LAYTON B. REGISTER
The Balddwin Library
= .. -Er
I, Ir ~~_I I I
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
-- : '*~~
[ ~ ~ ,/- -/, ..
J .', -',2" ; '
" SPEAK UP, BOY, SPEAK UP,' SAID TIHE GENTLEMAN."
(SEE PAGE 90.)
* "_ '- f^.
THE STORY OF
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
BEING THE NARRATIVE OF THE ADVENTURES
OF A YOUNG GENTLEMAN OF GOOD FAM-
ILY, WHO WAS KIDNAPPED IN THE YEAR 1719
AND CARRIED TO THE PLANTATIONS OF THE
CONTINENT OF VIRGINIA, WHERE HE FELL
IN WITH THAT FAMOUS PIRATE CAPTAIN
EDWARD TEACH, OR BLACKBEARD: OF HIS
ESCAPE FROM THE PIRATES AND THE RESCUE
OF A YOUNG LADY FROM OUT THEIR HANDS
i;-, ". ,,, '
THE CENTURY CO.
Copyright, 1894, 1895, by
THE CENTURY CO.
THE DEVINNE PRESS.
I THE AMERICA MERCHANT ............................. 5
II JACK BALLISTER .................. ....... .......... 9
III JACK AND HIS UNCLE................................ 26
IV CAPTAIN BUTTS ..................................... 31
V K IDNAPPED .................. .................... 38
VI ABOARD THE ARUNDEL ............................. 43
VII' ACROSS THE OCEAN ................................ 47
VIII To THE END OF THE VOYAGE ....................... 57
IX IN VIRGINIA ............ ............ ... .......... 65
X INTO BONDAGE .........................................77
XI MARLBOROUGH ... ............. .. .............. 85
XII DOWN THE RIVER ..................... .............. 92
XIII THE ROOST ...................................... 97
XIV IN ENGLAND .. ............ ............ ........... 102
XV LIPE AT THE ROOST ............................ 109
XVI JACK'S MASTER IN THE TOILS ....................... 116
XVII JACK RIDES ON A MISSION .......................... 124
XVIII Miss ELEANOR PARKER. ............................ .130
XIX THE VISITOR AGAIN................................. 135
XX THE WILD TURKEY ............... .. .... .... 146
XXI THE STRUGGLE ..................................... 154
XXII THE ESCAPE ...................................... 161
XXIII A MEETING .......... ..... .................. 168
XXIV AT MARLBOROUGH .. ............................ 179
XXV IN CAPTIVITY .............................. ........ 190
XXVI THE PIRATE'S LAIR ......................... ....... 198
XXVII AT BATH TOWN ............. .............. ........ 203
XXVIII IN NORTH CAROLINA- IN VIRGINIA .............. 211
XXIX AN EXPEDITION. ............................. 221
XXX THE ATTEMPT ....... ........................ 229
XXXI THE RETURN ................ ..................... 237
XXXII A SCENE ................... ..................... 243
XXXIII How JACK RESOLVED ............................ 253
XXXIV THE ESCAPE ............ .. ........ .......... 265
XXXV THE BEGINNING OF THE VOYAGE ................. 272
XXXVI A STOP OVER NIGHT............................. 280
XXXVII THE SECOND DAY ..... .......... ................ 287
XXXVIII THE THIRD DAY. .................... ............ 296
XXXIX THE FOURTH DAY ............................... 305
XL FIAT JUSTITIA ................................... 319
XLI THE BOAT ADRIFT ............................. 327
XLII THE NEXT DAY............................... 336
XLIII THE RETURN ........ ........ .... .............. 346
XLIV RISING FORTUNES ............................... 353
XLV PREPARATION ............. .................... 362
XLVI THE FIGHT ..................................... 373
XLVII IN THE NEW LIFE ............................... 385
XLVIII JACK MEETS SOME OLD FRIENDS .................. 391
XLIX THE DEPARTURE ................. .............. 404
L THE RETURN ................................... 412
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"'SPEAK UP, BOY, SPEAK UP,' SAID THE GENTLEMAN Frontispiece
" HE 'LL COME TO BY AND BY; HE 'S ONLY STUNNED A TRIFLE,'
SAID THE CAPTAIN ..................................... 42
" 'NOW, THEN, GENTLEMEN, HOW MUCH DO YOU BID FOR THIS
BOY ? SAID THE AUCTIONEER ......................... .82
"MR. PARKER STOOD LOOKING STEADILY AT HIS VISITOR"... 122
"'I DON'T WANT TO BE ANYBODY'S SERVANT, LADY, AND
WOULD N'T IF I COULD HELP IT ...................... 132
"HE PICKED UP THE BIRD AND HELD IT OUT AT ARM'S
LENGTH" ..................... ............ .............. 152
"HE LED JACK UP TO THE MAN WHO SAT UPON A BARREL". 174
"JACK FOLLOWED THE CAPTAIN AND THE YOUNG LADY UP
THE CROOKED PATH TO THE HOUSE ................. 200
"THEY FOUND HER STILL SITTING IN THE SAME PLACE "..... 234
JACK AND BRED RESCUE ELEANOR-THE START............. 272
THE PIRATES FIRE UPON THE FUGITIVES .................... 316
"COLONEL PARKER REACHED AND LAID HIS HAND UPON JACK'S
SHOULDER. AY,' SAID HE, "'T IS A GOOD, HONEST FACE 348
"THE COMBATANTS OUT AND SLASHED WITH SAVAGE FURY".. 384
"'THEN I WILL COME,' SAID HE ................ .............. 408
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
ONE of the most important problems that confronted
the Virginia plantations in the earlier colonial days
was the question as to how to obtain sufficient labor to
till the soil and to raise tobacco for the English market.
Some of the colonial planters of Virginia owned thou-
sands of acres of the richest tobacco land in the world
- whole tracts of virgin earth where the priceless loam
lay open to the rain, the air, and the warm sky; boun-
tifully fruitful loam, only waiting for tillage to be coined
into vast tobacco fortunes for the princely owners.
All that was needed was human labor to dig the earth,
to plant, to hoe, to cultivate, and to prepare the to-
bacco for market, for there was not a hundredth part
enough labor to turn the waiting soil, that lay ready to
yield at any time its thousands of hogsheads of tobacco,
and the question was, where and how labor was to be
The easiest and quickest solution of the question ap-
peared to be the importation of negro slave labor from
The introduction of such slave labor began almost in
the earliest days of the provinces. Hundreds of ship-
loads of African negroes were brought across the ocean
and set to work digging and hoeing in the tobacco
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
fields, and slave trade became a regular traffic between
the west coast of Africa and the Americas.
But the African slaves, when imported, were found
only fit to do the very rudest and simplest sort of la-
bor. They were poor, ignorant savages, who, until they
were set to work on the plantations, knew almost noth-
ing at all about such labor as was practised by civilized
mankind. When they were told to dig the earth, they
dug, but they labored without knowing either why they
worked or wherefore. They did just as their masters
or their overseers bade them, and nothing more. Be-
yond this they could be taught little or nothing, for not
only were those earlier savages like children, incapable
of learning much of anything; but, in most instances,
they could not even speak a single word of the language
of their masters, and so could not understand what their
owners wanted of them. They were of use only to work
as a dumb animal might work, and not as white men
So the Virginia plantations were still without that in-
telligent labor which white men alone could bring to
the tilling of the soil; labor that knew what it was about
when it dug the earth, and which, when told to do so,
could turn its hand to other things that might be re-
quired of it. And so it was that every means was used
to bring English men and women to the Virginia plan-
Even in the last part of the seventeenth century those
immigrants who afterward developed our great coun-
try into what it now is, were beginning to pour into
the colonies. But, of this immigrant labor, the best
and the most intelligent did not come to Virginia or
other of the southern provinces. It drifted to the New
England or the Pennsylvania provinces rather than to
those in the South. There, in the North, any man
could obtain a farm for himself by hewing it out of the
wilderness. In Virginia the land was nearly all owned
by the great tobacco planters. Hence it was that only
the poorest and least ambitious of these white men
and women could in the earlier provincial days be
induced to go thither, and hence white labor was so
much more in demand in the South than in the North.
A certain class of the immigrants of that time were
called "redemptioners" or "redemption servants."
They were so called because they had to redeem by
their labor the cost of their passage across the ocean
from England to America. Upon their arrival in the
New World they were sold for a term of years seven,
eight, nine, ten, as the case might be and the money
received from such sale was paid to the ship captain
or the merchant who transported them from the Old
World to the New. Thus their debt was redeemed,
and hence their name.
Those who came thus as redemption servants from
England were generally the poorest and most wretched
of its people-paupers, outcasts, criminals-unfortu-
nates who were willing to do almost anything to get
away from their surroundings into a new life, where
they hoped something better might be in store for them
than that wretchedness which they had had to endure
Thousands of such people were sent across the ocean
to the Virginia and other plantations, where, poor and
miserable as they often were, the demand for them grew
ever greater and greater as the wilderness became more
and more open to cultivation.
Every year higher and higher prices were paid for
such servants, until, at last, a ship-load of redemptioners
(provided the voyage across the ocean had been speedy
and no contagious disease had developed aboard the
vessel) became almost the most profitable cargo exported
4 JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
When the transportation of servants became thus so
remunerative, the crimps who supplied them to mer-
chants or to ship captains were oftentimes tempted,
when other means failed, to resort to kidnapping, or
man-stealing, to supply the demand.
During the earlier fifty years of the last century,
thousands of men, women, and even children were
stolen from England and sent away to the Americas,
perhaps never to return, perhaps never even to be heard
of again. In those days-" The kidnapper will catch
you!" were words of terror to frighten children and
gadding girls on all the coastways of England.
THE AMERICA MERCHANT
TI-EZEKIAH TIPTON had been a merchant in the
JU America trade for upwards of forty years. He
had shipped hundreds of servants to the Americas;
they were as much a part of his cargo as tea or broad-
cloth or books or silk stuffs.
Maybe he was not always scrupulously careful to
know whence came some of the servants he thus trans-
ported. He was reasonablyhonest in his dealings, as the
times went, and he would not often buy a servant from a
crimp if he knew positively that the crimp had kid-
napped the man. But if he was not positively sure, he
would not go out of his way to inquire into things that
did not concern him. He would either take the servant
offered for sale, or else he would not take him; but he
would not trouble himself to ask how the crimp ob-
tained the man, or whether the man himself was or was
not really willing to emigrate to the colonies.
There was, for instance, a good deal of talk at one
time about three men whom Hezekiah had sent to South
Carolina. A Dutchman had brought them into the har-
bor in his lugger. He said that the men desired to
emigrate, and Hezekiah, who at that time had a ship
just clearing for Charleston, expressed his willingness
to pay the captain something for them, if he did not
demand too much. Two of the men were stupefied with
drink, and the third had a bloody clout wrapped around
6 JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
his head, and was cut and bruised as though he had
been beaten with a club or a belaying-pin. It was an
evident case of kidnapping, but nevertheless Hezekiah
paid the Dutch captain for the men, and had them sent
directly aboard the ship. One of the three men was
sober the next morning. Hezekiah had come aboard
the ship, and as he was rowed away toward the shore
the man leaned over the rail above, shouting out curses
after the old merchant, swearing that he would cer-
tainly come back to England some time and murder
him. "You think you 're safe," bawled the man after
the departing boat,-"you think you 're safe! Wait
till you feel my knife in your back this day twelve-
month-d' ye hear?-then you won't feel so safe."
The men rowing the boat to the shore grinned and
winked at one another. Old Hezekiah sat immovably
in the stern, paying no attention to the man's threats
and imprecations, which continued until the captain of
the ship knocked him down, and so silenced his outcries.
This affair created, as was said, a good deal of talk
at the time.
In the year 1719, beginning in February and ending
in November, Hezekiah Tipton sent away to the Ameri-
can colonies or plantations in all over five score servants.
One day early in March, a company of nineteen men
who had volunteered to emigrate to the Virginias was
brought up from London to meet the brig Arundel at
Southampton. They were quartered at the Golden Fish
Inn, and during the morning the old America mer-
chant went to look them over. The men were ranged in
a row along by the wall of the inn yard, and the old man
walked up and down in front of the line, peering at
each man with half-shut eyes and wrinkled face, while
a few people from the inn stood looking on with a sort
of inert interest. He did not seem very well pleased
THE AMERICA MERCHANT
with the appearance of the servants. There were only
nineteen, and there should have been one and twenty.
The agent explained that there had been twenty-one of
them when he wrote from London, but that one of them
had run away during the night, and that another would.
not sign the papers. "'T was," said he, "as fine, good
a young lad of sixteen or eighteen as ever you see.
But his mother, methinks it was, comes in crying at
the last minute and takes him away from under our
werry noses, so to speak." Hezekiah grunted a reply
as he walked up and down along the row of grinning,
shuffling vmen, looking them over. The big knotted
joints of the old man's fingers gripped the cracked and
yellow ivory head of his walking-stick, which he every
now and then tapped, tapped on the stones of the court-
yard. "That man," said he, in his cracked, querulous
voice, poking his walking-stick as he spoke at a lean
little man standing in the line-" that man-why did
ye bring him ? How much d' ye think he '11 fetch in
the Virginias ? I's warrant me not fifteen guineas."
"Why, Master Tipton," said the agent, referring to a
slip of paper which he held in his hand, "there you
are mightily mistook. Maybe, like enough, that man is
worth more than any of 'em. He's a skilled barber and
leecher, and a good man he is, and knows his trade,
to be sure, and that werry well. Just you think, Master
Tipton, how much he might be worth as a valley or
body-servant to one of them there Virginia planters."
"Humph!" grunted the old man, and he shook his
lean head slowly from side to side. "I '11 tell you what
it is, Master Dockray," he said again, after a while,
"they be not nigh so good as those I had last-and
only nineteen where there should have been one and
twenty." The agent made no answer and the old man
continued his inspection for a while. He did not say
anything further, and by and by he turned away and,
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
with the agent at his heels, entered the inn to receipt the
papers, and with his going the inspection came to an end.
Finally, in making you acquainted with old Hezekiah
Tipton, it may be said that he was a notable miser of his
time. To see him hobbling along the street in his snuff-
colored coat, threadbare at the seams, and here and
there neatly patched and darned, one might take him,
perhaps, for a poor decent school-teacher of narrow
means, but certainly not for one of the richest men in
the county, as he was reputed to be. There were a
great many stories concerning him in Southampton,
many of them doubtless apocryphal, some of them
based upon a foundation of truth. One such story was
that every Sunday afternoon the old man used to enter
into his own room, bolt the door, and spread gold money
out on the floor; that he would then strip himself and
roll in the yellow wealth as though taking a bath. An-
other story was that he had three iron chests in the
garret of his home, each chest bolted to the floor with
iron bolts. That the one chest was full of Spanish
doubloons, the second full of French louis d'ors, the
third full of English guineas. The Southampton trades-
men used to say that it was more difficult to collect
their bills from Hezekiah Tipton than from almost
any one in the town.
JACK BALLISTER at this time was a little over
sixteen years old, and had now been living with his
uncle Tipton something over two years.
Jack's father at the time of his death had been vicar
of Stalbridge for nearly nineteen years, so that Jack,
until he had come to Southampton, had never known
anything but that part of Wiltshire which immediately
surrounded Stalbridge and Stalbridge vicarage. The
only other inmates of the vicarage were old Janet, the
housekeeper, and a farmer's daughter who helped about
the house, and old Giles Cobb, who came up now and
then to work in the garden.
There was, by the way, always a singular charm to
Jack in the memories of this garden. Some of his
earliest recollections were of playing out in the tangled
sunny reaches while old Giles bent, with stooping
shoulders and rounded back, over his work, digging
and planting and picking about at the weeds in the
brown, loamy beds. There was a yew hedge, and two
bee hives that stood under a cherry tree, and a row of
two or three cucumber frames that lay bright and
shining, reflecting in their glassy surface the clouds
and the warm sky above. There was always an asso-
ciation of flowers, of birds, and of warm yellow sunlight
about the tangled, flowery space, and in the years after-
wards, when Jack visited the old vicarage, one of the
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
first places he went to was the garden. It looked
strangely familiar yet strangely unfamiliar. It seemed
more unkempt and uncared for. The birds were sing-
ing in the trees over beyond the hedge, but the two
straw-thatched bee hives were gone. Nevertheless he
could almost fancy that old Giles with his hunched
shoulders and his smock frock might at any moment
come in through the gate, trundling his squealing wheel-
barrow before him.
Jack was not quite four years old when his mother
had died. It seemed to him that he could remember
her, yet the image he held in his mind might not have
been an actual memory, but only some strong associa-
tion connected with things that Janet had told him
about her. Yet it seemed to him that he really did hold
a mental impression of her in his memory of early things,
an impression of a large, tender, shadowy figure, dressed
in black, and with a white kerchief or shawl around her
shoulders. He could almost fancy that he could re-
member a peculiar fragrance that lingered about the
folds of her dress a fragrance like that of the old
lavender chest where Janet kept the house linen. This
recollection of his mother might have been only an
image conjured up out of what had been told him con-
cerning her, but, as was said, it always seemed as though
it were a real and living memory. It is sometimes
difficult to tell where fancy ends and memory begins in
those broken fragments of recollections of early child-
It seemed to him that the same figure was present in
the memory of a certain time when he, as a little, little
boy, had fallen down the steps and cut his chin. It
seemed to him that it was she who had comforted him,
singing to him while she scraped a crisp half-apple and
fed him with the pulp from the point of a knife. Janet
had said that that fall had not happened until the year
after his mother's death, but it seemed to Jack that it was
his mother's presence that had filled the memory of the
accident, and he, always felt that maybe it was Janet
who was mistaken, and not his own recollections of the
He often thought of his mother, as a motherless boy
is apt to think of that missing presence, and it seemed
to him that if she had only lived he would have loved
her very much, and that his life would have been much
sweeter to him.
Janet often talked to him about her. His grand-
mother, Janet told him, had adopted her as a little
girl, and had brought her up with her own daughter, who
was now Lady Arabella Sutton. She had been, Janet
said, more of a companion than a waiting-maid. Of
these stories of by-gone times, that children so delight
to have told to them, Jack would make Janet tell him
most often of the great family quarrel that had hap-
pened when his father had told the others that he
and Anne Tipton were going to be married. Janet
always made the most out of the story, embellishing
it more and more as the years passed by, and as her
imagination suggested new details. Indeed," she would
maybe say, "you should ha' seen him stand up before
your grandmother, as grand as you please, with his arms
folded so. A Ballister, madam,' says he, 'can marry
where he chooses.' "
Jack could not imagine his father as the hero of any
such scene, still less could he image him as riding post-
haste to Southampton when his mother had been sent
away home from Grampton Hall.
He often heard people say that his father was a
great scholar. The vicar was always silent and pre-
occupied, sometimes deep in his books, sometimes
scribbling away with a busy pen, a litter of papers scat-
tered all over the floor about him, and his wig pushed
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
back awry from his smooth, round forehead; sometimes
walking up and down the garden paths with his hands
clasped behind his back, his head bent forward, and
his eyes fixed on the ground. He used especially to
walk thus while he was formulating in his mind the
outlines of one of the pamphlets he used to write. Jack
could not imagine that any one so absorbed in his
books and his studies could ever have been the hero of
such romance. And then he always seemed so very,
very old to Jack. It was hard to imagine that such a
dry and sapless life could ever have had the ichor of
romance flowing through it.
Before Janet had come to Stalbridge she had been
one of the dependents of the other Ballisters. "They
be grand, grand folks," she would sometimes say, and
hold their heads as high as ever the Duke of Newcastle
himself." She sometimes told Jack that if his father
had not set his family all against him, he might have
been a bishop as like as not. I 'd never come to Stal-
bridge only for your mother, poor soul," said she.
"But she was fond of me, and I was fond of her, and so
It seemed to Jack that he could hardly remember the
time when his father did not teach him Latin and
Greek. One of his first recollections as a little, little
boy was of his father teaching him the Greek alphabet.
He learned little or nothing else than the two languages,
and it is not likely that his father thought anything
else was worth learning. Jack once overheard the vicar
say to old Sir Thomas Harding, Sir, I will make the
boy the best scholar in England." The words remained
fixed in Jack's memory as such fragmentary speeches do
sometimes fix themselves, for no especial reason, in the
mind of boyhood. The promise of great scholarship was,
however, never to be fulfilled, for Jack was only four-
teen years old when the vicar died, and in the neglected
two years at Southampton he never went to school a
day, or studied six words of a lesson, or read a page of
Greek or Latin, except one or two times when Mr. Stet-
son made him read a passage or two of Greek as e
matter of curiosity.
Jack's father never said anything to him about his
mother or his relations. His uncle Tipton had come
up from Southampton just before his father's death,
but that was the only time that Jack had ever really
seen one of his own kindred.
During the fall of the year in which Jack's father had
died, a messenger on horseback, with great jackboots and
a suit of green livery turned up with scarlet, rode up to
the vicarage and delivered a packet to Janet, who pres-
ently brought it in to the vicar, where he sat in the sag-
ging wainscoted study, writing in the midst of a litter
of papers scattered on the floor. The vicar set his pen
in his mouth and took the letter, and Jack watched
him as he broke the great red seal and began reading
the packet,'now and then frowning, either in the effort
of reading the written words or else at the purport of
the words themselves. When he had finished the letter
he laid it to one side and resumed his writing where it had
been interrupted. The messenger who had brought the
letter did not immediately go away. Jack could hear
now and then the jingle of his bridle or spurs, and now
and then the sound of his whistling, as he lounged in
the warm sunlight outside. Then there was the noise
of voices talking together-the voices of Janet and the
messenger-and presently the housekeeper came into
the study to say that the man wanted to know when he
could'have his answer. The vicar looked up with the
bewildered air he always wore when he was interrupted.
"Eh!" he said, "eh! what d' ye say? Answer Who
wants an answer?" Then remembering, "oh, aye,
there 's no answer to send. You may tell him, there 's
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
no answer." And then presently the messenger rode
clattering away whence he had come.
The letter lay where the vicar had left it until the
next afternoon, and Jack, impelled bycuriosity, managed
to read a part of it. It was from his grand-aunt Lady
Dinah Welbeck. She said that she was very ill, and she
asked the vicar to come and see her before her end, and
that all should be forgiven. The vicar did not go, either
because he did not think of the message again, or else
because he did not choose to resume his correspondence
with his family. The letter lay about until the vicar tore
a great strip off from it with which to light a candle in the
next room, and the next day the written sheet was gone.
Some time after Lady DinahWelbeck's death another
communication, long and bulky, was brought to the vic-
arage. The vicar read it but paid no attention to it.
Then another letter came and another. The last letter
the vicar did not even open for several days. He was
very busy at work upon a pamphlet, and. the letter lay
neglected upon the writing table until one morning
Janet brought it and thrust it into his hand. "Eh!"
said he, as though suddenly awakening to things about
him, "what is this? what is this?" He took the letter
and looked at it. "Why, this letter should have been
given me three days ago," he said.
"So 't was, master," said Janet, "but you did not
"Did I not soa?" said Jack's father, and then he
broke the seal and read it. But still he paid no atten-
tion to it.
No doubt the vicar's family would long since have
received him back among them if he had cared to have
them do so. He and they had drifted far apart in the
nineteen years that had passed. During that time all
ill feeling -at least on the part of the family-had
faded away and died. There was no intimacy, hardly
any acquaintance, between the vicar and his brother,
Sir Henry, neither was there any longer rancor between
Some of the letters written at this time had been
written by Sir Henry, and after a number had been sent
without eliciting any reply, the baronet sent the Gramp-
ton lawyer down to Stalbridge. The attorney and the
vicar were closeted together for a long time, and when
they at last came out of the study the vicar was very
angry. It was the only time that Jack had ever seen
him so. "They may keep it all!" he was saying in a
great loud voice. They may keep it all! I want none
of it, I say. All that I want of them is to let me alone
as I let them alone. I want, I say, none of their money
or nothing that belongs to them. They may keep all
Jack was leaning out of an upper window in the sun-
light, looking down upon their heads, as they stood just
below. Their voices came up to him through the warm
air very distinctly.
"But, sir," said the lawyer, do you not then con-
sider the welfare of your own son ?"
"Sir," said the vicar in the same loud voice, "that, I
believe, is not your affair. I will look after my son's
welfare mine own self. I tell you, sirrah, that those
who sent you may e'en keep all of the money for them-
selves. I want nothing of them, and neither shall my
son take aught from them."
But, sir," said the lawyer, "you forget that the
money hath been left to you individually. In taking
it you do not take anything from them. It was not
left to your brother, it is not a gift from him or, indeed,
from any one, and it does not belong to any one but
you. Your family cannot even receive it from you with-
out process of law, and you cannot help taking it."
Aye, but I can help taking it," cried out the vicar.
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
Sir, sir!" said the lawyer, "pray be calm, sir. Pray
look at this matter reasonably. Here is this money-"
"I will not hear anything more," cried out the vicar,
" only I tell you I shall not touch a farthing of it."
Then the lawyer lost his temper. Sir," said he, I.
must needs tell you that you are the most unreasonable
man that ever I met in all of my life."
The vicar drew himself up to his full height. Sir,"
said he, "sure you forget yourself and to whom you
speak. You forget who I am, sir. You are welcome to
think as you choose about me, but you are not welcome
to tell me your opinion of me. Who are you, sirrah,
to speak so to James Ballister ? And then he turned
upon his heel back into the house, shutting the door
Jack, as he still leaned out into the sunlight, looking
down from above, saw the stranger stand irresolutely
for a while, then turn and go slowly out of the gate and
mount his horse and ride away.
That winter the vicar died, and Jack went to South-
ampton to live.
Perhaps one of the bitterest days in Jack Ballister's
boyhood life was the first evening after his arrival at
his new home. His uncle had had the parlor opened, as
though to do some honor to his coming. Jack sat for
nearly an hour on the stiff uncomfortable chair, saying
almost nothing, but just sitting there by the dim light
of a candle. Old Hezekiah had tried to talk, but the
conversation had lapsed and dwindled away into silence.
Now he sat winking and blinking in the light of the
candle, looking as though he were trying to think of
something more to say, but yet saying nothing, and
Jack, too miserable and depressed to talk, ventured
nothing upon his own part. He was very glad when
at last he was permitted to creep away miserably to
bed and to yield himself fully to the luxury of hot
tears and of utter loneliness and homesickness.
It seemed to him that night as though he never would
be happy again, but even by the next morning he found
himself awakened to a new and fresh hold upon his
life. Things appeared bright and cheerful again in
the fresh sunlight of a new day, and after he had fin-
ished his frugal breakfast he went out into the streets
and down to the harbor, full of interest in the new sur-
roundings in which he found himself placed. The har-
bor and the ships at anchor there seemed very won-
derful to the boy fresh from the inland country. There
was a great high-pooped battle-ship lying at anchor in
the harbor that morning, and its sloping decks, whence
came the distant rattle of a drum, seemed to teem with
bustling life, lit every now and then by a spark of sun-
light glinting on the slant of a musket-barrel. As Jack
stood and gazed, he forgot how lonely he had been the
In a little while--in a few weeks-his life had
drifted into all these new circumstances, and had be-
come one with them, and he presently found himself
looking back to that old life at Stalbridge as a thing
gone by and done with forever. All that remained
was the memory of those things as episodes ended and
It is wonderful with what ductility life fits itself into
new circumstances, becoming so accustomed to them,
even in a few days, that they no longer seem to be new.
After that first formal reception in the musty, stuffy
parlor, old Hezekiah seemed to consider his duty to his
nephew as ended. Thereafter Jack was allowed to go
where he pleased and to do as he chose. The old man
hardly ever spoke to the lad excepting now and then in
some dry and constrained fashion. Old Deborah, the
housekeeper, used to send him on errands occasionally,
JACK BALLISTER7S FORTUNES
but excepting for such little demands upon him, he had
no ties to bind him to his new home except as it was a
place wherein to eat his meals and to sleep at night.
He spent nearly all his time lounging about the har-
bor front, for there was a never-ending delight to him
in the presence of the great ships and the rough sailors,
who would talk of strange foreign countries- of having
been to Calcutta, or to Shanghai, or to Jamaica, or to
the Americas or the Brazils, as Jack might have talked
of having been to the Isle of Wight. They spoke of
the Caribbean Sea, or of the Indian Ocean, as he might
speak of the Solent.
He often used to strike up an acquaintance with
these sailors an acquaintance that would become,
maybe, almost intimate for the two or three days that
they were in the harbor.
It was an idle, aimless, useless life that he lived at
this time. Sometimes-maybe when he was running
on some petty, trivial errand for old Deborah-a sudden
feeling of almost nauseating shame for his useless ex-
istence would come upon him and weigh him down
with a leaden weight. It seemed almost as though an
inner voice, as of conscience, would say: "Fie upon
you! A great, big, hulking fellow like you to go carry-
ing a little crock of yeast through the streets like this!"
Generally when such an inner voice as of conscience
would speak, he would satisfy himself by replying as
with an inner voice of his own: Oh, well, 't is Uncle
Hezekiah's fault. If he 'd only set me work to do, why,
I 'd do the work, and be glad enough of the chance."
Mr. Stetson, the rector, used sometimes to talk to
him almost like an echo of that inner accusing voice.
"'T is a vast pity, Jack," he would sometimes say, that
such a great, stout fellow as thou art should live so in
useless idleness. If nothing else better, why do you
not study your books ?" And Jack would be very un-
comfortable with the heavy feeling that he had left
some part of duty undone.
He used often to go to supper at the rectory. He
felt more at ease there-less big-jointed and clumsy
thanalmost anywhere else. And besides, heveryheartily
enjoyed the good things he had to eat at such times, for
Deborah set a very poor and skimpy table at his uncle's
house. They generally had preserved ginger and thin
sweet cakes at these suppers at the rectory, and Jack
used sometimes to contrive to slip a couple of cakes
into his pocket to nibble after he got home.
Sometimes, especially if there were visitors present,
the good old rector would insist upon talking to Jack
about his uncle the baronet, or about Lady Dinah
Welbeck, or about his aunt Lady Arabella Sutton.
" Indeed," he would maybe say, Jack's poor father was
a very learned man, a very learned man. His pamphlet
on the apostolic succession was the best that was writ
at the time of the controversy. 'T is, methinks, impos-
sible for a man to be so perfectly ripe a scholar unless
he hath good blood in his veins such as that of the
Ballisters or haply of mine own. Why should it not
be so ? To be sure, you cannot make as good wine out
of gooseberries as you can out of currants. Mine own
father used often to say to me: 'Andrew, never forget
that you have the blood of Roger Stetson in your
Jack always felt a certain awkward constraint when
the rector would talk in this way. It made him some-
how feel ashamed, and he did not know just where to
look or what to answer.
Sometimes Mr. Stetson would make him read aloud
in Greek. You should hear him read 'The Frogs,' he
would maybe say, and he would almost thrust a copy
of Aristophanes into Jack's not very willing hand.
Jack would read a page or two in a perfunctory sort of
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
a way, while the rector would sit smiling and tapping
his finger-tips on the table beside which he sat. Thou
hast the making of a fine scholar in thee, Jack," he
would perhaps say, "and 't is a vast pity thy uncle
Tipton does not send thee to school. I will have a talk
with him about it when the time comes."
Several times the rector spoke to old Hezekiah about.
his nephew. Once he walked all the way back from
church with the old merchant, and almost into the
parlor. But nothing ever came of such talks. Hey!"
said the old man; "go to school? What does he want
to go to school for? Well, well! I' llsee to it, and think
it over by and by," and there the matter would rest.
Another friend whom Jack made was the attorney
Burton. One day, as Jack was walking whistling along
the street, the little lawyer came running out of his
office and called after him to stop. Master Jack
Master Jack! stop a little bit," he cried out. Master
Jack Ballister!-I have a word or two to say to you."
He had run out bareheaded, and he was half breathless
with his haste and his calling. He held an open letter
in his hand. "Who d' ye think, young gentleman,"
said he, still panting a little, "I have heard from?
Why, from your uncle Sir Henry Ballister, to be sure.
He hath writ to me asking about you-how you are,.
what you are doing, and how Master Tipton is treating
you. What shall I tell him ? "
"Why, you may tell him," said Jack, that I do very
This was the beginning of Jack's acquaintance with
the attorney Burton. Several times afterward the lit-
tle lawyer told him that Sir Henry had written about
him. "He hath a mind, methinks," said the attorney,
"to be more particular as to what your uncle Tipton is
doing for you. Indeed, he hath asked me very espe-
cially about what he does for you. I know what I
JACK BALLISTER 21
shall tell him, for I have talked to Master Stetson
about you, and he tells me what a famous scholard you
are. But harkee, Master Jack, if ever you have need
of advice, you come to me, for so Sir Henry advised me
to say to you."
Jack stood listening to the little man with a feeling
of pleased and fatuous gratification. It was very pleas-
ant to be so remembered by his grand relation. "Why,
then, I take it very kind of Sir Henry, Master Burton,
and of you, too, for the matter of that," said he. "And
if ever I do have need of your advice, why, I will come
to you just as freely as you give me leave to do."
As he walked away down the street, thinking over
what the attorney had said, he almost wished that he
had some definite cause of complaint against his uncle
Hezekiah, so that he might call upon the aid of Sir
Henry and the attorney. How fine it would be to have
Sir Henry take his part! He fancied to himself a talk
with his uncle Hezekiah, in which he made himself per-
haps say, Sir, you shall not treat me so, for I tell you
plain that there are those now to take my part against
you, and that it is not just a poor orphaned boy with
whom you have to deal." Boys love to build up in their
imagination such foolish scenes and fortunate conver-
sations that never happen. Sometimes such fancyings
seem so like the real thing that, like Jack, one almost
forgets that they are not really likely to happen. But
by and by the time came when Jack really did appeal
to the lawyer and when he really did come to an under-
standing with his uncle.
That spring a young cooper named Dan Williamson
had a boat that he wanted to sell. It had belonged
partly to his brother, who had died during the fall be-
fore, and Dan, who was one of that sort who always
had need of money, was very anxious to sell it. Jack's
great desire was to possess a boat of his own. It
JACK RALLISTER'S FORTUNES
seemed to him that Dan's boat was exactly the one that
would best suit him. He used to think with a keen
and vivid delight of how glorious it would be to own
Dan's boat. And then she was so very cheap. If the
boat were his he would give her a fresh coat of paint,
and name her the Sea-gull. If he could only get twenty
pounds from his uncle Hezekiah, he could not only buy
the boat, but add a new suit of sails.
He talked so often to Dan about the boat that at last
the cooper began to believe that he might be able to sell
it to Jack. She 's the cheapest boat," said Dan, that
was ever offered for sale in Southampton."
I don't know about that," said Jack; but I do be-
lieve that she 's a good boat."
Good!" said Dan. She 's the best boat in South-
ampton to-day, and, what is more, she 's as cheap as
the dirt under your feet. You 'd better buy her, for
you 'll never 'get such another chance as long as you
Jack shook his head. "I do believe she is a
good boat, Dan," he said; "but how shall I buy a boat
without money to buy it with? I have no money in
hand, and am not like to have any."
Well, well," said Dan, "to be sure, that 's too bad ";
and then, after a little space, he continued: "But I '11
tell you what,-you come down with me, and I '11 take
you out in her; then you may see for yourself what,
a fine boat she is."
I '11 go out with you," said Jack; but I can't buy
her, though. I wish I could."
Then they went off together down to the cooper-shops
where Dan kept the boat.
"Jack helped Dan step the mast. Then they pushed
the boat off beyond the end of the shed. As the sail
filled, Dan put down the helm, and brought the boat
out under the stern of a bark lying at anchor a little
distance from the shore. The watch on deck, a tipsy-
looking sailor with his throat wrapped around with a
woolen stocking, stood looking over the stern of the
bark and down at them as they sailed by. Jack
looked up at the towering hulk above him. The
name of the bark-the Prophet Elijah-was painted
in great, fat letters across the stern. At one side
there was a picture of the prophet's head, with his
long beard. There was a rushing sound of water un-
der the stern of the vessel. Then they were out in
the wide, shining harbor, the warm air blowing mildly
and softly about them.
"Look, how she lies up to the wind," said Dan
Williamson; "why, I do believe I could sail her straight
into the wind's eye if I chose to. I tell 'ee what 't is,
Jack, you '11 never find such another chance as this to
get what you want."
"Maybe I won't and maybe I will," said Jack; "all
the same, I sha'n't buy her, for why, I have no money
to buy her with."
"No money!" said Dan Williamson; "why, if I had as
much money as belongs to you, I 'd give up coopering
and live a gentleman all my life, I would. Why don't
ye go and ask your uncle Tipton for eighteen pound
straight and fair ? Sure, the money 's your own, and not
his. Why don't ye ask him for it ?"
"Ask him for it t" said Jack. "And what good would
that do ? Asking won't do any good. The money 's
mine, sure enough, yet I can't touch a penny of it till I
am of age."
"'T won't do any harm to ask him, anyway," said Dan
Williamson. "Here, you come and take the tiller, and
see for yourself how close up she sails."
Jack took the tiller, and then they sailed along for a
while in silence. By and by Dan spoke again. "I '11
tell you what 't is, Jack, if I was you I 'd go straight to
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
Master Burton, I would, and I 'd ask him about it. What
did you say t' other evening down at the Golden Fish ?
Did n't you say that he told you to come to him if ever
you wanted anything that your uncle Tipton would n't
give you, and that he said your t' other uncle that 's a
lord would get it for you Well, then, why don't you
go to him and ask for eighteen or twenty pound?
What you said was true, was n't it ?"
"Why, yes, 't was true enough, as far as that goes,"
"Well, then," said Dan Williamson, "there you are."
Jack sat for a little while in silence, then he spoke.
"I tell you what it is, Dan, maybe you don't believe
what I told you, but it is true enough. I tell you what-
I 'm going to go to Master Burton this very day, and ask
him about what you say." He did not really entertain
any hope, however, that he could get twenty pounds
from his uncle Hezekiah.
As soon as he came ashore again, he went straight
up to the little lawyer's house.
The little man was in his office-a musty, stuffy
little den of a place, smelling of stale tobacco smoke,
and set around with dusty cases of worn and yellow-
backed books and tin boxes.
The attorney sat in the midst of the litter surround-
ing him like a little gray mouse. He had black, beady
eyes, a long nose, and a thin, leathery face.
He sat looking with his little twinkling black eyes at
Jack as he stated his case. Why, as for your fortune,
Master Jack, I must needs tell you plain that it might as
well be locked up in the church belfry for all the good it
may do you now. For so it is locked up in your father's
will, tight and fast as if it were in a box, and your uncle
hath the keeping of it for you."
"And can I get none of my money of him, then?"
JACK BALLISTER 25
"Why, as for that, I don't say that, neither," said the
little lawyer. "It may be a hard matter to get it, and yet,
after all, I may be able to get it for you. I '1I tell you
what to do, Master Jack. Go you to your uncle and ask
him plain and straight for what money you need. How
much was it you wanted ?"
Well, say twenty pounds," said Jack.
"Well, then, you ask him for twenty pounds, plain
and straight, and if he says you nay, then come back
to me, and I '11 see what I can do for you. Sir Henry
hath asked me to look after you a trifle, and so I
JACK AND HIS UNCLE
JACK, following the attorney's advice, had made up
his mind to ask his uncle for the money that very
night, but when he came face to face with doing it, it
was very hard. They were sitting together over their
poor frugal supper, and the old miser's utter uncon-
sciousness of what Jack had it on his mind to say made
the saying of it very hard. At last he suddenly spoke.
"Uncle Hezekiah," said he.
The old man looked up sharply, almost as though
startled at the sound of Jack's voice. He did not say
anything, but he sat looking at Jack as though inviting
him to continue.
"Uncle Hezekiah," said Jack again. He did not
know in just what words to frame what he had to say.
Then he continued: "I want to-to talk to you about
a matter of business."
Hey!" said the old man, "business! business!
What d' ye mean what d' ye mean by business ? "
"Why," said Jack, "I want some money to buy
something. I went to see Master Burton to-day, and
he told me I had best come to you and ask you for it."
Gradually Jack was becoming bolder as he became
accustomed to the sound of his own voice. "Dan
Williamson hath a boat for sale," he continued. He
wants eighteen pound for it, and if I had twenty
pound it would be just enough to fit her up as I would
JACK AND HIS UNCLE
like to have her. I went and talked to Master Burton,
and he told me I had best come to you and ask you for
The old man stared blankly at Jack, his lean jaw
hanging gaping with speechless surprise. Why!
why! what 's all this ?" he said, finding his voice at
last. Twenty pound! Why, I do believe you 're gone
clean clear crazy. Twenty pound! What 's Roger Bur-
ton got to do with my giving you twenty pound, I 'd
like to know ? You 'll not get a farden, and that 's the
long and the short of it. Master Burton, indeed! What
business is it of his, I 'd like to know ? He sat looking
at Jack for a little while, and then he slowly resumed
his interrupted supper again.
Jack sat leaning back in his chair, with his hands in
his breeches' pockets, looking across the table at his
uncle. His heart was swelling with a feeling of very
choking and bitter disappointment and anger. It
seemed to him that he had not expected much, but
now that his uncle had denied him, his disappointment
was very bitter. He watched his uncle as the old man
continued eating in silence. "Very well," said he at
last, then I know what I '11 do. I '11 go back to Master
Burton again. He told me what to do, and that if you
said me nay I was to go back to him again. He says
that Sir Henry Ballister has been writing to him about
me, asking how you treated me and what you did for
me, and he told me if you would not give me what I
asked for, I was to go back to him, and he 'd write to
Sir Henry and tell him all about it, and that he 'd see
if something could n't be done on my account."
Old Hezekiah looked up again. Sir Henry Bal-
lister ?" said he. What 's he been writing to Roger
Burton about, I should like to know ? What 's he got
to do with it ? He 's not your guardeen, is he ? I 'm
your guardeen, and the guardeen of your money as
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
well. As for Sir Henry Ballister, why, he 's got no
more to do with you than the man in the moon." Then
he went on eating again, and again Jack sat watching
him in silence. In a little while Hezekiah finished his
supper, chasing the fatty gravy around and around his
plate with the point of his knife. Then he laid down
his knife and fork, pushed away his plate, and arose
from the table.
Very well," said Jack, breaking the silence, we 'll
see about all this business. I tell you what I 'm going
to do. I 'm going to write to Sir Henry Ballister my-
self, and tell him about the way I 'm treated by you. You
never give me a farthing to spend, and as for being
your own flesh and blood-why, I might as well be a
dog in this house as to be your own kin. You keep all
my money and use it as your own, and yet you don't
speak six words to me in a month." Jack was dimly
surprised at his own boldness in speaking. Now that
he had made a beginning, it seemed very easy to say
his say and to speak out all that lay on his mind.
" I 'm not going to be treated like a dog by you or by
anybody," he said.
Yes, I do speak to you, too," said Hezekiah, stop-
ping at the door. What d' ye want me to say to you,
anyhow ? he added. Don't I give you all you want
to eat and drink, and never charge you a farden for it?
What more d' ye want than that ? You 're the most
ungratefulest nevy that ever lived, so you are, to talk
to me that way."
Then he went out of the door, and along the dark
passageway, and Jack heard him enter the office, and
shut the door behind him. Then he began eating his
supper again. He felt very bitter and very angry
against the old man.
So he sat eating for a long time in lonely silence,
broken only by the sound of Deborah clattering now
JACK AND HIS UNCLE
and then among the pots and pans in the kitchen be-
yond. Suddenly he heard the office door open again,
and the sound of his uncle's steps coming back along
the passage. He reached the door, and Jack heard his
fingers fumbling for the latch in the darkness, and then
the sharp click as it was raised. Then the door opened,
and the old man came in. He stood for a moment, and
then came straight across to the table where Jack sat.
He stood leaning with both hands upon the table.
Jack did not know exactly what to expect. He drew
himself back, for the first thought that came into his
mind was that the old man was going to attack him
personally. Lookee, Jacky," said old Hezekiah, at last,
" I 've been thinking of that there twenty pound you
was speaking of. Well, Jacky, you shall have that
twenty pound, you shall."
"What d' ye mean, Uncle Hezekiah ?" said Jack.
"Why," said Hezekiah, "I mean what I said. You
shall have that twenty pound, Jacky. I 've been think-
ing about it, and what you said, and I 'm going to give
you what you want. I can't give it to you just now,
for twenty pound is a deal of money, and I have n't
that much to give you straight away. But I '11 give it
to you after a while, I will, Jacky. I '11 give it to you
-let me see-I '11 give it to you on Monday next.
Will that be time enough ? "
"Why, yes, it will," said Jack, "if you really mean
what you say."
"Aye," said the old man, "I mean it sure enough;
but don't you say anything more to Roger Burton, will
ye ? Just you come to me when you want anything,
and don't you go to him. I mean to be a good, kind,
uncle to you, Jacky, I do," and he reached out a lean,
tremulous hand, and pawed at Jack, who drew in-
stinctively away from his approach. "I do, Jacky, I
do," said the old man, almost whining in his effort to
30 JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
be affectionate. "But don't you be writing to Sir
Henry Ballister about me, will you, Jacky ? "
I won't write to him if you '11 treat me decently,"
"Aye, aye," said the old man, "I mean to do that,
Jacky, I do. Only don't you be talking any more to
Lawyer Burton. I '11 give you that twenty pound.
I 'll give it to you on-on Monday next, I will."
Then he turned and went away again. Jack sat
looking after him. He felt very uncomfortable. He
could not understand why the old man had yielded so
suddenly. He did not believe at all that he had
yielded, or that he would give him what he asked for.
He felt sure, in spite of his uncle's words, that he had
been put off with a barren promise that would never
ON the evening of the next day a number of boys were
gathered at the end of the wharf in front of Hezekiah
Tipton's warehouses. They were throwing stones into
the water. Jack went out along the wharf to where
they were. They were all of them boys younger than
Well, if that's all the better you can throw," said
Jack, to be sure you can't throw well. Just you watch
me hit yon anchor-buoy out there with this pebble."
A brig had come into the harbor during the day, and
now lay at anchor some distance off from the shore.
The sails were half reefed and hung limp from the
yards. The men were washing down the decks, and
from the shore you could see them busy about the decks,
and every now and then a gush of dirty water as it ran
through the scupper-holes. A boat was just about put-
ting off from the brig. Presently some one climbed down
over the side of the vessel and into the boat, and then
it was pushed off. Jack stopped throwing stones and
stood looking. The boat came rowing straight toward
the wharf where he and the other boys stood. It pulled
in around the back of a sloop that lay fast to the end of
the wharf, and was hidden from sight. Jack jumped
down from the wharf to the deck of the sloop, and
went across to see who was in the boat. It had come in
under the side of the sloop, and two of the men were
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
holding it to its place, grasping the chains. They looked
up at Jack and the other boys as they came to the rail of
the sloop and looked down at them. There were two men
in the stern of the boat. One was just about to climb
aboard the sloop, the other sat still. He who still sat in
his place had a knit cap pulled down half over his ears.
He held a pipe in his mouth and he had gold earrings
in his ears. The other, who was about to climb aboard
the sloop, was plainly the captain of the brig. He was
short and thick-set. He wore a rough sea coat with
great flapped pockets and brass buttons. One of the
pockets bulged out with a short pistol, the brass butt of
which stuck out from under the flap. He wore canvas
petticoat-breeches strapped to his waist by a broad
leather belt with a big flat brass buckle. His face and
as much of the short bull-neck as Jack could see were
tanned red-brown like russet leather, and his cheeks
and chin were covered with an unshaven beard of two
or three days' growth. He stood up in the boat, with
his hand resting on the rail of the sloop.
Do you know where Master Hezekiah Tipton lives ?
he asked in a hoarse, rattling voice.
"Why, yes, I do," said Jack. This is his wharf, and
I 'm his nephew."
Well, then," said the man, "I wish you 'd show me
As Jack accompanied the other up the stony street to
his uncle's house, he turned to look at his companion
every now and then.
"Where do you hail from, captain ? said he.
"I hail from the land where every man minds his
own business," said the other in his rattling voice.
" Where do you hail from, my hearty ?"
Jack did not know just what to reply at first. Oh,
well," he said, "if you don't choose'to give me a civil
answer, why, then you need n't."
After that they walked in silence till they reached
the house. Jack looked into the office, but Hezekiah was
not there. "If you 'll come into the parlor," said he,
" I '11 go and tell him you 're here, only I don't know who
you are, to be sure. He opened the door of the room
as he spoke, and showed the captain into the darkened
parlor. It always smelled damp and musty and unused,
and the fireplace had a cold, dark look as though no
comforting fire had ever burned there.
Tell Master Tipton 't is Captain Butts of the Arundel
wants to see him," said the stranger, laying aside his
hat with its tarnished gilt lace and wiping his partly
bald head with the corner of his red neckerchief. All
the time he was looking strangely about him at his un-
There was the sound of a knife and fork rattling against
a plate in the distance, and Jack, following the sound,
went along the passage to the room beyond, where he
knew Hezekiah was sitting at supper.
"There 's a man in the parlor," said Jack, "would
like to see you. He says his name 's Captain Butts of
Hezekiah was looking at Jack as he spoke. He laid
down his knife and fork immediately, and pushed back
his chair and arose. Jack followed him back to the
parlor. He stood outside of the door, looking in. The
stranger arose as Master Tipton came in, holding out
to the old America merchant a big, brown, hairy hand
with a hard, horny-looking palm.
"How d' ye do, Master Tipton." said he in his rat-
tling voice. I be mightily glad to see you."
"Well, then, Master Captain Butts," said Hezekiah,
giving him a limp, reluctant hand, "I be mightily
glad to see you, too,-more glad than you are to see me,
like enough, for I 've been looking for you these three
days past, and wondering where was the Arundel.
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
There be them nineteen servants down at the 'Duck
and Doe' that should have been took away yesterday
morning. Their lodging at the inn is a matter of ten
pence a day each. Now, who do you think 's to pay for
that there ? "
Well, well, Master," said the other, "'t were n't no
fault of mine that I were n't here yesterday. Wind and
tide be to blame, so whatever ye lose ye may just charge
up ag'in' them. We can't sail without wind, can we ?
and we can't sail ag'in' the tide, can we ? As for the
men, why, the sooner I get my clearance papers and the
men aboard the better 't will suit me. The tide turns at
eight o'clock, and if the wind comes up, as 't is like to do,
why, I '11 drop out and away with the turn o' the water."
Master Hezekiah looked around. Jack was still
standing in the doorway. "You go in and get your
supper, Jacky," said he, and then he got up and closed
the door, and Jack went back into the supper-room.
All the time that Jack sat at his meal old Deborah
scolded him ceaselessly for being so late.
"'T is always so," said she, her voice growing shriller
and shriller. You be always late, and think of nobody
but your own self."
No, I 'm not always late, neither," said Jack; I was
n't late to breakfast, or to supper either, yesterday."
But you did n't come home to dinner at all," said old
Deborah, "and I kept it for you, and I kept it for you, and
the 'taties all like wax in the oven, and not fit to eat."
"I did n't want any dinner," said Jack. I had some-
thing to eat down at the wharf."
"Well," said old Deborah, "you might just as well
have been late as not to come at all, for I kept a-waiting
and a-waiting for you till itwas all dried up and wasted-
aye, all wasted, and it what many a pore body 'u'd 'a'
been glad enough to 'a' had, too."
In the interval of her scolding Jack could occasion-
ally hear the distant rumbling of Captain Butts's voice
in the office.
It grew darker and darker in the twilight gloom of
the kitchen, until Jack could hardly see the food upon
"I wish you 'd bring a candle, Deborah," said he, "I
can't see to find the way to my own mouth."
"A candle!" said Deborah; "if you'd come to your
supper in time you 'd not need a candle to see. Now
you may just go without."
"Very well," said Jack, "I don't care, for I 'm done."
"Then, if you 're done, you may go down to the
pump and fetch back some water."
Jack took the pail and went off with it. He was gone
a long time, and the night was fairly settled when he
came stumbling back into the kitchen, slopping the
water upon the steps and the floor.
Why," said Deborah, I thought you was never com-
ing. Your uncle 's asking for you. He 's over in the
office now, and he wants to see you there."
"Very well," said Jack, "if I 'd known that, may be
I 'd hurried and may be I would n't."
In the office he found Captain Butts seated at the
tall desk, with a bottle of Hezekiah's old Jamaica rum
before him. They had been looking over some papers,
and the Captain had evidently been helping himself very
freely to the rum. He smelt strong of the liquor. He
was leaning over the desk, his chin resting upon his fists.
He looked up at Jack with his keen gray eyes from
under his bushy eyebrows. Is this the boy? said he.
Hezekiah, who sat opposite to his visitor, nodded with-
Come hither, my hearty," said Captain Butts, beckon-
ing to Jack. Jack came forward slowly. "And so ye 're
a hard one to manage, be ye? By blood! if I had
ye aboard the Arundel for a few days, I 'd manage ye."
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
Who says I 'm hard to manage ?" demanded Jack,
"That does your good uncle," said the Captain. As
he spoke he reached out suddenly, and catching Jack
by the arm held him tight, feeling up and down the
length of his arm. Ye be well put togetheremy hearty,'
said he; "ye 'd make a valuable servant in the tobacco-
fields," and he winked tipsily as he spoke. "Now, be-
ing as ye 're so hard to manage, how 'd you like it if
you was to take a cruise to the Americas with old Benny
Jack could smell the rum heavy upon the captain's
breath, and he saw that he was a little tipsy. He jerked
his arm away from the other's grasp.
"I am well enough off here as I am, thank you;
Master Captain," said he, and I don't choose to go to-
the Americas at all."
The Captain burst out laughing. He fetched a thump
upon the desk before him that made the bottle of rum
and the tumbler hop and jingle. "Harkee to that,
now!" said he, "he don't choose to go to the Ameri-
cas," and he gave another roar of laughter.
Master Hezekiah sat looking on at the two, resting
his forehead upon his lean fingers, his hand shading his
eyes from the light of the candle. Suddenly he cut
into the talk. Come, come, Captain Butts!" said he
tartly, "let there be an end to this! Sure you forget.
what you 're saying. Come hither," said he to Jack.
Jack came around to him, and the old man lifted the
.lid of the desk and brought out a bundle of papers and
a little bag of money. He counted out a few coins,.
which he made into a little pile. Then he untied the
tape and-chose a paper from among the others. Jack
stood watching him. "Here be a list of the America
servants down at the Golden Fish," said Hezekiah,
"and this"-here he chinked the money between his
fingers as he gave it to Jack -"is fifteen shillings ten-
pence. I want you to do something for me, Jacky. I
want you to go down to the Golden Fish and pay Land-
lord Evans his account, and then give this release to
Dockray, who hath the America men in charge. After
that I want you to take them down to the wharf and
deliver them over to Captain Butts, and get his receipt.
D' ye understand ?"
Why, yes, I do," said Jack; "but why do you want
me to do this when the crimp can serve you so much
better than I ?" He could not understand why his
uncle, who had never before made any demands upon
him should suddenly prefer such a request as this.
"Why," said Hezekiah, "you ask me for money
t' other day, did n't ye ? Well, then, if you want
money you must begin to do something for to earn it.
What I want you to do now is to take these servants
down and deliver them over to Captain Butts."
Oh, well," said Jack, "I 'm willing enough, but I
don't see why you should choose me to do it. What
am I to do with them ? Tell me again."
You 're to take them down to the wharf, d' ye un-
derstand ? Then Captain Butts will give you a receipt
for 'em. Then you '11 have nothing more to do with the
"Very well," said Jack; "methinks I understand.
And now if the Captain is ready to go, why, I am, too."
As he and Captain Butts walked together down the
street in the darkness, Jack said again: "I don't see
why he wants me to take his servants down to the
wharf. He never asked such a thing of me before."
Captain Butts, for reply, burst out laughing, and
fetched him a clap on the shoulder that jarred him
.through and through. Well, I do suppose you '11 find
out some day why he sends you on his errands," he said.
AT the end of the court the two parted, the Captain
going on down to the wharf and Jack up to
the Golden Fish. He found the crimp and gave him
Hezekiah's release, and then the redemptioners imme-
diately began to make themselves ready. There was
something pitiful in the meagerness of their prepara-
tion. One or two of them had nondescript bundles tied
up in handkerchiefs, and one had a pair of stockings
wrapped up in a piece of dirty'paper. Beyond this
they had nothing at all to take with them to the new
world to which they were bound. But they seenied to
borrow very little trouble on that score. They were
very restless and turbulent at the near prospect of sail-
ing. They had somehow contrived to obtain some
liquor, and two or three of them were more than half
The crimp brought them out-into. the court of the
inn and arranged them in some sort of order, two by
two, by the dim light of the lantern. They jostled and
pushed one another, and leered in the lantern light at
Jack as he stood looking at them helplessly. "I '11
never be able to take them down to the wharf by my-
self," said he.
Oh, you '11 be able to take us," said a big, bull-necked
fellow; "a baby 'd lead us wherever he chose for to
go," and then they all laughed.
"Well, I don't know," said the crimp, shaking his
head as he looked them over; like enough I 'd better
go with you as far as the wharf. I don't know why he
should have sent you to take 'em, anyhow. Lookee!"
said he to the huddled line of servants, in a suddenly-
changed voice; I won't have none of your tricks, d' ye
understand ? D' ye see this ?" and he fetched a blud-
geon out of his pocket and showed it to them. "The
first man as tries any of his tricks, I knocks him on the
head, d' ye understand ? "
Why, master," said one of the men, you would n't
hurt us, would you ? We be your lambs."
Never you mind," said the crimp, shaking his head.
"Don't you go trying any of your tricks on me. Come
along now, march!"
Hurrah for the Golden Fish and Johnny Waddels!"
cried out one of the men.
The others gave a broken and confused cheer as they
marched away out of the court, the crimp walking be-
side the first couple, and Jack coming after to keep a
lookout upon them. They marched along for a while,
first down one street and then another until they had
come to the water-front. The wind was blowing chilly.
The bull-necked fellow had begun to sing. They walked
along for some little distance and then crossed the street.
Here the store-houses stood dark and deserted as they
passed by them. At last they came to the wharf, across
which the night wind swept without shelter.
"Well," said the crimp, "I '11 leave you here. 'T is
no use my going any further."
Yes," said Jack, I can manage them very well now
by myself, I suppose."
"I '11 just wait under the lee of the shed here," said
the crimp, till I see you 're all right."
"Very well," said Jack. "Come along," said he to
the men as they stood shivering in their thin, ragged
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
clothes. The bull-necked fellow had ceased his dis-
cordant singing. At Jack's bidding they now marched
out along the wharf. There were lights out in the dark-
ness at the end of the wharf, where the sloop lay black
and shapeless in the night. When Jack came to where
the light was he found two dark figures standing wait-
ing for him on the wharf. One of them was Captain
Butts, the other was the man in the knit cap, who now
carried a lantern hanging over his arm. There were
two or three men, two of them also with lanterns, stand-
ing on the deck of the sloop. Jack knew that the'boat
that had brought the Captain off from the brig was
lying in the darkness beyond, for he could hear the
sound of voices, and then the sound of the irattle of
Captain Butts had twisted his handkerchief well up
about his throat. Well," said he, "I thought you was
"I came as soon as I could," said Jack.
"Just bring the men out to the boat, across the
sloop here," said the Captain; and at Jack's bidding the
men, one after another, jumped down from the wharf
to the deck of the sloop below. Jack followed them,
and the Captain and the man with the lantern followed
him. Where 's your list ?" said the Captain, and then,
as Jack gave it to him: Hold the lantern here, Dyce.
That 's it." He held the list to the dull light, referring
to it as he counted the shivering transports who stood
in line. Sixteen-seventeen -eighteen- nineteen -
nineteen all told. That's right. Now, then, look alive,
my hearties, and get aboard as quick as you can!"
Jack stood with his hands in his pockets and his
back to the chill night breeze. The wharf and the sloop,
deserted in the night, seemed a singularly dark and lonely
background to the dimly moving figures. The water,
driven by the wind, splashed and dashed noisily around
the end of the wharf. One by one the redemptioners
clambered clumsily over the rail of the sloop and down
into the boat alongside, stumbling over the thwarts in
the darkness and settling themselves amid the growling
and swearing of the sailors. "Are you all right? asked
All right, sir," said Dyce.
Suddenly the Captain turned sharply toward Jack.
"Now, then," said he, "you get aboard too!" Jack
gaped at him. "You get aboard too!" said Captain
What do you mean ? said Jack.
I mean that you 're going aboard too," said the Cap-
tain, and as he spoke he reached out and caught Jack
by the collar. That 's why you were sent here," said he,
"and that's what I 'm bound to do. I 'm bound to take
you to the Americas with me."
Then Jack saw it all in a flash. He stood for one
stunned instant, and then he began struggling fiercely
to loosen himself from the Captain's grasp upon his col-
lar. The next instant he felt himself jerked violently
backward and he heard the Captain's voice saying:
"You get into the boat down there! You'll do as I
tell you, if you know what 's good for you!"
Jack twisted and struggled desperately and franti-
cally, but still the Captain held him in a grip like a
vise. "Let me go!" gasped Jack. "Let me go!"
"Into the boat, I tell ye!" he heard the Captain's
voice growling in his ear, and at the same time he found
himself flung forward violently toward the rail of the
sloop. The boats and the dark waters were just below.
He saw dimly, his sight blurred with the fury of his
struggles, the dark figures of the men in the boat below.
He flung out his feet against the rail, bracing himself
against the Captain's hold; at the same time he clutched
hold of the stays. Here, Dyce, loose his hand there,"
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
said the Captain's voice, panting with his struggles.
"The young villain! What d' ye mean, anyhow ? "
The man with the knit cap sprang forward at the Cap-
tain's bidding, and, still holding the lantern, began to
pluck Jack's fingers loose from the stays. Then sud-
denly Jack screamed out, Help -Help Help !"
three times, and at the same time he kicked backward
violently against the. Captain's shins.
"You will, will you!" wheezed the Captain.. As he
spoke he jerked Jack violently backward. Jack had
just time to see a whirling flash in the light of the lan-
tern. Then there came a deafening, blinding crash.
Ten thousand sparkling stars flew whirling around and
around him. He felt a hot stream shoot down across
his face, and he knew that it was blood. There was
another crash, this time duller and more distant, then
a humming that droned away into stillness-then
"By blood! Captain," said Dyce, "I believe you 've
killed the boy."
The Captain thrust the pistol with which he had
struck Jack back again into his pocket. The young
villain!" he said, panting with his late efforts. "He '11
kick me, will he ? And he 'd 'a' had the town down on
us if I had n't shut his noise." He lowered down upon
Jack's figure lying deathly still and in a dark heap on
the deck. Dyce bent over the senseless form, holding
the lantern to the face. Jack's eyes were upturned.
His legs and body twitched; his head was streaming
with blood and his' face was bloody. Captain Butts
stooped over him. Oh! he 's all right," said he roughly;
"he 'll come to by and by; he 's only stunned a trifle.
Get him aboard and be quick about it! There's some-
body coming along the wharf now. Here; here 's his
hat. Catch it there."
"'HE 'LL COME TO BY AND BY; HE 'S ONLY STUNNED A TRIFLE,'
SAID THE CAPTAIN."
ABOARD THE ARUNDEL
FOR a long while Jack was very light-headed and
sick. He did not seem to have any strength. It
seemed to him that several days passed while he lay
in his berth, now partly waking, now partly sleeping.
When he was partly awake his mind seemed to wander,
and he could not separate the things he now saw from
the things he had seen before. Both seemed grotesque
and distorted. It seemed to him that his father was
nearly always with him. He had a line of Greek to con-
strue, but he could never get the words correctly. He
kept trying and trying to get the words in their proper
order, but always, when he would get the line nearly
correct, it would fall to pieces, and he would have to
begin all over again. He felt that his father was very
angry with him, and that he was driving him on to com-
plete the line, and he felt that if he could only finish
the task he would have rest and be well again. But
there were three words that never would fit rightly into
the line, and he never could make them fit into it.
With these several fancyings there commingled the
actual things about him. His father seemed to him
to be waiting and waiting for him to complete his
task; but at the same time he saw the sloping deck of
the vessel and the berths upon the other side, and could
feel the brig rising and falling and rolling upon the sea.
There was ever present in his ears the sound of creak-
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
ing and groaning and rattling and sliding, and there
were men talking together and smoking their pipes, the
pungent smell of the tobacco helping to make him feel
very sick. If he could only fit these words together into
the line, then his father would go away, and he would
be well and could go up on deck. Oh, how his head
ached He wished he could get away from these words
that would not fit into the sentence.
Then the night would come, and he would be partly
asleep. Sometimes he would lie half dreaming for an
hour or more, and in the darkness the things of his
fancy were very real.
Very soon after he had been brought aboard he had
a dim, distorted vision of Dyce, the mate, coming with
a lantern to where he lay, bringing somebody along with
him. It seemed to him that the two men had leaned
over him talking about him while a number of other
people had stood near. The man who had come with
the mate must have been Sim Tucker, a thin, little
man, with a long, lean chin, who was a barber-leech.
Jack had felt some one trim his hair, and then do some-
thing that had hurt him very much. It seemed to be
a grotesque nightmare that the barber-leech hail sewed
up his head. Afterward a bandage was tied around
his head, and then he felt more comfortable.
Jack knew very well that it had all been a dream,
and he was always surprised to wake up and find the
bandage around his head.
Now and then Sim Tucker would come and speak to
him. "How d' ye feel now ?" he would maybe say.
Why," said Jack, "I would be all well if my father
would onlygo away. But I can't construe that sentence."
"You can't what ?"
I can't get those Greek words right, and my father
won't go away."
Why, your father says they 're all right."
ABOARD THE ARUNDEL
"Does he ? "
"But there are those four words. They won't fit."
"Why, yes, they fit all right. Don't you see ? Then
it seemed to Jack that they did fit into the sentence,
and for a little while he was more easy in his mind.
After a while he began to get better, and his head got
clearer. Then one day he was so well that he was able
to crawl up to the deck. He had not eaten anything
at all and was very weak. He climbed up the com-
panionway and stood with his head just above the
scuttle. He looked aft almost along the level of the
deck. In the distance was the rise of the poop-deck,
with a man at the wheel just under the over-hang. The
first mate, Dyce, still wearing his knit cap pulled down
half over his ears, was walking up and down the poop-
deck, smoking. With the rise and fall of the vessel,
Jack could catch every now and then a glimpse of the
wide, troubled ocean, moving and heaving with cease-
lessly restless, crawling waves, cut keenly and blackly
at the sharp rim of the horizon against the gray sky.
Every now and then there was a great rush of air from
the vast hollow sails overhead, that swept back and
forth, back and forth across the wide, windy sky. The
sailors looked at him as he stood there with the ban-
dage wrapped around his head. He began to feel
very sick and dizzy with the motion of the vessel,
and presently he crept down below, back to his berth
Be you feeling better ? said one of the men, coming
Yes, I think I am," said Jack, only it makes me
sick and faint-like to stand up."
Well, you 've been pretty sick," said the man, and
that's the sacred truth. I thought the Captain had
killed you for sure when I saw him hit you that second
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
crack with the pistol. I thought he 'd smashed your
Several of the other men had gathered about his berth
and stood looking down at him. Jack wished they
would go away. He lay quite still, with his eyes shut,
and by and by they did leave him.
He felt very lonely and deserted. A great lump rose
in his throat when he thought of all that had happened
to him. "I have not a friend in the world," he said to
himself, and then the hot tears forced themselves out
from under his eyelids.
When next he opened his eyes he saw that Sim Tucker
was standing over him. "How d' ye feel now?" said
Oh, I feel better," said Jack irritably. I wish
you 'd go away and let me alone."
"Let me look at your head," said the leecher. He
unwound the bandage deftly with his long, lean fingers.
"Aye," said he, ye 're getting along well now. To-
morrow I '11 take out them stitches. He must have hit
ye with the cock of the pistol to make a great, big,
nasty cut like that.
ACROSS THE OCEAN
THE next morning Jack was up on deck again for
a while, feeling very much better and stronger than
the day before. In the afternoon Mr. Dyce came down
into the steerage and told him that the Captain wanted
to see him.
Jack, although he was now out of his bunk, was
still very weak, and not yet accustomed to the roll-
ing heave and pitch of the vessel at sea. He followed
the mate along the deck in the direction of the round-
house, balancing himself upon the slanting, unsteady
plane, now and then catching at the rail or at the
,shrouds or stays to steady himself. Everything was
still very fresh and new to him, so that, even though his
mind was heavy with leaden apprehension concerning
the coming interview with Captain Butts-the thought
which weighed down his spirit with dull imaginings-
even though his mind was full of this, the freshness
and newness of everything was yet strong in his con-
sciousness-the tumultuous noise of the sea, the sun
shining bright and clear, the salt wind blowing strong
and cold. Every now and then a cresting wave would
flash out a vivid whitecap in the sunlight against the
profound green of the limitless ocean; the sky was full of
clouds, and purpling shadows dappled the wide stretch
of ever-moving waters. The brig, plowing its way
aslant to leeward, plunged every now and then with a
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
thunderous clap of white foam into the oncoming wave,
and the broad shadows of sail and rigging swept back
across the sunlit deck with the backward and forward
sweep of the masts against the sky high overhead. Of
all these things Jack was strongly conscious as he
walked along the deck, wondering, with that dull and
heavy apprehension, what Captain Butts was going to
say to him.
Two men on the poop-deck were heaving the log,
one of them keeping tally with a slate; a third, with a.
red bandana handkerchief knotted about his head, stood
gripping the wheel, holding the yawing vessel steadily
to its course. The man with the slate looked at Jack as.
he came along the deck, clinging to the rail for support.
Captain Butts was waiting in the round-house, lean-
ing with elbows upon the table. A bottle of rum and
a half-emptied tumbler stood on the table at his elbow,
and the cabin was full of the strong, pungent odor of
the liquor. A chart, blackened and dirty as with long
use, lay spread out on the table. Part way across it
stretched a black line which the Captain had drawn-
probably the supposed course of the vessel-for Captain
Butts sailed by dead reckoning. He looked up from
under his brows as Jack entered, frowning until his partly
bald forehead swelled with knotted veins, but he did
not immediately say anything. Jack had come forward
and stood at the end of the table. The mate, who lin-
gered close to the door, had taken out his pipe and was.
filling it with tobacco. Jack did not know how pale
and thin he was, how sick he looked; he was conscious
only of the weakness that seemed not only to make him
unsteady upon his legs, but to unnerve him of all
strength of spirit. As he stood there now, facing the
Captain, he felt an hysterical choking in his throat, and
he swallowed and swallowed upon the hard, dry lump
that seemed to be there.
ACROSS THE OCEAN
"Well, my hearty," said the Captain, breaking the
silence at last with his hoarse, rattling voice, well, my
hearty, you got your dose that time, or else I 'm mis-
took. By Blood!" he continued with sudden savage-
ness, I '11 teach you to play with Benny Butts, I will,
and to kick at his shins. By Blood! When you're deal-
ing with me, you 're not dealing with your poor old un-
cle as ye can bully and blatherskite as you please. By
Blood! I'11 break your back if you go trying any of
your airs with me, I will." And as his anger rose with
his own words, he opened his eyes wide and glared upon
his victim. Jack did not dare to reply. He stood look-
ing down, holding tight to the edge of the table and
striving to balance himself to the lurching of the ship.
Your uncle told me all about you, he did," said Cap-
tain Butts, beginning again; how you threatened him
with the law and tried to make mischief atwixt him
and your t' other folks. He told me how you stole his
money away from him for to-"
"I never stole a farthing in my life," said Jack
D' ye give me back talk?" roared the Captain;smiting
his palm upon the table. By Blood! if ye answer me
any of your back talk, I '11 clap ye in irons as quick as
look at ye. I say ye did steal money from your uncle."
Again he glared at Jack as though defying him to reply,
and Jack, conscious of his utter powerlessness, did not
venture to answer. "I say ye did steal money from your
uncle," repeated the Captain, "and that again and again.
He might have sent ye to jail had he been so minded,
and maybe he would ha' done so only for the shame o'
the thing. Now I tell ye what you 're going to do. You
're going to the Americas to be put to work under a
master who 'll keep you out o' mischief for five years.
That 's what you 're going to do. After you 've served
out your five years in the Americas under a master,
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
why, then, maybe, you '11 know how to behave yourself
arter you get back home again."
The brig gave a sudden heaving lurch that sent the
bottle and glass sliding across the table. The Captain
caught them with a quick sweep of his hand, while
Jack, losing his balance, partly fell, partly sat abruptly
down upon the seat beside him. He was up again
almost instantly and stood once more holding by the
side of the table.
"Now, you listen to what I say You behave your-
self decent while you 're aboard this here brig, and you '11
be treated decent, but you go a making' any trouble for
me, and by Blood! I '11 clap you in irons, I will, and
I '11 lay ye down in the hold, and there ye '11 stay till we
drop anchor in Yorktown. D' ye hear that ? "
Jack nodded his head.
"Well, then, if ye hear me, why don't ye answer me ?"
"Yes, sir," said Jack.
"Very well, then, you go and remember what I 've
Jack, so dismissed, went out of the round-house and
into the wide, bright sunlight again. Nor was it un-
til he had returned half way back across the slanting
deck that anything like a full realization of his fate
came upon him. Then suddenly it did seize upon him,
gripping him almost like a physical pang. He stopped
short and caught at the foremast stays under that sud-
den grip of despair, and bent leaning over the rail of
the ship. Then, in an instant the sky and the ocean
blurred together and were lost in the blinding flood,
and hot tears went raining down his face in streams.
He stood there for a long time facing the ocean and
crying. No one knew what he was doing, and he was
as much alone as though he stood all by himself in the
midst of the empty universe, instead of aboard a brig
with footsteps passing around him and the grumbling
ACROSS THE OCEAN
growl of men's voices as they talked together sounding
in his ears.
It had seemed to Jack at that time, when he stood
there crying out into the face of the sea and the sky, as
though life had no hope and no joy, and as though he
never could be happy again. It was not so, however,
and it never is so. We grow used to every sorrow and
trouble that comes to us. Even by the next day he had
begun to grow accustomed to the thought of his fate.
He awoke to an immediate consciousness of it, and all
day it stood there, a big, looming background to the
passing events of his life, while he helped the other re-
demptioners wash down the decks, pattering about in
the wet with his bare feet in the slushing slop of water;
all the while he stood leaning over the rail, dumbly joy-
ing in the consciousness of the sweep and rush of wind
and water--looking out astern of the vessel at the
wake that spread away behind, over which hovered
and dipped and skimmed the little black Mother Carey's
chickens. In all the things of his life it was thus present
with him, but he did not again suffer a despair so poign-
ant and so bitter as had struck him down that time he
had stood there crying out toward the sky and the
ocean with his back to the ship's company. So it is
that time so quickly wears away the sharp edges of
trouble, until it grows so dull and blunted that it no
The crew had come somehow to know something of
Jack's history. The first day he was out on deck after
a spell of stormy weather into which the Arundel sailed,
Tom Roberts, the carpenter, asked him if he had not
an uncle as was a lord. He 's a baronet," said Jack,
and Roberts said he knowed he was summat of the
kind. The same day, as Jack was standing in line with
the others waiting for his dinner to be served out to
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
him, the carpenter passed close to him with a wink,
"You come over along o' we," he said, and you shall
have a taste o' grog with your victuals," and Jack, after
a hesitating moment, had, with a feeling of gratification
and pleasure, followed him over to the forecastle scuttle,.
where a part of the crew sat eating in the sunshine that
shone aslant under the foresail. After that he nearly
always messed with the crew, and by the end of the.
voyage it had become a regularly established thing for
him to do so.
Some of the crew had either lived in the Colonies, or
had sailed from one to the other in coasting vessels, and
Jack learned much about his future home from them..
Roberts himself had lived for two years as ship-car-
penter in Boston, in the province of Massachusetts, and
one of the men, named Dred Christian Dred--had lived
for a while in North Carolina with Blackbeard, the fa-
mous pirate. He had been one of the pirate's men, and
had sailed with the renowned freebooter in his famous.
ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.
During the voyage Jack became better acquainted
with Dred than with any one aboard the Arundel, and
before they had reached Virginia the two had become-
very intimate. Dred was a silent, taciturn man,.
speaking but rarely to any one and saying what he had
to say in as few words as possible. But he seemed
pleased with Jack's friendship. He questioned Jack
much as to his former life, and in return told a good
deal about himself. He said he had left Blackbeard the!
year before and had surrendered upon the King's Procla-
mation of Pardon. He always carried his pardon about
with him rolled up in oil-skin and hung about his neck
by-a bit of string, and he showed it to Jack one day,
unrolling the oil-skin very carefully and gingerly, and
then rolling it up again with just as particular care as
he had opened it. He told Jack that after he had sur-
ACROSS THE OCEAN
rendered to the Pardon, Blackbeard and others of
the pirates had also surrendered. He said that Black-
beard was now living on a farm down at Bath Town,
in North Carolina, and had married a fine young "gell"
of sixteen or thereabouts. He once told Jack that he
had begun his h- cruising," as he called it, when he
had sailed from New York in a "Red Sea Trader" in
'95, and that ever since then he had "smelled brimstone."
(The Red Sea Traders, it may be explained, were those
who carried supplies of stores, chiefly of rum and gun-
powder, to the pirates who then so infested the west
coast of Africa, exchanging their commodities for
plunder captured by those freebooters.)
Dred told Jack that he was only eighteen years old
when he had sailed in the Red Sea trade. "Not much
older than you be now," he added.
Once, when Dred was overhauling his gunny-bag,'he
brought out a string of a dozen or so jingling coins
hung on a bit of silver wire. He held the trinket out
at arm's length. "D' ye see this here string o' money?"
said he; "I gave that to a Spanish gell once down in
Port Royal, Jamaicy, and what 's more, I took it off of
her neck again arter she had died of yellow fever, and
no one else 'ld go nigh her."
Jack grew to like Dred very heartily. He did not
think of him as being a red-handed and wicked pirate.
It did not seem to him that his new friend was, after
:all, very different from other men-excepting that he
had had very wonderful adventures happen to him.
And yet Dred was indeed a red-handed pirate.
It was toward the latter part of the voyage that he
told Jack the story of the taking of the English ship
that Blackbeard afterward used as the flag-ship of his
pirate fleet, and which became so famous under the
name of the Queen Anne's Revenge. Dred's was almost
the most important part in that tragedy. He told the
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
story almost naively, and did not at all seem to appre-
ciate the significance of what he had done.
They-the pirates-had, he said, been cruising in the
West Indies. Then they sailed northward until they
came to Charleston. (Here he told incidentally how
they had blockaded the town for over a week, stopping
and searching all incoming and outgoing vessels, and
how they had even gone up boldly into the town in
search of a chest of medicine.) After they had left,
Charleston, they had, he said, cruised away off shore
with two sloops and a bark which they had taken..
They made no purchase," as he phrased it, until one-
morning they sighted a sail, which proved to be an
armed ship of some six or seven hundred tons burden,
bound apparently for the Chesapeake Capes.
When they had come to within hailing distance of
the vessel they ordered -her to heave to. But she.
would not, and there was some exchange of shots be-
fore she would finally surrender. The ship had only
one passenger aboard, a young Virginia gentleman, Mr..
Edward Parker, who had been to college in England
and who was now returning home, having finished his
education. Dred said that the supercargo, on being
threatened by Blackbeard, told the pirates that the
young gentleman had in his charge a valuable chest of
money and of goldsmiths' bills of exchange. On hear-
ing this Blackbeard and two or three of the pirates ran
aft to the cabin, only to find that the young gentleman
had locked himself in and refused to come out.
After some parleying the pirates tried to break in the
door, but it was braced from within, and the young
gentleman at once began firing at them through the
panels. Two of the pirates were shot. One on 'em,"'
said Dred, "was Abraham Dolling, and he was shot
that bad through the neck that we had to hale him off
by the legs, and he died a little bit after just at the
bottom of the poop ladder."
ACROSS THE OCEAN
His own part in the tragedy that followed Dred told
Seein' as how we was making' nothing of it at all by
the way we was doing, I climbs up on the poop-deck,
thinking maybe to get a sight of my young gentleman
through the sky-light. But no; he had blocked up the
sky-light with mattresses from the captain's berth. So
then I went across the poop-deck to the stern falls.
The boat had been shot away from the lee davit by
our fire, and the lines hung loose from the falls over
the stern. I lashed two on 'em together and let my-
self down from the davits with one hand, holding my
pistol with t' other. I eased myself to one side until
I was low enough, and then I peeped in at the stern
window. There I could see my young gentleman off
beyond in the captain's cabin standing close by the
door, and I can see him now as plain as I can see this
here hand o' mine. He had pulled a couple of sea chists
to the door, and he had a plank from the captain's berth
set agin 'em and propped agin the braces of the table.
He was in his shirt sleeves, and he had a pistol in each
hand. The captain o' the ship was a' talking' to him
from t' other side of the door, telling him he 'd better
gin up and surrender the money, and I could hear my
young gentleman swearing by all that was holy that he
would never gin up the money. He had his head turned
to one side, and he did n't see me, so I crawled in
through the window. But I 'd no more 'n set foot on
deck than all on a sudden he wheels around like a flash,
and afore I knowed what he was at-Bang! -he fires
his pistol fair for my head. I felt the wind of the ball
and it smashed into a chiny closet just behind me.
Then, seeing he had missed me, he ups with t' other
pistol and arter that 't was either him or me. So I let
fly, and down he went all of a heap acrost the chist
afore the door."
"Was he dead ? asked Jack.
56 JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
"I think he were," said Dred. "Leastways he was
dead afore we could get him out of the cabin."
Dred told this story to Jack one afternoon as they
were sitting together up under the lee-forecastle rail, and
then he showed him the pardon in the oilskin bag hung
around his neck.
In the intimacy between the two Jack talked much
to Dred about his own prospects, and his new friend ad-
vised him to submit to his fate with patience. Arter
all," he said, five year be n't so werry long-not nigh
as long as death. And then you 'll see a deal o' the
world, and arter that you goes back home agin, an'
there ye be," and the illogical words brought a good
deal of comfort to Jack.
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE
O N a long sea voyage you come to lose all sense of
time. One day melts and blends into the other so
that you can hardly tell them apart. They stretch along
into weeks, and the weeks, perhaps, into months which
can neither be called long nor short, but only just a
monotonous reach of time.
The only thing that brings its change to the cease-
less monotony are the changes that happen in the
weather. Twice they had a spell of heavy weather
during the voyage; the first time, a few days after Jack
had become well enough to be about on deck, Jack was
very seasick, and so were nearly all of the transports.
It was quite a heavy storm, lasting for three or four
days, and at onw time Jack thought that the brig must
really be in danger. As he lay prone in his bunk his
heart quaked with every tumultuous lift of the vessel.
Some of the crew were in the forecastle beyond, and
the deep sound of their talk and now and then a burst
of laughter came to him where he lay. He did not see
how they could be so indifferent to the loud and inces-
sant creaking and groaning of the ship's timbers, alter-
nated now and then with the noise of distant thumping
and bumping, and always the gurgling rush of water, as
though it were bursting through the straining timbers
and streaming into the hold. It seemed to him some-
times as though the vessel must capsize, so tremendous
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
was the mountainous lift and fall of the fabric, and so
strenuous the straining of its timbers. Sometimes he
would clutch tight hold of the box-like side of his bunk
to save himself from being pitched out bodily upon the
deck. The steerage became a horrible pit, where the
transports rolled about stupefied with sickness, and
when, by and by, he himself began to recover, it be-
came impossible for him to bear it.
So the afternoon of the second day of the storm he
crawled up to the decks above. The level stretch lay
shining with sheets of drifting wet. Jack stood cling-
ing dizzily to the shrouds looking about him. A number
of the crew were strung out along the yard-arm high
aloft, reefing the fore-topsail, clinging with feet and
hands to the lines and apparently indifferent to the vast
rush of the wet wind and the gigantic sweep of the un-
certain foothold to which they clung. The hubbub of
roaring wind and thundering waters almost stunned
Jack as he stood clinging there. The voice of Dyce
shouting his orders through a trumpet from the quarter-
deck seemed to be upborne like a straw on that vast
and tremendous sweep of uproar. One of the crew
came running along the wet and slippery deck in his
bare feet, cursing and swearing at Jack and waving to
him to go below. The next moment, and before Jack
could move to obey, the vessel plunged down into a
wave, with a thunder-clap of sound and a cataract of
salt water that nearly swept him off his feet and wet
him to the skin.
Perhaps of all the actual events of the voyage, this
episode and the two or three minutes' spectacle of the
storm lingered most vividly of all in Jack's memory.
It was at this time that he first began to get better
acquainted with the crew. When, at the bidding of the
sailor, he went down below, wet and dripping, he could
not bear to go back into the steerage, and the crew let
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE
him lie out in the forecastle. They laughed at him and
his plight, but they did not drive him back into the
Then there were many other days of bright sunlight
and of smooth breezy sailing; and still other times of
windy, starry nights, when the watch would sit smoking
up under the lee sail, and Jack would sit or maybe lie
stretched at length listening to them as they spun their
yarns-yarns, which, if the truth must be told, were
not always fit for the ears of a boy like Jack.
So the days came and went without any distinct defi-
nition of time, as they always do in a long voyage such
as this, and then, one soft warm afternoon, Jack saw
that there were sea-gulls hovering and circling around
the wake of the brig. One of the crew told him that
they had come within soundings again, and when he
looked over the side of the vessel he saw that the clear,
tranquil green of the profounder depths of the ocean
had changed to the cloudy, opalescent gray of shoaler
Then it was the next morning and Jack felt some one
shaking him awake. "What is it ?" said he, opening
his eyes heavily and looking up into the lean face of
Sim Tucker that was bent over him.
The little man was all in a quiver of excitement.
"'T is land!" he cried in a shrill, exultant voice-" 't is
land We 're in sight of land! Don't you want to get
up and see it ? You can see it from the deck." His
voice piped shriller and shriller with the straining of
Jack was out of his berth in an instant; and, almost
before he knew it, up on deck, barefoot, in the cool
brightness of the early day.
The deck-was wet and chill with the dew of the early
morning. The sun had not yet risen, but the day was.
bright, and as clear as crystal. The land lay stretched
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
out sharp and clear-cut in the early morning light a
pure white, thread-like strip of sandy beach, a level strip
of green marsh, and, in the far distance, a dark, ragged
line of woodland standing against the horizon.
Jack had seen nothing but the water for so long, and
his eyes had become so used to the measureless stretch
of ocean all around him, that the land looked very near,
although it must have been quite a league away. He
stood gazing and gazing at it. The New World! The
wonderful new world of which he had heard so much!
And now he was really looking at it with his very living
eyes. Virginia! That, then, was the New World. He
stood gazing and gazing. In the long line of the hori-
zon there was an open space free of trees. He won-
dered whether that was a tobacco-plantation. There
was a single tree standing by itself a straight, thin
trunk, and a spread of foliage at the top. He wondered
if it was a palm-tree. He did not then know that there
were no palm-trees in Virginia, and that single, solitary
tree seemed to him to be very wonderful in its sugges-
tion of a strange and foreign country.
Then, as he stood gazing, a sudden recollection of the
fate that now, in a little while, awaited him in this new
world of his five years of coming servitude. The rec-
ollection of this came upon him, gripping him with an
almost poignant pang; and he bent suddenly over,
clutching the rail tightly with both hands. How would
it be with him then ? What was in store for him in
this new world upon which he was looking ? Was it
hope or despair, happiness or misery ?
Captain Butts and Mr. Dyce were standing on the
poop-deck, the Captain with a glass held to his eye look-
ing out at the land. By and by he lowered the glass,
and said something to the mate. Then he handed the
glass to the other, who also took a long, steady look at
the distant thread of shore.
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE
Some of the crew were standing in a little group for-
ward. Among the others was Dred, the red bandana
handkerchief around his head blazing like a flame in
the crystal brightness of the morning. As Jack, still
possessed by that poignant remembrance of his coming
fate, went up to where they stood, Dred turned and
looked at him, almost smiling. The light of the rising
sun glinted in his narrow black eyes, and cut in a
sharp seam the crooked, jagged scar that ran down his
cheek. He nodded at Jack ever so slightly; but he did
not say anything, and then he turned and looked out
again toward the land. Just then the mate shouted an
order, and then the group of sailors broke asunder,.
some of them running across the deck in their bare feet,
throwing loose the ropes from the belaying-pins, others.
scrambling up the ratlines higher and higher, until they
looked like little blots in the mazy rigging against the
blue, shining sky overhead.
It was after sunset when the brig, half sailing, half
drifting, floated with the insweep of the tide up into
the York River. Jack stood with the other redemption
servants gazing silently and intently at the high bluff
shores. Above the crest of the bluff they could see the
roofs and brick chimneys of the little town. A half-
dozen vessels of various sorts were riding at anchor in
the harbor, looming darkly against the bright face of
the water, just ruffled by the light breeze. The line
of a long, straggling wharf reached some distance out
across the water to a frame shed at the end. Along
the shore toward the bluff were two or three small
frame-houses and a couple of big brick buildings. Some-
body had told Jack that they were the tobacco ware-
houses, and they appeared very wonderful to him. A
boat was pulling off from the wharf-it was the custom
officer's boat. Other boats were following it, and a sail-
boat came fluttering out from the shore into the bright
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
stretch of water. Suddenly there was a thunderous
splash. It was the anchor dropped. There was a quick
rattling of the cable and a creaking as it drew taut.
Then the Arundel swung slowly around with the sweep
of the tide, and the voyage was ended.
A minute later the boat with the custom officer came
alongside. Captain Butts met him at the gangway and
took him into the cabin. In a little while boats, canoes,
and dug-outs came clustering about the Arundel. They
all seemed strange and foreign to Jack. Nearly every-
body wanted to come aboard, but the mate, who stood
at the gangway, allowed only a few to come up on deck.
These he directed to the cabin, whither Captain Butts
had taken the custom officer The others remained in
their boats below, looking up at the redemption servants
who stood crowded at the rail, staring down at them. A
ceaseless volley of questions and answers was called
back and forth from those below to those above. "Where
d' ye come from ?" "Gravesend and Southampton."
"What craft is this ? TheArundel of Bristol." Comes
from Gravesend, d' ye say ?" "Be there any man aboard
that comes from Southwark ? "Hey, Johnnie Stivins,
here be a man asks of Southwark." Hi, there! what
are ye doin', d' ye want to stave us in ? "-a babel of a
dozen voices at a time.
Jack stood looking down through the now falling
twilight to the figures below, dim and shadowless in the
pallid light. Just beneath where he stood was a dug-
out that had come off from- the shore among the first.
It was rowed by a negro naked to the waist. A white
man sat in the stern. He appeared to have a kind of
hat of woven grasses upon his head. He wore loose
cotton trousers and was smoking a leaf of tobacco rolled
into a cigarro, the lighted tip of which alternately
glowed and faded in the dimming light. How strange
and wonderful it all was!
TO THE END OF THE VOYAGE
Just then Captain Butts came out of the cabin with
the custom officer. He did not then pay any attention
to the group of redemptioners gathered at the rail. He
stood looking at the custom officer as he climbed down
into the boat. Then he turned sharply around. "Here,
Dyce!" he roared to the mate, "send those men down
into the steerage. We '11 have half on 'em running away
in the dark next we knows on."
The transports grumbled and growled among them-
selves as they were driven below. One or two of them
were disposed to joke, but the others swore as they
climbed stumblingly down the forecastle ladder.
The day had been warm, and the steerage was close
.and hot; a lantern hung from the deck above, and in
the dim, dusky light the men stood crowded together.
Presently one of them began singing a snatch of a scur-
rilous song. Other voices joined in the refrain, and
gradually the muttering and grumbling began to change
into a noisy and rebellious turbulence. The singing
grew louder and louder, breaking now and then into a
shout or yell.
Jack had crept into his berth. It was close and stuffy
and it smelt heavy and musty after the fresh air above.
He felt very dull and numb, and the noises and tumult
in the close confines of the steerage stunned and deaf-
Suddenly Captain Butts's voice sounded from the open
,scuttle of the forecastle companionway. What d' ye
mean below there ?" he roared; are ye all gone drunk
or crazy ? Stop that there noise or I '11 put a stopper
-on ye that '11 be little enough to your liking! D' ye
A moment's lull followed his voice; then one of the
men gave a shrill cat-call. It was, as a signal, instantly
followed by a burst of yells and whistles and jeers.
Jack expected to see Captain Butts down among them
bodily, but he did not come, and for a while^the trans-
64 JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
ports whistled and yelled and shouted unchecked. Pres-
ently there was the noise of some one coming down
into the forecastle beyond. It was Joe Barkley- one
of the sailors. He came into the steerage, and at his
coming an expectant lull fell upon the tumult. He
carried a cocked and loaded pistol in his hand. His
face was stolid and expressionless, and he looked neither
to the right nor to the left. What be ye going to do,
Joe," called out one of the redemptioners. He did not
answer; he went straight up to the lantern, opened it,
blew out the light, closed it again, and then turned
away without saying a word. He went into the fore-
castle and blew out the lantern there, and then every-
thing was instantly engulfed in an impenetrable and
pitchy darkness. A burst of derisive yells followed Joe
as he climbed clattering up the forecastle ladder again,
but he paid no attention to the jibes and jeers, and the
next moment Jack heard the rattling of the slide of the
scuttle as it was closed, and then the snapping of the
lock. For a while after the lights were put out the up-
roar was louder than ever. The men thumped and
banged and kicked. But in time the pitchy darkness
quelled their spirits in spite of themselves, and little by
little the turmoil ceased. It broke out intermittently,
it quieted again, and then at last it subsided into a.
Jack lay in his berth staring into the darkness; his
ears seemed to hum and tingle with the black stillness
that surrounded him. He felt intensely wide awake as
though he could never sleep again. Teeming thoughts.
passed vividly through his brain. Visions of all he had
seen during the day-the sandy shore, the distant strip.
of pine woods, the restless, crawling waters between-
he could almost see the water. But gradually thoughts
and visions intermingled, and almost before he knew it
he had drifted off into the ocean of sleep.
SINCE the capital of Virginia had been removed from
Jamestown to Williamsburg, and since the Gov-
ernor's palace and the Government House had been
established there, it had become the center of fashion
in the colony. Just now the Court was in session, and
the Council sitting, and Governor Spottiswood was hold-
ing court every Thursday.
The day was rather close and warm, but there was an
unusually large representation of the provincial aris-
tocracy present. It was still not late in the afternoon,
but there had already been a good many arrivals, and
the gabbling sound of talking filled the assembly room.
The Governor, where he stood at the end of the room,
was the center of a group of gentlemen who were clus-
tered about him and in his immediate vicinity. It was
almost difficult for one to get past them to pay respect
to his Excellency. A group, perhaps, would move a
little aside to make way for newly arriving ladies and
gentlemen, but such as were now coming in could only
get to the Governor with a sense of discomfort and of
being crowded. In parts of the room more distant from
the Governor the talk was, perhaps, more of social
matters, but near his Excellency the knots of men dis-
cussed things relating to colonial affairs.
Just then the talk was about a renewed trouble with
pirates, who had begun again to infest the mouth of the
bay and the North Carolina sounds.
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
It was just about this time that Blackbeard had
broken his pardon and was again stopping vessels sail-
ing between Virginia and the Carolinas.
The Pearl and the Lyme, ships of war, were then
lying at Jamestown, and some of the officers had come
over to pay their respects at the palace. Some of them
were standing near listening to Councillor Page, who
was just then speaking of the latest depredations of
Blackbeard. He was lying down at Ocracock," said
Mr. Page. I had a sloop coming from the Tar River
with some shingle thatch for my new warehouse. Well,
the villains stopped her and came aboard of her. They
overhauled her cargo, and I do believe if they 'd known
't was for me they would have thrown it all overboard.
But Williams said naught about that, and so they did
not know whose 't was. There was nothing on board'
to serve the villains' turn, and they might just as well
have let the sloop go; but no, there that wretch, Black-
beard, held her for nearly two days, so that she might
not give the alarm of his being there to any in-coming
vessels. Williams-he was the captain of my sloop-
Williams said that while he was lying there under the
pirates' guns, he himself saw Blackbeard stop and levy
upon some nine vessels of different sorts, rummaging
all over their cargoes. He said it was chiefly rum and
cloth the villain was after. Williams said that 't was
reported the villains held every boat that came through
the inlet, and would neither let them go in nor come
out, but made 'em all lie at anchor under his guns.
He hath two armed sloops now and a crew altogether
of some forty or sixty men, and twice or thrice as many
more to call upon if he chooses."
-Lieutenant Maynard, of the Lyme, was standing by,
listening to the talk.
"Why, pounds!" said he, Why then do you people
here in the provinces put up with such a rascal as this
Teach or Blackbeard or what-ye-call-him ? I 'd blow
him out of the water, were I in his Excellency's place.
Aye, I would fit out an expedition and send it down
there and blow the villain clean out of the water and
have done with him."
What was that 1" said the Governor, turning around
smiling toward the speaker. "Tut, tut! Lieutenant,
that shows how little you men of war know about
civil affairs. How could I, as Governor of Virginia, fit
out an expedition and send it down into North Caro-
lina. Ocracock is under Governor Eden's jurisdiction,
not under mine, and 't is his place to move against pi-
rates in the waters of his own province. They 're inland
waters, and under the jurisdiction of North Carolina."
Well, your Excellency," said Lieutenant Maynard,
" to be sure I know naught about the law, and only
about fighting. But if a villain stood at my neighbor's
door and stopped my own people from coming out and
going in upon my business, and robbed them, By
Zounds! your Excellency, I would have it out with
him, even if I had to chase him into my neighbor's
house to do it." The Governor laughed, and the little
group around him joined in the laughter. Then his
Excellency turned again to meet some new-comers who
made their way toward him through the circle sur-
"I do declare," said Mr. Dillworth, methinks Gov-
ernor Eden of North Carolina is as bad as ever was
Fletcher of New York at his worst times. 'T was
through this Blackbeard that poor Ned Parker was
murdered-the first young gentleman of Virginia. 'T is
currently known everywhere-and yet Eden grants the
villain the King's pardon as soon as he asks for it.
'T is said his Excellency--Eden, I mean-has more
than once had his share of the booty that the pirates
have taken. Why, would you believe it, the villain
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
pirate was only last year up here at Norfolk, coming
and going as he pleased, carrying his Majesty's pardon
in his pocket and flaunting it in the eyes of everybody.
Well, if ever we catch him, now he hath broken his
pardon, 't will be a short enough shrift he '11 get of it,
I 'I promise him."
How is Colonel Parker now ? asked Mr. Page.
"He 's about well now," said Mr. Cartwright, a cousin
of Colonel Parker's. I was at Marlborough last week,
and his gout seems to have fairly left him."
Methinks he hath never been the same man since
poor Master Ned was murdered," said Mr. Dillworth. "I
never saw anybody so broken by trouble as he was
at that time."
"His daughter, Miss Nelly, is a great beauty, I hear,"
said Lieutenant Maynard.
The girl is well enough," said Mr. Cartwright briefly.
A group of some half dozen ladies and two gentlemen
were gathered at one of the open windows, into which
the warm air blew widely. One of the gentlemen was
Mr. Harry Oliver, a young man about eighteen years
old. He wore his own hair curled and hanging to his
shoulders, and he put it back with his hand every now
and then as he talked. He showed his white teeth when
he smiled, and his large, dark eyes moved restlessly
hither and thither.
"Yonder comes Dick Parker," said he suddenly.
"Why, so it is," said Miss Peggy Oliver. They all
looked toward the new comer. Upon my word," she
continued, "he is a man I can't abide for the life of
me. As proud, haughty a man as ever I saw. He turns
me to a block of ice whenever I am near him, and I
can't find a word to say for myself."
'ZWhy, Peggy," said Oliver, "that, then, must be why
you can't abide him," and thereupon the group broke
into a laugh.
Mr. Richard Parker, who had just come into the
room, was standing quietly waiting to speak to the
Governor. He did not try to push his way through the
circle that surrounded his Excellency, and for a while
nobody saw him. His handsome, florid face, surrounded
by a fine powdered wig, looked calmly and steadily in
the direction of the Governor. He stood quite impassive,
waiting an opportunity to go forward when he would
not have to push his way through the crowd. Presently
some one saw him and spoke to the others, and they
made way for him almost as with deference. He went
forward calmly and paid his respects in a few brief
words. He spoke with the Governor for a little while,
or rather the Governor spoke to him, and he replied.
All the time the Governor was speaking, Mr. Parker
was looking steadily and composedly around the room,
glancing back toward his interlocutor every now and
then to reply. Presently there was a pause, and then
at last Mr. Richard Parker bowed and withdrew to a
"Why, only look at him now," said Peggy Oliver,
" even his Excellency is not good enough for him."
"Well, to be sure, Peggy," said one of the elder
ladies, "if Mr. Parker is proud, he hath enough to
make him proud when you think what a great man of
fashion he hath been in his day. 'T is not every man
who hath had the luck to be a friend of the Duke of
Marlborough. 'T is a wonder to me that he should ever
have come here to the provinces, seeing what a great
man of fashion he was at home in England."
The two gentlemen burst out laughing. "Why," said
Will Costigan, "for that matter, 't was Hobson's
choice betwixt Virginia or the debtor's prison, madam."
"They say old Dunmore Parker when he was alive
used to send a fortune every year to England for him
to spend," said one of the ladies. "Tom told me t' other
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
day that he one time played a game of piquet for four
days on end. 'T was with a Frenchman; a nobleman
- I forget his name who was a prisoner at Malpla-
quet. Indeed it must have been mightily hard upon
him after his father died to find that all the estate, ex-
cept the Dunmore Plantation, was left to his brother."
Just then Mr. Parker approached the group and
the talk ceased. He nodded to Oliver and then passed
by and stood at a little distance looking about him.
Presently Harry Oliver edged over toward him. How
d' ye do, Parker," said he.
Mr. Parker turned his eyes toward the young man
with an answering "How d' ye do, Oliver."
There was a moment's pause. "That's a prodigious
handsome piece of lace you 've got there, Parker," said
the young man, looking at Mr. Parker's cravat.
'T is good enough," said Mr. Parker briefly.
"Is it Flemish ? "
"We don't come across any such lace as that here in
Virginia," said the young man.
"Don't you ?"
Oliver stood for a while in silence. Almost uncon-
sciously he assumed somewhat of the older man's man-
ner, standing with his hands behind him and looking
indifferently around the room. Tell me, Parker," said
he, "do you go down to Parrot's to-morrow ?"
Again Mr. Parker looked slowly toward him. "To
Parrot's ?" said he. "What d' ye mean ?"
"Why, have you not heard ?" exclaimed the young
man eagerly, glad to have found something that prom-
ised to interest the other. Why, to-morrow there 's
to be fought seven as fine mains as ever were pitted
in Virginia. There are to be six mains fought between
the Gentlemen of Surry and the Gentlemen of Prince
George's. Will Costigan yonder hath brought his red
cock over from t' other side of the Bay. The bird hath
been all the talk for six months past. He offers to pit
it against the winner of all the mains. I heard say, too,
that Ned Williamson purposes to bring down a three-
year horse that he hath broke, and will run it in the
afternoon, perhaps, against Tom Lawson's Duke of
Mr. Parker listened impassively. "I had not heard
anything about it," said he; "I only came down yester-
day. What time do you go down to Parrot's ?" he
To-morrow morning. I 'm going to stay at my uncle
Tom's over night. Will you go along ? "
"Why," said Mr. Parker, "I hadn't thought of it be-
fore. Maybe I will go."
I start in the morning," said Oliver, eagerly; I '11
come over for you if you '11 go."
"Very well," said Mr. Parker, "you can come over,
and if I find I can, I 'll go with you. Is not that Mis-
tress Denham and her daughter coming into the room? 1"
Then Mr. Parker moved away across the room to
speak to the two Maryland ladies.
It was early twilight of the next evening when Mr.
Richard Parker and Harry Oliver rode up to Parrot's
house. The house itself was the largest of a cluster of
unpainted frame buildings that stood just beyond a
clearing, overlooking the bay from a low, sandy bluff.
A number of outbuildings and sheds surrounded it to
the rear. Three pine trees stood not far from the low
porch that sheltered the doorway, and a dozen or more
horses stood clustered around the shaggy resinous
trunks. Near by them lounged a group of men, black
and white, talking together with now and then the
break of a laugh. They fell silent, and some of them
took off their hats as Mr. Parker and Mr. Oliver rode
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
up to the door and alighted. Mr. Oliver nodded in
reply, but Mr. Parker paid no attention to any one.
" Where is Parrot ? asked the younger man.
"He 's inside, Mr. Oliver," answered one of the group.
" They were at cards awhile ago, sir, and I reckon they
be at it yet."
The two gentlemen went directly into the house.
Tom Parrot's wife met them in the hallway, where was
a scattered heap of hats and riding coats. From the
room to one side came the deep sound of men talking,
and then a sudden outburst of voices. "I be mortal
proud to see ye, gentlemen," said Mrs. Parrot, dropping
them a courtesy. Indeed, Mr. Parker, you do honor
us in coming. You '11 find Tom and the gentlemen in
"You go ahead, Oliver," said Mr. Parker.
Another loud burst of voices greeted the two as they
entered the room, so dense with tobacco smoke that at
first they could see nothing at all. The room was full
of the smell of rum. A great bowl of punch stood on
the side-table, and there was a continual tinkle .and
jingle of glasses. Tom Parrot pushed back his chair
noisily and rose to meet the new comers. He was a
little stout man with a red face. It was redder than
ever now, and bedewed with drops of sweat. He had
laid aside his wig, and his bald head glistened with
moisture. He wore no coat, his waistcoat was opened,
and his breeches loosened at the waistband. He wiped
his face and head with his shirt sleeve as he spoke.
"Why, Mr. Parker," said he, "who 'd a-thought to see
you! You be mighty welcome, Mr. Parker. Won't you
take a hand at the game, sir? Tim (to the negro), push
up that there chair for Mr. Parker. Fetch a clean glass
and fill it with punch. You know all the gentlemen
here, don't you, Mr. Parker ?" And then he stopped
abruptly as though struck by a sudden thought.
Mr. Richard Parker looked briefly around the table.
He did know, at least by sight, all who were there but
one. That one was a stranger to him; a tall man
with a long, thick, perfectly black beard tied into a
knot with a piece of string. His thick, black hair was
parted in the middle and brushed smoothly down upon
either side of his head, and was trimmed squarely all
around his neck. The locks at his temple were plaited
into long strings, that hung down in front of his ears,
in which twinkled a pair of gold ear-rings. His face
was tanned by exposure to a leathery russet, but deep-
ened to a bricky red in his cheeks. At the name of
Parker the stranger had looked up sharply for an in-
stant, and then had looked down again at the cards
he was in the act of shuffling. A sudden hush as of
expectancy had fallen upon the room. Everybody was
looking attentively at Mr. Parker and at the stranger.
"Who is your friend yonder, Parrot ?" asked Mr.
Parker, "I don't know him."
Him ? said Parrot, why, he 's no more a friend
of mine than he is a friend of all the rest of us, Mr.
Seeing the other's hesitation, the stranger spoke up
boldly and loudly. "My name is Teach," said he,
"Captain Teach, and I hail from North Carolina. It 's
like enough you 've heard of me before, as I 've heard
of you, sir. Well, then, I 'm glad to make your acquaint-
ance, Mr. Parker." He reached a brown, hairy hand
across the table toward Mr. Richard Parker, looking
up at him as he did so with the most impudent cool-
ness and steadiness. Mr. Richard Parker made no sign
of having recognized the stranger's name. He and the
pirate seemed to be the only self-possessed men in the
room. He calmly ignored the proffered hand, but said
in a perfectly equal voice: "Why, then, I am obliged
to you for telling me who you are," and then coolly
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
and composedly took his seat. What game do you
play, Parrot ?" said he.
"Why, Mr. Parker," said Parrot eagerly, "'t is lan-
terloo, and Captain Teach is holding the bank just
now. Will you take a hand, sir ?"
By midnight the bowl of punch had been emptied
and filled, and emptied again, and at times the uproar
was stunning. Mr. Richard Parker had laid aside his
coat and unbuttoned his waistcoat. His shirt was
opened at his handsome, round throat, and the sweat
trickled down his smooth red neck. "Harkee now,
Captain Teach," he called across the table in a loud,
rather hoarse, voice, I know very well who you are,
you bloody villain! You 're a bloody pirate, d' ye
The other glowered with tipsy truculence back at
him for a moment or two in silence. You can't prove
me pirate, Mr. Dick Parker," said he at last, and no
man can prove me pirate now. Maybe I am a pirate
and maybe I 'm none, but how can you prove I 'm a
Mr. Parker's flaming face did not change a shade in
the heavy haughtiness of its expression. A pirate
you are," said he, and what 's more, you 're at your
tricks again., I 've heard all about you, and I know all
about you, d' ye see ? Well, you 've been losing at
your cards all night, Mr. Pirate. You may do well
enough in your villainy afloat, stabbing poor coasting
captains and murdering young gentlemen of blood
like my nephew Ned, but what a poor figure do you
make ashore when you try your luck with the gentle-
men at play. See what I 've won of you! Look 'ee
now, sirrah, I 'll play you a game of hazard man to
man, and clear you out o' all you have left if you dare
to play me."
Dare Why should I not dare to play you, Dick
Parker ? D' ye think I 'm afeard of you ? I'11 play
you as long as ye can see. Why not ?"
Harry Oliver pushed back his chair and rose. He
came rather unsteadily to where Mr. Parker sat.
" Don't do it, Dick," said he, thickly. Don't you play
that man. He 's a bloody villain, Dick, and 't is n't fit
you should play him. D' ye forget what everybody
knows, and that he had a hand in Ned's death ?"
Sit down, Oliver!" the other replied, wiping his
face with his sleeve. Here, Parrot, clear the table of
these cards and hand the dice over here. There's your
cup, you villain!" and he tossed the box across the table.
"And now set your stakes and throw your cast."
Everybody gathered around the two to watch the
game, and for a while nothing was heard but the rattle
and fall of the dice. At first the luck ran all in Mr. Par-
ker's favor, and Teach's face grew blacker and blacker.
Then suddenly fortune changed, and in a little while
the winner had lost everything he had gained. Again
and again he threw, and again and again he lost. He
played more and Tmore desperately, and his opponent
grinned at every cast.
Don't play any more, Parker !" cried Harry Oliver.
"Your luck 's against you, and you 've lost too
much already." But the other only pushed him aside
with his elbow, and gathered up the dice with trembling
fingers. At last he dashed down the dice and box
furiously, and thereupon Captain Teach burst out
laughing. "And have ye had enough?" he exulted
Mr. Parker stared haughtily at him without deigning
any reply. "Did you order out the horses, Oliver? "
he said, pushing back his chair and rising.
"Yes, I did. They 're waiting outside now, and
have been this hour."
JACK BALLISTER7S FORTUNES
"Then, come along, let us go; 't is nearlymorning
The moon, nearing its last quarter, hung in the east
like a flattened globe of white light. The air was chill
and smelt rank of marsh and woodland. The mocking
birds were singing in ceaseless medley from the inky-
black thickets beyond. Blackbeard followed the two
gentlemen as they came out of the house. And when
may I look for you to settle your losses, Mr. Parker ? "
"I '11 talk with you to-morrow," said Mr. Parker, as
he set his foot in the stirrup.
But you 'll give me some written obligation of some
sort, won't you ?"
"I tell you, sirrah, I 'll talk with you to-morrow. Do
you hear me ? To-morrow." And then the two gentle-
men rode away into the night, leaving the other stand-
ing looking after them.
IT was the morning after the arrival at Yorktown.
Jack was awake and up on deck bright and early.
The sun had just risen upon a clear and cloudless day,
and the brisk, fresh wind drove the crisp waves splash-
ing against the brig as she rode at anchor. The foli-
age of the trees on shore whitened to the breeze, and
the smoke blew sharply away here and there from some
tall brick chimney. The town looked fresh and strangely
new in the brightness of the morning. Three of the
vessels that had lain in the harbor over night were get-
ting under way. The yo-hoeing of the sailors, and the
creaking and rattling of block and tackle, as the sails
rose higher and higher apeak, sounded sharp and clear
across the water. One large schooner, heeling over be-
fore the wind, slid swiftly and silently past the Arun-
del. Three or four sailors, clustered along the rail, were
looking over toward the Arundel as they passed the
brig, but the man at the helm -he wore a red woolen
monteray cap- gazed out steadily ahead, stooping a
little so as to see under the boom of the mainsail.
Several of the redemptioners had come up on deck;
one or two of them, doubtless remembering the tumult
and disorder of the night before, wore a hang-dog doubt-
ful look. Suddenly Jack saw the mate coming toward
them from aft. What are ye doing up here on deck ?1
he called out. "Were n't you ordered below last night ?
Very well then, you go down below now, and don't ye
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
come up till you 're sent for; d' ye hear ?" The men,
though sullen and lowering, had no thought of dis-
obeying the mate's orders, and Jack, with the others,
climbed down the ladder into the forecastle again.
It was well toward the middle of the day, and Jack
was lounging in his berth, when Dred suddenly ap-
peared in the steerage. He stood looking silently
around for a moment or two, and then, seeing Jack,
beckoned to him. Dred did not speak until they were
out in the forecastle. "The agent 's come from shore
to take you all off, lad," said he; "he 's with Captain
Butts in the cabin now, and in a minute or two you 'll
be sent for."
"To take us ashore ? said Jack. A sudden, keen
pang gripped his heart, followed instantly by an utter
falling away of the spirits, that left him almost physi-
cally weak. "To take us ashore?" Had the time then
come at last ?
"Aye," said Dred, "ye 've got to go ashore now, lad.
But sit you down there a bit," and he pointed to a sea-
chest. "I 've a notion to try and tidy ye up a bit. I
don't choose to have ye looking like they riff-raff," and
he jerked his head toward the steerage. D 'ye see, we
two ha' been mates, ha' n't we ? He had taken out his
gunny-bag, and he now brought out of it his needle and
thread. He looked up at Jack from under his brows
and then looked away again. Jack did not return the
look but sat with dry and choking throat, his breath
coming hot and heavy from him. Well, then," said
Dred, "seeing as we 're mess-mates, I won't have ye going
ashore looking like nothing but trash. Give me your
coat and waistcoat." He had threaded his needle and
waxed the thread deftly. Jack stripped off his coat and
waistcoat, and without a word Dred began mending the
frayed and tattered edges of the waistcoat. Jack sat
silently in his shirt-sleeves watching him. He knew
INTO BONDAGE 79
that Dred was talking for the sake of talking. He felt
almost stifled with his hot and labored breathing as he
sat watching the other's busy fingers.
There, that looks betterish," said Dred, holding the
waistcoat off and looking at it, still carefully avoiding
Jack's eyes as he did so. Here, take it," and he tossed
it to Jack. "And now for the coat. I be a wonderful
man at mending clothes, be n't I ? Lord! what a hole is
here, to be sure." There was a long time of silence,
Dred busily sewing away at the coat. There," said
he at last, "what d' ye think of that for a bit of mend-
ing ? Well, well, lad, the time comes to all on us to part
some time, so what matters it soon or late? Harkee,
Jack; don't you go making trouble for yourself. You
be a good boy, and you '11 be treated well enough, I
dare say. You 're mightily young yet, and five or six
year won't matter so much to you, and then think o'
what a deal you '11 see in that time." He was talking
very briskly, meantime putting away the needle and
Five years Jack stood watching Dred fumbling in
his gunny-bag. Presently he fetched out a pair of yarn
stockings. "Here, put these on," said he, the ones
you got be all full of holes. Give 'em to me."
Jack did not dare to trust himself to speak. He be-
gan dumbly changing his stockings, Dred standing over
Suddenly the boatswain appeared at the companion-
way of the forecastle, and piped all hands up on deck.
Jack and Dred went up together. Captain Butts and
the agent were standing waiting for the men, the agent
holding a little packet of papers in his hand. Jack, in
a glance, saw that the agent was a tall, lean man dressed
in rusty black, wearing a long, black coat, and with the
flaps of his hat tied up with leather thongs. His lips
moved as he counted the redemptioners, one by one,
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
as they came up out of the companion-way and were
formed in a line before him by the boatswain. A great,
flat boat, rowed by four negroes and with a white man
in the stern, had been made fast to the side of the brig.
"Nineteen, twenty-that 's all of 'em, Captain,"- the
agent had counted Jack in with the others, -" and very
lucky you 've been with 'em. Now, Bo's'n, get 'em
down as soon as you can."
Aye, aye, sir," said the boatswain; and then to the
men, "Now then, look alive, my hearties, and don't
take all day about it!"
Then, suddenly, Jack went straight up to where the
agent stood. "Sir," said he, hoarsely, "I have been
ill-used. I was knocked down and kidnapped, and
brought away from home against my will. Will you
not listen to me and hear what I have to say ?"
"Hold your noise !" roared the captain.
"No, I won't, neither," said Jack. He did not expect
much, indeed he felt that he had no hope of escape, but
still the effort was worth making. He stood chokingly
looking at the agent, and he felt that his heart was
beating very heavily within him.
I don't know anything about what you say," said
the agent. The bill calls for twenty men shipped from
Southampton, and your name must be among them.
What's your name ?"
"Yes, here 't is-John Ballister--shipped for five
years. If there is something wrong, you 'll have to hold
Captain Butts and Mr. Hezekiah Tipton to answer. I 'm
only an agent, and 't is none of my business."
I wish I had ye for a couple of days longer," said
Captain Butts, "I 'd answer ye, I would. I 'd put my
answer upon your back, I would, afore I let ye go."
But Master Hezekiah Tipton is my own uncle," said
"I don't know anything about that," said the agent,
"'T is none of my business."
Jack did not say another word. He crossed the deck,
hardly knowing what he was doing, and climbed down
into the boat, where the other transports were already
seating themselves. A moment or two, and the agent
followed, and then immediately the boat was cast loose.
As it pulled away toward the shore, Jack gave one look
back across the widening stretch of water. It was almost
like a dream; it seemed to him as though that which was
passing was not really happening to him. Dred's red
handkerchief gleamed like a flame against the blue
sky as he stood on the rail looking after the departing
boat. Then Jack turned his face quickly away. He
could not trust himself to look again, lest he should
break down before all the boat-full of men.
A little scattered cluster of men stood upon the wharf
waiting for the flat boat as it drew nearer and nearer,
and when it struck the piling with a bump half a dozen
willing hands caught the line that was thrown them
and made it fast. Jack scrambled with the others to
the wharf under the curious gaze of those who stood
looking on. They were formed into a line, two by two,
and then marched down the wharf toward the shore.
The loungers followed them scatteringly. Beyond
the wharf they crossed a narrow strip of beach, and
climbed a sloping, sandy road cut through the high
bluff. At the crest they came out upon a broad,
grassy street, upon which fronted the straggling houses,
one or two built of brick, but most of them unpainted
frame-structures, with tall, sharp-pointed roofs and out-
side chimneys of brick. A curious smoky smell per-
vaded the air. People stood at their doors looking at
Jack and his companions as they marched two by two
down the center of the dusty street.
So at last they reached and were halted in front
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
of a large brick warehouse. Then the agent opened
the door, and they entered. Within it was perfectly
empty, and smelt damp and earthy from disuse. The
board floor was sunken unevenly, and the plaster was
broken from the walls here. and there in great patches.
The two windows, which looked upon the rear of the
adjoining houses, were barred across with iron. Jack
heard his companions talking together. "Well, Jack,"
said Sim Tucker,."here we be at last."
Jack sometimes wondered whether the two days that
followed passed very quickly or very slowly. Food was
sent over three times a day to the warehouse by the
agent, and twice a day all hands were allowed to walk
about for a few minutes in a little yard back of the
building. It seemed to him that he slept nearly all the
rest of the time, except now and then when he stood on
an empty box looking out of one of the windows. The
windows overlooked a yard and a shed, beyond the roof
of which was a cluster of trees, and beyond that again
two tall chimneys. Nearly always there were pigeons
on the roof of the shed. Now and then there was the
noise of their clapping flight, but the gurgling coo of the
strutting males sounded almost continuously through
the warm silence.
About eleven o'clock of the third day, they were
brought out of the store-house, formed into line in front
of the building, and then marched away in the hot sun
down the street about a hundred yards to the custom-
house. Jack saw a lounging, scattered crowd of men
there gathered in a little group, and he guessed that
that was where they were to be sold.
" The agent and the auctioneer stood by a horse-block
talking together in low tones as the man who had
marched Jack and the others down from the warehouse
formed them in line against the wall of the building.
N'OW THEN, GENTLEMEN, HOW MUCH DO YOU BID FOR THIS BOY?
SAID THE AUCTIONEER."
The agent held a slip of paper in his hand, which he
referred to every now and then. At last the auctioneer
mounted upon the horse-block.
Gentlemen," Jack heard him say, "I have now to
offer as fine a lot of servants as hath ever been brought
to Virginia. There be only twenty, gentlemen, but
every one choice and desirable. Which is the first one
you have upon your list, Mr. Quillen ? said he, turning
to the agent.
The agent referred to a slip of paper he held in his
hand. Sam Dawson," he called out in a loud voice.
"Step out, Sam Dawson!" and in answer to the sum-
mons a big, lumbering man, with a heavy brow and
dull face, stepped out from the line and stood beside
This is Sam Dawson, gentlemen," said the auctioneer,
addressing the crowd. He hath no trade, but he is a
first-rate, healthy fellow and well fitted for the tobacco
fields. He is to be sold for five years."
They 're all to be sold for five years," said the agent.
"You have heard, gentlemen," said the auctioneer-
"they 're all to be sold for five years. This is a fine big
fellow. How much have I bid for him ? How much ?
Ten pounds is bid for his time-ten pounds is bid,
gentlemen! I have ten pounds. Now I have twelve
pounds! Now I have fifteen pounds! "
In a minute the price had run up to twenty pounds,
and then a voice said quietly: I will give you twenty-
five pounds for the man."
"Mr. Simms bids twenty-five pounds for the man's
time in behalf of Colonel Birchall Parker," said the
salesman. Have I any more bids for him ? But Mr.
Simms's bid seemed to close the sale, for no one appeared
to care to bid against him.
Jack had been so dazed and bewildered by coming
out from the dark and chill warehouse into the sunlight
84 JACK BELLISTER'S FORTUNES
and life, thai'he had scarcely noticed anything very
particularly. Now he looked up at the man who had
bought Sam Dawson's time, and saw that he was a stout,
red-faced, plain-looking man, dressed very handsomely
in snuff-colored clothes. As Jack wondered who he
was, another man was called out from the line of ser-
vants. Again the bids had run up to ten or twelve
pounds, and then again Mr. Simms made a bid of
twenty-five pounds, and once more no one bid against
him. Another man and another man were sold, and
then Jack heard his own name.
Jack Ballister!" called the agent. Stand out, boy,
and be quick about it!" and Jack mechanically ad-
vanced from the others and took his place beside the
block, looking around him, as he did so, at the circle of
faces fronting him and all staring at him. His mouth
felt very dry, and his heart was beating and pounding
heavily. Here is a fine, good boy, gentlemen," said the
salesman. He is only sixteen years old, but he will do
well as a serving or waiting-man in some gentleman's
house who hath need of such. He hath education, and
reads and writes freely. Also, as you may see for your-
selves, gentlemen, he is strong and well built. A lively
boy, gentlemen-a good, lively boy! Come, boy, run to
yonder post and back, and show the gentlemen how
brisk ye be."
Jack, although he heard the words, looked dumbly at
the speaker. "D' ye hear me!" said the agent. Do
as I bid ye; run to yonder post and back!"
Then Jack did so. It seemed to him as though he
were running in a nightmare. As he returned to his
place he heard the agent saying: The boy is strong,
but doth not show himself off as well as he might. But
he is a good boy, as you may see for yourselves." The
next thing he knew was that Mr. Simms had bought
him for twenty pounds.
MARLBOROUGH was the house of Colonel Birch-
all Parker. It was in its day, perhaps, the finest
house in Virginia, not even excepting the Governor's
palace at Williamsburgh. It stood upon the summit of
a slope of the shore rising up from the banks of the
James River. The trees in front nearly hid the house
from the river as you passed, but the chimneys and the
roof stood up above the foliage, and you caught a
glimpse of the brick facade, and of the elaborate door-
way, through an opening in the trees, where the path led
up from the landing-place to the hall door. The main
house was a large two-storied building capped by a tall,
steep roof. From the center building long wings
reached out to either side, terminating at each end in a
smaller building or office standing at right angles to its
wing, and, together with the main house, inclosing on
three sides a rather shaggy, grassy lawn. From the
front you saw nothing of the servants' quarters or out-
buildings (which were around to the rear of the house),
but only the imposing facade with its wings and offices.
Now it was early morning; Colonel Birchall Parker
had arisen, and his servant was shaving him. He sat
by the open window in his dressing-gown, and with
slippers on his feet. His wig, a voluminous mass of
finely curled black hair, hung from the block ready for
him to put on. The sunlight came in at the open win-
JACK BALLISTER'S FORTUNES
dow, the warm mellow breeze just stirring the linen
curtains drawn back to either side and bringing with
it the multitudinous sounds of singing birds from the
thickets beyond the garden. The bed-clothes were
thrown off from a mountainously high bed, and the
wooden steps, down which Colonel Parker had a little
while before descended from his couch to the bare
floor, were still standing beside the curtained bedstead.
The room had all the confused look of having just been
Colonel Parker held the basin under his chin while
the man shaved him. He had a large, benevolent face,
the smooth double chin just now covered with a white
mass of soap-suds. As he moved his face a little to one
side to receive the razor he glanced out of the open
window. "I see the schooner is come back again,
Robin," said he.
Yes, your honor," said the man, it came back last
Were there any letters ?"
"I don't know, your honor; the schooner came in
about midnight, and Mr. Simms is not about yet." The
man wiped the razor as he spoke and began whetting
it to a keener edge. Mr. Richard came up with the
schooner, your honor," said he.
"Did he ? "
"Yes, your honor, and Mr. Simms fetched up a lot of
new servants with him. They 're quartered over in the
empty store-house now. Will your honor turn your
face a little this way ?"
The noises of newly awakened life were sounding
clear and distinct through the uncarpeted wainscoted
spaces of the house the opening and shutting of
doors, the sound of voices, and now and then a break
The great hall and the side rooms opening upon it,