
sledges along during the first day without difficulty.
They had, however, to make frequent circuits to
avoid the hummocks, which in some places
were very numerous. They calculated by night-
fall that they had advanced nearly twelve miles
on their journey towards the coast. The uneven
appearance of the ice beyond them, interspersed in
many places with huge icebergs, warned them
that in future they could not hope to advance so
Hitherto they had not suffered much from cold,
but that night, as they lay in their tents with the
small fires which their limited supply of fuel allowed
them to keep up, they were nearly frozen. Andrew
84 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
several times remembering the advantage he had
before gained from taking exercise, got up and ran
about to warm himself. Those who followed his
example awoke refreshed and fit for work, whereas
those who had remained quiet all the night, found
their limbs stiff and their feet and hands frozen,
and it was not till after, with the help of their
companions, they had moved about and undergone
great pain, that they were able to proceed. Some,
indeed, had suffered so much, that they entreated
to be left to die rather than undergo the hardships
they would have to endure. Andrew urged them
to arouse themselves.
It is our duty, lads, to struggle on as long
as we can. God may think fit to try us, but let
us trust in Him and He may find a way for us
at last to escape, though we are too blind to see it,'
His exhortations produced a good effect, and
once more they proceeded on their journey. The
old captain had suffered the most, and it seemed -
very probable that he would be unable to hold out
many days longer. Andrew seeing his condi-
tion, frequently spoke to him, and though hitherto
he had turned scornfully away, he now will-
ingly listened to the words the faithful Christian
Oh!' he exclaimed at length, 'I wish that I
had heard you before. It is too late now, I have
THE CAPTAIN GETS WORSE. 85
been a terrible sinner, God can never pardon so bad
a man as I am.'
Oh, sir!' exclaimed Andrew, Jesus Christ
came into the world to save sinners. He saved the
thief on the cross, He saved the jailor at Philippi.
The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.
He says, "Though your sins be as scarlet they
shall be as white as snow, though they be red like
crimson they shall be as wool."'
This was said while they were stopping to take
their mid-day meal.
The old captain raised himself up and grasped
'Do you really speak the truth to me ?' he ex-
I repeat what God says, sir, and He cannot
lie,' answered Andrew. 'Believe in the Lord Jesus
Christ and thou shalt be saved.'
I do, I do,' cried the old man. But oh! what
would I now give had I known this in my youth.
What years of wickedness and misery it would
have saved me.'
'Ah, sir! there are thousands upon thousands
who may say that,' replied Andrew. 'Archy, you
hear the captain's words. Don't forget them, boy.
If God in His mercy allows you to return home in
safety, repeat them to your young companions, and
urge them to seek the Lord while He may be
found." You may thus render them a service for
86 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
which they will have cause to thank you through
I will try,' said Archy humbly, but it is diffi-
cult to speak to others.'
Pray for the aid of God's Holy Spirit, and He
will enable you to do it,' said Andrew.
'I will try,' repeated Archy, for he had dis-
covered his own weakness. Through that discovery
alone can strength be obtained.
The shipwrecked party again pushed on, the
party keeping ahead. Some of the men had begun
to complain that the boat detained them. They
supposed that the ice was attached throughout to
the mainland, and believed that they could do with-
out her. The captain tried to persuade them that
they were mistaken, but they had lost their re-
spect for him, and declared that they knew better.
Andrew thought the captain was right, and en-
treated them to listen to his advice. Their replies
showed that they were bent on pushing on. The
worthy carpenter, James Foubister by name, also
a Shetlander, sided with Andrew, and promised not
to desert the old captain. Their example influenced
most of the other men attached to the boat, who
agreed, should the rest of the party do as they pro-
posed, to remain with them. By exerting them-
selves to the utmost they overtook the sledge parties
soon after they had encamped. Andrew again spoke
earnestly to his companions, pointing out to them
THEY ARE SEPARATED. 87
the danger they would run by separating, and he
hoped at length that they had abandoned their de-
The next day they went on as before. The
cold was increasing, and except when they were in
active exercise, they felt it severely. The old cap-
tain especially, from being unable to move, suffered
greatly, and was rapidly sinking. Andrew, when-
ever the party stopped, acted the part of a true
Christian, and was by his side, endeavouring to
console and cheer him with the blessed promises of
the gospel. What other comfort could he have
afforded ? The old man felt its unspeakable value,
and after his voice had lost the power of utterance,
holding Andrew's hand, he signed to him to stoop
down and speak them in his ear, and so he died,-
with a peaceful expression in his countenance, which
told of the sure and certain hope he had gone to
realize. Andrew and the carpenter proposed carry-
ing on the captain's body to bury it on shore, but
the rest objected, as causing them unnecessary
labour. A snow tomb was therefore built, in which
the old man's body was placed, and there they left
him, out on that wild frozen ocean, where many of
England's bravest sons rest from their toils. Happy
are those who have died as he died, trusting in the
Lord. The men were too much engrossed with
their own sufferings to mourn his loss, but few
failed, when the next morning they started on
88 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
their journey, to cast a glance at the tomb. 'Poor
old man, he is better off than we are,' was the ex-
pression uttered by most of them.
The fatigue of dragging the sledges over the
rough ice was now so great, that some of the men
purposed leaving their tents and the remainder of
their fuel behind, and the officers had much difficulty
in making them see the folly of such a proceeding.
As they advanced, not only large hummocks, but
vast icebergs became numerous, among which they
were frequently enveloped, and many a circuit had
to be made to avoid them.
The day after the captain's death it began to
snow heavily. The sledges were as usual ahead,
still Andrew and his party managed to proceed
with the boat. The snow-storm increasing in
density, they at length lost sight of their com-
panions. For some time they followed up their
tracks, but these were gradually obliterated by the
falling snow. Still they went on, till they found
themselves at the base of an iceberg, but not a trace
was visible to show whether the party ahead had
made their way round by the north or south end.
As any delay would have increased the difficulty of
overtaking them, they pushed on, taking a southerly
iHaving doubled the berg, they saw a clear
space before them, but though the snow had
ceased, the sledge parties were nowhere visible.
THEY ARE SEPARATED. 89
The captain's rifle had been saved. Andrew fired
it in the hopes that the signal might be heard, but
no reply came to their listening ears. Once more
they went on, but their progress was slow and
Proceeding on against many difficulties.-Archy and his com-
panions at last discover land ahead, and camp in a snow
hut.-At daybreak, seeing no traces of the mutineers, they
push on, and arrive at the edge of the floe. Cross a channel,
and getting on an opposite floe, build a snow hut; but the
water rising, leave it, and build another, which also is
washed away. Build a third, and are awoke by a bear.
-Two men frost bitten are left behind.
S the sun was about to set, a shout escaped
Archy's lips. Land, land!' he cried out.
All gazed eagerly in the direction to
which he pointed. There appeared a range of
snowy mountains far higher than any icebergs.
They were clear and well defined, and Andrew and
Foubister declared that they could not be, as some
of the rest supposed, a bank of clouds. They re-
mained visible till the sun sunk beneath the horizon.
The discovery somewhat cheered their spirits,
but still many days must elapse before they could
reach the shore, and even when there, no inhabi-
tants might be found to assist them, or food to
enable them to exist during the coming winter.
Their present condition indeed was very trying.
THEY BUILD AN IGLOO. 91
The tents were on the sledges, and they had only
sufficient fuel in the boat to keep a fire alight for
one night; while their provisions, with the utmost
economy, would last them but a fortnight or three
weeks at the furthest.
'If the cold goes on increasing, we shall be
frozeA to death before the morning,' exclaimed
several of the men.
'Not so, mates,' said Andrew. 'I have seen
the natives build a snow hut in the course of an
hour, and have been as warm as I could wish
within it during the hardest frost. They call it an
igloo, and they fashion it much after the way the
seals make their houses, so that it is well suited to
the climate. We may depend on that, as God
himself taught the seals. Now turn to and clear a
space down to the ice, while the carpenter and I
saw out some blocks of snow.' His companions
followed Andrew's directions; and while Foubister
sawed out the blocks, 'which were about three feet
long, and half as wide, he placed them in a circle
on the space which had been cleared. He then
put on another tier, gradually sloping inwards till a
dome was formed, and lastly the keystone of the
arch was dropped into its place. Archy, who was
helping Andrew, remained with him inside, and
were thus completely walled in. The carpenter,
with his saw, then cut a hole to serve as a door-
way, on the lee side of the hut.
92 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
'We have yet got to form a bed and fire-places.
Hand in more blocks, mates,' said Andrew.
With these he and Archy quickly built up a
raised place on either side of the hut, with a circular
one in the centre. Some of the provisions, with a
portion of the fuel, and all the bedding and blankets,
were then brought inside, when Andrew stopped
up the doorway with some blocks of snow, which
he had retained for the purpose.
'Now, mates,' he said, 'you will soon see that
we can be warm enough, but we must keep up as
small a fire as can be made to burn. Look here
now; this log will last us all night if we chop it
into chips, and just put on three or four at a time.'
Andrew's plan was found to answer perfectly.
The fire was sufficient to melt the snow in a sauce-
pan, and to enable them to enjoy some hot tea,
and the hut soon became so warm that they were
glad to throw off their great coats. Their only
regret was that Andrew had not thought before of
building a snow hut.
Better late than never. It will not be the last
by many that we shall have to build,' he answered.
They were all so comfortable that Andrew had
great difficulty in rousing them in the morning to
encounter the biting wind blowing across the floe.
Having enjoyed a warm breakfast, and put on
their outer clothing, they cut their way out of
their burrow, and once more proceeded eastward.
TRAVELLING ON THE ICE. 93
They did not fail to look out for their companions,
but not a moving object was to be discerned in any
direction across the wide ice-field.
After travelling all day, they were convinced
that they saw the land ahead, though it appeared
no nearer than before.
May be it will not appear nearer to-morrow
or next day,' said Andrew. 'But that must not
disappoint us. It will be nearer notwithstanding.
That we know for a certainty, and if we persevere
we shall reach it at last.'
As they advanced, several cracks and broad
fissures were found in the ice, and in one place
there was a wide pool or lake only thinly covered
over, to avoid which they had to make a circuit.
'We are not far off the open water, mates,'
said Andrew, and we may be thankful that we
have the boat, though I fear our poor shipmates
will be in a sad plight.'
Making their way onwards, the ice being
tolerably smooth, they arrived sooner than Andrew
had expected at the edge of the floe. The channel
which divided it from the opposite floe was upwards
of a couple of miles wide, a long distance to traverse
in their battered boat. The wind had gone down,
and the sea was tolerably calm, it was therefore
important to cross while it remained so. Andrew,
however, was very unwilling to cross without
waiting for their missing shipmates.
14 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
'Just think, mates, how we should feel if we
had been with the sledges had they crossed and
left us to our fate on the floe?'
But they deserted us, and-we may lose our
lives if we wait for them,' argued the other men.
At last Andrew persuaded them to remain,
while he and Archy set off to climb to the top of
a small iceberg, a little way to the north, from
whence they hoped to obtain a view over a con-
siderable portion of the floe. They lost no time in
starting, but the distance was much greater than
they had expected.
It seems to me as if the iceberg were moving
away from us,' exclaimed Archy. We have been
walking on for the last half hour, and appear no
'The berg is a good deal larger than I had
fancied,' answered Andrew. But never fear, we
shall get up to it at last, and if we can manage to
climb to the top, we shall have a wider view over
the plain, and a better chance of seeing the poor
fellows. It goes to my heart to leave them to
perish, and yet perish they must if they do not
soon reach the mainland. We must forget that
they intended to desert us, and even if they did,
it is our duty to return good for evil, so come along
The iceberg was at length gained. Then came
the difficulty of climbing to the top. After walking
ON THE LOOK OUT. 95
nearly round it, they found a portion melted and
broken by the summer sun which afforded them
footing. With the aid of a boat-hook, and a coil
of rope which Andrew had brought, they at last
reached one of the highest points. Hence they
could see the edge of the floe extending for a con-
siderable way to the north, while their eyes ranged
over a wide extent of level ice, but all was one
white waste. Not the smallest dark spot could be
seen upon it.
'I am afraid, Archy, we must give them up,'
sighed Andrew. We should risk the loss of our
own lives if we were longer to wait for them.'
Descending the iceberg, Andrew and Archy
made their way back to the boat. The boat was
at once launched, and though she leaked slightly,
one hand bailing could keep her free. They all
therefore, embarked, and towing the runners, they
made their way across to the floe. As they found
themselves once more gliding smoothly over the
water, their spirits rose, and some were anxious to
try and make their way south in the boat. Andrew
and the carpenter, however, strongly objected to
The ice may close upon us, and we may run
short of provisions long before we can reach the
Danish settlements,' he observed. 'Let us get
hold of the land first.'
It was nearly dark by the time they reached
96 ARCHIBALD HUGHSON.
the edge of the opposite ice, and having unloaded
their boat, they hauled her up, and proceeded on
to a hummock at a little distance. Here, without
loss of time, they build an igloo in which to shelter
themselves for the night.
The first part passed quietly away, but about
midnight Archy was awoke by the sound of the
crashing of ice, and a loud dashing of waves. He
aroused his companions, they listened for a few
The sea is breaking up the ice close to us,'
exclaimed Andrew. Put on your clothes lads, or
we may be drowned in our den.'
In another minute the whole party made their
way out of the hut, carrying their bedding under
their arms. The sea was already close up to the
stern of the boat. Fortunately she had been placed
on the runners. They had just time to seize her,
and drag her along, before the ice, on which she
had been resting, gave way. On they went as fast
as they could drag the boat, but even then it
seemed doubtful whether they could escape from
the fast following sea. Their hut and the hum-
mock, near which it had been built, quickly dis-
appeared. The wind blew with fearful violence;
the ice beneath their feet rose and fell as they
passed over it. Whenever they halted, the crash-
ing ice behind them warned them to push on again.
At last a berg in the floe appeared ahead, they